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Part 3: The Hidden Dimension of History
The Restoration of Humankind
After the fall, God could have chosen to destroy humankind, rather than
prolong His suffering of seeing them in such a state of ignorance and sin.
He did not do so. Instead, because He is the Parent of love, God took it
upon Himself to restore humankind-His children-back to His original ideal,
a task that would prove to be awesome and seemingly endless.
The mystery of why God did not intervene to prevent the fall is connected
with the principle of human freedom. God gave humankind the gift of freedom
so that we can respond to Him in love. Freedom brings with it responsibility.
God gave human beings a portion of responsibility which is theirs alone
Some people think that God controls human history. But, in fact, progress
in human history is dependent upon us fulfilling our portion of responsibility.
God's grace is forever beckoning; God's heart longs to save all His children.
But as it is we who fell away from God, there is a certain restitution which
is ours alone to make.
Why has God's ideal not been realized? Actually, God did not want to wait
before sending the Messiah to bring salvation to humankind. However, people
have to prepare in order to make the foundation to receive the Messiah.
If the Messiah were sent without a prepared environment, there would not
have been any foundation for him to be understood and accepted by his contemporaries.
Humankind has never comprehended the serious consequences of the fall. Satan
usurped the position of God, and people unconsciously follow the word of
Satan and consistently act in self-centered ways on scales large and small,
international and local. Self-centered love is so much ingrained into human
life that to separate from it requires that one go radically against the
way of life of the world. One will meet opposition on every level, not to
mention the internal struggle required to practice consistent goodness in
a world of evil. Further, Satan insists before God on his rights of ownership
over the human race, which God in principle cannot deny. Thus, the way of
salvation is a path of self-denial and self-sacrifice.
If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his
life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Purpose of the Messiah
The hidden dimension of history, then, is God's providence of restoration
or recreation. This is His plan and activity to restore humankind so that
He will achieve the ideal world He originally intended. Central to this
plan is for God to send the Messiah as soon as people have fulfilled the
necessary preparations, and for people to accept and cooperate with the
Messiah when he comes.
The Messiah, who is born sinless (as were Adam and Eve), comes as the second
Adam to reveal the full and perfect love of God, something the first Adam
failed to do. As a result of the fall, man grew ignorant of God's love and
became dominated by the selfish, false love of Satan. This is why the Bible
says that Satan, who is the originator of man's selfish thinking, is "the
ruler of this world." The Messiah comes to end Satan's dominion, to
liberate us from false, selfish love and to establish God's kingdom.
The achievement of God's ideal of true love is based on the fulfillment
of the three blessings. After the first human ancestors sinned and thus
failed to establish a true family, God's desire has been to find a true
man and a true woman who would substantiate His ideal and thus achieve what
Adam and Eve could not. Coming as a new Adam, the Messiah has the mission
to realize for the first time the three blessings (as explained in Part
One) by becoming one with God and establishing an ideal family as the basis
for an ideal society, nation and world.
As the head of the first ideal family, we call the Messiah and his bride
True Parents. The True Parents will establish a new lineage untainted by
sin. Through uniting with the True Parents, men and women can separate from
Satan and be engrafted into the lineage which has nothing to do with the
The Foundation for the Messiah
It is God's promise and responsibility to send the Messiah, but it is man's
responsibility to establish certain conditions in preparation for the Messiah's
coming. These conditions, called indemnity, are necessary to reverse the
failure of the first human ancestors.
After the fall, God began working immediately in Adam's family to build
a foundation whereupon He could send the Messiah. If Adam and Eve had believed
God's word and obeyed His commandment, they would have perfected themselves
as true children of God. But Adam and Eve lacked faith and separated from
God. Therefore, someone else must reverse this failure by demonstrating
absolute faith in God's word (the Principle calls it "establishing
a foundation of faith"). This foundation is to be set by families,
tribes and nations as well as by individuals.
Whoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one
illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.
