A New Revelation for Mormons at Christ's Second Advent: Divine Principle, True Parents & the Completed Testament Age
by Bret Aaron Moss
Chapter V - The Old Testament Age
The Old Testament Age was the 4,000 year period in which God in cooperation with humankind, successfully established the earthly foundation for the Messiah. Recorded in the Old Testament are many perplexing and mysterious accounts of God's chosen people who, based on their faithfulness, are found either advancing or thwarting the Will of God. As discussed in the last chapter, God's providence of restoration is carried out through the process of restoration through indemnity which requires the establishment of the foundation of faith and substance. Through the lens of the Principle, I endeavor to illuminate the successes and failures in the central providence of God to lay the foundation for the coming Messiah. God began His effort to prepare for Christ in the family of Adam and Eve after the fall.
1) The Providence of Restoration in Adam's Family
After the fall, God desired to reclaim his children, who had been seduced into a blood relationship with Lucifer through the spiritual fall and the physical fall. Adam, who related both with God and Satan, was in a "midpoint" position and therefore could not be reclaimed by God without the establishment of an indemnity condition by the members of his family in order to be purified. Had the foundation for the Messiah been established in Adam's family, Christ could have come to Adam's family. Let's investigate God's attempt to make a foundation of faith and substance together with the members of Adam's family.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find an instance of Adam, who served two masters, making an offering of indemnity to lay the foundation of faith. Rather, the Bible records offerings made by Adam's sons, Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel represented the division of Adam's two contradictory natures, Cain representing evil and Abel representing goodness. While both Cain and Abel were the fruits of Eve's fall, their respective positions were relative according to the nature of Eve's transgressions. Cain, the firstborn, was claimed by Satan, corresponding to the spiritual fall which occurred between Lucifer and Eve before the physical fall. Abel, the second-born, symbolized the fruit of the physical fall, which was less evil and more forgivable because it represented the sexual union of Adam and Eve who were meant to become husband and wife in God's ideal. In comparison, the spiritual fall took place between Eve and the Archangel was totally against the Will of God. Abel, therefore, was claimed by God as His representative on the side of goodness.
In the Bible we find evidence for the discrimination between the elder Cain and the younger Abel. In Genesis 3:5 God says to Cain: "If you do not do well, sin is couching at the door." In other words, Satan had ties to the works of the first-born son. Also, in Exodus 12:29 God struck the first-born of the Egyptians as Satan's followers representing Cain when the Israelites were about to flee from Egypt. Only the Levites, representing Abel, were permitted to carry the Ark of the Covenant when the Israelites were returning to the land of Canaan. (Num. 1:50-53; Deut. 31:25) When Cain and Abel made their offerings, God accepted Abel's and rejected Cain's. (Gen. 4:4) God accepted Abel's offering, thereby fulfilling the foundation of faith because he stood as the central figure and made an offering in which God could take delight. In order for Cain to return to God's side, Cain was required to purify himself through cooperation with Abel to establish the foundation of substance.
In order for Cain to remove his fallen nature, he had to make an indemnity condition which would result in the reversal of the process of the fall and the liquidation of the four fallen natures. First, where Lucifer failed to love Adam, Cain should have loved Abel. Second, where Satan refused to receive love through Adam and Eve, Cain should have received love through Abel. Third, where Satan claimed authority over Adam and Eve, Cain should have willingly submitted himself to his younger brother. Fourth, if Cain had respected Abel as his mentor he could have learned to multiply goodness. This four stage process which required the humble cooperation of both brothers is the universal pattern for laying the foundation of substance.
