THE HISTORY OF RESTORATION
THE OLD TESTAMENT
We learned in the previous chapter of the Divine Principle that God
grieved to see evil enter Adam and Eve's lives. God is good and cannot exist eternally
with evil. It must ultimately be eradicated in human beings. God immediately worked to
bring Adam's family back to a state of goodness. When Adam and Eve fell they lost their
value. Let's use an analogy of a cup that falls to the floor, cracks and cannot hold
water. The cup has lost its value. It is useless; it does not fulfill its purpose. The
owner has two options. He can throw it into the trash and buy or make another, or he can
repair it and make it valuable again.
God did not have the option of throwing Adam and Eve and Lucifer
into the trash and create other beings to replace them. He created them as eternal beings.
It is impossible for God to destroy them. They are part of God. To destroy them would be
to destroy himself. God could only try to repair them--to restore them to their original
goodness. He does this not out of duty but out of love. It would never occur to God to
destroy his creation eternally. He created Lucifer and Adam and Eve out of love, and he
immediately began to work with love to restore them. Evil is abhorrent to God. Evil
entered God's creation and just as our body immediately works to eliminate a germ, God
began working to eradicate evil.
God's love is voluntary and spontaneous. He created Adam, Eve and
Lucifer to be like him--good -- and with a drive to express and receive love. Because
God's love is voluntary He cannot and would not ever force Adam, Eve and Lucifer to love
Him. That would not be true love.
God is a principled being who only works in a logical, orderly and
lawful way. He created the universe with principle, and He works to restore it in a
principled way. The formula or plan to restore Adam and Eve and Lucifer is called God's
Providence of Restoration.
God could not simply snap His fingers or wave a magic wand to
restore Adam and Eve and Lucifer. How does God, our loving parent, work? Adam, Eve and
Lucifer voluntarily turned the Garden of Eden into hell on earth. To restore God's ideal
world they must voluntarily come back to God.
God works to restore their original state of goodness. Restoration
equals salvation. A drowning person can be saved only by being brought back to the shore
where he was originally safe. To save him is to restore his previous position. If a person
has lost his health and becomes sick, saving him means to restore him to his previous
Adam, Eve and Lucifer lost vertical and horizontal love when they
fell. Vertical love was the love between God and them. Horizontal love was the love
between Adam, Eve and Lucifer. This love is called brotherhood and sisterhood. The Bible
says we are to love God with all our heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
This is a statement about restoring vertical and horizontal love.
LOVE OF GOD = VERTICAL LOVE
LOVE OF NEIGHBOR = HORIZONTAL LOVE
There were two acts of evil in the Garden of Eden. The first was
between Lucifer and Eve and the second between Adam and Eve. The first act was more
unprincipled than the second. Angels and mankind were never intended to have sexual
relations. It is totally unnatural. Sex between Adam and Eve was natural but premature.
Also the motivation of Eve was less evil with Adam than with Lucifer. She went to Adam in
the hope of repairing what had happened with Lucifer. The act between Lucifer and Eve is
called the spiritual fall, and the act between Adam and Eve is called the physical fall.
If Adam had not succumbed to Eve, he could have restored Eve by teaching her how to lift
herself out of her tragic situation, and then Lucifer could have been dominated by Adam.
But when Adam fell the fall became complete and the angel Lucifer dominated God's
children. Lucifer became Satan and ruled the world.
1. Lucifer and Eve ------------Spiritual Fall
2. Adam and Eve --------------Physical Fall
Cain and Abel
God's first central figure on earth was Adam. God works through a
central point. When Adam fell and became a mixture of good and evil, God had to restore
this. Cain and Abel, Adam's sons, represented the evil and good split in Adam. Abel was
chosen to represent God's side because he was the second son of Adam and Eve. Cain, the
first son of Adam and Eve, represented the first fruits of the unprincipled love between
Lucifer and Eve. Abel represented the fruits of the relatively lesser evil of the second
act between Adam and Eve.
Abel and Cain, representing good and evil, were to restore the
vertical and horizontal love that was lost in the Garden of Eden. To restore vertical love
between God and man, God asked Abel to give an offering. Adam, Eve and Lucifer voluntarily
walked away from God. They disobeyed God. To restore this Abel showed his love by obeying
God and successfully gave his offering. This act restored vertical love and the spiritual
To restore horizontal love and the physical fall God had Cain
represent the angel Lucifer and Abel represent God's children. Cain's mission was to love
Abel and become one in heart with him. God told Cain to make an offering. Cain did and
then God refused it. God did this not because he hated Cain. On the contrary He loved
Cain. He loved Cain as much as he loved Abel. God loves all of his children equally. But
Cain was required to restore fallen emotions. By rejecting Cain's offering Cain would have
the same feelings Lucifer had--jealousy. God warned Cain to be aware of this but Cain
compared himself to his brother Abel and felt the same lack of love that Lucifer had
towards Adam. Lucifer struck Adam, God's first central figure and now Cain struck Abel,
God's second central figure. Now physical murder was introduced to the world. More evil
was produced. God's task became more difficult. Lucifer (Satan) influenced Cain to kill
his brother. God lost in this first attempt to restore the misuse of love in the Garden of
If there had been love between Cain and Abel then there would have
been a base for God to step in and claim from Satan enough room or space in Satan's
dominion for another totally pure man to be born. Through this pure man God could reach
out to all people and raise them--teaching them how to separate themselves from Satan.
This pure man or Second Adam would fulfill what Adam wasn't able to fulfill in the Garden
of Eden, i.e., the fulfillment of the three great blessings and an ideal, harmonious
Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Cain and Abel were to lay a foundation for the Second Adam to be
born. God can only send the Second Adam to an environment that will protect him. God first
placed Adam in the garden of Eden protected by Lucifer who He trusted to protect him.
Likewise, God had to see that Adam's family would protect the Second Adam while he was
growing to perfection. With the Second Adam as the True Parent to Adam's family, Satan
would have no base with anyone and would without his powers give up and be restored to
Lucifer as before the fall. The Second Adam is called the Messiah. God had to postpone
sending the Messiah until another family laid the proper foundation. Mankind grew into a
society filled with people who had lost their spiritual senses and fallen into a terrible
spiritual darkness. God saw every kind of evil. Satan ruled with a vengeance. The earth
was filled with violence and immorality. The murder of Abel increased to wars.
