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PAPER 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

SPIRIT OF TRUTH PENTECOST JESUS

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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 07:31 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

   ABOUT one o’clock, as the one hundred and twenty believers were engaged in prayer, they all became aware of a strange presence in the room. At the same time these disciples all became conscious of a new and profound sense of spiritual joy, security, and confidence. This new consciousness of spiritual strength was immediately followed by a strong urge to go out and publicly proclaim the gospel of the kingdom and the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead.

 

(2059.2) 194:0.2 Peter stood up and declared that this must be the coming of the Spirit of Truth which the Master had promised them and proposed that they go to the temple and begin the proclamation of the good news committed to their hands. And they did just what Peter suggested.

 

(2059.3) 194:0.3 These men had been trained and instructed that the gospel which they should preach was the fatherhood of God and the sonship of man, but at just this moment of spiritual ecstasy and personal triumph, the best tidings, the greatest news, these men could think of was the fact of the risen Master. And so they went forth, endowed with power from on high, preaching glad tidings to the people — even salvation through Jesus — but they unintentionally stumbled into the error of substituting some of the facts associated with the gospel for the gospel message itself. Peter unwittingly led off in this mistake, and others followed after him on down to Paul, who created a new religion out of the new version of the good news.

 

(2059.4) 194:0.4 The gospel of the kingdom is: the fact of the fatherhood of God, coupled with the resultant truth of the sonship-brotherhood of men. Christianity, as it developed from that day, is: the fact of God as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, in association with the experience of believer-fellowship with the risen and glorified Christ.

 

(2059.5) 194:0.5 It is not strange that these spirit-infused men should have seized upon this opportunity to express their feelings of triumph over the forces which had sought to destroy their Master and end the influence of his teachings. At such a time as this it was easier to remember their personal association with Jesus and to be thrilled with the assurance that the Master still lived, that their friendship had not ended, and that the spirit had indeed come upon them even as he had promised.

 

(2059.6) 194:0.6 These believers felt themselves suddenly translated into another world, a new existence of joy, power, and glory. The Master had told them the kingdom would come with power, and some of them thought they were beginning to discern what he meant.

 

(2059.7) 194:0.7 And when all of this is taken into consideration, it is not difficult to understand how these men came to preach a new gospel about Jesus in the place of their former message of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 11 November 2014 - 07:42 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

 

WELCOME to the OPAD presentation of Paper 194. This Paper has ten pages and four Sections. Michael of Nebedon finished his seventh self-bestowal on May 18, 30 AD. He was known as Jesus when he lived, worked and taught here on Urantia. God requires all his Creator Sons (Michaels) to bestow themselves across the full spectrum of mortal life of their individual realm. There are 611, 121 Michael sons in all.

 

At the end of his seventh bestowal, Jesus died and Michael returned to his place at the head of the government of Nebadon, now a full sovereign. And then he sent his personal Spirit of Truth to guide and comfort every mortal of our planet and every other planet in his universe of over 3,000,000 planets (with a potential of 10 million).

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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.

 

In the introduction to this Paper, the Midwayer authors frankly admit the Gospel message got off on the wrong foot:

 

…Peter unwittingly led off in this mistake, and others followed after him on down to Paul, who created a new religion out of the new version of the good news…. (2059.3) 194:0.3

 

And to this day we still live with this original mistake by Peter, and which Paul took and created a new religion, Christianity. The rest of the Urantia Book will address this error and point to ways to correct it. From Paper 195:

 

…The hope of modern Christianity is that it should cease to sponsor the social systems and industrial policies of Western civilization while it humbly bows itself before the cross it so valiantly extols, there to learn anew from Jesus of Nazareth the greatest truths mortal man can ever hear — the living gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man…. (2086.7)195:10.21

 

In the last paragraph of the introduction to 194, the Midwayers italicize this phrase:

 

new gospel about Jesus…. (2059.7)194:0.7

 

Many times do the authors cite this difference between the religion OF Jesus and the religion ABOUT Jesus. The difference is crucial to the understanding and integration of the Gospel message.

 

***

Synopsis of Paper 194:

 

On Pentecost, one hundred and twenty believers gathered in prayer in Jerusalem after listening to Peter describe the farewell message of their Master. As they prayed, the became filled with a new consciousness of spiritual joy and power, followed by an urge to publicly proclaim the gospel. The Spirit of Truth, the promised new teacher, had arrived.

The apostles emerged from forty days in hiding and began to preach their new message in the temple. Peter delivered an appeal which won more than two thousand souls. The Jewish leaders were astounded at the apostles’ boldness.

Jesus’ followers quickly discovered that the story of his resurrection held great allure. The gospel of the Fatherhood of God quickly changed into the gospel of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The apostles proclaimed the facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and the fervent hope of his imminent return. 

The Jesus brotherhood grew. Converts to the gospel prayed together, broke bread together, referred to each other as brothers and sisters. They ministered to the poor and shared their material possessions. The new fellowship spread rapidly for many years. Jewish leaders, seeing that they didn’t pose any threat and that they continued to follow Jewish law, took little notice.

All went well in Jerusalem until pupils of Rodan began to make converts among the Hellenists. Greeks did not conform to Jewish practices and ceremonies and this eventually caused relations between the Jesus brotherhood and the Jewish leaders to deteriorate. One Greek convert, Stephen, was stoned to death as he preached, thus becoming the first martyr of the new religion.

Stephen’s death brought about the formal organization of the early Christian church. Believers agreed to separate themselves from unbelievers. Within a month of Stephen’s death, Peter and James were leading the new church in Jerusalem. Missionaries went forth throughout the Roman empire carrying the message of the new gospel, and relentless persecution by the Jews began.

Pentecost was a call to spiritual unity among believers. The Spirit of Truth descended in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Philadelphia, and all other places where true believers lived. The Spirit equipped teachers of the new faith with spiritual weapons: unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will, and boundless love. Among themselves, followers of Jesus were set free from discrimination based on sex, race, culture, and social status.

The life and death of Jesus eternally prove that goodness and faith will always be vindicated. Michael, as Jesus, revealed God to mankind as the Spirit of Truth reveals Michael to mankind. The mission of the Spirit is to foster and personalize truth and to destroy mortal feelings of orphanhood. The Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads us to commit to the will of God and the welfare of humankind. The joy of this Spirit is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul. The Spirit of Truth brings a restatement of the message of Jesus to every new generation of believers, providing personal enlightenment and guidance for the spiritual difficulties of mortal life.

 

SYNOPSIS SOURCE

 

The Bible book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, has a record of this day, albeit somewhat embellished:

 

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

***

 

 

The_Urantia_Book_Word_Cloud_194_375.jpg

WORD CLOUD OF PAPER 194

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 1. The Pentecost Sermon, Peter arouses the faith in 2000, and the remaining six apostles spend the rest of the day of Pentecost baptizing these new believers in the pool of Siloam.

 

 

Listen to Paper 194: (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.



#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 05:30 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon

 

   The apostles had been in hiding for forty days. This day happened to be the Jewish festival of Pentecost, and thousands of visitors from all parts of the world were in Jerusalem. Many arrived for this feast, but a majority had tarried in the city since the Passover. Now these frightened apostles emerged from their weeks of seclusion to appear boldly in the temple, where they began to preach the new message of a risen Messiah. And all the disciples were likewise conscious of having received some new spiritual endowment of insight and power.

