I Kings 19:1-21
Upon this day You have given, we have gathered before Your dignified presence on our knees, concerned about our insufficiency. Please allow us to fathom our hearts now to see where they are. We are aware that Your course in pioneering the path of life was one of utmost austerity and consecration.
Father, please look with compassion at Your sons and daughters gathered here. I sincerely wish and desire that You will please manifest Your dignified presence. By our setting up the standard of victory You have granted, acknowledge us as the sacred throng, and come visit us.
The remaining course of the providence is one of sorrow. We are aware that the responsibility to hold this sorrow in check is upon our shoulders. We also know that he who cannot feel Heaven's limitless sorrow will not be able to assume responsibility for it. Since we are aware that we cannot help assuming the responsibility for the sorrowful heart that remains in Heaven and for Heaven's battles, please allow us to know how.
We know that we have to feel and experience greater sorrow than anyone to be equal to this task, and that we must not become stragglers even if we are placed in a position of more chagrin than anyone else on the battleground.
Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You will allow us to be concerned whether our bodies can be the sacrifice of victory offered before Heaven.
Although two thousand years of history have passed since Jesus came and left, the true altar of victory that Jesus built at the top of Mt. Calgary, where he cried together with Heaven, has not yet appeared on this earth. We know that the time has come when Heaven cannot help moving, human beings on this earth cannot help moving, and the summit of worldwide Golgotha must appear, where Heaven and earth meet. This is the time when Gethsemane must appear. There will have to be numerous believers who assume responsibility. However, we know in reality that there is no throng of people in whom Heaven can seek and rejoice. Therefore, the sons and daughters who feel concern about the Father's heart will have to wail more and more as they look upon this earth.
Father! Please allow us to know that the greater the ardent mind of the Father as He eagerly looks forward to the day of hope, the greater is His heart of longing for the person to appear on the earth who can render devoted service to Him.
Please allow us to assume all historical grief by becoming sons and daughters who can be held in the Father's hands and raised in the Father's bosom by offering all our minds and bodies.
We know that this must be the hour when our minds and bodies are resurrected anew through the miracles the Father personally works. Please forgive us for not having fulfilled the responsibility You entrusted to us in the past week. Forgive us for not having rendered devoted service to You. Please forgive us for not having led a tear-stained life, holding onto Your heart. Forgive us for having forgotten that You never gave a thought to Your own toil as You sought each one of us.
Father, I ardently pray from the depth of my heart that You will allow us to be Your newly resolved and determined sons and daughters in this hour, each conscious of his or her insufficiencies in the past. Let us be able to step forth upholding the minds within us which are centered on the Father's heart.
Father, since this is a holy day, please look with compassion upon the thirty million Korean people who are in such a pitiful situation. Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You will please be their Friend, their Leader, and the Master who revives their lives.
Please be the center of their hope. Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You will please not allow this throng, this race, and this religious order to move without the Father.
I ardently wish and desire that You will bestow the blessing that You were to grant in this hour. Please allow Your sons and daughters who assumed the responsibility for the day of victory to be able to fulfill the mission. We are aware that this nation has the responsibility to reveal the Father's glory by realizing this will. Since we know that there will be endless ordeals in the process of carrying that responsibility out, Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You will allow us to be the sons and daughters who can step forth in Your place, meeting our responsibility even in the course of ordeals.
Please bestow blessings upon humanity, which is ignorant of this will. At this time, when the wave of life and death sweeps along, please allow many throngs of people to emerge who are capable of taking hold of the Father and becoming His sons and daughters.
Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You will allow many sons and daughters to come forth before the Father, sons and daughters who can meet the collective responsibility of helping humanity evade the lash of judgment.
If there are people who do not know about this mission, about this time and responsibility, please warn them through us. Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You will allow them to become Your sons and daughters who can fulfill the responsibility and mission of the last days.
Please bless this day. Please extend Your hands of indiscriminate grace over the scattered people who are appealing to You, embracing the lonely hearts. Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You will grab hold of them so that they do not fall away in the middle of the fight and so that they can establish the day of victory You have granted.
Father, please govern us in person during this hour, from the beginning to the end. Do not let the influence of darkness be activated. I pray this from the bottom of my heart.
Since we offer everything to You, please take charge and have dominion. I pray in the name of the Lord. Amen.
We are aware that numerous people on this earth have gone through a path of toil and have undergone a fight of blood and tears for the sake of the will. Today, we know that we must be the fruit of that blood in front of Heaven. We know that we must hoist the flag of victory on the base of the providence that remains. In this hour today, please allow us not to think we belong to ourselves. Since our minds are not ours, our lives are not ours, and the desire we cherish is not ours, please allow us not to relate to Heaven with self-centered minds. Since we began as the Father's, Father, I pray deeply that You will allow this to be the hour when we belong only to You.
Our minds, our bodies, and our doctrines and assertions must all belong to the Father. Therefore, please do not tolerate the things that are not of You. If there are elements of evil in our minds and bodies, please eliminate them. By eliminating all doctrines and assertions that are not Yours, Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You will allow this to be the hour when we can move only in accord with what belongs to the Father.
Who can stand against Heaven, however great he may be on this earth? No one can appear before the Father with any excuses. Therefore, we realize that the time has come when we must repent from the heart, for we are steeped in sinful history. We have become offerings for Satan because of the sin and evil of history.
Father, although our minds and bodies should have been our own, they became offerings to Satan instead. Please allow us to revive the minds within us that can grieve over this. Please create contrite hearts that regard this matter with great indignation. Father, I ardently wish and desire that You will allow us to form ties with Heaven by being awakened to our worth and by rediscovering ourselves.
We are aware that an infinite number of satans are eyeing our minds and bodies. Since the bitter roots of unforgivable sin remain, Father, please manifest Yourself. With Your able authority, create the history of re-creation. Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You bring about heavenly works of miracles so that our minds can succumb before You.
We are aware that when Heaven moves, the earth cannot help moving, and when the earth makes a request to Heaven, Heaven cannot help complying. Are there heavenly sons and daughters today who fight to take hold of Heaven as their own with sincere minds and whole hearts? Is there one who has lived his whole life accepting all heavenly situations as his own, assuming Heaven's work as his own, accepting Heaven's ideology as his own? Is there one who has fought to grasp this, receiving maltreatment and being hounded and pursued to grasp this? Since we are not such, please allow us to be able to inform Heaven truthfully that we are unpardonable offenders.
