Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 24 Testimony to the Power of God [Part 2]
Tarrytown, New York
August 28, 1977
The River Turned Red
I was deeply touched by America's standing with God. I wanted to become a Christian because I wanted to become somebody. Previously in combat I had an experience. Our entire division had collapsed, and we were retreating. I was leading a company of 200 men going back to the south. We came to the Chung Chon River in the eastern part of Korea. Other people were also retreating. About 1,000 people were following us. I asked the men to put all of their gear on top of their heads and ford the river. I was still on the river bank, watching how things were going. Hundreds of people were in the water when all of a sudden from ahead of us, at the top of the hill, machine gun fire opened up. It was totally annihilating. Everyone in the water was being killed. Within minutes the water became crimson red. We were helpless. We could not shoot our rifles because they were on top of our heads. There was no cover on the river bank. I shouted to the men not yet in the water to get down. Everybody fell to the ground. The machine gun fire continued to come like a shower of bullets. In seconds the entire river was covered by bodies and blood.
The first word that flew into my head was "God! Hananim!" I didn't know the Christian God, but in my young man's mind, I believed there was a God. That word came to me first. In the second flashing moment, what came to my heart was, I am so empty, I am not capable of calling God's name, God is not part of me. At that time I felt that I was not ready to die. My heart was absolutely empty. I had no right to call the name of God. The third flashing thought, while the machine gun fire was still coming, was: God, if you give me a chance and allow me to survive this, I will be your man. I will serve you. I will discover you. God, can you give me a chance? I am not ready to die. All these thoughts came so quickly to my mind.
Finally, as a military soldier, I knew the only thing that could save us was a miracle, that is, to have U.S. fighter-bombers attack the enemy. That was my fourth thought. At that moment we heard the sound of airplane engines. Fighter bombers appeared and circled the area and shot rockets into the enemy territory. Now the Chinese Army had to take cover. So the shower of bullets suddenly stopped. This was our opportunity to escape. The first thing I did when I got up was check my body. In combat you can be hit by bullets and not even know it. So I checked to see if I was wound ed. There was not even a scratch. My body was intact. I shouted out, "Follow me. This is our chance." Only two men followed me. All the rest of the 200 men were dead, and even these two who were alive were terribly wounded. So I helped these men to get away from that cliff. That was the most incredible experience.
After that, I spoke to God-not as my Father, I didn't know God was my Father at that time-God, thank you, my life is no longer mine, it is yours. I owe you my life. Anything you want to do, please do it. I want to search after you. I will do anything for you. My life is yours. From that time, I began to search for the truth about God.
There is one more experience I want to share with you about my life as a military cadet. One time, during the first three days of combat when two-thirds of my classmates were killed, we were climbing a hill. There were two seniors in front of me, and the mortar fire and machine gun fire was severe. Before this, I had never even heard of mortar fire or artillery fire. It was just incredible. I needed to take cover. You know in Korea there are tombs all over the mountains. They are not like tombs in the United States. The tombs usually have a little mountain and there is a little stone for offering. The tombs are very handy in combat for taking cover from enemy fire. I saw a tomb, and the two senior men who were ahead of me took cover behind it. I was trying to join them. I was crawling forward, short of breath, step by step, foot by foot. Then they saw me coming and they said, don't come, don't come. There are too many here. It is too crowded.
Denied Safety But Given Life
In that moment I was very, very disappointed. These men were telling me it was too crowded. They told me to stay where I was. There was nothing else to hide behind. The ground was flat and the enemy fire kept coming. They were senior, so I had to obey them. I stopped, but my heart was discouraged. I was very hurt. They denied me the chance to take cover. A moment later, there was a gigantic explosion in front of me. Enemy mortar fire had hit right in between the two positions. In the next second, all I could see was a big hole where they had been and their two helmets. The two men were gone. They actually saved my life. If I had kept going, by the time I arrived there, the mortar fire would have hit and I would have died with them.
I cannot enumerate all the experiences of this type that I had, one after the other. As a young man, the same age as you are now, these kinds of mysterious happenings changed me. Even without having a Christian mind and Christian God, I determined to become somebody who really served God and His purpose. There must be divine will in my salvation.
