Urantia Book 45. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. Jesus and the apostles maintained an enormous camp near the Zebedee home for five months, from May 3 to October 3, AD 28. The camp accommodated between 500 to 1000 truth seekers, healing candidates and curiosity devotees. The tent city was under the supervision of David Zebedee, assisted by the Alpheus twins. The sick of different types were organized and under the supervision of a physician, a Syrian believer named Elman. Andrew continued to be in charge of the apostolic activities, but Peter was in charge of the school of the evangelists. The apostles took their turn at teaching the evangelists each forenoon, and both apostles and evangelists taught the people in the afternoon. (According to the UB, this is a feature of the training during the ascension to Paradise. The path to Paradise features training and education in anything you can imagine: astronomy, the administration of a universe,etc.) Each night after dinner the apostles held Q&A sessions for the evangelists. Once a week Jesus attended this session, answering difficult questions. In the five months, several thousand came and went at this camp. They came from all over the Roman Empire and from east of the Euphrates. This was the longest settled and best organized period of the Master’s teaching. David Zebedee managed this large tent city so that it became a self-sustaining enterprise, and no one was ever turned away (148.0.1-5).************* Jesus designated Peter, James and Andrew as a committee to choose the applicants for the school of the evangelists. All races and nationalities were represented in the school. The apostles all taught their own view of the gospel of the kingdom. There was no standardized theological doctrine. Each apostle taught his own personal interpretation of the Master’s teaching. Jesus harmonized and coordinated these many views at his weekly Q&A. But Peter tended to dominate the theology of the school of the evangelists. Jesus would later choose 70 evangelists from this school and send them out as missionaries of the gospel of the kingdom. Later, when Jesus ordained and commissioned them, they were able to baptize new believers (148.1.1-4).******************************* Elman, assisted by 25 women and 12 men opened the first hospital in the kingdom. They treated the sick with all known methods plus prayer and faith encouragement. Jesus visited the hospital three times each week and made sure to touch each sufferer or say healing words. Jesus did no miracles, but the sick left the hospital insisting that Jesus had cured them. During the encampment Jesus would be absent a lot; he would go into the wilderness and take any two apostles who happened to be free. When asked about these strange interludes, he would say, I need to be about my Father’s business. The UB has been “led to infer that the Master was in direct and executive association with many of his chief directors of universe affairs. Ever since the time of his baptism, this incarnated Sovereign of our universe had become increasingly and consciously active in the direction of certain phases of universe administration. And we have always held the opinion that, in some way not revealed to his immediate associates, he was engaged in the direction of those high spirit intelligences who were charged with the running of a vast universe” (148.3.4).********************** One night Thomas had a private conversation with Jesus. Thomas asked Jesus this question: “Master, why is it necessary for man to be born of the spirit in order to enter the kingdom? Is rebirth necessary to escape the control of the evil one? Master, what is evil?” When Jesus heard these questions, he said: “Do not make the mistake of confusing evil with the evil one. Make clear in your mind these different attitudes toward the Father and his universe. Never forget these laws of relation to the Father’s will: 1.Evil is the unconscious or unintended transgression of the divine law, the Father’s will. Evil is likewise the measure of the imperfectness of obedience to the Father’s will. 2. Sin is the conscious, knowing and deliberate transgression of the divine law, the Father’s will. Sin is the measure of unwillingness to be divinely led and spiritually directed. 3. Iniquity is the willful, determined and persistent transgression of the divine law, the Father’s will. Iniquity is the measure of the continued rejection of the Father’s loving plan of personality survival and the Son’s merciful ministry of salvation.” Man has evil tendencies and natural imperfections, but neither are sin or iniquity. Man is not the child of the evil one unless he chooses to be. Jesus continued: “Men are, indeed, by nature, evil, but none of this detracts from the fact that he is the son of God. Thomas, have you not read in the Scriptures where it says ‘You are the children of the Lord your God’?”(148.4.1-10).************ Nathaniel also had a private conversation with Jesus. He asked Jesus: “I am at a loss to understand why the loving Father in heaven permits so many of his children on earth to suffer so many afflictions.” Jesus answered: “Nathaniel, you don’t realize how the natural order on this world has so many times been upset by the sinful rebellious traitors to the Father’s will. I have come to make a beginning in setting things right, but it will take ages to restore this part of the universe to its former paths, and thus release the children of men from the extra burdens of sin and rebellion. Son, you should know that the Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man brings down on himself unnecessary affliction as a result of his persistent refusal to follow the will of the Father. And listen: the Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing. The imperfections and handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin are inevitable; the destroying consequences of iniquity are inexorable. Man should not blame God for those afflictions which are the natural result of the life he chooses to live; neither should man complain of those experiences which are a part of life as it is lived on this world. But Nathaniel, there is much truth in the Scriptures if you had only read with discernment. For example, it is written: ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of his correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights” (148.5.1-5).