The Second Advent – Part 3
3.3 The Nation in the East is Korea
Since ancient times, the nations in the East have traditionally been considered to be the three nations of Korea, Japan and China. Among them, Japan throughout its history has worshipped the sun goddess, Amaterasu-omi-kami. Japan entered the period of the Second Advent as a fascist nation and severely persecuted Korean Christianity.74(cf. Preparation 4.3.3) China at the time of the Second Advent was a hotbed of communism and would become a communist nation. Thus, both nations belonged to Satan’s side. Korea, then, is the nation in the East where Christ will return. Let us examine from the viewpoint of the Principle the various ways in which Korea has become qualified to receive Christ at the Second Advent. As the nation to which the Messiah returns, Korea had to meet the following qualifications.
For Korea to become a nation fit to receive the Messiah, it had to fulfill a national dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan for the cosmic-level restoration of Canaan. Why was Korea given this condition of indemnity? If Christ returns to Korea, the Korean people are destined to become the Third Israel. In the Old Testament Age, the descendants of Abraham who upheld God’s Will and endured persecution in Egypt were the First Israel. The Christians, who were persecuted as heretics by the Jews as they honored the resurrected Jesus and carried on the providence of restoration, became the Second Israel. Christ at his return is likely to be similarly condemned as a heretic by the Christians of his time, in accordance with the prophecy that he will suffer and be rejected by his generation,75(Luke 17:25)CEV|KJ|NI as was Noah in his days. If so, God will have to abandon the Christians who are persecuting Christ, just as He abandoned the Jews who rejected Jesus.76(Matt. 7:23)CEV|KJ|NI Then the Korean people, who will attend the returning Christ and support him to complete the third chapter of God’s providence, will become the Third Israel.
The First Israel suffered four hundred years in Egypt. This was to fulfill a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan as required to set out on the national course to restore Canaan. The Second Israel had to prevail over the four hundred years of persecution in the Roman Empire to fulfill a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan, as required to commence the worldwide course for the restoration of Canaan. As the Third Israel, the Korean people had also to suffer under a nation on Satan’s side for a period which fulfills the number forty. Thereby, they could fulfill a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan as required to commence the cosmic-level course to restore Canaan. This was the forty-year period during which Korea suffered untold hardships as a colony of Japan.
Korea was an early objective of Japan’s imperialist policy. The Ulsa Treaty of Protection, concluded in 1905 by Hirohumi Ito of Japan and Wan-yong Lee of Korea,77 imposed on Korea the status of a Japanese protectorate. All of Korea’s diplomatic rights were given over to the care of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan. Japan stationed a governor-general and appointed military officials in every district to control all of Korea’s domestic affairs. In a short time, Japan had forced its will upon the Korean people, dictating their politics, diplomacy and economic affairs.
Japan forcibly annexed Korea in 1910. The Japanese committed atrocities against the Korean people, imprisoning and executing many patriots and depriving the people of their freedom. When a movement for independence broke out on March 1, 1919, the Japanese killed thousands of civilians in every part of the peninsula. At the time of the great Kanto earthquake in 1923, the Japanese made scapegoats of innocent Koreans living in Tokyo and massacred many of them. Meanwhile, many Koreans who could no longer endure Japanese oppression gave up their homes and fled to the wilderness of Manchuria in pursuit of freedom. There they endured untold hardships and gave their hearts and souls for the independence of their homeland. The Japanese military searched from village to village for these loyal Koreans. In some villages, they herded young and old alike into a building and set it on fire, burning them alive. Japan continued such tyranny right up to the day of its fall.
The Koreans who were killed in the March 1 independence movement and in the wilderness of Manchuria were predominantly Christians. Toward the end of its colonial rule, Japan embarked on a notorious policy to stamp out independent Christianity in Korea. Christians were forced to worship at Shinto shrines; those who did not comply were imprisoned or executed. When Emperor Hirohito of Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, the Korean people were finally liberated from their bondage.
