22 You obeyed the truth, and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. 23 Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever. 24 The Scriptures say,
“Humans wither like grass, and their glory fades like wild flowers. Grass dries up, and flowers fall to the ground. 25 But what the Lord has said will stand forever.”
Our good news to you is what the Lord has said.
22 During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this. It is my body.”
23 Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He gave it to his disciples, and they all drank some. 24 Then he said, “This is my blood, which is poured out for many people, and with it God makes his agreement. 25 From now on I will not drink any wine, until I drink new wine in God’s kingdom.” 26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Richard: We are standing on the foundation of Jesus’ sacrifice, and on the successful foundation of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the True Parent (see Peace Message 10). Righteousness will prevail, but we must fulfill our own responsibility, not the least of which is to understand the New Expression of Truth and act accordingly.
The Human Fall
2. Catastrophic Consequences of the Human Fall
When Zeus was angry with mankind, he devised the worst punishment he could think of, and invented Woman. Hephaestus, the smith of the gods, was instructed to form her from the earth and make her irresistibly beautiful. Each of the gods gave her his own special gift of skill, and from this she was called Pandora, “all gifted.”
When she was perfected with every gift and arrayed in all her loveliness, this treacherous treasure was taken down to earth by Hermes, the messenger god, and given to Prometheus’ foolish brother Epimetheus. Now Prometheus had warned his brother not to accept anything from Zeus, even if it looked like a gift sent in friendship; but Epimetheus as usual acted first and thought afterwards. He accepted the maiden from Hermes and led her into his house, and with her a great jar—some say a box or chest—which the gods had sent with her, telling her to keep it safely but never open.
This was too much for Pandora, who among her gifts was endowed with feminine curiosity. After restraining it for a little while, she at last gave in and lifted the lid from the jar, and from that moment began the sorrows of mankind. For each of the gods had stored in it the worst thing he was able to give, and wonderful as had been the gifts with which they endowed her, just as dreadful were the evils that rushed eagerly from the jar in a black stinking cloud like pestilent insects—sickness and suffering, hatred and jealousy and greed, and all the other cruel things that freeze the heart and bring on old age.
Pandora tried to clap the lid on the jar again, but it was too late. The happy childhood of mankind had gone forever, and with it the Golden Age when life was easy. From then on man had to wrest a hard living by his own labor from the unfriendly ground.
Only one good thing came to man in the jar and remains to comfort him in his distress, and that is the spirit of Hope.
Myth of Pandora’s Box (Hellenism)
In the olden days, when God still lived among men, Death did not live among men. Whenever he happened to stray onto the earth, God (Imana) would chase it away with his hunting dogs. One day during such a chase, Death was forced into a narrow space and would have been caught and destroyed. But in his straits he found a woman, and promised her that if she hid him he would spare her and her family. The woman opened her mouth and Death jumped inside.2When God came to her and asked her if she had seen Death, she denied ever seeing him. But God, the All-Seeing One, knew what happened, and told the woman that since she had hidden Death, in the future Death would destroy her and all her children. From that moment death spread all over the world. Hutu tradition (African Traditional Religions)
If Adam had not sinned, he would not have begotten children from the side of the evil incli-nation, but he would have borne offspring from the side of the Holy Spirit. But now, since all the children of men are born from the side of the evil inclination, they have no permanence and are but short-lived, because there is in them an element of the ‘other side.’ But if Adam had not sinned and had not been driven from the Garden of Eden, he would have begotten progeny from the side of the Holy Spirit—a progeny holy as the celestial angels, who would have endured for eternity, after the supernal pattern. Since, how-ever, he sinned and begat children outside the Garden of Eden, these did not take root.
Zohar, Genesis 61a (Judaism)
After [they fell] God clothed Adam and Eve in garments soothing to the skin, as it is written, “He made them coats of skin (עוֹר, ‘or) [Gen. 3.21]. At first they had coats of light (אוֹר, or), which procured them the service of the high-est of the high, for the celestial angels used to come to enjoy that light; so it is written, “For you made him but little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor” [Psalm 8.5]. But after their sins they had only coats of skin, good for the body but not for the soul.
