The Pinnacle of Suffering
Sun Myung Moon
June 26, 1977
Belvedere, New York
Translator – Bo Hi Pak
Certainly no one enjoys suffering or tribulation because there is no happiness or joy in it. People want to avoid suffering because it is an abnormal state of being and it represents reversal instead of progress. Our individual minds reflect God, the center of the universe, who must also dislike suffering. If God, the center and master of the universe, is in a position to suffer then all the other elements of creation that belong to God have the same destiny.
I represent the Unification Church, and if I am in a position of suffering then the members of our church cannot avoid the same fate. As the leader, my own suffering is for the public purpose and is inherited by everyone who belongs to the same organization. The same principle applies to a family, society, nation, and the world. Though the president of a country may not be in a position of suffering, there may people in his country who are deprived. The president of a nation is responsible for the individual or group that is suffering, whether he is directly or indirectly involved. He should work to eliminate the suffering of the people.
Any organization, family, society, or nation is composed of a subject, or leader, and followers. Let us use the family as an example. A member of a family may be burdened with tribulation which does not directly involve the head of the home. Therefore, the head of the household is in a position to alleviate his relative’s suffering. Some of you in the church may be experiencing great struggle, yet I am not directly involved in your individual situation. That means that I can work to alleviate your suffering.
We can extend this concept to the ultimate level; God may not be in a position of immediate suffering, but He is in a position to liberate the suffering of all people under Him. If God Himself is in a position of suffering, however, then the situation is entirely different. Who will lift away the suffering of God?
For God to liberate man, God himself must be liberated
Unless someone has experienced God’s suffering in his own life, he cannot liberate God. God is in a position to have happiness, not suffering. If there are people who are suffering, there is always hope that their tribulation can be lifted, but only as long as God is in a position to exercise His power of liberation. The most important point I want to make this morning is that, at all cost, God must not be put in a position of suffering but must be freed from it.
What is the pinnacle of God’s suffering? There is no question that the fall of God’s children, Adam and Eve, is the focal point of His difficulty. Their separation from God was a very pitiful and tearful situation. God is the Father of mankind and Adam and Eve are His first children, the ancestors of fallen mankind; when these children fell, the consequences had a direct impact on God and caused Him incredible suffering. Because the fall was a physical act, God lost His connection with the physical world, and in addition, He endured suffering of the mind and suffering of the soul. The seeds of man’s suffering throughout history were planted by Adam and Eve being corrupted at the beginning of human history, and from that time on suffering was handed down from generation to generation.
The fall of man brought three consequences: God lost His children and He lost His temple, because man was to be the dwelling place of God. Furthermore, God lost the only home in which His love could be manifested; Adam and Eve were not only to be the children of God but to be the recipients of His love. With the fall of man God lost everything He had hoped for in the love of His own children, the love between husband and wife, and the love between parent and child.
The ironic thing is that Adam and Eve did not deeply understand how much pain and suffering their actions were actually causing God, and since then no one has ever understood God’s heart of suffering at the moment of Adam and Eve’s fall. The fall was the pinnacle of the suffering of God. The destruction which occurred in the Garden of Eden must be indemnified, and man must be restored to his original state by his going over the apex of God’s suffering.
How can fallen man feel God’s heart if Adam and Eve could not feel it? In listening to a sermon like this you may feel sympathetic with God but you still do not feel His sorrow down to your bone. Let us bring this situation down to the personal level. Suppose a woman has lost her parents, husband, and children in a tragic accident. Even though she has been living in the fallen world all her life and therefore has seen and experienced many types of evil and sin, the tragedy of her loss still causes her unbearable suffering. How much more pain and shock God must feel, being completely pure and never having experienced any sin, suffering, or crime before the fall of Adam and Eve.
Today many people commit suicide. Do you think God’s suffering at the moment of Adam and Eve’s fall was greater than the despair people feel when they commit suicide? God’s suffering is the only true suffering. No one but God is truly entitled to use the word “suffering.” We may experience some tragedy, yet as time passes the pain and grief will be eased. However, that is not true spiritually, and the passing of time will never ease God’s heart.
