Paradise on Earth Service
Hall of Worship, Atami Sacred Grounds
June 15-16, 2017
On the 4th of February of this year, at the Beginning of Spring Service, I communicated an unusual message to you, members of Izunome Kyodan both in Japan and abroad. I was well aware that it was not suitable for the occasion of celebrating the beginning of spring and that my behavior was to be criticized as inconsiderate. Despite all of this, however, I would like you to know that I had no other choice but to relay my honest feelings to you on that very day.
This sudden and unexpected action on my part must have caused you great concern and worry, and I would like to hereby express my deepest apologies to all of you: I am sorry.
I believe my responsibility as Kyoshu – spiritual leader – at present is to receive, through Meishu-sama, the Will of God as your representative and to relay it to you from time to time by way of my words at services and other occasions. But my responsibility does not end there. Each one of you have your own thoughts, feelings and reactions toward my words, and I believe it is also my responsibility to report them to God and intercede with God on your behalf, in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama. We are united as one under God, and I do not differentiate your thoughts, feelings and reactions from mine. Your thoughts are my thoughts, your feelings my feelings, and your reactions my reactions – that is why I feel responsible to relay them to God. I report them to God not only as yours but as mine, as ours.
In essence, my responsibility as Kyoshu is to make sure that my words and messages reach all the members around the world without any hindrance or modification and to know how all of you reacted to them. In this way, you and I can be united as one in turning our hearts and minds to God and Meishu-Sama.
Leading up to the 4th of February, however, the executives of Izunome Kyodan acted with an intention of cutting my ties with all of you. They took various measures to make it difficult for me to communicate my honest feelings to you and to receive your honest feelings.
Members of Izunome Kyodan both in Japan and abroad, I am with all of you. With all my heart, I love you.
I felt that, if the executives of Izunome Kyodan continued to proceed in the same way they had done before the 4th of February, the continuance of the organization would be in serious danger. I also felt that the direction it was taking would become an obstacle to those who were earnestly seeking the true message Meishu-sama would like for us to know through my words. This was why I needed to deliver those words at the Beginning of Spring Service to all of you.
Later, through the greeting of President Kobayashi at the May Monthly Service, the executives expressed their apologies for the way they had advanced divine work up until today and declared to Meishu-sama, all the members and to me their determination from then on to move forward on the entirely new path of faith now shown to us through Meishu-sama. On that occasion, they also pledged to undertake a drastic and thorough revision in all aspects of the organization to materialize their determination.
This revision has just begun by those who share the same spirit as I. Currently, Reverend Shirasawa, Reverend Kawatani and the directors of all five missionary regions of Japan are taking the lead in carrying out this drastic and thorough revision with a resolute mind. I fully approve of the revisions they are now trying to take on and would like to support them as much as I can.
More importantly, however, this revision cannot be accomplished without the help, support and understanding of all the members around the world. We were human-centered in whatever we have been doing. Now, with this revision, we are trying to transform our old, human-centered way of advancing divine work into an entirely new way and rebuild the organization into a completely new one, suitable for the ever new teachings of Meishu-sama that are now being revealed to us. To accomplish this transformation is not an easy task and it takes unwavering courage as the ministers and directors I mentioned above will need to make many hard decisions.
Ministers and members around the world, I sincerely ask for your help, support and understanding for this drastic and thorough revision. I believe carrying out this revision properly and thoroughly is a necessary step for all of you to come to know the true message of Meishu- sama.
Now, in deep awe and fear of God, I say to you that the breath we now breathe is an entirely new breath. This new breath is the breath God gave to Meishu-sama when he was born anew as a Messiah, a child of God. And I say to you, not only Meishu-sama, but we are now also breathing this entirely new breath because the new Meishu-sama lives and breathes within each one of us.
This new breath is also an extremely old breath, the breath God imparted to us in heaven, in the world of Beginning, as God’s very own eternal life. Each one of us was given the breath of eternal life before we came to earth. How awesome, fearful and wonderful this is!