 

(2060.2)194:1.2 It was about two o’clock when Peter stood up in that very place where his Master had last taught in this temple, and delivered that impassioned appeal which resulted in the winning of more than two thousand souls. The Master had gone, but they suddenly discovered that this story about him had great power with the people. No wonder they were led on into the further proclamation of that which vindicated their former devotion to Jesus and at the same time so constrained men to believe in him. Six of the apostles participated in this meeting: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, and Matthew. They talked for more than an hour and a half and delivered messages in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, as well as a few words in even other tongues with which they had a speaking acquaintance.

 

(2060.3)194:1.3 The leaders of the Jews were astounded at the boldness of the apostles, but they feared to molest them because of the large numbers who believed their story.

 

(2060.4)194:1.4 By half past four o’clock more than two thousand new believers followed the apostles down to the pool of Siloam, where Peter, Andrew, James, and John baptized them in the Master’s name. And it was dark when they had finished with baptizing this multitude.

 

(2060.5)194:1.5 Pentecost was the great festival of baptism, the time for fellowshipping the proselytes of the gate, those gentiles who desired to serve Yahweh. It was, therefore, the more easy for large numbers of both the Jews and believing gentiles to submit to baptism on this day. In doing this, they were in no way disconnecting themselves from the Jewish faith. Even for some time after this the believers in Jesus were a sect within Judaism. All of them, including the apostles, were still loyal to the essential requirements of the Jewish ceremonial system.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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.]



#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:43 AM


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

 

Imagine the chagrin, despair, and angst of the Sanhedrin when the apostles showed up in their synagogue and began preaching with power and effectiveness! And on the same spot Jesus had so recently spoken!! From today's text:
 

...Peter stood up in that very place where his Master had last taught in this temple, and delivered that impassioned appeal which resulted in the winning of more than two thousand souls....(2060.2)194:1.2
 

As it was when Jesus lived, fear of the multitudes kept the priests from arresting those six brazen apostles.

 

...they feared to molest them because of the large numbers who believed their story.... (2060.3)194:1.3

 

***

 

About the pool of baptism cited in today's reading. From Wikipedia:
 

Siloam is an ancient site in Jerusalem, located in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Old City. According to the Hebrew Bible, Siloam was built around the "serpent-stone", Zoheleth, where Adonijah gave his feast in the time of Solomon. It is the site of the Pool of Siloam and the Tower of Siloam, both mentioned in the New Testament.
 

pool+of+siloam.JPG

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

Siloam is the same pool where Jesus sent the blind man. From Paper 164:
 

...When Jesus had spoken, he said to Nathaniel and Thomas: “Let us create the sight of this blind man on this Sabbath day that the scribes and Pharisees may have the full occasion which they seek for accusing the Son of Man.” Then, stooping over, he spat on the ground and mixed the clay with the spittle, and speaking of all this so that the blind man could hear, he went up to Josiah and put the clay over his sightless eyes, saying: “Go, my son, wash away this clay in the pool of Siloam, and immediately you shall receive your sight.” And when Josiah had so washed in the pool of Siloam, he returned to his friends and family, seeing.... (1812.2)164:3.8
 

 

***

 

From today's reading:
 

...Even for some time after this the believers in Jesus were a sect within Judaism....(2060.5)194:1.5
 

That Christianity was originally a Jewish sect is supported by secular history. From Wikipedia:

 

Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the Levant of the middle east in the mid-1st century. It had a number of influences, including other religions. John Bowker states that Christian ideas such as "angels, the end of the world, a final judgment, the resurrection, and heaven and hell received form and substance from ... Zoroastrian beliefs". Its earliest development took place under the leadership of the Twelve Apostles, particularly Saint Peter and Paul the Apostle, followed by the early bishops, whom Christians consider the successors of the Apostles.

 

According to the scriptures, Christians were from the beginning subject to persecution by some Jewish religious authorities, who disagreed with the apostles' teachings (See Split of early Christianity and Judaism). This involved punishments, including death, for Christians such as Stephen[Acts 7:59] and James, son of Zebedee.[Acts 12:2] Larger-scale persecutions followed at the hands of the authorities of the Roman Empire, first in the year 64, when Emperor Nero blamed them for the Great Fire of Rome. According to Church tradition, it was under Nero's persecution that early Church leaders Peter and Paul of Tarsus were each martyred in Rome.

 

Further widespread persecutions of the Church occurred under nine subsequent Roman emperors, most intensely under Decius and Diocletian. From the year 150, Christian teachers began to produce theological and apologetic works aimed at defending the faith. These authors are known as the Church Fathers, and study of them is called Patristics. Notable early Fathers include Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. However, Armenia is considered the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 AD.


 

 

***

 

In the Bible's New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles there is this record of the sermon delivered at the synagogue on the day of the reception of the Spirit of Truth. It corroborates the Midwayers statement that the apostles spoke in languages other than Hebrew. But a discrepancy should also be noted: The 2000 somehow became 3000.
 

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

Giovanni_Baglione_Saint_Peter_preaching_

IMAGE SOURCE

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 2. The Significance of Pentecost, the Midwayers offer insights into the  profound meanings, diverse subtleties, and personal reactions wrought by the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 02:46 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

 

2. The Significance of Pentecost

 

[PART 1 of 2]

 

   Jesus lived on earth and taught a gospel which redeemed man from the superstition that he was a child of the devil and elevated him to the dignity of a faith son of God. Jesus’ message, as he preached it and lived it in his day, was an effective solvent for man’s spiritual difficulties in that day of its statement. And now that he has personally left the world, he sends in his place his Spirit of Truth, who is designed to live in man and, for each new generation, to restate the Jesus message so that every new group of mortals to appear upon the face of the earth shall have a new and up-to-date version of the gospel, just such personal enlightenment and group guidance as will prove to be an effective solvent for man’s ever-new and varied spiritual difficulties.

 

(2060.7)194:2.2 The first mission of this spirit is, of course, to foster and personalize truth, for it is the comprehension of truth that constitutes the highest form of human liberty. Next, it is the purpose of this spirit to destroy the believer’s feeling of orphanhood. Jesus having been among men, all believers would experience a sense of loneliness had not the Spirit of Truth come to dwell in men’s hearts.

 

(2061.1)194:2.3 This bestowal of the Son’s spirit effectively prepared all normal men’s minds for the subsequent universal bestowal of the Father’s spirit (the Adjuster) upon all mankind. In a certain sense, this Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Universal Father and the Creator Son.

 

(2061.2)194:2.4 Do not make the mistake of expecting to become strongly intellectually conscious of the outpoured Spirit of Truth. The spirit never creates a consciousness of himself, only a consciousness of Michael, the Son. From the beginning Jesus taught that the spirit would not speak of himself. The proof, therefore, of your fellowship with the Spirit of Truth is not to be found in your consciousness of this spirit but rather in your experience of enhanced fellowship with Michael.

 

(2061.3)194:2.5 The spirit also came to help men recall and understand the words of the Master as well as to illuminate and reinterpret his life on earth.

 

(2061.4)194:2.6 Next, the Spirit of Truth came to help the believer to witness to the realities of Jesus’ teachings and his life as he lived it in the flesh, and as he now again lives it anew and afresh in the individual believer of each passing generation of the spirit-filled sons of God.

 

(2061.5)194:2.7 Thus it appears that the Spirit of Truth comes really to lead all believers into all truth, into the expanding knowledge of the experience of the living and growing spiritual consciousness of the reality of eternal and ascending sonship with God.

 

(2061.6)194:2.8 Jesus lived a life which is a revelation of man submitted to the Father’s will, not an example for any man literally to attempt to follow. This life in the flesh, together with his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, presently became a new gospel of the ransom which had thus been paid in order to purchase man back from the clutch of the evil one — from the condemnation of an offended God. Nevertheless, even though the gospel did become greatly distorted, it remains a fact that this new message about Jesus carried along with it many of the fundamental truths and teachings of his earlier gospel of the kingdom. And, sooner or later, these concealed truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men will emerge to effectually transform the civilization of all mankind.

