Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Volume 6
Let Us Follow the Way of Jesus - Matthew 7:1-20
April 26, 1959, Former Church Headquarters
Father, You have endured the long course of history and fought to gain the glory of Heaven! Please allow the day to soon appear in which You alone receive the glory of the providence. We know well that Your original will has been ruthlessly trampled down by a myriad of satans from the time the human beings committed the error. We did not know Your situation. We did not know that You must find someone to serve the will which was to be realized by human beings on the earth because that will was violated.
We know that the history of the providence is one in which You toiled with no one to serve the will. You worked endlessly hard to convey the will, which is burning in Your heart, to humankind. Father! Please allow us to be heavenly sons and daughters who can exert all our effort to possess Your will in our hearts and to follow Your path of glory through the providential will and course of history. Since we know that Your will is to find true sons and daughters, please be with us so that we can build a country, world and universe where we can serve You as true sons and daughters and give You joy. Help us realize that this is the country and will of Your hope.
Your greatest joy and hope, after fighting for six thousand years, is for true sons and daughters to harmonize with all things and offer songs of praise to You. We must become heavenly sons and daughters who can offer everything and set out to build such a country.
Father! We are infinitely distant from that day. Please allow us to be sons and daughters who can understand Your will, the chosen sons and daughters who can come forward with an offering of life, for the sake of the day of Your glory. Let us do this regardless of constant battle, mistreatment and death.
Father, since I have come here on the earth with a shimjung centered on the will, in place of the glory of the son, please look after us and come here personally and rule over us.
Please allow this to be a time when we can serve and bow to You as true sons with a true purpose. Since we know that the forces of a myriad of devils attack all people gathered for the will, we eagerly hope and desire that You eliminate the force of darkness infiltrating each of our minds and bodies and embrace us in Your generous bosom so that we can establish the age of Your glory within our lifetimes.
As we have gathered before You at this time, please rule over us. Since this is a holy day, please bless all the people. Please bless the thirty million people. We eagerly hope and desire that this will become a time when we can return glory and joy to You.
Please bless us so that we can clear away all the wrongful conditions we have accumulated in the past week and be offered as living sacrifices in the image of true sons and daughters who harbor the heavenly will. Please move among us personally. We eagerly request this. We pray in the name of the Lord. Amen.
Father! Please remember this day and reveal the granted grace. Reveal through our hearts the granted movement of life. If You can, please grant the glory of resurrection to us, even though we have been disloyal.
Please rule over our minds and bodies. We have realized that although we have our minds, they are not ours; although we have bodies, they are not ours. Our minds seek the direction of goodness, yet our bodies seek the direction of evil. Hence, we know that You treat us with the understanding that we are struggling between the two and have not stepped outside the realm of Heaven's lament. Father, You will have to have pity on us and give us the heavenly grace of life and the strong power of resurrection in our hearts.
Although the body tries to subjugate the mind, the heavenly will is for the mind to defeat the body and establish one victorious standard whereby the mind can eternally subjugate the body. We know that an inevitable battle lies before us in which we have to establish such a standard in ourselves.
Please allow us to feel that the wars that appear continuously before us are not to be feared. Let us feel that all the sorrows encountered in such combative circumstances are not as great as the sorrow caused by the fact that the mind is subjugated by the body in the struggle between them.
Father! Please arouse in us a strong heart and strong grace. We eagerly hope and pray that You will help our minds possess the power to subjugate our bodies. We know that unless we achieve a life centered on the mind, our lives cannot be resurrected. Thus, Father, our minds have to rise like lava.
Allow shock and ecstasy to envelop our bodies and our environments through the mind that faces life, the mind that encounters grace, the mind that can harmonize with the work of resurrection. Father, we eagerly hope and pray that You allow such a heavenly work of re-creation to appear in us.
Although our minds are infinitely soaring high toward Your glory, our bodies are infinitely exhausted and struggling. Father, please control this environment. Allow the joyful garden to appear soon before those whose bodies move in accordance with their minds. Beloved Father, we eagerly hope and desire that if there are such sons and daughters, they will be remembered eternally in history. Bless them so that they can dominate the earth and move Heaven.
We know that unless the people on earth realize a Kingdom of Heaven in their minds, they cannot form a Kingdom of Heaven based on the word. Unless they can achieve peace of heart, they cannot build a peaceful country. First, please allow us to restore deep in our minds the heart that can be highly inspired and delighted by You, the heart that can sing to You. We know that Heaven is longing for the one whose body moves and harmonizes with that mind.
Father, we have been fighting to become such people. Please allow us to restore the victorious image You desire through the heart that burns in the mind of each of us.
Please allow such people to gather at this time. Give us the ability to serve You with dedicated hearts and to remove all the elements that can be conditions for resentment. Beloved Father, we eagerly hope and pray that in this way You will allow Your victorious hands, which can more than dominate all, to stay near us. Please allow us to understand that unless we achieve the heavenly kingdom of the heart and of peace in ourselves, the glorious heavenly kingdom has nothing to do with us.
Father, among Your sons and daughters gathered here, is there someone who has the glorious qualification to meet You directly because of his eager heart of yearning for You? Is there someone who is trying to bow to You as a living sacrifice, inspired by the heavenly heart that serves You?
Is there someone whose praiseworthy and tearful heart challenges the path of death and infinitely resonates with the heavenly shimjung and turns into a movement of life? Is there one who seeks to hold a gathering of peace? We know that if such a heart is absent in us, You will be sad, our hearts will be sad, and today's meeting will end in sorrow.
Father! Please reveal Yourself here in glory. Come to us as our personal Master. If there is someone who has felt Your grace, open his heart and inject Your hope again. Many lives are captured by the power of darkness and are moaning in the world of death. Father, we eagerly hope and desire that You will remake them by bringing the life and authority of resurrection.
Thus, allow us to serve the coming Lord and solemnly bow down to You with our hands pressed together. Please allow us to feel that those who try to be loyal to You receive many tests. Allow us to feel that we are descendants of those who betrayed Heaven beyond measure.
