Truthbook Religious News Blog

All Blog Posts  |  Blog Archives  |  See More Blogs

Atom     RSS

Tue, May 24, 2016

The Way to Pray

By truthbook staff Alt Tag

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

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

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

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

Click to read the entire article

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

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

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

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

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

But what did Jesus teach about prayer?

See Jesus' Discourse on Prayer, copied entirely here:

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

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

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

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

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

In addition, please see:

More about Prayer

Are you needing more assurance about YOUR prayers?

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

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

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, May 16, 2016

Was Jesus Prejudiced?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read the entire article

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

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

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

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

THE SYRIAN WOMAN

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

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

There's more in there...

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

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

 

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Sun, May 01, 2016

Being the Light

By TruthBook Staff

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

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

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


Click to read the whole article

"You Are the Light of the World"

In the Ordination Sermon Jesus told the apostles:

 

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

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

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

"As Jesus Passed By"

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

A Way to Follow Jesus

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

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

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

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

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Sun, April 10, 2016

Jesus, the Family Man

By TruthBook Staff burial joseph by russ docken

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

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

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

" Mary is older now.

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

Click to read the entire article

____________

What DID happen to Joseph, Jesus' father?

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

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

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

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

What kind of "family man" was Jesus?

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

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

What kind of parent was Jesus to his siblings?

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

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

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

Click to read about Jesus life from age 21-26

 

When did Jesus leave his home?

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

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

If you like these stories, there are LOTS more!

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

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

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, April 05, 2016

Jesus Lives!

By TruthBook Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read the entire article

____________

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

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

Enter The Urantia Book

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

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

Eyewitnesses

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

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

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

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

The Last Hours and Day of Jesus' Life

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

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

Here's the REAL STORY!

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

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

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, March 22, 2016

Communion, Jesus style

By TruthBook Staff

On the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in Catholic Say online magazine

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

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

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

Click to read the entire article

But Is It True?

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

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

This is Holy Week when we celebrate the Last Supper, and there's no better time to introduce the reader to this story - and no better way than by just inserting it here, so that it can be appreciated in full:

ESTABLISHING THE REMEMBRANCE SUPPER

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

How did it become so complicated?

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

The Supper was "established without ecclisiastical sanction."

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

The Master is really present

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

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

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

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

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

Time for a new tradition?

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

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

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

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Fri, March 11, 2016

The Real Story of Jesus as a Child

By TruthBook Staff

Movie asks: What was Jesus Like as a Child? by Drew Zahn

This caught my attention, as it probably would any Urantia Book reader! It's a good thing that Hollywood is entertaining this kind of question about Jesus and his life, but as Urantia Book readers know, it will be ultimately unsatisfying, as it is simple speculation unless informed by revelation. See our blog below, but first, here's a short excerpt from the article:

""The Young Messiah" begins its speculative story when Jesus is seven, living with his parents, Joseph and Mary, in exile in Egypt, which roughly follows the biblical account."

"The bulk of the film, however, is a positive, affirming tale: entertaining, suspenseful, funny at times. It takes us on a quest in which we can easily relate to this boy Jesus, who wonders aloud to God why the Almighty made Him human at all? And even if fully human and fully God, what was the purpose of making the Messiah a child? Why not just incarnate Him as an adult? As the boy seeks to understand these existential questions, the audience is led to ask them of themselves as well."

Click to read the whole article/movie review

_________________

This will be a fairly short blog; what can be said? It's a good development that a movie based on the childhood of Jesus is in the works, but how frustrating to know that it will be purely a work of speculative fiction!

Frustrating, because in The Urantia Book, we have the true story of Jesus entire life, including his childhood - the true story as preserved by spiritual eyewitnesses who were actually there. Now THAT'S a movie I'd stand in line to see!

