Paper 2. The Nature of God

   
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PAPER 2

THE NATURE OF GOD

  1. The Infinity of God
  2. The Father’s Eternal Perfection
  3. Justice and Righteousness
  4. The Divine Mercy
  5. The Love of God
  6. The Goodness of God
  7. Divine Truth and Beauty

INTRODUCTION

I. REFERENCE: (33.1) 2:0.1 - “Inasmuch as man’s...”

COMMENT

1. Since God is a person, it is permissible to study his nature—character. Note that character and nature are used synonymously.

2. Jesus’ life in the flesh is the best revelation of God’s nature—but not necessarily of the divine attributes.

3. The divine nature can also be better understood by man when he regards himself as a child of this God-Father.

II. REFERENCE: (33.2) 2:0.2 - “The nature of God...”

COMMENT

1. While the nature of God can be studied in supreme ideas and supernal ideals, it is better revealed in the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth.

2. Jesus portrayed his Father’s character both before and after he attained full self-consciousness of divinity.

3. When did Jesus attain the full self-consciousness of divinity? Answer: Probably on Mt. Hermon prior to his baptism, following his year of solitary wanderings.

4. But there are two points to bear in mind:

A. Technically this event was signalized at the time of his baptism by John in the Jordan.

B. Full consciousness of divinity (not self-consciousness) came to Jesus during the 40 days following his baptism.

Note: On the sixth mansion world—”The union of the evolving immortal soul with the eternal and divine Adjuster is signalized by the seraphic summoning of the supervising superangel for resurrected survivors and of the archangel of record for those going to judgment on the third day; and then, in the presence of such a survivor’s morontia associates, these messengers of confirmation speak: ‘This is a beloved son in whom I am well pleased.’...

“Immediately upon the confirmation of Adjuster fusion the new morontia being is introduced to his fellows for the first time by his new name and is granted the forty days of spiritual retirement from all routine activities wherein to commune with himself and to choose some one of the optional routes to Havona and to select from the differential techniques of Paradise attainment.” (538.2) 47:8.4

5. The incarnated life of Michael serves as the background for the attempt to illuminate the human concept of the nature of God.

DISCUSSION OF THE NEW NAME

1. See Isa 56:5. “I will give them an everlasting name.”

2. Rev 2:17. “To him who conquers I will give... a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.”

3. Rev 3:12. “He who conquers...I will write on him the name of my God ...and my own new name.”

4. Rev 14:1. “On Mount Zion stood...a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”

Note: This new name might well be the name of the fused Adjuster. Before fusion they are registered by number. After fusion the new personality—Adjuster fused with the surviving soul—may be known by this new name.

III. REFERENCE: (33.3) 2:0.3 - “In all our efforts...”

COMMENT

1. The limited capacity of the human mind greatly handicaps all efforts to enlarge the concept of the nature of God.

2. The revelation of God is curtailed by the limitations of language and the lack of material suitable for illustration and comparison.

3. All efforts to enlarge the concept of God would be well-nigh futile except for the fact that:

A. Mortal mind is indwelt by the spirit of the Universal Father.

B. Mind is pervaded by the Truth Spirit of the Creator Son.

C. There is also present the Holy Spirit of the local universe Mother Spirit.

4. The human mind is thus subject to the spiritual endowment of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

5. Note: The Father’s Spirit indwells the mind; the Son’s spirit pervades the mind. Note dictionary definition of pervade: “To penetrate, to traverse, to pass, flow, or spread through; to permeate, hence to be diffused throughout.”

6. Depending on this threefold spirit ministry, the author of this paper undertakes the portrayal of the nature of God to the mind of man.

7. The indwelling and pervading spirits are spoken of as being in the heart of man. Heart and mind seem to be used interchangeably. In common usage, heart refers more to the emotions; mind to intellectuality.

1. THE INFINITY OF GOD

I. REFERENCE: (33.4) 2:1.1 - “‘Touching the Infinite...’”

COMMENT

1. Job 37:23. “The Almighty...we cannot find him.”

Ps 77:19. “Thy way was through the sea, thy path through the great waters; yet thy footprints were unseen.”

Note change of Almighty to Infinite.

2. The first part of the second quotation is Ps 147:5. “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”

The second part of the second quotation is Ps 145:3. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”

3. Again we note this combination of Scriptures to form a single quotation.

4. The blinding light of the Father’s presence is such that to his creatures he apparently “dwells in the thick darkness.”