Had the first human ancestors reached perfection, they would have had dominion
over all things and all created beings, including the archangel. However,
Adam and Eve succumbed to the archangel, allowing him to take dominion over
them. The motivation and process of the fall must be reversed and the proper
order of dominion restored as a condition for God to send the Messiah (the
Principle refers to this as the "foundation of substance"). To
accomplish this foundation, God calls someone in the position of Lucifer
(who was elder) and someone in the position of Adam (who was younger). In
order to conditionally restore the proper relationship of Adam and the archangel,
these two must reverse their positions, with the elder, representing Lucifer,
serving the younger, representing Adam.
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Cain and Abel, Adam's sons, were in these positions. Cain, the elder son,
was in Lucifer's position and Abel, the younger, in Adam's position. Abel
showed faith in God by offering the best of his flock, and God accepted
his offering. But when Cain made an offering of vegetables, God rejected
it, and Cain felt distraught (Gen. 4:3-5). It was Cain's responsibility
to overcome the same feelings Lucifer felt and accept God's love and will
through Abel. This would have reversed the positions of elder and younger,
as if Adam had risen above the archangel and established the proper order
in their relationship. On the basis of this unity of the brothers, God could
claim the parents' position and thus have the foundation to send a new Adam,
This pattern of reconciliation of Cain and Abel as the foundation for sending
the Messiah has been God's consistent formula throughout the history of
But in what was the first murder in human history, Cain, rather than loving
his younger brother Abel, killed him. Cain envied Abel, just as Lucifer
had envied Adam. Cain could not overcome this feeling nor could he see his
brother from God's point of view. Instead of reversing the process of the
fall, he repeated it. Thus, God could not send the Messiah to Adam's family.
It was many generations before God found a righteous man whose family could
be entrusted with the task of reversing the failure in Adam's family. This
man was Noah, who established a foundation of faith by faithfully obeying
God's order to build an elaborate boat, the ark, over a long period of time.
Noah's family was to have marked a new beginning in history. Following the
flood judgment, Noah's sons should have united under Noah, thereby establishing
the condition for God to send the Messiah. However, Noah's second son, Ham,
instead of being loyal to his exemplary father, judged him and felt shame
towards him, even turning his brothers against him. Noah was angry over
Ham's disloyalty (Gen. 9:20-23). Because Noah's family failed to inherit
Noah's foundation of faith, God's providence to send the Messiah again was
postponed and God had to find a new righteous man and family to reverse
the past failures and establish a foundation for the Messiah to come.
Four hundred years later, God called Abraham. According to the Bible, he
responded by separating from his fallen environment, the city of Ur, and
journeyed to a new land of promise. His wife, Sarah, conditionally restored
the position of Eve when she resisted the temptation of the Pharaoh, representing
the archangel. Abraham, however, failed in his offering of birds and animals.
His wife again restored the position of Eve by resisting the temptation
of King Abimelech. Finally, Abraham demonstrated absolute faith by obeying
God's order to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Isaac himself reversed the failure
of Ham by completely uniting with his father, even to the point of offering
his life as a sacrifice.
The reconciliation of Isaac's sons, Jacob and Esau, was a providential turning
point. Jacob, the younger brother, was serious about obtaining the birthright,
and bought it from Esau for a bowl of pottage. Later, as his father lay
dying, his mother Rebekah guided Jacob to impersonate his brother and trick
his father into giving him the blessing due the firstborn son. Rebekah understood
God's providence and helped her second son gain the blessing. Esau was furious
and swore to kill Jacob, but with Rebekah's help Jacob fled to Haran. After
21 years of servitude, Jacob faced his brother, who was armed with a band
of 400 men. By sincerely offering gifts and bowing in respect, Jacob melted
Esau's heart and they reunited in tears. Thus Jacob and Esau successfully
restored the failure of Cain and Abel. Jacob mastered his brother's hatred,
overcoming it with sacrificial love. By bringing an end to the resentment
of Esau (who, as the elder, was in the position of Cain), Jacob set the
pattern for overcoming Satan and restoring God's dominion of love.
On the foundation of Jacob's victory, God could claim the descendants of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who came to constitute a lineage embodying, to
a relative degree, the heavenly tradition of self-sacrifice and life for
the sake of others. Through Moses, God began His dispensation to establish
the national foundation for the Messiah. God raised up the Israelites and
led them through many trials to create a nation on His side. He revealed
to them that one day He would send the Messiah, who would inaugurate a history
of peace and justice. Israel began to long for the Messiah to come.
