Unification News for January 2005
Second Generation Holy Wedding - The Blessing of the Second Generation December 26, 2004 East Garden, New York
Rev. Michael Jenkins
The central purpose and mission of our True Parents is to restore the human family back to Godıs original intended ideal: fulfilling the three blessings - to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion over the earth. The process of the blessing is central to this providence and mission. Because Adam and Eve failed to fulfill their responsibility and formed a blood relationship centering on the words and actions of the archangel, God was blocked from participating with the first family and the creation of His ideal.
The grief of God cannot be truly understood by human beings. When Jesus came, it was on the foundation of the restoration of this heavenly lineage. Through conditions set by the women in his lineage -- Tamar, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary -- Jesus could be born with a condition which allowed God to relate with him directly. There was no original sin in him. Therefore, Jesus' status and position is different from that of any other person born in history.
When Jesusı real identity was not understood by his family (Matt. 12:48-50, John 7:5) or by John the Baptist (Matt. 11:3) and Johnıs family, it led to the chosen people rejecting Jesus as the messiah. This blocked Jesus from establishing the ideal of the three blessings at that time, and once again Godıs heart was shattered, this time even more deeply than at the time of the fall.
Why? Because after the fall God labored through thousands of years of biblical history with infinite patience and long-suffering, and finally, with the coming of Jesus, He could establish one man as a pure Adam. Jesus' rejection and crucifixion caused God infinite grief. The ideal once again could not be completed.
However, because Jesus fulfilled the first blessing of becoming fruitful and perfected in love as an individual, he could establish the four-position foundation in the spiritual realm with the Holy Spirit in the brideıs position, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit could then establish the True Parentsı position in spirit. From that position, rebirth could be given to those who embraced Jesus. However, this salvation was spiritual, and Jesus had to return again. Because of this rejection the family of Jesus (Isaac and Ishmael) instead of being united as one and building the Kingdom of God at that time divided. Christianity emerged from Judaism and they remained separated. God raised up Muhammad and Islam to guide the people of Ishmael and other relatives. At the time of the return these religions will come together to welcome the prophesied coming of the Messiah or Imam that will fulfill Godıs will for all mankind.
At this time those prophesies are being fulfilled and wider and wider circles of prepared Christians, Muslims and Jews are coming to understand that Father and Mother Moon are fulfilling the second advent. This is rooted in the fact that in the spiritual world Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Confucius and Hindu leaders as well as myriads of saints are testifying and proclaiming that Father and Mother Moon are the ones anointed and ³chosen² to fulfill the prophesies of their faith traditions.
Father and Mother Moonıs blessing of marriage in 1960 established the True Parentsı position. The fulfillment of the True Parents and True Family's mission has secured the foundation of God's ideal. Jesus anointed True Parents and called them to the mission. When True Parents fulfilled their mission, Jesus, Muhammad and the other saints and founders of the great religions proclaimed from heaven that True Parents are truly standing in the position of the messiah, savior and Lord of the Second Advent.
True Parents' role is to restore the ideal of the family by extending that blessing and anointing to every family, until eventually all of the world is cut off from the wild olive tree and grafted onto the true olive tree. This is the meaning of the blessing. Since the fall occurred through a blood relationship between Adam and Eve centering on the archangel, the resulting blood lineage could not be recognized by God. That is why Jesus said in John 8:44, ³You are of your father the devil.²
Restoration of the blood lineage requires the complete restoration of the fall. Since false families were formed centering on the archangel Lucifer, who became Satan, true families must be formed centering on God, reversing the fall. To accomplish this God had to restore one family first, starting with Jesus. Jesus came as the Second Adam and completed the restoration of Adamıs individual position as the Son of God perfected in love.
Because of the rejection by his family and ultimately the chosen people, Jesus could not establish the True Parents on earth. A spiritual engrafting took place on the individual level through the communion that Jesus instituted in the Last Supper, in which we become one with Jesus in blood and body, representing spirit and body. This first stage of engrafting prepared for the completion of the family. But until another Adam appeared, the family could not be restored. That is why Jesus indicated that there is no marriage in heaven (Matt. 22:30). The next step of engrafting, the blessing of families, could not occur until Jesus returned and established the True Parents. The return of Jesus is now being fulfilled through his anointing of Father and Mother Moon. As Elijah returned (in spirit) through John the Baptist, Jesus is returning (in spirit) through Father Moon. He ³returns² through a man born on earth as the third Adam. This means that Father Moon is not God or Jesus but rather stands in the ³spirit² of Jesus.