 

(2061.7)194:2.9 But these mistakes of the intellect in no way interfered with the believer’s great progress in growth in spirit. In less than a month after the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, the apostles made more individual spiritual progress than during their almost four years of personal and loving association with the Master. Neither did this substitution of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus for the saving gospel truth of sonship with God in any way interfere with the rapid spread of their teachings; on the contrary, this overshadowing of Jesus’ message by the new teachings about his person and resurrection seemed greatly to facilitate the preaching of the good news.

 

(2061.8)194:2.10 The term “baptism of the spirit,” which came into such general use about this time, merely signified the conscious reception of this gift of the Spirit of Truth and the personal acknowledgment of this new spiritual power as an augmentation of all spiritual influences previously experienced by God-knowing souls.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 13 November 2014 - 02:53 PM


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

 

Do you think Christianity would have survived 2000 years if the Spirit of Truth hadn't been on Urantia to foster and promote the best of it? Doesn't the Spirit of Truth stand above the religion that claims it? Isn't the secret of Christianity's power to attract new believers revealed in the continuing efficacy of this bestowed Spirit of the Master?

 

This in today's reading is a fascinating concept all by itself:
 

...every new group of mortals to appear upon the face of the earth shall have a new and up-to-date version of the gospel.... (2060.6)194:2.1

 

What role then, does the Bible's New Testament play in the survival and spread of Christianity? The Gospel record of John Zebedee (chapter 16) has this from the mouth of Jesus, it reflects the Midwayers' words in today's reading:

 

13 ...when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

***

 

Why should we even care about discovering and understanding truth? From today's text:

 

...it is the comprehension of truth that constitutes the highest form of human liberty.... (2060.7)194:2.2

 

Other authors expand on this idea that truth is liberating. From Paper 141:
 

...Jesus laid great emphasis upon what he called the two truths of first import in the teachings of the kingdom, and they are: the attainment of salvation by faith, and faith alone, associated with the revolutionary teaching of the attainment of human liberty through the sincere recognition of truth, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus was the truth made manifest in the flesh, and he promised to send his Spirit of Truth into the hearts of all his children after his return to the Father in heaven.... (1593.7)141:7.6
 

On another occasion Jesus made this statement about the ability of Truth to set us free. From his discourse on spiritual freedom in Paper 162:

 

"...If my words abide in you and you are minded to do the will of my Father, then are you truly my disciples. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...." (1796:4) 162:7.2

 

But what KIND of liberty does the SoT bring? Certainly not civil or social liberty, only spiritual. From Paper 54:

 

...Man's ability to choose good or evil is a universe reality. This liberty to choose for oneself is an endowment of the Supreme Rulers, and they will not permit any being or group of beings to deprive a single personality in the wide universe of this divinely bestowed liberty--not even to satisfy such misguided and ignorant beings in the enjoyment of this misnamed personal liberty.... (615:3) 54:3.1

 

Consider this statement about the meaning and value of liberty from a Mighty Messenger in Paper 54: TRUE AND FALSE LIBERTY:

 

...True liberty is the quest of the ages and the reward of evolutionary progress.... (613:4) 54:1.2

 

Section 2 of Paper 54 is titled THEFT OF LIBERTY

 

***

 

One of the functions of the SoT is to comfort the lonely and orphaned. You have to wonder how differently we would feel if the SoT was suddenly withdrawn. Apparently we've known and had it all our lives, consciously or unconsciously. From today's reading:
 

...all believers would experience a sense of loneliness had not the Spirit of Truth come to dwell in men’s hearts.... (2060.7)194:2.2
 

When taking comfort into consideration, this statement in today's text:
 

...In a certain sense, this Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Universal Father and the Creator Son....(2061.1)194:2.3

 

...should be compared with this (pointing to the difference between Adjuster ministry and SoT ministry) in Paper 108:

 

 ...Do not, therefore, look to the Adjuster for selfish consolation and mortal comfort. It is the business of the Adjuster to prepare you for the eternal adventure, to assure your survival. It is not the mission of the Mystery Monitor to smooth your ruffled feelings or to minister to your injured pride; it is the preparation of your soul for the long ascending career that engages the attention and occupies the time of the Adjuster.... (1192.1)108:5.6



***

 

How can we reconcile this in today's reading:
 

 ...Do not make the mistake of expecting to become strongly intellectually conscious of the outpoured Spirit of Truth....(2061.2)194:2.4
 

...with this in the introduction to 194?
 

   ...ABOUT one o’clock, as the one hundred and twenty believers were engaged in prayer, they all became aware of a strange presence in the room. At the same time these disciples all became conscious of a new and profound sense of spiritual joy, security, and confidence. This new consciousness of spiritual strength was immediately followed by a strong urge to go out and publicly proclaim the gospel of the kingdom and the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead....
 

 

This in today's reading:
 

...Thus it appears that the Spirit of Truth comes really to lead all believers into all truth.... (2061.5)194:2.7


...has several corrolaries. These two are in Paper 180:

 

"...Albeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he shall eventually guide you into all truth...." (1951:4) 180:6.3


"...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

 

This is from Paper 34:

 

...If you do not reject this spirit, even though eternity may be required to fulfill the commission, "he will guide you into all truth...." (382.1) 34:7.1


 

How does this in today's reading:

 

...Jesus lived a life which is a revelation of man submitted to the Father’s will, not an example for any man literally to attempt to follow.... (2061.6)194:2.8

 

...stack up against this from Paper 48:
 

...Even on Urantia, these seraphim teach the everlasting truth: If your own mind does not serve you well, you can exchange it for the mind of Jesus of Nazareth, who always serves you well.... (553:7) 48:6.26
 

 

This in today's reading:
 

...sooner or later, these concealed truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men will emerge to effectually transform the civilization of all mankind.... (2061.6)194:2.8


...will be expounded upon greatly in the remaining pages.

 

 

***


 

 

 

Anthony_van_Dyck_The_Descent_of_the_Holy

IMAGE SOURCE

 

***

 

 

In tomorrow’s reading, the last half of Section 2. The Significance of Pentecost, the Midwayers offer insights into the panoply of divine influences that we all have access to, now that the "last spirit endowment", the Spirit of Truth, has been bestowed.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.



#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 04:43 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

 

2. The Significance of Pentecost

 

[PART 2 of 2]

 

 Since the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, man is subject to the teaching and guidance of a threefold spirit endowment: the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjuster; the spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Truth; the spirit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

 

(2062.1)194:2.12 In a way, mankind is subject to the double influence of the sevenfold appeal of the universe spirit influences. The early evolutionary races of mortals are subject to the progressive contact of the seven adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe Mother Spirit. As man progresses upward in the scale of intelligence and spiritual perception, there eventually come to hover over him and dwell within him the seven higher spirit influences. And these seven spirits of the advancing worlds are:

 

1. The bestowed spirit of the Universal Father — the Thought Adjusters.

 

2. The spirit presence of the Eternal Son — the spirit gravity of the universe of universes and the certain channel of all spirit communion.

 

3. The spirit presence of the Infinite Spirit — the universal spirit-mind of all creation, the spiritual source of the intellectual kinship of all progressive intelligences.

 

4. The spirit of the Universal Father and the Creator Son — the Spirit of Truth, generally regarded as the spirit of the Universe Son.

 

5. The spirit of the Infinite Spirit and the Universe Mother Spirit — the Holy Spirit, generally regarded as the spirit of the Universe Spirit.

