The Divine Principle Home Study Course

                               Volume 3

              Why Christ Came and Why He Must Come Again

As the Divine Principle sections on "The Creation" and "The Fall of
Man" have explained, God originally created man and woman in His
image. They were intended individually to grow to full emotional,
intellectual and spiritual maturity, and on this basis form families
that could fully embody and express God's love. Such families would
then be the well-spring of God's love for larger levels--the society,
nation and world. The first couple chosen to achieve this ideal,
however, the Biblical characters Adam and Eve, failed to do so. Their
fall occurred through an unprincipled expression of love between Eve
and the archangel Lucifer, and between Eve and Adam. With the loss of
love at the beginning of history, all humanity has since suffered the
deprivation of love. For Divine Principle the original separation from
God's love has thwarted the realization of the divine ideal and has
given rise to the tremendous pain and suffering that make up the
record of human history. History on the Horizon

Divine Principle explains that, beginning with the tragic separation
of humankind from its Creator, God has sought to restore men and women
to their original state, no longer crippled by the catastrophic events
involving the first human couple. God wishes to elevate us to the
status of His True Children and to lead us to live in love, justice,
and brotherhood. To realize this stage, prophets and holy men have
appeared, directed by God, at various points in history. The coming of
men such as Abraham and Moses, Buddha and Confucius, St. Francis and
Martin Luther expresses God's redemptive activity in human society.
However, the central manifestation of God's work was the advent of
Jesus of Nazareth. For Divine Principle, Jesus was the man anointed by
God as His Son to realize the original ideal on earth. He came in
Adam's place to restore the lost Garden of Eden--the Kingdom of God on
earth. The Bible 

The New Testament offers an inspired and beautiful account of the life
of Jesus and has served as the very well-spring of the Christian
faith. Over recent decades, however, the New Testament--and, indeed,
the entire Bible--has come to be understood in very different terms
than has been the case in centuries past. The critical catalyst in
this change has been the advent of modern biblical scholarship,
particularly as it has been focused on the four Gospels. While as
devotional material the Gospel accounts are awesome, it is now widely
considered that as historical documents they fail to provide reliable
data on the human Jesus and his actual teachings. The problem as most
scholars see it is that the writers of the Gospels--writing anywhere
from thirty to seventy years after the death of Jesus and writing with
their own purposes in mind--freely embellished earlier oral and
written reports that up to then had been the sources of information on
the life of Jesus. In the words of Father Raymond Brown, of New York's
Union Theological Seminary: "Primarily the Gospels tell us how each
evangelist conceived of and presented Jesus to a Christian community
in the last third of the first century. . . they offer only limited


means for reconstructing the ministry and message of the historical
Jesus." Recognizing such realities has led to extensive re-
examinations of the life of Jesus. In recent decades, scholars have
looked again at the Gospel accounts, questioning orthodox
understandings and expressing radical dissatisfactions with
traditional thinking about the Son of Man. The very fact of the volume
and intensity of debate on this issue points to the problematic nature
of the traditional New Testament picture of him. Hero, prophet or

The arguments presented by different theologians have ranged over a
broad spectrum. A pivotal book in this debate was written by none
other than the famed Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who, among his other great
accomplishments, was a highly regarded theologian. In his Quest for
the Historical Jesus, Schweitzer demolished a number of his
predecessors' views of Jesus and advanced his own understanding of
Jesus as an apocalyptic hero. He sees Jesus as believing in the
imminent, supernatural appearance of the Kingdom of God, complete with
the subjugation of all evil forces. In Schweitzer's view, at one point
in his ministry Jesus expects the arrival of this Kingdom even before
the next harvest. Only when his hopes are dashed does Jesus start
thinking of the cross. Schweitzer concludes that Jesus finally went to
the cross believing that this act would precipitate the apocalyptic
arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth. In The Prophet from Nazareth,
on the other hand, Professor Morton Enslin argues that Jesus must be
understood simply as a man fulfilling a prophetic role. Enslin argues
that the later Church paid tribute to the Nazarene Carpenter by
bestowing him with such titles as Christ, Son of god and Lord, but
that his original disciples thought of him simply as "a prophet mighty
in deed and word." (Luke 24:19). Indeed, for Enslin, this is all Jesus
thought himself to be. Another view of Jesus is presented by England's
S.G.F. Brandon, of the University of Manchester. For Dr. Brandon,
Jesus was a Zealot, striving for the political overthrow of the Roman
tyranny. Jesus' primary interest was political, and this is why he was
ultimately crucified. According to this view, a careful reading
between the lines indicates the authors of the Gospels "rewrote early
Christian history in order to remove Roman suspicions concerning the
Church." Such is a partial view of the debate on the life of Jesus.
Many opinions have been offered, but many questions remain. As
Brandon's theories indicate, even extreme views have gained a hearing.
In the opinion of many people--both theologians and laymen--the Divine
Principle has shed a very helpful and clarifying light on some of the
vexing problems surrounding Jesus. As a revelation received by
Reverend Moon through his spiritual communication with God and Jesus,
the Principle has the advantage of being able to penetrate the New
Testament ambiguities and present a clear understanding of Jesus and
his mission--one that has profound implications for the contemporary
church and one that will help Christianity complete the spiritual
revolution begun two thousand years ago.

Historically it has always been understood that Jesus came for the
salvation of humankind. As Paul writes: "For God has not destined us


for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who
died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him."
(1 Thess. 9:10). Despite such understandings, the actual meaning of
salvation has for many remained somewhat vague. Does salvation simply
refer to the afterlife? Is it limited to individuals? What does it
mean to be saved? If someone who was dying were to be saved, we would
understand that he was restored to life and health. The same is true
of a person drowning; to save him would mean to pull him form the
water and return him to the shore. In these instances, "saving" a
person means restoring him to his prior state of well-being. By the
same token, Divine Principle teaches that spiritual salvation means
restoring fallen man to his original state of goodness and wholeness--
the state he enjoyed before the Fall. This means restoring him to the
position where as an individual he can fulfill the original purpose of
life. Must be perfect

