Restoration of the Church
The early church Jesus established during the time of His ministry reaped many thousands of members who made up the great “spiritual house,” the temple of the Lord (1 Peter 2:5).
In its latter years after the death of the apostles and the apostolic fathers, evil men as grievous wolves crept in unawares to overthrow the faith of many by using the grace of God as a pretext for lasciviousness and substituting human traditions for the truth of God. This brought about an eventual revelation in the spiritual realm of the prophetic situation about which Isaiah spoke concerning Judah: “How is the faithful city become a harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.” (Isaiah 1:21)
The great church which Jesus established went down into the darkness and eventual death of apostasy by adopting the pagan traditions of the Roman Empire in return for safety and wealth that its rulers guaranteed the church. When it sold out the sacred truth of the Word of God which Jesus, Himself, had revealed, the church became Mystery, Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:1-5)
When the early church consummated its union with the state of Rome, the covenant of the body was broken, and the church died. For centuries the light of the church was not seen, though the faith of God continued to be manifest in His kingdom. Finally God raised upon brave men to reinstate the doctrines of the kingdom of God and to preach spiritual rebirth. Other doctrines of the kingdom were reestablished including sanctification and baptism by the Holy Spirit.
It was about the time when the Holy Spirit began to be poured out that the revelation of the need for a resurrection and restoration of the church in the last days was made known by Bishop A.J. Tomlinson. He implemented the revelation to bring about the resurrection of the church in a small body of people in Cherokee County, NC in 1903 (Isaiah 52:1-2, 60:1)
Since that time the doctrines of the early church have been progressively restored to the church in this day. Following the Reformation of the church in 1957, this work was accelerated with Chief Bishop Grady R. Kent, restoring the governmental pattern of the church – with apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-13). This is a fulfillment of Isaiah 1:26: “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors at thy beginning; afterward thou shalt be called The City of Righteousness, the faithful city.”
The restoration of the church among the Gentiles is the focal point of the prophetic programs that God will bring to pass in the time of the end of the age. All other prophetic programs revolve around and are contingent upon the restoration of the church. The one word which characterizes the work of God for this generation is restoration, and the restoration of the church leads the way in this work.
The objective of The Church of God is to bring about a complete restoration of the church of the Bible with every doctrine and practice fully implemented and with every gift and office fully operational. This is the prophetic work that is to be accomplished when the spiritual tabernacle of David is restored among the Gentiles in the last days in preparation for the second coming of Jesus (Amos 9:11, Acts 15:15-17).