The Greek base for ‘restore’ is very similar to the definitions of return. The basic meaning is to put back into a former state. There are times when the word restitution is used in place of restore.
Recall the disciples asked Jesus about the timing of the restoration of His kingdom.
“…Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6
Their question referred to when the lost dominion and authority would be brought back again.
In Peter’s second sermon to the crowd at Solomon’s temple, he preached on the future restoration of all things at the time of Jesus’ return.
“…and that He (God) may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20-21
Peter’s message was that Christ would be in Heaven until the end of Daniel’s 70th week at which time He would return to restore all things. This message was the same preached by the prophets from the beginning. Nothing had changed, nor will God’s plan change.
The final prophet Malachi announced Christ’s first advent and predecessor, plus His return to earth in the future.
He reminded Israel to remember the Law of Moses because their Messiah/King was coming to restore a fallen generation.
Malachi then provided more details on Christ’s predecessor.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD…” Malachi 4:5
The King would initially arrive on earth following one like Elijah who would announce His coming.
During His first advent, the King would fulfill the Law of Moses and then return to His Father in heaven.
At the exact predetermined time the King would return to earth to restore it to its original sinless condition.
“…and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” Malachi 4:6
For those who refused the sovereignty of the returning King and His restoration, universal judgment would be their fate at ‘the great and dreadful day of the LORD.’
Approximately 420 years after Malachi, the priest Zacharias, the husband of Elizabeth, received a message from an angel of the Lord.
Zacharias was told that he and his wife would bear a son and would call his name John. John would be great in the sight of the Lord and would be filled with the Holy Spirit.
“And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children…’” Luke 1:16-17a
‘Turn’ in this verse means to return, i.e. come back again. The most common synonym would be ‘repent.’
Recall the transfiguration scene when Peter, James, and John were in the presence of the glorified Jesus who appeared to be talking with Moses and Elijah. At that time the disciples asked Jesus why the scribes say that Elijah must come before Jesus.
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished.’” Matthew 17:11-12
‘Restore’ in this verse again means to bring back a lost dominion, or restitution of something to its former condition.
Jesus subsequently identified ‘Elijah’ as John the Baptist.
“Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.” Matthew 17:13
The basic message of John was to ‘repent.’ The word ‘repent’ in the present context means a turning from unbelief and sin to God; to come back again, to return.
Jesus said that John the Baptist had come to restore ‘all things.’
‘Restore’ similarly means to ‘put back into former state; return.’
Solomon had it right along.
“That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9