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Thu, April 19, 2018

Jesus the Traveler

By TruthBook staff jesus, jesus travels, urantia book, jesus travels to rome,

All Urantia Book readers know that Jesus was a world traveler. He never reached as far as the Himalayas, as this article suggests: Did Jesus of Nazareth Travel to the Far East? by Mary A Joyce, but he did tour the whole Mediterranean region, going as far a the Swiss Alps at one point. Jesus' travels are the subject of three papers in The Urantia Book, and they fill in part of those "missing years" of his life that remain so intriguing to his followers. We'll blog about this below, but first, here are a snippet from the article:

"It is a mistake to think there wasn't international travel during Jesus' time ... Perhaps with some helpful knowledge and influence from Joseph of Arimathea, it would have been easy for Jesus to join a caravan or board a ship headed to the Far East. Indeed, there is evidence that he did."

Click to read more

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Incidentally, the "evidence" cited in this article of Jesus having traveled to the Himalayas is sketchy or apocryphal at best. You may feel differently, though. It is an interesting article in any event. And according to The Urantia Book, Jesus did travel - a lot...

While some may see The Urantia Book as sketchy too, it has the added cache of claiming itself as an epochal revelation. When one opens one's mind to entertain that possibility - that this restated account, these stories of Jesus' life, are a gift from our celestial friends who were actual witnesses, these stories come fully alive and assist the reader in understanding more fully the mission and ministry of this God/man/brother. The stories have been preserved by the angels - nowhere else will you ever read about Jesus' travels as you will in The Urantia Book. These stories are truly a revelation

Why did Jesus travel?

The Urantia Book is a modern-day revelation of truth to our world. The fourth of its four parts is the Life and Teachings of Jesus, and it is an amazing account of that matchless life, never before seen on this world. Up until the advent of The Urantia Book on the scene in 1955, the only accounting of Jesus' life was contained in the four gospels of the Bible. Taken all together, these accounts still remain a very scanty account. They do not reveal anything about the Master's life between the time of Herod's search for him and his exodus to Egypt and the time of his sojourn to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph as a teeange; and then nothing more from those years between and the time of his Baptism and the start of his public ministry. Where was Jesus during those years?

The Urantia Book tells us that one of the main purposes for Jesus' incarnation on our world was to learn everything he could about humanity - to get as close to the races and peoples of the world as he could get - to learn from all types of people from many diverse cultures how people differed in their approaches to life. The reason for this is so that Jesus, as the Creator Son, would become a wise, sympathetic and merciful ruler of this universe of his making. Having incarnated six times previously in the likeness of six other creatures who inhabit his universe, he came to our world on his seventh and last bestowal to experience life as a human being, from birth to death.

About this process, The Urantia Book teaches:

119:0.4 The purpose of these creature incarnations is to enable such Creators to become wise, sympathetic, just, and understanding sovereigns. These divine Sons are innately just, but they become understandingly merciful as a result of these successive bestowal experiences; they are naturally merciful, but these experiences make them merciful in new and additional ways. These bestowals are the last steps in their education and training for the sublime tasks of ruling the local universes in divine righteousness and by just judgment.

And so, it would seem an obvious endeavor for the son of man to travel and get to know people as much as possible. After an eventful childhood, adolescence, and early manhood, Jesus accepted a job as interpreter and tutor for an Indian merchant and his son; their travels took them throughout the Mediterranean regions for nearly two years.

About the importance of this trip, we learn:

129:3.7 The Son of Man, during the time and through the experiences of this tour of the Roman world, practically completed his educational contact-training with the diversified peoples of the world of his day and generation. By the time of his return to Nazareth, through the medium of this travel-training he had just about learned how man lived and wrought out his existence on Urantia.

129:3.8 The real purpose of his trip around the Mediterranean basin was to know men. He came very close to hundreds of humankind on this journey. He met and loved all manner of men, rich and poor, high and low, black and white, educated and uneducated, cultured and uncultured, animalistic and spiritual, religious and irreligious, moral and immoral.

129:3.9 On this Mediterranean journey Jesus made great advances in his human task of mastering the material and mortal mind, and his indwelling Adjuster made great progress in the ascension and spiritual conquest of this same human intellect. By the end of this tour Jesus virtually knew—with all human certainty—that he was a Son of God, a Creator Son of the Universal Father. The Adjuster more and more was able to bring up in the mind of the Son of Man shadowy memories of his Paradise experience in association with his divine Father ere he ever came to organize and administer this local universe of Nebadon. Thus did the Adjuster, little by little, bring to Jesus' human consciousness those necessary memories of his former and divine existence in the various epochs of the well-nigh eternal past. The last episode of his prehuman experience to be brought forth by the Adjuster was his farewell conference with Immanuel of Salvington just before his surrender of conscious personality to embark upon the Urantia incarnation. And this final memory picture of prehuman existence was made clear in Jesus' consciousness on the very day of his baptism by John in the Jordan.

130:0.6 From firsthand observation and actual contact Jesus acquainted himself with the higher material and intellectual civilization of the Occident and the Levant; from Gonod and his brilliant son he learned a great deal about the civilization and culture of India and China, for Gonod, himself a citizen of India, had made three extensive trips to the empire

Everywhere Jesus went, he taught

During this extended trip, Jesus delivered some of his most thrilling and inspiring treachings; among them are:

DISCOURSE ON JONAH

DISCOURSE ON REALITY

GOOD AND EVIL , And

DISCOURSE ON THE SOUL

Also while on this trip, Jesus had some of the most touching and inspiring of encounters as he practiced personal ministry with many sorts of people during his Sojourn at Rome

Later on, after the completion of the Mediterranean trip, Jesus traveled even more, as a caravan conductor through the Caspian regions:

134:2.3 Of all his world travels this Caspian Sea trip carried Jesus nearest to the Orient and enabled him to gain a better understanding of the Far-Eastern peoples. He made intimate and personal contact with every one of the surviving races of Urantia excepting the red. He equally enjoyed his personal ministry to each of these varied races and blended peoples, and all of them were receptive to the living truth which he brought them. The Europeans from the Far West and the Asiatics from the Far East alike gave attention to his words of hope and eternal life and were equally influenced by the life of loving service and spiritual ministry which he so graciously lived among them.

Read the thrilling accounts

We never learn that Jesus went as far as the Himalayas, but he did sojourn as far as the Swiss Alps. Thne legends and speculations about his travels to India and these other places might be the result of later infiltration of his teachings thanks to the apostle Nathaniel, who did go to India and died there.

Read about the 2-year trip to the Mediterranean HERE

And about the trip to the Caspian HERE

And for the most complete picture of Jesus, please see Part IV of The Urantia Book: The Life and Teachings of Jesus

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Tue, April 10, 2018

Want to know more about Jesus?

By TruthBook Staff jesus and women, urantia book, siblings of jesus, ethics of jesus

Think you know a lot about Jesus? Here's good article from "Eternity News" about the Master that might be of interest to you: 5 things you may not know about Jesus by John Dickson. The author makes some great observations about Jesus that he's gleaned from the Bible; and we're going to blog about all of them below, but first, here's a thumbnail view of the five things. Click on the link to read how the author fleshes out these ideas. You'll see that his views are not unlike what we Urantia Book students understand of Jesus.

1. People have no idea how huge a field the study of Jesus is, even among people who don't believe.

2. Women were huge in Jesus life.

3. Jesus grew up in a pretty big family...

4. Jesus was something like a refugee.

5. "Love your enemies..." core to the ethical life...

Click to read more.

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The Urantia Book is a treasure in more ways than one, but when reading the Bible, it is wonderful for finding out the deeper story...the story that has been revealed by the authors of the book. In all of these cases of "things you may not know about Jesus," we'll show you the rest of the story...

Jesus is a perennial hot topic

The almost explosive surge of interest in Jesus in books, movies, news articles has continued unabated for many years now, and this interest only seems to intensify as the years go on. As the author points out: "It's a massive field."

As Urantia Book readers, we can only agree, and watch hopefully as the world struggles to make sense of the life of Jesus and to discover who he really was - and IS. For any student of the revelation, this constant and increasing quest for knowledge about Jesus just might be indicative of the presence of the Spirit of Truth that has been active in the hearts of mankind ever sence the day of Pentecost. About this good Spirit, the Urantia Book tells us:

Jesus lived on earth and taught a gospel which redeemed man from the superstition that he was a child of the devil and elevated him to the dignity of a faith son of God. Jesus' message, as he preached it and lived it in his day, was an effective solvent for man's spiritual difficulties in that day of its statement. And now that he has personally left the world, he sends in his place his Spirit of Truth, who is designed to live in man and, for each new generation, to restate the Jesus message so that every new group of mortals to appear upon the face of the earth shall have a new and up-to-date version of the gospel, just such personal enlightenment and group guidance as will prove to be an effective solvent for man's ever-new and varied spiritual difficulties.

