Part IV - The Sermons Of Jesus

   
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Jesus

PART IV - THE SERMONS OF JESUS

WITH

SYLLABUS AND NEW TESTAMENT REFERENCES

  1. The First Sermon in the Synagogue
  2. Discourse on Reality
  3. The Young Man Who Was Afraid
  4. Discourse on Time and Space
  5. Good and Evil
  6. Truth and Faith
  7. Counseling the Rich Man
  8. The Discourse on Science
  9. The Discourse on Mind
  10. Sovereignty—Divine and Human
  11. Political Sovereignty
  12. Law, Liberty, and Sovereignty
  13. The Capernaum Sermon
  14. Sermon on the Kingdom
  15. The Ordination SermonThe Sermon on the Mount
  16. The Evening of the Ordination
  17. Teaching out on the Lake
  18. The Concept of God
  19. Discourse on Assurance
  20. Lesson on the Family
  21. In Defense of the Gospel
  22. Lesson on Self-Mastery
  23. The Woman of Sychar
  24. The Discourse on Prayer
  25. Prayer, Thanksgiving, and Worship
  26. Evil, Sin, and Iniquity
  27. The Discourse on Job
  28. The “Fear of the Lord”
  29. What Must I Do to be Saved?
  30. The Nazareth Sermon
  31. The Epochal Sermon
  32. The Discourse on True Religion
  33. The Second Discourse on Religion
  34. Discussion of Temptation
  35. Peter’s Confession
  36. Talks with the Apostles
  37. Sermon on Forgiveness
  38. Instruction for Teachers and Believers
  39. Scriptural Authority
  40. The First Temple Talk
  41. Sermon on the Light of the World
  42. Discourse on the Water of Life
  43. Discourse on Spiritual Freedom
  44. The Rich Young Man and Others
  45. Farewell to the Seventy
  46. Story of the Good Samaritan
  47. Teaching in Solomon’s Porch
  48. Sermon on the Good Shepherd
  49. Trust and Spiritual Preparedness
  50. Dividing the Inheritance
  51. Talks to the Apostles on Wealth
  52. The Straight and Narrow Way
  53. Teaching about Accidents
  54. The Talk about Angels
  55. The Answer to Prayer
  56. Jesus’ Concept of the Kingdom
  57. Tuesday Morning in the Temple
  58. The Great Commandment
  59. The Inquiring Greeks
  60. The Last Temple Discourse
  61. The Destruction of Jerusalem
  62. Discourse on Sonship and Citizenship
  63. The Last Supper
  64. The New Commandment
  65. The Promised Helper
  66. Farewell Personal Admonitions
  67. The Last Group Prayer
  68. Last Hour before the Betrayal

PART IV - THE SERMONS OF JESUS

1. THE FIRST SERMON IN THE SYNAGOGUE

A. TIME: A.D. 9

B. PLACE: The Nazareth synagogue

C. OCCASION: Having attained the age of fifteen, Jesus was qualified to occupy the synagogue pulpit.

D. REFERENCES: (1391.5) 126:4.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. In this first public pronouncement Jesus sought to base his forthcoming mission on the teaching of the Old Testament prophets. He foreshadowed his life of teaching and healing—rather than that of the expected Jewish Messiah.

2. The Old Testament texts he used are found in:

Isa. 61:1-3

Amos 5:14,15

Isa 1:16,17

Micah 6:6-8

Isa 40:22,26,29

Isa 41:10,13

Isa 43:10,11

3. It seems likely that Jesus made comments on these texts, but such possible expositions are not recorded in the narrative.

4. These Old Testament texts forecast his gospel of the kingdom—merciful ministry to the captives of sin, sickness, and fear.

5. While Jesus did not preach a “social gospel,” he did advocate justice for the poor and the oppressed—the widow and the orphan.

