Good morning, brothers and sisters. Good morning, second generation. Good morning, children. I think this is the first time that we are all able to worship like this as families. So letís look at the faces of our wives, our children, our mothers, our fathers, and say hello to each other again.
Before I begin the sermon, I would like to just say thank you to a couple of people who have been working for many many years to lift up the atmosphere of the Sunday services -- Susan Osmond, our song director, and Otmar Weinmann, our pianist. Thank you very much.
After indemnity is all paid, then worship service will be a time for glory and praise to God. It will be a worship of praise. From now on I would like to have more time and more opportunities for families to offer songs during the worship service. I am very happy to see so many people here today.
The passage from the Bible that was read just a minute ago is from the Book of Revelation written by the Apostle John who followed Jesus. Because the Book of Revelation is the last of the 66 books of the Bible, many people have paid very particular attention to its contents. Because this Book of Revelation was, in fact, a revelation that was received by John, he wrote down the revelation that he was given. But it is written in parables and symbols, and so it has been very difficult for people to understand the deeper meaning of this book. Scores of books have been written in order to try to analyze the meaning of the Book of Revelation.
The book was written around 64 AD during the reign of Nero when Nero was conducting harsh persecutions against the Christians in Rome during the time of the Roman Empire. So it was a time when just being a Christian meant risking your life and facing the very real possibility of death. So this book is a book that gives hope to people who are under such severe persecution. Even John himself, as he was writing this book, had been captured and been sent to the Island of Patmos in order to die. And just as he was facing the possibility of death, his spiritual senses were opened and he began to receive this revelation. So even though we say the author is John, actually, John is not the author. He is merely writing down what he received.
It is just the same as Dr. Sang Hun Leeís book, Life in the Spirit World and On Earth.
The person who actually wrote the words in the book is a Mrs. Kim, but she merely wrote down the words that were dictated to her by Dr. Lee in spiritual world, and so we say that this is Dr. Leeís book.
There are two basic ways to try to look at and analyze the Book of Revelation; one centers on the past and the other centers on the future. The past-centered analysis says that all the things that are mentioned in Revelations took place during the time of the early church. Everything was finished during that time. The future-centered analysis says that this deals partly perhaps with the things that occurred in the early church, but it goes on to prophecy of what will happen in the time of the Last Days and the time of the Second Coming and beyond.
But I think in order to really do justice to this book and in order to analyze it correctly, we have to have a viewpoint that takes into account the overall flow of Godís providence. The record of the Old Testament was for the purpose of the coming of Jesus. In the same way, the message of the New Testament is focused on the returning Christ, the returning Jesus, the Lord who comes again at the Second Advent. So the Revelation of John talks about the fact that Jesus must come again and it talks about what he will do when he comes. There are very detailed descriptions about the things that will happen at the time Jesus returns.
Today we can confirm within ourselves that the articles of our faith, our True Parents, are the ones who come as the fulfillment of the ideal in order to fulfill the things that are discussed in the Revelation of John. In writing the Book of Revelation, John says, "I heard 28 times", and he says, "I saw 12 times". In other words, he really completely left out his own private view and just wrote down what he had heard and what he had seen. If we think for a moment, we can be grateful for the fact that we are living in the time of True Parents when we can receive revelation directly from the True Parents. There is no symbolism. There is no parable. There is no need to analyze the deeper meaning. We can simply follow.
Chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation talk about the Kingdom of God that will be established on earth. Chapter 14 talks about what kind of people will participate in the building of that Kingdom. Verse 14 talks about seven matters that people must keep in their lives if they are to be the ones who are chosen to participate in the building of the Kingdom. Chapter 14, verse 1 talks about the 144,000 and being among those. So many Christians believe that only 144,000 will be saved at all. But as we know through the Principle, it is not just those 144,000 who will be saved, but these are the people who will be in the first resurrection.
The first resurrection refers to the people who will serve the returning Christ directly and who will participate with him directly in his worldwide providence. All of us here are living within the realm of that first resurrection. People who lived 50 years ago could not have received this kind of blessing. Likewise, people who live 100 years from now also will not be able to participate in this realm. And so, Chapter 14 talks about what members of this 144,000 must do in order to be qualified to participate in this providence and what they must not do.
