On the morning of October 21, the Gifu Church held its Ohikari Receiving Ceremony with Kyoshu-sama himself presenting the Ohikari or Sacred Focal Point to new members.

From the afternoon, at the same church, the Gifu Church Membership Meeting with Kyoshu-sama took place with approximately 300 people gathering. Under the lead of Kyoshu-sama, everyone prayed the Amatsu Norito. After Kyoshu-sama channeled Johrei, he said the Opening Words.

After Rev. Kato, Regional Director of the Chubu Region, expressed words of gratitude to Kyoshu-sama and his family in his greeting, Rev. Shirasawa, President of Izunome Group stood to give a greeting and reported to everyone summaries of Masaaki-sama’s visit to Germany as well as the Grand Autumn Service. He also expressed that from here on too, he will do his very best to serve in this new phase of divine work.

After a member representing all shared his gratitude testimonial, Kyoshu-sama took the podium. He explained the details that led to his message delivered last year at the Beginning of Spring Service, his thoughts on the Holy Seat of Kyoshu while looking back on the church purification 30 years ago, touched on how Izunome Kyodan was established with the banner of a Kyoshu-centered organization and then the situation he came to be in, etc.

**********************************************************

Question:

For us who have lived believing in reincarnation, we regarded our ancestors as dead. With your guidance, we have made the big change but when we receive questions from members, there are times when we are bothered or stumped.

Excerpt from Kyoshu-sama’s guidance:

Because Meishu-sama collapsed from a brain hemorrhage on April 19, 1954, there are not many teachings from him after that. However, he did say himself that ‘this is different from rebirth or reincarnation, rather, it is a new birth and I was newly born.’ These are Meishu-sama’s final words in the very last year of his life. It is a matter of how we accept this. I was not present for last year’s 2017 Grand Autumn Service, however, a message was sent out. I will read it. (omitted)

‘We have already been revived, together with Meishu-sama. As Meishu-sama said, “I myself was surprised by it,” we must be even more surprised than Meishu-sama, actually. From the very start, each and every one of us have been granted God’s eternal life, a priceless, precious life that cannot be replaced by another. That is why there is no room to think about rebirth or reincarnation.

‘I say it many times, but Meishu-sama is saying “this is different from rebirth or reincarnation.” It is not me who is saying this. As I just said a moment ago, on June 5, 1954, Meishu-sama is saying, “On my part, I am getting a lot younger. This is called the Birth of Messiah and a Messiah was born. I am not just saying this. This is a fact. I myself was surprised by it. I must tell you that this is different from rebirth or reincarnation, rather, it is a new birth and I was newly born…The word ‘miracle’ does not do justice to what happened to me this time. Many things beyond a miracle took place.”

‘And so as a follower of Meishu-sama, I believe in Meishu-sama’s words when he says, “this is different from rebirth or reincarnation, rather, it is a new birth and I was newly born.” That is all.’

Question:

When I am doing missionary work, I would like to convey to people about being born anew as a Messiah but I end up saying, ‘You will feel better from your illness so would you like to try Johrei?’ Is it all right to use this kind of approach or gateway?

Kyoshu-sama’s guidance (excerpt)

When the leaflet was published while we were at Izunome Kyodan, it was for the purpose of approaching people (currently, a new edition is being made). Even if we don’t know how to explain it, I believe our approach is to say that we believe this and we do that. Regarding approach such as, ‘You will feel better from your illness so would you like to try Johrei?’ I speak about Johrei during services, so I would like for you to ask your ministers about this.

When we raise our hand for Johrei, who’s hand really is this? This is God’s hand with which He has forgiven and saved all—He is saying come back home to me, He is calling to us. It is the expression of His will. God is always holding out His hand for us. The hand of Johrei is the hand that is embedded in His will that says I have forgiven those who have neglected God, those who forgot God, those who believe that they have strayed from God—I have forgiven all and welcome you to My heaven. And Meishu-sama said that it is not only he that can do this wonderful work of Johrei but all members can do it, too. This is no easy matter. He is saying he wants all of us, too, to have similar thoughts and feelings.

It is certain that in the early days of the church, many miracles were seen and ahh, God exists! With that, members increased. However, I believe that the true meaning inside Meishu-sama is what I just said. Meishu-sama says, ‘We have miracles in order to know the real existence of God,’ and we must not forget this.