So I had come to America with all of these experiences behind me. I wanted to find God. I could see that God was working very, very strongly in this country. I wanted to become a Christian. I went to a local church in Columbus, Georgia. I became a Christian in America without knowing English. I was baptized by submersion. I was submerged in water and came out a Christian in the Church of Christ. I began to study the Bible. Two things came into my mind strongly: One, I want to become a good Christian; two, I want to master English. This is where my drive to learn English began.
So Many Questions
To be a Christian was not easy. I studied the Bible. I went to many churches. I had so many questions. I asked the ministers, What is the fall of man? How come eating a little apple, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, brought such formidable consequences? How could the action of eating bring about a hereditary sin? And I wanted to know, if God is love, how could God allow sin to creep in and then say He would save us? Don't you think that is just a little hypocritical? God is saying, I gave you a disease and now I will give you medicine to cure yourselves. I asked the same kinds of questions you had at one time. It is common sense to come up with these questions. They are not theological questions. I fired one question after another at the minister and he couldn't answer. The minister, who was a good man, said, "I don't know all these answers, but I know one thing: there is a God and we must be obedient to Him. If you are too fussy, you will not make yourself a good Christian." He was actually saying, don't ask such questions. The important thing is that my heart needed to be ignited. My heart remained cold. I was baptized, but my heart remained cold. I read the Bible, but it did not give me meaning; nothing clicked. God was unreal to me at that time.
I decided that I would keep going as a Christian, but I had no satisfaction. My heart remained cold. In the meantime I studied English. I entered the Army Language School. Getting into that school was another miracle. You know what happened? I will just give you one instance. I knew at that time that I could not learn English unless I devoted myself to it full-time. I could not cover enough ground learning from an instructor. I wanted to devote myself totally to the study of English. I needed to get into the Army Language School, but I had to get permission from the commander of the infantry school where I was an instructor. I went to the commander, General Soh, who is the Defense Minister of the Republic of Korea now. He knows me very well. The last time I went back to Korea, I met him and we talked about the good old days. I said, "General, you were very stubborn at that time; you didn't allow me to go to the Army Language School." "Yes, but you learned English anyway," he said. He is a very wonderful person, and we are close now.
I asked General Soh, "General, the instructor's life in this school is wonderful. There is no question about it. But I want to learn English. Could you kindly send me to language school where I can learn English?" He said, "Captain Pak, you are such a good instructor in our school. We need you." This was very flattering, but what he was saying was that he could not allow me to go because I was needed. So he declined by saying, "I need you. You are a good instructor in our school. Without you we will be helpless, so help me for another year. When I transfer out of this school, you will go too. That is a promise. Can you take it?" I could not say no to a general. When this happened I gave up.
I Couldn't Sit Still
October I was examination day to select the students for the language school. I cannot forget that day. Many applicants took the exam. Even though I had a promise from the general, my heart was very, very sad because I wanted so badly to learn English. He had blocked my opportunity. I was lying on the floor in my bed roll. One of my friends, Major Lim, took the exam and came back to the dorm. I said, "Don't talk to me about it." Then he said, "By the way, I have news. General Soh was transferred yesterday. He received orders from military headquarters to go to some other post." I jumped up. General Soh had promised that when he was transferred I could go to language school, but it was just one day too late. The examination was over, and I had missed a golden opportunity. I was shocked and dismayed. I just couldn't sit still. I had to do something. So I got out and I ran. Where? I ran to the examination place. Of course, nobody was there. There were empty desks. It was all over.
I saw the janitor and asked him, "Do you know where the army officer is who came from Taegu to supervise the exam? Do you know which hotel he is staying in?" The janitor said, "That hotel."
So I went there. I didn't know what I would say. My disappointment and enthusiasm were all jumbled together. I just couldn't stand still. I had to do something. I asked the hotel clerk what room the colonel was staying in. I knocked on the door, and a man answered, "Yes! Who is it?" I said, "Captain Pak, sir." He opened the door and said, "Oh, Captain Pak, how are you?" He was not in his military uniform but casually dressed. He was waiting to go back to his headquarters, his assignment completed.
