Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 17 - Tang Gam/Indemnity [Part 2]
In strengthening a life of faith, it is essential to make many conditions in order to give God the chance to work through you. Offering a condition of indemnity is a good way to invite Him into your life. Doing so gives Him an opportunity to take your offering, come into your heart, and accept you. When you summon Him in such a way, God can feel your desire to commune with Him. When you make an offering based on sincerity and genuineness, God is more attracted.
When I am fishing with Father, I'm in a different state of mind. I must admit, most of the time I'm dead tired. My first thought is, "I hope this doesn't go on 'til midnight." Fishing usually starts at 4:00 a.m. and with the exception of Father, even when we are just leaving the pier, everyone is ready to vomit! I noticed that Father always sits on the top section of the boat and I figured that examining this location might provide a clue to how he survives so well. I followed him up there and I discovered that the fresh air prevented me from getting seasick and helped me stay awake. Even though sitting where Father sits does make a person feel better, I still don't know how he can manage the grueling schedule day after day. His will and determination are like steel. Even if he talks until 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., at 4:00 a.m. he leaves for the water again. What amazes me is that he can continue to sit there all day long! Once in awhile he jumps up and pulls in a tuna at the back of the boat, but most of the time he looks at the water, meditating and praying.
Fishing with Father is basically indemnity for all the leaders who accompany him. Some of us just look at the boat and immediately get exhausted, knowing what is ahead of us. As soon as we get on board, one of the leaders goes to sleep right away. Another one immediately lies down. All of us are more than happy to collapse on the floor of the cabin. Most of us feel so inadequate because our stamina is so limited compared to Father's. Sometimes Father passes the cabin and surveys the situation; he rarely says a word, but his silence is enough to remind us of our limitations. The only thing that helps is to turn away from the door so that our eyes do not meet his.
Sometimes when we are on the water, most of us feel so tired that the only comforting thought is to crawl into one of the bunks. It seems that once that thought enters the mind, the very next moment we are called to 11 chum." "Chumming" is the enviable task of baiting the hook. The only problem is that we sometimes must use rotten fish which stink so much, they make everyone feel nauseated.
There is unexcelled beauty to behold while on the water-according to God's vivid imagination the sun sets differently each time, the waves roll beautifully, and the sea-spray refreshes-but the churning of the stomach seems to preside over the rest of our faculties preventing us from always noticing the picturesque scenes.
To me, fishing this way is so difficult. My only answer is to offer it as indemnity; I can't think of it as fishing. Yes, of course we do fish occasionally pulling in clogfish, tuna, or even a big shark. But to me it is more "indemnity" than pleasure.
When we feel we can't continue much longer, the boat finally turns back to land. Wonderful! But then True Parents often take us out for a Chinese dinner. True Parents generally agree on a set time. Mother usually brings our wives to the restaurant and they wait for us there. Father encourages all of us to eat a lot; he feels festive and it is like a big celebration. Even though we are totally exhausted, we eat one sumptuous course after another. Yet once we are finished eating, Father starts to sing and then requests everyone else to sing, too! We stand up with our faces pasty white and begin singing. After this, we may go out to a movie. Most likely, it would be a kungfu movie done in slow motion where one guy throws a bamboo stick right through another guy's belly. Afterwards Father may ask, "How did you like it?"
We need to understand that if God pours out His grace and blessing, we must expect Satan will also want something. Satan demands payment as we come closer to God. If God gives us ten percent of His grace, Satan wants payment equal to that. And if we do not offer to pay, Satan will find us and extract his reward at the time and place we least expect. Therefore, we must pray more deeply and fulfill our mission more consciously and conscientiously. If we are alert to paying indemnity whenever possible, we will not need to feel like a fugitive running from Satan's merciless grip.
We have to become free of the chains which link us to Satan. We will be able to truly express our free will once we are released from Satan and finally become a temple of God. But in order to be liberated from doing the will of Satan, we must offer payment. On our path home to God then, our will naturally becomes increasingly similar to the will of God. Whereas we formerly did what Satan wanted us to do, we take steps away from the dark path to destruction and instead walk the roadway to salvation as we are bathed in the light of God's love. True salvation is the state of perfect oneness with God and will be ours once our volition is perfectly matched to His.
