I think all of us would agree that hearing or reading someone's first-hand accounts of an event - their testimony - carries a lot of weight...much more than second-hand reportage. This article: Testimony of Jesus changes lives by Mitch Ivey is the author's testimony as a result of reading the accounts in the gospel of John, supposedly an eyewitness accounting of Jesus' life; and that inspiration builds upon itself and engenders the author's own personal witness as to the power of Jesus in that life. We will blog below about this gospel of John as clarified in The Urantia Book - as well as my own testimony of the power of Jesus - but first, here's a snippit or two from the article:
"As a believer, I'm encouraged by the testimony of the Apostle John. As it says at the end of the book in John 20:24-25 (NKJ): "This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen."
"John's testimony, a firsthand witness to the events of Jesus' life, has been written and passed on for generations. As people have read those testimonies about this man Jesus, people throughout the world have experienced transformed lives through a living relationship with Jesus. John's testimony is full of power as it's being passed down the generations.
"John shares his testimony of watching Jesus heal the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, feeding 5,000 on a country hillside, seeing Lazarus rise from the dead, eating breakfast by the sea with the resurrected Jesus and much more."
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While the Bible itself may be thought of as a testament - a witness - to the revelation that was Jesus' incarnation on earth, The Urantia Book truly represents that revelation in the fullest way that has ever been seen on earth. Anyone who is ready to know more about the Master and his life owes it to him/herself to have a look at it.
In these perilous times, the true and unadulterated teachings of Jesus stand as a promise for all peoples of all religions that brotherhood is possible, that love is the greatest reality, and that all of us are part of the vast family of God. His powerful religion of the spirit is a religion for everyone and is "destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism."
When read as a whole piece, the Life and Teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book supply a narrative of the Master's life that is unparalleled anywhere on the planet. It contains all the true events of Jesus' life that are familiar from the Bible - and it supplies all the missing years, all the missing events, all the missing teachings - as well as supplying color, detail, and context for all of it. The Bible may be the basis for the Master's life, but The Urantia Book expands and coordinates it to the nth degree.
My story - finding Jesus anew!
When I discovered The Urantia Book, one of the first sections that attracted me to it were the papers on Jesus' life. I had been raised Catholic, and my main exposure to Jesus had been from the gospels that are read during each Mass. For me, those gospels were sufficient to inspire in me a life-long reverence for, and a belief in Jesus. The words of the Master always rang true for me, even when the church itself seemed to veer from those simple teachings.
Through all of my "wilderness days" the simple beauty of the "Lord's Prayer," the inspiring parables of the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, the Good Shepherd ... the miraculous events like the turning of the water into wine, the feeding of the 5000, the cure of the woman who touched his hem ... these stories and events stayed with me. I did turn my back on the church, but I never turned my back on Jesus.
Finding those events, those miracles, anew in The Urantia Book - so full of detail, so replete with inclusions of Jesus' thinking and state of mind, so corroborative of his loving nature were like "coming home." I can remember the tears welling up in my eyes as I was filled with immense gratitude for this revelation of the essesnce of Jesus as I had always believed him to be, but in greater detail and color and context than I had ever dreamed of having.
Reading the accounts of his simple, yet powerful life - his pure and original teachings - awoke in me a renewed love for him, and a renewed determination to "follow him" with more purpose than I had ever had before. The Urantia Book - and most especially the Jesus papers - changed my life.
Another sea-change in understanding
Another element of The Urantia Book that was a life-changing revelation for my soul was the explanation by the revelators of the true purpose of Jesus' incarnation to our world.
Having been raised to believe that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, destined to die a cruel death by the mandate of what I was taught to be a cruel and wrathful God, I always felt great sympathy and tenderness towards Jesus; I felt so sorry for him having to take on the sins of the world, and at the same time, felt a good deal of indignation at such a god who would demand such a price to be paid by such a loving and innocent person. That indignation rose to such a level that - while I always loved Jesus, I had a hard time loving God. The Urantia Book explains it so simply here:
2:6.1 "Man might fear a great God, but he trusts and loves only a good God. This goodness of God is a part of the personality of God, and its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing sons of God ... The olden concept that God is a Deity dominated by kingly morality was upstepped by Jesus to that affectionately touching level of intimate family morality of the parent-child relationship, than which there is none more tender and beautiful in mortal experience."
And so, learning that one of the main purposes of Jesus' incarnation was to reveal God to our creature eyes - not to redeem a sinful and sorry people through a fictitious doctrine, my spirit was baptized with a whole new paradigm in which to appreciate not only Jesus, but God the Father as well.
A new appreciation for God...