6. This first sermon pointed to his later disregard of ceremonial dogmas and sacrificial bondage.

7. This address pointed out that God was a Creator-Father who loved and saved his individual children.

8. Even at this early age Jesus taught earnestly and sincerely—he was manly, decisive, and authoritative.

2. DISCOURSE ON REALITY

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: Alexandria

C. OCCASION: At the Alexandria Museum, Jesus had interpreted, for Ganid, a lecture by a Greek professor on the teachings of Plato. That evening, Jesus discoursed on “Reality” to Ganid. The following morning they had further discussion on the nature of “Evil.”

D. REFERENCES: (1433.6) 130:4.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Universe reality is derived from the Infinite. Finite reality is the repercussion of Paradise Pattern and the Universal Mind.

2. Causation, consciousness, and selfhood, in their eternal relatedness, constitute the reality of the Supreme. All things may change, except the Original Personality and the Absolute.

3. The highest level of the finite is to recognize the Universal Father and to know the Supreme.

4. Cosmic progression does not destroy the awareness of selfhood. Unending spiritual growth is dependent on the supreme desire to do the Father’s will.

5. One-eyed scientists or one-eyed spiritists cannot visualize true depth of universe reality.

6. Mindless causation cannot evolve the complex from the simple—the spiritual from the material.

7. Personality maintains identity in the presence of unlimited change—it is adaptable and progressive.

8. Misadaptation, divergence, and loss of one’s spirit pilot ends in cessation of existence.

9. The animal mind, lacking wisdom and worship, is conscious of only the objective universe.

10. Knowledge is a possession of the mind; truth an experience of the soul. Fact and truth synchronized activate wisdom.

11. Error and evil are inherent in the imperfection of the finite. Evil is not a universe reality. The possibility of making mistakes is inherent in the acquisition of wisdom.

12. Evil is a relativity concept. It is inherent in the incompleteness of the time-space revelation of God. It is the finite shadow cast by the cosmos as it obscures the eternal light of the Infinite.

13. Static concepts are dead—potentially evil. They are deficient in wisdom and devoid of truth.

3. THE YOUNG MAN WHO WAS AFRAID

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: Up in the mountains on the island of Crete

C. OCCASION: On the way to Rome they stopped off at Crete and after Jesus had explained to Ganid why he had not embarked upon the work of a public teacher, they had this experience with a downhearted youth.

D. REFERENCES: (1437.1) 130:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. This young man had lost his father when he was twelve. He was discouraged and downcast over his many troubles and had surrendered to an inferiority complex. He sought escape in the solitude of the mountains.

2. When Jesus’ first proffer of help failed to elicit a response, he made a second approach by asking the young man for direction as to the best route to Phenix. This was the psychology of giving help by asking for help.

3. The youth responded by marking out the trails on the ground and in his explanations found release from his “shut-in” emotional state.

4. Jesus thanked him, said good-bye, and suddenly turned—saying it would not be fair to take his help and not give something in return.

5. In this state of surprise, Jesus made a frontal attack. Said he: I know you want to be left alone, but in return for answering my questions I want to answer your questions regarding the goal of destiny you, in your heart, seek at this time.

6. When the boy protested that he had not asked for help, Jesus referred to his “longing looks” and troubled countenance, and pointed out to him the escape from the “sorrows of self” to the “joys of loving activities” for God and man.

7. The ice was broken—the boy kneeled at Jesus’ feet and begged for help.

8. Jesus poured in a rapid fire of manly courage, the morning salute of the rising sun, his strong body, and the futility of isolation.

9. He told him he could not run away from himself—and that great things could be done only where great things were waiting to be done.

10. He admonished him to be free from animal fear, depression, and defeat. He should be delivered from the fetters of fear by the power-presence of living faith—the all-dominating love of your fellows.

11. Jesus inspired him with the concept of “being born again” of victorious faith—deliverance from cringing fear and fleeing cowardice.

12 Fortune was the young man’s name, and he became a leader of the Crete Christians and a later associate of Titus.

 

4. DISCOURSE ON TIME AND SPACE

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: At Carthage—on the way to Rome

C. OCCASION: This was a discussion with a Persian Mithraic priest on immortality—time and eternity.

D. REFERENCES: (1439.1) 130:7.3

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Introduction: In answer to Ganid’s question on what can one do to make friends, Jesus said: Become interested in your fellows—love them. Do something for them—and quoted an old Jewish proverb: “A man who would have friends must show himself friendly.” (Prov 18:24)

2. Time is a flowing stream of temporal events—recognized and segregated. The universe of space is time-related when viewed from any position apart from motionless Paradise. The motions of time are revealed only as related to something which does not move.

