Finding My True Self
On Sunday August 16, 2015, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, shared the following message at the Chicago Family Church about finding our true selves. In preparation for the third anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa (ascension), this timely message is a profound reminder of how to inherit True Father’s legacy, understand his final wishes and know our role in building God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven.
I like the beautiful song we sang this morning, “You Are Everything.” That title is so wonderful.
Let’s see who’s going to Generation Peace Academy (GPA) for one year, two years or three years. Please stand up. (Applause)
I’d like to thank Rev. and Mrs. Inose. They were given the responsibility of Cheon Il Guk special itinerary workers, so they are going around from city to city. I asked them to not just give Sunday service, but stay two or three days and meet people and share about True Mother and True Parents’ message with family members. I asked them to take time being with family members and to touch their hearts, centering on True Parents, and hear what they really need from HSA-UWC or from myself and Dr. Balcomb. We’d like to get their suggestions and their feedback, and we bring back great ideas and visions centering on True Parents.
I’m going back to Korea on Tuesday for the third year anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa (ascension), and I really want to let us deeply understand this upcoming Seonghwa anniversary, and inherit True Father’s spirit for the sake of our community and for the sake of all Unificationist families.
Shouldering the Cross
Today I’d like to share with you a scripture to support my sermon. It is from Matthew 16:24, the King James version. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself first and take up his cross and follow me.'”
To me this means I cannot follow the way of Jesus with no effort. I need to deny myself, carry my cross on my shoulder, and then I have the qualification to follow Jesus.
We call Jesus the symbol of God’s love. Think of how such a loving man like Jesus could share with his beloved disciples 2,000 years ago, how much Jesus received persecution, and how a handful of disciples tried to follow the way of Jesus, only for Jesus to push them harder among persecution. “Even though you follow, you are with me, first you must reject yourself and carry your own cross,” he taught. “Then you have the qualifications to follow me.”
That’s why we call him messiah, the only begotten son of our Heavenly Parent. So whoever believed in him, we need to reject (ourselves) and hang on our cross—all kind of difficulties, all kind of sufferings—upon our shoulders. When we open our eyes and ears, we can see the way of Jesus and we understand his message.
These days, we’ve been through a lot of suffering, and not only ourselves. Our family, even our True Parents, suffered a lot for the sake of America, for the sake of the world. Why have we been through this kind of suffering? Why must we have our own cross and follow Jesus’s way? The reason is none other than to save our family and save ourselves to enter the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in heaven.
Today the title of my message is, “Finding My True Self.” How can I be a true son or daughter before True Parents, before our Heavenly Parent? Even 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave the standard for how to follow him. Jesus gave three conditions to his beloved disciples: “deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.”
The Individual Truth Body
So we are just around the corner from the memorial service for True Father’s Seonghwa anniversary, and I’d like to remember True Father’s course with my beloved Chicago family members, with the concept, “how I can find my true self.” The Divine Principle teaches about the individual truth body. I really love the section on the Principle of Creation and the individual truth body. What does that mean? It means that God created no one else like you. No one.
Yes, we can see some people are very similar, or their character is very familiar and remind us of our family members. However, God never created anyone else like you. That’s what “individual truth body” means. So each one of us is very precious, God’s created being. God invested in each one of us 100 percent of His energy and effort. He poured his love to create me and you.
Because the Fall of man took place, God sent his only begotten son, Jesus, who showed the way for people to re-enter God’s kingdom. This is the mission of the messiah: educating. This means you do not originate from God’s creation; you need meet this standard through education. This is a lifetime achievement of True Father. True Father had five different goals:
- Before he came, he made an announcement to the world: I am the Second Coming of the Messiah. He, too, needed to fulfill his own portion of responsibility. This was his commitment after he met Jesus at age 16. What Jesus told him first is, you must be a true filial son before our Heavenly Parent. This is the first condition to True Father: to be a true son of filial piety before Heavenly Parents and Jesus. This was his first commitment before he made an announcement about his mission.
- Secondly, True Father said, I need to inherit the heart of God, especially the suffering heart of God. How can we live as filial sons and daughters without understanding our parents’ condition, our parents’ situation? No one can claim “I am the son of filial piety before my parents” without understanding God’s suffering heart. This is the second condition True Father really wanted to fulfill as his own responsibility.
