November 7, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea
This is the type of figure that the Messiah is. He does not come to give everybody an inspirational message. He comes to challenge the people, to bring them to a new level of faith, to cut them from sin and the life that has entrapped them.
Yeon Ah Nim
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Welcome to the headquarters of the Unification Church! It is really great to see you all today. We sincerely hope and pray that we become proud sons and daughters of Heavenly Father as Unificationists. Aju!
Hyung Jin Nim
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Let’s start by manifesting the Principle: give and receive action; four position foundation; may I inherit the true love of God. Aju!
We are going to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong p.322 today. Father speaks: “Without love, unity cannot be attained. Words alone are not enough to unite two different people into one. Then, what is needed to unite them? There must be love.”
When we understand what True Father talks about when he talks about love – it’s not just the feeling, but it is the heart of the parent to care for that person, to even sacrifice for that person. That’s actually a very important part of being in a blessed relationship, to learn to sacrifice for your spouse.
We want to congratulate all the new spouses that are preparing to being blessed this time on November 16th. Father will be directly matching new blessed couples, particularly second and third generation. Let’s give a big round of encouragement for those new blessed couples. (Applause) We pray that those relationships may grow in that type of deep true love and that they may be a great example of hope and joy for the rest of the world.
We’d like to start with something a little interesting! I know we haven’t done this in a couple of weeks. I heard a little story. God had given the Israelites this incredible speech booming from the heavens and explaining the new covenant to Moses and the Israelites. After the incredible speech, Moses went up to the mountain and met God. He said, “God, that was an incredible speech! That was absolutely amazing. I think the Israelites are very inspired today. But God, I have one question.” God said, “What’s that Moses?” Moses said,” You want us to cut off what?”
Oh, you didn’t get it today, brothers and sister. Oh man! This is tough today!
I think you guys like it when it’s not funny!
Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:
Brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about The Everlasting Liberation of God.
Let’s start with our world Scriptures today. We’re going to start with Christianity, II Corinthians, 3:17. Let’s read this together: “Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!”
Let’s take a look at Buddhism today, the Sutta Nipata 9:48. Let’s read this together: “Selfish desire is a chain, shackled to the world, and it is a difficult one to break. But once that is done . . . the stream has been cut off and there are no more chains.” Aju!
This is from the Bhagavad-Gita 5:24. Let’s read this together: “That disciplined man with joy and light within becomes one with God and reaches the freedom that is God’s.” Aju!
And True Parents’ words today; this is from the 329th volume. Let’s read it together. It’s a little lengthy but we’re going to read it together: “What does it feel like to experience the being of God? The interminable struggle between your mind and body, which formally plagued your self-centered life–when you put yourself as number one in everything you did–will completely disappear. Instead, you will live the life that God wants you to live: living for others and giving yourself for the whole. Then true love will continue for ever, and God’s joy will be displayed in the spiritual world. You will experience such satisfaction and happiness as you have never felt before, because it will be connected to the whole. Thus, you will discover yourself in the state of liberation. “
You know even in my own studies, I could never really understand what Father was talking about here. It was only when I started really working in the ministry, and beyond that, particularly with this human rights’ violation issue in Japan (that I could understand). When we really stand up to fight for the whole, to fight for our faith – then I could understand what Father was talking about here: that “you will experience such a joy and happiness as you never felt before.” In my own life, I have experienced many different types of joys; but really when we can stand up for other brothers and sisters whose rights and freedoms are being stripped away from them, and we can stand up for that incredible cause, then I really can start feeling the truth and the depth of that kind of teaching.
Let’s look at the Scripture. That is John 8:12 today, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ “
See, brothers and sisters, we have to understand that the Messiah does not come as we think. We often tell VIPs when they come to meet Father and want to hear him speak, we often tell them beforehand,” You probably are not going to be inspired or encouraged; you are going to be challenged! You are going to hear a very long speech probably, and you will be challenged in many different ways.”
We explain to them that the Messiah does not come to bring us peace, just like Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, ”I come not to bring peace, but I come to bring a sword”. (The Messiah brings) the sword that cuts us away from fallen lineage and fallen life and fallen love. The Messiah does not come just to just make us feel good. The Messiah comes with an incredible desperation. He comes as an incredible challenge to the world. So when we explain this to them, we say, “You know, many times you may think that Father is very shocking, that he acts in very radical ways.”
