Restoration Through Jesus – Part 2
3.3 The Third Worldwide Course to Restore Canaan
In discussing the third worldwide course to restore Canaan, we should first understand in what respects this course was different from the third national course to restore Canaan. As was explained in detail, the focus of faith for the Israelites in the third national course was the Tabernacle, the symbol of the Messiah. Even when the Israelites fell into faithlessness, the Tabernacle remained intact, standing upon the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle which Moses had laid during his forty-day fast. When Moses also became faithless, the Tabernacle remained intact, preserved by Joshua’s stewardship and the foundation for the Tabernacle which he had laid during the forty-day mission to spy out the land.
However, in the worldwide course to restore Canaan, the focus of faith for the Jewish people was Jesus himself, who came as the fulfillment of the Tabernacle. When even his disciples became faithless, Jesus had to walk the path of death and be crucified, as he had foretold, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up.”213(John 3:14)CEV|KJ|NI As a consequence, the Jewish people lost the one who should have been the spiritual and physical focus of their faith. They no longer had a basis upon which to begin the third worldwide course to restore Canaan as a substantial course, as the Israelites had when they commenced the third national course. Rather, Christians, as the Second Israel, were to begin this course as a spiritual course by exalting the resurrected Jesus as their focus of faith. Foreseeing this, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”214(John 2:19)CEV|KJ|NI
Then, just as Joshua succeeded to Moses’ mission and completed the third national course, Christ at the Second Advent will succeed the mission of Jesus. He will complete, both spiritually and physically, the third worldwide course to restore Canaan. Accordingly, unless the returning Christ comes in the flesh, as Jesus did, he cannot inherit Jesus’ mission, much less fulfill the purpose of the providence of restoration.
When the second worldwide course to restore Canaan ended in failure due to the Jewish people’s rejection of Jesus, the foundation of faith which Jesus had laid during his forty-day fast from the position of John the Baptist was lost to Satan. After Jesus gave up his body on the cross, he resumed John the Baptist’s mission spiritually. During the forty-day period from his resurrection to his ascension, Jesus triumphed over Satan and broke all his chains. By doing so, Jesus restored the foundation of faith for the spiritual course in the third worldwide course to restore Canaan. This is the heretofore undisclosed reason behind this forty-day period. How, then, did Jesus lay the spiritual foundation of faith?
God had personally been guiding His beloved chosen people until the time Jesus appeared as the Messiah. Yet from the moment they turned against His only begotten Son, God tearfully had to turn His back and allow Satan to lay claim to them. Nonetheless, God’s purpose in sending the Messiah was to save the Jewish people and all humanity. God was determined to save humankind, even though it meant delivering Jesus into the hands of Satan. Satan, on the other hand, was fixed on killing one man, Jesus Christ, even though he might have to hand back all of humanity, including the Jewish people, to God. Satan knew that the primary goal of God’s four-thousand-year providence of restoration was to send the Messiah. He thought that by killing the Messiah he could destroy the entire providence of God. In the end, God handed over Jesus to Satan as the condition of indemnity to save all humankind, including the Jewish people who had turned against Jesus and fallen into Satan’s realm.
Satan exercised his maximum power to crucify Jesus, thereby attaining the goal he had sought throughout the four-thousand-year course of history. On the other hand, by delivering Jesus to Satan, God set up as compensation the condition to save sinful humanity. How did God achieve this? Because Satan had already exercised his maximum power in killing Jesus, according to the principle of restoration through indemnity, God was entitled to exercise His maximum power. While Satan uses his power to kill, God uses His power to bring the dead to life. As compensation for Satan’s exercise of his maximum power in killing Jesus, God exercised His maximum power and resurrected Jesus. God thus opened the way for all humanity to be engrafted with the resurrected Jesus and thereby receive salvation and rebirth.
