Articles from the August 1997 Unification News
The Open Blessing (Or, The Blessing Free To All)
A talk given by Rev. Joong Hyun Pak at the Chicago Family Church, August 3, 1997
Mrs. Pak and I have been traveling together with Rev. and Mrs. Al Sharpton, both of whom are well-known in New York and elsewhere, and are also a blessed couple. Before coming to Chicago we visited Barbados, in the Caribbean. We met with some top leaders there, among them one well-known religious leader who had been blessed earlier in Washington, DC. Barbados was celebrating that day, August 1, their national Emancipation Day. We attended the ceremonies and met the Prime Minister. Rev. Sharpton and I both spoke of True Family Values and the Blessing with him and others. There is great potential there.
In Chicago we received a warm greeting from a very busy Rev. Jesse Jackson. We plan to meet with him again in New York.
As of this day, August 3, our North American Continent has a total of 210,000 couples for the upcoming Blessing. We hope to soon reach our goal of 360,000 couples.
Sitting here with us now is Mr. Joe Willett from Kentucky. He and his wife Sun Willett have the honor of being the first American couple to fulfill 185 couples. After reaching a total of 185 people, the Willetts then began to bless the leaders of their community. They have blessed a good cross-section of their hometown community, including the mayor. The mayor then brought 12 additional city officials to be blessed! So far Joe and Sun Willett have blessed 400 couples and, without a doubt, they have become our model Tribal Messiah couple. As a result of this achievement, Joe Willett will represent their family in Korea when True Father makes the special Proclamation.
When we think of today's topic "The Open Blessing" we also think of the long years of struggle of many brothers and sisters in the past, the indemnity that had to be paid by early members, and the seriousness with which we learned to approach the Blessing. The Blessing means everything to us and even the apprehensions in past years that perhaps we would not be chosen for it after a long period of waiting, leaves some of our members in confusion today as they watch the Blessing being offered so freely, so openly to all! In other words, it is being given so cheaply, meaning that it is being offered "free, without price." This is quite a change.
As we know, there are 66 books in the Bible, the very last one being John's Revelation which has 22 chapters. In the last chapter, in verse 17, after Jesus sent his angel to testify, we read:
And the Spirit and the Bride say "Come." And let the one who hears say, "come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
The meaning of this verse is: Come. Everybody come. In the presence of the Holy Spirit and the Bride, come and we will give you the water of life. Free. No cost.
Water of life is the source of life. We believe the water of life is: True Love, True Life, True Lineage; Eternal True Love, Eternal, Undying True Life and Pure Lineage--these three elements come from the water of life. Actually, this is the most precious, costly gift from God and yet the Bible says "everybody come and you can have this free." How come? Let us now explore more deeply this "Open Blessing."
How many couples throughout the world have so far received this Blessing? Seven million couples, and the numbers are growing every second. So in America and throughout the world we are seeing 'hurricanes of Blessings'. Among the 210,000 blessed couples in America, 500 Christian minister couples thus far have been blessed. And 5,000 of the couples have been blessed in Christian churches. Not in hotels, not in parks, not in other public places, but in the Christian Church.
Blessings are also taking place in Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues and Buddhist temples. So the millions of Blessings that have resulted from True Father opening the doors to free Blessings are taking place everywhere throughout the world. Heung-Jin-Nim, Dae-Mo-Nim and Jesus Christ and all the saints and sages and ancestors coming down from the spiritual world, are working with us to create this wonderful miracle that is taking place everywhere. It is truly a day of miracles!
Even we are surprised. In just one week the Blessing numbers have grown a million times worldwide. Imagine. In just one week. And we have heard that the President of Ghana has received the Blessing. Not the former president--but the present president. He is reported to be a very good person, very respected and a good leader for the nation of Ghana. Of course, some former presidents, former prime ministers and top leaders of the world are lining up now to receive the Blessing.
So the Open Blessing is creating tremendous power on this Planet Earth!
