PDF file: 20220101_New Year Service_The truth of the Church purification_Masaaki-sama
Happy New Year, everyone.
Today being the first day of the new year, I am sure there are some of you who saw the first sunrise.
I was at home with my wife and children. Just as I was wondering if one of the girls couldn’t make it, she sensed the sunrise, woke up and joined us. As a family, we humbly watched the first sunrise of the year. (Editorial comment: New Year’s is a very important and solemn time of year in Japan, and it is a tradition to watch the first sunrise of the new year.)
Thinking about the sunrise, the sun, I was reminded of something, and it was “separation.” Separation.
Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah in 1950. Until then, it was the work of Kannon, not Messiah. Meishu-sama said that Kannon saved both the good and the evil without making any distinctions; anyone could receive salvation.
But then Meishu-sama’s Church became World Church of Messiah, and Messiah appeared. No longer was it salvation without making any distinctions—from then on, God would clearly separate the good and the evil.
As I watched the first sunrise, I thought a little bit about this separation.
Then I thought more. There is Meishu-sama’s direction to separate the good and the evil. On the other hand, in society, while there are, of course, certain matters acceptable before that are no longer acceptable now, it is generally moving in the direction of inclusiveness or acknowledging diversity.
Needless to say, I believe there is the need to equally accept the various ways of life each individual is made to express.
Now, there is the tendency these days to believe that it’s good to have various religions, that we must acknowledge various religions. On the flip side, however, Meishu-sama says it’s time to separate good and evil. He became stricter and stricter, basically saying, “Receive World Church of Messiah or not.”
So there is Meishu-sama’s course of advancement, and there is the world’s course of advancement of regardless of the kind of religion or way of thinking, we have to acknowledge it. It seems that the two are going in opposite directions.
Actually, there is only one truth. But because we don’t want to receive that truth, we make everything relative and say having different ways of thinking is good. As we do that, we skillfully avoid receiving the truth. I think there is a part of us that is like that.
And speaking of going in the opposite direction as Meishu-sama, how have we proceeded with divine work?
During the era of Kannon that made no distinction between good and evil in salvation, Meishu-sama widened the entryway and welcomed any kind of person. Then came the era of Messiah, and Meishu-sama began to narrow that entryway more and more. He went forward with division.
Meishu-sama said that if you share the faith of World Church of Messiah with someone and that person doesn’t understand, there is no need to chase after them, rather, chase them away. He continued and said that although we say we will save all of humanity, in God’s eyes, the people who will be saved and those who cannot are already separated, so it is not necessary to go after anyone who cannot be saved.
Looking at this Meishu-sama’s course of advancement and then at our course after Meishu-sama made his ascension, well, I think we were going in the opposite direction of Meishu-sama, to put it in a nutshell.
One of the roles of Kannon is Ōshin Miroku, whose work, as all of you know, is basically changing its form of salvation as it accommodates to each person’s circumstances.
In the Zengen-sanji Prayer, it said, “Manifested as Komyo Nyorai and turned into Miroku.” The character for “turned into” also has the meaning “to disguise oneself.” So rather than showing your true nature, you hide your true nature, you take a form of disguise, and advance salvation.
Meishu-sama also spoke of wakō-dōjin in a similar way as he did Ōshin Miroku. Wakō has the meaning of “harmonious light,” which doesn’t mean “Let’s get along with everybody.” In this particular phrase, it means “soften” or “tone down the light.” It means to conceal your true nature. Dōjin has the meaning of adapting to the impurities of the earthly world. So combine those meanings together and wakō-dōjin basically means that even though, in actuality, you are a great existence, you intentionally cover yourself in the impurities of the world, hence lower yourself to the level of others for the sake of advancing salvation.
Wakō-dōjin is originally from Buddhist terminology and is considered a good thing—the way of restraining one’s assertions and instead, following the other’s lead, lowering oneself to the level of society.
With the start of World Church of Messiah, the era of Kannon had ended of course, but Meishu-sama also clearly said that the era of wakō-dōjin and Ōshin Miroku had ended.
Meishu-sama clearly expressed that the era of concealing our true nature, that is, concealing Messiah or religion or God or the teaching of the separation of the good and the evil while lowering oneself to the level of society to advance salvation, had ended.
