A New Revelation for Mormons at Christ's Second Advent: Divine Principle, True Parents & the Completed Testament Age
by Bret Aaron Moss
Chapter VI - The New Testament Age
The providence of restoration, under the leadership of Jesus, is commonly known as the New Testament Age. The material presented in this chapter covering the New Testament Age is covered at length in four chapters of the Divine Principle. As explained in chapter three, when God sent Jesus to the earth, He never intended for His son to die on the cross. Rather, in cooperation with the chosen people who stood as the foundation to receive and attend him, Jesus should have been supported in following the victorious model course of Jacob and Moses in the subjugation of Satan. John the Baptist, in particular, must be evaluated for his part in the failure of the first worldwide course to restore Canaan. We will now navigate the three worldwide courses to restore Canaan which parallel the three national courses to restore Canaan led by Moses. Following this, I will then chart the parallels of history between the 2,000 year period from the time of Jesus' death to our present day with the preceding two-thousand-year period outlined as "Israel & the preparation for the Messiah" in the last chapter. Finally, I will discuss the global preparation for the Second Advent of Christ. Let's begin with our examination into the first worldwide course of restoration into Canaan led by John the Baptist.
1) The First Worldwide Course to Restore Canaan
John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah. (Matt. 11:14, 17:13) He was the central figure entrusted with the mission of restoring the foundation of faith in the first worldwide course to restore Canaan. John's mission was to complete Elijah's mission to separate Satan from the people and make straight the way of the Lord. (John 1:23) Until the appearance of John the Baptist, the Jewish people had endured unspeakable suffering and oppression from the nations of Persia, Greece, Egypt, Syria, and Rome for four hundred years with no one to give them guidance from Heaven. By his standard of service and dedication, many people, including priests and Levites, wondered if John might be the Messiah. (John 1:19; Luke 3:15) By learning the way of faith and obedience to God while living on locusts and wild honey, John made preparations for the Messiah and set the foundation of faith for the first worldwide course to restore Canaan.
John was to establish the foundation of substance by leading the Jewish people to follow and attend Jesus. While the Israelites of Moses' day were to leave the satanic world of Egypt and travel to Canaan, the Jewish people of John's day were to remain in the Roman Empire and restore it to God. Through the signs and miracles surrounding his life, God encouraged the Jewish people to believe in John. At his conception, for example, John's father Zechariah received a amazing prophecy from an angel about his son which he didn't believe. As a result, Zechariah was struck dumb and could not speak until he circumcised and named John. In Luke 1:65-66 we find:
Fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.
With these and other signs, the Jewish people were led by God to admire and follow John the Baptist as if they were following the Messiah. Unfortunately, as we will see, John the Baptist failed his responsibility to Jesus, leaving Christians confused about John's true status in front of God for two centuries.
The prophet Malachi had prophesied that Elijah would come again (Mal. 4:5) and Jesus himself testified that John the Baptist was Elijah (Matt. 11:14, 17:13). John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), leaving the Jewish people at a loss in terms of who to believe. In that situation, the Jewish people could more readily believe John, given his family background, education, and ascetic life when compared the circumstances of Jesus' life. Consequently, if John had known clearly his role in the eyes of Jesus and fulfilled his God-given mission, the Jewish people surely would have believed John's testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. John's ignorance toward his mission not only blocked the people from knowing and loving Jesus, but led them to oppose Jesus.
Early in his ministry, John clearly knew that Jesus was the Messiah. In John 1:33-34 he confessed:
I myself did not know him; but he [God] who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit [Christ].' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.
Furthermore, John declared in John 3:28 that he was sent before the coming Messiah. John, therefore, should have known that he was Elijah. When God's spirit of inspiration left John, he became ignorant about Jesus' Messiahship. While in prison, John sent his disciples to Jesus in hopes of overcoming his doubt, by having them ask, " Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (Matt. 11:3) Jesus replied to John's doubt with admonition. (Matt. 11:4-10) In the end, John's failed responsibility was offensive to Jesus who said:
Truly, I say to you, 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. (Matt. 11:11)
Of all the saints and prophets, the one called to make straight the way of the Lord was in the position to be the greatest. Yet, due to his failure in attending Jesus, he became the worst of all prophets. John's disbelief toward Jesus (Matt. 11:3) left the Jewish people without a central person to lead them in making the necessary indemnity condition to fulfill the foundation of substance. As a result, the first worldwide course to restore Canaan was aborted and prolonged to a second course.
