Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 26 We Are Peters
Tarrytown, New York
January 28, 1978
At this Belvedere service, Dr. Pak asks several members to glue their testimonies. He then glues a sermon based on the Bible story of Peter, who denied Jesus, repented, and became the rock of faith for the Christian Church. He draws a powerful correlation between Peter's situation and our own and inspires members to transform their negativity into positivity and faith.
Good morning, Father. Good morning, Mother. Good morning, brothers and sisters. And good morning, little sister Linda. One time one sister told me that she happened to sit near Linda and she was so tired that she was dozing during Father's speech. Linda said, "Wake up." Knowing that little Linda was waking her up was the most embarrassing moment she had ever had. Ever since she is determined never to get sleepy during Father's speech. Once again, as the saying goes, "a little child shall lead them."
I have great respect for little children. They are so pure and genuine, so beautiful, and that is the one reason that I really fell in love with the Little Angels and worked with them for 10 years. It was a great pleasure and fortune, working with the children. Jesus one time said, unless you are like a child you will not be admitted into the kingdom of heaven.
When people get older, like we are, we put on certain layers, and the purity and genuineness get lost somehow. Superficiality and hypocrisy grow and that is the nature of the adult. Unless we go back to the nature of a child who has absolutely no hypocrisy, no superficiality, we cannot be admitted into the kingdom of heaven. Yes, a child makes a mistake sometimes, but they don't want to hide it. They let it be known. They are helpless out there when they make a blunder. When they are in pain, they cry. When they are hungry, they search for food. They express genuinely and purely their inward state of mind. That is a child. The first thing we must learn about the kingdom of heaven is to become like a child. That is very true. It is a great and admirable thing that a child like Linda comes here.
To See Him Is To Hear Him
Even many of our brothers and sisters are missing today. Maybe there was some transportation problem because of the especially cold weather. In any case, many brothers and sisters aren't here today. We always expect people to fill up upstairs and overflow downstairs, and we feel sorry that brothers and sisters downstairs listening to Father miss a lot of the message, because many times 50 percent of Father's message is in his facial expression and body language. So that 50 percent I can't translate and I don't have to translate because you can see Father's meaning, right? But downstairs, they can't see Father, unless they all have some special medium of communication. I really do not like brothers and sisters to have to listen to Father without seeing his face. It has no spirit, like a can of beer left open for three days. It doesn't sound right, doesn't taste right.
So, therefore, our wonderful brothers in Belvedere and East Garden staff bought a new tent so we can open up this door, move this platform over there, then Father can see through to the entire congregation. There is no more basement seating from this moment on. This morning we don't have to even open up the door, and there is no one downstairs. You come such a long distance so early in the morning to really get inspired by Father's spirit. You want to go out and produce. If that is the purpose for coming to Belvedere, then you must come to the main floor, later on in the tent, so that you can have eyeball to eyeball conversation with Father. When Father speaks, I want you all to really stare at Father. This is very important. Actually, you are not hearing Father's message, or for that matter any music or any conversation, by ears alone. We hear by our eyes. Unless your eyes are directed toward the person, you never hear him truly. This is an amazing thing.
Here's a very good test. When you go to bed and people are making noise in the same room and you don't want to be disturbed, do you stop up your ears? You don't have to do that. All you have to do is close your eyes. Then you no longer hear. Amazing, isn't it? When you close your eyes, you have already closed your ears. So when you are deep in sleep, snoring, you might not even hear a bomb go off right next to you. Somebody might kick you or trip over you and you don't feel a thing.
So all you have to do to close your ears is to close your eyes. When your eyes are closed, your ears are automatically closed. Therefore, the opposite is also true. When your eyes are open and staring right at the speaker, then you are really listening and understanding that message. Please, this is very important in our movement. So, I want to use this new discovery. I am not going to patent it. I will give it to you free. Use it, tell everybody. You are listening to me with your eyes. So I want you to give me your eyes this morning, and I will give you my eyes.
Whenever Father is away for a few days, I normally come here to Belvedere to take his place, which is a very difficult job to do. Therefore, I want to give you an opportunity to hear testimonies from brothers and sisters. The most powerful thing in this world, particularly in our movement, is testimony. In the early church in Korea, when there were only a handful of people in our entire church congregation, when we gathered together, we did three things: pray, sing, and share testimony. Testimony is one of the most powerful things you can receive. You can share another person's experience through hearing their testimony.
