Unification News for April 2003

123 Churches Took Down the Cross Over the Easter Holiday

Michael Jenkins

A truly profound moment in history has occurred. 123 clergy took down their crosses over the Easter weekend.  This was supported by another 135 clergy who attended services participating and in accord with this dispensation.  All told,  258 clergy directly affirmed the taking down of the cross proclaiming an end the era of bloodshed and sacrifice and the beginning of a new era of faith and resurrection. 

The desire of God for the second Israel  is now being realized.  Christian pastors are uniting with the Lord of the Second Advent and taking down the cross.   They are embracing the blessing and coming forward to build the Kingdom of God on Earth.  These pastors are standing on the foundation of direct experience with Father during the 50 state tour and the profound leadership he has given to the ACLC through the Blessing of Marriage movement and the courageous public proclamation of the revelations of Jesus and saints from the spirit world which confirm that True Parents are the ones anointed by Jesus to fulfill the second coming.

These pastors are now standing on the foundation of the Divine Principle combined with the fires of immense persecution that each and everyone of them have experienced and overcome.  They are standing together with a profound understanding that the Cross must come down because it represents the secondary course that Jesus had to walk to pay indemnity due to the failure in faith of the chosen people to receive him 2000 years ago. They feel a sense of history knowing that they are walking a path as the Second Israel to restore the path of the First Israel.    Now step by step, though almost unknown to humanity an enormous transition is occurring in which each condition of failure is now being restored substantially with a condition of victory.   Just as it was with Jesus victorious resurrection, just as it was with the blessing of True Parents  in 1960, most of the world doesn't even know what happened.  But history will mark this moment forever, as the Pastors (priests) of the Second Israel obeyed the voice of the Lord in his most significant hour.  The hour in which the gateway to the Cheon Il Guk was opened.

Over 220 pastors participated so far in 56 services across this nation.  We want to express our profound gratitude to True Parents for setting the conditions through the Cheon Il Guk Blessing and Coronation Ceremony that allowed for this historic providence.    By the end of this Easter day of resurrection, 12,000 will have been touched directly by True Parents words and message concerning the cross.

We also want to thank Jesus on the Easter Morning for the path of suffering that he endured not only on the cross but for 2000 years in which he carried the heartistic cross of preparing the Second Israel for this day.  True Parents are now ending the history of tears in the heart of Jesus. 

We cannot fathom the anguish of God over the cross and the rejection and humiliation that he felt over the rejection of his son. If you read the story of Jesus in the book of  John  in Chapters 18 and 19 you will be overwhelmed at what happened.  The King had come to his own and his own received him not.

Today however, Easter Sunday is the day of resurrection !!  This is the day that Jesus is totally liberated.  A new day has dawned.  Our original goal of 120 pastors was surpassed and an outpouring of spirit, tears and heart are now combining with overwhelming joy over this time.  The cross is coming down in full public view, with clarity of understanding that this was not what God originally intended for his son.

We cannot imagine the relief and release that God must feel when he sees the crosses coming down from his churches.  We cannot imagine the comfort that God experiences when he sees the Second Israel grafting into to True Parents through the change of blood lineage and the Blessing. 

We will now walk this path to Israel and on to the 38th Parallel.  We will see the day of the Glory of the Lord. 

We realize however that God's heart is still in great anguish over the fact that he still has no sovereign nation to call his own.  Therefore let us go forward with great confidence to carry out the dispensation leading to securing the Fatherland as the nation of God's sovereignty.

Cross to Crown

With this tearful realization, the Second Israel is setting the condition to come forward in faith to take down the cross.  They are receiving Heaven's confirmation that this is the direction Jesus himself is initiating.  Why? Because it is the time of his return and it is also the time of building God's Kingdom on the Earth. 

Therefore through the Blessing of Marriage and sharing the communion cup together as husband and wife the fulfillment of scripture in I Peter 5:4 is coming to pass. "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

This scripture is moving the heart of Christianity.  Its time now to receive our crowns.  In Houston, Rev. Bennit H. put up a crown for a King and one for a Queen in place of the cross that he and his clergy and church took down. The Coronation of True Parents as King and Queen of all blessed families opened this historical door.  That's why our Christian leaders feel absolutely sure that they are to be blessed in marriage and receive the "Crown of Glory".  Many more are following in this historic course. 

