Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 15 - Witnessing [Part 3]
National leaders and blessed families should really examine what our movement can do to serve the nation in which they live. Perhaps there are unique situations or resources that would give them ideas to bring a better moral, ethical, or even financial base and build a stronger foundation. Service is much broader than just pouring someone coffee or polishing his shoes. From this point on, we must provide avenues to express our belief in God which will attract the curiosity and eventual commitment of many people.
All of us should develop absolute confidence in the cooperation of the spirit world. Spirit world is always alert. If a person you meet is interested and accepts what you say, many good spiritual beings will begin to work with him. Before you go out witnessing, take time to pray intensely and concentrate on the kinds of people you would like to meet. The spirit world will act and prepare people perhaps even through dreams and visions. When this does not happen, the problem lies in the fact that we don't believe this can happen or that their participation is real. Yet we can depend on the cooperation of spirit world. Through our own behavior and the bases we make, we can draw either good or evil spirits. It is up to us to make sure that we attract the right ones.
You should invest yourself no matter what it is that you do. Witnessing is no exception. Therefore whenever you meet people, leave something with them. Impress a person in such a way that he cannot forget what you said. Leave something of value -- such as words and love -- with him. Impart your spirit to that person. Eventually your investment will multiply and benefits will return to you.
The quality of our prayer life can intensify our sensitivity which will grant us the power to give our hearts to people. We have to be like a torch that burns down the barriers surrounding their hearts. We need this power to convince people that God exists and the Messiah has come. Through a rich prayer life and more acute sensitivity, we will become free and no longer plagued by inferiority complexes or other obstacles of faith. It is an overwhelming feeling to be able to speak to someone without holding anything back. Witnessing is the tool that can help shape this ability within us.
All doctors are different. Old-fashioned doctors talk to their patients in a way that calms them. Half the pain goes away while they discuss the problem. In spiritual doctoring, you must be careful about the way you talk with a person. He will immediately put his barriers up because he fears. He wants to know who you are and why you want to talk with him. He wonders whether or not he can trust you. And even if your words make sense, he may still be overcautious. You must become trustworthy in his sight.
We have to be a doctor, psychologist, and surgeon rolled into one. Once we have obtained our degree, we need experience. Therefore, we must intern with those who have been in business a longer time, learning from and being guided by them through activities and even confrontations. If we are exposed to many cases, we will become keen and perceptive when diagnosing people. Doctors also have to be residents for one or two years and work along with other doctors before they can begin their own practice. But in doing so, they learn what to do when someone is in an accident, how to treat appendicitis, the residual effect of long-term illnesses on the patient and his family, and so forth. This is experience gained in practical combat. We need to work in a similar fashion. Just as they must continually refer to their medical textbooks or other reference material, so we should study the Principle, Father's words, as well as other internal guidance.
We have to acquire the ability to condense the many truths we receive from God and convey those words in a way that they can be understood and applied. They should not just comprise our philosophy but also become tangible.
We must use wisdom and find new ways of communicating and fresh approaches. When we see no visible result, it is often too difficult to continue to stand on corners and with blind faith pour out our hearts and energies. Perhaps we need to change our location, use a different approach, or talk to a greater variety of people. Developing psychoanalytical skills to determine a person's needs is also essential.
It is not so important how well you are able to recite the points of the Principle but how well you understand, digest, and relate to it. How much do you prepare your heart before you go witnessing? Two people may speak almost the same words but the effect can be totally different. One may be so alive and dynamic that he brings down all of heaven, while the other might speak as if reciting sentences from a book. It is not so important how much of the truth comes across, but what spirit is expressed. It is much more important to portray the spirit of God than His word.
If a missionary is sent to pioneer a nation, city, or home church area there is one sure way he can guarantee success: he must put his life on the line. He must make that highest offering. That is what Jesus did; our Father does the same.
If a pioneer walks through the streets and tears run down his face as he searches to find righteous and prepared people, he has already forgotten himself. If he gets down on his knees and cries and prays for hours, he could never feel discouraged especially when he remembers how many times God suffered rejection throughout history. You have to expect disdain when witnessing. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it bruises the ego and makes you wonder if you really do have value, or if you are a strange person for believing something most of the world does not yet understand or accept.