After he opened the door, I didn't know what to say. He said, "Oh, Captain Pak, it has been a long time. Come on in." I looked at him and I didn't know him, but apparently he knew me very well. "It's nice to see you. You look well." (I didn't look that well.) And he said, "Sit down. Sit down. Let us talk." Still I didn't know what to say, because I didn't know who he was. I was completely lost. His name was Colonel Kim. He said to me, "Captain Pak, I know you don't remember me. There is no way you can remember all of the students you have taught. I was one of your students in Infantry School. I was in the 28th advanced class, the colonel's class." I had taught hundreds and hundreds of colonels, and certainly there was no way to remember them. He said, "I was in the 28th session of the advanced colonel's class and I was taught by you. I have been instructed by many people in the infantry school, but I never forgot you. One instructor impressed me so that I never forgot him. That man is you. I remember your face, your name, and I remember what you taught me. I even remember the jokes you told in class."
I was totally amazed. Now I felt so relaxed. I told him, "Colonel, I came for a serious talk. There may be no way you can help me. I have an ambition to learn English. I am desperate to learn English. When I went to America and saw that great country, I felt in my soul that I must somehow learn English. I want to get into this language school."
We talked about everything that happened, including General Soh's promise to me. I said, "Here I am. I don't know what to do. I missed this opportunity." Then Colonel Kim said, "Well, I am going to be your friend. I am going to give you a chance to take the exam. You can take it right now, here in my room. I happen to have an extra examination paper." He opened up the package of exam papers and pulled some out. "Here is the part on military tactics. Here is history. Here is the essay. All right, take the exam right here." Boy, what a miracle. So I sat down on the floor and spent two hours writing.
Also amazing was that Colonel Kim said that I must be tired and he ordered Coca Colas and cookies and encouraged me to have some. He said, "I merely came to supervise the exam; I did not create the test. Professors at headquarters did it. So I don't know the problems." Then he looked through all the good papers other people wrote. "Well, Captain Pak, this paper looks very good; why don't you consult it. Go ahead and use it as reference." You can imagine what I felt.
A Very Special Test
How could I fail such an examination? There was no way. Think of it. God works so mysteriously. If I took the regular exam, I might have failed because I have no English background. In this way, my entrance was guaranteed. That is why I was accepted into Army Language School. Other applicants were college graduates and had been English majors; others were already interpreters and were far advanced in English. They were reading Time magazine and Newsweek already. They could talk about Shakespeare and Hemingway. I was talking about a, b, c, d, e, f, g. The difference was like heaven and earth.
Only 30 people were accepted in the class. We had exams every Saturday. According to the results of the quizzes, the classes was divided into A class, B class, and C class. Those ranked one to 10 were A class, 11 to 20 made up B class, and 21 to 30 were C class. Certainly I could not keep up with the other students, so I was an honorable member of the C class. But I was really determined. I had the Unification Church spirit even before I knew the Unification Church. I knew I was there for some purpose. Twenty-four hours a day I just studied, studied, studied. For me, there was no Saturday, no Sunday. In the Japanese Navy in World War II they had a schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday. They skipped Saturday and Sunday. So I studied with the Japanese spirit.
I memorized everything. When we were given a quiz, I knew precisely what page and what line the material came from. I have a memory book in my brain. After about six months of study, sometimes, to the amazement of the instructors, I got 100 percent on the Saturday quiz and was promoted to the A Class. Then the following week somehow my memory wasn't that good and I missed a line, then the whole result was different. When I started out on the wrong line, I ended up certainly on the wrong line. Right? So I had a blind memory. I came up with zero. Up and down, up and down went my grades.
At that time I was married and my first child had been born. Like most people in Korea at that time, we were poor. You could not live on the salary of that time. We were poverty stricken. But I was determined to study. I sent my wife and my daughter back to my wife's family home and I made a showdown to win or lose in this game. In about nine months, I went from learning my ABCs to reading Time magazine. I learned the entire several year curriculum in nine months and I graduated in good standing.
