The New Future of Christianity
Reverend Suin Myung Moon
September 18, 1974 -- New York, New York
Ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to
be here tonight. Thank you
very much for coming. We are gathered together in this impressive
setting of Madison Square Garden tonight in the name of God.
My topic tonight is "The New Future of
Christianity." But before I
begin this evening's message, I would like to make one personal plea.
I did not come here to repeat what you already know. I have come to
reveal something new. I want to share with you a revelation from God.
There is only one God, one Christ, one
Bible. Today, however, in the
Christian world alone there are more than 400 different denominations,
all looking at the same Bible from very different points of view, with
many different interpretations.
What we are interested in is not the human
interpretation of the
Bible, but how God interprets the Bible, and what God's will really
is. Therefore, no person by himself is capable of satisfying us. That
information must come from God, in the form of revelation.
And I want to share that revelation with
you tonight. Since this
message came from God, and since it is from God's point of view, the
content naturally may be different from human understanding.
Therefore, it may be very new to you. But what we need is new ideas --
God's ideas because man has exhausted all of his own ideas already.
That is the reason for my coming to talk to you tonight.
So I ask each one of you to open your mind
and open your heart, so
that the spirit of God can speak to you directly.
For 2,000 years, Christians of the world
have been looking forward to
one great culminating day, as prophesied in the Bible -- the day of
the Second Coming of the Lord. Since this has been the promise of God,
the Second Coming of Christ will definitely be fulfilled.
Why is the Lord coming a second time? He
is coming to consummate the
will of God. Then what is the will of God? Do we know clearly what
God's will is?
God is eternal, unchanging, and absolute.
And He has one will, which
is also eternal, unchanging, and absolute. In the beginning, God had a
definite purpose for creating the universe and this world. That
purpose was the reason for creation. And God began the creation of the
universe and man to fulfill that purpose.
According to the Bible, after the first
man and woman were created --
Adam and Eve -- God gave them a commandment. That commandment
'Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not
eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.' (Gen.
God asked them to obey His commandment.
God was implying that by Adam
and Eve's obedience to the law, His purpose would be fulfilled.
However, God made the consequence of disobedience very clear. He said,
"The day that you eat of it you shall die." The fruit of disobedience
However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The
result was the fall of man.
Spiritual death came to mankind, and the purpose of God was not
realized. The fall of man means their deviation from the original
state that God intended. Adam and Eve departed from the fulfillment of
the purpose of their creation. They made a wrong choice, creating the
opposite of what God originally intended.
After their disobedience, God had no choice
but to expel this man and
woman from the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is a symbolic
expression of the Kingdom of God on earth. Adam and Eve no longer
deserved citizenship in God's Kingdom, so they were cast out into the
ungodly realms, the living hell -- which was their own creation.
Kingdom of Heaven on earth
If Adam and Eve had obeyed God, they would
have brought the Kingdom of
Heaven on earth. What would that kingdom be like? Adam and Eve were
created sinless, with the potential for perfection. And they were to
grow into perfection by obeying the law of God. While they were
growing into fully perfected man and woman, their relationship was to
be that of brother and sister. They were expected to set the true
tradition of brotherhood and sisterhood.
What is perfection? Perfection is man's
total union with God. A man is
supposed to be the temple of God, in which the spirit of God dwells.
Such a man is divine, as God is divine; that man is holy, as God is
Jesus was the first such perfect man. This
perfection is the state
that Jesus was speaking of when he said,
'Believe me that
I am in the Father and the Father in me.'
When you become one with God, His divine
power is yours, and you shall
be perfect as God is perfect. Therefore, Jesus set as man's goal to be
perfect as God is perfect when he said,
must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is
perfect.' (Matt. 5:48)
God created one male and one female. Why?
After their reaching the
state of perfection, God wanted to bring them together into one
heavenly couple, through the blessing of heavenly matrimony. God
intended to begin His Kingdom with Adam and Eve as the first husband
If that had become a reality, then God's
blessing to be fruitful and
multiply would have been fulfilled. He would have given them the power
to multiply children of God. And those children would have been
sinless and perfect. What else could they be? Sin would never have
been introduced into the human race. By having children, Adam and Eve
would have become the God-centered True Father and Mother -- the True
Parents of mankind.
If Adam and Eve had formed this first God-centered
family, from them
would have come a God-centered tribe, a God-centered nation, and a
God-centered world ruled by God alone. Then perfection would have
reigned from the beginning to eternity.
Where did God create Adam and Eve? Up in
the air, out in space? No,
right here on earth. Therefore, the prospering of Adam's family should
have brought the realization of God's ideal here on earth, and God
would have become the center of mankind. This would have been nothing
other than the Kingdom of God on earth, in which God would have dwelt
with men and women.
If that had been accomplished in the beginning,
there would be no
great divisions of races and languages. We would all belong to the one
race of Adam under the one tradition of Adam. And Adam's one language
would be our universal tongue. And indeed, the whole world would be
one nation under God.
So, in God's plan, all men are supposed
to be born into the Kingdom of
God on earth. We are to enjoy the heavenly life on earth. And then
when our physical earthly life is over, we are to be elevated into the
Kingdom of God in the spiritual heaven, where we shall live for
eternity. That was God's original plan.
There could be no Satan, no evil, and no
hell in that world. Indeed,
God did not create hell for His own children. No good father would
construct a prison for his newborn child. Why would God need a hell
for His children? Only heaven was God's original will. Because of sin,
however, people lost their original value and became human trash. Hell
is like a trash can. But it was necessary only after the fall of man.
Kingdom of hell -- paradise lost
Then let us further examine the state of
the fallen people and the
fallen world. We read in John that Jesus says,
'You are of your father the devil.' (John 8:44)
By the fall, man was brought under the
false fatherhood of Satan. Man
changed fathers. We left our true father, God, and united with the
false father, Satan. The first man and woman became the children of
Satan. Under the false fatherhood of Satan, Adam and Eve united
unlawfully as a couple without God's blessing or permission. And when
they multiplied children, they all came under the same false father.
They were all born as the children of sin,
not the children of God.
Therefore, the multiplication of sinful children from one generation
to another has brought about this fallen, sinful world.
Because God is not at the center, this
is a world of sin, a world of
mistrust, a world of crime, a world of war. And we, the nations and
societies of this world can destroy each other and feel no pain. This
is the kingdom of hell on earth.
The master of this world, indeed, is not
God, but Satan. This is why
John 12:31 indicates that Satan is the ruler of this world. We know
this universe was created by God. We know God created us. But God is
no longer the master, because people changed masters. Man betrayed God
and united with a false master, Satan. This Satan became the father of
The fall of man has brought great grief
to the heart of our Heavenly
Father. God lost everything when His people turned against Him. That
is why we read in Genesis,
The Lord was sorry
that he had made man on the earth, and it
grieved him to his heart. (Gen. 6:6)
God was grieved because the exact opposite
of His will had become the
reality. If God's intention had been fulfilled, He would have been
joyful. If the consequences of the fall were the result of God's own
plan, why should God be grieved to His heart? Why would He have been
sorry that He had made us?
Salvation is restoration
Almighty God is a God of love, a God of
mercy. His heart is
compassionate and He grieved at the living death of His children.
