Messiah - My Testimony to
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter Seven - Korea as the Chosen Nation
If the Lord is to come with a physical body, then where will this take place? Believe it or not, the Principle says he comes to Korea."
"Korea! You must be joking!" That was my first reaction when Professor Kim said those shocking words. If she had begun her lecture the day before with this pronouncement, I probably would have walked out of the room. But the lectures that I had heard on these two evenings had made too much of an impression on me. I had to take her seriously. The content of the Principle was too extraordinary and revolutionary for me to discount. Professor Kim's statement that the Lord was to come to Korea was a conclusion to everything she had told me during these two days.
As she continued, Professor Kim asked, and answered, the logical question: What would make the Lord want to come to Korea, a poor country with nothing to distinguish it? Certainly at that period in our history, the 1950s, Korea had nothing.
For thirty-six years, ending in 1945, we had suffered under the oppressive colonial rule of a foreign power. During Japanese imperial rule Koreans had been a people without a face. We were taken against our will as student soldiers or drafted into regular military or industrial service. Countless women were forced to serve as "comfort women", prostitutes for Japanese soldiers. Some two million Koreans were taken to Japan, to the South Pacific islands, to Southeast Asia, and to the prairies of Manchuria, most never to return. That could easily have been my fate had I been a little older during Japanese rule. During this time, our people lived in servitude to Japan.
No sooner had we finally managed to become free of Japan than our country was split into two parts, and the war that so dramatically changed my life erupted. Koreans killed other Koreans. Our land was devastated by the war, wracked by poverty, hunger, suffering, loneliness, and separation. Wives lost track of their husbands, parents lost track of children, and brothers lost track of each other. Hundreds of thousands of families were scattered, and it was almost impossible for people to find out if their relatives were alive. This was the anguish that many people experienced.
In international society, Korea became synonymous with war and orphans. Our children were polishing the boots of American soldiers, hoping they would throw them a stick of gum. Such scenes explained everything about Korea of that time.
What hope could God see in such a country as this? The only crown that Korea could wear would he one of trials and tribulation. Why would the omniscient and omnipotent God choose to send the Lord of the Second Coming there?
As Professor Kim explained, it is precisely because Korea is the "king of tribulation" that God would want to send His son here. The Principle makes clear that God chose Korea, over all other countries in the world, because God he himself has been the King of tribulation throughout the course of human history and who could understand God better than the people of a suffering nation?
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. But on reflecting, I realized that God's situation has been the same as that of Korea. Both God and Korea have been continuously surrounded with tragedy. After the betrayal and Fall of the original human ancestors. God held his lifeless son in His arms and cried day and night. Throughout history, human beings have continuously and repeatedly brought suffering to the heart of God.
Betrayal after betrayal! Humanity has continuously nailed God's heart to the cross. How God must have lamented to look down on a world filled with evil: selfishness, murder, fornication, bigotry, and pride! How He must have regretted ever having created humankind in the first place! Still, He tried to bring humanity back to life. He raised a chosen people and sent His only son, Jesus, among them, but human beings nailed even Jesus to the cross. How God's heart must have been torn with in when that happened.
In reality, God has been a tragic being. Who is responsible for this? It is His fallen children. We human beings are the ones responsible. Imagine a father and mother whose child has been diagnosed with an incurable disease. That is the situation of God, who is our Parent.
Who among us could have imagined that this was God's situation? There is a Korean saying, "Only another widow can understand how a widow feels." If there is one nation on earth that can understand God's situation and give comfort to Him, it has to be Korea. For this reason, Korea and its people have been selected as God's chosen people in the Last Days.
At this point in the lecture, I could no longer hold back my tears of joy. I was weeping uncontrollably, but my heart overflowed with happiness. For the first time, I could see that there was hope for our people. I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that these words were true.
A Peace-loving People
I began to consider my homeland from a completely different perspective, the perspective of the Principle, which is God's perspective, and I could see things about Korea that I had never realized before. I realized that Korea had been prepared and guided by God in its history and cultural development.
My homeland has a proud history of five thousand years. At one time, our people ruled territory covering a major portion of northeastern Asia. The Chinese referred to us derisively as the "Eastern Barbarians," but the fighting spirit of our people was such that we shook the Asian continent and gained the respect of the various Chinese rulers.