This is taken from Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple. See 1 Kings 8:12. “Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but has said that he would dwell in thick darkness.’”

5. This may refer to the “cloud” which was supposed to cover the “mercy seat” in the “Most Holy Place” of the Jewish sanctuary. See Lev 16:2. “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron your brother not to come at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.’”

See also Ps 18:11. “He made darkness his covering around him.”

6. His thoughts and plans are unsearchable, and “he does great and marvelous things without number.”

This is Job 5:9. “Who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.” See also Ps 139:14. “I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well.”

7. God is beyond our comprehension. See Job 36:26. “Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.”

8. God is greater than the universe of universes. See 1 Kings 8:27. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”

Note: Introduction of the concept of plural heavens—idea of diverse levels of heaven.

9. Unsearchable judgments and ways past finding out. See Rom 11:33. “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways.”

II. REFERENCE: (34.1) 2:1.2 - “‘There is but one God...’”

COMMENT

This entire paragraph consists of quotations.

1. There is but one God—the Infinite Father and faithful Creator. This is a composite reference:

1 Cor 8:6. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”

1 Pet 4:19. “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful creator.”

2. The Creator is the universal disposer, supreme soul, and primal mind.

This is a composite quotation from the Hindu sacred books. In the versions consulted, the passages read:

“He is the Creator, He is the Disposer.” Atharva Veda 13.4.3.12.20.

“The last source of every soul.” Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad, 3.9.1.10.

“Verily there is one Supreme Soul.” Bhagavata Purana, 11.18.32.

“The Primal Lord of Heaven.” Bhagavad Gita, 10.12.13.15.16.

“He is the cause of creation.” Vishnu Purana, 1.1.35.

“The great Controller makes no mistakes. He is resplendent in majesty and glory.” This quotation is derived from two sources:

A. “Great heaven makes no mistakes.” Shi King, 3.3.3.12.8-10.

B. “But the face of the Lord shall abide, resplendent with majesty and glory.” Koran 57:3.

“The Creator God is wholly devoid of fear and enmity. He is immortal, eternal, self-existent, divine, and bountiful.” This passage is from Sikhism: “There is but one God, whose name is true, the Creator, devoid of fear and enmity, immortal, unborn, self-existent, great, and bountiful.” Japji—Preamble.

“How pure and beautiful, how deep and unfathomable is the supernal Ancestor of all things.” This is from Taoism: “How pure and still is the Supreme Being! How deep and unfathomable is the supernal ancestor of all things.” Tao-Teh-King 4.2.1.

“The Infinite is most excellent in that he imparts himself to men. He is the beginning and the end, the Father of every good and perfect purpose.” This is also a quotation of double origin:

A. “It is only the Supreme that excels in imparting himself to men, and enabling them to achieve merit.” Tao-Teh-King 41.3.

B. This section is from Zoroastrianism. “As the beginning and the end, the Father of good purpose.” Yasna 31.8.

“With God all things are possible; the eternal Creator is the cause of causes.” This seems to be a double origin quotation:

A. Matt 19:26. “But with God all things are possible.”

B. A Hindu passage: “This universe has sprung from the Lord. In him it is established. He is the cause of creation.” Vishnu Purana 1.1.35.

Question: Do the midwayers have a single book of composite origin? They do seem to have their own versions of the Old Testament and New Testament.

III. REFERENCE: (34.2) 2:1.3 - “Notwithstanding the infinity...”

COMMENT

1. The eternal and infinite God is self-conscious of his perfection and power.

2. God is the only person in the universe (aside from his divine co-

IV. REFERENCE: (34.3) 2:1.4 - “The Father constantly...”

COMMENT

1. God perfectly regulates the differential of his self-distribution.

2. God is self-conscious of his infinity.

3. God is not a cosmic accident; neither is he an experimenter.

4. Subordinate Deities may adventure and experiment, but the Father pursues an eternal purpose and knows the end from the beginning.

V. REFERENCE: (34.4) 2:1.5 - “No thing is new to God...”

COMMENT

1. There is nothing new to God—he is never surprised.

2. “He inhabits the circle of eternity.”

Note: A circle is about the only concept of eternity that the human mind could even begin to comprehend.

While this statement is not in quotes, it suggests a number of scriptures, such as:

Isa 40:22. “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth.”

Job 22:14. “Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see and he walks on the vault of heaven.”

3. He is without beginning or end of days. While this is not quoted, it suggests Isa 46:10. “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”

The statement “without beginning or end of days” is found in Heb 7:3. “Has neither beginning of days nor end of life.” It is spoken of Melchizedek.