I was talking to a new church member. He was a former evangelical Korean Christian, he joined through the Chedang (business foundation). He said he’s been in the church for a couple of years now, about four years, and is working with the church, attending church, etc . . . . And he said, “You know all my negative feelings towards Unificationists have disappeared. I have met the people, I have seen that they are (real) people – that they eat dinner too; and they do all sorts of normal things, but I am a little stuck. I still can’t understand why Father does these incredibly big weddings, or why Father does the crowning ceremony of God or why Father comes out and wears king’s robes. I can’t understand that. That looks very cultish to me. It looks very controversial.” I told him, “Look, we have to understand what the Messiah is. He is not here to simply please the world or the society.”
And I told him, “Look at Jesus! You are a Christian. You should look at the Bible, look at Jesus! Look how even cultish Christ acts.” In John 8, this is where the quote comes from, Jesus is on the Mount of Olives, and he is preaching. He is going into the synagogues, even in the midst of the rituals. He is just walking into the synagogues and he is proclaiming before the people, the Pharisees and the different Jewish traditions there. He’s saying, “I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will never be in darkness.” This is a very strong type of teaching. The Pharisees say, ”You are demon-possessed.” They start chastising, condemning. “You are crazy, you are possessed by Satan,” they say. “Your testimony is not valid because you are testifying on your behalf alone. “
And Jesus says, “It says in your law that you need two; one to testify and one as a witness. I testify on my behalf and God is my witness. “They get very upset. They start attacking him, “Jesus you are crazy.” Here’s a 30 year-old man, probably no taller than I am, and he is walking around intruding in the temples and saying such things as, “I am the light of the world.”
In verse 44, he goes on to say, “You are not of your father, the God of Abraham, you are of your father, the devil.” He basically says, “You are Satan’s children.” He is totally challenging them.
They say, “Our father is not the devil; our father is Abraham, that is our father.” In verse 56, Jesus said, “Did you know that Abraham rejoiced; he rejoiced to see my day.” He rejoiced, he saw it and was glad. It’s almost like a spiritual message from Abraham. “Did you know that he is rejoicing at my day?” is what Jesus is saying.
And then in verse 58, they get angry at Jesus and say, “How can a 30 year old man – you are not even 50 yet – claim to see Abraham?” and he said, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” Now this is quite shocking for people at that time.
This is the type of figure that the Messiah is. He does not come to give everybody an inspirational message. He comes to challenge the people, to bring them to a new level of faith, to cut them from sin and the life that has entrapped them.
I explained to this Korean former evangelist, “When we understand Jesus we can actually understand True Father a lot more.” There are reasons why Jesus and True Father had to proclaim themselves as the Messiah. First, of course, they had to spread the message; but as time went on, why did they have to continue to do such a thing?
When we reflect on it, we can see that even at the time of Jesus, the Apostles who followed Christ started lacking in faith. They started saying, “Jesus, you are too radical. It’s hard to present you to the public! I don’t know if I can show you to my friends. You are quite radical, Jesus.” They are getting ashamed, even embarrassed about Jesus; and so they stop declaring him as the Messiah. And so Jesus had to go out; he had to go out and declare himself.
When I saw this passage in John 8, it reminded me of what happened to our own church, how we forgot to declare True Father as the Messiah. We explained him as a patriot, and a great person of peace, etc. But that’s comparing him to peace activists and comparing him to patriots of nations that we see, or politicians or people who are always very polite.
Father is not comparable to those people. When he gets on stage, he is screaming; screaming and shouting and hollering and saying, “You must cut away your fallen lineage, etc.” He talks about absolute relationships and all these kinds of things that seem extremely radical.
But we have to see why Father did get into this kind of situation. And many times when I look at even my own life, we forgot as a community for about a decade how to declare True Father as the Messiah; how to explain to the world that the Messiah does not come in the way that we think. He comes to challenge us. He comes to give us a new insight, to make us at times uncomfortable with ourselves so we can come into a new dimension with God.
And we have watched him doing such things like declaring himself as the Messiah. We have seen media say negative things about him and we have felt ashamed that he had done such things, and we have even blamed him for it. ”Father why do you have no politeness or etiquette? Why do you speak for hours on end? Our VIPs can’t eat, they can’t eat their dinner. Why do you do such things?”
