The Spiritual Teachings of the Urantia Book
Contents of this Synopsis
by Dr. Ken Glasziou
First and last—eternally—the infinite God is a Father. God is a Father in the highest possible sense of that term. He is eternally motivated by the perfect idealism of divine love and tender nature that finds its strongest expression and greatest satisfaction in loving and being loved.
Selflessness is inherent in parental love. God loves not like a father but as a father.
The First Father is universal spirit, eternal truth, infinite reality, and father personality-a transcendent reality. But God is even more. He is a saving person and a loving Father to all who enjoy spiritual peace on Earth, and who crave to experience personality survival in death.
The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration, except for the God-consciousness of the human mind and the presence of the God-Spirit that indwells the mortal intellect-and is bestowed as the free gift of the Universal Father. It is not there by right of possession, but it is designed to be so for all those who choose to survive the mortal existence.
The Universal Father is the acme of divine personality; he is the origin and destiny of all personality; he is infinite personality. But although God is much more than a personality as it is understood by man, we equally well know he cannot be anything less than holy, just and great, an eternal, infinite, true, beautiful, loving, and good personality.
Only through a personality approach can we begin to comprehend the unity of God. To deny the personality of the First Source and Center leaves only the choice between two philosophical dilemmas-materialism or pantheism.
God is spirit-spirit personality; man is also spirit-potential spirit personality. Jesus of Nazareth attained the full realization of man's spirit potential. Therefore his life of achieving the Father's will becomes man's most real and ideal revelation of the personality of God.
There sojourns within each mortal being a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity, the Spirit of God that indwells each individual. And the presence of this indwelling Spirit of God is evidenced by:
When the mind believes God and the soul knows God and when, with the fostering of the indwelling Spirit, they all desire God, then is survival of the individual assured.
The material self has personality and identity, temporal identity. The pre-personal indwelling God-Spirit also has identity, eternal identity. Together, the material personality and the spirit pre-personality are capable of so uniting their creative attributes so as to bring into existence the surviving entity-the immortal soul.
The nature of God can be best understood by the revelation of the Father that Jesus of Nazareth unfolded in his manifold teachings and in his superb life in the flesh.
The divine nature can also be better understood by mankind if individuals regard themselves as children of God-and look up to the Creator as a true and spiritual Father.
God's primal perfection consists in the inherent perfection of the goodness of his divine nature. And God's attributes of love, truth, beauty, and goodness are definitive of the meaning of all such terms.
The creature's need is wholly sufficient to ensure the full flow of the Father's tender mercies and saving grace.
The greatest evidence of the goodness of God and the supreme reason for loving him is the indwelling of his Spirit-the Spirit that so patiently awaits the hour when you both shall, eternally, become as one.
When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes, at best, merely the kingdom of good. Love is the dominant characteristic of all God's personal dealings with his creatures.
It is the indwelling Spirit of God that individualizes the love of God to each human soul. And man's nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love-for God is love.
In the physical universe we may see divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of God is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience.
In its true essence, religion is a faith trust in the goodness of God.
In philosophy, God could be great and absolute, somehow even intelligent and personal, but in religion God must also be moral, he must be good. Man may fear a great God, but he loves and trust only a good God. Therefore, to be lovable, God must be good.
This goodness of God is part of the personality of God. Its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing children of God. The entire mortal concept of God is transcendently illuminated by the revelatory life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Truth is beautiful because it is both replete and symmetrical. When man searches for truth, he pursues the divinely real.
Divine truth is best known by its spiritual flavor.
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing.
Within the bounds of that which is consistent with the divine nature, it is literally true, with God all things are possible.
God is all and in all. But even that is not all of God.
The creature not only exists in God, but God also lives in the creature-and in wrongdoing we torment the indwelling Spirit of God for it needs must go through the consequences of our evil thinking with the human mind of its own incarceration.
To you, the creature, many of the acts of the all powerful Creator seem to be heartless and cruel. But this is not true. God's doings are all purposeful, intelligent, wise, kind, and eternally considerate of the best good, not always of the individual, but for the welfare and best good of all concerned from the lowest to the highest. But many things do occur on the evolutionary worlds that are not the personal doings of the Universal Father.
God knows all things. The divine mind is conscious of, and conversant with, the thought of all creation. His knowledge of events is universal and perfect.
The infinite and eternal Ruler of the universes is power, form, energy, process, pattern, principle, presence, and idealized reality. But he is more. He is personal. And he exercises a sovereign will, experiences self-consciousness of divinity, executes the mandates of a creative mind, pursues the satisfaction of the realization of an eternal purpose, and manifests a Father's love and affection for his universe children.
In the hearts of men the Universal Father may not always have his way; but in the conduct and destiny of a planet the divine plan prevails; the eternal purpose of wisdom and love always triumphs.
If God should retire as the upholder of all creation, there would immediately occur a universal collapse. Except for God, there would be no such thing as reality.
The Father desires all his creatures to be in personal communion with him. Therefore settle in your philosophy now: God is approachable; the way is open.
Likewise is man's final destiny assured when individuals become as one with their indwelling God-Spirit thereby proclaiming to the universe that such an ascender has made an irrevocable decision to forever live the Father's will.
The divine presence cannot be discovered anywhere more certainly than in your attempted communion with the indwelling God-Spirit. What a mistake to dream of a God far off in the skies when the Universal Father lives within your mind.
As the soul of joint mind and God-Spirit creation becomes more existent, there also evolves a new phase of soul consciousness which is increasingly capable both of experiencing the presence and recognizing the spirit leadings of the indwelling Spirit-of-God.
It requires revelation to show that the First Cause of Science and the self-existent Unity of Philosophy are the God of religion, full of mercy, goodness, and love and pledged to effect the eternal survival of his children on Earth.
God is not only the determiner of destiny-he is our destiny.
God-consciousness is experienced in three stages—first in mind consciousness, the comprehension of the idea of God; second in soul consciousness, the realization of the ideal of God; then last dawns spirit-consciousness, the realization of the spirit reality of God. By unification of these three factors there dawns the realization of the personality of God. In achieving this unification man can thrive in the personal experience of divine companionship and in the spiritual satisfactions of true worship.
All personality, from the lowest mortal creature to the highest creator dignitary of divine status, is centered completely in the Universal Father.
God, the Father, is the bestower and the conservator of every personality. Likewise the Father is the destiny of all those finite personalities who choose to do the divine will, those who love God and long to be like him.
God is personally conscious of, and in personal touch with, all personalities of all levels of self-conscious existence-and this consciousness is independent of the mission of the God-Spirit-Within.
"The nature of God can best be understood by the revelation of the Father which Jesus of Nazareth unfolded in his manifold teachings and in his superb mortal life in the flesh. The divine nature can also be better understood if individuals regard themselves as children of God and look up to the Paradise Creator as their true spiritual Father."
Only the real religion of personal spiritual experience can function helpfully and creatively in the present crisis of civilization.
Religionists must function in society, in industry, and in politics as individuals-not as groups, parties, or institutions.
Religionists are of no more value in the tasks of social reconstruction than non-religionists.
The only proper attitude of organized religion consists in the teaching of non-violence, the doctrine of peaceful evolution in the place of violent revolution-peace on Earth and goodwill amongst all mankind.
The kingdom of heaven on Earth is neither a social nor an economic order; it is an exclusively spiritual family of God-knowing individuals.