We eagerly hope and desire that You allow us to realize that we have become a sacrifice to Satan and have stood on the forefront of blocking the heavenly course. Let us bow down to You for forgiveness, with irrepressible regret and tears.
Father, please have pity on those who have gathered here. Satan is trying to invade their hearts. Please make a separation, and become a beacon to set the direction of their hearts right. Please come personally to those who have gathered here. Let this be the time when even the body, led by the mind, can sing of Your glory in joy, moved by Your grace, and can bow to You representing the whole. Father, we eagerly hope and desire this.
Father, today is a holy day. We know that everyone has severe wounds from the past week of life. Please forgive us for having moved far away from Your shimjung and for having been submerged in sorrow in the wrong place. Please personally anoint us with Your fragrant oil. Please grant the people here at this time the grace to long for You and to receive the seals.
We know that the God of the Trinity works hard to help miserable people. He visits those who deplore their lowliness to look to Your compassion and try to sing of Your preciousness. Please guide our hearts to see Your value and lament our lowliness so that we are not found inadequate to receive Your grace.
Since today is a holy day, please bless the thirty million people and the whole of humankind. Father, please act so that the millions of saints surround us and offer a bow of joy. Brothers and sisters are gathered everywhere, praying across the country with lonely hearts and concern for the will. Do not remove Your hand of compassion from them; protect them with a loving hand. Please do not let us fall down exhausted as we go over the hill of toil in the last days. When we offer ourselves to You after having endured till the end by holding Your hand, please accept us.
We eagerly hope and pray that You will enable us to achieve the task even in difficulty; to uphold the will even in sorrow; and to advance the will even in frustration, thereby becoming sons and daughters to be remembered in Your heart. We eagerly request that today You will embrace us with Your special grace, promise us Your whole grace, and hold us until the day of victory. Please rule over this time according to Your will. We pray in the name of the Lord. Amen.
Father! After receiving the word, we have come to yearn for the image of Jesus of two thousand years ago. A turbulent world and self-centered people lay before Jesus as he tried to convey the word. We realize that as he gazed at them, infinite sadness flowed from his heart.
Jesus was looking at the situation where the Jewish church was not only suffering from factional strife; its members were also fighting among themselves. As we reflect on the characteristics of the age, people boasting of themselves, hiding their faults and exposing others' defects, we can see how intensely woeful the heart of Jesus must have been as he carried the responsibility for the world and the age.
We can imagine the heart of Jesus, who nevertheless said, "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) Although it was the nation, church and individual who were to ask, seek and knock, since they were not doing so, Jesus had to ask, seek and knock in their place. Father! This was a woeful thing.
Although Jesus longed to be sought after, he had to seek out others. Although Heaven had made preparations for a long time in history, desiring that humankind would serve Jesus, Jesus was not served. Father, we eagerly hope and desire that at this time You will enable us to feel the grieved heart of Jesus in this position.
Although Jesus could only shed tears and lament over the people on earth, he longed for the land to be blessed by the Father. Please bring that image of Jesus before our eyes today. Enable us to hear his voice of instruction, to quietly adore and experience the heavenly shimjung flowing from within his heart, and to bow in tears. Father, we eagerly hope and desire this.
We have come to You with our hands upraised and bare. Please be compassionate. Please leave nothing in our hearts but You. Let our hopes, desires and demands be for nothing but what is Yours. We eagerly hope and pray that You will make us sons and daughters who can live holding onto, experiencing and fighting on with hearts deeply shaken by Your infinite shimjung.
Father! Please have compassion on the audience here. As we have realized that our minds and bodies are not our own, let the leading authority appear who can claim them and everything else as Yours. Let this be the time of promise when You can personally seal us, calling us Your sons and daughters.
Father! I have come here with the words You have granted. Please be present here. Remove any distance between the heart of the giver and the hearts of the receivers. Father, we eagerly hope and desire that You allow us to come to You with one heart and to return glory to You by making ties with humankind. As we ask You to rule over everything and reveal everything according to Your will, we pray in the name of the Lord. Amen.
Jesus appeared on earth as the substance of God's hope. Before he came, God had been working for four thousand years, installing numerous prophets and good ancestors with a desperate and sorrowful shimjung.
What Kind of Person Was Jesus to Be?
The only purpose for God's providential work in history was to establish Jesus, the substance of hope, and to realize the hopes of Heaven, the ancestors, and the whole of humankind. We know that Heaven and our ancestors fought for this moment.
Jesus stood in this position. Jesus was God's only son, a value not exchangeable with anything in the world. When Jesus appeared, so could God. When Jesus rejoiced, so could God. When Jesus was glorified, so was God. Jesus came as the glory of Heaven, equal to the whole from the beginning to the end. Without him, nothing on earth or in heaven could reveal its value, not even the seat of the heavenly power. Jesus was the priceless center of the whole.
Jesus came with that heavenly value, yet he was seen from a human standpoint. The Jewish nation boasted of their ancestors, their history, and about being the chosen people, yet Jesus had a value greater than any righteous person in their history. He was the center of heaven and earth, without whom they could not gain their lives, establish their church, organize their nation, or found the desired homeland.
God did not send Jesus for sorrow nor did He send him so that the earth would receive him and be frustrated. God sent Jesus as the central figure heaven and earth could receive and rejoice over.
The Life God Desired for Jesus as Opposed to the Reality
Every action of Jesus should have been able to paint the glory of Heaven. The feelings he had in daily life should have been feelings of glory that could strike down the historical conditions of resentment. However, the life of Jesus was not like this. From the day humankind received him, they should have put Jesus in a glorious position. They should have served him and praised him to the utmost.
When the nation left him, however, Jesus stood in the position of having lost the nation. Although God sent Jesus to hold onto the nation, He could not but lose him. After losing him, He also lost joy and the heavenly kingdom. We should know this fact.
We should know that Jesus was not meant to have such a fate. When he was hit by tragedy and perished on the cross, he promised to gain the glory of victory without suffering this tragedy again and to establish the day when heaven and earth could rejoice. We should know that the day he referred to was the last day, the day of the Second Coming.
