All people have an original mind which inclines them to reject evil and pursue goodness. Yet, even without our being aware of it, we are driven by evil forces to abandon the goodness which our original mind desires and to perform evil deeds which, in our innermost heart, we do not want to do. As long as these evil forces assail us, the sinful history of humanity will continue unabated. In Christianity, the master of these evil forces is known as Satan. We have been utterly unable to liquidate the forces of Satan because we have not understood Satan's identity or how he came to exist. To extirpate evil by its root, and thereby end sinful history and usher in an era of goodness, we must first expose the motivation and origin of Satan and recognize the destruction he has wrought in human life. This explanation of the human Fall will clarify these issues.
No one has known the root of sin, which lies deep within and ceaselessly drives people toward the way of evil. On the basis of the Bible, Christians have held to a vague belief that Adam and Eve's eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the root of sin. Some Christians believe that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the fruit of an actual tree, while others believe that the fruit is a symbol, as much of the Bible is written in symbolic language. Let us consider the Bible's account of the human Fall and its differing interpretations in order to arrive at a complete explanation.
Adam and Eve fell when they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Many Christians to this day have thought that this was the fruit of an actual tree. But would God, the loving Parent of humanity, make a fruit which could cause the Fall to look so attractive?1 Would He place it where His children could reach it so easily? Furthermore, Jesus said, "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."2 How, then, can a food which one eats cause one to fall?
Humankind is beset by the original sin, which has been inherited from our first ancestors. Yet how can something one eats cause a sin which can be transmitted to one's descendants? The only way something can be inherited is by being passed down through the lineage. The temporary ill effects of eating something cannot be perpetuated through the long descent of lineage.
There are those who believe that God made the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and commanded Adam and Eve not to eat it in order to test their obedience to Him. We may ask: would the God of love test humans so mercilessly by a means that could cause their death? Adam and Eve knew they would die the moment they ate the fruit, for God had told them so. Yet still they ate it. Adam and Eve did not lack for food. They would not have risked their lives and disobeyed God only to obtain some delicacy. Therefore, we can surmise that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil could not have been an ordinary fruit. Rather, it must have been something so extraordinarily stimulating that even the fear of death did not deter them from grasping it.
If the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not a material fruit, then it must be a symbol which represents something else. Why should we stubbornly adhere to a literal interpretation of the fruit when so much of the Bible makes use of symbolism and metaphor? We would do well to abandon such a narrow and old-fashioned attitude of faith.
To learn what the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents, let us first investigate the tree of life, which stood next to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.3 When we grasp the meaning of the tree of life, then we can also understand the meaning of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
According to the Bible, the hope of fallen people is to approach or attain the tree of life: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."4 Thus, the Israelites of the Old Testament Age looked to the tree of life as their hope. Likewise, the hope of all Christians from the time of Jesus until today has been to approach and partake of the tree of life: "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates."5 Since the ultimate hope of humankind is the tree of life, we can infer that the hope of Adam was also the tree of life.
It is written that when Adam fell, God blocked his path to the tree of life by stationing the cherubim with a flaming sword to guard it.6 From this we can also deduce that Adam's hope before the Fall was the tree of life. Adam was cast out of the Garden of Eden without having attained his hope, the tree of life. For fallen people ever since, the tree of life has remained a hope unfulfilled.
What was the hope of Adam during the time he was immature and growing toward perfection? He must have hoped to become a man who would realize God's ideal of creation by growing to perfection without falling. The tree of life in fact symbolizes a man who has fully realized the ideal of creation. Perfected Adam was to be this ideal man. The tree of life thus symbolizes perfected Adam.
Had Adam not fallen but attained the tree of life, all his descendants could also have attained the tree of life. They would have built the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. But Adam fell, and God blocked his path to the tree with a flaming sword. Ever since, despite the best efforts of fallen people to restore the ideal of creation, the tree of life has remained an unattainable dream. Burdened by the original sin, fallen people cannot complete the ideal of creation and become trees of life by their own efforts alone. For this ideal to be achieved, a man who has completed the ideal of creation must come to the earth as a tree of life. All of humanity must then be engrafted with him7 and become one with him. Jesus was the man who came as this tree of life. The tree of life for which the faithful people of the Old Testament Age longed8 was none other than Jesus.
Ever since God blocked Adam's path to the tree of life by guarding it with the flaming sword, the tree could not be approached without first clearing the path. On the day of Pentecost, tongues of fire descended upon the saints, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.9 This event marked the clearing of the path and the moving aside of the flaming sword, which appeared as the tongues of fire preceding the rush of the Holy Spirit. It opened the way for all humanity to approach Jesus, the tree of life, and be engrafted with him.
Nonetheless, Christians have been engrafted with Jesus only spiritually. This is why the children of even the most devout Christian parents still inherit sin, which must be redeemed. Even the most faithful saints have not been rid of the original sin, and thus cannot help but transmit it to their children.10 For this reason, Christ must come again on earth as the tree of life. By engrafting all humankind with himself once more, he is to redeem their original sin. Christians thus impatiently await the tree of life, which in the Book of Revelation symbolizes Christ at his Second Coming.11
The purpose of God's providence of salvation is to restore the failure to attain the tree of life in the Garden of Eden by realizing the tree of life mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Due to the Fall, Adam could not fulfill the ideal of the first tree of life.12 In order to complete the salvation of fallen humanity, Jesus, the "last Adam,"13 must come again as the tree of life in the Last Days.
