Evangelical - Unification Dialogue
Rod Sawatsky: Who's going to start us off on the subject of Jesus Christ and Rev. Moon?
Don Deffner: I'll start with an illustration. The story is of a little boy on a downtown street with his father. There were skyscrapers around. Another building was going up and the little boy saw figures etched against the sky high above them, and he said, "Daddy, what are those little boys doing up there?" And the father said, "Those aren't little boys; they are grown-up men." And the boy said, "Well, why do they look so small?" He said, "Well, because they are up so high." The little boy thought for a moment, and he said, "You know, when we get up to heaven there won't be very much of us left, will there?" (laughter)
To me, the heart of the Christian life and faith, and growing in grace, after conversion, is God working in me. I'm His workmanship; I don't "cooperate" with God; I don't "help Him out," but it is totally God at work in me. To paraphrase, "our life lived in this world is actually His life lived in us." (I John 4: 6, 13, 17)
And one of the earlier questions I have raised with some of you Unificationists is that although I hear agreement on the fall, on the parousia, on the family, and on God being Father, I find a real disparity on Christ, His work, His mission, and then the whole question of His "failure" or "success." And for me, this is the crucial point about my conversion: I have the freedom to reject God, but I cannot choose God, because I am spiritually dead. As Scripture says: "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." It was God who called me in baptism, it is God who works in me. The Scripture says ".. .work out your own salvation..." (Phil. 2: 12) But the next verse says for God is at work in us.
Just to start it off.. .certainly as a Christian I have a "responsibility," but we must remember that "/ am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit," says Christ, "for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15: 5) I think the question is whether one is saved by grace alone or saved by what one does.
Paul Eshleman: Are you asking also for who is Jesus?
Rod Sawatsky: I think that is one of the critical issues.
Paul Eshleman: We would believe that Jesus is wholly God and wholly man, the second person of the Trinity. He existed absolutely before the foundation of the world. When God said, "Let us make man," He was referring to the involvement of the Trinity in the creation of the universe. We believe that He came into the world to die. The Scripture states that it is for this cause that He came into the world. The Son of God came to give His life as ransom for many. We believe that Jesus Christ came in the form of man to pay the penalty for man's sin so that man might be reconciled to God, fulfilling the Scripture, for "without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin." (Hebrews 9: 22) Jesus was, in effect, the sacrifice that was offered for our sins that secures our salvation; He was raised bodily from the dead and appeared to more than five hundred after His resurrection from the dead. It was not merely a spiritual resurrection; He actually ate with His disciples. He ascended into heaven and at the present time sits at the right hand of the Father, and will again return to this earth in another time. That's a start.
Mark Branson: There are a couple of key Old Testament passages. In Isaiah 42: 1-4, "Behold, my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed, he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not fail or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law." And then Isaiah 53: 1-12, "Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of the dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." And the rest of the passage goes on, "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities... he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
The whole theme of the suffering servant is one that is key in the gospel writers, and in Jesus' own self-understanding. As the Gospel of Mark states, (Mark 1: 2-3) "...Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight..." After this reference Mark goes on to John the Baptist and then to showing Jesus carrying out the last of what it meant to be God, God incarnate. He began to reveal, to act, to say who He was. All of His activity, everything He did and said was simply God.
Luke 4: 18-19 is probably the key to understanding how Jesus understood His task when He preached in Nazareth. He read the Scripture: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Now this plainly sets out what it means to be proclaiming the kingdom, what it means to have God here. God is here to proclaim release, to give freedom and eyesight, help of all kinds, complete salvation. Salvation includes one's body, one's soul, one's economics, etc. That idea of Messiah-ship, then, came to be seen by the disciples who were with Him.
Finally, when Peter confessed, "You are the Christ," Jesus was worried that although he had the right title, he still somehow had the wrong concept. Peter's concept of messiah was still a second David, a new kingdom, and his key question was, "Is this the time to throw Rome out?" Jesus continually refused to be made into that kind of king, a welfare king or political king, and taught them to know that the messiah had one task -- the messiah must suffer and die, and then be raised from the dead. Of course, they never quite caught that last line, either. His whole theme, from the way that He first revealed His identity by His actions and preached the Good News, was that the messiah must suffer and die -- die at the hands of those very ones whom He ought to be ruling. Finally that is what happened, and even at that time, people wanted Him to be king, and He rejected that urging and preached just things that were true. This truth is what would get Him crucified, because there was no other way for salvation. The world had to have salvation in a complete way and this included the sacrifice that was both physical and spiritual, and it included a resurrection that is both. Finally He was raised, and His spirit now works inside us.
The overall thrust is that Jesus is God, and that as He lived, He lived as God. We are then called to live similarly, except we do not provide atonement. There had to be a substitution for our own sinfulness, otherwise we would have to make that sacrifice ourselves, and that still would not be complete. So Jesus' death on the cross was the sacrifice that was required by the Old Testament prophecy and by God's righteousness so that we might not have to die that death. In Jesus, the substitution was made for us. The resurrection said the power is going to continue with us as mentioned, so that now, simply by God, I might begin that pilgrimage.
Virgil Cruz: There's relatively little to be added to what has been said, and I might mention my agreement with what has been said. As Paul (Eshleman) said, we believe in the two natures of Christ. We would maintain that it is a case of the divine Son taking on humanity, not that the earthly Jesus acquired deity. Let me speak to another point raised by our sister Gonzales which I have found very valuable. I think we would say that Jesus Christ was killed. We would have no problem with that. I would not have any problem with that. However, I would want to add that Jesus was not powerless to alter that situation. As He has said. He could have summoned legions of angels from heaven to have prevented His crucifixion, but He was killed. He was killed by sinful and evil men, and I believe that I participated in that as I participate in sin. We would disagree with Schweitzer and others who have said that Jesus, by virtue of being killed, ended as a defeated, disillusioned figure. In the Gospel of John 18: 4-5, we see that as Christ faced death and when the soldiers came looking for Him, He quickly went forward eagerly and offered Himself: '"Whom do you seek?' 'Jesus of Nazareth?' He said, I am he.'" John tells that in such a dramatic way, Jesus presented Himself with such force. I think He was understood by those individuals to be a supernatural figure to the extent that the people fell back on themselves, nearly a domino effect, and the soldiers fell on the ground. So Jesus virtually embraced this death, which was His mission.
Also in the Gospel of John, in Chapter 13, there is the fascinating discussion of the foot washing; and in John's Gospel, if you recall, there is not any real mention of a sacramental element in the Last Supper. There is the Last Supper, but the sacramental nature of the meal is not mentioned, and the foot washing episode is included, about which Carl Martin in particular says that the foot washing in and of itself says the same sort of thing that the sacramental meal says: namely, that Jesus comes to serve men and the highest service that He will perform is that of washing them from their sins. And that comes by virtue of His death.
In the Reformed tradition in particular, there is great discussion of the necessity of the death of Christ, and that had to come under a kind of juridical, judicial sentence in order that Christ could be counted with the transgressors. He had to be considered a kind of criminal, and that sentence would have had to be pronounced, or at least was pronounced in the context of a trial during which the innocence of Jesus could actually be discerned. He had to die a horrible death. He had to become cursed for us. Only in this way could the demands of the law be met. Subsequently, following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, comes the exaltation by God, and this seems to be the announcement by God of the approval of that which His Son, Jesus Christ, has done. This seems to be saying that He has indeed completed the mission which was ordained for Him. Revelation 3: 21 is one reference to that sort of thing where Christ says, "He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne."
I could mention one other thing in this context, in response to what Warren was saying. I don't know whether I agree with you or differ with you, Warren, and you'll have to help me interpret what you did say on the point of the second coming of Christ. I know of only one Lord of the Second Advent, only one, and that is Jesus Christ. I know of only one central figure, to use the terminology of the Unificationists, and that is Jesus Christ, and one point at which this is presented to me is in Acts 1: 11 where at the time of the ascension of Christ the angel asks why the disciples stand gazing into the heavens. But then the crucial words are these: "This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." That is a rather clear explication of this situation as far as the person of the second advent. As we know, Bultmann and those in his school wanted to separate the historical Jesus from the figure mentioned also by Jesus in His eschatological Son of man sayings. Bultmann at one point said that Jesus was prophesying about another when He mentioned the Son of man. To a degree some Unificationists say something of that same thing, but again I want to add that this same Jesus will return; the historical Jesus will return. There is not any room for another figure in my understanding.
I am extremely interested in and feel quite a bit of sympathy for -- maybe I'll be considered a heretic at this point by my colleagues -- your position of cooperating with God in His work in the world. Using the verses in Luke 4: 18 which you mentioned, (Jesus' address at Nazareth where He used words from Isaiah): "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor..." etc. I would contend that as the body of Christ now, we may say the spirit of the Lord is upon us because He has anointed us to preach to the poor, to help bring about release for the captives, and so on.
Once again the Book of Revelation helps me understand that we do work with God and for God in the cosmic confrontation with the anti-God forces. And I think that the Book of Revelation was clear that we can achieve, with God's help and in our allegiance with God, temporal provisional victories. I think with God's strength we can resist the work, the machinations of the anti-God forces. You have to understand what victory means, however, in the biblical sense. I would say that to be victorious means holding out against evil and being faithful to God even when to do so might mean death. And to be defeated in the biblical sense would be giving in, even if that might well mean the continuance of earthly life. Later I'd like to pursue further the question of our working with God in achieving temporal, provisional victories.
Rod Sawatsky: Do you want to add anything?
Pete Sommer: Only to refer very briefly to the kenosis passage, Philippians 2: 5-7, which bears out what Virgil said about Jesus as the divine Son of God taking on human flesh instead of the reverse -- the human Jesus taking on divinity. I'm sure this passage is familiar to everyone: "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." And going on to verse 8, "And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." And then the exaltation of Christ follows in the next verse through verse 11. And then another great christological passage...
Rod Sawatsky: Why don't you read that; because I think it's central to what we're saying.
Pete Sommer: It really is. I didn't want to take too much time, but it is very important. Philippians 2: 9-11, "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." And then another very important christological passage is Colossians 1, beginning at verse 12 -- really verse 15 gets into it; I'll read part of that: "...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent." I think those passages really speak for themselves.
Paul Eshleman: I would just add a couple of other verses. John 1: 18 says, "No one has ever seen God..." John 1: 12 says, "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God." And then verse 18 says, "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." So we would say that everything we know about God, basically we know because of Jesus Christ.
Mark Branson: Another focus concerns lordship -- Jesus as Lord of the church as well as of the cosmos: His word is powerful, is authoritative; it is the final thing. To take it seriously in His own words: "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matthew 7: 24) And He talks about the sands and the storm: "And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell..." (Matthew 7: 26-27) And now through the Scriptures and the church the authority of Jesus' word continues.
Rod Sawatsky: Do all the guests agree with what the other people were saying? I guess it's difficult to disagree when they were reading directly from the Scripture, (laughter)
Virgil Cruz: Just to have some attempt at disagreement, let me say to Paul (Eshleman), I probably would not want to phrase it just the way you did -- that everything we know about God we know through Christ.
Paul Eshleman: You are right. We also know Him through personal revelation, through the cosmos, and creation.
Virgil Cruz: And through the Old Testament.
Rod Sawatsky: I wonder if something could have been added about the issue of revelation, which I think contrasts with Unification thought, particularly as to what ultimately is victorious -- the victory in the lamb and not in the lion. I think there's some contrast in ideas of the nature of the victor.
Paul Eshleman: We would just say that the nature of the victory was in the sacrifice, not in the re-establishment of the kingdom, at that particular time.
Virgil Cruz: Now there again, I have some difference of opinion. I think it's a mistake to understand the terminology of "lamb" in the Book of Revelation through the symbolism of Isaiah. Isaiah's lamb was a meek and innocent offering, pure and so forth. Christ, as recorded in the Book of Revelation, is meek and pure, but the lamb of the Old Testament does not do justice to the new and powerful lamb. In the symbolism in the Book of Revelation that lamb has not two horns but seven horns, which would symbolize power, and it's a wild thing to see in other literature of the period. In the testimonies of the twelve patriarchs.
I believe in the testimonies of Joseph, there's a story about a vision which the writer had. He saw a virgin, and on the crown of the virgin there was a lamb, and there were many animals there, reptiles, and other ferocious beasts, and they all rushed against the lamb. The lamb overcame them. Now that seems to refer to the life or the symbol of the powerful lamb. So I want to qualify this seeing the lamb of Revelation only as a sacrificial lamb, because I think that's really the might and power of God at work. And that fits in with the other imageries of Christ in the Book of Revelation.
Irving Hexham: A second addition with reference to Christ's kingdom coming. In terms of traditional theology, it would be important to emphasize Christ's role as prophet, priest, and king. His kingship being kingship not simply in the future, but now. Christ is Lord; Christ is Lord of all: Christ is Lord of all areas of life now. I know here some Evangelicals might disagree and simply say Christ saved your soul, but I would want to say very strongly that He doesn't simply save one's soul. The redemption affects every aspect of life, including politics, art and literature, whatever. That is, the gospel must work itself out, throughout the whole of the world. Yet at the same time, even as Christ was the suffering servant in some ways, the church may be called to suffering.
Pete Sommer: Revelation 13: 7 where it says the beast will be allowed to make war on the saints to conquer them indicates that the final restoration is ultimately the effort of God, not the effort of man.
Paul Eshleman: There is no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God. In John 10: 30, He says, "I and the Father are one." The Jews took up stones to stone him, and he said, "For which works do you stone me?" and they said, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God." There's no doubt that He was saying, "I and the Father are the same. When you've seen me you've seen the Father." I think one of the things that really concerns us is to hear you, or the Moonies, suggest that Rev. Moon is the Lord of the Second Advent. That flies right in the face of Matthew 24: 4-5, 23, 24, where Christ says, "...Take heed that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.. .Then if anyone says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ' or There he is," do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." Well, we would say that Rev. Moon's being proclaimed the Lord of the Second Advent is simply fulfilling what Christ said.
Rod Sawatsky: Well, that sets us up very nicely. Now let's switch sides for a moment. I gather several of you are prepared to say something about the Unification view of christology. I wonder, though, if somebody needs to say something about creation, fall, and restoration, since I don't think your christology is going to make too much sense if we aren't all aware of what those initial doctrines are all about.
Tirza Shilgi: One of the first or fundamental principles of the Divine Principle is that through observing creation you can understand the nature of God. Then it goes down the line and tries to categorize phenomena in nature including man. One of the very first principles it points out is that everything in creation can be divided into two basic sets of dualities. The first set of dual characteristics is subjectivity and objectivity, or positivity and negativity, which are complete opposites. For example, you see male and female, stamen and pistil, and so forth. When we say positive and negative, we don't mean in terms of value, but rather in terms of their characteristics as complementary units, as in electronics, where positivity and negativity are different yet complementary.
The second kind of categorization we talk about is that of the internal and external manifestation of things, or in the original Korean, sung sang and hyung sang, but I think internal and external will be sufficient. That would be, for example, seen in the mind and body relationship. Mind is the internal and the body is the external. Internal is invisible, and we also believe that internal is the subject. In other words, it gives the direction. The body is the visible and the responsive. Now if there is oneness in the relations between mind and body, and the body indeed responds to the mind's direction, then there is harmony, action, productivity, purpose, and so forth. An ideal can be fulfilled. If there isn't oneness, then disharmony comes about.
Another major notion in the Divine Principle is "give-and take." The purpose of the mentioned dualities is to allow give and-take between them, and this give-and-take action is the source of all existence, growth and multiplication. That explains the dynamics of creation, so all dynamics are based on this polarity. That is why we need male and female. They allow multiplication and growth among all creation. From there comes the ideal: the four-position foundation as a reciprocal base of God's love. For the four-position foundation, an example would be God, (if you want I can show you a diagram), God at the top, man and woman, and man and woman as a unit form a new object, or child. A perfect give-and-take between all of these participants of the four-position foundation establishes a base for God's love, a stable foundation for God's love, and God's love flows between the different points of the four-position foundation.
As the basic purpose for the creation of man, the Divine Principle points to the verse from Genesis which we interpret as the "three major blessings," when God told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply, and have dominion." The Divine Principle explains that "Be fruitful," is one blessing, "multiply," is another, and "have dominion," is the third. To be fruitful is taken as meaning to be fruitful as an individual, to achieve individual perfection. That means, basically, if you achieve a perfect give and-take with God, and acquire an ability to love unconditionally then you would see things from God's point of view, would feel things from God's heart and you would be able to relate to people as God does. The second blessing is to multiply; that has to do not with the individual alone, but with individuals in a marriage relationship and in social interaction. To multiply means to establish a family; with this you establish the four-position foundation. And it also relates to all social interaction, so it's not man and God alone, but it's man in more horizontal relationships, man in his family and man in relation to others. And the third major blessing is to have dominion over the creation, but only based on these two previous achievements: an ability to love as God, and to be a true parent. With these kinds of qualifications, God gives you the permission to have dominion over the creation.
