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Thu, May 17, 2018

The joy of the poor in spirit is contagious

By TruthBook staff Jesus, Christianity, poor in spirit, urantia book, evangelizing, Christianity, religion of the spirit

I find a good deal of food for thought in this article called Author John Dickson says 'we are spiritually bankrupt' by Kylie Beach. For those unfamiliar with Dickson, his website refers to him as an "Australian thinker, writer, and speaker - Public Advocate for the Christian Faith; he has an impressive list of published works about Jesus and Christianity. And in this article about him and his views, he pulls no punches in his assessment of modern Christianity. We'll blog about this in light of Uantia Book teachings below, but here are a few snips from the artilce that I found very good:

"...Dickson explains [that] Christians need to accept that they are spiritually and morally bankrupt – or "poor in spirit" – before they are able to accept Jesus' other teachings. It is a necessary posture, he says, for accepting the command to "take the log out of your eye" without taking offence.

"...Dickson told festival attendees that Christians should be encouraged by the example of the early church, which lacked influence and power and yet transformed the Roman world through persuasion and service.

"That did not mean, he said, that Christians belonged on the "sidelines" of society; instead, he asserted, they should be "players, just not the referee."

" 'When many Christians speak [in a public forum], they sound like you're meant to listen to them because they are the referee,' he said."

Click to read the article

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Are we poor in spirit?

The opening of this article posits the question of what Jesus might say to the modern church; how would he assess it?

In Dickson's view, he might start by citing this beatitude: "blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will inherit the kingdom of God."

Our musings in these blogs is never meant to be an indictment against the Christian church - or any organized church. The churches are filled with sincere, honest souls who wish to share Jesus. But how best to do it? Is the church doing a good job? We may all wish to revisit Jesus' simple call to become "poor in spirit," in order to do that in a more effective way. After all, even those who are certain about God still have a long way to go to feel superior to any other truth-seeking brother or sister

140:5.7 1. "Happy are the poor in spirit— the humble." In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit—egotistical; the other felt "poor in spirit"—humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth—for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.

It is this joy that is best shared - not as a member of a church, but as a grateful member of God's kingdom, loving all with the fatherly affection with which God loves us

140:5.5 He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy, promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father's affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother's affection.

Promoting the church vs promoting the Kingdom

For Urantia Book readers, the association of Jesus with the Christian church - while inevitable - is very unfortunate in some ways. As a result of Jesus' bestowal on our world, a church was established, but Jesus did not establish such a church; his mission was the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the heart of the individual - not a church. The fact of the Christian church's creation was incidental; even the so-called gospel that emerged as its creed was in error.

The Urantia Book explains:

What has happened to these men whom Jesus had ordained to go forth preaching the gospel of the kingdom, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man? They have a new gospel; they are on fire with a new experience; they are filled with a new spiritual energy. Their message has suddenly shifted to the proclamation of the risen Christ ...

The gospel of the kingdom, the message of Jesus, had been suddenly changed into the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They now proclaimed the facts of his life, death, and resurrection and preached the hope of his speedy return to this world to finish the work he began. Thus the message of the early believers had to do with preaching about the facts of his first coming and with teaching the hope of his second coming, an event which they deemed to be very near at hand.

Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concepts of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that "God is the Father of the Lord Jesus" to be concerned with the old message that "God is the loving Father of all men," even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven.

Read more about The Beginnings of the Christian Church

And so it is easy to see how the dramatic death and resurrection of Jesus was translated almost immediately into a religion ABOUT Jesus, rather than the religion OF Jesus, which he himself taught throughout his life.

It is no wonder that the church that now bears his name should have among its members those who may have ceded the attitude of the poor in spirit to the authority of the church - those who feel that they have the right - and even the obligation - to demand that seekers for Jesus must adhere to the principles, follow the rules, and otherwise conform to the teachings of the church fathers rather than practicing the simple religion of Jesus, which appeals to the individual. In our view, it is not unlike the Jewish religion of Jesus' time, which contained an astounding 613 "rules of living." When Jesus sent the seventy out to preach he made reference to this. To them, he emphasized:

163:4.8 Teach that man's whole duty is summed up in this one commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. (This they were to teach as man's whole duty in place of the 613 rules of living expounded by the Pharisees.)

