Master Speaks - Questions and Answers
With Rev. Sun Myung Moon
The Master Speaks On Bible Interpretation
These questions and answers have been transcribed from tapes made during our Leader's sessions with members and guests at Centers throughout the United States during his trip in March & April 1965.
Question: There are many people who have not had much exposure to the Bible, and have no active involvement with it. Due to seeming hypocrisy and the vast number of interpretations of the Bible, these people have turned from the church. They long for Truth and love, and they seek and they search and they pray. How should these people be approached? And once they are contacted and exposed to the Divine Principle, must they necessarily go back to the Bible and understand its intricacies?
Answer: Since God has been carrying on His dispensation through the Christian church, He and we are responsible to convey this message to the Christians first. Until our mission with the Christian church is over, we must quote the Bible and use it to explain the Divine Principle. After we receive the inheritance of the Christian church, we will be free to teach without the Bible. Now, however, our primary mission is to witness to the Christian church. When they recognize and accept our movement, the world restoration will be very easy. So go to the Christians. In reality, Christians are quicker to understand the Principle than non-Christians. Sometimes non-Christians may accept it quickly, but it is hard to put the roots into deep soil. They accept for a few days, then run away.
Question: Adam and Eve had two sons?
Answer: They had more than two sons. We deal with the three sons of Adam because they had something to do with God's dispensation. He may have had 12 or 24 or 30 sons. We don't know for sure.
Question: Who did Cain marry?
Answer: His sister. Adam and Eve were brother and sister, so why not Cain?
Question: It is said that Cain and Abel were tillers of the soil and keepers of sheep. Did they have tools?
Answer: No, agriculture started much later. This reference in Genesis does not mean that they did the same type of farming as we do today. They just picked up the fruit which grew wild in the land, and Abel tended goats and sheep. The animals and plants were already on earth; otherwise, what would man have had to eat?
Question: Noah was descended from Seth, the third son. When Ham failed, Abraham was chosen. Abraham was descended from Shem, the first son, rather than Japheth, the third son. Does this have any significance?
Answer: Not that I know of. There may have been something to do with the physical lineage. Koreans do not include this in their lecture,
Question: Why did Abraham fail to cut the birds in two?
Answer: It was carelessness. After cutting the two offerings, the lamb and the heifer, why shouldn't he realize that he should cut the birds? If Abraham had prayed before making the offering, then he would have been aware of what to do in his heart. He would not have neglected his duty. I also have faced many instances of that kind in which I could have been careless. So I always pray beforehand to make sure the offering is worthy to be accepted. Then, even if the offering has some fault, it cannot be a condition for Satan to accuse. In that way I make condition in my prayer before I offer.
Question: The Messiah was to come from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Why not the second son, Simeon, or from the second son of Rachel?
Answer: Number four signifies earthly perfection, and the purpose of all hopes of God and man. Why not from Rachel. Why from Leah? The number four was more important. Rachel had only two sons.
Question: My understanding has been that the first wife (Leah) was in the position of the fallen Eve, and that the second wife (Rachel) was in the position of the restored Eve.
Answer: The number four is most important. Joseph was important, in that it was through him the tribal restoration could be started. Perez was the son of Tamar. Tamar pretended to be a prostitute in order to receive the seed of Judah. To make the condition for restoration, God wants to take someone from the bottom, from the most sinful fallen life. Solomon was also the offspring of Bathsheba, who had an illegal relationship with David. Ruth also had a sinful relationship with Boaz and produced Obed, who was in the lineage of the Messiah. Rahab was the Canaanite prostitute who helped the spies of the Israelites, betrayed her own city. Because of her, the Israelites could step into Canaan and start a new dispensation. She is also in the lineage of Jesus. So there are four adulterous women in Jesus' lineage. In order to establish the providence of restoration. God must work from the bottom of the fall. In order to open the way of salvation, it is more effective to start from extreme evil. When Eve had the relationship with Lucifer, she deserted Adam. To restore this, Tamar was deserted by Judah's sons. From that reverse state, she restored herself, receiving the seed of Judah. Joseph, Rachel's son, accomplished the mission of savior to the family of Jacob, and helped to start the new dispensation of Jacob. He was the pioneer who opened the door of the new dispensation.
Question: Why was the Book of Enoch not included in the Bible?
Answer: The scholars decided not to include it because it might cause conflict with other books of the Bible. If it had been included, the human nature of Jesus would have been stressed too greatly, and his divine nature neglected. Then the dispensation of God during the New Testament age might have failed. It has been presented now, through the Dead Sea Scrolls, so that the Divine Principle may be fulfilled.