He knows no person is capable of breaking
his chains and getting rid
of sin by himself. He knows that only one power can bring people into
salvation -- God Himself. And God, in His mercy, is determined to save
What is salvation? Salvation is simply
restoration. What does a doctor
do to save his patient? He restores the patient to normal health. That
is a cure. What would you do to save a drowning person? You would save
him by bringing him out of the water and restoring him to dry land.
That is a rescue.
By the same token, God's salvation of man
is simply to restore man
from an abnormal, deviated state to the original state of goodness.
So, salvation is equivalent to restoration.
God is going to restore
the kingdom of hell to the Kingdom of Heaven.
God made His determination clear in the Bible:
'I have spoken,
and I will bring it to pass; I have
purposed, and I will do it.' (Isaiah 46:11)
God did not say He might do it. He said
He will do it, showing His
absolute determination to restore man and the world to the original
How? By the Messiah. To restore mankind,
God sent His only son, Jesus
Christ, into this world as the Savior -- as the Messiah. Two thousand
years ago, Jesus Christ came into our world as the author of life. He
came to transform all sinful people into Christ-like people. He came
to restore the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Therefore, Jesus Christ proclaimed as his first gospel,
'Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (Matt: 4:17)
With the coming of Jesus Christ, people
were truly at the threshold of
the Kingdom of Heaven.
Preparation for the Messiah
However, before God could send His Son
to restore the world, He had to
prepare the way step by step, starting with one individual and
expanding to a nation, in order to establish a foundation of faith
upon which the Messiah could come.
After all, this world had been Satan's
world. If the Messiah were to
come to this earth without a prepared foundation, the satanic world
would destroy him. So God worked diligently and carefully to establish
one nation, one sovereignty over which He could have control. The
nation of Israel was the result of that preparation for the Messiah.
God prepared the nation of Israel as the
"landing site" for the
Messiah. Upon Israel's foundation of faith, God could send His
ultimate champion, the Messiah.
Likewise, Christianity today is the parallel
landing site of the
Messiah for his Second Coming. And Christians are supposed to be
forming a foundation of faith for the return of the Messiah in the
final hour of fulfillment.
Today, as never before in our troubled
world, the Messiah is our hope!
The mission of the Messiah is restoration -- to bring fallen,
suffering humanity out of this world of evil and restore man into the
original perfection and goodness of God. He is to destroy Satan's evil
sovereignty over this world and establish God's sovereignty.
Jesus Christ came as the Messiah of 2,000
years ago for this purpose
-- to restore God's Kingdom. Today we are waiting for the Second
Coming of Christ. The purpose of that Second Coming is precisely the
same -- the restoration of God's original Kingdom. That is the one
purpose and one will of God.
We Christians are today's chosen people
of God. Christians are
Christ's co-workers. So we are in a position to prepare a foundation
for the Lord, to welcome and accept him when he comes, and to
participate in his mission to destroy Satan from the face of the
earth, and bring all mankind to salvation.
But today, Christians are not sure about
the will of God. We are more
interested in our own personal salvation, our own heaven somewhere,
and the guarantee of our own little niche up there. But that is not
the way God intended Christians to be.
Where are you, my David?
God is looking for His champions among
the Christians of the world
today. And the work of God needs a sacrificial spirit. How many
Christians are now saying, "Use me as a lamb on Your altar, and out of
my sacrifice save this world"? God is seeking a self-denying spirit.
God is searching for the bearers of the cross for the 20th century.
And today's Christians are deaf to that call.
Instead, Christians today are crying out
for "my heaven," "my
salvation." What about God? What about the rest of the world? Will you
be able to keep your small piece of heaven when the rest of the world
is crumbling? No. If, on the other hand, the whole world were saved,
would your own salvation not already be included?
Today, if the Christian churches persist
in the same
individual-centered way, the spirit of Christianity is bound to
decline. Before we cry out for our salvation, let us cry out for the
fulfillment of God's will. We must liberate God from His sorrow, His
grief. When we have solved God's problem, man's problem will
automatically be solved. Then Christian fire will truly burn for the
sake of the broken heart of God, not for ourselves.
In their 2,000 years of history, Christians
had great opportunity to
bring the entire world to God. But Christians simply did not clearly
know the will of God. They did not act when opportunity knocked.
That same opportunity is knocking once
again. This time the opportu-
nity has come to America. If today's American Christians recognize the
will of God in the present day and act upon it, we can turn the world
upside down and right side up, and bring heaven down on earth. The
hour of the Second Coming of Christ is at hand, yet we are missing the
signs of the times.
Instead of continuing to ask and pray,
'Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven,' (Matt. 6:10)
we can act upon God's will now, and make
that heaven a reality right
here in New York, because we have already arrived at God's scheduled
hour of fulfillment.
Each one of us is part of the body of Christ,
so when Christ comes we
are the extensions of his living body. If each one of us is willing
and ready to nail his body to the cross in order to have our world
live, then we shall indeed turn this world into the Kingdom of Heaven.
To live and die for God and Christ -- this is the privilege of being a
Remember, God's will is to save the whole
world -- not just
Christians, not just churches. There is a universally known verse in
the Bible, which we learned as children in Sunday school:
For God so loved
the world that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The emphasis there is on the word "world."
God so loved the world, not
just the church, not just the Christians, not just one particular
people, but the whole world. For that reason -- to save this world --
the Messiah is sent.
If you asked our Lord the question, "Are
you the savior of only the
Christians?" he would answer "No! I am the savior of all mankind."
If you asked God, "Are You the God of the
Christians?" God would say,
"No! I am the God of the universe, the God of all creation, the God of
Two thousand years ago, people were awaiting
the coming of the Messi-
ah, but for very self-centered reasons. They thought that the Messiah
was coming as a sort of military conqueror to avenge them and defeat
the Roman Empire, and to reward Israel with great glory and power in
an earthly sense. And they simply missed the whole point.
On the contrary, the Messiah was coming
to Israel to lead the people
as a sacrifice to reach out to the rest of the world, to bring the
entire world into God's salvation.
God determined to restore the entire world,
and to bring all people
into goodness and perfection. If God could not do that, He would be a
defeated God. Defeated by whom? By Satan! Then God would not be God.
Imagine yourself in the position of God.
When God looks upon the
Christian world today, I do not think He is pleased. He foresees a
great battle to be fought and won. God must have a confrontation with
the formidable power of the enemy, the power of Satan, the power of
For that, God needs a modern day David
to confront this Goliath,
Satan. Do you not hear God's cry, "Where is my David? Where are you,
my David?" And God expects today's Christians to respond, "Yes, my
Lord! I am Your David. Your will be done!"
But the Christians of this world seem to
be in deep sleep. And the
handful who are awake are busy fighting among themselves. The time of
harvest has come in this cosmic autumn, but God has no workers to send
out to the fields.
Ever since the fall of man, God has been
waging a divine war against
the power of Satan. That war has not ended. The final battle is yet to
come. Christ is coming for the second time, as the commander in chief,
to wage that final battle. And that hour has arrived. Yet, alas, no
heavenly soldiers are ready. Christians are asleep.
So far, God has only been able to engage
in "guerrilla warfare"
against Satan, not total war. However, God has been preparing for one
great day, a heavenly "D-Day" -- like the D-Day of the Normandy
landing -- when God can launch an all out offensive. That day is the
day of the return of Christ. That D-Day of God is at hand! The Bible
is the record of God's patient preparation leading mankind into that
final battle. The fulfillment of the Bible is the coming of the Lord -
- the return of Christ for that D-Day.
