Teachings and Practice of the Unification Church – Part 2 | John Ankerberg Show

Teachings and Practice of the Unification Church – Part 2

By: John Ankerberg Show
By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
Sun Myung Moon’s worldview involves a combination of complex symbolic historical correspondences, Eastern philosophy, Taoism, occultism and an esoteric-allegoric interpretation of the Bible.

The next discussion in Divine Principle concerns the Triple Objective Purpose (TOP) and Four Position Foundation (FPF). These involve a husband, wife and children centered on God. Essentially the FPF is the “proper” relationship of a family to God and each other:

God ———-> Man/Woman ———-> Children

This relationship involves husbands sometimes submitting to their wives and parents sometimes submitting to their children.

As should be evident by now, the Divine Principle, its study guide and the 120 Day Training Manual are very abstruse. And what we have discussed so far encompasses only a few of the 150-plus diagrammatical charts in the back of the 120 Day Training Manual, which itself is said to explain Moon’s philosophy only in condensed form (diagrams here are the authors’). Further, Moon and his spirit guides do not always explain key terms. So at the risk of oversimplification we will proceed.

The first group of four positions is formed as a result of the division of God into two units which then unite: the position of God, the two unit’s positions and the position of union (resulting in children). One takes a subjective position (God); the remaining three stand as objects to God, producing three objective bases[1]. This involves the Triple Objective Purpose (TOP), where the three objects unite with the one subject. This leads to the Four Position Foundation (FPF). These three objective positions or bases are Male-Female created as substantial objects (first), Male-Female assuming the role of subject-object (second) and Male-Female in union producing children (third). When these three objective positions are centered on their origin (God), the fourth position is created (the position of centering on God). This is called the Four Position Foundation.

When Moon declares that God’s vital purposes with the creation and the salvation of mankind cannot be achieved without a God-centered Four Position Foundation resulting from the Triple Objective Purpose through Origin Division Union Action, it involves all that has been discussed to date and a great deal more:

Until this base is formed on this earth, there cannot be any salvation. [2]

The four position foundation is the base for the fulfillment of god’s goodness and is the ultimate goal of His creation. This is the base through which God’s power is channeled to flow into all of His creation in order for the creation to exist. Therefore, the formation of the four position foundation is ultimately God’s eternal purpose of creation. [3]

Adam and Eve

The “Four Position Foundation” just discussed is simply Moon’s idea of the “proper” relationship of a family to God. It is referred to as establishing a substantial Trinity centered on God, and it relates to Adam and Eve.

The Four Position Foundation was God’s purpose of creation and was to be established by God, Adam and Eve and their children in various stages. Adam and Eve were to enter a “Give and Take Action” relationship with God. Had they not fallen, Adam and Eve and all their posterity would have naturally died (death for Moon is normal) and gone into the spirit world. Once there a type of transformation would have taken place in which they would have formed the Body of God with God as the Mind. There would then be one divine entity. Their minds would become spiritual dwellings so God Himself could “become” their mind. [4]

When Adam and Eve were perfected here on earth and then were elevated to the spirit world, God would have become the mind of Adam and Eve and they would have been the spirit body of God, so that God and men in spirit world would have been inseparable, one body…. [Today here] on earth our supreme mission is to prepare ourselves to welcome God as our mind in spirit world. The whole purpose of our physical lives here on earth is to make ourselves dwelling places of God so that when we pass into the spirit world our minds can become spirit bodies in which God can dwell…. We are all supposed to be the bodies of God. [5]

Essentially, Moon is proposing that people become re-deified. However, the problem was that Adam and Eve failed. They established Give and Take Action with Satan instead of with God, thus establishing a satanic reciprocal base (a Four Position Foundation) that became their “foundation of existence.” Thus people no longer stand in relation to God, but to Satan.

When Eve fell by having sex with Satan, she took on his sinful characteristics and the literal blood of Satan entered her veins. When she had sex with Adam he was corrupted in the same manner. Then Satan’s blood coursed through Adam and Eve and was transmitted to their offspring. Everyone, then, has satanic blood, which must be purified. Further, the mind somehow remained God-centered (more or less), but the body changed “so that Satan has been controlling it.” Everyone is physically “possessed” or controlled by Satan, so they must return their bodies to their original position as vehicles of God rather than of Satan. [6]

The goal of history, then, is to establish a perfect race, physically cleansed, in proper familial (FPF), not individual, relationship to God. This is a major goal underlying all the efforts of Moon and his “church.” “Our final problem is how to cleanse our blood. All through history God has been working for that.”[7] Moon says, “My dispensation is to establish a new lineage of pure blood.” [8]

Moon divides the 6,000 years of history into three stages, each with many sub-stages. In each stage God attempted to restore the race and failed. It is man’s responsibility to meet God’s conditions and pay for Adam’s sin. Whenever man fails to meet these conditions, he must “pay God back” by punishment and by establishing often more difficult conditions in the future. This is known as “indemnity.” (There is also a waiting period between each failure.)