When Jesus came two thousand years ago, he unequivocally stated the
goal of the individual life: "You therefore must be perfect as your
Heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:48) In Greek, the language in
which Matthew wrote his Gospel, the word "perfect" (Greek: tellios)
means "end" or "goal." It may be thus understood as describing one who
has reached the end, or has achieved maturity in the image of God. For
Divine Principle, such an ideal, challenging though it may be,
reflects God's goal in His original creation and His goal in
salvation. His first task is to create individual who are full
reflections of Himself. Let us recall, however, that the process of
salvation is meant to go beyond individuals. When John writes in his
Gospel that "For God so loved the world that He gave his only son"
(Jn. 3:16). he was reflecting the ultimate extent of God's goal. God
is not just interested in individuals; He also intends to save
families, races, nations and the world. If we think of what a saved
world would be, we must think of a world free form what John F.
Kennedy called the "common enemies of man--tyranny, poverty, disease
and war itself." Speaking positively, we may envision a world where
the strong are generous and the weak secure, where, in the words of
Amos: ". . . justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like
an everflowing stream." (Amos 5:24). It would be a world in which
humanity's ancient hope for peace was realized, and our desire for
material well-being met. It would be in effect a Garden of Eden that
had been restored on a global scale.  To Be Accomplished

Of course one may wonder if such a world could actually be realized.
The record of human history is not promising. Nevertheless, Divine
Principle points out that such a vision relies not primarily on man--
although man has his part to play--but on God. And for God to be God,
He must one day realize His original ideal. Those who have followed
God have on occasion been blessed with insight as to His ultimate
purposes. The apostle Paul, for example, wrote of the day when God
would "unite all things in (Christ), things in heaven and things on
earth." (Eph 1:10). Similarly, the prophet Isaiah writes of the Lord's
proclamation: "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass, I have
purposed it and I will do it." (Is. 46:11). In the fullness of time,


God will surely accomplish His purpose. As the God of love, He could
never leave fallen man in his current state, for man was created as
His child. By what steps would a restored world have to be approached?
If Adam and Eve originally had managed to become marriage partners who
reflected God's love, and if they had raised their children in this
spirit, their family could have been the origin of an enlightened
clan, society, nation and world. In other words, as the children of a
perfected Adam and Eve matured and started their own families, their
original family would have gradually expanded, finally developing into
one world family. At the core of this global family would have been
one set of true parents, perfected Adam and Eve, representing God's
parental love to all their descendants. Centered on this family, the
Kingdom of Heaven on earth would have emerged. Divine Principle
teaches that throughout history God's purpose and method are
consistent. The goal of salvation is thus a restored world expressing
God's original ideal and centered on perfected man an woman. It is for
this purpose that God sends the messiah. He comes to stand before God
as the true individual and to establish a true family--a family that
embodies and expresses God's love. On this foundation the Messiah is
to build an ideal nation and world, thus fulfilling the originally
intended Kingdom of Heaven of earth. For this reason Jesus came
proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew writes: "And Jesus went
about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and
preaching the gospel of the kingdom . . ." (Mt. 9:35). In the next
section we will look more specifically at what the Kingdom meant for

Jesus work on earth is dominated by a central, all-pervasive theme: 
the Kingdom of Heaven.  "Repent," Jesus says, "for the Kingdom of
heaven is at hand." (Mt. 4:17)

In proclaiming this message, Jesus is announcing the fulfillment of a
hope which God had long instilled in the Jewish people.  At least
since the seventh century B.C., the Hebrew people had looked forward
to the arrival of the millennium, a golden age of peace and well-being
for all.  This Kingdom was to be inaugurated by the Messiah.

     "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and
     the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will
     be called  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
     Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government
     and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David
     and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with
     justice and righteousness from this time forth and
     forevermore." Is. 9:6-7.

Isaiah's view is that the Messiah was to govern his people with
justice and righteousness.  From the throne of David, he was to reign
with wisdom, as Wonderful Counselor, with power, as Mighty God, with
love, as the Everlasting Father.  In his Kingdom, peace would endure. 
And not only the Messiahs human followers, but all nature was to dwell
in his peace.


Isaiah writes:  "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and fatling
together, and a little child shall lead them... They shall not hurt or
destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord as the water cover the sea." Is. 11:6-9.

                             Glorious Days

Isaiah further prophesied the glorious days the Israelite people would
see in the Kingdom of the Messiah.

     "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the
     Lord has risen upon you...Lift up your eyes round about, and
     see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons
     shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried in
     their arms...Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
     devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall
     become a clan and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the
     Lord; in its time I will hasten it." Is. 60

In the Hebrew mind, this is the glory and joy that the Israelites were
to share upon the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.  Their
blessing would reach throughout the world, and earth would be the
Garden of Eden.

     "He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for
     many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into
     plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation
     shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they
     learn war anymore." Is. 2:4

In all these passages we may see the promise of Gods ideal being
realized.  The world was to be restored and the Messiah was the

                           An urgent message

Anointed by God for the mission of restoration, Jesus was consistently
concerned to teach others of the coming Kingdom.  His moral and
ethical teachings, his exhortations, even his prayers all relate to
this topic.  His Sermon on the Mount, it has been said, may be likened
to the constitution of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom is also the subject of many of Jesus parables.  He
compared the Kingdom to sowing good seeds in various soils; to a tiny
grain of mustard seed which would grow into a large tree; to leaven
hidden in a meal; and to a treasure hidden in a field, which a man
found with joy and then bought at the cost of everything he had.

Just as significant as these repeated references to the Kingdom was
the apparent immediacy of its advent.  There is a definite now quality


to Jesus' references.  Because the Kingdoms foundation had to be laid
during Jesus lifetime, its establishment was imminent and urgent. 
Therefore Jesus directed his followers to seek his Kingdom and
righteousness first, without giving undue thought to what to eat or
wear.  His disciples were told to announce that the Kingdom of Heaven
was at hand.

Some of the passages from Luke vividly illustrate just how urgent
matters were.  To a man who wanted to go bury his deceased father,
Jesus retorted, "Leave the dead to bury the dead; but as for you, go
and proclaim the Kingdom of God."  (Lk. 9:60)  On another occasion he
said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for
the Kingdom of God."  (Lk. 9:62)  In teaching his disciples how to
pray, Jesus first petition to God was "Thy Kingdom come."

Finally, as we have indicated, Jesus made the point that to enter the
Kingdom, one had to be spiritually mature.  In his words, "You,
therefore, must perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect."  (Mt.

                          A Kingdom on Earth

An important distinction must be drawn here between the earthly nature
of the Kingdom, as conceived by prophetic Judaism and early
Christianity, and spiritualized, ethereal version envisioned by the
later Christian Church.

In proclaiming the Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven which was
substituted because of Hebrew restrictions on the use of the word
"God") many Christians believe either that Jesus was referring to the
fate of his followers after death or their individual spiritual
fulfillment.  However, this cannot be the case.  As God envisioned a
Kingdom of Heaven on earth in the beginning, starting with Adam and
Eve, He would naturally envision a Kingdom of Heaven on earth in the
end.  His intent and will are constant.

Most scholars would agree that envisioning a purely spiritual or
personal Kingdom entirely misrepresents the intent of Jesus message,
ministry and mission.

