Unification News for December 1998

Lessons from the Bible

Tyler Hendricks

I beg the reader's indulgence of me as I put forth some reflections on the Bible. I am not a theologian, but I love the Bible and I feel that God has more light to break forth from His word that we have seen heretofore.

I would like to develop the "one flesh" theology I wrote about last month. God told Adam and Eve to become one flesh. Love is made substantial in the one flesh of Adam and Eve, which incarnates God and procreates the image of God. The Bible has a lot of interesting things to say about flesh. God says man and woman should become one flesh. Jesus said that his flesh is the bread of life. He said we should eat his flesh, the bread of life. It means to become his children, offspring of his flesh. God told Adam and Eve also to multiply, to multiply their flesh by having offspring. One flesh is one loaf. We are called by Jesus to be the leaven that leavens the loaf-the seed that purifies the flesh of all humankind.

God prepared to send us His flesh, Jesus, through Moses and Israel. The bread in the wilderness was the manna-"you shall be filled with bread." (Ex 17:12) The one flesh is also symbolized by the Ten Commandments, God's word made flesh-here, made stone. Moses called God "the Rock that begat thee," (Ex 32:18) and Jesus is referred to as the rock also. The apostle John said that we are created by the Word of God. The rock, the tablets of stone, held the Word of God and the Rock begat us. Thus the rock can be said to represent Adam and Eve, or, a true husband and wife, true parents.

The bread of life is also God's word. Jesus said man does not live by (physical) bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. God's word first took substantial form on the stone in the Ten Commandments. God could have written them on one tablet. But God used two tablets. Why? There were two for a deep and eternal purpose: because the one flesh is two being made one. The two tablets represent man and woman, heaven and earth, husband and wife. The two tablets represent the recreation of Adam and Eve, the living word of God, the two who were to be perfectly one with Him. They were to have been Christ-like, breaking down the barrier and making the two one.

The tablets of stone were placed, with the manna and "bread of the presence," into the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies. The bread of the presence, or showbread, refers to the presence of God Himself. There were twelve loaves of this bread, one for each tribe. It was an offering of the first fruits of their labor. This means that the fruit of our labor is actually God's possession.

So, bread with the tablets of stone, representing the word of God with husband and wife, were placed in the most holy place. And this was within the tabernacle. It was where God came down to speak to Israel. When Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up;" he was referring to himself as the living temple. The temple is the image of the true man and woman.

When Jesus was crucified, the curtain between the holy place and most holy place was rent in two, opening the gate between spirit and flesh, earth and heaven. Thus, Jesus could send the Holy Spirit to the earth as his bride, that we all might become one body-one flesh-within the bride, his church, children preparing for his Second Coming.

Then what is his Second Coming? It makes perfect sense that it is the coming of a true husband and wife. Paul excoriates the flesh as being irredeemably corrupt: "They that have Christ have crucified the flesh with its affections as lusts." (Gal 5:24) Paul, the greatest of apostles, complained of a "thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan" (2 Cor 12:7). He makes the best of it, treating it as a means to keep himself from being puffed up with pride. So be it, but I'm sure he would have preferred that Satan not be dwelling in his flesh. True parents who are one with God have nothing to do with Satan, and Satan has no claim on their children. Satan is not "couching at the door" for such children as he was at Cain's door.

Adam and Eve were placed on the earth. Jesus was sent to the earth; all the prophets, sages and saints were sent to the earth. God's will is done first on earth, for what is bound on earth, is bound in heaven. It is on earth because the Lord is the one flesh of Adam and Eve, which incarnates God and procreates the image of God.

Faith, Unity and Prosperity

Now I want to just review the preparation to receive the Lord, the preparation for the Tabernacle in the 35th through 36th chapters of Exodus. I will deal just with one aspect of it-the creation of Israel as one body through a voluntary spirit, and the abundant blessings to which this led. God had given Moses a challenging task, to build a fine altar, a veritable temple, laden with gold, jewels, silver and fine fabrics and woods, out in the middle of the desert. Where was Moses to find such wealth? Through faith and the voluntary spirit of offering, it was done.

"And Moses spake unto all the congregations of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it,, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, . . . (Ex 35:4-6 and following) The key point here is that Moses called upon those with a willing heart. And the people responded in kind: "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregations, and for all his service, and for the holy garments, And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord." (Ex 35:21-22)

And what did this nomadic band of ex-slaves do with these things? "And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair . . . The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. . . . Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in one linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work." (Ex 35:26, 28-31, 35; here "cunning" means skilled)

Thus we see that by their faith in God and their hearts that were willing to what God commanded, each of them found the work to do-all manner of work. Thus they became as a solid community, one body. We are reminded of Paul's summons to Christians in 1 Corinthians 12, to serve as parts of one body, each person offering the unique gift that God has given them, one with wisdom, another with knowledge, another faith, another healing, another working miracles, another prophecy, another discerning of spirits, another speaking in tongues, another interpreting the tongues, but all manifesting one spirit in one body.

If each person does everything, then we do not compose one body. Does the stomach walk? Do the eyes speak? Does the mouth type? Do the feet brush your teeth? The world in which everyone tries to do everything is a lonely world of individualism. By one spirit, we are called each to play a part in the body, and to appreciate the parts that others are playing. And this is what God wrought in the wilderness among the children of Israel.

The clincher comes in Ex 36:5-7: "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandments, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much."

The point is that there was this band of ex-slave nomads out in the wilderness being told to create a magnificent tabernacle laden with gold, silver, jewels and fine wood. All the materials they found, and even too much. Moses had to tell the people to stop making their offerings. But the key was that they all were willing, their hearts were moved by God's spirit, and they freely gave. Also, they freely gave of their skills. God taught them all how to do the fine craftsmanship necessary for the building of the tabernacle. Each had different jobs-they were one body, and made up of many teams.

As a side point here, consider the Israelite who did not feel moved in his or her heart to contribute to the work. Such a person viewed everyone else taking their precious possessions and offering them, and giving of their labors instead of taking care of their own tent. Maybe after a few days, this recalcitrant individual or family comes around to decide to offer something. But on their way to the site of the tabernacle, they hear that it is too late, that Moses will not receive anything more. They realize that they have missed an opportunity that will never come again.

The lessons:

But this grace did not come easy for Israel nor for Christianity. They went through a suffering course to reach the point of building the tabernacle. The Christians endured persecution and internal strife. It was not easy for the Israelites to believe in Moses. They constantly provoked his wrath by their murmuring and disobedience. Moses meted out punishment, and then took everything upon himself-for instance, by ascending Mount Sinai a second time and fasting 40 days. When he returned from that fast on the mountain, his face was so bright that he had to cover it with a veil when he spoke to the children of Israel. (Ex 34:29-35)

Then they believed him and all of these things could happen. Also with the Christians, the disciples did not unite as one body through the Holy Spirit until Jesus literally died for them and returned from the grave. Then they believed him and could create the body of Christ on the earth. Let us consider this when we reflect upon our relationship with God and our True Parents.

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