Human history is really an unseen battle between God and Satan. God
is struggling to win control. All conflicts are between relative good and relative evil.
God has been trying to teach those on his side to be strong and not be killed but win over
those in the Cain position.
After Cain murdered Abel, Seth, Adam's third son, took the place of
Abel (Gen. 4:25). And from Seth's descendants God chose Noah's family to substitute for
Adam's family and begin His providence to lay the foundation for the Messiah.
The Bible says that there are 10 generations and about 1600 years from Adam to Noah:
The dates given above for these nine patriarchs are the age they had the son named below them. Adam was 130 years old when he fathered Seth. If we add these numbers they come to 1056. Noah is the tenth and began having his children at the age of 500. This means the Bible says there is 1556 years from Adam to Noah. The Principle rounds this off to 1600 which is a multiple of 400. The numbers used in Genesis and most of the numbers used in the entire Old Testament are basically symbolic, not literal numbers.
These 10 generations are a cycle of separation from Satan. After
this cycle God and mankind could start at the beginning point once more.
In the pattern of history God is using a precise formula to restore
mankind. God sets up a situation to reenact the fall. Someone is chosen by God to
represent Adam (called a central figure) and someone is chosen to represent Lucifer. We
learned that Cain and Abel did not restore what happened in the Garden of Eden between
Lucifer and Adam.
In Noah's family God sets up another situation. He chose Noah to
stand in the position of Adam or Abel, and Noah's son Ham is put in Lucifer's or Cain's
position. If Noah and Ham can do the opposite of Lucifer and Adam and the opposite of Cain
and Abel, then God can send the messiah knowing he will be protected and followed.
If they fail then God must move on and pick new people and try
again. What God needs is for mankind to make an effort voluntarily to restore the fall.
Before God can send the messiah there are certain conditions that must be met. By making
these conditions then the loss of God's ideal can be indemnified. These indemnity
conditions require effort.
God was betrayed. And it was necessary for Cain and Abel to make
special effort, i.e., indemnity conditions to show God they loved Him and were sorry. In
our everyday life we have to show effort to restore any relationship in which we hurt
others. We have to apologize, change our behavior, pay money or do something to pay for
our mistake and show our sincerity and that we want to have a trusting relationship again.
The indemnity conditions God needed from Cain and Abel were efforts
to show vertical and horizontal love. Abel, God's central figure, had to make an offering
and show vertical love. Then Abel and Cain were supposed to restore horizontal love
between each other with Cain accepting Abel as his leader and following him.
In Noah's family Noah showed vertical love, and God was hoping Noah
and Ham could show horizontal love.
Before we get into Noah's family let's stop for a moment and look at
one further aspect in God's pattern and formula to restore man. In God's dispensation of
restoration we call the indemnity conditions to restore vertical love--the foundation of
faith, and the effort required to overcome our fallen nature and love each other
horizontally in a God centered way is called the foundation of substance. By doing both of
these loving actions we lay the foundation for the Messiah. It is also necessary to make
these conditions in a certain time period. Adam and Eve were supposed to accomplish
growing to perfection in a certain amount of time. Mankind lost God's mathematical time
God is mathematical. Scientists have admired the mathematical nature
of the universe. One author writes, "Galileo and Kepler really and truly believed in
a God who planned and designed the whole creation -- a God who was a master mathematician
and technician. Mathematics was God's style, and whether it was the movement of the stars,
the flight of a bird, the diffusion of gases, or the propagation of opinions -- they all
bore God's mathematical hallmark" (Eric Hoffer, Ordeal of Change p. 60)
God created the world with mathematical precision. This is why
mathematics is the basis of science. Men and women were created to mature by fulfilling
the numbers of perfection: 3,4,7,10,12 and 21.
Three is the number of God. It is the highest number of perfection.
The number three is often mentioned in the Bible: the three decks of Noah's ark; the
trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the three wise men.
We see the number three reflected in the natural world. There are
the three kingdoms; animal, vegetable and mineral. There are the three states of matter:
gas, liquid and solid. There are the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Infinity
is represented by a circle; a circle is determined by three points.
The number four symbolizes earthly perfection. There are four directions of north, south, east and west and the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. The family unit is composed of four parts: God, man, woman and children.
The significance of the number three is derived from these four positions. There are three distinct stages: God as the origin; the husband and wife as the division of God's dual characteristic; and their children as the result of their unity.
|God 1. Origin|
|Man Woman 2. Division|
|Child 3. Union|
God's eternal pattern for all beings and things is called the Four
Position Foundation. It is the fundamental foundation for all love, goodness, ideals,
existence, action, multiplication and the three stages of the growth period. It is also
the basis for the significance of the numbers 4,3, and 12.
Another number of perfection is seven, the combination of the
earthly number four with the spiritual number three. There are seven days in a week. The
number seven or multiples of seven are often used in the Bible: God created the earth and
the heavens in seven symbolic days; Jacob worked seven years to gain Rachel; there were 70
members in Jacob's family.
Each stage of the growth period has a formation, growth and
completion stage, making a total of nine stages. The final, tenth stage is full maturity
and the reason that ten is also a number of perfection. This is why we have ten fingers
and ten toes. A baby grows through nine months (three trimesters of three months each) and
is born in the tenth. In the Bible, God gave Moses ten commandments.
|5 Growth Stage|
|2 Formation Stage|
The number twelve is also a number of perfection. There are 12
personality types, 12 months in the year and the number 12 occurs in the Bible. For
example, Jesus had 12 disciples. The source of these numbers comes from the family unit.
God's plan was for man and woman to be one with Him in love. They would marry and have a
family. God, the husband and wife would love the child with all their hearts and the child
would love them in return. If we made a diagram of the four positions and put arrows of
all the directions of love toward each other there would be 12 directions of love.
By multiplying the number 7 by the number 3 we have still another
number of perfection, 21. We often associate 21 with the age of adulthood. In the Bible
Noah sent out doves three times for seven days each totaling 21 days.
