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Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:50 AM

 

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

[Introduction]
 
 

   SOON after landing near Kheresa on this eventful Sunday, Jesus and the twenty-four went a little way to the north, where they spent the night in a beautiful park south of Bethsaida-Julias. They were familiar with this camping place, having stopped there in days gone by. Before retiring for the night, the Master called his followers around him and discussed with them the plans for their projected tour through Batanea and northern Galilee to the Phoenician coast. (1725.1)155:0.1

 
 


***

 
 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:25 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

Welcome to the OPAD presentation of Paper 155. It has eight pages and six Sections. Like the rest of Part IV, it was authored by the Midwayers:

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

This Paper tells of the evangelists' training, their deep disappointment and shaken faith at winning so few souls in Chorizin. It covers a short period during May AD 29. Jesus has about ten more months to live and teach as a man of Urantia.

 

But the central theme of 155 is "true religion", as opposed to evolved religion. Jesus gives two long discourses on the difference. He explains how religion can be a hollow vessel when it lacks genuine spiritual experience, how it fails to satisfy when it becomes merely an intellectual and emotional exercise lacking intimate contact with divinity.

 

Evolved religion is normally, and lamentably, an acquiesence to ecclesiastical authority and empty ceremony, a clinging to old dogma, venerating, honoring and exalting ancestors' erroneous ideas and misbegotten ideals. Real religion is vital, active, living, spontaneous and inherently attractive.

 

The Midwayers, in Section 4, declare this day's teaching on true religion is one of the most:

 

...remarkable addresses which his apostles ever listened to throughout all their years of association with him....(1728.2) 155:4.2

 

***

 

From the introduction to 155 (Gergesa is the same as Kheresa):

 

...they spent the night in a beautiful park south of Bethsaida-Julias.... (1725.1) 155:0.1

 

Gaulanitis-Capernaum-Bethsaida.png

Map Source

 

 

From Paper 155's intro (find Batanea north, in Philip's domain, and Phoenecia west of there, along the Mediterranean coast):

 

...the Master called his followers around him and discussed with them the plans for their projected tour through Batanea and northern Galilee to the Phoenician coast.... (1725.1) 155:0.1

 

 

nt_israel-flat.jpg

Map Source

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#3 rick b

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:44 PM

Hi Rick,

 

Just to let you know that even though I haven't responded much lately I have been following your posts and really appreciate your maps and commentary following each reading.

 

Rick B.



#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

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Much appreciate your saying so Rick B,

 

And good to know you're still around. This has been a truly wonder-filled exploration of the text, with maps and art, what I craved on first reading, pre-Web days. Such an asset to study, the Web!

 

Going thru the UB like this, chasing down most of the references, has drawn me into a much greater understanding of course, but also a rapidly growing respect and friendship for this God/man who devoted every minute and second to executing the divine will, which he so well realized moment by moment.

 

It's just jaw dropping amazing that so many people got to mingle, interact and learn from him. Maybe we'll get to see the whole 35 years on Mansonia...

 

Thanks, Rick W



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:40 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

 

Today's Presentation

 

 

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

 

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

 

   Said Jesus: “You should all recall how the Psalmist spoke of these times, saying, ‘Why do the heathen rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers of the people take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break the bonds of mercy asunder and let us cast away the cords of love.’

 

(1725.3) 155:1.2 “Today you see this fulfilled before your eyes. But you shall not see the remainder of the Psalmist’s prophecy fulfilled, for he entertained erroneous ideas about the Son of Man and his mission on earth. My kingdom is founded on love, proclaimed in mercy, and established by unselfish service. My Father does not sit in heaven laughing in derision at the heathen. He is not wrathful in his great displeasure. True is the promise that the Son shall have these so-called heathen (in reality his ignorant and untaught brethren) for an inheritance. And I will receive these gentiles with open arms of mercy and affection. All this loving-kindness shall be shown the so-called heathen, notwithstanding the unfortunate declaration of the record which intimates that the triumphant Son ‘shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ The Psalmist exhorted you to ‘serve the Lord with fear’ — I bid you enter into the exalted privileges of divine sonship by faith; he commands you to rejoice with trembling; I bid you rejoice with assurance. He says, ‘Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish when his wrath is kindled.’ But you who have lived with me well know that anger and wrath are not a part of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men. But the Psalmist did glimpse the true light when, in finishing this exhortation, he said: ‘Blessed are they who put their trust in this Son.’”

 

(1725.4) 155:1.3 Jesus continued to teach the twenty-four, saying: “The heathen are not without excuse when they rage at us. Because their outlook is small and narrow, they are able to concentrate their energies enthusiastically. Their goal is near and more or less visible; wherefore do they strive with valiant and effective execution. You who have professed entrance into the kingdom of heaven are altogether too vacillating and indefinite in your teaching conduct. The heathen strike directly for their objectives; you are guilty of too much chronic yearning. If you desire to enter the kingdom, why do you not take it by spiritual assault even as the heathen take a city they lay siege to? You are hardly worthy of the kingdom when your service consists so largely in an attitude of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future. Why do the heathen rage? Because they know not the truth. Why do you languish in futile yearning? Because you obey not the truth. Cease your useless yearning and go forth bravely doing that which concerns the establishment of the kingdom.

 

(1726.1) 155:1.4 “In all that you do, become not one-sided and overspecialized. The Pharisees who seek our destruction verily think they are doing God’s service. They have become so narrowed by tradition that they are blinded by prejudice and hardened by fear. Consider the Greeks, who have a science without religion, while the Jews have a religion without science. And when men become thus misled into accepting a narrow and confused disintegration of truth, their only hope of salvation is to become truth-co-ordinated — converted.

 

(1726.2) 155:1.5 “Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life.”