These are the seven revelations John gives for those who are among the 144,000. Then there are three warnings that are given to people who live in the Last Days. This appears in verses 6-13, a little bit after the portion that was read by Reverend Schanker this morning.
The Bible talks about seven years of a period of great confusion, especially three and a half years according to Revelation, before the coming of the Lord, and then three and a half years after, there are certain things that have to be done. So the Fall, we can say, means that a person, in order to preserve his own physical life, denies the Messiah, denies Christ, or accepts anti-Christ or other worldly symbols.
So these are warnings that Revelation gives to those people who live in the time of the Last Days. Furthermore, it says that we must absolutely always be looking to the Christ. We need to center our lives on Christ and we need to live a life that is centered on the word of God. We must have a life that is centered on worship. Furthermore, the Bible is telling us that we need to have complete and absolute faith and center our lives on that faith. It warns us of the terrible tragedy we will suffer in hell if we are not able to maintain our faith. The Bible further talks about the fire of sulfur and eternal damnation that people suffer.
Dr. Sang Hun Lee said that when he went to the spirit world what concerned him most was that if members on earth are not able to live according to the Principle, then when they go to spirit world, they will have tremendous difficulty. So he wanted to contact us and write these letters in order to tell us and warn us that we must maintain our faith.
In Revelation it says that if there is one word that describes the attitude that we must have in our faith in the Last Days, it is absolute faith. The conclusion of the Bible is that under any circumstances, we must always be united with the Messiah and with the word of God. We, as the children of the Messiah, have that fact printed on our foreheads.
Father has said this many times in the past, but also recently that whether we are sleeping, eating, going or coming, whatever we are doing, we must always have our mind centered on the Messiah and on Godís word. True Parents have given us even more detailed and more concrete guidance about how we must live in the Last Days.
The title of the sermon today is about the five declarations, but actually, not just the five declarations, but five stages of Fatherís declarations which talk about these matters. As I have often told you, we must always be aware of where we are in the providence and what time we are living in, in the providence. Especially as members of the Washington Church, we have been aware that Fatherís providence has been carried out and developed here in Washington and we have witnessed how that has happened. The RFK blessing (held at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington DC on November 29, 1997) was one of the most important points in the providence. Father completed the very important work that he had to do as the Messiah at the RFK blessing. He talked about RFK as the Royal Family Kingdom.
Through the RFK blessing, God was able to create a foundation for the eternal Royal Family Kingdom. All Washington members who were there or who participated in the effort to bring that blessing about will certainly many years from now will be able to be very proud of that and tell many stories about that. On July 7, 1997 Father made a declaration which already stood on the foundation of the RFK victory that had not yet happened, but he was already assuming that victory.
He defined in that declaration the 12 stages of the blessing that must occur. Actually, everything was finished at RFK. The MSG blessing in June, (held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 13, 1998) the blessing that will take place next year on February 7, 1999, and blessings that occur beyond that, these are all bonuses. These are all efforts by Father to complete the total salvation of mankind as quickly as possible, to completely sever the lineage of Satan and complete the 360 million couple blessing and gain that victory.
God is invisible and in the same way, the providence of God is not easily visible. But as children of God, we can sense the presence of God and we must also be able to sense the providence that God is carrying out. The Bible tells us always to be awake and to be aware and to know what is going on through our own life of faith. Particularly now, True Parents are creating an ideal model of what the world is to be like through Jardim.
Spiritually, Father has already completed all the providence. October 5 is an important day in Korea with the Autumn Moon Festival. On this day Father held a ceremony in São Paolo called The Total Liberation and Unification Day ceremony. At this time, he gave missions to certain countries to take charge of the saints in spirit world that were blessed at the June 13 blessing at MSG. Particularly, he sent Jesus to America. He instructed Buddha to go to Korea to work there and take responsibility for the unification of Korea. He sent Confucius to China, Mohammed to the Islamic world, and Joseph and Mary to South America.
