Teacher-Brother Dave's initial comments: I am presenting some of my Topical Studies from the fully public domain, 2097 page, Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth and with my added comments. The Revealed text is free of copyright, so you may freely share individually these supernal quotes with your friends and relatives. But my order of selections, font types for emphasis and my added comments are Copyright 2018 by Dave@PureChristians.org All Rights Reserved. Contact me first about using the whole Study or group of Studies.
[My added comments of explanation below are in these square brackets]
Topical Study 106 "WORSHIP Revealed in Great Detail”
Compiled June 28, 2019 by Dave@PureChristians.org
PAPER 74. Adam and Eve
3. Adam and Eve Learn about the Planet
74:3.10 But circumstances dictated otherwise. The experience of the day just past in which Adam had so intelligently and so exhaustively discussed the animal life of Urantia, together with his masterly inaugural address and his charming manner, had so won the hearts and overcome the intellects of the Garden dwellers that they were not only wholeheartedly disposed to accept the newly arrived Son and Daughter of Jerusem as rulers, but the majority were about ready to fall down and worship them as gods.
4. The First Upheaval
74:4.1 That night, the night following the sixth day, while Adam and Eve slumbered, strange things were transpiring in the vicinity of the Father’s temple in the central sector of Eden. There, under the rays of the mellow moon, hundreds of enthusiastic and excited men and women listened for hours to the impassioned pleas of their leaders. They meant well, but they simply could not understand the simplicity of the fraternal and democratic manner of their new rulers. And long before daybreak the new and temporary administrators of world affairs reached a virtually unanimous conclusion that Adam and his mate were altogether too modest and unassuming. They decided that Divinity had descended to earth in bodily form, that Adam and Eve were in reality gods or else so near such an estate as to be worthy of reverent worship.
74:4.2 The amazing events of the first six days of Adam and Eve on earth were entirely too much for the unprepared minds of even the world’s best men; their heads were in a whirl; they were swept along with the proposal to bring the noble pair up to the Father’s temple at high noon in order that everyone might bow down in respectful worship and prostrate themselves in humble submission. And the Garden dwellers were really sincere in all of this.
74:4.4 It was near the dawn of their seventh day on earth that Adam and Eve heard the startling news of the proposal of these well-meaning but misguided mortals; and then, even while the passenger birds were swiftly winging to bring them to the temple, the midwayers, being able to do such things, transported Adam and Eve to the Father’s temple. It was early on the morning of this seventh day and from the mount of their so recent reception that Adam held forth in explanation of the orders of divine sonship and made clear to these earth minds that only the Father and those whom he designates may be worshiped. Adam made it plain that he would accept any honor and receive all respect, but worship never!
74:4.5 It was a momentous day, and just before noon, about the time of the arrival of the seraphic messenger bearing the Jerusem acknowledgment of the installation of the world’s rulers, Adam and Eve, moving apart from the throng, pointed to the Father’s temple and said: “Go you now to the material emblem of the Father’s invisible presence and bow down in worship of him who made us all and who keeps us living. And let this act be the sincere pledge that you never will again be tempted to worship anyone but God.” They all did as Adam directed. The Material Son and Daughter stood alone on the mount with bowed heads while the people prostrated themselves about the temple.
74:4.6 And this was the origin of the Sabbath-day tradition. Always in Eden the seventh day was devoted to the noontide assembly at the temple; long it was the custom to devote this day to self-culture. The forenoon was devoted to physical improvement, the noontime to spiritual worship, the afternoon to mind culture, while the evening was spent in social rejoicing. This was never the law in Eden, but it was the custom as long as the Adamic administration held sway on earth. [Now we know that no one day or one place is more "holy" that the other. How holy are the actions of people then and there? Only persons - Divine or human - are, or can be, Holy -- God or Godlike.]
7. Life in the Garden
74:7.21 The public worship hour of Eden was noon; sunset was the hour of family worship. Adam did his best to discourage the use of set prayers, teaching that effective prayer must be wholly individual, that it must be the “desire of the soul”; but the Edenites continued to use the prayers and forms handed down from the times of Dalamatia. Adam also endeavored to substitute the offerings of the fruit of the land for the blood sacrifices in the religious ceremonies but had made little progress before the disruption of the Garden.
8. The Legend of Creation
74:8.1 The story of the creation of Urantia in six days was based on the tradition that Adam and Eve had spent just six days in their initial survey of the Garden. This circumstance lent almost sacred sanction to the time period of the week, which had been originally introduced by the Dalamatians. Adam’s spending six days inspecting the Garden and formulating preliminary plans for organization was not prearranged; it was worked out from day to day. The choosing of the seventh day for worship was wholly incidental to the facts herewith narrated. [God can be worshipped at any place and at any time ! Not just on one day a week. This is the new revealed religion of personal God-consciousness at any time and everywhere !]
74:8.7 The Old Testament account of creation dates from long after the time of Moses; he never taught the Hebrews such a distorted story. But he did present a simple and condensed narrative of creation to the Israelites, hoping thereby to augment his appeal to worship the Creator, the Universal Father, whom he called the Lord God of Israel. [In Genesis, there is presented two different stories on "Creation". Both have serious errors. For example, it states: "on the seventh day, God rested". If God rested, all realities He made would disappear ! He is the Primal and Final Source and center of all realities ! God and Paradise are both fully timeless and spaceless !]
PAPER 76. The Second Garden
3. Life in Mesopotamia
76:3.4 The religious rulers, or priesthood, originated with Seth, the eldest surviving son of Adam and Eve born in the second garden. He was born one hundred and twenty-nine years after Adam’s arrival on Urantia. [38,000 years ago to biologically uplift the human race] Seth became absorbed in the work of improving the spiritual status of his father’s people, becoming the head of the new priesthood of the second garden. His son, Enos, founded the new order of worship, and his grandson, Kenan, instituted the foreign missionary service to the surrounding tribes, near and far.
5. Death of Adam and Eve
76:5.5 Adam lived for 530 years; he died of what might be termed old age. His physical mechanism simply wore out; the process of disintegration gradually gained on the process of repair, and the inevitable end came. Eve had died nineteen years previously of a weakened heart. They were both buried in the center of the temple of divine service which had been built in accordance with their plans soon after the wall of the colony had been completed. And this was the origin of the practice of burying noted and pious men and women under the floors of the places of worship.[If Adam and Eve did not default, they would not have died. Jesus Christ resurrected and rehabilitated them back up on a higher Heaven.]
PAPER 79. Andite Expansion in the Orient
6. Dawn of Chinese Civilization
79:6.10 #3. Spiritual. During the age of Andite migrations the Chinese were among the more spiritual peoples of earth. Long adherence to the worship of the One Truth proclaimed by Singlangton kept them ahead of most of the other races. The stimulus of a progressive and advanced religion is often a decisive factor in cultural development; as India languished, so China forged ahead under the invigorating stimulus of a religion in which truth was enshrined as the supreme Deity.
79:6.11 This worship of truth was provocative of research and fearless exploration of the laws of nature and the potentials of mankind. The Chinese of even six thousand years ago were still keen students and aggressive in their pursuit of truth.
8. Later Chinese Civilization
79:8.3 Consciousness of past achievements (somewhat diminished in the present), the conservatism of an overwhelmingly agricultural people, and a well-developed family life equaled the birth of ancestor veneration, culminating in the custom of so honoring the men of the past as to border on worship. A very similar attitude prevailed among the white races in Europe for some five hundred years following the disruption of Greco-Roman civilization.
79:8.4 The belief in, and worship of, the “One Truth” as taught by Singlangton never entirely died out; but as time passed, the search for new and higher truth became overshadowed by a growing tendency to venerate that which was already established. Slowly the genius of the yellow race became diverted from the pursuit of the unknown to the preservation of the known. And this is the reason for the stagnation of what had been the world’s most rapidly progressing civilization.
79:8.5 Between 4000 and 500 B.C. the political reunification of the yellow race was consummated, but the cultural union of the Yangtze and Yellow river centers had already been effected. This political reunification of the later tribal groups was not without conflict, but the societal opinion of war remained low; ancestor worship, increasing dialects, and no call for military action for thousands upon thousands of years had rendered this people ultrapeaceful.
79:8.7 Soon developments in writing, together with the establishment of schools, contributed to the dissemination of knowledge on a previously unequaled scale. But the cumbersome nature of the ideographic writing system placed a numerical limit upon the learned classes despite the early appearance of printing. And above all else, the process of social standardization and religio-philosophic dogmatization continued apace. The religious development of ancestor veneration became further complicated by a flood of superstitions involving nature worship, but lingering vestiges of a real concept of God remained preserved in the imperial worship of Shang-ti.
PAPER 80. Andite Expansion in the Occident
7. Andites of the Mediterranean Isles
80:7.7 It was during this age in Crete that the mother cult of the descendants of Cain attained its greatest vogue. This cult glorified Eve in the worship of the “great mother.” Images of Eve were everywhere. Thousands of public shrines were erected throughout Crete and Asia Minor. And this mother cult persisted on down to the times of Christ, becoming later incorporated in the early Christian religion under the guise of the glorification and worship of Mary the earth mother of Jesus.
