The Life of Jesus as Seen from God’s Will, and God’s Warning to the Present Age, the Period of the Last Days
Sun Myung Moon
20th Anniversary of the Washington Times Banquet
Washington Hilton, Washington, DC
May 21, 2002
Respected Guests from America and Abroad:
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Washington Times has a particularly gratifying meaning for me. The memory is still fresh in my mind how, in May 1982, I made the final decision to publish The Washington Times in response to Heaven’s direction. This took place while I was being unjustly tried in a New York federal court, in a prosecution motivated by both racial and religious bigotry.
At that time, Communism was sweeping the world like a giant, angry wave. Even America had no effective means to deal with it. I followed the supreme Will of Heaven, which told me that America, the final fortress of the democratic world and a Christian country representing the Second Israel, must be protected from Communism. It is also the Will of Heaven to build the ideal world of peace that God is seeking, that is, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven, through Christianity. It was certainly not my intention to set up a newspaper company just to make money. Over the years, more than a billion dollars have been invested in The Washington Times alone, but I have never regretted this nor felt enmity toward anyone. That is because this was a way to practice true love toward Heaven and humankind.
Already, more than thirty years have passed since I came to America. I have reached the age of 82, and I feel that the time is coming for me to return to my homeland. Before leaving, I would like to convey clearly to America, the nation in the realm of the Second Israel, and to all humankind a message concerning the actual situation of God and the spirit world. This is not just a message given from me as an individual. Heaven is giving its message and humankind must observe it in this age. Until now, humankind has been living in a state of ignorance about the Will of Heaven. First, humanity has not known about God and second, we have not known about the spirit world, where we all eventually must go, whether we like it or not.
Now, we have entered the last days of human history. In the spirit world, numerous religious leaders, beginning with the founders of the four great religions, have accepted the Unification Principle, which is my teaching, as the truth of the highest dimension. They have completely mobilized and are returning to the Earth to resurrect by bringing their disciples and descendants to form new, true families through the blessing of marriage.
Particularly for the sake of America, a Christian country representing the Second Israel, the four founders centering on Jesus have each chosen 120 of their historically famous disciples in order to establish a unified front. Now, through their return to Earth, they are furthering the work of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace and the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in order to bring complete peace on Earth. They are proclaiming that humankind has no future unless we practice true love, or “a life lived for the sake of others,” which is the True Parents’ philosophy. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity I have to give a commemorative address today and deliver a most valuable message to America and humanity on the topic, “The Life of Jesus as Seen from God’s Will, and God’s Warning to the Present Age, the Period of the Last Days.”
Jesus’ Love on the Cross, and Its Legacy
If we examine Jesus’ Providence of the cross, we see that Jesus, the thief on the right, the thief on the left, and Barabbas sowed the seeds of history. The principle is that what is sown will be reaped. So the first to appear were the rightwing world and the leftwing world, that is, the democratic and the Communist realms, reflecting the “right thief type” and the “left thief type.” Centering on Jesus’ cross, Islam, the “Barabbas type,” appeared next. Reflecting Barabbas, who received good fortune because of Jesus, Islam originated as a force resisting Christianity.
Having been thus sown, history entered the age in which the form of the world was bound together in four major blocs. Gamal Abdel Nasser of the Arab bloc dreamed of uniting the Islamic realm into a unified Arab state. Christianity, meanwhile, is leading a new worldwide trend proclaiming, “Let’s unite all religions.” As we observe these currents, we see that history, which was sown in tragedy, is now appearing as the fruit of good centered on God for the first time. In the Last Days, such phenomena will become even more pronounced, as that which was sown in the beginning reaches fruition in its exact original form and is harvested. It was inevitable that this would come about because of the laws of the Providence. That is, unification is accomplished in accordance with True Parents’ philosophy of true love.
If the democratic world is internal, then the Communist world is external. If the rightwing is internal, then the leftwing is external. For this reason, the Messiah who is to come has no choice but to appear upon the internal foundation of the democratic world, which respects God. He must carry out a movement that absorbs the external environment and unifies the various cultural spheres centering on the mainstream Christian cultural sphere. Such a movement is carried out at the end of history. Such a thing cannot be looked at as circumstantial. The nature of the original cause leads to such a result.
