All Bible quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. I split this paper into several parts and put these parts into the proper format so I could put them on several Christian article sites. These sites do not permit footnotes, bold, underlining, italics, long dashes, etc. Quite often I will make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. All of my papers that I mention as references for further study in this paper can be found on my internet site (karlkempteachingministries.com or Google to Karl Kemp Teaching).
I'll include the Contents section that I had in the original paper for your information:
Introduction..... pages 2-12
I'll quote a long paragraph from Bill Hamon (page 100) where he quotes from "Ellicott's Commentary on the Whole Bible," Vol. 7 (Zondervan, 1954) on the book of Acts..... 12-13
Two viewpoints that have helped influence some Christians to misinterpret Acts 3:21..... 13-19
One viewpoint: All people, or almost all people, will be saved along with God's restoration of the world..... 13-16
A second viewpoint: The postmillennial view of eschatology..... 16-17
The post-millennial view of David Brown and his interpretation of Acts 3:21 and of Mark 13 and Matthew 24..... 17-19
Let's go on to a verse-by-verse study of Acts 3:19-21..... 19-26
The "restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times" includes the following things; all of the things listed will take place AFTER the Lord Jesus returns, which includes the things that will take place at the time He returns..... 21-26
What Jesus meant when He said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things" in Matt. 17:11 (Mark 9:12). This directly involves Mal. 4:5, 6, where Elijah and a restoration are mentioned..... 26-31
Does the New Testament Teach that All Christians Can, and Should, Prophesy? ..... 31-39
What about Prophecies, Doctrines, and Anointings of Demons?..... 36-39 (and see the Appendix of this paper)
Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?..... 39-42
Appendix (The Appendix will not be included on this Christian article site)
I'll list the primary verses that are discussed in this paper that are not listed above:
Abbreviations: cf. means compare; e.g., means for example
INTRODUCTION. The scope of this paper is quite limited. I am not making an attempt to comment of all the content of Bill Hamon's 285 page book, "Prophetic Scriptures Yet To Be Fulfilled" (Destiny Image, 2010). The scope is limited to commenting on Hamon's interpretation of Acts 3:19-21 with Mal. 4:5, 6; Matt. 17:11; Rev. 10:7; 11:15; and a few other selected passages of the Bible, and a few other selected topics.
I will be disagreeing with what Bill Hamon says in this book in much that I say in this paper, but I certainly am not attacking him, and I am making every effort to be fair to him (which doesn't always happen). I'm not trying to win an argument. I'm trying to please God and be a blessing to the Body of Christ. (Based on what he says in his books, I believe Hamon is trying to do that too.) I would like very much for this paper to turn out to be a substantial blessing to Hamon and the large number of Christians who follow his ministry (including his teaching), and for many other Christians around the world, and I pray for that end result. I also pray that this paper will help some non-Christians submit to God, His Son, and the gospel of new-covenant salvation.
I have been teaching on the end times since about 1970. I have always taught the mid-week rapture, and I have a book titled "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages" (the book is available on my internet site, at amazon.com and at armageddonbooks.com) and many papers dealing with the end times. (For one thing, I have papers on Revelation chapters 1-10; 14:6-19:21; and chapters 20-22. The rest of the book of Revelation, Rev. 11:1-14:5, which is extremely important, is discussed in detail in my book.) This paper will necessarily incorporate the mid-week rapture, but most of my response to Hamon's book would be the same if I held the pre-week rapture, or pre-wrath rapture, or end-of-the week rapture.
Hamon emphasizes the point throughout this book (and in other books; I'll mention two other closely related books in this paper) that the Lord Jesus cannot return to the earth until all things (or essentially all things) have been restored through the Christian church. As I'll demonstrate, sometimes he speaks of the amount of restoration that will be accomplished through Christians in extremely extensive terms. Hamon strongly believes in present day revelation from God (I'll document this point in this paper), but his Biblical basis for the viewpoint that the Lord Jesus cannot return until all things (or essentially all things) have been restored through the Christian church comes, in large part, from his interpretation of Acts 3:19-21, which I believe is wrong. I will be thoroughly dealing with the interpretation of Acts 3:19-21 in this paper.
