JOHN THE BAPTIST
~It is alleged in the Unification literature that Jesus was to have established the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in His own lifetime, but due to John the Baptist, in particular, this hope was lost and it was only then that Jesus went the way of the cross.
~I personally find the Unificationist view of John The Baptist as one of the foundational stones of the whole Moon philosophy. It is a very useful point to them and I believe catches many people, including Christians, off guard when they first hear it because, they are ill equiped to deal with it, or know what to do with it, and as the Moonies will readily tell them "Christian ministers don't know what to do with this information, so they have just ignored it over the years, but we have the truth for the first time in history and can explain it all to you."
~The second conclusion in the previous statement is certainly false, that Moonies have this secret truth hidden for so long and finally revealed, but the first part has some merit to it and is accurate to an extent, and many ministers possibly don't discuss the information as much as they should. That is a weakness in some churches and one that the Moonies have seized on as a small crack in a Christian's armor by which they can invade the body, further confuse and ultimately indoctrinate the unprepared believer into the rest of the philosophy.
~What is this information about John the Baptist that confuses? If the Moonies are wrong about it, what is the truth? And finally, how can someone guard against this type of deception?
About John The Baptist
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
~This is what a Moonie will do: They will tell a person that Jesus really should have lived and not died, that it was due to John the Baptist's lack of faith that Jesus was forced to choose "The Second Option" and go the way of the cross to redeem man spiritually.
Here is the argument as a Moonie would tell it:
Moonie: Jesus should never have died, had the people followed Him, He would have established the Kingdom of Heaven in His own lifetime, thereby avoiding the cross and all the suffering man has endured in the nearly 2000 years since Christ death. It was mostly because of John the Baptist that this was not possible, causing Jesus to have to go the way of the cross.
Question: But what does John have to do with some alleged "failure" of the people to follow Jesus?
Moonie: Haven't you read Malachi 4:5? In Malachi 4:5 God tells man that "before the great and terrible day of the Lord, I will send Elijah." Are you aware that even more than looking for a messiah, the Jewish people were looking for Elijah, because it was promised that he would come *before* the Christ. In fact, until this very day, some devout Jews set an extra dinner plate at the table in case Elijah may come to them. So, more than looking for Jesus, they are looking for Elijah!
Question: Well, what does that have to do with John?
Moonie: Look right here in the Bible, when the people heard that Jesus may be the Christ, they didn't just reject Him right away, but they asked Him "OK, if you are the Christ, then where is Elijah?", Jesus told them that the Elijah was actually John the Baptist, and the Bible confirms this, saying that John came in the "spirit and power" of Elijah. The problem was, that when the leaders went to confirm this with John, John denied it! John said that he wasn't the Elijah and so he directly contradicted Jesus own words that he was! In fact, look here, where John's own disciples were arguing with Jesus' disciples and here, where from prison, John sent someone to ask Jesus if He was really the messiah, "Or should we look for another?" That is an arrogant statement right there. To question Jesus after he had received a revelation of who He was. And look here where Jesus says that John will be the "least" in the kingdom of Heaven, even though he was the greatest prophet!
Question: I hadn't ever heard that John denied something that Jesus had said.
Moonie: Of course not. When a minister doesn't even understand something himself, he just wants to overlook those points.
Question: But even if John lost faith, what does that have to do with Jesus mission?
Moonie: Everything! Remember how I told you that the people were looking more for Elijah than Jesus? Well, the people had faith and trusted in John. He had many followers and many though that he himself was the Christ. If John had turned over that foundation to Jesus and became his first disciple, the people would have followed and they would have accepted rather than rejected Jesus. You don't think that Jesus "wanted" the people to reject Him do you? Of course not, that's why he was asking them to follow Him, telling them that he wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks. You don't think that Jesus really "wanted" someone to kill Him do you? He wanted the people to trust and follow Him, but John messed all that up, by contradicting Jesus words and not following him.
Question: I've never heard these things before, it's a lot to think about, I'm a little confused.....