The “providential age for the foundation of restoration” runs from Adam to Abraham, 1,000 years. During this era Noah unsuccessfully attempted to restore the race, since his family failed him. Abraham also failed, but he and his descendants did accomplish enough to begin the “providential age of restoration,” 1,930 years, from Israel’s Egyptian bondage (indemnity) to Jesus Christ. The third stage is the “providential age of the prolongation of restoration.” This lasts 1,930 years and ends with the “age of preparation for the Lord of the Second Advent.” Moon was born in 1920 and we are now preparing for him to be received symbolically as Christ returned. If man fails to receive him, it is back to square one, and everything must begin all over.

The Principle of Restoration Indemnity

Moon describes the vital “principle of restoration indemnity” as follows:

The “providence of restoration” means God’s providence of restoring fallen man to his original state endowed at the creation, thus fulfilling the purpose of creation…. What, then, does “restoration through indemnity” mean? When anything has lost its original position or status, certain conditions must be established in order for the original position or status to be restored. The setting up of such conditions is called “indemnity.” [9]

For the UC, “God’s” plan of the Providence of Restoration (how to restore the universe to its original position) has been one long and pitiful failure. Moon divides all of history into numerous ages or sections. In each time period God tried and failed to achieve the Four Position Foundation. There are ages of “symbolical” time identity, “image” time identity and “substantial” time identity, each viewed differently. It is quite complex, but if we use only three periods we may have a general idea:

The Age of Law Old Testament 1st Adam 1st Israel
The Age of Salvation New Testament 2nd Adam (Jesus) 2nd Israel (Christian Church)
The Age of Restoration Completed Testament (Divine Principle) 3rd Adam (Moon) 3rd Israel (Korea or UC)

Here we see how anti-Christian UC theology is. First, according to Unification theology, the age of salvation is over because we are now in the age of restoration, where God is doing something much more important than saving people. He is restoring man to his original position, fulfilling the purpose of creation. Second, the Age of the Bible is also over. The Completed Testament is Divine Principle, replacing the first (Old) and second (New) testaments. Third, the age of Jesus, the Second Adam, is also over. The Third Adam is Moon, upon whom the salvation (restoration) of the world rests. Finally, the Age of the Christian Church is over. The Second Israel is the Christian Church; the Third Israel is the nation that was to save the world. [10]

What we discover in Unification theology, then, is the complete replacement of the Bible, Christian salvation, Jesus Christ and the Christian Church with Moon’s program for the “providence of restoration.”

Restoration Symbolism

Moon’s program of restoration indemnity proceeds from the individual level, through the family, tribe and nation levels until finally the whole world is subjugated. Much of this can be “accomplished” by symbolic means, although just how much is uncertain.

There are scores of requirements that UC members must fulfill in order to “restore” the world. One of the more outrageous is that a member must find and convert three people who will be willing to die for him. And much of what members are required to do results from the spirits’ bizarre system of symbolism, connecting events of history (especially biblical history) to events of today. Thus, UC members must make up for historical failures (indemnify them) by doing them correctly. But there has been 6,000 years of repeated failures to indemnify! For example, “Jesus couldn’t restore his tribe. So we have to restore our tribe, and surpass Jesus’ mission. By doing that we can restore the nation!” [11]

In Moon’s writings, hundreds of events in history, religion, politics and his own life are symbolically related and paralleled to hundreds of biblical events. Although these events are actually not related to each other, and are often absolutely trivial, in Moon’s system they are joined together and made the basis for various teachings. “History both before and after Jesus must be viewed symbolically rather than literally…. We say 4, 40, 400, 1600—all have the same meaning. From King Saul to Solomon was 120 years, but in terms of God’s providence it only means 40 years, because the three kings only accomplished one thing—the erection of the Temple.” [12]

Everything Moon does has some symbolic significance, from his mass weddings to the dates of certain events (numerical symbolism is omnipresent). Due to the additional revelation of the Divine Principle, the biblical narrative is even embellished at points to help things “fit.” In all of this, UC members will stress that Moon has the “answers” to everything. However, even superficial examination reveals that his analysis and symbolism of history, comparative religion and politics is confused and illogical. Note one example:

Whenever God’s religion comes out then Satan’s side can come out also. How do we know this? When Jesus was on the cross, there was a thief on each side of him. Jesus Christ was not supposed to die; so the second coming of Christ was inherited from his crucifixion. Because this happened to Jesus Christ, then two thousand years later this same situation will appear again so that it can be fulfilled. The right thief represents the free democratic nations. We call that the right wing. The left thief represents communism and that’s called the left wing sometimes…. This was the origin of the left and right political parties at that time. Because of Jesus Christ the thief who was supposed to die got the blessing. That’s the Moslem nation. [13]

Man must pay for each historic failure through suffering and set up “proper conditions” to restore the earlier situation. The price may be paid by various means and in various degrees. For example, certain conditions must be met in order to “lay the foundation to receive the Messiah [Moon].”[14] If they are not laid there will be failure, as there was with Jesus, where the proper conditions were not set up beforehand. A wife, for example, was not prepared for Jesus beforehand, which might have allowed Him to succeed in His mission. After all, how could Jesus form a family centered on God and have sinless children without a wife? So it was inevitable that He should fail. Because of Jesus’ failure, man has been paying indemnity for 2,000 years and is now finally ready to set up the “conditions” to receive the Messiah; that is, “conditions” that involve the activities of the UC on Moon’s behalf, assuming they are successful.

Unification theology views history in a cyclic or, more accurately, repetitive manner based on the principle of symbolic historic correspondences and the principle of indemnity. Moon is restoring history in terms of its past failures, and in the process he is recreating it. Wherever redemptive history does not succeed along the intended points (as Moon sees them), future generations must not only pay for the failure (make indemnity) but also achieve the success that earlier generations failed to achieve. For example, “From the Divine Principle we learn that history repeats itself in expanded versions. Because of the failure of the mission of Jesus 2,000 years ago, the pattern of history has to be repeated in our time, and we have to pay the indemnity for the failure at the time of Jesus.” [15]

The key is symbolism. Because all history is symbolic Moon can find symbolic correspondences everywhere, and because numbers are symbolic they do not have to be literal; for example, 6 years can represent 600. By this means, Moon arbitrarily molds history to fit his particular theological framework. For example, ancient Israel rejected their Messiah; and Korea today, in the “position” of Israel (the third Israel), must pay indemnity for the first Israel’s mistake. So Korea’s penalty was to be subjugated by Japan for 36 years, which was “40 years” payment of indemnity: itself the symbolic equivalent of “400” years of Christian tribulation in Rome for their own failure.[16] And since Jesus failed, Moon must succeed where He failed, as well as pay indemnity. His life must not only pass through the stages of Jesus’ life but also restore Jesus’ failures:

The time when Jesus was crucified on the cross can be compared to the time of Master’s imprisonment…. Jesus lost everything on the cross. So Master had to go through the same situation. [17]

When Jesus was put on the cross He lost His 12 disciples. So Master had to restore those 12 disciples in prison. [18]

For the Lord of the Second Advent to appear on this earth he had to restore all these things lost in the Old Testament Age and in the New Testament Age. [19]

One reason the Communists captured North Korea was so Moon could be tortured to pay the indemnity incurred by Jesus’ failure and unexpected crucifixion. Likewise Jesus was rejected by His family, so, correspondingly, Moon could not even witness to his. “He could not witness to or influence his own family. He never once talked about the Divine Principle to his own brother, parents or any relative. Why? He was in the position of Jesus who was driven out by his people.”[20] Similarly, since God was willing to sacrifice His own Son for the world, and since He wanted to restore the world at the cost (supposedly) of many martyrs, UC followers, “reliving history,” must become martyrs. “Master is in the position of saving the Gentile world at the cost of his own beloved ones.” [21]

Moon’s theories go on and on, becoming more and more complex. All happenings after Cain and Abel are set by Moon in their respective “positions.” With all the evil in the world, Moon argues that the world is in the general position of Cain, who was a murderer. The Christian Church is also in the position of Cain. The UC is in the position of Abel, who sacrifices itself for Cain (the world and the Christian Church) even though Cain “murders” or persecutes it.