Godís providence has always been one step ahead in the spirit world as compared to the physical world and is always being accomplished there first. Then in the physical world, we then follow the formula course that is set in the spiritual world. Now we need to understand the five declarations that Father has made and the New Hope farm providence in Jardim. Now letís talk about the first declaration.
We have heard parts of this before, but it is a declaration that was made on April 3, 1995 in Jardim. It talks about three things that Father asks of us in order to transfer the foundation of the indemnity paid in the first 40-year course to the second generation, that is, absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience. What does absolute mean? Absolute means absolute, eternal, unchanging and unique. Because God Himself is an absolute being, the relationship between God and humanity is also absolute. Everything that has God as it is original cause is absolute. There is nothing there that is relative and there is nothing there that is coincidental.
Due to the Fall, this concept of absoluteness was lost. So through restoration, God has been trying to recover this concept of absoluteness.
God is an absolute being, so the relationship between God and man is also absolute and in the human society, the relationship between husband and wife must also be absolute. The relationship between parents and children must also be absolute. Absolute means it cannot be cut, it cannot be divided, and that it cannot end. Absolute means that it is eternal. The value itself is unchanging itself, forever.
The Fall means that the absolute relationship between God and humanity was broken. The breaking of the relationship was the Fall, the breaking of the relationship between God and humanity. So to be ruled by Satan means to have that relationship broken. Satan is always trying to divide husbands and wives and he is always trying to break the relationship between parents and children, and Satan is also always trying to break the relationship between siblings. Satan is always trying to work in various organizations in society in order to create disharmony.
True Parents have shown this model first, and that is the course that they have come. Before Father, in front of Father, Mother has come that course. When Father talks about absolute faith, he is talking as a person who has already demonstrated absolute faith in his own life. Why does he talk about absolute obedience? Actually, these words absolute and obedience, both of these words are very uncomfortable to us. We want to be free. We want to have our freedom. We want to live as we like. We do not want to be bound in any way.
For example, when you are driving and you come to a traffic light, you know you are supposed to stop when it turns red. But how many people have never gone through a red traffic light? Already the light is yellow before you go into the intersection, but you just go through it anyway and then put the brakes on later. So if there is still just one second left before the yellow turns to red, you think, Oh, I can make it, and go on through.
But the course that God has gone has been an absolute course in order to recover humanity. One of the reasons that absolute obedience is emphasized is because we do not know. We do not know about the spiritual world very well. We do not know about God very well. We believe in True Parents and we believe in God so that we can transcend our own ignorance.
During the early 1970s in Korea there was a very difficult time in which there was a very real possibility that the North Korean army would invade the south. Father said at that time that he knew what was happening in the spiritual world and that before such an invasion from North Korea could occur, he would be the first to know and he would then arrange in advance to have a large ship in Inchon prepared. He said that if he gave the spiritual direction for everyone to gather at Inchon at 2:00 in the morning, then spiritually you should be able to receive that direction and just go there at that time. But if that situation had actually occurred, how many people would have been able to receive that direction and go to Inchon? It probably would not have been very easy. So that is why faith is emphasized and obedience is emphasized. This first declaration talks about individual faith and the things that we must have as individuals.
The second declaration took place on August 7, 1998. It was connected to the first 40-day training session. Father talked about the four aspects of God. We have to become like those four aspects as individuals, as husbands and wives, and also as families. So the second declaration talks about the family. He talked about the four aspects of God as absolute, unique, eternal and unchanging. As children of God, we must also be absolute children, unique, and we must be eternal and unchanging, and as husbands and wives we must also be absolute, unique, eternal and unchanging. So first as an individual and then as husband and wife and then as parents, we must actualize these four aspects of God.
I know that among you there are many husbands and wives who are practicing absolute love with each other. But there are other couples where it has been more difficult for husbands and wives to become one. Actually, having difficulty is normal. The problems are part of the process that you go through in order to accomplish the absolute and unique. Even within an individual it is difficult to unite the mind and body. So how much more difficult is it for two completely different individuals to come together and form a unity. Thatís not easy.
