The Words of Young Oon Kim
Speeches on Unification Teaching
Young Oon Kim
Unification Theological Seminary
Barrytown, New York
Our first topic in this session is the Unificationist concept of indemnity and restoration. What do we mean by indemnity? This is another question we are often asked. According to Websters Dictionary, Indemnity means "exemption from incurred hurt, loss or damage", and the verb indemnify means "to make compensation for incurred hurt, loss or damage." However, in Divine Principle those words signify that whatever wrong we do, we must pay the price. According to Reverend Moon, if you don't pay yourself, then your children or grandchildren will have to pay. In order to realize God's final dispensation, all the grave mistakes made throughout salvation history have to be remedied by a divinely-appointed liberator With his spiritual insight, Reverend Moon was able to discover these historical mistakes and failures. Stage by stage he indemnified them and proceeded with the course of restoration. Each of these was a spiritual battle with Satan and a necessary step toward the final restoration. One of the main tasks of Reverend Moon was to pay historical indemnity and carry on the restoration program.
Truly, therefore, restoration via indemnity is the central core of the Unification Principle. According to some Christian teaching, to save the world God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and had him killed on the cross. Jesus thus atoned for the sins of mankind through his suffering and blood. Christians also assert that by accepting in faith the redemptive efficacy of the cross they attain complete salvation. But Reverend Moon would say that salvation through Christ means he was to realize during his lifetime the establishment of the earthly Kingdom of God. Hence, Jesus' saving work is unfinished. That work will be completed at the Second Advent. The cross is, therefore, the symbol not of man's salvation and victory but of his unbelief and failure.
The message of Jesus focuses on the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom begins when restoration is completed. Restoration will be completed when indemnity is fully paid. Restoration through indemnity is the most crucial part of the new leader's role. Superficial observers criticize Reverend Moon as a big businessman, or a big showman conducting mass weddings, holding international conferences, running newspaper companies -- without the slightest idea about his long spiritual combats and accomplishments which only God and Satan know well. Some people feel that our Divine Principle lectures are merely intellectual. But from the beginning, Reverend Moon has emphasized high spirituality and experiencing God's heart through suffering and constant prayer. So Reverend Moon himself is thoroughly a man of prayer.
He organized the Unification Church in Korea in 1954. From the very outset he told us, we are not a denominational movement. The church is not our goal nor the matrix of the Kingdom. It is merely the means and instrument to teach the Divine Principle, to raise members spiritually and carry on God's work. When we reach our goal, the church will be dissolved.
What is our goal? Reverend Moon sees clearly, it is God's intention that all denominations and all religious bodies, religion and philosophy, science and arts, be united to work for the ultimate purpose of God's providence.
His theology is based on the Christian Bible, but goes far beyond the Bible. His religion is deeply rooted in Christianity, but goes far beyond Judeo-Christian tradition. So, narrow-minded Christian leaders may call him a heretic. But Reverend Moon's goal is to fulfill God's ultimate purpose, establishing His reign on earth as it is in heaven. Thus we shall achieve unity between our spiritual life and physical life. Heaven and earth will be united in harmony, and God's direct dominion will be established throughout the entire cosmos.
If Reverend Moon spoke to you today, he would say, "I want you to study Unification Principle and our movement very seriously and pray about them for your own sake. And seriously consider God's long-cherished desire for building one world." The signs of this divine goal are visible everywhere. Any honest person would not deny this. Reverend Moon would say: You stay in your own denomination and church with full awareness of what God is doing today. However, we are obliged to cooperate together and promote this sublime cause under the grand ideal of God's Kingdom.
I would now like to explain briefly about spiritual communication. Origen was the most learned scholar of the ancient Greek Church, and he believed that our earthly life is a school where all men are taught to realize their potentialities as God's children. If they fail to train themselves adequately before death they would have to continue their education in the beyond. As much as possible, we should lay aside in this life everything which hinders reunion with God our Father. Nevertheless, the opportunity for further development exists in the afterlife. Unification theology agrees with Origen about the continuation of spiritual growth and education in the afterlife.
Most Christians seem to believe that all who accept Jesus as their personal Savior go to the same level of Paradise and will enjoy the same blessing. According to Unificationist teaching, and experiences of many people who have visited the spiritual world, this is not true. Each person finds a place suitable for him, and God does not decide where he should go. There are various levels in the afterlife. One does not change radically upon dying. There is no sudden transformation of one's personality and character. Hence, a person finds himself, initially, in a place appropriate to his spiritual status attained here on earth.
