Everyone on the Path of Faith Will Be Tested

Interview with Andrea Elliot, Candidate for the Jefferson County WV Board of Education-May 10, 2022

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1726

If that is the case, when Adam’s and Eve’s bodies as well as their minds unite, would or would not that which is at the bottom of their bodies unite too? What would that be? Would God unite with them or not? Where would He unite with them? Since He created the organs for love, where would He come to unite with human beings? Where would that place be? It would be the place of love. (194-64, 1989.10.15)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 703

Would it be all right for this substantial fruit of six thousand years to fall without ripening, like a fruit dropping from its tree? Should the fruit, worrying that the wind might blow, say, “Oh no, it looks like I might fall. If the wind blows a bit more, I am going to fall. Father, don’t shake me, just let me be still.” There may be some people here who are like that. On the other hand, there are members saying, “Even if you take an ax and shake the branches as you please, my branches will never fall until they have been cut.” To which group do you belong? (46-154, 1971.8.13)

World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon


EVERYONE ON THE PATH OF FAITH WILL BE TESTED. Scripture records that the great people of faith were tested many times. Abraham endured ten trials of faith. Satan tested Job with loss of family and property. Muhammad had to overcome many obstacles as he struggled to proclaim the message to the idolators of Mecca. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness and tested again on the way to the cross. Hindu and Buddhist saints as well faced life-and-death trials, and with absolute faith overcame them.
Overcoming tests gives us strength and toughness of character. Testing also accompanies grace, either before or afterwards, to qualify us to receive the grace and retain it.
Father Moon explains the reason why people of faith encounter testing by referring to the Book of Job’s account of the bargaining between Satan and God. Since human beings fell away from oneness with God, God accedes to Satan, “the Accuser,” the right to test human beings in order to prove whether they are indeed worthy of returning to God’s realm. Satan ruthlessly looks for any hint of selfishness that would disqualify them and give him a claim over them. Only the most faithful and selfless people can pass his tests. Sometimes a test requires us to deal with an inconceivable situation. The famous Qur’anic passage of Moses and al-Khidr, the “Green Man,” presents a trial where Moses must believe in things entirely contrary to common sense; but he cannot. In the Hindu Ramayana, Sita the wife of Rama proves her fidelity by jumping into a blazing pyre, and in a Buddhist sutra a seeker throws himself off a cliff to certain death; both pass the test and are unharmed. And how inconceivable was it to Abraham that God would ask him to sacrifice his son? We include accounts of several of the tests in Father Moon’s life.

  1. Satan Tests People of Faith

Now there was a day when the sons of God18 came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “Whence have you come?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand.” So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

    Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; and there came a messenger to Job, and said… “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
    Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
    In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
    Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, “Whence have you come?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power; only spare his life.”
    Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, and afflicted Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God, and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
    Job 1.6-2.10

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
    ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
    Matthew 4.1-4

Once there was a person who sought the True Path in the Himalayas. He cared nothing for all the treasures of the earth or even for all the delights of heaven, but he sought the teaching that would remove all mental delusions. The gods were impressed by the man’s earnestness and sincerity and decided to test his mind. So one of the gods disguised himself as a demon and appeared in the Himalayas, singing,
    Everything changes,
    Everything appears and disappears.

The seeker heard this song which pleased him so, as if he had found a spring of cool water for his thirst or as if he were a slave unexpectedly set free. He thought, “At last I have found the true teaching that I have sought for so long.” He followed the voice and at last came upon the frightful demon. With an uneasy mind he approached the demon and said, “Was it you who sang the holy song that I have just heard? If it was you, please sing more of it.” The demon replied, “Yes, it was my song, but I can not sing more of it until I have had something to eat; I am starving.” The man begged him in earnest, saying, “It has a sacred meaning to me and I have sought its teaching for a long time. I have only heard a part of it; please let me hear more.” The demon said again, “I am starving, but if I can taste the warm flesh and blood of a man, I will finish the song.” The man, in his eagerness to hear the teaching, promised the demon that he could have his body after he had heard the teaching. Then the demon sang the complete song,

Everything changes,
Everything appears and disappears,
There is perfect tranquility
When one transcends both life and extinction.

Hearing this, the man, after he wrote the poem on rocks and trees around, quietly climbed a tree and hurled himself to the feet of the demon, but the demon had disappeared and, instead, a radiant god received the body of the man unharmed.
    Mahaparinirvana Sutra 424-33 (Buddhism)

When the future Buddha sat down at the foot of the Bodhi tree with his soul fully resolved to obtain the highest knowledge, the whole world rejoiced; but Mara, the enemy of good law, was afraid. He whom they call the God of Pleasure, the owner of various weapons, the flower-arrowed, the lord of the course of desire—it is he whom they also style Mara, the enemy of liberation. His three sons, Confusion, Gaiety, and Pride, and his three daughters, Lust, Delight, and Craving, asked him the reason for his despondency, and thus he answered them,
    “This sage, wearing the armor of resolution, and having drawn the arrow of wisdom with the barb of truth, sits yonder intending to conquer my realms—hence my mind is despondent. If he succeeds in overcoming me and proclaims to the world the path of final bliss, all this my realm will today become empty…”
    Then, seizing his flower-made bow and his five arrows of infatuation, the Great Disturber of the minds of living beings, together with his children, approached the root of the Bodhi tree. Placing his left hand on the end of the barb and playing with the arrow, Mara addressed the calm seer as he sat on his seat preparing to cross to the further side of the ocean of existence,
    “Up, up, O Kshatriya, afraid of death! Follow your own duty [as member of the warrior caste] and abandon this path of liberation. Conquer the lower worlds by force of arms, and gain the higher worlds as well! That is a glorious path to travel, which has been followed by leaders of men for generations. This mendicant life is illsuited for one born of royalty to follow…
    But even when thus addressed, the Shakya saint, unheeding, did not change his posture. Mara then discharged his arrow of love at him and set in front of him his daughters Lust, Delight, and Craving, and his sons Confusion, Gaiety, and Pride. Still he gave no heed and swerved not from his firmness. Mara, beholding him thus, sank down, and slowly pondered,
    “He does not even notice the arrow… Can he be devoid of all feeling? He is not worthy of my flower-shaft, nor my arrow Gladdener, nor even my sending my daughter Rati to tempt him. He deserves the terrors, attacks, and blows from all the gathered hosts of the demons.”
    Then Mara called to mind his own army, mustering them for the overthrow the Shakya saint. His followers swarmed around, wearing different forms and carrying arrows, trees, darts, clubs, and swords in their hands; with faces of boars, fishes, horses, asses, and camels, of tigers, bears, lions, and elephants—one-eyed, many-faced, three-headed… One of them, his eyes rolling wildly, lifted a club against him; but his arm was instantly paralyzed… Another hurled upon him a mass of blazing straw as big as a mountain peak…. Despite all these various scorching assaults on his body and his mind, and all these missiles showered down upon him, the Shakya saint did not in the least degree move from his posture nor deviate from his firm resolution…
    Then some being of invisible shape, but of preeminent glory, standing in the heavens and beholding Mara thus malevolent against the seer, addressed him in a loud voice unruffled by enmity, “Take not on yourself, O Mara, this vain labor; throw aside your malevolence and retire to your home; this sage cannot be shaken.”
    Ashvaghosha, Buddhacarita 1319(Buddhism)

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