315. The Path for America and Humankind in the Last Days
Book 3: Cheon Il Guk and Our Mission
Part 1: The Road to a World of Peace
Chapter 21: The Path for America and Humankind in the Last Days
This speech was given by Reverend Sun Myung Moon at the celebration of his 80th Birthday on January 22, 2000, and then by Dr. Hak Jan Han Moon during a speaking tour in the United States, South America and Europe between April 8 and May 31, 2000.
Distinguished and honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you, as world leaders representing many walks of life, for gathering to congratulate and celebrate the 80th birthday of my husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. In particular, at this time I would like to return all glory to God, who has always been with him and has protected him to this day, and I thank Him from the bottom of my heart.
Completing the providence in the Last Days
Throughout his life, my husband has made strenuous efforts to resolve the world's difficult problems, while maintaining single-minded devotion to realizing God's ideal of creation. He came to realize that God is not a Being sitting on a throne of glory and honor. Rather, He is a God of sadness, lamentation and anguish, endeavoring to save His children who fell and plunged into hell.
Reflecting upon the 80 years of his life, throughout which he was repeatedly the object of misunderstanding and persecution, it is just amazing that Reverend Moon can be with us today. I believe that it is entirely thanks to God. On this day of such great significance, in order to understand human history and the world from the perspective of God's providence, I would like to speak on the topic, "The Path for America and Humankind in the Last Days.”
When viewing human history as God's providence of salvation, the Last Days are a turning point when the evil history of Satan concludes and God's good sovereignty begins. Accordingly, the Last Days are the time when everything is brought to fulfillment. Thus, in the Last Days individual perfection is to be realized, family perfection is to be realized, the perfection of a people, a nation, the world and finally, the complete fulfillment of the cosmos is to be realized.
Whenever the time of the Last Days was heralded in God's providence, God led humankind to a God-centered ideology, but we failed to fulfill our responsibility to stand in the position of goodness and eradicate our evil history. However, God is eternal, unchanging, absolute and unique, and God's Will is also eternal, unchanging and absolute. Therefore, through the true individual, true family, true society, true nation, true world and true sovereignty, God will surely build the world in which He can live, freely moving about and being active both in heaven and on earth.
Then, what is the original world for which God is seeking? It is a world that is centered on the True Parents. However, due to the Fall, we lost the True Parents of humanity and the true world from the very beginning. Thus, nothing in the world, not the land where we are living, no ideology or anything else can connect us directly to the True Parents. Therefore, we ourselves should first be restored to trueness.
When this happens, when true parents, true husband and wife, true children, true people, the true creation, the true sovereignty and true cosmos emerge and can communicate with God in heart, the evil world will eventually come to an end. The Last Days is the time when such an ideal will be realized. It is the time when the Second Advent will occur. Accordingly, in the last days, there will be no external catastrophic phenomena such as judgment by fire, the destruction of the earth or people levitating into the air. Instead, it is a time when the history of evil entangled with countless tragedies will be untangled.
This will be accomplished through sacrificial conditions offered on every level, that of the individual, family, society, people, nation, world and ultimately the cosmos. Thus, it is the time when all of these levels that have lost their vertical connection with God will be restored. We have been longing for such a day, and that is the final destination we all should reach. The individual, the family and the nation that have been estranged will be reconnected. Moreover, the various problems, such as air pollution, food shortages and interreligious and inter-racial conflicts that are constantly arising throughout the world, causing disputes and even wars, will finally be solved.
Reverend Moon's core teachings
But who is going to take responsibility for this world? This is a serious question. Communist countries in the past could not transcend their nationalism, nor can today's super-power nation, America, transcend the idea of Americanizing the world. When a nation places its self-interest first, it will not be able to lead the world. Therefore, we need a people or a nation willing to sacrifice for a higher purpose and to strive to build or become an ideal nation that embraces the entire world.
In response to the call of God, Reverend Moon journeyed to the United States of America, a country faced with a moral crisis and the decline of Christianity. By educating its young people, he has been making his utmost effort to revive America. You might be curious about what he is teaching them. It is actually simple.
