The Words of the Yang Family
Sola Gratia (By Grace Alone)
Dr. Chang Shik Yang
North American Continental Director
August 29, 1999
San Francisco Family Church
San Francisco, California
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:1-3)
Good morning, brothers and sisters. The first page of the general introduction to Divine Principle says that the unhappiness of humankind originates in ignorance. As the Divine Principle explains it, there are two types of ignorance, spiritual ignorance and physical ignorance, and these two came about as a result of the fall. The Divine Principle says that the result of spiritual ignorance is that we came to be ignorant of God, we came to be ignorant of the purpose of life, why we are alive and where we are to go. In other words, we became ignorant of God and we became ignorant of the spirit world.
Throughout history many religious leaders and philosophers have dedicated their lives to answering the questions, "Is there a God?", "Is there life after death?", and "What is the purpose of our lives?". But none of those people were able to prove or to argue with certainty that God exists or that there is life after death, or to give us a clear picture of God.
True Mother visited 24 cities in America during this past tour, and approximately 26,000 people participated in those speeches. In every city that she visited she received numerous proclamations from governors, state legislators and other dignitaries. In virtually every city the day of her visit was declared to be True Family Day, True Love Day or the Day of Dr. Moon. But it is not just that the external participation was so high and that proclamations were given. Most important was that many people who participated were truly moved and enlightened by the message that Mother delivered.
Many people testified that they came to understand about the fundamental meaning and principle of life, that they had learned about life after death and been liberated from the fear of death. We received many letters from people saying that this had happened to them. Among the billions of people living on earth today, everyone has their own religion and they follow that religion as best they can. But none of those teach clearly about life after death, or about God with such certainty and clarity as do Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
It is because we have this great truth that we have been able to endure incredible difficulties during the past 20 to 30 years and keep going on our path. Those of us here today are people who have been able to overcome unhappiness and ignorance in order to be in the place where we are today.
A number of years ago in Korea there was a rally attended by many Christians. The catch phrase of the rally was "I found it." What did they find? They said that they had found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and learned the fundamental meaning of life. These are precious truths, which God has also shared with us. But we are people who know that we have found something even more fundamental and essential than what they were talking about. Do you believe that?
Because of this, we are people who have been freed from confusion and unhappiness. Many different people may be trying to drive to the same destination, but the person who has a clear idea of exactly where he is going and how to get there, then he can travel more directly and efficiently, and will enjoy the journey with a much happier heart. We are driving through life, but we have a clear idea of where we are going and how we are going to get there. The only question is, how certain are we of this in our own hearts and how do we express that certainty in driving through our daily lives.
The thing that people fear most in life is not being robbed or having an intruder enter their house. What most people fear more than anything else is death. Through the teaching of True Parents and all we have learned, we can offer more than the wish or hope of eternal life. We can clearly tell the world that the kind of death that people thought existed, the kind of death that people have feared most does not exist. We can break down the walls between the life here and life in the spirit world, between life and death. Do we carry that conviction in a heart empowered with hope, and walk through our daily lives knowing the power of the truth that we have? For that reason we came to walk this path and find ourselves here now.
The title of today's sermon, Sola Gratia, comes from a Latin phrase used by Martin Luther, meaning "only by grace." When the Catholic Church had become corrupt and Martin Luther began his reformation of the church, he used three essential phrases -- Sola Fides, by faith alone, Sola Gratia, by grace alone, Sola Scriptura, through the Bible alone.
I am not going to go back 500 years and argue today about the Reformation, but I don't think we can understand why Martin Luther emphasized those three phrases unless we really understand the historical context in which he was living. I was very surprised to see that some members were confusing today's age with the age of the Reformation and saying that today's age is also in need of the kind of reformation we had several centuries ago.
Of course the fact that we were born is grace. We are alive by grace. We are able by grace to keep going. From the time we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, from the time we are born until we die, we are always receiving grace. The fact that we are able to be here in good health is by grace. It is by grace that we are able to have a loving spouse and children. More than anything else, the greatest grace is that we have a teacher who teaches the significance and purpose and path of life.
What is the savior? It is the person who saves the world. We can say that it is the one person who is saving while living in the midst of the world.
