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Thu, March 26, 2015

Jesus Conquered Death and So Can We

By TruthBook staff

Jesus: A Death Like Ours by Greg Carey

This is a wonderfully thoughtful piece, exploring the fact that Jesus died as a man; he submitted himself to-not only living the life of a mortal man-but dying the death of a normal man. Even though few of us will ever be called upon to suffer and die such a horrific death, under the same circumstances, we would die as Jesus did...gasping for air and finally succumbing to death through asphyxiation.

Here's a snippet from the article, and I would defnitely recommend a read-through of it.

"Jesus' death does not distinguish him from the rest of humanity so much as it unites us with him. If we begin to argue that Jesus' death was somehow unique, we embarrass ourselves. How many millions of people have died in horrific ways, ways even more tortuous than crucifixion? Dare we contemplate the horror of those who have died from diseases that inflict intense pain over extended periods of time? Are we willing to consider those who die completely alone, bereft of comfort or love? Jesus, at least, could look out on the courageous women who followed him even to the cross. None of us would volunteer for Jesus' death, but countless others have endured equally harrowing fates."

Click to read the entire article

The main reason that this article piqued my interest though, is that it it echoes the teachings of The Urantia Book regarding one of the primary purposes of Jesus' mission to our world, that being the necessity of Jesus' gaining the full experience of living his life as a mortal man - and dying as a mortal man. He could have sidestepped that last part. He could have, but he did not.

Here a few passages regarding these teachings:

120:0.1 To live such identical lives as he imposes upon the intelligent beings of his own creation, thus to bestow himself in the likeness of his various orders of created beings, is a part of the price which every Creator Son must pay for the full and supreme sovereignty of his self-made universe of things and beings.

Click to read about Creator Sons

Click to read about Jesus as Creator Son

In the section titled Alone In Gethsemane, we read:

Each time he prayed in the garden, his humanity laid a firmer faith-hold upon his divinity; his human will more completely became one with the divine will of his Father. Among other words spoken to him by the mighty angel was the message that the Father desired his Son to finish his earth bestowal by passing through the creature experience of death just as all mortal creatures must experience material dissolution in passing from the existence of time into the progression of eternity.
Earlier in the evening it had not seemed so difficult to drink the cup, but as the human Jesus bade farewell to his apostles and sent them to their rest, the trial grew more appalling. Jesus experienced that natural ebb and flow of feeling which is common to all human experience, and just now he was weary from work, exhausted from the long hours of strenuous labor and painful anxiety concerning the safety of his apostles. While no mortal can presume to understand the thoughts and feelings of the incarnate Son of God at such a time as this, we know that he endured great anguish and suffered untold sorrow, for the perspiration rolled off his face in great drops. He was at last convinced that the Father intended to allow natural events to take their course; he was fully determined to employ none of his sovereign power as the supreme head of a universe to save himself.

Read details of the Crucifixion, in which we learn:

At about half past nine o'clock this Friday morning, Jesus was hung upon the cross. Before eleven o'clock, upward of one thousand persons had assembled to witness this spectacle of the crucifixion of the Son of Man. Throughout these dreadful hours the unseen hosts of a universe stood in silence while they gazed upon this extraordinary phenomenon of the Creator as he was dying the death of the creature, even the most ignoble death of a condemned criminal.
Jesus had purposed to live without resort to his supernatural power, and he likewise elected to die as an ordinary mortal upon the cross. He had lived as a man, and he would die as a man—doing the Father's will.

These decisions that were made by the human Jesus, as a man among men, are so important. It is so important that he did what he did, so that we all can identify ourselves with his humanity ... just as we can know from the teachings of The Urantia Book that Jesus was conceived and born as all human beings are, so we can be assured that just as Jesus died and on the third day rose from the dead, we all will have that same opportunity. We will not resurrect on this earth again, but we will resurrect. Jesus' humanity assures us that. He claimed no supernatural powers because the average mortal being cannot do that. He called on no angels to deliver him for the same reason. Jesus truly is one of us - then, now, and always.

The teachings of The Urantia Book assure us further:

190:0.2 All this power which is inherent in Jesus—the endowment of life—and which enabled him to rise from the dead, is the very gift of eternal life which he bestows upon kingdom believers, and which even now makes certain their resurrection from the bonds of natural death.
The mortals of the realms will arise in the morning of the resurrection with the same type of transition or morontia body that Jesus had when he arose from the tomb on this Sunday morning. These bodies do not have circulating blood, and such beings do not partake of ordinary material food; nevertheless, these morontia forms are real. When the various believers saw Jesus after his resurrection, they really saw him; they were not the self-deceived victims of visions or hallucinations.

To anyone who doubts Jesus, or who wonders about the reality of eternal life, we can only say that knowing this part of Jesus' life and death can inspire a second though about it. What an amazing event this was! What an amazing life lived! What an amazing demonstration of love and devotion Jesus was.

The Urantia Book unequivocally states that knowing the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it is THE most important knowledge that one can have. Why? Precisely because, although Jesus was a divine Son of God, Jesus WAS ALSO A HUMAN MORTAL like you and me, and he lived a life of single-pointed desire to find and do the will of God. He pointed the way then, and still points the way through the bestowal of his Spirit of Truth, the spiritual counterpart and promised comforter who Jesus sent to be with us when he left.

And it is not only these dramatic events of the last week of his life that are important, but his entire life, both before and after he became aware of who he really was. And only in The Urantia Book can one find this complete and inspiring story - nowhere else.

At this wonderful time of year, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and mourn for the brutality of his death, we hope you'll feel like re-dedicating YOUR life to God's will, too. You and I are born, and are destined to die, just as Jesus was, but the promise of resurrection is also our destiny ... hope for eternal life as an immortal spirit along with Jesus, is one of the most thrilling things about it all...we hope you'll agree.

Happy Easter from your blogging friends at TruthBook!

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Mon, March 23, 2015

Jesus told the truth about Scripture

By TruthBook staff

Voices of Faith: How did Jesus view the Old Testament?

By The Kansas City Star

Here is an article explaining how Jesus viewed the Old Testament, or the Scriptures using traditional Christian teachings. Even though it uses only the information contained in the New Testament, it is not a bad article. If you are a Christian, you'll find it familiar. Here's an excerpt:

Q: How did Jesus view the Old Testament?

The Rev. Scott Gordon, pastor, Claycomo Baptist Church: Regarding the Old Testament, Jesus made two very important statements. In relationship to his followers, Jesus asserts, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17)

This consideration brings us to the other important statement of Jesus. He says in John 5:39, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me."

