Mon, October 17, 2016
The True Nature of the Holy Spirit
By TruthBook Staff
This title that discusses the Holy Spirit caught my eye - Urantia Book readers will understand why, but maybe not everyone else. The article is called: MATTERS OF FAITH: Exploring the nature of the Holy Spirit by ERICK KALENGA. As a Urantia Book reader might expect, there is confusion regarding the Holy Spirit; in this article, the Holy Spirit is confused with the Spirit of Truth that Jesus left on the day he ascended to heaven. Here are some snippets. As you can clearly see, the author assumes the third person of the trinity is also the spirit that Jesus left with us:
"The Holy Spirit is possibly the member of the Trinity that is the least talked about and also most misunderstood. We have a clear understanding from the word of God that the Trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
"Acts 1:8 tells us that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they would be witnesses not only in Jerusalem but also to the ends of the earth. And after they received the Holy Spirit the evidence of that presence in them caused a movement to begin.
"It is impossible for a believer to fully experience the fullness of God, and successfully live for Christ, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, one cannot interpret the Word of God properly, cannot serve God effectively, nor discern things clearly. Many have been baptized in the water but not in the Spirit."
Click to read the entire article
Another mystery solved, thanks to The Urantia Book!
As human beings and children of God, we are graced with a LOT of spiritual help, even though we live on a sin-darkened and rebellious world. But up until The Urantia Book, the concept of these various spirit agencies were only dimly realized or understood. Let's go through the ones that are discussed in the article above:
Who is the Holy Spirit?
As the author correctly states, the Holy Spirit IS the thrid person of the Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit. What does The Urantia Book teach us about this amazing Person? Along with the title of "Holy Spirit," we are taught that this person is also called "The Infinite Spirit," and the "God of Action."
8:0.1 BACK IN ETERNITY, when the Universal Father's "first" infinite and absolute thought finds in the Eternal Son such a perfect and adequate word for its divine expression, there ensues the supreme desire of both the Thought-God and the Word-God for a universal and infinite agent of mutual expression and combined action.
8:0.2 In the dawn of eternity both the Father and the Son become infinitely cognizant of their mutual interdependence, their eternal and absolute oneness; and therefore do they enter into an infinite and everlasting covenant of divine partnership. This never-ending compact is made for the execution of their united concepts throughout all of the circle of eternity; and ever since this eternity event the Father and the Son continue in this divine union.
8:0.3 We are now face to face with the eternity origin of the Infinite Spirit, the Third Person of Deity. The very instant that God the Father and God the Son conjointly conceive an identical and infinite action—the execution of an absolute thought-plan—that very moment, the Infinite Spirit springs full-fledgedly into existence.
8:0.4 In thus reciting the order of the origin of the Deities, I do so merely to enable you to think of their relationship. In reality they are all three existent from eternity; they are existential. They are without beginning or ending of days; they are co-ordinate, supreme, ultimate, absolute, and infinite. They are and always have been and ever shall be. And they are three distinctly individualized but eternally associated persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
There are two entire papers devoted to the Infinite Spirit: Paper 8: The Infinite Spirit (from which the passage above is from, and Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe
And, if you have questions about the Trinity, you can read about this mystery in Paper 10: The Paradise Trinity
But who is the Spirit that Jesus left us - the Comforter?
Jesus did promise to leave his Spirit with us, and he did so on the very day that he ascended to the Father - the day of Pentecost. But this Spirit - called the Spirit of Truth - is not the same as the Holy Spirit, third person of the trinity.
In the section of Paper 180 called "The Promised Helper, " Jesus says:
180:4.1 "When I have gone to the Father, and after he has fully accepted the work I have done for you on earth, and after I have received the final sovereignty of my own domain, I shall say to my Father: Having left my children alone on earth, it is in accordance with my promise to send them another teacher. And when the Father shall approve, I will pour out the Spirit of Truth upon all flesh. Already is my Father's spirit in your hearts, and when this day shall come, you will also have me with you even as you now have the Father. This new gift is the spirit of living truth. The unbelievers will not at first listen to the teachings of this spirit, but the sons of light will all receive him gladly and with a whole heart. And you shall know this spirit when he comes even as you have known me, and you will receive this gift in your hearts, and he will abide with you. You thus perceive that I am not going to leave you without help and guidance. I will not leave you desolate. Today I can be with you only in person. In the times to come I will be with you and all other men who desire my presence, wherever you may be, and with each of you at the same time. Do you not discern that it is better for me to go away; that I leave you in the flesh so that I may the better and the more fully be with you in the spirit?
How was this spirit given? What does the Spirit of Truth do?
194:0.1 ABOUT ONE O'CLOCK, as the one hundred and twenty believers were engaged in prayer, they all became aware of a strange presence in the room. At the same time these disciples all became conscious of a new and profound sense of spiritual joy, security, and confidence. This new consciousness of spiritual strength was immediately followed by a strong urge to go out and publicly proclaim the gospel of the kingdom and the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead.
194:0.2 Peter stood up and declared that this must be the coming of the Spirit of Truth which the Master had promised them and proposed that they go to the temple and begin the proclamation of the good news committed to their hands. And they did just what Peter suggested.
194:0.3 These men had been trained and instructed that the gospel which they should preach was the fatherhood of God and the sonship of man, but at just this moment of spiritual ecstasy and personal triumph, the best tidings, the greatest news, these men could think of was the fact of the risen Master. And so they went forth, endowed with power from on high, preaching glad tidings to the people—even salvation through Jesus—but they unintentionally stumbled into the error of substituting some of the facts associated with the gospel for the gospel message itself. Peter unwittingly led off in this mistake, and others followed after him on down to Paul, who created a new religion out of the new version of the good news.
Read more...Paper 194: The Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth
Further from that paper:
194:2.1 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.
194:2.2 The first mission of this spirit is, of course, to foster and personalize truth, for it is the comprehension of truth that constitutes the highest form of human liberty. Next, it is the purpose of this spirit to destroy the believer's feeling of orphanhood. Jesus having been among men, all believers would experience a sense of loneliness had not the Spirit of Truth come to dwell in men's hearts.
194:2.3 This bestowal of the Son's spirit effectively prepared all normal men's minds for the subsequent universal bestowal of the Father's spirit (the Adjuster) upon all mankind. In a certain sense, this Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Universal Father and the Creator Son.
The Urantia Book is a gift of great value to our world, and to those who love and seek truth. These teachings regarding the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth are just one example of how we are blessed through this revelation. The entire hierarchy of our spiritual benefactors is arrayed for us and explained to us in its pages.
And in the final part of the book, the entire Life and Teachings of Jesus are narrated, from his pre-birth existence all the way through to his post-incrarnation activities - and where Jesus is today.
Read The Urantia Book for the explanation of many more mysteries of our universe, of God, of our little world (Urantia) and of Jesus.
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Mon, October 10, 2016
Discover the rest of Jesus' life
By TruthBook Staff
For Urantia Book readers, this question has become a non-issue: Why do we know so little about Jesus' life? by Earl Crow. Why it is a non-issue for readers of The Urantia Book is discussed in our blog, below...