We thank Jesus for this victory and see this as a major turning point in the heart of our Christian family.   (Many testimonies are posted on the Familyfed.org website).

As each pastor steps forward in faith a deep sense of confirmation is given to them by the Holy Spirit.  With this they become deeply confident.  The scripture is solid in revealing that Israel should have believed in the Lord.   John 6:28-29 "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."   

As Bishop C. Phillip Johnson and Rev. Dr. H.G. McGhee gave a crown to each member of New Prospect Family Praise and Worship Center at the Good Friday service, it was special moment.  Dr. McGhee stated, "There was a jubilant flavor of victory as the people of God exchanged their cross for a crown."  In turn, led by Dr. McGhee,  a blessed Christian pastor, they crowned Bishop Johnson and Mrs. Johnson with great celebration.  Rev. In Hoi Lee reported sincerely, "this was the most inspiring experience I've ever had in Christian fellowship."  Then a crown (on a  4 ft. x 3 ft. full color high gloss photo) was unveiled to replace the cross that was taken down that night by the members and Christian leaders, who were led by Bishop Johnson and Dr. McGhee.  Dr. McGhee said, "The picture the  "Crown of Glory" now hangs as a monument to victory for all to see the mighty works of God.  Above the crown are hands folded in prayer and doves symbolizing peace.  Now we are proclaiming an end of the era of war and time for peace and reconciliation has now dawned."

In teaching concerning the cross. Bishop Johnson said that as we are now Blessed and moving beyond the cross to the Kingdom we are reminded in the scripture in 1 John 3:2: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."  Bishop Johnson goes on to teach that because Jesus has revealed the Lord has returned we are now becoming like him. We are becoming blessed and standing as Kings and Queens.   We are becoming like him, little Messiahs.

Without a doubt it was God's will that Israel would receive the Messiah.  That is why the Second Israel (now having received the Lord in Glory) must now journey to the First Israel to humbly serve and love our elder Brother and reconcile and restore the past history in which Jesus was not received.  The scripture in John 1:11-12 says,  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." 

Now that the Second Israel has received him in his second coming they are receiving a power like unto the time of the Pentecost, 2000 years ago.   That is why Father has predicted that the when crosses come down a revival unlike anything in history will break out among the Christian family.  The ACLC is in the center of this dispensational revival and world changing movement.

Fatherís Direction

Following Father's direction is the core of our life of faith. The direction he gives is not just a reaction to current affairs but is based on God's direct revelation and many years of preparation.

The victory has already been won completely by our True Parents. Through the Coronation of God's Kingship the way has been secured to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. The Holy Wedding and Blessing of our True Parents on the third and final dispensational level opened the way for the world to enter the Cheon Il Guk (Kingdom of God on Earth) and on that day True Parents were coronated as King and Queen of all Blessed Families. This foundation and authority is so vast that we do not yet understand its meaning. As we also received the Cheon Il Guk blessing on February 6th our authority and inheritance is directly linked with our True Parents. To the degree we are one in heart and action with True Parents will determine the degree in which their spirit, power and authority manifest through us.

Central to the building of the Kingdom of God is the establishment of God's sovereignty through the securing of one nation. That one nation is the Fatherland. Central to the unification of the Fatherland is the unity of the Mother nation of Japan and the Elder Son Nation of America. Our central purpose now is to secure the sovereignty of the unified Fatherland under God's dominion.

To build and expand God's Kingdom on Earth the religious foundation that God established must be unified as one. Therefore the central religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam cannot be united by simple means. The unity that is now coming within Christianity is based on profound vertical and horizontal indemnity conditions set by our True Parents. These conditions allow these three special religions to unite. From God's standpoint Christianity has been prepared by God to play the central role.