 

(1726.3) 155:1.6 And many other things the Master taught his apostles and the evangelists before they bade him good night and sought rest upon their pillows.

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]



#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:43 AM

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Good Day Rick B, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Psalms 2 has all the verses Jesus referred to in today's reading:

 

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

 

 

Later, the author of the book of Acts borrowed two of the Palmist's lines:

 

Acts 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

 

 

 

***

 

It's a great question, 'why do the heathen rage'. We see it all the time, people are hostile and clueless because of the terrible ignorance we suffer, all because our trusted leaders defaulted and left Urantia to twist in the winds of hate, anger and selfishness.

 

The Master teacher gives the right answer. The "heathen" rage because they don't know the truth. Knowing the truth settles emotions, calms the mind and creates a dynamic focus on our ultimate purpose--seeking, finding and doing the divine will. Discovering the truth of our existence and purpose helped me immensely.

 

 

This is an interesting statement. What do you think Jesus meant by becoming "truth converted"? I'm guessing he is referring to the conversion experience, like Paul and others have had. From Paper 100:

 

...It should be made clear that professions of loyalty to the supreme ideals — the psychic, emotional, and spiritual awareness of God-consciousness — may be a natural and gradual growth or may sometimes be experienced at certain junctures, as in a crisis. The Apostle Paul experienced just such a sudden and spectacular conversion that eventful day on the Damascus road. Gautama Siddhartha had a similar experience the night he sat alone and sought to penetrate the mystery of final truth. Many others have had like experiences, and many true believers have progressed in the spirit without sudden conversion.... (1099.1) 100:5.3

 

 

The word truth comes up several times in today's reading. This declaration from Jesus about spiritual attractiveness:

 

“...Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life....” (1726.2) 155:1.5

 

...is reflected in Papers 132 and 164:

 

"...Man must become hungry for truth as a result of the experiences of living, or he must desire to know God as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted with the divine Father...." (1466:2) 132:7.2

 

"...The teacher of truth attracts only those who hunger for the truth and who thirst for righteousness...." (1815:3) 164:5.2

 

 

 

Tommorrow's reading, Section 2. The Evangelists in Chorazin, is a short one, just three paragraphs. It has the details of a two week preaching and training tour for the 12 evangelists. Jesus assigns Peter to lead it while he takes the other 11 apostles into Phoenicia. It was a sobering experience for the 12 in Chorazin, a quick but valuable, "baptism of adversity".

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:46 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

 

Today's Presentation

 

 

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

 

 

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

 

 

   On Monday morning, May 23, Jesus directed Peter to go over to Chorazin with the twelve evangelists while he, with the eleven, departed for Caesarea-Philippi, going by way of the Jordan to the Damascus-Capernaum road, thence northeast to the junction with the road to Caesarea-Philippi, and then on into that city, where they tarried and taught for two weeks. They arrived during the afternoon of Tuesday, May 24.

 

(1726.5) 155:2.2 Peter and the evangelists sojourned in Chorazin for two weeks, preaching the gospel of the kingdom to a small but earnest company of believers. But they were not able to win many new converts. No city of all Galilee yielded so few souls for the kingdom as Chorazin. In accordance with Peter’s instructions the twelve evangelists had less to say about healing — things physical — while they preached and taught with increased vigor the spiritual truths of the heavenly kingdom. These two weeks at Chorazin constituted a veritable baptism of adversity for the twelve evangelists in that it was the most difficult and unproductive period in their careers up to this time. Being thus deprived of the satisfaction of winning souls for the kingdom, each of them the more earnestly and honestly took stock of his own soul and its progress in the spiritual paths of the new life.

 

(1726.6) 155:2.3 When it appeared that no more people were minded to seek entrance into the kingdom, Peter, on Tuesday, June 7, called his associates together and departed for Caesarea-Philippi to join Jesus and the apostles. They arrived about noontime on Wednesday and spent the entire evening in rehearsing their experiences among the unbelievers of Chorazin. During the discussions of this evening Jesus made further reference to the parable of the sower and taught them much about the meaning of the apparent failure of life undertakings.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]



#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:36 AM

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Greetings Alina, Rick B, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,
 
chorbth.gif
 
Chorazin was a village in northern Galilee, two and a half miles from Capernaum on a hill above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
 
Chorazin, along with Bethsaida and Capernaum, was named in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as "cities" (more likely just villages) in which Jesus performed "mighty works". However, because these towns rejected his work ("they had not changed their ways"), they were subsequently cursed (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-15). The gospels make no other mention of Chorazin or what works had occurred there. According to the two-source hypothesis, this story originally came from the Q document. Despite this textual evidence, archaeologists have not yet been successful in finding a settlement dating to the first century. Due to the condemnation of Jesus, some early Medieval writers believed that the Antichrist would be born in Chorazin.

 
 
Chorazin is (woefully) mentioned in only two verses in the Bible. From the New Testament, Matthew 11:
 
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
 
From Luke 10:
 
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
 
 
The apostles didn't forget Jesus pronouncing woe on Chorizin and other nearby towns. Chorazin is cited in 9 paragraphs of the UB. Compare the Bible verses above with the very last mention of Chorazin in the book--Paper 163:
 
...Then, speaking to all the disciples, he said: “You have heard how many cities and villages have received the good news of the kingdom, and how my ministers and teachers have been received by both the Jew and the gentile. And blessed indeed are these communities which have elected to believe the gospel of the kingdom. But woe upon the light-rejecting inhabitants of Chorazin, Bethsaida-Julias, and Capernaum, the cities which did not well receive these messengers. I declare that, if the mighty works done in these places had been done in Tyre and Sidon, the people of these so-called heathen cities would have long since repented in sackcloth and ashes. It shall indeed be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment....” (1807.4) 163:6.5
 
 
 
Today's reading gives an example of apparent failure causing closer soul-examination and (presumably) correction in one's progress:
 
...Being thus deprived of the satisfaction of winning souls for the kingdom, each of them the more earnestly and honestly took stock of his own soul and its progress in the spiritual paths of the new life.... (1726.5) 155:2.2
 
 
In tomorrow's reading, Section 3. At Caesarea-Philippi, we are told about the lessons Jesus taught the apostolic group of 11 that he led northward, apart from Peter and the 12 evangelists who spent two weeks in Chorazin. The apostles attention was drawn to two subjects: Handling rejection and the origin of religious tradition.
 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

 

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.


