Divine Principle and Its Application
Young Oon Kim
Chapter V - The Consummation of Human History
People who have studied history have often pondered over questions such as: Is there a purpose in history? What is the goal of history? Will history terminate with the "end of the world?" Is God influencing the course of history? If so, we must be aware of His purpose for our age.
1. The Goal of History
The original world of God's creation was to expand in eternal goodness on the foundation of the true Parents, perfected Adam and Eve. Their descendants, born in goodness, would have dwelled with God in the Garden of Eden, the kingdom of heaven on earth. Each life would have been lived in the utmost usefulness, happiness, and joy; and the world would have thrived in order, harmony, and peace.
The world as it exists is obviously not the original one. Adam and Eve separated themselves from God, thus subjecting the entire universe to the domination of Satan. Thus, the life of mankind has been thoroughly corrupted. Does this mean that God's original intention will never be realized? No. The will of God is absolute, and He will fulfill His original purpose of creation. He will not forsake the realization of His promised blessing to man. His love is steadfast. In the following verses, one can see God's firm determination to accomplish His purpose.
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. (Isaiah 46:1lb)
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. (Matt. 5:18)
Therefore, God has been directing the course of history toward the restoration of the original world of creation. To accomplish His purpose for all mankind and creation, God has worked particularly with Israel, the nation he chose to represent mankind. In the Old Testament Age, God worked through the patriarchs and prophets to lay the foundation for the restoration. God then sent Jesus, to work on their foundation to restore the world by establishing the kingdom of heaven. Because the Jews rebelled and crucified him, Jesus could not accomplish his mission during his lifetime. Thus, God's dispensation of restoration was prolonged, and has yet to be fulfilled. This is the goal of history.
2. The End of the World
Some believe, as it is written in Matthew 24:29 and II Peter 3:10, that at the end of the world the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works upon it will be burned up. If these things were to occur literally, then God's ideal of creation would be totally nullified. If God's purpose is never fulfilled, He cannot be Almighty and His dignity as the Creator is lost.
At the end of the world, the earth will not be destroyed. As it is written in Ecclesiastes, "A generation goes, a generation comes, but the earth remains forever." (Eccl. 1:4) Then what does the "end of the world" or "the last days" mean? It means the end of an age. God said to Noah:
I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Gen. 6:13)
God meant by this that He would bring an end to the sinful age in which Noah lived, and begin with Noah's family a new world. It does not mean that God would literally destroy the earth.
Jesus also used the expression "the end of the world," by which he meant the end of Satan's sovereignty. Jesus had intended to close the sinful age of Satanic domination by fulfilling the Old Testament and bringing an end to the Old Testament Age. Because this was not completely accomplished in the First Advent, the Second Advent became necessary. The "end of the world" as used in the New Testament refers to the Second Coming of Christ. When Christ comes again, he will bring the new words of the Completed Testament by which he will overcome Satan's rule in the world and fulfill both testaments completely. Therefore, the "end of the world" means the end of the sovereignty of evil with the restoration of the sovereignty of good.
Although the Satanic sovereignty of the world collapses, the earth and its people will remain. The decline or collapse of a nation does not mean the total destruction of the land and its people; it merely means the decline of its sovereignty. With the collapse of the sovereignty of evil, a new history will start, and God will directly rule man and the world.
In the Completed Testament Age, which is to begin with the fulfillment of the Second Advent, these words will also be fulfilled:
Then I saw anew heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (Rev. 21:1)
The first heaven means paradise, and the first earth means the world as it was under Satanic rule. The new heaven is the kingdom of heaven which will appear above paradise and the new earth is the new world under the sovereignty of good.
With the Second Advent the following prophecy will also be fulfilled:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matt. 24:29)
The following passage from Genesis clarifies the quotation from Matthew above:
Then he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" (37:9-10)
As it is said here, sun and moon symbolize father and mother, and stars, children. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are spiritually in the position of father and mother. Light represents the words of truth brought by Jesus. When Jesus brought the higher truth of the New Testament, the Old Testament truth was dimmed by it. When the Lord comes again with still higher truth, the words of the New Testament will also dim.
Who are the stars who will fall from heaven in the last day? The stars represent the followers of Jesus. Many will be the Christians of these last days who will fall down to disbelief and faithlessness, for the Second Advent is to be fulfilled in entirely unexpected ways. The same thing happened with the scribes and Pharisees who fell to disbelief because the Messiah did not come in the manner they had expected. Thus, many stars will fall from heaven in the last days. Jesus predicted that many Christians would stumble and fall away.
And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:7-8) Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers." (Matt. 7:21-23)
Even those who have been dedicated to God and have received spiritual gifts will easily fail to recognize the Lord of the Second Advent when he appears in a different manner from what they anticipate. If they fail and deny him, he will also deny and reject them.
We must understand that the way God works is often beyond our grasp, as it is said in Isaiah:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
3. The Final Judgment
Since the fall of man, evil has occupied an aggressive position, with good on- the defensive. However, throughout history, with God's guiding intervention in conflicts between good and evil, good has been steadily rising to dominance. The forces of good came to a crossing point with the forces of evil in 1960. Thus the positions of good and evil were reversed, with the good forces taking the aggressive stand and evil forces, though still fighting desperately, destined to decline.