Elsewhere Jesus, after his resurrection, consoles and instructs two followers: "'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27)

Click to read the article

I say it's not a bad article (and no offense to the author or the Bible), but it is certainly not a complete answer to that question, if you know The Urantia Book. Nowhere that I know of in the Bible does Jesus do any explaining about Scripture, but in The Urantia Book, a revelation and restatement of Jesus' entire life and true teachings, he does...

The story of Jesus and his teachings in Part IV of The Urantia Book is so amazing. It is hard to keep seeing these articles in the popular press that are so well-meaning, and so well-written (many of them), but so lacking in the kind of knowledge that is provided in The Urantia Book for those fortunate enough to have found it.

This issues of Jesus and Scripture is an important one, and if the story about Jesus' opinions of the Scriptures were to be known today, it would go far in helping establish the kingdom a lot faster, by setting people free to think for themselves about these matters of scripture and truth.

Jesus loved the scriptures; he used them liberally. He was a Jewish man brought up from childhood immersed in scripture. He knew them by heart; Jesus' very first public sermon in the synagogue when he was 15 years old is basically a reading of Isaiah 61. Click the link to see the whole sermon.

And that's only one of many, many references to Scripture that Jesus used. And why not? These were the most inspirational writings about God that were available at that time, and they were viewed in Jesus' time much as they are now - as the word of God.

But, did Jesus see them that way?

Once, Nathaniel asked Jesus to tell him the truth about the Scriptures, and the following discourse was shocking to Nathaaniel. I expect it might be shocking still today, but what Jesus says here made a lot of sense then, and remains the most sane approach to so-called sacred writings ever written. Maybe you'll agree:

Here is Jesus' discourse, in part:

"Nathaniel, never permit yourself for one moment to believe the Scripture records which tell you that the God of love directed your forefathers to go forth in battle to slay all their enemies—men, women, and children. Such records are the words of men, not very holy men, and they are not the word of God. The Scriptures always have, and always will, reflect the intellectual, moral, and spiritual status of those who create them. Have you not noted that the concepts of Yahweh grow in beauty and glory as the prophets make their records from Samuel to Isaiah? And you should remember that the Scriptures are intended for religious instruction and spiritual guidance. They are not the works of either historians or philosophers.
"The thing most deplorable is not merely this erroneous idea of the absolute perfection of the Scripture record and the infallibility of its teachings, but rather the confusing misinterpretation of these sacred writings by the tradition-enslaved scribes and Pharisees at Jerusalem. And now will they employ both the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and their misinterpretations thereof in their determined effort to withstand these newer teachings of the gospel of the kingdom. Nathaniel, never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people. Many earnest seekers after the truth have been, and will continue to be, confused and disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.
"The authority of truth is the very spirit that indwells its living manifestations, and not the dead words of the less illuminated and supposedly inspired men of another generation. And even if these holy men of old lived inspired and spirit-filled lives, that does not mean that their words were similarly spiritually inspired. Today we make no record of the teachings of this gospel of the kingdom lest, when I have gone, you speedily become divided up into sundry groups of truth contenders as a result of the diversity of your interpretation of my teachings. For this generation it is best that we live these truths while we shun the making of records.
"Mark you well my words, Nathaniel, nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible. Through the mind of man divine truth may indeed shine forth, but always of relative purity and partial divinity. The creature may crave infallibility, but only the Creators possess it.

Click to read Jesus' entire discourse on the truth of Scripture

Further on that page, we read

159:5.1 At Philadelphia, where James was working, Jesus taught the disciples about the positive nature of the gospel of the kingdom. When, in the course of his remarks, he intimated that some parts of the Scripture were more truth-containing than others and admonished his hearers to feed their souls upon the best of the spiritual food, James interrupted the Master, asking: "Would you be good enough, Master, to suggest to us how we may choose the better passages from the Scriptures for our personal edification?" And Jesus replied: "Yes, James, when you read the Scriptures look for those eternally true and divinely beautiful teachings, such as:
"Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

"You should love your neighbor as yourself.

"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying, fear not; I will help you.

"Neither shall the nations learn war any more."

159:5.7 And this is illustrative of the way Jesus, day by day, appropriated the cream of the Hebrew scriptures for the instruction of his followers and for inclusion in the teachings of the new gospel of the kingdom. Other religions had suggested the thought of the nearness of God to man, but Jesus made the care of God for man like the solicitude of a loving father for the welfare of his dependent children and then made this teaching the cornerstone of his religion. And thus did the doctrine of the fatherhood of God make imperative the practice of the brotherhood of man. The worship of God and the service of man became the sum and substance of his religion. Jesus took the best of the Jewish religion and translated it to a worthy setting in the new teachings of the gospel of the kingdom.
159:5.9 Jesus did not hesitate to appropriate the better half of a Scripture while he repudiated the lesser portion. His great exhortation, "Love your neighbor as yourself," he took from the Scripture which reads: "You shall not take vengeance against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus appropriated the positive portion of this Scripture while rejecting the negative part. He even opposed negative or purely passive nonresistance. Said he: "When an enemy smites you on one cheek, do not stand there dumb and passive but in positive attitude turn the other; that is, do the best thing possible actively to lead your brother in error away from the evil paths into the better ways of righteous living." Jesus required his followers to react positively and aggressively to every life situation. The turning of the other cheek, or whatever act that may typify, demands initiative, necessitates vigorous, active, and courageous expression of the believer's personality.

Click to read more about the positive nature of Jesus' religion

Can we handle the truth about Scripture?

The time is ripe for the world to understand the truth of the Scriptures yet again - even after 2000 years since the Master's bestowal, honest people still stumble and agonize over scripture, thinking that they are somehow inerrant words of God that cannot be questioned. So much of what passes for truth in the Bible can be terribly confusing to a truth-seeker who welcomes the God of love and forgiveness in his heart, but is faced with a god of vengeance and wrath in the BIble which claims to represent that God.

Jesus did not intend it to be that way.

There are at least 65 reference to Jesus and scripture in The Urantia Book. Many are times when he quoted scripture and others are about his knowledge of them, or the Pharisees' use of them against Jesus.

Click to check it out in TruthBook's search.

The Urantia Book is the most valuable source of information on Jesus anywhere in the world, and it is available for free on our website. If you want to know more about Jesus, about God, about the universe, and about our earth (Urantia) you are in the right place at the right time.