Professor Frederick C. Grant typifies scholarly opinion:  "Jesus
conception of the Kingdom of God is absolutely and unequivocally and
exclusively a religious conception:  pure and simply religious, but
religious in the sound ancient sense, as embracing all of life,
society, politics, the labor of men, as well as their inner feelings,
attitudes, and aspirations." --The Gospel of the Kingdom.

The early Christian Church, being closer in time to the earthly life
of Jesus, knew that Jesus envisioned an earthly Kingdom and eagerly
awaited Jesus return to complete his work.


Reflecting this fact, the Apostle Paul is on occasion at pains to
placate the early Christians who were hoping for a quick return of

     "Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our
     assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be
     quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by the effect that the day of the Lord has come." II
     Thess. 2:1

It was only later that the return of the Lord would be viewed as
indefinitely postponed.  With this postponement, the concept of the
Kingdom was gradually deflected away from earth and toward heaven.

We may say in summary that the kingdom that Jesus attempted to bring
was a literal, physical kingdom, a restored world based on Gods
original ideal.  Jesus was to become the spiritual and ethical
archetype, the model individual of the Kingdom.  Achieving this
himself, he was to show all people the way to individual and
collective maturity.  Based on the example and the inspiration he
furnished, an ideal family, society, nation and world would have come
into being.  In this way, the long-sought Kingdom would be

Clearly, however, the ideal of the Kingdom was not realized.  "What
happened?"  In the next section, the Principle will pursue the answer
by first looking at the work of Jesus forerunner.

From the time of the early Church, Christianity has always held an
elevated view of John the Baptist.  Even its best modern thinkers, for
example the German, Gunther Bornkamm, persist in identifying John as a
heroic figure eternally testifying to the Risen Christ:

     "...he signifies for the Christian...the returned Elijah who
     was to prepare the people of God for the coming of the
     Messiah...The Church recognizes him to be the one who will
     be forever preparing the way for Christ..."(in 'Jesus of

Despite each noble testimony, a close look at the New Testament record
raises many questions about the Baptizer.  Let us look more closely at
John's role and activities.

                         An Elijah-like figure

Certainly Bornkamm is correct in describing John as an Elijah-like
figure.  In the Hebrew mind, Elijah had always been expected as a
forerunner to the Messiah.  Malachi, the last prophet of the Old
Testament, has prophesied:  "Behold, I will send you Elijah the
prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."  (Mal.


To this day, at Jewish Passover seder, a cup of wine is provided for
Elijah in the anticipation of his arrival prior to that of the

Living in the ninth century before Christ, Elijah is famed for his
dramatic victory over four hundred and fifty prophets on Israel's
Mount Carmel.  (I Ki. 18:20-40).  Through his obedience and faith, he
is thus regarded as having purged Israel of satanic influences. 
However, perhaps due to the subsequent spiritual lapses of the people,
his work had to be redone.  Only after this task was accomplished
could the Messiah come; therefore, as Malachi predicted, another
Elijah had to arise.

                            John as Elijah

According to the New Testament, Jesus regarded John the Baptist as the
anticipated Elijah.  Matthew reports Jesus saying:

     "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and
     if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to
     come."  (Mt. 11:13-14)

The New Testament records that John had been chosen even in the womb. 
Luke tells us that the angel Gabriel had announced to Zachariah that
his wife Elizabeth, would bear a son who would prepare his people for
the Anointed One.

     "And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord
     their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power
     of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the
     children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to
     make ready for the Lord a people prepared." (Lk. 1:16-17)

The entire course of John's life was subsequently a preparation for
his later task of witnessing to the Messiah:  his lonely period in the
desert, his time of meditation and study and his exercise in ascetic

According to Mark and Matthew, John modelled his lifestyle--including
his clothing--after Elijah.  He adopted as his own the rough camel
hair garb and leather belt which were the marks of the prophetic
office ever since ancient times.  Like Elijah, the Baptist poured
fiery judgement on the society around him.  Everyone felt the effect
of his withering denunciations.

In addition to all this, John was apparently aware that he was a
forerunner of a greater one yet to come.  We are told by Luke how John
replied to those who thought that because of his spiritual might John
himself must be the long-awaited Deliverer.

     "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is
     coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie;


     he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." 
     (Lk. 3:15-16).

Regardless of such demurrers, all four Gospels, and other ancient
historical sources as well, agree that John attracted large crowds and
developed a substantial following of his own.

                          The strategy upset

Divine Principle teaches that coming in the role of Elijah, it was
John's mission to unite with Jesus and give clear testimony to him. 
However, according to the Gospel of John, when the question of his
identity was put to the Baptist, he denied that he was Elijah.

     "And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent
     priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are
     you?"  He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am
     not the Christ."  And they asked him, "What then?  Are you
     Elijah?"  He said, "I am not."  "Are you the prophet?"  And
     he answered, "No."  (Jn. 1:19-21)

In light of the fact that in the Hebrew mind Elijah had to arrive
before the Messiah would come, such assertions by John were extremely
damaging to Jesus and the role he was trying to fulfill.  Because of
John's prestige, any major statements of his concerning Jesus carried
great weight, more so than did the words of Jesus, a man of apparently
less significance in the opinion of the people.

Jesus was an obscure young man raised in a humble carpenter's home and
was not known to be experienced in spiritual disciplines.  Yet,
contravening established authority, Jesus proclaimed himself "lord of
the Sabbath"  (Mt. 12:8), was known as one who was abolishing the law 
(Mt. 5:17), and had put himself on an equal footing with God.  (Jn.
14:9-11). Disturbed by all this, Jewish leaders claimed that Jesus was
working by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.  (Mt. 12:24).

John, on the other hand, displayed much more impressive
qualifications.  He was the son of a prominent family, and the
miracles surrounding his conception and birth wee known throughout the
country.  (Lk. 1:5-66).  Living on "locusts and honey" in the
wilderness, he was regarded by many as leading an exemplary life of
faith.  In fact, John was held in such high esteem that the high
priests, as well as the common people, asked if he were the Messiah
(Lk. 3:15, Jn. 1:20).

Under these circumstances, we may imagine the people of Israel tended
to believe John more than Jesus.  Jesus' view of John as Elijah seemed
untrustworthy, said only to make believable Jesus' claims about

While there is dispute over the exact relationship that existed
between John and Jesus, the gospel record also reveals a certain


inconsistency in the Baptist's behavior toward Jesus. The Gospel of
John indicates a definite recognition and affirmation by John of
Jesus' role: "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the
world!" (Jn. 1:29).

