كِتاب يورانشيا في اللغة العربية جدول المحتويات
كِتاب يورانشيا في اللغة العربية
I. إلإله والألوهية
III. المصدر والمركز الأول
.IV واقع الكون
.V حقائق الشخصية
.VI الطاقة والنمط
.VII الكائن الأسمى
.VIII الله السُباعي
.IX الله المنتهى
.X الله المُطلق
.XI المُطلقات الثلاثة
I. الكون المركزي والأكوان العظمى
1. إسم الأب
2. واقعية الله
3. الله هو روح كوني
4. لغز الله
5. شخصية الأب الكوني
6. الشخصية في الكون
7. القيمة الروحية لمفهوم الشخصية
1. لانهائية الله
2. كمال الأب الأبدي
3. العدل والبِر
4. الرحمة الإلهية
5. محبة الله
6. صلاح الله
7. الصدق والجَمال الإلهيان
1. الله في كل مكان
2. قدرة الله اللانهائية
3. معرفة الله الكونية
4. لا حدودية الله
5. الحُكم السامي للأب
6. أسبقية الأب
علاقة الله إلى الكون
1. موقف الكون للأب
2. الله والطبيعة
3. صفة الله غير المتغيرة
.4 إدراك الله
5. أفكار خاطئة عن الله
علاقة الله إلى الفرد
1. النهج إلى الله
2. حضور الله
3. العبادة الحقيقية
4. الله في الدِين
5. وعي الله
6. إله الشخصية
.1 هوية الإبن الأبدي
.2 طبيعة الإبن الأبدي
.3 إسعاف محبة الأب
.4 سجايا الإبن الأبدي
.5 محدوديات الإبن الأبدي
.6 عقل الروح
.7 شخصية الإبن الأبدي
.8 إدراك الإبن الأبدي
علاقة الإبن الأبدي إلى الكون
.1 دارة جاذبية الروح
2. إدارة الإبن الأبدي
3. علاقة الإبن الأبدي إلى الفرد
4. خطط الكمال الإلهي
5. روح الإغداق
6. أبناء الله الفردوسيون
7. الوحي الأعلى للأب
1. إله العمل
2. طبيعة الروح اللانهائي
3. علاقة الروح إلى الأب والإبن
4. روح الإسعاف الإلهي
5. حضور الله
6. شخصية الروح اللانهائي
Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe
1. Attributes of the Third Source and Center
2. The Omnipresent Spirit
3. The Universal Manipulator
4. The Absolute Mind
5. The Ministry of Mind
6. The Mind-Gravity Circuit
7. Universe Reflectivity
8. Personalities of the Infinite Spirit
The Paradise Trinity
1. Self-Distribution of the First Source and Center
2. Deity Personalization
3. The Three Persons of Deity
4. The Trinity Union of Deity
5. Functions of the Trinity
6. The Stationary Sons of the Trinity
7. The Overcontrol of Supremacy
8. The Trinity Beyond the Finite
The Eternal Isle of Paradise
1. The Divine Residence
2. Nature of the Eternal Isle
3. Upper Paradise
4. Peripheral Paradise
5. Nether Paradise
6. Space Respiration
7. Space Functions of Paradise
8. Paradise Gravity
9. The Uniqueness of Paradise
The Universe of Universes
1. Space Levels of the Master Universe
2. The Domains of the Unqualified Absolute
3. Universal Gravity
4. Space and Motion
5. Space and Time
6. Universal Overcontrol
7. The Part and the Whole
8. Matter, Mind, and Spirit
9. Personal Realities
The Sacred Spheres of Paradise
1. The Seven Sacred Worlds of the Father
2. Father-World Relationships
3. The Sacred Worlds of the Eternal Son
4. The Worlds of the Infinite Spirit
The Central and Divine Universe
1. The Paradise-Havona System
2. Constitution of Havona
3. The Havona Worlds
4. Creatures of the Central Universe
5. Life in Havona
6. The Purpose of the Central Universe
The Seven Superuniverses
1. The Superuniverse Space Level
2. Organization of the Superuniverses
3. The Superuniverse of Orvonton
4. Nebulae — The Ancestors of Universes
5. The Origin of Space Bodies
6. The Spheres of Space
7. The Architectural Spheres
8. Energy Control and Regulation
9. Circuits of the Superuniverses
10. Rulers of the Superuniverses
11. The Deliberative Assembly
12. The Supreme Tribunals
13. The Sector Governments
14. Purposes of the Seven Superuniverses
The Seven Master Spirits
1. Relation to Triune Deity
2. Relation to the Infinite Spirit
3. Identity and Diversity of the Master Spirits
4. Attributes and Functions of the Master Spirits
5. Relation to Creatures
6. The Cosmic Mind
7. Morals, Virtue, and Personality
8. Urantia Personality
9. Reality of Human Consciousness
The Seven Supreme Spirit Groups
1. The Seven Supreme Executives
2. Majeston — Chief of Reflectivity
3. The Reflective Spirits
4. The Reflective Image Aids
5. The Seven Spirits of the Circuits
6. The Local Universe Creative Spirits
7. The Adjutant Mind-Spirits
8. Functions of the Supreme Spirits
The Supreme Trinity Personalities
1. The Trinitized Secrets of Supremacy
2. The Eternals of Days
3. The Ancients of Days
4. The Perfections of Days
5. The Recents of Days
6. The Unions of Days
7. The Faithfuls of Days
The Co-ordinate Trinity-Origin Beings
1. The Trinity Teacher Sons
2. The Perfectors of Wisdom
3. The Divine Counselors
4. The Universal Censors
5. Inspired Trinity Spirits
6. Havona Natives
7. Paradise Citizens
The Paradise Sons of God
1. The Descending Sons of God
2. The Magisterial Sons
3. Judicial Actions
4. Magisterial Missions
5. Bestowal of the Paradise Sons of God
6. The Mortal-Bestowal Careers
7. The Trinity Teacher Sons
8. Local Universe Ministry of the Daynals
9. Planetary Service of the Daynals
10. United Ministry of the Paradise Sons
The Paradise Creator Sons
1. Origin and Nature of Creator Sons
2. The Creators of Local Universes
3. Local Universe Sovereignty
4. The Michael Bestowals
5. Relation of Master Sons to the Universe
6. Destiny of the Master Michaels
The Trinitized Sons of God
1. The Trinity-Embraced Sons
2. The Mighty Messengers
3. Those High in Authority
4. Those Without Name and Number
5. The Trinitized Custodians
6. The Trinitized Ambassadors
7. Technique of Trinitization
8. The Creature-Trinitized Sons
9. The Celestial Guardians
10. High Son Assistants
The Solitary Messengers
1. Nature and Origin of Solitary Messengers
2. Assignments of Solitary Messengers
3. Time and Space Services of Solitary Messengers
4. Special Ministry of Solitary Messengers
Higher Personalities of the Infinite Spirit
1. The Universe Circuit Supervisors
2. The Census Directors
3. Personal Aids of the Infinite Spirit
4. The Associate Inspectors
5. The Assigned Sentinels
6. The Graduate Guides
7. Origin of the Graduate Guides
The Messenger Hosts of Space
1. The Havona Servitals
2. The Universal Conciliators
3. The Far-Reaching Service of Conciliators
4. Technical Advisers
5. The Custodians of Records on Paradise
6. The Celestial Recorders
7. The Morontia Companions
8. The Paradise Companions
Ministering Spirits of the Central Universe
1. The Ministering Spirits
2. The Mighty Supernaphim
3. The Tertiary Supernaphim
4. The Secondary Supernaphim
5. The Pilgrim Helpers
6. The Supremacy Guides
7. The Trinity Guides
8. The Son Finders
9. The Father Guides
10. The Counselors and Advisers
11. The Complements of Rest
Ministry of the Primary Supernaphim
1. Instigators of Rest
2. Chiefs of Assignment
3. Interpreters of Ethics
4. Directors of Conduct
5. The Custodians of Knowledge
6. Masters of Philosophy
7. Conductors of Worship
Ministering Spirits of the Superuniverses
1. The Tertiaphim
2. The Omniaphim
3. The Seconaphim
4. The Primary Seconaphim
5. The Secondary Seconaphim
6. The Tertiary Seconaphim
7. Ministry of the Seconaphim
The Universe Power Directors
1. The Seven Supreme Power Directors
2. The Supreme Power Centers
3. The Domain of Power Centers
4. The Master Physical Controllers
5. The Master Force Organizers
Personalities of the Grand Universe
1. The Paradise Classification of Living Beings
2. The Uversa Personality Register
3. The Courtesy Colonies
4. The Ascending Mortals
The Corps of the Finality
1. The Havona Natives
2. Gravity Messengers
3. Glorified Mortals
4. Adopted Seraphim
5. Glorified Material Sons
6. Glorified Midway Creatures
7. The Evangels of Light
8. The Transcendentalers
9. Architects of the Master Universe
10. The Ultimate Adventure
II. الكون المحلي
The Evolution of Local Universes
1. Physical Emergence of Universes
2. Universe Organization
3. The Evolutionary Idea
4. God’s Relation to a Local Universe
5. The Eternal and Divine Purpose
Administration of the Local Universe
1. Michael of Nebadon
2. The Sovereign of Nebadon
3. The Universe Son and Spirit
4. Gabriel — The Chief Executive
5. The Trinity Ambassadors
6. General Administration
7. The Courts of Nebadon
8. The Legislative and Executive Functions
The Local Universe Mother Spirit
1. Personalization of the Creative Spirit
2. Nature of the Divine Minister
3. The Son and Spirit in Time and Space
4. The Local Universe Circuits
5. The Ministry of the Spirit
6. The Spirit in Man
7. The Spirit and the Flesh
The Local Universe Sons of God
1. The Father Melchizedek
2. The Melchizedek Sons
3. The Melchizedek Worlds
4. Special Work of the Melchizedeks
5. The Vorondadek Sons
6. The Constellation Fathers
7. The Vorondadek Worlds
8. The Lanonandek Sons
9. The Lanonandek Rulers
10. The Lanonandek Worlds
The Life Carriers
1. Origin and Nature of Life Carriers
2. The Life Carrier Worlds
3. Life Transplantation
4. Melchizedek Life Carriers
5. The Seven Adjutant Mind-Spirits
6. Living Forces
Personalities of the Local Universe
1. The Universe Aids
2. The Brilliant Evening Stars
3. The Archangels
4. Most High Assistants
5. High Commissioners
6. Celestial Overseers
7. Mansion World Teachers
8. Higher Spirit Orders of Assignment
9. Permanent Citizens of the Local Universe
10. Other Local Universe Groups
Ministering Spirits of the Local Universe
1. Origin of Seraphim
2. Angelic Natures
3. Unrevealed Angels
4. The Seraphic Worlds
5. Seraphic Training
6. Seraphic Organization
7. Cherubim and Sanobim
8. Evolution of Cherubim and Sanobim
9. The Midway Creatures
The Seraphic Hosts
1. Supreme Seraphim
2. Superior Seraphim
3. Supervisor Seraphim
4. Administrator Seraphim
5. Planetary Helpers
6. Transition Ministers
7. Seraphim of the Future
8. Seraphic Destiny
9. The Corps of Seraphic Completion
The Ascending Sons of God
1. Evolutionary Seraphim
2. Ascending Material Sons
3. Translated Midwayers
4. Personalized Adjusters
5. Mortals of Time and Space
6. The Faith Sons of God
7. Father-Fused Mortals
8. Son-Fused Mortals
9. Spirit-Fused Mortals
10. Ascendant Destinies
Physical Aspects of the Local Universe
1. The Nebadon Power Centers
2. The Satania Physical Controllers
3. Our Starry Associates
4. Sun Density
5. Solar Radiation
6. Calcium — The Wanderer of Space
7. Sources of Solar Energy
8. Solar-Energy Reactions
9. Sun Stability
10. Origin of Inhabited Worlds
Energy — Mind and Matter
1. Paradise Forces and Energies
2. Universal Nonspiritual Energy Systems
3. Classification of Matter
4. Energy and Matter Transmutations
5. Wave-Energy Manifestations
6. Ultimatons, Electrons, and Atoms
7. Atomic Matter
8. Atomic Cohesion
9. Natural Philosophy
10. Universal Nonspiritual Energy Systems
(Material Mind Systems)
11. Universe Mechanisms
12. Pattern and Form — Mind Dominance
1. The Constellation Headquarters
2. The Constellation Government
3. The Most Highs of Norlatiadek
4. Mount Assembly — The Faithful of Days
5. The Edentia Fathers since the Lucifer Rebellion
6. The Gardens of God
7. The Univitatia
8. The Edentia Training Worlds
9. Citizenship on Edentia
The Celestial Artisans
1. The Celestial Musicians
2. The Heavenly Reproducers
3. The Divine Builders
4. The Thought Recorders
5. The Energy Manipulators
6. The Designers and Embellishers
7. The Harmony Workers
8. Mortal Aspirations and Morontia Achievements
The Local System Administration
1. Transitional Culture Worlds
2. The System Sovereign
3. The System Government
4. The Four and Twenty Counselors
5. The Material Sons
6. Adamic Training of Ascenders
7. The Melchizedek Schools
The Local System Headquarters
1. Physical Aspects of Jerusem
2. Physical Features of Jerusem
3. The Jerusem Broadcasts
4. Residential and Administrative Areas
5. The Jerusem Circles
6. The Executive-Administrative Squares
7. The Rectangles — The Spornagia
8. The Jerusem Triangles
The Seven Mansion Worlds
1. The Finaliters’ World
2. The Probationary Nursery
3. The First Mansion World
4. The Second Mansion World
5. The Third Mansion World
6. The Fourth Mansion World
7. The Fifth Mansion World
8. The Sixth Mansion World
9. The Seventh Mansion World
10. Jerusem Citizenship
The Morontia Life
1. Morontia Materials
2. Morontia Power Supervisors
3. Morontia Companions
4. The Reversion Directors
5. The Mansion World Teachers
6. Morontia World Seraphim — Transition Ministers
7. Morontia Mota
8. The Morontia Progressors
The Inhabited Worlds
1. The Planetary Life
2. Planetary Physical Types
3. Worlds of the Nonbreathers
4. Evolutionary Will Creatures
5. The Planetary Series of Mortals
6. Terrestrial Escape
The Planetary Princes
1. Mission of the Princes
2. Planetary Administration
3. The Prince’s Corporeal Staff
4. The Planetary Headquarters and Schools
5. Progressive Civilization
6. Planetary Culture
7. The Rewards of Isolation
The Planetary Adams
1. Origin and Nature of the Material Sons of God
2. Transit of the Planetary Adams
3. The Adamic Missions
4. The Six Evolutionary Races
5. Racial Amalgamation —
Bestowal of the Adamic Blood
6. The Edenic Regime
7. United Administration
Planetary Mortal Epochs
1. Primitive Man
2. Post-Planetary Prince Man
3. Post-Adamic Man
4. Post-Magisterial Son Man
5. Post-Bestowal Son Man
6. Urantia’s Post-Bestowal Age
7. Post-Teacher Son Man
The Lucifer Rebellion
1. The Leaders of Rebellion
2. The Causes of Rebellion
3. The Lucifer Manifesto
4. Outbreak of the Rebellion
5. Nature of the Conflict
6. A Loyal Seraphic Commander
7. History of the Rebellion
8. The Son of Man on Urantia
9. Present Status of the Rebellion
Problems of the Lucifer Rebellion
1. True and False Liberty
2. The Theft of Liberty
3. The Time Lag of Justice
4. The Mercy Time Lag
5. The Wisdom of Delay
6. The Triumph of Love
The Spheres of Light and Life
1. The Morontia Temple
2. Death and Translation
3. The Golden Ages
4. Administrative Readjustments
5. The Acme of Material Development
6. The Individual Mortal
7. The First or Planetary Stage
8. The Second or System Stage
9. The Third or Constellation Stage
10. The Fourth or Local Universe Stage
11. The Minor and Major Sector Stages
12. The Seventh or Superuniverse Stage
1. Physical Co-ordination
2. Intellectual Unity
3. Spiritual Unification
4. Personality Unification
5. Deity Unity
6. Unification of Evolutionary Deity
7. Universal Evolutionary Repercussions
8. The Supreme Unifier
9. Universal Absolute Unity
10. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
III. تاريخ يورانشيا
The Origin of Urantia
1. The Andronover Nebula
2. The Primary Nebular Stage
3. The Secondary Nebular Stage
4. Tertiary and Quartan Stages
5. Origin of Monmatia — The Urantia Solar System
6. The Solar System Stage — The Planet-Forming Era
7. The Meteoric Era — The Volcanic Age
The Primitive Planetary Atmosphere
8. Crustal Stabilization
The Age of Earthquakes
The World Ocean and the First Continent
Life Establishment on Urantia
1. Physical-Life Prerequisites
2. The Urantia Atmosphere
3. Spatial Environment
4. The Life-Dawn Era
5. The Continental Drift
6. The Transition Period
7. The Geologic History Book
The Marine-Life Era on Urantia
1. Early Marine Life in the Shallow Seas
The Trilobite Age
2. The First Continental Flood Stage
The Invertebrate-Animal Age
3. The Second Great Flood Stage
The Coral Period — The Brachiopod Age
4. The Great Land-Emergence Stage
The Vegetative Land-Life Period
The Age of Fishes
5. The Crustal-Shifting Stage
The Fern-Forest Carboniferous Period
The Age of Frogs
6. The Climatic Transition Stage
The Seed-Plant Period
The Age of Biologic Tribulation
Urantia During the Early Land-Life Era
1. The Early Reptilian Age
2. The Later Reptilian Age
3. The Cretaceous Stage
The Flowering-Plant Period
The Age of Birds
4. The End of the Chalk Period
The Mammalian Era on Urantia
1. The New Continental Land Stage
The Age of Early Mammals
2. The Recent Flood Stage
The Age of Advanced Mammals
3. The Modern Mountain Stage
Age of the Elephant and the Horse
4. The Recent Continental-Elevation Stage
The Last Great Mammalian Migration
5. The Early Ice Age
6. Primitive Man in the Ice Age
7. The Continuing Ice Age
The Dawn Races of Early Man
1. The Early Lemur Types
2. The Dawn Mammals
3. The Mid-Mammals
4. The Primates
5. The First Human Beings
6. Evolution of the Human Mind
7. Recognition as an Inhabited World
The First Human Family
1. Andon and Fonta
2. The Flight of the Twins
3. Andon’s Family
4. The Andonic Clans
5. Dispersion of the Andonites
6. Onagar — The First Truth Teacher
7. The Survival of Andon and Fonta
The Evolutionary Races of Color
1. The Andonic Aborigines
2. The Foxhall Peoples
3. The Badonan Tribes
4. The Neanderthal Races
5. Origin of the Colored Races
6. The Six Sangik Races of Urantia
7. Dispersion of the Colored Races
The Overcontrol of Evolution
1. Life Carrier Functions
2. The Evolutionary Panorama
3. The Fostering of Evolution
4. The Urantia Adventure
5. Life-Evolution Vicissitudes
6. Evolutionary Techniques of Life
7. Evolutionary Mind Levels
8. Evolution in Time and Space
The Planetary Prince of Urantia
1. Prince Caligastia
2. The Prince’s Staff
3. Dalamatia — The City of the Prince
4. Early Days of the One Hundred
5. Organization of the One Hundred
6. The Prince’s Reign
7. Life in Dalamatia
8. Misfortunes of Caligastia
The Planetary Rebellion
1. The Caligastia Betrayal
2. The Outbreak of Rebellion
3. The Seven Crucial Years
4. The Caligastia One Hundred after Rebellion
5. Immediate Results of Rebellion
6. Van — The Steadfast
7. Remote Repercussions of Sin
8. The Human Hero of the Rebellion
The Dawn of Civilization
1. Protective Socialization
2. Factors in Social Progression
3. Socializing Influence of Ghost Fear
4. Evolution of the Mores
5. Land Techniques — Maintenance Arts
6. Evolution of Culture
Primitive Human Institutions
1. Basic Human Institutions
2. The Dawn of Industry
3. The Specialization of Labor
4. The Beginnings of Trade
5. The Beginnings of Capital
6. Fire in Relation to Civilization
7. The Utilization of Animals
8. Slavery as a Factor in Civilization
9. Private Property
The Evolution of Human Government
1. The Genesis of War
2. The Social Value of War
3. Early Human Associations
4. Clans and Tribes
5. The Beginnings of Government
6. Monarchial Government
7. Primitive Clubs and Secret Societies
8. Social Classes
9. Human Rights
10. Evolution of Justice
11. Laws and Courts
12. Allocation of Civil Authority
Development of the State
1. The Embryonic State
2. The Evolution of Representative Government
3. The Ideals of Statehood
4. Progressive Civilization
5. The Evolution of Competition
6. The Profit Motive
8. The Character of Statehood
Government on a Neighboring Planet
1. The Continental Nation
2. Political Organization
3. The Home Life
4. The Educational System
5. Industrial Organization
6. Old-Age Insurance
8. The Special Colleges
9. The Plan of Universal Suffrage
10. Dealing with Crime
11. Military Preparedness
12. The Other Nations
The Garden of Eden
1. The Nodites and the Amadonites
2. Planning for the Garden
3. The Garden Site
4. Establishing the Garden
5. The Garden Home
6. The Tree of Life
7. The Fate of Eden
Adam and Eve
1. Adam and Eve on Jerusem
2. Arrival of Adam and Eve
3. Adam and Eve Learn about the Planet
4. The First Upheaval
5. Adam’s Administration
6. Home Life of Adam and Eve
7. Life in the Garden
8. The Legend of Creation
The Default of Adam and Eve
1. The Urantia Problem
2. Caligastia’s Plot
3. The Temptation of Eve
4. The Realization of Default
5. Repercussions of Default
6. Adam and Eve Leave the Garden
7. Degradation of Adam and Eve
8. The So-Called Fall of Man
The Second Garden
1. The Edenites Enter Mesopotamia
2. Cain and Abel
3. Life in Mesopotamia
4. The Violet Race
5. Death of Adam and Eve
6. Survival of Adam and Eve
The Midway Creatures
1. The Primary Midwayers
2. The Nodite Race
3. The Tower of Babel
4. Nodite Centers of Civilization
5. Adamson and Ratta
