World Church of Messiah – National Area Heads Meeting
RIHGA Royal Hotel, Osaka, Japan
February 5, 2020
Good morning, everyone.
We just received greetings from President Narii and President Nakadomari (of SKK), as well as declarations of resolve from Regional Director Rev. Takahara and Area Head Rev. Kurosawa. Thank you very much. I have felt your thoughts and feelings and am deeply moved. At the same time, within me, thoughts and feelings are arising that I must respond to you. I have received the various thoughts and feelings all of you carry, and together with my own thoughts and feelings, through Meishu-sama, in the name of Messiah, I surrendered them to God.
Yesterday, together with all of you, we were able to hold the World Church of Messiah Risshun (Beginning of Spring) Service. I am so grateful and happy. At the service, I thanked God for establishing World Church of Messiah within each and every one of us, and I communicated this to God and Meishu-sama.
President Narii said that he was guided to World Church of Messiah owing to myself, but for me, I cannot help but think that I, myself, too, together with all of you, was guided by Meishu-sama, who opened up the path for us, allowing us to go forward bearing the name “World Church of Messiah.”
I believe that in order for God to accomplish His will, He needed to resurrect World Church of Messiah within each and every one of us, and that is exactly why, through Meishu-sama, He paved the way for us to make it so.
However, even though He has paved the way and has prepared it for us, if there is no one to respond to Him, then nothing will materialize. All of you, with sincere hearts, have responded to His will. You have overcome various circumstances and realized what Meishu-sama revealed to us – an important matter meant to be protected, a path that we are meant to go forward on – and this is what you sought with a genuine heart.
Those who practiced this consistently since the beginning were President Nakadomari, President Narii, Vice President Shirasawa and Vice President Kawatani. For this, I am very grateful.
And, to all of you who overcame difficulties and stood up seeking true faith together with the members, I am sincerely grateful.
Although all of you say that I stood up by myself three years ago, I believe that in order for Meishu-sama, who is with God, to save all of humanity and guide them to true faith, he stood up with the strong intention that he had to stand up within each and every one of us. I believe it is precisely because of this, in form, representing all of you, I stood up. Of course, if I did not have the support and encouragement of my family, I could not have done this.
I sincerely thank God for all of these matters as His divine work.
In “Sacred Oath” that you say aloud, it says my messages are the sole, absolute and irreplaceable foundation, but, as Masaaki also touched upon, there is only one sole, absolute and irreplaceable existence. That is the one and only God, the Lord God. This Lord God is the One who teaches us and guides the way.
We, all of us, were originally in heaven and received the sole, absolute and irreplaceable teachings of God together with Meishu-sama. God is now opening up those teachings within each and every one of us. This means that when Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah and said that he was “opening up a teaching,” this in fact referred to how God originally, in heaven, “opened” up the teachings for us.
Rather than saying we are receiving new teachings, we are now remembering the teachings we originally received before. We have been allowed to realize, “Ah, it was that!”
While words are not enough, my role in this position is to convey to all of you what I remember, representing all of you. I believe it is that kind of position. I am not trying to tell you about my thinking as a human. I would like to remember, together with all of you, what we were originally carrying with us.
Why is it that I am being used in this way? It is partly because of the position of Kyoshu, but perhaps, it could be that within me there are many obstinate and contrarian qualities, and if someone like me can remember even just a little of this, then it would make it easier for everyone else to know, “Aha, that’s it!”
Even in regard to the name of Messiah, we were able to know the meaning of it through Meishu-sama.
In heaven, we received the name together with all of humanity and all of creation, but we were made to be born in various countries and regions and made to be different races. For the Japanese, the name of Messiah is an unfamiliar name. Many people who were born and raised in the country of Japan have deified and worshipped various gods and buddhas and were raised being told that that was faith. They were not conditioned to believe in the existence of one God, to trust in that one existence and to serve that one existence. I believe it was a very serious matter to make known the name of Messiah in this country of Japan. In this world, the people of Japan who were unfamiliar with the one and only God and not conditioned to serve that God, were made to know the one and only God and the name of Messiah. They accepted it, no less. I believe that this happened only because God deemed it necessary by all means.
