As already stated above, the purpose of the providence of restoration is ultimately to establish the foundation to receive the Messiah. Therefore, as the providence is prolonged, the providence to restore that foundation must repeat itself. Meanwhile, in order to establish the foundation to receive the Messiah, first, the central figure in the providence of restoration must set up the foundation of faith by offering symbolic sacrifices, acceptable to God, by using certain conditional objects, during certain periods of time; second, he must establish the foundation of substance by offering substantial sacrifices, acceptable to God, after laying the condition of indemnity to remove the fallen nature.
Therefore, the course of the providence of restoration, the repetition of the providence to restore the foundation to receive the Messiah, was, after all, the repetition of the providence to restore, by indemnity, the symbolic offering and the substantial offering. Consequently, the age of the providential time-identity, formed by the repetition of the providential course to restore the foundation to receive the Messiah, was, after all, formed by the historical facts in the providence to restore, by indemnity, the two offerings mentioned above.
Let us now study the character of each providential age in accordance with such principles. To grasp the character of the age, we need an understanding of the central nation in charge of the providence, and the central historical sources concerning it. The history of mankind has been formed by the histories of numerous nations. Meanwhile, God, by choosing a special nation from among all the nations, and having it walk the typical providential course of restoration to establish the foundation to receive the Messiah, directs the chosen nation to be the center of His providence and to lead the history of mankind. The nation chosen for such a mission is called the “nation of God’s elect”, or “God’s chosen people”.
The nation of God’s elect consisted originally of the descendants of Abraham, who established the family-level foundation to receive the Messiah. Therefore, the central nation, having fulfilled God’s providence in the providential age of restoration, was Israel, the chosen nation. Therefore, the history of the Israelite nation becomes the historical material of the providential history of restoration in this age.
However, after the Israelites had delivered Jesus to his crucifixion, they lost their qualification as the chosen nation. Jesus, who foresaw this, once told them so in the parable of the vineyard, and concluded, “…the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” (Matt. 21:43). Paul also said that not all who are descended form Israel belong to Israel, but the people of God’s will and promise are the “Israel” (Rom. 9:6-8). In reality, the central nation, which has fulfilled the dispensation of the providential age of the prolongation of restoration beginning with Jesus, has not been the Israelite nation, but the Christians, who inherited God’s providence of restoration left unaccomplished. Consequently, Christian history becomes the historical source for the providential history of restoration in this age. In that sense, if we call Abraham’s lineal posterity of the Old Testament Age the “First Israel”, the Christians of the New Testament Age may be called the “Second Israel”.
When we compare the Old Testament with the New Testament, the five books of law (Genesis to Deuteronomy), twelve books of history (Joshua to Esther), five books of verses (Job to the Song of Solomon) and seventeen books of prophecy (Isaiah to Malachi) in the Old Testament correspond to the Gospels, Acts, Letters of the Apostles, and Revelation, respectively. However, in the books of history of the Old Testament, the whole 2000-year history of the “First Israel” is recorded while, in Acts of the New Testament, only the history of the “Second Israel” (Christians) of Jesus’ day is written. In order to study and comprehend the divine providence of God from the time of Jesus to the present, we must refer to the history of Christianity as a source of reference, in addition to “Acts” of the New Testament. Therefore, Christian history becomes the historical source which comprises the providential history of restoration after Jesus. By comparing the characters of each period which has formed the providential age of restoration, and the providential age of the prolongation of restoration, connected by the time-identity centering on the histories of the “First Israel” and the “Second Israel”, we can understand more clearly that human history has been created according to a consistent, formal providence of the living God.
The 400-year period from Noah to Abraham was invaded by Satan, because of Abraham’s failure in the offering. Therefore, during the period of slavery in Egypt, to restore by indemnity this 400-year period, the posterity of Jacob were miserably persecuted by the Egyptians for the 400 years after he and the 70 kinsmen, centering on his 12 sons, had entered Egypt. In the period of the persecution under the Roman Empire to restore this period by indemnity, the 12 apostles, the 70 disciples, and the Christians centering on Jesus, because of his crucifixion, had to undergo miserable persecution by the Roman Empire for 400 years in order to restore, by indemnity, the 400-year period of preparation for the coming of the Messiah which had been invaded by Satan.