6. The Secondary Midwayers
7. The Rebel Midwayers
8. The United Midwayers
9. The Permanent Citizens of Urantia
The Violet Race after the Days of Adam
1. Racial and Cultural Distribution
2. The Adamites in the Second Garden
3. Early Expansions of the Adamites
4. The Andites
5. The Andite Migrations
6. The Last Andite Dispersions
7. The Floods in Mesopotamia
8. The Sumerians — Last of the Andites
Andite Expansion in the Orient
1. The Andites of Turkestan
2. The Andite Conquest of India
3. Dravidian India
4. The Aryan Invasion of India
5. Red Man and Yellow Man
6. Dawn of Chinese Civilization
7. The Andites Enter China
8. Later Chinese Civilization
Andite Expansion in the Occident
1. The Adamites Enter Europe
2. Climatic and Geologic Changes
3. The Cro-Magnoid Blue Man
4. The Andite Invasions of Europe
5. The Andite Conquest of Northern Europe
6. The Andites along the Nile
7. Andites of the Mediterranean Isles
8. The Danubian Andonites
9. The Three White Races
Development of Modern Civilization
1. The Cradle of Civilization
2. The Tools of Civilization
3. Cities, Manufacture, and Commerce
4. The Mixed Races
5. Cultural Society
6. The Maintenance of Civilization
The Evolution of Marriage
1. The Mating Instinct
2. The Restrictive Taboos
3. Early Marriage Mores
4. Marriage under the Property Mores
5. Endogamy and Exogamy
6. Racial Mixtures
The Marriage Institution
1. Marriage as a Societal Institution
2. Courtship and Betrothal
3. Purchase and Dowry
4. The Wedding Ceremony
5. Plural Marriages
6. True Monogamy — Pair Marriage
7. The Dissolution of Wedlock
8. The Idealization of Marriage
Marriage and Family Life
1. Primitive Pair Associations
2. The Early Mother-Family
3. The Family under Father Dominance
4. Woman’s Status in Early Society
5. Woman under the Developing Mores
6. The Partnership of Man and Woman
7. The Ideals of Family Life
8. Dangers of Self-Gratification
The Origins of Worship
1. Worship of Stones and Hills
2. Worship of Plants and Trees
3. The Worship of Animals
4. Worship of the Elements
5. Worship of the Heavenly Bodies
6. Worship of Man
7. The Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom
Early Evolution of Religion
1. Chance: Good Luck and Bad Luck
2. The Personification of Chance
3. Death — The Inexplicable
4. The Death-Survival Concept
5. The Ghost-Soul Concept
6. The Ghost-Spirit Environment
7. The Function of Primitive Religion
The Ghost Cults
1. Ghost Fear
2. Ghost Placation
3. Ancestor Worship
4. Good and Bad Spirit Ghosts
5. The Advancing Ghost Cult
6. Coercion and Exorcism
7. Nature of Cultism
Fetishes, Charms, and Magic
1. Belief in Fetishes
2. Evolution of the Fetish
5. Magical Charms
6. The Practice of Magic
Sin, Sacrifice, and Atonement
1. The Taboo
2. The Concept of Sin
3. Renunciation and Humiliation
4. Origins of Sacrifice
5. Sacrifices and Cannibalism
6. Evolution of Human Sacrifice
7. Modifications of Human Sacrifice
8. Redemption and Covenants
9. Sacrifices and Sacraments
10. Forgiveness of Sin
Shamanism — Medicine Men and Priests
1. The First Shamans — The Medicine Men
2. Shamanistic Practices
3. The Shamanic Theory of Disease and Death
4. Medicine under the Shamans
5. Priests and Rituals
The Evolution of Prayer
1. Primitive Prayer
2. Evolving Prayer
3. Prayer and the Alter Ego
4. Ethical Praying
5. Social Repercussions of Prayer
6. The Province of Prayer
7. Mysticism, Ecstasy, and Inspiration
8. Praying as a Personal Experience
9. Conditions of Effective Prayer
The Later Evolution of Religion
1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
2. Religion and the Mores
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
4. The Gift of Revelation
5. The Great Religious Leaders
6. The Composite Religions
7. The Further Evolution of Religion
1. The Machiventa Incarnation
2. The Sage of Salem
3. Melchizedek’s Teachings
4. The Salem Religion
5. The Selection of Abraham
6. Melchizedek’s Covenant with Abraham
7. The Melchizedek Missionaries
8. Departure of Melchizedek
9. After Melchizedek’s Departure
10. Present Status of Machiventa Melchizedek
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient
1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith
9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant
1. The Salem Religion in Mesopotamia
2. Early Egyptian Religion
3. Evolution of Moral Concepts
4. The Teachings of Amenemope
5. The Remarkable Ikhnaton
6. The Salem Doctrines in Iran
7. The Salem Teachings in Arabia
Yahweh — God of the Hebrews
1. Deity Concepts among the Semites
2. The Semitic Peoples
3. The Matchless Moses
4. The Proclamation of Yahweh
5. The Teachings of Moses
6. The God Concept after Moses’ Death
7. Psalms and the Book of Job
Evolution of the God Concept among the Hebrews
1. Samuel — First of the Hebrew Prophets
2. Elijah and Elisha
3. Yahweh and Baal
4. Amos and Hosea
5. The First Isaiah
6. Jeremiah the Fearless
7. The Second Isaiah
8. Sacred and Profane History
9. Hebrew History
10. The Hebrew Religion
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Occident
1. The Salem Religion among the Greeks
2. Greek Philosophic Thought
3. The Melchizedek Teachings in Rome
4. The Mystery Cults
5. The Cult of Mithras
6. Mithraism and Christianity
7. The Christian Religion
The Social Problems of Religion
1. Religion and Social Reconstruction
2. Weakness of Institutional Religion
3. Religion and the Religionist
4. Transition Difficulties
5. Social Aspects of Religion
6. Institutional Religion
7. Religion’s Contribution
Religion in Human Experience
1. Religious Growth
2. Spiritual Growth
3. Concepts of Supreme Value
4. Problems of Growth
5. Conversion and Mysticism
6. Marks of Religious Living
7. The Acme of Religious Living
The Real Nature of Religion
1. True Religion
2. The Fact of Religion
3. The Characteristics of Religion
4. The Limitations of Revelation
5. Religion Expanded by Revelation
6. Progressive Religious Experience
7. A Personal Philosophy of Religion
8. Faith and Belief
9. Religion and Morality
10. Religion as Man’s Liberator
The Foundations of Religious Faith
1. Assurances of Faith
2. Religion and Reality
3. Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight
4. The Fact of Experience
5. The Supremacy of Purposive Potential
6. The Certainty of Religious Faith
7. The Certitude of the Divine
8. The Evidences of Religion
The Reality of Religious Experience
1. Philosophy of Religion
2. Religion and the Individual
3. Religion and the Human Race
4. Spiritual Communion
5. The Origin of Ideals
6. Philosophic Co-ordination
7. Science and Religion
8. Philosophy and Religion
9. The Essence of Religion
Growth of the Trinity Concept
1. Urantian Trinity Concepts
2. Trinity Unity and Deity Plurality
3. Trinities and Triunities
4. The Seven Triunities
Deity and Reality
1. The Philosophic Concept of the I AM
2. The I AM as Triune and as Sevenfold
3. The Seven Absolutes of Infinity
4. Unity, Duality, and Triunity
5. Promulgation of Finite Reality
6. Repercussions of Finite Reality
7. Eventuation of Transcendentals
Universe Levels of Reality
1. Primary Association of Finite Functionals
2. Secondary Supreme Finite Integration
3. Transcendental Tertiary Reality Association
4. Ultimate Quartan Integration
5. Coabsolute or Fifth-Phase Association
6. Absolute or Sixth-Phase Integration
7. Finality of Destiny
8. The Trinity of Trinities
9. Existential Infinite Unification
Origin and Nature of Thought Adjusters
1. Origin of Thought Adjusters
2. Classification of Adjusters
3. The Divinington Home of Adjusters
4. Nature and Presence of Adjusters
5. Adjuster Mindedness
6. Adjusters as Pure Spirits
7. Adjusters and Personality
Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjusters
1. Selection and Assignment
2. Prerequisites of Adjuster Indwelling
3. Organization and Administration
4. Relation to Other Spiritual Influences
5. The Adjuster’s Mission
6. God in Man
Relation of Adjusters to Universe Creatures
1. Development of Adjusters
2. Self-Acting Adjusters
3. Relation of Adjusters to Mortal Types
4. Adjusters and Human Personality
5. Material Handicaps to Adjuster Indwelling
6. The Persistence of True Values
7. Destiny of Personalized Adjusters
Relation of Adjusters to Individual Mortals
1. Indwelling the Mortal Mind
2. Adjusters and Human Will
3. Co-operation with the Adjuster
4. The Adjuster’s Work in the Mind
5. Erroneous Concepts of Adjuster Guidance
6. The Seven Psychic Circles
7. The Attainment of Immortality
The Adjuster and the Soul
1. The Mind Arena of Choice
2. Nature of the Soul
3. The Evolving Soul
4. The Inner Life
5. The Consecration of Choice
6. The Human Paradox
7. The Adjuster’s Problem
1. Personality and Reality
2. The Self
3. The Phenomenon of Death
4. Adjusters after Death
5. Survival of the Human Self
6. The Morontia Self
7. Adjuster Fusion
حارسات المصير السيرافية
العلاقة إلى تأثيرات روحية أخرى
مجالات العمل السيرافية
الإسعاف السيرافي للبشر
6. الملائكة الحارسة بعد الموت
7. السيرافيم ومهنة الارتقاء
Seraphic Planetary Government
1. The Sovereignty of Urantia
2. The Board of Planetary Supervisors
3. The Resident Governor General
4. The Most High Observer
5. The Planetary Government
6. The Master Seraphim of Planetary Supervision
7. The Reserve Corps of Destiny
The Supreme Being
1. Relativity of Concept Frames
2. The Absolute Basis for Supremacy
3. Original, Actual, and Potential
4. Sources of Supreme Reality
5. Relation of the Supreme to the Paradise Trinity
6. Relation of the Supreme to the Triodities
7. The Nature of the Supreme
The Almighty Supreme
1. The Supreme Mind
2. The Almighty and God the Sevenfold
3. The Almighty and Paradise Deity
4. The Almighty and the Supreme Creators
5. The Almighty and the Sevenfold Controllers
6. Spirit Dominance
7. The Living Organism of the Grand Universe
God the Supreme
1. Nature of the Supreme Being
2. The Source of Evolutionary Growth
3. Significance of the Supreme to Universe Creatures
4. The Finite God
5. The Oversoul of Creation
6. The Quest for the Supreme
7. The Future of the Supreme
Supreme and Ultimate — Time and Space
1. Time and Eternity
2. Omnipresence and Ubiquity
3. Time-Space Relationships
4. Primary and Secondary Causation
5. Omnipotence and Compossibility
6. Omnipotence and Omnificence
7. Omniscience and Predestination
8. Control and Overcontrol
9. Universe Mechanisms
10. Functions of Providence
The Bestowals of Christ Michael
1. The First Bestowal
2. The Second Bestowal
3. The Third Bestowal
4. The Fourth Bestowal
5. The Fifth Bestowal
6. The Sixth Bestowal
7. The Seventh and Final Bestowal
8. Michael’s Postbestowal Status
IV. حياة وتعاليم يسوع
The Bestowal of Michael on Urantia
1. The Seventh Bestowal Commission
2. The Bestowal Limitations
3. Further Counsel and Advice
4. The Incarnation — Making Two One
The Times of Michael’s Bestowal
1. The Occident of the First Century after Christ
2. The Jewish People
3. Among the Gentiles
4. Gentile Philosophy
5. The Gentile Religions
6. The Hebrew Religion
7. Jews and Gentiles
8. Previous Written Records
Birth and Infancy of Jesus
1. Joseph and Mary
2. Gabriel Appears to Elizabeth
3. Gabriel’s Announcement to Mary
4. Joseph’s Dream
5. Jesus’ Earth Parents
6. The Home at Nazareth
7. The Trip to Bethlehem
8. The Birth of Jesus
9. The Presentation in the Temple
10. Herod Acts
The Early Childhood of Jesus
1. Back in Nazareth
2. The Fifth Year (2 B.C.)
3. Events of the Sixth Year (1 B.C.)
4. The Seventh Year (A.D. 1)
5. School Days in Nazareth
6. His Eighth Year (A.D. 2)
The Later Childhood of Jesus
1. Jesus’ Ninth Year (A.D. 3)
2. The Tenth Year (A.D. 4)
3. The Eleventh Year (A.D. 5)
4. The Twelfth Year (A.D. 6)
5. His Thirteenth Year (A.D. 7)
6. The Journey to Jerusalem
Jesus at Jerusalem
1. Jesus Views the Temple
2. Jesus and the Passover
3. Departure of Joseph and Mary
4. First and Second Days in the Temple
5. The Third Day in the Temple
6. The Fourth Day in the Temple
The Two Crucial Years
1. His Fourteenth Year (A.D. 8)
2. The Death of Joseph
3. The Fifteenth Year (A.D. 9)
4. First Sermon in the Synagogue
5. The Financial Struggle
The Adolescent Years
1. The Sixteenth Year (A.D. 10)
2. The Seventeenth Year (A.D. 11)
3. The Eighteenth Year (A.D. 12)
4. The Nineteenth Year (A.D. 13)
5. Rebecca, the Daughter of Ezra
6. His Twentieth Year (A.D. 14)
Jesus’ Early Manhood
1. The Twenty-First Year (A.D. 15)
2. The Twenty-Second Year (A.D. 16)
3. The Twenty-Third Year (A.D. 17)
4. The Damascus Episode
5. The Twenty-Fourth Year (A.D. 18)
6. The Twenty-Fifth Year (A.D. 19)
7. The Twenty-Sixth Year (A.D. 20)
The Later Adult Life of Jesus
1. The Twenty-Seventh Year (A.D. 21)
2. The Twenty-Eighth Year (A.D. 22)
3. The Twenty-Ninth Year (A.D. 23)
4. The Human Jesus
On the Way to Rome
1. At Joppa — Discourse on Jonah
2. At Caesarea
3. At Alexandria
4. Discourse on Reality
5. On the Island of Crete
6. The Young Man Who Was Afraid
7. At Carthage — Discourse on Time and Space
8. On the Way to Naples and Rome
The World’s Religions
6. Suduanism (Jainism)
10. “Our Religion”
The Sojourn at Rome
1. True Values
2. Good and Evil
3. Truth and Faith
4. Personal Ministry
5. Counseling the Rich Man
6. Social Ministry
7. Trips about Rome
The Return from Rome
1. Mercy and Justice
2. Embarking at Tarentum
3. At Corinth
4. Personal Work in Corinth
5. At Athens — Discourse on Science
6. At Ephesus — Discourse on the Soul
7. The Sojourn at Cyprus — Discourse on Mind
8. At Antioch
9. In Mesopotamia
The Transition Years
1. The Thirtieth Year (A.D. 24)
2. The Caravan Trip to the Caspian
3. The Urmia Lectures
4. Sovereignty — Divine and Human
5. Political Sovereignty
6. Law, Liberty, and Sovereignty
7. The Thirty-First Year (A.D. 25)
8. The Sojourn on Mount Hermon
9. The Time of Waiting
John the Baptist
1. John Becomes a Nazarite
2. The Death of Zacharias
3. The Life of a Shepherd
4. The Death of Elizabeth
5. The Kingdom of God
6. John Begins to Preach
7. John Journeys North
8. Meeting of Jesus and John
9. Forty Days of Preaching
10. John Journeys South
11. John in Prison
12. Death of John the Baptist
Baptism and the Forty Days
1. Concepts of the Expected Messiah
2. The Baptism of Jesus
3. The Forty Days
4. Plans for Public Work
5. The First Great Decision
6. The Second Decision
7. The Third Decision
8. The Fourth Decision
9. The Fifth Decision
10. The Sixth Decision
Tarrying Time in Galilee
1. Choosing the First Four Apostles
2. Choosing Philip and Nathaniel
3. The Visit to Capernaum
4. The Wedding at Cana
5. Back in Capernaum
6. The Events of a Sabbath Day
7. Four Months of Training
8. Sermon on the Kingdom
Training the Kingdom’s Messengers
1. Final Instructions
2. Choosing the Six
3. The Call of Matthew and Simon
4. The Call of the Twins
5. The Call of Thomas and Judas
6. The Week of Intensive Training
7. Another Disappointment
8. First Work of the Twelve
9. Five Months of Testing
10. Organization of the Twelve
The Twelve Apostles
1. Andrew, the First Chosen
2. Simon Peter
3. James Zebedee
4. John Zebedee
5. Philip the Curious
6. Honest Nathaniel
7. Matthew Levi
8. Thomas Didymus
9 and 10. James and Judas Alpheus
11. Simon the Zealot
12. Judas Iscariot
The Ordination of the Twelve
1. Preliminary Instruction
2. The Ordination
3. The Ordination Sermon
4. You Are the Salt of the Earth
5. Fatherly and Brotherly Love
6. The Evening of the Ordination
7. The Week Following the Ordination
8. Thursday Afternoon on the Lake
9. The Day of Consecration
10. The Evening after the Consecration
Beginning the Public Work
1. Leaving Galilee
2. God’s Law and the Father’s Will
3. The Sojourn at Amathus
4. Teaching about the Father
5. Spiritual Unity
6. Last Week at Amathus
7. At Bethany Beyond Jordan
8. Working in Jericho
9. Departing for Jerusalem
The Passover at Jerusalem
1. Teaching in the Temple
2. God’s Wrath
3. The Concept of God
4. Flavius and Greek Culture
5. The Discourse on Assurance
6. The Visit with Nicodemus
7. The Lesson on the Family
8. In Southern Judea
Going Through Samaria
1. Preaching at Archelais
2. Lesson on Self-Mastery
3. Diversion and Relaxation
4. The Jews and the Samaritans
5. The Woman of Sychar
6. The Samaritan Revival
7. Teachings about Prayer and Worship
عند الجلبوع وفي المدن-العشرة
1. مخيم الجلبوع
2. المحاضرة عن الصلاة
3. صلاة المؤمن
4. أكثر عن الصلاة
. أشكال أخرى من الصلاة
وقرروا بعد ذلك بأنه, ما دام يوحنا حياً, سواء في السجن أو في الخارج, فإن كِلا المجموعتين من اثني عشر رسولاً سيستمرون في عملهم, وبأن لقاءات مشتركة لأسبوع واحد ستعقد كل ثلاثة أشهر في أماكن يتم الاتفاق عليها من وقت لآخر.
في الجزء الأخير من شهر كانون الأول ذهبوا جميعاً قرب الأردن بالقرب من بـِلا, حيث بدأوا مرة أخرى في التعليم والوعظ. جاء يهود وأمميون إلى هذا المخيم لسماع الإنجيل. لقد كان بينما يسوع يعَّلم الجموع إحدى العصريات حين أحضر بعض من أصدقاء يوحنا الخاصين إلى السيد الرسالة الأخيرة التي أبداً استلمها من المعمدان.
بعد أن تحدث المرسلون مع أبنير, رحلوا إلى مكايروس ليخبروا كل هذا ليوحنا. كان مؤاسى للغاية, وتعزز إيمانه بكلمات يسوع ورسالة أبنير.
Late on Friday evening Jesus’ baby sister, Ruth, secretly paid him a visit. They spent almost an hour together in a boat anchored a short distance from the shore. No human being, save John Zebedee, ever knew of this visit, and he was admonished to tell no man. Ruth was the only member of Jesus’ family who consistently and unwaveringly believed in the divinity of his earth mission from the times of her earliest spiritual consciousness right on down through his eventful ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension; and she finally passed on to the worlds beyond never having doubted the supernatural character of her father-brother’s mission in the flesh. Baby Ruth was the chief comfort of Jesus, as regards his earth family, throughout the trying ordeal of his trial, rejection, and crucifixion.
After Jesus had finished teaching the people, he said to David: “As you were delayed by coming to my help, now let me work with you. Let us go fishing; put out into yonder deep and let down your nets for a draught.” But Simon, one of David’s assistants, answered: “Master, it is useless. We toiled all night and took nothing; however, at your bidding we will put out and let down the nets.” And Simon consented to follow Jesus’ directions because of a gesture made by his master, David. When they had proceeded to the place designated by Jesus, they let down their nets and enclosed such a multitude of fish that they feared the nets would break, so much so that they signaled to their associates on the shore to come to their assistance. When they had filled all three boats with fish, almost to sinking, this Simon fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, Master, for I am a sinful man.” Simon and all who were concerned in this episode were amazed at the draught of fishes. From that day David Zebedee, this Simon, and their associates forsook their nets and followed Jesus.
As Jesus taught in the synagogue this Sabbath afternoon, according to custom he took the first text from the law, reading from the Book of Exodus: “And you shall serve the Lord, your God, and he shall bless your bread and your water, and all sickness shall be taken away from you.” He chose the second text from the Prophets, reading from Isaiah: “Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Darkness may cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the spirit of the Lord shall arise upon you, and the divine glory shall be seen with you. Even the gentiles shall come to this light, and many great minds shall surrender to the brightness of this light.”