We speak of Johrei lightly, but truthfully, I believe that it is a word that should not be treated lightly. And as I said just before, that is because this hand of Johrei is the hand of God. In the world, there are things like qigong and energy healing. We say, ‘This is good for the body.’ Johrei is not the same thing as qigong or the like. So I believe that we must seriously seek the true meaning of Johrei.

**********************************************************

Masaaki-sama also received a question from a member, “I saw the video of the Monthly Service/Youth Conference in Germany and I was very moved. Could you tell us how you felt about our mission and how we best can serve God in order to become Messiahs.” He answered in the following way.

**********************************************************

You said ‘our mission.’ ‘Our mission,’ in short, is ‘Meishu-sama’s mission.’ So what kind of person was this Meishu-sama? When it was decided for me to go to Germany, I was made to think about this.

Meishu-sama, as all of you know, was born into unique circumstances. He was born in Hashiba, the eastern most part of Japan of the Far East—the edge of the edge of the world and said that he himself was ‘the light from the east.’

Meishu-sama said that every thing from the West would reach the East and next, those things would be pushed from the East back to the West, purified by light and he will make a crystal clear world. The conclusion of Meishu-sama’s life was ‘to be born anew as a Messiah.’

And so when the ‘civilization that came from the West’ is summarized into one, I believe that it is ‘Messiah.’ Meishu-sama accepted the name of Messiah at the edge of the East. Then he returns it to the West to create a magnificent world. This is ‘Meishu-sama’s mission.’ So I believe our mission is the same.

This time, I, too, from the Far East of Japan, not only myself but together with about 50 of Japan’s youth, we carried with us the name of Messiah and went to what is known as a Western country, Germany. Together with the Japanese youth, I was used in the divine work of conveying the message that ‘the name of Messiah is not just for us but for the people of the West, for people of the entire world to accept the name.’

When you think about it that way, Germany is a country that was divided into East and West by the Berlin Wall. It was in 1989 that the Berlin Wall collapsed which did away with the barring of exchange between East and West. This is something symbolic. That is to say, the name of Messiah made it all the way to the East and even though we have the mission to bring it back and convey its true meaning to the people all over the world, didn’t we end up shutting away the name of Messiah in Japan by thinking, ‘Meishu-sama is the only Messiah’? Symbolizing our thoughts, I believe that God created this kind of wall in Germany.

Even though Meishu-sama named his religion World Church of Messiah, after Meishu-sama passed away, the name soon changed to World Church of Salvation. In this way, the name of Messiah was no longer put forth openly for a time. This does not mean that after Meishu-sama passed away, Nidai-sama and Sandai-sama hid the name. I believe that it was still too premature to put forth the true meaning embedded in the name of Messiah.

And so God wished for Nidai-sama and Sandai-sama to temporarily entrust the name of Messiah to Him and in response to His will, Nidai-sama and Sandai-sama, through Meishu-sama, offered the name of Messiah to God for a time. And then the time came for us to accept the holy name of Messiah. In 1990, the Berlin Wall collapsed, East returned to West and became one and the phase to make a magnificent world arrived. And so God and Meishu-sama once again granted the name of Messiah to Kyoshu-sama. And now, without monopolizing this name, Kyoshu-sama is asking each and every one of us, “Will you, too, accept the name of Messiah?” “Won’t you accept it?” That is the situation right now.

In the question, you also asked, with what thoughts and feelings can we best serve God in order to become Messiahs. I spoke about precisely that. It is placing importance on Meishu-sama’s wish, his mission, in every respect. Each and every person has the soul of Messiah. And so that is why God is asking us, “Will you become my child?” He is wishing for us to become His children. I believe that God is wishing this not just for us but for all humanity.

And so I would like to convey through every chance Meishu-sama’s wish to the people around us, “You too can become a child of God.” In that way, I would like for us to unite, serve God and go forward.

**********************************************************

Continuing on, Kyoshu-sama said the Closing Words followed by a member’s statement of gratitude and determination. All participants sang “Divine Light Hymn” and “Goin’ Home” in sonorous voices.

At the end, a commemorative photo was taken and Kyoshu-sama and his family shook hands with each and every person, addressing them with words of appreciation for their daily efforts in divine work, listening to health conditions of those purifying, having friendly exchanges and such. For members that participated, it was a meeting filled with joy and determination to push forward in this entirely new phase.

This post is also available in: 日本語 Português