Unification Sermons and Talks
A Brief Introduction to the Divine Principle
by D. Michael Hentrich
This is a very brief explanation of the Divine Principle, the teaching of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The Principle, as it's called, is a combination of revelations from Jesus Christ and from God, as well as prayerful study of the Bible and of life itself. Many tears and intense suffering were part of the price of gaining this incredible understanding. If you've studied the life of Rev. Moon and become familiar with his unprecedented accomplishments, you probably wonder how one man could overcome such intense persecution and do so much good for mankind in one lifetime. The secret is in the Principle, which you're about to study. You probably won't grasp the full power of the Principle from hearing this very brief explanation, but if you study it two or three times and begin to see even a glimmer of its potential to change people's lives and destinies, then study the Principle more deeply. There are some parts of the Principle barely mentioned here which could be explained so deeply as to fascinate you for hours. This is my own personal expression of the Principle. The Divine Principle has three basic parts. The first explains God's ultimate desire for man. How many of you have ever wondered just why we live this life for 70 years or so, and just what God expects from us, anyway? If you've ever thought these things, then the first part of the Principle is for you.
The second part explains very specifically and logically why our lives are so full of frustration and lack of fulfillment. Did you ever wonder why true happiness and true love are so nearly impossible to find or achieve? If this question has been on your mind, part two of the Principle is for you.
Part three traces the history of man from day one to the present, revealing a remarkable but unnoticed and recurring pattern in the history of God's efforts to help us change ourselves. God is not a sadistic God who is heartlessly watching man suffer and waiting for the right moment to condemn everyone for their shortcomings. Rather, he is a heartbroken God who has been trying to show us how we can break out of our misery, but we've almost always refused to listen, and when we listened, we usually failed to completely understand. Changing this world into a beautiful place will be done by both God and man together, not just by God alone when He's good and ready. God has always been ready to see his children happy and prosperous. Part three of the Principle will put your whole life in a new perspective and turn what has seemed to be historical chaos into purposeful, logical sense.
And now, the Principle... Everyone's desire, throughout history, has been to be truly happy and fulfilled. As Christians, knowing we're forgiven of our sins offers a real sense of liberation, but the day-to-day trials and contradictions we still have to wrestle with in ourselves show that the happiness God originally intended for us is still beyond our grasp. Science, for all its contributions, will never completely provide the solutions to man's problems until it incorporates a clear and rational understanding of God and His purpose and motivation for designing nature the way He has. It's impossible to restore ourselves to the ideals of life unless we know what those ideals are supposed to be. What does it mean to be a true man, from God's point of view, or a true woman? What is true love? Who has tasted it or can describe it? Since God seems to be invisible and intangible, many have given up believing in the very existence of God. Many more feel powerless to know anything more than that a God must somehow exist. According to the Principle, and echoing the Bible in Romans 1:20, God's character can be seen in the world He designed -- the world all around us. Just as an art critic can look at the paintings or listen to the music of ten different artists and easily distinguish the works of one from the next, so too God's own personality has to be embodied in the things He designed and created. Could a chaotic God create a logical world? Of course not. Could a heartless God create a world which has great beauty in it? No. Therefore, like Paul, the Principle tells us to look at the creation and we can learn about God.
For one thing, we see that everything was designed in either a masculine/feminine pair of genders, or in the material world, as positives and negatives. We see man and woman, male and female animals, staminate and pistilate plant life, anions and cations, protons and electrons, and so on. What can this tell us about God? It tells us that God must embody not only the essence of masculine nature in His own personality, but He must embody the essence of feminine nature as well. Otherwise, where would feminine nature come from but from the same creator and designer of life? Therefore, man and woman are equally essential expressions of God in the world. In fact, the most complete human expression of the heart and personality of God would require both a man and a woman, together, not just a man alone. Notice, too, that these masculine/feminine and positive/negative complementary pairs usually exist in harmonious relationship with each other in nature, unlike with us. Why would it be that God's highest creation, man and woman, should find such a harmonious relationship so nearly impossible to achieve? If our designer, God, is a harmonious origin of all that we see in nature, then why should harmony within ourselves be so difficult to achieve? We'll discuss this point later.
Another thing we can see in nature is that everything has both an external, physical form and also an invisible, internal, and intangible character which supplies purpose and direction to the form. Particles, atoms, and molecules are made of energy, but are guided by the invisible laws of nature. Plants are made of cells, but are guided by the same laws of nature and also by a crude sensitivity and a kind of awareness. Animals are made of tissues, but are guided by instincts, and man is also made of tissues but is guided by instincts, plus emotions, will and intellect.
Since the designer and creator must embody more than those elements that appear in the things He designs and creates, then God must embody something greater than the emotions, will and intellect of even the greatest of human beings. If we really understand this deeply, then how would it be possible for the designer, God, to be less compassionate than all of the human race put together? He must have more compassion than his greatest creation. This should have a profound impact on the way we understand the living, loving God.
