The Word of the Mahjoub Family
"I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore- fig tree. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me "Go, prophesy to my people." (Amos 7:14-15)
According to the New World Encyclopedia definition of "Messiah", (Hebrew, Mashiach) was developed during the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people. One of the earliest prophecies was written in the eight century B.C.E., by the Prophet Isaiah, who wished for a more powerful and righteous political ruler than the current occupant of David's throne. It refers to the coming of a new Davidic King who will unite Israel (Southern Kingdom) and Judah (Northern Kingdom), conquer their surrounding nations and enable the return of the Israelites taken into captivity by the Assyrian empire (Isaiah 11:10-14). Approximately a century after Isaiah the Prophet Jeremiah reiterated Isaiah's prophecy.
"The days are coming, declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord [is] Our righteousness." (Jer. 23: 5-6)
The term "Mashiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient Jewish practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne, much like the ceremonial inauguration of presidents in the United States, but instead of being anointed by oil, they swear on the Bible. However, it should be noted that to the Jews, the word "Mashiach" does not mean "Savior." The notion of an innocent, Divine Being who will sacrifice himself to save sinners, is a purely Christian concept with no basis in Jewish belief.
By the first century B.C.E., The Jews interpreted their Scriptures to refer specifically to someone appointed by God to deliver them from oppression under the Roman Empire. However, the Israelites' concept of "Mashiach" had split into two opposing trends of thought on what the Messiah was expected to be, which complicated matters even further by the time Jesus began his public ministry, proclaiming himself the Son of God. The Ideals based on the Book of Isaiah, emphasizing the Messiah as a Prince of Peace and deliverer of Israel from oppression represented one trend of thought. Apocalyptic promises of supernatural intervention by prophets such as Zechariah, Joel, and others, represented a more other-worldly trend. In the first century B.C.E., a separatist Jewish sect, known as the Essenes, who lived in the Qumran desert, reacted against the corruption of both priestly and political authorities, foreseeing the imminent coming of the Day of the Lord in which both a Divine and a Davidic Messiah should arise to lead the "children of light" in the battle against the Romans, gentiles and other "children of darkness". In the period when Jesus was born, confusion, political and religious upheaval abounded. Among the emerging sects, were the Pharisees, who saw the Messiah as a deliverer along the lines of the of Isaiah's prediction. Others expected cataclysmic events such as described in the book of Daniel:
"In my vision at night (dream) and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the cloud of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power, all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed" (Dan. 7:13-14).
Such were the Messianic hopes and expectations that flourished a few decades prior to Jesus' birth, during the reign of Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.E.) Tragically, however, the much-prepared Chosen People failed to recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Jesus cried out that he was the Son of God, but his words fell on deaf ears. He was never understood; he was branded a blasphemer and ultimately crucified! After Jesus death, the Jews rebelled against the Romans, which led to the destruction of the Temple and the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem in 70 C.E., thus, marking the beginning of Christian history. Christianity emerged in the first century, C.E., as a movement among Jews who believed Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah. However, the Christian concept of the Messiah remained unsolved and the conflicting trends of thought (the literal vs metaphoric concepts of the Messiah, which divided the Jews of Jesus' days) continue to haunt Christianity to the present! Evidently, the Christian concept of the Second Coming of Christ is taking after Daniel's supernatural concept, which was carried by the Qumran Essenes, and influenced early Christian thought of a divine Messiah appearing in the clouds of Heaven. This of course, has caused much debate in the latter part of the 20th century. As the new millennium grew closer, there was much talk and anticipation about the "End of Time", The Mayan Calendar, and Second Coming of Christ. TV documentaries, and Church preaching still continue to this day; one only has to listen to newscasts and Christian evangelical TV programs in order to see Biblical prophecies being fulfilled. There have been more prophecies fulfilled in the twentieth century than in any other time in Christian history. The question remains: Would the returning Christ come on the literal clouds or would he be born in the flesh, as in His first coming?