And there are a lot of hymns on this too. You may have seen them in Hymns of Meishu-sama for Morning and Evening Prayers (in Japanese only). There are many hymns having to do with the end of wakō-dōjin or Ōshin Miroku.
“The time to carry out divine work / Under Ōshin Miroku has already ended, / That is, salvation by concealing one’s true identity / While mingling with others and / Lowering oneself to save others has ended.”
Of course, Meishu-sama is not saying that we should impose our opinions on others. We cannot forget the importance of Ōshin, of adapting ourselves to the circumstances of the moment. But as for the advancement of divine work, Meishu-sama says that the divine work carried out under Ōshin Miroku has already ended, so the era of divine work by concealing one’s true identity while mingling with others and lowering oneself in society to save others has ended.
In a similar hymn, Meishu-sama said:
“At long last, / The work of Ōshin Miroku has ended like a passing dream— / The work of salvation by concealing one’s true identity / While mingling with others and / Lowering oneself to save others has ended.”
I mean, he said this way of salvation “ended like a passing dream.” This means that advancing divine work in that way already ended in days gone by. It’s already a thing of the past.
Here is another one:
“Beware, everyone. / The time has come / When we throw off the robe of wakō dōjin, / Our way of salvation focusing on concealing our true identity / While mingling with others and lowering ourselves!”
Meishu-sama is saying to throw off the robe of wakō dōjin where we hide our true nature, cover ourselves in impurity and convey Meishu-sama’s teachings at the same level of this earthly world. He says “throw off,” thus showing us that to break out of that way of being requires courage and readiness.
He says, “Beware, everyone. The time has come.” He is questioning us to see if we have readied our hearts and minds as the time has come. He is saying that the era where we introduce him to the world by using similar things said by people in society, have it accepted and say how great it is, is over.
He uses the phrase, “Beware, everyone.” This is a warning, isn’t it? The people of the world have a certain way of thinking and a certain way of living. But you must go beyond that way of thinking and living and show your true nature as you walk through life—are you ready to go out into the world like that? This is what Meishu-sama is alerting us to.
“O how awe-inspiring it is / That the Messiah rises / Bravely and without hesitation, / Throwing away the clothes of Ōshin Miroku!”
We have to be brave and resolute. To make yourself fit into the world and live is comfortable, isn’t it? After all, the world says what is so. It is only natural. But can you throw that away and rise up bravely, without hesitation?
What rose up was Messiah. It threw away its clothes of Ōshin Miroku and underneath was the real form, Messiah. So Meishu-sama is saying that from there on, it is time for the salvation of Messiah, the salvation with Messiah placed in the forefront. Far from hiding Messiah, he is saying that bringing out Messiah to the very fore and advancing, is brave and unhesitating.
In a similar hymn:
“Until today, / I buried myself in the spirit of wakō dōjin, / That is, the spirit of concealing our true nature / For the sake of the salvation of others. / Now, / I throw that spirit away, / Leap off the solid earth and come to the fore!”
He says, “Leap off the solid earth and come to the fore!” Meishu-sama is leaping, so he must be feeling joy. Until then, he had to conceal the existence of Messiah that was within him. But by becoming World Church of Messiah, he could finally bring Messiah to the fore.
Coming to the fore as he leaps off the solid earth—can you feel his vigor and joy? Still more, this is not about right now. If you hear it now, you may think, “From now on, let’s do our best in the same way!” But Meishu-sama said this after he founded World Church of Messiah—this is a good 70 years ago.
As expressed in these hymns, Meishu-sama said that he already quit the advancing of divine work by concealing one’s true identity and doing similar things as the world does. Even though he clearly said this more than 70 years ago, what have we been doing after Meishu-sama made his ascension?
Since then, we have concealed religion, we have concealed God and we have been lowering what Meishu-sama said to the same level of what society is saying. We have assumed that this was “bringing Meishu-sama to the world.”
Don’t we often say “bringing Meishu-sama to the world”? Didn’t we think that to have Meishu-sama accepted by society was “bringing Meishu-sama to the world”?
However, it is very clear in the hymns just mentioned that what Meishu-sama wants to bring to the world is Messiah. Even still, didn’t we think that something religious like Messiah was more of a hindrance in bringing Meishu-sama to the world than anything else?
