October 17, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea
Many newcomers to the faith who are converting to Unificationism find that they have to make a huge commitment in the sense that their families and friends and their network look at them in a strange light. “You are now in the Unification Church, what is wrong with you? Are you not happy with your faith or are you not happy with your life? Why are you joining that religion? Is this not a cult? Is it not all kinds of things that we have heard of?”
Good afternoon, our most beloved Heavenly Father and True Parents! Thank You for everything. Especially for the amazing grace that we received by participating in True Parents’ Cosmic Blessing Ceremony last Wednesday.
Thank you very very much True Parents for your hard work and great foundation. We pray that we may become according to Your wish. We pray that You may forgive us our weaknesses. We are very sorry for the pain in the past. Help us to stand strong in our determination so that we can fulfill our responsibilities.
We pray that You are always ahead in everything that You do in order to speed up Your will in participating in this long chain of works in the providence. Heavenly Father, speak to us today as we listen to today’s words through our pastor. May our speaker be filled with enough wisdom and strength and may we embrace the message with all our heart. Together with our brothers and sisters we will be united in supporting this providence. This is our prayer in the name of all our blessed brothers and sisters around the world. Aju!
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Welcome to the headquarters of our Unification Church. Today, like on True Parents’ Cosmic Blessing Day, we have beautiful sunshine upon us. We sincerely hope and pray that your day and your week will be filled with true love and cosmic blessing. Aju!
Hyung Jin Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Let us manifest the Principle together: Give and Receive Action, Four Position Foundation, may I inherit the true love of God! Aju!
Today we are going to start with Cheon Seong Gyung page 765. Father says: “There is no easy way to prepare. Let us think about our life as a whole. I know very well that life is like a training course, a period of preparation in which to attain a great and universal character.” Aju!
Brothers and sisters, it is so important that we understand and remember – when we are worshipping here together, when we are gathering here to profess our faith – who we are, that we again remember that our lives have meaning, purpose and value and that we are here on this incredible path to attain that great and universal character, the great and parental heart of God, the divine essence, the true love of God.
Brothers and sisters, we want to welcome you to service. We pray that this service will be such that we are truly able to return glory and joy to True Parents and to God and that our community can become strengthened and find new hope in this new age. Let’s give it up for UC and True Parents!
Give it up for God and True Parents, everybody. Give it up for the Two-Rivers-Choir. We have overcome. Oh God, thank you so much! Please be seated. We had this “10.14 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony” and I want to bring your attention especially to the Two-Rivers-Choir. They sang such a beautiful song in front of the 20,000 newly-wed couples and to 40,000 couples across the world. Thank you so much!
Dear brothers and sisters! We will start with something interesting that I want to share in place of my usual interesting story. We had a lot of incredible spiritual happenings. The Holy Spirit was there at the Blessing. You could really feel it so powerfully at this time. It was there. And everybody was there in faith and in attendance to True Parents, really incredible! I am very happy to announce to you, that my dear nephew Shin Myung was blessed at this time. I know he is watching us. So let us give it up for the blessed couple Shin Myung and his beautiful wife Christa.
Here is something more incredible, which went all over the world. The international media outlets covered the event of the “10.14 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony” – the Washington Times, the Associated Press, CNN, Reuters and many others – so that news of the blessing spread everywhere. In Korea we had coverage from MBC, SBS and AP, which spread the articles all over the world. Also some of the countryside newspapers as well as some of the major Korean newspapers held the story as well. The Associated Press released some wonderful articles about the Unification Church, so positive. BBC just recently did an article on us and also included us in their Radio Show. They were very positive and I am also very grateful to our friends over there. Then also the International Herald Tribune, which is owned by the New York Times and therefore is their global paper, had us on their front page. The blessing was on their front page! Brothers and sisters! Let us give it up for the UC!
