Restoration Through Jesus – Part 1
The Providence of Restoration
under the Leadership of Jesus
In the beginning, Adam should have governed the angels;171(I Cor. 6:3)CEV|KJ|NI but due to his fall, human beings came under Satan’s dominion and formed a hellish world. To restore this through indemnity, Jesus came as the second Adam to personally bring Satan to submission and establish the Kingdom of Heaven. However, Satan, who does not submit even to God, would by no means readily yield to Jesus and people of faith. Therefore, taking responsibility for having created human beings, God raised up Jacob and Moses and revealed through them the model course by which Jesus could subjugate Satan.172(cf. Moses and Jesus 1.1)
Jacob walked the symbolic course to bring Satan to submission, while Moses walked the image course. Their courses pioneered the way for Jesus to walk the actual course. In walking the worldwide course to restore Canaan, Jesus followed the model demonstrated in the national course to restore Canaan when Moses was working to subjugate Satan.
God told Moses, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”173(Deut. 18:18)CEV|KJ|NI By “a prophet like you,” God was referring to Jesus, who was to walk the same course Moses walked. When Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise,”174(John 5:19)CEV|KJ|NI he meant that God had revealed the model course through Moses and that he was following in Moses’ footsteps. Let us examine the providence of restoration centered on Jesus, drawing relevant comparisons between the three national courses to restore Canaan under Moses’ leadership and the three worldwide courses to restore Canaan under Jesus’ leadership.
In the first worldwide course to restore Canaan, the central figure entrusted with the mission to restore the foundation of faith was John the Baptist. From what position was John supposed to accomplish this mission? In the national course to restore Canaan under Moses’ leadership, Moses broke the tablets of stone and struck the rock twice. This set up conditions for Satan to strike the body of Jesus – the fulfillment of the tablets and the rock – should the Jewish people of his day not believe in him.
For Jesus to be released from this condition, the chosen people entrusted with the mission to prepare for his coming should have united around the Temple, the image representation of the Messiah who was to come. However, over the years the Israelites repeatedly lapsed into faithlessness and thus multiplied conditions for Satan to attack Jesus. To erase these conditions, God sent the prophet Elijah. Elijah worked to separate Satan by defeating the prophets of Baal and Asherah, 850 altogether,175(I Kings 18:19)CEV|KJ|NI and then ascended to heaven.176(II Kings 2:11)CEV|KJ|NI Yet, because Elijah did not complete his entire mission he had to return.177(Mal. 4:5)CEV|KJ|NI John the Baptist was the prophet who came as Elijah178(Matt. 11:14)CEV|KJ|NI; (Matt. 17:13)CEV|KJ|NI to complete this unfinished mission to separate Satan and make straight the way of the Lord.179(John 1:23)CEV|KJ|NI
The Israelites had suffered hardships in Egypt for four hundred years without a prophet to guide them. They finally met Moses, the one man who could lead them into Canaan as a nation in preparation to receive the Messiah. In a similar fashion, the Jewish people suffered all kinds of tribulations under the oppression of the gentile nations of Persia, Greece, Egypt, Syria and Rome without a prophet to guide them during the four-hundred-year period of preparation for the advent of the Messiah, which began at the time of the prophet Malachi.180(cf. Periods 3.6) They finally met John the Baptist, the one man who could lead them to the Messiah, who was coming to restore Canaan worldwide.
Thus, John the Baptist, like Moses, was called on the foundation of a four-hundred-year period for the separation of Satan. Moses had learned to love his brethren and the traditions of his fathers while living in the Pharaoh’s palace. Likewise, John the Baptist learned the way of faith and obedience to Heaven and made preparations for the Messiah while living on locusts and wild honey in the wilderness. His life was so exemplary that many people, including the priests and Levites, wondered whether he might be the Messiah.181(John 1:19)CEV|KJ|NI; (Luke 3:15)CEV|KJ|NI In this way, John the Baptist successfully established the dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan and was able to lay the foundation of faith for the first worldwide course to restore Canaan.
Since John the Baptist stood in the same position as Moses, he likewise stood in the dual positions of parent and child. From the position of parent, he restored through indemnity the foundation of faith. From the position of child, he secured the position of Abel for the fulfillment of the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature.182(cf. Moses and Jesus 2.1.2) John the Baptist recovered a foundation on the world level comparable to that of Moses when he laid the foundation of faith for the first national course after forty years inside the Pharaoh’s palace.
