The Words The Kwak Family

The Age of Our Responsibility

Chung Hwan Kwak
August 1981

Generally speaking, the first 21-year course refers to the age of our Thee Parents' responsibility, and the second 21-year course refers to the age of the responsibility of the blessed couples and the members. This second 21-year course started on May 16, 1981, with Ye Jin Nim's Blessing; that date was a very, very historical turning point. Now we have to prepare ourselves for joining this second era, which is our era.

Our life in the Unification Church can be divided into three stages.

The first stage goes from the time we joined the church until our Blessing. Usually we refer to this period as the way of restoration, or the way of indemnity.

The second stage is from our Blessing until our perfection. This period is the way of Principle, or the way of our responsibility.

The third stage is perfection, where God's ideal is fulfilled, and we can follow our original mind.

It is important for you to know that the second period is fundamentally different from the first. Originally, Adam and Eve had to pass through the period of growth, and afterwards they would have reached perfection and enjoyed a complete relationship with God. They were supposed to go through this growth stage by following the Principle and fulfilling their own responsibility -- in other words, by following the way of the Principle.

But unfortunately, they fell from the top of the growth stage, and as a result, man has missed the chance to fulfill his own responsibility. This is a fundamental weak point of fallen man, because although God blessed us with the three kinds of blessing, the missing point is man's responsibility; man received God's blessing and has to respond to it. God gave us responsibility for this most important blessing; in contrast with the plants, animals, rocks, whatever, only man has responsibility. Even though fallen man does not like responsibility and considers it as a burden, responsibility is the most blessed point.

After the fall, we lost our chance to fulfill our responsibility; instead of being able to fulfill our responsibility we can only lay indemnity conditions in front of God. Even though indemnity conditions are set for fallen man's lack of responsibility, we must know that this does not mean that we can thereby fulfill our original responsibility. Our original responsibility was God's blessing to sinless, unfallen man. Since we have had absolutely no chance to fulfill our responsibility, we have had to lay indemnity conditions.

Through God's guidance, we can reach the top of the second stage, the point of the Blessing, but until we are blessed, our way is the way of restoration through laying indemnity conditions. Only after the Blessing can we follow the way of Principle, according to our own responsibility

Once we ultimately reach perfection, we can serve and attend God and live in the ideal world. There we will have no further responsibility to fulfill, because we become completely free. We can enjoy complete freedom with God, living according to our original mind.

Our attitude at this turning point between two ages

We are now at the turning point between the age of indemnity and the age of responsibility, so I want to explain to you what kind of attitude we should now have.

Until this time, all blessed couples have been standing together at this line separating the age of indemnity from the age of responsibility. No one, not even the 36 couples, who were blessed 20 years ago, could enter the age of responsibility

According to the general content of the Principle, we receive the Blessing, and after the Blessing grow to perfection and finally reach the ideal world. However, the course you and I have to go through is not the ordinary course; we are historical pioneers. Ours is the pioneer way, one which we are traveling along with the True Parents.

In 1960, our Father began his 21-year course. The 21-year course can be divided into three categories: the first focused on family perfection, the next on national restoration and the last on world restoration. So the first seven-year course is for our own family, the second for the central country of Korea and the third for the world, centered on America.

However, until our True Parents completed their mission, we could never inherit it. A couple of years ago, Father began urging us to do Home Church activity and told us that through accomplishing Home Church we could become tribal messiahs. Until now Father has just been letting us practice being tribal messiahs; he needed to perfect the necessary worldwide conditions before he could pass on to us the right to be tribal messiah. This condition took place on May 16, 1981.

In order for you to be able to understand the fundamental nature of the two different ages -- that of indemnity and that of responsibility -- I want to define them in terms of three characteristics: dominion, requirements and love.


First, let's think of the difference in terms of dominion. Originally, God wanted to have direct dominion over man: the ideal world is the world of God's direct dominion. The period of growth, however, is the period of God's indirect dominion. Unfortunately, because of the fall, man came under Satan's direct dominion, and even in the course of restoration, fallen man remains under Satan's indirect dominion. Satan has always attacked those who reach the top of the growth stage.

So in terms of dominion, along the way of restoration neither side -- neither God nor Satan -- could completely dominate man. Man's position is the middle position, and the direction he takes, whether towards God or towards Satan, is determined by the indemnity condition he makes. This is the mixed indirect dominion of God and Satan.

