Next is where? Kyushu. We need to wait a little more, but in time, a paradise on earth will be constructed in Kyushu. After that, it will be constructed in China. Then it will be in Jerusalem, and that’s it. So it will continue to go westward. The construction of a paradise on earth in Jerusalem marks the beginning of a paradise on earth for the world. From that time onward, the world will be unified.
It is not I who says this; this kind of prophecy was made by the Jewish people long ago. It is said that a person who is to save the world will come to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, there are four gates. People can always come in and out through three of these four gates, but the last one is called the “Closed Gate” and is sealed. I will continue to go westward, and when I reach Jerusalem, the seal will be taken off for the first time, and the Closed Gate will evaporate and disappear. It is indeed a kind of prophecy. Rather, I say it is an affirmation, not a prophecy. There is no doubt about it. If I am telling a lie, I will be a liar. I may not be beaten for being a liar, but I will lose all trust. I do not tell lies.
Sermon, October 18, 1952
In time, something magnificent will be made overseas, too. I plan to make something amazing in China, in the Forbidden City. And there will be something in Jerusalem, too—God prepared this one in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.
Sermon, April 1, 1952
As we continue to move forward, it is inevitable that we will come up against religion, that is, Christianity. The Catholic Church in particular will start to think that we are a threat. The more our Church grows, the more intense their reaction will be. The key is the pope, and we have a way to keep him in check. In the end, I’m intending to make the pope lower himself many times in front of me—this, I’m sure of. What God does is so swift. Swift doesn’t mean two or three years, but at the most, all this will take place within a matter of ten years.
Sermon, March 27, 1953
Today, we are in Kyushu. Kyushu.
Hakone, Atami, Kyoto, Kyushu, China and Jerusalem.
Hakone, Atami, Kyoto, Kyushu, China and Jerusalem—this is how Meishu-sama would advance, according to his Sacred Word.
Meishu-sama says, “Then it will be in Jerusalem, and that’s it.” We may think this means that a paradise on earth will advance from east to west, and once it arrives in Jerusalem, it is complete. However, Meishu-sama says that “The construction of a paradise on earth in Jerusalem marks the beginning of a paradise on earth for the world.” That is, it hasn’t even started yet, right? The start is Jerusalem, and then “the world will be unified.” This is what Meishu-sama says.
And he says that it is not him who says this, but the Jewish people prophesied it long ago. The one who saves the world—and by “the one,” I believe Meishu-sama meant himself—the one who saves the world will one day come to Jerusalem.
In the walls surrounding Jerusalem are four gates, three of which people can go in and out of. The last one is sealed, and that is the Closed Gate. Meishu-sama says that when he himself goes there, the seal will be taken off for the first time, and the Closed Gate will evaporate and disappear, meaning that Meishu-sama would be able to enter the gate that had been sealed.
What is more, he says rather than a prophecy, it is an affirmation. He says that he is not a liar, and this will no doubt happen. He says that if it does not happen, he may not be beaten, but he would lose all trust. He says, “I do not tell lies.”
So right now, we have these so-called prototypes of paradise on earth in Hakone, Atami, Kyoto and so forth. If you ask where we are trying to construct a paradise on earth in the end, it is in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the final point on the map for us to construct a paradise on earth.
Regarding the paradise on earth that we are trying to construct in Jerusalem, Meishu-sama says that “God prepared this one in Jerusalem two thousand years ago,” doesn’t he? Two thousand years ago!
What happened two thousand years ago? It can only be about Jesus Christ, right? Two thousand years ago, God prepared Jerusalem’s prototype of a paradise on earth through Jesus.
Until today, we have been saying that we need to expand our sacred grounds, to spread paradise on earth. But Meishu-sama is saying that the last prototype of paradise on earth we need to construct is to be built in Jerusalem and that God had already prepared it two thousand years ago, meaning, God prepared it through Jesus.
Everyone, this is a huge matter. When we hear the term “sacred grounds,” we think of Hakone, Atami, Kyoto and a few other places in the world, right? But the sacred grounds that is most important for us and the final sacred grounds that we need to construct is the one Jesus prepared in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.