Zohar 1.36b (Judaism)
The deities Izanagi and Izanami descended from Heaven to the island Ono-goro and erected a heavenly pillar and a spacious palace.
At this time Izanagi asked his wife Izanami, “How is your body formed?” She replied, “My body, though it be formed, has one place which is formed insufficiently.” Then Izanagi said, “My body, though it be formed, has one place which is formed to excess. Therefore, I would like to take that place in my body which is formed to excess and insert it into that place in your body which is formed insufficiently, and thus give birth to the land. How would this be?” “That will be good,” said Izanami. “Then let us, you and me, walk in a circle around this heavenly pillar and meet and have conjugal intercourse,” said Izanagi. “You walk around from the right, and I will walk around from the left and meet you.”
After having agreed to this, they circled around; then Izanami said first, “How delightful! I have met a lovely lad!” Afterwards, Izanagi said, “How delightful! I have met a lovely maiden!” After each had spoken, Izanagi said to his wife, “It was not proper that the woman should speak first.” Nevertheless, they commenced procreation and gave birth to a leech-child. They placed this child into a boat made of reeds and floated it away.
Then the two deities consulted together, “The child which we have just borne is not good. It is best to report this before the heavenly gods.” So they ascended together and sought the will of the heavenly gods. The gods thereupon performed a grand divination, and said, “Because the woman spoke first, the child was not good. Descend once more and say it again.
Editorial: Vote Against the Jefferson County School Excess Levy Mega Property Tax
1 Peter 4
2 Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire. 13 Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered. It will prepare you for even greater happiness when he makes his glorious return.
17 The Lord said:
18 Ezekiel, son of man, I consider the people of Israel as worthless as the leftover metal in a furnace after silver has been purified. 19 So I am going to bring them together in Jerusalem. 20-21 I will be like a metalworker who collects that metal from the furnace and melts it down. I will collect the Israelites and blow on them with my fiery anger. They will melt inside the city of Jerusalem 22 like silver in a furnace. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have punished them in my anger.
Torments of Hell
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Hell is a place where everyone is totally self-centered, each insisting that he or she is the best and highest. With that attitude, they argue and fight continually. (360:185, November 16, 2001)
Hell is the realm of Satan’s love. Satan adores only hatred, jealousy, division and destruction. That is why only these things fill Satan’s realm. These characteristics of Satan manifest as wars. (214:282, February 3, 1991)
Hell is full of people who are proud of their power, their money and themselves. A person’s original mind desires to love and be loved, and to pursue goodness. The people living in hell do just the opposite, and face continual conflict. Yet being in hell does not remove the human desire to be loved. Actually, the yearning for love is felt even more strongly. (102:160, December 17, 1978)
What, then, will you do in the afterlife? Will you eat? Yes, you will eat. But it should be centered on love. Those who do not have love cannot open their mouths, no matter how much they try. That is the law. If you love only yourself and not the whole, you may try to eat, but your mouth will not open. If you try to eat with chopsticks, the chopsticks will swerve sharply to the right or the left. It is a miserable existence. In the spirit world, anything is possible with love, but only with love. Otherwise, nothing is possible. (207:94-95, November 1, 1990)
In the spirit world, most people dwell in various levels of hell. How did they end up living there? Some failed to practice filial piety as befits good sons and daughters. Some had the mission of patriots yet did not fulfill their mission and live for the sake of their country. Some were chosen to become saints and live for the sake of the world, but they did not attune themselves to that rhythm and hence failed to reach that level. (147:183-84, September 21, 1986)
The accusations we could face in the spirit world are far more fearful than the severest persecution on earth. Because I know that earthly persecution, no matter how heavy, is easier to endure than the accusations in the spirit world, I am clear about the path I should go. (189:247, April 9, 1989)
Heaven is a world of light, and hell is a world of darkness. You may have enjoyed your earthly life, but once you arrive in hell the darkness will quickly overcome you. It is like drinking: for awhile you are in high spirits, but later you feel regret as your conscience tells you it was the wrong thing to do. It will also ask, “Where are you going?” People who suffer continually from pangs of conscience belong to the world of darkness. If only their conscience were pleased with them; then they would display the original nature within themselves to relate to the world of light. (400:104, December 28, 2002)
This world is in chaos. How about the spirit world? The same confused people live there; therefore, the spirit world must likewise be in chaos. It is logical. A thief with a criminal record cannot just drop his bad habits when he crosses over to the spirit world. There too he would be a thief, wanting to own things without making effort to earn them. People like him are unable to fit in with heaven, so they went off and formed the realms of hell. God did not create hell. Human beings formed hell. Do people design their new house to be a garbage dump? No! They build a nice house, but after living in it for a while it becomes like a garbage dump. Hell is like that. (148:28, October 4, 1986)
Many people on earth think that there are only two different places: heaven and hell. But in reality there are many different levels, from very evil places to very good places. Heaven is a place of com-fort, but life in any of the levels below heaven is difficult and uncomfortable because the people fight each other continually, everyone insisting on their own opinion. Each region is filled with people who are of the same type, so after awhile living there becomes tedious.