Matthew indicates, however, that later John vacillates. After he has
been imprisoned by Herod for criticizing Herod's second marriage, John
sends his disciples to Jesus to ask: "Are you he who is to come, or
shall we look for another?" (Mt. 11:3).

Jesus retorts sharply: "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the
blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and
the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news
preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me." (Mt.

In light of the enormous difficulties faced by any messianic movement
in first century Palestine, the chances for success were greatly
diminished if the forces for reformation remained divided.

If John had affirmed his own Elijah-like role and consistently
testified tot he messianic status of the Nazarene, Jesus' way could
have been opened wide and the Kingdom established on earth. Given
Jesus' messianic role, we may imagine the ideal situation would have
been for John to unite with Jesus even becoming one of his chief
disciples. Since John himself had disciples, this would have
enormously aided Jesus' cause.

Tragically, even though Jesus was eagerly searching for followers
("Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers") (Lk. 10:2), John and
his group remained apart. There are even indications that tension
existed between the two groups. Matthew, for example, reports a
dispute between the disciples of Christ and those of the Baptist over
fasting. (Mt. 9:14). And according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia,
the Fourth Gospel seems to contain a polemic against the disciples of
the Baptist (John 1:6-8) which suggests that they existed as a
separate group, distinct from the Christian Church, even up to the end
of the first century.

                           Jesus' assessment

While John was in prison, Jesus is recorded as assessing John's role.
On the surface, his paradoxical statement is quite puzzling. " . . .
among those born of women, there is none greater than John the
Baptist, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than
he." (Mt. 11:11).

John was born at the ;most important time in human history and had the
unique privilege to serve Jesus directly by testifying to him. John
should have brought everything he had--his experience, his knowledge,
his large following--and offered them to Jesus. 


Because of his great influence and popularity--an influence that
extended to the religious establishment--John could have thus led many
influential people to Jesus. Jesus therefore described John as "the
greatest born of women" because the opportunity before him was such a
great one. but the sad fact is that John failed to grasp that
opportunity and so was less than the "least in the Kingdom." Because
John failed to fulfill his glorious place in the Kingdom to the most
humble believer.

                        Reasons for the failure

One may ask why it was that John didn't follow Jesus. The reasons seem
to be multifaceted--psychological, sociological and spiritual.

For one thing, John apparently saw a conflict between his own
interests and those of Jesus. He felt that if Jesus prospered, then he
would decline. In John's words, "He must increase, while I must
decrease." (Jn. 3:30). Feeling that supporting Jesus would involve
giving up his own following, he failed to see that if he were truly
united with Jesus, as Jesus' star ascended so would his own.

John may also have had doubts about some of the things that Jesus
espoused: the sayings of Jesus were quite out of the ordinary, such
that he was accused of undermining conventional Hebrew morality and
Mosaic teachings.

Observing Jesus' background and achievement, John may have gathered
that the long-awaited Son of Man could not be as commonly human as was
Jesus--of questionable birth, dubious education, a mere carpenter, and
without a well-developed following.

In addition, John may have compared himself to Jesus and found the
comparison quite unflattering to this alleged messiah. While John was
the son of a Temple priest, Jesus was formally uneducated and
frequently seemed to contradict the Hebrew scriptures. Also, Jesus'
disciples were men of little education and competence. John lived a
very ascetic life while Jesus ate, drank and stayed with tax
collectors, prostitutes and others considered undesirable by society.

                       The prevailing conception

Finally, we must understand the prevailing conception of the
Messiah-to-come at the time of Jesus. Generally speaking, the
expectation was a apocalyptic one. It was a period of eager
anticipation of imminent dramatic events, a time which combined both a
sense of despair about history and yet a hope that God would act
dramatically to change things utterly and forever.

Influenced by the Book of Daniel, many sincere believers expected the
Messiah would come on the clouds of heaven. Daniel had written:


     "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of
     heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the
     Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was
     given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples,
     nations and languages should serve him." (Dan. 7:13-14).

Short of such a cataclysmic event, other Israelites felt the ;Messiah
would come as a mighty deliverer, raising the standard of national
freedom and driving the Romans into the sea. After all, their
immediate concern was liberating themselves from the Roman tyranny.
Thus their concept was essentially temporal and militaristic.

Perhaps even John could not help being influenced by some of these
assumptions about the coming Son of Man. How hard it must have been to
accept a mere carpenter like Jesus as the Promised One!

Whatever the reasons, John's support of Jesus clearly did not go as
far as it might. With no clear Elijah, with Malachi's prophecy
unfulfilled, Jesus' task was rendered incalculably more difficult.

The perfection which Jesus attained was to expand from him to his
family and disciples. From there the nation of Israel and the entire
world were to gradually evolve into higher and higher levels of moral
and religious consciousness, modeled upon Jesus' example. We know,
however, that this did not happen. Not only did John fail to support
him, but, because of this, most of Jesus' fellow Jews failed to
support him as well.

Indeed, when Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah finally came to the
people, he was most sadly treated, particularly by the religious
leaders. Some of the people listened to Jesus and often marveled at
him, but their response was often focused on his miracles and healing
rather than the truth he brought.

A few came to recognize him by the truth of this words, but the
priests, scribes, and Pharisees, perhaps threatened by Jesus' works,
consistently criticized his teaching as being contrary to the law of
Moses. They viewed his miracles as coming from Beelzebub, the devil.
(Mt. 12:24). they denied his Messiahship by saying that he blasphemed
in referring to himself as the Son of God. (Jn. 12:33). By their
frequent condemnation of Jesus, this leadership element alienated the
people from him. Ultimately they bribed one of his disciples to betray

                         How can you believe?

In this hostile context, Jesus was clearly not able to disclose all
that he wanted.

     "We speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have
     seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told


     you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you
     believe if I tell you heavenly things?" (Jn. 3:11-12).

We may imagine that the "heavenly things" Jesus wished to share
consisted of advanced knowledge concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.
However, he could not convey such information to the people, because
they did not believe in him.

The Gospel records indicate that Jesus did virtually everything
possible to persuade his people to recognize and believe in him. He
had preached about the Kingdom of Heaven he had come to establish. He
frequently performed miraculous works in the hope that the people
might see who he was. He had loved them with his whole being.
Nevertheless, critical elements of Hebrew society failed to accept him
as the Messiah, and repudiated his words and works. Matthew reports
and angered Jesus rebuking them for their unbelief: "Woe to you,
Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you
had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in
sackcloth and ashes." (Mt. 11:21).

