The Divine Principle Home Study Course
How, Where and When Christ is to Return
For Divine Principle, the deepest meaning of resurrection lies in the triumph that spiritual life can eternally have over spiritual death. Like the mythical Phoenix bird, which dies consumed by fire and yet rises again out of its own ashes, humanity is also destined for eternal spiritual life. Such has been the work of God since the dawn of history.
This work is to be consummated in the return of Christ, the actual fulfillment of the Second Coming. Christ comes as the manifestation of perfected humanity, the exemplar of love on the individual, family, national and world level. He thus comes to transform the world according to God's purposes and to facilitate he establishment of His Kingdom.
"Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again." In this incantation, recited daily at Catholic masses throughout the world, lies the promise of our age. There are, however, many unanswered questions regarding the cosmic event of the Second Coming questions which have been debated within the Christian faith for centuries. When will the Second Coming take place? Where? How can we recognize the new Lord? How can we participate in his work?
"Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand... And what rough beast, Its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
William Butler Yeats The Return
Ever since the tragedy of Golgotha, the central hope of the Christian faith has been the return of Jesus. Many of the immediate disciples of the Nazarene expected that he would return in their lifetimes. John of Patmos records in his Book of Revelation that as Jesus left him, the Master promised "Surely I am coming soon." John's response "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" has been the watchword of millions of sincere believers since. Seldom has an era passed in which the imminent return of Christ was not hoped for by many and anticipated by at least a few.
Today, however, this hope is not as crystalline as it once was. For example, when in 1954 the World Council of Churches took as its theme "Christ, the Hope of the World," the delegates at the Illinois general assembly were forced for the first time at an ecumenical conference to consider the question of Christ's return. A very impressive committee of Christian theologians and churchmen, including such luminaries as Karl Barth, T.S. Eliot and Emil Bruner, was assigned to prepare a report on the main theme.
When this distinguished group had finished its deliberations, however, the result was a disheartening and uninspiring compromised. What emerged was not a clear affirmation of the hope of Jesus' return, but instead a string of stuffy, stereotyped phrases asserting "the guarantee of God's promise that in good time His victory will be manifest to all. His kingdom will come in glory, and He Himself be known everywhere as King."
While, as some have suggested, such vagueness on the part of institutional Christianity may well undercut its own strength, it is at the same time understandable. Despite numerous times at the plates, prophets of the Second Coming remain hitless.
Dr. L. Berkhof, president emeritus of Michigan's Calvin Theological Seminary, has chronicled some of the strike-outs; Christ was to return in 1000 A.D., as was hoped during the Dark Ages, in 1260 A.D. as predicted by the disciples of Joachim of Fiore, during the 16th century Reformation as preached by the German Anabaptists of Munster, in 1843 as the Adventist founder Miller prophesied and in 1914 as anticipated by the founding leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
With such a record as this, it is no wonder the modern institutional Church is wary of investing itself too deeply in any substantial anticipation of the return of Christ and the establishment of his Kingdom. Also, that the most ardent exponents of Second Coming theology today are frequently either Biblical literalists or dogmatic sectarians does not help the situation. Few thinkers in our liberal and scientific age seriously expect a supernatural return on the clouds of heaven by a majestic, airborne Jesus.
The prevailing hope, instead, at least among those Christian liberals who still believe in the coming of God's Kingdom, is that it will gradually evolve as humankind progresses. Walter Rauschenbusch, for example, the founding theologian of the Social Gospel, urges us "to see the Kingdom of God as always coming, always pressing in on the present, always big with possibility and always inviting immediate action" ("A Theology for the Social Gospel").
While Divine Principle in one way supports such a view, it nevertheless argues that the Kingdom can never be realized merely as an effect of human progress. As we have learned from the two world wars in our century, the advance of history does not inevitably lead to universal redemption. Beyond the blessings which the progressive development of civilization can bring us, therefore, the coming of the Kingdom requires something else a messianic catalyst.
Rule of self
Confucius is reported to have said that before a man can rule the world, he must be able to rule his country, that before he can rule his country he must be able to rule his family, and that before he can rule his family he must be able to rule himself.
Divine Principle would wholeheartedly agree with this, and argue therefore that the hope of the world is one man of perfected individuality. The re-creation and re-ordering of our chaotic and confused world must begin with the re-creation of one man as the center of goodness, wisdom, power and love. This person is the Messiah the person who can provide the vision, inspiration and leadership necessary to the reconstruction of the fragmented human family. He is the person who is to enable the divine ideal of God's creation to be realized. And because that divine ideal is to be realized, Divine Principle affirms the Messiah must indeed return.
But how is such a person to come among us? Will he arrive, as has been frequently thought, with a blast of angelic trumpets accompanying his descent on the clouds of heaven? And what of the timing? Despite prior failures to anticipate properly when the moment was at hand, is there a way to know correctly the hour of the Second Coming? As two thousand years ago Jesus was born at Bethlehem, is the Second Coming also to occur in Israel? Is it indeed Jesus himself who is to return? Next month we will discuss such questions as these in the light of Divine Principle.
How, Where and When Christ is to Return
Because of the prophecy in the 26th chapter of Matthew, the historic position of the Christian Church is that Jesus' return will be effected spectacularly: he will arrive on the clouds of heaven, accompanied by myriads of angels trumpeting his momentous arrival. At that moment, all true disciples--both dead and alive--will be caught up to him in the heavens and be taken away to dwell with him eternally in joyous bliss.
For Divine Principle, as for much of modern scholarship, such a scenario is improbable in the extreme. As prior volumes have indicated, the Messiah is the one who comes to restore the lost ideal of God and fulfill the original purpose of God's creation. Since this divine ideal is to be fulfilled on earth, it is inevitable that the Messiah will do his work with his feet on solid ground.
The Second Coming will therefore take place much as the first coming. The Lord will arrive not announced by angelic trumpets, but born of woman on earth. He will establish a kingdom which, in the words of Jesus, is coming not with wondrous signs to be observed (Lk 17:01), but which is to be an earthly reality founded among the peoples, races and nations of the world.
Regardless of such logic, the supernatural arrival of Christ is still the expectation of many conservative faithful today. Many are the stories of the fundamentalist believers who wake every morning with their eyes toward heaven, anticipating that this might be "the" day.