2) The Second Worldwide Course to Restore Canaan
Due to the fact that Satan invaded the first worldwide course to restore Canaan, Jesus himself had to replace John and restore through indemnity the foundation of faith to initiate the second worldwide course. Jesus' forty-day fast in the wilderness allowed him to separate Satan for the restoration of the foundation of faith. As the only begotten Son and the Lord of Glory, Jesus should not have had to suffer rejection and tribulations. John the Baptist should have shouldered such burdens and trials in making the way straight for Jesus. Due to John's abandonment of his mission, Jesus had to endure difficulties and tribulations to make the way straight for himself so that the Jewish people could come to follow him. For this reason, Jesus ordered the disciples not to reveal to the people that he was the Messiah. (Matt. 16:20)
After Jesus fulfilled the forty-day fast, Satan tempted Jesus three times. By being tested in this way by Satan himself, Jesus (in the position of John the Baptist) successfully restored through indemnity the foundation of faith which was lost when John turned faithless. The hidden meaning underlying the three temptations was Satan's attempt to prevent Jesus from restoring the three blessings, which due to the fall had become unattainable for all mankind until the Advent of Christ.
First, Satan showed stones to Jesus and commanded him to turn them into loaves of bread. Had Jesus lost his faith and given into his hunger from forty days of fasting, the first blessing of individual perfection could not have been recovered from Satan by Jesus. This test was conducted so that Jesus might affirm the position of the Messiah, the person who attained individual perfection. Second, Satan led Jesus to the top of the temple and dared him to throw himself down. Jesus replied: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." (Matt. 4:7) Here, Satan attempted to usurp the position of "Lord of the Temple" from Jesus. In this way, Satan tried to reverse dominion with Jesus Christ the same way he had successfully done with Adam and Eve. By overcoming this second temptation, Jesus as the bridegroom and True Parent of humanity restored the way for all people as brides of the Messiah to be restored, thus securing the restoration of the second blessing-- having a family.
Third, Satan took Jesus to "a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them," and said, "All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me." (Matt. 4:9) Jesus replied, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" (Matt. 4:10) Human beings lost the qualification to be lords of the creation from the time of fall. In recognition of his position as the Lord of creation, Satan led Jesus to the top of a mountain, hoping to persuade Jesus to submit to him as he had done with Adam and Eve in the beginning. With his reply, Jesus was intimating that even a fallen angel like Satan should worship God. As a victor in the third temptation, Jesus gained the necessary condition for mankind to regain the position as the lords of dominion of the creation-- the third blessing.
Through fulfilling the forty-day fast and overcoming the three temptations, Jesus regained every condition for the "dispensation of forty" which had been invaded by Satan during the providence of restoration. In this way, Jesus restored the foundation of faith for the second worldwide course to restore Canaan. In addition, as noted, Jesus pioneered the way for the restoration of the three blessings to mankind and the four position foundation of the God-centered family. Therefore, Jesus was qualified in the eyes of Heaven to restore the foundation of substance on the worldwide level which had been forfeited by John's faithlessness.
God worked through the words and miraculous deeds of his Only Begotten Son to set the indemnity condition for the Jewish people to remove their fallen nature by believing in and following Jesus. This achievement would have allowed Jesus to substantially inherit the foundation originally granted by God to John the Baptist. Then, by engrafting all people unto himself, (Rom. 11:17) Jesus could have cleansed humankind from original sin and brought them into the bosom of God's unconditional love, redeemed as one global family. In this way, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth would have been established in Jesus' day.
Though Jesus defeated Satan in the three temptations, he left Jesus "until an opportune time," (Luke 4:13) revealing that Satan would return to make trouble in the future. This came to pass through the disbelief of the Jewish leadership, priests, and scribes who were influenced by Satan. The betrayal of Judas Iscariot is the prime example of Satan's invasion. The faithlessness of the people meant the tragic end of Jesus' earthly mission, forcing him to forgo the foundation of substance and his own foundation as the Messiah. Thus, the second worldwide course to restore Canaan was nullified.
3) The Third Worldwide Course to Restore Canaan
Witnessing the faithlessness of his own disciples, Jesus foretold of his pending death by crucifixion: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up. (John 3:14) Having lost the one who should have been the physical and spiritual center of their faith, the Jewish people did not have the means to begin the third worldwide course to restore Canaan as a physical reality. Rather, Christians, the Second Israel, were to begin this third worldwide dispensation as a spiritual course centering on the resurrected Jesus. Anticipating this, Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19) Just as Joshua was the successor of Moses, the Lord of the Second Advent will inherit the earthly mission left unfulfilled by the Jesus during his physical lifetime. Therefore, when Christ comes again in the flesh, he will fulfill physically and spiritually the third worldwide course to restore Canaan.
