When people in the future look back, they will consider us to be very historic men and women. We can think of ourselves as people who lived through two different centuries; actually, two different millennia.
We are in 1999. We can recall that many prophets over the years have made prophecies about the year 1999. If we divide these prophecies into two large categories, we can say there is a large group of people, from both East and West, who have said that 1999 will be the last days. Usually when people think of the last days they don't think so much of hope, but rather despair and destruction, envisioning that things will be bad during the last days. We are already in the countdown toward the year 2000.
There is another group of prophets who have prophesied about how people can live through the last days, through 1999 and into 2000. It is very important that we will live in two millennia, and also very important to think that 1999 has tremendous significance in the providence of God. That's because this is the year just before the time when God's providence comes to its final conclusion.
The entire Bible is a record of God's providence and the book of Revelations is about the last days. The section we read from is about the period we are in now, the year 1999. Every family and every individual needs to have a clear idea of how we are to live in this year. What is my goal, the goal of our family? What about my work -- what do I want to accomplish this year for God's will, for the United States and for the world in which we live? We have to be very serious at the beginning of this year.
True Parents point out that if you add the numbers 1 - 9 - 9 - 9, it comes out to 28. In Korea the numbers 2 and 8 together represent youth and energy because when you multiply them together they equal 16. Instead of saying "a youth of 16," for example, they would say "a youth of 2 and 8." Those numbers represent energy and youth.
In the beginning of this year we can feel very much that we are coming closer to the conclusion of God's providence, that we are closer to God now. The prophecy in Revelations says that everything which was lost in Genesis will be recovered in the end. The amazing thing about the Bible is that although it was written by many people over many centuries, still there is one central theme to it, that the things lost in Genesis are, through a certain process, restored and recovered and finally reclaimed in the book of Revelations.
When we talk about the accomplishment of God's will, the beginning point is always the individual. We hear the word "restoration" often, but the important thing is how do I as an individual recover my original self, become the original man or woman that God intended me to be. It doesn't matter how beautiful an environment we happen to live in. If there isn't a son or daughter of God who can take control of that environment and rule it with God's heart then everything will be destroyed. Because True Parents know God's heart, they are very serious at this time.
I'm sure that almost everyone here has been using the Internet. People say it is an ocean of information. A number of members asked me to put my sermons on the Internet. I noticed that when I did, many people visited the site. They are giving me feedback about their impressions. This morning I received some information from Sweden. A person in Alaska wrote me of his impressions.
The Internet was originally created for military purposes, but now that everyone is using it, we can see that the world is becoming one through the use of the Internet. In Europe one common currency has been adopted. In this century world unity is really picking up speed. Many non-English-speaking countries in Europe for a long time resisted learning English, but now they are eager to learn because English is the language of the Internet.
As we see the world moving toward greater unity in the new century, we can understand that America's role both externally and internally in the providence is very big. America has a very important responsibility as the elder son nation. The elder son has the responsibility to attend the parents. I think all of us who are living in America have to determine to become a mature elder son so that we can attend the parents internally, and also externally live for the sake of the world. In this year we must have the objective to become a mature elder son.
The God's Day celebration this year was the 32nd God's Day and it was held in Uruguay. About 700 people from 150 countries attended this year's celebration. At midnight, as he always does on New Year's Eve, Father prayed and gave us the motto for this year, "Cosmic Expansion of the True Blessing and the Rooting Out of Satan's Blood Lineage." Father spoke most of the day on the 1st and on the 2nd, the Day of Victory of Love. On the 3rd and 4th the 700 people were divided into eight teams and sporting events were held.
This year Father is 80 years old in the Korean way of counting. Eighty certainly is a very significant number. Father was born in 1920, and is now approaching the year 2000. In 1960 Father's holy blessing was held. Forty years from 1920 to 1960, and now he is completing his second 40-year period, as a family and True Parents. This year of 1999 is the final year of God's 6,000-year providential history, but also for Father it is the final year in which he wants to bring to a conclusion all the things he has been working for his whole life.
