I think it was a little more than 10 years ago, in the middle of the 1980s. In Korea there are many prophets or people who have received the gift of prophecy. There was Mrs. Lee, who was particularly famous in Korea at the time as a prophetess, and she received a revelation from God that she should not belong to any particular political party but should remain independent and work for the unification of North and South. She formed her own party, called the Min Jok Tae Dong, the National Peoples Party. She prayed exclusively for the unification of North and South, and she would not meet just anyone. She would only meet people who were in the top class of the ruling strata of Korea. All the representatives of the major religious groups in Korea went to her and asked her to pray, is Rev. Sun Myung Moon really someone that God has sent, or is he like everyone says, a fake? Please get a decisive answer from God. Representatives of the Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church, and the Holiness Church in Korea asked her to get this decisive answer.
There has been some persecution against our church in the United States, but compared to what it has been through the years in Korea, it is not much at all. The reason is that in Korea the Christian church is much more fundamentalist and conservative than it is here in the United States, and other religions as well are very conservative. The Protestant missionaries who brought Christianity to Korea were very conservative missionaries. The Korean church has held to that conservative tradition, so they are absolute about coming to church on Sundays, about tithing, and especially about 5 a.m. prayer at church every Sunday morning. They follow these principles very strictly. Absolutely no liquor or smoking. All those conservative Christians united together to oppose the Unification Church, and their strength was enormous.
These religious groups wanted to know if Rev. Moon was a heretic or really someone sent by God. The way Mrs. Lee works is that when someone asks her a question, she will give 10 or so verses in the Bible which come to her by revelation. Then she reads the verses and interprets the verses, and makes a prophecy based on the verses. The prophecy comes true almost 100 percent of the time.
At one point in the 1980s, when I was very young, I was able to participate in an important meeting. I was talking about the content of the revelation I had received about the level of Asia and Korea and the world. Later she came up to me and said, what is your religious group? I told her, I am a disciple of Rev. Moon. She was very surprised because she had heard many bad things about the Unification Church.
The result of her prayer was this. She said that there is a pillar of fire connecting heaven and earth. Many people are shooting arrows at that pillar, but all those arrows are falling and breaking. She told the representatives of the religious groups that this pillar of fire represents the Unification Church. She said, I do not know if Rev. Moon is the messiah or not, but what I do know is that no matter how much people try to shoot arrows at it, everyone fails and either their arrows fall short or they break. So do not touch it. Keep away from it.
There was a similar situation about 2,000 years ago. From a common sense point of view, Jesus could not be seen as the messiah. As a matter of fact Jesus was the messiah that the people of Israel had been waiting for throughout their history, but the people who lived in Jesus time could not understand how that could be possible. From their common sense point of view, that was not a possibility. First of all, thinking about the background of his birth, it was impossible for them to believe he was the messiah. Everyone knew that he had been born as an illegitimate child.
When people looked at his family background, it was not such a great family that he was from. His young life was not the life of a messiah and his education was not the education of a messiah. Once he began his public course, the people looked at the disciples who followed him and that did not make him seem like a messiah either. However, many people began following him out of their own conscience, because they felt that they had to follow him. There was something about Jesus, a power he had that could not be explained through logic. His words were powerful and he worked many miracles.
After Jesus death, a particularly important person in the Judaic establishment came to follow Jesus. That was Paul. It was a big shock at the time because Saul, a member of Gamaliels conservative group, went over to Jesus denomination. So we see in Acts where about 40 other students who had been studying under Gamaliel with Paul came together and said, we can not allow Paul to go over to the heretical group. We have to get rid of him, kill him if necessary. Until we kill him we are not going to eat or sleep.
After Jesus death, he resurrected and his movement began to grow in strength. Many Jewish leaders started coming together centering on Gamaliel. They asked Gamaliel, do you think Jesus teaching is heresy or orthodox? Is it something we have to follow or deny? Gamaliel gave an answer that is very famous. He said, do not have anything to do with them. If they are from earth then they will simply go away without our doing anything. But if they are from heaven then they will not go away, and if you oppose them, you will end up opposing heaven.
