The Words of the Burley Family
Face to Face
Philip K. Burley
Experiences with Jesus
Before True Father (Dr. Sun Myung Moon) made his first appearance to me in a dream, Jesus appeared to me one evening, shortly after I accepted the Divine Principle, I was lying on my bed when Jesus appeared at my bedside. He told me that I must go through the crucifixion with him. At that point I was suddenly on the cross. I could see and feel the nails pierce my feet and hands. I could feel the crown of thorns on my head. I lay in my bed, writhing in the total anguish and pain of the crucifixion; I was there with Jesus on the cross.
After it was over, I knew the deeper pain was in Jesus' heart, and I knew that if I continued to go this way I would experience an ongoing crucifixion of my self. How sober I felt!
Another time Jesus appeared in a dream, letting me know how much he loved me, how he was a man of flesh as any other man, and that as much as he had tried and desired, he could not complete his work. For this he was most sad and, in a way, broken. I shall never forget his personal love and kindness in this dream.
Jesus appeared to me again for a last time. I was in a place not unlike heaven in the spirit world. Jesus appeared in the distance and began approaching me. At one point he stopped and gave me an ancient salutation. As he did so, a voice spoke and all around me the atmosphere rumbled with the sound. It was like the voice of God and it said, "This is Jesus, the Christ."
Another man dressed in Oriental garb appeared beside Jesus - it was Father. They then became one and Father went inside of Jesus, and Jesus' face became magnificently radiant as he continued to walk towards me. He took both of my hands in his, and I felt tears running down my cheeks. Satan appeared in the dream, accusing me of my past sins. Jesus only became more compassionate. And I spoke, saying, "I have waited all of my life to meet Jesus." Jesus spoke to me from his mind, "I understand."
As I woke from the dream, Jesus was standing beside my bed. Then only his face and piercing blue eyes hung in the air against the background of the darkened room. Finally, his face and then his eyes gradually faded out of sight.
Living to Witness
From then on True Father began to appear. And since I was alone, he came to guide me in the big and little things of life. There was no way I could doubt, no way I could turn away. I quickly outlined the Principle and witnessed wherever I went. I never allowed myself to eat a meal without witnessing. I fasted much and prayed a lot. The real work had just begun.
There is so much to be told from those early days. Witnessing was our life's major focus. We ate, drank and slept witnessing. Through this experience God raised me to understand His heart and the principle as a reality. Through witnessing we came to experience the reality of central biblical character's lives. Witnessing became a joy and the highest reason to live. From the time I got up until I retired at night, I thought of little else.
Because I witnessed so much, I received criticism from fellow soldiers and officers, especially from the sergeant in charge of my barracks. After an unceasing siege of criticisms and slanders, he came to me one evening after work to "humbly" ask if he could talk to me. We went into his room. He began speaking almost before I could sit down.
"Burley, I owe you an apology."
"Last night I had a dream about you. I was shown the fall of man and what you are teaching is true. God told me to stop persecuting you because you are His man."
I didn't say much. He now wanted to hear all of "my teachings", and finally I did teach him, though he never accepted it. But Heaven was ever giving uplifting testimonies from other people who through their witness testifies, in spite of themselves, to our work.
Help from the Spirit World
Through intense witnessing I paid a lot of indemnity quickly. Within two months I had two spiritual sons. Through an experience with one of them I was to relate again the help of Heaven and how spirit world is ever watching to help.
Peter, my second spiritual son, and I drove down into Lawton one night to witness. The place was deserted. We headed back to the post, when all of a sudden I knew I had to return to Lawton. I told Peter to immediately turn the car around, that there was someone we had to meet. He was puzzled and a bit miffed at me. Still, he obeyed. With a little anger in his voice he said, "Where do you want me to go?" Without thinking I said, "City Hall."
When we arrived there were several people on the lawn. Peter said, "Which one" I pointed to a American Indian woman sitting on a park Bench, "That one."
I walked directly up to her and asked her if I might speak to her. She said, "Yes, I have been waiting for you." Peter nearly fainted. I asked, "How did you know?"
She said, "Jesus came to me in prayer this morning and told me to go to the park bench in Lawton at the City Hall. There you will meet two young men who have a great message for you."
I was so humbled. Jesus had not only appeared to me in dreams and at my bedside, he was personally opening the way for me to witness to others.
Again, though the woman never accepted the Principle, I did have a chance to sing and speak at her church and made overtures to teach her. Although there was no opening, I had gained badly needed experience.
A Promise to Each of Us
I would like to close with this one final spiritual experience. I tell this experience because it testifies to the authenticity of Divine Principle and the fulfillment of its personal and universal promises. It was given not only for myself, but to be shared, that others who are walking this path can find hope and conviction to go on.
Father was in Danbury the night that I bad the following dream. I was riding with Father in the back seat of a gray limousine. We were on our way to a coliseum where Father was scheduled to speak. Father turned to me and in a quiet parental voice, told me that he wanted me to speak in his place.
"O.K. Father, I'll do it."
When we arrived at the site he said, "Do a good job, Philip. The people are an in there, waiting to see you." "I'll do my best Father, for you."
As I walked onto the arena area, I could see the place was packed. 60 000 people filled every seat. I could see our members sprinkled among the non-members.
At one end of the place there was a tall stage especially erected for the talk. It was built of wood, painted light blue and bad three levels to it, each being smaller than the one below, until at the top, there was only room for one person to stand. There was a ladder painted white at the back of the stage by which I was to ascend to the top.
I bowed my head to say a prayer before climbing up. As I looked down, I suddenly became aware of the clothes I was wearing. I wore a dark blue jacket, a white shirt, red tie, white pants and white shoes.
Out of my mouth came the word: "America". I knew I represented America. I climbed to the top and people began shouting my name and applauding wildly. This continued sometime until I put my hands up and began to speak. At that moment I woke up.
This dream took place just before my 21st spiritual birthday. It was the end of a 21 year course. I knew that on True Parents' foundation, the merit of their ancestors and their work, including bringing and giving the Blessing, that I had passed through an historical course for America. Even though I made mis- takes many times, because I prayed in Their Name and did work in the Parents' Name, God recognized me and blessed me with that dream.
This is the promise to all those who never say die and remain faithful even when everything else says "Leave! Stop! Give up!" As long as our hearts remain linked and we keep trying, God will never give up on us. Then Heavenly Father will take our imperfect faith and offerings and add them to True Parents' great faith and great offerings, and combine this with His own merciful love and forgiveness to bring us home.
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