God's Warning to the
4. God's Will And Christmas
Today is Christmas, and people around the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. When we think of Jesus, we know that he was not born with an individual purpose, like the average person, but rather that he came to this earth to save the world. Because of the fall, humankind clearly needs a Savior in order to return to God. Humankind is alienated from God, and everyone must go through Jesus in order to return to Him.
It is most important in celebrating this day of Christmas to know the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Without knowing that purpose clearly this celebration is meaningless, so this morning I would like to deliver a message on the topic, "God's Will and Christmas."
When we ask if God's original intention for this world has been completely fulfilled, the obvious answer is no. The will of God was originally thwarted because of the human fall. Through history fallen humankind has been searching for the ultimate fulfillment of the will of God and the purpose of creation. As this providence has been advancing on many different levels of the individual, family, society, nation and world, God's original will or blueprint has never changed.
God is eternal, unchanging, absolute and unique; therefore, the will of God is also eternal, unchanging, absolute and unique. God cannot compromise His original standard because of human failure. He cannot come down to the level of sinful humanity; humans must be lifted up to the level of God.
Jesus Came to Realize the Kingdom of God on Earth
Since the fall, God's will has focused on the goal of restoration. God is determined to save mankind, to show people how to get out of the fallen state and into the original ideal of creation. That is restoration or the providence of salvation. Throughout history people have not been in a position to save themselves. salvation comes instead from God. God must send a Savior to reveal God's original ideal of creation to the world. That man was Jesus Christ.
As you know, God's original intention for this world would not only have been the perfection of an individual, but would have brought the perfection of the family. That would have expanded into the perfection of the clan, society, nation and the world. Had Adam and Eve reached perfection without falling, today's world would be entirely different. We would not see all the disgusting sights that we witness every day. Neither would we see the language barriers and the national barriers separating people. Furthermore, every individual would live to realistically attain perfection and could clearly map out his or her own way of life to reach the ultimate Kingdom of Heaven. The problem today is that humans do not know the living God and lack proper direction. People live random, wandering lives. In the original ideal this would never be; everyone would be guided into perfection in a way perfectly parallel with the will of God, and no one could or would wish to live outside that will.
If there had been no fall, humankind would be citizens of the Kingdom of God on earth. The citizens of the Kingdom of God will start their lives here on earth, and after they consummate their lives here they will automatically be elevated into the Kingdom of God in Heaven, where they will continue as families.
There was always a blueprint in the mind of God, the original plan that always has been and will always remain perfect, even though the physical realization of these plans has never yet been seen. Jesus prayed, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Jesus knew the perfection of God's will in Heaven and he brought that will to earth, coming to establish perfection here. That was God's plan.
The Living Jesus Was the Perfect Mediator of Salvation
Jesus Christ came for the will of God, to transmit God's will to the chosen nation of Israel. God was moving in a certain direction and Jesus Christ was moving parallel to that direction, so certainly the people of Israel were supposed to move in a way parallel to Jesus. If all three had been moving parallel in one direction, God's ultimate will could have been fulfilled in that nation. God and Jesus were united, and all that was needed was to have the people of Israel unite with Jesus. After fulfillment on the national level, expansion of that fulfillment to the worldwide level would have been assured.
Jesus came as priest to be received by the people of Israel. He brought the great opportunity to fulfill the condition for restoration of the garden of Eden. Everything was lost in the garden of Eden, but everything could have been restored by the chosen nation of Israel if they had united with the Messiah. The bloody battles that occurred for many centuries after Jesus' appearance should never have been. God had prepared Israel for many thousands of years to be ready to accept the Messiah when he appeared. Although Jesus did not appear in the way that most of the Jews of his time expected, they still should have had the wisdom to accept and work together with the Messiah the day he came. Thus, John the Baptist in preparing the way for Jesus, declared to the world, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." Jesus repeated the same warning, with his first words being, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."
The Messiah was able to understand and reason with the heart of God so that he could be united with God's love. The exceptional human qualities of his personality allowed him to connect with the people of Israel. He was the bridge between God and all the fallen world, and by accepting him the people would have been accepting and uniting with God. God's will was the acceptance of the Messiah, not his rejection. Jesus was truly the Messiah, and through the total obedience of the people he should have been given the power to lead Israel.
