June 27, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Video message by Hyung-jin nim:
Good afternoon brothers and sisters. We’re here at Incheon Airport. We’re heading to Brazil by True Parent’s request. We’ll be there for a couple of days but we’ll be back next week. This weekend we have Rev. Lee Jae-seok who will be speaking. He is one of the earliest members, one of the 36 couples, a real senior member here of the Korean Church and we’re very delighted that he’s able to speak to us all today, and really coming back to the centre which is True Parents. Brothers and sisters, we’ll be back next week but we’re praying for you all and we hope you all have a victorious week this week. We’ll see you next week brothers and sisters. Bye-bye.
Short Introduction of Rev Lee, Jae-Seok:
Joined in: 1956
Former President of the Korean Unification Church
Minister for about 10 years
Very active in Religious Interfaith Activities
Author of several books
Honorary Professor at Sun Moon University in the Dept of Theology
Main Sermon by Rev. Lee Jae-Seok( Video)
Good afternoon brothers and sisters. You and I are all Unification church members. But what is the Unification church or Unificationism? Unification is the religion of the True Parents. So what do you think is the difference between our religion and other religions? All the religions on this earth are in charge of leading people towards individual salvation. Yet the Unification Church is the religion of True Parents. Thus it strives for the salvation of families through the True Parent. In that sense, there’s a need to distinguish our faith from the other religions. Our religion, or the Unification Church, began from and because of, True Parents. We are Unificationists who live in attendance to True Parents or God in the flesh.
Yet recently we have seen a rise in tension and conflict within our community. This has caused great confusion and bewilderment to many people. If we are unable to resolve the manifested problems that we see, then the only way to resolve them is by going back to our roots. We should go back to our roots, to our essence, and try to find the solution of these problems from there. The root of essence of Unification Church is our True Parents. Then what kind of people are they? What kind of path have they walked in order to uphold and fulfill God’s Will? We must know clearly the answers to these questions and firmly establish True Parent’s stature and authority. Brothers and sisters, that is the responsibility and heavenly duty of all those who believe in True Parents. There was a certain force through which True Parents became the Messiah and the Second Coming of the Lord and they also followed a course for becoming the True Parent. I am sure that we are all familiar with this content and so you may think that we do not need to talk about this. However, since the theme of my sermon today is Our True Parents Stature, I think there is a need for us to review and once more confirm the details of the course that True parents have walked to this day.
In 1935, while deep in prayer on top of Mount Myodu, Jesus appeared and asked Father if he would fulfill the mission that He, Jesus, was unable to fulfill. Jesus asked Father many times to take up this task. In the end True Father humbly accepted God’s calling through Jesus and began his mission as Messiah. From then on he prepared for 10 years. He made preparations for 10 years after this incident. He spent 3 years in intense prayer at his hometown in North Korea. He prayed extensively in the area around Huk Suk Dong after returning from his studies in Japan. He underwent numerous trainings to gain control of himself and he studied extensively formulating the Principle. He went to Tokyo and also there he began to study the Bible in earnest. He read many other academic disciplines in order to systematize the truth. And at the same time he engaged in manual labor and a dedicated life of volunteerism, all the while thinking about the people who were suffering in poverty and in pain. Through all these experiences and more, he came to discover and experience God’s heart.
After Korea gained independence, Father returned to Korea and then began to attend a Jesuits’ monastery. This monastery was built by one Reverend Baek Moon Kim who, after receiving a revelation from God, was waiting for the Lord of the Second Advent to come to Korea. There Father offered conditions and engaged in service activities for six months without saying a single word. After the six months, Reverend Baek Moon Kim received another revelation from God, designating Father to be a person that is like King Solomon. And there Reverend Kim testified and blessed Father in that way. This testimony, this revelation, came from God. Thus Reverend Kim was supposed to serve and attend Father according to that revelation. Yet, he lost that faith in those revelations. So six months later Father had to leave the monastery and even during that time many people started to whisper about Father.
A while later, a woman claiming to be Jehovah’s wife appeared in Pyongyang. There were also many rumors that God’s wife or someone claiming to be God’s wife had appeared. Father received an urgent revelation from God, and immediately departed to North Korea. There he went to a meeting that was organized by one old lady named Park Bu-yong, who was claiming to be Jehovah’s wife. There Father led a life exhibiting the standard of absolute obedience and absolute faith to this old lady. We all know about the process of restoration through indemnity, through the vertical eight stages. Father went through that indemnity course. Each stage old lady Pak testified to Father and blessed Father saying, for example, that he was now a servant of servants and then in the next stage, a servant, then adopted son, a concubine son, and finally God’s son. Ultimately she blessed him as being God’s partner, God’s object partner. So each time she testified and blessed Father according to the eight stages. And by paying indemnity and being victorious through these eight vertical stages, Father was finally able to receive God’s seal of approval. For that he had received the royal seal from Heaven.