No matter what upheavals may attend the growth of a civilization, religion is genuine and worthwhile if it fosters the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness-and through love and worship this becomes meaningful as consciousness of the presence of God and fellowship with all mankind.
Purely factual knowledge exerts very little direct influence upon the personal performance of the individual. It is what one believes rather than what one knows that dominates our attitude to our fellows.
There is no danger in religion becoming more and more a private and personal experience-provided it does not lose its motivation for selfless, loving service.
Mankind's greatest spiritual jeopardy consists in partial progress-unfinished growth-the forsaking of religions of authority and fear without grasping firm hold upon the revelatory religion of love.
In modern times, religious progress is hindered by the incompatibility of primitive and exclusive belief systems such as those that:
What is now needed is the harmony that can proceed from acceptance of the conjoint existence of God-consciousness, spirit, mind, and energy.
Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or promises of magical rewards. Rather, true religion is to know God as your Father and mankind as your family.
The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. Jesus shattered tradition, destroyed dogma, and called upon mankind to seek to achieve the highest ideals in time and eternity-to be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect.
The doctrine of the total depravity of man destroyed much of the potential of religion for effecting social repercussions of an uplifting nature and of inspirational value. Jesus sought to restore the dignity of mankind when he declared we are all children of God.
Someday religionists will get together and actually effect cooperation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes. And it will be goals rather than creeds that will unify religionists.
Because true religion is a matter of personal religious experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist will have his own personal interpretation of the realization of his own experience.
Future religionists must live out their religion, dedicating themselves to the wholehearted service of God and mankind.
It is high time that men and women should have religious experience so personal and so sublime that it could be realized and expressed only by "feelings that lie to deep for words."
Economic interdependence and social fraternizing will ultimately conduce to the unification of mankind. People, naturally, are dreamers, but science is sobering them so that religion can presently become their activator and with far less danger than previously of precipitating fanatical reactions. Economic necessity ties them to reality and personal religious experience brings them face to face with the eternal realities of cosmic citizenship.
Live loyally each day.
The experience of dynamic religious living can transform the mediocre individual into a personality of idealistic power.
Religion ministers to the progress of all through fostering the progress of each-and the progress of each is augmented by the progress of all.
Children are permanently impressed only by the loyalties of their adult associates. Loyal persons are growing persons-and growth is an impressive and inspiring reality.
Live loyally each day-grow-and tomorrow will look after itself. The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live each day loyally as a tadpole.
Religion is a personal experience that grows in proportion to the expanding quest for final values.
Religious growth is favored by sensitivity to divine values; sharing one's spiritual life with one's fellows, avoidance of selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, and living as in the presence of God.
Spiritual development depends on maintaining a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces plus a consequential and continuous bearing of spiritual fruit-thereby yielding the ministry to our fellows of that which has been received from our spiritual benefactors.
Spiritual progress is predicated upon intellectual recognition of our spiritual poverty and self-consciousness of perfection hunger-our desire to know God and be like him, our whole hearted purpose to do the will of the Father in heaven.
Spiritual growth commences with an awakening to needs, followed by the discernment of meanings and the discovery of values.
The evidence for true spiritual development consists in a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the perfect ideals of divinity. This entire experience constitutes the true reality of religion.
Spirituality is the measure of our nearness to God and usefulness to our fellow beings. And it is directly proportional to the elimination of selfish qualities from our love.
Actual spiritual status is a function of deity attainment, attunement to the divine Spirit-Within.
The goal of human self-realization should be spiritual, not material. The only realities worth striving for are divine, spiritual and eternal.
Choose your goals carefully for the immortal personality you are building must transcend space, vanquish time, and achieve our eternal destiny of divine perfection and service.
Religion is not a technique for attaining a blissful peace of mind; it is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service-the dedication of the self in the loyal service of loving God and serving mankind.
The supreme value of human life consists in the growth of values, progress in meanings, and realization of their cosmic interrelatedness. Such experience is the equivalent of God-consciousness.
In the physical life, the senses tell us of the existence of things; mind discovers the reality of meanings; spiritual experience reveals their true values.
If you love your fellows, you must have discovered their value. Jesus loved us so much because he placed such a high value upon each one of us.
If you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant-and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love.
You cannot truly love your fellows simply as an act of will. Love is only born of a thorough going understanding of their real motives and sentiments.
It is not so important that you love all mankind today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being.
Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate.
If each mortal could only become a focus of infection, the benign virus that is love would soon pervade all humanity-and that would be the realization that we all are children in the one family of God.
The sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and self-worth-a self that has surrendered to an all-encompassing motivation that imposes heightened self-discipline, lessens emotional conflict, and makes mortal life truly worth living.
The morbid recognition of human limitations is changed to the natural consciousness of mortal shortcomings that is associated with moral determination and the spiritual aspiration to attain the highest universe goals. And this intense striving for the attainment of super-mortal ideals is always characterized by increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance.
True religion is living love, a life of service. But the religionist's detachment from much that is purely temporal and trivial never leads to social isolation. Genuine religion takes nothing away from human existence, but it does add new meanings to all of life.
One of the most amazing hallmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace that passes all understanding, that cosmic poise that betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil.
Although the average mortal cannot hope to attain the perfection of character reached by Jesus during his sojourn in the flesh, nevertheless it is possible for every mortal believer to develop a strong and unified personality along the perfected lines of Jesus' personality.
The unfailing kindness and stalwart strength of character of Jesus amazed his followers. He was truly sincere, had nothing of the hypocrite in him. He was free from shamming-acting. He lived the truth, even as he taught it. He was the truth. He was reasonable. Approachable, practical, free from all freakish, erratic, and eccentric tendencies. And he was unafraid.
Of Jesus it was truly said, "He trusted God." As a man amongst men, he most sublimely trusted the Father in heaven. He trusted his Father as a little child trusts an earthly parent. His faith was perfect but never presumptuous. He never faltered in his faith. He was immune to disappointment, impervious to persecution, and untouched by apparent failure. He loved people. And he went about doing good.
Jesus was unusually cheerful-though never blind and unreasonable. He was always generous, and never grew weary of stating that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
He controlled his enthusiasm; it never controlled him. He was unreservedly dedicated to "being about his Father's business."
Jesus was a soul of gladness. But when duty required, he was willing to walk courageously through the 'valley of the shadow of death." He was gladsome but at the same time humble.
His courage was equaled only by his patience. He was never in a hurry; his composure was sublime.
Jesus was great because he was good-yet he fraternized with little children. He was gentle and unassuming in his personal life-yet he was the perfected man of a universe. And his associates called him "Master" unbidden.
Jesus was a perfectly unified human personality. Today he continues to unify mortal existence. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure. It is literally true: "If any man has the spirit of Jesus Christ within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold all things are becoming new." (2 Cor. 5:17)
Religion as human experience ranges from the primitive slavery of the fear of the evolving primitive up to the magnificent liberty of faith of those mortals who are superbly conscious of being members of the family of the eternal God who is love.
Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin. It represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfaction while yet in the flesh.
There really is a true and genuine inner voice, "the true light that lights every man who comes into the world." And this spirit leading is distinct from the ethical prompting of human conscience.
The assurance of religion transcends the reason of mind, even the logic of philosophy. Religion is faith, trust, and assurance.