In a few days from now Dae Mo Nim will be here. She is in the spirit world as a spirit person, but she will appear before us through a physical form. We have conquered ignorance, but because of our remaining fallen nature we are sometimes not quite sure about the next world and have questions about it. Our members know who Dae Mo Nim is. She is the mother of True Mother. She was born in 1914, and she passed into the spirit world in 1989. I will not go into detail about her life here on earth.
Rather, I want to talk about how she has participated in the providence and the mission that she has received from True Parents, and how that relates to our lives. While Dae Mo Nim was on earth, she lived a life of very deep and strong faith. In 1948, seven years before she met Rev. Moon, she was able to spiritually recognize who he was and what his mission was. She prayed fervently during those seven years, and at the end of that time she met Rev. Moon in Chung Pa Dong. As you entered the sanctuary you received a table of contents with your program, and this talks about how we can understand Dae Mo Nim's mission.
The essence of God's salvation is restoration. How does restoration come about? Restoration means to recover that which was lost. But we cannot recover things in just any way. There have to be certain conditions set in order to recover that which was lost. That is the meaning of indemnity. We call it restoration through indemnity. In order to carry out restoration through indemnity, there have to be certain conditions. Those are the conditions or foundations in order to receive the Messiah.
The same is true with Dae Mo Nim. Just like us, she needed a foundation of faith and a foundation of substance in order to prepare the foundation to receive the Messiah. The course that she walked in order to prepare that foundation was really an incredibly difficult path which transcended life itself.
Recently Father taught that the true way of faith should be by Jungsung (Devotion) and Love. Truly those two words characterized Dae Mo Nim's life. Through devotion and through love she prepared her foundation to receive the messiah. But no matter how great the faith she had, it would not have been enough unless she had connected herself to True Parents. If she did not have the order or approval of True Parents to carry out this mission, she would not be able to do what she is doing now.
God has established True Parents in this world today in order to bring a conclusion to His providence, and so it is only with the appointment and approval of True Parents that Dae Mo Nim or anyone else can carry out the providence. If you carefully read the paper which I wrote concerning Dae Mo Nim's work, you will see that it explains the connection between God and True Parents, Dae Mo Nim, and Mrs. Kim, and how the connection is established here so that the providential work that Dae Mo Nim is doing now can come about.
When Dae Mo Nim passed into spirit world in 1989, I was a regional director in Seoul and I participated in the seung-hwa ceremonies for her. On the 6th and 7th of November Father gave her four very clear missions. The first of those was to act as a bridge of heart between the spirit world and the physical world. The second was to facilitate the relationship between Heung Jin Nim and Jesus. He said that this was to make the Unification Church one with Christianity based on the foundation of Judaism.
The third mission Father gave to Dae Mo Nim was to unite all the blessed families of the Unification Church centering on Heung Jin Nim and former President Eu. The fourth was to pave a road that leads all the way from the top of heaven, from the seat next to God, all the way down to the bottom of hell. At the moment that Dae Mo Nim was going into spirit world, True Parents gave her these four missions. As soon as she passed into spirit world she began making preparations so that she could return to the physical world.
The reason that True Parents were able to give that kind of direction to her is that while she was on earth she saw the unprincipled life that members were living and the various things within our personal, family and church lives that were not right. She approached these sins with a mother's heart and prayed that even at the sacrifice of herself members could be liberated from their ignorance. When Father concluded his prayer for her, he said, "I appoint her in the name of True Parents, so God, please help her to carry out the work that she has been appointed to accomplish."
The next important thing is how is it that Dae Mo Nim was able to appear again on earth through Mrs. Kim. I think the details of that will be made clear when Mrs. Kim comes. There have been two hours that have been set aside for Mrs. Kim to speak on behalf of Dae Mo Nim and she will probably speak about this there. The important thing is that heaven appointed Mrs. Kim to fulfill this mission, and that even while Dae Mo Nim was on earth, Mrs. Kim prepared herself, working parallel with Grandmother Hong. But the most important thing is the recognition of True Parents.