3. Paradise and the Deities transcend both time and space. On our world personality is the only reality which can transcend the sequence of temporal events.

4. Animals do not perceive time as man does. We view time as a succession of events, but as we ascend we discern this procession of events in its wholeness—circular simultaneity displaces linear sequence of events.

5. There are seven concepts of space as conditioned by time, but these seven dimensions are only experienced in the ultimate cosmos.

6. Space is a reality and is partially transcended by mind. The seven space potentials are ultimate only on the absolute level.

7. The time-space concept enlarges as personality ascends the universe. On the morontia level the time-space concept is expanded both as to quality and quantity.

8. This enlargement of time-space conception finally attains the transcendental level of Deity likeness—the timeless and spaceless concepts of the Absolutes.

5. GOOD AND EVIL

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: At Rome

C. OCCASION: This talk followed the all-night discussion with Angamon on “True Values.”

D. REFERENCES: (1456.7) 132:1.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Good and evil are word symbols of relative levels of the comprehended universe.

2. Lazy and indolent souls may accept as standards current social usages and religious practices.

3. Survival souls accept the true values of the Thought Adjuster—the standard of personality survival.

4. Goodness and truth are relative and always evil-contrasted. This facilitates the making of those decisions which are essential to eternal survival.

5. The spiritually blind may, by following scientific and religious dogma, lose their spiritual liberty—become intellectual parrots and social automatons.

6. Goodness contributes to increasing self-realization and personality attainment—identification with the Adjuster—increased desire to do the Father’s will—find God and be more like him.

7. An experience is good when it—

Heightens appreciation of beauty.

Augments moral will.

Enhances truth.

Enlarges capacity to love and serve.

Exalts spiritual ideals.

Unifies our supreme motives with Adjuster plans.

8. Universe ascension increases goodness and diminishes evil, but error and evil are not fully transcended until we achieve final spirit levels.

9. Goodness is always a progressive personal experience and is correlated with truth and beauty. These positive truth-values are always contrasted with the negative shadows of potential evil.

10 Short of Paradise, goodness is more of a quest than a possession—more of a goal than an attainment. Even partial attainment quenches spiritual thirst.

11. The presence of good and evil validates the reality of man’s moral will which can identify and choose between them.

12. The perfected Paradise personality is so unified with positive truth, beauty, and goodness, that it casts no negative shadow of potential evil when exposed to the divine shining of the Deities.

13. On Paradise, goodness is no longer partial, contrastive, and comparative; it has become complete and replete—approaching Supreme perfection.

14. The possibility of evil (not the actuality) is necessary to moral choosing. A shadow is only relatively real. Potential evil is the decision stimulus requisite for moral choosing.

6. TRUTH AND FAITH

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: At Rome

C. OCCASION: Discussion with Nabon, a Greek Jew, a leader in the Mithraic cult.

D. REFERENCES: (1459.1) 132:3.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Truth is more than knowledge and can be defined only by living. Truth consorts with wisdom and spiritual realities.

2. Knowledge originates in science, wisdom in philosophy, truth in spiritual experience. Knowledge deals with facts, wisdom with relations, truth with reality values.

3. Man tends to crystallize science, formulate philosophy, and dogmatize truth—because he is mentally lazy—terribly afraid of the unknown and resistant to change.

4. Material mind and indwelling spirit discover truth. This truth-discovering soul survives because it wants to be God-like.

5. Truth and knowledge are in conflict only when knowledge is distorted by prejudice, fear, and dread of discovery and spiritual progress.

6. We possess truth only by faith. Our wisdom, ethics, and ideals never rise higher than our faith. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination.

7. Faith releases the superhuman potentials of survival which indwell man. Plants and animals survive by material transmission; man by identification with the divine spark which he incarnates.