God did not create Adam to be alone; He also created Eve to be Adam's spouse. Just as there was a tree in the Garden of Eden which symbolized a perfected man, there also should have been a tree which represented a woman who has fully realized the ideal of creation. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, standing beside the tree of life,14 was this tree which, by fulfilling its good purpose, represents the ideal woman, perfected Eve.
The Bible refers to Jesus using the metaphors of a vine15 and a branch.16 Likewise, to give us a hint about the secret of the human Fall, God provided the symbolism of two trees to represent perfected Adam and Eve.
In the Bible we read that a serpent tempted Eve to commit sin.17 What does the serpent symbolize? Let us investigate the true identity of the serpent, based on the Genesis account.
The serpent described in the Bible was able to converse with people. It caused the Fall of humans, who are spiritual beings. Furthermore, the serpent knew the Will of God, which strictly forbade human beings to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is compelling evidence that the being which the serpent symbolizes was a spiritual being.
It is written:
The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-he was thrown down to the earth. -Rev. 12:9
This ancient serpent is the very serpent which tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Having lived in heaven before it was thrown down, this Devil or Satan must be a spiritual being. In fact, ever since the time of the human Fall, Satan has been continually turning the hearts of people toward evil. Since Satan is a spiritual being, the serpent which symbolizes him must also represent a spiritual being. These strands of biblical evidence confirm that the serpent who tempted Eve was not an animal but a symbol for a spiritual being.
The question arises whether the spiritual being symbolized by the serpent existed before the creation of the universe or was created as a part of the universe. If this being existed before the creation of the universe and had a purpose contrary to that of God, then the conflict between good and evil in the universe would be unavoidable and perpetual. God's providence of restoration, then, would be in vain. Moreover, monotheism, which holds that everything in the universe was created by one God, would be unfounded. We are left with the conclusion that the spiritual being represented by the serpent was originally created with a good purpose, but later fell and became Satan.
What kind of spiritual being in God's creation could have conversed with people, understood the Will of God, and lived in heaven? What kind of being, even after it had fallen and become degraded to an evil being, could transcend time and space to dominate the human soul? There are no beings endowed with such characteristics other than angels. The verse "God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom"18 supports the conclusion that the serpent, which tempted human beings and sinned, is an angel.
A serpent has a forked tongue. It depicts someone who utters contradictory things with one tongue and lives a two-faced life with one heart. A serpent twists its body around its prey before devouring it, a metaphor for someone who ensnares others for his own benefit. For these reasons, the Bible likened the angel who tempted human beings to a serpent.
It is clear that the serpent who tempted the human beings to fall was an angel, and that this angel became Satan when he sinned and fell. Let us now investigate what kind of sin the angel and the human beings committed.
And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
- Jude 6-7
From this passage we can infer that the angel fell as a result of an illicit sexual relationship.
Fornication is a crime which cannot be committed alone. With whom did the angel commit the illicit sexual act in the Garden of Eden? In order to unveil this mystery, let us examine what kind of sin the human beings committed.
We read that before they fell, Adam and Eve were both naked, and were not ashamed.19 After the Fall, however, they felt ashamed of their nakedness and sewed fig leaves together into aprons to cover their lower parts.20 If they had committed a crime by eating some actual fruit from a tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then they certainly would have covered their hands or mouths instead. It is human nature to conceal one's faults. Thus, the act of covering their lower parts shows that these parts, and not their mouths, were the source of their shame. In Job 31:33 it is written, "If I have concealed my transgressions like Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom."21 Adam concealed his lower parts after the Fall; this indicates that his blemish was in his lower parts. Adam and Eve's sexual parts were the source of their shame because they were the instruments of their sinful deed.
In the world before the human Fall, what act would one be willing to carry out even at the clear risk of one's life? It could be nothing else but the act of love. God's purpose of creation, described in the blessings "be fruitful and multiply,"22 can be achieved only through love. Accordingly, from the viewpoint of God's purpose of creation, love should be the most precious and sacred act. But because the sexual act was the very cause of the Fall, people often regard it with shame and even contempt. In conclusion, human beings fell through an act of illicit sexual intercourse.
Thus far, we have explained that an angel seduced human beings to fall, and that both the angel and the human beings fell due to illicit sexual love. Human beings and angels are the only spiritual beings in the universe who are capable of having love relationships. We can deduce that the illicit sexual relationship must have involved the angel and human beings.
Jesus said, "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."23 Since the Devil is identified as Satan,24 we can assert that human beings are descendants of Satan, the "ancient serpent" who tempted human beings. Through what circumstances did humankind become the descendants of the fallen angel, Satan? There was an illicit sexual relationship between the angel and the first ancestors. As the fruit of that relationship, all humanity is of the lineage of Satan. When St. Paul wrote, "we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies,"25 he was acknowledging that we fallen people stem from the lineage of Satan, not the lineage of God. John the Baptist reproached the people, calling them "a brood of vipers,"26 that is, children of Satan. Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?"27 These verses affirm that we are the offspring of an illicit sexual relationship involving the angel and our first ancestors. This, in fact, lies at the heart of the human Fall.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was shown earlier to symbolize Eve. What does the fruit of this tree represent? It signifies the love of Eve. As a tree multiplies by its fruit, Eve should have borne good children through her godly love. Instead, she bore evil children through her satanic love. Eve was created in an immature state; she was to reach full maturity only after going through a period of growth. Thus, it was possible for her to bear either good fruit or evil fruit through her love. This is why Eve's love is symbolized by the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and why Eve is symbolized by the tree.