But the important thing is that after the Blessing, you begin the way of the Principle and your dominion changes to the indirect dominion of God. Although you remain the same person, one moment after receiving the Blessing, the territory of dominion in which you dwell completely changed. After the Blessing, you change from Satan's dominion to God's indirect dominion.

The third phase of dominion, upon entering perfection, is the territory of God's direct dominion.

Please remember these three different dominions our members go through during the course of our life in the Unification Church.

God's requirements

Next let us analyze these phases in terms of what God requires of us at each level. In the way of restoration, we have to lay indemnity conditions through sacrifice, hard work and devotion. Of course, Unification Church members sacrifice a lot, but even at this moment there are other people on the earth who are making greater sacrifices, facing hunger and more difficult situations than Unification Church members do. But even though they are working hard and sacrificing, that does not necessarily mean they are laying indemnity conditions. An indemnity condition does not just mean sacrificing or working hard, because unless God accepts it, it cannot become an indemnity condition.

For this reason, we need a central figure (True Parents), through whom to offer the condition, and a pure mind. God does not like a self-centered, unjust or impure mind; so when you make a sacrifice, be sure to have a pure mind. Then all your conditions can become indemnity conditions.

Also, never tally up your indemnity conditions or sacrifices. It doesn't make any difference to God. Don't say that you have been a member of the church for a certain number of years or that you have made such and such sacrifices and therefore have paid a considerable amount of indemnity. If you do that, you have no ground on which to stand, because from God's viewpoint if fallen man sacrifices even his life, it is still not sufficient for his restoration. The way of salvation is not accomplished by fallen man's efforts, but only by the Messiah. When the Messiah picks us up, we can be saved. We can be saved only by God, and not by ourselves.

The ultimate goal of the way of restoration is the Blessing. Usually, to be a candidate for the Blessing, you must have fulfilled certain conditions, such as three years in the church, three spiritual children, contribution to the indemnity fund, etc. Some members have already fulfilled these, and other members have not done enough. But actually, both types can receive the same gift of the Blessing. If the hard-working members complain, they are making a big mistake, because the Blessing is completely due to the grace of God and True Parents. We can receive the Blessing by True Parents' grace, not because of our indemnity conditions.

So someone who has been a member of the church for 30 years, has 300 spiritual children and has fasted for 70 days still cannot ask True Parents to bless him on the basis of these conditions. The Blessing is completely the grace of God and True Parents, not because of our merits. Even though we make some conditions of a lesser amount, what could we do to overcome 6,000 years of sinful history? How could we clear fallen man's background?

Setting indemnity conditions is like paying back our debts to God. Fallen man has billions and billions of dollars of debts to God; Mr. A and Mr. B began owing the same debt to God, billions of dollars. Compared to the total debt, how much difference is there if Mr. A pays $100 and Mr. B $200? Don't accuse your brothers and sisters who may be a little lazy or problematical. We are basically the same: we have original sin and we owe a billion-dollar debt. So even those who are lazy are still loved by True Parents. Don't think I am encouraging you to be lazy; actually such people should feel ashamed. In this sense, although some work hard and others are lazy, both receive the Blessing.

Receiving the Blessing means that the debt has been repaid; now, in the age of responsibility, we have to make deposits. Fulfilling our responsibility is like depositing money in the bank. When Mr. A deposits $100 and Mr. B $200, the bank records those amounts, and the interest that accrues corresponds to what they have deposited.

I am afraid our members around the world may have misunderstood the importance of fulfilling our responsibility. After receiving the Blessing, they may think they no longer have to do anything. There is an absolute difference between the first stage and the second stage. Now we need to fulfill our responsibility. We have to become serious, as though running the marathon for eternal love. We need to speed up.

Before the Blessing, lazy people could be forgiven, but after the Blessing, nothing can be accomplished through laziness. When your spiritual senses are more open, you will understand more clearly how distant you are from other blessed couples; that realization will be really painful for you. You don't really know the taste of original love; therefore you become lazy. But if you knew even a little of the taste of original love, you could never stay still.

Since this is so, why are certain minimum indemnity conditions asked of Blessing candidates? Because of Satan. Because until the Blessing our members are under the mixed indirect dominions of God and Satan. When God and the True Parents gain members through the Blessing, Satan loses members. Of course, he does not like to lose members, and therefore he challenges God and True Parents and accuses the member of not having enough merit to be God's son or daughter; he demands that the Blessing not be given to the member.