Through afterlife the individual soul is given the opportunity to reach perfection. This process of spiritual growth begins here on earth. The spirit develops by understanding divine truth and doing God's will. In Unificationist terms, each one matures as God's child through the three stages of formation, growth and perfection. No one reaches the highest level until he unites with God through complete harmony with the Divine Heart. Spiritual growth is far simpler and easier here on earth, and some can achieve the ultimate goal before they die.
In the spiritual world every aspect of the human personality persists and is as real as it was on the earthly plane. There is no loss or change of gender. We keep our identities according to the moral character we have realized on earth and how closely we have walked with God.
In the afterlife, the highest spirits appear wonderfully clear, clean, bright, and radiant. As for those who lived selfishly, immorally, greedily, arrogantly -- especially those who denied God or obstructed God's special providence of building the Kingdom -- they appear as deformed, dirty, smelly, and repulsive monsters. Wicked people gravitate to the same realm or level. That is hell. Good, humble, and noble souls who suffered for righteousness, truth and God, are drawn to higher realms of blessedness. This is heaven.
We are now living in a new world. Even a century ago nations were isolated from one another, each with its own closed culture, and they were often rather hostile to one another as well. But now they are open for communication and cooperation with other countries for the sake of mutual well-being.
Similar phenomena are occurring in the spiritual world. In the past there were many groups and societies according to their distinctive religions and cultures. Since there is a correspondence between this world and the spiritual realm, things happening here are reflected there, and vice versa. Naturally the spirit people of the Old Testament Age are residing on one level and the spirits of the New Testament Age inhabit another level. The same is true of believers of all other religions. Now the barriers which existed before are gradually disappearing. Thus, if some have reached a high level of spirituality, transcending denominational and religious boundaries, they are unbounded and free in their activities. I would call them great souls or great sages.
However, we must remember that no one in the spirit world has reached his ultimate destiny. Everybody is now in a transitional stage. But they are eager to reach their goal. The only way to achieve that, is to descend to the earth and cooperate with people here to promote and accelerate God's dispensation of universal restoration.
Through such cooperation the spirits can be elevated to a higher stage and ultimately to perfection, which we call spiritual resurrection. Conversely, with their cooperation, we on earth can accomplish our mission for God much faster and beyond our personal ability. For these reasons, many spirits are actively involved in human affairs at this time.
An unprecedented spiritual advancement is being made in our time. It is the result of divine and human achievement. This is why Jesus and all the saints in Paradise have been descending and energetically cooperating with people on earth. This is what the prophet Joel prophesied long ago:
And it shall come to pass afterward, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:287)
Many people feel this somewhat and wish to know more clearly about it. Hence it is very important for religious leaders to be well aware of this.
Next, we will look at Unificationist views on the Second Advent. Belief in the Second Coming of Christ dates from New Testament times. With Jesus' resurrection appearances, Christians began to expect the imminent return of Christ. In his early Christian period even Paul was ardent in this hope. But later on he seems to have lost interest in it. Although this faith was never clearly abandoned, it faded as time went on. During the Enlightenment, the unscientific and irrational elements of the Christian tradition were criticized, denounced, and dismissed as unthinkable. In the past hundred years, biblical scholars concentrated their attention on historical criticism of scriptures. Sermons on the Second Advent virtually disappeared from the pulpits of the Western World.
However, World War II and its aftermath, brought a sudden change in the spiritual climate. Young people found great interest in Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Vedanta Hinduism, Islamic Sufism, Yoga practice, Hassidic Judaism, and other oriental religions. Tens of thousands of teenagers took to the streets as Jesus People. Other thousands joined the new Catholic charismatic movement. To obtain a spiritual experience, many people experimented with drugs. Millions of American church members in this period left the mainstream denominations because their spiritual hunger and thirst could not be satisfied. This religious interest and enthusiasm were so widespread and powerful that people began to call it America's Second Great Awakening. As a result, there was tremendous interest in parapsychological study and investigation. Even clergymen organized study groups in ESP.
How can we deny that we have now entered the dawn of a New Age?
There is another characteristic feature of our age. People worldwide are aware of a desperate need for harmony and unity because of the rapid advancement of transportation, media communication systems, and a vast political and economic network in which we are all intricately involved. Consequently, international detente, intercultural sharing, interracial friendship, interdenominational cooperation and interreligious understanding and dialog are growing everywhere.