Jerusalem, the city of the Temple, had rejected Jesus, the true
temple. He wept: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and
stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered
your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and
you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate." (Mt.
23:37-38). "Would that even today you knew the things that make for
peace! But now they are hid from your eyes . . . because you did not
know the time of your visitation." )Lk. 19:42-44).

                              His return

Jesus endeavored to make his fellow countrymen recognize him by his
words, his works, and his prayers, but it was all in vain. In this
context, Jesus began to speak of the return of the "Son of Man." Jesus
did not mention a Second Advent from the beginning of his ministry. He
did so only after it became apparent that his primary intention--that
of inspiring the construction of a physical and spiritual Kingdom on
earth--could not be realized.

Jesus was denied and crucified by God's chosen people--the very people
who had fasted, prayed, offered tithes, prophesied, served God
faithful, and longed for the Messiah throughout their suffering.
However, let us be hesitant to blame the Jews of those times. If we
had lived then and seen Jesus with our own eyes, quite possible we
would also have denied him. This is particularly true in light of the
fact that for many Jews there was apparently a missing
element--Elijah--in the messianic formula.

                          The course changed

With the slowly developing conviction that his primary task of
Kingdom-building was becoming less and less possible, Jesus was forced


to change his course. A critical event in this transformation was
Jesus' experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. Luke reports that
at one point Jesus went upon a mountain to pray, with Peter, John and
James accompanying him. During his prayer, Moses and Elijah appeared
to Jesus, and his inevitable suffering was revealed to him.

     "And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, who
     appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was
     to accomplish at Jerusalem." (Lk. 9:30-31).

Peter and the other disciples were heavy with sleep and were not fully
aware of what had transpired. Peter's exclamation: "Master, it is well
that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for
Moses and one for the Elijah." (Lk. 9:33) reflects his excitement at
the spiritual manifestation of these two great figures, but he had
missed the whole point.

The Gospels indicate that about this time, Jesus began to intimate to
his disciples that he would have to go to Jerusalem and be killed.
Significantly, the disciples were shocked. Matthew tells us that
Jesus' chief disciple Peter was so alarmed as to exclaim, "God forbid,
Lord! This shall never happen to you!" (Mt. 16:22). Peter, as an
intimate of Jesus, would probably have known what Jesus' intentions
were. The obvious implication is that Jesus' remarks concerning his
suffering were upsetting because such statements were in complete
contrast to everything Jesus had taught up to then. 

Although to the outer circle of followers, Jesus spoke of the Kingdom
of God only in parables, to his intimate disciples he revealed more.
Luke records Jesus as telling his disciples: "To you it has been given
to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God, but for others they are in
parables . . . " (Lk. 8:10)

Taught by Jesus, his close followers knew that Jesus was working to
establish the Kingdom of Heaven. With this knowledge, John and James
once asked Jesus: "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at
your left, in your glory." (Mk. 10:37) Regardless of such petitions,
on the mountain with Moses and Elijah, Jesus had resolved to confront
the imminent crisis. He had to take an alternative path, the path to
the cross. Thus he was diverted from the victorious course prophesied
by Isaiah.

According to conventional theology, Jesus' death was in accordance
with the fore-ordained will of God, the necessary ransom for the
redemption of a fallen humanity. In support of this  position many
Christians point to the "Suffering Servant" passages of the Book of

One particular passage is often cited as offering incontrovertible
authority that the Messiah was meant to be killed:


     "Who has  believed what we have heard? And to whom has the
     arm of the Lord been revealed? . . . He was despised and
     rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief
     . . . surely he has borne our griefs and carried our
     sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and
     afflicted." (Is. 53:1-4).

In explaining the significance of this passage, Divine Principle
stresses that the purpose of god is fully accomplished only when
people cooperate with Him. If men and women do not wholeheartedly obey
Him, God's will cannot be fulfilled.

Accordingly, there were two possible responses to the Messiah: he
could be received and supported by the people, or, failing that, he
could be rejected.

In line with these two possibilities we may identify two distinct
avenues of prophecy reflected in the Old Testament. The prophecies of
the King of Kings recorded in Isaiah 9, 11, and 60 (e.g. "of the
increase of this government and of peace there will be no end:)
express one line of prophecy and would have been fulfilled if the
necessary people responded to the Messiah wholeheartedly.

However, if the proper people did not respond, the Messiah would be
faced with a suffering curse. This prospect is reflected in the
prediction of the Suffering Servant recorded in Isaiah 53. Either of
the prophecies could have been fulfilled, depending on the people.

Traditionally Christians have assumed that Jesus came among men only
to die. In understanding the roots of this belief, we should be aware
that any other interpretation seems to have been purposefully excluded
from consideration.

Modern research notes that as time passes by in the chronological
order of the Gospels, the stark tragedy of the crucifixion is
gradually covered up.

In Mark, our oldest Gospel, Jesus utters a single agonizing cry from
the cross: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Mk. 15:34)
Even though Mark was probably written in Rome, the poignancy of that
cry made such a lasting impression that the evangelist preserves it in
the original Aramaic language spoken by Jesus.

Matthew copies the same account without major alterations. Luke,
however, omits the cry of agony and replaces it with the serene words:
"Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit!" (Lk 23:46). From a scene
which evokes anguished despair, that recorded by Mark, the Third
Gospel changes to a scene of confident acceptance.

In John, the divine Christ proclaims from the cross in majesty, "It is
finished." (Jn. 19:30).


As the Gospel writers thus succeed each other, any thought that Jesus
might have considered his mission a defeat is discreetly excluded from
the record. In fact, in the Syriac version of the scriptures used by
certain Christian sects of the Near East, Mark itself has been altered
to read not "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" but "My God,
my God, for this I was spared!"

Ultimately, the early Church seems to have followed a process of
reverse logic. Professor Robert Morgan makes this point: "Why did
Jesus die? . . . The early Christians believed that they understood
the meaning of Jesus, and this controlled their answers to the
question. They worked backwards from the answer to the question and
said that Jesus died  because it was God's will. They then retold the
story complete with this theological explanation in order to
illuminate for others the whole meaning of Jesus as they understood."
(The Trial of Jesus).

                       They will respect my son.

Jesus' parable of the vineyard, as reported in Matthew, clearly
indicates that he did not come to die:

     "There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a
     hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a
     tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another
     country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his
     servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants
     took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned
     another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first;
     and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to
     them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the
     tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the
     heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And
     they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed
     him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what
     will he do to those tenants? They said to him, 'He will put
     those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the
     vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in
     their season.' . . . Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of
     God will be taken away from you and given to a nation
     producing the fruits of it." (Mt. 21:33-43).