Jesus' death was not suicide; it was an execution. Today the Christian doctrine preaches salvation by the blood of Jesus. But it must be asked whether God and Jesus subscribe to this doctrine. In the Bible is recorded the story of a prostitute who was condemned to death and about to be stoned. Jesus said to the people gathered around her, "Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Everyone self-consciously dropped their stones. After everyone had drifted away in shame, Jesus spoke to the accused woman, saying, "Has no one condemned you'? Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." What does this mean? By his own words Jesus offered forgiveness. Even before Jesus shed one drop of blood there was already salvation. No one had to wait for Jesus to die. There was salvation in accepting the word of Jesus. That's in the Bible. He did not give a rain-check by saying, "I will forgive you and save you, but wait until I die on the cross." Jesus offered salvation to everyone by the word of God. God's plan of salvation does not require bloodshed. The word salvation means that the garden of Eden shall be here on earth, with living men, women, and families. What we need is living consummation, not bloodshed and death.
Adam, Jesus, and the Second Coming Are for the Same Purpose
God has not yet seen the perfection of His original plan here on earth, however, even after the coming of Jesus Christ. Because of the crucifixion Jesus could not accomplish the full purpose of his coming, the realization of the ideal of Eden. It was not at all God's original plan to fulfill the ideal by killing the Messiah. If that was indeed God's method, then just sending him to a nation that was unprepared to understand him would have been sufficient. Sacrifice is sometimes necessary, but God did not intend the sacrifice of human life as the key to complete salvation. Because of the crucifixion Jesus Christ was not able to bring humankind to the fullest degree of individual perfection or to family, societal or national perfection. Therefore, it is most logical that the Messiah must come a second time.
What will Jesus do when he comes? Will he come to wipe out the world? The word "judgment" is frequently misunderstood to mean that God will wipe out everything in anger. That is not the purpose of the Messiah's coming a second time. The whole purpose is to fulfill the mission that was left undone 2,000 years ago, to work for individual, family, societal, national and world perfection. Judgment is the constructive work of God to see the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
The work of God is realistic and physical. By interpreting the Bible literally, many Christians anticipate Jesus' appearance in the sky, but there are problems with this view. People perceive God as being supernatural, someone who could perform even the miracle of bringing Jesus on the clouds. But why would Christianity be necessary in that case? Why would faith be necessary? Why didn't God use supernatural power to build up the Kingdom of God in the first place? Why has He had to wait for 6,000 years to accomplish this?
I want you to know that God's will in sending Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago perfectly parallels the coming of Adam in the garden of Eden. The Lord of the Second Advent will come for the same purpose. In other words, God's will, Adam's purpose, Jesus' purpose and the purpose of the Second Coming are all the same. Truth is unchanging, being the beginning and the end. The will of God cannot be changed or tarnished by time but will be the same forever. God has a formula, and when it is fulfilled God will seal it. That particular formula is still there, unfulfilled; God is waiting for man to fulfill that pure, unadulterated standard.
Jesus the True Man, One with God
What is a true man? Is the President of the United States automatically a true man? The true man is one who perfectly fits God's framework, meaning that if God is round, that true man is perfectly round, and if God is square, that true man is perfectly square. From day to night, from eternity, to eternity he will not deviate from that standard.
How do we know Jesus was a true man? He didn't write a big sign on his forehead or get a Ph.D. He didn't have any extraordinary size or power. Why do we know him to be a true man? We know Jesus was a true man because his way of life was parallel with the will of God and fit perfectly the description of God's way of life. We know that Jesus Christ was born solely for the will of God, that he lived solely for the will of God, and that he died solely for the will of God. At the critical moment of Jesus' death on the cross he died as a Messiah and with the dignity of a Messiah, not as an ordinary man, a sad man, or a man taking cover. Jesus could not give up the will of God by resenting the people's adamant opposition to his efforts to save them. He deeply felt, "Even though the Roman Empire opposes me now, it shall receive my mercy. Even though the Israelites oppose me, they shall receive my mercy." Therefore, Jesus had room to forgive them, room to pray for them and to embrace them.
Jesus was a true man because he perfectly lived the life of God. He was a walking God. There was no separation between God and Jesus, and because no one can destroy God no one can destroy Jesus Christ. The crucifixion was not his destruction; God manifested the power of resurrection so that the world could see that Jesus was never destroyed.
What Attitude Is Needed in Order to Receive the Messiah?
Since the fulfillment of perfection was not obtained in Israel, God prepared Christianity as the second Israel, as the foundation upon which the second Messiah could come. To lay that foundation is the task of Christianity. The ultimate goal of Christians the world over is to receive the Messiah. Many Christians think that the Messiah will command extraordinary miracles to happen which will solve all the world's problems in one moment, instantly making the world the Kingdom of God. This is their ambiguous understanding, but it could not possibly be so.