But here is part of the answer given by the author. Again, no one can be faulted for not knowing, although some of his answer is true; for example, the belief that Jesus had a brother named James. He did. But anyone who has not read The Urantia Book might answer in a similar way to this:
"Answer: You are correct. We know very little about Jesus' life. Some present-day writers have placed Jesus in various countries studying different religions. We have no proof of foreign travel or study of different religions. Works written close to Jesus' time viewed Him in different ways. For example, the Babylonian Talmud, a commentary on the Torah by Jews in exile in Egypt, rejected the miraculous conception of Jesus and Mary's virginity. It characterized Jesus as a sorcerer who was not crucified, but was hanged. Josephus, a Jewish scholar who authored "Antiquities of the Jews," confirmed that Jesus had a brother named James. Other historians and politicians gave limited information about Jesus' life, but they were aware of the Christian movement. Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia, present-day Turkey, wrote to the Roman Emperor Trajan about 112 A.D. seeking advice as to how to deal with the growing Christian movement. Tacitus, a Roman senator and historian, and Suetonius, a Roman historian, both mentioned the Jesus movement. Most of what we know is in the New Testament, primarily the four gospels. Even in the Gospels, we learn little about his early life, and few historically supportable facts about his adult life."
Click to read the rest of the answer
Do YOU want to know more about Jesus' Life?
Over the centuries since Jesus walked our earth, legions of followers have flocked to the Master's side, desiring to be like him and to walk in his ways. Even without detailed knowledge of his life and teachings, what little that has come down through the ages has been sufficient to ignite the interest and the passion and the devotion of these believers.
But as time goes on, the thirst for knowledge of Jesus has only grown. Speculations like those in the article cited above have been rife - even to the point of some skeptics even denying his existence at all in these modern times.
When Jesus was on earth, he left no writings, no material evidence of any kind that he was here. He left only his teachings with his followers - his apostles and others - trusting that they would carry on the work he started here - the work of establishing and growing the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts of mankind. And again - even with the dearth of information that they passed on about Jesus and even though his teachings became corrupted and changed from the original, these fragments have been sufficient to stir the imaginations of countless generations that came after.
But where are the details that we crave? Where is the real story of Jesus? We know that he lived a life of 30+ years. We know that he was born, that he had a childhood, that he grew to manhood, that he established the Kingdom, that he had followers, that he was arrested and crucified, and that he died, was buried, and that he rose from the dead and that he appeared to many after his resurrection. What about those missing years that we know nothing about? What about his childhood? His family? His followers?
Enter The Urantia Book
If you know that Jesus was the Son of God incarnated in the body of a human man, you might agree that this kind of miraculous occurrence was pretty amazing, to say the least. It only makes good sense to think that somewhere, somehow, each and every detail of such a life would have been preserved for eternity. And such thinking is correct. These details have always been known to the celestial personalities who were with Jesus before and during his life. They have been faithfully preserved by those celestial personalities in safekeeping for a time when the world would once again be ready to discover Jesus anew. And that time is NOW.
It was not until centuries had passed and the world discovered the printing press that the stage was set for the emergence of a new revelation of the Master's life. The printing press was developed in the 1600s - a mere blink of time until the 1900s, when The Urantia Book was first published, followed closely in the 20th century by the emergence of the internet, through which The Urantia Book has now spread its truth worldwide. And in The Urantia Book, the Life and Teachings of Jesus are presented. They are presented factually, chronologically, and rich with detail never before seen.
Of course, the Master's entire life is not presented - that might take hundreds of books the size of The Urantia Book. But the life of Jesus is shown in greater detail than ever before. From his status before his incarnation, his birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, young manhood - his travels, his ministry, both personal and public - his teachings, his mission, his arrest, crucifixion and death - his resurrection and his 19 seperate appearances to over 1000 people are recounted. We are given many dates - dates that are complete right down to the day of the week, in many cases, are supplied to us. And these dates and days of the week hve been proven to be correct through computer analysis.
Wonder no more!
If you, like the questioner above, wonder about Jesus, you have come to the right place. Please see PART IV of The Urantia Book - The Life and Teachings of Jesus - to discover for yourself the real story of the Master and his matchless life of love and service. When we know more about Jesus and who he truly was, and is, we will expand our love of him and our devotion to him through discovering how he really lived, what he really believed, and what his true mission to our world really was. It is part of our history, yours and mine. And the world is in desperate need of Jesus and his revelation of God to mankind as never before in its history. Be part of it...the time is now.
We leave you with a statement made by Jesus shortly before his arrest, while he was giving his apostles some final counsel and prayer. The Urantia Book revelators say it this way:
182:1.9 The Master, during the course of this final prayer with his apostles, alluded to the fact that he had manifested the Father's name to the world. And that is truly what he did by the revelation of God through his perfected life in the flesh. The Father in heaven had sought to reveal himself to Moses, but he could proceed no further than to cause it to be said, "I AM." And when pressed for further revelation of himself, it was only disclosed, "I AM that I AM." But when Jesus had finished his earth life, this name of the Father had been so revealed that the Master, who was the Father incarnate, could truly sayI am the bread of life.
I am the living water.
I am the light of the world.
I am the desire of all ages.
I am the open door to eternal salvation.
I am the reality of endless life.
I am the good shepherd.
I am the pathway of infinite perfection.
I am the resurrection and the life.
I am the secret of eternal survival.
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
I am the infinite Father of my finite children.
I am the true vine; you are the branches.
I am the hope of all who know the living truth.
I am the living bridge from one world to another.
I am the living link between time and eternity.
Thus did Jesus enlarge the living revelation of the name of God to all generations. As divine love reveals the nature of God, eternal truth discloses his name in ever-enlarging proportions.
Read The Urantia Book to discover those "ever-enlarging proportions" of the Father's nature and name, as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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Mon, October 03, 2016
How was the Stone Rolled Away?
By TruthBook Staff
Urantia Book readers know the answer to this question: Who Really Rolled the Stone Away? by Kevin Porter; those who rely only on the Bible have been scratching their heads for a long time to figure it out, but they cannot be faulted, since that is all the world has had until now.
See our blog below, where we discuss what really happened that resurrection morning, but first, here's a taste of the article. And by the way, it is a good article, complete with information about how tombs were constructed in Jesus' time, and what a task it would have been for even a group of humans to do it...
"Have you ever really sat down and thought through who rolled away the large stone sealing the tomb of Jesus? Christian apologist Lee Strobel, whose newly-revised New York Times bestseller The Case for Christ was released recently, walks readers through his investigation about this question.
"After Strobel applied his investigatory skills, what does Strobel believe for sure?
"His opinion on the stone and the tomb seems to somewhat lean towards one theory — perhaps one of the few times that Strobel has not arrived at a decisive answer.
"He tells The Christian Post, 'I think the example of the angel at the tomb is a good one. I don't think we have good evidence in terms of who it was who actually rolled the stone away.' "
"The former journalist concludes that the Bible is a mystery that may never be fully understood."
Click to read the whole article
Read the real story
Up until the times of The Urantia Book, the issue of who rolled the stone away may have been a mystery, but since its arrival, there is no question about how this feat was accomplished. It happened during the time between Jesus burial in the tomb and after the time that the archangels requested custody of the material body of Jesus, but before the arrival of the women on that Sunday morning. From The Urantia Book:
After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus' physical body. This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal; it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.
ED. NOTE: "Morontia" is a newly coined word, revealed through The Urantia Book. Morontia is a state that is between the purely physical and the purely spiritual - a sort of interim place of trasition between the two. Read more about morontia material.
As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord—without any visible means to account for such motion—they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple. The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.
The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers. They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: "While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body." And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor's knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.
The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the "dust to dust," without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.
The mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.
The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.