While this statement emphasizes that the Spirit of Truth is designed to "live in man and, for each new generation, to restate the Jesus message ...", it seeems clear that the search for that "Jesus message" is the quest of all of this interest in Jesus. And The Urantia Book, as well as countless websites dedicated to its teachings, is out in the world, too, providing an attractive beacon to any truthseeker who finds it in their search. And once they find it, this good Spirit helps the message resound in the heart of every sincere seeker. When one looks for information on Jesus in connection with The Urantia Book, one can find countless articles that can be very helpful to discover Jesus anew.

Read more about the Spirit of Truth

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Jesus and Women

The author above states: "Women were huge in Jesus life."

And according to The Urantia Book, they truly were:

"The most astonishing and the most revolutionary feature of Michael's mission on earth was his attitude toward women. In a day and generation when a man was not supposed to salute even his own wife in a public place, Jesus dared to take women along as teachers of the gospel in connection with his third tour of Galilee. And he had the consummate courage to do this in the face of the rabbinic teaching which declared that it was "better that the words of the law should be burned than delivered to women."

This passage refers to Jesus' establishment of the Women's Evangelistic Corps. Read more about that, as well as much more about Jesus and his "revolutionary" attitude toward women in our study on this topic: "Jesus and Women."

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Jesus' Earth Family

The author above says: "Jesus grew up in a pretty big family..."

And the earth family of Jesus was even larger than the one posited by the author of the article. He has figured out more than most about how many siblings Jesus had, but The Urantia Book introduces us to Jesus family in great detail. Please see our topical study:

Siblings: Jesus' Brothers and Sisters.

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Jesus, the Nomad

The author references the flight to Egypt of the little family soon after Jesus' birth as evidence of their efugee staus. They truly were starngers in a strange land. Although not revealed by reading the Bible, The Urantia Book tells us that at least they did not have to make their way entirely alone, but were able to stay with relatives in that far land. Again, the rest of the story, and much, much more about these heretofore unknown days of the Master's early life. All of Paper 122, 123, and beyond...:

122:10.4 The massacre of these infants took place about the middle of October, 6 B.C., when Jesus was a little over one year of age. But there were believers in the coming Messiah even among Herod's court attachés, and one of these, learning of the order to slaughter the Bethlehem boy babies, communicated with Zacharias, who in turn dispatched a messenger to Joseph; and the night before the massacre Joseph and Mary departed from Bethlehem with the babe for Alexandria in Egypt. In order to avoid attracting attention, they journeyed alone to Egypt with Jesus. They went to Alexandria on funds provided by Zacharias, and there Joseph worked at his trade while Mary and Jesus lodged with well-to-do relatives of Joseph's family. They sojourned in Alexandria two full years, not returning to Bethlehem until after the death of Herod.

Jesus lived a nomadic life by the time he reached his late twenties, and really lived as a citizen of the world, more than a citizen of one particular town or another, and:

141:3.4 There was a subtle commanding influence in his rugged, nomadic, and homeless life.

He once talked about this when he said that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

157:6.12 Can you believe the truth about me in the face of the fact that, though the foxes have holes and the birds of heaven have nests, I have not where to lay my head?" 

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Jesus' Ethics - A challenge for any age

As familiar as we all are with the Master's teachings about loving one's enemies, this teaching of his remains one of the most revolutionary of his teachings. It is far removed from what we learn in the world, where resentment, revenge, and getting even are hallmarks of daily life. Jesus told his apostles: " If you were of this world, then would the world love its own, but because you are not, the world refuses to love you. You are in this world, but your lives are not to be worldlike."

The world scoffs at the idea of loving the enemy; wars, hatreds, resentments are all evidences of that inability to grasp the importance of Jesus' idea of true brotherhood - a brotherhood that mandates we treat our fellows as God treats us, with a fatherly affection.

140:3.15 "I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them."

140:3.14 "Do not forcibly resist injustice; put not your trust in the arm of the flesh. If your neighbor smites you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Be willing to suffer injustice rather than to go to law among yourselves. In kindness and with mercy minister to all who are in distress and in need."

178:1.17 Throughout the vicissitudes of life, remember always to love one another. Do not strive with men, even with unbelievers. Show mercy even to those who despitefully abuse you.

141:3.8 Jesus portrayed conquest by sacrifice, the sacrifice of pride and selfishness. By showing mercy, he meant to portray spiritual deliverance from all grudges, grievances, anger, and the lust for selfish power and revenge. And when he said, "Resist not evil," he later explained that he did not mean to condone sin or to counsel fraternity with iniquity. He intended the more to teach forgiveness, to "resist not evil treatment of one's personality, evil injury to one's feelings of personal dignity."

Again, we see exactly the opposite in modern culture, in world politics, in much of the business dealings of the world. And this is precisely why these teachings are so startling; they provide such a contrast to the world and such a challenge to even the true follower of the Master:

195:9.6 Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them—and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.

Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus demonstrated in full measure - a measure we may never be called upon to perfrom - this injunction to love the enemy:

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.

On other worlds, as well as on Urantia, this sublime spectacle of the death of the human Jesus on the cross of Golgotha has stirred the emotions of mortals, while it has aroused the highest devotion of the angels.

Nevertheless, all of us are certainly called upon to demonstrate in small and large ways in daily life this willingness to follow Jesus in the way we treat those who offend our feelings of "personal dignity;" in other words, those who injure our fragile egos.

I hope that, if you've gotten this far, that you feel that you really have gotten to know a lot more about Jesus. And maybe even feel inspired to read more...

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Mon, March 26, 2018

John Mark: the boy who lost his coat

By TruthBook Staff John Mark, Urantia Book, holy week, the naked boy, Terrance Klein

Here's a great example of how the teachings of The Urantia Book help all seekers to understand and make better sense of the Scripture narratives of the Master's life. This article tells the story of a young man who Urantia Book readers know as John Mark: A lesson from the disciple of Jesus who ran away naked by Terrance Klein. Up until the arrival of The Urantia Book this young man's identity has been a mystery...and that's not all. We'll blog about John Mark below, but first, a snip from the article:

"But who is the unnamed, young follower of Jesus? He is seized in what we would call his underwear, and he gladly leaves it behind, running away naked, in great fear of his life. It is such a personal detail. The sort of thing that only an eyewitness—more than an eye-witness—the principal actor himself, one still suffering from the shame of it, would remember. Is that why Matthew and Luke excise the passage? Is it too personal, more like an individual confession that does nothing to move their own stories forward?

"This might mean that the author of Mark's Gospel, at least of this scene, is the young man who was there that night and who must remember, in all the years that follow, the personal shame of knowing that he himself abandoned his Lord in the decisive moment. He was found wanting. His naked, young body was not the only thing laid bare that night. So was the depth of his discipleship."

Click to read the article

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Mark 14:50 tells the story of this dramatic event in the Bible; but it is only three sentences long. No wonder people have pondered over this for all these centuries...what a dramatic story, and one that begs for more details!

In The Urantia Book, we get the whole story. It is contained in the section of Paper 183 called The Master's Arrest, which you can read in its entirety HERE.

The pertinent details follow here:

183:3.9 When Jesus had been bound, the captain, fearing that the followers of the Master might attempt to rescue him, gave orders that they be seized; but the soldiers were not quick enough since, having overheard the captain's orders to arrest them, Jesus' followers fled in haste back into the ravine. All this time John Mark had remained secluded in the near-by shed. When the guards started back to Jerusalem with Jesus, John Mark attempted to steal out of the shed in order to catch up with the fleeing apostles and disciples; but just as he emerged, one of the last of the returning soldiers who had pursued the fleeing disciples was passing near and, seeing this young man in his linen coat, gave chase, almost overtaking him. In fact, the soldier got near enough to John to lay hold upon his coat, but the young man freed himself from the garment, escaping naked while the soldier held the empty coat. John Mark made his way in all haste to David Zebedee on the upper trail. When he had told David what had happened, they both hastened back to the tents of the sleeping apostles and informed all eight of the Master's betrayal and arrest.

183:3.10 At about the time the eight apostles were being awakened, those who had fled up the ravine were returning, and they all gathered together near the olive press to debate what should be done. In the meantime, Simon Peter and John Zebedee, who had hidden among the olive trees, had already gone on after the mob of soldiers, guards, and servants, who were now leading Jesus back to Jerusalem as they would have led a desperate criminal. John followed close behind the mob, but Peter followed afar off. After John Mark's escape from the clutch of the soldier, he provided himself with a cloak which he found in the tent of Simon Peter and John Zebedee. He suspected the guards were going to take Jesus to the home of Annas, the high priest emeritus; so he skirted around through the olive orchards and was there ahead of the mob, hiding near the entrance to the gate of the high priest's palace.

Who was John Mark?

Not only was John Mark the young man whose cloak was snatched, leaving him to run away naked...John Mark was also the author of the Gospel of Mark. The Urantia Book tells us that this gospel "was the written basis of all subsequent Gospel narratives which sought to portray the life and teachings of Jesus."

