Unification News for September 2002
Clarification of Terminology Used in "Clouds of Witnesses:"
This was prepared by the FFWPU in conjunction with Christian scholars, pastors and theologians.
In his letter to the Hebrews, Saint Paul referred to this physical reality as a "copy and shadow" of the heavenly, or spiritual realm. (Heb. 8:5) The Bible makes clear that life does not cease with the death of the flesh. Indeed, most major religions hold the concept that a personís soul continues on after his or her physical body passes away. Where a personís soul goes to dwell is determined by the quality and character of his or her life on earth, especially the quality of faith and depth of love.
Up to the present, the realms of heaven and hell have been divided, separated by the same barriers of religion, nationality, race and culture that have divided people on earth. This is because people on the other side continue with the same prejudices and limitations they had on earth. However, in the Last Days, when God establishes His Kingdom, there should be unity in heaven as well as on earth: "The Lord shall be one and His name be one" (Zech. 14:9) and "The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)
The testimonies that follow describe how leaders of diverse denominations and religions, even atheists, are gathering at conferences in heaven to study the truth of God and commit themselves to supporting the providence of this age. They are humbling themselves before the one true God and Jesusí work at the Second Coming. Readers can glimpse the unfolding process that is unifying the heavenly realms.
Acts 2:17-21 reveals that in the last days, "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesyÖ and I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth." This teaches us that the Spirit will move gifted individuals to have visions of the spirit world, showing people on earth the wonders of heaven. At a time when religious conflict seems rampant, this vision of the gathering of heavenís forces united as one mind under the one God and Creator of heaven and earth comes as a welcome message of hope.
Above all, this is a testimony to the work of Jesus at the Second Coming of Christ. Jesusí supreme sacrifice at Calvary and the atoning blood of the cross grants us the redemption of sins. His resurrection was victory over death, hell, sin and the grave for all eternity. Of this there is no dispute. Yet few articles of the Christian religion are more divisive than doctrines of the Second Coming.
Many premillennialists believe Christ will return "in the air" to collect the faithful and one thousand years later establish his Kingdom on the earth. Others with a post-millennial view believe Christ will come only after the millennial reign. Still others donít accept the idea of a millennial Kingdom at all. In matters of eschatology, many Christians of good faith have agreed to disagree.
Is it possible that our generation is the one that is to welcome the Second Coming? When we study the "signs of the times" in Matthew 24, we can recognize their fulfillment, one by one, in our time. Notably, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come," is commonly seen as being fulfilled during the 20th century.
Many Christians are comforted by the prediction in Matthew 24:30 that Jesus will return on the clouds. However, at his first advent also there were those who predicted that Christ would come in the "clouds," based on Daniel chapter 7. Of course, we know that Jesus was born on the earth and did not float down out of the sky. Yet the prophecy in Daniel can be regarded as having been fulfilled in Jesusí advent if we take "clouds" to be symbolic. Thus, John 3:13 reveals that Jesus "came down from heaven." Hebrews 12:1 describes a "cloud of witnesses," the spiritual aggregation of Old Testament saints who hoped for their reward in Christ. Jude 14 likewise reports of Enochís prophecy that Jesus would come with "thousands and thousands of holy saints." This was the spiritual "cloud" upon which Jesus came. The same circumstance will occur at the Second Coming: "The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean." (Rev. 19:14) Indeed, their testimony is contained in the following pages.
This is their testimony: that Christ at the Second Coming is born on earth, just as Jesus was at the first coming. He is born on earth, that he might fulfill the hope of the Lordís Prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth."
These testimonies affirm that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Messiah, and the Savior of humankind. Through his death on the cross he atoned for our sins, and his resurrection delivers us from death and brings us into the power of new life. He sits at the right hand of God and leads all the saints in Heaven. However, if Jesus at the Second Coming works through his anointed born on earth, how will it occur? Letís examine the pattern displayed in other documented "second comings."
Malachi 4:5 said that Elijah would come again. Thus, the chosen people were anticipating the return of the actual figure of Elijah, the prophet of old. However, Jesus said that John the Baptist "is Elijah who is to come." (Matt. 11:14) Furthermore, the angel Gabriel had informed Zechariah that his son John was "born in the spirit and power of Elijah." (Luke 1:17) Therein is revealed the biblical principle of second comings. The mission is entitled with the name of the predecessor. Thus, Elijahís mission is called "Elijah." John the Baptist takes up Elijahís mission and is the "Elijah" who fulfills Malachi 4:5. Adamís mission was taken up by another "Adam," "the last Adam." (1 Cor 15:45)
This testimony of the saints asserts that Jesus has anointed his representative on earth to fulfill the mission of the Second Coming. Consistent with Rev. 2:17 and 19:12, he has a "new name" that had not been revealed in the days of the New Testament. He will manifest greater works as the extension of Jesusí mission that was laid down in Gethsemane in sorrow and tears.
If these testimonies are true, and Jesus has in fact appointed another person to fulfill the mission of the Second Coming, then how should we view this new person in relation to Jesus? Since Jesus appointed him, surely they are not rivals! Nevertheless, it is likely that many Christians will regard him as an Antichrist. It is worth considering whether such a judgment is from God or from man. It is a human failing for churches to be rivals. However, the saints in heaven testify that Jesus and Christ at the Second Coming are one.
In John 9:28-29, some Jews berated a man born blind who was testifying to Jesus. "Then they hurled insults at him and said, ĎYou are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.í" Regarding Jesus and Moses from a human point of view, they regarded them as rivals.
