Now people from all nations assemble and come to Zion just as prophesied in the Bible. So, the number of brothers and sisters in Zion is increasing day by day. Some of them do not yet understand the linguistic habits of Zion and the teachings of the Bible, and they still have the habit of speaking words that they have learned from the world. At the beginning of the New Year 2016, let’s take time to think about how we can speak only words of heaven, words of salvation.
Recently I received an e-mail from a local Church member. She said in the e-mail that the overseer and his wife of the Church were living a beautiful life of faith according to God’s word and that she wanted to continue to serve in that Church.
Of course, she received much grace while serving in the previous Zion, but especially in the current Church she always heard the leading members of Zion say they’re happy while working. The overseer’s wife said whenever she washed dishes and arranged them, “I’m storing up blessings in heaven now. I’m so happy!” She always felt happy while serving the Church, saying, “We’re now storing up blessings in heaven. How blessed we are!” Like that, she continuously told those around her, “God has come to this earth to give us the truth of the new covenant and to open the way to heaven for us, and God is always with us. Is there anything more blissful than this?”
As the member kept hearing the overseer’s wife say that, she also felt warm and happy in her heart, and on the other hand she felt very sorry toward God.
‘Ah, I’ve been living amid such precious blessings from God, but I’ve not thanked Him enough. Without realizing how happy I am, I’ve been working only out of a sense of duty. The fact that I’m saved is happiness itself. Moreover, God has entrusted me with the gospel that even angels envy. I’ve been so stingy in expressing gratitude for the blessings and happiness I’ve received from God, so I couldn’t understand them fully.’
From then on, she began to express her happiness to those around her. I was also very pleased to hear that all the members of that Church were living happily together as they continuously shared and spread happiness in their everyday lives, saying to each other, “I’m happy!”
Since we’ve received the great blessing of salvation from God, shouldn’t we always be thankful and happy in everything? In Zion, sorrow and sighing flee away, and God renews our joy and happiness every day. Nevertheless, if we have not felt happy in Zion, it’s all because of one thing—the habit of thinking and speaking in the wrong way, which our enemy the devil has instilled in us to block our way to heaven. As we have biased views and improper speaking habits, we fail to realize the happiness God has given us or feel less happy; we cannot understand God’s grace, and come to grumble and complain.
We are the happy people who are going toward heaven today, too. God has given us the opportunity to have the forgiveness of sins on this earth, and is waiting for us all to awake and return to heaven.
People get excited when they travel to another country by plane, especially if it’s their first flight. But really, there’s nothing that exciting about being on a plane. Those who have never traveled by plane may think that flying in a plane is lots of fun. However, the seats in most planes are so small that it is hard for passengers to stretch or exercise. During the whole flight, they can hardly move in their cramped seats. Despite all these uncomfortable conditions, their hearts are filled with hope, happiness, excitement and anticipation to see a whole different world.
It was the same when I went on my first overseas mission trip to the United States. While on the plane, I felt so excited. Despite the long flight, my body was not tired, and I was filled with joy and excitement at the thought, ‘The gospel of God will finally be preached here, too.’ I had no idea what would happen to me there, but as I believed God is with me, I didn’t feel bored at all while traveling, although I was stuck on the plane without being able to move for almost 12 hours.
In the same way, we are now on a huge airship called Earth, flying toward heaven. The earth revolves around the sun once a year at a tremendous speed, although we don’t feel it. During our flight through the universe, how happy we will be if we look forward to the kingdom of heaven Father and Mother have prepared for us and if we are filled with excitement at the thought of being “a royal priesthood” (1 Pe 2:9)!
Many people in the world say they feel empty as they get older. If they live without knowing true happiness, they cannot help but feel empty. However, we are different; God, who has come to this earth in the flesh to give us eternal happiness, is with us. God only gives good gifts to His children whom He loves more than His own life; some people receive the gifts with gratitude and joy, and others grumble against God, “Why do You give more to others and less to me?” From now on, let us always receive God’s blessings with joy.
I believe most of our members in Zion understand the truth and keep walking the path of faith with happiness in their hearts every day. However, those who are lacking in understanding say they find it hard to do God’s will.
The moment they say it’s difficult, the doors of happiness are closed to them. Both a disaster and a blessing come out of our mouths. That’s why Mother has taught us to always speak what is helpful for building others up—the words that bring forth blessings.
“Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.” Jer 6:19
Disasters and blessings are both the result of people’s thoughts. During the Israelites’ 40-year journey through the desert, God provided them with the same environment and the same material goods. However, while some of them spoke words of gratitude, others poured out grumbling words. These were also the results of their thoughts.
Unlike those who are heading down the path toward hell, we are walking the path toward heaven, clothed in God’s grace of forgiveness. Both those who preach the gospel and those who support them are blessed; God gives them blessings according to their deeds.
The Bible likens us to the gospel soldiers. In the army there are not only soldiers with rifles but also food service specialists, administration clerks, etc. Likewise, all our members in Zion around the world are diligently carrying out their own God-given roles in each mission field. When they all become one, they will be victorious in spiritual warfare.
