|New Hope - Twelve Talks of Reverend Sun Myung Moon|
The Formula for God's Providence
This evening I am going to talk about God's providence for mankind, how He began this providence and how He has been guiding it.
There must be a perfect goal for which all men are headed. There must be a goal, a final one, which God wants us to attain, If the desire of God and the desire of man differ, God's will can never be achieved. How to make those two, God's desire and man' s desire, into one is the question. All people long for an ideal that is one, unique, unchangeable, and eternal. God, being absolute and the eternal Existence, wants the same thing. The crossing point of those two, of God's will and man's wish, will be one point.
But what should it be? That is the problem. Neither man's desire nor God's will is ultimately human honor, human knowledge, material wealth, or human beings themselves. There must be some great goal that we are headed toward. That is the love through which God and man can unite into one and live together through eternity. Love is eternal. Those who love each other want to remain eternally in that love. Love is one. Love alone is the core of human desire. It must be unchanging.
Where would man want to meet God? What would be the first situation where man would want to meet God? We want to meet God as our Father and to have God meet us as His children. The situation where this is possible is the family. That is why we call Go d our Father and He calls us His children. When children have grown up, they marry. If a man and his wife are united, they build up the tradition of love among their family on the basis of their own experiences of receiving God's love. As husband and wife, they are going to continue the tradition of the love which they have respectively experienced.
The individual receives love as a child, vertically, from God. Husband and wife have give and take of love horizontally. When they give birth to their children, their vertical love goes to them. In the love of their children a couple experience God's love for His children. With ourselves as the center, we receive God's love from above, vertically. Man and wife love each other, and they play the role of father and mother, giving love to their children. If that tie is unchanging and strong, God is rig ht there in the family, and He will be always there. He will dwell with that family forever. If this kind of life had been realized in the beginning of history, there would have been no need of faith or prayer to believe in things that we cannot see or feel or touch. Our human ancestors were deprived of the pattern of how their families should have been.
I know you have learned about the human fall. We have no time to give a lecture on the fall. Due to the fall, however, we were deprived of those ideal families. Man was degraded from the original quality that was God's expectation. We are not the way God would want us to be.
We can live without material things. Even though we may lose the things we have, we can go on without them. We may be deprived of material wealth, family, friends, all these things, but still we can live on. But when we are robbed of love, we cannot live. In the Garden of Eden, when our ancestors fell, the most important thing that was lost was love. Love between God and man was lost. Due to the fall man lost three kinds of love: true parental love, true marital love, and true love of children.
We have not been able to receive God's true love as parental love. We have not experienced true love in the fullest sense between husband and wife. We have not experienced true love with our children centered on God. If that were the case, our children would be in the position of God's grandchildren. There are no people who have experienced these three types of love in the true sense.
Fallen man has never known what kind of love he lost, or what value that love really had. God, however, knew the value of those three kinds of love, and He was infinitely sorrowful because of the loss of love between Himself and man.
Let us imagine the first human couple, Adam and Eve. They were created as the true children of God; God was their Father. But due to the human fall, the love between them was cut off. Adam and Eve would have shed tears of joy when they fulfilled God's will. But instead they shed tears of sorrow in leaving God. It was a most miserable situation. Adam and Eve left God with no hope of return. Without this hope, how much greater their sorrow was. Imagine what fear they would have felt.
God foresaw their life of great difficulty. He felt there was almost no hope for Him to restore them. How great His sorrow was! For God, Adam and Eve were to have been His great son and daughter, but now they had been drawn away by the enemy Satan and had become Satan's children (John 8:44, Matt. 3:7, Matt. 12:34). God could not save them. God is the Center of man's love, life, and happiness, and man is the being without which God's purpose cannot be fulfilled.
God lost everything. Everything went to pieces. For men, too, every hope and happiness was lost. It was a very great tragedy; it was the saddest thing.