The Korean people suffered for forty years, from the Ulsa Treaty of Protection of 1905 to their liberation in 1945. Their suffering paralleled the hardships of the First Israel in Egypt and the Second Israel in the Roman Empire. Korea’s independence movement was led mainly by Christians, both at home and abroad; it was the Christians who suffered the most under Japan’s tyranny.
In the Last Days, the world is divided into the democratic world and the communist world. Because he had given Adam the blessing of dominion, God had to give Satan a free rein to create through Adam’s descendants an unprincipled world. God has had to follow in pursuit, working to restore the unprincipled world to His side. When Christ returns to restore this fallen world to its original state as created by God, he will surely work to save the communist world. No doubt the nation to which he returns will play the central role in this dispensation. Korea, the nation where Christ will return, is the place most dear to God and most abhorred by Satan. It is the front line for both God and Satan, a place where the forces of democracy and the forces of communism collide. This line of confrontation is Korea’s thirty-eighth parallel, which was drawn to fulfill the providence of God.
At the point of confrontation between God and Satan, a sacrifice must be offered as the condition to determine the outcome of their struggle. The Korean people were this sacrifice, placed on this front line of battle to be offered for the sake of the restoration of the universe. Therefore, God divided the Korean nation, just as Abraham’s sacrifices were supposed to be divided. This is the reason behind the division of Korea by the thirty-eighth parallel, which split it into two nations: one Cain-type and the other Abel-type.
The thirty-eighth parallel is the front line of battle between democracy and communism. At the same time, it is the front line of battle between God and Satan. The Korean War, which raged across the thirty-eighth parallel, was not merely a civil war; it was a conflict between the democratic world and the communist world. Moreover, it was a conflict between God and Satan. Because this war had worldwide significance for the accomplishment of the providence of restoration, the armed forces of the member states of the United Nations were mobilized for the first time. Even though the participating nations may not have understood this providential significance, they were acting in line with God’s Will for the liberation of the spiritual fatherland.
At the fall of the first human ancestors, God’s side and Satan’s side parted ways from a single point. Life and death, good and evil, love and hate, happiness and sorrow, fortune and misfortune, all have divided from a single point and come into continual conflict with each other in human history. These divided realities consolidated separately into the Cain-type and Abel-type worlds, which eventually matured to form the democratic world and the communist world. When these two worlds came into global conflict, it was centered on the Korean peninsula. Religions, ideologies, political forces and economic systems all came into conflict and caused great confusion in Korean society, which then had worldwide impact. This is because phenomena which took place in the spirit world unfolded as physical reality in Korea, the central providential nation, and were magnified worldwide. This outbreak of social and ideological chaos was a clear sign that a new world order was fast approaching. As Jesus once said, “As soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.”78(Matt. 24:32)CEV|KJ|NI
When the disciples asked Jesus of the place of his return, he said, “Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered.”79(Luke 17:37)CEV|KJ|NI Eternal life and eternal death collide in Korea, the front line of the battle between God and Satan. Devils, symbolized by the eagles, gather in this land in search of the spiritually dead, while the returning Lord comes to this land in search of the people of abundant life.
To become the object partners of God’s Heart, we must first walk a path of blood, sweat and tears. Ever since human beings fell under the dominion of Satan and came to oppose God, God has been grieving with the heart of a parent who lost his children. God has labored continually in the sinful world to save immoral and wretched human beings who are nonetheless His children. Moreover, in His efforts to recover His rebellious children, time and time again God had to let the most righteous and beloved ones be sacrificed to the satanic world, even delivering Jesus, His only begotten Son, to the cross. God has been grieving in this way every day since the human Fall.80(Gen. 6:6)CEV|KJ|NI Accordingly, an individual, family or nation who is fighting the satanic world for the sake of God’s Will cannot avoid the path of blood, sweat and tears. How can we, as loyal and faithful children, be comfortable and complacent and still expect to remain the object partners of our Heavenly Father, who is suffering in deep agony?