In chapter eight, on the second page you will see an explanation of providential events involving Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim as intermediary of the True Parents. Through this section you can see how True Parents have recognized Mrs. Kim as the intermediary for Dae Mo Nim in her work on the earth. In order for Dae Mo Nim to work on earth there has to be a four position foundation prepared in this world. You can read that the first of the six points was the blessing of Hyun Jin Kim, Mrs. Kim's oldest son. He was adopted by Dae Mo Nim as her son, and at the age of 17 he was blessed by True Parents as Dae Mo Nim's son.
Before the 360,000 couple blessing, on August 23, 1995, four families in spirit world were blessed. This was actually the time when the spiritual blessing began, and the four couples were Dae Mo Nim's couple, also Dae Hyung Nim, an older brother of Father's who worked with him and protected him very well. Then Choongmo Nim, Father's mother, was blessed, and also Hyun Jin, who was blessed as Dae Mo Nim's son.
These blessings were conducted so that Dae Mo Nim's substantial four position foundation could be formed on earth. Then most of you know about the blessing of spirit world in Washington DC, when Dae Mo Nim was appointed by Father to conduct blessings in the spirit world. After the blessing, as you know there has to be a three day ceremony, and there was a three day ceremony for Dae Mo Nim, conducted through the physical bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Kim.
All the foundations were laid in the physical world so that Dae Mo Nim could work in this world. Then she returned to the house in Seoul where she had lived during her time on earth and Mrs. Kim began to live there, doing the work. After the RFK blessing there was Father's benediction called "Declaration of opening the door for spiritual blessing." There is a photograph of this moment in time, where Father and Mother took the hand of Mrs. Kim and prayed with her and blessed her work.
Then she began working in Chung Pyung, doing the fourth and fifth points described in my paper, doing the work of ancestor liberation and cooperation of the resurrected blessed good spirits. Since then, working through Madison Square Garden and up to the present, Dae Mo Nim and Heung Jin Nim have been the central points in working for the blessing and liberation of spirit world.
Our members need to understand clearly that this is not just some spiritual phenomenon that is going on in Chung Pyung, or something that Dae Mo Nim or Mrs. Kim are doing on their own individually. We are living in the final stage of the providence. Father is going through the final chapter of the 6,000 years of God's providential history. Father needs to completely liberate the spirit world and earth, and needs to establish at least the framework for the Kingdom of Heaven in spirit world and on earth before he passes into spirit world.
As long as there are unliberated spirits remaining on earth, we cannot say that Father has accomplished his mission as True Parents. In the same way, until everyone on earth has taken the holy wine and the lineage of Satan has been completely broken and rooted out, then True Parents cannot say that they have really accomplished their mission. So Dae Mo Nim now is assisting Father not only by acting in the position of mother and the substantiation of the Holy Spirit, the central point for resurrection, but also working to liberate all spirit world and all the people of the earth.
In the context of the principle of resurrection, this is now the time of the completion stage of resurrection. Through Dae Mo Nim's visit in April we began the liberation of the first seven generations of our ancestors. Now we are preparing for their formal blessing and the liberation of generations eight through fourteen. Through this process they can be resurrected into the perfection stage. To grasp this process, we must understand clearly the principle of resurrection.
There are four basic principles which govern the process of resurrection. The first and most important of these principles is the merit or grace of the age. We are all the products of history. If we compare history to a relay race then we are all the final runners in our family's lineage. We have received the baton from our forefathers and it is we who are rushing toward the finish line. You have no idea how many people are lined up behind you on your team. Your victory is their victory, so you have to take the right direction. You have to be careful how you go so that you won't have an accident along the way.
You saw the movie "Ghost" didn't you? In that movie there was a spirit man who could see what was going on in the physical world, who desperately wanted to influence the events of this world in the right direction. Spirit world is trying to unite with the physical world, but it is very frustrated. We are living in an amazing time, in the victory realm of True Parents when we can receive their grace.
Look at yourself in your mirror at home. Can you by your own strength and power liberate even one of your ancestors? Would any amount of money be enough to liberate your ancestors? If you fasted 40 days, would that be enough to liberate even one generation? No matter how much dedication and sincerity you offer, that would not compare even a little to God's grace. We receive salvation only through grace. Behind that grace, in the background we always need to know there is True Parents' blood and sweat and tears and sacrifice.
