Thank you. [Continuing applause] Thank you very much.
Finally, this day—the day of the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah—is here. When I think about being with all ten thousand of you as well as the many people who are connected to you, maybe there is nothing to say, maybe simply attending this ceremony together is enough.
On the other hand, I also feel as if I want to talk to you about many things. As such, on this occasion, I have these kinds of special feelings, not surprisingly of course, different from our monthly or grand services.
Now, when it all boils down, what exactly is this Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah? It is enough to use the word celebrate, so there is no doubt that it is a celebration of something.
As we heard just now too, there were many congratulatory telegrams and messages we received, and along with the special guests just introduced by President Narii, there are also many other guests in attendance.
So today, what are we celebrating? This ceremony is called the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah, so we at least know that we are celebrating something to do with how the Messiah was born, right?
So our founder, Mokichi Okada, Meishu-sama, announced that he was born anew as the Messiah in 1954. Today, after 68 years, are we celebrating how Meishu-sama is the only Messiah?
That’s not it, right? That is because we also accept Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is, of course, believed to be the Messiah and revered as such, and we believe that too. Isn’t that right?
So is today an occasion to celebrate how both Jesus and Mokichi Okada, Jesus and Meishu-sama, are the Messiahs? And we who believe this have gathered here? That’s not it either, is it?
People might say the following to us. Today, you must be celebrating not only Jesus and Meishu-sama as the Messiahs, but also that God blessed members of World Church of Messiah with the path to be born anew as Messiahs? Well, that is half-correct, but that isn’t quite it either.
Then what in fact are we celebrating today? Well, Jesus led first of course, but after a two-thousand-year period came Meishu-sama. Then there is all of humanity that includes Jesus and Meishu-sama—not only us members. Today, what we are celebrating is this: God blessed all humanity with the path to be born anew as Messiahs.
This is all humanity. All of humanity.
All humanity includes, for example, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Shintoists, too. They may not be accepting it right now, but it is determined that all humanity will go forward on the path to be born anew as Messiahs, children of God.
Today, I heard that non-members are attending too. Non-members included, there are no exceptions—all humanity is granted that blessing. Today is the occasion to celebrate this.
When we say this, some people will say that this is what we claim to believe, that the faith of World Church of Messiah is that kind of faith, right?
But regardless of what people believe or don’t believe, there is truth that exists, right? Truth.
The sun rises in the east—this is a truth, right? Even if no one believes it, every morning, the sun rises in the east. That is because it is a truth.
When hearing this, there are some people who would say to us that every religion believes their own teachings to be the truth. Even still, there exists a real truth.
Then there’s the perspective that while there may be only one truth, there are various interpretations of that one truth, which explains why there are different kinds of religions. But in actuality, there is only one interpretation because there is only one God.
Even regarding the one God, there may be some of you who don’t agree and say that there are various gods. But it is the truth that God is only one. I understand that there are people who do not believe this, but it is the truth: there is only one God. Even if no one believes in this, it is the truth: God is one.
And if God is one, then God’s will is one, so the truth is one.
Why were humans born? Regarding this too, everyone says they don’t know, or they say there are various truths and are fine with that. Regardless of what is said, a real truth exists.
So we certainly believe in this gospel of salvation. But let’s say we don’t believe in it, and in ten, twenty years from now, World Church of Messiah disappears, and I am also no longer on this path of salvation. Even if these should happen, God will undoubtedly accomplish His will of making all humanity be born anew as His children, as Messiahs.
Regardless of the efforts we make or don’t make, whether humanity believes in this salvation or not, even if nobody believes in God at all, God is undoubtedly going to accomplish this. For it is the truth.
So even if there is someone who doesn’t believe at all in what I am saying right now, hereafter, a day will come when to God’s question, “Are you My child?” everyone will respond, “I am Your child.” Everyone will do this.
This will happen one day regardless of whom: Buddhists, people of the Jewish faith, people who believe in Shinto and even those who don’t believe in God. That is because it is the truth, and it is the truth that never changes.
We say that all humanity will be born anew as children of God, Messiahs. Christians, then, will say, no, Jesus Christ is the only Messiah. That’s how it is, right?
Well, to Christians, to Christians all over the world, what I want to say is the following.
It is true that Jesus was put on the cross two thousand years ago and atoned for all of humanity’s sins by his own blood. It means, of course, Jesus not only atoned for the sins of those who were born before him and who lived during his time, but he also atoned for the sins of those from two thousand years ago until today and, from here on, all the sins that would be committed by humanity in the future.
