The Master's Ministry
THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF
THE FOURTH EPOCHAL REVELATION
– Part 1 –
March 13, 2020
by contributing writer
And men have always tended to venerate the leader, even at the expense of his teachings; to revere his personality, even though losing sight of the truths which he proclaimed.
[Paper 92:5.5; page 1008.7]
The above statement by a Melchizedek is true for both religious and political leaders. The original teachings of the progenitors of the world’s major faith traditions are often quite different from the religious doctrines and dogmas that developed within those traditions following the deaths of their leaders. In the case of Christianity, this truth has given rise to profound historical and spiritual consequences. The corruption of the original teachings of Jesus has delayed the inauguration of a global age of peace and unity. The Urantia papers contain critical information that has been given to us in order that we may correct the mistakes of the past and enable the fulfilment of the religion of Jesus for our planet. However, the Urantia community is in danger of repeating history. Are we venerating the book while losing sight of the truths which it proclaims?
In this article, I will endeavour to demonstrate:
The purpose of epochal revelation;
The emergency nature of the third epochal revelation;
The profound significance of the fourth epochal revelation;
The first century failure of the mission of the fourth epochal revelation;
The historical consequences of the failed mission of the fourth epochal revelation;
The re-emergence and prophetic significance of the fourth epochal revelation; and
What this all means for the Urantia movement of the 21st century.
I sincerely hope that the above dissertation will persuade the well-intentioned, devoted, and hard-working folk making up the world’s various Urantia-Book based organizations to seriously re-consider the focus and direction of their endeavours on behalf of The Urantia Book.
1. The Purpose of Epochal Revelation
To begin with, revelation comes in two modes: autorevelation and epochal revelation.
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.
[Paper 101:4.3; page 1109.4]
Epochal revelations, as the name suggests, are periodic revelations of truth which may sometimes mark the end of one dispensation of human history and the beginning of another.
Revelation as an epochal phenomenon is periodic; as a personal human experience it is continuous.
[Paper 101:2.12; page 1107.2]
They are designed to compensate for and correct the waywardness of evolutionary religion.
Revelation is evolutionary but always progressive. Down through the ages of a world’s history, the revelations of religion are ever-expanding and successively more enlightening. It is the mission of revelation to sort and censor the successive religions of evolution.
[Paper 92:4.1; page 1007.1]
A critical qualification of epochal revelation is that it must be progressive; however, it must not attempt to teach the world more than it can handle. It must be considerate of the prevailing cultural, social, and spiritual conditions of the age in which it is presented.
But if revelation is to exalt and up step the religions of evolution, then must such divine visitations portray teachings which are not too far removed from the thought and reactions of the age in which they are presented. Thus must and does revelation always keep in touch with evolution. Always must the religion of revelation be limited by man’s capacity of receptivity.
[Paper 92:4.1; page 1007.1]
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. And it is not strange that progress was slow; in ancient days, to be progressive or inventive meant to be killed as a sorcerer. The cult advances slowly in generation epochs and agelong cycles. But it does move forward. Evolutionary belief in ghosts laid the foundation for a philosophy of revealed religion which will eventually destroy the superstition of its origin.
[Paper 92:3.5; page 1006.2]
The Urantia Book identifies five revelations of epochal significance:
There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:
1. The Dalamatian teachings….., 2. The Edenic teachings….., 3. Melchizedek of Salem….., 4. Jesus of Nazareth….., 5. The Urantia Papers…..
[Paper 92:4.4; page 1007.4]
There seems to be a logical sequence to the revelations. Each one builds on the foundation of the teachings of the previous revelation. This is in keeping with the importance of revealing teachings that are not too advanced; that are not beyond the receptivity of the civilizations populating the planet at the time of the new revelation.