Let's think for a moment: Why do we need this open Blessing? Please pay close attention to the words. Today is the time of the Messiah. The Messiah, the True Parents are living on Earth. We are the luckiest people in all of history to be living on Earth today, at the time of the Messiah. Living during the Messiah's era, the True Parents era. This can happen only once in a lifetime. Only one lifetime can they dwell on Earth. They will go to the spiritual world and never be here again in the physical body, only in spirit.
In his lifetime, the Messiah must live for the sake of all the people. Will only the good-looking, the healthy, the strong receive the Blessing? The Messiah comes to give the Blessing to everyone who will receive it. We must reach out to everyone, everywhere--the rich, the poor, the person in the hospital, in the home, on the street, the lame, the sick, the thief, the gambler, the drug addict--they must be changed--all must be saved if possible.
All are children of God and True Parents--whether they be handsome, educated and healthy, or handicapped, uneducated and unhealthy--all need the Blessing. We must reach out to everyone, the suffering ones as well. This is our mission. To extend to them, to all people, this eternal message, this eternal love which is their inheritance!
With the remaining time of our True Parents on the Earth, we must reach to all the corners in order to cover the Earth with Blessings. This is our responsibility. Someone may say, "Oh yes, I did my 185 couple Blessings. I finished. Now I can relax." No! Keep going. Why not make your goal 1,000 couples as some others are doing. We must keep going as True Parents are. How can we stop when True Parents are not stopping!
Last year Mrs. Pak and I attended 47 days of training at Chungpyung workshop. It was not easy, especially that first workshop. We were then chosen to be National Messiahs to Switzerland. I know it was our crown, our honor to be chosen for that but on one hand, I was struggling. Why? I had been serving in America for 22 years. I was not expecting to go to Switzerland. I actually thought I would continue to work in America for a longer period. But now, suddenly, I was being asked to serve in Switzerland! One part of me was happy and proud. The other part was challenged. I was always thinking: I have been in America so many years but because my mission demanded all my time, leading and guiding people, I had no time left to witness for spiritual children here. I gave my best. I loved America, but my tree of life bore no fruit here, this tree of life was bare, very poor--no spiritual children. That was my struggle. Then True Father opened the door of the Blessings!
Mrs. Pak joyfully went out to give Blessings. She thought she would keep going until we had 780 couples. But now that she is close to that number, Mrs. Pak is planning to continue on to 1,000 or more. Why not? In the beginning, Mrs. Pak and I knocked on doors with not too many results. But we learned as we went along. Then Mrs. Pak realized she could do better--and faster--alone. So she liberated me to keep my busy schedule at Headquarters!
The spiritual world is working so powerfully with all of us. Some blessed couples like to go together to give Blessings. Some are finding that taking a child with them can bring added power, sometimes even guidance when the child is spiritually attuned. So however we do it, we definitely have the Blessing Fever! Some second generation children are going alone to do Blessings. This is greatly powerful. Our second generation is beginning to appreciate the strength and dedication within their own homes. And even though their fathers and mothers are working hard full-time for the Kingdom, still they are together, not divorced. So they are beginning to see the value of their own family, especially as they, and all of us, are seeing first hand and with sadness how few families exist intact anymore. It is rare to knock on a door and find a father and a mother together, married .
The second generation is also beginning to value the first generation members as they realize how hard and steadfast we have worked in our missions. Most importantly, the second generation is learning the real value of the Blessing, the value of a true family.
Another way we can understand this free Blessing is by looking back to when God created Adam and Eve. They were to have gone through the levels of formation, growth and perfection, arriving at the Blessing. So we also have had to walk the path through these levels, finally receiving the Blessing, all the while following True Parents, our models of perfection. Now, as we are nearing that perfected level, we are looking at these newly Blessed people and thinking: "I came a most difficult path, paying a price, but now you are coming without cost." If we think in a negative way toward the situation, we are wrong. But if we look at it in a positive way, then we can say we are inviting them to the Blessing with True Love. Because it is through True Love that we can feel joy and satisfaction that we have paved the way for them. Just as the Messiah paved the way for us.
