Jesus’ Standard of Goodness
Sun Myung Moon
Our first step in becoming the true sons and daughters of God is to comprehend clearly God’s view of good and evil. What is goodness and what is evil?
The eternal standard of good and evil is defined by God. The sharp definition of good and evil existed at the time of His creation, long before evil ever came into being in the Garden of Eden. God’s view of good and evil will never change. God is eternal, His law is eternal, and His definition is eternal and unchanging despite the passage of time.
It is common to look upon human self-centeredness as the basis of evil. Let us examine this perception. All of our human traits originate in God. We recognize that there is some human tendency for selfishness. This is natural because at one time God Himself was self-centered. This fact may surprise you, but you must understand that before God created human beings and the universe, He was all alone, with no one to care for except Himself. However, the very instant that God initiated creation, His full concept of life emerged. God now lives for His counterpart — not for Himself.
What is creation? Creation means nothing more than the Creator, God, projecting Himself into a substantial form. He made Himself incarnate symbolically in the universe, and He made himself incarnate directly in man and woman. When God takes form, this is creation. God invested Himself in the creation. God’s investment of energy, idea and love is the creation.
The Bible in the book of Genesis makes creation sound simple and easy. Genesis gives us the impression that God’s creation is accomplished through some magic of His words. God simply says, “Let there be a world,” and presto! — the world comes into being. Then He says, “Let there be man,” and poof — Adam and Eve come into being.
But now it has been revealed that it was not this easy at all. God invested all of Himself in His creation. He did not reserve even one ounce of power. Creation was His total labor, His total effort of giving all of Himself When God put His entire heart and soul into the creation of His object, He was investing 100 percent of Himself Only in this way could He create His second self, the visible God.
Therefore, after His creation God was no longer existing just for Himself. God began existing for His son and daughter, Adam and Eve. He exists to love, He exists to give. God is the totally unselfish existence. God can no longer exist alone. “Love” and “ideal” only take on meaning when partners are in a complementary relationship. God initiated creation and made an investment He cannot lose. When God poured all of His love, life, and ideal into His second self, He had to, in a sense, realize a profit. God knew that when He invested all He had — 100 percent — His object would mature and return to Him many, many times over the fruits of His love, life, and ideal. His object, man and woman, is everything to God. The life of the object attracts God. God wants to go and dwell with His object on earth.
Let us look at an illustration. Suppose there is a great artist. If she works at random without feeling, she cannot create anything worthwhile. To create the masterpiece of her lifetime, the artist must put all of her heart and soul into her creation. That is the only way for her to come up with a great work of art. If an artist works in this way, her art becomes her life.
God is the greatest of all artists. When He created His masterpiece, man and woman, He poured His heart into the process. He poured His soul into it. He poured all of His wisdom and all of His effort into it. God wished only to exist for Adam and Eve and all humankind. He saved not a single ounce of effort when He created them. Thus, humanity has become the life of God.
God set the pattern for the universe. In the ideal existence we live for others. The subject exists for the object and the object exists for the subject. God’s definition of goodness is total giving, total service, and absolute unselfishness. We are to live our lives for others. You live for others and others live for you. God lives for human beings and we live for God. The husband lives for his wife and the wife lives for her husband. This is goodness. And here unity, harmony, and prosperity abound.
I want you to know that love is the most holy and supreme impulse. If you can lay down your life for the sake of your spouse, you are the greatest lover. Likewise, those parents who give their lives for their children have the highest love.
We must learn the lessons of love from nature. The holiest people have always been on intimate terms with nature. You should naturally want to go out every day and look at the sky and the birds and the animals in order to perceive new lessons in love. Your home must be one of love, not only for your family but also for the things of nature. All the creatures, including the insects, will want to become a part of your “love orchestra.” You will have plants, animals, flowers and insects dwelling together in love.
The universe welcomes those men and women who consider love the supreme value. Does anyone here think I am wrong in saying this? Love is almighty; it is greater than life itself. There are no adjectives large enough to describe love. It is absolute, it is unchanging, it is beautiful, it is sweet; yet none of these words encompass love. Throughout the history of literature and poetry, what is more praised love or life? Or maybe power and money are the focus of poetry? No, love is most praised. The reason is very simple, yet perhaps most poets don’t fully understand.
You were not born for your own sake but for the sake of others. As long as your terminology is “we” and “us” the universe supports you, but as soon as you think in terms of “I” and “me” the universe will turn against you. Eventually you will be expelled from this universe. Can you complain against this rule?
This is the beauty of marriage — it pushes people to think always of themselves in terms of another. Likewise living in a family requires us to think in terms of “we” — the children think of their parents, the parents think of the children, each child thinks of the other brothers and sisters.
Would you, as a man, be disturbed if I said that you were created for a woman? Perhaps, some of you are proud of your masculinity and would not want to hear this. But this is the principle of God’s creation, and you must not be sorry to hear these words. Man lives his life for this partner, not for himself.