 

6. The mind-spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit — the seven adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe.

 

7. The spirit of the Father, Sons, and Spirits — the new-name spirit of the ascending mortals of the realms after the fusion of the mortal spirit-born soul with the Paradise Thought Adjuster and after the subsequent attainment of the divinity and glorification of the status of the Paradise Corps of the Finality.

 

(2062.9)194:2.20 And so did the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth bring to the world and its peoples the last of the spirit endowment designed to aid in the ascending search for God.

 

 

***

 

 

[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 15 November 2014 - 05:21 AM


.

 

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

 

So! For 2000 years we humans have had directly available, at the center of our being, a personal representative of each member of the Paradise Trinity. From today's reading:
 

...the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjuster; the spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Truth; the spirit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.... (2061.9)194:2.11

 

And those three can combine in seven ways, very similar to the seven possible associations of Trinity Deities. From Paper 16:

 

1. The Universal Father.

2. The Eternal Son.

3. The Infinite Spirit.

4. The Father and the Son.

5. The Father and the Spirit.

6. The Son and the Spirit.

7. The Father, Son, and Spirit.

 

Compare the above with today's text about our outer and inner spiritual influences:

 

1. The bestowed spirit of the Universal Father

2. The spirit presence of the Eternal Son

3. The spirit presence of the Infinite Spirit

4. The spirit of the Universal Father and the Creator Son

5. The spirit of the Infinite Spirit and the Universe Mother Spirit

6. The mind-spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit

7. The spirit of the Father, Sons, and Spirits


***

 

It must be noted the Spirit of Truth has several main functions. It is not merely a truth detector. Would you be surprised to discover the Spirit of Truth is directly connected to the highest philosophical thinking?

 
    ...Spiritual philosophy, the wisdom of spirit realities, is the endowment of the Spirit of Truth.... (1108.1) 101:3.2
 
How about love?
 
...the Spirit of Truth, who directs the loving contact of one human being with another.... (1950:6) 180:5.11
 
Comfort?
 
"...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
 
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
 
Character?
 
...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
 
Achievement?
 
...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
  
Conviction?
 
...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

 

 

This verse is from the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 16. Jesus indicates the SoT also brings the power of prophesy:

 

13 "...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

 


***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 3. What Happened at Pentecost, the Midwayers discuss the SoT's primary, two-fold concern--the Father's love and the Sons' mercy. And they discourse on religion as Jesus lived it, and as he redefined it.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.



#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:38 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

3. What Happened at Pentecost

 

[Part 1 of 2]

 

   Many queer and strange teachings became associated with the early narratives of the day of Pentecost. In subsequent times the events of this day, on which the Spirit of Truth, the new teacher, came to dwell with mankind, have become confused with the foolish outbreaks of rampant emotionalism. The chief mission of this outpoured spirit of the Father and the Son is to teach men about the truths of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy. These are the truths of divinity which men can comprehend more fully than all the other divine traits of character. 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. When man yields the “fruits of the spirit” in his life, he is simply showing forth the traits which the Master manifested in his own earthly life. When Jesus was on earth, he lived his life as one personality — Jesus of Nazareth. As the indwelling spirit of the “new teacher,” the Master has, since Pentecost, been able to live his life anew in the experience of every truth-taught believer.

 

(2062.11)194:3.2 Many things which happen in the course of a human life are hard to understand, difficult to reconcile with the idea that this is a universe in which truth prevails and in which righteousness triumphs. It so often appears that slander, lies, dishonesty, and unrighteousness — sin — prevail. Does faith, after all, triumph over evil, sin, and iniquity? It does. And the life and death of Jesus are the eternal proof that the truth of goodness and the faith of the spirit-led creature will always be vindicated. They taunted Jesus on the cross, saying, “Let us see if God will come and deliver him.” It looked dark on that day of the crucifixion, but it was gloriously bright on the resurrection morning; it was still brighter and more joyous on the day of Pentecost. The religions of pessimistic despair seek to obtain release from the burdens of life; they crave extinction in endless slumber and rest. These are the religions of primitive fear and dread. The religion of Jesus is a new gospel of faith to be proclaimed to struggling humanity. This new religion is founded on faith, hope, and love.

 

(2063.1)194:3.3 To Jesus, mortal life had dealt its hardest, cruelest, and bitterest blows; and this man met these ministrations of despair with faith, courage, and the unswerving determination to do his Father’s will. Jesus met life in all its terrible reality and mastered it — even in death. He did not use religion as a release from life. The religion of Jesus does not seek to escape this life in order to enjoy the waiting bliss of another existence. The religion of Jesus provides the joy and peace of another and spiritual existence to enhance and ennoble the life which men now live in the flesh.

 

(2063.2)194:3.4 If religion is an opiate to the people, it is not the religion of Jesus. On the cross he refused to drink the deadening drug, and his spirit, poured out upon all flesh, is a mighty world influence which leads man upward and urges him onward. The spiritual forward urge is the most powerful driving force present in this world; the truth-learning believer is the one progressive and aggressive soul on earth.

 

(2063.3)194:3.5 On the day of Pentecost the religion of Jesus broke all national restrictions and racial fetters. It is forever true, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” On this day the Spirit of Truth became the personal gift from the Master to every mortal. This spirit was bestowed for the purpose of qualifying believers more effectively to preach the gospel of the kingdom, but they mistook the experience of receiving the outpoured spirit for a part of the new gospel which they were unconsciously formulating.

 

(2063.4)194:3.6 Do not overlook the fact that the Spirit of Truth was bestowed upon all sincere believers; this gift of the spirit did not come only to the apostles. The one hundred and twenty men and women assembled in the upper chamber all received the new teacher, as did all the honest of heart throughout the whole world. This new teacher was bestowed upon mankind, and every soul received him in accordance with the love for truth and the capacity to grasp and comprehend spiritual realities. At last, true religion is delivered from the custody of priests and all sacred classes and finds its real manifestation in the individual souls of men.

 

(2063.5)194:3.7 The religion of Jesus fosters the highest type of human civilization in that it creates the highest type of spiritual personality and proclaims the sacredness of that person.

 

(2063.6)194:3.8 The coming of the Spirit of Truth on Pentecost made possible a religion which is neither radical nor conservative; it is neither the old nor the new; it is to be dominated neither by the old nor the young. The fact of Jesus’ earthly life provides a fixed point for the anchor of time, while the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth provides for the everlasting expansion and endless growth of the religion which he lived and the gospel which he proclaimed. The spirit guides into all truth; he is the teacher of an expanding and always-growing religion of endless progress and divine unfolding. This new teacher will be forever unfolding to the truth-seeking believer that which was so divinely folded up in the person and nature of the Son of Man.

 

(2064.1)194:3.9 The manifestations associated with the bestowal of the “new teacher,” and the reception of the apostles’ preaching by the men of various races and nations gathered together at Jerusalem, indicate the universality of the religion of Jesus. The gospel of the kingdom was to be identified with no particular race, culture, or language. This day of Pentecost witnessed the great effort of the spirit to liberate the religion of Jesus from its inherited Jewish fetters. Even after this demonstration of pouring out the spirit upon all flesh, the apostles at first endeavored to impose the requirements of Judaism upon their converts. Even Paul had trouble with his Jerusalem brethren because he refused to subject the gentiles to these Jewish practices. No revealed religion can spread to all the world when it makes the serious mistake of becoming permeated with some national culture or associated with established racial, social, or economic practices.

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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 16 November 2014 - 06:44 AM


.

 

Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

There's no shortage of "queer and strange teachings" in all Urantian religions, even the one that claims Jesus and his Truth Spirit.