It can hardly hurt us to be aware that this was also the anticipation of many Jews at the time of Jesus. The cause of their assumption was a prophecy in the Book of Daniel: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man." (Dan. 7:13)
As we know, Jesus did not arrive on the clouds. Not only did literalistic interpretations of the prophecy in Daniel thus not prove helpful, they actually had the opposite effect. Influenced to expect a supernatural manifestation of the long-awaited Son of Man, pious Jews rejected the actual Messiah who came in a much more terrestrial manner.
Less dramatic prophecies
It is interesting to note that there were other, less dramatic Old Testament prophecies concerning how the Messiah would arrive. Given the apocalyptic atmosphere of the times, however, they were perhaps not so appealing. One such prophecy is that of Micah, where we learn that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem--on earth. Micah writes: "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient days." (Mic. 5:2)
Regardless of the manner of the first coming, not a few people today still insist that the prophecy of Daniel 7:13 should still be taken literally--but only with reference to the Second Coming. We are told that the author of Daniel was looking beyond the first advent to the second, and this is the one which will take place on the clouds.
While such a line of argumentation is somewhat ingenious, it collapses quickly under serious consideration. Prior to the advent of Jesus, no one even thought of a second coming. Indeed, the Gospels tell us that Jesus himself mentions it only at the end of his ministry. No Israelite at the time of Jesus would have thought that Daniel's prophecy applied to anything other than the advent of "the" Messiah. As Jesus indicated (Mt. 11:13), all the prophecy of the period prior to him was to be fulfilled through him.
A symbolic expression
That the writer of the Book of Daniel had the vision he described is not in question. However, Divine Principle advocates that such a vision be understood as a symbolic expression of spiritual reality. As we have mentioned previously, heaven is frequently used as a metaphor to connote great value, sacredness or goodness. Representing and embodying these qualities, we may say the messiah would come on the "clouds of heaven" or, in other words, with the power and presence of God.
Contemporary research on dreams and visions is pertinent to all of this. Whereas Freud understood dreams as cloaked expressions of human drives and instincts, many thinkers since him, including his disciple Carl Jung, see both dreams and visions as efforts of the subconscious to communicate with the conscious ego, using its own language--the language of visual symbols.
The key to understanding the meaning of these spiritual, psychic events is to understand the symbolism that their various images possess. The inner meaning of a dream or a vision, whether it be from the subconscious or from God Himself, is thus carried in its visual symbols. Its significance is often not to be gained without thoughtful reflection.
When Jesus came two thousand years ago, it seems there was great faith--of a sort--among the Jewish people. Some prayed day and night in the temple. Many memorized the Mosaic Law. Most made honest efforts to keep the commandments and laws which had been handed down to them. In addition, they honored fast days and offered tithes. In all these behaviors they demonstrated sincere faith in God.
Yet in some critical way the devotion of the Israelites went askew. When the Messiah came, he went unrecognized. Because many of the chosen people anticipated that the Messiah would arrive supernaturally, they failed to recognize Jesus as the Promised Deliverer.
By relying on this same apocalyptic expectation, conservative Christians today may make the same mistake. When the Lord comes again, he will appear as a man on earth, not a divine figure descending from the skies. Such an awareness is critically important for, as the philosopher George Santayana has said, if we do not know our history, we may be doomed to repeat it.
Throughout the course of history it appears that God has never used the same person twice to fulfill a certain task. While Moses' mission, for example, was to lead his people into the promised land, once he proved unable to do that, he was not given a second chance. His mission was passed on to Joshua. King Saul also failed and his mission was taken up by David. By the same token, Adam's mission was passed on to Jesus.
In light of Divine Principle, such a pattern is understandable. The Principle teaches that the physical body is created by God to function a certain number of years on earth. Once that period has passed, and once the body has returned to dust, it is not to be reconstituted. Accordingly, if the work a certain person does while on earth is left unfulfilled, its completion must be achieved by a different person at a later time.
In accordance with this pattern, Divine Principle raises the question of whether the Second Advent will be fulfilled by a person other than Jesus of Nazareth. As the late Paul Tillich was apparently fond of pointing out, "Christ", meaning "anointed one," is an office or role, not a person. Two thousand years ago it was the man Jesus of Nazareth who fulfilled the role of Christ. We must ask then if today God could choose another man to continue the same role and complete the work that Jesus began. While such an idea will for many be exceeded in its novelty only by its radicalness, one has nothing to lose by admitting it as a possibility.
Let us look at a prior example of a "second coming." God promised through the prophet Malachi to send Elijah before the Messiah would arrive. We read in Malachi:
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse." (Mal 4:5)
A literal interpretation of this passage led many people at Jesus' time to anticipate the return of Elijah before the advent of the Messiah. As we have seen in earlier chapters, however, it was John the Baptist who came to fulfill the office of Elijah (Mt 11:24, 17:13). Through the ministry of John the Baptist, then, Elijah "returned". It was not Elijah himself, but another person fulfilling his mission. The mission was the same, but the person was different. Divine Principle teaches that this "second coming" of Elijah may be viewed as a model of how the Second Coming of Christ is to be fulfilled.
Just as God sent not Elijah himself, but some other person in his mission, so with regard to the Second Advent He will send a different personage. Jesus will not return in his original physical body. As with all other men, he lived once on earth and now lives eternally in the spirit world. While he and the Holy Spirit are continuing their work spiritually, in the present day another individual will come on earth to complete Jesus' unfinished mission. Our challenge, like that of the Hebrews two thousand years ago, will be to be sensitive, open-minded and intelligent enough to recognize him.
The Messianic Task
According to the Principle of Creation, God's purpose for Adam and Eve was to be realized through their fulfilling the Three Blessings. They were to perfect themselves as mature individuals, become as true parents the origin of a Godly family and, as God's representatives, they were to rule the creation in love. However, because they fell, Adam and Eve failed in all these works; they never became mature persons, true parents or authentic lords. The history they initiated, far from being the intended one of rejoicing, was a corrupted history of sorrow and suffering.
The Apostle Paul tells us Jesus came as the "last Adam" (1 Cor 15:45). Coming in the position of restored Adam, Jesus was to transform history, ultimately fashioning the ideal world that had been planned at the time of the first parents (Mt 4:17). It was he who was to realize for the first time the Three Blessings. Since he was rejected and crucified, however, he was prevented from doing so. A new messianic figure must therefore still come. In effect, the new Messiah will come as the Third Adam whose mission is to realize fully the long-vacant Blessings of God.