Being part of a religion of authority, such as the Christian church is (along with many others) gives the believer a sense of having found the truth - having found the right religion. After all, all institutionalized religions pretty much teach that theirs is the one true church. And so, it becomes an imperative to preach that belief and emphasize those rules to others.

Referee or player?

And that is where this idea of being a "referee," as coined in the article above comes in. Instead of being a "player" on the field of religion, staunch fundamental members of established religions can sometimes view themselves as arbiters of the truth. They take their authority from the teachings of their particular faith and insist that that is the only way.

In some ways, one can see this attitude as one that turns people away from God, rather than towards him - away from Jesus, rather than toward him. Being one who truly is "poor in spirit" - one who understands that they are seekers rather than arbiters of right and wrong may be a far better way to attract others.

What did Jesus teach?

Jesus did not teach such error. His whole public mission was as a response to the overweening authority of the Pharisees. The religion that he taught provided for a different kind of authority:

"In the Master's life on Urantia, this and all other worlds of the local creation discover a new and higher type of religion, religion based on personal spiritual relations with the Universal Father and wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience. This living faith of Jesus was more than an intellectual reflection, and it was not a mystic meditation."

Practicing Jesus' religion of personal spiritual experience places the believer solidly in the role of player - NOT referee. The adventure of personal spiritual experience when shared with others becomes a way of truly sharing the goodness of God - truly sharing the joys of service - truly sharing the love of God that is our reward for following this revolutionary religion that Jesus himself practiced and taught. With it, we come to really know God; and yes, God can be known; he is a real person. Those who practice this religion find that out:

From The Fact of Experience

102:4.1 Because of the presence in your minds of the Thought Adjuster, it is no more of a mystery for you to know the mind of God than for you to be sure of the consciousness of knowing any other mind, human or superhuman. Religion and social consciousness have this in common: They are predicated on the consciousness of other-mindness. The technique whereby you can accept another's idea as yours is the same whereby you may "let the mind which was in Christ be also in you."

The heart of Jesus' religion is the presence of the indwelling Thought Adjuster. He did not call it that, but he did teach that all of us are indwelt by God and it is through the recognition of, and co-operation with that indwelling spirit that the indivudaul does actually receive that personal experience with God that then forms the basis for that authority upon which we base our whole religious attitude - free from intercessors af any kind: priests, holy men, holy women, or any other church official who presumes to stand between the beleiver and God.

Said Jesus:

148:6.10 "No more shall suffering mortals be denied the comfort of knowing the love of God and understanding the mercy of the Father in heaven. While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, `This is the way; walk therein.' Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you, that he has become what you are that he may make you what he is!"

Elsewhere Jesus taught this truth to many individuals on his tour of the Mediterranean. For example:

133:4.4 To the earnest leader of the Mithraic cult he said: "You do well to seek for a religion of eternal salvation, but you err to go in quest of such a glorious truth among man-made mysteries and human philosophies. Know you not that the mystery of eternal salvation dwells within your own soul? Do you not know that the God of heaven has sent his spirit to live within you, and that this spirit will lead all truth-loving and God-serving mortals out of this life and through the portals of death up to the eternal heights of light where God waits to receive his children? And never forget: You who know God are the sons of God if you truly yearn to be like him."

133:4.5 To the Epicurean teacher he said: "The great thing in all human experience is the realization of knowing the God whose spirit lives within you and seeks to lead you forth on that long and almost endless journey of attaining the personal presence of our common Father, the God of all creation, the Lord of universes."

133:4.8 To the mistress of the Greek inn he said: "Minister your hospitality as one who entertains the children of the Most High. Elevate the drudgery of your daily toil to the high levels of a fine art through the increasing realization that you minister to God in the persons whom he indwells by his spirit which has descended to live within the hearts of men, thereby seeking to transform their minds and lead their souls to the knowledge of the Paradise Father of all these bestowed gifts of the divine spirit."

Approaching others with humility

When we become this kind of player in the religious arena, no more will we be tempted to lord it over any of our brothers and sisters; knowing that each one of them entertains this indwelling Spirit of God then becomes the commonality upon which we can base all of our shared experiences of God; not adherence to worn out tradition or smothering dogma, but our lives of originality and freedom before God. All of us have this same spirit, but our varied experiences with that Spirit form the basis for truly intimate and joyful relations with each other, free from judgment and free from any form of damnation for not following the rules of a man-made church.