8. The Danubian Andonites
80:8.5 The Danubians became mother worshipers as the result of the work of the missionaries from Crete. These tribes later amalgamated with groups of Andonite sailors who came by boats from the coast of Asia Minor, and who were also mother worshipers. Much of central Europe was thus early settled by these mixed types of the broad-headed white races which practiced mother worship and the religious rite of cremating the dead, for it was the custom of the mother cultists to burn their dead in stone huts.
9. The Three White Races
80:9.4 The Nordics continued the trade in amber from the Baltic coast, building up a great commerce with the broadheads of the Danube valley via the Brenner Pass. This extended contact with the Danubians led these northerners into mother worship, and for several thousands of years cremation of the dead was almost universal throughout Scandinavia. This explains why remains of the earlier white races, although buried all over Europe, are not to be found — only their ashes in stone and clay urns. These white men also built dwellings; they never lived in caves. And again this explains why there are so few evidences of the white man’s early culture, although the preceding Cro-Magnon type is well preserved where it has been securely sealed up in caves and grottoes. As it were, one day in northern Europe there is a primitive culture of the retrogressing Danubians and the blue man and the next that of a suddenly appearing and vastly superior white man.
80:9.13 These were the times of the New Stone Age overlapping the oncoming Bronze Age. In Scandinavia it was the Bronze Age associated with mother worship. In southern France and Spain it was the New Stone Age associated with sun worship. This was the time of the building of the circular and roofless sun temples. The European white races were energetic builders, delighting to set up great stones as tokens to the sun, much as did their later-day descendants at Stonehenge. The vogue of sun worship indicates that this was a great period of agriculture in southern Europe.
80:9.14 (899.1) The superstitions of this comparatively recent sun-worshiping era even now persist in the folkways of Brittany. Although Christianized for over fifteen hundred years, these Bretons still retain charms of the New Stone Age for warding off the evil eye. They still keep thunderstones in the chimney as protection against lightning. The Bretons never mingled with the Scandinavian Nordics. They are survivors of the original Andonite inhabitants of western Europe, mixed with the Mediterranean stock.
PAPER 83. The Marriage Institution
6. True Monogamy—Pair Marriage
83:6.3 The Chaldean tribes recognized the right of a wife to impose a premarital pledge upon her spouse not to take a second wife or concubine; both the Greeks and the Romans favored monogamous marriage. Ancestor worship has always fostered monogamy, as has the Christian error of regarding marriage as a sacrament. Even the elevation of the standard of living has consistently militated against plural wives. By the time of [Jesus Christ] Michael’s advent on Urantia practically all of the civilized world had attained the level of theoretical monogamy. But this passive monogamy did not mean that mankind had become habituated to the practice of real pair marriage. [normal marriage of one man and one woman, united to co-create more sons of God or our Father and raise and train them to strive to be more Godly must not collapse, or that nation or world will collapse into anarchy and more deadly wars !]
PAPER 84. Marriage and Family Life
7. The Ideals of Family Life
84:7.19 Ancestor worshipers view the failure to have sons as the supreme calamity for all time and eternity. They desire above all else to have sons to officiate in the post-mortem feasts, to offer the required sacrifices for the ghost’s progress through spiritland.
PAPER 85. The Origins of Worship
85:0.2 In the evolution of the human species, worship in its primitive manifestations appears long before the mind of man is capable of formulating the more complex concepts of life now and in the hereafter which deserve to be called religion. Early religion was wholly intellectual in nature and was entirely predicated on associational circumstances. The objects of worship were altogether suggestive; they consisted of the things of nature which were close at hand, or which loomed large in the commonplace experience of the simple-minded primitive Urantians.
85:0.3 When religion once evolved beyond nature worship, it acquired roots of spirit origin but was nevertheless always conditioned by the social environment. As nature worship developed, man’s concepts envisioned a division of labor in the supermortal world; there were nature spirits for lakes, trees, waterfalls, rain, and hundreds of other ordinary terrestrial phenomena.
85:0.4 At one time or another mortal man has worshiped everything on the face of the earth, including himself. He has also worshiped about everything imaginable in the sky and beneath the surface of the earth. Primitive man feared all manifestations of power; he worshiped every natural phenomenon he could not comprehend. The observation of powerful natural forces, such as storms, floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, fire, heat, and cold, greatly impressed the expanding mind of man. The inexplicable things of life are still termed “acts of God” and “mysterious dispensations of Providence.”
1. Worship of Stones and Hills
85:1.1 The first object to be worshiped by evolving man was a stone. Today the Kateri people of southern India still worship a stone, as do numerous tribes in northern India. Jacob slept on a stone because he venerated it; he even anointed it. Rachel concealed a number of sacred stones in her tent.
85:1.2 Stones first impressed early man as being out of the ordinary because of the manner in which they would so suddenly appear on the surface of a cultivated field or pasture. Men failed to take into account either erosion or the results of the overturning of soil. Stones also greatly impressed early peoples because of their frequent resemblance to animals. The attention of civilized man is arrested by numerous stone formations in the mountains which so much resemble the faces of animals and even men. But the most profound influence was exerted by meteoric stones which primitive humans beheld hurtling through the atmosphere in flaming grandeur. The shooting star was awesome to early man, and he easily believed that such blazing streaks marked the passage of a spirit on its way to earth. No wonder men were led to worship such phenomena, especially when they subsequently discovered the meteors. And this led to greater reverence for all other stones. In Bengal many worship a meteor which fell to earth in A.D. 1880.
85:1.3 All ancient clans and tribes had their sacred stones, and most modern peoples manifest a degree of veneration for certain types of stones — their jewels. A group of five stones was reverenced in India; in Greece it was a cluster of thirty; among the red men it was usually a circle of stones. The Romans always threw a stone into the air when invoking Jupiter. In India even to this day a stone can be used as a witness. In some regions a stone may be employed as a talisman of the law, and by its prestige an offender can be haled into court. But simple mortals do not always identify Deity with an object of reverent ceremony. Such fetishes are many times mere symbols of the real object of worship.
85:1.4 The ancients had a peculiar regard for holes in stones. Such porous rocks were supposed to be unusually efficacious in curing diseases. Ears were not perforated to carry stones, but the stones were put in to keep the ear holes open. Even in modern times superstitious persons make holes in coins. In Africa the natives make much ado over their fetish stones. In fact, among all backward tribes and peoples stones are still held in superstitious veneration. Stone worship is even now widespread over the world. The tombstone is a surviving symbol of images and idols which were carved in stone in connection with beliefs in ghosts and the spirits of departed fellow beings.
85:1.5 Hill worship followed stone worship, and the first hills to be venerated were large stone formations. It presently became the custom to believe that the gods inhabited the mountains, so that high elevations of land were worshiped for this additional reason. As time passed, certain mountains were associated with certain gods and therefore became holy. The ignorant and superstitious aborigines believed that caves led to the underworld, with its evil spirits and demons, in contrast with the mountains, which were identified with the later evolving concepts of good spirits and deities.
2. Worship of Plants and Trees
85:2.1 Plants were first feared and then worshiped because of the intoxicating liquors which were derived therefrom. Primitive man believed that intoxication rendered one divine. There was supposed to be something unusual and sacred about such an experience. Even in modern times alcohol is known as “spirits.”
85:2.3 The cults of tree worship are among the oldest religious groups. All early marriages were held under the trees, and when women desired children, they would sometimes be found out in the forest affectionately embracing a sturdy oak. Many plants and trees were venerated because of their real or fancied medicinal powers. The savage believed that all chemical effects were due to the direct activity of supernatural forces.
85:2.4 Ideas about tree spirits varied greatly among different tribes and races. Some trees were indwelt by kindly spirits; others harbored the deceptive and cruel. The Finns believed that most trees were occupied by kind spirits. The Swiss long mistrusted the trees, believing they contained tricky spirits. The inhabitants of India and eastern Russia regard the tree spirits as being cruel. The Patagonians still worship trees, as did the early Semites. Long after the Hebrews ceased tree worship, they continued to venerate their various deities in the groves. Except in China, there once existed a universal cult of the tree of life.
85:2.5 The belief that water or precious metals beneath the earth’s surface can be detected by a wooden divining rod is a relic of the ancient tree cults. The Maypole, the Christmas tree, and the superstitious practice of rapping on wood perpetuate certain of the ancient customs of tree worship and the later-day tree cults.
85:2.6 Many of these earliest forms of nature veneration became blended with the later evolving techniques of worship, but the earliest mind-adjutant-activated types of worship were functioning long before the newly awakening religious nature of mankind became fully responsive to the stimulus of spiritual influences.
3. The Worship of Animals
85:3.1 Primitive man had a peculiar and fellow feeling for the higher animals. His ancestors had lived with them and even mated with them. In southern Asia it was early believed that the souls of men came back to earth in animal form. This belief was a survival of the still earlier practice of worshiping animals.
85:3.2 Early men revered the animals for their power and their cunning. They thought the keen scent and the farseeing eyes of certain creatures betokened spirit guidance. The animals have all been worshiped by one race or another at one time or another. Among such objects of worship were creatures that were regarded as half human and half animal, such as centaurs and mermaids.