In this parable the householder is God. Just as the householder
expected the tenants in the parable to receive His son with respect
and love, so God expected His chosen people to receive His son Jesus.
As one may imagine the broken heart of the householder upon hearing of
his son's death, so also we may imagine the sorrow of God over the
crucifixion. At least this is reflected in Jesus' own experience in

We are told that just prior to the crucifixion, in the Garden of
Gethsemane, Jesus wept and prayed three times that the cup of


suffering might pass from him -- that he be spared from death. (Mk.

In view of Divine Principle, the reasons for Jesus' tears are several.
For one, Jesus understood that through him God had wanted to fulfill
the original ideal He had in creation. As one with a unique communion
with God, we may imagine he knew clearly of the sorrow in God's heart
over His broken creation. Jesus has sought to relieve that grief, but
with his own rejection he realized that the Divine will was being
frustrated again. God's sorrow would only intensify. Unable to succeed
completely in his mission, Jesus must have felt sorrowful himself. 

At the same time, Israel had undergone repeated trials and had
suffered long in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. By
rejecting him, Jesus recognized the likelihood that Israel would lose
God's blessing and her long suffering would become meaningless. Deeply
loving his people, Jesus may have sensed a bleak destiny facing them. 

Jesus may also have foreseen that his followers would suffer as he had
suffered. He was going the path of the crucifixion. Could their fate
be any better? Furthermore, since the establishment of God's Kingdom
was postponed, humanity's suffering in this Satanic world would also
inevitably continue. 

Filled with thoughts of these things, Jesus must have felt great pain
and anguish. Certainly such feelings are suggested by the Gospel

     "And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he
     began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them,
     'My soul is very sorrowful even to death; remain here, and
     watch with me.' And going a little farther he fell on his
     face and prayed, 'My Father if it be possible, let this cup
     pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as though
     wilt.'" (Mt. 26:37-39) 

                       Some paradoxes resolved 

For a moment, let us look at this Gethsemane scene from the other side
of the argument. If we thing that the crucifixion was God's
predetermined course of saving mankind, why was Jesus so sorrowful in
accepting it? Why would he pray that the cup of suffering pass from
him? The argument has been made that the Gethsemane scene simply
reflects the emergency of Jesus' "human weakness." 

Nevertheless, it is a fact that numerous martyrs have gone to their to
their deaths joyfully and serenely. The first martyr, Stephen, who
died by stoning, went to his death with a joyful heart. (Acts
7:54-59). Likewise, it is said that Peter, faced as Jesus was by
crucifixion, reacted simply by requesting he be allowed to be
crucified upside down. 


Beyond the religious sphere, the revolutionary war patriot Nathan Hale
was sorry he could die only once for his country. Could Jesus be less
heroic than these? Could Jesus, the Savior of mankind, have less faith
than others when he prayed to have the cup taken from him? Certainly
not. He desperately prayed, even three times because he knew his death
on the cross was not God's primary will. In his agony he sought some
possible way to fulfill the divine mandate. 

We may also note that if Jesus' crucifixion had been God's
predetermined plan, the role of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus,
should have been vital in God's sight. If Judas' action had helped to
accomplish God's will, why did he hang himself afterward? 

The action of Judas was rebellious, and Jesus is reported as clearly
displaying his anger at Judas' treachery: "...but woe to that man by
whom the Son of Man is betrayed! it would have been better for that
man if he had not been born." (Mt. 26:24) 

From this and other reasons given above, Divine Principle stresses
that the cross was not the primary intention of Jesus, although it
quickly became the preoccupation of the early Church. Jesus came to
fulfill God's original ideal. He came that men might have life and
have it more abundantly. 

                          Suffering History 

Had Jesus been able to gain acceptance by his people, world history
would have developed along very different lines that it did. Following
Jesus, we may imagine the people of Israel would have become the
enlightened center of a glorious new world. The subsequent split
between Judaism and Christianity would never have occurred. The early
Christians would never have had to confront their terrible sufferings
and the pain and conflict which humanity has faced over the past 2,000
years would have been avoided. Also, since the mission of the Messiah
would have been completed, there would be no need for the prophesied
Second Coming. 

To understand Jesus' mission in terms of a defeat, however, would be
an error. As we have indicated, God is seeking both the physical and
spiritual salvation of humanity. As a result of the crucifixion,
however, the physical selves of mankind are still subject to satanic
invasion. Reflecting this reality, Paul writes to his fellow
Christians in Rome: "We know that the law is spiritual, but I am
carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do
not what I want, but I do the very thing I hate....For I delight in
the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law
at war with the law of my mind." (Rom. 7:14-23) 

Despite the frustration of God's primary intention for Jesus, Divine
Principle affirms that the secondary course adopted by Jesus salvaged
a victory. Though the crucifixion was a defeat, the resurrection was a
victory opening the way to spiritual salvation for all people. Through


the resurrection. God opened the way to a realm free from Satanic

While it is true that no physical body, including that of Jesus, can
survive biological death, spiritual bodies are not affected by the end
of physical existence. Therefore, Jesus' body was resurrected. This
resurrection gave a new religious life to those who had united with
Jesus in spirit. Because God had sacrificed the son He loved the most
for the sake of those who rejected him, Satan no longer had a base
from which to accuse God. The cross was Satan's victory, but the
resurrection was God's. Through it, God could begin a new dispensation
of spiritual salvation through the resurrected Jesus. 

Even after Jesus' appearance on earth, the world continues to suffer
under the power of evil. Complete redemption, both spiritual and
physical, thus awaits the Second Advent. Through the word of the new
Messiah, the prospect of the liquidation of humanity's sin and the
establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth will be offered again. 

Much of Christian thought has been devoted to the vexing problem of
the Nature of Jesus.  For centuries, his own question, "Who do men say
that I am?" (Mk. 8:27) has been debated heatedly by both theologians
and laymen alike.  Was Jesus really God Himself in a human body?  Was
he only man?  If the former, how could God so limit Himself?  If the
latter, how did Jesus differ from other men?  Did he exist before his
birth?  What is his relationship to the Holy Spirit?  The Principle
sheds light on these age-old questions and clarifies them. 

Divine Principle explains that Jesus is best understood by reference
to God's original ideal for man.  On several levels a person who
fulfills this ideal has special value and significance. 

Firstly, with much of historic Christian theology, Divine principle
affirms that every person is created as a child of God.  When a person
matures according to the image of God within him, we may think of him
as embodying true personhood; in Jesus' words, he is "perfect as (the)
heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:48)  He becomes a person in whom
the spirit of God dwells, a visible manifestation of the invisible
God.  In this sense we may even say he becomes God's body. 

