God’s servants and prophets

Then how can we know when the end is approaching? God will not hide this moment from man; He does not suddenly bring judgment on the world without warning. God will announce the coming of the great and terrible day through his prophets. Amos 3:7 says,

‘Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.’

God chooses His instrument and through him God announces His plans. This has been the case throughout Bible history.

The person to be chosen as God’s prophet must be one of the people living in our evil world. But he must be a man of faith who can demonstrate that he is worthy to be used by God. He must show absolute faith. To do this he must give up all worldly success and completely separate himself from this evil world. He must purify himself by cutting off all evil attachments. He will not be popular in the evil world. God is absolute good and therefore the exact opposite of evil. That is why evil always persecutes a man of God.

Noah was such a man chosen by God and scorned by the evil world. God instructed Noah to build a ship. He sent Noah to the heights of a mountain instead of down by the riverside or to the seashore. God’s command was so ridiculous in the eyes of the evil world that many people laughed at Noah. He was ridiculed, not because people thought him a particularly funny man, but because he followed God’s instructions so faithfully. The eyes of the world could not understand the way of God. In this manner, with such implausible instructions, God could test the faith of the man he had chosen as His champion. This is what happened in Noah’s day.

And at the time of Abraham it was no different. God called Abraham, the son of an idol-maker, and commanded him, “Leave your home at once!” God does not allow for any compromise. God takes a position where evil can be totally denied. In no other way can good begin.

God has said He will start a new history, in which no element of evil will remain. God demands complete response from man. Those who follow God’s direction must begin from absolute denial of the evil world. That is why Jesus Christ taught:

‘He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.’ (Matt. 10:39)

He also said,

‘. . . a man’s foes will be those of his own household.’ (Matt. 10:36)

You may ask, what kind of message is this? This is God’s way, to choose His own people and put them in a position where they will be rejected by evil. Otherwise His champion can do no good for God. From the point of view of God’s standard, then, modern Christians have been having a very easy time. This is very strange, because there is no easy way indicated in Christian teaching. I wonder how many Christians are really serious about following the path of God? God’s demand is absolute. It allows for no middle ground.

Then how can we know clearly the path of God? Let us examine the history of God’s providence. Today we are anticipating the end of the world. God has made previous attempts to end the world. For example, the time of Noah: That was a crossroads in history, when God wanted to bring an end to evil and begin the world of goodness. Noah was the central figure chosen in God’s dispensation. To better understand Noah’s mission and the meaning of the end of the world, we want to know more fully how the evil history began.

In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a commandment. That commandment was the word of God. Then Satan approached and enticed them with a lie. And that lie was the word of evil. Adam and Eve were in a position to choose between the two words: The truth was on one side, and a lie was on the other. They chose the lie.

Because this was the process of the fall of man, at the end of the world God will give mankind truth. The words of God will come through His prophet. When man accepts the words of God he will then pass from death to life, because truth brings life. Man has died in a lie, and in truth he will be reborn.

(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)

The wrong direction of history

Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden. They were not at that time in a position to have a clear understanding of the will of God. They entered into a state of confusion and made the wrong choice. They were confronted with either obedience to God, which would have brought about the good world, or obedience to Satan, which did in fact bring about their fall. Between two clear choices, Adam and Eve made the wrong one. They brought evil into the world. God’s original intention was to create His ideal world – a good and prosperous world He determined to last for eternity. But man fell, the good world of God ended abruptly, and human history started in the wrong direction.

The history of mankind is therefore a history of evil. God sowed good seed, and He intended to harvest a good crop. But Satan stole His crop before it was ripened and reaped a harvest of evil. Human history is a crop of weeds.

Then what does the end of the world mean? Just what is going to end? Evil is going to end. God will put an end to all evil. Out of God’s new beginning will come a new opportunity for man. And the goodness God intended in His original ideal can be made real.

In the garden of Eden man fell into evil instead of developing his goodness. Man was subjugated by Satan and became the child of sin. Therefore the Bible says:

‘You are of your father the devil. . .’ (John 8:44)

If the fall of man had not occurred, then the true ruler would be God. But He is not today the king of this universe, because Satan is sitting upon God’s throne. God has to remove all results of the fall of man before He can truly reign over the world.

Now I will give you clearly the definition of the end of the world. The end of the world is the moment in history when God ends evil and begins His new age. It is the time of the cross junction between the old history of evil and the new history of good.

In light of this definition, why does the Bible predict extraordinary heavenly phenomena as signs of the end of the world? Will the things predicted really occur? The Bible says:

‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken’ (Matt. 24:29)

What does this mean? What are we to expect?

First of all, please rest assured that these things will not happen literally. God will not destroy anything in the universe. God often expresses His truth in symbols and parables, and these biblical sayings will be accomplished symbolically. Secondly, God has no reason to destroy the universe. It is not the universe, but man who has committed sin. Only man deviated from the original plan of God’s creation. Why should God destroy the animals, or the plants, or anything in creation which fulfilled His purpose as He intended? God would not destroy those innocent things.

The Bible there says,

‘A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever’ (Eccl. 1:4)

But in Revelation we read:

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.. .’ (Rev. 21:1)

That new heaven and new earth refers to the coming of a new history of God, a time of new dominion. After you buy a house, won’t you move in your family and possessions? Then you will say that you have a new home, and you are the new master of the house. In the same way, when men of God occupy this universe, it will become a new heaven and a new earth.

We know that when winter ends, spring begins. But can we say at precisely what point spring starts? Who can pinpoint the exact instant of transition? You cannot know because the passage from one season to another takes place imperceptibly, quietly. The end of winter is similar to the beginning of spring, so there is no discernible moment of transition.

At what moment does the old day end and a new day begin? Although the change occurs in darkness, there is no doubt that we do go from one day to the next. The change is unnoticeable at first, but it is also inevitable and irrevocable. Although three billion people live on earth, not one among them can point to the exact moment when the old day passes and the new day begins. So we understand that from the human point of view we cannot always know the precise moment things happen. But God knows when winter passes into spring, and God knows when night opens into day. And God can point to the transition into new history.

Our step into new history is like a glorious dawn emerging out of the blackest night. The crossing point between good and evil is not obvious. You will not notice it when it happens, but it will definitely take place, just as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.

(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)

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