To set the condition for this unity Father has prepared all the way since 1945 for this time. So much of the focus of True Father's indemnity was centered upon saving Christianity. This was the reason he came to America in 1971. America represents Christianity on a world level. The 50 state tour was a most important foundation upon which Father could truly expand the one unified body of Christ. Now Father is emphasizing the United Federation of Churches to represent the oneness of the body of Christ. This has been established. The core of this Federation is the American Clergy Leadership Conference. Both of these were established by True Parents at Cheong Pyeong Heaven and Earth Training center with 120 important Christian leaders in May of 2000.

In 2001 the 50 state tour vastly expanded the ACLC into thousands of clergy who had been touched. This tour set the condition for America and Christianity to stand in unity with True Parents as the Second Israel. The 144,000 blessing "grafted" the leadership of Christianity into the blood lineage of God. The partaking of the Holy Wine and the subsequent April 27th blessing secured the condition to fulfill the prophecy of the book of Revelation in which the 144,000 of all the "tribes of Israel" were "sealed" before the living God. This was done a great sacrifice by True Parents, the National Messiahs representing the Father nation, the Japanese Missionaries representing the Mother nation and American Blessed Central Families (Unification and Christian) representing the Elder Son nation.

The subsequent blessings were expansions of that foundation. July 3rd went from the first to the second generation of Christians. September 14th in Manhattan restored the September 11th tragedy and took the blessing beyond the 144,000 to the Moslem and Jewish world's religious leaders. Because this was done in America it meant it was done on a world level. The December 7th blessing on Pearl Harbor day allowed for a reconciliation between Japan and America as former enemies. It opened the gate for all former enemies to reconcile - Black, White, American Indian and Moslem, Christian and Jew. In conjunction with this providence the IIFWP performed and initiated blessings in all of the major countries of the world fully embracing all of the world religions. In Rev. Kwak's recent address to the Council of Affliliated Organizations, he stated that in all of True Parents ministry and work in every area of man's endeavor and profession, True Parent central role and ministry has been to bring the change of blood lineage and the blessing of marriage.

Now a blessing movement is naturally growing throughout America and the world. Soon there will be a blessing in Korea. Then the blessing of marriage movement will begin to occur regularly in America centering on True Parents.

To allow Christianity to play the central role to heal and unify the world, Christianity centering on ACLC is being asked to fulfill another condition. That is to take down the cross. Through the power of the teaching of Divine Principle and the preaching of the principle through our lecturers, Rev. Jesse Edwards and Bishop Stallings and several other key ministers as well as Dr. Chang Shik Yang's testimony concerning Father's life, the "scales" have fallen off of many eyes. There is a deep acceptance growing based on the solid rock of God's word in the Bible as revealed and "decoded" by the Divine Principle. Because this acceptance of True Parents is firmly rooted in the "Word" I can report with confidence before the True Parents of Heaven and Earth that victory is secure. Based on the Divine Principle clergy are coming to understand and accept that Father was chosen to manifest the Second Coming. That Jesus anointed and chose him.

Why do they believe? We have to attribute much to True Parents course of indemnity. Especially sending Dae Mo Nim and Heung Jin Nim into the spirit world to break down the walls and unify all religions. Because the spirit world has completely changed and is accepting and supporting of the Principle we just have to teach clearly and the religious leaders original minds spring into life. The spirit is pouring out on all flesh as was promised in the book of Acts chapter 2:17.

Also, the Principle is now being expressed through the preaching of the clergy which, through their decades of fighting evil with the power of the resurrected Jesus and the scriptures, they are able to bring forth a flowering of Biblical support for the Principle in a way never imagined.

Therefore Brothers and Sisters the Cross is Coming Down. It cannot be reversed. Destiny is upon us and the Second Israel has responded in the affirmative.

The amazing thing about following Father's direction is that you don't see the result right away. It's like planting the seeds. When we were directed to proclaim the revelations of Jesus and the saints concerning Father being the Messiah. It planted a seed. It looked as if, for the first few months, that all the key ACLC ministers would just collapse and fall away. Fortunately Rev. Jesse Edwards and Bishop Stallings, Bishop Johnson and a few others would not be moved away from their support and faith in the anointing of Jesus on True Parents. Because of that they suffered greatly but they overcame. The September 14th blessing was the first major event that came after the Clouds of Witnesses. Through the blessing activity together with our New York family centering on Rev. Dong Woo Kim and the New York Clergy. The first breakthrough came.