In preparation for the Second Advent, Jesus resumed John the Baptist's mission, spiritually, by separating from Satan, through his resurrection of forty days. In this way, Jesus fulfilled a new "dispensation of forty" and restored the foundation of faith for the spiritual course in the third worldwide course. All in all, God never gives up on His determination to save all of humankind even when it meant delivering His Son into the clutches of Satan. Satan, however, focused all of his energies on destroying one man, Jesus Christ, even though he had to surrender the entire human race back to God. As a being of great intelligence, Satan knew that the main purpose of God's providence of salvation was to bring the Messiah to the earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan figured that he could defeat God's strategy by eliminating the central figure of God's earthly providence. By utilizing his maximum power, Satan succeeded in invading the chosen people and focused himself on seeing through to the very end the crucifixion of Jesus. At the same time, Heavenly Father, with untold sadness and brokenheartedness, surrendered His only begotten Son to Satan as the purchase price to redeem all of humankind. While Satan is the lord of death, God is the source of everlasting life. Just as Satan used his maximum power in killing Jesus, God used His endless love to resurrect Jesus. In this way, God opened the way for humanity to partake in the free gift of eternal salvation and spiritual rebirth. From the biblical record we know that the resurrected Jesus was no longer a man seen through physical eyes, because he transcended time and space. John 20:19 gives the account of how Jesus appeared to his disciples entering a closed room without opening any doors. Luke 24:15-31 recounts an episode where Jesus accompanies two disciples traveling toward Emmaus for a long distance. After being unable to recognize him until their eyes were made opened, he then suddenly vanished from their presence. Jesus successfully separated Satan through his forty-day resurrection period thus establishing the foundation of faith for the substantial course. He could then fulfill the spiritual foundation of substance.
The spiritual foundation of substance started when Jesus gathered his scattered disciples and charged them with the mission of preaching the gospel while empowering them with the ability to perform signs and miracles. (Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18) By believing in Jesus and attending him with devotion, the faithful believers fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and thereby restored the spiritual foundation of substance on the worldwide level.
The spiritual foundation for the Messiah was laid by Jesus' disciples who gave themselves at the risk of their lives to completely unite with Jesus. With the condition of their sacrifice and obedience, Jesus transcended the requirement of re-indemnifying the position of John the Baptist-- spiritually. He could then act in his full spiritual capacity as the Messiah. In this way, Jesus and the Holy Spirit could stand as the spiritual True Parents offering rebirth as already discussed in the section "trinity and rebirth," in chapter three. The work of spiritual salvation takes place through the forgiveness of sin spiritually and the benefit of protection from satanic invasion according to the believer's leading a righteous life centered on the true practice of the Christian faith.
Today, Christians must walk the narrow path for the separation of Satan to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. By doing so, Christians can accomplish the restoration of the spiritual Canaan and live in its light of grace. Yet, Christians still carry the burden of original sin and are as in need of physical redemption and purification, as much now, as ever before. (Rom. 7:25) Since the spiritual providence of the third worldwide course to restore Canaan began over two-thousand-years ago, it has expanded to the development of a global spiritual realm of dominion. This spiritual realm will be perfected to become the actual Kingdom of Heaven on earth at the time of the Second Advent of Christ.
It is possible that at the Second Advent, Christ may have to follow a pattern of rejection and suffering similar to Jesus in order to restore the providence left unfulfilled at the time of Jesus. If, at the Second Advent, Christians reject their lord because of ignorance or arrogance he will likely have to be cast into the wilderness to trod the path of indemnity paving the way through his own blood, sweat, and tears. This time, however, he will have to accomplish it during his own lifetime without any possible recourse of death as it will be God's third attempt to see his purpose for the creation fulfilled through the victorious True Parents who are to restore all that was lost by the fall of humankind and the crucifixion of God's only begotten Son. For this reason, Jesus warned, "But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation." (Luke 17:25) Just as Jesus had to forsake the First Israel, which God had raised up to meet and attend him, if Christians fail to recognize and attend the Lord at his Second Coming, he will have to abandon them and raise up a Third Israel to bring about the fulfillment of God's providence of restoration. As with Jesus before him, if Christ at his Second Coming is not properly received by his forerunners, such as John the Baptist in Jesus' day, he will have to suffer the misery and suffering of having to make his own foundation to proclaim himself. However difficult his situation, the Lord of the Second Advent will be victorious. The democratic social and legal order will protect Christ at his Second Advent even if he is persecuted as a heretic as in the case of Jesus. Therefore, whatever the circumstances he must face at his return, the Lord will succeed in laying his foundation of faith upon the earth. Upon this foundation, Christ will surround himself with disciples of unwavering faith whom he will guide to fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature for the establishment of the foundation of substance. The substantial foundation for the Messiah in the third worldwide course at the Second Advent will absolutely be accomplished because it takes place at the perfection level (God's third attempt). Now let's turn our attention to the "parallel providential periods" to better understand how God has been consistently working throughout history to prepare the earth for the Messiah based on the principles of restoration.
4) Parallels of History
As we have seen over and over again, when the providence of restoration is prolonged, the dispensations to restore the foundation for the Messiah must be repeated. When the two-thousand year period from Abraham to Jesus was invaded by Satan, God worked to restore the foundation for the Messiah in the two thousand years of the New Testament Age from the time of Jesus to our present century. In the previous chapter, we briefly charted the six Old Testament periods from Abraham to Jesus. Here, the Principle draws parallels between the Old and New Testament eras caused by the inevitable repetition of the dispensations to restore through indemnity the foundation for the Messiah.
