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.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Personal Religion

I hope our visitors have concluded that the New Revelation reveals a clearer, more human, personal picture of the historical Jesus, and that its message has very strong Biblical parallels.


Religion is a very personal matter; everyone has free will, and may believe what they choose. I blog here due to my personal beliefs, which have borne out for me over my lifetime. I plan on a series of posts next which will show what the New Revelation reports that Jesus taught about personal religion, some of which is explained in the Bible, but in little detail. Folks need to know that the Gospels were written quite awhile after Jesus' resurrection, from notes kept by the Apostles, in a time of oral traditions.

Scholars have been trying to "form" a historical Jesus for some time, and now we have the New Revelation, which is truly a beautiful, spiritual picture of him. Readers already marvel at the writing style utilized, and after 55 years, it has been accepted by many scientists and other lettered people, who usually are the naysayers.

Jesus and the Apostles have embarked on the second preaching tour. They are working hard to deliver people from spiritual darkness, and are ministering to their illnesses as well, in a time of few doctors and little medical knowledge.Jesus well knew all medical knowledge, but also knew that his healing would not heal spiritual darkness, so he chose his healing spots as a way to confirm the kingdom message he was teaching.


The Stop at Ramah

 
(1641.3) 146:3.1 At Ramah Jesus had the memorable discussion with the aged Greek philosopher who taught that science and philosophy were sufficient to satisfy the needs of human experience. Jesus listened with patience and sympathy to this Greek teacher, allowing the truth of many things he said but pointing out that, when he was through, he had failed in his discussion of human existence to explain “whence, why, and whither,” and added: “Where you leave off, we begin. Religion is a revelation to man’s soul dealing with spiritual realities which the mind alone could never discover or fully fathom. Intellectual strivings may reveal the facts of life, but the gospel of the kingdom unfolds the truths of being. You have discussed the material shadows of truth; will you now listen while I tell you about the eternal and spiritual realities which cast these transient time shadows of the material facts of mortal existence?” For more than an hour Jesus taught this Greek the saving truths of the gospel of the kingdom. The old philosopher was susceptible to the Master’s mode of approach, and being sincerely honest of heart, he quickly believed this gospel of salvation.
(1641.4) 146:3.2 The apostles were a bit disconcerted by the open manner of Jesus’ assent to many of the Greek’s propositions, but Jesus afterward privately said to them: “My children, marvel not that I was tolerant of the Greek’s philosophy. True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes. Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals.”
(1641.5) 146:3.3 On the second evening at Ramah, Thomas asked Jesus this question: “Master, how can a new believer in your teaching really know, really be certain, about the truth of this gospel of the kingdom?”
(1641.6) 146:3.4 And Jesus said to Thomas: “Your assurance that you have entered into the kingdom family of the Father, and that you will eternally survive with the children of the kingdom, is wholly a matter of personal experience — faith in the word of truth. Spiritual assurance is the equivalent of your personal religious experience in the eternal realities of divine truth and is otherwise equal to your intelligent understanding of truth realities plus your spiritual faith and minus your honest doubts.
(1642.1) 146:3.5 “The Son is naturally endowed with the life of the Father. Having been endowed with the living spirit of the Father, you are therefore sons of God. You survive your life in the material world of the flesh because you are identified with the Father’s living spirit, the gift of eternal life. Many, indeed, had this life before I came forth from the Father, and many more have received this spirit because they believed my word; but I declare that, when I return to the Father, he will send his spirit into the hearts of all men.
(1642.2) 146:3.6 “While you cannot observe the divine spirit at work in your minds, there is a practical method of discovering the degree to which you have yielded the control of your soul powers to the teaching and guidance of this indwelling spirit of the heavenly Father, and that is the degree of your love for your fellow men. This spirit of the Father partakes of the love of the Father, and as it dominates man, it unfailingly leads in the directions of divine worship and loving regard for one’s fellows. At first you believe that you are sons of God because my teaching has made you more conscious of the inner leadings of our Father’s indwelling presence; but presently the Spirit of Truth shall be poured out upon all flesh, and it will live among men and teach all men, even as I now live among you and speak to you the words of truth. And this Spirit of Truth, speaking for the spiritual endowments of your souls, will help you to know that you are the sons of God. It will unfailingly bear witness with the Father’s indwelling presence, your spirit, then dwelling in all men as it now dwells in some, telling you that you are in reality the sons of God.
(1642.3) 146:3.7 Every earth child who follows the leading of this spirit shall eventually know the will of God, and he who surrenders to the will of my Father shall abide forever. The way from the earth life to the eternal estate has not been made plain to you, but there is a way, there always has been, and I have come to make that way new and living. He who enters the kingdom has eternal life already — he shall never perish. But much of this you will the better understand when I shall have returned to the Father and you are able to view your present experiences in retrospect.”
(1642.4) 146:3.8 And all who heard these blessed words were greatly cheered. The Jewish teachings had been confused and uncertain regarding the survival of the righteous, and it was refreshing and inspiring for Jesus’ followers to hear these very definite and positive words of assurance about the eternal survival of all true believers.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Differences Between Prayer And Worship


The Gospels mention worship, and the Letters of Paul are replete with references; yet, there are no differences specifically explained.