That means that at that point you will be able to dominate creation with perfect Godly love and a parental heart. These are the three major blessings that we see as the purpose of man.
A blessing is something that is given to you. However, we talk about a blessing being fulfilled. Whether we see the fulfillment of these blessings depends on both God and man. In other words, God can give us the potential to actualize these blessings, but it depends on us whether it is going to be realized in our lives or not. In other words, our bodies grow automatically, but whether our spirits grow is up to us. I can choose whether I want to accept Christ or not. I can choose whether I want to become a true Christian or not. I can choose which way of life I want to follow. So these blessings are available, but whether they become a part of my life, or realized in my life, is up to me. This is my portion of responsibility. This is why we see that the realization of God's ideal and God's own hope and desire, involves both God's responsibility and man's responsibility. And we put it symbolically in percentages: God put 95% into the creation of the world and of ourselves, and we are asked to complete the last 5%; but actually this 5% is our own 100% effort. Our own 100% effort compared to God's investment is like 5% and 95%; basically we are required to give 100% of ourselves in order to realize it. With our effort and God's grace together, these blessings will come, and they should be realized in our lives.
The last point in the Principle of Creation that I will mention is the question of the spirit world. Again, as we have a mind and a body, we have a spirit and a body. There is a constant give and take between our spirit and our body. The give and take is such that, by doing things that follow our mind and our ideals according to God's desire, we can gain vitality for our spirit, and in that way our spirit develops. This is why we do need to have a physical body, even though our eternal life is in the spirit world. This is the indispensability of our physical body. By having a physical body, by investing ourselves in the world by doing good deeds, we create "vitality elements" which come to our spirit and grow and raise our spirit. And there is another element our spirit grows by -- the "life element" which comes from God. This would be God's word, God's love, God's atmosphere, or God surrounding us. So basically our spirit grows by these two things -- by that which comes from God -- His word, love, His atmosphere surrounding us, and by that which comes from us, by investing ourselves, by giving ourselves for others, by serving, by living in God's way.
After we leave our life here on earth, our spirit goes to the spirit world, and in the spirit world are different levels, different realms. Basically, people are going to the level of spirit world which is equal to the level at which they lived their lives here. If they lived a very sinful life or a very selfish life, they will most probably go to a similar level in spirit world, and would be in what we say is a low spirit world, a low realm of spirit world. People who live a spiritually high life, living very close to God's ideal, would exist in spirit world in a higher realm. So the levels of the spirit world are similar to our mental or spiritual level. I think that is sufficient for now.
Rod Sawatsky: Would somebody pick up the fall?
Nora Spurgin: This, of course, is the ideal of God; man is God's creation, a beautiful reflection of God, yet we have to deal with the reality, that is, a man with fallen nature, or sinful nature. The concept of original sin explains how evil came into existence, even though God is a loving God. Where did evil come into existence? According to the Divine Principle, we take the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, the Genesis story, and see it as a story which describes something which happened, the details of which are not all there. We see Adam and Eve, God's children, being created, not as perfect beings, but as potentially perfect beings, people who could have the opportunity to grow to maturity by following God's commandment. On the foundation of that oneness with God, they could establish what Tirza was saying -- a family which can multiply God's goodness throughout all of creation and have dominion over creation.
However, we have the story that Adam and Eve, as they were growing, were tempted by the serpent, and ate the fruit. So, we take the story and look at it in terms of all the ramifications that are in the Bible and see Adam and Eve as two beings. There are also several symbolic statements, like the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you look at various references throughout the Bible to the tree of life, it could be said that the tree of life actually represents a certain hope, a certain ideal of perfection. I could use a lot of references but I don't want to take the time; I'll just say that we would say that the tree of life represents perfect man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil represents woman. So to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we would say, is to have a sexual relationship. I want to mention also the identity of the serpent. We see this as not a literal serpent, but as a being who obviously had a lot of spiritual power, who had the ability to entice; we see this as the archangel Lucifer who was God's servant, the angelic messenger to mankind, and who led Eve astray by enticing her into a relationship with himself. This relationship served to open her sexual awareness prematurely, and as a result of that her eyes were open, she sensed that something new had happened, and she was afraid. She saw that Adam still was in a pure relationship with God. and she desired to come back into that relationship with God. and so she in turn united with Adam. She taught him, or opened up his sexual awareness, and through a sexual relationship then, they united as a couple, and produced children at that point in time. We see that first production of children as being without God's blessing, not that it wasn't intended eventually, but it was without man reaching a point of maturity.
There's so much I'd like to say that it's hard to make a short synopsis. But the basic point was that mankind came into being after Adam and Eve multiplied while immature spiritually, and so the way to the tree of life was closed, until such point that it would again be open. Therefore, all of mankind has been affected; their immaturity has affected our relationships with each other, and even internally, we still fight within ourselves because of something that's not in harmony within ourselves, because our way to the tree of life has been cut off. There are so many things affected.
We believe in the concept of free will. God allowed this to happen. He could have stopped it, but if He had stopped it He would have violated His own principle, because man was created as a co-creator. Man has the responsibility of freedom to develop his spirit. So if God had stopped it at that point, then He would have been treating man as a puppet. And man would have become programmed by God to do certain things. So, we see that God was respecting man's free will in allowing this to happen, and instead, then, began to work to find a way of salvation for mankind, or to prepare a way of salvation for fallen mankind. Is there anything you'd like to add, or anything else? I know I skipped a lot of things, trying to get the essence of it.
Rod Sawatsky: Just continue on into the restoration and the role of Christ. Who's going to pick that up for us?
Patricia Zulkosky: I think that God's providence from the time of the fall was to try to create some kind of foundation or condition of faith whereby He could send His Son as the Messiah to all of mankind. So, in the principles of restoration, we start with Adam and Eve's family. We see how. if Adam and Eve. or more specifically, Cain and Abel had been able to unite with each other instead of continuing to multiply sinful mankind. some kind of condition could have been laid so that God's Son could come right then at the early stages of history and at that point wipe out the suffering of mankind and of God. But we find. just briefly speaking, that the principle of restoration did not work in Adam's family, and was transferred to Noah's family. If Noah's family could get it together, then very clearly the task of restoration would be relatively simple and God could send His Son. But Ham failed to unite with Noah. And finally, as we go through Abraham's family, through Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob there was some kind of "foundation of faith" and "foundation of substance" set up so that God's Son could come. By a foundation of faith I mean that the things that man failed to accomplish in the beginning -- such as obedience and pure offering -- could be accomplished. By foundation of substance I mean that the things man destroyed at the time of the fall were somehow restored in a symbolic sense. Adam and Eve didn't view things from God's point of view, but were stimulated on a horizontal plane. Through different biblical events, especially the story of Jacob and Esau. unity was restored. (This is a very long section of Principle: it would take a very long time to explain the details. I think that the interpretation of Old Testament history is extremely interesting and would suggest reading that section if you haven't read it so far, because I think you'll find it fascinating.)
It suffices to say that after Adam and Eve left their position as children of God and became sinners, multiplying evil, all of this was somehow symbolically reversed through the course of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So, because the foundation was set up, it cleared the path for Jesus to come. So we look at the Old Testament as a very necessary aspect of God's continuing to work with mankind, whereby a foundation was laid for Jesus' coming. We see that Jesus' coming was not just at an arbitrary point in history, but was based on a foundation that was laid by the central figures in the Old Testament.
Ulrich Tuente: As Patricia just mentioned, the preparation for Jesus Christ to come among the Israelite people started with
Abraham. Isaac and Jacob. Besides, we also see that the people of Israel had been prepared through the prophets and through the life of faith centered on the temple. They had been prepared to receive Jesus Christ. I come now to this very crucial question which Dr. Deffner also was asking: Did Jesus Christ come among the Israelite people in order to die?
First of all. in the whole history of the providence, we see that God prepared the Israelite people to receive the Messiah. When the disciples asked Jesus, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus said very simply, "This is the work of God. that you believe in him whom he has sent." And there are many other instances; I think I need only tell you the Bible verses and you will know what I mean. Jesus said, "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem -- How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not. Because you did not know the time of your visitation." So Jesus was trying very, very hard to make the Israelite people believe in Him, and even He knew that they didn't understand Him completely. For instance, once He said to His disciples, "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" He was very much aware that his disciples couldn't understand Him, and the people of Israel could understand Him even less, but He still called the people of Israel to follow Him completely, to unite with Him completely. He said, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life."
I think there are so many instances where we see in the Bible that Jesus was asking for people to believe in Him because He knew He was sent by God to bring salvation to the Israelite people and that it was His desire to unite the Israelite people with Himself.
Richard Quebedeaux: Spiritually, or... ?
Ulrich Tuente: To follow Him, just to follow Him completely. When He called for repentance. He said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." When He spoke in parables and in the beatitudes, He was asking the Israelite people to change their lives and to follow Him.
In the Garden of Gethsemene, Jesus said, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." I think the traditional interpretation is that this revealed some kind of human weakness in Jesus, that He feared the suffering He would go through on the cross. But Jesus Christ was definitely not less than other human beings. Many of the martyrs in the Roman Empire, in Asia Minor and Greece have easily gone the way of suffering. They went to the arena of the lions, went to the death of crucifixion, and knew that when they would be dying for God, for Jesus Christ, it was no problem for them at all.
But we think that Jesus anticipated a different course for the people of Israel. Jesus knew that there was originally something different planned by God, because as we see in the Old Testament. there are two prophetic traditions. There is one prophecy about the suffering servant which Dr. Cruz just mentioned and Mark was reading these verses from Isaiah 53. But we see another emphasis in the Old Testament, that of a glorious messiah. Many now see this emphasis as something which Jesus Christ meant only spiritually and not physically. But I think this is the issue: God created both spirit and body. As Tirza said this duality is a unity, so salvation and restoration is something that should take place both spiritually and physically, and God wanted to work with the Israelite people centered on Jesus Christ to accomplish complete restoration. So that God gave these two kinds of prophecies, both of which are actually a victory. Therefore I think it's very wrong to say, and many times it has been said that Moonies believe that Jesus failed His mission. I think this is very wrong, because actually both prophecies indicate a victory. Through the way that Jesus Christ has gone, He has accomplished a victory over death, because He was resurrected. He established a personal community at Pentecost, and we received the whole Christian tradition. No other religion has spread from such a small country all over the entire world. I think that there are many indications that there is a victory, but what would have happened if the people of Israel had responded to Jesus Christ and understood Him immediately?
A last thing, which I want to emphasize as strongly as possible, concerns a reason for the misunderstanding of the Israelite people. I think the way Jesus was preaching was misunderstood. For instance, He said He had authority to forgive sins. when, according to the Israelites, forgiveness came through the Law. Only the Law was actually the channel for forgiving sins, according to the Israelites. Or, when He said to His disciples, "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Jesus seemed to be the destroyer of morality.
Jesus also seemed to be blaspheming against God. saying, "... How can you say. 'Show us the Father?" Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?" So all the things that Jesus did appeared very, very dubious to the Jewish people.
On the other side. John the Baptist, whom we know was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ, was a highly respected figure. For instance, at the time that he was born, there were many miraculous signs. I think you all know the story that John's father became dumb, when he doubted that his wife ever would bear a child. Then afterwards John was leading an ascetic life, and encouraging the people to repent for the kingdom of heaven. John was very well recognized. Now, in one instance, priests and Levites came up to John (John 1: 19-21) and asked him, "Who are you?" and John said, "I am not the Christ." Another question was. "Are you Elijah?" and John the Baptist denied he was Elijah. And also when he was asked, "Are you the prophet?" he said. "No." So John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah, but we know from Malachi that in one of the last prophecies, actually, one of the last verses of the Old Testament, the coming of Elijah was announced: (Malachi 4: 5) "Behold, I will send you Elijah..." The Jewish people were anticipating the coming of Elijah before the coming of Christ, before the coming of the Messiah. So John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah, but in two instances Jesus affirmed that actually John the Baptist was Elijah. I think one is Matthew 17: 10-11 where the disciples asked Him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?" and Jesus answered them, '"Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him .. .' Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist." In another instance, Matthew 11: 14, it says that Jesus said very explicitly, "... and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come."
So then, there are two statements, one from Jesus who says John the Baptist is Elijah, and the other from John the Baptist who denies being Elijah. And we see what kind of position Jesus had in Jewish society and what kind of position John the Baptist had. I think it is clear who was more trustworthy, who was accepted more. We see this as one of the major reasons, or one of the important reasons that Jesus was not accepted by the Israelite people. Because the prophecy had not been fulfilled, Elijah had not yet come, Jesus was seen as a blasphemer. Jewish people were even willing to release Barabbas rather than Jesus from the court. I don't know if anyone else wants to add something, but I think that's basically it.
Johnny Sonneborn: According to the Divine Principle, Jesus is the man towards whom all post-lapsarian history pointed, for whom God and man prepared in that history, who was prophesied in olden times. Jesus is the fruit of that history, especially Israelite history, and He came on that foundation, to consummate it. Jesus is God in the flesh, the first-begotten Son of God. so that finally God Himself, the Creator, the Father, could be seen through seeing the Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the perfect man, uniquely conceived and born without the original sin and destined to be the King of Kings who took responsibility for the sins of the world. He ransomed us by His blood on the cross. Jesus is the Lord, the head of the Church, king in His spiritual kingdom, our Savior, who was raised from the dead to the right hand of God. the Father of Christians, bestowing with the Holy Spirit rebirth and new life to those who receive Him in faith, and being the necessary and irreplaceable mediator for the adoption into sonhood of those who have been the children of Satan, the children of Satan's children.
Jesus is the central figure, who, with the Holy Spirit, took responsibility for the divine providence of restoration, who has actively been directing His family. His body. His subject. His attenders, Christians, in carrying out the providence of the New Testament age, and entering into and participating in the providence of the new age. Jesus is the judge whose word of love is to judge all in the last days, and to slay evil.
Moving beyond the Divine Principle, Jesus, because of the preceding, is the one who personally initiated the providence of the new age, (He appeared to Sun Myung Moon) and who directly and continually participates in the unfolding providence. According to Sun Myung Moon, "Jesus has absolute power to resurrect everyone and everything." We believe that God has in these Last Days sent Christ on earth, and that Christ stands on earth as a man with a new name (as prophesied in the Book of Revelation), that is, a person distinct from the man Jesus, intelligible only through Jesus. We believe that God has destined us to find and be with that person, and attend him in the completing of the providence of restoration. W e do not believe that Jesus will "physically" come on literal clouds, and physically walk the earth again -- we think that is not necessary.
It is not clear to me Jesus' exact role in the final providence. But since I trust the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and trust all the saints on earth whom the Father has raised up to be responsible for the new age. I'm curious but not worried about relationships among them -- after all, they know the truth. We just take this from Divine Principle and then beyond that.
Virgil Cruz: Could I ask just one question? Did you say that Jesus was God. Himself?
Johnny Sonneborn: Jesus is God in the flesh. The quotation was not "Jesus was God Himself, the Father" but "Jesus was God in the flesh, the first begotten Son of God, so that finally God Himself, the Creator, God the Father, could be seen through seeing the Son, Jesus Christ." The Son is not the Father.
Virgil Cruz: Does He partake of the divine essence in any way?
Johnny Sonneborn: Divine essence is not discussed this way in Unification theology.
Virgil Cruz: I don't quite understand what "God in the flesh" is.
Anthony Guerra: Well, first of all, you don't find the concept of essence in the Bible, either. It is a Greek category, a Greek philosophical category. The way the Principle gets at the concept of how Jesus is related to God is as heart and love, to use the central categories of Unification thought. That is, there's a complete oneness of feeling between God and Jesus and also there's a complete oneness of will between God and Jesus, and therefore in their activity.
Virgil Cruz: Could that oneness be duplicated by me, if I am totally submitted to the will of God?
Anthony Guerra: No. You'd have to submit totally to the will of Jesus. You could only establish this relationship through Jesus; that is, Jesus is not only first in a temporal sense, but also in a salvific or a valuational sense. Jesus is without sin, and all humanity is born with the propensity to sin. So we can only reconnect with God through Jesus Christ, through the salvation He offers.
Virgil Cruz: But no one else could ever approximate that position?