God was the Father. Would he not have the love which would not let His children go? He felt like forgiving them. But He could not do that. Therefore His pain was. even greater. If there had been another son or daughter who had not fallen, and if this unfallen child could have asked God to save his brother and sister and give him their punishment instead, how would God have felt toward that third child? If there had been such a brother asking God to forgive Adam and Eve, God would have had a mind to forgive them. This heart of the heavenly Father became the basis for God's providence of salvation.
Suppose this third child of God's had gone to Satan and snatched his own brother and sister back to God's bosom. How would God have felt? Would He have punished them, or driven them out again or received them back? Would He have punished the brother who took them back? Would He have driven him out also? Or would He have praised him or left him alone?
If God would have praised him, then we cannot believe in the words of Jesus when he said, "Those who want to gain their lives will lose them, and those who are willing to lose their lives will gain them, " (Matt. 10:39) and "Those who are first will be last, and the last will be first" (Matt. 19:30). He could not have promised that. Why? There are principles involved in taking back anything that is lost. It cannot just be snatched back. God cannot forgive man who rebelled against Him unless man himself sets up the conditions to come back to God, denying Satan. Originally, fallen man rejected God and went into Satan's bosom. So in return we must deny and reject Satan and come back to God's bosom all by ourselves. That is the condition.
Had the unfallen brother or anyone else gone to Satan and tried to take Adam and Eve back, Satan would not have let them go without a condition. In order to give up the fallen brother, Satan must be given something which he feels is more valuable than that which he is going to lose. In other words, there would have to be a man who is willing to sacrifice himself in place of his fallen brother. That sacrificial brother will become the second Adam, or Christ. The fallen brother will be liberated on that condition alone.
If there had been anyone who had had such filial piety toward God, His Father, that he could feel his Father's heart when He lost Adam and Eve, he would have felt that he would do absolutely anything to relieve the Father's grief and take back his brother . If that had been so, he would have been willing to sacrifice himself in place of his brother. When man fell, God was tearful. Both God and man were tearful when they parted from each other. Someone must come who will experience God's grief and his fallen brother's grief and who is willing -to do anything to relieve those suffering hearts. The tears of that brother would not be the tears of sorrow. When man fell, God and man shed tears of sorrow. But these tears were shed for themselves., Another man must come who sheds tears not for himself but for God and his lost brother; they will be the tears of hope. With the coming of that man among mankind, there can be the hope of salvation. The gate of salvation will be opened with the tears which relieve God's sorrow and man's sorrow. When you cry for yourself, your tears belong to Satan. As long as man sheds tears for himself alone, there can never be salvation. That is the problem.
We are taught about the problem of Cain and Abel in the Principle. To save Cain, there had to be Abel. Abel was in the position of the unfallen brother who asks God to forgive the fallen Adam and Eve because of him. To win that position, Abel had to first receive God's love. That means, he had to come out of the sphere dominated by Satan. Once he had won that separation from Satan, God could love him. Having gained that position, instead of being arrogant, Abel should have been willing to die for Ca in. These three stages are the important formula: First, the man who is willing to save the world should be able to defeat Satan; then he must come into the love of God; and finally, feeling the heart of God and his fallen brother, he must be willing to sacrifice himself in place of his fallen brother, in order to relieve God's grief and his fallen brother's grief. Only on that condition can both be taken back to God. We know from studying the history of God's providence that Abel was killed by Cain while he was in the process of following that formula.
We see another example in Noah's act of building the ark on the mountain for 120 years - that long, long course of years while he fought against Satan. He must have been rejected by his wife, his family, his neighbors and relatives. From his nation and from the whole world, he received scorn and rejection. But if he had even once been tempted to not do what God had commanded him, he could have been claimed by Satan again. He overcame all difficulty and succeeded in carrying out his responsibility. Go d came to love Noah. But that is not all. When one comes into God's love, God sends him back into the world to be sacrificed, to be put into difficulties and suffer. This is in order to train him, of course, but also in order to save more people at the price of one who is willing to sacrifice himself. Noah, who was a righteous man, a just man, a good man, had to sacrifice himself for the sake of other people, not for himself.
