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Thu, April 28, 2016

Love: a new commandment

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Jesus at the Last Supper

JERUSALEM, APRIL 6, AD 30

BULLETIN: Jesus and his apostles completed their Passover dinner in the upper chamber at the home of Elijah and Mary Mark. Jesus continued to address the eleven apostles with more teachings, including a new commandment. The highlights are presented below:

A new commandment

Jesus first cautioned the apostles to take care to allow for material needs during the trying period they were about to face. “No longer can you depend upon the good will of the multitudes.” Jesus then declared he had a new commandment to give them:

“ ... I give you this new commandment: That you love one another even as I have loved you. And by this will all men know that you are my disciples if you thus love one another. When I invite you to love one another, even as I have loved you, I hold up before you the supreme measure of true affection, for greater love can no man have than this: that he will lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends; you will continue to be my friends if you are but willing to do what I have taught you... If you will only love one another as I am loving you, you shall be my friends, and I will ever speak to you of that which the Father reveals to me ... The Father and I will both work with you, and you shall experience the divine fullness of joy if you will only obey my command to love one another, even as I have loved you.”

The vine must bear fruit

“ ... I am the real vine, and you are the living branches. He who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit of the spirit and experience the supreme joy of yielding this spiritual harvest. If you will maintain this living spiritual connection with me, you will bear abundant fruit. If you abide in me and my words live in you, you will be able to commune freely with me ... Herein is the Father glorified: that the vine has many living branches, and that every branch bears much fruit. And when the world sees these fruit-bearing branches— my friends who love one another, even as I have loved them—all men will know that you are truly my disciples.”

The enmity of the world

Jesus then discussed the great enmity the world would unleash upon the apostles. He pointed out:

“When I have left you, be not discouraged by the enmity of the world. Be not downcast even when faint-hearted believers turn against you and join hands with the enemies of the kingdom. If the world shall hate you, you should recall that it hated me even before it hated you. If you were of this world, then would the world love its own, but because you are not, the world refuses to love you.” Jesus noted that the words of his apostles would offend the ungodly. “Many of those who will assail you are ignorant of the light of heaven, but this is not true of some who now persecute us. If we had not taught them the truth, they might do many strange things without falling under condemnation, but now, since they have known the light and presumed to reject it, they have no excuse for their attitude.”

Then Jesus stated that he would not leave his followers alone to face the world, but would send them a new teacher. “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 ... I am going to return to these worlds of light, stations in the Father’s heaven to which you shall some time ascend ... the hour is now at hand when I must return to my Father’s work in the spheres on high.” Jesus then turned aside to refresh himself with water.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, April 14, 2016

Be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Jesus Speaking

GETHSEMANE, APRIL 6, AD 30

Jesus addressed a number of issues with about fifty of his followers at his camp here this morning. Among the issues in this Thursday address were: The State and the Spirit, Loving Ministry, and The Impending Crisis. A summary of his commentary follows:

The State and the Spirit: Jesus made it clear that the material realms of the earth at times require physical force to maintain law and order. But, although kingdom of heaven believers have a right to maintain order in their ranks, they may not apply physical force.

“The love call of the spiritual kingdom is an effective destroyer of the hate urge of the unbelieving and war-minded,” Jesus said. “But these material-minded sons in darkness will never know of your spiritual light of truth unless you draw very near them with that unselfish social service which is the natural outgrowth of the bearing of the fruits of the spirit in the life experience of each individual believer.”

Jesus urged his followers to live peaceably among men. “Be you always as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves.” Jesus declared that as long as governments exercise the authority of religious dictators there will be trouble for the kingdom. “But,” he said, “the very light which you bear to the world, and even the very manner in which you will suffer and die for this gospel of the kingdom, will, in themselves, eventually enlighten the whole world and result in the gradual divorcement of politics and religion.”

Loving Ministry: Jesus said: “The consciousness of sonship with God should quicken the entire life service of every man, woman, and child who has become the possessor of such a mighty stimulus to all the inherent powers of a human personality.

“Let all mankind benefit from the overflow of your loving spiritual ministry, enlightening intellectual communion, and uplifting social service  ... You must not forget the great law of human fairness which I have taught you in positive form: Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do even so to them.

“This gospel of the kingdom is a living truth ... The revelation I have made to you is a living revelation, and I desire that it shall bear appropriate fruits in each individual and in each generation in accordance with the laws of spiritual growth, increase, and adaptive development. From generation to generation this gospel must show increasing vitality and exhibit greater depth of spiritual power. It must not be permitted to become merely a sacred memory, a mere tradition about me and the times in which we now live.”

