If Heavenly Father is our Father, we should know what He likes and what He doesn't like in order to please Him. Which words does our Heavenly Father dislike most? What do you think? Of course the word fall or failure, other words are prolongation and delay. God is sick of these words and doesn't want to hear them anymore. He doesn't want to see His providence delayed any longer. This is the heart of God who has been waiting thousands of years for the day of restoration. Whenever God chose prophets or central figures to work to fulfill His will, they failed and He had to prolong His providence. Heavenly Father doesn't want His providence to be prolonged again. We must achieve His ideal in our lifetime, not in the next generation or sometime in the future. To do this each one of us must be victorious.
History has been a struggle between good and evil. Jacob gained the first victory for the side of goodness. Because of this God renamed him Israel, which means "he who strives with God". Why did God give such a name to Jacob? He faced many difficulties and overcame them all through his strong faith in God, otherwise he couldn't have gained victory. We also need strong faith in God to gain victory. This is the first condition for victory. If we lose faith, we lose our connection to God and He can't work through us. Jacob's descendants inherited the name Israel, but when they lost faith in God they could no longer be called Israel. This resulted in the divided kingdoms. The people of the northern kingdom were descendants of Jacob as well, but when they lost their faith they were no longer the true Israel.
Jacob offered his possessions and love to his elder brother when he met him after 21 years in Haran. By offering his wealth and his love, i.e. physical and spiritual gifts, he could move Esau's heart. Initially Esau wanted to kill Jacob, but he changed his mind and welcomed him. By subduing his elder brother, who stood in the Cain position representing Satan's side, Jacob gained victory for God. We must do the same thing, we must become victors by winning Cain's heart. We cannot succeed in any other way. We will fight physically if necessary, but God doesn't want to win through physical conflict. He wants to win Cain's heart.
Our True Parents are in Jacob's position. Father fought for forty years, from 1920 to 1960, to lay a victorious individual foundation. We must inherit his victory in order to continue on the path of restoration. First we must establish individual victory. We can inherit this from our True Parents who have endured and overcome all difficulties. Father's mission is to pioneer the course all others must follow, enabling us to gain a victorious foundation without having to endure the same difficulties. This is the Messiah's mission.
There is a way to inherit Father's foundation without going through the same difficult course he did.
We must inherit Father's faith. Just as the Hebrews could be called Israel by inheriting Jacob's faith, when we inherit Father's absolute faith we can inherit his victorious foundation. Of course there are other factors involved. Satan is always trying to destroy us. He knows that if he leaves us alone we will go straight to God, so he tries to stop us in every way imaginable. We must overcome every obstacle Satan puts in our way. We don't have to experience the same difficult course as Father, but we do have to persevere through Satan's attacks. We still have to fight; perseverance is absolutely necessary in order to gain victory. We also have to practice what we have learned from our True Parents. If we hear God's words, but don't respond, we have no relationship to them. When we practice them in our daily life, however, they live within us. It's important to accomplish this in our lifetime. Then we can inherit the victorious foundation Father made for us.
There are many things to do in order to be family-level victors, rather than just individual victors. The fall came about when Adam and Eve joined together prematurely. To restore their failure man and woman must form a couple and successfully complete the family course. The family is the basic unit of the Kingdom of Heaven; we cannot realize God's ideal on earth without establishing a family and gaining victory as such. How do we establish a victorious family? First we must inherit God's heart. Otherwise, we can't become an ideal couple and establish a God-centered family, because an ideal family is a family that expresses God's heart. The ideal world is also the world of God's heart. Thus without knowing and inheriting God's heart we can never realize His ideal. God wants to give us His love because it is the source of true joy and we cannot have a joyful life
His love and pass it on to others. We must also inherit God's words. According to the Bible God created man through His word. So without knowing God's word we cannot understand our purpose in life nor how to live. When we live according to God's word, however, we become men of God's personality. Couples must embody God's heart, God's words and God's personality. Then we can become a God-centered couple and form a God-centered family. Otherwise we will never have families in which God can dwell.
Everyone enters the spirit world eventually. When we do we must be eligible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Many people who have been there have explained that upon entering the spirit world one is greeted by an angel, who asks questions. The first thing the angel asks is, "What did you do in your life? Are you qualified to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?" You must be able to say, "I am qualified to enter the Kingdom of Heaven." But how can you say this? What did you do to qualify to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? If you just lived for yourself, you're not qualified. You cannot lie in the spirit world, but must answer honestly, explaining what you did. If you can say, "I lived for the world and the will of God," you can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In order to help us become children of God, Father teaches us to serve the world and work to fulfill God's will. The qualification to be a child of God comes from True Parents. If we were born from True Parents physically as well as spiritually we could automatically inherit what they have accomplished; children have the right to inherit everything from their parents. If we can claim that we followed True Parents' way of life as loyal children, thereby inheriting their achievements, we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
We must accomplish this in our lifetime. How can we claim that True Parents are our parents? We all know we must love and unite with True Parents. But how can we love and unite with them when we don't even live together with them? To unite with them means to inherit their faith and the heart, love and personality of God, which they embody. When we do this we become their children, living for the sake of God and the world, and we automatically become citizens of Heaven. We must do this, there is no other way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We are now in training. Our centers may be small, but they are training grounds to inherit these four things.