85:3.3 The Hebrews worshiped serpents down to the days of King Hezekiah, and the Hindus still maintain friendly relations with their house snakes. The Chinese worship of the dragon is a survival of the snake cults. The wisdom of the serpent was a symbol of Greek medicine and is still employed as an emblem by modern physicians. The art of snake charming has been handed down from the days of the female shamans of the snake love cult , who, as the result of daily snake bites, became immune, in fact, became genuine venom addicts and could not get along without this poison.
85:3.4 The worship of insects and other animals was promoted by a later misinterpretation of the golden rule — doing to others (every form of life) as you would be done by. The ancients once believed that all winds were produced by the wings of birds and therefore both feared and worshiped all winged creatures. The early Nordics thought that eclipses were caused by a wolf that devoured a portion of the sun or moon. The Hindus often show Vishnu with a horse’s head. Many times an animal symbol stands for a forgotten god or a vanished cult. Early in evolutionary religion the lamb became the typical sacrificial animal and the dove the symbol of peace and love.
85:3.5 In religion, symbolism may be either good or bad just to the extent that the symbol does or does not displace the original worshipful idea. And symbolism must not be confused with direct idolatry wherein the material object is directly and actually worshiped.
4. Worship of the Elements
85:4.1 Mankind has worshiped earth, air, water, and fire. The primitive races venerated springs and worshiped rivers. Even now in Mongolia there flourishes an influential river cult. Baptism became a religious ceremonial in Babylon, and the Greeks practiced the annual ritual bath. It was easy for the ancients to imagine that the spirits dwelt in the bubbling springs, gushing fountains, flowing rivers, and raging torrents. Moving waters vividly impressed these simple minds with beliefs of spirit animation and supernatural power. Sometimes a drowning man would be refused succor for fear of offending some river god.
85:4.2 Many things and numerous events have functioned as religious stimuli to different peoples in different ages. A rainbow is yet worshiped by many of the hill tribes of India. In both India and Africa the rainbow is thought to be a gigantic celestial snake; Hebrews and Christians regard it as “the bow of promise.” Likewise, influences regarded as beneficent in one part of the world may be looked upon as malignant in other regions. The east wind is a god in South America, for it brings rain; in India it is a devil because it brings dust and causes drought. The ancient Bedouins believed that a nature spirit produced the sand whirls, and even in the times of Moses belief in nature spirits was strong enough to insure their perpetuation in Hebrew theology as angels of fire, water, and air.
85:4.3 Clouds, rain, and hail have all been feared and worshiped by numerous primitive tribes and by many of the early nature cults. Windstorms with thunder and lightning overawed early man. He was so impressed with these elemental disturbances that thunder was regarded as the voice of an angry god. The worship of fire and the fear of lightning were linked together and were widespread among many early groups.
85:4.4 Fire was mixed up with magic in the minds of primitive fear-ridden mortals. A devotee of magic will vividly remember one positive chance result in the practice of his magic formulas, while he nonchalantly forgets a score of negative results, out-and-out failures. Fire reverence reached its height in Persia, where it long persisted. Some tribes worshiped fire as a deity itself; others revered it as the flaming symbol of the purifying and purging spirit of their venerated deities. Vestal virgins were charged with the duty of watching sacred fires, and in the twentieth century candles still burn as a part of the ritual of many religious services.
5. Worship of the Heavenly Bodies
85:5.1 The worship of rocks, hills, trees, and animals naturally developed up through fearful veneration of the elements to the deification of the sun, moon, and stars. In India and elsewhere the stars were regarded as the glorified souls of great men who had departed from the life in the flesh. The Chaldean star cultists considered themselves to be the children of the sky father and the earth mother.
85:5.2 Moon worship preceded sun worship. Veneration of the moon was at its height during the hunting era, while sun worship became the chief religious ceremony of the subsequent agricultural ages. Solar worship first took extensive root in India, and there it persisted the longest. In Persia sun veneration gave rise to the later Mithraic cult. Among many peoples the sun was regarded as the ancestor of their kings. The Chaldeans put the sun in the center of “the seven circles of the universe.” Later civilizations honored the sun by giving its name to the first day of the week.
6. Worship of Man
85:6.1 Having worshiped everything else on the face of the earth and in the heavens above, man has not hesitated to honor himself with such adoration. The simple-minded savage makes no clear distinction between beasts, men, and gods.
85:6.2 Early man regarded all unusual persons as superhuman, and he so feared such beings as to hold them in reverential awe; to some degree he literally worshiped them. Even having twins was regarded as being either very lucky or very unlucky. Lunatics, epileptics, and the feeble-minded were often worshiped by their normal-minded fellows, who believed that such abnormal beings were indwelt by the gods. Priests, kings, and prophets were worshiped; the holy men of old were looked upon as inspired by the deities.
85:6.4 The ghost gods, who are of supposed human origin, should be distinguished from the nature gods, for nature worship did evolve a pantheon — nature spirits elevated to the position of gods. The nature cults continued to develop along with the later appearing ghost cults, and each exerted an influence upon the other. Many religious systems embraced a dual concept of deity, nature gods and ghost gods; in some theologies these concepts are confusingly intertwined, as is illustrated by Thor, a ghost hero who was also master of the lightning.
85:6.5 But the worship of man by man reached its height when temporal rulers commanded such veneration from their subjects and, in substantiation of such demands, claimed to have descended from deity.
7. The Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom
85:7.1 Nature worship may seem to have arisen naturally and spontaneously in the minds of primitive men and women, and so it did; but there was operating all this time in these same primitive minds the sixth adjutant spirit, which had been bestowed upon these peoples as a directing influence of this phase of human evolution. And this spirit was constantly stimulating the worship urge of the human species, no matter how primitive its first manifestations might be. The spirit of worship gave definite origin to the human impulse to worship, notwithstanding that animal fear motivated the expression of worshipfulness, and that its early practice became centered upon objects of nature.
85:7.2 You must remember that feeling, not thinking, was the guiding and controlling influence in all evolutionary development. To the primitive mind there is little difference between fearing, shunning, honoring, and worshiping.
85:7.3 When the worship urge is admonished and directed by wisdom — meditative and experiential thinking — it then begins to develop into the phenomenon of real religion. When the seventh adjutant spirit, the spirit of wisdom, achieves effective ministration, then in worship man begins to turn away from nature and natural objects to the God of nature and to the eternal Creator of all things natural.
Topical Study 106 "WORSHIP Revealed in Great Detail”
Compiled July 01, 2019 by Dave@PureChristians.org
PAPER 86. Early Evolution of Religion
86:0.1 The evolution of religion from the preceding and primitive worship urge is not dependent on revelation. The normal functioning of the human mind under the directive influence of the sixth and seventh mind-adjutants [worship and wisdom] of universal spirit bestowal is wholly sufficient to insure such development.
1. Chance: Good Luck and Bad Luck
86:1.1 Aside from the natural worship urge, early evolutionary religion had its roots of origin in the human experiences of chance — so-called luck, commonplace happenings. Primitive man was a food hunter. The results of hunting must ever vary, and this gives certain origin to those experiences which man interprets as good luck and bad luck. Mischance was a great factor in the lives of men and women who lived constantly on the ragged edge of a precarious and harassed existence.
6. The Ghost-Spirit Environment
86:6.4 As evolution progressed, good luck became associated with good spirits and bad luck with bad spirits. The discomfort of enforced adaptation to a changing environment was regarded as ill luck, the displeasure of the spirit ghosts. Primitive man slowly evolved religion out of his innate [mind-spirit of] worship urge and his misconception of chance. Civilized man provides schemes of insurance to overcome these chance occurrences; modern science puts an actuary with mathematical reckoning in the place of fictitious spirits and whimsical gods. [God never changes; prayer is only to help you to become more Godlike and strengthen you as a soul. Physical prayer requests are almost never granted. Humans must learn to ever better control physical realities. Your physical body is designed to be a briefly living cosmic interaction tool for your higher Spirit-led soul and mind.]
86:6.5 Each passing generation smiles at the foolish superstitions of its ancestors while it goes on entertaining those fallacies of thought and worship which will give cause for further smiling on the part of enlightened posterity. [Most humans today are very dumb in Theology, philosophy and science; but our Father God loves and cares for the souls, spirits and personalities of all beings -- highest to lowest.]
PAPER 87. The Ghost Cults
2. Ghost Placation
87:2.1 In religion the negative program of ghost placation long preceded the positive program of spirit coercion and supplication. The first acts of human worship were phenomena of defense, not reverence. Modern man deems it wise to insure against fire; so the savage thought it the better part of wisdom to provide insurance against ghost bad luck. The effort to secure this protection constituted the techniques and rituals of the ghost cult. [Note: the word "cult" is not always negative; there are also good, positive cults. Cult just means a small group of religionists, or others who share common goals. Jesus and his followers was a very good cult !]
3. Ancestor Worship
87:3.1 The advancing ghost cult made ancestor worship inevitable since it became the connecting link between common ghosts and the higher spirits, the evolving gods. The early gods were simply glorified departed humans. [Today some Catholics still do the spiritual abomination of "praying to 'glorified ascended human saints'. There are no 'saints"; God loves all humans and higher beings equally ! There should be no human intercessors between God and you; God's pure Spirit Essence indwells you continuously !]