Regarding the sacred grounds we have in Japan and around the world, have we ever thought that they were the ones connected to Jesus Christ and to the sacred grounds that is to be built in Jerusalem?
Well, no, we haven’t, right?
The video we just saw was entitled “The Mystery of Messiah.” But to me, a true mystery, a huge mystery is these Sacred Word of Meishu-sama regarding the Closed Gate, how the last place for us to construct a paradise on earth is in Jerusalem and how this was prepared by God two thousand years ago.
Meishu-sama says something else somewhat similar to this kind of prophecy. He says that as World Church of Messiah steadily advances as a religion, it is inevitable that it will come up against Christianity, or rather, against the Catholic Church. And he says that a problem with the pope will arise at some point. But Meishu-sama says that “we have a way to keep him in check.” He says “a way to keep him in check.”
And he says that in the end, he is “intending to make the pope lower himself many times” in front of him. He says “many times.” What is more, he says that this would take place within a matter of ten years. I believe Meishu-sama said this in 1953, meaning that by 1963, the pope would have already lowered himself “many times” in front of Meishu-sama. That is, he would have been bowing to Meishu-sama. These are Meishu-sama’s words.
Everyone, look at the ardor and confidence of Meishu-sama. Look at his overwhelming pride in his divine work. Compared to him, how are we? After Meishu-sama’s ascension, instead of trying to make the pope lower himself in front of us, haven’t we lowered ourselves before society and politicians, begging them, imploring them, to accept what we do? And when society did come to accept what we do, didn’t we say that “Now, Meishu-sama is accepted by society”?
But Meishu-sama said that the pope was going to lower himself before Meishu-sama! What a difference between our posture and Meishu-sama’s. When I think of all this, I cannot but think that after Meishu-sama’s ascension, at some point, we sold our souls to something else.
Consider this. Suppose we have incredible growth, make a tremendous offering of money and then are allowed an audience with the pope for one minute. Maybe we have a picture taken together with him, and then we think, “We were permitted to meet the pope. Meishu-sama’s divine work has been recognized.” We would do that, wouldn’t we?
But Meishu-sama says that it is the pope that will come lowering himself to us.
Our posture is the exact opposite. Can we say that we have inherited the pride and confidence that Meishu-sama had? I don’t think so.
Then there are the Sacred Word quoted from the beginning: the sacred grounds in Jerusalem that God prepared two thousand years ago; the Closed Gate; how the gate will evaporate and disappear. People who know about these Sacred Word know them very well, right? But we aren’t openly putting them out for the whole world to see, are we?
If we actually did put them out into the world as is, what would happen? Wouldn’t people point out, “What are you talking about? This person Meishu-sama had already passed away before he could even make it to the Closed Gate. This talk about it disappearing shouldn’t even be a subject”?
We would be told, “Meishu-sama said he would make the pope lower himself in front of him by 1963, but that hasn’t come true at all” and “This founder you believe in is a liar” and “He cannot be trusted at all.” So for many people in the Church, these Sacred Word cannot be made public. And that is how it has been.
Does that mean we should think the same way as the rest of society? “What Meishu-sama affirmed did not come true after all. He was not able to make the pope lower himself, which would mean Meishu-sama is a liar.” Can we end it there? Of course not!
We can’t leave Meishu-sama as a liar or someone who can’t be trusted at all, can we? We have to seek the true meaning of his words. Well, then, who seeks the true meaning? Who is it?
It is none other than Kyoshu-sama, isn’t it?
Who is the one that needs to take responsibility for every single word that Meishu-sama left? Who is the one that needs to take responsibility for all the divine work Meishu-sama left for us? It is Kyoshu-sama. It is none other than him.
That is why I believe that Kyoshu-sama thought, “This cannot conclude with Meishu-sama being a liar. I must protect his good name no matter what.” And “If I don’t learn about Christianity, I will not be able to grasp the true meaning Meishu-sama embedded in those Sacred Word.”
Right now, I am being called Kyoshu-sama’s successor. Even if I were in the position of Kyoshu, I would have definitely thought that I had to learn about Christianity. If not, Meishu-sama would remain a liar, would he not?
