They Were His Enemies Who Had Tried to Kill Him

1 Kings 13

15 “Come home with me,” the old prophet said, “and have something to eat.”

Ezekiel 48

13 I will give the other half of my sacred land to the Levites. Their share will also be eight miles long and three miles wide, 14 and they must never sell or trade any of this land—it is the best land and belongs to me.

Joseph

3. Joseph Meets His Brothers and Reconciles with Them

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, was sold into slavery in Egypt. However, it was God’s will that he suffer in Egypt, because through Joseph he planned to preserve a future for Israel. We, too, are like Joseph. Our fate is to be mistreated, even though we are striving to save the nation and the world. Therefore, we should all be determined to suffer for the sake of God’s will to restore humanity at the sacrifice of our lives and everything we own. Then our church will be aligned with God’s concept.
    Because I know this, despite all persecutions, I never complain or carry a grudge. Rather, I work tirelessly to overcome every obstacle all the way to the end. (146:124-25, June 8, 1986)
 
It must have been so painful for Joseph to see his brothers when they came to Egypt to purchase grain. They were his enemies who had tried to kill him years before. However, they were still his brothers, of the same blood; further, they loved and cared for his parents during all those years while he lived in a foreign land. Besides, his parents loved them. Thinking of all this, Joseph forgave them. (48:312, September 26, 1971)
 
Joseph’s eleven brothers persecuted him and even attempted to kill him, yet he knew that unless he won them over, he would be unable to bring his parents to Egypt and preserve their lives. God has placed me in precisely the same situation as Joseph. Joseph suffered in Egypt to lay the foundation to save his brothers. Likewise, I am working to save the declining remnants of Christianity. Joseph represented the future of the Israelites; likewise I am taking the responsibility of Joseph to provide a future for Christianity. 
 
Joseph forgave his eleven brothers when they visited him in Egypt because, despite their evil, he knew that they cared for his parents during his absence. Likewise, we cannot help but bless the Christian churches that oppose us because they served God before the Unification Church came into being. (Way of God’s Will 1.3)
 
 

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

Surrender Your Purpose to God While Doing Good

No Income Tax Reform; Focus on Constitutional Rights Instead

West Virginia Legislative Session-2021 Priorities

I will be suspending (closing) my Facebook account after March 31st, due to the censorship imposed by Facebook, and my desire not to support the platform by my presence there. If you would like to stay in touch with me and Stacey on social media, I invite you to join the independent social media platform Friendica, which we run on our own server: https://friendica.visionroot.org/register. Here is one of our public pages, fyi: https://friendica.visionroot.org/profile/visionroot.

Isaiah 18

For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
    and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
    and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
    the wild animals all winter.

Ezekiel 46

12 “‘When the prince provides a freewill offering to the Lord—whether a burnt offering or fellowship offerings—the gate facing east is to be opened for him. He shall offer his burnt offering or his fellowship offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut.

The Purpose of Religion

2. Religions Cultivate Good Character

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
    James 1.27

Whoever surrenders his purpose to God while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall be no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve.
    Qur’an 2.112

    For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
    Titus 2.11-14

Make your mosque of compassion, your prayermat of sincerity;
your Qur’an of honest and legitimate earning.
Be modesty your circumcision, noble conduct your Ramadan fast—
thus shall you be a true Muslim.
Make good deeds your Kaaba; truth your preceptor;
good action your Kalima and namaz.
Make your rosary of what pleases God:
Thus will you be honored at the last reckoning.
    Adi Granth, Var Majh, M.1, p. 140 (Sikhism)

What is to be avoided most in our life is vacillation and frivolity; what is most excellent is a reverential heart. Therefore, we Confucians endeavor to preserve sincerity of heart and consider reverence as most essential. It is needless to say that sincerity and reverence make us companions of heaven and earth, gods and spirits. There is, however, another class of people who adopt Buddhism as their guidance. They bow before the Buddha and recite his sutras, always bent on preserving reverence and awe. They will never relax the vigilant guard over the heart, which will by degrees become pure and bright, free from evil thoughts and ready to do good. This enlightenment is called their most happy land. What is necessary, then, for Buddhists as well as Confucians is to avoid vacillation and frivolity, which will render you unreliable. Keep the heart always restrained by reverence and awe. Otherwise what can be the use of the recitation of sutras or the discourses of Confucius?
    Tract of the Quiet Way (Taoism)

Turn to Me to Be Saved, For I Am God

Urban Life Training Newsletter-March 18, 2021

2 Chronicles 25

14 After Amaziah had defeated the Edomite army, he returned to Jerusalem. He took with him the idols of the Edomite gods and set them up. Then he bowed down and offered them sacrifices. 15 This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask Amaziah, “Why would you worship these foreign gods that couldn’t even save their own people from your attack?”

16 But before the prophet finished speaking, Amaziah interrupted and said, “You’re not one of my advisors! Don’t say another word, or I’ll have you killed.”