For a quick look at Urantia Book teachings about what Jesus was up to in these so-called "lost years," see THIS LINK

And while we're giving a plug to this secularly-made film about Jesus, we'd also like to direct your attention to a beautiful film made using The Urantia Book teachings about Jesus. If you would like to know MUCH more about Jesus' public ministry and the masterful way he executed it, please see "Re-Imagining Jesus, a stunning full-length feature film produced by David Kantor, a long-time Urantia Book student/scholar. David traveled the world to make this beautiful film, following Urantia Book teachings from Jesus' life and using footage from numerous places over which the Master walked and worked. This film will show you a side of Jesus you may never have suspected, and can certainly deepen your appreciation of him, and the work he did while he was here.

Don't have a lot of time? Have a look at Jesus' timeline HERE

Jesus Entire Life - the Rest of the Story!

It might be fun to see what the fertile imagination of Ms Rice has come up with, but if you really want to know ALL about the childhood of Jesus, as well as the rest of his life, look no further than this link:

The Life and Teachings of Jesus - PART IV of the Urantia Book.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, March 07, 2016

The Most Famous Sermon of Jesus

By TruthBook Staff

The sermon Jesus preached by Rev. Felix Doni-Kwame

Most people are familiar with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Some refer to it as "The Beatitudes." See our blog below, which will expand on this topic. But first, I recommend this article for consideration; what the Reverend has done is to explain why these values embodied in the Beatitudes, which seemingly fly in the face of worldly reason, are altogether reasonable and workable - in fact, are the only values that can bring peace to this world.

Click to read the entire article

_____________________

The Ordination Sermon 

This sermon of Jesus, called "The Sermon on the Mount" in the Bible, is one that has tremendous significance to Christians and Urantia Book readers alike. In fact. it is so well-known that probably many even non-churched people are familiar with several of these wise sayings of Jesus.

In the Urantia Book account, we learn that this amazing sermon was actually the Ordination Sermon to Jesus' apostles as he ordained them for public ministry. Seen in that light, this sermon takes on far more significance; if we truly desire to follow Jesus, as did the apostles, we would do well to take Jesus' advice to heart.

Here is a lovely section from The Urantia Book that expands upon the well-known sayings contained in this sermon:

140:5.4 The Master introduced this momentous discourse by calling attention to four faith attitudes as the prelude to the subsequent portrayal of his four transcendent and supreme reactions of fatherly love in contrast to the limitations of mere brotherly love.
He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy, promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father's affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother's affection.
The faith and the love of these beatitudes strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. This momentous sermon started out upon the note of happiness.

Faith Attitudes

1. "Happy are the poor in spirit— the humble." To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus' times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit—egotistical; the other felt "poor in spirit"—humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth—for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.
2. "Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Only those who feel poor in spirit will ever hunger for righteousness. Only the humble seek for divine strength and crave spiritual power. But it is most dangerous to knowingly engage in spiritual fasting in order to improve one's appetite for spiritual endowments. Physical fasting becomes dangerous after four or five days; one is apt to lose all desire for food. Prolonged fasting, either physical or spiritual, tends to destroy hunger.
Experiential righteousness is a pleasure, not a duty. Jesus' righteousness is a dynamic love—fatherly-brotherly affection. It is not the negative or thou-shalt-not type of righteousness. How could one ever hunger for something negative—something "not to do"?
It is not so easy to teach a child mind these first two of the beatitudes, but the mature mind should grasp their significance.
3. "Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God— "Your will be done." It embraces patience and forbearance and is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading. Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe.
4. "Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Spiritual purity is not a negative quality, except that it does lack suspicion and revenge. In discussing purity, Jesus did not intend to deal exclusively with human sex attitudes. He referred more to that faith which man should have in his fellow man; that faith which a parent has in his child, and which enables him to love his fellows even as a father would love them. A father's love need not pamper, and it does not condone evil, but it is always anticynical. Fatherly love has singleness of purpose, and it always looks for the best in man; that is the attitude of a true parent.
To see God—by faith—means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother—with brotherly love—but also as a father—with fatherly affection.
It is easy to teach this admonition even to a child. Children are naturally trustful, and parents should see to it that they do not lose that simple faith. In dealing with children, avoid all deception and refrain from suggesting suspicion. Wisely help them to choose their heroes and select their lifework
And then Jesus went on to instruct his followers in the realization of the chief purpose of all human struggling— perfection— even divine attainment. Always he admonished them: "Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." He did not exhort the twelve to love their neighbors as they loved themselves. That would have been a worthy achievement; it would have indicated the achievement of brotherly love. He rather admonished his apostles to love men as he had loved them—to love with a fatherly as well as a brotherly affection. And he illustrated this by pointing out four supreme reactions of fatherly love:

Reactions of Fatherly Love

1. "Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted." So-called common sense or the best of logic would never suggest that happiness could be derived from mourning. But Jesus did not refer to outward or ostentatious mourning. He alluded to an emotional attitude of tenderheartedness. It is a great error to teach boys and young men that it is unmanly to show tenderness or otherwise to give evidence of emotional feeling or physical suffering. Sympathy is a worthy attribute of the male as well as the female. It is not necessary to be calloused in order to be manly. This is the wrong way to create courageous men. The world's great men have not been afraid to mourn. Moses, the mourner, was a greater man than either Samson or Goliath. Moses was a superb leader, but he was also a man of meekness. Being sensitive and responsive to human need creates genuine and lasting happiness, while such kindly attitudes safeguard the soul from the destructive influences of anger, hate, and suspicion.
2. "Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."Mercy here denotes the height and depth and breadth of the truest friendship —loving-kindness. Mercy sometimes may be passive, but here it is active and dynamic—supreme fatherliness. A loving parent experiences little difficulty in forgiving his child, even many times. And in an unspoiled child the urge to relieve suffering is natural. Children are normally kind and sympathetic when old enough to appreciate actual conditions.
3. "Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Jesus' hearers were longing for military deliverance, not for peacemakers. But Jesus' peace is not of the pacific and negative kind. In the face of trials and persecutions he said, "My peace I leave with you." "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." This is the peace that prevents ruinous conflicts. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear, greed, and anger. Political peace prevents race antagonisms, national suspicions, and war. Peacemaking is the cure of distrust and suspicion.
Children can easily be taught to function as peacemakers. They enjoy team activities; they like to play together. Said the Master at another time: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life shall find it."
4. "Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
So often persecution does follow peace. But young people and brave adults never shun difficulty or danger. "Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends." And a fatherly love can freely do all these things—things which brotherly love can hardly encompass. And progress has always been the final harvest of persecution.
Children always respond to the challenge of courage. Youth is ever willing to "take a dare." And every child should early learn to sacrifice.
And so it is revealed that the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are based on faith and love and not on law—ethics and duty.
Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil—doing good in retaliation for injustice.

Read "the rest of the story," and MORE! 

It is easy to see that, by adopting these attitudes in our personal lives and teaching them to our children, we can then bring them into the larger community and demonstrate their effectiveness in dealing with even the worst of the wiles of the world. If nothing else, these admonitions provide personal peace, personal joy, and personal happiness.

Click to read the entire section on "The Ordination Sermon."

And, incidentally, Jesus delivered numerous sermons in his lifetime - many more than are covered in the Bible. Some of the topics he spoke on are: "Good and Evil," "Truth and Faith," "Soul,", "Mind," and "Self-Mastery."

Click to see these and many other sermons of the Master

How do we best "follow Jesus"?

