Part I – Chapter 7 | Christology
For fallen people who seek salvation, perhaps the most important questions among the many they must resolve concern Christology. Issues which fall within its scope include the Trinity, which deals with the relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as well as rebirth and the relationship between Jesus, the Holy Spirit and fallen people. Until today, the controversies surrounding these issues have never been clearly settled. Consequently, considerable confusion remains in Christian doctrine and ways of faith. The key in approaching these matters is to understand the original value of human beings. We shall discuss this issue first, as a foundation for answering the other questions of Christology.
THE VALUE OF A PERSON WHO HAS REALIZED THE PURPOSE OF CREATION
Let us discuss the value of a person who has realized the purpose of creation; that is, the value of Adam or Eve in perfection. We can understand such a person’s value from several perspectives.
First, the relationship between God and a fully mature person resembles the relationship between the dual characteristics. Human beings were created with mind and body in the likeness of the dual characteristics of God.1 Similarly, the relationship between God and a person who has attained perfection of individual character may be compared to that between the dual characteristics of a person, that is, between mind and body. Just as the body is created in the likeness of the intangible mind to be its substantial object partner, a human being is created in the likeness of the intangible God to be His substantial object partner. Just as there is inseparable oneness between the mind and body of a true person centered on God, there is inseparable oneness between God and a true person who together form a four position foundation. In that union, the person experiences the Heart of God as his own reality. Having a fully mature character, such a person is a temple of God, in whom God can dwell continually, and comes to possess a divine nature.2 Jesus spoke of this state of perfection, saying “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”3 Thus, we see that a person who has realized the purpose of creation assumes a divine value, comparable to God.
Second, let us consider the value of a human being from the perspective of the purpose for which he was created. God created human beings for the purpose of sharing joy with them. Every human being possesses a unique individual character. 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.4 Every person who has completed the purpose of creation is thus a unique existence in the cosmos. We can thus affirm the truth in the Buddha’s saying, “In heaven and on earth, I alone am the honored one.”5
Third, let us consider the value of a human being based on his relationship with the universe, as clarified by the Principle of Creation. A person who has completed the purpose of creation can govern the entire universe.6 Possessing both spirit and flesh, he can rule the spirit world with his spirit self and the physical world with his physical self. With human beings acting as mediators, the two worlds enter into a reciprocal relationship and form a unified cosmos which is a complete object partner to God.
We have learned through the Principle of Creation that the universe is the substantial unfolding of the dual characteristics of a human being. A person’s spirit encapsulates all elements of the spirit world while his flesh encapsulates all elements of the physical world. A person who has completed the purpose of creation thus encapsulates all the essences of everything in the cosmos. This is why a human being is called a microcosm of the universe. For these reasons, a human being has the value of the entire cosmos. We can thus understand the saying of Jesus in a new light, “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?”7
Suppose there is a perfect machine, whose every part is the only one of its kind in the world, and there is no way to either procure or make a replacement for any of them. No matter how small or insignificant a single part may be, its value is then the same as that of the whole machine. Similarly, a fully mature person is unique in all the universe. No matter how insignificant he may seem, his value is equivalent to that of the entire cosmos.
JESUS AND THE PERSON WHO HAS REALIZED THE PURPOSE OF CREATION
2.1 PERFECTED ADAM, JESUS AND THE RESTORATION OF THE TREE OF LIFE
Human history is the history of the providence of restoration. Its goal is the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth when, at the end of history, the tree of life which was lost in the Garden of Eden will be regained.8 We can understand the relation between perfect Adam and Jesus by comparing the tree of life in the Garden of Eden with the tree of life to be restored in the Last Days.