Since the Messiah is to be the example of perfected individuality--a person who in growing to true individual maturity fulfills the first Blessing--he must be born on earth as a substantial physical being. He can only carry out his responsibility in the flesh. Also, since he is to realize the ideal family that God has desired, he is to marry and have children. Beyond his own family, the Messiah is to facilitate healing and wholeness among all races and nations, ultimately producing a harmonious global family.
He is thus to fulfill the second Blessing and become the True Parent of humankind, one who has effected the kind of world Adam was meant to initiate. Finally, as a perfectly matured person, the Messiah is to be a lord who governs the spirit world and physical world in perfect love, fulfilling God's third Blessing. As others become united with him by accepting and assisting him, they in turn will find the way to true maturity and love; they will become persons who themselves come to know the three great joys God intended.
The Kingdom of Heaven on earth which Christ is to build is thus not a kingdom of fantasy. It is to be founded, rather, on the solid accomplishment of the Three Blessings. Rather than being realized by supernatural miracles, the Kingdom is to be established by humankind's fulfilling its original destiny. As by God's grace the Three Blessings are fulfilled by ever expanding numbers of people, we may anticipate the world will be transformed and its problems solved in a practical, realistic way. "Then" the Kingdom will come.
Two thousand years ago, the mission of Judaism was not only to receive Jesus but also to help him fulfill his task after he came. Likewise, the mission of Christianity, in addition to establishing the worldwide foundation for the Second Coming, is to help the Lord accomplish his mission when he comes.
For Divine Principle, then, Christianity must reexamine its historical focus on salvation, which has tended to center only on the individual. As Walter Rauschenbusch has pointed out, a salvation confined to the soul and its personal interests is an "imperfect and only partly effective salvation." Since God's ideal for the creation is not completed by the perfection of an individual's character, so God's efforts toward healing and wholeness do not end with the individual. Salvation ultimately is to embrace the family, national and worldwide levels. Once this has been fulfilled, the glorious biblical promise of universal redemption will be realized.
In the same way that esoteric, apocalyptic imagery and symbolism has proved enigmatic, the issue of the historical moment of the Parousia has also been a question for believers throughout the centuries. As we have indicated, the occasions of hope and subsequent periods of dismay have been many. The Gospel of Matthew's warning that "of that day and hour no one knows" (Mt 24:36) perhaps should have been given more heed than it has.
On the other hand, there is reason to believe that the climactic time can be known. In Amos 3:7, for example, we are told that "Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets." Consistent with such a reassurance, instances of Yahweh's revelation of His purposes and plans to Old Testament figures abound: God revealed the coming of the Great Flood to Noah; He told Lot of the imminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; He indicated to the family of John the Baptist and others that Jesus would be born.
In like manner, although two thousand years ago no one did know the "day or the hour," Divine Principle affirms that at the appropriate time God will make known the moment of the Second Advent. Indeed, given the importance of such an event to the Lord's own purposes, it is virtually inconceivable that He would not.
In their discussion of Israelite history, "Judaism, Christianity and Islam" by Janet O'Dea "et alia", we are reminded of the special relationship between God and man, because of which God is given to communicating His intentions and activities: "Yahweh had revealed himself in history to his people and had determined their historical destiny. The Israelites...were partners with Yahweh in carrying out his plan for mankind."
The Hebrews' relationship with God thus centered around a concept not only of law but also of covenant. Such a covenant is at the basis of Yahweh's revealing His will to Noah, Lot, and the family of John the Baptist. As He announced His ways to them prior to significant Old Testament events, in a similar way God will communicate His purposes today. After all, the cooperation of partners requires it.
Before we proceed to discuss the present day, those historical patterns which suggest the significance of the twentieth century should be noted. While Divine Principle affirms that we are living today in a time of unparalleled importance, it nevertheless recognizes that this is possible only on the basis of prior spiritual developments. Let us examine them.
Patterns in History
Since the restoration of God's creation is to be consummated through the Messiah, we may imagine that this person is the center of God's hopes. Accordingly, God's work in human society has focused on preparing a foundation for his coming. The foundation was originally established through the Israelite people and their Jewish faith. As we know it, it is in Hebrew culture that the idea of a universal messianic figure first emerged.
When the Hebrew people failed to recognize the Anointed One when he came, however, they missed their chance to serve as the soil for the new messianic civilization. As Jesus indicated, their privilege was passed to a new nation (Mt 21:41-43). History would subsequently show that this was to be the multi-racial Second Israel, consisting of the devout of the Christian faith.
As we will demonstrate, in studying the histories of Israel and Christianity a certain parallelism in the developments of these two Israels can be detected. For Divine Principle the reason is clear. Since God is a God of principle and law, the history of the Second Israel, Christianity, must both follow the same pattern for preparing for the Messiah. The history of the two societies differ in terms of their historical eras, specific events, geographical settings and cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, as both of these dispensations were to prepare for the foundation for the Messiah, the purpose underlying them was one and the same.
The history of Israel from Jacob to Jesus was divided into six major sub-periods those of slavery in Egypt, of Judges, of the United Kingdom, of the Divided Kingdoms of North and South, of Jewish Captivity and Return, and of Preparation for the Messiah. These six sub-periods actually comprise one dispensational age of 1930 years, a period in which God sought to consummate His salvific efforts. When through the crucifixion of Jesus the goal remained unattained, however, the time was unavoidably extended into what we now know as the Christian era.
This era, from Jesus to the Second Coming, may also be divided into six major frames the periods of Persecution in the Roman Empire, of the Patriarchs, of the United Christian Kingdom, of the Divided Kingdoms of East and West, of Papal Captivity and Return, and of Preparation for the Second Coming. These six sub-periods also span a time totaling 1930 years. Let us look at these stages in greater detail, both in order that the specific parallelism of these two histories may be made evident and so that the probable timing of the Second Advent may be substantially identified. We will begin with Israel's period of bondage.
Egypt and Rome
Divine Principle points out that the periods of suffering by the Jews in Egypt and the Christians under the Roman Empire are distinctly comparable. After the spiritual accomplishments of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jacob's twelve sons and seventy kinsmen entered Egypt. Here their descendants were enslaved by the Egyptians.
Even in the midst of their suffering and deprivation, however, the Hebrews maintained their faith. They performed the rites of circumcision, offered sacrifices and kept the Sabbath. Similarly in the centuries immediately following Jesus' death, the Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire. It is said that Nero's palace grounds were once lit by the burning bodies of crucified Christians. Regardless of such atrocities, the Christians also preserved their faith.