- After that he said, “I am the messiah, the Second Coming messiah, as True Parents, and looking for True Mother.” Without True Mother, True Father cannot be True Parents. How could he be a true messiah in practice? Without True Parents, he cannot proclaim, “I am the messiah, I am the savior.” After True Father met True Mother, he claimed, “From now on I am in the position of savior for the sake of humankind and the world.”
- We had the Original Divine Principle and now the new Exposition of Divine Principle, which proclaims about the truth of God. This is the first mission as the savior, after True Father and True Mother’s holy wedding ceremony: delivering a new truth.
- And then, finally, our True Parents needed to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. What did the scripture in Matthew say? What did Jesus say in his first sermon? “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is upon you.” This was Jesus’s first message: to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in heaven, we need to understand ourselves, understand Jesus and understand Jesus’s message.
Jesus was on the exact same course as True Father 2,000 years ago. This was a commitment Jesus made 2,000 years ago, and it’s now True Father’s commitment, as I explained the five points above.
Recovering the Founding Spirit of America
Why he True Parents come to America? We all know Korea is God’s fatherland, God’s chosen nation. Why did True Father leave Korea for the sake of America? God called for him come to America and save this country; God prepared this country for a long, long time; it’s also God’s chosen nation.
We have to remember why the Founding Fathers came to this country 240 years ago. They came to this country for freedom of religion, to build a new nation centering on God’s direction. This is the Founding Fathers’ spirit for this country, America: that everything we do, we must center upon God.
After 200 years, this spirit is losing power gradually, and now do you find God anywhere in this country? In the government? In the Supreme Court? In the school system? No. This came out only 30, 40, 50 years ago. We are gradually losing the spirit of our Founding Fathers, and now after 240 years we cannot find God anywhere.
People are struggling, couples are struggling, families are struggling, and our communities are struggling. This nation is struggling. The world is struggling. This is happening not only in America, but Korea as well. Japan as well. What can we expect is the world’s situation? The mission True Father was to bring this country back to God. This was his first mission when he came here, and he awakened the people of America. His message encompassed how we can overcome our struggling, how we can carry this cross. We are so individualistic. We don’t care about others. This is not a parental heart. This is not a God-centered lifestyle.
Secondly, True Father pursued, awakened and educated American family members on living for the sake of others. Remember the Washington Monument rally. He said to this country, America, you must stand for the sake of the world. Repent. Tomorrow will be too late. Repent today. America doesn’t exist just for herself. This message came to Japan and Korea. True Parents pushed Japanese family members to reach goals, then push and push again. Why? We need to go through this kind of suffering to save our ancestors, to save our country.
This was the only way Japanese family members, for the sake of the messiah’s mission, for the sake of following the way of True Parents.
Now America has the elder son’s position in God’s eyes. True Mother is always telling me whenever she sees me, “When, elder son, can you stand up? Can you hold the flag of Cheon Il Guk and lead every blessed central family and every nation and worldwide movement?” Now time has come, America, in the elder son’s position, to stand up and lead this country and the world. The time has come internally and externally. God and True Parents prepared for us.
Now the second generation of Unificationists is growing up. I thought this is the era of the second generation. True Mother said, the first and second generation need to work together to carry on this mission, even if you feel this is your cross. There is no other way. How can we give our own burden to somebody else? That’s not the standard of blessed central families.
So True Father is very clear. Let us go back to the Founding Fathers’ spirit and cultivate a God-centered lifestyle. And secondly, living for the sake of others: Let us take care of our brothers and sisters. That’s why we call ourselves family. We are one family under God. And as a third point, True Father traveled in the 1970s, awakening Christianity and the mission of this country. He mentioned that this country needs to live for the sake of other nations, sacrifice, carry our cross—not just our own family. America, if you stand for yours only, this country will disappear. We are being blind. We are at the edge of cliff. One step back, one step in retreat, and we will fall down that cliff.
We need to come back to our community, understand what True Father and True Mother are warning this country and how they try to cultivate a life of God-centered heart.
Now what is purpose True Father coming to America? He really wanted to save this country. I mentioned so many times about his saving Christianity. This was his first mission. Let us think more deeply why Father emphasizing this, why he began his ministry here in this country to address Christianity.
A Model of God’s Kingdom
We tried to do so many things. True Father said that Christianity is our brother, so we need to take care this. True Father shared Divine Principle, all based on the New and Old Testaments. The Divine Principle is for the sake of those who understand God, so he tried to educate pastors. Why? This was the first mission of Jesus when he came to this earth 2,000 years ago, when he first went to leaders of the synagogue, and telling them, “God told me to tell you: this is the way we must move forward. Times have changed.”