The nation which can receive the Messiah should become the object partner of God’s Heart by demonstrating filial piety. That is why it must walk a path of blood, sweat and tears. Both the First Israel and the Second Israel walked a path of suffering. The Korean people, the Third Israel, have done likewise. Their miserable history was the path required of the chosen people of God. One can never be certain what great blessings such a path of affliction may eventually bring.
The nation qualified to stand as the object partner of God’s Heart must be a people of goodness. The Korean people, a homogeneous race with a four-thousand-year history, rarely invaded other nations. Even during the Kokuryo and Silla periods, when they boasted impressive military might, they used their forces only to thwart invaders. Considering that a fundamental nature of Satan is to aggressively encroach upon others, it is clear that the Korean people are qualified to stand on God’s side. God’s strategy is to claim victory after His side has been attacked first. Although countless prophets and saints have been sacrificed in the course of history, and even Jesus died on the cross, time and again God claimed victory in the end. Although Satan’s side was the aggressor in the First and Second World Wars, in the end victory was won by the nations on God’s side. Similarly, the Korean people have been invaded numerous times by foreign powers. God’s true intention in having them endure these tribulations was to have them stand on His side and secure the final victory.
The Korean people are by nature endowed with a religious character. Their religious inclination has led them to strive always for that which transcends physical reality and is of more profound value. From ancient times, when their culture was still primitive, the Korean people have evinced a strong desire to worship God. They did not have a high regard for religions which superstitiously deified nature or strove for happiness in temporal life. They have always revered the virtues of loyalty, filial piety and chastity. Their fondness for folk tales which express these virtues, such as “The Tale of Shim-ch’ong” and “The Tale of Ch’un-hyang,” stems from this powerful underpinning of their culture.
The Korean people have long cherished a messianic hope, nurtured by the clear testimonies of their prophets. The First Israel believed in the testimonies of its prophets81(Mal. 4:2-5)CEV|KJ|NI; (Isa. 60:1-22)CEV|KJ|NI that the Messiah would come as their king, establish the Kingdom and bring them salvation. The Second Israel was able to endure an arduous path of faith due in part to their hope in the return of Christ. Similarly, the Korean people, the Third Israel, have believed in the prophecy that the Righteous King will appear and found a glorious and everlasting kingdom in their land. Clinging to this hope, they found the strength to endure their afflictions. This messianic idea among the Korean people was revealed through the Chonggamnok, a book of prophecy written in the fourteenth century at the beginning of the Yi dynasty.
Because this prophecy foretold that a new king would emerge, the ruling class tried to suppress it. The Japanese colonial regime tried to stamp out this notion by burning the book and oppressing its believers. After Christianity became widely accepted, the idea was ridiculed as superstition. Nevertheless, this messianic hope still lives on, deeply ingrained in the soul of the Korean people. The hoped-for Righteous King foretold in the Chonggamnok has the appellation Chongdoryong (the one who comes with the true Word of God). In fact, this is a Korean prophecy of the Christ who is to return to Korea. Even before the introduction of Christianity to Korea, God had revealed through the Chonggamnok that the Messiah would come to that land. Today, scholars affirm that many passages of this book of prophecy coincide with the prophecies in the Bible.
Furthermore, among the faithful of every religion in Korea are those who have received revelations that the founders of their religions will return to Korea. We learned through our study of the progress of cultural spheres82(cf. Eschatology 4.2) that all religions are converging toward one religion. God’s desire is for Christianity of the Last Days to become this final religion which can assume the responsibility of completing the goals of the many religions in history. The returning Christ, who comes as the center of Christianity, will attain the purposes which the founders of religions strove to accomplish. Therefore, with respect to his mission, Christ at his return may be regarded as the second coming of the founder of every religion.83(cf. Ressurection 2.4) When the second comings of the founders of the various religions appear in Korea in fulfillment of the diverse revelations, they will not come as different individuals. One person, Christ at the Second Advent, will come as the fulfillment of all these revelations. The Lord whose coming has been revealed to believers in various religions, including the Maitreya Buddha in Buddhism, the True Man in Confucianism, the returning Ch’oe Su-un who founded the religion of Ch’ondogyo, and the coming of Chongdoryong in the Chonggamnok, will be none other than Christ at the Second Advent.