8. The faith-activated soul of man survives because it has a universe function of finding God—becoming perfect and eternal.

9. Spiritual evolution is attended by increasing goodness and progressive diminution of the possibility of evil. The Thought Adjuster is the surety of progressive survival.

10. Survival progress means increased self-understanding, self-restraint, and augmented personal liberty.

11. Faith sustains man’s soul in the midst of finite confusion and prayer unifies the mind inspirations and soul urges of the faith-dominated mortal.

7. COUNSELING THE RICH MAN

A. TIME: A.D. 22

B. PLACE: Rome

C. OCCASION: A wealthy Roman citizen, belonging to the Stoics, seeks Jesus’ counsel on the management and distribution of his wealth.

D. SYLLABUS:

This discussion is well epitomized in the Urantia Book. See (1462.2) 132:5.1

8. THE DISCOURSE ON SCIENCE

A. TIME: A.D. 23

B. PLACE: Athens

C. OCCASION: One evening at the inn, the three listened to a three-hour dissertation on science by a Greek philosopher. Jesus’ comments are summarized in this presentation.

D. REFERENCES: (1476.3) 133:5.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Scientists can measure universe energy, but they cannot define it.

2. Science deals with energy, religion with values. Philosophy is a correlator.

3. Physical scientists are often afflicted with mathematical pride, statistical egotism, and spiritual blindness.

4. Mathematics and logic are valid in the material world, but are not wholly dependable when applied to life problems.

5. One man may shear a sheep in ten minutes, but ten men cannot shear it in one minute.

6. Mathematics asserts that ten persons stand for ten times the value of one person. But the associative value represents the square of the number of persons concerned.

7. Quantity may be identified as fact—quality is estimated as value—an experience of the individual.

8. If both science and religion would be less dogmatic, philosophy could the better unify them.

9. Better understanding of the universe would show that it is both unified and friendly.

10. Thinking is unified by recognizing that quantitative fact and qualitative value have a common causation in the Paradise Father, and reveal the spiritual goal of personality achievement.

11. The three levels of matter, morontia, and spirit are unified in the Supreme.

12. Both invisible energy and visible matter are universe realities.

9. THE DISCOURSE ON MIND

A. TIME: A.D. 23

B. PLACE: At Cyprus

C. OCCASION: At Paphos, they assembled supplies for several weeks’ vacation in the near-by mountains. Presently, Ganid was taken sick with a high fever. It was during this convalescence that Ganid asked the question about man’s having a higher type of self-consciousness than animals. This discussion of mind was in answer to the lad’s question.

D. REFERENCES: (1479.1) 133:7.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Self-consciousness is a reality—and distinguishes man from the animal. It co-ordinates impersonal energy and spirit-conceiving mind and warrants the bestowal of the Thought Adjuster.

2. Ideas are more than a record of sensations—the self is more than a sum of one’s sensations. The unity of mind derives from the presence of the Adjuster—a part of absolute unity.

3. Animals are devoid of time self-consciousness. Their sensation memory is not meaningful and purposeful—it is devoid of reflective interpretation.

4. Self-conscious existence plus man’s capacity for spiritual experience constitutes man a potential and surviving son of the universe.

5. Man is not merely the sum of successive states of consciousness. Mind unity depends on the presence of a consciousness sorter and associater.

6. A mind consisting solely of consciousness of physical sensations could never attain spiritual levels of moral values and the unity essential to personality survival.

7. Mind has supermaterial qualities not wholly limited by time. Human minds vary not only because of heredity and environment, but also because of differential unification by the indwelling spirit.

8. The human mind suffers from the conflict of double allegiance—serving both good and evil. The supremely happy unified mind is dedicated to doing the will of the Father in heaven.

9. Unresolved conflicts destroy unity of mind. But survival of soul is not fostered by securing peace at any price—the surrender of spiritual ideals.