It is clear from the biblical record that the resurrected Jesus was not the same as he had been when he had lived with his disciples before his crucifixion. The resurrected Jesus was no longer a man seen through physical eyes, because he transcended time and space. He appeared to his disciples inside a room with closed doors.215(John 20:19)CEV|KJ|NI He accompanied two disciples traveling toward Emmaus for a long distance. Yet they did not recognize him until much later, when he made himself known, at which point he suddenly vanished out of sight.216(Luke 24:15-31)CEV|KJ|NI By passing through the forty-day period of his resurrection and thereby separating Satan, Jesus laid the foundation of faith for the spiritual course. He thus opened the way to redeem humanity’s sins.
Through his resurrection appearances, Jesus fulfilled the dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan while standing in the position of John the Baptist in spirit. He thereby laid the foundation of faith for the spiritual course in the position of the spiritual True Parent. At the same time, from the position of a child, he secured the position of Abel for fulfilling the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. This spiritual foundation of faith which Jesus laid for the third worldwide course to restore Canaan was comparable to the foundation of faith which Moses laid for the third national course through forty years in the wilderness.
God had worked the dispensation to start in Moses’ day by having him establish the foundation for the Tabernacle. However, the resurrected Jesus was himself the spiritual fulfillment of the tablets of stone, the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle. He gathered his scattered disciples from all over Galilee and worked the dispensation to start by giving them the power to perform signs and miracles.217(Matt. 28:16-20)CEV|KJ|NI; (Mark 16:15-18)CEV|KJ|NI
The resurrected Jesus stood spiritually in the position of John the Baptist and the position of Abel. The faithful believers stood in the position of Cain. By believing in Jesus and following him devotedly, they fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and restored the spiritual foundation of substance.
Upon Jesus’ crucifixion, his eleven remaining disciples were demoralized and scattered. After his resurrection, however, Jesus gathered them in one place and commenced a new phase of the providence: the restoration of spiritual Canaan. The disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot and fill the vacancy among the twelve. By believing in Jesus and following him at the cost of their lives, they laid the spiritual foundation of substance and the spiritual foundation for the Messiah. Upon this foundation, Jesus ascended from the position of the spiritual mission-bearer for John the Baptist to the position of the spiritual Messiah and sent the Holy Spirit. Thereupon, Jesus and the Holy Spirit became the spiritual True Parents and began the work of giving rebirth. Ever since the descent of the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost,218(Acts 2:1-4)CEV|KJ|NI the resurrected Jesus as the spiritual True Father and the Holy Spirit as the spiritual True Mother have worked in oneness to grant spiritual rebirth by spiritually engrafting believers with themselves. This is the work of spiritual salvation,219(cf.Messiah 1.4)which established a realm of resurrection inviolable by Satan.
Even though we may by faith unite with Jesus in spirit, our bodies are still liable to Satan’s attack, as was the case with Jesus himself. In other words, our physical salvation still remains unaccomplished. Still, if we believe in the resurrected Jesus, he will guide us to enter spiritually his realm of resurrection, which is invulnerable to satanic invasion. There we are released from the conditions which allow Satan to accuse us, and we are spiritually saved.
By believing in and serving the resurrected Jesus, who stands upon the spiritual foundation for the Messiah, Christians can accomplish the restoration of spiritual Canaan and enter its realm of grace. On the other hand, the physical bodies of Christians stand in the same position as Jesus’ body, which was assaulted by Satan through the crucifixion. Christians are still stained with the original sin220(Rom. 7:25)CEV|KJ|NI and are just as much in need of purifying themselves from satanic influences as were people who lived before the coming of Jesus. Hence, Christians still must walk the course for the separation of Satan to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ.221(cf.Messiah 1.4)
The resurrected Jesus is the spiritual fulfillment of the Temple. He realized worldwide the ideal of the Tabernacle which Moses had upheld in the national course to restore Canaan. The most holy place and the holy place, representing the spirit and flesh of Jesus, were fulfilled as spiritual realities through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The ideal of the mercy seat has been realized through the works of salvation given by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, enabling God to appear in their works and impart His Word. On the mercy seat, where God’s Word is proclaimed, the cherubim that had blocked our path since the Fall were parted, opening our way to enter the Ark of the Covenant and receive Jesus, the Tree of Life. There we can partake of the manna provided by God and witness the greatness of God’s power that once caused Aaron’s staff to bud.222(Heb. 9:4-5)CEV|KJ|NI
As we have learned by studying Moses’ course, the delays in God’s providence were not predetermined, but were caused by people’s faithlessness. Likewise, Jesus’ crucifixion and the need for his return were not originally predestined by God.