One thousand years is just one moment to God, who has no concept of time, and the pain of man’s fall has never gone from God’s mind and heart. Could God ever decide, “I don’t want to suffer any more,” and just cast His suffering out of His heart? Even though He is almighty, could He ever change His situation? God’s love is absolute, unique, and unchanging, and it is impossible that He could alter His heart and decide not to suffer.
If you lost your loved ones, you could never erase from your mind the memory of them or the pain of their departure. It is there to stay. It is the same with God. There is no way God can remove Himself from the tragedy of the fall unless the fundamental cause is eliminated. God cannot say, “I don’t want to be part of this suffering any more.”
God’s entire hope has been concentrated on the momentous day of resurrection
God’s experience of the worst kind of suffering and tribulation was the beginning point of His restoration work, and He only finds hope in one exhilarating word: resurrection. Resurrection has the deepest meaning to God because through that path mankind is able to return to the original state when Adam and Eve were brand new and without sorrow, sin, and crime. Since the fall was the pinnacle of God’s suffering, the reunion of God and His children will certainly be the pinnacle of His joy.
God’s heart will burst with emotion and His eyes fill with tears of joy at the moment that He is liberated from His suffering and sorrow. God’s hope and desire and entire restoration work have been concentrated on that one momentous day of resurrection.
What must be man’s desire? To liberate God’s suffering we must experience greater pain than God’s own pain at the fall. Our desire and hope is only to go over the apex of suffering and meet a liberated God in the realm of resurrection. Religion is the road which will take you to the pinnacle of suffering and beyond to the realm of resurrection. Man’s first step is to conquer and liquidate the suffering of God.
I am not talking about only your own individual resurrection but the resurrection of your brothers and sisters as well, because the fall occurred with more than one person. You must go over the pinnacle of suffering together because the conquest of suffering will occur in the same atmosphere as did the fall of man. Therefore, you will experience the same situation as Adam and Eve before the fall, and must go over the hill of suffering instead.
Adam and Eve’s relationship was far more than that of brother and sister. They were in the position to become husband and wife with the blessing of God, but instead they became husband and wife in the satanic way after the fall. For this reason you have to go over the hill of the fallen world and into the realm of the resurrected love of a true husband and wife. First you must restore yourselves into a position of vertical love with God and upon that condition you will be brought together in the horizontal relationship of husband and wife. Together, centered upon God as husband and wife, you will create the trinity that will become the base of four positions as you give birth to children. This is the process of resurrection. There is no other way to surmount the pinnacle of suffering and liberate God.
Men and women long for the day they will become husbands and wives, and for the rest of their lives they will remember it as a most momentous day. If they form a happy marriage, it is a rare couple that forgets their anniversary. Every cell and fiber of your body concentrates on that one goal: the day of the fulfillment of love as husband and wife. That is a day you can really experience truly ecstatic joy, and every inch of your body wants to be uplifted by the joy of that day. Nothing is more precious than the fulfillment of that love.
Have you ever thought about how to concentrate your whole being to manifest love in a most dramatic way? When you put everything into crystallizing your love then your whole system works toward that one fulfillment. You can only be melted into the bosom of love when you find that day of becoming husband and wife. Nothing else in the world can be more precious than the true manifestation of love. God has given marriage as the apex and fulfillment of your love.
That love is the purpose of life and you will definitely achieve it although there are negative forces which say that such joy and love are illusions. That kind of conviction shatters man’s entire hope and desire. However, no power can destroy that hope and desire in man, no matter how negative the atmosphere. Even in the fallen world you still have this power to love and be loved.
I want you to understand that the pure, almighty God has been yearning for the day of reunion with His true children. There is no way to express or compare the excitement and joy God will experience on the day of that reunion. God’s whole being is love, and there is not one moment in which God can forget His children. His entire energy is moving in the one direction of meeting His true children and no power under the sun could ever eliminate this desire from His heart. When God concentrates upon His love, a millennium has no length and ten thousand years has no significance. The heart of God will not change with the passage of time but instead only intensifies in desiring the day which brings the fulfillment of His love.