I have heard that many of you have had difficulty understanding how you can answer questions from people outside the church regarding the difficult situation currently surrounding our church. Heaven is probably more interested in the level of conviction and faith of people in the church who have been following this way all these years. In the Bible we see that Jesus first testified to himself as the messiah to a Samaritan woman. This is a very important incident that we have to think about deeply.
The Samaritans were discriminated against in those days. The Jews did not consider them to be fully on their own level. They would not eat with them and had nothing to do with them. They hated them. This particular woman, according to the Bible, had five husbands. Jesus was saying, the man you are with now is not actually your husband. So actually she had been with six men.
In 722 BC, when the Israelites were taken to Babylon, all the educated people were taken to Babylon, and all those who were left mixed with other peoples and nationalities in the area, so that when the Israelites came back from Babylon, they said, those people are no longer Jewish. They separated from them.
We have to think very deeply about the meaning of the fact that Jesus chose that particular woman, who had been with six men, who was a member of a discriminated class. He picked that woman to tell, I am the messiah, the one that you are talking about. The events in the Bible cannot be looked at only according to the words. Sometimes we have to look at the deeper meaning behind them.
Many people interpret this Bible story to mean that Jesus chose the worst of all sinners to confess himself as the messiah, because he came to save sinners. But I have a different understanding. I think that if Jesus were to confess to that woman, it means that in her heart was a standard of longing for the messiah, that she wanted to find the messiah. Perhaps when the Bible says she had five husbands, this is not five male human beings, but can be thought of a little more allegorically, that she had been looking for the messiah, so she had gone from religious group to religious group. Maybe she had served five religious groups in order to try and find the messiah. The messiah is in the subject position, the husbands position. The messiah is someone she really wanted to meet and be with. She went to religious group after religious group, to somehow find the true husband in the messiah.
It was not logic that moved her in this way. Instead it was a feeling that welled up in her heart, that she wanted somehow to find the messiah. That was what moved her. I think there are several similarities to the motivation of people who met and followed the messiah 2,000 years ago and the people who are here now and who have followed the messiah today.
First, there are those who, like Paul, have met the messiah as a result of direct revelation from heaven. As you know, Paul led the way in persecuting people who were following Jesus. Paul was there when Steven, the first martyr, was stoned to death. It was when he was on his way to Damascus in order to arrest or catch Christians there that he received his revelation from God. Actually Jesus appeared to him directly. He said, "Saul, why do you persecute me?" He said, "Who are you?" Jesus replied, "I am Jesus, who you are persecuting."
There were other people with him but they did not see or hear this vision. Paul heard it, and the scales covered his eyes and he could not see. He was sent to Ananias, who prayed for him, and then Paul could see. There are others who have joined the church as a result of reason and logical thinking. Perhaps the most representative person is Dr. Sang Hun Lee, who was a medical doctor involved in communism. Because he was involved in communist activities, he was later able to write a critique of communism after he joined the Unification Church.
Through reading the Divine Principle and logical thinking based on the Principle he was able to join the Unification Church. The same is true of Rev. Hyo Won Eu, the first president of the church. Rev. Eu came into the church as a result of reading the original Divine Principle that Father wrote in the 1950s. There are many who have joined as a result of guidance from angels, or from their ancestors. Especially people who joined in the 1950s came as a result of spiritual guidance.
Finally there were people, professors and religious leaders, who see the works of Rev. Moon and say, anyone who is doing these things must be the messiah, and they join the church. But we can divide basically into two kinds of people -- those who come in as a result of spiritual inspiration, and those who come in as a result of logical reason. Raise your hand if you came in by spiritual inspiration. Raise your hand if you read the Divine Principle and you came in as a result of your own logical reasoning. About half and half.