 

The "rampant emotionalism" the Midwayers cite in the first paragraph can be observed today in many sects. But the most prominent may be Pentecostalism. From Wikipedia:
 

Several spontaneous practices have become characteristic of Pentecostal worship. Being "slain in the Spirit" or "falling under the power" is a form of prostration in which a person falls backwards, as if fainting, while being prayed over. It is at times accompanied by glossolalic prayer; at other times, the person is silent. It is believed by Pentecostals to be caused by "an overwhelming experience of the presence of God", and Pentecostals sometimes receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit in this posture. Another spontaneous practice is "dancing in the Spirit". This is when a person leaves their seat "spontaneously 'dancing' with eyes closed without bumping into nearby persons or objects". It is explained as the worshipper becoming "so enraptured with God's presence that the Spirit takes control of physical motions as well as the spiritual and emotional being".

 

...The charismatic experiences found in Pentecostalism have precedents in earlier movements in Christianity. Church historian Dr. Curtis Ward proposes the existence of an unbroken Pentecostal lineage from the early church to the present, with glossolalia and gifts following. However, early Pentecostals considered the movement a latter day restoration of the church's apostolic power, and most historians of Pentecostalism write that the movement emerged from late 19th century radical evangelical revival movements in America and Great Britain.

SOURCE/MORE

 

***

 

This short statement in today's reading explains much:
 

...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

 

Evidently Michael serves as an intermediary, an interface between humanity on Urantia and divinity on Paradise. And, apparently, his bestowal of the Spirit of Truth made it possible for him to be with all Nebadon citizens simultaneously:

 

...As the indwelling spirit of the “new teacher,” the Master has, since Pentecost, been able to live his life anew in the experience of every truth-taught believer.... (2062.11)194:3.2


 

***

 

Compare this from the second paragraph of today's text:
 

...Many things which happen in the course of a human life are hard to understand, difficult to reconcile with the idea that this is a universe in which truth prevails and in which righteousness triumphs.... (2062:11) 194:3.2

 

...with this statement in Paper 118:

 

...Much that takes place on an evolving world is rather hard for mortal man to understand--natural law is so often apparently cruel, heartless, and indifferent to all that is true, beautiful, and good in human comprehension…. (1306:1) 118:10.12

 

***

 

Real religion doesn't get any simpler or better than this (from today's reading):
 

...This new religion is founded on faith, hope, and love.... (2062.11)194:3.2
 

And the follow up statement offers the world reason to maintain faith, keep hope alive, give and receive love:

 

...The religion of Jesus provides the joy and peace of another and spiritual existence to enhance and ennoble the life which men now live in the flesh.... (2063.1)194:3.3

 

 

***

 

Here the Midwayers directly refute the atheistic theory (attributed to Karl Marx and before him the infamous Marquis de Sade) that religion is a trivial and farcical belief:

 

...If religion is an opiate to the people, it is not the religion of Jesus. On the cross he refused to drink the deadening drug, and his spirit, poured out upon all flesh, is a mighty world influence which leads man upward and urges him onward.... (2063.2)194:3.4

 

From Wikipedia:
 

"Religion is the opium of the people" is one of the most frequently paraphrased statements of German economist Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" and is often rendered as "religion... is the opiate of the masses." The quotation originates from the introduction of his proposed work A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right; this work was never written, but the introduction (written in 1843) was published in 1844 in Marx's own journal Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, a collaboration with Arnold Ruge. The phrase "This opium you feed your people" appeared in 1797 in Marquis de Sade's text L'Histoire de Juliette and Novalis's "[R]eligion acts merely as an opiate" around the same time. The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".


 

***

 

About this 'spiritual urge' mentioned in today's reading:

 

...The spiritual forward urge is the most powerful driving force present in this world; the truth-learning believer is the one progressive and aggressive soul on earth.... (2063.2)194:3.4
 

Compare that with this from Paper 196:
 

...Man's forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man's universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth.... (2096:7) 196:3.31
 

 

***

 

The Midwayers refer to liberty in today's OPAD:

 

...On the day of Pentecost the religion of Jesus broke all national restrictions and racial fetters. It is forever true, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty....” (2063.3)194:3.5

 

Liberty is a fascinating study in the book. Seemingly paradoxical, real liberty, spiritual liberty, only comes by surrendering it.


"...I have come to proclaim spiritual liberty, teach eternal truth, and foster living faith...." (1710:4) 153:2.6

...Man's ability to choose good or evil is a universe reality. This liberty to choose for oneself is an endowment of the Supreme Rulers, and they will not permit any being or group of beings to deprive a single personality in the wide universe of this divinely bestowed liberty--not even to satisfy such misguided and ignorant beings in the enjoyment of this misnamed personal liberty.... (615:3) 54:3.1

...Man rejoices in the goodness of God, Havoners exult in the divine beauty, while you both enjoy the ministry of the liberty of living truth.... (157.5) 14:4.13


...True liberty is the quest of the ages and the reward of evolutionary progress.... (613:4) 54:1.2

 

 

 

***

 

This seems to answer the question: who may receive the SoT:
 

...Do not overlook the fact that the Spirit of Truth was bestowed upon all sincere believers.... (2063.4)194:3.6


 

Compare this statement in today's reading:
 

 ...The spirit guides into all truth; he is the teacher of an expanding and always-growing religion of endless progress and divine unfolding.... (2063.6)194:3.8

 

...with these in Papers 34 and 180:
 

...If you do not reject this spirit, even though eternity may be required to fulfill the commission, "he will guide you into all truth...." (382.1) 34:7.1

"...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

 

 

***

 

About the universality of Jesus' religion, cited in today's text:
 

...The manifestations associated with the bestowal of the “new teacher,” and the reception of the apostles’ preaching by the men of various races and nations gathered together at Jerusalem, indicate the universality of the religion of Jesus.... (2064.1)194:3.9
 

Compare with these New Testament verses. From Matthew 28:
 

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

John 14:
 

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

 

***

 

In the last paragraph of today's reading, the Midwayers condemn suffocating tradition:

 

...No revealed religion can spread to all the world when it makes the serious mistake of becoming permeated with some national culture or associated with established racial, social, or economic practices.... (2064.1)194:3.9

 

Lamentably, Christianity has become just such a religion. It has begun to languish in the light of new science, and a definite drift away from traditional "infallible" dogma. Today Christianity is seen mostly as a backward facing western religion associated largely with the Americas and Europe.

 

But we know the Urantia revelation has already begun lifting all Urantia's evolved religions. It will in time penetrate and permeate the levels of higher thoughts and ideals of truth seekers around the world, loosening the heavy and terrible chains of ignorance, myth, and mysticism.

 

 

There is much more about this religious slump in pages to come. In tomorrow’s reading, the last half of Section 3. What Happened at Pentecost, the Midwayers discuss the SoT with regard to favorable environments, use of force, creating a better civilization, woman's equal spiritual standing, surrender, unity, self-assertion, purity, and prayer.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.



#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:39 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

3. What Happened at Pentecost

 

[Part 2 of 2]

 

   The bestowal of the Spirit of Truth was independent of all forms, ceremonies, sacred places, and special behavior by those who received the fullness of its manifestation. When the spirit came upon those assembled in the upper chamber, they were simply sitting there, having just been engaged in silent prayer. The spirit was bestowed in the country as well as in the city. It was not necessary for the apostles to go apart to a lonely place for years of solitary meditation in order to receive the spirit. For all time, Pentecost disassociates the idea of spiritual experience from the notion of especially favorable environments.

