Truthbook Religious News Blog

All Blog Posts  |  Blog Archives  |  See More Blogs

Atom     RSS

Mon, February 27, 2017

What DID Jesus Really Say?

By TruthBook Staff

Most people know Jesus primarily from the New Testament writing - the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And many believe that every word that is ascribed to Jesus in the Bible is exactly what he said...but are those words all exact? I find this a very interesting article, and hope you do, too. It is called: Jesuit Superior General: We Don't Know 'What Jesus Really Said' by Thomas De Williams, PhD

As the priest in the article points out: "at that time no one had a tape recorder to record his words." We have to understand that having 1) been recorded by humans, and then 2) granted official status by humans, mistakes might have been, and likely were, made.

Readers of The Uantia Book know - and rejoice in knowing - that there were real living "tape recorders" of a sort who were present during Jesus entire life on our world - superhuman beings called Midwayers who actually DID record every detail of the Masters life. These records have been carefully preserved over the centuries until the time when they could be presented once more to the world in unadulterated form - in BOOK form. That time is NOW! We blog about this subject below, but first here are a few snips from this article:

"Asked whether Jesus' words have an 'absolute value,' Father Sosa said that scholars have been struggling 'to understand exactly what Jesus meant to say.'

" 'The word is relative, the Gospel is written by human beings, it is accepted by the Church which is made up of human persons,' " he said.

" 'It is true,' he said, 'that no one can change the word of Jesus, but we need to know what it was!'

Curiously, the Second Vatican Council, which Father Sosa appeals to, taught that 'everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit,' and that the books of Scripture 'must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.' "

It also declared that the Church has always firmly held that the four Gospels faithfully hand on "what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven."

Click to read the whole article

______________

Wouldn't it be nice to know what Jesus really said?

In The Urantia Book, we discover Jesus, his life, and his teachings recorded in a stunning narrative that spans his entire life, from birth to death, with even all the "missing years" intact.

We thrill to read his discourses, his sermons, his day-to-day teachings delivered to his followers and his apostles - and his intimate exchanges with his parents, Mary and Joseph, his childhood associates, his siblngs, and others.

To an open-minded truthseeker who wishes to know more about Jesus, The Urantia Book will prove invaulable! Even more important than the things that Jesus SAID, is the WAY that he lived his life - the things that he DID. This narrative of Jesus' life clarifies, contextualizes, and illuminates the Master; Part IV of The Urantia Book is a treasure-trove that builds upon the New Testament, but that adds incredible detail and vitality to the greatest story ever told. The new telling of this amazing story is a gift beyond measure!

There are large sections of The Urantia Book that are presented in quotes as the words of Jesus; in other sections his teachings are paraphrased for absorption by 21st century seekers. But in all instances, one is struck at the resonant feel of this narrative...the authentic fragrance of the Master is unmistakable!

But what about Scripture? Should we disregard it?

First of all, it's important to know just how the New Testament came to be. The Urantia Book offers a good amount of insight on that subject, which can be read near the beginning of Jesus' story. As you will see, there are the same questions about its veracity now as there had been in Jesus' day about the Old Testament records. And this section also gives us insight as to the mindset of the superhuman authors of The Urantia Book. It does tell us that the existing records "imperfect as they are, have been sufficient to change the course of the history of Urantia for almost two thousand years." And so, they should certainly not be lightly disregarded.

Please see Previous Written Records

For the purposes of this blog, I am reproducing here a speech given by Jesus to Nathaniel, in response to a qustion that Nathaniel posed to him about this very issue...in this case the Old Testament records, but one can just as easily apply the Master's teachings to the New Testament as well, which have also been written by men, as seen in the above section on previous written records. Jesus speaks very forthrightly and plainly about how HE viewed the written records of his times that were thought to be inerrant, just as ours are today:

The Talk with Nathaniel

And then went Jesus over to Abila, where Nathaniel and his associates labored. Nathaniel was much bothered by some of Jesus' pronouncements which seemed to detract from the authority of the recognized Hebrew scriptures. Accordingly, on this night, after the usual period of questions and answers, Nathaniel took Jesus away from the others and asked: "Master, could you trust me to know the truth about the Scriptures? I observe that you teach us only a portion of the sacred writings—the best as I view it—and I infer that you reject the teachings of the rabbis to the effect that the words of the law are the very words of God, having been with God in heaven even before the times of Abraham and Moses. What is the truth about the Scriptures?" When Jesus heard the question of his bewildered apostle, he answered:

"Nathaniel, you have rightly judged; I do not regard the Scriptures as do the rabbis. I will talk with you about this matter on condition that you do not relate these things to your brethren, who are not all prepared to receive this teaching. The words of the law of Moses and the teachings of the Scriptures were not in existence before Abraham. Only in recent times have the Scriptures been gathered together as we now have them. While they contain the best of the higher thoughts and longings of the Jewish people, they also contain much that is far from being representative of the character and teachings of the Father in heaven; wherefore must I choose from among the better teachings those truths which are to be gleaned for the gospel of the kingdom.

"These writings are the work of men, some of them holy men, others not so holy. The teachings of these books represent the views and extent of enlightenment of the time in which they had their origin. As a revelation of truth, the last are more dependable than the first. The Scriptures are faulty and altogether human in origin, but mistake not, they do constitute the best collection of religious wisdom and spiritual truth to be found in all the world at this time.

"Many of these books were not written by the persons whose names they bear, but that in no way detracts from the value of the truths which they contain. If the story of Jonah should not be a fact, even if Jonah had never lived, still would the profound truth of this narrative, the love of God for Nineveh and the so-called heathen, be none the less precious in the eyes of all those who love their fellow men. The Scriptures are sacred because they present the thoughts and acts of men who were searching for God, and who in these writings left on record their highest concepts of righteousness, truth, and holiness. The Scriptures contain much that is true, very much, but in the light of your present teaching, you know that these writings also contain much that is misrepresentative of the Father in heaven, the loving God I have come to reveal to all the worlds.

"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.

"But the greatest error of the teaching about the Scripture is the doctrine of their being sealed books of mystery and wisdom which only the wise minds of the nation dare to interpret. The revelations of divine truth are not sealed except by human ignorance, bigotry, and narrow-minded intolerance. The light of the Scriptures is only dimmed by prejudice and darkened by superstition. A false fear of sacredness has prevented religion from being safeguarded by common sense. The fear of the authority of the sacred writings of the past effectively prevents the honest souls of today from accepting the new light of the gospel, the light which these very God-knowing men of another generation so intensely longed to see.

"But the saddest feature of all is the fact that some of the teachers of the sanctity of this traditionalism know this very truth. They more or less fully understand these limitations of Scripture, but they are moral cowards, intellectually dishonest. They know the truth regarding the sacred writings, but they prefer to withhold such disturbing facts from the people. And thus do they pervert and distort the Scriptures, making them the guide to slavish details of the daily life and an authority in things nonspiritual instead of appealing to the sacred writings as the repository of the moral wisdom, religious inspiration, and the spiritual teaching of the God-knowing men of other generations."

Nathaniel was enlightened, and shocked, by the Master's pronouncement. He long pondered this talk in the depths of his soul, but he told no man concerning this conference until after Jesus' ascension; and even then he feared to impart the full story of the Master's instruction.

In this discussion with Nathaniel, Jesus speaks some hard truths. We are told that Nathaniel was "shocked," and it seems sure that many in today's Christian communities would be likewise shocked. Nonetheless, Jesus' approach is sane, solid, and perfectly reasonable.

In Jesus' life and ministry, he employed Scripture liberally, but he was careful to choose his selections. He never shared passages that did not support his mission of portraying God as a loving Father, for example. And he did not ever hold the Scriptures to be anything but "humanly sacred."

Is The Urantia Book a holy book?

Te Urantia Book is not a holy book, although many who love it consider its teachings to be very holy, indeed. Especially in the case of the Life and Teachings of Jesus, the book provides a window into the daily life of the Incarnated Christ, son of man and Son of God; it clarifies and details the events of Jesus' life in a way that makes him fully accessible and fully understandable; it restates his teachings in a way that is instantly applicable to our 21st century world and our individual lives. And The Urantia Book clarifies the things that Jesus said...remember, this is a record kept by eyewitnesses who were actually there.

There ARE instances in the New Testament that ascribe certain statements to Jesus that are decidedly un-Jesusonian; for example, in the story of the Syrio-Phoenician woman, Jesus is thought to have made the statement about the woman being a "dog," but when we read The Urantia Book account of this story we learn that it was actually Simon who made this unkind statement - not Jesus. For centureis, people have wondered about this seeming discrepancy in the Master's character.

Likewise, in the Last Supper story, certain statements have been ascribed to Jesus that he did not make, according to the authors of The Urantia Book; and these mis-statements have colored centuries of belief in the atonement doctrine - a doctrine that Jesus did not teach.

In these instances, reading the real story of Jesus' life through the Urantia revelation is tremendously enlightening, and erases centuries of confusion.

How can we be sure it is true?

There is only one way to evaluate the validity of The Urantia Book, and that is to read it. Once one opens their mind and looks into it with that opened mind, the Spirit of Truth which Jesus left for us here will be ble to assist the reader in evaluating whether this book is worthy or not. The Urantia Book stands alone; the teachings of Jesus stand alone; the surest way to prove to yourself whether it is true is to read, and apply its lessons to your life. We are admonished:

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.