Let us assume that you, as a woman, are a beauty queen. No matter how beautiful you are, your beauty is not for your own gratification; it is for the delight of men. We are created to live for each other. This is the very reason for our existence; we exist for others, for an object, for a counterpart. This is the principle for all human relationships in our society. Parents exist for their children, and children exist for their parents. Then both parents and children, when they give unselfishly, become united in a circular motion.
This circling motion is the motion of unity. When you give and take, the give and take action creates a circular motion. Circular motion alone can be eternal, because there you will find no end. Therefore, all of God’s creation is based on a pattern of circular movement, since He created for eternity. Even our faces are round, although there is one central vertical line. Our eyeballs are round, and there are upper and lower lips which make up a round mouth. The sun is round, the moon, the earth, and all heavenly bodies are round. They are each rotating on their own axes and revolving around the others. Everything in this universe has complementary give and take action between subject and object. Give and take action occurs between artery and vein, and thus blood circulates through the body. Human sickness is the state where the balance of give and take action is broken, and normal circulating motion is stopped. Without having this give and take action between subject and object, without abiding by this principle, nothing endures for eternity. The universe exists in continual give and take action, turning from the inner to the outer core of existence and back again. The power of the entire universe goes into the tiniest embryo and then the embryo sprouts and gives itself to the entire universe. This is the ultimate form of give and take.
Each individual is a tiny being compared with the size of the universe. However, each individual feels the need to link him or herself with the whole universe. Why do we have that need? There must be a reason for it. It is because the vast universe is truly linked with each tiny life. The universe relates itself with each embryo, each person’s origin; then each embryo expands itself to the universe. The universe comes within you; you relate with the universe, like a continually moving spiral from inside to outside. All existence that is based upon God’s principle of harmonious give and take is a good existence.
Then, what is evil? Evil is the emergence of selfishness into this world. If an individual takes off in his or her own direction, that person might say, “I just want to exist for myself. This is my universe and it exists for me to indulge myself to the utmost.” The more such a person would move, the more destruction he or she would bring to the universe. If enough people followed this example, everything would be destroyed. The order and harmony of the whole world would be ruined by such a “freedom-loving” attitude. God’s principle of unselfish giving was twisted into an ungodly principle of selfish taking. The ungodly position of desiring to be served rather than to serve was thereby established.
The source of evil is Satan. He was in the position to serve God, but instead he posed as another god and subjugated man and woman for his own benefit. God is the absolute positive force in the universe. Then Satan posed as another positive force. Two positives naturally repel each other. Satan is a fallen archangel. He left his position as faithful servant to God and God’s children, and he challenged and competed with God. His motivation was selfishness. Out of his selfishness comes the origin of evil and sin.
What happened is this: Eve fell from her position as God’s first daughter, becoming the first victim of Satan and transforming herself into a creature of selfishness. Together Eve and Satan then successfully brought Adam into their selfish world. They committed sin through an illicit, unchaste love relationship. And what was the love relationship between them like? Everything should start from God. Then it goes to Adam and Eve, and then to the Archangel. But things went in a reverse way: first the Archangel, then Eve and Adam.
From the standpoint of the Archangel, both Adam and Eve were in the position of his Master. That means that the Archangel seduced Eve, the Master’s intended wife. After that shame Eve wanted to justify her sin, and she tempted Adam by having Adam commit the same sin. All of them defied God. If you were in the place of God, what would you do? Can you simply forgive them? Well, can we say that God just does things at random — without reference to law or principle? We say God is absolute, but is this in the sense that He can forgive them in a way which might be evil? We know that God is an absolute being only in the ways which are good.
God’s original intention in creating Adam and Eve, the Archangel, and the whole creation has been nullified. But God cannot cut them off and tread down upon them. God was the Master and Creator of all those people and things; thus, the sin was committed within His family. So it was natural for God to grieve over what took place. He was in shame, too. In your own family, if you commit sins, or if your mother commits a sin, would your father be honored or put to shame? Then how grieved would God have been having that kind of son and daughter and that kind of a servant? He was remorseful, grieved and angered. In light of all this we can say that God is a grieving God and an ashamed God. He is a God who has tasted the bitterness of sin. If your son or daughter is sinful, you feel that you are the sinner.
By this tragic event, God was isolated by man and woman in the Garden of Eden. This is the meaning of the Genesis account of the fall. Human history started on the wrong footing, without God. The foundation for the evil history of the human race was laid, and Satan was established as the ruler of this world. We must understand clearly what Satan did. Satan stole and destroyed the very element that God was seeking to perfect with man and woman: His love. The loving relationship between God and His children was ripped apart. Selfishness came into being at the beginning of human history, and now our world is rampant with killing, lying, and stealing. All of these actions in the evil world are motivated by selfishness.
Evil subjugates others for its own benefit, while good sacrifices itself for the benefit of others. Since the human fall, God’s work has been the restoration of original goodness. God wants to abolish the world of evil and recreate the world of goodness. We have lost our health. We have become sick people. The salvation of God is, therefore, the restoration of human beings to a healthy state once again. This world, being the kingdom of hell on earth, is a place where a savior is necessary.
