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My dear brothers and sisters, I have been reflecting on the theme of developing our relationship with God in connection

with the reality in our church because it is essential that we understand clearly the need to improve the ties between us if we want to deepen the relationship with our Heavenly Father. This fact is already referred to in the Bible, for example in 1 John 3:17 where we read: Whoever has this worlds goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? We may not have too many worldly goods, but we are richly blessed with the great foundation established by our True Parents and we must share this precious content with others if we want Gods Love to dwell in our hearts. Our relationships with one another depend greatly on the level of trust which we establish. If there exists deep trust in another person we naturally want to share with him or her and we may find ourselves sharing with this brother or sister for many hours without even noticing the passing of time because heart to heart relationships are so precious. This is of course especially true for our relationship with God. Therefore we must invest into developing profound trust in our Heavenly Parent who dwells within us. The history of the world, that has been in a state that is separate from God, is a sad history of individuals who either trust themselves falsely, in an arrogant and egotistical selfish way, or individuals who cannot trust themselves. As we know well, oftentimes, those individuals who trust themselves or have a great sense of going somewhere, doing something, and subjectively pushing forward, are without any connection to God. On the other hand, those who have worshipped God, gone to church, been faithful, pious believers, have been the ones too often who do not trust themselves, who do not trust the Heavenly Parent in themselves, doubting the presence of God dwelling in them. There is a whole tradition that goes back to the time of Jesus. He said, and it is recorded in the Bible, that he would build his church upon the rock that was identified as Peter, his first disciple. The Catholic Church and the Papacy saw itself as the inheritor of the role of Peter. As the centuries have passed by, millions of followers put their trust in the one who wore the shoes of the fisherman and in the hierarchy that surrounded him. And yet, through the centuries, that hierarchy corrupted itself to a very sad extent. Of course, not every pope and every officer of the church was evil. But when we look back over the centuries at the cumulative misuse of power, the emphasis on the structure of the church, the wealth of the church and at the same time the poverty of those led by the church - not just poverty but dreadful squalor many times we will find that the church did not fulfil its role that Jesus would have had it manifest. The Protestant Reformation tried to bring the focus back to the individual believer. But, again, there was the problem of church hierarchy, church government, misuse of authority, and consequent corruption. Gods work was again and again hindered by peoples fallen nature which led to it having to be prolonged until today. Now, in this day and age, at the time of the Coming of Gods Kingdom, what is the key? We may think that the key is definitely that the church hierarchy must become pure and clean, no more corruption or misuse of power or authority, no more misuse of wealth. But there is another more internal answer that must be recognized, and it goes back to the key point that Jesus taught - the value of the individual.

Jesus had a great strength as Gods son because he knew absolutely that God lived in and through him, and, therefore, he could say, If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. (John 14:9) Fundamentalism tended to interpret this as, Jesus was God's only son, or, Jesus was God. Then, what does that make the individual believer? As we know, fundamentalism focused on the believer as the sinner forgiven by the grace given through Jesus. Yet, Jesus' key point in his teaching was not simply that those around him were sinners forgiven by grace by the son of God, who was Jesus. No. His key point was that they were sons and daughters of God and he would lift them up. This itself threatened the church hierarchy of his day very deeply, because they would have no power, in the true sense, if Jesus' teaching was to be followed and understood and internalized by the people: the commoners, the poor, the laborers. Everything would have to evolve, and all of those comfortable high priests would have to give up the roles with which they had become quite satisfied. It would have been a total revolution of the human heart, the human spirit. As we come close to the day of Gods Kingdom or Cheon Il Guk, it is not just a matter that misuse of power and authority by those in spiritual high positions has to change. It is that the individual needs to come to recognize and trust the God within himself or herself. Every human being is a son or daughter of God. This is not just a nice name that came from the Bible. It is a true and absolute reality. When we claim this as reality in our life, we can take on and challenge those things that are not real around us, and we will not be intimidated by them; we will not be intimidated into silence through not being sure of ourselves. After many years of being a member of our church we should all be very clear about Gods Will, which is not there to be interpreted by us but to be known absolutely clearly based on the precious foundation of being familiar with the Divine Principle, including the Original Divine Principle, that Father wants us to understand deeply. When we look at the history of our church we see that there have been many special conditions for purification of our mind and heart, including the great works that are being done in Cheong Pyeong centered on Heung Jin Nim and Daemonim. Again and again we were given the chance to renew our personal relationship with God based on complete forgiveness and we have been asked to renew our mind, to get rid of old burdens, to leave old concepts behind and to come into the presence of the Living God not only sometimes in prayer but to live together with our Heavenly Parent to live in a God-like way as Father had asked us already three decades ago on that historic Childrens Day 1981. Major points of the cleansing have been misuse of authority, misuse of finances, misuse of love, and, more pointedly, the crushing of the human heart. It is indeed important that we check again and again over the years our attitude to make sure that we absolutely do not have anything to do with these kinds of issues because they are a clear hindrance for us to become one with God as we are originally intended to be. Many members have put their faith over the years in church leaders, who are themselves not so clear, not sure of Gods presence within themselves, deferring to the God within their leader and choose to trust that God - the one who comes through Abel. Therefore, they follow day by day, sometimes wondering, Is this right or wrong? Still, those individuals swallow their doubt, just swallow it and keep going forward because the leader said, Go ahead; we must go forward; do this, do that day after day.