Question: Why was Jesus descended from the line of Judah?
Answer: Restoration, the separation from Satan, has to be fulfilled through the Cain and Abel relationship. Cain and Abel, therefore, had to struggle between themselves. The God-favored Abel position required Cain to subject himself to Abel, or for Abel to subjugate Cain. This was the first such instance in the history of the restoration after the fall. The next instance was Esau and Jacob. At this time, Jacob laid the foundation because Esau subjected himself to Jacob. The struggle which occurred between Esau and Jacob actually occurred in a closer relationship than that between Cain and Abel, because Esau and Jacob were not only brothers but twins. This means that God was narrowing down the person from whom the line of the Messiah would come. This narrowing down process reached its ultimate conclusion in the line of Judah with Perez and Zerah. These were the children of Judah and Tamar, and they struggled for their position in the womb of their mother. The struggle then had been narrowed down from brothers to twins to children as yet unborn. In this last case, the one in the Abel position overcame the one in the Cain position in the womb. Perez was to have been the second son, but he overcame this in the womb and was the first to be born. [See Gen. 38:27-30]. In this way, the birthright of the first son was restored by birth. By doing this, Perez restored the heavenly lineage, the bloodline. He then could be the ancestor of the Messiah. Without this process, Jesus could not have come from this lineage.
Tamar was actually Judah's daughter-in-law. Judah had three sons, and Tamar was the widow of the first son. It was the custom of the Jews at that time for the brothers to become the husband of their brother's widow. But the second and third sons did not fulfill their duties and become her husband. In order to have a child to continue the line, Tamar dressed as a prostitute, sat along the roadside, and tempted Judah to have a relationship with her. From this relationship came Perez and Zerah.
Solomon was born of Bathsheba, who was not David's wife but the wife of Uriah. Then Ruth, a widow, conceived a child from Boaz and became the grandmother of King David. So in the lineage of Jesus there were several harlots, Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, and Bathsheba. From this unique genealogy, the Messiah has to come.
Question: If Cain had subjected himself to Abel, would this same narrowing down have had to occur?
Answer: No, it would not have been necessary. If Cain had subjected himself to Abel, the next generation would have produced the Messiah.
Question: Can you explain Jesus' virgin birth?
Answer: There have been a number of instances in the Bible where the Spirit of God has acted in a birth. For instance, in the story of Abraham and Sarah, Sarah was too old and Abraham was also old. But the Bible says God quickened the womb of Sarah so that she could bear a son. In the same way, the Holy Spirit worked with Mary. It was not done in the sense of producing a child from the union of God with man, but in the sense of God participating in the event. Jesus was born of a father and a mother, just as anyone else is, but in his case the Spirit of God was working also.
Question: Is it true that Mary had to reach a certain level before he could have this type of birth, so that God was not forcing something against her will?
Answer: What do you mean, "forcing"?
Question: Going back to the first Principle, love cannot exist without the opportunity to refuse it. If God can take away part of man's free will, how can it be reconciled?
Answer: In the Bible, it is said that Mary said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." She was obedient and accepted the information given her.
Jesus was different from other people in his mission, not in his manhood. He was to be the Messiah of the whole world. For that purpose he was chosen even before he was born. He was born to be the Messiah. To be born as the Messiah from the beginning, his lineage had to be chosen. He had to come from a specific line. His ancestors from way back had already been chosen. He could not come from just any family, but only the one chosen. From that lineage there were many offspring, so his parents had also to be chosen.
To satisfy your curiosity, I can explain very plainly. But since Christians believe that Jesus was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, and God's primary object of this dispensation is Christians (it is His will that we lead Christians first because they are the ones who have been keeping the promise of the Second Coming), it is our mission to tell them first, whether they refuse or accept. If I explain everything plainly about the birth of Jesus, it may put a stumbling block in the way of many Christians accepting God's new dispensation. Therefore, I don't want to explain everything too plainly here.
To be conceived by the Holy Spirit means that Jesus was not born of the lust of his parents. It was not just human desire. Both were inspired, and in that sense they were almost forced to have the relationship which produced Jesus. This makes it somewhat different from the ordinary birth. So he was a chosen man, but he was a man.
Jesus was born from the beginning as the Prince of Heaven, to be the Messiah. In that sense, he was God's only begotten son. From his birth he probably felt different from other children, but the full consciousness of his mission did not occur until he was older.