Let us look at Abraham. God separated him from his father, the seller of idols. He had to leave his family, his native land, and his material wealth. God developed His providence to train him, to have him cry not only for his own nation, but for other nations, and even for the enemy. He did this by driving him away from the land of his forefathers, by sending him to other nations. He roamed about like a gypsy. He lived his life always with a prayerful heart and wishing God might save the people because of his prayer. That is why God blessed him with descendants as many as the stars in heaven and sand on earth. From the Bible we get the impression that God just blessed Abraham and loved him unconditionally. But this was not so. He had to cut himself off from his beloved family, his native land, his material possessions and go to the unknown land of God's choice, always feeling sorrow for God and the people. He prayed much for other nations. Only on that condition could God use Abraham as the father of faith and bless him so greatly. These things are not recorded in the Bible, but it was only because of such a background that God could bless Abraham.
Jacob went a similar course. He bought the birthright from his elder brother Esau. He left his home and went to the land of Haran where he worked for his uncle Laban as a slave for 21 years. His uncle had promised to give him his daughter Rachel as his wife. But after seven years, Laban deceived Jacob and gave him her sister Leah instead. If it had been you, you would have immediately spontaneously protested. But Jacob kept silent, worked for another seven years, and got Rachel. Then his uncle Laban deceived Jacob by trying to take away all the things that God had given him. Still Jacob did not complain.
Here we must know that even though Jacob was in the loneliest of situations, still he thought of nothing else but God's will. Because of that, other things in his life did not matter; the important thing was the accomplishment of God's will. Therefore h e grew farther and farther from the world, but he came to receive more love from God. And after 21 years he won back all the blessed things he had earned and went back to Canaan. He knew his brother Esau was ready to kill him. Jacob, however, felt in h is heart that all his wealth and accomplishment belonged to his elder brother. He wanted to give them all to Esau, all the things which he had earned with his sweat and blood. He prayed to God not to punish his elder brother Esau, and he asked God to bless him as He had blessed Jacob. Because of that heart, Esau was moved not to want to kill Jacob; and he too received God's blessing.
The same thing happened to Moses. Moses, after spending 40 years in Pharaoh's palace, had to leave all glory and wealth behind him, and cut himself off from the world. For the sake of his nation he was willing to sacrifice his life.
John the Baptist was led into the wilderness. He cut himself off from the past, and shed tears for the coming Messiah, for God, for his nation and his people. That is the point where he differed from the prophets previous to him. And when he prayed he shed tears of a different meaning. He shed tears for the nation; for the Messiah to come; and he cried for the sake of God. In that sense, he was the greatest of all prophets. In other words, the other prophets had no one whom they served as forerunner. John was making the way straight for the Messiah. The others did not pray for the ruler who was to come, but John did. That is the difference. But John prayed for the Messiah as the ruler of his own nation, while Jesus came as the ruler of the whole world. John's viewpoint was a little different from God's intention. That is the very beginning of his not being able to unite with Jesus.
He dreamed of the Messiah as coming to save Israel. He expected Jesus to observe the Mosaic Law, the system of the Israelites, but he found that Jesus was not doing that; in fact, Jesus appeared to be breaking the Law. Jesus was going to save the whole world; his scope was wider than and different from John's. There was no one nation in Jesus' sight. That is what made them different from one another. Thus John the Baptist stood on the side of the Israelites who opposed Jesus and caused his death. If he had stood on the side of Jesus and become one with him, he would have become Jesus' chief disciple, and John's disciples should also have become Jesus' followers. Then the whole nation, which believed John was the greatest of all the prophets, could have followed Jesus.
The chosen nation does not refer only to Israel, but to all those who separate themselves from evil and come into God's bosom. They are the chosen people. With those people as citizens, the chosen nation was to be formed. Jesus was to come among the separated people, among the people of God's choice. If the people had received Jesus, then he and the people would have formed a separate nation of faith, and the providence of salvation could have been extended to the whole of mankind. That separated nation had to shed tears to make themselves sacrifices for the sake of other fallen nations and for God, just as Abel should have done as an individual for others. But the people of Israel did not think in this way. They thought that Jesus would take the sovereignty of the nation, and under him they would lead happy lives, blessed with abundance both on the spiritual and physical levels. They desired all those things for themselves, not for others, and not for the whole world. It is God's will to send the Savior to the whole world, not just to one nation.