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Tue, March 17, 2015

Finding Judas, the Real Story

By TruthBook staff

In conjunction with an earlier blog about the new CNN series on Finding Jesus, here's an update which might be of interest to many. The subject is Judas, and this article explores viewers' questions about Judas. Here's a sampling of the questions - questions that believers have been asking for 2000 years:

What do scholars know about the man named Judas? What is his story?

My understanding was always that Judas betrayed Jesus not because he was a villain, but he thought Jesus would start an earthly war when arrested. He was trying to get Jesus to establish a literal, physical kingdom on Earth.

Did Jesus know Judas would betray him when/before he chose him?

Click to read the entire article

Urantia Book readers, who are privy to the expanded details of Jesus life and teachings in Part IV of The Urantia Book, are aware of the real story of Judas. The story of Jesus in The Urantia Book also includes lengthy mentions and detailed biographies of all the apostles - Judas included. In fact, the story of Judas is given rather special treatment.

All of the questions posed in this article are fully answered throughout the pages of Part IV, but we have also compiled a study which incorporates all of those details, and a full reading of the study will satisfy anyone who has an interest in uncovering the truth of Judas.

What did Jesus think of Judas?

Jesus considered Judas a "faith adventure."

"To Jesus, Judas was a faith adventure. From the beginning the Master fully understood the weakness of this apostle and well knew the dangers of admitting him to fellowship. But it is the nature of the Sons of God to give every created being a full and equal chance for salvation and survival. Jesus wanted not only the mortals of this world but the onlookers of innumerable other worlds to know that, when doubts exist as to the sincerity and wholeheartedness of a creature's devotion to the kingdom, it is the invariable practice of the Judges of men fully to receive the doubtful candidate. The door of eternal life is wide open to all; "whosoever will may come"; there are no restrictions or qualifications save the faith of the one who comes.

"This is just the reason why Jesus permitted Judas to go on to the very end, always doing everything possible to transform and save this weak and confused apostle. But when light is not honestly received and lived up to, it tends to become darkness within the soul. Judas grew intellectually regarding Jesus' teachings about the kingdom, but he did not make progress in the acquirement of spiritual character as did the other apostles. He failed to make satisfactory personal progress in spiritual experience.

Click to read this whole section on Judas

Click to access TruthBook's study on Judas Iscariot, the twelfth Apostle

Read it for yourself!

Anyone who wishes can enjoy The Urantia Book and become one of a growing number of reders who are finding out the real stories and the real mission of this Son of Man, Son of God - Jesus. Do yourself a favor today, and check it out! The world is hungry for more of Jesus, and the Urantia Book is the most complete and replete source of Jesus information on the planet!


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Sun, March 15, 2015

Jesus Turns the Tables

By TruthBook staff

Here's a nice take on Jesus' cleansing of the temple: The Table Turning Jesus by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. It's a familiar story, and worth a second look. This article conttains some great insight.

Here's an excerpt:

"The story of the cleansing of the temple has always invigorated and inspired me.

"I think it's because of my dislike of the gentle Jesus meek and mild with pretty robes, combed hair and a little lambkin on his shoulder.

"Table turning Jesus is more like the avenging angel in one of those early Clint Eastwood movies. There he stands, squinty eyed and chomping on a cheroot–eyeing up the hypocrites and figuring out his next move.

"Getting his plan organized in his head he rolls up his sleeves and pulls out his whip and gets down to business.

"When he starts turning the tables he's got some muscle he's the man of action–not some effeminate hippie.

"This is why I like reading Mark's gospel during Lent. In that gospel especially Jesus comes across as a warrior. There's no nonsense about him and there is certainly no weakness. Right from the start he is on a mission from God and he goes through life like a hot knife through butter. He knows exactly what he is about and there is no stopping him. Go here to follow my Lenten Bible study of Marks' Gospel.

"When it comes to the cleansing of the temple we so often think that this story is only about Jesus cleaning up the hypocrisy and financial corruption. Yes, but...

"There's more to it than that."

Click to read the entire article

I'll say there's more to it than that! Although this is one of the most well-known stories about Jesus in the last week of his life, there's a lot about the event that isn't well-known. How do I know that? Well, because I am a reader of The Urantia Book!

First of all, Fr. Longenecker's ideas echo the teachings of The Urantia Book regarding the ideras we may have about Jesus' meek and mild portrayal over the centuries. The Urantia Book states:

141:3.6 The pictures of Jesus have been most unfortunate. These paintings of the Christ have exerted a deleterious influence on youth; the temple merchants would hardly have fled before Jesus if he had been such a man as your artists usually have depicted. His was a dignified manhood; he was good, but natural. Jesus did not pose as a mild, sweet, gentle, and kindly mystic. His teaching was thrillingly dynamic. He not only meant well, but he went about actually doing good.

The Urantia Book tells Jesus' story in a way that you have never seen. Not only are all the familiar stories told, but they are told with greater detail and in greater context than any Biblical account. This story of the cleansing of the temple, for example. Think you know the whole story? I'd like to share The Urantia Book story with you here in its entirety:

Cleansing the Temple

"A huge commercial traffic had grown up in association with the services and ceremonies of the temple worship. There was the business of providing suitable animals for the various sacrifices. Though it was permissible for a worshiper to provide his own sacrifice, the fact remained that this animal must be free from all "blemish" in the meaning of the Levitical law and as interpreted by official inspectors of the temple. Many a worshiper had experienced the humiliation of having his supposedly perfect animal rejected by the temple examiners. It therefore became the more general practice to purchase sacrificial animals at the temple, and although there were several stations on near-by Olivet where they could be bought, it had become the vogue to buy these animals directly from the temple pens. Gradually there had grown up this custom of selling all kinds of sacrificial animals in the temple courts. An extensive business, in which enormous profits were made, had thus been brought into existence. Part of these gains was reserved for the temple treasury, but the larger part went indirectly into the hands of the ruling high-priestly families.

"This sale of animals in the temple prospered because, when the worshiper purchased such an animal, although the price might be somewhat high, no more fees had to be paid, and he could be sure the intended sacrifice would not be rejected on the ground of possessing real or technical blemishes. At one time or another systems of exorbitant overcharge were practiced upon the common people, especially during the great national feasts. At one time the greedy priests went so far as to demand the equivalent of the value of a week's labor for a pair of doves which should have been sold to the poor for a few pennies. The "sons of Annas" had already begun to establish their bazaars in the temple precincts, those very merchandise marts which persisted to the time of their final overthrow by a mob three years before the destruction of the temple itself.