Click to read this complete section about the Material Body of Jesus
The Urantia Book restates the events of Jesus' life as they happened
This request of the angels should make sense to anyone who might suspect what a universally important event the resurrection of Jesus was - not just for human beings but also for the vast hosts of celestial personalities who had followed the Master's entire life. Even though Jesus' material body was no longer useful, it was a disagreeable thought to the celestials that his body should be permitted to molder and disintegrate over months and years of time. Accordingly, they were permitted -and able - to accelerate time so that his body was instantaneously dissolved.
The form in which Jesus resurrected was his spirit form - the same kind of form that all human beings will receive upon arrival in the Father's mansion worlds. And this is precisely why Mary Magdalene and many others who saw the resurrected Jesus did not immediately recognize him; he was changed from the way he looked in his physical form. But as soon as he spoke, those who knew him recognized him immediately because his personality was the same.
Again, this is a good example of how The Urantia Book informs and updates our understanding of Jesus' life, teachings, and resurrection. The Holy Week stories are among some of the best, the most thrilling, the saddest, most horrifying ... and yet the most inspiring of all the stories presented of Jesus' amazing life. See all of those Holy Week stories (beginning with Sunday and Monday) HERE.
And for the most complete story, see PART IV of the Urantia Book.
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Thu, September 29, 2016
The Women Disciples of Jesus
By TruthBook Staff
When I saw this title: Where Were the Women Disciples of Jesus? by Russell Waldrop, it was clear that this was an article and a question that needed to be addressed and answered. This is only part one of the article, but judging from our experience with popular Chrisitian press, part two will be similar, in that only Bible information will be referenced...so here we go with a blog about the first part of the article: just where - and who - those women were. See below for that.
Here's a short snippet from the article:
So, the adolescent anchor that "all of Jesus' disciples were men" carries dangerous baggage for both girls and boys, especially for adult women following Jesus today. It remains one of those "childish ways" that the Bible tells us to outgrow (1Cor. 13:11). It was also wrong. There were many more female disciples than "The Twelve."
Click to read the article
Yes, indeed there were female disciples!
Only in The Urantia Book will you ever read the whole story of the women who followed Jesus, primary among them being the Women's Evangelistic Corps established by Jesus during the Third Preaching Tour as the "emancipation proclamation which set free all women and for all time."
Here's how the story begins:
Of all the daring things which Jesus did in connection with his earth career, the most amazing was his sudden announcement on the evening of January 16: "On the morrow we will set apart ten women for the ministering work of the kingdom." At the beginning of the two weeks' period during which the apostles and the evangelists were to be absent from Bethsaida on their furlough, Jesus requested David to summon his parents back to their home and to dispatch messengers calling to Bethsaida ten devout women who had served in the administration of the former encampment and the tented infirmary. These women had all listened to the instruction given the young evangelists, but it had never occurred to either themselves or their teachers that Jesus would dare to commission women to teach the gospel of the kingdom and minister to the sick. These ten women selected and commissioned by Jesus were: Susanna, the daughter of the former chazan of the Nazareth synagogue; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the steward of Herod Antipas; Elizabeth, the daughter of a wealthy Jew of Tiberias and Sepphoris; Martha, the elder sister of Andrew and Peter; Rachel, the sister-in-law of Jude, the Master's brother in the flesh; Nasanta, the daughter of Elman, the Syrian physician; Milcha, a cousin of the Apostle Thomas; Ruth, the eldest daughter of Matthew Levi; Celta, the daughter of a Roman centurion; and Agaman, a widow of Damascus. Subsequently, Jesus added two other women to this group— Mary Magdalene and Rebecca, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea.
Click to read the whole story of the Women's Evangelistic Corps
Over time, many women joined this corps, growing its ranks to more than 50 women.
Reading on from the link above, we first hear of Mary Magdalene, one of the first successes in the women's ministry:
150:2.2 It was at Magdala that the women first demonstrated their usefulness and vindicated the wisdom of their choosing. Andrew had imposed rather strict rules upon his associates about doing personal work with women, especially with those of questionable character. When the party entered Magdala, these ten women evangelists were free to enter the evil resorts and preach the glad tidings directly to all their inmates. And when visiting the sick, these women were able to draw very close in their ministry to their afflicted sisters. As the result of the ministry of these ten women (afterward known as the twelve women) at this place, Mary Magdalene was won for the kingdom. Through a succession of misfortunes and in consequence of the attitude of reputable society toward women who commit such errors of judgment, this woman had found herself in one of the nefarious resorts of Magdala. It was Martha and Rachel who made plain to Mary that the doors of the kingdom were open to even such as she. Mary believed the good news and was baptized by Peter the next day.
150:2.3 Mary Magdalene became the most effective teacher of the gospel among this group of twelve women evangelists. She was set apart for such service, together with Rebecca, at Jotapata about four weeks subsequent to her conversion. Mary and Rebecca, with the others of this group, went on through the remainder of Jesus' life on earth. laboring faithfully and effectively for the enlightenment and uplifting of their downtrodden sisters; and when the last and tragic episode in the drama of Jesus' life was being enacted, notwithstanding the apostles all fled but one, these women were all present, and not one either denied or betrayed him.
There were many women who followed Jesus. In our TruthBook pages, you can access several studies of these women, among them a study exploring the revolutionary way that Jesus viewed, and treated women of his day and time. In those days women were considered second-class citizens. They were certainly not considered as worthy ministers; but Jesus changed all that.
And just who were these women?
In this study called "Women Who Followed Jesus," we read details and biographies of:
Mary: Mother of Jesus
Martha and Mary of Bethany
Ruth: Sister of Jesus
Rebecca: Daughter of Ezra
Jesus and the Two Courtesans
and many more.
Readers of The Urantia Book - especially women readers - can witness the love, respect, and compassion with which Jesus treated women; from his mother, Mary, to the woman taken in adultery, Jesus is shown to be the champion of women. And just as then, women today deserve as vital a role in proclaiming the good news as do men.
To read all of the thrilling Life and Teachings of Jesus - including his revolutionary approach to women in ministry and in life - you need go no further than PART IV of The Urantia Book
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Fri, September 02, 2016
The Adventure Called Death
By TruthBook Staff
What better opening for a Urantia Book student than this article titled: What happens when we die? by Vince Hatt? Urantia Book reader/students are given the most complete, satisfying, and comforting details on life afte death that can be found anywhere! See our blog below, but first, here are a few snips from this very good article (which I highly recommend!)
"I am now in the fourth quarter of life. I do not expect it to go into overtime. And I wonder what happens to me after I die?
"I have friends who believe there is nothing after death. They say, "Try to live a decent life here and let go. The end." Actually, I am becoming OK with this, although I may be underestimating my survival instinct and the unwillingness of my ego to let go at the time of death.
"Did Jesus die and was raised? That is the question that every Christian must answer. My answer is yes.
"Gospel means "good news." The good news for Christians is that the risen Christ promises life everlasting to his faithful followers."
Click to read the entire article
A couple of important ideas are discussed in this article: The FACT of resurrection for all people, and what HAPPENS after we are resurrected.
The FACT of resurrection
As horrible as it was, Jesus of Nazareth died a natural death, as would any other human in those circumstances. In fact thousands died in just the same maner in those days. And when we understand that, we understand that Jesus was, indeed, a human being with a human body.
And when Jesus resurrected on the third day, he resurrected as will all mortals. The only difference being that we will resurrect on a better world, not on earth. Jesus had his reasons for resurrecting here, and he appeared to many people before he finally ascended into heaven.