Instead of fulfilling this course of indemnity, Cain killed Abel, resulting in the annihilation of the foundation for the Messiah in Adam's family. What lessons can we learn from the tragic turn of events in Adam's family? First, we see another example of how God's predestination of His Will is conditional, based upon cooperation from humankind. Second, upon the loss of the foundation for the Messiah in Adam's family, God had already prepared a new providence centering on Seth, the third son of Adam. Here is another example of the fact that God's commitment to the fulfillment of His Will is absolute even though it had to be postponed from Abel to Seth's descendant, Noah. Third, through the situation of Cain and Abel, God is showing us that each of us as fallen people need to find our Abel-type figure who we can obey and attend with a sincere heart and total sacrifice at the cost of our lives. God's providence to restore humanity has been plagued with great suffering and disaster. We ourselves must learn the valuable lessons in Adam's family so that we may one day successfully walk our own path in front of God. Now we turn our attention to the events surrounding Noah.
2) The Providence of Restoration in Noah's Family
Upon the successful foundation of faith established by Abel, God could choose Noah, one of Seth's descendants, to carry out the providence of restoration and lay the foundation for the Messiah. We know from God's commitment (Gen. 6:13) to bring the flood judgement that Noah's day was the Last Days: "I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth." By this we know that Heavenly Father wanted to make a new beginning for humankind with Noah's family as the foundation for sending Christ. Let us investigate the manner in which God intended for Noah's family to establish the foundation of faith and the foundation of substance.
In Noah's family, Noah himself was the central figure to establish the foundation of faith. Noah was called sixteen hundred biblical years or ten generations after Adam. God blessed Noah as he did Adam before the fall, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply," (Gen. 9:7) making Noah the "second ancestor" of humanity. Noah worked for 120 years on the mountain building his ark exactly following God's instructions in the face of great persecution and mockery.
The conditional object for Noah to restore the foundation of faith was the ark, which is filled with symbolism. To begin with, the ark is symbolic of a new cosmos which has been set apart from the evil cosmos which is under the dominion of Satan. Having three decks, the ark symbolizes the three stages in the growing period. Noah's eight family members represent the restoration of the eight members of Adam's family who were invaded by Satan. Symbolically speaking, Noah as the captain represented God, his family represented humanity, and the animals represented all things. Because humankind at the time of Noah served two masters, God sent the flood judgement for forty days in order to eliminate sinful humanity. The significance of the number forty which appears over and over again in the providence of restoration was based on the numbers four and ten. Four represents the four-position foundation of the family which had been invaded by Satan. Ten represents the ten generations of evil sovereignty under Satan which had to be indemnified. Thus in order to restore the number forty which was invaded by Satan, God sent the flood judgement for forty days. Noah successfully restored the foundation of faith by his faithful obedience to God's commands centering on the ark, thus symbolically restoring all things and all people back to God.
The foundation of substance was to be carried out not by Noah, but by his sons, Shem and Ham, who were to have stood in the positions of Cain and Abel. Had they made the necessary condition of indemnity to remove the fallen nature, they would have established the foundation of substance. Because Noah had already laid the foundation of faith, it was not necessary for Ham to do that. Rather, he should have completely united in heart with his father who stood as the "Father of Faith" at that time. The Bible records in Gen. 9:20-23 the opportunity God gave to Ham to become one in heart with Noah. Here, upon seeing his father lying naked in his tent, Ham felt ashamed of Noah and took offense. Ham multiplied this feeling in his brothers, Shem and Japheth. Influenced by Ham, all three brothers, while turning their faces from viewing Noah, walked backwards, covering their father's nakedness. This act was seen as sinful, resulting in Noah cursing Ham to be a slave to his brothers. (Gen. 9:24-25) Why did Ham's action constitute such a great sin? Ham made a condition for Satan to invade Noah's foundation, which symbolically resembled Adam's position as God's son prior to the fall. As we know, before the fall, Adam and Eve freely lived together and had no reason whatsoever to be ashamed of their nakedness. (Gen. 2:25) Therefore, Noah's nakedness having been symbolically purified through the flood judgement should not have caused Ham to be ashamed. God wanted to recover the joyfulness he had once enjoyed upon seeing the innocence of Adam and Eve through Noah's family. Thus, Ham's reaction to Noah's nakedness came to determine whether the family was truly one with God or not. Satan, like a raven, is always looking for a condition to invade God's goodness. He attacked Noah's sons making a relationship of give and take. Consequently, Ham failed to restore through indemnity the position of Abel necessary to make the foundation of substance. The providence of restoration in Noah's family concluded in miserable defeat.
