The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2010

First Sermon at Cheon Bok Gung

Hyung Jin Moon
February 28, 2010
Cheon Bok Gung (Heaven's Heart Temple), Seoul, Korea
Transcribed from the simultaneous English translation by Anne Inoue

Opening Prayer by Rev. Kap Young Kim -- Assistant District Pastor.

Dear Heavenly Father and True Parents, thank you very much.

Father and True Parents, we have followed your guidance and your direction, and we have finally arrived at this growth stage Cheon Bok Gung. We know that from the spiritual world, Hyo Jin Nim, Heung Jin Nim, and Young Jin Nim have also been helping a lot in preparing this temple. Also, the four great saints in the spiritual world have been assisting us with returning resurrection, coming down to assist their people on the earth. Because we have a great unity with the families of Hyung Jin Nim and Kook Jin Nim, we have been able to bring this victory here today.

True Parents came here last Sunday and dedicated this temple for the unification of your people, Heavenly Father, and for the unification of religions, and True Father spoke for a long time expressing his heart. Thank you very much, True Parents.

At the dedication ceremony, there was a Buddhist monk. His name is Monk Ingeong and he is the president of the Taego, which is one of the biggest sects in Buddhism. He watched the video about the completed temple and he had a spiritual experience. As he was watching the video, he received a vision telling him that True Parents are the living Buddha, and he told his people that True Parents are the returning living Buddha. His churches have hundreds and thousands of members and he's the head of it, and he told them True Parents is their returning Buddha, their returning savior.

We will work here supporting Hyung Jin Nim, our senior pastor, to bring 21,000 members in this growth stage Cheon Bok Gung; and we pray that the blessing of heaven will be here upon us for this first service of worship, here in Cheon Bok Gung.

We want this temple to be the place where all the citizens of Seoul, and in fact, all the citizens of the world, can meet True Parents and understand and believe that they are the Messiah, that they are the returning Christ; that they are the source of rebirth. And from there we will work for the building of Cheon Il Guk spanning out from this temple to our nation, centered on God, on True Parents and Heavenly Father.

Thank you. Aju.

Welcoming Remarks:
Yeon Ah Nim:

Good morning brothers and sisters, we want to welcome all of you to our first two o'clock service here in the Cheon Bok Gung. So, we all want to join together in one heart here in this temple, and we pray that all our brothers and sisters around the world can also feel connected to us here, one in heart, so that we can really be one family all around the world centered on this temple.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Hello, brothers and sisters, let's start by manifesting the Principle; give and take action, four position foundation; may you inherit the true love of God. Aju.

We are going to look at the Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 975. (Page 989 in the English version.)

"In all religions people are taught not to treat people carelessly. This means that you should do everything, looking, listening, talking, feeling and loving centered on God. You should not do it centered on yourself."

We have arrived at the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung! Hallelujah, we are here! Brothers and sisters, as Father said, we have to work centered on God. We cannot work centered on ourselves. Brothers and sisters, we are not going to work centered on ourselves, are we? We are going to work centered on God, and on our faith in True Parents. We are going to declare our faith in True Parents. We are going to proclaim who True Parents are, and we can bring victory. Let's stand up, please, and we'll do the Pledge, number one.

(Pledge spoken in Korean)


Now let's prepare our minds and our bodies. With our bodies, start by reaching down for the energy of the earth, the universal prime force from the earth, pull it up from the earth, breathe in, and stretch your body very high, breathe out. Now breathing in, we make the give and take action, four position foundation, breathe out as you go up, and gather together. "May you inherit", breathe in; as we breathe out, "the true love of God." One more time, bring your hands down to the earth, in bringing in the universal prime energy, breathe in, reach up to the heavens, breathing out. Now give and take action, breathe in four position foundation, breathe out. Breathing in, "May I inherit"; breathing out, "the true love of God." Aju.

Please sit down now. We'll prepare our minds with our meditation exercise. Sit up near the front of your seats so that you can sit up straight. Close your eyes, and imagine that you are not in this church, but that we are in a beautiful forest. Winter is all finished, and in the forest we can see the signs that spring is beginning to start again. If we look at the sky, we can see a bright, wide open, beautiful sky. And if we look down at the ground, we can see the sprouts of new flowers sticking up from among the dry leaves. In this soft earth that is ready to burst into life, we can feel the Garden of Eden. If we look ahead, we can see a beautiful, calm stream, with bubbling water.

