Urantia Gospel Parallels

There are more than 10,000 cross references between the Bible and the Urantia Book. Part IV, a New Revelation of Jesus, is a 774 pg. section which has many parallels to the Gospel stories of the Bible. This blog will be a study of such parallels, and hopefully will increase and expand the love of those already familiar with the Gospel stories of Jesus, or, conversely show the Urantia Book's New Revelation equivalents of Gospel stories.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Personality of Jesus

To do synthesize this in short form for a blog is difficult at best; however, what follows may give a starting picture.

Personality is the sum of its parts interactively. This parts include emotions such as love, anger, compassion, sorrow, joy, pity, exasperation, fear, drive, and the need for companionship, to name a few.

Love
   
In the Bible, we are told that Jesus loved the following people: the rich young man (Mark 10:21); Martha, Mary and Lazarus (John 11:5); Lazarus (John 11:3,36); one of the disciples (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). Paul, in the Letter to the Ephesians, talks of Jesus’ love for us: Christ loved us and gave himself up for us (Eph 5:2); the love of Christ surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18-19); Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25). We see Jesus’ great love for his mother as he was dying on the cross when he asked his close friend and disciple John to look after her (John 19:25-27).

I think it would be fair to say that we can see Jesus’ love for people when he was healing them by touching them. Some examples are Mark 1:31; 1:41; 5:41; 8:22-26. Furthermore Jesus allowed himself to be touched (Mark 6:56) and kissed (Luke 7:38,45). The disciple leaned close to his chest during the Last Supper (John 13:25).

The New Revelation

(1420.6) 129:1.9 At the Capernaum synagogue he found many new books in the library chests, and he spent at least five evenings a week at intense study. One evening he devoted to social life with the older folks, and one evening he spent with the young people. There was something gracious and inspiring about the personality of Jesus which invariably attracted young people. He always made them feel at ease in his presence. Perhaps his great secret in getting along with them consisted in the twofold fact that he was always interested in what they were doing, while he seldom offered them advice unless they asked for it.
(1425.3) 129:4.4 The Son of Man experienced those wide ranges of human emotion which reach from superb joy to profound sorrow. He was a child of joy and a being of rare good humor; likewise was he a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” In a spiritual sense, he did live through the mortal life from the bottom to the top, from the beginning to the end. From a material point of view, he might appear to have escaped living through both social extremes of human existence, but intellectually he became wholly familiar with the entire and complete experience of humankind.
(1425.4) 129:4.5 Jesus knows about the thoughts and feelings, the urges and impulses, of the evolutionary and ascendant mortals of the realms, from birth to death. He has lived the human life from the beginnings of physical, intellectual, and spiritual selfhood up through infancy, childhood, youth, and adulthood — even to the human experience of death. He not only passed through these usual and familiar human periods of intellectual and spiritual advancement, but he also fully experienced those higher and more advanced phases of human and Adjuster reconciliation which so few Urantia mortals ever attain. And thus he experienced the full life of mortal man, not only as it is lived on your world, but also as it is lived on all other evolutionary worlds of time and space, even on the highest and most advanced of all the worlds settled in light and life.
(1784.5) 161:1.8 3. That Jesus was on terms of mutual association and perfect communication with man; that Jesus was the Son of God. That the relation of Son and Father presupposes equality of communication and mutuality of sympathetic understanding; that Jesus and the Father were one. That Jesus maintained at one and the same time understanding communication with both God and man, and that, since both God and man comprehended the meaning of the symbols of Jesus’ communication, both God and man possessed the attributes of personality in so far as the requirements of the ability of intercommunication were concerned. That the personality of Jesus demonstrated the personality of God, while it proved conclusively the presence of God in man. That two things which are related to the same thing are related to each other.
 (1589.5) 141:3.4 The Master displayed great wisdom and manifested perfect fairness in all of his dealings with his apostles and with all of his disciples. Jesus was truly a master of men; he exercised great influence over his fellow men because of the combined charm and force of his personality. There was a subtle commanding influence in his rugged, nomadic, and homeless life. There was intellectual attractiveness and spiritual drawing power in his authoritative manner of teaching, in his lucid logic, his strength of reasoning, his sagacious insight, his alertness of mind, his matchless poise, and his sublime tolerance. He was simple, manly, honest, and fearless. With all of this physical and intellectual influence manifest in the Master’s presence, there were also all those spiritual charms of being which have become associated with his personality — patience, tenderness, meekness, gentleness, and humility. 
(2090.1) 196:0.14 Jesus’ earthly life was devoted to one great purpose — doing the Father’s will, living the human life religiously and by faith. The faith of Jesus was trusting, like that of a child, but it was wholly free from presumption. He made robust and manly decisions, courageously faced manifold disappointments, resolutely surmounted extraordinary difficulties, and unflinchingly confronted the stern requirements of duty. It required a strong will and an unfailing confidence to believe what Jesus believed and as he believed.