The Merit of the Thief on the Right
When Jesus was crucified, he died along with the man on his right, who was not only a thief but also a murderer. If that thief had not been there, Jesus would have lost his relationship with the Earth and humankind. Even though he himself was near death, the thief on the right defended Jesus. In human history, who took Jesus’ side? It was not Peter; it was not Jesus’ father or mother; it was not the nation of Israel and it was not Judaism. It was only one person: the thief on the right. One individual alone maintained this relationship. While facing death, he transcended death and placed all his hopes on Jesus. That was none other than the thief on the right. You need to know that were it not for the thief on the right, Jesus would not have been able to resurrect and resume his providence on Earth.
As Jesus was bringing to a conclusion four thousand years of history and the more than thirty years of his own life, there was only one person who connected with Jesus and attended Jesus as the one who embodied his most fervent hopes, even as he accompanied Jesus on the path of death. That was the thief on the right. The fact that the thief on the right has this position means that he surpassed the disciples. He was superior to Peter.
This is so because although he did not know Jesus’ teachings, his nature directed and empowered him to attend Jesus at the moment of death, until he breathed his last. Peter, John and the others of the twelve disciples, by contrast, knew Jesus’ teachings and even pledged to become new persons, but ultimately were not able to achieve it. You have to know that, for this reason, the thief on the right became a central character in human history, a man who represented the Earth and salvaged the future.
We need the right to inherit this history. We must inherit the tradition and foundation of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and beyond, and represent the historical sacrificial offering. Only then can we confront Satan, shouting, “In the course of history, you lost to Noah; you lost to Jacob; and were you subjugated by Moses! I stand on the foundation of all their victories and have inherited the entire tradition of providential history. So be gone, Satan!” Only then will Satan retreat.
If you simply pray, “Be gone, Satan,” it will avail you nothing. Do you think that Satan, who has been accusing people for six thousand years and has trampled upon God’s providence and devastated the providence of restoration, is going to retreat just because you say he should do so and you believe in Jesus? Certainly not. You need the ability to say, “I am without a doubt a person for whom God has sought through His historical heart. I am a person who has been grafted onto the sacred and holy body of Jesus.” Your name must be recorded on the book of inheritance that Jesus received from God. God’s book of inheritance records those who inherited God’s heart experienced through the four thousand years until He could send Jesus to this Earth. Then, instead of defeating Satan on the cross, you must be able to subjugate Satan and be victorious over him without being hung on the cross. You must take on a body of flesh and be resurrected in substantial form. Only those who are thus recognized as substantial inheritors can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus’ Death Gave Christianity Only a Spiritual Foundation
Until now, Christianity has not been able to pursue the Kingdom of Heaven both on Earth and in the spirit. Christianity has had no choice but to yield the physical world, attending Jesus as the spiritual Messiah and setting spiritual salvation and a spiritual Kingdom as its goals. The people of Israel had a nation and possessed national authority as the chosen people, but worldwide Christianity today is in the position of the second Israel only as a spiritual nation; it has no national authority. Christians have no country. We stand in the realm of the second Israel with only a spiritual foundation, not a physical foundation. Because Christianity was not able to accomplish the original Will of God, who must bring about a Kingdom on Earth that is of both spirit and flesh, there is no other way except for the Lord to come again.
I want to make one declaration to you here today. The crucifixion was not God’s victory. Instead, it was Satan’s victory. You will remember that Jesus said to those who arrested him in the Garden of Gethsemane, “this is your hour when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:53b NIV) You need to know that the cross was the place where the nation that God had prepared for four thousand years was lost, the place where the religious faith of Israel was lost, and the place where the followers of John the Baptist, the twelve disciples, the thief on the right, and everything else was lost.
You need to know that Christianity was not there on the cross. When did Christianity begin? Jesus resurrected after three days and spent forty days meeting the disciples he had lost, who had turned against him. The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, and you need to know that it was only then that Christianity began. Christians for the past two thousand years have believed in Christianity without knowing that it came into existence not by the principle of the cross, but by the principle of the resurrection. If you realize this fact, then you must repent. Because Christianity began on the foundation of Jesus’ resurrection, Christianity has been strictly spiritual.