In Moses’ day, God’s desire at the first dispensation to start was that the Israelites develop trust in Moses when they witnessed him killing an Egyptian taskmaster. The Israelites were then to leave the satanic world of Egypt and travel to the land of Canaan. In John the Baptist’s time, however, the Jewish people were not to leave the Roman Empire and set out for another land. They were to remain within the empire, win over its people, and restore the empire to God’s side. God conducted the dispensation to start by encouraging the Jewish people to believe in John through the miracles surrounding his life.
At John’s conception, an angel gave a wondrous prophecy concerning the child. When his father Zechariah did not believe it, he was struck dumb, and his speech returned only after he circumcised and named the child. Through these and other miracles, the Israelites were convinced that John was a prophet sent by God:
Fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him. –Luke 1:65-66CEV|KJ|NI
Moreover, John led an illustrious life of prayer and asceticism in the wilderness, living on locusts and wild honey. The general public and even the priests admired him so highly that many thought he might be the Messiah.183(Luke 3:15)CEV|KJ|NI
When Moses finished the forty-year indemnity period in the Pharaoh’s palace and killed the Egyptian, the Israelites should have been deeply inspired by his love for his people and followed him with faith. They would have then gone straight into Canaan, without having to cross the Red Sea or wander in the wilderness, and without need of the tablets of stone, the Ark of the Covenant or the Tabernacle. Likewise, the Jewish people in Jesus’ time were to believe in and follow John the Baptist, whom God had raised up through miracles and signs as the focus of their faith. Thus, they would fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and lay the foundation of substance, thereby immediately establishing the foundation for the Messiah.
The Jewish people stood upon the foundation of faith laid by John the Baptist and followed John as if they were following the Messiah184(Luke 3:15)CEV|KJ|NI Thereupon, they brought an end to the Old Testament Age and were ready to embark upon a new course to restore Canaan worldwide. Yet, as was explained earlier,185(cf. Messiah 2) John the Baptist harbored doubts toward Jesus, even though he had testified to him. He sent a delegation and asked Jesus, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”186(Matt. 11:3)CEV|KJ|NI He denied that he was Elijah even though he in fact came to fulfill Elijah’s mission.187(John 1:21)CEV|KJ|NI This not only blocked the Jewish people’s path to Jesus, it even led them to oppose him. In effect, John left the position of Abel, depriving the Jewish people of the central person with whom they could fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. This blocked their way to complete the foundation of substance or the foundation for the Messiah. Consequently, the first worldwide course to restore Canaan was aborted. As was the case in Moses’ days, it was prolonged to a second and then a third course.
In relationship to Jesus, the perfect Adam, John the Baptist came in the role of the restored Adam. He was to establish the foundation for the Messiah, thus completing all the unfinished missions of the central figures of the past who had labored to restore the foundations of faith and substance. Upon this foundation, he was to present all the fruits of providential history to Jesus and guide the Jewish people, who trusted and followed him, to receive Jesus. Finally, he himself should have attended Jesus with faith and devotion.
Even though John the Baptist did not know it, the baptism which he gave to Jesus at the Jordan River188(Matt. 3:16)CEV|KJ|NI was in truth a ceremony of offering Jesus all of John’s lifelong accomplishments for the sake of God’s Will.
Nevertheless, because John the Baptist gradually came to doubt Jesus and finally even undermined his work, the Jewish people, who had the highest esteem for John, were compelled to disbelieve in Jesus.189(cf. Messiah 2.2) Consequently, the foundation of faith which John had laid for the first worldwide course to restore Canaan was invaded by Satan. Jesus himself now had to take on John’s mission and restore through indemnity the foundation of faith in order to set out on the second worldwide course to restore Canaan. When Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness, it was to separate Satan for the very purpose of restoring the foundation of faith; however, for this he lowered himself to assume the position of John the Baptist.
