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Thu, July 14, 2016

5 Important people from the life of Jesus

By truthbook staff

There are many similarities between the Bible and The Urantia Book: similarities in stories about Jesus especially. And among these stories we find information about many of the personalities that are beloved by generations of Christians. So, when I saw this article - 5 Bible figures aside from Jesus that serve as good role models for us to follow by JB Cachila - I went in search of these figures in The Urantia Book in order to offer to the reader an updated, more detailed picture of each of these historical and spiritual personalities. From the article:

"The Bible presents to us many characters to emulate and learn from. And while the best person to desire to be like is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, there are other Bible figures that we can use as our role models. Here are but some of them."

1. Paul

2. Peter

3. Stephen

4. Joseph

5. John the Baptist

Click to read descriptions in the article all of these important persons (and lessons we can learn from them) from the Biblical perspective

________________________

The article is good - as far as it goes - but after reading the Urantia Book descriptions and insights into these personalities, we come away with fresh understanding of each of their roles in the life and teachings of Jesus. Put them side-by-side, and you'll see what I mean!

NOTE: For ease of research, please feel free to use TruthBook's excellent search engine HERE in order to find all of the references to these important people in the Master's life and times.

Let's get started with:

1. Paul

There are nearly 70 references to Paul in The Urantia Book. He was indeed, a mighty preacher and champion of Jesus, even though he never met him in the flesh. Here are but a few:

195:1.1 The Hellenization of Christianity started in earnest on that eventful day when the Apostle Paul stood before the council of the Areopagus in Athens and told the Athenians about "the Unknown God." There, under the shadow of the Acropolis, this Roman citizen proclaimed to these Greeks his version of the new religion which had taken origin in the Jewish land of Galilee. And there was something strangely alike in Greek philosophy and many of the teachings of Jesus. They had a common goal—both aimed at the emergence of the individual. The Greek, at social and political emergence; Jesus, at moral and spiritual emergence. The Greek taught intellectual liberalism leading to political freedom; Jesus taught spiritual liberalism leading to religious liberty. These two ideas put together constituted a new and mighty charter for human freedom; they presaged man's social, political, and spiritual liberty.

195:1.2 Christianity came into existence and triumphed over all contending religions primarily because of two things:

1. The Greek mind was willing to borrow new and good ideas even from the Jews.

2. Paul and his successors were willing but shrewd and sagacious compromisers; they were keen theologic traders.
195:1.5 At the time Paul stood up in Athens preaching "Christ and Him Crucified," the Greeks were spiritually hungry; they were inquiring, interested, and actually looking for spiritual truth. Never forget that at first the Romans fought Christianity, while the Greeks embraced it, and that it was the Greeks who literally forced the Romans subsequently to accept this new religion, as then modified, as a part of Greek culture.
196:2.1 Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul's religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian
149:2.2 The Apostle Paul, in his efforts to bring the teachings of Jesus to the favorable notice of certain groups in his day, wrote many letters of instruction and admonition. Other teachers of Jesus' gospel did likewise, but none of them realized that some of these writings would subsequently be brought together by those who would set them forth as the embodiment of the teachings of Jesus. And so, while so-called Christianity does contain more of the Master's gospel than any other religion, it does also contain much that Jesus did not teach.

2. Peter

With over 300 reference to Peter in The Urantia Book, it is difficult to choose, but the following biography of this influential and important Apostle contains valuable insights into Simon Peter's personality. The entire biography can be found HERE, but here are few snippets from that section:

139:2.1 When Simon joined the apostles, he was thirty years of age. He was married, had three children, and lived at Bethsaida, near Capernaum. His brother, Andrew, and his wife's mother lived with him. Both Peter and Andrew were fisher partners of the sons of Zebedee.
139:2.2 The Master had known Simon for some time before Andrew presented him as the second of the apostles. When Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, he did it with a smile; it was to be a sort of nickname. Simon was well known to all his friends as an erratic and impulsive fellow. True, later on, Jesus did attach a new and significant import to this lightly bestowed nickname.
139:2.6 Simon Peter was distressingly vacillating; he would suddenly swing from one extreme to the other. First he refused to let Jesus wash his feet and then, on hearing the Master's reply, begged to be washed all over. But, after all, Jesus knew that Peter's faults were of the head and not of the heart. He was one of the most inexplicable combinations of courage and cowardice that ever lived on earth. His great strength of character was loyalty, friendship. Peter really and truly loved Jesus. And yet despite this towering strength of devotion he was so unstable and inconstant that he permitted a servant girl to tease him into denying his Lord and Master. Peter could withstand persecution and any other form of direct assault, but he withered and shrank before ridicule. He was a brave soldier when facing a frontal attack, but he was a fear-cringing coward when surprised with an assault from the rear.<

3. Stephen

Jesus was 23 years-old when he first met Stephen. Jesus had taken his younger brother Simon to Passover in Jerusalem, and while there he met a number of people...from The Urantia Book:

128:3.5 Perhaps the most notable of all these contacts was the one with a young Hellenist named Stephen. This young man was on his first visit to Jerusalem and chanced to meet Jesus on Thursday afternoon of Passover week. While they both strolled about viewing the Asmonean palace, Jesus began the casual conversation that resulted in their becoming interested in each other, and which led to a four-hour discussion of the way of life and the true God and his worship. Stephen was tremendously impressed with what Jesus said; he never forgot his words.
128:3.6 And this was the same Stephen who subsequently became a believer in the teachings of Jesus, and whose boldness in preaching this early gospel resulted in his being stoned to death by irate Jews. Some of Stephen's extraordinary boldness in proclaiming his view of the new gospel was the direct result of this earlier interview with Jesus. But Stephen never even faintly surmised that the Galilean he had talked with some fifteen years previously was the very same person whom he later proclaimed the world's Savior, and for whom he was so soon to die, thus becoming the first martyr of the newly evolving Christian faith. When Stephen yielded up his life as the price of his attack upon the Jewish temple and its traditional practices, there stood by one named Saul, a citizen of Tarsus. And when Saul saw how this Greek could die for his faith, there were aroused in his heart those emotions which eventually led him to espouse the cause for which Stephen died; later on he became the aggressive and indomitable Paul, the philosopher, if not the sole founder, of the Christian religion.

4. Joseph

Joseph, the earth-father of Jesus is traditionally a misunderstood personage. Little is known about him in Biblical literature, and it has always been assumed that he was an older man, because he disappears from the literature early in Jesus' life. There are 34 references to Joseph in The Urantia Book; here is a study of Urantia Book teachings that we put together at TruthBook about this wonderful man.

122:1.1 Joseph, the human father of Jesus ( Joshua ben Joseph, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, albeit he carried many non-Jewish racial strains which had been added to his ancestral tree from time to time by the female lines of his progenitors. The ancestry of the father of Jesus went back to the days of Abraham and through this venerable patriarch to the earlier lines of inheritance leading to the Sumerians and Nodites and, through the southern tribes of the ancient blue man, to Andon and Fonta. David and Solomon were not in the direct line of Joseph's ancestry, neither did Joseph's lineage go directly back to Adam. Joseph's immediate ancestors were mechanics—builders, carpenters, masons, and smiths. Joseph himself was a carpenter and later a contractor. His family belonged to a long and illustrious line of the nobility of the common people, accentuated ever and anon by the appearance of unusual individuals who had distinguished themselves in connection with the evolution of religion on Urantia..

And, the reason that Joseph suddenly disappears from the Bible is becaue he suffered an untimely eath when Jesus was 14 years-old. Here's that story:

126:2.1 All did go well until that fateful day of Tuesday, September 25, when a runner from Sepphoris brought to this Nazareth home the tragic news that Joseph had been severely injured by the falling of a derrick while at work on the governor's residence. The messenger from Sepphoris had stopped at the shop on the way to Joseph's home, informing Jesus of his father's accident, and they went together to the house to break the sad news to Mary. Jesus desired to go immediately to his father, but Mary would hear to nothing but that she must hasten to her husband's side. She directed that James, then ten years of age, should accompany her to Sepphoris while Jesus remained home with the younger children until she should return, as she did not know how seriously Joseph had been injured. But Joseph died of his injuries before Mary arrived. They brought him to Nazareth, and on the following day he was laid to rest with his fathers.