2. The Emergency Nature of the Third Epochal Revelation
The third epochal revelation, the advent of Machiventa Melchizedek, is described as an “emergency…. revelation of truth on Urantia”. As is usually the case with Melchizedek Sons, Machiventa was sent on an emergency mission… to revive humankind’s dwindling spiritual flame following the default of Adam and Eve. This was preparatory to the impending bestowal visit of Michael of Nebadon, who would incarnate as the man Jesus of Nazareth in what would be the fourth epochal revelation.
Revealed truth was threatened with extinction during the millenniums which followed the miscarriage of the Adamic mission on Urantia. Though making progress intellectually, the human races were slowly losing ground spiritually. About 3000 B.C. the concept of God had grown very hazy in the minds of men.
The twelve Melchizedek receivers knew of Michael’s impending bestowal on their planet, but they did not know how soon it would occur; therefore they convened in solemn council and petitioned the Most Highs of Edentia that some provision be made for maintaining the light of truth on Urantia. This plea was dismissed with the mandate that “the conduct of affairs on 606 of Satania is fully in the hands of the Melchizedek custodians.” The receivers then appealed to the Father Melchizedek for help but only received word that they should continue to uphold truth in the manner of their own election “until the arrival of a bestowal Son,” who “would rescue the planetary titles from forfeiture and uncertainty.”
And it was in consequence of having been thrown so completely on their own resources that Machiventa Melchizedek, one of the twelve planetary receivers, volunteered to do that which had been done only six times in all the history of Nebadon: to personalize on earth as a temporary man of the realm, to bestow himself as an emergency Son of world ministry. Permission was granted for this adventure by the Salvington authorities, and the actual incarnation of Machiventa Melchizedek was consummated near what was to become the city of Salem, in Palestine.
[Paper 93:1.1-3; page 1014.3-5]
This fourth epochal revelation was to be very special! Painstaking preparations were needed to ensure the success of this extraordinary revelation of truth! This was to be the 7th and final bestowal mission of the Creator Son of our local universe, Michael of Nebadon.
3. The Profound Significance of the Fourth Epochal Revelation
It is evident that Machiventa’s emergency mission was highly successful, insofar as it engendered an age of unprecedented spiritual thinking and religious living, conditions that were most favourable for Michael’s bestowal.
Jesus did not come to this world during an age of spiritual decadence; at the time of his birth Urantia was experiencing such a revival of spiritual thinking and religious living as it had not known in all its previous post-Adamic history nor has experienced in any era since. When Michael incarnated on Urantia, the world presented the most favorable condition for the Creator Son’s bestowal that had ever previously prevailed or has since obtained. In the centuries just prior to these times Greek culture and the Greek language had spread over Occident and near Orient, and the Jews, being a Levantine race, in nature part Occidental and part Oriental, were eminently fitted to utilize such cultural and linguistic settings for the effective spread of a new religion to both East and West. These most favorable circumstances were further enhanced by the tolerant political rule of the Mediterranean world by the Romans.
[Paper 121:1.1; page 1332.2]
For lots of reasons, this epochal revelation was to be different to any that had preceded it. From the outset, even before Michael had embarked on this extraordinary mission, his Paradise brother, Immanuel, had impressed upon him the unique and unprecedented nature of this, his seventh bestowal commission:
“My Creator brother, I am about to witness your seventh and final universe bestowal. Most faithfully and perfectly have you executed the six previous commissions, and I entertain no thought but that you will be equally triumphant on this, your terminal sovereignty bestowal. Heretofore you have appeared on your bestowal spheres as a fully developed being of the order of your choosing. Now you are about to appear upon Urantia, the disordered and disturbed planet of your choice, not as a fully developed mortal, but as a helpless babe. This, my comrade, will be a new and untried experience for you. You are about to pay the full price of bestowal and to experience the complete enlightenment of the incarnation of a Creator in the likeness of a creature.
[Paper 120:1.1; page 1325.3]
To begin with, Michael’s mission would effectively terminate the Lucifer rebellion in the system of Satania.