After the 400-year period of slavery in Egypt had ended, the Book of Exodus tells us that God chose Moses to subjugate Pharaoh and lead the Israelites to the new land of Canaan. In a parallel development, at the end of the period of martyrdom in the Roman Empire, Jesus influenced the Emperor Constantine to recognize Christianity publicly, which he did officially in 313. In 392, approximately 400 years after its inception Christianity became the state religion.
Having led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Moses brought them the Ten Commandments. Similarly, after the period of oppression by the Roman Empire, the early Christian Church developed a stable core of doctrine to guide its faithful. The New Testament was canonized and certain affirmations of faith, such as the Apostles' Creed, were formulated. Both accomplishments were possible only on the basis of the 400 years' indemnity paid by persecution, first in Egypt for the Hebrews and later in the Roman Empire for the Christians.
Judges and Patriarchs
A comparison between the Old Testament judges and the patriarchs of the early Christian Church is also evident. During the age of the judges, which began after Joshua had led the Israelites into Canaan, the tribes of Israel were governed by a series of administrators and military heroes known as Judges.
Just as the period of Egyptian domination lasted a reported 400 years, so we are told by the Hebrew scripture the period of rule by the Israelite Judges lasted an identical period. While both numerical figures may be symbolic, for Divine Principle they nevertheless indicate distinct phases of God's dispensation.
Leadership functions for the early Christian Church were fulfilled by Patriarchs. A patriarch was the bishop of one of the chief cities of the Roman Empire, primarily Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch or Jerusalem.
In some cases a patriarch's influence extended well beyond his immediate domain. At the height of his power, for example, the patriarch of Antioch governed the Christians of Syria, Lebanon, southern Asia Minor, Cyprus, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, and South India. In general, just as the Jews were governed by judges, Christians looked to patriarchs who represented for them wisdom, power and authority.
An historic parallel exists between the eras of the Old Testament United Kingdom and the United Christian Empire. Both periods lasted for a total of 120 years each.
The Old Testament monarchy started with Saul, who was anointed as the first king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. He was succeeded by his former armor-bearer and son-in-law, David, who made the newly captured Jerusalem his capital. Henceforth this city became the epicenter of Hebrew religious and cultural life.
David in turn was succeeded by his son, Solomon, who is credited with building the royal temple which came to serve as the center of Jewish activities. At the same time, however, Solomon took wives from foreign nations, allowing them to worship their own gods. From the standpoint of the Hebrew historian (I Ki 11:1-13), such tolerance was a heinous sin.
Divine Principle looks at the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon in terms of their dispensational importance. The ultimate purpose of this period was to build a Temple which was to foreshadow the coming Messiah. In a mystical sense the Temple, which was the center of Jewish life, was a symbol of Christ who was to come as the restored center of human society. That David was willing to build the Temple, and that Solomon finally achieved it, was of understandably significant import in the historical providence of God.
Corresponding to the Old Testament United Monarchy, the United Christian Empire also lasted for approximately 120 years, beginning in 800 A.D. Just as the Hebrew united monarchy was begun by Saul, who was anointed king by the prophet Samuel, so the United Christian Empire was inaugurated by Charlemagne, who managed to have himself crowned by Pope Leo III. With his coronation, effected at St. Peter's Church on Christmas Day of 800, Charlemagne became the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
Now a theocratic stamp had been placed on the empire, and Western Christendom was at last united in a kingdom of God of which Charlemagne was the earthly head.
After both the Hebrew United Kingdom and the United Christian Empire had been established, both kingdoms became beset by conflict and division for periods of roughly 400 years. When Solomon compromised his devotion to Yahweh both by allowing his foreign wives to worship their own deities and by neglecting to fulfill his other obligations, the seeds were sown which destroyed the United Kingdom. The kingdom was subsequently divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
According to Divine Principle, because Solomon had united with Satan, God split his kingdom in order to separate the good from the evil. The northern kingdom of Israel was in a position comparable with that of Cain, somewhat alienated from God, and the southern kingdom of Judah was in an anointed position similar to Abel's.
Accordingly, several notable ethical and spiritual advances took place in Judah. For example, great prophets arose who emphasized the moral and ethical components of religious faith, concern for the weak and the oppressed. Beginning with Amos, these men were the first to realize the place of morality in religion. Yet, in spite of the emergence of these Hebrew luminaries, the division of the United Kingdom continued. Just as Cain had failed to respect the status Abel apparently had in the eyes of God, so Israel failed to respond to the spiritual influence of Judah. The Lord's efforts were being rebuffed.
In the Christian era a similar disunity afflicted the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, largely because of disagreements among his grandsons. Gradually, the kingdom was divided into three parts--the kingdoms of the East Franks, the West Franks and that of the middle--Italy. Italy ultimately came under East Frank control, and so the division became one between the kingdoms of the East Franks or the Holy Roman Empire, and the West Franks or the kingdom of France. According to Divine Principle, the eastern kingdom, containing the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, now became the primary object of God's dispensation; it occupied an Abel position, as had Judah during the time of the Hebrew kingdom.
A significant further parallel between the Old and New Testament divided kingdoms is that generated by the rise of certain Roman Catholic monks and saints. These spiritual giants correspond to the Hebrew prophets mentioned earlier. As Israel and Judah were warned by the prophets to repent of their sins, so monks and saints of the Catholic Church attacked the vices of powerful churchmen. For example, Dominic, a Spaniard (1170-1221), founded the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) to reform the Church through preaching and teaching. Likewise, Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) formed the Minor Brethren to preach repentance to all and love for the oppressed.
Following the Divided Kingdoms, the periods of exiles, first of the Hebrews and then of the Roman pope, provide a further comparison between the Old and New Testament epochs. Because both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah failed to repent, and thus failed to establish the foundation for the coming of the Messiah, they were taken captive into Babylon. This exile lasted for 70 years. Likewise in the Christian era, a corrupted papacy was moved to France, also for 70 years.
Let us first examine the Old Testament exile. The northern kingdom was invaded by the Assyrians and destroyed in 721 B.C. The southern kingdom was invaded by the Babylonians in 597 B.C. Mass deportations were ordered, beginning a whole new period in Israelite history. It is said over 10,000 Jews were carried off to exile in Babylon.
