Teacher-Brother Dave's Compilation of
TOPICAL STUDIES from
THE NEW EPOCHAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
Topical Study number 127
"True Religion is Personal God-consciousness in our loving Creator Father here in Spirit",
Part 7 of 7
The Urantia Book
PAPER 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church
194:4.2 Then comes the resurrection, [April 09, A.D. 30] with its deliverance from despair and the return of their faith in the Master’s divinity. Again and again they [the eleven apostles] see him and talk with him, [Forty days with Resurrected Jesus here in a higher form] and he takes them out on Olivet, where he bids them farewell and tells them he is going back to the Father. He has told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they are endowed with power — until the Spirit of Truth shall come. And on the day of Pentecost [May 18, A.D. 30 - on] this new teacher comes, and they go out at once to preach their gospel with new power. They are the bold and courageous followers of a living Lord, not a dead and defeated leader. The Master lives in the hearts of these evangelists; God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls. [I add: Then, for over about 1500 more years, the Christian church declined and strayed away from Jesus and His True Gospel of the loving Fatherhood of God and the perfecting Brotherhood of all mankind. Then Martin Luther came and reformed the church somewhat to Protestants. Now there are over 40,000 different Protestant church types, still somewhat divided.]
1. The Pentecost Sermon
194:1.1 The apostles had been in hiding for forty days. This day happened to be the Jewish festival of Pentecost, [May 18, A.D. 30] and thousands of visitors from all parts of the world were in Jerusalem. Many arrived for this feast, but a majority had tarried in the city since the Passover. Now these frightened apostles emerged from their weeks of seclusion to appear boldly in the temple, where they began to preach the new message of a risen Messiah. And all the disciples were likewise conscious of having received some new spiritual endowment of insight and power. [from Jesus here as the Father-Son Union Spirit of Truth !]
194:1.5 Pentecost was the great festival of baptism, the time for fellowshipping the proselytes of the gate, those Gentiles who desired to serve Yahweh. [a Hebrew name for their "God of Israel". Jesus used Elohim for God the Universal Father, God the Eternal Son, and God the Infinite Spirit of the Existential Paradise Trinity] It was, therefore, the more easy for large numbers of both the Jews and believing Gentiles to submit to baptism on this day. In doing this, they were in no way disconnecting themselves from the Jewish faith. Even for some time after this the believers in Jesus were a sect within Judaism. All of them, including the apostles, were still loyal to the essential requirements of the Jewish ceremonial system.[They failed to comprehend the True Spiritual Liberty as taught by Jesus !]
2. The Significance of Pentecost
194:2.1 Jesus lived on earth and taught a gospel which redeemed man from the superstition that he was a child of the devil and elevated him to the dignity of a faith son of God. Jesus’ message, as he preached it and lived it in his day, was an effective solvent for man’s spiritual difficulties in that day of its statement. And now that he has personally left the world, he sends in his place his Spirit of Truth, who is designed to live in man and, for each new generation, to restate the Jesus message so that every new group of mortals to appear upon the face of the earth shall have a new and up-to-date version of the gospel, just such personal enlightenment and group guidance as will prove to be an effective solvent for man’s ever-new and varied spiritual difficulties.
194:2.2 The first mission of this spirit is, of course, to foster and personalize truth, for it is the comprehension of truth that constitutes the highest form of human liberty. Next, it is the purpose of this spirit to destroy the believer’s feeling of orphanhood. Jesus having been among men, all believers would experience a sense of loneliness had not the Spirit of Truth come to dwell in men’s hearts.
194:2.3 This bestowal of the Son’s spirit effectively prepared all normal men’s minds for the subsequent universal bestowal of the Father’s spirit (the Adjuster) upon all mankind. In a certain sense, this Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Universal Father and the Creator Son.