When the Meishu-sama that we lowered to the level of society and then introduced to others was recognized, didn’t we proudly say that we were able to bring Meishu-sama to the world? This was a complete error, inside and out.
Symbolically speaking, these matters are—and we directly played a part in them—MOA activities such as MOA Museum. These are about hiding religion and dropping Meishu-sama to the level of what is said in society.
For Johrei too, changing the language to make it more acceptable. For Art activities, conveying things that are similar to what is already said in the world. For Nature Farming, changing it to what sounds acceptable.
No matter how much we bring Meishu-sama to the world like that, it is wakō dōjin, concealing our true nature for the sake of the salvation of others. Meishu-sama said that way of salvation is already over. He said this over 70 years ago!
Still, rather than put forth Messiah, we made up our own images of Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama, the embodiment of love; Meishu-sama, the example of love for others—and made out his wish for us to be about devoting ourselves to the betterment of the world. And well, the world is already doing a lot of similar things, like let’s do something good for others, etc. Then we think others in the world have the same spirit as Meishu-sama’s love for others, how admirable, how wonderful it is that we came together and accomplished something together, divine work has advanced, Meishu-sama’s wish has been realized and so on. Until now, we were all doing this.
We have violated Meishu-sama’s teachings numerous times. But with those ideas and activities I just mentioned, never mind violating the teachings, we were going in the wrong direction from the very first step.
And even though we were in the wrong, we thought it was Kyoshu-sama who was violating the teachings when he tried to put forth Messiah, what Meishu-sama was truly wishing for. Didn’t we say that what Kyoshu-sama was saying was wrong or strange?
The truth is, Meishu-sama’s wish to leap off the solid earth and come to the fore, that emotion, was overflowing within Kyoshu-sama, wasn’t it? That is why Kyoshu-sama had no other choice but to express it.
Meishu-sama said, “Until today, I buried myself.” And even though he finally came out 70 years ago, we once again tried to bury him alive.
Even though Meishu-sama expressly leapt off the solid earth and came to the fore, we kept saying we won’t put Messiah out into the world; we are not a religion; this isn’t about God—we thought this was Meishu-sama’s divine work. What the heck? I really think Meishu-sama could not bear with us anymore.
So the fact that Kyoshu-sama has clearly and resolutely stuck through it all means that within Kyoshu-sama, Meishu-sama thought, “I will not be buried alive again.”
I have to point out that it is easy to accept and receive the matter of Messiah within our Church only and say things like, “Only Meishu-sama is the Messiah.”
But the Messiah that Meishu-sama speaks of unmistakably includes Jesus Christ, 100 percent.
Meishu-sama begins his answer by saying that in the West, people do indeed call Jesus the Messiah, but they still do not have a concrete definition for the term Messiah. He continues by saying that God was not yet able to manifest His true power in the first half of the twentieth century, but at last, God will reveal His true power in the second half of the century. What will happen then? He said that in the West, Christ will no doubt demonstrate his true potential, and in the East, the Messiah will manifest his true divine power. He continued that this cannot be understood with the kinds of religious notions we have had until today, and a far greater, divine power will appear.
This was a direct question relating to Jesus, right? And the timing of this interview was very significant, that is, it happened right after the founding of World Church of Messiah. If Jesus Christ were not the Messiah, Meishu-sama would have said so clearly, right then, “I am the only Messiah. Jesus is not the Messiah.”
But Meishu-sama did not say that. He said that with the appearance of World Church of Messiah, God will reveal His true power. In the West, Christ will no doubt demonstrate his true potential, and in the East, the Messiah will manifest his true divine power.
When he says “in the East, the Messiah,” I believe “the Messiah” is about his own work. So in the East, Messiah—the work of World Church of Messiah—and in the West, Christ, will increasingly manifest their true divine power.
So to Meishu-sama, they are one. Jesus and he are one. If Christ was not included within the Messiah that Meishu-sama spoke of, he would have said so clearly. It was a direct question about Jesus, so he could have said that Jesus is actually not the Messiah and that Meishu-sama himself is the only Messiah, and from then on, the only one to manifest divine power. But he didn’t.