I think this song had meaning when we were singing “We have overcome” at this time. We have seen a huge new flood of miracles, i.e. of positive articles in the last two years of the Church development here in Korea. And now this is leaking over into the international scene. Now we saw that it was carried by ABC News, Independent, USA Today, MSN and others yesterday. Every big major media outlet covered this event, and they gave us an incredible covering, not this kind of derogatory, insulting sort of dehumanising portrayal of True Parents or brothers and sisters. It was such a huge turn-around. I want to show you a wonderful video AP did on the blessing.
Video is being shown (click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-oxJ35RrcU)
Let us give it up for the UC. Oh, my God! We have not seen coverage like that in decades. Very nice! Did you notice how they did not dehumanise us or insult us calling us moonies and this kind of very depreciatory kind of terminology? They even presented the very personal side of us, that we are as well human beings; and that there are brothers and sisters out there, young couples! “They seem very happy and pleased.” I love that. Our blessed families seem to be happy and pleased. This wonderful brother gave this interview, so wonderful and bright. Let’s give it up once more for the new age.
Dear brothers and sisters, first of all I’d like to say thanks for all the incredible media coverage that we have had here in Korea and also now internationally. We are getting requests from all over the international media scene to have interviews. I’d like to give a little bit of credit to our PR Director whom Kook Jin Nim found and who is now working here so incredibly hard with all these media outlets. He really invests himself to change all the misunderstandings so that people are able to really understand the Unification Church. Is Ahn Shik Chang Nim here today? No? OK, anyway let’s give it up one time for Mr. Ahn for doing such an excellent job!
Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:
So, brothers and sisters, I’d like to talk to you about the test of faith today. Let’s look into our World Scriptures.
Let’s start with Buddhism, Dhammapada 320: “As the elephant in the battlefield withstands the arrows shot from a bow, even so will I endure abuse; verily most people are lacking in virtue.” Those people who walked the path of a saint are being misunderstood, are being marked. So we see this even in Buddhism.
Let us now take a look at Islam. In the Qur’an 3:186 it says: “Assuredly you will be tried in your property and your persons, and you will hear much wrong from those who were given the Scripture before you and from the idolaters. But if you persevere…then that is the steadfast heart of things.” We see this also in the Qur’anic verses as well. Amen, Aju!
Let us look at Christianity, John 15:18: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” That is what Jesus speaks.
Let us take a look at what True Parents are saying in the Collection of speeches 189: “Persecution is God’s strategic expedient to recover the ownership of the satanic world. If you understand this principle, it becomes self-evident why true religions prosper under persecution. The founders of the major religions of the world – Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Mohammed – all were persecuted. Yet because of this principle, these persecuted people became saints.” Aju!
So let us look at some core scriptures today, Matthew 10:34-36: “ Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” Jesus says this in Matthew. And this is the declaration of the Messiah.
See, what we have to understand about the Messiah is that the Messiah has not come to necessarily inspire faith or to encourage us. The Messiah comes to TEST our faith. He tests what kind of belief we have. We know it is very hard to follow the Messiah at times. All the Apostles who followed Jesus knew it as well. It was so difficult to follow Jesus and there were only 12 of them while Jesus was alive. Jesus said that he is not here to bring peace – that is not the mission of the Messiah – but to bring the sword. What does a sword do? It cuts, it separates and it even can slay; but it also can protect.
In order to understand this we have first to understand what the concept of the Messiah was at the time of Jesus. There was a Jewish eschatology, an idea of what the Messiah was going to be. This traditional view of the Messiah at Jesus’ time was that the Messiah was to be the future king of Israel. He was to be the future king from the divine line. He was also to rule and protect the united 12 tribes of Israel and to herald and bring the messianic age of global peace. That was what the Israelites were waiting for.
Jesus came and preached the exact opposite of that; exactly the opposite of what they expected. They thought the Messiah would come and bring peace. But he said that he brings the sword and judgement. They thought the Messiah would usher in a new age of global peace. But Jesus came to test the faith and to test the believer.