What did eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil signify? When we eat something, we make it a part of ourselves. Eve was to have eaten the fruit of goodness by consummating her God-centered love. Then she would have received the essence of God's divinity and multiplied a good lineage. However, she ate of the fruit of evil by consummating her evil love centered on Satan. Hence, she received the essence of his evil nature and multiplied an evil lineage from which our sinful society descended. Accordingly, Eve's eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil denotes that she consummated a satanic love relationship with the angel which bound her in blood ties to him.
God cursed the fallen angel, saying, "upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life."28 "Upon your belly you shall go" means that the angel would become a miserable being, unable to function properly or to perform its original service. To "eat dust" means that ever since the angel was thrown down from heaven,29 he has been deprived of life elements from God. Instead, he has had to subsist on evil elements gleaned from the sinful world.
We have learned from the above elucidation of the Bible that the root of sin was not that the first human ancestors ate a fruit, but rather that they had an illicit sexual relationship with an angel (symbolized by a serpent). Consequently, they could not multiply God's good lineage but instead multiplied Satan's evil lineage.
There is ample evidence which helps us recognize that the root of human sin stems from sexual immorality. We know that the original sin has been perpetuated through lineal descent from one generation to the next. This is because the root of sin was solidified by a sexual relationship that binds one in ties of blood. Furthermore, those religions which emphasize the need to purge sin regard fornication as a cardinal sin, and they have taught the virtues of chastity and restraint in order to curb it. This is an indication that the root of sin is found in lustful desires. The Israelites performed the rite of circumcision as a condition for sanctification. They qualified themselves as God's chosen people by draining blood, because the root of sin lies in having taken in through an unchaste act the evil blood which permeates our being.
Sexual promiscuity is a principal cause of the downfall of numerous heroes, patriots and nations. Even in the most outstanding people, the root of sin-illicit sexual desire-is constantly active in their souls, sometimes without their conscious awareness. We may be able to eradicate all other evils by establishing moral codes through religion, by thoroughly implementing various educational programs, and by reforming the socio-economic systems that foster crime. But no one can prevent the plague of sexual promiscuity, which has become increasingly prevalent as the progress of civilization makes lifestyles more comfortable and indolent. Therefore, the hope of an ideal world is an empty dream as long as this root of all evils has not been eradicated at its source. Christ at his Second Advent must be able to solve this problem once and for all.
The motivation of the human Fall lay within the angel, who, as we have seen, is symbolized by the serpent who tempted Eve. Therefore, before we can know the motivation and the process of the Fall, we must first learn about the angel.
Like all beings, angels were created by God. God created them prior to any other creation. In the biblical account of the creation of heaven and earth, we find that God spoke in the plural: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."30 This is not because God was referring to Himself as the Holy Trinity, as many theologians have interpreted the passage. Rather, He was speaking to the angels, whom He had created before human beings.
God created angels to be His retainers, who would assist Him in creating and sustaining the universe. In the Bible we find many instances of angels working for the Will of God. Angels conveyed to Abraham important words of God's blessing;31 an angel heralded the conception of Christ;32 an angel unchained Peter and led him out of prison and into the city.33 The angel who escorts John in the Book of Revelation calls himself "a servant,"34 and in Hebrews angels are referred to as "ministering spirits."35 The Bible often portrays angels honoring and praising God.36
Let us investigate the relationship between human beings and angels from the perspective of the Principle of Creation. Because God created us as His children and gave us dominion over all creation,37 we are meant to rule over the angels as well. It is written in the Bible that we have the authority to judge the angels.38 Many who communicate with the spirit world have witnessed hosts of angels escorting the saints in Paradise. These observations illustrate the fact that angels have the mission to minister to human beings.
God created human beings with two components: the spirit self and the physical self. The human Fall likewise took place in two dimensions: the spiritual and the physical. The fall which took place through the sexual relationship between the angel and Eve was the spiritual fall, while the fall which occurred through the sexual relationship between Eve and Adam was the physical fall.
How can an act of passionate love be consummated between an angel and a human being? All the emotions and sensations felt between a person and a spirit are exactly the same as those felt during contact between two earthly people. Undoubtedly, a sexual union between an angel and a person is possible.