“Have you not read these promises? Do you not believe the Scriptures? Do you not understand that the prophet’s words are fulfilled in what you behold this very day? And did not Jeremiah exhort you to make religion an affair of the heart, to relate yourselves to God as individuals? Did not the prophet tell you that the God of heaven would search your individual hearts? And were you not warned that the natural human heart is deceitful above all things and oftentimes desperately wicked?
When the Master stepped out of the front entrance of Zebedee’s house, his eyes met an array of stricken and afflicted humanity. He gazed upon almost one thousand sick and ailing human beings; at least that was the number of persons gathered together before him. Not all present were afflicted; some had come assisting their loved ones in this effort to secure healing.
Jesus went out in the hills to pray so many times because there were no private rooms suitable for his personal devotions.
When Jesus heard this, he answered: “Andrew, have I not taught you and these others that my mission on earth is the revelation of the Father, and my message the proclamation of the kingdom of heaven? How is it, then, that you would have me turn aside from my work for the gratification of the curious and for the satisfaction of those who seek for signs and wonders? Have we not been among these people all these months, and have they flocked in multitudes to hear the good news of the kingdom? Why have they now come to besiege us? Is it not because of the healing of their physical bodies rather than as a result of the reception of spiritual truth for the salvation of their souls? When men are attracted to us because of extraordinary manifestations, many of them come seeking not for truth and salvation but rather in quest of healing for their physical ailments and to secure deliverance from their material difficulties.
Many of the better of the Babylonian and Persian ideas of light and darkness, good and evil, time and eternity, were later incorporated in the doctrines of so-called Christianity, and their inclusion rendered the Christian teachings more immediately acceptable to the peoples of the Near East. In like manner, the inclusion of many of Plato’s theories of the ideal spirit or invisible patterns of all things visible and material, as later adapted by Philo to the Hebrew theology, made Paul’s Christian teachings more easy of acceptance by the western Greeks.
While the common people of Jotapata heard Jesus and his apostles gladly and many accepted the gospel of the kingdom, it was the discourse of Jesus to the twenty-four on the second evening of their sojourn in this small town that distinguishes the Jotapata mission. Nathaniel was confused in his mind about the Master’s teachings concerning prayer, thanksgiving, and worship, and in response to his question Jesus spoke at great length in further explanation of his teaching. Summarized in modern phraseology, this discourse may be presented as emphasizing the following points:
5. They who would receive mercy must show mercy; judge not that you be not judged. With the spirit with which you judge others you also shall be judged. Mercy does not wholly abrogate universe fairness. In the end it will prove true: “Whoso stops his ears to the cry of the poor, he also shall some day cry for help, and no one will hear him.” The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard; the spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition is the determiner of the time, manner, and degree of the answer. A wise father does not
answer the foolish prayers of his ignorant and inexperienced children, albeit the children may derive much pleasure and real soul satisfaction from the making of such absurd petitions.
“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.
From Iron they went to Gischala, spending two days proclaiming the gospel, and then departed for Chorazin, where they spent almost a week preaching the good news; but they were unable to win many believers for the kingdom in Chorazin. In no place where Jesus had taught had he met with such a general rejection of his message. The sojourn at Chorazin was very depressing to most of the apostles, and Andrew and Abner had much difficulty in upholding the courage of their associates. And so, passing quietly through Capernaum, they went on to the village of Madon, where they fared little better. There prevailed in the minds of most of the apostles the idea that their failure to meet with success in these towns so recently visited was due to Jesus’ insistence that they refrain, in their teaching and preaching, from referring to him as a healer. How they wished he would cleanse another leper or in some other manner so manifest his power as to attract the attention of the people! But the Master was unmoved by their earnest urging.
When Jesus sought to leave Cana and go to Nain, a great multitude of believers and many curious people followed after him. They were bent on beholding miracles and wonders, and they were not to be disappointed. As Jesus and his apostles drew near the gate of the city, they met a funeral procession on its way to the near-by cemetery, carrying the only son of a widowed mother of Nain. This woman was much respected, and half of the village followed the bearers of the bier of this supposedly dead boy. When the funeral procession had come up to Jesus and his followers, the widow and her friends recognized the Master and besought him to bring the son back to life. Their miracle expectancy was aroused to such a high pitch they thought Jesus could cure any human disease, and why could not such a healer even raise the dead? Jesus, while being thus importuned, stepped forward and, raising the covering of the bier, examined the boy. Discovering that the young man was not really dead, he perceived the tragedy which his presence could avert; so, turning to the mother, he said: “Weep not. Your son is not dead; he sleeps. He will be restored to you.” And then, taking the young man by the hand, he said, “Awake and arise.” And the youth who was supposed to be dead presently sat up and began to speak, and Jesus sent them back to their homes.
At Endor Jesus escaped for a few days from the clamoring multitudes in quest of physical healing. During their sojourn at this place the Master recounted for the instruction of the apostles the story of King Saul and the witch of Endor. Jesus plainly told his apostles that the stray and rebellious midwayers who had oftentimes impersonated the supposed spirits of the dead would soon be brought under control so that they could no more do these strange things. He told his followers that, after he returned to the Father, and after they had poured out their spirit upon all flesh, no more could such semispirit beings — so-called unclean spirits — possess the feeble- and evil-minded among mortals.
Many of the household of Herod believed in Jesus and attended these meetings. It was the influence of these believers among Herod’s official family that had helped to lessen that ruler’s enmity toward Jesus. These believers at Tiberias had fully explained to Herod that the “kingdom” which Jesus proclaimed was spiritual in nature and not a political venture. Herod rather believed these members of his own household and therefore did not permit himself to become unduly alarmed by the spreading abroad of the reports concerning Jesus’ teaching and healing. He had no objections to Jesus’ work as a healer or religious teacher. Notwithstanding the favorable attitude of many of Herod’s advisers, and even of Herod himself, there existed a group of his subordinates who were so influenced by the religious leaders at Jerusalem that they remained bitter and threatening enemies of Jesus and the apostles and, later on, did much to hamper their public activities. The greatest danger to Jesus lay in the Jerusalem religious leaders and not in Herod. And it was for this very reason that Jesus and the apostles spent so much time and did most of their public preaching in Galilee rather than at Jerusalem and in Judea.
And when Jesus heard these words, he turned and said to his apostles and those who were with them: “I marvel at the belief of the gentile. Verily, verily, I say to you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Jesus, turning from the house, said, “Let us go hence.” And the friends of the centurion went into the house and told Mangus what Jesus had said. And from that hour the servant began to mend and was eventually restored to his normal health and usefulness.
Early on the morning of Tuesday, March 30, Jesus and the apostolic party started on their journey to Jerusalem for the Passover, going by the route of the Jordan valley. They arrived on the afternoon of Friday, April 2, and established their headquarters, as usual, at Bethany. Passing through Jericho, they paused to rest while Judas made a deposit of some of their common funds in the bank of a friend of his family. This was the first time Judas had carried a surplus of money, and this deposit was left undisturbed until they passed through Jericho again when on that last and eventful journey to Jerusalem just before the trial and death of Jesus.
The afternoon of the second Sabbath in Jerusalem, as the Master and the apostles were about to participate in the temple services, John said to Jesus, “Come with me, I would show you something.” John conducted Jesus out through one of the Jerusalem gates to a pool of water called Bethesda. Surrounding this pool was a structure of five porches under which a large group of sufferers lingered in quest of healing. This was a hot spring whose reddish-tinged water would bubble up at irregular intervals because of gas accumulations in the rock caverns underneath the pool. This periodic disturbance of the warm waters was believed by many to be due to supernatural influences, and it was a popular belief that the first person who entered the water after such a disturbance would be healed of whatever infirmity he had.
Then said Jesus to John: “Let us depart ere the chief priests and the scribes come upon us and take offense that we spoke words of life to these afflicted ones.” And they returned to the temple to join their companions, and presently all of them departed to spend the night at Bethany. But John never told the other apostles of this visit of himself and Jesus to the pool of Bethesda on this Sabbath afternoon.
“3. The level of mind. Now come into action the reason of mind and the intelligence of experience. Good judgment dictates that such a rule of living should be interpreted in consonance with the highest idealism embodied in the nobility of profound self-respect.
As Jesus arose with his friends to leave, he turned to Simon and said: “I know your heart, Simon, how you are torn betwixt faith and doubts, how you are distraught by fear and troubled by pride; but I pray for you that you may yield to the light and may experience in your station in life just such mighty transformations of mind and spirit as may be comparable to the tremendous changes which the gospel of the kingdom has already wrought in the heart of your unbidden and unwelcome guest. And I declare to all of you that the Father has opened the doors of the heavenly kingdom to all who have the faith to enter, and no man or association of men can close those doors even to the most humble soul or supposedly most flagrant sinner on earth if such sincerely seek an entrance.” And Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, took leave of their host and went to join the rest of the apostles at the camp in the garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus’ antagonism to the Jewish traditions and slavish ceremonials was always
It consisted in what he did and in what he affirmed. The Master spent little time in negative denunciations. He taught that those who know God can enjoy the liberty of living without deceiving themselves by the licenses of sinning. Said Jesus to the apostles: “Men, if you are enlightened by the truth and really know what you are doing, you are blessed; but if you know not the divine way, you are unfortunate and already breakers of the law.”
“‘Why have you fasted? For what reason do you afflict your souls while you continue to find pleasure in oppression and to take delight in injustice? Behold, you fast for the sake of strife and contention and to smite with the fist of wickedness. But you shall not fast in this way to make your voices heard on high.
It was after two o’clock in the morning when Jesus ceased speaking and every man went to his place for sleep.
1. A New School of the Prophets
In connection with the seaside encampment, Elman, the Syrian physician, with the assistance of a corps of twenty-five young women and twelve men, organized and conducted for four months what should be regarded as the kingdom’s first hospital. At this infirmary, located a short distance to the south of the main tented city, they treated the sick in accordance with all known material methods as well as by the spiritual practices of prayer and faith encouragement. Jesus visited the sick of this encampment not less than three times a week and made personal contact with each sufferer. As far as we know, no so-called miracles of supernatural healing occurred among the one thousand afflicted and ailing persons who went away from this infirmary improved or cured. However, the vast majority of these benefited individuals ceased not to proclaim that Jesus had healed them.
3. The Father’s Business
4. Evil, Sin, and Iniquity
“By nature, before the rebirth of the spirit, mortal man is subject to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections of behavior are neither sin nor iniquity. Mortal man is just beginning his long ascent to the perfection of the Father in Paradise. To be imperfect or partial in natural endowment is not sinful. Man is indeed subject to evil, but he is in no sense the child of the evil one unless he has knowingly and deliberately chosen the paths of sin and the life of iniquity. Evil is inherent in the natural order of this world, but sin is an attitude of conscious rebellion which was brought to this world by those who fell from spiritual light into gross darkness.
6. The Misunderstanding of Suffering —
Discourse on Job
“And then you remember how Job replied to his friends, saying: ‘I well know that God does not hear my cry for help. How can God be just and at the same time so utterly disregard my innocence? I am learning that I can get no satisfaction from appealing to the Almighty. Cannot you discern that God tolerates the persecution of the good by the wicked? And since man is so weak, what chance has he for consideration at the hands of an omnipotent God? God has made me as I am, and when he thus turns upon me, I am defenseless. And why did God ever create me just to suffer in this miserable fashion?’
The last week of the sojourn at Bethsaida the Jerusalem spies became much divided in their attitude toward Jesus and his teachings. Three of these Pharisees were tremendously impressed by what they had seen and heard. Meanwhile, at Jerusalem, Abraham, a young and influential member of the Sanhedrin, publicly espoused the teachings of Jesus and was baptized in the pool of Siloam by Abner. All Jerusalem was agog over this event, and messengers were immediately dispatched to Bethsaida recalling the six spying Pharisees.
9. Healing the Paralytic
THE second public preaching tour of Galilee began on Sunday, October 3, A.D. 28, and continued for almost three months, ending on December 30. Participating in this effort were Jesus and his twelve apostles, assisted by the newly recruited corps of 117 evangelists and by numerous other interested persons. On this tour they visited Gadara, Ptolemais, Japhia, Dabaritta, Megiddo, Jezreel, Scythopolis, Tarichea, Hippos, Gamala, Bethsaida-Julias, and many other cities and villages.
By the time the camp at Bethsaida had been broken up, the fame of Jesus, particularly as a healer, had spread to all parts of Palestine and through all of Syria and the surrounding countries. For weeks after they left Bethsaida, the sick continued to arrive, and when they did not find the Master, on learning from David where he was, they would go in search of him. On this tour Jesus did not deliberately perform any so-called miracles of healing. Nevertheless, scores of afflicted found restoration of health and happiness as a result of the reconstructive power of the intense faith which impelled them to seek for healing.
2. The existence, concomitant with such human faith, of the great sympathy and compassion of the incarnated and mercy-dominated Creator Son of God, who actually possessed in his person almost unlimited and timeless creative healing powers and prerogatives.
While, at that particular time, the fame of Jesus rested chiefly upon his reputation as a healer, it does not follow that it continued so to rest. As time passed, more and more he was sought for spiritual help. But it was the physical cures that made the most direct and immediate appeal to the common people. Jesus was increasingly sought by the victims of moral enslavement and mental harassments, and he invariably taught them the way of deliverance. Fathers sought his advice regarding the management of their sons, and mothers came for help in the guidance of their daughters. Those who sat in darkness came to him, and he revealed to them the light of life. His ear was ever open to the sorrows of mankind, and he always helped those who sought his ministry.
“Anger is a material manifestation which represents, in a general way, the measure of the failure of the spiritual nature to gain control of the combined intellectual and physical natures. Anger indicates your lack of tolerant brotherly love plus your lack of self-respect and self-control. Anger depletes the health, debases the mind, and handicaps the spirit teacher of man’s soul. Have you not read in the Scriptures that ‘wrath kills the foolish man,’ and that man ‘tears himself in his anger’? That ‘he who is slow of wrath is of great understanding,’ while ‘he who is hasty of temper exalts folly’? You all know that ‘a soft answer turns away wrath,’ and how ‘grievous words stir up anger.’ ‘Discretion defers anger,’ while ‘he who has no control over his own self is like a defenseless city without walls.’ ‘Wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous.’ ‘Angry men stir up strife, while the furious multiply their transgressions.’ ‘Be not hasty in spirit, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.’” Before Jesus ceased speaking, he said further: “Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your spirit guide will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are inconsistent with the status of divine sonship.”
While it is true that many men and women must assiduously apply themselves to some definite pursuit as a livelihood vocation, it is nevertheless wholly desirable that human beings should cultivate a wide range of cultural familiarity with life as it is lived on earth. Truly educated persons are not satisfied with remaining in ignorance of the lives and doings of their fellows.
6. The “Fear of the Lord”
“When children are young and unthinking, they must necessarily be admonished to honor their parents; but when they grow older and become somewhat more appreciative of the benefits of the parental ministry and protection, they are led up, through understanding respect and increasing affection, to that level of experience where they actually love their parents for what they are more than for what they have done. The father naturally loves his child, but the child must develop his love for the father from the fear of what the father can do, through awe, dread, dependence, and reverence, to the appreciative and affectionate regard of love.
Among the many matters considered by this joint conference was the practice of anointing the sick with certain forms of oil in connection with prayers for healing. Again did Jesus decline to participate in their discussions or to express himself regarding their conclusions. The apostles of John had always used the anointing oil in their ministry to the sick and afflicted, and they sought to establish this as a uniform practice for both groups, but the apostles of Jesus refused to bind themselves by such a regulation.
Of all the daring things which Jesus did in connection with his earth career, the most amazing was his sudden announcement on the evening of January 16: “On the morrow we will set apart ten women for the ministering work of the kingdom.” At the beginning of the two weeks’ period during which the apostles and the evangelists were to be absent from Bethsaida on their furlough, Jesus requested David to summon his parents back to their home and to dispatch messengers calling to Bethsaida ten devout women who had served in the administration of the former encampment and the tented infirmary. These women had all listened to the instruction given the young evangelists, but it had never occurred to either themselves or their teachers that Jesus would dare to commission women to teach the gospel of the kingdom and minister to the sick. These ten women selected and commissioned by Jesus were: Susanna, the daughter of the former chazan of the Nazareth synagogue; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the steward of Herod Antipas; Elizabeth, the daughter of a wealthy Jew of Tiberias and Sepphoris; Martha, the elder sister of Andrew and Peter; Rachel, the sister-in-law of Jude, the Master’s brother in the flesh; Nasanta, the daughter of Elman, the Syrian physician; Milcha, a cousin of the Apostle Thomas; Ruth, the eldest daughter of Matthew Levi; Celta, the daughter of a Roman centurion; and Agaman, a widow of Damascus. Subsequently, Jesus added two other women to this group — Mary Magdalene and Rebecca, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea.
It was at Magdala that the women first demonstrated their usefulness and vindicated the wisdom of their choosing. Andrew had imposed rather strict rules upon his associates about doing personal work with women, especially with those of questionable character. When the party entered Magdala, these ten women evangelists were free to enter the evil resorts and preach the glad tidings directly to all their inmates. And when visiting the sick, these women were able to draw very close in their ministry to their afflicted sisters. As the result of the ministry of these ten women (afterward known as the twelve women) at this place, Mary Magdalene was won for the kingdom. Through a succession of misfortunes and in consequence of the attitude of reputable society toward women who commit such errors of judgment, this woman had found herself in one of the nefarious resorts of Magdala. It was Martha and Rachel who made plain to Mary that the doors of the kingdom were open to even such as she. Mary believed the good news and was baptized by Peter the next day.
Late that evening Jesus gave the united group a memorable talk on “Magic and Superstition.” In those days the appearance of a bright and supposedly new star was regarded as a token indicating that a great man had been born on earth. Such a star having then recently been observed, Andrew asked Jesus if these beliefs were well founded. In the long answer to Andrew’s question the Master entered upon a thoroughgoing discussion of the whole subject of human superstition. The statement which Jesus made at this time may be summarized in modern phraseology as follows:
4. Charms and relics are impotent to heal disease, ward off disaster, or influence evil spirits; the belief in all such material means of influencing the spiritual world is nothing but gross superstition.
One evening at Shunem, after John’s apostles had returned to Hebron, and after Jesus’ apostles had been sent out two and two, when the Master was engaged in teaching a group of twelve of the younger evangelists who were laboring under the direction of Jacob, together with the twelve women, Rachel asked Jesus this question: “Master, what shall we answer when women ask us, What shall I do to be saved?” When Jesus heard this question, he answered:
6. The Evening Lessons
The people of Nazareth were never reputed for piety and righteous living. As the years passed, this village became increasingly contaminated by the low moral standards of near-by Sepphoris. Throughout Jesus’ youth and young manhood there had been a division of opinion in Nazareth regarding him; there was much resentment when he moved to Capernaum. While the inhabitants of Nazareth had heard much about the doings of their former carpenter, they were offended that he had never included his native village in any of his earlier preaching tours. They had indeed heard of Jesus’ fame, but the majority of the citizens were angry because he had done none of his great works in the city of his youth. For months the people of Nazareth had discussed Jesus much, but their opinions were, on the whole, unfavorable to him.
This Sabbath was a beautiful day, and all Nazareth, friends and foes, turned out to hear this former citizen of their town discourse in the synagogue. Many of the apostolic retinue had to remain without the synagogue; there was not room for all who had come to hear him. As a young man Jesus had often spoken in this place of worship, and this morning, when the ruler of the synagogue handed him the roll of sacred writings from which to read the Scripture lesson, none present seemed to recall that this was the very manuscript which he had presented to this synagogue.
The ruler of the synagogue then took his place before the ark, or chest, containing the sacred writings and began the recitation of the nineteen prayer eulogies, or benedictions. But on this occasion it was desirable to shorten the service in order that the distinguished guest might have more time for his discourse; accordingly, only the first and last of the benedictions were recited. The first was: “Blessed is the Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who shows mercy and kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the gracious promises to the fathers and brings a savior to their children’s children for his own name’s sake, in love. O King, helper, savior, and shield! Blessed are you, O Yahweh, the shield of Abraham.”
Tarrying and Teaching by the Seaside
The apostles and those who were with them, when they heard Jesus teach the people in this manner, were greatly perplexed; and after much talking among themselves, that evening in the Zebedee garden Matthew said to Jesus: “Master, what is the meaning of the dark sayings which you present to the multitude? Why do you speak in parables to those who seek the truth?” And Jesus answered:
2. Interpretation of the Parable
The words which Thomas spoke had a quieting effect on all of them. He caused them to recall what Jesus had taught them on former occasions, and before Jesus resumed speaking, Andrew arose, saying: “I am persuaded that Thomas is right, and I would like to have him tell us what meaning he attaches to the parable of the sower.” After Jesus had beckoned Thomas to speak, he said: “My brethren, I did not wish to prolong this discussion, but if you so desire, I will say that I think this parable was spoken to teach us one great truth. And that is that our teaching of the gospel of the kingdom, no matter how faithfully and efficiently we execute our divine commissions, is going to be attended by varying degrees of success; and that all such differences in results are directly due to conditions inherent in the circumstances of our ministry, conditions over which we have little or no control.”
The parable provides for a simultaneous appeal to vastly different levels of mind and spirit. The parable stimulates the imagination, challenges the discrimination, and provokes critical thinking; it promotes sympathy without arousing antagonism.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a sweep net which was cast into the sea, and it gathered up every kind of fish. Now, when the net was filled, the fishermen drew it up on the beach, where they sat down and sorted out the fish, gathering the good into vessels while the bad they threw away.”
