Abraham Obeyed When He Was Called

Amos 1

11 The Lord said:

I will punish Edom
for countless crimes,
    and I won’t change my mind.
They killed their own relatives[s]
and were so terribly furious
    that they showed no mercy.
12 Now I will send fire to wipe out
the fortresses
of Teman
    and Bozrah.

Luke 22

54 Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance. 55 Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them, 56 and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”

57 Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”

58 A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!”

“No, I’m not!” Peter replied.

Abraham

Abraham is the source of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He is the ancestor of the Jewish people; for Christians he is the father of faith (romans 4.1-3); in Islam he set up the Kaaba in Mecca and is the father of the Arab people through Ishmael. Abraham is renowned as the first monotheist, who came to the truth of the one God despite growing up in an idol-maker’s household. Then he left home at God’s command and obediently followed to an unknown land. He put his life and his future in God’s hands, trusting that he would provide. Though sojourning as a stranger among the peoples of Canaan, he showed remarkable compassion for them, particularly when he interceded for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Father Moon teaches that God entrusted his entire providence to Abraham, and looked to him as a partner to make the conditions on earth needed to advance the work of salvation. Therefore, every act, every offering, every prayer of Abraham was fraught with significance. When Abraham did well, as when he left home at God’s command without hesitation, God’s providence advanced. When Abraham made a mistake, as when he failed to cut the birds in two at the important sacrifice described in Genesis chapter 15, God’s providence was set back and prolonged. When there was a quarrel in Abraham’s family, as between Sarah and Hagar, it created a negative condition for enmity between Jews and Arabs that has persisted to this day.
Abraham passed through many trials in his walk of faith. The culmination of these, when God asked him to sacrifice his son, is treated in the next section.

1. Abraham: A Man of Absolute Faith

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.”
    So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the persons that they had gotten in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. Genesis 12.1-5
 
We gave Abraham of old his proper course, for We were aware of him, when he said to his father and his people, “What are these images to which you pay devotion?” They said, “We found our fathers worshippers of them.” He said, “Truly you and your fathers were in plain error.” They said, “Do you bring us the truth, or are you some jester?” He said, “No, but your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, who created them; and I am of those who testify to that. And, by God, I shall circumvent your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.” Then he reduced them to fragments, all save the chief of them, that perhaps they might have recourse to it.
    They said, “Who has done this to our gods? Surely it must be some evildoer.” [Others] said, “We heard a youth make mention of them, one called Abraham.” They said, “Bring him here before the people’s eyes that they may testify.” They said, “Are you the one who has done this to our gods, Abraham?” He said, “No, their chief has done it. So question them, if they can speak.” Then they gathered apart and said, “You yourselves are the wrongdoers,” and they were utterly confounded. Then they said [to Abraham], “You know well that they do not speak.” He said, “Do you worship instead of God that which cannot profit you at all, nor harm you? Fie on you and all that you worship instead of God! Have you then no sense?”
    They said, “Burn him and stand by your gods, if you will!” We said, “O fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham!” They wished to set a snare for him, but We made them the greater losers. And We rescued him and Lot, and brought them to the land that We have blessed for all peoples.
    Qur’an 21.51-71
 
The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord god, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15.1-6
 
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
    Hebrews 11.8-10
 
 

We Should Be As Members of One Household

Luke 9

Jesus said to his disciples, “Have the people sit in groups of fifty.” 15 They did this, and all the people sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and fish and handed them to his disciples to give to the people.

Richard: We have all the resources that we need, if we can work together, centered on God’s New Word.

Ezekiel 20

I swore that I would rescue them from Egypt and lead them to a land I had already chosen. This land was rich with milk and honey and was the most splendid land of all. I told them to get rid of their disgusting idols and not to sin by worshiping the gods of Egypt. I reminded them that I was the Lord their God, but they still rebelled against me. They refused to listen and kept on worshiping their idols and foreign gods.