First, it is "to live for the sake of others.” More specifically, Reverend Moon’s teaching is that the individual lives for the family, the family for the society, the society for a people, the people for the nation, the nation for the world and the world for God. Then, God will come to us. In the family, parents are to live for children and children for parents, husband for wife and wife for husband. Anyone who lives for others more than his or her own self will become a central person on the side of goodness.
Second, he is teaching people to love their enemies. God Himself sacrificed Jesus, His own begotten and beloved son, for the salvation of humankind. Since God did this in order to save the children of His enemy, Satan could not exercise his full authority and power before God. Even Satan cannot help but surrender voluntarily before the God who loves Satan's children more than His own. Satan's pattern is always to strike first but lose in the end, and God's strategy is to win in the end by taking the first blow and initial loss. Living with faith in such a heavenly law is the very secret explaining the foundation Reverend Moon was able to lay, dispatching missionaries to 185 nations throughout the world despite fierce persecution and misunderstanding.
Even when looking into the history of Christian missionary activities, we can discover that theirs was a path of persecution and martyrdom, hindered by enemies. In such a way, during the course of Christianity’s 2,000-year history, this trail of blood became the fertilizer in the foundation for a powerful democracy to develop. Today, however, Christianity, which once was the source of power and strength for democracy, is facing a crisis. Christian nations have lost the right direction; they deny God, Jesus and God's providence. Now, we even hear voices asserting, "God is dead" or "God does not exist.” Observing this, how does God feel? God's heart has been searching for His children, sacrificing everything He has, with hope that He could see a great day like today.
The core of messianic thought
Ladies and gentlemen, for whom has God been sacrificing Himself so far? It is not for America, nor is it for Christianity. It is for each of us; in other words, for you and me as individuals. Likewise, the reason Jesus was crucified was also not to save the Messiah himself, but was to save each one of us, you and me. Since the Fall began on the individual level, salvation should also begin on the individual level.
Accordingly, a representative of humankind should come and proclaim, "I will take full responsibility as a representative of all humankind. I will pay off all the debt that man has incurred during the entire course of history and I will become a person who will make God indebted to me instead.” Without such a realization and determination, restoration is impossible. We should not be only conceptual or theoretical. Unless we are willing to experience greater suffering than the one who is undergoing suffering in the world on behalf of God, we cannot reach God's heart.
Have you ever prayed in desperation for the six billion people of the world with a feeling that your own children are dying? How much heart have you invested to save a family, a tribe, a people, a nation and the world, with a willingness to sacrifice yourself for them? I believe few people are confident to give a positive answer to that question. However, the Lord of the Second Advent comes to the world with such an absolute standard as the representative of all humanity.
God, who has been leading the providence of salvation, found Abraham 2,000 years after the Fall of the first human ancestors. God made his descendants, the chosen people of Israel, by multiplying them on every level, as a new family, a new tribe and a new people. Because the Israelites were called as the chosen people to receive the Messiah, based on their victorious foundation they became the central people to receive the substantial Messiah who was to come in the future.
If you go to the core of messianic thought, you can understand that the standard and ideology that the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, should have reached and fulfilled need to be restored. This is the thought of the Messiah, in which the believers stand as the "bride.” Therefore, the ultimate purpose pursued by Christianity is not to build the kingdom of Christianity or the world of Christianity. The most important mission of Christianity is to prepare to become a qualified bride to receive the bridegroom. Despite the significance of this mission, because of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Israelites could not fulfill this pursuit.
Therefore, the mission of the first Israel as the chosen people called by God faded away. Christianity was instead then called by God to carry out the mission of the chosen people as the second Israel. God led the 6,000-year providence centered on this one purpose. After the failure of Israel to fulfill that role, Christianity was prepared as the bride to receive the bridegroom.
We are now in the final stage of the providence. Then, what is the core of messianic thought? It is an ideology to save the world. It is a teaching that can unify the world and build an ideal family. Its main purpose is to restore the position of the True Parents that was lost by the Fall of the human ancestors.