You may feel that you are not adequate as a lecturer of the Divine Principle. Don't worry, at least you can tell your own story. Nothing is more believable than your own testimony because it is taken out of your own experience. Not theory, not philosophy, but your own life. It is your own discovery of who True Parents are to you. That is the most powerful thing under the sun.
So I want you to train yourself to give your testimony. Win over new people. You start out with your own life. People are interested in other people. Human behavior is very fascinating. We are always interested in somebody else. The Washington Post and the New York Times are great papers, but not everyone reads those papers even if they are available in their town. Do you know what they read? They read the local newspaper. Do you know why? The main reason is that they want to know what people in their neighborhoods are doing. What Joe is doing, what their mayor is doing, what Susan is doing, who died, who was born, who was married. People are very interested in all human events.
Join the Unification Army
The U.S. Army, after a long analysis of human behavior, created a new slogan to enlist new army people: "Join people who join the Army." In other words, they describe the Army as people. Good people want to come and join people who join the Army. That is Unification power, too. We are actually saying, join people who join the Unification Church. How would you like that? Join people who join Reverend Moon. All we have to do is testify who Reverend Moon is, then let them know there are wonderful people you can be a part of.
That is the way it goes. So testimony is very important. I would like to ask one brother and one sister this morning to come out and say a few words. One brother already raised his hand. I would like to have two sisters. One western sister, one Japanese sister. We will start out with the brother.
[Dr. Pak continues after one testimony.]
Brother James spoke to us without any preparation, but I know you enjoyed it because he is so genuine. His testimony came right out of his heart. One day in Washington a young black brother, maybe 16 or 17 years old, wanted to witness. So we gave him a chance to come speak to us. Oh, he really wanted to speak. He was standing in front of everybody, but he didn't know what to say. He was just shaking and saying, "it is just great, it is just wonderful" about a hundred times. Everyone was very inspired. It doesn't take so many words. I said what a great sermon he delivered. I really admired him because he was so genuine. You could see he was totally intoxicated in the love of God, just as you could see James is in love with God. You see that he is really living in intoxication. He is drunk, literally drunk with God.
That is what we need. Then everything will come naturally. God will tell you what to do. This is why the Bible says, don't worry about what to say; just go with the right mind, right heart. Eloquent speech is not going to bring the people, but love will. People understand love. People know instantly if this person is loving me, if this person is caring for me. You know in your heart you care for him. You love him. There is the communication. That is the most powerful thing. You can stay up all night writing an eloquent speech, but that will not bring members. That will not inspire people.
That is now the state of the churches. They even prepare their prayers, don't they? In other words, they read the prayers. All night they use the dictionary, look in an encyclopedia, and check what St. Peter said, what St. Paul said, trying to make up beautiful pages of prayers. And the next morning they read the prayer, because they cannot rely on their heart or their own conviction. They cannot rely on their own confidence and love with God. They have to rely on knowledge. In our church, you know we never prepare written prayers. We see God, close our eyes, see the face of True Parents. Then you know what to say. Maybe the grammar is poor, maybe the language is poor, but the prayer is real and powerful. That is the way it goes. Now I would like to hear the sister's testimony.
[Dr. Pak continues after a Japanese sister's testimony.]
Did you speak English when you first came from Japan? How many years ago did you come? Yankee Stadium time, which was 1976. At that time did you speak English? She came from Japan for the Yankee Stadium campaign. She really looked like a typical Japanese lady, and she did not speak English when she came, but ever since Yankee Stadium she has been learning. Listening to awkward English, Japanese-style English, really has a fresh feeling. Testimony is an amazing thing. Why did I want a Japanese sister to talk to you? Because I want to show you that not only eloquent language has power. The language of heart, genuine, with true expression is powerful. That moves other people. That is why the Japanese brothers and sisters produce more for God than anyone else even though they do not have a background in America or good language skills. They produce more in fund-raising, witnessing, organization, workshop. Why? Because they have heart even if the language is less.
[Dr. Pak continues after a sister's testimony.]
Beautiful testimony, eloquent, clear, full of heart. I really am without words.
So these are great sermons this Sunday morning. This great brother and great sisters who gave testimony this morning have given you a greater sermon than a person like me can deliver. They come right from the frontline of our mission where God works. God is not working at headquarters. God is not working in the office. God is working on the frontline; on the street corners, home church, fund-raising, MFT, and extreme frontline are where God is truly working.