The Impending Crisis: “As the Father sent me into this world, so am I about to send you forth to represent me and finish the work I have begun,” Jesus told the believers. “ ... I need no defense by the hand of man; the armies of heaven are even now near at hand; but I am determined to do the will of my Father in heaven, and therefore must we submit to that which is so soon to come upon us ...You should know that in my Father’s universe are many abodes that await the children of light.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, April 01, 2016

Young man spends day in the hills with God

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

One Day Alone With God by Del ParsonEARTH, APRIL 5, AD 30 Today celestial overseers watched the events unfolding upon Earth with great interest. It was a day of rest for the Master, and he announced there at the camp at Gethsemane that he would spend this day alone in the hills. As Jesus was about to leave, a young mortal named John Mark offered him a basket of food and water. Jesus smiled and reached to take the basket, which John Mark held tightly. “Master,” said John Mark, “I will carry this for you. You may set it down and forget it. Besides, I will be silent and you can pray without concern for it.”

There they stood, both John and Jesus holding the basket, and finally Jesus said: “Since you crave to be with me with all your heart, you shall go with me.” When they left, some at the camp were lonely for Jesus and wished they could change places with John Mark. But Nathaniel declared: “We are too halfhearted in our desires, we do not love the Master as he loves us. John Mark insisted, he would not release the basket, so Jesus took him and the basket into the hills with him.”

Jesus advises the youth

Jesus spoke to John Mark at length about the effect family life has upon the development of young persons. Jesus pointed out that the friend of John Mark named Amos had also wanted to go with Jesus, but his parents refused their consent.

“You are the product of a home of wise love,” said Jesus. “I know I can depend upon you. But Amos did not have a home life that would produce a dependable person. You will be happy and dependable because the first eight years of your life were spent in a happy, supportive home. You have known wise love.

“The entire afterlife of individuals is affected by the family and early up­bringing. Such a home enhances religion, and true religion always glorifies a home. It is the responsibility of earthly fathers to so live and order their homes that the word ‘father’ becomes enshrined in a young person’s mind.” Before they returned to camp, Jesus admonished John Mark to “tell no person” about the things they had discussed.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, March 18, 2016

Sanhedrin members attempt to match wits with Jesus

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

SanhedrinJERUSALEM, APRIL 3, AD 30

Sanhedrin teams attempted to disrupt Jesus’ teachings today, and their efforts were an embarrassing failure. After a dramatic cleansing of the temple, Jesus began to teach the Passover crowds who were in an atmosphere of quiet attentiveness. About two o’clock this afternoon a group of Sanhedrin elders made their way close to Jesus, and, as is the custom, asked him a question: “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?” It is well established that Jesus has not been officially ordained by the Sanhedrin, so listeners drew close to hear Jesus’ answer.

Jesus asks a counter-question

Jesus replied: “I also wish to ask you a question. If you will answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these works. Did John the Baptist get his authority from heaven or from men?” The officials drew aside and discussed the question among themselves. Observers who overheard their discussion reported that the priests feared answering Jesus. They reasoned that if they said John’s power came from heaven, Jesus would ask why the Pharisees did not accept him. If they answered John’s authority came from men, the crowd would be very angry, since they generally believed John was a prophet. So, a spokesman said: “Concerning the authority of John, we do not know.” Jesus then declared: “Then neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Crowd is pleased

A murmur of approval went through the crowd when Jesus made his final pronouncement. The Sanhedrin officials asked no more questions of Jesus that day. The general feeling here is that the question asked of Jesus was insincere and Jesus handled it with majestic poise and wisdom. But observers also point out that the cleansing of the temple by Jesus has brought the Sadducees over to the side of the Pharisees. The majority of the Sanhedrin is composed of Sadducees, and now they too are united against Jesus of Nazareth.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, March 04, 2016

Jesus: “Money cannot love”

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

The Money Lender by Auguste CharpentierNAZARETH, AD 11

A public statement was issued today by Jesus ben Joseph in which he insisted that family considerations forced him to refuse to join the Zealot tax rebellion against Rome. Jesus asserted that his family needed more than material support, they needed the watchcare and guidance of a father. “Money cannot love,” he said, probably a reference to the offer of Isaac, the money lender, to provide the financial support the family needed so that Jesus would be free to join the Zealots.

In a surprise statement, Jesus’ brother James declared his support for Jesus. He stated that the family needed Jesus, and soon there would be five boys, not just one, who could join the Zealot cause. Reaction to the twin announcements was generally positive, but there were notable exceptions. “Jesus will never have the support here he once had,” said one detractor.