Commentary

I write this blog out of love for people and God the Father. It is my supreme hope that any reader would either study the Bible or the New Revelation. I simply prefer the New Revelation as it is so much more detailed and understandable in modern English prose.

To know the personality of Jesus is the closest we can ever get to knowing the personality of God. Jesus was manly, strong, moral, understanding, lovable, honest, compassionate, sincere and so much more. However, one must read so much more to understand him spiritually, and his relationship with God the Father.

His short life, ignominious death, resurrection, ascension and bestowal of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to his followers, as promised, was a world changing paradigm, which enveloped the Mediterranean world.

 

Today, with materialism and its progeny secularism providing many with an alternative to religious faith is depriving people of the joy of knowing Jesus (particularly the historical Jesus), and thus a relationship with God as a father.

 

I am in hopes people will read up on Jesus and reap the benefits of his matchless personality and teachings.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jesus' Teaching on Human Affliction

He early taught his followers that the kingdom of heaven was a spiritual experience having to do with the enthronement of God in the hearts of men. (137.7.13)
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There is not one of us who completely escapes affliction. While there are short verses in both the old and new testaments regarding affliction, Jesus never defined it in the Gospels, but he surely understood mankind’s problem. In Matthew Chapter 4, it states:

Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds

"23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them."

There are numerous short references to the afflictions of Christians by Paul, and numerous references in Psalms and other places in the Old Testament, but none so comprehensive and well explained as in the New Revelation:

148:5.1 At another of these private interviews in the garden Nathaniel asked Jesus: "Master, though I am beginning to understand why you refuse to practice healing indiscriminately, I am still at a loss to understand why the loving Father in heaven permits so many of his children on earth to suffer so many afflictions." The Master answered Nathaniel, saying:

148:5.2 "Nathaniel, you and many others are thus perplexed because you do not comprehend how the natural order of this world has been so many times upset by the sinful adventures of certain rebellious traitors to the Father's will. And I have come to make a beginning of setting these things in order. But many ages will be required to restore this part of the universe to former paths and thus release the children of men from the extra burdens of sin and rebellion. The presence of evil alone is sufficient test for the ascension of man—sin is not essential to survival.

148:5.3
"But, my son, you should know that the Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man brings down upon himself unnecessary affliction as a result of his persistent refusal to walk in the better ways of the divine will. Affliction is potential in evil, but much of it has been produced by sin and iniquity. Many unusual events have transpired on this world, and it is not strange that all thinking men should be perplexed by the scenes of suffering and affliction which they witness. But of one thing you may be sure: The Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing. The imperfections and handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin are inevitable; the destroying consequences of iniquity are inexorable. Man should not blame God for those afflictions which are the natural result of the life which he chooses to live; neither should man complain of those experiences which are a part of life as it is lived on this world. It is the Father's will that mortal man should work persistently and consistently toward the betterment of his estate on earth. Intelligent application would enable man to overcome much of his earthly misery.

148:5.4
"Nathaniel, it is our mission to help men solve their spiritual problems and in this way to quicken their minds so that they may be the better prepared and inspired to go about solving their manifold material problems. I know of your confusion as you have read the Scriptures. All too often there has prevailed a tendency to ascribe to God the responsibility for everything which ignorant man fails to understand. The Father is not personally responsible for all you may fail to comprehend. Do not doubt the love of the Father just because some just and wise law of his ordaining chances to afflict you because you have innocently or deliberately transgressed such a divine ordinance.