But you know we must always look at this in context. In studying the Buddhist tradition, when I lived with a Tibetan Buddhist, I was struck by this one point. The Dalai Lama is the Incarnation in that tradition; he is the living embodiment of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara — that is the Buddha of Compassion. That is basically a perfected being, almost a God – a deity – a person that can become a full Buddha, which is a perfect being, but one that relinquishes that freedom so that he can save other sentient beings.
But never once did I hear the Dalai Lama proclaim himself as the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Maybe on some occasions he expressed that he has inklings towards such things or he has an appreciation for that Bodhisattva. But I have met countless Tibetan Buddhists, countless Tibetan Buddhists. Whenever they talk about the Dalai Lama, they see him as the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. They are declaring that the Dalai Lama is who he says he is or he is whom they believe him to be.
And in the same way, it is our responsibility as people of faith, and as the apostles and the disciples of True Parents, to be able to have that kind of faith – the faith that can free Father from declaring himself as the Messiah; and for us to be able to rise up in our faith and be able to declare him to the world in the way that he truly is. Let’s give it up for True Father (applause) . . . . and True Mother (applause)
This is a very important point.
Let us look at John 8: 31-32. Let’s read this together. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We’ve heard this one.
When I was on the street witnessing, just a couple of weeks ago, we were at a bus stop terminal, and we met some wonderful people. We met some Jehovah’s witnesses, exchanged some Bible verses with them, we explained to them about our tradition. We gave them the flyers. On the flyer it declares True Parents as the Messiah. It says Rev. Moon is the Messiah. He is the returning Lord, the returning Christ.
I walked up to this group of 4 elderly women. They were probably in their 60’s; nice ladies, nice Korean young ladies, and I sat down next to them at the bus terminal. And I said, “Anyeong haseo ladies, hello ladies, how are you doing? Would you like to have this flyer? My father came up with this wonderful autobiography. It’s the best-seller in Kyobo. It was the best-seller on that day in Hyun Pung bookstore. It was the #1 best seller that day.” And I explained to them about the flyer. They said, “We don’t want that flyer! We don’t want. That’s Rev Moon. We don’t want that flyer!” I said, “Why not? It’s a nice flyer!” They said, “We are Korean Christians. We don’t like. We don’t like; we don’t want that flyer” And I said, “Oh! You are Christian, that’s wonderful, because Rev Moon is the Messiah. You’ve been waiting 2,000 years for him.”
Ooooh! OOH! They started hollering. They started ruffling around. “Oooh, how can you say this person is the Messiah? That’s crazy!! Jesus . . . Jesus is Messiah! How can you say Jesus is not Messiah and Rev Moon is Messiah?” I said, “Look, how can I say, ‘this person is the Messiah’? Was Jesus not a person?” “Yes, Jesus was a person.” “Was Jesus not the Messiah?” “Yes he was.” “Wasn’t Jesus called a heretic and a false prophet?” “Yes he was.” “Same as True Father; that is the same that is happening!” And we ended up having this wonderful energetic discussion – incredible – it was very fun. I think it was very good; a fantastic discussion and at the end of it, they told me to go away. (laughter) But . . . but . . . but, I thanked them. I said, “Ladies, I had a wonderful time!” I said, ‘’Can I shake your hand?” “No! No shaking hand!” And I said, “You ladies have a wonderful day! God bless you today!”
You know what happened? Of course these people did not convert into our Unification tradition. They are not now running around declaring that True Father is the Messiah. But what happened? In my own heart I felt totally liberated, totally liberated. Why? Because I felt proud that I could proudly declare my faith. I could declare True Father as the Messiah; that this was my democratic right, that we have freedom of religion, and that we could discuss this with the Christians openly. This was a new type of experience that these people had.
You have to remember that this faith is real. It goes out and declares True Parents as the coming Lord. It is the faith that got the Apostles of Christ persecuted and stoned. This same type of faith is what Unificationists have. Particularly in Japan, we’ve heard about this issue – we’ve brought this up many times during service about the incredible human rights violations – the 4,300 confirmed cases of illegal kidnappings and confinements in Japan. Of course, there are even some cases of rape, and even murder. In this age of liberation, our members – particularly our members in Japan – are still dealing with this issue. We were in Nigata just last week; they are still dealing with this issue. It was a real issue for our brothers and sisters there.