5. John the Baptist

There are 34 reference to John the Baptist in The Urantia Book, but many more, if one uses just the word John in a search - but of course, these are mixed in with other "Johns." Here's a reference to Paper 135, a stunning and lengthy narration all about this herald of Jesus' mission to earth. And here are but a few passages from that paper:

135:0.1 JOHN THE BAPTIST was born March 25, 7 B.C., in accordance with the promise that Gabriel made to Elizabeth in June of the previous year. For five months Elizabeth kept secret Gabriel's visitation; and when she told her husband, Zacharias, he was greatly troubled and fully believed her narrative only after he had an unusual dream about six weeks before the birth of John. Excepting the visit of Gabriel to Elizabeth and the dream of Zacharias, there was nothing unusual or supernatural connected with the birth of John the Baptist.
135:1.1 John had no school from which to graduate at the age of fourteen, but his parents had selected this as the appropriate year for him to take the formal Nazarite vow. Accordingly, Zacharias and Elizabeth took their son to Engedi, down by the Dead Sea. This was the southern headquarters of the Nazarite brotherhood, and there the lad was duly and solemnly inducted into this order for life. After these ceremonies and the making of the vows to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, to let the hair grow, and to refrain from touching the dead, the family proceeded to Jerusalem, where, before the temple, John completed the making of the offerings which were required of those taking Nazarite vows.
135:3.3 John was never able completely to rise above the confusion produced by what he had heard from his parents concerning Jesus and by these passages which he read in the Scriptures. In Daniel he read: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom." But these words of the prophet did not harmonize with what his parents had taught him. Neither did his talk with Jesus, at the time of his visit when he was eighteen years old, correspond with these statements of the Scriptures. Notwithstanding this confusion, throughout all of his perplexity his mother assured him that his distant cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, was the true Messiah, that he had come to sit on the throne of David, and that he (John) was to become his advance herald and chief support.

Are there others?

The Urantia Book is a modern-day re-statement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus - a narrative that covers ALL of the Master's life; and this narrative is replete with information, not only about Jesus, but about the people with whom Jesus walked - those who influenced his ministry, and those who were part of his earthly family, too.

PART IV of The Urantia Book is a gift to humanity; in safekeeping by the angels and sent in a time when it will receive the greatest worldwide exposure, it is the real story - with more detail that can be found anywhere else - of Jesus' life. Do you have a favorite figure from Jesus' life that you'd like to know more about? Check them out in our search (top right of any TruthBook page) - you may be delighted by what you find!

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Wed, June 29, 2016

Jesus - The Center

By truthbook staff jesus, jesus centered bible, urantia book, jesus in the Urantia Book

We at TruthBook feel that there is nothing more important than lifting Jesus higher, and so we are delighted to see this review of a new Bible titled: Jesus-Centered Bible Receives Christian Retailing Best Award on The Christian News Wire.

If you are unfamiliar with this new approach to Bible publishing, here's a snippet from the article:

The 'Jesus-Centered Bible' released in September 2015 and highlights all of the ways Jesus shows up in the Bible, including more than 600 passages in the Old Testament. Featuring distinctive blue letters, each passage is designed to point readers to Jesus, from Genesis through Revelation. The Bible also carries the classic red letters in the New Testament.

In addition, the Bible magnifies the ways Jesus answers life's essential questions, including "What's my purpose in life?" and "Why do bad things happen?"

Click to read the whole review

Again, at TruthBook, we are Jesus-centered and Jesus-pointed - always. And we rejoice when we see such an enlightened approach to enliven these age-old Bible books to show how Jesus has always been the glue; when we seek Jesus, we seek everything.

If you are a Christian believer, we welcome you to our pages, and invite you to add The Urantia Book to your study of the Jesus-centered Bible. You'll find Jesus as you may never have known him before, and reading his life and teachings as presented in The Urantia Book will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of the Bible as never before.

The Urantia Book is not now, nor has it ever been, designed as a replacement for Scripture; The Urantia Book stands alone in its revelations about the Heavenly Father, details about the hosts of heaven, and important knowledge that fills in all the missing gaps in our knowledge of ourselves and our world and the history that has brought us to where we stand today.

But the most thrilling and detailed part of the book is Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus. It too, stands alone, and yet it has a comforting, familiar ring to it, as many of the stories of the Master's life - and many of his teachings - are included. Anyone who knows Jesus from the Bible must be aware that there was far more to his life than the three or four years that are covered within its pages. The Urantia Book fills in all of those gaps, too, adding additional stories, context, color, depth, richness, and consistency to his life-narrative. And these are not just figments of someone's imagination; these are the actual records of Jesus' momentous incarnation preserved by celestial eyewitnesses of these events. Only since the publication of The Urantia Book in 1955 have these records been made increasingly available to the whole world.

Like the new Jesus-centered Bible, The Urantia Book contains references to Jesus from the first paper to the last. In The Urantia Book, Jesus is the one consistent link that connects all of creation for us. And this connection is finally and beautifully shown in this last part of the book.

We never suggest that anyone give up the Bible in order to read and enjoy The Urantia Book; quite the contrary, these mighty sources of inspiration and knowledge can be enjoyed together, one illuminating the other, one enhancing the appreciation of the other.

From The Urantia Book:

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

We take this mandate seriously; we hope you do, too. To that end, we again invite you to see for yourself the restatement of the life and teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book. See Jesus as a youth, see him as he ministered to all sorts of people during his trip to Rome, see him as father-brother experiencing family life as so many of us do, read his teachings about affliction, see him as a devoted, selfless God/man whose entire life was dedicated to living and doing the will of the Father. And see him as the inspiring "Acme of Religious Living." that Urantia Book readers have come to love

Even more than the new Jesus-centered Bible, The Urantia Book is the most Jesus-centered book you will ever read!

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Thu, June 16, 2016

Managing Temptation

By truthbook staff

Good heavens! Could Jesus really have said that? This article, titled: Did Jesus really want us to chop our hands off? Dealing with temptation by Mark Woods, points out two "quotes" that Jesus is said to have spoken. One is echoed in The Urantia Book and the other one is, too...sort of.

Any Urantia Book reader can tell you that Jesus never advised mutilating our bodies in order to deal with temptation, and reason tells us that this is an idea that is quite inconsistent with the Jesus we discover in the pages of the Urantia revelation. Jesus had far more practical and reasonable advice than is ascribed to him in Scripture. Please see our blog below for the details...but first, as is usually the case, the author of this article does a good job getting to the real heart of the matter:

"Some Christians have taken him quite literally and thought he was saying that parts of the body that tempt overwhelmingly to sin should be cut off. One of the early Church fathers, Origen, was believed to have had himself emasculated because of this. A Russian Christian sect, the Skoptsy, had the same practice.

"But there are two big problems with this. One is that mutilating the body like this is profoundly unChristian. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. When we damage them we are despising the gift of God. Bodies are not neutral; they aren't just houses for souls. We are our bodies as we are our spirits.

"Second, though, it doesn't really deal with the problem. Someone who is tempted to steal might not be able to do so if their hand was removed, but it wouldn't change their heart. The desire for what doesn't belong to them would still be there


Click to read the entire article

____________________
Those who read/study The Urantia Book - and especially the Life and Teachings of Jesus in Part IV of The Urantia Book have found a portrayal of the Master that is altogether reasonable - altogether believable and consistent of a being who said that he had "come from the Father." Those who know Jesus through The Urantia Book find him kind, approachable, and non-threatening. And the same can be said for God, whose loving nature is amazingly detailed in The Urantia Book as well

In the life of Jesus we find a man who claimed: "he who has seen me has seen the Father." And if one reads the Urantia Book narrative of Jesus' life, one will find only graciousness, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, and love coming from him. Jesus never gives ultimatums or advice that is frightening, like this advice to cut off body parts if they cause one to sin. Instead, Jesus always gives advice that people can live with - advice that lifts up and inspires, never advice that causes fear. Likewise, we can glean from this understanding that God the Father himself demonstrates all of these loving qualities as well.

What about the millstones around the neck?

Yes, Jesus did warn against causing children to "stumble" - and I take this to mean that we all must carefully nurture not only the physical beings of children, but also the spiritual growth of children - to always tell them the truth and foster their highest ideals - to help them find worthy heroes and role models - and to always try to BE good role models for our kids - and other people's kids, too.

But what he said next is far more befitting a man who claims to have come from God than the portrayal of Jesus as he is seen in Matthew 18:8-9 - a man whose whole life was a testiment to the goodness of God and the loving, Fatherly affection of God for his children. Here's the full text from The Urantia Book:

158:8.1 Entering Capernaum at twilight, they went by unfrequented thoroughfares directly to the home of Simon Peter for their evening meal. While David Zebedee made ready to take them across the lake, they lingered at Simon's house, and Jesus, looking up at Peter and the other apostles, asked: "As you walked along together this afternoon, what was it that you talked about so earnestly among yourselves?" The apostles held their peace because many of them had continued the discussion begun at Mount Hermon as to what positions they were to have in the coming kingdom; who should be the greatest, and so on. Jesus, knowing what it was that occupied their thoughts that day, beckoned to one of Peter's little ones and, setting the child down among them, said: "Verily, verily, I say to you, except you turn about and become more like this child, you will make little progress in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever shall humble himself and become as this little one, the same shall become greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso receives such a little one receives me. And they who receive me receive also Him who sent me. If you would be first in the kingdom, seek to minister these good truths to your brethren in the flesh. But whosoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea. If the things you do with your hands, or the things you see with your eyes give offense in the progress of the kingdom, sacrifice these cherished idols, for it is better to enter the kingdom minus many of the beloved things of life rather than to cling to these idols and find yourself shut out of the kingdom. But most of all, see that you despise not one of these little ones, for their angels do always behold the faces of the heavenly hosts."