As a final exercise, you, dear reader, may be interested to read about the three kinds of religious experiences. Which one describes you?

In the spirit of enlarging the kingdom and attracting more followers to the flock, we may all want to examine our religious stance, and alter our evangelizing efforts accordingly.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, May 14, 2018

Pentecost and the Spirit of Truth

By TruthBook staff Pentecost, spirit of truth, urantia book, jesus, Christianity, gospel

May 18 is Pentecost; the last event of the bestowal of Jesus on this world; the event that ensures that Jesus did not really leave us, but instead, sent a version of himself that would fellowship all people for all time ... a version of himself that is universal, inclusive, and powerful.

Carrying On After Jesus Is 'Gone' by Wendy Alsup is a very nice article about Pentecost and the Spirit of Truth, well-written and steeped in Scripture. All Christian people will enjoy reading it; Urantia Book readers may also enjoy it, as it helps us to see how far The Urantia Book takes us towards understanding this important event, and how far we have yet to go to share these amazing truths with the Christian world, the Muslim world, the Jewish world... all of God's children. Here are a couple of snips that will give you the article's flavor:

"These disciples had been utterly spiritually dependent on Jesus during his earthly life, and yet he expected them to take the gospel to the rest of the world. It makes sense that they stared up after him, I suspect with confusion and concern on their faces, needing angels to finally tell them to stop straining their necks to see him. How could they possibly do this monumental task to which he had commissioned them on their own? Surely he was coming right back.

"What a moment of sanctifying faith for this small band of believers! Jesus told them in John 14:18 that he would not leave them as orphans, that an Advocate, Comforter, or Counselor (depending on your translation of the Bible) would come to remind them of all of his teachings and equip them in a way that would be even better than walking and talking with him in person. But Jesus had left, and no advocate had yet come."

Click to read more

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We hope that this blog offering Urantia Book teachings about the Spirit of Truth and Pentecost may inspire all truthseekers no matter what their religious leanings may be, to harmonize, contrast, and compare the traditional views from Scripture as presented in this article above with the amazing revelation that is The Urantia Book. There's no better subject to make this effort, as that good Spirit that Jesus left for all mankind is designed to unerringly point the way into all truth for all seekers.

It's hard not to wonder sometimes what our world would look like if Jesus had been able to live a really long life - say 80 or 90 years. It's hard not to wonder, but we can't allow ourselves to become too sad about the past; we must all turn our faces towards the future.

Pentecost, and the bestowal of the promised Spirit of Truth on that long-ago day is a reason to keep looking forward. The Spirit of Truth that Jesus left on our confused world that day started to work immediately and has not stopped working. Even through the Dark Ages, wars, famines, confusions, heresies and tragedies of all kinds, that good Spirit has been here, working in the minds and hearts of truthseekers everywhere to uplift our world, one mind at a time.

With the arrival of The Urantia Book, seekers after truth now have a new way to understand just what the Spirit of Truth is. Knowing that that good Spirit is alive and well in our minds might be a good incentive to deliberately activate its influence as we reach out for more information, more truth through the revelation of The Urantia Book.

As is nearly always the case, the teachings of The Urantia Book clarify the Biblical records, fill in all missing gaps, and place the narrative of Jesus life and teachings in a coherent, understandable context. And this is true of ALL the Master's life, through his death, resurrection, and bestowal of his Spirit in his stead after his ascension to the Father.

Spirit of Truth? or Holy Spirit?

There is still a good deal of confusion about just what the Spirit of Truth really is. In Christianity, this good Spirit is often confused with the "Holy Spirit." In fact the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth are two different spiritual forces. Here are two topical studies helping the reader to make the distinction:

Click to read selected Urantia Book teachings about the Holy Spirit

Click to read selected Urantia Book teachings about the Spirit of Truth

But briefly stated, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (also called the Divine Minister), while the Spirit of Truth is the Advocate, the Comforter that Jesus promised to send once he had left the earth. But notwithstanding that they are different, these two spiritual forces do work together in the experience of all mortals, along with the indwelling Thought Adjuster, whose presence in the mind of man became a universal endowment at Pentecost:

101:2.12 Revelation as an epochal phenomenon is periodic; as a personal human experience it is continuous. Divinity functions in mortal personality as the Adjuster gift of the Father, as the Spirit of Truth of the Son, and as the Holy Spirit of the Universe Spirit, while these three supermortal endowments are unified in human experiential evolution as the ministry of the Supreme.