The Divine Spirit makes contact with mortal beings, not by feelings or emotions, but in the realm of your highest and most spiritualized thinking. It is you thoughts not your feelings that lead you God-ward.
The divine nature may be perceived only with the eyes of the mind. But the mind that really discerns God, hears his indwelling Spirit, is the pure mind. For "Without holiness no man may see the Lord."
Religion is a profoundly deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spirit influences resident within the human mind-and in so far as such an experience is definable, it is simply the experiencing of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a personal experience.
Religious longings and spiritual urges are of such a nature as lead us to want to believe in God-whence they evolve to the conviction that we ought to believe in God, so that finally we reach that attitude of soul that concludes we do not have the right not to believe in God.
And so we come to conclude that to even doubt God or to distrust his perfect goodness would amount to being untrue to the realest and deepest thing within the human mind and soul-the indwelling Spirit of the Father.
The faith of Jesus pointed the way to the ultimate of mortal attainment in that it provided for salvation from material fetters, intellectual bondage, spiritual blindness, time, and incompleteness of self-the finite.
These factors involve personal realization that we are children of the Father who are aware of the universality of the family of God, the goodness of spiritual values, and the necessity for spirit levels of harmony with others-plus achievement of an eternal life of progression in God-recognition, God-consciousness, and God-service.
Jesus made the discovery, in human experience, of the Final Father-and we, his brothers and sisters in the flesh, can follow him in this same experience of Father-discovery of the absolute goodness of God. Mortal beings, ourselves, can even attain, as we are, the same satisfaction in this experience of Father-discovery as did Jesus, as he was.
Jesus was and is the new and living way whereby mankind can come into the divine inheritance which the Father has decreed will be theirs for the asking.
Philosophy transforms primitive religion, largely a fairy-tale of conscience, into a living experience-thereby freeing the individual who dares to think, act, and live honestly, loyally, fearlessly, and truthfully from all the traditional handicaps imposed by convention.
Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty or conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it dominates the mode of living.
Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness-but does not worship them. Saving faith is centered on God alone who is all of these personified and infinitely more.
The enlightened spiritual consciousness is not concerned so much with some intellectual belief or any particular mode of living as with discovering the truth of living, the good and right technique of reacting to the ever recurring situations of mortal existence.
Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates.
Religious faith is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme values; it is God-knowing and mankind-serving. It vitalizes religion and constrains the religionist to heroically live the golden rule.
Though religion is imperfect, there are at least two practical manifestations of its nature and function-firstly, the spiritual urge to cause religious persons to project their moral values directly outward into the affairs of their fellows (the ethical reaction of religion) and secondly, religion creates for the human mind a spiritualized consciousness of divine reality derived from moral values and coordinated with superimposed spiritual values.
Religion thus provides an avenue of escape from the mutual limitations of the finite world to the supernal realities of the eternal and spiritual world.
Never can there be scientific or logical proofs of divinity. Reason alone can never validate the value and goodness of religious experience. But it will always remain true: 'Whosoever wills to do the will of God shall comprehend the validity of spiritual value.' This is the nearest approach that can be made on the mortal level to offering proof of the reality of religious experience. It is the only passport to the completion of reality and to the eternity of life in a universal creation of love, law, unity, and progressive deity attainment.
By following the gleam of righteousness discernible in our soul, we can identify ourselves with the plan of the Infinite and the purpose of the Eternal. When we experience such a transformation of faith, we are no longer a slavish part of the mathematical cosmos but rather a liberated volitional child of the Universal Father.
Perfection hunger in our hearts is necessary to ensure capacity for comprehending the faith pathways to supreme attainment.
It is literally true, "Human things must be known in order to be loved, but divine things must be loved in order to be known."
The indwelling Father-Spirit unfailingly arouses in our souls a true and searching hunger for perfection, together with a far reaching curiosity that can only be satisfied by communion with God.
God is so real and so absolute that no material sign of proof and no demonstration through so-called miracle may be offered in testimony of his reality. Always will we know God because we trust him-and our belief in him is wholly based on our personal participation in the divine manifestations of his infinite reality.
The hungry soul of man refuses to be satisfied with anything less than the personal realization of the living God. Whatever more God may be than a higher moral personality, God cannot, in our hungry and finite concept, be anything less.
One of the characteristic peculiarities of genuine religious assurance is that, despite the absoluteness of its affirmations and staunchness of attitude, the spirit of its expression is so poised and tempered that it never conveys the slightest impression of self- assertion or egoistic exaltation.
The wisdom of religious experience is something of a paradox in that it is, at the same time, humanly original yet a derivative of the influence of the Divine Spirit-Within.
Religious desire is the hunger quest for divine reality. Religious experience is the realization of the consciousness of having found God. Religious insights, spiritual motivations, lead directly to religious actions, unselfish acts of social service and altruistic benevolence.
If God were not a personality, he could not become a living part of the religious experience of a human personality.
Revealed religion is the unifying element of human existence. Revelation unifies history, co-ordinates geology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, and psychology. Spiritual experience is the real soul of mankind's cosmos.
Religion is to morality as love is to duty, as sonship is to servitude, as essence is to substance. Morality discloses a mighty Controller, a Deity to be served; religion discloses an all-loving Father, a God to be worshiped and loved. And again, this is because the spiritual potentiality of religion is dominant over the duty actuality of the morality of evolution.
To isolate part of life and call it religion is to disintegrate life and distort religion. And this is just why the God of worship claims all allegiance or none.
The gods of primitive men are, mostly, mere shadows of themselves; whereas the living God is the divine light whose interruptions constitute the creation shadows of all space.
Convictions about God may be arrived at through reason, but the individual becomes God-knowing only by faith.
Though reason can always question faith, faith can always supplement both reason and logic. Reason creates the possibility that faith can transform experience into a moral certainty, even a spiritual experience.
God is the first truth and the last fact; therefore does all truth take origin in him, while all facts exist relative to him. God is absolute truth.
One may know God as truth, but to understand, to explain God, one must explore the fact of the universe.
The vast gap between the experience of the truth of God, and ignorance as to the fact of God, can only be bridged by living faith. Reason alone cannot achieve harmony between infinite truth and universal fact.
True religious practitioners should seek to live and carry on as if already in the presence of the Eternal.
The gospel of Jesus tremendously enhances and supernally exalts every mortal. Mortal existence must be visualized as the meeting of the human up-reach with the divine down reach.
The Universal Father, being self-existent, is also self-explanatory. He actually lives in every rational mortal, wherein his purpose is to be self-revealing. But you cannot be sure about God unless you know him. Our relationship as a child of God is the only experience that makes God's Fatherhood certain.
God is the one and only self-caused fact in the universe. The universe and God are not identical; one is cause, the other effect. The cause is absolute, infinite, eternal, and changeless; the effect both finite or transcendental, but ever changing and ever growing.
Those who would invent a religion without God are like those who would gather fruit without trees, have children without parents. The fact of religious experience implies God, and such a God of personal experience must also be personal.
Of God, the most inescapable of all presences, the most real of all facts, the most living of all truths, the most loving of all friends, the most divine of all values, we have the right to be the most certain of all universe experiences.
While personal religion precedes the evolution of human morals, institutional religion invariably lags behind. But being a matter of inner or personal experience, religion can never develop very far in advance of the intellectual evolution of mankind.