There are many other things we can learn about God by looking at nature, but for now this will be sufficient. If the relation between God and nature could be compared to that of an artist and his work, then ask yourself what would bring happiness to God? As we have seen, we are created in God's image. The art work has to embody the personality of the artist. With us, we can see that we bear a resemblance to God, even to the point of being creators ourselves. As humans, we've learned that a creator or artist feels greatest happiness when his work most reflects and resembles his own personality and feeling. If I feel great peace within myself, but my work of art is full of anxiety, then I'm not going to be so happy looking at it. It should embody the same things that I feel.
In the same way, men and women were designed and created to give happiness to God by reflecting His own personality back to Him. That's why the Bible says that God created mankind "in His image", and God said of His new creation, "It is very good". God made us to resemble and return joy to Him, and He likewise designed and created the rest of nature to resemble, in some sense, our own human design and be a source of joy for us.
For example, when we enjoy the companionship of a dog or other pet, it's because we see something of ourselves in that animal. You could come up with endless examples, yourself. How, then, can you and I most completely fulfill our potential to realize both the happiness of God and also our own happiness? God, it says in the Genesis story of the Bible, gave the first humans three "blessings". As explained by the Principle, the first blessing, to "be fruitful," was not intended to mean that we should have lots of children, but that we should be people who live "fruitful" lives -- meaning to be people of good fruits. Matthew 7:16 also talks of recognizing the Lord by "His fruits". Also, a "Tree of Life," mentioned in the Bible, would logically bear good fruits. Jesus was both referred to in the Bible as the "Second Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45) and as the "Tree of Life," -- one who bears good fruits. Therefore, we can see that a truly "fruitful" Adam would have been a spiritually mature man whose mind and heart had grown to purely resemble God's own mind and heart. He would have embodied the same harmony and oneness that must exist in God -- both within himself and with nature. Such a fully matured person would feel God's joy or sorrow and think with God's way of thinking in any situation. The kind of impotence and frustration that we know today would not be the case for such a person. Such a person could be described as a living temple of God, and a human expression of God Himself. He would not even need moral laws and rules to guide his behavior. He would live according to his mature heart, and be in perfect harmony, with both God and nature while doing it -- without moral laws and rules. In a sense, there would be no internal difference between this person and God Himself. Jesus Christ was like this -- both human and Divine. As He said, "When you see me, you see the Father." However, this was also God's intention and desire for Adam and Eve, and for all of their descendants, including you and me. Adam and Eve were blocked from reaching the Tree of Life after they disobeyed God's directions to them. It was the "Second Adam", Jesus, who became the Tree of Life in their place, and a Tree of Life to which we as descendants of crippled Adam and Eve must engraft ourselves, as the Bible says. Therefore, God originally intended for each of us, as individuals, to become perfectly mature in God's heart and personality as adults, thus becoming ourselves trees of life. If the kind of love we feel for our neighbors and others were the same unconditional love that most parents feel for their own children, then this maturity of heart would basically be accomplished. It's not impossible. In fact, the potential for that love is designed into us. With God's help we will eventually fulfill that potential and have the peace and happiness that we always felt we should be able to experience in our lives.
The second blessing of God to the first humans was to "multiply". This might seem obvious in its meaning, but God wanted Adam and Eve to not only have babies, but to multiply both Godly children and goodness. He never intended for us to multiply selfishness and wickedness and people needing redemption from sin. This means God had planned to see a true man -- a spiritually mature Adam -- marry a true woman -- a spiritually mature Eve -- and together raise sinless children who would not need redemption. The children were to be raised by their perfectly mature parents to themselves become true men and women -- trees of life. They would naturally grow up experiencing the masculine love of God through their father, and the fullness of the feminine love of God through their mother. Do we have such a family today? Have we ever in history had such a family? No, not really, if we're honest. The human race got off to a bad start and we've never seen true parents, who could raise up true children in any generation. Therefore, the world is orphaned, in a sense, from God's love. Everyone is starving for the love of true parents. From true parents, a whole family, society, nation and world would have been populated with children knowing the love of God as an everyday social reality. They would not need to live in a world governed by all kinds of moral laws, rules and regulations. The third blessing, to subdue the earth, would have been fulfilled by a perfectly matured society loving nature the way it was intended to be loved. The Bible tells us that even the creation is "groaning in travail, awaiting the revealing of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:22) With individuals, families and a society like this -- loving nature as it was intended to be loved -- the literal Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven on earth would be our environment. The plan was simple, but profound. Of course, looking at such a scenario from our worldly point of view, it might seem almost like hearing a fairy tale. However, there's a natural, simple mechanism by which this was all to originally take place.
You may have noticed that virtually everything in nature develops or matures through some sort of process, even rocks and chemical things. The developmental process always takes a period of time. You can't name anything that became what it is in an instant. All things develop. Especially when we think about man's love and personality, we are looking at a part of God's creation that requires an obvious process and period of time to develop and mature. In fact, as the Principle explains, our heart and personality actually go through three stages of development.