But there is an incredible advancement. I have to report this to you, because it is so incredible. We have this incredible case where for 43 years we’ve been persecuted by Christian ministers and Communist lawyers who have created this organization. I spoke about this many times. They kidnap our Unificationists; they explain to the parents of those families that Unificationists make their children crazy, all these kind of things, and then they illegally kidnap them and confine them. Many times our members will be put in an apartment. They will rent an apartment, throw the member in there, tape up the windows and confine them within there. Every day a Christian pastor will come up, slander the Unification Church, tell them why the Unification Church is not the right church, and tell them why they should relinquish their faith. These are the kinds of faith-breaking activities.
These kinds of hate crimes have been perpetuated against us, not just once, not just twice, but 4,300 times. The Japanese members, if you talk to them, they all know about this issue. But it has been such an incredible issue for them because for the last 43 years they have tried to come to justice. There were times where actually the police came to the place in which a person was confined, and they were screaming, hollering, “Let me out, please, free me, free me!” and the police just walked away after they were told that this was the Unification Church, saying, ”Oh this is a family issue. I’m leaving now.”
So a new thing happened just two weeks ago, for the first time in our history, and I have to report this to you guys. Just two weeks ago, Kook Jin Hyung who is now taking responsibility for Japan, for our organization there, he organized a professional team of private detectives and lawyers. We located the place of one member who was actually presently confined. She was 29 years old, she was illegally kidnapped and she was confined in Japan. This is a democratic country, Japan. The private detectives and the lawyers located her. They did not go to her directly; they went to the police. They told the police that the police must come to free this person. They escorted the police, and the spiritual mother of that sister who was confined came along with them.
They arrived at the location which was very close to this pastor’s church, the pastor that actually kidnapped them and was deprogramming them, so to speak. His name is Takayama. And they rang the bell and they said, “This is so-and-so-and-so. We know that so-and- so- and- so is in this place and we request that we be able to see her. I am her friend and I am her spiritual mother, etc…” They responded, “We are not going to do that. No, go away!” Then they put the police on the bell (let the police ring the bell). The police said, “This is the police, you have to allow that person to speak on her behalf as a democratic citizen.”
That sister who was confined, she then was asked by the police over the speaker phone, “Do you wish to come out and see them?” She said, “I do.” The sister came out and she saw her spiritual mother who was there; and she ran to her spiritual mother. They started breaking down in tears, and she said, “I want to leave this place,” in front of the policemen. And for the first time in our Japanese history, one of our sisters who was illegally kidnapped and confined was free. She was totally free, liberated! (Applause)
Freedom . . . freedom of religion . . . freedom! (HJN shouts to lots of applause)
First time in history! She was free! This was the first time this had happened in the history of our Japanese church. As a church, we organized a professional unit to go out and free these members whose human rights are being violated.
But then an incredible thing came out of her testimony when she explained what happened. She’s just 29 years old, and she explained the incredible kind of torture she received, the psychological beatings she received, and the confinement. They duck-taped all the windows up, so she could not open them and jump out the window. Now, this is a democratic state, this is in a democratic country, brothers and sisters; we have to remember this. She was in confinement for 67 days – of course, that was nothing compared to some of our brothers and sisters who have been confined for 12 years and 5 months, like Goto-san; and one sister confined for over 10 years, a decade of her life gone. But this sister, in particular, was confined for 67 days, and she was having this deprogramming session where the Takayama minister – the Christian minister – was attacking the church and slandering the church, and saying, ”You must break your faith, you must do this etc.” He then got very frustrated after many days and days of trying to educate her.
One day he said to her, ”I am very frustrated with you. Do you know that that fool Kook Jin is trying to put me in prison? He is sending my picture all over America. He’s trying to put me in prison.” When our sister heard that from the kidnapper while she was being confined and illegally abducted, when she heard that, she thought, “Ooh! Kook Jin Nim’s trying to put you in prison!” She said she got such an incredible surge of strength and faith. She said she felt almost totally liberated, because somebody was fighting on her behalf and because – while she had no power to escape – somebody on the outside was fighting for her freedom!
Let’s give it up for Kook Jin Hyung and the brothers and sisters that worked to free her. (Applause) Hallelujah! This is an incredible day, incredible day for our church because we are fighting and we are discovering our freedom once again. This is absolutely incredible!
Let’s look at John 8: 35-36. Let’s read this together. “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Aju!