Religion is ever and always rooted in personal experience. And your highest religion, the life of Jesus, was just such a personal experience-man, mortal man, seeking God and finding him to the fullness during one short life in the flesh, while in that same human experience, there appeared God seeking man and finding him. And that is religion, even the highest yet revealed in the universe-the earth life of Jesus of Nazareth.
If a moral being chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish, that is a primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious.
Unselfishness in the face of selfish choice exhibits the impulse towards social service and embraces the reality of God-consciousness.
Mankind tends to identify selfish urges with the ego-the self; and to identify the will to be altruistic with some outside influence-God. Such a judgment is correct for all such unselfish desires do have their origin in the leading of the indwelling Spirit of the Father.
Regardless of the influence of all primitive contributions to the early religion of mankind, the fact remains that all true religious impulses originate from genuine spirit presences activating the will to be unselfish.
Jesus swept away all of the ceremonials of sacrifice and atonement. He destroyed the basis of fictitious guilt and the sense of isolation in the universe by declaring that we are children of God, that God is our loving Father, and all ceremonials not a legitimate part of such an intimate family relationship are forever abrogated.
God, the Father, deals with his earthly children, not on the basis of actual virtue or worthiness but in recognition of motivation-the creature purpose and intent. The relationship is one of parent-child association and is actuated by divine love.
Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral-right.
All men recognize the morality of the universal human urge to be unselfish and altruistic. The humanist ascribes its origin to the natural outworking of the mind; the religionist more correctly recognizes that all of the truly unselfish drive of the mortal mind is in response to the inner spirit leading of our indwelling God- Spirit.
The pursuit of the ideal-the striving to be God-like-is a continuous effort before death and after. Life after death is no different in its essentials from our mortal existence. Everything we do that is good contributes to the enhancement of the after life. Every mortal gain enriches the immortal survival experience.
It lifts us out from ourselves when once we recognize that there lives and strives within us something that is eternal and divine-the indwelling spirit of the Father.
Man is most truly the architect of his own destiny.
Revelation is the only hope and the only way than we can bridge the gulf between the material and the spiritual. Unaided, faith and reason cannot conceive or construct a logical universe.
Faith, human religious insight, can be surely instructed only by revelation, can be surely elevated only by personal experience with the indwelling presence of the God who is spirit.
The progression of science is not limited to the terrestrial life of mankind; our universe ascension experience will, to no small degree, be the study of energy transmutation and material metamorphosis.
Logic can never succeed in harmonizing the findings of science and the insights of religion unless both the scientific and religious aspects of a personality are truth dominated, sincerely desirous of following the truth wherever it may lead regardless of the conclusions that may be reached.
What both developing science and religion need is more searching and fearless self-criticism, a greater awareness of incompleteness of evolutionary status.
The truth-an understanding of cosmic relationships, universe facts, and spiritual values-can best be had through ministry of the Spirit of Truth and can best be criticized by revelation. But revelation originates neither a science or a religion; its function is to co-ordinate both with the truth of reality.
In the mortal state nothing can be absolutely proved, both science and religion are predicated on assumptions.
There is a real "proof" of "spiritual reality" in the presence of the indwelling Spirit of God-but the validity of the "proof" is not demonstrable to the external world, but only to the one who thus experiences the indwelling of God.
The consciousness of God's indwelling is based upon the intellectual reception of truth, the supermind perception of goodness, and the personality motivation to love.
Religion has to do with feeling, acting, and living, not merely with thinking. Thinking is more closely related to the material life and, in the main, should be dominated by reason and the facts of science except in its nonmaterial reaches toward the spirit realms when truth must dominate.
The ideal religious philosophy is such a faith-trust as would lead mankind to unqualifiedly depend upon the absolute love of the Father.
Such a genuine religious experience far transcends all idealistic desire, takes salvation for granted, and is concerned only with doing the Father's will.
When theology masters religion, religion dies. It becomes a doctrine instead of a life.
When reason once recognizes right and wrong, it exhibits wisdom; when wisdom chooses between right and wrong, truth and error, it demonstrates spirit leading. And thus are the functions of mind, soul, and spirit united and functionally inter-associated.
Although the words from which this synopsis is drawn are claimed to have had their origin in the mind, thought, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, it is neither the words, nor their origin, that are of primary importance.
Rather, their importance is to be found in the spiritual values that lie dormant within--and dormant they remain except if awakened in the minds of individuals who listen to their indwelling Spirit of God, the same Spirit that was friend, guide, and counselor to Jesus during his short interlude on Planet Earth.
The call from Jesus requires his followers to live their lives as he lived his. But knowing where Jesus went and what he did is of little help for that task. Jesus' life was primarily a revelation of the nature of God. To emulate him, we need to know how he thought and what he thought. We must know the mind of Jesus. Only then can we hope to think as Jesus would think, do as Jesus would have done under our particular circumstances.
This synopsis was selected to be a framework that may help the seeker to "think as Jesus would think." Its foundation was those components of his thought and teaching that could relate to "life in the spirit." We hope it helps.
To understand the Urantia Papers it is vital to understand the role attributed to the Spirit of God that now indwells the minds of virtually all human beings born on this planet. It is referred to in the New Testament in about 25 of its verses, e.g. "Know you not that you are the temple of God, that the Spirit of God dwells in you" (1. Cor. 3:16), and, "If we love one another, God dwells in us." (1 John 4:12).
This indwelling Spirit is the source of all true meanings and values of a non-material nature. Thus it is the source of true morality, non-material truth, beauty and goodness, and all revealed truth. So, one way or another, all true revelation is from God regardless of the means of its origin. But the recognition of this truth is an individual function, crucially dependent upon the personal relation between the individual and the God-Spirit within. Empirical truths of science may appear to be different, but basically, they are not.
The Urantia Papers have been presented to the world as the Fifth Epochal Revelation and, as such, this has generated claims for infallibility by some. The reality is that the Papers themselves state that "nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible." And there is not a single statement in all the Papers that has not, at some stage, been open to the contaminating hand of man. Thus all decisions on the validity of revelatory truth in these Papers, or elsewhere, must forever be the personal responsibility of the individual.
Certainly there are many aspects of the Urantia Papers, particularly their history and cosmology that should definitely be described with the authors' term of "a framework in which to think," rather than being taken as factual truth. But there are also other sections, in fact a major portion of the Papers, about which many have said that if it is not revelation, then indeed, it surely ought to be. What follows is from Part 4 only, a much compressed summary of the life, nature, and teaching of the one many call, "Master," that is also totally consistent with the spirit of the word of Jesus from the New Testament. Familiarity with the words herein will certainly promote our familiarity with the mind of Jesus.
These Papers confirm that the purpose of Jesus' life on our planet included revealing God to man and man to God, and that his life was to exhibit "the transcendent possibilities attainable by a God-knowing mortal being during the short career of mortal existence."
Having fully achieved his purpose, Jesus left us with this injunction: "Your mission to the world is founded on the fact that I lived a God-revealing life among you; on the truth that you and all other men and women are the sons and daughters of God; and it shall consist in the life which you will live among them-the actual and living experience of loving them and serving them-even as I have loved and served you."
Consequently the Papers tell us: "that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it."
Jesus taught: The will of God is the way of God, partnership with the choice of God in the face of any potential alternative. To do the will of God is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God-who is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true.