87:3.2 Ancestor worship was originally more of a fear than a worship, but such beliefs did definitely contribute to the further spread of ghost fear and worship. Devotees of the early ancestor-ghost cults even feared to yawn lest a malignant ghost enter their bodies at such a time.
87:3.5 The ghost cult was in continuous evolution. As ghosts were envisioned as passing from the incomplete to the higher phase of existence, so did the cult eventually progress to the worship of spirits, and even gods. But regardless of varying beliefs in more advanced spirits, all tribes and races once believed in ghosts. [Sadly, many humans still do today !]
5. The Advancing Ghost Cult
87:5.2 And now the simple ghost cult is followed by the practices of the more advanced and relatively complex spirit-ghost cult, the service and worship of the higher spirits as they evolved in man’s primitive imagination. Religious ceremonial must keep pace with spirit evolution and progress. The expanded cult was but the art of self-maintenance practiced in relation to belief in supernatural beings, self-adjustment to spirit environment. Industrial and military organizations were adjustments to natural and social environments. And as marriage arose to meet the demands of bisexuality, [two different sexes, male and female, to co-create more sons of God for our Father God ! Not the modern distorted definition of deviant, deadly sex.] so did religious organization evolve in response to the belief in higher spirit forces and spiritual beings. Religion represents man’s adjustment to his illusions of the mystery of chance. Spirit fear and subsequent worship were adopted as insurance against misfortune, as prosperity policies.
PAPER 88. Fetishes, Charms, and Magic
88:0.1 The concept of a spirit’s entering into an inanimate object, an animal, or a human being, is a very ancient and honorable belief, having prevailed since the beginning of the evolution of religion. This doctrine of spirit possession is nothing more nor less than fetishism. The savage does not necessarily worship the fetish; he very logically worships and reverences the spirit resident therein.
1. Belief in Fetishes
88:1.2 The first fetishes were peculiarly marked pebbles, and “sacred stones” have ever since been sought by man; a string of beads was once a collection of sacred stones, a battery of charms. Many tribes had fetish stones, but few have survived as have the Kaaba and the Stone of Scone. Fire and water were also among the early fetishes, and fire worship, together with belief in holy water, still survives. [Today, there are terrible fetishes of "Holy places" and "Holy Days" and many others !]
88:1.3 Tree fetishes were a later development, but among some tribes the persistence of nature worship led to belief in charms indwelt by some sort of nature spirit. When plants and fruits became fetishes, they were taboo as food. The apple was among the first to fall into this category; it was never eaten by the Levantine peoples.
2. Evolution of the Fetish
88:2.5 Moses, in the addition of the second commandment to the ancient Dalamatian moral code, made an effort to control fetish worship among the Hebrews. He carefully directed that they should make no sort of image that might become consecrated as a fetish. He made it plain, “You shall not make a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters of the earth.” While this commandment did much to retard art among the Jews, it did lessen fetish worship. But Moses was too wise to attempt suddenly to displace the olden fetishes, and he therefore consented to the putting of certain relics alongside the law in the combined war altar and religious shrine which was the ark. [The old Hebrew "Law" was of mostly human origin, and not up to the Revealed Law of God as taught and lived by Jesus Christ Michael Incarnate here tgo A.D. 30 and then and now fully here as He the Father-Son Union Spirit of All Truth: GOD ]
88:3.1 Fetishism ran through all the primitive cults from the earliest belief in sacred stones, through idolatry, cannibalism, and nature worship, to totemism.
88:3.2 Totemism is a combination of social and religious observances. Originally it was thought that respect for the totem animal of supposed biologic origin insured the food supply. Totems were at one and the same time symbols of the group and their god. Such a god was the clan personified. Totemism was one phase of the attempted socialization of otherwise personal religion. The totem eventually evolved into the flag, or national symbol, of the various modern peoples. [National flags are okay; but we should pledge allegiance to God our Father, and not to a mere symbol of a nation - not to a flag.]
88:3.3 A fetish bag, a medicine bag, was a pouch containing a reputable assortment of ghost-impregnated articles, and the medicine man of old never allowed his bag, the symbol of his power, to touch the ground. Civilized peoples in the twentieth century see to it that their flags, emblems of national consciousness, likewise never touch the ground. [Then why are humans allowed to walk barfoot on the ground ? Death penalty ? Ha ha]
88:3.4 The insignia of priestly and kingly office were eventually regarded as fetishes, and the fetish of the state supreme has passed through many stages of development, from clans to tribes, from suzerainty to sovereignty, from totems to flags. Fetish kings have ruled by “divine right,” and many other forms of government have obtained. Men have also made a fetish of democracy, the exaltation and adoration of the common man’s ideas when collectively called “public opinion.” One man’s opinion, when taken by itself, is not regarded as worth much, but when many men are collectively functioning as a democracy, this same mediocre judgment is held to be the arbiter of justice and the standard of righteousness. [Ha ! Meritocracy and personal responsibility must soon replace communism and socialism and the dominance of mediocrity ! Voters must be tested and qualified to vote, or a nation will soon collapse ! "One man, one vote" must be changed to "One adult human, zero to 10 votes each by merit." Prisoners and other illegal humans get zero votes.]
PAPER 89. Sin, Sacrifice, and Atonement
89:0.1 Primitive man regarded himself as being in debt to the spirits, as standing in need of redemption. As the savages looked at it, in justice the spirits might have visited much more bad luck upon them. As time passed, this concept developed into the doctrine of sin and salvation. The soul was looked upon as coming into the world under forfeit — original sin. The soul must be ransomed; a scapegoat must be provided. The head-hunter, in addition to practicing the cult of skull worship, was able to provide a substitute for his own life, a scapeman. [The Bible teaches "original sin" and the "fall of man". Totally false ! God has decreed the continuous perfection of all mankind. Lucifer, Satan and others rebelled and fell from power, but not mankind as a whole. Today, this planet is in a great, new Spiritual Renaissance ! But you must see that with Spirit Vision, not the negative, secular humanistic news media.]
4. Origins of Sacrifice
89:4.1 Sacrifice as a part of religious devotions, like many other worshipful rituals, did not have a simple and single origin. The tendency to bow down before power and to prostrate oneself in worshipful adoration in the presence of mystery is foreshadowed in the fawning of the dog before its master. It is but one step from the impulse of worship to the act of sacrifice. Primitive man gauged the value of his sacrifice by the pain which he suffered. When the idea of sacrifice first attached itself to religious ceremonial, no offering was contemplated which was not productive of pain. The first sacrifices were such acts as plucking hair, cutting the flesh, mutilations, knocking out teeth, and cutting off fingers. As civilization advanced, these crude concepts of sacrifice were elevated to the level of the rituals of self-abnegation, asceticism, fasting, deprivation, and the later Christian doctrine of sanctification through sorrow, suffering, and the mortification of the flesh. [Paul's Jewish "blood atonement -- sacrifice of the Lamb of God" must be fully abandonned ! God is not a savage vampire needing innocent blood to change it from terrible, deadly wrath to being nice, kind, loving, merciful again !! What blasphemy ! But God also does forgive that, as taught by Jesus !]
89:4.7 Gifts and bribes are given to men; but when tendered to the gods, they are described as being dedicated, made sacred, or are called sacrifices. Renunciation was the negative form of propitiation; sacrifice became the positive form. The act of propitiation included praise, glorification, flattery, and even entertainment. And it is the remnants of these positive practices of the olden propitiation cult that constitute the modern forms of divine worship. Present-day forms of worship are simply the ritualization of these ancient sacrificial techniques of positive propitiation. [The only gift a human can give to God is to try to learn and to do His will above your will, until you finally become all Spirit-perfected and ARE the will of God in your finite domain of activity.]
7. Modifications of Human Sacrifice
89:7.4 Many of the peculiar associations of sex laxity with primitive worship had their origin in connection with human sacrifice. In olden times, if a woman met head-hunters, she could redeem her life by sexual surrender. Later, a maiden consecrated to the gods as a sacrifice might elect to redeem her life by dedicating her body for life to the sacred sex service of the temple; in this way she could earn her redemption money. The ancients regarded it as highly elevating to have sex relations with a woman thus engaged in ransoming her life. It was a religious ceremony to consort with these sacred maidens, and in addition, this whole ritual afforded an acceptable excuse for commonplace sexual gratification. This was a subtle species of self-deception which both the maidens and their consorts delighted to practice upon themselves. The mores always drag behind in the evolutionary advance of civilization, thus providing sanction for the earlier and more savagelike sex practices of the evolving races. [When Jesus was Incarnate here on earth, the Jerusalem temple had prostitutes for the "religious leaders'. Today, that continues somewhat, but they try to keep it secret.]