What lessons can we learn from Noah's family? First, Ham demonstrates for us the extreme danger of wrongly criticizing God's appointed central figure from a self-centered perspective. As stressed over and over again in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants, we need humility, obedience, and patience to stay true on the straight and narrow path of restoration. Here we also rediscover God's patience and respect for humanity, fulfilling our own portion of responsibility in accordance with His predestination of His Will. God found Noah after 1600 years of patient anticipation. God directed Noah 120 years in the building of the ark and the raising of his family, even sacrificing all humanity through the flood. With a seemingly insignificant mistake, God's precious providence was once again lost. Finally, through Noah's family we learn that even though God had made such an enormous investment in His providence, He does not hesitate to forsake it for the chance to fulfill His purpose of creation with a new central figure, leading a new providence. In this case it would be Abraham in place of Noah.
3) The Providence of Restoration in Abraham's Family
God called Abraham four hundred years after Noah and began His third central providence to establish the foundation for the advent of Christ. Just as Noah before him, Abraham had to restore the foundation of faith, and his sons had to lay the foundation of substance. In order to replace Noah as the father of faith, Abraham had to restore through indemnity all of Noah's successful conditions which were invaded by Satan. That is why there was another separation period of ten generations from Noah to Abraham. While the first period of ten generations between Adam and Noah lasted 1600 years, because God shortened the life span following Noah's generation, the ten generations until Abraham lasted only 400 years. In addition, in order to indemnify the number 40 restored by Noah in the 40 days of the flood, each generation lasted about 40 years.
Next, Abraham himself as the new father of faith had to restore the fact that God's precious second son Ham was invaded by Satan. For this reason, he came to be claimed by God, as evidenced by His blessing of Abraham even though by his very birthright as the eldest son of Terah, an idolator, (Josh. 24:2-3) he was well-loved by Satan:
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves. (Gen 12:2-3)
In obedience to God, upon receiving this blessing, Abraham left his father's house in Haran. Together with his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, and all his belongings and servants, he entered Canaan. As recorded in the Bible, Abraham's course foreshadowed the courses which Jacob, Moses and Jesus himself would later follow, that is, to take humanity and all things out of Satan's world and bring them into God's Kingdom. Now let us consider the difficulties surrounding Abraham's attempt to make the foundation of faith.
Before Abraham could make the necessary symbolic offering, he had to restore the position of Adam's family by restoring the brother-sister relationship which had existed before the fall. We are not told in the Bible how this was substantiated by Noah. In Gen. 12:10-20 we are told of a trip taken by Abraham and Sarah to Egypt due to famine. Fearing that the Pharaoh would kill him in order to steal his wife, Abraham instructed Sarah to pose as his sister. When the Pharaoh went ahead and commanded Abraham to hand over Sarah to him, God chastised the Pharaoh, allowing Abraham to take her back and return to Canaan along with Lot and the abundant wealth bestowed upon him by the Pharaoh. In this way, the Pharaoh (representing Satan) returned to Abraham (representing Adam) his wife Sarah (representing Eve), thus fulfilling the indemnity condition.
In Gen 15:9 we learn that God commanded Abraham to offer a dove and pigeon, a ram and goat, and a heifer. These were to be the objects for the fulfillment of the foundation of faith, representing all of the conditions from the past which Abraham had to re-indemnify. We learn in Gen. 15:9-13 of Abraham's carelessness in making his offering:
He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." And he brought all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, "Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years."