This passage does not emphasize the things that Jesus said, but emphasizes the way he lived his life...this is what will prove most valuable to the seeker. With The Urantia Book, we can explore the whole of the Master's life; and we can do that in a way that is so much more complete, so much more inspiring, and so much more meaningful than with any other account of his life - including the Bible account. Knowing how the book came to us, and how its accuracy has been preserved, we can go forth confidently, assessing and applying Jesus' life lessons in our own lives.

Read The Urantia Book if you want to know more - much more - about Jesus!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, February 27, 2017

Sharing the Gospel - Do's and Don'ts

By TruthBook Staff

Most believers - Christians and Urantia Book reader/students alike - who have a robust relationship with Jesus naturally want to share him with everyone. Urantia Book readers are no different. Not only do we want to share Jesus, but also to share the glories of the gospel that Jesus proclaimed - the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. But before we rush headlong into it, we all might want to chill just a little while and think about the best way to do it.

This article: Five Things to Avoid when Sharing Jesus With Others by FELIX N. CODILLA III caught my eye and prompted me to think about a discourse that Jesus delivered during the Decapolis Tour. Our blog will be below, but first, here is the list of don'ts from the article. Take heed!

1. Don't be overzealous.

2. Don't be too pushy.

3. Do not criticize.

4. Do not debate.

5. Do not scare them.

Click to read more about the author's advice

___________________

While these five suggestions are very good advice, we thought that anyone wanting more detailed advice might like to read what Jesus had to say about how to approach seekers, too; Jesus gives us many positive things to DO, as well as things we should avoid when fellowshipping the seeker.  

Jesus trained many evangelists during his ministry on earth. The apostles were not the only group that proclaimed the gospel. During the Decapolis Tour, there were over one hundred evalgelists and disciples present, including the Women's Corps, "and they were ready immediately to begin the teaching and preaching tour of the cities of the Decapolis."

During this phase of proclaiming the Kingdom, Jesus gave a most educational discourse to those who wished to work effectively in the fields of ministry; the advice that Jesus gave in this speech is as fresh today as it was then, and it is advice that every soul on fire for the Lord should give heed to. We add it here in its entirety:

Instructions for Teachers and Believers

At Edrei, where Thomas and his associates labored, Jesus spent a day and a night and, in the course of the evening's discussion, gave expression to the principles which should guide those who preach truth, and which should activate all who teach the gospel of the kingdom. Summarized and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught:

Always respect the personality of man. Never should a righteous cause be promoted by force; spiritual victories can be won only by spiritual power. This injunction against the employment of material influences refers to psychic force as well as to physical force. Overpowering arguments and mental superiority are not to be employed to coerce men and women into the kingdom. Man's mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic or overawed by shrewd eloquence. While emotion as a factor in human decisions cannot be wholly eliminated, it should not be directly appealed to in the teachings of those who would advance the cause of the kingdom. Make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of men. Do not appeal to fear, pity, or mere sentiment. In appealing to men, be fair; exercise self-control and exhibit due restraint; show proper respect for the personalities of your pupils. Remember that I have said: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if any man will open, I will come in."

In bringing men into the kingdom, do not lessen or destroy their self-respect. While overmuch self-respect may destroy proper humility and end in pride, conceit, and arrogance, the loss of self-respect often ends in paralysis of the will. It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.

Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls. Do not indulge in sarcasm at the expense of my simple-minded brethren. Be not cynical with my fear-ridden children. Idleness is destructive of self-respect; therefore, admonish your brethren ever to keep busy at their chosen tasks, and put forth every effort to secure work for those who find themselves without employment.

Never be guilty of such unworthy tactics as endeavoring to frighten men and women into the kingdom. A loving father does not frighten his children into yielding obedience to his just requirements.

Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize that strong feelings of emotion are not equivalent to the leadings of the divine spirit. To be strongly and strangely impressed to do something or to go to a certain place, does not necessarily mean that such impulses are the leadings of the indwelling spirit.

Forewarn all believers regarding the fringe of conflict which must be traversed by all who pass from the life as it is lived in the flesh to the higher life as it is lived in the spirit. To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living. In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light.

The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt—unbelief.

In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but that I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evil-doing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven.

You shall not portray your teacher as a man of sorrows. Future generations shall know also the radiance of our joy, the buoyance of our good will, and the inspiration of our good humor. We proclaim a message of good news which is infectious in its transforming power. Our religion is throbbing with new life and new meanings. Those who accept this teaching are filled with joy and in their hearts are constrained to rejoice evermore. Increasing happiness is always the experience of all who are certain about God.

Teach all believers to avoid leaning upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of the indulgence of self-pity; honestly endeavor to avoid the deceptive influence of mere fellowship in misery. Extend sympathy to the brave and courageous while you withhold overmuch pity from those cowardly souls who only halfheartedly stand up before the trials of living. Offer not consolation to those who lie down before their troubles without a struggle. Sympathize not with your fellows merely that they may sympathize with you in return.

When my children once become self-conscious of the assurance of the divine presence, such a faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved.

Teach all believers that those who enter the kingdom are not thereby rendered immune to the accidents of time or to the ordinary catastrophes of nature. Believing the gospel will not prevent getting into trouble, but it will insure that you shall be unafraid when trouble does overtake you. If you dare to believe in me and wholeheartedly proceed to follow after me, you shall most certainly by so doing enter upon the sure pathway to trouble. I do not promise to deliver you from the waters of adversity, but I do promise to go with you through all of them.

And much more did Jesus teach this group of believers before they made ready for the night's sleep. And they who heard these sayings treasured them in their hearts and did often recite them for the edification of the apostles and disciples who were not present when they were spoken.

Jesus also gave one of his most memorable talks about scripture during this tour in the Talk with Nathaniel. It contains invaluable insight about common beliefs in the inerrancy of the Bible, and it is also good information to have when approaching those who have this belief. This, and the above "Instruction" can be used together when developing sensitivity for what to say and how to say it in our efforts to teach truth.

For more - much more - about Jesus and his amazing life and teachings, one only has to click at the end of this sentence to access the most complete version in all the world of the greatest story ever told!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Fri, February 17, 2017

First-Person Peter

By TruthBook Staff

Here is a unique treatment of one the most beloved of Jesus' apostles called: A First Person Sermon (Amanda Hecht) by Scot McKnight. In the article, a sermon given by Amanda Hecht is reproduced by the author of the article. Amanda delivers her sermon, speaking as if she were Peter. In our blog (below) we will expand on the subject of Simon Peter as taught in The Urantia Book, but first, here is a short opening snip from the article:

"You have probably heard of me. My name was Cephas/Simon; but Jesus liked to call me Peter – the rock. Which is laughable, really. Because, if you put together the pieces of my story, I am anything but rock-like. I am more like the weather on the Sea of Galilee that I know so well, having spent so much of my young life as a fisherman there – unpredictable. Sometimes things go perfectly, and I get it oh so right. But, other times, sometimes even the very next moment it seems, things flip, and I get it oh so wrong. You know that by the end of my life I was one of the leaders, the pillars, we were sometimes loftily called, of the followers of Jesus, the Christ-ones, the "Christians", the "little-Christs" that carried on to tell the world about him when he went up into heaven. And, to be sure, I dedicated everything I had in me to the community of Jesus Christ, just as I had dedicated everything I had in me to Jesus when he walked the earth. The thing is, if you continue to read my story, as much as Peter the Rock has in ways achieved a legendary status as a saint and leader of the church, you will also know that this leader definitely has feet of clay. I was far from perfect; I will be the first to admit it. You have all heard the story of how I denied my Lord, my God, my best friend, when he was on trial, just before he was condemned to die upon that cross. He was on trial inside, and I was outside more concerned with trying to save my own neck. It doesn't get much worse (sic) that than!"

Click to read the entire sermon

__________

In The Urantia Book, not only Peter, but all of the apostles are treated with fairly extensive biographies; in addition, we learn quite a bit about them as the story of Jesus' ministry with the apostles unfolds throughout the Jesus Papers.

Peter is indeed, one of the most famous and enduring personalities to be associated with Jesus; and for good reason. Few people have ever heard the whole story of Peter; his family, his home, his personality strengths and weaknesses, his background, his travels after Jesus' death, and what he loved most about Jesus (hint: it has a lot to do with Peter's denial of the Master). The accounts of this apostle's life in Scripture are scanty to say the least. We reproduce the Urantia Book bio of Peter here:

Simon Peter

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.

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.

Simon Peter was a man of impulse, an optimist. He had grown up permitting himself freely to indulge strong feelings; he was constantly getting into difficulties because he persisted in speaking without thinking. This sort of thoughtlessness also made incessant trouble for all of his friends and associates and was the cause of his receiving many mild rebukes from his Master. The only reason Peter did not get into more trouble because of his thoughtless speaking was that he very early learned to talk over many of his plans and schemes with his brother, Andrew, before he ventured to make public proposals.