Since Adam and Eve were to obey Godıs word and harmonize the three archangels in support of their blessing, it was essential that Jesus have three disciples who would support him unconditionally. The three disciples falling asleep at Gethsemane was a tragedy beyond measure, as it meant that the three archangels were not in full support of Jesus at the crucial moment, and therefore, Jesus had to go the way of the cross instead of the way of the family. This is why at the crucifixion darkness covered the earth. If the family, disciples and representatives of the chosen people had believed, Jesus could have lived. This is a revolutionary theological understanding. It does not diminish the providence of atonement through Jesus' sacrifice. It just establishes God's request that the people believe (John 6:29). Belief reaps the blessing, and unbelief reaps suffering.
Therefore, critical to the establishment of True Parents was the faith of the first three couples blessed by True Parents before their own blessing. These were the couples of Rev. Won Pil Kim, Rev. Young Whi Kim, and President Hyo Won Eu. Because they stood as blessed couples in faith and total support under great trial and persecution, True Parentsı blessing could occur in 1960. Having fulfilled the archangelic role, those three couples could become part of the 36-couple blessing that was established in May 1961.
From there, subsequent blessings occurred according to providential numbers. The 36 couples represented 12 disciples who were restored and blessed from the Old Testament, New Testament and Completed Testament levels. Next, the 72 couples were restored; 36 representing Abel and 36 representing Cain united as one, as well as the 72 disciples of Jesus. Then 124 were blessed, symbolizing the world. The providential number was 120, but because there were 124 nations in the United Nations at that time, Father extended it to 124 to represent every nation of the world. However, 120 was the world-level condition that was needed.
The 430 couple blessing represented the Israelites' 430 years of suffering in slavery in Egypt as well as the 4,300 years of Korean history. Then 43 couples from 10 nations were blessed in 1969, expanding the ideal of the family to the world. The 777 couple blessing was established, opening the way for the world to return to God. On that basis, the 1800 couples were blessed. This symbolized the number 6 being restored three times, so the restoration of 666 occurred through the 1800 couple blessing.
The subsequent blessings extended the blessing to interreligious and interracial couples throughout the world. In 1992, the blessing was expanded beyond the boundary of Unification Church membership, and the way was opened for people of any religion to maintain their religious faith and still receive the blessing, as long as they could understand and acknowledge the value of that blessing from heaven. Muslims, Christians, and Jews as well as non-religious people began to receive the blessing.
Throughout the 40 years from 1960 to 2000, the first generation of blessed couples continued to have children. Reversing the human fall, which established families based on the archangelıs self-centered words, blessed families are commissioned by God's word to keep pure before the blessing and faithful to their spouse in the blessing. The 2nd generation coming from these marriages is based on their parentsı partaking of the holy wine; this is connected to the same condition Jesus gave at the Last Supper. However, this time the condition is not for the individual but for the couple, and husband and wife share the holy wine or holy juice together from the same cup.
Therefore, the era of individual salvation has ended and we have entered the era of family salvation. The children from these blessed marriages are born without any claim or condition by which Satan can call them his own, and thus they have the potential to become true sons and daughters of God very rapidly. Being born without original sin does not mean being born perfect. Rather, it means that God needs no condition to relate with that person. Because there is no false lineage or claim over them, God can freely relate with them just as He did with Adam and Eve before the fall and with Jesus during his life.
The blood lineage established by the fall was Satanıs, because it was based on the angel's word and illicit love relationship. Therefore, all children descending from the fall are born outside of the realm of Godıs principle. Satan needs no condition to relate with fallen people, but God does. Fasting, self-denial and prayer became necessary conditions of faith and substance through which God could then act conditionally.
Through the blessing, children are born from ³restored families² who reverse the fall by being obedient to God and forming a family with the Blessing of the restored third Adam and Eve. Therefore, there is no barrier between God and these young people, and God needs no condition to relate with them.
However, Satan needs a condition to relate with these children. Because the world is still under Satanıs dominion and the environment is so heavily dominated by false teachings and a fallen lifestyle, it is not difficult for Satan to influence pure young people to make conditions that allow him to have give and take with them. Therefore, though they are born without original sin, a religious lifestyle and upbringing is essential.
This blessing on December 26 was very strict. If was the first blessing of second generation that was based on the fulfillment of the Coronation of God, Jesus and our True Parents. It was the first blessing of our True Parents in the Peace Kingdom which is based on True Love. Only couples who could truly stand before heaven and proclaim their purity with the confirmation of church elders could qualify for this blessing. Any sexual experiences before the blessing meant that the person could only receive the blessing later.