Why was it a sin not to cut the birds in two? Just as Adam had to be divided into good and evil via Cain and Abel, and just as the flood judgement separated Noah's family from the others, God instructed Abraham to cut the sacrifices in half in order to sanctify them. In addition, the swooping down of the birds of prey upon the carcasses is another example of Satan's ever-persistent presence which awaits an opening to invade God's providence of restoration. Due to the defilement of his offering, Abraham's descendants would have to suffer oppression and slavery for four hundred years both as penalty for his transgression and as the condition for God to begin a new providence. Abraham's failure resulted in the prolongation of God's dispensation centered on Abraham through three generations including his own, his son Isaac's, and his grandson Jacob's. Despite Abraham's mistake, God did not completely abandon this providence due partly to the fact that Abraham stood as God's third attempt (three representing completion) to lay the foundation for the Messiah. Instead, God raised the stakes for Abraham.
Even though he failed in the symbolic offering, based upon the accumulated merit of Abel and Noah before him, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:2), giving Abraham another chance. However, before he could carry this out, Abraham had to restore his position by once again allowing his wife to be taken by a king, this time Abimelech of Gerar. Abraham could take her back along with slaves and riches only after the king had attempted to take her as his wife. (Gen. 20:1-18) Abraham went ahead to make the necessary offering of his son (Gen. 22:9-12) and in so doing bequeathed his position as the father of faith to Isaac:
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Here am I." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
Through his obedience, Abraham not only completely separated Isaac from Satan but made the necessary condition in cooperation with Isaac which would permit him to inherit his father's position. While God did not abandon the providence centering on Abraham, by His own principle he could not allow Abraham to personally remain as the father of faith but had to work through his son, who was blameless. Let's consider Isaac's position and his symbolic offering from the viewpoint of Heaven.
God foretold of the lineage of Isaac in His promise to Abraham in Gen. 15:4-5:
Behold, the word of the Lord came to him, ". . . your own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
Abraham's willingness to slay his son, who had such a great destiny, was comparable to being willing to kill himself once he had committed sin. While saving Isaac from death, God allowed Abraham to be "resurrected" too and therefore free from satanic accusation. In the eyes of God, Abraham and his son had become one person, so much so that Isaac's victory would be Abraham's victory. From the accounts in Gen. 22:6-7 we know that Isaac was old enough both to carry the wood for the sacrifice and to inquire of his father about there being no sacrifice. This indicates that he was old enough to understand his father's intentions. We can deduce that Isaac cooperated with his father knowing that he himself was the sacrifice. By so doing, Isaac demonstrated faith as great as his father's, thus becoming qualified to inherit Abraham's good fortune. Standing firmly in the shoes of his father and having already provided the wood, he participated in the symbolic offering of the ram provided by God. (Gen. 22:13) Even though the ram was sacrificed by Abraham, based again on their total unity, Isaac was deemed by Heaven as having successfully established the foundation of faith. As a result, Isaac's sons in the positions of Cain and Abel under Adam became accountable in front of Heaven to successfully create the foundation of substance by fulfilling the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature.
We learn from the Bible the roles of Esau and Jacob, who stood as the representatives to restore the mistakes of Cain and Abel. As it is written in Rom. 9:11-13, God loved the second son Jacob and hated the first son Esau even while they were still inside their mother's womb. Furthermore, there in their mother's womb they began fighting. (Gen. 25:22-23) Of course, before Jacob could carry out the necessary conditions to fulfill the foundation of substance, Jacob had to restore the position of Abel, who stood as the central figure to make the substantial offering, and then go on to make the required offering. Additionally, Jacob would have to enter Egypt to begin the four hundred year course to indemnify Abraham's mistake.
Jacob made three conditions to restore the position of Abel. First, on the individual level he succeeded in restoring the birthright of the eldest son. While God had to be content to work His providence centering on the second-born son, ultimately, God needed to see elder sonship restored. Jacob very cleverly accomplished the restoration of elder sonship by exchanging his elder brother's birthright for some bread and a pottage of lentils. (Gen. 25:29-34) Because Jacob highly valued the birthright and worked to reclaim it from his brother, God had Isaac bless him over Esau. (Gen. 27:27-20) Second, through suffering twenty-one years of drudgery in Haran, Jacob triumphed over Laban in the fight to restore the birthright and returned to Canaan after winning family and wealth as his due inheritance. Third, Jacob was victorious in wrestling an angel at the ford of Jabbok, restoring dominion over the angelic world in a substantial struggle. Through these victories, Jacob could stand as a victor in Abel's position, becoming the central figure to make the substantial offering with the cooperation of Esau.