To Live with Jesus
Jesus came to the earth with God's mission. He went through an earthly life and went to the spiritual world. Now he is fighting along with the Holy Spirit to achieve the historical purpose of God. We should long for this Jesus. We should repossess this Jesus. We must live with this Jesus. To do this, we should live with God. We can live with Jesus only when we live with God. What then should we do? We should be the ones who fulfill the hope of God, Jesus, and human history. We should know that, without doing so, we cannot stand before Jesus when he comes in glory.
What path should we follow to receive this Jesus? This is the problem. Even if Jesus comes down from heaven to the earth, we are unable to receive him as we are today.
We can receive and serve him only after we have the shimjung to connect to his situation and complete the task he was to carry out on the earth. We should know that the day when we meet this Jesus is the day of Second Coming, the day to which today's Christians look forward.
Therefore, to receive Jesus, it is necessary to fulfill our responsibility on the earth. We can meet him only then. Thus, the title of my speech today is "Let us Follow the Way of Jesus." I will speak upon this topic.
Mary Longed for the Messiah to Come
The angel foretold Mary's mission to her. At this time, Mary backed away, saying, "Since I do not know a man, it cannot take be." The angel said, "Since this is a work of the omnipotent God, you shall conceive by the Spirit." Mary then replied, "Lord! I am Your servant; do as You will." When a meager virgin responded thus to Heaven, it was a historic moment.
When we think about the Lord today, we easily think about his cross and glorious resurrection; but we should go back further and consider the situation of Mary and the position of Joseph's family.
This one remark of Mary's: "Lord! I am Your servant; do as You will," which she uttered when she heard the final word of Heaven, provided the foundation for Heaven to come to humankind after four thousand years of toil. At that time, Mary showed her heart toward the will of the Lord. We should consider here that Mary had waited more eagerly than anyone else for the one who would come with the will. With the pure heart of a virgin, she longed more zealously than anyone else for the Savior to come to Israel.
From the fact that she said, "Lord! Do as You will," we should understand that Mary had greatly hoped and prayed for the hidden will of God to appear. We should know that Heaven came to her upon the foundation of her putting the heavenly will first. It was the same for the saints. The birth of one saint required the foundation to receive him. Thus, for the birth of saints, parents are needed who can bear them and serve as the foothold of the will.
The Shimjung of Mary and Joseph which Made the Birth of Jesus Possible
Mary said after being told about the birth of Jesus, "Lord! Do as You will." This remark should be made at least once by every fallen person. Not only Mary, but anyone seeking the path of life must have the heart to say, "Lord, do as You will." Without such an answer, no one can make a connection of life with Jesus.
Jesus came on such a foundation. After conceiving, Mary thought about the will more than anyone else did as the baby grew inside her womb. Believing that when the baby was born, the Messiah would appear and clear away the resentment and sorrow of the nation, Mary must have thought more than anyone else about the time when God's will for the earth would be realized. Jesus was born in this way.
Without Joseph's family, how would Jesus have been born? If it had been known to the world that Mary had conceived a child as a virgin, she would have been stoned to death according to the law of Moses. This was the worst violation of the law; it was considered unpardonable in the social circumstances and situation of the age, the worst shame upon the nation. Since Mary and Joseph had a shimjung ardent enough to defy all the circumstances and come forward for the will, Mary could give birth to Jesus.
Joseph and Mary took steps thinking only of the will. Because of this, when their footsteps ran into the evil world, Heaven opened a way for them to live. Jesus came through such footsteps. We should think about Jesus, who prepared himself for the day when he could realize his purpose by going through the three-year course in Egypt and living a quiet life as a helper of his father, who did carpentry work for a living.
Among the words in the Bible, there is a passage, "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) Jesus declared this with a desperate heart when he embarked upon a pioneering course with the new gospel.
The Lifestyle Jesus Adopted in Response to the Jewish Nation
Jesus knew that this nation should serve the Messiah. Jesus watched as the nation failed to ask with hearts more desperate than others for the substance of the Messiah. The church left its place and failed to seek when it should have sought with a heart more sorrowful than others. Jesus saw the Jews failing to knock when they should have knocked and waited for the heavenly gate to open.
The nation was eager for the realization of the heavenly will, yet failed to fervently ask, seek and knock on the door for the incarnation who could fulfill it. Jesus intended to realize the will with a nation that did not know the true will of Heaven. Thus, he did not pass even one day, one hour, or one second without thinking of the will.
Jesus' shimjung before the will was greater than Mary's. As he was quietly helping Joseph make a living, his shimjung was such that the more he watched the nation and lost confidence in them, the more seriously he worried about the will and made a new determination. We should know that he had a course of preparation like this for thirty years.
We should know that the life of Jesus was such that with a passionate shimjung of worry about the will, he worked hard in an unknown place to fulfill the responsibility for the sake of Heaven and the nation. We should know that with a heart more fervent than anyone else's, Jesus worked hard and ceaselessly in place of the nation to ask, seek and knock on the heavenly gate.
The Shimjung and Life of Jesus during His Private Life
After he matured, Jesus ate and lived for the sake of the nation. He worried most about how to serve the will of the Heavenly Father; but there was no one who understood his thirty years of private life being concerned for the heavenly will and who then asked, sought and knocked with Him.
Because of such circumstances, Jesus became miserable. For Heaven, he had to ask, seek and knock in place of the nation. Above, Jesus had to ask, find and knock on the door in place of Heaven; below, he had to ask desperately in place of earth and the nation. He had to open the heart of the nation by asking and knocking on their hearts with a passionate shimjung.
In this situation, Jesus prepared himself for thirty years for the sake of Heaven. He prayed, "Heaven who loves me! Father who sent me! Since I know that You sent me to show the way to the nation and to connect their lives with You, please forgive their errors and shortcomings."
When the nation slept or indulged in pleasure, Jesus could not sleep comfortably, rest, or enjoy himself, watching their unfaithfulness and betrayal. He fought to hold onto the nation and connect them with Heaven. Only Jesus himself knew about this. There was no one who could console his heart.
Jesus must have been unable to suppress anxiety as he longed for the time of the will. His shimjung as he set out with determination for the practical course of the will must have been deeply pathetic, ineffable, and woeful beyond human experience. We should realize that with such a shimjung, Jesus worried about the course of his public life, the time when he would put the will into practice.