Peter was a fluent speaker, eloquent and dramatic. He was also a natural and inspirational leader of men, a quick thinker but not a deep reasoner. He asked many questions, more than all the apostles put together, and while the majority of these questions were good and relevant, many of them were thoughtless and foolish. Peter did not have a deep mind, but he knew his mind fairly well. He was therefore a man of quick decision and sudden action. While others talked in their astonishment at seeing Jesus on the beach, Peter jumped in and swam ashore to meet the Master.

The one trait which Peter most admired in Jesus was his supernal tenderness. Peter never grew weary of contemplating Jesus' forbearance. He never forgot the lesson about forgiving the wrongdoer, not only seven times but seventy times and seven. He thought much about these impressions of the Master's forgiving character during those dark and dismal days immediately following his thoughtless and unintended denial of Jesus in the high priest's courtyard.

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.

Peter was the first of Jesus' apostles to come forward to defend the work of Philip among the Samaritans and Paul among the gentiles; yet later on at Antioch he reversed himself when confronted by ridiculing Judaizers, temporarily withdrawing from the gentiles only to bring down upon his head the fearless denunciation of Paul.

He was the first one of the apostles to make wholehearted confession of Jesus' combined humanity and divinity and the first— save Judas— to deny him. Peter was not so much of a dreamer, but he disliked to descend from the clouds of ecstasy and the enthusiasm of dramatic indulgence to the plain and matter-of-fact world of reality.

In following Jesus, literally and figuratively, he was either leading the procession or else trailing behind— "following afar off." But he was the outstanding preacher of the twelve; he did more than any other one man, aside from Paul, to establish the kingdom and send its messengers to the four corners of the earth in one generation.

After his rash denials of the Master he found himself, and with Andrew's sympathetic and understanding guidance he again led the way back to the fish nets while the apostles tarried to find out what was to happen after the crucifixion. When he was fully assured that Jesus had forgiven him and knew he had been received back into the Master's fold, the fires of the kingdom burned so brightly within his soul that he became a great and saving light to thousands who sat in darkness.

After leaving Jerusalem and before Paul became the leading spirit among the gentile Christian churches, Peter traveled extensively, visiting all the churches from Babylon to Corinth. He even visited and ministered to many of the churches which had been raised up by Paul. Although Peter and Paul differed much in temperament and education, even in theology, they worked together harmoniously for the upbuilding of the churches during their later years.

Something of Peter's style and teaching is shown in the sermons partially recorded by Luke and in the Gospel of Mark. His vigorous style was better shown in his letter known as the First Epistle of Peter; at least this was true before it was subsequently altered by a disciple of Paul.

But Peter persisted in making the mistake of trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was, after all, really and truly the Jewish Messiah. Right up to the day of his death, Simon Peter continued to suffer confusion in his mind between the concepts of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, Christ as the world's redeemer, and the Son of Man as the revelation of God, the loving Father of all mankind.

Peter's wife was a very able woman. For years she labored acceptably as a member of the women's corps, and when Peter was driven out of Jerusalem, she accompanied him upon all his journeys to the churches as well as on all his missionary excursions. And the day her illustrious husband yielded up his life, she was thrown to the wild beasts in the arena at Rome.

And so this man Peter, an intimate of Jesus, one of the inner circle, went forth from Jerusalem proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom with power and glory until the fullness of his ministry had been accomplished; and he regarded himself as the recipient of high honors when his captors informed him that he must die as his Master had died— on the cross. And thus was Simon Peter crucified in Rome.

More Apostle Resources

One entire paper of The Urantia Book is devoted to the apostles. Each member of this special apostolic party is given a thorough biography; it is indeed fascinating reading!

In addition, we have created a special page dedicated to the apostles HERE that contains extra stories about Jesus and the apostles that may be of interest to you.

This is yet another reason that seekers after Jesus or seekers after the truth will find that their search has been satisfied when they discover The Urantia Book. Will you be one of them?

For the complete story of Jesus please see PART IV of The Urantia Book: The Life and Teachings of Jesus

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Thu, February 09, 2017

Jesus: brother, father, family man

By TruthBook Staff

Articles that speculate about Jesus and his family are often a perfect opportunity to introduce readers of this blog to the wonderful stories in The Urantia Book on that subject; Bible stories are also good, as in this article from 2016 that prompted the blog: Jesus' family's values by Elijah Zehyoue. They're very scanty, but this is all the world had had about this subject for over 200 centuries.

The article is sweet, as it illustrates the easy way some of us can be with our families - so comfortable that we can really be our true selves. And then the article shares the stories we have from the Bible about Jesus' family; but of course, there is really only Mary and Joseph, Jesus' parents, in the Bible.

In our blog below, we're going to expand on Jesus' family as it is revealed to us in The Urantia Book; but frst a snip from the article:

"If being around our respective families could teach my wife and me so much about each other, I wonder what we could learn of Jesus if we got to know his family better. So often in our practice of the Christian faith we treat Jesus as if he was born and raised unto himself and changed the world simply because of his will or relationship with God. Too often we read the stories about the life of Jesus in our western individualist context in which it is all about him and say nothing about the community which formed him and instilled values into him to help make him the liberating king he needed to be."

Click to read the article

__________________

Let's get to know Jesus and his family!

Even though Jesus never married and he never engendered his own children, he did nonetheless, have a rich family experience - even to the point where he became the head-of-household to seven siblings! The world has never really known about Jesus having brothers and sisters - and in fact very little about any of his early years, aside from his birth and infancy. But the details were carefully recorded and have been carefully preserved for this time, wen The Urantia Book is in printed form for all the world to read.

In PART IV of The Urantia Book the story of Jesus parenting experience is one of the highlights of Jesus youth and young manhood. There are many years of Jesus' life that are not covered at all in Scripture, for example, the years between his birth and infancy and the flight to Egypt, and the time that Jesus was left in the temple at age thirteen. It might interest the reader to know that, during those years, Mary and Joseph had seven more children. And when Jesus was 14, his mother had yet one more child who was conceived before Joseph died, but who was not born until after that sad day.

Jesus was a truly human person - as well as a divine Son of God - and he was born the eldest son of Mary and Joseph. But Mary and Joseph were a happily married couple, living a happily married life which produced children in regular order during the years that they were together. They are, in birth order: James, Miriam, Joseph, Simon, Martha, Jude, Amos, and Ruth.

Here's when the brothers and sisters of Jesus were born

Here's some info from the book about when Jesus' brothers and sisters were born, and how old Jesus was on those dates:

When Jesus was 4:

The next important event in the life of this Nazareth family was the birth of the second child, James, in the early morning hours of April 2, 3 B.C. Jesus was thrilled by the thought of having a baby brother, and he would stand around by the hour just to observe the baby's early activities.

When Jesus was 5:

In this year, 2 B.C., a little more than one month before his fifth birthday anniversary, Jesus was made very happy by the coming of his sister Miriam, who was born on the night of July 11. During the evening of the following day Jesus had a long talk with his father concerning the manner in which various groups of living things are born into the world as separate individuals.

Since returning to Nazareth, theirs had been a busy household, and Joseph had been unusually occupied building his new shop and getting his business started again. So fully was he occupied that he had found no time to build a cradle for James, but this was corrected long before Miriam came, so that she had a very comfortable crib in which to nestle while the family admired her. And the child Jesus heartily entered into all these natural and normal home experiences. He greatly enjoyed his little brother and his baby sister and was of great help to Mary in their care.

When Jesus was 7:

The fourth member of the Nazareth family, Joseph, was born Wednesday morning, March 16, A.D. 1.

When Jesus was 8:

His third brother, Simon, was born on Friday evening, April 14, of this year, A.D. 2.

When Jesus was 9:

Jesus' second sister, Martha, was born Thursday night, September 13. [AD. 3]

When Jesus was 11:

On Wednesday evening, June 24, A.D. 5, Jude was born. Complications attended the birth of this, the seventh child.

When Jesus was 13:

On Sunday night, January 9, A.D. 7, his baby brother, Amos, was born.

Following the untimely death of Joseph, Jesus - just 14 years-old - became the head of his father Joseph's family. He became father-brother to all the siblings. And then more stress on top of sadness:

When Jesus was 15:

On Wednesday evening, April 17, A.D. 9, Ruth, the baby of the family, was born, and to the best of his ability Jesus endeavored to take the place of his father in comforting and ministering to his mother during this trying and peculiarly sad ordeal. For almost a score of years (until he began his public ministry) no father could have loved and nurtured his daughter any more affectionately and faithfully than Jesus cared for little Ruth. And he was an equally good father to all the other members of his family.

When Jesus was 18 years-old, there was a terrible day when they lost one of the children to a sudden illness. Here's what happened:

On Saturday afternoon, December 3, [A.D. 12] of this year, death for the second time struck at this Nazareth family. Little Amos, their baby brother [Age 5], died after a week's illness with a high fever. After passing through this time of sorrow with her first-born son as her only support, Mary at last and in the fullest sense recognized Jesus as the real head of the family; and he was truly a worthy head.

Read much more about Jesus and his siblings

Even though it was caused by such sad events, it really does make so much sense, and seems very appropriate that Jesus should have had this experience of parenting. Although Jesus never married, circumstances conspired to provide him with an experience of guiding these younger ones through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood as any good father would do. He endured difficulty with day-to-day living, just situations as face all parents.