We can understand this more clearly from the following evidence. There are reported cases of earthly people leading a married life with spirits. In the Bible we have the account of an angel who wrestled with Jacob and put his thigh out of joint.39 Three angels visited Abraham's family and ate a meal of veal, milk and curds.40 Moreover, two angels visited the house of Lot and ate the unleavened bread he served them. When the townspeople saw the angels, they were excited with lecherous desires for them and surrounded Lot's house, shouting, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them."41
God created the angelic world and assigned Lucifer42 to the position of archangel. Lucifer was the channel of God's love to the angelic world, just as Abraham was the channel of God's blessing to the Israelites. In this position he virtually monopolized the love of God. However, after God created human beings as His children, He loved them many times more than He had ever loved Lucifer, whom He had created as His servant. In truth, God's love toward Lucifer did not change; it was the same before and after the creation of human beings. Yet when Lucifer saw that God loved Adam and Eve more than him, he felt as if there had been a decrease in the love he received from God. This situation is similar to that in the biblical parable of the laborers in the vineyard.43 Although the laborers who had worked since morning received a fair wage, when they saw that those who came later and worked less received just as much, they felt underpaid. Lucifer, feeling as though he were receiving less love than he deserved, wanted to grasp the same central position in human society as he enjoyed in the angelic world, as the channel of God's love. This was why he seduced Eve, and this was the motivation of the spiritual fall.
Everything in the universe is created to be governed by God through love. Thus, love is the source of life, the key to happiness, and the essence of the ideal to which all beings aspire. The more one receives love, the more beautiful one appears to others. When the angel, created as God's servant, beheld Eve, the daughter of God, it was only natural that she looked beautiful in his eyes. Moreover, when Lucifer saw that Eve was responding to his temptation, the angel felt the stimulation of her love to be deliciously enticing. At this point, Lucifer was seducing Eve with the mind to have her, regardless of the consequences. Lucifer, who left his proper position due to his excessive desire, and Eve, who wanted to open her eyes and become like God44 before the time was ripe, formed a common base and began give and take action. The power of the unprincipled love generated by their give and take led them to consummate an illicit sexual relationship on the spiritual plane.
All beings are created based on the principle that when they become one in love, they exchange elements with each other. Accordingly, when Eve became one with Lucifer through love, she received certain elements from him. First, she received feelings of dread arising from the pangs of a guilty conscience, stemming from her violation of the purpose of creation. Second, she received from Lucifer the wisdom which enabled her to discern that her originally intended spouse was to be Adam, not the angel. Eve was in the position to receive wisdom from the Archangel because she was immature and her wisdom was not as seasoned as that of the Archangel, who was already in a state of angelic maturity.
Perfect Adam and Eve were supposed to have become an eternal husband and wife in God's love. But Eve, who in her immaturity had engaged in the illicit relationship with the Archangel, joined with Adam as husband and wife. Thus, Adam fell when he, too, was still immature. This untimely conjugal relationship in satanic love between Adam and Eve constituted the physical fall.
As mentioned above, through the spiritual fall with the Archangel, Eve received feelings of dread arising from the pangs of a guilty conscience and a new wisdom that her originally intended spouse was not the Archangel but Adam. Eve then seduced Adam with the hope that by uniting with him, her intended spouse, she could rid herself of the dread and once again stand before God. This was Eve's motivation which led to the physical fall.
Once Eve had united with the Archangel through their illicit sexual relationship, she stood in the position of the Archangel with respect to Adam. Thus, Adam, who was still receiving God's love, appeared very attractive to her. Seeing Adam as her only hope of returning to God, Eve turned to Adam and tempted him, playing the same role as the Archangel had played when he had tempted her. Adam responded and formed a common base with Eve, and they began give and take action with each other. The power of the unprincipled love generated in their relationship induced Adam to abandon his original position and brought them together in an illicit physical relationship of sexual love.
When Adam united in oneness with Eve, he inherited all the elements Eve had received from the Archangel. These elements in turn have been passed down to all subsequent generations without interruption. What if Adam had reached perfection without having yielded to fallen Eve's temptation? The providence to restore Eve would have been relatively easy because, although she had fallen, Adam still would have remained intact as her perfect subject partner. Unfortunately, Adam also fell, and humanity has multiplied in sin to the present day, perpetuating the lineage of Satan.
Human beings are created through the Principle, and they are meant to live according to the way of the Principle. Therefore, it cannot be that the force inherent in the Principle would induce a person to deviate from the way of the Principle and cause him to fall. This may be compared to a train which cannot run off the track unless, aside from a breakdown in the track or locomotive, some outside force stronger than the train's forward momentum collides with it and pushes it in a different direction. Similarly, for human beings the force inherent in the Principle guides their growth in the proper direction. But if some stronger force from a different direction and with an unprincipled purpose collides with them, they will surely fall. The force which is stronger than the force of the Principle is none other than the power of love. While human beings are in the state of immaturity, it is possible that the power of unprincipled love can induce them to fall.
Why is the power of love stronger than the power of the Principle? Why did God create it stronger, when this leaves open the possibility that the power of deviant love might collide with a person in the state of immaturity and cause him to fall?
According to the Principle of Creation, God's love is the subject of all loves flowing within the four position foundation, which is established when its members have completed the three object purpose through their dynamic love for each other. Without God's love, there is no way to establish the true four position foundation; without God's love, there is no way for us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Love is truly the source and wellspring of our life and happiness.
Although God created human beings based on the Principle, He governs us through love. Accordingly, in order for love to fulfill its proper role, its power must be stronger than the power of the Principle. If the power of love were weaker than the power of the Principle, God could not govern human beings through love; rather, we would pursue the Principle more than the love of God. For this reason, Jesus tried to raise his disciples with the truth, but it was his love that saved them.