Noah was a righteous man. God told Noah he was going to flood the
earth and that Noah should prepare. Noah spent around 100 years building the ark. The ark
symbolized the world. The three decks represented the three stages of the growth period.
Noah represented God; Noah's family represented mankind; the animals symbolized the
It rained 40 days (10x4), representing separation from the satanic
world. Afterwards, a raven went forth symbolizing Satan. Noah sent a dove. After 7 days it
returned, unsuccessful in finding dry land. This represented Adam who was unsuccessful.
Noah sent a second dove after 7 days. It returned with an olive branch symbolizing the
Second Adam. Seven days later, after 21 days, Noah sent a third dove. It did not return,
which meant that it was successful in finding dry land. If God was unsuccessful with the
Second Adam, He had one more chance to send a Third Adam who would be successful.
There were eight members in Noah's family: Noah, his wife, their
sons, Ham, Japeth and Shem, and their wives. This equaled Adam and Eve, their three sons,
Cain, Abel and Seth and their wives. The number eight symbolizes a new start. There are
seven days to a week; the eighth day is a new start.
With Noah's family God wanted to start fresh. If Noah's family could
restore the sins of Adam's family, then they would multiply and the Second Adam could be
Satan would have no base on earth and would have to repent and
become Lucifer again. Because sin began on earth, it must be erased from earth first.
To help explain God's purpose of the flood judgement let's use an
analogy of a parent who has a son that becomes criminally insane. The son commits terrible
crimes and comes home to hide. Although the Father loves his son he cannot let him
continue to hurt others. The father does not want his son to be imprisoned but in this
case he knows it is a better place for him because he can be helped. So in agony the
father calls the police and has his son taken to a mental hospital. The father is not
acting out of vengeance. The flood judgment was not the wrath of God but the love of God.
For God, the flood was the police, and the spirit world was the mental hospital.
In this way, God wanted to save mankind. God's motivation in putting
everyone in the spirit world by cleansing the earth with the flood was to save mankind,
not to hurt them. The people would be better off in spirit world. Even so, it was such a
difficult and painful decision for God to create the flood that he decided never to work
that way again.
We read in the Bible that God said, "... never again shall
there be a flood to destroy the earth" (Gen. 9:11). The rainbow is a reminder of that
If Noah's family demonstrated purity, then those who were killed by
the flood and everyone else who had previously died and gone to the spirit world,
including Adam and Eve, would be restored to perfection.
After the flood, Noah and his second son, Ham, became the central
figures to represent Lucifer (Cain) and Adam (Abel). They were to achieve what Cain and
Abel did not. One day, Noah fell asleep naked in his tent. Ham saw him but failed to see
Noah as God saw him. Ham should have multiplied goodness but instead he felt shame, the
same feelings that occurred in the Garden of Eden. Ham multiplied evil by having his two
brothers cover his father. When Noah woke up, he cursed him. Satan had again stopped God
from sending the Messiah. God couldn't send the Second Adam to Noah's family. There was no
So God had to wait and transfer the mission of restoring Adam's
family to another family. When a champion of God fails, God moves on to another. As God
waited, the earth became repeopled from Noah's three sons and their wives.
God's original plan was for one culture and one language.
Differences in languages is a result of the fall and has been one of the barriers to
creating a one world family. As history goes on and more languages and cultures arise, it
becomes harder for God and mankind to restore the world.
The Bible says after 400 years God found a family He could work
with. This family was Abraham's.
The approximately 400 years between Noah and Abraham were 10
generations just as there was 10 generations (1600 years) between Adam and Noah.
These nine patriarchs had their son listed below their name at the age given. Terah fathered Abraham when he was 70. If we add the numbers above we see there were 390 years from Adam's son Seth to the birth of Abraham. After Noah, the Bible says God shortened the ages of people so he could shorten the time needed for restoration.
Abraham had Ishmael when he was 86 years old. If we add 390 + 86 we get the number 476. Abraham had Isaac when he was 100 years old. 390 + 100= 490 years. The Principle rounds these numbers to 400 for the period from Noah's family to Abraham's family. As we continue into the Bible the numbers get more precise. Later we will compare the precise symbolic numbers of Israelite history to the precise literal numbers of Christian history. The imprecise numbers of pre-Israelite history in Genesis will roughly correlate to the precise parallels we will see between Israelite history and Christian history.
ABRAHAM -- ISAAC -- JACOB
God's previous champion, Noah, was a righteous man. But Abraham was
the first son of an idol maker. Why did He choose someone like Abraham?
Before Abraham, God had favored second sons such as Abel, and Satan
had favored first sons like Cain. But we know that in Noah's family Satan claimed Ham, a
second son. Therefore God claimed a first son of an idol maker.
God told Abraham to take his family and leave his home, the Ur of
Chaldea. They went to Egypt before they settled in Canaan. Before they entered Egypt,
Abraham told his wife Sarah to pretend to be his sister. When they arrived in Egypt, the
pharaoh heard of her great beauty and took Sarah into his home. God immediately inflicted
a plague on Pharaoh's home. The Pharaoh, in fear, gave Sarah back and told Abraham to
Here again is a re-enacting of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were
like brother and sister. The Pharaoh was Lucifer. Lucifer took Eve, but the Pharaoh did
not take Sarah. He gave her back to Abraham untouched.
So, Abraham's family restored the fall in Adam's family. The stories
of Adam, Noah and Abraham take place in different times and in different ways but the
pattern or symbolism is the same. The stories in the Bible are tied together.
By passing his test in Egypt, God let Abraham enter Canaan. God tested Abraham again. God said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a she-goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon" (Gen. 15:9). The sacrifices symbolize the three stages of the growth period. The turtledove and pigeon represent the formation stage; the goat and the ram the growth stage; and the heifer, the completion stage.
|Completion||heifer||3rd Adam||Completion Testament|
|Growth||goat, ram||2nd Adam||New Testament|
|Formation||turtledove, pigeon||1st Adam||Old Testament|
Each stage also represents God's three chances to bring a perfect
Adam to earth to start building the kingdom of heaven. The First Adam is represented by
What is the symbolism of the dove? A dove descended on Jesus. John the Baptist represented the Old Testament; Jesus the New Testament. At this point the Old Testament was fulfilled. So the dove symbolized the Old Testament beginning with Adam.