As was discussed earlier,9 had Adam fully realized the ideal of creation, he would have become the tree of life and likewise all his descendants would have become trees of life. However, Adam’s fall frustrated God’s Will, and ever since, fallen humankind has hoped to be restored as trees of life.10 Since a fallen person can never fully restore himself as a tree of life by his own efforts, a man who has completed the ideal of creation must come as the tree of life and engraft all people with himself. Jesus is this tree of life portrayed in the Bible. Adam, had he realized the ideal of perfection symbolized by the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus, symbolized by the tree of life in the Book of Revelation, would be identical in the sense of having realized the goal of creation. As such, they would have equal value.
2.2 JESUS, HUMAN BEINGS AND THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PURPOSE OF CREATION
Let us compare the value of Jesus with that of a person of perfect individual character. With respect to the purpose of creation, a fully mature person is perfect as God is perfect.11 Having the same divine nature as God, he is infinitely precious. Since God is an eternal being, a person created to become His incarnate object partner in perfection must have an eternal life. A fully mature person is unique in all the cosmos. Furthermore, since he is the lord of the entire natural world, which cannot realize its full value without him, he possesses the value of the cosmos. There is no greater value than that of a person who has realized the ideal of creation. This is the value of Jesus, who surely attained the highest imaginable value. The conventional Christian belief in Jesus’ divinity is well founded because, as a perfect human being, Jesus is totally one with God. To assert that Jesus is none other than a man who has completed the purpose of creation does not degrade the value of Jesus in the least. In fact, the Principle of Creation elevates the true value of all people who fulfill the purpose of creation to a level comparable to Jesus.
Let us now examine some biblical evidence supporting the position that Jesus is a man who has fulfilled the purpose of creation. It is written:
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. —I Tim. 2:5
For as by one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s [Jesus’] obedience many will be made righteous. —Rom. 5:19
For as by a man [Adam] came death, by a man [Jesus] has come also the resurrection of the dead. —I Cor. 15:21
He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed. —Acts 17:31
Thus, the Bible demonstrates plainly that Jesus is a man. Above all, he had to come as a human being that he might become the True Parent who can give rebirth to human beings.
2.3 IS JESUS GOD HIMSELF?
When Philip asked Jesus to show him God, Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?”12 It is written of Jesus, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.”13 Jesus also said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”14 Based on these biblical verses, many Christians have believed that Jesus is God, the Creator.
Jesus may well be called God because, as a man who has realized the purpose of creation and who lives in oneness with God, he has a divine nature. Nevertheless, he is not God Himself. The relationship between God and Jesus may be thought of as analogous to the relationship between the mind and body. Because the body is the substantial object partner to the mind, resembles the mind and acts in oneness with the mind, it may be understood to be the mind’s second self; but it is not the mind itself. By analogy, since Jesus is one with God and the incarnation of God, he may be understood to be God’s second self; but he is not God. It is true that he who has seen Jesus may be said to have seen God,15 but Jesus did not mean by saying this that he was God Himself.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the Word made flesh.16 This verse means that Jesus is the incarnation of the Word; that is, a man in whom the Word comes alive. We read that all things were made through the Word, and further, that the world was made through Jesus.17 Hence, Jesus may be said to be the creator. To understand what these verses mean, consider that the universe according to the Principle of Creation is the substantial unfolding of the internal nature and external form of a human being of perfected character. All the elements of the universe are encapsulated in a fully mature person and resonate in harmony around him. In this sense, it can be said that the universe is created through a perfect human being. Furthermore, God intended that human beings be the creators and lords of the natural world by endowing them with the character and powers of the Creator; these are to be realized once they reach perfection through the fulfillment of their responsibility. Seen from this perspective, these verses are in agreement with our understanding of Jesus as the man who has completed the purpose of creation; they do not signify that Jesus is the Creator Himself.
Jesus also said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”18 Jesus was the descendant of Abraham. Yet with respect to the providence of restoration, Jesus is the ancestor of Abraham because, as the one to give rebirth to all humankind, he came in the position of their first ancestor. We should understand that Jesus did not mean by this saying that he is God Himself. While on earth, Jesus was a man no different from any of us except for the fact that he was without the original sin. Even in the spirit world, where he has abided since his resurrection, Jesus lives as a spirit, as do his disciples. The only difference between them is that Jesus abides as a divine spirit, emitting brilliant rays of light, while his disciples, as life spirits, reflect that light.