Only in the perfection, harmony, and unanimity of will can the creature become as one with the Creator.always must the desire to do the Father's will be supreme in the soul and dominant over the mind of a mortal child of God.
Become interested in your fellows; learn how to love them and watch for the opportunity to do something for them that you are sure they want done. They who would have friends must first show themselves friendly.
When a wise man or woman understands the inner impulses of their fellows, they will love them. And when you love your brothers and sisters, you have already forgiven them.
During a lengthy period of intimate association with religious leaders in his early career, never once did Jesus attack their errors or even mention the flaws in their teaching. In each case he would select the truth in what they taught and then proceed to embellish and illuminate this truth in their minds that in a very short time this enhancement of truth effectively crowded out the associated error.
The soul is self-reflective, truth discerning, and spirit-perceiving, the part of mankind which elevates the human being above the level of the animal world. Self-consciousness is, in and of itself, not the soul. Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul-and the soul is that which represents the survival value of human experience. Moral choice and spiritual attainment, the ability to know God and the urge to be like him are the characteristics of the soul.
Goodness, like truth, is always relative, unfailingly evil contrasted, living, and always progressing, a personal experience that is everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty.
Goodness is found in the recognition of positive truth-its values at the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart-the shadows of potential evil.
Evil becomes a reality of personal choice only when a moral mind makes evil its choice.
Truth cannot be defined with words, only by living.
Revealed truth, personally discovered truth is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling Spirit.
But truth can never become our possession without the exercise of faith. Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark that indwells us.
Human life continues-survives-because it has a universe function, the task of finding God.
Prayer is the great unifier of the inspirations and faith urges of a soul trying to identify itself with the spirit ideals of the Indwelling Spirit.
There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God; those who desire to do his will and those who do not. Likewise there are two great classes-those who know God and those who do not.
If we know God, our real business on Earth is so to live as to permit the Father to reveal himself in our lives, and thus will all God-seeking persons see the Father in us and ask for our help in finding out more about God who in this manner finds expression in our lives.
Jesus taught a young associate: "I have absolute confidence in my Father's overcare; I am consecrated to doing the will of my Father in heaven. I do not believe that real harm can befall me. I am absolutely assured that the entire universe is friendly to me-this all-powerful truth I insist on believing with a whole hearted trust in spite of all appearances to the contrary."
On the day of his baptism, Jesus stood in the Jordan a perfected mortal of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. Perfect synchrony and full communication had become established between the mortal mind of Jesus and his indwelling Spirit of the Father.
Following his baptism, the choices confronting Jesus for the kind of ministry to adopt were: his own way-one that might seem profitable from the stand point of immediate needs; or the Father's way-one that provided an example to humanity of a farseeing ideal of creature life.
There was just one motive in Jesus' post baptismal life and that was a better and truer revelation of his Paradise Father; he was the pioneer of the new and better way to God, the way of faith and love-which he insisted on going about in the most quiet and non-dramatic manner, avoiding all display of power.
Jesus told his apostles, "Make no mistake; we go forth to labor for a generation of sign seekers.but they will be slow to recognize in the revelation of my Father's love, the credentials of my mission."
Jesus did not make the mistake of over-teaching. He did not precipitate confusion in his audience by the presentation of truth too far beyond their capacity to comprehend.
He taught: My Father's kingdom concerns not things visible and material. For wherever the Spirit of God teaches and leads the soul of man, there, in reality, is the kingdom of heaven. And this kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In my Father's kingdom there shall be neither Jew nor gentile, only those who seek perfection through service, for I declare that he who would be great in my Father's kingdom must first become of server of all.
Jesus' program: He would not cater to the physical gratification of his people. He would not deal out bread to the multitudes; he would not attract attention to himself through wonder working; nor would he use temporal power or authority to gain acceptance of a spiritual message.
Jesus taught the apostles to preach forgiveness of sin through faith in God but without penance or sacrifice. They also early learned that Jesus had a profound respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met, and that nothing ever seemed so important to him as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence.
Jesus never ceased repeating that faith only was necessary in the business of finding God, adding that, "it will be by the lives you live that others will know that you have been with me and have learned of the realities of the kingdom."
He told his disciples that the kingdom of God is within you, that you do not have to see alike, feel alike, even think alike in order, spiritually, to be alike. "Harmony," he said, "grows from the fact that each of us is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
"Spirit unity implies two things-first you are possessed of a common motive for soul service-to do the will of the Father-and second, you have a common goal of existence-to find the Father and to become like him."
Again and again Jesus warned against the formulation of creeds and the establishment of traditions as a means of guiding believers. "Lead men into the kingdom," he said, "and the great and living truths of the kingdom will presently drive out all serious error. Your business is to reveal God to the individual as their heavenly Father, to lead men and women to become God-conscious-and to present them to God as his faith children."
The only reward to Jesus' followers-in this world, spiritual joy and divine communion; in the next world, eternal life in the progress of divine spirit realities of the Father.
Jesus was a teacher, not a preacher. He came to present spiritual truths to material minds. He came to do the Father's will and only his Father's will. And because of this singleness of purpose he was not anxiously bothered by evil in the world. He paid no attention to public opinion and was not influenced by praise. He was never excited, vexed, or disconcerted, sometimes saddened, but never discouraged. And he was always unselfish.
Love is the rule of living in the kingdom-supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one's personal life is the law of the kingdom.
If you recognize you are children of the Father, then you have been born of the spirit of God; and whosoever has been born of the spirit has the power within himself to overcome all doubt.
There are high values in mortal existence-intellectual mastery and spiritual achievement-which far transcend the gratification of man's purely physical appetites and urges.
The evidence to all the world that you have been born of the spirit is that you sincerely love one another.
Just as earthly families are built on tolerance, patience, forgiveness, and love, so with the earthly family of God.
To his disciples, Jesus said: Temporal matters are the concern of the men of the world. You are spiritual ambassadors of a spiritual kingdom, special representatives of the spirit Father. Love is the greatest of all spirit realities. Truth is a liberating revelation but love is the supreme relationship.
The Master was a perfect specimen of human self-control. When he was reviled, he reviled not; when he suffered, he uttered no threats; when he was denounced, he simply committed himself to the righteous judgment of the Father.
"I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven. By your love for one another you are to convince the world you have passed from death into life everlasting."
Jesus taught: If the Spirit dwells within you, you are free and liberated children of the Spirit. Your secret of self-mastery is faith in the Indwelling Spirit which ever works by love. If then you are born of the Spirit, you are forever delivered from a life of self-denial and watch-care over the desires of the flesh and are translated into the joyous kingdom of the Spirit whence you spontaneously show forth the fruits of the spirit in your daily lives.
When you have become wholly dedicated to doing the will of the Father, all your petitions will be forthcoming because all these petitions will be in full accordance with the Father's will.
Avoid materialistic praying; pray in the spirit and for the abundant gifts of the Spirit.
Jesus taught that the prayer for divine guidance over the earthly life was next in importance to a petition for knowledge of the Father's will. In reality this means a prayer for divine wisdom.
We worship God by the aid of the Indwelling Spirit. And this spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. Worship, taught Jesus, makes one increasingly like the one who is being worshipped.
The degree of your love for others is the direct measure of just how much you have yielded your soul to the teaching and guidance of your indwelling Spirit.