We go to the stream; stand in front of the stream, we listen to the beautiful, peaceful sound of the water. We feel the warm sunlight on our face, the beautiful sunlight, and the beautiful stream of water, and we receive the energy from them. As we stay there, we feel the energy of the spring bursting into life, all through our bodies. We breathe in the energy of this new life, the new life of springtime. Breathe it deeply into our bodies, and we have new life. We feel very grateful for this life. We breathe in the energy of life again. Thank You that my family is alive, breathing out, thank You. Breathing in one more time, my nation is alive, and breathing out, thank You. Finally we breathe in one more time, our world is alive, and we breathe out again, thank You, Heavenly Father.

True Parents and Heavenly Father have given us the blessed life, and through that blessed life, we can feel the true love of God, we can feel the heart of our cosmic True Parents, our couple, our family, our race, our nation, of this whole world, we want this whole world to receive great blessings.

We are going to manifest the Principle one more time. Give and take action, four position foundation, may I inherit the true love of God. Aju.

Thank you, brothers and sisters, now is our time for prayer. We are going to listen to the beautiful music, and we are going to pray in our hearts, especially at this time we will pray by ourselves, but also all of our ministers will go around through the congregation to pray with you. If you would like to pray with one of our ministers, please find the ministers and women, and you can pray with them; and we will pray in unison. If you want to pray with Rev. Brazil, look for him.

(Unison Prayer)

Let's all stand up now, brothers and sisters. We have reached a new age, and a new temple; let's have a new mind. So turn to the person next to you with a new mind, and give them a hug. We have all come to our new temple; now let's join in song, and offer our thanks to Heavenly Father and True Parents.

True Parents' Declaration:

These are my True Parents, the Eternal King and Queen of Peace, and liberator of God's heart. They have saved me from my past, they have blessed my future, and they give me true love, forgiveness, and happiness today and I choose to receive it. My mind is awake. My heart is open wide, and from this moment, I change forever. In my name I pray. Aju.

Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:

Today, brothers and sisters, I am going to talk about the providence of returning resurrection. First of all, let's take a look at our World Scriptures. We'll start with the Judeo-Christian Psalm 91, Verses 11-12.

"For He will give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will hold you up, lest you dash your foot upon the stone."


Now we'll take a look at Taoism; this is from The Track of the Quiet Way.

"Everything that is evil, you must refrain from doing; and all good things you do. In this way you will be released forever from the influence of evil stars, and always be encompassed by good guardian angels."


From Islam, we will look at Chapter 425 of the Koran.

"The angels celebrate the praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for all on this earth."

Now, from True Parents, we are going to look in Chapter 5 of the Divine Principle about Returning Resurrection.

"As it is written, in the Last Days all religions, which have the same fundamental goal, will be gathered together gradually in the Christian spirit culture. So the mission of Christianity is not only for Christianity, but it is a religion that will have the mission to fulfill God's will by uniting all religions. And those in the spirit world who have had faith in those religions will come back to the earth to support the unity of religions in the Last Days."

Brothers and sisters, we have arrived here at the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung. And we are going to give everyone a very proud Unificationist attitude. We are very proud to be Unificationists. Think about it, brothers and sisters. When did we actually imagine that we could be in a temple like this? That we could have such a worship service? When did you sit down and think that we would be sitting in a place like this? Everywhere that I look in this building, in this place, I am just so moved. I personally have had my deepest experience praying in the first floor, in the Devotion Room, which has all the major saints from the major religions. We are honoring all of them together in that Devotion Room, and we have their pictures there, and we can offer them our respect.

I myself have been honoring the saints for many years, and it is very moving to me that I can have a place to offer my gratitude and prayer to these saints here in our Temple. Of course, from now on, we have to think about the Completed Cheon Bok Gung, which we are going to accomplish next. Centered on True Parents and our Declaration of True Parents, we will proclaim who they are, that they are our Messiah, that they are the returning Lord of the Second Advent. We will proclaim this, and based on that, miracles will start to happen with the Returning Resurrection.