#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:13 AM

 


 
Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session
 

Today's Presentation


Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE


3. At Caesarea-Philippi
 
 
 
   Although Jesus did no public work during this two weeks’ sojourn near Caesarea-Philippi, the apostles held numerous quiet evening meetings in the city, and many of the believers came out to the camp to talk with the Master. Very few were added to the group of believers as a result of this visit. Jesus talked with the apostles each day, and they more clearly discerned that a new phase of the work of preaching the kingdom of heaven was now beginning. They were commencing to comprehend that the “kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink but the realization of the spiritual joy of the acceptance of divine sonship.”
 
(1727.2) 155:3.2 The sojourn at Caesarea-Philippi was a real test to the eleven apostles; it was a difficult two weeks for them to live through. They were well-nigh depressed, and they missed the periodic stimulation of Peter’s enthusiastic personality. In these times it was truly a great and testing adventure to believe in Jesus and go forth to follow after him. Though they made few converts during these two weeks, they did learn much that was highly profitable from their daily conferences with the Master.
 
(1727.3) 155:3.3 The apostles learned that the Jews were spiritually stagnant and dying because they had crystallized truth into a creed; that when truth becomes formulated as a boundary line of self-righteous exclusiveness instead of serving as signposts of spiritual guidance and progress, such teachings lose their creative and life-giving power and ultimately become merely preservative and fossilizing.
 
(1727.4) 155:3.4 Increasingly they learned from Jesus to look upon human personalities in terms of their possibilities in time and in eternity. They learned that many souls can best be led to love the unseen God by being first taught to love their brethren whom they can see. And it was in this connection that new meaning became attached to the Master’s pronouncement concerning unselfish service for one’s fellows: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”
 
(1727.5) 155:3.5 One of the great lessons of this sojourn at Caesarea had to do with the origin of religious traditions, with the grave danger of allowing a sense of sacredness to become attached to nonsacred things, common ideas, or everyday events. From one conference they emerged with the teaching that true religion was man’s heartfelt loyalty to his highest and truest convictions.
 
(1727.6) 155:3.6 Jesus warned his believers that, if their religious longings were only material, increasing knowledge of nature would, by progressive displacement of the supposed supernatural origin of things, ultimately deprive them of their faith in God. But that, if their religion were spiritual, never could the progress of physical science disturb their faith in eternal realities and divine values.
 
(1727.7) 155:3.7 They learned that, when religion is wholly spiritual in motive, it makes all life more worth while, filling it with high purposes, dignifying it with transcendent values, inspiring it with superb motives, all the while comforting the human soul with a sublime and sustaining hope. True religion is designed to lessen the strain of existence; it releases faith and courage for daily living and unselfish serving. Faith promotes spiritual vitality and righteous fruitfulness.
 
(1727.8) 155:3.8 Jesus repeatedly taught his apostles that no civilization could long survive the loss of the best in its religion. And he never grew weary of pointing out to the twelve the great danger of accepting religious symbols and ceremonies in the place of religious experience. His whole earth life was consistently devoted to the mission of thawing out the frozen forms of religion into the liquid liberties of enlightened sonship.



***


[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:21 AM

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Good Day Rick B, Alina, Carola, Carolyn, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

So, for two weeks, while Peter and the 12 evangelists were learning hard lessons on the difficulty of winning converts in Chorazin, the other 11 apostles were doing the same under Jesus' tutelage in Caesarea-Philippi.

 

caesarea.gif

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Interesting that both groups were receiving the same teaching simultaneously at different locations over two weeks, notwithstanding one group had Jesus as a tutor:

 

...Though they made few converts during these two weeks, they did learn much that was highly profitable from their daily conferences with the Master.... (1727.2) 155:3.2

 

***

 

This statement in today's reading about living and dead truth:

 

...The apostles learned that the Jews were spiritually stagnant and dying because they had crystallized truth into a creed; that when truth becomes formulated as a boundary line of self-righteous exclusiveness instead of serving as signposts of spiritual guidance and progress, such teachings lose their creative and life-giving power and ultimately become merely preservative and fossilizing.... (1727.3) 155:3.3

 

...is repeated several times in the UB. From the Midwayers, Paper 176:

 

...You are not given truth to crystallize into settled, safe, and honored forms.... (1917:3) 176:3.7

 

From a Melchizedek, in Paper 92:

 

...It is a fallacy for any group of religionists to conceive of their creed as The Truth; such attitudes bespeak more of theological arrogance than of certainty of faith.... (1012:4) 92:7.3

 

From the Midwayers, in 180:

 

...You can know the truth, and you can live the truth; you can experience the growth of truth in the soul and enjoy the liberty of its enlightenment in the mind, but you cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct.... (1949:4) 180:5.2

 

***

 

Matthew remembered this line from today's reading:

 

“...Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me....” (1727.4) 155:3.4

 

25:40 ...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

 

The last four paragraphs of today's reading are about true religion. They too are echoed throughout the UB. There is a whole Section dedicated to this subject, by a Melchizedek in:

 

Paper 101: 1. True Religion

 

In fact, Melchizedek wrote five Papers on religion, 99 - 103:

 

99. The Social Problems of Religion

 

100. Religion in Human Experience

 

101. The Real Nature of Religion

 

102. The Foundations of Religious Faith

 

103. The Reality of Religious Experience

 

 

***

 

The Man brought comforting warmth to stone cold Urantia. The last line of today's reading:

 

...His whole earth life was consistently devoted to the mission of thawing out the frozen forms of religion into the liquid liberties of enlightened sonship.... (1727.8) 155:3.8

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 4. On the Way to Phoenicia, the reunited group of 25 heads west, for the Mediterranean coast. At Luz, Thomas and Peter ask questions whose answers fill the rest of Paper 155--much more about true and false religion.