We have already explained why the third worldwide course to restore Canaan began as a spiritual course, not as a substantial course like the third national course to restore Canaan. This spiritual providence began when, upon the spiritual foundation for the Messiah, Jesus could stand as the spiritual Messiah and his followers believed and obeyed him. This providence has passed through a long two-thousand-year course of history, expanding to construct a worldwide spiritual dominion.
While Moses could enter Canaan only in spirit, Joshua walked the national course as a substantial course and actually conquered the promised land. Likewise, while Jesus has been restoring Canaan as a worldwide spiritual realm, Christ at the Second Advent is to complete this third worldwide course as a substantial course and build the actual Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Christ at the Second Advent must realize, on earth, God’s ideal which was left unfulfilled at the First Coming. For this reason, he must be born on earth in the flesh.223(cf. Second Advent 2.2)
Since Christ at the Second Advent must restore through indemnity the course of the providence of restoration left unfinished at Jesus’ coming, he may have to follow a similar course. Jesus encountered disbelief among the Jewish people and had to walk a course of bitter suffering. Likewise, if Christians, the Second Israel, reject Christ at the Second Advent, he will have to go through tribulations comparable to those Jesus suffered. He will have to repeat Jesus’ painful course and restore it through indemnity, but this time during his earthly life. For this reason, Jesus said, “But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”224(Luke 17:25)CEV|KJ|NI
At the First Coming, Jesus at the end had to forsake the First Israel, which had been called for his sake, and elect the Christians as the Second Israel to commence the new spiritual providence. Similarly, at Christ’s Second Coming, if the Christians reject him in disbelief, he will have to abandon them, raise up a Third Israel, and work with them to bring the providence to its fulfillment on the earth. If the Lord’s forerunners, who are entrusted with missions like that of John the Baptist, do not complete their responsibilities, then he will have to lower himself to assume the role of John the Baptist and establish the foundation of faith for the substantial course in the third worldwide course to restore Canaan. In such an eventuality, he will walk a path of suffering.
However arduous the path he may walk, Christ at the Second Advent will not die without fulfilling the providence of restoration. This is because God’s providence to raise up the True Parents of humankind225(cf. Christology 4.1.1)and fulfill the purpose of creation through them will be successful on the third attempt. This providence began with Adam, was prolonged through Jesus, and will bear its fruit without fail at the Second Advent. Moreover, as will be discussed below,226(cf. Parallels 7.2.6)God’s spiritual providence of restoration during the two thousand years since Jesus’ day has prepared a democratic social and legal environment which will protect Christ at the Second Advent. Jesus was killed after being branded a heretic by the Jews and a rebel by the Roman Empire. In contrast, even if Christ at the Second Advent is persecuted as a heretic, in the democratic society to which he will come, such accusations will not be sufficient grounds for him to be condemned to death.
Therefore, no matter how bitter his tribulations may be, Christ at the Second Advent will be able to lay the foundation of faith on the earth. Standing upon it, he will gather disciples of indomitable faith. He will guide these followers to fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and establish the foundation of substance. The foundation for the Messiah for the substantial course in the third worldwide course will be established without fail.
When Moses was the central figure in the third national course to restore Canaan, God worked the dispensation to start based on the rock. When Joshua was the central figure, God conducted the dispensation to start based on the water from the rock, which is more internal than the rock. Similarly, at Jesus’ coming, God conducted the dispensation to start through miracles and signs, but at Christ’s Second Advent God will conduct the dispensation to start based on the Word, which is more internal than miracles and signs. As was explained earlier,227(cf. Eschatology 3.2) although human beings were created through the Word,228(John 1:3)CEV|KJ|NI due to the Fall they could not fulfill its purpose. To accomplish the purpose of the Word, God has been working His providence of restoration by setting up external conditions of obedience to the Word. Finally, at the consummation of providential history, God will again send the Christ, the incarnation of the Word, and complete the providence of salvation based on the Word.