Moonie: Of course you are, so are the Christians, why do you think there are so many denominations of Christianity? There is only One God, One Bible, they just don't have the keys to understanding these mysteries, that's why God sent Rev. Moon, don't give up now, come with me to our missionary house and you can hear more of the "truth", I can see that you understand these deep points, I think God has prepared you for this moment, you must be very special, let's go, it will only take a few hours, you do want to know the "truth" don't you...?
What Is The Truth?
~As you can see above. There are very powerful points made to support the Moonie's claims. The person who thought they understood the Bible well enough, suddenly finds himself confused and ill equipped to challenge what he is being told.
~It is interesting to note that groups who are accused of Mind control are said to have this point in common as a tactic. The strategy of disarming a person's defenses by confusion and once shaken up enough, the person has nothing to hold on to. Once he is confused and out of his defense zone, it is much easier to indoctrinate him further without resistance. This point of John the Baptist is used in this way, to surprise and disarm and confuse an unsuspecting person, friendly enough to talk to a stranger about "God".
~Unfortunately, as I discovered after leaving the Moonies and comparing Moon's theology with the Bible myself, I realized that the Moonies were not being wholly honest with their doctrines, that they had changed the chronology of events to aid their hidden purposes of conversion. That in fact, the Bible wasn't really saying what they were claiming it said.
I'd like to go over some of these points.
1. It was only after John "rejected" Jesus, that he was forced to go the way of the cross, it was "never" the original intention of God.
~Let's start here. While it is true that Jesus wanted and sought people to follow Him, it is equally true that His destination was always the cross. Moonies like to claim that only after Jesus' prayer at the garden of Gethsemane did Jesus realize that He had to go to the cross. Now, this is absolutely inaccurate. In fact, in one of the gospels I counted over 10 references where Jesus spoke of His death and how He should be killed and raised again the third day. The references flowed almost from beginning to end of the book.
Consider this verse:
27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
-Hmm....it was for "This Cause", that He came.
~Also, when Jesus was first introduced by John to the people, it was with the Title "Lamb of God". John says "Here is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." Now in Jewish culture it is the lamb which is offered to atone for the sins of a man. Jesus is compared to a sacrificial lamb all throughout scripture and given that title. Revelations talks about Jesus as "The Lamb that was Slain". Clearly Jesus came as a Lamb to be offered as an atonement for sin. If it was not His purpose to be offered for sin as "The Lamb of God", why then does John introduce Him this way from the very first day? There was no chance for failure that early was there? John hadn't "rejected" Jesus. Yet here He is introducing Jesus from day one as "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world". This only makes sense if it was the plan from the beginning.
Consider this verse:
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Slain "before" the Earth was made? How is this possible? Only when it was God's will from the beginning of time. Is that possible? The Bible says it is and in that verse and many others indicates God had conceived man's plan of salvation, even "before" man fell.
~Passing the Temple, Jesus tells His disciples: "Break this Temple, I will rebuild it in 3 days", the Bible says He was speaking of His body and not the building. On this casual stroll, there was no hint of failure, that Jesus supposed "original" mission had failed, yet here He is telling His disciples of the death He would face.
~In the very beginning of Jesus' ministry on Earth, at the Wedding where Jesus performed His first documented miracle, Jesus mother Mary had told Jesus that the guests were out of wine. Moonies know these verses because they use them to suggest that Jesus was "annoyed" because they say it was Jesus that should have been married there at that time. I am going to deal thoroughly with that falsehood in another article, but for now, let me point out that the Moonies totally overlook the Second part of Jesus declaration. Jesus answered: "Woman, what have I to do with thee? MY HOUR HAS NOT YET COME! MY HOUR HAS NOT YET COME!!?? What hour is that? It is the appointed hour at the cross! If Jesus was going to be ruling a Kingdom on Earth at that time why is there an "HOUR" that is to come? Clearly Jesus is prophesying His death on the cross! In fact, The Moonies claim that it was only half-way through his ministry that he knew he would go to the cross. But in reality, The Bible is clear that he had been telling them from the BEGINNING about his coming death on the cross!
There are many such verses all through
scripture for those willing to look.