My Ears Didn't Work
However, I had learned from the book but not from the ear. At the graduation ceremony, the American military advisor came and gave the congratulatory message. He said, "I give you my hearty congratulations because now I can deliver my speech without using an interpreter." But I couldn't understand him. Later on I learned he had said that. At the time, I didn't know what he was saying. My ear was totally blocked. I had no comprehension. Here I was, graduating, and I couldn't comprehend even one word. An American speaking sounded very funny. The sound was different from hearing the Korean instructors speak English. My ear just wasn't open to American English. So on the day of graduation this thin pale officer was totally despondent. I had given everything for a year, and I didn't gain even a decent understanding of English. What could I do? So I made one more determination. I would go on. I enrolled in another English school where ear training was given. I played tapes recorded by Americans. I plugged the recorder into my ear and listened 24 hours a day. After three months, my ears opened. It was like a deaf person who suddenly, miraculously, could hear.
The American advisor who admitted me into the second school was totally amazed by what I had accomplished. He said, "Are you the same Captain Pak of three months ago? You can speak and understand beautifully now." Then another opportunity came to go to America, and I went back to Fort Benning, Georgia, for advanced training. I never dreamed I would come to America a second time. But this time, in 1956, I came to America without an interpreter. I studied right alongside American officers. I was determined to study not only military art but English. The first thing I did was purchase a tape recorder and I studied English by the same method which I had enjoyed so much. Unless you study English by your eyes and your mouth and your ears altogether it doesn't work. I went to church and delivered some speeches because I wanted to develop my speaking ability.
At the end of this training session, I was second in the entire class even though I was competing with the American officers. This was remarkable. The school commandant, Brigadier General Malloy, who later on became the Commander-in-Chief in Korea as a four-star general, was amazed by my record and sent it to the U.S. general serving in Korea, General Matthews. General Matthews was chief of the U.S. Military Advisory Group in Seoul. When he received my papers, he thought, this man must be pretty good, and he wanted to see me. When I reported to his office, he said, "You did a pretty good job in Fort Benning, didn't you? I have a commendation letter from General Malloy. Would you like to serve me as my assistant? I need a Korean interpreter and aide. I think you are the right man for me." All of a sudden I was given a chance to serve the U.S. general in Korea, which required daily English language in all of my work.
At that time, I was simultaneously searching all over for the ultimate truth about God. My heart was still empty. My Christian zeal was not ignited. Then a young lady from the Unification Church approached me. That was the historical moment. You can see that God built me up to being an assistant to the U.S. Army general where English had to be my daily diet. Then he brought me to the Divine Principle.
How Could I Refuse?
Since time is passing quickly, I would like to be brief. I listened to the Divine Principle in two nights. Two nights of lectures answered all my questions. I was really bubbling with enthusiasm for the day when I could proclaim the truth to the Korean people or even the people of the world. I was so astonished by the power of the truth in that two nights of lectures. Dr. Young Oon Kim taught me. She is my spiritual mother. She had invited me, "Won't you come one night to hear some wonderful philosophy?" She didn't say Divine Principle, she didn't say Reverend Moon, nothing, no mention of the Unification Church. "I will buy you a little dinner. Will you accept my invitation?" I was a very proud officer, an aide to the general. I was a very proud person. How could I refuse this invitation from a beautiful young lady?
When I arrived there I couldn't even walk upright through the door to the house. I crawled into a little room. There the most astonishing thing was revealed to me. I didn't remember what I ate. It was not the important thing. There I was searching for the possibility of knowing some great truth. I said, "I need a lecture." She gave me a two-hour lecture, all of part one of the Divine Principle. Then she invited me to come back the next day at seven o'clock. The next day I got so sick, I couldn't go. There weren't many telephones in Korea then, so I couldn't call her and tell her that I was sick. Knowing that this lady was waiting for me, I got up and said to my wife, "I must go. I cannot disappoint this young lady. I have to keep my promise." I went there and for two hours listened to part two. It was so painful to wait until the two hours were over. The amazing thing was that at the end of the lecture, I wasn't in pain anymore. I became a new man. There was no pain, no headache, nothing. Then I had a tremendous appetite to discuss more. So I stayed there until almost 12 o'clock, which was the curfew hour. We discussed, discussed, and discussed the Divine Principle. She still didn't mention Reverend Moon.