Corresponding to the Babylonian exile, the papacy experienced a comparable captivity. When the medieval popes did not correct their errant ways, the papacy was exiled to France and remained there under the control of the French king. It was a period of confusion and humiliation for the Vatican and the Church.
When the period of papal captivity was over, the papacy was divided between Rome and southern France; later a further subdivision was made. These parties were finally integrated, and the papacy was revived in Rome. The papacy was thus reconstructed through a three-stage process. Including the times of captivity and return, the period lasted for 210 years.
After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews also returned in three stages, which developed over a period of 140 years. Combined with the 70-year exile, this meant that 210 years had elapsed after their Babylonian captivity began, matching the 210 years of the papal exile and return.
Period of Preparation
The last historical parallel between the Old and New Testament ages involves the final years of preparation for the Messiah, first for Israel and later for Christianity. Both periods lasted 400 years.
After the Hebrews' return from Babylonia, they rebuilt the Temple and repented. Centering their worship on the Temple and the Law, they progressively celebrated their spiritual lives. The prophet Ezra helped to generate much of the revitalization of Judaism during this time and is generally regarded as having helped build the foundation for the whole of post-exilic Jewish devotion. Ezra planted the seeds for the type of Judaism which was normative in the time of Jesus and which continues today. He also helped to prepare his people's descendants for the Messiah.
Corresponding to the 400-year Old Testament preparation for the Messiah described above, a similar period of 400 years existed during the Christian era from the time of the Reformation to World War I. As with the Old Testament epoch, this parallel age was a time of specific preparation for the Promised One; therefore, we will describe its major developments in some detail. The period begins with one particular German monk.
Martin Luther was the culmination of various trends emerging during the late medieval period, some of the more significant being those deriving from the influence of the Renaissance. Such Renaissance poets and literary masters as Petrarch and Boccaccio had celebrated humanist values with their emphasis on the glory of man and nature. Moreover, freedoms of thought and action all were stressed. Scholasticism, for example, emerged as a major factor in the dynamically changing new world. Intellectual life in general was enriched, especially by the rise of universities and the desire of the common man to read and to make his own decisions. These and other influences acted as a catalyst for the religious upheavals which followed.
The Renaissance witnessed the primacy of humanism, individualism and realism. Religiously, stress was laid on rational judgment rather than blind faith in the authority and competence of the Pope. The Renaissance was in many ways a response to an antiquated and authoritarian world view which had been championed largely by medieval Roman Catholicism and which tended to advocate the merits of asceticism, otherworldliness, obedience and collectivism. While itself the Renaissance was hedonistic and excessively worldly, its effect in the religious domain was to open the eyes of many to the failings of an increasingly corrupt and outdated Church.
The temper of the time did not fail to influence Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, this Augustinian monk posted on a church door in Wittenberg the famous Ninety-Five Theses, a detailed attack on the selling of papal indulgences. Articulating preexistent popular discontent, Luther's challenge to the Church's authority quickly swept through Germany; entire sections converted to Luther's position. By the time of his death, his reforms had spread beyond Germany into other northern European countries.
It is important to realize that Luther's revolt reflected an effort to recapture the living tradition of early and especially Pauline Christianity. For Luther, this was the hope of the Church. Advocating a return to the scriptural sources of the Church and an application of them to the Church in his own time, Luther sought to lead the Church back to its original pristine state.
In terms of God's dispensation, Luther's reform was a revolutionary step forward even though it was based on a "return" to an earlier religious vitality. Because Roman Christianity had lost much of its early fervor and strong messianic consciousness, it had lapsed into decline. It was thus necessary that reforms, culminating in the Protestant Reformation, took place. Such men as Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Ulrich Zwingli, William Farel and others were called to reshape Western Christianity in preparation for the Second Advent.
Great reforms took place not only in Protestant Christianity, however, but also in Roman Catholicism as well. For example, the Catholic Counter reformation enlisted the support of significant saintly figures, among them Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits. France, Spain, Italy and Poland remained loyal to the Pope only because of the efforts of reform-minded bishops and the zeal of the new Catholic orders such as the Jesuits.
Also contributing to the Catholic revival, the missionary movement pushed the frontiers of Catholicism into the Americas, Asia and other parts of the non-Western world. This helped to prepare all of humanity for the Second Advent. Brilliant missionaries in the sixteenth century made possible the spread of Christianity not only among common folk but also among scholars and societal leaders. Many of the Jesuits, Dominicans and Franciscans were remarkably skillful and devoted men. The Catholic scholar H. Daniel-Rops tells us that a missionary to China named Mattes Ricci, for example, adopted the exotic dress of a Chinese scholar and even a Chinese name in order not to thrust cultural barriers in the way of the Asian reception of Christ.
Further revitalizing movements developed among Protestants in the eighteenth century. To help offset the Enlightenment, the Pietist movement arose led by Philip Spener and Herman Francke. Such a movement, emphasizing a personal mystical encounter with God, may be seen as a revival addressed to those forms of Protestantism which two centuries after their birth had become arid and devoid of charity, warmth and human feeling.
Also in the eighteenth century, additional movements rekindled the declining fervor of an increasingly austere Protestantism. One of these derived from the work of John Wesley. Daniel-Rops, writing of this exemplar of Protestant piety, pays him the ultimate Catholic tribute:
"In England the revivalist who attempted to drag high churchmen from their routine and the Puritans from their hypocrisy bore a famous name John Wesley.... The man was indubitably made of the stuff from which the Catholic Church fashions her saints." ("The Church in the Eighteenth Century")
Along with the influence of Wesley, the work of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, George Fox and Count Zinzendorf further advance the spirituality of countless individuals, converting many through electrifying revivals and preaching.
Since the Protestant Reformation, therefore, we see a continuing renewal of personal piety and the Judeo-Christian social ethic in preparation for the Second Advent and the messianic New Age. The Lord was not inactive when segments of Protestantism lost some of their original zeal. Rather, He continually reignited Protestantism's early regenerative spirit through an unending stream of spiritual giants and charismatic reformers.
Divine Principle teaches that the providential purpose of the Industrial Revolution was to improve conditions and provide an ideal physical environment in preparation for the New Age. Beginning in Great Britain, this development also aided European colonialism and imperialism, the effect of which was to propel Christian missionaries throughout the world to educate all peoples about God's nature, work and plan as revealed in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Europe and America were transformed by the Industrial Revolution from stable agricultural societies to modern industrialized cultures. The social abuses which accompanied these changes should have provided churches with opportunities for social activism on behalf of the urban poor. Unfortunately, relatively few churchmen responded.
