Unification News for October 1998
The Affirmation of True Parents: A Confession of Faith
Reverend Joong Hyun Pak
This is derived from a sermon given at the Sunday Service October 4, 1998, in Kodiak, Alaska
These are the last days and our faith should be centered very closely on the Messiah. The time calls us to confess our belief in the Reverend and Mrs. Moon as the True Parents of all humankind. A Unificationist confession of faith is the humble and open admission and proclamation that Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon are the True Parents of all humankind. Confession of faith is beyond reason; it is based upon Godís revelation. It is to stake oneís life upon this.
It is a very serious matter to follow the True Parents, so our life of faith begins with the confession that our True Parents are the Messiah. The starting point of our faith is the revelation of the identity of the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. They are the True Parents, the new ancestors of humankind. This point is the essence of our faith.
Confession is a form of witness. Consider Andrew, Peterís spiritual father. We see in John 1:35-42 that Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist. Andrew was always looking for the Messiah. Andrew witnessed Johnís baptism of Jesus and recognized, by revelation, that Jesus was the son of God. Andrew was deeply moved by this experience. Out of curiosity Andrew asked James who was Jesus, and they both started to follow Jesus. Jesus spoke to Andrew and James and they followed Jesus as the Messiah.
The first thing Andrew did, according to scripture, was to go to his brother, Peter. Andrew told Peter, "We have found the Messiah." This was the first act of witnessing to Christ. In our church we usually say indirectly that the True Parents are the Messiah, sharing many other points first. It is better if we declare as did Andrew, "I have found the Messiah; I have found True Parents."
Later, in Matthew 16:13-19, we read Peterís confession that Jesus is the Christ. There were many rumors about Jesus in that society, so Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered with his confession that Jesus is "the Christ, the son of the living God." We must answer this question. When Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" he was happy with Peterís answer because he wanted to give his mission to someone who could understand who he was. Jesus blessed Peter, called him "the rock," and gave him the keys to the kingdom.
Based upon our confession, we receive blessings. Sadly, none of us appreciate Godís blessing. We easily take it for granted. We treat it as if it is a common stone on the street, not the diamond that it really is. But if we look in the Bible, it was very rare for an individual to receive Godís blessing. God directly blessed only Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the New Testament, only John the Baptist, Peter and the disciples received a direct blessing from God. True Parentsí blessing is most valuable. Conveying the blessing is just as valuable as receiving it. The fact that we recite the Family Pledge means that the True Parents gave their inheritance to us as blessed families.
Minister Louis Farrakhan openly declared that the Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the True Parents and that we should all become True Parents. No one asked him to do that; he spoke from inspiration. Because he is their spiritual leader, his followers have also come to believe that Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the True Parents. So when True Mother came to their cities, they clearly knew that they should help in whatever way they could to attend True Mother.
We also should clearly confess our faith in the True Parents. We need to establish a clear foundation of faith and confess that the True Parents are the Messiah, that they are the living, substantial God. Let us make this confession with conviction. Through making this confession, we can separate from Satan. If you doubt, if you find it difficult to make this confession, you should pray and ask God directly if the True Parents are the Messiah. Through confession we should develop an ever-deepening understanding that the True Parents are the Messiah.
Everyday I renew my answer to the question, "What is the mission of the Messiah?" I believe that the essence of messiahship is the love of true parents. The Messiah in the fullness of marriage and family love manifests as True Parents. Adam and Eve were born to become the True Parents, but they failed. Jesus and the Holy Spirit succeeded as the True Parents in spirit. Through them we are spiritually reborn. Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the physical True Parents.
Why I Believe Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah
1. Every morning we gather for Hoon Dok Hae. I realize from his words that Reverend Moon is the king of the truth. He is the greatest teacher. He is teaching a worldview that encompasses the spirit and flesh, religion and science, history, the present moment and the eternal future, heaven and earth, man and woman, everything, under the principle of true love. It is the perfect development of Godís words recorded over thousands of years in the Bible. I confess my faith that no one else has approached such an understanding of the truth of God. He is one with the truth that he teaches, so he and True Mother are the truth itself, the living representation of the truth of God.
2. I confess my faith that Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the king and queen of true love. They practice absolute love for God, humankind and all things of creation. He and True Mother are love itself, the living representation and model of the love of God. His life is one of continual sacrifice. He goes out on the ocean even during heavy rain and snow, even in his 60s and 70s, to pray and to console God. This love is at the root of a vision that has brought forth a revolution in culture without precedent. He has created a network of leaders and simple people alike transcending race, religion, nation and culture, dedicated to the family and life for the sake of others. Through this foundation of love for all humankind, "the government shall be upon his shoulders, and he shall be called, prince of peace."
3. The origin of my faith is not myself, but God. The earliest Unification Church members exemplify this. They received revelations and spiritual guidance directly from the True Parents through dreams and visions. They were called, chosen and justified directly by the Holy Spirit.