Although we do not know it today, Heaven sent numerous prophets and sages over the long period of six thousand years, having them build bloody altars. By sending loyal subjects and patriots to this nation, Heaven has taken hold of the direction this nation must take. For that purpose, the Father did not care about any particular region. He unfolded the dispensation internally to the domain that transcends race. Such has been the Father's toil. Please allow us not to forget that.
The Father devoted all sincerity and exerted all possible efforts to realize this one will and came seeking for us, ready for any kind of sacrifice. Therefore, Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You will not allow us to be brazen-faced sons and daughters who cannot uphold honor before such grace.
Now we have perceived that heaven exists and who Heavenly Father is. Since we know that an inevitable condition remains for the Father and us to form bonds, Father, please allow us to be able to feel Your grief as our own, Your deep lamentation and sorrow as our own through the heart. Please allow heavenly marchers to appear before this nation and this earth, stepping forth to fight a fierce battle against Satan.
Father, I ardently wish and desire that You will allow us to rout the enemy satans from this earth who have falsely accused Heaven for six thousand years. Allow us to dissolve the Father's bitter resentment and suffering love and to build the ideal garden You sought as quickly as possible.
Father, please give instructions as to the direction of this nation. Reveal the direction the religious order should take, and clearly indicate the path of the true sons and daughters. We are aware that the time of historical grief has arrived, when we are taken alive into the influence of darkness by being thrown into confusion and nebulosity. Father, I pray deeply that You will set up one standard by which we can withstand.
We know that there was no moment when grief abated for Jesus, who came for God and humanity. Looking back at Jesus two thousand years ago, we now know that he shed tears in secret, starved in secret, and in secret cried bitterly in the course of persecution. We are aware that as Jesus walked this kind of course, numerous believers following behind him also unselfishly walked the bloody path and went forth fighting, even on the path of death.
The final day is approaching when we must bow respectfully toward Heaven and receive blessing by offering ourselves as living sacrifices. The time is coming near to sing of the glory of Heaven by offering the whole of our lives. Where are Your sons and daughters who will offer themselves as living sacrifices before You today? Where are those who can please the Father and offer praise to Him in a glorious state? We understand the heart of the Father, who is searching, wondering where are such people. We know that if You feel sorrowful, it is because You could not find Your reciprocating partner, because You could not find one substantial entity of glory. Father, please work so that we can at least have a mind to tremble for fear that the heavenly sorrow may be extended to posterity for a thousand years through the marks we leave today.
What did the sons and daughters gathered here come in search of? The place these people must go is not here, but the Father's home. Is there one who has sat on the Father's throne? Is there one who will be remembered in the Father's mind? We know that if we do not become such people, we can become nothing but objects for mockery in front of billions of satans and offerings for them. Please allow us to prostrate before the Father, concentrating our minds together in this hour.
The path to the heavenly castle is the path of the cross. Please let us know that we must go to the top of Golgotha, carrying our cross on our back. We must go so far as the place of bloodshed, the place of the cross, and be subjected to persecution. Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You will allow us to know that You are seeking the throng of people who forget about themselves, who forget their sorrow and pain and exert themselves to the utmost to walk the path of Golgotha today and tomorrow.
Please look upon the thirty million Korean people with compassion. Bless the numerous religious orders which have appeared on their behalf. It is a time when brother fights against brother. It is a time when family members become enemies to one another, defying heavenly principles and breaking down human ethics and morality. It is a time when people calling on Heaven play sport with people who also call on Heaven and strive more than hungry lions to catch and eat them. It is the time when he who knows the sorrow of Heaven and looks at this reality must weep bitterly and sigh for grief.
Father, please look with compassion at the pitiful, ignorant people. Although they wander about seeking the true path, that path cannot be walked without tears. Although they wander about seeking the true path to life, the search cannot help being continued day and night since the thirty million Korean people are ignorant. Who is responsible for the fate of these people? Who feels and experiences the sorrow of Heaven on behalf of these people? There is no one who will take responsibility for the fate of these people. There is no one who will dissolve the sorrow of Heaven. There is no one who hears the sounds of lamentation and crying from Heaven. If such a person should appear, Heaven's sorrow would not penetrate deeply into the earth; Heaven's judgment would fall.
Father, please allow this age today to know the grief of Jesus, who spoke of his sorrowful heart. It is of no use to know Jesus only as a historical figure. The time has come when we must know Jesus of the present time in our environment. Please allow us to be the throng of people who utter a cry only toward Heaven, dead or alive, overwhelmed by the shimjung to offer our minds and bodies as sacrifices before that lofty and dignified shimjung, before that love. We know that this throng of people is to be hounded on this earth and forsaken by the religious order. I wish and desire that You will allow Your sons and daughters gathered here to become the throng of people who can defend their position to the death.
Father, please let us know that Heaven's grief remains, which we can never forget. We would like personal comfort for ourselves. We are a pitiful throng of people who do not know that Heaven's sorrow exists before our personal comfort and that Heaven's fight began before we started fighting.
What is the purpose of our coming here today? We did not come here to meet someone. We did not come here to make a friend or to meet a person of learning. We are here only to meet the Father, to know the Father's sorrow, and to undertake the Father's cross. Father! Please remove the one who dislikes this. Please aid the one who cannot assume responsibility for this matter. Father, I ardently wish and desire that You allow us to be the sons and daughters who know how to fire arrows at Satan to protect the last castle wall and to die in defense of Heaven.
We know that the people who search for the path of which others disapprove must not only feel and experience the sorrow others do not know, but also must lead a life that others do not know. Father, since You made this people's situation the way it is, please take responsibility for it. Since You made the environment the way it is, please take responsibility for that environment. Father, I pray from the bottom of my heart that You allow us to know that the Father, who assumed the responsibility, has not changed; He is lamenting, having seen us change.
Heaven's mind appeared as one man's mind and established the standard of shimjung for the sake of bringing together the history of four thousand years. Because individuals trampled him and betrayed him, humanity is in a miserable state today. Father, please influence the numerous people on this earth who do not know that their sorrow is the Father's sorrow.