Then there is all the criticism that Kyoshu-sama had to undergo. At first, it started with “he is Christianizing our Church.” But Meishu-sama spoke about various matters regarding Christianity like how World Church of Messiah will work in concert with Christianity or how World Church of Messiah will become extremely close to Christianity. We’re talking about “Hallelujah” chorus and Handel’s Messiah. Didn’t you see the lyrics in the video just now, “The Mystery of Messiah”? Meishu-sama told us to sing Messiah, with those lyrics praising Jesus and with every single lyric coming from the Bible. So the criticism about “Christianizing our Church” was not able to last very long.
Under these circumstances, now, there is only one accusation left against Kyoshu-sama. That is, “So maybe Meishu-sama did emphasize the importance of Jesus and Christianity, but Kyoshu-sama went beyond that. He abandoned Meishu-sama and became a Christian. That’s the problem.” This is the only criticism left against Kyoshu-sama.
Let me say this, everyone. If Kyoshu-sama had really abandoned Meishu-sama and become a Christian like some claim to be true, I would have been the first to protest that. I would have protested that to the point of fighting with him. I would have said to him, “What on earth are you doing?”
If that were true and Kyoshu-sama refused to listen or said he’s already decided, then I would obviously leave Kyoshu-sama. I mean if Kyoshu-sama really did abandon Meishu-sama, there is no point in following Kyoshu-sama, is there?
Or my mother would stubbornly object, perhaps more than me. My mother is the grandchild of Reverend Teruko Horiuchi, who was a prominent church head from Meishu-sama’s time. That was her upbringing. [Directly to Mayumi-okusama, who is present:] If Kyoshu-sama told you that he has abandoned Meishu-sama, you would absolutely not allow that, would you? [Mayumi-okusama replies from the congregation in a loud, clear voice, “No, absolutely not!”]
My wife, too, is a third-generation member and has believed in Meishu-sama since childhood. She was the kind of person that went door to door or around town handing out Church distribution materials to people. And eventually she decided to dedicate her life to the Church, becoming a full-time staff minister.
So if Kyoshu-sama abandoned Meishu-sama and let’s say I acknowledged it, that would not go well in our marriage. How could it? Wouldn’t we be living a life of lies?
On top of that, I heard that Kyoshu-sama’s father and mother of course knew that Kyoshu-sama was learning about Christianity and that he was attending study sessions on the Bible. And I heard that they were pretty happy about it.
Now, Kyoshu-sama’s father is Mihomaro Okada, Meishu-sama’s eldest son. Kyoshu-sama’s mother is a daughter of Reverend Issai Nakajima, who was one of the two principal disciples of Meishu-sama. If Kyoshu-sama had really abandoned Meishu-sama and become a Christian as some claim, do you think his parents would have ever forgiven that? They would have never forgiven him, for sure.
So, if you are going to say that Kyoshu-sama has lost his mind, that would mean that Meishu-sama’s eldest son, Mihomaro-sama, lost his mind; Meishu-sama’s grandson, Kyoshu-sama, has of course lost his mind; Meishu-sama’s great-grandson, I, Masaaki, has of course lost his mind; and still more, all the wives who married Meishu-sama’s descendants have also lost their minds.
Well, do you think that this kind of thing could really happen? Use your common sense. How can this be true?
And how about this? My wife and I have two children at the moment. If they decide to walk on the path of Meishu-sama that Kyoshu-sama is now showing to us, that means all the descendants of Meishu-sama are people who lose their minds, including his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren and his great-great-grandchildren.
This sounds utterly crazy, but if someone is going to claim that Kyoshu-sama abandoned Meishu-sama and became a Christian, they would be claiming that all the descendants of Meishu-sama have lost or will lose their minds.
To be honest, if you really believe in all this utter non-sense, people in society would end up thinking, “Do you really want to continue your faith under someone whose descendants are all out of their minds?”
Then besides “Hallelujah” chorus, there is the Lord’s Prayer.
Some people criticize us and say that to offer the Lord’s Prayer is wrong. They say that since we have “become Christian,” we are offering the Lord’s Prayer.