What does the goat and ram mean? Jesus was called the lamb of God.
John the Baptist once said, pointing to Jesus, "Behold, the lamb of God, who takes
away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). The growth stage represents the New
Testament of Jesus, the Second Adam.
What does the heifer mean? Its symbolism can be found in the story
of Samson. Samson told a riddle to the Philistines. They couldn't figure it out so they
had Samson's wife find out and tell them. When they answered the riddle, Samson told them,
"If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle."
Samson's wife was compared to a heifer.
If, by chance, the Second Adam was unsuccessful, then God could send
the Third Adam. This Adam would succeed in marrying and establishing the first perfect
family on earth and restore what Adam and Eve failed to do. The third stage represents the
Third Adam who brings the Completed Testament.
The manner of cutting the animals in half was difficult for Abraham.
It took great effort to carefully cut the animals lengthwise through its entire body.
Abraham successfully cut the heifer in half and the ram and goat but became tired and fell
asleep before sacrificing the birds. Birds of prey came and destroyed the offering.
Abraham had failed. We read, "And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid
each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of
prey came down upon the carcasses, Abraham drove them away. As the sun was going down a
deep sleep fell on Abraham: and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. Then the
Lord said to Abraham, 'know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land
that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred
years!" (Gen. 15:10-13).
These offerings were deeply symbolic and important. The cutting in
half was a symbolic act to show Abraham's desire to separate good and evil--to separate
Cain and Abel.
Abraham did not cut the birds for two reasons. First, he was tired
after working on the large animals. Second, the birds seemed of little importance because
they were literally little. Abraham should have been thorough and seen every act as
important. The birds had as much value as the larger animals just as children have as much
value as adults. God loves every person regardless of their size or importance or status.
He loves every nation of the world regardless of its size. Abraham's failure, like the
failures of central figures before him caused so many to suffer. Because he didn't cut the
birds in half his many descendants were to suffer in slavery for four hundred years. It is
important to see the magnitude and importance that central figures of God have.
We have seen that when a central figure of God fails He always moves
on to another. In Abraham's case we have an exception. God was able to give Abraham a
second chance to be a central figure because Abraham was the third central figure of God
(after Abel and Noah). The reason God could claim the third central figure was because
Adam and Eve fell while they were in the growth stage of development.
The third stage was not invaded by Satan so Abraham, the third
champion of God and his family, could be used again. If Abraham had been successful God
would have had Abraham's two sons Isaac and Ishmael be the central figures to restore
horizontal love of Cain and Abel. Abraham's failure caused a division. Ishmael left and
became the ancestor of the Arab race. Another tragic effect of Abraham's failure was that
it laid the basis for division and hatred between the Arabs who would be descended from
Ishmael, and the Jews who would be descended from Isaac. The Arab and Jew are brothers but
the seed of animosity and distance between them originate with their ancestor Abraham.
God's alternative plan was to have Abraham's son Isaac become the
central figure to restore vertical love and for his children to restore horizontal love
(Cain and Abel). God told Abraham to take his son to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him. He
had to pay a greater indemnity for the failure of not cutting the birds.
Abraham and Sarah were very old when they had Isaac. Abraham adored
his son. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on an altar of fire you can imagine the
feelings of Abraham. He loved his son, but he loved God more. So he took Isaac on a
three-day walk to Mt. Moriah. The three days represent a separation from Satan and a new
beginning for God.
When they arrived, they built an altar and when Isaac asked,
"Where is the lamb?" Abraham said, "My son, you are the sacrifice."
Without any hesitation, completely trusting his father, Isaac got on the altar. Abraham
took his knife, raised it in the air and was about to plunge it into his son when we read,
"an angel of the Lord called back from Heaven, and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' And he
said 'Here I am.' He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now
I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from
me'" (Gen. 22:10-12).
Abraham's mission as God's central figure transferred to Isaac and then to Jacob. The Old Testament gives 40 years as a generation so these three generations total 120 years. (Some historians believe they have been able to determine literal dates for the length of time a few people lived who are named in the Old Testament, but the Principle only looks at the symbolic dates given in the Bible.) And because they became united as one in God's dispensation the Jewish people today say their God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
|Abraham Isaac Jacob|
Isaac inherited Abraham's position as central figure because
although Isaac was a young boy he was old enough to know he was giving his life and did so
without hesitation. By being one with Abraham and offering himself as a sacrifice he
successfully became a central figure and fulfilled the foundation of vertical love.
Isaac's two sons, Esau and Jacob, were placed in the positions of Cain and Abel. Esau was
in the position of Cain (or Lucifer) and Jacob was in the position of Abel (or Adam). Esau
was the eldest son like Cain and represented evil and Jacob was the second son, like Abel,
who represented good. We read that Esau and Jacob fought, even in their mother's womb
(Gen. 25:22-23) and that God "loved" Jacob and "hated" Esau because
God must hate evil and love good. God loves Esau, but he hates the evil that Esau
In restoring the past during God's Providence of Restoration not only must those in the Cain position do right but those in the Abel position must make conditions to show they are worthy of being God's champion. Jacob had to show his worthiness for being in the Abel position. In the Garden of Eden Lucifer stole the birthright from Adam. So to restore this loss, Jacob, in the position of Adam stole the birthright from Esau who represented Lucifer. Jacob and Esau had such different personalities and interests that they had almost nothing to do with each other for many years. Let's use the number 40 to represent their separation. But at the end of this time the division between them became complete when Jacob stole Esau's blessing by pretending to be Esau before his father Isaac.
|Jacob and Esau|
God does not condone stealing but in this case God did because it
represents restoration of the birthright to Adam. When Esau discovered how his brother had
tricked him, he was furious. He was going to kill Jacob, but Jacob heard this and fled to
Haran and stayed with his Uncle Laban.
Laban was cruel and cheated Jacob many times. But after 20 years of suffering Jacob successfully earned great wealth and in the 21st year started his return to his homeland. Jacob was acting selflessly. He was thinking in terms of the public benefit. He could have selfishly gone off alone with his family to enjoy his wealth that he had earned after so many years of drudgery. But his mind was so occupied with God's will that he wanted to restore his relationship with his brother Esau. Jacob was willing to sacrifice everything he had.