In order for Jacob and Esau to remove the fallen nature, Esau had to love Jacob, recognize him as God's chosen representative, humble himself in obedience to Jacob's injunctions, and share the goodness gained from Jacob's example. Upon Jacob's return to Canaan with his family (Gen. 33:1-4), having suffered twenty-one years in Haran, Esau was moved to tears:
And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. And he put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
The moment Esau received his brother with deep heart and affection, the foundation of substance was fulfilled for the first time in human history. In this way Esau was restored and qualified to receive God's joyous love. The foundation for Christ having been victoriously laid through the fulfillment of the foundations of faith and substance, we would expect the advent of Christ to have begun soon thereafter.
Realistically speaking, the foundation for the Messiah must also provide a realm of heavenly sovereignty to insure the safety of Christ in a satanic world. In the times of Adam and Noah, the only foundation necessary was the family foundation because there were no other families which could pose a danger to Christ's mission. At the time of Abraham, however, satanic nations could easily dominate Abraham's family. Therefore, God needed to raise up a nation of prepared people who could serve as the secure home for the Messiah's appearance. Despite the hardship of Isaac's descendants, who were made to pay penance in Egypt for Abraham's mistake, they would ultimately prosper and come to make the national foundation God needed for His only begotten Son.
As the central figure for God's providence, Jacob was accountable for treading a model course for the separation of Satan, setting the path and pattern for Moses and even Jesus himself to later follow. Jacob's son Joseph would be the one in Jacob's family who would enter Egypt and pay indemnity by being sold into slavery by his brothers. However, by the age of thirty, Joseph would defy all odds and become the prime minister of Egypt. Upon all of his elder brothers surrendering themselves to Joseph, Jacob's family initiated the process of making a nation which would someday become the birthplace of the Christ child. Once again, as Isaac's victory was Abraham's victory, Jacob's gains became the shared success of all three, who became regarded as the same individual. For this reason, it is written, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Exod. 3:6) The history of Israel serves as an excellent example for our understanding of how God's people brought Satan into submission on the national level. What are the lessons learned from Abraham's course of indemnity?
First, like his predecessors, Abraham's trials show that God's predestination for His Will is conditional upon the responsibility of humankind. When Abraham failed, God's Will was prolonged. Second, God's predestination for His people is also conditional. When Abraham (who had been foreordained to be father of faith) failed, his mission was extended to Isaac and Jacob. Third, Abraham demonstrated that when we fail to fulfill our responsibility, God's will is postponed and greater indemnity conditions inevitably follow. Finally, Abraham's mistake underscores the heavenly mandate that only by dividing good from evil can we become acceptable offerings to God. If we forget this, Satan is given an opportunity to invade. Moses' saga on the path of restoration from the view of the Principle adds yet another revealing dimension to biblical history in preparation for the advent of Jesus Christ.
4) Overview of the Providence under the Leadership of Moses
The Divine Principle offers a valuable and detailed explanation for the providence of restoration under Moses which deserves deep consideration. However, for the sake of brevity, only an overview of the significance of Moses' course will be presented here. Moses and Jesus follow the model course for the subjugation of Satan pioneered by Jacob. In fact, the Israelites and all humanity must follow Jacob's victorious pattern in order to subjugate Satan. Because of his rebelliousness, Satan does not humble himself before God, Jesus, or people of faith. For this reason, God called Jacob in order to show all humanity the symbolic method for bringing Satan into submission through our own portion of responsibility. According to the Principle, Moses was speaking of Jesus when he said "The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you." (Acts. 3:22) This is to say that God would give a similar course of indemnity to Jesus that he gave to Moses. Jesus also affirmed that he could discern the will of God through the works of God leading up to his Advent in John 5:19 which says, "The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise." In other words, Jesus knew that the secret to his own success was revealed through the path walked by Moses. Let's summarize the eight examples offered by the Principle of how Moses and Jesus mirrored the course set by Jacob to subjugate Satan.