Jesus plainly explained to the twelve that he had spoken to their troubled spirits and had addressed himself to their fear-tossed minds, that he had not commanded the elements to obey his word, but it was of no avail. The Master’s followers always persisted in placing their own interpretation on all such coincidental occurrences. From this day on they insisted on regarding the Master as having absolute power over the natural elements. Peter never grew weary of reciting how “even the winds and the waves obey him.”
As the swine herders rushed into the village to spread the news of the taming of the lunatic, the dogs charged upon a small and untended herd of about thirty swine and drove most of them over a precipice into the sea. And it was this incidental occurrence, in connection with the presence of Jesus and the supposed miraculous curing of the lunatic, that gave origin to the legend that Jesus had cured Amos by casting a legion of devils out of him, and that these devils had entered into the herd of swine, causing them forthwith to rush headlong to their destruction in the sea below. Before the day was over, this episode was published abroad by the swine tenders, and the whole village believed it. Amos most certainly believed this story; he saw the swine tumbling over the brow of the hill shortly after his troubled mind had quieted down, and he always believed that they carried with them the very evil spirits which had so long tormented and afflicted him. And this had a good deal to do with the permanency of his cure. It is equally true that all of Jesus’ apostles (save Thomas) believed that the episode of the swine was directly connected with the cure of Amos.
Since there was much agitation in Capernaum against Jesus, he called the family together and explained that the maiden had been in a state of coma following a long fever, and that he had merely aroused her, that he had not raised her from the dead. He likewise explained all this to his apostles, but it was futile; they all believed he had raised the little girl from the dead. What Jesus said in explanation of many of these apparent miracles had little effect on his followers. They were miracle-minded and lost no opportunity to ascribe another wonder to Jesus. Jesus and the apostles returned to Bethsaida after he had specifically charged all of them that they should tell no man.
2. Feeding the Five Thousand
This was the stage setting about five o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, when Jesus asked James Alpheus to summon Andrew and Philip. Said Jesus: “What shall we do with the multitude? They have been with us now three days, and many of them are hungry. They have no food.” Philip and Andrew exchanged glances, and then Philip answered: “Master, you should send these people away so that they may go to the villages around about and buy themselves food.” And Andrew, fearing the materialization of the king plot, quickly joined with Philip, saying: “Yes, Master, I think it best that you dismiss the multitude so that they may go their way and buy food while you secure rest for a season.” By this time others of the twelve had joined the conference. Then said Jesus: “But I do not desire to send them away hungry; can you not feed them?” This was too much for Philip, and he spoke right up: “Master, in this country place where can we buy bread for this multitude? Two hundred denarii worth would not be enough for lunch.”
Darkness descended upon them, for there had arisen a strong and contrary wind which made progress almost impossible. As the hours of darkness and hard rowing passed, Peter grew weary and fell into a deep sleep of exhaustion. Andrew and James put him to rest on the cushioned seat in the stern of the boat. While the other apostles toiled against the wind and the waves, Peter dreamed a dream; he saw a vision of Jesus coming to them walking on the sea. When the Master seemed to walk on by the boat, Peter cried out, “Save us, Master, save us.” And those who were in the rear of the boat heard him say some of these words. As this apparition of the night season continued in Peter’s mind, he dreamed that he heard Jesus say: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” This was like the balm of Gilead to Peter’s disturbed soul; it soothed his troubled spirit, so that (in his dream) he cried out to the Master: “Lord, if it really is you, bid me come and walk with you on the water.” And when Peter started to walk upon the water, the boisterous waves frightened him, and as he was about to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” And many of the twelve heard him utter this cry. Then Peter dreamed that Jesus came to the rescue and, stretching forth his hand, took hold and lifted him up, saying: “O, you of little faith, wherefore did you doubt?”
Thursday morning, before daylight, they anchored their boat offshore near Zebedee’s house and sought sleep until about noontime. Andrew was first up and, going for a walk by the sea, found Jesus, in company with their chore boy, sitting on a stone by the water’s edge. Notwithstanding that many of the multitude and the young evangelists searched all night and much of the next day about the eastern hills for Jesus, shortly after midnight he and the Mark lad had started to walk around the lake and across the river, back to Bethsaida.
The news of the feeding of the five thousand and the attempt to make Jesus king aroused widespread curiosity and stirred up the fears of both the religious leaders and the civil rulers throughout all Galilee and Judea. While this great miracle did nothing to further the gospel of the kingdom in the souls of material-minded and halfhearted believers, it did serve the purpose of bringing to a head the miracle-seeking and king-craving proclivities of Jesus’ immediate family of apostles and close disciples. This spectacular episode brought an end to the early era of teaching, training, and healing, thereby preparing the way for the inauguration of this last year of proclaiming the higher and more spiritual phases of the new gospel of the kingdom — divine sonship, spiritual liberty, and eternal salvation.
Before they left Gennesaret, Jesus instructed them regarding the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, telling them just why he engaged in this extraordinary manifestation of creative power and also assuring them that he did not thus yield to his sympathy for the multitude until he had ascertained that it was “according to the Father’s will.”
Not in months had they seen the Master so preoccupied and uncommunicative. Even Simon Peter was depressed, if not downcast. Andrew was at a loss to know what to do for his dejected associates. Nathaniel said they were in the midst of the “lull before the storm.” Thomas expressed the opinion that “something out of the ordinary is about to happen.” Philip advised David Zebedee to “forget about plans for feeding and lodging the multitude until we know what the Master is thinking about.” Matthew was putting forth renewed efforts to replenish the treasury. James and John talked over the forthcoming sermon in the synagogue and speculated much as to its probable nature and scope. Simon Zelotes expressed the belief, in reality a hope, that “the Father in heaven may be about to intervene in some unexpected manner for the vindication and support of his Son,” while Judas Iscariot dared to indulge the thought that possibly Jesus was oppressed with regrets that “he did not have the courage and daring to permit the five thousand to proclaim him king of the Jews.”
Jesus comprehended that he faced the immediate declaration of avowed and open warfare by his increasing enemies, and he elected boldly to assume the offensive. At the feeding of the five thousand he had challenged their ideas of the material Messiah; now he chose again openly to attack their concept of the Jewish deliverer. This crisis, which began with the feeding of the five thousand, and which terminated with this Sabbath afternoon sermon, was the outward turning of the tide of popular fame and acclaim. Henceforth, the work of the kingdom was to be increasingly concerned with the more important task of winning lasting spiritual converts for the truly religious brotherhood of mankind. This sermon marks the crisis in the transition from the period of discussion, controversy, and decision to that of open warfare and final acceptance or final rejection.
Everyone was in a state of perplexity. Jesus had left them dumfounded and confounded. He had recently engaged in the greatest demonstration of supernatural power to characterize his whole career. The feeding of the five thousand was the one event of his earth life which made the greatest appeal to the Jewish concept of the expected Messiah. But this extraordinary advantage was immediately and unexplainedly offset by his prompt and unequivocal refusal to be made king.
“Some of you, when you could not find me after the feasting of the multitude on the other side, hired the Tiberias fishing fleet, which a week before had taken shelter near by during a storm, to go in pursuit of me, and what for? Not for truth and righteousness or that you might the better know how to serve and minister to your fellow men! No, but rather that you might have more bread for which you had not labored. It was not to fill your souls with the word of life, but only that you might fill the belly with the bread of ease. And long have you been taught that the Messiah, when he should come, would work those wonders which would make life pleasant and easy for all the chosen people. It is not strange, then, that you who have been thus taught should long for the loaves and the fishes. But I declare to you that such is not the mission of the Son of Man. I have come to proclaim spiritual liberty, teach eternal truth, and foster living faith.
The Pharisaic commissioners of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin were now almost convinced that Jesus must be apprehended on a charge of blasphemy or on one of flouting the sacred law of the Jews; wherefore their efforts to involve him in the discussion of, and possible attack upon, some of the traditions of the elders, or so-called oral laws of the nation. No matter how scarce water might be, these traditionally enslaved Jews would never fail to go through with the required ceremonial washing of the hands before every meal. It was their belief that “it is better to die than to transgress the commandments of the elders.” The spies asked this question because it had been reported that Jesus had said, “Salvation is a matter of clean hearts rather than of clean hands.” But such beliefs, when they once become a part of one’s religion, are hard to get away from. Even many years after this day the Apostle Peter was still held in the bondage of fear to many of these traditions about things clean and unclean, only being finally delivered by experiencing an extraordinary and vivid dream. All of this can the better be understood when it is recalled that these Jews looked upon eating with unwashed hands in the same light as commerce with a harlot, and both were equally punishable by excommunication.
And when he had finished speaking, his apostles surrounded him and led him from the synagogue. In silence they journeyed home with him to Bethsaida. They were all amazed and somewhat terror-stricken by the sudden change in the Master’s teaching tactics. They were wholly unaccustomed to seeing him perform in such a militant manner.
Last Days at Capernaum
On Friday of this week official action was taken by the rulers of the Capernaum synagogue closing the house of God to Jesus and all his followers. This action was taken at the instigation of the Jerusalem Pharisees. Jairus resigned as chief ruler and openly aligned himself with Jesus.
This same Sunday morning, Jesus declared a week’s holiday, urging all of his disciples to return to their homes or friends to rest their troubled souls and speak words of encouragement to their loved ones. He said: “Go to your several places to play or fish while you pray for the extension of the kingdom.”
3. The Second Tiberias Conference
2. That he was a dangerous and designing agitator who might stir up rebellion.
There was much talk about Jesus’ preaching doctrines which were upsetting for the common people; his enemies maintained that his teachings were impractical, that everything would go to pieces if everybody made an honest effort to live in accordance with his ideas. And the men of many subsequent generations have said the same things. Many intelligent and well-meaning men, even in the more enlightened age of these revelations, maintain that modern civilization could not have been built upon the teachings of Jesus — and they are partially right. But all such doubters forget that a much better civilization could have been built upon his teachings, and sometime will be. This world has never seriously tried to carry out the teachings of Jesus on a large scale, notwithstanding that halfhearted attempts have often been made to follow the doctrines of so-called Christianity.
It was about eight o’clock on this Sunday morning when five members of Jesus’ earth family arrived on the scene in response to the urgent summons of Jude’s sister-in-law. Of all his family in the flesh, only one, Ruth, believed wholeheartedly and continuously in the divinity of his mission on earth. Jude and James, and even Joseph, still retained much of their faith in Jesus, but they had permitted pride to interfere with their better judgment and real spiritual inclinations. Mary was likewise torn between love and fear, between mother love and family pride. Though she was harassed by doubts, she could never quite forget the visit of Gabriel ere Jesus was born. The Pharisees had been laboring to persuade Mary that Jesus was beside himself, demented. They urged her to go with her sons and seek to dissuade him from further efforts at public teaching. They assured Mary that soon Jesus’ health would break, and that only dishonor and disgrace could come upon the entire family as a result of allowing him to go on. And so, when the word came from Jude’s sister-in-law, all five of them started at once for Zebedee’s house, having been together at Mary’s home, where they had met with the Pharisees the evening before. They had talked with the Jerusalem leaders long into the night, and all were more or less convinced that Jesus was acting strangely, that he had acted strangely for some time. While Ruth could not explain all of his conduct, she insisted that he had always treated his family fairly and refused to agree to the program of trying to dissuade him from further work.
And when Mary heard these words, she collapsed in Jude’s arms. They carried her out in the garden to revive her while Jesus spoke the concluding words of his parting message. He would then have gone out to confer with his mother and his brothers, but a messenger arrived in haste from Tiberias bringing word that the officers of the Sanhedrin were on their way with authority to arrest Jesus and carry him to Jerusalem. Andrew received this message and, interrupting Jesus, told it to him.
Fleeing Through Northern Galilee
“In all that you do, become not one-sided and overspecialized. The Pharisees who seek our destruction verily think they are doing God’s service. They have become so narrowed by tradition that they are blinded by prejudice and hardened by fear. Consider the Greeks, who have a science without religion, while the Jews have a religion without science. And when men become thus misled into accepting a narrow and confused disintegration of truth, their only hope of salvation is to become truth-co-ordinated — converted.
And many other things the Master taught his apostles and the evangelists before they bade him good night and sought rest upon their pillows.
The sojourn at Caesarea-Philippi was a real test to the eleven apostles; it was a difficult two weeks for them to live through. They were well-nigh depressed, and they missed the periodic stimulation of Peter’s enthusiastic personality. In these times it was truly a great and testing adventure to believe in Jesus and go forth to follow after him. Though they made few converts during these two weeks, they did learn much that was highly profitable from their daily conferences with the Master.
Jesus warned his believers that, if their religious longings were only material, increasing knowledge of nature would, by progressive displacement of the supposed supernatural origin of things, ultimately deprive them of their faith in God. But that, if their religion were spiritual, never could the progress of physical science disturb their faith in eternal realities and divine values.
The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.
The religion of the physical senses and the superstitious fears of natural man, the Master refused to belittle, though he deplored the fact that so much of this primitive form of worship should persist in the religious forms of the more intelligent races of mankind. Jesus made it clear that the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit is that, while the former is upheld by ecclesiastical authority, the latter is wholly based on human experience.
Shame on those false religious teachers who would drag hungry souls back into the dim and distant past and there leave them! And so are these unfortunate persons doomed to become frightened by every new discovery, while they are discomfited by every new revelation of truth. The prophet who said, “He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God,” was not a mere intellectual believer in authoritative theology. This truth-knowing human had discovered God; he was not merely talking about God.
When Norana arrived with her daughter, the Alpheus twins explained through an interpreter that the Master was resting and could not be disturbed; whereupon Norana replied that she and the child would remain right there until the Master had finished his rest. Peter also endeavored to reason with her and to persuade her to go home. He explained that Jesus was weary with much teaching and healing, and that he had come to Phoenicia for a period of quiet and rest. But it was futile; Norana would not leave. To Peter’s entreaties she replied only: “I will not depart until I have seen your Master. I know he can cast the demon out of my child, and I will not go until the healer has looked upon my daughter.”
At just this time the little girl was seized with a violent convulsion before them all, and the mother cried out: “There, you can see that my child is possessed by an evil spirit. If our need does not impress you, it would appeal to your Master, who I have been told loves all men and dares even to heal the gentiles when they believe. You are not worthy to be his disciples. I will not go until my child has been cured.”
The theme of Jesus’ instructions during the sojourn at Sidon was spiritual progression. He told them they could not stand still; they must go forward in righteousness or retrogress into evil and sin. He admonished them to “forget those things which are in the past while you push forward to embrace the greater realities of the kingdom.” He besought them not to be content with their childhood in the gospel but to strive for the attainment of the full stature of divine sonship in the communion of the spirit and in the fellowship of believers.
Many of the leaders in the manufacture of Tyrian purple, the dye that made Tyre and Sidon famous the world over, and which contributed so much to their world-wide commerce and consequent enrichment, believed in the kingdom. When, shortly thereafter, the supply of the sea animals which were the source of this dye began to diminish, these dye makers went forth in search of new habitats of these shellfish. And thus migrating to the ends of the earth, they carried with them the message of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man — the gospel of the kingdom.
It was during this same sermon that Jesus made use of his first and only parable having to do with his own trade — carpentry. In the course of his admonition to “Build well the foundations for the growth of a noble character of spiritual endowments,” he said: “In order to yield the fruits of the spirit, you must be born of the spirit. You must be taught by the spirit and be led by the spirit if you would live the spirit-filled life among your fellows. But do not make the mistake of the foolish carpenter who wastes valuable time squaring, measuring, and smoothing his worm-eaten and inwardly rotting timber and then, when he has thus bestowed all of his labor upon the unsound beam, must reject it as unfit to enter into the foundations of the building which he would construct to withstand the assaults of time and storm. Let every man make sure that the intellectual and moral foundations of character are such as will adequately support the superstructure of the enlarging and ennobling spiritual nature, which is thus to transform the mortal mind and then, in association with that re-created mind, is to achieve the evolvement of the soul of immortal destiny. Your spirit nature — the jointly created soul — is a living growth, but the mind and morals of the individual are the soil from which these higher manifestations of human development and divine destiny must spring. The soil of the evolving soul is human and material, but the destiny of this combined creature of mind and spirit is spiritual and divine.”
Long into the night the apostles and evangelists continued to ask questions, and from the many answers we would present the following thoughts, restated in modern phraseology:
Philip, the brother of Herod, had become a halfhearted believer in Jesus and sent word that the Master was free to live and work in his domains.
All of this had been overheard by the secret messenger of David who stood near by, and who then signaled to an associate, fishing near the shore, to come in quickly. When Peter made ready to go out in the boat for a catch, this messenger and his fisherman friend presented him with several large baskets of fish and assisted him in carrying them to the fish merchant near by, who purchased the catch, paying sufficient, with what was added by the messenger of David, to meet the temple tax for the three. The collector accepted the tax, foregoing the penalty for tardy payment because they had been for some time absent from Galilee.
2. At Bethsaida-Julias
As they paused for lunch, Jesus suddenly confronted the twelve with the first question he had ever addressed to them concerning himself. He asked this surprising question, “Who do men say that I am?”
When Jesus had beckoned them again to be seated, and while still standing before them, he said: “This has been revealed to you by my Father. The hour has come when you should know the truth about me. But for the time being I charge you that you tell this to no man. Let us go hence.”
Jesus was beginning to have faith in the loyalty and integrity of his apostles. The Master conceived that a faith which could stand what his chosen representatives had recently passed through would undoubtedly endure the fiery trials which were just ahead and emerge from the apparent wreckage of all their hopes into the new light of a new dispensation and thereby be able to go forth to enlighten a world sitting in darkness. On this day the Master began to believe in the faith of his apostles, save one.
Neither Peter nor the other apostles had a very adequate conception of Jesus’ divinity. They little realized that this was the beginning of a new epoch in their Master’s career on earth, the time when the teacher-healer was becoming the newly conceived Messiah — the Son of God. From this time on a new note appeared in the Master’s message. Henceforth his one ideal of living was the revelation of the Father, while his one idea in teaching was to present to his universe the personification of that supreme wisdom which can only be comprehended by living it. He came that we all might have life and have it more abundantly.
Jesus had sincerely endeavored to lead his followers into the spiritual kingdom as a teacher, then as a teacher-healer, but they would not have it so. He well knew that his earth mission could not possibly fulfill the Messianic expectations of the Jewish people; the olden prophets had portrayed a Messiah which he could never be. He sought to establish the Father’s kingdom as the Son of Man, but his followers would not go forward in the adventure. Jesus, seeing this, then elected to meet his believers part way and in so doing prepared openly to assume the role of the bestowal Son of God.
The Mount of Transfiguration
They reached their destination, about halfway up the mountain, shortly before noon, and while eating lunch, Jesus told the three apostles something of his experience in the hills to the east of Jordan shortly after his baptism and also some more of his experience on Mount Hermon in connection with his former visit to this lonely retreat.
It was about three o’clock on this beautiful afternoon that Jesus took leave of the three apostles, saying: “I go apart by myself for a season to commune with the Father and his messengers; I bid you tarry here and, while awaiting my return, pray that the Father’s will may be done in all your experience in connection with the further bestowal mission of the Son of Man.” And after saying this to them, Jesus withdrew for a long conference with Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek, not returning until about six o’clock. When Jesus saw their anxiety over his prolonged absence, he said: “Why were you afraid? You well know I must be about my Father’s business; wherefore do you doubt when I am not with you? I now declare that the Son of Man has chosen to go through his full life in your midst and as one of you. Be of good cheer; I will not leave you until my work is finished.”
3. Meaning of the Transfiguration
After the formal visitation of Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek, Jesus held informal converse with these, his Sons of ministry, and communed with them concerning the affairs of the universe.
As the apostles listened, Simon Zelotes and Judas Iscariot stepped into the presence of the father, saying: “We can heal him; you need not wait for the Master’s return. We are ambassadors of the kingdom; no longer do we hold these things in secret. Jesus is the Deliverer, and the keys of the kingdom have been delivered to us.” By this time Andrew and Thomas were in consultation at one side. Nathaniel and the others looked on in amazement; they were all aghast at the sudden boldness, if not presumption, of Simon and Judas. Then said the father: “If it has been given you to do these works, I pray that you will speak those words which will deliver my child from this bondage.” Then Simon stepped forward and, placing his hand on the head of the child, looked directly into his eyes and commanded: “Come out of him, you unclean spirit; in the name of Jesus obey me.” But the lad had only a more violent fit, while the scribes mocked the apostles in derision, and the disappointed believers suffered the taunts of these unfriendly critics.
6. In Celsus’ Garden
They retired for the night, sorrowful. They were bewildered; they could not comprehend these words. And while they were afraid to ask aught concerning what he had said, they did recall all of it subsequent to his resurrection.
And thus did Jesus make plain to the twelve the painful and conflicting path which they must tread if they would follow him. What a shock these words were to these Galilean fishermen who persisted in dreaming of an earthly kingdom with positions of honor for themselves! But their loyal hearts were stirred by this courageous appeal, and not one of them was minded to forsake him. Jesus was not sending them alone into the conflict; he was leading them. He asked only that they bravely follow.