For example, people who on earth were accustomed to stealing things dwell in a region of the spirit world where people are always suspicious, thinking that everyone around them is looking to steal from them. Their lives are forever filled with distrust and anxiety. Likewise, people who on earth were accustomed to fighting live in a region where fighting goes on continually…
If you descend further into the lower regions, you come to regions of hell that are suffocating, dark and scary. They smell horribly, worse than the smell of rotten meat or fish. Deformed figures appear in front of you, biting each other, yelling at each other with hate-filled voices. There is a region filled with burning holes, and in each one a wrathful person is held fast. The worst regions are reserved for those who were sexually corrupt or who committed suicide. They seem to be filled with snakes, but on close examination each snake is an ugly deformed human being slithering about. People living on the earth do not realize how frightening the regions of hell really are. They would not be able to stand it even for a minute…
From the Kingdom of Heaven to hell, the various regions of the spirit world have colors of differing hues. The Kingdom of Heaven is a bright realm, transparent and white. It is without any stain, clean like flawless white jade. But as we descend the colors become darker and darker and dirtier—first beige, then darker shades of purple. Descending to still lower regions the color becomes brown, then gray, dark gray, black, and pitch black. The more sins committed, the darker the color. Also, spirits who committed many sins with a certain part of their body show dirtier and darker colors on that part. (Heung Jin Moon, Message from the Spirit World, January 1, 2002)
People who denied God on earth are more pitiful than people who starve to death. Those who died of hunger may, depending on their merit, be granted a certain standing in the other world. But atheists have no standing because they deny the spirit world exists. They become wandering spirits, wandering about the spirit world like clouds. Just as clouds gather and produce rain, they gather and create evil influence. They dwell in hell and inflict pains there. (205:355, October 2, 1990
22 You obeyed the truth,and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. 23 Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever. 24 The Scriptures say,
“Humans wither like grass, and their glory fades like wild flowers. Grass dries up, and flowers fall to the ground. 25 But what the Lord has said will stand forever.”
Our good news to you is what the Lord has said.
Richard: Here we see the importance of our Daily Study of Scripture. And in this age that is the Eight Sacred Textbooks.
39 Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, was now king of Babylonia. And when he learned that Hezekiah was well, he sent messengers with letters and a gift for him. 2 Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them all the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine oils that were in his storehouse. He even showed them where he kept his weapons. Nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom was kept hidden from them.
3 I asked Hezekiah, “Where did these men come from? What did they want?”
“They came all the way from Babylonia,” Hezekiah answered.
4 “What did you show them?” I asked.
Hezekiah answered, “I showed them everything in my kingdom.”
5 Then I told Hezekiah:
I have a message for you from the Lord All-Powerful. 6 One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The Lord has promised that nothing will be left. 7 Some of your own sons will be taken to Babylonia, where they will be disgraced and made to serve in the king’s palace.
8 Hezekiah thought, “At least our nation will be at peace for a while.” So he told me, “The message you brought from the Lord is good.”
Richard: Wow! This is a very interesting passage. The King was very trusting and vain. But perhaps he should have looked at the long term picture and the fact that the Babylonians, even though friendly now, were not centered on God, but on other nefarious or demonic goals. Much of what passes for discurse today comports with a standard that is not centered on God’s Word. See theRheama above.