His viewpoint (which would fit under the labels "kingdom now" or "dominion theology") is strongly influenced by his very extensive involvement with the restoration of apostles and prophets in our day and the activation of Christians in (or imparting) spiritual gifts, and by his conviction that we will have a mighty manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the power of God being poured out in these last days before the Lord Jesus returns and the resurrection and rapture of believers takes place. [[I had a footnote: On page 138 of his book "The Day of the Saints," Hamon says, "I became a participant of the Latter Rain Movement in 1952 when the movement was just four years old. He calls it "a major restoration movement." He shows in his books that that movement was very involved with the restoration of the ministries of apostles and prophets and activating Christians in (or imparting) spiritual gifts (and the restoration of other things).]]
I'm for apostles and prophets who are truly appointed, and anointed, by God and for the greatest manifestation of true (genuine) gifts of the Spirit and the power of God being poured out in these last days that is possible, in the will of God. However, just being supernatural isn't good enough. The devil has counterfeit ministries, gifts, etc., and I believe they are being manifested more and more in our day, at the end of this age (cf., e.g., Matt. 24:11, 24). Many Christians in our day are way too open to everything supernatural. You couldn't hardly make a bigger mistake, or do more ultimate damage to the Christian church, than to "minister" with or receive demonic "gifts" or "doctrines." I'm sure Hamon would agree.
Hamon says again, and again, throughout this book (and in other books) that the "restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times" (Acts 3:21) shows that all things will be restored BEFORE the Lord Jesus returns and we are resurrected and glorified. Other places in the book he speaks of a few things being restored AFTER the Lord Jesus returns and we are glorified, but I believe he goes way-too-far stating how much will take place before the Lord returns.
I first came across Hamon's interpretation of Acts 3:19-21 about 15 years ago when reading his book, "The Eternal Church." I was sure that he was wrong then, and I am equally sure now. As I mentioned, I'll give what I am confident is the correct interpretation of these verses in this paper. The viewpoint I hold is the dominant viewpoint among evangelicals, and it has always seemed clear to me. THE BIBLE CONSISTENTLY PROPHESIES THAT GOD'S/YAHWEH'S COMING TO THE EARTH - OR, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, OF HIS SENDING HIS SON BACK TO THE EARTH - AT THE END OF THIS AGE TO SAVE AND TO JUDGE IS WHAT WILL BRING RESTORATION, PEACE, AND DIVINE ORDER TO THE EARTH. In other words, most of His work of restoration will take place AFTER the Lord Jesus returns, not BEFORE He returns.
I'll quote part of what Hamon says on page 366 of "The Eternal Church," 1981 edition, under the heading "Pre-Immortalization Ministry" (referring to the time before we are resurrected, raptured, and glorified at the time of the return of the Lord Jesus), and under the sub-heading "Jesus Waiting on the Church." "As was discussed in a previous chapter, we found that according to Acts 3:21 (Living Bible), 'Jesus must remain in heaven until the final recovery of all things from sin as prophesied from ancient times.' All that the fall of man and sin has taken away from humanity, Jesus, THROUGH HIS CHURCH [my emphasis], shall restore. ...."
From now on I will mostly limit this discussion to things that Bill Hamon says in his later (2010) book, "Prophetic Scriptures Yet to Be Fulfilled During the Third and Final Reformation." Acts 3:19-21 (and especially 3:21) are verses of key importance in this book. I'll list the places (at least most of the places) where Hamon refers to these verses. For Acts 3:21: pages 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 41, 72, 80, 93, 95, 98, 100, 136, 146, 188, 197, 202 (twice), 256, and 270. For Acts 3:19-21: pages 95, 101, and 104. For Acts 3:19: page 98. For Acts 3:19-25: pages 95, 149. And Acts 3:21-25: page 213.
I'll quote part of what Hamon says on page 23: "The ministry of the Third Reformation will restore and fulfill all things. [[I had a three paragraph footnote: Hamon has an endnote, "Matt. 24:34." I'll quote the verse: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." Jesus had just been speaking of the things that will culminate with His coming again and the rapture. The things that Jesus said will take place just before the rapture are the abomination of desolation, the short great tribulation, the sun and moon being darkened, etc. (I'll discuss these things to some extent below, and I'll give cross-references to discussions of these things and some other things that will take place at the end of this age.) Jesus also mentioned in Matt. 24:36-41 that the world at the time He comes can be compared in some ways with the generation of Noah and the flood (not a good example of a world that has been restored before He comes), and in 24:41-51 (cf., e.g., Matt. 24:6-28; Matt. 25:1-30). He certainly didn't take it for granted that all, or most of, the Christians living on the earth will be ready for His coming when He comes. And passages like Luke 18:1-8; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 4:1-4; 2 Thess. 2:3-12; and Rev. 11:6-12, 15-18 confirm that there will be plenty of sin around the world, including around Christianity, when the Lord Jesus returns.