But this is a long and detailed process, full of twists and turns. Yet at some point, we must absolutely break free from our bondage to Satan. As the term "bondage" implies, we are not free to do what we wish; we stand behind the bars of Satan's prison and must serve our time. We will only be able to move about our environment once we are set free from jail. And that precious freedom is obtained through the payment of indemnity/Tang Gam and followed by the grace of God.
There is so much unneeded junk within us. Although our sins are forgiven, we must still be conscious of the law of indemnity; our fallen nature has to be indemnified and replaced with something better. That takes responsibility and action. Overcoming fallen nature is indemnity payment. If you are confronted time and again with the same point, it is a test either from God or from Satan. And you will pass your test if you overcome.
Many Unificationists feel indemnity carries a bad connotation. Yet we must remember that it is the medium which will ultimately allow us to leave Satan's realm. If we don't pay indemnity, Satan cannot release us. All the suffering we experience throughout our lives stems from our connection to Satan. He demands many things from us and we are still bound to a number of satanic laws. Although we attempt to remove ourselves from this obligation, we suffer greatly during the process. Once we completely disengage from Satan and get so far away that he has no more claim on us, we will truly be free and this problem will no longer burden us. Then we can move forward by exercising our free will and pay indemnity for humanity. At that time, although we continue offering conditions of indemnity, they are no longer necessary to free us from Satan's bondage; that payment will be used to clear the debt for humanity.
Keep the ideal in your mind's eye, but set realistic milestones so that you reach it by taking little jumps. If you make small payments of indemnity but you do them with intense conviction, you will gain many victories. This will naturally feed your self-confidence and strengthen your life of faith.
Some members may make long and stringent conditions of indemnity that they they do not fulfill or which cause them to feel resentful. Such conditions are not purified and God cannot accept them, thus the members become weak. Yet "indemnity" does not only involve making conditions, but actually encompasses everything within a life of faith. When you make a decision to turn away from Satan to go toward God, that is the point when indemnity begins. Doing so makes you indemnify your position. Then no matter what you do, everything can be considered indemnity.
It is indemnity to offer your entire twenty-four hour day just for God and the public purpose. Giving your total life, your dreams and everything as service for God, is all indemnity. Yet I advise you not to shoot too high. It is difficult to set a goal that is too high and lofty. Take small steps, strive for more short-term goals, and be successful in reaching them. That is action toward the ideal-perfection, the Kingdom of Heaven, oneness with God.
Indemnity enables us to come to God, therefore paying it is a great privilege. If we do not offer conditions, God has no power base upon which He can bless our efforts. You do yourself, not God, a favor by offering indemnity. Through the humble attitude of offering your life, you naturally come closer to God. But to do that still takes payment.
I am sure that the majority of Unificationists are filled with a great desire to accomplish the responsibilities given them-on the individual, family, trinity, societal, national, and worldwide levels. It is a difficult task to fulfill them. Yet Father has assured us that if we truly do fulfill them, the next generation will have to suffer much less. It is up to us whether they will have to pay less indemnity or take up the burden we could not shoulder.
Sincere prayer filled with deep commitment or repentance is indemnity. Nations can be restored only through prayer and tears. The success of tears is measured by what they represent, not the fact that they are shed. Tears are the result of some occurrence; they are a mere symbol indicating that something is going on inside the person who cries them.
Superficial or selfish prayers offered as a token while waiting for the clock to indicate that you can finally go to bed, could not be considered indemnity. But you do pay indemnity if you fight a battle in your prayer or suffer along with God and make your heart available to be touched by Him.
Prayer helps to eliminate energies of the satanic world. Indemnity is a fight against the evil forces in the spirit world. Once you are finished with a prayer that dispels such vibrations, you may be exhausted, but you can take comfort in knowing that both you and God gained results by fighting a spiritual battle. That is prayer which can be called "indemnity."
There are many kinds of indemnity conditions which can be offered. I would say that at this time, those of prayer and action have the greatest significance. There may come a point in the day when you feel completely drained, but you pay indemnity if at that moment you push yourself once again. When your mind is signaling your body to quit, start anew. Persevere; always do a little more. Retiring because it is late or because you have fulfilled the quota you set for yourself has nothing to do with indemnity. Living each day in that manner does not encourage your relationship to heaven. Anyone who brings great results has to push himself.
If a person achieves great results, others may feel jealous or suspicious, wondering how he accomplishes so much. If the others would observe the successful person, they would undoubtedly notice that he pushes himself that extra mile every day. They would also discover that gold is hidden within the confines of that extra mile.