For 2,000 years Christians have also awaited the return of Christ. They have awaited him and in the Nicene Creed, that all Christians until this day in one form or another profess, it says: “And He will come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
You see, they have awaited one who returns in glory, in splendour; even some have awaited him on top of the clouds descending from Heaven. During the banquet the day after the 10.14. Blessing we had a banquet in the Cheon Jeon Gung Palace. About 600 VIPs from all over the world had gathered there and I had the honour of doing the welcoming remarks for this event. Oh my, God I was wearing a suit! (laughter) A very rare occasion. Mother had begged me to wear one on that day. Back to the welcoming remarks: I told the VIPs that the Unification Church members are people of great conviction, of great faith and of great belief. We do not only attend True Parents as patriots of Korea, as great educators, or as great peace activists but we do attend True Parents as the Messiah, as the Returning Lord, as the Returning Christ. We attend him as the Son of God. Let’s give it up for True Parents!
And I told them that in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 it says that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. It will not come with bangles and bugles or banquets and bouquets. But the day will come very silently like him who was born in the manger, or like him who was born in the cold mountains of North Korea. It will come very silently like a thief in the night, totally unaware by people.
I declared True Parents as the Messiah on that day. I said straight forward that this is our faith, that this is what Unificationists believe and this is what we profess. Then I was talking and I was about to explain more when all of a sudden Father who was sitting right next to me said: “Speak in Korean”, and I was like “eh, eh, eh?” (laughter) and then Father started to speak about Korea, that it is the Fatherland and that in spirit world we have to learn Korean.
Father started to speak about different other things as well. He started saying that even if you look at your hand you can see the Universal Principle, in your fingers and arms as well as in the number of limbs and joints that we have. He started speaking like this, and he was speaking in English! Father went on to speak for six hours that day to all the VIPs – six hours!
After about 30 minutes I very graciously bowed and left the stage. Father had the stage and he spoke for six hours, to share his love and to pour out his heart. He was absolutely incredible. On the other side it was incredibly difficult physically for all those VIPs to be there for six hours. We could hear the VIPs in the back after about two or three hours into it, saying, “How can he speak for so long. He should come to a finish; we want to eat.” Then, after about five, six hours, I heard the very same people saying, “Must be tiring talking for so long. Rev. Moon must be really incredible! He is 90 years old!” (laughter) Let’s give it to God and True Parents!
Whenever I see Father speak like that, I realize that he is not from this kingdom. He is really not from this world but from the other world; he is really a man of God. After the event we were so exhausted physically. I was totally burned out. I had the air conditioner beating on me for six hours. I got a cold that day. Also Kook Jin Nim and Sun Jin Nim were totally exhausted after the event. We started reflecting on what the Messiah is. The Messiah does not just come to inspire us, to encourage us saying, “Oh, you are doing a great job.” No, the Messiah tests us, he gives us hardships and tribulations; he tests our faith and brings us to a new level of perseverance in our own spiritual life.
Well, anybody who has sat through six, ten hours of Father’s speeches, you know what I am talking about. You absolutely know what I am talking about! It is amazing when we hear Father speaking for six hours or 12 hours. But for those there, especially the VIPs – those attending first time – this is one of the most challenging tests of faith they ever received in their lives. In the Washington event Father called Neil Bush, son of former President George Bush senior and brother of former President George Bush junior, up to the stage and gave him what I call love-smacks. Father was smacking him on the head and pulling his chin and cheek like a grandfather. (laughter)
You know, Father knows no barrier, there is no barrier to this man. As you are aware, Neil Bush is the son of the former President of the United States. No man in the free world, I think, has ever done this. True Father completely transcends all those boundaries and gave him, what I call, a holy anointing on that day. I told Mr. Neil Bush later: “You got anointed that day; you got baptized!” He answered: “Did you guys get baptized too?” “Yes, we did,” I told him. “We certainly got baptized as well”.
Brothers and sisters, many may think it is really crazy that so many people follow such a man. He is so eccentric. He is totally not what we expect. We expect the Messiah to be like Mother Theresa or like the Dalai Lama, so gentle and floating on clouds doing miracles. You know this beautiful image of Christ, just floating to the sanctuary and up to the stage.