Finally, we witness revelations and signs being given to spiritually attuned Christians testifying to the Second Coming of Christ in Korea; they are sprouting in profusion like mushrooms after a rain. God’s promise that He will pour out His spirit upon all flesh84(Acts 2:17)CEV|KJ|NI is being fulfilled among the Korean people. As devout Christians make contact with spirits from various levels of the spirit world, from the lower realms to Paradise, many are receiving clear revelations that the Lord will come to Korea. However, the current leadership of the Korean Christian churches is fast asleep. Spiritually ignorant, they go about their ministries oblivious to these signs of the times. This is similar to what happened in Jesus’ time. The priests, rabbis and scribes, who should have been the first to recognize the birth of the Messiah, remained entirely ignorant of it because they were spiritually blind. The astrologers and shepherds who received revelations were the ones who knew of Jesus’ birth.
Jesus said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to babes.”85(Matt. 11:25)CEV|KJ|NI He was lamenting over the spiritual ignorance of the Jewish leadership of his time, while on the other hand, he was grateful that God bestowed grace upon pure and uneducated believers by revealing His providence to them. In today’s Korean Christianity, at a time parallel to Jesus’ day, similar phenomena are taking place, albeit in more complex ways. Through pure and innocent lay believers, God has been revealing many heavenly secrets concerning the Last Days. However, because they would be chastised as heretics if they were to proclaim them in public, they are keeping these truths to themselves. Meanwhile, like the priests, rabbis and scribes of Jesus’ time, many Christian clergy take pride in their knowledge of the Bible and their ability to interpret it. They take pleasure in the reverence they receive from their followers; they are content to carry on the imposing duties of their offices; yet, to God’s grief, they are entirely ignorant of God’s providence in the Last Days.
Spiritual and material civilization, built upon religion and science – the quests to overcome the two aspects of human ignorance – must be brought into harmony. Only then can we resolve the fundamental problems of human life and realize the world of God’s ideal.86(cf. Eschatology 5.1) In the world Christ comes to realize, science will be highly developed. It will be a society with the highest level of civilization, one in which all civilizations which have developed through the vertical course of providential history will be restored horizontally under the leadership of the Lord. Therefore, the spiritual and material aspects of civilization developing from religion and science, which have flourished all over the world, will be embraced and harmonized in Korea as guided by the new truth. Then they will bear fruit in the ideal world of God’s deepest desire.
First, the essences of all civilizations which developed on the land should bear fruit in Korea. The ancient continental civilizations which arose in Egypt and Mesopotamia bequeathed their fruits to the peninsular civilizations of Greece, Rome and Iberia, and thence to the island civilization of Great Britain. This island civilization passed on its culture to the United States, a continental civilization. Then the direction was reversed, with the United States passing on its culture to the island civilization of Japan. Now these fruits are to be harvested in the peninsular civilization of Korea, where Christ is to be born.
Next, the essences of civilizations born on the shores of rivers and seas should bear fruit in the Pacific civilization to which Korea belongs. The river civilizations which arose on the shores of the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers passed on their cultures to the civilizations in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea: Greece, Rome, Spain and Portugal. These bequeathed their fruits to the civilizations on the Atlantic Ocean: notably, Great Britain and the United States. All these fruits will be harvested in the civilization of the Pacific Ocean, which links together the United States, Japan and Korea.
Last, civilizations born out of different climate zones should bear fruit in Korea. In the round of the seasons, living things begin their life and multiplication in spring, flourish in summer, bear fruit in autumn, and store their reserves in winter. The cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter is repeated not only year by year, but also day by day: morning corresponds to spring, afternoon to summer, evening to autumn, and night to winter. The four phases of human life – childhood, youth, middle age, and old age – also fit this pattern. Human history, too, unfolds according to the seasons, because an aspect of God’s Principle underlying His creation is the harmonious, seasonal circle of life.