In another one of his hymns, Meishu-sama says:
“Amidst the joyous and resounding shouts of Hallelujah! / The Messiah-Christ descends. / And, ah, it descends so quietly!”
How are you going to understand this hymn? The part that says “the Messiah-Christ”? Does it mean that Messiah and Christ are two separate existences descending separately? No, it doesn’t.
Meishu-sama received the soul of Christ, the soul of Messiah, the same soul that rested in Jesus. And right now, Kyoshu-sama is teaching each and every one of us to receive this soul of Messiah-Christ following Meishu-sama’s example.
There is also the Sacred Word about the mission school. A member tells Meishu-sama that their child goes to a Christian school. Meishu-sama asks what the problem is. Then the member says at school, the child prays to Christ and at home, to Kannon, and it makes the member uncomfortable. And here, Kannon means Meishu-sama. How did Meishu-sama respond? He said, “Christ and Kannon are the same thing. Christ is Kannon in the West, and Kannon is Christ in the East.”
They are one. They are definitely one. When Meishu-sama says “Messiah,” he definitely regards the work of Jesus Christ and his own work as one.
With that in mind, let’s look at a much-talked-about topic right now, the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah.
One of today’s hymns reads:
“These days, / My heart is pounding with expectation, / For the day is approaching / When my dream comes true!”
I think that “dream” can be replaced by the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah. As such, the day that Meishu-sama’s dream finally comes true is approaching.
The Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah is, indeed, a celebration. It is a big celebration, a truly auspicious occasion. But at the same time, once you are connected to it or participate in it, there is no turning back.
The Grand Ceremony never took place after Meishu-sama held the Provisional Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah. Until now, we have understood the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah as a matter of faith—it would be a ceremony where each one of us could make a firm decision to follow Meishu-sama’s example of being born anew as the Messiah.
But once we actually hold the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah on this earth, there really is no going back.
To attend the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah means you are going to make the following resolution in your mind: “Under Kyoshu-sama, I will follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and Meishu-sama and walk the path of being born anew as a Messiah.”
It means that if we decide to no longer walk this path even after participating in the Grand Ceremony, there will not be a second chance for us.
So while this is certainly a great celebration, it requires readiness and determination. Meaning, once we are there, God will tell us, “Well then, from now on, I deem you as an existence of this path.” This is the path to become children of God. So it is the path of joy. But God is our true Parent, so there is strictness too. We are entering that path. Are we fully ready for it? Simply saying how wonderful the path is won’t work.
Kyoshu-sama has been guiding us on various subjects until now. From the start, didn’t we come all this way thinking that because Meishu-sama is the only Messiah, what Kyoshu-sama is saying is wrong or interacting with Christians is wrong?
Now if we really were to criticize like that, we could have just held the “Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of Messiah Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama the Only One.”
If we were to hold that actual ceremony on a personal level or as a small group, it could be done. But for a fairly sizable group to hold the “Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of Messiah Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama the Only One” would be to tell the world our denial of Jesus Christ. It would be denying Christianity. It would be our declaration of confrontation with Christianity. We would be entering a world of competition about who the real Messiah is.
I could understand criticizing Kyoshu-sama if we have that kind of readiness to hold the “Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of Messiah Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama the Only One.”
But we aren’t even doing that, and still, we say to Kyoshu-sama that because Meishu-sama is the only Messiah, interacting with Christians is improper, so what we’re doing is cowardly.
If we were to really act on our criticisms against Kyoshu-sama, we should hold the “Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of Messiah Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama the Only One” with that kind of readiness. If we really had stuck through, that is what we should have done. And to the world, we should have clearly declared, “We are a religion opposed to Christianity.” Shouldn’t that have been the case?
But when Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah, did he say, “We are against Christianity”? Rather, he said, “We act in concert with Christianity,” right?
Everyone, Meishu-sama is definitely receiving and accepting Jesus Christ.
So I believe that this was one separation. You either choose to hold the “Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of Messiah Meishu-sama—Meishu-sama the Only One,” deny Jesus and oppose Christianity. Or you choose to receive and accept Jesus and Christianity and under Kyoshu-sama’s leadership, hold the Grand Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah that Meishu-sama was truly wishing for.
Regarding this Messiah, Meishu-sama said that it “cannot be understood with the kinds of religious notions we have had until today,” right? And what are those religious notions we have had until today? It is in the thinking that only one Messiah exists.
