The Words of Reverends Yang
Seeking the Things Above
Dr. Chang Shik Yang
April 4, 1999
If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, you also will be revealed with him in glory. Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come. [Colossians 3:1-6]
When we finish our physical life, we go through a second birth. This is called death. The place into which we are born this second time is the spirit world. We go into the spirit world and, on behalf of the entire universe, receive love from God, our third parent. That is to say, we receive ideal love. So in the spirit world unification is inevitable. To die means to move from a world of land where we crawl and walk to a world where we fly freely. We pass through death in order to become qualified travelers who, with love, can enjoy the entire universe. That is why death is, in reality, a new birth. [The Path of Life for All Humankind, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon]
Good morning. The biblical passage that was read this morning from Colossians, the city of Colossus was about 100 miles from Ephesus and was an industrial center. This letter was written by Paul during the his first imprisonment. We read today the first chapter of the second part of that letter that was written to his disciples in Colossus. There are four chapters in this book and the first two chapters have to do mostly with doctrine. There was a lot of discussion at that time about Judaism and Hellenism, so he deals with problems arising from that discussion in the first two chapters. In chapters three and four he deals primarily with the practice of faith.
Of course Paul has written many letters, and more than half of the New Testament was written by Paul. Through these letters -- Romans, Philippians and the others -- we are able to share in the life of faith of the disciples of the early church. Paul himself was a very devout Jewish believer until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and went through a complete change. Paul's experience was with the resurrected Jesus. He never met Jesus while he was on earth. He had heard about him but had never actually met Jesus before the crucifixion. He had many experiences with the resurrected Jesus, and that is the basis on which he was writing. It was a very special Jesus that he met, not a physical Jesus but a spiritual Jesus.
Paul's experience with Jesus was very real, and it was through his five senses that he had experiences with Jesus and lived with Jesus and was able to then go on and teach about those experiences. While Jesus was alive, Peter and the other 12 disciples lived with him. The greatness of Paul was that even though he never met Jesus while he was alive, he was able to experience Jesus and come to know the essence and very fundamental aspect of Jesus through his spiritual experience.
For Christians the two most holy days are Christmas and Easter. I don't think there is any Christian who truly knows the process by which Jesus went through his life from Christmas to the crucifixion and to the resurrection on Easter morning. It is only through the Principle that we can really understand the purpose for which Jesus came, the significance of his crucifixion and the meaning of his resurrection.
Christians have basically three aspects from which this day of Easter is celebrated. Many Christian ministers will preach about Easter from the aspect that this is a day of victory, this is the day that Jesus gained victory over death and came back to life. The second aspect that many people talk about is that Easter signifies the way that Jesus will come again in the future, to judge and to lead us into eternal life, that the resurrection is a foretelling of what would happen in the future.
A third aspect is to emphasize the meaning of the resurrection in our daily life. That is, how we can experience Jesus' resurrection, how we can experience the resurrected Jesus similar to the way that Paul did. Probably the most important of these is the third one, how do we experience Jesus' resurrection in our daily life. In I Cor. 15:31, Paul says, "I swear to you brothers, by the very pride you take in me, which I cherish in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I face death every day." He is talking about facing death every day and resurrection every day. To die every day means that you are resurrected every day.
We should remember that the true meaning of resurrection is not in the past, it's not in the future, but it's in our everyday life. We know the accurate meaning of resurrection through what we study in the Principle. To be resurrected means to come back to life. To come back to life means that we have experienced death. We know the meaning of death. Death is the result of the fall. Not the death of our physical bodies but our death as sons and daughters of God.
The process that we go through from being in Satan's dominion, then restored back to our original positions as sons and daughters of God -- that process is called resurrection. The most important thing is not the fact that the tomb was empty, but the fact that we are able to experience the resurrection of Jesus in our daily lives every day, in the process of being restored.
Resurrection is one of the most important concepts, one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, yet the concept, the understanding of resurrection is very confused. There is the belief that Jesus still is going to come back in the flesh, the same flesh that he had 2000 years ago, that in the last days many people who have died will come out of their graves in the flesh.
There was one famous minister in Korea who died some time ago, and his last words were that he be buried not in a coffin or casket, and that they shouldn't put heavy rocks on his grave or anything like that, but just put sand on his grave and dress him in white clothing so it would be easier to rise from the grave when the time came.