Jesus, who came as God’s only begotten Son and the Lord of Glory, was not meant to walk a path of suffering.190(I Cor. 2:8)CEV|KJ|NI Rather, it was for John the Baptist, born with the mission to make straight the way of Jesus,191(John 1:23)CEV|KJ|NI; (Luke 1:76)CEV|KJ|NI to go through tribulations. However, because John did not complete his responsibility, Jesus had to undergo suffering in John’s place. Jesus enjoined Peter not to reveal to the Jewish people that he was the Messiah192(Matt. 16:20)CEV|KJ|NI because, although he was the Messiah, he had assumed John’s role for the purpose of beginning this phase of the providence.
Let us examine the remote and immediate causes behind Jesus’ forty-day fast and his three temptations. In the national course to restore Canaan, when Moses stood before the rock, he turned faithless and struck the rock twice. As a result, the rock, symbolizing Jesus,193(I Cor. 10:4)CEV|KJ|NI was defiled by Satan. This act affirmed the possibility that centuries later, when Jesus came to walk in the footsteps of Moses’ course, John the Baptist might become faithless and Satan could then attack Jesus, the fulfillment of the rock. Moses’ act also affirmed the possibility that Satan might invade the foundation of faith laid by John the Baptist. Hence, Moses’ act of striking the rock twice was the remote cause which, should John lose faith, would compel Jesus to endure a forty-day fast and face three temptations in the wilderness for the purpose of restoring the foundation of faith.
John the Baptist actually did become faithless194(cf. Messiah 2.3) and Satan invaded the foundation of faith which John had laid. This was the immediate cause of Jesus undertaking a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan by fasting for forty days and overcoming the three temptations. By doing this from the position of John the Baptist, Jesus restored through indemnity the foundation of faith.
It is written that after forty days, Satan tested Jesus three times. First, he showed Jesus stones and tempted him to turn them into loaves of bread. Next, he took Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple and challenged him to throw himself down. Finally, Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain and offered to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he would fall down and worship him.195(Matt. 4:1-10)CEV|KJ|NI
What was Satan’s purpose in giving Jesus the three temptations? In the beginning, God created human beings and gave them three great blessings – perfection of individual character, multiplication of children, and dominion over the natural world196(Gen. 1:28)CEV|KJ|NI – by which they might accomplish the purpose of creation. By inducing the first human ancestors to fall, Satan deprived humankind of the three great blessings and thus prevented the fulfillment of the purpose of creation. Jesus came into the world to accomplish the purpose of creation by restoring these blessings. Therefore, Satan tempted Jesus three times in an attempt to prevent him from restoring the three blessings and accomplishing the purpose of creation.
How, then, did Jesus confront and overcome the three temptations? First, let us examine how Satan came to be in a position to impose temptations on Jesus. Satan first took such a dominant position when, in the national course to restore Canaan, he claimed possession of the rock and the tablets of stone, which symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride. This was possible because Moses broke the tablets of stone and struck the rock twice in anger at the faithlessness of the people. In the worldwide course, when John the Baptist failed his responsibility, the Jewish people became as disbelieving and disobedient as the Israelites were in Moses’ time. Therefore, as God had already foreshadowed in Moses’ course, Satan rose to a position of power from which he could impose temptations on Jesus.
After Jesus completed the forty-day fast in the wilderness, Satan appeared before him and tempted him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”197(Matt. 4:3)CEV|KJ|NI Satan had possession of the stone. He had claimed the water-giving rock and the tablets of stone based on the condition first set by Moses’ mistakes and then brought to fruition by John the Baptist’s faithlessness. Moses had first obtained the stone after fulfilling dispensations of forty for the separation of Satan in the wilderness. To purify and recover the stone, Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days. Satan was well aware that Jesus went into the wilderness for this purpose, and his intention in giving the first temptation was to keep the stone in his possession. Jesus suffered from hunger in the wilderness, just as the Israelites had in Moses’ day. When the Israelites could not overcome their hunger but fell into faithlessness, this eventually let Satan claim possession of the stone. Likewise, if Jesus were to lose faith and satisfy his hunger by turning the stone into bread, abandoning his effort to restore the stone, Satan would possess the stone forever.
Jesus’ answer to this temptation was, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”198(Matt. 4:4)CEV|KJ|NI Originally, human beings were created to live on two kinds of nourishment. The body lives on the nourishment obtained from the physical world, while the spirit lives by receiving the love and truth of God. However, since fallen people cannot receive the Word directly from God, their spirits have life by the words of Jesus, who came as the incarnation of God’s Word.199(John 1:14)CEV|KJ|NI Jesus said, “I am the bread of life….unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”200(John 6:48-53)CEV|KJ|NI He meant that a person does not live a complete and wholesome life merely by eating bread to keep his body alive. His life is not full unless he lives by Jesus, who came as the life-giving nourishment for the spirit.
