Greeting by Masaaki-sama
Grand Autumn Service
RIHGA Royal Hotel, Osaka, Japan
October 14, 2019
In the video just now, we heard the word “persecution.” I believe that within the currents of this time’s church purification, aside from how big or small, all of you who have congregated here today have undergone persecution somehow or other.
I believe there are many of you who, for example, were pushed out of your churches or centers that you had been going to for many years and could no longer use them. Or from people that you were sharing your faith with for a long time, you incurred unjustified criticisms or were subject to slander.
Reverends and ministers who did not listen to the church were, for example, transferred to workplaces that had absolutely no relationship to the role they were entrusted with until then; or had cuts in their salary. There are also quite a few reverends and ministers who had their employment terminated. There are some who were stripped of their membership from the church, too.
Looking at the bigger picture, it is clearly prescribed in the Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK) church rules, which can also be said to be the constitution of SKK, that Kyoshu-sama is the one who succeeds the sacred work of Meishu-sama. For that reason and based on that spirit, Su no Hikari Church itself held up the church guideline “Fully follow Kyoshu-sama’s example and his messages.” However, enigmatic as it is, a portion of those in SKK made a great fuss about how that guideline runs counter to SKK and, currently, they are one-sidedly saying that they have removed Su no Hikari Church from SKK.
Kyoshu-sama, too, has met with all kinds of persecution. For instance, he was negatively written up in a weekly magazine, and many documents were put out negating his character. On top of all that, there were those who took certain actions – actions we would hesitate to put into words, actions that would never take place were they true followers of Meishu-sama. In other words, they secretly followed, filmed, and photographed Kyoshu-sama, even during his private time.
Meishu-sama, himself, faced continuous persecution during his religious life. Particularly soon after the founding of World Church of Messiah, as you all know, facing religious persecution, he was put into the Shizuoka jail and incurred severe interrogation. And it was not a small weekly magazine, but Asahi Newspaper, Yomiuri Newspaper and the like – major newspaper publications and media outlets in Japan from which he faced attack.
In these ways, I believe that all of us have equally undergone some form of persecution.
However, this is what I think. What shame is there in undergoing persecution for standing up for what we believe in?
Rather, in this time’s sequence of events in the church, I want to thank God for not having been used in things like slandering or secretly filming or taking photos of people because of a clash in thinking or because they didn’t listen to what we said.
Of course, there is no mistake that those who put these things into action did so out of necessity – God used them for that work. We, too, don’t know how or when we will be used by God. But if we could, I think we would wish to be used in the joyful divine work of making the people around us happy.
And so, in the various tides of this time’s church purification, I believe that we should be thankful to God for being able to stand firm in our faith and are walking boldly, straight as an arrow, rather than taking actions that would leave us in debt, like by those mentioned above.
Then why are we persecuted? As I said just now, too, I believe it is because we stand firm in our faith. And at the same time, this time, we want to walk together with Kyoshu-sama. We want to walk together with Kyoshu-sama who is seeking Meishu-sama’s will. I believe that is why we are persecuted.
So what is this Kyoshu-sama trying to tell us? As I repeatedly say, do we, the followers of Meishu-sama, want to follow our founder Meishu-sama’s example, or not. Do we want to have him as our model, or not. I believe it comes down to this one point. I believe it is only this one point that Kyoshu-sama is asking us.
So, what is the conclusion of the life of this Meishu-sama, the conclusion to his life of religion? What is the culmination? That is “to be born anew as the Messiah.” This is not an imaginary story. It happened in actuality and is an unmistaken fact.
If we accept Kyoshu-sama’s guidance, and have Meishu-sama as our model, it means that each and every one of us have the mission to be born anew as the Messiah.
If that is so, we are no longer just ordinary human beings. We would have to recognize that within us is the soul of the Messiah. We would have to recognize that within us is the soul of God, the brilliant, bright light of God.
On persecution, Meishu-sama says that what is most terrifying for those who persecute is light. If each and every one of us recognizes that the light of the Messiah is within us, as Meishu-sama says, “the rank of the Messiah is the highest rank one can attain;” it is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords; we have to recognize that within us is this terrifying existence holding the highest authority.
I believe that this is inconvenient for us. That is because, until now, we have been living as we please. We prioritized our own wishes and our own interests; we wanted to live being in control of our own life. This is how we have been living.
However, if there was someone within us who held greater authority than ourselves, we would no longer be able to live the way we had until now, the way of life prioritizing our own thoughts, feelings, and wishes.
That is why, within the various circumstances of this time’s church purification, Kyoshu-sama, who is teaching that “within each and every one of us is the light of the Messiah,” was attacked – his existence is disagreeable, a nuisance; should that message continue to be put out, there will be a problem.