If not, many Lords of Redemption would have to appear, wouldn’t they?
That is to say, by offering the blood he shed on the cross to God, Jesus atoned for humanity’s sins of the past, present and future, all of them. Well, I must admit that this is undoubtedly true.
Two thousand years after Jesus, Mokichi Okada, Meishu-sama, who was born in the land of Japan, the farthest eastern part of the world, said that he was born anew as the Messiah in his final years.
So what kind of existence was this Meishu-sama? He was someone who was born on December 23, the day after the winter solstice, in the Far East of the world; on the edge of the East, Japan; in its capital located in the east, Tokyo; and even within Tokyo, at the time, in the eastern-most area Hashiba.
That is no doubt the edge of the edge of the edge of the world. Also, as a young child, he and his family were poverty-stricken, and he went through many hardships. It is this kind of person—someone who existed on the edges of the world as well as of society—who realized that he was born anew as the Messiah. This means that all humanity can, in actuality, become like Meishu-sama; all humanity can be born anew as Messiahs. Meishu-sama was an existence who carried the mission of symbolizing that. This is what we believe.
Jesus’s true wish was not just for everyone to come to believe and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving our sins. We will accept the blood you shed on the cross. You are the Lord of Redemption, the Lord of Salvation and the Lord of Forgiveness.” It was not only that. Each and every one of us has to become a God-like existence too. This is what Jesus was wishing for. Transcending the space from Israel to Japan and the span of two thousand years, Meishu-sama completed this wish of Jesus.
But no matter what we say, I’m pretty sure Christians will say, no, Jesus is the one and only existence, the one and only Messiah, the absolute. I’m sure they will insist on this.
But the uniqueness and absoluteness of Jesus, actually, is the uniqueness and absoluteness of the one and only God. And that one and only being, the one and only God, is, believe it or not, within each and every person of humanity.
Christians may think that these are outrageous statements. But if we think more deeply, what exactly is the existence within us? If our life is not our own, then it could only belong to the one and only God. And isn’t the one who used Jesus and Meishu-sama the same one and only God? If that is the case, our very own existence—the being that exists within us—is the one and only existence, God. There is no other possibility, meaning that the supreme, highest being exists within us.
So when you hear about the story of Jesus walking on the water, you may be amazed. But did you know that it is not impossible for us to do that too? For we are saying that God exists within us, that’s why.
To begin with, Meishu-sama said things like how we would work in concert with Christianity, how we would become extremely close to Christianity or how he would be the one fulfilling Jesus’s prophecy. So he is accepting Christianity.
Therefore, it is reasonable that we, too, of course, believe in Jesus as the Lord of Redemption, the Lord of Salvation and the Lord of Forgiveness.
And the Bible. Who created the Bible? Of course, it was our Heavenly Father. Meishu-sama said that the God of World Church of Messiah is the God of Christianity, Jehovah or Yahweh. So we believe in the Bible too.
We fully accept and believe in what Christians believe in.
But then there is the next step. Something remains. Even Christians have yet to resolve it.
What is it? It is the issue about the Second Coming of Christ, the return of Christ.
It was also in one of Meishu-sama’s hymns today, the one about Christ’s descending. Christians are eagerly waiting for Christ to descend with the clouds one day.
Jesus Christ will arrive with the clouds one day, and at that time, the Last Judgment will take place, and the good and evil of humanity will be divided. Christians are waiting for this.
But in truth, down the road, Jesus’s descending with the clouds and arriving in a form that we can see will not happen. It’s not going to happen.
That is because the existence of Christ or Messiah, the existence of Jesus, has already descended in glory within each and every one of us, as if he descended with the clouds in brilliant glory. This is precisely what is meant by “come like a thief” in the Bible. He has already descended like a thief.
For him to come like a thief means that it will happen without our noticing it, right? If it happened that he came now in a visible form, then that would not be “like a thief,” would it?
Meishu-sama spoke about how Messiah is the Second Coming of Christ. But we are not pure Christians, so the Second Coming of Christ is something mysterious for us.
Even so, this existence of Christ already came within each and every one of us without our realizing it.
I mean, Jesus said that he would be coming soon, right? He said that he is coming soon and that his words are trustworthy and true. Do you think he would make us wait two thousand years when he said that he was coming soon?