194:2.4 Do not make the mistake of expecting to become strongly intellectually conscious of the outpoured Spirit of Truth. The spirit never creates a consciousness of himself, only a consciousness of [Jesus Christ] Michael, the Son. From the beginning Jesus taught that the spirit would not speak of himself. The proof, therefore, of your fellowship with the Spirit of Truth is not to be found in your consciousness of this spirit but rather in your experience of enhanced fellowship with Michael.
194:2.5 The spirit also came to help men recall and understand the words of the Master as well as to illuminate and reinterpret his life on earth.
194:2.6 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. [All human truth-seekers and Truth-finders now have Jesus Christ Michael living within their souls !]
194:2.7 Thus it appears that the Spirit of Truth comes really to lead all believers into all truth, into the expanding knowledge of the experience of the living and growing spiritual consciousness of the reality of eternal and ascending sonship with God.
194:2.8 Jesus lived a life which is a revelation of man submitted to the Father’s will, not an example for any man literally to attempt to follow. This life in the flesh, together with his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, presently became a new gospel of the ransom which had thus been paid in order to purchase man back from the clutch of the evil one — from the condemnation of an offended God. Nevertheless, even though the gospel did become greatly distorted, it remains a fact that this new message about Jesus carried along with it many of the fundamental truths and teachings of his earlier gospel of the kingdom. And, sooner or later, these concealed truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men will emerge to effectually transform the civilization of all mankind.
194:2.9 But these mistakes of the intellect in no way interfered with the believer’s great progress in growth in spirit. In less than a month after the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, the apostles made more individual spiritual progress than during their almost four years of personal and loving association with the Master. [about fifty times faster spiritual growth !] Neither did this substitution of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus for the saving gospel truth of sonship with God in any way interfere with the rapid spread of their teachings; on the contrary, this overshadowing of Jesus’ message by the new teachings about his person and resurrection seemed greatly to facilitate the preaching of the good news.
194:2.10 The term “baptism of the spirit,” which came into such general use about this time, merely signified the conscious reception of this gift of the Spirit of Truth and the personal acknowledgment of this new spiritual power as an augmentation [increase] of all spiritual influences previously experienced by God-knowing souls.
194:2.11 Since the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, man is subject to the teaching and guidance of a threefold spirit endowment: the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjuster; the spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Truth; the spirit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
194:2.12 In a way, mankind is subject to the double influence of the sevenfold appeal of the universe spirit influences. The early evolutionary races of mortals are subject to the progressive contact of the seven adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe Mother Spirit. As man progresses upward in the scale of intelligence and spiritual perception, there eventually come to hover over him and dwell within him the seven higher spirit influences. And these seven spirits of the advancing worlds are:
194:2.13 #1. The bestowed spirit of the Universal Father — the Thought Adjusters.
194:2.14 #2. The spirit presence of the Eternal Son — the spirit gravity of the universe of universes and the certain channel of all spirit communion.
194:2.15 #3. The spirit presence of the Infinite Spirit — the universal spirit-mind of all creation, the spiritual source of the intellectual kinship of all progressive intelligences.
194:2.16 #4. The spirit of the Universal Father and the Creator Son — the Spirit of Truth, generally regarded as the spirit of the Universe Son.
194:2.17 #5. The spirit of the Infinite Spirit and the Universe Mother Spirit — the Holy Spirit, generally regarded as the spirit of the Universe Spirit.
194:2.18 #6. The mind-spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit — the seven adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe.
194:2.19 #7. The spirit of the Father, Sons, and Spirits — the new-name spirit of the ascending mortals of the realms after the fusion of the mortal spirit-born soul with the Paradise Thought Adjuster and after the subsequent attainment of the divinity and glorification of the status of the Paradise Corps of the Finality.
194:2.20 And so did the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth bring to the world and its peoples the last of the spirit endowment designed to aid in the ascending search for God.