Please allow us to be the lonely throng of people who know how to shed tears and build an altar for these people. We understand that Jacob also built an altar of grief in the wilderness, and so did Moses and Elijah. We aware that there is no one among our ancestors who assumed responsibility for the will of Heaven who did not walk such a course. Since we want to inherit their tradition, Father, I sincerely wish and desire that You allow us to be the sons and daughters who know how to minister to the Father, having prepared a sanctuary by rebuilding the altar left behind and by rebuilding the fallen castle.
Father, will You grant a blessing this day? Please bless us. If this is not the case, please allow us to feel and experience the Father's sorrowful heart. By doing so, Father, I ardently wish and desire that You will arouse in us at least the mind to expose our guilt and repent.
Father, please be concerned about the path the Korean religious world is taking. Please take charge of everything these people have, and govern them. Father, please be aware of the situation of the throng of people who are being hounded and who sigh for grief and feel sorrowful because of it. I sincerely wish and desire that You will grant them the day of victory when they can be embraced in the bosom of the Father's love. For the numerous people who are persevering on their path, striving in the course they have to go over, Father, I ardently beseech You to grant them a new morning of glory.
Your sons and daughters gathered here today have not shown sincerity in our service to You. Please let the passion of ardent shimjung, admiration and longing, with which we can humbly seek and enter into the Father's heart with bowed heads, rise high toward the sky. I ardently solicit and desire that You will guide this to be the hour when we are able to enter into the realm of heart in which we can call You "Father," going beyond the range of our perceptions, forming ties with Your grace of compassion.
Ardently wishing and desiring that You will also embrace the lonely families scattered throughout the localities with the same grace in this hour, I pray all these words in the name of the Lord. Amen.
After fallen history began, God came forth, holding onto the chosen Israel for a long time, unconcerned about His own great toil. After the lapse of three thousand years, He established King Saul with great hope and expectation. Because Saul could not fulfill his responsibility, however, the original will of God was prolonged through King David to the time of King Solomon. In other words, the will God wanted to realize by establishing Saul was prolonged 120 years.
The Jewish People Who Would Worship Foreign Gods
King Solomon had a heavenly responsibility to build the holy temple by upholding the will of Heaven and to unite his people with it through his leadership. However, we understand that since he too committed sin, he ended up handing the people over to become puppets of Satan.
After King Solomon's death, the Israelites were divided into the kingdoms of northern Israel and southern Judah by King Jeroboam and King Rehoboam. The Israelites were the chosen people. With one leader centered upon God, they were to act according to his commands. They were the people God had led through a history of toil. We know the sorrowful fact very well that the Israelites were divided into the two kingdoms of north and south, contrary to Heaven's wish. All twelve tribes of Israel should have united with Heaven centered on one altar, standing on Heaven's side.
When Jacob set out for Haran, God appeared and blessed him in Bethel. Jacob set up the stone he had placed under his head while sleeping as a pillar and made a vow to God. Before crossing the Jabbok River, he gathered stones and piled them in a heap at Mt. Gilead, hung God's name over it, and made a promise. The Israelites who descended from Jacob, upon receiving blessing from Heaven, should have upheld the holy temple by being united as one sovereign nation and people over whom God could exercise His authority. Yet, abandoning the heavenly mission, the twelve tribes divided into ten in the northern kingdom and two in the southern kingdom. We should remember this as more than just a historical fact. It was a sorrowful fact.
The Israelites at that time were the survivors of the tears and bloodshed of three thousand years. They were the surviving throng of hounded and mistreated people. They forgot about bearing a grudge against the numerous foreign peoples who had trampled them down and mistreated them and the numerous satans who had betrayed the will of God. Instead, they entered into a bloody civil war. We must think about the heart of God as He watched Israel and Judah cause such sorrow.
The Israelites who entered the blessed land of Canaan under the guidance of Joshua and Caleb should have ministered to God by building a holy temple where God could dwell, centered on King Solomon. Nevertheless, they battled against each other, dividing into two kingdoms. They even worshipped Baal and Asherah. We must know God's shimjung as He looked at such miserable sights.
God came to be deeply penetrated by sorrow. That piercing sorrow has been linked to us through history. Where did that historical sorrow go? Where did that national sorrow go? Where did the heavenly sorrow go? We did not know that conditions such as these surround and revolve around our shimjung; conditions such as these surround the environment of those who seek Heaven. Conditions such as these are trying to straighten the direction of the path we are to walk, beyond our consciousness.
Elijah Received a Royal Summons
Looking at the pitiable situation, God sought out and set up a person called Elijah from the peasants living in Gilead. At that time, there was a king of Israel as well as the ten tribal chiefs. However, God put them all aside and elected Elijah, who was a mere peasant in Gilead. You must know how sorrowful is a fact like this.
The king of Israel should have stood guard over the holy temple of Heaven while ruling the nation. However, he forgot that responsibility. He rejected and reproached Heaven and trampled upon the people. Furthermore, he built an altar for Baal, the enemy of Heaven, and made Asherah poles. He put them up in front of the people and worshipped them. We must think about how Heaven could have hated King Ahab for doing such things. Because God could not control the anger and sorrow in His heart at seeing the chosen people being trampled by Satan, God chose one person. That chosen person was not the king of the nation, not royalty, not a tribal chief, but a commoner, Elijah. Heavenly Father was in the situation where He could not find the person He had to find, He could not have the person He had to have, He could not lead the people He had to lead. He went around looking for them, meeting the king, the tribal chiefs and numerous people without success. Therefore, He sought out and set up one person who knew and felt concern about the national grief and heavenly sorrow of that period, a person who prayed and cried out to Heaven. That person was Elijah.
Elijah was set up in such a way. Members of the congregation! Please imagine Elijah in retrospect. Elijah was not a person who had the backing of his tribe. He was not a person whose environment safeguarded him or his position or situation. He was a person who knew Heaven's heart and who came forth upon Heaven's calling.
His environment was an enemy one under the sovereignty of King Ahab. Elijah, who received the call of Heaven in such an environment, had a stronger determination than anyone; he was determined that even if he were to die, he would die holding onto his people. Even if he was to die, Elijah tried to uphold the tradition of the prophets and sages who had represented the historical heart in the course of the national level providence. Going further, Elijah shed tears of concern about God's heart; he wept on behalf of the nation and its history. You must reflect upon this. That is why Heaven sought out Elijah.