When the Messiah comes the second time, he will start from the very bottom of man's situation and advance step by step to the height of the Kingdom. He brings the pattern which the rest of the world should follow and he will not compromise with the world. He will initiate the final showdown between good and evil. According to God's original standard, are modern-day Christians ready to be lifted up to the Kingdom of God in heaven as perfected men and women? Not at all. They must transform themselves and change to fit into the pattern that the Messiah will bring; as the second Israel, Christians are to be the first people to change themselves into that model.
Many Christians have been steadfastly waiting for Christ to come again -- on a cloud. If he came on a cloud, perhaps wearing a parachute, he would be recognized and honored as the Messiah, undoubtedly. But isn't there any chance at all that he would not come on a cloud, but would appear as a regular person? After all what kind of a Messiah would mankind need: one who descends from the clouds as a supernatural virtually non-human being; or one who is one of us, with the same flesh and the same mind? Certainly, people need a real person to relate with in the position of Christ.
Jesus described himself as "the way, the truth, and the life." It really didn't make any difference which manner he came into the world - even if he had come on the clouds, clouds are not the way, the truth and the life. It was Jesus himself who was important, nothing else. However he came to the world, he taught clearly about the way to live, the truth for mankind and how to gain life. Also, Jesus was "the love'; he did not say that, but he was the love for the world.
Would humanity prefer to receive a Messiah who came dramatically on a cloud, without teaching and being all those things which Jesus was, or a Messiah who came normally but was able to convey those precious understandings? Certainly, humanity would value the second kind of Messiah.
How well do you know the will of God? Many Christians are convinced that God's will for them is to seek only their own chunk of Heaven, and they could care less about the fate of the rest of the world. Meanwhile the nation and the world are crumbling, and instead of feeling responsible, they expect God to handle everything. That is not true Christianity.
I want you to know clearly that God's and Jesus' target is the world, not just one man, one race, one people or one nation. God intended the Messiah to accomplish the fulfillment of perfection, not to create a multitude of denominations. He still is determined to achieve that one ultimate goal of perfection and unity between people.
How can a divided and bickering Christianity exemplify Jesus' ideal?
I have seen what the Kingdom of God is like in the spirit world, and ultimately you too will see that God's Kingdom is not organized in the same divided way that religions are here. Such separation is truly contrary to the will of God. The conflict and division between religious people has been carried over into spirit world and brings grief to God. Yet that has been conventional faith.
How Can You Become True Sons and Daughters of Christ?
We believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah because we also want to become the sons or daughters who can fulfill the will of God. Jesus died for the sake of the mission, not just to acquire his own chunk of Heaven. Therefore, don't ever worry about your own heaven, but worry about bringing down the Kingdom of God to your society and to this world. If you are like that, when you say to God, "I don't want to go to the Kingdom of God," God will chase after you and personally install you in the highest position in His Kingdom.
Jesus never complained to God about the rebelliousness of the very people he had been sent to save and never ceased caring about them. That was not Jesus' heart. Jesus knew clearly that his mission was not just the salvation of Israel but of the world. Jesus as the son of God was perfectly united with God in will and in heart. Because of that oneness, Jesus Christ could willingly die for the rest of the world.
How can you become the true sons and daughters of Christ? By becoming perfectly one with Jesus Christ, one with his spirit and one with his heart. If you are perfectly united with Jesus Christ, you can be a willing sacrifice for the salvation of the rest of the world. God would be most pleased to hear Jesus pray, "God, Your goal is world salvation. Please use me and my Christian brothers and sisters as Your sacrifice to fulfill Your work." The true Christians are those who are willing to sacrifice themselves, their own church and their denomination for the fulfillment of the will of God for world salvation.
Looking at the 2,000 years of Christian history, we can see that millions of Christians have prayed deeply and unselfishly to God. In the beginning of Christianity, what do you think was the predominant prayer? Their constant plea to God was, "Oh, Lord, please send Your son again as You promised." That was very different from the kinds of prayers most people are praying today: "Lord, please help my family to be prosperous; bless my church," etc.
A true Christian could not pray for God's help and blessing for only his family. Those who pray only for their own chunk of God's blessing will not end up in Heaven. After knowing the truth of God's situation we can only pray, "God, I am ready to be Your sacrifice. Use me as Your instrument; fulfill Your will for world salvation through me." Such people will create the Kingdom of God.