The Bible is a coded message
What is the Bible, more precisely? The
Bible has been a book of
mystery. However, the Bible contains God's message to you and me.
The Bible does not use plain language,
but is written in symbols and
parables. Do you know why God has presented the Bible in symbols and
parables? Why did He not speak the truth clearly?
God has had to deal with the world of evil.
Throughout the ages, God
has hand picked His workers, or champions, out of this evil world.
Abraham was such a champion. Noah was such a champion.
And God's champions were always in the
utter minority in the evil
world. If God revealed His strategy too openly or plainly, the enemy
would use that information against God's champions. Thus, the Bible
was written as a coded message, so that only God's agents or champions
could decipher it.
Let me make an analogy. To protect her
security, America sends out
many agents overseas to collect vital information concerning potential
enemies. When the home headquarters is communicating with these agents
overseas, particularly in enemy territory, would they communicate
openly and plainly? No. No one would be that naive. They would
communicate in coded messages -- secret messages -- so that the enemy
could not decipher them.
Throughout history, righteous people have
faced nothing but suffering
on this earth, simply because they were in enemy territory, and Satan
did not want to have God's agents prosper. Whenever Satan's forces
discovered God's representatives, they tried to destroy them.
We must realize that God has had to give
His instructions in coded
messages. Thus the Bible is written in symbols and parables. In a
sense, the Bible is intended to be mysterious. Then how can we know
the true meaning of those symbols and parables?
It is simple, in a way. If you are an agent
dispatched by your
headquarters, and you want to decipher a coded message, then you must
either have a code book, or communicate directly with your home
By the same token, the meaning of the symbols
and parables in the
Bible can only be clear when we communicate with our "home
headquarters" -- God. This is truly the only sure way we can know the
ultimate meaning of the Bible.
Two thousand years ago our Lord Jesus Christ
brought the blueprint for
the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. However, he could not speak plainly
about his plan even to his own disciples. Jesus spoke in figures and
Jesus knew the adverse circumstances in
which he had to work. There
was political pressure from the Roman Empire. There was the ruling
monarchy, who opposed any change. And there was a strong religious
system and tradition. These could all be directed against the building
of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus came to kindle the fire of revolution
in people, which would in
due course change the structure and the life of the entire nation. But
he could not speak plainly of any of this even to his own disciples.
Instead, he had to speak in figures and parables, saying,
'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.' (Luke 14:35)
If you attempt to interpret the Bible literally,
word for word, letter
for letter, without understanding the nature of the coded message of
the Bible, you are liable to make a big mistake.
Therefore, in this day, at this hour, what
the Christian world needs
is a revelation from God. God must reveal to us His plan; He must tell
us His timetable, and give us instructions as to what to do at this
time. God indeed promised that by saying, in Amos,
'Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his
secret to his servants the prophets.' (Amos 3:7)
Tonight I am standing here at Madison Square
Garden not according to
my own will, but in obedience to the divine will of God. God has
called me as His instrument, to reveal His message for His present day
dispensation, so that there may be a people prepared for the day of
Tonight I am going to concentrate on the
divine revelation concerning
the coming of the Lord of the Second Advent -- the vital issue of the
Second Advent -- the most important question of our time. And in order
to understand this more clearly, we must first know the circumstances
of the coming of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago.
Jesus did not come to die
There is one historical puzzle that not been solved.
For 4,000 years before the coming of Jesus
Christ, God had prepared
the people for the Messiah, as I explained earlier. Through His
prophets, God had forewarned the people to be ready for the Messiah.
God was working to build up expectation, and there was indeed great
messianic fervor in Israel. And at the appointed hour, God fulfilled
His promise. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, came to his own people on
Then what happened? History is the witness
We did not know him. We
rejected him, rebelled against him, and finally crucified him on the
The Christian churches say, "Well, the
answer to that question is,
simply, God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross. The crucifixion was
the predestined will of God from the beginning."
Then let me ask those Christians, "What
will you do when Jesus Christ
returns to you today?" All Christians undoubtedly will answer, "We
will receive him! Welcome him! Unite with him! Follow him!" Let me
further ask, "Will you crucify Christ when he appears?" Your answer
must be, "No!"
If that is so, then what about the people
of 2,000 years ago? If they
had accepted Jesus -- as you would today -- would they still have had
to crucify him? No! It was a mistake! It was in ignorance that we
crucified Jesus Christ.
It was God's will that His people accept
the Messiah. But we crucified
him instead. And then Christians "passed the buck" by saying that was
the will of God. Ridiculous! This is not acceptable to our logic.
Something must have gone terribly wrong. What was it?
Ignorance killed Jesus
The people did not know who Jesus of Nazareth
was. They did not know
him as the Son of God. If they had clearly known Jesus was the Messiah
the Son of God, they would not have crucified him.
He came to his
own home, and his own people received him
not. (John 1:11) None of the rulers of this age understood
this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory. (I Cor. 2:8)
If they had only known who he was, they
would not have crucified the
Lord of glory. It was a mistake. It was ignorance and blindness that
killed Jesus Christ!
Christians of the world have not realized
the truth about what
actually happened in Jesus' time. If God's only purpose in sending His
Son was to have him nailed on the cross, then why would God spend the
time to prepare the people in the first place? It would have been much
easier for God to send His son among the disbelievers, or even among
savages. They would have killed him more quickly, and salvation would
have come faster.
Slaves to the letter of the Old Testament
Then the question is, why did the people
not know who Jesus was?
Believe it or not, the first reason why God's people did not recognize
Jesus as the Messiah was because of the Old Testament. This may be
surprising to you. But the people interpreted the Old Testament
literally. They did not realize that the Bible was in code. They did
not look for a code book. Instead, they took the Bible literally, word
for word, letter for letter. In other words, they became slaves to the
letter of the Old Testament.
Let me give you the evidence. The book
of Malachi in the Old Testament
has a parallel purpose to that of the Book of Revelation in the New
Testament. It clearly shows the timetable and the last minute
description of how the Messiah would come. In Malachi, you will find
'I will send you
Elijah the prophet before the great and
terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts
of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to
their fathers' (Mal. 4:5-6)
Who was Elijah? He was a great prophet
of Israel who had lived
approximately 900 years before Jesus Christ, and who had ascended into
heaven in a chariot of fire in a whirlwind, according to the Old
Testament. So people believed that Elijah would literally return from
the blue sky in a chariot of fire and announce the Son of God: This is
what people expected.
But did Elijah come? The problem was, Elijah
did not return in the
manner people expected. The people never heard anything about his
returning miraculously. However, one day they did hear an
extraordinary declaration. A young man from Nazareth, whose name was
Jesus, was being proclaimed by his followers as the Messiah, the Son
of God. That was indeed an incredible announcement.
And what was the people's immediate reaction?
"Impossible!" they said.
"How could Jesus of Nazareth be the Son of God? We have not heard
anything about Elijah." No Elijah, no Messiah.
In order to accept Jesus Christ as the
Son of God, they would have had
to disregard their 4,000 year old tradition and throw their Bible
away. But no one was willing to do that.