John Mark was present during much of Jesus public ministry, being first introduced to us in the story of the loaves and fishes when he was about 16 years-old. He accompanied the Master and the apostles throughout the remainder of their work.

We have compiled a collection of entries from The Life and Teachings of Jesus that include John Mark. It is a great introduction to this most interesting young man and his family, who played quite a large part in Jesus later ministry.

Please click to read our study on John Mark

And for another story about John Mark and Jesus from that long-ago Holy Week, please see "One Day Alone With God."

As is so often the case, the teachings of The Urantia Book in Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus serve to assist any truthseeker - any follower of Jesus - to make full sense of the Biblical accounts of the Master's life. In countless cases, the Bible stories are fleshed out with detail, color, and context. The Bible truly comes alive when read in companionship with The Urantia Book.

And the story of John Mark is only one such instance...how many will you find?

 

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Mon, March 19, 2018

Celebrating Joseph

By TruthBook Staff Saint Joseph, the earth father of jesus, urantia book,

Here's an article about a largely unsung hero in the life of Jesus: The role of St Joseph in the life of Jesus by Father Anthony Doe. If you read the Bible, you'll find hardly anything in there about Joseph; and owing to his untimely death, there's precious little about him even in The Urantia Book, either. We'll share all of it with you in our blog (below), but first, here are a few snips from this article:

"Speaking of Joseph's role in the early life of Jesus, Fr Anthony said: "The Jewish father played an enormously important part in the life of the son because he embodied the spirit of the covenant." St Joseph's fatherhood, he said, "with all its depth is of immense value to world because within our society there is a crisis in the whole nature of paternity, which embodies the spirit of commitment, willingness to sacrifice for the good of his children, to endow them with values and prepare them for love in their own lives."

"This is communicated very powerfully when the father himself is in communion with God. The father plays a very powerful role in the life of his children."

Click to read more

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As mentioned above, Joseph, the earth father of Jesus - called Saint Joseph by the church - is a very important figure in Jesus' life. Even though he did not live past Jesus' 14th year, Joseph provided Jesus' first ideas of a father, he was a good and faithful husband to Mary, an excellent material provider, a good, honest worker, and he provided strong and sturdy genes for his first-born son.

In traditional art, Joseph seems most frequently to be portrayed as a middle-aged man, or even an elderly greybeard; however, The narration of the Life and Teachings of Jesus" in The Urantia Book show us Joseph as he really was - a robust young man who worked hard as a carpenter and building contractor. Here are some of the book's teaching about Joseph:

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

And while there are fewer references to Joseph's origins that those given for Mary, you might like to have a look at this interactive feature on our site showing Jesus' Family Tree. In it, you will see some of Joseph's birth family and where we see those references in The Urantia Book.

Also, we've created a topical study on this amazing man which you can access HERE. This study encapsulates all of The Urantia Book's teachings about Joseph and will give any reader a new appreciation of this great contributor to the early life of Jesus.

Even though Jesus only had those relatively few years with Joseph, his influence as a father to the child of promise cannot be overstated.

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Fri, March 16, 2018

Jesus, Buddha, and the Religion of the Spirit

By TruthBook Staff buddhism, Christianity, Urantia Book, Jesus,

This is a very nice, short-but-enlightening piece regarding Jesus and Buddha and the similarities of some of their philosophies. It is called: Jesus and Buddha by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM. We will blog about this below, and offer other teachings from The Urantia Book about Jesus and Buddhism, but first, here are just one or two snippets from the article - which I recommend:

Jesus says, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31). The Buddha says, "Consider others as yourself" (Dhammapada 10.1).

Jesus says, "If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also" (Luke 6:29). Buddha says, "If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires [to hurt him] and utter no evil words" (Majjhima Nikaya 21.6).

Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me" (Matthew 25:45). Buddha says, "If you do not tend one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick" (Vinaya, Mahavagga 8.26.3).

Unfortunately, Christianity became so concerned with making sure everybody believed that Jesus was God (faith in Jesus) that we largely ignored his teachings on detachment, simplicity, nonviolence, and anxiety (the faith of Jesus). Our Buddhist brothers and sisters can help us remember these teachings at the core of our faith; they can help us be better, truer Christians. And we can help them, or at least give them very few reasons to dislike us! Why not try this novel idea?

Click to read more

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Jesus and Buddha lived centuries apart, but in many ways, espouse some similar philosophies, such as those cited above. What the author of this piece is saying about this may be true: that Christians may benefit from the teachings of Buddhism as regards the undivided consciousness of the Spirit-led individual, rather than being concentrated on Jesus' identity alone. .

Jesus of course, was the embodiment of that ideal kind of religious life; and yet, I don't think it is a secondary consideration to remember that Jesus and Buddha were quite different as regards their identities. Jesus truly was the Son of God, and Buddha was but a mere mortal, albeit an exceptional one. But his teachings have survived even longer than Christianity, and have evolved some important elements of a one-God religion over the centuries. Of course, the superior religion of the Spirit that Jesus practiced is the pinnacle of spiritual experience.

Could it be that a synthesis of Buddhism with another great religion - Christianity - could be a successful religious experiment for a believer? Further, might the resulting hybrid be even further refined and advanced by the simple, superior practices of the religion of Jesus?

What does The Urantia Book say about Buddhism?

The Urantia Book authors are very kind towards many religions, but more especially towards Buddhism, it seems.

Here are some passages that you might find interesting; clicking on the link will take you to a greater context for the passage:

94:9.6 Buddhism is a living, growing religion today because it succeeds in conserving many of the highest moral values of its adherents. It promotes calmness and self-control, augments serenity and happiness, and does much to prevent sorrow and mourning. Those who believe this philosophy live better lives than many who do not.

94:11.4 The great advance made in Buddhist philosophy consisted in its comprehension of the relativity of all truth. Through the mechanism of this hypothesis Buddhists have been able to reconcile and correlate the divergencies within their own religious scriptures as well as the differences between their own and many others. It was taught that the small truth was for little minds, the large truth for great minds.

94:11.5 This philosophy also held that the Buddha (divine) nature resided in all men; that man, through his own endeavors, could attain to the realization of this inner divinity. And this teaching is one of the clearest presentations of the truth of the indwelling Adjusters ever to be made by a Urantian religion.

94:11.11The Absolute Buddha. By the time the number of Buddhas was approaching infinity, it became necessary for the minds of those days to reunify this unwieldy concept. Accordingly it began to be taught that all Buddhas were but the manifestation of some higher essence, some Eternal One of infinite and unqualified existence, some Absolute Source of all reality. From here on, the Deity concept of Buddhism, in its highest form, becomes divorced from the human person of Gautama Siddhartha and casts off from the anthropomorphic limitations which have held it in leash. This final conception of the Buddha Eternal can well be identified as the Absolute, sometimes even as the infinite I AM.

94:11.12 While this idea of Absolute Deity never found great popular favor with the peoples of Asia, it did enable the intellectuals of these lands to unify their philosophy and to harmonize their cosmology. The concept of the Buddha Absolute is at times quasi-personal, at times wholly impersonal—even an infinite creative force. Such concepts, though helpful to philosophy, are not vital to religious development. Even an anthropomorphic Yahweh is of greater religious value than an infinitely remote Absolute of Buddhism or Brahmanism.

94:11.13 At times the Absolute was even thought of as contained within the infinite I AM. But these speculations were chill comfort to the hungry multitudes who craved to hear words of promise, to hear the simple gospel of Salem, that faith in God would assure divine favor and eternal survival.

Please see THE GOD CONCEPT OF BUDDHISM

Did Jesus ever talk about Buddhism? He did!

It also will be of great interest to both Christians and Buddhists alike to discover how Jesus felt about Buddhism. From The Urantia Book:

132:7.3 It was on the visit to Switzerland, up in the mountains, that Jesus had an all-day talk with both father and son about Buddhism. Many times Ganid had asked Jesus direct questions about Buddha, but he had always received more or less evasive replies. Now, in the presence of the son, the father asked Jesus a direct question about Buddha, and he received a direct reply. Said Gonod: "I would really like to know what you think of Buddha." And Jesus answered:

132:7.4 "Your Buddha was much better than your Buddhism. Buddha was a great man, even a prophet to his people, but he was an orphan prophet; by that I mean that he early lost sight of his spiritual Father, the Father in heaven. His experience was tragic. He tried to live and teach as a messenger of God, but without God. Buddha guided his ship of salvation right up to the safe harbor, right up to the entrance to the haven of mortal salvation and there, because of faulty charts of navigation, the good ship ran aground. There it has rested these many generations, motionless and almost hopelessly stranded. And thereon have many of your people remained all these years. They live within hailing distance of the safe waters of rest, but they refuse to enter because the noble craft of the good Buddha met the misfortune of grounding just outside the harbor. And the Buddhist peoples never will enter this harbor unless they abandon the philosophic craft of their prophet and seize upon his noble spirit. Had your people remained true to the spirit of Buddha, you would have long since entered your haven of spirit tranquillity, soul rest, and assurance of salvation.