The people in the spirit world will hear our declarations, and they will come down, and they will help their descendants, and they will help those with a similar spirit, to find us. And they will move together with us, and they will work together with us, and we will be able to, first of all, complete our 21,000 membership goal for this temple, with their help.

I would like to give you a quote from the Scriptures. Today we are looking at the Book of Acts [Chapter 5], Verses 17-21.

"But the High Priest rose up, and all who were with him, that is the party of Sadducees, they were filled with jealousy. They arrested the Apostles, and put them in prison. But at night, one of the Lord's angels opened the prison doors, and let them out, and said to them, 'Go and stand in the Temple, and speak to the people all the words of this life.' And when they heard this, they entered the Temple at day break, and they taught."

So, from this story we can see that the Angel of the Lord will help those who are really doing the Lord's work. We can see this in the Book of Acts. During the Book of Acts, which was the time after the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostles traveled to every city, declared Jesus, declared his resurrection, declared who he was and spoke to the people about why they should join and follow Jesus and receive the grace of the resurrection.

The Jewish Sadducees were not happy about this. They persecuted the Apostles. They jeered at the Apostles. It was difficult, but the Apostles were preaching the truth. They were preaching the fact of Jesus' resurrection, and Jesus' Messiahship, and therefore, they had spiritual protection. The spirit world came down to them. The spirit world helped them. In this story, for example, the angels came and physically opened the prison door and let them out; and as they let them out, they gave them directions to preach the gospel. We, too, can feel the same thing. From this story, we can learn that if we declare the Messiah we will not be working with our own power alone. We will receive spiritual help and be able to accomplish miracles.

I have another story I would like to tell you. This is in the Muslim gospels. One day Mohammad went out to Mt. Hira, an important mountain near Mecca. He was going up the mountain, and he was sleepy, so he took a rest. He took a nap on the way up the mountain, and during his sleep he received a revelation. The Angel Gabriel came to him in his dream, and Gabriel showed him a book of scripture and told him to read it. Mohammed said, "I can't read this", but the Angel said, "Read it. Read it." Mohammed said, "I can't read it. I can't read it." They went back and forth a few times. Mohammed kept saying, "I can't read it." The Angel said, "Read it. Read it."

Finally, he opened the book. He looked at it, and it was amazing. He couldn't understand what was written there, but the spirits in the spirit world came into his mind and in his heart, and told him what to say. He could understand with the assistance of the spirit world; he could read the book, which he could not read before. He was very surprised by this. So, waking up after this dream, he thought, "What if this dream came from evil spirits? What if I received evil spirits in my heart? Then I could not do the work of God. What am I going to do? How do I know which spirits these are?"

He saw somebody on the way up the mountain; it was his wife's relative. And the man that he met said, "Please, come back down the mountain very quickly, come back to your wife, Kadijah. He went to his wife Kadijah, and his wife's face was so dark. "What's going on? Why do you look so bad?" Mohammad told her about his dream, "I met the Angel Gabriel in my dream, and he made me read this book, and I'm worried. What if this is an evil spirit? I'm worried about this."

His wife said to him, "You received a true revelation. Don't worry; this is a true revelation. It is not an evil spirit; it was the Angel Gabriel, so don't worry. The fact that you received visitation from spirits is not a sign of evil. The good spirits are mobilized in the spirit world to come and help you. The Angel Gabriel came to help you." His wife confirmed, "When I hear this prophecy dream that you had, I know that you are going to be a great man in our country. You are going to lead our country to greatness. You are going to be a great spiritual leader for our country. This is the kind of dream that you have received." His wife told him this.

For us too, at this time as we enter this Cheon Bok Gung, in this age, we have the same possibility to receive spiritual help.

We had a lot of celebrations for Father's birthday recently, and at one of these dinners we had sixteen members of the Malaysian Parliament attending. Kook Jin Nim and I had dinner with these sixteen Congressmen. Both Kook Jin and I had an opportunity to speak about True Father and his mission as the Messiah. At that dinner we told them, "These True Parents are the Messiah, the Second Christ, and they have come to save all mankind."

