Episode:Jesus—Inaugurator of the Kingdom of Heaven (Part 2)
Urantia has never seriously or sincerely or honestly tried out the dynamic ideas and divine ideals of Jesus’ doctrine of the kingdom of heaven. The Master taught that the worldwide manifestation of the kingdom will appear as an unconscious and inevitable outgrowth, the natural fruits, of the inner personal experience of individual believers, a purely spiritual fellowship and communion with the divine spirit which indwells and activates all such believers.
Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Kingdom of Heaven, Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit
Summary by Kermit
4. Jesus' Teaching about the Kingdom
While giving no precise definition of the KoH, at various times he would discuss different aspects of the BoG's reign in the hearts of men. In this Sabbath sermon he noted no less than five phases or epochs of the kingdom. In our discussion of these phases, we showed their parallel to the epochs of revelation on Urantia, past and future, all the while paying attention to the bottom up—spiritual perspective and top down—cosmic viewpoint mentioned in the broadcast prior to this one.
Briefly the five phases are:
- Personal, inward faith grasp of the spiritual fellowship of the individual with the Father.
- Social aspects of enhanced morals and quickened ethics of gospel believers stemming from #1.
- Awareness of expanded Believers to include superhumans.
- The promise of the future unfolding of #'s 1 and 2 above leading to a new social order of improved spiritual living—the next age of man.
- The full manifestation of the kingdom in the future spiritual age of light and life.
The phase #1 faith grasp along with the love and service of phase#2 correspond to the 3rd and 4th ERs respectively, representing the FACT of Fatherhood and TRUTH of Brotherhood—the spiritual or bottom up perspective. With phase #3, the superhuman brotherhood, we are introduced to the cosmic, top down perspective of the 5thER. Phases #4 and #5 promise future ages of epochal revelation and progress, culminating in the age of light and light. We even traced how these phases lead from the kindredness of spirits exemplified in the Bof believers, including celestials (phase #3), to the kindred mindedness characteristic of the factual reality of the BoM manifested in the future promised new social orders (phases #s 4 and 5). Herein lies a challenge to students of the revelation, to be able to ascertain which of the five phases the Master is referring to in any given circumstance and with any given teaching.
The Master in this sermon emphasized five more points representing not phases, but cardinal features of the kingdom.
- The pre-eminence of the individual.
- The will as a determining factor in human experience.
- Spiritual fellowship with God the Father
- The supreme satisfactions of the loving service of man.
- The transcendency of the spiritual over the material in human personality.
Our discussion of these five features of the kingdom centered around the INDIVIDUAL, through the establishment of a material self (#1) with which PERSONALITY can identify (#2—will) in fellowship with the Father (who only relates to individuals)—#3. This Father-fellowship can lead to spiritual individuation through the dual consecration of will and mind, progressing into #4, the loving service of man (through coordination and cooperation with God the Mother). The transcendency of the spiritual over the material in human personality is thus the crowning manifestation of the development from and individual child of God, to the personalized Adult of God. Our revelation beckons us consequently to make these consecrations and take this journey.
We also discussed the troubling tendency for spiritually aware individuals today to look with disdain on the budding materialistic self as inimical to the spiritual progress of our world, rather than recognizing this stage of personal development for what it is; a necessary level to be uplifted through personal choice through fellowship with the Father to the level of true spiritual selfhood capable of becoming a cosmic citizen. The current drift of self abnegation in subordination to a human collective represents retrograde development for human society.
Here we are warned by our celestial brethren who bring us the revelation, to avoid becoming discouraged by the apparently slow progress of the kingdom idea on our world. We are reminded that progressive evolution brings sudden and unexpected periodical changes in both the spiritual and material worlds, citing the bestowal incarnation as one such event. Jesus was indeed a suddenly of evolution. We are further warned to make certain we choose to establish the kingdom in our own hearts rather than looking for the promised age manifestation of the kingdom to lift us upward. As we are told, this would indeed be a FATAL mistake.
Jesus promised a new revelation of the kingdom on earth at some future time; he also promised to personally return to Urantia, but he never said these two events were synonymous, neither did he say they were not. However, his apostles and followers did link these events.
5. Later Ideas of the Kingdom
Here the authors engage in content not covered by Jesus in his sermon. The Master's concept of the kingdom was notably modified by two great tendencies. First, his Jewish believers persisted in regarding him as the Messiah, who would soon return to establish a world-wide material kingdom. Second, the gentile Christians, in accepting the doctrines of Paul, led to the belief that Jesus was the Redeemer of the children of the church, supplanting the earlier concept of the purely spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom. As the authors say, the evil of the church was not its existence, but that it almost completely supplanted Jesus' concept of the kingdom, and became a virtual substitute for the kingdom he proclaimed.
The authors go forward masterly condensing two thousand years of post Pentecost evolution of the Christian church and the Kingdom ideas, ending with the encouraging promise that Jesus' Kingdom of Heaven will of a certainty be realized on our world. Sooner or later a new herald will come proclaiming the Kingdom's time. However, this proclamation will in no way refer to the visible church on earth, or to the anticipated second coming of Christ. It will be announced by a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus such as will undo the work of his earlier followers.
The teachings of the Master contain an eternal nature which will most certainly bear fruit in the hearts of thinking men and women. Even though Jesus' kingdom has largely failed on earth, for now, being displaced by an outward church, this church is merely the larval stage of the thwarted spiritual kingdom. The kingdom of the divine brotherhood is still alive and will eventually and certainly come forth from this long submergence, just as surely as the butterfly eventually emerges as the beautiful unfolding of its less attractive creature of metamorphic development.
To put the cherry on top of our New Year's Eve broadcast, we enjoyed reading without comment or discussion, Jesus' sermon on the Kingdom of God, his first pretentious effort of his public career.