Anthony Guerra: By receiving the salvation of Jesus Christ. one could establish a relationship of love which is unique, that is different from Jesus because we're all unique. But nevertheless it could be a full relationship with God. So that you would be completely united with the heart of God and with the will and activity of God, in that sense equal to Jesus' relationship to God, but also unique. Is that clear to you?
Virgil Cruz: We'll come back to it.
Rod Sawatsky: I think I'd like to ask two more questions of the Unificationists before we open the discussion. One is. I don't think it's been clarified to the Evangelicals which prophecy Jesus didn't quite fulfill. If you don't want to talk about it as a failure. let's not, but that other side that was not fulfilled, we need to have that clarified. Then I would like somebody else to say a little more than Johnny did about Rev. Moon particularly.
Ulrich Tuente: Tirza has already covered the three blessings. Jesus came to fulfill the original ideal which God had destined for Adam. For instance. I don't know where I read this in Paul. but it says in one place, "If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ." So St. Paul has this concept of restoration. Through one man comes sin; therefore. through one man sin is overcome and man is restored to the original position.
The question then is what is the physical kingdom like? I think it's the realization of the three blessings on the individual level, family level, even up to the national level. Jesus not only wanted to establish the spiritual kingdom and spiritual salvation. He also wanted to establish physically and socially, God's kingdom and God's ideal in this world. Is this enough?
Rod Sawatsky: Keep on going. How is that to be done? In what way didn't the physical kingdom come? Was there a missing of the mark in Jesus' time? It didn't come in the first century. did it? Why not?
Ulrich Tuente: It didn't come, because Jesus was crucified at thirty-three years.
Anthony Guerra: The prophecies we're referring to we see in Isaiah 9, where it says that Jesus will come as King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Mighty Counselor, etc., and it's these we interpret literally in the same way that the suffering servant is interpreted literally. Jesus was to establish the reign of peace. He would not have been a temporal ruler. He didn't want to become a king of any particular realm, not even king of the entire world in a political sense. Rather, He wanted to give spiritual direction to the rulers of nations such that they would receive the word of God and abide by it. Sovereignties and principalities of the world would then come under the sovereignty of God, the sovereignty of God's will, and there would be a completion of political, economic, cultural restoration, as well as spiritual restoration. But this is something which obviously we have not achieved to this day. This has become a vital category for discussion not only in Unification thought but in most contemporary theologies, which we believe are in accord with the providence of the age.
Ulrich Tuente: Originally in the creation, God created man in His image, male and female, He created them. I think it is the mission of Jesus to manifest God's ideal, but Jesus was male. We think that God is beyond human nature; God is beyond male and female, but both male and female are part of God. Did I make this at all clear? God is not somehow male and female, (I don't know how to say it in English) but He contains within Himself masculinity and femininity. So we believe that Jesus, if He had completed the restoration, would have established a marriage, would have established a family. This family as a nucleus, could have manifested all ideal relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, and would have been carried on further from the family level, to the national level, world-wide level, and would have set an example of what God wants to see realized, not only for the justification of the individual person but also for the proper relationship in the social realm. As Nora explained, the fall involved not only individuals, but also relationships, the distortion of relationships. Jesus came not only to justify the individual person before God, but also to restore relationships among people before God. In this way the kingdom of heaven was to be established.
Rod Sawatsky: I think we're ready for the Lord of the Second Advent now. Are you going to tell us about the Lord of the Second Advent, Whitney?
Whitney Shiner: I'll try to explain the necessity for the mission of the Lord of the Second Advent, as well as his relationship to Jesus. We see Jesus in the role of the second Adam. I don't think our idea of perfected man has been clarified exactly. Perfected man, according to the principle of creation, is an ontological unit with God. We say that the relationship between God and perfected man is like that between mind and body. So, in fact, all perfected men, according to the original ideal of creation, can say that "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." What we receive from Jesus are spiritual salvation, justification, and a certain amount of sanctification. But still man has original sin. The reason that original sin is not removed by Jesus, we believe, is that restoration occurs through reversing the process of the fall. (I think the process of indemnity hasn't been explained very clearly either.) So, since the process of the fall involved family relationships -- we can look at the fall as setting up a family that is centered on Satan rather than on God -- in order to remove original sin, one of the conditions is the creation of a family centered on God's will. Before original sin is removed, no man can grow to perfection. So even Christians, with the salvation they have, can't grow to perfection, that is, to ontological oneness with God. complete moral oneness with God, oneness with heart and will that Adam and Eve should have had. So, in that sense, Jesus is unique up to this time, but the Lord of the Second Advent, the third Adam, is to complete the process that was not completed at the time of Jesus.
God keeps sending sinless men to become His sons, to be in the position of Adam, to set up the kingdom of God which is to fulfill the blessings which God gave to mankind in the beginning, but which were not fulfilled because of the fall. These are perfected individuality, perfected families and perfected creation. These have to be set up with the physical body. Therefore, the Lord of the Second Advent must come as a man to set up the perfected family. In order to set it up, there have to be certain spiritual conditions involving people uniting with the messiah. Once the perfected family is set up through the messiah, then God can allow the same for fallen men. Actually, in a sense, the messiah is both Adam and Eve, for only through them can there be the establishment of justified families. At that time, original sin can be forgiven and it will be possible for man to grow to perfection and complete sanctification.
Paul Eshleman: Just to clear up a fine point. What sin did Christ then forgive? If His death on the cross is necessary for spiritual life, but He did not forgive original sin, what does His death on the cross mean?
Whitney Shiner: I think forgiveness of all other sin, personal, collective and ancestral sin.
Anthony Guerra: That's not right. Original sin is forgiven.
Warren Lewis: Isn't there a difference between "forgiveness" and "removal."?
Anthony Guerra: Right, justification and sanctification.
Whitney Shiner: That's right. There is a distinction. We say that when Jesus said He would come again, that He was talking about the mission. It's like saying Elijah will come again, and yet Elijah does not come again, but John the Baptist comes in the role of Elijah. So the third Adam is in the role of Jesus. They have oneness of mission, just as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had similar oneness.
Jonathan Wells: Can I comment about a Scriptural verse that was mentioned earlier? Acts 1: 11. There are two divergent interpretations of that. One, which Virgil gave, emphasizes this same Jesus. Another way to read it, and the way it is read in The Divine Principle Study Guide1 is that when the disciples are looking into the sky and the angels say to them, "Why are you looking into the sky?" the clear indication is that they are looking in the wrong direction and that Christ "will return in the same way you saw him go into heaven." And the Divine Principle interprets that to mean that the sky is the wrong place, that the Lord of the Second Advent comes in the same manner as Jesus came, which is to be born and to grow up as a human being and lead men to salvation here on earth.
Anthony Guerra: Isn't there a Scriptural passage in Revelations that says He's born of a woman?
Jonathan Wells: With a new name.
Anthony Guerra: Yes. With a new name.
Irving Hexham: Could we hear some more about the Lord of the Second Advent? What do you understand? Who or what is the Lord of the Second Advent?
Jonathan Wells: Well, according to Principle, the kingdom of heaven is the fulfillment of the three blessings, so the purpose of the messiah is to fulfill the three blessings and to accomplish the kingdom of heaven on earth as well as in the spirit world, just as Adam and Eve should have done if they hadn't fallen. And just as Jesus was on His way to doing when He was murdered.
Many, but not all, members of the Unification church, consider Sun Myung Moon the Lord of the Second Advent. I'm not sure it's fruitful to debate whether he is or isn't, but there are passages in the Divine Principle that try to show that the second coming will occur in the Far East, and specifically, Korea. There are those of us who view those passages with varying degrees of skepticism. I mean, the hermeneutical aspects of them.
Rod Sawatsky: Do you believe it?
Jonathan Wells: Well, do I believe in those passages?
Rod Sawatsky: No, do you believe that...
Jonathan Wells: That Sun Myung Moon is the Lord of the Second Advent? I think there's a good possibility, and I'm giving you my honest answer.
Rod Sawatsky: Why do you say it's a good possibility? I think that's an important category that you're using that needs to be explained.
Jonathan Wells: Let me emphasize that you could ask anyone in this room and you'd get slightly different answers, so I'm not claiming this for the whole membership of the church. I think the ultimate answer is only going to come through history, but my own reasons are these: First of all, I'm convinced that we are in the last days, for a whole lot of reasons, among which is the fact that the human race may be destroyed very shortly if something doesn't happen. Second of all. as I look at history and the Bible. everything seems to point towards this time, the time that we're living in. When I read the Bible, when I pray and when I look at the world situation, it seems very logical and very much like God's way for Christ to come again as a man. The question is, what man? I don't think it's necessary that Jesus comes down from the sky on a cloud. In fact, I fail to see how that would solve the problem. Instead, I see us as being in the position to restore the failure of the human race 2,000 years ago.
In other words, when Jesus comes again, or when Christ comes again, I expect to be confronted with the same dilemma that the Jews were confronted with 2,000 years ago. It is not going to be some dramatic celestial event that cannot be denied. It's going to be something much more difficult than that. Just as those in the first century were expected to trust a carpenter from a poverty-stricken family, who appeared in the eyes of everybody to be a blasphemer, and a disreputable character, so our challenge is going to be to find the man who is most united with God's will, regardless of the worldly trappings that he comes with. And I see it as just the way God would work for that man to be an oriental. For one thing, this man has to unite all the races of the earth, and frankly, I don't think a white man could do it. I don't think a Jew could do it at this point. So I like the idea of an oriental man being the messiah. You can take that seriously or not, it's up to you. I think Rev. Moon might be the messiah because I've worked with him. and I've grown to know him and I trust him, and I've come to him from a very skeptical standpoint, looking for things to find wrong: such as hypocrisy, failings, egotism, selfishness. I know some of the things he says are taken out of context to make him appear that way, but my own experience of him is quite the contrary. So that's the best I can do. The Bible, prayer life, history, personal contact with the man, I'm not quite sure what else I can add to that.
Irving Hexham: You're saying the Lord of the Second Advent is a man. In the Divine Principle some questions of interpretation are raised about the Scripture, who Elijah was, and so forth. Could the Lord of the Second Advent be other than a man? Could the Lord of the Second Advent be the Divine Principle? Or could the Divine Principle be identified as a man? Or could the Divine Principle or the Lord of the Second Advent be the community which comes into existence through the Divine Principle?
Rod Sawatsky: Maybe Jan can speak first. Let him add a little bit.
Jan Weido: I'm going to step out of the Moonie bag, put on an evangelical mask and act as an advisor. The Lord of the Second Advent is not the Divine Principle. We believe that the messiah is one that you're grafted onto. You're part of that family. It has to be a man and a woman, and a family has to be set up as the basis. The messiah has to be a real person. It can't be a community of people, because we're all sinners. O.K.? Does that answer your question? Maybe this will get at it another way: if I were an Evangelical sitting here, I would ask the Moonies, "If Jesus didn't bring full salvation, then does Rev. Moon have the power to remove original sin? Has that been set up, or is it happening? How does the Unification church bring a higher salvation or sufficient or complete salvation?"
Irving Hexham: Good question, but can we get back to my question with your permission? You seem to be using the model of the family, of the western nuclear family. Now...
Jan Weido: It's Confucian. Rev. Moon is Confucian.
Irving Hexham: Confucian families were far more extended.
Jan Weido: That's true. God is also a grandfather, (laughter)
Irving Hexham: We're all related, yes. that's it, good point. but with two individuals, then you're individualizing. You say you've got this one family, and when you talk about this one family you're not talking about Confucius. I mean, you're talking about a man and a woman who are the basis of the nuclear family in the Western sense.
Rod Sawatsky: Let's not dispute it. Let's just leave it at that point for now. Can we leave it there?
Irving Hexham: Yes, but I'm wondering what goes with that.
Warren Lewis: Are you? Adam and Eve are the head of the race. If they had not fallen, their nuclear family would have been the nucleus of a divine race; but they fell. Jesus should have found His perfect bride and restored that Edenic situation, but He was crucified untimely. Now, the Lord of the Second Advent. who is the third Adam, with his second Eve and their nuclear family are the nucleus of this extended family. The vision is of a single Adamic family extended throughout the entire world.
Anthony Guerra: It's the kingdom of God.
Richard Quebedeaux: Nobody mentioned the fact that your understanding of the messiah is more Jewish than Christian. It's a messianic age. and we as Evangelicals are coming with a more traditionally Christian understanding of a focus on a person, and although you may focus on Rev. Moon, it's much larger than Rev. Moon, and I think that's why the position of Rev. Moon is somewhat up in the air, because the focus is the age, the messianic age, rather than the person.
Anthony Guerra: In terms of whether the Divine Principle is a person or a book. I think we see the Divine Principle book as an expression of the Divine Principle. Divine Principle is in a sense the ideal of God, the Logos which we say is God's original ideal which is the pattern of the entire cosmos. The most perfect expression of this ideal would be the perfect man and woman. In other words, the fullest manifestation of God would be in the persons of a male and a female, and the whole cosmos was patterned after that model. The first Adam didn't fulfill on the individual level the perfection of the masculine logos. Divine Principle is most fully embodied, not in the book, but in the individual man and the individual woman who are fully united with God. That's the most perfect expression that one will find of the Divine Principle. The Divine Principle would in a sense be an autobiography or a biography of the person who is united with the will of God.
Irving Hexham: Is this person reflected in a communal person? Does the person represent the community? Is it a cosmic person?
Anthony Guerra: No. it is an individual; however, this individual has the mission to create a true family. The Lord of the Second Advent has been commissioned to fulfill the second and third blessings on earth. Therefore, people uniting with the Lord of the Second Advent, unite with Jesus who has the same purpose as God.
Dan Davies: I think of the messiah in terms of a community. Yet, it is important to understand how God begins and spreads the messianic community.
God begins at one central point by sending a man, a messiah. The messiah takes a bride and forms a family. The messianic family grafts other families into it and forms the messianic tribe. The messianic concept in Unification theology is a community concept and. in this respect, it is similar to Judaism.
The Divine Principle speaks of the community and the nation being restored to God. It was God's intention to restore a nation at the time of Jesus, and it is also His intention to work that way now. Once the nation is restored and becomes a messianic nation. God can graft other nations into His nation and establish the kingdom of God among all nations on the earth.
To summarize: The messianic community starts from one man and develops into a family; families are grafted into the messianic family and this brings about the messianic community on the tribal level. The tribe becomes a nation and works with other nations to establish the kingdom of God over the whole earth.
Tirza Shilgi: I just want to comment on what Richard (Quebedeaux) was saying about the messiah being an age rather than a person. I agree half-heartedly. More than an age, I see the messiah as an office -- which means that, if the age is right and the time is right but the qualification of the office is not met. the kingdom cannot come about. W e can see what happened in Jesus' time. Even though the time was right and the foundation that was needed was all prepared and the nation was prepared by the proper qualification, the role of the messiah was not fulfilled, the people did not believe. What Ulrich was saying was that Jesus asked the people to believe in and follow Him; but because this qualification was not met, the messianic role, which was to save the people, could not be fulfilled. If the people did not want to be saved, then Jesus, the messiah. could not save the people. So "messiah" implies a certain role and a certain mission to be accomplished, and if this mission is not accomplished then the kingdom obviously is not coming about. Therefore, it ties in with what Jonathan was saying: History will prove whether Rev. Moon was or was not the messiah; and that will be decided if those qualifications of saving the world or laying the conditions to save the world, are met or not.
Jonathan Wells: I just want to make sure that the impression has not been given that we feel Jesus failed. Jesus fulfilled the qualifications of the messianic office. The salvation Jesus offered was complete salvation. The failure 2,000 years ago was not with Jesus; the failure was with us. the sinful people who failed to accept Jesus. I just want to clarify that.
Anthony Guerra: I think it's really critical what you're saying. The reason the Lord of the Second Advent has to come on the earth is not to correct a failure of Jesus but rather to complete in a sense the mission of Jesus. It is to give humanity the opportunity. the chance to restore its past failure. It is mankind who failed to fulfill its portion of the responsibility.
Jonathan Wells: I'd like to speak to the notion that there had to be the requirement of Jesus' death for the forgiveness of sins. and I would like to use Scripture. Before Jesus died. He said. "Your sins are forgiven." and in Matthew 9: 2 it says. "And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic. 'Take heart. my son; your sins are forgiven.'" And two other places in the Bible it is written that Jesus forgives sins, before He died. So I think that there is biblical evidence that Jesus had forgiven sins before His death. It wasn't necessary that He die.
Pete Sommer: I misunderstand your eschaton -- the prophecies of the messiah in the Old Testament imply immortality, e.g.. He shall reign forever and ever. From the yellow book2 I gather, though, that some day Moon is going to die. Do you then envision a Second Advent with an absent Lord of the Second Advent'?
