At this time, with guidance received from Kyoshu-sama, “Teachings of Meishu-sama” has been newly designated to “Sacred Word of Meishu-sama.”
As you know, from the word “teaching,” one would think “one must follow the teachings” or “one must do this and that.” It is a word inclined to carry a moralistic connotation.
Meishu-sama states in his Sacred Word:
People in the religious world often say that “human beings must have such and such sentiments” or “you must put such and such into action.” To try to improve the human mind through these teachings, however, is actually something below religion. They are within the sphere of morality.
Sermon, February 15, 1953
In essence, when we say “religion,” it refers to the teachings of a founder. They are along the lines of “human beings should do good,” “you should not do evil,” “you should respect your parents,” “you should take good care of your possessions.” These, however, are actually just moral teachings, and to hold fast to these is not enough.
Sermon, July 27, 1953
Religion has its own unique mission: to deliver the spirits of all humankind from unhappiness for all eternity. Education and moral teachings, ethics and philosophy—their salvation is temporal. They do not have the power to limitlessly save the souls of humankind.
“The mission of religion,” September 15, 1935
Human beings have to simply acknowledge the existence of God and know that He sees through everything. Anything else is a trivial matter; it is unnecessary. Everyone makes religious teachings so troublesome by saying things like “one must do this” or “one must act like this.” The single, most crucial point is this: God exists. But there is scarcely anyone who teaches this. To be honest, I think only World Church of Messiah says this now. I have never heard people of other religions advocating this.
Sermon, February 27, 1954
I often hear people say to me, “World Church of Messiah does not have any teachings, does it?” They say things like this because they regard our religion as an ordinary religion—the kind one can find in society now. To tell you the truth, we are not a “religion,” so we don’t need any teachings. To be honest, I don’t like the word “teachings.” For what we do cannot be explained by teachings. From olden times, most religions have had their teachings, so you should be able to find many that are held in high regard. However, teachings are simply explanations; they do not save anyone.
Sermon, March 6, 1954
Meishu-sama clearly says that we, World Church of Messiah, “don’t need any teachings,” that “what we do cannot be explained by teachings” and that “they [the teachings] do not save anyone.”
He also says that “do good deeds” and “one should think and feel in such and such a way” are morals. He is saying that morals, ethics and philosophy are a temporal salvation. He says that they cannot “deliver the spirits of all humankind from unhappiness for all eternity” and “they do not have the power to limitlessly save the souls of humankind.”
Until now, when we spoke of Meishu-sama’s teachings, did we not assume that such things like “you must put such and such into action” were written down? Did we not assume that things like “you must have gratitude” or “you must do good deeds for others” were what the teachings of Meishu-sama are?
However, Meishu-sama says that such sayings like “human beings must have such and such sentiments” or “you must put such and such into action” are morals and are below religion. He says, “Everyone makes religious teachings so troublesome by saying things like ‘one must do this’ or ‘one must act like this.’” Rather, his Sacred Word affirms, “Human beings have to simply acknowledge the existence of God and know that He sees through everything.” And he says to us, “The single, most crucial point is this: God exists. But there is scarcely anyone who teaches this. To be honest, I think only World Church of Messiah says this now.”
From the start, Meishu-sama himself never called his own writings “teachings” and, for the most part, consistently called them “writings of God.” The books he wrote such as Gospel of Heaven and Miscellany on Faith, he called “writings of God.”
It would be reasonable for us, too, to call those very books that Meishu-sama wrote “writings of God.”
However, the teachings that Meishu-sama left us—no, his Sacred Word—are not only limited to his writings. They also include over 5,500 hymns of which he wrote, a great number of calligraphies and an enormous amount of sermons. In all of these, in each and every word, in each and every letter, rests the will of Meishu-sama—through whom the sacred will of God reached the earth.
What kind of word can describe all of these? In the instance of having called them “Teachings of Meishu-sama” up until today, as has been mentioned from the beginning, would it not end up emphasizing the moral aspects—something Meishu-sama was not wishing for?
Then what should we call them?
What exists as undeniable fact is that the hymns, calligraphies, writings and sermons, without exception, are made up of words. Through the words of Meishu-sama, we are feeling the light of God.