The Reality of the First Christmas
To better know the heart of Jesus, let us recall his situation at the first Christmas. Today there are so many churches which are observing the birth of Christ with celebrations and rejoicing. The traditional attitude has been one of praise for the way in which the Messiah was born in a stable and laid in a manger on straw. But how could humankind be proud of the son of God being born in a stable?
The Jews were prepared by God to receive and assist Jesus, but did people really have the slightest idea of who Jesus was and what they were supposed to do in order to help him fulfill the will of God? They did not know a thing. Was there anyone who understood Jesus' mission as an individual, his mission to restore his family, the nation around his family, and finally the whole world? It is very clear that there was no one, either secular or religious, who helped Jesus accomplish his mission.
If there was anyone at all who understood Jesus and helped him it was God Himself. God knew, but no one else except Jesus understood his responsibility. Was God content and happy while looking down on His son born in a stable, crying out in the cold, with no one around him knowing what they were supposed to do, and with Satan searching intently to find some way to stop him? Could God feel easy in that situation?
Let us go back and think in a little more detail about what the immediate environment was like. Mary was Jesus' mother, but Joseph was not his father. When Joseph married her, Mary was pregnant and Joseph knew that it was not his child she carried. Joseph did not know anything except what he was told in one short dream. He was a righteous man so he married Mary as he was instructed to do by an angel, but how long do you think Joseph could feel righteous and happy about it? Don't you think he kept on wondering and repeatedly asking her, "Whose baby is it?" Could Mary just casually answer, "Oh, it was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so you should be happy'? Even if Mary had truthfully said that, do you think that Joseph would have responded with joy?
Be realistic and imagine yourself in that position. Suppose everyone respects you as a very generous man, but you have to marry some woman who is pregnant with someone else's child. If she told you that it was conceived by the Holy Spirit then perhaps one day you would not have resentment, but could you still feel generous for all the years afterward? If one of you were in Joseph's situation, hearing gossip and criticism all around, would you feel very happy and content with Mary? Would you be glad to serve the child once he was born and sacrifice to protect him from evil?
It is likely that Joseph asked Mary many times whose baby she carried, because he was curious and because he tried to understand. But remember that at that time an unmarried woman who became pregnant was required by Mosaic law to be stoned for committing adultery. At first Joseph probably thought he would understand, but in the long run he could not accept the situation. Do you think that their relationship was happy for very long? It is probable that they quarreled and distrusted each other rather than fully understanding and cooperating in love.
Once Jesus was born the rift no doubt became even greater, and Joseph looked upon Jesus as something which was not wanted and which had ruined his relationship with Mary. Judging from the reality of human nature this was the situation that probably existed all through Jesus' life. Because of their parents' attitude towards Jesus, even his own brothers and sisters would not have respected him, much less have thought that he was the son of God. They would have even treated him worse than other children because he was different.
The Bible records that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for Passover, and when they left the city, they didn't even bother to check whether Jesus was with them. They became aware of his absence only after a full day's journey. Even in an average family, can you imagine parents leaving a boy of Jesus' age all alone in a crowded city?
We can safely assume that Mary and Joseph quarreled over this. Joseph might have said, "Forget about it. Let's leave," and Mary had to go along. But because Mary was insistent, and Joseph knew that she would not yield, they turned back again to find Jesus and bring him home with them.
While Mary was pregnant and while the disharmony between Mary and Joseph continued, don't you think that rumors went around the whole neighborhood about how they often fought? In a neighborhood as close together as an ancient Jewish village, chances are that everybody knew that Mary and Joseph did not get along for some reason. The high priest Zachariah and all the relatives at least knew and disapproved of the situation.
Joseph's family knew that Jesus was not really one of them, and even though they might not have discussed it in front of him, Jesus was not respected. Even now in a society as permissive as America's, if a girl has a baby whose father is not known then there is some talk about it. A much harsher situation prevailed in Jesus' time, when an unwed mother was punishable by death. Certainly there would have been cruel gossip. Could Jesus have grown up happy and contented like an average child under these circumstances, or can you imagine that Jesus was caught in an unbearable situation? Every child that Jesus played with certainly must have made comments about things heard from his parents. Jesus just could not have had normal relationships with other children.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Jesus was born to save all of the people. He was the only begotten son of God, and his object of salvation was exactly the people who ostracized him. The way the King of kings was mistreated and misunderstood by the people around him was vastly different from God's ideal for Jesus.
What Kind of Person Could Have Consoled Jesus?