What did True Father do? Yes, he did it the same way. “Yes, you did wonderful job for the sake of your God-sent mission,” he told Christianity, “However, times have changed. You must change.”
True Parents’ mission was rebuilding this country. That is the purpose for which they came to America and they served and they dedicated their whole lives for the sake of this country, to build a new nation, a new America centered on God, centering on the Founding Fathers’ spirit.
He taught that family matters. Particularly, a God-centered family matters. He tried to awaken us, revive Christianity, reform this country, American families and Christianity, and with this True Parents really wanted to build a new nation, America as a model country of God’s kingdom.
Inheriting the Legacy of True Parents
So how do we move on, centering on True Parents and the example of True Parents’ life? We don’t have many choices; we just have one option. Do you think God gave us many choices in our life? Do we have many answers? Centering on God, we have no choice, no optional way but to follow. Even 2,000 years ago, Jesus mentioned this. Now, during the time of the Second Coming of the messiah, are we more democratic? Do we have the choice to go our own way? No. We need to deny ourselves. Otherwise, we cannot find a new life, new family, and new nation.
We talk a lot about peace. Without unification of mind and body, there cannot be peace. This is True Father’s principle. Jesus’s disciples learned this from Jesus, and in the same way True Parents taught us what is our way to become citizens of the kingdom of God.
Let us inherit the legacy of True Parents. This is the only way we can become citizens of God’s kingdom. With absolute faith we can all become like True Parents.
Do you know True Father’s will when he ascended to the kingdom of God upstairs? Do you know what he left for us? We can retrace what he did in the 40 days before he went to the spirit world. He left three wills for the sake of all blessed central families. These three things are none other than:
- Learn the Divine Principle, the Original Substance of the Divine Principle. Everything he tried to show us and share with us is here.
- Become heavenly tribal messiahs. We know this. We’ve heard it so many times. Along with studying the Original Substance of Divine Principle at workshops, we need to teach it and become heavenly tribal messiahs. This is True Father’s will. So as we celebrate this memorial service, True Father’s third year Seonghwa anniversary, let us remember what he left for our sake: truth. And let us be messiahs. True Parents appointed each one of us as messiahs. A messiah hears only the voice of God. This is a messiah’s mission, to listen to the voice of God and practice our own messiahship. True Father called us to do so.
- To build the family kingdom of heaven, we need to do Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading). We have the Cheon Seong Gyeong, Pyeonghwa Gyeong, and Chambumo Gyeong coming soon.
Let’s think about this Top Gun workshop. Seventy young first and second generation Unificationists from America who really want to work for the sake of the movement are at the Top Gun workshop. We had even more who wanted to go, but we had to cut it off at 70. Everybody is surprised. Never before has America responded to True Parents’ call more than Japan, more than Korea. This is the first time our young second generation stood up and said, “Yes, True Mother, I am ready for the sake of this country, America, centering on True Parents, centering on God.” How precious these brothers and sisters are.
And of course, from Japan and Korea, 40 participants each came to the Top Gun workshop. Because America has 70, True Mother said, let us have this workshop in English.
And last weekend, 800 of our young people gathered together at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) for the Blessed Culture and Sports Festival. I went to the opening ceremony and it was great. Now, this weekend we have around 40 youth pastors at a retreat and workshop in Maryland. This coming generation is really ready to inherit the spirit of True Parents. I see many familiar faces here who graduated from the Special Task Force (STF), and, as it’s called now, the Generation Peace Academy (GPA). One UTS graduate wrote her thesis about how GPA and STF affect the American Unification movement. To all the graduates, let’s give them a big hand. (Applause)
I’d like to conclude with True Father’s message and compare it with today’s Bible reading of Matthew 16:24 that I shared earlier. This is from the Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 1002:
“The closer you get to your final destination, the larger God’s will and purpose will become, and the smaller you will become.” So as the time has come, we need to prepare ourselves, empty ourselves and let us invite God and True Parents into our lives.
As long as you are becoming smaller and God’s will is becoming larger, all problems can be resolved. This is True Father’s message. When I think about Jesus’s message, he is guiding us still today. Think about what True Parents left us as their will. You are messiahs. You are messiahs who hear God’s voice, and no one else’s. How can we hear God’s voice? With what True Father left us: study the Divine Principle, study True Parents’ words, and then you can hear God’s voice.
And we know what to do. We can resolve all kinds of problems.
Thank you for receiving, thank you for coming, and God bless you.