Over time, we were forced to retreat from the territory north of the Yalu and Tumen Rivers and were squeezed onto the narrow peninsula that is modern-day Korea. Why? Was it incompetence on the pan of our ancestors? No, it was because, from ancient times, Koreans have been a peace-loving people. Thus, they had no concept of invading other countries. Korea has been invaded on hundreds of occasions but has not invaded another nation even once. Once their land was taken, Koreans never tried to recapture it. Thus, over time, they were forced into a smaller and smaller area, and the result of this process is today's boarders of the Korean nation.
According to tradition, when Tangun, the original ancestor and founder of Korea, placed the capital on Mount Taebaek and established the nation, the first thing he did was build an altar under a dun tree and perform a ceremony to make an offering to Heaven. This illustrates the fact that Koreans are a people who honor Heaven.
Also according to tradition, the history of the Korean people begins with the corning of the heavenly offspring. A god named Hwan-in desired to have his son, Hwan-wung, rule the earth. In sending his son to earth, Hwan-in instructed him, "Once on earth, you are to bring the ideal of bong-ik ingan to fruition." What is the ideal of hong-ik ingan? Literally, it means "a person's life should benefit all of humanity." A person who has accomplished this ideal benefits society as a whole and lives a life of love for humanity.
From this perspective, it is clear that Korea is a nation established by God on the fundamental philosophy of "honor Heaven and love humanity." Two thousand years ago, Jesus taught two commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." [Matthew 22:37-39] These commandments correspond directly with the "honor Heaven and love humanity" philosophy that is the founding ideal of Korea. It is amazing. Three thousand years before Jesus was born, the Korean people were already creating a nation based on his commandments. Therefore, it is quite natural that Christ would come again to the nation of Korea, which has been following a heavenly tradition for some five thousand years.
The Philosophy of Loyalty Filial Piety. and Fidelity
The soul of the Korean people also embraces the philosophy of loyalty, filial piety, and fidelity. Professor Kim explained that this is so that, in the Last Days, they would be able to inherit the ideas of the Lord who will come to them Jesus Christ was the first person ever to refer to God as his father. In his relationship with God, Jesus lived according to the principles of loyalty, filial piety, and fidelity. If God were a king, then Jesus was the most loyal subject. If God were a father, then no child was more filial than Jesus. When he was crucified for the sake of righteousness and his mission, Jesus forgave his enemies as he was dying. In this, Jesus demonstrated that his loyalty to God surpassed all others.
If Jesus is to come again, then surely he would come to people who honor the philosophy of loyalty, filial piety, and fidelity. That country is Korea.
The legends of Korea show how much these virtues are honored. One of the most beautiful of these is "The Story of Shim-Chung," which portrays the ultimate standard of filial piety. A young girl named Shim-Chung, who lives in destitute poverty but is as beautiful as a flower, wants to help her blind father regain his sight. She prays for her father at the temple, but she needs to make an offering of three hundred sacks of rice if her prayer is to be answered. So she sells herself to sailors on a particular ship in exchange for rice. The sailors intend to throw her alive into the sea as an offering to ensure their own safe passage. On the appointed day, Shim-Cluing is thrown into the ocean, but instead of dying she finds herself in the underwater palace of the god of the ocean. The god is so moved by her filial piety that he returns her to the earth and places her in a lotus blossom in Korea's royal palace. The king discovers her there and is so taken by her beauty that he makes her his queen. The king then grants Shim-Chung's request to gather all the blind people in the county in hopes that she can find her father. The father discovers that his daughter, whom he had given up for dead, is alive, and his joy is so great that his sight is restored.
Chung Mvng Ju (1337-1392), a subject of the last king of the Koryo dynasty, is often cited as an example of a subject who demonstrated a high standard of loyalty to his king. Chung steadfastly refused to join the effort to force the king's abdication in favor of the man who went on to become the first king of the Yi dynasty. His loyalty finally led to his assassination. He wrote the following song, "Tan Shim Ga."
Though my body may perish,
Though it may be shattered again and again;
Though my bones may he ground to fine dust,
Though my soul may he destroyed;
Even then, my steadfast loyalty to my lord Will never he extinguished.
Even then, my steadfast loyalty to my lord Will never be extinguished.
