Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Acts 3: 21 speaks of “the times of restitution of all things.” What is the Bible teaching
Answer: Acts 3: 20, 21 reads:
“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his
holy prophets since the world began.”
Restitution means a return to an original condition. The original condition of the human family
was human perfection, which Adam and Eve possessed until their fall into sin, and which Jesus
possessed when on earth at His First Advent.
Father Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. The image of God implies perfection
in the physical, mental, moral and religious faculties. The Bible speaks of this condition as being
very good. The likeness of God implies perfect rulership over a perfect earth (Genesis 1: 26).
This original perfection of being and rulership has been lost. Physical, mental, moral and
religious degradation has taken the place of the image of God; and a cursed earth, which has
greatly oppressed man, has deprived him of proper rulership. This loss, which all of Adam’s
descendants have inherited, is the direct result of his sin of disobedience.
God, in His perfect justice, pronounced the sentence of death upon Adam. Since then Adam and
all his progeny have suffered sin, imperfection and death. This sad and degraded condition of the
human race, however, appealed to the compassion of the Creator, and moved Him in His mercy
to make an arrangement whereby He could be both just and merciful to His human creatures
(Romans 3: 26).
That arrangement was the sending of His well-beloved Son into the world to lay down His
perfect human life as the Ransom-price for Adam and his entire family (Matthew 20: 28). Just as
the main purpose of Christ’s First Advent was the laying down of the Ransom-price, so the main
purpose of His Second Advent is to make that Ransom-price available for the recovery of
mankind by restitution. By the time the process of restitution is complete at the end of the
Millennial Age, all the obedient of mankind will have returned to the original perfection of
human nature in the image and likeness of God, and be at one with their Creator.
Additionally, the “all things” of our text refer not only to mankind, but to the earth itself, which
by that time will be like the garden of Eden − a suitable eternal home for mankind
(Ezekiel 36: 35).
The opportunity to gain all the blessings of restitution will not be limited to the living at the time
of Christ’s Second Advent. The Scriptures promise that every man and woman who has ever
lived will be granted that same opportunity. This implies the awakening of the dead. All those
who have not had their opportunity to gain salvation in this life (and that includes the vast
majority, Christ’s Church alone excepted) will be brought back from the grave to receive their
opportunity (John 5: 28, 29).
The Scriptures teach that the opportunity to be restored to human perfection consists of seven
(1.) All will be freed from the Adamic sentence, which implies being awakened from the
dead (1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22).
(2.) Because no one can be saved by ignorance, all will be brought to an accurate
knowledge of the Truth (Acts 4: 12).
(3.) All will be placed under conditions conducive to righteousness, in contrast to present
conditions which are conducive to evil (Psalm 72: 8).
(4.) All will be favorably influenced toward Christ, in contrast to few who have been so
influenced in the present life (John 12: 32).
(5.) All will submit to Jesus and acknowledge His right to reign over them, something that
few have recognized in this life (Philippians 2: 10, 11).
(6.) All will be given the opportunity to consecrate, or dedicate their lives to the Lord,
when it will be an easier “highway,” instead of a narrow, difficult way. (Isaiah 35: 8).
(7.) All will be given an opportunity to receive the holy spirit, something that few have
received in the present life (Joel 2: 28, 29).
Note: Please find a more thorough examination of this subject in Study 9 of God’s Wonderful