But Meishu-sama said that together with the birth of World Church of Messiah, Jesus Christ would also demonstrate his power, which means that the divine work of World Church of Messiah would advance together with Jesus, right?
So in this time’s Church purification, we were separated by whether or not we could accept matters regarding the Messiah and Jesus.
But Meishu-sama talks about the separation of the good and the evil, right? Doesn’t he say that God is going to clearly separate the good and the evil? Kannon saves both the good and the evil, but Messiah clearly divides them. That’s what he said.
I’m sure there is the view that good people are the ones who receive Messiah and evil people are the ones who do not receive Messiah. But even within those of us who do receive Messiah, there are various degrees of receiving, making a clear divide hard to see, right? There may be times we can receive and times we can’t.
But Meishu-sama says that God will clearly separate the good and the evil. Meaning, it will be clear to anyone’s eyes. At the same time, Meishu-sama also says that members of World Church of Messiah will be separated and only about a fifth would survive. He said this in his last years.
If that is the case, we will wonder what it means to clearly divide the good and the evil or what it means to divide members of World Church of Messiah, right? I thought that these were already things of the past, but recently, I have been thinking that they are not. As I have spoken about it repeatedly, there is this act of secretly following, wiretapping and photographing/filming Kyoshu-sama, right?
In this world, the act of secretly following, wiretapping and photographing/filming someone could be accepted if you have certain reasons, right? But what about us people of faith? We who believe in God’s judgment and His power? That act is evil. Secretly following, wiretapping and photographing/filming someone is evil.
Look at Meishu-sama’s hymn:
“Know this everyone. / To do something behind someone’s back, / To do something against someone without being seen, / Is the same as stealing.”
To secretly follow, wiretap and photograph/film someone is to do something behind someone’s back, isn’t it? From Meishu-sama’s standpoint, acts like secretly following someone is the same as stealing. In other words, it is theft. Theft is, without a doubt, evil, right?
In reaction to this, there are some of you who don’t want to keep hearing about this anymore. But in order to realize a just society, in order to correct the injustices of the world, Meishu-sama even thought about running a newspaper. He is someone who, at the root, would resolutely stick to what was right. So if there are some of you who don’t want to hear about this, that in itself means you have completely forgotten about Meishu-sama’s heart of righteousness.
To be a part of one of those groups that carries out and/or approves of those kinds of acts and to recognize those groups is to assume that Meishu-sama is approving of such theft-like acts, as Meishu-sama said that to do something behind someone’s back is the same as theft. But would Meishu-sama ever approve of those acts? Never.
So this act of secretly following and filming someone—there is no room for justifying it if you are a follower of Meishu-sama. Absolutely none. There is still, of course, the chance to repent. That is left for anyone.
Like so, through this time’s Church purification, good and evil were clearly separated. Separated out were the people who carried out and/or approved of acts like secretly following and filming others; separated out were the staff and members who knew what happened but still were connected to the executives made up of the those who carried out and/or approved of those acts.
At one glance, it may seem like that was the only division that happened in this time’s Church purification. But if you think about it some more, to approve of those kinds of acts means that there must have been other divisions.
That is, Meishu-sama placed great importance on love for others, didn’t he? He said to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and act. He said to love others. If so, acts like this secretly following and filming someone are definitely not expressions of the spirit of love for others, are they?
Then there is their approach, the approach they took when there was someone inconvenient to them. They didn’t try to resolve it by talking it out, like asking Kyoshu-sama if he had a moment to listen to what they had to say. Instead, during Kyoshu-sama’s private time, they chose a kind of person who would escape Kyoshu-sama’s attention, had that person follow and take photos and video of Kyoshu-sama, then with the information gathered, they tried to blackmail Kyoshu-sama into doing as they say. This approach is terrible. There is absolutely no love for others here.
They may say they repeatedly tried to talk it out and it didn’t work. But would that justify acts like secretly filming or trying to blackmail people? Of course not. If you are a follower of Meishu-sama, there are no reasons that can justify acts like secretly following and filming or trying to blackmail someone. And if you do start justifying such acts, you are no longer a follower of Meishu-sama.