4. He is the great and only I AM.

Note: In Paper 3 the I AM concept is fully presented as a philosophic attempt to help the finite mind comprehend some of the transactions of infinity and eternity.

VI. REFERENCE: (34.5) 2:1.6 - “The Universal Father...”

COMMENT

It is the infinity of God that prevents direct personal communication with finite beings—except through the Thought Adjusters.

VII. REFERENCE: (34.6) 2:1.7 - “And all this necessitates...”

COMMENT

The infinity of God necessitates making special arrangements for communicating with his creatures:

1. The Paradise Sons—who often bestow themselves in the likeness of the creatures themselves.

2. The ministering personalities of the Infinite Spirit—and the daughters of the Infinite Spirit.

3. The Thought Adjusters.

Note: A child may not be God-conscious when the Adjuster comes, upon the first moral decision, but the potential is there.

VIII. REFERENCE: (35.1) 2:1.8 - “In these ways...”

COMMENT

1. And in many other ways does God attenuate his infinity in order that he may draw near his universe children.

Definition of attenuate: “To lessen the amount, force, or value; to make less complex, to weaken.”

2. Through personalities which are less and less absolute, God draws nearer and nearer his children of the far-flung universes.

IX. REFERENCE: (35.2) 2:1.9 - “All this he has done...”

COMMENT

1. God’s universal activities in no way detract from his infinity, eternity, or primacy.

Note: This is a relationship in reality with which we are not familiar as concerns material things. But parents do know that they may go on loving (without restraint) successive children without any consciousness of depleting their parental love—not even to lessen it.

2. And all these things are true—even though mortal minds may fail of comprehension.

X. REFERENCE: (35.3) 2:1.10 - “Because the First Father...”

COMMENT

1. The infinite plans and eternal purposes of the First Father are beyond our finite grasp.

Compare Eph 3:10,11. (King James Version) “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

2. While we only glimpse the Father’s purpose, we know that his infinity lovingly embraces all of our finity.

XI. REFERENCE: (35.4) 2:1.11 - “Divinity and eternity...”

COMMENT

1. Divinity and eternity God shares with many, but infinity only with his Trinity associates.

2. Infinity of personality must embrace all finitude of personality; hence the saying, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Direct quotation from Paul at Athens—see Acts 17:28.)

3. The Thought Adjuster is a part of infinity.

2. THE FATHER’S ETERNAL PERFECTION

I. REFERENCE: (35.5) 2:2.1 - “Even your olden prophets...”

COMMENT

1. The use of the word “circular” in describing the nature of God gives us something we can visualize—no beginning and no end—a symbol of eternity.

2. God inhabits the present moment. “Present moment” is an excellent symbol. There is no past or future to God.

3. The life of the Father is eternal life. This seems to be John 5:26. “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.”

4. It is the Father who gives life to all. See Acts 17:25. “Since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.”

5. The integrity of God is changeless. See Mal 3:6. “For I the Lord do not change.”

6. He is the Father of lights and in him there is no variableness or shadow of turning. This sounds like Jas 1:17. “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

7. He declares the end from the beginning. His counsel stands while he executes his eternal purpose.

Two texts are involved:

A. Isa 46:10. “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”

B. Eph 3:11. “This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

8. Thus are the plans and purposes of God eternal, perfect, and forever changeless.

II. REFERENCE: (35.6) 2:2.2 - “There is finality...”

COMMENT

1. There is finality in what the Father does—it abides. See Eccl 3:14. “Whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.”

2. The Father repents of nothing, and a thousand years to him are but as yesterday. Ps 90:4. “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.”

3. Mortal man can never understand the perfection of divinity and the magnitude of eternity.

III. REFERENCE: (36.1) 2:2.3 - “The reactions of...”

COMMENT

1. The reactions of a changeless God may seem to vary as the result of cosmic changes, but this is only apparent.

2. Underneath the superficial, there functions the changeless purpose of the eternal God.

IV. REFERENCE: (36.2) 2:2.4 - “Out in the universes...”

COMMENT

Perfection is absolute on Paradise, but relative in the evolutionary universes. While varying perfection, the Trinity does not attenuate it.

V. REFERENCE: (36.3) 2:2.5 - “God’s primal perfection...”

COMMENT

1. There is nothing assumed about God. He is final, complete, and perfect. There is nothing lacking in the divine nature.