148:5.5
"But, Nathaniel, there is much in the Scriptures which would have instructed you if you had only read with discernment. Do you not remember that it is written: `My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as the father corrects the son in whom he takes delight.' `The Lord does not afflict willingly.' `Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now do I keep the law. Affliction was good for me that I might thereby learn the divine statutes.' `I know your sorrows. [And then citing from scripture:]

The eternal God is your refuge, while underneath are the everlasting arms.' `The Lord also is a refuge for the oppressed, a haven of rest in times of trouble.' `The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of affliction; the Lord will not forget the sick.' `As a father shows compassion for his children, so is the Lord compassionate to those who fear him. He knows your body; he remembers that you are dust.' `He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.' `He is the hope of the poor, the strength of the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, and a shadow from the devastating heat.' `He gives power to the faint, and to them who have no might he increases strength.' `A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench.' `When you pass through the waters of affliction, I will be with you, and when the rivers of adversity overflow you, I will not forsake you.' `He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to comfort all who mourn.' `There is correction in suffering; affliction does not spring forth from the dust.'"

Commentary

Anyone who takes the time to read the Urantia Book will learn about what the Bible speaks of regarding the Lucifer rebellion. This caused the first problems on our planet, and then the default of Adam and Eve, causing even more fallout from Lucifer which exacerbated our problems, especially disease.
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Thus, affliction is sometimes of our own making, sometimes fallout, sometimes the chastening of God, but no matter what the source, God the Father hears us, and if we open the prayer channel, God will help. Jesus’ discourse above explains this relief God will provide for those that ask believing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The First Passover With The Apostles at Jerusalem

The Bible does not record the first Passover with Jesus and the Apostles in Jerusalem. But the New Revelation story is so beautiful, and spiritual, that I couldn't resist. Jesus taught Jacob, a visitor, the concept of God as a kind and compassionate Father rather than God as wrathful and vengeful. This was the first core message of Jesus's Gospel, the good news. He also taught the evolution of the concept of God as taught by the Prophets, from Yahweh to  the Father in heaven.

(1596.1) 142:0.1 THE month of April Jesus and the apostles worked in Jerusalem, going out of the city each evening to spend the night at Bethany. Jesus himself spent one or two nights each week in Jerusalem at the home of Flavius, a Greek Jew, where many prominent Jews came in secret to interview him.
(1596.2) 142:0.2 The first day in Jerusalem Jesus called upon his friend of former years, Annas, the onetime high priest and relative of Salome, Zebedee’s wife. Annas had been hearing about Jesus and his teachings, and when Jesus called at the high priest’s home, he was received with much reserve. When Jesus perceived Annas’s coldness, he took immediate leave, saying as he departed: Fear is man’s chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?” But Annas made no reply. The Master did not again see Annas until the time when he sat with his son-in-law in judgment on the Son of Man.

1. Teaching in the Temple


(1596.3) 142:1.1 Throughout this month Jesus or one of the apostles taught daily in the temple. When the Passover crowds were too great to find entrance to the temple teaching, the apostles conducted many teaching groups outside the sacred precincts. The burden of their message was:
(1596.4) 142:1.2 1. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(1596.5) 142:1.3 2. By faith in the fatherhood of God you may enter the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the sons of God.
(1596.6) 142:1.4 3. Love is the rule of living within the kingdom — supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself.
(1596.7) 142:1.5 4. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one’s personal life, is the law of the kingdom.
(1596.8) 142:1.6 The multitudes who came to celebrate the Passover heard this teaching of Jesus, and hundreds of them rejoiced in the good news. The chief priests and rulers of the Jews became much concerned about Jesus and his apostles and debated among themselves as to what should be done with them.
(1596.9) 142:1.7 Besides teaching in and about the temple, the apostles and other believers were engaged in doing much personal work among the Passover throngs. These interested men and women carried the news of Jesus’ message from this Passover celebration to the uttermost parts of the Roman Empire and also to the East. This was the beginning of the spread of the gospel of the kingdom to the outside world. No longer was the work of Jesus to be confined to Palestine.