I’m sure you know in detail of the course of 10 years that it took to gain this official recognition. In this way, by paying the vertical indemnity conditions or paying the indemnity conditions on the vertical level, Father was able to restore all of the positions including that of being God’s son and also of the position of God himself. Yet the people of that group only testified and blessed Father; they failed to attend and follow Father. So after Father completed the paying of these conditions of the vertical eight stages, Father began to give orders to old Lady Pak with the full authority of Adam in his own right. Yet she did not obey and the foundation at the time that was to be built was lost; Thus Father had to walk the path of indemnity in prison.
Later with the outbreak of the Korean war, when the UN Peace Keeping Forces moved into North Korea, Father went down to Busan with all the other refugees. There he built the mud hut at Beomnaegol and began witnessing and compiled the original Divine Principle. Witnessing activities spread to Taegu and also to Seoul and then in May 1954 Father established the HSAUWC and from here in Korea the Unification Church was spread out to the world.
In 1961 the Feast of the Lamb was held as written in the Bible and through that Father was able to attain the position of the True Parent. But Father did not immediately become a True Parent on completion of the Holy Wedding. He was only able to reach that position after completing the three seven-year courses or 21 year course through indescribable trials and sufferings in order to once more build the vertical indemnity condition and to spread it horizontally to the world. That is why Father began to lay the indemnity conditions for the horizontal eight stages and this spread out to the world and on that foundation he was able to proclaim Pal Jeong Shik and also the Heavenly Fatherism.
After that, Father began to visit and tour the entire world to proclaim that he was the True Parent. We have heard about and we have studied about the courses that he had to go through to attain the Messiah and Lord of the Second Advent; also the course he had to go through in order to become the True Parent. We learned about the great suffering and persecution he received on that path and of the many life or death situations that he faced through which he had to shed many tears and sweat and blood. Through all that kind of suffering course, True Parents were finally able to appear as the True Parents and now come before all of us to find each and every one of us. All of those efforts and hard work was in order to restore us, ‘me’, each and every one of us. True Parents have walked that path in order to save me, the individual, in order to save one person which is us. And that is why he walked the path of the Messiah and that is why he walked the path of the True Parents and blessed us, allowing us to become families so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore each and every one of us is indebted to True Parents, the Second Advent of the Lord and the Messiah; for he is the one who came and saved each and every one of us.
The reason why we are able to attain new life and to attain new hope and to attain a new perspective on how we view the universe is because True Parents have walked this path as the Messiah, Second Advent of the Lord and overcame numerous tribulations and trials and on that foundation of victory, they were able to find and save each and every one of us. They gave us life and they allowed us to live a life where we can live in joy and happiness within God’s True Love. It was only because True Parents came and found us, because they came and chose us among the multitude and blessed us. And it is only because of the hardships that they have gone through, through the eight vertical and horizontal stages that finally we were able to form families without paying any further debt.
This is something that we must understand and we must never forget this fact. We have to engrave it in our hearts, the fact that we are able to stand before God is because and only because we are born into a new life through the blessing by the Messiah, the Second Advent of the Lord, who are the True Parents. It was only because of them that we were able to meet God and it is only because of the blessings that we could form a family to stand before God as a family. When we think about these things, we cannot deny that our lives, our family, our happiness, were all made possible only because of the True Parents.
Then how is it that True Parents became the Messiah, the Lord of the Second Advent? What do they have to go through as they walk the path of True Parents? And we must ask ourselves, “How do we gain this new life? And from whom do we get this new life? And how is it that we are now able to have a family?” If you value your family, if you value your life, then it is only because you value and appreciate True Parents, who are the source and root of our life and our families. This life was given to us by the Messiah, The Second Advent of the Lord and the True Parents. Our families and our life was given in such a way, then who else but we should be the ones who should uphold True Parents authority. We are the ones who should elevate True Parents (applause).
Now that we are talking about True Parents’ position or stature, there is something I’d like to talk about. Recently I think many of you feel that the ideal you’ve had about True Parents is disappearing and that is why I must emphasize that True Parents’ stature is eternal. When I first began a life of faith, when I first met True Parents, they were on a totally different dimension. To me he was not even human, even though I would see him at Head Quarters church, sweating and meeting, singing of hymns and praying and giving sermons. Because of that intensity, all the people that were there also were crying and speaking. If Father said one word for us to be quiet then everyone would be quiet, immediately. So it felt as if God was with us. After that, at the end of the service, Father would go up to the second floor of the old Head Quarters church and when he went up the stairs, it felt as though he was going back to Heaven. That is why before Father was married, before True Parents’ Holy Wedding, we thought that Father never went to the bathroom; he was not like a human being like us. We thought he was a divine being, a superman, a transcendent being, a mysterious being. But recently, as True Father has grown old, what is happening now? We see that Father has difficulties moving around with his physical body. In the morning when we participate in Hoon Dok Hae with him, it’s hard to understand what he is saying. Father speaks for two and three hours. Most of us feel very tired and we’d wish that Father would stop speaking.