God created the world in order to save all of humanity without exception and make everyone His children.
I believe that, in this world, the Japanese people who are not familiar with God, who live in a country at the edge of existence, received God’s will embedded in the name of Messiah and, still more, received it within their hearts and minds, the end of God’s creations. Communicating this to God representing all of humanity, in itself, is serving in the divine work of salvation, the salvation of every corner of all humanity.
If only a special country or people can know this and be proud of it, that would leave many other people behind. This would not be considered salvation for every corner of all humanity. So that this would not happen, I cannot but feel that God took the trouble to open up our hearts, we who know nothing, awakened us to the truth and constructed within us the church of the name of Messiah.
Just a moment ago, in the declarations of resolve read by those representing all of you, Rev. Takahara said that he rebelled against God, within his blood is a seed of this grave sin, there is nothing he can do about it with his own power, and he does not know when this seed will sprout. He said it well.
In Meishu-sama’s teaching, “Inaugural Statement: On the Founding and Birth of World Church of Messiah,” he says, “there is a need to clearly divide the righteous and the evil – there is a need to strengthen the righteous and obliterate the evil. We must blot out the evil and completely finish it off. Naturally, then, the saving power has to be decisive, and this power is the Great Divine Power of God that the Messiah exercises. Ah, the time for celebration has finally arrived!”
I believe that to divide the righteous and the evil means that you are allowed to know whether you, yourself, have rebelled against God or not – this is such a great blessing.
To be able to realize that we have rebelled against God, that there are sins within ourselves we must repent – doesn’t that mean that we are gradually getting to the truth of the matter? Isn’t it because we were able to come in contact with the truth that we are now able to think and feel that we must repent, that we are sinners?
Rev. Takahara said, “Within my blood, there is a seed of grave sin. There is nothing in my power that can do anything about it. When it will sprout, I don’t know.” Actually, this seed is in constant sprouting mode within us humans. In fact, it has sprouted and a flower has even blossomed. This “flower” is the consciousness of God – the consciousness that we made our own. Thus, we burdened ourselves with sin. That is how the work of creation is. We were existences that could not escape from that sin.
Each and every one of us was made to carry consciousness so we want to be valued in this world and become an admirable person. We get educated in various fields and live a life of making efforts. Living in this way, it cannot be helped that we, ourselves, become centered on ourselves rather than God. There is nothing in our power that can do anything about this.
Because this exists within our blood, as I also mentioned in the service yesterday, with the burden of those sins left as is, God cannot make us His own children. That is why He had to make us into ones who have been forgiven and made sinless, no matter what. So with His great love, God sent Jesus to the earth, put him on the cross and had him atone for the sins of human beings not only of that time but also including the past, present and future. God accepted his blood as the blood of atonement, made him a child of God, the Christ, the Messiah, and made all of humanity sinless. He made all humanity of the past, the present and the future sinless.
Within our hearts, various feelings such as joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure arise, as well as worry and suffering. Or when we realize our shortcomings, our arrogance and our posture of prioritizing our own thoughts and feelings over God’s thoughts and feelings, feelings of regret and thoughts of reflection arise. Or from occurrences such as natural disasters, accidents, various conflicts big and small, anything thought of as a misfortune in the world that we see and hear, all kinds of thoughts and feelings arise.
At those times, it is of great importance to communicate to God what we are feeling and thinking at that moment and say, “Ah, God, this is the very thing You have atoned for!”
Even if you are not able to think that at that moment, if you realize it afterwards, I would like for you not to forget to say this to God.
To serve God means to not leave your thoughts and feelings as your own but to determine with courage that what we are now feeling and thinking, in itself, has been atoned for by God and He has received it; and to communicate to God that we have determined this in our hearts.
God is allowing us to serve in this way.
Once we have been made to know the sacred blood of atonement from the forgiveness and blessing of God, is it not necessary for us to accept it by applying it to ourselves and respond to that grace?