If the pain is ready to consume you, you may wonder whether or not you can continue witnessing, but in that tearful moment of lamentation, do not forget the agony of God. His grief is far greater and He has endured suffering for thousands of years. His desire to witness to people and bring them back to Him never wanes.
Let His persistence be an inspiration to make each of us stand taller and more straight, and as His true representatives, be ever determined to continue trying to reach our brothers and sisters of this world.
Be assured that spirit world has already prepared thousands and thousands of ministers as well as members of their congregations to hear the message of the Principle. In our encounters with them, we need to be wise as well as bold and strong. We need to be positive, optimistic, and uplifting influences on their lives. If we argue with them, we may defeat the purpose of our visit, therefore we must go with humility and open arms, and keep on smiling even if they belittle us and our ideology.
We are involved in the process of restoration and consequently, must overcome the negative points in our own nature. When we succeed, the battle becomes worth it. But it does take a certain amount of daring to witness. We may become afraid of people and wary of their reaction. Yet they are human beings just as we are. They may strive for an impeccable appearance and wear expensive clothes, but inside they suffer just as we do. Even though it may be subconscious, they also long for the highest truth.
Just as you love the people you meet in your home church area or on the street, love the ministers and members of their congregations, too. Lift them up with positivism. The worst thing you could do is hesitate to witness to them. You never know what God has been doing within their hearts and what He has in mind for them. You add to His frustration if you vacillate and are unsure whether or not to approach them. You can never predict their reaction with one hundred percent accuracy. Take the plunge and go forward in faith.
The majority of them have probably never known any of us personally and have been influenced by the slant of the media. Be straightforward and explain what we believe. Encourage them to continue cultivating their own beliefs and faith, but implore them to comprehend how much God needs us to work together to prepare the foundation for the imminent return of Christ. Inspire them to realize that when Christ does come, he must find people who will receive him, not a disintegrating body of varied Christian denominations.
Refrain from expressing discouragement, especially in front of them. Bring them spiritual sunshine; it is exactly what they need. So many of them are disappointed and perhaps even disheartened. Christianity is primarily based on hope; Christians hope and pray that Christ will return. They have kept hope for many, many years but that hope has gone unfulfilled. Jesus' disciples waited for his return during their physical lifetime, but their expectations were not satisfied. Christians today are still waiting and in some cases attempting to predict the year, the day, even the hour of the Messiah's reappearance. The Bible tells us that "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." We must recognize and consider their predicament, and share with them how our own hope is fulfilled.
Just as you witness to people, God continues to witness to you. Take for example the way you feel when you teach someone who begins to change his life, especially if he accepts Father. This is a tremendous experience which allows God to reach directly into your heart. You give new life to people through the words you speak, your behavior, your vibrations. And at the same time, God fills you with spirit and inspiration.
Anyone who receives new life from the Principle experiences some sort of transformation. You may be accustomed to it and not feel such a change on a day to day basis. But a person who newly confronts the Principle has perhaps never experienced such a powerful truth, and to him it is truly a gift. God has started to heal his wounds and answer the questions he asked Him in the darkness of night when no one else could hear his plea. Even though we may no longer realize the preciousness of the Principle, it has paramount value to him.
It is important not to be reserved or timid when approaching people. Remember that you have committed your life to God's will. But don't dictate to Him how to use it. Let Him rule your life -- your personality, your courage, even your words -- for the purpose of bringing His children back home. Witnessing is not necessarily effective through special techniques or strategies; if you behave naturally and are free inside, God will be able to speak through you.
When you lecture, strive to convey the truth and couple it with spirit. Not only is the tone of your voice important, the vibration that comes from your whole personality will tell a person something about how convicted you feel about your faith. Send out one wave after another of spirituality, love, and energy. Your face will naturally shine as the evidence that you believe what you are saying. You will be able to speak with authority; once that harmony is created, God is present and those you touch will be moved by His heart.
There are times when you may encounter a person with a much lower standard than your own. You have to travel into hell in order to pick him up and pull him out. This is one major factor contributing to any spiritual exhaustion, defeat, or hurt you might feel. You may pick up negative vibrations from other people, and consequently experience pain. It is important to gird yourself with a strong prayer belt. If you are not protected, you will get affected more easily. Burn off those feelings and return to your original level of consciousness.