In Pusan, the first member in South Korea, Miss Hyun Shil Kang, had been searching for the Messiah. Reverend Mrs. Kang, now National Messiah of Russia, heard directly from God that she should go to a particular mountain to meet the Messiah. She had been looking for the glorious Messiah coming on the clouds. She was so shocked to see a small, shabby hut on that mountain. God told her to open the door, but she ran away from the door, disbelieving that the glorious Messiah could be inside such a place. She was told again by God to open the door. Again, she ran away in disbelief. Where were the trumpets and angels surrounding the coming of the Lord? Finally, she opened the door and Reverend Moon welcomed her. He was there by himself, kneeling on the floor and looking up at her. He said that he had been waiting for her to come, that Heavenly Father had told him to expect a righteous daughter of God. He knew that she had struggled to open the door.
There are two important lessons to be learned. First is that because the spirit world witnessed directly to the early members, those members will never deny their faith. In this light, it is important to realize the messianic prophecies of world-level spiritualists such as Nostradamus. One American scholar listed the possible candidates for the position of the Messiah based upon the prophecies of Nostradamus. Of those whom he suggested, one was Reverend Moon. The others have faded away, and the only one who has maintained his mission and thus his qualification is Reverend Moon.
The second is that the Messiah appears not in external glory, but as another human being. By my spiritual eyes, I can see his internal glory. He suffers from heat and cold, he endures hunger and thirst, he gets lonely, he is in most ways just like us. The main difference is that he is consumed by Godís love and is anointed by God to establish His life, love and lineage on earth as Jesus did in Heaven.
4. What is the method of the Messiah? He discovered that the path of Godís people is the life of indemnity. Human beings are debtors; we have made so many mistakes. The Messiah pays back the entire debt and liberates humankind. He walks the road of indemnity. Laws and values change according to social convention. The Messiah obeys the laws of his society but at the same time obeys the law of indemnity. Generally, a person sacrifices only to benefit himself and his family. But the Messiah sacrifices for God and all humanity. He leads a public life and has no private life.
No one sought to comfort and serve Jesus after his 40 day fast. Who came? Satan appeared to show a kindness to Jesus. Satan offered food, angelic support and all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus refused the temptations and triumphed over Satan. Satan is afraid of those who obey the law of indemnity. If he had followed Satan, no one would have persecuted Jesus. Persecution comes when we follow the way of indemnity.
True Parentsí entire life has been one of paying indemnity. Reverend Moon went through the entire 8 stages of the indemnity course, from servant of servants, to servant, to step son, to adopted son, to true son, to mother position, to father position, to God Himself. He celebrated this victory with the Pal Jong Shik ceremony in 1989 here in Kodiak.
5. I always strive to see Reverend Moon with my spiritual eyes. Simon of Cyrene met Jesus on the road to Calvary. He saw Jesus carrying the heavy cross. Simon was a black Jew from what is now Libya in North Africa. He had come to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. Simon had heard that the Messiah was in Jerusalem. Not one of the disciples was there to help Jesus, but Simon looked at Jesus and Jesus returned Simonís gaze. Simon and Jesus communicated briefly, but directly, eye to eye, on the way of the cross. At that moment, with one look, Simon realized that this pitiful young man carrying the cross was the Messiah he had sought. I want to see True Parents with that perception. I live in the presence of the Messiah, so my faith must be even stronger than Simonís.
Naturally Simon sought to help Jesus. He carried the cross for Jesus. Simon was one of the last people to whom Jesus witnessed before his death. Without a word, through only eye to eye communication, Simon recognized Jesus as the Messiah (Matt 27:32).
The Book of Acts records the presence of Simonís family along with the 12 disciples at the Pentecost (2:10). Upon his return to Cyrene, Simon must have witnessed to his wife and son. There is no further record of Simon, but in Romans 16:12 there is an interesting reference. St. Paul sent this letter to the church in Rome to let them know that he had plans to come to Rome. Since it would be a while before he could arrive in Rome, he sent this letter to give spiritual guidance. In the last part of the letter he greeted the church members in Rome. In Rom 16:13, Paul mentions Rufus and his mother, who was Simon of Cyreneís wife. He referred to her as being his mother too. This means that Paul saw her as a mother figure for the Roman church.
It seems that Rufus and his mother went to Rome and gained Roman citizenship. Then they were able to witness and pioneer legally. She could take care of the early members. Similarly, in our pioneer churches, we had the concept of father figure and mother figure. Simonís wife laid the foundation of faith in Rome. She also supported Paul financially. Jesus witnessed to Simon of Cyrene just before the cross. Simon then witnessed to his wife and son, and they went to Rome and pioneered one of the early churches. This was the plan of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The last person to whom Jesus witnessed was the thief by his side on Calvary. He witnessed without words. We do not know what moved the heart of that thief, but it came from Jesus on the cross. The thief could see that Jesus had committed no sin. He was moved to defend Jesus publicly. The other thief tested Jesus. "If you are the Messiah, save yourself and us too!" he said. He judged Jesus according to his own selfish desire. Show me you are the Messiah by releasing me from this punishment. How might Jesus have gazed upon that fallen man! The effect upon the other thief was to repent, confess his own sinfulness, testify to Jesusí innocence, then testify to Jesusí messiahship by asking that Jesus remember him when coming into his kingdom (Luke 23:39-43). This thief saw Jesusí innocence in the midst of the world condemning Jesus.