2. God’s Wrath


(1597.1) 142:2.1 There was in Jerusalem in attendance upon the Passover festivities one Jacob, a wealthy Jewish trader from Crete, and he came to Andrew making request to see Jesus privately. Andrew arranged this secret meeting with Jesus at Flavius’s home the evening of the next day. This man could not comprehend the Master’s teachings, and he came because he desired to inquire more fully about the kingdom of God. Said Jacob to Jesus: “But, Rabbi, Moses and the olden prophets tell us that Yahweh is a jealous God, a God of great wrath and fierce anger. The prophets say he hates evildoers and takes vengeance on those who obey not his law. You and your disciples teach us that God is a kind and compassionate Father who so loves all men that he would welcome them into this new kingdom of heaven, which you proclaim is so near at hand.”
(1597.2) 142:2.2 When Jacob finished speaking, Jesus replied: Jacob, you have well stated the teachings of the olden prophets who taught the children of their generation in accordance with the light of their day. 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.
(1597.3) 142:2.3 After considerable discussion of the heavenly Father’s character, Jesus paused to say: You, Jacob, being a father of many, know well the truth of my words. And Jacob said: “But, Master, who told you I was the father of six children? How did you know this about me?” And the Master replied: Suffice it to say that the Father and the Son know all things, for indeed they see all. Loving your children as a father on earth, you must now accept as a reality the love of the heavenly Father for you — not just for all the children of Abraham, but for you, your individual soul.
(1597.4) 142:2.4 Then Jesus went on to say: When your children are very young and immature, and when you must chastise them, they may reflect that their father is angry and filled with resentful wrath. Their immaturity cannot penetrate beyond the punishment to discern the father’s farseeing and corrective affection. But when these same children become grown-up men and women, would it not be folly for them to cling to these earlier and misconceived notions regarding their father? As men and women they should now discern their father’s love in all these early disciplines. And should not mankind, as the centuries pass, come the better to understand the true nature and loving character of the Father in heaven? What profit have you from successive generations of spiritual illumination if you persist in viewing God as Moses and the prophets saw him? I say to you, Jacob, under the bright light of this hour you should see the Father as none of those who have gone before ever beheld him. And thus seeing him, you should rejoice to enter the kingdom wherein such a merciful Father rules, and you should seek to have his will of love dominate your life henceforth.
(1598.1) 142:2.5 And Jacob answered: “Rabbi, I believe; I desire that you lead me into the Father’s kingdom.”