Whereas the level of brotherly love is upgraded when it embraces unselfish devotion to the welfare of our fellows, the greatest advance is at the level of spirit insight and spiritual interpretation which impels us to recognize in this rule of life the divine command to treat all people as we conceive God would treat them.
The Father never sends affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrong doing. Mankind should not blame God for those afflictions that are a natural result of the way they choose to live, nor complain of experiences that are the natural result of life as it is lived on this world.
Jesus transcended the teachings of his forbears when he boldly substituted clean hearts for clean hands as the mark of true religion.
Jesus taught: Emotionally people react individually. The only uniform thing about them is the Indwelling Spirit of God. Thus, only through and by appeal to this indwelling Spirit can mankind ever attain unity and brotherhood.
Anger is a material (animalistic) manifestation indicating failure of the spiritual nature to gain control. "Anger rests in the bosom of fools."
Jesus said: Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your indwelling Spirit will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are so inconsistent with the status of a child of the Father.
Jesus always preached temperance and consistency-pointing out that excessive zeal can lead to recklessness and presumption, while too much prudence and discretion can lead to cowardice and failure.
Jesus said: Your forebears feared God because he was mighty and mysterious. You shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth.
I have come into the world to put love in the place of fear, joy in the place of sorrow, confidence in the place of dread, loving service and appreciative worship in the place of slavish bondage and meaningless ceremonies.
You do well to be meek before God and self-controlled before men; but let your meekness be of spiritual origin and not the self-deceptive display of a self-conscious sense of self-righteous superiority. My Father disdains pride, loathes hypocrisy, and abhors iniquity.
The Father has sent me into the world to show how he desires to indwell and guide all his earthly children; and I have so lived this life in the flesh as to inspire everybody likewise ever to seek to know and do the will of the indwelling Spirit of the heavenly Father.
Jesus' kingdom is founded on love, proclaimed in mercy, and established by unselfish service.
Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: if you, by truth coordination learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your acquaintances will then seek after you that they may gain what you have acquired.
The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth coordinated life.
Many souls can best be led to love the unseen God by first being taught to love their brothers and sisters whom they can see.
When religion is wholly spiritual in motive, it makes all of life more worthwhile, filling it with high purposes, dignifying it with transcendent values, inspiring it with superb motives, all the while comforting the human soul with a sublime and sustaining hope.
The most thrilling and inspiring of all possible human experiences is the personal quest for truth, the determination to explore the realities of personal religious experience, and the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery. It is the supreme satisfaction of experiencing the personal victory of spiritual faith over intellectual doubt as it is honestly won in that supreme adventure of all human existence-man seeking God for himself, of himself, and as himself-and finding him.
The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress.
Jesus continued: We will shortly begin the bold proclamation of a new religion-a religion that makes its chief appeal to the divine spirit of my Father that resides in the mind of man-a religion that shall derive its authority from the fruits of its acceptance.
I have called upon you to discover the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself and as a fact of your own experience. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you.
The supreme experience of human existence is: finding God for yourselves and knowing him in your own souls.
Never forget there is only one adventure that is more satisfying than the attempt to discover the will of God, and that is the supreme experience of honestly trying to do the divine will.
Spiritual destiny is dependent on faith, love and devotion to truth-hunger and thirst for righteousness-the whole hearted desire to find God and to be like him.
You are destined to live a narrow and mean life if you learn to love only those who love you. The less of love in any person's nature the greater their love need-and the more does divine love seek to satisfy such need.
Kingdom believers should have an implicit faith, a whole souled belief in the certain triumph of righteousness. They must increasingly learn to step aside from the harassments of material existence while they refresh the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful communion.
In advancing the cause of the kingdom, make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the mind.
In bringing others into the kingdom, do not lesson or destroy their self-respect. It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-esteem to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it.
Do not make the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in peoples' lives. Accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-esteem to those who have lost it and who really desire to regain it.
Idleness is destructive to self-esteem; therefore encourage your brethren to ever keep busy at their chosen tasks.
God's children die searching for the very same God who dwells within them.
The believer has only one battle and that is against doubt-unbelief. In preaching the gospel you are simply teaching friendship with God.
If you dare to believe in me and wholeheartedly follow me, you shall most certainly, by so doing, enter upon a sure pathway to trouble. I do not promise to deliver you from the waters of adversity, but I do promise to go with you through all of them.
Never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people.
Fear not those who are able to kill the body but after that have no more power over you. I admonish you to fear no one, neither in heaven nor on Earth but rejoice in the knowledge of him who has power to deliver you from all unrighteousness and to present you blameless before the judgment seat.
The Father never compels anyone to enter the kingdom. Though the door to life may be narrow, it is wide enough to admit all those who sincerely seek to find him.
I am the new and living way. Whosoever wills may enter to embark upon the endless truth-search for eternal life. All too long have your fathers believed that prosperity was the token of divine approval, that adversity was the proof of God's displeasure. Such beliefs are superstitions.
Jesus on prayer: All true prayers are addressed to spiritual beings, and all such petitions must be answered in spiritual terms and consist in spiritual realities. Spirit beings cannot bestow material answers to the spirit petitions of material beings.
In this world, the kingdom is the supreme desire to do the will of God, the unselfish love of your fellow man which yields the good fruits of improved ethical and moral conduct.
In heaven, the kingdom is the goal of mortal believers wherein their love of God is perfected.
Jesus taught that we enter the kingdom by faith. Two things only are essential, firstly to come with the faith-sincerity of a little child to receive our entry as a gift while submitting to the Father's will unconditionally, and secondly, truth hunger, the thirst for righteousness-the acquirement of the motive to find God and to be like him.
The receipt of God's forgiveness involves a four step process:
God's forgiveness is actually made available and is personally experienced just in so far as we have forgiven our neighbor.
We will not truly forgive our neighbors unless we love them as ourselves.
To thus love our neighbor is the highest ethics.
Moral conduct, true righteousness, becomes then, the natural result of such love.
The righteousness of any act must be measured by the motive.
Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded from his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.
Goodness is attractive only when it is gracious-and is effective only when it is attractive.
Jesus was always ready and willing to stop or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person or to a little child. Most of the really important things that Jesus said or did seemed to happen casually, 'as he passed by.' He dispensed health and happiness naturally and gracefully as he journeyed though life. It was literally true, 'he went about doing good.'
And so it behooves the Master's followers in all ages to learn to minister 'as they pass by' -to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.
When the wise understand the inner impulses of others, they will love them. And when you love your neighbors, you have already forgiven them. This capacity to understand human nature and to forgive apparent wrongdoing is Godlike.
Your inability or unwillingness to forgive your neighbor is the measure of your immaturity, your failure to attain adult sympathy, understanding, and love. You hold grudges and nurse vengefulness in direct proportion to your ignorance of the inner nature and true longings of your fellow human beings.
Love is the outworking of the divine and inner urge of life. It is founded on understanding, nurtured by unselfish service and perfected in wisdom. Seek not in your daily lives, self-glorification, but seek rather the glory of God.
You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My father requires all his children to grow in grace and in the knowledge of truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellows. In faithfulness do what is entrusted to you, and thereby shall you be ready for the reckoning call of death.
In teaching children to pray "Our Father," an enormous responsibility is placed upon earthly fathers so to live and order their homes so that the word "father" has worthy connotations while becoming enshrined in the minds and hearts of growing children.