Christianity

2. Christian Unity

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.
    Ephesians 4.4-6
 
You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
    Ephesians 2.19-22
 
I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
    John 17.20-23
 
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.     Colossians 3.12-15 
 
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
 
We frequently hear that the church is the body of Christ. What is the body of Christ? Does it consist of church buildings made of wood or stone? No, the body of Christ is the congregation, the people. We who believe in Jesus are Jesus’ body and Christ’s representatives on earth.
    If the believers are the body of Christ, then can there be more than one church? Today’s church, divided as it is into numerous denominations, is a church in error. It is heartbreaking for Jesus to see the existence of so many denominations, each bearing his name. It is as though his body has been torn apart into many pieces…
    Christianity should have become a single worldwide religion, based on the victorious foundation of Jesus’ sacrifice. Like Jesus’ own body, the church should have become a whole offering before God; then by that victorious foundation of offering, it could have become one worldwide religion, one Christian church. Instead, the heart of Jesus Christ is grieved to see his body so shamefully divided. Jesus is the mind and today’s Christianity is the body. How can there be one mind and 1,000 bodies? How can the mind and body differ to such an extent? Therefore, our task is to unite them as one mind and one body.
    What is the core conviction that Jesus has sought to convey to Christianity until this day? It is this: “God is our Father, all people are our brothers and sisters; the earth belongs to all of us; therefore we should be as members of one household.” Today’s Christians should adopt this outlook. Since it is God’s teaching and Jesus’ teaching, it should be Christianity’s teaching. Therefore, we should not get caught up in sectarian squabbles. We should restore the people, even if to do so we have to abandon our denomination. We should restore the earth, even if our denomination must perish in the process. (93:12-25, May 8, 1977)
 
Why is today’s Christianity divided into numerous denominations? The proliferation of denominations contradicts the Christian doctrine that we ought to love our enemies. Christian doctrine instructs us to love the brethren, but people have forgotten it. Christians may love one another within the same church, yet their churches are fighting one another. Jesus taught us to love our brethren. From Jesus’ perspective, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, the Holiness Church and all other denominations are each other’s brethren. (107:20, February 21, 1980)
 
God’s heaviest burden is to create oneness among the declining remnants of Christianity and among the many religions. While God is trying hard to create oneness among the religions, some Methodists are praying, “O Father, I don’t care what happens to other churches, but please bless the Methodist Church.” Do you think such a prayer will reach God’s ears? Methodism is only one of more than four hundred denominations. God will say, “You rascals! You denominationalists! Before praying for yourselves, you should make the Christian church one! If you do that, I will listen to your prayer.”
    What would God say if Christians were to unite as one and pray, “O Lord! Give us strength to resolve your biggest headache by uniting Christianity and creating oneness among all the religions. Gives us the ability! Help us to create this oneness!” Surely He would say, “Yes, I will grant your prayer.”  God is waiting for the appearance of people who can break down the walls surrounding the denominations and make them one. (98:114-15, May 7, 1978)
 
By what means can we unite Christianity throughout the world? It is by the Holy Spirit. Hence, I named our church, “The Holy Spirit Association.” Not by fists or bayonets, but by the Holy Spirit.  We cannot unite the churches by human power. It is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit, through mobilizing the hosts of heaven. (113:97, May 1, 1981)
 
 
 

In Heaven and On Earth, I Alone Am the Honored One

Luke 23

44 Around noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. 45 The sun stopped shining, and the curtain in the temple split down the middle. 46 Jesus shouted, “Father, I put myself in your hands!” Then he died.

Ezekiel 1

24 Whenever the creatures flew, their wings roared like an ocean or a large army or even the voice of God All-Powerful. And whenever the creatures stopped, they folded their wings against their bodies.

Buddhism

1. The Values of Buddhism

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

In ancient times, Buddhism and Buddhist culture emerged out of God’s will, in order to reform the society of India. Buddhism presented a new ideal through a new understanding of subject and object relationships.15 (144:182, April 24, 1986)
 
Buddhism, which emerged from India, is a world-level teaching. Only religions like Buddhism, which transcends the practical domain of life and contains a world-level point of view and a transcendental philosophy, will remain in the Last Days. (9:279, June 12, 1960)
 
Among the Oriental religions, Buddhism is the closest to God’s providence… However, as Buddhism teaches the logic of Sarvadharma [the oneness of all things], it is ignorant of a personal God—a major weakness. Nevertheless, God set things up this way to prepare the people of Asia to one day be united [with God’s Kingdom] through the Oriental religions when Buddhism would connect with Judaism [had the latter received Christ]. (208:311, November 21, 1990)
 
Buddhism teaches the existence of God, but it focuses on God’s lawful aspect. It does not explain that God is actively working in the world. (53:297, March 4, 1972)
 