What would have happened if Jesus had not died on the cross? In that case, the nation of Israel would have followed Jesus’ teachings, stabilized and endured. Judaism also would have remained as it was. Jesus knew that if he were to die on the cross, multitudes of people in future ages would have to follow him on the way of the cross, and that they would not be able to do so without shedding blood. Many Christians would have to suffer, and even when the Lord came again he would have to go the way of suffering. You need to know that this is the reason that Jesus had to pray as he did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christians today say that Jesus prayed for deliverance because he had a physical body and feared the pain of death. But was Jesus such a trivial Messiah? Certainly not.
What, then, did Jesus mean by saying, “It is finished,” when he committed his spirit on the cross? Jesus had come with the mission to save both spirit and flesh, but he realized that he could not completely fulfill God’s Will in a world in which there was no foundation. So, he offered himself completely in order to establish a condition for spiritual salvation and allow that providence to begin. Having completed that, in the end he said, “It is finished.”
You probably have never featured this even in your imagination. Christianity and Judaism should realize even now that the Lord, who tried to demolish Satan’s nation and do away with Satan’s kingship, and to accomplish God’s will and restore humanity, died a tragic death. When they realize this, they should repent and become one. They should become one and prepare to receive the Lord on his return.
Truth must conform to reason. The time has come for all Christians to throw off the age of blind faith and move ahead into a new age united as one, to sort out this world and bring it to salvation. You need to know that the time has come in which the term “unification” is essential.
Jesus’ Three Day Suffering Course
What does it mean that Jesus suffered pain during the three days following his death? Heaven, Earth and Hell all remained in the realm of death. For Jesus to gain authority over Heaven and Earth, he needed to encompass the depths and heights of this realm of death. For this reason, in order to pursue the connection of life and go the path that could comfort God, Jesus needed to prevail, even if it meant descending into the lowest environment such as Hell and suffering pain. Because Jesus passed through Hell, he prepared a path by which it was possible to make a new beginning toward Heaven. Though he was cast out and isolated on Earth, and finally forced to go the way of death, he was able to leave a path of hope for future generations. That is the reason Jesus had to go on his three-day course.
Jesus did not go to Hell for three days just to look around. He already knew about Hell. He needed to go there, pass judgment and pave the way to go from the world of death to the world of life. In this way, he laid a foundation of victory on Earth, which is the world of death and Hell, and established a starting point from which it is possible to reach Heaven.
Even on the Cross, Jesus Was Concerned for Heaven and Loved His Enemies
In the eyes of the religious establishment, Jesus was a heretic, and in the eyes of the nation, he was a destroyer of the religious law. His own clan rejected him and chased him out of his home. The group surrounding John the Baptist rejected him. So he went into the wilderness, but there Satan pursued him. That was not all. Eventually, the entire country mobilized to force him to go the way of death on the cross, the path of Golgotha.
Jesus, though, shed tears for the nation that was rejecting him as a traitor. The Jewish establishment treated Jesus as a heretic, but he shed more blood and tears for them than did any priest. Not a single person of that age would stand on his side, but Jesus was a friend of that age. He was rejected as a traitor, but he was the greatest patriot. He was rejected as a heretic, but he was the most faithful believer.
Jesus walked a wretched path, the path of the cross, where people ripped his clothing, drove him on, and forced him to the ground. That was not all. Evil men whipped and beat him. In this situation, if Jesus had been like Elijah, he might have said to the people, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left.” (1 Kings 18:22) But when Jesus left his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane and went to pray, he said, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Luke 22:42) This was his greatness. He understood that his body was a sacrificial offering for the nation, a sacrificial offering for humanity and a sacrificial offering for Heaven’s Providence.
Because he understood this, Jesus, while not denying his own sorrow, was more concerned about how great a sorrow God must have felt. Jesus had appeared for the sake of the nation and he was concerned how great God’s sorrow was to see him rejected as a traitor. Jesus was the prince of Heaven, the central personage of the entire universe, and the Messiah. If he chose, he could have fallen prey to self-pity and asked why he should go the miserable way of the cross. He could have set the entire universe in motion to breathe a deep sigh of despair with him. But he understood that his position was not to sigh in despair. Instead, he even went so far as to feel apologetic toward Heaven for having been rejected.