God created Adam and Eve in the springtime of human history. Accordingly, history was supposed to begin from the temperate-zone civilization of Eden. Then, in its summer season, it should have moved to a tropical civilization; in autumn, to a cool-zone civilization; and it should have reached its culmination in a frigid-zone civilization analogous to the winter season. However, due to the Fall, human beings were degraded to the level of savages. Instead of building a temperate-zone civilization, they prematurely came to live in the tropical zones as primitive men. On the continent of Africa, they built the tropic-zone civilization of Egypt. This continental civilization passed on its culture to the peninsulas and islands where cool-zone civilizations developed. They bequeathed their fruits to the frigid-zone civilization of the Soviet Union. Now this current is to culminate in the formation of the temperate-zone civilization of the new Eden. This should certainly take place in Korea, where all civilizations are to bear fruit.
Parallels between Jesus’ Day and Today
The period of the Second Advent is parallel to the time of Jesus. The situations unfolding in Christianity today are similar to those which took place in Judaism at Jesus’ time. Let us examine some of these parallels.
Today’s Christianity, like the Judaism of Jesus’ day, adheres too rigidly to institutional authority and ceremonies, while internally it is corrupt. At the time of Jesus, many priests and scribes had become enslaved to ritualism and legalism, and their spiritual life was corrupt. Therefore, Jews with sincere faith flocked to Jesus, that accused heretic, to slake their spiritual thirst. Similarly, in today’s Christianity, many leading clergymen and priests are captive to their authorities and enamored of their rituals while their spirits grow dimmer each day. Hence, devout Christians are wandering about the mountains and plains in search of the true path. They are seeking new leaders who can guide them out of this spiritual wilderness and show them the way to the inner light.
Christian leaders today, like the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day, will probably be the first to persecute Christ at the Second Advent. Jesus came to found a new era which would fulfill the words of the Old Testament proclaimed by the prophets. He did not limit himself to repeating the words of the Old Testament, but gave new words of truth fit for the new era. The Jewish priests and scribes criticized Jesus’ words and deeds based on their narrow understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures. Their mistaken judgment led them to deliver Jesus to the cross.
Similarly, the purpose of Christ at the Second Advent is to build a new heaven and a new earth87(Rev. 21:1-4)CEV|KJ|NI upon the foundation of the spiritual salvation which had been laid by Christianity in the New Testament Age. When he returns, he will not merely repeat the words of the New Testament given two thousand years ago, but will surely add new words of truth necessary for the founding of a new heaven and a new earth. However, those Christians of today whose minds are narrowly attached to the letter of the New Testament will criticize the words and deeds of Christ at his return based on their narrow understanding of the Scriptures. Therefore, it can be expected that they will brand the Lord a heretic and persecute him. This is why Jesus foretold that at the Second Advent, Christ would first suffer many things and be rejected by his generation.88(Luke 17:25)CEV|KJ|NI
When people receive revelations about Christ at the Second Advent or hear his words, they will respond in ways similar to the way the Jews in Jesus’ day responded. God did not reveal the news of the birth of Jesus to the priests and scribes, but to gentile astrologers and pure-hearted shepherds. This is like the case of a father who, due to the ignorance of his own children, has to confide in his step-child. Likewise, God may well reveal the news of the return of Christ first to lay people, to marginal spiritual groups and churches which the mainstream treats with disdain, or to conscientious non-believers. Only later may the news reach the mainstream Christian clergy who are unthinkingly keeping to their conventional ways of faith. In Jesus’ day, those who sincerely received the Gospel were not the Jewish leaders, but simple common folk and Gentiles. Likewise, at Christ’s return, simple Christians and non-Christians will accept the Lord’s words before the Christian leadership, which regards itself as God’s elect. This is the meaning of Jesus’ parable of the marriage feast. When the invited guests, the leading men of the community, declined the king’s invitation:
He said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.” And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. –Matt. 22:8-10CEV|KJ|NI