Rather than continuing to say that we are sinners, if you realize your own sins, do we not have the duty to repent, receive the blood of atonement and return to heaven?
Because there is nothing we can do by our own effort or care, God one-sidedly forgave us.
Now, we have entered a new phase of creation, where God welcomes all of humanity into His heaven and nurtures us in order to make us His own children.
The fact that we judge things as “bad” or “good” or that we are made to have various thoughts and feelings or experiences is so that we can serve in this new phase of the divine work of creation.
As a father, God wishes for us, His children, to know what He has done. So, as His children, we have to understand what He, as a father, has done for us. And it is not only to understand, we must respond. Therefore, when you are made to have various experiences or thoughts and feelings, rather than thinking your own atonement is still not finished, think that God has atoned for our sins through Jesus Christ and has put an end to our old ways. That is why we have to declare that, through the blood of atonement of Jesus, together with all people and things, our sins have been forgiven, and thus we, ourselves, put an end to our old ways. Then we can communicate this to God.
In the teaching I quoted just a moment ago, “Inaugural Statement: On the Founding and Birth of World Church of Messiah,” Meishu-sama said, “there is a need to clearly divide the righteous and the evil – there is a need to strengthen the righteous and obliterate the evil. We must blot out the evil and completely finish it off.” To strengthen the righteous and obliterate the evil means that if we continue to make God’s soul, life and consciousness our own soul, life and consciousness, we will be considered evil existences. That is why God is calling out to us, now, to return to our origin, to heaven.
I believe that “to blot out the evil and completely finish it off” means God wants us to know that He has completed the atonement for all of humanity in the past, present and future and has put an end to our old ways of being.
The world has already changed into a completely new world!
And now, a new power is working within each and every one of us.
With unsurpassable pure joy, Meishu-sama received this great transition as the transition from night to day in the spiritual world, and he must have wanted to let all of humanity know this by all means.
As I said in yesterday’s service, the transition from night to day is the transition from God’s completion of the first phase of creation in which He created all things, had all of them evolve and formed the self-consciousness of each individual, to His starting the second phase of His work of creation in which He welcomes those self-consciousnesses into His heaven. I believe it is important to understand this transition from night to day as a matter that applies to our own selves.
God, who accomplished this great transition, this transition from night to day, sent us to this world in order to save all of humanity and all of creation.
That is exactly why, through Meishu-sama, we have been made to know the fact that we have received the soul named Messiah.
The seed that we have been allowed to carry is the seed of the soul of Messiah. I believe we must first declare in front of God that we have received this seed.
As we made this precious seed our own, did we not end up making this seed a seed of sin on our part?
Now, we are gathered here for World Church of Messiah’s National Area Heads Meeting. But who truly does propagation and missionary work? The unique and absolute only One – in other words, God – does the missionary work. He is teaching and guiding us. To the very end, we are in the position of serving this God’s missionary work.
The purpose of God’s missionary work is to make all of humanity, all of us, His own children. God is wishing for as many people as possible to remember their true Father and return to His home. And using us, He wants to increasingly advance this divine work of creation more and more. He is in the middle of conducting missionary work with all His effort.
Because of this purpose, He prepared a path for us so that we are able to return to His home.
In the teaching, “The uniqueness of the salvation of our church,” Meishu-sama says, “In order to save people, you first need to climb up to heaven and become its residents.” However, we were wondering how we would be able to climb up to heaven. As was said before, if we have the seed of grave sin within our blood, we cannot climb up to heaven, can we? And so, as ones forgiven of our sins, He prepared the way for us to return to heaven; the way of the blood of atonement; the way of the name of Messiah. In the name of Messiah is the blood of atonement. The way to return to heaven exists within us.
As we originally came from heaven, God’s home, we are able to return through that route, but we forgot about this route. On our part, we ended up cutting off that route, despite its existence.
In order to save us and as many people as possible, God is always using us.