But then we see that Father is so different. I love the way my sister puts it. She says he is like the Yoda Master. You remember, Yoda comes up walking with his cane, “Yes, hallo, how are you doing?” (HJN imitates his voice and shuffles around) (laughter) And all of a sudden when he gets up on the stage he suddenly takes out his sword and makes “ssssssss – shshshshsh. (HJN circles an imaginary sword around – more laughter) Father is just amazingly powerful and brings out all his spiritual power. See, the Messiah does not come necessarily to encourage us and to build up our faith. The Messiah comes to test us. This is very important for us to understand because we are the community that serves the Messiah. That is a very important point.
Let us take a look at Luke 9: 23-25: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very soul?”
You see, following and serving the Messiah even at the time of the Apostles required a great cost, even for Matthew the tax collector. In Matthew chapter nine when Jesus demanded, “Get up and follow me, leave everything behind, just follow me,” Matthew got up, followed and threw everything away. There is a great cost in following the Messiah. Because of it our early members who joined our movement, all brothers and sisters in the first generation who found the Lord and found the truth, who decided to follow the path of serving the Messiah, they all experienced some kind of persecution. They experienced this incredible sacrifice in serving but at the same time experienced also the persecution that comes with serving. They experienced the family that persecuted them. There are brothers and sisters where their parents would hire people to deprogram them, out of love of course. Those parents were of course also exploited. In Japan Christian pastors and communist lawyers created a legal kidnapping-for-profit organisation exploiting Unificationists’ parents. They continue their kidnapping of Unificationists until this day. There have been over 4,400 confirmed cases during the last 43 years! That is an incredible holocaust against the freedom of religion. Those organisations make anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 dollars per Unificationist they deprogram. And now we found out you can make up to $100,000 for a person to be deprogrammed!
These are hate crimes. Hate crimes procreated against people and their true conviction, against people and their real faith and belief. These hate crimes have been created in an environment which has tolerated the slandering of the Unification Movement. They called us
moonies. It is the same as calling somebody from African or Afro-American descent with the “N-word.” It is a very derogatory word. It degrades and dehumanises us as people, as people of faith. And since that kind of culture developed through slander and name-calling of the Unification Church, these kinds of hate crimes developed.
At the same time, these hate crimes not only happened in Japan. They also happened in America and in Australia, but because of their constitution and because of legal issues we won, they had to stop that. But in Japan this has become an outrageous holocaust against the freedom of religion!
You see, when the apostles believed and followed Christ not only would they have to give up everything. They would also come up at odds against anybody who would then persecute them (they would get misunderstood and persecuted by people). New Christians, who have come to understand that True Parents are the Messiah and the returning Lord, should not only look at True Parents with their physical eyes. It is just like the time when Jesus came. Everybody should have looked at him and accepted him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They should have accepted Jesus as the Messiah. If they just looked at him with their physical eyes they would have seen only a Middle Eastern man who called himself the Son of God. If any person did that even in this modern day, he would be persecuted. That is why True Father came under persecution and why the Unification Church came under persecution.
You see, people who are beginning to understand (True Parents) do not see True Parents only through their physical eyes. They are looking at True Parents with their spiritual eyes and therefore they are seeing what True Parents have done. They are seeing that True Parents have inherited the mission of Christ, they are seeing that True Parents have inherited the great love and essence of God and that they have been victorious. When they hear the Principle and hear what the truth of the biblical scripture is and what the truth of Jesus’ mission was, when they see what kind of sin it was to crucify Christ, their spirits and hearts are moved and they want to become members. They want to follow the Messiah. They want to take up the cross and follow him. But then they are tested. They hear the Principle, they may even see Father, but then they are expecting the Messiah to be like Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama, peacefully floating around.