Both in Jesus’ day and at the Second Advent, many devout believers who set out on the path of faith with the hope of entering Heaven may actually find themselves in hell. In Jesus’ day, because the priests and scribes had the responsibility to guide God’s chosen people, they should have been the first to recognize that the Messiah had come and should have led the Jewish people to him. To help them fulfill their mission, Jesus took the initiative; he visited the Temple and taught them the Gospel before teaching anyone else.89(Luke 2:42-47)CEV|KJ|NIHowever, when they did not receive him, Jesus had no choice but to search the shores of Galilee and take disciples from among the fishermen there. He had to minister to the dregs of society and associate with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. Eventually, the priests and scribes persecuted him to the point where he had to accept the fate of the cross. They committed this murder, believing that they had done a righteous deed by eliminating a dangerous heretic and blasphemer. Then they continued on with their customary clerical duties for the rest of their lives, reciting the Holy Scriptures, paying their tithes, and making sacrifices at the Temple, all with the assurance that they were headed toward Heaven. Instead, after they passed on, they found themselves most unexpectedly in hell. Ironically, the very path upon which they had set out to reach Heaven had led them astray.
Recognizing that similar events may occur in the Last Days, each of us should seriously examine ourselves. Many Christians today are dashing on a path which they believe leads to Heaven. Yet if they take a wrong step, their path may actually lead them to hell. This is why Jesus once said that he will rebuke many devout believers in the Last Days, even those whose dedication is so strong that they can cast out demons and perform miracles in his name: “I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.”90(Matt. 7:23)CEV|KJ|NI
In truth, no one faces a more precarious situation than believers who live in such a transition period of history as exists today. No matter how much faith we have demonstrated in our lives, if we, like the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day, take the wrong step of turning against the returning Christ, all our efforts will have been in vain. Of these people, Daniel had said, “Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.”91(Dan. 12:10)CEV|KJ|NI
The Chaotic Profusion of Languages
and the Necessity for Their Unification
If human beings had not fallen, we would have formed one global family, which may be likened to a body whose members are all interlinked with each other with God as their head. Then all would have shared a common language; there never would have risen a profusion of tongues unintelligible to one another. The reason various languages arose and prevented free communication between peoples is that, once their vertical relationship with God was severed at the Fall, all horizontal relationships between people were also cut off. Humanity then splintered, dispersed to different geographical locations, and formed isolated communities.
There is also a biblical account giving spiritual insight into the confusion of languages. This is the story of the Tower of Babel.92(Gen. 11:1-9)CEV|KJ|NI Noah’s descendants had shared a common language. One day, the descendants of Noah’s second son Ham, who had sinned against God, built the Tower of Babel to exalt themselves even above God, thus furthering the will of Satan. When the descendants of Shem and Japheth, who stood on God’s side, helped with the construction, God brought such confusion to their languages that they could no longer communicate with each other to further the will of Satan.
As offspring of the same parents, all of us have the same feelings of joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure. Yet we cannot share our deepest feelings with one another because we speak different languages. Is not this one of humanity’s greatest misfortunes? If we are to realize the ideal world of one global family which can honor Christ at the Second Advent as our True Parent, surely our languages must be unified. As expressed in the account of the building of the Tower of Babel, chaos was brought to our languages when we exalted the will of Satan. The principle of restoration through indemnity requires that we participate in the construction of God’s tower and the glorification of God’s Will as the way to unify all languages.
Based upon which language will all languages be unified? The answer to this question is obvious. Children should learn the language of their parents. If Christ does indeed return to the land of Korea, then he will certainly use the Korean language, which will then become the mother tongue for all humanity. Eventually, all people should speak the True Parents’ language as their mother tongue. All of humanity will become one people and use one language, thus establishing one global nation under God.