These words reflect the spirit and soul of the Korean people. During the thirty-six years when we were deprived of our country, countless patriots and martyrs selflessly offered their lives to further the cause of independence. One sixteen year-old girl named Kwan Soon Yoo stood in the Pyongchun Anac marketplace in Chon-An and shouted: "Long live Korean independence." For this, she lost her father and mother on the spot and was arrested as a ringleader of the independence movement. During her trial, she was told that because she was a minor, she would be given a reduced sentence if she confessed to the charges against her.
Kwan Soon refused even the slightest compromise, choosing instead to denounce those who had robbed her of a country. When her sentence was appealed to a superior court, she continued her forceful denunciations. The result was that the superior court imposed an even heavier sentence than the lower court. In prison, she would stand by the window from morning until night and shout, "Long live Korean independence." In an attempt to stop her, the prison authorities tortured her severely. She died in prison at the tender age of seventeen.
What an extraordinary person! When I attended school in Chon-An, which was the hometown of Kwan Soon Yoo, I often visited the house where she had lived and each time was tremendously= inspired to think of her sacrifice for the country.
I never imagined, though, that the sacrifices of all these loyal subjects and faithful men and women were helping create a foundation for the messiah who would make his advent in the beautiful land of Korea. On hearing the Principle, I realized that the loyalty, filial piety, and fidelity of our ancestors were integral to God's profound plan. I understood, then, that their sacrifices were of immeasurable value, and this comforted me as well as excited me.
A Country Chosen to Be a Sacrificial Altar
Also, I had thought that Korea's division was a tragedy signifying that our country was somehow cursed. I was astonished to learn that our suffering was part of God's plan. God has chosen Korea as the final offering for human salvation. God has always required appropriate offerings as expressions of our faith. Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam and Eve, each made offerings to God. God accepted Abel's offering but not Cain's, and this led to the tragedy of Cain killing Abel. This was a failed offering. [Genesis 4:1-16]
God also commanded Abraham, the father of faith, to make an offering of a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon. Each was to he cut in two, shedding blood, which symbolizes the removal of satanic, defiled blood prior to the object being offered to God. Cutting also symbolizes separating good from evil and claiming something out of the unclean world to which God can claim ownership. Abraham built an altar and cut the animals in two as instructed, but he failed to cut the birds. For this reason, the offering could not he regarded as acceptable to God. [Genesis 15:9-14]
This failure led to the tragedy of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, who was born when Abraham was a hundred years old. Abraham took Isaac to the appointed place and built an altar. He bound his son and laid him on the altar. Then, just as Abraham, in a demonstration of his absolute faith was about to kill Isaac, God intervened to let Isaac live and had Abraham sacrifice a ram instead. [Genesis 22:1-14]
Today is the age of the restoration of the cosmos (the entire creation, including the spiritual world and the physical world) and the age of the Second Coming of the Lord. Thus, for the nation and people to whom the Lord comes are the final altar and offering on the cosmic level to be acceptable in the eyes of God as a cosmic offering, there must be a process by which this country is divided and blood is shed on its territory. This is precisely the significance of the Korean War.
When I first heard that my homeland had been blessed by this profound divine providence. I felt so excited it seemed the blood in my veins would start to run backwards. Tears of gratitude welled up into my eyes, and I bowed my head to say, "Thank you, God." I asked God to forgive me for ever having considered it a curse that I was born a Korean. My anguished prayer from 1952, when I first saw the bountiful land of America and compared it to Korea's wretched state, had been answered.
For the first time, I felt I had arrived at a clear understanding of why God had saved my life at Changchon River and about the mission for which I was being called.
"God," I prayed, "I have come to the place where You intended to lead me. Thank you sincerely for Your patience in leading me to this point." I felt completely reborn.
I was excited to think of the implications of this new knowledge for my country and its people. I could see now that the Korean peninsula had been chosen and designated by God as the final altar. The will of God lay behind the division of our territory into North and South, and the secret will of God was also at work in the Korean War. I had thought that my comrades had died for no particular purpose, but now I could see the value of their sacrifice. I was sure that God would give them eternal life. In a manner of speaking, my classmates at the Korean Military Academy and all the casualties of the Korean War were God's honorable partners in laying the foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
For five thousand years, the Korean people maintained their homogeneity as a people despite countless invasions. Now, their day of glory had come. When the Lord comes. Korea would become the homeland of faith for the whole world.