But what about temptation?

Yes, Jesus does help us deal with temptation...here is a great Jesus story that you wil not find in the Bible, but it is an altogether reasonable and believable story that anyone could profit from.

Here it is in it's entirety:

156:5.3 On the evening of this same day Nathaniel asked Jesus: "Master, why do we pray that God will lead us not into temptation when we well know from your revelation of the Father that he never does such things?" Jesus answered Nathaniel:
"It is not strange that you ask such questions seeing that you are beginning to know the Father as I know him, and not as the early Hebrew prophets so dimly saw him. You well know how our forefathers were disposed to see God in almost everything that happened. They looked for the hand of God in all natural occurrences and in every unusual episode of human experience. They connected God with both good and evil. They thought he softened the heart of Moses and hardened the heart of Pharaoh. When man had a strong urge to do something, good or evil, he was in the habit of accounting for these unusual emotions by remarking: `The Lord spoke to me saying, do thus and so, or go here and there.' Accordingly, since men so often and so violently ran into temptation, it became the habit of our forefathers to believe that God led them thither for testing, punishing, or strengthening. But you, indeed, now know better. You know that men are all too often led into temptation by the urge of their own selfishness and by the impulses of their animal natures. When you are in this way tempted, I admonish you that, while you recognize temptation honestly and sincerely for just what it is, you intelligently redirect the energies of spirit, mind, and body, which are seeking expression, into higher channels and toward more idealistic goals. In this way may you transform your temptations into the highest types of uplifting mortal ministry while you almost wholly avoid these wasteful and weakening conflicts between the animal and spiritual natures.
"But let me warn you against the folly of undertaking to surmount temptation by the effort of supplanting one desire by another and supposedly superior desire through the mere force of the human will. If you would be truly triumphant over the temptations of the lesser and lower nature, you must come to that place of spiritual advantage where you have really and truly developed an actual interest in, and love for, those higher and more idealistic forms of conduct which your mind is desirous of substituting for these lower and less idealistic habits of behavior that you recognize as temptation. You will in this way be delivered through spiritual transformation rather than be increasingly overburdened with the deceptive suppression of mortal desires. The old and the inferior will be forgotten in the love for the new and the superior. Beauty is always triumphant over ugliness in the hearts of all who are illuminated by the love of truth. There is mighty power in the expulsive energy of a new and sincere spiritual affection. And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good."

And there's more

Dealing with temptation is something all of us are faced with, every day. Jesus understood mankind very, very well. And he really wanted to help us gain control over our animal natures. Here is more sage advice from the Master about "self-mastery."

143:2.4 "By the old way you seek to suppress, obey, and conform to the rules of living; by the new way you are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind, and so are you endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Forget not—it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature. Thus by your faith and the spirit's transformation, you become in reality the temples of God, and his spirit actually dwells within you. If, then, the spirit dwells within you, you are no longer bondslaves of the flesh but free and liberated sons of the spirit. The new law of the spirit endows you with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of the fear of self-bondage and the slavery of self-denial.

And there's much more in this discourse in the way of solid, uplifting, ennobling advice. Read it all here

Part IV of The Urantia Book: The Life and Teachings of Jesus contain the whole life of Jesus - not just the few years at the end of his life that we have had for the centuries since he lived among us. These stories - all of the details - have been faithfully kept over the centuries by those who were actually present during Jesus' life. They have been preserved for the time when the world could receive them once again. And they have been presented to us now - in book form - so that all succeeding generations of believers can profit from them.

There's a reason that The Urantia Book had to wait until now. For one thing, the printing press was not invented until about 500 years ago - and for another thing, The Urantia Book arrived for us right before the dawn of the electronic age, making the dissemination of this amazing book far more possible.

It is a revelation for you, too. The entire text is available for free on our TruthBook.com site, so come and have a look! If you love Jesus in the Bible, you'll love him even more when you know the rest of the story!

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Tue, May 31, 2016

Jesus said we are salt and light

By truthbook staff salt and light, ordination sermon, beatitudes, Urantia Book, Jesus in the Urantia Book

So often, when I see titles like this in the popular press, I am inspired to write a little something; this one is called You are salt and light, said Jesus: but what did he really mean? by Mark Woods. It's the subject of our blog below; but first, here's a blurb from the article:

"We know the sayings very well – they're in Matthew 5:13-16. And perhaps we've thought about what they mean. Christians are meant to make a difference in the world. We're to stand up for what's right, we're to campaign for justice and righteousness, and we're to speak truth to power. It's about being prophetic voices in a world that doesn't acknowledge God; if we're called to be the light, it's because there's so much darkness all around.

"That may all be true. But perhaps we should go a bit further back. Why did Jesus, or why did Matthew, put these sayings here? Why immediately after the beatitudes in the first few verses of Matthew, the 'blessed ares' – "Blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the merciful, the pure in heart?"

"A text without a context is a pretext. So what this seems to be saying is that the people who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world are the same as those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who are peacemakers and who are persecuted.

"Being salt and light means being this kind of person. It's not so much about what you do; it's much more about what you are. It's about your character, and you are in your inner being."

Click to read the entire article

Context is Important

And this opinion is valuable - this article is worth a read. BUT - if we really want to know what is being said here, the real context will be quite illuminating, as the author of the article observes. And where do we find that proper context?

Urantia Book readers are very familiar with these wonderful sayings and this wonderful discourse of the Master. In The Urantia Book, we discover that it is, in actuality, the Ordination Sermon to the apostles

Here is that sermon, in its entirety:

140:3.1 Then Jesus spoke, saying: "Now that you are ambassadors of my Father's kingdom, you have thereby become a class of men separate and distinct from all other men on earth. You are not now as men among men but as the enlightened citizens of another and heavenly country among the ignorant creatures of this dark world. It is not enough that you live as you were before this hour, but henceforth must you live as those who have tasted the glories of a better life and have been sent back to earth as ambassadors of the Sovereign of that new and better world. Of the teacher more is expected than of the pupil; of the master more is exacted than of the servant. Of the citizens of the heavenly kingdom more is required than of the citizens of the earthly rule. Some of the things which I am about to say to you may seem hard, but you have elected to represent me in the world even as I now represent the Father; and as my agents on earth you will be obligated to abide by those teachings and practices which are reflective of my ideals of mortal living on the worlds of space, and which I exemplify in my earth life of revealing the Father who is in heaven.
140:3.2 "I send you forth to proclaim liberty to the spiritual captives, joy to those in the bondage of fear, and to heal the sick in accordance with the will of my Father in heaven. When you find my children in distress, speak encouragingly to them, saying:
"Happy are the poor in spirit, the humble, for theirs are the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.
"Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
"Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
"Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
"And even so speak to my children these further words of spiritual comfort and promise:
"Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Happy are they who weep, for they shall receive the spirit of rejoicing.
"Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
"Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
"Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
140:3.12 "My brethren, as I send you forth, you are the salt of the earth, salt with a saving savor. But if this salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
140:3.13 "You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven.
140:3.14 "I am sending you out into the world to represent me and to act as ambassadors of my Father's kingdom, and as you go forth to proclaim the glad tidings, put your trust in the Father whose messengers you are. Do not forcibly resist injustice; put not your trust in the arm of the flesh. If your neighbor smites you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Be willing to suffer injustice rather than to go to law among yourselves. In kindness and with mercy minister to all who are in distress and in need.
140:3.15 "I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them.
140:3.16 "Your Father in heaven makes the sun to shine on the evil as well as upon the good; likewise he sends rain on the just and the unjust. You are the sons of God; even more, you are now the ambassadors of my Father's kingdom. Be merciful, even as God is merciful, and in the eternal future of the kingdom you shall be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.
140:3.17 "You are commissioned to save men, not to judge them. At the end of your earth life you will all expect mercy; therefore do I require of you during your mortal life that you show mercy to all of your brethren in the flesh. Make not the mistake of trying to pluck a mote out of your brother's eye when there is a beam in your own eye. Having first cast the beam out of your own eye, you can the better see to cast the mote out of your brother's eye.
140:3.18 "Discern the truth clearly; live the righteous life fearlessly; and so shall you be my apostles and my Father's ambassadors. You have heard it said: `If the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the pit.' If you would guide others into the kingdom, you must yourselves walk in the clear light of living truth. In all the business of the kingdom I exhort you to show just judgment and keen wisdom. Present not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample your gems under foot and turn to rend you.
140:3.19 "I warn you against false prophets who will come to you in sheep's clothing, while on the inside they are as ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit, but the corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot yield evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is presently hewn down and cast into the fire. In gaining an entrance into the kingdom of heaven, it is the motive that counts. My Father looks into the hearts of men and judges by their inner longings and their sincere intentions.
140:3.20 "In the great day of the kingdom judgment, many will say to me, `Did we not prophesy in your name and by your name do many wonderful works?' But I will be compelled to say to them, `I never knew you; depart from me you who are false teachers.' But every one who hears this charge and sincerely executes his commission to represent me before men even as I have represented my Father to you, shall find an abundant entrance into my service and into the kingdom of the heavenly Father."
140:3.21 Never before had the apostles heard Jesus speak in this way, for he had talked to them as one having supreme authority. They came down from the mountain about sundown, but no man asked Jesus a question.