If you push yourself and yet have no visible result, then you will be able to cry along with God. Then the tears that you cannot stop from flowing are actually God's tears, not your own. If you come home earlier and did not experience a surge of fresh energy from God by pushing yourself, you may feel dissatisfied and upset; but any tears that you may shed then, are yours alone.
There are things which we did wrong in the past. Just like all the rest of mankind, we also walked away from God. But we stopped when we heard Him call our name. We heard the faint whisper as He cried, "Come back." We have turned around and slowly but surely, are walking back toward Him. To do this, we find it imperative to toss out all of our old thoughts, our culture, and basically everything we previously clung to or represented. Since God summoned us, we have an entirely new view of the world, of religion, and of ourselves. Therefore, it is healthy to rid ourselves of all our old concepts. Even though doing so may be a chore, why not offer it as indemnity and simply do it.
The central motivation of all payments of indemnity should stem from the heart. Your peripheral movements or motions just reflect what is going on inside your heart. You feel that God wants you to accomplish something, and that feeling is what ignites you to act. You connect to Him through prayer and are then able to receive inspiration of what He wants you to do. Your conscience has to be constantly activated through prayer so that God has a usable pipeline to communicate with you. He will share with you what indemnity to pay and how to proceed through the actions and motions of your daily life.
Religion is indemnity. The practice of religion helps us to subjugate our physical selves in order that our spirits can ultimately govern our bodies. Therefore, transform satanic nature into divine nature. Let your spirit and heart be in command so they may direct your body. If you are able to connect with your heart, you will be able to get your instructions from God. If your physical body obeys an instruction which you give it, you pay indemnity.
Father has an amazing standard; he pushes himself into situations just to be confronted with certain things to overcome. He has the drive to become master over the situations he faces. We should learn from him; if we avoid situations, do you think we can master our environment or circumstances? We will actually prolong the period of indemnity and as a result, accumulate more and more resistance. If we push things away from ourselves, the pile will then become too great and we may turn on our heels and walk away from it for good. The best way to avoid taking a wrong turn in the middle of a crisis is to go ahead and confront the situation and then overcome.
Any wrong step that we make in our life demands payment of indemnity. The only way we can be assured that what we have done wrong is finally indemnified is when we no longer have a problem with it.
The work we do and the sacrifices we must make at this time will not last forever. Father has told his often disbelieving audience that in a few years, people will envy our position and be jealous that they could not pay the kind and amount of indemnity we do. In the future, many people will become Unificationists; the only thing that will distinguish us from them is the suffering that we have endured. It is something that they will not be able to do; the suffering we now take upon ourselves is to ultimately erect the Kingdom of Heaven.
The new world will be built on the foundation made by early Unificationists. We are now creating this base through suffering, hard work, and prayer. The early members are the ones chosen to pay indemnity. The same situation that existed two thousand years ago is with us today. When the cup is full, it will run over: when the necessary amount of indemnity is paid, the new world will come about.
There is indemnity involved in everything we do. Parents who care for their children pay "indemnity" in order that their children can reach maturity. They sacrifice their own desires to provide everything possible for their offspring.
As Unificationists, we pay indemnity for the ultimate goal that humanity can reach God. We have to lead sacrificial lives, which entails that we must pay indemnity as we lead many people to God. This involves self-purification and maturation. It takes offering whatever mission we do in the name of God and True Parents. If God or Father should appear to us spiritually, we may be overwhelmed by their presence in our life. Yet even if we do not see such visions, we should simply persevere anyway. The war is not finished. Eventually it will become clear to us that everything we do for God is credited to our plus account.
Jesus paid the greatest amount of indemnity by offering his life. By doing so, he lessened the amount of indemnity that humanity would have to pay to be granted spiritual salvation.
This is the time when we go out as extensions of the Messiah and take the sacrificial position by standing in for other people. Others who join later will see that foundation and be able to stand upon it. It will make their personal course much easier. However, they will not be able to claim the merit of suffering. As the early members, we have paved the way and that in itself is a great privilege. The reward may not be obvious to us at this time, however we will be able to reap a certain benefit in the future.