During the 50s and 60s, almost 80 percent of the people came in as a result of spiritual inspiration. But in the time of Jesus I think it was about 90 percent.
Jesus said people should worship God in spirit and in truth, but it was very difficult for people who had believed in the laws of Judaism to accept Jesus and to follow him. They were captive within the confines of the law that they had established in a very strict way. I would say that Judaism had about 6,000 laws that they established. There were over 600 laws that were adhered to very strictly, and 248 laws that could not be compromised, had to be adhered to absolutely, and 356 laws that listed things that should never be done, one every day. In the fifth century these were compiled into the Torah and interpreted.
Even small and insignificant things are completely controlled. For example, women cannot look in the mirror on the Sabbath, according to these laws. If a woman looks into a mirror and takes out a gray hair on the Sabbath, that will violate the law. If on the Sabbath you throw something into the air and catch it with the other hand, that does not violate the Sabbath. But if you catch it with the same hand, that does violate the Sabbath. There is a distance beyond which you cannot travel on the Sabbath, about a mile. But if you go and then rest, and then go again, that is okay.
If you look at all the laws that are established, it is like a childs game. It is very narrow minded. When people looked at Jesus from this perspective, there was no way they could see him as the messiah. So there were two basic sins that Jesus was accused of. First, that he was teaching heresy. In the Sanhedrin, Jesus was accused of violating orthodoxy and teaching heresy. Politically also, Jesus was accused of fomenting uprising. From both a political and religious point of view he was seen as a bad person.
Throughout Rev. Moons course, he has been accused from the religious and political points of view. Religiously he has been accused of undermining and challenging the Christian establishment. Politically he has been accused of going against people. Jesus spoke to the people accusing him and said, look at the works that I do, and if you look at them, you see that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.
I think that today there are three ways to recognize the messiah. One is the spiritual method, another is through the truth, and the third is through the works that he is doing. As I said last week, the messiah comes basically to accomplish two missions. The first part places focus on the restoration of all history until now. The second mission is to set the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
We are unique as a religious group in that we are attending the living messiah, the living True Parents. Of course we believe in God, and we also believe in Jesus as the messiah. But we also believe that True Parents are the Christ returned. If we cannot reaffirm the fundamentals of that faith, that is a big problem for us. One of the big questions we each have to ask ourselves is, do we feel in our heart that the True Parents are my messiah? Until now, why have we confessed True Parents to be the messiah?
For a long time in Korea it was difficult for a member of our church to say openly to a Christian, I am a member of the Unification Church. The reason is that people had described the Unification Church in such evil terms, when you told them you were a Unification Church member, they would literally faint in surprise. If you told them, you would have to tell them very gently. Has anyone experienced someone fainting when you told them you were a Unification Church member?
The main reason for that is that Christian leaders in Korea gave people the impression that the Unification Church is really evil. At one time I was witnessing to a very pious Methodist. That persons grandfather was a martyr for Christianity in Korea. That grandfather appeared to her and said, "Do what Rev. Yang is saying." When she related the dream to Dr. Yang, he thought, now the time must be right and I can tell her I am a Unification Church member.
He knew that this woman had a particularly strong fear of the Unification Church so he taught her the entire Divine Principle, beginning with the Principle of Creation, all the way through to the end. She agreed with it all. Her grandfather in spirit world came and testified to it. So then Dr. Yang told her. She completely changed at that instant. She said, I never realized that Satan would have such a gentle face as yours, that Satan would try to fool me with such wonderful logic and wonderful words. She went to study theology and became a minister, and is still trying to get me to join her church.
Why do we confess True Parents to be the messiah? Let's look at a few points. First of all, the messiah has to be a person who tells us clearly about Gods existence. What is Gods heart? What is the relationship between God and humanity? Until now, in theology God has been described as someone transcendent of humanity, all knowing and powerful but transcendent of us. Through the Divine Principle we have learned about how God exists and we have learned about the heart of God, the joy that he felt in creating the world, and the incredible sorrow he felt at the fall of man, and also the heart he has had throughout restoration history. We also know about the relationship between God and humanity. We know about Gods existence and His heart and His relationship with us.