The Authors of The Urantia Book Comment

And not only is the ordination sermon itself given, but there follows this commentary on the points made in the sermon...in commentary made by the revelators of the book; for example, in expanding upon these two metaphors of salt and light, we read the following:

140:4.1 The so-called "Sermon on the Mount" is not the gospel of Jesus. It does contain much helpful instruction, but it was Jesus' ordination charge to the twelve apostles. It was the Master's personal commission to those who were to go on preaching the gospel and aspiring to represent him in the world of men even as he was so eloquently and perfectly representative of his Father.
140:4.2 "You are the salt of the earth, salt with a saving savor. But if this salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men."
140:4.3 In Jesus' time salt was precious. It was even used for money. The modern word "salary" is derived from salt. Salt not only flavors food, but it is also a preservative. It makes other things more tasty, and thus it serves by being spent.
140:4.4 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven."
140:4.5 While light dispels darkness, it can also be so "blinding" as to confuse and frustrate. We are admonished to let our light so shine that our fellows will be guided into new and godly paths of enhanced living. Our light should so shine as not to attract attention to self. Even one's vocation can be utilized as an effective "reflector" for the dissemination of this light of life.

And there's so much more...

Read all of Paper 140 - The Ordination of the Twelve

And this is another example of why Part IV of The Urantia Book - the Life and Teachings of Jesus - is such a valuable discovery for all those who want to know more about Jesus and his life. This amazing revelation of the details of the Master's life illuminate the previous records that have come to us primarily from Scripture. Those records - as inspiring as they are - are very incomplete in many instances. The Urantia Book's restatement of the life of Jesus fills in all the missing details - and provides the context for these familiar stories, as well as the context for a wide variety of other, heretofore unknown stories of Jesus' life...stories of Jesus' childhood, the missing years, the facts and strategies of his public and private ministry on earth, and the true purposes of Jesus' incarnation on this world.

The Ordination Sermon is just one instance. Read Part IV of The Urantia Book, and discover Jesus all over again! You'll be so glad you did...

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Tue, May 24, 2016

The Way to Pray

By truthbook staff Alt Tag

This plea, this cry for help, touches the heart; above all, people want to know that God hears their prayers. Urantia Book readers have many assurances about prayer that others do not; see our blog below, where we discuss prayer in The Urantia Book - but first, here's a few opening paragraphs from the featured article, Am I praying 'right'? by Patrick Mabilog"

"When it comes to prayer, believers are always on the lookout for the best way to commune with God and avoid practices that do not build up our relationship with Him. In all circumstances, we must know that our prayers are heard primarily because Jesus has made a way for us to the Father. That truth is the foundational basis upon which we pray.

"Many times in scripture, Jesus condemned pharisees for praying aloud. In Luke 20:46-47, Jesus said, 'Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.' "

"What Jesus really condemns here is a heart that is arrogant, not necessarily a prayer said in front of others. But there are other things we can get confused about when it comes to prayer and whether or not we're 'doing it right'."

Click to read the entire article

Is there a "right" way to pray? What Does The Urantia Book Teach?

Here are some "Prayer is..." statements from our topical study on prayer that features teachings of The Urantia Book:

Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. Pray only for values, not things; for growth, not for gratification. ~ The Urantia Book, (91:8.13)
Genuine prayer... is a spontaneous outburst of God-consciousness. ~ The Urantia Book, (91:8.10)
Prayer is designed to make man less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase knowledge but rather to expand insight. ~ The Urantia Book, (143:7.4)
Prayer is self-reminding—sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting—superthinking. Worship is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion. ~ The Urantia Book, (143:7.7)
Prayer is the breath of the spirit life in the midst of the material civilization of the races of mankind. Worship is salvation for the pleasure-seeking generations of mortals. ~ The Urantia Book, (144:4.7)
Prayer is the sincere and longing look of the child to its spirit Father; it is a psychologic process of exchanging the human will for the divine will. Prayer is a part of the divine plan for making over that which is into that which ought to be. ~ The Urantia Book, (144:4.9)
1. Prayer is an expression of the finite mind in an effort to approach the Infinite. The making of a prayer must, therefore, be limited by the knowledge, wisdom, and attributes of the finite; likewise must the answer be conditioned by the vision, aims, ideals, and prerogatives of the Infinite. There never can be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto.
2. When a prayer is apparently unanswered, the delay often betokens a better answer, although one which is for some good reason greatly delayed. When Jesus said that Lazarus's sickness was really not to the death, he had already been dead eleven hours. No sincere prayer is denied an answer except when the superior viewpoint of the spiritual world has devised a better answer, an answer which meets the petition of the spirit of man as contrasted with the prayer of the mere mind of man. ~ The Urantia Book, (168:4.4)
Prayer is the technique whereby, sooner or later, every religion becomes institutionalized. And in time prayer becomes associated with numerous secondary agencies, some helpful, others decidedly deleterious, such as priests, holy books, worship rituals, and ceremonials. ~ The Urantia Book, (91:5.6)

and at the end of Paper 91 - "The Evolution of Prayer," we read this:

91:9.1 If you would engage in effective praying, you should bear in mind the laws of prevailing petitions:
1. You must qualify as a potent prayer by sincerely and courageously facing the problems of universe reality. You must possess cosmic stamina.
2. You must have honestly exhausted the human capacity for human adjustment. You must have been industrious.
3. You must surrender every wish of mind and every craving of soul to the transforming embrace of spiritual growth. You must have experienced an enhancement of meanings and an elevation of values.
4. You must make a wholehearted choice of the divine will. You must obliterate the dead center of indecision.
5. You not only recognize the Father's will and choose to do it, but you have effected an unqualified consecration, and a dynamic dedication, to the actual doing of the Father's will.
6. Your prayer will be directed exclusively for divine wisdom to solve the specific human problems encountered in the Paradise ascension — the attainment of divine perfection.
7. And you must have faith—living faith.

But what did Jesus teach about prayer?

See Jesus' Discourse on Prayer, copied entirely here:

Jesus gave this lesson one afternoon in the third week of their sojourn on Mount Gilboa.
"John indeed taught you a simple form of prayer: `O Father, cleanse us from sin, show us your glory, reveal your love, and let your spirit sanctify our hearts forevermore, Amen!' He taught this prayer that you might have something to teach the multitude. He did not intend that you should use such a set and formal petition as the expression of your own souls in prayer.
"Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit; prayer should be the communion of sonship and the expression of fellowship. Prayer, when indited by the spirit, leads to co-operative spiritual progress. The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship. True praying is the sincere attitude of reaching heavenward for the attainment of your ideals.
"Prayer is the breath of the soul and should lead you to be persistent in your attempt to ascertain the Father's will. If any one of you has a neighbor, and you go to him at midnight and say: `Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine on a journey has come to see me, and I have nothing to set before him'; and if your neighbor answers, `Trouble me not, for the door is now shut and the children and I are in bed; therefore I cannot rise and give you bread,' you will persist, explaining that your friend hungers, and that you have no food to offer him. I say to you, though your neighbor will not rise and give you bread because he is your friend, yet because of your importunity he will get up and give you as many loaves as you need. If, then, persistence will win favors even from mortal man, how much more will your persistence in the spirit win the bread of life for you from the willing hands of the Father in heaven. Again I say to you: Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door of salvation will be opened.
"Which of you who is a father, if his son asks unwisely, would hesitate to give in accordance with parental wisdom rather than in the terms of the son's faulty petition? If the child needs a loaf, will you give him a stone just because he unwisely asks for it? If your son needs a fish, will you give him a watersnake just because it may chance to come up in the net with the fish and the child foolishly asks for the serpent? If you, then, being mortal and finite, know how to answer prayer and give good and appropriate gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the spirit and many additional blessings to those who ask him? Men ought always to pray and not become discouraged.
"Let me tell you the story of a certain judge who lived in a wicked city. This judge feared not God nor had respect for man. Now there was a needy widow in that city who came repeatedly to this unjust judge, saying, `Protect me from my adversary.' For some time he would not give ear to her, but presently he said to himself: `Though I fear not God nor have regard for man, yet because this widow ceases not to trouble me, I will vindicate her lest she wear me out by her continual coming.' These stories I tell you to encourage you to persist in praying and not to intimate that your petitions will change the just and righteous Father above. Your persistence, however, is not to win favor with God but to change your earth attitude and to enlarge your soul's capacity for spirit receptivity.
"But when you pray, you exercise so little faith. Genuine faith will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress."