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:01 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

 

Today's Presentation

 

 

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

 

 

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

 

 

On Thursday morning, June 9, after receiving word regarding the progress of the kingdom brought by the messengers of David from Bethsaida, this group of twenty-five teachers of truth left Caesarea-Philippi to begin their journey to the Phoenician coast. They passed around the marsh country, by way of Luz, to the point of junction with the Magdala-Mount Lebanon trail road, thence to the crossing with the road leading to Sidon, arriving there Friday afternoon.

 

(1728.2) 155:4.2 While pausing for lunch under the shadow of an overhanging ledge of rock, near Luz, Jesus delivered one of the most remarkable addresses which his apostles ever listened to throughout all their years of association with him. No sooner had they seated themselves to break bread than Simon Peter asked Jesus: “Master, since the Father in heaven knows all things, and since his spirit is our support in the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth, why is it that we flee from the threats of our enemies? Why do we refuse to confront the foes of truth?” But before Jesus had begun to answer Peter’s question, Thomas broke in, asking: “Master, I should really like to know just what is wrong with the religion of our enemies at Jerusalem. What is the real difference between their religion and ours? Why is it we are at such diversity of belief when we all profess to serve the same God?” And when Thomas had finished, Jesus said: “While I would not ignore Peter’s question, knowing full well how easy it would be to misunderstand my reasons for avoiding an open clash with the rulers of the Jews at just this time, still it will prove more helpful to all of you if I choose rather to answer Thomas’s question. And that I will proceed to do when you have finished your lunch.”

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]



#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:03 AM

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Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Rick B, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

It must have been thrilling to be able to watch Jesus and his band walking around Palestine, now headed for the coast. These men were surely in excellent physical condition, they could walk many miles in a day. Jesus, Ganid and Gonod walked from one end of Italy to the other, about 1400 miles round trip.

 

On this day of walking toward Phoencia, the band of 25 took a break under a ledge, near Luz. The Master is confronted yet again with his apostles' ignorance of both his plans and his core teaching. Peter wants to go fearlessly into the face of the enemy and Thomas the doubter doesn't yet know what is wrong with "the religion at Jerusalem". This prompts two discourses from Jesus, which comprise the remainder of Paper 155, over five pages.

 

 

Sorry, can't find a map showing Luz (there was another Luz close to Jerusalem, aka Beitin), but notice this map shows an old trail between Caesarea-Philippi and Tyre. The original Luz, and that rocky ledge, were probably on this trail.

 

Omritmap.JPG

Map Source

 

Tomorrow's reading is the first half of Section 5. The Discourse on True Religion, in which Jesus points to evolved religion with all its errors, fears and strange rituals, then he begins revealing the divine nature and real character of "true religion".

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:16 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

5. The Discourse on True Religion
 
[Part 1 of 2]
 
 
This memorable discourse on religion, summarized and restated in modern phraseology, gave expression to the following truths:

(1728.4) 155:5.2 While the religions of the world have a double origin — natural and revelatory — at any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct forms of religious devotion. And these three manifestations of the religious urge are:

 

1. Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.
 
2. The religion of civilization. The advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races — the religion of the mind — the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition.
 
3. True religion — the religion of revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven — the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience.

(1729.1) 155:5.6 The religion of the physical senses and the superstitious fears of natural man, the Master refused to belittle, though he deplored the fact that so much of this primitive form of worship should persist in the religious forms of the more intelligent races of mankind. Jesus made it clear that the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit is that, while the former is upheld by ecclesiastical authority, the latter is wholly based on human experience.

(1729.2) 155:5.7 And then the Master, in his hour of teaching, went on to make clear these truths:
 
(1729.3) 155:5.8 Until the races become highly intelligent and more fully civilized, there will persist many of those childlike and superstitious ceremonies which are so characteristic of the evolutionary religious practices of primitive and backward peoples. Until the human race progresses to the level of a higher and more general recognition of the realities of spiritual experience, large numbers of men and women will continue to show a personal preference for those religions of authority which require only intellectual assent, in contrast to the religion of the spirit, which entails active participation of mind and soul in the faith adventure of grappling with the rigorous realities of progressive human experience.

(1729.4) 155:5.9 The acceptance of the traditional religions of authority presents the easy way out for man’s urge to seek satisfaction for the longings of his spiritual nature. The settled, crystallized, and established religions of authority afford a ready refuge to which the distracted and distraught soul of man may flee when harassed by fear and tormented by uncertainty. Such a religion requires of its devotees, as the price to be paid for its satisfactions and assurances, only a passive and purely intellectual assent.

(1729.5) 155:5.10 And for a long time there will live on earth those timid, fearful, and hesitant individuals who will prefer thus to secure their religious consolations, even though, in so casting their lot with the religions of authority, they compromise the sovereignty of personality, debase the dignity of self-respect, and utterly surrender the right to participate in that most thrilling and inspiring of all possible human experiences: the personal quest for truth, the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery, the determination to explore the realities of personal religious experience, the supreme satisfaction of experiencing the personal triumph of the actual realization of the victory of spiritual faith over intellectual doubt as it is honestly won in the supreme adventure of all human existence — man seeking God, for himself and as himself, and finding him.