Why did God nurture the faith of Adam and Eve by giving them the commandment, "Do not eat of the fruit"? In their immature state, Adam and Eve could not be directly governed by God through love. Because the power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle, God foresaw that if they ever formed a common base with the Archangel, there was a possibility that they could succumb to the power of deviant, unprincipled love and fall. To prevent this, God gave Adam and Eve the commandment that forbade them from relating with the Archangel in this way. No matter how powerful the unprincipled love of the Archangel might be, had Adam and Eve adhered to God's commandment, forming a common base with God and engaging in give and take with Him and no other, the power of the Archangel's unprincipled love would not have affected them and they would never have fallen. Tragically, Adam and Eve did not obey the commandment, but formed a common base with the Archangel and had give and take with him. Hence, the power of illicit love pushed them off the track.
It was not only to prevent their fall that God gave immature human beings the commandment. God also wanted them to enjoy dominion over the natural world-including the angels-by inheriting His creative nature. In order to inherit this creatorship, human beings should perfect themselves through their faith in the Word as their own portion of responsibility.45
God gave the commandment not to the Archangel but only to the human beings. God wished to exalt the dignity of human beings as bestowed by the Principle of Creation, which entitled them to stand as God's children and govern even the angels.
Was God's commandment not to eat of the fruit binding forever? God's second blessing was to be fulfilled when Adam and Eve entered God's direct dominion of love, by joining as true husband and wife and bearing and raising children in God's love.46 Indeed, the Principle mandates that human beings eat of the fruit once they reach full maturity of character.
The power of love is stronger than the power of the Principle. Had Adam and Eve reached perfection, become a godly husband and wife, and experienced God's direct governance by the absolute power of His love, their conjugal love would have become absolute. No person, no power in the universe could ever break that bond of love. At this point, Adam and Eve would never fall. There would have been no way that the love of the Archangel, who is inferior to human beings, could ever have severed the conjugal love of Adam and Eve once it was grounded firmly in God. Accordingly, God's commandment, "Do not eat of the fruit," was binding upon Adam and Eve only while they were immature.
What were the consequences of the spiritual and physical fall of Adam and Eve for the entire universe, including humankind and the angels? Let us discuss some of the most serious consequences.
Satan is the name given to the Archangel Lucifer after he fell. When the first human ancestors fell, they bound themselves in blood ties with Lucifer. They formed a four position foundation yoked to Satan, and thus all humanity became the children of Satan. This is why Jesus said to the people, "you are of your father the devil," and called them a "brood of vipers."47 St. Paul wrote, "not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons,"48 indicating that no one belongs to the lineage of God. Instead, due to the Fall of the first human ancestors, human beings are of the lineage of Satan.
Had Adam and Eve reached full maturity and built a four position foundation centering on God, the world of God's sovereignty would have been established at that time. While still immature, however, they fell and formed a four position foundation centering on Satan. Con-sequently, this world has come under Satan's sovereignty. Hence, the Bible calls Satan "the ruler of this world" and "the god of this world."49
Once Satan came to dominate human beings, who were intended to be the lords of creation, he also achieved domination over everything in the universe. Accordingly, it is written, "the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. . . . We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now."50 These verses describe the agony of the creation under the domination of Satan as it longs for the appearance of unfallen people who have perfected their original nature; it yearns for the day when they will vanquish Satan and rule it in love.
Satan is constantly accusing all people before God, as he did Job, in order to drag them into hell.51 However, even Satan cannot perpetrate his evil activity unless he first finds an object partner with whom he can form a common base and engage in give and take action. Satan's object partners are evil spirits in the spirit world. The object partners to these evil spirits are the spirit selves of evil people on the earth, and the vehicles through which these evil spirit selves act are their physical selves. Accordingly, the power of Satan is conveyed through evil spirits and is manifested in the activities of earthly people. For example, Satan entered into Judas Iscariot,52 and Jesus once called Peter "Satan."53 In the Bible, the spirits of evil earthly men are called "angels" of the devil.54
The Kingdom of Heaven on earth55 is a restored world in which Satan can no longer instigate any activity. To realize this world, it is necessary for all humanity to eliminate their common base with Satan, restore their common base with God, and engage in give and take action with Him. The prophecy that in the Last Days God will confine Satan in a bottomless pit56 signifies that Satan will be utterly incapable of any activity, since there will no longer be any counterpart with whom Satan can relate. In order to eliminate our common base with Satan and be capable of judging him,57 we must understand the identity and crime of Satan and accuse him before God.
However, God endowed human beings and angels with freedom; therefore, He cannot restore them by force. Of their own free will, human beings are to bring Satan to voluntary submission by upholding the Word of God through fulfilling their responsibility. Only in this way can we be restored to the original ideal purposed by God at the creation. Because God works His providence based on this principle, the history of the providence of restoration has been repeatedly prolonged.58
Having already defined good and evil,59 let us further examine the nature of good and evil from the viewpoint of purpose. Had Adam and Eve loved each other as God intended and formed a four position foundation centered on God, they would have established a good world. But when they loved each other with a purpose contrary to God's intentions and established a four position foundation centered on Satan, they ended up forming an evil world. This demonstrates that although good and evil elements or actions may take the same form, their true nature may be discerned through their fruits. They yield their fruits in accordance with the divergent purposes they pursue.