By looking into the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, one can understand that the Messiah comes with the authority of the father, meets a substantial bride who represents the power of the Holy Spirit, and restores the position of the True Parents. We can understand the prophecy of the bride and bridegroom at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the Book of Revelation to be a reference to the next stage of their becoming the True Parents by first becoming a true husband and wife. Jesus came with this mission. However, when he lost his people and nation due to their faithlessness, he offered his life for the sake of the world and the kingdom that God wished to build.
The path of Jesus suffering on the cross was the same path of tribulation that God Himself walked. In such a situation of trial and tribulation, Jesus desperately prayed, "Please forgive them for they know not what they do.” Even in the place of death, he forgave Rome and the group of people who opposed him, waiting for victory in the future. Thus, the work of Jesus did not end at the age of 33. With God's help, Christianity inherited his spirit and became one of
the four greatest worldwide religions in human history.
The cycle of civilizations
Ladies and gentlemen, America is currently recognized as the superpower of the world, but unless it stands in alignment with the providence of God, it will not continue to prosper. Let us look at the history of civilization. Ancient civilizations emerged mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Examples of such tropical and subtropical civilizations include those of the Mayas, the Incas, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and the Yellow River region of China.
Had we not fallen, civilization would have begun in the warm zone, corresponding to spring, and moved to the cool zone, corresponding to autumn. The civilization of the current age is the warm-zone civilization centered today on the free world, the western civilization. In general, when viewing the equator as the center, nations such as the United States, England, Germany and so forth, linked around the latitude of 40 degrees north, are the developed countries of the West.
With the end of the cool zone civilization of autumn, the cold zone civilization of winter comes for a short time. This is the appearance of communism. Many intellectuals may think that the Cold War system disappeared completely after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but materialism and atheism are still prevalent throughout the world. They manifest in two major ideologies, democracy and communism, both of which are gradually losing power. God's ideal of creation should have begun in the warm zone of spring, but due to the Fall of the first human ancestors, it started as a tropical zone civilization.
Now, the civilization of the true spring that we have been seeking from time immemorial will appear, overcoming the crisis of the tropical zone civilization and the threats of the cold zone civilization. Who will be able to melt the block of ice frozen in the heart of God, and how will he do it? It is impossible with power, money, science or knowledge. As we can see from this movement of civilization centering on rivers and coastlines, the center of civilization is not fixed but is always moving to different parts of the globe. Human civilization began to develop around the Tigris and Euphrates and Nile Rivers. The center of human civilization then shifted to the Mediterranean, especially focusing upon Greece, Rome, Spain, and Portugal. It then moved to the Atlantic, focusing on Britain and the United States. Ultimately it has borne fruit in the Pacific Ocean civilization of the United States, Japan, and Korea.
Thus, viewed in this way—from the perspective of the history of cultures—the Korean peninsula occupies a very important position. To the north of Korea lie the ultimate points of the cold region civilization that link Russia and China. To the south lie the ultimate points of the cool region civilization that link the United States and Japan. Thus, it is consistent with the providential viewpoint that Korea gives rise to a warm region civilization representing the spring season of world history and having the capability to digest both the cold and cool region civilizations. From this aspect, the fact that Reverend Moon, who has dedicated
his life to solving the North-South problem and the East-West problem, has come from Korea can only be described as the culmination of God's providence.
God's Will is most important
In fact, throughout his life Reverend Moon has transcended race, ideology and national boundaries to pursue a movement for one world under God. It is because of God's providence that he has traveled this path. This is the principle of providential history. It is not a theory that he specially devised. He was enlightened regarding the Will of Heaven, and rather than letting this remain as an idea alone, he has worked to bring this concept of God into reality.
Geographically speaking, there is no place in any region of the world where he has not been active. He has inspired evangelical and business activities from Alaska, in the southernmost regions, to the former Soviet Union, to the 33 countries of South and Central America and throughout Asia and Africa. We are making preparations to solve problems that humanity will face over the coming millennium, such as environmental pollution, hunger and disease. In recent years, we have worked centering on the Pantanal and Amazon regions of Brazil to lay a substantial foundation to protect the earth's environment.
