Divine Principle Six Hour Lecture
The Second Advent of the Messiah
In What Manner Will Christ Come Again?
Then how will the Second Coming of the Lord take place? In considering this, first let us look at the second coming of Elijah. In fact, the second coming of Elijah is the clearest example that God has revealed to us of how Christ will come again.
God promised through the prophet Malachi to send Elijah again before He sent Christ to earth (Mal. 4:5). However, the Jewish people believed that the same Elijah who had ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire 900 years before would now come down from heaven. But in reality, Elijah's second coming was realized through a man born on the earth, John the Baptist, quite contrary to their expectations (Matt. 11:14, Matt. 17:13).
Two kinds of prophecies are to be found in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah. For example, the prophet Daniel predicted the Lord will come to earth from heaven on a cloud (Dan. 7:13), whereas the prophet Micah prophesied that he would be born on earth (Micah 5:2). Which of these two contradictory prophecies did the Jewish people believe'? Among these two prophets, Daniel was the more popular and also the trend of Jewish thought was towards the Lord's descending directly from heaven. Therefore even after Jesus, the Son of God, ascended into heaven after the crucifixion, there were those who insisted that Jesus, who was born on earth in the flesh, could not have been the Messiah (II John 1:7-8).
Then why did God give this contrary prophecy of coming on the clouds in addition to the one that he would come in the flesh? Jesus indicated that "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man" (John 3:13), pointing out that he came from heaven. As we well know, Jesus was born on earth from his mother Mary; but why, then, did he say he came from heaven?
The word "heaven" is frequently used in the Bible. It is consistently used as a metaphor to evoke a sense of great sacredness, goodness and value. Thus, we can interpret what Jesus said to mean: "I was born like all of you, but I am very different in the motive and origin of my birth; I am born of God."
With this understanding, it becomes unmistakably clear what the prophecy really means concerning Jesus' coming down to earth on a cloud as described in Dan. 7. The true interpretation is quite matter-of-fact, yet by sticking to the literal meaning, the people were wrong. Similarly, John the Baptist, who was born in the family of Zechariah, was not merely born of this earth, but had a great mission (Luke 1:15-17, Luke 1:76). Regardless of the form of his birth, God was behind it and gave him the same mission as Elijah, and he "came down" to earth representing God Himself.
From what is shown in these examples of Elijah's second coming and Jesus' coming, one cannot help but give serious thought toward the prophecies for the Second Coming of the Messiah.
In summary, the New Testament not only contains prophecies that Christ will come as a judge amidst the glory on a cloud from heaven, but it also says he will come again just as he did at Jesus' time, which is quite contrary to the first prophecy of coming on the clouds.
We read in Luke 17:24-25 that Jesus, anticipating what was going to happen at the Second Coming said, "So will the Son of man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation." If the Lord should come again, amidst power and glory, with the trumpet call of the archangel, who would dare deny and persecute him? Would you persecute him?
Today many faithful Christians and churches are looking up to the sky, waiting for the Lord to come on the clouds. If he does come on the clouds, there could be no reason for the Lord to be persecuted. But when he does not come on a cloud literally, and instead comes in the flesh, as in the First Coming, then he must first suffer before he will finally be recognized.
In Rev. 12:5 it says a woman gave birth to a child who will govern all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and His throne. The man who will rule the world with a rod of iron is the Lord to come. Thus it is recorded clearly that he will be born of a woman. When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God was coming, he answered, "the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed" (Luke 17:20). Everyone can gaze up at heaven, but Jesus said that he will not be recognized so readily. Why?
It is because he does not come on a literal cloud. In Luke 18:8 Jesus says, "I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth? Why did Jesus say this? There are many people around the world who are doing their utmost to prepare for his coming, although their faith may not be perfect. Who would fail to recognize the Lord coming on a literal cloud? Even non-believers would recognize him and come to him. Is it because someone will prevent them from doing so? Certainly not. Difficulties do not necessarily weaken a man's faith. Then would it be because he will come in exactly the same way as Jesus did the first time?