Secondly, since all human beings resemble the universal aspects of
God, we all share a common nature.  However, each person also embodies
unique characteristics from God.  No two people are the same. 
Ultimately, a person who fulfills the ideal of perfection can never be
duplicated, throughout all of eternity.  He has his own eternal

Thirdly, Jesus once asserted that a person's life was more precious
than the whole world.  As the Principle of Creation explains, each
human being is a microcosm of the cosmos.  His spirit encapsulates the
elements of the spirit world, and his physical body those of the


physical world.  For Divine Principle, since each person encapsulates
the cosmos, he has the same value as the cosmos. 

Thus understanding a true person's value, let us address an issue that
had bedeviled the Christian church for 2,000 years: Is Jesus God
himself, or is he simply a human being? 

Divine Principle affirms Jesus is an example of a true person - a
person who has fulfilled God's original ideal for man.  He was a
visible expression of the invisible God, a man of unique individuality
and a person of cosmic value.  As we may imagine, his significance is
thus hardly to be compared with that of ordinary fallen man.  Jesus
was the man for others, the man who, as Emerson put it, plowed his
name into the history of the world.  He was a true man, and although
all of us are meant to be like him, none of us yet is. 

The Principle does not simply deny the conventional belief that Jesus
is God, because, as we have indicated, a true person is one with God, 
However, Jesus was divine precisely because he was fully human. 

None of Jesus' contemporaries and disciples appeared to have thought
he was God Himself.  The evidence before them indicated otherwise. 
Even his own brothers, for example, failed to recognize his identity. 
And although the Apostle Paul did not meet Jesus during his life-time,
his proximity in time to him and his disciples led him to write: 

     "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God
     and man, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5) 

     "For as by one man's disobedience mane were made sinners, so
     by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." (Rom.

     "For as by a man (Adam) came death, by a man )Jesus) has
     come also the resurrection of the dead." (I Cor. 15:21) 

Nevertheless, many Christians have traditionally believed that Jesus
is God, the Creator.  In support of their belief, these believers
point to several passages from the New Testament, especially from the
Gospel of John.  One of the most common citations is the fourth
gospels' famous prologues: 

     "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
     and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God; all
     things were made through him, and without him was not
     anything made that was made," (Jn 1:1-3) 

Although it has been the practice of some to interpret the Word as
referring to Jesus himself, it is thought by others that the author of
the fourth Gospel did not necessarily intend it this way. 
Historically, the concept of the Word, or Logos, originates in the


Greek mystical tradition.  The author of the fourth Gospel adapted it
to express his won understanding of Jesus' significance. 

For Divine Principle, the Word or Logos, was God's ideal for his
creation.  That the Word was with God in the beginning does not mean
Jesus, the man, had pre-existed his birth.  It means that the Word,
God's ideal of the perfected person, had pre-existed its expression
into human form.  Jesus existed from the beginning, nut only in the
sense that he was the fulfillment of the Word. 

Similarly, when the disciple Philip once asked Jesus to show him God,
John reports that Jesus replied: 

     "He who has seen me has seen the Father: how can you say,
     'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the
     Father and the Father in me?" (Jn. 14:9-10) 

Again, such a passage has frequently been interpreted to mean that
Jesus was God Himself.  Nevertheless, this is not the case.  As
explained above, Jesus was a visible manifestation of the invisible
God and is one with God in heart.  Therefore, one who has seen him has
seen the Father.  As the person who realized the original ideal of God
for man, Jesus was simply the visible, human expression of the
invisible God. 

For many the belief that Jesus was God Himself is an expression of a
general tendency to deify our heroes.  Recently, for example,
Professor John Hick's The Myth of God Incarnate, argued that the only
way the early Christians could express their adoration and devotion to
Jesus was to make him the equivalent of God. 

Asserting a similar point, the well-known scholar Dr. Joseph Campbell
has noted that not only in Christianity has the original humanity of
the founder been obscured, but in Buddhism, as well, "the biography of
Gautama was turned into a supernatural life." 

Paul referred to Jesus as the last Adam. (I Cor. 15:45) for the Divine
Principle, this is one of those brilliant insights which quite
regrettably was never taken up and elaborated upon by succeeding
generations of Christian thinkers.  Nevertheless, its importance is
clear.  In becoming the new Adam, Jesus was to fulfil the divine
mandate given to his original ancestor.  Because Adam, the first man,
did not fulfill his divine mission, another man as to come in his
place -- as a man. 

In the Gospel of John, Jesus at one point asserted his humanity, not
his deity.  I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. (Jn.
14:28) By saying that the Father is greater than he, Jesus made clear
distinction between himself and God. 


At another point Jesus is reported as drawing a sharp distinction
between himself and God, exclaiming, "Why do you call me good?  No one
is good but God alone." (Lk. 18:19)  

Beyond such statements, Jesus was in appearance no different from
other men.  Even his brothers failed to see anything unusual about
him.  One of them, James, did not join the Christian movement until
after the crucifixion.  Because of his very human qualities, Jesus was
tempted in the wilderness by Satan. 

According to the earliest Gospels, he often retired to a lonely spot
to pray because, as a man, he needed strength from God to continue his
exhausting ministry.  Like anyone else, he was hungry and sleepy at
times.  More than once, the Evangelists tell us, he broke down and

Jesus also became disheartened by the opposition encountered from the
Pharisees and the disbelief of his fellow-countrymen even in his
hometown of Nazareth.  He was filled with distress when his inner
circle betrayed, denied and then abandoned him to his fate. 

For proof that Jesus was thoroughly human consider his agony in the
Garden of Gethsemane and his lonely cry from the cross, "My God, My
God, why has thou forsaken me?" (Mk. 15:34) 

The early Christian theologian Athanasius of Alexandria argued that
Jesus could be of help to us and could be our Saviour only if he were
one of us in every respect.  Divine Principle would agree adding that
if Jesus were not subject as a human being to temptations similar to
those facing the rest of us, he could never liberate us from Satanic
dominion.  If Jesus were not human, his life, his teaching, and his
example would have no significance for us. 

Nevertheless, Jesus is different.  In addition to being a man who
fulfilled the ideal of creation, Jesus is set off from other people by
his mission.  Jesus is described by John's Gospel as the true vine and
his followers as its branches; only as part of the tree could they
bear good fruit. 

By being spiritually reborn through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, a
fallen person can be restored as a spiritual child, and can ultimately
come himself to resemble Jesus.  If Jesus was the first fully human
man, others were to achieve their own full humanity in relation to
him.  Jesus was the temple of God, and all others could become temples
by uniting with him.  In this divine mission Jesus was unique; but
this mission he was to fulfill as a man. 