Nevertheless, as in the case of imperialism and the missionary activity which accompanied it, God was able to use morally flawed instruments to attain His purposes; thus, even the social ills generated by unmitigated and unrestrained capitalism were, from the point of view of the dispensation of restoration, offset by compensating benefits. Primary among these was the material preparation of the world for the Second Advent; vast improvements in transportation, communications and general technology have helped to bind together different cultures, develop new understanding and to transmit new truth.
In contrast to the eighteenth century, which saw the emergence in Christian lands of Protestant luminaries who were able to re-inspire large numbers of lukewarm Christians, in the nineteenth century the advances were made by missionaries sent out to non-Western lands to introduce the Gospel and make new converts. These evangelists were particularly active in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Christianity was being extended and the nineteenth century, as we shall see, was its crowning moment.
Through this century, the time matured at last. President Henry P. Van Dusen of Union Theological Seminary has written of this period, affirming the nineteenth century as Christianity's greatest epoch:
"By any appropriate calculus number of conversions, increase in membership, adventure into new areas, launching of new enterprises, founding of new churches and societies this (the 19th century) was the epoch of Christianity's greatest vitality and most valuable advance. Christianity had become, at last, a world religion...." ("World Christianity")
Christianity now has a wider geographic spread and is more deeply rooted among more peoples than any other religion in the history of mankind. For Divine Principle, of course, such a development is in keeping with a recognition of the centrality of Christianity in God's providence.
Christianity's growth in the global arena is not accident. The Church of Jesus has been God's primary instrument to educate the people of the world as to His ways and purposes. Through it, He has sought to establish a foundation for His coming Kingdom a Kingdom which is to be precipitated by the universally significant event of the Second Advent.
The advances made by the Church in the late nineteenth century were critical preparations for the messianic age dawning in the twentieth. Consequently, we live today in the most important moment in human history: the coming of the Second Advent. In the vast span of human history, including this multilayered process of preparation, we are now at the point at which God's ideal is to dawn.
As already detailed, the periods of the Hebrew and Christian eras when totaled add up to nineteen hundred and thirty years. Accordingly, one may anticipate that the year 1930 was the year of the Messiah's birth. Is that in fact the case?
Divine Principle explains that the year cannot be pinpointed so exactly. After all, differences of several years were often observed throughout the dispensational history. The period of persecution in the Roman Empire, for instance, was to be four hundred years, but actually lasted only until 392 A.D.
As a matter of fact, another date is also suggested by the timetable we have been describing. The period of Preparation for the Second Coming began with the Reformation in 1517 and was to end four hundred years later. Based on this, we may expect the Second Coming to have occurred in 1917.
Without placing undue emphasis on a specific date, Divine Principle does assert that the historical processes determining the time of the Second Advent have been completed. Therefore, the moment is at hand. As a pinpoint of light within a dark globe, the messianic age now is dawning.
While it is natural, of course, to want to see and meet the new Messiah, such a privilege may not be widespread at first. Two thousand years ago Jesus did not immediately proclaim his messiahship. There was an unseen and unheard, yet steady, preparation period during his private life when very few people knew who he was. After this period, he struggled during his public ministry to prepare the foundation for fulfilling his messianic purpose. During this time also he was very cautious about disclosing his role. Mark tells us in his Gospel, for example, that when Peter identified Jesus as the Christ, the Master instructed him to "tell no one" (Mk 8:30).
At the Second Coming, the new Deliverer must also go through a similar course of preparation during his life. Just as Jesus was initially recognized only by a comparative few--by those who had ears to hear and eyes to see--so the Lord's mission is likely to be perceived at first only by a limited few and to develop gradually thereafter. His role and work thus cannot be immediately made manifest. As was the case with Jesus, his identity will be revealed through time to humanity at large. It is, in a sense, only the chosen few who are likely to recognize him early in the process.
The Messianic Theater
If Christ is to return in our day, let us ask where this is likely to take place.
In the parable of the vineyard, Jesus indicated that he would not come again to Israel:
"When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." ... "Therefore I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it" (Mt 21:41-43).
Some may say that the Jewish race is eternally chosen, and therefore Israel must be the center for the Messiah's activities. As we have indicated, however, Divine Principle takes exception to this position. When Jacob prevailed over the angel, he received a new name: Israel. The name signifies the person or nation which triumphs by faith. It is thus a spiritual designation and does not necessarily mean the physical descendants of Abraham and Jacob. As John the Baptist pointed out, one should not base one's identity overly much on one's physical ancestry. "Do not presume to say to yourselves 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (Mt 3:9).
Even the Apostle Paul, himself a Jew, attested to the fact that the true Israel was no longer Jewish:
"For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but 'Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.' This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants" (Rom 9:6-8).
It is plain, then, that the role of the chosen nation was shifted to the Gentiles. The Christians have become the Second Israel. The problem is identifying which nation of the Christian world is the one to which the Messiah will come.
Coming From The East
For reasons which we will explain, Divine Principle teachers that the new chosen nation of God is the land of Korea. While this assertion is novel, it is, as we shall show, nevertheless reasonable. God's actions are not haphazard; He does not do things without cause. If a nation is to be chosen by Him for His purposes, there must be a rationale behind it. Let us examine possible explanations.
There is, first of all, biblical evidence to support the idea of the chosen nation being from the East. In the Book of Revelation (7:2-4) we read that an angel would ascend from the rising of the sun--in other words, from the East. It is true that all great spiritual movements have started in the East; it is therefore quite logical that the new Messiah would come from the East.
A further reason that the universal God would send the Messiah to an Eastern nation is not far to seek. Even though Christians have played the central role in God's providence, all people are God's children and are eventually to be members of the Kingdom. Buddhists, Jews, Shintoists and members of all other world religions are to participate in the reconstructed world established through the ministry of the Second Advent.
Upon his coming, therefore, the Lord is to unite both Christians and non-Christians into one family, centered on God. As the new Messiah is thus to harmonize and unify the world's religions, he is to fulfill the purpose not only of Christianity, but also of other major religions. It is necessary, therefore, that the Messiah come from a land where both Christianity and Eastern religions are deeply entrenched.