Rev. Yo Han Lee was the first Christian minister to join the Unification Church. He met Rev. Moon in 1952 in Pusan. Before he joined the church he said he would always go to bed at night with his suit and tie on. He figured that no one ever knows when the Lord is coming, so whenever the Lord came, Rev. Lee wanted to be dressed for the occasion. As soon as he would hear that trumpet, he'd be out there in his suit and tie to meet the Lord. Eventually he met Father.
This is a very sincere and pure faith, and people with that kind of sincerity and purity of faith can be found all around the world. If these doctrines of the Christian church are true, that is the way we should live. The doctrines in the Divine Principle really give the true identity and true message of Jesus. The problem is, how does the Jesus of Nazareth who lived 2,000 years ago become the Jesus Christ of our faith? The connection between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of our faith is very difficult sometimes and there are some jumps that have to be made.
Over the years, depending on the age and leaders of the church, many ways have been developed to bridge that gap, which turned into doctrine over time. In some instances we see Jesus described as a revolutionary, as a liberator, as someone who gives us all kinds of good things and blessings. Various descriptions of Jesus have arisen.
The description of Jesus as given in the Divine Principle, starting with the Principle of Creation all the way through the Second Coming, is really the most accurate image of Jesus and gives you really the essence of Jesus. That is why the Unification Church is the most Christian of all Christian churches.
The resurrection is not something that takes place all of a sudden. It is not just people alive today who need to be resurrected, but also people who have already died. The resurrection takes place according to providence. We call the resurrection providence the restoration providence. The restoration providence is the providence of re-creation. We have to be re-created according to the Principle of Creation.
Through Divine Principle we study that there are four conditions we must meet in order to take part in the providence of restoration. The first is the merit of the age. The second is that God's portion of responsibility and man's portion of responsibility have to come together. The third is that resurrection takes place only on the foundation of the physical body, and it takes place through three orderly stages. That is the basic formula for resurrection that is taught in the Principle.
Twenty days from now Dae Mo Nim will be coming to Washington. She is bringing news that is hard to believe. She is coming to perform a very amazing ceremony by which we can have up to seven generations of ancestors liberated. Many of you have been to Chung Pyung. For those of you who have not been able to go, I have written a paper about understanding Dae Mo Nim's activity on earth through the Divine Principle. This paper has been put on the Internet so I hope you will go there and read it.
The relationship between ancestors and us, their descendants, may be hard to understand for Western members. The idea of liberating ancestors may seem strange. The most important motivation for writing this paper was to explain that the spiritual phenomena going on at Chung Pyung are quite different from spiritual phenomena in the past. Spiritual phenomena are something that spirit men cannot do themselves. They have to work through a medium. For the medium to perform that function, they have to have a very strong foundation of faith in order to receive that spirit.
Our spiritual senses are not open, and our ability to make judgments on the basis of Principle is rather weak, so it is difficult for us to say with certainty whether something is right or wrong. The important thing is, how do True Parents, the center of our faith, view this phenomenon. There are many footnotes in my paper about how True Parents have worked with the idea of liberating ancestors, how they have spoken about that.
The conclusion of this paper is that the spiritual phenomena centering on Mrs. Kim, who is acting as the medium for Dae Mo Nim, are actually part of the process of the providence. Mrs. Kim is simply a medium for Dae Mo Nim and Heung Jin Nim. She is not speaking on her own authority. As we follow Father, we watch to see how he carries out the providence, and we see that he is always working on two levels, on the physical earth but also in the spirit world. Right now we are in the final stage where the 6,000-year providence is being brought to a conclusion. Father came for the purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. That was also the purpose for which Jesus came 2,000 years ago. It was also the ideal of creation by which God established Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden 6,000 years ago.
Because Adam and Eve fell and started a fallen history, the work that True Parents have to do in this world has become very complicated and there are all kinds of problems that have to be taken care of. All the problems in the visible world are connected to problems in the invisible world. All the things happening in the lives of your family members are happening because we are living at the end of the 6,000-year providence. They are happening in order to correct and make right all the problems that have happened in the past.
The most precious thing that we can find in True Parents is that they understand the spirit world and they are working to restore the spirit world. That is a power, a special authority that only the Lord of the Second Advent can have. A prophet cannot liberate spirit world. No religious leader can have the ultimate authority to liberate spirit world. There is no leader who is teaching in such detail and with such great content about the spirit world.
Right now True Mother is on her speaking tour around the country and she is meeting with great success in each city. There have been many speaking tours in the past, but the speech on this tour is very moving and inspirational to people around the country. Probably the main reason for that is because it gives the significance and purpose of human life. It talks about the spirit world, the connection between this world and the next and how we get there.