What evidence is there?
From The Urantia Book:
189:2.9 The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.
188:3.11 In the vast court of the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of Satania, there may now be observed a magnificent material-morontia structure known as the "Michael Memorial," now bearing the seal of Gabriel. This memorial was created shortly after Michael departed from this world, and it bears this inscription: "In commemoration of the mortal transit of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia."
188:4.6 Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh.
Why did Mary not recognize Jesus at first?
Jesus' body was not part of his resurrection, and our physical bodies will not be a part of our resurrection either.
190:0.3 The mortals of the realms will arise in the morning of the resurrection with the same type of transition or morontia body that Jesus had when he arose from the tomb on this Sunday morning. These bodies do not have circulating blood, and such beings do not partake of ordinary material food; nevertheless, these morontia forms are real. When the various believers saw Jesus after his resurrection, they really saw him; they were not the self-deceived victims of visions or hallucinations.
What is Morontia?
Please see The Morontia Life, in which we read:
48:0.1 THE GODS cannot—at least they do not—transform a creature of gross animal nature into a perfected spirit by some mysterious act of creative magic. When the Creators desire to produce perfect beings, they do so by direct and original creation, but they never undertake to convert animal-origin and material creatures into beings of perfection in a single step.
48:0.2 The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables.
48:0.3 Always this morontia transition intervenes between the mortal estate and the subsequent spirit status of surviving human beings. This intermediate state of universe progress differs markedly in the various local creations, but in intent and purpose they are all quite similar. The arrangement of the mansion and higher morontia worlds in Nebadon is fairly typical of the morontia transition regimes in this part of Orvonton.
30:4.11 All mortals of survival status, in the custody of personal guardians of destiny, pass through the portals of natural death and, on the third period, personalize on the mansion worlds.
But what about our personality? Our mind? Do they resurrect too?
30:4.15 The physical body of mortal flesh is not a part of the reassembly of the sleeping survivor; the physical body has returned to dust. The seraphim of assignment sponsors the new body, the morontia form, as the new life vehicle for the immortal soul and for the indwelling of the returned Adjuster. The Adjuster is the custodian of the spirit transcript of the mind of the sleeping survivor. The assigned seraphim is the keeper of the surviving identity—the immortal soul—as far as it has evolved. And when these two, the Adjuster and the seraphim, reunite their personality trusts, the new individual constitutes the resurrection of the old personality, the survival of the evolving morontia identity of the soul. Such a reassociation of soul and Adjuster is quite properly called a resurrection, a reassembly of personality factors...
112:5.15 During the transit of surviving mortals from the world of origin to the mansion worlds, whether they experience personality reassembly on the third period or ascend at the time of a group resurrection, the record of personality constitution is faithfully preserved by the archangels on their worlds of special activities. These beings are not the custodians of personality (as the guardian seraphim are of the soul), but it is nonetheless true that every identifiable factor of personality is effectually safeguarded in the custody of these dependable trustees of mortal survival. As to the exact whereabouts of mortal personality during the time intervening between death and survival, we do not know.
For more information, please see The Phenomenon of Death and
Survival of the human self
Where do we go?
Remember when Jesus told us about the Father's many mansions?
180:3.4 "Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; continue to believe also in me. Even though I must leave you, I will not be far from you. I have already told you that in my Father's universe there are many tarrying-places. If this were not true, I would not have repeatedly told you about them. I am going to return to these worlds of light, stations in the Father's heaven to which you shall sometime ascend. From these places I came into this world, and the hour is now at hand when I must return to my Father's work in the spheres on high.
30:4.17 Sometimes all training worlds of mortal residence are called universe "mansions," and it was to such spheres that Jesus alluded when he said: "In my Father's house are many mansions." From here on, within a given group of spheres like the mansion worlds, ascenders will progress individually from one sphere to another and from one phase of life to another, but they will always advance from one stage of universe study to another in class formation.
Please see: The Mansion Worlds for much more information...like this:
47:3.1 On the mansion worlds the resurrected mortal survivors resume their lives just where they left off when overtaken by death. When you go from Urantia to the first mansion world, you will notice considerable change, but if you had come from a more normal and progressive sphere of time, you would hardly notice the difference except for the fact that you were in possession of a different body; the tabernacle of flesh and blood has been left behind on the world of nativity.
47:3.7 On mansion world number one (or another in case of advanced status) you will resume your intellectual training and spiritual development at the exact level whereon they were interrupted by death. Between the time of planetary death or translation and resurrection on the mansion world, mortal man gains absolutely nothing aside from experiencing the fact of survival. You begin over there right where you leave off down here.
For an enjoyable and comforting explanation of the life after death, we invite you to have a look at our short flash movie called "After You Die." It is a condenstion of Urantia Book teachings about this adventure that awaits all of us.
And - please visit our TruthBook page called "Heaven," where you can explore many more teachings about life after death, including our online magazine called "There Is Life After Death," which goes into much more detail about the journey ahead.
Jesus showed us the way - not only the way to live as a child of God, but the way that we will survive after death, as he did. Remember, while Jesus was a Divine Son of God, he was also a mortal human and the circumstances of his resurrection are a vital part of his whole revelation of the Father to his universe. What was true for Jesus is true for us, too! He showed us the way...
And for the real, true, complete story of Jesus, please see Part IV of The Uantia Book, the Life and Teachings of Jesus
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Fri, August 19, 2016
Did Jesus Preach Here?
By TruthBook Staff
It is exciting to think that more evidence is being discovered that coroborates not only Biblical stories, but corresponding Urantia Book stories, too. This new article: Archaeologists in Galilee unearth synagogue from Jesus's time by Stuart Winer is very promising. See our blog below, but here are some compelling details from the article:
"Israeli archaeologists in northern Israel have uncovered the ruins of a rural synagogue that dates back some 2,000 years.
"The remains of the synagogue were found during an archaeological dig at Tel Rekhesh, near Mount Tabor in the lower Galilee, in what was an ancient Jewish village.
"The site is 17 km (10 miles) as crow flies east of Nazareth, and 12 km from Nin (Naim), and although we don't have its name in the New Testament, it is in the area in which Jesus acted," said Aviam."
Click to read the entire article
Did Jesus and the apostles preach in Nain, the area where the temple was found?
146:0.1 THE FIRST PUBLIC preaching tour of Galilee began on Sunday, January 18, A.D. 28, and continued for about two months, ending with the return to Capernaum on March 17. On this tour Jesus and the twelve apostles, assisted by the former apostles of John, preached the gospel and baptized believers in Rimmon, Jotapata, Ramah, Zebulun, Iron, Gischala, Chorazin, Madon, Cana, Nain, and Endor, In these cities they tarried and taught, while in many other smaller towns they proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom as they passed through.
Nain, of course, is well known to both Bible students and Urantia Book students as the site where Jesus apparently healed the widow's son.
How many other such structures might be discovered?
This passage suggests that there were numerous synagogues in both Galilee and Judea. Is this new discovery one of them?
146:4.1 At Iron, as in many of even the smaller cities of Galilee and Judea, [italics by ed.] there was a synagogue, and during the earlier times of Jesus' ministry it was his custom to speak in these synagogues on the Sabbath day. Sometimes he would speak at the morning service, and Peter or one of the other apostles would preach at the afternoon hour. Jesus and the apostles would also often teach and preach at the weekday evening assemblies at the synagogue. Although the religious leaders at Jerusalem became increasingly antagonistic toward Jesus, they exercised no direct control over the synagogues outside of that city. It was not until later in Jesus' public ministry that they were able to create such a widespread sentiment against him as to bring about the almost universal closing of the synagogues to his teaching. At this time all the synagogues of Galilee and Judea were open to him.