Commentary from the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon
The Value of Human Life
2. A Human Being Has the Value of the Universe
In heaven and on earth, I alone am the Honored One. Ch’ang A-han Ching (Buddhism)
When I look at Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast established; What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Psalm 8.3-5
Surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them on land and sea, and We provide them with good things, and We make them to excel highly most of those whom We have created. Qur’an 17.70
The whole world was created only for the sake of the righteous man. He weighs as much as the whole world. The whole world was created only to be united to him. Talmud, Shabbat 30b (Judaism)
We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a human being, except to retaliate for manslaughter or for corruption done in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all of human- kind; and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind. Qur’an 5.32
Only one single man [Adam] was created in the world, to teach that, if any man has caused a single soul to perish, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had caused the whole world to perish, and if any man saves alive a single soul, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had saved the whole world. Also, man [was created singly] to show the greatness of the Holy One, Blessed be He, for if a man strikes many coins from one mold, they all resemble one another, but the King of Kings, the Holy One, made each man in the image of Adam, and yet not one of them resembles his fellow. Therefore every single person is obligated to say, “The world was created for my sake.” Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4.5 (Judaism)
Teachings of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon
An individual human being is more precious than the universe. Each person’s value is infinite, because he or she is created as God’s partner of love. (262:145, July 23, 1994)
One human being, although seemingly an insignificant individual, has the potential to represent all of human history and all relationships with the future. Therefore, he or she has cosmic value. (4:268, August 3, 1958)
What value does God bestow on human beings? God created us to be His partners of love. Therefore, human beings are meant to share God’s absolute, unique value. Yet people are ignorant of this amazing truth. These days, what is a human life worth? Yet, God created men and women as His partners of love, with a precious value that cannot be exchanged even for the whole universe! (142:143, March 8, 1986)
Even God cannot have true love, peace and happiness, or attain His ideal, apart from His object partners. What would be the use of peace or happiness to God if He were alone?… Please understand that each of you is indispensable for completing God’s true love, God’s peace, God’s happiness and God’s ideal. We have been unaware of our value. When you experience your precious, awesome and lofty value, which can bring love, peace, happiness and the ideal even to God, you can praise yourself and feel reverence for yourself. (77:314, April 30, 1975)
When you marry, you want your spouse to be better than you. You hope that your sons and daughters will marry spouses who are better than them. Whose trait does this resemble? It is God’s! Heavenly Father wishes for His partners and objects of love to be better than Him. Can we deny this? Human value is supreme. From the viewpoint of love, it can be even greater than God! For this reason, your mind desires what is highest. This is not inconceivable. All human beings could have attained this value, had there been no fall. Dwelling in that supreme, heavenly state, they were to manage and lead the universe. (211:272, December 30, 1990)
Every human being possesses a unique individuality. No matter how many billions of people are born on the earth, no two will ever have exactly the same personality. Each person is God’s substantial object partner who manifests a distinctive aspect of God’s dual characteristics. Hence, that person is the only one in the entire universe who can stimulate that distinctive aspect of God’s nature to bring Him joy. Every person who has completed the purpose of creation is thus a unique existence in the cosmos. We can thus affirm the Buddha’s saying, “In heaven and on earth, I alone am the honored one.” (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Christology 1)
Above and below, front and rear, and right and left—everyone is related to me. These relationships are not temporary but life-long. They extend from the beginning of human history, and connect me to my posterity thousands of generations into the future. If I were to be broken, my relationship with God would also be broken. My family would be damaged, as would my clan and the whole world. That is why I am a microcosm, representing heaven and earth. My heart desires to embrace Heaven, and my body to possess the earth. I want to be enraptured by the heart of the Sovereign Lord. I want to be His representative, who cannot be defeated by anyone or anything in heaven and earth. If I deeply analyze myself in the context of these relationships, I can understand that I am the greatest being, with infinite value. (8:10-11, October 25, 1959)
The question, however, is whether we are in a condition to receive the value that God intends to give. If we were beautiful both internally and externally, we would illuminate heaven and earth like a diamond or a brilliant gem. (352:25-26, September 16, 2001)
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c]15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all,were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
14 Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say,
“‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’
17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan[c] country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’”
To understand ourselves, we have to understand the value of those we are in relationship with. Our minds do not create the truths and ideologies that our actions are based upon. First, we have to put ourselves in a position where we can feel that we are in a relationship with someone or something.