2. The whole scheme of existence seems centered in the plan of elevating will creatures to the heights of sharing God’s perfection.

3. God is neither self-centered nor self-contained. He bestows himself on all self-conscious creatures.

DISCUSSION: Man is self-conscious, animals are not. The superanimal traits of men:

1. Self-consciousness.

2. Sense of humor. (Retroactive and prophetic memory)

3. Imitative ability. (Parrots and monkeys)

4. Ability to abstract. To learn new truth from truth already known. (Mind circuit)

5. Constitutive endowments. (Adjutant spirit of wisdom)

6. Worship. (Adjutant spirit of worship)

7. Personality. WILL.

8. Thought Adjuster, Spirit of Truth, etc.

VI. REFERENCE: (36.4) 2:2.6 - “God is eternally...”

COMMENT

1. God cannot know imperfection as a personal experience, but he does share the consciousness of imperfection as it is experienced by his finite children.

2. Through the divine presence the Father participates in man’s evolutionary experience.

VII. REFERENCE: (36.5) 2:2.7 - “Human limitations...”

COMMENT

Evil is not a part of the divine nature, but man’s experience with evil is certainly a part of God’s experience with and in all of his finite will creatures.

3. JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

I. REFERENCE: (36.6) 2:3.1 - “God is righteous...”

COMMENT

1. This first quote is Ps 145:17. “The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.”

2. The next is Ezek 14:23. “‘And you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord God.’”

3. The third text is Ps 19:9. “The ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.”

4. The last quote is from 2 Chron 19:7. “‘For there is no perversion of justice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or taking bribes.’”

II. REFERENCE: (36.7) 2:3.2 - “How futile to make...”

COMMENT

1. How foolish to expect God to violate his own laws; to try to escape the results of violating natural laws or the divine mandates. See Gal 6:7. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

2. But all justice may be tempered with mercy. Wisdom is the arbiter between justice and mercy. Discuss: Prayer—intercession—mediators—sacrifice.

Note: Cosmic bookkeeping is not mechanized. It is both merciful and WISE.

3. The greatest punishment for wrong-doing is loss of personal existence. See Obad 1-16. “They shall drink and stagger, and shall be as though they had not been.”

4. Deliberate sin destroys personality survival values. Note:

A. Man is created in the local universe.

B. Endowed from Paradise.

C. Extinguished from the superuniverse.

5. HELL is simply ignored in The Urantia Book.

6. Sin is really cosmic suicide.

A. Choosing not to ascend.

B. Sin-identification.

7. Factual disappearance of personality is always delayed until justice is fully ordained. The records are kept straight.

III. REFERENCE: (37.1) 2:3.3 - “Cessation of existence...”

COMMENT

1. Cessation of existence is usually decreed at dispensational adjudications. See Dan 7:9,10. “Thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat;...the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.”

2. What technique is employed to execute the extinction mandate?

A. Executioners of the conciliating commissions?

B. Does expulsion from the personality circuit disrupt individuality?

C. Does withdrawal of mercy collapse the cosmic unreality?

D. Is the liquidation effected by the Supreme Being’s seizure of all surviving realities?

3. We are indicted on the sphere of nativity, convicted in the local universe, confirmed and executed by the superuniverse.

IV. REFERENCE: (37.2) 2:3.4 - “When this sentence...”

COMMENT

1. The sin-identified soul becomes as though it had not been. Note: The penalty—punishment for sin—is eternal death, not eternal fire—hell.

2. The wages of sin is death—oblivion—there is no resurrection from such a death.

3. Reality factors of a “lost soul” go back to the cosmic potential whence they emerged. Reality is conserved, but sin is not a cosmic reality.

4. Personality and the Adjuster survive, but forever apart from the former individual of temporary association.

5. The shadowy mortal being is dissolved and resolved into its cosmic potentials by the transformations of time and the metamorphoses of space.

6. The nonsurviving mortal suffers annihilation—all experiential spirit values survive in the continuing Adjuster.

V. REFERENCE: (37.3) 2:3.5 - “In any universe contest...”

COMMENT

1. In a universe contest between levels of reality, the higher personality will triumph over the lower.

2. Divinity equals reality. The more divine you are, the more real you are.

3. Undiluted evil and willful sin are automatically suicidal.

4. Such unrealities exist only because of mercy—tolerance pending the justice-determining mechanisms of the tribunals of righteous adjudication.