So by separating the people who approve of secretly following and filming others and those who do not, the people who accept this love for others and those who do not were separated; the people who choose Meishu-sama’s teaching on love for others and those who do not were separated.
To carry out those kinds of acts or approve of them while preaching Meishu-sama’s love for others or how important love for others is, is just plain nonsense.
Or is a paradise on earth a place where people of faith carry out those kinds of acts? They talk about paradise on earth, but by carrying out and/or approving of those kinds of acts, haven’t they already given up on accomplishing the construction of a paradise on earth as an actual way of living? So this, too, was a division.
The construction of a paradise on earth—through each and every one of our ways of being, we influence the people around us, and gradually, all of humanity becomes a truly pure existence. They have given up on this, haven’t they?
The sacred grounds are prototypes of paradise on earth, aren’t they? So there is no meaning in preaching about the importance of the sacred grounds or the museum while doing things like secretly following and filming people.
Now, I’d like to go further into what was found from secretly following and filming Kyoshu-sama. When Meishu-sama was asked whether it is possible to realize world peace with the power of religion, he replied, “I believe that it is absolutely possible.” He said that if we join forces with Christians and diligently fight for peace, eternal peace can be brought about. So if it is such a bad thing for Kyoshu-sama to have contact with Christians, are you going to give up on world peace already? The bringing about of world peace?
So if you agree with what they presented from secretly following, wiretapping and photographing/filming Kyoshu-sama and believe that Kyoshu-sama’s contact with Christians is wrong, it means you have given up on what Meishu-sama described as bringing about eternal peace.
Or to put it simply, you are also negating joining forces with other religions to make a better world.
This act of secretly following and filming people, then related to that, the approach taken when there is an inconvenient person, and then also the result of separating those who accept that and those who don’t—some may think that it isn’t a big deal. But in the end, the result was a separation of whether or not you accept Meishu-sama’s spirit of love for others; whether or not you will advance the construction of a paradise on earth; whether or not you will live to bring about world peace; whether or not you will join together with other religions and make the world a better place.
In other words, as those things were separated, it means that through this Church purification, in reality, who is or who is not a follower of Meishu-sama were separated.
We are talking about love for others, the construction of a paradise on earth, world peace. If all those are eliminated, it is not Meishu-sama’s divine work anymore, is it?
The division between those who accept and those who do not accept this secretly following and filming is very clear to see, isn’t it? On the other hand, the division of those who believe in God and those who don’t is not as clear, right? You have people with varying degrees of belief—this person believes 50 percent, another believes 70 percent, etc.
But it wasn’t that. The division between those who accept and those who do not accept acts like secretly following and filming people was clearly shown. Thus, those who are Meishu-sama’s followers and those who are not were clearly separated.
I mean, can you say to Meishu-sama that these people who recognize those kinds of acts are his followers? There’s no way. So those kinds of people are no longer Meishu-sama’s followers.
Of course, it is different if they repent. But if they try to justify their acts somehow, refuse to repent, say that something is wrong with Kyoshu-sama, say that they are right and that’s why they kicked Kyoshu-sama out, then, well, they are no longer followers of Meishu-sama.
For court cases, words like “illegitimate” or “self-proclaimed” are used about the other to claim one’s own legitimacy. But in this case, really, those people are “illegitimate, self-proclaimed followers of Meishu-sama.”
Even though they no longer have any connection to Meishu-sama, they pray in front of the Divine Scroll written by Meishu-sama or use the property that Meishu-sama left. That’s it.
Kyoshu-sama confronted us with the matter of Messiah. He said that this was not an imaginary story, but rather something within each one of us. So we had no way of escaping it. As there was no escape, Satan within us was frightened, wanting to stop and contain the matter. And then in a panic, it made a portion of the people take on those acts, so to speak.
It is exactly as written in Meishu-sama’s hymn:
“O how awesome is the holy work of the Messiah! / He exercises his power / And divides Good and Evil.”
Messiah appeared and confronted us. Through this, those lowly acts were clearly shown to us, weren’t they? By being confronted and pushed, those kinds of acts surfaced.
So in that manner, in a way obvious to anyone, we were shown good and evil and were allowed to make a choice.
Meishu-sama talked about how most people are in the “indecisive club” when it comes to matters of faith, but one day, at some point, they have to make a decision. That’s what he said. This is exactly what happened this time, right?