Because this crossing point was reached, God obtained a foothold on earth. It is the foundation for the restoration of the universe. On this base the kingdom of God will grow. This crossing point marks the beginning of cosmic judgment. Judgment means separation of good from evil. As a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so God will separate good from evil at the end of the world. "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out." (John 12:31) The principality of this world, the sovereignty of evil, will be overthrown. In this way the new heaven and the new earth of perfect goodness will be established.
How will the final judgment be brought about? The means of God's judgment is His Word which is now revealed at this time of the Second Advent. Jesus said: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49) He did not mean the kindling of a natural fire, but the rapid spread of the new Word from God. Judgment with fire means judgment by the word of truth. According to the Letter of James: "The tongue is a fire." (3:6a) Here the tongue signifies man's words. God will destroy the evil of the world by the "fire" of His mouth; namely, His words of truth.
He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4c)
And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. (II Thess. 2:8)
He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. (John 12:48)
The rod of his mouth and the breath of his lips mean the Word of God. The people of Jesus' time were not judged by the Law of Moses, but by the words of Jesus. Likewise, people of this age will not be judged by the Old and New Testaments, but by God's new revelation. The newly revealed words of God will be a hundred times mightier than the words of the Old and New Testaments. God will judge mankind by His words of truth!
As the Final judgment progresses, the old history of evil will close and a new history of good will open. There will be two stages in the course of restoration. First, man's heart must be restored to its original state. He must obtain true freedom to do good and re-establish the bond of love between himself and God. As man's heart changes, his environment will also change. As goodness expands, trust will increase in human relationships on all levels. Cooperation will be initiated more and more, but only on the foundation of mankind's inner realization.
In the process of the transformation of this Satanic world into the domain of God, some physical destruction will occur. Powerful forces from the spirit world will affect the spiritual, physical, and material life of man. In the ensuing chaos, people must be awakened to God's will and align themselves with Him. Only in this way can the suffering of these times be lessened, for TODAY is the great and terrible day of the Lord referred to in the Bible.
4. One World
In our present state of chaos, there are nevertheless many phenomena which reflect the intention of God to realize, at this time, His blessing for man.
More people are striving for self-realization by seeking spiritual truth. In fact, there is a wider incidence of direct spiritual experience. Inner freedom is actively sought by many individuals. The original human value is being restored as the democratic spirit spreads, to bring greater assurance of human rights in a climate of equality and brotherhood.
Historians indicate that throughout history 21 to 26 cultural spheres have formed around religious teachings. As time has passed, there has been a tendency for them to consolidate. Out of all the small spheres, four major ones now exist. They are Judeo-Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Far Eastern religions. These are showing greater interest in each other than ever before. Since the Christian sphere includes many leading nations, much attention is directed to it. Christianity has formed the central foundation for the new dispensation of God. The uniqueness of Christianity lies in its promise of building one family in the world centered upon true Parents, in accordance with God's purpose of creation.
The one world created by God has been divided by man. Much of this has been brought about by wars. War began on the individual level (at the beginning of human history) when Cain killed Abel. The war which began between these two men has expanded among families, clans, tribes, and finally, nations.
The world is now divided into two major blocs, Communism and the free world, representing Cain and Abel on a worldwide scale. The conflict between the two ideologies of Communism and Democracy is one of the innumerable signs of the "end of the world." A final confrontation between these two ideologies is inevitable, because they cannot co-exist indefinitely.
In the history of wars, victories have as a rule come to the factions representing good, even though their goodness has been relative. In this way, God has been continually working toward the restoration of His sovereignty on earth and the complete dissolution of Satan's domain. Through the final power struggle between good and evil, good shall subjugate evil and the world shall be united by good.
In accordance with God's fulfillment of His third blessing at this time, man's dominion over creation is expanding. Mankind is now experiencing a stronger relationship to his environment than ever before. First, philosophy, ethics, and religions have each developed in accordance with God's providence. These fields have contributed to the general enlightenment of man. Man's heart and mind have come more to reflect God, and man has developed a greater understanding and appreciation of the universe. Thus, man's inner dominion over creation has expanded. Secondly, man has reached new scientific vantage points and possesses greater understanding and utilization of natural law than he has ever known. Man is dramatically extending his life by unprecedented medical advancement. He is even conquering outer space. This is the outer aspect of man's dominion over creation.
Increasing interdependence of men and nations is manifested in cooperative groups and agencies of many scopes and characters. International economic communities, church ecumenical movements, and numerous political alliances are now functioning across former barriers. The idea of world government is discussed by some and the United Nations serves as a world forum. Jet travel and mass communications have virtually eliminated the barriers of time and space. All these things signify that the old history has reached its consummation and a new day has dawned in which the providence of restoration will be fulfilled.
Thus the New Age will see perfect harmony of all cultures. One world will be established horizontally between the East and the West, and also vertically between the spiritual and physical worlds. All will share a common religious philosophy under God's direct guidance. In this world, the conscientious, the righteous, and the good will prosper and lead in all fields of life, with divine love and truth.
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