So for words that are sacred and divine, shouldn’t they be called “Sacred Word”?
Regarding his teachings, now called Sacred Word, Meishu-sama says the following:
I suspect that no one notices it, but there is no writing that is more difficult than mine. The degree of its difficulty is unmatched by any other writings since the invention of letters.
“My writings and other matters,” December 9, 1953
Those who have advanced enlightened wisdom should be able to understand what lies beneath my words. Those whose wisdom have not reached a certain level can only understand my words as they are—as they are written. Those who are unsharp can only understand half of what I say. Those who are more unsharp can only understand a third or a fifth. That is why one must reach the level where they are able to read what lies beneath my words and understand their true meaning.
Sermon, December 18, 1948
Haven’t we read Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word and thought “I can understand this” or “I understood”? Or maybe even “Kyoshu-sama’s messages are hard, but Meishu-sama’s teachings are easy to understand.” Haven’t we had these kinds of thoughts before?
But in regard to his own writing, Meishu-sama clearly says that there is no more difficult writing in this world than his own. Still further, he says that most certainly “no one notices it.”
I cannot but think that we have not realized at all how difficult Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word is. Don’t we read his Sacred Word and assume that we understand? Isn’t it that we have not even realized that we have been assuming to have understood? That we have been under the illusion that we understood?
No doubt, at one glace, it feels as though Meishu-sama’s words and writing are written with easy-to-understand words. However, Meishu-sama says,
It would be easy if I could just write what I see and feel, but I need to write something profound and deep in plain words. There lies my challenge.
“Meishu-sama and literature,” November 19, 1952
Taken in by the plain words, we never thought about the “profound and deep” matters that Meishu-sama was truly wishing for us to understand, did we? Didn’t we turn our attention only to the “plain words” and say “Meishu-sama wrote the teachings in easy-to-understand words,” thinking only about this aspect? Pursuing the surface of the words, believing that we understood them, did we ever think that we had to seek the depth of those words?
Not only that. Didn’t we take Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word of which “the degree of its difficulty is unmatched by any other writings since the invention of letters” to be the same level as society normally understands such subjects as love, God, faith, nature, education, the arts, etc. and drag down Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word that far exceeds human intelligence and wisdom to a human level?
We would say things like “it is written in the teachings” or “it is not written in the teachings.” But Meishu-sama says that understanding his words at face value is of no use. He says, at one glance, it may not be in the words, but one must understand what lies beneath the words. He says that one must have advanced enlightened wisdom. When we talk about Meishu-sama’s will, it is not possible to judge it by saying that certain words are in the teachings or not. We must seek Meishu-sama’s will that is not visible in the words but lies beneath those words.
Having said that, I have to ask you this: among us, who can actually say, “I have advanced enlightened wisdom” or “I understand the depths of the words”? Who, among us, has caught a glimpse of Meishu-sama’s heart, his will?
As all of you know, there is an episode from Meishu-sama’s life where he told a pioneer minister to read the Sacred Word one hundred times. So, if we read it one hundred times and proudly went to Meishu-sama saying, “I read it one hundred times,” what do you think Meishu-sama would say? I cannot help but think that he would say without a moment’s delay, “Then read it a thousand times.”
This is how I understand this episode: The true meaning behind him saying “read it one hundred times” meant to caution us followers of Meishu-sama, including the pioneer minister, against trying to understand his Sacred Word with the human mind and intellect and against thinking that we understand it. To my ears, I hear the stern voice of Meishu-sama saying, “Do you really think you will come to understand the meaning of my words if you read them a hundred times?”
In his hymns, Meishu-sama wrote the following:
If it is something that is seen with human eyes,
You should think
It cannot be God’s plan, His work!
You whose eyes are small and faulty!
Even though you see my work,
You’ll never understand what it truly is!
From our human eyes, with our brains, it is simply not possible to understand Meishu-sama’s will. His Sacred Word is not that simple.
Doesn’t Meishu-sama want us to realize that “with our brains, with human knowledge and understanding, we simply cannot understand the Sacred Word”? If we say to Meishu-sama “I do not understand the Sacred Word whatsoever!” I believe he would say to us, “Ah, it seems you have understood a little.” Then, Meishu-sama may share with us, even if just a little, his divine wisdom directly revealed to him by God at this moment.
