20 On Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran to Simon Peter and to Jesus’ favorite disciple and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb! We don’t know where they have put him.”
Richard: The disciples were struck with uncertainty, as Jesus’ body had apparently disappeared. We, also, are in a time of uncertainty. Yet, we can be sure that God is working. We should strive to understand God’s Word and fulfill our own portion of responsibility.
2 Kings 23
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem only three months. His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32 Jehoahaz disobeyed the Lord, just as some of his ancestors had done.
33 King Neco of Egypt had Jehoahaz arrested and put in prison at Riblah near Hamath. Then he forced the people of Judah to pay him almost four tons of silver and about seventy-five pounds of gold as taxes. 34 Neco appointed Josiah’s son Eliakim king of Judah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz as a prisoner to Egypt, where he died.
35 Jehoiakim forced the people of Judah to pay higher taxes, so he could give Neco the silver and gold he demanded.
Richard: This sounds similar to our current situation. We have a false President who is closely connected to foreign powers (China) and is doing many damaging things to our nation. On the other hand, it is a time to know, love and serve our neighbors and work locally to build God’s Kingdom, as in many ways we have been far away from God’s ideal. This ministry is known as Home Church.
Jesus said, You must be born anew.” Rebirth in Christ transforms a worldly person into a child of God. He or she now experiences an intimacy with God and has the indwelling spirit of Christ. The reason why people must be born a second time, according to Father Moon, lies in the human Fall. The Fall’s negative effects, experienced in every generation, derives from its corruption of the lineage of the human race at its root. through the fall, Satan was able to usurp God and occupy the position of humanity’s false father. To break the devil’s persistent hold over human life, we must be born again as children of God. For this purpose, God sent the Messiah, a man without sin, representing the Father, and the holy spirit, representing the Mother. Out of their love we can be born anew.
In eastern religions, to enter the path of the spiritual aspirant is often understood as a second, spiritual birth. In Hinduism and Buddhism, people become “twice-born” by receiving religious instruction. their biological parents brought them forth into a world of the senses, but after their second, spiritual, Birth their life is now grounded in the Dharma. Father Moon, however, treats rebirth as a specifically Christian doctrine, one that applies strictly to the work of the Messiah to sever us from the lineage of sin. He would regard the broader concept of spiritual conversion through instruction in religious truth under the concept of resurrection.
Father Moon also speaks of the conditions to be made in order to receive rebirth: repentance and renouncing worldly ways. Thus, he also likens the process of rebirth to engrafting: before attaching the new shoot, first the arborist cuts off the old branches; likewise we must deny ourselves and cut off everything false. then we receive the new shoot containing the life and love of God. If the tree is properly pruned, that new shoot will produce new fruit and propagate God’s lineage. Thus, although rebirth is a gift from above, it requires responsibility and dedication on the part of its recipients.
1. Born Anew as God’s Sons and Daughters
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.39 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I say to you, ‘You must be born anew.’”
To all who received him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.
He from whom the pupil gathers the knowledge of his religious duties is called the teacher. Him he should never offend. For he causes the pupil to be born a second time by imparting to him sacred learning. The second birth is the best; the father and the mother produce the body only.
Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1.1 (Hinduism)
Monks, I [Buddha] am a brahmin, one to ask a favor of, ever clean-handed, wearing my last body, incomparable physician and surgeon. You are my own true sons, born of my mouth, born into the doctrine, created in the doctrine, heirs to the doctrine, not carnal heirs.
Itivuttaka 101 (Buddhism)
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