All of us brothers and sisters here today have received the baton in the race of the providence, from our ancestors and all those who have gone before us. We have received the baton and now it is our job to take it across the finish line. We are always very concerned about True Parents and their health. I can tell you for certain that True Parents are very healthy. Age 80 is certainly way past retirement age for almost anyone in the world, but Father is still very active to such an extent that it is difficult for much younger people to keep up with him. He is always speaking with a great deal of hope and enthusiasm for the future. He is so busy that he really doesn't have time to take meals three times a day.
Father certainly doesn't eat anything special, just the same food everyone else is eating. We might imagine that Father is carrying a tremendous spiritual burden, that he has to accomplish God's will. But throughout his life Father has never tried to go around an obstacle, always pushing forward to lay the groundwork of the providence.
This morning I would like to speak a little bit about how we are to live our lives, what kind of mindset we need to have in this new century. We are living in the Completed Testament Age. The Completed Testament Age is the age in which all the promises that were made in the Old Testament and the New Testament are finally brought to fruition and are completed. It is an age in which all ignorance is done away with. It's the age in which we come to understand what is the essence of our life, when we come to understand all about God and about humankind.
People living in the Completed Testament Age can understand where I was born, why I was born, how I'm supposed to live now, and where I'm going in the future. In the Bible Genesis is the Alpha and Revelations is the Omega. Genesis was the loss of Adam and Eve, and Omega then is the recovery and restoration of all that was lost. In history we see that the original Adam is Jesus and the original Eve in the Holy Spirit. Now in the Completed Testament Age we see the completed ideal of Adam and Eve in our True Parents.
Our task now is, how do I become the original Adam, the original Eve. We studied in Divine Principle about completing our original character, that we are to become the temples of God that Jesus taught about. In Revelations 21:22, we read, "And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are its temple." So in the last days, when God's providence is accomplished, the temple is no longer necessary because God and the Messiah are one, and humankind, having come to resemble the Messiah and become one with God, are also one with God. Therefore we ourselves are the temple. In the new Jerusalem God and the Messiah are the original temple and we are the branch temples.
In Revelations 22:5 it says that in the last days there shall no longer be any night, and they shall not have the need of a light or the sun because the Lord God shall illuminate. There will be no need for the sun or the moon. This is because God's glory shines in the world, and the glory of all the people who are with God is shining. Also there is a passage that says that life in the new Jerusalem, there is no need to lock the doors for there are no thieves. There are no thieves because there is no night in which the thieves and others who commit crimes can operate.
The situation is that there is no longer a hell in spiritual world, for even hell and Satan have been liberated and restored. There is no one in the cosmos who can hurt human beings. In chapter 22, verse 4 it says that his name shall be on their foreheads, identifying every person as a son or daughter of God. The problem for us is how do we become such sons and daughters, how do we live in order to reach this point. In verse 15 it talks about the kind of people who will not be able to get into this stage. "Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons, and the murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying."
Certain persons can only be excluded from the new Jerusalem, outside the walls of the city. This is the judgment of the people who will be able to go in and those who cannot. The time of God's kingdom comes, but God's kingdom is not something that is established by a natural course. We may be called to be God's sons and daughters, but it our responsibility whether we are able to respond to that calling and conform ourselves to that calling.
One of the things that inspires us very much about our True Father, our teacher in faith, is that he has this incredible ability to have control over his body with his mind. He is always talking about how mind and body have to be one, centering on the mind. He gives us an example of that in his own life. There are many, many things Rev. Moon has accomplished in his life, but probably the most important thing is this way he has completely subjugated his body with his mind, and is able to show us an example of how a person must be in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In this sense the philosophy of the mind subjugating the body, living centering on the mind, this is something the West needs to learn from the East.
The final conclusion of the book of Revelations is how we are able to recover and restore the original Adam and Eve. The model that we have is the Messiah. The Bible teaches that we have to become the temple of God. Then we have to have a heartistic connection with God, and we have to be connected to God's love, and connected to His life. In terms of blood lineage, we need to be God's son and daughter. To do that we need to be born again so that we can become people who resemble God and resemble His original ideal.
During the recent events in Uruguay hoon dok hae was held regularly. One of the things that was read was a series of five books recently published by the Korean church which include content regarding the years before 1960, when Father was undergoing tremendous persecution in Korea. Almost no one in the room was able to keep from crying upon hearing that content.