10. SOVEREIGNTY—DIVINE AND HUMAN

A. TIME: A.D. 24

B. PLACE: Lake Urmia—in the Caspian Sea region

C. OCCASION: On an island in Lake Urmia, Cymboyton maintained a temple of philosophy and religion. On his return from a caravan trip, Jesus stopped here and delivered a course of lectures.

D. REFERENCES: (1486.4) 134:4.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. The brotherhood of men is founded on the fatherhood of a loving God. The spiritual kingdom is founded on the fact of divine sovereignty.

2. Peace among religions depends on recognition of this divine sovereignty. Persecutions and intolerance grow out of one religion assuming superiority over all other religions.

3. Religious peace—brotherhood—derives from all religions equally recognizing the sovereignty of God.

4. Religious wars will persist unless all religions transfer sovereignty to God.

5. Religious unity (not uniformity) results from the transfer of supreme ecclesiastical authority to the sovereignty of God.

6. God’s indwelling spirit makes all men spiritually equal. We are all brethren.

7. When losing sight of the sovereignty of God, one religion will assert superiority over all other religions, thus jeopardizing peace on earth and good will among men. The net result, religious conflicts and wars.

8. The concept of equality never brings peace except in the presence of the mutual recognition of the supersovereignty of God.

9. The Urmia religionists lived together in peace because they had surrendered all their ideas of religious sovereignty—God was their sovereign.

10. Lasting religious peace will come on Urantia only when all religions surrender their notions of divine favor, “chosen people,” and superiority to the sovereignty of God the Father.

11. POLITICAL SOVEREIGNTY

A. TIME: A.D. 24

B. PLACE: Urmia

C. OCCASION: Abstract of the Urmia lectures dealing with political sovereignty

D. REFERENCES: (1487.8) 134:5.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus’ discussions of political sovereignty are difficult of presentation owing to the vast changes in nation life during nineteen hundred years of political evolution.

2. War on Urantia will never end so long as nations cling to the illusive notions of unlimited national sovereignty.

3. There are only two levels of actual sovereignty—the free will of the individual and the collective sovereignty of all mankind.

4. As spiritual sovereignty overrides all spiritual loyalties, so the Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men.

5. There is no “chosen people.” The rule of the Most Highs is for the greatest good to the greatest number for the greatest length of time.

6. The growth of political power creates increasing problems at all stages between the family group and the government of all mankind.

7. Minor wars are lessened as sovereignty passes from smaller to larger groups. But as nations become larger and larger the danger of greater wars is increased.

8. A few strong and powerful nations predispose to world wars. Group loyalties are hard to change as they range from the family to the government of all mankind

9. Political sovereignty is created in larger groups by the surrender of self-determination on the part of smaller groups.

10. The transfer of sovereignty from the smaller to the larger groups progressed until the end of World War One—then a retrogression occurred.

11. Urantia will not enjoy lasting peace until so-called sovereign nations surrender their sovereignty into the hands of mankind government.

12. Internationalism—”Leagues of Nations”—will not bring permanent peace—they will lessen minor wars, but not world wars.

13. You cannot prevent powerful nations going to war as long as they are infected by the delusional virus of national sovereignty.

14. An international police force can prevent minor wars, but will not prevent major conflicts between great military powers.

15. Decrease in the number of great military powers increases the need for the government of all mankind in order to insure global peace.

16. Final peace will not come to Urantia until the so-called sovereign nations surrender their power to make war into the hands of mankind government.

17. When mankind government controls the world’s land, air, and naval forces —then peace on earth and good will among men will prevail.

18. The forty-eight states of the American Federal Union are cited as an illustration of the organization of world government

19. Sometime, in similar fashion, the nations of earth will surrender their sovereignty into the hands of the government of the brotherhood of man.

20. Short of the sovereignty of mankind government, all other sovereignties are relative in value, intermediate in meaning, and subordinate in status.

21. With advancing science, wars are becoming increasingly suicidal—how long will it take to end it all in the government of the brotherhood of man?

12. LAW, LIBERTY, AND SOVEREIGNTY

A. TIME: A.D. 24

B. PLACE: Urmia

C. OCCASION: Data derived from the Urmia lectures

D. REFERENCES: (1490.4) 134:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Since all men crave liberty, laws and regulations must be provided to guarantee mutual freedom—if one man is absolutely free, another must be absolute slave.