As a child, we know basically how to receive love. Parents don't expect young children to return mature love to them. Later on, as an adolescent, we grow to have a more matured, sharing kind of heart and personality. We can give to others the amount of love that we ourselves have received. In a sense, "as much as you love me, I can love you," would describe it. Unfortunately, as we look around us, we can find few examples of people who have matured beyond this level of heart. Even many marriages are based on this conditional kind of love. However, man can and does possess a still higher degree of love, called unconditional, or parental, love.
When a parent feels willing to give his very life for his children, or for someone else, without thought for himself, this is an example of unconditional love. It's not so uncommon, actually, but most of us are lucky if we feel it for more than one or two people in our lifetime, let alone for everyone.
Jesus had this kind of love for all people. It's God's love -- unconditional, parental love. It's interesting to note that of all the laws and commandments given in the Bible, they're all summed up by the two great commandments given by Jesus: "Love God above all things, and love your neighbor as yourself." His sermon on the mount was about love, perfect love. How to love -- that was Jesus' message, both in his action and his words. And it's not enough just to have mature love in our hearts. We must learn to express that love effectively as well.
Why then, if God's plan and design for man was so simple, have we lived such a suffering history of frustration and selfishness? Who has experienced complete fulfillment? No one, of course. Social conflicts are only an extension of the personal conflicts we all experience within ourselves. We seem to live with two conflicting desires; One which tells us to lift other people up above ourselves and care for them first, and the other desire which tells us to take care of our own comforts first, at the expense of others. Virtually everyone has been torn by this spiritual conflict. Where does this conflict come from? Did God -- after creating a beautiful, harmonious and ecologically balanced system of life -- somehow slip and design his highest creation with an inherent contradiction, like a cup with a hole in the bottom of it? Of course He wouldn't, and He didn't. The answer to the question has been hidden in the symbolism of the book of Genesis.
As the story is told, there was a garden, and in the garden and together in the center of the garden, were two trees, a "Tree of Life" and a "Tree of Knowledge" which bore a forbidden fruit. Also in this garden were Adam and Eve and a serpent who spoke to them and tricked them.
God told the two people not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, or they would die. Then the serpent tricked Eve into eating the fruit, and she, in turn, shared the fruit with Adam. At that point they felt fear and guilt and they covered their "lower parts" and hid from God. God then blocked their way to the Tree of Life and sent them out of the garden. We must now ask the question, what in this story is to be taken literally, and what is symbolic?
Almost everyone has just assumed that the fruit was a literal fruit, perhaps an apple or pear. But Jesus later explained very clearly in Matthew 15:11 and 17-20, that it's not what you eat that makes you sinful. He said: "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.... Do you not see that what goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man...." Jesus was talking to the Jews about eating with unwashed hands, but his point about the relationship between eating food and sin is clear. Eating something will not make you sinful.
Also, we cannot inherit the damage from something our parents have eaten. The effects of food poisoning could last only one generation, at most.
From still another perspective, why would two people eat something that they knew would kill them, especially if they were surrounded by a feast of healthy and delicious fruits? Even an animal will avoid poisonous grasses or berries.
The other typical explanation for this part of the story is that the fruit is not important; it was Adam and Eve's act of disobedience itself which was the cause of all historical evil and sin in mankind. Let's now take a look at this explanation.
If God, as our creator and designer, has more love and heart than what He gave to us as humans, which He must, then how can we say that God, knowing that Adam and Eve might fail His test, would condemn the entire human race over a small act of disobedience by the first two of his children? That would mean that God would subject all people in history to misery and suffering for one mistake on the part of two people. If Adam and Eve, who were completely sinless and pure, could not follow even a simple commandment from God, then what chance is there for any of us to do any better? If a human father were to test the obedience of his children with a piece of poisoned fruit, or make them and all their descendants suffer in some way for one small mistake, even our wicked, heartless society would be outraged and call him a child abuser, take the children away from him, and put him in prison. Is this the kind of heartless God you believe in? This effort to explain the beginning of historical evil is obviously wrong.
The word fruit, as used in this story, is symbolic of something far more important to man's happiness than simply something to eat. To understand what the fruit was, we must look at the tree which bore this fruit.
The "Tree of Knowledge" is mentioned only here in the Bible. But, the Tree which stood next to the Tree of Knowledge in the center of the garden was the "Tree of Life," and the Tree of Life is mentioned throughout the Bible.
Adam and Eve were trying to reach the Tree of Life when they sinned. We know this because God blocked them from it when they were sent out of the garden. Also, Prov. 13:12 says that a "desire fulfilled is a Tree of Life." Rev. 22:14 says "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and enter the city by the gates."
The Tree of Life, here, refers to Jesus, who is called the second Adam in 1 Cor.15:45. From this we see also that the expression "Tree of Life" means a perfect, true man -- one who can fulfill his desires and does not live in constant frustration and contradiction; one who can multiply life; a man fully one with God in heart, mind and body. Jesus was the only Tree of Life.