Two thousand years ago, when Jesus came, there was much faith among the people. Day and night they prayed in the temple and memorized their commandments. They tried hard to keep all the commandments and laws that God ordered them to keep. They faithfully offered their tithes and they fasted. In this sense, they had much faith in believing in God, yet they did not understand the true meaning of faith. They were being prepared to recognize t c son of God who was to be sent to them. From this viewpoint, Jesus could not find any faith on earth! Similarly, today there are millions of good Christians waiting for the arrival of the Lord of the Second Advent, but if the Lord comes in the same way as he did before, will he find the faith that will enable Christians to recognize him?
To emphasize once again, from the lessons we have previously learned from the experience of God's working in history, and judging from the scriptural passages quoted before, the Second Advent will occur as at the First Coming, by the Messiah's birth in the flesh, born of a woman. Indeed, he comes as the Son of man.
God created Adam to be the origin of the ideal man and the ideal family on earth. But because Adam fell and began this sinful world, Jesus came to restore the original ideal world in the capacity of the Second Adam (I Cor. 15:45).
Therefore, the Lord of the Second Advent comes to complete the overall task of restoration and purpose of creation as the Third Adam. Therefore, he must come in the flesh, and become the origin of the ideal individual and the ideal family, and realize the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, which has been God's eternal ideal.
If the Lord is to come on the earth in the flesh, then what is the meaning of the coming on the clouds?
According to Rev. 17:15, water symbolizes fallen or sinful man. Then what does a cloud mean? Clouds are vaporized water. Regardless of how dirty water may be, when it evaporates into a cloud, it becomes purified. Likewise, clouds signify the men resurrected or reborn from fallen men, or in other words, the resurrected believers reborn from the sinful world. The metaphor that he will come on the clouds means he will come again among the saints that God prepared.
Then, why did Jesus say he would come again on the clouds? First, it was to prevent the delusions of antichrists. It was better to let the people continue to believe that he would come on the clouds until the actual time of his coming. If it had been clarified that Christ would come on earth in the flesh, the confusion caused by the delusions of many antichrists could hardly have been prevented. But when the time is full, God will surely tell us.
Second, it was to encourage the disciples' religious life by shifting their attention heavenward. Regarding the Second Coming, Jesus said things that were not clearly understandable but were meant to encourage his followers to fulfill God's will as rapidly as possible. He said, "Surely I am coming soon: (Rev. 22:20). In Matt. 10:23, ". . . for truly I say to you, you will not have bone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes." Also in Matt. 16:28, he said, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom." And in John 21:18-22, he also spoke as though he would come again in their lifetime. But what was Jesus' intention in speaking this way?
Because the early Christians believed that Jesus' Second Coming was near, and that he would come on the clouds from heaven in the power and glory of God, they would remain enthusiastic and zealous and have strength to withstand the oppression and persecution of the Roman Empire, thus building the early Christian Church.
When Will Christ Come Again?
Then when will Christ come again? In Matt. 24:36 it says, "but of that day and hour no one knows," indicating that it would be fruitless to speculate as to the time of his return.
However, that same verse in Matthew says, "Only the Father knows," and in Amos 3:7 it says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets." We can understand that God will surely let people know about the Lord's Second Coming through the prophets. Many examples of this can be cited in the course of restoration, such as God's revealing the flood judgment to Noah, His destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to Lot, and the Messiah's First Coming. God revealed the time of Jesus' birth to the family of John the Baptist, the wise men of the east, Simeon, Anna, and others. In the entire history of God's providence, can there be any more important time for God than that of the Second Coming? How can God not let the people know, when the Son of God himself comes to earth to accomplish the unfulfilled purpose of creation?
God, who has been guiding history ever since the fall of the ancestors of mankind, must ultimately send the Messiah; God restores the lost purpose of creation by sending the Messiah.