Jesus' payment permits Christians to enter Paradise by offering only a small token of indemnity. In the future, many people will be drawn into the new Heaven as it is built here on earth. But to create the foundation is most difficult. Father and the earliest disciples paid much greater indemnity than we do now, but their result was nearly invisible. Yet it did constitute the first building block of the framework necessary to erect the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. More indemnity was paid as the membership increased and consequently, the foundation broadened much more rapidly. Today it is relatively easy to become a Unificationist.
By praying very strongly for someone, you chase away the negative elements surrounding him. By helping to clear the way, the forces of Satan will not be able to invade because you are already paying some amount of indemnity for that person.
How much indemnity is actually being paid at this time? How much do we actually suffer? My greatest concern is that today's generation of Unificationists does not have a clear idea of what indemnity is and does not pay enough. Since within many of our church communities members enjoy good food, shelter, equipment, and so forth, we should even be willing to repent for eating a good meal when so much of the world starves. Such an attitude should be ingrained in our hearts. When we eat, we should eat for the sake of the world and consciously remember and pray for all people from the desert dwellers of Africa, to those living in the slums of India.
Even though it may seem abstract and thinking of poverty may make you lose your appetite, this kind of attitude is necessary in order to enjoy all the things that are being bestowed upon us.
The fact is, billions of people in this world go hungry every day. If you eat like a king at every meal, how is it possible to feel their heart? When we joined, Christel and I consciously began to make ourselves suffer so that Satan could no longer accuse. But members today do not suffer in the same way. The kind of beautiful life that we all experience now might become an accusation to us. We have to work hard, especially in procuring a correct attitude, to balance that.
Restoration is possible only through indemnity. Deepening your heart to feel and suffer along with the world will create a certain balance. But if your inner attitude is improper, you will never be successful. No success can come about if the law is not fulfilled.
It is possible that Father can reprimand you before Satan does; when he does, you have paid indemnity and Satan has already lost his claim on the mistake you made. I experienced that more than once. And I have also learned that God is often much tougher than Satan. But God has one single purpose attached to any judgment He may make: He wants each entity of His creation to fulfill its purpose. In other words, His intention is not malicious; He desires that each of us become perfected individuals. God is filled with love and never has any evil thought behind His intention. Whatever God does, He has one thing in mind-loving us. And He wants to draw us closer to Him.
We want to share the goal of helping our Father to accomplish this mission of worldwide restoration. If we stagnate the growth and eventual result of any mission, we may have to be replaced. If Father scolds someone, he drives out the evil spirits surrounding the person. Father is like any parent; we are his children and he finds it hard to chastise us. It would be much easier for him to be diplomatic, always using words which flow smoothly.
I could also recite stories about all the beautiful things in life, and if I did, you might live in the clouds of heaven. However, I know that you will not grow if I do not point things out that are wrong. You may not like the wrongs I indicate; you may even come to dislike me. Your personal feelings toward me do not really concern me. What I desire is that you reach perfection and come closer to God.
From serving God to saving people, indemnity has the greatest effect when you pay it by your own free will and with the right attitude. Unless you become spiritual and can detect a true standard of right and wrong, you may fail to reach the goal. If there was an easier way to restore mankind, Father would already have discovered it. He discovered the way of indemnity; that is the way he teaches us to go. There is no shortcut. The only "shortcut" is to lessen the time involved by aggressively seeking to pay the most indemnity in the quickest possible time.
You should uncover the basic principle of indemnity; discover its beauty and the privilege attached to it. Other people may suffer and God may count it as historical indemnity, but the people themselves do not realize what it is. Because we offer indemnity in the name of True Parents, the spiritual meaning behind our suffering is different from that experienced by the people of the secular world. If we offer our every action as indemnity, we will come closer to God. This reality alone can help spur us on.
We pay indemnity by denying whatever our fallen nature demands.
God has prepared many people to hear His truth. If you find such a person and witness to him, you can offer a specific condition of Tang Gam for him. However, if you meet someone with an insincere motivation or contact a person who does not desire to listen to the Principle, it is best not to pay indemnity for him.
For many years, all indemnity that was paid went directly to Satan. He was greedy for the payment he deemed was his, and voraciously took everything possible. During that time Unificationists could only create a foundation. After certain conditions were fulfilled, the indemnity paid now can be used by God.
Father encourages us to pay indemnity for specific people or activities. Yet it is up to God where He will use the payment of indemnity; it may not be used in the way we originally intended. The important thing is that it is done with a pure motivation so God is free to claim it.