I was excited, and all sorts of thoughts were rushing through my mind one after the other. This new outlook on our country's fortunes seemed to have limitless possibilities.
I could sense God's calling for me. I became intensely aware that God was calling me to perform a special mission. I felt proud to he a Korean.
My First Encounter With Reverend Moon
These were the realizations and excitement that I felt from the second evening of listening to Professor Kim's lectures on the Principle. By the time she finished, the high fever I was suffering when I arrived had completely subsided. I felt healthy and refreshed.
After the lectures, Professor Kim and I continued talking about various issues related to the Principle. We were so involved in our discussion that we both forgot about the hour. Before we knew it, it was almost time for the nationwide curfew to begin at midnight. I still didn't know the name of Professor Kim's church or its founder. I had simply heard a summary of the Unification Principle and become enthralled by its contents.
I wanted to wind up the discussion, so I said, "Professor Kim, what church do you attend? I'd like to attend Sunday service with you." This was a Monday, and Sunday seemed too far away. "Even better, does your church have a Wednesday night prayer service?" I knew it was customary among Protestant churches in Korea to hold a prayer service on Wednesday evenings. This seemed to he my best opportunity to go to Professor Kim's church. I wanted to learn everything as quickly as possible. Professor Kim's response, however, was not what I expected.
"There's no need for you to he in such a hurry," she said. "I will take you there soon enough."
"What is the name of your church," I asked. "Where is it located?"
"That, too, is something that I intend to tell you soon enough. There's no need to be in such a hurry."
I was a little upset by her response.
"I don't have a moment to waste," I thought to myself. "I don't think this lady understands how I feel. Or could she he reluctant because I'm not such an important person?"
The next day at my office, it wasn't difficult to find out that Professor Kim's church was the Unification Church, which had its headquarters at Chungpa Dong 1-ga, Yongsan Ku. I had no previous knowledge of the Unification Church.
Wednesday evening, I set out to find the Unification Church in Chungpa Dong with the idea that I would attend their evening prayer service. Even though I had obtained the church's correct address, finding the correct location turned out not to be so easy. I went to the general neighborhood and looked for large church buildings, but there were none in sight. I spent considerable time trying to find the address, but I finally gave up and decided to ask the proprietor of a small store for directions.
"Excuse me, can you tell me if there's a Unification Church somewhere near here?" I asked.
The woman in the store must not have been accustomed to seeing a Korean man wearing the uniform of a U.S. Army major. She sized me up from top to bottom a couple of times before answering.
"Sure, I know where that is," she finally said. "Go up that alley over there and turn to the right. Push open the door on the left, and step inside."
I started up the narrow alley, just as I had been told. Soon the alley made a turn to the right and became even narrower. Like the lady told me, I pushed on the left side of the door I saw and went in.
I found myself in a small foyer for removing one's shoes. It was obvious that this was an old Japanese-style family dwelling now being used as a church. I took off my shoes and stepped up onto the sanctuary's wooden floor. In the center, I could see a wood-burning stove. It was not lit, however, even though it was the middle of February and quite cold.
There was a chalkboard hanging on the front wall and in front of that was a desk with a white cloth draped across it. Some forty or fifty men and women dressed in humble clothing were sitting cross-legged on the floor. They were singing hymns, but these hymns were different from anything I had heard in the Christian churches I had attended.
I sat down in an empty place in the front row. The young man sitting next to me handed me a hymnal with the words "Holy Songs" printed on the cover. I focused my attention on the person who was leading the service and when he announced the next hymn, I managed to find the right page in the hymnal. The tune was completely unfamiliar to me, so I read the words to myself. I could feel the spiritual atmosphere in the sanctuary rising as the singing grew louder.
The singing made an extraordinary impression on me. The voices of the congregation seemed to awaken the soul. I had been attending church services for five years, so I was quite used to hearing hymns. I had also been to a number of services and revival meetings in churches other than my own. The sound of this congregation's singing, though, was like nothing I had ever heard before.
There were no more than fifty worshipers, but they sang almost loud enough to lift the roof off. There was no piano or organ accompaniment, but each person was singing with all their strength. Their voices and their words of praise to God were coming from the depths of their hearts. They were singing songs of salvation and wiping tears from their eyes as they sang. They all remained sitting cross-legged on the floor, and no one seemed uncomfortable.