Although throughout the past 2000 years of Christian history, there were few messianic claimants, there arose no greater messianic figure than the 20th century claimant, the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon, 01/06/1920 to 09/03/2012. The Unification Church is a contemporary Christian offshoot which proclaims its founder Sun Myung Moon to be the Second Coming of Christ. Although the Unification Church's messianic teachings affirm traditional Christian doctrine that Jesus' death on the Cross brought atonement for sins of mankind, it also maintained the traditional Jewish position that the Messianic mission originally was to go much further, completely establishing God's reign on earth. Rev. Moon taught that Jesus' death on the cross was a tragic mistake on the part of the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus Christ should have lived a longer life, been blessed in marriage with a specially prepared holy bride and had a "True Family" with children free of original sin. He was also to build God's Kingdom on earth, but tragically was prevented from completing his Messianic mission. Therefore, at the Second Coming, the spirit and mission of Jesus Christ will return in the flesh, just as the spirit and mission of Prophet Elijah returned and worked with John the Baptist during Jesus' time (Malachi 4:4-5 and Mt. 11:14;17:13) to complete the messianic task.
The formal title given to the messianic couple (the Reverend and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon) in the Unification Church is "True Parents." It is believed that the mission of the Messiah is carried out, not by man alone but by a couple, a restored Adam and Eve, who as True Parents found a new lineage free from original sin. Together they will engraft all humankind to become true sons and daughters of God in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The process of engrafting is conducted through the "Blessing of Marriage" offered by the True Parents. Rev, and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon.
The question of whether or not Rev. Moon is the Second Coming of the Messiah depends heavily on faith and sincere prayers. Just as in Jesus' time, the Messiah God had sent was rejected by the very people the Lord tried to prepare. "He came to his own home and his people received him not." (John1:11) the Apostle Paul testified that "none of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory"(1Cor 2:8). But on the other hand, we find there were few "prepared" faithful believers who followed him and died for his cause. The same thing found in Islam with Prophet Mohammed- he too, was rejected by his people during the early years of his mission, and there were few who followed him, supported his mission and fought on his side. The question remains, why did some people believe in God's prophets/Messengers while others did not? The answer to this question, as I noted earlier, is deeply related to the two opposing views held by the three Abrahamic religions on Who, How and What the Messiah is supposed to be: a powerful military King or a supernatural being appearing on the cloud of heaven, endowed with a powers capable to destroy the entire planet earth within seconds? But as it turns out, the Messiah was born in the flesh as a normal human being.
In John 1:1, the Bible says "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God" and in John 8:58, Jesus says "I tell you the truth, before Abraham, I am." Again, the Bible says, "He, [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not"(John 1.10). Based on these Bible passages, Christians have believed that Jesus was God and the creator. But many other passages of the Bible indicated that Jesus was a man. Jesus also referred to himself as the son of man in many places of the Bible (e.g., Luke 17:26,18:8). Interesting! Muslims also have similar claims about their prophet and the teaching of the Qur'an; they too, believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, such as through Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.
Christians, as well as Muslims, hold the misconception, that because their central figures are Messengers from God, they know all of God's words and will. Christians for instance, refer to the time when Jesus amazed the Pharisees with his knowledge of the scripture, when they exclaimed "How did this man get such knowledge without having studied?" (Luke 4:22). Similarly, in Islam, the Prophet Mohammed was asked to recite the Qur'an, when he didn't know how to read or write. To Christians and Muslims, these verses from their Scriptures, are signs of miracles. But truth be told, these notions are both wrong! Though it is true that Jesus and Prophet Mohammed were true Messengers from God, they did not come to earth in a capsule, already programmed by God's truth! (As explained in The Secret initiation of Jesus at Qumran, by Mr. Robert Feather, the Virgin and the Priest, by Mr. Mark Gibbs and Building Bridges, by Fouad Elias), both Jesus and Mohammed were taught God's word by the religions of their times! For example, in his childhood years, Jesus was raised and taught Jewish Scriptures by a Jewish sect known as the Qumran Essenes. This is where Jesus got his knowledge of the Scriptures. This also explains Jesus' missing years (thirty) before he began his public ministry. In Islam, the Prophet Mohammed also was taught the Scriptures both, the Jewish Torah and the Injeel (New Testament). He was not only taught directly by God Himself through the angel Gabriel, but by the dominating religions of his community, particularly by Christian priests and by his first wife, Kadijah who was a Christian before later converting to Islam. This explains why we found echoes of the Old and the New Testament being mentioned and revered in the Qur'an.