132:7.5 "You see, Gonod, Buddha knew God in spirit but failed clearly to discover him in mind; the Jews discovered God in mind but largely failed to know him in spirit. Today, the Buddhists flounder about in a philosophy without God, while my people are piteously enslaved to the fear of a God without a saving philosophy of life and liberty. You have a philosophy without a God; the Jews have a God but are largely without a philosophy of living as related thereto. Buddha, failing to envision God as a spirit and as a Father, failed to provide in his teaching the moral energy and the spiritual driving power which a religion must possess if it is to change a race and exalt a nation."

132:7.6 Then exclaimed Ganid: "Teacher, let's you and I make a new religion, one good enough for India and big enough for Rome, and maybe we can trade it to the Jews for Yahweh." And Jesus replied: "Ganid, religions are not made. The religions of men grow up over long periods of time, while the revelations of God flash upon earth in the lives of the men who reveal God to their fellows." But they did not comprehend the meaning of these prophetic words.

A Hybrid Religion?

These words of Jesus will be new to anyone who is not familiar with the teachings of The Urantia Book. Over the centuries of time since the Master walked the earth, the Urantia Book quotes at the top of this page show how Buddhism has grown and evolved; and also why it is one of the mightiest of the religions of evolution. If one can upstep the philosophy of this religion to include the gospel of the Fatherhood of God along with the resultant brotherhood of all people, one might have a very enjoyable and satisfying religion, indeed!

Over the centuries, the tenets and beliefs of Buddhism have evolved very favorably and the Buddhist religion has grown into a very popular system of belief and way of living. In many ways, the two religions are quite compatible, as long as one can reconcile the addition of the living God into Buddhist philosophy. It is good to find these similarities between Buddhism and Christianity; add the religion of Jesus, and you might have the best of all - a very favorable way of living for any truthseeker.

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Wed, March 07, 2018

Those Missing Years of Jesus

By TruthBook Staff childhood of jesus, the missing years, the lost years, Urantia Book, Father Kenneth Doyle

The missing years of Jesus life continue to be a mystery to people. This Q+A: Early life of Jesus by Father Kenneth Doyle between a reader and a Catholic priest reflect the inability of Scripture - or anyone else to understand those times of Jesus' life ... at least up until the appearance of The Urantia Book, that is. Our blog is below, but here's the question, and a partial snip from the priest's answer; he does get some of his assumptions correct (according to UB teachings), but we want to shout: Read the Urantia Book!

"Q. This may be more of a history question, but could you address the life of Jesus from birth until he was 30? Did he have a normal childhood? Did he always live at home until his public ministry began? How many people knew who he was throughout those earlier years?

"A. In answer to your question, I would say that Jesus did have a "normal childhood." Luke says simply that "Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man" (2:52). Jesus would have spoken Aramaic (the common language of Palestine at the time) and probably some Greek (learned largely from regular pilgrimages with his family to the then-Hellenized city of Jerusalem).

"He would have been educated in the Scriptures by Mary and Joseph, as well as at the synagogue in Nazareth -- although he evidently had no formal training in the higher rabbinic schools of his day. Remember how the Jews had voiced their surprise that the "carpenter's son" could have spoken so knowledgeably at the Feast of Tabernacles? "How does he know Scripture without having studied?" (Jn 7:15)."

Click to read more

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Of all the wonders contained in PART IV of The Urantia Book, The Life and Teachings of Jesus, none are more compelling than the narration of the "missing years" of the Master's life. His infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth and young manhood are covered extensively, the information supplied by the spiritual eyewitnesses present during all of his life.

This is not so much a blog, as it is an invitation to explore the revelations of Jesus' life found in The Urantia Book. The stories of Jesus include much more than even these missing years of childhood, though. ALL of the missing years are supplied, including his 2-year tour of the Mediterranean regions in the company of an Indian merchant and his son. Also, we discover his activities in the year between his baptism and the public ministry, during which Jesus selected and trained his apostles. And much, much more...

There are wonderful surprises copntained in Part IV of The Urantia Book...how many will you find?

Here is the main link to TruthBook's Illustrated Great Jesus Stories. This collection contains over 100 stories from Jesus' life - some familar, but many will be new to you. We have gleaned these stories from the text and put them together in one easy-to-read format with illustrations. Follow any link there to reveal the stories of that time in Jesus' life.

And these are just the stories; Part IV of The Urantia Book contains much, much more, including revelator commentary, which will be of great interest and inspiration to any seeking to know and understand Jesus better.

The narrative of Jesus life and teachings has been given to us as a gift; the authors call it a "re-statement" of Jesus' life. It fills in all the gaps in the Master's life, provides detail, color, insight, and context to each event, and gives the reader a far superior view of Jesus and his life than can ever be gotten through Scripture alone.

Here is the main link to access all of Part IV.

The revelators of The Urantia Book tell us that knowing the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it is the most valuable knowledge any of us can have. Read Part IV of The Urantia Book and find out why...!

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Fri, March 02, 2018

Living in the Kingdom of Heaven

By TruthBook staff kingdom of God, kingdom of Heaven, Jesus, Urantia Book, Steve Myers

Shocking Teachings of Jesus: The Kingdom of God by Steve Myers This title was tantalizing...what shocking teachings is he talking about? What a pleasant surprise to discover the author is talking about a shift from the traditional focus of Christianity on the atonement, or Jesus as Savior, to a focus on Jesus' teachings about the Kingdom. He maintains that Jesus' gospel was really about bringing heaven down to earth by establishing the kingdom...that sounds pretty good! And it is somewhat more consistent with Urantia Book teachings than many of the articles that we see.

The author does veer off into an idea that Jesus did not preach that we would go to heaven, instead the idea was to bring heaven to earth, but by and large, I like the things he says about the Kingdom. Christians will love it as it cites many Biblical reference on the kingdom. We'll blog about Urantia Book teachings of Jesus regarding the Kingdom of Heaven below, but here are a few snippets of this article to whet your curiosity, too. By the way, if you visit the link for this article, you can listen to it, or you can bring up the transcript and read it, as I did. It's worth a read!

"Most realize that Jesus preached the gospel. Now that word gospel means "good news" or the "good message" but what exactly is that good message? Can you explain it?

"This is where things can get a little hazy. Many think that the gospel of Christ is a message exclusively about Jesus himself. It's summed up in the idea: "Just believe in Jesus and be saved." Now many focus almost entirely on the messenger and overlook the message He brought.

"Now you may wonder: "Is that distinction really that important?" Absolutely, and this may shock you. If you fail to understand His central message, you will fail to grasp the whole point of His teachings, the reason for His coming and why He promises to come again. You'll also fail to comprehend dozens of vital prophecies throughout the Bible. You see Jesus' true message ties all of these things together in a theme that's truly good news and that has great implications for you, for your future, and for the entire earth.

"So what was Jesus' message? In Luke 4:43, Christ in His own words described His purpose: "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent" (NLT).

"His message was the good news of the Kingdom of God. Do you know what Christ was talking about? This Kingdom is the focus of Jesus' message, yet it has often been misunderstood or even ignored."

Click to read more

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We could not agree more about the general theme of this article. Jesus' establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts of his followers was one of the central purposes of his earthly sojourn and mission. We'll supply Urantia Book teachings here to follow which will help all believers know and understand how important this mission was to Jesus, and to the world that was to follow. As always, the teachings of The Urantia Book in Part IV are a breath of fresh air - a narration of the Master's life by the spiritual eyewitnesses of that life that fills in so many details that are missing in Scripture.

But first of all, we want to answer the question that the author poses about what the gospel of Jesus was. In the Bible, the author explains, the gospel is summed up in believing in Jesus and being saved by that faith.

But the real gospel of the Kingdom, as revealed in The Urantia Book and taught by Jesus, is that God is our Father and we are all members of the family of God...all members of the brother/sisterhood of human beings. And this is the cornerstone of the Kingdom.

170:2.1 The Master made it clear that the kingdom of heaven must begin with, and be centered in, the dual concept of the truth of the fatherhood of God and the correlated fact of the brotherhood of man. The acceptance of such a teaching, Jesus declared, would liberate man from the age-long bondage of animal fear and at the same time enrich human living with the following endowments of the new life of spiritual liberty:

1. The possession of new courage and augmented spiritual power. The gospel of the kingdom was to set man free and inspire him to dare to hope for eternal life.

2. The gospel carried a message of new confidence and true consolation for all men, even for the poor.

3. It was in itself a new standard of moral values, a new ethical yardstick wherewith to measure human conduct. It portrayed the ideal of a resultant new order of human society.

4. It taught the pre-eminence of the spiritual compared with the material; it glorified spiritual realities and exalted superhuman ideals.