Since there are no Western countries in which Oriental religion is deeply established, but there are Asian nations in which Christianity is widely practiced, it would make sense for the Lord of the Second Advent to come from the East. One reason, therefore, that Korea forms the core of God's new dispensation is that it is a nation bearing the fruits of many religions. Many of the world's great spiritual and ethical traditions, particularly Buddhism and Confucianism, have flourished in this land. Also, Christianity itself is deeply established there. Indeed, before the communist takeover of northern Korea, its capital city, Pyongyang, was known because of its many churches as the "Jerusalem of the East."
Secondly, the new chosen land is to be a cosmic altar representing the entire world. As the human family was divided originally by Cain and Abel, so today it is divided globally by communism and democracy, or Cain and Abel on the worldwide level. Representing the world, the chosen nation itself is to be divided, as Korea is between the communist North and the more democratic South. In this way, Korea symbolizes the world.
In the view of Divine Principle, the face-off at Panmunjom is a microcosm of a spiritual and political macrocosm. For God's providence to be accomplished, however, the murderous outcome of the original split between Cain and Abel must be redeemed. Centering in God, North and South Korea are to unite. Of necessity, the atheistic totalitarianism of the North must give way to an ideology which gives proper recognition to the spiritual dimension of man and the living reality of God.
Divine Principle suggests that the Korean War of 1950-53 was an event of special providential significance. North Korea attacked the unsuspecting South in June 1950. The South Koreans fought back, assisted by sixteen nations of the United Nations. In this first major confrontation between communism and democracy, nations not concerned with the immediate issue thus participated in a conflict against a satanic, godless regime. In the eyes of God, such an event can have no small significance. Indeed, in light of Divine Principle, one may say that in a moment of crisis the world came to the aid of a stricken instrument of God. Remarkably enough, such an action on the part of sixteen UN member nations could only be sanctioned by that body because of the deliberate absence of the Soviet delegate in the Security Council, making the USSR's veto impossible.
Divine Principle advances a third reason for the chosen role of Korea. Ever since the fall of man, God has grieved over His broken creation. He has not been relieved from His grief, nor has He rested from His unceasing labor of restoration. As long as mankind rebels, His grief and suffering will persist.
Because of humankind's continual rebellion, the servants of God historically have been persecuted and have suffered with Him. Until God rests, His servants cannot rest. Parallel to the suffering of God, then, the chosen people are destined to go through a course of suffering themselves.
Korea is a nation which, like ancient Israel, has been tried through unmerited persecution and foreign oppression, most recently by Japan. For forty years, from 1905 to 1945, Japanese imperialists oppressed and persecuted the people they had subjugated. Koreans were deprived of their freedom, and countless numbers were jailed and slaughtered. Christians, who by and large refused to pledge their loyalty to the Japanese emperor, were particularly persecuted. It was part of a price to be paid for Korea's modern role. In the Last Days, the turmoil within this nation is likely to become even more intense. Through such events the Korean people will continue to pay a necessary price for their crucial task in the New Age.
Although Korea has been warred against many times, let us note that the reverse has not happened. Since the chosen nation is to serve as a kingdom of priests, it should be innocent of aggression throughout its history. In fact, this is the case with Korea: it has never initiated an attack itself.
Fourth, beyond the indemnity Korea has paid, it has special and unique spiritual traditions which help qualify it as the central object of God's concern. For example, just as the Israelites knew through the prophets that the Messiah was to come to save the, so also have the Korean people believed for centuries that one day a king of righteousness would come to Korea. This strong messianic expectation is largely a result of a Korean book of prophecy written over five hundred years ago.
In addition, the Korean people are known for possessing inner qualities which we must say could serve them well in their role as a chosen people. The unique history of this homogenous people has strengthened their character and deepened their faith. On the basis of this heart, Christianity was received beginning in the eighteenth century. In the view of Divine Principle, when God sent Christianity to Korea, He made His final preparation for the Lord of the Second Coming.
Despite all these understandings, the assertion that Korea is the new chosen nation of God will nevertheless strike many as quite surprising. However, let us recall that the God of history has often acted in surprising ways. Who would have expected, for example, that a shepherd boy named David would be called by God to be a king of Israel--and perhaps the greatest one at that? In the same vein, how likely would it have seemed that the son of a humble carpenter, rather than a high priest or distinguished rabbi, would be called by God as the long-awaited Messiah? With such precedents as these, it becomes clear that we cannot expect the Lord to be guided by conventional human anticipation and norms. It seems the requirement placed on us, rather, is to be continually open to new possibilities.
In any event, let us keep the role of the chosen nation in perspective. All people are God's children and all are loved by Him. The purpose of God's choosing a nation is thus not to exalt it over the world, but rather to use it to serve the world. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant," says Jesus, "and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all" (Mk 10:43-44). With such a principle being the guiding ethic of one's anointment, the task of a chosen people is, at least initially, neither glorious nor easy. Theirs is the sacrificial role of a servant nation.
There are several major parallels between our time and that of Jesus which give one pause for thought and which should be noted. First, these two time periods reflect a similarity in God's apparent strategy. Divine Principle asserts that the Creator's original intention was to have His dispensation expand from Jesus to the Israelite nation, from Israel to Rome, and from Rome to the rest of humankind. Rome, as the hub of the ancient world, was thus a critical factor in the divine battle plan. If the new work of God could strongly impact Rome, the world could be turned to God's way.
Assuming that the central tool of God's providence, in terms of world religion, is Christianity, and that the new Israel is Korea, let us ask which country now is in the position of the ancient Roman Empire. Clearly, that nation is the United States of America.
In the view of the Divine Principle, the vast land of America has been prepared by God to play a special role with reference to the Second Coming. The spiritual motivation of the Puritan settlers, the religious traditions of America (for example, every day its Congress is opened with prayer, the president's oath of office is sworn on the Bible), the fact that the United States is in some way consecrated to God (the national motto is "In God We Trust") all suggest America's special--almost covenantal--relationship with the Lord. Indeed, throughout its two hundred years, many Americans have felt their nation had a special mission for God.
The relationship between Korea and America is thus similar to that between Rome and Israel at the time of Jesus. Rome was to help expand Christianity through Rome's relatively advanced civilization and imperial power; the United States has a similar mission today. As the dominant world power in the twentieth century, as an exemplar of democratic freedoms, as a center of technological advance and global communications and as a defender of free world values, the United States has a unique opportunity to facilitate the spread of God's new dispensation.