One 90-year-old person in Japan who heard Mother speak in Japan wrote a letter about her feelings. She said that she had lived in daily fear of death until she heard Mother's speech. Hearing the speech completely liberated her from her fear and she was tremendously grateful.
On April 17, 1960, Father declared the day of resurrection of heart. He said on that day, if you want to believe in me then you have to have a parent-child relationship with me based on the connection of heart. We have a parent-children relationship based on a physical connection, but our connection with our True Parents is a connection of heart. It was on this day, April 17, 1960, that Father, by declaring of resurrection of heart, gave the way in which we could establish this heartistic connection of the parent-child relationship. After blessing the 36 couples on April 17, 1961, he declared the day of substantial resurrection. In 1960 he declared the heartistic foundation, and then a year later he declared that we could be substantially resurrected as his children.
There are two gates that we have to pass through in order to go into the Kingdom of Heaven, in order to become God's true children. First we have to go through the gate of the heart. Father said that first our body has to be resurrected, then our mind has to be resurrected, our spirit has to be resurrected, and then there has to be a resurrection of the heart. The gate to the heart is the question of how we can narrow that heartistic distance between us and True Parents and become heartistically one with them. In order to become heartistically closer to True Parents, we have to experience the circumstances that True Parents have experienced. We have to understand who True Parents are, and by experiencing the circumstances they have experienced, see how they have lived.
We are all actually resurrected people. We were in the fallen world before, but then we heard the Divine Principle and made a decision, and we have changed our lives and been resurrected into new life. By receiving the blessing we have come to stand in the position of sons and daughters who have been resurrected substantially.
The final Kingdom of God can come about only when the spirit world is resurrected as well as the earth. We know that there are three stages: formation resurrection, growth resurrection, and finally perfection resurrection stages. Perfection resurrection means that we completely liberate spirit world and physical world. Beginning with the RFK blessing Father has been talking a great deal about blessing people in the spirit world. As you know, at Madison Square Garden Father declared the blessing of 34 couples of saints, sages and villains.
This year at the blessing in Seoul Olympic stadium Father blessed many more couples who are in spirit world. In a speech on February 8th Father emphasized the importance of blessed couples liberating our ancestors in the spirit world. On January 29 at Hannamdong in Seoul he said that blessed members need to liberate their ancestors up to seven generations, and that this is necessary for you to be registered in the Completed Testament Age..
How then are the ancestors liberated? That depends on the conditions that we descendants set in terms of our heart and dedication. We know through the principle of resurrection that spirit people work through returning resurrection, that they go through their descendants or other people on earth and are resurrected through that process. According to True Parents' direction, the ceremonies of liberating ancestors up to seven generations started on February 12th. The period was set that it be conducted from February 12th through August 29th. These ceremonies are conducted in a two day ceremony at Chung Pyung.
The liberated ancestors go to Heung Jin Nim's special training center in spirit world for 100-day training. After that training they are able to return to the physical world as they were at 33 to 40 years of age. Then they are able to receive the blessing. After the blessing they receive another 40-day training as couples in the spirit world. After that 40-day training they are given two missions: one is to go to the ancestors of the eighth generation and back to save them. The other is to help the descendants who are on earth. The liberation of the ancestors to the seventh generation has to be a foundation eventually for liberating ancestors up to the 120th generation.
Also there is another ceremony during this period for second generation children who have passed into the spirit world. The parents participate in this ceremony in place of the child who has passed into the spirit world, and on February 13th 179 parents from Korea and Japan gathered at Chung Pyung for this ceremony. These children most of the time are in the spirit world under the protection of angels. The growth and maturity of children in the spirit world depends on the sincerity and dedication of the parents on earth.
In this ceremony Dae Mo Nim gives a special prayer candle to be used for praying for these children. There is the question of when these children will receive the blessing. True Parents' second daughter, Hye Jin Nim, passed away at a very young age. When she is blessed then these second-generation children will also receive the blessing with her.
This liberation and prayers and ceremonies originally were intended only to be done in Chung Pyung, but we are very fortunate in that the entire situation is being brought to America.
There is also a heaven and earth blessing that will be performed when Dae Mo Nim visits this time. This is for those who have a spouse who has already passed into the spirit world. These couples can be blessed between heaven and earth. Perhaps some of your parents are in that situation. If both have passed away, it is very difficult for them to meet each other, but if they can be blessed together while one spouse is still alive on earth, then they can be together later on in spirit world.