What did Jesus say?

180:4.1 Jesus continued to teach, saying: "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?

Jesus looked down upon [the apostles], smiled, and said: "My little children, I am going away, going back to my Father. In a little while you will not see me as you do here, as flesh and blood. In a very short time I am going to send you my spirit, just like me except for this material body. This new teacher is the Spirit of Truth who will live with each one of you, in your hearts, and so will all the children of light be made one and be drawn toward one another. And in this very manner will my Father and I be able to live in the souls of each one of you and also in the hearts of all other men who love us and make that love real in their experiences by loving one another, even as I am now loving you."

What actually happened at Pentecost?

Once Jesus had ascended to the Father on that May 18th, he sent the promised Spirit - not only to the 120 gathered in the upper room, but to all mankind throughout the world.

"Do not overlook the fact that the Spirit of Truth was bestowed upon all sincere believers; this gift of the spirit did not come only to the apostles. The one hundred and twenty men and women assembled in the upper chamber all received the new teacher, as did all the honest of heart throughout the whole world. This new teacher was bestowed upon mankind, and every soul received him in accordance with the love for truth and the capacity to grasp and comprehend spiritual realities. At last, true religion is delivered from the custody of priests and all sacred classes and finds its real manifestation in the individual souls of men.

"The bestowal of the Spirit of Truth was independent of all forms, ceremonies, sacred places, and special behavior by those who received the fullness of its manifestation. When the spirit came upon those assembled in the upper chamber, they were simply sitting there, having just been engaged in silent prayer. The spirit was bestowed in the country as well as in the city. It was not necessary for the apostles to go apart to a lonely place for years of solitary meditation in order to receive the spirit. For all time, Pentecost disassociates the idea of spiritual experience from the notion of especially favorable environments.

"The coming of the Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads the recipient to formulate a life purpose single to the will of God and the welfare of men. The material spirit of selfishness has been swallowed up in this new spiritual bestowal of selflessness. Pentecost, then and now, signifies that the Jesus of history has become the divine Son of living experience. The joy of this outpoured spirit, when it is consciously experienced in human life, is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul."

Read more about the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth on Pentecost

What did this outpoured spirit have to do with the early church?

194_0_4 The gospel of the kingdom is: the fact of the fatherhood of God, coupled with the resultant truth of the sonship-brotherhood of men. Christianity, as it developed from that day, is: the fact of God as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, in association with the experience of believer-fellowship with the risen and glorified Christ.

These believers felt themselves suddenly translated into another world, a new existence of joy, power, and glory. The Master had told them the kingdom would come with power, and some of them thought they were beginning to discern what he meant.

And when all of this is taken into consideration, it is not difficult to understand how these men came to preach a new gospel about Jesus in the place of their former message of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men.

From Beginnings of the Christian Church:

Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concepts of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that "God is the Father of the Lord Jesus" to be concerned with the old message that "God is the loving Father of all men," even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven. Their good will arose from the love born of the concept of Jesus' bestowal and not from the recognition of the brotherhood of mortal man. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. They made the great mistake of using the living and illustrative commentary on the gospel of the kingdom for that gospel, but even that represented the greatest religion mankind had ever known.

But it is important to note that, while a church was established as a result of this Spirit in the hearts of mankind as an understandable repercussion, it is not a requirement that one be associated with a church to enjoy the ministrations of that Spirit. It is that Spirit that unites all of Jesus' "invisible brotherhood," now and forevermore.

The Spirit of Truth and the individual

The Spirit of Truth functions independently of churches or other organized groups, just as Jesus always did during his life; because Jesus is absent as a physical presence, this new Spirit is an endowment of mind and influences the individual:

From the Spirit of Truth

The new helper which Jesus promised to send into the hearts of believers, to pour out upon all flesh, is the Spirit of Truth. This divine endowment is not the letter or law of truth, neither is it to function as the form or expression of truth. The new teacher is the conviction of truth, the consciousness and assurance of true meanings on real spirit levels. And this new teacher is the spirit of living and growing truth, expanding, unfolding, and adaptative truth.