Accordingly, since God's providence of restoration is fulfilled through the Messiah, the Messiah is the most precious fruit of God's restoration. The foundation of preparation for the Messiah began with the formation of the Israelites from Jacob's family. However, the people of Israel did not believe Jesus and thus, God developed the multi-racial Christianity as the Second Israel, consisting of all those who believed in Jesus.
Therefore, God's central providence is found in the history of Christianity, which God prepared as the Second Israel on the worldwide level in place of the lost First Israel. Furthermore, the history of the First Israel, which began from Jacob, and the history of the Second Israel, Christianity, which began from Jesus' time, must be identical because both were prepared for the purpose of enabling the Messiah to be received on earth.
The history of the Jewish people and the history of Christianity differ in terms of time period, make-up, geographical setting and cultural background. However, the mission of these two histories has been passed on from one to the other as part of God's central history of the restoration providence.
Each was prepared for the final product of its dispensation-the foundation for the Messiah through the principle of restoration.
Now let us compare these two histories from the standpoint of the restoration providence and examine the question of when the time of the Lord's Second Coming will be.
The history of Israel from the time of Jacob until Jesus was divided into six periods: the period of slavery in Egypt, the period of Judges, the period of the United Kingdom, the period of the divided kingdom of North and South, the period of Babylonian captivity and return and the period of preparation for the coming of the Messiah. In each period, God directly guided the providence, but the people could not fulfill their responsibility, and thus only after going through all of these periods could the Messiah come. Let us examine each time period in greater detail and compare each to the corresponding historical period after the time of Jesus.
The Period of Slavery in Egypt and the Period of Persecution by the Roman Empire
The period of slavery in Egypt began as a result of Abraham's failure in the offering. During this period Jacob's 12 sons and 70 kinsmen entered Egypt, which represented the satanic world, and their descendants were miserably persecuted by the Egyptians.
The period of the persecution under the Roman Empire began as a result of Israel's disbelief in Jesus. During this period Jesus' 12 disciples, 70 apostles and the early Christians went out into the Roman Empire and also underwent miserable persecution.
In the period of slavery in Egypt, the chosen people of Israel, amidst their 400-year long suffering, performed the rite of circumcision, offered sacrifices and kept the Sabbath. Similarly, the Christians during the period of persecution under the Roman Empire, performed the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism, offered the saints as living sacrifices and kept the Sabbath.
After the 400-year period of slavery in Egypt had ended, God chose Moses to subjugate Pharaoh and lead the Israelites to the new land of Canaan. Likewise, at the end of the period of persecution by the Roman Empire, Jesus influenced Emperor Constantine spiritually and moved him to recognize Christianity publicly in 313 AD, and finally could have Christianity declared the national religion by 392 AD In this way, Christians came to be restored, spiritually, into Canaan, out of the satanic world.
After the period of slavery in Egypt, Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, setting up the core of the Old Testament. By maintaining the tablets of stone, the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant, the First Israel, the chosen nation, came to set up the foundation to receive the Messiah. Likewise, after the period of persecution by the Roman Empire, the Second Israel, the chosen nation, collected the words of the Lord and the records of the apostles and decided on the New Testament and established churches centered on the words, and thus broadened the foundation to receive the Lord of the Second Advent.
The Period of Judges and the Period of Christian Churches under the Patriarchal System
The period of Judges is the 400-year period after the Israelites, led by Joshua and Caleb entered Canaan. In this period these judges each filled multiple functions of prophet, chief priest and king.
The period of Christian churches under the patriarchal system is when the Christians were led by the patriarchs, whose duties, from the standpoint of the restoration providence, corresponded to those of the judges.
The period of Judges is when the foundation of Israelite feudal society began centering on the judges in the new land allotted to each tribe.
Likewise, after Christianity's liberation from the Roman Empire, the Gospel was spread to the Germanic tribes who had moved to Western Europe because of the 4th century invasion of the Huns (from Mongolia). There, in the new land of Western Europe, they established the foundation of Christian feudal society.