So, our staff was very worried when they heard that we were saying things like this to our Muslim guests. "These people are not going to understand; they are going to be upset. Don't you think they are going to think this is strange?" But, on the contrary, these people were so glad that they had come here to Korea to meet True Parents, and to find out who True Parents were. They were very happy that they had found out who True Parents were. Now they know what the Unification Church is; they know who True Parents are; and because we said so strongly who we are, and who the True Parents are these people had a very moving experience. They came over and they told us, "Oh thank you so much for explaining to us. Thank you so much for giving us such a clear message. Thank you for telling us who this man really is. We really want to know more about what is true love. We want to know more about what is the Divine Principle. We want to know more about what is the Unification Church. We didn't know any of this before."

I was so happy that they were inspired that day, but actually, it didn't stop there. They went back to Malaysia, and when they arrived there, they contacted the church in Malaysia and asked for books. They asked for Divine Principle books. They asked for more information about True Parents. This is an experience of Returning Resurrection.

This means that the Muslims in spirit world came to speak to those Malaysian men. We know that the work that we are doing at this time is not ourselves working alone. We have the spiritual world working with us.

Let's read from the Bible one more time. Again, the Book of Acts. This time, Chapter 8, Verses 26-29.

"An Angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Rise, and go to the South, to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is a desert road. He rose up and he went there; and behold, he saw an Ethiopian eunuch, a minister of Candice, the Queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all of her treasures. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he was returning, seated in his chariot. He was reading the Prophet Isaiah. And the spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join this chariot.'"

In this story, we can see again that the spirit world is speaking to Philip. The Apostle Philip received a message from a spirit. Philip was in Samaria. He was preaching and testifying to Jesus in Samaria, and he suddenly had a feeling. He saw an angel from the spiritual world. The angel told him, "Go to this road. It goes down to Jerusalem." There is nothing on that road. It is just an empty road, but he went there, and amazingly, he met this Ethiopian. Not just any Ethiopian, but a very important Ethiopian, the minister who is in charge of all the Queen's treasures. Philip came witnessing to Jesus, and he met this man, this Ethiopian, and Philip told him about Jesus. He said, "I'm not sure what you're talking about; please tell me more." So they went together, and Philip explained, "Jesus has been crucified and has resurrected; and Jesus is bringing us new life." The Apostle Philip explained this to this minister right there on the road. And they came along this road to a well, and Philip baptized this Ethiopian, and he became of the family of Christ right there on the road, following the direction of the spirit.

Just like that, if we proclaim True Parents, if we believe in our True Parents fully in our hearts, and we declare them to the world as the Second Advent, as the returning Lord, as the Messiah, if we explain the Seven Deaths and Resurrections, and explain what we are doing, if we explain how True Parents have died over and over again in order to save mankind, in order to fulfill God's Will, in order to restore to this world to God's Sovereignty, if we proclaim this, we will not be working alone, but the spirit world will bring people here, and amazing things will happen!

During Father's celebration this time, there were so many things going on. I was late for another event, I was supposed to be leaving. I had already spoken to the guests. While I was speaking, one of the guests who was there had a spiritual experience where her spiritual eyes were opened, and she really saw True Parents with her spiritual eyes while I was speaking. She came up to me afterwards, and thanked me because it was such an amazing experience that she had.

As I was finished with my speech, I was planning to go to the next place for my next speech, but a spirit told me, "No, you cannot go yet. You have to stay longer, there is somebody here that is prepared and has to meet you before you leave, so please stay."

I came to the front door and started saying, "Thank you for coming" to all the guests and there was one black minister with a big church in Canada who came to me. He came to me at the end of the event, on my way out and he said, "I'm so happy that you told me who True Parents are, I'm going to go teach my whole congregation about it!" This kind of thing is happening, brothers and sisters, believe me. This is Returning Resurrection.

Then I shook the hands of another person, this person is from Lebanon. She's from the Islam faith. She was crying and crying because she had such an amazing experience when I talked about the Seven Deaths and Resurrections. She heard that, and she said she had left her body, had gone up to the sky, while she was hearing me, and her spiritual eyes opened. She saw True Parents and understood deeply who they are. She just started crying. She thanked God, "Thank you, God, for giving this understanding today. I didn't know this person was the Messiah. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for telling me." This is, again, Returning Resurrection. This is people in the spirit world who understand, who are coming down and helping us. The Four Great Saints, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, they are all helping us.