(1) The first human ancestors Adam and Eve submitted to the temptation of Lucifer, an archangel, and fell at the cost of their lives. God then tested Jacob by allowing him to singlehandedly subjugate the angel which he wrestled at the ford of Jabbok. God's purpose in giving this trial to Jacob was to allow him to claim the position of Abel and the qualification to rule the angel, who is Satan. Likewise, before Moses could lead the Israelites into Canaan he first had to survive a situation where the Lord tried to kill him. (Exod. 4:24) God tests people out of his merciful love so that they cannot be claimed by Satan. If Satan were given the option to test God's people, whenever they failed, they would fall prey to Satan. Jesus was tested too, by Satan himself. Jesus, at the risk of his life, was victorious over the temptation of Satan when he was fasting for forty days in the wilderness. (Matt. 4:1-11)
(2) Fallen nature is a result of the corruption of our flesh and spirit through an unprincipled relationship of give and take action with Satan. In order to symbolically restore his defiled flesh and spirit, Jacob had to make a condition to remove it by buying his birthright back from Esau with bread and a pottage of lentils representing flesh and spirit. Similarly, Moses as God's representative witnessed the chosen people being fed manna and quail (spirit and flesh) by the grace of God. Jesus as the substantiation of the flesh and blood of new life referred to the people of Moses' day in explaining his own role: "Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died . . . I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:49-53) Through proper attendance to Jesus, all humanity can make the worldwide indemnity condition to remove our fallen nature.
(3) The human corpse itself was claimed by Satan as a result of the fall. At the time of his death, Jacob's body was purified through a forty day embalming condition. (Gen. 50:3) The Archangel Michael contended with Satan about the manner in which Moses' body would be disposed (Jude 9), resulting in its disappearance. Jesus' body also vanished from its tomb, to the dismay of the Jewish authorities.
(4) Using certain "providential numbers," God has worked to restore the human fall which occurred while Adam and Eve were in their growing period. The number three, for example, represents the growing period of formation, growth, and completion. To restore the number three, there was a three day "period of separation" from the time Jacob left Haran on his journey to Canaan to the time when Laban learned of his absence. (Gen. 31:22) Likewise, when Moses led his people to Canaan from Egypt there was a three-day condition of separation from Satan. (Exod. 5:3) Before Joshua crossed the Jordan river, three days passed. (Josh. 3:2) Before Jesus' rose from the tomb, there was a three-day period of separation from Satan. The indemnity condition of the twelve generations from Noah to Jacob allowed Jacob to stand on the foundation of the restoration of the number twelve. While there were twelve tribes at the time of Moses (Exod. 24:4), Jesus' twelve disciples served the same purpose of restoration through indemnity. (Matt. 10:1) Furthermore, God created the world in seven days. To restore the number seven, there were seventy members in Jacob's family, (Gen. 46:27) seventy elders under Moses' leadership in God's providence, (Exod. 24:1) and Jesus had seventy followers (Luke 10:1). Each of these "seventies" fulfilled the dispensation in their given time period.