This morning I would like to share with you a few thoughts. I am not going to take too much time because we really want to go out and work. However, I want you to leave with enough inspiration. So let us inspire each other so we can go out, particularly during the absence of True Parents. This is the time we can show our maturity. Father is always telling you that you are the ones who will take over. You are the messiahs. Go ahead. Do it. Let me see it. So this is the time that we can really show that we are indeed the messiahs.
So I would like to dwell on a very important thought. My title this morning is "We Are Peters." As you know, Peter was the name of Jesus' disciple. Many people today understand that Simon Peter was the chief disciple of Jesus, but nowhere in the Bible does it say that Peter was the chief disciple. But when you read all the scriptures, Peter does seem to be the head man, the boss, the chief of staff.
Who Do They Say I Am?
What does it mean to say "We Are Peters"? Let us read the scriptures. Matthew 16:13 says, "Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, `Who do men say that the son of man is?"' In other words, who do the outside people say that I am? What do they call me? Jesus asked his disciples because, just like you going out witnessing in New York City, they were always meeting people. And the disciples answered, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and the others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." That was their answer, but actually, the disciples were not that honest. They didn't want to say the bad things that people were saying about Jesus. What were people saying? Here is one example. Matthew 12:24 says, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons." When Jesus performed lots of miracles, they said he was Beelzebub, which is the name for prince of demons. But that is not all. They said even worse things.
Read John 10:33, "It is not for a good work that we stone you, but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God." People were saying, we cannot forgive you, Jesus, because you, as a man, act like God. How could you do that? That is blasphemy. You are a liar and impostor. So we are going to pick up stones and stone you to death.
Again, that is not all. You can read in John 10:20, "Many of them said, `He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?'" The people were saying Jesus is a mad man. But his disciples answered Jesus saying that people say you are Elijah. You are John the Baptist. You are Jeremiah. You are one of the prophets. But at the same time Jesus was called a prince of demons, Beelzebub, mad man, blasphemer. Think of it. The son of God, Jesus, was turned into a prince of demons.
But if at the time of Jesus there had been a Washington Post or a New York Times in Jerusalem, many more things would have been said about Jesus, I am sure. Definitely they would call him a brainwasher. Many people would say he is a demigod. Others would say he is a charlatan. They might have said he is something like Hitler, even though Hitler was not there, but something like that figure. Demon, monster. All of which today are the things that people say about Father.
Jesus came to build the kingdom of God here on earth, proclaim the word, and tell people to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. He was sweating day and night, just like our Father. Working and sweating and giving his entire life to lift up the world, cleanse the world, lift us up to the throne of God. Helping us receive salvation. People said to him he is a prince of demons, a blasphemer, and a mad man.
On This Rock I Will Build My Church
Then Jesus goes on in Matthew 16:15-20, after hearing their answer, "but who do you say that I am?" A very critical question. Who do you say I am? What do you say about me? "Simon Peter replied, `You are the Christ, the son of the living God.'" That was the answer of Simon Peter. "And Jesus answered him, `Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ."
Many people today think, particularly Roman Catholics, that Jesus built the church on the person of Simon Peter. But actually, the rock means faith, the church was built on the foundation of Peter's faith in Jesus as Christ. That is the true meaning of the Bible.
Today we know what people say about Father and what the newspapers say. What do we say about Reverend Moon? What is your answer? Upon that answer the Unification Church will be built. Today many people think Reverend Moon is a good teacher, just as 2,000 years ago many people thought Jesus was a good teacher. They also thought Jesus was a prophet, and today many people say Reverend Moon is indeed a modern day prophet. On the other hand, many people criticized Jesus; they said he was the prince of demons, and people paint Father almost as a demon. Jesus was called a blasphemer and a madman. Today people also have said that Father is a hypocrite, charlatan, and blasphemer.
But the important thing is, what do we say about Father? My confession of faith is this: Reverend Moon, Father, is indeed Christ. What is Christ? What is the definition of Christ? Christ is the person in whom the word of God is made flesh. When God created Adam, God wanted Adam to be the first Christ of mankind. Adam was supposed to be known to mankind as Adam Christ. Because of the fall of man that did not materialize. So God made His word flesh in the person of Jesus. The individual named Jesus became Christ. So we call him Jesus Christ.
However, the consummation of the mission of Adam was not seen 2,000 years ago. Therefore, the Bible prophesied there would be another coming of the Messiah. That person who comes to complete the mission of Jesus is the Christ. I am not asking you to accept my answer, but this is my confession, just like Peter's. Father is the Christ, the word of God made flesh.