When human beings consummate their life in hell on earth, upon being elevated into spirit world they can have no other destination than hell. Let me give an analogy. In the autumn beautiful apples are harvested, but if a particular apple is rotten then the farmer throws it away. There is no other place for it. Those people who end up in hell are human trash in God’s sight. One apple may have bad skin, yet be very good on the inside, while another apple may look good on the surface, yet be rotten inside and worthless. Human beings belong in the second category. There is no possibility for a fallen person who is corrupted on the inside to be easily salvaged.
Even though there may be some damage on an apple’s surface, if its seeds are intact then it still has value. However, human beings are the opposite, being intact on the outside, but rotten on the inside. After the fall human beings became rotten to the core.
God sowed the seed of goodness, but before He could gather its fruit, Satan invaded with his evil seed and harvested his evil fruit. For this reason, God must sow the seed of goodness once again. To do this job God needs certain tools. The religions of the world have served as these tools for God. Throughout history, good religions have taught God’s way of life, centered upon sacrificial love and duty. Thus Christianity may be considered the most advanced and progressive religion because it teaches this sacrificial love and duty in supreme form.
In history there are many teachings. One is that if someone mistreats you, repay him in the same way: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a death for a death. However, the most revolutionary teaching was given by the one who said, “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.” Needless to say, that was Jesus Christ.
Did Jesus make his own proclamations, or was he teaching according to someone else’s will, denying his own ego? What do you think? Jesus was not proclaiming his own message. Above him was God. Jesus’ teaching was God’s teaching; his emotional reaction to things was not his own. This means that the proclamations which Jesus made were God’s, and God can be trusted 100 percent.
Ultimately speaking, we can conclude that in this universe there is only one being you can fully trust: God; and His characteristics were manifested through Jesus Christ.
Jesus came as a savior, but his teaching was, “… the Son of man came not to be served but to serve.” (Matt. 20:28) Jesus taught that the greatest love in this universe is to give one’s life for one’s enemy. The teaching of the Bible is contrary to the common rule of our worldly society. It is exactly the opposite of the way of this self-centered world. The Bible teaches complete giving and total sacrifice. “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39) It seems almost foolish to think seriously about living this way in our evil society. But once you know God’s principle, you discover that there is actually no wisdom greater than this.
Jesus Christ’s teachings hit the very core of this fundamental truth. The more you give the more you receive. God rewards total giving with total love, and total sacrifice with total life. Giving creates room for God’s love to enter. The more room and the greater the vacuum created by your giving, the faster you will be filled by the flow of God’s love.
To be treated well you must first treat others well. You reap as you sow. Sow evil to reap evil; sow goodness to reap goodness. Your concern should be how to give, and how to give well. As for the return to you, you must trust in God. He will take care of it. We all have only one lifetime; at the end of your life, the serious question you must answer will be how well did you actually love God. The question has already been raised by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. He demanded of people that they love him more than their own spouses or children or anyone else.
Love is of all different qualities. What is the standard for loving which we must be able to meet before we are actually qualified to say to someone, “I love you”? You must know where you are in relation to that standard. Jesus’ standard of loving went beyond everything in a person’s life: loved ones and precious belongings — everything. Each person has a claim on his or her own environment, family, country and world. All of that had to be abandoned, if necessary, in order to love Jesus; this was the clear-cut standard which the Bible records.
Perhaps you think about these things and you pray with that attitude, but the true test is in how you live your life. Let us take an illustration of a good man and a bad man. Let us say there is one man who has ten friends. Day in and day out this man is unselfishly serving his ten friends. People cannot help but love this man. He can become the very best friend to ten people. Then his influence will spread to the relatives and friends of those first ten people. By giving and serving unselfishly this man becomes prosperous. He is a center of harmony and unity because he lives God’s principle. Unselfishness brings prosperity. Here is a good man.
But suppose, on the contrary, this man said to his friends, “You ten, bring everything to me; you are here to serve me.” Before he spoke this way to his friends three times, everyone would end all connection with him. Soon he would be left all alone. Isn’t that true, even in our society? It is universally true: A self-centered doctrine, a self-centered philosophy, a self-centered way of life will fling you head over heels down the tragic road of self-destruction. But if you will live your life in service to others, you will find prosperity. It may seem that such a route would lead you to ruin, but it will not. The only reason it may not always bring prosperity to you is because you do not give to the very end. In the middle you suddenly become skeptical. You change your heart or pity yourself and thus shrink from God’s law of total giving. The good result never materializes. Total giving is the way of prosperity because it is the way of God.
If any individual sacrifices himself or herself for another individual, that individual becomes a hero to others. If one family is sacrificial for the well-being of another family, then that family becomes a heroic family among all families. Peoples and nations who sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others become champions of nations. A man who gives his life for his parents is a pious son. A man who gives his life for his nation is a patriot. And a man who gives his life for all humankind is a saint.
It is not God’s way to have the individual going in one direction, the family going another way, and the nation and world going yet another. The true way of life starts with the individual but then continues through to the universal level. We have to go through several stages, including the spiritual world. There is always a test to pass at each level before you can advance further. Who is testing you? It is not God but Satan and the satanic world who test you. Satan is in the position of prosecutor while God is in the position of judge and you are the defendant. Jesus Christ is your advocate. There is a court of judgment on every level of your advancement and finally God, the universal sovereign, has His own court. No one can escape from defending him or herself there.