We wish that True Father would stop speaking and don’t understand why he would go on and on like that. Whenever we have an international conference and Father holds a banquet he will speak for three hours before beginning the banquet. That means if the banquet is suppose to begin at 6 pm, he will speak until 9 pm and many of these VIPs who participate in the conferences would be falling asleep. A number of them are probably wishing the founder wouldn’t be speaking, and yet Father continues to speak.
When we see Father speaking and behaving in such a way, some of us may feel that all that we had felt in the early stages with lack of faith dissipates, and that Father is just like all of us; that he is a normal human being. Some may feel that Father is becoming old, facing his physical limitations and therefore look at him as an ordinary old man. But can we allow this to happen? If we would view Father in such light, where do you think is that coming from? Even though his face may be wrinkled and he may not walk as fast as he used to; what is it that we should be seeing in him? What is it that we should be feeling from our True Parents? We know and believe that True Parents are God in human flesh. So when True Parents are God in true flesh and we look upon True Father’s face, what should we be seeing? We should be able to feel that we are seeing and meeting God. For 75 years Father walked the providential path in order to find and save each and every one of us. His lifelong suffering is entrenched upon his face. That is where we should be able to see and feel God, where we should feel the emotions we want to feel toward Him whenever we look upon True Father’s face.
For 75 years Father had to overcome the most terrible hardships. All of that is recorded in his physical flesh. On Fathers physical flesh and on his face you can see the record of the 75 years of suffering! Shouldn’t we be able to read this?
Father is the embodiment of the Word. He gave us the eight great teaching materials and textbooks. Why are we reading his word? When we are studying his word we are trying to be a part of True Parents life at that time and there we want to meet God, at that moment. We only have a limited understanding of God. But we know that God is multifaceted. In the Bible it is written that God is above the creation and also within the creation; Saying that He is above the creation means that He is an absolute God who transcends this existing world. He is an eternal, unchanging, omnipotent and omniscient God. And yet, this God created this world. What does this mean when we say He created? According to Fathers words ‘creating’ means to invest oneself completely. Therefore, that God created this world means that He invested Himself completely into this world and that He is within this world. Therefore, what kind of God is He if He is within this world? It means that God is in relation to a God who changes. If He doesn’t change, if there would be no such case as ‘change’, how could such an universe been created and how could life grow and develop? ‘Change’ is also another aspect or attitude of the unchanging God. That is why life is a repetitious cycle of creation.
Life tries to sustain its status quo although all the while it seeks to evolve and in the end dissolves itself. So there is no need for us to fear death. We are now living in the time of Seung Hwa Blessing Ceremony. Before this Seung Hwa Blessing Ceremony people believed that the order of creation would in the end dissolve and then people would be reborn again. But death is a natural process. It follows the laws of God’s Principle of Creation. It is only natural that we start to have wrinkles, and that it becomes more difficult for us to move around with our physical body. It is all part of God’s Principle of Creation. Therefore we should not refuse to understand True Parents. We should always look at True Parents through the eyes of our life of faith, so that when we look upon True Parents we are looking upon God and upon the 75 years of providential history that True Father had gone through during his life course.
These days I hear people say that Father needs a successor because he is becoming senile. But the position of the Messiah, the position of the True Parent is not something that can be inherited or succeeded. There will only be one True Parent, and there has only been one True Parent throughout all of history. Think about the 2000 years of Christian history. During this long period there have been many extraordinary Christian leaders like some righteous popes who ruled over all of Europe during their time. Yet, did people ever regard the pope as the Messiah? Christianity or Catholicism has spread around the entire world. There are more than 1.2 billion people who believe in the catholic faith. At the top of that organisation is the pope. And yet, can he become the Messiah? He cannot. Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah. Even if Christianity will prosper and grow and have hundreds and thousands of churches and even more denominations; it is only the Messiah who brings them all together. The coming of the Messiah was only a one-time incident during mankind’s long history which will never happen again. Just as Jesus is the Messiah, True Parents are the Lord of the Second Advent. And this event, the emergence of the True Parents on this earth, will never happen again. This is why we Unificationists must remember that we have received salvation from the Lord of the Second Advent, our Eternal True Parents. Even though we may see that True Father is facing his physical limitations on this earth, we should always remember that when we are seeing the True Parents we are seeing God and that we are seeing the whole history of suffering of our True Parents for our salvation. With this perspective we must be leading our life of faith.