Dan Davies: Can I answer that? I look at him as a door opener: that is. he is opening the way for mankind. The Lord of the Second Advent will give man the means to establish the kingdom of God on the earth and then will no longer be needed. What he has to offer will be passed on to mankind.
Pete Sommer: So how will he reign after his death?
Dan Davies: He will be in the spiritual world at that time. The office will have been fulfilled. What he will have done will always be recognized -- the mission he will have accomplished of opening the door for mankind to establish the kingdom of God. He can open the door, but then it is up to us to go through it.
Pete Sommer: So you do see in the second advent and in the messianic age that physical death continues to occur, and that it will forever.
Dan Davies: Yes. Right.
Pete Sommer: So in that sense, we would not have salvation from the physical experience of death?
Dan Davies: Yes. Right.
Pete Sommer: Is it Eastern and cyclical? Hit me if I am wrong.
Jonathan Wells: You die physically, but you live forever in the spiritual world.
Pete Sommer: This duality, then, is perpetuated in physical and spiritual worlds?
Ulrich Tuente: I have the feeling that you point to one place in Revelation when John said that there would be no more death. Is that right?
Pete Sommer: Yes.
Ulrich Tuente: I think the understanding of Divine Principle is that man exists both as a spiritual being and as a physical being.
In Acts 2 it says -- if I'm not wrong -- that people will have visions and dreams, old men will have dreams and sons and daughters shall prophesy; so man's spirituality, man's ability to perceive spiritual phenomena becomes more and more developed as a sign of the spiritual growth, prophesied for the last days. And then man, whether he is in the body, or whether he lives already in the spirit world, the more he spiritually advances, the more he is able to come into communication with those people who already have died. Because he is aware of the spiritual world, he is more aware, not only of how to dominate the physical world, but also of how to dominate the spiritual world, to communicate with the spiritual world. This is one of the signs of spiritual growth which indicates that the separation which comes through death will not be any more, because man can overcome the separation. So physical death does not mean any more the same thing that it meant before, when man was not aware of the spiritual world and did not know anything about it.
Pete Sommer: Then what is the continued function of physical existence in the messianic age?
Ulrich Tuente: This is what Tirza explained when discussing this physical life. To use an analogy, I would say that a tree grows on the foundation of the earth. It takes nourishment from the earth and also from the air and the sun to produce the fruit. Then in the very same way, man, in his physical life, develops not only his physical dominion but even his spiritual perception of things. This is the soil on which he develops his spirit. Physical death has nothing to do with the fall -- the body is no longer needed. Man's spirit will continue to live in eternity.
Patricia Zulkosky: I would say that before the fall of man there were to be three great celebrations in man's life: first would be his birth into the physical world, whereby he could share in the creation of God; the second celebration would be his marriage. the second blessing. The purpose of the physical body is really to be married and have children, and in this way to share in the creativity of God. I mean, God is the creator of man. then man is the visible manifestation of God. and could be considered in the position of God to His children. So in that sense parenting intensifies our relationship to God and our experience of a feeling shared with God.
Irving Hexham: I have a question of qualification. When children are born, are they born physical, but with a spirituality? Does the physical create the spiritual, or is the spiritual implanted by God at birth?
Patricia Zulkosky: I think we would say the spirit is created by God at birth. I've heard different opinions on that. I don't think there's a dogmatic statement on this, but the spirit has its beginning point at the same time as the physical body. Then the spirit lives eternally thereafter, which brings us to the third great celebration in man's life, which would, of course, be death. So going from the physical world, having had the experience of marriage and child-bearing and raising and having the joy of receiving love from children, a joy such as God would experience in a love relationship with man. then we would go into the spiritual world where we would dwell eternally with God.
Pete Sommer: So that experience is your chance to participate in the divine nature.
Patricia Zulkosky: You mean our physical life?
Pete Sommer: ...marriage, family, and the male-female experience, which is inherent in the nature of God, which cannot occur in the spirit world.
Patricia Zulkosky: Yes. You can't have children in the spirit world. You have to be physical...
Pete Sommer: So the goal is a population boom in heaven. (laughter)
Patricia Zulkosky: Something like that.
Dan Davies: There's lots of room.
Patricia Zulkosky: I guess my favorite analogy of the kingdom of heaven is a ball of love. You have God, man, and woman and through the give and take of man and woman centered on God. they create a child, so there are four positions and there's a dynamic relationship between God and man and God and woman and man and woman and God and child and if you mapped them all out there are twelve relationships. When you start putting them in motion and set your imagination spinning it comes out to be a ball. Then, this ball from Adam and Eve in the very beginning is very small, but as they have more children it grows and it expands and it expands. So the kingdom of heaven is. in a sense, a ball of love. That would be inclusive of all mankind, and even though children would not be born perfect -- they'd be born without sin and they would have to grow to maturity. But having lived in the sphere of this kind of love, they could never really step out of it. Or if they did step out of it. the lack of this love would be so obvious that they'd come dashing right back into it, with extremely repentant hearts. Therefore once the ball of love was set in motion, it could never be the same.
Irving Hexham: To go back to Pete's initial question about the messiah, and Jesus' failing, the prophecies for the messiah were that He would be Lord of Lords, King of Kings forever on earth. Here you have a messiah that does not die. But Jesus didn't live forever with a physical body.
Patricia Zulkosky: The question is what are life and death. There are physical life and death and there are also spiritual life and death. So if man was originally created to be born and to die then literal death could not be the result of the fall of man. But if by the fall of man there came a spiritual death, meaning we fell out of God's grace and away from God's love, then when you say that Jesus had eternal life, that He never died, it means that He was born in the love of God; He became perfect, fulfilled this relationship, and eternally it can never end. It is spiritual life that has no end. He never leaves the realm of God's love.
Irving Hexham: Isn't that then spiritualizing prophecies about Jesus' first coming? You're taking parts of the prophecies and then spiritualizing them.
Patricia Zulkosky: Well, the whole question of life and death comes up so many times, and we know that Jesus. Himself. for instance, talked about death in different senses. When He said, "Let the dead bury their dead," He didn't mean literally dead people should bury literally dead people. It doesn't make any sense. He meant the people who could not understand God's will should go out and bury the people who died, but those who understood God's will, who had the possibility for life should not bother themselves with this trivial thing. So if you go back and you think over and reread the whole thing from the point of view of spiritual life and death, rather than literal physical life and death, then it comes out a cohesive understanding, I think.
Irving Hexham: Where, then, did Jesus fail except in that He didn't marry, and where in Scripture do you find that He should have married? Can you give anything on that?
Patricia Zulkosky: Well, I can say that Jesus spoke many, many times of being a bridegroom and we thought that they were parables. Even changing the water into wine, Jesus said to His mother, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." Some would interpret it as being, "My time hasn't come yet for my marriage -- don't get me involved in these kinds of things." But there are many passages where He talks about the parable of the bridegroom, or the wedding feast, that get interpreted symbolically, but mightn't they also be interpreted literally, that Jesus did in fact come to take a bride and was referring to the time of His own banquet. His own wedding feast? It s a possibility. All we can do, really, is raise these possibilities and these questions, and then you can sit down and read the New Testament again and think about plugging in spiritual life and spiritual death, think about plugging in the possibility that Jesus came to get married and to begin this kind of sinless family, and to actually achieve in His lifetime, the kingdom that He proclaimed. It's a possibility -- you have to sit down and read it.
Paul Eshleman: I have a small question. What do you do with Matthew 24: 25-29, when it states that we won't know exactly when he comes? It says there, "Lo, I have told you beforehand. So if they say to you. 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." It will seem that we will have some evidence that He is coming. That's my first question.
Jonathan Wells: What was the question at the end of your comment there?
Paul Eshleman: My comment is that you said, "I'm not sure that Sun Moon is the messiah or not. because we will just have to wait and see." I'm saying that you'll know dramatically when the messiah comes because stars are going to fall out of the sky. It will be pretty evident. The moon won't give light and the sun will be darkened, the sign of the Son of Man will come on the clouds in the sky with power and great glory. The angels with the great trumpet will gather together the elect with the four winds.. .So that's question number one.
Question number two is, what is your Scriptural justification for your interpretation of, "Let this cup pass from me"? You say He was hoping rather that He would have a chance to be married. I firmly believe that He was looking toward the time when God would turn His back on Him, and He would cry out, "My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken me?" He was looking ahead toward that time, and that's why He did not want to go through with it.
The third thing is, if He was looking to establish His kingdom, then when He met with Pilate and Pilate began to talk to Him, why did He say, "My kingdom is not of this world"? If my kingdom were of this world then all of my followers would come out to fight for me -- to paraphrase. I have all these problems plus the ones of the interpretation of the sexual fall, and the need to bring man back to God through another family re-enacting what should have been enacted in the first place.
Joseph Hopkins: May I go back to Acts 1: 11 and point out that Jonathan's interpretation does violence to the text as I read it: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come the same way as you saw him go into heaven."
Warren Lewis: That's the point. It doesn't say that "the Christ" will come, but that "this Jesus" will arrive.
Jonathan Wells: ... it also says Elijah will come.
Warren Lewis: The Unificationist point is that "Christ" comes again, but Jesus stays in the spirit world all along.
Rod Sawatsky: Let's go on to another one or two questions and then we can get a bundle of answers.
Mark Branson: I really didn't make my main point and I'd like to just make this comment. It seems to me that in this discussion, the Evangelicals are talking from the assumption of final revelation in Scripture, whereas the Unification people are talking from the assumption of continuing revelation through the interpretations and new insights of Rev. Moon. And it seems to me what we have here is something that's very similar to Mary Baker Eddy's Key to the Scriptures. You have here somebody who has come along, a latter day prophet with the key to proper Scripture interpretation, so we have all these allegorical explanations of things that traditionally have not been so interpreted. Plus you have something like Joseph Smith's special revelation which is the basis for the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. This is the way it strikes me. And so it seems to me, we're talking in two different circles here and never the twain shall meet because it gets back to the fundamental issue of authority.
Rod Sawatsky: I think that may be right. What I'm concerned with here, primarily, is that we all understand exactly what is being said. The interpretation, and then the question of the basis for that interpretation are, I think, separate questions. First, we want to simply understand what is being said.
Mark Branson: A couple of things. On the Elijah statement. no one has dealt with the transfiguration as fulfillment. Secondly, in Mark 4: 13. there's another place where this whole dramatic second coming and Jesus coming in the clouds is predicted by Jesus. Himself. I won't take time to read that but it's a very powerful one and very dramatic.
Now a couple of questions: one is in the creation of the new family. In the Unification church, do I understand it that the children, in receiving the Lord of the Second Advent's blessing and receiving the Father's blessing, are receiving one that is spiritual and not physical? How is it physical when it is only non-material? Secondly, are those families and the offspring of those families any less evil? Are they more obedient? Is that then the establishment of a perfect family, a perfect kingdom? Do we find this in practice? Is this a reality within the church?
Rod Sawatsky: Now we had a set of questions over here. This last one was a matter of different interpretations. For the moment, we're still trying to get clarification of what Unificationists are saying, so I'd like to have these questions addressed. Do you want to toss one in first, Virgil? Let's hang on to Mark's question.
Virgil Cruz: I'm sure some detractor has put this sort of question to the Unification church, but is it possible that the wrong tests are being applied to Rev. Moon? As I understand what you folks have said, you've said that he has manifested great spiritual insight. I can accept that. He has manifested extraordinary leadership. That might well be provable. He has demonstrated personal piety, and I think you could clearly support that conclusion, but should you consider applying to him the same tests which were applied to Jesus Christ? There are various witnesses to Jesus' extraordinary personhood, one of which is the virgin birth. Another would be the performance of miracles; another would be the power that He manifested over death. One dramatic instance of that was the raising of Lazarus. He was Lord over death, even in life. Have you discussed these kinds of things on other occasions?
Rod Sawatsky: I think both of these are very worthy of discussion. Let's work with Mark's first, and then let's not forget Virgil.
Dan Davies: I'd like to address Mark on the dramatic second coming. It's interesting to note that at Jesus' time the Jews were expecting many signs. They were expecting what has been called the "Woes of the Messiah." There were to be stars falling from heaven, the sun darkening, the moon turning to blood, etc. This prophecy underlies one of the reasons that they weren't able to recognize Jesus; there were no such signs, so they did not believe it was the time of the messiah. It seems to be a phenomenon in the last days that those who are most waiting for the messiah wait for signs, too. However, the messiah will not give signs but, rather, the word of God.
Paul Eshleman: Are you saying that because those prophecies were not fulfilled for Jesus, they were inaccurate? Or that there are stars falling? I'm not seeing them.
Dan Davies: No, I'm saying that at the time of Jesus, the rabbis expected the "Woes of the Messiah." stars falling from heaven...
Paul Eshleman: But that did not happen because that had to do with the second coming, in our understanding.
Dan Davies: The people of Israel were expecting many signs. They probably got this expectation from a passage in the Book of Daniel that mentions the Son of man coming on the clouds. The Jewish people saw no signs and, therefore, they could not accept their time as the time of the messiah. Jesus became angry with the Pharisees who continually demanded a sign and told them only an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. He told them they should believe in Him by what He said, and if not by what He said, then by His work.
Anthony Guerra: I'd like to say that what Dan is talking about is apocalyptic literature which was a form of Jewish literature that began about 200 B.C. and lasted until about 100 A.D. The Jews were talking about a catastrophic event which would coincide with the time of the messiah whom they were awaiting. And the Book of Revelation is very much in this mode; it's the New Testament version of this type of literature which was quite popular at the time of Jesus.
Mark Branson: So you're saying those are not to be taken literally, including the angel's comments about Jesus coming in the clouds?
Anthony Guerra: Right. We agree with Bultmann here -- one of the few places we do agree with Bultmann.
Warren Lewis: The Unificationists are in bad trouble when it comes to biblical hermeneutics, and they know it; we talk about it here. But so are the Evangelicals in trouble. You know very well that the New Testament plays fast and loose with its quotations of the Old Testament because it's interpreting the Old Testament through christological spectacles. A previous conclusion had been arrived at -- that Jesus is the messiah; therefore, one could use the Old Testament to prove Jesus' messiahship when one needed to. One could find a virgin birth, where the Old Testament doesn't teach it. Joel prophesies that the stars will fall from heaven; Peter on the day of Pentecost says. "This is that." But I presume the moon did not turn to blood that day. So you both need to wage a hermeneutical battle against one another -- or work hermeneutical love -- because you're both in trouble. How do you folks make your decisions about the Bible, you Evangelicals, about which of these metaphorical forms to take literally, and which to leave metaphorical? This is how: you make those decisions on the basis of certain a priori christological decisions, just like the Unificationists and the first-century Christians. I'd love to see you get together on your hermeneutics. You really might make some progress. But since you're both so embarrassed by it. maybe in your common embarrassment, you might acknowledge one another's humanity and start there afresh. I suggest, and I'm siding with Joe here in a way, that some hermeneutical clarity should come into this conversation. We are going to chase this thing into Robin Hood's barn and get nowhere.
Anthony Guerra: What we're saying is that Jesus provided justification for the forgiveness of sins, so that man could individually unite with God. The Lord of the Second Advent similarly provides justification for families; that is, to achieve what we call the second blessing. This accounts for our interpretation of what Paul and Jesus say: "It would be better not to marry, for in heaven you will be like the angels, i.e., not married." In the Christian tradition marriage is "til death do you part." We believe that is because the family itself is not justified, although the individual is justified. The Lord of the Second Advent is coming specifically to grant to man this blessing which humanity has been deprived of by the fall. So. therefore, by receiving the blessing of the Lord of the Second Advent you are given the possibility of achieving a perfect marriage in God's sight. Just as when you receive justification from Jesus, it does not mean that you become perfected as an individual, right? You must actually lead a Christ-like life. So likewise, although you receive justification through the Lord of the Second Advent to have a family approved by God, that's only a possible condition. Given the principle of growth which Tirza talked about, man's responsibility must be fulfilled in order that the opportunity which God has given may be realized. So the Lord of the Second Advent gives justification but not sanctification on the family level.
Rod Sawatsky: Do we need more clarification on that?
Johnny Sonneborn: I want to put this in more practical terms. Let's consider the fall of man. W e want there to be ultimately a situation in which people will never fall, so let's find what was missing then that will be present in the future. We note first that Adam and Eve were spiritually children, because if they had been perfected they couldn't have fallen. But they had no parents to guide them on earth; or as St. Irenaeus said, the Word was walking about the garden but He was invisible. Jesus came on earth and Word was visible. People had a standard to go on.