***


[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:00 AM

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Good Day Alina, Bradly, Rick B, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

There is so much elsewhere in the book that reflects today's reading. The term "primitive religion" appears in 23 paragraphs. Urantian religion is most often viewed as being either evolved or revealed, or a combination of the two.

 

The first comparison of evolved and revealed religion is in Paper 1:

 

...Primitive religion had many personal gods, and they were fashioned in the image of man. Revelation affirms the validity of the personality concept of God which is merely possible in the scientific postulate of a First Cause and is only provisionally suggested in the philosophic idea of Universal Unity.... (29.1) 1:5.11

 

Primitive religion had its origin with Andon and Fonta. From Paper 62:

 

...Many new emotions early appeared in these human twins. They experienced admiration for both objects and other beings and exhibited considerable vanity. But the most remarkable advance in emotional development was the sudden appearance of a new group of really human feelings, the worshipful group, embracing awe, reverence, humility, and even a primitive form of gratitude. Fear, joined with ignorance of natural phenomena, is about to give birth to primitive religion.... (708.2) 62:5.4

 

 

Paper 86 has a whole Section on this subject:

 

7. The Function of Primitive Religion

 

...The savage felt the need of insurance, and he therefore willingly paid his burdensome premiums of fear, superstition, dread, and priest gifts toward his policy of magic insurance against ill luck. Primitive religion was simply the payment of premiums on insurance against the perils of the forests; civilized man pays material premiums against the accidents of industry and the exigencies of modern modes of living.... (956.4) 86:7.1

 

 

Primitive religion did have one advantage over revealed religion. From Paper 92:

 

...Primitive religion was very democratic; the savage was quick to borrow or lend. Only with revealed religion did autocratic and intolerant theologic egotism appear.... (1012.3) 92:7.2

 

 

Melchizedek gives us this admonition about judging the adherents of primitive religion, in his discourse on "Religion and Morality", Paper 101:

 

...When you presume to sit in critical judgment on the primitive religion of man (or on the religion of primitive man), you should remember to judge such savages and to evaluate their religious experience in accordance with their enlightenment and status of conscience. Do not make the mistake of judging another’s religion by your own standards of knowledge and truth.... (1115.3) 101:9.2

 

 

The very last use of the term 'primitive religion' in the UB is in today's reading:

 

...Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.... (1728.5) 155:5.3

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, the last half of Section 5. The Discourse on True Religion, Jesus makes clearer the line between the "religion of the mind" and the "religion of the spirit".

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:51 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session
 

Today's Presentation


Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

5. The Discourse on True Religion


[Part 2 of 2]
 

The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress. The religion of the mind — the theology of authority — requires little or none of these exertions from its formal believers. Tradition is a safe refuge and an easy path for those fearful and halfhearted souls who instinctively shun the spirit struggles and mental uncertainties associated with those faith voyages of daring adventure out upon the high seas of unexplored truth in search for the farther shores of spiritual realities as they may be discovered by the progressive human mind and experienced by the evolving human soul.
 
(1729.7) 155:5.12 And Jesus went on to say: “At Jerusalem the religious leaders have formulated the various doctrines of their traditional teachers and the prophets of other days into an established system of intellectual beliefs, a religion of authority. The appeal of all such religions is largely to the mind. And now are we about to enter upon a deadly conflict with such a religion since we will so shortly begin the bold proclamation of a new religion — a religion which is not a religion in the present-day meaning of that word, a religion that makes its chief appeal to the divine spirit of my Father which resides in the mind of man; a religion which shall derive its authority from the fruits of its acceptance that will so certainly appear in the personal experience of all who really and truly become believers in the truths of this higher spiritual communion.”
 
(1730.1) 155:5.13 Pointing out each of the twenty-four and calling them by name, Jesus said: “And now, which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of conformity to an established and fossilized religion, as defended by the Pharisees at Jerusalem, rather than to suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant upon the mission of proclaiming a better way of salvation to men while you realize the satisfaction of discovering for yourselves the beauties of the realities of a living and personal experience in the eternal truths and supreme grandeurs of the kingdom of heaven? Are you fearful, soft, and ease-seeking? Are you afraid to trust your future in the hands of the God of truth, whose sons you are? Are you distrustful of the Father, whose children you are? Will you go back to the easy path of the certainty and intellectual settledness of the religion of traditional authority, or will you gird yourselves to go forward with me into that uncertain and troublous future of proclaiming the new truths of the religion of the spirit, the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men?”
 
(1730.2) 155:5.14 All twenty-four of his hearers rose to their feet, intending to signify their united and loyal response to this, one of the few emotional appeals which Jesus ever made to them, but he raised his hand and stopped them, saying: “Go now apart by yourselves, each man alone with the Father, and there find the unemotional answer to my question, and having found such a true and sincere attitude of soul, speak that answer freely and boldly to my Father and your Father, whose infinite life of love is the very spirit of the religion we proclaim.”
 
(1730.3) 155:5.15 The evangelists and apostles went apart by themselves for a short time. Their spirits were uplifted, their minds were inspired, and their emotions mightily stirred by what Jesus had said. But when Andrew called them together, the Master said only: “Let us resume our journey. We go into Phoenicia to tarry for a season, and all of you should pray the Father to transform your emotions of mind and body into the higher loyalties of mind and the more satisfying experiences of the spirit.”
 
(1730.4) 155:5.16 As they journeyed on down the road, the twenty-four were silent, but presently they began to talk one with another, and by three o’clock that afternoon they could not go farther; they came to a halt, and Peter, going up to Jesus, said: “Master, you have spoken to us the words of life and truth. We would hear more; we beseech you to speak to us further concerning these matters.”



***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


#16 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:05 AM

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Greetings Alina, Bradly, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests!