This blessing of 121 couples was also based on the victory of the December 13th Crown of Peace ceremony, in which True Parents were affirmed as the King and Queen of Peace by people of the Abel religious realm and the Cain secular, civic realm. With that confirmation, True Parents could initiate a new dispensation toward the Kingdom of God on earth. They established the Interreligious and International Peace Kingdom Federation of Cheon Il Guk, and this blessing was the first stage of the development of the Peace Kingdom. Therefore, not only did True Parents guide these couples very personally and very deeply about the blessing, but they also raised the standard closer to the ideal of the Principle.
For many decades, True Parents promised that when the Kingdom of Heaven finally came, conditions would not be easy. They said that although the gates of the Kingdom would be wide for a certain period in order to allow everyone an opportunity to receive heaven's blessing and grace, heavenly law would require an absolute standard for true sons and daughters of God to establish a true family.
No one decides our destiny but we ourselves. Therefore, each young person had to make his or her own decision about being willing to receive the match they were given and step through this gate. It was not easy. The struggles were enormous.
At 9:00 a.m. on December 26th we began the rehearsal. The young people were all shapes and sizes, some still in high school and some in college. The invitation to participate in the blessing made it very clear that they must be absolutely pure, with no sexual encounters whatever, and furthermore, that once they stepped into the position of a candidate they should have absolute faith in the match that Heaven prepared for them. If they were not committed to such faith, they should not be there.
As the young men in dark suits and red ties and women in beautiful white wedding gowns lined up, East Garden was filled with at atmosphere of holiness and purity. The rehearsal continued for one hour and 45 minutes, as the attendants and participants repeatedly walked through the steps of the blessing. Everyone had a serious attitude and heart in preparation for the most beautiful blessing. Nevertheless, many different struggles were going on during that time.
At 10:00 a.m., Dr. Yang suddenly came to the room, and to our surprise True Father came right behind him. Father wanted to check on the preparations. He walked carefully up and down the aisles, smiling at the couples, checking the red carpet on the central aisle where the blessing procession would take place. One young man who was struggling deeply shared with me later that the moment he saw Fatherıs face during this rehearsal, his heart and mind became completely peaceful. He felt an overwhelming sense of peace and confirmation that everything was settled for him. He felt that perhaps the spirit world had been testing him, or perhaps even some were trying to block this blessing from occurring. Once he saw Father smile, everything changed.
Looking at the decorations, Father suddenly said that each of the front two corners of the room should have a palm tree that reached from the floor to the ceiling. This was one hour before the blessing was to begin. With absolute faith, Paul Fontaine and other key East Garden staff members went out at 10:00 am on Sunday, the day after Christmas, and found two palm trees. Within 40 minutes, he came back in the door with trees that fit perfectly from the floor to the ceiling.
The practical reaction to Fatherıs last-second request would be that it could not be fulfilled in time. However, that was not the position the East Garden staff took. There are so many lessons to learn from every encounter with True Father, but one thing is sure Father only gives directions that can be fulfilled. Furthermore, he does so based on his spiritual knowledge that preparations have been made to yield the fruits of his request. Many times we fail to fulfill what Father asks us to do because we think only in practical terms; thus, we defeat ourselves before we even try. My heart was deeply moved when I saw palm trees exactly the right size arrive 15 minutes before the blessing the morning after Christmas. Father gave a direction and knew in his spirit that the palm trees had been prepared. Because our brothers set the condition of faith, they could be led by the spirit to find the prepared trees. When Father gives a direction, we should absolutely go forward in faith, regardless of external appearances. This reminds us of Jesus telling his disciples to go and fetch a donkey for him to ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus gave that direction knowing that the donkey had been prepared.
The blessing ceremony began with the entrance of the True Family. Welcoming remarks were given by myself (Rev. Michael Jenkins) as the MC, noting that 121 couples of the 2nd generation were going to be blessed on this day and that these were pure couples representing all of the world. The MC also noted that our gratitude for this ceremony must go not only to True Parents but also to True Family, for it is through their fulfillment that True Parents could carry out this providence.
Rev. Jesse Edwards, chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, gave the invocation, indicating that the clergy have come to the same level of understanding of the blessing and of True Parents as that of members who have been 40 years in the movement. Rev. Edwards also affirmed that these young people were being blessed by True Parents and engrafted into the true olive tree. He also stated that True Parents were anointed by Jesus and all the saints of heaven as the returning lord.