God’s children will go beyond the pinnacle of His suffering
The people who can become the children of God are the ones who can go beyond the pinnacle of suffering and understand God’s heart. The only man in all of history who understood God’s heart was Jesus. Jesus knew God’s suffering heart and discovered how to liberate Him. Even though a multitude of men had lived and worshipped God before him, Jesus could say, “I am the only begotten son of God.” Also we read in the Bible that Jesus said, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me. I and the Father are one.” Jesus could utter such things because he was centered upon the love of God. He was saying that in love, he and God were one. It is a strange concept to consider that “you are in me and I am in you.” It is possible only when we speak of love. Jesus understood that, and he had the conviction that he was dwelling in the love of God.
Jesus also said, “I am the bridegroom and you are the bride,” putting himself in the bridegroom’s position and all mankind in the bride’s position. The ultimate goal for a woman is to be a bride, and the ultimate goal for a man is to be a bridegroom. Love is the key word needed to speak of this relationship, which is the culmination of your life. In speaking of a bridegroom and bride Jesus was not referring to the fallen tradition begun by Adam and Eve. He knew that we must go over the pinnacle of suffering and become heavenly bridegrooms and brides.
Until the time of Jesus God’s heart contained only suffering, but when Jesus proclaimed that he was one with God and was His only begotten son, God felt as though He had received an electric shock. Jesus’ words were the most revolutionary words ever spoken. Jesus was the one person in history who was able to give God this type of shock. Jesus had the key to solving the entire, fundamental human problem of the severed relationship of love between God and man. He was really the Messiah of love, who could conquer the apex of God’s suffering and go beyond to the realm of resurrection. If Jesus’ mission could have been fulfilled on earth then God certainly could have declared to the world, “My will is done.”
Could God and Jesus ever have been separated? Jesus’ goal and the goal of history was to conquer God’s suffering and move into the realm of total resurrection. God saw the possibility of Jesus fulfilling that goal; however, God was never able to declare the fulfillment of His desire. That day did not occur because the rebellious people crucified Jesus, destroying the opportunity for the fulfillment of God’s will.
God’s only remaining hope
Christians think that Jesus came to die for their sake. How can God feel when He hears this kind of remark from man? Was the establishment of Christianity the fulfillment of God’s will? Could all the Christians of the world together be in a position to comfort the sorrow of God? Not at all. If Christians want to comfort God they must not only become like Jesus but also go over the pinnacle of the suffering of God. Then they would be able to say, “God, in me You see Your only begotten son.” There is not one who is like that, and many Christians are only trying to secure a place for themselves in heaven. That is not the way God can be comforted.
God knew and Jesus knew that no one else could comfort God nor surpass the mission of Jesus. That is why Jesus said he would come again. What does that mean? It means that Jesus’ job was left undone and that he must come again in order to conquer the pinnacle of suffering. Jesus held the key to the fulfillment of God’s will, yet because of the faithlessness of the people that possibility was not fulfilled. This means that mankind must go over one more hill with the Lord of the Second Advent.
Only three major events in history are of importance to God. The first was His creation, the Garden of Eden. The second was the mission of Jesus and the possibility of his fulfillment. Since that was not accomplished, God has looked forward to the third event, which is the day of the Lord of the Second Advent, and the final consummation of His hope. That day will be the greatest day since the day of Adam and Eve and Jesus.
The Garden of Eden and Jesus’ mission on earth are in the past. Of the three events, God’s only remaining hope is the day of the Second Advent. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Christians are looking for the one-day of the coming of the Lord. Will God be really angry at mankind for the first time and destroy the earth on that day, or will God be able to fulfill His love at that time?
Even children who were pure and unstained, like Adam and Eve before the fall, were not easy for God to guide. But today, after the fall of man, the people God has had to work with are really trash. In the sight of God fallen man is so ugly and dirty and distorted that He does not even want to look at them. That is the fall of man. Women want to make themselves beautiful by wearing makeup and jewelry and flashy clothing. But God does not see any of that. He sees instead the true internal man and woman, which is ugly and distorted.