These things cannot be taught. This confession must come as your hard-won realization. Father would never say to you that he is the Christ. I never heard Father say this. And did you know that Jesus himself never outright proclaimed, I am the Christ? In the entire Bible, Jesus never said it. Furthermore, Jesus never said, I am the son of God. Many times Jesus said, I will lead you to become the children of God. He never said, I am the son of God. He always said, I am the son of man. The Bible never said Jesus is the messiah. Did you know that?
The Perfected Adam
But in many places in the Bible, Jesus said he came in that capacity. For example, the last sentence we read from Matthew 16 said, "Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ." He didn't say, I am the Christ, but he prohibited the disciples from saying it. But Jesus accepted Peter's confession of faith. This morning my confession to you, which you do not have to accept, is that Father is the Christ. And furthermore, Father is more than the son of the living God. My testimony is that Sun Myung Moon is the True Father or True Parent of mankind. In the New Testament, it is written that Jesus is the son of the living God. The Completed Testament, which is the final volume of the Bible, will say, Sun Myung Moon is the True Father of mankind, or True Parent of mankind. Another way to say it is: Sun Myung Moon is the perfected Adam.
I do believe that many of you would echo the same testimony. When Peter said, you are the son of the living God, you are the Christ, Jesus said, upon this rock I will build my church. Today, the Unification Church is built on the modem-day Peters, on the rock of faith of knowing who Father truly is. This is our privilege. Jesus at that time said the power of death shall not prevail against his church. Death has no power. By the same token, when we follow Reverend Moon in this faith, death has no power. Nothing can stop us. Upon that spirit, Christianity produced tremendous martyrs. Many people were killed because of that faith. But the power of death could not conquer them. If you have that power, that faith, if you are another Peter with that faith, then nothing, no power under the sun, can stop the spread of this movement.
That makes each one of us strong. That particular feeling made brother James, who shared his testimony today, totally intoxicated in the love of God. How can he feel the living God so strongly? Because we have something special. We have jewels, we have diamonds. No matter that other people think Father is a charlatan, a Hitler, whatever. Just like 2,000 years ago. But the followers and disciples of Jesus knew who he was. Why are we here on Sunday morning at Belvedere? Because we know something that people outside do not know. We know something that it is so precious. The power of death cannot stop it. That is why we are here.
What happened to Peter? At the time of Jesus' crucifixion, the same Peter who testified to Jesus as the son of the living God was literally scared to death. He was trembling in fear. When he was asked if he was one of the followers of Jesus, Peter said, I do not know what you mean. Then another woman in the crowd spotted Peter, saying, you were with Jesus of Nazareth. Peter denied it, saying, "I do not know the man." But yet another person said, "Certainly you are also one of them." Just as Peter denied knowing Jesus for the third time, a cock crowed, and he remembered that Jesus had predicted he would deny him. Peter came back to himself. He realized what a terrible crime he had committed. In his heart he had murdered Jesus.
At that moment Peter repented. He was so ashamed. In that dark period of his life, Peter certainly was not Peter; he was not a rock at all. He was a poor, scared individual trying to hide and stay out of danger. He was surely a bag of dirt. You know what this body is, don't you? Dirt. Just dirt. Without the spirit of God, we are reduced down to just a bag of dirt. Peter was not a Peter at all. He was not a rock at all. He was crumbling dirt.
But gradually, Peter's confession in front of Jesus came back to him. He determined to indemnify his failure. He decided to die for the cause, to die for Jesus. He wanted to die in no ordinary way so he could pay back the debt. When you read the Acts of the Apostles, Peter's faith shines out. Peter returned to his original state as Peter. He became a rock once again. He was shining out in faith, shining out in the spirit of God. Wherever he spoke, he was speaking with the authority of Christ. He inherited the spirit of Christ. He performed miracles. He healed sick people. Peter was invincible. No persecution could hold him back. Nothing outside people said or did could bother him.
If people say very negative things about Father and the Unification Church, and you lose power and become pale and totally hopeless, I want you to know that at that moment you are a chunk of dirt, not living in the spirit of Christ. But if you are living in that spirit today, just like Peter 2,000 years ago, after he found his faith again, what the outside people say will not bother you. Even more, when people say negative things about Father, it will spur you on into a greater fighting power. You can turn the negative power into positive fighting spirit. That is the way it should be. If you are in that position, you are a real Peter.
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