I wanted to go to her church. I asked her if they had a Wednesday worship service. She said, "Yes, we do, but, Captain Pak, you don't have to be that excited; calm down a little bit. I might invite you next Sunday." She didn't even say next Sunday was all right; she said, "I might invite you next Sunday." So I asked her, "Am I not good enough to come to your church?" She said, "No, no, that is not it. You should digest what you have heard of the Divine Principle." I said, "No, I can't wait. I want to go to tomorrow night's service at your church." She said, "No, no, there is no chance you could come." But I insisted and said, "I will find your church and I will go there anyway whether you welcome it or not." She knew that she could not win and said, "All right, you come."
I went to that church, a very humble church in Korea. It didn't look like a church. It had a wooden floor. There were young people, dressed informally, not wearing ties. It was a cold winter day-it is very cold in Korea in February. There was no heat from the stove. We sat and sang the Divine Principle hymns just as you did this morning. But there was only a handful of people, not this many people. The hymns were so powerfully inspiring to me. As I have said many times, our hymns are more inspiring than anything else. The Unification Church hymns are different, because we are singing out from the soul, not just from the lips, not just the music, not from the good melody; we are singing out from our soul. That is what we are doing. just like you do now, it was their tradition in those days. The young people were kneeling on the floor and singing so loudly and most beautifully from the soul. It touched my heart.
Later I learned why Miss Kim was hesitating. She did not want me to see such a humble-looking church. It had no heat and no chairs. Maybe this proud officer would not like it. He might not want to join such a poor church. She was afraid that might happen. I was really searching. I was dying for the truth. I had had all kinds of experiences, which I have described to you. I had to learn some truth. I wanted to be a person who is not afraid to die. I was inspired. That first night someone delivered a sermon. I don't remember what I heard, but I was so inspired that night, sitting on the cold floor just like you do. Then at the end of the sermon, a young man stood up and came to the front. He had no tie on and was wearing a humble-looking jacket. He gave the members instruction. He had such power and grace and authority. More than anything else, what touched me was his authority.
Such Power and Grace
Who is this man? He had been sitting right beside me. We were worshiping together. I thought he was one of the members. He sang together. He worshiped together. So he was just one of the members, I thought. Then at the end of the service he stood up and came to the front where he gave instructions with power and authority.
After the service was over, Miss Kim came over to me, smiling, and asked me if I enjoyed the sermon. She asked me if I would like to meet her leader. I said, "Yes, I am ready to meet your great leader." I thought I was going into some throne room, and I would have to bow down. I imagined that the leader must be a fantastic person. He must be so genuine and pure. He should not even be exposed to this filthy and mundane world. He must be somewhere behind a veil. I said, "Yes, I am ready to go." Then she turned around and said, "Son Sengnim, would you meet Captain Pak." Well, that was the very person speaking in front of us with authority. That was Reverend Sun Myung Moon. That is the way I met Reverend Moon.
That is the way I met Father. From that night on I stayed in the church until the curfew hour. Sometimes I stayed even after the curfew until one or two o'clock because I was a military officer and I had a military jeep. No military police stopped me, even after curfew. I took advantage of that. I stayed late listening to Father in an informal setting night after night after night. I studied the Divine Principle all day. My concern about learning English was gone. I just didn't care about English anymore. I asked myself why I didn't come to the truth much earlier. I spent so much time on English.
However, because of my occupation as an aide de camp to the U.S. general, I had to speak English every day. This is the way God helped me to maintain my English ability. I went to work and just did my perfunctory duty. I just did what I needed to do. Then I studied the Principle and went to hear the lectures. At night I went to the church where I sat in a small room together with Reverend Moon and Reverend Kwak. We had a wonderful, wonderful time together. This went on day after day and month after month. Those days were truly the most remarkable days of the history of the Unification Church. Father in an informal setting gave out his heart. He spoke with such frankness, candor, and honesty in such beautiful depth about the truth. I was so inspired.
All right, this is part one of my testimony. Some day I can reveal part two, the rest of my story: how I came to America, how I came to serve in the embassy and so forth. Anyway, let us come to the conclusion because time is going so fast. Now today after 20 years, I learned why God prepared me to speak English even before I was introduced to the Divine Principle.