When he and his family were leaving Haran, Rachel, Jacob's wife,
stole Laban's idols. Laban pursued them, found Jacob and said, "You have stolen my
idols. I want them back." Jacob, knowing nothing, got angry and said he didn't have
them but Laban could look for them. When Laban went into Rachel's tent, we read, "Now
Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle, and sat upon them.
Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, 'Let not
my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.' So he
searched, but did not find the household gods" (Gen: 31:34-35). Laban finally gave up
and returned home. Lucifer had deceived Eve. Now Eve, represented by Rachel, stole from
As Jacob bravely made his way back to his home Esau heard of his
coming and he felt, like Cain, a great resentment to his brother and led an army of four
hundred men to kill Jacob. When Jacob heard this news he prayed to God and then thought,
'I may appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterwards I shall see his
face; perhaps he will accept me'" (Gen. 32:20). With a pure heart he sent ahead of
him as a gift for Esau his five hundred livestock that he had earned for his hard labor in
Haran. And when Jacob saw Esau he went to him and we read, "bowing himself to the
ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. But Esau ran to meet him, and
embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept" (Gen. 33::2-4).
Esau had been melted by Jacob's total generosity, sincerity and courage. Human history
entered a new era. It was elevated to a higher dimension at this time.
Man's portion of responsibility throughout human history has been to
subjugate Satan. Sin is having a give and take relationship with Satan. The kingdom of
heaven will come when every human being frees himself from his influence.
Jacob was the first champion in history to subjugate Satan enough to
lay a foundation for the messiah to come.
Many people have a hard time with Jacob. He is always criticized for
being cunning and stealing, but Jacob was loved by God because he did the right things.
His life is the model course that shows us the way to win over Satan.
The Fall placed angels -- both the good and evil ones -- above
mankind. The Fall caused people to fall to the very bottom of the universe. Even the
creation has become higher than mankind.
To restore ourselves we must stop angels from dominating us and then
dominate them. Jacob pioneered this. The night before Jacob was to see Esau we read that
he sent his family "across the stream" of Jabbok. "And Jacob was left
alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he
did not prevail against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh (symbolizing the lower
parts); and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said,
'Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and
with men, and have prevailed'" (Gen. 32: 24-28). Then as "The sun rose upon
him" Jacob went "limping because of his thigh...And Jacob lifted up his eyes and
looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him."
The "man" who fought Jacob was an angel sent by God. Jacob
pioneered the way of strength and perseverance and love that we must have to lay a
foundation for the messiah. The name Israel means "victor." Jacob was
The Messiah could not come at this time though because even though
Jacob had laid a foundation for the Messiah at the family level there were nations
surrounding Jacob who would kill the Messiah if he came. Because mankind had grown and
become divided into power units of nations God had to build a nation too. So God
concentrated His efforts to build a nation. So God concentrated His efforts to build the
Israelites into a nation that would protect the Messiah. God had to prolong His
dispensation from the family level to the national level. As history goes on it becomes
more and more difficult for God to restore the world. As mankind increases in population,
We will next study the 2000 year history of the Israelites -- the
descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are other histories of other peoples during
this time but the history of the small group of Jewish people is the central history that
God was working through. God was working with other people and hearing their prayers and
being with them throughout the world, but God was working with Israel as the Adam nation
for world restoration.
We read in Genesis that Jacob became the father of Joseph when he returned to his home. Joseph was 30 years old when he was given power in Egypt. Then there was seven plentiful years he had predicted. This would make him 37 years old. Then the Bible says that sometime after that he met his Father who came to Egypt because of the famine that occured seven years after the seven plentiful years. Therefore there is approximately forty years between the time Jacob returned home and when he went to Egypt with his family. This 40-year time period is called the "Preparation for Egypt."
|Preparation for Egypt|
For the next 2000 years the Bible records how God worked to build
the Israelites to be His chosen nation. It is important to learn here that God and Satan
work through nations.
Also it is important to see that although the pattern of Cain and
Abel is working in the world, the individual circumstances change. Abraham was not
required to build an Ark like Noah, and Jacob did not have to offer animal sacrifices like
Abraham. Central figures throughout history do not do exactly the same things anymore than
they dress alike, but their actions do follow a similar pattern. The stories in the Bible
are different because they deal with different people at different times in history but
the pattern of their behavior is the same. The world is a battle ground between Cain and
Abel all the way from individuals to nations.
Those individuals, families, religions and nations that are in the Abel position must, like Jacob, be sacrificial and giving without complaint. And those in the Cain position must be won over by Abel's generosity and sincerity and strength of faith in God's will.
|2000 YEAR PRE-ISRAELITE HISTORY|
|ADAM||NOAH||UNITED GENERATIONS||BROTHERS DIVIDED||JACOB'S EXILE AND RETURN||PREPARATION FOR EGYPT|
We have learned that God worked in 6 periods of time from Adam to
Jacob. First, there was the 1600 years from Adam to Noah; second, the 400 years from Noah
to Abraham. Third, the 120 year period of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Fourth, the
approximately 40 years when Jacob and Esau divided. Fifth, the 21 year exile of Jacob and
his return to his home, and Sixth, the 40 year time period before he and his family went
Jacob's descendants were the Israelites and the Old Testament tells
of their 2000 year history. We will see that these 2000 years resemble the six time
periods of the previous 2000 years.
The first time period of the Jewish people was the 400 years of slavery under the pharaoh of Egypt. They had grown to a large number of people and finally, Moses, a liberator, came.
|2000 YEAR JEWISH HISTORY|
Jacob had shown vertical and horizontal love. Vertically he loved
God with all his heart and horizontally he showed his love for mankind by successfully
bringing unity with Esau, and restoring Cain and Abel.
Moses' mission was to lay a national foundation for the messiah.