The prophet stopped. But then he added, “First you sinned and now you’ve ignored my warning. It’s clear that God has decided to punish you!”

Ezekiel 20

39 Go ahead and worship your idols for now, you Israelites, because soon I will no longer let you dishonor me by offering gifts to them. You will have no choice but to obey me!40 When that day comes, everyone in Israel will worship me on Mount Zion, my holy mountain in Jerusalem. I will once again call you my own, and I will accept your sacred offerings and sacrifices. 41 When I bring you home from the places where you are now scattered, I will be pleased with you, just as I am pleased with the smell of the smoke from your sacrifices. Every nation on earth will see that I am holy, 42 and you will know that I, the Lord, am the one who brought you back to Israel, the land I promised your ancestors. 43 Then you will remember your wicked sins, and you will hate yourselves for doing such horrible things. They have made you unacceptable to me, 44 so you deserve to be punished. But I will treat you in a way that will bring honor to my name, and you will know that I am the Lord God.

Richard: We are currently in a period of separation of good and evil and of judgement. The core teaching of this age is absolute sexual ethics . All the things that are an affront to God and His ideal have to be cleaned up. This will happen, for sure. As always, our own response and and responsibility is key.

Universal Salvation

The compassion and grace of God knows no bounds. The heavenly Father’s heart yearns to save all his children. These passages from scripture praise the extent of God’s saving work and predict it eventually to embrace all humankind. In Buddhist terms, the essential purpose of absolute truth is to liberate all sentient beings, and Mahayana Buddhist scriptures express the universality of grace in the bodhisattva vow of the Buddha Amitabh to save all beings.
Salvation may come to all people through one central point: thus in Abraham “shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12.3). For those who believe in one religion as the only way, the divine mandate to save all humankind is a powerful impetus to missionary activity. On the other hand, God may express his saving will by sending multiple prophets and sages to all nations, warning each to return to God using the means suitable to their different cultures.
If salvation is to be available universally, to every soul who has ever lived regardless of his or her earthly life, the doctrine may appear at odds with beliefs about hell and the Last Judgment. If God is most essentially just, how can the wicked ever receive salvation? On the other hand, if God is most essentially gracious and compassionate, how can he permit any creature to suffer in hell eternally? To understand the heart of God our heavenly Father, Father Moon asks us to imagine how we would feel if one of our children were a condemned criminal. We would want to save our child, even take his place at the gallows.
Father Moon also discusses the difficulty of the path of salvation in terms of the methods which God is constrained to use, because he created human beings with the sovereign freedom to live and mold our lives as each sees fit. Nevertheless, ultimately God’s purpose shall be done: all people will be saved and even hell will be emptied of its occupants.

The daily concern of the Parent is single-heartedly how best I can advance arrangements to save all of you.
    Ofudesaki 14.35 (Tenrikyo)

The Dharma of the Buddhas
by the constant use of a single flavor
causes the several worlds
universally to attain perfection.
By gradual practice
all obtain the Fruit of the Way.
    Lotus Sutra 5 (Buddhism)

The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
    2 Peter 3.9

God is on the watch for the nations of the world to repent, so that He may bring them under His wings.
Numbers Rabbah 10.1 (Judaism)

I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 115 (Baha’i Faith)

We will make offering unto You with worship,
O Lord, and to the Right,
That you may achieve through Good Mind the
destiny of all creatures in the Dominion.
For the salvation of the man of insight among such as you,
O Wise One, will hold good for everyone. 
    Avesta, Yasna 34.3 (Zoroastrianism)

“As I live,” says the Lord God, “I have no
pleasure in the death of the wicked.”
    Ezekiel 33.11

Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
for I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
an irrevocable decree:
“To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear.”
    Isaiah 45.22-23

God it is who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion, however much the idolators may be averse.   
    Qur’an 9.33

The Lordsaid to Abram… “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    Genesis 12.3

And there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them.
    Qur’an 35.24

Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
O people of Israel?” says the l ord .
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the
Syrians from Kir?” 
    Amos 9.7

The Tathagatas do not enter ultimate liberation until all living beings have entered ultimate liberation.
    Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 4 (Buddhism)

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not fail or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law. 
    Isaiah 42.1-4

I establish the Vows unexcelled,
And reach the highest path, Bodhi.

Were these Vows unfulfilled,
I would never attain Enlightenment.

I will be the great provider
Throughout innumerable ages.
Should I fail to save all in need,
I would never attain Enlightenment.

Upon my attaining Enlightenment,
If my Name were not heard anywhere
In the ten quarters of the universe,
I would never attain Enlightenment.

Practicing the Holy Way—selflessness,
Depth in right reflection and pure wisdom,
Aspiring toward the highest path,
I will be the teacher of devas and men.

My wondrous power by its great light
Brightens countless lands throughout,
Removes the darkness of the three defilements
And delivers all from suffering and pain. 
    Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra 9.1-5: Juseige (Buddhism)