As we know, from the time that they rejected Jesus, the Jewish people no longer were held by God as the chosen people for His central dispensation. Jesus predicted such an eventuality in his admonishment in Matt. 21:43: "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it." For this reason, Christians became the people centrally responsible for the providence in the New Testament Age as the "Second Israel." When we compare the Biblical history of the Old Testament with the New Testament we immediately realize that the Old Testament record covers most of the two-thousand-year history of Israel while the Book of Acts records only the history of the first Christians in the generation following Jesus' crucifixion. Therefore, in order to properly compare these nearly two-thousand year long periods of the Old and New Testament Ages, we must also consult the history of Christianity from Jesus' day to the present. By seeing a clear pattern of the parallels which exist between these ages, we must conclude that history systematically follows God's dispensation to send the Messiah. Each of the six periods we will now compare closely approximate in years the length of its respective parallel time period. The approximate total duration for the six periods in both the Old Testament and New Testament Ages is 1930 years.
The four hundred year periods of slavery in Egypt and the period of persecution in the Roman empire were to restore previous periods which had been defiled by Satan. We recall how the descendants of Jacob's twelve sons and seventy kinsmen suffered great mistreatment at the hands of the Egyptians in order to restore Abraham's mistake in his offering. In the New Testament Age period of persecution in the Roman empire, Jesus' twelve apostles and seventy disciples were harshly persecuted in order to restore the faithlessness of the Jewish people in receiving Jesus during his lifetime. Also, during these two periods both peoples observed faithful lifestyles to maintain their purity and make the necessary condition to separate Satan. While the Jewish people of the Old Testament practiced circumcision, made sacrifices, and kept the Sabbath upon leaving Egypt, the Christians of the period of persecution in the Roman empire performed the sacraments of baptism and holy communion and lived sacrificially including the keeping of the Sabbath. Similar to Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt at the end of their slavery, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire under Theodosius I in 392 A.D. Whereas Moses received the Ten Commandments and God's Word contained in the Law forming the core of the Old Testament, at the end of the Christian period of persecution, the writings of the apostles and evangelists were canonized as the New Testament. By building churches under the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Christians established the worldwide foundation to prepare for the Lord of the Second Advent.
The second four hundred year time periods of the judges and of regional church leadership both saw feudalistic societies with no central political authority. Rather, in the Old Testament period of the judges, the judges were responsible as prophet, priest and king to guide the people. Similarly, the Christian age of regional church leadership was led by patriarchs, bishops, and abbots whose duties were comparable to those of the prophet, priest and king. While the First Israel was dedicated to establishing a national foundation for the Messiah, the Second Israel transcended national boundaries to create a worldwide Christian cultural sphere for the Second Advent. Upon their liberation from Roman persecution, Christians spread the Gospel to the Germanic peoples, including many who in avoidance of invading Huns, migrated to Western Europe in the fourth century. There in Western Europe, God established the beginnings of what would become the feudalism of the Middle Ages centering on the Germanic tribes as the new chosen people. However, when the Christian faith became confused by the inappropriate influence of the paganism of the Germanic tribes their purity was diminished and they began to lose sight of their central mission.
The one hundred and twenty year periods of the united kingdom and of the Christian Empire were the eras of the image courses to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. During the united kingdom, this was represented in the ideal of the Temple. During the time of the Christian Empire, this was realized in the ideal of the Christian state articulated in St. Augustine's The City of God. As image courses, these periods simulated the future realization of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth which Christ himself would build together with the chosen people. For this reason, during the Christian Empire, the emperor and the pope should have united to establish the ideal Christian state under God. Had this happened, the arenas of social human endeavor, including religion, politics, and economy could have been unified to make the necessary foundation for the Messiah's Advent at that very time. The pope, as the representative of God, was responsible to lay the spiritual foundation for the emperor (who stood as the central figure to restore the foundation of faith) to succeed in actualizing the Christian state. When Charlemagne was crowned emperor, he realized such a foundation but unfortunately did not garner the absolute faith and obedience of the people of the Second Israel. Again, had they been successful, Christ would have appeared at that time and place to build God's Kingdom.