The Buddha’s entire philosophy is based on law (dharma). However, the object of dharma is the circumstances of human beings as objects, not the human being himself. Actually, the measure of a human being is love, not law. But the Buddha taught a standard based on law; hence his teachings are called Law Sutras.
    Buddhism teaches self-realization, but what should happen after attaining self-realization? Is that the end of it? That is why, even though Buddhists live solitary lives deep in the mountains and work hard for self-discipline and self-realization, they still are ambiguous about the ideal world of love. (50:116, November 6, 1971)
 
2. Buddhist Enlightenment
Strive and cleave the stream. Discard, O Brahmin, sense-desires. Knowing the destruction of conditioned things, be a knower of the Unmade.
    Dhammapada 383
 
Since all Dharmas are immanent in our mind there is no reason why we should not realize intuitively the real nature of Suchness. The Bodhisattva Sila Sutra says, “Our Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure, and if we knew our mind and realized what our nature is, all of us would attain Buddhahood.”
    Sutra of Hui Neng 2
 
Every Buddha Tathagata is one whose body is the Principle of Nature (Dharmadhatu-kaya), so that he may enter into the mind of any being. Consequently, when you have perceived Buddha, it is indeed that mind of yours that possesses those thirty-two signs of perfection and eighty minor marks of excellence [which you see in Buddha]. In fine, it is your mind that becomes Buddha; nay, your mind is indeed Buddha. The ocean of true and universal knowledge of all the Buddhas derives its source from one’s own mind and thought.
    Meditation on Buddha Amitayus 17
 
In heaven and on earth, I alone am the Honored One.
    Digha Nikaya 2.15

Resurrection Is the Process of Being Restored


The Richard Urban Show

#91-Seth Rich Murder and Cover-Up-New Evidence

Luke 3

Crowds of people came out to be baptized, but John said to them, “You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? Do something to show that you really have given up your sins. Don’t start saying that you belong to Abraham’s family. God can turn these stones into children for Abraham.An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”

Isaiah 47

47 City of Babylon,
You are delicate
    and untouched,
    but that will change.
Surrender your royal power
    and sit in the dirt.
Start grinding grain!
    Take off your veil.
Strip off your fancy clothes
    and cross over rivers.
You will suffer the shame
    of going naked,
because I will take revenge,
    and no one can escape.
I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the holy God of Israel.
    I am their Savior.

Rebirth

2. Rebirth Requires Cutting Off the Old Self

All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
    Romans 8.14-17
 
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and puts off the natural man and becomes a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becomes as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord sees fit to inflict upon him, even as a child submits to his father.
    Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3.19 (Latter-day Saints)
 
These same people, though wrapped in all these veils of limitation, and despite the restraint of such observances, as soon as they drank the immortal draught of faith, from the cup of certitude, at the hand of the Manifestation of the All-glorious, were so transformed that they would renounce for his sake their kindred, their substance, their lives, their beliefs, yea, all else save God! So over-powering was their yearning for God, so uplifting their transports of ecstatic delight, that the world and all that is therein faded before their eyes into nothingness. Have not this people exemplified the mysteries of rebirth?
    Book of Certitude 155 (Baha’i Faith)
 
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
 
 
We cannot be born again unless we deny our fallen selves. (244:100, January 31, 1993)
 
Christianity teaches that we cannot be saved unless we receive the Holy Spirit. We come before God when the Holy Spirit visits us and connects us with the Savior. The Holy Spirit comes to bring us to Heaven, to the God of goodness. But before we can receive it, first we must repent. (99:75, September 1, 1978)
 
Resurrection may be defined as the process of being restored from the death caused by the Fall to life, from the realm of Satan’s dominion to the realm of God’s direct dominion, through the providence of restoration. Accordingly, whenever we repent of our sins and rise to a higher state of goodness, we are resurrected to that degree.   (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Resurrection 1.3)
 
Father! Because we were born from evil,
we must be born again to goodness.
The destiny of having to be born twice is a very miserable one.
Isn’t living as a stepchild very regrettable even in the world?
Yet we are not even at the level of stepchildren;
having been born as children of the enemy we must find our Original Parents,
but the path is never a smooth one.
Therefore, we receive countless attacks from Satan’s spears, swords and arrows.
We must cut the ties that bind our bodies and go forth.
We must confront the people that bind us and cut their ties,
whether with our teeth or with our strength. (27:161, December 7, 1969)

You Who Believe; Remember the Grace of God on You

Luke 9

14 There were about five thousand men in the crowd.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Have the people sit in groups of fifty.” 15 They did this, and all the people sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and fish and handed them to his disciples to give to the people.