America has the most developed highways. America is the kingdom of highways. After World War II, during President Eisenhower's term, America's wonderful system of highways developed. Plans were drawn, trees were downed, rocks were blasted out, as these super highways were constructed. When these systems of highways were finished and opened, did it make travel easy or difficult? Obviously, it made the traveler's journey easier. In Los Angeles, they have now planned a new system of automated travel. You sit in an electric-driven car and it moves safely, protected, to one's destination.
You and I, we earlier members, have gone through formation, growth and perfection, by climbing a high mountain, a rocky mountain. We carved out the mountain, driving the nails, chipping at the rugged, jagged edges as we climbed the steep peak to safety, each time making it smoother and easier for the ones behind us.
This past Spring, I visited Switzerland in the area of Interlaken. There is a beautiful hotel on the lake that I wanted to view as a possible workshop site in the future. The owner of this hotel just recently received the Blessing.
Behind this hotel is the famous mountain Eiger. As I stood gazing up at this very high, very steep, beautiful glacier mountain, a woman approached me and asked "are you Japanese"? "No, I am Korean" I said. She then went on to tell me that three young Japanese men were presently climbing this mountain. "How long will it take them to reach the top?" I asked. "Three and a half days" she answered me. Now in three and a half days of climbing they must stop sometime to sleep. How? Where? Perpendicular, that's how! Because the mountain goes "straight up" with nothing but solid icy rock! No ledges to nestle upon. With their strong ropeline secured somewhere above, and then attached, one man to the other by rope, suspended, dangling against that rock, they sleep. Can you imagine!
As they approach the peak, the first one that reaches it will certainly not shout to the others to hurry; but rather he will pull the others by the rope to safety and together they share the victory.
We elder Blessed couples went a very difficult course, paying so much indemnity as we climbed our high, spiritual mountain peak, but now we help our younger spiritual brothers and sisters to more easily and safely climb to the top, the level of perfection, the Blessing. Now the open Blessing is given and we all share the victory.
America is now in an economically good period. Hotels are packed with travelers, people are economically able to travel and enjoy many things. The economy is too good! People are living in good houses, eating well, relaxing! But where are the American families! We cannot find couples as we knock on doors across America. America is in danger.
Society is filled with young drug users, alcoholics, homosexuals, and such. They have learned an immoral life. America is a most dangerous place right now. Who will save this America? Our Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, our Blessed couples, working hand-in-hand, are out everyday conveying and proclaiming this message of peace and salvation, the Blessing.
What are the four points of the Blessing? 1) Never divorce; 2) No adultery; 3) Teach a pure life to second and third generations; 4) Teach these True Family values and Blessing vows to relatives and the community. Every household is given this Certificate of a True Family and what that family is to uphold. As we give the Blessing, it is then passed on to others. This is how we will reach all the corners of the Earth.
Recently, I visited Camp Sunrise in New York, where a Second Generation Workshop was in progress. Mr. Bruce Grodner and Mrs. Debra Grodner are the directors there. The Grodners are pioneers for over 20 years in the Church. Visiting there at Camp Sunrise that day were Bruce Grodner's parents. When we were introduced, the father acknowledged the introduction and then very quickly proceeded to painfully verbalize his many concerns over the years for his son and daughter-in-law. I respectfully listened for the long time that he spoke and when he was finished I began to speak to this man, this successful Jewish man who had always headed a company and lived a life of leadership and responsibility. I spoke to him, not about the things that were troubling him, but rather about True Family Values, the Blessing, the condition of America, what we are doing about it. He became so excited and called to his wife (who had remained in the car during this whole conversation), "Come out quickly" he called to her. "You must come and hear this good news!" Here was a man now in tears, who, according to his son, never expressed emotion publicly. He and wife both became emotional and so inspired. At this point I asked them "Do you want the Blessing?" "YES!" was their reply. So they received it right there. And when I suggested to them that they must now go and focus on blessing others, the father went that very moment and called his daughter at home! How beautifully the Spirit of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit cuts right through our struggling, hesitant thoughts and brings instead a clear and truthful understanding.