We are all members of Christ’s body. Every mission entrusted to each of us in Zion is very important. So, we must not think, ‘Why should I do this?’ Instead, if we think, ‘I’m storing up blessings in heaven!’ we will be blessed as a result of our thoughts. What God has entrusted to us is something truly blissful. Nevertheless, if we do not realize it but just keep grumbling, God will take away our blessings.
Let’s think about the case of Job. Because of Satan’s hindrance, Job went through a great ordeal of suffering; he lost all his property and even his beloved children in one day. In spite of this desperate situation, Job said as follows:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20–22
Job had such great faith that God boasted about him to Satan. He firmly believed in God and lived a faultless life. Then one day, Satan attacked Job’s family. When Satan tempted Job, his wife told him to stop believing in God: “If the God you believe in really exists, why wouldn’t He help you? He doesn’t exist. So, curse God and turn from Him!”
In that same situation, however, Job didn’t think that way. He admonished his wife, saying, “We came here on earth with nothing. God is the Owner of everything, and He gave all these things to me. Since the Owner has taken back what He entrusted to His servants temporarily, we have no right to complain about it. God gave and God has taken away. May the name of God be praised!”
Let’s suppose that Job was instigated by his wife and said, “That’s right! Up until now, I’ve been so faithful to God; I’ve offered sacrifices regularly on the altar every day, and I have also prayed to God eagerly. How could God do this to me?” Then perhaps when we go back to heaven, we wouldn’t see Job there. However, when his wife spoke impulsively, he admonished her. So, Job and his family received even greater blessings than they had before. We can confirm this in the book of Job.
When Jesus came to this earth 2,000 years ago, He rebuked the Pharisees for speaking evil things, pointing out their hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Mt 12:34–37
The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart. Those who have stored up good things in their hearts speak good words, and those who have stored up evil things in their hearts speak evil words. Jesus said, “Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
“We’re so happy because we’ve been allowed to dwell in God.”
“We’re so happy because we are God’s fellow workers in the gospel.”
“We’re so happy because we are going back to our heavenly home God has prepared for us.”
We should let these words of joy and gratitude continuously come out of our mouths. People in the world do not know the kingdom of heaven, and they are living without the hope of salvation. However, we are always living in God as people of Zion, and we are so happy about everything.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD . Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. Ps 34:11–16
The Bible says that if we love life and desire to see many good days, we should keep our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking lies. We can understand the meaning of these words through lessons from the twelve spies as well.
Were the six hundred thousand men of Israel destroyed in the desert because of attacks from their enemies? Not at all. It was because of the negative words from the spies who had returned from exploring the land of Canaan.
They did not think about God’s promise to give them the land of Canaan, and spread negative reports among the Israelites: “We saw the giants there. We’re like grasshoppers, and they’re men of great stature,” “We can never defeat them.” That night all the people of Israel raised their voices and wept aloud. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?” As a result, God did not allow any of the men twenty years old or more to enter the land of Canaan, except Joshua and Caleb. Their negative thoughts and words brought destruction upon the six hundred thousand men.
In the history of our ancestors of faith who walked the right path, we can see that they were very happy to be with God. Since they were so happy, they always gave thanks to God and did not even fear death. They were able to speak confidently like the Apostle Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or nakedness or sword? Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ” (Ro 8:35–39).
Where else in the world can we find such tremendous, unmeasurable happiness? Even washing a single dish in Zion is something for our spiritual brothers and sisters; we are doing what Father and Mother have told us to do for our happiness. Since we are working with God, we should be even happier and rejoice all the more, and also need to speak only good, positive words just as Joshua and Caleb did. They are the very words of heaven and the words of salvation for human beings.
Each and every day given to us is an opportunity for God to lead us to the kingdom of heaven. In that process, we must not grumble over small inconveniences and trivial matters, but feel excited and happy. While walking with God, we should always be thankful and also awaken those who do not feel happy.
While the ten spies discouraged all the Israelites by their faithless words, Joshua and Caleb said with emphasis, “Why are you troubled over such a trivial matter? The mighty God, who divided the Red Sea, is with us, and their gods turned away from them. We will swallow them up.” These were the words of heaven and the words of salvation for the people of Israel. The words of Job, who kept giving glory to God without wavering no matter what anyone else said to stir him up, were also the words of heaven and the words of salvation.
Let us always think and speak of God, and give glory and thanks to Him as much as we can. I hope the New Year will bring more happiness to all you brothers and sisters in Zion and your family members as well. We need to keep our happiness out in the open, instead of hiding it. When we find happiness in our thoughts and confess it with our mouths, God will give us blessings as a result of our thoughts. ‘Since God is with us, we can do everything. We are working in Zion where God reigns. How proud we should be of what we are doing!’ Let us always keep these thoughts in our minds and give thanks to God, and start by saying, “We are so happy because God is with us!”
As members of the heavenly family, we are truly happy because we have both Father and Mother. Many people are living unstable lives because of their uncertain future. However, we have an eternal home in heaven God has prepared for us. Let us diligently run the race of faith toward the eternal world with gratitude and happiness in our hearts. I earnestly ask you brothers and sisters in Zion to throw away all negative thoughts and words and to always speak the words of heaven, the words of salvation, with a joyful heart because the kingdom of heaven is right in front of us.