VI. REFERENCE: (37.4) 2:3.6 - “The rule of...”

COMMENT

1. Creator Sons create, foster, rehabilitate, and lovingly promote the Paradise ascension of their mortal children.

2. When these Creator Sons fail to effect survival of their children, the final decrees of dissolution are executed by the forces of the Ancients of Days.

DISCUSSION OF JUSTICE

1. Divine justice is a Trinity function. “Justice is inherent in the universal sovereignty of the Paradise Trinity.” (114.3) 10:6.2

2. Trinity judges.

“The Ancients of Days and their Trinity-origin associates mete out the just judgment of supreme fairness to the seven superuniverses.” (115.1) 10:6.17

3. Justice and mercy.

“That which mercy cannot rehabilitate justice will eventually annihilate.” (241.1) 21:5.7

4. Jesus discusses justice on p. 1468-9 of the Urantia Book: (1468.4) 133:1.1

5. Some Bible texts.

Ps 89:14. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne.”

Rev 19:1,2. “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just.”

Ps 119:75. “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right.”

1 Chron 16:14. “He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.”

Rom 11:33. “How unsearchable are his judgments.”

Prov 21:3. “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

4. THE DIVINE MERCY

I. REFERENCE: (38.1) 2:4.1 - “Mercy is simply justice...”

COMMENT

1. Mercy is justice modified by wisdom based on the knowledge of:

A. Natural weaknesses.

B. Environmental handicaps.

2. The scriptural references are:

Ps 86:15. “But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious.”

Rom 10:13. “For, ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Isa 55:7. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

Ps 103:17. “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.”

1 Chron 16:34. “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Jer 9:24 “‘I am the Lord who practice kindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord.’”

Lam 3:33. “For he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men.”

2 Cor 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

II. REFERENCE: (38.2) 2:4.2 - “God is inherently kind...”

COMMENT

1. Since God is inherently compassionate, it is never necessary to employ intermediaries to call forth his loving-kindness.

2. Our need insures the full flow of the Father’s mercy and saving grace.

3. It is easy for God to forgive because he knows all about us.

4. The better we know our neighbor, the easier it will be to forgive him —even love him.

III. REFERENCE: (38.3) 2:4.3 - “Only the discernment...”

COMMENT

1. Infinite wisdom enables a righteous God to minister justice and mercy at the same time and in any given universe situation.

2. The Father ministers final justice through triune groups:

A. Central universe: Paradise Trinity and its agents.

B. Superuniverses: Through the triune Ancients of Days.

C. Local universes: Referee trio of the conciliating commissions.

3. God ministers mercy through:

A. The Eternal Son and his Sons.

B. The vast host of the personalities of the Infinite Spirit.

C. The local universe Mother Spirit and her ministering children.

4. The Father’s justice-mercy ministry is a wisdom-blend representing the WILL and LOVE of God.

5. God is never torn by conflicting attitudes; he is not a victim of attitudinal antagonisms. (Only mortals are subject to schizophrenia.)

6. God’s all-knowingness directs his absolute free will in doing that which simultaneously satisfies the demands of his divine attributes and the infinite qualities of his eternal nature.

Note: God really has a free will. Man has only a relative and conditioned free will.

IV. REFERENCE: (38.4) 2:4.4 - “Mercy is the natural...”

COMMENT

1. Mercy is the natural offspring of goodness and love. A Creator Father cannot withhold mercy from his universe children.

2. Eternal justice and divine mercy combined constitute what man would call FAIRNESS.

V. REFERENCE: (38.5) 2:4.5 - “Divine mercy represents...”

COMMENT

1. Mercy is the fairness technique of adjustment between the universe levels of perfection and imperfection.

2. Mercy is Supreme justice adapted to the evolving finite; eternal righteousness modified for the welfare of the children of time.

3. Mercy is not a contravention of justice—simply an understanding interpretation of justice in the interests of all concerned.

4. Mercy is Paradise justice wisely and lovingly visited upon the creations of time and space in accordance with the sovereign free will of the Universal Father.

DISCUSSION OF MERCY

1. “Mercy is simply justice tempered by that wisdom which grows out of perfection of knowledge and the full recognition of the natural weaknesses and environmental handicaps of finite creatures.” (38.1) 2:4.1

2. “Divine mercy represents a fairness technique of adjustment between the universe levels of perfection and imperfection.” (38.5) 2:4.5

3. “Mercy is applied love.” (75.10) 6:3.5

4. “The Spirit is a mercy minister.” (92.7) 8:2.6

5. “They who would receive mercy must show mercy.” (1639.1) 146:2.6

6. Mercy as presented in the Bible:

Ps 145.9. “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.”

Eph 2:4. “God, who is rich in mercy.”

Hosea 2:19. “I will betroth you to me...in mercy.”

Matt 5:7. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

5. THE LOVE OF GOD

I. REFERENCE: (38.6) 2:5.1 - “‘God is love’...”

COMMENT

1. This first reference is from 1 John 4:16. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

2. God’s love is shown in the way he deals with the universe. See Matt 5:45. “So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

II. REFERENCE: (39.1) 2:5.2 - “It is wrong...”

COMMENT

1. The love of God is not influenced by sacrifices or intercessions. See John 16:27. “For the Father himself loves you.”

2. It is God’s love that sends the Thought Adjusters to indwell us.

3. God’s love is universal. Rev 22:17. “And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.”

4. God wants all to be saved. He is not willing that any should be lost.

1 Tim 2:4. “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”

III. REFERENCE: (39.2) 2:5.3 - “The Creators are...”

COMMENT

1. The Creator is the first to act to save the creature from the results of sin.

2. But even Fatherly affection must sometimes chasten us. See Heb 12:9,10. “We have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines for our good, that we may share his holiness.”

3. See Isa 63:9. “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them.”

4. God is an experiential participator in all of man’s finite experience.

Isa 43:24. “But you have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities.”

John 8:34. “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.’”

IV. REFERENCE: (39.3) 2:5.4 - “God is divinely kind...”

COMMENT

1. God is divinely kind to sinners. Isa 55:7. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

2. God destroys sin—blots it out. Isa 43:25. “‘I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.’”

3. God loves us as a Father loves his son. 1 John 3:1. “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God.”

V. REFERENCE: (39.4) 2:5.5 - “After all, the greatest evidence...”

COMMENT

1. The presence of our Thought Adjusters is the greatest evidence of the love of God.

2. Even though searching will not reveal God—you can know him in your own heart.

VI. REFERENCE: (39.5) 2:5.6 - “How unreasonable that...”

COMMENT

1. We can worship God in spite of the physical and spiritual gulf which separates us, because his spirit lives within us.

2. Paul taught the indwelling of the Father’s spirit:

1 Cor 3:16,17. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.”

1 Cor 6:19. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?”

2 Cor 6:16. “For we are the temple of the living God.”

3. The Adjuster comes down from God to guide us back to God.

VII. REFERENCE: (39.6) 2:5.7 - “I find it easy...”

COMMENT

This is a Divine Counselor telling about his worship attitude.

VIII. REFERENCE: (39.7) 2:5.8 - “When I observe...”

COMMENT

1. The Divine Counselor has great affection for the valiant Creator Sons.

2. It is easy to love those who love us.

3. The Counselor thinks he would supremely love God even if he were divested of his absoluteness.

IX. REFERENCE: (40.1) 2:5.9 - “The Father’s love...”

COMMENT

1. The more we experience of God and his love, the more we will love him.

2. God loves us as a father—not like a father.

X. REFERENCE: (40.2) 2:5.10 - “But the love of God...”

COMMENT

1. God’s love is wise and farseeing.

2. God is love—but love is not God.

3. The Adjuster individualizes the love of God for each human soul.

XI. REFERENCE: (40.3) 2:5.11 - “At times I am almost...”

COMMENT

1. The human word LOVE is wholly inadequate to portray God’s love.

2. We need fifty words to symbolize the range of affection extending from the lowest mortal love to the highest divine love.

3. If the revelators were not so averse to introducing new terms, I think they would have given us a new word for the divine affection—at least they do designate it Fatherly love.

XII. REFERENCE: (40.4) 2:5.12 - “When man loses sight...”

COMMENT

1. In losing sight of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good.

2. In God’s dealings with his creatures love is the dominant characteristic.

3. Humanism leaves man in the plight of being a cosmic orphan.

DISCUSSION OF LOVE

1. Restrained justice proves the love of God. p. 615-6 (615.6) 54:4.1

2. Love of God the Supreme.

A. Divine love humanized.

B. Human love divinitized.

C. Combined love “suprematized.”

3. We may admire beauty, but we love only persons. (31.3) 1:7.3

4. Jesus revealed a God of love—and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.

5. Planetary isolation does not interfere with God’s love. (1259.2) 114:7.17

6. God’s love is individualized for each creature.

7. God as a Father transcends God as a Judge. (41.4) 2:6.6

8. Jesus loves both as a Father and as a brother. (1573.4) 140:5.2

9. Jesus puts love in the place of fear. (1676.1) 149:6.7

10. Growth of love is unconscious. (1097.4) 100:3.7

11. The Revised Version uses the word “love” 26 times where the King James Version uses “charity.”

12. Each day learn to love one more person. (1098.3) 100:4.6

13. Love is man’s supreme motivation. (2096.5) 196:3.29

14. Some Bible references to God’s love:

1 John 4:16. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God.”

John 16:27. “The Father himself loves you.”

Jer 31:3. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

Ps 145:20. “The Lord preserves all who love him.”

1 John 4:19. “We love, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

6. THE GOODNESS OF GOD

I. REFERENCE: (40.5) 2:6.1 - “In the physical universe...”

COMMENT

1. Truth, beauty, and goodness.

A. Beauty in the physical cosmos.

B. Truth in the intellectual world.

C. Goodness only in spiritual experience.

2. God could be absolute in philosophy, but in religion he must be good.

3. Man could fear God’s greatness, but he loves God’s goodness.

4. God’s goodness is best revealed in the religious experience of his believing sons.

II. REFERENCE: (40.6) 2:6.2 - “Religion implies...”

COMMENT

1. Religion implies that the spiritual world is responsive to the needs of the human world.

2. Evolutionary religion may be ethical, but only revealed religion is moral.

3. Dictionary definitions:

A. Ethics: Relating to moral action, motive, or character. Ethical emotions. Moral feelings, duties, or conduct. Precepts of morality.

B. Morals: Moral principles, moral wisdom. Moral character, virtue, righteousness. Moral practice and action. Rectitude of life. Quality of right ideals or principles of human conduct.

4. Jesus upstepped the kingly morality of God to the higher morality of fatherly love.

III. REFERENCE: (41.1) 2:6.3 - “The ‘richness of the goodness...’”

COMMENT

This paragraph consists of quotations:

Rom 2:4. “Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

Jas 1:17. “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

Ps 73:1. “Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.”

Deut 33:27. “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Ps 103:8. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Note: They use the first part of this verse, but reject the second part dealing with anger.

Ex 34:6. King James Version. “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”

Ps 34:8. “O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Ps 111:4. “The Lord is gracious and merciful.”

Ps 68:20. “Our God is a God of salvation.”

Isa 61:1. “He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Note: Jesus used this text in his Nazareth sermon.

The second part of this quote is from Sikhism. Guri and Sarath, 38. It reads: “He is omnipotent, our own Lord, and our benefactor.”

Note: This is the first instance of the combination of a Bible passage with a quotation from another sacred book.

IV. REFERENCE: (41.2) 2:6.4 - “The concept of God...”

COMMENT

1. The king-Judge concept of God fostered national morality, but afforded small comfort for the individual.

2. The prophets proclaimed God as the father of Israel; Jesus revealed God as the father of the individual.

3. Again, God loves not like a father, but as a father.

4. Selflessness is the real nature of parental love.

V. REFERENCE: (41.3) 2:6.5 - “Righteousness implies that...”

COMMENT

1. Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe, but this does not mean that such laws are in conflict with his fatherly love.

2. Love gives and craves affection—fellowship.

3. The atonement doctrine is an assault upon both the unity of Deity and the free-willness of God.

VI. REFERENCE: (41.4) 2:6.6 - “The affectionate heavenly Father...”

COMMENT

1. God is not a divided personality. A mediator is not required to secure his favor.

2. God as a father transcends God as a judge.

VI. REFERENCE: (41.5) 2:6.7 - “God is never wrathful...”

COMMENT

1. God is not subject to anger, even though wisdom may restrain his love and justice condition his rejected mercy.

2. God’s love of righteousness implies equal hatred for sin.

3. God is consistent—the divine unity is perfect.

VIII. REFERENCE: (41.6) 2:6.8 - “God loves the sinner...”

COMMENT

1. God loves the sinner and hates the sin. This is a philosophical idea. Note: God is a transcendent personality. A person can only love or hate other persons. Sin is not a person.

2. God loves the sinner—a person. Toward sin God has no personal attitude. Sin is neither spiritually real nor personal.

3. Only the justice of Deity takes cognizance of the existence of sin. The love of God saves the sinner; the law of God destroys the sin.

4. Mortal man may identify himself with the spirit Adjuster or with sin. The result: survival or extinction.

5. Unreality cannot exist forever in a progressively real spiritual universe.

IX. REFERENCE: (42.1) 2:6.9 - “Facing the world...”

COMMENT

1. In dealing with personality, God is a loving Father. Throughout the spiritual world he is a personal love.

2. Love identifies the volitional will of God.

3. The goodness of God is an expression of the divine free-willness—love, mercy, patience, forgiveness.

7. DIVINE TRUTH AND BEAUTY

I. REFERENCE: (42.2) 2:7.1- “All finite knowledge...”

COMMENT

Finite knowledge is only relative. Information, even from high sources, is only relatively complete, locally accurate, and personally true.

II. REFERENCE: (42.3) 2:7.2 - “Physical facts are...”

COMMENT

1. Facts may be uniform, but truth is flexible. Evolving personalities can be certain only as regards their personal experience.

2. What may be true in one place may be only relatively true in another segment of creation.

III. REFERENCE: (42.4) 2:7.3 - “Divine truth, final truth...”

COMMENT

1. While final truth is uniform and universal, all revelations on the finite level are relative, partial, and limited by experience.

2. The eternally true decrees of the Deity are always adjusted to, and for, local situations on the finite level.

3. The comprehension of truth is segmental and limited by the capacity to perceive the infinite.

IV. REFERENCE: (42.5) 2:7.4 - “The false science...”

COMMENT

1. Materialism robs man of his divine parentage and his cosmic citizenship.

2. Partiality of truth (knowledge) may be both good and evil.

Discussion of good and evil.

A. The allegory of the tree of knowledge in Eden. See Gen 3:1-8.

B. Note the two accounts of creation: In Gen 2:4-25 is found the shorter and more primitive account.

C. In Gen 1 is found the later and more detailed story. This account creates “man in the image of God”—male and female. Nothing is said about the “rib.”

D. The story of the Sabbath is sandwiched in between these two narratives.

E. There is but one story of the “fall”—in Gen 3.

3. Truth is beautiful because it is replete (not complete) and consistent.

V. REFERENCE: (42.6) 2:7.5 - “Philosophers commit...”

COMMENT

1. Abstraction misleads the philosopher into trying to understand the whole by examination of a part.

2. Creation is the better understood by looking for the creative design and purpose.

VI. REFERENCE: (42.7) 2:7.6 - “Intellectual self-consciousness...”

COMMENT

1. Truth can be known by its philosophic consistency and more certainly by the response of the Spirit of Truth.

2. Truth contributes to happiness because it can be enjoyed—lived.

3. Error disappoints because it is not real.

4. After all—truth is best known by its spiritual flavor.

VII. REFERENCE: (42.8) 2:7.7 - “The eternal quest...”

COMMENT

1. The universe strives for unification:

A. The physical universe in Paradise.

B. The intellectual universe in the God of mind.

C. The spiritual universe in the Eternal Son.

2. Mortal man coheres in God the Father. Man’s Thought Adjuster unifies with the Father.

VIII. REFERENCE: (43.1) 2:7.8 - “The discernment of...”

COMMENT

1. Beauty is an integration of reality. Divine goodness is ultimate beauty.

2. The charm of man’s art consists in the harmony of its unity.

IX. REFERENCE: (43.2) 2:7.9 - “The great mistake...”

COMMENT

1. The mistake of Hebrew religion was the failure to associate the goodness of God with science and art.

2. The continuation of this has led modern man to turn away from concepts of isolated goodness.

3. Science, art, and philosophy could make religious morality more attractive to many modern minds.

X. REFERENCE: (43.3) 2:7.10 - “The religious challenge...”

COMMENT

1. The challenge is to those farsighted persons who will dare to construct a worthy philosophy of truth, beauty, and goodness.

2. Such a new vision of religion will attract the best in the human mind.

3. Truth beauty, and goodness become unified in God—who is love.

4. The author indicts our religion and challenges us to produce something better.

XI. REFERENCE: (43.4) 2:7.11 - “All truth...”

COMMENT

1. All truth is beautiful and good.

2. All beauty is true and good.

3. All goodness is true and beautiful.

4. Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness.

5. Such an experience represents the unification of energy systems, idea systems, and spirit systems.

XII. REFERENCE: (43.5) 2:7.12 - “Truth is coherent...”

COMMENT

1. The truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. Combined, they create a love which is conditioned by wisdom and characterized by loyalty.

2. The purpose of cosmic education is to overcome isolation by the reality of expanding experience.

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