Grand Autumn Service
Intex Osaka, Osaka
October 8, 2018
In deep awe and fear of God, I say that the will of God – the one and only God – is to bear children in His likeness and live with them. God, for this purpose, prepared heaven before He began the work of creation. In heaven, God bore numerous spiritual children – us – and became one with us. Thus, in heaven, we became one body with God – the body to which God gave the name of Messiah. Now, on this earth, we are allowed to know the name of Messiah and voice it out to God because we were one body with God in heaven and were granted the holy name. Within each one of us is a spiritual body named Messiah. Within it, God exists. With Him is His will – the will to forgive, purify, save and revive all humanity and have us be born anew as His children, as Messiahs. God’s will of creation exists within us and He is carrying out His work of creation, His work of salvation, within each one of us at this very moment.
When we came from heaven to earth, we carried with us this one body of God named Messiah. Receiving a physical body and an individuality, we on this earth have acquired a sense of self, our sense of “I.” But remember, even though we now breathe on this earth, we belong to heaven. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we are always “citizens of heaven” as Meishu-sama reminded us. In this sense, acquiring our sense of “I” is neither the end nor purpose of why God sent us to the earth. God permits us to have our sense of self so that each one of us can serve in His work of having us be born anew as Messiahs and making all humanity His children.
God truly treasures the name of Messiah. It is in this name that God imbued His promise to make us His children and live with us eternally. We have forgotten that we have received this eternal promise from God. But God, out of His unfailing and everlasting love, is calling out to us, saying “Remember the promise I made to you in heaven. Come back to Me with the name I prepared for you.” I believe it is our duty to respond to this call of God and return to Him. I believe it is our duty to recall this promise and wish to take part, with everything and everyone, in God’s work of making all things new, of creating the future.
Meishu-sama so strongly wanted us to know that heaven exists within us and that we must return to it. That is why he shouted out to us, “For those who seek Light and prosperity, come!” That is why he left us sacred calligraphies such as “Heaven exists at the center of my heart” and “Paradise on earth exists within my heart.”
To Meishu-sama, the name of Messiah was deeply important. Most notably, Meishu-sama founded Sekai Meshiya Kyo or World Church of Messiah on February 4, 1950. At the time, he left us a “Message for the Opening of the New Church.” Meishu-sama concluded this message by stating that “The power of our church to bring salvation must be decisive. This power is nothing but the power exercised by the Messiah – the power of God Almighty. Ah! We are finally living in a time of celebration!” It was also from the time of founding World Church of Messiah that Meishu-sama started to call himself “Meishu” and taught us that the spiritual sound of the word “Meishu” is almost the same as that of Meshiya or Messiah. It was also at this time that Meishu-sama added the phrase “to become the Messiah” in the Zengen Sanji prayer.
From 1950, Meishu-sama also clearly demonstrated his will to work together with Christians who deem Jesus Christ as the Messiah. He told us that World Church of Messiah would act in concert with Christianity and that it would become extremely close to Christianity. There are so many other teachings by Meishu-sama relating to Jesus Christ, Christianity and the Bible that it is impossible for me to introduce all of them to you here. And finally, in June 1954, eight months before he passed away, Meishu-sama, with an inexpressible joy and astonishment, announced that he was born anew as the Messiah and held the “Provisional Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah.”
As ones who are always united with Meishu-sama in heaven, we also were witnesses to this ceremony. Not only that, as Meishu-sama who is now within us has been born anew as the child of God, as the Messiah, we, too, are being nurtured by God to become His children, His Messiahs, because our true Parent is God the Father, is He not? Thus, through Meishu-sama, God let us know the most precious and holy name of Messiah. With great awe, fear and joy, I would like to receive this name together with all of you and attribute all glory to God.
The teaching for today’s service is entitled, “Materialization of the prophecy of the kingdom of heaven.” Touching upon the biblical prophecy of “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Meishu-sama teaches us that “with regard to the prophecy of the kingdom of heaven, this, and this prophecy alone, has to be fulfilled by humans. Heaven has to be constructed by human effort. It is natural, then, that someday, someone would have to become the architect and bring it to fruition. If this indeed is true, we believe that this ‘someday’ is today and that this ‘someone’ is our church.” He also goes on to write that “it is because of our work of constructing an earthly heaven that the prophecy of Jesus Christ proves to be true.”