Did anyone around Jesus try to defend him? There is not one account which records such dedication. Jesus was mistreated and persecuted by his own family because they completely lacked any understanding of who he was. Even without his being King of kings and the son of God, was he even treated as well as an ordinary child?
Common sense would say that even on holidays or special occasions no one made special clothing or gifts and presented them to Jesus. The brothers and sisters who were more favored by Joseph might have gotten something, but even Mary was reluctant to anger Joseph by giving anything to Jesus. Of course, Jesus must have wanted to wear the special clothes and eat the special food of that time, as we all do, but no one would give him any.
Jesus definitely knew that he was special. He heard what the people around him thought about him, but his own self-image was completely different. From the time he was small he could never talk openly in his own way. The only consolation he could seek was in communication with God, and he spent most of his time praying to God and seeking His guidance. As a result, Jesus became stronger and stronger in this period, and circumstances compelled him in only one direction -- toward God and the realization of His ideal. He knew that mankind's thinking was vastly different from God's and that it had to be corrected; he also knew that society understood nothing about what God wanted and that he himself would have to change it. Because of his adverse circumstances Jesus prayed intensely to God, to the point where God could talk to him and teach him what he would need for his future work.
Under these circumstances, do you think that during Jesus' years on earth anyone celebrated his birthday with real joy? As Jesus grew older and knew more and more clearly who God was and what his own mission was supposed to be, his heart became heavier and more agonized and his environment became more difficult to tolerate.
The most precious friend for Jesus would have been the person who came to him, not with many presents or words of congratulations, but rather with a tearful heart to console him in his situation and to discuss with him what he was going to do in the future. If someone like this had been there then Jesus would have been far happier than if someone had come with presents. That person could have been one of his own brothers or sisters. Knowing his hidden suffering, he or she could have brought just a small piece of cake wrapped in a handkerchief to give to Jesus on his birthday, saying, "The people don't understand you, but I will try to help you. You must not be disappointed." Jesus certainly would have welcomed such a person far more than someone who came with a fancy present for him and then went away. If there had been one such brother or sister in Jesus' family, then Jesus would have remembered him for a long time and would have spoken about it.
When Jesus felt despondent, he had to pray to God more intensely, and being moved by Jesus' fervent prayer, God taught him, "You will later become great in this way and rise to this particular position." That's the way it was supposed to be anyway, with God telling him many things in detail. Because of these experiences, Jesus knew that God was his best friend and the one closest to him, quite unlike Joseph or Mary, or even his brothers and sisters.
Jesus was very serious in thinking about the national situation at that time, praying about how to change things. He knew what God had in His plan for himself, the Israelites and all humankind. God is spirit, but by having a body Jesus could understand the existing situation of the world, and he knew that he had to be the central point to bring that world back to God. Do you think that he wanted very much for someone to show some understanding, or that he wanted to hear even one word of love spoken to him, knowing that without him no one had any chance to return to God? Jesus yearned to hear the high priest say, "We must prepare ourselves to receive you, because that's the only way for us to return to God."
Do we know of anyone who understood and said this? To the last, the people did not understand him, and as a result Jesus was crucified. When Jesus died on the cross he was unspeakably despondent. Jesus was made absolutely desperate by the people's lack of understanding, but how would God have felt at losing him from the earth, and at having to prepare once more for thousands of years to send the Messiah?
When Jesus was in the deepest anguish on the cross God's feeling matched his exactly. There could not be any difference whatever. When you are really indignant and absolutely furious inside, can you even think about giving happiness or blessing? When someone comes near you at such a time do you feel like being generous and open-hearted? This is exactly the feeling God had as He watched His son dying on the cross.
With this understanding, we know how much deep pain God is caused by the traditional belief of Christian churches that Jesus came to die, As I said, it is our relationship to the living Jesus that brings fellowship with God. Hence our salvation comes through the resurrection and our relationship with the resurrected Jesus, not through the blood of the cross. Yet even the resurrection could by no means compensate for the damage done by Christ's lonely crucifixion. God's ultimate will required God's chosen people to unite with Jesus in the flesh and go with him to fulfill the Kingdom of God on earth. His death blocked the providence for world restoration and made a Second Coming necessary.
In this desperate situation Jesus realized the significance of what had happened and said, "I will come back again." Can you now understand that it is not possible for Jesus to come again on the clouds in a happy way and magically restore the world? When millions of people sing hymns and exchange presents and wish each other good fortune on his birthday, is Jesus overjoyed and happy? While he loves his people, there remains deep in his heart the painful memories of the failure of that part of his mission, which he only could have fulfilled if people had welcomed and consoled him while on earth.
