Good Day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,
More than once we are told physical force may have to be employed in the material world. From today's reading:
...The kingdoms of this world, being material, may often find it necessary to employ physical force in the execution of their laws and for the maintenance of order.... (1929.3)178:1.2
From Paper 71:
...an ideal society cannot be realized when either the weak or the wicked lie in wait to take unfair and unholy advantage of those who are chiefly actuated by devotion to the service of truth, beauty, and goodness. In such a situation only one course is practical: The "golden rulers" may establish a progressive society in which they live according to their ideals while maintaining an adequate defense against their benighted fellows who might seek either to exploit their pacific predilections or to destroy their advancing civilization.... (804.16) 71:4.16
There seems to be a clear delineation between what the individual believer should do, and what a group of them must sometimes do to keep from being killed or overun. From the Midwayers, in Paper 194:
...Pentecost, with its spiritual endowment, was designed forever to loose the religion of the Master from all dependence upon physical force; the teachers of this new religion are now equipped with spiritual weapons. They are to go out to conquer the world with unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will, and abounding love. They are equipped to overcome evil with good, to vanquish hate by love, to destroy fear with a courageous and living faith in truth.... (2064.3)194:3.11
From today's reading:
...The kingdoms of this world, being material, may often find it necessary to employ physical force in the execution of their laws and for the maintenance of order. In the kingdom of heaven true believers will not resort to the employment of physical force....(1929.3)178:1.2
Twice in today's reading we are warned not to deify humans:
...You shall not render spiritual worship to earthly rulers....(1929.4)178:1.3
...You may not worship your temporal rulers.... (1930.3)178:1.6
This is not an issue solely for our king-adoring ancestors, humans still venerate and worship other humans. Personality cults still exist.
This from today's text is echoed in other Papers:
...these material-minded sons in darkness will never know of your spiritual light of truth unless you draw very near them with that unselfish social service which is the natural outgrowth of the bearing of the fruits of the spirit in the life experience of each individual believer.... (1930.1)178:1.4
Jesus said as much at the apostles' ordination, using the very same words, twice in Paper 140:
“...You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven....(1570.14)140:3.13
“...You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven....” 1572.4) 140:4.4
The Master lays out our three-fold obligation in today's reading:
...you face a double responsibility of duty to man and duty to God while you voluntarily assume a third and sacred obligation: service to the brotherhood of God-knowing believers....(1930.2)178:1.5
Makes one wonder how duty to man and service to the brotherhood differ?
Once again Jesus refers to the Spirit of Truth he will soon bestow (40 days after his resurrection):
...In the gospel of the kingdom there resides the mighty Spirit of Truth, and presently I will pour out this same spirit upon all flesh.... (1930.3)178:1.6
There is a whole Paper about that: 194: Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth
This sounds like heaven on Earth:
...The persistent preaching of this gospel of the kingdom will some day bring to all nations a new and unbelievable liberation, intellectual freedom, and religious liberty.... (1930.6)178:1.9
Preaching is losing much of its luster and appeal in these times of scientific enlightenment and rationality, and now that it has become a for-profit industry. But LIVING the gospel truth never goes out of style, never fails to appeal to our better selves. Men and women always want to know and see Truth alive, spontaneously lighting up this dark and brooding world, full of woe and war. But who is qualified and willing so to shine?
...the very light which you bear to the world, and even the very manner in which you will suffer and die for this gospel of the kingdom, will, in themselves, eventually enlighten the whole world and result in the gradual divorcement of politics and religion.... (1930.6)178:1.9
All but three of the apostles did suffer persecution and death, as I recall. Only the Alpheas twins and John Zebedee didn't.
This seems to be a curious statement, one that raises the possibility of us tempting our seraphic associates:
...Tempt not the angels of your supervision to lead you in troublous ways as a loving discipline designed to save your ease-drifting souls.... (1931.1)178:1.10
Would they ever be tempted?! Maybe, some angels did go astray during the rebellion. More likely it is me who is tempted
Bible believers created a phrase that is applied to Jesus' oft repeated instructions to spread the gospel, know as the "Great Commission". From Wikipedia:
The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Only Matthew records an earlier lesser commission, only for the Twelve Apostles, in 10:1–42, and directed only to the children of Israel, undertaken during Jesus' mortal life, which is similar but different from the episode of the Commissioning the Twelve Apostles found in the other Synoptic Gospels. In Luke, Jesus says that all people will be called to repentance and tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they become invested with power, which presumably happened at Pentecost in the Book of Acts. Luke also has Jesus dispatching disciples during his ministry, sending them to all the nations and giving them power over demons, including the Seventy disciples. In John, Jesus promises to bestow the Paraclete on the disciples, which perhaps is what happens in John 20:21–23. The Great Commission in the traditional ending of Mark is thought to be a second-century summary based on Matthew and Luke.
From Mark 16:
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
The Great Commission, stained glass window, Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick in El Paso, Texas
In tomorrow’s reading, the second half of Section 1. Discourse on Sonship and Citizenship, Jesus reiterates the commission to preach the gospel to the world, reminding them never to use secular laws or force, to avoid asceticism, dreaming, and depending on God to do man's work.
Overview of Paper 178 - Last Day at the Camp
1. Discourse on Sonship and Citizenship
2. After the Noontime Meal
3. On the Way to the Supper
This group of papers [121-196] 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 178: (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.
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.