The true child of universe insight looks for the living Spirit of Truth in every wise saying. The God-knowing individual is constantly elevating wisdom to the living-truth levels of divine attainment; the spiritually unprogressive soul is all the while dragging the living truth down to the dead levels of wisdom and to the domain of mere exalted knowledge.

The True Mission of the Spirit of Truth

from The Significance of Pentecost

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.

Do not make the mistake of expecting to become strongly intellectually conscious of the outpoured Spirit of Truth. The spirit never creates a consciousness of himself, only a consciousness of Michael, the Son. From the beginning Jesus taught that the spirit would not speak of himself. The proof, therefore, of your fellowship with the Spirit of Truth is not to be found in your consciousness of this spirit but rather in your experience of enhanced fellowship with Michael (Jesus).

The spirit also came to help men recall and understand the words of the Master as well as to illuminate and reinterpret his life on earth.

Next, the Spirit of Truth came to help the believer to witness to the realities of Jesus' teachings and his life as he lived it in the flesh, and as he now again lives it anew and afresh in the individual believer of each passing generation of the spirit-filled sons of God.

Thus it appears that the Spirit of Truth comes really to lead all believers into all truth, into the expanding knowledge of the experience of the living and growing spiritual consciousness of the reality of eternal and ascending sonship with God.

And this "reality of eternal and ascending sonship with God" is the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus came to present to humanity - sonship with God and loving service to the kingdom of spiritual brotherhood under this same Fatherhood of God - the gospel that he gotten lost in favor of the Christian Gospel of the risen Christ.

So, when we come together in our churches this month to celebrate and remember and be grateful for the outpouring of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the spirit presence of Jesus himself ... it may be with an expanded and new understanding of the function of this good Spirit as we co-ordinate the traditional with the new for the benefit of all.

Please follow the links provided in this blog to find out even more about Pentecost and the Spirit of Truth.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Wed, May 02, 2018

Jesus: old perspectives and new truths

By TruthBook Staff jesus, Christianity, kingdom of heaven, sin, urantia book, religion, church, liberal jesus,

How does the world see Jesus after all these centuries since he walked and lived on our world? Is our view accurate? This article: Ditch the modern-day masks of Jesus by Vladimir Mauricio-Perez explains that the world has come to view Jesus in ways that do not really reflect what the Gospels of rhe Bible, or the authority of the Church, have taught the faithful. We say: who can blame anyone for trying to further their understanding of Jesus? Relying soletly on the Bible can only take one so far...we'll blog about this - and the revelation of The Urantia Book that opens a whole new view of the Master, below. But first, here is a snip or two from the article; It is a good article and has some good points that many Christians will agree with:

"Here are just three of his many modern-day masks that can help us reflect and encounter the true Jesus of the Gospels, the one the Church has defended throughout the ages.

"Jesus all-loving, all-permissive

"Jesus, the activist commie

"Jesus was spiritual (but not religious)"

Click to read the article

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Given the scanty amount of material included in the Scriptures about Jesus, one cannot be blamed for trying to put a new spin on an old story - or trying to make Jesus' teachings inform a modern world and its challenges. Of course, the basic teachings about Jesus in the Bible still ring true today and have been sufficient to inspire legions of followers to him, but wouldn't it be nice to discover the truth of his real life? More regarding the truth of who Jesus really IS? More regarding the teachings that he really taught and lived? And lastly, not more information regarding the religion ABOUT Jesus, but information regarding the religion OF Jesus?

Jesus lived a full life prior to his death. Using only the Bible as a measure of that life, we get a mere fraction of his 36 years on this earth. The Urantia Book contains a biography of the Master that encompasses over 700 pages of detailed information - a day-to-day chronicle of his life and teachings found nowhere else.

This biography has always been in existence; it was carefully preserved from the times that Jesus lived - preserved for a time when the world most needed it - that time is now, and this biography is part of a larger epochal revelation of truth for our world - The Urantia Book.