Their voices echoed in my heart and shook my soul powerfully. My body resonated with the sound, and it seemed that I would he sucked right in. I had never heard anyone sing hymns with voices that gave the listener such a strong sensation of life.
Soon, the services came to an end. I don't remember the title of the evening's sermon or anything about what was said. At the end of the service, a young man who had been sitting on the floor next to me suddenly stood up and began speaking. He spoke almost as if he were giving orders. He had a dynamic and distinguished appearance and his eyes had a special gleam.
"Who could this be," I thought, "that he appears so imposing and authoritative?"
I watched him speak with a feeling of amazement. All the members of the congregation seemed quite inspired by him.
"Who is this?" I thought. "Surely he's not the minister of this church." He had been sitting next to me on the floor, just like everyone else. This made me assume that he was no one special. Besides, his clothes were quite humble.
There was another man in the back of the room, the only person sitting in a chair, and his facial features were quite distinguished. I decided that this man must be the minister or some sort of leader of the group.
When the young nun finished speaking, everyone stood up. Professor Kim must have spotted me during the service. She immediately came over and greeted me with a warm smile.
"It's wonderful for you to come," she said, "without my even showing you the way."
"I found my way through the hill country of Mount Odae when it was under enemy occupation," I replied. "Compared to that, finding this church was easy. When a person is thirsty, he can't sit still. He has to dig a well to find water. I'm sorry that I showed up like this unannounced."
"Let me introduce you to our teacher," Professor Kim said. "This is Rev. Sun Myung Moon, our founder."
I was shocked to discover that the man she introduced me to was the same young man who had been speaking to the congregation with such authority a moment ago. He was wearing a cheap jacket. I had spent my first service sitting next to him.
Reverend Moon offered me his hand, and said, "How do you do? I've heard a lot about you from Professor Kim."
"I am Major Pak," I said. "Professor Kim related some extraordinary content to me, and I couldn't wait to find out more. I know it was rude of me to come like this today. I hope you will forgive me for my breach of etiquette."
Reverend Moon responded very warmly. "Let's go into another room. You can rest a while before you leave."
He led me into a room located toward the back of the house. The person who had been sitting in a chair at the back of the sanctuary also joined us.
Before taking his chair, he smiled at me and shook my hand. "I am Hyo Won Eu," he said. "Did you just recently hear Professor Kim's lecture?"
"Yes," I answered. "She's a university professor, isn't she? It was a wonderful lecture." It seemed that everyone was aware that Professor Kim had given me the lectures.
Once we had taken our places in the room. Professor Kim told me, "The words of the Unification Principle that you heard from me are actually a revelation from God received by Reverend Moon, who is sitting here."
After this formal introduction, I stood up, faced Reverend Moon, and gave him a full formal bow.
"The content that I heard was incredible," I told him. "It gave me hope for the first time in my life. I would like to attend you as my teacher."
I was so overcome with emotion that I could hardly speak. Reverend Moon watched this whole scene with a broad smile.
The Birthday of My Soul
The date was February 17, 1958 - the day I first met Reverend Moon and the day I became a member of the Unification Church, known formally as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity.
For me, there was no period of internal struggle over whether to join this church. I was strongly aware of God's guidance in my life. There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that all the pain and suffering I had experienced up to that point had been part of God's effort to guide me to my encounter with Reverend Moon. Time and time again during the Korean War, I found myself standing on the verge of death, but each time God helped me to survive. Now, there could be no doubt that God's purpose had been to guide me to the Unification Church.
God led me to the point where I was frustrated and hungry for truth. He led me on a path of trial and tribulation. In other words, He led me along my own personal pilgrimage. He did this so that when I finally heard the Principle. I would recognize its value immediately. If I had just studied at the Korean Military Academy, received a commission according to the normal routine, and risen through the ranks without incident, I doubt that I would have recognized the great words of the Principle for what they were. I may not even have had the chance to hear them at all. Isn't this why Jesus said and do not throw your pearls before swine." [Matthew 7:6]
I remembered the pledge I made on the shore of the Changchon River. "God! If you let me live, l will live the remainder of my life for you. God, I pledge this to you!" That is what I shouted as the bullets rained down around me.
