The Master's Ministry
Fortifying the Foundation
Part I - Building Up Christianity
June 20, 2015
In this series of articles under The New Revelation, we use the ‘bridge’ metaphor to describe how to best introduce the Urantia Book into mainstream consciousness and to begin an international conversation about its import and potential impact. We continue with the bridge theme in this article where we discuss the need to identify and fortify the starting pillar, the beginning foundation of our bridge, which we believe is the world of Christianity.
Of all the religions, ideologies, creeds, belief and disbelief systems, the tenets of Christianity most closely identify with the Fifth Epochal Revelation (“FER”). This should not be surprising since the Urantia Book is said to be commissioned through the approval of Michael who is the glorified Jesus Christ recognized, adored, even worshiped by modern day Christianity. Christianity, though primitive and crude, honors the same sovereign, promotes the same ideals, and seeks the same destiny as presented in the Urantia Book. No other ideology on the planet is closer to the FER than Christianity. As the Urantia Book states:
“Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth.
We know that some in the Urantia Book community are not fond of the idea of identifying the FER with Christianity or with any other particular religion. The sentiment is that it should not be associated with any religion so that it will appeal to adherents of all religions. This is a noble concept, but not very productive because when you attempt to appeal to all people, you end up not really appealing to anyone.
The fact is, people have opinions and prejudices, likes and dislikes, beliefs and disbeliefs. To reach the varied personalities, you have to appeal to their peculiar idiosyncracies. While it is true that the Urantia Book can appeal to all people, it may not appeal to all people at the same time and in the same way. But it can be presented in a variety of ways from a variety of perspectives so that the reader can personally identify with it.
Notwithstanding the tremendous flexibility we have in introducing the FER into mainstream consciousness, the Urantia Book and the Bible make this point clear:
“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
– John 14:5-7
“When Jesus sat down, Thomas arose and said: ‘Master, we do not know where you are going; so of course we do not know the way. But we will follow you this very night if you will show us the way.’ When Jesus heard Thomas he answered: ‘Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man goes to the Father except through me. All who find the Father, first find me. If you know me, you know the way to the Father. And you do know me, for you have lived with me and you now see me.’”
– UB 180:3.7,8
Therefore, no matter what faith association one may belong to, at some point in their life’s journey, they will have to find Jesus and gain his approval if they have any hope of finding the First Father in Paradise. And the sooner, the better. That’s just the way it is. So, as both books state, we should never be ashamed of confessing union with Jesus:
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 10:32
“All of you who have had the courage to confess faith in my gospel before men I will presently acknowledge before the angels of heaven; but he who shall knowingly deny the truth of my teachings before men shall be denied by his guardian of destiny even before the angels of heaven.”
– UB 165:3.5
Really, how can one expect to be guided by the Spirit of Truth if one shies away from Jesus who is the source of that spirit and who is the very personality represented by that spirit?
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”
– John 16:13-14
"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,”
– UB 180:4.5
This is also why we strongly believe that a serious outreach to Christianity is the first step toward introducing the FER into mainstream consciousness. Christianity constitutes one-third of the world’s population and they already look to Jesus for salvation. A large portion of Christians are already preachers and teachers who see a need to ‘spread the gospel’ and teach others. Accordingly, the load will be immediately lightened by the many hands who will cooperate together and willingly volunteer for this great adventure. (UB 195:10.10)
“Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together—all at the same moment.”
– UB 81:6.37
Thus, fortifying Christianity by upstepping their belief system and helping them align more closely with Jesus’ actual teachings is a primary goal in ‘bridging the revelations.’
The Urantia Book and the New Testament
When we speak of the “revival of Jesus actual teachings” within Christianity, we are initially referring to those teachings as found in the New Testament portion of the Bible. These are the teachings that Christians already accept as being what Jesus actually said and did during his earthly sojourn. We call these “the plain and open teachings.”
