Essentials Of The Unification Principle
by Thomas Cromwell
19. The Consummation Of History
The consummation of history is of particular interest to Jews, Christians and Muslims because the Bible and Koran refer extensively to this time, variously called the last days, the judgment day, the end of the world, the day of resurrection, and so on. Most of these eschatological passages depict an end to human life as it has been, a time when God takes drastic action to deal with evil by dividing humanity into two groups: those who are accepted by God and saved from eternal damnation because of their faith and virtue, and those who are judged to be evil and condemned to pay for their sins forever. This final judgment of God is implemented through a series of cataclysmic events that culminate with the saved elevated to heaven and the damned cast into Hell. The universal desire for heaven, and fear of hell, gives the subject of the last days its power over believers. Understandably, they want to secure their eternal lives by knowing what to expect on the day of judgment.
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the last days in the light of the principles of creation and restoration. These provide a theological and historical framework for understanding what can be expected at the end times, and what attitude people should take. Without such a framework, any interpretation of scriptures addressing this subject is bound to be highly subjective.
The Principle perspective of history holds that there is a providential purpose behind human events. All of history is aimed toward the restoration of true parents through the fulfillment of the three blessings lost by Adam and Eve at the dawn of human existence. The process of restoration follows the principles of restoration, that is, fallen humans must pay indemnity to lay foundations of faith and substance to make a foundation for true parents. Human beings will not be restored without fulfilling their responsibility through paying indemnity,
Phenomena of the Last Days
The phenomena of the last days are not exempt from the laws of restoration. By His own principles, God would not wave a magic wand to erase evil and separate the good people from the bad, because restoration is accomplished by individuals taking responsibility to obey God's words. (If a 'magic solution' were an option for God, why wouldn't He have used it a very long time ago, avoiding enormous human suffering?) Only after people fulfill their own responsibilities will they be saved, liberated from sin. The events of the last days have to be looked at in the light of this fact. When Biblical or Koranic scriptures speak about the earth being destroyed by fire; the sun and moon becoming darkened and the stars falling; believers being raised up to the sky; the damned burning in hell; and Christ appearing on a cloud, they are painting metaphorical images of the end times. These images represent internal truths about the fulfillment of the providence of restoration and should not be taken literally.
There are a number of important points to consider. The earth that God made is devoid of evil. Nature has no intrinsic fallen characteristics. Why then would God want to destroy the earth in the last days? How would doing so advance His providence of restoration?
If believers could be physically raised from the earth to the sky, why should they be? How would physical elevation change a person's relationship with God?
Why, too, would a loving God want to burn evildoers eternally in fires of Hell? Would doing so please the loving Creator and spiritual Parent of humankind? Would it fulfill His purpose in creating humanity and nature? Would it be just, considering that all people are born into a fallen world without a choice in the matter and therefore cannot be held totally responsible for their wrong-doing? Then, too, is there any sin that deserves eternal punishment?
It is not the physical earth but evil that has to be destroyed, and evil can only be eliminated by the love and truth of God, never by literal fire. The 'earth' that has to be destroyed is a symbol of the world of Satan's dominion that has to be eradicated by the fire of God's love and truth. The false love of fallen relationships has to be replaced by the true love of God-centered relationships, resurrecting the spirits of fallen men and women from the depths of spiritual death in hell to the heights of spiritual life in heaven. It is the spirits of fallen individuals that will be raised up, not their bodies. Those who have died physically exist only in the spirit world and are unable to live a physical life again, but their spirits can grow according to the principles of resurrection (discussed in Chapter 9).
There is no human sin that must be paid for with eternal damnation in Hell. If God had made human beings in such a way that they might be forever lost to their Creator, it would have been a failure by God. Religious history demonstrates God's absolute will to save every person who ever existed. If anyone is responsible for sin on earth it is Adam and Eve, since they gave Satan dominion over the first family, corrupting the very root of human lineage. Yet, from the second generation of their family, God sought to restore them. What's more, the whole thrust of history has been directed towards the restoration of Adam and Eve (their mistakes are indemnified by their descendants), as the Principle explanation of God's providence has shown. Since God has demonstrated His determination to save Adam and Eve, He must be equally determined to save everyone in their lineage, the rest of humankind, who bear less responsibility for the evil on earth.
Unification of the World's Religions
Most founders and leaders of religions are now in the spirit world, many with centuries or millennia of spiritual work behind them. Their level of understanding is generally far higher than that of most people on earth, including those who follow, or try to follow, the spiritual paths that they pioneered. These high spirits can understand God's providence well, and they work to accomplish it from the spirit world. A core aspect of this understanding is the single purpose of God, under which all humanity is to be united as one, global family. Their cooperation with one another in the spirit world for the achievement of this goal produces a unifying tendency among the religious movements they founded.