We have come to know through Rev. Moon that God is not just a transcendent being, but that our relationship is that between parent and child, that we relate to God through love and life and blood lineage. We have found the answer to what humanity is. Philosophers throughout history have struggled with the idea of whether there is a God, and if so, what is He? Secondly, what is man, and thirdly, what is history? Where did man come from, and what should human beings do during their lives here on earth, and where do humans go? If there is an afterlife, what is the relationship between that and what is in the physical world?
The view of human beings that we have seen through Christianity is that as a result of the fall, human beings are totally without any value. Especially in the Calvinist view that man is completely sinful, as lacking in ability as a bird without wings, with complete disregard for free will. But through the Principle we have discovered a new view of humanity, and the responsibility that human beings have.
Through Divine Principle we have discovered why Satan became Satan, and what was the process there. Through discovering the reality of Satan we have understood the real situation of original sin. Father has said that in his search for the truth the most difficult part was overcoming and subjugating Satan. He said that the most difficult part was pinpointing the actual process and content of original sin. He said it was as difficult as finding one pearl that is buried in a whole desert of sand.
The teachings of Rev. Moon have given us clear answers to many problems of history. Where did history start and where is it going, and is there a divine existence behind history? Is humanity the subject of history, or is it God? Humanists say that man is in control of history. Augustine was one of the first people who, based on the New Testament, said, no, there is a divine existence behind history. We have learned through True Parents about something called restoration history.
We have received many answers about problems in the Bible through True Parents. The Bible actually is a document that was written over a period of 1,500 years and there are more than 40 authors. All the important content is written in allegory and symbols. Of course, one human being or another wrote everything there, but we believe that the inspiration of God is behind that, so we believe that the content of the Bible is truth. But we have to know what is the meaning of the Bible to us.
In the Bible there is the secret path, the key to our being able to return to God. But not just anyone can read the Bible and find that way. Reading it 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times is not necessarily going to help you to find the way that is in the Bible. But through the Divine Principle we have come to possess the master key in order to open the secrets of the Bible. The Bible contains information about the creation, the fall, and then the rest is about the process of restoration. Through the Divine Principle we have learned about the key to the secrets of the Bible.
Many people say the Unification Church is not Christian. Several years ago I participated in a televised public debate with Christian ministers. The first issue that was debated was this proposition that the Unification Church is not Christian. I answered simply, the Unification Church is Christian. Todays Christianity is wrong Christianity. What is the essence of Christianity? The essence of Christianity is that it should give us a clear view of God, and it has to tell us who Jesus is, clearly. Why did he come? What was his mission? After his resurrection, why does he have to come again? But todays Christianity has no clear answer to those issues.
Christianity should also know about the difficult problems of the Bible. The religion that teaches most accurately and most clearly about those essential parts of Christianity is the Unification Church, so the Unification Church is the true Christian church. If you listen to Divine Principle and study it, you will know God and Jesus more clearly.
During the 1950s Rev. Moon spoke only about Jesus, from beginning to end. He talked about the heart of Jesus, and spoke about his heart in tears. There is no one who knows Jesus as well as Rev. Moon. That is why the teachings of Rev. Moon finally liberate Jesus and bring Christianity to its completion. In the Bible all the things that Jesus has to do in the last days are all described in symbols and allegory. Only through the Divine Principle can we understand the secrets of the Bible. We have to look at it from the point of view of the messiah.
The Old Testament has to be seen from the perspective of Jesus. That is when you can understand the meaning of the Old Testament. By the same token, we have to see the New Testament from the perspective of the Second Advent. Then we can realize the meaning of the whole Bible. Sometimes we may want to look at the forest as a whole. Other times we may want to look at it tree by tree. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves looking at just the trees. In describing the messiahs role and his function, I am talking about the forest as a whole.