5. This new gospel held up spiritual attainment as the true goal of living. Human life received a new endowment of moral value and divine dignity.

6. Jesus taught that eternal realities were the result (reward) of righteous earthly striving. Man's mortal sojourn on earth acquired new meanings consequent upon the recognition of a noble destiny.

7. The new gospel affirmed that human salvation is the revelation of a far-reaching divine purpose to be fulfilled and realized in the future destiny of the endless service of the salvaged sons of God.

Truly good news.

A short history of the kingdom

In the paper devoted to John the Baptist, we learn just what the Kingdom of God meant to the Jewish people in the times of Jesus:

135:5.2 About one hundred years before the days of Jesus and John a new school of religious teachers arose in Palestine, the apocalyptists. These new teachers evolved a system of belief that accounted for the sufferings and humiliation of the Jews on the ground that they were paying the penalty for the nation's sins. They fell back onto the well-known reasons assigned to explain the Babylonian and other captivities of former times. But, so taught the apocalyptists, Israel should take heart; the days of their affliction were almost over; the discipline of God's chosen people was about finished; God's patience with the gentile foreigners was about exhausted. The end of Roman rule was synonymous with the end of the age and, in a certain sense, with the end of the world. These new teachers leaned heavily on the predictions of Daniel, and they consistently taught that creation was about to pass into its final stage; the kingdoms of this world were about to become the kingdom of God. To the Jewish mind of that day this was the meaning of that phrase—the kingdom of heaven—which runs throughout the teachings of both John and Jesus. To the Jews of Palestine the phrase "kingdom of heaven" had but one meaning: an absolutely righteous state in which God the Messiah would rule the nations of earth in perfection of power just as he ruled in heaven—"Your will be done on earth as in heaven."

135:5.3 In the days of John all Jews were expectantly asking, "How soon will the kingdom come?" There was a general feeling that the end of the rule of the gentile nations was drawing near. There was present throughout all Jewry a lively hope and a keen expectation that the consummation of the desire of the ages would occur during the lifetime of that generation.

Read more HERE

The Kingdom of God - or is it the Kingdom of Heaven?

There is a subtle difference in these two designations of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish. The Urantia Book explains:

169:4.1 Jesus always had trouble trying to explain to the apostles that, while they proclaimed the establishment of the kingdom of God, the Father in heaven was not a king. At the time Jesus lived on earth and taught in the flesh, the people of Urantia knew mostly of kings and emperors in the governments of the nations, and the Jews had long contemplated the coming of the kingdom of God. For these and other reasons, the Master thought best to designate the spiritual brotherhood of man as the kingdom of heaven and the spirit head of this brotherhood as the Father in heaven. Never did Jesus refer to his Father as a king. In his intimate talks with the apostles he always referred to himself as the Son of Man and as their elder brother. He depicted all his followers as servants of mankind and messengers of the gospel of the kingdom.

169:4.6 Jesus never called the Father a king, and he very much regretted that the Jewish hope for a restored kingdom and John's proclamation of a coming kingdom made it necessary for him to denominate his proposed spiritual brotherhood the kingdom of heaven. With the one exception—the declaration that "God is spirit" —Jesus never referred to Deity in any manner other than in terms descriptive of his own personal relationship with the First Source and Center of Paradise.

Read more about The Father and His Kingdom

And for the most complete description and explanation of the Kingdom, please see Paper 170: The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom is at hand

The article above indicates that the Kingdom is a future estate; however, far from being a future ideal, The Urantia Book teaches us that we can enter the Kingdom NOW. We don't have to wait for a sometime date. It is here - at hand - in all of our hearts, if we only look within and accept. The following passages can be found by clicking on the "Kingdom of Heaven" link just above:

170:2.17 On this afternoon the Master distinctly taught a new concept of the double nature of the kingdom in that he portrayed the following two phases:


170:2.18 "First. The kingdom of God in this world, the supreme desire to do the will of God, the unselfish love of man which yields the good fruits of improved ethical and moral conduct.


170:2.19 "Second. The kingdom of God in heaven, the goal of mortal believers, the estate wherein the love for God is perfected, and wherein the will of God is done more divinely."


170:2.20 Jesus taught that, by faith, the believer enters the kingdom now. In the various discourses he taught that two things are essential to faith-entrance into the kingdom:


1. Faith, sincerity. To come as a little child, to receive the bestowal of sonship as a gift; to submit to the doing of the Father's will without questioning and in the full confidence and genuine trustfulness of the Father's wisdom; to come into the kingdom free from prejudice and preconception; to be open-minded and teachable like an unspoiled child.


2. Truth hunger. The thirst for righteousness, a change of mind, the acquirement of the motive to be like God and to find God.

Jesus introduces the Kingdom at the beginning of his public work

In his first major synagogue speech, soon after the arrest of John, Jesus introduced the kingdom to his listeners. You can read the entire discourse HERE. Among other things, Jesus said:

137:8.6 "I have come to proclaim the establishment of the Father's kingdom. And this kingdom shall include the worshiping souls of Jew and gentile, rich and poor, free and bond, for my Father is no respecter of persons; his love and his mercy are over all.

137:8.7 "The Father in heaven sends his spirit to indwell the minds of men, and when I shall have finished my work on earth, likewise shall the Spirit of Truth be poured out upon all flesh. And the spirit of my Father and the Spirit of Truth shall establish you in the coming kingdom of spiritual understanding and divine righteousness. My kingdom is not of this world. The Son of Man will not lead forth armies in battle for the establishment of a throne of power or a kingdom of worldly glory. When my kingdom shall have come, you shall know the Son of Man as the Prince of Peace, the revelation of the everlasting Father. The children of this world fight for the establishment and enlargement of the kingdoms of this world, but my disciples shall enter the kingdom of heaven by their moral decisions and by their spirit victories; and when they once enter therein, they shall find joy, righteousness, and eternal life.

137:8.8 "Those who first seek to enter the kingdom, thus beginning to strive for a nobility of character like that of my Father, shall presently possess all else that is needful. But I say to you in all sincerity: Unless you seek entrance into the kingdom with the faith and trusting dependence of a little child, you shall in no wise gain admission.

137:8.9 "Be not deceived by those who come saying here is the kingdom or there is the kingdom, for my Father's kingdom concerns not things visible and material. And this kingdom is even now among you, for where the spirit of God teaches and leads the soul of man, there in reality is the kingdom of heaven. And this kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

137:8.10 "John did indeed baptize you in token of repentance and for the remission of your sins, but when you enter the heavenly kingdom, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Did Jesus disregard our eternal life?

Not at all...The Urantia Book devotes a great deal of time to give us a stunning and comforting view of our eternal career; and Jesus preached often about eternal life, speaking of the Father's mansions, for example:

"The Creator Son, 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."

167:6.3 Jesus often talked to his apostles about the celestial mansions and taught that the advancing children of God must there grow up spiritually as children grow up physically on this world.

And in his talk about angels, the Master says:

167:7.2 "The angelic hosts are a separate order of created beings; they are entirely different from the material order of mortal creatures, and they function as a distinct group of universe intelligences. Angels are not of that group of creatures called `the Sons of God' in the Scriptures; neither are they the glorified spirits of mortal men who have gone on to progress through the mansions on high. Angels are a direct creation, and they do not reproduce themselves. The angelic hosts have only a spiritual kinship with the human race. As man progresses in the journey to the Father in Paradise, he does traverse a state of being at one time analogous to the state of the angels, but mortal man never becomes an angel.

167:7.6 "Also are these angels very much concerned with the means whereby man's spirit is released from the tabernacles of the flesh and his soul escorted to the mansions in heaven. Angels are the sure and heavenly guides of the soul of man during that uncharted and indefinite period of time which intervenes between the death of the flesh and the new life in the spirit abodes."

We would wholeheartedly maintain that the prayer that Jesus taught us to say "thy kingdom come, thry will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is a mandate for the here and now. It can be achieved here and now ... individually, as each believer dedicates his/her will to the will of the Father, and as more and more believers enter this wonderful dwelling place of love for the Father and service to others, the kingdom will be that much closer to being a reality.

We invite you to click on any underlined link in this piece to expand your view of the thrilling and inspiring teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven, as taught by Jesus.

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Tue, February 27, 2018

Understanding the Transfiguration

By TruthBook staff

This article about the Transfiguration of Jesus is a timely one, as it is now being discussed in the churches, as a sort of prelude to Holy Week. In The Urantia Book, this event takes place in August, months before the passion of Jesus. It determines to a large extent the way that Jesus conducts the rest of his public ministry as the Son of God. The article is called: Pope Angelus: Transfiguration a prelude to Jesus' passion, published in the Vatican News website. We'll blog about the Transfiguration and Urantia Book teachings regarding it, but first, here are a couple snips from the article:

"The Pope went on to say that by taking the disciples Peter, James and John and "leading them to a high mountain" and showing them his glory, the glory of the Son of God, the Lord was enabling "the disciples to face the passion of Jesus in a positive way, without being overwhelmed."