Vertically Moses loved God. To restore horizontal love Moses was in the position of Adam
or Abel and the Israelite people were in the position of Lucifer or Cain. If the Israelite
people would love Moses then God could send the Messiah to them knowing that they would
protect and follow the Second Adam who would lead the Israelites throughout the world as
God's ambassadors to begin the building of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
God had many problems with both Moses and the Israelites. God had
wanted Moses to become the Pharaoh and lead the Jewish people and the rest of the world as
a powerful king. But Moses failed to do this. He had spent 40 years in the Pharaoh's
palace secretly taught by his mother the Jewish faith and instilling in him a love for the
Israelite people. Although Moses had tremendous leadership abilities he also had a
character flaw of being too hot-tempered. His 40 years of preparation to be the pharaoh
was lost in a moment when Moses, in the heat of rage, killed an Egyptian soldier who was
attacking an Israelite. If he hadn't done this he would soon have become the Pharaoh and
easily led the Israelites who would have followed him with total obedience if he was the
pharaoh. Then the messiah could have been born.
God knew the Israelites were a primitive people who would respect a
king but when Moses lost his chance to become king it became more difficult for the
Israelites to accept Moses. Moses had to flee from Egypt and went to the wilderness in
Midian and spent 40 years there restoring his 40 years in the Pharaoh's palace. Forty is a
number for separation from Satan. After this period of exile God told Moses: "I have
seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of
their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of
the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land,
a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites....And now, behold, the
cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the
Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my
people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt" (Ex. 3:7-10).
Moses came back and performed miracles to prove he was the true
leader of the Israelites sent by God to liberate them. But God saw that the Israelites did
not have total faith in Moses so He had Moses not take them the direct route along the
Mediterranean from Egypt to Canaan which would have taken a matter of weeks (21 days or
less). "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of
the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, 'Lest the people repent when they
see war, and return to Egypt" (Ex. 13:17).
God felt that they would be afraid of battle with the Philistines,
and they would return to Egypt. God needed time to work with them so that they would be a
united, strong people who could successfully settle in Canaan.
God led them across the Red Sea and through the Sinai wilderness.
Those months in the wilderness were to be a time for Moses and the Israelites to be
trained and tested as a chosen people, as God's champions. God could not allow them to
enter Canaan unless they were united, strong and fearless. To lay a foundation for the
Messiah they had to overcome Cain and Abel's tragic disunity.
To get the Israelites out of Egypt Moses deceived the Pharaoh by
telling him they needed a three days journey into the wilderness. The Pharaoh told him to
stay there to do their sacrifices. Moses convinced the Pharaoh by saying: "It would
not be right to do so; for the sacrifices we offer to the Lord our God are offensive to
the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes,
will they not stone us? We must go a three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice
to the Lord our God as he commands us" (Ex. 8:26-27).
This three-day period is symbolic for a principled period of time to
separate from Satan and start a new providential course. Before offering the sacrifice of
Isaac, Abraham waited three days. When Jacob started his providential course to Canaan, he
left Haran by deceiving Laban with a three-day period of separation (Gen. 31: 19-22).
At Mt. Sinai Moses fasted for forty days and was given the Ten
Commandments. They were written on two stones -- five laws on each. This symbolized the
five physical senses and the five spiritual senses or the unity of heaven and earth. It
also symbolized that the ultimate truth is not laws but the living Messiah who is a man
and a woman.
When Moses came down from the mountain he found the Israelites
worshiping a golden calf as their God. Moses was angered and threw the tablets of stone to
the ground, breaking them. Moses should not have done this. It was like striking the
Messiah. To restore this Moses had to go back and fast again and receive the Ten
Commandments again. This time they accepted them and built the ark of the covenant and the
tabernacle which housed the tablets.
The tablets symbolized Adam and Eve who were to be perfect
incarnations of the Word. Since the Fall another man and woman have to fulfill that role.
This is why the Messiah is symbolized as the "white stone" (Rev. 2:17) and the
"Rock" (I Cor. 10:4). One reason a rock is used as a symbol is because God and
the Messiah are stronger than evil. They are like rocks in being tough and unmoveable.
God had also shown that He was relating to people on a higher level
by giving words and asking for obedience to them rather than giving animal sacrifices.
Mankind had been climbing to a higher spiritual level. After the Fall mankind fell into a
deep darkness and then turned to animism, then polytheism and then monotheism. Gradually
God was able to give more of Himself. Still the people were so primitive that He gave many
laws. As mankind grows higher spiritually through history God is able to speak more and
more clearly. Today we live in a sophisticated world, and God is trying to speak in a more
Next God chose twelve people to spy for forty days. Only Joshua and
Caleb had faith that the Israelites could enter Canaan and win. The Israelites constantly
complained and again demanded a new leader and wanted to go back to Egypt--even though it
If the months in the wilderness had been enough time for the
Israelites to grow in unity and strength they could have gone to Canaan, but when ten of
the twelve spies came back fearful, then God had to give a greater time to restore this
lack of faith and to teach them to be His champions. The people wanted to stone Joshua and
Caleb. We read: "Then all the congregation raised a loud cry; and the people wept
that night. And all the people of Israel said to them, 'Would that we had died in the land
of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why does the Lord bring us into
this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey; would
it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?' And they said to one another, 'Let us choose
a captain, and go back to Egypt.' Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the
assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb
the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, rent their clothes,
and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, 'The land which we passed
through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will
bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only,
do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no
more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do
not fear them.' But the whole congregation threatened to stone them" (Num. 14: 1-10).
Moses had sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and told them to
see how strong or weak they were and he said, "Be of good courage, and bring some of
the fruit of the land." Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes"
(Num. 13:20). When the spies came back they said, "We came to the land to which you
sent us; it flows with milk and honey and this is its fruit.. Yet the people who dwell in
the land are strong, and cities are fortified and very large..." (Num. 13: 27-28).
We must believe that god is on our side and will help us. And
because God is on our side we will win. Throughout the Bible we are taught not to be
dismayed or anxious. We must have faith. We must be intrepid. The Israelites failed to be
courageous. God was in agony when He saw them fail. God had wanted them to go into Canaan.
God told Moses: "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not
believe in me, in spite of all the signs which I have wrought among them?" (Num.