Why Jesus Fasted for Forty Days
Jesus came in place of Heaven as the Savior of all people. Yet there was no one who fathomed his heart and who came forward among the nation, which was in need of salvation. They did not even know about the thirty-year course of hard effort he had gone through, not to mention his heart. Even the clique of John the Baptist, who had lived in the wilderness and should have been responsible for the nation, wound up opposing him.
Looking at the nation with such sadness, Jesus had a thread of expectation in John the Baptist. However, when even he turned away from Jesus, greater sorrow was added to Jesus' heart.
Although the time was approaching when he would appear to the nation with the gospel of Heaven, the nation and John the Baptist were nowhere to be found. Therefore, Jesus could not appear before humankind. This is why Jesus went through the forty-day course of fasting in the wilderness.
Even though Christians believe that the forty-day fast was a glorious moment necessary for Jesus, this is not true. Jesus fasted because the nation and John the Baptist's followers were nowhere to be found. Furthermore, it was because the three wise men from the East and Anna, Simeon and Mary, who had conceived Jesus with a definite purpose, failed to acknowledge him when he set out on the course of praxis. We should know that Jesus met such a miserable fate, although he was the master of the earth and the prince who had come to save all people.
Jesus was supposed to have an altar of glory, joy and victory after completing the four thousand years, but when he set out to build this new altar, he met a sad fate. He was starving and being tested by Satan. The scene of Jesus' being tested by Satan is a scene that should be looked at by humankind with deepest sorrow. The hours of woe during which Jesus was ridiculed and tested by Satan after starving for forty days should have been a time of trial for the nation. Yet it was transferred to Jesus as his sorrow. Naturally, Jesus could have rejected, complained against, and cursed the nation that boasted of being the chosen people. Instead he rose up, starving and fought with the heavenly shimjung against Satan for the sake of the nation.
Jesus' position was unknown to the nation of Israel at this time. His shimjung as he appeared before Heaven with determination in this position was that no matter how woeful a situation he had to go through, his purpose and his unbending commitment to the Father's will would never change.
Jesus knew that the Father's will was to save all people through this nation. He honored this, undeterred by starving or near nakedness; no persecution or trial could destroy his heart, which had longed for the will for the thirty years. Thus, whenever he appeared with such a purpose, he could not help feeling, at the same time, the sorrow he had on behalf of Heaven and the sorrow of God. We should know that because he made an even firmer resolution for the will in such circumstances, he was able to go back out, seeking the people who had betrayed him.
Although Jesus hoped that the Israelites would come to him while he was alive, since they failed to do so, he became someone who could be visited only after death. Because of their failure to serve him, although he should have saved humankind in his lifetime, he could only do the work of salvation after his death. The fate of today's Christians and the whole of humankind is that although they should have knocked, asked and sought through the shimjung of the living Jesus, they knocked only after his death.
What is the Sorrow, Anger and Grief of God?
What is the sorrow of God? What is the anger and grief of God? It was to have lost the time when humankind could ask, seek and knock while Jesus was alive. It was to have lost the circumstances in which the heavenly gate could have been opened and the heavenly secrets revealed while Jesus was alive. When humankind woke up after losing it all, Jesus was already gone to the spiritual world. Thus, having sent Jesus away, humankind's fate was to ask, seek and knock on the heart of a deceased Jesus. Hence, we who are in the last days should understand that it was the sorrow of God, Jesus and humankind that people were not found who could ask, seek and knock before Jesus was gone.
The tragedies of history continue because of the departure of Jesus. Jesus admonished his disciples to go through a narrow gate in setting out for a course of practice. This is the path Jesus walked.
The contents of Matthew 7 implicitly show the overall facts of Jesus' life. You should know that the path of Jesus, who set out for the will by asking, seeking and knocking, was rugged and mountainous rather than smooth. It was the narrow gate of the cross, rather than a huge and glorious castle of victory. When the nation did not believe in, follow, look to, or like him, Jesus gathered the small number of his disciples and admonished them, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14) With this remark, Jesus described his situation and that of his followers. Jesus had been on the opposite side from the social circumstances. We should know that by using himself as an example, Jesus was talking to his disciples, who were midway between him and the social circumstances.
When Jesus appeared before the nation in his course of practice, he could not walk a paved road. The Jewish church, nation, and John the Baptist all blocked his way. Thus, if there was a way for him to take, it was a way no one else wanted to take. This road was without a door. He had to make a road where there was none, and to make a door in the wall that stood in the way. Jesus walked such a road.
The Road of Suffering Brought About by the Unfaithfulness of the Chosen People
Jesus was sent to set up a door to Heaven and make a road through which Heaven and all people could be linked. If the nation of Israel had believed in and served him, the way of peace would have been opened. If so, the Jewish church, established after four thousand years of toil, would have become a wide road through which God could come and go. Also, it would have become a door for all people seeking the heavenly kingdom.
Since the nation opposed Jesus, the road and door for the nation were blocked. Since the church opposed him, the road and door for the church were closed. Since Jesus was persecuted by the Jewish nation, the Jewish church, and even by his witnesses, disbelieved by his disciples, he could not help walking the most tragic path for a human being.
Therefore, although it seems that there are many doors to Heaven from the four thousand years, and there are even more if we consider the six thousand years as a whole, we should know that the door Jesus went through is the only one. On this earth, this door is not open. We should never forget this.
There are many Christians in these last days. There are many who are trying to augment their faith and to introduce and promote their denominations. We should know clearly that although the path they follow and the door they show looks like a passage to Heaven, it is not the path Jesus pioneered while on the earth. It is not the narrow gate.
The Path Jesus Walked
Jesus fought with his life in the three-year course of practice, and departed. This was the path of the cross, the path of death, the path on which he prayed for the blessing of his enemies even as he bled. He went through this path, however, and resurrected. This was the path of Jesus.
The path of Jesus was that of being betrayed by the nation, by the church, and by the chosen people of God. It was a path of betrayal by his parents and brothers and sisters, his beloved disciples, and even the three main disciples.