"Pope Francis continued that "the transfiguration helps the disciples, and us too, to understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but it is above all a gift of infinite love on the part of Jesus. The event of Jesus transfiguring on the mountain makes us understand better also his resurrection."

Click to read more

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The Urantia Book helps us understand the Transfiguration

The Urantia Book illuminates so many of the amazing events of the Master's life, giving them meaning that no one has ever been able to understand before its appearance on our world. It also gives us accurate timelines for events in Jesus life as well as context to fully understand what was going on, when, and why.

Jesus was - and is - the Creator Son; he created this universe in which we all live, and he chose this particular planet on which to incarnate as the babe of Bethlehem and the carpenter of Nazareth. His mission was to live a full life of a human being, and to die a natural death. And yet, there were times during his incarnation that he could have made the choice to end his mission. One was after his baptism. Another is this occasion of the Transfiguration.

While on the mountain, Jesus met with two pivotal figures - "his Sons of ministry" - from his celestial government: Gabriel, his chief executive, and Father Melchizedek. In essence, these two visitors were messengers who gave Michael (Jesus) assurances that his mission had been accepted as complete from both the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, the second and third persons of the Trinity. At this point, the text tells us:

"The Master could have relinquished the struggle this day on Mount Hermon and returned to his rule of the universe domains, but he not only chose to meet the requirements of his order of divine sonship embraced in the mandate of the Eternal Son on Paradise, but he also elected to meet the last and full measure of the present will of his Paradise Father. On this day in August three of his apostles saw him decline to be invested with full universe authority. They looked on in amazement as the celestial messengers departed, leaving him alone to finish out his earth life as the Son of Man and the Son of God."

Read about what happened on the Mount HERE

Further details of the amazing scene and its meaning for Jesus

The Meaning of the Transfiguration (all the following passages are contained in this link)

The Urantia Book goes on to tell us the true meaning of what happened, and how Jesus then chose to go through with the inevitable:

158:3.1 That which Peter, James, and John witnessed on the mount of transfiguration was a fleeting glimpse of a celestial pageant which transpired that eventful day on Mount Hermon. The transfiguration was the occasion of:

1. The acceptance of the fullness of the bestowal of the incarnated life of Michael on Urantia by the Eternal Mother-Son of Paradise. As far as concerned the requirements of the Eternal Son, Jesus had now received assurance of their fulfillment. And Gabriel brought Jesus that assurance.

2. The testimony of the satisfaction of the Infinite Spirit as to the fullness of the Urantia bestowal in the likeness of mortal flesh. The universe representative of the Infinite Spirit, the immediate associate of Michael on Salvington and his ever-present coworker, on this occasion spoke through the Father Melchizedek.

158:3.4 Jesus welcomed this testimony regarding the success of his earth mission presented by the messengers of the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, but he noted that his Father did not indicate that the Urantia bestowal was finished; only did the unseen presence of the Father bear witness through Jesus' Personalized Adjuster, saying, "This is my beloved Son; give heed to him." And this was spoken in words to be heard also by the three apostles.

158:3.5 After this celestial visitation Jesus sought to know his Father's will and decided to pursue the mortal bestowal to its natural end. This was the significance of the transfiguration to Jesus. To the three apostles it was an event marking the entrance of the Master upon the final phase of his earth career as the Son of God and the Son of Man.

In other words, Jesus' mission was complete as far as the Son and the Spirit, but Jesus discerned that the Heavenly Father's will was that he carry out to the last his mandate to live - and die - as a mortal of the realm. This meant that Jesus was now duty-bound to submit to the death on the cross, which loomed ahead in less than a year's time. And Jesus always chose to know and follow his Father's will above all.

And then the three associates had what might be called a business meeting about the "affairs of the universe." The visitors were messengers of a sort for this occasion, but they were also Michael's associates in the running of the universe.

158:3.6 After the formal visitation of Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek, Jesus held informal converse with these, his Sons of ministry, and communed with them concerning the affairs of the universe.

Jesus tries to prepare his apostles

As they come down from the mountain, Jesus begins alluding to his death - and resurrection ... trying to prepare the apostles for what is to come.

158:2.1 For about half the distance down the mountain not a word was spoken. Jesus then began the conversation by remarking: "Make certain that you tell no man, not even your brethren, what you have seen and heard on this mountain until the Son of Man has risen from the dead." The three apostles were shocked and bewildered by the Master's words, "until the Son of Man has risen from the dead." They had so recently reaffirmed their faith in him as the Deliverer, the Son of God, and they had just beheld him transfigured in glory before their very eyes, and now he began to talk about "rising from the dead"!

158:2.3 Jesus enjoined silence about their observation of the foretaste of his postresurrection glory because he did not want to foster the notion that, being now received as the Messiah, he would in any degree fulfill their erroneous concepts of a wonder-working deliverer. Although Peter, James, and John pondered all this in their minds, they spoke not of it to any man until after the Master's resurrection.

But the next day, he lays it all out for all of them, and they can scarcely take it all in.

158:7.2 They traveled on through Galilee until well past the time for their lunch, when they stopped in the shade to refresh themselves. And after they had partaken of food, Andrew, speaking to Jesus, said: "Master, my brethren do not comprehend your deep sayings. We have come fully to believe that you are the Son of God, and now we hear these strange words about leaving us, about dying. We do not understand your teaching. Are you speaking to us in parables? We pray you to speak to us directly and in undisguised form."

158:7.3 In answer to Andrew, Jesus said: "My brethren, it is because you have confessed that I am the Son of God that I am constrained to begin to unfold to you the truth about the end of the bestowal of the Son of Man on earth. You insist on clinging to the belief that I am the Messiah, and you will not abandon the idea that the Messiah must sit upon a throne in Jerusalem; wherefore do I persist in telling you that the Son of Man must presently go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be rejected by the scribes, the elders, and the chief priests, and after all this be killed and raised from the dead. And I speak not a parable to you; I speak the truth to you that you may be prepared for these events when they suddenly come upon us." And while he was yet speaking, Simon Peter, rushing impetuously toward him, laid his hand upon the Master's shoulder and said: "Master, be it far from us to contend with you, but I declare that these things shall never happen to you."

158:7.4 Peter spoke thus because he loved Jesus; but the Master's human nature recognized in these words of well-meant affection the subtle suggestion of temptation that he change his policy of pursuing to the end his earth bestowal in accordance with the will of his Paradise Father. And it was because he detected the danger of permitting the suggestions of even his affectionate and loyal friends to dissuade him, that he turned upon Peter and the other apostles, saying: "Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary, the tempter. When you talk in this manner, you are not on my side but rather on the side of our enemy. In this way do you make your love for me a stumbling block to my doing the Father's will. Mind not the ways of men but rather the will of God."

158:7.5 After they had recovered from the first shock of Jesus' stinging rebuke, and before they resumed their journey, the Master spoke further: "If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, take up his responsibilities daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life selfishly, shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's, shall save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for eternal life? Be not ashamed of me and my words in this sinful and hypocritical generation, even as I will not be ashamed to acknowledge you when in glory I appear before my Father in the presence of all the celestial hosts. Nevertheless, many of you now standing before me shall not taste death till you see this kingdom of God come with power."

Discovering Jesus in The Urantia Book

The Bible story of this event is extremely short and has none of the meaning that belongs to it. Over all these centuries, believers have had to try and understand the meaning of it with only the scanty accounts in Matthew and Luke; now we have been given this accounting by eyewitnesses who were there, revelators who are telling us not only what happened, but why - and what it meant for Jesus.

After the Transfiguration events, Jesus knew of a certainty what was to come; he knew and he accepted this outcome as being the will of his heavenly Father. Throughout the next months, Jesus did all he could to complete his revelation of the Father to the world, to try in every way to make a final appeal to the Jews, and to finally submit fully to the inevitable.

Discovering the Life and Teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book is such an enriching experience. Use it as a reference when reading your Bible, and discover the "rest of the story!"

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Sat, February 24, 2018

How Jesus Practiced Religion

By TruthBook Staff religion, christianity, urantia book, spiritual experience

Does Jesus really hate religion? That's a little strong, as it's doubtful whether Jesus would "hate" anyone's attempt to have a religion. But he did tell us a lot about true religion - what it is, what it is not, and how to truly practice it. Nonetheless, this article from Beliefnet titled: 8 Reasons Jesus Hates Religion By Megan Bailey does make some good points about traditional religion in our world today. And this list was true in Jesus' day, too. The Urantia Book and especially the teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book offer the spiritual seeker a unique perspective on the idea of religion, and what constitutes true religion. We'll blog about trhat below, but here are the primary points from the article on why Jesus "hates" religion. It is a good article, recommened:

Religion Causes Judgement of Others

Religion Grades Righteousness

Religion Focuses on "How" Instead of "Who"

Religion Makes God a Boss

Religion Doesn't Encourage Questions

Religion is Fueled by Fear

Religion Wants You to Serve the Church

Religion isn't Important in the Bible

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This blog wiill focus on what Jesus taught us about religion; there's a big difference in the kinds of traditional religions that foster the pitfalls listed above - and the kind of religion that Jesus taught and practiced.

