SUMMER STUDY SESSION 2022—MACHIVENTA MELCHIZEDEK: PRESERVING TRUTH AND LIGHTING THE WAY FOR FUTURE
The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Education Committee presented the Summer Study Session (SSS) 2022 at the beautiful Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center. At long last, we gathered with our Urantia family in-person again, to learn about “one of the most unique of all characters ever to become connected with the history of Urantia (93:10.11 [1026.1]).” It was 4,000 years ago that Machiventa Melchizedek heroically “personalized” on earth; at a perilous time when revealed truth was on the brink of extinction.
Click the links to your right to watch the recorded plenaries.
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Thursday, July 21–Sunday, July 24
Preserving Truth and Lighting the Way for Future Revelations
Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center
3500 Midwest Rd, Oak Brook, Illinois (near Chicago)
Thursday Evening Plenary:
Setting the Stage for the Third Epochal Revelation—Stuart Kerr
The remarkable decision by the corps of Melchizedek receivers of Urantia to allow one of their number to materialize in the flesh and minister directly to human beings was triggered by some two hundred thousand years of tumult and confusion on our world following the defection of our Planetary Prince, Caligastia, to the false promises of Lucifer and his rebellion.
Stuart will help us review what The Urantia Book tells us of this history and the "period of increasing spiritual darkness (35:4.5 [389.4])" some five thousand years ago that caused concern among the Melchizedeks. This will "set the stage" for our study of "one of the most unique of all characters ever to become connected with the history of Urantia and a personality who may be destined to play an important role in the future experience of your irregular and unusual world (93:10.11 [1026.1]).
Friday Morning Plenary:
The Nature and Role of Evolutionary Religion—Elisabeth Callahan
Machiventa Melchizedek came to Urantia to both remedy our world’s loss of the truths of prior epochal revelations and to prepare the world for the revelation of our Creator Son Michael’s bestowal. But revelation is only one of the two parents of our concepts and experience of religion. Equally, if not more, important to our spiritual growth are the fundamental and inexorable forces of evolutionary religion, the work of the unconditioned presence of our Local Universe Mother Spirit, along with the sixth and seventh adjutant mind spirits, which, we are told, are "wholly sufficient" to foster the birth and progress of religion (86:0.1 [950.1]).
Elisabeth will help us appreciate the power and scope of evolutionary religion, which is essential both to appreciate the gifts of epochal revelation we have received from Machiventa Melchizedek, Jesus of Nazareth, and The Urantia Book, and to appreciate the evolutionary influences still at work toward shaping our future and destiny.
Friday Afternoon Plenary:
The Sage of Salem—Chuck Thurston
The Melchizedek Sons are the first-created order of descending sonship in a local universe. They are much like the "eldest son in a large family," Paper 35:2.3 (page 386.1), and are the first to act in all emergencies "on all worlds where will creatures dwell." Paper 35:4.4 (page 389.3) It was one of this order, Machiventa Melchizedek, who volunteered to appear in human form on our world 4,000 years ago. He had long been involved in our affairs as one of the twelve Melchizedek receivers who stepped in at the time of the planetary rebellion.
While only one Paper is directly devoted to the story of Machiventa’s emergency mission, we can learn much about his character and brilliance from the profound consequences of his work. Chuck will briefly review the origin and nature of Melchizedek Sons as the backdrop for a close look at the story of Machiventa’s mission—his fundamental teachings; how he established the Salem school and its missionaries; his covenant with Abraham; and how all of these and other related efforts prepared the way for the bestowal reception of Jesus and his unprecedented revelation of human-divine partnership.
Friday Evening Plenary:
The Nature and Role of Revelatory Religion—Kurt Cira
The Urantia Book tells us that revelation plays a vital role in exalting and upstepping evolutionary religion, but that it must "portray teachings which are not too far removed from the thought and reactions of the age in which they are presented." Paper 92:4.1 (page 1007.1) The content of an epochal revelation must therefore be carefully calibrated to inspire, but not overwhelm, the planetary culture that receives it. Add to this the fact that there was no preexisting plan for the bestowal of an "emergency son", and we can begin to appreciate the extraordinary undertaking for which Machiventa volunteered.