My entire company was wiped out except for three men, and all of them were wounded. Somehow, though, I came out of that without a scratch, even though I was completely exposed to the enemy fire. This cannot be explained away as mere coincidence. There can be no doubt that a mysterious force saved my life, but I hadn't known why.
Now that I had heard the Principle, the reason became clear to me. I could see that God had performed that miracle on the riverbank so that I could someday come into contact with the Principle. Ever since that experience, I considered myself to be living a life that had been lent to me by God. My first life ended in that shower of bullets.
After Changchon River, I learned to be more humble. I always strove to be thankful for everything in life. I tried hard to understand the meaning of my experience on the riverbank. It wasn't until I heard Professor Kim's lectures on the Principle, though, that I could have a clear understanding of the reason God had saved my life and of God's calling for nee. Also. February 17. 1958, was the day when I heard the voice that told me: "You have discovered the will that Heaven has set as its purpose to accomplish, so now you must dedicate your life to this."
In joining the Unification Church, I felt like a traveler returning to his homeland after a long journey. It had been a strenuous journey. I had journeyed far and encountered all sorts of difficult situations. I had often lost sight of the road and wandered aimlessly.
Finally, though, I had found my way back to the home of my soul. I had found a home where I could put down my burden and rest. Now, I could look forward to living a life of purpose and value, not ever leaving my homeland again. This was the meaning that February 17, 1958, held for mc. It was the birthday of my soul.
A New Purpose in Life
After that, I would visit Professor Kim in the KMAG chaplain's office as often as I could. I wanted to hear God's word again and again. In the evenings, the Principle was always being lectured at one location or another, and I made a point of attending these sessions nearly every day. Also, I spent a great deal of time reading the Wolli Haesol (Explanation of the Divine Principle) and the Bible. Previously, the Bible had been very difficult for me to understand. Reading it was like trying to chew dead leaves - dry and without any particular taste. Now, though, the Bible came alive for me, and reading it became an exciting experience. Each time I opened it, the Bible replenished my life energy. For the first time, I could begin to understand what it was saying.
I was particularly inspired by the Principle lectures given by Mr. Hyo Won Eu, the first president of the Unification Church and composer of Wblli Huesol and Wolli Kaugron (Exposition of the Divine Principle). Mr. Eu certainly was a man called by God to be a great pillar in his providence. He had a sharp analytical mind. On more than one occasion when I was listening to him speak, I would find myself thinking that this must be the kind of person who deserves to be called a genius.
Mr. Eu's lectures were very striking. He spoke with great passion. He presented the Principle with a line of reasoning that I found quite convincing. Mr. Eu had lost the use of one leg as a result of a degenerative bone disease he contracted when he was young, which answered a question that I had from the first day. I had thought that Mr. Eu was seated in a chair in the back of the sanctuary during worship services because he occupied the most senior position in the group. Instead, it was because he was physically unable to sit cross-legged on the floor.
When Mr. Eu lectured to several people at once, his audience would sit on the floor and he would lie down in front of them on his side. This was not an easy posture to keep for even one hour, but his lectures would almost always go on for about ten hours. His stamina and passion were almost superhuman.
The author (second from the left soon after joining the Unification Church. Mrs. Pak stands next to Revered Moon (wearing the wide-brimmed hat, fifth from right).
Each time I heard Mr. Eu lecture, I dreamed that one day I. too, would become a great lecturer of the Principle. I wanted to become a revivalist preacher and call out to the people of the world with the content of God's Principle. When I was learning English, there was a time when I would listen to the sermons of the famous American evangelist Billy Graham a hundred times each. Now, I thought how wonderful it would be if I could speak the words of the Principle in English with the eloquence of Billy Graham. Then, I could bring even the trees and rocks to tears. Many times, I would have this kind of daydream as I listened to Mr. Eu's lectures.
Soon, my whole life became focused on fulfilling the dream of mastering the content of the Principle so that I could become a revivalist preacher. Nothing else seemed to matter anymore. Until this point, my purpose in life had been to master the English language. I was so totally focused on learning English that it would not he an exaggeration to say that I was crazy for English. In a short time, though, I quickly lost my enthusiasm for improving my English further. I didn't even feel like picking up an English text anymore. Even if I did, it was impossible to interest myself in studying. Instead, I began to focus on becoming a revivalist preacher with the same degree of passion and energy that I previously had for English.