We find many cases where an aspect of human nature conventionally considered evil is, in fact, good if its purpose is directed toward the Will of God. Let us take the example of desire. Desire, which people often consider sinful, is actually God-given. Joy is the purpose of creation, and joy can only be attained when desire is fulfilled. If we had no desire, we could never experience joy. If we had no desire, we would not have any aspiration to receive God's love, to live, to perform good deeds, or to improve ourselves. Without desire, therefore, neither God's purpose of creation nor the providence of restoration could be fulfilled. An orderly, harmonious and flourishing human society would be impossible.
Desires, being part of our God-given nature, are good when they bear fruit for the purpose of God's Will, or are evil when they bear fruit for the purpose of Satan's will. On this basis, we can deduce that even this evil world will be restored to goodness and become the Kingdom of Heaven on earth if it changes its direction and purpose according to the guidance of Christ.60 The providence of restoration may thus be interpreted as the process of changing the direction of this fallen world from its current satanic purpose to the purpose of building the Kingdom of Heaven, God's ideal of creation.
Any standard of goodness set during the course of the providence of restoration is not absolute but relative. In any particular period of history, obedient compliance with the doctrines expounded by the prevailing authorities is considered good, while actions in opposition to them are considered evil. But the change of an era ushers in new authorities and doctrines, with new goals and new standards of good and evil. For the adherents of any religious tradition or school of thought, complying with the precepts of its doctrine or philosophy is good, while opposing them is evil. But whenever a doctrine or philosophy undergoes a change, its standards of good and evil will also change according to its new goals. Similarly, if an adherent converts to a different religion or school of thought, then naturally his goals and standards of good and evil will change accordingly.
Conflicts and revolutions constantly plague human society, mainly because of the continual changes in standards of good and evil as people seek to fulfill divergent purposes. Yet throughout the endless cycles of conflict and revolution in human history, people have been seeking the absolute goodness which their original mind desires. Conflicts and revolutions in fallen human society will inevitably continue as people pursue this absolute goal, until the final achievement of the world of goodness. The standard of goodness will remain relative only as long as the course of restoration continues.
Once the sovereignty of Satan is expelled from the earth, then God, the eternal and absolute Being transcendent of time and space, will establish His sovereignty and His truth. In that day, God's truth will be absolute, and hence the purpose which it serves and the standard of goodness which it sets will both be absolute. This cosmic, all-encompassing truth will be firmly established by Christ at his Second Advent.
We use "good spirits" as a general term for God, spirits on the side of God, and good angels. The general term for Satan and spirits on his side is "evil spirits." The works of good spirits and evil spirits, as in the case of good and evil acts generally, have a similar appearance at the outset but pursue contrary purposes.
Over time, the works of a good spirit will increase a person's sense of peace and righteousness and even improve his health. The works of evil spirits, on the contrary, will gradually lead to an increase of anxiety, fear and selfishness and cause his health to deteriorate. It may be difficult for someone who does not know the Principle to discern the works of spirits, but eventually, often belatedly, he will recognize the nature of the spirits by the fruits they bear. Since a fallen person stands in the midway position between God and Satan and relates with both of them, the works of a good spirit may be accompanied by the subtle influences of an evil spirit. In other cases, phenomena which begin as the works of evil spirits may, as time passes, merge with the works of good spirits. Discerning the spirits is thus very difficult for those who do not understand the Principle. It is a pity that many religious authorities, in their ignorance, condemn the works of good spirits by lumping them together with the works of evil spirits. This may place them in inadvertant opposition to the Will of God. In the present era, spirit-ual phenomena are becoming ever more prevalent. Unless religious leaders can correctly distinguish the works of good spirits from the works of evil spirits, they cannot properly instruct and guide those who experience spiritual phenomena.
Sin is a violation of heavenly law which is committed when a person forms a common base with Satan, thus setting a condition for give and take action with him. Sin can be classified into four kinds. The first is the original sin. This sin originated with the spiritual and physical fall of our first human ancestors. It is ingrained in our lineage and is the root of all sins. The second is hereditary sin. This is sin which one inherits from one's ancestors on account of their connection through lineage. It is written in the Ten Commandments that the sins of parents will be visited upon their descendants.61
The third is collective sin. This is sin for which a person is responsible as a member of a group, even though he neither committed the sin himself nor inherited it from his ancestors. An example of this kind of sin is the crucifixion of Jesus. Although only the chief priests and certain scribes committed the deed when they sent Jesus to be crucified, the Jewish people and humanity as a whole have together shouldered the responsibility for this sin. As a consequence, the Jewish people were cast into the position to undergo grievous suffering, and humanity as a whole has had to walk a path of tribulation, until the Second Coming of Christ. The fourth is individual sin, which an individual himself commits.
The original sin may be thought of as the root of all sins, hereditary sin as the trunk, collective sin as the branches, and individual sin as the leaves. All sins sprout from the original sin, which is their root. Without extirpating the original sin, there is no way to completely eradicate other sins. However, no man is able to unearth this root of sin, buried deep in the recesses of time. Only Christ, who comes as the root and True Parent of humanity, can grasp it and uproot it.