17 Everyone ate all they wanted. What was left over filled twelve baskets.

1 Kings 22

48 Jehoshaphat had seagoing ships built to sail to Ophir for gold. But they were wrecked at Ezion-Geber and never sailed. 49 Ahaziah son of Ahab offered to let his sailors go with Jehoshaphat’s sailors, but Jehoshaphat refused.

50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became king.

51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s rule in Judah, and he ruled two years from Samaria.

52 Ahaziah disobeyed the Lord, just as his father, his mother, and Jeroboam had done. They all led Israel to sin. 53 Ahaziah worshiped Baal and made the Lord God of Israel very angry, just as his father had done.

Richard: Jehoshaphat obeyed God, while Ahaziah did not. The main battle is not right vs left, but God vs no God.

Help and Deliverance

2. Deliverance from Danger and Death

O you who believe! Remember the grace of God on you, when there came down on you hosts; but We sent against them a hurricane and forces you could not see: but God sees clearly all that you do. Behold! They came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and you imagined various vain thoughts about God! In that situation were the believers tried; they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking…
    And God turned back the unbelievers, for all their fury; no advantage did they gain; and enough is God for the believers in their fight. And God is full of Strength, Able to enforce His will.29
    Qur’an 33.9-11, 25

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord :
I will sing to the Lord , for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea;
and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea.
The floods cover them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord , glorious in power,
your right hand, O Lord , shatters the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
you send forth your fury, it consumes them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

The enemy said, “I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil,
my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword,
my hand shall destroy them.”
You blew them away with your wind,
the sea covered them;
they sank as lead
in the mighty waters.

Who is like thee, O Lord , among the gods?
Who is like thee, majestic in holiness,
terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
Exodus 15.1-11

They threw them [Paul and Silas] into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
    Acts 16.23-30

Arms pinioned, was I thrown down in a heap.
The elephant violently was goaded in the head.
The elephant ran away trumpeting,
Declaring, “To this prostrate figure am I a sacrifice;
Lord, in you alone lies my strength.”
The Kazi urged the mahout to goad on the elephant,
Threatening, “Mahout! I shall cut you to pieces!
Goad and drive the elephant!”
But the elephant, meditating on God, would not move:
In his heart was lodged the Lord.
The people queried, “What offense has this
holy man committed,
That in bonds he is thrown to be trampled by an elephant?”
The elephant bowed again and again to the heap before it.
The benighted Kazi did not realize this;
Three times he ordered this trial
But his hard heart still was not softened.
Says Kabir, The Lord is my guardian.
In absorption in Him lies His servant’s life.
    Adi Granth, Gaund, Kabir, p. 870 (Sikhism)

World-honored Lord and Perfect One,
I pray thee now declare
Wherefore this holy Bodhisat
Is known as Kuan Shih Yin [Hearer of the Cries of the World]?
To this the Perfect One replied
By uttering this song:
The echoes of her holy deeds
Resound throughout the world.
So vast and deep the vows she made
When, after countless eons
Of serving hosts of Perfect Ones,
She voiced her pure desire
[To liberate afflicted beings].
Now hearken to what came of it—
To hear her name or see her form,
Or fervently recite her name
Delivers beings from every woe.
Were you with murderous intent
Thrust within a fiery furnace,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would turn those flames to water!
Were you adrift upon the sea
With dragon-fish and fiends around you,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would spare you from the hungry waves…
Were you amidst a band of thieves,
Their cruel knives now raised to slay,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
And pity must restrain their blows.
Suppose the king now wroth with you,
The headsman’s sword upraised to strike,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would dash the sword to pieces.
Were you close pent by prison walls,
Your wrists and ankles bound by chains,
One thought of Kuan Yin’s saving power
Would instantly procure release…
True Kuan Yin! Pure Kuan Yin!
Immeasurably wise Kuan Yin!
Merciful and filled with pity,
Ever longed-for and revered!
O Radiance spotless and effulgent!
O night-dispelling Sun of Wisdom!
O Vanquisher of storm and flame!
Your glory fills the world!
    Lotus Sutra 25 (Buddhism)