In Jesus day, the Jewish religion - the religion in which Jesus was raised - was a religion of rules, of authority, of iron-fisted regulations and dire repercussions if they were not followed. In essence, it was the clash of that religion with the new teachings of the Master that caused the rifts that ended in Jesus being crucified. The apostles were to go forth preaching a new idea of God, a new gospel, a new idea of religion, a new idea of true authority and where it resides- and these ideas were diametrically opposed to the authorities in power.

Jesus' Discourse on Religion

Thomas asked Jesus: "Master, I should really like to know just what is wrong with the religion of our enemies at Jerusalem. What is the real difference between their religion and ours? Why is it we are at such diversity of belief when we all profess to serve the same God?"

What a great question! It's a question that one might here expressed even in this 21st century world! And Jesus delivers an equally great response. In it, he addresses many of the unfortunate resuts of following tranditional, man-made religions that are listed in the article above. Here is Jesus first discourse on religion in its entirety:

This memorable discourse on religion, summarized and restated in modern phraseology, gave expression to the following truths:

While the religions of the world have a double origin—natural and revelatory—at any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct forms of religious devotion. And these three manifestations of the religious urge are:

1. Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.

2. The religion of civilization. The advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races—the religion of the mind—the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition.

3. True religion—the religion of revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven—the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience.

The religion of the physical senses and the superstitious fears of natural man, the Master refused to belittle, though he deplored the fact that so much of this primitive form of worship should persist in the religious forms of the more intelligent races of mankind. Jesus made it clear that the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit is that, while the former is upheld by ecclesiastical authority, the latter is wholly based on human experience.

And then the Master, in his hour of teaching, went on to make clear these truths:

Until the races become highly intelligent and more fully civilized, there will persist many of those childlike and superstitious ceremonies which are so characteristic of the evolutionary religious practices of primitive and backward peoples. Until the human race progresses to the level of a higher and more general recognition of the realities of spiritual experience, large numbers of men and women will continue to show a personal preference for those religions of authority which require only intellectual assent, in contrast to the religion of the spirit, which entails active participation of mind and soul in the faith adventure of grappling with the rigorous realities of progressive human experience.

The acceptance of the traditional religions of authority presents the easy way out for man's urge to seek satisfaction for the longings of his spiritual nature. The settled, crystallized, and established religions of authority afford a ready refuge to which the distracted and distraught soul of man may flee when harassed by fear and tormented by uncertainty. Such a religion requires of its devotees, as the price to be paid for its satisfactions and assurances, only a passive and purely intellectual assent.

And for a long time there will live on earth those timid, fearful, and hesitant individuals who will prefer thus to secure their religious consolations, even though, in so casting their lot with the religions of authority, they compromise the sovereignty of personality, debase the dignity of self-respect, and utterly surrender the right to participate in that most thrilling and inspiring of all possible human experiences: the personal quest for truth, the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery, the determination to explore the realities of personal religious experience, the supreme satisfaction of experiencing the personal triumph of the actual realization of the victory of spiritual faith over intellectual doubt as it is honestly won in the supreme adventure of all human existence—man seeking God, for himself and as himself, and finding him.

The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress. The religion of the mind—the theology of authority—requires little or none of these exertions from its formal believers. Tradition is a safe refuge and an easy path for those fearful and halfhearted souls who instinctively shun the spirit struggles and mental uncertainties associated with those faith voyages of daring adventure out upon the high seas of unexplored truth in search for the farther shores of spiritual realities as they may be discovered by the progressive human mind and experienced by the evolving human soul.

And Jesus went on to say: "At Jerusalem the religious leaders have formulated the various doctrines of their traditional teachers and the prophets of other days into an established system of intellectual beliefs, a religion of authority. The appeal of all such religions is largely to the mind. And now are we about to enter upon a deadly conflict with such a religion since we will so shortly begin the bold proclamation of a new religion—a religion which is not a religion in the present-day meaning of that word, a religion that makes its chief appeal to the divine spirit of my Father which resides in the mind of man; a religion which shall derive its authority from the fruits of its acceptance that will so certainly appear in the personal experience of all who really and truly become believers in the truths of this higher spiritual communion."

Pointing out each of the twenty-four and calling them by name, Jesus said: "And now, which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of conformity to an established and fossilized religion, as defended by the Pharisees at Jerusalem, rather than to suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant upon the mission of proclaiming a better way of salvation to men while you realize the satisfaction of discovering for yourselves the beauties of the realities of a living and personal experience in the eternal truths and supreme grandeurs of the kingdom of heaven? Are you fearful, soft, and ease-seeking? Are you afraid to trust your future in the hands of the God of truth, whose sons you are? Are you distrustful of the Father, whose children you are? Will you go back to the easy path of the certainty and intellectual settledness of the religion of traditional authority, or will you gird yourselves to go forward with me into that uncertain and troublous future of proclaiming the new truths of the religion of the spirit, the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men?"

All twenty-four of his hearers rose to their feet, intending to signify their united and loyal response to this, one of the few emotional appeals which Jesus ever made to them, but he raised his hand and stopped them, saying: "Go now apart by yourselves, each man alone with the Father, and there find the unemotional answer to my question, and having found such a true and sincere attitude of soul, speak that answer freely and boldly to my Father and your Father, whose infinite life of love is the very spirit of the religion we proclaim."

The evangelists and apostles went apart by themselves for a short time. Their spirits were uplifted, their minds were inspired, and their emotions mightily stirred by what Jesus had said. But when Andrew called them together, the Master said only: "Let us resume our journey. We go into Phoenicia to tarry for a season, and all of you should pray the Father to transform your emotions of mind and body into the higher loyalties of mind and the more satisfying experiences of the spirit."

As they journeyed on down the road, the twenty-four were silent, but presently they began to talk one with another, and by three o'clock that afternoon they could not go farther; they came to a halt, and Peter, going up to Jesus, said: "Master, you have spoken to us the words of life and truth. We would hear more; we beseech you to speak to us further concerning these matters."

As you can see, Jesus does not condemn the religions of fear or the religions of authority; instead he spends this time educating the apostles about these religions and then introducing the religion of the spirit - the "new religion—a religion which is not a religion in the present-day meaning of that word, a religion that makes its chief appeal to the divine spirit of my Father which resides in the mind of man; a religion which shall derive its authority from the fruits of its acceptance that will so certainly appear in the personal experience of all who really and truly become believers in the truths of this higher spiritual communion."

This is the religion of personal spiritual experience - experience with God in the inner life of the soul who seeks this communion and this unerring authority that transcends the authority of priests and middlemen and intercessors forever. It is the religion that Jesus himself practiced.

The apostles are so impressed by these teachings that they press the Master to say more...and he does.

And Further Teachings

Please go HERE to read Jesus' "Second Discourse on Religion," in which Jesus says, among many other things:

155:6.4 Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities.

155:6.5 While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge—perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?

"...to you religion shall not become a theologic shelter to which you may flee in fear of facing the rugged realities of spiritual progress and idealistic adventure; but rather shall your religion become the fact of real experience which testifies that God has found you, idealized, ennobled, and spiritualized you, and that you have enlisted in the eternal adventure of finding the God who has thus found and sonshipped you.

These are some of the most thrilling teachings about religion found anywhere on the planert - and only in The Urantia Book. Not for the faint of heart, but for the truthseekers from every walk of life, these teachings truly are the teachings that can set the spiritual captives free and liberate man- and woman-kind to live lives of originality and freedom before God.

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Tue, February 20, 2018

When did Jesus know his true identity?

By TruthBook staff jesus, urantia book, son of God, jesus dual nature, childhood of jesus, baptism of jesus

Here's is a very good question that came across my feed, and one that The Urantia Book answers fully. The article is titled: Did Jesus Know He Was God? by Stephanie Foley. The article maintains that Jesus ALWAYS knew of his identity and his dual nature...but did he? Lack of information about Jesus full life makes understanding of just how Jesus came aware of himself hard to come by. The Urantia Book helps us truly grasp the process of Jesus' awakening. We will discuss this below, but first, a couple of snippets from this very interesting article with a Catholic flavor.

"God became one of us. He didn't put on a human costume, He wasn't 50% divine and 50% human. In Christ Jesus, the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity became flesh. He is 100% divine and 100% human. What that means is that the two natures are utterly united. How that is, we can't really understand, because there is nothing to compare it to.

"As God and man, Jesus in His divine intellect knows everything. There is nothing He doesn't know, because He is God. His knowledge is infinite, it's unlimited, it's perfect."