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church
194:4.2 Then comes the resurrection, [April 09, A.D. 30] with its deliverance from despair and the return of their faith in the Master’s divinity. Again and again they see him and talk with him, [Forty days with Resurrected Jesus here in a higher form] and he takes them out on Olivet, where he bids them farewell and tells them he is going back to the Father. He has told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they are endowed with power — until the Spirit of Truth shall come. And on the day of Pentecost [May 18, A.D. 30 - on] this new teacher comes, and they go out at once to preach their gospel with new power. They are the bold and courageous followers of a living Lord, not a dead and defeated leader. The Master lives in the hearts of these evangelists; God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls.
Paper 195 After Pentecost
4. The European Dark Ages
195:4.5 Religion is now confronted by the challenge of a new age of scientific minds and materialistic tendencies. In this gigantic struggle between the secular and the spiritual, the religion of Jesus will eventually triumph.
5. The Modern Problem
195:5.3 Religion is the revelation to man of his divine and eternal destiny. Religion is a purely personal and spiritual experience and must forever be distinguished from man's other high forms of thought, such as:
195:5.4 #1. Man's logical attitude toward the things of material reality.
195:5.5 #2. Man's aesthetic appreciation of beauty contrasted with ugliness.
195:5.6 #3. Man's ethical recognition of social obligations and political duty.
195:5.7 #4. Even man's sense of human morality is not, in and of itself, religious.
[Yes, even some atheists can be moral; as God's adjusting Spirit lives within them as well as within all other moral humans ! But these atheists do not believe in God; they may think they are moral all by themselves. Thus they do not grow well as their higher soul.]
195:5.8 Religion is designed to find those values in the universe which call forth faith, trust, and assurance; religion culminates in worship. Religion discovers for the soul those supreme values which are in contrast with the relative values discovered by the mind. Such superhuman insight can be had only through genuine religious experience.
195:6.2 No matter what the apparent conflict between materialism and the teachings of Jesus may be, you can rest assured that, in the ages to come, the teachings of the Master will fully triumph. In reality, true religion cannot become involved in any controversy with science; it is in no way concerned with material things. Religion is simply indifferent to, but sympathetic with, science, while it supremely concerns itself with the scientist.
7. The Vulnerability of Materialism
195:7.1 How foolish it is for material-minded man to allow such vulnerable theories as those of a mechanistic universe to deprive him of the vast spiritual resources of the personal experience of true religion. Facts never quarrel with real spiritual faith; theories may. Better that science should be devoted to the destruction of superstition rather than attempting the overthrow of religious faith -- human belief in spiritual realities and divine values.
195:7.20 Science lives by the mathematics of the mind; music expresses the tempo of the emotions. Religion is the spiritual rhythm of the soul in time-space harmony with the higher and eternal melody measurements of Infinity. Religious experience is something in human life which is truly supermathematical.
9. Christianity’s Problem
195:9.2 But paganized and socialized Christianity stands in need of new contact with the uncompromised teachings of Jesus; it languishes for lack of a new vision of the Master's life on earth. A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. All Earth is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.
195:9.4 Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus' religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.
195:9.5 The modern age will refuse to accept a religion which is inconsistent with facts and out of harmony with its highest conceptions of truth, beauty, and goodness. The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity -- the real life and teachings of Jesus. [Presented in this 2097 page Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth; and Jesus' Omnipresent Father-Son Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit are freely available to all humans who seek and love truth, beauty and goodness and more ...]
195:9.8 The world needs more firsthand religion. Even Christianity -- the best of the religions of the twentieth century [and still growing in our 21st century] -- is not only a religion about Jesus, but it is so largely one which men experience secondhand. They take their religion wholly as handed down by their accepted religious teachers. [I add: Today, more sincere truth-seekers question mere ecclesiastical authority and stale church traditions. A new and great spiritual renaissance is now at hand !] What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings ! Descriptive words of things beautiful cannot thrill like the sight thereof, neither can creedal words inspire men's souls like the experience of knowing the presence of God. But expectant faith will ever keep the hope-door of man's soul open for the entrance of the eternal spiritual realities of the divine values of the worlds beyond.
