Urantia Book 16. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, and Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. On their way to Italy, the three stopped at Malta. There Jesus had a conversation with a young man named Claudius, who was depressed and suicidal. After his talk with Jesus, he was determined to face life like a man and start life over again. Later, he joined Peter in Rome, proclaiming the Gospel, and never connecting Jesus with the man who helped him with his depression. During the tour, Jesus told people to call him the “scribe of Damascus.” At Syracuse they spent a full week. The only notable event there was the rehabilitation of Ezra, the keeper of the tavern. Ezra was a backslidden Jew, but he was charmed by Jesus’ approach and asked him for help in returning to the faith of Israel. Ezra said, “I want to be a true son of Abraham, but I cannot find God.” Jesus replied, “If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. Your trouble is not that you cannot find God, for the Father has already found you; your trouble is simply that you do not know God. Have you not read in the Prophet Jeremiah, ‘You shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart’? And again, does not this same prophet say; ‘And I will give you a heart to know me, that I am the Lord, and you shall belong to my people, and I will be your God’?…And Ezra found God, and to the satisfaction of his soul. Later, Ezra and a Greek proselyte built the first Christian church in Syracuse” (130.8.2). At Messina Jesus spoke kind words to a boy, and he later became a Christian. At Naples Gonod had much business to transact so Jesus and Ganid went sight-seeing. They saw a lot of poverty, and Ganid was becoming adept at recognizing poverty. On the way to Rome Jesus gave alms to a beggar, but he did not give his usual comforting words of encouragement. This puzzled Ganid. Jesus explained to Ganid, “Why waste words on one who cannot perceive the meaning of what you say? The Spirit of the Father cannot reach and save one who has no capacity for sonship” (130.8.4). What Jesus meant was that the man was not of normal intelligence, that he lacked the ability to respond to spirit leading (UB). Is Jesus being politically incorrect? No, he’s just being realistic. I don’t approve of Bush’s “No child left behind” because it is unrealistic. I had special education students in a regular English class. When they wrote essays, the essays were incomprehensible, and they didn’t understand how to make them better–I couldn’t get them to understand. And they were the nicest students, but their expectations were elevated unfairly by being in regular classes. Their tests were modified so that they ended up with better scores than the regular students. And that’s enough from me.************** While Ganid was in Alexandria, he used translators to help him gather information about all the known religions. He finished the project in Rome. They are as follows: CYNICISM preserved the teachings of Melchizedek. “God is supreme; he is the Most High of heaven and earth. God is the perfected circle of eternity…God knows all…our secrets…God is a peace giver and a faithful protector of all who fear and trust him…we derive wisdom from the contemplation of the Most High…we have no friend like the Most High…God never forgets sincerity. He will guide the honest of heart into the truth, for God is Truth…Poor men and rich men are brothers, God is their Father. The evil you would not have done to you, do not to others…All the worlds and universes worship the Most High…The wise man hungers for the divine embrace” (131.1.1-9). JUDAISM: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all things therein…The power of the Lord is great and his understanding infinite…The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him and his righteousness even to our children’s children…The heavens declare Gods righteousness and the people have seen his glory…(this is a repeat of the Hebrew scriptures and their eternal truths). BUDDHISM: Ganid was shocked that this religion was so great yet had no God. I’ve read that Buddhism is not a religion. It’s a way of thinking, of training the mind. But some of the earlier strains of Buddhism picked up Melchizedek’s teaching. Ganid chose this passage for his collection: “I have found the approach to the Immortal easy of access. I pray for faith to sustain me on the long journey…I know that faith from beyond will not fail me…By faith let us lay hold upon true righteousness and genuine manliness…sin is despicable…Evil is the path of false doctrines…Those who avoid evil by seeing things as they are gain joy by thus embracing the truth…Those who are sure of salvation are forever free from lust, envy, hatred and the delusions of wealth….Injustice done to your fellows shall come back upon you. The creature cannot escape the destiny of his deeds. He is the greatest of warriors who overcomes and subdues himself…The unselfish go to heaven, where they rejoice in the bliss of infinite liberality and continue to increase in noble generosity” (131.3.1-7). HINDUISM: Melchizedek’s teachings of the One God became embedded in the doctrines of this religion. “He is the great God, in every way Supreme. He is the creator and controller of the universe of universes. God is one God; he is alone and by himself; he is the only one. And this one God is our Maker and the last destiny of our soul…We worship him…God is the sure refuge of