Christians preach about loving one’s enemies, but Jesus also said to love your neighbor. Who is a Christian’s near neighbor? Certainly it is another Christian. But are they doing it? Do Catholics love Mormons? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses love Methodists? It doesn’t matter who calls us heretics; whoever practices this principle of loving one’s enemy is closer to God and is the orthodox Christian. That is my belief Love can unite. If Christians practice love then we can unite with Christians and the Christians can unite all the religions of the world.
Are Moonies heretics or not? How do you know? If you tell the Christians of the world what Unification Church is about, they may say you are a heretic. The important thing is to inherit the true tradition and spirit of Christianity, however, and as long as we inherit that doctrine and practice it, we are the most orthodox.
Even though Christians themselves have violated many of God’s laws they still judge others, calling them heretics or antichrists. Some Christians insist that the Unification Church is false and heretical, but are they qualified to pass judgment? Did God give them that authority? If Christians are only concerned about their own church denomination, they shall be judged by the people who live beyond the circumference of their own religion, the people who totally dedicate themselves for the sake of God.
Jesus Christ proclaimed this very truth. He strove for the fulfillment of God’s truth on earth. He came not to satisfy his nation’s selfish purpose, but to achieve salvation for the entire world.
God intended the chosen nation of Israel to serve as the prepared instrument of the Messiah for his mission of world salvation. The nation of Israel did not know this. Some people conceived of the coming Messiah as a military leader who would restore the political empire of King David for the glory of the Jews. How wrong they were!
We may think that God is interested in just one particular family or nation. Up to the present moment, when the usual Christian prays hard, leading a godly life, he or she is working for individual salvation, or at most the salvation of his or her family. We are used to doing that much, but not beyond that. We have not realized that if we really struggle to set up a nation under God’s truth, our families and we ourselves will be included in that scope. By setting eyes on broader things, those smaller areas are already saved or included. Today Christianity is declining, and that is the cause. And if Christianity as a whole declines, even the family and the individual will be lost. Many Christians believe that when the Lord comes the second time, he will be here just for themselves and their own family. Does any Christian realize that when the Lord comes again he will establish a whole nation of God’s choice, as a base from which he will restore the world? Is there any single Christian in the whole world who strongly believes that when Christ comes again there must be a national foundation established for him to work on? If you are asked what would you want to save, you should immediately answer, not yourself, but at least a nation. Because you know that, if you could save a whole nation, your family would be included there and so would you. So you and your family would also be saved.
If you recall, in the days of Jesus Christ the same was true. Some people of that time thought that God had prepared 4,000 years of history to send Jesus to the Jewish people in order to save that nation. They thought and desired that when Jesus came, he would take revenge on their enemies. They would be the leading nation of the world and all others would come to their knees in front of them. But, if you were in God’s position, would you want to save the whole world, save one nation or just one individual? The answer is clear.
Now, why has Christianity spread all over the world? Because Jesus’ sacrificial spirit is the mind of the providence, and that is the basic spirit of God’s providence — that is, to make yourself a sacrifice for other people. Christianity has received much persecution, but the more it received persecution, the more it prospered. Jesus did not leave any ideology like Marxism, but by the spirit alone he made such great effects in the world. That is done not only by Jesus, but by God’s providence and by the cooperation and the will of God Himself. Therefore, the most important thing is: one nation that sacrifices all things for the whole world and all humankind. From that nation will come out a system developed from Jesus himself. The future ideal world will be developed. That nation is sacrificing itself and its sovereignty for the benefit of the whole world. There is no such nation on the earth.
The United States is far away from this position. The individual and individualism are good, but America and Westerners put too much stress on these two things. As a result, they have lost their nation, their people, their family, their parents, and even themselves. They are like hawks and blow where the wind blows.
God’s ultimate purpose is not the salvation of any particular individual, church, or nation. God’s purpose is to save the whole world. Therefore, the true church would give itself as a sacrifice for the benefit of the world. God sacrificed His son Jesus Christ to save humanity; God’s only begotten son was killed as a sacrifice to save humanity. Would it be right or wrong if it were necessary to sacrifice the Unification Church to save America and the rest of the world? People of the world are dying and desperately suffering. If they are your brothers and sisters then you have to reach them and cry out for them. True Christians must be willing to sacrifice their own lives for the salvation of the world and all humankind. However, much Christian teaching today is self-centered. Many Christians are seeking their own personal salvation; they are crying out for “my salvation” and “my heaven.” This is contrary to God’s truth and contrary to God’s ideal. We must steadfastly give, love, sacrifice, and live for the sake of others.
Can we find such a nation on this earth? There is no such nation sacrificing itself. Therefore, religion must sacrifice itself. Religion must sacrifice itself for a nation, and that nation must sacrifice itself for the sake of the world. And the world must sacrifice itself for the sake of God. That way God’s ideal of one world can be reached. If this religion is in America, then it must sacrifice all that it has to save America. That religion should not fight to multiply its churches but should work to save the nation, sacrificing its own churches. If it works with such spirit, then that nation will come to that religion and eventually unite with it. And when this religion unites with its nation, they must go forward to save the whole world, sacrificing themselves. Therefore, without sacrifice, God’s will cannot be realized.