In the period of slavery in Egypt, the First Israel, the chosen nation, separated itself from Satan, who invaded because of Abraham’s failure in the offering, by circumcising (Ex. 4:25), offering sacrifices (Ex. 5:3), and keeping the Sabbath (Ex. 16:23). Therefore, during the period of persecution by the Roman Empire also, the Second Israel, the chosen nation, had to separate itself from Satan by performing the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism, offering the saints as living sacrifices, and keeping the Sabbath. After the 400-year period of slavery in Egypt had ended, Moses subjugated Satan by the powers of the three great miracles and ten calamities, and headed for the land of Canaan, leading the First Israel, the chosen nation, out of Egypt. Likewise, in the period of persecution by the Roman Empire, after the 400-year persecution of the Second Israel ended, Jesus influenced Emperor Constantine spiritually, and moved him to recognize Christianity publicly in 313, and finally could have Theodocious I declare Christianity the national religion.
In this way, Christians came to be restored, spiritually, into Canaan, out of the Satanic world.In the Old Testament Age in which God had worked His providence by external conditions of indemnity, according to the law, God subjugated Pharaoh by giving Moses external miracles and signs. But, since the New Testament Age is the period in which God worked His providence with internal conditions of indemnity, according to the Word, God then worked through spiritual reformation.
After the period of slavery in Egypt had ended, Moses set up the center of the Old Testament by receiving the Ten Commandments and words on Mount Sinai. By receiving the tablets of stone, the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant, the First Israel, the chosen nation, came to set up the will to receive the Messiah. Likewise, after the period of persecution by the Roman Empire, the Second Israel, the chosen nation, decided on the New Testament by collecting the records of the apostles as the words to fulfill spiritually the Ten commandments and the ideal of the temple of the Old Testament Age. They thus broadened the ground to receive the Lord of the Second Advent by establishing churches centering on the words. In the period after the coming of Jesus, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been leading Christians directly, so God has not set up any one person as the central figure of the whole providence, substituting for God, as He did in the previous period of providence.
The period of Judges is the 400-year period in which the 15 judges including 12 judges beginning with Othniel and the succeeding three (Samson, Eli and Samuel) were guiding the Israelites. These judges were each filling multiple functions as prophet, chief priest, and king, which were shared by several individuals in the next period. Therefore, the feudal society of Judaism began from that time. In the period of Christian churches under the patriarchal system of the New Testament Age, the patriarchs held duties corresponding to those of the judges in respect to leading the Christians.
In the period before Jesus, the patriarchs were establishing the foundation to receive the Messiah both spiritually and physically, centering on the First Israel. Therefore, the politics, economy, and religion of that time were under the guidance of a single leader. However, in the course after Jesus, they were creating the spiritual kingdom centering on Jesus, the spiritual King of Kings, on the spiritual foundation to receive the Messiah already established. Therefore, the Christian world or society as the “Second Israel” is a spiritual kingdom without land, with the resurrected Jesus as its king.
Since the patriarchs had the mission of the judges in erecting the spiritual kingdom, they had, at times, to become prophets, chief priests, or kings ruling the parish. As a result, the Christian feudal society began from this time.
In the period of the judges, after the Israelites, led by Joshua and Caleb, entered the blessed land of Canaan, they formed a new nation of God’s elect, centering on the judges in the new land allotted to each tribe. Thus they established the foundation of the Israelite feudal society. Likewise, in the period of Christian churches under the patriarchal system of Christianity, after its liberation from the Roman Empire (the Satanic world), spread the gospel to the Germanic tribes, who had moved to Western Europe because of the invasion by the Huns in the 4th century. By setting up the Germanic people as a new people of God’s elect in the new land of Western Europe, they established the foundation of the Christian feudal society.
We have already discussed in detail, in the section on the providence of restoration centering on Moses, the fact that, in the course of restoration into Canaan by the people of Israel, they set up the tabernacle as the symbolic being of the Messiah and at the same time as the conditional object substituting for Abel, in order to establish the foundation of substance. Therefore, the Israelite nation in the period of judges should have exalted the will of the tabernacle under the leadership of the Judges. But, by living among the seven tribes of Canaan without destroying them, the Israelites came to worship their idols after their evil customs, thus bringing about great chaos in their faith.
Likewise, in the period of Christian churches under the patriarchal system, the Christians should have exalted the will of the church as the image-entity of the Messiah, and, should have exalted it at the same time, as the conditional object substituting for Abel, under the leadership of the patriarchs. But, partially due to the influence of the many miscellaneous religions of the German people, there came about a great confusion in their faith.