Isaac, a money lender, offered to provide financial support for Jesus’ family. When asked why Jesus refused the offer, Isaac replied: “You tell me.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, February 19, 2016

Text of unique prayer released

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus and John the Baptist and Their Mothers by E. WintersteinNAZARETH, AD 9

Jesus ben Joseph, a local fifteen-year­old boy who amazed the rabbis in Jerusalem with his questions and comments two years ago, has formulated a prayer for his brothers and sisters. Jesus supports the family since the death of his father, Joseph, last year. One of his brothers, James, recited the unique prayer shown at right.

When reached for comment, Jesus noted that prayer is best when it is individual and expresses the feelings and thoughts of the person praying. He cautioned against automatic repetition of a prayer as a substitute for true communion with God.

“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come; your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our bread for tomorrow; Refresh our souls with the water of life. And forgive us our debts As we also have forgiven our debtors. Save us in temptation, Deliver us from evil, And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, February 05, 2016

Youth vows to cleanse temple

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus as a boyJERUSALEM, AD 7

Unnamed sources report that Jesus ben Joseph, the youth who astounded elders at the temple with his inquiries and comments last week, has vowed to “cleanse the temple.” Reportedly the young Nazarene stood upon the brow of Mount Olivet and made the declaration in the company of his amazed parents. Exactly what he meant by this declaration is not known. One rabbi who heard the report dismissed it as youthful immaturity. “Jesus hinted during the temple discussions that there is too much tradition and dogma surrounding our faith. He did not like what he called ‘secular trade and barter’ taking place in the temple, which he actually called his Father’s house. These reformers come and go, but the God of Israel will never change. Jesus must learn more respect for tradition.” Another rabbi was more vigorous in his reaction: “Just when I thought we were finally rid of him he dares to say such a thing. How impudent! Good riddance. He belongs in Nazareth.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, January 21, 2016

Sacrifice prices have been set

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Sacrifice prices have been set

Sacrificial LambJERUSALEM, APRIL 4, AD 7

A rash of complaints greeted the price lists for sacrificial animals at Passover. “It takes a week’s wages to buy two doves that should sell for only a few pennies,” complained one pilgrim from Turkestan. “Once I brought a perfectly good lamb for sacrifice at Passover and had it rejected as ‘blemished.’ I was forced to buy a temple lamb at a ridiculous price.” These allegations were denied by one of the temple priests who owns a sacrificial stand selling animals. “Our animals are guaranteed acceptable, and no further fees are required. This makes our prices a bargain,” he insisted.

Fees of up to 80% are charged for coin conversion

Also, several pilgrims complained that because the one-half shekel head tax must be paid in Jewish currency, the money- changers charged exorbitant prices for the service. Thirty to forty percent is allowed by law, and this may be doubled if change is required. Jewish coin is also necessary to purchase sacrificial animals and to pay tithes. A banker explained that twenty different types of coinage needed to be changed, and the service is important and valuable. “It helps everyone. Much of the profit goes into the temple treasury.” A pilgrim from Parthia commented: “Indeed, the business is profitable. But there is rumored to be unbelievable wealth in the temple treasury. Too many people live in poverty and must pay unfair levies.” Temple authorities dismissed the charges as frivolous. Authorities would not comment on the size of the temple treasury.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, January 08, 2016

Galilean child rearing praised

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Galilean child rearing praised

The Holy FamilyNAZARETH, 3 BC

The child training system of local Jews was praised yesterday by a visiting Greek educator, Holbar, who was passing through Nazareth. “Few homes can equal the balance of intellectual, moral and religious training found in Galilee,” he said. “It is the custom of the Galilean Jews for the mother to bear the responsibility for a child's training until the fifth birthday, and then, if the child is a boy, the father is responsible for the intellectual and religious education. The mother teaches home training, including the care of plants and animals and weaving. Children use boxes of sand to work out maps and practice at writing Aramaic, Greek, and later on, Hebrew. At seven years old, boys begin their formal education in the synagogue schools until graduation at the age of thirteen. Jewish girls are sometimes home-schooled.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, December 17, 2015

The Dayspring from on High

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

A Light to the Gentiles by Greg OlsenYes, and you, child of promise, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you shall go before the face of the Lord to establish his kingdom;
To give knowledge of salvation to his people in the remission of their sins.
Rejoice in the tender mercy of our God because the dayspring from on high has now visited us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
To guide our feet into ways of peace.
And now let your servant depart in peace,
O Lord, according to your word,
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
A light for even the unveiling of the gentiles
And the glory of your people Israel.

Read more at: http://truthbook.com/urantia-book/paper-122-birth-and-infancy-of-jesus#U122_9_1

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