And after teaching the apostles the believer's petition that later became "The Lord's Prayer," he taught them this:

144:3.17 Jesus taught that effective prayer must be:
1. Unselfish —not alone for oneself.
2. Believing—according to faith.
3. Sincere—honest of heart.
4. Intelligent—according to light.
5. Trustful—in submission to the Father's all-wise will.
144:3.23 When Jesus spent whole nights on the mountain in prayer, it was mainly for his disciples, particularly for the twelve. The Master prayed very little for himself, although he engaged in much worship of the nature of understanding communion with his Paradise Father.

Jesus gave another significant discourse on Prayer : HERE. Among the sixteen statements in that discourse Jesus said:

3. By opening the human end of the channel of the God-man communication, mortals make immediately available the ever-flowing stream of divine ministry to the creatures of the worlds. When man hears God's spirit speak within the human heart, inherent in such an experience is the fact that God simultaneously hears that man's prayer. Even the forgiveness of sin operates in this same unerring fashion. The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you have thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow men. God's forgiveness in fact is not conditioned upon your forgiving your fellows, but in experience it is exactly so conditioned. And this fact of the synchrony of divine and human forgiveness was thus recognized and linked together in the prayer which Jesus taught the apostles.
11. Many resort to prayer only when in trouble. Such a practice is thoughtless and misleading. True, you do well to pray when harassed, but you should also be mindful to speak as a son to your Father even when all goes well with your soul. Let your real petitions always be in secret. Do not let men hear your personal prayers. Prayers of thanksgiving are appropriate for groups of worshipers, but the prayer of the soul is a personal matter. There is but one form of prayer which is appropriate for all God's children, and that is: "Nevertheless, your will be done."
15. And then Jesus said: "Be not constantly overanxious about your common needs. Be not apprehensive concerning the problems of your earthly existence, but in all these things by prayer and supplication, with the spirit of sincere thanksgiving, let your needs be spread out before your Father who is in heaven." Then he quoted from the Scriptures: "I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify him with thanksgiving. And this will please the Lord better than the sacrifice of an ox or bullock with horns and hoofs."

In addition, please see:

More about Prayer

Are you needing more assurance about YOUR prayers?

Once again, we see contained in the pages of The Urantia Book teachings of Jesus that cannot be found anywhere else. These teachings, and this thrilling revelation of the details of Jesus' life are available NOW, after being preserved for over 2000 years - until the world was once again ready to hear them and apply them to a 21st century world.

Read it for yourself; gain assurances that all Urantia Book readers find in its pages - not only assurances about prayer, but on many other topics - see PART IV of The Urantia Book - "The Life and Teachings of Jesus"

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Mon, May 16, 2016

Was Jesus Prejudiced?

By truthbook staff syrophoenecian woman, jesus and the syrian woman, jesus in the urantia book, xenophobia and jesus,

The story of the Syrophoenician woman is one that pops up from time to time, as in this article in the recent Christian press: Learning from Jesus' Xenophobic Moment by Shea Watts; and there is always an attempt on the part of the writer or blogger to make excuses for Jesus' supposed xenophobia - his apparent prejudice and disdain for this woman who has asked him for healing for her daughter. After all, in this Biblical story, Jesus is supposed to have called the woman a "dog."

What I find fascinating is that even with such supposed bad behavior on the part of Jesus, that we are always ready to believe the best of him ... as it should be!

But, let's step back and regroup; in our blog below, we'll talk about what REALLY happened during this event in Jesus' life...and you'll find it much more consistent with the Jesus of love.

First, here's how our author turns Jesus into the hero here - and he IS the hero, always and forever. I really like this author's determination to find the good here and to give good advice for all of us to think about as well.

"Notice that Jesus makes a statement about the woman, but once he listens to her, he learns about her and his experience with her changes his mind. It is so easy to "other" those that are different than us - whether that be Syrian refugees, or those coming to America from Mexico - but how much time do we spend talking to them? How much time do we spend seeking to understand where they are coming from and the loss or grief or sadness that they have experienced? Have we heard their stories? Are we even open to listening?

"Jesus' xenophobic comments highlight his humanity. He was, after all, a man. He sweated and bled and cried. He spent his time and effort walking around to spread his message and recruit for his mission. And, from time to time, he got grumpy and sought to escape the crowds that followed. In this story, he let the pressures of his everyday life lead him to a moment that he learned from: he is initially wrong, but corrects his mistake.

"If Jesus can learn from his own xenophobia, it is time that we learn from his, first, and then hopefully learn from our own. Perhaps that is the point, after all?"

Click to read the entire article

If it seems too outrageous, it probably isn't true, anyway.

Urantia Book readers are quite familiar with this touching story; and every time I see a story like this in the popular press - when I think of all the people who wonder whether Jesus was really a closet hater, it makes me want to once again tell the real truth, as found in Part IV of The Urantia Book.

And in the case of the Syrian woman, the Biblical accounts are NOT TRUE. The repulsion and dismay we feel when we think that Jesus was so rude to a suffering woman is telling us that it just can't be true - and it isn't. The woman WAS called a dog, but not by Jesus; the one who was so rude to her was Simon Zelotes - the 11th apostle, and an "ardent Jewish nationalist!" This background makes Simon's response to the woman much more understandable ... not what we would hope from an apostle of Jesus, but nevertheless...

HERE'S the whole story, as revealed in The Urantia Book

THE SYRIAN WOMAN

There lived near the home of Karuska, where the Master lodged, a Syrian woman who had heard much of Jesus as a great healer and teacher, and on this Sabbath afternoon she came over, bringing her little daughter. The child, about twelve years old, was afflicted with a grievous nervous disorder characterized by convulsions and other distressing manifestations.
Jesus had charged his associates to tell no one of his presence at the home of Karuska, explaining that he desired to have a rest. While they had obeyed their Master's instructions, the servant of Karuska had gone over to the house of this Syrian woman, Norana, to inform her that Jesus lodged at the home of her mistress and had urged this anxious mother to bring her afflicted daughter for healing. This mother, of course, believed that her child was possessed by a demon, an unclean spirit.
When Norana arrived with her daughter, the Alpheus twins explained through an interpreter that the Master was resting and could not be disturbed; whereupon Norana replied that she and the child would remain right there until the Master had finished his rest. Peter also endeavored to reason with her and to persuade her to go home. He explained that Jesus was weary with much teaching and healing, and that he had come to Phoenicia for a period of quiet and rest. But it was futile; Norana would not leave. To Peter's entreaties she replied only: "I will not depart until I have seen your Master. I know he can cast the demon out of my child, and I will not go until the healer has looked upon my daughter."
Then Thomas sought to send the woman away but met only with failure. To him she said: "I have faith that your Master can cast out this demon which torments my child. I have heard of his mighty works in Galilee, and I believe in him. What has happened to you, his disciples, that you would send away those who come seeking your Master's help?" And when she had thus spoken, Thomas withdrew.
Then came forward Simon Zelotes to remonstrate with Norana. Said Simon: "Woman, you are a Greek -speaking gentile. It is not right that you should expect the Master to take the bread intended for the children of the favored household and cast it to the dogs." But Norana refused to take offense at Simon's thrust. She replied only: "Yes, teacher, I understand your words. I am only a dog in the eyes of the Jews, but as concerns your Master, I am a believing dog. I am determined that he shall see my daughter, for I am persuaded that, if he shall but look upon her, he will heal her. And even you, my good man, would not dare to deprive the dogs of the privilege of obtaining the crumbs which chance to fall from the children's table."
At just this time the little girl was seized with a violent convulsion before them all, and the mother cried out: "There, you can see that my child is possessed by an evil spirit. If our need does not impress you, it would appeal to your Master, who I have been told loves all men and dares even to heal the gentiles when they believe. You are not worthy to be his disciples. I will not go until my child has been cured."
Jesus, who had heard all of this conversation through an open window, now came outside, much to their surprise, and said: "O woman, great is your faith, so great that I cannot withhold that which you desire; go your way in peace. Your daughter already has been made whole." And the little girl was well from that hour. As Norana and the child took leave, Jesus entreated them to tell no one of this occurrence; and while his associates did comply with this request, the mother and the child ceased not to proclaim the fact of the little girl's healing throughout all the countryside and even in Sidon, so much so that Jesus found it advisable to change his lodgings within a few days.
The next day, as Jesus taught his apostles, commenting on the cure of the daughter of the Syrian woman, he said: "And so it has been all the way along; you see for yourselves how the gentiles are able to exercise saving faith in the teachings of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Verily, verily, I tell you that the Father's kingdom shall be taken by the gentiles if the children of Abraham are not minded to show faith enough to enter therein."