In spite of the many differences in denominations, most Christians accept the New Testament accounts as authentic. Their differences arise from a failure to understand the context and so they substitute assumptions and tradition to accommodate their lack of understanding. But when the proper context is added, the plain and open teachings shine through. The Urantia Book provides that context – the sights, the sounds, the background, the personalities, the history that his immediate audience was familiar with. It adds the “color commentary” to the New Testament that makes Jesus’ actual teachings clear and understandable. That is why we call the Urantia Book ‘The Teacher’s Guide to the Bible!’
Many people are surprised at how much the New Testament and the Urantia Book have in common, even those who have read both books. We must confess that before we embarked on our ministry, we, too, failed to see the amazing similarities. In fact, after we initially read Part IV of the Urantia Book, we developed a special distaste for much of Paul’s writings and his compromises. We were distressed that Abner’s ministry failed and that Christianity had veered so far off the authentic teachings. But when we began to compare what Paul actually wrote with the teaching in the Urantia Book, our outlook changed ... drastically. How so?
Although Paul clearly added his Jewish traditions to his writings and pulled from his exacting experience as a Pharisee as he established congregations, he had the clearest understanding of faith, salvation and the heavenly destiny, even better than those who walked with Jesus. In time, we learned to distinguish Paul’s opinions and his organizational directives (1 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Corinthians 7:12-13, 25) from truth and salvation issues. In time, we learned to appreciate Paul’s challenges and his tireless efforts in unifying a legalistic superstitious people with an intellectual, yet morally debased people. And in time, we saw Paul and the entire Christian religion just as the Urantia Book describes, ‘the best existent exponent of Jesus’ lifework on earth.’ (UB 195:10.9)
We note that the gospel accounts do not record Jesus as giving much information about the heavens, certainly not the information Paul recorded. We can only surmise that Paul obtained his revelatory information in his ‘Damascus Road’ experience. (Acts 9:1-30; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10) And interestingly, it is Paul’s writings that connect Christianity with Part II of the Urantia Book, especially the Morontia career.
No one else wrote about ‘the third heaven’ (2 Corinthians 12:2), or the dispensational call and the morontia flash (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), or the different bodies we will have in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:35-40) or Jesus’ adventure in universe mastery (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), or Jesus’ ascension from Creator Son to Master Son (Philippians 2:5-11), or the existence of the Thought Adjuster (1 Corinthians 3:16), or the combined action between the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth (Romans 8:14-17), and so many, many more things. Accordingly, becoming well versed in both the Urantia Book and the New Testament will ideally have equipped us to bridge the revelations and introduce over 2 billion Christians to the FER.
On our sister site, www.FaithSonsofGod.org, we published several articles that highlight the actual teachings of Jesus as found in the New Testament writings. Astute Urantia Book readers will immediately see the similarities, especially in articles such as:
Who Is Jesus? (including a discussion of atonement and ransom doctrine)
Worshiping with Spirit and Truth
The Freedom of the Children of God
The Genius of a Living Faith
Being Born of Spirit
The Fundamental Belief for a Living Faith
The Divine Relationship Series
Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering? (the Adam and Eve story)
The Spiritual Equality of Women, Part I
We also published articles that expound on Paul’s teachings, such as:
Who Are Led by Spirit? (a commentary on Romans, chapter 8)
Moving Forward in Faith (a commentary on Galatians)
Hold Fast to the Sacred Secret (a commentary of Colossians)
Fitly United in the Same Mind (a commentary on 1 Corinthians)
Foreordained from the Founding of the World (a commentary on Ephesians)
The Spiritual Equality of Women, Part II (a commentary on Paul’s view)
And we published articles that promote forward thinking, such as:
Relative Subjection to Religious Authorities
Unity, Not Uniformity
The Plain and Open Teachings of Jesus (abandoning end times theology)
Bringing Heaven Down Series (an alternative to end times theology)
The Truth That Sets Us Free Series (building faith on Jesus’ teachings)
These, and all of the articles on our sister site are designed to promote “a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus” and to show both the New Testament reader and the Urantia Book reader that they are all on the same team and that any apparent differences are merely matters of perspective that are easily overcome. Of course, there are other articles published by other Jesus-oriented writers who likewise demonstrate the superior technique of advancing Jesus’ actual teachings by bridging the New Testament to the Urantia Book. More and more people are realizing that the harmony between the two books is so close that they are almost singing the same note!