Don't you see now that we need a new revelation from God? Unification Church has been announcing and sharing a new revelation which Reverend Moon received from God. According to his teaching, the Second Advent will be realized through another person incarnating Divine Truth, as Jesus did. The apocalyptic prophecies of Matthew 24 are finding a new, non-literal interpretation and, if we have eyes to see, their fulfillment.
You may wonder by what right I completely dismiss the literal interpretation of Matthew 24. Who more than Jesus understood his own mission? Certainly he well knew that he was the Messiah, come to establish the Kingdom of God. As such he would never have imagined or preached a second coming. What then can we say of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21? They are parts of the post-resurrection story, added by early Christians. They are not the authentic teaching of Jesus.
If Jesus did not teach the apocalyptic second coming reflected in these biblical sources, how did such an idea arise? In Jesus' day some Jews believed in a supernatural coming of the Messiah. According to this view he would arrive on the clouds, amid wars, earthquakes, falling stars, and other such calamities. No evidence exists that Jesus believed or taught such ideas.
There are however, two probable sources for such ideas. First is Zoroastrian beliefs, which some Jews brought back with them from Babylonian exile. Zoroastrianism teaches about the Last Days, cosmic catastrophes, supernatural warfare between the forces of good and evil, physical resurrection of the dead and a future age of happiness and peace.
Second is the Book of Daniel, written just before the Maccabean period, which contains several apocalyptic visions. One of them was the vision of the four beasts and the vision of the Son of Man coming down on the clouds.
Furthermore, with the resurrection experiences which were so astonishing and unexpected, the disciples came to believe that their Master would return soon in an apocalyptic way. Accordingly, the editors of the Synoptic Gospels included this popular view of the Second Advent.
If the literal interpretation of Matthew 24 is erroneous, why is there such high faith among fundamentalist and evangelical groups which firmly hold to this view? The answer to that question is that doctrinal misinterpretation is not in itself a bar to God's spiritual quickening, provided that those holding erroneous views are pure in heart and sincere. That is to say, provided they have not been presented with a higher truth and rejected it on their own authority, without God's corroboration. Though the believers of Paul's day -- by his own word -- saw only "through a glass darkly", their full dedication to God in the light of what they knew of Him, nevertheless allowed a full working of God's Spirit among them.
The faith of some who believe Matthew 24 literally and who are also spirit-filled has several distinctive characteristics. First, in their extended hours of fervent prayer they supplicate God for spiritual gifts and for His Holy Spirit. Second, their hearts are brimming with consciousness of Jesus, gratitude to him, and identification with his sacrifice. Third, they have a deep awareness that this day is the day of the Second Coming, and are eagerly awaiting its fulfillment.
An example of the fervent expectancy and faithful prayer of evangelical believers may be found in Korea. Today in Korea large numbers of Christians are living in a heightened devotional climate with frequent spiritual experiences. Among them prayer is not merely formal or ritualized, but deeply spontaneous, intense, personal, and constant. The largest single church in the world is said to be Seoul's Full Gospel Central Church. Its, pastor is Paul Yonggi Cho, and its membership reached 200,000 in 1981. The members gather in four services each Sunday. They have a prayer mountain where 10,000 people convene each week, praying all night for several days. Many speak in tongues, and healing miracles take place. Seeing these remarkable spiritual phenomena with the highly inspired ministry, the speedy expansion of this church is understandable. It is plugged into the powerhouse of God Almighty.
What a contrast to liberal Christianity! There devotional life is taken causally or formally. Longing to be close to God and ardent prayer for the Holy Spirit are absent. Though free from the doctrinal error of too literal belief, they are left high and dry, far from the wellsprings of spiritual comfort and power, indeed almost without any belief at all.
The true standard of worship is found in John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." What does it mean to worship Him in spirit? Where do you really stand spiritually? When alone, do you feel God is standing by you? Do you at times hear God whispering to you? Do you sometimes feel absolutely dependent on God, realizing your complete powerlessness and helplessness? Sometimes do you have moments of absolute self-renunciation and complete self-denial? At times do you cry -- cry out to God -- in a desperate state of spiritual hunger and thirst, feeling the lack of any power and wisdom within yourself? In such desperate moments, you come close to God and your prayer touches His heart. In this way you will receive great power from God, enabling you to do His work beyond your capacity. In your life and work you can embody God's nature and heart, so that God's consciousness will grow in you. Such deep, spiritual encounters with God are absolutely vital for our devotional life.