Abraham and Sarah had Isaac, not from their physical desire, but through the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus case was not exactly the same, but in the matter of the desire of the parents they are the same. Here you can compromise two extreme theories. Modern theologians deny completely any supernatural birth for Jesus. They say Jesus had two parents. Conservatives say that he was born of the Holy Spirit without a human father. In our explanation we can reconcile those two extremely different positions.
Question: Why was it said that the Messiah had to come from the order of Melchizedek?
Answer: It doesn't say so. It says the Messiah resembles Melchizedek, not that he came from his order. Melchizedek came to witness to Abraham. This meant to give the spiritual inheritance to Abraham which Melchizedek had received. [The tape ended here.] As we remember, a comparison was made then to Jesus' receiving the inheritance of the Old Testament Age from John the Baptist, and our Leader receiving the inheritance of the New Testament Age at the beginning of his ministry.
Question: Mary prayed saying, "God my Savior". What did she mean?
Answer: Is God not our Savior? Since God chose Mary to conceive Jesus, and God helped the Israelites to get out of Egypt, isn't God their Savior?
Question: Was Jesus wiser than Solomon?
Answer: What wisdom did Solomon have? He just judged in the right way a few times. He was a very foolish man.
Question: When John the Baptist sent his two disciples to Jesus to ask if he was the Messiah, did John really doubt within himself that Jesus was the Messiah?
Question: What is meant by Jesus' story of the talents in the Bible?
Answer: Jesus meant by this parable that we should witness to others. If you have received the most precious thing from God, you must share it with others. The more you have received, the more you must share. Treasure means truth from God. As you share it with others, it will multiply. If you do not share it, you bury it in the ground. Then the king or the Lord will say, "You are a lazy servant. Why did you bury my treasure?" So do not bury it, but share it with others and multiply it. It doesn't multiply if you do not share it. God loves the people of the whole world just as he loves you and me. He wants to share all the good things with the people of the whole world, just as He does with us. Therefore, if you have received anything now, God wants to use you as an instrument to share this precious thing with all others. He doesn't want you to cherish it within yourself, or to bury it, but to spread it to the world.
Question: What is meant by turning the other cheek?
Answer: If this were a normal world in the eyes of God, He would not like His children to bow down before the servants of Satan. But at the time of Jesus, Jesus did not have enough foundation or foothold; he was all alone in the satanic world. He had to serve people in a most humble way. Although people struck him on the left cheek, he had to turn the other cheek to show humility, love, and the spirit of service. In that way, he extended his foundation or his territory of good. By doing so, Jesus intended to pay indemnity.
After he had paid enough indemnity and had changed the world and made it normal, why should the children of the Supreme be insulted and despised by the servants of Satan? If we have to show our humility without reason, without purpose, without any limitation to the evil, then the idea conflicts with the idea of judgment which is also written in the Bible. God cannot judge evil if we are to surrender to evil without limit. When the time comes that God executes His judgment, it will be the other way round. Evil will surrender to good. In the first and second World Wars, the evil side took the initiative and struck the good side. They were defeated. So will the third World War be. Now the time is coming when the sovereignty of God is established. Evil cannot strike good. Good must judge the evil and destroy it. In other words, this is a satanic world. To do the right thing, we have to make a detour. Abel has to subjugate Cain in order to be blessed by God.
Question: Jesus said, "It was for this purpose I came into the world. For this purpose I was born." What specifically was he talking about when he made that statement?
Answer: He was talking to Pilate about his kingship. He meant that his kingdom was not of the power and sovereignty of earthly kingdoms, but the kingdom of truth and love. This doesn't necessarily mean just a spiritual aspect. The original world of God was spiritual and physical. Jesus came to restore that world.
Question: In the Book of Revelation, the word lamb is applied to the Lord of the Second Advent. The Christian have defined this word as a sacrificial offering, slain upon the cross for their sins. This doesn't seem to fit with what we teach. What is the real meaning of the term 'Lamb'?
Answer: Lamb doesn't always mean a sacrificial offering. To call Jesus 'lamb' did not mean necessarily that he should have been crucified. A lamb represents absolute obedience to its owner's will. It is a gentle and very obedient animal. When a lamb is slain, it does not resist. Man uses both the wool and the flesh of the lamb. In other words, both the inner and the outer. Both Jesus and the Lord of the Second Advent are gentle and obedient to God. To be a sacrificial offering does not necessarily mean being killed, but the whole life is a sacrificial offering for world restoration. The whole being of the Lord is needed to help mankind.
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