92:4.4 There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:
The Dalamatian teachings
The true concept of the First Source and Center was first promulgated on Urantia by the one hundred corporeal members of Prince Caligastia’s staff. This expanding revelation of Deity went on for more than three hundred thousand years until it was suddenly terminated by the planetary secession and the disruption of the teaching regime. Except for the work of Van, the influence of the Dalamatian revelation was practically lost to the whole world. Even the Nodites had forgotten this truth by the time of Adam’s arrival. Of all who received the teachings of the one hundred, the red men held them longest, but the idea of the Great Spirit was but a hazy concept in Amerindian religion when contact with Christianity greatly clarified and strengthened it.
The Edenic teachings
Adam and Eve again portrayed the concept of the Father of all to the evolutionary peoples. The disruption of the first Eden halted the course of the Adamic revelation before it had ever fully started. But the aborted teachings of Adam were carried on by the Sethite priests, and some of these truths have never been entirely lost to the world. The entire trend of Levantine religious evolution was modified by the teachings of the Sethites. But by 2500 B.C. mankind had largely lost sight of the revelation sponsored in the days of Eden.
Melchizedek of Salem
This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God’s favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionary religions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ.
Jesus of Nazareth
Christ Michael presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.
The Urantia Papers.
The papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.
Click to read about The gift of revelation
What is Epochal Revelation?
Epochal revelation is a concept that is unique to The Urantia Book; this concept is quite useful in understanding the history of our earth (Urantia) and is vital to carrying an individual past the purely evolutionary religious experience to the revelatory experience of what Jesus called "true religion." Epochal revelation is always concerned with the advancement of religion, and new knowledge about God.
5:5.5 The evolutionary picture of human existence begins and ends with religion, albeit very different qualities of religion, one evolutional and biological, the other revelational and periodical.
92:3.5 Only two influences can modify and uplift the dogmas of natural religion: the pressure of the slowly advancing mores and the periodic illumination of epochal revelation.
101:4.3 Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality.
The Function of Epochal Revelation:
101:5.1 Revelation is a technique whereby ages upon ages of time are saved in the necessary work of sorting and sifting the errors of evolution from the truths of spirit acquirement.
92:4.1 It is the mission of revelation to sort and censor the successive religions of evolution.
Evolutionary Religion vs the Relgion of Revelation:
Examples of "evolutionary" religion include virtually all institutionalized religions, such as Christianity (all sects), Catholicism, Judaism, Shinto, Islam, Buddhism, etc.; in short, all religions who have had origin as a result of man's searching for God over the course of history, and growth throughout the generations of man. Evolutionary religion is usually characterized by dogma, by rules, by priests who intervene between man and God, by caveats and warnings, and largely by an underlying fear of God. One learns that in order to gain salvation, one must obey the rules.
Some relevant Urantia Book quotes:
2:6.2 Evolutionary religion may become ethical, but only revealed religion becomes truly and spiritually moral. 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.
85:6.3 Evolutionary religion creates its gods in the image and likeness of mortal man; revelatory religion seeks to evolve and transform mortal man into the image and likeness of God.
92:1.5 One Asiatic people taught that "God is a great fear"; that is the outgrowth of purely evolutionary religion. Jesus, the revelation of the highest type of religious living, proclaimed that "God is love."
92:3.5 Evolutionary belief in ghosts laid the foundation for a philosophy of revealed religion which will eventually destroy the superstition of its origin.
92:4.3 Evolutionary religion pictures the circuitous gropings of humanity in quest of truth; revelatory religion is that very truth.
100:6.9 The characteristic difference between evolved and revealed religion is a new quality of divine wisdom which is added to purely experiential human wisdom. But it is experience in and with the human religions that develops the capacity for subsequent reception of increased bestowals of divine wisdom and cosmic insight.
101:5.41. Evolutionary religion. The experience of primitive worship, the religion which is a mind derivative.
2. Revealed religion. The universe attitude which is a spirit derivative; the assurance of, and belief in, the conservation of eternal realities, the survival of personality, and the eventual attainment of the cosmic Deity, whose purpose has made all this possible. It is a part of the plan of the universe that, sooner or later, evolutionary religion is destined to receive the spiritual expansion of revelation.
Revealed Religion adds Personal Spiritual Experience to Religion
101:5.12 Evolved religion rests wholly on faith. Revelation has the additional assurance of its expanded presentation of the truths of divinity and reality and the still more valuable testimony of the actual experience which accumulates in consequence of the practical working union of the faith of evolution and the truth of revelation.
101:5.13 Evolutionary religion provides only the assurance of faith and the confirmation of conscience; revelatory religion provides the assurance of faith plus the truth of a living experience in the realities of revelation.
Click to read more about Religion Expanded by Revelation
Click to read Jesus' Discourse on True Religion
Epochal Revelation is Ordered and Logical
Epochal revelation builds upon itself; each revelation advances the ideas of the last revelation
On our world, Melchizedek came after Adam and Eve (not a normal progression) because of the default of the Edenic pair, and the ensuing loss of the one-God concept among the races of mankind.
Melchizedek prepared the way for Jesus, who revealed the one-God concept - again in the form of a human being.
The Urantia Papers came about 2000 years after Jesus, again revealing the loving Father that Jesus had personified for us; The Urantia Book also contains the complete restatement of the life and teachings of Jesus, filling in the gaps in Scripture, which was the only real earthly record of his amazing life up until then.
As an epochal revelation, The Urantia Book is unique, in that it is in the form of a book. All previous revelations have been in the form of personalities: Caligastia, Adam and Eve, Melchizedek, and Jesus of Nazareth.
When you look over the revelations of God to this planet - the vast time frames. the drama and excitement, the intensity, the disappointment, the victories and the love - we can only have faith that we are never forgotten and that when we need it most, we all have exactly what we need - as an evolutionary planet of time and space, and as beloved individual children of God. It is up to us to take the gift of revelation, let it pass over us and through us and enrich our world with its truths.