Jesus is often referred to as a tree (Rom.11:17) or a vine (Jn 15:5) to which we must all engraft ourselves. The Tree of Life spoken of in Revelations is the returning Christ. But, it was the Tree of Life referred to in Genesis that Adam himself was supposed to become. If Adam had perfected his heart and love in God's image, then the selfishness and frustration we cannot escape from in life would have been unknown to the mature Adam. He would have grown to have the same kind of love as Jesus. We were all meant to become fruitful Trees of Life, starting with Adam.
Therefore, if the Tree of Life is symbolic of a perfected Adam, then what did the other tree standing next to it in the center of the garden represent? It represented Eve. We'll talk about the fruit of Eve in just a moment. But first, there was another important character in the garden to consider.
The so-called "serpent" spoke to Eve and tricked her. Was the serpent a real snake that could talk, or was it also a symbol of something else?
Our first clue is that this serpent not only spoke, but it knew God's commandment to Adam and Eve. Therefore, the serpent must have been a spiritual creature to know and understand God's will. That spiritual creature who could know God's will and who could speak was actually an angel.
A powerful clue to the identity of the serpent is found in Rev. 12:9. Here we're told that "the ancient serpent is called the devil or Satan." From the surrounding passages we learn that an angel at one time lived in heaven, sinned against God and was thrown down from heaven to the earth. Also, he was a leader of angels and his angels were thrown down to the earth with him. The question we should ask is, what did this leader of angels, whose real name was Lucifer, and his cohorts, do to sin against God? The book of Jude tells us that the sin of the angels was immorality and unnatural lust. The sin of the angels was fornication, sexual sin. Note Gen 19:5 where angels wanted to have sex with humans.
After Adam and Eve sinned, they oddly covered the sexual areas of their bodies in shame. Why cover their sexual areas? If they had sinned with their mouths they would have covered their mouths in shame. If they had sinned with their hands, they would have hidden their hands in shame. Instead, they covered their sexual areas -- because their sin was sexual. What is a fruit? A fruit is that part of a tree that bears the seeds for reproduction. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was symbolic for the sexual love of Eve. The sin of the angel, Lucifer, was also fornication. God's commandment had actually been that Adam and Eve not engage in physical love until their spiritual love had perfectly matured and they had become true man and true woman, Trees of Life. Then, and only then, would they have been qualified and capable of giving the love of True Parents to their offspring, a cycle that was to repeat itself forever. If you're a mother or father, tell me honestly -- have you ever felt that your love was inadequate to the task? Of course. We all suffer from this same problem.
The archangel tempted Eve to have an illicit sexual relationship with him between their spiritual bodies, perhaps almost like a dream. When Eve felt the guilt of what she had done, she went to her rightful spouse-to-be, Adam, to try to correct her mistake. The problem was not sex, itself. The problem was premature consummation of Adam and Eve's relationship. They were not yet mature enough to give true love to each other or to children, so premature sexual love brought children who grew up with immature parents. The world has been the same ever since. Children have never been able to find true and perfect love from their parents. It's been an endless cycle, an unbreakable cycle. Who has not suffered from it?
That is why Jesus came to show us true love. But we have yet to break the cycle. God is still unfolding His plan to help us do it.
Lucifer acted out of a feeling of jealousy for Adam and Eve's superior position to him in relation to God. They were God's first children, while he was just a head servant for God -- an angel. God loved them all, of course, but Lucifer was used to being 'top dog' until Adam and Eve came along. The full process and motivation for the fall of Adam and Eve are important to understand, but would require more time than this study would allow to fully explain it. You should study the Principle more deeply to understand how it expresses itself in your own life today.
Sex itself was not the problem in the Garden of Eden. Rather, sex was intended by God to be the most beautiful and holy expression of love between a husband and wife. But, sex was also not intended to be mistaken for love itself. While many sadly think that love is sex, they also make a mockery of it, treating it like a spectator sport. Consider prostitution, the so-called oldest profession in the world. Adultery is the most impossible crime to stop, because it's committed in private. Why has Catholicism seen celibacy as the way to come closest to God, refraining from normal human sexual activity? Jews practice the rite of circumcision to symbolize, among other things, purification from Satan's influence. Today, where is sex. It is all over books, movie screens, even performed live on stage. How do we advertise a car except to put a bikini-clad beauty on the hood. Why has sex always been so degraded and misplaced in men's lives, often distracting him from greater fulfillment?
It is because the original fall of man was actually the distortion and destruction of love, love that was to be the very center of human life. God's love was supposed to be the very fabric of the Kingdom of God on earth, but lust and selfishness have become the fabric of the kingdom of hell on earth.
After the fall, God's heart was shattered. After all of His effort to create a beautiful and perfect world for his children, He lost everything when true love was destroyed. He tells us in Genesis that He was "sorry he made man on the face of the earth." But, He wanted and still wants to restore His world to the state of goodness and love He originally intended for it. The question many of us have is, why has God allowed us to suffer so many generations before doing something about it? Why did He wait so many thousands of years before sending Jesus? And, why does He now wait so long to fulfill His promise to establish His Kingdom on earth, once and for all?