People at that time truly misunderstood
Jesus, the Son of God. They
said to him,
'It is not for
a good work that we stone you but for
blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God'
And they picked up stones, ready to stone Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Furthermore, when Jesus performed many
mighty works and miracles,
people did not honor Jesus. They said instead,
'It is only by
Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this
man casts out demons.' (Matt. 12:24)
What a tragedy! Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, the prince of peace, was
belittled and relegated to the prince of demons!
Pontius Pilate, the governor from Rome,
did not want to crucify Jesus,
because he could not find any fault in him. However, Jesus' own people
were the ones who were shouting, "Let him be crucified! Let him be
People whom God had prepared to receive
him wanted Jesus to be killed,
and to have the criminal Barabbas released instead of him. Was that
the will of God? No! Jesus Christ was the victim of the ignorance and
blindness of his own people. And they misread the prophecy -- they
misread the Old Testament.
Imagine that Elijah had come in a supernatural
manner, in a chariot of
fire from the sky, as people expected. It would have created a great
sensation. And imagine Elijah appearing in front of the multitudes and
proclaiming, "This man, Jesus of Nazareth, is indeed the Son of God."
Then I am sure everyone would have knelt down and worshipped him right
there. Then who would have dared to crucify Jesus Christ?
However, that sort of miracle was not the
meaning of the prophecy.
Malachi's prophecy of the coming of Elijah was indeed an obstacle to
Jesus' successful ministry. When Jesus' disciples went out all over
Israel teaching the gospel and proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God,
the people repudiated their words, saying, "If your master is the Son
of God, where is Elijah? The book says Elijah must come first."
John the Baptist was Elijah
Jesus' disciples were not well prepared
to answer this question. As a
matter of fact, they were not learned in the Old Testament. After all,
they were lowly fishermen of Galilee and tax collectors. So the
embarrassed disciples one day decided to go to Jesus to ask for his
help in this matter. An account appears in Matthew:
And the disciples
asked him, Then why do the scribes say
that first Elijah must come?' He replied, 'Elijah does come,
and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah
has already come.' ...Then the disciples understood that he
was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matt. 17:10-13)
This was a real shock to the disciples.
And then they understood,
according to the Bible, that Jesus was speaking to them of John the
Was John the Baptist Elijah? Yes, Jesus
said so. But the people were
never convinced. They said, "Outrageous!"
Let us imagine we can transpose these events
to our time. John the
Baptist of 2,000 years ago was a person of tremendous influence,
enjoying great prestige all over Israel as a great man of God -- just
like Billy Graham of today, a great Christian leader.
Let us say some unknown young man suddenly
appeared and began
proclaiming himself to the world as the Son of God. As a student of
the scriptures, you would ask him, "If you are the Son of God, where
is the promised Elijah?" If this man said, "Do you not know that Billy
Graham is Elijah?" what would be your reaction? You would undoubtedly
say, "Impossible! How could Billy Graham be Elijah? He did not come
out of the blue sky. We all know he came from North Carolina!" s
You could not accept that, could you? Precisely
this same kind of
unbelief confronted our Lord Jesus Christ. People could not accept
John the. Baptist as Elijah, simply because he did not come from the
sky. The people of 2,000 years ago were stubborn in their belief that
the prophecy of Elijah's return must be fulfilled literally, that he
must come from the sky. They were the victims of the letter of the Old
John the Baptist, man of failure
Yet Jesus Christ continued to preach with
power and authority in spite
of scornful public opinion. The people could not dismiss such a man
lightly. They wanted to be sure of themselves. So they decided to go
to ask John the Baptist himself and settle their questions once and
for all. They asked John,
Who are you?'
He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed,
'I am not the Christ' And they asked him, 'What then, are
you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' And
he answered, 'No.' (John 1:19-21)
John the Baptist denied everything. He
said, "I am not Elijah." He
even denied the title of prophet. Everyone knew and recognized him as
a prophet of God, but he said, "I'm no prophet." Why? He evaluated the
situation and knew that Jesus Christ was treated by his own society as
an outcast. Jesus seemed to be a loser, and John decided not to side
with Jesus. He thought it would be much better to deny everything.
By doing so, John the Baptist pushed Jesus
into a corner, making him
seem a great impostor without defense. After John's denial, Jesus had
no further recourse on this point.
Then why was Jesus crucified? First, he
became the victim of literal
interpretation of the Old Testament. Second, Jesus was rejected and
finally crucified because of the failure of the mission of John the
Baptist. We can read in Matthew that John the Baptist, waiting in
prison to be beheaded, sent two of his own disciples to Jesus to ask
the following question:
'Are you he who
is to come, or shall we look for another?'
Is this the question of a man who has faith
in Jesus as the Son of
God? John the Baptist had earlier testified to Jesus at the Jordan
'I have seen and
have born witness that this is the Son of
God' (John 1:34)
Yet this very same person, with the very
same tongue, was now
confronting Jesus by asking, "Are you really the Messiah, or shall we
go and look for somebody else?" How disheartening that question must
have been to Jesus! What a man of little faith John was!
The mission of John the Baptist was very
important to the fulfillment
of the mission of the Messiah. God sent John specifically,
. . . to make
ready for the Lord a people prepared. (Luke
That was John's responsibility as the forerunner of Christ.
Jesus relied very much upon the success
of the mission of John the
Baptist. When this very John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus
to ask him, "Are you really the Messiah?" it was more painful for
Jesus than if he had stabbed him with a knife. Anger overwhelmed him.
Jesus refused to answer yes or no to that impossible question. Instead
'Blessed is he who takes no offense at me.' (Matt. 11:6)
This was Jesus' consolation to John when
he saw that John was failing.
Jesus was really saying, "Poor John, man of failure. You no longer
have faith in me. You are taking offense at the Son of God. I am sorry
for you, John."
And then Jesus spoke to the crowd about John in indignation, saying,
'What did you
go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed
shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man
clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment
are in kings' houses. Why then did you go out? To see a
prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet' (Matt.
John was more than a prophet, because he
came to bear witness directly
to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was born for this extraordinary
mission. God entrusted that glorious responsibility to John. What an
honor for a man to be called "more than a prophet" by Jesus! Yet John
failed to live up to this honor. Therefore, Jesus said in Matthew,
'Truly, I say
to you, among those born of women there has
risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is
least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.' (Matt.
John had fallen to the point where even
the least in the Kingdom of
Heaven was greater than he. The meaning of Jesus' statement has
remained mysterious. Christians have not understood its true
significance because they have not realized that John the Baptist was
a man who failed his mission. Tonight we know the true meaning.
John the Baptist was the greatest among
those born of women because of
his mission, which was to testify to the Son of God. All the prophets
in the past had the same mission. But the prophets who came before
John had borne witness to the Messiah with a distance of time between
them and the Lord.
John was born as a contemporary of Jesus
Christ, so he had the
privilege to bear witness to the living Christ when he appeared in
person. So far as his mission was concerned, John the Baptist had the
greatest, most glorious mission of all. Thus Jesus said he was the
greatest among those born of women.
However, in carrying out his mission, John
was the very least; he was
the most miserable failure of all. All the prophets who had lived
before him were watching from the spirit world. They knew who Jesus
Christ was. But John did not. He doubted. He became skeptical and
finally blind to Jesus' identity. In the end, he failed to maintain
his own testimony to the Son of God. He became a man of failure and
therefore the least of all in the Kingdom of Heaven.
