Episode:Melchizedek Gospel—Response Among the Hebrews (Part 8)
In Babylon the Jews arrived at the conclusion that, if their ideologies were to prevail, they must convert the gentiles. Thus originated their new concept of destiny—the idea that Jews must become the chosen servants of Yahweh, a chosen people, not for special indulgence and monopoly of divine favor, but for the special service of carrying the truth of the one God over all to every nation.
Summary by Kermit
97:9. (cont.) Hebrew History
We spent some time exploring the significance of the revelators’ decision to italicize the word REAL, in the phrase “..thus began the real Egyptian bondage”, in reference to king Josiah’s defeat and the hands of Necho, and Judah subsequently falling under tribute to Egypt. The bondage of the Hebrews under Egypt usually evokes the story of the Moses and “Pharaoh”. However, here centuries later we are told their real bondage to Egypt occurs. We are, thus, challenged to penetrate the meaning of revelators’ use of the word REAL. Real is more than super-actual. The bondage of the Hebrews during Moses day was actual bondage, but due to the primitive stage of their development their bondage was not REAL. As we were reminded, 96:3 the Bedouin captives of that time “...hardly had a religion worthy of the name”, and “...were virtually without a true concept of God and without hope in the world.” From a genuine personal consciousness perspective, these Bedouins weren’t real enough to be in real bondage. But at this later point in their history, as a people, they are beginning to have an idea of God that transcends the volcano god. Their real connection to the cosmos is being severed by this Egyptian captivity, thus they are in real bondage. The actual bondage of Moses day was a material bondage, the bondage of these later times was true spiritual bondage. Today we see a self imposed intellectual bondage in systematized and institutionalized religious practices which short circuit our connection to the cosmos.
In the face of these tribulations which confront the Judahites, they respond with social reforms instead of spiritual reforms, all to no avail. With the return of Nebuchadnezzar, the destruction of Jerusalem, the Baal-Yahweh struggle ends with the captivity, which shocked this people into monotheism. This was not a case of God punishing the disobedient Israelites, but a consequence of their choice of material remedies and concerns in the face of spiritual crisis. Their chosen ways are not upheld by the cosmos, thus they are subjected to a rude awakening to the saving truth of monotheism.
We commented on the vicissitudes of Urantian human history in material mortals’ attempts to attain higher civilization. Humans are not self-progressing and self-civilizing. Further, if external help is absent and our internal help (mind and spirit ministries) not utilized, then do fear and hunger provide clarifying conditions from which emerge the experiential wisdom to make better choices. Think about today. Can we go up and engage the cosmos instead of courting doom, either way is God’s way.
From a cosmic perspective, Nebuchadnezzar can be seen as an agent of God, not God the Father, but God the Supreme. It was the captivity that shocked the Jews into monotheism by removing them from their stasis into a larger frame of mind where they recognized the spiritual Father, enabling them to transform their religious potentiality into an actuality, by separating it from the actualities in the social, political, and economic domains. Thus were conditions established enabling Michael to accomplish his seventh bestowal among the Jews.
We mentioned previously the irony of the captivity being the occasion for a spiritual quickening of the Jews. But it is was during this period that the Hebrew language and the Judaism of the Old Testament really evolved. In light of all of this, we must be careful how we judge the meaning, value and significance of the events of our day. There is wisdom vastly beyond human comprehension that is in charge of our destiny. All is moving to the good, appearances notwithstanding.
We are told that the doctrine of immortality took form in Babylon. The Jews thought this detracted from their gospel of social justice. It was here that theology displaced sociology and economics, and religion as a system of human thought and conduct became more and more separated from these other domains of human activity.
We discussed the problematic issue of social justice as it plays out today. Instead of being seen as a natural consequence of genuine spirituality, many are those who are attempting to achieve social justice and expect spirituality to follow. A powerful lesson Hebrew history holds for us today is the importance of putting spirituality before social justice.
The fact that this history of the Hebrews was not miraculous is precisely why it is applicable to us today. The truths of evolution have application and value today. As we are sadly reminded in 175:2, p. 1909, the Jews as a nation, a socio-political group paid in full the terrible price of rejecting the Prince of Peace. They broke their connection to the cosmos and ceased to be the spiritual torchbearers of divine truth to the races of mankind.
97:10. The Hebrew Religion
The Israelites were a chosen people, not for their own benefit but for the special service of carrying the truth of the one God to every nation. Their destiny as a people was undermined by their limited ideas of God notwithstanding their superior ideals of God.
The Jews never lost their concept of the Universal Father, even down to the twentieth century, yet their national egotism and false faith in a misconceived promised Messiah, as well as a tyrannical priesthood eventually silenced the voices of their leaders (save Daniel, Ezekiel, Haggai, and Malachi), and from that time, witnessed an increasing spiritual retrogression down to the time of John the Baptist, a span of close to 500 years.
The revelators use the term “false faith”. We discussed the nature of true hope and true faith in contrast to false hope and false faith. This discussion on how to distinguish between the true and false aspects of these, and the path to the attainment of the true forms of these attitudes is wrapped up in an understanding of the nature and meaning of the dual consecration to the perfect will of God the Father, and to the Universal Harmony of God the Mother. Today, the consecration to doing the will of God the Father is proudly professed by religionists everywhere. But, who has even heard of the Universal Harmony of God the Mother. Even finding it in the 5th ER requires a consecration of its own. Without seeking this harmony through the channels of philosophic pursuit, hope and faith are incomplete. With the dual consecration faith can grow into trust and hope can blossom into assurance. Fortunately, we now have the Spirit of Truth, Thought Adjusters and the 5th ER to assist us in this quest. The serious student of the revelation will do well to visit the archive of this broadcast for the full discussion.
The Jewish nation eventually lost its identity, yet, the Jewish religion survives because it functioned to conserve the highest values of its followers. While preserving the ideals of a people, it failed to foster progress and encourage philosophic discovery. (Note the use of the words conserve and preserve here.)
The Jewish religion also persisted because of its institutions. The authors warn us that it’s better to reform the rituals of institutional religion than destroy the institution. Wise words for today.
With all the faults and deficiencies of the Jewish religion, the successive teachers of Israel accomplished the greatest feat in the evolution of religion ever to be effected on Urantia: the transformation of the barbaric concept of Yahweh the volcano god, to the later exalted and supernal concept of the supreme Yahweh, creator of all things—loving, and merciful Father of all mankind. And this Hebraic concept of God was the highest human visualization of the Universal Father up to that time when it was further enlarged and so exquisitely amplified by the personal teachings and life example of his Son, Michael of Nebadon.