(5) Prior to the advent of Christ, a symbol of his authority to smite evil appears when Jacob crosses the Jordan River whilst leaning on his staff. (Gen. 32:10) Similarly, Moses crossed the Red Sea with a staff. (Exod. 14:16) At his second advent, Jesus will smite evil with the rod of iron, which is symbolic of the Christ's Word. (Rev. 2:27; 12:5)
(6) If Eve had properly guided her son Cain to unite with his younger brother, the Messiah could have come to this first human family. Therefore, the cooperation of mother and son in the process of separation from Satan occurred with Jacob and his mother, Rebecca. Without his mother's crucial support, Jacob couldn't have secured the blessing of Isaac. (Gen. 27:5-17, 42-45) Similarly, Moses escaped imminent death thanks to his mother's actions. (Exod. 2:2) Jesus was rescued by Mary, who carried Jesus to Egypt, narrowly escaping King Herod who wanted to kill Jesus. (Matt. 2:13)
(7) God's chosen central figure must journey from Satan's world to God's world. Jacob travelled from Haran (the satanic world) to Canaan (God's world). (Gen. 31-33) Moses went from Egypt to Canaan. (Exod. 3:8) As an infant, Jesus returned to Galilee after his temporary hiding in Egypt. (Matt. 2:14-15)
(8) God's aim through the providence of salvation is ultimately to eliminate Satan. For this purpose, Jacob buried the idols beneath the oak tree. (Gen. 35:4) Moses destroyed the golden calf. (Exod. 32:20) Jesus came and will come again to destroy this evil world by bringing Satan to absolute surrender by his words and by his power. Now let's very briefly outline the mission of Moses as the forerunner of Jesus.
According to the Principle, Moses stood as God to the Pharaoh and to Aaron, representing the chosen people in laying the foundation of faith. (Exod. 4:16; 7:1) In this way, Moses was to prepare the way for Jesus, who would come as the True Parent. Therefore with the advent of Christ on the earth, Moses came to be as a child in relationship to Jesus. In terms of the providence to establish the national foundation of substance, Moses was the Abel figure to the Israelite people. Only through their obedience to Moses could the Israelite people fulfill the condition of indemnity to remove the fallen nature. Fulfilling the foundation of faith and substance on the national level would have allowed the Israelites to create the foundation for the Messiah. Soon after they could receive the Messiah and be reborn through him, allowing themselves to be reunited with God's heart in perfect oneness.
With miracles, signs, and wonders, Moses guided the Israelites across the Red Sea, out of Egypt, and presided over them as they wandered through the wilderness before they could enter Canaan. This course foreshadowed the way Jesus would later lead the second Israel, the Christians. Using miracles, Jesus would save his followers from sin and lead them into paradise. Just as the national course of restoration centered on Moses was prolonged three times, as we shall discover, Jesus' worldwide course was likewise prolonged three times. In both instances, the chosen ones of God, representing all humanity, failed their leader due to disbelief. Just as Moses could view the chosen land of Canaan but could not enter it, Jesus would have to be crucified, knowing that he had come to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. (Matt. 6-10) Just as Joshua would fulfill Moses' dream of entering Canaan, Jesus promised that the Lord of the Second Advent would come to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, his original heart's desire. Before moving on to investigate Jesus' course from the viewpoint of the Principle, let us discuss Israel's preparation for the Christ's Advent.
5) Israel's Preparation for Advent of Christ
Now we turn our attention to the 2000 year period from Abraham to the birth of Jesus Christ. This period can be divided into six periods known in the Divine Principle as "The Four-Hundred-Year Period of Slavery in Egypt," "The Four-Hundred-Year Period of Judges," "The One-Hundred-and-Twenty-Year Period of the United Kingdom," "The Four-Hundred-Year Period of the Divided Kingdoms of North and South," "The Two-Hundred-and-Ten-Year Period of Israel's Exile and Return," and "The Four-Hundred-Year Period of Preparation for the Advent of the Messiah." In the next chapter, after looking into Jesus' worldwide providence, we will briefly study the parallels of history which exist between the six divisions in this 2,000 year period and the six corresponding divisions in the 2,000 year period from Jesus until our present day. Let's briefly touch upon the significance of each of the six periods from the time of Abraham to the first advent of Christ. Due to the introductory level of this section, the striking explanation of how the lengths of each period were determined will not be discussed here but may be studied in the third chapter of part two of the Divine Principle.
As we have already discussed, the Israelites suffered a four hundred year period of slavery in Egypt to indemnify Abraham's mistake and make the necessary condition to separate from Satan. These descendants of Isaac suffered under the anti-religious rule of the Pharaohs to eliminate the debt of sin and to lay the foundation for the Messiah on the national level.