The four hundred year periods of the divided kingdoms of North and South and of the divided kingdoms of east and west were set up to make the condition for the unification of Cain-type and Able-type kingdoms in order to separate Satan and establish the center of spiritual sovereignty. As we recall, the divided kingdoms of North and South included the kingdom of Israel (Cain-type) in the North and the kingdom of Judah (Abel-type) in the South. The Christian kingdom divided by Charlemagne's grandsons into three kingdoms: the East Franks, the West Franks, and Italy. Charlemagne's descendants were embroiled in ongoing strife with each other. Eventually, Italy came under the rule of the East Franks thus forming two kingdoms. The East Franks under Otto I prospered and became known as the Holy Roman Empire (Abel-type) while the West Franks came to be known as France (Cain-type). Both kingdoms were plagued by the corrupted papacy. Prominent monks such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi were appointed by Heaven to warn the papacy of the dangers of its ways and promote reform. Unrepentant, God chastened them by having their people fight the Muslims through the Crusades. The Crusaders came to be miserably defeated by the Seljuk Turks. Consequently, the Crusades reeked havoc upon feudalism of the time leaving feudal lords bankrupt. Eventually, the Christian monarchy declined.
The two hundred and ten year periods of Israel's exile and return and the papal exile and return were difficult times of captivity given by God to restore the failures of the past and begin new dispensations. In the case of Israel's exile and return, when the people became faithless and unrepentant God's foundation centering on the Temple was lost. Consequently, they were stripped of their freedom and made to endure miserable circumstances as exiles in Babylon. During the era of the Christian empire, the emperors and popes were corrupt and unrepentant. For the sake of initiating a new dispensation, God allowed the popes to be forced into exile. Because of their immorality, the people lost faith in the popes and priests. As a result of the collapse of the feudal system following the Crusades, the power of secular monarchies developed forming modern nation-states. The kings of these monarchies came into conflict with papal authority resulting in the imprisonment of Pope Boniface VII and the relocation of the papacy in 1309 from Rome to Avignon until 1377 when it was returned back to Rome. Following this, the Great Schism over papal rivalry occurred during which time, among others, the spectacle of three contending popes took place. In 1414-1417 the General Council of Constance dismissed all three pope and elected a new one, ending the Great Schism. After an attempt by the Council of Constance to reorganize the Roman church into a constitutional monarchy, in 1309, the papacy recovered its authority. By making an attempt to reform the corrupt papacy in the fifteenth century, the leaders of the conciliar movement tried to set up a representative council of supreme authority composed of bishops and laymen. The newly recharged papacy, however, asserted its full authority. The more fundamental reforms sought by John Wycliffe (1330-1384) and Jan Hus (1373-1415) resulted in their execution, when, after being invited to attend the Council of Constance, they were burned at the stake. This set the stage for the events which resulted in the Protestant Reformation. This period of papal exile and return began in 1309 with the papacy's exile in Avignon for seventy years and continued for another 142 years through the events already described leading up to the moment before Martin Luther nailed the ninety-five theses to the church doors in Wittenburg in 1517. This Christian period was the necessary indemnity condition to restore the earlier parallel period of Israel's exile in Babylon which had been invaded by Satan.
The four hundred year periods of preparation for the Advent of the Messiah and for the Second Advent of the Messiah are the eras of intensive internal and external preparation based on the cooperation of God and humankind to establish the necessary spiritual and physical environment for Christ to be received and reign as the King of Kings on the earth. When, for example, the Israelites returned from Babylonian captivity, they fulfilled the foundation of faith by repenting for their past idolatry and rebuilding the temple. (Ezra 3:7-13, 6:1-15) After undergirding their faith with the Mosaic Law, they followed the word of the prophet Malachi in order to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Similarly, after the return of the papacy to Rome, medieval age Christians sought to reform the Roman Catholic church. Under the light of the gospel, Martin Luther fought for reform and charted new territories for living one's Christian faith.
During the preparation period for the First Coming of Christ, God sent Malachi to arouse an eager longing for the appearance of the Messiah. Also, God guided the Jewish people to reform their religion and strengthen their faith in order to be ready for the Advent of Christ. However, God did not limit His preparations to the Chosen people of Israel. As the Parent of all humankind, Heavenly Father sought to raise up humanity according to the realities of cultural and religious contexts all over the world. While Christ comes as the Messiah to all humankind, everyone may not be spiritually ready to follow the faith of the chosen people at the moment Christ appears. That does not mean, however, that they cannot make a close relationship with God and meet the Messiah. For this reason, in India, God established Buddhism as a new development of Hinduism. In Greece, God gave inspiration to Socrates and guided the blossoming of classical Greek civilization. In the Far East, God elevated human ethics through the leadership and teachings of Confucius. All of these preparations were for Jesus who as the True Parent of all mankind was to unify all religions and civilizations into one worldwide Christian cultural sphere. Since the Renaissance, God has been working to bring about significant progress and development in every almost area of human endeavor including religion, politics, economy, culture, and science. All of this has come about in order to create a global atmosphere appropriate to the task of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth with Christ as the King of Kings at the time of the Second Advent. A very important aspect of this modern age is the democratic realm of politics which serves to protect and advance the Will of God in preparing an environment for Christ supported by religious freedom, freedom of assembly, and free speech. Developments in technology at a very rapid rate will also be utilized by the Lord of Glory in transmitting the Gospel of the Second Advent. Furthermore, progress in communications and transportation contribute greatly to the free exchange of people and ideas to and from every point on the globe including the gradual harmonization of East and West. Christ's teachings at his Second Advent will bring profound and lasting religious and social transformation culminating in the establishment of God's Kingdom all over the world. Let's now take a more in-depth look into this modern period of the global preparation for the Second Advent of Christ to gain new insight through the Principle about the central dispensation occurring in our own day.