At some point, you had to make a decision. And if you haven’t already, then you have to hurry up and make one. Like this, the division was made.
It would be simple if this just ended with “We are good, and they are evil.” It would be easy for us if it finished with “We did it! We are right! We are good! We are the members who are accepted by Meishu-sama!”
Your decision was certainly very noble, but we must remember that, in reality, it cannot end there.
I’m sure you would love for my greeting to finish with “We’ve been chosen as good, so let’s do our best this year!” But that’s not going to work. That is, matters in the realm of evil are not other people’s problems—not at all.
When I hear about the salvation of Kannon, the salvation of both the good and the evil without making any distinctions, I imagine something like cloudy weather—cloudy, without the sun. In that era, the sun is not out, so you can’t see shadows, and things are not so clear.
But even if we didn’t know clearly what was good or what was evil, if we answered yes to God’s call, “Return to Me,” we would have been saved.
But with that approach, most people did not return to God. So this time, God decided to bring out the sun, and through the rifts in the clouds, He made the sun, the light of the Messiah, shine.
So when the light comes out like that, then the shadows begin to emerge, right? And at long last, we could see what is good and what is evil. That is our current state. Seeing the shadows, we say that those people are evil; secretly following, wiretapping and filming/photographing people is evil; denying Jesus is evil; denying our working in concert with Christians is evil—and all the while, we think we are on the side of good. That is our state right now.
With the sun out of the clouds, we can clearly see the shadows now. And we think that we belong on the side of the sun and the others are on the side of the shadows.
But, in reality, it doesn’t end there.
In one of his hymns, Meishu-sama says:
“At the center of the heavens, / The sun shines so bright and brilliant. / Not even the shadows / Of those who stand on the earth / Can be seen.”
This hymn describes the sun shining radiantly from the very center of the sky, so bright and brilliant, that even shadows of people standing on the earth cannot be seen.
What does this hymn mean?
Now we all can see the shadows with the light of the sun in this world, right? Even at the equator, we can see shadows—it doesn’t get bright enough that shadows disappear. This means that the “sun” in this hymn is not referring to the material sun—it can only be the spiritual one. This sun not visible to the eye is in the center of the sky, the heavens, the heart of heaven, the very center of heaven, meaning this sun is shining brilliantly at the very center within us. And “those who stand on the earth” are the many people that exist within us, meaning all the various elements within us, all the various postures within us. They are all being illuminated by the light of the spiritual sun.
So when we say that secretly following and filming people is evil or those people are terrible, we are looking at those shadows now. With our own judgment of good and evil, we are saying who is bad and who is good. That’s it.
If we continue looking at shadows in this way, it ends with us just creating separate sides of good and evil.
But even for those shadows to disappear means that we can say to God, “Ah, the postures of these evil people, these shadows are, in actuality, my very own postures. God, You forgave these postures of mine in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama.” This is not about the postures of other people. They are my very own postures—the posture of lacking love for others, the posture of rejecting world peace and the like.
And if God receives what we say, those shadows are not shadows anymore, just light. If everything that we thought was shadow, that we thought was evil until now, is now enveloped in God’s light, then everything will become light. There no longer will be any shadows.
Within us, there is certainly a lot of sin from many different people. In terms of the Church, of course there is the issue of secretly following and filming people. But in our daily life too, we are being shown various shadows every day, aren’t we?
Not getting along with someone, something about family, children, work—we’re constantly looking at shadows, aren’t we?
Limiting yourself to thoughts like “That is a big problem. Those people are terrible. I would never do such a thing” only concludes with “Good and evil have been divided.” The story ends with you absorbed in your own sense of satisfaction because you think you are on the side of light and the ones in the shadows are evil.
But there is a light that even erases shadows. The physical sunlight cannot do that, right? But if you are enveloped by the light of God, shadows can be erased. No matter how depressed or down you feel, no matter how deep the darkness is within you, God is saying to us that He will illuminate us with a light so bright that all the shadows within us will disappear.
So you cannot just accept this hymn as simple fact, that one day, the shadows will disappear. Instead, you must declare to God that those shadows are your own postures. If you don’t, you will only look at the shadows and think you’re good thus in the light while others are evil thus in the shadows. You will simply live like that forever.