Whatever suffering we endured before we joined cannot be considered indemnity toward our personal restoration. The conditions of indemnity which we offer after accepting the Principle, however, can. Before joining, we may have suffered because of our ancestors, our own ignorance, other people in our environment, or our circumstances. As we begin our Principle life, we are newly born and from that point, we may build up our plus account which is done by fulfilling our responsibility. On the other hand, the necessary indemnity payment to leave Satan's realm lessens our minus account.
Satan always takes the position of our accuser, however the Messiah always acts as our defender. God will ultimately pass His verdict on our lives. We all commit sins and according to His law are required to pay a certain amount. That payment is referred to as indemnity. Yet once we pay our debt, we will become free individuals. Before the Messiah came we had no defender. Satan constantly accused, but no one could defend us.
All our offerings and the way of indemnity will naturally bring us closer to God. Month after month and year after year, all the obstacles and worries that confront our lives can become quite a large pool of indemnity. It is important that we see progress in our spiritual lives and look for results in our work even if they are not visible. We need to discover something that shows us our life of indemnity is not in vain and that somehow we are making progress on the pathway home to God.
Millions of people have died in wars. Millions of people will die in the future; thousands have already died today. Thousands starve to death each day. The suffering of the multitudes pays universal indemnity.
Many people cannot understand why there is such suffering. Unificationists have been taught the principle of indemnity, therefore it is easier for us to understand and perceive the reason. Other people may shake their fists and angrily question, "God, do You really exist? How can You be a good God if you let all these tragedies happen?" They do not understand what seems to be a flagrant contradiction.
Since we can perceive God's situation, it is our obligation to search for God and to do anything possible to come back to Him. That entails paying indemnity, which for the moment, is still part of our task.
Indemnity should not be viewed as something you have to pay and suffer through. Instead, look at indemnity for what it really is: the greatest tool for us to be reconciled with God and to receive His grace. We can be forgiven by the Messiah even though we do so little and offer such minimal conditions.
The Blessing cannot be received for nothing; we have to do something for it. Yet it is relatively little we must do to obtain the Blessing, be recognized by God, and then forgiven. If we look into history and see what people had to suffer through and even die for, we will realize that we have done almost nothing.
We are among the first people who have the opportunity to go through the course of indemnity. Eventually this is something which everyone must do; each of us must indemnify our own past as well as work to liberate humanity.
For example, Moses had to persevere through periods of indemnity. His suffering was not just for himself but also for his people, his nation, and his race. Indemnity should not be looked upon as a heavy burden. If you look at the intricacies of life, you will see that just about every person undergoes some kind of suffering. At some time, just about every person becomes sick. At some time, just about every person loses an object of love.
Many tragedies happen daily. Every human being suffers as does every family, society, and nation. This misery can be called indemnity, but what must be examined is what purpose it serves. At this time, that suffering is actually the normal course of life. However, by paying indemnity for the higher purpose of reaching God and bringing this world back to Him, Unificationists are concerned with something that brings greatest benefit.
We should be grateful for the opportunity to pay indemnity. If we want to come to God quickly, through our own free will we will offer such conditions as prayer, fasting, and service. By doing so, we proclaim to both God and Satan, "I desire to be on God's side. I am making this condition; this is my offering." Therefore, whatever condition you make should be a sanctified offering to God; this takes pure motivation. Both God and Satan watch and wonder which one of them you call. If you make an indemnity condition, Satan says, "Oh no! He is going to God. Oh well, tough luck." But God will open His door and say, "Ali, you have arrived. Come in." I urge you therefore not to see the suffering in an offering only as an indemnity condition. Learn to marvel at the beautiful opportunity that you have to be reunited with God.
Every one of us must overcome our fallen nature in order to reach perfection and come back to God. We must overcome our sins. The earlier we start, the sooner we will finish. But once we have finished paying our personal debt, billions of people will still be in hell. They will still have before them the long road we are now walking. Therefore, what we do now should not be just for ourselves but for them as well. We are helping to broaden the road which they can use. Of course that sometimes appears like a burden to us, but actually the other side of it has tremendous value.
When we pray, we don't just pray self-centered prayers; we pray for mankind to be redeemed. Such a prayer is an indemnity condition offered to make amends for all of humanity. That kind of prayer is the prayer of a saint who stands in for all people. With pure motivation then indemnity actually presents incredible blessings to each of us.
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