8. Redemption and Covenants
89:8.6 But the idea of making a covenant with the gods did finally arrive. Evolutionary man eventually acquired such moral dignity that he dared to bargain with his gods. And so the business of offering sacrifices gradually developed into the game of man’s philosophic bargaining with God. And all this represented a new device for insuring against bad luck or, rather, an enhanced technique for the more definite purchase of prosperity. Do not entertain the mistaken idea that these early sacrifices were a free gift to the gods, a spontaneous offering of gratitude or thanksgiving; they were not expressions of true worship.
89:8.7 Primitive forms of prayer were nothing more nor less than bargaining with the spirits, an argument with the gods. It was a kind of bartering in which pleading and persuasion were substituted for something more tangible and costly. The developing commerce of the races had inculcated the spirit of trade and had developed the shrewdness of barter; and now these traits began to appear in man’s worship methods. And as some men were better traders than others, so some were regarded as better prayers than others. The prayer of a just man was held in high esteem. A just man was one who had paid all accounts to the spirits, had fully discharged every ritual obligation to the gods. [No matter how you pray or sacrifice, God never changes His perfect, all-Knowing, Fatherly will ! True prayer is only to help you conform to his perfect will.]
89:8.8 Early prayer was hardly worship; it was a bargaining petition for health, wealth, and life. And in many respects prayers have not much changed with the passing of the ages. They are still read out of books, recited formally, and written out for emplacement on wheels and for hanging on trees, where the blowing of the winds will save man the trouble of expending his own breath. [Sad ... Maybe we should try a high-tech electric-powered prayer wheel that spins at 5,000 rpm ? Ha !]
PAPER 90. Shamanism—Medicine Men and Priests
90:0.2 In the advancing concepts of primitive man the spirit world was eventually regarded as being unresponsive to the ordinary mortal. Only the exceptional among humans could catch the ear of the gods; only the extraordinary man or woman would be heard by the spirits. Religion thus enters upon a new phase, a stage wherein it gradually becomes secondhanded; always does a medicine man, a shaman, or a priest intervene between the religionist and the object of worship. And today most Urantia [Earth] systems of organized religious belief are passing through this level of evolutionary development. [No mere human intermediaries are between God in Jesus in Spirit here and you ! Practice true personal religion - personal God-consciousness at all times and in all places !]
5. Priests and Rituals
90:5.3 Words become a part of ritual, such as the use of terms like amen and selah. The habit of swearing, profanity, represents a prostitution of former ritualistic repetition of holy names. The making of pilgrimages to sacred shrines is a very ancient ritual. The ritual next grew into elaborate ceremonies of purification, cleansing, and sanctification. The initiation ceremonies of the primitive tribal secret societies were in reality a crude religious rite. The worship technique of the olden mystery cults was just one long performance of accumulated religious ritual. Ritual finally developed into the modern types of social ceremonials and religious worship, services embracing prayer, song, responsive reading, and other individual and group spiritual devotions. [That must further evolve to dispense with all ecclesiastical "authorities" intervening between God and you ! True Spirit Religion is each human son of God being personally God-conscious directly at all times and in all places. That Spirit Awarenes is now starting to be practiced by a small, but growing, percentage of humans. We are all in the Family of God the Universal Father in our local universe Creator Father-Son Jesus Christ Michael and in Their One combined Father-Son Union Spirit of All Truth, Who is ever around all humans and living in the minds and souls of all sincere truth-seekers and Living Truth-Finders !]
90:5.4 The priests evolved from shamans up through oracles, diviners, singers, dancers, weathermakers, guardians of religious relics, temple custodians, and foretellers of events, to the status of actual directors of religious worship. Eventually the office became hereditary; a continuous priestly caste arose.
90:5.6 The priests have always sought to impress and awe the common people by conducting the religious ritual in an ancient tongue and by sundry magical passes so to mystify the worshipers as to enhance their own piety and authority. The great danger in all this is that the ritual tends to become a substitute for religion.
90:5.7 The priesthoods have done much to delay scientific development and to hinder spiritual progress, but they have contributed to the stabilization of civilization and to the enhancement of certain kinds of culture. But many modern priests have ceased to function as directors of the ritual of the worship of God, having turned their attention to theology — the attempt to define God. [A profound statement, author unknown: "If God were small enough for our finite human understanding, He would not be Big enough for our Real Needs !]
PAPER 91. The Evolution of Prayer
1. Primitive Prayer
91:1.4 Prayer is only monologuous in the most primitive type of mind. It early becomes a dialogue and rapidly expands to the level of group worship. Prayer signifies that the premagical incantations of primitive religion have evolved to that level where the human mind recognizes the reality of beneficent powers or beings who are able to enhance social values and to augment moral ideals, and further, that these influences are superhuman and distinct from the ego of the self-conscious human and his fellow mortals. True prayer does not, therefore, appear until the agency of religious ministry is visualized as personal.
4. Ethical Praying
91:4.3 In all your praying be fair; do not expect God to show partiality, to love you more than his other children, your friends, neighbors, even enemies. But the prayer of the natural or evolved religions is not at first ethical, as it is in the later revealed religions. All praying, whether individual or communal, may be either egoistic or altruistic. That is, the prayer may be centered upon the self or upon others. When the prayer seeks nothing for the one who prays nor anything for his fellows, then such attitudes of the soul tend to the levels of true worship. Egoistic prayers involve confessions and petitions and often consist in requests for material favors. Prayer is somewhat more ethical when it deals with forgiveness and seeks wisdom for enhanced self-control. [True prayer and worship helps you to better know, and better DO, GOD's will indwelling you and all normal, slightly or better, moral humans. "It is my will, our loving Father God, that your perfect will be done, and not any of my will that might deviate from Your Will ...]
5. Social Repercussions of Prayer
91:5.1 In ancestor worship, prayer leads to the cultivation of ancestral ideals. But prayer, as a feature of Deity worship, transcends all other such practices since it leads to the cultivation of divine ideals. As the concept of the alter ego of prayer becomes supreme and divine, so are man’s ideals accordingly elevated from mere human toward supernal and divine levels, and the result of all such praying is the enhancement of human character and the profound unification of human personality.
91:5.6 Prayer is the technique whereby, sooner or later, every religion becomes institutionalized. And in time prayer becomes associated with numerous secondary agencies, some helpful, others decidedly deleterious, such as priests, holy books, worship rituals, and ceremonials. [A careful reading of John 1:1-18 in the Bible proves that "The Word of God" is Jesus Christ here in Spirit and not a mere 800,000 word book (bible) that has only about 1024 unique words of Jesus in red letters ! Far too much on Paul's dim views and not the Brilliant Life and Teachings of Jesus ! Part four of The Urantia Book has about 775 pages on the actual supernal Life and Teachings of Jesus. There are also about 300 pages in the rest of this Epochal Revelation on the nature of Jesus. That is what this confused world most needs to know and to do !]
91:5.7 But the minds of greater spiritual illumination should be patient with, and tolerant of, those less endowed intellects that crave symbolism for the mobilization of their feeble spiritual insight. The strong must not look with disdain upon the weak. Those who are God-conscious without symbolism must not deny the grace-ministry of the symbol to those who find it difficult to worship Deity and to revere truth, beauty, and goodness without form and ritual. In prayerful worship, most mortals envision some symbol of the object-goal of their devotions.
6. The Province of Prayer
91:6.7 But the efficacy of prayer in the personal spiritual experience of the one who prays is in no way dependent on such a worshiper’s intellectual understanding, philosophic acumen, social level, cultural status, or other mortal acquirements. The psychic and spiritual concomitants of the prayer of faith are immediate, personal, and experiential. There is no other technique whereby every man, regardless of all other mortal accomplishments, can so effectively and immediately approach the threshold of that realm wherein he can communicate with his Maker, where the creature contacts with the reality of the Creator, with the indwelling Thought Adjuster. [God's pure Spirit Essence within your mind; and God's Personal Presence in Jesus Christ Michael in Combined Spirit Union within you as the higher soul you ! The Adjuster and Jesus work as One in Spirit.]
PAPER 92. The Later Evolution of Religion
92:0.1 Man possessed a religion of natural origin as a part of his evolutionary experience long before any systematic revelations were made on Urantia. But this religion of natural origin was, in itself, the product of man’s superanimal endowments. Evolutionary religion arose slowly throughout the millenniums of mankind’s experiential career through the ministry of the following influences operating within, and impinging upon, savage, barbarian, and civilized man:
92:0.2 1. The adjutant of worship — the appearance in animal consciousness of superanimal potentials for reality perception. This might be termed the primordial human instinct for Deity.
92:0.3 2. The adjutant of wisdom — the manifestation in a worshipful mind of the tendency to direct its adoration in higher channels of expression and toward ever-expanding concepts of Deity reality.
92:0.4 3. The Holy Spirit — this is the initial supermind bestowal, and it unfailingly appears in all bona fide human personalities. This ministry to a worship-craving and wisdom-desiring mind creates the capacity to self-realize the postulate of human survival, both in theologic concept and as an actual and factual personality experience.
92:0.5 The co-ordinate functioning of these three divine ministrations is quite sufficient to initiate and prosecute the growth of evolutionary religion. These influences are later augmented by Thought Adjusters, seraphim, and the Spirit of Truth, all of which accelerate the rate of religious development. These agencies have long functioned on Urantia, and they will continue here as long as this planet remains an inhabited sphere. Much of the potential of these divine agencies has never yet had opportunity for expression; much will be revealed in the ages to come as mortal religion ascends, level by level, toward the supernal heights of morontia [soul reality] value and spirit truth.