“2. Apart from your earth mission and your universe revelation, but incidental to both, I counsel that you assume, after you are sufficiently self-conscious of your divine identity, the additional task of technically terminating the Lucifer rebellion in the system of Satania, and that you do all this as the Son of Man.
[Paper 120:2.2; page 1327.2]
This was to be a dispensational revelation and would be climaxed by the pouring out of the Spirit of Truth upon the planet’s inhabitants:
“4. In accordance with your request, Gabriel and all concerned will co-operate with you in the expressed desire to end your Urantia bestowal with the pronouncement of a dispensational judgment of the realm, accompanied by the termination of an age, the resurrection of the sleeping mortal survivors, and the establishment of the dispensation of the bestowed Spirit of Truth.
[Paper 120:2.4; page 1328.1]
Michael was also to be a liberator and healer:
“5. As concerns the planet of your bestowal and the immediate generation of men living thereon at the time of your mortal sojourn, I counsel you to function largely in the role of a teacher. Give attention, first, to the liberation and inspiration of man’s spiritual nature. Next, illuminate the darkened human intellect, heal the souls of men, and emancipate their minds from age-old fears. And then, in accordance with your mortal wisdom, minister to the physical well-being and material comfort of your brothers in the flesh. Live the ideal religious life for the inspiration and edification of all your universe.
[Paper 120:2.5; page 1328.2]
This revelation was not just for the instruction and edification of Urantia but was also for the spiritual inspiration of every inhabitant of his entire universe:
“7. In all that you may perform on the world of your bestowal, bear constantly in mind that you are living a life for the instruction and edification of all your universe. You are bestowing this life of mortal incarnation upon Urantia, but you are to live such a life for the spiritual inspiration of every human and superhuman intelligence that has lived, now exists, or may yet live on every inhabited world which has formed, now forms, or may yet form a part of the vast galaxy of your administrative domain. Your earth life in the likeness of mortal flesh shall not be so lived as to constitute an example for the mortals of Urantia in the days of your earthly sojourn nor for any subsequent generation of human beings on Urantia or on any other world. Rather shall your life in the flesh on Urantia be the inspiration for all lives upon all Nebadon worlds throughout all generations in the ages to come.
[Paper 120:2.7; page 1328.4]
Such was the importance of this mission, that it would require the Creator Son of this universe to execute it successfully. Right down to the finest detail, preparations were made for the incarnation of Michael as a helpless babe of the realm.
IT WILL hardly be possible fully to explain the many reasons which led to the selection of Palestine as the land for Michael’s bestowal, and especially as to just why the family of Joseph and Mary should have been chosen as the immediate setting for the appearance of this Son of God on Urantia.
After a study of the special report on the status of segregated worlds prepared by the Melchizedeks, in counsel with Gabriel, Michael finally chose Urantia as the planet whereon to enact his final bestowal. Subsequent to this decision Gabriel made a personal visit to Urantia, and, as a result of his study of human groups and his survey of the spiritual, intellectual, racial, and geographic features of the world and its peoples, he decided that the Hebrews possessed those relative advantages which warranted their selection as the bestowal race. Upon Michael’s approval of this decision, Gabriel appointed and dispatched to Urantia the Family Commission of Twelve — selected from among the higher orders of universe personalities — which was entrusted with the task of making an investigation of Jewish family life. When this commission ended its labors, Gabriel was present on Urantia and received the report nominating three prospective unions as being, in the opinion of the commission, equally favorable as bestowal families for Michael’s projected incarnation.
From the three couples nominated, Gabriel made the personal choice of Joseph and Mary, subsequently making his personal appearance to Mary, at which time he imparted to her the glad tidings that she had been selected to become the earth mother of the bestowal child.
[Paper 122:0.1-3; page 1344.1-3]
The records unambiguously declare that Jesus of Nazareth had successfully completed much of his mission following his baptism in the Jordan by John. Immediately after his baptism, he wandered in the Perean hills for forty days where he encountered his chief executive, Gabriel, who informed him, that technically his mission was finished.