No two people hold completely identical beliefs, but when all people use their own religious beliefs to reach maturity of spirit and heart, the divisions among people will be overcome by the power of true love. Thus the goal of unifying the world's religions is not to get everyone to adopt a single belief system, but for all believers to become true men and women who can build a world of peace and love, centered on God. It is to this end that religious leaders in the spirit world are working.
The Old History and the New
The "last days" simply means the last days of Satan's dominion on earth and the beginning of God's dominion. Thus the consummation of history is the period of transition in which the old world of evil is superseded by the new world of good. History until now has been a history of the fallen world, but, beginning with the victory of true parents, it will become a history of good, as it would have been had the first humans not fallen.
There was a providence for the consummation of history at the time of Noah, when through the flood God sought to end the world of evil and start a new world of good centered on Noah's family. Ham's failure resulted in a postponement of that providence. At the time of Jesus, God once more made all the preparations for the world of evil to be ended. Jesus and his bride were to fulfill the mission of true parents and establish the Kingdom of Heaven, but the crucifixion of Jesus resulted in another postponement of the providence. History since the time of Jesus has been directed towards preparing the whole world for true parents. With the success of their mission, the scriptural prophesies will be fulfilled and the consummation of fallen history will be accomplished.
Who Are the True Parents?
The entire history of restoration has been directed towards laying a foundation for true parents, the payment of indemnity to prepare for God to send a man and woman to restore fallen Adam and Eve. Because of frequent delays in the fulfillment of these conditions, the only person God sent as a true parent after the fall was Jesus. Because of John the Baptist's failure, Jesus himself was not able to fulfill the mission, having instead to offer his own life as a condition for the future fulfillment of God's will.
When an individual chosen for a particular mission in the history of restoration is unable to complete that mission, another person is chosen in his or her place. For example, Abraham's mission was passed to Isaac and Isaac's to Jacob. Moses' mission was completed by Joshua, and the mission of building the Temple was passed from King Saul to David and then Solomon. Elijah's return to prepare the way for Jesus was to be fulfilled by John the Baptist. Jesus came to complete the mission of Adam, but when the Israelites rejected him it became necessary for another person to inherit his mission, a true man who could restore Adam and take a bride to restore Eve. Therefore, the true parents will be individuals given the mission of completing the restoration work of Jesus.
A providential person unable to complete a mission, for whatever reason, can indemnify that loss by supporting the person chosen to take his or her place. Abraham indemnified the mistake in his sacrifice of animals by offering the life of his son as a condition to keep his family in the center of God's providence. He then assisted his son in making a sacrifice, thereby participating in the victory of Isaac. Jesus gave his life for the salvation of fallen humanity, but could not see the fulfillment of this mission in his lifetime. However, his offering of faith made a condition for the advent of the true parents, who will complete his mission.
True parents are not unique figures in history because of supernatural or superhuman attributes, but because they accomplish God's will completely. They are a man and woman who have to earn the title of true parents through the payment of indemnity in perfect obedience to God. Given the strength of Satan and the extent of evil in the world, to accomplish such an awesome mission is possible only for individuals chosen specially for that purpose by God. True parents must have a remarkable standard of heart, with exceptional emotion, intellect and will, to understand God in sufficient depth to be able to carry out His mandate for restoration. They also have to understand the root of evil and the way Satan has kept dominion over fallen humanity, and they have to gain complete victory over Satan, setting up a realm free from Satanic dominion where the three blessings can be fulfilled. To accomplish such a rigorous mission, they need a very strong constitution and excellent health.
When Will the True Parents Come?
According to the principles of restoration, God can only send a central figure once a foundation of indemnity has been laid for that person. In the history of restoration, it took 2000 years from the time of Abraham for the Israelites to lay a foundation for Jesus. Within that time, there were six major providential periods associated with laying that foundation. When Jesus was crucified, the work of restoring a worldwide foundation for true parents had to indemnify the mistakes of the previous two millennia. Thus, the 2000 years after Jesus followed the pattern of the 2000-year period of preparation for him. The parallels in history, discussed in Chapter 16, indicate that the twentieth century is the time for true parents to come. More specifically, the advent of true parents should be in the period following the First World War.
The correct historical timing must coincide with circumstances suitable for the success of true parents' mission. There must be internal and external preparation of humankind for a sufficient number of enlightened people to respond wholeheartedly to God's new providence. As detailed in Chapter 19, these preparations were undertaken over the past five centuries, during which the whole world underwent a dramatic transformation.