In particular there was deeply moving content about Father's testimony from Hungnam labor camp. Anyone who hears that will realize that no one can deny the victory Father gained in that experience. In particular, the effort to recover the self that has been lost is something that Oriental religions and philosophy teach very deeply.
For example, in Buddhism there is the practice of choosing 40 days in the summer when it is hottest and in the winter when it is coldest, praying all night and all day during that time, without sleeping. In order the prevent himself from sleeping, the trainee has knives pointed at his face so that if he falls over he will cut himself and immediately wake up.
In another form of training a person will carry a 100-pound load of stones and climb up a steep cliff. Buddhists say that the rocks he carries represents the load of karma from his bad deeds and the bad deeds of his ancestors. He hauls this load up the cliff, maybe seven or eight hours, and when he gets to the top he will take the rocks and throw them away. That action represents the liberation of that indemnity.
There is training in which a person will do 3,000 bows or 10,000 bows before the Buddha, hoping through this process to come to resemble the Buddha's heart. During 1999 there will be many spiritual hurricanes that will blow. The way that we can survive these spiritual storms is to understand the truth and be one with the person who has brought us this truth.
Most recently Father is emphasizing that members must understand spirit world completely. It must not be something we vaguely know about, but something that we can feel and touch with our senses. We have to consider deeply this year's motto, the cosmic expansion of the blessing. We are living in a cosmic age. Beginning with the RFK blessing, this is the time when spirit world and physical world can be blessed together. Already twice in December there were ceremonies held in Japan and Korea in which people in spirit world were blessed with people in the physical world. There were ceremonies in which single people over the age of 60 were matched and blessed with people in the spirit world, and Daemonim gave the names of those in spirit world who participated in that matching.
Father has given us the blessing, and we are living in the age when we can receive authority to give the blessing, even to 120 ancestors. It has to be on the condition that we become one with our original selves and that husband and wife become one with each other. One thing must be clear: though we near the end of our lives on earth, it is not the end of our life as such. Instead we are on the way to our eternal life. We have to understand that during our life we have to inherit all the blessings that God has prepared for us and wants to give us. Then we can go into the spirit world and live with God there.
How do we inherit that blessing? First we become one with God and True Parents. Second is to do the work that God and True Parents would have us do. How do we come to know True Parents? The best way is through hoon dok hae, reading Father's words. Now 12 volumes of that series have been translated into English. All members should have these volumes in their home. In Korea 240 volumes of Father's speeches have been made available on one CD. It is important to be able to read the words and receive the life elements through them.
If you miss the morning reading, then read in the evening time, but at least once a day there should be time for the family to sit together and read the words, thus attending God and True Parents to receive their spirit into your family. Already many families have testified about their wonderful experiences through hoon dok hae and how they have become closer through relating centering on the word. Through this experience we can understand that we are on the course of going to the spirit world for our eternal life.
The 12 volumes in English include two that talk about spirit world. They contain a very clear and detailed explanation of the spirit world. There are many answers in the book "The Way of the Spiritual Leader" about how we should be as leaders. These are not just words that Father spoke, but words that he received from God.
The most enthusiastic participants in hoon dok hae are True Parents themselves. Father receives inspiration from the words he spoke previously. If you do hoon dok hae, you don't need to do 3,000 or 10,000 bows like the Buddhists do, or do a 40-day prayer condition with no sleep.
I have the experience of going to a Buddhist temple to speak to the priest about becoming a Buddhist monk. They say that first one must destroy the evil self within oneself, so they send you to the kitchen and make you do menial work there. Then you are sent begging for rice in the village. You will also be sent to the priest's toilet to get his urine and feces. He will say, can you go so far as to eat and drink this? If an individual has even one ten thousandth of himself left, he cannot pass such a test. The priest will not meet anyone who has any pride in himself, so a person wanting to meet him must first do a full bow to the lowest priest in the temple. Afterward you can meet the head priest.
I'm sure you've heard about people in India who meditate in order to find themselves and their own essence. In Korea there are shamans who teach a very high level of spiritual existence. When they are in a trance they can dance on knife blades. All of this is people trying to overcome themselves and do away with their fallen nature, to become true men and women.
A person who has gone through such an intense spiritual path and achieved the goal is now before us as the True Parents. In order to go to True Parents, we have to go through the word. We need to have deep prayer and meditation in order to become one with his heart. Let us this year have absolute faith and hope so that we can overcome our individual and family struggles and difficulties.