Well, if compared to Handel’s Messiah that Meishu-sama spoke about, the Lord’s Prayer is easy! The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father in heaven.” Meishu-sama says the Heavenly Father is his God, and these words of prayer are simply for this Heavenly Father. It doesn’t include Jesus Christ nor matters like the atonement of Jesus at all.
Then look at Handel’s Messiah—you just saw the content in the video. Meishu-sama thought that those lyrics from Messiah were wonderful. So if you compare, what’s the big fuss with the Lord’s Prayer?
Some people who criticize Kyoshu-sama say, “You are offering the Lord’s Prayer that includes the word amen. It’s ridiculous that you say that word! It’s wrong!”
To them, I want to ask: How are you going to sing or listen to Messiah that Meishu-sama dearly loved?
Because if you continue after the “Hallelujah” chorus, you will eventually reach the final song of Messiah, the “Amen” chorus.
Still more, in order to perform Messiah, Meishu-sama even built an orchestra pit in the Messiah Hall, which, by the way, no longer exists. There is no way he would have built an orchestra pit just to perform the three-to-four-minute “Hallelujah” chorus. Which means it is no mistake to say that Meishu-sama built it in order to perform the entire Handel’s Messiah, which is about two to three hours long and which ends with the grand “Amen” chorus.
So after “Hallelujah” chorus comes “Amen” chorus. How are you going to sing the “Amen” chorus? Are you going to suddenly stop before it because using the word amen is unacceptable?
You can see how wrong this argument is about criticizing Kyoshu-sama because of the word amen.
Now then, with what kind of mindset are we singing the “Hallelujah” chorus, exactly?
If someone sings it with the mindset of “This song is the song that praises Meishu-sama and him only,” they will be regarded by the world as a cult. If they tell not only the two billion Christians but also the rest of the people around the world that Handel’s Messiah and its “Hallelujah” chorus, whose lyrics are drawn directly from the words of the Bible, is a piece of music that actually praises Meishu-sama and him only, they will be regarded by the world as a cult.
Maybe these people have yet to be regarded as a cult—that is only because their numbers are few and because they haven’t shouted out to the world their belief. But why don’t they do it? Why don’t they shout out to the world that “Handel’s Messiah is a piece of music that praises Meishu-sama and him only!” I am sure people in the world will say to them, “Are you out of your minds?”
So then, how do we, members of World Church of Messiah, understand this piece Messiah?
It is of course praising Meishu-sama. But it is not only Meishu-sama. It is also praising Jesus Christ—the one who first embodied the name of Messiah. It is praising both Jesus and Meishu-sama, who received Jesus’s true will transcending a span of two thousand years.
But it is not only that. If we say that the soul bearing the name of Messiah is within each and every one of us and the piece is also praising that soul, it couldn’t be considered cultish. If a specific person is being praised, then that would be a cult. But the existence of Messiah is in everybody, within all of humanity, without exception.
So with all this in mind, the Sacred Word about the Closed Gate quoted at the beginning—what does it mean exactly?
This Closed Gate is still in Jerusalem and is still, of course, closed. Meishu-sama says that of the four gates, three are open, but only one, the final gate, is closed.
This means there is something left in the end, doesn’t it? The last matter, the final trial, if you will. There is something that we must determine in the end, as there is one last gate left.
What is that last matter?
It is the Last Judgment. That is what is left.
So what is the Last Judgment? Meishu-sama says in his hymn,
“Those who believe will be saved. / Those who do not believe will not be saved. / This, everyone, is the Last Judgment.”
Now this last gate is in Jerusalem—the most important place for Judaism and Christianity. So if we go all the way to Jerusalem, what are we to believe in? It is nothing other than Messiah.
While we say “Messiah,” you won’t hear Jewish people saying it as we do. I don’t know if my pronunciation is correct, but it is more like “Me-shee-ach.”
Whether it is the Jewish “Me-shee-ach” or the Japanese “Me-shi-a,” the last matter left is whether or not you believe that Messiah exists within you. For the last gate is closed.
And there is one more thing that you must not forget. If you make it to Jerusalem, you will be able to encounter something that God prepared there two thousand years ago. That is what Meishu-sama said, right?