195:9.9 Christianity has dared to lower its ideals before the challenge of human greed, war-madness, and the lust for power; but the religion of Jesus stands as the unsullied and transcendent spiritual summons, calling to the best there is in man to rise above all these legacies of animal evolution and, by grace, attain the moral heights of true human destiny.
195:9.11 So-called Christianity has become a social and cultural movement as well as a religious belief and practice. The stream of modern Christianity drains many an ancient pagan swamp and many a barbarian morass; many olden cultural watersheds drain into this present-day cultural stream as well as the high Galilean tablelands [the True Religion of Jesus] which are supposed to be its exclusive source.
10. The Future
195:10.1 Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. [see John 12:32 !] Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.
195:10.8 Ecclesiasticism [in churches with a hierarchy of clergy, with their controlling, rigid dogma and traditions] is at once and forever incompatible with that living faith, growing spirit, and firsthand experience of the faith-comrades of Jesus in the brotherhood of man in the spiritual association of the kingdom of heaven. The praiseworthy desire to preserve traditions of past achievement often leads to the defense of outgrown systems of worship. The well-meant desire to foster ancient thought systems effectually prevents the sponsoring of new and adequate means and methods designed to satisfy the spiritual longings of the expanding and advancing minds of modern men. Likewise, the Christian churches of the twentieth century stand as great, but wholly unconscious, obstacles to the immediate advance of the real gospel -- the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. [Sadly, most Christians today in the Western nations are, unwittingly, secular humanists ! But that problem is starting to be somewhat reduced. We thank God in Jesus in Spirit here leading the way into God's light and Eternal Life !]
195:10.11 Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity. The true church -- the Jesus brotherhood -- is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them. [Today, worldwide, millions of home-family-based spiritual study and fellowship groups are forming.As the saying goes: "Priesthood of all believers in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man."
195:10.15 These various groupings of Christians may serve to accommodate numerous different types of would-be believers among the various peoples of Western civilization, but such division of Christendom presents a grave weakness when it attempts to carry the gospel of Jesus to Oriental peoples. These races do not yet understand that there is a religion of Jesus separate, and somewhat apart, from Christianity, which has more and more become a religion about Jesus. [The religion of Jesus is the Truth that God is your and my loving Father; and we are each a Divinely Beloved son of God -- as are all humans ! If you believe that God is your loving Father; you should always be assured in Spirit and in Truth that you are freely granted Eternal Life in the Family of God, and thus have ever-increasing glorious opportunities to serve as God wills for you and for all !]
195:10.18 Christianity is an extemporized religion, and therefore must it operate in low gear. High-gear spiritual performances must await the new revelation and the more general acceptance of the real religion of Jesus. But Christianity is a mighty religion, seeing that the commonplace disciples of a crucified carpenter set in motion those teachings which conquered the Roman world in three hundred years and then went on to triumph over the barbarians who overthrew Rome. This same Christianity conquered -- absorbed and exalted -- the whole stream of Hebrew theology and Greek philosophy. And then, when this Christian religion became comatose for more than a thousand years as a result of an overdose of mysteries and paganism, it resurrected itself and virtually reconquered the whole Western world. Christianity contains enough of Jesus' teachings to immortalize it. [!! Tremendous Revelation here !]
[The last] Paper 196 The Faith of Jesus
1. Jesus—The Man
196:1.2 The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions I Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith and of practices of living as will enable it to "follow after" the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his Father's will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man. Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and unconsecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy, or even the overthrow, of traditional ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus. [We thank our ever-present Jesus Christ and the pure spirit Essence of God within each moral human for this augmenting worldwide "Spiritual Springtime" ! Amen !]