What is the Unification Church trying to do? You may say, “Oh, we are working to restore America and bring resurrection to this nation.” But what you actually mean is, “Unless we restore the true love of God, then America and the world have no purpose.” The purpose of the Unification Church is to liberate God from His suffering. That is the ideology of both God and Jesus.
We in the Unification Church follow a most difficult way of life because our goal is to place ourselves on the pinnacle of suffering and therefore be able to say before the world, “God, I am Your begotten son, Your begotten daughter.” You must have that dignity and that confidence as a child of God. Have you realized that this is our goal and that you must work at it?
If you say that God is your Father then you must take responsibility for Him
Why is the Unification Church primarily a gathering place of single men and women? People who marry in the worldly way have made no condition for their marriage to be recognized by God. Each person must receive the blessing from God. For this reason God has hope in single men and women who can be trained and guided to become true sons and daughters of God before they marry.
If someone demanded to hear whether you knew God, what would your answer be? Would you say, “Well, God seems to exist,” or, “What do you mean? I am His child! ” Even at the point of your death could you still testify that you are sons and daughters of God? Have you ever doubted that your natural parents were your own father and mother? In an immoral nation like America, how do you know who your father is?
You have no doubt about who your parents are and God must become more real to you than your own natural parents. Then you can say, “I am His child,” Is God that real to you? Your answer must come from your entire being united together; otherwise your mind will be going in one direction, and your body in another, and your heart somewhere else. If your commitment and confidence are strong, then even if the sun rises in the west you can say, “I know that God is my Father.”
Your heavenly Father is not mediocre, but is almighty and all perfect. When you say He is your God, you must take responsibility for that relationship. Why aren’t the sons and daughters of God afraid to be criticized, persecuted or even to die for God? The reason is very simple; it is because God, their Father, is supreme in the universe, and they know that dying for His sake is not to be feared but instead would be a most glorious expression of their love.
Jesus had not one fear about dying on the cross. He thought of only one thing, that he was dying to conquer the suffering of God. His only concern was God’s mission, not his own life. At the moment of his death, the noble heart of Jesus was absolutely unselfish. That was the peak of unselfish dedication, and resurrection was possible because of his heart.
We can conclude that as long as Christians emulate the unselfish heart of Jesus, Christianity can prosper. It is impossible to have a true relationship with God, even if you call yourself a Christian, unless you follow the example of Jesus’ heart. We can also conclude that the Lord of the Second Advent must come with the same heart and love for God. Upon that foundation of love the Lord can restore the individual, society, nation and world.
Following a doctrine does not qualify anyone as a child of God
God will use the religion that inherits the heart of Jesus to build the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth in the final day. Regardless of their pride in their accomplishments, Christians today do not have the same concern that Jesus had for the heart of God. They do not talk about the consummation of God’s will or the Kingdom of God here on earth. Great churches with plush carpets do not impress God at all. If there is a man who is not recognized as being Christian but who has the same heart as God and Jesus that man will be used to fulfill God’s final dispensation.
Suppose the worst communist dictator, Kim Il Sung of North Korea, suddenly died one day. Even though millions of people would be relieved at his death one man would still shed tears. Even knowing his father was a vicious dictator, the son of Kim Il Sung would grieve at his death. The relationship between father and son is a unique and special one, transcending all reason.
Religions around the world are convinced that God is smiling and happy from morning to night, enjoying His power. I come from the humble nation of Korea and have proclaimed, “God, my Father, is suffering and His heart is broken. I must liberate Him from His suffering.” My prayer is that God will give me a chance to do this. That is my position now.
The entire world may call me a heretic, but only the person who understands the heart of God is qualified to be His true child. The responsibility and purpose of the Unification Church is not the pursuit of glory or power but the complete liberation of God, which neither Adam and Eve nor Jesus were able to accomplish. You and I are gathered together to liberate the suffering heart of God.
We may face more criticism and persecution than Jesus did, yet nothing will stop us. We expect opposition, but in spite of opposition we can go over the individual, family, society, national and world peaks of suffering. We will stand on the pinnacle of the suffering of God and go beyond, to the realm of resurrection.