But what about these "modern-day masks?" The author above views them in light of Scripture; let's look at each one in light of the teachings of The Urantia Book:

Was Jesus permissive? or was he tolerant?

As the article above points out, Jesus as many see him today is far too "permissive," not expecting us to become better people. He cites examples from Scripture that are very good. And in some ways, we would agree.

In The Urantia Book, Jesus certainly was - and is - all loving. His mission was to portray the reality of God the Father to our creature eyes, and that God is the God of love. But permissive? Maybe "tolerant" is a better word than permissive. But make no mistake: Jesus was very clear on sin - what it is, and its consequences. He was neither permissive nor tolerant of sin; in this, the Bible and The Urantia Book agree. But The Urantia book delves deeper:

100:7.14 He was often indignant at evil, intolerant of sin. He was often mightily moved to resist that which was inimical to the welfare of his children on earth. But his indignation against sin never led to anger at the sinner.

In fact, Jesus is very clear in helping all of us understand the concept of sin in a new way - a way that places responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the sinner. Sin is defined as "deliberate disloyalty" to God - specific behaviors (sins) are not identified, but specific motivations are; i.e., If one deliberately chooses to go against God, that choice constitutes sin. And continued sin leads to iniquity - this is surely the responsibility of the sinner alone - not the result of any antecedent causation, any devil, or any other outside influence. Jesus ennobles mankind to become fully responsible for his/her own spiritual health.

Then Jesus made this final statement: "The Father in heaven does not willingly afflict the children of men. Man suffers, first, from the accidents of time and the imperfections of the evil of an immature physical existence. Next, he suffers the inexorable consequences of sin—the transgression of the laws of life and light. And finally, man reaps the harvest of his own iniquitous persistence in rebellion against the righteous rule of heaven on earth.

Click to read Jesus' revolutionary teachings on "Evil, Sin, and Iniquity"

Was Jesus a social reformer?

We might agree with the author of the article above in that people today like to imagine that Jesus was a social reformer and a political leftist. The truth is that Jesus avoided politics and the book teaches us that his mission was not to make pronouncements about the mores of this day or any other. Even though he is described as " liberal, big-hearted, learned, and tolerant," his concern was always and ever with the individual and that individual's relationship to God. If he did make pronouncements against any vices of his day, they mainly had to do with hypocrisy and unfairness.

140:8.21 Jesus had little to say about the social vices of his day; seldom did he make reference to moral delinquency. He was a positive teacher of true virtue. He studiously avoided the negative method of imparting instruction; he refused to advertise evil. He was not even a moral reformer. He well knew, and so taught his apostles, that the sensual urges of mankind are not suppressed by either religious rebuke or legal prohibitions. His few denunciations were largely directed against pride, cruelty, oppression, and hypocrisy.

And we agree that seeing Jesus as a social reformer lessens the strength of his main mission: that of revealing God to us. Jesus was, and IS, God. Even as a young man, Jesus understood the importance of his mission when he refused to become involved in a very contentious political issue of the day - an issue that threatened to divide him from his family and created great public sentiment against him.

Click to read about Jesus' struggle to avoid political entanglement at age 17

Was Jesus purpose to establish a church?

This last point is a bit thornier, as the author insists that Jesus' purpose on earth was to establish a church; it is a common belief. However, the teachings of The Urantia Book reveal that the "church" that Jesus supposedly established following Peter's confession was not an earthly organized church, but the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of mankind. We include the passages here that reveal this truth:

157:4.4 After they had partaken of their meal and were engaged in discussing plans for the forthcoming tour of the Decapolis, Jesus suddenly looked up into their faces and said: "Now that a full day has passed since you assented to Simon Peter's declaration regarding the identity of the Son of Man, I would ask if you still hold to your decision?" On hearing this, the twelve stood upon their feet, and Simon Peter, stepping a few paces forward toward Jesus, said: "Yes, Master, we do. We believe that you are the Son of the living God." And Peter sat down with his brethren.