For example, I will relate this to a department store elevator. Let us say that we are on the rooftop, heaven. We have been brought down to the ground floor, to this world. There, God makes us see and hear various things that make us feel and think various things. Thus, He is trying to welcome many people as ones who have been atoned for and forgiven. Together with the many people who have returned, we take the elevator up to the rooftop, and representing the many people, we must communicate everything to God and say, “May You receive this as Your work of salvation.”
In this way, as we take the elevator up and down, I believe that we were given the role to channel those people to God, who saves all of humanity.
Until today, we talked a lot about channeling Johrei to others. But I believe that the true meaning of “channel” is to channel to God. I think it would be better to have the thinking that, because this God is within us, His own work of salvation for humanity is taking place within us.
So I believe it is better not to understand missionary work as only what humans would think to mean as growth, spreading or expansion.
God’s will of bearing His own child, together with His own breath, prevails over everything. His own life, consciousness and soul prevail over all of humanity. Forgiveness and salvation also prevail over all of humanity.
All people have already received the name of Messiah. Even if it is not made known in this world, even if people say they do not understand, they do not want to accept it or they do not want to recognize it, they have received the name of Messiah. We must recognize this first on our part.
We must recognize that we have already received the name of Messiah together with all those people and then say to God that, together, we will return to heaven. We cannot simply say to them, “Go back to heaven at your convenience.”
I believe that God is wishing for as many people as possible to recall this and return to heaven carrying everything with them.
I believe that our work in this world as ones who respond to this will of God is to make the truth known to as many people as possible and impart this unconditional grace.
From the viewpoint of God’s creation, all the things that He Himself spread, expanded and created, this time, He is gathering, uniting to and placing in Himself, the center. This is for the purpose of advancing His creation without disruption.
What we must never forget is that, while we are good at expressing ourselves outwardly, we are not very good at turning our hearts toward God who is making us express ourselves outwardly.
I believe that, in order to avoid our activities becoming disjointed by putting too much effort in expansion, we must not stray from the purpose of God, who makes us express ourselves. We must go forward as such.
In the hymn from this year’s New Year Service, it read,
“The world came to a standstill / With no way forward or back. / Alas! / What would become of the future of humanity / If Meshiya Kyo (Church of Messiah) does not appear!”
In a similar hymn, Meishu-sama wrote,
“If I did not come to the earth, / All of humanity would have utterly perished / From the burdens of their sins.”
This second hymn is from a series entitled, “Risshun Service Hymns,” from 1954. From these two hymns, I believe that Meishu-sama considered himself and Church of Messiah as one body and us his followers one with him.
“If I did not come to the earth, / All of humanity would have utterly perished / From the burdens of their sins.” Through this hymn, I feel that Meishu-sama is saying to us, “Recognize that all of humanity has been forgiven of their sins by the blood of atonement of Jesus, and I, together with Jesus Christ, am serving in God’s divine work of creation.”
At the founding of the church in 1950, Meishu-sama said that we would work in concert with Christianity. Jesus and his disciples, Meishu-sama and us – since the time when we were in heaven, together with all things, we have been serving God. I believe we were working in concert with each other in God’s heaven from the beginning. Isn’t that precisely why, even though there is a gap of about 2000 years, we – Christianity and World Church of Messiah – are able to work in concert with each other on this earth and serve God?
Since we, in particular, were allowed to know God’s will, His important message, through Meishu-sama and through Jesus Christ, I believe it is important to first recognize that God is now using us by having Meishu-sama and us, his followers, work in concert with Jesus and his disciples.
God has determined that with the great love and forgiveness in the name of Messiah, He welcomes us, all of humanity, into His heaven as ones whose sins have been atoned for and forgiven and will make us His children. So each one of our roles as a church of World Church of Messiah is to welcome as many people as possible within us and in the name of Messiah channel them to God saying, “Many people have returned here. Please, accept us as ones whose sins have been forgiven and saved.” Serving as such in the divine work is of grave importance for the future.
I, too, would like to practice directing my heart to God and channeling to Him with these thoughts in mind, so let us move forward together.
Thank you very much.