Particularly with respect to the reality and the real person of Jesus and his mission, Rev. Moon has spoken a lot and he has spoken very clearly. Not only did he teach about Jesus, he has liberated Jesus from his sorrow and he has given Jesus the blessing. If someone really believes in Jesus, that person should really pray to find out what Jesus thinks about Rev. Moon and what Jesus is doing now, what he thinks about the Unification Church.
Sometimes it is easy for us to limit our faith by doctrine, but spiritual inspiration is more important. Right now we are going into a new season, autumn. We do not say, since it is October 4, today must be the start of autumn. No, we feel it is autumn through our senses. There are many people, inside and outside the church, who have prophesied that Rev. Moon is the person who has come with a messianic mission. We do not necessarily depend on those people for our own faith, but we do know that God lets His prophets know when He is doing some providence. I have brought two representative works of prophecies, one from the Orient, one from the West. The one from the West is from Nostradamus. With prophecy it is important who analyzes it. John Holk gives, I have heard, the most orthodox analysis of Nostradamus prophecies.
Prophets around the world have given great importance to the years 1999 and 2000. They say that the changes that occur during this period will be very important. This man mentions Rev. Moons name in two places. He gives 12 founders of spiritual revolution, and he gives Rev. Moon as one of those 12. In the back of the book he lists 12 candidates for the messiah, with an assessment of each, and Rev. Moon is listed as one of those 12.
Nine of these 12 have already passed into the spirit world, with three left in the physical world. Two are Indian and one is involved in transcendental meditation. Do you think we can solve the problem of evil in the world through meditation? About 10 years ago I went with Mel Haft to India, to attend a seminar there. I met a holy man on the banks of the Ganges. He wore a loincloth and had red paint on his forehead, and he sat there all day, meditating. He was very humble. He bathed in the Ganges and meditated there the whole day. He was on a stand and his disciples sat in front of him, facing him. They sat there the whole day, every day. Is that going to lead to a revolution, to reforming the world? Can we build a day of peace through that?
This is a book from the Orient. Through about a 1,000 year period of Korean history 300 prophets appeared in Korea. A Mr. Nam wrote this book about 450 years ago. At that time he was in communication with heaven. There was no Christianity in Korea then. He wrote down in Chinese characters all the content he received from heaven. Mr. Ku then interpreted this content and published this book about nine years ago. Right now in Korea the interpretation of that particular prophecy is very popular.
Prophecies in the Orient are always written in very difficult Chinese. Just like in the Bible, they are written in symbols and allegories. People have to put things together and solve them and interpret them. He is not a Christian and has no religious background. Of course he is not a member of our church. He just studies the Chinese classics. He says that according to his studies, the messiah that was prophesied 450 years ago has come to Korea. He said that that person is Rev. Moon, and he gives 11 reasons why that is true.
According to the prophecies or interpretation of the prophecy, he says the messiah must be born north of the 38th parallel. According to the prophecy he must be born in what is now North Korea, stay there for a little while, but then come to South Korea. He said that this person would come with a particular philosophy or idea that would aim to unify all religions, to bring together all religions of East and West. He said that this person would come from the Moon family, that he would conduct mass marriage ceremonies and bring together young men and women as husband and wife.
Sixth, he said he would be criticized and persecuted, both in the Orient and the West. Seventh, that he would have the greatest blessing of anyone in the world. Eighth, he said that this person must go to jail. He said that this person would come with the birthright of the eldest son in order to give salvation to the world. In ending the book he said that the years from 1992 to 1999 are the most crucial years in the last days. At the end of the book he gives an open letter that he sent to Rev. Moon. He says, from my point of view you are the messiah. If you are the messiah then tell us about it. Tell us who you are.