Without such inner life in you, the spirituality in your church will decline rapidly. When the work of the Holy Spirit ceases in your church, your flock will feel empty and their spiritual life will be unnourished. Remember, your flock is hungry for the love of God, hungry for the power of God.
They would like to see God, His radiant light -- to know His truth. They would like to hear God's comforting voice -- to feel His loving spirit. When your member's spiritual needs are fulfilled, they will be overwhelmed with willingness to commit themselves to God's work. Then will the liberal church revive.
Now I would like to share with you some information which may appear unrelated to my talk, but for me is meaningfully connected.
One of our Seminary professors visited Rumania a few years ago. A young man had helped him as a guide for a week. Just before their departure he asked the professor in a quiet voice, "Do you know of Reverend Moon?" Fearing that he might be a spy, the professor very slowly and cautiously replied, "He is an electrical engineer, isn't he?" The man thoughtfully responded, saying, "Yes... but does he not have visions?" The Professor was so afraid of being arrested, that he left quickly without giving any clear answer. I don't think the guide was a spy, but was rather a quiet and eager seeker of a new vision which Reverend Moon might have brought for this time. But supposing he were a spy, this indicates that the importance of Reverend Moon's work is perceived even in a Soviet satellite. So, you see how lucky you are to be free to learn about Reverend Moon's vision!
Some time ago, a priest of the Old Catholic Church (Dr. Joel Auster) told us his experience. He prays a lot and has revelatory experiences which he shares with his bishop. The bishop told him another story of a young man who was an atheist. One evening, the young man suddenly saw a bright light and a voice came, saying, "Get baptized!" Being an atheist, he did not know how to be baptized. So he simply took a bath. A few days later, he saw a bright light again and the voice telling him to get baptized Again he took a bath. Then he visited a Christian bishop, asking what this experience meant. The bishop told him, "The next time this happens, ask who is speaking and what he wants you to do." A third time the same bright light and voice came. So the young man asked, "Who are you and what do you want?" The voice replied, "I am St. Seraphim of Sarov and until my relics are returned to their place in Russia, there will not be a revolution (anti-Communist) breaking out in my country. "
So the young man reported to the bishop. The bishop understood it clearly. Years ago, during the Russian Revolution, an Orthodox priest decided to flee the country. The Czar's family gave him a little box of St. Seraphim's holy relics to take with him for safekeeping. He brought it to Mexico to keep it there. The young man understood then the contents of his revelation.
I don't know what you make of this story. To me, it shows that the great saints from different countries or regions are actively working to awaken and guide the people in their part of the earth on behalf of God's general plan for restoration. It shows also that any large scale political or social event can be ignited by a certain spiritual condition or conditions. So you can see how the power of prayer can be effective, though it is invisible and unrecognized by many people.
Finally, I would like to share with you a spiritual message from Pope John XXIII, received by a medium in New Zealand two weeks after his death (6-3-63).
Excerpts from: HERALDS OF THE NEW AGE (Study Centre: Folder No. 25, 3 Glanville Terrace, Parnell, Aukland, C.4, N. Z.)
Pope John XXIII Speaks to the Peoples of the World
Dearly beloved brothers from whom I so recently departed. it is my privilege and duty to speak to you from this higher sphere of existence. What I set down is Truth, and no matter what the reaction, it must be said. It is given in Love which knows no bounds: the Love of God and of Man.
I, Pope John, died. That is to say, I passed from the earthly scene. My spirit departed the body. BUT I LIVE ON, in a world both beautiful and peaceful, governed by love; yet it is, paradoxically, a world which teems with activity.
(Holiness) Let me first say to those who grieve: when anguish sweeps people, it obscures the glory of a rising. You wept, my people, because to you I represented HOLINESS.
Know this: the holiness in me was the holiness which is within all God's children. Perhaps I was privileged to work at it a little longer and a little more diligently than some, BUT THAT WAS ALL... The election bestowed no further holiness upon me, because holiness, which is the True Church, can come only from within. Any outward sign which is not reciprocated within the heart of man is a mockery to God. Remember always, that the radiance of holiness which shines forth from the godly, needs no words to proclaim its presence.
Sometimes a death can be the impetus for the birth of a new and better way of life. I pray that the Cardinals who now gather will be spiritually moved to chose a man younger in years so that the winds of change which I brought to the Vatican will be fanned into a hurricane of activity for the betterment of the people.