5) The Global Preparation for the Second Advent of Christ
The period of the global preparation for the Second Advent was the four-hundred-year period from the Protestant Reformation led by Luther in 1517 to the end of World War I in 1918. According to the Principle view of the providence of restoration, this period is divided into the period of the Reformation, the period of religious and ideological conflicts, and the period of the maturation of politics, economy, and ideology. In addition, this section will consider the providential significance of the World Wars. We begin our study of this period with the Reformation.
The period of the Reformation occurred from 1517 when Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the church doors in Wittenburg until the Treaty of Westphalia settled the religious wars in 1648. This period can only be fully understood by studying the two primary providential events of this time, the Renaissance and the Reformation. As Medieval Europeans strove to recover the God-given nature of their heritage which had been corrupted by the immorality of the papacy, two movements emerged in the relative positions of Cain-type and Abel-type to revive their society and culture. The Cain-type movement began as renewal of Greek and Roman Hellenism. Hellenism eventually gave rise to humanism as a central value of the Renaissance. The Abel-type movement consisted of the rebirth of the Hebraism of Israel and of the early Christian Church. This culminated in the Protestant Reformation with faith in God as the leading concern and motivation.
The Renaissance flourished in Italy in the fourteenth-century as the imitation of the Greek and Roman classical heritage. But it quickly expanded and grew into a much larger impetus for the social transformation of virtually every area of medieval life including politics, economy, and religion. In fact, the Renaissance led the world in the transition into modernity.
The Reformation began with Oxford professor of theology, John Wycliffe (1324-1384). Wycliffe reasoned that the Bible alone was to be the standard for determining faith, not the priesthood or the papacy. He rejected the priesthood as a source of exploitation of the people and as an abuse of power. Everything changed when a movement arose in Germany in 1517 to protest Pope Leo's campaign to raise funds for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica using indulgences. This was led by none other than Martin Luther (1483-1546), a professor of theology at the University of Wittenburg. Zwingly took the Reformation to Switzerland, Calvin introduced it to France, while others spread it elsewhere including England and the Netherlands. After more than one hundred years of religious wars, the Treaty of Westphalia ended the war between Protestants and Catholics known as the Thirty Years' War. Protestantism was victorious in the north, while Catholicism prevailed in Southern Europe. In addition to the religious reasons for fighting the Thirty Years' War, civil and political stakes would decide the future of the German states where the war was fought. Next, let's briefly, turn our attention to the middle of this four hundred year period of preparation for the Second Advent, namely 1648 to 1789 known in the Divine Principle as the period of religious and ideological conflicts.
The period of religious and ideological conflicts began with Protestantism becoming firmly rooted at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and ended with the French Revolution in 1789. The ideological disputes which arose during this time were closely related to the Cain-type communist world and the Abel-type democratic world which would later confront each other in order to fulfill the worldwide foundation of substance whereby the Cain-type world would ultimately submit to the Abel-type world. This is the worldwide condition of indemnity to receive Christ at his Second Advent. Let's consider the origins, developments, and characteristics of the "Cain-type view of life" and the "Able-type view of life." The Hellenistic, Cain-type, view of life flourished during the Renaissance, developing two types of modern thought known as rationalism and empiricism. These methodologies sought to understand the value of human beings and nature through reason and experience, logic, and experimentation. Rather than affirming the spiritual and mystical importance of knowing God, these methodologies valued humanistic ideology leading people to find meaning in external pursuits divorced from God. This humanistic view of life prevented people from developing a meaningful relationship with God and therefore guided people toward the satanic realm. At the beginning of the 1700's, rationalism and empiricism had undermined the traditional principles and sacred truths which had been the vanguard of Christian society. Belief in God and faith in the Bible was considered irrational and discarded by the Cain-type view of life. Then the Enlightenment eventually sprung from the philosophy of empiricism and rationalism giving rise to the French Revolution. At the beginning of the 1800's, the German philosopher Hegel comprehensively synthesized the idealism of the eighteenth century. Many of Hegel's followers who were influenced by atheism and materialism utilized Hegel's dialectic making the school of left-wing Hegelianism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels systematized the work of left-wing Hegelians into dialectical materialism. They formed the communist ideology by combining dialectical materialism with atheism and socialism. As we know, Marxism became the ideology of the communist world.