The blessing address was given by the chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace in North America, Dr. Chang Shik Yang. Dr. Yang described very deeply the ideal upon which these couples are being blessed, their crucial role in creating the cornerstone of blessed families for the Peace Kingdom, and the long line of providential blessings that True Parents had established.
Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, as the national co-convener of the ACLC, emphasized that each young person was chosen by God and that the blessing of True Parents is eternal and forms the central purpose of life. He guided the young people to understand that the blessing will also entail trials and tribulation, for out of the blessing we are forging a new world in which we are reconciling all the people of history and forming the Kingdom of God on earth. The True Parents are the lord, messiah and king of kings, and therefore these precious couples are standing at a most significant point in history, a point that will be studied and remembered for eternity.
Then the attendants entered to the holy song, ³Song of the Banquet.² All the attendants were 2nd generation blessed couples. They entered wearing their holy robes with beautiful pink sashes, with the men lining up on the right and women on the left. Their procession was flawless.
Then the entrance of the officiators was announced, to the "Hallelujah" chorus of Handelıs ³Messiah.² True Parents entered the room, Father wearing a black tuxedo and Mother wearing a beautiful white suit. With grace and glorious dignity, True Parents came to the stage for the blessing.
Dr. Chang Shik Yang gave the ³Report to Heaven,² reporting that 121 couples that were absolutely pure were being blessed as the first providential blessing of the Peace Kingdom centering on the King and Queen of Peace before the world and cosmos in this fourth year of Cheon Il Guk.
True Parents then conducted the holy water ceremony as four representative interreligious and interracial couples came forward. In the holy water ceremony, the water signifies that the blessing is absolutely pure and the marriage is absolutely holy, the pinnacle of the experience of true love, true life and true lineage. The children born through these families will be direct heirs to the Kingdom of God. Twelve attendant couples carried out the holy water ceremony, sprinkling all the brides and grooms.
Then True Parents conducted the affirmation of vows. Upon the completion of each vow the congregation said, ³Yea.² More than 150 nations were represented in the grand hall of East Garden that day.
After the vows, True Parents turned to each other and offered the prayer of blessing. Fatherıs voice was soft and gentle, but deep and rich. We could see that each word was being carefully offered to heaven as he prayed that these young people will fulfill their responsibility to become true sons and daughters and true families of God. Father prayed that in this fourth year of Cheon Il Guk this blessing could be received by heaven and become a foundation for all future generations.
Then the holy ring ceremony began. Father and Mother gave each of four representative couples their rings, and the brides and grooms helped each other put on their rings. At the same time, all of the couples then exchanged rings. The ring was especially designed by True Parents with the Unification symbol and made of gold. Gold represents the purity of marriage and the everlasting nature of the commitment. Being round, the ring represents the circles that have no end, indicating these blessings will have no end, but last for eternity. Then the four representative couples returned to their appointed positions.
True Parents gave the proclamation of blessing, announcing before heaven and earth that these 121 couples were now blessed for eternity as husband and wife in this 4th year of CIG.
Flowers were presented by Rev. Dong Woo Kimıs son and daughter in law. The gift presentation representing all blessed was a beautiful porcelain sculpture of two cranes, representing man and woman facing each other in love. The gift was offered with the following dedication: "On the Foundation of the Victorious Crown of Peace Ceremony of December 13, 2004 we the Newly Blessed Couples of Cheon Il Guk and the Interreligious and International Peace King Federation offer our heartfelt gratitude for our True Parents in giving us True Love, True Life and True Lineage for Eternity and for the True Love and Unification of All Humanity."
Then a trophy was given by the blessed couples as a gift of congratulations for True Parents' victory on December 13th, when the religious and civic realms honored Father and Mother Moon in Washington, DC, as the King and Queen of Peace. Then the officiators were invited to sit during the blessing finale.
A congratulatory address was given by Dr. Neil Albert Salonen, president of the University of Bridgeport. He emphasized four points He beautifully emphasized four points: This is a day of joy, a day of commitment and dedication, a day of hope, and a day of gratitude. Mrs. ___ sang gloriously, ³You Raise Me Up.² Tears flowed throughout the grand hall of East Garden as these beautiful blessed couples were receiving such love from True Parents. The officiators were then invited to give the celebratory cheer of "Ok Mansei." True Parents traditionally offer three cheers of "Ok Mansei" at that point. Clearly True Parents were pleased.