3. The Concept of God


(1598.2) 142:3.1 The twelve apostles, most of whom had listened to this discussion of the character of God, that night asked Jesus many questions about the Father in heaven. The Master’s answers to these questions can best be presented by the following summary in modern phraseology:
(1598.3) 142:3.2 Jesus mildly upbraided the twelve, in substance saying: Do you not know the traditions of Israel relating to the growth of the idea of Yahweh, and are you ignorant of the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the doctrine of God? And then did the Master proceed to instruct the apostles about the evolution of the concept of Deity throughout the course of the development of the Jewish people. He called attention to the following phases of the growth of the God idea:
(1598.4) 142:3.3 1. Yahweh — the god of the Sinai clans. This was the primitive concept of Deity which Moses exalted to the higher level of the Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven never fails to accept the sincere worship of his children on earth, no matter how crude their concept of Deity or by what name they symbolize his divine nature.
(1598.5) 142:3.4 2. The Most High. This concept of the Father in heaven was proclaimed by Melchizedek to Abraham and was carried far from Salem by those who subsequently believed in this enlarged and expanded idea of Deity. Abraham and his brother left Ur because of the establishment of sun worship, and they became believers in Melchizedek’s teaching of El Elyon — the Most High God. Theirs was a composite concept of God, consisting in a blending of their older Mesopotamian ideas and the Most High doctrine.
(1598.6) 142:3.5 3. El Shaddai. During these early days many of the Hebrews worshiped El Shaddai, the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven, which they learned about during their captivity in the land of the Nile. Long after the times of Melchizedek all three of these concepts of God became joined together to form the doctrine of the creator Deity, the Lord God of Israel.
(1598.7) 142:3.6 4. Elohim. From the times of Adam the teaching of the Paradise Trinity has persisted. Do you not recall how the Scriptures begin by asserting that “In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earth”? This indicates that when that record was made the Trinity concept of three Gods in one had found lodgment in the religion of our forebears.
(1598.8) 142:3.7 5. The Supreme Yahweh. By the times of Isaiah these beliefs about God had expanded into the concept of a Universal Creator who was simultaneously all-powerful and all-merciful. And this evolving and enlarging concept of God virtually supplanted all previous ideas of Deity in our fathers’ religion.
(1598.9) 142:3.8 6. The Father in heaven. And now do we know God as our Father in heaven. Our teaching provides a religion wherein the believer is a son of God. That is the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Coexistent with the Father are the Son and the Spirit, and the revelation of the nature and ministry of these Paradise Deities will continue to enlarge and brighten throughout the endless ages of the eternal spiritual progression of the ascending sons of God. At all times and during all ages the true worship of any human being — as concerns individual spiritual progress — is recognized by the indwelling spirit as homage rendered to the Father in heaven.
(1599.1) 142:3.9 Never before had the apostles been so shocked as they were upon hearing this recounting of the growth of the concept of God in the Jewish minds of previous generations; they were too bewildered to ask questions. As they sat before Jesus in silence, the Master continued: And you would have known these truths had you read the Scriptures. Have you not read in Samuel where it says: ‘And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so much so that he moved David against them, saying, go number Israel and Judah’? And this was not strange because in the days of Samuel the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But when a later writer narrated these events, subsequent to the enlargement of the Jewish concept of the nature of God, he did not dare attribute evil to Yahweh; therefore he said: ‘And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.’ Cannot you discern that such records in the Scriptures clearly show how the concept of the nature of God continued to grow from one generation to another?
(1599.2) 142:3.10 Again should you have discerned the growth of the understanding of divine law in perfect keeping with these enlarging concepts of divinity. When the children of Israel came out of Egypt in the days before the enlarged revelation of Yahweh, they had ten commandments which served as their law right up to the times when they were encamped before Sinai. And these ten commandments were:
(1599.3) 142:3.11 “1. You shall worship no other god, for the Lord is a jealous God.
(1599.4) 142:3.12 “2. You shall not make molten gods.
(1599.5) 142:3.13 “3. You shall not neglect to keep the feast of unleavened bread.
(1599.6) 142:3.14 “4. Of all the males of men or cattle, the first-born are mine, says the Lord.
(1599.7) 142:3.15 “5. Six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.
(1599.8) 142:3.16 “6. You shall not fail to observe the feast of the first fruits and the feast of the ingathering at the end of the year.
(1599.9) 142:3.17 “7. You shall not offer the blood of any sacrifice with leavened bread.
(1599.10) 142:3.18 “8. The sacrifice of the feast of the Passover shall not be left until morning.
(1599.11) 142:3.19 “9. The first of the first fruits of the ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
(1599.12) 142:3.20 “10. You shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.
(1599.13) 142:3.21 And then, amidst the thunders and lightnings of Sinai, Moses gave them the new ten commandments, which you will all allow are more worthy utterances to accompany the enlarging Yahweh concepts of Deity. And did you never take notice of these commandments as twice recorded in the Scriptures, that in the first case deliverance from Egypt is assigned as the reason for Sabbath keeping, while in a later record the advancing religious beliefs of our forefathers demanded that this be changed to the recognition of the fact of creation as the reason for Sabbath observance?
(1599.14) 142:3.22 And then will you remember that once again — in the greater spiritual enlightenment of Isaiah’s day — these ten negative commandments were changed into the great and positive law of love, the injunction to love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. And it is this supreme law of love for God and for man that I also declare to you as constituting the whole duty of man.
(1600.1) 142:3.23 And when he had finished speaking, no man asked him a question. They went, each one to his sleep.