I will give you another indisputable proof
of the failure of the
mission of John the Baptist. The people said to John,
'Rabbi, he. .
. [Jesus] who was with you beyond the Jordan,
to whom you bore witness, here he is, baptizing, and all are
going to him.' (John 3:26)
Then John answered,
'He must increase but I must decrease' (John 3:30)
Christians have interpreted this to mean
that John was truly a humble
man and a great prophet. They believe that he felt in all humility
that Jesus must increase, while he himself had to decrease.
On the contrary, this is proof of the arrogance
of John the Baptist.
If John had taken Jesus Christ seriously as the Son of God, he would
have no choice but to become one with Jesus and follow him
wholeheartedly, rain or shine. He would have risen or fallen together
with Jesus, bound by the same destiny. This passage shows that John
did not in fact follow Jesus. He took an independent course and
deserted Jesus. He did not, indeed, take Jesus seriously.
John the Baptist was finally beheaded.
He could have been a glorious
martyr had he been beheaded for performing his ordained mission:
witnessing and proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ was the Son
of God! But he was beheaded merely for becoming involved in the love
scandal of King Herod's family. That affair was none of John's
business. Attending the Son of God was his sole responsibility. But
John deserted this divine mission and suffered a meaningless, even
shameful death. This truth must be told, however painful.
Therefore, Jesus said of John,
'From the days
of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of
heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by
force.' (Matt. 11:12)
This means that because of the failure
of the mission of John the
Baptist, the kingdom heralded by Jesus Christ suffered and was left
open for competition. When a champion of God fails in his mission,
someone else must take up that mission and put forth great effort to
accomplish it. Thus, men of violent faith -- like Peter -- took John's
position by force of their own merit.
However, had John the Baptist been a man
of great faith, what would
have resulted? He would have indeed become the chief disciple of the
Son of God, Jesus Christ. If Jesus had been king, John the Baptist
would have been prime minister. That was the position that God
ordained for John.
In that case, then, the 12 apostles, the
70 disciples, and the 120
people chosen by Jesus all would have come from the ranks of John's
own followers. John would have served as a mediator to bring unity and
harmony between the chosen people of Israel and the Son of God. Who
would have dared to crucify Jesus under those circumstances? No one!
The crucifixion would never have occurred.
I am sure that many people who read the
Bible must have wondered about
John, "If he was such a great men, why did he not become the chief
disciple of the Son of God?" Jesus himself indicated the mission that
John the Baptist came to fulfill:
'For all the prophets
and the law prophesied until John; and
if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to
come' (Matt. 11:13)
John the Baptist represented the consummation
of the Old Testament,
the law and the prophets. He was the prince of the old age. Jesus
Christ came as the prince of the new age. Had he been supported by
John the Baptist, he could have stood upon the firm foundation of the
Old Testament Age. Then the new age could have blossomed in the
fertile soil of the accomplishments of the old age. The Son of God
could have established his glorious kingdom at once. And John the
Baptist would have been the cornerstone of that kingdom.
Had John the Baptist followed Jesus, the
distinguished leaders of that
society would have been the first to accept Jesus Christ as the Son of
God. Then who would have crucified the Lord of glory?
When God sent His only Son to this world
to establish His kingdom on
earth, don't you think He wanted to be followed by the most able
people of his age? Do you think that God wanted only. the outcasts of
society to follow Jesus? Not at all! The simple failure of John the
Baptist broke the link between the Son of God and the people. And as a
result, only fishermen, tax collectors, harlots and lepers followed
Jesus Christ. This brought great grief to the heart of God.
If the Lord is returning to the world today,
is it not most logical
that all the leadership of Christianity -- the bishops, the cardinals,
the pope, and all the evangelists and great ministers of the world --
should become the first group to welcome the Christ? If they followed
the Lord and became his first disciples, the establishment of his
kingdom would be infinitely easier.
You may say, "Reverend Moon, by what authority
are you speaking? What
makes you so sure?" I do have the authority to say these things. God
showed me the truth. I met Jesus. Jesus himself showed me these
truths. And I met John the Baptist, too, in the spirit world. He
himself bore witness to the truth of this testimony. After these
extraordinary spiritual experiences, when I returned to the reality of
this world, the same Bible I had been reading took on a whole new
Even if you cannot accept these things
as the truth now, you must at
least suspend judgment. One day we will all know the truth. Eventually
we are all going to die. Every one of us will end up in the spiritual
world, where truth is like the sunlight. No one can escape it there.
On that day we shall all see the whole truth.
However, blessed is he who can be humble
enough to accept the truth
while he has the opportunity here on earth. Your knowledge of the
truth and of God here on earth will determine your eternal life.
Jesus expected on the clouds of heaven
There a third vital reason why Jesus was
not accepted as the Messiah.
Two thousand years ago the people expected the Son of God to come on
the clouds of heaven, according to the prophecy of Daniel:
'I saw in the
night visions, and behold, with the clouds of
heaven there came one like a son of man' (Dan. 7:13)
But Jesus Christ did not appear miraculously on the clouds of heaven.
He was born of a woman Mary, the wife of
Joseph. The people said,
"Well, how could this Jesus be the Son of God? He is a mere man, Just
like you and me." This was another overwhelming reason why the people
Some might object that Daniel's prophecy
was not intended for the
first coming of Jesus Christ, but rather for the coming of the Lord of
the Second Advent. But I say this is not the case, because Jesus
testified that all the prophecies and the law given prior to John the
Baptist were intended to be fulfilled in the time of Jesus Christ
So the prophecy of the coming of the Son
of Man on the clouds of
heaven was intended for the coming of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. In
those days there was no New Testament, and the thought of the Second
Coming of the Lord was not even in the mind of God.
This prophecy of Daniel posed much difficulty
for the ministry of
Jesus. For instance, we can see the apostle John warns in the New
For many deceivers
have gone out into the world, men who
will not acknowledge the coming of the Jesus Christ in the
flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. (II
This is what John was saying 2,000 years
ago about those who
disbelieved in Jesus Christ, rejecting him simply because he was a man
in the flesh. They did not accept Jesus, but continued waiting for a
supernatural appearance on the clouds. John condemned these people in
the worst terms, saying,."such a one is the antichrist."
These historical truths have remained hidden
from the Christian world.
Today, for the first time, all these circumstances of Jesus' ministry
are being brought to light.
Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill
the mission of bringing
God's kingdom to earth. But we did not understand him. We committed
the great tragedy. Then later we claimed that was the will of God. How
The conviction that Jesus came to die on
the cross has become the very
foundation of Christianity. But this mistaken belief has been piercing
the heart of God again and again for the last 2,000 years. God's heart
was broken when Adam rebelled against Him, and again when His Son was
nailed to the cross on the Mount of Calvary. We have sadly
misunderstood both God and Christ.
Why, then, has this truth been revealed
at this particular time?
Because the time of the Second Coming of Christ is near. And God does
not want Christians to commit the same mistake made at Jesus' time.
Only with the revelation of the clear truth
from the Heavenly Father
can all the Christian churches become one. Yes, truth makes us one. If
we know the truth, that truth will liberate us from our mistaken
beliefs and disunity. And the plain truth of God has now been
Crucifixion -- secondary mission of Jesus
The crucifixion was not at all the original
mission of the Son of God,
but represented an alteration of his intended course. It was a
secondary mission. It was decided on the Mount of Transfiguration. An
account of this appears in Luke.