This wonderful story which corrects and details the erroneous account from the Bible is found in Paper 156, which you can read in its entirety by clicking on the link.

There's more in there...

Would you be interested in what else Jesus and the apostles were up to during that trip? Jesus did some teaching in Sidon about spiritual progression, and he delivered a significant teaching in Tyre, which will thrill and inspire anyone who is looking for spiritual truth and practical ways to maintain a good spiritual life.

The Urantia Book is a book about Jesus - Part IV of the book is the complete life and teachings of Jesus, restated for our 21st century times - it is a revelation of the true life that Jesus lived here and is probably the most important religious knowledge that any of us could have. And it belongs to YOU, too! Read and enjoy...

 

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Sun, May 01, 2016

Being the Light

By TruthBook Staff

This very beautiful blog, Meeting Jesus on the Street by John Schlimm, is quite inspiring; inspiring us to step out of our comfort zone and interact with our brothers and sisters in need - as we pass by. The phrase "as we pass by," is one that Urantia Book readers will recognize, too - see our blog below...but first, here is a short snippet from the article; I recommend a thorough reading of it:

"One of the most stunning lines in the Bible is where Jesus says: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)

"This is so much more than a nice thought about extending a helping hand. There's another powerful message encapsulated within this sentence: Jesus is not only advocating for compassion, He is literally giving us a pathway to meeting Him in the flesh."


Click to read the whole article

"You Are the Light of the World"

In the Ordination Sermon Jesus told the apostles:

 

140:3.13 "You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Is it hard to BE this light to the world? How did Jesus do it?

When we think about the article that is cited above, and the author' experiences with being an active advocate for goodness - and maybe meeting Jesus as a result - this section from the Urantia Book is the perfect addition on just how to meet Jesus "on the street..." Read it carefully - it is filled with clues on how to BE the light to the world that Jesus told us we are...

"As Jesus Passed By"

Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.
Goodness always compels respect, but when it is devoid of grace, it often repels affection. Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive.
Jesus really understood men; therefore could he manifest genuine sympathy and show sincere compassion. But he seldom indulged in pity. While his compassion was boundless, his sympathy was practical, personal, and constructive. Never did his familiarity with suffering breed indifference, and he was able to minister to distressed souls without increasing their self-pity.
Jesus could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight—he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings.
Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to comfort his fellow men "as he passed by." And he always made his friends feel at ease. He was a charming listener. He never engaged in the meddlesome probing of the souls of his associates. As he comforted hungry minds and ministered to thirsty souls, the recipients of his mercy did not so much feel that they were confessing to him as that they were conferring with him. They had unbounded confidence in him because they saw he had so much faith in them.
He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.
Jesus loved men so much and so wisely that he never hesitated to be severe with them when the occasion demanded such discipline. He frequently set out to help a person by asking for help. In this way he elicited interest, appealed to the better things in human nature.
The Master could discern saving faith in the gross superstition of the woman who sought healing by touching the hem of his garment. He was always ready and willing to stop a sermon or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person, even to a little child. Great things happened not only because people had faith in Jesus, but also because Jesus had so much faith in them.
Most of the really important things which Jesus said or did seemed to happen casually, "as he passed by." There was so little of the professional, the well-planned, or the premeditated in the Master's earthly ministry. He dispensed health and scattered happiness naturally and gracefully as he journeyed through life. It was literally true, "He went about doing good."
And it behooves the Master's followers in all ages to learn to minister as "they pass by"—to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.

A Way to Follow Jesus

This is yet another instance of how knowing the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it can help each one of us to live a better life, a more loving life, a life of greater service and joy. The revelators of The Urantia Book tell us that:

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

In The Urantia Book, we have page after page of never-before-seen detail of the Master's life on earth...we have instance upon instance of insight into Jesus' mind, his actions, his motivations - that can inspire each of us to live our best life, and do the highest and holiest good possible during our lives, one day at a time, with one soul at a time.

Only in The Urantia Book will you find this amazing source of guidance and inspiration...it is a revelation for YOU...find the complete story in Part IV of The Urantia Book - The Life and Teachings of Jesus

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Sun, April 10, 2016

Jesus, the Family Man

By TruthBook Staff burial joseph by russ docken

Not everyone is yet aware just how much of a family man Jesus really was, but Urantia Book readers know...and dearly love this part of Jesus' life. That's why the title of this article caught my eye: Jesus was a Family Man by Dr Ray Pritchard.

It's a nice article, recounting the time when Jesus remembered his mother, Mary, even while he was dying on the cross, and exhorting all of us not to neglect our duty to serve others. Here's a small, but significant snippet - and the subject of our blog, below:

"When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing there, He said to His mother, "Woman, here is your son.' Then He said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother'" (John 19:26-27).

" Mary is older now.

"Jesus has grown up. Mary has grown older too. She might be in her early 50s. Or she might be 55 now. She could even be 60 or 65. She's not a young girl anymore. She's long past the childbearing years. She's past her 20s, past her 30s, past her 40s. She's a widow now. I think that's certain. Joseph is gone. Somewhere between the time Jesus was twelve and the time he began his ministry, Joseph seems to have dropped off the scene. Mary is alone now. Her shoulders are stooped a little bit. There are a few silver threads among the gold. Those carefree days of youth are gone forever."

Click to read the entire article

____________

What DID happen to Joseph, Jesus' father?

As the snippet above illustrates, most people who know the life of Jesus from Scripture are not aware of the circumstances of Jesus' early life - the life he lived within his family as the eldest son of nine children of Mary and Joseph. They wonder what happened to Joseph, who "seems to have dropped off the scene." Nowhere but in The Urantia Book do we learn both what happened to Joseph as well as the details of those years of Jesus' life.

From The Urantia Book, we receive the true story, the real story, as preserved by the angels for our uplift and inspiration.

Jesus' early life was one of relative ease and happiness, up until Jesus was 14 years-old. That year, Joseph, Jesus' beloved earthly father died of injuries he suffered on his job one day in his work as a construction contractor. From The Urantia Book:

126:2.1 All did go well until that fateful day of Tuesday, September 25, when a runner from Sepphoris brought to this Nazareth home the tragic news that Joseph had been severely injured by the falling of a derrick while at work on the governor's residence. The messenger from Sepphoris had stopped at the shop on the way to Joseph's home, informing Jesus of his father's accident, and they went together to the house to break the sad news to Mary. Jesus desired to go immediately to his father, but Mary would hear to nothing but that she must hasten to her husband's side. She directed that James, then ten years of age, should accompany her to Sepphoris while Jesus remained home with the younger children until she should return, as she did not know how seriously Joseph had been injured. But Joseph died of his injuries before Mary arrived. They brought him to Nazareth, and on the following day he was laid to rest with his fathers.
Just at the time when prospects were good and the future looked bright, an apparently cruel hand struck down the head of this Nazareth household, the affairs of this home were disrupted, and every plan for Jesus and his future education was demolished. This carpenter lad, now just past fourteen years of age, awakened to the realization that he had not only to fulfill the commission of his heavenly Father to reveal the divine nature on earth and in the flesh, but that his young human nature must also shoulder the responsibility of caring for his widowed mother and seven brothers and sisters—and another yet to be born. This lad of Nazareth now became the sole support and comfort of this so suddenly bereaved family. Thus were permitted those occurrences of the natural order of events on Urantia which would force this young man of destiny so early to assume these heavy but highly educational and disciplinary responsibilities attendant upon becoming the head of a human family, of becoming father to his own brothers and sisters, of supporting and protecting his mother, of functioning as guardian of his father's home, the only home he was to know while on this world.
Jesus cheerfully accepted the responsibilities so suddenly thrust upon him, and he carried them faithfully to the end.

What kind of "family man" was Jesus?

From the above account, we learn that Jesus - the eldest son - was now suddenly the "man of the house." This was a huge responsibility to place on the shoulders of such a young man; but of course, Jesus rose to the occasion, and for more than ten years, until Jesus was 26, he faithfully carried out his duties "of becoming father to his own brothers and sisters, of supporting and protecting his mother, of functioning as guardian of his father's home, the only home he was to know while on this world."

All through out the ensuing years, through times of severe hardship and poverty and times of a return to a more comfortable life, Jesus carried the duty of head of his household. He parented his siblings, and saw to it that Mary and the children were always to be taken care of. He carefully orchestrated his eventual leave-taking of the family, which took place when Jesus was 27 years-old, so that they gradually became used to the idea that he would not be with them forever. But in the meantime, he was a model parent ... although Jesus never married, still, he managed to gain this vital experience of parenting through his life circumstances.