But Father is so strong, he is so powerful, he will sit you down for five hours, even 10 hours, and speak to you. He will speak to you about the universe, he will speak to you about True Parents and True Children, he will speak to you about True Families, he will speak about siblings, husbands and wives and about all kinds of interesting matters. He will do all these things, things you do not imagine a Messiah would do. So you are tested in your faith, you are tested and challenged in your faith to see through the preconception and to see through your spiritual eyes.
Many newcomers to the faith who are converting to Unificationism find that they have to make a huge commitment in the sense that their families and friends and their network look at them in a strange light. “You are now in the Unification Church, what is wrong with you? Are you not happy with your faith or are you not happy with your life? Why are you joining that religion? Is this not a cult? Is it not all kinds of things that we have heard of?” Many times that is the cost of following the Lord. Every single one of the Apostles who followed Jesus also had to endure name-calling and slander, even murder. You see, even the follower Saint Stephen was stoned to death. He was murdered because of his faith in Christ.
But finally, finally people of high standing and of courageous disposition are stepping forth: people like Pak Geun Ryeong, the second daughter of the former President of Korea. She joined the Holy Wine Ceremony at our Headquarters and attended the Blessing. She listened to the Principle already six times and is witnessing to people to also listen to the Divine Principle lectures. Also people like Kim Tae Hee, who is the Audrey Hepburn of Korea, a famous movie actress who comes to church regularly now and who has donated to the building of the World Temple. Now people of courage, who even know there will be a cost to their public life for professing their faith, for having conviction, for having belief and for being courageous, are stepping forward. Let’s give it up for those courageous new brothers and sisters who are returning and serving the Lord. Now is the time where people are opening their spiritual eyes.
Let’s take a look at 1. Thessalonians 2:4: “We speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.”
See, we as Unificationists know of the truth. We know that True Parents are the Returning Lord, that they are here to fulfil the mission of Jesus Christ, that they have completely inherited the true love and essence of God, that they have died for us seven times and that they have been resurrected from the grave seven times for all the sins and indemnity that had to be paid on the individual, family, tribal, national, world and cosmic level. And because of this incredible grace and victory they have also liberated the heart of Jesus. They have liberated the heart of God, which was in pain because his son was killed. They have been able to bring us under the direct dominion of God, to the eighth level of the eight stages of perfection. Please understand, this is what our faith is. We are the chosen ones, as the scripture says, “entrusted with the Gospel.” We are not trying to please men, but, as the scripture says, ” to please God.”
On the banquet the following day of the “10.14 Blessing” we declared True Parents not as patriots, not as great educators or peace activists as we have gotten into the habit of describing them in our movement, no, we declared them as the Messiah! That is what we really believe: they are the Returning Lord, as they really fulfil the mission of Jesus Christ, as the Returning Christ. And if people think we are or I am crazy because we are finally declaring what we actually believe – maybe, but really, who cares? We are not here to please men but we are here to please God. This is what we believe and this is our community of faith. It is this faith and conviction that has moved, changed and transformed hundreds of millions of people around the world, that has allowed them to reassert the Messiah. And it is this conviction – because of this real faith and real truth – why we have been persecuted, why we have been the victims of hate crimes, illegal kidnappings, abductions, rape and even murder.
We must be proud of our faith. We must understand what our faith is. That it is, remember, our democratic right to have and profess our faith. You see, True Parents as the Messiah do not just encourage us and give us positive phrases so that we can be inspired. No, they come to test our faith. Every time True Father has us sit down and speask for ten hours, all of you have experienced that we are tested. We are tested not to see True Parents with our physical eyes but with our spiritual eyes, and we are tested to see Jesus not with our physical eyes but with our spiritual eyes, just like the Apostles. So this is what is so critical for us as a community of faith to understand as it is written in Matthew 5: 11-12: “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Listen to that: falsely, falsely, on my account. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Aju!”