1. The Evolutionary Nature of Religion
92:1.2 Religion progressed from nature worship up through ghost worship to fetishism throughout the savage childhood of the races. With the dawn of civilization the human race espoused the more mystic and symbolic beliefs, while now, with approaching maturity, mankind is ripening for the appreciation of real religion, even a beginning of the revelation of truth itself. [!! Yes, we are now well into a "Spiritual Springtime"; and an even greater worldwide Spiritual Renaissance is now arriving within some God-seeking humans !]
2. Religion and the Mores
92:2.1 Religion is the most rigid and unyielding of all human institutions, but it does tardily adjust to changing society. Eventually, evolutionary religion does reflect the changing mores, which, in turn, may have been affected by revealed religion. Slowly, surely, but grudgingly, does religion (worship) follow in the wake of wisdom — knowledge directed by experiential reason and illuminated by divine revelation.
3. The Nature of Evolutionary Religion
92:3.2 Religion has always been largely a matter of rites, rituals, observances, ceremonies, and dogmas. It has usually become tainted with that persistently mischief-making error, the chosen-people delusion. The cardinal religious ideas of incantation, inspiration, revelation, propitiation, repentance, atonement, intercession, sacrifice, prayer, confession, worship, survival after death, sacrament, ritual, ransom, salvation, redemption, covenant, uncleanness, purification, prophecy, original sin — they all go back to the early times of primordial ghost fear.
92:3.6 Religion has handicapped social development in many ways, but without religion there would have been no enduring morality nor ethics, no worth-while civilization. Religion enmothered much nonreligious culture: Sculpture originated in idol making, architecture in temple building, poetry in incantations, music in worship chants, drama in the acting for spirit guidance, and dancing in the seasonal worship festivals.
4. The Gift of Revelation
92:4.4 There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:
92:4.5 1. The Dalamatian teachings. The true concept of the First Source and Center [God the Universal Father in a more complete sense] was first promulgated on Urantia by the one hundred corporeal members of Prince Caligastia’s staff. [They came here 500,000 years ago. The first human couple, Andon and Fonta were created here 993, 504 years ago] This expanding revelation of Deity went on for more than three hundred thousand years until it was suddenly terminated by the planetary secession and the disruption of the teaching regime. [The Lucifer, Satan, and caligastia rebellion against God and Christ was 200,000 years ago. Jesus Incarnate in A.D. 30 - on removed all of their former powers. There is no more demonic possessions or interference with God-given human freewill.] Except for the work of Van, the influence of the Dalamatian revelation was practically lost to the whole world. Even the Nodites had forgotten this truth by the time of Adam’s arrival. Of all who received the teachings of the one hundred, the red men held them longest, but the idea of the Great Spirit was but a hazy concept in Amerindian religion when contact with Christianity greatly clarified and strengthened it.
92:4.6 2. The Edenic teachings. Adam and Eve [arrived here 38,000 years ago] again portrayed the concept of the Father of all to the evolutionary peoples. The disruption of the first Eden halted the course of the Adamic revelation before it had ever fully started. But the aborted teachings of Adam were carried on by the Sethite priests, and some of these truths have never been entirely lost to the world. The entire trend of Levantine religious evolution was modified by the teachings of the Sethites. But by 2500 B.C. mankind had largely lost sight of the revelation sponsored in the days of Eden.
92:4.7 3. Melchizedek of Salem. This emergency Son of Nebadon inaugurated the third revelation of truth on Urantia. The cardinal precepts of his teachings were trust and faith. He taught trust in the omnipotent beneficence of God and proclaimed that faith was the act by which men earned God’s favor. His teachings gradually commingled with the beliefs and practices of various evolutionary religions and finally developed into those theologic systems present on Urantia at the opening of the first millennium after Christ.
92:4.8 4. Jesus of Nazareth. Christ Michael [our Sovereign local universe Creator and Savior] presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.
92:4.9 5. The Urantia Papers. The  papers, of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. [Roughly 55 or more super-humans] But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia. [The spiritual-religious truths and the history of Urantia are fully true and will not be changed; but the science and the cosmology are partial and will be amplified as mankind here advances more in intellect, morality and spirituality.]
Topical Study 106 "WORSHIP Revealed in Great Detail”
Compiled July 03, 2019 by Dave@PureChristians.org
PAPER 92. The Later Evolution of Religion. Cont.
5. The Great Religious Leaders
92:5.16 The future of Urantia [Earth] will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth — the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures. But it is to be hoped that the ardent and sincere efforts of these future prophets will be directed less toward the strengthening of interreligious barriers and more toward the augmentation of the religious brotherhood of spiritual worship among the many followers of the differing intellectual theologies which so characterize Urantia of [your system of 619 human-inhabited planets. There are 10,000 systems in Jesus Christ Michael's local universe; and there are 700,000 local universes in this first, Supreme Level, Grand universe Age. Higher, larger, more glorious Ages are: (to come in our time sense) Ultimate, then Absolute, and all within Infinite Paradise Eternity and God the Father-infinite I AM]
6. The Composite Religions
92:6.1 Twentieth-century Urantia religions present an interesting study of the social evolution of man’s worship impulse. Many faiths have progressed very little since the days of the ghost cult. The Pygmies of Africa have no religious reactions as a class, although some of them believe slightly in a spirit environment. They are today just where primitive man was when the evolution of religion began. The basic belief of primitive religion was survival after death. The idea of worshiping a personal God indicates advanced evolutionary development, even the first stage of revelation. The Dyaks have evolved only the most primitive religious practices. The comparatively recent Eskimos and Amerinds had very meager concepts of God; they believed in ghosts and had an indefinite idea of survival of some sort after death. Present-day native Australians have only a ghost fear, dread of the dark, and a crude ancestor veneration. The Zulus are just evolving a religion of ghost fear and sacrifice. Many African tribes, except through missionary work of Christians and Mohammedans, are not yet beyond the fetish stage of religious evolution. But some groups have long held to the idea of monotheism, like the onetime Thracians, who also believed in immortality.
92:6.20 Ancestor worship onetime constituted a decided advance in religious evolution, but it is both amazing and regrettable that this primitive concept persists in China, Japan, and India amidst so much that is relatively more advanced, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In the Occident, ancestor worship developed into the veneration of national gods and respect for racial heroes. In the twentieth century this hero-venerating nationalistic religion makes its appearance in the various radical and nationalistic secularisms which characterize many races and nations of the Occident. Much of this same attitude is also found in the great universities and the larger industrial communities of the English-speaking peoples. Not very different from these concepts is the idea that religion is but “a shared quest of the good life.” The “national religions” are nothing more than a reversion to the early Roman emperor worship and to Shinto — worship of the state in the imperial family.
7. The Further Evolution of Religion
92:7.4 All these religions have arisen as a result of man’s variable intellectual response to his identical spiritual leading. They can never hope to attain a uniformity of creeds, dogmas, and rituals — these are intellectual; but they can, and some day will, realize a unity in true worship of the Father of all, for this is spiritual, and it is forever true, in the spirit all men are equal.
92:7.13 Modern man is adequately self-conscious of religion, but his worshipful customs are confused and discredited by his accelerated social metamorphosis and unprecedented scientific developments. Thinking men and women want religion redefined, and this demand will compel religion to re-evaluate itself. [Thus, we have been given, circa A.D. 1935, this mighty Fifth Epochal Revelation -- the 196 Urantia Papers !]
PAPER 93. Machiventa Melchizedek
4. The Salem Religion
93:4.1 The ceremonies of the Salem worship were very simple. Every person who signed or marked the clay-tablet rolls of the Melchizedek church committed to memory, and subscribed to, the following belief:
93:4.2 #1. I believe in El Elyon, the Most High God, the only Universal Father and Creator of all things.
93:4.3 #2. I accept the Melchizedek covenant with the Most High, which bestows the favor of God on my faith, not on sacrifices and burnt offerings.
93:4.4 #3. I promise to obey the seven commandments of Melchizedek and to tell the good news of this covenant with the Most High to all men.
93:4.5 And that was the whole of the creed of the Salem colony. But even such a short and simple declaration of faith was altogether too much and too advanced for the men of those days. They simply could not grasp the idea of getting divine favor for nothing — by faith. They were too deeply confirmed in the belief that man was born under forfeit to the gods. Too long and too earnestly had they sacrificed and made gifts to the priests to be able to comprehend the good news that salvation, divine favor, was a free gift to all who would believe in the Melchizedek covenant. But Abraham did believe halfheartedly, and even that was “counted for righteousness.”
93:4.6 The seven commandments promulgated by Melchizedek were patterned along the lines of the ancient Dalamatian supreme law and very much resembled the seven commands taught in the first and second Edens. These commands of the Salem religion were:
93:4.7 #1. You shall not serve any God but the Most High Creator of heaven and earth.