6. I pray to God deeply and study the Divine Principle and Unification Thought, and through these means I understand that Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the Messiah and True Parents. My deep original mind tells me to follow them as the Messiah. My original heart knows the truth. I strive to follow my spiritual senses. Without True Parents, I am lonely and in constant danger. With True Parents I become a man of God and receive Godís power.
7. I believe in Reverend and Mrs. Moon because the world needs godly leadership beyond boundaries, and I see them taking that responsibility. We live in a world in which each nation influences all the others. Our problems now are global problems, such as civil wars between racial and ethnic groups, organized crime, AIDS, drug traffic, pollution and mismanagement of natural resources. We need planning and governing on a global level. But America is weakened by the moral crisis of the presidency. We lack military preparedness, and this compromises world peace. There are armed conflicts all over the world.
The United Nations is a paper tiger. It allows each nation to work for its own self-interest. The United Nations personnel as a whole live luxuriously. This is why many in the US want to dismantle the UN. Reverend Moon, on the other hand, says that we should restore the UN. He says that if it does not improve, it will decline and a new UN will rise up. I see our True Parents devoting all their resources into solving global problems, centering not on one nation or bloc of nations, not on one race or one religion, but on God.
A New Standard of Judgment
We need a new set of eyeglasses, a new worldview, a new standard of judgment. This standard by which we are measured is absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience. We need to deny ourselves more and more to realize absolute faith. Does absolute faith mean absolute faith in oneself? No! As Reverend Zin Moon Kim puts it, we need to end our fixation on "I, my, me." I need to deny myself. I am an unworthy person. Further, I need to give true love, live sacrificially for others and follow the True Parents, not my own will. God used this standard of judgment at the time of the creation. True Parents have continuously followed and exemplified this standard. This standard is my new eyeglasses. The lens of these eyeglasses should be my own tears. I seek to see the world through the lens of tears.
The True Parents are not just fighting visible evil but are also fighting the invisible power of Satan. Father discovered the principle of separating from and subjugating Satan, which explained the course of Godís providence revealed in the Bible. We separate from Satan by our faithful offering of our material goods, ourselves and our families to God. We should do this not just for a day, a week or year, but over a significant period of time. Noah, for example, spent 120 years building the ark, sacrificing his material comfort, himself and his family for God and His will. This sacrificial offering reversed the lack of faith demonstrated by Adam and Eve. This act of indemnity separated Noah and his family from Satan.
The next stage is one of substantial change of heart through sacrificial love. The paramount biblical example is that of Jacob changing the heart of Esau, who wanted to kill Jacob, by offering his material goods, his family and himself to his brother. The hatred in Esauís heart changed to love as the brothers embraced. As Noah exemplified vertical love for God, Jacob exemplified horizontal love for oneís brother.
Jesusí sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate act of indemnity. Jesus loved the world, forgiving his enemies at the cost of his life. God loved the world so much that He gave up His only begotten son. Through our faith in the resurrected Christ, our hearts are substantially changed, evil is changed to love, and we are reborn. This is indemnity.
Our True Parents have followed the course of indemnity their entire lives. Father teaches about indemnity by using examples, such as the life of the salmon. Salmon pay indemnity and practice true love. They follow an incredible suffering course on the way to mate and procreate. They have many enemies, hurdles and handicaps to overcome. They must travel through streams where brown bears are waiting. A brown bear will eat up to 20 salmon a day. Also eagles are searching them out. They must jump up and over waterfalls and avoid the hooks of fishermen. Father said we should say "salmoon," not salmon, because the life of the True Parents is like that of a salmon.
Like the salmonís suffering course, the True Parents have fulfilled the 8 stage course of indemnity. Everything they do is a condition to bring Godís love to this world. Through my faith in them, my heart is substantially changed. True Parents have paid the necessary indemnity and have won. True Parents have sacrificed both spiritually and physically to restore true love. I testify without hesitation that our True Parents have never misused love, manpower, money or time. They have absolutely followed the Principle and have paid the indemnity required at each stage of the restoration providence.
In the early days of Christianity, the church went through great difficulties and challenges to their faith. Peter wrote to his brothers and sisters about this, saying "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." (1 Peter 4:12-14)
With this spirit, let us make a new start with absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience. Let us boldly declare, as Andrew did to Peter, "I have found the Messiah and the True Parents. Who are they? They are the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon." The 1998 motto is to love God and the True Parents and be proud of them. Heaven is ready to support us if we first believe in the blessedness of the time in which we are living and go forward. Through this faith we can build the kingdom of heaven on earth. We all have received the blessing directly from God and the True Parents. We repay through absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.
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