The True Celebration of Christmas
Is there anyone who can celebrate Jesus' birthday in its true meaning, understanding his situation and what he was supposed to do? There are millions of people who celebrate Christmas because everyone else does; but who knows Jesus' situation and then commemorates the day? The only celebration which would have meaning for him would be when one who suffers more than Jesus and is more despondent than Jesus himself comes to Jesus, were to say, "I have a difficult situation but your situation is much worse. I would like to celebrate your birthday nevertheless. Forget about your sorrow for a moment." When Jesus sees Christians like that, he will burst into tears and momentarily celebrate his birthday.
There are many people here in this auditorium, but what kind of people are you and what are you supposed to do? Shall we get many good things by using Jesus' name, or shall we help Jesus? What is this church designed by God to do? What is the purpose of sacrificing ourselves? By sacrificing we are to fulfill the idea which Jesus pursued and thus bring everyone into unity.
At Jesus' time the people did not understand him, but today everyone can understand this realm of heart. If someone in the most lowly servant position had come to console Jesus and talk with him, Jesus would have felt much closer to him than to all the other powerful people at that time. Because that person's heart would have been closer to Jesus', he would have been close in every other way as well. Jesus wouldn't have stopped that person from coming just because he wasn't in the same noble position as Jesus; he would have embraced him right there and burst into tears. That is the realm of the heart, the standard of value which surpasses any national or societal boundary and which can link people forever.
Can people feel complete oneness simply by sitting around a plush banquet table eating steaks and good food? It is rather in the really desperate situation where everybody sheds tears together that heartfelt unity with Christ is realized. Why would you prefer the second setting? You feel drawn that way, not because you like struggle, but because Jesus feels that way and God feels that way. The only reason why everyone must also do such a thing is in order to share in whatever God has for you.
This is also true for me. People would prefer many other things, but even though the family may drift away or the society may not give a ready welcome or the world may not understand, we cannot abandon the way which God has opened for those who would follow Jesus, no matter how difficult it is. This is why I am doing what I am doing. The sole purpose for my being here is to have you follow exactly the same path as God Himself. Do you agree with that? Sometimes it is very difficult but this is the only sure way to become a friend of Jesus and of God Himself.
We chose the same way as Jesus did and in that way we can understand and participate in the friendship of God. If a woman is going to follow Jesus she can follow with the heart of Mary and relieve that situation of 2,000 years ago by trying to be the best possible Mary. If it is a man, then he should try to serve Christ in the position of Joseph. To follow Christ, a person may also follow like Jesus' own brothers and sisters, who were meant to understand him completely and love him and do the most difficult things for him. By doing this and becoming one with Jesus, Jesus and God Himself will never be able to say in the future, "I don't know you." Those who are following Christ as a real friend can console him, going over the path of thorns in this world and feeling fury at ail the injustice done to him. Such people can say, "They don't understand. I will compensate for their mistakes, so don't blame them or be agonized at the situation. Try to forget about them and let's do it together." If the Messiah had had such followers then certainly God would have been able to come and unfold the rest of the dispensation. If someone came to Jesus to express regret at his difficulties then Jesus would answer, "Well, it is difficult but I can bear it. But how about you? Your path is more difficult." Such a flow of heart is the foundation for Heaven on earth.
The world is celebrating Christmas in its best way, but let us celebrate Christmas in the truest sense, understanding the true situation of Jesus and the meaning of his second coming, devoting all our heart and love to becoming one in love with God. Then we are the participants in all that belongs to God.
We should remind ourselves that Jesus never had one real birthday celebration when he was on earth, and it will be immensely meaningful to him to see the many people who are gathered here to celebrate in the true sense. Wouldn't you be grateful to participate in the true Christmas celebration? Do you think Jesus would be happy to see that the people gathered here have had tears and sweat staining their faces, and have gone without beautiful clothes to do God's work? Do you feel confident that Jesus would be deeply moved to see you gathered here to sing Christmas songs and wish him happy birthday?
You must know for sure that you are on the road to becoming sons and daughters of God, to whom even God and Jesus can be thankful for what you have done. Such people are the most beautiful women in the world and the greatest men. Those of you who are determined that for the rest of your lives you will stay close to the path of Christ, embracing the past and present and future until God's will is fulfilled, raise your hands. God bless you. Let us pray.
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