Every day his faith wavers, Satan will say. He goes up and down; from morning to evening he changes his mind. He is completely mine and not yours. Because of this accusation from Satan, True Parents need you to make some minimum condition; then they can make some excuse to Satan on your behalf. lime Parents will reply to Satan, I know well that what you are saying is true; but still, even though he is living in such an evil environment, he has tried to overcome satanic power; even receiving persecution, he shared God's heart and witnessed to me. He belongs to me. Therefore, based on these conditions, I will make him my child.

On the other hand, if True Parents pick up someone walking down Fifth Avenue and bless him, we cannot complain. From our point of view, it may be unjust, but from Heavenly Father's viewpoint it may be fair because of some good conditions in the person's ancestry or spiritual background.

So please remember, indemnity conditions become valid only after God accepts them.

Indemnity conditions have the main purpose of separating man from Satan. After joining the church, the most important thing is to quit being self-centered. If you are self-centered, you cannot separate yourself from Satan. The only way you can separate yourself from Satan is to keep from being self-centered. Why do you fast?

Why do you pray so much? Why do you lay so many conditions? To separate yourself from Satan; there is no other way to achieve this. Even with small conditions, we can separate from Satan and then receive grace from God and lime Parents.

In contrast, the second 21-year course is the age in which we must fulfill our responsibility. Through fulfilling our responsibility, we can inherit God's character and become God's sons or daughters and have the authority of owner of all things. This is completely different from indemnity conditions, for although the indemnity conditions laid may vary from one person to another, the result is the same, and each person receives the same benefit. But in the age of responsibility, we receive benefit only according to our fulfillment of our responsibility. In other words, along the way of indemnity True Parents can pick up members and help them. But we can go through the way of Principle only by fulfilling our own responsibility; nobody can help us. If God could support us in this age, then He would have supported Adam and Eve.

After the Blessing, blessed couples can advance only through fulfilling their own responsibility. Therefore, Father said very poetically that when you as a couple receive the Blessing, the gate of heaven stands open before you. The gate, however, is only open; you need to walk to the gate in order to gain entrance to the kingdom. Unless you walk together to the gate of the heavenly kingdom, without anybody pushing or pulling you, you cannot reach the kingdom. If you take only five steps, that is all the advance you have made. Thus, in the second period, there is a vast difference between those who are lazy and those who work hard. In the past, you may have often vacillated, going up and down in your mind, but the benefit you could receive was so amazing. Now this period of responsibility is completely different. Each of us has to fulfill man's responsibility.

Our present blessed couples are transition-era blessed couples. Originally, the Blessing was to be given to individuals, because going through the indirect dominion was an individual responsibility But Adam and Eve fell as a pair, and thus the fallen unit is a pair. So only by making a pair can we reach salvation and be completely restored. So we receive our Blessing at this transition point, and after the Blessing, in the era of the blessed child, each of us must fulfill his or her personal responsibility. The responsible unit is now a pair.

Then, after reaching the ideal world, what is required of us? Only attendance, only living according to our original mind. This is perfection. In our ultimate destination, the Heavenly Kingdom, our original mind is perfected and we will follow the dictates of the original mind, according to heavenly law. There, you will have no problems because you can follow your original mind, and you will be able to live in eternal freedom and joy.

God's Love

Our main source of life is God's love, so we have to restore and inherit His love. What then are the differences between these stages from the viewpoint of God's love?

Along the way of restoration, we ask for God's love, but all we can receive is God's pitying love, not His original love. A sinful person must seek pitying love from God -- forgiveness, support, help, etc. Since he has nothing on his own merit, all he can receive is pitying love.

The meaning of the Blessing is to graduate from the pitying love and at the minimum, seek God's original love, even if it is only indirectly. After the Blessing, if we continue to expect pitying love from God that is a mistake. All blessed and engaged members have to think about this; if your prayers are just centered on yourself or your family, you are just asking God for pitying love. At the minimum, you must ask for original love, even if only indirectly. You should be praying for original love and expecting original love.

After perfection, you can reach original love and enjoy God's direct dominion and original love eternally.


For many years I understood that after the Blessing, all blessed couples could reach the point of perfection; I also understood that we did not need to count the time, because we would know when we arrived; but at a minimum, I thought it would be seven years since it took our Parents seven years, and we would need at least more time than they did.

But one thing I did not understand: Even though we have received the Blessing and even though we call our Parents True Father and True Mother, how could we actually become their sons and daughters? Now I realize that although we use the title son or daughter, we need to qualify it as Cain-son or Cain-daughter; we are Cain-couples, Cain-families. The only way Cain can reach the parents is through Abel. In this sense, all blessed couples absolutely need the True Children's Blessed Couple.