Therefore, when a tradition has been established with people who actively practice true parenthood on earth, then people can begin to learn the way of raising children and the children will have a situation for growth, and as the community is expanded. as we've been mentioning, then this can be developed so that ultimately when the kingdom is completely fulfilled we'll live under good family life, and there will never be falling away. It has to begin somewhere. This is how this linking up the spiritual with the physical happens that you're asking about.
Mark Branson: But there is no physical, tangible, material link between the Lord of the Second Advent and those whom he blesses?
Nora Spurgin: Well, basically, it is a spiritual thing in order to reverse the fall. Ever since Satan pulled man to his side, man has been responding to him. Satan has a claim over man because of this response. Therefore, the way to reverse this is for man to have that unity with the messiah. Now, the fall took place through the misuse of love. In reversal, we must unite our hearts -- a spiritual unity in obedience to the messiah. It is not a sexual unity, as some of our opponents would lead people to believe.
Pete Sommer: But Rev. Moon encourages romantic feelings toward himself and his wife.
Jonathan Wells: Not sexual.
Pete Sommer: The word "romantic" is used in Master Speaks...
Virgil Cruz: I don't want to be crude, but why couldn't there be, theoretically, sexual relations with the messiah? Many religions have the holy sexual thing. Wouldn't that be reversing the fall totally?
Anthony Guerra: I think we are missing a central category in Unification theology: namely, the concept of the heart of God. In Unification theology, God is best imagined as a loving parent who created humanity as His children for whom He had great expectations. These expectations are expressed in the notion of the three blessings as: individual perfection, family perfection, and proper dominion over the rest of the created order. The failure to achieve these ends designed by God causes grief to the heart of God. The messiah's task is to realize God's ideal and by doing this he gains the authority to forgive others, and, most importantly, the Lord of the Second Advent and his bride may ask forgiveness from God for other couples. So the Lord of the Second Advent and his bride say to God, "Please forgive this couple." and they receive forgiveness. This is the same way that I John talks about Jesus as interceding for us as individuals, as advocating our cause.
Mark Branson: The forgiveness of a couple cannot be given by Jesus?
Anthony Guerra: That's right. He gives forgiveness to individuals and potentially to every individual, but not to a couple, and that's precisely why Paul says it's better that one does not marry.
Johnny Sonneborn: W e have to say why that's the case, and why the theory didn't come a long time ago. If it was just a question of setting up a family, then why couldn't God have sent the Messiah the next day and set up a family? It's because the Lord comes again when all the nations unite, when there is a widespread foundation. Jesus came to open up the providence on a worldwide level, whereas before Jesus, God moved through nations. Therefore, there has to be a certain development of the social sphere at the time of the return of the Lord. Then, this will open up the final level in which people will be able to live on this earth in harmony. Therefore, this means that people who are married in the time of the new age have a new kind of hope, not just a sureness that the end will come somehow or other, but the hope they're actually living in a time when the purpose of life is going to be fulfilled. They actually are participating in establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth substantially. So this creates a whole new aspect. They're free to marry as something that's really going to be part of the substantial foundation for restoration, rather than just perpetuating the vale of tears. This changes the whole relationship between body and spirit as well. It's very important that this family aspect be seen in the context of the third blessing.
Mark Branson: I'm hearing another eschaton and I want to get back to that later. First, in the Unification church marriage ceremony, a major part of the sacrament is the wine. Is it true that of the twenty-one ingredients in the wine, one of the ingredients is the blood of Moon?3 Is that a physical link?
Nora Spurgin: I never heard the actual ingredients. As far as I know, we've never been told. The Wine Ceremony to m e was like a communion, with, of course, a different value than that, because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in our lives. In terms of something which you might be familiar with, it was like being served communion -- a similar quality of spiritual transcendence.
One more thing -- you mentioned something about romance, or a romantic relationship. Maybe what you are talking about is something like what Rev. Moon has sometimes said, that we as blessed couples are like the bride of the Messiah. The reference to the bride is symbolic, such as a nun who considers herself married to Jesus, or the references in Revelation, which are interpreted generally as the Church being the Bride.
Warren Lewis: You're right. You're absolutely right. It's all through Master Speaks. In context, what it's all about is an offer of imitation of the perfect marriage. He's saying. "Mrs. Moon and I have got this great thing going; and now. all of you sisters, if you are really lucky, you'll get a guy as good as I am." (laughter) "And you ought to prepare yourself to be married to the Messiah. And all of you brothers, if you could marry a woman like Mother, then you would be the luckiest guy around." In his speeches he frequently plays with that theme; what he's trying to say is, "Look for the kind of person who carries out his own messianic role. Since you can't have the real Messiah, get the next best thing."
Irving Hexham: Now I know that he very clearly repudiates adultery, and fornication would seem to be your ultimate sin; does that place sexuality under a cloud?
Jonathan Wells: Fornication is sinful, but love isn't.
Rod Sawatsky: It is almost eleven o'clock and I think we'll have to cut it off at this point. There's much, much unfinished here obviously. I think one of the places we were left with was Virgil's question on tests of the messiah. Some of those questions are also related to personal testimonies in terms of how various people experience and have experienced the Rev. Moon. Jonathan began his testimony, and my impression is that if we went around the circle we would have many different kinds of testimonies of relationships with Rev. Moon. Maybe we will have occasion to do that. If we don't, that might be something we could pursue at mealtimes.
It seems to me that we ought to begin tomorrow morning with these questions of hermeneutics. of authority, of new Scriptures, and the like. Again, this needs to be dialogical; I think the Evangelicals need to tell the Moonies what their hermeneutical principles are. and how they interpret the Scriptures, and vice versa. We'll see who's in with Lindsell and who's out. That should be fun in itself. We will begin with that and see where we go after lunch.
Paul Eshleman: Maybe into salvation; at what point do you become assured of eternal life, and at what point do you see the perfection of the body; at what point can you be assured of your relationship with God? If everybody in the room dies tonight, what happens?
Richard Quebedeaux: Although the whole issue of salvation has been discussed there are still things that require clarification.
Dan Davies: I'd like to hear the Evangelical view of salvation too.
Rod Sawatsky: O.K., so first thing tomorrow morning is "authority" and then "salvation." O.K.?
[Editor's Note: The second seminar dealt with the question of Jesus Christ, Rev. Moon and their relationship again. This interchange follows in the text below before the discussion on authority and salvation.]
Roy Carlisle: I think the most succinct statement in the New Testament about who Jesus is, is in Philippians 2: 5-11. I think it is very powerful because it contains both the elements of divinity and humanity, which are critical to the Evangelical understanding of Christ. I want to read just a couple of verses in that passage: "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God. did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself. taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
I don't think there's a more clear, powerful, christological statement in the New Testament, and the thing that's so important is that all the elements are there -- first, that He is in the form of God, that somehow He was divine, whatever that really means, also that He was a man, that He died on the cross, that He was exalted. This is where Unification and evangelical theology really crunch. There's the sense in that passage that nothing else is needed. Christ was everything, did everything, was everything that we need. He is now Lord, and there is no need for another Lord of the Second Advent, or somebody else to fulfill the whole salvific purpose in Scripture. Now we can take off from that in different directions; but for an Evangelical, somehow we have to be convinced, based on Scripture, that there is a need for something more than this passage. This is where we have to dig into it. So to get started, let's talk about the elements of this.
Jonathan Wells: If we assume, which I do, that Jesus was speaking God's Word, His command to people was "Believe in Me." Of all the messages in the Bible, that one comes through the clearest -- "Believe in Me" -- it is clear as a bell. Now, for Jesus to die meant that people -- it's a question -- had to disbelieve in Him? Is God's will then contradictory? I mean, was Jesus giving us a commandment that God knew we couldn't fulfill, or didn't even want us to fulfill? How does that fit. logically?
Rod Sawatsky: Clarify that a little more. I don't think we're all with you.
Jonathan Wells: O.K., God's will was that people believe in Jesus. Jesus died because people didn't believe in Jesus. It wasn't the people who believed in Jesus who crucified Him. So on the one hand, Jesus is saying, "Believe in Me," and yet the evangelical position seems to be that God really wanted Jesus to die.
Paul Eshleman: See, it's exactly that point right now that's the crucial point of Christianity, and that is: why do you believe or trust in Jesus Christ? There are a lot of people who talk about Jesus today; but the evangelical position is this: we don't trust or believe in Jesus Christ as a hero, as a good man, as a great liberator, but we trust and believe in Him as a salvation and satisfaction and propitiation for our sins. Jesus made the payment. So when Jesus said. "Believe in Me," it was "trust and follow Me, not only for your salvation from sin, but total salvation in the whole remaking of your life."
Mark Branson: Paul (Eshleman) properly emphasized Jesus' role of propitiation. In achieving a way of forgiveness and providing reconciliation with God. Jesus deals effectively and finally with sin. Without downplaying that, I also want to say that He is the liberator, that there are other ramifications than forgiveness. Otherwise His life makes no sense. He didn't just come, say, "I'm the Messiah." and get arrested. But He lived a life for several years, and that is what we have to follow. Belief in Jesus, therefore, includes not only my personal reconciliation with God but also belief in His methodology for building the kingdom.
Jonathan Wells: None of those are my question.
Joseph Hopkins: In answer to your question, I find the distinction between God's will of purpose and His will of desire helpful, and also His will of command. God "desires not the death of a sinner, but that every man turn from his wickedness and life." It was His will of desire that people believe in Jesus, but it was His will of purpose that Jesus be sacrificed for our sins.
Evangelical X: In Matthew 16. it says that from that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him and rebuked Him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But Jesus said to him, "Get behind me. Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God. but of men." He made it very plain to His very choice group of twelve people: don't try to resist what I've come to try to do.
Sharon Gallagher: I'd like to answer you in another way. I perceive the role of Jesus as fulfilling the suffering servant role
that is foreordained in the whole Old Testament. So, for me, there are three levels in Isaiah: One would be the nation of Israel, the suffering servant for the world at that time; another would be the suffering prophet role in Israel; and the third one would be the role that Jesus fulfilled, as the suffering servant for Israel.
Jonathan Wells: I will try to phrase it as a question again. since I'm still on the questioning side. Can we distinguish Jesus" command, "Believe in Me." from what is more in the nature of a prediction, namely, "I will be crucified," which He could clearly see coming? Now, objectively speaking, can there be a distinction between His command and His prediction of what would actually happen?
Patrick Means: Can I raise a question for clarification first? An honest clarification, because I don't know -- I gather that you of the Unification movement give higher authority to the words of Jesus in Scripture than other words in Scripture, and that His words are evidently more authoritative than others that came after, and I'd like to have someone clarify that for me, if that's true or not.
Jonathan Wells: I didn't exactly say that, if I can clarify it. I'm saying that the least disputable message, and you can certainly debate me on this one, but I would say the least disputable message in the New Testament is Jesus' message. "Believe in Me." There's nobody who disputes that, right?
Patrick Means: Paul is as authoritative as Jesus on any of these questions.
Jonathan Wells: I won't comment on that.
Warren Lewis: Your answer is that St. Paul also said "Believe in Jesus," right?
Jonathan Wells: That's true in Paul, and in all the New Testament.
Mark Branson: Jesus is saying, "Believe in Me," but He's also aware that His message is going to cause opposition, and I don't see the conflict between the two things you're bringing up. You see it as a conflict, but I don't see it as a conflict, because while He commands "Believe in Me," He is also making a realistic prediction of the future -- anyone who tries to live the kind of life I intend to live, might get himself crucified. That is also true, but the statement that this kind of lifestyle will lead to confrontation and eventually persecution doesn't change the command -- My desire is that people believe in Me.
Jonathan Wells: Right, but the question we're trying to get at is what was God's will.
Mark Branson: God's will was that people believe in Jesus.
Jonathan Wells: That's my point.
Mark Branson: But that doesn't take away from the other one at all. the realistic statement that a lifestyle of love and giving for the people will produce a conflict.
Jonathan Wells: It's contrary to God's will, that's all, O.K
Mark Branson: But given the nature of men and the way the world is set up, that doesn't happen.
Jonathan Wells: The way the world is set up by God?
Mark Branson: No, the way the world is with sin in it.
Jonathan Wells: O.K., but is that the will of God?
Mark Branson: Once that incorporates the bigger picture, I'd say yes. That there really is a world and a dimension and a reality that incorporates this as well as much more, and...
Pete Sommer: It's your own moral choice as a free moral agent, not God's will...
Anthony Guerra: I just wanted to highlight the point you were making concerning the distinction between God's will and human possibilities. It seems to me that if you say on the one hand, that you understand God's will at the time of Jesus to be that people believe in Him, and that on the other hand it is impossible to fulfill the will, you have conceived of an absurd God.
Mark Branson: I didn't say impossible -- I didn't say impossible, it's just going to get you into trouble...
Anthony Guerra: Was it the desire of God to have His will realized? This is the question. If people had believed in Jesus as the Messiah, then they would not have crucified Him, since Christ could only be crucified at the hands of disbelievers.
Evangelical Y: Hypothetical questions are impossible to answer...
Anthony Guerra: Well, I'm just asking you to follow the reasoning...
Evangelical Y: In philosophy, you don't ask contrary-to-fact questions. They're meaningless questions.
Rod Sawatsky: Not necessarily. On the basis of certain theological options given a particular view of the nature of creation, nature of God, the world, what may His will have been? This is Anthony's question. I don't think that's out of hand, theologically, at all.
Evangelical Y: It can only be dealt with speculatively...
Rod Sawatsky: Yes, for sure, it's a speculative question...
Anthony Guerra: We're speculating at this point...
Jonathan Wells: It's equally speculative to say that God wanted Jesus to die -- that would be my claim. It is clear that God foresaw the likelihood of the crucifixion, but I wouldn't say God wanted that to happen...
Paul Eshleman: That's not what Jesus said in Mark...
Johnny Sonneborn: It seems to me there's a rational evangelical position that's developing, although it's not one that I necessarily agree with. God wants everyone to believe in Jesus, and knew at that time, given the nature of the sinful realities, that they wouldn't. This is my understanding of foreknowledge. Under those circumstances there would be no salvation without blood. I think this is a rational position, even though many of us would like it some other way. Nevertheless, God would ask people to believe in Him under those circumstances, so that after the propitiation there would be this kind of belief. This is not saying it was God's will that Jesus die -- His basic will was the belief of the people -- but He knew it would happen as it did. It seems like a rational, logical position. However, it raises a question now as to God's foreknowledge. Does God know everything that's going to happen? Where does man's free will come in? It must be more rational than to say that God wanted some people to believe in Jesus and follow Him and other people to crucify Him and cause this great delay...
Richard Quebedeaux: Some Christians do believe that...
Joseph Hopkins: Well, again, there's the distinction between God's will of purpose and His will of desire, and with regard to the statement "Believe in God, believe also in Me," I don't see that as a command but as an appeal, because Jesus is dealing with free moral agents -- He's not forcing His will upon people.
Anthony Guerra: Don't you have a freeing God, not a contradictory God; a freeing God who creates life itself -- we must see it. He gives us forgiveness in Christ, and even gives us the third gift -- freedom to reject Him.
Franz Feige: To me, it's very obvious that it was very strange to His disciples that Jesus suddenly said He would have to go and die. It means that Jesus must have somehow given support to the assumption in the disciples that He would come to live -- otherwise they would not have turned against Jesus' desire of going out to die. So the question is: Don't you think there's a possibility that Jesus wanted to live to build God's kingdom on the earth, but because of the incredible rejection of Jesus by His own people He had to alter His will? Isn't it possible that through His death He brought in a temporary state, and promised a second coming for the fulfillment of the kingdom?
Rod Sawatsky: That would be a position held by many Evangelicals -- that's a basic dispensationalist point of view...
Franz Feige: So God altered His will because...
Rod Sawatsky: Well, not necessarily God altering His will, but a change in plan...
Franz Feige: Because man rejected God, by rejecting Jesus. This would be the Unification church position, too...
Roy Carlisle: I think I would take exception to the fact that Jesus did somehow bolster their enthusiasm for Him to live, and somehow gave them fuel for those kinds of assumptions. I think that they were Jewish, and as messianic Jews their expectation was that Jesus, the Messiah, would be a messianic king, a political king. Jesus, however, never ever in His ministry gave any inkling, of anything that would have helped them continue to believe that at all. I mean, it's so critical that even after the resurrection they say to Him, "Well, now you've been resurrected, Lord, let's set up this kingdom." And He says, "You still don't understand what I've been doing all my life, and that is trying to teach you that I had to die..." He never said to them, "I'm going to become a political figure." He never gave them the basis for assuming that somehow He would not have to die. Never, there's no place in the New Testament...