And behold, two
men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, who
appeared in glory and spoke of his departure [his
crucifixion], which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke
When Peter, Jesus' chief disciple, was
informed by Jesus that he would
suffer. in Jerusalem and was to be crucified, Peter violently
protested, as we read in Matthew:
'God forbid, Lord!
This shall never happen to you' (Matt.
Then Jesus lashed out at him saying,
'Get behind me,
Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you
are not on the side of God, but of men.' (Matt. 16:23)
Christians often quote this particular
passage as proof that Jesus
came to die on the cross. Many explain, "Look what Jesus said. He said
he came to die. So that is why he rebuked Peter and called him Satan,
because Peter opposed Jesus' going to the cross."
But that interpretation misses one vital
point. Jesus rebuked Peter
after he knew that God had changed His plan and altered Jesus'
mission. Since the people rejected Jesus, God knew that Jesus could
not carry out his primary mission, the establishment of the kingdom on
earth, which required the cooperation of the people.
At that late point in his ministry, God
then asked Jesus to fulfill
only the limited goal of spiritual salvation. Jesus therefore began
preparing for this secondary goal. And poor Peter knew nothing about
this change in the mission of Jesus Christ.
Jesus called Peter "Satan" because Peter's
seemingly comforting words
had no relevance to the will of God at that point. Peter spoke from
ignorance and blindness. But Jesus could not risk losing this
secondary mission -- for then his coming would have been completely in
Accepting Jesus would have brought God's kingdom
Let us consider what actually would have
happened had Jesus been
accepted by the people of Israel. Indeed, he would have become the
king of Israel; he would have united his disciples with all of the
descendants of Abraham, 12 tribes of Jacob, and all the Arab tribes as
well. All of them would have become one family of the Son of God.
Jesus Christ would have set up a heavenly
sovereignty centered upon
the nation of Israel. The constitution of the Kingdom of God would
have been promulgated in his time. An invincible nation would have
been established, with the sovereignty of God spearheaded by the last
Adam -- Jesus Christ -- as king. Even the Roman Empire would have been
humbled before God's kingdom. This is the prediction of Isaiah:
Of the increase
of his government and of peace there will be
no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to
establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with
righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The
zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Is. 9:7)
After Jesus' death, his disciples marched
toward Rome barehanded,
suffering and shedding their blood. And within 400 years, the Roman
Empire collapsed before this weaponless army. Had Jesus Christ not
been crucified, but personally commanded this holy army, the entire
Roman Empire would have come under the sovereignty of God during
Jesus' own lifetime.
In those days, the great Roman Empire was
the hub of the world. God's
plan of salvation was to restore the whole world. Thus, God prepared
Rome in a central role so that once the kingdom came to Rome, it could
be spread easily to the whole world. Had Jesus been able to establish
his kingdom in the Roman Empire, then through Rome's power and
influence, people in every corner of the globe would have heard his
gospel while he lived on earth.
Thus, in his lifetime Jesus would have
established the Kingdom of
Heaven on earth as a reality. The nation of Israel would have been the
glorious center of his kingdom. Then there would be no divided
Christianity as we have today -- no Roman Catholicism, no
Presbyterianism, no Methodism, no Church of Christ. None of these
would be necessary. You no longer need a vehicle when you have reached
You and I would already be citizens of
the Kingdom of Heaven. There
would have been no bloody history of Christianity -- no martyrs. And
there would be no reason for the Second Coming. A doctor is
unnecessary if there are no patients to cure.
The sad reality, however, is that Jesus
Christ was met with rebellion.
Without the obedience of Adam and Eve, God could not fulfill his ideal
in the Garden of Eden. And without people's cooperation, Jesus Christ
could not establish his kingdom on earth.
Crucifixion brought only spiritual salvation
So Jesus focused on his secondary mission,
spiritual salvation. Due to
the sin and blindness of the people, God permitted His son to be a
sacrifice. That was the significance of the crucifixion. God allowed
Jesus to die on the cross as a ransom paid to Satan. In exchange, upon
Jesus' resurrection, God could claim the people's souls, though
redemption of the body was not possible.
Therefore God's victory was not in the
cross but in the resurrection.
The resurrection brought the salvation Christianity offers.
At Jesus' crucifixion, Christianity was
crucified as well. At the hour
of the Lord's tribulation, no one remained faithful. Everyone betrayed
Jesus. Even Peter denied Christ.
But with the resurrection, Christianity
revived as well. Then for 40
days, Jesus rejoined and cemented the shattered fragments of
Christianity. That was the beginning of the Christianity of today.
Yes, our salvation does come from Jesus'
victorious resurrection. This
is the victory of Christ, and Satan's power can never influence it.
But the body of Jesus Christ was given up as a sacrifice and a ransom.
In giving up his body, Jesus also gave up the body of mankind. Our
salvation is limited to spiritual redemption, because the redemption
of the body remained unfulfilled 2,000 years ago. And our world still
suffers under Satan's power. Sin rages and dominates this world
through our bodies.
Therefore, Paul shouted out in anguish,
Wretched man that
I am! Who will deliver me from this body
of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So
then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but
with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Rom. 7:24-25)
Paul was living in the grace of the Lord.
Still he confessed that he
could serve God only with his mind, and his flesh served the law of
sin. His body yearned to be redeemed; he still anguished over sin.
And so it is for us. By accepting Christ,
we receive spiritual
salvation. But our bodies serve the law of sin under Satan's domain --
until Christ returns and liberates us from the bondage of sin. The
Lord of the Second Advent alone can give total salvation: spiritual
salvation and redemption of our bodies as well.
Christianity's power is limited to spiritual
salvation. Unlike the
nation of Israel, Christianity has no physical base, so God's dominion
in Christianity is over only a spiritual kingdom.
Therefore, our great hope is the Second
Coming of the Messiah. This is
the hope of America, the hope of the world. America -- this unique
Christian nation -- must awaken now and ready herself for the day of
American Christianity stands in the spiritual
position of Israel 2,000
years ago. America is destined to serve as the Messiah's landing site
for the 20th century. God wants to reach out to all people, and has
chosen to reach out first to America and through her to the world.
America's role parallels that of the Roman
Empire 2,000 years ago. As
Rome was the hub of the world then, America is the hub of the world in
modern times. Jesus set his eyes on Rome. And when Christ returns, he
will set his eyes on America.
Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
In our ignorance, we Christians have missed
the true spirit of Jesus'
prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he told his disciples:
'My soul is very
sorrowful, even to death; remain here and
watch with me' And going a little farther he fell on his
face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.'
He prayed this way not once, but three
times. He was sorrowful even to
death. Many in the Christian world suppose Jesus prayed this way out
of human weakness, shrinking from his mission of dying on the cross.
Nothing can be further from the truth!
Under Roman tyrants hundreds of thousands
of Christians were martyred.
They never said, "Please let this cup pass from me."
Simon Peter, when he himself was about
to be crucified, told his
persecutors, "I am not worthy to die in the same manner as my Lord. Do
me a favor! Crucify me upside down." Even he did not say, "Please let
this cup pass from me."
When Stephen, the first Christian martyr,
was being stoned to death,
he did not say, "Let this cup pass from me." Rather, he died
peacefully, praying for his tormentors.