Upon entering the period of the United Kingdom, the period in which the judges led the First Israel was over. The prophets under direct command of God, the chief priests serving the tabernacle and the temple, and the king ruling the people were in a triangular position, each having to accomplish his leading mission centering on the purpose of the providence of restoration. Therefore, in the period of the Christian Kingdom, which restored this period by indemnity as the substantial time-identity also, the period of the patriarchs’ leading the Second Israel was over; and the monasteries corresponding to the prophets, the popes corresponding to the chief priests, and the kings ruling the people had to lead the Second Israel, centering on the purpose of the providence of restoration. Christianity at that time was divided into the five great parishes of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome. The Roman patriarch, holding the superior position among them, was supervising other parishes, and he was called by the special title of “Pope”.
In the period of the United Kingdom, Moses’ “ideal of the tabernacle” presented itself as the “ideal of the temple”, centering on the king, thus establishing a kingdom. This was the image-course, showing that in the future Jesus would come as the substantial temple, and erect a kingdom as King of Kings (Is. 9:6). Likewise, in the period of the Christian Kingdom, the City of God written by St. Augustine as his Christian ideal at the time of the Christians’ liberation from the Roman Empire, was at this time realized by the Emperor Charlemagne in the form of the Christian Kingdom which was the Kingdom of the Franks from the time of Emperor Charlemagne. This was the image-course, showing that in the future Christ would come again as King of Kings, and erect a kingdom. Therefore, in this period, the king and the pope should have realized the Christian ideal in perfect oneness centering on God’s will. Thus, the spiritual kingdom without land established centering on the pope and the substantial kingdom centering on the king should have become one, centering on the Christian ideal, If so, at that time, religion, politics, and economy would have become one, and the foundation to receive the Messiah of the Second Advent would have been realized then.
The central figure to restore the foundation of faith in the period of the United Kingdom was the king, who was to realize God’s Word, given by means of the prophets. Prophets and chief priests, being in the position of substituting for God’s Word, would stand in the position of Abel in their age. However, in the course of the providence of restoration, they had to restore the substantial world from the position of the archangel, representing the spiritual world. Therefore, after having ordained a king on the spiritual foundation which they established for him, they had to stand in the position of Cain before him. Accordingly, the king must rule the nation according to the words of prophets, and the prophets must obey the king from their position as his subjects. Therefore, the central figure to restore the foundation of faith in this period was the king.
In reality, in the 800th year from Abraham, the prophet Samuel ordained Saul under God’s command, making him the first king of the First Israel, the chosen nation of God (? Sam. 8:19-22, 10:1-24). If King Saul, standing on the 400-year foundation of the period of judges, had accomplished his 40-year reign in a way acceptable to God, he could have stood in the position of having restored, by indemnity, the 400-year period of slavery in Egypt and Moses’ 40-year period in Pharaoh’s palace, thus being able to establish the foundation of faith on the 40-day foundation of separation from Satan. Accordingly, if Saul had erected the temple as the image of the Messiah on that foundation, and exalted it, he could have stood in the position of Moses, having succeeded in the first nationwide restoration of Canaan, finally erecting the temple and exalting it. Again, if the chosen people of Israel had absolutely obeyed the king, exalting the temple on the foundation of faith centering on King Saul, they could have established the foundation of substance, thus laying the foundation to receive the Messiah. However, King Saul, having rebelled against God’s command, given through the prophet Samuel (I Sam. 15:1-23), failed to erect the temple. King Saul, who thus failed to erect the temple, was placed in the position of Moses, having failed in the first nationwide restoration of Canaan.
In this way, the providence of restoration centering on King Saul was prolonged through the 40-year period of King David to the 40-year period of King Solomon. Just as Abraham’s will had been realized at the time of Jacob after passing through that of Isaac, the will of erecting the temple by King Saul, who was also in the position of Abraham, was realized at the time of King Solomon after passing through that of King David. Nevertheless, since King Solomon left the position of Abel for the substantial offering by falling into lust, the foundation of substance became a failure. Accordingly, the foundation to receive the Messiah, which was to be established in the period of the United Kingdom, was also a failure.
In the period of the Christian Kingdom, all the conditions belonging to the period of the United Kingdom had to be restored by indemnity, as substantial time-identity. Therefore, the central figure to restore by indemnity the foundation of faith of this period was the king, who was to realize the Christian ideal of the monastery and the pope. The pope was in the position of the chief priest, who had exalted the will of the prophets in the period of the United Kingdom. Therefore, after having ordained the king on the spiritual foundation he had set up for the king to realize the Christian ideal, he had to obey the king from the position of his subject, while the king had to rule the people by exalting the pope’s ideal. In reality, for this purpose of the providence, Pope