Even though the multitude of humankind was to follow that path with him, after Jesus went through it, the path was barred, and the door was closed. The path the disciples went through remains open, however. This is Christianity.
Therefore, we should follow the path of the disciples. Where do we go through this path? We should go to the path of Jesus. We should have a clear purpose in following this path.
What is this purpose? It is to realize the will of the Father. We should also have clear content. This was the way of the will that Jesus followed. The content and purpose of the will were discovered and established by Jesus during his 33 years of hard work. Since the content and purpose were found through the sacrifice of his thirty years of life, no matter what trouble struck him, and although the wall of death overwhelmed him, Jesus' content and purpose remained the undeniable will.
Since Jesus was like this, we should walk the road Jesus walked. Since Jesus followed a narrow and rugged road, we should follow him and walk that path today. This is the position in which we exist.
What kind of path did Jesus follow? Although he was faced with a hill of death and swept away by a lethal tide, he pushed everything away and went ahead, believing, "Since God is alive, He will grant me the power of resurrection." Jesus had something so great he could push death aside and resurrect. God could grant the power of resurrection through this.
An Important Problem for Believers
Herein lies the important problem for today's believers. We should be the ones who feel the heart with which Jesus asked, looking at the sad world. We should be the ones who possess the heart with which Jesus sought, looking at the deadened earth. We should be the ones who possess the heart with which Jesus knocked, looking at the world falling into ruins, eagerly trying to bring new life. Unless people of such heart appear with the heavenly purpose and come forward with a determination to dare to fight against the earth when it does not follow, Heaven will not be able to lead us to the path of Jesus; nor can we enter his gate.
We know that the believers of the last days must resolve the historical resentment. By failing to achieve the original purpose for which they were chosen, the first Israel lost the right of being the chosen people. Because of the truth Jesus proclaimed, however, Christians worldwide received the right of being the chosen people, the second Israel. Christians in the last days, who have received the right of being the second Israel, should become the second Israel before the Lord of the Second Coming instead of being like Israel at the time of Jesus. They should properly replace the lost first Israel.
What is Jesus working on in the heavenly kingdom? His grief is that he failed to build the kingdom of the second Israel with a living body while on the earth. Therefore, he and the Holy Spirit have been mobilizing all the people and trying to form the realm of the chosen people of the second Israel for two thousand years.
To Go Through the Gate of the Heavenly Kingdom
What will Jesus do once the realm of the chosen people of Israel is formed? He is trying to build the kingdom of Israel. Thus, the believers of the last days can become people of the heavenly kingdom only when they go through the gate of the twelve disciples and enter the gate of Jesus. The heavenly gate which will open before the believers in the last days is marked with a form of the twelve disciples. Hence, in entering the heavenly kingdom, the believers in the last days have to go through the gate of the twelve disciples. They must go in this direction. This is Christianity.
Today, however, many gates are open for Christians worldwide. They are divided into numerous denominations. They claim that they are the ones who have the heavenly gate, but this is not how the heavenly principle works.
Since Christianity started because of the twelve disciples centered on Jesus, by destiny the believers of the last days have to go through the gate of the twelve disciples. In other words, they have to be the second Israel, in the form of the first Israel at the time of Jesus, and must be found at the end of the six thousand years.
To what denomination do you belong, and through which gate are you going? You should set out by first receiving on your forehead the mark of the ideology of the twelve disciples. Only then can you enter the gate of Jesus.
Worldwide Christianity must inherit and complete the mission since the time of Jesus. Therefore, the time has come when they have to find the gate of the twelve disciples. According to the fortune of heaven and earth, the denominations, which have been multiplying almost infinitely, are now entering into a unified realm without realizing it. Thus, the time is coming when today's Christians of the world and the followers of other religions should find out to which tribe they belong and enter into the order of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Just as Moses instituted twelve tribes and seventy elders, Jesus, who came to organize the chosen people of Israel, also established the twelve and seventy disciples. Although he tried to establish the national ideology of Israel as the worldwide ideology in this way, this aim was not achieved. That is why Christians worldwide are in the realm of the second Israel today.
Even though they are in the realm of the second Israel, they do not know it. They have become people who do not know to which tribe they belong and have lost the order of the tribes. Jesus departed without being able to organize the chosen people and the order of the twelve tribes through the twelve disciples. Therefore, he will come back to worldwide Christianity with the mission of organizing the form of twelve tribes, seventy disciples, and 120 disciples on earth in accordance with the heavenly providence.
Thus, now is the time when you should look for the one who has passed the gate of the disciples and then the gate of Jesus. Although there may be a true believer, unless he has a tribe and a leader, he cannot participate in the building of the heavenly kingdom. When asked "Which tribe are you?" he should be able to answer confidently, "I am this tribe."
Thus, in the last days, if one does not have a clear position in relation to the ideology or nation, he becomes an ambiguous person. He ends up in the position where he can be helped by no one.
Ladies and gentlemen! Denomination does not matter now. Now is the time when you have to gather. The last days is the harvest time at the end of human history when good people are gathered after six thousand years. You should know that this is harvest time.
Until now, a variety of grains were planted in one field. Although different grains can be planted in one field at sowing time, only the same kind of grain can be put into one storehouse at harvest time. This is harvest time.
What Kind of Time is the Last Days?
What was Jesus' task when he came? It was to organize the order of the twelve tribes of Israel and to bring them into the heavenly warehouse. Since he did not fulfill that mission, however, he said that the day of its realization would come again. This day of promise is the day of the Second Coming. For the believers on earth who are near the day, the Jewish church is not a problem. The Sadducees are not a problem. It is time to wander in search of the original tribe and leader.
You should have something with which to deny the past ideology, customary devotion, traditional law, and habitual concepts and to turn them over to the new aspect. Otherwise, you will not be able to stand in the age of the worldwide ideology, which is equivalent to the age of Jesus and the first Israel.
That is why factions of believers are developing. Denominations are being divided further and further. Although they declare a unified form outwardly, inwardly they are divided. Although they look united from the outside, they are divided inside. The time is coming to bring this into order. This is the age of the Second Coming.