Kurt will help us explore what the simple yet powerful truths that Machiventa shared with Abraham and others of his time teach us about the essential qualities and unique contributions of revelation to the progress of our planet. How did he work toward “maintaining the light of truth,” and put Urantia on the path to receive the Fourth, and ultimately the Fifth, Epochal Revelation? Paper 93:1.2 (page 1014.4)
Saturday Morning Plenary:
Lighting the Way for Our Creator Son—André Radatus
The Melchizedeks knew of Michael’s future bestowal on Urantia, but "they did not know how soon it would occur." Paper 93:1.2 (page 1014.4) His purpose was to "prepare the way and set the monotheistic stage of world tendency for the bestowal of an actual Paradise Son of the one God, whom he so vividly portrayed as the Father of all, and whom he represented to Abraham as a God who would accept man on the simple terms of personal faith. And Michael, when he appeared on earth, confirmed all that Melchizedek had taught concerning the Paradise Father." Paper 93:3.8 (page 1017.2)
Andre will help us see how the seeds of truth planted by Machiventa led to an unprecedented blossoming of religious progress across the globe; how Michael’s bestowal on our planet and the choices he made during his human life were shaped by his predecessor; and how Machiventa Melchizedek’s mission provided the teachings of Jesus with more fertile ground for the growth of truth on Urantia.
Saturday Afternoon Plenary:
Is The Urantia Book an Emergency Revelation?—Chris Wood
Machiventa Melchizedek’s bestowal on Urantia is expressly described in multiple passages as an "emergency" revelation, undertaken by the planet’s Melchizedek receivers "in the manner of their own election" after the Most Highs of Edentia declined to answer their petition that "some provision be made for maintaining the light of truth on Urantia." Paper 93:1.2 (page 1014.4)
Part I, the first 31 Papers, of The Urantia Book were authorized by the Ancients of Days on Uversa. See Paper 31:10.22 (page 354.8). The Nebadon order of Melchizedek Sons were actively involved in the revelation of Parts II, III, and IV, supervising the presentation of those 165 Papers, authoring 27 of them; and Machiventa is listed as a "collaborator" on at least one. See Paper 56:10.22 (page 648.5).
Chris will help us explore the question of whether The Urantia Book is also an "emergency" revelation and, more importantly, what parallels might be drawn between the circumstances of its provision with the decision to undertake Machiventa’s mission – as well as what parallels might we not wish to draw between these two related, yet very different, epochal revelations.
Saturday Evening Plenary:
Are We the New Salem Missionaries?—Derek Samaras
Machiventa Melchizedek purposely established a center of learning and trained missionaries to spread his teaching throughout the world. The Salem Missionaries met with varying degrees of success, but their work bore much fruit and, as beautifully portrayed in Paper 131, the enlightened descriptions of God in all of the world’s great religions share one common wellspring: "these teachings portraying monotheism were largely derived, directly or indirectly, from the preachments of the missionaries of Machiventa Melchizedek, who went forth from their Salem headquarters to spread the doctrine of one God—the Most High—to the ends of the earth." Paper 131:0.1 (page 1442.1)
We have also recently been given the gift of an epochal revelation, and we might therefore ask if our task, as students and sharers of The Urantia Book, is to serve as the “new” Salem missionaries? Derek will help us explore how we might respond to this question; and he will assess some of the ways in which the challenges and opportunities of the present are similar to, and different from, the experiences of those truth-seekers of 4,000 years ago.
Sunday Morning Plenary:
Are We “On the Brink”?—Paula Thompson
For our final plenary session we will look forward from the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Epochal Revelations to the future of our continued progressive religious evolution as punctuated by the inspiration of revelation. The Urantia Book tells us that the changes previewed by Melchizedek 4,000 years ago have not run their full course:
A new and fuller revelation of the religion of Jesus is destined to conquer an empire of materialistic secularism and to overthrow a world sway of mechanistic naturalism. Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment. Paper 195:9.2 (page 2082.7)
Are we indeed "on the brink"? And, what are we on the brink of? In what sense is this promised epoch already underway, and how literally should we take the prediction that: "This new and oncoming social order will not settle down complacently for a millennium."? Paper 99:1.1 (page 1086.4) Paula will help us explore these perennially fascinating questions.