 

Evidently old and venerable tradition is the thing that binds the human mind, because tradition is so much easier to hold and defend than it is to be spontaneous and spiritually creative. No wondering about why living the religion of the spirit is so much more difficult, if it involves balancing these 8 things simultaneously:

 

  • effort
  • struggle
  • conflict
  • faith
  • determination
  • love
  • loyalty
  • progress

 

Lots of beautiful writing in today's reading in spite of its negative portrayal of tradition. The Midwayers begin with a sea-going metaphor:

 

...Tradition is a safe refuge and an easy path for those fearful and halfhearted souls who instinctively shun the spirit struggles and mental uncertainties associated with those faith voyages of daring adventure out upon the high seas of unexplored truth.... (1729.6) 155:5.11

 

 

 

By far the most Jesus taught about the religion of authority is transcribed in these last two Sections of Paper 155. Melchizedek also taught much about the evolution and limitations of religious authority in his block of five Papers on religion in Part III:

 

 

Perhaps one of Melchizedek's most defining statements on religious tradition and authority is this paragraph of Section 6, Paper 99:

 

...But as religion becomes institutionalized, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for evil are greatly multiplied. The dangers of formalized religion are:

  • fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments;

  • accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization;

  • tendency to standardize and fossilize truth;

  • diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church;

  • inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers;

  • tendency to form sects and competitive divisions; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority;

  • creation of the aristocratic “chosen-people” attitude;

  • fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness;

  • the routinizing of religion and the petrification of worship;

  • tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands;

  • failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion;

  • entanglement with functions of secular institutions;

  • it creates the evil discrimination of religious castes;

  • it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy;

  • it fails to hold the interest of adventurous youth and gradually loses the saving message of the gospel of eternal salvation.... (1092.3) 99:6.3

 

 

No one can say Jesus didn't offer his followers multiple opportunities and a wide open door to leave, to return to their old ways. One is in today's reading:

 

"...And now, which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of conformity to an established and fossilized religion, as defended by the Pharisees at Jerusalem...?” (1730.1) 155:5.13

 

 

What a scene, the 25 walking along, first in silence followed by conversation. And then:

 

...by three o’clock that afternoon they could not go farther; they came to a halt.... (1730.4) 155:5.16

 

Their legs would walk no more. They had to hear more about the religion of the spirit as opposed to the traditional beliefs of the religion of the mind, the more acceptable and safer religion of rules and regulation they had been steeped in since birth. Jesus provides them with much, much more, recorded verbatim in tomorrow's reading, the first part of Section 6. The Second Discourse on Religion.

 

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 06:11 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

 

 

Today's Presentation

 

 

Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE

 

 

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

[Part 1 of 2]

 

 

   And so, while they paused in the shade of the hillside, Jesus continued to teach them regarding the religion of the spirit, in substance saying:

 

(1730.6) 155:6.2 You have come out from among those of your fellows who choose to remain satisfied with a religion of mind, who crave security and prefer conformity. You have elected to exchange your feelings of authoritative certainty for the assurances of the spirit of adventurous and progressive faith. You have dared to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record which are now regarded as the word of God. Our Father did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. My Father is no respecter of races or generations in that the word of truth is vouchsafed one age and withheld from another. Commit not the folly of calling that divine which is wholly human, and fail not to discern the words of truth which come not through the traditional oracles of supposed inspiration.

 

(1731.1) 155:6.3 I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for the human soul to make — the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience. And so may you pass from death to life, from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God; thus will you pass from darkness to light, from a racial faith inherited to a personal faith achieved by actual experience; and thereby will you progress from a theology of mind handed down by your ancestors to a true religion of spirit which shall be built up in your souls as an eternal endowment.

 

(1731.2) 155:6.4 Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities.

 

(1731.3) 155:6.5 While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge — perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?

 

(1731.4) 155:6.6 Shame on those false religious teachers who would drag hungry souls back into the dim and distant past and there leave them! And so are these unfortunate persons doomed to become frightened by every new discovery, while they are discomfited by every new revelation of truth. The prophet who said, “He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God,” was not a mere intellectual believer in authoritative theology. This truth-knowing human had discovered God; he was not merely talking about God.

 

(1731.5) 155:6.7 I admonish you to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of old and praising the heroes of Israel, and instead aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom. To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past may indeed be worth while, but why, in so doing, should you sacrifice the supreme experience of human existence: finding God for yourselves and knowing him in your own souls?

 

(1732.1) 155:6.8 Every race of mankind has its own mental outlook upon human existence; therefore must the religion of the mind ever run true to these various racial viewpoints. Never can the religions of authority come to unification. Human unity and mortal brotherhood can be achieved only by and through the superendowment of the religion of the spirit. Racial minds may differ, but all mankind is indwelt by the same divine and eternal spirit. The hope of human brotherhood can only be realized when, and as, the divergent mind religions of authority become impregnated with, and overshadowed by, the unifying and ennobling religion of the spirit — the religion of personal spiritual experience.

 

(1732.2) 155:6.9 The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience — uniformity of destiny — making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]



#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:36 AM

.