Two thousand years ago, what could God possibly have prepared in Jerusalem? What could it be? It could only be Jesus’s blood of atonement, couldn’t it? I mean what else could it be? What happened in Jerusalem two thousand years ago? Jesus died on the cross, didn’t he?
So, if you go to the gate in Jerusalem that is still closed and offer the thoughts of “I believe that the name of Messiah exists within me. I accept Jesus’s blood that God prepared here two thousand years ago,” that Closed Gate will open and vanish, won’t it?
I mean that’s what Meishu-sama did! That is why he said that the vanishing of the Closed Gate was not a prophecy but an affirmation. Until today, we have been wondering when the gate was going to vanish, but it already has.
Meishu-sama went to Jerusalem—not this worldly one but the heavenly one. He went to the heavenly Jerusalem and said to God, “I accept the name of Messiah. I accept Jesus’s blood You prepared two thousand years ago.” Then, the Closed Gate, that is, the gate of heaven, swung open and vanished, and Meishu-sama was able to walk through the gate, meet the Heavenly Father and be born anew. This took place around June 5, 1954.
So, the Sacred Word I quoted at the beginning of my greeting is something that already took place. Meishu-sama was not a liar at all. Just as he said he was making an affirmative statement, Meishu-sama walked through the Closed Gate, met the Heavenly Father and became God’s child.
Meishu-sama said that “the seal will be taken off for the first time.” But two thousand years ago when Jesus went to Jerusalem, it seems he had gone through the gate. It was sealed after that and remained so until Meishu-sama opened it again for the first time since. And in this way, Meishu-sama became “the beginning of a paradise on earth.”
So what should each one of us do? The Closed Gate in Jerusalem is still closed physically. And people of the world believe that one day, a savior will come and physically remove that gate.
But we won’t wait for that to happen!
In appearance, the gate is closed. So are we also going to say that it is closed, too? No, we are not. We should say, “Though it is closed physically, it is open.” Thinking in this way lies the value of our faith, doesn’t it?
What good is it if we believe only after the Closed Gate opens physically? And you know what? It is actually us who keep the gate closed, not God.
So, what we should do is to go up to the heavenly Jerusalem and, just like Meishu-sama, say to God, “I will accept the name of Messiah. I will accept Jesus’s blood that You prepared two thousand years ago.” If you do that, that heavenly gate, that Closed Gate, may vanish right before your eyes.
Meishu-sama said that the gate will “evaporate and disappear,” right? It doesn’t sound like he is talking about worldly things, for it is unnatural for a gate to just evaporate and disappear. So, Meishu-sama must be talking about the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one.
You may disagree with me and say that “No. That Sacred Word is referring to something that should take place on this earth.” Well, if that’s the case, it means we are condemning Meishu-sama as a liar, because after all, Meishu-sama was not able to actually go to Jerusalem and open the Closed Gate in his lifetime, though he said that it was definitely going to happen.
Meishu-sama said that he does not tell lies. How can we make him a liar?
Also, Meishu-sama said that he was the light from the East, right? He said that the culture and civilization that came from the West and went to the East will then go back from the East to the West once more, right? Meishu-sama is saying that when we move westward, the final destination is Jerusalem. If that’s the case, the point of origin, the starting point, should have also been Jerusalem, right?
So the name of Messiah started out from Jerusalem and continued to advance eastward until it reached Japan, the country that is located in the Far East. That is, it reached Meishu-sama. As you can see, Meishu-sama then advanced divine work centering around the name of Messiah. It is in the way he loved Handel’s Messiah as well as how he named his Church.
As such, Meishu-sama received the name of Messiah in the Far East, at the far end of the world. The fact that a person who lived at the far end of the world received the name of Messiah could only mean that everybody else in the world could also receive it, right? That’s what Meishu-sama symbolizes, doesn’t he? Isn’t that why Meishu-sama was born on the eastern edge of the eastern part of the Eastern world? And his family was really poor, that is, Meishu-sama was not far from being one of the lowest existences on earth, if I may put it like that. But it was this Meishu-sama who received the name of Messiah. This could only mean that the name of Messiah is something that all humanity could also receive, couldn’t it?