Hamon says the "Third Reformation" "officially began" in 2008 (see his page 34). He mentions the year 2008 often in this book. On page 258 he says, "2008 was the time of the official heavenly decree for the beginning on earth of the Third and Final Church Reformation." (Also see his page 170.) He believes the Lord Jesus cannot return until the Third Reformation is finished. Regarding when the Third Reformation will be over, he says (on page 34), "It should happen in a few decades, but it could take a few centuries." Hamon clearly believes in, and puts a high priority on, present day revelation, but I am confident that he would say that present day revelation can never contradict the Bible. I'll quote a sentence from page 267, "The Bible teaches a major truth that was demonstrated by the apostles at the Jerusalem Council - that major doctrine is never established on prophecy or visions without it being in agreement with and confirmed by the written Word of God."
I'll quote a sentence from page 149, where Hamon discusses the extent of the Third Reformation, "The prophets and apostles...are seeing on the horizon of God's purpose for His Church a Reformation wave of such incomprehensibly gigantic proportions - like a thousand foot tidal wave - that it staggers the imagination and faith of both those who have prophetically seen it and those who have heard of it."]] This will release Christ who is being held in Heaven until the restoration of all things that have been spoken of by the holy prophets from ancient times. [In an endnote he refers to Acts 3:21 to back up that statement, which is typical for this book.] When all things are restored and everything is in alignment with God's timing and purpose, then the last act of redemption will take place."
In an endnote he refers to Rom. 8:23, which refers to the "redemption of our body" at the time we are resurrected, glorified, and raptured, at the time of Christ's return. (Essentially all Christians agree that we will be glorified when Jesus returns.) So, Hamon believes that Acts 3:21 teaches that "all things are restored," then Jesus returns and the resurrection, rapture, and glorification will take place. One problem that I (and a very large number of other Christians) have here is that our resurrection, glorification, and rapture, and a whole lot more, is included in the "restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times" of Acts 3:21. Furthermore, and this is very important, I believe that Acts 3:21 is saying that this restoration of all things will take place AFTER the Lord Jesus returns, not BEFORE He returns. Like I said, I rather totally disagree with Hamon's interpretation of Acts 3:21. As I mentioned, we'll rather thoroughly discuss Acts 3:19-21 in this paper before we finish.
I'll quote two sentences from page 28: "Apostle Peter spoke by revelation and declared that Jesus cannot return from heaven until the restoration of all things that has been prophesied by the prophets (see Acts 3:21). The 'all things' include the full restoration of the Church and all that was lost by the fall of lucifer and the sin of Adam." That would be a lot of restoring before the Lord Jesus returns! So too for the next two paragraphs and many other statements Hamon makes in this book!
I'll quote a short paragraph from page 150 under the heading "This Time Will Fulfill All Things Necessary for the Release of Jesus from Heaven." "The tidal wave of the Third Church Reformation will have such force and height that it will sweep all evil principalities from earth and out of the heavenlies, subduing all the kingdoms of this world under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It will cause the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus and His Christ-anointed Church to be established in the heavenlies and over all the earth."
I'll quote a short paragraph from page 274: "The Third Church Reformation will not cease until all prophetic Scriptures are fulfilled. We know they are not all fulfilled yet, for Acts 3:21 reveals that when the last prophetic Scripture is fulfilled, then Jesus will be released from Heaven to return to receive His Church-Bride to join Him in an eternal reign over all the earth and eternity."
I'll quote a few sentences from page 188, where Hamon backs off quite a bit from the idea that "all things" will be restored BEFORE Jesus returns. (Also see the next three paragraphs.) He says, "What has not been revealed or made clear is how much restoration of all things the Church will bring while still mortal and how much will be left to be done after the Church is immortalized." Hamon teaches that we will be immortalized at the time Jesus returns, so anything we would do as we reign with the Lord Jesus (and, from my point of view, we will be doing a lot as we reign with Him throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week, after the rapture) will be AFTER Jesus returns, not BEFORE.