1. The Sermon on Forgiveness
“The Father in heaven loves his children, and therefore should you learn to love one another; the Father in heaven forgives you your sins; therefore should you learn to forgive one another. If your brother sins against you, go to him and with tact and patience show him his fault. And do all this between you and him alone. If he will listen to you, then have you won your brother. But if your brother will not hear you, if he persists in the error of his way, go again to him, taking with you one or two mutual friends that you may thus have two or even three witnesses to confirm your testimony and establish the fact that you have dealt justly and mercifully with your offending brother. Now if he refuses to hear your brethren, you may tell the whole story to the congregation, and then, if he refuses to hear the brotherhood, let them take such action as they deem wise; let such an unruly member become an outcast from the kingdom. While you cannot pretend to sit in judgment on the souls of your fellows, and while you may not forgive sins or otherwise presume to usurp the prerogatives of the supervisors of the heavenly hosts, at the same time, it has been committed to your hands that you should maintain temporal order in the kingdom on earth. While you may not meddle with the divine decrees concerning eternal life, you shall determine the issues of conduct as they concern the temporal welfare of the brotherhood on earth. And so, in all these matters connected with the discipline of the brotherhood, whatsoever you shall decree on earth, shall be recognized in heaven. Although you cannot determine the eternal fate of the individual, you may legislate regarding the conduct of the group, for, where two or three of you agree concerning any of these things and ask of me, it shall be done for you if your petition is not inconsistent with the will of my Father in heaven. And all this is ever true, for, where two or three believers are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them.”
Thus did Jesus teach the dangers and illustrate the unfairness of sitting in personal judgment upon one’s fellows. Discipline must be maintained, justice must be administered, but in all these matters the wisdom of the brotherhood should prevail. Jesus invested legislative and judicial authority in the
not in the
Even this investment of authority in the group must not be exercised as personal authority. There is always danger that the verdict of an individual may be warped by prejudice or distorted by passion. Group judgment is more likely to remove the dangers and eliminate the unfairness of personal bias. Jesus sought always to minimize the elements of unfairness, retaliation, and vengeance.
At Edrei, where Thomas and his associates labored, Jesus spent a day and a night and, in the course of the evening’s discussion, gave expression to the principles which should guide those who preach truth, and which should activate all who teach the gospel of the kingdom. Summarized and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught:
Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize that strong feelings of emotion are not equivalent to the leadings of the divine spirit. To be strongly and strangely impressed to do something or to go to a certain place, does not necessarily mean that such impulses are the leadings of the indwelling spirit.
“The thing most deplorable is not merely this erroneous idea of the absolute perfection of the Scripture record and the infallibility of its teachings, but rather the confusing misinterpretation of these sacred writings by the tradition-enslaved scribes and Pharisees at Jerusalem. And now will they employ both the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and their misinterpretations thereof in their determined effort to withstand these newer teachings of the gospel of the kingdom. Nathaniel, never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people. Many earnest seekers after the truth have been, and will continue to be, confused and disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.
“Neither shall the nations learn war any more.”
Rodan of Alexandria
Social maturity is equivalent to the degree to which man is willing to surrender the gratification of mere transient and present desires for the entertainment of those superior longings the striving for whose attainment affords the more abundant satisfactions of progressive advancement toward permanent goals. But the true badge of social maturity is the willingness of a people to surrender the right to live peaceably and contentedly under the ease-promoting standards of the lure of established beliefs and conventional ideas for the disquieting and energy-requiring lure of the pursuit of the unexplored possibilities of the attainment of undiscovered goals of idealistic spiritual realities.
When men dare to forsake a life of natural craving for one of adventurous art and uncertain logic, they must expect to suffer the consequent hazards of emotional casualties — conflicts, unhappiness, and uncertainties — at least until the time of their attainment of some degree of intellectual and emotional maturity. Discouragement, worry, and indolence are positive evidence of moral immaturity. Human society is confronted with two problems: attainment of the maturity of the individual and attainment of the maturity of the race. The mature human being soon begins to look upon all other mortals with feelings of tenderness and with emotions of tolerance. Mature men view immature folks with the love and consideration that parents bear their children.
Mutual self-expression and self-understanding.
Many noble human impulses die because there is no one to hear their expression. Truly, it is not good for man to be alone. Some degree of recognition and a certain amount of appreciation are essential to the development of human character. Without the genuine love of a home, no child can achieve the full development of normal character. Character is something more than mere mind and morals. Of all social relations calculated to develop character, the most effective and ideal is the affectionate and understanding friendship of man and woman in the mutual embrace of intelligent wedlock. Marriage, with its manifold relations, is best designed to draw forth those precious impulses and those higher motives which are indispensable to the development of a strong character. I do not hesitate thus to glorify family life, for your Master has wisely chosen the father-child relationship as the very cornerstone of this new gospel of the kingdom. And such a matchless community of relationship, man and woman in the fond embrace of the highest ideals of time, is so valuable and satisfying an experience that it is worth any price, any sacrifice, requisite for its possession.
4. The Balance of Maturity
4. Wealth — the goods of life.
The word God, the
of God as contrasted with the
of God, can become a part of any religion, no matter how puerile or false that religion may chance to be. And this idea of God can become anything which those who entertain it may choose to make it. The lower religions shape their ideas of God to meet the natural state of the human heart; the higher religions demand that the human heart shall be changed to meet the demands of the ideals of true religion.
This contention greatly troubled Thomas and Nathaniel, and they had asked Jesus to come to their rescue, but the Master refused to enter into their discussions. He did say to Thomas: “It matters little what idea of the Father you may entertain as long as you are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature.”
1. The Father in Paradise does enjoy equality of communication with at least two other beings who are fully equal to himself and wholly like himself — the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit. In view of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Greek was compelled to concede the personality possibility of the Universal Father. (It was the later consideration of these discussions which led to the enlarged conception of the Trinity in the minds of the twelve apostles. Of course, it was the general belief that Jesus was the Eternal Son.)
5. He seems to know the thoughts of men’s minds and to understand the longings of their hearts. And he is always sympathetic with our troubled spirits. He seems to possess all our human emotions, but they are magnificently glorified. He strongly loves goodness and equally hates sin. He possesses a superhuman consciousness of the presence of Deity. He prays like a man but performs like a God. He seems to foreknow things; he even now dares to speak about his death, some mystic reference to his future glorification. While he is kind, he is also brave and courageous. He never falters in doing his duty.
After Philip and Matthew had returned to their fellows and reported how they had been driven out of the village, James and John stepped up to Jesus and said: “Master, we pray you to give us permission to bid fire come down from heaven to devour these insolent and impenitent Samaritans.” But when Jesus heard these words of vengeance, he turned upon the sons of Zebedee and severely rebuked them: “You know not what manner of attitude you manifest. Vengeance savors not of the outlook of the kingdom of heaven. Rather than dispute, let us journey over to the little village by the Jordan ford.” Thus because of sectarian prejudice these Samaritans denied themselves the honor of showing hospitality to the Creator Son of a universe.
Long before they fled from Galilee, the followers of Jesus had implored him to go to Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in order that his message might have the prestige of having been preached at the center of Jewish culture and learning; but now that he had actually come to Jerusalem to teach, they were afraid for his life. Knowing that the Sanhedrin had sought to bring Jesus to Jerusalem for trial and recalling the Master’s recently reiterated declarations that he must be subject to death, the apostles had been literally stunned by his sudden decision to attend the feast of tabernacles. To all their previous entreaties that he go to Jerusalem he had replied, “The hour has not yet come.” Now, to their protests of fear he answered only, “But the hour has come.”
The efforts of Abner and his associates throughout Judea had also done much to consolidate sentiment favorable to the kingdom, so much so that the enemies of Jesus dared not be too outspoken in their opposition. This was one of the reasons why Jesus could publicly visit Jerusalem and live to go away. One or two months before this he would certainly have been put to death.
Accordingly, Eber, the proper officer of the Sanhedrin, with two assistants was dispatched to arrest Jesus. As Eber made his way toward Jesus, the Master said: “Fear not to approach me. Draw near while you listen to my teaching. I know you have been sent to apprehend me, but you should understand that nothing will befall the Son of Man until his hour comes. You are not arrayed against me; you come only to do the bidding of your masters, and even these rulers of the Jews verily think they are doing God’s service when they secretly seek my destruction.
4. The Feast of Tabernacles
On the evening of the next to the last day of the feast, when the scene was brilliantly illuminated by the lights of the candelabras and the torches, Jesus stood up in the midst of the assembled throng and said:
6. Discourse on the Water of Life
On the afternoon of the last day of the feast and after the apostles had failed in their efforts to persuade him to flee from Jerusalem, Jesus again went into the temple to teach. Finding a large company of believers assembled in Solomon’s Porch, he spoke to them, saying:
When the unbelieving Jews and the agents of the Sanhedrin who had gathered about by this time heard these words, they raised a tumult, shouting: “You are not fifty years of age, and yet you talk about seeing Abraham; you are a child of the devil!” Jesus was unable to continue the discourse. He only said as he departed, “Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Many of the unbelievers rushed forth for stones to cast at him, and the agents of the Sanhedrin sought to place him under arrest, but the Master quickly made his way through the temple corridors and escaped to a secret meeting place near Bethany where Martha, Mary, and Lazarus awaited him.
At this time, Abner was making his headquarters at Bethlehem, and from that center many workers had been sent to the cities of Judea and southern Samaria and even to Alexandria. Within a few days of his arrival, Jesus and Abner completed the arrangements for the consolidation of the work of the two groups of apostles.
In the latter part of October Jesus and the twelve withdrew from the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. On Sunday, October 30, Jesus and his associates left the city of Ephraim, where he had been resting in seclusion for a few days, and, going by the west Jordan highway directly to Magadan Park, arrived late on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 2.
Before Jesus laid his hands upon the heads of the seventy to set them apart as gospel messengers, addressing them, he said: “The harvest is indeed plenteous, but the laborers are few; therefore I exhort all of you to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send still other laborers into his harvest. I am about to set you apart as messengers of the kingdom; I am about to send you to Jew and gentile as lambs among wolves. As you go your ways, two and two, I instruct you to carry neither purse nor extra clothing, for you go forth on this first mission for only a short season. Salute no man by the way, attend only to your work. Whenever you go to stay at a home, first say: Peace be to this household. If those who love peace live therein, you shall abide there; if not, then shall you depart. And having selected this home, remain there for your stay in that city, eating and drinking whatever is set before you. And you do this because the laborer is worthy of his sustenance. Move not from house to house because a better lodging may be offered. Remember, as you go forth proclaiming peace on earth and good will among men, you must contend with bitter and self-deceived enemies; therefore be as wise as serpents while you are also as harmless as doves.
Early the next morning Abner sent the seventy messengers into all the cities of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. And these thirty-five couples went forth preaching and teaching for about six weeks, all of them returning to the new camp near Pella, in Perea, on Friday, December 30.
When Matadormus heard this, his countenance fell. He arose and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. This wealthy young Pharisee had been raised to believe that wealth was the token of God’s favor. Jesus knew that he was not free from the love of himself and his riches. The Master wanted to deliver him from the
of wealth, not necessarily from the wealth. While the disciples of Jesus did not part with all their worldly goods, the apostles and the seventy did. Matadormus desired to be one of the seventy new messengers, and that was the reason for Jesus’ requiring him to part with all of his temporal possessions.
“When evening came, this owner of the vineyard said to his steward: ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last hired and ending with the first.’ When those who were hired about five o’clock came, they received a denarius each, and so it was with each of the other laborers. When the men who were hired at the beginning of the day saw how the later comers were paid, they expected to receive more than the amount agreed upon. But like the others every man received only a denarius. And when each had received his pay, they complained to the householder, saying: ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour, and yet you have paid them the same as us who have borne the burden of the day in the scorching sun.’
5. If the first house to be selected for a headquarters proves to be a worthy home, abide there throughout the sojourn in that city.
When the seventy related how “even the devils were subject” to them, they referred to the wonderful cures they had wrought in the cases of victims of nervous disorders. Nevertheless, there had been a few cases of real spirit possession relieved by these ministers, and referring to these, Jesus said: “It is not strange that these disobedient minor spirits should be subject to you, seeing that I beheld Satan falling as lightning from heaven. But rejoice not so much over this, for I declare to you that, as soon as I return to my Father, we will send forth our spirits into the very minds of men so that no more can these few lost spirits enter the minds of unfortunate mortals. I rejoice with you that you have power with men, but be not lifted up because of this experience but the rather rejoice that your names are written on the rolls of heaven, and that you are thus to go forward in an endless career of spiritual conquest.”
The next day being the Sabbath, Jesus went apart with the seventy and said to them: “I did indeed rejoice with you when you came back bearing the good tidings of the reception of the gospel of the kingdom by so many people scattered throughout Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. But why were you so surprisingly elated? Did you not expect that your message would manifest power in its delivery? Did you go forth with so little faith in this gospel that you come back in surprise at its effectiveness? And now, while I would not quench your spirit of rejoicing, I would sternly warn you against the subtleties of pride, spiritual pride. If you could understand the downfall of Lucifer, the iniquitous one, you would solemnly shun all forms of spiritual pride.
AS THE camp at Pella was being established, Jesus, taking with him Nathaniel and Thomas, secretly went up to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the dedication. Not until they passed over the Jordan at the Bethany ford, did the two apostles become aware that their Master was going on to Jerusalem. When they perceived that he really intended to be present at the feast of dedication, they remonstrated with him most earnestly, and using every sort of argument, they sought to dissuade him. But their efforts were of no avail; Jesus was determined to visit Jerusalem. To all their entreaties and to all their warnings emphasizing the folly and danger of placing himself in the hands of the Sanhedrin, he would reply only, “I would give these teachers in Israel another opportunity to see the light, before my hour comes.”
But Jesus discerned the lawyer’s motive, and instead of falling into the trap, he proceeded to tell his hearers a story, a story which would be fully appreciated by any Jericho audience. Said Jesus: “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of cruel brigands, who robbed him, stripped him and beat him, and departing, left him half dead. Very soon, by chance, a certain priest was going down that way, and when he came upon the wounded man, seeing his sorry plight, he passed by on the other side of the road. And in like manner a Levite also, when he came along and saw the man, passed by on the other side. Now, about this time, a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed down to Jericho, came across this wounded man; and when he saw how he had been robbed and beaten, he was moved with compassion, and going over to him, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and setting the man upon his own beast, brought him here to the inn and took care of him. And on the morrow he took out some money and, giving it to the host, said: ‘Take good care of my friend, and if the expense is more, when I come back again, I will repay you.’ Now let me ask you: Which of these three turned out to be the neighbor of him who fell among the robbers?” And when the lawyer perceived that he had fallen into his own snare, he answered, “He who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
Jesus had attended the feast of tabernacles that he might proclaim the gospel to the pilgrims from all parts of the empire; he now went up to the feast of the dedication for just one purpose: to give the Sanhedrin and the Jewish leaders another chance to see the light. The principal event of these few days in Jerusalem occurred on Friday night at the home of Nicodemus. Here were gathered together some twenty-five Jewish leaders who believed Jesus’ teaching. Among this group were fourteen men who were then, or had recently been, members of the Sanhedrin. This meeting was attended by Eber, Matadormus, and Joseph of Arimathea.
The next morning the three went over to Martha’s home at Bethany for breakfast and then went immediately into Jerusalem. This Sabbath morning, as Jesus and his two apostles drew near the temple, they encountered a well-known beggar, a man who had been born blind, sitting at his usual place. Although these mendicants did not solicit or receive alms on the Sabbath day, they were permitted thus to sit in their usual places. Jesus paused and looked upon the beggar. As he gazed upon this man who had been born blind, the idea came into his mind as to how he would once more bring his mission on earth to the notice of the Sanhedrin and the other Jewish leaders and religious teachers.
Jesus entered into the discussion of this case with Nathaniel and Thomas, not only because he had already decided to use this blind man as the means of that day bringing his mission once more prominently to the notice of the Jewish leaders, but also because he always encouraged his apostles to seek for the true causes of all phenomena, natural or spiritual. He had often warned them to avoid the common tendency to assign spiritual causes to commonplace physical events.
It was well known about Jerusalem, not only that Jesus was denied entrance into all synagogues, but that all who believed in his teaching were likewise cast out of the synagogue, excommunicated from the congregation of Israel; and this meant denial of all rights and privileges of every sort throughout all Jewry except the right to buy the necessaries of life.
And now Jesus left Jerusalem, not again to return until near the time when he prepared to leave this world. With the two apostles and Josiah the Master went back to Pella. And Josiah proved to be one of the recipients of the Master’s miraculous ministry who turned out fruitfully, for he became a lifelong preacher of the gospel of the kingdom.
By the middle of January more than twelve hundred persons were gathered together at Pella, and Jesus taught this multitude at least once each day when he was in residence at the camp, usually speaking at nine o’clock in the morning if not prevented by rain. Peter and the other apostles taught each afternoon. The evenings Jesus reserved for the usual sessions of questions and answers with the twelve and other advanced disciples. The evening groups averaged about fifty.
“On this night I have much to tell you, and since many of you are my disciples and some of you my bitter enemies, I will present my teaching in a parable, so that you may each take for yourself that which finds a reception in your heart.
“You who would be the undershepherds of my Father’s flocks must not only be worthy leaders, but you must also feed the flock with good food; you are not true shepherds unless you lead your flocks into green pastures and beside still waters.
“Say what you will about the Son of Man, and it shall be forgiven you; but he who presumes to blaspheme against God shall hardly find forgiveness. When men go so far as knowingly to ascribe the doings of God to the forces of evil, such deliberate rebels will hardly seek forgiveness for their sins.
“But never forget that, after all, wealth is unenduring. The love of riches all too often obscures and even destroys the spiritual vision. Fail not to recognize the danger of wealth’s becoming, not your servant, but your master.”
“You well understand that no man would suffer his house to be broken into if he knew what hour the thief was to come. Be you also on watch for yourselves, for in an hour that you least suspect and in a manner you think not, shall the Son of Man depart.”
FROM February 11 to 20, Jesus and the twelve made a tour of all the cities and villages of northern Perea where the associates of Abner and the members of the women’s corps were working. They found these messengers of the gospel meeting with success, and Jesus repeatedly called the attention of his apostles to the fact that the gospel of the kingdom could spread without the accompaniment of miracles and wonders.
After considerable whispering between Nathaniel and an unfriendly Pharisee on his right and after much lifting of eyebrows and sneering curling of lips by those who sat opposite the Master, Jesus finally said: “I had thought that you invited me to this house to break bread with you and perchance to inquire of me concerning the proclamation of the new gospel of the kingdom of God; but I perceive that you have brought me here to witness an exhibition of ceremonial devotion to your own self-righteousness. That service you have now done me; what next will you honor me with as your guest on this occasion?”
And when Jesus had finished speaking at Nathaniel’s table, he went out of the house without partaking of food. And of the Pharisees who heard these words, some became believers in his teaching and entered into the kingdom, but the larger number persisted in the way of darkness, becoming all the more determined to lie in wait for him that they might catch some of his words which could be used to bring him to trial and judgment before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem.
Jesus looked again at his apostles as the stranger departed. And the apostles all looked at Jesus, save Simon Zelotes, whose eyes were downcast. The twelve said not a word. Neither did Jesus speak; it was not necessary that he should.
This was indeed a new and strange version of the old and familiar proverb of the straight and narrow way.
“1. You may share in those normal happenings which are a part of the life you and your fellows live on the face of the earth.
During the later years of Abner and for some time thereafter, the believers at Philadelphia held more strictly to the religion of Jesus, as he lived and taught, than any other group on earth.
As Jesus lingered by the door, speaking with Abner, and after the host had seated himself, there came into the room one of the leading Pharisees of Jerusalem, a member of the Sanhedrin, and as was his habit, he made straight for the seat of honor at the left of the host. But since this place had been reserved for the Master and that on the right for Abner, the host beckoned the Jerusalem Pharisee to sit four seats to the left, and this dignitary was much offended because he did not receive the seat of honor.
2. Parable of the Great Supper
Abner had arranged for the Master to teach in the synagogue on this Sabbath day, the first time Jesus had appeared in a synagogue since they had all been closed to his teachings by order of the Sanhedrin. At the conclusion of the service Jesus looked down before him upon an elderly woman who wore a downcast expression, and who was much bent in form. This woman had long been fear-ridden, and all joy had passed out of her life. As Jesus stepped down from the pulpit, he went over to her and, touching her bowed-over form on the shoulder, said: “Woman, if you would only believe, you could be wholly loosed from your spirit of infirmity.” And this woman, who had been bowed down and bound up by the depressions of fear for more than eighteen years, believed the words of the Master and by faith straightened up immediately. When this woman saw that she had been made straight, she lifted up her voice and glorified God.
Jesus taught again in the synagogue on Sunday, and many were baptized by Abner at noon on that day in the river which flowed south of the city. On the morrow Jesus and the ten apostles would have started back to the Pella encampment but for the arrival of one of David’s messengers, who brought an urgent message to Jesus from his friends at Bethany, near Jerusalem.
Then said one of the apostles: “Master, if Lazarus has fallen asleep, then will he the more surely recover.” It was the custom of the Jews at that time to speak of death as a form of sleep, but as the apostles did not understand that Jesus meant that Lazarus had departed from this world, he now said plainly: “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes, even if the others are not thereby saved, that I was not there, to the end that you shall now have new cause to believe in me; and by that which you will witness, you should all be strengthened in preparation for that day when I shall take leave of you and go to the Father.”
It was very difficult for the apostles to understand the Master’s reluctance to make positive pronouncements relative to scientific, social, economic, and political problems. They did not fully realize that his earth mission was exclusively concerned with revelations of spiritual and religious truths.