We are looking for the one momentous day when God can declare, “I am free of sorrow. My broken heart has been healed by my loving children.” You must have the confidence that you will be the begotten sons and daughters of God, who will inherit the heart of Jesus and go over the pinnacle of the suffering of God and liberate Him. You must feel, “God and I are one; I am in the Father and the Father in me and nothing can separate me from God. Even if the entire world rises against me I will not be stopped.”
Our goal is so great that nothing can be compared to its value. Therefore, we shall overcome any power trying to block our way and still continue on. You must have the confidence that you were born solely for this purpose and are destined to live and die for this purpose. Have you ever thought, “If I cannot accomplish this mission in my own lifetime, I will leave a legacy for my children because with God there will be a day of resurrection”? Jesus died without fulfilling his mission in his own lifetime, but that does not mean that Jesus failed. He was resurrected and left a spiritual legacy, which affected all mankind.
Men and women look forward to becoming husbands and wives, the culmination of the horizontal level of life. Jesus, too, looked forward to meeting his own bride. God has been looking forward to meeting His children for the 2,000 years since Jesus was on earth. All of humanity as well has been looking forward to that one momentous day of hope. The Unification Church will celebrate that day. The color of your skin, be it white, yellow, or black, does not matter. Only one thing is important-your heart. This is the central point of our ideology, and if you would become a true member you must deeply understand this. Your goal is simply this, to become God’s begotten sons and daughters. After that you shall become God-centered husbands and wives and restore the Garden of Eden, the ideal of God. You are in the position of Adam and Eve and you can begin the new heavenly history. You will create the first history of God.
You must not bargain with heaven, or look for the easy way
The people who do not want to inherit the suffering heart of God but only want the blessing of the final day are like thieves. I know there are members who have thought, “I thought there would be a chance to be blessed after the Washington Monument Rally. I’ve already been in the Church for three years, so why shouldn’t I be blessed?” Are some of you thinking like that? Once you know the broken heart of God, could you ever think in this manner and still lift your face to Him? This is not the way to put yourselves in the position of sons and daughters to God.
The first qualification for the blessing is to become a begotten son or daughter of God. You must realize and fulfill that. If your commitment is so steadfast that you feel it in your bones then our work will progress much faster. Many people try to find the easiest ways and dodge the difficult jobs. Some people even bargain with heaven, saying, “All right, God, I’ll do this if You will give me that.” Do not bargain. It never works. You owe an incredible debt to God yet you never speak about paying back all that you owe Him. If you do not quite have the heart to meet the standard of God but have a repentant heart, raise your hand. God will not criticize you but will be moved and sympathetic with you.
Are you really a perfect member who meets God’s standard 100% of the time, or are you not yet perfect? Are you sincere, or are you phony? Some of you are impostors, but even impostors do not want to be treated like impostors. That in itself is dishonest. If you are an impostor you should be treated as one.
The important thing is that the value of whatever job you do, even if it seems trivial and menial, depends on your heart. Do you sell the newspaper on the streets with the full realization that you are indeed the son of God? “God, I am Your begotten son and I am selling newspapers because I love You. The world may scorn me and criticize me but I don’t care. I am concerned with only one thing: to maintain the absolute tradition and spirit of being Your true son.”
The only thing I have to be proud of is the full realization that I am God’s son. My only desire is to leave this tradition with you. When I look at Mother I do not see her as “my wife,” but as God’s loving daughter and I know I must treat her with respect. If my thinking is wrong then judge me; I welcome it. This is the ideology and position of God and no power can condemn me.
When you realize that you are the sons and daughters of God, the resurrection of your hearts can take place and your union with God can be sealed. You will not be alone in this venture but will ultimately need a spouse. Together you shall appear with one heart and one tradition before God.
You were all born into a satanic lineage, and Satan has every right to claim everything about you. But God can change you and you can be born again. If you do not realize that you must be reborn, however, then you cannot be in the position of true sons and daughters of God and you are certainly not entitled to be here. No matter what calamity may befall you, your body is the temple of God and no one can separate you from your love for God and God from His love for you. You are His begotten child and He is your Father. This is our religious way of life. We are seeking to transform ourselves from contaminated vessels into noble temples of God. I want you to know that you are a most happy and proud group of people in the sight of God.