Judge the tree by its fruit, not by its leafs
Speaking of false prophets we look and ask, if Reverend Moon could be the Messiah. The answer is not easy. To find the answer, we have to look and study Rev. Moon by his fruit, as the Bible suggested.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 15:20)
Rev. Moon's revelation, the Divine Principle, is in itself a testimony of many great miracles worthy of noting. It is the very truth that human beings have long sought to know about God and His purpose for the creation. The Unificationists (Rev. Moon's followers), believe it to be God's "blueprint" of the creation. Had Adam and Eve not eaten the forbidden fruit, would human beings ever need religions, prayer, Churches, Temples, or Mosques? Would they ever need a Messiah? No! Unfortunately, just as in Jesus' and Mohammed's time, the people of today judged Rev. Moon not by the truth he brought to this world, but by how he looked and by what he wore (business Suite) and where he came from (Korea, not Israel)! These were the very same judgments people of the ancient times viewed Jesus and Mohammed with.
Reverend Moon's phenomenal revelation on the mission and purpose of the Messiah, his interpretation of the prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Christ, as well as new thought-provoking revelations on Jesus' life and ministry in my opinion, offer the greatest Bible study in Christian history. On reading the Divine Principle, I would recommend that one have a Bible in hand, so as to verify for themselves every fundamental point discussed in this Great Holy Book.
One of the greatest of Rev. Moon's revelations is the decoding of the Old Testament based upon a "Pattern" God repeatedly used to resolve "Cain and Abel" conflicts.
The Divine Principle reports that God began his "Pattern" of separating Good from Evil in Adam's family, from the moment the fall occurred. God began by symbolically dividing Adam, who embodied both good and evil, into two entities. God gave Adam two sons, Cain and Abel, representing good and evil, and set them in positions where each dealt with only one master, God or Satan. For more detail on this subject, see Honor Thy God page 239
God discriminated between them based on Eve's two illicit acts of love and accordingly placed Cain, the first fruit of Eve's love, signifying Eve's first fallen act of love with the archangel, chosen to represent evil. Whereas Abel was the second fruit of Eve's love, signifying Eve's second fallen act of love with Adam, who was put in the position to relate with God.
Throughout the course of the Old Testament we found traces of the same method God used in the stories of the five main central figures' families, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and on down to the Messianic families of Jesus and John the Baptist. This was the reason why the Bible reported discrimination between first- and second-born sons; For example, in Genesis 4:7, we find the story of Cain and Able in Adam's family, in Genesis 9:20-25 we find Ham and Sham story in Noah's family, in Genesis 21, we find Ishmael and Isaac in Abraham's family and in Genesis chapter 25 we also find Jacob and Esau in Isaac's family. The Bible reports that Jacob and Esau began fighting inside their mother's womb (Gen. 25:22-23). Even then, God favored Jacob over Esau (Rom. 9:11-13). In answer to Rebecca's inquiry in (Gen. 25:22-23) God said to her, "two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other; and the older will serve the younger". Finally at last, God won victory in Jacob and Esau course on the family level. Jacob's victory was significant in God's providence of salvation. This victory set the pattern for Moses' course(national level) and Jesus' course (world level).
This Pattern continued throughout the Old Testament all the way to John the Baptist and Jesus. Believe it or not, this same Pattern continued to the present, apparent in the troubling relationship between Islam and Christianity, not the Jews!