The day before yesterday morning, I met a certain sister. When I looked at her I could tell on her expression that she may have had a fight with her husband, and I asked her, did you have a fight with your husband last night? They had just begun their family life. She was very surprised and asked, how did you know? I told her she did not need to repent because it was normal. That is where you start from. The normal course for husbands and wives is for two people to begin at two very different points and eventually come together. God always gives the possibility for husband and wife to come together in Him.
Youíve heard about the very remarkable and surprising love that occurred in our community last October 21 where a husband and wife were able to share a liver. The wife was able to donate a part of her liver to her husband. Many of you have heard about them. The husband has worked 17 years in CARP and four years as a missionary in Russia. He was assigned to Pakistan as the national messiah and he went there and when he went into the higher elevations, it became very difficult for him to breath and he began to vomit blood and became very ill. The diagnosis revealed that he needed to receive an emergency liver transplant from someone otherwise he would not be able to live.
When I visited their home, the brother, at that time, could not sit up and was hardly able to speak. I consoled him and told him that since he had dedicated his life for Godís will, he should not be afraid to go to the spiritual world, be ready to go. I told him to read Dr. Sang Hun Leeís book well, in order to prepare himself for the spiritual world. It did not appear then that he had any realistic chance to survive, but a surprising thing happened. When they tested the blood of the wife, it turned out that her blood type and everything about her blood was such that she could donate a part of her liver. This kind of thing almost never happens. Not only that, but when they opened up the wifeís body and looked at her liver, it was discovered that her liver was actually much larger than a normal sized liver. Normally in such an operation, only about one-third of the donorís liver is removed and transplanted. But in this case because the liver was larger than normal, they were able to take half of her liver and transplant it into her husband. This is a tremendous miracle.
Husbands and wives are from completely different blood lineages, so it is almost impossible that the one can donate an organ to another. This is the second time that this has happened in America. This transplant operation is one that was perfected by an American doctor, Dr. Hume, and by a Korean doctor, Dr. Lee. Yesterday the husband was moved out of the intensive care unit and into a normal hospital room. After eight weeks his liver should grow and be fully recovered to a normal state.
Literally, this husband and wife have shared their life together. In the medical world it is a matter of tremendous interest to see how did these two people came together as husband and wife. And because a Korean doctor was part of the operation team, KBS television of Korea is coming in and they are going to report this operation. And then I think that the husband and wife will witness to Father and say that Reverend Moon brought them together.
This is a very surprising thing and it gives us another example of how husbands and wives are, in fact, one. When God brings us together, he brings us together because there is that possibility for us to be one. So for us to be able to actualize the second declaration in ourselves, we as husbands and wives must have absolute faith in each other. Sometimes we can only see the defects or the shortcomings in our spouse. But instead of doing this, letís try to look at the good points about our spouse. When a man and woman meet each other as husband and wife, they are very far apart in the beginning and after seven years through a seven-year course, they become closer and closer to each other. And after 21 years, they become completely one.
Of course the happiest people are those where the husband and wife can go to the spiritual world together, but that is not so easy to go to the spirit world at the same time. In Korea there was the tradition that after a certain number of years the husband and wife would be buried together. In other words, when the husband dies first and then the wife dies later on, they are placed in separate graves next to each other. But then after a certain number of years the two bodies are exhumed and the bones are put together and mixed together and then reburied as if they were one body. Isnít that beautiful? This is the kind of unity between husband and wife that God wants to see.
That is what Father has been saying, one mind, one body absolutely centered on God. This is the first level. Husband and wife come together and become one body, not only physically, but spiritually also. Eventually they become a perfected one. Based on this Adam and Eve relationship, this husband and wife relationship, Godís love will be the dwelling place, the holy temple of this oneness.
The second declaration refers to being absolute, unique, eternal and unchanging. It is in terms of the relationship between husband and wife and also between parents and children.