The deepest explanation of God’s purpose of creation is revealed in terms of relationships of heart. As our invisible, internal Parent, God created human beings as His substantial children. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, as the substantial object partners to God in the pattern of His dual characteristics. As God’s first substantial object partners, they were meant to be the Parents of humankind. They were meant to become husband and wife, bear and raise children, and form a family intertwining the heart of parents, the heart of husband and wife, the heart of brothers and sisters, and the heart of children. Their family would have manifested the true love of parents, the true love of husband and wife, and the true love of children. This would have been the four position foundation which realizes the three object purpose.229(cf. Creation 2.3.3) In this manner, God intended to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth through His own children, born of His heavenly lineage.
The primary significance of the Fall was that the first human ancestors formed a bond of blood ties with the Archangel; therefore, all of humanity has been bound to Satan’s lineage.230(cf. Fall 1.3.3) Every human being has been born as a child of the Devil.231(Matt. 3:7)CEV|KJ|NI; (Matt. 23:33)CEV|KJ|NI; (John 8:44)CEV|KJ|NI The first human ancestors fell to the position where they no longer had any connection to God’s lineage. Accordingly, the ultimate purpose of God’s providence of restoration is to transform fallen people, who have no connection to God’s lineage, into children born of God’s direct lineage. Let us look further at the Bible for evidence of this hidden purpose behind God’s providence.
Adam’s family, whose members committed the Fall and the first murder, was bereft of any relationship with God. At Noah’s time, a direct relationship with God could not be restored due to the mistake of his second son, Ham. Nevertheless, because Noah had demonstrated utmost devotion, his family could stand in an indirect relationship with God, as a servant of servants.232(Gen. 9:25)CEV|KJ|NI This was the nature of humankind’s relationship with God attainable prior to the Old Testament Age.
Abraham, the father of faith, with his family established the family foundation for the Messiah. They and their descendants, God’s chosen people, were elevated to the position of God’s servants.233(Lev. 25:55)CEV|KJ|NI This was the nature of humankind’s relationship with God attainable in the Old Testament Age.
In the days of Jesus, the disciples, who stood upon the foundation of faith Jesus had laid from the position of John the Baptist, were elevated from the position of servants to the position of adopted children. To rise further from this state and become the children of God’s direct lineage, they should have first established the foundation of substance and the foundation for the Messiah by serving and obeying Jesus absolutely. Had Jesus stood as the Messiah upon that foundation, they could have been engrafted with him both spiritually and physically and attained complete oneness with him.
Jesus is the only Son of God, sinless and born of His direct lineage. He is the true olive tree who came to engraft all fallen people, the wild olive trees, with himself.234(Rom. 11:17)CEV|KJ|NI By thus joining them in oneness with himself, he was to cleanse them of the original sin and restore them as children born of God’s lineage. This is the work of rebirth, which was to have been conducted by Jesus and his Bride.235(cf. Christology 4)
Unfortunately, even Jesus’ own disciples lost faith, and Jesus died on the cross without having ascended from the position of John the Baptist or commenced the duties proper to the Messiah. After his resurrection, Jesus began his spiritual course. He laid the spiritual foundation of faith through the forty days from his resurrection to his ascension – a period for the separation of Satan – while standing in the position of spiritual John the Baptist. His disciples repented and returned to serve him with faith; thus, Jesus and his disciples established the spiritual foundation of substance and the spiritual foundation for the Messiah. Upon this foundation, Jesus stands as the spiritual Messiah and has been engrafting his faithful followers with himself – though only spiritually. As a result, faithful Christians have been elevated to become God’s spiritual children. This has been the nature of humankind’s relationship with God attainable from the time of Jesus until today.