Persecution is my opportunity to love God more profoundly
After I came to America, all types of accusation and slander were directed at me. That does not matter because I have one single-minded concern-my right to love God as God loves me. No one can alter this privilege in the slightest degree. Furthermore, I am grateful for the opportunity to be persecuted, because I have a better opportunity to feel God’s broken and accused heart. “God, I thank You for this. Father, I thank You for the opposition 24 hours a day because then I have 24 hours a day to love You more. Because of this experience, my love for You is more profound.”
We are constantly criticized, but God will use each occasion to produce greater results for our work. For example, “brainwashing” has been a point of attack. That issue has become stale, and the issue now in the forefront is the allegation that I am an agent of the KCIA. However, the man who was formerly chief of the KCIA for almost ten years testified before a House subcommittee that he did not even hear about me until he came to America in 1973! Even the Washington Post reported what he said. People were waiting for him to say, “Yes, Reverend Moon was my agent,” but his testimony only revealed the truth. I am not asking my. critics to apologize to me; I only want them to be humble in the sight of God.
After the Washington Monument Rally last year I declared that until June of this year we would encounter great tribulation and turmoil. The month of June is almost over and I see the heavenly strategy changing. Now the time has come to declare the truth to the world. The world has been in darkness, but now the sun is rising. We can have the confidence and the dignity of God and march fearlessly forward. We cannot bend the dignity of the truth.
A poor image of me has been created throughout the years, and people actually brainwashed themselves into thinking that I am a charlatan or fraud. The honest, innocent minds of America have been poisoned by the media. But now the time has come to let the world know the truth about me and what I represent here in America. The American people are righteous people, and eventually the tide of negativity will be reversed and a different opinion of me shall be created.
This is heavenly strategy working. God wanted me to quickly become well-known, whether in a negative or positive light. Unfortunately, due to the media the negative accusations became known more quickly, but now all we have to do is reverse the tide and present our true image. The world is bored with bad news and criticism and is ready to hear about some hope.
If you follow God’s basic principle of heart you will achieve victory. Your job is to become the begotten sons and daughters of God. You must say before God, “Father, I am Your child. I shall marry in Your name so that together with my mate I may become Your perfect temple, fulfill Your love, and liberate Your sorrow in heaven and on earth.”
We will say to God, “For the first time in history You have sons and daughters who truly understand Your suffering. Heavenly Father, please be comforted by us, because we understand Your broken heart. God, take comfort and rest because Your sons and daughters are determined to gratefully go over greater suffering than You have.” That is our prayer,
You can see how valuable and priceless an individual you are. Do not demean your own value; you are precious in the sight of God. No matter how miserable your way of life appears, your job is to uphold God’s dignity. Those who can say, “Now I have changed completely and am following the direction of God,” raise your hands. Now all you have to say is, “God, trust me. Eventually my spouse and myself together will go over the hill of suffering even greater than that of Jesus, who was Your begotten son 2,000 years ago.” If your faith is greater than Jesus’, then you will approach the Mount of Calvary and be in a position to be crucified. But you do not have to be crucified. You can conquer death and achieve resurrection as living sons and daughters.
Have you ever prayed, “God, give me the burden of America. I will bear it alone now and later I will bear it with my spouse. Please give me the worst and heaviest possible burden. This is my privilege.” Please raise your hands if you can pledge to God that you will never do anything to harm or sever your heartistic relationship with Him.
When you determine in your heart and mind to give up your life for God’s purpose, then the hill is no longer in front of you. Nothing is a deeper or heavier responsibility than that. You will never decline with that determination, but will gain increasing confidence and achieve ever greater victories in the days to come.
You should end this month of June with the new realization, “We are Your begotten sons and daughters.” Then the new month of July will begin with new life and prosperity ahead of us. Those who are grateful to God for this opportunity, pledge to God your 100% loyalty by raising your hands. May God bless you. Thank you. Let us pray.