The Cross is Coming Down. Then the Second Israel will go to Jerusalem to set the condition of embracing and loving the elder brother. Together they will lift up Jesus. On that basis they will know True Parents and the Moslem family can be liberated from the pain and resentment caused by the failure of the chosen people to demonstrate true faith and lift up the Lord.

The Elder Son Nation

True Parents are setting the foundation for the expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth. (Cheon Il Guk). We must be confident in True Parents power and courageous to fulfill the Will of God. Our central goal is to secure the Fatherland as one nation for God and America is precious and central to this path. Therefore, we must protect and seek to bring this nation under God's blessing and guidance.

War is not the hope of mankind or the complete solution for a lasting peace. Yet war has come upon us. Since that is the course that America has taken, we must pray that God will guide her into successful reconciliation after the war. Please pray that God will guide our President and our nation. We must pray for the future reconciliation of all.

What is the path to peace that we as Blessed Central Families are called to pursue? Father's direction is that our first step toward peace must be repentance. When we see family breakdown, hostility and suspicion between religions and races, and rampant immorality, we realize that God's blessing cannot flow freely to America unless we turn this country back to God.

It is important that we understand America's central role at this time. On the foundation of the Coronation Ceremony for God's Kingship Father launched his life-risking 50-state tour. On that tour Father proclaimed that Christianity as the central religion and America as the elder son nation both carry the title of the "Second Israel." With this understanding Christianity is to be unified as one Body of Christ. This unity must be nurtured until it becomes a substantial foundation for reconciling all peoples, and for guiding the external leaders of the Second Israel - just as the prophets guided the kings in the Old Testament. This is the work of the American Clergy Leadership Conference working directly upon the inspiration of True Parents.

The current effort to educate 12,000 clergy is central to the American providence at this time. It is not only bringing unity to the body of Christ but is also the preparation for the Second Israel to move beyond the old age into the new. Jesus said we can't put new wine into "old" wineskins. With this "new" understanding of scripture the clergy are streaming through the gates.

We are building a movement to end the era of the cross and focus on the resurrection. With this message the National ACLC team such as Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, Rev. Jesse Edwards and many others are cutting a new path in history. A path not unlike that of Martin Luther. Under the inspiration of the God's words in the Bible as decoded by Father's words and the Divine Principle, many of the clergy now have pledged that they will take down their crosses on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday each will trade his cross for a crown as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Then Father has asked that this "resurrected body" go to Jerusalem and have a conference in which the second Israel, having repented and removed the barriers between itself, and the first Israel will humbly ask them to lift up Jesus as the Lord that Israel was to receive. With this condition the failure of the chosen people 2000 years ago will be restored. Upon that basis we must embrace and love the Islamic world more than ever before. Through this path the conditions will be set to neutralize the seemingly endless strife between Islam, Christianity and the Jewish people. This path does not only deal with those on earth but is rooted in the path of those in heaven. We see that, without a doubt, Jesus is with us - that's what the clergy feel. Also, the prophet Muhammad is with us as well as all the saints.

Father is directing us now to reach out to Christianity and beyond to the leaders of all faiths of the world to ensure that the current conflict doesn't polarize into irreversible religious enmity. He is asking the Family Federation and all related organizations to join with ACLC Christian leaders and Ambassadors for Peace to aggressively embrace and strengthen our bonds of love and heart between all religious people, races and nations, and particularly between the Christian and Muslim worlds. This is a crucial moment in history. The worlds religions must come under the love of our True Parents, therefore the work of IIFWP and the ACLC is in a critical role to prevent total polarization and world strife.