On page 23 Hamon mentions that after the trumpet sounds Jesus will return, the saints who have died will be resurrected, and the living saints will be glorified. Then the Lord Jesus "and His saints-and-angels army" "will bind satan with all his evil demons" and "cast them all into the bottomless pit and seal them up for a thousand years. The overcomer saints will then co-labor with Christ in setting up His Kingdom over all the earth." So, Satan and his hosts will not be bound until AFTER the Lord Jesus returns (and binding Satan and his hosts at the beginning of the millennial kingdom still leaves a lot of the judgment and removal of Satan and his hosts yet to be accomplished).
I'll quote a few similar sentences from his pages 194, 195, "Even Jesus is excitedly looking forward to the Third and Final Church Reformation bringing about the restoration of all things so that He can return and be joined to His Church Bride to cleanse the heavens and earth of all wickedness and evil spirits and set up His rule and righteousness over His cleansed and restored new heavens and new earth."
On page 261, building on Rev. 19:11-16 (also see page 273 on these verses), Hamon speaks of the glorified saints on white horses in company with the Lord Jesus, "the Great Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Lord," who will be riding a white horse. This would have to be AFTER the Lord returns, and it seems that Hamon places this at the end of Daniel's 70th week. He says that if the rapture takes place at the beginning of the seven years, then we will have a "seven-year sabbatical in Heaven," or if the rapture takes place in the middle of the seven years, then we will "take a three-and-a half year sabbatical [in Heaven]," before we would do the following things (at the end of the seven years): "We would sweep through the first and second heavens and bind lucifer and all his demonic host and shut them up in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-6). We would then remove all humankind from the earth who have the antichrist spirit. Then we would inhabit 'new earth in which righteousness dwells.' " And he refers to 2 Pet. 3:13, which seems quite inappropriate to me; 2 Peter 3:13 seems to refer to the new heaven and new earth of Rev. 21:1, after the millennium, after this present heaven and earth pass away (Rev. 20:11). In 2 Pet. 3:12 Peter says, "the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat." That won't take place until after the millennium.
I'll quote part of a sentence from page 26, "...He cannot come back to earth until the times of the restoration of the Church are fulfilled and all enemies are made His footstool." In an endnote he referred to Acts 3:21; Heb. 1:13. The Lord Jesus will make His enemies His footstool when He returns to judge His enemies. See Psalm 110 for example. We see the Lord Jesus reigning in the midst of His enemies in Psalm 110:2-7, as He subdues them. Psalm 110 is discussed verse-by-verse in my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture." Or, see Psalm 2, which is discussed verse-by-verse in the book, or 1 Cor. 15:20-28. The reign of the Lord Jesus (see 1 Cor. 15:20-28) where He subdues His enemies will begin when He returns (these verses from 1 Cor. 15 are briefly discussed on pages 269-270 of my book; they are discussed in more detail in my paper on 1 Corinthians chapter 15).
The Lord Jesus begins to reign at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet (Rev. 11:15). Note, "You have taken your great power and have begun to reign" (NASB) in Rev. 11:17. Revelation 11:18 shows that the world is enraged that He has begun to reign, which is parallel with Psalm 2:1, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing [KJV]." As Psalm 2 goes on to show, they are rebelling against the reign of God's King, which in the ultimate sense refers to the reign of the Lord Jesus that will begin when He returns in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. Antichrist will be the primary leader of that rebellion.
Psalm 2 goes to show God's response to their rage and rebellion. I'll quote Psalm 2:4-6 (also see Psalm 2:9-12), "He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. (5) Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 'But as for Me I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain [and I certainly am not going to uninstall Him].' " Revelation 11:18 says it this way, "And the nations were enraged, and your wrath came...."
The book of Revelation puts a strong emphasis on the Lord Jesus judging His enemies AFTER He returns. In Rev. 19:13, for example, the blood of His enemies is on His robe, and "From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty [God the Father]" (Rev. 19:15). The blood of His enemies gets on His garment as He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God (using powerful, figurative language). See Isa. 63:1-6. These verses, including Isa. 63:1-6, are discussed in my paper on Rev. 14:6-19:21.
The Lord Jesus will be reigning (reigning includes judging) on the earth throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. A big part of His end-time judgment of the world will take place throughout that three and one-half year period. We will be reigning along with the Lord Jesus, even reigning with a rod of iron (cf. Psalm 2:9; Rev. 2:26, 27; and Rev. 12:5), but the Lord Jesus will be the primary One judging. This point is clear throughout the Bible, including Rev. 11:15-18; 19:11-21.