On the other hand, from a more spiritual perspective, we have worked through the international marriage Blessing and the pure love movement. Some 430 million couples around the world have participated in this activity, adding further impetus to the building of the kingdom of God on earth that God has longed to see for such a long time.
Ladies and gentlemen, up until now, countries possessing superior power politically, militarily and economically have controlled the world. However, no country can exist eternally unless it is in line with God's providence. The fall of the once glorious Greek and Roman civilizations are good examples of this. The United States, which today stands tall as a superpower is in the same position as Rome was in the past. The fall of Rome occurred more as a result of the internal cause of moral corruption than from any external invasions. Moral corruption caused Rome to lose the support of heavenly fortune.
In recent history, political forces favoring dialectical materialism and the materialistic view of history went so far as to take control of over one-third of the world's population and two-thirds of its land area, including the former Soviet Union and China. That expansion, however, could not stand forever. The time will come when religious leaders who speak for the Will of God will rise to prominence. Religious leaders are prophets. They must stand in the place God designates, declare God's Will, and point the way that humanity must go. However, the splintering of denominations and the struggles among religious groups that we see today serve no purpose other than to hinder God's providence.
That is why for decades Reverend Moon has invested more than half of the budget of the Unification Church into interdenominational and interreligious efforts to resolve conflicts between religions. Furthermore, he founded the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace to bring about peace for humanity through reconciliation and unity among religions. Most recently, he founded the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, and this body has held seven international Hoon Dok Hwe conferences in Washington, DC.
All people should go beyond racial and religious differences, understand God's providence to bring His ideal world of creation into reality, and ultimately, unite with God's heart. It is heart that will bring faith, hope and love—which humanity has been pursuing—to their ultimate conclusion. We must recover the relationship of heart with God that we lost as a result of the human Fall and recover the positions of parent and child as God originally envisioned them to be. Thus, the Last Days that God has promised us is the time when True Parents come. In other words, it is the time when the multitudes of people in the world, who lost their Parents as a result of the Fall, will again be able to meet their original true parents. Thus, the True Parents are the final fruit of the desires and hopes of all humankind. They are the final fruit of the victories wrought throughout human history.
The Unification Church has worked to disseminate this tradition throughout the world through the marriage Blessing. The fact that black people, white people and yellow people are able to come together as brothers and sisters beyond their differences of ethnicity, race, or skin color to form loving married couples is among the most significant factors in accomplishing God's Will. Today, through beginning to realize the blessed family tradition, humankind is beginning to recover the relationships of brother and sister, husband and wife, and parent and child as originally envisioned by God. Ultimately, we must go as far as to liberate God, who has been in the depths of sorrow ever since He lost His children. It is only then that the path to true happiness will be opened.
America was blessed by God
Ladies and gentlemen, there is profound significance in the fact that I am discussing God's providence today in Washington D.C., the capital of the United States. In many ways, the United States is a country prepared by God's blessing. The forefathers who built this country were the Pilgrim Fathers who risked their lives for the sake of the freedom of religion and came to America seeking a land of freedom. For the sake of their search for true religious freedom, these people left behind their parents, brothers and sisters, and homelands. They were even prepared to cut their ties to their home country as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the risk of their lives.
When the Mayflower arrived in New England in November 1620, it was already late autumn. While they endured their first winter, more than half of the 102 people who first arrived died of cold and hunger. What was particularly remarkable about them was that many died refusing to eat the precious seeds reserved for planting the next spring. The Puritans strongly believed in serving the Will of God in every aspect of their lives. After taking in their first harvest, they offered thanks to God. Upon their arrival, they first built a church and a school. Only after that did they set about to build houses where they themselves would live.
In the course of their pioneering, the Pilgrims began every activity with prayer. This was true whether it was plowing a field or fighting a war. When George Washington was at Valley Forge during the War of Independence, he must have prayed with great desperation. In a battle fought for the sake of God's Will, God sided with America. In England, the king and the people were united in fighting that war, yet in America, it was fought by God and His beloved sons and daughters. Isn't this how the United States came into existence as a country advocating freedom of faith?