The title of today's sermon is, "The Heart of Heaven in Relation to Elijah." I will speak briefly upon this topic.
God looked for Elijah to represent His sorrowful heart of three thousand plus years. That is, Elijah was to represent the historical heart that numerous prophets and sages had felt, never forgetting the promise of God, the blessing He had given with uplifted hands upon those He named Israel. Because God was concerned about that promise, He sought out Elijah to embrace the heart with which He had unfolded the dispensation throughout the thousand years and more since the time of Jacob.
The Heart of God Who Called Elijah; the Manner in which God Set Him Up as the Man in Charge
We cannot help thinking that there were aspects of sadness as well as hope for God, who set up Elijah to restore the Israelites, who had been captured alive by the enemy.
The chosen Israelites were being disgraced by worshipping Baal, a foreign god, and making Asherah poles. God called Elijah because He could not endure the sorrow of that. However, Elijah could not appear before the Father with a happy mind.
Elijah could not say, "Father! You are right. I will go the path You want me to go. I will assume the responsibility for which You have called me." Elijah said, "I am nothing but a man of the people. Oh, Heaven, since there are many tribal chiefs who are greater than I, there is a king, there is royalty, and there are numerous Israelites, why have You sought after someone so insignificant as I?" Because of his great concern for Israel, Elijah could not help but unselfishly ask to be excused before Heaven, for he was a person of conscience.
Yet Heaven knew He could not set up any of those people. He knew that no one but Elijah would do. Therefore, he set up Elijah. God did not bear down upon him by commanding him to fulfill the mission right away. He had him put the environment in order and, by giving him prods in this way, encouraged him naturally to take the course.
Therefore, when Elijah appeared before King Ahab after receiving Heaven's calling, he was not forced to make a decision all in a moment, saying, "Since it is the Father's words, I will do it right away." Instead, Heaven made him run up against an environment in which he could not help going forth. By letting him know that the misery of the people and his own misery were getting worse, God had him make a resolution, saying, "I will die for the people and on behalf of the tribe." Only after all this did Heaven set him up as the person in charge of the fight.
The Religious Attitudes of Noah and Mary
Such was also the case with our ancestor, Noah. Noah proceeded to put the word of God into practice. God said, "Since I am surely going to judge the whole world with water 120 years from now, make yourself an ark." There might have been many occasions when he could have doubted Heaven during the course of the internal fight. He must have felt his feebleness keenly many times. What permeated his mind was that the day was coming near when all the people of the earth would receive the judgment of being washed away in flood waters.
Let us look at Mary. She was a chaste maiden, a faithful Israelite woman who felt a deeper concern in her heart than anyone about the Israelites. She waited for the Messiah to come with a more eager heart than anyone among the Israelites, wondering when the Messiah, the leader whom Heaven had promised for several thousand years, would come.
Mary knew the heart of Heaven in sending the Messiah. The people of that time did not know the heart of Mary, who represented the Israelites. They were supposed to usher in the Messiah in this manner, but Heaven knew it was Mary alone who had such a heartistic standard.
Mary's heart was not to strike and destroy the enemy in the name of the people. It was not to step forth as a brave soldier of battle to avenge the grief of the nation, which was moaning in distress. She knew Heaven's sorrow and had the heart to shed tears. She knew that there had been a sorrowful historical course in the background of the nation, even though people did not know about it, and her heart grieved bitterly over the pitiful reality of the chosen Israelites, who could not stand in front of God.
As a result of her meritorious conduct in shedding tears of hope for the stately figure to appear even when he did not, and because she embraced the shimjung that penetrated deep into her marrow, she was able to form ties with Heaven's historical heart. For that reason, an angel appeared unexpectedly and threw words of notification at her like a thunderclap, saying, "1/4 you will conceive in your womb and bear a son1/4." (Luke 1:31) However, Mary hesitated and said, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" (Luke 1:34) To this the angel said, "For with God nothing will be impossible." (Luke 1:37) Upon listening to such words, wishing to fulfill the work of the Father, Mary said without hesitation, "Behold! I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)
The heart of Mary, who tried to form ties with the heart of Heaven, was sincere. Even though her life was destroyed, and she was placed in a situation where she could have been killed, she still said, "Let it be to me according to your word." If word got out that a virgin had conceived, Mosaic law stated that she was to be stoned to death or expelled from the people, becoming a pariah to the tribe. Even under such circumstances, in spite of knowing that no one among the Israelites would receive her favorably, Mary said, "Behold! I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." For the merit that she demonstrated, the internal heart deeply pierced by sorrow and true faith, Mary became the mother of the central figure of history, the age, the future, and all of humanity on the worldwide level, the Messiah.
Elijah's Tears and His Loyalty
Elijah was called before Heaven in the same manner. He had been a prince of tears, a person who shed tears no one knew of, until Heaven sought him. He shed more tears than any king of Israel, more than anyone else in Israel. There had been Israelites who had shed tears over their miserable circumstances, but those tears were shed for themselves. The tears of Elijah, though a common man, were shed having forgotten his circumstances and pride. They were disinterested tears. His mind was great in its wondering, "Why has Israel, whom Heaven has guided, wound up as it has?"
The remnant of the mass of the six hundred thousand who died in the forty-year wilderness course, after having undergone four hundred years of slavery under Egypt, entered into the land of Canaan and built the nation of Israel. Yet Elijah saw that Israel was being subjugated by a foreign country, cajoled by the enemy. The privilege of being the chosen people of God was being abused. Elijah felt a deeply penetrating sorrow. He assiduously prayed for the people, more than anyone else, and made more effort than anyone else for Heaven. Because only such a one could represent Israel, Heaven sought Elijah.
When he heard Heaven's voice calling, "Elijah . . . Elijah." Elijah might have been taken aback. He might have said, "What is the reason for this? This is beyond my dreams. I never expected this to happen." When he stepped forth in awe before the great will, Heaven said to him, "Since I am behind you, go and tell King Ahab." With that word from Heaven, Elijah went to fight King Ahab on behalf of Heaven.