As the conclusion I would like to talk about the life of faith. What is faith? Faith is something that you choose. It is your choice. We know there are Confucianism, Buddhism and many other religions on this earth. Yet you chose the Unification faith; or you might say, Unificationism chose me. When God seeks each and every one of us, He, as the subject partner, seeks us as His object partners. Through the Principles we were converted and joined the movement. Through True Parents word we met True Parents, and through the word we were finally able to stand before True Parents and God. When we can respond to God and True Parents, we can become their object partner and they become our subject partner of faith. And also they are our object of faith.
Till now we talked about True Parents charisma, their leadership and that it felt as if we were being pulled by their charisma and leadership until this day. We forgot that we are the owners of our own faith. Each and every time until this day, whenever we took a step, it was done by our own choice and by our own faith. This path, this life of faith is what we chose to follow and chose to live, to receive the blessing and to become a blessed family. This is because we desired it, we wanted it and we chose it: Therefore it is my faith, my life and my family. Who will allow this to blossom and flourish? Do you think that there will be a teacher at your school or our True Parents who will applaud your life to be successful? It’s up to you and it’s your responsibility to cultivate your character and yourself. You must strife and make effort to live a happy life! You must make effort to study. Therefore, it’s my life and I’m responsible for what it is now and will become in the future. That is why we must make our life an illuminated, beautiful and a happy life! And who are the ones who will elevate and glorify True Parents? Will it be the Buddhists, the Christians or the Taoists? It should be you and all of us. It is we who have chosen True Parents, and we are the ones who have to elevate and enhance True Parents.
How it is that we have attained this life? It is said that there are 300 million sperms at the time of conception. And yet out of these 300 million only one sperm will meet the egg. And only when both unite can life be born. So that is the miracle of life, the miracle of how we have been born here on earth. The more you think about it the more you feel the truth of the miracle. We were miraculously able to give and receive life on this earth. And life is truly mysterious. We are alive. We breathe in and we breathe out. And in the same way in our terms of faith we can understand that God enters our body and goes out of our body. That is why our respiration is important, i.e. how we breathe. As it is written in the Bible that He breathed in the life and that became the spirit (Gen. 2:7).
Here at Cheon Bok we also have meditation. I’m sure you have experienced this mysterious experience of meeting God. They are many ways to meet God; by studying the word, or through worship. When you pray and engage in meditation the path or channel leading to God will be broad and fast, and it will be much easier to meet God. And when you do meet God you will be overcome with joy. That is why, as you are overcome with joy, you will be singing with such passion during worship and then you’ll feel connected with God in your heart. When your prayer and meditation will deepen your relationship with God you will really feel God through your physical senses. You will be able to see and hear Him through the sound of the wind and the birds and feel the caresses of the wind on your cheek. You’ll feel that your body is expanding and reaching out to the universe, and finally you will feel that you have become one with God. However, after you have had this kind of experience you will come back and you’ll realize you are still living in this sinful world filled with fallen nature. That is why it is important to come to the equilibrium of joy, peace and happiness. That is perfection. That is completion. What do we mean when we say perfection? We mean the perfection of joy in ecstasy. We should always maintain this kind of state whether we are asleep or awake.
Now, what is the purpose of our faith? It is to resemble God and to live within that kind of unchanging joy and bliss. Once you begin to meet God in prayer and meditation this channel will grow wider and wider and you will be able to meet God in your heart and through your physical senses. After that you will experience the sensation of becoming one with God and of finding that God is within you and that you have become His Holy Temple. Even though you may have grown old and you may have been training for ten years, the slightest incident will be able to touch your heart and make you cry.
So why are we living? Don’t we live for happiness? Why do we seek God? It’s because we can’t find the path to happiness in our daily lives. We seek out God so that God can show us the road towards love, joy, happiness and peace because He is the source and root of all these things. So by meeting God we can find the root of our life and connect with Him. Without being connected with God, love is not true love. It is just love in form. We may have believed so many times that we love somebody, but that has been only superficial love which is love not rooted in God. Without being deeply rooted into Gods loving heart, we are not connected to the essence of love. We have to know that deep sensation when we meet God through meeting True Parents. Then we can tearfully and with all gratefulness thank God and True Parents for being there.
We have to live this kind of life. It’s only when seeing us live this kind of life that True Parents can find joy. And when we can live such a life then God can also come and visit us. If we would be always simmering in anger, hatred or are complaining, do you think God would come to you? God would run away. We have to protect His dignity. We have to remember the times when we found ourselves crying just thinking about True Parents.
We can be truly grateful and thanking True Parents for having been able to meet them in our lifetime. Our greatest happiness is the fact that we were able to meet God through True Parents. Through this kind of life of meeting God through True Parents and by having this kind of heartistic appreciation of True Parents we should be able to glorify and elevate God and True Parents to the people of this world by showing them True Parents true stature and glory!