Even now, the United States Congress opens with a prayer. When the President is sworn into office, he places his hand on the Bible as he takes the oath of office, and a member of the clergy blesses him. America even prints the words "In God we trust" on its money. America is unique in the world in the level of importance it attaches to God. This is how the United States has come to occupy a unique position as a mainly Protestant country with worldwide influence.
What about America today, though? Prayer in public schools is officially banned. The theory of evolution is given preference to the theory of creationism in education. The divorce rate of around 50% is completely obliterating the sanctity of the family. In 1971, Reverend Moon left his family and homeland behind to come to America, because he heard the voice of God sharing His concern about America’s current state of affairs. Upon arriving here, he cried out that he had come as a fireman to a house on fire and as a physician to cure America of sickness. Even then, Reverend Moon discovered that God was leaving America. It should be possible to find God everywhere in America, but God was departing from the hearts of people, from the families and from the schools. It seems like only yesterday that he stood on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and wept openly as he held on to God to keep Him from leaving America. Unfortunately, America has persisted in going the way of moral deterioration, as Reverend Moon at that time predicted.
The age of God's Kingdom in heaven and on earth
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to ask you this. Why do you suppose Reverend Moon continues to cry out to Americans despite all the opposition and suffering he endures? It is because he knows better than anyone the blood, sweat and tears that God shed in the course of establishing this country. During the past 30 years in America, he has not spent so much as a single day in comfort. Who is the master of America? It is neither white Americans nor black Americans. The true master of America is the person who loves America as God does.
Also, Reverend Moon continues to plead with you because God has chosen America as the first son, the nation representing the elder son realm in building the Kingdom of God on earth. Even now, Jesus is spiritually present mainly in America, and is offering earnest prayers that his purpose will be accomplished in America. In 1982, in accordance with the Will of God, Reverend Moon founded The Washington Times in Washington, D.C. Ever since then, this newspaper has led American public opinion as a conservative news medium showing the path that America must follow. My husband and I have also pursued a strong movement for national and world salvation through the true family values movement and the pure love movement for young people. We have invested in America in expectation that this country would stand upright before God's providence.
When Reverend Moon visited America in 1965, he blessed an area near the White House as a holy ground, and even today many people gather there and pray for America through the night. I hope each of you will open your hearts and that you will be able to sense the earnest desires of the Pilgrim Fathers and the many other of its patriots who have lived in America's history.
Ladies and gentlemen, the new millennium that has just begun is the time period in which God's 6,000-year salvation providence is brought to an end and God's ideal of creation is realized throughout the cosmos. This period is also the time when the lamentations of the created world, which lost its true masters as a result of the Fall, are finally over. This is the time when the Parent and children who have been long-separated meet again. The new earth and new heaven where there will be no tears are to be established. The future will be a time when God's realm of direct dominion will become apparent through His omnipresence and omniscience.
It is an age when the East and West will come together, centering on the Parents of Heaven and Earth as one universe under God, so that a grand family of humankind is formed on earth. This means the perfection of the Completed Testament Age, in which the promises of the Old Testament and New Testament will be fulfilled. The time has come. The time has come when America must re-awaken. It is time for the country as a whole to create a new movement to establish true parents, true families, a true country and a true world centered on God. In this way, America must keep God from leaving, and become again a society that attends Him.
God worked for 1,000 years to establish America. If He leaves America, where can He go? If America attends God properly, all America's problems—the family problems, moral problems, youth problems and racial problems—will be solved naturally. When America becomes a place where people of all races can live together in harmony, it will be a model for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It is time for us to unite together and open the path that humankind must travel.
It is time for America, as the elder son nation, to take the lead in attending God and to complete its mission as the helmsman that brings the nations of the world to God. I ask you to stand with me in accomplishing this historic task.
Again, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you distinguished guests for your presence here. I would like to conclude by expressing my hope for the beginning of a new millennial kingdom overflowing with peace, freedom and justice in heaven and on earth.
May God's blessing be with you and your families. Thank you.
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