Two thousand years ago, Jesus was taken up into the clouds and disappeared from sight. Then it is said that he would come back in the same way as he was seen going into heaven (Acts 1:11).
Jesus was taken up into the clouds and disappeared. At that moment, will you think, “Oh, he disappeared. He is no longer here”? Or, even though it cannot be seen by the eye, will you think, “Jesus said that he would return soon, so he is already here now”? Which one is it?
So even though it is not visible, to believe that he has already come, he is here now, is genuine faith.
Remember when Jesus was resurrected and Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, said that he would not believe unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes? When he actually saw Jesus, he believed. At that time, Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
So if we believe in the Second Coming of Christ only after we see with our own eyes Jesus Christ arriving with the clouds, it means we haven’t progressed at all from two thousand years ago.
Jesus disappeared. We may think that afterward, he did not descend yet, but that is the moment we should think, “He has already descended within me. He has descended within each and every one of us.” This, I believe, is true faith.
Well, if he has already descended, what is still left is the issue of the Last Judgment.
The Last Judgment, too, has already ended. The Last Judgment is already over.
Hereafter, God is not going to take a look at humanity’s current way of life and say, “You are bad. You are good.” It’s not going to happen.
Now what was the ruling in the Last Judgment? It was “Forgiven.”
If not, would we, by ourselves, work hard to hang on to our faith and position ourselves on the side of good so that once the Last Judgment comes, God would judge us as good? Is that the way you want to live from here on too? If so, what happens to the matter of repentance?
Remember the story about Jesus and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees who brought in a woman caught committing adultery?
The teachers of the Law said that this woman committed adultery and should be stoned to death. Then they took her to Jesus. The thing is, they considered Jesus as someone who did not obey Jewish teachings, the law of God. They wanted to test him to see if he would properly punish the woman, which is why they brought her before him.
At the time, Jesus was writing something on the ground, and then he said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He was telling them that if they wanted to stone her, go ahead; if anyone has never committed any sin, go ahead. Those who heard him left one by one without throwing a stone until no one was left except the woman and Jesus. Jesus then told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” This is how the episode ended. (John 8:1–11)
This story shows that everyone is equally guilty. Who then has the authority to judge someone good and another evil? Are we in a position to judge someone else’s sins? No, we are not. We are equally guilty of sinning.
So it’s not even about the division of good and evil anymore. God has already forgiven evil itself, all of it, in the Last Judgment.
After all, Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” didn’t he? For him to tell us to repent actually means that the Last Judgment is already over. The judgment of “Forgiven” has already been handed down.
But then we look at the state of the world. Global affairs are various, evil people are rampant—the world looks chaotic. There is Covid; there is war; there is a lot of deception. When we see all this, we want to say, “There’s no way that the Last Judgment is over” or “There’s no way Christ has returned.”
The truth is, if we cannot judge someone else’s sins, it means we, too, are equally guilty, right? We carry the same sins, don’t we?
So actually, with all the various problems that happen in the world, we are being confronted by God, “Wasn’t this the posture you had? Don’t you have the same elements within yourself? This very posture of yours is what I have forgiven. Realize this!” That is why various things happen before our eyes.
Or without understanding what He is trying to tell us, are you going to continue living in a way where only the people around you are evil, but you yourself are good, saying, “I haven’t done anything bad; I am doing good deeds; I am repenting; one day, the evil people will perish”? Is that how you want to live your life from here on?
No, right? The truth is, every problem that occurs around us is God’s message to us, saying, “I have forgiven this posture of yours. You must realize this. The Last Judgment is over. I have forgiven everything.”
So in actuality, for God, the phase where He divides good and evil is already over. Now, we have entered the phase where He has forgiven everything and is welcoming all into His heaven.
Until the Last Judgment was the world of dividing good and evil. But then God handed down the judgment, and it was “Forgiven.” It has already become a completely new world, and we have entered the phase where God is welcoming all our transgressions into His heaven with His forgiveness and love.
Aren’t we, each and every one of us, burdened with various problems? We are, right? Each and every one of us.
And as the years go by, we start gathering something like worldly wisdom and gradually become good at overcoming various problems, right? Making use of all kinds of worldly techniques and such, we overcome our problems. As we continue to do this, wisdom and experience follow. And eventually, getting through life like this becomes everything to us.