My dear brothers and sisters, let us not take this essential issue lightly but pray about this point most sincerely. Church leaders went through a process of repentance for misusing authority - in Gods name, misusing their position. Can the individual blame those leaders? If one individual sees that his leader is repenting for misuse of power, can he blame that leader and say, I have resentment because so many years I followed that person, and, as I see now, he was misusing power, misusing the money I earned, misusing my faith and devotion. In reality, there is no answer in blaming that leader. One has to look within himself and see ones own behaviour and attitude which have led to resentments against leaders that are widely spread in our church. This historic problem of the failure to trust the sonship or daughtership of God within our own self, and, therefore, the lack of trust of our own original heart/mind, of our own original relationship with God, caused us to defer our trust to someone else. As a matter of fact, the person we trusted had the same problem that we widely have: failure to trust himself and failure to realize himself centered on a living relationship to the Living God. Realization of the self is the foundation of trust. Those leaders failed to realize themselves. In the majority of cases, that consciousness was very weak. Therefore, many times, castles in the sand were built with no reliable foundation - unrealized people trusting unrealized people. Naturally, that castle is going to collapse sooner or later. There is no answer in just being angry at the one we trusted when we see that he or she was not real in terms of representing God. The point is, who are we? How does our inner foundation of being one with our Creator and with the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind as basis for our authority look like? Will we continue to doubt who God is within us as our unconditionally loving Parent? Will we continue to fail to trust God as the One who lives within us, and that our actions should be based on that conviction and realistic experience of feeling our Ultimate origin being present in our innermost self? Isnt it very hurtful for our Father in Heaven to see us doubting that He is with us every second of our life if we allow His dwelling constantly in our soul and shouldnt we therefore be dedicated to comfort His Heart by relating to Him in an intimate personal way? We may hear people say: So much of me is fallen and, therefore, I can't trust myself because I have fallen nature. How do I know that it is Gods voice? How do I know that it's not the voice of some evil spirit trying to persuade me that it is God? The key lies within our heart. We need to listen to our heart most attentively. The connection our Heavenly Father would like to establish between Him and us is not the same as the relationship of some spirit-being coming from the spiritual world. We may say that the spirit world is nothing but the physical world disembodied. Just take away the physical body and then we have the spiritual world. If we took away everyone's physical body today, this moment, we would have the spiritual world. And yet, as we know from what we have studied, so much of that spiritual world, just like in the physical world here, is unrealized. They do not realize who God is because they are not in touch with their own hearts. So, their situation there in the spirit world is the same as ours. The key point is to be in contact with our own heart, to begin to discover that heart within. More and more there are people all over the world who focus on healing, not only healing the body but healing the spirit, the soul - healing hurt feelings from childhood, healing

in terms of ancestral healing, getting liberated. The deeper reason lies clearly in their wanting to heal their hearts. They want to get in contact with their own true selves. Ultimately, whether they know it or not, they want to be in touch with God. And that is only possible through the heart. There are countless people in the spiritual world and in the physical world who are struggling to be in touch with God and we are the ones who should know very clearly not only theoretically but based on our own experience how to establish a heart to heart connection with our Creator. We are each called to develop our individual union with our Ultimate Origin to the extent that it is a concrete reality for us in this new era when True Parents have proclaimed that we live in the time when the way is open to be fully aligned with God, to live in a state of high noon without any shadows. Without question, it is deeply painful for our Heavenly Parent when we confuse Him with an evil spirit or some wandering spirit man. Why do we pray if we don't trust our own prayer? If we can't trust our relationship with God when He speaks with us or shares with us, why do we pray? Are we talking into the void? Are we talking into nothing? Are we praying because someone told us we should pray? What do we expect for an answer? And if God answers, will we believe Him that He is real, that He is with us and within us? My dear brothers and sisters, have we not brought so much suffering to the Heart of God through being people of little faith, while speaking of the greatest truth ever revealed to people on this earth? After all those years of seeing our True Parents communicating with God directly we still doubt that this is possible for each one of us? And when some brother or sister shares about God having shown him or her some concrete content, then we are generally quick to judge this person as being off in one way or another, of being so arrogant as to say that God revealed Himself directly, that He spoke to that individual personally Such a doubting attitude is most sadly very widely spread in our church because we do not believe in the Living God working not only through True Parents and some leaders but through each and every one of us if only we have the right heart and mindset that enables Him to do so. Our Heavenly Father is ever so patient with us because His love is big, and He wants so much to have this consummation with us as an individual, of being deeply one with each of His children, one in heart centered on True Love. As we come to know God in our heart, as that channel becomes ever so clear in each and every person, the corruption of power and authority, the misuse of power and authority will begin to disappear. Those in high places have to go through the same process of purification and finding a profound personal relationship with God as a living reality. They are not a different breed with no connection to God but they are of course just as well Gods sons and daughters. Maybe one day it could be you and I there in a high position. Destiny could put us there and put the one who is the leader in our position right now. It does not really matter. The pattern tends to be the same. No matter who was in the role of leadership and who was the follower, so many times there has been the inability of either one to know God in their own heart. Therefore, the leader misused power, the follower became angry, there was no true relationship between them, and Gods providence could not truly advance because the essentially required foundation of a deep personal relationship with God was not well in place. - continued in part (18) -