Elijah felt concern about the judgment day that was approaching because of Baal and the Asherah poles. They had been brought into the nation by Queen Jezebel, who came from a foreign country. Elijah grieved over Heaven's sorrow and the people for a long time. That is why, upon receiving the word from Heaven, he stepped forth saying, "Father, if there is a way for the people to live, I will carry it into effect, offering myself as the sacrifice." After he received the word of command from Heaven and departed to go to King Ahab, the word "happiness" never applied to Elijah's life again. Things happened contrary to his expectations; he had to hear unheard of things. His environment was far from a comfortable one.
Elijah warned King Ahab that if he worshipped a foreign god, he would perish and that he would starve after a year of bad harvests. However, King Ahab did not listen and instead tried to kill Elijah. Elijah made his escape and sought shelter in the Kerith Ravine. Elijah's heart was very, very sad.
If he had not known Heaven, he could have had a house, parents, relatives, brothers and sisters. He would have had a piece of land where he could live in an environment that recognized him. However, starting from the day he stepped forth for Heaven, he was put in circumstances where he had to hide in a ravine. Still, Elijah did not feel bitter against Heaven. Rather, he blamed King Ahab. He did not feel bitter against the people; he had a grudge against Queen Jezebel. If he had not had a heart of loyalty toward Heaven in an environment where he was being pursued and cornered, he would have abandoned his mission. The more his environment contracted, the more strongly Elijah clung onto Heaven's sorrow and the people. Elijah knew that a life of grieving with Heaven was grander than a life of temporary happiness. Therefore, he moved closer and closer to Heaven, not forsaking his ancestors' historic achievements and disregarding his pain.
For all that, Elijah did not know that Heaven cared more about him than his brothers and sisters did, that Heaven felt more concern about him than his relatives did, and that Heaven was more apprehensive about his safety than his parents were. Humanity comes to know the heart of Heaven only after going past it; this is the sad reality of going forth in search of Heaven.
Elijah's Significant Achievements and His Tribulations
Even while hiding in Kerith Ravine, Elijah renewed his resolution. Though no human beings knew the sorrowful heart of Elijah, in hiding after reprimanding King Ahab and Jezebel to save the Israelites, ravens brought him things to eat. You must know about Elijah. He committed himself to seeking out people who could comprehend the heart of Heaven even as he was starving.
Elijah knew that Heaven's deeply felt sorrow was because of the people, who stood at the crossroads of life and death. He knew that the judgment day resulting from the accumulated sorrows would come. The more Elijah felt he could not cope with it alone, the more he yearned after a like-minded person who could sacrifice him or herself for the sake of Heaven's will. Elijah was permeated with the wish to love like-minded people as much as he loved the nation, as much as he loved Heaven.
Elijah's was the kind of mind that could save the people, the kind of mind that could bring the people around to restore the nation to life. This was an ardent mind capable of forging ties between humanity and Heaven. Because Elijah had such a heart, Heaven chose and led him.
On one occasion, Elijah happened to go to a widow's house in Zarephath and eat a piece of bread. The widow who helped pitiful Elijah made him bread not with extra flour, but with her last handful, large enough only for one meal. For that reason, we must know that the widow in Zarephath would not have to worry about any food shortage after that incident.
While Elijah was staying at the house of the Zarephath widow, the woman's son became ill. When he grew worse and worse and finally stopped breathing, the widow called out to Elijah, holding the boy. Upon hearing the widow's ardent appeal, Elijah prayed to Heaven; then the dead boy's life returned to him. At the top of Mount Carmel, Elijah seized and killed more than eight hundred prophets of Baal and Asherah. This was a big battle to set up and separate the false gods from the true one.
Elijah knew that God called him because He loved the people. He realized that God called him to fight in His stead against the hated enemies. Realizing that God called him on behalf of the people to be the person in charge of fighting against the prophets of Baal and Asherah on God's behalf, Elijah seized and killed eight hundred and more prophets of Baal and Asherah when the fire of Heaven fell and burned up the wet altar. At the end of this incident, the Israelites were overcome with grief over a bad harvest and starvation. Elijah, who took pity on them and went to the top of Mount Carmel, appealing to Heaven repeatedly, seven times, risking his life. On that account, before King Ahab rode back, a heavy rain came.
Through these events, King Ahab and the Israelites should have known the living God, and by clearly knowing that Baal was a false god and repenting for their service to him, they should have followed at Elijah's heels. In spite of it all, they did not follow him. Ahab went on to the royal court and told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "I will make your life like that of one of those you killed with the sword."
Upon hearing this, Elijah ran and came to Beersheba, having crossed the Israelite border into Judah. He left his servant there, while he himself went on a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, built an altar for Heaven under it, and prayed.
Though he went to the land of Judah, which he had desired, obstacles stood in his way. Elijah knew he had been chosen to save Israel. He had struggled and striven, enduring many hardships and going through a course of numerous battles. However, he had not attained actual results. Elijah then ran away and went to the land of Judah. When the road ahead was blocked, he went down on his knees and prayed, "Oh, God, though You raised me because all of the prophets You sent were killed, I cannot find one who has the heart to seek and relate with You. Now the Israelites are trying to kill me too. I cannot go on any farther. Please put me to death."
Father! I Am the Only One Left
Elijah had made great efforts to guide the people to fulfill the providential purposes of God, who had called him, set him up and had trusted in him. When God saw him pleading in the sad position of being driven away, saying, "Father, I am the only one left!" He felt severe sadness. We must know this fact.
Heaven felt that Elijah, hiding after being driven away and pursued, was more precious than the numerous Israelites. He placed more hope in him than in the land of Israel. We must stop to think about Elijah, who pled with God to render a final decision in the wilderness where he could not choose the right direction, in utter exhaustion and having lost all hope. Furthermore, we must know God, who guided the Israelites and toiled to seek out and set up Elijah. He helped Elijah by performing various types of miracles when he was in trouble and lent him a helping hand from the time of his youth. The heart of Heaven in relation to Elijah came to be buried in grief.
Elijah realized that he could not stay in the land of Judah. He ended up running away to Mt. Horeb, where God had bestowed blessing upon the Israelites when they came to take their way out of Egypt by walking forty days and forty nights. It was a mountain near Mount Sinai, where his ancestors had formed their bonds with Heaven. God knew that Elijah had to cross the border, and He also knew that Elijah had a long way to go, without any friend or fellow-traveler. Therefore, through an angel, God gave Elijah a cake of bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water and told him to eat and drink.