When you go into hell, wear a cloak of prayer or you risk being bruised. It will provide you with healing energy, enabling you to uplift other people. But talking to a person is not simply a process taking place on the horizontal plane. There is a great deal happening in spirit world at the same time. If you either go without or have only a light jacket of prayer around you, you can easily become infected by the spiritual atmosphere around another person and you will need to be refreshed much more often.
Arming yourself with spiritual ammunition -- your -- sword of truth, shield of love, and cloak of prayer -- nothing will be able to enter your spiritual arena without your permission. If you speak to a person who is negative, just take your torch of love and burn away that negativity. If a person is positive, open up your cloak and take in the fresh air he brings through the words he speaks. You alone discern what, if anything, you will inherit from a person. You are the only one who screens everything that confronts you and individually you decide what will have an impact on you. Therefore, screen things with your divinity and according to your understanding of the Principle.
We make a big mistake when we forget just how strong the powers of Satan are. After we have introduced some of our basic ideology to a person and ask that he sincerely pray about what he heard, Satan does his best to remind the person how attached he is to certain things. Satan also shows him how difficult it would be to rescind his lifestyle. Satan would like nothing more than to keep control of that individual. But people themselves usually cannot detect how strongly Satan is working to dominate, their lives.
We need to work harder and bring forth a greater love than Satan does. God's love is much more powerful and unconditional; it has little to do with an expensive house, clothes, vacations abroad, and so many other goals a person may have set forth, but is an intricate network of forgiveness, purity, and humility.
What is generally more attractive to the person? The answer is easy. Anyone who witnesses can testify how difficult it is to battle Satan and to attempt to get him to release his claim on people. It is important that once you start to teach a person, you continue on and on -- even if you talk through the whole night. The more a person hears of the Principle, the more solid his line of defense can be against Satan's attacks. When a person hears only a small portion of Principle, he doesn't have the power to guard against Satan's influence. Too often we allow days and weeks to lapse before we see the person again. What happens? Satan probably exposes him to even greater temptations and lures than ever. The person is deluged with negative feelings about us and our ideology and may feel no desire to come back.
Although we need to doctor and heal people, we should not schedule appointments weeks in advance as physicians generally do. We are literally grasping to save the lives of people we meet. We have to engage in hand-to-hand combat to wrench them from Satan's grip. If we politely ask the person to come or call when they have time, in essence we just let him slip through our fingers. When a person's heart and mind respond to the refreshing nature of the Principle, do not stop teaching him. It is not necessary for a person to sit in a lecture hour after hour. But give him as much of the Principle as possible and get his commitment to come back soon, preferably the next day. Give your testimony, and explain how feasible it is to apply the Principle in a practical way on a daily basis. Inject him with the love of God; it will protect him from Satan's arrows.
I remember my first home church. During my pioneer days in Vienna, I lived in my VW van. One time I stopped at a gas station to refuel, and started to talk to the gas station attendant about Principle. By the time the tank was full, he had extended an invitation for me to visit him at home. Before the appointment, I remember praying deeply and desperately for him.
My visit was memorable. Three generations greeted me. In fact, that extended family filled the whole room. His mother had baked apple strudel and urged me to eat as much as I wanted. The man had talked about me so much that not only his parents, but his wife as well as his children, embraced me. I feel that spirit world prepared that household. I talked for hours and hours and they joined in the discussion, too. In fact we had quite a debate going between the three generations. Yet when one criticized something I said, another defended me. For example, grandma often stood up for me saying to the other members of her family, "What do you know about God? Listen to what he says. God can do anything." She testified so beautifully.
I taught them many chapters of the Principle, although I don't remember how many hours I stayed. The spiritual atmosphere was so high, I felt like I was floating on the ceiling. Grandpa and grandma were in midair, my friend and his wife just below them, and their children were jumping up and down. It was one of the highlights of my life -- so magical, so filled with God's love and spirit; I didn't want to leave.
I visited many times after that, and each time was wonderful. That was one of my most precious witnessing experiences.
Saint Paul said that each person should take his shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God -- into battle. Prepare to witness by arming yourself with these weapons, yet never forget to also carry the gift of love.