The Period of the United Kingdom and the Period of the Christian Kingdom
At the onset of the period of the United Kingdom, the period in which the judges led the first Israel was over. The mission of the judges was divided into those of prophet, chief priest and king. Likewise with the period of the Christian Kingdom, the period in which the patriarchs led the Second Israel ended and the mission of the patriarchs was divided into those of monastery, pope and king. The period of the Christian Kingdom began when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Frank Empire, just as the United Kingdom of Israel began when the prophet Samuel, at God's command, anointed Saul as the first King of Israel.
The Period of the Divided Kingdoms of North and South and the Period of the Divided Kingdoms of East and West
The United Kingdom, which had begun with King Saul, was carried on through King David and King Solomon; then it divided into the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which was in Cain's position, and the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, which was in Abel's position. Thus, the period of the divided kingdoms of North and South came about.
Likewise, the Christian Kingdom, which had began with Charlemagne, divided into three parts-the East Franks, the West Franks and Italy-due to quarrels between his three grand sons. However, since Italy was under the rule of the East Franks, it was actually a period of division into the Kingdoms of East and West.
The Period of Jewish Captivity and Return and the Period of Papal Captivity and Return
Not only the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which perished at the end of the period of the Divided Kingdoms because of its disbelief, but also the Southern Kingdom of Judah as well became faithless. They would not repent and failed to make the foundation for the coming of the Messiah, centering on God's ideal of the temple. Therefore, God allowed them to be taken captive into Babylon, the satanic world, to suffer slavery there for 70 years (Jer. 39:1-10, II Kings 24 and 25). In this period, King Jehoiachin, Daniel, members of royalty, government officials and many other Jewish people were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Later, Persia destroyed Babylon and King Cyrus issued a decree freeing the Jews, who returned to their native land in three stages over a period of 140 years. There they set themselves up as the nation centering on the prophet Malachi to prepare for the Messiah.
From the end of the period of the Christian Kingdom, which was to prepare the foundation on the worldwide level for the Messiah's Second Coming, until the time when the papacy fell into corruption, God sent many signs, such as the losses and defeats of the Crusades, to make the popes and priests repent. But they did not and instead, with the gradual expansion of royal power, violent conflict grew between pope and king. Thus Pope Boniface VIII came 'into conflict with the French King Philip IV and was even imprisoned by him for a time. One generation later, Clement V moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon in Southern France. There the succeeding popes lived as captives for 70 years under the restraint of the French kings. This is the period of papal captivity. After that, Pope Gregory XI returned the papacy to Rome, but even after this there was much confusion as three popes reigned simultaneously for a period and other problems regarding papal authority occurred until the Religious Reformation began.
The Period of Preparation for the Coming of the Messiah and the Period of Preparation for the Second Coming of the Messiah
After returning from the Babylonian captivity, the nation of Israel once more erected the destroyed temple, and under the guidance of the prophet Malachi, repented for their past sins of having worshipped evil spirits by pledging themselves to the Law. This aroused a movement of reformation and was the beginning of the period of preparation for the coming of the Messiah. After 400 years they received the Messiah.
After the pope returned to Rome the period of preparation for the Second Coming of the Messiah began. It was a 400 year period in which the medieval Christians restored the foundation of faith for the Second Coming on the worldwide level by arousing the movement of religious reformation centering on Luther. The Reformation revived the zeal of the Christians, who then, with new passion, began worldwide evangelism.
The Old Testament Age was the age in which man was to set up faith toward God through the external conditions of the Law and offerings. Therefore, the First Israel, in order to indemnify the entire history since the time of Abraham in the period of preparation for the Messiah, had to go through the course of indemnity by experiencing tribulations under the rule of nations such as Persia, Greece, Egypt, Syria and Rome.
The New Testament Age was the age in which to set up faith toward God through the internal conditions of prayer and faith centering on Jesus' words. Therefore, in this overall period of preparation for the Second Coming of the Messiah, the Second Israel had to walk the way of internal tribulations. Due to the rise of humanism, which was the leading ideology of the Renaissance, the ideology of the Enlightenment which followed, and the freedom of faith propagated after the Reformation, Christianity had to endure much chaos and confusion. In this period Christians had to go through the course to indemnify the period from Jesus to the Lord's Second Coming by overcoming severe internal trials in their religious lives.
God foretold the coming of the Messiah by sending the prophet Malachi and by reforming and renewing Judaism, He prepared the First Israel for the coming of the Messiah. God also prepared the background and environment where the restoration of the purpose of creation was to take place. Examples are the vast political territory formed by the rise of the Roman Empire, with its ease of communication in any direction and the vast cultural sphere formed centering on the Hellenic language and tradition. Thus, the external foundation had already been made through God's providence so that once the Messiah came, the idea of the Messiah could quickly expand from Israel to Rome to the whole world.
Thus, in the period of preparation for the Second Coming of the Messiah, the external circumstances have also been greatly developed as a foundation for the Messiah's Second Advent.
On one hand, the medieval Church, stimulated by the Renaissance, came to advocate the restoration of the early Christian spirit, in which following God's will was the sole purpose of one's existence. The reformation movement, begun by Martin Luther, was meant to free Christians from the unjust interference, ritual and authority of the popes and priests and enable believers to relate directly to God and the Bible. This was done by God in the effort to prepare the Second Israel on the worldwide level for the Second Coming of the Messiah.
We have reviewed in detail the histories of the First and Second Israel as they occurred over different time periods, in different places and with roles played by different people. Yet, we can see an astonishing resemblance of time-identity when we look at them from the providential point of view. Because they are both central dispensations to prepare to receive one Messiah, both providences have been wrought by God Himself.
God's providence of restoration was designed to prepare the foundation for the coming of the Messiah, who is the fruit of human history. It went through six periods since the time of Jacob. They were the period of slavery in Egypt, the period of Judges, the period of United Kingdom, the period of the divided kingdoms of North and South, the period of Jewish captivity and return, and the period of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, which totals 1930 years.
However, when the First Israel did not complete its responsibility and did not believe in the Messiah, God had no choice but to prolong His providence of restoration. Therefore, after the coming of Jesus, until the time of the Lord of the Second Advent, the providence of restoration was repeated and extended. Therefore, we can see that the prolongation period of the providence of restoration went through the period of persecution by the Roman Empire, the period of Christian churches under the patriarchal system, the period of the Christian kingdom, the period of the divided kingdoms of East and West, the period of papal captivity and return, and the period of preparation for the Second Coming of the Messiah which also totals 1930 years.
The year of 1930 is not the time we have to wait for with hope and expectation, for it is already passed. Then why haven't we witnessed on earth the glory of the Second Coming of the Messiah and the final judgment? If the Second Coming is to take place in the air, the Lord's glory already would have been brightly spread all over the world. However, as was pointed out earlier, the Lord does not come again literally on the clouds. The Second Coming is accomplished by the Messiah being born on earth in the flesh. Then is 1930 the precise year the Messiah was born? The year cannot be pinpointed so exactly because a difference of up to plus or minus 10 years was often observed throughout the providential history. For instance, the period of persecution by the Roman Empire was to be of 400 years, but to be precise, actually lasted only until 392 AD Therefore, the coming of the Messiah cannot be pinpointed as the year 1930. Two thousand years ago, when Jesus came, he did not immediately proclaim his messialiship and thereupon promptly begin the judgment. There was indeed an unseen, unheard, yet steady preparation period of private life, and a period of public ministry to prepare the foundation to realize the purpose of the Messiah's coming. Likewise, the Lord of the Second Advent must also go through this course of preparation after his birth. Therefore, we can see that in view of the providence of restoration, this is now the time of preparation for the Lord's appearance.
Where Will Christ Come Again?
Then, if Christ is to come again as a man in the flesh on earth, he must be coming to a predetermined place in a predetermined nation. Then which nation is it?
Jesus said 2,000 years ago in Israel that he would come again, but will he come again among the Jewish people? In Matt. 21:33-43, through the parable of the wicked tenants, Jesus clearly indicated that he will not come again in the land of Israel, where he had been killed. Moreover, he said he would reclaim their right to be the chosen nation and give it to a nation and people who will be fruitful for the Second Coming.
In this parable, God is the owner of the vineyard; the vineyard means the works of God to accomplish the ideal of creation, which is the purpose of the salvation providence; the tenants are the chosen nation of Israel; the servants are the prophets; the owner's son is Jesus; and, the nation producing the fruits means the nation that would receive the Lord of the Second Advent.
Then, how should we take the biblical verse which records the coming of the sons of Israel? Rev. 7:4 states that out of every tribe of the sons of Israel there would be sealed 144,000 at the time of the Second Coming. What does this mean?
Originally, the name "Israel" was received by Jacob after he prevailed over the angel at the ford of Jabbok (Gen. 32:28). In other words, "Israel" means the people of God who have triumphed in faith and does not necessarily mean the lineal descendants of Jacob. Matt. 3:9 and Rom. 9:6 clarify the true definition of Israel.
Then, who would be the chosen people of Israel after Jesus' death on the cross? They are the devout Christians who believe in the Lord. It is stated in Rom. 11:11, "Through their [the Jews] trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous." This indicates that the center of God's providence of restoration has shifted from the Jewish people. Then, He will work His central providence not among the lineal descendants of Abraham, but among the devout Christians who have taken up the faith of Abraham. But precisely to which country will the Lord come?
When asked where he would come again, Jesus replied symbolically in Luke 17:3, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." Jesus did not specify which country. In Rev. 7:2-4 it is recorded that an angel ascended from the rising of the sun and sealed the chosen servants of God on their foreheads, the number of those being 144,000.
To state the conclusion first, the nation of the East is Korea. When a farmer transplants a tree, he carefully digs up the soil and waters it to prepare for the tree. How could God, who is expecting the fruit of human history, send the Messiah without preparation? Let us further consider the view that the land to receive the Lord is Korea.
First, the nation to which the Messiah comes must be the object of God's heart. In this view, Korea is the land God has prepared. God, since the fall of the first human ancestors until today, has lived in deep despair and unfulfillment. Too often we refer to God as a being of utmost glory who is so far above us, but this is because we do not know God's heart. Due to the fall of man, who is His only child, God has been grieving with the heart of a parent who lost his child, and to save that rebellious child, He has wandered through the sinful world of hell in search of him. Therefore, the individual, or family, or nation which fights against Satan on earth in God's place can hardly avoid the path of tears and suffering. How could a filial and faithful son, who shares the agony of his parent's heart, lead an easy life?
Since the Messiah is the one who comes bearing the grieving heart of God, to relieve God's sorrow here on earth, he cannot come among a people who are satisfied by their material abundance. Since the nation which is to receive the Messiah must become the object of God's heart-since its people must become sons and daughters of the same heart as God I s-that nation cannot avoid the way of suffering.
The First and Second Israel both had to tread the way of suffering and hardship; likewise, the Third Israel must tread the same way. The history of the utmost misery, especially the extreme example of suffering in modem times, has been the model course which the Third Israel had to take. Thus, even while undergoing the life of suffering and misery, this nation, Korea, has been faithfully inheriting the good tradition of filial piety and loyalty, and even at the height of its national power, never provoked or first invaded a neighboring nation. God's strategy has been that of winning victory from the position of being attacked, quite different from the intent of invasion or aggression. Despite innumerable foreign invasions, the fact that the Korean people have maintained their homogeneous lineage and subjectivity of culture is simply amazing. Even amidst its persistently sorrowful history it has cherished its education as a nation.
Second, Korea is meaningful as the nation bearing fruit of many religions. Korea has a strong inclination toward religious life. The Korean people revere God. Many of the world's great religions, such as Confucianism and Buddhism, have flourished in this land and borne fruit. In recent centuries Christianity arrived and achieved the highest pinnacle of Christianity. Religion has deeply blended with daily life in exquisite harmony. A nation matching this description is indeed hard to find in the world.