Israel could have established God's will. But the people didn't receive Jesus, so Jesus alone was determined to sacrifice himself for the nation and the world. Jesus had to leave his family, live in a solitary way, and receive God's love. Finally he ma de himself a sacrifice for other people just as the unfallen brother would have sacrificed himself for the salvation of fallen men and women. All people were in the position of fallen Adam and Eve. Jesus killed himself for them; he became the sacrifice.
He did not curse those who killed him. He prayed and asked God to bless them. Therefore Jesus stood as the mediator between God and fallen mankind. He died as the unfallen Adam of the world. And he practiced the formula for the salvation of the people of the entire world. Therefore, he became the exemplary Adam. Whoever followed him received salvation.
From him a new world of salvation could be established. That is the history of Christianity. The church went through the same course as Jesus. Whenever Christianity went to a strange country for the first time, the missionaries who went with it had to undergo all kinds of difficulties and most were martyred. Those who died stood in the position where they could receive God's love and make themselves a sacrifice for others. If they had wanted to curse those who killed them, there could have been no providence of restoration. They had to pray for those who killed them. Without that kind of heart Christianity could never have proceeded.
The great people, the saints and holy men of the world have always separated themselves from the fallen world, from the world they belonged to, and have proclaimed or advocated something now. Then, at the sacrifice of themselves, they tried to influence or save all mankind. Always they longed for God. They have followed the course we have outlined. The four great sacred men of history were Jesus, Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed. Because they longed for God and for all mankind, they went through torture and persecution for all mankind.
A man might like his friends to sacrifice for him. If he follows his selfish purpose, however, there will no longer be friends around him; they will all go away. If that man denies himself and is willing to do things for his friends and sacrifice himself for the cause of greater value, it is natural that his friends would bring him also their relatives and acquaintances. The group would grow in number. God. Himself would cooperate with such a group; He Would be with such a group and for such a group.
In a limited sense, we might think the man was foolish to serve others and do things for others; but on the contrary, if one does that, he becomes a center around whom people will gather. Many more people would come to follow him and beg him to save them , lead them and control their lives. If the leaders of countries were that way, then their citizens would come to their knees before them, begging to be led by them. The individual, the group, or the world based on that formula must trust God, or all will diminish.
I want to teach you this: Love God and love people at the price of your life. Then you can gain your own life and gain all people also. That is what God wants from the bottom of His heart, and that is what Jesus wanted us to be like. When Jesus prayed at Gethsemane, "Father, let this cup pass from me, if it be possible. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt," his heart was that of a son who loved only his Father. On the cross he loved even his enemy and prayed for him. There had never been such a man in all history previous to him, and there was no such man after him. That is the sign of his having loved the whole of mankind. That is what made Jesus the greatest. If you can do that much, you cannot help but be the friend of Jesus, or the bride of Jesus. You can have his Father as your own. You can have everything he had.
Now, let us conclude. Those who shed tears for themselves are fools, great fools. Those who shed tears for others are wise men, because they can win God and win the whole world and everything in it. By doing that, you can be the possessor of God's love . You can hold the position of God's son and inherit parental love from God, true love between man and wife, and children's love. By possessing all these, you will be the richest of all people. You will stand in the position of having God's love, God's ideal, and man's purpose. Then you can embrace the whole world by love - true love.
In order to do that, you must remember the three stages of the formula: Separate yourself from Satan, come into the love of God, and sacrifice yourself for the sake of other people. In studying, you should not study for your own benefit or for your own sake, but you should study to save the whole world for God. When you marry, you must not forget that you are marrying for mankind, for the future of mankind. People with that heart cannot perish. When you pray, do not pray for yourself, but for others. If you do this the result will be yours also. Do not pray for the Unification Church, but pray that God may use you to save your nation and save the world, at the cost of your lives.
The place where such people meet, that is the Kingdom of heaven.
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