When it becomes time to organize inwardly, the outward unified form will appear with an opposing flag. This is inevitable. It is the same phenomena as when a sprout comes out from a seed. Its shell breaks and falls away.
The seed and sprout of life are different. Likewise, what we need is not the Bible itself; we need the life within it. We do not need Jesus himself. We need God's will within him. This is the problem.
The Hope of Jesus
What did Jesus hope for at the time of his death? He did not care about his body being sacrificed. His sole hope and purpose was the fulfillment of the will. The word of Jesus was to guide the people to become incarnations by giving them life. That was the purpose of the word. Now the time has come when we should ask, seek and knock.
Jesus failed to establish the twelve disciples and have them inherit the authority of the twelve tribes organized by Moses. That was Jesus' sorrow.
Jesus should have asked God, found God, and knocked on the heavenly gate while he was alive, but he could not. For the worldwide Christians of the last days, however, the time is coming to ask, find and knock on the heart with Jesus as he lives. This is the hope of God and Jesus.
What should we do to get to this position? Since we have fallen, we should go up. To go up, we should first knock on the door of the disciples. Now is the time when a figure in the position of the disciples who fell at the time of Jesus will appear before Christians. It is the time when three disciples should appear who can order worldwide Christianity and organize the representative form of the twelve tribes.
The three disciples who were the chosen from the others represented the eastern gate. When explaining the heavenly gate, Heaven talked about three gates each for east, west, south and north, three in the east, three in the west, three in the south, and three in the north. Centered on Jesus, Peter, James and John were the eastern gate. Thus, Christianity can be symbolized as the Christianity of Peter, the Christianity of James, and the Christianity of John. Catholicism is the Christianity of Peter. Peter symbolizes faith. James symbolizes hope, and John symbolizes love. In Christian history, there has been a Christianity of Peter and a Christianity of James. The latter is Protestantism.
What Is Required in the Last Days
The Christianity of John is required in the last days. Jesus said that John would not die in service of the Lord. John was not martyred. Jesus said this with a premonition that in the last days, the Christianity of John would arise anew and meet the Lord. John was dear to and deeply loved in the bosom of Jesus. John symbolized love. Thus, the Christianity of John is that of love, and in the last days, such a Christianity should emerge.
Although this has been shown, Christians still do not know which gate they should enter. The gate of Peter and of James are fine, but we should go through the gate of John, of love. This gate of love is the one Jesus beheld straight ahead. Although Heaven has fought for six thousand years for this gate, and Jesus has fought for two thousand years for it, this gate, the hope of history, has not been opened yet.
Thus, Heaven tried to fulfill the promise by installing a representative who could open the gate. This is why He spoke of a bride to fulfill the word.
What should humankind do for the returning Lord? They should pray. They should console him by saying, "We realize that this is the sorrow you left behind on the earth. We see that this is the resentment you failed to resolve while alive. How hard did you toil, fighting in sorrow, with the spite of history before you?"
Humankind must complete the providence of salvation as the historical figures and perfecters of salvation. Unless they become living disciples, like the disciples before the betrayal, they cannot face Heaven.
Instead of being like the three disciples who denied Jesus at Gethsemane and Calvary, Christians worldwide, who are preparing themselves for the day of the Second Coming in these last days should become disciples who can command their churches, embrace the great number of believers, pray in place of Jesus, and go over the hill of the cross in Jesus' place. A church should be that kind of gathering.
What Should Humankind Do before the Lord of the Second Coming?
The history of religion is the history of restoration. Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13) "Alpha" and "Omega" are words that came into being because of the fall. Do people today talk about eternity? What they are talking about is not eternity. Alpha came into being because the fall did, and Omega was introduced to refer to the return by restoration. Unless the ideology of the Alpha, which Jesus had to achieve in the state of Israel, is completed as the ideology of the Omega with the believers in these last days, Jesus cannot appear.
Jesus is the hope and joy of God and humankind. Until this ideology of Alpha is completed as the ideology of Omega, however, he cannot come in joy. We should know that if he does not appear in joy, he is fated to appear in sorrow. People do not know this. The heavenly kingdom is not built by whim. With a self-centered faith, insistence and ideology, you cannot connect to the shimjung of the heavenly kingdom.
For this reason, the believers on earth are still unable to go through the gate opened by Jesus. If they had gone through it, they would have become the bride. This is why Jesus stopped Mary Magdalene when she tried to hold him. By this, Jesus meant, "Since I have not appointed you as a disciple, come to me through the gate of the disciples." This is how heavenly law is.
The Reason the Bible Was Primary
Thus, we should see if there is someone who has the mission of being the disciple for humankind. Now is the time to wander in search of such a person. Ladies and gentlemen! All kinds of things happened in the first church: speaking in tongues, spiritual work, prophesying, and so on. Since the abundant spiritual phenomena in the first church caused ignorant people confusion, to prevent this, church leaders stipulated, "The biblical words are primary." These phenomena are predicted in the Bible: "in the last days, it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh. . ." (Acts 2:17) Thus, the phenomena that appeared in the first church will emerge in Christian history in the last days, and there will be many who will be called crazy, evil sects, and heretics. Our Unification Church is a representative member of this group.
The Reason for Much Spiritual Phenomena in the Last Days
The one upon whom the Spirit has been poured cannot contest it. If he does not know why, Heaven will tell him. When he opens his eyes, he sees the spiritual world. When he acts, he acts for the spiritual world. He thoroughly differs from you. He even looks crazy. Did Jesus look smart? In the eyes of the people at the time, he was stupid and mindless.
In the future, such spiritual phenomena will sweep across the world, the nations, and the churches. Hence, the number of mental patients is increasing exponentially. The world of fear and anxiety is coming. This is because Jesus, the son of God, led life and faced the will with anxiety, insecurity, and an agitated heart. This is why the fortune of the world is flowing this way.
It eventually comes about that the direction cannot be found. Phenomena occur wherein the true seems to be false, and the false seems to be true. The age is coming when falsity becomes superior, and truth becomes inferior; falsity prospers and truth is greatly weakened. We should go through and beyond such an age.
