Living in the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

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“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”   Matt. 6:33

“Now is an amazing time, when human beings in their everyday life can experience the absolute realm of God… People will increasingly be able to perceive God. They will perceive the spirit world and the works of spirits… [P]eople will undergo definite changes to their character and become true individuals. They will no longer be self-centered in relating to greater wholes in the universal order of being. They will learn to be altruistic, living for the sake of others.”  

 World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, Feb. 6, 2004, p. 25

by Henry Christopher, UTS Class of 1980

Henry ChristopherI joined the Unification Church three times before I decided to stay: in Boston in June 1973; in New York City just before Father’s speech at Carnegie Hall that September; and lastly, at Dr. David Ang’s center in Worcester, Massachusetts in spring 1974.

I left the Church even though I believed the Divine Principle and that Rev. Sun Myung Moon was the returning Christ. What drove me away was the chaotic way in which the Church functioned, which often resulted in sacrificing a loving and spiritual atmosphere inside the movement that was proclaiming True Love.

Over the fall and winter of 1973-74, while I worked in Florida, I began an intense study of the Bible and the lives of Jesus and Saint Francis. I wanted to become like them—to feel that same love from God that they felt, and to love others as they could. I was inspired by Jesus’ teaching that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

By spring 1974, I had a showdown prayer with God on the beach, and made a commitment to dedicate my life to Him, and to start by returning to the Unification Church and to give it my wholehearted effort for three months, and see where God would lead me.

I worked very hard at fundraising, struggling to get my totals up each day, often with tears in my eyes at the end of the day. Dr. Ang then sent me to 100-Day Training at Belvedere, and almost before we could unpack, we went to Barrytown to prepare for the Three Day Prayer and Fast that was to take place on the steps of the Capitol Building on July 22. It was almost three months to the day that I came back to the Church.

The next morning at Barrytown, I suddenly saw the sun rising over the trees — a huge brilliant orange ball. My first thought was, “God, you have made such a beautiful world for us to live in which we love, but it is sad that we don’t feel thankful to you for it.”

In a flash, God poured pure love down my entire body from the top of my head right to the bottom of my toes. It literally washed away my sin, fears, and sadness—everything. In an instant, I was transformed. I felt so free and joyful I couldn’t believe what happened to me. I felt love for everyone and so happy to talk to anyone. No bad feelings or thoughts came to me the whole day on the trip to Washington and I went to sleep that night feeling wonderful. I thought this must be what it feels like to be a perfected individual of love.

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