Thus, by every providential measure, the advent of true parents should be in the period following the First World War.
The Identity of the True Parents
Whoever fulfills the mission of restoring fallen Adam and Eve, as well as the many mistakes in the history of restoration, qualifies as true parents. There are many who claim messianic missions, based on inspirations they or others receive from the spirit world. but what counts is fulfillment of the mission.
On August 24, 1992, before a large international audience of religious, political, academic and media leaders, gathered in Seoul, Korea, Sun Myung Moon announced that he and his wife, Hak Ja Han, had been chosen by God to be the true parents and had successfully accomplished their mission.
He was able to make this forthright announcement because of his accomplishments in life. He knew full well the skepticism with which his words would be received by many, but he also knew that those of good ancestral lineage, with integrity and goodness, would be able to recognize the verity of his claim. Good recognizes good, whereas those with questionable intentions are always suspicious of the intentions of others.
In this secular and scientific age, religions (and especially the new expressions of religion) are viewed with distrust. Because of this, his efforts, as well as those of the millions of people associated with his Unification Movement, have frequently been the targets of bigoted attacks. It is a sign of the goodness of the movement and its founder that they have been so reviled by the world under Satan's dominion, but also that they have consistently met these attacks with humility and love.
Born in Korea in 1920, at the age of sixteen (fifteen by western reckoning) Sun Myung Moon was commissioned by Jesus to complete his work. He spent all of his mature life in preparing for this mission and then carrying it out. After devoting nine years to discovering God's truth and finding out why the ideals of religion had not been fulfilled, he began teaching what he had learned, an outline of which has been presented in this book. Working extremely hard in the face of relentless opposition, first in Korea and Japan, and then America and the rest of the world, he has built up a network of dedicated followers who have made his vision and teaching the basis for their lives of faith and the inspiration for a wide variety of projects designed to benefit humanity and help create a just world of true love. Always cooperating with believers from other faiths, on a global level, he and his followers have launched many religious, cultural, educational, scientific and media activities aimed at creating inter-personal, inter-religious and international understanding and harmony.
Every step of the way has been wrought with difficulties and suffering. No established power, religious or secular, has fully embraced the Korean religious leader, and opposition to his teaching and activities has resulted in, six imprisonments for him. For almost three years during the Korean War, he was kept in a Communist prison camp in North Korea, after being tortured to the brink of death. He also was imprisoned in South Korea, Japan and America, in every case because of his dedication to God and passionate support for the causes in which he believes. Despite these trials and tribulations, he has never given up his mission. On the contrary, as with all true men and women of God, he has gained strength and broadened his following by overcoming all difficulties. In the process, he has established an unrivaled foundation for human salvation and the creation of world peace.
In 1960, he was united with his bride in holy matrimony, fulfilling the second blessing. Since then, the True Parents have worked together as a couple to create a true family absolutely obedient to God, and have fulfilled all the conditions necessary to restore the family, clan, tribe, nation and world. The love of their united heart is truly parental and global, embracing people of all races, nationalities and religions. On the foundation of their own blessing in 1960, they have offered the same marriage blessing to tens of thousands of couples, providing them with a foundation on which to build their own restored lineage.
The Completed Testament Age
On January 3, 1993, after all the necessary conditions had been fulfilled, Sun Myung Moon announced the beginning of the Completed Testament Age. This is the era for the realization of God's ideal on earth, centered on the foundation established by the True Parents. From this time, God's power over human affairs increases dramatically, and the demarcation between good and evil, the fallen world and the true love world, becomes ever clearer. Although not yet evident to most people, for the first time in history good is in the ascendant position and evil declining. The signs of this positive change will proliferate rapidly as the providence of God advances with unprecedented and inexorable power.
Behind the chaos of the twentieth century world, a spiritual revolution has quietly spread from Korea to all comers of the globe. It is not a political or military challenge to the status quo, but a transformation of hearts and minds that has affected the lives of millions, bringing changes to their families and the world. Through the victory of the True Parents, the marriage blessing is offered to couples from every race, religion and nation on earth, bringing them new meaning and a new standard of family life, and realizing a purification of lineage that offers future generations the real prospect of a completely different and good world. At the same time, these religious values for a unified world are being used to facilitate inter-religious understanding and harmony, cooperation among scientists, dialogues between political leaders, and education in values for children and responsible media. This quiet revolution marks the end of the history of Satan's dominion over humanity and the beginning of God's Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Readers are encouraged to determine for themselves whether this is true or not. God always responds to those who seek Him, and any sincere question will receive an answer. Through study and prayer, the veracity of the Principle and the identity of the True Parents can be confirmed.
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