An Example of Restoration– the 120 Disciples

120 disciples

One of the most heart warming scenes in all the Bible is that of the gathering of the 120 disciples. In Acts 1:15 we read–

“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)..” (Acts 1:15)

As we can see the Word says that there were “about an hundred and twenty”. So this Word has been left with us for centuries in that we are not sure just how many came together that fateful day. But our Lord knew that someday all things would be “restored”. Let us now take a look at an important restoration from the Lord’s promised Elijah.

Before we do that let us remember our Lord’s promise–

Jesus replied, “Elijah does indeed come, and he will restore all things.(Matt.17:11)

A promise is made that the Elijah to come will restore all things. But what does this mean? Let us turn to the Elijah message itself–

“..since Elijah is to herald the great day, he can therefore be the only one who will rightly interpret the prophecies of the day, which are still mysteries to Christendom, and even to our own Denomination!  Indeed, to reiterate, it is for this very reason that the prophet is sent.  He is to unroll the scroll to explain what the day of the Lord is like, what the Lord will do then, and how we may survive His judgments. 

To re-emphasize the fact, let it be said again that being the last of the prophets Elijah is, therefore, the only one who can open to our understanding all the prophecies of the Scriptures pertaining to the great and dreadful day of the Lord — prophecies which heretofore have been only mysteries to all.  Thus he is, as the Scriptures say, to blow the trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm in God’s holy mountain, in the church.

   In doing all this, he sets in motion the Power that is to restore all things.  Hence Christ’s positive declaration: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Matt. 17:11.  Inevitably, then, without his message we would die in our ignorance and in our sins — never live to see the restoration completed. (General Conference Special , p.19-20)

So we see that the restoration is

1. Understanding the prophecies of this day (even those previously unknown in Christendom)

2. To know what the Lord will do and how we can survive His upcoming judgments

3. Sound a warning through out God’s church of the Lord’s next move

4. Brings a message we must heed or be left to die in ignorance and in our sins

So in regard to no. 1 we shall now take a look at the understanding of the 120 disciples, and why it’s an important restoration.

As we noted in the top referenced quote, the Word says “about 120 disciples”. Yet the message shows us the straight fact about this number, Let us read–

“To get into the full beam of light, we must first face the fact that the pre-pentecostal harvest took place in a self-deceived church, the Jewish; and through miracle-working power manifested by Christ Himself, it yielded the 120 disciples, the first fruits of those who are to be resurrected.  Whereas the post-pentecostal harvest took place among the nations; and through miracle-power manifested by the Spirit-filled 120 disciples, it yielded an innumerable multitude of converts to Christianity (Acts 2:41, 47), the second fruits of those who are to be resurrected.” (TG, vol. 2, no.46, p.27-28)

Ah, we see that the message declares it to be -120 disciples, not “about 120 disciples”! Some may say –so what’s the big deal about this? It is because the 120 disciples represent the “type” of the 144,000, which is the anti-type. And some  present truth believers use this word “about” to justify that the Lord will seal more than 144,000 from the remnant church.

Again the message illuminates about the 120–

Now to summarize the types before the Pentecost: (1) the first fruits were numbered; (2) they came exclusively from the church itself; (3) the miracles then wrought were by Christ Himself.

   Now coming to the types after the Pentecost: (1) the second fruits were not numbered; (2) they came from the nations; (3) the miracles then wrought were by the numbered ones (the 120), the first fruits.

   Accordingly, the antitypical Pre-pentecostal harvest takes place in a self-deceived church, the Laodicean, “the house of God”; and through miracle-working power manifested by Heaven itself in the angels (Matt. 13:39), it yields the 144,000, the first fruits of those who are never to die.  Whereas the antitypical post-pentecostal harvest takes place among the nations; and through miracle-working power manifested by the Spirit-filled 144,000, it yields the great multitude which no man can number (Rev. 7:9), the second fruits, of those who are never to die. (TG, vol. 2, no. 46, p.28)

In the first fruit harvest how many in type composed the church? 120 disciples or “about” 120 disciples?  120 disciples. Thus the restoration message corrects our understanding that there were 120 , no more and no less and the same with the anti-type–there will 144,000, no more and no less. As we just read “the house of God”..yields the 144,000. Not 144,000 and some others but–144,000.

I often tell this personal story concerning the knowledge of 144,000 surviving the first fruit harvest of the church. Before the knowledge of the truth of the 144,000, if someone would have said to me “Rob, you know there will only be 144,000 sealed from the SDA church in the upcoming church purification.” I would say “What are you talking about?? No way , c’mon, there is close to 18 million in our church, no way.”

Now, as the message of Elijah has revealed , through its myriad of lessons and Scriptures, the real truth of the 144,000, I often say , “Lord will there really be that many??” You see once conversion takes place and the Lord’s sealing message is learned and obeyed, we do indeed see sin for what it truly is– deadly sin! Thus we see the church as the Lord sees it, in desperate need of Him. After all He is the real “Restorer.”

Once again the beauty of the words of the Spirit of Prophecy guides us —

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people.

This is forcibly set forth by the prophet’s illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

In closing my brothers and sisters, the restoring message is truly a beautiful thing to know. First we see that the truths we need are restored, such as the truth of the 120 disciples-our type,  then the earthly pre-millennial kingdom will be set up, thus restoring “all things” as the Lord said.

 

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