Jesus' hardship were compounded by the poverty that resulted from losing Joseph as breadwinner. At age fourteen, he had to wrestle with many challenges, but by age 19, he had developed quite a successful parenting style.

And through this experience, he then could demonstrate with increasing clarity the Fatherhood of God himself, whose love and tender care he came to personify. And he learned to do this in increasing measure through these trials of living in his tender, adolesecent years of life - even before, and as, he was becoming aware of his true identity and his true mission to the world. .

Let Jesus help you be a better parent - and a better human being!

If you ever want guidance in your own parenting skills, you can't do any better than this:

Jesus' Parenting Style - Jesus' 19th Year

Again, we discover in The Urantia Book the rich life that Jesus lived; in this case, the details of his youth that are virtually unknown in the world. And the rest of his life is detailed in much the same way - in an almost daily chronicle of the trials and triumphs experienced by Jesus - the son of man and the Son of God.

Through this amazing narrative - what the book calls a "restatement" - we come to know Jesus in a way that is astounding, compelling, and completely believable. Like the stories of Jesus and his siblings, each and every stage of the Master's life is replete with lessons for living, lessons for loving, lessons that all mortals would do well to study. The Urantia Book authors state very clearly the importance of doing so:

2:0.2 The nature of God can be studied in a revelation of supreme ideas, the divine character can be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritually edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth, both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of divinity.

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.

Here's where to get started!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, February 07, 2017

Jesus Died...So Will We

By TruthBook Staff

This simple, stark title caught my eye: Jesus Died by Jeff Hood; turns out that the article is itself, pretty stark, too, but full of hope.

Please see our blog below, where we'll expand upon the idea of death and what The Urantia Book teaches us about it, but first, here's a small snip from the article:

"Yesterday, my son and I were coming home from his preschool. In the midst of our ride, I got a message. Someone I'd known for a long time had passed away. After processing the news, I expressed my sadness. In the midst of my grief, my son spoke up and said, 'Dad, don't you remember that Jesus died.' In his mind, the fact that Jesus died makes death ok."

Click to read the whole article

__________________

IS Death Okay?

The simple statement by the author's child that: 'Dad, don't you remember that Jesus died" and that this fact made death seem okay to him was very heartwarming to me. Out of the mouths of children come amazing truths sometimes...

Whether we believe that death is okay or not, the fact is that all of us on on our way to dying; from the day we are born, we are progressing towards death. In our modern Western culture, we tend to deny the reality of death; our medical establishment tries to help us avoid it and when death does overtake a patient, there is a feeling that science has failed, that medicine has failed, that death itself is a failure.

The Urantia Book helps us so much when we consider the subject of death; we learn that it is something that must be in place as a "technique of escape from the material life in the flesh."

The life and teachings of Jesus contain clues that death is not only okay, but that it contains the promise of a new life AFTER death.

Jesus himself died, of course, but after three days, he rose in a new form from the sleep of death. Before that, Jesus demonstrated that death had no hold on mortals when he resurrected Lazarus from death.

As we approach Holy Week in April, it might be helpful to remember that even for Jesus, death was inevitable. As a true human being, he had to have a death experience; it was not necessary that he be killed in the way that he was, but it was necessary that he die, just as all humans do. But as a human, he did show us that death is far from the end of life.

Why do we fear death?

It could be that we learn our fear of death from our culture; it could be that humans just naturally fear the unknown - and death is certainly THE great unknown. No one that we know - except Lazarus and Jesus - has returned from death, and so we have no concrete evidence of life after death from anyone we've ever known.The stories of Jesus' resurrection and of Lazarus restoration are stories that we may believe, but when it comes to our PERSONAL feelings, we may still be wary and anxious when we think about dying.

Again, the teachings of The Urantia Book help us to expand our perspective and to stretch our comprehension of death, so that our faith is ignited and our fears lessened.

What awaits us?

Many of us may have somewhat confused or murky ideas of life after death. We may expect streets of gold, angelic choirs, or a life of carefree existence. The facts as revealed in The Urantia Book are quite different.

Remember Jesus' counsel about the Fathers "many mansions?" These mansions are real - not edifices of brick and mortar, but architectural worlds that have been specially created and manufactured - worlds that lie outside of our view from earth, but within the universe we live in. They are called, appropriately enough, Mansion Worlds, and about them, The Urantia Book teaches:

47:0.1 The Creator Son [aka Jesus], when on Urantia, spoke of the "many mansions in the Father's universe." In a certain sense, all fifty-six of the encircling worlds of Jerusem are devoted to the transitional culture of ascending mortals, but the seven satellites of world number one are more specifically known as the mansion worlds.

Beginning with Mansion World #1, The Mansion Worlds are the stopping places for mortals when they die; on these worlds, we gradually shed the vestiges of material life. We receive new bodies that accurately reflect our spiritual essence; we are able to reconcile the handicaps under which we labored while in our earthly life ... handicaps of heredity, of health, of misadaptation:

47:3.7 On mansion world number one (or another in case of advanced status) you will resume your intellectual training and spiritual development at the exact level whereon they were interrupted by death. Between the time of planetary death or translation and resurrection on the mansion world, mortal man gains absolutely nothing aside from experiencing the fact of survival. You begin over there right where you leave off down here.

47:3.8 Almost the entire experience of mansion world number one pertains to deficiency ministry. Survivors arriving on this first of the detention spheres present so many and such varied defects of creature character and deficiencies of mortal experience that the major activities of the realm are occupied with the correction and cure of these manifold legacies of the life in the flesh on the material evolutionary worlds of time and space.

And on we go, through all seven of these worlds, until finally, we achieve "graduation" as true morontia beings before moving on to the next phase of our eternal lives:

47:10.7 Mortal death is a technique of escape from the material life in the flesh; and the mansonia experience of progressive life through seven worlds of corrective training and cultural education represents the introduction of mortal survivors to the morontia career, the transition life which intervenes between the evolutionary material existence and the higher spirit attainment of the ascenders of time who are destined to achieve the portals of eternity.

What is Morontia?

Morontia is a revealed term, unique to The Urantia Book. Here's how it is explained to us:

48:0.1 The Gods cannot—at least they do not—transform a creature of gross animal nature into a perfected spirit by some mysterious act of creative magic. When the Creators desire to produce perfect beings, they do so by direct and original creation, but they never undertake to convert animal-origin and material creatures into beings of perfection in a single step.

The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables.

Always this morontia transition intervenes between the mortal estate and the subsequent spirit status of surviving human beings. This intermediate state of universe progress differs markedly in the various local creations, but in intent and purpose they are all quite similar. The arrangement of the mansion and higher morontia worlds in Nebadon is fairly typical of the morontia transition regimes in this part of Orvonton.

Read all about the Morontia Life in The Urantia Book

And after that...?

We have an amazing journey ahead of us. The Father has a plan of ascension that actually begins here on earth and that spans a near-eternity of experiences; beginning with the seven Mansion Worlds, we progress through seven more stages of transformation until we at last stand in the presence of God and the perfect worlds of the central Universe.

And even then, we are not finished, for we have a thrilling destiny after achieveing the Father as Finaliters in endless service to the now-forming universes in the outer space levels.

Click to read about the Father's Acsension Plan

Click to see a chart of the Ascension Career

Click to read about the Corps of the Finality

So, in the end, the little boy who saw death as benign because "Jesus died," was absolutely right. Death need hold no fear for us. Once we understand how loving, how complete the Father's plan for each of his children is, we can certainly understand and gain comfort from the Urantia Book passage that states:

14:5.10 Love of adventure, curiosity, and dread of monotony—these traits inherent in evolving human nature—were not put there just to aggravate and annoy you during your short sojourn on earth, but rather to suggest to you that death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery.

Curiosity—the spirit of investigation, the urge of discovery, the drive of exploration—is a part of the inborn and divine endowment of evolutionary space creatures. These natural impulses were not given you merely to be frustrated and repressed. True, these ambitious urges must frequently be restrained during your short life on earth, disappointment must be often experienced, but they are to be fully realized and gloriously gratified during the long ages to come.

Click to read a compilation of inspiring Urantia Book teachings about Death

 

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, January 24, 2017

A Tragic Missed Meeting of Jesus and His Family

By TruthBook Staff

When I saw this article I just knew I wanted to share it with you...it is truly one of the most dramatic scenes from Jesus' life and in the life of his earth family. It's contained in this article: Jesus and his Family in the Manilla Bulletin. See our blog below, where we explore this poignant and important story, but here in this article, the entire story of this event from the Bible is presented; As you can see, it's a very short story that has come down to us in the Bible:

"Mark 3:31-35: The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

Click to read the entire article

_______________

We never want to underestimate or denigrate the Bible, or the good that it has done for centuries; nonetheless, Part IV of The Urantia Book - the Life and Teachings of Jesus provides the world with a complete restatement of events in Jesus' life that so far expands and improves the Bible stories that the comparison is striking, to say the least. And who wrote this account of Jesus life? It is from an eyewitness record that has been in safekeeping for centuries, awaiting the time when it could be delivered to a waiting world in ts entirety. That time is now, and all of mankind are the beneficiaries.

Urantia Book readers get "the rest of the story."