If we recognized his message, we would no longer be able to live a life of human control and so they had to attack Kyoshu-sama. In order to protect themselves, they had to attack Kyoshu-sama. And they had to attack all of you who believe in Kyoshu-sama’s message. If the light of the Messiah came out, it would be inconvenient – there was no other choice but for them to attack.
We, ourselves, may not think that we have been persecuting Meishu-sama. But Meishu-sama named his own religious group World Church of Messiah (Sekai Meshiya Kyo); left us with the name Messiah Hall (previous version of the current Hall of Worship); and was born anew as the Messiah – in actuality, I believe that we were erasing, denying, and ignoring what he left us for decades.
The purpose of persecution is to erase somebody’s existence, make them disappear and to erase the spirit of the followers who believe in a certain message.
And so, do you think that because you are incurring persecution, the message that within each one of us is the light of God, would disappear? Do you think that if humans attack, God’s message would disappear? I do not think so.
Jesus Christ was born 2,000 years ago amongst the Jewish people. Before that, for thousands of years, the Jewish were waiting for the appearance of the Messiah. And even though every prophecy was pointing to the fact that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, once Jesus appeared on earth together with the name of Messiah, the Jewish people did not accept his existence. They shunned and attacked him.
Why was that so? The Jewish had the teachings that God left for them since Moses, and they thought they were obeying those teachings ever since. Pray to God, be sure to give monetary offerings to God – there were various rules like this. To them, obeying the teachings was God’s will and they thought they were surely putting them into action.
However, Jesus Christ said everyone must repent, all of humanity without exception have sin. He questioned that no matter how hard we pray, is our heart turned toward God? No, it is not. How is our heart when we make an offering? Are we truly thinking about God? No, we are not. Is there a perfect human being? No, there is not. It is with these messages that Jesus appeared together with the name of Messiah – the name that carries absolute authority.
At that time, regardless of how much it was prophesied, the Jewish people could not accept the name of Messiah when it appeared on earth. And in the end, they nailed him on the cross and killed him. Many of the disciples who believed in Jesus also met with great persecution.
I believe God’s deep will was in everything that happened 2,000 years ago, but does it end there? Does it mean the light of the Messiah that reached the earth was cut off? At one glance, it certainly does seem like it has been cut off for two thousand years. But God wanted to accomplish His very own will by all means, and the time came once again for Him to prepare a prototype, this time in Japan. He prepared Meishu-sama and, thus, left a prototype that ultimately, a human can be born anew as a Messiah.
Even the message about the light of the Messiah that Meishu-sama relayed to us was being erased by our hands. But Meishu-sama believed that this was too important. He wanted to relay his will to the members that he loved in any way he could. And now, through Kyoshu-sama, he is saying to all of you that within each and every one of you is light, the light of the Messiah. All of you who believe in that are here.
And so, no matter whatever they do to persecute you, if this message is the will of God, there is absolutely no way that it can be erased. Why? Humans cannot erase God.
Meishu-sama said that the greater a religion is, the bigger the religion is, the greater and bigger is the persecution.
2,000 years ago, Jesus came to the earth carrying the name of Messiah. He was persecuted and killed, but now, 2,000 years later, there are two billion Christians all over the world.
Christians believe that Jesus is the only Messiah. Still, there are two billion followers. For us, it is not only Jesus, not only Meishu-sama, but all of humanity, within each and every one of us, that has been granted this holy light of the Messiah. That is what we accept. That is what we believe.
When you think about it this way, just how great is the mission for us who are now walking together with Kyoshu-sama? I believe that the greatness of our mission cannot be compared to that of even two billion Christians. So for us to be persecuted is only natural. Because our mission is great, because our existence is to become a great religion, we will be persecuted.
Currently, of the seven billion people of the human race, two billion are Christian. And in Japan, even if they are not Christian, people celebrate Christmas and know the existence of Christ. All of humanity, now, in one form or another, have gotten to know the name of Christ.
Although we say “Christ,” the Greek word “Christ” is the Hebrew word for “Messiah.” Though there may be a difference in the spiritual sound of the words, they mean the same thing.
The word “Christ” has already spread throughout humanity. There is a foundation. But the true meaning of the word, the true meaning of the word Messiah, is not known by most people. It is certain that now, we are the first to have been made aware of this gospel.
And so, we have the mission to convey the true meaning of that word. I believe that this is the true path for what Meishu-sama called the uniting of all religions into one, the salvation of humanity, and the construction of heaven on earth.
As we heard in the video just now, to the question, “Is it possible to realize world peace with the power of religion?” Meishu-sama responded that “it is absolutely possible…in the West, there is Christ. In the East, there is Messiah.” Meishu-sama said that if these two major forces work in concert with each other, one in the East, the other in the West, and if all members of the two powers diligently fight for peace, eternal peace will surely be brought about.
Kyoshu-sama believed in these words of Meishu-sama, in his will.
I believe in this Kyoshu-sama.