In Proposition 144, George Peters states:
“This Kingdom embraces “the times of refreshing” and “the times of the restitution of all things” mentioned, Acts 3:19-21.”
The journey through biblical phraseology as it relates to the doctrine of the Kingdom continues in this Proposition, this time focusing on the phrases “the times of refreshing” and “the times of the restitution of all things.” The referenced text is Acts 3:19-21:
19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
This time of refreshing will be experienced by the righteous given the declaration by Peter to repent from sin. A result of repenting and turning from sin will be the times of refreshing. The time frame Peter annotates in this passage as to when this time of refreshing and restoration will take place is at the Second Advent, that which the prophets spoke of so long ago.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 144 is the following:
“While the view of restitution, embracing the restoration of the Theocracy and the return to the condition of things before the fall of Adam, is consoling and grand, yet even this would limit its meaning, for a more sublime and scriptural aspect of it is, that, while including those mentioned, it is a restoration to that very condition which Adam and his descendants would have attained to had they not fallen. Adam himself is restored in that immortal condition which he forfeited by sin (i.e. to that which he had not yet attained), and in the entire restitution God indicates, not merely the bestowment of blessings previously enjoyed, but that of others superadded to qualify those participating in it for the exercise of that government which the number, state, etc., of Adam’s descendants and God’s purpose in creation makes important or even necessary. Hence in some of its aspects, transcending all experience and knowledge, it may be beyond our comprehension; at least, the Bible intimates in a number of places that it is scarcely possible for us now, situated as we are, to form adequate conceptions of its extent and glory. Hence, also, as we shall show in a following proposition, it extends to the restoration of the race (not of the wicked) as a race to its lost, forfeited condition.”
We are once again brought back to a specific reality of the end, namely that it is a return to the beginning and that which was lost in the Garden once sin entered the picture. In Genesis, we find a sinless creation, one in which death and decay had not part. As noted in the previous Proposition and Observation (Prop. 143), a Sabbath rest had been established. I have to believe that part of the beauty of the fulness of the Sabbath rest (which I think we can only experience in part in this age), is this “time of refreshing” noted by Peter in Acts 3. Because of sin, there will be the requirement for a restitution of all things, again as noted by Peter in Acts 3. A restitution to what state? As Peters notes in this observation, it is a restitution to the state that was lost in the beginning.
Now I have to admit I repeatedly try to imagine what that state was like as it informs what the state of things will be like in the Theocratic Kingdom. God dwelled and walked with man in the garden. God will again dwell and walk with man in the coming Kingdom. All that was lost because of sin will be restored. This will indeed be a time of refreshing. After all, in the presence of the Lord is fulness of joy. It is a completely and utterly refreshing experience to be in God’s presence. There is truly no means by which we can grasp what that will be like.