God was continually frustrated by their lack of faith and their love
of this fallen world and its low standards. God was forced to have them wander in the
wilderness for forty years to indemnify their lack of faith. Only the next generation
could enter Canaan. He said: "But your little ones, who you said would become a prey,
I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you,
your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in
the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your
dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied
out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear you iniquity, forty years,
and you shall know my displeasure" (Num. 14:34).
After 40 years in the wilderness the Israelites were to enter
Canaan, but Moses made another tragic mistake in a moment of rage. The people complained
of water. Moses was told by God to strike a rock once and bring them water. Moses did so
and water came. But Moses heard the people murmuring in resentment against him that they
had been without water and in anger he struck the rock twice with his rod. God then told
him that he could not enter Canaan: "Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify
me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into
the land which I have given them" (Num. 20:12).
Moses was in sight of Canaan and now he couldn't go in. He had
worked so hard for so many years and now because of one seemingly small mistake he
couldn't enter Canaan. The precious goal was in his grasp and now it was taken away. He
begged God, "Let me go over, I pray, and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that
goodly hill country, and Lebanon" (Deut. 3:25). God answered firmly, "...Speak
no more to me of this matter" (Deut. 3:26). Moses died on a mountain looking at
Canaan but without setting foot in it.
Christ is symbolized by a rock: "the Rock was Christ" (I
Cor. 10:4) and a white stone (Rev. 2:17). Christ gives life. He is a tree of life. He
gives water of life. Christ gives life giving truth and love. Adam failed to become the
Rock that would give the "water of life" from God, which his descendants would
drink forever. The rock Moses struck was a rock that yielded no water. This symbolized
fallen Adam. Satan had struck Adam and killed him spiritually and was unable to give
"water". When Moses struck the rock, it gave water. This showed a restoration of
fallen Adam to perfect Adam or Christ who would come to give the water of life to all
fallen man. Christ said: "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will
become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (Josh: 4:14).
God had Moses strike the rock once as a condition to restore the
fallen Adam to perfect Adam. When he did the rock symbolized Christ and then when Moses
struck it again he laid a foundation or basis for the Second Adam, the restored Adam, to
Be strong and of good courage
God passes on a person's mission to another if they are unable to
fulfill that mission. Joshua was given leadership because he was strong and had not been
faithless during the 40-day spying period: we read, "... as I was with Moses, so I
will be with you; I will not fail or forsake you. Be strong and of good courage; for you
shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give
them" (Josh. 1:5-6).
Joshua and the second generation of Israelites which had been born
in the wilderness and had no ties to Egypt were determined to follow Joshua at the risk of
their lives, saying, ... "All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you
send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. ...
Whoever rebels against your words, whatever you command, shall be put to death. Only be
strong and of good courage" (John. 1:16-18).
After God had tried three times with the Israelites to enter Canaan
they finally fulfilled the conditions necessary to enter. They presented faithful reports
after spying at Jericho saying, "... 'Truly the lord has given all the land into our
hands; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of us'"
(Josh 2:24). The Israelites were centered on Joshua and the Tabernacle and successfully
went into Canaan. Joshua was a successful central figure. The central figures of God have
tremendous missions. If they succeed then so much good can happen but if they fail so many
people for so many years are always hurt. It is agony for God to see His predestined will
of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth prolonged because He has to see His children suffer.
The Israelite people had made a condition to restore the Garden of
Eden. The Israelites in the position of Lucifer or Cain did not betray Joshua who was in
the position of Adam or Abel. They united as brothers centered on God and now they had a
land of their own. But even though they had accomplished forming the national Foundation
for the Messiah, the Messiah could not come yet because they were still not strong enough
as a people to stand up to the other nations surrounding them and they were still too
primitive in their understanding of God and their mission as the chosen people. God's
dispensation would be prolonged until they were truly united and longing for the Messiah.
The 400 years of slavery in Egypt were followed by 400 years known as the Period of
The Bible is symbolic in its use of numbers and rounds this period
of Judges to 400. We read in I Kings 6:1: "In the four hundred and eightieth year
after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's
reign over Israel...." Solomon came after the 40-year reign of Saul and the 40-year
reign of David. Eighty from 480 shows that 400 years were given for the period of Judges.
Scholars have found that the period lasted from approximately 1200
B.C. to 1000 B.C. or 200 years. They say that some of the Judges' years of rule were
"stylized" to show a full generation of 40 years or two generations of 80 years.
|Period of Judges|
During this time the Israelites were divided into tribes and during
moments of crisis leaders appeared called Judges, such as Gideon and Samson. Finally,
under God's influence, the Israelite tribes banded together to form a nation to protect
The last Judge, Samuel, anointed Saul as King. God finally had His
nation. But He couldn't send the Second Adam until they had demonstrated their loyalty to
God. God tested them by seeing if they could honor and center their lives on a symbolic
messiah. With Moses God had used the Ark of the Covenant to be the symbolic messiah. Now
that God had a nation with a king, He wanted a temple built, a more permanent structure.
Unfortunately, Saul failed to build the temple. The next King, David, also failed to build
the temple in his 40-year rule. The third King, Solomon, built the temple in his 40-year
We see in Jewish history three attempts by God to build the temple
in the three 40-year reigns of Saul, David and Solomon. This 120-year period is called the
|Saul David Solomon|
Still, God couldn't send the Messiah to the Israelites. Building the
temple was not enough. They had to honor the temple to show they could honor the Second
Adam. Unfortunately, Solomon defiled the temple (symbolically the Second Adam) by letting
his wives worship pagan gods there. Man again failed to lay the proper foundation for the
The punishment was severe for the Israelites. God the father saw his children pay for their crimes. Because the Israelites were not united with God a division of Cain and Abel came to their nation. In Jewish history this was a 400-year period called the Divided Kingdoms.
|North and South|
Ten of the 12 tribes of Israel traveled to the north. They had the
name of Israel, God's name for his people, but He did not favor them. They were the Cain
side. God favored the Abel side -- the two tribes in the south named Judah because they
were more righteous.
God's desire is always for unity. Division is Satan's way of
working. To help bring the Israelites together God sent prophets such as Elijah, Jonah,
Amos and Hosea. Hosea lived in the eighth century B.C. He writes out of the agony he feels
from his faithless wife. Hosea compares this personal tragedy to God's feelings about his
relationship to Israel that is constantly unfaithful to God.
