Unification News for September 2002

Divine Principle, Volume 1, Part 5

The Third Blessing, "Having dominion," is fulfilled when spiritually mature men and women understand and appreciate the creation as God does. The creation then would respond with beauty, abundance and a festive glow.

Divine Principle suggests that before He created the first person, God made all things in manís image. Therefore we share various qualities with the things of nature. The beauty of a rose is precious because it corresponds to the quality of beauty in ourselves. The majesty and nobility of a mountain are striking because they reflect something deep in the human spirit. Because things in the universe reflect the many aspects of man, we feel joy through the stimulation given by them.

God feels joy when his children are living joyfully. Therefore the Lord created the things of the universe to bring man joy. When a perfect individual has a productive relationship with the created world centered on God, a four-position foundation is established among God, man and the universe. The result is joy. According to the Bible, the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God (Rom 8:199). Although we may sometimes glimpse a vision of eternal beauty in and behind creation, mankind as a whole has never realized the earthís true value, nor presided over it in a true dominion. Though man was to be the lord of creation, he has often shamefully exploited his physical resources, particularly in the modern age.

Co-creators with God

Instead of a dominion of care and love, our rule over the earth has been one of indifference and waste. In return, we have suffered from a harvest of polluted air and water, ravaged landscapes and filthy cities. Again, we have abused the environment because Godís image within us has not matured. Divine Principle anticipates that as we fulfill the first blessing by uniting with God in heart, we will come to have a proper dominion over the universe. Then we will be able to co-create with God a joyful and harmonious world -- the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Although the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth was a central conviction of the Hebrew prophets, the hope has largely faded in the centuries since then. One reason for this is that after the crucifixion of Jesus, the developing Christian Church tended to focus its faith on the cross rather than on the Kingdom of which Jesus so frequently spoke. In addition, of course, the record of human history in the past 2,000 years has not given us much reason to hope for a promised world of justice and peace.

Regardless of the present situation, Divine Principle reminds us that the Heavenly Kingdom is still the central purpose of God. Indeed, for God to be God He must one day achieve His ideal. When people throughout the world fulfill their purpose of becoming united with Him, forming God-centered families and taking dominion of love over the creation, we may have hope for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Peace and well-being

Divine Principle, in other words, reminds us of the original purpose of God a purpose which finds clear expression in the Scriptures. The Old Testament is replete with visions of a coming age of peace and well-being. Isaiah, for example, is the author of one famous passage:

"...they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Is 2:4)

Likewise in the New Testament Jesus stresses repeatedly the promise of the Kingdom, ultimately encouraging his disciples to pray "Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Mt. 6:10). The Apostle Paul anticipated a time when God would unite all creation, "things in heaven and things on earth" in Christ (Eph. 1:10). The writer of the book of Revelation, envisioning the ultimate triumph of goodness over evil, foresaw the day of "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 12:1). Today, many people feel humanity has entered a new age and that a new day will dawn in the not-too-distant future.

What will the Kingdom be like? While Jesus gave some vague hints in his parables, comparing the Kingdom to a pearl of great price or a wedding feast, Paul tells us that we mere mortals have no way of imagining what God has planned for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9). Indeed, the average person who has been ravaged by the sufferings of the real world cannot easily imagine such a Kingdom.

One Heart

Nevertheless, based on our understanding of Godís original ideal, some educated guesses are possible. First of all, the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of one heart. In the words of one of the original innovators of the social gospel, Walter Rauschenbusch, the Kingdom of God implies the "reign of love in human affairs." Divine Principle would agree. In the Kingdom of God, each person would be one with God, triumphant in love. The citizen of the Kingdom would love as Christ loved. He would be a person of absolute value, living not just for himself, but for the whole world,. He would indeed be a citizen of the world.

For Divine Principle, the redeemed world is to be rooted in the family as the heart of life. The relationship between a mature man and woman would serve as the well-spring of love for their children and the larger society. Parents would be in the position of communicating Godís love to their children and children would find in their parents love examples by which they could live. From such a family would come the society, nation and ultimately the world centered on a true way of life.

Also, in the Kingdom contrasting elements would find their point of harmony in God. Black and white, occidental and Oriental, believer of different faiths a saints and scholars would all, through higher truth and love, find reconciliation and harmony. To paraphrase Rauschenbusch, the reign of love would tend toward the progressive unity of mankind, while preserving individual liberty and national distinctiveness.

Since the standard of living for all members of a family is the same, Divine principle teaches that in the global family of God, the all-too-familiar disparities between industrialized and Third World nations will be eliminated. Godís children are all to know health and well-being, both spiritual and materially.

For Divine Principle then, the Kingdom is no idle dream. The Principle perceives that throughout history God has sent such men as Moses and the prophets, Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius and Krishna, as teachers of the way. In His greatest effort God sent Jesus Christ.

Will the Lord let these efforts go unfulfilled? Can He allow His children to continue to suffer without end? Definitely not. As later volumes of the Divine Principle will explain, with the advent of then new Messiah God will initiate a further effort to overcome the suffering of the world and to establish His Kingdom on earth.

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