Such bravery is not limited to the Bible,
Nathan Hale, a young officer
captured in the American Revolutionary War, said as he was about to be
hanged, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my
country." He did not say, "Please let this cup pass from me."
Do you suppose that the Messiah, the Son
of God, was weaker than all
these people -- especially if you think he came for the sole purpose
of dying on the cross for world salvation? No! Were that the case, he
would be unqualified as a Messiah. We have not understood the Lord
The prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
was not uttered out of any
selfish concern or fear of death. Jesus Christ, our Lord, was ready to
die a thousand times over if that were the only way to bring about the
salvation of humanity.
Jesus' concern was for his mission. He
grieved at the suffering of his
Heavenly Father He was in turmoil because he could foresee the
terrible consequences of his crucifixion. Jesus knew well that his
crucifixion was not God's ultimate will. He knew his death would
postpone the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven another 2,000 years,
and that in the meantime humanity would suffer terribly.
He knew that millions of future followers
would have to suffer,
shedding their blood and being martyred as he had been. He knew Israel
would be forsaken and desolate. And most of all, he had longed to
bring victory and glorious fulfillment to his Father's throne in
heaven, not to return alone through the crucifixion. He had hoped for
a triumphant homecoming.
So in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made
his final desperate plea to
God: "Even at this late hour, is there any possible way that I can
remain on earth to fulfill my mission?" If we are to become true
followers of Christ, we must fathom the grief and anguish that Jesus
Furthermore, had the crucifixion been the
full will of God, then Judas
-- Jesus' betrayer -- should be regarded as a hero and awarded a
heavenly medal, because somebody had to hand the Son of God to the
enemy to be crucified. Yet, Jesus said of Judas,
'Woe to that man
by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It
would have been better for that man if he had not been
born.' (Matt. 26:24)
And why should Jesus shout on the cross,
'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46)
If his crucifixion had been the will of
God, Jesus should have been
overjoyed. He would have shouted, "God, I am honored! Rejoice, Father,
I am victorious!"
Christianity today has maintained the traditional
view that Jesus came
simply to die on the cross. This is how Christians have rationalized
the murder of the Son of God!
How the Second Coming will be fulfilled
Today, people cannot believe anything unless
it is logical. God is
truth, and truth is logical. There can be no perfection in ignorance.
Christian prayer alone could not lift Neil
Armstrong to the moon.
Scientific truth was necessary. I myself was once a student of
science, and I know that God is also the God of science. God's message
has to be scientific, logical, and convincing to men of the 20th
Let me come now to the apex of this evening's
talk by discussing how
the Second Coming of Christ will be fulfilled.
We read in the Gospels,
'They will see
the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory.' (Matt. 24:30)
And in Revelation we read:
Behold, he is coming with the clouds. (Rev. 1:7)
But on the other hand, Paul wrote,
The day of the
Lord will come like a thief in the night. (I
One prophecy envisions the Lord appearing
with the clouds of heaven,
and the other sneaking in like a thief in the night. These two
prophecies are somewhat in conflict. If he comes as a thief, he cannot
at the same time appear in the clouds. Shall we just choose one
prophecy and throw the other out?
The people of 2,000 years ago did not know
the message of God was in
symbols. In interpreting it literally, they made a grave mistake. And
when we Christians read the New Testament, we must not make the same
mistake. We must read the Bible in the spirit of God, and discover the
true meaning of its symbols and parables.
Two thousand years ago everyone expected
Elijah to appear from the
blue sky, but he did not come that way. Likewise, they expected the
Messiah to come with the clouds of heaven, but he did not come that
way either. Today, Christians await the Lord of the Second Advent's
arrival on the clouds. But do you have any guarantee that such
expectations will not be disappointed this time?
Let us be humble and open minded enough
to accept both possibilities
-- his coming on the clouds of heaven, and his coming as a thief at
night. If you fix your mind only on the Lord's coming on the clouds,
and it turns out that he comes as the Son of Man in the flesh, you
will most likely commit the same crime as the people 2,000 years ago.
However, if you are humble and capable
of accepting the Lord as the
Son of Man in the flesh -- which is the only way he could come as a
thief -- you win either way. You will be assured of meeting the Lord
whichever way he comes.
If you could miss the Lord at all, it would
be only if he came as a
thief. If he comes on the clouds, you have no worry. Every eye would
see him then. The television networks would make sure of that!
But I must advise you that God will not
send His Son literally with
the clouds of heaven. If you are gazing up in the sky and waiting for
the Second Coming of the Lord, you will be disappointed. He will come,
once again, as a man in the flesh.
This is God's revelation. Let me testify
to it by reading the
significant prophecies of the Bible. In Luke we read,
Being asked by
the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was
coming, he [Jesus] answered them, 'The kingdom of God is not
coming with signs to be observed.' (Luke 17:20)
Everyone would see the clouds of heaven.
But Jesus said we would not
observe the kingdom's coming. Did the people see the coming of the
Messiah 2,000 years ago? No, they did not, because he came as the Son
of Man in the flesh. Next let us examine a most extraordinary
statement of Jesus Christ.
Most people ask, "Does the Bible really
say that?" Look in Luke, where
'But first he
[the Lord of the Second Advent] must suffer
many things and be rejected by this generation.' (Luke
If the Lord is coming with the clouds of
heaven, in power and great
glory, with the trumpets of angels, who could dare reject him or cause
him suffering? Would you? These are Jesus' words: He will suffer and
be rejected, because he is coming as the Son of Man in the flesh. At
first, people will have a difficult time recognizing him as the
Christian churches and devout Christians
are expecting the coming of
the Lord in the clouds of heaven. They are all looking up, waiting for
his appearance. But if that expectation does not come true, and the
Lord appears unexpectedly as the Son of man in the flesh -- as Jesus
came to this world the first time -- then what will happen?
At first people will reject him and cause
him suffering. There will be
no faith on earth. There will be no initial acceptance of Christ. Many
Christians will pick up stones to throw at him. Many Christians will
call him a blasphemer, a heretic, a man possessed by demons. Those
were the very charges brought against Jesus 2,000 years ago.
In Luke we read,
As it was in the
time of Noah, so will it be in the days of
the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they
married, they were given in marriage, until the day when
Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them
all. (Luke 17:26-27)
This is the description of the days of
the Son of Man. And this will
happen when the Lord comes as the Son of Man in the flesh.
The coming of Jesus as a man will herald
the Kingdom of Heaven. But
nobody will heed him. In fact, people will laugh at him, ridicule him,
and persecute him, and do all kinds of evil against him.
And in the meantime, the world will continue
in its usual way, in
carnal business -- eating, drinking, marrying -- until the day the
Lord is lifted up to the throne of judgment. When the world recognizes
him as the Lord of Judgment, it will be too late! The ark will be
closed. The judgment will already be at hand.
Now, I want you to consider another passage:
'I tell you, he
will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless,
when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?'
Jesus questioned whether there would be
faith on earth when Christ
History may repeat itself. Two thousand
years ago tremendous faith
existed. People prayed in the synagogues morning, noon, and night.
They constantly read the Scriptures, writing them on their lapels,
reciting them every day. They kept the Ten Commandments and all the
laws. They brought their tithes to the temple. They fasted and fasted.