"But traffic in sacrificial animals and sundry merchandise was not the only way in which the courts of the temple were profaned. At this time there was fostered an extensive system of banking and commercial exchange which was carried on right within the temple precincts. And this all came about in the following manner: During the Asmonean dynasty the Jews coined their own silver money, and it had become the practice to require the temple dues of one-half shekel and all other temple fees to be paid with this Jewish coin. This regulation necessitated that money-changers be licensed to exchange the many sorts of currency in circulation throughout Palestine and other provinces of the Roman Empire for this orthodox shekel of Jewish coining. The temple head tax, payable by all except women, slaves, and minors, was one-half shekel, a coin about the size of a ten-cent piece but twice as thick. By the times of Jesus the priests had also been exempted from the payment of temple dues. Accordingly, from the 15th to the 25th of the month preceding the Passover, accredited money-changers erected their booths in the principal cities of Palestine for the purpose of providing the Jewish people with proper money to meet the temple dues after they had reached Jerusalem. After this ten-day period these money-changers moved on to Jerusalem and proceeded to set up their exchange tables in the courts of the temple. They were permitted to charge the equivalent of from three to four cents commission for the exchange of a coin valued at about ten cents, and in case a coin of larger value was offered for exchange, they were allowed to collect double. Likewise did these temple bankers profit from the exchange of all money intended for the purchase of sacrificial animals and for the payment of vows and the making of offerings. *

"These temple money-changers not only conducted a regular banking business for profit in the exchange of more than twenty sorts of money which the visiting pilgrims would periodically bring to Jerusalem, but they also engaged in all other kinds of transactions pertaining to the banking business. Both the temple treasury and the temple rulers profited tremendously from these commercial activities. It was not uncommon for the temple treasury to hold upwards of ten million dollars while the common people languished in poverty and continued to pay these unjust levies.

"In the midst of this noisy aggregation of money-changers, merchandisers, and cattle sellers, Jesus, on this Monday morning, attempted to teach the gospel of the heavenly kingdom. He was not alone in resenting this profanation of the temple; the common people, especially the Jewish visitors from foreign provinces, also heartily resented this profiteering desecration of their national house of worship. At this time the Sanhedrin itself held its regular meetings in a chamber surrounded by all this babble and confusion of trade and barter.

"As Jesus was about to begin his address, two things happened to arrest his attention. At the money table of a near-by exchanger a violent and heated argument had arisen over the alleged overcharging of a Jew from Alexandria, while at the same moment the air was rent by the bellowing of a drove of some one hundred bullocks which was being driven from one section of the animal pens to another. As Jesus paused, silently but thoughtfully contemplating this scene of commerce and confusion, close by he beheld a simple-minded Galilean, a man he had once talked with in Iron, being ridiculed and jostled about by supercilious and would-be superior Judeans; and all of this combined to produce one of those strange and periodic uprisings of indignant emotion in the soul of Jesus.

"To the amazement of his apostles, standing near at hand, who refrained from participation in what so soon followed, Jesus stepped down from the teaching platform and, going over to the lad who was driving the cattle through the court, took from him his whip of cords and swiftly drove the animals from the temple. But that was not all; he strode majestically before the wondering gaze of the thousands assembled in the temple court to the farthest cattle pen and proceeded to open the gates of every stall and to drive out the imprisoned animals. By this time the assembled pilgrims were electrified, and with uproarious shouting they moved toward the bazaars and began to overturn the tables of the money-changers. In less than five minutes all commerce had been swept from the temple. By the time the near-by Roman guards had appeared on the scene, all was quiet, and the crowds had become orderly; Jesus, returning to the speaker's stand, spoke to the multitude: "You have this day witnessed that which is written in the Scriptures: `My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers.'"

"But before he could utter other words, the great assembly broke out in hosannas of praise, and presently a throng of youths stepped out from the crowd to sing grateful hymns of appreciation that the profane and profiteering merchandisers had been ejected from the sacred temple. By this time certain of the priests had arrived on the scene, and one of them said to Jesus, "Do you not hear what the children of the Levites say?" And the Master replied, "Have you never read, `Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has praise been perfected'?" And all the rest of that day while Jesus taught, guards set by the people stood watch at every archway, and they would not permit anyone to carry even an empty vessel across the temple courts.

"When the chief priests and the scribes heard about these happenings, they were dumfounded. All the more they feared the Master, and all the more they determined to destroy him. But they were nonplused. They did not know how to accomplish his death, for they greatly feared the multitudes, who were now so outspoken in their approval of his overthrow of the profane profiteers. And all this day, a day of quiet and peace in the temple courts, the people heard Jesus' teaching and literally hung on his words.

"This surprising act of Jesus was beyond the comprehension of his apostles. They were so taken aback by this sudden and unexpected move of their Master that they remained throughout the whole episode huddled together near the speaker's stand; they never lifted a hand to further this cleansing of the temple. If this spectacular event had occurred the day before, at the time of Jesus' triumphal arrival at the temple at the termination of his tumultuous procession through the gates of the city, all the while loudly acclaimed by the multitude, they would have been ready for it, but coming as it did, they were wholly unprepared to participate.

"This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master's attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects."

If you enjoyed that story, how about reading more? The entire life of Jesus - the ENTIRE lfe - as well as a complete restatement of Jesus' teachings, is available to you in Part IV of The Urantia Book, a modern revelation from on high for the edification and spiritual uplift of our 21st century world.

Click to find out more about The Urantia Book

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Thu, March 12, 2015

Number One Series - Finding Jesus

By TruthBook staff

The search for Jesus goes on - and on. Are we the only ones who have noticed that Jesus is the hottest topic around these days? There has been an explosion of news articles, books, movies, and now, this CNN television series called Finding Jesus.

"A new CNN original series investigating the evidence behind the story of Jesus of Nazareth has been rated the channel's #1 original series since its release earlier this month. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery aired its second episode Sunday.

"The six-part series offers exciting insight into archaeological artifacts supporting the gospel story, as well as telling the story of the life of Jesus through relics such as the Shroud of Turin, the burial box of Jesus' brother James, and relics venerated as the True Cross.

"And audiences are loving it. "

Click to read the entire article

This series looks very good. Even if you're reading this blog after the fact, it would be good to find it online and take a look.

And, what's not to love? The world just can't seem to get enough of Jesus, even though there is, comparatively speaking, only a smattering of information regarding the man, the God, and the life he lived available through Scripture. The artifacts that are explored in this CNN series are tantalizing, but...