Considering that today is the last days, an important problem for earnest Christians is where the twelve disciples are to organize Christianity (the worldwide and second Israel) and where the Messiah is coming from to command the twelve disciples.
The Task of Believers in the Last Days
Since the disciples of Jesus were scattered in all directions, to restore this, the prayer at Gethsemane centering on Jesus should be revived for the world. The believers should hear the prayer of Gethsemane everywhere on earth. They should be able to hear the voice with which the disciples prayed afterward. For this reason, many appear these days who claim to be Peter, James, John or Andrew. Furthermore, some claim to be Abraham or Noah. It is reversing the course. This is because neither Noah nor Abraham had an order of tribes like the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Among the twelve disciples, we should find the three who were the chosen of the twelve. Among the three, we should find John. Only then can we participate in the first resurrection. Have you ever had a time of prayer in which you longed for Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed with the three disciples, fighting for the day of fulfilling the hope? When Jesus was praying without sleep and with blood and sweat, they were dozing. Since they did not know the shimjung of Jesus, they all betrayed him when he was crucified at Golgotha. Thus, the time has come when we should find people who pray in blood and sweat in place of Jesus.
Jesus, the bridegroom, left in this manner for the sake of humankind. What then should we do today to experience his shimjung? Just as Jesus prayed for his enemy's blessing while being persecuted by the Jewish church and carrying the cross, if there is a group of people who can pray for their enemy's blessing while being driven to the cross by the Christians, who will they be? They are heretics, just like Jesus. Just like Jesus, they appear to be traitors to the nation, heretics and destroyers of the established order. Only when such a movement arises can the world find a new direction.
What Is Needed to Fulfill the Ultimate Hope
You cannot remove all the dark clouds in your hearts and arouse a liberation movement of the spirit to change lives with the established religions. No logic or philosophical system can change a person's heart. These methods will not work even if thousands of years go by.
When humankind declared the omnipotence of science, they believed that it could create world peace. That turned out to be wrong. They thought that through religions and God's chosen people, humankind could be saved. This turned out to be wrong. No certain answer can be given here.
The one thing that is needed in this situation is the image of the Christ, who quietly prayed for the blessing of humankind even as he was crucified. We need this image. Even in the place where he transcended death and abandoned all attachment to life and personal hopes, Jesus still left behind hope for his enemies. Since Jesus said that he would come as he left and that he was the Alpha and the Omega, in the last age of Christianity, a bride should appear who resembles Jesus. You should know that this is such a place.
Such people may arise within world Christianity today. However, with a little mistake they may repeat the course of the first Israel. Their error is almost unavoidable. That is why today's Christians should be awake. They should stay awake and pray with Jesus in Gethsemane. They should be crucified with Jesus. Since the heavenly tragedy engraved in the heart was caused by the death of Jesus, we should be able to long for the one who can console Heaven with the heavenly heart, "Since I will go even if I should die with him, accept me and resolve the burning vengeance in Your heart."
The believers in the last days should find such a comrade, such a friend and leader. You should know that the time of joy should be open to all people when they can meet Jesus again, Jesus who could have given were he asked, who could have come if he were sought, who could have opened the door if it were knocked upon.
Considering the divisions in the established churches today, we can see clearly that they cannot serve as the foundation of life. Thus, the sincere leader and young people with the heavenly shimjung should brace themselves against the forces of the established churches.
Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets." (Matthew 7:15) Who was the false prophet? It was not the disciples, but turned out to be the established Jewish church and the nation of Israel, which opposed him.
Today, social developments are following this course. Jesus said to beware of false prophets and struck those who were preoccupied with outward displays by giving them hardships. He also led the dismantling of the Jewish church, which was turning to ceremony and external form. Jesus prayed for the enemies' blessing at Gethsemane and Golgotha. This was not for Satan, but because he had to subjugate Satan and take back the people from Satan's bosom. He had hope for them and prayed for their blessing even though they were in Satan's bosom.
Today's Christianity is slipping into formalism, for it revolves around its area of power. If there are concerned leaders and young men and women, there surely will occur a movement with a slogan that the church cannot be entrusted to the hands of Christians, who have lost their lives. There will develop movements in which they will say, "We cannot trust the pastors and elders in our church. Let us lay people run the church."
If this time comes, know that it is the end. It is the end. Thus, the time of pastors will pass by, and the time of elders will come. At this time of elders, certain elders will come out and go wild. After this period, deacons will revolt. After this, when the time comes for the lay people to rise, know that this is the final day.
The one who came to save those who stained and betrayed history was the historic leader, Jesus; but Israel led the leader away and killed him on the cross. Heaven knows this clearly. Now is the time to have a liberation movement centering on the common people. After World War I, the upper class succeeded. After World War II, the middle class succeeded. Now is the time for workers and farmers, that is, the lower class, to succeed. Faith is also like this.
Christians say that the time has come when they should follow their consciences, rather than leaders. In other words, it is not a time to look for a leader but a time to seek the self. The word, "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) is not something you need in heaven. It is a word needed on earth. God did not send Jesus because the heavenly kingdom needed him. He was sent because he was needed on earth.
Since history collapsed for various reasons, Heaven is longing for a brave person who can come out to resolve the historical grudges. Who then is the brave person of the new age? It is the young men and women who can go back to the first church and burn with the spirit of the disciples, who can be whipped in place of the Lord. It is the young men and women who, upon seeing how corrupt Christianity is, can take up the responsibility although their bodies are scratched and whipped. There will be a day in the last days when such young men and women will unite and seek a new leader. The Korean church will become like this before long.
Who Is the Brave Person of the New Age?
Today, there are many Christian groups, including the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. Inside, however, they are empty. For solving the internal problems, we need young men and women of Heaven who are like the believers who burned with the shimjung of Jesus and moved ahead under the oppressive rule of the ignorant Emperor Nero. We need such brave people of Heaven. If such phenomena actually occur in the last days, what should Christians do? They should think about this again.
Just as the Renaissance revived Hellenistic culture and pioneered humanism, today we should revive the Christianity of two thousand years ago and build the God-centered heavenly kingdom of Jesus. We need no intermediate bridge. Now is the last days. That is why strange phenomena are occurring, Elder Na, Elder Park, the Unification Church, etc. You should be able to analyze this spiritually. This is your mission.