Here, I came to realize something else very important. Why had I been guided to a job in KMAG, working with the U.S. Army? Surely, this was also the result of divine guidance. Wasn't it because God planned to call me to a mission on a worldwide level and particularly to America? That must he why He had me study English. First, he made me go crazy over English, and after I achieved a certain level of competence, He brought me into contact with the Principle. At the same time He put me in a situation where I had to use my English ability on a daily basis. My English continued to improve without studying it formally.
If I had heard the Principle before studying English, I probably would have gone through life without learning English. God knew that once I came into contact with the Principle, I would be so enthralled with it that it would impossible for me to he attracted to English or anything else.
Also, it wouldn't have mattered how much English I learned if I had been assigned to a Korean army unit after my return from the United States. In this instance, I would have forgotten within a few years much of what I had learned. Instead, I was assigned to KMAG. Thinking back on it now, I realized that no amount of gratitude would be sufficient for the incredible blessing that God bestowed on me. Because of this unique course, my spirit could become totally intoxicated with the Principle without preventing me from maintaining and developing my fluency in English.
Soon. I received the authority to lecture the Principle to others. Every day right after I finished the days work at KNAG. I would go to a building in the Myungdong section of downtown Seoul. There, I would set up a blackboard and lecture the Principle to whoever would listen. During the day, I was a soldier working with Americans, and at night I was an evangelist teaching the Principle to Koreans. Sometimes, my discussions with my listeners would last into the early hours of the next morning. More than a few times, I would spend the night in this building without getting a wink of sleep and then report directly to work the next morning. My dreams of become an evangelist of the Principle appeared to he coming true.
"Who is He?"
One day, I had a very serious discussion with Professor Kim. Professor Kim was not just an average professor. She had studied theology abroad in Japan and Canada. As an assistant professor at Ehwa Women's University, she had had a promising career with that institution. Dr. Hwal Lan Kim, the president of Ehwa at that time, recognized Professor Kim for her leadership abilities and began to groom her as a future president of Ehwa. In our discussions, she always stated her positions eloquently and with a broad understanding of biblical scripture. Her logic was always compelling!
On this day, too, we began a discussion on the Principle in much the same manner as had become our custom. This time, though, the discussion was much more serious than ever before. I wanted to ask a question that cut to the core of the teachings.
"There's still one problem with the Principle that I haven't been able to resolve," I told her. "I'm not sure whether this is something you already know and are not sharing with me or if it's something that you, too, haven't vet understood."
Professor Kim immediately seemed to sense there was something different about my attitude. She sat up straight and told me: "What are you talking about? You think there might be something that I know but have held back from you? There's no such thing."
"My question," I continued, "has to do with Reverend Moon's role. I know he's the founder of the Unification Church, and that he's the one who received the Principle as a revelation from God. But..." Here, Professor Kim interrupted me.
"Is that what you're talking about," she said with a chuckle. "Well, that's easy. Actually. I think you already know everything."
"This isn't a laughing matter," I said. "I can't be a real Unification Church member unless I resolve this issue. Who is Reverend Moon, really? In the Bible, it says that John the Baptist sent people to Jesus to ask him the same question. They asked him, 'Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?' In more direct terms, they were asking Jesus whether he was the messiah, or whether they should wait for someone else to appear after Jesus as the messiah. Jesus told them, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.' [Matthew 11:15]
So, I think that in this age, too, we need to rely on our wisdom to understand who Reverend Moon is. But on this point, you don't seem to be giving me any help at all, even though I am not a scholar of theology like you."
When I had finished speaking, Professor Kim asked me, "What conclusions have you drawn already on your own? I'd like to hear about that."
"Professor Kim, I was greatly inspired when I heard the teaching of the Principle that the Second Advent of Christ would take place in our country, Korea. In fact, I was so excited I couldn't even sleep at night. This would mean that our people would be freed from the resentment of having experienced so much misery during our history. It would give meaning and value to all the suffering that has taken place. This teaching gave me a greater hope than I have been able to find anyplace else. I have come to believe firmly that this was the will of God and that it represents God's blessing upon the people of Korea.