God didn't give us fallen nature. Fallen nature has nothing to do with God, but came about through the fall. God's heart aches to see His precious children dominated by fallen nature; He longs to see His divine nature being expressed through man. Man's mind and body should be guided by heavenly nature, not fallen nature. The root of all sin is original sin, which connects us to Satan. We cannot remove original sin by ourselves. True Parents cut our connection to Satan by giving us the Blessing, which is a condition to remove our original sin. We have some sins that True Parents cannot remove: inherited, collective and personal sins. Whose responsibility is it to remove them? Not True Parents', but ours. We must remove them ourselves. Inherited sins stem from our many ancestors (some good, others bad) and we have no way of knowing what sins they may have committed. We must also resolve our joint and personal sins by living together with others. We can never rid ourselves of our sin and fallen nature by ourselves. The constant contact of working and living with others enables us to remove our fallen nature. We can observe this principle in polishing machines. Two surfaces must come into contact with another to polish something. Likewise our fallen nature can only be ground away by having contact with others. It's impossible to remove our fallen nature if we live alone on a mountain. We must live with other people.
Sometimes members complain that there isn't enough love in our centers, because they don't really understand what they are experienc- ing. Our faults are exposed in center life. If we live alone our faults and fallen nature are never exposed, but in a center we collide with others and everything is revealed. We experience more difficulty, but by overcoming it we overcome our fallen nature and it is gradually dissolved. The purpose of center life is to round out our personalities. We want to embody God's heart and love so we can give it to others; then we can experience harmony in our lives. If you can live in harmony with different types of people, you can have a good family. Otherwise, it will be difficult to establish a harmonious family. God wants you to pass through center life in preparation for your own family life. We should be grateful for the opportunity. I mentioned before that we must all be victors. When we are victorious our Heavenly Father can be victorious as well. If we fail though, God can't be victorious. God wants each one of us to be beyond Satan's accusation, so we must able to subdue Satan.
What do you feel when you see a baby? Healthy babies make you happy, don't they? Just seeing them makes you happy. What does this teach us? God created man to make others happy. Children are a joyful sight because they are innocent and thus closer to man's original state. If man hadn't fallen, everyone would be able to give joy to others because God created man that way. When children are still young just seeing them is a joyful experience. We must become like little children: able to give joy to others. Otherwise we cannot become citizens of God's kingdom. If we cannot make others happy we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
When we examine our life we can see how much we have achieved. Father has explained that if we become true children and establish God's family, we can bring people to our church without even speaking a word. God is waiting for us to mature so He can send people to our church. What will happen if He sends them before we're ready? They will be disappointed and leave. If they do, it will be difficult for them to return. We must create God's family and ideal here in our midst, then people will come automatically. God is waiting for that time. We shouldn't blame people for not coming, because we aren't ready to receive them yet. In Korea, ten blessed wives lived together when pioneering. When they lived in harmony, loving and helping one another they could bring great success. The neighbors became curious; they saw several people living together harmoniously and wondered how they could create such harmony. They visited to find out how it was possible, coming without even being invited. They wanted to stay with our members. Many people came in this way. This is true witnessing.
We have many different missions, but we must remember that whatever we do our goal is always the same: to become God's children. The prime purpose of fund raising is to help us become children of God, making money is secondary. You not only learn by coming into contact with many people, but can also get rid of your fallen nature. By meeting many different people and overcoming persecution you can develop a rounder personality. Our members often forget this; they overlook the essential point, thinking that fund raising is only to make money. They can never improve their character with such an attitude no matter how long they fund raise; they will probably lose all their power instead. They won't be able to continue because they missed the main goal. If they put more emphasis on maturing as God's children, they will never tire even if they can't make money sometimes, because they can still achieve the essential goal. It's difficult to continue without some result from your effort.
Likewise one goal of witnessing is to bring spiritual children. But to find spiritual children, we must improve ourselves. It's the same when meeting ministers, the first goal is to come closer to God, the second to give God's words. When the primary goal is clear in our hearts, we will never tire, but be able to persevere. I often hear of members who worked hard ultimately leaving the church because they overlooked the primary goal. We must be clear about our goal. Our goal is to become sons and daughters of God and to be able to live harmoniously together with anyone. So whatever our activity, the primary goal is self- perfection. All other goals are secondary. If this isn't clear we can never reach our goal. It's difficult enough to reach our goal when it's clear, so how can we ever get anywhere if it is unclear? We need to clarify our goal before we can accomplish it; we must become one with our True Parents. Of course we pray to accomplish this, but we must also consider how to do it. As I mentioned earlier, the main points are: faith and God's heart, love and truth, i.e. God's personality. If we try to possess these things, unity with God and True Parents will come automatically.