This entire scheme is carried out with innumerable permutations. “Adam and Eve’s fall was on the physical [sexual] level. Therefore, physical abstination [in marriage] is necessary in order to make restitution.”[22] There are not only thousands of potentially relevant historical events for the people and events of today to assume their “positions,” there are also multiple positions that may be assumed, both horizontally (man to man) and vertically (man to God):

By killing a fallen man, represented by the Egyptian, Moses could liberate God’s heart…. God had cherished the feeling of resentment in His heart to kill fallen man, but by Moses’ killing of the Egyptian (who represented fallen man), God was liberated from that feeling. So God, instead of hating Moses, loved Moses all the more and set him up as the central figure on that dispensation. Jacob did the same thing on the individual level when he wrestled with the angel and won victory over the angel and could develop the salvation of mankind on the family level…. But, they also, the people of the Christian system, have failed to restore and save man. The world of Christianity is now in the position of having failed to do that, because it is relating with Satan…. God… is now in the position of beating the world of Christianity and finding instead another central figure. [23]

When we encounter Moon, we discover that he is the composite of all history and the one who suffers the sins of other’s failures:

I have shed so many tears in discovering the Principle, particularly with such historical figures as Adam, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and so on…. It was not Adam’s story, but mine. I felt the story of Cain and Abel as my own. Through their mistake, God felt so much sorrow, and I felt the same. So with Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus. In each event, I put myself in the position of those involved and felt with them, and with God, all through the history. It is not someone else’s history, but my own life. [24]

Every period of restoration is my work. My responsibility is to make indemnity for all those from Adam to the Lord of the Second Advent. [25]

Through use of symbolism, Moon can “indemnify” past failures and, through wholly unrelated modern events, such as mass weddings, allegedly change the course of history:

By the blessing of these 36 couples, the period from Adam to Jacob was restored…. Then 120 couples were blessed, representing Jesus’ 12 disciples, and 120 people who awaited the descent of the Holy Spirit…. By the blessing of the 120, the universal blessing could start…. I had to pay indemnity for what had been lost by Jacob, Moses and Jesus…. By blessing these couples, restoration was completed both physically and spiritually. Therefore, starting from these blessings, heaven and earth, which have been separated, are united. Consequently, international affairs are turning in a new direction. These blessings affected our national affairs in a very conspicuous way. [26]

The Principle of Reversal

As if all this was not difficult enough, Moon’s spirit guides demand that things be restored in reverse order. For example, in the “Satanic” world the order is first parents, then children. In the restoration age (now) the order must be, at least symbolically, first children then parents. Hence each person must first find three spiritual children (converts) before he or she can be married and be a true parent. Otherwise, even if people are parents, they are not such in God’s eyes; they are living in a satanic marriage and union. The principle of reversal also extends at times to roles within the family. Women must sometimes lead men, and children their parents. “In the course of restoration, husband and wife cannot go side by side. One will go ahead of the other, and the other will follow…. Men should follow them [women] in this case. After restoration, the order will be reversed….” [27]

Moon himself can learn from and be inspired by anything, even the insane.[28] The Principle of Reversal may also help to explain Moon’s view of Satan and the spirit world:

There is nothing he hates because he likes everything…. He is even sympathetic to Satan. In a way, Satan is amicable. Satan has done a great job. He has changed the course of the history of God. [29]

In teaching the Principle to your children, their spirits will grow faster than yours. Often [spiritistic] messages will come through them to you…. The children receive far higher messages for their parents than the parents themselves do…. They will tell you what indemnity you have to pay, what punishment you must receive, and so on. Your children can be your guides. [30]


  1. Divine Principle, p. 31.
  2. Master Speaks, December 23, 1971, p. 3.
  3. Divine Principle (Washington, D.C.; HSA-UWC), p. 32.
  4. Moon, “The Dignity of God and Man,” The Way of the World, March-April 1977, p. 5.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., pp. 8-11.
  7. Master Speaks, 319, p. 1.
  8. Master Speaks, 6, p. 1.
  9. Divine Principle, pp. 221, 223; cf. p. 226.
  10. Initially, probably Korea; when that did not come to pass, the Third Israel perhaps became the Unification Church members who were to assume power in one nation (America) and use it as a beachhead to subjugate the world for its salvation. Only time will tell how Moon, or whoever replaces him, will deal with his failure in America.
  11. Master Speaks, December 29, 1971, p. 9.
  12. Master Speaks, 5, p. 4.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Divine Principle, p. 227.
  15. Master Speaks, July 1, 1973, p. 1.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Master Speaks, 2, p. 3.
  18. Master Speaks, December 27, 1971, p. 8.
  19. Master Speaks, December 29, 1971, pp. 1, 6.
  20. Ibid., p. 10.
  21. Master Speaks, 2, p. 6.
  22. Master Speaks, 2, p. 5.
  23. Master Speaks, December 12, 1971, pp. 2-3.
  24. Master Speaks, 3, p. 13.
  25. Master Speaks, 4, p. 7.
  26. Master Speaks, 2, p. 3.
  27. Master Speaks, 2, pp. 6-7.
  28. Master Speaks, 4 (2), p. 2.
  29. Ibid., p. 3.
  30. Master Speaks, 4, p. 12.

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