When it is not possible to worship God in the tabernacles of nature, men should do their best to provide houses of beauty, sanctuaries of appealing simplicity and artistic embellishment, so that the highest of human emotions may be aroused in association with the intellectual approach to spiritual communion with God. Truth, beauty, and holiness are powerful and effective aids to true worship. But spirit communion is not promoted by mere massive ornateness and overmuch embellishment with man’s elaborate and ostentatious art. Beauty is most religious when it is most simple and naturelike. How unfortunate that little children should have their first introduction to concepts of public worship in cold and barren rooms so devoid of the beauty appeal and so empty of all suggestion of good cheer and inspiring holiness! The child should be introduced to worship in nature’s outdoors and later accompany his parents to public houses of religious assembly which are at least as materially attractive and artistically beautiful as the home in which he is daily domiciled.
“Also are these angels very much concerned with the means whereby man’s spirit is released from the tabernacles of the flesh and his soul escorted to the mansions in heaven. Angels are the sure and heavenly guides of the soul of man during that uncharted and indefinite period of time which intervenes between the death of the flesh and the new life in the spirit abodes.”
When Martha met Jesus, she fell at his feet, exclaiming, “Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Many fears were passing through Martha’s mind, but she gave expression to no doubt, nor did she venture to criticize or question the Master’s conduct as related to Lazarus’s death. When she had spoken, Jesus reached down and, lifting her upon her feet, said, “Only have faith, Martha, and your brother shall rise again.” Then answered Martha: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection of the last day; and even now I believe that whatever you shall ask of God, our Father will give you.”
And now we may relate an interesting and instructive fact: Although this narrative unfolds as an apparently natural and normal event in human affairs, it has some very interesting side lights. While the messenger went to Jesus on Sunday, telling him of Lazarus’s illness, and while Jesus sent word that it was “not to the death,” at the same time he went in person up to Bethany and even asked the sisters, “Where have you laid him?” Even though all of this seems to indicate that the Master was proceeding after the manner of this life and in accordance with the limited knowledge of the human mind, nevertheless, the records of the universe reveal that Jesus’ Personalized Adjuster issued orders for the indefinite detention of Lazarus’s Thought Adjuster on the planet subsequent to Lazarus’s death, and that this order was made of record just fifteen minutes before Lazarus breathed his last.
As Lazarus came out of the tomb, the Personalized Adjuster of Jesus, now chief of his kind in this local universe, gave command to the former Adjuster of Lazarus, now in waiting, to resume abode in the mind and soul of the resurrected man.
It was at this same meeting of the Sanhedrin that Caiaphas the high priest first gave expression to that old Jewish adage, which he so many times repeated: “It is better that one man die, than that the community perish.”
3. The prayers of time, when indited by the spirit and expressed in faith, are often so vast and all-encompassing that they can be answered only in eternity; the finite petition is sometimes so fraught with the grasp of the Infinite that the answer must long be postponed to await the creation of adequate capacity for receptivity; the prayer of faith may be so all-embracing that the answer can be received only on Paradise.
Word regarding the resurrection of Lazarus had reached the encampment two days before the Master’s arrival, and the entire assembly was agog. Not since the feeding of the five thousand had anything occurred which so aroused the imagination of the people. And thus it was at the very height of the second phase of the public ministry of the kingdom that Jesus planned to teach this one short week at Pella and then to begin the tour of southern Perea which led right up to the final and tragic experiences of the last week in Jerusalem.
3. He is a lawbreaker. He heals disease on the Sabbath and in many other ways flouts the sacred law of Israel.
“A certain man had two sons; one, the younger, was lighthearted and carefree, always seeking for a good time and shirking responsibility, while his older brother was serious, sober, hard-working, and willing to bear responsibility. Now these two brothers did not get along well together; they were always quarreling and bickering. The younger lad was cheerful and vivacious, but indolent and unreliable; the older son was steady and industrious, at the same time self-centered, surly, and conceited. The younger son enjoyed play but shunned work; the older devoted himself to work but seldom played. This association became so disagreeable that the younger son came to his father and said: ‘Father, give me the third portion of your possessions which would fall to me and allow me to go out into the world to seek my own fortune.’ And when the father heard this request, knowing how unhappy the young man was at home and with his older brother, he divided his property, giving the youth his share.
“I affirm that he who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much, while he who is unrighteous in little will also be unrighteous in much. If you have not shown foresight and integrity in the affairs of this world, how can you hope to be faithful and prudent when you are trusted with the stewardship of the true riches of the heavenly kingdom? If you are not good stewards and faithful bankers, if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will be foolish enough to give you great treasure in your own name?
Jesus never gave his apostles a systematic lesson concerning the personality and attributes of the Father in heaven. He never asked men to believe in his Father; he took it for granted they did. Jesus never belittled himself by offering arguments in proof of the reality of the Father. His teaching regarding the Father all centered in the declaration that he and the Father are one; that he who has seen the Son has seen the Father; that the Father, like the Son, knows all things; that only the Son really knows the Father, and he to whom the Son will reveal him; that he who knows the Son knows also the Father; and that the Father sent him into the world to reveal their combined natures and to show forth their conjoint work. He never made other pronouncements about his Father except to the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well, when he declared, “God is spirit.”
Jesus never called the Father a king, and he very much regretted that the Jewish hope for a restored kingdom and John’s proclamation of a coming kingdom made it necessary for him to denominate his proposed spiritual brotherhood the kingdom of heaven. With the one exception — the declaration that “God is spirit” — Jesus never referred to Deity in any manner other than in terms descriptive of his own personal relationship with the First Source and Center of Paradise.
2. A future hope — when the kingdom would be realized in fullness upon the appearance of the Messiah. This is the kingdom concept which John the Baptist taught.
4. The Persian teachings portraying the establishment of a divine kingdom as the achievement of the triumph of good over evil at the end of the world.
5. This new gospel held up spiritual attainment as the true goal of living. Human life received a new endowment of moral value and divine dignity.
3. To thus love your neighbor as yourself
the highest ethics.
5. The kingdom in its fullness, the future spiritual age of light and life on earth.
2. The gentile Christians began very early to accept the doctrines of Paul, which led increasingly to the general belief that Jesus was the
of the children of the church, the new and institutional successor of the earlier concept of the purely spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom.
By this time someone had carried word of this conference to Peter and the other apostles, and they were highly indignant that James and John would seek to be preferred before them, and that they would secretly go with their mother to make such a request. When they fell to arguing among themselves, Jesus called them all together and said: “You well understand how the rulers of the gentiles lord it over their subjects, and how those who are great exercise authority. But it shall not be so in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever would be great among you, let him first become your servant. He who would be first in the kingdom, let him become your minister. I declare to you that the Son of Man came not to be ministered to but to minister; and I now go up to Jerusalem to lay down my life in the doing of the Father’s will and in the service of my brethren.” When the apostles heard these words, they withdrew by themselves to pray. That evening, in response to the labors of Peter, James and John made suitable apologies to the ten and were restored to the good graces of their brethren.
Within a short time after the destruction of Jerusalem, Antioch became the headquarters of
while Philadelphia remained the center of the
Abnerian kingdom of heaven.
From Antioch the Pauline version of the teachings of Jesus and about Jesus spread to all the Western world; from Philadelphia the missionaries of the Abnerian version of the kingdom of heaven spread throughout Mesopotamia and Arabia until the later times when these uncompromising emissaries of the teachings of Jesus were overwhelmed by the sudden rise of Islam.
Immediately after speaking these words, Jesus, leading the twelve, started off on the way to Heshbon, followed by about five hundred. After a brief delay the other half of the multitude went on up to Jerusalem. His apostles, together with the leading disciples, thought much about these words, but still they clung to the belief that, after this brief period of adversity and trial, the kingdom would certainly be set up somewhat in accordance with their long-cherished hopes.
4. Teaching at Livias
When Jesus heard what the Pharisees had to say, he replied: “I well know about Herod and his fear of this gospel of the kingdom. But, mistake not, he would much prefer that the Son of Man go up to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of the chief priests; he is not anxious, having stained his hands with the blood of John, to become responsible for the death of the Son of Man. Go you and tell that fox that the Son of Man preaches in Perea today, tomorrow goes into Judea, and after a few days, will be perfected in his mission on earth and prepared to ascend to the Father.”
They went at once to the home of Zaccheus, and those who lived in Jericho were much surprised that Jesus would consent to abide with the chief publican. Even while the Master and his apostles lingered with Zaccheus before the door of his house, one of the Jericho Pharisees, standing near by, said: “You see how this man has gone to lodge with a sinner, an apostate son of Abraham who is an extortioner and a robber of his own people.” And when Jesus heard this, he looked down at Zaccheus and smiled. Then Zaccheus stood upon a stool and said: “Men of Jericho, hear me! I may be a publican and a sinner, but the great Teacher has come to abide in my house; and before he goes in, I tell you that I am going to bestow one half of all my goods upon the poor, and beginning tomorrow, if I have wrongfully exacted aught from any man, I will restore fourfold. I am going to seek salvation with all my heart and learn to do righteousness in the sight of God.”
Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.
He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.
“And when these stewards were subsequently called together for an accounting, the first came forward, saying, ‘Lord, with your pound I have made ten pounds more.’ And his master said to him: ‘Well done; you are a good servant; because you have proved faithful in this matter, I will give you authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Your pound left with me, Lord, has made five pounds.’ And the master said, ‘I will accordingly make you ruler over five cities.’ And so on down through the others until the last of the servants, on being called to account, reported: ‘Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept safely done up in this napkin. And this I did because I feared you; I believed that you were unreasonable, seeing that you take up where you have not laid down, and that you seek to reap where you have not sown.’ Then said his lord: ‘You negligent and unfaithful servant, I will judge you out of your own mouth. You knew that I reap where I have apparently not sown; therefore you knew this reckoning would be required of you. Knowing this, you should have at least given my money to the banker that at my coming I might have had it with proper interest.’
Six days before the Passover, on the evening after the Sabbath, all Bethany and Bethpage joined in celebrating the arrival of Jesus by a public banquet at the home of Simon. This supper was in honor of both Jesus and Lazarus; it was tendered in defiance of the Sanhedrin. Martha directed the serving of the food; her sister Mary was among the women onlookers as it was against the custom of the Jews for a woman to sit at a public banquet. The agents of the Sanhedrin were present, but they feared to apprehend Jesus in the midst of his friends.
Jesus, knowing what they thought and hearing what they said, put his hand upon Mary’s head as she knelt by his side and, with a kindly expression upon his face, said: “Let her alone, every one of you. Why do you trouble her about this, seeing that she has done a good thing in her heart? To you who murmur and say that this ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor, let me say that you have the poor always with you so that you may minister to them at any time it seems good to you; but I shall not always be with you; I go soon to my Father. This woman has long saved this ointment for my body at its burial, and now that it has seemed good to her to make this anointing in anticipation of my death, she shall not be denied such satisfaction. In the doing of this, Mary has reproved all of you in that by this act she evinces faith in what I have said about my death and ascension to my Father in heaven. This woman shall not be reproved for that which she has this night done; rather do I say to you that in the ages to come, wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of in memory of her.”
3. The Start for Jerusalem
Jesus had long tried by direct teaching to impress upon his apostles and his disciples that his kingdom was not of this world, that it was a purely spiritual matter; but he had not succeeded in this effort. Now, what he had failed to do by plain and personal teaching, he would attempt to accomplish by a symbolic appeal. Accordingly, right after the noon lunch, Jesus called Peter and John, and after directing them to go over to Bethpage, a neighboring village a little off the main road and a short distance northwest of Bethany, he further said: “Go to Bethpage, and when you come to the junction of the roads, you will find the colt of an ass tied there. Loose the colt and bring it back with you. If anyone asks you why you do this, merely say, ‘The Master has need of him.’” And when the two apostles had gone into Bethpage as the Master had directed, they found the colt tied near his mother in the open street and close to a house on the corner. As Peter began to untie the colt, the owner came over and asked why they did this, and when Peter answered him as Jesus had directed, the man said: “If your Master is Jesus from Galilee, let him have the colt.” And so they returned bringing the colt with them.
Andrew was thoroughly bewildered, well-nigh confused. He was the one apostle who did not seriously undertake to evaluate the popular outburst of acclaim. He was too preoccupied with the thought of his responsibility as chief of the apostolic corps to give serious consideration to the meaning or significance of the loud hosannas of the multitude. Andrew was busy watching some of his associates who he feared might be led away by their emotions during the excitement, particularly Peter, James, John, and Simon Zelotes. Throughout this day and those which immediately followed, Andrew was troubled with serious doubts, but he never expressed any of these misgivings to his apostolic associates. He was concerned about the attitude of some of the twelve who he knew were armed with swords; but he did not know that his own brother, Peter, was carrying such a weapon. And so the procession into Jerusalem made a comparatively superficial impression upon Andrew; he was too busy with the responsibilities of his office to be otherwise affected.
Philip was entirely unsettled by the suddenness and spontaneity of the outburst. He could not collect his thoughts sufficiently while on the way down Olivet to arrive at any settled notion as to what all the demonstration was about. In a way, he enjoyed the performance because his Master was being honored. By the time they reached the temple, he was perturbed by the thought that Jesus might possibly ask him to feed the multitude, so that the conduct of Jesus in turning leisurely away from the crowds, which so sorely disappointed the majority of the apostles, was a great relief to Philip. Multitudes had sometimes been a great trial to the steward of the twelve. After he was relieved of these personal fears regarding the material needs of the crowds, Philip joined with Peter in the expression of disappointment that nothing was done to teach the multitude. That night Philip got to thinking over these experiences and was tempted to doubt the whole idea of the kingdom; he honestly wondered what all these things could mean, but he expressed his doubts to no one; he loved Jesus too much. He had great personal faith in the Master.
This sale of animals in the temple prospered because, when the worshiper purchased such an animal, although the price might be somewhat high, no more fees had to be paid, and he could be sure the intended sacrifice would not be rejected on the ground of possessing real or technical blemishes. At one time or another systems of exorbitant overcharge were practiced upon the common people, especially during the great national feasts. At one time the greedy priests went so far as to demand the equivalent of the value of a week’s labor for a pair of doves which should have been sold to the poor for a few pennies. The “sons of Annas” had already begun to establish their bazaars in the temple precincts, those very merchandise marts which persisted to the time of their final overthrow by a mob three years before the destruction of the temple itself.
As Jesus was about to begin his address, two things happened to arrest his attention. At the money table of a near-by exchanger a violent and heated argument had arisen over the alleged overcharging of a Jew from Alexandria, while at the same moment the air was rent by the bellowing of a drove of some one hundred bullocks which was being driven from one section of the animal pens to another. As Jesus paused, silently but thoughtfully contemplating this scene of commerce and confusion, close by he beheld a simple-minded Galilean, a man he had once talked with in Iron, being ridiculed and jostled about by supercilious and would-be superior Judeans; and all of this combined to produce one of those strange and periodic uprisings of indignant emotion in the soul of Jesus.
Jesus never intended to appeal to John for his authority; John had never been ordained by the Sanhedrin. Jesus’ authority was in himself and in his Father’s eternal supremacy.
When the chief Pharisees and the scribes who had sought to entangle Jesus with their questions had finished listening to the story of the two sons, they withdrew to take further counsel, and the Master, turning his attention to the listening multitude, told another parable:
5. Parable of the Marriage Feast
Again it was a silent group of Jews who made their way up the western slope of Olivet on this Monday night. These twelve men, as never before, were beginning to sense that something tragic was about to happen. While the dramatic cleansing of the temple during the early morning had aroused their hopes of seeing the Master assert himself and manifest his mighty powers, the events of the entire afternoon only operated as an anticlimax in that they all pointed to the certain rejection of Jesus’ teaching by the Jewish authorities. The apostles were gripped by suspense and were held in the firm grasp of a terrible uncertainty. They realized that only a few short days could intervene between the events of the day just passed and the crash of an impending doom. They all felt that something tremendous was about to happen, but they knew not what to expect. They went to their various places for rest, but they slept very little. Even the Alpheus twins were at last aroused to the realization that the events of the Master’s life were moving swiftly toward their final culmination.
After a short silence Jesus looked significantly at all four and answered: “My brethren, you err in your opinions because you do not comprehend the nature of those intimate and loving relations between the creature and the Creator, between man and God. You fail to grasp that understanding sympathy which the wise parent entertains for his immature and sometimes erring child. It is indeed doubtful whether intelligent and affectionate parents are ever called upon to forgive an average and normal child. Understanding relationships associated with attitudes of love effectively prevent all those estrangements which later necessitate the readjustment of repentance by the child with forgiveness by the parent.
2. Questions by the Jewish Rulers
3. The Sadducees and the Resurrection
4. The Great Commandment
When no more questions were forthcoming, and as the noon hour was near, Jesus did not resume his teaching but was content merely to ask the Pharisees and their associates a question. Said Jesus: “Since you ask no more questions, I would like to ask you one. What do you think of the Deliverer? That is, whose son is he?” After a brief pause one of the scribes answered, “The Messiah is the son of David.” And since Jesus knew that there had been much debate, even among his own disciples, as to whether or not he was the son of David, he asked this further question: “If the Deliverer is indeed the son of David, how is it that, in the Psalm which you accredit to David, he himself, speaking in the spirit, says, ‘The Lord said to my lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.’ If David calls him Lord, how then can he be his son?” Although the rulers, the scribes, and the chief priests made no reply to this question, they likewise refrained from asking him any more questions in an effort to entangle him. They never answered this question which Jesus put to them, but after the Master’s death they attempted to escape the difficulty by changing the interpretation of this Psalm so as to make it refer to Abraham instead of the Messiah. Others sought to escape the dilemma by disallowing that David was the author of this so-called Messianic Psalm.
As Jesus stood before them at this time, he perceived the end of one dispensation and the beginning of another. Turning his attention to the Greeks, the Master said:
“Many of you have dared to believe my teachings and have already entered into the joy and liberty of the consciousness of sonship with God. And you will bear me witness that I have offered this same sonship with God to all the Jewish nation, even to these very men who now seek my destruction. And even now would my Father receive these blinded teachers and these hypocritical leaders if they would only turn to him and accept his mercy. Even now it is not too late for this people to receive the word of heaven and to welcome the Son of Man.
“And when you do once reject this revelation of God to man, the kingdom of heaven shall be given to other peoples, to those who will receive it with joy and gladness. In the name of the Father who sent me, I solemnly warn you that you are about to lose your position in the world as the standard-bearers of eternal truth and the custodians of the divine law. I am just now offering you your last chance to come forward and repent, to signify your intention to seek God with all your hearts and to enter, like little children and by sincere faith, into the security and salvation of the kingdom of heaven.
From this time on the Jews were left to finish their brief and short lease of national life wholly in accordance with their purely human status among the nations of Urantia. Israel had repudiated the Son of the God who made a covenant with Abraham, and the plan to make the children of Abraham the light-bearers of truth to the world had been shattered. The divine covenant had been abrogated, and the end of the Hebrew nation drew on apace.
The multitude who heard Jesus swing from his merciful appeal to the Jewish leaders into that sudden and scathing rebuke which bordered on ruthless denunciation, were stunned and bewildered. That night, while the Sanhedrin sat in death judgment upon Jesus, and while the Master sat with his apostles and certain of his disciples out on the Mount of Olives foretelling the death of the Jewish nation, all Jerusalem was given over to the serious and suppressed discussion of just one question: “What will they do with Jesus?”
2. His zeal for temple reform struck directly at their revenues; the cleansing of the temple affected their pocketbooks.
Since Jerusalem was to become the cradle of the early gospel movement, Jesus did not want its teachers and preachers to perish in the terrible overthrow of the Jewish people in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem; wherefore did he give these instructions to his followers. Jesus was much concerned lest some of his disciples become involved in these soon-coming revolts and so perish in the downfall of Jerusalem.
Even after this explicit warning, many of Jesus’ followers interpreted these predictions as referring to the changes which would obviously occur in Jerusalem when the reappearing of the Messiah would result in the establishment of the New Jerusalem and in the enlargement of the city to become the world’s capital. In their minds these Jews were determined to connect the destruction of the temple with the “end of the world.” They believed this New Jerusalem would fill all Palestine; that the end of the world would be followed by the immediate appearance of the “new heavens and the new earth.” And so it was not strange that Peter should say: “Master, we know that all things will pass away when the new heavens and the new earth appear, but how shall we know when you will return to bring all this about?”
“And now concerning the travail of Jerusalem, about which I have spoken to you, even this generation will not pass away until my words are fulfilled; but concerning the times of the coming again of the Son of Man, no one in heaven or on earth may presume to speak. But you should be wise regarding the ripening of an age; you should be alert to discern the signs of the times. You know when the fig tree shows its tender branches and puts forth its leaves that summer is near. Likewise, when the world has passed through the long winter of material-mindedness and you discern the coming of the spiritual springtime of a new dispensation, should you know that the summertime of a new visitation draws near.
“And so should you go about the work of the Father’s business, now and henceforth, even forevermore. Carry on until I come. In faithfulness do that which is intrusted to you, and thereby shall you be ready for the reckoning call of death. And having thus lived for the glory of the Father and the satisfaction of the Son, you shall enter with joy and exceedingly great pleasure into the eternal service of the everlasting kingdom.”
You would do well, therefore, to disassociate the Master’s personal return to earth from any and all set events or settled epochs. We are sure of only one thing: He has promised to come back. We have no idea as to when he will fulfill this promise or in what connection. As far as we know, he may appear on earth any day, and he may not come until age after age has passed and been duly adjudicated by his associated Sons of the Paradise corps.
As Jesus was about to take the lunch basket from John’s hand, the young man ventured to say: “But, Master, you may set the basket down while you turn aside to pray and go on without it. Besides, if I should go along to carry the lunch, you would be more free to worship, and I will surely be silent. I will ask no questions and will stay by the basket when you go apart by yourself to pray.”
Throughout the few remaining hours of Jesus’ earth life John Mark never permitted the Master for long to get out of his sight. Always was the lad in hiding near by; he slept only when Jesus slept.