But in actuality, when we run into a problem, although we have to deal with it, each one of us must realize, “God, You have forgiven this part of me.”
I am talking about what you are worried about the most right now. Your biggest issue. Regarding it, you must realize, “I thought that this was about the posture of the other person. I thought it was the other person’s problem. But that very posture is in fact my own posture, isn’t it? I have been forgiven of this posture through the name of Messiah. Thank You, God.” I believe that this is what is important.
And this is the truth, the truth that never changes. So you don’t have to be a member of World Church of Messiah. You don’t have to say it out loud nor do you have to tell anybody. You can be a member of World Church of Messiah or not. For the things that burden your heart, all you have to do is say, “God, I would like You to receive this part of me in the name of Messiah.”
If you do so, it would be aligned with God’s will. So it is very possible that the situation will move in a good direction, one that you could not have imagined.
The Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah. The Birth of the Messiah. So the Messiah is born; someone is born as the Messiah.
Now then, when were we first born? When were you first born?
You would answer with a year, 1950-something, let’s say, or in this year, in this month, on this day, right?
But in reality, long, long ago, we were born in heaven, weren’t we?
Weren’t we born then? We were born in God’s heaven, unquestionably. This is when we were first born, in the very beginning.
Then we will say we don’t remember it. Even if we are told, we don’t remember, right?
All humanity was born in God’s heaven, not just members of World Church of Messiah. All of us were born, and we saw God, we heard His voice and we were embraced by Him. Don’t you remember?
But if we think about it some more, we don’t remember much about the time we were actually born on this earth either, do we? We don’t remember anything before three, four or five years of age, about the time when our awareness began. In rare instances, there are people who have that kind of memory, but basically, we have forgotten. The time we let out our first cries in the hospital and when our parents spoke to us and embraced us—we have forgotten these, haven’t we?
Just because we have forgotten, we don’t say to our birth parents, “I don’t remember the time you bore me, so you are not my parents. Neither do I have a memory of your loving me, so you have never embraced me.”
Instead, even though we don’t remember much, we say, “I was loved as a child” or “You are my parents.” Still, we don’t remember anything at all about the time we were born.
In the same way, we have forgotten about the time we were born in heaven.
Just as we have forgotten about the time we were born in this world, we have also forgotten the time when God gave birth to us in heaven. All of humanity has forgotten. All of humanity, pretty much every single person, does not have a memory of that time. We have all forgotten.
If that’s the case, are we going to say to God, “I don’t remember, so you are not my Parent” or “I have never heard Your voice before” or “I have never been loved, hugged or held by You”? Or will we say to Him, “You are my Parent” and “You bore me” and “I did hear Your voice. You did love me. You did embrace me”? Which one will you choose?
Do you think we should really say that God doesn’t exist because we don’t remember anything?
Truth be told, even if we don’t remember Him, we must run into His arms and say, “You were always my Parent!”—that is the reunion with our Parent; the reunion with our true Parent.
There is no reasoning to do whatsoever. I am not talking about anything difficult now. There is a Parent. And you either receive the love of that Parent or not. It is as simple as that.
Can you really tell your birth parents, “I don’t remember anyone bearing me, so I don’t have parents” or “I have no memory of you of that time, so you don’t exist”?
What is more, it is God, actually, who is our true birth Parent. He is the one that loves us the most.
To say to Him, “I was always Your child,” is the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah. For that is worthy of celebration.
A reunion. A reunion with your true Parent. In this world too, when a parent and child reunite after being apart, they are joyous. But this is a reunion with our true Parent, the One who loves us the most—for a human being, there is no greater thing to celebrate than this.
Moreover, since today, June 15, 2022, is the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah, has the rest of humanity missed their chance? No, they have not. That is because heaven is where all were born first, and heaven is an eternal world, a world that is most concrete.
So even if it’s tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or the next day after that, if someone thinks, “Yes, I was always Your child,” then for that person, it is their reunion with their Parent.
In other words, to be connected to the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah that is this reunion with our true Parent was possible before, it is possible today and it will be possible from here on too, for all eternity. That is because heaven is eternal.
We believe that things with form are substantial and sure, but the most substantial, sure thing is the world of eternity.
We are destined to perish. Our bodies will decay. But what we are aiming for is not human life, but the eternal life of God.
And to meet with God, become one with Him and become an existence that lives eternally—that is salvation. That is true salvation.
In this world, people thoroughly believe that saving a life of this world is salvation, right?