The Abel-type view of life, on the other hand, arose from a movement to restore Hebraism which blossomed in the Protestant Reformation. This view, which seeks to deepen humanity's relationship with God, brought forth philosophies and religious teachings which guide people along a spiritual or internal path with the intention of developing our God-given, original nature. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant gave the philosophical foundation for the Abel-type view of life by analyzing the internal and external pursuits of humankind's God-centered nature. In this way, he offered a new explanation which digested the conflicting views of empiricism and rationalism. Religion was re-energized through the opposition to rationalism and renewed devotion to nurturing the inner life. Also in Germany, Philip Spener(1635-1705), pioneered Pietism which maintained traditional creeds while emphasizing conservative views and mysticism. Pietism spread to England spawning new church movements including Methodism. The founder of the Quakers, George Fox, was an English mystic who emphasized experiencing Christ's inner light and mystical union with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Let's now investigate the remainder of the four-hundred-year period of preparation known by the Principle as "the period of maturation of politics, economy and ideology" which takes place from 1789 to 1918.
The period of the maturation of politics, economy and ideology began at the French Revolution, progressed through the Industrial Revolution, and concluded at the end of World War I. This period saw the Cain-type view of life and the Abel-type view of life fully manifested on the worldwide stage as two forms of society with very distinctive characteristics. In preparation for the return of Christ, politics, economy, and ideology (religion and philosophy) developed to the point of ushering in the ideal world. Having outlined the development of the Cain and Abel type views of life, let's look at how they both became the underpinnings for two vastly different forms of democracy which would culminate with communism on the one hand and the free world on the other.
At the time of the French Revolution, France was in the midst of the Enlightenment. The Revolution was fueled by Enlightenment in that the people had become keenly aware of the flaws of absolute Monarchy and were not afraid to challenge the established order. In addition, the French Revolution was a good chance to eradicate the remnants of feudalism and establish a democratic society through the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Even so, the democracy they actually achieved was a Cain-type democracy which was relied on totalitarianism in many respects. This democracy totally prevented the natural inclination of the people to understand, deepen, and nurture their relationship with God. This situation would eventually fall into the hands of Marxism in Germany and Leninism in Russia realizing the communist world.
The democracies born in England and the United States were founded by faithful Christians who fought courageously to win religious freedom, and therefore are of the Abel-type view of life. The Puritans, for example, while having been persecuted in England, later flourished in the new world as founding fathers of an independent nation under God. With its constitutional monarchy, England, established its Parliament with independent rights and defended the religious freedom of the Anglican Church. With these simple examples, we can understand how the democracy of England and America evolved into the modern democratic world.
Economic developments result from improvements in the religious and political spheres as seen in the three industrial revolutions which have followed the collapse of medieval feudalism, the destruction of absolute monarchy, and the eventual demise of communism. The first Industrial Revolution began in England based on the steam engine. The second Industrial Revolution followed a century later powered by electricity and the gasoline engine. The third Industrial Revolution is flowering through the safe use of nuclear power. Each of these revolutions came into being to prepare the ideal living conditions for the Second Advent and the coming Kingdom of God on earth. Before the preconditions for the ideal world could be fulfilled it became necessary in God's providence for the occurrence of the three worldwide conflicts of this century known as World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. In the remainder of this section, we wish to explore the internal, underlying causes for the three world wars as they were fought by nations who came to represent the worldwide confrontation of God and Satan. Let's consider four internal providential causes for each world war from the view of the Principle which, until now, have never been fully known. First, nations engaged in the world wars suffering untold casualties as a result of Satan's last desperate attempt to maintain the realm of satanic sovereignty. Satan, knowing God's Will in advance, always builds false imitations of God's ideal world hoping to maintain his lordship over humankind. For this reason, in human conflicts, Satan always strikes first leaving God in the position to later reclaim all that was lost to Satan. Human history under the dominion of Satan will come to an end with the victorious reign of Christ on the earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Before Christ's reign, however, Satan makes a final desperate attempt to undermine God's worldwide foundation to restore Canaan. God had to mobilize three counteroffensives on the world scale in order to defend the side of goodness from evil aggression. Second, the three world wars occurred in order to fulfill the necessary indemnity conditions to restore the three great blessings on the worldwide level centering on the Lord of the Second Advent through three the stages of formation, growth, and completion. At the same time, the satanic world exerts itself in order to fulfill the three great blessings centered on Satan rather than God. Third, the world wars took place so that all humanity can prevail over the three temptations which Jesus victoriously overcame. We are to overcome these temptations as individuals, families, nations and the entire world. Fourth, the world wars occurred to make the necessary payment of indemnity for God's sovereignty to be restored. There are providential characteristics and results unique to each world war which we will investigate next.