In the new Revelation, Jesus taught that one can proceed upwards from prayer to worship. “Worship is for its own sake; prayer embodies a self- or creature-interest element; that is the great difference between worship and prayer. There is absolutely no self-request or other element of personal interest in true worship; we simply worship God for what we comprehend him to be. Worship asks nothing and expects nothing for the worshiper.”

The Gospels

A study of the Greek nouns and verbs translated worship in the New Testament should assist individuals in their search to understand the biblical concept of worship. In the New Testament, five verbs and three nouns radiate some light concerning worship. However, these words are only used three times in the Gospels, as stated below:

John 4:21-24 (New International Version, ©2011)

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Mark 7:7 (Also in Matthew 15:9)

7 They worship me in vain;
   their teachings are merely human rules.

New Revelation
   
144.1.6  The central theme of the discussions throughout the entire month of September was prayer and worship. After they had discussed worship for some days, Jesus finally delivered his memorable discourse on prayer in answer to Thomas’s request: “Master, teach us how to pray.”

144.2.2
  “Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit; prayer should be the communion of sonship and the expression of fellowship. Prayer, when indited by the spirit, leads to co-operative spiritual progress. The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship. True praying is the sincere attitude of reaching heavenward for the attainment of your ideals.

146.2.15
  14. Jesus warned his followers against thinking that their prayers would be rendered more efficacious by ornate repetitions, eloquent phraseology, fasting, penance, or sacrifices. But he did exhort his believers to employ prayer as a means of leading up through thanksgiving to true worship. Jesus deplored that so little of the spirit of thanksgiving was to be found in the prayers and worship of his followers. He quoted from the Scriptures on this occasion, saying: “It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to the name of the Most High, to acknowledge his loving-kindness every morning and his faithfulness every night, for God has made me glad through his work. In everything I will give thanks according to the will of God.”

144.4.1  4. MORE ABOUT PRAYER For days after the discourse on prayer the apostles continued to ask the Master questions regarding this all-important and worshipful practice. Jesus’ instruction to the apostles during these days, regarding prayer and worship, may be summarized and restated in modern phraseology as follows:

144.4.4
  Prayer led Jesus up to the supercommunion of his soul with the Supreme Rulers of the universe of universes. Prayer will lead the mortals of earth up to the communion of true worship. The soul’s spiritual capacity for receptivity determines the quantity of heavenly blessings which can be personally appropriated and consciously realized as an answer to prayer.

144.4.5
  Prayer and its associated worship is a technique of detachment from the daily routine of life, from the monotonous grind of material existence. It is an avenue of approach to spiritualized self-realization and individuality of intellectual and religious attainment.

144.4.7
  Prayer is the breath of the spirit life in the midst of the material civilization of the races of mankind. worship is salvation for the pleasure-seeking generations of mortals.

144.4.8
  As prayer may be likened to recharging the spiritual batteries of the soul, so worship may be compared to the act of tuning in the soul to catch the universe broadcasts of the infinite spirit of the Universal Father.

144.4.11
  Of all the apostles, Peter and James came the nearest to comprehending the Master’s teaching about prayer and worship.

146.2.17  16. Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. We worship God by the aid of the Father’s indwelling spirit and by the illumination of the human mind through the ministry of truth. Worship, taught Jesus, makes one increasingly like the being who is worshiped. Worship is a transforming experience whereby the finite gradually approaches and ultimately attains the presence of the Infinite.

5.3.3  Worship is for its own sake; prayer embodies a self- or creature-interest element; that is the great difference between worship and prayer. There is absolutely no self-request or other element of personal interest in true worship; we simply worship God for what we comprehend him to be. Worship asks nothing and expects nothing for the worshiper. We do not worship the Father because of anything we may derive from such veneration; we render such devotion and engage in such worship as a natural and spontaneous reaction to the recognition of the Father’s matchless personality and because of his lovable nature and adorable attributes.

5.3.4
  The moment the element of self-interest intrudes upon worship, that instant devotion translates from worship to prayer and more appropriately should be directed to the person of Jesus. But in practical religious experience there exists no reason why prayer should not be addressed to God the Father as a part of true worship.