Following this was an approximately four-hundred-year period from the time the Israelites entered Canaan until the beginning of King Saul's reign, known as the period of the Judges. At this time, the Israelites were to have built a temple to replace the tabernacle in Canaan. When Moses' successor, Joshua, led the Israelites out of Egypt, they turned faithless, permitting Satan to invade the four-hundred-year period of slavery in Egypt. Joshua was the first judge over the Israelites, acting as king, chief priest, and prophet. Eleven other judges followed him, Samuel being the last one. This period was marked by tribal conflicts and battles to secure new settlements. Increasingly, the people of Israel wanted a strong political leader to unite the tribes and secure their kingdom. The four-hundred-year period of the judges was the necessary condition of indemnity to restore the faithlessness of the people under Joshua's leadership.
The one-hundred-twenty-year period of the united kingdom was to restore the 120 years of Moses' life during which time he struggled three times to lay the foundation of faith on the national level. Moses' attempt to lead the people into Canaan had been postponed twice due the faithlessness of the Israelites. The final judge, Samuel, heeded the will of the people and anointed Saul as their first king. However, due to the disobedience of King Saul, he failed to restore Abraham's position on the national level. King Saul was in a position to restore, in a short time, the foundation of faith from the time of Moses by building the Temple. When Saul became faithless, his forty year reign and God's desire to erect the temple were prolonged through the two forty-year reigns of King David and his son, King Solomon, thus resulting in 120 years of the period of the united kingdom. It was during the fourth year of Solomon's reign that he initiated the building of the temple which, when completed, was a powerful testimony to the Israelites' devotion to and sacrifice for God. Unfortunately, Solomon lost his faith, failing to set the necessary example for Israel to follow. Consequently, Israel had to be purified through division by being split into two nations.
The four-hundred-year-period of the divided kingdoms of north and south began when the united kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south. It continued until the people of Judah were brought into exile in Babylon. This period was for the restoration of King Saul's having lost faith. Judah's mission was to lead Israel back to God through love and education. Even though God sent several prophets to the north, the people of Israel did not repent from their idolatrous ways. Their stubbornness made a condition for Satan to invade Israel. The Assyrians attacked and destroyed Israel, leaving only the scattered lost tribes of Israel. Eventually, even Judah came to adopt the evil idolatrous practices of the north and lost its position to lay the foundation of faith as the Abel-type nation.
The two-hundred-and-ten-year period of Israel's exile and return began as a result of the people of Judah sinning against God. They were taken into exile by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, and the temple of Solomon was destroyed. The idolatry used by Satan to defile the faith of the Israelites was not eliminated from Israel during the four centuries of the divided kingdom. The people were humbled by the destruction of their kingdom and temple. The severity of their captivity made them realize how much they had deviated from God's Will as the chosen people. Moved by their repentance, God liberated them when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon and freed the Israelites from their exile. Over the course of a century, they returned to Israel and rebuilt the temple. With the laws of Moses reestablished as their founding principles, Israel was restored as a theocratic state.
The four-hundred-year period of preparation for the advent of the Messiah began after the Jewish people returned from exile and lasted until the birth of Jesus. During this time the Jewish people suffered great hardships to qualify through indemnity for the great blessing of being the nation to receive Christ. Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, and Romans all conquered Israel, allowing the single century of Maccabean rule as the only time when Israel enjoyed real independence from foreign domination. Their national tribulations fueled their deep longing for a savior, a Messiah-king. Only after four centuries had passed since Malachi's messianic prophecy would Jesus be born in Bethlehem.
In summary, the 1600 years of Israelite history from Joshua until the advent of Jesus Christ was a time of tremendous suffering due to satanic invasion from within and without. In order for God to send Jesus to His chosen nation, they had to become a principled people by upholding God's laws as taught by Moses. When the necessary indemnity conditions were fulfilled, God sent Jesus as the Messiah for all mankind to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Simultaneous to the preparations being made by the chosen people, God was preparing the way all over the globe through an unprecedented era of enlightenment. In this way, every culture was making its own internal foundation to offer to Christ during his advent on the earth.
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