However, when the Son of God appeared,
they failed to recognize him,
and condemned him to the cross. Did Jesus find any faith? In the sight
of Jesus Christ, there was absolutely no faith on earth.
So when he returns as the Son of Man in
the flesh, there also may be
no faith on earth. Millions of Christians and thousands of churches
may never see the Son of Man coming, because it will be in the flesh.
Now, finally, let us read Matthew,
'On that day many
will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not
prophesy in your name, and cast our demons in your name, and
do many mighty works in your name?" And then will I declare
to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers."'
What does this mean? Why should these devout
Christians, who are
calling on the name of the Lord, be condemned as evildoers? What wrong
will they have done?
Throughout history many crimes and sins
have been committed in the
name of the Lord, in the name of God.
There is no better example of this than
what happened in Jesus' time.
The people who plotted to kill Jesus Christ -- and finally succeeded
in crucifying him on the cross -- were the very people who had
faithfully followed the word of God day and night. But when the Son of
God came to them, they committed the worst crime in history. They
killed God's only Son, and they did it in the name of the Lord!
By the same token, when Christ comes to
us once again as a man in the
flesh, how can we be sure that the Christians of today will not be the
first ones to cast stones at the returned Christ? Today we have the
same responsibility as the people of 2,000 yours ago. No matter how
great our works or our prayers, when God sends His Son, if we do not
recognize him and unite with him, he will say to us, "Depart from me,
If it is ever true that history repeats
itself, then the Christians of
today could become the worst enemies of the returned Christ. They may
attempt to crucify him once again in the name of the Lord.
However, even though the initial rejection
and persecution may be very
severe, Christ is not returning to be crucified again. The Lord of the
Second Advent will be victorious, and will finally be elevated to the
throne of judgment, and shall judge the world as the Lord of Judgment.
When he is lifted up to the throne, then
every eye shall see him. It
will be unmistakably clear to everyone who he is. And those who have
previously accused and rejected him will wail and mourn because of the
evil they have done to him. But it will be too late. The Lord will say
to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers."
The Lord is coming. And he is coming as
a man. Yet, he is also coming
with the power and glory of God. And he will judge the world. Only the
meek will be blessed. The arrogant will see the unquenchable fire.
Meaning of the clouds of heaven
Then what is the true meaning of the "clouds
of heaven"? Let us note
once again that the Bible is written in symbols. Jesus said, "I am the
vine, you are the branches." This is, of course, a symbolic
By the same token, the "clouds of heaven"
has a spiritual meaning, not
a physical one. For instance, we read in Revelation,
The waters that
you saw, where the harlot is seated, are
peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. (Rev. 17:15)
The Bible indicates that water is a symbol
for the multitudes of
What are clouds? They are vaporized water.
Water is often impure,
dirty, with many foreign elements in it, but when such water is
evaporated into clouds, it leaves its impurities behind. Thus, those
people who are vaporized and purified from among the waters of mankind
are symbolically in the position of the clouds of heaven.
Jesus is coming among those prepared people,
God's people. He is
coming among the consecrated, reborn Christians -- those who are
purified, elevated, cleansed from sin. They will form the foundation
of the Kingdom of God when Jesus returns to earth. This is the true
meaning of the clouds of heaven.
God's purpose fulfilled
First Adam and Eve: God actually intended
His Kingdom on earth to
begin with the first Adam and Eve. If they had been truly obedient to
God and achieved perfection, God would have united them in heavenly
matrimony and established the first family on earth according to His
will. This family would have become the cornerstone of the Kingdom of
God on earth, with Adam and Eve as the True Father and True Mother of
all people. The Garden of Eden is the symbolic expression for that
kingdom. And this world would have been the world of joy for God.
Second Adam and Eve: Although the first
Adam and Eve failed, God's
ideal remained the same. God determined to realize that original
kingdom and fulfill the world of joy. And 4,000 years later in
biblical history, God intended to restore that Kingdom of God on earth
through another perfected Adam. Jesus Christ was that perfected Adam.
Paul called Jesus the "last Adam," or the
second Adam (I Col 15:45).
He came as the perfected Adam 2,000 years ago in place of the first
Adam, who had failed.
The restoration of Adam alone could not
bring a kingdom. There had to
be a bride, a mother -- another Eve. So God intended for this
perfected Adam -- Jesus Christ -- to restore his bride, the perfected
Eve. This would have been the restoration of the first family, lost
since the Garden of Eden.
Third Adam and Eve: Because of the rebellion
of the chosen people of
Israel, however, this never happened. Nevertheless, God is determined
to fulfill His will. Thus, He has promised the return of Christ.
Approximately 2,000 years have passed since
Jesus Christ's death. And
now, God is once again ready to send His son -- in the capacity of the
Third Adam. Throughout history, God has always fulfilled His goal at
His third attempt. It is true that the number three is the number of
perfection. This time, God will definitely fulfill His age old ideal
by blessing the perfected Adam and Eve in heavenly matrimony, thus
laying the foundation of the Kingdom of God on earth.
This ultimate condition is prophesied in
the Book of Revelation as the
marriage supper of the Lamb. And the Lord of the Second Advent is that
Lamb, that perfect Adam. The Lord is coming as perfected Adam, and he
will restore perfected Eve. Then they will be lifted up as the first
True Parents of mankind. At last, God's joy will be complete.
Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus said to Peter,
'I will give you
the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'
The error was made here on earth. Sin was
committed here on earth. So
the error must be remedied and sin eradicated here on earth. Jesus
asked us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it
is in heaven.'' Earth is the problem. That is why Christ must come
back to this earth.
Many Christians believe that at the end
of the world, God will destroy
everything. The sun will be darkened, the stars will fall, and the
earth will be burned up. A mere handful of Christians will be lifted
up in the air, to spend the millennium with Christ.
If God did that, then He would become a
God of failure, His original
will forever unfulfilled. He would be relinquishing this earth to
Satan. Then Satan would actually become the victor, and God the loser.
This will never happen! God is almighty. He will not give up on this
earth. It was meant to be, and it shall be, His kingdom. This New York
shall be His kingdom, too.
You can be the citizens of the Kingdom
of Heaven if you meet the
coming Messiah. He is your hope, my hope, and the only hope of America
and this world.
If we fail to see him, however, then Christianity
will have no hope.
Christianity will decline. Its spiritual fire will be extinguished.
The churches will become the tombs of the old legacy. Our world then
will be doomed.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have come here
to Madison Square Garden
tonight in obedience to God's command. The Bible says,
And in the last
days it shall be, God declares, that T will
pour out my spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters
shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and
your old men shall dream dreams.' (Acts 2:17)
We are living in such an extraordinary
time, at the birth of a new
age! Heaven is quite near. And if you earnestly call upon God, He will
You must urgently ask Him, "How can I know
if Reverend Moon is telling
the truth?" Do not let me or anyone else answer that question for you.
Let God answer you directly.
So go in peace, and please ask God earnestly,
sincerely. Confront God
in prayer. God will reveal the answer to you.
The new hope for mankind is the Messiah.
And that "great and terrible
day of the Lord" is at hand. It is up to you whether that day will be
great or terrible. If you meet the Messiah, for you that day will be
great. But if you fail to meet him, then for you that day will indeed
God bless you. Thank you for your attentive listening.
Kamsa hamnida! Thank you, and good evening.