To anyone—and this means, through and through, all of us—who thinks highly of themselves enough to say “Meishu-sama’s doctrine means this” or “Meishu-sama’s teachings mean that,” I do not think, by any means, that Meishu-sama would convey to them the current divine will that he has realized. I do not at all believe that he would permit this kind of conceit.
Know this everyone:
In the words I speak in so free a manner—
Not in my plain statements
But in the bits and pieces of them—
Lies the mystery of God’s secret.”
In the Sacred Word that at first glance seems to be written in a simple way lie God’s unfathomable, profound truth and God’s hidden mysteries. How formidable, awe-inspiring and sublime this is! Our understanding of the teachings until now—no, our understanding of the Sacred Word until now—how shallow it was!
We had absolutely no understanding of the Sacred Word!—does it end there? Does it mean that the key to unravel the Sacred Word, words that transcend all human knowledge, simply does not exist? Does it mean that the key to unlock the door to the mysteries of the Sacred Word of Meishu-sama does not exist?
The key, Your sacred key, that can open up all teachings
Is already prepared in Your glorious kingdom!
He says that the sacred key that unlocks every kind of teaching is already prepared in the kingdom of God—in heaven, not on this earth but in heaven. It is already prepared!
Kyoshu-sama says with absolute certainty:
The origin of Meishu-sama’s teachings and his life examples exist in heaven.
June 13, 2006
The mystery embedded in the quoted hymn of Meishu-sama above is made clear in a few words.
Kyoshu-sama also says we should wish:
Even though you do not understand the meaning of why you need to do so, you must return to heaven and wish to encounter the true and living teachings of Meishu-sama there, grasp their meaning and experience them. For in heaven exists the true will of Meishu-sama.
June 13, 2006
Kyoshu-sama says that it is not until we climb to heaven, His kingdom, that we will be able to come in contact with the truth of Meishu-sama’s teachings.
Until now, who actually has been able to solve the mystery hidden in the hymn of Meishu-sama just quoted?
Who has, until now, taught us God’s hidden mystery that “the teachings exist in heaven”?
With great awe and respect, I cannot help but think that Kyoshu-sama was able to reach that awareness—the same awareness as Meishu-sama. And he was able to reach that awareness not by human power but by the power of Meishu-sama who lives within Kyoshu-sama.
Through Kyoshu-sama, Meishu-sama is now teaching and guiding us on the true meaning of his Sacred Word that transcends all human knowledge.
This is the true teaching:
To reveal the mystery
That cannot be explained by human logic.
Just as Meishu-sama says in the above hymn, is it not the guidance of Kyoshu-sama that is making clear the mysteries Meishu-sama left? Is it not Kyoshu-sama who is conveying to us now Meishu-sama’s true teachings, his Sacred Word?
On June 5, 1954, Meishu-sama said:
On my part, I have become much younger. This is called the Birth of the Messiah, and the 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 born anew.
The Sacred Word on the birth of the Messiah that starts with those words can be said to be the culmination of his Sacred Word in their entirety.
It is the culmination of the Sacred Word of Meishu-sama, and, at the same time, it penetrates and permeates all of the Sacred Word. It can be said that this is the Original Sacred Word.
This is because it is not something that Meishu-sama suddenly said in his final years. Meishu-sama clearly states on the first day of 1935, the day of the opening ceremony for the founding of our Church—on this first day that our Church was born—that the mission of our Church is to be born anew:
Today, the models of the two great civilizations of “the Vertical and the Horizontal” have been more or less completed. . . . and what will become of them is going to be the mission of our Church. Now, in the predetermined plan of God, these two great civilizations will be united and become one. This will take place in Japan and the time is approaching. To be more specific, there will be a husband and a wife. The groom that is the East and the bride that is the West are going to get married, and the go-between is Kannon. A child will be born, and this child is the “true civilization,” the “ideal world” to come that humanity has long been waiting for, the paradise on earth and the world of Miroku. To accomplish this marriage and have a child be born is the greatest project that humanity has yet to see, and the force to advance this project is the power of Kannon.