As you know, hopefully on September 1, Father will come back. On September 1 our longing period is over. I will stand by his side. Father will be here and I will go back to my original duty translating for him. But I tell you, when I was first given the mission to translate for Father, I knew that it was a virtually impossible job. Such abstract depths of the deep thinking of God-how can I translate this? I cannot even express what he says in Korean well, how can I do it in my limited English? So from the beginning I felt that it was an impossible task, but the order and mission were given. The only way I can do it is by faith. So I want you to know my secret of translating Father is not skill. My skill in English is still far from being able to interpret for Father well. It is impossible. But I want to do it in faith, in total obedience to Father. Somehow I want to translate his spirit. If I can convey Father's spirit somehow, then I have done my mission. It will be done.
That is the way I have felt for the last several years during the Day of Hope tours. Father never prepared a text for his speeches. He always spoke from his heart. My only preparation is prayer and then all of a sudden, 10 or 15 minutes into the speech, some rapport, a harmony is established between Father and me. Then when Father speaks I can feel his spirit so beautifully. I can speak out of his spirit, and then after one hour it doesn't matter what language I am speaking. I am elated, I am walking on cloud nine. As I experienced at Madison Square Garden, after two and one half hours, I was the one so inspired when the speech was over. That was one major rally where Father spoke without text. I felt that I was flying.
Precious Gallons of Sweat
But when I go back over the translation tapes, I am ashamed of myself, ashamed of my lack of English ability. I repent all the time to Father that I am going to be judged later on in the spirit world for not doing a good job for our True Parents. I know I deserve that condemnation because my English capability is never good enough to translate for Father. The only way I can pay indemnity is to do my best and sweat more. One day I spoke to Father, "Father, you must forgive me. I have no way to do the job perfectly. I have no way to justify your words and how I translate them into English. I have made so many mistakes and blunders. I am sorry. Can you forgive me because of one thing at least: I sweated. I really poured out all my sweat, gallons and gallons, particularly, Father, during the Day of Hope tour. My underwear and even the shirt and the jacket and the trousers were soaked. Everything got so wet. Father, at least I sweat. So can you forgive me because of my gallons of sweat?" He laughed. He smiled. I hope he will say yes someday. But I repent my inadequacy to do the job well. So my apology goes to you.
Actually the words of Father that I understand are 100 times greater truth than you hear through the interpretation. I am sorry I could not give you the best of Father, total Father. I want you to understand that I will do my absolute best to translate his spirit, so that at the end of Father's sermon, I want you to be at the same level with Father's spirit. I want you to feel you are on cloud nine and know you are important and are inspired to do the job that God asks you to do. If this is the case, then I am sure there is room for me to be forgiven.
Today I determine once again I am going to restudy English and do a total English overhaul. Just as an engine needs an overhaul after being driven for 100,000 miles, I determine now at the age of 48 that I am going to overhaul my English. I am determined, especially as God has given me an opportunity to do it. So for the next several months I am going to totally refinish, retouch my English capability so that I can improve at least slowly, step by step, to better translate for Father in the days to come. That I promise.
Also, this is my supreme mission, to translate for Father. This is a more important mission than anything else you can imagine. So everything is concentrated to do that job. I need better health, for example. I want to take exercise, not for my own sake, but in order to keep up with Father's energy so that I can translate all the time up to the age of 60, 70, 80. Only God knows how long my health has to be good. As long as I am alive, I want to be in the position to translate for Father. Now I need health, a good body. So I want to take exercise.
The amazing thing about Unification Church is this. Whatever you do, if your goal is unselfish, you can do it. There are many reasons for desiring to make yourself healthy. In my case I want to keep up with Father's energy so that I can translate for Father better with energy and power. That is why I want to take exercise. I want to fulfill that mission well.