Homeland Meditation Practice:
Let us bow our heads, close our eyes and return to our Homeland Meditation Practice:
Let us visualize not this sanctuary but let us now visualize a beautiful meadow that we are walking upon, a meadow of lush green grass. And as we look we can notice that this meadow used to be a desert. This meadow used to be parched dry land, but now it has been nourished with new life. It has been resurrected and now fresh water gushes forth from the earth and streams now flow freely. And as we walk on this holy land let us feel the power of that resurrection. As we hear the song of the seven deaths and resurrections let us remember that incredible love that has brought us here.
Looking to our left we will notice a beautiful stream that is meandering down. We also recognise on that transparent water the beautiful sparkles that dance on the glowing waters while we hear the sound of this wonderful stream, which reminds us of the power of the seven resurrections that is now in our life. As we look at our feet while walking we notice with each single step that around our feet beautiful flowers are being resurrected from the earth. They are blooming around our feet. You will notice a miraculous world at our feet. As we look up into the heavens we will notice the beautiful sun shining upon us healing our wounds. We feel a beautiful breeze. As we look ahead of us we see the True Parents in their Holy Robes waiting for us. Let’s go and kneel down before them. True Father places his right hand and True Mother her left hand on top of our heads and they give us their blessing and anointing. They say: “May you inherit the true love of God.” Let’s feel the power of that blessing move through our entire body like a wave of energy that is passing through every cell and every part of our body. We can feel our physical body being revived, cells are being generated and resurrected and we can feel that any stress or tangles in our mind are being untied or unknotted. We can feel our spirits being revived and we can see our spirit body illuminating in all 12 directions.
As we breathe in let us say in our hearts, “I am alive” and as we breathe out let us say in our hearts, “Thank you.” Let’s do it one more time. As we breathe in, “I am alive” and as we breathe out let us say in our hearts, “Thank you.” And one more time: as we inhale let us feel completely resurrected in our heart and say, “I am alive,” and as we exhale let us say, ”Thank you.” We are inheriting the True Love of God. Let us declare this in our hearts and let us gather our hands together and manifest the Principle: Give and Receive Action, Four Position Foundation, lift it up and all coming together – may I inherit the True Love of God. Aju.
Thank you very much brothers and sisters.
Altar Call Prayer:
Hyung Jin Nim
Heavenly Father, thank You for this day! Heavenly Father, True Parents we thank you so much. For us you have sacrificed your body and your soul, you have descended into hell for us so that we may find eternal life. You did that not just once, but with the parental heart that will die and die and die again for their children, so that their children may have eternal life and may have the presence in your direct dominion. Father, we want to recall and remember that incredible true love that True Parents have been victorious in.
Father, we thank You so much that You have united us with that victory of true love. When is it in the world that the people of the world will come together in a Blessing Ceremony so that they may offer their life, their family and their spouse to You? People from different countries who never met each other come together because of Your victory of true love, a true love that transcends all nations, boundaries and the world, a true love that is the parental heart of God, of You.
We thank You so much that You are allowing us to inherit that and we thank You so much that True Parents whom You have sent as the Messiah of this world, that they are standing in the frontline, that they are continuing to test us and to give us strength, build our endurance, so that we can have greater faith and become greater in Your will.
We pray that we may build up in our faith, that we may understand our True Parents and that when we are tempted to want to see them with our physical eyes that we may see who they really are with our spiritual eyes.
We pray that we, just like the early Apostles of Jesus, may see the returning Christ with our spiritual eyes. Open them for us, Father. We pray that You may be with all of the Unificationist families around this world.
We thank You so much for anointing us with Your Cosmic Blessing this past Wednesday. We pray that this new era, where we can declare our faith with pride, where we no longer hide our faith and we can be proud of who we are, where we can come out of the closet and lead the heavenly way, that we can really declare what we actually believe and stand before the world as proud Unificationists.
We want to pray for all those brothers and sisters in Japan who have been victims of hate crimes for the last 43 years. We pray that there may be justice, that the whole world may come to realize this incredible human rights violation and understand that the Unification Church has lived up to its teaching to pray and love our enemies.
We thank You so much and please bless this community today. Protect our brothers and sisters this day and give us new faith and new life. In True Parents’ name we pray and in our own names. Aju!