Franz Feige: He somehow didn't make it clear in the beginning, right?
Roy Carlisle: No, I'm saying that He did make it clear, but because they were Jews who had a Messianic expectation, they didn't even get it after the resurrection -- that's how strong their Messianic expectation was for a political king. It wasn't that Jesus didn't make it clear -- it's just that it didn't sink in. It never sank in -- it didn't even sink in after the resurrection -- it didn't sink in until Pentecost, so it wasn't Jesus not making it clear -- He made it clear all along the line.
Sharon Gallagher: I just wanted to say that in fact I think what Jesus was doing was trying to prepare them for His death and burial. Take the instance of Mary as an example. She poured ointment over His body, and some of the disciples were critical of this, but Jesus said, "Let her alone." I think He's affirming the fact that she has understood what His ministry was, that He came to die.
Franz Feige: The question is, why would Jesus have to wait for a few years to die? Why isn't it enough for Him to say, O.K., I've come to die, crucify me as soon as possible, so you might have salvation as soon as possible. Why wouldn't God have sent Jesus already 4,000 years ago, when the circumstances for rejection were even more probable. Why did God go and set up a nation of people?
Jonathan Wells: That they might have made the mistake of accepting him? (laughter)
Franz Feige: Was there a need for God to set up a nation to receive Him?
Sharon Gallagher: Because God didn't set that up. I mean, I hear you asking what is the necessity for human history -- why did God bother with Abraham and the patriarchs -- why didn't He just set up the kingdom of God right after the fall...
Franz Feige: Right, that's our question, too...
Johnny Sonneborn: That can be answered by Dr. Hopkins' notion of reform theology. Just say that God in His infinite wisdom and omniscience foreordained these activities.
Paul Eshleman: Scripturally, it says in the fullness of time. That's all it says.
Joseph Hopkins: But Jesus came not only to die: "... and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father."
He came to reveal the Father, so that we might know the beautiful and glorious holiness of God, in order that we might model our lives after Him and enter into His fellowship with comprehension of who our Creator is.
Dan Davies: Then why was He so angry when people refused Him? Why didn't He always calmly and peacefully take the accusations that He got from the Pharisees? And rejection? Why did He often viciously strike out?
Joseph Hopkins: Because they were rejecting the Father.
Dan Davies: But that was God's will...
Joseph Hopkins: No.
Frank Kaufmann: I'd like to suggest that you are making an assumption when you say that the necessary murder of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, is a divine principle, especially in light of the fact that Jesus forgave sins during His life prior to His crucifixion; could some of the Evangelicals address this?
Evangelical X: Because He knew what He came to do, which was to pay the penalty for sin; somebody has to pay, and He knew He was going to pay. Therefore, on the basis of that, He could forgive. I also would like to say, although I don't know if I'm answering you or not. that this Evangelical believes that although Jesus died. He was not defeated; it's just the opposite. He won there, and the whole message of the New Testament church was the resurrection, and for some reason or another we're not giving that message clearly anymore. That's all they talked about in the early days of the church -- the resurrection -- that was the mark of the Christian Church -- the resurrection, indicative of the fact that the victory has come. Just as it was said here by our friend, this victory is put off, and I don't like it, as you don't like it, and I don't think God likes it being put off this long. By His life, Jesus showed us the Father -- that's what He came to do, and therefore we, as His people, are to do the same. But there's that ever-present conflict within us: having been born into the kingdom of this world, we Christians do not fulfill what He redeemed us to fulfill. All of us will have to admit that there are two poles within all of us somewhere along the line on some issues -- not all issues, but some issues. One pole says this and one pole says that, and we have to find out what God's will is, and the only way to do this is to seek Christ, and then we know what God's will is. Just do what He did, by the grace of God, and then we'll be fulfilling the will of God, modeling it as He modeled it, in front of a world that needs to hear. The world needs to feel that dignity from us, and when we don't give that dignity, there's something wrong in the way we're living our Christian life. The death of Christ is the reason we're able to do that, because that freed us from all that guilt and penalty -- that's why He could forgive -- He knew He was going to pay for it.
Frank Kaufmann: But at that point we weren't forgiven? Was it a guarantee... following His crucifixion?
Rod Sawatsky: I think we should switch gears here a little bit. I'd like now to move to the other side, and have the Unificationists
tell the story; but before doing that, I'd like some of the Unification people to list some of the areas which they feel are the most problematic about the answers they received from the Evangelicals. Where, in your minds, are the problems?
Jonathan Wells: Well, I will just list one, because it was the one that was addressed a bit earlier: When does that forgiveness take effect, or how? I don't think that question was answered, because we heard talk about going forth as models of God, and yet I think no Evangelical would claim to be sinless.
Dan Davies: I'd like to deal with the issue of how Christians will deal with other religions upon the return of Jesus.
Tirza Shilgi: I suppose one of the things I wanted to mention from the beginning of this discussion was that, during most of Jesus' ministry He kept trying to explain what the kingdom was rather than explain how He was going to be crucified. It's like the quote brought out earlier: From this time on. He started to talk about going to Jerusalem. When He said this He was already very close to the end of His ministry and His life -- only a few days away from the crucifixion. Time-wise, and quantity-wise, in the gospels, the major part of Jesus' ministry deals with explaining the kingdom, not explaining His death; and I don't understand how you explain "from that time on" in light of the fact that most of His teaching was spent speaking of a totally different topic -- the kingdom of God.
Thomas Carter: I have a question: Is Jesus representing the kind of God that can foreordain human suffering, and human damnation? My question is, how do you view the nature of God?
Franz Feige: I have another question. What is the act of salvation on Jesus' part, that would reconcile man back to God? I think you have to explain that a little bit more.
Rod Sawatsky: I think that what we will do, is talk about Jesus and the second coming from the Unification point of view, and then we'll go on to the question of salvation.
Paul Eshleman: I didn't quite get the last question.
Franz Feige: What is the necessary or reconciling act from God's point of view that Jesus would have to do to reconcile man to God? What is the actual act that effects salvation?
Johnny Sonneborn: One more problem concerns what seems to be a lack of clarity on the second coming, its nature and effect.
Anthony Guerra: I have a hermeneutical question. I am intrigued by the way people are quoting Scripture. For instance, someone exegeted Mark to say that the kingdom is to have definite economic, political implications, and then somebody disagreed with that interpretation. I was wondering how you resolve such disagreements. What are the criteria by which you allow for some interpretations of Scripture and also disallow other interpretations?
Warren Lewis: That's been our problem for four hundred years, (laughter) Rod Sawatsky: Yes, I think that's a fair enough question. I think someplace we need to address that one, too.
Johnny Sonneborn: I have one more problem with the eschatology that was mentioned by at least a couple of persons. It was emphasized that God always works by trying to persuade humans freely to accept Him and Jesus Christ; on the other hand one person said the eschaton will be a supernatural work of God, and it seemed to imply a forcible act. Isn't that contradictory?
Paul Eshleman: Excuse my question, Rod, but will these questions be answered at some time, or do we just hope they will, or what'.' For what purpose are we bringing up the questions?
Rod Sawatsky: To raise the things that are left unclear in the minds of Unificationists, so that the Evangelicals can speak to these questions during the process of the next day if possible. If we try to answer all of these now, we won't get to any other questions, I'm sure.
Mark Branson: It might help if we had clarification concerning the second coming of Christ to the nations. However, Unificationists probably have more consensus than would Evangelicals. Evangelicals would say that's just not spelled out clearly in the Scriptures. You'd probably get as many opinions as people on that particular question, and to pursue that is not going to be particularly helpful.
Dan Davies: But it's quite important.
Mark Branson: That may be, but you're still going to get as many answers as people.
Dan Davies: That's all right -- we're here for dialogue.
Mark Branson: Well, if you're looking for a consensus, there are some areas where Evangelicals are going to have a real consensus, and there are going to be others where they won't.
Richard Quebedeaux: The second coming in Unification theology is of a different character than it is in evangelical theology. It is a more earthly kind of thing. Evangelicals, however, just assume that everything works out fine at the second coming, everything is taken care of by God, so the issue of what happens to the different cultures, and other things -- that's all sort of resolved. As you say, there could be many interpretations, whereas in Unification theology, it's quite a different story.
Mark Branson: And the clarification of that in Unification theology is important. In Evangelical thought, I don't think it is important, because Evangelical thought tends to focus on the present, and says what God is doing, what is the responsibility of God, etc.
Dan Davies: From my perspective, I think that is a lack -- one the Evangelicals have to confront every day in the world.
Warren Lewis: Let me underline what I think he means by that. Methodologically, for the Unificationists, it's important to raise the questions for which Evangelicals don't have answers, and indicate the points at which they are not united. Unificationists understand that Rev. Moon has brought the answers. In an attempt to appeal to you, they want to say: "You don't have the answer; we do; here it is." Strategically, they have to keep pushing you in the areas where they think you are weak.
Anthony Guerra: I want to punctuate that point. To say that we should be concerned with only the present moment is derived from a certain philosophical perspective -- existentialism. On the other hand, to say that the eschaton or the final goal is decisive also rests on certain philosophical assumptions. But these are philosophical assumptions and not necessarily scriptural insights. Now returning to my original point: what is your hermeneutic? These kinds of questions are important to raise even if definitive answers cannot be given, for they keep us humble.
Rod Sawatsky: Jonathan is going to start us off by talking about Jesus in the context of Unification's understanding, and then also move on to the second coming, the Lord of the Second Advent in that context. Then he'll speak to the question of the potential relationship of Jesus and Moon. After that Johnny Sonneborn is going to add some further things, and then we'll have some questions of clarification.
Jonathan Wells: I'll start off by saying that in Unification theology, Jesus comes as the Second Adam. For that reason, I'm going to go back and comment briefly on the first Adam. God's original desire in creating the world was for mankind to be His children, so Adam and Eve were supposed to be God's son and daughter, and were originally created sinless. God's desire for them was to grow up and become perfect; in other words, there is a distinction between sinlessness and perfection. This is similar to the thinking of Iranaeus, for those of you that are into historical theology. God gave the commandment to Adam and Eve, allowing them to choose whether to obey or not. As we know, they disobeyed the commandment and did not reach perfection, but fell away from sinlessness into sin and so human history became the story of God's continual efforts to prepare man for another attempt -- that is, the second Adam. Man couldn't raise himself out of his sinfulness by his own effort, but instead God had to send another sinless man, and that man was Jesus, who was one with God, and perfect. Jesus said, "... if you knew me, you would know my Father also," meaning, therefore, to connect with Him and thereby connect with God. That would restore the relationship which Adam and Eve failed to establish.
And this is the solution to sin -- that is, the origin of sin was the abuse of man's free will in the first place, so to restore that, man had to use his free will to accept Jesus. This is the point I was making earlier: to believe in Jesus was a kind of alternative commandment which fulfilled the function of the one that was violated in the garden.
Now, Jesus offered mankind complete salvation, that is, the kingdom of Heaven on earth, sinlessness, perfection, unity with God, and this would have fulfilled the purpose of God's original creation. Unfortunately, mankind did not accept Jesus, specifically because certain key people in Israel failed to believe in Him. Jesus could see that these people were turning away from Him, and that even His own followers weren't connected closely enough with Him. People followed Jesus, but actually we know that when they were challenged, everybody fell away, so Jesus was really without followers in the deepest sense of the word. Since God, through Jesus, could see this situation. He knew that mankind was rejecting Jesus, and that the only solution was for Jesus to go the way of the cross. Now, in that sense, the Divine Principle says the crucifixion was the will of God, but as Franz mentioned earlier, the secondary will, because man opposed God's primary will.
So even though complete salvation was offered at the time of Jesus, the crucifixion, in effect, was man's rejection of that offer, and the salvation that we experience in Christianity is somehow incomplete -- not because of any failure of Jesus, but because of sinful man's rejection of Him. Therefore, the second coming is necessary in order for God's will to be accomplished.
Christianity does, however, offer a spiritual salvation. Jesus said He came to give His life as a ransom, and in fact, that is the result of the crucifixion -- He ransoms our soul through His body -- He gives His body to the cross, and thereby enables those people who turn to Him to be saved spiritually. So, in Christianity the most common understanding is that there's a heavenly kingdom to come -- that is, in a spiritual sense, after we die. But the Divine Principle maintains that God's will was that the whole creation be restored, that is, physically as well as spiritually. For this reason Christ will come again in the same manner as He came the first time. The first coming, that is, Jesus, was completely adequate -- it wasn't Jesus who failed, but man who rejected Him, and so the second coming, in effect, is like another opportunity from God for man to respond to His will. It occurs in a very similar manner to the first coming, and I'm not sure how much farther I want to press that, but it implies the second coming is a man born of woman, who walks the earth, preaches the kingdom of heaven, is accepted by some, rejected by others. For God's overture to be accepted means that the second coming must be accepted by people in the way that the first coming was not. The Divine Principle challenges us to fulfill what the people of 2,000 years ago failed to fulfill.
Rod Sawatsky: O.K., we'll let Johnny Sonneborn speak for a minute.
Johnny Sonneborn: The major point that I want to get to is that it seems that the evangelical folks here, with the exception of Mark, and possibly one other, have emphasized Jesus' present kingdom, which is now what we call a spiritual kingdom, or eternal kingdom; or as Sharon pointed out, there had been a temporal kingdom, and that had been changed through the advent of Christ, and later on, after the second coming, comes the substantial kingdom anew. This is the Divine Principle position on Jesus -- He is the king of the spiritual kingdom.
Now, what does it mean -- a spiritual kingdom? It means perhaps citizens, or subjects or whatever one calls followers of a king; and therefore, what the church does right is the kingdom.
What the church does wrong in not following is not: the kingdom must be enacted as one is doing it. The kingdom is spreading and Jesus as the Lord is directing the spiritual spread of Christianity as the Evangelicals have described. Therefore, the kingdom now is greater all the time the more people are added. Jesus must have a plan for spreading this, a plan of going from a society to a nation, to other nations and so forth. In the Unification church, some understanding of this is given.
It also means that Jesus, as Mark said, is the king because He tears down the barriers to His rule. The question then is, are these barriers being broken down, and is the kingdom spreading in some terrestrial sense because barriers were broken down, or is it only spiritual, as Mark and others seem to be saying? Unificationists are saying that the kingdom of God in the spiritual and physical sense means God with people who are sinless, who have integrity. God is not designing His kingdom for sinners. Christians, according to Unification church, if they really have one hundred percent faith and are united with Jesus, can be spiritually sinless, reborn into living hope, can be freed from that accusation of thoughts, feelings, and so forth. That appears to be theoretically attainable; but in our actual actions, we know, as St. Paul and others have said, that we continue to sin. In a substantial sense, there has not been even one follower of Christ who could say, "I am really a true child of the kingdom." Rather one can only say, "I have the spirit of adoption, and am still waiting for the adoption as a child here." Much less, even, can be said about the redemption of our physical relationships. Because there haven't been any true individuals in the Christian Church in that sense, there haven't been any true marriages, much less further elaborations of the kingdom in a substantial, social sense. This is why we say that at this point the kingdom has been but a spiritual one, and why the second coming of Christ means it must be transformed or built, or be made more glorified and more concrete as Roy has said.
Now, I'd just like to refer to the quotation where Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world. This is obviously a true statement. He did not have a kingdom of this world. But that statement does not have to be taken to mean the kingdom should not then be or will not be of this world. It is clearly in the evangelical view that when Jesus comes back He will establish the kingdom on this earth; so it was not necessarily an indication or prediction as to what was going to happen back at that time.
As far as the Christian salvation that has been accomplished goes, I must emphasize again that there is not a substantial difference between the Unification church and Evangelicals or any other Christian group as regards what has been accomplished -- what salvation has been accomplished by Jesus. The only question is what more needs to be done, and do we call this salvation or not. I would like to call attention to the two different meanings of the word "salvation": salvation as a rescue -- propitiation, and salvation as restoration to health. I think it's not quite enough to say that God sent the perfect man to earth, and He said, "Here I am, perfect," and people just reached out to follow Him. Unification teaching tells us that this is not enough because people are so far short of that. Christ must come down from His status as a perfect person, and come down to what we call the top of the growth stage (it's explained in Unification teachings), and become the servant and really serve people and eventually be exalted by the people. When the people did exalt Jesus and did prepare at risk in the upper room, then He was able to send the Holy Spirit, not just rescuing them, as it were, but restoring them to health.