About a month ago, I had lunch with the president of the publishing company who published True Father's book. I listened to her story about publishing this book, and I knew she's really working for the Will of God. When she agreed to take True Father's project, she had so much resistance from the Christian world, from her staff, lots of people opposed her. But she said, "No matter what, I'm going to publish this book!" She was explaining to me some of the difficulties she went through in order to publish this book.

For example, one of her head editors, who had been with her for 15 years, said, "If you publish this book, I'm going to quit! You made this great company, why do you want to mess it up by publishing this book about this guy? I'm a Christian, I cannot be in a company that advocates the work of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I cannot stay here, I have to go." So her editor quit.

Then, she had another project, a very big contract, and this writer came to her and said, "If you publish Rev. Moon's autobiography, I'm going to take away my project from you. I cannot let my books be published by the same people who published Rev. Moon's autobiography." So she said, "OK" and she lost that big contract. She had so many difficulties.

She's a person who prays every day. She does Buddhist meditation practices every morning. She was worried that the Christians would come and demonstrate in front of her business, that there would be violent demonstrations if she took this project. But one morning, while she was praying and meditating, Buddha himself came to her in a vision and said to her, "You must publish Rev. Moon's autobiography. True Parents have received many difficulties from Korea, but you can repay that debt by publishing this book! So, publish the book!" After she had that experience, she had lots of energy. She was going to go on, no matter who was going to oppose her. She was ready to publish this book, no matter who quit, no matter who canceled. So, she did it, she published it, and it has become a bestseller. Now they are even selling Father's autobiography at Christian bookstores! These kinds of resurrection miracles are happening.

Now, we are praying to all the Great Saints downstairs in our prayer room, and this is helping us to receive assistance from people in the spirit world who come from other religions: the Buddhists, the Confucianists. Because we are respecting all those religions, those from spirit world who come from those religions can help us. People are receiving dreams about Jesus, about Buddha, about Confucius. This is an age of miracles! Do you believe? Please believe!

True Parents came here last Sunday for the dedication of the temple and they gave us great blessings here. Because True Parents came and opened the doors of heaven, heaven's blessings are pouring down on us now! We can feel this blessing from heaven, centering on the Four Great Saints and the spirit world, we can have surprising experiences now, miracles, spiritual experiences that will support us! After opening the doors to this new age, spiritual things are happening. One member was praying downstairs, and she saw the saints coming, she saw the spirit world coming to support. I also had a dream of Jesus, a few days ago. Jesus was wearing white clothes and he had the Apostles with him, and he came and said, "I'm going to help you proclaiming Father as the Messiah! We're all going to help you now!" Miracles are happening.

When we had the dedication ceremony here for the new temple, True Parents were explaining what is true love, and there was an explanation about what the completed temple is going to be like. So True Parents gave us a big homework of what we have to accomplish when we make the perfected temple, a lot of things have to be included in that temple. One of the most important things that True Parents told us that when we build the completed temple, it has to be huge, but not only for the Unification Church. There is also going to be a huge Buddhist temple, a Catholic church, an Islamic mosque. Inside the Cheon Bok Gung we are going to have a worship center for each of those religions. We'll all live together and worship together in that building, so that all people in the world will have a reason to come and visit this temple, and experience how we can unite all the religions together in this temple.

Lots of VIPs came last Sunday. We've gotten many emails from the guests that were here last Sunday. For example:

"I have seen Rev. Moon doing so many kinds of peace activities and so many ways of trying to make peace, but I didn't understand how they were related to each other. But now, since I heard the explanation of the Perfected Cheon Bok Gung, I understand all the things he's doing and how they come together, and how it's going to save this world, and I'm going to help in every way that I possibly can!"

Brothers and sisters, now we're in the growth stage temple. We're going to make our victory, we're going to gather 210,000 members, but we cannot do this by ourselves, we cannot do this by our own power. We need this Returning Resurrection, we need the spirits and saints in the spirit world. Not only from our families, but also from Christianity, from Buddhism, from Islam, all the major religions, saints and spirits will have to come and help us if we are to bring victory, and they will do it! Do you believe that? They will do it!

At the dedication ceremony, there was a Buddhist monk. His name is Monk Ingeong and he is the president of the Taego, which is one of the biggest sects in Buddhism. He watched the video about the completed temple and he had a spiritual experience. As he was watching the video, he received a vision telling him that True Parents are the living Buddha, and he told his people that True Parents are the returning living Buddha. His churches have hundreds and thousands of members and he's the head of it, and he told them True Parents is their returning Buddha, their returning savior.