Strengthened by that food, Elijah should have run toward Israel, the land of sorrow, embracing Heaven's sorrow and the people's grief, harboring the enmity to get even. On the contrary, he ran in the direction of Mt. Horeb.
Elijah walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Mt. Horeb. There he went into a cave and fell asleep. He was in a pitiable condition, like the remnants of a defeated troop. Heaven again came looking for Elijah, who had run away for his comfort after breaking away from the path of God's guidance. Of the sleeping Elijah, God asked, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Elijah replied, "I have been very jealous for Heaven. But I am a weaker person than my ancestors." His words did not comfort God.
However, God made Elijah stand on the mountain in His presence and advised him in many different ways. God advised him by means of creating strong winds and earthquakes and through fire. God did not appear in person in front of Elijah. Later, God appeared to Elijah and called him in the quiet. Elijah responded, "Father, the Israelites have put your prophets to death. I am the only one left. I cannot go on any farther. What can I do in this situation where I am being pursued and driven out?" To this, God said, "Though Israel is in the hands of Ahab, there are more than seven thousand people who observe the law and get circumcised and whose knees have not bowed down to Baal. What do you think of them then?" This was the expression of the sorrowful heart Heaven had in relation to Elijah.
Elijah made up his mind again and went back to the desert of Damascus according to Heaven's command. There he anointed Hazael and Jehu kings (over Aram and Israel respectively), and anointed Elisha to succeed him as prophet. Knowing that Heaven was solicitous about the future of the more than seven thousand people whose knees had not bent to Baal, Elijah made a fresh determination.
Likewise, all people dealing with the providential will today walk a toilsome path. They are walking the path of blood and tears. They are walking the path of being pursued and bearing the cross. For whom was this sorrowful path of great and undeserved indignities created? It was for the sake of humankind. Furthermore, you must know that it was because of Satan, who has been God's enemy for six thousand years.
Why are we placed in a situation with sorrow and pain, into which the storm of persecution sweeps? It is to save the people and liberate Heaven. Yet even those who deal with Heaven's will have difficulty in feeling such a shimjung of God.
Jesus Felt Concerned for Heaven and Loved His Enemies, Even as He Was Crucified
Jesus was hounded by the religious order and driven away by the people. He was seen as a heathen by the religious order and as an agent of destruction by the law. He was driven away by his tribe and kicked out of his house. He was hounded even by the followers of John the Baptist. He was pursued by Satan even when he went out to the wilderness. That was not the end of it all. In the end, the whole was mobilized, and he was pushed onto the path of the cross, the path of Golgotha.
In spite of that, Jesus shed tears for the sake of the people who had treated him as a traitor. Though Jesus was treated as a heathen by the denomination of Judaism, he shed more blood and tears for the Israelites than any high priest. No one of that age was his ally; yet he was the friend of that age. In spite of being pursued as the traitor of the people, Jesus was a loyal subject. In spite of being treated as a heretic by the religious denomination, he was the faithful retainer of that denomination.
What kind of walk did Jesus experience? He had a ghastly walk during which he was torn, chased after, fell down, and bore the cross. That was not all. Reckless scoundrels hounded him, carrying whips in their hands. If Jesus had been like Elijah in such a situation, he would have prayed, "Father, I am the only one left."
When Jesus left his three disciples behind and prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane, he said, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39) This is Jesus' greatness. Though he was in a pitiable condition, he knew that his body was the sacrificial offering for the nation, the sacrificial offering for humankind, and the sacrificial offering for the heavenly principles.
Regardless of his sorrow, Jesus was thus aware, and felt concerned about Heaven's great sorrow. He wondered about how the terrible sorrow of God as He watched Jesus being betrayed by the very people for which he had come. Jesus was the Crown Prince, the central figure of the whole universe, the Messiah. If he had wanted to deplore the state of things, stating how impossible it was that he should have to go the gruesome route of the cross, he could have mobilized the whole universe to his side. Realizing that he could not do that, he instead took the shame of the situation upon himself.
Jesus had the responsibility to build the heavenly kingdom and put the world in the Father's bosom by gathering the religious denomination together and rallying the people. Yet when he came to walk the path of the cross, unable to fulfill that responsibility, he did not complain. When he prayed, "Let this cup pass from me," it was not because he felt sorry about having to die. He prayed so because he knew that humanity's sorrow and Heaven's grief would be aggravated by his death.
Jesus knew that if he died on the cross, a heavier cross would be left behind for world humanity to bear in future generations. He knew that the history of sorrow would not end. He knew that the path of Golgotha, the path of death, would not end. He also knew that if he walked the path of Golgotha himself, the people who followed him would also have to walk it. Jesus knew that not only the cross, but a more difficult path would be left behind.
When both his hands and feet were nailed, his side bleeding from being thrust with a spear, and a crown of thorns was placed upon his head, Jesus knew that this suffering would not be limited to him. In spite of knowing this, he still faced Heaven and said, "All has been fulfilled." He did not say that to mean that the path of the cross in the human world was finally over. He meant that the heart that cried for and felt concern over humanity's cross was connected with Heaven. You must know that Jesus offered himself as a living sacrifice to Heaven to comfort God, shouldering all the mistakes that the numerous prophets and sages had perpetrated.
How did the heart of God feel? As God watched Jesus, as he died going over the hill of the cross, worrying about Heaven, He must have felt profound chagrin toward the human world and intense resentment over the four-thousand-year historical course.
Even as he was dying, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." God felt like condemning the people right away to harsher treatment than at the time of Noah. However, since Jesus died holding onto the people, holding onto the religious denomination, holding onto the cross, God has retained His hold on human beings. Such heartistic ties were formed with the individuals of future generations, as well as the Israelites. God continues to hold onto traitorous humanity. He has held onto the traitorous religious denominations for the sake of future generations.
We who were born later must now comprehend this heart of Heaven. Jesus ardently wished to relate to Heaven with such a heart; he desired to live this kind of life. We who are the tribe of Jesus, the successors to his undertaking, must become able to boast of ourselves as the embodiments of glory before Heaven. We who stand before the heavenly expectations today, bearing such a mission and responsibility, must now think about what we must seek, what we must feel, and what we must do.