God speaks of His broken heart: "The more I called them, the
more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know
that I healed them. I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I
became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed
them" (Hosea 11:2-4).
Because Israel refused to listen to the prophets, God was helpless
to see His people taken into captivity. The ten tribes of the north were attacked by the
Assyrians and destroyed. To this day we do not know what happened to them. They are called
the ten lost tribes of Israel. The two tribes in the south were invaded by the
Babylonians. In 586 B.C. the Babylonians stormed Jerusalem, pillaging and burning. Their
king, Nebuchadnezzar, ordered mass deportations. The Israelites now begin a period in
their history called the Babylonian Exile.
The journey to Babylon was difficult and heart-breaking, but when
they arrived the Assyrian and Babylonian monarchs allowed them to worship in freedom. They
prayed, sang psalms and studied the Torah. The Hebrews became a very tight-knit religious
community and established laws and traditions.
They became adept in industry and commerce. One Jewish family, for
example, was put in control of the largest private bank in Assyria. Soon Hebrews were
landowners, merchants and high government officials. Still, they longed for Jerusalem.
In 538 B.C., Cyrus the Great of Persia captured Babylon. The
Israelites were a refugee group, and Cyrus let those who wanted to return to Jerusalem to
do so. He even helped in rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem by giving government money and
returning some items that were sacred to the Jews that the Babylonians had kept.
The exiles returned home in stages. The exile in Babylon had lasted
70 years. And after 140 more years the Jewish people had returned to Israel. The Bible
uses symbolic and prophetic years in keeping with God's pattern of restoration by saying
it lasted 70 years. In Jeremiah 25:11 we read, "This whole land shall become a ruin
and a waste, and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years."
Jeremiah says the captivity in Babylon lasted 70 years. Actual
history shows that the Bible is close to being literal here. Some historians number the
years from 605 B.C., in which the first deportation happened, until 538 B.C. when Cyrus
freed the Israelites. Six hundred and five to 538 is 67 years. Others begin with 586, when
the last deportation took place and the temple was destroyed, until 516, when the second
temple was built: 586 to 516 is 70 years.
The 70 years in captivity were followed by approximately 140 years
of Jewish return until God sent the prophet Malachi. This 210 year period is called the
Jewish captivity and return.
They rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. But times were hard. There was
drought and famine. The people became spiritually indifferent. Then God sent a reformer,
Malachi, to revitalize the faith in the 5th century B.C. (The King James Bible says in the
margins of the book of Malachi that the dates in the Bible show this to be 397 B.C.
Historians say the actual, literal date of this book is close to that symbolic number.) He
spoke in the streets and preached in the market place. He chastised the people for their
sins and the priesthood for its corruption.
God also prepared the rest of the world for the Messiah's coming by
sending Buddha to India, Confucius to the Orient and Socrates to Greece. They raised the
people's level of spiritual advancement. This would make it a little easier for the rest
of the world to accept the Messiah when he came.
The last period of Jewish history is the 400 years of preparation
for the Messiah. Four hundred years after Malachi the Second Adam was born. His name was
|Preparation for the|
|Malachi Second Adam|
|2000 YEAR JEWISH HISTORY|
|Persecution In Egypt||Period of Judges||United Kingdom||Divided Kingdoms||Jewish Captivity||Preparation for Messiah|
The nation of Israel was a small nation compared to the other powers
around it. And because it was strategically located between these other empires they often
saw foreign soldiers march through their country.
In the 400 years before Jesus they were dominated by such powers as
the Greeks and the Romans. The Israelites were burdened with cruel rulers who imposed
heavy taxes and did not respect their religious beliefs and traditions.
One ruler tried to destroy the Jewish religion. In 167 B.C. he
decreed that the Jewish religion was illegal. Anyone who was found carrying a copy of the
scriptures was put to death. He set up an alter to the chief god, Zeus, in the Jewish
temple, and Jews were forced to offer sacrifices. Altars were set up of Zeus all over
Israel, and many Jews preferred to die rather than go against their laws and worship false
An uprising took place against this called the Macabaean Revolt and
there was war for 6 years. The 400 years before Jesus were years of turmoil. Just before
Jesus was born the governor of the Roman Province of Syria had to bring in three legions
to crush a rebellion. Around two thousand rebels were crucified as punishment.
At the time of Jesus' birth the Roman ruler wanted a census taken to
determine taxes and this is why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. The people hated paying
taxes to Rome. This particular census was for the people of Judea but the people of
Galilee were so angry there was a revolutionary movement which the Roman soldiers crushed
Jesus lived in a dangerous time. Not only had he to deal with living
under brutal foreign rulers but the Israelite people, like Christianity today, was divided
into different denominations who interpreted the scriptures differently.
The Pharisees were into the details of the Old Testament laws and
Jesus chastised them for being focused on the letter of the laws instead of the spirit of
The Sadducees were a smaller group but were more wealthy and
powerful because they were influential political leaders. They disagreed with some of the
beliefs of the Pharisees.
The Essenes were a group who lived in a monastery in the desert and
felt they were the true forerunners to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.
One thing that all these Jews had in common was that they did not
see Jesus as the Messiah. The Pharisees, for example, envisioned their savior as a
warrior-messiah who would lead them to battle and crush their enemies. When Jesus
appeared, claiming to be the Lord, they all rejected him. God works in ways that
completely baffle the vast majority of people. Mankind is fallen and ruled by Satan who
manipulates people to go against the champions that God sends. God had hoped that the
Israelites would have been different than most people. He had hoped they would know his
suffering heart because of their suffering; that they would have been trained by the
saints and prophets who God had sent. But Satan influenced the people to see Jesus as a
dangerous criminal who was a threat to the family and nation.
Many Christians today feel that the Lord is coming to them. Like the
Israelites, Christians are a minority in the world. Like the Israelites they are divided
into different denominations who interpret the scriptures differently and yet all are
confident that when the Lord returns they will see him.
The Divine Principle teaches that Christianity has not fully understood who Jesus really was and what God's will is. The next chapter reveals the true view of Jesus. It is God's view, not man's view. Nothing is more important than understanding Jesus' words and life.