In all of these readings and commentaries on Jesus, both in the Christian press and in the Urania Book community, the thing that is most important is that we learn to "follow Jesus." The Urantia Book advises:

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

And how can we best "know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it?" We can have a look at PART IV of The Urantia Book, which is an amazing restatement of Jesus life and teachings for the 21st century - given to us by spiritual eyewitnesses who were really there! Nothing about the Master's life has ever been lost, but up until The Urantia Book, all the world has had are the Bible accounts, which are pretty scanty. The Urantia Book now gives us Jesus anew, and those who love him and want to know more about him will thrill at this narrative. Check it out!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, February 09, 2016

Why We Should Be of Good Cheer

By TruthBook Staff

Jesus teaches about worry by Randy Bradley

In this blog, you may notice that we usually find stories in the Christian press that we wish to make comment on, or articles in which we feel the reader may benefit from discovering Urantia Book teachings on the subject. This article is no exception, except that we feel it is pretty much wonderful just as it is, including this snippet of advice near the end of the piece:

"When you need help in everyday life and decisions, stay in His word and trust in Him for guidance. There is no need to worry about the unknown! God promises never to leave us or forsake those who love and follow Him.

"If you allow God in the number one spot in your life, He will guide you every day.

"Matthew 6:34 says, 'So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' "

Click to read the article in full

_______________________

Why We Blog

We are not always critical of Christian thought as expressed in the popular press. In the end, we feel that we are in solidarity with Christians and lovers of Jesus everywhere; we celebrate Jesus, as do all of the authors of these pieces on Jesus, and we understnd that it is not the fault of these writers that they only have Biblical stories to draw from. After all, before the delivery of The Urantia Book, that's all that has been available! And we do celebrate the fact that the Bible has been sufficient to bring countless souls to Jesus for over 20 centuries.

It's just that in The Urantia Book, we have been gifted with such an expanded revelation of the Master's life that we want to share it as often as we can; these articles in the news are a way for us to do that. We take very seriously the advice of the revelators. who tell us:

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

More Hope for the Anxious

Having said that, though, we do feel that you as the reader may wish to know even more - not only about what Jesus had to say about the subject of anxiety and worry, but what is contained in other parts of the book regarding this subject.

For that purpose, we are including a link here so that you can visit our topical study on anxiety. There are teachings of Jesus in the study, as well as passages that appear throughout the book that counsel us on anxiety...

Click to visit the study

And that's about it for now...

As Jesus was fond of saying: "Be of good cheer!"

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, February 01, 2016

Jesus and Religious Unity

By TruthBook Staff

What would Jesus do where religious unity is concerned? Why not ask him? By Kevin Leininger

Jesus and religious unity? How could a Urantia Book reader ignore this opportunity to shed spiritual light? See our blog below...

But first, let's have a look at how even the concept of "one God" cannot seem to unify believers who insist on uniformity of belief - otherwise known as DOGMA.

From this very interesting article:

"Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a Christian professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, probably could have gotten away with donning a headscarf during Advent as a show of support for Muslims she believes have been unfairly maligned by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and others as potentially violent. But when she justified her gesture of religious solidarity by insisting that Christians and Muslims 'worship the same god,' her bosses at the Christian school responded by putting her on paid leave for contradicting Wheaton's 'statement of faith and educational purpose.' "
"What would Jesus do? He's already told us: Love your neighbor as yourself. It can be hard, but if more people tried, regardless of their faith, we might not be so desperate to recreate God -- or each other -- in our own image."

Click to read the article in full

_______________

What a tragic missed opportunity!

Christianity and Islam are two examples of what The Urantia Book calls "religions of authority," but both worship one God; is there such a thing as the "wrong God?" Even Christians acknowledge that Jesus was the earthly revelation of this one God ... there IS only one!

Again, from this most interesting article:

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations, meanwhile, noted that, "from an Islamic perspective, there is only one deity worshiped by Muslims, Christians and Jews ... Throughout history, rigid -- and inaccurate -- theological positions on the nature of God and on beliefs of other faiths resulted in conflict and lost opportunities for mutual understanding. We see such extremism today in the anti-Islamic actions and beliefs of ISIS and its ilk."