Martin Luther said Sola Gratia, only through grace, but it's not just through grace that we are saved. We also have responsibility. Grace may be as much as 99 percent, but at least there is one percent responsibility that falls upon the descendants. That is our responsibility. That is what Dr. Sang Hun Lee mentions in his book. Our dedication, our prayers, our commitment and the material conditions that we offer, those are the things necessary in order to liberate our ancestors in the spirit world.
Another important principle of resurrection is that there has to be a physical body. Without a physical body spirit men cannot be resurrected and elevate themselves. As Dr. Lee says in his letters, once a person passes into spirit world, he can go thousands of years without being able to move up in the spirit world. Without a physical body a spirit man cannot grow. We are incredibly important because we have physical bodies. That is why we say the body is like a temple. It is a tool that we can use in order to liberate the spirit world. That is why Paul said we should honor our physical bodies. They should be used for righteousness.
We need to believe that the offerings we make and the conditions we set are the things that are necessary to liberate our ancestors. In Luke 16:19-31, we see the story of Lazarus, a man who was living in a rich household, eating the scraps from the rich man's table. In the Bible he was described as a beggar. I think he was probably not a beggar, but a man living on the lands of the rich man. The important thing is that both of them went to spirit world, but the rich man went to hell and Lazarus went to a good level of spirit world, perhaps because he used whatever wealth he had to do good works.
The Bible gives a very clear description of hell, saying the rich man went to hell and he was so thirsty that he begged Lazarus to put even just one drop of water on his tongue. But Abraham said, no, you can't do that, because the gap between Lazarus and the rich man was too wide and too deep. The rich man asked one favor, to go to his five brothers on earth and tell them not to live the way he lived. The Bible says even that cannot be done so easily.
All of us will go to the spirit world, whether rich or poor. Everyone will meet final judgment. We cannot receive salvation in the spirit world. We have to prepare ourselves for the spirit world while we are still on earth.
In the late 80s in Korea there was an amazing incident involving the passing of the father of one our church ministers, Rev. Im, an 1800 couple, who was the youngest of three brothers. The older brothers and the father had continuously opposed our church, and the father went into spirit world with that attitude. The father had completely stopped breathing and was dead, with his children gathered around. But suddenly the father came back to life. With his eyes still closed he started speaking. He asked, puzzled, "what is a membership application (ip-pyo won-so)? People in spirit world keep asking me, 'Where is your ip-pyo won-so,' and I don't know what it is."
The youngest son, Rev. Im, of course knew what it was, the application form that people signed in order to join Unification Church. So he brought one and signed his father's name, and the father signed it, and then he died again. But a few minutes later he sighed a very deep sigh and came back to life again. This time he asked, "What are spiritual children? What is this I hear in the spirit world about having to have three spiritual children?" Then the Rev. Im explained what spiritual children were.
The two older brothers who were there then repented and said, "We will also sign the application to join the Unification Church." But the oldest son had hurt his father's heart very much during his father's life, and the father said, "No, I don't want him." The oldest son repented very deeply to his father and said, "Please, let me sign this form." Because of his repentance the father said, "Okay", and let him sign. Then he died again, but soon revived for a third time. This time he asked, "What is this about an indemnity fund?"
As you know, this fund originates in the fact that money was paid in order for Jesus to be betrayed. So we pay money in order to indemnify that. Everyone pays that when you receive the blessing.
Rev. Im explained the fund and the father made arrangements for that to be paid, and then returned to spirit world and did not return. This has become a very famous story in our church. Probably all of our ancestors would like to do that, come back to life and make arrangements for them to go to a better place in spirit world.
There was a famous book in Korea written by a Buddhist monk, entitled "Listen: What will you take with you when you go to the next world?" If that question were put to you, how would you answer? We need to go with the recognition that we have completed our mission. We need to be recognized as having saved ourselves and as having liberated our ancestors and liberated God.
I believe that everyone has been preparing for Dae Mo Nim's upcoming visit by offering special dedication at home. In preparation for her visit I am once again communicating nearly every day with Chung Pyung. Just like last time, a list of couples is being prepared so that Dae Mo Nim and Mrs. Kim can pray to establish conditions in order to find these generations of ancestors in the spirit world.