In addition to these efforts in education, Father is asking us to build bridges between religious youth through the upcoming Interreligious Sports Peace Festival from May 21-25 in Korea. It will be a world Olympics for all people of the Christian, Moslem and Jewish faiths as well as all the world religions. Through friendly competition of religious youth we will foster unity and understanding between the youth of the world's religions. America has been asked to send 150 athletes. We can work with our Christian clergy, Moslem leaders or Ambassadors for Peace to identify and sponsor young people from their organizations to participate in this special opportunity.

Father is also emphasizing that the blessing movement is the central point through which world peace can be achieved. Last year the four Interreligious Blessings that True Parents conducted in America brought an unprecedented agreement and understanding that God's clearest expression of love is to be found in marriage and family. The blessings also fostered an acknowledgement from Christian, Moslem and Jewish leaders that Father and Mother Moon were chosen to bring the blessing of God to the family, and that a covenant of blessed marriage, covered with the prayers of all religious leaders, secures not only the family but binds all religions and nations together as one under God. His direction is that the Blessing ultimately is the path to peace. We must continue to expand the blessing to all religious leaders and through them to their followers.

Father is asking that every Christian leader bless 12 couples from the leaders of their congregation and community and then bless 12 pastors from among their colleagues. To be stable Father would like to see 120 couples blessed in each church. This also applies to the Imams, the Rabbis and all religious leaders - Father is asking them to "bless" their followers so that the curse in the Garden of Eden will be broken.

To foster peace Father is calling for Interreligious blessing between people of different faiths. In the September 14th blessing in New York last year one Moslem leader, who is the brother of an African President, asked for and received True Parent's blessing for his marriage with his Christian fiancé. Thus blessing revolution is occurring not only in Christianity but is expanding throughout many major Moslem countries. One major Moslem country is planning for the blessing of 100,000 leader couples in conjunction with the upcoming May blessing in Korea at the World Culture and Sports festival. This phenomenon is happening in all 185 countries. This is the day of the Lord.

The ACLC clergy are embracing Father's inspiration that the era of the cross and the way of shedding blood must now be replaced with an era of life and resurrection based on True Love, True Life and True Lineage through the blessing of marriage. One minister said, "You might be surprised, but Rev. Moon knows the Holy Ghost better than most Christian leaders!" He went on to make it clear that Jesus is with the movement of Father Moon and as he said at the December 7th Blessing in Washington, D.C. "God is using Rev. Moon to save the family."

We never dreamed that the ministers currently attending the Divine Principle seminars would agree to take down their church crosses, yet the many have confirmed that they feel that it is right because the cross was not the original symbol for Christianity. For many the cross is an important symbol but not essential. Yet the value of the cross is that Jesus turned it into victory. Many pastors have shared that the real essence is that Jesus "gave" his life as a willing sacrifice while forgiving and loving his enemies - the enemies of God.

The clergy in great part agree that the essential meaning of atonement is tied to Jesus sacrifice, love and most importantly his resurrection. His blood was shed as a condition of sacrifice to save mankind. The cross did not bring the victory, Jesus did. It was how he overcame the cross that allows God's spirit to bring victory through the cross. Therefore we should bear the cross instead of displaying it. The ultimate victory was that Jesus did was not stopped by his death. His resurrection conquered death.

The victory of Jesus was that unlike Moses and all Biblical figures before him, he resurrected and has remained the "active" central figure of Christianity from the heavenly realm. From the day of Pentecost on through a simple prayer offered by a believer, Jesus could be called upon for guidance and direction and thus a "Living Lord" led Christianity until today. Jesus speaks to and guides the heart of the individual believer directly. The resurrection brought victory of life over death, so that Satan's attack only multiplied God's power while creating the Second Israel. America is the inheritor of this spirit and victory. Therefore, whether we bring forth the true spirit of Jesus' love is crucial in determining whether God will bless or curse the Second Israel of America.

Fortunately, the Christian leaders are accepting the Divine Principle in substantial numbers. We are absolutely humbled by this change in history. It is clear to all of us involved in the teaching and preaching that the "spirit world" behind the Christian leaders has changed. There is now a hunger to understand more about the Bible through the Divine Principle. Therefore we must know our identity clearly. The direction of America is firmly resting on the direction of its religious heritage. We must foster that heritage and rekindle the "founding spirit" of this nation. We realize that the Christian movement centering on Father is not yet where it needs to be, but we see the promised land before us. The day is coming very soon when those who lift up the Lord will also gain the authority to guide the "Kings" of the second Israel.