In this spiritual providence of restoration, the spirit world has been restored first, just as in the order of creation God made the spirit world first. Humanity has been elevated to stand as God’s object partners, but only spiritually. However devout a Christian may be, since the original sin passed down through the flesh has not yet been removed, he is no different from a faithful person of the Old Testament Age in the sense that both are still bound to Satan’s lineage.236(cf. Messiah 1.4) Christians are, at best, God’s adopted children, because they do not stem from His lineage. This explains why St. Paul lamented, “we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons.”237(Rom. 8:23)CEV|KJ|NI
Christ will return and restore all humanity to be God’s true children. He will return in the flesh and be born on the earth, as at his First Coming. He will restore through indemnity the course of his First Coming by walking it again. As was explained above, the returning Christ will conduct the dispensation to start based on the Word and then complete the foundation for the Messiah both spiritually and physically. Upon that foundation, he will engraft all humanity with himself, cleansing them of the original sin and restoring them to be God’s children, born of His lineage.
At the First Coming, Jesus laid a family foundation by choosing twelve disciples and appointing three of the twelve as his chief disciples. In this, he intended to restore through indemnity the position of Jacob, who had been the central figure for the family foundation for the Messiah. By raising up seventy followers, Jesus then expanded the scope of his foundation to the clan level. In the same manner, Christ at the Second Advent will begin by laying, both spiritually and physically, the family foundation for the Messiah. He will then expand its scope to the clan, society, nation, world and cosmos. When this foundation is secure, he will finally be able to build the Kingdom of Heaven.
God’s purpose in raising up the people of the First Israel was to prepare the foundation for Jesus, that he might accomplish the goal of building the Kingdom of Heaven when he came. When they turned against him, God elected the Christians to be the Second Israel. Similarly, God’s purpose in raising up Christianity was to prepare the foundation for Christ at the Second Advent to achieve the goal of building the Kingdom of Heaven. If the Christian world should likewise turn against him, God will be left with no alternative but to forsake them and elect a Third Israel. Therefore, although Christians in the Last Days may enjoy great blessings, in fact, like the Jewish people of Jesus’ day, their situation is extremely precarious. They are liable to fall into disgrace and great misfortune.
First, Jesus’ course instructs us about God’s predestination of His Will. God predestines absolutely that His Will be accomplished and then works unceasingly until it is fulfilled. When John the Baptist failed his mission, Jesus tried to accomplish God’s Will at any cost, even to the extent of taking on John’s responsibility. When disbelief on the part of the Jewish people frustrated his attempts to build the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus still remained absolute in his determination and promised to fulfill the Will at his return.
Next, Jesus’ course demonstrates that God’s predestination concerning the manner in which His Will is to be accomplished through an individual or a nation is conditional, not absolute. That is to say, although God may have chosen a certain individual or nation to accomplish a purpose in the providence of restoration, if he fails to complete his responsibility, God will surely choose another person or nation to continue His work. Jesus chose John the Baptist to be his chief disciple, but when he failed to complete his responsibility, Jesus chose Peter to replace him. Jesus chose Judas Iscariot to be one of his twelve disciples, but when Judas failed, Matthias was chosen to take his place.238(Acts 1:25)CEV|KJ|NI Similarly, God chose the Jewish people to accomplish the central responsibility in His providence of restoration, but when they failed, their mission passed to the Gentiles.239(Acts 13:46)CEV|KJ|NI; (Matt. 21:33-43)CEV|KJ|NI These instances illustrate that when God chooses a person or a nation to accomplish His Will, He never predestines in absolute terms whether that person or nation will, in fact, accomplish the Will.
Jesus’ course also demonstrates that God does not interfere with a person’s efforts to fulfill his portion of responsibility, but treats him according to the results of his actions. God must have known that John the Baptist and Judas Iscariot were losing their faith. He certainly had the power to stop them from sinning. Yet God did not interfere at all in their faith, but dealt with them only based on the results of their deeds.
Finally, Jesus’ course shows that the greater a person’s mission, the greater the test he will confront. Jesus came as the second Adam. To complete his mission, he had to restore through indemnity the position Adam had occupied prior to the Fall. Since Adam became faithless and forsook God, Jesus had to restore Adam’s mistake by enduring when God forsook him, all the while showing unchanging faith. Therefore, Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness and forsaken by God on the cross.240(Matt. 27:46)CEV|KJ|NI