Eve inherited from the Archangel all the proclivities incidental to his transgression against God when he bound her in blood ties through their sexual relationship. Adam in turn acquired the same inclinations when Eve, assuming the role of the Archangel, bound him in blood ties through their sexual relationship. These proclivities have become the root cause of the fallen inclinations in all people. They are the primary characteristics of our fallen nature.
The fundamental motivation which engendered these primary characteristics of the fallen nature lay in the envy the Archangel felt toward Adam, the beloved of God. How can there be anything such as envy and jealousy in an archangel, whom God created for a good purpose? The Archangel was endowed with desire and intellect as a part of his original nature. Because the Archangel possessed an intellect, he could compare and discern that God's love for human beings was greater than the love God gave to him. Because he also possessed desires, he had a natural yearning for God to love him more. This desire of the heart was naturally conducive to envy and jealousy. Envy is an inevitable byproduct of the original nature, like the shadow cast by an object in the light.
After human beings reach perfection, however, they will never be induced to fall because of incidental envy. They will know deep inside that the temporary gratification they might feel by attaining the object of their desire is not worth the agony of self-destruction that would ensue. Hence, they would never commit such crimes.
A world that has fulfilled the purpose of creation is a society built upon organic inter-relationships much like the structure of the human body. Recognizing that the downfall of an individual would cause the whole to perish, society will keep its individual members from such self-destruction. In this ideal world, the envious desires that arise incidentally from the original nature will be channeled into spurring the progress of humanity. They will never cause people to fall.
The primary characteristics of the fallen nature can be divided broadly into four types. The first is failing to take God's standpoint. A principal cause of the Archangel's fall was his failure to love Adam with the same heart and perspective as God; instead he felt jealous of Adam. This led him to tempt Eve. An example of this characteristic of the fallen nature is when a courtier feels jealous of the king's favorite instead of sincerely respecting him as one whom the king loves.
The second is leaving one's proper position. Seeking more of God's love, Lucifer desired to enjoy the same position of love in the human world as he had in the angelic world. This unrighteous desire caused him to leave his position and fall. People are induced by unrighteous desires to step beyond the bounds of what is right and overreach themselves because of this primary characteristic of the fallen nature.
The third is reversing dominion. The angel, who was supposed to come under the dominion of human beings, instead dominated Eve. Then Eve, who was supposed to come under the dominion of Adam, dominated him instead. This disruption of the proper order has borne bitter fruit. Human society is thrown out of order by people who leave their proper position and then reverse the order of dominion. These repeated occurrences are rooted in this primary characteristic of the fallen nature.
The fourth is multiplying the criminal act. After her fall, had Eve not repeated her sin by seducing Adam, Adam would have remained whole. The restoration of Eve alone would have been relatively easy. However, Eve spread her sin to others by inducing Adam to fall. The proclivity of evil people to entangle others in an expanding web of crime stems from this primary characteristic of the fallen nature.
What is the meaning of true freedom? In light of the Principle, three characteristics of freedom stand out. First, there is no freedom outside the Principle. Freedom requires both free will and the free actions pursuant to that will. The former and the latter have the relationship of internal nature and external form, and perfect freedom is achieved when they are in harmony. Therefore, there cannot be any free action without free will, nor can free will be complete without free actions to accompany it. Free actions are generated by free will, and free will is an expression of the mind. Since the mind of an original, sinless person cannot operate outside of God's Word, that is, the Principle, it will never express free will or generate free action apart from the Principle. Undoubtedly, the freedom of a true person never deviates from the Principle.
Second, there is no freedom without responsibility. Human beings, created according to the Principle, can reach perfection only by fulfilling their responsibility based on their free will.62 Accordingly, a person pursuing the purpose of creation as prompted by his free will ceaselessly strives to carry out his portion of responsibility.
Third, there is no freedom without accomplishment. When human beings exercise freedom and carry out their responsibility, they strive to accomplish results which complete the purpose of creation and bring joy to God. Free will ceaselessly pursues concrete results through free actions.
To summarize, freedom cannot exist outside the Principle. Freedom is accompanied by the responsibility laid out in the Principle, and freedom pursues accomplishments that bring joy to God. Free actions generated by free will bring about only good results. Therefore, it cannot be that freedom caused the human Fall. It is written, "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."63 This freedom is the freedom of the original mind.
As long as Adam and Eve were bound by God's warning not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they should have kept this commandment by their free will and without God's intervention. Certainly, the freedom of their original mind, which is inherently responsible and seeks the good, was prompting them to obey it. When Eve was about to deviate from the Principle, the freedom of her original mind aroused fear and foreboding in her in an attempt to prevent her from deviating. Ever since the Fall, this freedom of the original mind has been working to bring people back to God. Working in this way, freedom could not possibly have caused human beings to fall. Rather, the human Fall was caused by the stronger power of unprincipled love, which overwhelmed the freedom of the original mind.
In truth, human beings lost their freedom as a result of the Fall. Yet even fallen people possess intact a seed of their original nature which seeks freedom, and this makes it possible for God to carry on the providence to restore it. With the progress of history, people have been ever more zealously aspiring for freedom, even at the cost of their lives. This is evidence that we are in the process of restoring our freedom, long lost due to Satan. The purpose of our search for freedom is to facilitate the accomplishment of our God-given responsibility, which is essential for fulfilling our purpose of creation.
