35 Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure that they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life. 36 Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail. 37 Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. 38 The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground.
39 All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. 40 This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.
Richard: With the teachings you are studying, we can fulfill “something better in store for us”.
24 King Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, even if you were the ring I wear as the sign of my royal power, I would still pull you from my finger. 25 I would hand you over to the enemy you fear, to King Nebuchadnezzar and his army, who want to kill you. 26 You and your mother were born in Judah, but I will throw both of you into a foreign country, where you will die, 27 longing to return home.
Exposition of the Divine Principle
3 Color Edition-The Red part
THE PERIOD OF ISRAEL’S EXILE AND RETURN AND THE PERIOD OF THE PAPAL EXILE AND RETURN
By falling into faithlessness without repentance, the people of Israel failed to realize the ideal of God’s nation founded upon the Temple. God had the people suffer hardships as exiles in Babylon. This was similar to when God had the Israelites suffer as slaves in Egypt. The emperors and popes became corrupt and did not repent. The popes did not lay the spiritual foundation upon which the emperors could stand as the central figures for the foundation of substance. Therefore, the foundation for the Second Advent of Christ was not established. To begin a new dispensation to restore this foundation, God allowed the popes to be taken into exile and suffer captivity. In the earlier parallel period, nearly seventy years elapsed from the time King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took into captivity King Jehoiachin and his royal family, as well as prophets including Daniel and Ezekiel, priests, officials, craftsmen and many other Israelites, until the fall of Babylon and their liberation by the royal decree of King Cyrus.14 It then took another 140 years for the exiles to return to their homeland in three waves, until they fully reformed themselves as a nation united around the Will of God as proclaimed in the messianic prophecies of Malachi. Henceforth, they began to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
This period of approximately 210 years ran from 1309, with the papacy’s seventy years of exile in Avignon, through the Great Schism, the conciliar movement and the restoration of papal authority in the Roman church, to the eve of the Protestant Reformation spearheaded by Martin Luther in 1517. Its purpose was to restore through indemnity, in the form of substantial parallels, the 210-year period of Israel’s exile and return—from Israel’s seventy years of exile in Babylon through the stages of the returning to Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple, until the reform of politics and religion under the leadership of Ezra, Nehemiah and the prophet Malachi.
THE PERIOD OF PREPARATION FOR THE ADVENT OF THE MESSIAH AND THE PERIOD OF PREPARATION FOR THE SECOND ADVENT OF THE MESSIAH
Following the period of Israel’s exile and return, another four hundred years elapsed before Jesus came. This was the period of preparation for the advent of the Messiah. Likewise, Christianity is to meet Christ at his Second Advent only after passing through four hundred years of the period of preparation for the Second Advent of the Messiah, which has followed the period of papal exile and return. It should restore through indemnity in the form of substantial parallels the period of preparation for the advent of the Messiah.
Upon returning from the Babylonian exile, the Israelites established the foundation of faith by repenting of their past sin of idolatry, rebuilding the Temple15 which had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, and reforming their faith based on the Mosaic Law under the guidance of Ezra the scribe.16 They then began to prepare for the coming of the Messiah according to the word of the prophet Malachi. Likewise, after the papacy’s return to Rome, medieval Christians established the foundation of faith by seeking to reform the Roman church; these efforts culminated in the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther. This movement pierced the gloom of medieval Europe with the light of the Gospel and pioneered new paths of faith.
Meanwhile, among the world’s peoples, God founded religions suited to their regions and cultures by which they could make the necessary internal preparations to receive the Messiah. In India, God established Buddhism through Gautama Buddha (565-485 B.C.) as a new development out of Hinduism. In Greece, God inspired Socrates (470-399 B.C.) and opened the brilliant age of classical Greek civilization. In the Far East, God raised up Confucius (552-479 B.C.), whose teachings of Confucianism established the standard of human ethics. Jesus was to come upon this worldwide foundation of preparation, and through his teachings he was to bring together Judaism, Hellenism, Buddhism and Confucianism. He was to unify all religions and civilizations into one worldwide civilization founded upon the Christian Gospel.
Since the Renaissance, God has been creating the religious, political and economic environment conducive to the work of Christ at his Second Coming. Beginning with the Renaissance, progress in virtually every field of human endeavor, including politics, economy, culture and science, has increased at a rapid rate. Today, these fields have reached their zenith and have created a global environment conducive to the work of Christ at his Second Coming. In Jesus’ day, the Roman Empire ruled the vast domains around the Mediterranean Sea, integrated by an advanced and extensive transportation system reaching out in all directions. This was the center of a vast Hellenistic civilization founded on the Greek language. Thus, all the necessary preparations had been made for a swift transmission of the teachings of the Messiah from Israel, where Jesus lived, to Rome and the world. Similarly, in the present era of the Second Advent, the influence of the Western powers has expanded the democratic political sphere throughout the world. The rapid progress of transportation and communication has greatly bridged the gap between East and West, and the extensive contact among languages and cultures has brought the world much closer together. These developments characterize an environment in which the teachings of the returning Christ can freely and swiftly be conveyed to the hearts of all humankind.
View slides 52 to 71 below for an illustrated presentation of the above content:2007p2-CHAPT-4-Parallels-betw-the-Two-Ages_revised-4-28-2014