Urantia Book 49. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. The Sabbath services of the apostolic party had been put in the hands of the women by Andrew, upon instructions from Jesus. This meant, of course, that they could not be held in the new synagogue. The women selected Joanna to be in charge of this occasion, and the meeting was held in the banquet room of Herod’s new palace, Herod being away. Joanna read from the Scriptures concerning women’s work in the religious life of Israel, making reference to Miriam,Deborah,Esther and others. Late that evening Jesus gave the united group a memorable talk on “Magic and Superstition.” In those days the appearance of a bright and supposedly new star was a token that a great man had been born on earth. Such a star having been recently observed, Andrew asked Jesus if these beliefs were well-founded. In the long answer to Andrew’s question the Master entered on a thoroughgoing discussion of the whole subject of human superstition. He said: 1. The courses of the stars in the heavens have nothing whatever to do with the events of human life on earth. Astronomy is a proper pursuit of science, but astrology is a mass of superstitious error which has no place in the gospel of the kingdom. 2. The examination of the internal organs of an animal recently killed can reveal nothing about weather, future events or the outcome of human affairs. 3. The spirits of the dead do not come back to communicate with their families or their friends among the living. 4. Charms and relics are impotent to heal disease, ward off disaster, or influence evil spirits; the belief in all such material means of influencing the spirit world is nothing but gross superstition. 5. Casting lots, while it may be a convenient way of settling minor difficulties, is not a method designed to disclose the divine will. Such outcomes are purely matters of material chance. 6. Divination, sorcery and witchcraft are superstitions of ignorant minds, as are the delusions of magic. The belief in magic numbers, omens of good luck and harbingers of bad luck, is pure and unfounded superstition. 7. The interpretation of dreams is largely a superstitious and groundless system of ignorant and fantastic speculation. 8. The spirits of good or evil cannot dwell within material symbols of clay, wood or metal; idols are nothing more than the material of which they are made. 9. The practices of the enchanters, the wizards, the sorcerers and magicians were derived from the superstitions of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the ancient Canaanites. Amulets and all sorts of incantations are futile to either win the protection of good spirits or to ward off the supposed evil spirits. 10. He exposed and denounced their belief in spells, ordeals, bewitching, cursing, signs, mandrakes, knotted cords and all other forms of ignorant and enslaving superstition.**************************** The next evening Jesus gathered the 24 apostles and the women’s corps and said: “You see for yourselves the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Let us all, therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest will send forth still more laborers into the fields. While I remain to comfort and instruct the newer teachers, I would send out the older ones two by two that they may pass quickly over all Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom while it is yet convenient and peaceful.” And he separated his apostles into 2s, but not John’s. He arranged the date to meet in Nazareth and told them in parting not to go to the gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. He told them to proclaim the saving truth, that man is a son of God; there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and whatever they were taught privately, preach with wisdom in the open. And be not afraid of those who can kill the body, but those who are (not ?) able to destroy the soul. (This might be a misprint; Jesus in Matthew 10:28 says “And do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Also, the Deep State/cabal/CIA has a weapon that can pull the human astral body out of the physical body.) Jesus again: Rather put your faith in Him who is able to sustain the body and save the soul. When all of a family receive the gospel of the kingdom, truly peace abides in that house; but when some of the family enter the kingdom and others reject the gospel, such divisions can only produce sorrow and sadness. “But when you have done your utmost for all of every family, I declare to you that he who loves father and mother more than the gospel is not worthy of the kingdom” (150.4.1-4).******* One evening Rachel asked this question: “Master, what shall we answer when women ask us What shall I do to be saved?” Jesus answered: “When men and women ask that question, you shall answer, Believe the gospel of the kingdom; accept divine forgiveness. By faith recognize the indwelling spirit of God, whose acceptance makes you a son of God. Entrance into the Father’s kingdom is wholly free, but progress-growth in grace- is essential to growth therein. Acceptance by faith on your part makes you a partaker of the divine nature, a son or daughter of God. By faith you are justified; by faith you are saved; and by the same faith are you eternally advanced in the way of progressive and divine perfection.” Jesus finished by saying: “You cannot buy salvation; you cannot earn righteousness. Salvation is the gift of God, and righteousness is the natural fruit of the spirit-born life of sonship in the kingdom. You are not saved because you lead a righteous life; rather you live a righteous life because you are saved and view service in the kingdom as the supreme delight of life on earth. And the revelation of the goodness of God leads to voluntary repentance of all known sin. Realization of sonship is incompatible with the desire to sin. Kingdom believers hunger for righteousness and thirst for divine perfection (150.5.1-4).