We viewed everything from the path of humanity until now and each and every individual’s way of living, as either good or evil. But if all of it is enveloped in the light and love that make even shadows disappear, then everything can become light.
Good things are good. But in reality, there are bad things too. What do you do with those bad things? There is no point in continuing to live thinking that you have no part in it, like a hypocrite. And that’s because we are here for salvation, right?
Now going back to the first sunrise of the year. When that first sun comes out on January 1, don’t we think how majestic it is? What a blessing it is? Then on January 2, it is no longer a first sunrise, right? But there is a light within us far more majestic than the first sunlight.
That light is always illuminating us. God is telling us, “Regardless of what darkness there is, I will erase those shadows and turn them into light. I will envelope them in light. No matter what happens, I forgive you.”
When you hear the word “forgive,” some of you may immediately think, “I hear what you are saying, but I will never forgive that person.” You know what? Having that kind of thought, in itself, is already forgiven! “I will never forgive that person”—God already granted His forgiveness to this kind of feeling, too.
On New Year’s Day, many watch the sunrise, the first sunrise of the year, right? Don’t just appreciate it by saying, “Oh, how majestic!” Rather, say, “Actually, a more majestic and brighter light exists within me!” Say, “Within me, there is a glorious light that can erase any darkness, any shadow I have!”
Everyone, this light that can erase any shadow and that exists within us is the light of Johrei: the true light of Johrei, the light that never disappears.
This light is not like the light from the sunrise on New Year’s Day that lasts only for a day or the light that emits only when you raise your hand. Once you know this, you don’t have to worry anymore. You don’t have to worry even if your child has to be hospitalized and you aren’t able to minister Johrei to them, wondering if they will be all right without it. If you do not recognize that light, all you will do is worry, worry, worry.
Kyoshu-sama no longer ministers Johrei at services. He did it for the longest time until now because he wanted to let us know that, within us, that light exists; the hand of God exists. You should know that already by now! Isn’t that why Kyoshu-sama stopped ministering Johrei at services?
The heart to believe such matters has been nurtured within all of you, so Meishu-sama is telling us to go to the next stage, to throw everything away from up until now and go to the next stage, just like he said in his hymn: “I throw that spirit away, leap off the solid earth and come to the fore!”
The new and true light is not something so petty that it only comes out when you raise your hand. I want you to know, everyone: God ministers His Johrei within all humanity all the time.
Then there is Words of Light.
“God is Light, and where there is Light, peace, happiness and joy abound. In Darkness, conflict, poverty and disease pervade. For those who seek Light and prosperity, come! Come to the Light and call on the name of Messiah! You, then, will be saved.”
All of it is there, in Words of Light.
But when we hear “God is Light,” don’t we think only about what is being illuminated by the light? Being healed or not, coming out with scientific data—aren’t we constantly talking about these things?
The reason why Meishu-sama is showing us the light is to call us to the light, as he says, “Come to the Light.” When we see that light, he is telling us to return to where the light comes from. Instead of doing that, we are only looking at the illuminated, the shadows, illnesses healed, illnesses not healed.
Meishu-sama is telling us that if our illnesses are healed and we come to know the light, then we must return to that light. He is telling us that even when there are shadows, call on the name of Messiah. He says, “You, then, will be saved.” The shadows become light, don’t they?
Everything is in Words of Light. Everything about salvation is there.
So in actuality, this isn’t about how majestic the first sunrise is. God is saying that no matter what kind of shadows there are, He will erase them for us!
Right now, you can still see the sun in the sky from this room, right? But seeing the sun is a message for us to recall the true sun.
“I will envelope all the shadows you have within you with the true light of Johrei. I will fill you with My love and light. I will remove all your shadows.” Today, we are allowed to recall this heart of God. For everything to be enveloped in light like this is also the divine work of salvation.
Truly, God is doing everything for us. Even if we have shadows, He is erasing them for us. So the only thing left for us to do is to serve Him in return.
So this year, truly, let us joyously walk this path, knowing that we are enveloped in that kind of glorious light. And if permitted, let us serve in the work of sharing this salvation with as many people as possible—after all, there is no salvation in this world more wonderful than this.
Thank you very much.