Are you interested in knowing the details of Jesus' ministry in the synagogues of his day? There are many, and we have compiled a collection of Urantia Book teachings about these many appearances of the Master in synagogues as well as temples. Most are appearances in Jerusalem and Capernaum, athough some are chronicled in Nazareth and Philadelphia, too.
See our study on Jesus in the Synagogue
Want more of Jesus? More stories like this one?
Only in The Urantia Book can the truthseeker find the complete story of Jesus. Yes, Jesus' life is chronicled in the Bible; but the Bible stories comprise only a fraction of the years that Jesus spent with us here. Even in his ministry years, the stories that one finds in The Urantia Book are more complete, more varied, more detailed than in Scripture, such as the one above, which tells us clearly about the towns in which Jesus and his apostles taught and preached. Nain was one such town, and Nain is in close proximity to the new discovery reported in the article that began this blog.
But, as interesting as this discovery is, as exciting as it is to have this new evidence of the truth of Jesus' life, nothing can compare with appreciating the whole Life and Teachings of Jesus that comprise PART IV of The Urantia Book. If you're looking for more of Jesus, you'll find your search satisfied HERE.
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Thu, August 11, 2016
Jesus, God and Man
By truthbook staff
This is such an interesting - and touching - article. It's called: An Inquisitive Christian's guide to reconciling Jesus as God by Rabbi Marc Gellman. Yes. you read it right - a Christian sent a question to the Rabbi about reconciling the belief that Jesus was both God and man. Our blog on that subject begins below...but first:
I was touched by the sympathetic and inclusive manner in which the rabbi answered this inquiry. Among other things, he wrote:
"For Christians, Jesus must be God because only God could die to atone for the sins of humanity. The task of a prophet is to speak God's words of moral caution to a sinful world. The task of a Messiah is to redeem those sins and that world. The death and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes that salvific task.
"God is invisible and cannot appear in human form so, according to Christian belief, God assumes human form in order to die and live again. This offers to humanity a path to salvation that is simply impossible through unaided acts of human atonement and forgiveness.
He goes on to say:
"I don't want to be spooky or incomprehensible here, and as I said, there is a limit of how close I can get you to responding to this mystery. What I want you to try to understand is that there is no easy way to comprehend Jesus as God but to be a Christian you just have to get there.
"You need to believe that Jesus is God. The notion that God created the Earth is a good belief but it is not good enough to make you a Christian.
"I hope you can get to the place where believing that Jesus is God is not such a stretch. However — if it does not work out, just remember that Rosh Hashanah is Oct. 3."
The rabbi has a great sense of humor, too! I recommend reading this article, if only to witness the rabbi's wonderful, unifying tone with this Christian seeker, even though he himself is not a believer.
Click to read the entire article
Jesus' Dual Nature
Setting aside the additional issue of the atonement doctrine, which is also addressed in the article above, coming to grips with the fact of the dual nature of Jesus is a stretch for anyone. Even the revelators admit that they do not understand, and cannot explain this mystery; in truth, no one can, nor will anyone EVER be able to explain it:
119:7.5 Joshua ben Joseph, the Jewish baby, was conceived and was born into the world just as all other babies before and since except that this particular baby was the incarnation of Michael of Nebadon, a divine Son of Paradise and the creator of all this local universe of things and beings. And this mystery of the incarnation of Deity within the human form of Jesus, otherwise of natural origin on the world, will forever remain unsolved. Even in eternity you will never know the technique and method of the incarnation of the Creator in the form and likeness of his creatures. Such mysteries are the exclusive possession of those divine Sons who have passed through the bestowal experience.
And from "The Incarnation - Making Two One", we read the following:
But make no mistake; Christ Michael, while truly a dual-origin being, was not a double personality. He was not God in association with man but, rather, God incarnate in man. And he was always just that combined being. The only progressive factor in such a nonunderstandable relationship was the progressive self-conscious realization and recognition (by the human mind) of this fact of being God and man.
Jesus was God and man—always and even forevermore. And this God and this man were, and now are, one, even as the Paradise Trinity of three beings is in reality one Deity.
Never lose sight of the fact that the supreme spiritual purpose of the Michael bestowal was to enhance the revelation of God.
Urantia mortals have varying concepts of the miraculous, but to us who live as citizens of the local universe there are few miracles, and of these by far the most intriguing are the incarnational bestowals of the Paradise Sons. The appearance in and on your world, by apparently natural processes, of a divine Son, we regard as a miracle—the operation of universal laws beyond our understanding. Jesus of Nazareth was a miraculous person.
In and through all this extraordinary experience, God the Father chose to manifest himself as he always does—in the usual way—in the normal, natural, and dependable way of divine acting.
How is Michael connected to Jesus?
You'll notice that I've supplied a link to our topical study on Michael of Nebadon above, which explains who Jesus really was before he incarnated here on earth. "Christ Michael" is a title - a very special title for a very special Creator Son of God. From our study:
"Michael Sons are on the order of a Creator Son, which is actually a Son of the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. It is an accepted theory that Jesus is the "only-begotten" Son of God, but this is not the case; instead, Jesus is one of many Michael Sons, personalities of the Eternal, or Original Son, who creates as does the Father, as did Michael in the creation of this universe in which Urantia (Earth) exists."
Having said that, the revelators also explain that for us, Jesus IS the only "only-begotten" Son, and the only one we will ever know, for it is he who created this universe and forever will he be Sovereign over it.
33:1.1 Our Creator Son is the personification of the 611,121st original concept of infinite identity of simultaneous origin in the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. The Michael of Nebadon is the "only-begotten Son" personalizing this 611,121st universal concept of divinity and infinity. His headquarters is in the threefold mansion of light on Salvington. And this dwelling is so ordered because Michael has experienced the living of all three phases of intelligent creature existence: spiritual, morontial, and material. Because of the name associated with his seventh and final bestowal on Urantia, he is sometimes spoken of as Christ Michael.
When we open our minds to receive the details of this new revelation of God to mankind that is contained in The Urantia Book, we understand Jesus and his dual human and divine nature so much better, we understand the Divine plan so much better, we understand Jesus' mission to our world so much better, and we understand why our little, lowly world has become a "sentimental shrine" for countless celestial personalities who watched and marveled and mourned at the incarnation so long ago.
Part IV of The Urantia Book then goes on to give us the complete story - the true story - of Jesus' life here on earth and shows us in detail how this God/man grew through infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth, and manhood to accept his role as savior to the world and revealer of the Father's love and will to humanity and the whole universe of his making.
Want to know more about Jesus? More about how he gradually became aware of who he was? More about how he carefully crafted his mission to the world? More about how he really lived his daily life? More about his true mission? Click the link!
And you might also like to see an informative timeline of the Master's life here
Why Don't the Jews Accept Jesus' Dual Nature?