Here's a little background from The Urantia Book:

154:5.1 May 22 [29, AD] was an eventful day in the life of Jesus. On this Sunday morning, before daybreak, one of David's messengers arrived in great haste from Tiberias, bringing the word that Herod had authorized, or was about to authorize, the arrest of Jesus by the officers of the Sanhedrin. The receipt of the news of this impending danger caused David Zebedee to arouse his messengers and send them out to all the local groups of disciples, summoning them for an emergency council at seven o'clock that morning. When the sister-in-law of Jude (Jesus' brother) heard this alarming report, she hastened word to all of Jesus' family who dwelt near by, summoning them forthwith to assemble at Zebedee's house. And in response to this hasty call, presently there were assembled Mary [the mother of Jesus], James, Joseph, Jude, and Ruth [Jesus' siblings].

About 7:30 this morning Jesus began his parting address to almost one hundred believers who had crowded indoors to hear him. This was a solemn occasion for all present, but Jesus seemed unusually cheerful; he was once more like his normal self. The seriousness of weeks had gone, and he inspired all of them with his words of faith, hope, and courage.

Not long before this day, Jesus had delivered an "epochal sermon" that had inflamed the Pharisees and others, even leading them to accuse Jesus of being in league with devils. And in the week or so that followed, plans for the Master's impending arrest were made know to the apostolic party, necessitating a hasty retreat from the area.

The Tragic Missed Meeting

If you are a Urantia Book reader, you will recall that Mary and Jesus had developed a somewhat estranged relationship over the years; Mary had a hard time understanding her first-born son, and despite the visitation by Gabriel while she was carrying him, the years and their troubles had made it fade. So that now, as danger gathered around Jesus, she and the few siblings of Jesus who accompanied her, hoped to talk to Jesus and convince him to come home with them and stop his provocative behavior. And they were prssured by the authorities to do just that.

And so, the stage is set for one of the most dramatic and heartrending scenes involving Jesus and his earth family. Thiere was a rushed attempt to allow Jesus family to see him and talk to him before he had to leave in order to escape the impending arrest.

But, here's how it played out...note in the opening paragraph the addition of explantion regarding Mary's feeling towards Jesus in light of the Pharisees' attempts to persuade her to stop her "demented" son.:

JESUS' FAMILY ARRIVES

It was about eight o'clock on this Sunday morning when five members of Jesus' earth family arrived on the scene in response to the urgent summons of Jude's sister-in-law. Of all his family in the flesh, only one, Ruth, believed wholeheartedly and continuously in the divinity of his mission on earth. Jude and James, and even Joseph, still retained much of their faith in Jesus, but they had permitted pride to interfere with their better judgment and real spiritual inclinations. Mary was likewise torn between love and fear, between mother love and family pride. Though she was harassed by doubts, she could never quite forget the visit of Gabriel ere Jesus was born. The Pharisees had been laboring to persuade Mary that Jesus was beside himself, demented. They urged her to go with her sons and seek to dissuade him from further efforts at public teaching. They assured Mary that soon Jesus' health would break, and that only dishonor and disgrace could come upon the entire family as a result of allowing him to go on. And so, when the word came from Jude's sister-in-law, all five of them started at once for Zebedee's house, having been together at Mary's home, where they had met with the Pharisees the evening before. They had talked with the Jerusalem leaders long into the night, and all were more or less convinced that Jesus was acting strangely, that he had acted strangely for some time. While Ruth could not explain all of his conduct, she insisted that he had always treated his family fairly and refused to agree to the program of trying to dissuade him from further work.

On the way to Zebedee's house they talked these things over and agreed among themselves to try to persuade Jesus to come home with them, for, said Mary: "I know I could influence my son if he would only come home and listen to me." James and Jude had heard rumors concerning the plans to arrest Jesus and take him to Jerusalem for trial. They also feared for their own safety. As long as Jesus was a popular figure in the public eye, his family allowed matters to drift along, but now that the people of Capernaum and the leaders at Jerusalem had suddenly turned against him, they began keenly to feel the pressure of the supposed disgrace of their embarrassing position.

They had expected to meet Jesus, take him aside, and urge him to go home with them. They had thought to assure him that they would forget his neglect of them—they would forgive and forget—if he would only give up the foolishness of trying to preach a new religion which could bring only trouble to himself and dishonor upon his family. To all of this Ruth would say only: "I will tell my brother that I think he is a man of God, and that I hope he would be willing to die before he would allow these wicked Pharisees to stop his preaching." Joseph promised to keep Ruth quiet while the others labored with Jesus.

When they reached the Zebedee house, Jesus was in the very midst of delivering his parting address to the disciples. They sought to gain entrance to the house, but it was crowded to overflowing. Finally they established themselves on the back porch and had word passed in to Jesus, from person to person, so that it finally was whispered to him by Simon Peter, who interrupted his talking for the purpose, and who said: "Behold, your mother and your brothers are outside, and they are very anxious to speak with you." Now it did not occur to his mother how important was the giving of this parting message to his followers, neither did she know that his address was likely to be terminated any moment by the arrival of his apprehenders. She really thought, after so long an apparent estrangement, in view of the fact that she and his brothers had shown the grace actually to come to him, that Jesus would cease speaking and come to them the moment he received word they were waiting.

It was just another of those instances in which his earth family could not comprehend that he must be about his Father's business. And so Mary and his brothers were deeply hurt when, notwithstanding that he paused in his speaking to receive the message, instead of his rushing out to greet them, they heard his musical voice speak with increased volume: "Say to my mother and my brothers that they should have no fear for me. The Father who sent me into the world will not forsake me; neither shall any harm come upon my family. Bid them be of good courage and put their trust in the Father of the kingdom. But, after all, who is my mother and who are my brothers?" And stretching forth his hands toward all of his disciples assembled in the room, he said: "I have no mother; I have no brothers. Behold my mother and behold my brethren! For whosoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother, and my sister."

And when Mary heard these words, she collapsed in Jude's arms. They carried her out in the garden to revive her while Jesus spoke the concluding words of his parting message. He would then have gone out to confer with his mother and his brothers, but a messenger arrived in haste from Tiberias bringing word that the officers of the Sanhedrin were on their way with authority to arrest Jesus and carry him to Jerusalem. Andrew received this message and, interrupting Jesus, told it to him.

Andrew did not recall that David had posted some twenty-five sentinels about the Zebedee house, and that no one could take them by surprise; so he asked Jesus what should be done. The Master stood there in silence while his mother, having heard the words, "I have no mother," was recovering from the shock in the garden. It was at just this time that a woman in the room stood up and exclaimed, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and blessed are the breasts that nursed you." Jesus turned aside a moment from his conversation with Andrew to answer this woman by saying, "No, rather is the one blessed who hears the word of God and dares to obey it."

Further into the story, the authors of the Jesus Papers comment on the reality of the situation for Jesus:

Mary and Jesus' brothers thought that Jesus did not understand them, that he had lost interest in them, little realizing that it was they who failed to understand Jesus. Jesus fully understood how difficult it is for men to break with their past. He knew how human beings are swayed by the preacher's eloquence, and how the conscience responds to emotional appeal as the mind does to logic and reason, but he also knew how far more difficult it is to persuade men to disown the past.

It is forever true that all who may think they are misunderstood or not appreciated have in Jesus a sympathizing friend and an understanding counselor. He had warned his apostles that a man's foes may be they of his own household, but he had hardly realized how near this prediction would come to apply to his own experience. Jesus did not forsake his earth family to do his Father's work—they forsook him. Later on, after the Master's death and resurrection, when James became connected with the early Christian movement, he suffered immeasurably as a result of his failure to enjoy this earlier association with Jesus and his disciples.

In passing through these events, Jesus chose to be guided by the limited knowledge of his human mind. He desired to undergo the experience with his associates as a mere man. And it was in the human mind of Jesus to see his family before he left. He did not wish to stop in the midst of his discourse and thus render their first meeting after so long a separation such a public affair. He had intended to finish his address and then have a visit with them before leaving, but this plan was thwarted by the conspiracy of events which immediately followed.

The haste of their flight was augmented by the arrival of a party of David's messengers at the rear entrance of the Zebedee home. The commotion produced by these men frightened the apostles into thinking that these new arrivals might be their apprehenders, and in fear of immediate arrest, they hastened through the front entrance to the waiting boat. And all of this explains why Jesus did not see his family waiting on the back porch.

But he did say to David Zebedee as he entered the boat in hasty flight: "Tell my mother and my brothers that I appreciate their coming, and that I intended to see them. Admonish them to find no offense in me but rather to seek for a knowledge of the will of God and for grace and courage to do that will."

The Aftermath

154:7.1 And so it was on this Sunday morning, the twenty-second of May, in the year A.D. 29, that Jesus, with his twelve apostles and the twelve evangelists, engaged in this hasty flight from the Sanhedrin officers who were on their way to Bethsaida with authority from Herod Antipas to arrest him and take him to Jerusalem for trial on charges of blasphemy and other violations of the sacred laws of the Jews. It was almost half past eight this beautiful morning when this company of twenty-five manned the oars and pulled for the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus' family returned to their home in Capernaum and spent almost a week in talking, debating, and praying. They were filled with confusion and consternation. They enjoyed no peace of mind until Thursday afternoon, when Ruth returned from a visit to the Zebedee house, where she learned from David that her father-brother was safe and in good health and making his way toward the Phoenician coast.