What must we think of now? Since Jesus said we should become his friends and brides, each of us must think of becoming such a person. Furthermore, we must relieve Heaven from the historical han* that our ancestors caused. We must not leave to posterity the cause and occasion of lamentation and death. We must be able to leave the Golgotha of victory, not the Golgotha of death. You must know that Heaven is seeking a person who will assume such responsibility.
Since the mission of the last days lies with believers, we who eagerly look forward to the day of judgment and wish to stand on the grounds of glory by seeking out the Lord of resurrection, must know the sorrowful heart of Heaven as He dealt with Jesus and Noah's family. When Noah was set up in the presence of Heaven and rose above the flood judgment after 120 years of toil, Heaven tried to be relieved from all past resentment through the remaining eight members of Noah's family. However, due to Ham's mistake, a condition for lamentation was again left behind. Knowing this, we must become the people who know how to relieve God from the grief of Noah's family.
Because of the mistake he made during his offering, Abraham had to offer his son Isaac as the sacrifice, and his descendants had to leave the land of Canaan and enter into Egypt. There they endured four hundred years of slavery.
To reinstate the Israelites into the blessed land of Canaan, Heaven set up Moses and made him toil. However, the Israelites betrayed Heaven several times in that course of restoration. Though numerous ancestors of ours have since come forth dealing with the will, there has not been any set of people yet who received praise and blessing from Heaven: "Oh, yes, you have fulfilled the will. You have realized My desire."
You must know the heart of Heaven, deeply touched by sorrow because of our ancestors. As I said before, even if you stand in the same situation as Elijah when he received all kinds of persecution and harassment by King Ahab, even if your life disappears in an ephemeral way, you must go forth holding only onto God, without bewailing your lot.
If Elijah had embraced the same heart as Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane and at the summit of Golgotha, Heaven would have been relieved from a fragment of historical grief then and there. Since he could not do so, Heaven's sorrow was prolonged to Jesus' time. Because of Jesus' death, we know then that this wish was not realized. Its fulfillment has been prolonged until today.
Elijah of This Age
If we view the phenomena taking place in this world today, they are equivalent to what took place in the period of Ahab, King of Israel in the old days. What is idolatry? It is to abandon Heaven and worship something else; to hold it in equal or higher reverence than we hold God. We must know that numerous people today are worshipping the idol called "civilization" without being aware of it.
At a time like this, if there is one who has the same heart as Elijah as he watched King Ahab, that is, one who feels the sorrowful heart of Heaven on top of his own, and if there is a throng of people who pray, "Please set us up as Your beloved sons and daughters who can bring this land to Your bosom," comforting Heaven with the heart of Elijah, they would have to look at this age with more indignation than Elijah had. If such a set of people does not exist, we ourselves must become them. We must become the people who build an altar without others' knowledge and shed tears all unknown, knowing that even if we are of humble birth, our ancestors established the teachings of the heavenly principles by upholding the will of Heaven. We must understand that the work of God, who tries to unfold the dispensation by setting up the providential tradition, is yet to be completed. We must not think we are inadequate, even though we are. Unless such a set of people comes forth and fights upon this earth, the eschatological phenomena of this world cannot be stopped.
Though King Ahab betrayed Heaven and mistreated the Israelites, that happened on a national level. Today, people idolize material things as slaves of civilization, and do not know the location of their center of life. They do not know the direction and location to walk toward, and they make frantic efforts without seeking Heaven. This is similar to the people enslaved by King Ahab in ancient times.
God's worldwide level judgment remains before us today. In the same way there was a judgment upon King Ahab and the Israelites, we know that there will be a day of judgment when we have to break down the idols confronting us in the final period. Did you ever even dream that Heaven relates to you today with a more sorrowful heart than when He related to Elijah? If not, you should reflect upon yourselves.
With King Ahab as the central figure, the Israelites should have made an effort to relate to Heaven, to uphold the heavenly tradition, and to establish heavenly blood relatives with a caring and protective heart for the holy temple in life and in death. Because they did not do so, we know that the Israelites, with King Ahab as their central figure, got into a bloody battle in the end. This actual circumstance of history is being re-enacted today in reality.
Looking at this age, let alone the world, we must know our people. We are Korea's sons and daughters. We are blood relatives who inherited the flesh and blood of our Korean ancestors. There have been many loyal subjects who shed blood and tears for the sake of this country, for the sake of this people, to let the glorious morning dawn in the future and to infuse the hearts of the people with national spirit. The Korean people have come through heart-rending circumstances of incomparable sorrow and tragedy. We have a history of numerous loyal subjects and patriots walking the path of blood in every crisis time.
The time has come to worry about who is to build the new temple of the Lord in Jerusalem where Heaven can reign. We must be equipped with heavenly principles, rather than human ethics, by upholding the historical tradition and pushing down the civilization of this world, which can be likened to the idols of the King Ahab period.
We must broaden our minds now. We must become the people who know how to feel sad for the nation instead of feeling our grief. Going further, we must know how to feel sad for the humanity of the world. Going further, we must know how to feel sad for the sake of God, heaven and earth.
Where will the central figure appear who can cry with shimjung on behalf of Heaven, embracing the grief-stricken nation in the realm of the fall? If the Lord, the King of Kings, is to come upon this earth, he will surely come with a universal ideology. He will come as a world leader to make a heartistic connection with humanity.
However, if you do not think about such things today, the Lord will not be able to make any connection with you. Even if the Lord comes, unless you dream about and think about such an ideological world, you will not be able to make any connection with that world. You cannot help at least thinking about, feeling concern about, and imagining that world.
Have you ever felt concern about an individual? Have you ever felt concern about a family that was moaning in distress? Have you ever felt concern about a certain society or nation? If not, you should at least have the mind to reveal your true colors, criminals before the universal history, and repent before Heaven.
If you do not have even such a mind, what will happen to this people? Though Koreans boast of five thousand years of history and though they are the survivors of God's providential history and have muddled through a bitter life, what can they contribute to the realm of world history or world civilization or to the realm of God's providence if they do not have such a feeling of concern?
Even if we have something about which to boast, unless that connects to Heaven, it amounts to nothing and causes more aggravation and sorrow for Heaven. We must know this.