Fraser Is After Me
Now here is one more opportunity, a challenge that came to me in Washington, D.C. The entire government is harassing us, trying to undermine our Father's work. As a first step, they are trying to knock me out. My brothers and sisters, all kinds of investigations of me are now going on. I know their goal is to knock me out first, then they will move on to Father. I am like a roadblock. If they feel they have knocked me out successfully, they can knock Reverend Moon out also. This is their scheme. I am being accused of all kinds of wrongdoings. The Internal Revenue Service is after me. The Federal Trade Commission is after me. The Justice Department is after me. The Federal Reserve Board is after me. The notorious Fraser committee is after me.
In my entire life, I tell you, I never have felt more challenged than today. I am not afraid of anything. I am not fearful of such investigations. I don't even worry about the outcome or what they might do with me. They might judge me in court. Go ahead, do that. They might throw me into jail; okay, do that. Well, if I ever go to jail, I have a beautiful plan what to do. I already have my schedule. If the Fraser committee cites me for contempt of Congress, it will mean about a one-year jail term. If they ever throw me into jail, I know I am going to have a beautiful year. I am going to have tremendous things already lined up. I am really looking forward to that.
Instead of being afraid of it, I am looking forward to it. I am not afraid. There is one thing I am afraid of. In everything I do, I want to give honor to Father and honor to God. I don't want to make a mistake. I don't want to become a coward in the sight of God, in the sight of truth, in the sight of you. I am praying everyday: God, give me your wisdom and let me do justice and bring back to you this opportunity to present Father to the entire world so the glory of God can be shown throughout the entire world.
There is one person in the Bible whom I want to be like. That person is Stephen. I want to become like him in the Completed Testament Age. We are living in the era of the coming of the Lord, the era of the True Parents. We are living at the pinnacle of history. That is in itself a great glory. I want to become somebody in the Completed Testament Age.
I want to read one paragraph from the words of Stephen, and then I will let you know why I want to be like him. If sometime you have a lack of energy, I recommend you read the Acts of the Apostles. It will truly give you energy. History is powerful. Stephen was the first martyr in Christian history. He was a very wise man. More important, though, he had the conviction to follow Jesus Christ, and in his wisdom and spirit was a great disciple of Jesus. In Jerusalem, the people could not compete with Stephen in wisdom. So they plotted against him, just like what is happening in Washington today. They cannot come squarely against us, but they are using dirty tricks, just like they did to Stephen 2,000 years ago.
In those days in the synagogues they spread rumors that Stephen was condemning God and Moses by uplifting Jesus. They said Stephen was the enemy of Moses and the enemy of God. Also, they gave out the rumor that Stephen was proclaiming that Jesus' power was going to destroy the Holy Temple. They said he was a blasphemer and must be condemned.
So Stephen was called by the council to the synagogue. The council was laying judgment upon Stephen. There was a high priest in charge, just like Fraser is today. I imagine that if Fraser ever calls me, he will be like a high priest, sitting on a big bench. I may be sitting way down there, a very small guy, trembling, and in a poor position, in the position of Stephen. All kinds of charges were brought against Stephen, just like today the Fraser committee has brought charges saying I am a KCIA agent, working secretly for the Korean government. There is no truth to it at all.
You Betrayed the Righteous One
Stephen was condemned. His face was glowing with the Holy Spirit. He stood up without any fear and laid down a heavy dose of judgment on the hypocrites. You can read it in the Bible. I would like to read just one paragraph. "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who receive the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it." [Acts 7:51-53] What power! Stephen is actually saying: you, your ancestors, your fathers keep persecuting the God-sent prophets. Now you are doing just the same as your forefathers. You are the ones who murdered the Righteous One that God promised to give us, Jesus Christ.
Stephen is condemning the priests and scribes and elders and so forth as the murderers of Jesus Christ. You murdered the Righteous One. These are not things that a fearful person can say. This is a person with conviction and power who can speak up and say, you heard the message from God delivered by angels but you did not keep it, you hypocrites. People certainly didn't want to hear that. Do you know what the people did? They knew Stephen was telling the truth. They knew every word Stephen was saying was the truth. Their consciences hurt. They could not bear it. They didn't want to hear any more from Stephen, so they stuffed their ears. They stuffed their ears and dragged him outside and picked up stones and threw them at Stephen. Stephen became the first martyr.