What if you could read the true account of Jesus' life - a true accounting that has been recorded and preserved by celestial eyewitnesses who were there?

Well, you can!

Urantia Book readers are now all over the world, and the story of the bestowal mission of the Son of God to our sorry little planet is a story that enthralls and delights every seeker who finds it. It is a story that puts into true and accurate perspective the man that is known as Jesus of Nazareth ... the Master of Capernaum ... the Scribe of Damascus ...the Son of God, Son of Man.

Is it the same story that is told in the Bible? Well, yes and no ... yes, the stories of his baptism, his apostles, the mission that they embarked upon to spread the teachings of the Kingdom of God, the miracles, and his death and resurrection are re-told in The Urantia Book - "re-stated," as the book describes it. And what a re-statement! Not only are all the familiar stories told, but with rich detail never before seen ... with context of place and time as never before seen ... with depth of meaning never before seen.

But the early years of the Master's life are revealed, too. Not only the stories of his adolescent adventures in the temple that we know from the Bible, but details of the very early years of his life are revealed; his birth, infancy, young childhood, adolescence and all the way up to his attainment of full adulthood. Jesus was the eldest of nine children of Mary and Joseph; he raised his younger siblings after Joseph's untimely death, and the stories of his parenting style are superb. Jesus traveled extensively; all of those journeys are recounted. He made a 2-year tour of the Roman world as a tutor to a young Indian boy and interpreter for the boy's father. He led a caravan across the desert - not once, but twice! Jesus led an incredibly interesting life, as you might expect from one who was not only a man, but God himself!

The time is so ripe for discovering this story of Jesus - the true story of his real identity, where he came from, and where he is today; the true story of his mission to our world and its repercussions for all of us. But most of all, the true story of how he lived, what he believed, and the religion that he practiced and taught. Knowing these details of Jesus' life provides a blueprint for all generations of human beings on how to live one's life as a son of God - how to learn to trust God - how to treat our fellow human beings - how to love.

Lastly, knowing this true story of Jesus provides the truest and most accurate picture of God that any of us will ever have on this earth and in this life of the flesh. Jesus said more than once: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." That's a strong statement; and when we read the story of Jesus' life, we truly do see a God who is filled with love, a God who is fair, tolerant, forgiving, and merciful. A God we can gladly and gratefully love for his goodness. A God who does not inspire fear, but love and devotion.

Click to read about the "missing years."

Click to read about Jesus' siblings.

Click to read the Illustrated Great Jesus Stories

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Thu, March 12, 2015

Did Jesus Really Have a Brother?

By TruthBook staff

Did Jesus really have a brother?

Again, in the news, the search for the real Jesus goes on. This time, the emphasis is on whether Jesus had a brother, and whether the ossuary that was recently found that bears the inscription: James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus could be the real thing.

From the article:

"If it was true, this was the first physical evidence ever found of Jesus' existence. And yet, if this amazing ossuary was false, then it was one of the greatest forgeries in history.

"Underlying the question of the authenticity of the ossuary is an even bigger theological problem: whether or not Jesus actually had any brothers. Though the debate's origins are ancient, the answer still divides Catholics and Protestants."

Click to read the entire article

If this is a question that divides Catholics and Protestants, they have only to read The Urantia Book - or more specifically, Part IV of The Urantia Book, which is the complete Life and Teachings of Jesus. And when they say "complete," they mean it!

Uranta Book readerws are well-aware that James was indeed the brother of Jesus ... and he was not the only one! Jesus was the eldest of five younger brothers and three younger sisters. And all were the offspring of Mary and Joseph.

This fact may also get both Catholics and Protestants exercised, as it flies in the face of Christian teachings that Mary was a virgin for all time; however, the idea of Mary's virginity was an idea that sprang up long after the fact of Jesus' life and death. It is an idea that reflected the church's reservations about women, and also it probably seemed more fitting for a Son of God to have ben born without the "messiness" of natural means.

Nevertheless, when we talk about Jesus being the Son of Man as well as the Son of God, we must take into account that he was a man among men - a real human man. If Jesus had not been conceived and born as all of us are, he could not rightfully claim to be a real human. But he was ... just like you and me. And just like you and me, he was conceived in a normal way and born in a normal way.

Mary and Joseph were ordinary people of their time. They were chosen especially for the roles they played in the life of Jesus, and they were well-suited. But they were average human beings who met, courted, married, and produced children. If it were not so, Jesus would not be a real human. This is just a reasonable conclusion.

Enjoy reading about Jesus - as he was - read about him as a child, as a sibling, and as eventual acting father to his family when Joseph met his untimely death when Jesus was only 14 years-old. These are stories that will thrill and inspire; these true stories will show you a side of Jesus that you may have always wondered about ... wonder no more!

Click to read about Mary and Joseph

Click to read about Jesus birth

Here are a few passages about James:

When Jesus was 7 years-old:

(123:4.3) Jesus, in company with a neighbor boy and later his brother James, delighted to play in the far corner of the family carpenter shop, where they had great fun with the shavings and the blocks of wood.

When Jesus was 8 years-old:

(123:6.4) Jesus began to enjoy his brother James very much and by the end of this year had begun to teach him the alphabet.

When Jesus was 22 years-old:

(128:2.4) Before taking up his new employment at Sepphoris, Jesus held one of his periodic family conferences and solemnly installed James, then just past eighteen years old, as acting head of the family. He promised his brother hearty support and full co-operation and exacted formal promises of obedience to James from each member of the family. From this day James assumed full financial responsibility for the family, Jesus making his weekly payments to his brother. Never again did Jesus take the reins out of James's hands. While working at Sepphoris he could have walked home every night if necessary, but he purposely remained away, assigning weather and other reasons, but his true motive was to train James and Joseph in the bearing of the family responsibility. He had begun the slow process of weaning his family. Each Sabbath Jesus returned to Nazareth, and sometimes during the week when occasion required, to observe the working of the new plan, to give advice and offer helpful suggestions

And there's so much more ...

Click to read about Jesus' siblings, including more about James

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Mon, February 09, 2015

Last Days in the Desert: Review

By TruthBook staff

Folks, here is yet another attempt to portray Jesus through film. It is an interesting concept, to have Jesus and Satan played by the same actor; it somewhat echoes the Urantia Book story of Jesus being the Paradise father of Lucifer. Satan was representing Lucifer in this meeting with Jesus, as Urantia Book readers know...

As UB readers also know, the story of the forty days is a very different story than the story of Jesus' "temptation" in the Bible.