Indeed, the stone in Satan’s hands – signifying the rock and the tablets of stone which Moses had lost – symbolized the very self of Jesus201(1 Cor. 10:4)CEV|KJ|NI; (Rev. 2:17)CEV|KJ|NI who was being subjected to this temptation. In his reply, Jesus meant that although he was starving, he was less concerned about obtaining bread which could keep his body alive than he was with becoming the incarnate Word of God who could nourish every spirit with life. With that heart, Jesus was determined to triumph over Satan. Furthermore, this test was conducted so that Jesus might re-establish the position of the Messiah, the one who has attained perfection of his individual character, by overcoming the temptation from the position of John the Baptist. Jesus defeated Satan because he spoke and acted in full accordance with the Principle. By his victory over his temptation, Jesus fulfilled the condition to restore the individual nature to prefection and thereby established the basis for the restoration of God’s first blessing.
Next, Satan brought Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple and challenged him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.”202(Matt. 4:6)CEV|KJ|NI Jesus referred to himself as the Temple,203(John 2:19)CEV|KJ|NI and it is written that Christians are temples of God204(I Cor.3:16)CEV|KJ|NI and members of the body of Christ.205(I Cor. 12:27)CEV|KJ|NI From this we can understand that Jesus is the main temple while the believers are like branch temples. Jesus came as the Lord of the Temple. Even Satan had to acknowledge his position; thus he put Jesus on the top of the Temple. When Satan dared Jesus to throw himself down, it meant that he wanted to usurp Jesus’ position as the Lord of the Temple by enticing Jesus to fall from that position to the lowly state of a fallen person.
At that moment Jesus answered him, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”206(Matt. 4:7)CEV|KJ|NI Originally, angels were created to be governed by people who have realized their God-given nature. Hence, even fallen angels should rightfully submit to Jesus, their Lord. Accordingly, it was an unprincipled act for an angel to attempt to usurp the position of the Lord of the Temple from Jesus. Jesus’ response meant that Satan should not test God by tempting Jesus, the incarnation of God, who works His providence in strict accordance with the Principle. Moreover, by prevailing in the first temptation and restoring his individual character as the incarnate Temple, Jesus had already secured the position of the Lord of the Temple. Therefore, Satan had no condition to tempt Jesus again, but should have retreated at that point. By overcoming the second temptation, Jesus, the main temple, the bridegroom and the True Parent of humanity, opened the way for all people of faith to be restored to the positions of branch temples, brides and true children. Jesus thus established the basis upon which to restore God’s second blessing.
Finally, Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all things under heaven and all their glory, saying, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”207(Matt. 4:9)CEV|KJ|NI Due to Adam’s fall, human beings lost the qualification to be the lords of creation. They fell under the dominion of Satan, who usurped Adam’s position as the creation’s master. Coming in the capacity of a perfected Adam, Jesus was the Lord of creation, as it is written, “For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”208(I Cor. 15:27)CEV|KJ|NI Because Satan knew this from his understanding of the Principle, he led Jesus to the top of the mountain in recognition of his position as the Lord of creation. Satan then tempted Jesus, hoping that Jesus, the second Adam, might also submit to him as Adam had submitted in the beginning.
Jesus replied, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”209(Matt. 4:10)CEV|KJ|NI Angels were created as ministering spirits210(Heb. 1:14)CEV|KJ|NI to revere and serve God, their Creator. By his answer, Jesus indicated that according to the Principle even a fallen angel like Satan should worship God; by the same token, he should honor and attend Jesus, who came as the body of the Creator. Furthermore, by overcoming the two previous temptations, Jesus already had laid the basis upon which to restore God’s first and second blessings. Upon this foundation, he would naturally restore God’s third blessing and govern the creation. Jesus said, “Begone, Satan!” because there was no longer any basis for Satan to contend with Jesus over the natural world, which already stood on the firm foundation of his victory. By prevailing in the third temptation, Jesus set up the condition to restore dominion over the natural world – God’s third blessing.