Rod Sawatsky: We're beginning to get into the area of salvation and the Holy Spirit -- that's fine, but let's make sure we're clear on the questions of Jesus and the second coming first. Whitney wants to add something.
Whitney Shiner: Yes, I want to clarify part of Jonathan's statement, because I thought it sounded as though we saw the crucifixion as the problem, but actually it's not the crucifixion that is the problem, but the rejection of Jesus by the people which we see as defeating God's purpose. At that point, then, the crucifixion was a ransom that Jesus paid so that the spiritual kingdom would be possible if people united with Jesus after the resurrection; I think this is essentially the evangelical position, that Jesus goes to the cross as a ransom so that the spiritual kingdom can be established.
And this, I think, is very close to the position I was hearing the Evangelicals state, that God's will would be for people to unite with Jesus; but because He knew that they wouldn't, He would use the cross to establish the spiritual kingdom. We're saying that God didn't know whether man would unite or not because man does have free will. God, of course, had a plan in the event that people would unite with Jesus, and that would be the full establishment of the kingdom.
Rod Sawatsky: I think we need a little clarification on what Jesus would have done in order to fully initiate the kingdom had He not died on the cross.
Paul Eshleman: Let me add to that, then. How would sins have been propitiated and satisfied if He had not died? W e agreed that Jesus Christ was sinless, but should He have kept on living, where would the sacrifice have come in?
Tirza Shilgi: Our view of overall salvation and Jesus' role is directly connected with the way we view sin. Essentially, the way we view sin is as concupiscence or disordered love. That means it is self-centered and misused love, as opposed to God-centered love. Thus, we don't see the redemption in the renunciation of love, and maintaining chastity, but rather, we see salvation in the establishment of the right order of love; namely, a God-centered family.
So, in the process of salvation, the function of a God-centered family as the redemptive element is essential. In other words, the salvation process goes beyond the sacrifice and into the establishment of a right-ordered love. What we want is the restoration of the God-centered family; such a family and its God-centered children are the redemptive unit from which later on the "second mankind," or the visible church will come about. It actually means not the sacramental or the Christian Church only, but rather a family of God which would start from that family and would grow on as a way of establishing the kingdom. So this unit is essential -- this is why we see a need for a messianic figure to fulfill this step and establish a family. This is why we feel that Jesus did not come to die, but He came to lead us, or establish that first redemptive unit, which was the first perfected family, and from that, to build this visible new humanity. Since He was not able to do that, we see the need for somebody else coming in a physical body to do that, and that's also explained in our understanding of Christ as an office rather than a last name. We don't see the word "Christ" as related to one specific person, but rather as an office or a mission that has to be fulfilled. And the coming about of the kingdom is connected to the fulfillment of this office rather than to one specific individual. Before we have this unit established, we can't have the kingdom. That's why we need somebody who will come and will establish that initial unit and from there on, we can have the kingdom, namely, God-centered family, clan, tribe, society, and world.
Patricia Zulkosky: I think, to carry on where we left off, this means that Jesus would have had a bride and they would have had sinless children. Then, because of His oneness with God, Jesus could intercede for the forgiveness of sins of all people who united with Jesus through faith. Then, sinlessness would expand, and the kingdom itself would be spread throughout the world. About four hundred years before Jesus, there were great spiritual revivals in the Far East and in Rome and Greece. Because of these revivals, many religions came into being, raising the standard of people to such a level that they could easily unite with Jesus when knowledge of His teachings came to them. God intended that Jesus' message be poured out on the world very quickly at that time, so He sent spiritual leaders to raise the people, either in an ethical sense or a doctrinal sense, to help bridge the gap between where they were and where Jesus was to bring them. Salvation, as we see it, was not only for Israel, but was to spread quickly throughout the whole existing world.
Dan Davies: I'd like to answer Paul Eshleman's question: What would happen if Jesus wasn't crucified, and how, then, would the propitiation of our sins take place? Our view of Christian rebirth is that it comes through faith in the resurrected Jesus and through the work of the Holy Spirit.
We see the concept of true parents as being extremely important. Because Jesus did not gain the following that He needed, He was crucified. He didn't have the foundation to establish the physical kingdom of God, so instead of having a physical bride, the Holy Spirit took the position of His bride, spiritually. They became the True Parents, spiritually, for all mankind. It is not by physical true parents, but by spiritual true parents that Christians are reborn spiritually. The messiah will come again, he'll take a bride, and they will become the True Parents, physically and spiritually for all mankind. They will be God's means to remove original sin from the world.
How could that be possible? The blessing of grace that comes through the spiritual rebirth that transforms our nature is a miracle, and it is impossible to explain to people who don't see it from a spiritual point of view. Also, the total restoration, physical and spiritual, that takes place through the Blessing of the True Parents is a miracle, difficult to explain for the same reason.
It has to be understood from a spiritual point of view.
Frank Kaufmann: I'd like to follow up what Tirza said. This responds to Paul's question as well. If Jesus was able to forgive sin without dying, then we must ask: wherein lies the power of Jesus to lead us out of sin? If the wages of sin is death, that being the state of those who do not live in love, then we must realize that the power Satan holds over mankind is that he is capable of leading us to distort our love, to cause us to use our love wrongly. Jesus Christ as a man was the first man to conquer Satan. Satan could not cause Jesus to change His love, God's love. The power of the Messiah is to lead mankind out of sin so that he can conquer Satan, conquer him who has dominated man since Adam. The first man who was never dominated by Satan was Jesus. By His victory, He knows and becomes the way and the truth and the life. He can provide us the way to come out of the bondage of sin, out of the clutches of Satan. Because He conquered in a direct battle, in a direct confrontation, He was not defeated by the power of sin. He exalts the supremacy of man. Are we not to judge the angels?
Johnny Sonneborn: But I think we still aren't speaking to Paul's question. To a certain extent, I'm trying to make it more concrete, and there is a very important dimension we need to bring into this. Jesus did come to give His life as ransom -- there had to be a sacrifice, but that doesn't necessarily mean to us a physical sacrifice, being murdered or killed. You can give your life to God; this is a dedication of your life to all other people for God. Now, what does it really mean to give your life to other people? In Unification teaching, (this is not a direct quotation from the Principle, but I think it very clearly follows), Jesus came to participate in a marriage of perfected persons, but He would not do this outside of the context of ransoming everyone, saving everyone, universal salvation. This has been a problem, that people have married for themselves or just for their children, something of this sort, and salvation has been an individual matter. But Jesus came to give Himself, and He wanted to offer the whole nation of Israel with Him, for the sake of the whole world; and thus, instead of enjoying His perfect relationship with God, a perfect home, He concerned Himself with the salvation of all mankind. This was really giving up everything that He could. This was the model, the sacrificial model. It is a difficult path, and yet the resurrection proves this is the way of hope.
Paul Eshleman: But the way you respond to the resurrection doesn't make any sense without a physical death. You tell me that God is satisfied that Jesus gave His life in service, but there's no resurrection from service.
Johnny Sonneborn: There is a resurrection from service, because you descend in the form of a servant and you serve and you get persecuted. You risk your life leading people in the nation on an evangelical crusade into Rome. You may get killed, but if you don't get killed, you still have come out by giving everything, by refusing to use the way of force. As has been eloquently stated by the Evangelicals, you refuse to use anything but love; you put your life in the hands of those enemies, and you come out from it, physically murdered or not, it doesn't matter, for you are elevated as Lord.
Paul Eshleman: How do you deal with the passage: "... without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." How do you deal with that?
Johnny Sonneborn: The argument I've heard most often in the Unification church makes sense: in the Old Testament, everything is done on the physical level -- this is physical blood. In the New Testament, this is on the spiritual level. I'm not so sure just what spiritual blood is, perhaps the circulation of blood implies something to do with relationships. It certainly doesn't have to be physical death. Many external requirements don't apply in the New Testament Age, because, of course, the dispensation is not the same. We are dispensationalists in this way.
Patricia Zulkosky: Unification theology considers two meanings of death. There is the literal, physical death, and also the spiritual death, which means that we're cut off from God. The kind of death that took place at the fall of man was the spiritual death, whereby we cut ourselves off from the love of God; so for us, resurrection means to revive the spiritual connection of this love relationship with God. Therefore, it is possible for spiritual resurrection to take place by reconnecting the essential bond that was cut by the fall. One need not speak of physical death and physical resurrection. So we're not looking for the eternal physical body. We assume that man is born and that man dies, and that he has an eternal spiritual life in the spiritual world, and that this was God's plan from the beginning. Jesus came to restore spiritual life and our relationship with God. And that could be done without a physical death and resurrection.
Jonathan Wells: The question of sacrifice is also an issue here. Unification theology says the meaning of Jesus' sacrifice is, as Johnny explained, that Jesus sacrificed Himself by disregarding His own pleasure and safety, and going out to save the world. But there is a common misconception that the crucifixion is an example of an Old Testament sacrifice. It's actually the opposite of that -- I'll explain briefly. In the Old Testament, for a person to receive some blessing from God, or fulfill his duty, he had to sacrifice an animal, and then the person who offered the sacrifice received the blessing, right? So it's the person who does the sacrifice who receives the benefit. (Paul: With the right attitude ...) Yes. with the right attitude. The crucifixion of Jesus was committed by people who were going against God's will, and they didn't receive the blessing -- you see -- it was a Satanic sacrifice -- actually the exact reverse of all the Old Testament sacrifices.
Paul Eshleman: It was Christ who offered up Himself as the sacrifice, so Christ received the blessing, thus being able to reconcile man to God through His own sacrifice. He was our high priest, laying His own life down as the sacrifice.
Johnny Sonneborn: I think we agree with that. And as Christians, in order to participate in the benefit, we have to offer up the sacrifice in our own offerings of love.
Paul Eshleman: Could anybody have done it? Not just Christ, but anybody in Christ's place? Johnny Sonneborn: A perfect man, the only begotten Son of the Father.
Paul Eshleman: Why, if He was just coming...
Johnny Sonneborn: Nobody else could have made, nobody else would have made that sacrifice -- you have to have the wholeness in order to transcend the national scope of love.
Franz Feige: I think it's important to realize the Divine Principle point of view of salvation as restoration. Now we see salvation taking place as reversing what took place at the fall of man. This is restoration, the reversing of the process of the fall of man. So, without a proper understanding of the fall of man, we will not be able to understand the mission of Jesus, His salvation. At the fall, Satan was able to deceive Eve, and Eve finally deceived Adam; Satan deceived Adam through Eve. For restoration, these three positions are the most important. That means, the messiah alone cannot bring salvation. He requires a woman in the position of Eve, and somebody in the position of Lucifer, who is restored. That's what it boils down to -- that's why I asked the question before we made the break -- what is needed to reconcile God with man? When would God forgive man? What is sufficient for man to do so that God can accept him again as a son?
According to the Divine Principle point of view, the reconciling act of man must involve the domination of Satan. Man at the beginning got subjugated by Satan, or by Lucifer. Now, the reconciling act before God must be man in the position of Adam, woman in the position of Eve, dominating Satan, subjugating Satan. Concerning Jesus, He was able to subjugate Satan in the desert, by resisting the temptation of Satan three times. Thus, on an individual level, He dominated Satan. Satan could not invade Him anymore after that, because of His faith in God; therefore, He Himself fulfilled on an individual level His position as Messiah.
Now, that was not enough. An Eve is necessary, a woman in the position of Eve, and also a man in the position of Lucifer. This precisely was the problem at Jesus' time. There were not a woman and man able to completely unite with Christ, to restore these three positions, to restore the fall of man.
What should have happened? Jesus should have found an Eve, a bride, who had complete faith in Him, and a man, like Peter, or John the Baptist originally, who had complete faith in Him. If He had found those two, then the kingdom of heaven would have come into being. Jesus with His bride would have given children without original sin to mankind. This is the point of view of restoration, according to the Divine Principle.
Jesus' act of dying was not enough to reconcile God's heart to man. It was a reconciling act to a certain degree, because Jesus showed complete loyalty to God by keeping His faith. Actually, the victory in Jesus' crucifixion was not brought about by His death, but by His faith. Through His faith in God, Jesus was able to reconcile on a spiritual level man to God, but not substantially, physically. There was also the necessity for a woman of complete faith, and a man in Lucifer's position, showing complete faith, and that was the problem.
Patricia Zulkosky: To address your question, why couldn't just anybody do it, we need to note that God is pure and man is impure, and purity and impurity don't have any foundation to relate to each other. So, when the messiah comes, in order to relate, to bring man back to God, he also must be pure. But it's still the same problem because man is impure and the messiah is pure, and there is still no foundation of connecting there. Therefore, before the messiah can be sent, mankind must fulfill a fundamental condition to become symbolically pure. This doesn't mean that we can purify ourselves; we can't, we're sinners. Nor can we really understand purity, but there are certain imbalances created during the fall that have to be restored. The stories of Cain and Abel, of Noah, and Abraham are instances in the Scriptures, where God was trying to give man the chance to symbolically reverse the things that happened at the fall, so that man could become symbolically pure. The minimum foundation for purity was accomplished through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; so technically speaking, that's the point in history when the messiah could have been able to come, but at that time the foundation was confined to a family level, while surrounding this family, great nations grew up without such a foundation. We feel that God wanted to save the world and not just a family. Therefore, God wanted that family foundation to be expanded so that when His Son came, He would have a fair chance to be able to reach the whole world.
The messiah can't be just anyone -- in fact, the messiah couldn't even come until mankind, represented by certain central figures, had laid conditions for his coming. Even then the messiah could only appear through God's will and intervention. Based on these foundations, or symbolic conditions, if you will, that man had fulfilled, God could intervene in history through one sinless man. That sinless man is in the same position as Adam was before he fell; he has the responsibility to grow and to become what Adam should have become, perfect man, establishing his oneness with God beyond a possibility of falling. Jesus became the Messiah at that point, and only He can intercede for man's salvation, and it's only His sacrifice that can mediate man to God.
Mark Branson: So you're saying that spiritual salvation can be achieved without the cross. Jonathan Wells: Complete salvation.
Patricia Zulkosky: Complete salvation should have been achieved without the cross. Jonathan Wells: But not without sacrifice.
Whitney Shiner: The reason that the messiah is the only one who can offer sacrifice is the position that he's in as true parent. The actual point of restoration, the removal of sin, is the change of lineage. Original sin means that, because of the fall, Satan is in a position to claim all men as his children, and because we're in that position, no matter how much we work to overcome this sin, and no matter what God does, as long as Satan has that condition to claim us, then we can't be pure. So the point of restoration is changing from Satanic lineage to God's pure lineage, which means that there has to be somebody in the position of parent. True Parents, the pure man and woman, claim a person into their lineage.
Now, before that, there have to be conditions set by the messiah, and set by the people so that the True Parents can claim the people into their lineage. But, it has to be a pure son of God who does it. No matter what I do, I can't ever make the sacrifice. So Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in the position of True Parents.
Paul Eshleman: I understand True Parents in terms of restoration. You're saying to me that you look at the cross only as the representation of Christ's sacrifice, and that we need somebody else for complete restoration, because the cross ended with His death. If He hadn't died, Jesus could have gone forward and His sacrifice would have been His service, which would have been a reconciling factor of man to God, and then total restoration would have occurred as the new family would develop...
Patricia Zulkosky: Only supported by the faith of people.
Whitney Shiner: Already in Jesus' life there was the condition that if Jesus had been accepted, and then could have a bride in that position...
Paul Eshleman: But wouldn't He have had to sacrifice something in order to reconcile man to God?
Whitney Shiner: Sacrifice of His heart, it's always heart that God accepts as a sacrifice. Even on the cross, it wasn't the death that God accepted, but the offering of Jesus' heart -- it was the attitude of Jesus' heart on the cross which made spiritual salvation possible. All His previous sacrifice was lost when people rejected Jesus, so the cross indemnified all that, all at once, providing another chance, spiritually.
Anthony Guerra: In line with the concept of sacrifice as a change of heart is the Unification notion of the failure of John the Baptist in his mission as the forerunner of Christ. I think that we need to understand the role of John the Baptist if the Unification position that Jesus could have built the kingdom of heaven on earth 2,000 years ago is to be at all plausible. As an acknowledged spiritual leader of his time, John the Baptist was supposed to prepare the people to accept Jesus and to point to Him as the Messiah. Although John recognized Jesus as the Christ through his spiritual experience with Jesus at the Jordan River, he did not carry out his tasks of bringing his own disciples to follow Jesus, nor did he ever humble himself to the extent of becoming a disciple. He failed to do these things. We point to several passages in Scripture which accord with this perspective. For instance, we find that after John the Baptist was imprisoned because of his involvement in court affairs, he sent some of his own disciples to Jesus in order to ask Him, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (Mathew 11: 3). The contradiction appears between his earlier acknowledgement of Jesus and his asking the question of Jesus if He is indeed the Messiah. We understand the contradiction to be explained by the fact that John the Baptist did not wholeheartedly accept Jesus as his master and fully unite with Him in heart and action, (i.e., follow Him as His disciple). It was this failure of John that made it very difficult for Jesus to accomplish His mission.