There are even TV dramas where doctors say, “There are lives to be saved,” and give it their all. Don’t get me wrong—that truly is a noble thing.
But then that means if someone dies, there was no salvation, right? There was a life to be saved, so you gave it your all. But let’s say you failed. At that point, hasn’t the chance of salvation disappeared?
There are also various health-promoting practices, aren’t there? Even if you take on a fabulous health-promoting practice, exercise, eat well and live to be 100, 200, 300 or 400 years old, if you lose eternal life, it is curtains for you. You lived until 400, and then it is over. Ah, you must have been healthy—and that’s the end of it.
We really believe that this podium, this venue, this body of flesh and blood are solid, sure things that don’t fade away.
But in reality, the most substantial, sure thing is something we cannot see at all, what is called heaven, the magnificent world of eternity. This is what is most solid and real. This is what is most substantial and what we should have an actual feeling of the most.
This is what God wants us to awaken to. He wants us to awaken to it whatever it takes.
If you were physically well for years and nothing was going on in the world, you wouldn’t be thinking about God at all, would you? That is why God is having all kinds of things occur, isn’t He?
Right now, the world is in dire circumstances, and we don’t know what God will do next. As far as visible phenomena go, God may create a more chaotic situation. It may become a big mess. But even if it comes to that, God has only one purpose for it.
No matter what disease you catch or how much war strikes around the world, God’s purpose is one: Remember Me. Come back home to Me. That is all. For that purpose, God causes everything to happen.
So I would like to humbly pray to God: regardless of what happens from here on, I wish to be granted a heart that can believe in that God’s purpose.
Because if you can’t think in this way, that is hell. Hell. When something happens, we react, “This is terrible! Humanity will be destroyed! We are going to die from disease!” This is hell, the very thing.
But for us of World Church of Messiah, no matter what happens from here on, we have complete faith in God’s love, don’t we?
The fact that the word love exists means that the opposite, the situations where we cannot love, is possible. That is why the word love exists in the first place. So even when we feel that there’s no such thing as God’s love, that is exactly the moment we of World Church of Messiah want to believe that God’s love does indeed exist.
After the “Hallelujah” chorus, the final song that will be performed at the end of the service is entitled “You Become Me.” I composed the lyrics to this song, and it says, “You become me.” God becomes me.
God is asking us, “May I become you?” He is asking, “May I become you, or do you want to live on your own?”
Of course it is better for God to become us, isn’t it? That is because we are existences that are meant to decay; we carry the heavy burden of sin; we are simply irredeemable, right? Finite existences. But if we who are these finite existences become one with the eternal God, this is glory. We would be glorious existences.
If not, even if we live a long life, it’s over at 80 or 90 years. We have some regrets, and maybe we did some good deeds while on earth. And that’s it. Do you think God would be fine with that? For all humanity? No!
So if true joy and happiness really exist for a human being, it is for God to become us, “me.” There is nothing else besides this.
I mean, it’s the likes of “me.” Is each and every one of us proud of who we are? For our sake, the likes of us, God is coming to us and saying it is okay for us to become an existence like Himself that lives eternally.
So there is Jesus. Jesus. How can we deny him? He is definitely an existence to be revered. For he is the first existence chosen by God to be the Messiah. But to tell you the truth, each and every one of us has received the soul named “Messiah.”
So truly, there are no rankings or standings, high or low. In this world, there are things like hierarchical relationships that come with differences in roles, but we are all brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters. If everybody has received the soul of God, it means that everybody in all humanity is brother and sister. And if that is the case, the world is bound to become a wonderful place. After all, everybody is family.
So such a world, “a new world” has already come. It is here.
A world where we all become one family, become brother and sister, who embrace each other and rejoice, already exists—it exists right before our eyes since God has prepared it for us. God will definitely accomplish it. And right now, we are going forward in that direction, on that path. And actually, all of humanity is going forward on that path. What more joy is there than this? Being with your true Parent and with all of humanity becoming brother and sister, to live as a radiant existence with kindness and love—is there a greater joy than this?
This is what the world will become from now on. From today, June 15, 2022, the day of the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah, the world will begin to change. It actually has already changed, but today is the day the world begins its way to becoming a truly wonderful, radiant place.
To be able to be with all of you today, on a day that leaves a mark on human history, I have no way to express the deep emotion in my heart.
Thank you very much.