Yet on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus is seen conferring with Moses and Elijah. "Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem." (Luke 9:30-32)
Moses brought the Law, to which the Jews were so devoted that it became a stumbling block to receiving Jesus. Jesus brought a higher truth Ė the Gospel. Hence, many Jews could not believe in Jesus. Nevertheless, Moses certainly recognized Jesus as the Messiah, even if ordinary Jews did not. Moses and Jesus were of one mind and heart when Jesus set off to Jerusalem to consummate his Passion. In truth, Jesusí victory over death through the cross and resurrection was also Mosesí victory.
Likewise, this testimony of the saints asserts that there is no gap between Jesus and the man he has appointed to the mission of the Second Coming. They work together, Jesus in heaven and the person of the Second Coming on earth, to fulfill the will of God to "restore everything." (Acts 3:21) They are of one heart and mind to do the Fatherís will. Their struggle is a common struggle; their suffering is a common suffering; their victory is a common victory.
Fulfill the mission
If another person is fulfilling the mission of the Second Coming of Christ, what shall we call him? Messiah? Savior? King of Kings? These are some of his biblical titles, and the saints in heaven, being faithful Christians, proclaim him thus. Could they do otherwise?
When Jesus was accused of making himself God in John 10:33-35, he answered by quoting Psalm 82: "I said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High," comparing his divinity to that which all are meant to inherit. Thus the anointing or terms Messiah, Savior and King used here in reference to Reverend Moon does not mean that the revelations claim that Rev. Moon is Jesus or God. Jesusí role as Savior and Messiah will never change.
What it does indicate is that Jesus anointed Rev. and Mrs. Moon as the True Parents of humanity to complete the work of restoration at the Second Advent by establishing true families as Godís dwelling places. As Jesus predicted: "He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do" (John 14:12). The narrative testifies to the value and position of Jesus, while at the same time highlighting the crucial role played by those alive on Earth in completing Godís providence to restore all things (Matt. 17:11).
This applies particularly to the person commissioned by Jesus to fulfill the mission of the Second Coming of Christ. When the saints call him by the titles Messiah, Savior and King of kings, they are not thereby asserting that he supplants Jesus. The mission of the Second Coming is an entirely new dispensation.
Take, for example, the term "Savior." Jesus is and ever remains the Savior, who died on the cross to redeem our sins. However, 1 Peter 1:5 states that Christians are "shielded with faith, until the coming of the salvation that is to be revealed in the last days." The "salvation that is to be revealed in the last days" is not the salvation that Jesus brought through the cross; that salvation was already revealed. It is a further salvation that is to occur at the Second Coming. Hebrews 9:28: "He will come a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Therefore, Christ at the Second Coming can be termed a "Savior" in his own right, on account of what he is to accomplish at the Second Advent. This does not take anything away from Jesusí primary role as the Savior, for what he accomplished through his death and resurrection.
The testimony also applies the title "King of Kings" to the person of the Second Coming of Christ. In doing so, it consistent with Rev. 19:16, where "King of Kings" is a title of Christ at the Second Coming. The saints are not thereby asserting that this person is God, even though in 1 Tim 6:15 the title "King of kings" is used of God. Jesus is the King of kings in heaven, who sits at the right hand of God (Heb. 1:3, Matt. 22:44), as he does in this testimony. But God also views His earthly representative at the Second Coming as the King of kings on earth.
Scripture amply attests that Christ at the Second Coming will rule over the nations (Ps. 2, Isa. 2:3, Rev. 11:15, 19:15). This testimony reveals the beginnings of Christís universal rule when, for the first time, the leaders of the worldís religions acknowledge his chosen role. It reveals the opening of a providence that will conclude with the happy realization of Christís millennial reign over all the earth.
The mission of the Second Coming is the most glorious mission, and that glory should redound on his person. Nevertheless, while he is walking the earth, his glory is hidden, just as Jesusí glory was invisible to the people of his day. When a blind man praised Jesus as the Son of David, the Pharisees who heard it immediately declared that he was possessed by demons. (Matt. 12:23-24) Isnít it predictable that this spiritual proclamation of the Second Coming of Christ would be greeted by cries of "pretender" and "false Christ"?
The coming of Jesus on earth 2000 years ago did not harmonize with Jewish doctrinal expectations. No one came to Jesus as a natural conclusion of any doctrine. Those who recognized Jesus did so by the workings of the Spirit. Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. (Matt. 16:16-17) Knowing how difficult it was for the people of Jesusí day to recognize him, we encourage the reader to consider this message of the Second Coming with deep prayer and an open mind.
These spiritual testimonies were conveyed through two chosen individuals, one working in heaven and the other reporting to people on the earth. Dr. Sung Han Lee, who passed into the spirit world in 1997, is best known for his critique and counterproposal to Marxism-Leninism that was widely disseminated around the world during the Cold War era. A tireless teacher of Godís truth, Dr. Lee educated countless atheists and believers of various religions. Young Soon Kim is graced with the gifts of spiritual hearing and spiritual sight. While in the Spirit she is able to record Dr. Leeís narrative for earthly people to read.
The book of Hebrews describes the Old Testament saints as a "cloud of witnesses" in heaven, surrounding and urging on Christians as they run their race, on the principle that those heavenly saints "should not be made perfect apart from us" on the earth (Heb. 11:39-12:1). In the same way the saints are calling out to us today, describing to us the current situation from the vantage point of heaven. They are urging us to do our part, so that together we might see the dawning of the Kingdom of God, in heaven and on the earth.
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