What kind of parent was Jesus to his siblings?

By the time Jesus was 19 years-old - just five years after the death of Joseph, his deceased father's home was a smoothly running household, and Jesus was the unquestioned parental father-figure:

127:4.0 By this time Jesus and Mary were getting along much better. She regarded him less as a son; he had become to her more a father to her children. Each day's life swarmed with practical and immediate difficulties. Less frequently they spoke of his lifework, for, as time passed, all their thought was mutually devoted to the support and upbringing of their family of four boys and three girls.<
By the beginning of this year Jesus had fully won his mother to the acceptance of his methods of child training—the positive injunction to do good in the place of the older Jewish method of forbidding to do evil. In his home and throughout his public-teaching career Jesus invariably employed the positive form of exhortation. Always and everywhere did he say, "You shall do this—you ought to do that." Never did he employ the negative mode of teaching derived from the ancient taboos. He refrained from placing emphasis on evil by forbidding it, while he exalted the good by commanding its performance. Prayer time in this household was the occasion for discussing anything and everything relating to the welfare of the family.
Jesus began wise discipline upon his brothers and sisters at such an early age that little or no punishment was ever required to secure their prompt and wholehearted obedience. The only exception was Jude, upon whom on sundry occasions Jesus found it necessary to impose penalties for his infractions of the rules of the home. On three occasions when it was deemed wise to punish Jude for self-confessed and deliberate violations of the family rules of conduct, his punishment was fixed by the unanimous decree of the older children and was assented to by Jude himself before it was inflicted.
While Jesus was most methodical and systematic in everything he did, there was also in all his administrative rulings a refreshing elasticity of interpretation and an individuality of adaptation that greatly impressed all the children with the spirit of justice which actuated their father-brother. He never arbitrarily disciplined his brothers and sisters, and such uniform fairness and personal consideration greatly endeared Jesus to all his family.
James and Simon grew up trying to follow Jesus' plan of placating their bellicose and sometimes irate playmates by persuasion and nonresistance, and they were fairly successful; but Joseph and Jude, while assenting to such teachings at home, made haste to defend themselves when assailed by their comrades; in particular was Jude guilty of violating the spirit of these teachings. But nonresistance was not a rule of the family. No penalty was attached to the violation of personal teachings.
In general, all of the children, particularly the girls, would consult Jesus about their childhood troubles and confide in him just as they would have in an affectionate father.
James was growing up to be a well-balanced and even-tempered youth, but he was not so spiritually inclined as Jesus. He was a much better student than Joseph, who, while a faithful worker, was even less spiritually minded. Joseph was a plodder and not up to the intellectual level of the other children. Simon was a well-meaning boy but too much of a dreamer. He was slow in getting settled down in life and was the cause of considerable anxiety to Jesus and Mary. But he was always a good and well-intentioned lad. Jude was a firebrand. He had the highest of ideals, but he was unstable in temperament. He had all and more of his mother's determination and aggressiveness, but he lacked much of her sense of proportion and discretion.
Miriam was a well-balanced and level-headed daughter with a keen appreciation of things noble and spiritual. Martha was slow in thought and action but a very dependable and efficient child. Baby Ruth was the sunshine of the home; though thoughtless of speech, she was most sincere of heart. She just about worshiped her big brother and father. But they did not spoil her. She was a beautiful child but not quite so comely as Miriam, who was the belle of the family, if not of the city.
As time passed, Jesus did much to liberalize and modify the family teachings and practices related to Sabbath observance and many other phases of religion, and to all these changes Mary gave hearty assent. By this time Jesus had become the unquestioned head of the house.

Click to read about Jesus' life from age 16-20

Click to read about Jesus life from age 21-26

 

When did Jesus leave his home?

As the children gradually began to grow up and have lives of their own, Jesus began the careful planning for his eventual parting from the family. And when he was 27, we read this about Jesus:

129:0.1 JESUS had fully and finally separated himself from the management of the domestic affairs of the Nazareth family and from the immediate direction of its individuals. He continued, right up to the event of his baptism, to contribute to the family finances and to take a keen personal interest in the spiritual welfare of every one of his brothers and sisters. And always was he ready to do everything humanly possible for the comfort and happiness of his widowed mother.
The Son of Man had now made every preparation for detaching himself permanently from the Nazareth home; and this was not easy for him to do. Jesus naturally loved his people; he loved his family, and this natural affection had been tremendously augmented by his extraordinary devotion to them. The more fully we bestow ourselves upon our fellows, the more we come to love them; and since Jesus had given himself so fully to his family, he loved them with a great and fervent affection.
All the family had slowly awakened to the realization that Jesus was making ready to leave them. The sadness of the anticipated separation was only tempered by this graduated method of preparing them for the announcement of his intended departure. For more than four years they discerned that he was planning for this eventual separation.
In January of this year, A.D. 21, on a rainy Sunday morning, Jesus took unceremonious leave of his family, only explaining that he was going over to Tiberias and then on a visit to other cities about the Sea of Galilee. And thus he left them, never again to be a regular member of that household.

If you like these stories, there are LOTS more!

In Part IV of The Urantia Book, we are given page after page, paper after paper that are crammed full of delightful and interesting stories like these...but they are not just stories. These are the facts of Jesus' real life, preserved for eternity by the angels and now shared - in The Urantia Book - with a world hungry for the truth of Jesus life.

Are YOU hungry to know more about Jesus? Knowing details like these will deepen your love and your understanding of the Master!

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Tue, April 05, 2016

Jesus Lives!

By TruthBook Staff

Here is another article in popular press making the case that the life - and death - of Jesus are fabricated and "probably not true." The article in question is called: Why the biblical stories about the last days and hours of Jesus are probably not true by Bart D. Ehrman

Please see our blog below, but here are a couple of significant snippets from this article that we want to address:

"How then did the later Gospel writers acquire their materials? How did they know about the Triumphal Entry, the cleansing of the Temple, the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the trial before Pilate, and the rest? The scholarly answer: they knew these stories the way virtually all ancient Christians knew them. Someone told them.

"Among other things, these studies have shown that – contrary to what we may unreflectively think – eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable, whether describing a crime scene, a spectacular event, or a casual encounter. Were the Gospel reports based on eyewitness reports? It's an open question. If they were, would that in itself make them reliable?

"Studies have also shown how frail individual memory is – both memories of our own personal experiences and recollections of experiences told to us by others. We often forget, reshape, and transform our memories. Even more striking, we regularly create memories of things that did not occur at all. It happens all the time."

Click to read the entire article

____________

What this author is saying is largely well-thought-out. And it's true that over generations of time, with mostly oral records, details of Jesus' life and death and resurrection were muddied, abridged, annotated, and otherwise changed, so that what we finally end up with in the New Testament stories are inconsistencies and sometimes, downright untruths. It's no wonder that modern-day people might surmise that none of it happened at all! The further we get from the actual events, the muddier our perceptions become, and the more pressing our doubts. We see more and more of these questions in our print media these days, even by Christian writers, and many end up wondering if Jesus really even existed at all!

But, even though the Biblical stories may be inconsistent, the fact remans that those stories hve been sufficient to bring countless souls to Jesus. The person of Jesus is the ONE consistent factor in an otherwise inconsistent account. But how can 21st century people KNOW?

Enter The Urantia Book

Early in the 20th century, an anonymous man in Chicago began speaking unusual messages of a spiritual nature while he slept; when awake, the man had no memory or knowledge of these strange nighttime happenings. When a psychiatrist was consulted, the doctor began making a study of this strange phenomenon, and could make no sense of it using his own professional experiences as reference. Over the next two-to-three decades, the messages continued unabated; eventually, great notice was taken by the doctor and others, who actually began engaging the unseen authors of these messages and writing them all down. By 1934, the messages were complete, and in 1955, they were compiled into book form and published under the title: The Urantia Book.

This Urantia Book, now in print for over 60 years, with hundreds of thousands of readers throughout the world, is an amazing and stupendous revelation of historical and spiritual truth to our world. It began in the early 1900s, as the world was getting ready to become embroiled in WWI, and was finished near the time of yet another terrible war, WWII. Its purpose is for the edification and spiritual uplift of the whole world. It contains over 2000 pages of information about God, about the universe, about our world (Urantia), about angels, religion, spirituality, world history (the true story of Adam and Eve and the Lucifer rebellion among others) - and finally, a complete restatement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus.

Eyewitnesses

The article that is referenced above talks about the unreliability of eyewitnesses; and we would agree, if those eyewitnesses are mere human beings. In the case of The Urantia Book, the eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus were - and are - spiritual beings.