Secondly, let us remind ourselves once again of the challenge facing contemporary Christianity. During Jesus' lifetime, members of the Jewish religious elite were unable to accept his authority. Consequently, they rejected his message and failed to develop the providence of God. A comparable problem may afflict the leadership within present-day Christianity. Clinging to dogma and institutions, in many cases Christianity has become conservative--even reactionary--and unable to provide the vision necessary to constructing a just and loving global society global society. If it is to survive as a significant force as it approaches its third millennium, Christianity must be revitalized by connecting with God's new dispensation. Failing that, it could become little more than a vestigial relic, reminding future generations only of a hope that failed.
Christians and people of all backgrounds throughout the world must now awaken to the fact that God has begun a new work. He has obtained His foothold on earth, the foundation of His dwelling with men. Through this pivotal foundation, He is to turn the spiritual axis of the universe unwaveringly in the direction of eternal good. If Christians and all peoples can become aware of this new development in the Lord's ongoing work on earth, and if they can participate in it, continued blessing will be theirs.
Today, then, the time is full. The old heaven and the old earth are now passing away and a new heaven and a new earth are being established. God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of His people; neither shall there be mourning or crying, nor pain any more. With the Book of Revelation, we exclaim:
"Hallelujah! for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory...." (Rev 19:6)
The New Age is now dawning. The Lord of the Second Advent will reign over heaven and earth with divine truth and parental love, and his Kingdom will live forever.
God has been described as the One who "changeth not." And perhaps the greatness of the Divine Principle lies in its particular recognition of this fact: the Lord is still intent on fulfilling His original purpose of creation; He has never wavered from this ideal. Everything else in the Divine Principle message derives from this simple point. That history is directed toward the Kingdom of God, that the Cross was a frustration of God's original intent, that a new Messiah must inevitably come on earth--all these insights are linked to the fact of God's faithfulness to His first purposes. "Great is they faithfulness" writes the prophet (Lam 3:23). And so it is: God will fulfill His original ideal.
That this ideal cannot be realized without human cooperation, however, was movingly suggested by one well-known German, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor and theologian who in the 1930s was imprisoned by the Nazis for his leadership in the resistance movement. He suffered in a German prison camp and ultimately was martyred there. Despite his own suffering, this modern saint once called upon his fellow believers to "stand by God in the hour of His grieving." It is a call that both suggests his own sense of God's heart and raises the issue of what humans can do about it.
While Bonhoeffer clearly had in mind the horrors of the Nazi regime, Divine Principle reveals that the suffering of God is long-standing and multifaceted. As any parent is pained by conflict and suffering among his children, God Himself is grieved over the tragedies, major and minor, of our globe. Only universal reconciliation of the individual with himself, of man with his fellow man, and of man with God, can diminish the suffering of all parties concerned. And, as Bonhoeffer suggested, such reconciliation cannot be effected by God alone. The Lord needs us to stand by Him.
The great opportunity of our time is to participate with the Lord of the Second Coming as he seeks to re-form the world according to God's ideal. Unbelievable as it may seem, something that humankind has been awaiting for thousands of years is to occur in our time. As it is a moment which is likely to be remembered for eons to come, blessed are those who share in it!
The promise of Divine Principle is that each person can grow to become individually united with God, can become a true husband or wife to his mate and a true parent to his descendants, and can be a mature lord of God's creation. As we have indicated, the catalyst of all this happening is the new Messiah and the new expression of God's Word that he brings. To understand the Word more fully, we encourage your continued study of Divine Principle. There is much more to be learned.
Your spiritual progress depends entirely on you and the choices you make. Of course, it always has, but perhaps it's more obvious now. May God be with you, filling you with His love and inspiration; and, living in faith, hope and love, may you fulfill in your life your own hopes and those of the divine Lover above.
How well do you understand your study of The Second Advent? To test your knowledge, you can try the following questions:
1. Which of the following does Divine Principle offer as a reason for its assertion that the Second Advent will not be fulfilled by Jesus?
A. John the Baptist was not Elijah himself.
B. God never uses the same person twice to fulfill an assigned task.
C. The physical body is created to exist on earth only one time.
D. All of the above.
2. According to Divine Principle, the concept of the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven may be best understood
B. as referring to the first coming.
C. as referring to the sacredness and goodness of the Messiah's coming.
D. as descriptive of apocalyptic atmospheric conditions.
3. What is the central purpose behind the development first of Israel and then of Christianity?
A. To establish many synagogues and churches
B. To prepare for and declare the crucifixion of Jesus
C. To establish a foundation for the advent of the messiah
D. To educate the faithful as to God's principles and laws
4. Why is there a parallelism in the histories of the Israelite people and the Christian Church?
A. It is mere coincidence.
B. Christianity succeeded Israel as God's central instrument for preparing for the messiah.
C. God works according to principle and law.
D. Both B and C.
5. The reception by Moses of the Ten Commandments is paralleled by what development in the Christian era?
A. Constantine's recognition of Christianity in 313 A.D.
B. The guidance of the Church by powerful bishops
C. The canonization of the New Testament
D. The anguish of the early Christian martyrs
6. In the view of Divine Principle, the purpose of the Jewish Temple was
A. to provide a house of worship for the faithful Hebrews.
B. to serve as a testimony to the glory and grandeur of God.
C. to foreshadow the coming of the Messiah.
D. to differentiate between the Hebrew faith and the faith of Solomon's wives.
7. One providential reason for the Industrial Revolution was
A. to improve the lot of agricultural workers.
B. to initiate the proper use of natural resources.
C. to show how God could use a morally flawed instrument to attain His purposes.
D. to prepare the material environment for the coming of the New Age.
8. In the view of Divine Principle, the timing of the birth of the new Messiah will be determined by
A. the stars.
B. the bringing to completion of certain historical processes and preparations.
C. nothing. Consistent with God's sovereignty, He will make the decision on His own.
D. the yearning of humanity for salvation.
9. Which of the following is "not" a reason for Divine Principle's assertion of Korea as the chosen nation?
A. Korea's background of suffering
B. The need to unite the Judeo-Christian and Oriental religious traditions
C. Korea is a geographically small nation, as is Israel.
D. Korea is a microcosm of the global political situation.
Answers: 1-B, 2-C, 3-C, 4-D, 5-A, 6-C, 7-D, 8-B, 9-C.
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