Click to read the article

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Since there is such a dearth of Scriptural records about Jesus' life during his very early years, no one has ever known the progression of Jesus' mind from that of a child to the time when he became fully aware of who he was. Assuming that he always knew does not take into account the times in his life before we was able to think and be self-conscious. The Urantia Book is a wonderful revelation of Jesus life, and it includes all of the details about his growth in awareness.

No human infant has an innate knowledge of who he or she is. Human beings do not come into the world knowing very much at all. We have to grow - our bodies have to grow, and most importantly, our minds have to grow. No human infant or young child is equipped to be self-conscious.

And Jesus was a truly human child. As a baby and in his early years, he was as helpless and dependent as any human child. This is why he was born to two selected human parents who were responsible for nurturing and fostering his growth, keeping him safe from harm, and educating his mind and spirit in preparation for the life he was to live.

Mary and Joseph knew of a certainty that Jesus was a child of promise...Mary through her visitation by Gabriel and Joseph, through his prophetic dream. And so, through those momentous years between the time that Jesus was born and the time that he began to be self-conscious of his dual nature, his entire care was relegated to this pair...and they proved to be wonderful parents...wonderful caregivers, providers, and educators.

The Urantia Book covers these years in detail beginning in Paper 122. We see that Jesus was a normal child in every way, happy, loved, and well cared-for.

The beginnings of awareness

In Paper 123 The Early Childhood of Jesus, when Jesus is age five, we start to see the unfoldment of his mental awareness of himself. At that age, we are told, he made his first "personal and wholehearted moral decision; and there came to abide with him a Thought Adjuster, a divine gift of the Paradise Father, which had aforetime served with Machiventa Melchizedek, thus gaining the experience of functioning in connection with the incarnation of a supermortal being living in the likeness of mortal flesh."

All human beings receive a Thought Adjuster at generally that same time of life. Jesus' adjuster was quite special, as described above, but nonetheless, his Adjuster served the same purpose in his life as ours does in our lives - that of guiding and harmonizing our thoughts with the will and purposes of God.

About this fifth year of Jesus' life, we are told:

123:2.15 Jesus appeared to be a well-nigh perfect child physically and continued to make normal progress mentally and emotionally. He experienced a mild digestive upset, his first minor illness, in the latter part of this, his fifth (calendar) year.

123:2.16 Though Joseph and Mary often talked about the future of their eldest child, had you been there, you would only have observed the growing up of a normal, healthy, carefree, but exceedingly inquisitive child of that time and place.

The Dawning of Awareness

When Jesus was six, he revolutionized prayertime in the Nazareth household by insisting upon having "just a little talk with my Father in heaven." Even at that tender age, he seemed to understand that he had an intimate relationship with God the Father, and added that "little talk" with God after dutifully reciting saying the prayers he had been taught to say.

From age seven through age twelve, Jesus attended school, and this seems to have been his primary activity - that, and playtime with friends. He was an excellent student, early master of mathematics, language, and keenly interested in astronomy and music, and art.

But at age ten:

124:2.1 It was the fifth of July, the first Sabbath of the month, when Jesus, while strolling through the countryside with his father, first gave expression to feelings and ideas which indicated that he was becoming self-conscious of the unusual nature of his life mission. Joseph listened attentively to the momentous words of his son but made few comments; he volunteered no information. The next day Jesus had a similar but longer talk with his mother. Mary likewise listened to the pronouncements of the lad, but neither did she volunteer any information. It was almost two years before Jesus again spoke to his parents concerning this increasing revelation within his own consciousness regarding the nature of his personality and the character of his mission on earth.

And at age twelve (from that same paper):

124:4.2 Throughout this year he experienced many seasons of uncertainty, if not actual doubt, regarding the nature of his mission. His naturally developing human mind did not yet fully grasp the reality of his dual nature. The fact that he had a single personality rendered it difficult for his consciousness to recognize the double origin of those factors which composed the nature associated with that selfsame personality.

124:4.4 It was a trying experience for Joseph and Mary to undertake the rearing of this unprecedented combination of divinity and humanity, and they deserve great credit for so faithfully and successfully discharging their parental responsibilities. Increasingly Jesus' parents realized that there was something superhuman resident within this eldest son, but they never even faintly dreamed that this son of promise was indeed and in truth the actual creator of this local universe of things and beings. Joseph and Mary lived and died without ever learning that their son Jesus really was the Universe Creator incarnate in mortal flesh.

And at age thirteen:

124:5.3 It was about the middle of February that Jesus became humanly assured that he was destined to perform a mission on earth for the enlightenment of man and the revelation of God. Momentous decisions, coupled with far-reaching plans, were formulating in the mind of this youth, who was, to outward appearances, an average Jewish lad of Nazareth. The intelligent life of all Nebadon looked on with fascination and amazement as all this began to unfold in the thinking and acting of the now adolescent carpenter's son.

And so, we see that Jesus' consciousness that he was a truly special personality sent by God to perform an extraordinary mission to earth was a gradual awareness. There surely was always a part of him that knew, but as the child of Nazareth, growing from infancy to adolescence, the awareness of his true identity was gradual, gaining understanding in only small steps.

The trip to Jerusalem

We now come to the story that is well-known frojm Scripture: that of the trip to Jerusalem for the Passover when Jesus was 13 years-old. But what is not told in the Bible stories is this amazing event, which helped Jesus understand for a certainty that he was truly the Son of God with a mission to accomplish:

124:6.15 On the day before the Passover Sabbath, flood tides of spiritual illumination swept through the mortal mind of Jesus and filled his human heart to overflowing with affectionate pity for the spiritually blind and morally ignorant multitudes assembled for the celebration of the ancient Passover commemoration. This was one of the most extraordinary days that the Son of God spent in the flesh; and during the night, for the first time in his earth career, there appeared to him an assigned messenger from Salvington, commissioned by Immanuel, who said: "The hour has come. It is time that you began to be about your Father's business."

124:6.16 And so, even ere the heavy responsibilities of the Nazareth family descended upon his youthful shoulders, there now arrived the celestial messenger to remind this lad, not quite thirteen years of age, that the hour had come to begin the resumption of the responsibilities of a universe. This was the first act of a long succession of events which finally culminated in the completion of the Son's bestowal on Urantia and the replacing of "the government of a universe on his human-divine shoulders."

The revelators tell us:

124:6.17 As time passed, the mystery of the incarnation became, to all of us, more and more unfathomable. We could hardly comprehend that this lad of Nazareth was the creator of all Nebadon. Neither do we nowadays understand how the spirit of this same Creator Son and the spirit of his Paradise Father are associated with the souls of mankind. With the passing of time, we could see that his human mind was increasingly discerning that, while he lived his life in the flesh, in spirit on his shoulders rested the responsibility of a universe.

124:6.18 Thus ends the career of the Nazareth lad, and begins the narrative of that adolescent youth— the increasingly self-conscious divine human—who now begins the contemplation of his world career as he strives to integrate his expanding life purpose with the desires of his parents and his obligations to his family and the society of his day and age.

In the whirlwind of life

The next years of Jesus' life were concentrated on the obligations and duties that Jesus inherited after the death of his earth father, Joseph. But through all of these years, the Master continued to grow in understanding of himself and his mission. He continued to live a very human life, a very eventful and meaningful life, gaining experience and knowledge of himself and his world in preparation for the time when he would truly be about the Father's biusiness in earnest.

The next ten papers, from Paper 126 to Paper 136 contain a wealth of information about this amazing period of Jesus' life and can be found nowhere but in Part IV of The Urantia Book.

The final dawning of full self-consciousness

But, it was not until Jesus' baptism in the Jordan and the Forty Days' experience in the wilderness that he truly became fully aware - he remembered fully who he was and what the nature of his mission to the world was to be:

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

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.

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.

136:4.4 These forty days were the occasion of the final conference between the human and the divine minds, or rather the first real functioning of these two minds as now made one. The results of this momentous season of meditation demonstrated conclusively that the divine mind has triumphantly and spiritually dominated the human intellect. The mind of man has become the mind of God from this time on, and though the selfhood of the mind of man is ever present, always does this spiritualized human mind say, "Not my will but yours be done."

The wonderful and revealing glimpse into the process by which this infant child of promise grows into certain knowledge of himself appeals to the imagination in all of us. It helps us to understand and celebrate the humanity of Jesus, and endears him to us ever more. We can't help but think of him as a child like any other child, maybe imagining what it must have been like to be his parent. We see how the process came about, and we love this God/man so much as we see him rise to the occasion of fulfilling his mission, even as a young child. It's a beautiful thing to watch him grow in awareness of his true identity.

There is far more to the story of Jesus than we have known before the arrival of The Urantia Book. Its information about the truths of the universe is sweeping; its historical details of our world are thrilling; its restatement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus is superb and everlastingly inspiring. Taken as a whole, it cannot fail to leave the sincere student of Jesus, of truth, of meaning, unmoved.

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