Most people understand, or at least have heard that Jesus Christ was a man, but also a divine being - God incarnate. And that story is correct. If one thinks about the import of such a statement, it might seem reasonable to assume that something like that might be of great significance, not only to us here on earth, but to those who dwell in more spiritual abodes from whence Jesus came. And that assumption would also be correct. The accounts of Jesus' life have never been "lost." The entire life of Jesus - everything he ever said and did - is recorded for eternity. It is only now, in The Urantia Book, that a large part of those recorded events are revealed to a world in desperate need of it.

The Urantia Book had to wait until a time when the world was ready for it: the printing press had to be invented, global commerce and communication had to have been established, and it came just ahead of the invention of the world-wide internet. In this way, the groundwork was laid for its global dissemination.

This long introduction to The Urantia Book - and the complete life and Teachings of Jesus - is given in the hopes that you who read it will be either drawn to explore its unique teachings including its accountings of Jesus' life, or to share this inspiring account of Jesus' life with others.

The Last Hours and Day of Jesus' Life

So, what DOES The Urantia Book reveal about the last week of Jesus' life? Are the Biblical accounts all wrong as the referenced article suggests? Well, yes and no. Most of the facts are correct, but the details are woefuly lacking, adding to the confusion and inconsistencies between the four gospel accounts.

In this Easter season, we invite you to read the REAL story of those dark final days of the Master's life in rich and never-before-seen detail.

Here's the REAL STORY!

Please click here to discover the real story of this most significant time in the Master's life. At the season of Easter, please immerse yourself in the story and pass it along to any who might want to know more about it, and especially to those who might harbor doubt about whether these things really happened. They did happen; and these stories, with their enlightening details preserved for centuries by the angels, will help any sincere seeker KNOW they're true. Why? Because when taken in the context of The Urantia Book as a whole, we learn who Jesus really was, what his mission really was, where he came from, and where he is now.

Yes - Jesus lives! And anyone who sincerely desires to know and understand the events of his life have found in The Urantia Book a TREASURE beyond compare! We wish you, the reader, a very blessed Easter season, and beyond!

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Tue, March 22, 2016

Communion, Jesus style

By TruthBook Staff

This title caught my attention: On the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in Catholic Say online magazine, and since The Urantia Book is so clear about it, it seems worth a share and an attempt at education for all of those who wonder what Communion really is. 

Few church doctrines create such controversy as this doctrine of the Catholic Church, that asserts that it is only in the Eucharist - the bread and wine consecrated during Mass - that Jesus is really present. But is it true? Please see our blog below, filled with the enlightened teachings about the real Last Supper  ...

The article referenced here is full of Biblical corroborations of the Catholic belief about the Eucharist; here's one snippet:

"The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as "unbiblical," but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71)."

Click to read the entire article

But Is It True?

In The Urantia Book, we finally get the true story of the Last Supper, from which the so-called "sacrament" of the Eucharist is taken; we find out that the Biblical stories of Jesus' literal body and blood being present in the bread and wine are mistaken. Jesus is present, yes, but not in a physical way. We do not literally eat Jesus' body or drink his blood. This belief is a holdover from very primitive times, when blood held a high sacrificial value.

The full life and teachings of Jesus in Part IV of The Urantia Book provide not only comfort and guidance about living a good spiritual life along the lines of Jesus' life, but these teachings also put to rest all controversy about certain doctrines believed for centuries about Jesus and God ... doctrines like Jesus' presence in the Eucharist.

Even though Holy Week is passed, we can always celebrate the Last Supper along with its momentous events, and there's no better time to introduce the reader to this story - and no better way than by just inserting it here, so that it can be appreciated in full:

ESTABLISHING THE REMEMBRANCE SUPPER

179:5.1 "As they brought Jesus the third cup of wine, the "cup of blessing," he arose from the couch and, taking the cup in his hands, blessed it, saying: "Take this cup, all of you, and drink of it. This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you the emblem of the bestowal and ministry of the divine Spirit of Truth. And I will not again drink this cup with you until I drink in new form with you in the Father's eternal kingdom."
"The apostles all sensed that something out of the ordinary was transpiring as they drank of this cup of blessing in profound reverence and perfect silence. The old Passover commemorated the emergence of their fathers from a state of racial slavery into individual freedom; now the Master was instituting a new remembrance supper as a symbol of the new dispensation wherein the enslaved individual emerges from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of the brotherhood and fellowship of the liberated faith sons of the living God.
"When they had finished drinking this new cup of remembrance, the Master took up the bread and, after giving thanks, broke it in pieces and, directing them to pass it around, said: "Take this bread of remembrance and eat it. I have told you that I am the bread of life. And this bread of life is the united life of the Father and the Son in one gift. The word of the Father, as revealed in the Son, is indeed the bread of life." When they had partaken of the bread of remembrance, the symbol of the living word of truth incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh, they all sat down.

How did it become so complicated?

"In instituting this remembrance supper, the Master, as was always his habit, resorted to parables and symbols. He employed symbols because he wanted to teach certain great spiritual truths in such a manner as to make it difficult for his successors to attach precise interpretations and definite meanings to his words. In this way he sought to prevent successive generations from crystallizing his teaching and binding down his spiritual meanings by the dead chains of tradition and dogma. In the establishment of the only ceremony or sacrament associated with his whole life mission, Jesus took great pains to suggest his meanings rather than to commit himself to precise definitions. He did not wish to destroy the individual's concept of divine communion by establishing a precise form; neither did he desire to limit the believer's spiritual imagination by formally cramping it. He rather sought to set man's reborn soul free upon the joyous wings of a new and living spiritual liberty.
"Notwithstanding the Master's effort thus to establish this new sacrament of the remembrance, those who followed after him in the intervening centuries saw to it that his express desire was effectively thwarted in that his simple spiritual symbolism of that last night in the flesh has been reduced to precise interpretations and subjected to the almost mathematical precision of a set formula. Of all Jesus' teachings none have become more tradition-standardized.
"This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father.

The Supper was "established without ecclisiastical sanction."

"After they had engaged in meditation for a few moments, Jesus continued speaking: "When you do these things, recall the life I have lived on earth among you and rejoice that I am to continue to live on earth with you and to serve through you. As individuals, contend not among yourselves as to who shall be greatest. Be you all as brethren. And when the kingdom grows to embrace large groups of believers, likewise should you refrain from contending for greatness or seeking preferment between such groups."
"And this mighty occasion took place in the upper chamber of a friend. There was nothing of sacred form or of ceremonial consecration about either the supper or the building. The remembrance supper was established without ecclesiastical sanction.
"When Jesus had thus established the supper of the remembrance, he said to the apostles: "And as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. And when you do remember me, first look back upon my life in the flesh, recall that I was once with you, and then, by faith, discern that you shall all sometime sup with me in the Father's eternal kingdom. This is the new Passover which I leave with you, even the memory of my bestowal life, the word of eternal truth; and of my love for you, the outpouring of my Spirit of Truth upon all flesh."
" And they ended this celebration of the old but bloodless Passover in connection with the inauguration of the new supper of the remembrance, by singing, all together, the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm."

The Master is really present

And so we see that, far from being something so sacred that there has to be an "almost mathematical precision of a set formula," the Remembrance Supper is a simple celebration that can be practiced among belevers at any time, with any bread, any wine or juice, and with anyone who loves the Master and wishes to really enjoy his presence right then and there.

It is an occasion of joy that transcends any "ecclisiastical sanction." And this only makes sense. Jesus came not to establish a church or to formulate a set of rules and regflation so that only a chosen few could enjoy his presence. He established this remembrance supper so that ANY who want to celebrate and remember him can do so - and he's really there.

"This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father."

We believe it is high time to look with fresh eyes on the Last Supper. In The Urantia Book we have been gifted with the complete story of Jesus' life from spiritual personalities who were really there, and who know what really happened. When seen with this detailed information and explanation of the true significance of that momentous supper, we may all be inspired to create occasions where all of Jesus' followers will be made to feel welcome - a table that can be laid anywhere that two or more believers gather in his name.

This beautifully simple remembrance supper is one of the greatest things that Jesus left to us. Jesus wanted to include all of his children in this celebration and wanted all of his children to remember him whenever they gathered together in his name; he "sought to set man's reborn soul free."To try and keep this remembance supper from anyone because of a misunderstanding of its form or procedure seems a gross distortion of the Master's wishes to include all of his children at his table.

Time for a new tradition?

Maybe you'll like to establish a new tradition this year at your home - an inclusive, welcoming celebration in which all who wish to sit at the Lord's table and remember him can do so, knowing that he will grace your home with his presence, too.

To read the complete story of Holy Week and the events that led up to Jesus' death (including the Last Supper), please click here

For the complete Life and Teachings of Jesus, please see THIS LINK.

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