We are in the position to have to liberate God’s heart, which has been very grievous over the human fall. Due to the fall, His happiness has been under bondage, so we have to liberate Him and release Him from grief, relieve Him. Without knowing this fact, Christians or members of any other religion have been asking God to liberate them and do this and that for them without having the notion of our having to liberate God instead.
The Unification Church was created on this earth with that mission, to liberate God’s heart. The most important question or problem is how to relieve His heart by restoring ourselves on the individual level, family level, nationwide level, and worldwide level. What God wants is not the world as it is, not Christianity as it is. He wants the world and Christianity and His people to liberate His heart, knowing the fact that His heart is bound in grief, or by sorrow. How many Christians have there been who thought of that? Has there ever been such a nation of God’s choice where people have been thinking of liberating God’s heart from sorrow?
We must all work for the ideal way of life. I exist for my family, my family exists for our society, our society exists for our nation, our nation exists for the world, all the world exists for God, and God exists for you and me, for all humankind. In this great circle of give and take there is harmony, there is unity, and there is an eternal process of increasing prosperity. Furthermore, since in this circuit all existence will fulfill its purpose of creation, there is abundant and profound joy. This is the kingdom of heaven, in which feelings of happiness overflow.
In our world, selfishness ruins everything. Selfishness in the family causes disharmony, which then erupts into bitterness and strife. Everyone wants to be served instead of serving others. Wives tell their husbands what to do and then seek to be served. Husbands want to be served by their wives. Parents expect service from their children and the children take their parents for granted. This is demonstrated in our families, in our societies, and in our nations.
If human beings loved each other, they would not have wanted to be separated from each other; they would have wanted to come closer and cuddle together and talk together; wherever they went they would want to associate and go back and forth and they could not have forgotten their own language. But, if disharmony exists, if you quarrel, you don’t want to be with the opponent; you want to go this way if he wants to go that way and you would never want to eat whatever was made by your opponent. Disharmony was caused by the fall.
In this world today the nations are existing solely for their own national interests. They plot, connive, cheat, and lie. They destroy other nations for their own national benefit. Is there even one nation on earth which pledges to God, “God, you may use this nation as your sacrifice and as your altar, if that is the way you can save the world?” Tell me, where is such a nation? Where?
It is a recognized fact that when America demonstrated the spirit of service and sacrificial duty in the world, and went out of her way to help others in their need — when America gave lives, money, and a helping hand — she enjoyed a golden age. But now America has a selfish attitude. The domestic problems today are very severe. America is at a critical turning point. Today there is deepening division, increasing corruption, and more and more flagrant immorality choking this land.
I am not saying these things just to be critical of America. I am proclaiming the heavenly truth which Jesus brought 2,000 years ago.
I started the Unification Church. If the Unification Church exists solely for the benefit or the welfare of the Unification Church itself, then it is doomed to perish. I founded the Church so that I could give my life, my heart, and my soul for the advancement of the salvation of the world. I teach the members of this Church to have as their only motivation the desire to serve others, to save this nation and the world.
Not all religions are good. There are God-centered religions and Satan-centered religions. How can we distinguish between the two? We can distinguish by observing their actions. Those religions which are trying to take the stronger position and conquer the weak are the evil religions. The good religions always take the lower position and try to sacrifice and serve. A nation’s religion should inspire it to work for the sake of the world, not for itself alone. A good religion tries to promote the spirit of service throughout the world.
Jesus did not teach his disciples laws of retaliation. He told them, “… if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;… and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Matt. 5:39, 41) You never have to retaliate; all you have to do is completely and totally give, and then God will return to you more and more abundantly.
The greatest puzzle in history is how the name of Jesus, that unknown, uneducated son of a carpenter, became known in every household in the last 2,000 years. Jesus was not well-accepted during his lifetime. He didn’t have any formal education and he looked very humble and shabby. He collected friends like fishermen from around the Sea of Galilee and tax collectors and harlots. When Jesus went from village to village with such people, saying shocking and unheard of things, the people thought he was crazy and dangerous. He was finally crucified on the cross.
How could the name of such a man become universally known in 2,000 years? Jesus lived according to God’s formula. He is a universal man in this respect and this is what sets him apart. He was totally and absolutely a public person who embraced the universe. That is precisely how God has been living through all of history. The philosophies of God and Jesus were absolutely parallel, and after Jesus’ death God raised his name up universally.
When Jesus was crucified, Roman soldiers pierced him. And Jesus prayed for his enemies: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Even at the moment of death on the cross, Jesus was so earnest in forgiving. His very last act was motivated by his love for his enemies. His compassionate mind could embrace not only his own people but also his people’s own enemies. He was the supreme form of giving — a paragon of love. He was not just praying for that one Roman soldier who was piercing his side; he was praying for the forgiveness of the entire Roman Empire. He came with a universal, international mission, not for just one soul or one group. Today many Christians are looking for “my Heaven, my little cubbyhole upstairs,” but that is not the way god sees it. Either you win the whole world or nothing can be won.