With the Blessing of Ye Jin Nim, all blessed couples are standing now at the same starting point (the top of the growth stage), ready to enter the age of our responsibility. This is true whether we received the Blessing last year or 20 years ago. Of course, after the Blessing, we have to invest our own efforts, and because of this effort, early members and hardworking members have a stronger foundation. Couples from the earlier Blessings can advance more rapidly. Even though the starting point is the same for everyone, the capability or process of each may be different.

But at least one thing is clear, all blessed couples are now on one line, as of May 16, 1981, and from here we can advance only by fulfilling our responsibility.

Those of you who are not blessed or engaged may not feel this topic applies to you, but actually, Father has permitted everybody to do Home Church activity, even though it is specifically the responsibility of the blessed couples. In actuality, Home Church is something that only blessed couples can fulfill, for without receiving the Blessing we cannot inherit the title of tribal messiah. Still, for the past couple of years Father has been urging all members to do Home Church, for when you do this, its benefit will accrue to you after your Blessing.

So May 16, 1981 was a major turning point; that day a new era began. This is now the age of our responsibility. In this sense, we are at the same stage as True Parents were in 1960. But our circumstances are entirely different. His environment was complete darkness; satanic power conquered everything; no one supported him. But now True Parents have already set the providential pattern, worldwide there are many blessed couples who can support each other horizontally, and our Parents are still here to guide us.

Adam and Eve are solitary, but the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve can fulfill their responsibility under the guidance of Adam and Eve. So even though we have to go the way of Principle by our own responsibility, the main difference is that we have True Parents guiding us. This is really a wonderful benefit. We are not going the invisible way but the visible one, because True Parents have already trod this path; they are guiding us in general, constantly urging and supporting; but the details are our responsibility.

The way of Principle is different. There is no Satan. We have to follow the Parents' way. So from now on, we need to learn God's tradition and follow our Parents. Tradition is the key. We need to learn the tradition of the Unification Church and the True Parents. Therefore, we need to study Father's 21-year course beginning in 1960. If we follow the mainstream of tradition, we can easily go on our way; if we do not, our course is so difficult.

Each couple is like one drop of water, destined to reach the ocean. If this small drop of water joins the main stream, it will easily reach the ocean. But if it wanders around and gets caught in a side stream, its way is delayed. So from now on, Unification Church members have to become wise and really research our tradition.

A final question

Then do blessed couples still have to lay indemnity conditions? I already mentioned that our blessed couples are only transitional blessed couples. Even though we were picked up at the top of the growth stage, we have no blessed environment, no blessed external foundation. Originally, the blessed environment preceded the coming of the blessed children. But our Unification Church members were just picked up, according to God's grace and received the Blessing, although we have no blessed society, no blessed country, no blessed world, no blessed things. So until we build this kind of environment, we have to lay indemnity conditions for this level -- not the heartistic or personal level. Although on one hand, beginning with our matching, we can go the eternal way by our responsibility, still we are concerned about this country, this world and our environment. This situation, I trust, will apply only to us and not to the next generation.

Do you remember when Father told us he expected us to fulfill the second 21-year course during the first seven years? He urged us to give it our best effort, and then we would be able to shorten the time. This is really important, because if you do not fulfill your responsibility within seven years, then your blessed children will have to take on this burden.

What is the difference between fulfilling your responsibility within seven years or within 21 years? There is a difference, of course, of 14 years, but more than that, if you fulfill your own responsibility, become perfect and create the blessed environment, then your blessed children will not need to sacrifice so much or work so hard.

You know, Heavenly Father does not want blessed children to receive influence from the satanic environment, but because we have not yet fulfilled our responsibility, our blessed couples and especially their blessed children become damaged. Heavenly Father does not want blessed children to have to place their feet on the satanic earth; their damage is so great. Think how wonderful it would be if all blessed couples lived in a heavenly environment, with heavenly houses, heavenly education, etc. So if the parents fulfill their responsibility within seven years, even though the blessed children receive some damage, it will be negligible and can be overcome. But if the course is extended another 14 years, the blessed children's damage is too big, and because of this influence, they would need to make conditions to overcome it.

So the problem is not simply prolonging the course another 14 years; your blessed children are directly affected. So from the providential viewpoint as well as our own best interests, we need to hurry up and start this second set of three seven-year courses. 

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