All churches built on Love have equal rights in Heaven. I see from this level that no earthly religion has jurisdiction over here, unless that religion be built by men whose every foundations are firmly based upon the Rock of Love. The Church of Rome, mighty in many things, has no monopoly in the eyes of God. All churches operating on a genuine love of truth and love of God and man, have equal rights in Heaven. Pomp and circumstance are but poor imitations unless those who participate in the rituals he of the Golden Heart.
Within the next quarter of a century, the Church of Rome and its sister Churches shall undergo many radical changes. Such changes shall be for the betterment of humanity. God's Children shall no longer be bid to follow blindly, but educated to understand why they must follow a path of righteousness. REASON BEFORE RITUAL must be the order of the day.
Science is on the very threshold of proving that Spirit is a fact. So if any church is to withstand the searing Light of Truth which is even now beginning to break through, it must be prepared to fling wide its doors and let the Cosmic Sunlight in. Churches on earth should he a fraternity, but not a closed fraternity. The Church is only as strong in spirit as are its followers.
Holy privileges demand holy responsibilities. The more a man works for the good of mankind, the more responsibilities he shoulders. Yet with this loving burden comes a great spiritual power bestowed from the Most High. Every member of a church -- any church -- has an essential responsibility towards all other members. No racial discriminations are possible when man is truly spiritual. No social discriminations, either.
From this new perspective, I am astonished to see how many prophets there are in your world today; so much spiritual integrity among ordinary people, some of whom have no connection with any orthodox religion, yet in their higher wisdom know the Truth. These people, in many walks of life, represent the Harvest Period. They are the truly wise who bring Holy Tidings to the earth plane.
(The Forgiveness of Sins) This is a matter entirely between God and man. As I have said, no other man can bestow holiness nor exonerate another for sins committed. No human intercessor can wipe the slate clean. Help can be given, but sins committed are a matter between man and his God. Man is answerable only to God through self. He is not answerable to any church, save the Church Within. Pontiff, poet and peasant, arriving at this Side, are stripped of all and stand only in Spirit before God. Man becomes Truly Holy only through his own thoughts and actions to himself and to his fellows.
(True Priesthood) In any denomination, the True Priest needs be a man of great and divine capacity to Love. This Love must be put above all else. The True Christian needs no pomp and ceremony for his Divinity shines forth when he SEEKS AT ALL TIMES the Path of RIGHT, the Christ Illumination which shines before him. He is rich in humanity and in humility. Respect for him is founded upon LOVE and not upon FEAR. Exalted earthly estate does not carry on over Here, except if the estate comes from the Golden Light of Love in the Heart.
(The Church may point the Way) The Church of Rome, any Church, may point the Way, but first it must be certain that the Way is right. God's Way is through the Temple which He assigned to earth. All Churches must, therefore, see that the Light shines through this Temple, no matter what the color, creed or kind. if the Priesthood has a right to simple comforts -- so then do the people. This is a matter dear to my heart; it is still so, and be assured that I shall work with all my might to bring about the social and spiritual reforms so desperately needed in your world today.
(Millions asleep) Today there are on earth millions who sleep, unaware of the divinity which is theirs by right. They know not their capacity to reach out with the Infinite Mind into the Spiritual Worlds and so bring back enriching thoughts and ideas which would benefit mankind. The Church can open the door. AR should be urged to pray. Not in unfamiliar languages, but in simple idiom. They should be taught to pray simply and directly to the Source of All Life: God.
(The New Leader) To devout Catholics all over the world, I say unto you: I, Pope John, do minute by minute pray that those who have the power to elect, or reject, shall be imbued with the Divine Light of Wisdom and will choose wisely. The strenuous demands upon a Pontiff point to the election of a younger man. Let all those in whose hands this great and grave task of election lies, be purged of all motive save that which win save humanity. May you be guided to choose a leader whose reign shall be steeped in LOVE, UNITY, JUSTICE and PEACE. So he it. Amen, Pope John XXIII.
All the things that separate us -- such as creeds, sacraments, hierarchies, denominations, even religion -- have no value or meaning in the spirit world. In God's eyes, we are so petty, so narrow and so blind -- forgetting the essential things and so busy with trivial matters. As Pope John predicted, great changes are impending. This is what Reverend Moon was saying when I first met him over 30 years ago. The Pope perceives that the Church of Rome and other denominations will undergo many radical changes, for the benefit of humanity. It is no less true of other religions.
The denominational age is passé. We have to work together to realize the ONENESS of God's World. If we do not voluntarily do this, it shall be forced upon us by the demands of a new generation, and by unprecedented spiritual forces already in operation.
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