2. The Religion of Jesus
PAPER 196. The Faith of Jesus
2. The Religion of Jesus
196:2.1 Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul’s religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian. [I add: The whole Christian Bible has about 800,000 words. But there are only about 1024 unique words of Jesus in the New Testament, with much left out, and with a few serious errors, such as John 14:12-14 ! Note however, that the Book of John is the best and most important book in the Bible. The Urantia Book Revelation of Truth, given to this needy world around A.D. 1934 -1935, has over a million words on 2097 pages, and about half of that tremendous tome is on the supernal nature, life and Teachings of our Sovereign Creator Son of God and Son of Man Jesus Christ Michael.]
196:2.4 But the greatest mistake was made in that, while the human Jesus was recognized as having a religion, the divine Jesus (Christ) almost overnight became a religion. Paul's Christianity made sure of the adoration of the divine Christ, [good!] but it almost wholly lost sight of the struggling and valiant human Jesus of Galilee, who, by the valor of his personal religious faith and the heroism of his indwelling Adjuster, ascended from the lowly levels of humanity to become one with divinity, thus becoming the new and living way whereby all mortals may so ascend from humanity to divinity. Mortals in all stages of spirituality and on all worlds may find in the personal life of Jesus that which will strengthen and inspire them as they progress from the lowest spirit levels up to the highest divine values, from the beginning to the end of all personal religious experience.
196:2.5 At the time of the writing of the New Testament, the authors not only most profoundly believed in the divinity of the risen Christ, but they also devotedly and sincerely believed in his immediate [physical] return to earth to consummate the heavenly kingdom. [as they had hoped for, a mere nationalistic King-Ruler -- not very spiritual.] This strong faith in the Lord's immediate return had much to do with the tendency to omit from the record those references which portrayed the purely human experiences and attributes of the Master. The whole Christian movement tended away from the human picture of Jesus of Nazareth toward the exaltation of the risen Christ, the glorified and soon-returning Lord Jesus Christ.
196:2.11 Jesus offered no rules for social advancement; his was a religious mission, and religion is an exclusively individual experience. The ultimate goal of society's most advanced achievement can never hope to transcend Jesus' brotherhood of men based on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The ideal of all social attainment can be realized only in the coming of this divine kingdom.
3. The Supremacy of Religion
196:3.1 Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith -- the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence -- unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus' gospel, the personal God of human salvation.
196:3.20 Every time man makes a reflective moral choice, he immediately experiences a new divine invasion of his soul. Moral constitutes religion as the motive of inner response to outer conditions. But such a real religion is not a purely subjective experience. It signifies the whole of the subjectivity of the individual engaged in a meaningful and intelligent response to total objectivity -- the universe and its Maker.
196:3.22 True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception. Worship is a personal communion with that which is divinely real, with that which is the very source of reality. Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best.
196:3.28 Religion stands above science, art, philosophy, ethics, and morals, but not independent of them. They are all indissolubly interrelated in human experience, personal and social. Religion is man's supreme experience in the mortal nature, but finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience. [God-consciousness and profoundly perceiving our loving Father's Personality Presence is ineffable -- well transcendent to being conveyed by any combination of finite human words, including all of the best Theological, philosophical and scientific words.]
196:3.30 Art results from man's attempt to escape from the lack of beauty in his material environment; it is a gesture toward the morontia [higher soul reality] level. Science is man's effort to solve the apparent riddles of the material universe. Philosophy is man's attempt at the unification of human experience. Religion is man's supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him.
196:3.33 Page-2097 "Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail." [Very True ! Amen ! Let us strive to help our Good Master Jesus Christ in this work; as He so calls us !]
The next Topical Study will be published here Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 at about 8:00 PM CDT (new Study material here usually each Mon. Wed. and Fri. at 8:00 PM CDT)]
Past TOPICAL STUDIES 93 and 94
Past TOPICAL STUDY 1-on
Spiritual High-Lights of Jesus Christ
Spiritual High-Lights of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
FIFTH EPOCHAL REVELATION (full text and my added comments)
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES (shorter, with some FER)