As the Principle explains, God did not want to wait 4,000 years, or even 400 years, before sending Jesus. However, man had to be prepared to understand and accept the Messiah when the time should come for God to send him.
The Messiah comes as the second Adam to reveal the full and perfect love of God as a man, the task the first Adam failed to do. The first Adam lost faith in God and lost the ability to embody God's love in his life. The human race then inherited this very same problem from the first generation. What problem do we suffer from that is not somehow rooted in selfishness and lack of true love? God's promise was to one day send the Christ to defeat Satan and to be a model for us of a True Man of faith and of the true love of God in human form.
God began to prepare his people so they could recognize Jesus as a model of faith and love.
God worked to mold the chosen people, the Jews, into a race that would be living for and striving for the same virtues of faith and love that Jesus would bring fulfillment to later.
To accomplish this, God began working immediately, even in Adam's family, to establish these preparatory traditions of faith and love.
Adam was too close to the problem to distinguish between good and evil, so God divided Adam's character between his two eldest sons, Cain and Abel. That way, some distinction could be seen between relatively good and relatively evil character.
Both Cain and Abel tried to be close to God. God asked both sons to show Him their faith by making offerings, which they both did. Secondly, if we consider Lucifer to have been in a kind of "elder brother" position to Adam -- only in the sense that Lucifer was created first and had more knowledge and experience to draw from, even though Lucifer was clearly an angel and not a human being -- then we can see that God re-established the situation of the fall in a clever way. God purposefully rejected the elder brother Cain's offering, and accepted the younger brother Abel's. This put Cain in the position to feel the same kind of rejection that Lucifer imagined when Adam and Eve took his place as the highest of God's creations.
God then warned Cain of what might happen (in Gen. 4:7) if he did not overcome his temptation to jealousy and anger. Unfortunately, to God's profound grief, Cain killed Abel, driven with resentment, just as Lucifer had spiritually killed Adam and Eve.
But God didn't give up as we might have. He raised up another man of faith ten generations later, named Noah.
Once again, God first asked Noah to demonstrate his faith, but this time by building a boat on a mountain top. Noah spent most of his long life doing this, and in this way demonstrated his faith.
Then since Noah, by himself, could not restore the jealousy and love problem between brothers, God worked through Noah's two eldest son's, just as before. However, this time, God first used an unusual situation to determine whether or not the second son, Ham, was qualified to inherit the victory of faith from his Father. Cain and Abel had made their own offerings of faith, but this time Ham had to simply side with his father as a Man of Faith.
One day, Noah lay drunk and naked in his tent, where Ham saw him in his unfortunate state. Instead of protecting the honor of his father as a man of God, and a man of great faith for his work of building the ark, Ham put all of that aside and looked at him from a purely human and disrespectful point of view, even turning his brothers against their father, as well. Ham actually looked upon his father's nakedness through the same eyes of guilt and shame and sinfulness that Satan had given to Adam and Eve in the garden.
For this reason, Ham was cursed by Noah because he could no longer represent an Abel-like person to his elder brother Shem. That was the unfortunate end of God's efforts to undo the problem of resentment and anger between brothers through Noah's family.
Ten more generations passed until God found another man of faith, Abraham, to use in His work of restoring man's goodness. Once again, God first asked Abraham to demonstrate his faith by cutting and sacrificing a number of animals. But, because Abraham was not serious enough about God's request, he fell asleep before finishing, and failed. However, God generously gave Abraham another chance, but God required a much more difficult demonstration of faith the second time. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son on the alter. After some hesitation, Abraham took his son Isaac to a hillside, built an altar, bound his son and placed him upon it. Just as Abraham was about to kill Isaac, an angel appeared and stopped him, telling him it was not necessary to sacrifice his son, and that God had only wanted to see if Abraham really loved Him.
And, because Isaac understood what was happening and did not resist his father's efforts to sacrifice him to God, Isaac inherited the faith of his father, as Ham had failed to do from Noah.
Next, to overcome the resentment and anger problem between elder and younger brothers -- or between any two people -- God used Isaac's two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau and Jacob were destined to re-enact the problem between Lucifer and Adam, between Cain and Abel, actually between all of us, in a sense. This explains why God said He loved Jacob more than Esau, even while they were still in their mother's womb. (Gen. 25:22-23 and Rom. 9:10-13) These brothers had a fore-ordained mission in life to resolve jealousy and resentment between brothers. Therefore, God allowed a situation to develop in which Jacob stole the family inheritance from his elder brother Esau, which made Esau furious with jealousy and anger. Understandably, Esau wanted to kill his younger brother, and even gathered an army of 400 men to help him do it.
But Jacob fled to Haran where he lived a humiliating life under his cruel uncle Laban for many years. After a long period of suffering, Jacob gathered his family and belongings and set out to return to his angry brother and somehow reconcile their relationship.
Along the way, the Bible tells us that Jacob was attacked by an angel of God, but Jacob prevailed over the angel, thereby symbolically restoring the proper relationship between man and the angelic world.