As an aside, but an important aside...here is a passage from The Urantia Book that might help explain why the rabbi in the article above - and possibly all Jews then and now - find the concept of Jesus' dual nature even harder to grasp than most:
136:1.6 There was one feature of the bestowal of Michael which was utterly foreign to the Jewish conception of the Messiah, and that was the union of the two natures, the human and the divine. The Jews had variously conceived of the Messiah as perfected human, superhuman, and even as divine, but they never entertained the concept of the union of the human and the divine. And this was the great stumbling block of Jesus' early disciples. They grasped the human concept of the Messiah as the son of David, as presented by the earlier prophets; as the Son of Man, the superhuman idea of Daniel and some of the later prophets; and even as the Son of God, as depicted by the author of the Book of Enoch and by certain of his contemporaries; but never had they for a single moment entertained the true concept of the union in one earth personality of the two natures, the human and the divine. The incarnation of the Creator in the form of the creature had not been revealed beforehand. It was revealed only in Jesus; the world knew nothing of such things until the Creator Son was made flesh and dwelt among the mortals of the realm.
The Urantia Book is a revelation - a true, modern-day revelation of God to mankind. It is for you...but you have to read it to believe it!
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Tue, August 02, 2016
Parallel Stories in The Bible and The Urantia Book
By truthbook staff
Urantia Book reader/students are accustomed to having a much more expanded narrative of the life of Jesus than that of the Bible ... and so, when we see these articles that reference certain stories in the Bible - like this one titled: Jairus, his daughter and a sick woman: How Jesus redefined holiness by Mark Woods, it is extrememly tempting to share the Urantia Book account in our blog with our readers ... and we do just that, below.
Nevertheless, the commentary of the author on this story is definitely worthwhile - the valuable lesson that the author gleans from the story is that Jesus is re-defining holiness for that generation - and succeeding generations, who are encouraged to look past physical infirmity, sickness, disease...and see the person who needs the help and ministry of a God-knowing believer. Here's a snippet:
"So Jesus here was redefining holiness. When the women touches him and makes him ritually unclean, he has every right to be angry. Instead, he calls her "daughter" and tells her to go in peace. When he arrives at Jairus' house, he walks over to the dead girl and takes her by the hand, deliberately making himself unclean by touching a corpse. But instead of her transmitting the contamination of death to him, he transmits the joy of life to her.
"If we're Christians, we don't feel quite the same about ritual contamination. But we still face the same temptation to avoid people or situations that make us uncomfortable or that we feel might compromise our faith. There might be people whose lifestyles or opinions we disapprove of. We might feel we need to put some distance between us and them. But Jesus never did that.
"So this is a story about the way Jesus redefines holiness. It's not about keeping away from challenging people or challenging situations, because they might contaminate you. It's about deliberately touching them, because your hope, faith and trust will infect them with the grace of God."
Click to read the whole article
A Simple Comparison - read the Bible account from Mark
Here's the story from Mark 5:21-41
21When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 23and implored Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live." 24And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.
25A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." 29Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" 31And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" 32And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."
35While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" 36But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." 37And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." 40They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). 42Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.
THE STORY OF the cure of Amos, the Kheresa lunatic, had already reached Bethsaida and Capernaum, so that a great crowd was waiting for Jesus when his boat landed that Tuesday forenoon. Among this throng were the new observers from the Jerusalem Sanhedrin who had come down to Capernaum to find cause for the Master's apprehension and conviction. As Jesus spoke with those who had assembled to greet him, Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, made his way through the crowd and, falling down at his feet, took him by the hand and besought that he would hasten away with him, saying: "Master, my little daughter, an only child, lies in my home at the point of death. I pray that you will come and heal her." When Jesus heard the request of this father, he said: "I will go with you."
As Jesus went along with Jairus, the large crowd which had heard the father's request followed on to see what would happen. Shortly before they reached the ruler's house, as they hastened through a narrow street and as the throng jostled him, Jesus suddenly stopped, exclaiming, "Someone touched me." And when those who were near him denied that they had touched him, Peter spoke up: "Master, you can see that this crowd presses you, threatening to crush us, and yet you say `someone has touched me.' What do you mean?" Then Jesus said: "I asked who touched me, for I perceived that living energy had gone forth from me." As Jesus looked about him, his eyes fell upon a near-by woman, who, coming forward, knelt at his feet and said: "For years I have been afflicted with a scourging hemorrhage. I have suffered many things from many physicians; I have spent all my substance, but none could cure me. Then I heard of you, and I thought if I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall certainly be made whole. And so I pressed forward with the crowd as it moved along until, standing near you, Master, I touched the border of your garment, and I was made whole; I know that I have been healed of my affliction."
When Jesus heard this, he took the woman by the hand and, lifting her up, said: "Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in peace." It was her faith and not her touch that made her whole. And this case is a good illustration of many apparently miraculous cures which attended upon Jesus' earth career, but which he in no sense consciously willed. The passing of time demonstrated that this woman was really cured of her malady. Her faith was of the sort that laid direct hold upon the creative power resident in the Master's person. With the faith she had, it was only necessary to approach the Master's person. It was not at all necessary to touch his garment; that was merely the superstitious part of her belief. Jesus called this woman, Veronica of Caesarea Philippi, into his presence to correct two errors which might have lingered in her mind, or which might have persisted in the minds of those who witnessed this healing: He did not want Veronica to go away thinking that her fear in attempting to steal her cure had been honored, or that her superstition in associating the touch of his garment with her healing had been effective. He desired all to know that it was her pure and living faith that had wrought the cure.
1. AT JAIRUS'S HOUSE
Jairus was, of course, terribly impatient of this delay in reaching his home; so they now hastened on at quickened pace. Even before they entered the ruler's yard, one of his servants came out, saying: "Trouble not the Master; your daughter is dead." But Jesus seemed not to heed the servant's words, for, taking with him Peter, James, and John, he turned and said to the grief-stricken father: "Fear not; only believe." When he entered the house, he found the flute-players already there with the mourners, who were making an unseemly tumult; already were the relatives engaged in weeping and wailing. And when he had put all the mourners out of the room, he went in with the father and mother and his three apostles. He had told the mourners that the damsel was not dead, but they laughed him to scorn. Jesus now turned to the mother, saying: "Your daughter is not dead; she is only asleep." And when the house had quieted down, Jesus, going up to where the child lay, took her by the hand and said, "Daughter, I say to you, awake and arise!" And when the girl heard these words, she immediately rose up and walked across the room. And presently, after she had recovered from her daze, Jesus directed that they should give her something to eat, for she had been a long time without food.
vvvvSince there was much agitation in Capernaum against Jesus, he called the family together and explained that the maiden had been in a state of coma following a long fever, and that he had merely aroused her, that he had not raised her from the dead. He likewise explained all this to his apostles, but it was futile; they all believed he had raised the little girl from the dead. What Jesus said in explanation of many of these apparent miracles had little effect on his followers. They were miracle-minded and lost no opportunity to ascribe another wonder to Jesus. Jesus and the apostles returned to Bethsaida after he had specifically charged all of them that they should tell no man.
When he came out of Jairus's house, two blind men led by a dumb boy followed him and cried out for healing. About this time Jesus' reputation as a healer was at its very height. Everywhere he went the sick and the afflicted were waiting for him. The Master now looked much worn, and all of his friends were becoming concerned lest he continue his work of teaching and healing to the point of actual collapse.
Jesus' apostles, let alone the common people, could not understand the nature and attributes of this God-man. Neither has any subsequent generation been able to evaluate what took place on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. And there can never occur an opportunity for either science or religion to check up on these remarkable events for the simple reason that such an extraordinary situation can never again occur, either on this world or on any other world in Nebadon. Never again, on any world in this entire universe, will a being appear in the likeness of mortal flesh, at the same time embodying all the attributes of creative energy combined with spiritual endowments which transcend time and most other material limitations.