The Urantia Book's revelations about the true nature of the Universal Father was a powerful revelation for me. I felt the scales fall from my eyes as I began to appreciate the truth about God - a God that I always feared and worried about; a God who said he loved me on one hand, but a God who required the murder of his innocent Son as a sacrifice. I have come to believe that this vengeful God of the Bible - this seemingly irrational and capricious God - is not accurate. Reading the life of Jesus, whose incarnation was to reveal God to us, one cannot further entertain such damaging and fearful ideas any more. Following the simple religion that Jesus himself followed and taught can give anyone a whole new appreciation for the God of love that Jesus revealed to us.
In my view, fear of God - an understandable fear, given the writings of the Bible - is one of the worst maladies to afflict the human race. The Urantia Book relieves us of that fear; it introduces a revelation of God the Father as I had never before even imagined. We discover a personal God - a personality from whose personality all of our personalities spring; a God who can truly know and be known; a loving person whose nature is only love, and whose only attitude towards creation is one of love. What a concept! And through the incarnation of Jesus, we are able to truly see the nature of this loving Father.
142:2.2 Said Jesus: "Our Father in Paradise is changeless. But the concept of his nature has enlarged and grown from the days of Moses down through the times of Amos and even to the generation of the prophet Isaiah. And now have I come in the flesh to reveal the Father in new glory and to show forth his love and mercy to all men on all worlds. As the gospel of this kingdom shall spread over the world with its message of good cheer and good will to all men, there will grow up improved and better relations among the families of all nations. As time passes, fathers and their children will love each other more, and thus will be brought about a better understanding of the love of the Father in heaven for his children on earth. Remember, Jacob, that a good and true father not only loves his family as a whole—as a family—but he also truly loves and affectionately cares for each individual member."
How The Urantia Book illuminates the gospels...
Over the past 2000+ years, all the world has really had in the way of testimony or information about the Master's life has been the four gospels of the New Testament. These gospels did not appear in the form we have them now until around 1380 AD, when they were translated from the Latin into English by John Wycliffe. The events, the quotes of Jesus and others, the timelines, have undergone extensive manipulation, editing, and revision before the actual finished product was completed.
Nevertheless, what has come down to us through the centuries has been enough to inspire countless followers of Jesus, just like me and the author of the piece above. And we can only be grateful that this "river of knowledge" has been put together and has flowed down to these days; otherwise, the life of Jesus might have been lost forever except in oral histories. The authors of The Urantia Book tell us that "these records, imperfect as they are, have been sufficient to change the course of the history of Urantia for almost two thousand years."
The author of the piece above speaks of having eyewitness acounts. He posits that the gospel of John is one such account - an eyewitness accounting of certain events in Jesus' life. But, is it?
One might rightly be curious about The Urantia Book's revelation in light of the article that I have cited above as well as my own testimony. I invite anyone to click on the following links to discover the truth of this revelation - how it was mandated - and whose accounts were referenced
It begins this way:
"The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew."
This angelic midwayer (see "authors of The Urantia Book" above) is most certainly an eyewitness to events that occurred during Jesus public ministry.
And here's a fascinating statement - an acknowledgment - by the chief midwayer of the revelatory commission:
As we can see, the Bible records have most certainly been employed, including the information from John; but then we also find out exactly where they originated; and that origination does not always lie with the stated author.
Learn more about the current records that we know as the Bible. See Previous written records, wherein we read about the gospel of John and its true authorship:
121:8.10 The Gospel of John. The Gospel according to John relates much of Jesus' work in Judea and around Jerusalem which is not contained in the other records. This is the so-called Gospel according to John the son of Zebedee, and though John did not write it, he did inspire it. Since its first writing it has several times been edited to make it appear to have been written by John himself. When this record was made, John had the other Gospels, and he saw that much had been omitted; accordingly, in the year A.D. 101 he encouraged his associate, Nathan, a Greek Jew from Caesarea, to begin the writing. John supplied his material from memory and by reference to the three records already in existence. He had no written records of his own. The Epistle known as "First John" was written by John himself as a covering letter for the work which Nathan executed under his direction.
Who was John Zebedee? He was the fourth apostle - one of the first six - and his biographical sketch can be read HERE. John also was the author of the book Revelations, which he wrote when in exile on the island of Patmos.
You have always loved the Bible, and discovering Jesus in The Urantia Book is like reading the Bible in technicolor and on the wide-screen! with a cast of thousands but a one-pointed message of the love of the Father to all mankind, revealed by Jesus.
https://truthbook.com/urantia-book/part-4-the-life-and-teachings-of-jesus START HERE!