“The kingdom of heaven is at hand” means that God who is in heaven is drawing closer to us – He is directly approaching us. He is coming closer with His arms wide open, ready to welcome all into His heaven. And this is not happening somewhere outside of us. God, who is within us, is shedding His light upon us with an aim to save all that is connected to us, to each one of our consciousnesses.
It is now up to each one of us whether we wish to respond to the love of God who is ready to welcome us into His heaven. I believe that, in responding to God’s call, we must make a conscious effort to return to heaven and become one with the consciousness that God prepared for each one of us in heaven, before the creation of the universe began. In doing so, we can be one with God, turn into His true children and live with Him eternally in heaven. This conscious effort on our part is how heaven is constructed within each one of us, within each one of our consciousnesses, and this is what Meishu-sama meant when he said that “heaven has to be constructed by human effort” and that “Paradise on earth exists within my heart.” Heaven, first and foremost, has to be constructed within us – we have to “construct an earthly paradise at the center of each one of our consciousnesses.” Each one of us is left to decide whether we would like to make an effort in doing so.
It is only when God entrusts you with His words – His will – that one can make a prophecy. Meishu-sama taught us that his God is the God of Christianity – God who is called Jehovah or Yahweh. This means that the word Meishu-sama and Jesus Christ were entrusted with by God in heaven was the same word. They both received the same word and will of God. I say to you that the will in His word is “all humanity will become My children.” I am now convinced that Meishu-sama and Jesus Christ received this will of God together. And if we were with Meishu-sama in heaven – in the world of beginning – we, too, in heaven and together with Meishu-sama and Jesus, received the same word, the same will. If you believe in this as I do, you are here to serve in this will of God and accomplish it.
In today’s teaching, Meishu-sama said that “this ‘someday’ is today and that this ‘someone’ is our church.” “Today” does not mean sometime in the past. If you realize now that you must return to heaven to serve in the will of God, this “today” becomes your “today.” “Our church” also does not refer to anyone other than you. If you truly wish to serve in the will of God, you can be that “church,” you can be that “someone.”
More than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross in order to atone for the sins of us humanity who disregarded the will of God. He asked for the forgiveness of God, rose from the dead and was resurrected. Not only did he serve God in accomplishing the atonement of the sins of all humanity, he also was born anew as the child of God – that is why he was resurrected. Jesus thus fulfilled his mission as the Christ, as the Messiah.
It is this Jesus who said that “unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Even though Jesus left us these words, the true meaning of them had not been revealed to us for a long time. Jesus was regarded as the only Christ, as the only Messiah.
2000 years after Jesus, Meishu-sama announced that he was born anew and that the Messiah was born. Meishu-sama declared this fact to the world through the “Provisional Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah” in June 1954. This achievement of Meishu-sama, I believe, was a message from God – a message that all humanity, without exception, is destined to receive the forgiveness of God and be born anew as children of God, as Messiahs. In order to truly complete the purpose of sending Jesus to the earth, God sent Meishu-sama to us, to humanity. I believe in this. I believe this is the truth. Together with all of you, I would like to accept this truth – this gospel – and offer my sincerest gratitude to God.
Earlier, I mentioned how Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah in 1950 and left us the “Message for the Opening of the New Church.” In it, Meishu-sama stated that “The time is now pressing upon us and we must make a giant leap in order to save all humanity. We need to make our activities worldwide and we need to make that move quickly, hence the name of World Church of Messiah.” As you all know, Masaaki went to Germany this September and took the first step toward worldwide diffusion of the entirely new faith of Meishu-sama. This was only possible because, 68 years ago, Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah for us.
The entirely new salvation that Meishu-sama has shown to us is, before anything else, the salvation of our souls. At the same time, it is the salvation of our past and future. It is the salvation of everything that humanity has done and our ancestors have done. It is the salvation of everything that we and our descendants will do. The power of salvation comes from God and the name of Messiah. God has already opened up the gate of heaven for us and has made us recall the words of God – the teaching of God – through Meishu-sama. God, who is with Meishu-sama, has already given birth to and established His true church within us – World Church of Messiah within us. I say to you that now is the time to acknowledge this truth with great courage!
In the “Message for the Opening of the New Church,” Meishu-sama taught us that “We profess our faith in a paradise on earth. This has to be our ultimate aim.” Receiving and responding to the will of God, we aim to be born anew as children of God, as Messiahs, and live with Him in heaven. In other words, we must aim “to construct an earthly paradise at the center of each one of our consciousnesses.” With this aim firmly engraved into our hearts and together with everything and everyone, let us serve in the new phase of salvation that Meishu-sama has shown to us!