Those who sacrifice themselves for the sake of all humanity can be called true men and women. Jesus was the man who sacrificed himself for humanity. Jesus was the first one who was awakened to the fact that he had to die for the sake of God, God’s nation and all of God’s peoples. Therefore, people admire Jesus, and God loves him. Both God’s love and true human love were revealed through Jesus. A new world made its start through Jesus. The example of Jesus Christ is the absolute standard for all humankind. Just imagine an entire nation composed of Jesus — like men and women. What would you call it? The Kingdom of Heaven on earth — it could be nothing less.
Jesus Christ was Lord over all life because of his unparalleled form of loving, giving, and sacrifice. He will remain Lord forever. In the same way, no one in this universe surpasses the total giving and loving of God. So God is God forever. He reigns over all creation.
Look at the decline of Rome. The entire Roman Empire collapsed in front of the army with no weapons, the army of Jesus Christ. By what means did the Christians conquer Rome? They conquered by love, sacrifice, and total giving, up to the cost of their very lives. History is witness that no empire can withstand the army of sacrificial love. And this history shall be repeated.
Humanity has not known clearly the definition of good and evil. We could not be certain where to commit ourselves, when to act, what to serve. This has been the source of the greatest confusion in human lives. We must not become the Christians who merely crave their own wellbeing. As Christians, we must live the life of Jesus and give ourselves totally for the benefit of others, so that others might have life. This is God’s way.
This present world is evoking the wrath of God. It truly deserves His uncompromising judgment. But God is love, and He is long-suffering. God is suppressing His anger because He wants to save us. He is giving us a chance to change. He is waiting.
I know that Western culture is characterized by individualism. I tell you, selfish individualism is doomed. Sacrificial individualism will blossom. Individuality in itself is good. God gave each one of us a unique way to serve. But individualism without God can only build castles on the sands of decay.
I can see a great change, a great new surge of revolution coming to America — not by fire, not by bullets, but by God’s truth kindling a revolution of the human heart. I have come here to ignite this spiritual revolution. The ultimate answer is not demonstrations or legal battles. The answer lies in the hearts of men and women, in the quiet revolution from selfishness to unselfishness.
Can you imagine how wonderful the ideal society will be? Individuals will belong to their families, the family will belong to the society, the society will belong to the nation, the nation will belong to the world, the world will belong to God, and God will belong to you. The person who gives the most will know God most deeply.
Some people might say to me, “Rev. Moon, you have some interesting theories, but their theological content must be examined more closely.” But that is based upon a misunderstanding of me. I am speaking not from theory but from life. I am telling you that we are all here to live the truth, as Jesus lived the truth. This is not a theory, a philosophy, or a theological doctrine. It is the ultimate truth of God — not to be talked about, but to be lived.
When a people make this truth come alive, it is going to bring about a complete change upon the face of the earth. Although in one sense you know the truth of the things I have been saying, still nobody truly believes them. Since nobody believes the truth, nobody ever lives it. This truth is as old as God, yet as new as the 21st century. You must live the truth. If the revelation of the Unification Principle has made this age-old truth real in your heart, then you have in effect discovered a new truth. The Unification teaching is touching the hearts of millions of people, showing them the way to our very real God and Jesus Christ. People throughout the world are learning that God is absolute and perfect, and that the perfect God demands perfect human beings as His objects. Jesus said, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) He is clearly indicating that our standard of value is the perfection of our heavenly Father. Otherwise we cannot be God’s objects and God cannot accept us.
All of us want to be perfect. All of us want heaven on earth, but we ask, “How can it be done?” We wonder if it is at all possible for human beings to be perfect. Some contend, with apparent justification, that all one has to do is merely look at the human race to see the gross error of such an aspiration. We point to the sin and suffering inherent in all things, even in the things that are most holy. We say, “Only God is perfect.” However, when we fully comprehend the design for men and women in God’s concept of creation, we will understand that perfection is within our grasp.
In God’s ideal of creation we were designed as temples of God, temples of the spirit of God, where God is master. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?” (I Cor. 3:16)
We were designed to be God’s temples. When we attain this status, we shall cease to possess a will that is corruptible. Boundaries and laws will no longer be necessary, for His will is our will. With His spirit dwelling in us completely we shall move only as He guides us. We shall then be perfect because the force that is guiding and directing us is the perfect force.
When we achieve this ultimate goal we are in perfect union with God. We are no longer living on the human level alone, but on the divine level. We take on God’s qualities because the Spirit dwells in and possesses us as a perfect temple; we reflect God’s virtue and power. Thus we can be as perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. This was the original pattern which God intended for humankind through Adam and Eve.
Marriage is the most important means of establishing God’s kingdom on earth. Adam and Eve were God’s first children. They were born of God, grew up in God, and were to have matured into perfection in God. God intended to make Adam and Eve one in heavenly matrimony. Then they would have borne sinless children and become the true mother and father for all humankind. They would have been the “True Parents,” establishing the Heavenly Kingdom on earth.