There were lots of VIPs last Sunday, they visited all around the temple, they saw the prayer room. No matter what kind of churches they visited, they had never seen all religions' saints are working together in any church. But True Parents gave us strong directions, we must work together with these four saints, and that is giving us great power at this time.

Let's look at True Parents words (Book 134 page10).

"Good spirits are fighting their way to advance progress toward God's original world; evil spirits are struggling to block the way. The evil spirit world and the evil physical world are in constant communication. Good spirits are the spirits of people who are opposed and persecuted when they lived in the sinful world. These are the religious believers."

These are the people who make the returning resurrection happen.

Closing Prayer by Rev. Hyung Jin Nim:

Let's finish up with a prayer. Close your eyes, raise your hands and reach up to God, feel God's grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, victorious True Parents, we thank You. We offer our gratitude that we have arrived at the growth stage temple, with these surprising and amazing things that are happening, that we have the great opportunity to worship our True Parents, to worship Heavenly Father. Thank You. We had many difficult times during the last thirty years. There are many things we wanted to do but we couldn't accomplish in the past thirty years. There were times when we felt no hope, but, Heavenly Father, You have supported us, You have given us revelation and understanding of True Parents are, and moreover, what they've done for us.

We know what kind of true love they have offered for us. We know what kind of course they've gone through to save us, to rescue us. Now we have the saints from the spiritual world supporting us, and we are here in this Cheon Bok Gung. Heavenly Father, please receive our prayers, receive our worship. Let all our brothers and sisters here, centering on True Parents, centering on You, Heavenly Father, let us all become proud Unification members, one in heart, who can work together with these Returning Resurrection miracles. Please give us spiritual miracles, and give us Your support. We are heading towards the Completion Cheon Bok Gung. In front of the whole world, we are going to establish and accomplish Cheon Il Guk. In front of the whole world, we're going to show it to them with Your help, Heavenly Father.

We thank You for this, Heavenly Father.

We offer this in the name of our Blessed families and in the Blessed Name of our True Parents, together with the Four Great Saints, we report in prayer. Aju.


Acts, chapter 5

1: But a man named Anani'as with his wife Sapphi'ra sold a piece of property,

2: and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet.

3: But Peter said, "Anani'as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?

4: While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

5: When Anani'as heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.

6: The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

7: After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

8: And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much."

9: But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."

10: Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.

11: And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

12: Now many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico.

13: None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor.

14: And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women,

15: so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

16: The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

17: But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sad'ducees, and filled with jealousy

18: they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison.

19: But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said,

20: "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life."

21: And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and taught. Now the high priest came and those who were with him and called together the council and all the senate of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

22: But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, and they returned and reported,

23: "We found the prison securely locked and the sentries standing at the doors, but when we opened it we found no one inside."

24: Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to.

25: And some one came and told them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people."

26: Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27: And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,

28: saying, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us."

29: But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.

30: The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.

31: God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

32: And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

33: When they heard this they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

34: But a Pharisee in the council named Gama'li-el, a teacher of the law, held in honor by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a while.

35: And he said to them, "Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men.

36: For before these days Theu'das arose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was slain and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.

37: After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

38: So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail;

39: but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!"

40: So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41: Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

42: And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts, chapter 8

1: And Saul was consenting to his death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Sama'ria, except the apostles.

2: Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him.

3: But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

4: Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.

5: Philip went down to a city of Sama'ria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.

6: And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did.

7: For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

8: So there was much joy in that city.

9: But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Sama'ria, saying that he himself was somebody great.

10: They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that power of God which is called Great."

11: And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

12: But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

13: Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

14: Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama'ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

15: who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;

16: for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

17: Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

18: Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,

19: saying, "Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

20: But Peter said to him, "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

21: You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

22: Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

23: For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity."

24: And Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."

25: Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

26: But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is a desert road.

27: And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Can'dace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship

28: and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.

29: And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."

30: So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"

31: And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32: Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to the slaughter
or a lamb before its shearer is dumb,
so he opens not his mouth.

33: In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken up from the earth."

34: And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?"

35: Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.

36: And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?"

38: And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

39: And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

40: But Philip was found at Azo'tus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesare'a.  

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