When God comes to us, He always comes in front of us. That which is good will not come from the side, but from the front.
Then where are we going to set the standard of knowledge? If what comes in front of us can connect everything, all knowledge, and can move the world of the conscience, then we have to understand that this is the one standard which can explain us. When you understand this, you will see people in a different light.
Many believers today boast of their faith: “I understand God, I believe in God, I rely on God.” Yet if we were to ask what the origin of their knowledge is, in what environment they uphold their faith, and what situation their life of faith in God is in, we find that unless they are in an eternal relationship with their minds, none of them will be recognized by God, trusted by God or blessed with God’s intervention.
God chose the Israelites as His chosen people. God raised them up out of many peoples to love only Him. How do you think God raised them up? He related to them head on. God shortens the distance of the relationship and drives history into an environment where He can have an intimate relationship with people.
Jesus said when he came to the earth, “I am in you, you are in me, the Father is in me and I am in the Father, so the Father is also in you.” For what purpose did God choose the Israelites and guide them? It was to bring them into a straight linear line and make the condition upon which He could say, “You are Me and I am you.” We have to understand that this is the relationship of knowledge God has sought.
Due to the Fall, human beings deviated from the position where God can relate with them head on. Human beings who relate with God head on with respect to their desires, situations and hearts are people of original value.
Due to the Fall, human beings’ desires, situations and hearts went awry, so they were chased out of Heaven. All the countless people who ever lived, from the first human ancestors to now, did not have the right desires, situations and hearts. In other words there was no one in history who said, “I can move Heaven and earth.” Your desires are twisted, your situations are wrong, and your hearts are facing the wrong direction.
What kind of descendants are we? Fundamentally, we are the descendants propagated from the point of origin with different desires, different situations and different hearts. In other words we have not become people who can stand in front of God with the desires, situations and hearts that God wants to see. If we do not know what state our desires, situations and hearts are in, then we do not understand ourselves.
Watch my latest Richard Urban show: Christ Has Already Defined His Kingdom and It Is Not the Rod of Iron Kingdom: https://youtu.be/aMCMMaQdFps
4-5 But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. 6 God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. 7 God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. 8 You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve.[a] This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. 9 It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about. 10 God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
1 Peter 4
10 Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well. 11 If you have the gift of speaking, preach God’s message. If you have the gift of helping others, do it with the strength that God supplies. Everything should be done in a way that will bring honor to God because of Jesus Christ, who is glorious and powerful forever. Amen.
Click below to listen to or download a recording of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s speech “God’s Ideal Family Is the Model for World Peace”, the inaugural message of the Universal Peace Federation on September 23, 2005 at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington DC. Rev. Moon speaks extensively about the Peace Kingdom Corps.: http://visionroot.org/assets/SMM%20UPF%2009-23-05-combined.mp3
The Heart of Heaven in Relation to Elijah
Sun Myung Moon
March 15, 1959
Even while hiding in Kerith Ravine, Elijah renewed his resolution. Though no human beings knew the sorrowful heart of Elijah, in hiding after reprimanding King Ahab and Jezebel to save the Israelites, ravens brought him things to eat. You must know about Elijah. He committed himself to seeking out people who could comprehend the heart of Heaven even as he was starving.
Elijah knew that Heaven’s deeply felt sorrow was because of the people, who stood at the crossroads of life and death. He knew that the judgment day resulting from the accumulated sorrows would come. The more Elijah felt he could not cope with it alone, the more he yearned after a like-minded person who could sacrifice him or herself for the sake of Heaven’s will. Elijah was permeated with the wish to love like-minded people as much as he loved the nation, as much as he loved Heaven.
Elijah’s was the kind of mind that could save the people, the kind of mind that could bring the people around to restore the nation to life. This was an ardent mind capable of forging ties between humanity and Heaven. Because Elijah had such a heart, Heaven chose and led him. Continue reading “Elijah Loved the People”