Jesus Did Not Come to be Persecuted
Jesus Christ came 2,000 years ago as the second Adam, to complete the providence
of restoration and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The main focus
of God's preparation was to build a national foundation of faith and substance
in Israel. After the Israelites returned from captivity in Babylon, God
prepared the chosen people by reforming and renewing Judaism through the
ministries of Ezra and Nehemiah. During a 400-year period, the Israelites,
centering on the law and the temple, demonstrated their faith and eagerly
awaited the Messiah.
Although God focused His efforts on the nation of Israel, He also prepared
the rest of the world for the Messiah's coming. Prior to Jesus, the great
empire of Rome had been established, with extensive trade routes. The Roman
Empire expanded far and wide, touching most of the other advanced civilizations.
With this external foundation, the Messiah's ideology could have spread
quickly from Israel to Rome and from Rome to the whole world.
Furthermore, around four centuries before Christ, God prepared the world
internally for the coming of the Messiah. In India, prince Gautama Buddha
rejected worldly comfort and sought the true way of life. From his example
and teaching developed Buddhism, which became one of the most influential
religions in the Orient. In China, Confucius appeared, teaching a highly
developed ethical humanism. In Greece, the great classical philosophers
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle strove to establish a standard of human ethics
In these and other ways, God set the stage for the establishment of His
kingdom, about which Jesus so often spoke. Christ was to become the lord
of glory as described in Isaiah. God prepared many people to recognize and
follow Jesus. However, God also gave warning that without the Israelite
people's faith in His son, Jesus would be forced to endure suffering and
As a final means to prevent this outcome, God sent John the Baptist to prepare
the way. John lived an ascetic, exemplary lifestyle and devoted himself
completely to God, thereby establishing the foundation of faith. He told
the people, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The
Israelites knew that John was a special prophet. They had heard of the spiritual
phenomena and miracles surrounding his birth. Some people thought that he
might even be the Messiah himself, or Elijah, the prophet expected to return
in the Last Days. Because he was so widely respected, John was the ideal
person to serve as a bridge between the people and Jesus.
But did John the Baptist fulfill this providential responsibility? John
initially testified that Jesus was the Messiah, saying of him: "Behold
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." However, there
is no record in the Bible that John ever became a disciple of Jesus or worked
for Jesus. Instead, Matthew 11 reveals that John came to doubt who Jesus
was: at one point he dispatched two of his own disciples to ask Jesus, "Are
you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
Furthermore, many Israelites believed in Malachi's prophecy that Elijah
would return to herald the Messiah. When they asked Jesus where was Elijah,
he replied, "If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to
come." John, however, denied that he was Elijah, thus putting the Israelites
in the position of having to believe either John or Jesus.
John was a well-respected religious figure, while Jesus was the illegitimate
son of a poor carpenter. Without John's support, it was very difficult for
the Jewish people to believe in and follow Jesus. Thus, Jesus' reaction
to John's query was unequivocal: "Among those born of women there has
risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom
of heaven is greater than he."
Jesus' request from the beginning of his ministry was for people to "believe
in him whom God had sent." Jesus did everything he could to convince
the people that he was the son of God. Nevertheless, they refused to believe
in him. If the people had known Jesus was the Messiah, would they have persecuted
and rejected him?
And when he saw the city he wept over it, saying, 'Would that
even today you knew the things that make for peace! But they
are hid from your eyes.
Salvation Through the Cross
When it became clear that there was no way to convince the people of who
he really was, Jesus determined to become the sacrificial offering to atone
for the sins of the world. Jesus not only allowed himself to be crucified,
but prayed for forgiveness of those crucifying him. In this extraordinary
act, Jesus put into practice God's own forgiving and sacrificial heart,
creating a realm free of Satan's false, selfish love.