According to the Principle of Creation, God’s purpose of creation is to be realized only when human beings pass through the three stages of origin, division and union and establish the four position foundation. However, Satan blocked this ideal while the first human ancestors were still in the process of building the four position foundation. Therefore, in the course of the providence of restoration, with its prolongations through three stages, God has tried to restore through indemnity all that was lost by working to fulfill dispensations of forty for the separation of Satan. Jesus prevailed over the three temptations and fulfilled the forty-day fast as a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan. Thereupon, Jesus restored through indemnity, all at once, the following conditions which God had been seeking to fulfill through all the dispensations of forty for the separation of Satan throughout history.
First, in the position of John the Baptist, Jesus restored through indemnity the foundation of faith for the second worldwide course to restore Canaan. In so doing, Jesus restored all that had been offered to God over the course of the providence for the purpose of laying the foundation of faith, including: the offerings of Cain and Abel, Noah’s ark, Abraham’s sacrifice, Moses’ Tabernacle and King Solomon’s Temple. Furthermore, Jesus restored through indemnity, all at once, all the dispensations of forty for the separation of Satan conducted during the four thousand years since Adam, lost despite the best efforts of central figures to lay the foundation of faith. These included: Noah’s forty-day flood judgment, the three forty-year periods in the life of Moses and his two forty-day fasts, the forty-day mission to spy out the land, the Israelites’ forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the four hundred years from Noah to Abraham, the four hundred years of slavery in Egypt, and all other periods characterized by the number forty which had been lost since the Exodus.
Second, by rising from John the Baptist’s position to the position of the Messiah, Jesus paved the way for the fulfillment of God’s three great blessings and the restoration of the four position foundation. Having successfully made his offering, Jesus stood as the fulfillment of the tablets of stone, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the rock and the Temple.
Jesus came as the True Parent of humanity, yet he restored through indemnity the dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan while standing in the position of John the Baptist. Therefore, after he restored the foundation of faith (and rose to the position of Messiah and True Parent) he stood in the position of a parent. At the same time, when he secured the position of Abel for fulfilling the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature, he stood in the position of a child (still in the role of John the Baptist with respect to that condition). In that capacity, Jesus through his forty-day fast attained the same position on the world level that Moses had assumed just after he had laid the foundation of faith for the second national course to restore Canaan by enduring a forty-year exile in the wilderness of Midian.
God conducted the dispensation to start the second national course to restore Canaan by providing the three signs and ten plagues. God conducted the dispensation to start the third national course to restore Canaan by having the people uphold the three manifestations of divine grace – the tablets of stone, the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle – and obey the Ten Commandments. These, as we recall, were given upon the foundation for the Tabernacle to restore the three signs and ten plagues lost due to the faithlessness of the Israelites. Jesus was the fulfillment of the three manifestations of grace and the Ten Commandments. Therefore, God conducted the dispensation to start the second worldwide course to restore Canaan based on Jesus’ own words and miraculous deeds. If the Jewish people (Cain) had been moved to believe in and follow Jesus, who was in the position of John the Baptist (Abel), they would have fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and restored the foundation of substance. The foundation for the Messiah would thus have been laid. Standing upon this foundation, Jesus would have risen from the position of John the Baptist to the position of the Messiah. Then, by engrafting all people with himself,211(Rom. 11:17)CEV|KJ|NI humankind would have been reborn, cleansed of the original sin, and would have become one with God in heart. They would have restored their original, God-given nature and built the Kingdom of Heaven on earth in Jesus’ day.
When the first worldwide course to restore Canaan ended in failure due to John the Baptist’s faithlessness, Jesus took John’s mission upon himself and suffered hardships in the wilderness for forty days. Thus, Jesus restored through indemnity the foundation of faith for the second worldwide course to restore Canaan. It is written that Satan, who was defeated in the three temptations, left Jesus’ side “until an opportune time,”212(Luke 4:13)CEV|KJ|NI indicating that Satan had not left Jesus for good but might confront him at a future date. As a matter of fact, Satan did confront Jesus, working primarily through the Jewish leadership, the priests and scribes who disbelieved in Jesus. In particular, Satan confronted Jesus through Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed him.
Due to the faithlessness of such people, Jesus could lay neither the foundation of substance nor the foundation for the Messiah for the second worldwide course to restore Canaan. The second worldwide course thus ended in tragic failure.