Upon Jacob's victory, the angel blessed him and gave him a new name, "Israel", which means "the victorious one," and it was his descendants which multiplied to become the race of Israel to which Jesus later came.
After the spiritual victory, Jacob proceeded to offer everything he had -- his family, servants, material wealth, and even himself -- to his jealous and angry brother Esau. In other words, he valued his brother's love more than anything else in the world.
Through this self-sacrifice, Esau's heart of resentment was melted, and, as Esau and Jacob lovingly embraced each other as brothers, this established the pattern by which the problem of jealousy and anger between brothers -- or between any two people -- can be resolved. Jacob's victory over resentment paved the way for the human race to be able to understand and receive Jesus's coming message of sacrificial love and forgiveness. The same pattern of love overcoming hatred was also repeated in the story of Jacob's youngest son, Joseph.
However, practically speaking, in the midst of a whole world of hostile and ungodly nations, Jesus would not have been safe being born into a tiny family of potential believers. Furthermore, a large following could hopefully spread his Gospel throughout the world much faster.
Therefore, from Jacob's 12 sons and 70 kinsmen eventually arose the entire nation of Israel, carrying with it the legacy of Jacob.
Beginning with Jacob's family, we see that the Israelites suffered for 400 years as slaves at the hands of the Egyptians. Through this experience, God strengthened and deepened the faith of the Chosen People. In their misery, they sought God fervently. Then, after this 400-year period of suffering, God called a man named Moses to liberate them from their plight. While Moses didn't know it, he was actually to lift the Chosen People up to the next stage in God's preparations to send Jesus.
During the following 400 years, the Jewish people lived in a feudal society. God wanted them to be a united body of believers to receive Jesus as a nation. But, unfortunately, the feudal lords failed to unite, delaying Jesus' appearance. So, after the 400-year-period of feudalism, God established a United Jewish Kingdom when the prophet Samuel crowned Saul the first Jewish King.
If the political leader and the religious leader at that time could have united in this monarchy, Jesus would have had a very efficient vehicle through which to spread his Gospel -- much more efficient than in a democratic form of rule. Unfortunately again, the political and the religious leaders were not united at all. These failures could have been avoided if the people involved had had a deeper understanding of the legacy of Jacob and Esau, who overcame the most severe of differences and reunited with each other.
God at least wanted a Holy Temple built as a physical symbol of the holiness of the living "Temple of God" who was to come. However, Saul was too corrupt to build the temple, and his successor, David, shed too much innocent blood. Finally, David's successor, Solomon, fulfilled the building of the Holy Temple, only to defile it later with the false idols of some of his wives. The process to get to this point took three King's reigns of 40 years each.
Therefore, after all of this, God was left with an impure people who had embraced the ideas and traditions of other religions.
To try to purify his chosen people, God acted in the same way He did with Adam's own family. He created a distinction between the good traditions and the bad by separating the Jewish nation into two parts, that of Judah to the south, and Israel to the north. Judah was generally more pure and Abel-like, and Israel was generally more corrupt and Cain-like.
God then sent the four major prophets and twelve minor ones from relatively pure Judah to relatively corrupt Israel, to try to reform them. But, after trying for 400 years, the people resisted God's calling and Judah, too, fell into corruption.
At this point, God was left with no choice but to sift out the loyal among his people by letting the Jews fall into the captivity of Babylon and Assyria. These two nations conquered the Jews and removed them all as slaves.
After 70 years, they were released and allowed to return to their homeland. Only the most faithful Jews returned to rebuild the temple and reestablish the Jewish nation and culture, which is exactly what God wanted.
Finally, after another 140 years, having succeeded in establishing a new, strong, and united Jewish culture, God sent the prophet Malachi, and others, to set the final stage for Jesus to appear.
About this same time, the great empire of Rome emerged, with all its technology, communications and trade routes. The Roman Empire reached to the four corners of the known world. The language of Rome was spoken throughout the world, much like English is today.
About 500 B.C., Buddhism appeared, teaching that a "Maitreya Buddha" or messiah figure, would later come to the Buddhist world.
Confucius also appeared less than a century later, teaching about a "True Man" who would someday come. Plato and Socrates also lived at this time, looking forward to the appearance of a "great thinker," or "philosopher king".
In these and other ways, God set the stage for the literal worldwide reign of Jesus as the Lord of Glory, described in Is. 2,9,11,60, and in Jeremiah 23 and 33, Daniel 7, and in Luke 1:31-33. God prepared many peoples in many ways to receive Jesus as their Lord. Jesus was intended to fulfill each of their hopes for a Messiah-figure to come.
However, God also warned in detail in Is. 53, that without the people's faith in His Son, Jesus would be a suffering and miserable lord at their hands.
To do everything possible to prevent such an outcome, God raised up Jesus's own cousin, John the Baptist, as the greatest Jewish leader of that age. The Bible says John was appointed by God to the position of Elijah, to "make straight the path of the Lord," and to make a "people prepared." An angel said John was coming "in the spirit and power of Elijah."