You see, brothers and sisters, when we understand that we have been set free from Satan’s lineage and love and life by the victory of True Parents’ full inheritance of God’s essence – His true love – and that through the seven deaths and resurrections we also received the resurrection power that even multiple deaths cannot destroy, then we realize that the age of liberation and freedom for our members has come.
Those who perpetrated hate crimes against us – they did it with a purpose. They did it to break our faith, to kill our faith, to kill our hope in our future; to try to teach us that we have no future: “You guys are going to be over!” But they did not know that we have the power of the seven deaths and resurrections, and that even though the Unification Church may seem like it’s dying, and even though we die and die again, we still can be resurrected – and resurrected again — with the power of true love, and true faith and True Parents! Let’s give it up for True Parents, brothers and sisters! (Applause)
You see, we as Unification Church, and those whom True Parents have set free, we will be free from the death of our movement and our faith. We will have faith in declaring our beliefs as our democratic right, our right to practice our religion, our democratic right to believe in our faith.
Because of this small, incredible victory, now it’s beginning to happen in Japan on the ground — the liberation’s beginning. We know now that our faith will last for ever. Let’s give it up for UC! For all our brothers and sisters around the world! (Applause) Now is a day of freedom for us!
I want to end with a quote from Isaiah 49: 8-10. Let’s read this together. It’s very beautiful! Let’s read this together:
8 This is what the LORD says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land…
9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’…
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.
Brothers and sisters, let’s give it up for True Parents who lead us to those everlasting springs of water and for the freedom that is now coming to our brothers and sisters around the world. Let’s give it up for our brothers and sisters, and True Parents once more. (Applause)
Altar Call Prayer by Hyung Jin Nim:
Let us pray. Let us close our eyes and lift up our hands towards heaven. Let’s offer our prayers as we listen to the song that sings of the Seven Deaths and Resurrections, the victory of true love, the victory of True Parents, and that we are alive.
Heavenly Father, dearest most beloved True Parents: thank you so much for leading us in our life to the point where we are today. Many times we get discouraged by how much more we have to go. In those times let us be encouraged by how much, how far we have already come. Five years ago so many were saying that the Unification Church was over, that it would not continue into the next generations, that the faith would die, that the prophecies that your son is True Parents were false. But we have walked the path of indemnity, and we as a community have served and attended the Messiah. Brothers and sisters have sacrificed their whole lives and, particularly in Japan, have been walking the path of complete attendance to True Parents, supporting our entire world providence; supporting our Korean church, the American church, the Russian church – every single church was supported by our brothers and sisters in Japan. Heavenly Father we want to recognize that that kind of love only came through their incredible faith.
Even though we have been shaken in our own lives, the brothers and sisters who had served and who had sacrificed themselves walked that incredible path. Today we want to remember them because in this era their human rights are being violated; hate crimes are being perpetrated against them. We want to pray for them today. Not only do we want to pray but we also want to practice our faith. We want to go out and declare our democratic right to believe in True Parents as the Messiah. Just like Christians declare Jesus. We pray that we may have a stronger faith and that we may realize that it is because of this faith that they are suffering; and that only through the strengthening of their faith can people realize that their human rights have been abused.
Father, we pray that You may imbue us with a stronger heart, that we may stand up in this time for the greater purpose of having the day where we as Unificationists can freely practice our religion without fear of being kidnapped or abducted or raped. We wish to practice our faith. We want to pray for them, because for the first time in the history of our world-wide Unification movement, two weeks ago, our sister was freed from her confinement of 67 days. We know that it is because of the working of Your spirit that she saw freedom that day.
We want to remember this day because it marks the new era for us as Unificationists. It marks a new era where we can boldly declare what we believe without fear. Let us have that fearless faith to declare our True Parents as the Messiah and the Returning Christ. Let us return to that faith once more. Revive us and resurrect us in a greater way, so that in a greater way we can change this world, that we can bring justice and freedom to those who have suffered.
We want to pray for our brothers and sisters in Japan. We offer our hearts to them today because they are our family and family stands for one another. We are so grateful that we can experience this day together as a community around the world. What a great day it is! Let freedom and liberation of our faith last and endure forever. We thank You so much.
We want to offer these prayers in gratitude to True Parents and to You, for the deaths and resurrections that they have lived through and that through that victory we also are resurrected, our movement is resurrected and our freedom is resurrected. Thank You so much. We offer all these things to You in our own names as central blessed families and proud Unificationists, in the name of True Parents. Aju!