More than just story-telling

This is a typical example of how the revelation of Jesus' real life in The Urantia Book splendidly improves and expands the limited knowledge that the Bible provides. In this story, as in so many others, the actual events are chronicled, the background is given, the context is provided...so that the reader understands all that happened, and why.

We are able to peer into the workings of Jesus' mind - to see why he did what he did, and also into the motivations and expectations of those around Jesus, too. We see throughout PART IV of The Urantia Book the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it for the benefit of the whole universe.

We see Jesus striving to fulfill his mission, even though he must split with the wishes of his earth family. It's easy to see how this event was so devastating to his mother, and it's also easy to see why it had to be that way. By this time, Jesus and his apostles had completed two preaching tours and were embarked on the third; he was well-known as a healer - thousands folowed him, and the authorities were determined to stop him.

As always we invite any who read this blog to explore The Uranrtia Book...if you are a lover of Jesus, if you are simply curious about Jesus, if you want to know what really happened all those centiuries ago, The Urantia Book will satisfy your search as nothng else can ... and will increase and cement your devotion to the Master

 

.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, January 23, 2017

Celebrating Jesus' Baptism

By TruthBook Staff

In January, the Christian world celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River. Urantia Book reader/students do too! This article shows us a large group of pigrims in the water, and it looks like a great time is being had by all. We have a blog about this momentous event below (a rewrite of an earlier blog), but first, here's a snippet from the article.

Wadi al-Kharrar (Jordanie) (AFP) - Thousands of Catholic Christians attended a special mass Friday on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River in an annual pilgrimage to the site where many believe Jesus was baptised.

Wadi al-Kharrar, or Bethany Beyond the Jordan, is where biblical historians believe Jesus was baptised by his cousin, John the Baptist, and began his public ministry.

Click to read more...

Do you find the Bible story of Jesus' baptism exciting? Meaningful? There's the account of this momentous happening at Matthew 3:13-17...only four lines or so. We don't have any problem with this, but Urantia Book readers know that there is so much more to the story. It's not that the information is wrong, but that it is so paltry. Elsewhere, we've even read where this is believed to be the first instance where Jesus is said to have spoken. Of course, Urantia Book readers know otherwise. Jesus was saying plenty, from childhood on...

But the occasion of Jesus' baptism is indeed a momentous one, and it does mark Jesus' formal entrance into his public ministry. Adding the narrative from The Urantia Book to your understanding of this occasion will be mind-expanding. I'll guide you through it.

Where was Jesus before he came to John for baptism? He had completed the sojourn on Mt Hermon, where he finally and for all time vanquished the apostate Caligastia and Satan, Lucifer's emissary. This occasion is the one that the Bible terms the "Great Temptation." If you click on the link, you'll discover its real purpose in Jesus' life.

Following that, Jesus went back to Capernaum and to his work in Zebedee's boatshop, until he received word that John the Baptist was drawing very close to Capernaum in his mission of baptizing believers:

134:9.8 As time passed, rumors came to Capernaum of one John who was preaching while baptizing penitents in the Jordan, and John preached: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and be baptized.” Jesus listened to these reports as John slowly worked his way up the Jordan valley from the ford of the river nearest to Jerusalem. But Jesus worked on, making boats, until John had journeyed up the river to a point near Pella in the month of January of the next year, A.D. 26, when he laid down his tools, declaring, “My hour has come,” and presently presented himself to John for baptism.

But a great change had been coming over Jesus. Few of the people who had enjoyed his visits and ministrations as he had gone up and down in the land ever subsequently recognized in the public teacher the same person they had known and loved as a private individual in former years. And there was a reason for this failure of his early beneficiaries to recognize him in his later role of public and authoritative teacher. For long years this transformation of mind and spirit had been in progress, and it was finished during the eventful sojourn on Mount Hermon.

The Urantia Book dates Jesus' baptism to Monday January 14, A.D. 26:

Here is the section called Meeting of Jesus and John, where the actual baptism takes place. In it we read:

135:8.6 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.

The entire next paper - Paper 136 - is devoted to Jesus' baptism and it's ramifications. You can read all about the profound meaning of the baptism HERE, wherein we read:

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.

And following the baptism, Jesus again went into seclusion in the hills of Mt Hermon for forty days in order to make final plans and decisions that would guide the public ministry upon which he was about to embark. About this event The Urantia Book teaches:

136:3.3 Jesus did not go into retirement for the purpose of fasting and for the affliction of his soul. He was not an ascetic, and he came forever to destroy all such notions regarding the approach to God. His reasons for seeking this retirement were entirely different from those which had actuated Moses and Elijah, and even John the Baptist. Jesus was then wholly self-conscious concerning his relation to the universe of his making and also to the universe of universes, supervised by the Paradise Father, his Father in heaven. He now fully recalled the bestowal charge and its instructions administered by his elder brother, Immanuel, ere he entered upon his Urantia incarnation. He now clearly and fully comprehended all these far-flung relationships, and he desired to be away for a season of quiet meditation so that he could think out the plans and decide upon the procedures for the prosecution of his public labors in behalf of this world and for all other worlds in his local universe.

Finally, what did Jesus say about "water baptism?"

141:6.5 The apostles made great progress during the sojourn at Amathus. But they were very much disappointed that Jesus would give them no suggestions about dealing with John’s disciples. Even in the important matter of baptism, all that Jesus said was: “John did indeed baptize with water, but when you enter the kingdom of heaven, you shall be baptized with the Spirit.”

And about the "baptism of the Spirit," Jesus said:

148:4.8 Men are, indeed, by nature evil, but not necessarily sinful. The new birth — the baptism of the spirit — is essential to deliverance from evil and necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but none of this detracts from the fact that man is the son of God. Neither does this inherent presence of potential evil mean that man is in some mysterious way estranged from the Father in heaven so that, as an alien, foreigner, or stepchild, he must in some manner seek for legal adoption by the Father. All such notions are born, first, of your misunderstanding of the Father and, second, of your ignorance of the origin, nature, and destiny of man.

So, there you have it. We here at TruthBook love the Bible - we respect it and its teachings, and yet, we are committed to exposing as many believers as possible to the greatly expanded and faithfully restated life and teachings of Jesus as presented in The Urantia Book. It is time for the world to be aware of Jesus' life as it was, and the purposes of his mission.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, January 23, 2017

JesusThe Faith Healer

By TruthBook Staff

Here's a good article in the popular Christian press about the healing of the woman with the scourging hemorrhage - a healing which is followed closely by the raising of Jairus' daughter from what appeared to be the sleep of death. The article is called: Jesus loves you, doesn't want you to suffer by Charles Placker. In both the Bible and The Urantia Book, these two stories are presented together, the first leading into the second. Jairus had implored Jesus to heal his daughter, and while on the way to Jairus' house, Jesus encounters the afflicted woman, who touches the hem of his robe and is healed of her infirmity. Please see our blog below, but first, here's a snip from the article, which presents a unique view of it all...a good view:

"As the boat comes toward the shore, the clear air from the storm the night before has brought a crowd to see which boats have weathered the storm. The people of Capernium are watching as they see the boat carrying the popular Rabbi who is said to perform miracles.

"As the boat comes to land, the leader of the synagogue named Jairus pleads with Jesus to come to his sick daughter's bed. As Jesus walks with Jairus, suddenly he stopped.

"At this point, Mark tells a whole new story. As they walked Jesus stopped in the midst of the crowd and said, "Someone touched me." A woman steps forth. She has had a flow of blood for 12 years and now that she has touched the Rabbi, she is cured.

"In our hurry to have Jesus reach the dying girl, we somehow see this story as less significant. The disciples did also, and the father of the sick child, especially. But to Jesus, this woman is important. He touches people where they are.

"She had been to all the doctors and suffered from the remedies as much as her ailment. They have taken her money and given no help in return. Her life has been on hold for 12 years. She was not only unclean physically, she was also ritually. Her life was on hold, and she was dying a little every day. Still, we tend to want Jesus to get on to the sick child. This woman was unclean with her disease, yet somehow, no one but Jesus cares."

Click to read the article

_____________

Unexplained Healing Phenomena

Yes, the woman with the scourging emorrhage is a fascinating story - in The Urantia Book and in the Bible, it is explained as a healing resulting from the woman's faith. And as the writer of the article points out, it seems almost a side-story while we wait to find out about Jairus' daughter. But, far from a side-story, here we present an interesting commentary by the Urantia Book authors of the Jesus Papers regarding the amazing number of healings that took place when Jesus was present during this period of his life:

149:1.2 There began to appear about the time of this mission—and continued throughout the remainder of Jesus' life on earth—a peculiar and unexplained series of healing phenomena. In the course of this three months' tour more than one hundred men, women, and children from Judea, Idumea, Galilee, Syria, Tyre, and Sidon, and from beyond the Jordan were beneficiaries of this unconscious healing by Jesus and, returning to their homes, added to the enlargement of Jesus' fame. And they did this notwithstanding that Jesus would, every time he observed one of these cases of spontaneous healing, directly charge the beneficiary to "tell no man."