John, in turn, gathered many fine Jewish disciples and spoke to them at length about the expected appearance of the Christ. John's father was even the Jewish high priest, Zachariah.
When Jesus came before John at the River Jordan, John knew him only as his cousin. John then received a revelation that Jesus was the Christ, and John publicly stated this to the people present.
However, here is the turning point in the life of Jesus Christ. John testified publicly to the divinity of his cousin Jesus, but John himself never followed Jesus. John never again helped Jesus. John did not even tell his disciples to follow Jesus.
Yes, two of John's followers later came to John to inquire about Jesus, and John spoke of how Jesus was greater than himself, after which these two decided to follow Jesus, but that was all. As John continued down the banks of the River Jordan, continuing to baptize as he had always done, those whom John had prepared for Jesus followed after John, some of them probably wondering why John did not become the Savior's chief disciple, nor any kind of disciple of Jesus. They trusted that John knew best what to do about the revelation he had received about Jesus. It would seem only false humility for John to say that Jesus "must increase and he must decrease," (Jn 3:30). After all, if John had united with Jesus, wouldn't they both have increased together?
Wouldn't it be greater to have been one of Jesus' chief apostles, rather than just a prophet, as John was?
When the scribes and elders asked Jesus, "By what authority do you do the things you do?" (Lk 20:2), John should have been standing by his side, responding to their questioning with testimony of his own revelation concerning Jesus as the Son of God.
Instead, while Jesus was proclaiming the new message of forgiveness in his encounters with adulterers, and for the sick and the lame, John was continuing to follow the Old Testament way of condemnation with Herod's sister-in-law for her immorality under the law. For this, John was soon beheaded.
Just before his execution, still struggling with his revelation about the divinity of Jesus, John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was really the one who was to come, or if he should look for another. Jesus responded, in Luke 7:22, "Blessed is he who takes no offense at me." Later, Jesus said of John (Matt. 11:11) "Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he." To repeat: "...even the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John."
John did almost nothing after his proclamation at the River Jordan to testify to Jesus. He even contradicted Jesus, undercutting Jesus' authority and credibility in the eyes of the Jewish people. Jesus said John was the Elijah who was to come, but John himself denied it... (Mt 17:10-13 and Jn 1:21)
If Jesus appeared at your door today, and you recognized who he was, wouldn't you become his disciple and testify to him?
Instead, Jesus was forced to find some ill-prepared disciples among the fishermen of the area. Most of them had no knowledge of the scriptures. They had very little faith in Jesus, and could hardly understand his simple parables. Were it not for Jesus' resurrected appearance to them for 40 days after his death, these followers would have never started the Christian movement.
Jesus' request from the beginning of his ministry was for people to "believe in him whom God had sent." (Jn 6:29)
"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I would have gathered you together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not." (Mt 23:37)
The apostle Luke said Jesus was betrayed and killed because they "did not know the time of [their] visitation" (Lk 19.42-44).
Matthew 10:15 tells of terrible judgement for those who reject even Jesus' disciples. In John 10:38, Jesus pleads with the people that if they would not believe his words, that they at least believe his works, that they might be saved.
Jesus did everything he could to convince the people that he was the Son of God. But, without the continuing supportive testimony of a person like John the Baptist, which God had expected, the Jewish leaders could not believe. They even said Jesus' miraculous powers came from the Devil.
Of them, Jesus said in Matthew 23:13-36, that those whom they led away from Jesus were becoming twice the children of hell as they themselves. Jesus was very angry with them.
Jesus came to reveal to man the fullness of the love of God. Jesus' living ministry and living authority to absolve sins even before he was crucified could have spread quickly with the support of John and John's father, Zachariah, to the rest of the Jewish leadership and eventually to all the Jewish people. After that, a great missionary crusade, led by Jesus himself, would have carried the news of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth throughout the world through the network of the Roman Empire. Jesus said, in John 10:16 "I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd."
But instead, when it became clear that there was no other way left to convince the Jewish people of who he really was, Jesus, from that time on, knew that he must demonstrate the ultimate of God's love by dying on the cross and then resurrecting. From that time on, it was Jesus' determination that he must go the way of the cross and resurrect to his disciples, to convince them of who he really was and to convict them in their faith. He knew he must now become the Lord of Suffering predicted in Isaiah 53. He would have to return at a later time in history to become the Lord of Glory and establish God's Kingdom on Earth.
As Paul said in ICor. 2:8, "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory."
Satan entered Judas Iscariot, as it says in the Bible, and Judas betrayed Jesus. Of Judas, Jesus later said, "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." (Mt 26:24)
Yes, on the cross Jesus said, "It is done."
Before his crucifixion, he said "I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now," (Jn 16:12) and he also that he wanted to speak to us "of heavenly things, but we could not even understand the earthly things of which he spoke." (Jn 3:12)
He said, "I speak to you now in parables and symbols, but the day will come when I will speak to you plainly and clearly of the Father." (Jn 16:25)
On the cross Jesus asked God to forgive the people for crucifying him. By Jesus' death and resurrection, all can have forgiveness of sins and spiritual salvation. This is the priceless gift that Jesus gave to us through the cross. But, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, which Jesus initially said was "at hand," remains the hope of all Christians and remains to be realized when Christ returns again.
