Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Advancing Ministry (Part 2)

From Symmetry of Soul

By nature, before the rebirth of the spirit, mortal man is subject to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections of behavior are neither sin nor iniquity. Mortal man is just beginning his long ascent to the perfection of the Father in Paradise. In fact, any being who is imperfect or partial in natural endowment is potentially evil, but such beings are in no sense sinful, much less iniquitous.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Evil, Sin, Iniquity

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We spent considerable time revisiting the term prophet. Our conclusions were that prophets are human beings who are personally engaged directly by superhuman beings for the purpose of delivering a message to a group or groups of mortals. Technically speaking, the school of evangelists, can truly be designated a school for prophets inasmuch as the instruction included direct and personal encounters with Jesus, Paradise Creator Son incarnate. This led to calls from two listeners on the topic of prophets. Notwithstanding the validity of genuine prophets, throughout the revelation we are encouraged to prove their teachings with our personal and God given faculties of reason, logic, and faith.

148:3. The Father’s Business

During the five month’s at the Bethsaida encampment Jesus, having delegated much of the responsibility for running the school and the hospital to his apostles and associates as well as having fulfilled his seventh bestowal requirements spent much time alone in the surrounding hills. When any apostle pressed him about his absence from their midst, he always replied that he was “about the Father’s business.” Furnishing no specifics, the midwayers disclosed that they were led to infer that, Jesus’ solitary time in the hills was occupied with conscious and direct executive association with many of his universe directors in the running of various phases of his local universe. This conclusion was informed by the fact that during these sessions Jesus’ features would undergo rapid and multitudinous changes as witnessed by his accompanying apostles. Jesus had relieved Peter, James and John of their customary role of accompanying him during his seasons of solitude that they might more fully participate in the teaching of the evangelists. Instead, he rotated that role to the remaining apostles, such that each of the twelve enjoyed an opportunity for close association and intimate contact with the Master.

148:4. Evil, Sin, and Iniquity

Even with Jesus’ frequent and extended periods of solitude, he made time two evenings a week to hold special private conversations with individuals who desired to talk with him. The midwayers here grace us with the Master’s explication of error, evil, sin, and iniquity, in response to Thomas’s question as to the necessity of being born of the spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven.

The ensuing discussion well illustrates the synthetic process of engaging the revelation in pursuit of its deeper meanings. First we noted [3:5] where the term error is referred to as unwise judgement, and evil is presented as mistaken judgement, we then referred to [118:7] where a Mighty Messenger points out how the gift of free will comes with the inherent potential choices of becoming self-confusing, self-disruptive, and self-destroying. Using our associating mechanism we notice a parallel with the stepwise decline from error, to evil, and sin, when paired as error—self-confusing, evil—self-disruptive, and sin—self-destroying. Thus we can see how confusing evil with the evil one is a mis-take, or evil itself. The self-disruption here refers to attributing to the devil, that which is the product of the self, or in essence claiming “the devil made me do it!”

Jesus proceeds to present for Thomas in terms of divine law and in relation to the Father’s will the meanings and experiential yardsticks for measuring evil, sin, and iniquity.

The Master goes further for Thomas explaining the origins of this confusion found in the doctrines of the Greeks, Persians in addition to the Hebrew teachings. Allowing that men are by nature evil in keeping with this new definition of evil, Jesus assures Thomas that any being who in any manner falls short of the divine and spiritual ideals of the eternal Father’s will is potentially evil, but in no sense sinful, much less iniquitous. In contrast with these olden teachings of man’s creation in godly perfection and descending steadily down toward oblivion or destruction, he assures Thomas that by entering the kingdom of heaven man is ascending certainly and surely up to God and divine perfection.

The midwayers tell us that Thomas comprehended much of what Jesus said that night although Jesus told him not to speak to others of these matters until after he (Jesus) had returned to the Father, and Thomas was true to the Master’s trust.

Notes by Brad

  • Do we need to aspire to the level of being a prophet?
    • Why not relish the remarkable gifts we all possess automatically, by grace!
    • We already have been engaged from within. Why obsess on being engaged from without? Perhaps it's more familiar to us in our daily lives.
    • But the kingdom is within! Try exploring that!
    • And watch out for the oldest of old wineskins: a prophet as a warmed over shaman. Someone who tell you what to think. Someone who is the intermediary to God for you, to save you the effort.

  • Don't underestimate the power of just being present with someone who is ill. We are more than a collection of molecules.

  • Why is Section 3 here? Seems like a tangent from the Bethsaida encampment.
    • It reminds us what he was up to after his baptism. Technically, his bestowal mission already was complete at that time.
    • He's here, post baptism, effectively (as before the incarnation here) vicegerent of the Universal Father.
    • But he's also about "his Father's business" while here. Things not having to do directly with this world. See also [21:3]

  • What does it mean an apostle needed to be "at liberty" to go to the hills with Jesus? Liberty is a high word, after all.
    • Jesus wants intimate, personal interaction. He wants them fully present of their own free will.
    • Not just someone to lug extra food and tents.

  • Changes in Jesus' facial features? There's no severing the mind-body connection, it seems.

  • Mistake is a precise word in the 5th ER. It connotes evil.
    • Just after the inevitabilities in [3:5.15], there is reference to error versus evil and the word mistake.
      • "The possibility of mistaken judgment (evil) becomes sin only when the human will consciously endorses and knowingly embraces a deliberate immoral judgment."
    • And in [118:7], the perils of free will. Their list is in the logical order. Concerning error, evil, sin, and iniquity:
      • Error: self-confusing
      • Evil: self-disruption
      • Sin: self-destroying
      • Iniquity: self-destruction

  • "The devil made me do it." Ah, no. A being made you do it, but it was you and your natural evil tendencies.
    • And this is a mistake. An unwitting mistake, no doubt, which means it is merely evil, not sin.

  • Evil is disloyalty to deity (divine law). Not deliberate. Not intentional. Not conscious.
    • Giving badness, ungoodness, form in the mind. Having a bad motive.
    • You didn't desire it, your imperfect nature simply allows it to happen.
    • Maybe you even had a positive desire (you probably did!) But that doesn't guarantee a good motive and intention. You need wisdom and insight for those forms to be good.

  • For sin, look at [53:2.5] where Lucifer became sinful, not just evil.

  • Do you feel like correcting a Christian friend on their definition of "evil?"
    • Why don't you try correcting yourself first. You're doubtless in an old wineskin with this, too.