On pages 104-106 Hamon speaks of Christians being taken from "glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). He says that "God has predestined that His Third Reformation saints will mature to the place where they will be thinking Christ's thoughts, manifesting His majesty, demonstrating His Kingdom, portraying His power, and glorifying His grace." I want to comment briefly on three of the verses he mentions on these pages:
He refers to Eph. 5:27, which I'll quote from the NKJV, which Hamon uses in his book, "that He might present it [the church] to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." Hamon, in agreement with a majority of Christians, understands the apostle Paul to be speaking of the Christian church finally being sanctified by the time the Lord Jesus returns and we are presented to Him. I am quite sure, however, that the apostle Paul was speaking of the call, enablement, and requirement for us (the Christian church and every Christian) to be "holy and without blemish [or, blameless]" now. From the apostle's point of view in Eph. 5:22-33, we have already been presented to Christ Jesus in a spectacular way. (This is not to deny that we will be presented to the Lord Jesus when He returns, but that isn't what Paul was speaking about here. And I don't believe this verse demonstrates that all true Christians will be holy and without blame at the time Christ returns.)
The Lamb has already been slain, which enables us to be holy and blameless now (Eph. 5:25, 26; cf., e.g., Eph. 1:3, 4; Romans chapter 6; 1 Pet. 1:13-23; 2:24; and there are many more such verses [see my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ" (the book is available on my internet site and on amazon.com)]), and, more importantly, the apostle emphasizes the point in this passage that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN PRESENTED TO CHRIST, AND THE TWO (CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS) HAVE ALREADY BECOME ONE (EPHESIANS 5:27-32). HE EVEN USES THE VERSE ABOUT THE TWO BECOMING ONE OF GENESIS 2:24 in EPHESIANS 5:29-32 OF CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS HAVING BECOME ONE, AND HE USES THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW HUSBANDS AND WIVES SHOULD RELATE.
What I am sharing here is good news! God has called, and enabled us to be holy now (at a very high cost to Himself in the sacrifice of His Son, and through His indwelling Holy Spirit). This is the Christian ideal, and the apostle Paul (or the other writers of the New Testament) did not consider it to be an unrealistic ideal. Ephesians 5:22-33 are discussed on pages 174-178 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." Bill Hamon agrees that Christians should be holy now, which I appreciate (see his page 159, for example).
In a context where Hamon is speaking of the fact that the Christian church will be sanctified at the end of this age, he also refers to 1 John 3:1-3. However, in 1 John 3:3 ("And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure" [NKJV] - that sounds like the victory over all sin, doesn't it), the apostle John is speaking of something that Christians are called, enabled, and required to do now, not just at the end of this age. There are quite a few other verses in this epistle that say essentially the same thing (especially see 1 John 2:6; 3:7). Many of the key verses of 1 John are discussed on pages 200-216 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:8, a verse that has very often (wrongly) been used to try to prove that Christians cannot walk with the victory over sin in this life (which has done substantial damage to the body of Christ), is discussed there in some detail.
And Hamon also referred to Rom. 8:29 ("For whom He did foreknow He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (NKJV). The problem is that the apostle Paul is speaking here of what we will be AFTER we are glorified, not BEFORE the Lord Jesus returns. The apostle goes on to mention our being glorified in the next verse, even as he spoke of our being glorified in Rom. 8:17, 18, 19, and 21. (Romans 8:16-39 are discussed verse-by-verse in a paper on my internet site.)
I'll quote two sentences from what Hamon says on page 146. "[The Prophetic-Apostolic Movement] taught that the Caanan Land of the Church-Saints individually is driving out of oneself all the '-ites' of everything contrary to the character of Jesus until they are conformed to Christ's image with no '-ites' of selfishness and sin left. [This sounds like a very good emphasis.] The corporate purpose and Caanan land of the saints is for them to keep fighting and subduing the enemy until 'the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus and His Church.' "
One reason I included this quotation is because of the endnote he has here: Rom. 8:29 (which we discussed in the preceding paragraph); and (especially because he referred to) Rev. 11:15, which is a verse of key importance for this paper. In context Hamon is speaking of things that will come to pass through the Christian church BEFORE the Lord returns, preparing the way for His return, as in Acts 3:21; Matt. 17:11; and Mal. 4:5, 6 (according to Hamon). (We will discuss Matt. 17:11 and Mal. 4:5, 6 as we continue, and we will further discuss Acts 3:21 in some detail.) He interprets Rev. 11:15 this way (quite wrongly I believe) other places in this book.
We will discuss Rev. 11:15 as we continue this study in Part 2.