157:4.5 Jesus, still standing, then said to the twelve: "You are my chosen ambassadors, but I know that, in the circumstances, you could not entertain this belief as a result of mere human knowledge. This is a revelation of the spirit of my Father to your inmost souls. And when, therefore, you make this confession by the insight of the spirit of my Father which dwells within you, I am led to declare that upon this foundation will I build the brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven. Upon this rock of spiritual reality will I build the living temple of spiritual fellowship in the eternal realities of my Father's kingdom. All the forces of evil and the hosts of sin shall not prevail against this human fraternity of the divine spirit. And while my Father's spirit shall ever be the divine guide and mentor of all who enter the bonds of this spirit fellowship, to you and your successors I now deliver the keys of the outward kingdom—the authority over things temporal—the social and economic features of this association of men and women as fellows of the kingdom." And again he charged them, for the time being, that they should tell no man that he was the Son of God.

Any association that was to be established - the "outward kingdom" over which the apostles and their successors were to have authority - was intended to be an outward extension of this inner, spiritual kingdom; it did not turn out that way, but that was the intention.

The Christian church as we know it today has little to do with the unified spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven, and everything to do with the fact of the crucified, risen Christ. The religion that Jesus taught and lived - the religion of the spirit - was largely ignored and is now little known; rather, the church is now an instititionalized religion of uniform rules and regulation that must be followed in order to achieve salvation.

Despite the belief of the author above, Jesus' religion DOES allow the believer to follow God in their own way, the way of freedom and originality before God. And this is possible because of the indwelling spirit of God, whose presence in the mind of man is the authoritative basis for all that good, true and beautiful if sincerely sought as a guide through life. Said Jesus:

141:5.1 I have come into the world to proclaim spiritual liberty to the end that mortals may be empowered to live individual lives of originality and freedom before God. I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father. Your apostolic harmony must grow out of the fact that the spirit hope of each of you is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.

Jesus was both spiritual AND religious. His entire life was a demonstration of how to live a religious life. He was in close contact with the unseen world - the world of the Father, angels, and spirit forces. And he taught us how to live such a life in any age, on any world in this universe.

There are several links to The Urantia Book in this blog, and you are warmly invited to read even more by accessing Part IV of The Urantia Book; The Life and Teachings of Jesus.

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Thu, April 19, 2018

Jesus the Traveler

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

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

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

Click to read more

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

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

Why did Jesus travel?

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

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

About this process, The Urantia Book teaches:

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

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

About the importance of this trip, we learn:

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

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

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

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

Everywhere Jesus went, he taught

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

DISCOURSE ON JONAH

DISCOURSE ON REALITY

GOOD AND EVIL , And

DISCOURSE ON THE SOUL

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

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

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

Read the thrilling accounts

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

Read about the 2-year trip to the Mediterranean HERE

And about the trip to the Caspian HERE

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

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Tue, April 10, 2018

Want to know more about Jesus?

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

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

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

2. Women were huge in Jesus life.

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

4. Jesus was something like a refugee.

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

Click to read more.

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

Jesus is a perennial hot topic

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Spirit of Truth

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Jesus and Women

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

And according to The Urantia Book, they truly were:

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

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

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Jesus' Earth Family

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

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

Siblings: Jesus' Brothers and Sisters.

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Jesus, the Nomad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jesus' Ethics - A challenge for any age

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends—and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.

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

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

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

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Mon, March 26, 2018

John Mark: the boy who lost his coat

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

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

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

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

Click to read the article

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

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

The pertinent details follow here:

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

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

Who was John Mark?

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

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

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

Please click to read our study on John Mark

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

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

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

 

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Mon, March 19, 2018

Celebrating Joseph

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

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

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

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

Click to read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fri, March 16, 2018

Jesus, Buddha, and the Religion of the Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read more

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

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

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

What does The Urantia Book say about Buddhism?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see THE GOD CONCEPT OF BUDDHISM

Did Jesus ever talk about Buddhism? He did!

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

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

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

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

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

A Hybrid Religion?

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

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

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Wed, March 07, 2018

Those Missing Years of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fri, March 02, 2018

Living in the Kingdom of Heaven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truly good news.

A short history of the kingdom

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

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

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

Read more HERE

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

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

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

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

Read more about The Father and His Kingdom

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

The Kingdom is at hand

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Jesus introduces the Kingdom at the beginning of his public work

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did Jesus disregard our eternal life?

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

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

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

And in his talk about angels, the Master says:

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

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

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

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

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