The many nations in Europe should become one, overcoming all nationalistic feelings and interests. Europe should be like one na- tion. How can we ever create a united world if we can't create a united Europe? The European nations all share a common Christian heritage, so if we can't even unite Europe, how can we ever unite different religions and cultures? Impossible. This is why Father brings members of different nationalities together into couples. How else can we come together to form one nation?
I heard that many of you have difficulties with your spouses. I'm sorry about that, but you must remember that you are in that position because you are among the first couples to be blessed in Europe and therefore must solve many historical problems. All past problems must be resolved at this time through you. You shouldn't be discouraged when problems arise, by overcoming them you can solve your ancestors' problems forever. Members often wonder why they experience more difficulties after the Blessing. You should understand that it's not because of the Blessing, but because of your ancestors. This is clear evidence that the Blessing is special. You are in a higher position after the Blessing so your ancestors come to you to solve their problems; that's why you have more problems. Your ancestors have no way to solve their problems because they don't have physical bodies, so they must bring their problems to their descendants, the majority of which live in the fallen world. They could go to them, but without solving original sin, which is the root, they can never solve their problems completely. Since we are freed of our original sin we have the chance to solve our problems, so our ancestors come to us to find help in solving theirs. We are in a special position, so by coming to us they can solve their problems quickly. Of course they cannot speak to us directly, so you may not realize it, but a spiritualist can tell you which ancestors are causing problems and explain it clearly. If you fail to solve these problems they will be passed on to your children and your descendants may face even greater difficulties. So you must try hard to solve any problems that crop up. They're not just your problems, but your lineage's as well.
God needs more people to achieve His ideal. So even though we are immature He asks us to spread His word to the people. The purpose of witnessing is to give God's word to the people; man was created through God's word but because of the fall we lost it. So in a sense we are God's spokesmen, spreading His message. We should be proud to speak God's truth as His representatives. We also want to introduce God's heart to people because they don't know His heart. God also wants to give man His love, and since He has no physical body He wants to use our bodies as His own. We should give God's love to the people and bring them His life. God is the source of life. He wants to connect His life to all mankind so He needs mediators. We must connect people to God's life. Through witnessing we can give God's words to people, introduce His heart and love to them and connect them to God's life.
What merit do we gain from all this? We gain the merit of having worked together with God; this is a valuable thing. Through witnessing we become God's co-workers; God works closely with us. This is such a special situation. We can also mobilize good spirits to help us. We also chase evil spirits away from people we witness to. Evil spirits want to control them, but when we give them God's truth the evil spirits must leave. At the same time we grow spiritually. Our spirit body grows by working with God. We can achieve all this through witnessing. Now you can understand how valuable and important witnessing is. It is a privilege to be able to witness. The worst thing that could happen to us would be to be forbidden to witness. What would happen then? We couldn't gain any of the merit available through witnessing. This chance is gone once we pass away. We must gain the merits available through witnessing while we still have our physical bodies. Actually, we can gain many things through witnessing. You may not always find spiritual children but you can always gain merit. When we clearly understand this we can persevere and won't lose any power because God will be with us. We won't lose anything, in fact we gain much. If we know we are gaining something from our effort, we can continue, otherwise we lose power. We must clearly understand our aim and what we can gain in the process.
I hope all members will be able to fulfill their missions and return joy to God just as a baby gives joy to others. We should be like babies before God, then God can receive joy from us and be pleased with us. This is our goal. If everyone does this, this family will be blessed.
Let us pray:
Our loving Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that we can come to you as members of your family. All people want to become your children, but those who lived in the past didn't have the opportunity we have now. Because of our True Parents we have this wonderful opportunity to become your children. Father, you want to give your love, your heart and your words to all mankind. Until now, nobody could really inherit what you wanted to give us. But now we can receive your truth and love from our True Parents and have the chance to become your true children by inheriting your heart, your love and your personality from them.
Father, we really want to become your true sons and daughters so we can show everyone that we are living with you and that you are working through us to set a good example of heart and love. Father, all people want true happiness and true peace, but they don't know how to reach it because they don't know you. There is no peace or happiness without you. Thus the first thing we must seek is you. When we live with you we can obtain everything we desire. Father, we must tell ail people that you are the source of love and that by becoming one with you they can fulfill their heart's desire.
Father, we live as your family in our centers. Our centers should be like a miniature Kingdom of Heaven you can expand to the national and worldwide levels. First we must become individuals who embody your personality in our lives, then we can experience joy and return joy to you. When we become such people we will be able to establish your nation and world.
Our True Father is now in Danbury. We ask you to be with him, that he can be safe and that he can be released as soon as possible to lead us to establish your kingdom on earth. We also pray for our True Mother and the children; they are sad. We ask you to give them strength to feel hope and to fulfill what you ask of them. We pray also that Mother may be healthy and able to represent True Father in East Garden. We pray for all members around the world, that they may continue their missions successfully, always working together with you. Please give them your blessing, your courage and your strength so that each one can persevere till we gain final victory.
We pray all this in the name of our True Parents. Amen.