The third declaration occurred on August 21, 1998. This declaration gives us the authority to pass on the blessing. It is saying that husbands and wives who have completed their faith on the first and second declarations, can then stand in the position of True Parents and pass on the blessing to their children. Originally the blessing was something given only by God. God is the first creator, Adam and Eve are the second creators. Today Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the second creators and the True Parents are also the second creators. We must become the third creators. Each spouse has 50 per cent of Godís character within us because we are created in His image. So when we come together we become 100 per cent in Godís image.
In the Garden of Eden who would give the blessing to the children? God would. If the Fall had not occurred, then who would have given the blessing to Adam and Eveís children? Well, Adam and Eve would have done that. If you go to weddings you see that they invite very famous people, people in society to come and act as the officiator.
One of my older brothers is a member of the Korean National Assembly. He is a representative there. His constituents are always asking him to come and officiate at the marriage of their nephew or their niece or someone like that, and so he is always being asked to officiate at marriages and almost has no time to do anything else. But that is not right. Someone who has a relationship with the husband and wife should give the blessing. Someone who has no personal relationship to them can come to the wedding and give some kind of congratulatory remarks, but they cannot give the blessing itself.
So who is going to bless our children? True Parents? Now True Parents are saying they will give us the authority to give that blessing. So he wants us to become like God, to become the third God.
In Korea there is a religion called the Sun Do Gyo. This is a very interesting religion. They say that every human being has God within him. This religion teaches that when you meet and have a relationship with someone, relate to that person as if he were God because he is God. As husbands and wives we should recognize each other as half of God, my creator, not simply my lover, my spouse. No. We have to recognize each other as half of God. We have to try and see God through my spouse, my spouseís character, and my spouseís love, everything about my spouse.
The fourth declaration was given on August 29, 1998. This declaration emphasized again that the relationship between God and humanity is absolute in the sense that it is a relationship of destiny. By the same token, the relationship between husband and wife and between parents and children are relationships of destiny. These kinds of relationships of destiny between husbands and wives and parents and children are the relationships that will help us form the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. Also, the relationship between True Parents and us is a relationship of destiny. This is a relationship that cannot change because it is one of destiny.
Recently there have been events within the True Family that have caused a great deal of concern among the members. But what has been really surprising and what I have been really grateful for is that many people have really taken the pain of the True Parents as their own pain in order to support the True Parents. Already each of us has a sign on our forehead that we could not remove even if we wanted to. I am so grateful to see the very deep heart of members always trying to become even closer to True Parents even through this kind of an incident.
The five stages that I am describing to you now are actually the process by which we become registered in the family of God.
Right now we are living at a great turning point of the providence. From the individual to the cosmos, everything is in turmoil. It is like there is a great hurricane and in the middle of the circle there is there eye of the hurricane and that is God and that is True Parents. Until now only by indemnity and by sacrifice have True Parents been able to break down the walls of the satanic world.
The fifth declaration which was actually made in Alaska on September 8, 1998, this is the four-four declaration (Sa Sa Jeol). In this declaration Father emphasized three aspects of God again; that is, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. In his fifth declaration, Father says that from now the new age has come in which the evil and unprincipled aspects of the world will be dissolved and melted away by Godís all powerful force. Father said now is the time that Heavenís side can attack and take the offensive against the satanic side. So already it is a new age, a different age, and our background has changed. The problem now is how we can sense what age we are living in and how we can carry this out.
So to go back to the beginning, this is why absolute faith is required of us now. Let us go the way in which we can become absolutely one with God and True Parents. We need to train ourselves even better. Through our Hoon Dok Hae and by keeping the traditions of the church, we need to go the way in which we do not receive attack from Satan. In America we need to be mature enough to be responsible for America.
It is a very difficult time, but all American members are being asked to take part to help out Bridgeport University. In order to support Fatherís vision and especially the vision in the health sciences college, everyone is being asked to participate. For the details of that, please refer to the letter that was placed in your mailbox.
In conclusion, we are living in the realm of the fourth Adam. The fourth Adam is the Adam of multiplication, of growing in numbers and being stronger and of greater faith. Let us be members of victory who can welcome the year 2000 victoriously. The contents of the five declarations describe what we need in order to inherit the will of God and the authority of God as we go on. Thank you. Let us pray.