The Bible says the moment they threw the stones at him, he looked up into the sky. He saw the heavens open. He had no fear. Jesus Christ was standing at the right-hand side of God. This is beautiful. I take a great meaning out of this phrase. In other places in the Bible, Jesus Christ is described as seated on the right-hand side of God. But at the moment Stephen was being stoned to death, the Bible said Jesus was standing. Because of such a dramatic, heroic action of Stephen, Jesus simply could not sit still. He had to stand up, ready to receive Stephen's soul. This is the greatest way of life a Christian can live.
The Greatest Honor
Today you and I are following an even greater course than Stephen. This is the greatest honor we could ask for. Having Jesus and our True Parents stand up and be ready to receive our soul. Yes, we want to become sons and daughters of God who can make Jesus and True Parents stand up and make God get out of His throne and be ready to receive our soul. The final word Stephen spoke was, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." This was the same prayer Jesus had prayed. You think attacking and killing is power, but the real power is forgiveness.
This is what the Unification Church is doing today. We are not here to stand in confrontation with the rest of the world, even with the communists. That ordinary people can do. But God's power makes us even stronger. That power will give you the power to forgive and save them and liberate them. This is our position, this is the Unification Church. Even fighting against the Fraser committee. Our ultimate motivation is not to hate at all. Our ultimate motivation is love, forgiveness, and to really liberate them from the darkness of their sin.
Someday history will record the acts of the apostles of the Unification Church. I want you to become one man and one woman whose courageous deeds and powerful deeds of forgiveness are recorded in this new acts of the apostles. That is the example we found in the New Testament. With the power of the Divine Principle, we can do just the same or more. Isn't that true? Yes.
There is one more thing I want to share with you. This may be my final session with you before Father comes. I am so glad. I have really run out of resources. Father must come so I can be filled. You need Father, not me. I am glad he is coming. I am so glad. So during this next week, you are really going to work harder to be ready to meet Father. I want you to be ready. My conclusion is this: the kingdom of God is not going to be occupied by people with famous names, prosperous-looking big figures and so forth.
There were many great figures in the Old Testament era, high priests and scribes and elders and kings and queens and so forth. But do you know that the first one who entered the kingdom of God along with Jesus Christ was not a priest, not a scribe, not an elder, not a king, was not even an apostle of Jesus Christ. No, it was the unknown thief. He led a criminal life, a dirty life. He may have killed people. He probably stole and robbed many times. That man became the first to accompany Jesus Christ to Paradise. The thief on the right-hand side of Jesus during the crucifixion grabbed the opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a most dramatic opportunity. He had the honor of being crucified next to Jesus.
Two thieves had the same opportunity, but they responded in totally different ways. The thief on the left-hand side said, if you are the Son of God, why can't you come down and save yourself. I pity you. Why can't you save yourself and save us? He scornfully laughed at Jesus.
The thief on the right-hand side heard what the other thief said as he cursed Jesus in that fashion. Of course, this thief was not a Christian or a disciple. He protested saying, you rascal, you and I deserve this death many times over, but he didn't do anything to deserve to be crucified. How can you speak in such an evil way to the most noble and divine person? He defended Jesus in a most dramatic manner on the cross. He turned to Jesus and said, "Lord! Lord! Can you remember me today? Can you remember me?" Jesus said to him, "Truly, truly I say to you, you shall be with me in Paradise." He was the first person who was accepted by Jesus and he accompanied Jesus to Paradise. He grabbed the opportunity. He gave his final devotion, final energy, final soul for the sake of Jesus. This moved the heart of Jesus.
Today you and I are almost like this right-hand side thief. There are always left-hand side thieves. The rest of the world might say the same thing to our Father. We are the ones saying, "How could you say such an awful thing to the holy one who comes to save us and is without sin?" We say like Stephen, "You were given the truth and you did not keep it." We turn around to Father and say-no matter how miserable we are, how humble we are-"Father, can you accept me? Can you forgive me? Can you take me along?" Yes, we must move the heart of the Father. We must move the heart of the Heavenly Father and the heart of True Parents. Then we will be all right. You will be most dramatically victorious. No one can doubt your victory. No victory is greater than that one. I want you to know that we will be hearing from Father in that case: "Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall be with me always, here on earth and thereafter in heaven."
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