Jesus' "temptation" took place nearly five months earlier on My Hermon. Nonetheless, this movie is working from the Bible so we can't expect better just yet...for both movie buffs and Jesus buffs, this might be a good film to see.

Here's a quick blurb from the review:

Last Days in the Desert starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the devil gets thumbs up from critics

by Angie Chui

"In recent years, the Bible became fertile ground for material when Hollywood studios decided to do their own interpretation of epic tales of Noah and Exodus. While both movies had Oscar winners playing lead roles, they often had a polarising effect on critics who reviewed the movies.

"Rodrigo Garcia's Last Days in the Desert, a low budget film starring Ewan MacGregor may well have the answer to winning over both critics and filmgoers alike as it received rave reviews after its screening at the Sundance Festival.

"In Last Days in the Desert, MacGregor is given the unique task of playing the role of both Jesus - called Yeshua in the movie - and the Devil in story of the Temptation of Christ during his 40 days of fasting and prayer in the desert.

"ScreenDaily described the film as " a powerfully meditative experience that grapples with themes of faith, destiny, death, and fathers and sons, 'Last Days In The Desert' possesses the attributes that have been the hallmark of writer-director Rodrigo García's best films: It's emotionally uncluttered while being narratively ambitious."

Click to read the entire article

Again, readers of The Urantia Book know this story very well. And for those of you who are Christians desiring to know more about Jesus, we're including the entire, true story of Jesus' meeting with Satan and Caligastia, so that you can understand better the real purpose of the meeting, and the monumental repercussions of it for our world.

This would be great reading in preparation for seeing the movie...there are a couple of links further down, so that anyone who's intereested can find out all they need to know about the importance of this meeting of Jesus on Mt Hermon with the now-vanquished leaders of rebellion.

Jesus walked away from this meeting as the unquestioned sovereign of our world, and he effectively ended the Lucifer rebellion in the universe of his creation.

The Real Story of Jesus' "Temptation"

Sojourn on Mt Hermon

After spending some time in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus made ready his supplies, and securing a beast of burden and a lad named Tiglath, he proceeded along the Damascus road to a village sometime known as Beit Jenn in the foothills of Mount Hermon. Here, near the middle of August, A.D. 25, he established his headquarters, and leaving his supplies in the custody of Tiglath, he ascended the lonely slopes of the mountain. Tiglath accompanied Jesus this first day up the mountain to a designated point about 6,000 feet above sea level, where they built a stone container in which Tiglath was to deposit food twice a week.

The first day, after he had left Tiglath, Jesus had ascended the mountain only a short way when he paused to pray. Among other things he asked his Father to send back the guardian seraphim to "be with Tiglath." He requested that he be permitted to go up to his last struggle with the realities of mortal existence alone. And his request was granted. He went into the great test with only his indwelling Adjuster to guide and sustain him.

Jesus ate frugally while on the mountain; he abstained from all food only a day or two at a time. The superhuman beings who confronted him on this mountain, and with whom he wrestled in spirit, and whom he defeated in power, were real; they were his archenemies in the system of Satania; they were not phantasms of the imagination evolved out of the intellectual vagaries of a weakened and starving mortal who could not distinguish reality from the visions of a disordered mind.

Jesus spent the last three weeks of August and the first three weeks of September on Mount Hermon. During these weeks he finished the mortal task of achieving the circles of mind-understanding and personality-control. Throughout this period of communion with his heavenly Father the indwelling Adjuster also completed the assigned services. The mortal goal of this earth creature was there attained. Only the final phase of mind and Adjuster attunement remained to be consummated.

After more than five weeks of unbroken communion with his Paradise Father, Jesus became absolutely assured of his nature and of the certainty of his triumph over the material levels of time-space personality manifestation. He fully believed in, and did not hesitate to assert, the ascendancy of his divine nature over his human nature.

Near the end of the mountain sojourn Jesus asked his Father if he might be permitted to hold conference with his Satania enemies as the Son of Man, as Joshua ben Joseph. This request was granted. During the last week on Mount Hermon the great temptation, the universe trial, occurred. Satan (representing Lucifer ) and the rebellious Planetary Prince, Caligastia, were present with Jesus and were made fully visible to him. And this "temptation," this final trial of human loyalty in the face of the misrepresentations of rebel personalities, had not to do with food, temple pinnacles, or presumptuous acts. It had not to do with the kingdoms of this world but with the sovereignty of a mighty and glorious universe. The symbolism of your records was intended for the backward ages of the world's childlike thought. And subsequent generations should understand what a great struggle the Son of Man passed through that eventful day on Mount Hermon.

To the many proposals and counterproposals of the emissaries of Lucifer, Jesus only made reply: "May the will of my Paradise Father prevail, and you, my rebellious son, may the Ancients of Days judge you divinely. I am your Creator-father; I can hardly judge you justly, and my mercy you have already spurned. I commit you to the adjudication of the Judges of a greater universe."

To all the Lucifer-suggested compromises and makeshifts, to all such specious proposals about the incarnation bestowal, Jesus only made reply, "The will of my Father in Paradise be done." And when the trying ordeal was finished, the detached guardian seraphim returned to Jesus' side and ministered to him.

On an afternoon in late summer, amid the trees and in the silence of nature, Michael of Nebadon won the unquestioned sovereignty of his universe. On that day he completed the task set for Creator Sons to live to the full the incarnated life in the likeness of mortal flesh on the evolutionary worlds of time and space. The universe announcement of this momentous achievement was not made until the day of his baptism, months afterward, but it all really took place that day on the mountain. And when Jesus came down from his sojourn on Mount Hermon, the Lucifer rebellion in Satania and the Caligastia secession on Urantia were virtually settled. Jesus had paid the last price required of him to attain the sovereignty of his universe, which in itself regulates the status of all rebels and determines that all such future upheavals (if they ever occur) may be dealt with summarily and effectively. Accordingly, it may be seen that the so-called "great temptation" of Jesus took place sometime before his baptism and not just after that event.

The forty days following Jesus' baptism were similrly significant, in that it was a time of solitude for Jesus and communication with God. His baptism was Jesus' inauguration, so to speak, into "the Father's business," and plans had to be made...decisions taken. It was during these forty days that these things happened. Please see the links that follow for another great read and a true understanding of the significance of the Forty Days...