The fruits of the spirit, your sincere and loving service, are the mighty social lever to uplift the races of darkness. And this Spirit of Truth will become your powerful multiplying fulcrum.
Remember that you are commissioned to preach this gospel of the kingdom-the supreme desire to do the Father's will coupled with the supreme joy of the faith realization of sonship with God.
Humanitarian labors are social by-products that must not replace the proclamation of the gospel.
Labor to persuade the minds of others but never dare to compel them.
Be gentle in your dealings with erring mortals, patient in intercourse with the ignorant, and forbearing under provocation-but be valiant in defense of righteousness, mighty in the promulgation of truth, and aggressive in preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
The revelation I have made is a living revelation, and in accordance with the laws of spiritual growth and adaptive development, it shall bear appropriate fruits in each generation.
Do not forget that you are commissioned to go forth preaching only the good news. You are not to attack the old ways; you are skillfully to put the leaven of new truth in the midst of the old beliefs. Let the Spirit of Truth do his own work.
Remember always to love one another. Do not strive with others, even with unbelievers. Show mercy, even to those who despitefully abuse you.
He who would be great among you, let him become server of all.
The remembrance supper is the emblem of the bestowal ministry of the Spirit of Truth. It is also a symbol of our emergence from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of brotherhood and fellowship. [Note: the Spirit of Truth is the spirit of Jesus which was bestowed upon all believers after his resurrection.]
Upon all such occasions (a remembrance supper), the Master is really present and his spirit fraternizes with our indwelling Father-Spirit.
Jesus to his disciples: And so I give you a new commandment, that you love one another even as I have loved you. And by this will all mankind know that you are my disciples if you thus love one another as I have loved you.
If you abide in me and my words live in you, you will be able to commune freely with me, and then can my living Spirit so infuse you that you may ask whatsoever my Spirit wills and the Father will grant us our petition.
Prayer is a way of taking God's way, an experience of learning how to recognize and execute the Father's will.
You are in this world but your lives are not to be world-like. I have chosen you 'out of the world' to represent the spirit of another world even to this.
With the coming of the Spirit of Truth all the children of light will be drawn toward one another. And my Father and I will be able to live in the souls of each one of you, and also in the hearts of all other men who love us and make that love real in their experiences by loving one another even as I am now loving you.
This new teacher is the spirit of living and growing truth, expanding, unfolding, and adaptive truth.
Divine truth is a spirit discerned and living reality. Living truth is dynamic and can enjoy only an experiential existence in the human mind.
Truth is a spiritual reality value experienced only by spirit-endowed beings who function on supermaterial levels of universe consciousness, and who, after the realization of truth, permit its spirit of activation to live and reign within their souls.
Love, unselfishness, must undergo a constant and living re-adaptive interpretation of relationships in accordance with the leading of Spirit of Truth. Love must grasp the ever changing concept of the highest cosmic good of the individual who is loved. And such love goes on to strike this same attitude to all individuals who could possibly be influenced by one spirit-led mortal's love for his fellows.
The golden rule and the teaching of non-resistance cannot be dogmatized; they can only be comprehended by living them in accordance with the interpretation of the Spirit of Truth who directs the loving contact of one human being with another.
When the new teacher comes, then shall this Spirit of Truth lead each of you abroad to labor for the kingdom.
God is no respector of persons; in the sight of God, all are equal, all believers are the children of God.
When the new teacher comes let him teach you the poise of compassion and that sympathetic tolerance which is born of sublime confidence in me and of perfect submission to the Father's will.
Dedicate your life to demonstrating the combined human affection and divine dignity of the God-knowing disciple.
As far as is in your power live long on Earth that your life of many years may be fruitful in souls won for the heavenly kingdom.
To him who is God-knowing there is no such thing as common labor or secular toil. All earthly labor is sacred and is a service-even to God the Father.
Learn that the expression of even a good thought must be modulated in accordance with the intellectual status and spiritual development of the hearer.
Be not dismayed that you fail to grasp the full meaning of the gospel. You are but finite and fallible mortal men-and that which I have taught you is infinite, divine, and eternal.
Participation in the religion of Jesus is the sure and certain technique whereby spiritually isolated and cosmically lonely individuals can escape personality isolation and all its consequences of fear and helplessness.
In half-civilized man there still lurks an evil brutality that seeks to vent itself upon those who are superior in wisdom and spiritual attainment.
Having revealed God to man, Jesus was now (at his crucifixion) engaged in making an unprecedented revelation of man to God. He was now revealing to the worlds the final triumph over all fears of creature personality isolation.
As taunts, insults, and blows fell upon Jesus, he was not vanquished, merely uncontending in the material sense.
Jesus was not even angry when, at his trial, ignorant mortals derisively struck him in the face after blindfolding him.
As they nailed Jesus on the cross, his only words were, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." He could not have so mercifully and lovingly interceded for his executioners if such thoughts of affectionate devotion had not been the mainspring of all his life of unselfish service.
The gospel of the good news that we mortals may, by faith, become spirit-conscious that we are children of God, is not in any way dependent on the death of Jesus. True, indeed, this gospel of the kingdom has been illuminated by the master's death, but even more so, by his life.
Moses taught the dignity and justice of a creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father.
It is wholly correct to refer to Jesus as our savior. He forever made the way of salvation (survival) more clear and more certain.
The concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. The believer's chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and serve our fellow beings even as Jesus loved and served mortal man.
The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met that death.
The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation.
When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offered up his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty harassments and fictitious grievances.
Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win us over to goodness and righteous survival.
Jesus loved us so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious-and eternally creative.
Jesus portrayed a higher quality of righteousness than justice-mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them.
Greater love can no one have than this-that they would be willing to lay down their life for their friends. And Jesus had such love that he was willing to lay down his life even for his enemies.
Your mission to the world is founded on the fact that I lived a God-revealing life among you, and on the truth that you and all others are the children of God. And your mission shall consist in the life that you will live-the actual living experience of loving and serving others, even your enemies, just as I have loved and served you.
Give up intolerance and learn to love others as I have loved you. Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels the individual to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.
Do not neglect to minister to the weak, the poor, and the young.
If you trust me more, you will be less impatient with your brethren. If you will trust me, it will help you to be kind to the brotherhood of believers. Pray for tranquility of spirit and try to cultivate patience.
Make sure you are devoted to the welfare of your brethren on Earth with a tireless affection. Admix friendship with your counsel and add love to your philosophy. Be faithful. Be less critical. Expect less of some.
When you are a faith child of God, all secular work is sacred. Nothing that a child of God does can be common. Do your work, as from this time on, as you would do it for God.
My one purpose is to reveal my Father. I have lived this God-revealing bestowal that you might experience the God-knowing career.
Salvation is the free gift of God, but those who are born of the spirit will immediately begin to show forth the fruits of the spirit in loving service to their fellow creatures. And the fruits of the divine spirit that are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace.
You may enter the kingdom as a child, but the Father requires that you grow up to the full stature of spiritual adulthood.
The first mission of the Spirit of Truth is 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.
The Spirit of Truth never creates a consciousness of himself, only a consciousness of Jesus, the Son.
The Spirit of Truth also came to help you to recall and understand the words of the Master as well as to illuminate and re-interpret his life on Earth.