It is written that since his resurrection, Jesus has been interceding for us before God19 as he did while he was on earth.20 If Jesus were God, how could he intercede for us before Himself? Moreover, Jesus called God “Father,” thus acknowledging that he was not God Himself.21If Jesus were God, how could He be tempted by Satan, as Jesus was? We can conclude with finality that Jesus was not God Himself from the words he uttered on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”22
JESUS AND FALLEN PEOPLE
A fallen person has nothing of the value of a true person who has completed the purpose of creation. Rather, he has fallen to such a lowly status that he looks up to the angels, who were created to be his subordinates. On the other hand, because Jesus came with the full value of a true person who has completed the purpose of creation, “All things are put in subjection under him.”23 A fallen person with original sin is stained with the condition through which Satan can attack him. On the other hand, Jesus, having no original sin, had no condition in himself for Satan to invade him. A fallen person cannot fathom the Will and Heart of God. At most, he can catch only a glimpse of them. In contrast, Jesus not only understood the Will and Heart of God thoroughly, he also experienced God’s Heart as his own reality in his daily life.
A person has virtually none of his original value as long as he remains in the fallen state. If, however, he were to be reborn spiritually and physically through Jesus, the True Parent, and become his good child cleansed of the original sin, he would be restored as a true person who has perfected the purpose of creation, like Jesus Christ himself. His relationship with Jesus would then be like the human relationship of a child with his parent. Even though their relationship will always maintain the vertical order of parent and child, their original values do not differ in the least. Thus, Christ is the head of the church,24 and we are his body and members.25 Jesus is the main temple, and we are the branch temples. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches.26 We, the wild olive shoots, are to be engrafted with Jesus, the true olive tree,27 before we can become true olive trees ourselves. Accordingly, Jesus called us “my friends,”28 and it is written that “when he appears we shall be like him.”29 Jesus alone is the “first fruits,” but at his return, we who belong to Christ will be the next.30
REBIRTH AND TRINITY
The doctrine of the Trinity has remained one of the most mysterious topics in Christian theology. Moreover, the related doctrine of rebirth, though seemingly evident to all, also needs deeper elucidation. We will examine these doctrines in this section.
4.1.1 JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THEIR MISSION TO GIVE REBIRTH
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”31 Rebirth means to be born a second time. Why must fallen people be born anew?
Had Adam and Eve realized the ideal of creation and become the True Parents of humanity, they would have borne good children without original sin and formed the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. However, Adam and Eve fell and became evil parents, multiplying evil children who created this hell on earth. Hence, as Jesus told Nicodemus, fallen people cannot see the Kingdom of God unless they are first born anew—as children without original sin.
We cannot be born without parents. Who, then, are the good parents through whom we can be born again, cleansed of original sin and able to enter the Kingdom of God? Parents who have original sin cannot give birth to good children who do not have original sin. Certainly, it is impossible to find sinless parents among fallen humankind. These parents must descend from Heaven. Jesus was the Parent who came from Heaven. He came as the True Father in order to give rebirth to fallen people, transforming them into good children, thoroughly cleansed of original sin and fit to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Thus, it is written in the Bible, “By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”32 Jesus came as the True Father whom Adam had failed to become. For this reason, the Bible speaks of him as “the last Adam” and the “Everlasting Father.”33
However, a father alone cannot give birth to children. There must be a True Mother, as well as a True Father, for fallen children to be reborn as good children. The Holy Spirit came as the True Mother. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born anew through the Holy Spirit.34
There are many who have received the revelation that the Holy Spirit is feminine. This is because the Holy Spirit comes as the True Mother or second Eve. Since the Holy Spirit is the feminine aspect of divinity, without first receiving her we cannot go before Jesus as his brides. Being feminine, the Holy Spirit consoles and moves the hearts of people.35 She cleanses people’s sin, thereby atoning for the sin which Eve committed. Jesus, the masculine Lord, works in heaven (yang), while the Holy Spirit, his feminine counterpart, works on the earth (yin).