"The problem, though, is when is this all going to happen? Will it be ten years from now? A hundred years from now? But the Principle says that the age we are living in now corresponds to the Last Days. If that's true, then doesn't that mean this is the age when the Lord is to come - that he will come during our lifetime? So, the question is, who is this person? Is Reverend Moon the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?"
At this point, I paused. For some reason, tears suddenly welled up and began streaming down my cheeks. Professor Kim sat very still with her eyes wide open, waiting for me to continue.
"So what is your opinion on this, Major Pak?" she said.
I stood up and continued speaking in an excited tone.
If you look at the Old Testament Age." I said. "Moses, who was in a messianic position vis-à-vis the chosen people of Israel, received God's calling. But it wasn't until he received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai and proclaimed these to the Israelites that he was fully recognized as the person who would lead the chosen people. In other words, it was after Moses received God's word and His law that he declared a definitive course for salvation. The Ten Commandments became the constitution of the Old Testament Age and the basic foundation for all of God's laws and commandments.
"In a manner of speaking, the Ten Commandments were the bedrock on which the Old Testament Age was constructed. But isn't it true that the word of God expressed in the Ten Commandments would not have become reality if Moses had not appeared on the scene as a central figure called by God?"
Professor Kim swallowed hard. The expression on her face seemed to indicate that she had never met anyone before who talked the way I was talking. I couldn't stop now. I had to keep going.
"The same was true with Jesus," I said. "How did people in his time know that he was the messiah? It was by means of the word of God. People heard the Sermon on the Mount, for example, and experienced for themselves the great and exceptional quality of Jesus' words, as well as their depth and revolutionary character. This was how they could realize that Jesus was the only begotten son of God, sent to earth as the messiah. In other words, isn't it only when the messiah, who is the root of the word, makes his advent on earth that the word is proclaimed? It isn't that the word was there first and Jesus came out of nowhere and proclaimed himself as the only begotten son of God, is it? The word of God spoken through Jesus' mouth comprised the words of salvation. In other words, wherever the word of God may he found, there first has to have been the substantiation of that word. Isn't this what is indicated by the New Testament?
"Based on this historical background, I've come to the following conclusions.
The Principle that I have heard is as great an expression of God's word as the New Testament. In fact, I think it surpasses the New Testament, because it takes the symbols and parables of the Old and New Testaments and unravels them one by one. The Principle talks about the overall principles of God's creative work. It gives remarkable Bible-based explanations of the human Fall and other events. Not only that but it elucidates God's providence for human salvation following the Fall. The word of God contained in the Principle is not just a prelude telling us the time of the Second Coming is drawing near. Instead, the words of the Principle are the main movement of the symphony. They represent the root of God's word. They, in and of themselves, are the words of salvation. These words reveal all of God's secrets during six thousand biblical years.
"In other words, I think we have to say that the person who brought us these words must he their substantiation. I can only conclude that Rev. Sun Myung Moon is much more than just the founder of a particular church. I think he is a person who has come as the returning Jesus who will bring fundamental change to the course of human history and the words spoken through his mouth are in themselves the Principle.
"I don't think that you can refute my logic, Professor Kim. In fact, isn't it true that you have known all of this all along and have only been waiting for me to reach a level high enough in my understanding of the Principle before you told me?"
Professor Kim swallowed hard again. She began to speak in a quiet voice, trying to lessen some of the tension.
"Major Pak," she said, "I was a university professor, so I know how to give grades to students. My grade for you on the Principle is an A-plus."
She smiled warmly and gave me a reply that had profound meaning.
"Among our members," she said. "there is one old woman who spends a great deal of time in prayer. Last night, she paid me a visit and told me something very interesting. She said: "God plans to choose one tall man who wears a military uniform and He told me that He plans to use this person to proclaim the Principle throughout the world. I think He may have been referring to Major Pak."
I was completely caught up in the grace of God.
"I will give you my reply now," Professor Kim said. "Rev. Sun Myung Moon is the one who is to come. You don't need to wait for some other person to appear. Reverend Moon was sent by God as the second coming of Jesus. Before long, he will assume the position of True Parent and open the gates of heaven on earth. You have met him now because you are blessed and because God needs you. Now you've come to know everything there is for you to know. Congratulations."
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