 

(2064.3)194:3.11 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. Jesus had already taught his followers that his religion was never passive; always were his disciples to be active and positive in their ministry of mercy and in their manifestations of love. No longer did these believers look upon Yahweh as “the Lord of Hosts.” They now regarded the eternal Deity as the “God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.” They made that progress, at least, even if they did in some measure fail fully to grasp the truth that God is also the spiritual Father of every individual.

 

(2064.4)194:3.12 Pentecost endowed mortal man with the power to forgive personal injuries, to keep sweet in the midst of the gravest injustice, to remain unmoved in the face of appalling danger, and to challenge the evils of hate and anger by the fearless acts of love and forbearance. Urantia has passed through the ravages of great and destructive wars in its history. All participants in these terrible struggles met with defeat. There was but one victor; there was only one who came out of these embittered struggles with an enhanced reputation — that was Jesus of Nazareth and his gospel of overcoming evil with good. The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust.

 

(2065.1)194:3.13 Up to Pentecost, religion had revealed only man seeking for God; since Pentecost, man is still searching for God, but there shines out over the world the spectacle of God also seeking for man and sending his spirit to dwell within him when he has found him.

 

(2065.2)194:3.14 Before the teachings of Jesus which culminated in Pentecost, women had little or no spiritual standing in the tenets of the older religions. After Pentecost, in the brotherhood of the kingdom woman stood before God on an equality with man. Among the one hundred and twenty who received this special visitation of the spirit were many of the women disciples, and they shared these blessings equally with the men believers. No longer can man presume to monopolize the ministry of religious service. The Pharisee might go on thanking God that he was “not born a woman, a leper, or a gentile,” but among the followers of Jesus woman has been forever set free from all religious discriminations based on sex. Pentecost obliterated all religious discrimination founded on racial distinction, cultural differences, social caste, or sex prejudice. No wonder these believers in the new religion would cry out, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

 

(2065.3)194:3.15 Both the mother and brother of Jesus were present among the one hundred and twenty believers, and as members of this common group of disciples, they also received the outpoured spirit. They received no more of the good gift than did their fellows. No special gift was bestowed upon the members of Jesus’ earthly family. Pentecost marked the end of special priesthoods and all belief in sacred families.

 

(2065.4)194:3.16 Before Pentecost the apostles had given up much for Jesus. They had sacrificed their homes, families, friends, worldly goods, and positions. At Pentecost they gave themselves to God, and the Father and the Son responded by giving themselves to man — sending their spirits to live within men. This experience of losing self and finding the spirit was not one of emotion; it was an act of intelligent self-surrender and unreserved consecration.

 

(2065.5)194:3.17 Pentecost was the call to spiritual unity among gospel believers. When the spirit descended on the disciples at Jerusalem, the same thing happened in Philadelphia, Alexandria, and at all other places where true believers dwelt. It was literally true that “there was but one heart and soul among the multitude of the believers.” The religion of Jesus is the most powerful unifying influence the world has ever known.

 

(2065.6)194:3.18 Pentecost was designed to lessen the self-assertiveness of individuals, groups, nations, and races. It is this spirit of self-assertiveness which so increases in tension that it periodically breaks loose in destructive wars. Mankind can be unified only by the spiritual approach, and the Spirit of Truth is a world influence which is universal.

 

(2065.7)194:3.19 The coming of the Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads the recipient to formulate a life purpose single to the will of God and the welfare of men. The material spirit of selfishness has been swallowed up in this new spiritual bestowal of selflessness. Pentecost, then and now, signifies that the Jesus of history has become the divine Son of living experience. The joy of this outpoured spirit, when it is consciously experienced in human life, is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul.

 

(2065.8)194:3.20 Prayer did not bring the spirit on the day of Pentecost, but it did have much to do with determining the capacity of receptivity which characterized the individual believers. Prayer does not move the divine heart to liberality of bestowal, but it does so often dig out larger and deeper channels wherein the divine bestowals may flow to the hearts and souls of those who thus remember to maintain unbroken communion with their Maker through sincere prayer and true worship.

 
 

***

 

 

 

[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 17 November 2014 - 04:33 AM

.

 

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

 

So many instructive points in today's text. First the Midwayers forever remove the human notion that special places or conditions are required for spiritual contact.

 

...For all time, Pentecost disassociates the idea of spiritual experience from the notion of especially favorable environments.... (2064.2)194:3.10

 

But there is this about creating places of worship in Paper 167:
 

...When it is not possible to worship God in the tabernacles of nature, men should do their best to provide houses of beauty, sanctuaries of appealing simplicity and artistic embellishment, so that the highest of human emotions may be aroused in association with the intellectual approach to spiritual communion with God. Truth, beauty, and holiness are powerful and effective aids to true worship. But spirit communion is not promoted by mere massive ornateness and overmuch embellishment with man’s elaborate and ostentatious art. Beauty is most religious when it is most simple and naturelike. How unfortunate that little children should have their first introduction to concepts of public worship in cold and barren rooms so devoid of the beauty appeal and so empty of all suggestion of good cheer and inspiring holiness! The child should be introduced to worship in nature’s outdoors and later accompany his parents to public houses of religious assembly which are at least as materially attractive and artistically beautiful as the home in which he is daily domiciled.... (1840.5)167:6.6
 

 

***

 

The second paragraph of today's reading proscribes forcing religion on people.

 

...Pentecost, with its spiritual endowment, was designed forever to loose the religion of the Master from all dependence upon physical force.... (2064.3)194:3.11

 

There are other such proscriptions, two in Paper 178:

 

...In the kingdom of heaven true believers will not resort to the employment of physical force. The kingdom of heaven, being a spiritual brotherhood of the spirit-born sons of God, may be promulgated only by the power of the spirit.... (1929:3) 178:1.2

 

...You must not seek to promulgate truth nor to establish righteousness by the power of civil governments or by the enaction of secular laws. You may always labor to persuade men's minds, but you must never dare to compel them.... (1931:3) 178:1.12

 

***

 

The third paragraph speaks of forgiveness, and overcoming evil with good. Of course there is much more on forgiveness in the book, and several paragraphs that address overcoming evil.

 

From Paper 140:

 

...Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil--doing good in retaliation for injustice.... (1575:9) 140:5.24

 

From Paper 133:
 

...But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good.... (1480:4) 133:7.12

 

From Paper 159:

 

...Jesus did not advocate the practice of negative submission to the indignities of those who might purposely seek to impose upon the practitioners of nonresistance to evil, but rather that his followers should be wise and alert in the quick and positive reaction of good to evil to the end that they might effectively overcome evil with good.... (1770:2) 159:5.10
 

From Paper 130:


"...Why not assert your mastery of evil by virtue of the power of goodness and thus become the master of all relations between the two of you? I predict that the good in you could overcome the evil in him if you gave it a fair and living chance...." (1430:2) 130:2.4

 

From Paper 156:

 

"...There is mighty power in the expulsive energy of a new and sincere spiritual affection. And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good...." (1738:4) 156:5.5

 

From Paper 188:

 

...Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil.... (2018:1) 188:5.2

 

 

This is from a summary on Cynicism, in Paper 131:

 

“...In your lives overthrow error and overcome evil by the love of the living truth. In all your relations with men do good for evil. The Lord God is merciful and loving; he is forgiving. Let us love God, for he first loved us. By God’s love and through his mercy we shall be saved. Poor men and rich men are brothers. God is their Father. The evil you would not have done you, do not to others...." (1443.3)131:1.7


 

***

 

This is interesting, it suggests God was not searching for man before the bestowal of the SoT. From today's reading:
 