It was never revealed to us just what occurred in these cases of spontaneous or unconscious healing. The Master never explained to his apostles how these healings were effected, other than that on several occasions he merely said, "I perceive that power has gone forth from me." On one occasion he remarked when touched by an ailing child, "I perceive that life has gone forth from me."

In fact, the Master declared a similar thing when the woman with the hemorrhage touched his robe:

152:0.2 As Jesus went along with Jairus, the large crowd which had heard the father's request followed on to see what would happen. Shortly before they reached the ruler's house, as they hastened through a narrow street and as the throng jostled him, Jesus suddenly stopped, exclaiming, "Someone touched me." And when those who were near him denied that they had touched him, Peter spoke up: "Master, you can see that this crowd presses you, threatening to crush us, and yet you say `someone has touched me.' What do you mean?" Then Jesus said: "I asked who touched me, for I perceived that living energy had gone forth from me."

And of course, we know the rest of the story, presented here in its entirety from The Urantia Book:

As Jesus looked about him, his eyes fell upon a near-by woman, who, coming forward, knelt at his feet and said: "For years I have been afflicted with a scourging hemorrhage. I have suffered many things from many physicians; I have spent all my substance, but none could cure me. Then I heard of you, and I thought if I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall certainly be made whole. And so I pressed forward with the crowd as it moved along until, standing near you, Master, I touched the border of your garment, and I was made whole; I know that I have been healed of my affliction."

When Jesus heard this, he took the woman by the hand and, lifting her up, said: "Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in peace." It was her faith and not her touch that made her whole. And this case is a good illustration of many apparently miraculous cures which attended upon Jesus' earth career, but which he in no sense consciously willed. The passing of time demonstrated that this woman was really cured of her malady. Her faith was of the sort that laid direct hold upon the creative power resident in the Master's person. With the faith she had, it was only necessary to approach the Master's person. It was not at all necessary to touch his garment; that was merely the superstitious part of her belief. Jesus called this woman, Veronica of Caesarea Philippi, into his presence to correct two errors which might have lingered in her mind, or which might have persisted in the minds of those who witnessed this healing: He did not want Veronica to go away thinking that her fear in attempting to steal her cure had been honored, or that her superstition in associating the touch of his garment with her healing had been effective. He desired all to know that it was her pure and living faith that had wrought the cure.

How Did it Happen?

Here's more about this unusual healing phenomenon:

149:1.4 In the absence of direct word from the Master regarding the nature of these cases of spontaneous healing, it would be presuming on our part to undertake to explain how they were accomplished, but it will be permissible to record our opinion of all such healing phenomena. We believe that many of these apparent miracles of healing, as they occurred in the course of Jesus' earth ministry, were the result of the coexistence of the following three powerful, potent, and associated influences:

1. The presence of strong, dominant, and living faith in the heart of the human being who persistently sought healing, together with the fact that such healing was desired for its spiritual benefits rather than for purely physical restoration.

2. The existence, concomitant with such human faith, of the great sympathy and compassion of the incarnated and mercy-dominated Creator Son of God, who actually possessed in his person almost unlimited and timeless creative healing powers and prerogatives.

3. Along with the faith of the creature and the life of the Creator it should also be noted that this God-man was the personified expression of the Father's will. If, in the contact of the human need and the divine power to meet it, the Father did not will otherwise, the two became one, and the healing occurred unconsciously to the human Jesus but was immediately recognized by his divine nature. The explanation, then, of many of these cases of healing must be found in a great law which has long been known to us, namely, What the Creator Son desires and the eternal Father wills IS.

It is, then, our opinion that, in the personal presence of Jesus, certain forms of profound human faith were literally and truly compelling in the manifestation of healing by certain creative forces and personalities of the universe who were at that time so intimately associated with the Son of Man. It therefore becomes a fact of record that Jesus did frequently suffer men to heal themselves in his presence by their powerful, personal faith.

Were all the Cures Miraculous?

The Urantia Book helps us all to understand more about the healings that have been assumed to be miracles; some were, but many were not, as explained in the passages above, where we discover that hundreds of people were beneficiaries of "unconscious healing by Jesus." Many were simple a result of the sufferer's faith, coupled with the experience of being in the actual presence of Jesus. Can you imagine what that must have been like? It is mind-boggling, not to mention mightily inspiring!

The story continues with the raising of Jairus' daughter - again, not a miracle, but Jesus had a hard time explaining it away:

152:1.2 Since there was much agitation in Capernaum against Jesus, he called the family together and explained that the maiden had been in a state of coma following a long fever, and that he had merely aroused her, that he had not raised her from the dead. He likewise explained all this to his apostles, but it was futile; they all believed he had raised the little girl from the dead. What Jesus said in explanation of many of these apparent miracles had little effect on his followers. They were miracle-minded and lost no opportunity to ascribe another wonder to Jesus. Jesus and the apostles returned to Bethsaida after he had specifically charged all of them that they should tell no man.

The authors of Part IV of the Urantia Book comment:

152:1.5 Never before Jesus was on earth, nor since, has it been possible so directly and graphically to secure the results attendant upon the strong and living faith of mortal men and women. To repeat these phenomena, we would have to go into the immediate presence of Michael, the Creator, and find him as he was in those days—the Son of Man. Likewise, today, while his absence prevents such material manifestations, you should refrain from placing any sort of limitation on the possible exhibition of his spiritual power. Though the Master is absent as a material being, he is present as a spiritual influence in the hearts of men. By going away from the world, Jesus made it possible for his spirit to live alongside that of his Father which indwells the minds of all mankind.

While the authors of The Urantia Book instruct us that many of the cures and healings that happened around Jesus were not miracles, they certainly do instruct us about which ones WERE real miracles. You can read about all of these miracles and some of the other amazing events that only seemed miraculous HERE

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Sun, December 11, 2016

Jesus and His Personality

By TruthBook Staff

Does anyone remember the Meyers/Briggs Personality types? This analysis of type was pretty popular in recent years, so when I saw this article: What Was Jesus' Personality Type? by Gayle Weinraub I was interested to read it. Turns out that it's a great article about Jesus and how his personality stacks up according to the Meyers/Briggs ratings system of extroversion vs introverson, sensing vs intuition, thinking vs feeling, and judging vs perceiving. If you're a student of psychology you also might find this analysis of Jesus' pesonality pretty fascinating.

See our blog below about finding the REAL personality of Jesus through the revelation of The Urantia Book, but here's a snippet from the article to whet your appetite...in fact you might be inspired to determine your own personality type after you read it! :

"Do you ever wonder what Jesus Christ's personality was like? Have you felt curious at times about what he was like as a son, neighbor, friend, student, teacher? What kind of experience do you suppose it was to interact with him?

"The four Gospels in the New Testament show us how he acted and reacted in a number of different situations. But what was he really like, to those who knew him best and those encountering him for the first time? What were his type preferences?

"Of course, we can't know for sure since we can't ask him how he was energized (E or I), how he took in information (S or N) and used it to make decisions (T or F), or how he oriented himself to the outer world (J or P). We can get some ideas by reading about him in the Bible, but as with each of us, Jesus himself would have to be the final judge of what his personality preferences were.

Nonetheless it is interesting and informative to search the Gospels to see how he handled a variety of situations and for clues as to what his personality preferences might have been. The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and most concise, with a mere 26 pages in my Bible compared to 32 for John, 41 for Matthew and 45 for Luke. So Mark is the one I looked at the most to gather evidence about Jesus' type preferences.

Click to read the article

________________________

As the author states, she used Scripture to make her guesses about Jesus' personality; in fact she used the shortest of the Gospels to make her determinations. I wonder what she would decide if she had known and consulted The Urantia Book for her conclusions?

She does ask the questions though, that are easily answered by any student of The Urantia Book: She wonders what he was like as "a son, neighbor, friend, student, teacher?" She wonders, "What kind of experience do you suppose it was to interact with him?"

For detailed answers to each of these questions, we of course recommend that anyone who wants to know the real story to read the entire Life and Teachings of Jesus in Part IV of The Urantia Book. But even in this short space, we can give a beautiful thumbnail portrait of many important aspects of the Master's character and personality:

What Was Jesus Really Like?

From our topical study titled: Jesus of Nazareth - A Character Study

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.

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.

As Jesus mingled with the people, they found him entirely free from the superstitions of that day. He was free from religious prejudices; he was never intolerant. He had nothing in his heart resembling social antagonism. While he complied with the good in the religion of his fathers, he did not hesitate to disregard man-made traditions of superstition and bondage. He dared to teach that catastrophes of nature, accidents of time, and other calamitous happenings are not visitations of divine judgments or mysterious dispensations of Providence. He denounced slavish devotion to meaningless ceremonials and exposed the fallacy of materialistic worship. He boldly proclaimed man's spiritual freedom and dared to teach that mortals of the flesh are indeed and in truth sons of the living God.

On both friends and foes he exercised a strong and peculiarly fascinating influence. Multitudes would follow him for weeks, just to hear his gracious words and behold his simple life. Devoted men and women loved Jesus with a well-nigh superhuman affection. And the better they knew him the more they loved him. And all this is still true; even today and in all future ages, the more man comes to know this God-man, the more he will love and follow after him.