“The construction of the world of great divine light,” January 1, 1935
Meishu-sama says that the groom that is the East and the bride that is the West will marry, and a child will be born. That child, that child, he says, is the paradise on earth long-awaited by humanity. He says what advances this is the power of Kannon. But Kannon has already become Messiah so this child is born by the power of Messiah. He says this is the greatest project humanity has yet to see, a program for all humanity that God had predetermined in ancient times. How wonderful this Sacred Word is! How deep and profound is the will of God conveyed through Meishu-sama!
The seed of the Original Sacred Word—the birth of the Messiah, the culmination of the divine work of Meishu-sama—was already entrusted to us by Meishu-sama on that first day, at the dawn of the founding of our Church.
Keeping in his heart the Sacred Word he spoke at the founding of the Church, didn’t Meishu-sama advance divine work, accomplish this great project with his own body a year before he passed away and announce the Original Sacred Word?
January 1, 1935, when Meishu-sama began his divine work, and June 5, 1954, when Meishu-sama made his announcement on the birth of the Messiah, the culmination of his divine work—these two are directly connected by one straight line.
That is to say, in Meishu-sama’s hymns, calligraphies, writings and sermons, doesn’t the will of “to be born anew” penetrate every one of them? Each and every one of his hymns, each and every one of his calligraphies, each and every letter in his writings, each and every phrase of his sermons, are filled with and penetrated by one thing: It is God’s divine plan to make us be born anew by the power of Messiah. It is the will of God and it is the will of Meishu-sama.
Still more, Meishu-sama does not say that this matter is only about himself. He clearly says that the mission of our Church is to serve in the work of bearing a child by the power of Messiah. He clearly says that that is our mission.
Kyoshu-sama has been saying that each and every one of us, too, following Meishu-sama’s example, must be born anew as a child of God, as a Messiah. But this is in no way a matter that Kyoshu-sama spoke of all of a sudden. This is a matter that Meishu-sama has been revealing to us, a matter with which he has entrusted us, since the first day of the founding of the Church.
There is one more thing, a very important thing, that I must say.
That is, this matter of “to be born anew.” If you stretch back 2,000 years before Meishu-sama, a holy man from Nazareth, Jesus Christ, left these words.
In the Bible, it says:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode’mus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicode’mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1–8)
And Jesus continues,
Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:11–15)
I cannot help but feel an inexplicable oneness in these words of Jesus and the Sacred Word of Meishu-sama. I cannot help but say that there is something unfathomable when I think about the glory of God prepared in heaven spoken of by Jesus and Meishu-sama.
To be born anew as a child of God by the power of Messiah is the key to open up all the teachings that were prepared in heaven, in the kingdom of God—this true will of God penetrates 2,000 years of time and space, penetrates Meishu-sama and Jesus, and penetrates ourselves. The entire world, no, the entire universe, is brimming with it. O how my heart is filled with awe!
At this time, it has been decided to call the teachings of Meishu-sama “Sacred Word of Meishu-sama.” But when we read the Sacred Word, when we read Kyoshu-sama’s messages or when we read the Bible, shouldn’t we first, in regard to the content, obediently acknowledge that they cannot be understood with human intelligence? And since the key to understanding the teachings exists in the kingdom of heaven, shouldn’t we go to that heaven and come in contact with those words having the thought that “to be born anew by the power of Messiah” penetrates everything?
Meishu-sama says that a newly born child is, in other words, a paradise on earth. This Meishu-sama was born anew as the Messiah in 1954. It is this very Meishu-sama that is the prototype of a paradise on earth that we must treasure to the utmost and that we must honor and hold in reverence. I have no doubt that the construction of a paradise on earth means the expansion of the divine work throughout all humanity of being born anew by the power of Messiah following the example of Meishu-sama.
And in this God-determined, greatest project humanity has yet to see of bearing a child by the power of Messiah—in this divine work of salvation that has been made clear to us for the first time by Kyoshu-sama, that Meishu-sama truly entrusted to us and that far exceeds our human intellect—let us serve with indescribable joy.