The Lord does not come to save Christians alone. Of course Christianity is the central nation in God's providence, but God Himself has created and guided all the major religions for the restoration of their particular region, time period, or circumstance. Therefore, the Messiah, who is to accomplish the ultimate purpose of God's providence must simultaneously fulfill the purpose of a other religions as well.
In this view, the nation which bears the fruits of all the major religions becomes the land suitable to receive the Lord.
Third, the nation in which our Lord comes must be the front line of both God and Satan. As we can understand from God's words to Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit or they would die, the point where they fell became a dividing line of heaven and earth and life and death, and thus good and evil also split apart from this point.
Thus, our Lord comes to the same basic type of point, where again life and death and good and evil confront one another. He then goes on to fulfill the providential history and solve the current problems.
God's providence to restore this world to His own side, after Satan took the initiative, can also be seen as the dispensation of dividing Cain and Abel. The separation of the worlds of Cain and Abel before the coming of the Messiah is manifested in the Communist and democratic worlds. Thus, this can be called a horizontal development of the vertical providence which God has wrought throughout history.
Therefore, where our Lord comes is where the two powers of democracy and Communism confront one another; it is the focal point of both God's love and Satan's hate. That very line of confrontation is the 38th parallel in the Korean peninsula. Therefore, this line is not only the front line of democracy and Communism but also the front line of God and Satan as well.
Since the nation and race in which the Lord comes in the East are an offering for the restoration providence, the Korean nation, which is the offering, must be divided. Thus, the Korean War which broke out along the 38th parallel was not merely the civil conflict of a nation due to territorial separation. It was the confrontation between the democratic and Communist blocs and furthermore, between God and Satan. The fact that many nations (16) not immediately concerned with the conflict nonetheless participated and helped the providence of restoration has divine significance.
Fourth, the nation in which the Lord comes must establish a national foundation for the providence of restoration. In order for Korea to become the nation to receive the Messiah, just as did the First and Second Israel, it must establish the national foundation to separate from Satan. The Israelites had to establish a condition of separating from Satan by suffering in slavery for 400 years in Egypt, which represented the satanic world. The Second Israel also established a condition to separate from Satan by enduring persecution for four centuries in the Roman Empire, which also represented the satanic world.
Thus, at the time of the Second Advent, the Third Israel, Korea, must also endure suffering at the hands of a particular nation on the satanic side in order to separate from Satan. In this case, it was Japan, and for 40 years it brought unimaginable torment upon Korea. In 1905, Japan forcibly deprived Korea of its diplomatic rights and this brought on a period of loss of national sovereignty which lasted until 1945, the year of its defeat in World War 11. During this period, the Korean people were completely deprived of their freedom by Japan, and countless numbers were imprisoned, slaughtered and underwent all sorts of extreme persecution. Especially in 1910, after Japan annexed Korea, the persecution of Christianity, which was the major foundation for Korea's independence movement, was unparalleled in its cruelty. When, on one hand, Christianity was enjoying its freedom under God's providence all around the globe, the suffering of the Korean nation, of which Christians were the core, became the condition of national indemnity to qualify it as the Third Israel.
Fifth, this nation must have prophetic testimonies among the people. When God sends his beloved Son, how can He do it quietly? Certainly, He would reveal it to all prepared souls on earth, hand them the good news and have them prepare themselves. Just as the Jewish people knew through the prophets that the Messiah would come as a king and save them, for 500 years, Korea also had a strong messianic faith through the Chung-Garn-Nok, a book of prophecy. It was written in the time of the providence when God's salvation through the Messiah was not immediately available. It is characteristic of Korea to have been nurtured by this unique messianic thought.
Also, many spiritually gifted clergy and laymen have received specific revelations regarding the Second Advent of the Lord in Korea. Furthermore, many deeply religious people have had the common revelation that Korea will be the center of world salvation.
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