2. Jesus mission failed because John the Baptist denied Jesus words that He was the Elijah, making Jesus appear to be a liar. John should have just "went along" with Jesus testimony that he was the Elijah, even if he didn't understand it.
~Yes, John could have went along with Jesus testimony that he was the Elijah...except: John was dead when Jesus made that statement. It would have been difficult for a dead man to verify Jesus' claim, no matter how much he would have wanted to! You see, what the Moonies have done is rearranged the Bible to make it "appear" that John has contradicted Jesus' words when this is not the truth at all.
~What is the truth? Didn't John deny being Elijah? Yes he did, but it was BEFORE he had even received the revelation that Jesus was the Christ. What happened was that John had made a name for himself baptizing for the remission of sins, people from all over accepted him as a prophet and came to him. When the leaders became aware of this, they sent men to ask John who he was. (Jesus hadn't even come along yet - hadn't been introduced as the Lamb of God - John hadn't received the revelation of who Jesus was, and hadn't even MET Jesus yet - No one knew who Jesus was at this point) they asked John "are you the Christ?" and John said no. They then asked him "are you the Elijah?" John said no. It is not until the next day that John even meets Jesus. And when he does, he immediately proclaims Jesus to be the Christ.
~I hardly think John can be blamed for not knowing that he was Elijah (after all his name *was* John) and he hadn't even been given the revelation of who Jesus was yet. Also, the prophecy of John's birth is that John would come in "The SPIRIT AND POWER of Elijah." Not that he would LITERALLY-BE Elijah. Does that make sense? It would be as if someone looking at you as a baby, and seeing your personality, declared: "He's got his father's spirit in him! He's a little John Doe Senior!" But then later in life, if someone asked you if you WERE LITERALLY your father, would you say yes? Of course not. You are not SENIOR, you are YOU! You likely wouldn't even say: "Well, no, I'm not my father, but I have his spirit!" Isn't that absurdity? David, in The Bible was called "A man after God's own heart", should we then assume this to mean that David IS God's heart? No. John The Baptist was not the LITERAL Elijah. But: The literal Elijah, did come, and he spoke with Jesus on The Mount of Transfiguration. The idea that one man can have more of a significance to building God's kingdom than the Messiah Himself, is foolishness. God is not a Creator that makes mistakes. Think of the magnitude of genius that it must have taked to create the billions of galaxies that exist? To even CONCEIVE of such galaxies! As Albert Einstein once quipped: "God doesn't roll dice", but the Moonies think He does.
~What is really unforgivable is the Moonies blatant attempt to "remake" history by changing the order of the events to make something appear to happen (John contradicting Jesus) that never did. It is fraudulent to say the least.
But they say that John's disciples didn't follow Jesus.
~That is untrue. Some of them did, and the ones that did, did so at John's own encouragement. But what is really happening here, as it so often does, is that the Moonies are trying to take the focus "away" from Jesus and put it on John. They talk about Jesus mother not following Him but what they are really doing is taking the focus "away" from Jesus. They say that Joseph didn't follow Him, but they are simply taking the focus "away" from Jesus. They are trying to make John's role appear more "significant" than Jesus. Why would they do that? Because Jesus is the way to eternal life. He is the way to the Father. He is the finisher of our faith and the author of salvation. Any group not of God, is going to attack Jesus. "He is not God.", "He did not finish His work.", "He is a created being.", "He was just a good teacher."So many, many attacks on the person of Jesus Christ. I think it is very revealing.
~Another point is this: It is absolutely inconceivable that God had built up the Jewish people for thousands of years, had sent them prophets and did all this work and preparation. And then when the appointed hour comes and the messiah arrives, that God's providence would rest more on a sinner: John the Baptist, than on the sinless Son of God: Jesus Christ. It is incomprehensible and simply a lie.
Didn't John lose faith though?