These prayers and the liberation of ancestors are a tremendous blessing that is brought to us according to the Principle. All members should participate. Only blessed couples may participate. Only blessed couples have the qualification to liberate our ancestors. Discussions are going on now at headquarters whether this can be expanded beyond blessed couples to members of our tribes, to people who have participated in the blessing given by True Parents and who have gone through the three-day ceremony and become truly blessed couples in the church. You can't just come in and participate. You have to have some preparation and foundation before you come. That is why, as was explained last Monday, there is a 21-day period of special dedication. You can begin today if you did not hear that explanation.
Dae Mo Nim is going to be in Washington on the 24th. She will start in San Francisco, then Chicago, then Washington, and finally New York. Members to the south of Washington will be coming here to participate. We expect probably she will begin about 9 a.m.
As has already been announced, it is extremely important that we establish a spiritual foundation to participate. A minimum condition has been established for that. No matter how big a condition we established, we cannot liberate the spirit world based on our own merit. Absolutely 99.9 percent of this is the grace of God and True Parents. It comes at the price of the sacrifice of Dae Mo Nim and Heung Jin Nim. We have heard that the smaller our foundation, the more indemnity has to be paid in spirit world by Dae Mo Nim and Heung Jin Nim.
Rev. Kwak has related to us that during the 21 days there is one of two things we must do. Either fasting at breakfast time or 50 kyung bae every day. I was wondering why 50. My personal interpretation is that it is 7 bows for each of the 7 generations, plus one more for God. You can do more than 50, however. During this time of special dedication you need to offer your sincerity. You could do the first seven bows for the first generation, the second set for the second generation, and so forth.
I think the best way that you can become close to heaven during this time of dedication is to participate in the holy ground prayer service. Right now about 200 members are participating every night in this prayer service. If your home is too far away or circumstances make it too difficult to participate, at least at home have a prayer service at 10 o'clock. Separate your home from Satan through holy salt. Establish a special altar in your home. Dress very neatly and have a service in which you really offer your dedication to True Parents and to God. You can add cold shower conditions or other conditions you are inspired to add.
These spiritual conditions are the foundation of faith. Based on that foundation of faith there also needs to be a foundation of substance. I think that should be to bring guests to Mother's speech on April 8th. I think we should also prepare a special offering of gratitude. This is an indemnity condition for our ancestors' sins. I will explain this in a little more detail next time.
We need to wait for that day with a heart of gratitude. How can we, just with our own personal dedication, ever liberate our ancestors? Even if we were to do 500 or 5,000 kyung bae, that would not be able to liberate them. If your parents have passed away then you know that there are many things that you would have liked to do for your parents, as their filial child, while they were alive. If you have brothers and sisters who passed into spirit world before you, this is also a time when you can liberate them. This is something that money cannot buy, and it is something that no amount of dedication can bring about. It is really a wonderful blessing and grace that is given to us.
Let's bring success to Mother's speaking rally and on that foundation have tremendous blessing through Dae Mo Nim. As Paul said, set your mind on the things above. Who is above? It is God and Christ. Paul is saying, let's center our lives on God and let's center our lives on Christ. He is saying, let's take off our old clothes and put on new clothes -- meaning to take off our old life and lead a new life.
In the early days of our church, many people who heard the Divine Principle would start dancing with joy. In many cases that was not just themselves dancing but their ancestors coming from spirit world and dancing with them. The rumor spread that the Unification Church was the dancing church. At times people would cry with joy at hearing the word, and the rumor spread that we were the crying church. I think that April 24th will truly be a day of joy and liberation and gratitude for our ancestors. Prayer is dedication. Prayer is like lighting a light in the spirit world, and with that light we can go into the darkness of spirit world and find our ancestors with a heart of gratitude and a heart of expectation.
Dae Mo Nim is going to other continents as well, but she chose to come to America first. She has a special expectation for Washington. I'm sure that we will receive blessing according to the amount of preparation that we make. I pray that this April will be a month in which great blessing will flower in your family. So let us prepare with hearts of joy and families of joy.
Father returned to the United States this morning, and on the 8th we will be able to have a joyful experience with Father in East Garden through a satellite connection. I'm sure that all blessed couples will come to the University of Maryland on April 8th and that all your guests will be there and we can begin preparations in earnest from today. In the celebration time after the speech, the second generation will be with us.
I'd like to finish by praying that God's blessing and the incredible grace and blessing of spirit world will be with you and your families. Let us thank God and True Parents and also Dae Mo Nim.
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