It is true that human beings were free to relate with angels, who were created to minister to them. However, since Eve's heart and intellect were still immature when she was tempted by the angel, she became confused emotionally and intellectually. Although the freedom of her original mind induced in her a sense of foreboding, because the power of the love between her and the angel was stronger, she crossed the boundary and fell. No matter how freely Eve was relating with the angel, if she had maintained unwavering faith in God's commandment and not responded to the angel's temptation, then the power of unprincipled love would not have been generated and she would not have fallen. Therefore, despite the fact that freedom permitted Eve to relate with the angel and brought her to the brink of the Fall, what pushed her over the brink was not freedom but the power of unprincipled love.
Since Eve was created to interact in freedom with angels, she naturally related with Lucifer. Yet when Eve and Lucifer formed a common base and engaged in give and take action, the power of the unprincipled love which was generated caused them to fall. Conversely, since fallen people can also relate with God in freedom, if they follow the words of truth, form a common base and engage in give and take with Him, then the power of principled love can revive their original nature. Indeed, the freedom of the original mind yearns to cultivate fully the original nature. Hence, people in every age have been desperately crying out for freedom.
Due to the Fall, human beings became ignorant of God and His Heart. This ignorance has rendered the human will incapable of striving toward goals which are pleasing to God. As God has given "spirit and truth"64 (meaning internal knowledge and external knowledge) to fallen people according to the merit of the age in the providence of restoration, their heart, which yearns for the freedom of the original mind, has gradually been revived. In step with this progress, their heart toward God has also been restored, strengthening their zeal to live according to His Will.
Moreover, as aspirations for freedom mount in intensity, people will demand a social environment conducive to its realization. When the social circumstances of an era cannot satisfy the desires of freedom-loving people, revolutions inevitably erupt. The French Revolution in the eighteenth century is one example. Revolutions will continue until true freedom has been fully restored.
God, being omniscient and omnipotent, must have known about the deviant acts of the first human ancestors which were leading to their Fall and was surely capable of preventing them from carrying them out. Why, then, did God not intervene to prevent the Fall? This is one of the most important unsolved mysteries of the ages. We can put forward the following three reasons why God did not interfere with the human Fall.
In accordance with the Principle of Creation, God created human beings in His image, with the character and powers of the Creator, intending that they govern over all things as He governs over humankind. However, for human beings to inherit the creative nature of God, they must grow to perfection by fulfilling their portion of responsibility. As explained above, the period of their growth is the realm of God's indirect dominion or the realm of dominion based on accomplishments through the Principle. While people are still in this realm, God does not directly govern them because He wishes to allow them to fulfill their own portion of responsibility. God will govern them directly only after they have reached full maturity.
If God were to interfere with human actions during their growing period, it would be tantamount to ignoring the human portion of responsibility. In that case, God would be disregarding His own Principle of Creation, according to which He intends to give human beings His creative nature and raise them to become the lords of creation. If the Principle were ignored, then its absoluteness and perfection would be undermined. Because God is the absolute and perfect Creator, His Principle of Creation must also be absolute and perfect. In summary, in order to preserve the absoluteness and perfection of the Principle of Creation, God did not intervene in the acts that led the human beings to fall.
God only governs over a principled existence which He has created and only sways the course of principled acts. God does not regulate any unprincipled existence which He did not create, such as hell; nor does He interfere with any unprincipled act, such as criminal acts. If God were to affect the course of such beings or acts, then they would necessarily be given the value of God's creations and be recognized as principled.
Consequently, if God were to have intervened in the Fall of the first human ancestors, He would have been attributing to those acts the value of His creations and recognizing them as principled. If God were to do this, He would in effect be creating a new principle that recognizes these criminal acts as lawful. Since it would actually be Satan who manipulated the situation to bring about this outcome, it would in fact be Satan who created another, new principle, and Satan would stand as the creator of all the fruits of the Fall. Therefore, in order that God remain the sole Creator, He did not intervene in the human Fall.
God created human beings and blessed them with dominion over everything in the creation.65 Human beings cannot rule other creatures if they stand on an equal footing with them. They must earn certain qualifications to gain their God-given mandate to govern.
God is qualified to govern human beings because He is their Creator. Likewise, for human beings to gain the qualifications to rule all things, they must also possess the character and powers of the Creator. In order to give them creatorship and make them worthy to govern all things, God has human beings perfect themselves by accomplishing their own portion of responsibility until the end of their growing period. Only by perfecting themselves in accordance with the Principle can they earn the qualifications to rule the universe. If God were to rule directly and control the lives of human beings who are still in the state of immaturity, this would in effect grant the authority of a ruler to those who are unqualified to rule. That is, it would have the effect of granting this authority to those who have not yet fulfilled their responsibility or earned God's creatorship. It would contradict God's Principle because He would be treating an immature person as if he were mature. God, the Author of the Principle, would be disregarding His own Principle of Creation, which He established in order to enable human beings to inherit the nature of the Creator and govern the creation. Consequently, it was in order to bless human beings as the lords of creation that God had to restrain Himself from intervening in the acts of immature human beings, as He watched with trepidation their tragic fall.