4.1.2 JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE DUAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOGOS
Logos is Greek for “rational principle” or “the Word.” The Bible indicates that the Logos is an object partner to God,36 engaged in a reciprocal relationship with Him. Since God, the subject partner of the Logos, exists with dual characteristics, the Logos as His object partner should also be composed of dual characteristics. If the Logos were without dual characteristics, all things made through it37 would not be composed of dual characteristics. Adam and Eve, the embodied object partners of God in image, were created separately out of the dual characteristics of the Logos.38
Had Adam as a man realized the ideal of creation and become the tree of life, and had Eve as a woman realized the ideal of creation and fulfilled the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have stood together as the True Parents of humankind. They would have fulfilled God’s three great blessings and established the Kingdom of God on earth. Instead, because they fell, this world became an earthly hell. Therefore, to give rebirth to fallen people, Jesus came as the second Adam,39 the True Father of humankind, with the mission symbolized by the tree of life.40 This being the case, should not there also have come the True Mother of humankind,41 the second Eve with the mission symbolized by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The one who has come as the True Mother to give rebirth to fallen people is the Holy Spirit.
4.1.3 SPIRITUAL REBIRTH THROUGH JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
A new life is born through the love of parents. When we believe in Jesus as the Savior through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,42 we receive the love of the spiritual True Parents, which is generated through the give and take between Jesus, the spiritual True Father, and the Holy Spirit, the spiritual True Mother. Through this love, new life is infused into us, and our spirits are reborn as new selves. This is spiritual rebirth. Nevertheless, since human beings fell both spiritually and physically, we must be cleansed of original sin by being born again both spiritually and physically. Christ must return to earth to grant physical salvation to humanity, which is to be realized through our physical rebirth.
4.2 THE TRINITY
According to the Principle of Creation, God’s purpose of creation is completed based upon the four position foundation, which is established by fulfilling the three object purpose through origin-division-union action. To fulfill the purpose of creation, Jesus and the Holy Spirit stand before God as object partners who separately manifest the dual characteristics of God. They unite through give and take with each other with God as the center and form the four position foundation. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit thus become one, and this oneness constitutes the Trinity.
Originally, God’s purpose for creating Adam and Eve was to form a trinity by raising them to be the True Parents of humankind united in harmonious oneness as husband and wife centered on God in a four position foundation. If Adam and Eve had not fallen, but had formed this trinity with God and become the True Parents who could multiply good children, their descendants would have also become good husbands and wives with God as the center of their lives. Each couple would thus have formed a trinity with God. The Kingdom of Heaven on earth fulfilling God’s three great blessings would have been realized at that time. Instead, when Adam and Eve fell, they formed a four position foundation with Satan as their center; in other words, they formed a fallen trinity with Satan. Their descendants likewise have continued to form trinities with Satan, and so built a corrupt and immoral society.
Since the Fall, God has worked for the day when He could give rebirth to people and join them in trinities with Himself. For this purpose, God intended to exalt Jesus and his Bride as the second Adam and Eve to become the True Parents of humanity. However, the resurrected Jesus and the Holy Spirit in oneness with God could form only a spiritual trinity. They could fulfill only the mission of spiritual True Parents. Thus, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been giving spiritual rebirth to people of faith as their spiritual children, restoring them to spiritual trinities.
Christ must return in the flesh and find his Bride. They will form on the earth a perfect trinity with God and become True Parents both spiritually and physically. They will give fallen people rebirth both spiritually and physically, removing their original sin and enabling them to build trinities on earth with God as the center. When fallen people are restored to the point where they can establish true four position foundations centered on God, they will finally be able to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth where God’s three great blessings are fulfilled.