93:4.8 #2. You shall not doubt that faith is the only requirement for eternal salvation. [Faith and trust in our Father God's love and mercy; and that you and all humans are divinely beloved sons of God !]
93:4.9 #3. You shall not bear false witness.
93:4.10 #4. You shall not kill.
93:4.11 #5. You shall not steal.
93:4.12 #6. You shall not commit adultery.
93:4.13 #7. You shall not show disrespect for your parents and elders.
93:4.14 While no sacrifices were permitted within the colony, Melchizedek well knew how difficult it is to suddenly uproot long-established customs and accordingly had wisely offered these people the substitute of a sacrament of bread and wine for the older sacrifice of flesh and blood. It is of record, “Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine.” But even this cautious innovation was not altogether successful; the various tribes all maintained auxiliary centers on the outskirts of Salem where they offered sacrifices and burnt offerings. Even Abraham resorted to this barbarous practice after his victory over Chedorlaomer; he simply did not feel quite at ease until he had offered a conventional sacrifice. And Melchizedek never did succeed in fully eradicating this proclivity to sacrifice from the religious practices of his followers, even of Abraham.
93:4.15 Like Jesus, Melchizedek attended strictly to the fulfillment of the mission of his bestowal. He did not attempt to reform the mores, to change the habits of the world, nor to promulgate even advanced sanitary practices or scientific truths. He came to achieve two tasks: to keep alive on earth the truth of the one God and to prepare the way for the subsequent mortal bestowal of a Paradise Son of that Universal Father.
93:4.16 Melchizedek taught elementary revealed truth at Salem for ninety-four years, and during this time Abraham attended the Salem school three different times. He finally became a convert to the Salem teachings, becoming one of Melchizedek’s most brilliant pupils and chief supporters.
PAPER 94. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient
1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
94:1.1 In the days of Melchizedek, India was a cosmopolitan country which had recently come under the political and religious dominance of the Aryan-Andite invaders from the north and west. At this time only the northern and western portions of the peninsula had been extensively permeated by the Aryans. These Vedic newcomers had brought along with them their many tribal deities. Their religious forms of worship followed closely the ceremonial practices of their earlier Andite forebears in that the father still functioned as a priest and the mother as a priestess, and the family hearth was still utilized as an altar. [In the future, home-family Christian Fellowship families and friends will replace ecclesiastical churches. "Priesthood of all believers in Jesus everywhere and at all times."]
94:1.2 The Vedic cult was then in process of growth and metamorphosis under the direction of the Brahman caste of teacher-priests, who were gradually assuming control over the expanding ritual of worship. The amalgamation of the onetime thirty-three Aryan deities was well under way when the Salem missionaries penetrated the north of India.
94:1.7 The Brahmans culled the sacred writings of their day in an effort to combat the Salem teachers, and this compilation, as later revised, has come on down to modern times as the Rig-Veda, one of the most ancient of sacred books. The second, third, and fourth Vedas followed as the Brahmans sought to crystallize, formalize, and fix their rituals of worship and sacrifice upon the peoples of those days. Taken at their best, these writings are the equal of any other body of similar character in beauty of concept and truth of discernment. But as this superior religion became contaminated with the thousands upon thousands of superstitions, cults, and rituals of southern India, it progressively metamorphosed into the most variegated system of theology ever developed by mortal man. An examination of the Vedas will disclose some of the highest and some of the most debased concepts of Deity ever to be conceived.
4. The Hindu Religion
94:4.5 The worship of the second and third members, Siva and Vishnu, arose in the first millennium after Christ. Siva is lord of life and death, god of fertility, and master of destruction. Vishnu is extremely popular due to the belief that he periodically incarnates in human form. In this way, Vishnu becomes real and living in the imaginations of the Indians. Siva and Vishnu are each regarded by some as supreme over all. [God has never been revealed by name in the space-time universes, but by nature in Jesus Christ.]
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
94:5.3 #1. The lingering teachings of Singlangton, which persisted in the concept of Shang-ti, the God of Heaven. In the times of Singlangton the Chinese people became virtually monotheistic; they concentrated their worship on the One Truth, later known as the Spirit of Heaven, the universe ruler. And the yellow race never fully lost this early concept of Deity, although in subsequent centuries many subordinate gods and spirits insidiously crept into their religion.
94:5.7 In China all of these beliefs were later confused and compounded with the ever-growing cult of ancestor worship. But never since the time of Singlangton have the Chinese fallen into helpless slavery to priestcraft. The yellow race was the first to emerge from barbaric bondage into orderly civilization because it was the first to achieve some measure of freedom from the abject fear of the gods, not even fearing the ghosts of the dead as other races feared them. China met her defeat because she failed to progress beyond her early emancipation from priests; she fell into an almost equally calamitous error, the worship of ancestors. [Sadly, today, millions of Catholics and others pray to "saints" or "Mother Mary"; either is a spiritual abomination.]
11. Buddhist Philosophy
94:11.1 Buddhism entered China in the first millennium after Christ, and it fitted well into the religious customs of the yellow race. In ancestor worship they had long prayed to the dead; now they could also pray for them. Buddhism soon amalgamated with the lingering ritualistic practices of disintegrating Taoism. This new synthetic religion with its temples of worship and definite religious ceremonial soon became the generally accepted cult of the peoples of China, Korea, and Japan.
PAPER 95. The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant
1. The Salem Religion in Mesopotamia
95:1.5 Never did the Salem teachers fully overcome the popularity of Ishtar, the mother of gods and the spirit of sex fertility. They did much to refine the worship of this goddess, but the Babylonians and their neighbors had never completely outgrown their disguised forms of sex worship. It had become a universal practice throughout Mesopotamia for all women to submit, at least once in early life, to the embrace of strangers; this was thought to be a devotion required by Ishtar, and it was believed that fertility was largely dependent on this sex sacrifice.
95:1.7 This defeat of the Salem gospel was immediately followed by a great increase in the cult of Ishtar, a ritual which had already invaded Palestine as Ashtoreth, Egypt as Isis, Greece as Aphrodite, and the northern tribes as Astarte. [I won't shock some people by stating what it is today in "Christianity"] And it was in connection with this revival of the worship of Ishtar that the Babylonian priests turned anew to stargazing; astrology experienced its last great Mesopotamian revival, fortunetelling became the vogue, and for centuries the priesthood increasingly deteriorated. [Astronomy is real; astrology is totally fake; yet today, it is still practiced by millions of ignorant people.]
2. Early Egyptian Religion
95:2.3 For ages the Egyptian peoples had been given to the worship of nature gods; more particularly did each of the two-score separate tribes have a special group god, one worshiping the bull, another the lion, a third the ram, and so on. Still earlier they had been totem tribes, very much like the Amerinds.
95:2.7 The Egyptians long believed that the stars twinkling in the night sky represented the survival of the souls of the worthy dead; other survivors they thought were absorbed into the sun. During a certain period, solar veneration became a species of ancestor worship. The sloping entrance passage of the great pyramid pointed directly toward the Pole Star so that the soul of the king, when emerging from the tomb, could go straight to the stationary and established constellations of the fixed stars, the supposed abode of the kings. [God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, each and all, are no respecters of persons. Each human son of God, or superhuman Son of God, are equally loved ! "The infinite worth of the finite !"]
5. The Remarkable Ikhnaton
95:5.6 Very wisely Ikhnaton sought to establish monotheism under the guise of the sun-god. This decision to approach the worship of the Universal Father by absorbing all gods into the worship of the sun was due to the counsel of the Salemite physician. Ikhnaton took the generalized doctrines of the then existent Aton faith regarding the fatherhood and motherhood of Deity and created a religion which recognized an intimate worshipful relation between man and God.
95:5.7 Ikhnaton was wise enough to maintain the outward worship of Aton, the sun-god, while he led his associates in the disguised worship of the One God, creator of Aton and supreme Father of all. This young teacher-king was a prolific writer, being author of the exposition entitled “The One God,” a book of thirty-one chapters, which the priests, when returned to power, utterly destroyed. Ikhnaton also wrote one hundred and thirty-seven hymns, twelve of which are now preserved in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, credited to Hebrew authorship. [the 150 Psalms were written over about 1100 years by maybe 20 or more different humans. Psalms is the most popular book in the Christian Bible; yet it has more Theological errors than truths. Follow Jesus into All Truth: God]
95:5.10 Though the monotheistic ideal suffered with the passing of Ikhnaton, the idea of one God persisted in the minds of many groups. The son-in-law of Ikhnaton went along with the priests, back to the worship of the old gods, changing his name to Tutankhamen. The capital returned to Thebes, and the priests waxed fat upon the land, eventually gaining possession of one seventh of all Egypt; and presently one of this same order of priests made bold to seize the crown. [Terrible tyranny and abuses of priests and popes !]
95:5.11 But the priests could not fully overcome the monotheistic wave. Increasingly they were compelled to combine and hyphenate their gods; more and more the family of gods contracted. Ikhnaton had associated the flaming disc of the heavens with the creator God, and this idea continued to flame up in the hearts of men, even of the priests, long after the young reformer had passed on. Never did the concept of monotheism die out of the hearts of men in Egypt and in the world. It persisted even to the arrival of the Creator Son [our Sovereign Savior Jesus Christ Michael] of that same divine Father, the one God whom Ikhnaton had so zealously proclaimed for the worship of all Egypt.
