Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 106
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 3: The Mission of Religion in Achieving God’s Ideal
Speech 2: The New Future of Christianity, pg 366-368
The religious leaders wrongly interpreted the Old Testament
Throughout the centuries, Judaism and Christianity have been at odds. At this point, we need to take a moment to figure out what sort of a book the Bible is. In the work of making a person, family, or nation that can fulfill the Will of God in the fallen world, the people involved are in a position similar to that of intelligence agents who have been sent into enemy territory. God would have to instruct them in words that the enemy could not decipher.
The Bible is a record of God’s instructions issued in parables and symbols. If, for instance, the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States were to send an agent to the Soviet Union, would they send a letter stating clearly, “Do such and such a thing at this place and time?” No, they would send the message in code. If God had taught us about the coming of the Lord with vivid clarity, the fallen world would have easily seized and killed the coming Lord at the earliest opportunity. We need to know that God needs to create an environment where the Lord cannot be seized and killed in the Last Days. Therefore, most people would not know the details of his coming, for God teaches and guides us in code.
We need to realize that for this reason, the people interpreted the Old Testament wrongly and so ended up killing the Messiah. Just as only one person, the director of the CIA, has the means to reveal the CIA’s code, only God and no one else can reveal the code of the Bible.
However, in order to fulfill His Will, God must teach us in advance and also teach us again when the time comes. If you were to look up Amos 3:7, you will read, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”
We have to know the fact that the leaders who spoke for the Old Testament interpreted it wrongly and thus came to commit the historic sin of seizing and killing the Messiah. Now, the Jewish believers of the time were relatively righteous, and the actions of Jesus, who claimed that John the Baptist was Elijah were alarming to them. I’m sure they had many conversations along the lines of, “The people have seen him perform mighty works and miracles, and also many new and strange works never before seen, and they could neither deny them nor approve them. And so let us hold a public discussion, saying, ‘Now then, since he claims that John the Baptist is Elijah, everything will be resolved if we decide whether Elijah has come or hasn’t come. So, let us ask John.’”
The question they asked is recorded in the Gospel of John 1:19 and following. When they asked John the Baptist, “Who are you?” he answered he was not the Messiah or Elijah or a prophet. Even if he did not confirm that he was Elijah, at the least, John the Baptist could have emphasized that he was a prophet. However, he answered all the questions in the negative.
Why did he do so? The people of Israel all firmly believed that he was a prophet, so why did he deny it? It was because the situation had already become unfavorable to him since Jesus was being cornered by the leaders of the nation and the religion. Because it was clear that these people were referring to what Jesus had said, John the Baptist looked upon the actual circumstances of the matter. The leaders of Israel and the Pharisees were determined to seize and kill Jesus by consensus, and John knew there was trouble brewing.
Therefore, John the Baptist would not speak on behalf of Heaven from the position of a human being. Instead, he denied even the fact that he was one of the prophets. This being the case, do you think that people would give more credence to the words of Jesus or the words of John the Baptist? To bring it home to the United States, if a certain young person came forward and said of Reverend Billy Graham, “Billy Graham is Elijah and I am Jesus,” and Reverend Graham denied it, would you believe it?
History thus turned a corner, and we cannot deny the fact that, though God had sent Jesus Christ to the Jewish people, whom He had prepared for four thousand years, with faith and hope, the people of that time seized him and let him be killed in their ignorance and disbelief. Let us now find out if this is true or not through the apostles of the New Testament.
At the time, Paul, before he became an apostle, stood at the forefront as an instigator of Christian persecution after the execution of Jesus. Paul was on his way to Damascus to oppress Jesus’ followers when a holy light struck him. Thus he came around to God’s side and repented and testified to Jesus. Paul knew what had happened to Jesus better than anyone else, and so he was able to declare boldly in 1 Corinthians 2:8 of the mysteries of God, “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Without even thinking about how appalling it is that the Lord who came was made to walk the miserable path of the cross, we have believed blindly. In spite of the fact that Jesus did not have to die, we believed that since he died on the cross, he must have come for that purpose. How then can we go before Jesus? Even if we are saved, can we dare meet him?