I only knew the breath of this world – the breath that began when I came to earth and ends when I leave it. I only knew the breath of mortal life. But Meishu-sama told us in 1954 that he was born again as a Messiah. He had a new birth not as a child of physical parents but of the spiritual parent, of the heavenly Father, of God who is eternal life Himself. Through his new birth, Meishu-Sama made me realize that we, within us, possess a spiritual, invisible and eternal breath. We have the breath of eternal life within us. All ancestors and all creation in heaven and on earth also possess this eternal breath of God.
We breathe when we are awake. But we also breathe when we are asleep and unconscious. Who does that? Who is in control of our breath? Is it not through the power of God that our breath is sustained at all times? Is it not God Himself who always breathes within each one of us? I say to you with indescribable joy that our breath is in fact the breath of God. I would like you to know that we are already breathing with this eternal breath of God. God already allowed us to receive and inherit His very own breath.
Despite receiving this wonderful blessing, we for so long disrespected God by deeming that our breath was our breath and that we owned it. We said and claimed to believe that God was the Creator but did not count “breath” as one of God’s creations. My breath was and always is the breath of God. Our breath was and always is the breath of God. This, I feel, is the most fundamental truth that we have ignored and overlooked as we have lived our life until today. By regarding our breath as our own, we have completely disrespected God – we had no way to make amends for such a grave sin and such an arrogant attitude toward Him.
Yet God, out of His grace and with the Transition from Night to Day, decided to forgive us unconditionally and unilaterally. It was not because we did something good or we deserved it that God forgave us. We, without exception, all turned and rebelled against God and had no means to atone for such a grave sin. Regardless, God brought salvation to us by declaring His forgiveness to us, humanity. Yes, He forgave us – the sinners, the unworthy, the unrighteous. How great is the love of God!
When Meishu-sama came to know God’s unconditional forgiveness, he, as our representative
and together with us, repented, turned to God and returned to heaven where God dwells. He
then asked God for forgiveness for his sins and our sins and offered his life and breath to Him.
After examining the heart of Meishu-sama to see if the repentance was sincere or not, God
eventually decided to accept the petition from Meishu-sama and to grant Meishu-sama, once
more and newly, a new life and breath through the holy name of Messiah.
In April 1954, Meishu-sama collapsed from a brain stroke. But even while he was suffering
from the stroke, he told us that he “became much younger” and was a “newborn baby.” Are not these words evidence that Meishu-sama received a new life and breath from God? If not, why would he say that he was a “newborn baby?” Not only this, he also said to us at that time that “a Messiah was born.” Was he not letting us know through these words that the “newborn baby” had a name and that was “Messiah?”
Newborn babies begin their life on earth by first taking in a breath of fresh air right after they come out of their mother’s womb. Meishu-sama, at this occasion of having his new and second birth, also was imbued with an entirely new breath of God that bears the name of Messiah and breathed in this spiritual breath. That is why he told us that he was a “newborn baby” with the name of Messiah. I cannot imagine his enormous joy of being able to have a new birth as a true child of God, as a Messiah.
I want you to know that our breath is also this entirely new breath of God, bearing the name of Messiah. Our breath is already one with the breath of Meishu-sama. This new breath is injected with the Will of God – His unchanging Will to love and forgive all humanity so that we, just like Meishu-sama, can be born once more as His children, as Messiahs. Let us, therefore, receive God’s forgiveness that is in this new breath of God and in the name of Messiah. Let us move away from breathing the breath of mortal life, believe in the breath of eternal life and become a child of God whose life is everlasting.
As God breathes His breath of life into us at this very moment, I now would like to receive His breath together with all of you and with the following words. Please could you have the same thoughts as I as you listen to my words?
O God, in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, I, together with all ancestors and all nature, now return to the heaven existing within me and receive Your forgiveness that is in Your breath. Use me, God, so that this blessing be shared with all as I serve in Your work. May Your Will be done through my incoming breath and outgoing breath, through my outgoing breath and incoming breath. Yours are my life and breath – so I surrender them to You.
Thank you for having the same thoughts as I.
Everyone, let us now take in a deep breath and fill our whole body – every single cell of our body, from the tips of our fingers to the tips of our toes – with this entirely new breath of God. After receiving this breath of God, let us breathe out with the thought of returning to heaven where God lives and surrendering our whole beings to Him.
May the eternal God be praised forever and ever.