It is our sincere belief that the gospel of Jesus’ teaching, founded as it is on the father-child relationship, can hardly enjoy a world-wide acceptance until such a time as the home life of the modern civilized peoples embraces more of love and more of wisdom. Notwithstanding that parents of the twentieth century possess great knowledge and increased truth for improving the home and ennobling the home life, it remains a fact that very few modern homes are such good places in which to nurture boys and girls as Jesus’ home in Galilee and John Mark’s home in Judea, albeit the acceptance of Jesus’ gospel will result in the immediate improvement of home life. The love life of a wise home and the loyal devotion of true religion exert a profound reciprocal influence upon each other. Such a home life enhances religion, and genuine religion always glorifies the home.
That evening, after returning to the camp, Jesus visited with the Greeks, and had it not been that such a course would have greatly disturbed his apostles and many of his leading disciples, he would have ordained these twenty Greeks, even as he had the seventy.
The traitor was presented to Caiaphas and the Jewish rulers by his cousin, who explained that Judas, having discovered his mistake in allowing himself to be misled by the subtle teaching of Jesus, had arrived at the place where he wished to make public and formal renunciation of his association with the Galilean and at the same time to ask for reinstatement in the confidence and fellowship of his Judean brethren. This spokesman for Judas went on to explain that Judas recognized it would be best for the peace of Israel if Jesus should be taken into custody, and that, as evidence of his sorrow in having participated in such a movement of error and as proof of his sincerity in now returning to the teachings of Moses, he had come to offer himself to the Sanhedrin as one who could so arrange with the captain holding the orders for Jesus’ arrest that he could be taken into custody quietly, thus avoiding any danger of stirring up the multitudes or the necessity of postponing his arrest until after the Passover.
It was just before midnight when Jesus, knowing this would be the last night he would ever sleep through with his chosen family on earth, said, as he dispersed them for the night: “Go to your sleep, my brethren, and peace be upon you till we rise on the morrow, one more day to do the Father’s will and experience the joy of knowing that we are his sons.”
Sonship in the kingdom, from the standpoint of advancing civilization, should assist you in becoming the ideal citizens of the kingdoms of this world since brotherhood and service are the cornerstones of the gospel of the kingdom. The love call of the spiritual kingdom should prove to be the effective destroyer of the hate urge of the unbelieving and war-minded citizens of the earthly kingdoms. But these material-minded sons in darkness will never know of your spiritual light of truth unless you draw very near them with that unselfish social service which is the natural outgrowth of the bearing of the fruits of the spirit in the life experience of each individual believer.
You may not worship your temporal rulers, and you should not employ temporal power in the furtherance of the spiritual kingdom; but you should manifest the righteous ministry of loving service to believers and unbelievers alike. In the gospel of the kingdom there resides the mighty Spirit of Truth, and presently I will pour out this same spirit upon all flesh. The fruits of the spirit, your sincere and loving service, are the mighty social lever to uplift the races of darkness, and this Spirit of Truth will become your power-multiplying fulcrum.
When Judas heard the Master speaking with Philip about these matters, he drew closer that he might overhear their conversation. But David Zebedee, who was standing near, stepped up and engaged Judas in conversation while Philip, Peter, and John went to one side to talk with the Master.
John Mark had followed them all the way into the city, and after they had entered the gate, he hurried on by another street so that he was waiting to welcome them to his father’s home when they arrived.
1. The Desire for Preference
They are gathered together to celebrate, at least in spirit, an institution which antedated even Moses and referred to the times when their fathers were slaves in Egypt. This supper is their last rendezvous with Jesus, and even in such a solemn setting, under the leadership of Judas the apostles are led once more to give way to their old predilection for honor, preference, and personal exaltation.
There stood Simon Peter, looking down into the upturned face of his Master. Jesus said nothing; it was not necessary that he should speak. His attitude plainly revealed that he was minded to wash Simon Peter’s feet. Notwithstanding his frailties of the flesh, Peter loved the Master. This Galilean fisherman was the first human being wholeheartedly to believe in the divinity of Jesus
to make full and public confession of that belief. And Peter had never since really doubted the divine nature of the Master. Since Peter so revered and honored Jesus in his heart, it was not strange that his soul resented the thought of Jesus’ kneeling there before him in the attitude of a menial servant and proposing to wash his feet as would a slave. When Peter presently collected his wits sufficiently to address the Master, he spoke the heart feelings of all his fellow apostles.
As the Master made ready to begin washing Peter’s feet, he said: “He who is already clean needs only to have his feet washed. You who sit with me tonight are clean — but not all. But the dust of your feet should have been washed away before you sat down at meat with me. And besides, I would perform this service for you as a parable to illustrate the meaning of a new commandment which I will presently give you.”
When Jesus had thus spoken, leaning over toward Judas, he said: “What you have decided to do, do quickly.” And when Judas heard these words, he arose from the table and hastily left the room, going out into the night to do what he had set his mind to accomplish. When the other apostles saw Judas hasten off after Jesus had spoken to him, they thought he had gone to procure something additional for the supper or to do some other errand for the Master since they supposed he still carried the bag.
This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man’s puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is
The remembrance supper is the believer’s symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father.
“When I give you this new commandment, I do not place any new burden upon your souls; rather do I bring you new joy and make it possible for you to experience new pleasure in knowing the delights of the bestowal of your heart’s affection upon your fellow men. I am about to experience the supreme joy, even though enduring outward sorrow, in the bestowal of my affection upon you and your fellow mortals.
Keep in mind: It is loyalty, not sacrifice, that Jesus demands. The consciousness of sacrifice implies the absence of that wholehearted affection which would have made such a loving service a supreme joy. The idea of
signifies that you are servant-minded and hence are missing the mighty thrill of doing your service as a friend and for a friend. The impulse of friendship transcends all convictions of duty, and the service of a friend for a friend can never be called a sacrifice. The Master has taught the apostles that they are the sons of God. He has called them brethren, and now, before he leaves, he calls them his friends.
And when the Father’s hand of discipline is laid upon the vine, it is done in love, in order that the branches may bear much fruit. And a wise husbandman cuts away only the dead and fruitless branches.
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.”
Judas Alpheus did not fully understand what the Master said, but he grasped the promise of the new teacher, and from the expression on Andrew’s face, he perceived that his question had been satisfactorily answered.
Some persons discern and interpret the golden rule as a purely intellectual affirmation of human fraternity. Others experience this expression of human relationship as an emotional gratification of the tender feelings of the human personality. Another mortal recognizes this same golden rule as the yardstick for measuring all social relations, the standard of social conduct. Still others look upon it as being the positive injunction of a great moral teacher who embodied in this statement the highest concept of moral obligation as regards all fraternal relationships. In the lives of such moral beings the golden rule becomes the wise center and circumference of all their philosophy.
While he paused for a moment, the apostles began to talk with each other: “What is this that he tells us? ‘In just a little while I will leave you,’ and ‘When you see me again it will not be for long, for I will be on my way to the Father.’ What can he mean by this ‘little while’ and ‘not for long’? We cannot understand what he is telling us.”
“If you would follow after me when I leave you, put forth your earnest efforts to live in accordance with the spirit of my teachings and with the ideal of my life — the doing of my Father’s will. This do instead of trying to imitate my natural life in the flesh as I have, perforce, been required to live it on this world.
“Doubt not any of these truths even after you are scattered abroad by persecution and are downcast by many sorrows. When you feel that you are alone in the world, I will know of your isolation even as, when you are scattered every man to his own place, leaving the Son of Man in the hands of his enemies, you will know of mine. But I am never alone; always is the Father with me. Even at such a time I will pray for you. And all of these things have I told you that you might have peace and have it more abundantly. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have triumphed in the world and shown you the way to eternal joy and everlasting service.”
And then the Master, passing around his own seat, paused a moment by the side of the place of Judas Iscariot. The apostles were rather surprised that Judas had not returned before this, and they were very curious to know the significance of Jesus’ sad countenance as he stood by the betrayer’s vacant seat. But none of them, except possibly Andrew, entertained even the slightest thought that their treasurer had gone out to betray his Master, as Jesus had intimated to them earlier in the evening and during the supper. So much had been going on that, for the time being, they had quite forgotten about the Master’s announcement that one of them would betray him.
“Father, my hour has come; now glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. I know that you have given me full authority over all living creatures in my realm, and I will give eternal life to all who will become faith sons of God. And this is eternal life, that my creatures should know you as the only true God and Father of all, and that they should believe in him whom you sent into the world. Father, I have exalted you on earth and have accomplished the work which you gave me to do. I have almost finished my bestowal upon the children of our own creation; there remains only for me to lay down my life in the flesh. And now, O my Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with you before this world was and receive me once more at your right hand.
“And now, my Father, I would pray not only for these eleven men but also for all others who now believe, or who may hereafter believe the gospel of the kingdom through the word of their future ministry. I want them all to be one, even as you and I are one. You are in me and I am in you, and I desire that these believers likewise be in us; that both of our spirits indwell them. If my children are one as we are one, and if they love one another as I have loved them, all men will then believe that I came forth from you and be willing to receive the revelation of truth and glory which I have made. The glory which you gave me I have revealed to these believers. As you have lived with me in spirit, so have I lived with them in the flesh. As you have been one with me, so have I been one with them, and so will the new teacher ever be one with them and in them. And all this have I done that my brethren in the flesh may know that the Father loves them even as does the Son, and that you love them even as you love me. Father, work with me to save these believers that they may presently come to be with me in glory and then go on to join you in the Paradise embrace. Those who serve with me in humiliation, I would have with me in glory so that they may see all you have given into my hands as the eternal harvest of the seed sowing of time in the likeness of mortal flesh. I long to show my earthly brethren the glory I had with you before the founding of this world. This world knows very little of you, righteous Father, but I know you, and I have made you known to these believers, and they will make known your name to other generations. And now I promise them that you will be with them in the world even as you have been with me — even so.”
Then Jesus turned to the chief of the visiting Greeks who were encamped with them, and said: “My brother, be not disturbed by what is about to take place since I have already forewarned you. The Son of Man will be put to death at the instigation of his enemies, the chief priests and the rulers of the Jews, but I will rise to be with you a short time before I go to the Father. And when you have seen all this come to pass, glorify God and strengthen your brethren.”
Each time he prayed in the garden, his humanity laid a firmer faith-hold upon his divinity; his human will more completely became one with the divine will of his Father. Among other words spoken to him by the mighty angel was the message that the Father desired his Son to finish his earth bestowal by passing through the creature experience of death just as all mortal creatures must experience material dissolution in passing from the existence of time into the progression of eternity.
1. The Father’s Will
When they failed to find Jesus in the upper chamber, Judas asked the captain of the guard to return to the temple. By this time the rulers had begun to assemble at the high priest’s home preparatory to receiving Jesus, seeing that their bargain with the traitor called for Jesus’ arrest by midnight of that day. Judas explained to his associates that they had missed Jesus at the Mark home, and that it would be necessary to go to Gethsemane to arrest him. The betrayer then went on to state that more than threescore devoted followers were encamped with him, and that they were all well armed. The rulers of the Jews reminded Judas that Jesus had always preached nonresistance, but Judas replied that they could not depend upon all Jesus’ followers obeying such teaching. He really feared for himself and therefore made bold to ask for a company of forty armed soldiers. Since the Jewish authorities had no such force of armed men under their jurisdiction, they went at once to the fortress of Antonia and requested the Roman commander to give them this guard; but when he learned that they intended to arrest Jesus, he promptly refused to accede to their request and referred them to his superior officer. In this way more than an hour was consumed in going from one authority to another until they finally were compelled to go to Pilate himself in order to obtain permission to employ the armed Roman guards. It was late when they arrived at Pilate’s house, and he had retired to his private chambers with his wife. He hesitated to have anything to do with the enterprise, all the more so since his wife had asked him not to grant the request. But inasmuch as the presiding officer of the Jewish Sanhedrin was present and making personal request for this assistance, the governor thought it wise to grant the petition, thinking he could later on right any wrong they might be disposed to commit.
As this company of armed soldiers and guards, carrying torches and lanterns, approached the garden, Judas stepped well out in front of the band that he might be ready quickly to identify Jesus so that the apprehenders could easily lay hands on him before his associates could rally to his defense. And there was yet another reason why Judas chose to be ahead of the Master’s enemies: He thought it would appear that he had arrived on the scene ahead of the soldiers so that the apostles and others gathered about Jesus might not directly connect him with the armed guards following so closely upon his heels. Judas had even thought to pose as having hastened out to warn them of the coming of the apprehenders, but this plan was thwarted by Jesus’ blighting greeting of the betrayer. Though the Master spoke to Judas kindly, he greeted him as a traitor.
The apostles and disciples were literally stunned by what they saw. For a moment no one moved. Then Jesus, disengaging himself from the traitorous embrace of Judas, stepped up to the guards and soldiers and again asked, “Whom do you seek?” And again the captain said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” And again answered Jesus: “I have told you that I am he. If, therefore, you seek me, let these others go their way. I am ready to go with you.”
Surely, the shepherd is smitten and the sheep are scattered! While they all vaguely realize that Jesus has forewarned them of this very situation, they are too severely shocked by the Master’s sudden disappearance to be able to use their minds normally.
Before the Sanhedrin Court
Annas had not seen Jesus for several years, not since the time when the Master called at his house and immediately left upon observing his coldness and reserve in receiving him. Annas had thought to presume on this early acquaintance and thereby attempt to persuade Jesus to abandon his claims and leave Palestine. He was reluctant to participate in the murder of a good man and had reasoned that Jesus might choose to leave the country rather than to suffer death. But when Annas stood before the stalwart and determined Galilean, he knew at once that it would be useless to make such proposals. Jesus was even more majestic and well poised than Annas remembered him.
The kindly manner in which Jesus spoke to Annas almost bewildered him. But he had already determined in his mind that Jesus must either leave Palestine or die; so he summoned up his courage and asked: “Just what is it you are trying to teach the people? What do you claim to be?” Jesus answered: “You know full well that I have spoken openly to the world. I have taught in the synagogues and many times in the temple, where all the Jews and many of the gentiles have heard me. In secret I have spoken nothing; why, then, do you ask me about my teaching? Why do you not summon those who have heard me and inquire of them? Behold, all Jerusalem has heard that which I have spoken even if you have not yourself heard these teachings.” But before Annas could make reply, the chief steward of the palace, who was standing near, struck Jesus in the face with his hand, saying, “How dare you answer the high priest with such words?” Annas spoke no words of rebuke to his steward, but Jesus addressed him, saying, “My friend, if I have spoken evil, bear witness against the evil; but if I have spoken the truth, why, then, should you smite me?”
About this time the portress of the gate drew Peter to one side and said: “I am sure you are a disciple of this Jesus, not only because one of his followers bade me let you in the courtyard, but my sister here has seen you in the temple with this man. Why do you deny this?” When Peter heard the maid accuse him, he denied all knowledge of Jesus with much cursing and swearing, again saying, “I am not this man’s follower; I do not even know him; I never heard of him before.”
The Jewish law required that at least two witnesses must agree upon any point before a charge could be laid against the prisoner. Judas could not be used as a witness against Jesus because the Jewish law specifically forbade the testimony of a traitor. More than a score of false witnesses were on hand to testify against Jesus, but their testimony was so contradictory and so evidently trumped up that the Sanhedrists themselves were very much ashamed of the performance. Jesus stood there, looking down benignly upon these perjurers, and his very countenance disconcerted the lying witnesses. Throughout all this false testimony the Master never said a word; he made no reply to their many false accusations.
These are the moments of the Master’s greatest victories in all his long and eventful career as maker, upholder, and savior of a vast and far-flung universe. Having lived to the full a life of revealing God to man, Jesus is now engaged in making a new and unprecedented revelation of man to God. Jesus is now revealing to the worlds the final triumph over all fears of creature personality isolation. The Son of Man has finally achieved the realization of identity as the Son of God. Jesus does not hesitate to assert that he and the Father are one; and on the basis of the fact and truth of that supreme and supernal experience, he admonishes every kingdom believer to become one with him even as he and his Father are one. The living experience in the religion of Jesus thus becomes the sure and certain technique whereby the spiritually isolated and cosmically lonely mortals of earth are enabled to escape personality isolation, with all its consequences of fear and associated feelings of helplessness. In the fraternal realities of the kingdom of heaven the faith sons of God find final deliverance from the isolation of the self, both personal and planetary. The God-knowing believer increasingly experiences the ecstasy and grandeur of spiritual socialization on a universe scale — citizenship on high in association with the eternal realization of the divine destiny of perfection attainment.
This entire procedure was irregular and wholly contrary to the Jewish laws. No two witnesses had agreed on any matter except those who testified regarding Jesus’ statement about destroying the temple and raising it again in three days. And even concerning that point, no witnesses spoke for the defense, and neither was Jesus asked to explain his intended meaning.
If Pontius Pilate had not been a reasonably good governor of the minor provinces, Tiberius would hardly have suffered him to remain as procurator of Judea for ten years. Although he was a fairly good administrator, he was a moral coward. He was not a big enough man to comprehend the nature of his task as governor of the Jews. He failed to grasp the fact that these Hebrews had a
religion, a faith for which they were willing to die, and that millions upon millions of them, scattered here and there throughout the empire, looked to Jerusalem as the shrine of their faith and held the Sanhedrin in respect as the highest tribunal on earth.
It is significant that, while this vacillating Roman ruler sacrificed Jesus to his fear of the Jews and to safeguard his personal position, he finally was deposed as a result of the needless slaughter of Samaritans in connection with the pretensions of a false Messiah who led troops to Mount Gerizim, where he claimed the temple vessels were buried; and fierce riots broke out when he failed to reveal the hiding place of the sacred vessels, as he had promised. As a result of this episode, the legatus of Syria ordered Pilate to Rome. Tiberius died while Pilate was on the way to Rome, and he was not reappointed as procurator of Judea. He never fully recovered from the regretful condemnation of having consented to the crucifixion of Jesus. Finding no favor in the eyes of the new emperor, he retired to the province of Lausanne, where he subsequently committed suicide.
It was a few hours previously, shortly before midnight and after he had granted permission to use Roman soldiers in effecting the secret arrest of Jesus, that Pilate had heard further concerning Jesus and his teaching from his wife, Claudia, who was a partial convert to Judaism, and who later on became a full-fledged believer in Jesus’ gospel.
Pilate was not able to fathom Jesus’ words, nor was he able to understand the nature of his spiritual kingdom, but he was now certain that the prisoner had done nothing worthy of death. One look at Jesus, face to face, was enough to convince even Pilate that this gentle and weary, but majestic and upright, man was no wild and dangerous revolutionary who aspired to establish himself on the temporal throne of Israel. Pilate thought he understood something of what Jesus meant when he called himself a king, for he was familiar with the teachings of the Stoics, who declared that “the wise man is king.” Pilate was thoroughly convinced that, instead of being a dangerous seditionmonger, Jesus was nothing more or less than a harmless visionary, an innocent fanatic.
Just as the Jews were about to engage in shouting their protests against the release of Jesus, a vast crowd came marching up to the praetorium for the purpose of asking Pilate for the release of a prisoner in honor of the Passover feast. For some time it had been the custom of the Roman governors to allow the populace to choose some imprisoned or condemned man for pardon at the time of the Passover. And now that this crowd had come before him to ask for the release of a prisoner, and since Jesus had so recently been in great favor with the multitudes, it occurred to Pilate that he might possibly extricate himself from his predicament by proposing to this group that, since Jesus was now a prisoner before his judgment seat, he release to them this man of Galilee as the token of Passover good will.
Pilate was angered at the sight of the chief priests clamoring for the pardon of a notorious murderer while they shouted for the blood of Jesus. He saw their malice and hatred and perceived their prejudice and envy. Therefore he said to them: “How could you choose the life of a murderer in preference to this man’s whose worst crime is that he figuratively calls himself the king of the Jews?” But this was not a wise statement for Pilate to make. The Jews were a proud people, now subject to the Roman political yoke but hoping for the coming of a Messiah who would deliver them from gentile bondage with a great show of power and glory. They resented, more than Pilate could know, the intimation that this meek-mannered teacher of strange doctrines, now under arrest and charged with crimes worthy of death, should be referred to as “the king of the Jews.” They looked upon such a remark as an insult to everything which they held sacred and honorable in their national existence, and therefore did they all let loose their mighty shouts for Barabbas’s release and Jesus’ death.
And now did Pilate comprehend that it was futile to appeal to their supposed feelings of pity. He stepped forward and said: “I perceive that you are determined this man shall die, but what has he done to deserve death? Who will declare his crime?”
8. Pilate’s Tragic Surrender
When Mary the mother of Jesus started out with John to go to her son, his sister Ruth refused to remain behind with the rest of the family. Since she was determined to accompany her mother, her brother Jude went with her. The rest of the Master’s family remained in Bethany under the direction of James, and almost every hour the messengers of David Zebedee brought them reports concerning the progress of that terrible business of putting to death their eldest brother, Jesus of Nazareth.
All of these Jews loathed Judas; they looked upon the betrayer with only feelings of utter contempt. Throughout the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas and during his appearance before Pilate, Judas was pricked in his conscience about his traitorous conduct. And he was also beginning to become somewhat disillusioned regarding the reward he was to receive as payment for his services as Jesus’ betrayer. He did not like the coolness and aloofness of the Jewish authorities; nevertheless, he expected to be liberally rewarded for his cowardly conduct. He anticipated being called before the full meeting of the Sanhedrin and there hearing himself eulogized while they conferred upon him suitable honors in token of the great service which he flattered himself he had rendered his nation. Imagine, therefore, the great surprise of this egotistic traitor when a servant of the high priest, tapping him on the shoulder, called him just outside the hall and said: “Judas, I have been appointed to pay you for the betrayal of Jesus. Here is your reward.” And thus speaking, the servant of Caiaphas handed Judas a bag containing thirty pieces of silver — the current price of a good, healthy slave.