Ladies and gentlemen! Now the historical age of the seventy disciples is coming on a worldwide level. Since history is the providence of restoration, it goes back up according to the law. It goes back up to find what was lost. After the age of seventy disciples comes the age of the twelve disciples. In Korea, there have been many fortune tellers who had this position. Next, the age of the three disciples comes. Three forms of representative movements will occur.
Where Are You?
As it is the Christian course of faith to follow the footsteps of Jesus, where are you? Are you in the wilderness period of Jesus? Or are you at the stage when Jesus was growing up in Galilee? Where are you? Ladies and gentlemen! The life of Jesus was the prototypical life of person, the path a human being should follow. In other words, it was the model for human beings. But where are you? Are you at the forty-day fast of Jesus, in the three-year public course, in the middle of the prayer at Gethsemane, or on the path where life and death was finally decided on the cross?
We who should follow the path of Jesus should go through the gate of Christianity, which is the gate of the disciples, and the narrow gate of the Christ. Where are the believers who are heading for the narrow gate? Nowhere. Today's church officials are even preventing them from going through the narrow gate.
Jesus prayed overnight, and said to pray without rest. Where will we go if we pray without rest? We will forget the human world and go into the spiritual world. Where will we go if we pray unceasingly in the spiritual world? We can meet an angel. If we go further, we can meet Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The path of Christians is to go through the unknown course of humanity, that is, through the door of the unknown world through which Jesus went. However, that door is blocked. Although the disciples led them to the place of death, they did not explain what kind of place the heavenly kingdom is; nor did they explain the path of Jesus. There has been no truth that could explain it and enable us to experience the shimjung Jesus felt during his life.
Thus, you who came to the Unification Church should follow the path Jesus took. You should enter the gate Jesus opened and entered. In this way, you go to the place where Jesus resurrected. We have gathered to do so. Thus, we should plead with the world to take responsibility for the mission.
Why did Jesus return to the earth after the resurrection? Although we have thoroughly followed the course of resurrection Jesus walked, we should not be elevated in resurrection. After having the joy of resurrection, Jesus went out to humankind in the realm of death, instead of being elevated to heaven.
The Path We Should Follow
Likewise, when you stand before the will and in the place of the grace of God, you should run toward the earth, rather than toward Heaven. You should run toward the earth. Have you been leading this kind of life of faith?
Jesus knew that, even after the resurrection, he should not forget the central point of saving the earth. Therefore, he visited the disciples, who were the worst traitors. The betrayal of the disciples caused more resentment than that of any nation or church. Since Jesus regained the disciples, however, he could make a connection with the earth.
What will happen after you complete the course of faith? If you are resurrected, what will happen after that? Only after you come to the earth and do all that is required of you, thereby creating the clan with whom you can stay and who can bear witness to you, can you go to the Lord. As Jesus did before God, so should you.
Have you ever received grace that deeply stirred your heart? If so, just as Jesus did during his forty-day fast, you should remember the sorrow of the six thousand years and work in spite of persecution to establish the needed heavenly foundation.
You may know well that when the Lord comes back, without such a foundation and environment, you cannot stand as brides before the Lord, the bridegroom. This is why you should establish such a foundation.
This is the will of goodness. This will is desired by Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. You should realize this will. This will is to live with Jesus. The purpose and content of the will lies in living with Jesus.
To go to that place, although you have received the grace of resurrection today, you should not be content with that. You should visit the people in the realm of death and set up at least a minimum condition before Heaven.
The Purpose of the Will is to Live with Jesus
After the resurrection, Jesus regained the twelve, seventy and 120 disciples. Afterward, with the advent of the Holy Spirit, he established a church.
Likewise, in the process of our restoration, we need the True Parents first. Afterwards, there should be the eight family members of Noah, the twelve brothers of Jacob, seventy family members, and 120 relatives. Until such a foundation for the will is completed, Jesus cannot engage in the second ceremony of praxis.
If you have inherited the spirit of Jesus, you should have the form of the living Jesus, thereby establishing living people like the twelve disciples, living people like the seventy disciples, and a living church like the 120 disciples. Only then can the movement of building the heavenly kingdom start.
It says in the Bible, "'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Matthew 7:22-23) Jesus said that he would not know them.
He also said, "There is no one who can come to me but those who follow the Father's will." What is the Father's will? What hurt the heart of Jesus, who was trying to reclaim the law of heaven and earth by curing diseases and exercising power? What was the purpose he tried to fulfill? Only those who understand it and achieve the will can be the brides of Jesus.
Jesus showed us this path because he wanted us to live like this. Thus, only when you can prostrate yourselves before Heaven as the purposeful entity of Jesus who can resolve his sorrow can you follow him and become his brides. Please bear this clearly in mind. Let us pray.
Father! Until now we did not know what Your will was; nor did we know the will concerning history, the age, or our individual lives. We thank You, however, for the grace of letting us understand the historical will, for the grace of teaching us the shimjung of the age, of life, of daily living, and even of time. We are truly grateful.
With this shimjung, we will have to go through the gate of the disciples and follow Christ through the narrow gate. We know that we can avoid judgment only when we more than attain the grace of resurrection by winning over the hill of death and leaving the resurrected tribe of goodness on the earth to bear fruit.
Since you said that a tree not bearing good fruits will be cut down, we will have to be trees of goodness. Please allow us to become trees of goodness and bear fruits of goodness. As Jesus has been fighting for two thousand years to bring fruits of goodness, please guide us to bear fruits of goodness today as trees of goodness. Father, we eagerly hope and desire that You allow us to be sons and daughters who know how to sow the seeds.
Father, we eagerly hope and desire that You allow us to be the ones who can realize that this is Your will; this is the purpose for which You came to the earth; this is the content for which You have fought. Let us be the ones who can live, fight and hold You, consumed with this will, this purpose, and content.
We eagerly ask You to lead us so that we become the best filial sons and daughters who can console the Lord and You after fulfilling the will that remains and running the required road. We pray all these words in the name of the Lord. Amen.
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Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Volume 6