Father is setting the conditions that will untangle the world conflict, but as always it is occurring in ways that most cannot see or understand. Let us be reminded of how few if any thought that the crucifixion and mysterious resurrection of Jesus would have any bearing whatsoever on the "solid" 2000 year history of Israel. Yet 70 short years after his death and resurrection, that very Israel was totally scattered to the four winds. Let us remember how Communism seemed to have global invincibility in Korea, Vietnam and in many other countries, and yet Father set conditions through his own course and the worldwide teaching of Godism that confronted and destroyed the ideological power of Marxism-Leninism. Then the impossible came to pass as reality. As Father predicted, after 70 years of unrestricted power and hegemony, the Berlin Wall as well as the whole global Soviet communist empire collapsed. Father is now setting the conditions, enormous conditions with his own physical body to directly prevent the current conflict from spreading to a world conflict. Ultimately this will cause the 38th parallel to crumble. Father has been paying physical indemnity in the last 14 days to protect America and the World. As sons and daughters of filial piety we must also put our lives on the line at this time to secure our path to final victory.

Father's central goal now is to unify the Fatherland and to give God a sovereign nation so that, as in the time of Israel, He will have a nation and a secure foundation from which to expand the Cheon Il Guk (Kingdom of God on earth). America is essential for this unification. Therefore the conflicts in the world must be addressed by America. It is inevitable. How we address these crises will determine whether or not God can continue to bless this nation.

Again, Father is setting the conditions for the Second Israel to fulfill. For America to play the key role in the unification of North and South, we went to Korea. Through our unity with True Parents we could receive the Cheon Il Guk Blessing and participate in the Lord's Coronation. Then we could go to every hamlet in Korea and proclaim True Parents and the way of peaceful Unification of North and South. In a climate of anti-Americanism in some sectors of the nation our Blessed Central Families went out from Korea, Japan , America and many nations of the world and showed unity and love. This internally reversed the negative atmosphere toward America on the community level and laid the foundation for a Family movement to rise that will lead the North and the South through peaceful unification.

Father has asked all to plant into their hometowns into Korea and yet in America he is asking the American blessed Central families to stay here to focus on Christianity. Therefore our work with the Christian leaders is now at a critical stage. The Second Israel is now called upon to make a sacrifice of old tradition to usher in the Kingdom. Under God's guidance, the Second Israel is being asked to shed the old traditions like Jesus said we have to have get rid of the "old" wineskins to receive the "new" wine that God has prepared. The new wine has to do with all churches removing their denominational walls and then as a "body" of Christ removing the symbol of the failure of the chosen people. The cross.

By sacrificing itself, the Second Israel comes into to an "essential" position of faith where it is holding on to the essence or spirit of Jesus and not to a symbol. Therefore, to fulfill we as blessed central families together with the blessed Christian leaders must take the cross down as a symbol and instead walk the "way of the cross" in sacrifice to heal the division of the sons of Abraham.

Father is preparing a renewed "Second Israel" in this way. We are confident that this "resurrected" body of the Second Israel, having sacrificed itself to remove the barriers to winning our elder brother, the First Israel's heart, will travel to Jerusalem to humbly ask the first Israel to embrace Jesus as the Lord that God sent to them. Only a small number is needed to fulfill this condition, but it must be fulfilled. This condition will allow for a transformation of the culture of war that now exists in the Middle East. On this basis the Moslem family can be liberated from their pain, and massive reconciliation will occur. Then with this victory, Father is asking the Second Israel to go to Korea to restore what Christianity in Korea failed to do 57 years ago - to lift up the Lord of the Second Advent. Then we will see the 38th parallel crumble before our eyes.

Therefore, beloved Blessed Central Families, this is the time to sacrifice, to respond to and follow the call of the Lord. Let us fulfill our destiny and bring reconciliation to all.

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