As Judas left the Sanhedrin chamber, he removed the thirty pieces of silver from the bag and threw them broadcast over the temple floor. When the betrayer left the temple, he was almost beside himself. Judas was now passing through the experience of the realization of the true nature of sin. All the glamor, fascination, and intoxication of wrongdoing had vanished. Now the evildoer stood alone and face to face with the judgment verdict of his disillusioned and disappointed soul. Sin was bewitching and adventurous in the committing, but now must the harvest of the naked and unromantic facts be faced.
From first to last, in his so-called trial before Pilate, the onlooking celestial hosts could not refrain from broadcasting to the universe the depiction of the scene of “Pilate on trial before Jesus.”
4. Preparation for the Crucifixion
5. Jesus’ Death in Relation to the Passover
The Father in heaven loved mortal man on earth just as much before the life and death of Jesus on Urantia as he did after this transcendent exhibition of the copartnership of man and God. This mighty transaction of the incarnation of the God of Nebadon as a man on Urantia could not augment the attributes of the eternal, infinite, and universal Father, but it did enrich and enlighten all other administrators and creatures of the universe of Nebadon. While the Father in heaven loves us no more because of this bestowal of Michael, all other celestial intelligences do. And this is because Jesus not only made a revelation of God to man, but he also likewise made a new revelation of man to the Gods and to the celestial intelligences of the universe of universes.
Before leaving the courtyard of the praetorium, the soldiers placed the crossbeam on Jesus’ shoulders. It was the custom to compel the condemned man to carry the crossbeam to the site of the crucifixion. Such a condemned man did not carry the whole cross, only this shorter timber. The longer and upright pieces of timber for the three crosses had already been transported to Golgotha and, by the time of the arrival of the soldiers and their prisoners, had been firmly implanted in the ground.
As the death procession passed along the narrow streets of Jerusalem, many of the tenderhearted Jewish women who had heard Jesus’ words of good cheer and compassion, and who knew of his life of loving ministry, could not refrain from weeping when they saw him being led forth to such an ignoble death. As he passed by, many of these women bewailed and lamented. And when some of them even dared to follow along by his side, the Master turned his head toward them and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but rather weep for yourselves and for your children. My work is about done — soon I go to my Father — but the times of terrible trouble for Jerusalem are just beginning. Behold, the days are coming in which you shall say: Blessed are the barren and those whose breasts have never suckled their young. In those days will you pray the rocks of the hills to fall on you in order that you may be delivered from the terrors of your troubles.”
Many of the Jewish leaders, when they learned how Pilate had sought to deride them by placing this inscription on the cross of Jesus, hastened out to Golgotha, but they dared not attempt to remove it since the Roman soldiers were standing on guard. Not being able to remove the title, these leaders mingled with the crowd and did their utmost to incite derision and ridicule, lest any give serious regard to the inscription.
Jesus had purposed to live without resort to his supernatural power, and he likewise elected to die as an ordinary mortal upon the cross. He had lived as a man, and he would die as a man — doing the Father’s will.
And if any other person among the jeering crowd had experienced the birth of faith within his soul and had appealed to the mercy of Jesus, he would have been received with the same loving consideration that was displayed toward the believing brigand.
Jesus died royally — as he had lived. He freely admitted his kingship and remained master of the situation throughout the tragic day. He went willingly to his ignominious death, after he had provided for the safety of his chosen apostles. He wisely restrained Peter’s trouble-making violence and provided that John might be near him right up to the end of his mortal existence. He revealed his true nature to the murderous Sanhedrin and reminded Pilate of the source of his sovereign authority as a Son of God. He started out to Golgotha bearing his own crossbeam and finished up his loving bestowal by handing over his spirit of mortal acquirement to the Paradise Father. After such a life — and at such a death — the Master could truly say, “It is finished.”
The rulers of the Jews had planned to have Jesus’ body thrown in the open burial pits of Gehenna, south of the city; it was the custom thus to dispose of the victims of crucifixion. If this plan had been followed, the body of the Master would have been exposed to the wild beasts.
A crucified person could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery; there was a strict law against such a procedure. Joseph and Nicodemus knew this law, and on the way out to Golgotha they had decided to bury Jesus in Joseph’s new family tomb, hewn out of solid rock, located a short distance north of Golgotha and across the road leading to Samaria. No one had ever lain in this tomb, and they thought it appropriate that the Master should rest there. Joseph really believed that Jesus would rise from the dead, but Nicodemus was very doubtful. These former members of the Sanhedrin had kept their faith in Jesus more or less of a secret, although their fellow Sanhedrists had long suspected them, even before they withdrew from the council. From now on they were the most outspoken disciples of Jesus in all Jerusalem.
There was considerable hurry and haste about the burial of Jesus because this was preparation day and the Sabbath was drawing on apace. The men hurried back to the city, but the women lingered near the tomb until it was very dark.
Late Saturday night, John Mark summoned the eleven apostles secretly to come to the home of his father, where, just before midnight, they all assembled in the same upper chamber where they had partaken of the Last Supper with their Master two nights previously.
1. The Creator consciousness of Michael must have been at large and wholly free from its associated mortal mind of the physical incarnation.
Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh.
The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus’ attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, “Lay not this sin to their charge.”
After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon. Neither was the stone before the entrance of the tomb in any way disturbed; the seal of Pilate was still unbroken; the soldiers were still on guard. The temple guards had been on continuous duty; the Roman guard had been changed at midnight. None of these watchers suspected that the object of their vigil had risen to a new and higher form of existence, and that the body which they were guarding was now a discarded outer covering which had no further connection with the delivered and resurrected morontia personality of Jesus.
Let us forever clarify the concept of the resurrection of Jesus by making the following statements:
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.” It was indeed a
that the tomb was empty, but this is not the
of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.
4. Discovery of the Empty Tomb
They were greatly surprised to see the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, inasmuch as they had said among themselves on the way out, “Who will help us roll away the stone?” They set down their burdens and began to look upon one another in fear and with great amazement. While they stood there, atremble with fear, Mary Magdalene ventured around the smaller stone and dared to enter the open sepulchre. This tomb of Joseph was in his garden on the hillside on the eastern side of the road, and it also faced toward the east. By this hour there was just enough of the dawn of a new day to enable Mary to look back to the place where the Master’s body had lain and to discern that it was gone. In the recess of stone where they had laid Jesus, Mary saw only the folded napkin where his head had rested and the bandages wherewith he had been wrapped lying intact and as they had rested on the stone before the celestial hosts removed the body. The covering sheet lay at the foot of the burial niche.
Morontia Appearances of Jesus
1. Heralds of the Resurrection
The majority of those present endeavored to persuade David not to do this. But they could not influence him. They then sought to dissuade the messengers, but they would not heed the words of doubt. And so, shortly before ten o’clock this Sunday morning, these twenty-six runners went forth as the first heralds of the mighty truth-fact of the resurrected Jesus. And they started out on this mission as they had on so many others, in fulfillment of their oath to David Zebedee and to one another. These men had great confidence in David. They departed on this assignment without even tarrying to talk with those who had seen Jesus; they took David at his word. The majority of them believed what David had told them, and even those who somewhat doubted, carried the message just as certainly and just as swiftly.
And David did not long wait, for the fourth appearance of Jesus to mortal recognition occurred shortly before two o’clock in this very home of Martha and Mary, when he appeared visibly before his earthly family and their friends, twenty in all. The Master appeared in the open back door, saying: “Peace be upon you. Greetings to those once near me in the flesh and fellowship for my brothers and sisters in the kingdom of heaven. How could you doubt? Why have you lingered so long before choosing to follow the light of truth with a whole heart? Come, therefore, all of you into the fellowship of the Spirit of Truth in the Father’s kingdom.” As they began to recover from the first shock of their amazement and to move toward him as if to embrace him, he vanished from their sight.
Rumors of Jesus’ resurrection and reports concerning the many appearances to his followers are spreading rapidly, and the whole city is being wrought up to a high pitch of excitement. Already the Master has appeared to his family, to the women, and to the Greeks, and presently he manifests himself in the midst of the apostles. The Sanhedrin is soon to begin the consideration of these new problems which have been so suddenly thrust upon the Jewish rulers. Jesus thinks much about his apostles but desires that they be left alone for a few more hours of solemn reflection and thoughtful consideration before he visits them.
After walking a short way with them, Jesus said: “What were the words you exchanged so earnestly as I came upon you?” And when Jesus had spoken, they stood still and viewed him with sad surprise. Said Cleopas: “Can it be that you sojourn in Jerusalem and know not the things which have recently happened?” Then asked the Master, “What things?” Cleopas replied: “If you do not know about these matters, you are the only one in Jerusalem who has not heard these rumors concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in word and in deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to the Romans and demanded that they crucify him. Now many of us had hoped that it was he who would deliver Israel from the yoke of the gentiles. But that is not all. It is now the third day since he was crucified, and certain women have this day amazed us by declaring that very early this morning they went to his tomb and found it empty. And these same women insist that they talked with this man; they maintain that he has risen from the dead. And when the women reported this to the men, two of his apostles ran to the tomb and likewise found it empty” — and here Jacob interrupted his brother to say, “but they did not see Jesus.”
And then they said, the one to the other, “No wonder our hearts burned within us as he spoke to us while we walked along the road! and while he opened up to our understanding the teachings of the Scriptures!”
Andrew did much listening this day. He was exceedingly perplexed by the situation and had more than his share of doubts, but he at least enjoyed a certain sense of freedom from responsibility for the guidance of his fellow apostles. He was indeed grateful that the Master had released him from the burdens of leadership before they fell upon these distracting times.
2. First Appearance to the Apostles
Jesus made the transit to the third stage of morontia on Friday, April 14; to the fourth stage on Monday, the 17th; to the fifth stage on Saturday, the 22nd; to the sixth stage on Thursday, the 27th; to the seventh stage on Tuesday, May 2; to Jerusem citizenship on Sunday, the 7th; and he entered the embrace of the Most Highs of Edentia on Sunday, the 14th.
The tenth morontia manifestation of Jesus to mortal recognition occurred a short time after eight o’clock on Tuesday, April 11, at Philadelphia, where he showed himself to Abner and Lazarus and some one hundred and fifty of their associates, including more than fifty of the evangelistic corps of the seventy. This appearance occurred just after the opening of a special meeting in the synagogue which had been called by Abner to discuss the crucifixion of Jesus and the more recent report of the resurrection which had been brought by David’s messenger. Inasmuch as the resurrected Lazarus was now a member of this group of believers, it was not difficult for them to believe the report that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Early the next morning, even while the apostles tarried in Jerusalem awaiting the emotional recovery of Thomas, these believers at Philadelphia went forth proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead.
And then, as the Master’s form moved over near the head of the table, he addressed them all, saying: “And now go all of you to Galilee, where I will presently appear to you.” After he said this, he vanished from their sight.
BY THE time the apostles left Jerusalem for Galilee, the Jewish leaders had quieted down considerably. Since Jesus appeared only to his family of kingdom believers, and since the apostles were in hiding and did no public preaching, the rulers of the Jews concluded that the gospel movement was, after all, effectually crushed. They were, of course, disconcerted by the increasing spread of rumors that Jesus had risen from the dead, but they depended upon the bribed guards effectively to counteract all such reports by their reiteration of the story that a band of his followers had removed the body.
1. Appearance by the Lake
While John Mark had paid homage to the Master, Peter had for a moment been shocked at the sight of the coals of fire glowing there on the beach; the scene reminded him so vividly of the midnight fire of charcoal in the courtyard of Annas, where he had disowned the Master, but he shook himself and, kneeling at the Master’s feet, exclaimed, “My Lord and my Master!”
This remark spread among the brethren and was received as a statement by Jesus to the effect that John would not die before the Master returned, as many thought and hoped, to establish the kingdom in power and glory. It was this interpretation of what Jesus said that had much to do with getting Simon Zelotes back into service, and keeping him at work.
Accordingly, on Saturday, April 29, at three o’clock, more than five hundred believers from the environs of Capernaum assembled at Bethsaida to hear Peter preach his first public sermon since the resurrection. The apostle was at his best, and after he had finished his appealing discourse, few of his hearers doubted that the Master had risen from the dead.
The apostles had purposely entered Jerusalem after nightfall that they might not be seen by the Jewish authorities. Neither did they publicly appear in connection with the funeral of Elijah Mark. All the next day they remained in quiet seclusion in this eventful upper chamber.
When the Master had spoken to them, he vanished from their sight. It was near daybreak before these believers dispersed; all night they remained together, earnestly discussing the Master’s admonitions and contemplating all that had befallen them. James Zebedee and others of the apostles also told them of their experiences with the morontia Master in Galilee and recited how he had three times appeared to them.
“Peace be upon you. You rejoice to know that the Son of Man has risen from the dead because you thereby know that you and your brethren shall also survive mortal death. But such survival is dependent on your having been previously born of the spirit of truth-seeking and God-finding. The bread of life and the water thereof are given only to those who hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness — for God. The fact that the dead rise is not the gospel of the kingdom. These great truths and these universe facts are all related to this gospel in that they are a part of the result of believing the good news and are embraced in the subsequent experience of those who, by faith, become, in deed and in truth, the everlasting sons of the eternal God. My Father sent me into the world to proclaim this salvation of sonship to all men. And so send I you abroad to preach this salvation of sonship. Salvation is the free gift of God, but those who are born of the spirit will immediately begin to show forth the fruits of the spirit in loving service to their fellow creatures. And the fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace. If professed believers bear not these fruits of the divine spirit in their lives, they are dead; the Spirit of Truth is not in them; they are useless branches on the living vine, and they soon will be taken away. My Father requires of the children of faith that they bear much spirit fruit. If, therefore, you are not fruitful, he will dig about your roots and cut away your unfruitful branches. Increasingly, must you yield the fruits of the spirit as you progress heavenward in the kingdom of God. You may enter the kingdom as a child, but the Father requires that you grow up, by grace, to the full stature of spiritual adulthood. And when you go abroad to tell all nations the good news of this gospel, I will go before you, and my Spirit of Truth shall abide in your hearts. My peace I leave with you.”
“Peace be upon you. I have asked you to tarry here in Jerusalem until I ascend to the Father, even until I send you the Spirit of Truth, who shall soon be poured out upon all flesh, and who shall endow you with power from on high.” Simon Zelotes interrupted Jesus, asking, “Then, Master, will you restore the kingdom, and will we see the glory of God manifested on earth?” When Jesus had listened to Simon’s question, he answered: “Simon, you still cling to your old ideas about the Jewish Messiah and the material kingdom. But you will receive spiritual power after the spirit has descended upon you, and you will presently go into all the world preaching this gospel of the kingdom. As the Father sent me into the world, so do I send you. And I wish that you would love and trust one another. Judas is no more with you because his love grew cold, and because he refused to trust you, his loyal brethren. Have you not read in the Scripture where it is written: ‘It is not good for man to be alone. No man lives to himself’? And also where it says: ‘He who would have friends must show himself friendly’? And did I not even send you out to teach, two and two, that you might not become lonely and fall into the mischief and miseries of isolation? You also well know that, when I was in the flesh, I did not permit myself to be alone for long periods. From the very beginning of our associations I always had two or three of you constantly by my side or else very near at hand even when I communed with the Father. Trust, therefore, and confide in one another. And this is all the more needful since I am this day going to leave you alone in the world. The hour has come; I am about to go to the Father.”
As we look back upon this tragedy, we conceive that Judas went wrong, primarily, because he was very markedly an isolated personality, a personality shut in and away from ordinary social contacts. He persistently refused to confide in, or freely fraternize with, his fellow apostles. But his being an isolated type of personality would not, in and of itself, have wrought such mischief for Judas had it not been that he also failed to increase in love and grow in spiritual grace. And then, as if to make a bad matter worse, he persistently harbored grudges and fostered such psychologic enemies as revenge and the generalized craving to “get even” with somebody for all his disappointments.
2. As a child, life had been made too easy for him. He bitterly resented thwarting. He always expected to win; he was a very poor loser.
6. Peter Calls a Meeting
Just about noon the apostles returned to their brethren in the upper chamber and announced that Matthias had been chosen as the new apostle. And then Peter called all of the believers to engage in prayer, prayer that they might be prepared to receive the gift of the spirit which the Master had promised to send.
These believers felt themselves suddenly translated into another world, a new existence of joy, power, and glory. The Master had told them the kingdom would come with power, and some of them thought they were beginning to discern what he meant.
2. The Significance of Pentecost
Next, the Spirit of Truth came to help the believer to witness to the realities of Jesus’ teachings and his life as he lived it in the flesh, and as he now again lives it anew and afresh in the individual believer of each passing generation of the spirit-filled sons of God.
Do not overlook the fact that the Spirit of Truth was bestowed upon all sincere believers; this gift of the spirit did not come only to the apostles. The one hundred and twenty men and women assembled in the upper chamber all received the new teacher, as did all the honest of heart throughout the whole world. This new teacher was bestowed upon mankind, and every soul received him in accordance with the love for truth and the capacity to grasp and comprehend spiritual realities. At last, true religion is delivered from the custody of priests and all sacred classes and finds its real manifestation in the individual souls of men.
Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concept of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that “God is the Father of the Lord Jesus” to be concerned with the old message that “God is the loving Father of all men,” even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven. Their good will arose from the love born of the concept of Jesus’ bestowal and not from the recognition of the brotherhood of mortal man. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. They made the great mistake of using the living and illustrative commentary on the gospel of the kingdom for that gospel, but even that represented the greatest religion mankind had ever known.
1. Organization. Paul was a great organizer and his successors kept up the pace he set.
The Greek revered beauty, the Jew holiness, but both peoples loved truth. For centuries the Greek had seriously thought and earnestly debated about all human problems — social, economic, political, and philosophic — except religion. Few Greeks had paid much attention to religion; they did not take even their own religion very seriously. For centuries the Jews had neglected these other fields of thought while they devoted their minds to religion. They took their religion very seriously, too seriously. As illuminated by the content of Jesus’ message, the united product of the centuries of the thought of these two peoples now became the driving power of a new order of human society and, to a certain extent, of a new order of human religious belief and practice.
The Stoic and his sturdy appeal to “nature and conscience” had only the better prepared all Rome to receive Christ, at least in an intellectual sense. The Roman was by nature and training a lawyer; he revered even the laws of nature. And now, in Christianity, he discerned in the laws of nature the laws of God. A people that could produce Cicero and Vergil were ripe for Paul’s Hellenized Christianity.
The early plan of Christian worship was largely taken over from the Jewish synagogue, modified by the Mithraic ritual; later on, much pagan pageantry was added. The backbone of the early Christian church consisted of Christianized Greek proselytes to Judaism.
5. The Modern Problem
3. Man’s ethical recognition of social obligations and political duty.
The violent swing from an age of miracles to an age of machines has proved altogether upsetting to man. The cleverness and dexterity of the false philosophies of mechanism belie their very mechanistic contentions. The fatalistic agility of the mind of a materialist forever disproves his assertions that the universe is a blind and purposeless energy phenomenon.
If this were only a material universe, material man would never be able to arrive at the concept of the mechanistic character of such an exclusively material existence. This very
of the universe is in itself a nonmaterial phenomenon of mind, and all mind is of nonmaterial origin, no matter how thoroughly it may appear to be materially conditioned and mechanistically controlled.
Secularism can never bring peace to mankind. Nothing can take the place of God in human society. But mark you well! do not be quick to surrender the beneficent gains of the secular revolt from ecclesiastical totalitarianism. Western civilization today enjoys many liberties and satisfactions as a result of the secular revolt. The great mistake of secularism was this: In revolting against the almost total control of life by religious authority, and after attaining the liberation from such ecclesiastical tyranny, the secularists went on to institute a revolt against God himself, sometimes tacitly and sometimes openly.
Primitive man lived a life of superstitious bondage to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be
by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do
them — and
them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.
The call to the adventure of building a new and transformed human society by means of the spiritual rebirth of Jesus’ brotherhood of the kingdom should thrill all who believe in him as men have not been stirred since the days when they walked about on earth as his companions in the flesh.
In a religious genius, strong spiritual faith so many times leads directly to disastrous fanaticism, to exaggeration of the religious ego, but it was not so with Jesus. He was not unfavorably affected in his practical life by his extraordinary faith and spirit attainment because this spiritual exaltation was a wholly unconscious and spontaneous soul expression of his personal experience with God.
Just as men must progress from the consciousness of the human to the realization of the divine, so did Jesus ascend from the nature of man to the consciousness of the nature of God. And the Master made this great ascent from the human to the divine by the conjoint achievement of the faith of his mortal intellect and the acts of his indwelling Adjuster. The fact-realization of the attainment of totality of divinity (all the while fully conscious of the reality of humanity) was attended by seven stages of faith consciousness of progressive divinization. These stages of progressive self-realization were marked off by the following extraordinary events in the Master’s bestowal experience:
Jesus founded the religion of personal experience in doing the will of God and serving the human brotherhood; Paul founded a religion in which the glorified Jesus became the object of worship and the brotherhood consisted of fellow believers in the divine Christ. In the bestowal of Jesus these two concepts were potential in his divine-human life, and it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion which might have given proper recognition to both the human and the divine natures of the Master as they were inseparably bound up in his earth life and so gloriously set forth in the original gospel of the kingdom.
The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man — the Adjuster of the divine presence. There are three separate evidences of this spirit indwelling of the human mind:
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