 

 

Good Day Alina, Bradly, Rick B, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

Of course there are matching and similar teachings in the book that repeat and concur with most all of today's reading. This statement in the first paragraph:

 

...Our Father did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances.... (1730.6) 155:6.2

 

...is supported in Jesus' reply to Nathaniel's questionings, Paper 159:

 

"...Nathaniel, never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people...." (1768:2) 159:4.6

 

A Melchizedek said this in Paper 92:

 

...The future of Urantia will doubtless be characterized by the appearance of teachers of religious truth--the Fatherhood of God and the fraternity of all creatures.... (1010:4) 92:5.16

 

From 176 and 52:

 

"...And when the kingdom shall have come to its full fruition, be assured that the Father in heaven will not fail to visit you with an enlarged revelation of truth and an enhanced demonstration of righteousness...." (1914:4) 176:2.3

 

...Each dispensation, each mortal epoch, receives an enlarged presentation of spiritual truth and religious ethics.... (591:3) 52:2.3

 

 

***

 

Today's reading mentions "living faith":


 ...Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father.... (1731.2) 155:6.4

 

The phrase "living faith" is found in 37 paragraphs, from Paper 91 to 196. This one is from 176, Jesus speaking:

 

“...When you have by faith once established yourself as a son of God, nothing else matters as regards the surety of survival. But make no mistake! this survival faith is a living faith, and it increasingly manifests the fruits of that divine spirit which first inspired it in the human heart...." (1916.3) 176:3.3

 

From 196, the Midwayers, and in italics:

 

... Jesus’ great contribution to the values of human experience was not that he revealed so many new ideas about the Father in heaven, but rather that he so magnificently and humanly demonstrated a new and higher type of living faith in God. Never on all the worlds of this universe, in the life of any one mortal, did God ever become such a living reality as in the human experience of Jesus of Nazareth.... (2087.3) 196:0.3

 

 

This, from today's reading, is a beautiful and liberating statement, isn't it?!:

 

...My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies.... (1731.3) 155:6.5

 

 

Jesus borrowed this verse in today's reading:

 

"...He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God...." (1731.4) 155:6.6

 

...from Isaiah 26:

 

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 

 

Today's reading has one of the many references to "finding God":

 

...To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past may indeed be worth while, but why, in so doing, should you sacrifice the supreme experience of human existence: finding God for yourselves and knowing him in your own souls? (1731.5) 155:6.7

 

This is from Paper 56:

 

...Man finding God and God finding man — the creature becoming perfect as is the Creator — that is the supernal achievement of the supremely beautiful, the attainment of the apex of cosmic art.... (646.4) 56:10.3

 

***

 

"Personal religious experience" is mentioned in today's reading:

 

...the unifying and ennobling religion of the spirit — the religion of personal spiritual experience.... (1732.1) 155:6.8

 

That phrase appears 20 times, from the Foreword:

 

...But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience — God-consciousness.... (17.2) 0:12.13

 

...to Paper 196:

 

...Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit.... (2095.1) 196:3.17

 

 

***

 

The "religion of the spirit" is used five times in the last paragraph of today's reading. It appears in 11 other paragraphs. All but two of those 11 appear in Paper 155. The other two appear in 156 and 173, also associated with teachings around ecclesiastic authority:

 

...The issues of battle are clearly drawn as the Master and his associates prepare to begin the proclamation of a new religion, the religion of the spirit of the living God who dwells in the minds of men.... (1742.2) 156:6.10

 

...Jesus did not despise the Pharisees and Sadducees personally. It was their systems of teaching and practice which he sought to discredit. He was hostile to no man, but here was occurring the inevitable clash between a new and living religion of the spirit and the older religion of ceremony, tradition, and authority.... (1893.3) 173:3.3

 

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, the last half of Section: 6. The Second Discourse on Religion, and the end of Paper 155, Jesus reviews Hebraic history, the Jews' long, difficult and fervent search for the truth of monotheism. And he delivers that well known line about even the faintest flicker of faith being sufficient.

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#19 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:25 AM

 
Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 
Today's Presentation

 
Paper 155 - FLEEING THROUGH NORTHERN GALILEE


6. The Second Discourse on Religion


[Part 2 of 2]

 
But watch, lest any of you look with disdain upon the children of Abraham because they have fallen on these evil days of traditional barrenness. Our forefathers gave themselves up to the persistent and passionate search for God, and they found him as no other whole race of men have ever known him since the times of Adam, who knew much of this as he was himself a Son of God. My Father has not failed to mark the long and untiring struggle of Israel, ever since the days of Moses, to find God and to know God. For weary generations the Jews have not ceased to toil, sweat, groan, travail, and endure the sufferings and experience the sorrows of a misunderstood and despised people, all in order that they might come a little nearer the discovery of the truth about God. And, notwithstanding all the failures and falterings of Israel, our fathers progressively, from Moses to the times of Amos and Hosea, did reveal increasingly to the whole world an ever clearer and more truthful picture of the eternal God. And so was the way prepared for the still greater revelation of the Father which you have been called to share.
 
(1732.4) 155:6.11 Never forget there is only one adventure which is more satisfying and thrilling than the attempt to discover the will of the living God, and that is the supreme experience of honestly trying to do that divine will. And fail not to remember that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular. All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness — justice. The spirit which my Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of idealistic beauty.
 
(1732.5) 155:6.12 You must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of theologic authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall henceforth discern the word of God regardless of whence it appears to take origin. Divine truth must not be discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human. Many of your brethren have minds which accept the theory of God while they spiritually fail to realize the presence of God. And that is just the reason why I have so often taught you that the kingdom of heaven can best be realized by acquiring the spiritual attitude of a sincere child. It is not the mental immaturity of the child that I commend to you but rather the spiritual simplicity of such an easy-believing and fully-trusting little one. It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God.
 
(1733.1) 155:6.13 When you once begin to find God in your soul, presently you will begin to discover him in other men’s souls and eventually in all the creatures and creations of a mighty universe. But what chance does the Father have to appear as a God of supreme loyalties and divine ideals in the souls of men who give little or no time to the thoughtful contemplation of such eternal realities? While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature, it is indeed the gateway thereto.
 
(1733.2) 155:6.14 But do not make the mistake of trying to prove to other men that you have found God; you cannot consciously produce such valid proof, albeit there are two positive and powerful demonstrations of the fact that you are God-knowing, and they are:
 
1. The fruits of the spirit of God showing forth in your daily routine life.
 
2. The fact that your entire life plan furnishes positive proof that you have unreservedly risked everything you are and have on the adventure of survival after death in the pursuit of the hope of finding the God of eternity, whose presence you have foretasted in time.