If that’s not the case, what are we going to do? Are we going to buy some land in Kyushu in the future even though we are barely maintaining the sacred grounds of Hakone, Atami and Kyoto? Do you really believe we can own the Forbidden City one day? I guess we would have to negotiate with the Chinese Communist Party, which I think would be pretty tough. Meishu-sama also said that he is going to construct a paradise on earth in many other places like Mongolia and so on.
Meishu-sama said that a paradise on earth for the world begins and the world is to be unified only after we reach Jerusalem. So are we going to say that that will never happen unless we buy all the lands in the world and construct sacred grounds in all of those places?
Actually, hasn’t our faith until now been that kind of faith?
But the conclusion of Meishu-sama’s activities of Johrei, Nature Farming and Art is to be born anew as Messiah, and the construction of a paradise on earth is also condensed in to be born anew as Messiah.
It was also in today’s hymn:
“The people of Israel will cheer with joy / When the true Messiah / Whom they have long been yearning for appears!”
The Jewish people, too, have been waiting for the Messiah for a very long time.
Jewish people would ask, “Then who is this true Messiah?” Our answer: “The Messiah is within you!” If only a specific person outside of us was the Messiah, then it would be rather difficult for them to accept it. But we are talking about the highest existence living within each one of us. If we say that Jesus Christ is the only Messiah, the Jewish people will not easily accept it.
But what if we say to the Jewish people, “Meishu-sama explains that Jesus Christ is not saying he is the only Messiah. Within everyone is the existence of Messiah, the soul of the God Most High”? I think they might reply, “I see. It is not someone that I look up to outside myself. That soul of God, Messiah, that I revered for many years exists within me.” I think they would truly rejoice if they came to know this truth.
Postscript: However, in the same way as Meishu-sama and everyone in World Church of Messiah, the Jewish people would have to accept Jesus Christ as the first one who embodied the name of Messiah. For them, there lies the difficulty.
Jesus once passed through that Closed Gate two thousand years ago. It was sealed thereafter. As such, God is throwing a question at Christians, too, whether they see the gate as closed or as open. But rather, Christians, I believe, are waiting for Jesus to return one day and to physically open the gate.
If those Christians can awaken to the truth that the gate is actually already open and the path that leads to God is already within their hearts, I think Christians would rejoice too.
So we of World Church of Messiah are entrusted with making these matters known to people of the Jewish faith as well as to Christians. Can you see how grave a mission we of World Church of Messiah are made to have? This was never about lowering ourselves in front of people like politicians and the like.
This brings me back to the pope. We may think that Meishu-sama was not able to make the pope lower himself by 1963, but Meishu-sama said that he had “a way to keep him in check.” This “way” is what I am talking about right now.
If the pope realizes the greatness of World Church of Messiah that has been entrusted with Jesus’s true wish, I think that rather than lowering himself in front of us in the sense of bowing, he would lower himself in gratitude with “thank you so much.” That is the kind of pride that Meishu-sama had, isn’t it?
So I say that when Meishu-sama was born anew, that was the time when a paradise on earth for the world began and the world was starting to unify. If not, when were we ever going to start that work?
The true history of the world began in the year 1954! The time to unify the world started from then onward!
In spite of that, we’ve been ignoring what Meishu-sama accomplished and said things like “The completion of a paradise on earth is something that will happen in the distant future. When will that be?” But Meishu-sama actually already accomplished it in his lifetime.
With his own body and being, he showed to us what a paradise on earth is. He accepted something God prepared two thousand years ago, that is, Jesus’s blood, and walked through the Closed Gate in Jerusalem. He opened up the path for all humanity to be unified under God through the name of Messiah!
After this, we will be hearing the “Hallelujah” chorus. This is, in actuality, something enormous. The truth is, to sing the “Hallelujah” chorus, to listen to it, is something enormous.
So we must awaken to the gravity of the mission we are entrusted with. We are not serving in a small work that lowers Meishu-sama to the level of this human world as we did until now.
The time is here. Let us go forward together with overwhelming confidence and pride.
Thank you very much.