While wandering about in the hills, seeking a suitable shelter, Jesus encountered his universe chief executive, Gabriel, the Bright and Morning Star of Nebadon. Gabriel now re-established personal communication with the Creator Son of the universe; they met directly for the first time since Michael took leave of his associates on Salvington when he went to Edentia preparatory to entering upon the Urantia bestowal….
While he tarried on the mountain, talking with Gabriel, the Constellation Father of Edentia appeared to Jesus and Gabriel in person, saying: “The records are completed. The sovereignty of Michael number 611,121 over his universe of Nebadon rests in completion at the right hand of the Universal Father. I bring to you the bestowal release of Immanuel, your sponsor-brother for the Urantia incarnation. You are at liberty now or at any subsequent time, in the manner of your own choosing, to terminate your incarnation bestowal, ascend to the right hand of your Father, receive your sovereignty, and assume your well-earned unconditional rulership of all Nebadon. I also testify to the completion of the records of the superuniverse, by authorization of the Ancients of Days, having to do with the termination of all sin-rebellion in your universe and endowing you with full and unlimited authority to deal with any and all such possible upheavals in the future. Technically, your work on Urantia and in the flesh of the mortal creature is finished. Your course from now on is a matter of your own choosing.”
[Paper 136:3.4,5; page 1513.1,2]
But Jesus decided to go on living as a man among men rather than return to his rightful estate as Universal Sovereign of Nebadon, even though technically he had achieved everything that was required of him to successfully complete his seventh bestowal mission. He wanted to complete his Father’s business regarding the kingdom – establishing the rule of God’s spirit in the hearts and minds of mortals – and he wanted to experience to the full what it meant to be a human living on a rebellion-contaminated planet like Urantia. He wanted to prove that divine love could conquer all, even the ravages of sin and iniquity.
Gabriel had reminded Jesus that there were two ways in which he might manifest himself to the world in case he should choose to tarry on Urantia for a time. And it was made clear to Jesus that his choice in this matter would have nothing to do with either his universe sovereignty or the termination of the Lucifer rebellion. These two ways of world ministry were:
His own way — the way that might seem most pleasant and profitable from the standpoint of the immediate needs of this world and the present edification of his own universe.
The Father’s way — the exemplification of a farseeing ideal of creature life visualized by the high personalities of the Paradise administration of the universe of universes.
It was thus made clear to Jesus that there were two ways in which he could order the remainder of his earth life. Each of these ways had something to be said in its favor as it might be regarded in the light of the immediate situation. The Son of Man clearly saw that his choice between these two modes of conduct would have nothing to do with his reception of universe sovereignty; that was a matter already settled and sealed on the records of the universe of universes and only awaited his demand in person. But it was indicated to Jesus that it would afford his Paradise brother, Immanuel, great satisfaction if he, Jesus, should see fit to finish up his earth career of incarnation as he had so nobly begun it, always subject to the Father’s will. On the third day of this isolation Jesus promised himself he would go back to the world to finish his earth career, and that in a situation involving any two ways he would always choose the Father’s will. And he lived out the remainder of his earth life always true to that resolve. Even to the bitter end he invariably subordinated his sovereign will to that of his heavenly Father.
[Paper 136:4.6-9; page 1514.7-1515.1-3]
Notwithstanding that Jesus overwhelmingly maintained his integrity to the bitter end, devoted to the doing of his Father’s will even as he gave out his final breath on the execution cross, The Urantia Book is very clear about one thing: In many respects, his first century mission to the world was a failure! This fact has had a profound impact on the course of human history over the past 2000 years. But it also has critical implications for modern day Christianity! Moreover, and this is the primary focus of this dissertation, it has disturbing ramifications for those of us who have been blessed with the detailed description of the Master’s life expressed in Part IV of The Urantia Book.
I am speaking broadly of what has come to be known as the Urantia movement or community.
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