Never before Jesus was on earth, nor since, has it been possible so directly and graphically to secure the results attendant upon the strong and living faith of mortal men and women. To repeat these phenomena, we would have to go into the immediate presence of Michael, the Creator, and find him as he was in those days—the Son of Man. Likewise, today, while his absence prevents such material manifestations, you should refrain from placing any sort of limitation on the possible exhibition of his spiritual power. Though the Master is absent as a material being, he is present as a spiritual influence in the hearts of men. By going away from the world, Jesus made it possible for his spirit to live alongside that of his Father which indwells the minds of all mankind.
Judge for yourself...
And this is only one of hundred of stories that are expanded and illuminated as bnever before in The Urantia Book. Nearly every story that you'll find in the Bible, you'll find in Part IV of The Urantia Book - The Life and Teachings of Jesus. If you are a Bible lover, look at the Table of Contents and see how many stories you might recognize ... then check out the story in The Urantia Book and compare with the same story in your Bible.
If you are looking for more of Jesus - MUCH more - please accept this invitation to explore the revelation of his life as you've never before seen it. You won't be disappointed!
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Thu, July 14, 2016
5 Important people from the life of Jesus
By truthbook staff
There are many similarities between the Bible and The Urantia Book: similarities in stories about Jesus especially. And among these stories we find information about many of the personalities that are beloved by generations of Christians. So, when I saw this article - 5 Bible figures aside from Jesus that serve as good role models for us to follow by JB Cachila - I went in search of these figures in The Urantia Book in order to offer to the reader an updated, more detailed picture of each of these historical and spiritual personalities. From the article:
"The Bible presents to us many characters to emulate and learn from. And while the best person to desire to be like is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, there are other Bible figures that we can use as our role models. Here are but some of them."
5. John the Baptist
Click to read descriptions in the article from the Biblical perspective
The article is good - as far as it goes - but after reading the Urantia Book descriptions and insights into these personalities, we come away with fresh understanding of each of their roles in the life and teachings of Jesus. Put them side-by-side, and you'll see what I mean!
NOTE: For ease of research, please feel free to use TruthBook's excellent search engine HERE in order to find all of the references to these important people in the Master's life and times.
Let's get started with:
There are nearly 70 references to Paul in The Urantia Book. He was indeed, a mighty preacher and champion of Jesus, even though he never met him in the flesh. Here are but a few:
195:1.1 The Hellenization of Christianity started in earnest on that eventful day when the Apostle Paul stood before the council of the Areopagus in Athens and told the Athenians about "the Unknown God." There, under the shadow of the Acropolis, this Roman citizen proclaimed to these Greeks his version of the new religion which had taken origin in the Jewish land of Galilee. And there was something strangely alike in Greek philosophy and many of the teachings of Jesus. They had a common goal—both aimed at the emergence of the individual. The Greek, at social and political emergence; Jesus, at moral and spiritual emergence. The Greek taught intellectual liberalism leading to political freedom; Jesus taught spiritual liberalism leading to religious liberty. These two ideas put together constituted a new and mighty charter for human freedom; they presaged man's social, political, and spiritual liberty.
195:1.2 Christianity came into existence and triumphed over all contending religions primarily because of two things:
1. The Greek mind was willing to borrow new and good ideas even from the Jews.
2. Paul and his successors were willing but shrewd and sagacious compromisers; they were keen theologic traders.
195:1.5 At the time Paul stood up in Athens preaching "Christ and Him Crucified," the Greeks were spiritually hungry; they were inquiring, interested, and actually looking for spiritual truth. Never forget that at first the Romans fought Christianity, while the Greeks embraced it, and that it was the Greeks who literally forced the Romans subsequently to accept this new religion, as then modified, as a part of Greek culture.
196:2.1 Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul's religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian
149:2.2 The Apostle Paul, in his efforts to bring the teachings of Jesus to the favorable notice of certain groups in his day, wrote many letters of instruction and admonition. Other teachers of Jesus' gospel did likewise, but none of them realized that some of these writings would subsequently be brought together by those who would set them forth as the embodiment of the teachings of Jesus. And so, while so-called Christianity does contain more of the Master's gospel than any other religion, it does also contain much that Jesus did not teach.
With over 300 reference to Peter in The Urantia Book, it is difficult to choose, but the following biography of this influential and important Apostle contains valuable insights into Simon Peter's personality. The entire biography can be found HERE, but here are few snippets from that section:
139:2.1 When Simon joined the apostles, he was thirty years of age. He was married, had three children, and lived at Bethsaida, near Capernaum. His brother, Andrew, and his wife's mother lived with him. Both Peter and Andrew were fisher partners of the sons of Zebedee.
139:2.2 The Master had known Simon for some time before Andrew presented him as the second of the apostles. When Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, he did it with a smile; it was to be a sort of nickname. Simon was well known to all his friends as an erratic and impulsive fellow. True, later on, Jesus did attach a new and significant import to this lightly bestowed nickname.
139:2.6 Simon Peter was distressingly vacillating; he would suddenly swing from one extreme to the other. First he refused to let Jesus wash his feet and then, on hearing the Master's reply, begged to be washed all over. But, after all, Jesus knew that Peter's faults were of the head and not of the heart. He was one of the most inexplicable combinations of courage and cowardice that ever lived on earth. His great strength of character was loyalty, friendship. Peter really and truly loved Jesus. And yet despite this towering strength of devotion he was so unstable and inconstant that he permitted a servant girl to tease him into denying his Lord and Master. Peter could withstand persecution and any other form of direct assault, but he withered and shrank before ridicule. He was a brave soldier when facing a frontal attack, but he was a fear-cringing coward when surprised with an assault from the rear.<
Jesus was 23 years-old when he first met Stephen. Jesus had taken his younger brother Simon to Passover in Jerusalem, and while there he met a number of people...from The Urantia Book:
128:3.5 Perhaps the most notable of all these contacts was the one with a young Hellenist named Stephen. This young man was on his first visit to Jerusalem and chanced to meet Jesus on Thursday afternoon of Passover week. While they both strolled about viewing the Asmonean palace, Jesus began the casual conversation that resulted in their becoming interested in each other, and which led to a four-hour discussion of the way of life and the true God and his worship. Stephen was tremendously impressed with what Jesus said; he never forgot his words.
128:3.6 And this was the same Stephen who subsequently became a believer in the teachings of Jesus, and whose boldness in preaching this early gospel resulted in his being stoned to death by irate Jews. Some of Stephen's extraordinary boldness in proclaiming his view of the new gospel was the direct result of this earlier interview with Jesus. But Stephen never even faintly surmised that the Galilean he had talked with some fifteen years previously was the very same person whom he later proclaimed the world's Savior, and for whom he was so soon to die, thus becoming the first martyr of the newly evolving Christian faith. When Stephen yielded up his life as the price of his attack upon the Jewish temple and its traditional practices, there stood by one named Saul, a citizen of Tarsus. And when Saul saw how this Greek could die for his faith, there were aroused in his heart those emotions which eventually led him to espouse the cause for which Stephen died; later on he became the aggressive and indomitable Paul, the philosopher, if not the sole founder, of the Christian religion.
Joseph, the earth-father of Jesus is traditionally a misunderstood personage. Little is known about him in Biblical literature, and it has always been assumed that he was an older man, because he disappears from the literature early in Jesus' life. There are 34 references to Joseph in The Urantia Book; here is a study of Urantia Book teachings that we put together at TruthBook about this wonderful man.