What really inspired me the most about the hope of getting all three brotherly religions of Abraham to reconcile is the profound insight that the Divine Principle is offering regarding the Cain and Abel relationship, which I believe explains the relationship between the Muslim Palestinians and the Israeli Jews. The Divine Principle (brown book, level four, page 217 in the last paragraph) states as follows: "If Abraham had not failed in the symbolic offering (Gen. 15:9-13), Isaac and his half-brother Ishmael would have stood in the position of Abel and Cain. They would have been responsible to fulfill the indemnity (restitution) to remove the fallen nature, which Cain and Abel did not accomplish. However, because Abraham failed in the offering, God set up Isaac in the position of Abraham (Gen. 22:2), and Esau and Jacob in the positions originally intended for Ishmael and Isaac."
Indeed, Rev. Moon's revelation is truly fascinating and very profound! Furthermore, there are other great signs supporting Rev. Moon's Messianic claim which I address in greater detail in Honor Thy God, such as the great works Rev. Moon had done in his life to unify Christianity and all existing religions, as well as to liberate the world from the ungodly ideology of communism. Further supporting his claim are the predictions of Nostradamus "delivering a great people from subjugation" (John Hogue, Nostradamus, The Complete Prophecies, page 806.) Mr. Hogue was referring to Rev. Moon, not President Reagan, when he was speaking of Nostradamus' prophecy!
Interesting! In America, most conservatives and Evangelical-Christians gave credit to President Ronald Reagan for the downfall of Communism, because of his charismatic leadership and boldness against Communism. Speaking of charisma and boldness, Rev. Moon boldly proclaimed his march on Moscow, way back in 1975, the same year the Soviet's Communist party declared him as their #1 enemy. His V.O.C ideology (Victory Over Communism), speaks for itself. Hundreds of thousands of religious and civic leaders were taught V.O.C. ideology through CAUSA-USA in all fifty States in the early 80s during Reagan's election campaign. Rev. Moon supported Reagan wholeheartedly and Unification Church members were fully engaged in supporting Reagan's election. Rev. Moon's V.O.C ideology was one of the prime forces behind the downfall of Communism! Rev. Moon fulfilled what he had predicted he would march on Moscow when he held the 11th World Media Conference in Moscow former Soviet Union on April 9-11, 1990. See Honor Thy God/Moscow Dream
Also notable, is the profound spiritual encounter Rev. Moon had with Jesus. When Moon was sixteen, he experienced the tragedy of having five of his young siblings die in one single year. No words could describe the heartbreak of his parents in losing five of thirteen children in such a short time. As noted in Sun Myung Moon, the early years-1920-53, by Mr. Michael Breen, the mystery of sudden deaths seemed to spread to other clan members and village close neighbors. Many homes lost their livestock in one night. On the advice of his uncle Kyung-chu, Moon's family and his two other uncles and their families converted to Christianity and joined the village church, in his hometown of Sangsa-ri, North Korea. The bereavement took the family beyond the original motive for conversion, which had been to seek the backing of the powerful Christian God and end the run of bad fortune, and deeper into their new faith. His own grief, and the pain of seeing his parents grieve for their children, underscored for the young Moon what was later to become his core teaching: that of God as the grieving parent of a lost mankind. God, too, had lost his sons and daughters.
The suffering of his family seemed also to connect with the suffering of his country and the world. He was troubled to see the wretched situation of the Korean people under the brutal rule of the Japanese. There seemed to be no end to wars and suffering around the world! Overwhelmed by these tragedies, he couldn't comprehend the series of these tragic events, he asked "Why do these tragedies happen to good people?" he thought that the words of God he was hearing in the church were not sufficient enough to give him answers he was seeking.
To relieve his frustration and aching heart, he immersed himself in deep prayer and Bible study. He began to question further and asking "What is the purpose of life? Does God exist? Is God really all-powerful? If he is, why does God stay there and watch the world full of sorrows? If God created the world, did he also create the suffering that is in the world?" As a teen, Moon's heart was overwhelmed with these fundamental questions, and so he chose to take his burning questions to God, in his prayers.
