Urantia Book 36. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. On February 26 Jesus, his apostles and a large contingent of followers journeyed down the Jordan to the ford near Bethany near Perea. They taught and preached four weeks before going on to Jerusalem. Jesus took Peter, James and John across the river for a three day rest, where he taught them many advanced truths about the kingdom. He said that the only business of teachers of the gospel of the kingdom was to reveal God to the individual person as a Father–to lead the person to become son or daughter conscious; then to present this person to God as his faith child. Jesus asserted that he had come to establish personal and eternal relations with each and every individual person which would forever take precedence over all other human relationships. Jesus made emphatic two truths important in teaching about the kingdom: the attainment of salvation by faith and the attainment of liberty as in the expression: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus was so bold and emphatic in making these statements that the three apostles thought he might be beside himself. And they didn’t understand some of what he said.************************************ During the time at Perea, Andrew assigned apostolic couples to go to Jericho several times a week. They were to carry out Jesus’ instructions to minister to the sick; they visited every house in the city and tried to comfort every afflicted person. The apostles found that the good news of the kingdom was very comforting to the sick, and their message brought comfort to the afflicted. “And it was in Jericho that Jesus’ commission to the twelve to preach the glad tidings of the kingdom and minister to the afflicted was fully carried into effect” (141.8.2). Jesus and his apostles left for the home of Lazarus in Bethany on the last day of March. John’s disciples stayed at the Jordan to baptize the many followers. Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, were very happy to wait upon and take care of Jesus and his apostles. On Sunday morning, April 6, Jesus and the 12 went down to Jerusalem; this would be the first they were all there together.************* Jesus or his apostles taught in the Temple everyday. The burden of their message was fourfold: 1. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 2. By faith in the fatherhood of God you may enter the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the children of God. 3. Love is the rule of living within the kingdom–supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself. 4. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirits in one’s personal life is the law of the kingdom. People loved the message, but the rulers of the Temple became concerned and wondered what to do with these preachers. People became believers, and after Passover, carried the message to the most remote parts of the Empire and to the East. The Word would no longer be confined to Palestine.******************* Jacob, a wealthy Jewish trader from Crete, asked Andrew for a private meeting with Jesus. Jacob didn’t understand the concept of a God who is a loving, merciful Father. All he knew was the God of Moses, a fire-breathing tyrant. Jesus said to him: “Our Father in Paradise is changeless. But our concept of his nature has enlarged and grown since the days of Moses…And now I have come in the flesh to reveal the Father in new glory and to show forth his love and mercy to all people on all worlds… Remember, Jacob, that a good and true father not only loves his family as a whole–as a family–but he also truly loves and affectionately cares for each individual member. And Jacob answered, “Rabbi, I believe; I desire that you lead me into the Father’s kingdom” (142.2.2).************* That night the apostles asked Jesus many questions about God. Jesus scolded them, saying they ought to know by now the history of the Jews’ relationship with Yahweh. But he gave them a short course in the growth of the idea of God: 1. Yahweh was the god of the Sinai clans. Moses exalted this primitive concept to the higher level of Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven accepts the worship of his children no matter what name they give him. 2. The Most High was a concept of the Father proclaimed by Machiventi Melchizedek to Abraham, who was also exposed to El Elyon–The Most High God. This was a blending of older Mesopotamian ideas with the Most High doctrine. 3. El Shaddai was worshiped by many Hebrews in the early days. It was the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven which the Jews encountered during their captivity. All of these concepts were blended to form the doctrine of the creator Deity–the Lord God of Israel. 4. Elohim is plural for god. It is supposed to be an early indication of the Trinity. Zecharia Sitchin, however, writes that these “gods” are the Anunnaki, a race of aliens who came to earth 450,000 years ago looking for gold. They created humans as a slave race to work in the mines. Later, they upgraded humans, and the Sumerian Civilization was born under the direction of these gods worshiped by the humans. 5. The Supreme Yahweh was an expanded concept of a Universal Creator who was all powerful and all merciful. This God ruled during the time of Isaiah and supplanted all previous ideas of Deity in Israel’s religion. 6. The Father in heaven (Universal Father) is the concept taught by Jesus. The believer is a child of God. This is the good news of the kingdom of heaven. Co-existent with the Universal Father are the Eternal Son and Infinite Spirit. The true worship of any human being–as concerns individual spiritual progress– is recognized by the indwelling spirit as homage to the Father in heaven. When Jesus paused in his history lesson, the apostles were too shocked to ask questions. Jesus scared them sometimes . They were completely silent. Jesus continued to berate them: “And you would have known these truths had you read the scriptures…in the days of Samuel, the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But a later writer did not dare to attribute evil to Yahweh. And you should be aware that the second 10 Commandments is more enlightened than the first 10 Commandments, and my commandment is the most enlightened: Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (142.3.1-22).