122:1.1 Joseph, the human father of Jesus ( Joshua ben Joseph, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, albeit he carried many non-Jewish racial strains which had been added to his ancestral tree from time to time by the female lines of his progenitors. The ancestry of the father of Jesus went back to the days of Abraham and through this venerable patriarch to the earlier lines of inheritance leading to the Sumerians and Nodites and, through the southern tribes of the ancient blue man, to Andon and Fonta. David and Solomon were not in the direct line of Joseph's ancestry, neither did Joseph's lineage go directly back to Adam. Joseph's immediate ancestors were mechanics—builders, carpenters, masons, and smiths. Joseph himself was a carpenter and later a contractor. His family belonged to a long and illustrious line of the nobility of the common people, accentuated ever and anon by the appearance of unusual individuals who had distinguished themselves in connection with the evolution of religion on Urantia..
And, the reason that Joseph suddenly disappears from the Bible is becaue he suffered an untimely eath when Jesus was 14 years-old. Here's that story:
126:2.1 All did go well until that fateful day of Tuesday, September 25, when a runner from Sepphoris brought to this Nazareth home the tragic news that Joseph had been severely injured by the falling of a derrick while at work on the governor's residence. The messenger from Sepphoris had stopped at the shop on the way to Joseph's home, informing Jesus of his father's accident, and they went together to the house to break the sad news to Mary. Jesus desired to go immediately to his father, but Mary would hear to nothing but that she must hasten to her husband's side. She directed that James, then ten years of age, should accompany her to Sepphoris while Jesus remained home with the younger children until she should return, as she did not know how seriously Joseph had been injured. But Joseph died of his injuries before Mary arrived. They brought him to Nazareth, and on the following day he was laid to rest with his fathers.
5. John the Baptist
There are 34 reference to John the Baptist in The Urantia Book, but many more, if one uses just the word John in a search - but of course, these are mixed in with other "Johns." Here's a reference to Paper 135, a stunning and lengthy narration all about this herald of Jesus' mission to earth. And here are but a few passages from that paper:
135:0.1 JOHN THE BAPTIST was born March 25, 7 B.C., in accordance with the promise that Gabriel made to Elizabeth in June of the previous year. For five months Elizabeth kept secret Gabriel's visitation; and when she told her husband, Zacharias, he was greatly troubled and fully believed her narrative only after he had an unusual dream about six weeks before the birth of John. Excepting the visit of Gabriel to Elizabeth and the dream of Zacharias, there was nothing unusual or supernatural connected with the birth of John the Baptist.
135:1.1 John had no school from which to graduate at the age of fourteen, but his parents had selected this as the appropriate year for him to take the formal Nazarite vow. Accordingly, Zacharias and Elizabeth took their son to Engedi, down by the Dead Sea. This was the southern headquarters of the Nazarite brotherhood, and there the lad was duly and solemnly inducted into this order for life. After these ceremonies and the making of the vows to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, to let the hair grow, and to refrain from touching the dead, the family proceeded to Jerusalem, where, before the temple, John completed the making of the offerings which were required of those taking Nazarite vows.
135:3.3 John was never able completely to rise above the confusion produced by what he had heard from his parents concerning Jesus and by these passages which he read in the Scriptures. In Daniel he read: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom." But these words of the prophet did not harmonize with what his parents had taught him. Neither did his talk with Jesus, at the time of his visit when he was eighteen years old, correspond with these statements of the Scriptures. Notwithstanding this confusion, throughout all of his perplexity his mother assured him that his distant cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, was the true Messiah, that he had come to sit on the throne of David, and that he (John) was to become his advance herald and chief support.
Are there others?
The Urantia Book is a modern-day re-statement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus - a narrative that covers ALL of the Master's life; and this narrative is replete with information, not only about Jesus, but about the people with whom Jesus walked - those who influenced his ministry, and those who were part of his earthly family, too.
PART IV of The Urantia Book is a gift to humanity; in safekeeping by the angels and sent in a time when it will receive the greatest worldwide exposure, it is the real story - with more detail that can be found anywhere else - of Jesus' life. Do you have a favorite figure from Jesus' life that you'd like to know more about? Check them out in our search (top right of any TruthBook page) - you may be delighted by what you find!
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Wed, June 29, 2016
Jesus - The Center
By truthbook staff
We at TruthBook feel that there is nothing more important than lifting Jesus higher, and so we are delighted to see this review of a new Bible titled: Jesus-Centered Bible Receives Christian Retailing Best Award on The Christian News Wire.
If you are unfamiliar with this new approach to Bible publishing, here's a snippet from the article:
The 'Jesus-Centered Bible' released in September 2015 and highlights all of the ways Jesus shows up in the Bible, including more than 600 passages in the Old Testament. Featuring distinctive blue letters, each passage is designed to point readers to Jesus, from Genesis through Revelation. The Bible also carries the classic red letters in the New Testament.
In addition, the Bible magnifies the ways Jesus answers life's essential questions, including "What's my purpose in life?" and "Why do bad things happen?"
Click to read the whole review
Again, at TruthBook, we are Jesus-centered and Jesus-pointed - always. And we rejoice when we see such an enlightened approach to enliven these age-old Bible books to show how Jesus has always been the glue; when we seek Jesus, we seek everything.
If you are a Christian believer, we welcome you to our pages, and invite you to add The Urantia Book to your study of the Jesus-centered Bible. You'll find Jesus as you may never have known him before, and reading his life and teachings as presented in The Urantia Book will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of the Bible as never before.
The Urantia Book is not now, nor has it ever been, designed as a replacement for Scripture; The Urantia Book stands alone in its revelations about the Heavenly Father, details about the hosts of heaven, and important knowledge that fills in all the missing gaps in our knowledge of ourselves and our world and the history that has brought us to where we stand today.
But the most thrilling and detailed part of the book is Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus. It too, stands alone, and yet it has a comforting, familiar ring to it, as many of the stories of the Master's life - and many of his teachings - are included. Anyone who knows Jesus from the Bible must be aware that there was far more to his life than the three or four years that are covered within its pages. The Urantia Book fills in all of those gaps, too, adding additional stories, context, color, depth, richness, and consistency to his life-narrative. And these are not just figments of someone's imagination; these are the actual records of Jesus' momentous incarnation preserved by celestial eyewitnesses of these events. Only since the publication of The Urantia Book in 1955 have these records been made increasingly available to the whole world.
Like the new Jesus-centered Bible, The Urantia Book contains references to Jesus from the first paper to the last. In The Urantia Book, Jesus is the one consistent link that connects all of creation for us. And this connection is finally and beautifully shown in this last part of the book.
We never suggest that anyone give up the Bible in order to read and enjoy The Urantia Book; quite the contrary, these mighty sources of inspiration and knowledge can be enjoyed together, one illuminating the other, one enhancing the appreciation of the other.
From The Urantia Book:
196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
We take this mandate seriously; we hope you do, too. To that end, we again invite you to see for yourself the restatement of the life and teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book. See Jesus as a youth, see him as he ministered to all sorts of people during his trip to Rome, see him as father-brother experiencing family life as so many of us do, read his teachings about affliction, see him as a devoted, selfless God/man whose entire life was dedicated to living and doing the will of the Father. And see him as the inspiring "Acme of Religious Living." that Urantia Book readers have come to love
Even more than the new Jesus-centered Bible, The Urantia Book is the most Jesus-centered book you will ever read!
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