What really happened during the Forty Days:

The Baptism of Jesus

The Forty Days

Jesus' plans for public work

The Great Decisions

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Mon, January 26, 2015

Jesus belongs to people of all faiths

By TruthBook staff

The revelation of Jesus to other faiths By Sharon Rosell

This article presents a viewpoint that needs to be heard. Urantia Book readers will not find it surprising, but in the world of partisanship, polarization, and religious elitism, the idea that Jesus is the savior for people of ALL religions mght not sit so well. It is a good article, full of compassion for the faithful of many religions - religions that, while they may not recognize Jesus as the Son of God - still revere and respect him and his teachings. The author states:

"Even those who do not see Jesus as their Lord and Savior, who do not have a personal fulfilling relationship with him, can be guided by his teachings, his love and compassion for everyone and his character. He came to Earth for all people to lead us the way to the Father."

We couldn't agree more...

Click to read the entire article

Urantia Book readers are well-aware of Jesus' primary mission - that of portraying to this world - and this universe - the accurate nature of God. And this is indeed how he meant to lead all of us on the way to the Father - by showing the invisible Father to the eyes of material people

Jesus - the Savior for ALL

Even though Christianity may claim him, his incarnation was meant to inform and inspire ALL peoples ... those of his times, and every generation that followed, whether Christian or not. Jesus did not create the Christian church - he was not a Christian. His incarnation transcends all earthly religions...

140:8.29 The teaching of Jesus is a religion for everybody ... [Jesus'] religion never became crystallized (during his day) into creeds and theological laws; he left not a line of writing behind him. His life and teachings were bequeathed the universe as an inspirational and idealistic inheritance suitable for the spiritual guidance and moral instruction of all ages on all worlds. And even today, Jesus' teaching stands apart from all religions, as such, albeit it is the living hope of every one of them.

Jesus' religion, Jesus' gospel

Over the centuries since Jesus walked this earth, the meaning of his mission has been dominated by the facts of his death and resurrection; his original mission, the religion he practiced, the gospel he preached, and the primary purposes of his incarnation have been eclipsed by the dramatic and overwhelming events during the last weeks of his life.

Jesus' life was spent living as a mortal of the earth, realizing his divinity, and then proclaiming the very good news that mankind can realize, by faith, the Fatherhood of God and the very real fact that they are the spirit children of that good God.

Not only that, but Jesus actually LIVED a dynamic, purposeful and effective religion that gives anyone who wishes to try it, valuable PROOF ... EXPERIENCE that will remove all doubt as to the Father's love for them. And this religion of Jesus - the religion of personal spiritual experience - is effective for people of ANY faith

94:12.7 All Urantia is waiting for the proclamation of the ennobling message of Michael, unencumbered by the accumulated doctrines and dogmas of nineteen centuries of contact with the religions of evolutionary origin. The hour is striking for presenting to Buddhism, to Christianity, to Hinduism, even to the peoples of all faiths, not the gospel about Jesus, but the living, spiritual reality of the gospel of Jesus.

What did Jesus say about his mission?

While Jesus was here, he made many statements concerning his God-revealing mission to this world-and to this universe of his making. Here are a few:

142:2.2 "…I come in the flesh to reveal the Father in new glory and to show forth his love and mercy to all men on all worlds. As the gospel of this kingdom shall spread over the world with its message of good cheer and good will to all men, there will grow up improved and better relations among the families of all nations. As time passes, fathers and their children will love each other more, and thus will be brought about a better understanding of the love of the Father in heaven for his children on earth. Remember…that a good and true father not only loves his family as a whole—as a family—but he also truly loves and affectionately cares for each individual member."
143:1.4 "I have come into this world to do the will of my Father and to reveal his loving character to all mankind. That, my brethren, is my mission. And this one thing I will do, regardless of the misunderstanding of my teachings by Jews or gentiles of this day or of another generation.
165:3.8 "…I came into this world to reveal the Father to you and to lead you to the Father. The first I have done, but the last I may not do without your consent; the Father never compels any man to enter the kingdom. The invitation ever has been and always will be: Whosoever will, let him come and freely partake of the water of life."
149:6.2 "…I have come to reveal the Father's love so that you will be attracted to the worship of the Eternal by the drawing of a son's affectionate recognition and reciprocation of the Father's profound and perfect love. I would deliver you from the bondage of driving yourselves through slavish fear to the irksome service of a jealous and wrathful King-God. I would instruct you in the Father-son relationship of God and man so that you may be joyfully led into that sublime and supernal free worship of a loving, just, and merciful Father-God.

Click to read more about Jesus' mission - in his own words

Click to read about Jesus' religion of personal spiritual experience

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Fri, January 16, 2015

Did Jesus Teach Belief in Hell?

By TruthBook staff

This article really got my attention! It's amazing to me that any Christian - most especially a Christian leader - should have gotten this so WRONG! It only goes to show you that our deep-seated fear of God is alive and well - and unfortunately being promoted in some Christian churches.

Jerry Falwell, I could imagine:

"Jesus said more about Hell than Heaven." — Jerry Falwell, "Heaven and Hell"

but - Rick Warren?

"Obviously I do believe in hell. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven." — Rick Warren, interview with John Piper

And there are a handful of others...

As unfortunate as those quotes are, the author of the article is far more temperate when assessing Jesus' preaching of the fires of hell vs the joys of heaven, and I applaud him for that.

He states:

"Jesus did not, in fact, speak more about hell than heaven. But many people who should know better still seem hell-bent on insisting that He did."

Click to read the entire article.

Urantia Book readers know a very different Jesus, when it comes to this idea of heaven and hell. Even aside from Jesus, The Urantia Book's teachings finally put the end to belief in

1) a vengeful God who would damn an erring child to eternal hell-fire, and

2) the need for such a place as hell in the universe scheme of things

Once we are introduced to the new revelation of the true nature of God, we can never again believe that he would ever create such a place, or ever condemn a soul to such a terrible fate.

This does not mean that there is no recourse or consequence for a person who rejects God and his mercy. But the "punishment" is far more simple and far less vengeful than believing in hell. If someone deliberately and willfully rejects God, that person is "extinguished," as a candle flame might be. The light goes out and is never relit. God has no need to punish that soul for eternity.

The Urantia Book puts much-needed sanity on the subject of hell. We learn how the concept of hell originated here:

"Early man entertained no ideas of hell or future punishment. The savage looked upon the future life as just like this one, minus all ill luck. Later on, a separate destiny for good ghosts and bad ghosts — heaven and hell — was conceived. 86:4.7

"The habitual violation of a taboo became a vice; primitive law made vice a crime; religion made it a sin. Among the early tribes the violation of a taboo was a combined crime and sin. Community calamity was always regarded as punishment for tribal sin. To those who believed that prosperity and righteousness went together, the apparent prosperity of the wicked occasioned so much worry that it was necessary to invent hells for the punishment of taboo violators; the numbers of these places of future punishment have varied from one to five." 89:2.4

Jesus came to our world to reveal the loving heavenly Father. The idea of hell is clearly misguided, a remnant of our primitive past, and our primitive ideas of God.