95:5.12 The weakness of Ikhnaton’s doctrine lay in the fact that he proposed such an advanced religion that only the educated Egyptians could fully comprehend his teachings. The rank and file of the agricultural laborers never really grasped his gospel and were, therefore, ready to return with the priests to the old-time worship of Isis and her consort Osiris, who was supposed to have been miraculously resurrected from a cruel death at the hands of Set, the god of darkness and evil.
95:5.14 Although the effort of this Egyptian ruler to impose the worship of one God upon his people appeared to fail, it should be recorded that the repercussions of his work persisted for centuries both in Palestine and Greece, and that Egypt thus became the agent for transmitting the combined evolutionary culture of the Nile and the revelatory religion of the Euphrates to all of the subsequent peoples of the Occident.
6. The Salem Doctrines in Iran
95:6.4 Zoroaster did not teach the worship of fire but sought to utilize the flame as a symbol of the pure and wise Spirit of universal and supreme dominance. (All too true, his later followers did both reverence and worship this symbolic fire.) Finally, upon the conversion of an Iranian prince, this new religion was spread by the sword. And Zoroaster heroically died in battle for that which he believed was the “truth of the Lord of light.” [There are three kinds of light: Physical light, intellectual illumination, and Spirit Luminosity Presence !]
95:6.7 Even the religion which succeeded Zoroastrianism in Persia was markedly influenced by it. When the Iranian priests sought to overthrow the teachings of Zoroaster, they resurrected the ancient worship of Mithra. And Mithraism spread throughout the Levant and Mediterranean regions, being for some time a contemporary of both Judaism and Christianity. The teachings of Zoroaster [duality of light and darkness, not yet advanced monism-unity-oneness of God-Reality] thus came successively to impress three great religions: Judaism and Christianity and, through them, Mohammedanism.
7. The Salem Teachings in Arabia
95:7.2 Not even in China or Rome did the Melchizedek teachings fail more completely than in this desert region so very near Salem itself. Long after the majority of the peoples of the Orient and Occident had become respectively Buddhist and Christian, the desert of Arabia continued as it had for thousands of years. Each tribe worshiped its olden fetish, and many individual families had their own household gods. Long the struggle continued between Babylonian Ishtar, Hebrew Yahweh, Iranian Ahura, and Christian Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Never was one concept able fully to displace the others.
PAPER 96. Yahweh—God of the Hebrews
1. Deity Concepts among the Semites
96:1.1 The early Semites regarded everything as being indwelt by a spirit. [Animism. Some Malagasy natives today in Madagascar still believe in Animism] There were spirits of the animal and vegetable worlds; annual spirits, the lord of progeny; spirits of fire, water, and air; a veritable pantheon of spirits to be feared and worshiped. And the teaching of Melchizedek regarding a Universal Creator never fully destroyed the belief in these subordinate spirits or nature gods.
96:1.3 #1. Yahweh was the god of the southern Palestinian tribes, who associated this concept of deity with Mount Horeb, the Sinai volcano. Yahweh was merely one of the hundreds and thousands of nature gods which held the attention and claimed the worship of the Semitic tribes and peoples. [When that volcano erupted, they thought that was "Yahweh's great firery wrath !" Today in the USA, only about 30% of Christians still believe in bad humans "burning in fiery hell". That is spiritual progress.]
96:1.4 #2. El Elyon. For centuries after Melchizedek’s sojourn at Salem his doctrine of Deity persisted in various versions but was generally connoted by the term El Elyon, the Most High God of heaven. Many Semites, including the immediate descendants of Abraham, at various times worshiped both Yahweh and El Elyon.
96:1.7 #4. El. Amid all this confusion of terminology and haziness of concept, many devout believers sincerely endeavored to worship all of these evolving ideas of divinity, and there grew up the practice of referring to this composite Deity as El. And this term included still other of the Bedouin nature gods.
96:1.8 #5. Elohim. In Kish and Ur there long persisted Sumerian-Chaldean groups who taught a three-in-one God concept founded on the traditions of the days of Adam and Melchizedek. This doctrine was carried to Egypt, where this Trinity was worshiped under the name of Elohim, or in the singular as Eloah. The philosophic circles of Egypt and later Alexandrian teachers of Hebraic extraction taught this unity of pluralistic Gods, and many of Moses’ advisers at the time of the exodus believed in this Trinity. But the concept of the trinitarian Elohim never became a real part of Hebrew theology until after they had come under the political influence of the Babylonians. ["Elohim", (Gods, plural) is found about 2500 times in the Hebrew Old Testament; "Eloah", (God, singular) only about 250 times. In Genesis ch 1, It is Elohim and "Let US make man in OUR own Image."]
96:1.12 The Canaanites had long revered Yahweh, and although many of the Kenites believed more or less in El Elyon, the supergod of the Salem religion, a majority of the Canaanites held loosely to the worship of the old tribal deities. They were hardly willing to abandon their national deities in favor of an international, not to say an interplanetary, God. They were not universal-deity minded, and therefore these tribes continued to worship their tribal deities, including Yahweh and the silver and golden calves which symbolized the Bedouin herders’ concept of the spirit of the Sinai volcano.
96:1.13 The Syrians, while worshiping their gods, also believed in Yahweh of the Hebrews, for their prophets said to the Syrian king: “Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them on the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” [No concept of the Eternal Infinite Force-Energy-Power of God the Father-Infinite I AM back then, and a little now. Mankind is always (slowly in our view) progressing. "Be you perfect; even as I AM perfect."]
2. The Semitic Peoples
96:2.5 Yahweh was worshiped by more than one hundred separate Arabian tribes, and except for the tinge of the El Elyon concept of Melchizedek which persisted among the more educated classes of Egypt, including the mixed Hebrew and Egyptian stocks, the religion of the rank and file of the Hebrew captive slaves was a modified version of the old Yahweh ritual of magic and sacrifice. [both Arabs and Hebrews are semitic; and highly mixed genetically. Allah and Eloah have similar origins.]
4. The Proclamation of Yahweh
96:4.2 Moses had heard of the teachings of Machiventa Melchizedek from both his father and his mother, their commonness of religious belief being the explanation for the unusual union between a woman of royal blood and a man from a captive race. Moses’ father-in-law was a Kenite worshiper of El Elyon, but the emancipator’s parents were believers in El Shaddai. Moses thus was educated an El Shaddaist; through the influence of his father-in-law he became an El Elyonist; and by the time of the Hebrew encampment about Mount Sinai after the flight from Egypt, he had formulated a new and enlarged concept of Deity (derived from all his former beliefs), which he wisely decided to proclaim to his people as an expanded concept of their olden tribal god, Yahweh.
96:4.4 The fact that Yahweh was the god of the fleeing Hebrews explains why they tarried so long before the holy mountain of Sinai, and why they there received the ten commandments which Moses [not God] promulgated in the name of Yahweh, the god of Horeb. During this lengthy sojourn before Sinai the religious ceremonials of the newly evolving Hebrew worship were further perfected.
96:4.5 It does not appear that Moses would ever have succeeded in the establishment of his somewhat advanced ceremonial worship and in keeping his followers intact for a quarter of a century had it not been for the violent eruption of Horeb during the third week of their worshipful sojourn at its base. “The mountain of Yahweh was consumed in fire, and the smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.” In view of this cataclysm it is not surprising that Moses could impress upon his brethren the teaching that their God was “mighty, terrible, a devouring fire, fearful, and all-powerful.” [Why is that blasphemy allowed in the so-called "Christian Bible - the Word of God" ? God never changes; HE IS always just as all-loving and lavishly merciful and Fatherly Friendly as Our Savior Jesus Christ Michael IS !!! They are One in Spirit and Will Union !!!]
5. The Teachings of Moses
96:5.3 Many of the advances which Moses made over and above the religion of the Egyptians and the surrounding Levantine tribes were due to the Kenite traditions of the time of Melchizedek. [4,000 years ago] Without the teaching of Machiventa [Melchizedek] to Abraham and his contemporaries, the Hebrews would have come out of Egypt in hopeless darkness. Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro, gathered up the residue of the traditions of the days of Melchizedek, and these teachings, joined to the learning of the Egyptians, guided Moses in the creation of the improved religion and ritual of the Israelites. Moses was an organizer; he selected the best in the religion and mores of Egypt and Palestine and, associating these practices with the traditions of the Melchizedek teachings, organized the Hebrew ceremonial system of worship.
96:5.8 While Moses presented fleeting glimpses of a universal and beneficent Deity to the children of Israel, on the whole, their day-by-day concept of Yahweh was that of a God but little better than the tribal gods of the surrounding peoples. Their concept of God was primitive, crude, and anthropomorphic; when Moses passed on, these Bedouin tribes quickly reverted to the semibarbaric ideas of their olden gods of Horeb and the desert. The enlarged and more sublime vision of God which Moses every now and then presented to his leaders was soon lost to view, while most of the people turned to the worship of their fetish golden calves, the Palestinian herdsman’s symbol of Yahweh.