If you are nonchalant about witnessing and feel that it is easy, you have lost a certain perspective. In reality, you fight a thousand satans when you witness and it is always a battle. If your heart burns with a longing to share this truth, you will not necessarily be interested in talking to large groups of people. Instead, you would rather talk to one person, heal one individual. You would like to evoke someone's tears of repentance because you know they soothe God's heart. That is witnessing. Always remember though that when you witness it is natural to confront difficulties; you fight a war in your attempt to bring back even one soul from Satan's world to God's.
Make sure that you are natural and free, and able to pour out your heart to all the people with whom you come in contact. Specialize more in heart than in word. Anyone can feel love when it is being projected.
How do you view people who are negative? Do you think they are happy being negative? Many find themselves in such a predicament because they still look for answers and salvation. They want to shed their burdens, and in a way are looking for God. They are confused yet nobody is available to give them answers.
What would you do if you found yourself in such a dilemma? How did you act before you were confronted with the Principle? Put yourself in the other person's shoes. What would a person need to say to you to make you understand they have something very valuable that can bring you salvation? Think back to your initial confrontation with Unificationism. What made you decide to make your commitment? What impressed you? Did you initially reject the tenets of this faith? What was pleasant? What was unpleasant? Think back to your own experience. It is a great resource to allow you to understand more about the nature of people still living under Satan's total rule.
Project your whole self when you witness. How can you fight to maintain your own composure? You usually become "unreal." You may even become a different person altogether. You use a terminology that is unfamiliar to you. This is a mistake. Do you think you can really win a person's heart if you become someone else? Be yourself. Once you are yourself, your full potential can spring forth., Your full power will manifest. A banana can never successfully try to appear to be an apple -- they are shaped differently, they taste differently, they even smell differently. But when a banana is a banana, you can relate to it. You know it is not trying to be something it's not. You may bite into it, and being so satisfied with the taste, consume it all.
If you are yourself when you witness, people can more easily relate to you. They will be able to detect that you are not trying to be something you aren't. They may listen to the words you say, and be so excited, want to hear much more.
After witnessing for many months or years, you have probably used certain sentences so often, you can predict what response they will evoke. It is certainly possible to sense how your words might touch the heart and intellect of a person. But you need to go beyond the ability to predict peoples' responses, and develop the expertise to project the heart and vision you have discovered within the Principle. The methods that will make a person stop long enough to give you the opportunity to pour out your heart, take a certain talent which can be learned and cultivated.
You may guide a person to understand several points of the Principle or Unification Thought, but how can you convey the heart of God contained between the lines of the material you learned from those different aspects of our ideology. Information may well satisfy some people, but sophisticated and intellectual talk must never take the center stage. The long-suffering history of God is incredibly important to share. Some people are so shocked to hear that God has been suffering and has been just as unable to communicate with us as we have with Him. The light of this new truth can shine in the recesses of their minds. This may cause those people to come forth with the determination to change their lives when God is finally able to enter His home, the inmost chamber of their hearts.
Hell. Not a pleasant thought, certainly not a pleasant place. Yet going witnessing involves walking into hell. Some people you meet are friendly and receptive, but there are others who seem to hate you on sight. They may even yell at you for no real reason. You knock on door after door, searching for people who are prepared to listen, but instead often find that many people need a confidante. They feel they must unload their heavy hearts somewhere and they expose to you how bitter they are about life and how they are treated.
To point out to them that they live in spiritual hell is not an easy job. That is a pill many people refuse to swallow. They do not want to believe you. They fail to recognize the pleading in your voice and simply continue to worship the almighty dollar, their god. Even though a person may count out and surround himself with thousands or even millions of dollars, he still lives in hell and probably feels an overwhelming emptiness and loneliness. Those small pieces of paper do not make him happy however they may afford him a certain sense of security. To convince him that there is more to life than money and material pleasures is an arduous responsibility.
Going into hell is not uplifting at all. It takes a great deal of strength and causes you to suffer. Engaging in spiritual warfare in your attempt to bring people out of hell can sap your spiritual energy. Tact and diplomacy are essential; you cannot shove your idea of heaven down their throats. You have to continue to burn away evil forces with positivity and love. That is witnessing. And that is our task.
In our exploration to find and know Him and to become true human beings, each of us may have heard the chiming of a bell. The bell is rung by God, summoning our interest to help Him; He wonders what our response will be. Perhaps for some of us that sound has become louder and as a result we desire to answer the call, realizing that the bell tolls for us to accept our responsibility to become more like our Parent and to bring others to the same realization.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents