Urantia Book 84. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Saturday afternoon, March 11, Jesus preached his last sermon at Pella, which was a full and complete discussion of the kingdom of heaven. He discussed the subject from every viewpoint and tried to make clear the many different senses in which the term had been used. First, the prophets had presented the kingdom of God as: 1. A present reality 2. A future hope–when the kingdom would be realized in fullness on the appearance of the Messiah 3. The later Jewish concept of a worldwide and transcendental kingdom of supernatural origin and miraculous inauguration 4. The Persian teachings portraying the establishment of a divine kingdom as the triumph of good over evil at the end of the world.********* Just before the advent of Jesus on earth, the Jews combined and confused all these ideas of the kingdom into their apocalyptic concept of the Messiah’s coming to establish the age of Jewish triumph, the eternal age of God’s supreme rule on earth, the new world, the era in which all mankind would worship Yahweh. In choosing to utilize this concept of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus elected to appropriate the most vital and culminating heritage of both the Jewish and Persian religions. Concerning the kingdom, Jesus’ last word was always: “The kingdom is within you.” Confusion over the term ‘kingdom of heaven’ is due to three factors: 1. The confusion occasioned by observing the idea of the ‘kingdom’ as it passed through the various progressive phases of its recasting by Jesus and his apostles 2. The confusion that was inevitably associated with the transplantation of early Christianity from a Jewish to a gentile soil 3. The confusion which was inherent in the fact that Christianity became a religion which was organized around the central idea of Jesus’ person; the gospel of the kingdom became more and more a religion about him (170.1.1-10).********** The Master made it clear that the kingdom of heaven must begin with, and be centered in, the dual concept of the fatherhood of God and the correlated fact of the brotherhood of man. The acceptance of such a teaching, Jesus declared, would liberate humans from the age-long bondage of animal fear and at the same time enrich human living with the following endowments of the new life of spiritual liberty: 1. The possession of new courage and augmented spiritual power. The gospel of the kingdom was to set them free and inspire them to dare to hope for eternal life. 2. The gospel carried a message of new confidence and true consolation for all, even for the poor. 3. It was in itself a new standard of moral values, a new ethical yardstick with which to measure human conduct. 4. It taught the pre-eminence of the spiritual compared with the material; it glorified spiritual realities and exalted superhuman ideals. 5. This new gospel held up spiritual attainment as the true goal of living. Human life received a new endowment of moral value and divine dignity. 6. Jesus taught that eternal realities were the reward of righteous earthly striving. Humans’ mortal sojourn on earth acquired new meanings consequent upon the recognition of a noble destiny. 7. The new gospel affirmed that human salvation is the revelation of a far-seeing divine purpose to be fulfilled and realized in the future destiny of the endless service of the salvaged people of God.************************************ The problem embodied in this sermon was the attempt to translate the concept of the kingdom of heaven into the ideal of the idea of doing the will of God. Long had the Master taught his apostles to pray: ” Your kingdom come; your will be done” and at this time he earnestly tried to induce them to abandon the use of the term ‘kingdom of God’ in favor of the more practical equivalent, ‘the will of God. ‘But he did not succeed. Up to this time the apostles had developed a double view of the kingdom: 1. It was a matter of personal experience then present in the hearts of true believers 2. A question of racial or world phenomena; that the kingdom was in the future, something to look forward to. Jesus taught during this lecture the double view: First, the kingdom of God in this world is the supreme desire to do the will of God, the unselfish love of others which yields the good fruits of ethical and moral conduct. Second, the kingdom of God in heaven is the goal of mortal believers, the estate in which the love for God is perfected, and where the will of God is done more divinely. Jesus taught that, by faith, the believer enters the kingdom now. Two things are essential to faith entrance into the kingdom: 1. faith, sincerity. to come as a little child. to receive sonship as a gift. submit to the doing of the Father’s will without questioning. have trust and confidence in the Father’s wisdom. come free from prejudice. be teachable. 2. truth hunger. the thirst for righteousness. a change of mind. the desire to be like God. the desire to find God (170.2.1-10).