Harmoniously Joined Together
We hope by this article that we have alleviated some of the concerns over using Christianity as the beginning foundation pier to bridge the Fourth Revelation to the Fifth. We hope to encourage those who want to engage in more outreach to become well versed in Jesus’ actual teachings, as outlined in the New Testament and as expounded on in Part IV of the Urantia Book. And we hope more and more Jesus-oriented faith sons will endeavor to uplift the spiritual conversation in their faith associations and fortify them so that they are able to really examine the FER with open eyes.
We are not encouraging new sects; we are encouraging the upliftment of existing sects. Nor are we encouraging ‘interfaith’ movements; we are encouraging a ‘shared faith’ movement. Interfaith thrives on the individuality of faith associations – celebrating the differences between belief systems. Whereas ‘shared faith’ thrives on the unity of faith – celebrating our commonality of beliefs. It is the difference between tolerance vs. acceptance, co-existence vs. unification, non-denominationalism vs. trans-denominationalism. By promoting a ‘shared faith,’ we will be broadening the borders of the Jesus brotherhood of faith sons and preparing the way for a millennial reign of spiritual enlightenment.
We, as former Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been working particularly to uplift Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we are having success. We want to encourage those from the Mormon faith, the Catholic faith, the various Protestant faiths, etc., to do likewise. And even though we see Christianity as the most ‘revelation-ready’ of all religions, for those among us who are from non-Christian faiths but who have come to appreciate our Universe Sovereign, we encourage you to find the commonality between the FER principles and your own faith association and then seek to uplift and bridge them as well. Do not minimize the importance of an evangelical (yes, evangelical) work. Our Universe Sovereign requests that we expend ourselves in this way:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18-20
“I have plainly told you that I must leave you in the world to carry on the work of the kingdom. It was for this purpose that I set you apart, in the hills of Capernaum. The experience you have had with me, you must now make ready to share with others. As the Father sent me into this world, so am I about to send you forth to represent me and finish the work I have begun.”
– UB 178:3.2
Never feel that we are too good to do the work of our Master. Never shy away from being his representatives and ambassadors.
“Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
– John 13:16-17
“Preach the gospel of the kingdom and proclaim the saving truth that man is a son of God. Remember that the disciple is hardly above his master nor a servant greater than his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be equal with his master and the servant to become like his lord.”
– UB 150:4.2
For all the faith sons of God, we implore you to reignite the love you had when you first received the FER, and/or when you first came to understand the love of the Christ and his magnificent faith example. Recall the times when nothing could stop you from speaking about Jesus out of sheer enthusiasm for his words. And establish or re-establish a child-like trust in the saving power found in the simple presentation of Jesus’ authentic truths.
While knowledge of the cosmology in the Urantia Book is exhilarating and exciting, the saving power is faith. So rather than follow our own opinions about how to disseminate the FER, why not listen to our Universe Sovereign, our most gracious brother, and fortify the foundation that he laid during in his last bestowal mission. If we do, then all the cosmology we could ever desire will be ours for eternity.
It might be a little intimidating to attempt an outreach in this fashion, but if we can successfully transition Christianity from a house divided to one united in faith with the authentic Jesus, we will have made the greatest leap forward in planetary upliftment of any generation in all of Urantian history. We will have accomplished it by spirit, and not by might. And we can have confidence that Jesus and our celestial family will always be here with and for us to the very end of the age.
We welcome your comments.
Fortifying the Foundation Part II - Building Up The Urantia Book Community
Your Family in the Faith,
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