The Central Figure of History
The central role players in history have been people who were pursued and hounded. The doctrines that have ruled history were made by such people. People enjoying sumptuous feasts, living in grand style and sitting on a lofty seat in a grand residence never made such doctrines. Those people who were pursued, trodden upon and miserable made them. They were the people who shed tears.
The people who shed tears on behalf of Heaven, holding onto the world when the people of the nation are corrupt and the world is in utter confusion are the successors to Elijah on the world level. Such people can stand before Heaven on behalf of the Israelites for whom Elijah felt concern. If you strut proudly, saying, "Elijah is Elijah, and I am I," you will meet with destruction. We must become those who can cry and feel sorrow together with Heaven.
Heaven does not exist only as logos. He is the God of the word, of the substantial entity, of shimjung and of love. We have become people who do not even know the word. We do not know the purpose of our body. We do not know what our shimjung is supposed to feel and experience. We do not know the heavenly love we should practice.
Members of the congregation! What is your explanation of God's love? What is your explanation of shimjung? What kind of being can each of you explain yourself to be? Is there some corroboration for your words? No, there is not.
People today often boast of themselves with a superior air. However, even if there are grounds for the boasting and thus should be recognition for it, how long will that recognition last? None of those who received recognition in the past lasted for many centuries. The only thing of which to be proud is walking the path no other human beings can walk. Such people will not perish.
The people who have saved nations and the world before are not those who walked the common path; they were those who walked the path no others could. Christianity has walked a similar course. Christianity of the world today should draw deep sighs of grief. If Christianity learned that God has toiled for the past two thousand years by sending the Holy Spirit after Jesus' death on the cross, they would not be able to sleep in comfort seeing the present state of Christianity.
Believers in Judaism at the time of Jesus were fond of going to church, much more than church-goers today. They were much better equipped with rites and formalities and in the precepts of the Scriptures than are today's churches. They had the word, they had their history, and they had conditions of which to be proud. Yet they could not demonstrate true faith in the presence of Heaven. Why? They did not understand Heaven's new dispensation.
Today Jesus wishes for Christians to keep his death in mind and cry for him, thinking, "Jesus' heart is my heart, and Jesus' body, crucified at the summit of Calvary, is my body." Jesus longs for that kind of friend. He also waits eagerly for the bride he could not mention even when he was dying, for whom he longed from the depth of his heart. Only on the day when he meets the bride will he be able to open his heart and speak about all the things that happened in his life. At the same time, he could talk about the internal sorrow of God's heart, who has been working for the past six thousand years. The contents would be quite different from what is written in the Bible.
What would you do if Jesus' grief and God's sorrow were those of your beloved sons and daughters? What if they were those of your beloved parents?
To bring a solution to such problems, fights are being broken up here and there and sighs of grief are heard. Time flows, getting closer to the moment of the final solution. History, religions and doctrines also are flowing toward that final moment.
You must be attentive in this time of confusion, searching for some new voice like Elijah's, which speaks out about Heaven's heart, undisclosed in history. Elijah appeared at a time when people could not trust each other and had fallen into uncontrollable confusion. He spoke out anew about a fragment of his heart.
The Attitude People of Faith Must Have in This Age
Doctrines and thoughts incite you every moment today. This is an odd moment. Fear from the happenings in history drives you. Who would be the one to win in the fight against fear and sing the song of victory on a personal level? There is no one.
Which direction will history take? Where will the cry for new hope and new liberation come from at this time, when death is surging over us? No cry is yet heard. This is the problem.
Now something totally new must come out, something unimagined. You have never imagined or dreamed of that something.
People are going through the age of religious battle now. In the near future, all fights, the fights between peoples, the fights between nations, the fights in the world, the fights between "isms," and religious fights, will come to an end. The only fight that will be left will be that of the mind. No matter what sweeps over your mind, you must be able to overcome it. We are in such a time.
There are a great many people living in this world. However, from the viewpoint that they do not have a vertical relationship with God, they have nothing to do with you. You may think that thirty million Korean people are closely bound up with you; but in view of the fact that they do not have a vertical connection with God, they have no relation whatsoever with you.
The cry of Elijah, who climbed to the top of Carmel and cried, "Oh, God, I am the only one left," should not be confined to Elijah alone. It should be the cry of those who are to be judged in these final days.
Members of the congregation! Are you not placed in such a situation? Who can ensure you of your life? No one and nothing, including your parents, your beloved spouses, your children, your nation, and the doctrine you embrace, will ensure you of that. Yet you have a great regard for your life. Think of it. You are ephemeral beings who cannot throw off your masks, even after having been drawn into a whirlpool that has no bottom and no end. So, please do not brag about yourselves.
People of the world today must go through the course of battle that Elijah went through at the top of Carmel. We must know how to appeal to Heaven like Elijah, who cried, "Oh, God, I am the only one left." No doctrine of the world can save the people who stand at the last stop of history. Once we realize this, we must raise our heads high toward Heaven. We must yearn after that to which our minds are drawn and which liberates our minds. We must feel such a desire filling our whole body; we must be full of life and energy, and we must realize that there is something we must fulfill.
Is there a group of people today who can say, "All has been finished," as Jesus said at the top of Calvary on behalf of Heaven? The time is coming near when you must become people who can say, "Oh, God, I am the only one left."
The will of providence is about to start a new history with the day of judgment as a turning point. Since it remains to be taken up by you, you must be able to say, "Oh, God, I am the only one left." Why? Why? Why?
These days we cannot profess any religion. We cannot put confidence in any doctrine. We cannot trust any family, relative or teacher and cannot pay homage to any Tao. We are placed in a situation where we cannot believe in anything at all.
Therefore, you cannot help saying, looking to Heaven, "Oh, God, I am the only one left." This is the only position you can take. You will have to cry it out from your heart.
Each of you now must go through the course of battle. You must realize that there is a heavenly will to be fulfilled, there are people to be sought, and there is the religious denomination that must be sanctified. For the sake of the will, all people on the side of Heaven must be mobilized.
*In Korean, han means a subject's sorrowful and tearful lamentation toward the object who refuses to receive the subject's unlimited love (suffering love). It comes into being when it is not possible to commune with the object and when there is a passive feeling of bitterness and/or an active feeling of vengefulness.