He says that people who joined Rev. Moons movement before 1992, that is, before the Completed Testament age began, most of those people would fall away, and not be able to endure. I was in Seoul when this book was first published. The Unification Church minister who lived in the same area as this author went to him and said, "If this is what you believe then you should quickly come and join the Unification Church." He replied, "I am not going to join before 1992." According to his own prophecy most of those who joined before 1992 would fall away.
This person published another book, entitled, "Who is the Messiah?" In that book he brings together references to about 34 books about who the messiah is. He has participated in Hoon Dok Hae with Rev. Moon. Father has given instructions for this book to be translated.
There are many ways we can know who Father is. We cannot necessarily say with confidence who Father is, but there are many ways we can gain that knowledge. As we know, there is no one who is as crazy for God as Rev. Moon is. There is no one who is as crazy for the love of humanity as Rev. Moon is. We know there is no one as involved and as deeply steeped in the word of God as Rev. Moon is. Whenever he sits down he speaks the word of God, and there has never been any change in his words. He has always taught about the Principle and the tradition.
Whether he meets the president of a country or someone just walking past on the street, he always teaches the fundamental and important aspects of the Principle. The thing that separates him from other religious leaders is that he has not only taught the Principle but has practiced it and lived it in his daily life. He has established a providential program and established it, and accomplished it and brought it to realization.
This is true, for example, in the providence of the blessing. No one can doubt the value and the meaning and significance of the blessing. There are couples that may be struggling, sometimes because they themselves have not been able to accomplish their responsibility. There is nothing wrong with the value and meaning of the blessing itself. Rev. Moon, from the time of the 36 couples until now, has taught about the eternal relationships of spouse and the absolute sex that must be there.
If we look at the recent providence, we can understand who Father is. I do not have time to go into much detail, but one thing we must know. Who will finally decide who is the messiah or not? God will decide. If God decides a particular way, then no matter what happens on earth, that decision cannot be changed. God sent Jesus as the messiah, and even though all Israel opposed him and his disciples turned against him, that did not change the fact that Jesus was the messiah.
The messiah is not someone who is chosen democratically. In the Bible Jesus said, look at the works that I do and know who I am from the works that I do. Beloved members, we are right now at a great turning point, a final crucial time. Just as we are in the time of autumn, we are in the time of harvest. We have the responsibility for our own lives and the lives of our ancestors and the lives of our descendants. Sometimes if we tend to waver a bit, that is because of our own spiritual background.
According to Dae Mo Nim, we are not just ourselves, but always there are our good and evil ancestors, good and evil spirits from history, so it is possible we may waver sometimes. I hope that we can have the same standard of heart as the Samaritan woman, that Jesus could come to her and say, I am the messiah. I am the one. If we can have that standard of heart then we can certainly have the strength from heaven to overcome any kind of difficulties and problems that we may face today.
As chosen people, let's continue our work until we are able to accomplish that. From October the whole atmosphere of our church is going to change. Already Father said that the providence is 99 percent complete. No matter how much criticism and persecution we receive from outside, it is like those arrows that are trying to strike down that pillar of fire. Father has said that when you have a problem you are struggling with, then read at least 10 of his prayers and then the answer will come to you. Right now there is a spiritual typhoon. We have to stand at 90 degrees and make sure we have an absolute relationship between husband and wife and an absolute relationship with heaven.
Father has given five declarations recently, but the essence of those is to have absolute love and faith and devotion. I would like to thank you for your great faith and the strength of your spirit. Be proud of the fact that you are members of the church in Washington DC, the capital city of the country that has the elder son blessing. No matter what, we have to pull this capital city along with us.
The revolutions in history did not involve many people. One man, Jesus, changed history. That is why history is spelled his-story. One man, Marx, gave evil influence to history. One man, Rev. Moon, is giving a big change to history. Let's each one of us become a second Rev. Moon in order to bring salvation to this country and to this world. There is no alternative to what we are doing, no alternative to the work we are doing.
Let's go forward with even greater faith and strength. Thank you.