~Apparently he did, as he questioned who Christ was. But at this point he was sitting in prison about to get his head cut off, and there is no doubt in my mind that he was thinking: "Hey, you're the Christ, I testified to you and everything, and here I am sitting in prison, where is the Kingdom? Where is the revolution? Why haven't you freed us from slavery yet?" I find all those emotions to be completely wrong, yet completely understandable. All the Jews were thinking this way, but God had not sent Jesus merely for the salvation of Jews but of the whole world, well, as Jesus said "For those who hear my voice." John may have made some mistakes, but he certainly didn't destroy some alleged "master" plan, all by himself. That is pure fiction, and as Jesus said, He came to die on a cross, for this reason he came. Jesus also said: "No man takes my life, but I lay it down of my own, I have the power to lay down my life, and the power to take it back up again." Who on this Earth has the power to Raise THEMSELF from the dead? Certainly not Sun Myung Moon. God alone can raise the dead, yet here Jesus says he will RAISE HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD! This is no accident. Jesus came to save man. Jesus did not come merely "to die" as Moonies says Christianity teaches. They are twisting the truth here. It would be like saying that our Military goes to a war, so that they can die! Military men don't go to die, but they understand perfectly that this will probably be the price of victory. Before we enter a War, it is foreknown that men will die. We don't even have to be psychics to KNOW that fact, and yet who would say that the purpose is death itself? Death is not the purpose, but it is a neccessary element of victory. We don't have to be omniscient to know that as humans. But God IS OMNISCIENT! If we can know a cost of victory going into battle, how much more so, our OMNISCIENT GOD? Jesus did not come simply to die a cruel death as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus came to SAVE ME and to SAVE YOU! The sacrifice of his life on Calvary's Cross was the great cost of that salvation. God knew what it would cost to reach his children and save them, and he PAID IT IN FULL! That is the great love of an omniscient God who is also a Father of Love. And that wonderful love is now Mocked by those that have not accepted that salvation. Jesus is not yet their savior. They don't understand a God that loves, even at the price of death. But if you do, and you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then I invite you to do so, this very moment. Believe in your heart that Jesus is who He said He was: God the Savior. And ask him into your heart by faith. Understanding that the death Jesus died, was a penalty for MY SINS and YOUR SINS, not for His own. Jesus paid a penalty of sin, that you and I could never pay ourselves. That is why Jesus is our great God of Love, and why transcendant of culture and race, Jesus is The Lord of all, that will accept and submit to Him. The Bible says that "salvation is a gift of God". Dear reader, you CANNOT EARN a gift. It is given freely. By it's very nature, that is what a gift is! Yet some have made the truth of God a lie, and they actually believe they can SAVE THEMSELVES by a moral lifestyle. This would make that person the Savior, of themself. The Bible says that their is ONE SAVIOR and that He is God. The Bible says that. That God alone is the Savior. If you are "saving yourself" through your good works, then you are calling yourself GOD, to God's face. You have not then accepted his GIFT of salvation and forgiveness, but instead have mocked and challenged his authority in your life, perhaps even unwittingly. Satan in the garden, promised Adam and eve they could be gods. This is the temptation of all sin. It is the heart of it. The Bible says it is what lead to satan's fall, and Adam and Eve's as well. And possibly yours too. Change your heart now, and ask Jesus alone for the gift of forgiveness. Jesus promised that if you would do that, then He
What about John's followers disputing with Jesus followers?
~What about it? Jesus own followers disputed with one another as well, they even on occasion, disputed with Jesus Himself, as Peter demonstrates when He says "No, you won't die!" And Jesus is forced to say "Get behind me satan" to Peter. Arguments and disputes happen, it didn't stop Jesus followers from following Him and it certainly did not destroy God's providence. The Bible says that Moses argued with God when God had asked him to speak to Pharoah. Moses told God in effect: "I'm not articulate in speach, maybe you should get someone else for this job." God didn't say: "Now, Moses, you worthless ingrate! Do what I tell you now! (Lightining Bolts flashing!), No. Instead, God simply says: "Then take your brother Aaron, he speaks pretty good." God understands our doubts and even our disobedience, the Bible in fact is a record of thousands of years of it. But God has patience and will try and try again with us before giving us over to our own devices. But let me say, that even though God is a God of patience. His patience has a limit. And we can run pass that limit and lose everything. The Bible says that Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, and that if you will open it, Jesus will come in, and make his home with you eternally! Will you do that today? Jesus is Waiting...