To such Jehovah says through his Prophet: “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:4-6) These words could have no application to persons who are in their graves, and must exclusively apply to those who are living at the beginning of the Messianic reign. Furthermore, when the dead are raised up, they will not come forth from the graves minus arms, or legs, or other parts of the body; but ‘God will give to each a body as it pleaseth him’ (1 Corinthians 15:38)—a reasonably sound body. And as a man renders himself in obedience to righteousness, his body will develop toward perfection. There are now on earth millions who are blind, or deaf, or lame, or dumb, or cripples in some form; and these are the ones to whom the Prophet refers. The kingdom being in operation, as these come to a knowledge of God’s great arrangements and obey the righteous laws under the new covenant, they will develop new arms, legs, eyes; be given the power of speech, and gradually develop a sound body.
When these great miracles begin to be performed in the earth, then the most skeptical, it is to be hoped, will believe that the Lord Jesus reigns. The miracles which he performed while on earth in opening the eyes of the blind and healing the sick were merely examples of what he will do in his glorified condition. Because it is both unreasonable and unscriptural to expect that the dead will come forth from their graves in a maimed, deaf, and dumb condition; but will come forth with reasonably sound bodies, these words of the Prophet conclusively prove that restoration will begin with those who are living on the earth at the beginning of the Messianic reign.
Concerning the work of the Christ of restoring the peoples of earth, and looking forward to that time, St. Paul writes; “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God”—the kingdom class. (Romans 8:19,22) Those who thus travail in pain, groan, wait, and hope for something better, could not be the dead ones, but those who are living at the inauguration of the new order. There are millions now on earth who are looking and hoping for a better time, and groaning for that relief. They understand not the mystery of God. They do not understand how his sons constitute the seed of Abraham for their blessing; yet they hope for something.
During the World War millions were maimed and disfigured in various ways, and many deprived of one or both arms or legs. Because the Lord is now present, putting his kingdom into operation, it is to be expected that many of these crippled and maimed ones will be among the first to receive the restoration blessings. As they come to a knowledge of the fact that the Lord is giving these blessings, and render themselves in obedience to his righteous rule, they will be thus blessed. Happy will be their portion when they begin to be restored. Joyful will be their friends and loved ones to see such restoration blessings being ministered unto them.