Jesus' life and his death are a testimony to the power of true, unconditional
love. Until Jesus came, the popular belief was that injustice should be
punished or avenged in kind--"eye for eye, tooth for tooth." Jesus
showed, however, that God is not a God of vengeance, but that He is a parental
and forgiving God, who loves His children despite their sins.
Jesus' death on the cross was the tragic result of the failure of his contemporaries
to do the will of God. However, Jesus himself was totally faithful. As a
result, all people, through faith, can inherit Jesus' spiritual victory
and receive spiritual salvation, enabling them to grow to a higher spiritual
level. Yet humankind must still await the Lord of the Second Advent, who
comes to eliminate sin altogether and finally establish God's kingdom on
Jesus should have been the lord of glory but he died as the lord of suffering.
To understand that the crucifixion of Jesus was not an indispensable element
in God's plan for salvation, we need only ask what would have been the result
if every person at that time had obeyed Jesus' direction to believe in him.
If the people at the time had believed and followed Jesus, does that mean
that God's plan would have been frustrated? Of course not. The will of God
would have been fulfilled in its entirety. Jesus' prayer in the Garden of
Gethsemane -- "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from
me " - reveals that his death on the cross was not the most desirable
course. Jesus understood that his rejection by the people would prevent
him from establishing the kingdom of Heaven on earth. It is not surprising,
therefore, that he spoke so harshly of Judas Iscariot, his betrayer: "Woe
to that man by whom the Son of man ' is betrayed! It would have been better
for that man if he had not been born."
Had Jesus been accepted, there would have been no need for the Messiah to
come a second time, an event never anticipated in the Old Testament. But
before his crucifixion, Jesus said, "I have many things to tell you,
but you cannot bear them now." He said he wanted to speak "of
heavenly things, but you cannot even understand the earthly things of which
I speak." He added, "I speak to you now in parables and symbols,
but the day will come when I will speak to you plainly of the Father."
Although the lack of faith in Jesus' time made this impossible then, the
clear truth which he desired to reveal will be made known at the time of
the second coming.
Preparation for Christ's Coming
God's Principle does not change; nor does His purpose: to bring about a
world of true love, the kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Following Jesus' death and resurrection, God began to work through the followers
of Jesus, the Christians, to prepare for the second coming of the Messiah.
Christianity began with the twelve apostles and seventy disciples of Jesus.
For the next four centuries, Christians suffered as had the Jews in Egypt.
Despite severe persecution, the Christians did not abandon their faith.
On the contrary, their faith deepened and they became dedicated believers
committed to spreading Jesus' teachings.
The result of their perseverance was that in 392 A.D., the Emperor Theodosius
declared Christianity the state religion of Rome. Following its acceptance
by the Roman Empire, the Christian church gradually expanded its influence.
But as was the case during the Old Testament period, there were many failures
on the part of key figures, causing further delays in God's providence.
Due to the inadequacy of Christian love, cultural and racial barriers divided
Christians into different churches, aligned according to nation.
Christianity went through an historical course parallel to that of the nation
of Israel. The period of persecution under Rome parallels the period of
Hebrew slavery in Egypt. The period between the fall of Rome and the crowning
of Charlemagne parallels the period of judges in Israel. The Carolingian
Empire resembles Israel united under Saul, David and Solomon, and these
were followed by years of division and conflict in both Israel and Christendom.
Disobedience to God in Israel led to corruption and finally a seventy-year
exile in Babylon; a corrupted papacy suffered exile for seventy years at
the French court in Avignon.
During the Middle Ages the Catholic Church gained tremendous power and wealth
but, unfortunately, it also became stagnant and constrictive. The corruption
of the Renaissance church ran counter to God's will, and the developing
spirit and intellect of the Christian people brought forth calls for drastic
reform. This resulted in the sixteenth century Reformation, which parallels
the renewal of Judaism 400 years prior to the birth of Christ.
The cycle is now complete. Christian history has recapitulated, on a worldwide
level, the periods of the history of biblical Israel. The Principle teaches
that history has unfolded according to a divine providence of restoration
to connect the mistakes of the past and establish a foundation for the second
coming. This new foundation was completed in the twentieth century.
4: The Culmination of History in Our Time |
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