One of the most famous statements in the New Testament is Jesus'
assertion to a stunned Nicodemus that to see the Kingdom of God, one
must be born anew. (Jn. 3:3)  Regardless of the historical age, ever
since the remark of the concept of rebirth has been a core doctrine


within the Christian faith.  In light of the Principle, let us
investigate why humanity is called to rebirth. 

As we have suggested, if Adam and Eve had fulfilled the original ideal
of God, becoming true human beings, true partners and True Parents,
then the Kingdom of Heaven on earth could have been realized centered
on them. 

However, because of the fall, Adam and Eve became false parents,
giving birth specifically to children stained with sin and generally
to a world we can call the Kingdom of Hell.  In this world, fallen,
conflicted men and women can never find liberation unless they are
released from sin and born again into new life and new love. 

As we know, however, we cannot be born without parents.  To inherit
God's love and grace, fallen persons need parents who can represent
God to them.  In this sense, Jesus came as the True Father to impart
new life to all humanity.  He is called the last Adam (I Cor. 15:45)
and the Everlasting Father (Is. 9:6) because he was to be the True
Father in the place of Adam. 

But what of the mother's role?  Just as for physical birth, for
spiritual birth to occur there must be not only a True Father, but
also a True Mother.  Consequently, after the crucifixion, God gave
Jesus the Holy Spirit as a mother spirit, or feminine spirit, to work
with the risen Christ in Eve's place. 

Making restitution for Eve's part in the Fall, the Holy Spirit
inspires and comforts the human heart, leading us back to God. 

Reflecting her feminine essence, the Holy Spirit is traditionally
known as the comforter.  As children are born through the love of
parents, so through the give and take of love Jesus and the Holy
Spirit give spiritual rebirth to all those who follow them. 

We may thus understand Jesus and the Holy Spirit as spiritual True
Father and True Mother.  Being born again through Jesus and the Holy
Spirit means that one's spirit is made new through the love of the
spiritual True Parents. 

Beyond this, however, Divine Principles emphasizes that complete
restoration requires not just spiritual rebirth, but physical rebirth
also.  The division between spirit and body so poignantly described by
the Apostle Paul (Rom.7) is to be healed.  This further dimension of
rebirth will take place through the Second Coming. 

One doctrine bearing the scars of centuries of debate and controversy
within the Christian faith is that of the Trinity. Although
Trinitarian speculations were hardly at the center of Jesus' message,
the Christian Church of the fourth and fifth centuries found such
concerns to be crucial. 


Church councils were held at Nicea in 305 A.D. and Chalcedon in 451
A.D. to define how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were the same Being
and yet different. To explain it, the Church Fathers borrowed
complicated concepts from Greek philosophy and beat down all
objections to them. Today, Church historians recognize that the
political maneuvering occurring at such councils would far out do most
any Machiavellian scheming at a modern-day political convention. It is
quite a remarkable narrative. 

Let us look at the Trinity from the point of view of the Principle. It
is commonly recognized that if the Fall of man had not occurred, God
would not have needed Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the salvation of
man. If Adam and Eve had perfected themselves as God's son and
daughter, each becoming an embodiment of God's character, they would
have been "...perfect as (their) Heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt.
5:48) and they would have attained the ideal of union with God in
heart. (Jn. 14:20) 

As God's true son and daughter, Adam and Eve could also have become
true husband and wife, centered on God. If they had achieved all this,
becoming the True Parents of humankind, together with God they would
have formed the original Trinity, a Trinity centered on God's love and

However, because of the Fall, Adam and Eve became the false parents of
man. We may say they formed a Trinity but it was centered on Satan. As
a result, since God is still determined to fulfill the purpose of the
creation, He called Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the second Adam and
second Eve. Together with God they form a spiritual Trinity in the
place of Adam and Eve. 


As we have suggested, in establishing the spiritual Trinity centered
on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit accomplished only the mission of the
spiritual True Parents. For this reason, the Second Coming became

The purpose of the Lord of the Second Coming is thus to marry and
establish the Trinity both spiritually and physically. Reflecting this
fact, the Book of Revelation intimates a divine marriage at the close
of the age. This is the Marriage of the Lamb, the marriage of True
Adam and True Eve, and event which Divine Principle promises will hold
great hope for all humanity. 

     "Let us rejoice and exult and give (God) the glory, for the
     marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made
     herself ready...(Rev. 19.7) 

Although it has the support of much of modern scholarship, the Divine
Principle assertion that Jesus' primary intention was other than the


crucifixion departs from much traditional belief. Certainly for some,
the Divine Principle revelation will be seen as heresy. 

Nevertheless, one need not look far to realize that new understanding
is needed. There is widespread agreement that if Christianity is to
remain relevant to the modern world it must reinterpret its message in
the light of intellectual, cultural and political changes going on all
about us. 

When in the 1960s certain theologians like Thomas J. Altizer of Emory
University shocked everybody by announcing that "God is dead," they
meant in part that the old theology had become completely irrelevant
for modern man. Certainly the spiritual illness' of contemporary
society--divorce, crime, drug abuse and the like--are hardly being
adequately addressed by conventional teaching. 

Nor have the assertions of traditional Christian thought been
sufficient to avoid the rise of such pernicious secular religions as
fascism and communism. Something different, something new, is required
if the void is to be filled and Christian religion is to make a
positive contribution toward a new, progressive civilization. 

                             Sacred Heart

A well-known representation of Christ within the Roman Catholic faith
depicts the "sacred heart of Jesus." The image shows him with his
heart exposed, penetrated by an arrow and bleeding. It suggests that
out of his love for humanity Jesus is bleeding, bleeding for the sin
of man, bleeding for the pain of the world. He had come to relieve
that pain, to lead the world back to God, but he was tragically
rejected. His heart, and God's heart, will bleed until the time when
the wheel of history leads mankind to full salvation in a restored
Kingdom of God on earth. 

Before such a day could ever be realized, of course, some people
anticipate the "end of the world." Certainly a number of prophetic
utterances in both Old and New Testaments indicate such an event will
occur. We hear of the "sun being darkened," of the "stars falling from
heaven," and of "a new heaven and a new earth." What do they mean? Are
they relevant to us today? 

Also, it has been said by many that we are now living in a new age in
history. It is an age of vast change, of global interdependence, of
cultural convergence. It is an age when man can truly reach to the
stars, or destroy himself with the weapons of his own making. It is an
age when the most dire prophecies of the bible could come to pass, or
its brightest promises fulfilled. Which will it be? 

The next section of the Home Study Course, Consummation of Human
History, examines the meaning of the Biblical prophecy in light of
God's ultimate goals in history, and looks at our modern age in terms


of God's historical providence. Ultimately, Divine Principle promises
a bright future for humanity.