...Up to Pentecost, religion had revealed only man seeking for God; since Pentecost, man is still searching for God, but there shines out over the world the spectacle of God also seeking for man and sending his spirit to dwell within him when he has found him.... (2065.1)194:3.13
 

When the SoT is bestowed, the God Fragments, also known as the Thought Adjusters, come to all with "normal" minds. From Paper 52:

 

...Upon the resurrection of a bestowal Son, on the third day after yielding up his incarnated life, he ascends to the right hand of the Universal Father, receives the assurance of the acceptance of the bestowal mission, and returns to the Creator Son at the headquarters of the local universe. Thereupon the bestowal Avonal and the Creator Michael send their joint spirit, the Spirit of Truth, into the bestowal world. This is the occasion when the “spirit of the triumphant Son is poured out upon all flesh.” The Universe Mother Spirit also participates in this bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, and concomitant therewith there issues the bestowal edict of the Thought Adjusters. Thereafter all normal-minded will creatures of that world will receive Adjusters as soon as they attain the age of moral responsibility, of spiritual choice.... (596.4)52:5.6

 

 

***

 

The spiritual equality of women and men is also cited several times by the authors. From today's text:
 

...among the followers of Jesus woman has been forever set free from all religious discriminations based on sex. Pentecost obliterated all religious discrimination founded on racial distinction, cultural differences, social caste, or sex prejudice.... (2065.2)194:3.14

 

This is in Paper 167, the Midwayers words:

 

...the Master countenanced only those teachings which accorded women equality with men.... (1839.1) 167:5.4

 

From Paper 138:
 

 ...The apostles were at first shocked by, but early became accustomed to, Jesus’ treatment of women; he made it very clear to them that women were to be accorded equal rights with men in the kingdom.... (1546.2)138:8.11
 

In Paper 84, the Chief of Seraphim put out this challenge to Urantia's women:

 

...In the ideals of pair marriage, woman has finally won recognition, dignity, independence, equality, and education; but will she prove worthy of all this new and unprecedented accomplishment? Will modern woman respond to this great achievement of social liberation with idleness, indifference, barrenness, and infidelity? Today, in the twentieth century, woman is undergoing the crucial test of her long world existence! (937.7)84:5.10

 

***

 

From today's OPAD:
 

...Pentecost marked the end of special priesthoods and all belief in sacred families.... (2065.3)194:3.15
 

It may have marked their end, but not the death of them. Priests and dynasties still dominate many minds on retarded Urantia. No?

 

 

***


 

This from today's reading is instructive regarding feeling:
 

...This experience of losing self and finding the spirit was not one of emotion; it was an act of intelligent self-surrender and unreserved consecration.... (2065.4)194:3.16
 

 

***

 

Unity and unification are big themes in the book. From today's text:
 

...It was literally true that “there was but one heart and soul among the multitude of the believers." The religion of Jesus is the most powerful unifying influence the world has ever known.... (2065.5)194:3.17
 

The quoted words are from Acts 4:

 

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul...

 

From Paper 1:

 

...The truth and maturity of any religion is directly proportional to its concept of the infinite personality of God and to its grasp of the absolute unity of Deity.... (28:7) 1:5.10

 

The go-to Paper on UNITY is: Paper 56 Universal Unity

 

 

***

 

Now we know the reason and cure for war. From today's text:

 

 ...Pentecost was designed to lessen the self-assertiveness of individuals, groups, nations, and races. It is this spirit of self-assertiveness which so increases in tension that it periodically breaks loose in destructive wars.... (2065.6)194:3.18
 

...and the cure for what saddens and ails us:
 

...The joy of this outpoured spirit, when it is consciously experienced in human life, is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul.... (2065.7)194:3.19

 

 

 

***

 

And lastly, the Midwayers bring prayer into the discussion, how prayer and the SoT interact to increase capacity:

 

...Prayer did not bring the spirit on the day of Pentecost, but it did have much to do with determining the capacity of receptivity which characterized the individual believers....(2065.8)194:3.20

 

Capacity is addressed in other Papers. From Papers 140, 169, 110132:

 

...The Master came to create in man a new spirit, a new will--to impart a new capacity for knowing the truth, experiencing compassion, and choosing goodness--the will to be in harmony with God's will, coupled with the eternal urge to become perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect.... (1583:6) 140:8.32

...From the life of the Master you may each assimilate that concept of God which represents the measure of your capacity to perceive realities spiritual and divine, truths real and eternal.... (1856:1) 169:4.3

 

...Lack of spiritual capacity makes it very difficult to transmit to such a material intellect the spiritual truths resident in the higher superconsciousness.... (1209:4) 110:6.4

 

...As you ascend the universe scale of creature development, you will find increasing goodness and diminishing evil in perfect accordance with your capacity for goodness-experience and truth-discernment.... (1458:3) 132:2.6

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 4. Beginnings of the Christian Church, the Midwayers record and expound on the first incidents to occur within the new religion, and the first martyr of embryonic Christianity.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.



#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 04:58 PM

 
These Bible verses have bits and reflections akin to today's OPAD.
 
 
From Romans 12, on overcoming evil:
 
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
 
From Luke 6, turning evil to good:
 
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
 
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
 
From Matthew 5, about returning good for hate:
 
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
 
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
 
 
From Epesians 6, regarding spiritual weapons:
 
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 
 
 
***


#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:00 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 194 - BESTOWAL OF THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

 

 

4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

 

   When Jesus was so suddenly seized by his enemies and so quickly crucified between two thieves, his apostles and disciples were completely demoralized. The thought of the Master, arrested, bound, scourged, and crucified, was too much for even the apostles. They forgot his teachings and his warnings. He might, indeed, have been “a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,” but he could hardly be the Messiah they had hoped would restore the kingdom of Israel.

 

(2066.2)194:4.2 Then comes the resurrection, with its deliverance from despair and the return of their faith in the Master’s divinity. Again and again they see him and talk with him, and he takes them out on Olivet, where he bids them farewell and tells them he is going back to the Father. He has told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they are endowed with power — until the Spirit of Truth shall come. And on the day of Pentecost this new teacher comes, and they go out at once to preach their gospel with new power. They are the bold and courageous followers of a living Lord, not a dead and defeated leader. The Master lives in the hearts of these evangelists; God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls.

 

(2066.3)194:4.3 “Day by day they continued steadfastly and with one accord in the temple and breaking bread at home. They took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. They were all filled with the spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitudes of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, and they had all things in common.”

 

(2066.4)194:4.4 What has happened to these men whom Jesus had ordained to go forth preaching the gospel of the kingdom, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man? They have a new gospel; they are on fire with a new experience; they are filled with a new spiritual energy. Their message has suddenly shifted to the proclamation of the risen Christ: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man God approved by mighty works and wonders; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you did crucify and slay. The things which God foreshadowed by the mouth of all the prophets, he thus fulfilled. This Jesus did God raise up. God has made him both Lord and Christ. Being, by the right hand of God, exalted and having received from the Father the promise of the spirit, he has poured forth this which you see and hear. Repent, that your sins may be blotted out; that the Father may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus, whom the heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things.”

 

(2066.5)194:4.5 The gospel of the kingdom, the message of Jesus, had been suddenly changed into the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They now proclaimed the facts of his life, death, and resurrection and preached the hope of his speedy return to this world to finish the work he began. Thus the message of the early believers had to do with preaching about the facts of his first coming and with teaching the hope of his second coming, an event which they deemed to be very near at hand.