Until then, Jesus and the Holy Spirit stand in the positions of Spiritual Father and Spiritual Mother, through whom we can be spiritually reborn.
From this point, God wasted no time in beginning to reconstruct a foundation in the world for the acceptance of the return of Christ. He again began to seek one united body of believers, Christian believers this time, to receive him when he should come again.
We can see how the Christian faith sprang from the 12 apostles and 70 disciples of Jesus, paralleling the family of Jacob. For the next 400 years (395 to be exact), Christians suffered even more than the Jews had in Egypt. They were boiled in hot oil, fed to lions, and burned alive as torches at the Emperor's garden parties. But Christians again became strengthened and deepened in their faith, and became the convicted believers who could spread Jesus's teachings throughout the world.
In 395 A.D. Augustine, somewhat like Moses, helped to liberate Christians from their suffering, this time by making Christianity the legal religion of Rome. This was followed by another 400 years of a feudal Christian kingdom. Sound familiar? Seven Holy Sees were ruled by leaders who stood in the combined positions of monastic, pope and king, echoing the period of the Jewish Judges. But unfortunately once again, there was no unity among the Holy Sees.
On Christmas Day, 800 A.D., Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the first Christian King. He and his sons and grandsons reigned for about 120 years, again reminiscent of the 120-year period of the three Jewish kings.
However, God's desire for a united body of believers to receive the return of Christ was ever farther away. The grandsons of Charlemagne divided the kingdom into several parts, and at one point there were three competing popes. Therefore, in 919 A.D., God divided the Christian empire into the Eastern and Western Frankish Kingdoms.
This time, instead of major and minor prophets arising to reform the Church, monastic orders arose. St. Francis of Assisi and his followers, St. Thomas Aquinas and his followers, and others, tried to set a higher standard and reform the corrupted church. Unfortunately, their pleas to the papal authorities fell on deaf ears.
God then directly chastised the church in a manner similar to that with which as He had the Jews. Since Christians did not belong to any one nation from which they could be exiled, the French king held the Roman Pope captive in Avignon, France for 69 years. Historians have even referred to this as the "Babylonian captivity of the Pope."
When the Christian empire was later fully re-established, in 1517 A.D., the great reformer Martin Luther appeared. He, too, sought to restore orthodoxy to the church.
Later, America was founded in the name of God. Originally as a Christian nation, and a unique nation of all peoples and all cultures and races, God raised this nation up to quickly become the central nation of the world. Its technology, communications, transportation, and even its language reached every corner of the earth. Amidst great signs of division, an undercurrent has also been moving which has been pulling the world closer together. Eastern and Western cultures have begun to mix. Economic and political alliances have formed. Major religions have begun seeking common ground in their beliefs. The world has become divided generally into two basic camps -- one more Cain-like camp of humanism, led by Marxism-Leninism, which, as you might expect, is characterized by jealousy, anger and resentment, and one more Abel-like camp of various forms of Christian or God-centered ethics and law.
The final conflict between the world-wide Cain and Abel camps has been underway for the past 70 years. It is now beginning its final resolution. All prophecy of the Last Days is being, or has already been, fulfilled. The final conflict must be resolved correctly. The Cain-like camp must not kill the Abel-like one. The Abel-like camp must win the Cain-like camp to God's side. In addition, it is time for all religions to understand and teach the importance of True Parents as the fulfillment of their God-given ideals.
We are living in the time when God will send his Son again, to completely reveal God's love and truth to man -- this time clearly and plainly without speaking in parables -- and to liberate all men from suffering and pain. This time he will establish His Kingdom on the face of the Earth.
This introduction to the Principle is as brief as is practically possible. Many topics and points were completely left out. Pages of background and elaboration have been written about every point that was just mentioned here.
The Principle is not traditional doctrine. But remember, the truth as Jesus expressed it 2,000 years ago was not considered orthodox, either, in his day. That's why so many of God's chosen people failed to recognize and accept him, and that's also why Jesus posed the question about the return of Christ, "Will he find faith?" When he returns and explains the truth again in our day, as he said "...without parables and symbols," it may not sound like traditional doctrine. Who will be ready to hear it?
Through the Divine Principle, God is giving 20th Century man a new, more rational and logical expression of the same truths he has revealed to us before. You must study the Principle more deeply to understand how it can enhance your life and even change your destiny.
God wants all of His children to be happy, and He will not give up trying until each one of us responds to him and finds the happiness and fulfillment he intended for us all.
Find out for yourself how profoundly God is speaking to humankind today through Rev. Moon. Find out how much it can brighten and improve your life. If you are serious, it will be the most important and exciting undertaking you have ever begun. Pray for God's guidance in this matter. He will lead you to the truth.
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