Has such a kingdom ever existed? No. Instead, history started off in the wrong direction. From the first evil step, Satan has been the god of this world. It has, therefore, been God’s purpose of restoration, His purpose of salvation, to restore the perfected family so that He can truly have His kingdom upon the earth. For this God needs a model. Who can set the criteria of perfection on this earth? To meet this need, the Messiah comes.
The history of God’s providence is a sad, sad story. To comfort the heart of God and fulfill His work, we must clearly understand His process of restoration, and the poverty of the human response to God, especially at the time of Christ.
Jesus came to this earth to be the true, everlasting father of humankind. That’s why he said true believers would deny their false parents, false society and false relationships — to come to their true father. The essence of Christianity is the tradition of true love. But while he was doing this important mission, Jesus was crucified. There was no chance for the tradition of true love to blossom fully in Jesus’ time, and Jesus was not installed as everlasting father before his crucifixion.
When God created humankind, He placed Adam and Eve, man and woman, in the Garden of Eden. They both united with Satan and became sinful, thereby leaving God isolated. In the process of restoration, God must restore both Adam and Eve. Jesus came as the sinless Adam, or perfected Adam. He came as Messiah, as the model of perfection upon every level: The individual, family, tribal, national, and world-wide levels. He came to establish a perfect world in his lifetime, not over a period of centuries. This is why I Cor. 15:45 says Jesus is the “last Adam,” the second Adam. His first mission was, therefore, to restore his bride and form the first family of God. All fallen generations would have been grafted onto him as the true olive tree. God-centered families, tribes, and nations would thus have been restored. Perfection would have reigned. The sinless state of God’s kingdom could have been a reality for the last 2,000 years.
What sets Jesus apart from all other religious leaders? First, he said, he was the only begotten son of God, and therefore, that he possessed the entire love of God. When you have your first child, he or she is the center of a tremendous outflow of your love. If human beings feel such ecstatic joy with their first child, what about God? Because God sees His own image in his first son and through him can manifest His image to the entire world, you know how critical that person is. What should that son do? Does God need only a son? God knew ahead of time that He needed a pair, which would include a daughter. We have to talk about God’s daughter, especially here in America! God will be more accepted in this country when we talk about His only begotten daughter as well.
A son living by himself would be like a person with one foot. Jesus knew that God was looking forward to having His only begotten daughter, so Jesus looked forward to restoring a woman in that position. This is why a central theme in the New Testament is that of bride and bridegroom. Christians today have to settle for a rather abstract view of this marriage relationship, saying that men as well as women are in the position of bride to Jesus, and not only that but that the church is as well. What has the church as an institution to do with Jesus’ bride? Without question there is a certain symbolic meaning here, but God’s ultimate desire is to give a physical bride to His son.
How could Jesus kiss an institution? Is it true that your President is such an institution that he doesn’t know how to kiss? Are great leaders so great that they don’t need to kiss anyone? Jesus was the King of Kings; in that sense he was the greatest institution so he should remain single the rest of his life, right? No, he was human and needed a wife like all other men. Would he sit on his throne and proclaim the single way of life as the most holy, dictating it to his subjects? Such a teaching would be a crippled teaching.
Suppose Jesus had been blessed with a perfect bride. Do you think that because he was a holy man, Jesus should have kept five feet away from her all the time? Would he have kissed his bride only for the sake of some sacrifice, or because he really wanted to show his love to her? As a holy man would he have looked at his bride just from time to time and then gone away, or would he have had fervent love in his heart to pour out upon his bride? Would he have been a sinner if he had done that?
Jesus came to fulfill the will of God, and to do so he had to restore his own bride. The entire Christian world is shaken at hearing this revelation, and because of it Christians have called me a heretic. Jesus can hear all this conversation going on here on earth. Do you think he would smile at hearing me say he should have had his own bride, or do you think he remained single because he thought that was the most holy way of life? Who created men and women, and who was Jesus’ parent? God created men and women to become one, to marry and live as husband and wife. That is the holiest relationship of all in God’s creation. Genesis says that God created Adam and Eve; God never said “It is good” until after he had created both Adam and Eve. Many religions have advocated a life of celibacy. The Unification Church is saying that families, not individuals, are the building blocks of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus not only said that he was God’s only begotten son, he also denied the world. No matter how beautiful or wonderful the world seemed, it was nothing in the sight of God, so Jesus’ ministry had to begin with a denial of the world. Jesus came as the only begotten son to restore God’s only daughter and make God’s only begotten family, nation and world. Jesus truly occupied the position of central saint because he was the most direct manifestation of God.
What is God’s central theme, the one which would completely melt even His heart? God doesn’t need money or power. When Jesus came and pronounced himself as God’s only begotten son, it moved God as no other sound did before. Many righteous people had come on earth in the 4,000 years before Jesus, but if God had asked Jesus, “Do you think you are greater than Moses and Abraham and all the others?” Jesus would have replied that he was. There has never been another person who could make exception to Jesus’ claim, or even be a candidate for that position. In Jesus’ mind, being God’s son was such an absolute matter that nothing could shake it. Such a man or woman had never existed before.