I will conclude by reading part of Father's True God's Day 1999 midnight prayer.
"Heavenly Father, these last seconds of 1998 have passed. The
fulfillment of 360 million couples and the elimination of satanic
lineage have been completed. You have the victorious foundation. You
can be proud in front of all people. We are truly, truly indebted and
grateful for your toil and cooperation. As we welcome the first
moments of this new year, 1999, together with the sound of this new
year and along with Heavenly Father and all the blessed people around
the world, the 400 million blessed couples, we can wish for good
"As heaven and earth focus on this occasion, we hope we can fulfill
all the new tasks ahead. I hope truly we can relieve your heart.
Heavenly Father, you had such a heartache in the Garden of Eden. To
establish the True Parents on earth, how much you have suffered. Adam
and Eve and all the ancestors are ignorant of your suffering. Today
True Parents are able to liberate your heart. Today it has already
been over 50 years since True Parents were to first appear.
"We are sorry we cannot offer all nations in this world to you,
Heavenly Father, yet in 1999 from the position of elder sonship, from
the individual to the world and the cosmos level, we hope to bring this
liberation. We wish such blessing for you. Through this providence
centering on South America, we can open the Kingdom of Heaven. How
much you have longed for such blessed couples, to your very bone
marrow. United, all blessed families can liberate your han. Centering
on True Parents and True Family, we can form the nation of elder
sonship, and from this nation all humanity can follow and return to
"Through True Parents, Heung jin-nim and Daemonim, the ancestors in
the spirit world can be united. We can unite with the archangelic
realm. We hope the blessed couples can fulfill the ideal you have
longed for. For the family of goodness in spirit and body can bring
unification and declare the realm of liberation throughout the world.
From 36 couples to 72, to 124 up to the present, all the blessed
couples can be united and bring the realm of liberation from heaven to
earth. They can open the door to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We
truly pray this.
"As we open this new year, the spreading of true blessing to the
cosmos level and the eradication of satanic lineage is the motto for
this year. As all blessed couples are praying and centering their
hearts on True Parents who are here, and along with the heavenly
soldiers, we can march toward a united world. We long for the world of
liberation. We pray this in the name of True Parents. Amen."
"As heaven and earth focus on this occasion, we hope we can fulfill all the new tasks ahead. I hope truly we can relieve your heart. Heavenly Father, you had such a heartache in the Garden of Eden. To establish the True Parents on earth, how much you have suffered. Adam and Eve and all the ancestors are ignorant of your suffering. Today True Parents are able to liberate your heart. Today it has already been over 50 years since True Parents were to first appear.
"We are sorry we cannot offer all nations in this world to you, Heavenly Father, yet in 1999 from the position of elder sonship, from the individual to the world and the cosmos level, we hope to bring this liberation. We wish such blessing for you. Through this providence centering on South America, we can open the Kingdom of Heaven. How much you have longed for such blessed couples, to your very bone marrow. United, all blessed families can liberate your han. Centering on True Parents and True Family, we can form the nation of elder sonship, and from this nation all humanity can follow and return to your realm.
"Through True Parents, Heung jin-nim and Daemonim, the ancestors in the spirit world can be united. We can unite with the archangelic realm. We hope the blessed couples can fulfill the ideal you have longed for. For the family of goodness in spirit and body can bring unification and declare the realm of liberation throughout the world. From 36 couples to 72, to 124 up to the present, all the blessed couples can be united and bring the realm of liberation from heaven to earth. They can open the door to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We truly pray this.
"As we open this new year, the spreading of true blessing to the cosmos level and the eradication of satanic lineage is the motto for this year. As all blessed couples are praying and centering their hearts on True Parents who are here, and along with the heavenly soldiers, we can march toward a united world. We long for the world of liberation. We pray this in the name of True Parents. Amen."
Father is commemorating his 80th year by choosing 80 cities around the world that he will visit this year. He will speak in each of those cities and give a clear message to the people of the world about the spirit world so that everyone can understand exactly what the spirit world is like.
I hope very much that this year for each you and your families can be a year in which you can center on the word and on True Parents in order to have victory for yourself and your family. Thank you very much.