Once we received God, incarnated as Jesus, all seekers of the truth should be thrilled to know that God does not act that way:

"Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evil-doing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master's death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.

"Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father." 188:4.3

As for Jesus, he never taught such error as hell. Instead, he taught:

"My Father does not sit in heaven laughing in derision at the heathen. He is not wrathful in his great who have lived with me well know that anger and wrath are not a part of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men." 155:1.2

(Remember, Jesus is actually God speaking to us)

" is not the will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones should go astray, much less that they should perish. In your religion God may receive repentant sinners; in the gospel of the kingdom the Father goes forth to find them even before they have seriously thought of repentance." 159:1.2

PART IV of The Urantia Book is itself a revelation of Jesus' life on our world

Click to read more about HELL

Many people have written to us here at TruthBook over the years, asking about the existence of hell. Here is a sampling of those Q+A:

What about hell and judgment day?

Is Hell real?

Is there a hell?

Is there a place called hell?

Enjoy our After You Die video

Also, enjoy our "You Can Live Forever" video

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Sun, January 11, 2015

Why Jesus Was Baptized

By TruthBook Staff

Why was Jesus baptized?

Here's an article that caught my eye, and seems like a good attempt, from a Catholic perspective, to explain just why Jesus was baptised. As we know, Jesus was without sin; the Catholic--and Christian--concept of water baptism is as a ritualistic cleansing of the sin from the believer's soul and the rebrth of that soul into communion with God. So, this article is an understandable treatise on the mystery of it all. The author tells us that the reason is simple...and complex.

Click to read the entire article by MSGR. JOSEPH PRIOR

From the perspective of Urantia Book readers, the simplicity of Jesus' decision to submit to John's baptism in the Jordan far outweighs any overarching complexity of it, even though we do learn that it was truly a spiritually significant event in the earth life of Jesus:

136:2.7 This day of baptism ended the purely human life of Jesus. The divine Son has found his Father, the Universal Father has found his incarnated Son, and they speak the one to the other.

Jesus is baptized

The Urantia Book teaches us that Jesus was baptized on Monday, January 14, A.D. 26.

From The Urantia Book:

135:8.4 John had just begun baptizing the candidates for the day. Scores of repentants were standing in line awaiting their turn when Jesus and his two brothers took up their positions in this line of earnest men and women who had become believers in John's preaching of the coming kingdom. John had been inquiring about Jesus of Zebedee's sons. He had heard of Jesus' remarks concerning his preaching, and he was day by day expecting to see him arrive on the scene, but he had not expected to greet him in the line of baptismal candidates.
Being engrossed with the details of rapidly baptizing such a large number of converts, John did not look up to see Jesus until the Son of Man stood in his immediate presence. When John recognized Jesus, the ceremonies were halted for a moment while he greeted his cousin in the flesh and asked, "But why do you come down into the water to greet me?" And Jesus answered, "To be subject to your baptism." John replied: "But I have need to be baptized by you. Why do you come to me?" And Jesus whispered to John: "Bear with me now, for it becomes us to set this example for my brothers standing here with me, and that the people may know that my hour has come."
There was a tone of finality and authority in Jesus' voice. John was atremble with emotion as he made ready to baptize Jesus of Nazareth in the Jordan at noon on Monday, January 14, A.D. 26. Thus did John baptize Jesus and his two brothers James and Jude. And when John had baptized these three, he dismissed the others for the day, announcing that he would resume baptisms at noon the next day. As the people were departing, the four men still standing in the water heard a strange sound, and presently there appeared for a moment an apparition immediately over the head of Jesus, and they heard a voice saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." A great change came over the countenance of Jesus, and coming up out of the water in silence he took leave of them, going toward the hills to the east. And no man saw Jesus again for forty days.

And so, we see, from this passage that Jesus' initial reason for submitting to baptism was simple. He said to John:

"Bear with me now, for it becomes us to set this example for my brothers standing here with me, and that the people may know that my hour has come."

Jesus did not repent of anything

Further, we learn that:

136:2.6 When Jesus was baptized, he repented of no misdeeds; he made no confession of sin. His was the baptism of consecration to the performance of the will of the heavenly Father. At his baptism he heard the unmistakable call of his Father, the final summons to be about his Father's business, and he went away into private seclusion for forty days to think over these manifold problems. In thus retiring for a season from active personality contact with his earthly associates, Jesus, as he was and on Urantia, was following the very procedure that obtains on the morontia worlds whenever an ascending mortal fuses with the inner presence of the Universal Father.
This day of baptism ended the purely human life of Jesus. The divine Son has found his Father, the Universal Father has found his incarnated Son, and they speak the one to the other.

How Jesus' teachings differed from John's

Jesus never taught the doctrine of original sin; he never preached that man needed this kind of outward ritual to cleanse his soul. But, the thrust of John's message was to REPENT!...:

136:0.2 When John preached the coming kingdom, the burden of his message was: Repent! flee from the wrath to come. When Jesus began to preach, there remained the exhortation to repentance, but such a message was always followed by the gospel, the good tidings of the joy and liberty of the new kingdom.
135:6.4 There was still another and a new feature about the work of this Nazarite preacher: He baptized every one of his believers in the Jordan "for the remission of sins." Although baptism was not a new ceremony among the Jews, they had never seen it employed as John now made use of it. It had long been the practice thus to baptize the gentile proselytes into the fellowship of the outer court of the temple, but never had the Jews themselves been asked to submit to the baptism of repentance. Only fifteen months intervened between the time John began to preach and baptize and his arrest and imprisonment at the instigation of Herod Antipas, but in this short time he baptized considerably over one hundred thousand penitents.

Even though Jesus did not intend to teach the doctrine of original sin, he also had no intention of thwarting John's work; and this is one of the main reasons that he submitted to baptism. He wanted a smooth transition from the work of John to his own public ministry, which was so soon to be inaugurated. To submit to John's baptism would give onlookers the assurance that Jesus was in alignment with John's basic teachings.

Click to read more about John, Jesus, and the baptism in the Jordan

Click to read an in-depth exploration of Jesus' baptism, and the 40 days that Jesus spent in isolation following that pivotal event.

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