Conversely, some in mainstream Christianity seem intent upon highlighting our differences, instead of our commonalities:

Evangelist Franklin Graham, whose famous father Billy attended Wheaton, correctly noted that only Christians believe in a Triune God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims, he said, "deny that Jesus is God . . . Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.

In The Urantia Book, spiritual unity vs uniformity is a compelling and recurring theme. About it, Jesus said:

155:6.9 The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience—uniformity of destiny—making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration.

Click to read this amazing discourse of Jesus regarding religion

But, CAN there really be religious unity in this world?

In The Urantia Book, we discover the reasons why there definitely CAN be spiritual unity among ALL religions that worship the ONE God; that reason is that all of mankind - Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist... and even the unchurched ...have one amazing thing in common. That one thing is the spark of God that indwells the minds of all human beings. And recognition of, and experience with, that indwelling Spirit can bring about spiritual unity as more and more believers and pactitioners of the religion of spiritual experience with God realize that this transcendent religion can be enjoyed by everyone - with or without belongng to a "traditonal" church, or mosque, or temple. As Jesus said above:

"The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling."

Elsewhere in The Urantia Book, we learn:

92:7.4 All these religions have arisen as a result of man's variable intellectual response to his identical spiritual leading. They can never hope to attain a uniformity of creeds, dogmas, and rituals—these are intellectual; but they can, and some day will, realize a unity in true worship of the Father of all, for this is spiritual, and it is forever true, in the spirit all men are equal.

AND

103:1.1 The unity of religious experience among a social or racial group derives from the identical nature of the God fragment indwelling the individual. It is this divine in man that gives origin to his unselfish interest in the welfare of other men. But since personality is unique—no two mortals being alike—it inevitably follows that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.

Further:

134:4.3 If different religions recognize the spirit sovereignty of God the Father, then will all such religions remain at peace. Only when one religion assumes that it is in some way superior to all others, and that it possesses exclusive authority over other religions, will such a religion presume to be intolerant of other religions or dare to persecute other religious believers.
Religious peace—brotherhood—can never exist unless all religions are willing to completely divest themselves of all ecclesiastical authority and fully surrender all concept of spiritual sovereignty. God alone is spirit sovereign.
You cannot have equality among religions (religious liberty) without having religious wars unless all religions consent to the transfer of all religious sovereignty to some superhuman level, to God himself.

Jesus came to this earth to do a number of things, but one of the primary goals of his mission was to establish the Kingdom of heaven in the hearts of all mankind - to let mankind know that they are children of God and that his Kingdom wihin them IS the influence that will unite them all.

134:4.6 The kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men will create religious unity (not necessarily uniformity) because any and all religious groups composed of such religious believers will be free from all notions of ecclesiastical authority—religious sovereignty.

Click to read abour Sovereignty - Divine and Human

Click to read about the Philosophy of Religion

The Teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book Show the Way!

One of the most remarkable things that we discover as Urantia Book reader/students is that no matter what flavor of religion we may have been raised in, or that our family or friends belong to, or that the loudest voices claim is the only one ... our personal spiritual experience with the God-fragment that indwells our minds allows us to safely navigate all of these religions without ever having to feel that we must subscribe to any of them. Why? because Jesus has taught us the very best religion of all - the religion of personal spiritual experience, whch provides us with all we need. AND - if we do decide to belong to a particular religion, we will be all the better in that religion when we can just relax and worship God with others without having to worry whether we have picked the "wrong" one or the "right" one. All religions are good, just to the extent that they bring God closer to us and us closer to God. But the personal religion of experience with God can inform all religious participation in a positive way.

So, we feel sorry that this message about religion and about God has been missed in the experiences of the teacher who was fired and the response of the authorities who might have built a bridge instead of tearing the bridge down; nevertheless, we hope that through this little blog piece, someone, somewhere may find a new bridge through the matchless teachings of The Urantia Book. We hope that someone, somewhere will be willing to explore their gift of God-within and start to enjoy the thrilling religion of the spirit, which will unify as nothing else can.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


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