Jesus reached the very center of love in the heart of God and he was always ready to receive any kind of instruction from God. No other saint has ever so closely embodied that goal. All the other saints taught a good way of life and truth, but no one was so absolute both in faith that God was their Father and in the total denial of the world as Jesus was. When he called himself the only begotten son of God, he meant that he and God were the only true existence and that he meant to change the rest of the world to become true as well. The first thing he intended to recreate was God’s daughter. Then he intended to create God’s family, society, nation and world.
The bell of such a refreshing sound had never rung before Jesus came. The sound of Jesus’ bell resounded not only around the world but through the spiritual world. That sound pierced the very mind and heart of God and they resounded and rang together. That sound shook God and made Him feel good because it was the sound of love.
Why does He need love? Because God wants to be intoxicated in the joy of love. Only love can totally intoxicate Him in earth-shaking laughter and joy. That joy would not inspire only song and dance, but much more. God wants to be melted by love to the degree that He forgets Himself and His dignity as God and can become totally like a child.
Before God sent His champion Jesus Christ, He prepared the field with the chosen nation of Israel. This was the foundation for the Messiah’s coming. The people of Israel could have perfected themselves and their nation if they had united with the coming of the Lord. The kingdom of God would have been a physical reality at that time.
Jesus’ intention was directed only at building the Kingdom of God here on earth, but practically speaking, what is the Kingdom of God? The Bible doesn’t say clearly, but the Kingdom of God Jesus was trying to build here on earth followed a simple teaching: As much as you love God your Father, that much you must love your country, your society and your own home. When that one tradition of love links every aspect of life, the Kingdom of God shall become a reality. When everyone worships one God as their common Father then no barriers will remain — no national boundaries or walls of language or denomination. Every barrier can be broken down.
If Jesus had just come to establish a new religion then he was not the Messiah. In reality Jesus couldn’t care less about religion; what he cared about was a God-centered kingdom and that kingdom cannot be built by religion. That kingdom will be built by the family. Jesus came to build the first true family so that he could bring God down to a real home where He could dwell as the sovereign, as the true Father. There is no other way God’s will could be fulfilled. There is no other way to build the Kingdom of God here on earth.
But Jesus was not accepted by his nation. Instead of welcome, he met rejection at every level. Jesus was denied the opportunity to take a bride in the position of restored Eve, and to establish the first God-centered heavenly family. Instead, he was nailed to the cross. Thus, the mission of Jesus Christ was left incomplete on earth. And this is why Jesus promised his second coming. Jesus Christ must come again to consummate the mission of the Messiah. Let me repeat: Jesus was the perfected Adam and his mission was the restoration of humankind. The crucial step was to restore his bride, Eve. Jesus was a man, one with God, but he was not God the Father. When he returns to earth he will come as a man in the position of the third Adam.
These are revelations to me from God, and I want you to understand fully the main points. God intended Adam and Eve to come together in heavenly matrimony in the Garden of Eden. Since it was not realized at that time, God intended Jesus to fulfill this marriage in his time. But it was not realized by Jesus either, because no one had faith in him as Messiah on earth.
Jesus was the second Adam. It was God’s will for him to be blessed in heavenly matrimony with the second Eve, his restored bride. God intended him to bring forth upon this earth his own sinless children. Then Jesus and his bride would have become the True Parents for humankind, and all humankind would have found life by grafting onto them. In Revelation, at the end of the Bible, it shows us clearly that the end of God’s ideal is this perfect man and perfect woman; when they rejoice, embracing in holy matrimony, this cannot be exchanged for the entire universe. Once God has achieved this high ideal as a standard, then there will be more such individuals and families coming into existence; this is what God has been working for. So this is the highest ideal of God and highest ideal of humanity. This is the deepest desire of God and also the deepest desire of humanity. Only around this one center can all people and God eternally be happy and one.
Jesus cautioned the people: “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44), because at the beginning point of human history we were born Satan’s children. By the restoration of True Parents we will be reborn as children of our heavenly Father, God. This will mean full salvation as His true children, not merely salvation as the adopted children of which St. Paul writes (Rom. 8:23).
God’s will was denied fulfillment in Jesus’ time. That is why he is coming again. In the book of Revelation, there is the prophecy of the marriage of the Lamb. This marriage banquet will in fact take place. True Parents for all humankind will be realized in our time. God will bring forth His true family upon the face of the earth. All people will be made new through the True Parents. All people will be empowered to bring sinless children into the world. This will be done when Jesus Christ reappears. The Kingdom of Heaven on earth will then begin. This will be the day of hope, the day of the coming of the Lord at the Second Advent.
This is the day when God’s original ideal will be realized for the first time. This is the day when the dwelling of God is with men and women. God will be full of joy. His own son as perfected third Adam will initiate an entirely new history upon the earth. On that day, we shall become living images of God. God will bring His kingdom to earth.
This ultimate realization of the ideal has been the hope of God as well as the hope of all humanity. I pledge to you from the bottom of my heart that the realization of all this is at hand, in the fullness of God’s time.