It was not so much what Jesus taught about the balanced character that impressed his associates as the fact that his own life was such an eloquent exemplification of his teaching. He lived in the midst of stress and storm, but he never wavered. His enemies continually laid snares for him, but they never entrapped him. The wise and learned endeavored to trip him, but he did not stumble. They sought to embroil him in debate, but his answers were always enlightening, dignified, and final. When he was interrupted in his discourses with multitudinous questions, his answers were always significant and conclusive. Never did he resort to ignoble tactics in meeting the continuous pressure of his enemies, who did not hesitate to employ every sort of false, unfair, and unrighteous mode of attack upon him.

Jesus of Nazareth was indeed a strong and forceful personality; he was an intellectual power and a spiritual stronghold. His personality not only appealed to the spiritually minded women among his followers, but also to the educated and intellectual Nicodemus and to the hardy Roman soldier, the captain stationed on guard at the cross, who, when he had finished watching the Master die, said, "Truly, this was a Son of God." And red- blooded, rugged Galilean fishermen called him Master.

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 Son of Man was always a well-poised personality. Even his enemies maintained a wholesome respect for him; they even feared his presence. Jesus was unafraid. He was surcharged with divine enthusiasm, but he never became fanatical. He was emotionally active but never flighty. He was imaginative but always practical. He frankly faced the realities of life, but he was never dull or prosaic. He was courageous but never reckless; prudent but never cowardly. He was sympathetic but not sentimental; unique but not eccentric. He was pious but not sanctimonious. And he was so well-poised because he was so perfectly unified.

Jesus was an unusually cheerful person, but he was not a blind and unreasoning optimist. His constant word of exhortation was, "Be of good cheer." He could maintain this confident attitude because of his unswerving trust in God and his unshakable confidence in man. He was always touchingly considerate of all men because he loved them and believed in them. Still he was always true to his convictions and magnificently firm in his devotion to the doing of his Father's will.

Jesus was the perfectly unified human personality. And today, as in Galilee, he continues to unify mortal experience and to co- ordinate human endeavors. He unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure it. It is literally true: "If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new."

Also of interest in this study is the narration of how each of the apostles viewed Jesus. It's really fascinating...check it out!

Explore it ALL! The most important knowledge...

Again, for the most thrilling and complete picture of Jesus and his personality, please explore PART IV of The Urantia Book. The authors of the book admonish us:

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.

You can know all about that life and "the perfectly unified human personality" of Jesus - through reading The Urantia Book...!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, November 21, 2016

Jesus' Revolutionary Ideas

By TruthBook Staff

Here is another interesting and inspiring article about Jesus - how he revolutionized peoples' thinking in his day, and how that revolution in thought continues today, The article is called: 4 times Jesus changed the rules and what we can learn from them by Patrick Mabilog. We offer our blog below with a slight twist, but here are a few snippets from the article: It' a good read!

"Love your enemies. In a culture where it's often "me against the world," Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:43-44, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." It's other worldly even today to even consider behaving in such a way that blesses not just those who do good to you, but even those who are out to malign or hurt you.

"Sabbath is for man, not man for sabbath. In a society previously influenced by the domineering and letter-following ways of Pharisees and Sadducees prior to Jesus initiating His ministry, everyone was used to blindly following traditions and laws just because they were told to. Jesus challenged that by getting people to ask "why?" and "how does this benefit me?"

"Conviction not condemnation. When Jesus stood up in front of the woman being accused of adultery and said "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more," (John 8:11) people had seen something that they were not accustomed to- they saw mercy.

"Forgive always. Peter thought he was being a hot-shot by saying that he would forgive seven times instead of the standard three that common judiciary systems would have in that day, but Jesus challenges even that and says in Matthew 18:22 "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy- seven times."

Click to read the entire article

______________________

Revolutionary, indeed!

Here are corollary teachings from The Urantia Book, in reference to the stories mentioned above:

Love your enemies:

103:5.2 This idea-ideal of doing good to others—the impulse to deny the ego something for the benefit of one's neighbor—is very circumscribed at first. Primitive man regards as neighbor only those very close to him, those who treat him neighborly; as religious civilization advances, one's neighbor expands in concept to embrace the clan, the tribe, the nation. And then Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral—right. Even those who practice this ideal least, admit that it is right in theory.
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." (Jesus)
188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends—and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.

Sabbath is for man, not man for sabbath.

147:6.4 And then said Jesus to the accusers: "You are indeed zealous for the law, and you do well to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; but did you never read in the Scripture that, one day when David was hungry, he and they who were with him entered the house of God and ate the showbread, which it was not lawful for anyone to eat save the priests? and David also gave this bread to those who were with him. And have you not read in our law that it is lawful to do many needful things on the Sabbath day? And shall I not, before the day is finished, see you eat that which you have brought along for the needs of this day? My good men, you do well to be zealous for the Sabbath, but you would do better to guard the health and well-being of your fellows. I declare that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. And if you are here present with us to watch my words, then will I openly proclaim that the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

Conviction not condemnation.

162:3.5 Jesus said: "Woman, where are your accusers? did no man remain to stone you?" And the woman, lifting up her eyes, answered, "No man, Lord." And then said Jesus: "I know about you; neither do I condemn you. Go your way in peace." And this woman, Hildana, forsook her wicked husband and joined herself to the disciples of the kingdom.

Forgive always.

Said Jesus:

159:1.3 "The Father in heaven loves his children, and therefore should you learn to love one another; the Father in heaven forgives you your sins; therefore should you learn to forgive one another."
159:1.5 "How can you come to God asking consideration for your shortcomings when you are wont to chastise your brethren for being guilty of these same human frailties? I say to all of you: Freely you have received the good things of the kingdom; therefore freely give to your fellows on earth."
170:2.23 "When you forgive your brother in the flesh, you thereby create the capacity in your own soul for the reception of the reality of God's forgiveness of your own misdeeds."

Jesus' Revolutionary Ideas

Yes, they were revolutionary then, and still are today.

When the world says it's all just about you, Jesus says it's all about loving and living for one another, even loving our enemies...

When the world says vengeance, Jesus says mercy...

When the world accuses, Jesus says look into the heart of the accused to understand the motive...

And when the world says get even, Jesus says forgive...

And I'd like to add: When the multitude of churches of the world say follow our rules and authority, Jesus says follow the absolute authority of God, who quite literally, dwells in your heart and mind

Wait, What?

If you are a Urantia Book reader, the sentence above will make perfect sense, but to a person who relies solely on the church that they belong to for spiritual guidance and truth, this can seem almost blasphemous.

Many of us were raised in the shadows (or the embrace) of institutionalized religion - meaning religions that are created by man and that are evolutionary in nature...in other words, the religions change over time, the rules change, the morals change, the leadership changes. Christianity is such a religion; Catholicism, the Jewish religion, Mormonism, Islam...all are evolutionary, earthly religions. And they are all GOOD, just to the extent that they bring a believer closer to God, and God to the believer.

Read more about institutionalized religion

But oftentimes, people can grow weary of church authority, especially when it may go against one's inner sense of reason and logic. Or it goes against one's sense of truth, rightness. There are always the sincere truthseekers, who sense there is "more to the story" than they know...maybe you're one of those?

This is the place

One of the greatest parts of The Urantia Book is the detailed revelation of "God-within," a phrase that we've all heard forever. But what does it really MEAN? And how does it work? The Urantia Book has many papers devoted to this very subject. These are some of the most thrilling papers of the book, believe me. If you are a sincere seeker, you will be kept rapt with attention.

It is that true fragment of God, what Jesus called the "true light that lights up the world," that was referred to above as the "authority of God." Every one of us has this fragment (called the Thought Adjuster in the Urantia Book) and everyone of us can choose to be a cocreator with that God-within by finding and doing the will of God. That fragment is a guide, the "still, small voice," the silent voice inside that helps us to think with God. And it is the part of God that is with us throughout eternity, always part of our lives.

See Urantia Book teachings on Thought Adjusters

Jesus did not establish Christianity. He came not to establish a church, but the invisible brotherhood, the Kingdom of Heaven within the hearts of mankind. He told us the the kingdom was within us, and it is...

See Jesus teachings on the Kingdom

Did Jesus have a religion that he followed?

In Jesus' experience, the best way for him to know who he was and how to accomplish his mission was to talk to the Father. Oftentimes he communed with his Father...many, many times in The Urantia Book, we see examples of Jeus practicing the religion of personal spiritual experience. Jesus sat at no man's feet. He did not learn religion from any priest, rabbi, or chazen. He learned his religion by being with God, and talking to him...having communion, in the highest sense.

Jesus had a Thought Adjuster, just as we have. His was somewhat special, owing to the nature of his divinity, but nonetheless, he had a Thought Adjuster; and that adjuster guided the human Jesus just as ours does with us today. It is personal experience with the Father that becomes our religion...the basis for our moral code of conduct, our dealings with others, our day-to-day growth of the fruits of the Spirit. Once we experience for a certain that God is guiding us, we grow more and more comfortable with it, until it becomes second nature to "have a little talk" with the Father in Heaven on a regular basis, just as we would converse with a good friend - just as Jesus did throughout his life

Read about the Religion of Jesus and Personal Spiritual Experience

For the most complete story of Jesus' life and his teachings, please see PART IV of The Urantia Book.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next >>
Atom     RSS