Jesus bore the responsibility to rally the religious establishment, rally the nation, build the Kingdom of Heaven and return the world to the Father’s bosom. Yet when he was forced to abandon that mission and walk the way of the cross, he did not feel enmity toward anyone. He did not pray, “Let this cup pass from me,” out of a fear of death. Rather, he prayed this because he knew that his death would add to the grief of the nation and to God’s grief.
Jesus knew that if he died on the cross, there would be an even heavier cross remaining for the future generations of humanity. It would mean that the sorrowful history would not end. He knew that the path of Golgotha would not end with him. He knew that the path of death would not end. And he knew that if he went the way of Golgotha, those who followed him would also have to go the same way. Jesus knew that an even more difficult course lay beyond the cross.
As he was made to wear a crown of thorns, and the nails were hammered into his hands and feet, and his side was stabbed with a spear, Jesus knew that these events would have impact far beyond his own death. When he turned to Heaven and said, “It is finished,” he did not mean that the path of the cross for the world was finished. He meant that Heaven had received his heart’s tearful plea of concern over the cross. We need to know that Jesus comforted Heaven by taking upon himself all the mistakes committed by the prophets and patriots and offering himself as a living sacrifice.
And even beyond that, as he neared death Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) God had a mind to pass judgment immediately, judgment that was even greater than that of Noah’s time. But Jesus died clinging to the nation, clinging to the religious establishment and clinging to the cross. For this reason, God could not abandon humanity but held on to us. Because this bond of heart existed between Jesus, the future generations of humanity and the remaining people of Israel, God has been unable to abandon the religious organizations and people of succeeding generations who have turned against Him. Instead, He has clung to them.
Meaning of the Bread and Wine that Jesus Shared with Us
I am sure you are well aware that God, who had been carrying out His Providence of restoration for four thousand years, could not complete His Will in Heaven and on Earth simply by the Providence of having Jesus resurrect. So He established a new testament in His word, and through it He has worked His providence to bring together His will in Heaven with that on Earth and establish the promised original Garden.
If we look in the Bible, we see that Jesus said the wine and bread that he gave us were the promise and new covenant. After Jesus was on Earth, we received his flesh and blood, and these represented the life of the perfected whole that must be accomplished. At the same time, they represented the providence in its entirety.
What does the fact that we received Jesus’ blood and flesh symbolize? This is not just the flesh and blood of Jesus as one individual. In a larger sense, these signify Heaven and Earth and, in a smaller sense, they signify the core and the individual body. Also, the flesh symbolizes the truth and blood of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us all this without condition.
What has been blocked between God and human beings? Heaven’s Will should be manifested on Earth and everything on Earth ultimately should be connected to Heaven’s Will. In this way, Heaven and Earth will move toward a single goal. This is what is blocked. Jesus established a new promise before he departed, so after his death the necessity of human beings, that is, the disciples who followed Jesus, connecting the spiritual and physical worlds remained as a condition. Had Jesus not died, Heaven and Earth would have been connected through him. Because he died, Jesus came to represent the conditions in Heaven and the Holy Spirit came to represent the conditions on Earth.
Respected guests, the time now has come. Heaven’s time, for which God has been waiting six thousand years and Christians have been waiting two thousand years, has come. It is the time to build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven on an inter-religious, international and inter-organizational footing. Heaven’s fortune has finally arrived. Jesus, Peter, John and the other disciples, plus thousands and even tens of thousands of religious leaders in the spirit world are now of one mind and one body and they are descending freely to the physical world to attend True Parents. Without a doubt, the Unified Cosmic Nation of Heaven’s Will and the Kingdom of Heaven in which Heaven and Earth can be as one in eternal peace will settle on the Earth.
Now is the time for America, the Christian country representing the Second Israel, to stand in the forefront. I declare to the world that America has the responsibility to guide all the world’s people. But it must not do so with weapons; it must do this in truth and love by living for the sake of others upon the foundation of true love, true life, and true lineage.
Finally, I hope that The Washington Times, UPI, and other major media will accept this lofty command from Heaven and take up the task of educating humankind, taking a stance beyond religion and ideology. Please note that I have distributed to you a pamphlet containing messages from leaders in the spirit world. I ask that you read this carefully.