In Unification terms, the practical work of restoration entailed bringing the people of Israel to repentance, so that the Israelites could then go forth as a nation of priests to meet the spiritual leaders of other nations and religions. They, together, would establish a world family embodying the ideals of love and justice. God had already established a world-wide foundation to accept the Messiah, and various spiritual leaders existed throughout the world capable of responding to the call of the times. Along with such religious preparation, we look also at the socio-political circumstances at the time of Jesus as conducive to the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth. This was the time of the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire with its great system of transportation, and of the tremendous Hellenistic scientific and cultural achievements. We believe that this external preparation was also important for the fulfillment of the full messianic mission.
Yet, the critical factor remained the response of the people of Israel to their new spiritual leader. It was at this moment that the contribution of John the Baptist, as a revered prophet of the Jewish people, in affirming Jesus and inspiring the loyalty of a sizeable portion of Israel to Him, would have been essential to the success of the mission of Jesus. God had worked throughout a long history with the Jewish people to prepare them to accept the messiah. Had God wanted Jesus merely to be neglected and crucified then we would have had no reason for this lengthy period of special providence for the Israelite people. That is, the entire Old Testament age was to have culminated with John the Baptist connecting the Jews to the messiah. John the Baptist was the key factor in the final scene.
Let me make one more remark, and I hope this is not too confessional. When we as Unification church members consider the crucifixion, we look on it with great sorrow, and feel that at that moment God was deeply grieved over the crucifixion of His only Son. But He could also rejoice in the willingness of Jesus to sacrifice Himself for the love of God and the world, and particularly because Jesus was able to say, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." This act of love was a victory; the expression of love was the sacrifice, a sacrifice which has redemptive value. Further, we must add that it would have been far better if "they knew what they were supposed to do," and did it!
Dan Davies: I'd like to add a comment to what Anthony is saying. We understand and experience the sorrow of the crucifixion very deeply. But, also, we experience and understand the joy of the resurrection.
Secondly, I think Christians have lost touch with the potential of each man to become a restored person because they have narrowed their theological focus solely on the crucifixion and the resulting spiritual salvation. Christianity would do well to learn the Buddhist understanding of the true man. The Buddhist focus is upon man on the earth. The Christian focus is upon man in the spiritual kingdom. Christianity would do well to bring its spirituality down to earth.
Tirza Shilgi: I just wanted to relate to one more thing Paul (Eshleman) was saying about sacrifice. I don't want you to get the idea that we deny the value of sacrifice. Actually, we don't see salvation without sacrifice. Also, we don't deny that once people rejected Jesus and the original disciples fell away, His death on the cross was the only way. We don't deny that.
And I think Jesus, Himself, gave us the formula for sacrifice when He said to the people, "The one who is willing to lose his life will gain his life, and the one who is not willing to lose his life will lose it." I'm sure He didn't mean people would literally commit suicide for His sake, but He was telling us actually that the way of salvation is through sacrifice. Jesus advised that the rich man give up his belongings, that he be willing to lose that for Jesus' sake in order to gain salvation. He showed that the way of sacrifice was the way of salvation, but not that physical death was indispensible.
Patrick Means: I've dialogued with a number of Buddhists who have tried to tell me that they believed in the concept of the Savior as much as we do in Christianity. Of course they mean the concept of bodhisattva, with the prime example being Buddha, who turned away from the path he could have taken right on into Nirvana, and instead led a sacrificial life of giving himself to service here on earth. Now, in what sense is your concept of Christ's sacrifice different from the Buddhist concept of bodhisattva'!
Dan Davies: It takes a true man, a person without original sin, a true Adam, to lead man into true manhood. Buddha showed people how to go a distance along the path to becoming a true man, but he didn't have the special mission to bear the burden of mankind's sins. His mission was to elevate the spirituality of the eastern part of the world in preparation to receive Christ. He took people as far as he could by way of the eightfold path, but he did not have the mission, the responsibility, or the capacity to pay for the sins of mankind.
Jonathan Wells: He was more comparable to John the Baptist than to Jesus.
Johnny Sonneborn: Yes, and from our view Jesus' whole purpose was to restore the individual, the family, the nation, the world, and the whole cosmos. Buddha, on the other hand, really came as a teacher, to show people about purified relationships without any answer on the world scope. He didn't have the heart of a parent, but the heart of a teacher. Now what are really being sacrificed, it seems to me, are undeniably relationships, because Satan and God work through relationships depending upon which condition you make, according to the Divine Principle. Jesus sacrificed His potential marriage relationship, and other kinds of relationships, and that is what we still need to do as Christians. Before the time of Jesus, and still now, unfortunately, people want to marry for themselves, have children for themselves, or for their image, rather than for the whole world and for God. That's why the family has been the crux of the battleground between God and Satan in this way.
This explains much of the Unification church view of marriage, which is that one must marry for the sake of the whole world; we are ready, for example, to marry interracially, for the providence, because we don't see the barriers anymore. The eschatological prophet, we've mentioned has to be able to do the work that John the Baptist was doing before, which was purifying the Israelites at that particular level of individual sacrifice. Now the coming eschatological prophet has to prepare the way for the coming third Adam, coming Christ, by warning Christians of falling short of the standard of Jesus, and trying to encourage people to live the full Christian sacrifice. As families, we can participate in this, and when enough people do this, and there is a nation based upon some morality of sacrifice, then the messiah, who, as you know, we believe stands on earth someplace, can stand as a messiah who performs the work.
Rod Sawatsky: Can I ask a question about a nuance here that I haven't caught before? There needs to be a new John the Baptist, a new Elijah, before there can be a third Adam? Is that Elijah present in the world?
Johnny Sonneborn: I think it's very clear that Rev. Moon is at least that eschatological prophet.
Rod Sawatsky: At least Elijah. He is the second coming?
Johnny Sonneborn: As we explained, the actual John the Baptist did not complete his mission, he did not deliver all the Israelites purified to Jesus as a sacrifice for the whole world. Therefore, Jesus -- all His mission, actually -- after the time of the temptation until His exaltation at Pentecost, was in the position of John the Baptist. He was doing that work; He was always speaking on a national level. He wasn't even talking about international liberation. He was always speaking only to the Jews, and He was speaking prophetically. Even His first words after the temptations were the same words John the Baptist used. It is very clear to us and in structural exegesis as well, that He was acting in the John the Baptist position because He had to do that before He could be elevated to resume His role as messiah; namely giving rebirth, physical and spiritual. Therefore, it is possible in that frame of reference that there could have been a John the Baptist person now who may have failed, and that the one who is carrying on that role could actually be that person who God intends to be the messiah; but that's not certain.
Rod Sawatsky: Can you have a person ultimately claim both roles, both John the Baptist and the second coming?
Franz Feige: Before we go on, I think we should explain something about the nature of the messiah -- who can be a messiah?
I think both the Christian and the Jewish concepts of the messiah come from biblical prophecy, but our concept of the messiah is not only from the Bible, but from our doctrine of creation and doctrine of the fall, and there is a very clear difference. At the fall of man, Adam could have remained intact if he had not given in to Eve's temptation. If he had remained separated from Satan, and had grown to perfection, into oneness with God, he would have become a true man, a perfect man. God, at that time, would have used Adam as the messiah, to first bring Eve back to God. and then to bring Lucifer back to God. That explains the position of the messiah.
It means the messiah cannot be God Himself. He must be a man. Therefore, a man is necessary to restore the sin of the fall. It doesn't have to be God Himself. Why? Because the nature of man is to be like unto God, is to be of even higher potential than the angels, higher than Lucifer. Man is to judge the angels, as St. Paul said, meaning that man is capable of subjugating Satan, of freeing man from the dominion of Satan and reconciling him with God. It is very important to understand that. This enables us to understand Jesus' nature. Was Jesus God Himself, or was He true man? We derive that from our concept of the messiah, which lies in our concept of the creation and the fall. It does not come from the tradition of biblical prophecy, but it could be reconciled with it.
Paul Eshleman: To go back earlier, where in Scripture does it say there is a need for Jesus Christ to have married and to have had a family?
Johnny Sonneborn: That's a very good question. Well, of course there is talk of the second coming, about the Lamb and His bride, which can be interpreted in different ways. We have given the Unification interpretation. Besides, Scripture doesn't necessarily always point to the details of what's coming. Jesus said, to paraphrase, I have told you many things, but you cannot bear everything now, I will reveal more things to you; the hour will come when I will speak plainly of the Father. In order to understand, therefore, it is wise to find the theological principles revealed in the Scripture. We look at how God has operated in the past, how His intention was revealed in Genesis. We note the mode of God's operation, how He always calls upon man to take greater responsibility, to have more faith. He has progressively given us more of His power and asked us to do more on the basis of that. Now, Adam was a totally special creation -- no human parents; then the second Adam -- of human parents, the way it is usually told, therefore, the third Adam doesn't have to have a mysterious birth in this way.
Patricia Zulkosky: We often point to different parables where Jesus refers to Himself as the bridegroom, such as in the parable about the marriage feast. I understand the modern interpretation is that Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. However, if we assume He is speaking literally, not allegorically, then we can go back and read the Scripture from the point of view that perhaps Jesus did come to take a bride, and establish an earthly kingdom. Then the total message of the ideal for man, the fall, and the process of restoration becomes clear.
Jonathan Wells: I get the feeling that we are going to break for lunch soon, and yet Paul has brought up what actually is one of the principal questions on our agenda: the relationship between the Divine Principle and Scripture. I want to make a brief comment on that, which won't be the last word, but can at least put something in perspective. As Franz pointed out, there are aspects of the Divine Principle which are not strictly deducible from Scripture -- that is an observable fact. Nevertheless, we see the Divine Principle as thoroughly compatible with Scripture when read as a whole. In the same sense, Jesus' teachings are thoroughly compatible with the Old Testament, although not strictly deducible from it. That is a very superficial statement on a very complex subject, and I know we will try to do it more thoroughly after lunch.
Irving Hexham: You're affirming progressive revelation, though?
Jonathan Wells: Yes.
Rod Sawatsky: Time is virtually up. Can we have quick statements on what is on your minds now, and then we can pick up after lunch?
Joseph Hopkins: May I just observe from the Evangelical viewpoint that the Unification church is just one among many groups which claim to have a latter-day revelation to explain the Bible -- the Mormon religion, Mary Baker Eddy's Key to the Scriptures, and so on. This is a dangerous precedent, because if the Scriptures don't mean what they say, then we're in trouble. Jude 1: 3 warns, ".. .contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." This seems to indicate that the Bible is sufficient in itself for our faith and lives.
Mark Branson: There's another question I'd like clarified after lunch: I've been picking up a pretty strong inference that Adam had the same potential as Christ, and I'd like to have someone state simply what the Unification position is on the pre-incarnation existence of Jesus Christ.
Johnny Sonneborn: I think that Evangelicals have not answered satisfactorily on the area of the second coming. There are many different viewpoints that were given, many of them are conflicting. Unification also has a viewpoint on the second coming. It is one of the things that brings us together. And supposing we're wrong. What will it mean if we're wrong? I'd like to speak about that.
Whitney Shiner: It can be clearly deduced from the Bible that Jesus should have married. Paul said that Jesus came as the second Adam, and therefore as second Adam He should fulfill the purpose of the first Adam, and God's commandment to the first Adam was to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion.
Rod Sawatsky: Before we conclude this discussion, would someone address briefly the pre-incarnation existence of Christ?
Anthony Guerra: The concept of Logos in Unification thought is that the Logos is the ideal of creation which exists as an attribute of God and as such exists eternally in the Godhead. The highest expression of the ideal is a person, or more correctly, the perfected family. Adam and Eve represented the first attempt to realize this ideal in the temporal order. This ideal was not fulfilled because of their disordered love. A dimension of becoming or self-actualizing is operative. The second opportunity to realize the Logos in the historical realm occurred with Jesus, and it is in this sense that Unification theology speaks of Jesus as the Logos. Jesus fulfilled the ideal as an individual, but the next level of the ideal -- family perfection -- was not realized.
Irving Hexham: Is the Lord of the Second Advent, then, also to be a perfect incarnation of the Logos?
Johnny Sonneborn: Yes, ultimately, all people...
Irving Hexham: Then there's nothing fundamentally distinctive about Jesus, who was the incarnation of the Logos, if all men are intended...
Johnny Sonneborn: We are to be like Him...
Irving Hexham: So He is not the only Begotten Son?
Johnny Sonneborn: At that time ... He was begotten in a special way...
Irving Hexham: You believe in the virgin birth?
Johnny Sonneborn: There is no teaching in the Divine Principle that affirms the virgin birth. There is the fact that Jesus is born without original sin, and it says that through evil parents one can't be born without original sin. If fallen parents with original sin cannot have children without original sin, then Jesus had to come from heaven; and that mystery is left at that point in the Divine Principle.
Patrick Means: Jesus comes from heaven you said...
Johnny Sonneborn: But He came from heaven by being born of Mary on earth...
Patrick Means: And an earthly father as some would teach it...
Johnny Sonneborn: It doesn't say that in the Divine Principle.
Patrick Means: He came from heaven, but He didn't preexist? Except as an impersonal attribute of God?
Johnny Sonneborn: According to our understanding, we don't say that Jesus of Nazareth, that particular person, preexisted His birth.. .pre-existed and became incarnate. The Divine Principle says at one point that "Jesus is God in the flesh," which is a way of saying God incarnate...
Jonathan Wells: Which is the same thing as Christian doctrine, basically. The physical man, Jesus of Nazareth, did not pre-exist His birth.
Patrick Means: Was there a person, an eternally begotten Son of God, co-existing with the Father from all eternity?
Jonathan Wells: In the sense of Logos, yes.
Patrick Means: You mean an impersonal idea...
Jonathan Wells: No, a personality...
Patrick Means: A separate personality? God the Father personality, God the Son personality...
Johnny Sonneborn: God also has the idea, called the individual image, of each creature, before it's created. His idea of the man Adam is distinct from His idea of the man, Jesus, and so whether He had all of these individual ideas of everybody from the beginning is one interpretation, whether they developed as things went on is another. The point is that God's idea of perfect man pre-existed; this is the Word. It is not that Jesus became flesh, but that the Word became flesh...
Patrick Means: Did He pre-exist as an idea, or as a person; that's the distinction I would like to make.
Johnny Sonneborn: We don't speak of the Trinity as persons within God. That's not our category.
Paul Eshleman: When God said let us make man in our image, it sort of connotes a plurality of the Godhead...
Johnny Sonneborn: It might, or God might be speaking to the angels. Some people think He was speaking in majestic We -- we happen to believe, as revealed through Rev. Moon, that He is speaking to the angels.
Paul Eshleman: There are Evangelicals who would agree with the heavenly courts concept.
Jonathan Wells: There are differences. Our notion of the Trinity is different -- certainly not the traditional Christian notion, and we do speak of dual aspects of God.
Paul Eshleman: We've quoted the word Logos here out of John 1: 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." Who does that Him refer to?
Johnny Sonneborn: It refers to the Word, Logos.
Paul Eshleman: And all things were made by Him, and you're saying that that idea...
Jonathan Wells: The blueprint, so to speak...
Johnny Sonneborn: The idea of man. "Word" is a masculine noun in Greek so it becomes Him...
Jonathan Wells: So in a sense the entire creation reflects symbolically different aspects which in perfect man become the image of God.
Johnny Sonneborn: The Word that was made flesh -- nothing was made except through this Word because a perfect man was this Word; and this Word became flesh.
1 The Divine Principle Study Guide. New York, N.Y.: The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1973-75. 2 volumes.
2 Reference is to Exploring Unification Theology, M. Darrol Bryant and Susan Hodges, eds. New York, N. Y.: Distributed by the Rose of Sharon Press, 1978.
3 It was erroneously reported in the Blessing Quarterly. Vol. I, No. 2, pg. 46, that Mr. Sudo had said the wine "... contains... the blood of Father and Mother." This was an inaccurate presentation of Mr. Sudo's views on the meaning of the wine. There is no blood in the wine. The Holy Wine Ceremony is symbolic and Mr. Sudo's views were accurately presented in the Blessing Quarterly. Vol. II. No. 2.