every good man when in need; the Immortal One cares for all mankind…The Lord even counts the ceaseless winking of every mortal’s eyes; and we worship this divine Being as our inseparable companion…Make prayer your inmost friend and worship your soul’s Support. ‘If you will but worship me in love,’ says the Eternal, ‘I will give you the wisdom to attain me, for my worship is common to all creatures’… God is our lover, our father, our brother and friend. And we long to know this God in our inner being. Man’s friends of the flesh cannot survive death; virtue alone walks by man’s side as he journeys ever onward toward the gladsome and sunlit fields of Paradise” (131.4.1-8). ZOROASTRIANISM was another religion studied by Ganid, but, aside from Judaism, no religion of that day contained more of Melchizedek’s teachings; there’s no need to repeat it here. This is also true of Jainism, so we will skip that and go to the Shinto religion of Japan. The passage Ganid chose is unusual because it is in the 1st person and it must be Jesus speaking. He says,”Since the olden people did not know my name, I manifested myself by being born into the world as a visible existence and endured such abasement even that man should not forget my name…I am the ruler of all creatures on land and in the four seas. Although I am great and supreme, still I have regard for the prayer of the poorest man”(131.7.2). This is a very odd passage to be found in a religious doctrine. The missionaries of Melchizedek were spreading the doctrine of the One God, not the Christian doctrine, and, although they went as far east as was possible, they lived in a time period centuries before Jesus or even David and the prophets. TAOISM: This religion won first place among the competing monotheistic religions in China. Ganid recorded the following: “How pure and tranquil is the Supreme One, and yet how powerful and mighty, how deep and unfathomable. This God of heaven is the honored ancestor of all things. If you know the Eternal, you are enlightened and wise. If you know not the Eternal, then does ignorance manifest itself as evil, and thus do the passions of sin arise. He is indeed the world’s mother, and all creation moves around him. A wise man universalizes his heart. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Those who aspire to greatness must learn to humble themselves…If you love people, they will draw near you–you will have no difficulty in winning them. You cannot find the Supreme, neither can you go to a place where he is not”(131.8.1-5). According to the UB, Confucianism is “the least God-recognizing of the world’s great religions.” But its practitioners responded to the missionarys’ doctrine about the One God. Ganid recorded the following, which had been incorporated into the doctrines of Confucianism:”What heaven appoints is without error. Truth is real and divine…Heaven has appointed subordinates to assist in the instruction and uplifting of inferior creatures…This Great God has conferred a moral sense even on many inferior people…We do well when we call the Great Heaven our Father and Mother. If we are thus servants of our divine ancestors, then may we in confidence pray to Heaven. God is with us; therefore we have no fear in our hearts…When you find yourself in the wrong, do not hesitate to confess your error and be quick to make amends. To attain the perfection of Heaven is the goal of man. What you do not like done to yourself, do not do to others” (131.9.1-4).* Ganid added another religion which he called OUR RELIGION. This was a summary of Jesus’ teachings to Ganid. I’m sure we don’t know everything Jesus taught Ganid, but we know Jesus’ teachings, so I will give a brief summary: “The Lord our God is one Lord, and you should love Him with all your mind and heart, while you do your best to love all His children as you love yourself…God dwells in every human soul through His Spirit…We cannot search out God by knowledge, but we can know Him in our hearts by personal experience. When men begin to feel after God, that is evidence that God has found them. Practice the worship of God by doing the will of God on earth. Thank God everyday for His unspeakable gifts” (131.10.1-6).****************************** It sounds like Melchizedek and his missionaries taught some items that I learned in the Urantia Book. For example, he didn’t teach them about the Universal Father, the First Person of the Trinity and ultimate creator of all things. Rather he taught them about the Most High, the 3 rulers of the Constellation Norlatiadek. He thought that would make it simpler for people (he didn’t tell them there were 3). Also there are many references to the Supreme. This is the Supreme Being, an experiencial God who grows by experiencing all of life. There are many Gods, the Gods of the Trinity being best known. But Jesus is not a God of the Trinity. He was born as a Creator Son, whose purpose is to rule a local universe. The Trinity consists of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit. Our Holy Spirit is a daughter of the Infinite Spirit and she is the partner in creation of the Creator Son, God of Nebadon, Christ Michael. She is also called the Mother Spirit because she gives life to the inert DNA put on planets by the Life Carriers. Also there was mention of more than one universe. There are 7 superuniverses, each with thousands of local universes. I hope this isn’t too wild. The Urantia Book is available on Amazon for $10.