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 again lives it anew in the individual believer of each passing generation.
The Spirit of Truth equips the teachers of Jesus' new religion with spiritual weapons. They are to go out to conquer the world with unfailing forgiveness, matchless goodwill, and abounding love. They are equipped to overcome evil with good, to vanquish hate by love, to destroy fear with courageous and living faith in truth.
Pentecost endowed mortal man with the capacity to forgive personal injuries, to keep sweet in the face 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.
Up to Pentecost, religion had revealed only mankind seeking for God. Since Pentecost, there shines out over the world the spectacle of God also seeking for mankind-and sending his Spirit to dwell within those whom he has found.
Before Pentecost, women had little or no spiritual standing in the tenets of the older religions. After Pentecost, women stood before God in equality with men. No longer can men presume to monopolize the ministry of religious service.
Before Pentecost, the apostles had given up much for Jesus. After Pentecost, they gave themselves to God, and the Father and Son responded, giving themselves to man by sending their Spirits to live within them.
The material spirit of selfishness has been swallowed up in this new spiritual bestowal of selflessness.
Jesus lived a life which is a revelation of man submitted to the Father's will.
The religion of Jesus does not seek to escape this life-rather it provides the joy and peace of another and spiritual existence to ennoble the current life in the flesh.
Mankind has passed through the ravages of great and destructive wars from which there emerged but one victor-Jesus of Nazareth with 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, and the good will of love and mutual trust.
In Rome, Christianity came with refreshing comfort and liberating power to a spiritually hungry people whose language had no word for unselfishness.
Religion is the revelation to man of his divine and eternal destiny. It is designed to find those values that call forth faith, trust, and assurance-and culminate in worship. It discovers supreme values-superhuman insight that can be had through genuine religious experience.
A lasting social system without a morality predicated on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than could the solar system without gravity.
When there is so much good truth to publish and proclaim, why dwell upon evil?
In religion, Jesus advocated and followed the method of experience-even as science pursues the technique of experiment. We find God through spiritual insight, but we approach God through the love of the beautiful, pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight.
No matter what the conflict between materialism and the teachings of Jesus may be, eventually Jesus' teachings will fully triumph.
In reality true religion cannot become involved in controversy with science or materialism as it is in no way concerned with material things-only with things of the spirit.
Freedom or initiative in any realm of existence is directly proportional to the degree of spiritual influence and cosmic mind control; that is, in human experience, the degree of actuality of doing the Father's will. And so, when once you start out to find God-and seek to do his will-that is the conclusive proof that God has already found you.
The religion of Jesus stands as the transcendent spiritual summons, calling to the best there is in man to rise above all these legacies of animal evolution and, by grace, attain the moral heights of true human destiny.
Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life.
Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.
Jesus' religion is based on personal spiritual relations with the Father and wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience.
Jesus' faith was so real and all-encompassing that it absolutely swept away any spiritual doubts and effectively destroyed every conflicting desire.
Jesus' personal faith, spiritual hope, and moral devotion were always correlated with the keen realization of the reality and sacredness of all human loyalties-personal honor, family love, religious obligations, social duty, and economic necessity.
The personal faith of Jesus in the certainty and security of the guidance and protection of the heavenly Father imparted to his unique life a profound endowment of spiritual reality.
As a man of the realm, Jesus brought to God the greatest of all offerings; the consecration and dedication of his own will to the majestic service of doing the divine will. Jesus always and consistently interpreted religion in terms of the Father's will.
The secret of Jesus' unparalleled religious life was his consciousness of the presence of God and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship-unbroken communion with God-and not by leadings, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.
Jesus trusted God much as the child trusts a parent. He had a profound confidence in the universe-just such a trust as a child has in its parents.
Jesus does not require his disciples to believe in him but rather to believe with him in the reality of the love of God and, in full confidence, to accept the security of the assurance of membership in the family of the heavenly Father. He desires that all his followers should share fully his transcendent faith. He challenged his followers to believe as he believed. This is the full significance of his one supreme command, "Follow me."
To follow Jesus means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man.
Of all human knowledge that which is of the greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
Jesus was a wholly consecrated mortal, unreservedly dedicated to doing his Father's will. It was this very singleness of purpose and unselfish devotion that enabled him to effect such extraordinary progress in the conquest of the human mind in one short life.
In his devotion to the cause of the kingdom, Jesus burned all bridges behind him; he sacrificed all hindrances to the doing of the Father's will.
Jesus did not long to escape from his earthly life; he mastered a technique of acceptably doing the Father's will while in the flesh. He attained an idealistic religious life in the very midst of a realistic world.
Jesus taught men to place a high value on themselves in time and in eternity, and he was willing to spend himself in unremitting service to humankind. And it was this infinite worth of the finite that made the golden rule a vital factor in his religion. What mortal beings could fail to be uplifted by the extraordinary faith Jesus had in them?
Personal spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles-but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them.
The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man-the indwelling Spirit of God.
Three separate evidences of this Spirit indwelling of the human mind are:
The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight-the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings-all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose.
The moral values of the universe become intellectual possessions by the exercise of three basic judgments or choices of the mortal mind:
Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.
Unless a Divine Lover lived in the mind of man, individuals could not unselfishly and spiritually love. And unless an Interpreter lived in their minds, they could not truly realize the unity of the universe. Also, unless an Evaluator indwelt each mind, that mind could not appraise moral values nor recognize spiritual meanings. This Indwelling Lover hails from the very source of Infinite Love; this Interpreter is part of Universal Unity; this evaluator is of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.
Human survival is, in great measure, dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter-the indwelling interpreter and unifier-our indwelling God-Spirit.
Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love-security in the Father's love, with joy in sharing this love in the service of the human brotherhood.
Every time any person makes a reflective moral choice, they immediately experience a new divine invasion of their soul.
Man's contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, worshipping him, and of realizing family membership with him.
Religion is mankind's supreme experience during the mortal nature, and love is the highest motivation that any person may utilize in their universe ascent-but love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness is only a sentiment.
The religious person can transcend an environment and, in this way, escape the limitations of the world through the insight of divine love. This concept of love generates in the soul of man the super-animal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when these are found, God is found-and the finder is consumed with the desire to be like him.
Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus shall not fail.
The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine indwelling Spirit of God.
Man's greatest adventure consists in a sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness, through the realms of soul-consciousness, in a whole-hearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness-contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God.
Our relationship with God is an experience of faith in that we have reached out to the borderland of spirit consciousness to the point of contact of the divine presence, the God-Spirit within-and so attained that spirit consciousness that is equivalent to knowledge of the actuality of our child-parent relationship with the Father.
The Father is living love and this life of the Father is in his Son. And the Spirit of the Father is in his Son's sons and daughters-mortal man. And when all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God.
Jesus lived his revelatory life amongst a tightly knit group of apostles, disciples, and a women's corps. They all knew him intimately, living almost all of their lives together in personal relationship.
In being required to live our lives as Jesus lived his, we need to recognize that the act we might put on during public teaching or preaching is usually put on to impress-it is not the real self, it is not the self that is revealed during our intimate everyday family living in which our spouse, our children, our closest associates know us as we really are. Acter
It is really only among those who know and love us best that we can live an effective and truly God-revealing life. Elsewhere, most often in our relationships, we are acting. Acting has no spiritual value to the actor.
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