This ceremony of liberating and blessing our ancestors is being conducted by the special grace and instructions of True Parents. People who are outside those specific generations cannot participate. It's a very precious opportunity. Your physical brothers and sisters who may have passed away can participate, children can participate, and ancestors up to the fourteenth generation can participate. If you were not able to participate last time, your first seven generations of ancestors can paricipate. This is the grace of all graces that has been given to blessed couples of the Unification Church in this final chapter of the providence.
We need to represent our family's lineage, our family tree, dedicating and offering ourselves sincerely in order to prepare. We need to prepare with all our heart, all our mind and all our body. Of course we need to offer prayers. We also need to make a monetary offering representing our ancestors. But the important thing is that no matter how much you pray or how large an offering you make, that itself is not nearly enough to liberate the ancestors. Salvation and liberation is received by grace.
One of the standards that we must establish as descendants is that we do the best we can in the offering. I've heard that many members are having great difficulty because of the monetary offering. I understand it is difficult, but think of it this way. Compared to what we have received from our ancestors, this offering really is not that much. We love our spouse, love our children; how could we have met our spouse or had our children unless our ancestors had prepared the way for us during their lives? No matter how much we need to sacrifice ourselves or how much dedication and sincerity we have to offer in order to liberate our ancestors, we should be grateful that we have that opportunity.
There are many religions in the world that emphasize respect, dedication and sacrifice for ancestors. One representative case is the Mormon church. As most of you know, our Washington, DC church building used to be a Mormon church. When they had that building, people could not enter the sanctuary unless they had identification that they were members of the church. There was a three-hour special ceremony held here every Sunday for their ancestors.
I have been to Mormon headquarters in Utah. I asked if I could see their sanctuary, but was told that I did not qualify and could not be let in. Maybe I should have told them I had been in this room in a former Mormon Church in Washington. In the basement of our church there is a former baptismal room where people would be baptized for the sake of their ancestors.
Buddhists will offer 100 or 1,000 days of special dedication after someone dies so that their ancestors can go to a better place in spirit world. We understand that if a person really prepares himself in the spirit world and works for the Messiah then when they go to spirit world they will be greeted by 70 candles. But if a person goes without much merit then they will be greeted by only 35 or so. We have to have at least 50 lights in order to go into the good spirit world.
People may pass into spirit world with less than 50 lights, but they will remain around their descendants, hoping to establish the conditions that they will go to a better place in spirit world later on. It is only through their living descendants that spirit people can be saved. Our ancestors in a sense have two gods -- God and True Parents, and then their descendants here. If you really offer your dedication and sincerity then your ancestors will appear in your dreams. Some people have reported to me about having this experience.
We really need to offer our full heart, our full will and our full dedication in order to prepare for Dae Mo Nim's visit. In Mark 12:42-44 we see the story of a very poor woman, a widow who was living alone. Jesus described how at the temple she offered two copper coins worth a few cents. Jesus evaluated her offering very highly. He said that she contributed more than all the others who donated from their surplus wealth. She gave from her want, all that she had to live on.
If your child is out playing at school and suddenly falls and is hurt badly, do you go to the emergency room or not? Of course there is medical insurance, but you have to pay a lot of money to go to the emergency room. In the same way, we are going to the emergency room in order to give salvation to our ancestors. If you really cannot afford the offering, just come anyway. Bring your truly dedicated and sincere heart. Maybe your ancestors will give you some kind of wisdom.
If we love our children, we need to love our ancestors even more so that they can help our children. Dae Mo Nim wants everyone to come. This is not a benefit that can be bought with even $10,000. It is a grace. The offering is a small offering on our part, and we need to prepare our hearts with sincerity and gratitude. Dae Mo Nim really wants all members to come. Please, also invite the people you have blessed, your 185 tribe members. Especially people who participated in previous blessing ceremonies, who received True Parents' benediction directly are qualified to participate in Dae Mo Nim's ceremony. If they feel gratitude then they will determine in their hearts at that time to give an offering.
During this amazing month of April I hope that we can establish conditions for our family, nation and world in which we can do good so that we can prepare ourselves with dedication and sincerity for the upcoming visit.
If at all possible, please attend the prayers at holy ground at 10 pm. If not, then please have a special prayer service at your home at the same time. Thank you.
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