However, Father did something we never saw before. He called upon Dr. Peter Kim and gave one more message of love to the young couples. Father said, ³This was a beautiful ceremony today, and I feel good. I want you blessed couples to know that for the next 50 days, until True Parentsı birthday on February 14, you must set the condition of being absolutely pure and holy. During these next 50 days you should not embrace or have any physical affection whatsoever. You should stand absolutely pure. After the 50 days you will then be qualified to begin your blessed family. This is a most serious time, and I want to ask you and all blessed couples throughout the world to give your absolute best during this next four-year period. From 2005 to 2008, the world will change so dramatically that we will not believe it. And in the final four years until 2012 the Kingdom of God will be firmly established and visible upon the earth. During this time blessed couples must sacrifice everything so that we can lay the foundation for heavenly law and culture that can never afterwards be bent or distorted. You young people represent pure blessed couples of the 2nd generation. You must keep this standard and follow and attend True Parents absolutely. From now on you must hold onto True Parents. Through that you can be fulfilled.²
Then Father offered three cheers of "Ok Mansei," followed by the recession of the officiators. Members of True Family remained seated in their positions on each side of the stage, while the grand hall of East Garden was set up for the pictures. True Parentsı chairs and True Familyıs chairs were arranged. The couples reorganized, and then True Parents came in to cut the wedding cake. To everyoneıs surprise, Father asked for representatives couples to cut the wedding cake. Couples who had their birthday on this day were asked to come forward. Two emerged, and a third couple was chosen, representing all races. In front of True Parents, the young couples cut the wedding cake. Pictures were taken of the couples together with True Parents and the religious leaders, and then True Parents and True Family left to applause and gratitude.
The couples reassembled for the final moments. Dr. Chang Shik Yang, our continental director, gave very serious and deep guidance. Father asked Dr. Yang and Rev. Young Joun Kim, head of the Blessed Family Department in Korea, to pledge to take absolute responsibility if any of these couples make a mistake. They pledged before heaven that they would be responsible. Dr. Yang gave a message that penetrated into the blessed couplesı hearts: "Please be holy, please be responsible, for you were chosen by God for this time."
Rev. Dr. H.G. McGhee, as one of the clergy couples blessed by True Parents on September 14, 2002, offered congratulations to the new couples and testified that the messiah had just blessed them. "You must know the hour in which you stand," he said. Imam Pasha Salahuddin, representing the Islamic world, gave deeply encouraging guidance and testimony that Father and Mother Moon are truly the fulfillment of what was prophesied in the Koran, that Mohammad is with them, and that their blessing represents the fulfillment of all religions. "We congratulate you on this day," he concluded.
Dr. Thomas Walsh, Secretary-General of IIFWP International and recently appointed by True Father as Peace King for the United States, gave congratulatory remarks encouraging the couples on their new journey of blessed family life:
"Let me add a word of congratulations to all of you, on behalf of Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, the Chairman of the IIFWP and representative of our True Parents to our worldwide movement.
"I want to thank Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Rev. Michael Jenkins and the entire team who have worked so effectively to organize this wonderful blessing today. It has been so beautiful to behold, and yet we all know it takes a lot of hard work and organization.
"Most of all, we thank you for responding to our True Parents' invitation to participate in this matching and blessing. We are all proud of you and so uplifted to observe your faith, your spirit and your readiness to carry on this precious tradition.
"Our True Parents are working on so many levels in order to transform this world. Their mission is to reach every level and every sector of human society. This includes outreach to all religions, to governments and political leaders, and to civil society. They are working to restore and transform the media, academic and educational institutions, sports, the arts, business, etc.
"But if we look to the core, to the essence of this radical and revolutionary movement, we come down to this great event today, the blessing. This is the essence of True Parents' mission, to create God's true love lineage, through the blessing. In this respect, by your decision and your actions today, you are leading the way to world transformation and true peace. This is the foundation of restoration. We are proud of you, God bless you. We love you. Thank you."
This formally concluded the dayıs program. The atmosphere in East Garden exploded with joy. Parents who had to watch the blessing ceremony on closed-circuit TV at a nearby hotel because there was not enough space at East Garden flooded the East Garden area. Laugher, celebration, hope and joy filled the air as each couple then spent the next two hours having their official photographs taken as a couple on the stage on which True Parents stood. This will be a treasure for their lineage eternally.
We thank God for the Peace Kingdom and for our True Parents who have created it, with the blessing of marriage and the power of true love.
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