The providential characteristics of World War I can be seen in politics, economics, and religious ideology. Politically, World War I was the worldwide confrontation on the formation level between Abel-type democracies which were in engaged in achieving God's providence of restoration and authoritarian sovereignties who represented the Cain-type democratic ideals. Economically speaking, this was a war between more developed nations and newly industrializing nations over colonies. In terms of religion, on Satan's side was Turkey, a Muslim nation which persecuted Christianity, and its allies Germany and Austria-Hungary. On God's side was Great Britain, the United States, France, and Russia, which for the most part held up the flag of Christianity. The determination of which nations represent God and which represent Satan is not always in agreement with our common sense, but rather with the overall dispensational direction of the providence. In the case of religious conflicts, when one religion obstructs the God-given path and free exercise of another religion, it will find itself on the side of Satan. Furthermore, when a religion which has been given a mission for a particular age finds itself in a new age, if it blocks a new religion with a new dispensational purpose, it will become Satan's religion.
The providential results of the First World War have great significance for the return of Christ. The Allied Powers set the formation-stage indemnity condition to restore the three great blessings worldwide. Also, by successfully overcoming the equivalent of the first temptation of Christ on the worldwide level, the first blessing of individual perfection was restored worldwide. God's sovereignty was established on the formation level with the victory of democracy. The defeat of the Cain-type world and its leader, the Kaiser, meant victory for God's side establishing the foundation for the birth of the Lord of the Second Advent. From this time forward, the formation stage providence of the Second Advent commenced. World War II resulted in new victories for God's side.
In the Second World War, democracy was challenged by fascism resulting in victory for democracy at the growth stage. What were the providential characteristics distinguishing God's side from Satan's side? The nations on Satan's side were the fascist nations which struck first the democratic nations on God's side. The fascist nations included Germany, Japan, and Italy. The alliance of democratic nations included the United States, Great Britain, and France. The Allies supported Christianity, while the Axis Powers persecuted and opposed Christianity. The leader of the Axis powers was Germany under Adolf Hitler. Germany denied people of their basic freedoms and Hitler brutally murdered six million Jews. During the war in Japan, Korean Christians were forced at gunpoint to worship Japanese Shinto Gods. In addition, Korean Christians who fled to Manchuria were put to death by the Japanese. Italy, for its part, supported Germany's cause. Mussolini attempted to misuse Catholicism for the purpose of bringing people under the subjection of his fascist regime.
Let's summarize the providential results of the Second World War. First, the growth-stage indemnity condition to restore God's three great blessings worldwide was fulfilled by the victory of the Allies. The indemnity condition to restore God's second blessing of multiplication on the world level was also fulfilled. Third, the victory for democracy meant the establishment of the growth-stage foundation for the restoration of Heavenly sovereignty. At the conclusion of the Second World War, the providence centering on the Second Advent of Christ was initiated. This is why at that time, many Christians received revelations about the Second Coming and great spiritual works were seen all over the world. Since that time, organized Christianity lost spiritual authority and has fallen into state of crisis and moral decay. Such a miserable situation could only come about due to the startling conclusion that we are living in the great and terrible time or the Second Advent of Christ. The Mormon church stands as one of the few Churches in this century which has withstood such decline. Long before the demise of communist blocks, the Divine Principle accurately foretold of the coming victory of the democratic world over the dangerous global agenda of world communism.
As we know from the events of recent history, the Third World War was not fought as a highly destructive military battle, but rather was a confrontation of ideology and an escalation of military might. The underlying providential significance of the Cold War was for God's side and Satan's side to confront each other on the world level in order for God's side to subjugate Satan's side. God's ideal world should be the result of the unification of all humanity rejoicing together in the love of God. Beyond the external subjugation of communism, there must be a lasting reawakening which fulfills the eager longing and desire of all people to experience true happiness in a peaceful and loving world. In order to bring this about, there must be a new ideology centering on the teachings of Christ which contains the essence of the Abel-type view of life. Centering on this new truth, unification of the Cain and Abel type views of life can then be achieved. This new truth must come from the democratic world. Satan already presented a false imitation of the truth in the form of dialectical materialism. This ideology denies the existence of God and of spiritual realities. Communism met its demise because the new truth which has exposed the dangers of communism and has the potential of unifying all existing ideologies has already appeared. This is none other than the teaching of the Lord of the Second Advent.
Let's review the providential results of the Third World War. God's clear and unchanging purpose has been the restoration of the entire providence which was prolonged to the third stage by guiding his representatives to be victorious in the final chapter of dispensational history, the three world wars. Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, became divorced from the realm of God's unconditional love when they surrendered to Lucifer's temptation. When they fell, Adam and Eve came to inherit Satan's lineage spiritually and physically. As shown in Jesus' course, Jesus' brought spiritual salvation to humanity through his death on the cross. Therefore, God's providence of restoration will be fulfilled only when fallen people can be saved spiritually and physically by inheriting God's lineage at Christ's Second Advent. With the victory of the world wars, God may rejoice in the consummation of His ideal for the Kingdom of Heaven at the Second Coming.
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