In his prayers, whenever he expressed his anguishing questions and problems to God, he felt his suffering and sorrow were eased and his heart and mind were at peace. And from there on, he began spending more and more time in prayers that soon developed into everyday vigil prayers, prayed through the night, during this intense period of prayer of the night before his 16th Easter, that he begged God in tears for answers as to why he created a world so full of suffering and sorrow. Why was the all-knowing, all-powerful God leaving the world in such pain? He was praying in tears and asking these questions, repeatedly. Then early on Easter morning, April 17, 1935, Jesus appeared to him in an instant, like a "gust of wind" and said to him, "God is in sorrow because of the pain of humankind, you must take on a special mission on earth, having to do with Heaven's work." As he said, that day, he clearly saw the sorrowful face of Jesus and heard His voice. Jesus spoke to him regarding the work he would have to do with saving humanity.
As Mr. Breen commented, "Moon's first response was, "I can't do this, why me, I am only a boy?" He was really afraid and was thrown into despair over what to do. No matter how much he tried, he couldn't forget the moment he met Jesus. His encounter with Jesus changed his life forever. Soon after his experience with Jesus, his mission became clear and he began a series of rigid Bible study and prayers. The stubbornness and tenacity he had in his childhood came back to him, and he used these God-given characteristics to follow God's will. Once he immersed himself in prayer, he would weep for hours over words he had received from God, as Rev. Moon once said "God's words were like "coded messages. God had placed in my hands the key to unlock the door to secrets." Global Citizen (A Key to unlock a great secret chapter, page 63)
With this covenant, his life was forever changed. To find a standard for his faith, he studied and prayed about Biblical figures and Christian Saints. In his prayers and meditations, he met spiritually with Jesus and the disciples, analyzing their revelation of truth. It was in this period of analysis that he came to know the truth about Jesus which no one had known before. "I have studied science. I am a very scientific person and I do not want any blind faith. I do not want the God of concept. "I want the God of life, and God is life, itself. That God I seek" said Reverend Moon (Sun Myung Moon the- Early years 1920-53, page 32). He realized that no system of thought, no religion, not even Christianity with its promise of salvation, had provided mankind with a complete way out of hell. No Christian had reached perfection after Christ. Why not? He asked. If we fell away from God and no one has climbed back, then something is missing. What is it that blocks us from God?
At the end of his spiritual struggle, when he was sure of the truth he had discovered, he sought confirmation before he started his public mission. He began a 40-day fast. He has said that during this period he met spiritually with Confucius, the Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, and other religious leaders in the spiritual world. Although he came from a background of Protestant Christianity, Reverend Moon recognized that all the major faiths contained truth. In his spiritual communication with the founders of the major faiths, he said, they gave their approval of his discoveries. Moon's search for the Principle he has stated, continued for nine years after his encounter with Jesus in 1935." One of the many notable testimonies of the early disciples of Rev. Moon is the following testimony, reported in Mr. Breen book,(chapter 6, page 73)
"I had never been so deeply struck by anyone's prayer in my whole life", commented Kim In-ju. She recalled "Moon read a passage from the Bible and began preaching, his sermon was on the fact that Jesus' death on the cross was not God's original plan. Jesus should have lived much longer on earth in order to fulfill God's plan of salvation. As he preached, he wept out of sorrow for Jesus." Kim in Ju and her friend Kim Chong- hwa (both were senior members of the largest Presbyterian Church) were jolted by the idea that Jesus' death was not destined. They had understood that salvation was possible only by virtue of Jesus' death on the cross. They had never considered otherwise. It had never occurred to them that Jesus should not have died that young, but should have lived longer and fulfilled God's salvation work through a much longer life. Kim In-ju found herself crying."
There is so much to learn about this great Holy man of God! For those who are spiritually prepared as mentioned in Acts 2:17, who are blessed with strong faith in God, and are not afraid to explore higher truth, I highly recommend the following five very important books, (1) the Divine Principle, the teaching of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, (2) Rev. Moon's autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (3) Sun Myung Moon–the early years 1920–53, by Mr. Michael Breen (4) The Master Plan, God's Hope to Heal Humanity, by Mr. Kevin McCarthy and (5) Honor Thy God, by me, Ali Mahjoub.
For comments or information please contact me.