Incidentally, this marriage, like many marriages we see today, was being challenged before this moment. Amazing wonder of Heaven! We are saving marriages. It is fashionable today to be divorced. It is a lifestyle now in America. But True Parents are literally saving families every day. And the power of God is flowing. So many times members tell of the many years they have tried to witness to their families to no avail, but now suddenly these same families are receiving the Blessing. So amazing and so powerful these times are. And God is using us as the saviors for American families. This is our honor and our duty. Please understand all this deeply.
From the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis, as we read of God's Creation and His dream for Adam and Eve all the way to the end in John's Revelation, 22:17, where Jesus gives his last prediction, the dream is being fulfilled finally by True Parents. God has been disappointed so many times down through the years, crying tears as each era of time passed without the expected results, and now finally God's dream of hope is being fulfilled.
John's Revelation is all about the Second Advent, True Parents coming, to fulfill the dream of God, the dream for Adam. Now God is giving the Water of Life, free.
There are two years and five months remaining until the year 2000. This is a very serious time, the year 2000. It is the culminating point of God, True Parents, Jesus Christ. Such a serious and important point of time. Our Messiah Jesus Christ came two thousand years ago. And now, two thousand years later, his mission of True Parentship and Messiahship must be fulfilled before the coming of the New Millennium, the twenty-first century.
All of human life down through history has been a struggling, suffering, fallen, bad life. But before the turn of the century, we will begin a New Heaven and a New Earth, a new people. Everything must be cleaned up, all fallen lifestyles cleaned up before the twenty-first century This is the vision given in John's Revelation 2,000 years ago. "I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth coming, for the first Heaven and the first Earth passed away... And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God..." (Rev. 21:1-2)
"...the holy city of Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel." (Rev. 21:10-11)
"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl, And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." (Rev. 21:21)
Everything will be beautiful, with clear rivers flowing, and the light of True Love shining so that not even sunlight and moonlight will be needed, just the light glowing from True The life of True Love is only brightness. So this wonderful vision given to John 2,000 years ago must be fulfilled.
Now is the Dispensation of Open Blessing, Free Blessing. So, Brothers and Sisters, if you have reached 185 couples, please keep going until you have doubled that or even tripled that. Some members are feeling shy, discouraged. They have been unable to challenge themselves with door-to-door witnessing. Couples that have fulfilled their 185 goal can accompany the hesitant ones until each gains confidence. You will be a mobile Blessing team (MBT). In New York this is how many couples are helping others. Members are experiencing partnership and love as they clean up society.
Benefits are coming from this Open Blessing. Many good things are happening even beyond our expectations. Sometimes, over a period of time, some have lost appreciation for the value of their own personal Eternal Blessing from God (because we keep it to ourselves). But now in our witnessing we are gaining a new appreciation for its value as we bring this Blessing to others and as we educate others of this Blessing, we re-discover the value of our own Blessing.
Some couples say "I don't see the value in my own Blessing so how can I go out teaching value to others?" But again, I say to you, if you will go out and begin to do it, you will begin to look at your own life differently. As you look at others struggling with divorce, single parenthood, lonely, just seeing this day and night, you will naturally come to appreciate what you have.
America is a super country. But under the shadow of prosperity, families are broken down and people are suffering. This has become a "broken down marriage culture." We are bringing in a new culture!
In conclusion, I want to mention that also in the Book of Revelation we read of the 144,000 to receive the Blessing, in white robes. Well, America, a Christian country, the Bride country, has already reached 144,000 couples and way beyond, and we are on our way to 360,000 couples soon. Maybe each couple can bring 20 more couples with them to RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Incidentally, Dr. Tyler Hendricks put it so aptly recently when he said "R.F.K. means Royal Family Kingdom!"
By the year 2000 we can achieve the Bible's dream. We bow our heads, join our True Parents crusade, and during their lifetime on Earth we eat our Messiah, we eat our True Parents, we eat our Blessing. How wonderful it will be when we arrive in the spiritual world and we are greeted by Abraham and Moses, Joshua and Caleb, everyone coming to congratulate us for the wonderful work we did on Earth, and how we faithfully followed True Parents. Amen.
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