(1733.5) 155:6.17 Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith. He takes note of the physical and superstitious emotions of the primitive man. And with those honest but fearful souls whose faith is so weak that it amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religions of authority, the Father is ever alert to honor and foster even all such feeble attempts to reach out for him. But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.
 
(1733.6) 155:6.18 You are my apostles, and to you religion shall not become a theologic shelter to which you may flee in fear of facing the rugged realities of spiritual progress and idealistic adventure; but rather shall your religion become the fact of real experience which testifies that God has found you, idealized, ennobled, and spiritualized you, and that you have enlisted in the eternal adventure of finding the God who has thus found and sonshipped you.
 
(1733.7) 155:6.19 And when Jesus had finished speaking, he beckoned to Andrew and, pointing to the west toward Phoenicia, said: “Let us be on our way.”




***


 



#20 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 06:59 AM

.

 

Greetings Alina, Rick B, Bradly, Carolyn, Carola, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Today's reading gives us a reason Jesus incarnated as a Hebrew:

 

...Our forefathers gave themselves up to the persistent and passionate search for God, and they found him as no other whole race of men have ever known him.... (1732.3) 155:6.10

 

 

The Master affirms the idea that all honest work is honorable:

 

...And fail not to remember that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular.... (1732.4) 155:6.11

 

 

***

 

Compare this statement on justice and fairness in today's reading:

 

...All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness — justice.... (1732.4) 155:6.11

 

...with this from Paper 2:

 

...Eternal justice and divine mercy together constitute what in human experience would be called fairness.... (38.4) 2:4.4

 

 

***

 

Jesus foreshawdows the coming of the Spirit of Truth in today's reading, preparing his followers for the day when it comes to "hover" over all Urantia. But who knew it was involved with beauty?!

 

...The spirit which my Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of idealistic beauty.... (1732.4) 155:6.11

 

The SoT has other unrecognized functions and connections. It is also involved in philosophy, love, comfort, character, achievement, conviction:

 

...Spiritual philosophy, the wisdom of spirit realities, is the endowment of the Spirit of Truth.... (1108.1) 101:3.2

 

...the Spirit of Truth, who directs the loving contact of one human being with another.... (1950:6) 180:5.11

 

"...As my Father has given me of his spirit, so will I give you of my spirit. And this Spirit of Truth which I will bestow upon you shall guide and comfort you and shall eventually lead you into all truth....” (1948.3) 180:4.2

 

...The Spirit of Truth is concerned primarily with the revelation of the Father's spirit nature and the Son's moral character. The Creator Son, in the flesh, revealed God to men; the Spirit of Truth, in the heart, reveals the Creator Son to men.... (2062.10) 194:3.1

 

...The pouring out of the Spirit of Truth provides the spiritual foundation for the realization of great achievements in the interests of the human race of the bestowal world.... (820.3) 72:12.5

 

...The new teacher is the conviction of truth, the consciousness and assurance of true meanings on real spirit levels. And this new teacher is the spirit of living and growing truth, expanding, unfolding, and adaptative truth.... (1949.3) 180:5.1

 

***

 

Discerning the living and divine omnipresence is a crucial part of spiritual expansion. The term "presence of God" appears in today's reading:

 

...It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God.... (1732.5) 155:6.12

 

...and in 23 other paragraphs, beginning with this from the Foreword:

 

...This sevenfold Deity personalization in time and space and to the seven superuniverses enables mortal man to attain the presence of God, who is spirit.... (11.13) 0:8.9

 

From Paper 195:

 

...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.... (2084.1) 195:10.1

 

From Paper 196:

 

...The secret of his unparalleled religious life was this consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship — unbroken communion with God — and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.... (2088.5) 196:0.10

 

 

Another very important bit of instruction from the Master teacher, regarding mind:

 

...While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature, it is indeed the gateway thereto....(1733.1) 155:6.13

 

 

About proof of God, there is this in today's reading:

 

...do not make the mistake of trying to prove to other men that you have found God; you cannot consciously produce such valid proof.... (1733.2) 155:6.14

 

From Paper 1:

 

...Those who know God have experienced the fact of his presence; such God-knowing mortals hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living God which one human being can offer to another. The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father.... (24.6) 1:2.8

 

 

***

 

From today's reading: Teachers and ministers beware:

 

...But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.... (1733.5) 155:6.17

 

This phrase "body, mind and spirit" appears in two other places, carrying a similar message:

 

...Science appeals to the understanding of the mind; religion appeals to the loyalty and devotion of the body, mind, and spirit, even to the whole personality.... (1119.3) 102:1.4

 

...The Master taught them much about the whole man — the union of body, mind, and spirit to form the individual man or woman.... (1590.7) 141:4.4

 

 

The last line of Paper 155:

 

...And when Jesus had finished speaking, he beckoned to Andrew and, pointing to the west toward Phoenicia, said: “Let us be on our way....” (1733.7) 155:6.19

 

Map-Phoenicia-Biblical-Times.gif

Map Source

 

 

Tomorrow's reading is the introduction to Paper 156: The Sojourn at Tyre and Sidon. We are told about a rich woman who had been healed at the Bethsaida hospital. It was she and her friends who hosted the 25 over the Sabbath, June 11, AD 29.

 

 

Overview of Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee

 

1. Why Do the Heathen Rage?

2. The Evangelists in Chorazin

3. At Caesarea-Philippi

4. On the Way to Phoenicia

5. The Discourse on True Religion

6. The Second Discourse on Religion

 

This group of papers was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

LISTEN to Paper 155 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. These daily presentations also appear on UAI's new home on the Web, with a vast social network, a host of new features, and many, many study tools and aids. NEW WEBSITE

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.





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