 

(2067.1)194:4.6 Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concept of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that “God is the Father of the Lord Jesus” to be concerned with the old message that “God is the loving Father of all men,” even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven. Their good will arose from the love born of the concept of Jesus’ bestowal and not from the recognition of the brotherhood of mortal man. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. They made the great mistake of using the living and illustrative commentary on the gospel of the kingdom for that gospel, but even that represented the greatest religion mankind had ever known.

 

(2067.2)194:4.7 Unmistakably, a new fellowship was arising in the world. “The multitude who believed continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” They called each other brother and sister; they greeted one another with a holy kiss; they ministered to the poor. It was a fellowship of living as well as of worship. They were not communal by decree but by the desire to share their goods with their fellow believers. They confidently expected that Jesus would return to complete the establishment of the Father’s kingdom during their generation. This spontaneous sharing of earthly possessions was not a direct feature of Jesus’ teaching; it came about because these men and women so sincerely and so confidently believed that he was to return any day to finish his work and to consummate the kingdom. But the final results of this well-meant experiment in thoughtless brotherly love were disastrous and sorrow-breeding. Thousands of earnest believers sold their property and disposed of all their capital goods and other productive assets. With the passing of time, the dwindling resources of Christian “equal-sharing” came to an end — but the world did not. Very soon the believers at Antioch were taking up a collection to keep their fellow believers at Jerusalem from starving.

 

(2067.3)194:4.8 In these days they celebrated the Lord’s Supper after the manner of its establishment; that is, they assembled for a social meal of good fellowship and partook of the sacrament at the end of the meal.

 

(2067.4)194:4.9 At first they baptized in the name of Jesus; it was almost twenty years before they began to baptize in “the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Baptism was all that was required for admission into the fellowship of believers. They had no organization as yet; it was simply the Jesus brotherhood.

 

(2067.5)194:4.10 This Jesus sect was growing rapidly, and once more the Sadducees took notice of them. The Pharisees were little bothered about the situation, seeing that none of the teachings in any way interfered with the observance of the Jewish laws. But the Sadducees began to put the leaders of the Jesus sect in jail until they were prevailed upon to accept the counsel of one of the leading rabbis, Gamaliel, who advised them: “Refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them, lest haply you be found even to be fighting against God.” They decided to follow Gamaliel’s counsel, and there ensued a time of peace and quiet in Jerusalem, during which the new gospel about Jesus spread rapidly.

 

(2068.1)194:4.11 And so all went well in Jerusalem until the time of the coming of the Greeks in large numbers from Alexandria. Two of the pupils of Rodan arrived in Jerusalem and made many converts from among the Hellenists. Among their early converts were Stephen and Barnabas. These able Greeks did not so much have the Jewish viewpoint, and they did not so well conform to the Jewish mode of worship and other ceremonial practices. And it was the doings of these Greek believers that terminated the peaceful relations between the Jesus brotherhood and the Pharisees and Sadducees. Stephen and his Greek associate began to preach more as Jesus taught, and this brought them into immediate conflict with the Jewish rulers. In one of Stephen’s public sermons, when he reached the objectionable part of the discourse, they dispensed with all formalities of trial and proceeded to stone him to death on the spot.

 

(2068.2)194:4.12 Stephen, the leader of the Greek colony of Jesus’ believers in Jerusalem, thus became the first martyr to the new faith and the specific cause for the formal organization of the early Christian church. This new crisis was met by the recognition that believers could not longer go on as a sect within the Jewish faith. They all agreed that they must separate themselves from unbelievers; and within one month from the death of Stephen the church at Jerusalem had been organized under the leadership of Peter, and James the brother of Jesus had been installed as its titular head.

 

(2068.3)194:4.13 And then broke out the new and relentless persecutions by the Jews, so that the active teachers of the new religion about Jesus, which subsequently at Antioch was called Christianity, went forth to the ends of the empire proclaiming Jesus. In carrying this message, before the time of Paul the leadership was in Greek hands; and these first missionaries, as also the later ones, followed the path of Alexander’s march of former days, going by way of Gaza and Tyre to Antioch and then over Asia Minor to Macedonia, then on to Rome and to the uttermost parts of the empire.

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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.]



#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:25 PM


.

 

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

 

These words in quotes in the first paragraph of today's OPAD:
 

"...a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people....." (2066.1)194:4.1

 

...were borrowed from the Gospel of Luke, 24:

 

19 ...And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

 

 

Such a beautiful description of their attitude at the end of the second paragraph:


 ...God is not a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls.... (2066.2)194:4.2
 

 

***

 

Notice the third paragraph is enclosed in quote marks?

 

“...Day by day they continued steadfastly and with one accord in the temple and breaking bread at home. They took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. They were all filled with the spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitudes of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, and they had all things in common....” (2066.3)194:4.3

 

The Midwayers are surely quoting Acts 2:


42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 

 

***

 

About the hard times after they gave away everything in anticipation of the Master's return:

 

...the final results of this well-meant experiment in thoughtless brotherly love were disastrous and sorrow-breeding. Thousands of earnest believers sold their property and disposed of all their capital goods and other productive assets. With the passing of time, the dwindling resources of Christian “equal-sharing” came to an end — but the world did not. Very soon the believers at Antioch were taking up a collection to keep their fellow believers at Jerusalem from starving.... (2067.2)194:4.7

 

...there is this in Acts 11:
 

29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

 

And this in Romans 15:
 

26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.


 

 

***

 

The persuasive Gamaliel, mentioned in today's reading:

 

...the Sadducees began to put the leaders of the Jesus sect in jail until they were prevailed upon to accept the counsel of one of the leading rabbis, Gamaliel, who advised them: “Refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them, lest haply you be found even to be fighting against God.” They decided to follow Gamaliel’s counsel, and there ensued a time of peace and quiet in Jerusalem, during which the new gospel about Jesus spread rapidly....(2067.5)194:4.10

 

...is also named in Acts 5:

 

34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

 

38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.


 

***

 

The preaching and stoning of Stephen:

 

...Stephen and his Greek associate began to preach more as Jesus taught, and this brought them into immediate conflict with the Jewish rulers. In one of Stephen’s public sermons, when he reached the objectionable part of the discourse, they dispensed with all formalities of trial and proceeded to stone him to death on the spot.... (2068.1)194:4.11

 

...was recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 7:

 

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

 

 

 

***

 

The new persecutions and scattering cited in today's text:


 ...then broke out the new and relentless persecutions by the Jews, so that the active teachers of the new religion about Jesus...went forth to the ends of the empire proclaiming Jesus.... (2068.3)194:4.13

 

...were mentioned in Acts 8:

 

 ...And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
 

 

The first use of the name Christian at Antioch, cited in today's reading:
 

...so that the active teachers of the new religion about Jesus, which subsequently at Antioch was called Christianity.... (2068.3)194:4.13

 

...is also recorded in Act 11:
 

26 ...And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
 

 

***

 

 

Alexander's march is cited in the last paragraph:

 

 ...these first missionaries, as also the later ones, followed the path of Alexander’s march of former days, going by way of Gaza and Tyre to Antioch and then over Asia Minor to Macedonia, then on to Rome and to the uttermost parts of the empire.... (2068.3)194:4.13

 

1920px-MacedonEmpire.jpg

 

Map of Alexander's empire and his route.

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

Thus ends Paper 194. In tomorrow’s reading, the introduction to 195: After Pentecost, the Midwayers discourse on the compromises, setbacks, and successes Christianity had with paganism, Hellenism, and eventually the Roman empire. Also noting its ascendency in spite of its flaws.

 

Overview of 194. Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth

 

1. The Pentecost Sermon
2. The Significance of Pentecost

3. What Happened at Pentecost
4. Beginnings of the Christian Church

 

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 194: (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.





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