2. Religion potentializes the brotherhood of man, but it requires the LAW of mankind government to actualize it.

3. There will be wars and rumors of wars just as long as nations cling to their unjustly held sovereignty. (Illustration: the component groups of the United Kingdom)

4. The United Nations can prevent small wars, but global conflicts will persist until the establishment of the world government.

5. Again, the polyglot 48 American states are used as an illustration of the feasibility of mankind government.

6. It is not a question of armament or disarmament—it is the problem of international law based on global government.

7. War is a symptom, the disease is the virus of national sovereignty. After all, the nations do not have real sovereignty.

8. Local affairs should be handled by local governments; national affairs by national governments; international affairs by global government.

9. World peace cannot be maintained by treaties, alliances, or balance of power—only by world law.

10. Individual liberty will be enhanced by world government. There will be less of taxation, regulation, etc.

11. Ending the fallacy of self-determination will facilitate world law and global peace with one language and the hope of one religion.

12. Collective security will never afford peace until the collectivity includes all mankind.

13. Only by representative mankind government can we realize peace on earth and good will among men.

13. THE CAPERNAUM SERMON

A. TIME: March 2, A.D. 26

B. PLACE: The Capernaum synagogue

C. OCCASION: This was Jesus’ first public appearance following his baptism. It was after the choosing of his first apostles and after the wedding at Cana. This was the tarrying time in Galilee. It was an attempt to connect his forthcoming mission with the Hebrew Scriptures.

D. REFERENCES: (1532.3) 137:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Most of Jesus’ sermons were relatively short. In this sermon, the text was longer than the discourse.

2. This Scripture is found in: Isa 66:1-2, 5-8, 12-14

3. He ended his remarks with one exhortation to:

  1. Be patient.
  2. Tarry with me.
  3. Learn the Father’s will.

4. That afternoon Jesus took his apostles, together with his brothers James and Jude, out in a boat. They anchored offshore, and he talked to them about the coming kingdom.

5. He told them to keep at their regular duties until “the hour of the kingdom comes.” And he set them an example by going back to work at the boat shop.

6. He arranged for three hours of study and discussion every evening and admonished them to keep quiet about the kingdom.

7. Jesus told them the kingdom was a matter of “heart changes” and that it would not come with noise and glamor.

8. While he promised great joy in the service of the kingdom, he warned of trouble, confusion, and frustrations.

9. He told them the people would demand “wonder-working” and that they would be slow to recognize the revelation of his Father’s love as the credentials of his mission.

10. That evening, by the water’s edge, Jesus prayed one of his first public prayers. It was short and had to do with their unity—in spite of their doubts.

14. SERMON ON THE KINGDOM

A. TIME: June 22, A.D. 26

B. PLACE: The Capernaum synagogue

C. OCCASION: This was his second discourse in the synagogue—and his first pretentious sermon. It was delivered just before the launching of the first preaching tour.

D. REFERENCES: (1535.7) 137:8.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. During the tarrying time in Galilee, Jesus taught his associates concerning their attitude toward the various religions and political parties. He said: “We are seeking to win all of them, but we are not of any of them.”

2. The text of this sermon is found in Isa 33:22; Ps 103:4

3. After reading his texts, Jesus said: “I have come to proclaim the establishment of the Father’s kingdom.”

4. God is no respecter of persons, therefore, the kingdom is open to ALL.

5. The Father’s spirit combined with Jesus’ spirit establishes us in the kingdom of spiritual understanding and divine righteousness.

6. Said Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world.” Thus, early, did he disavow all association with both political and ecclesiastical forces.

7. We enter the kingdom by moral decisions and spiritual victories. We gain joy, righteousness, and eternal life.

8. The faith that gains admission to the kingdom is like the trusting dependence of a little child. If you enter the kingdom you gain all else that is needful.

9. He warned against false concepts of a visible and material kingdom. He defined the kingdom as “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

10. As John baptized for repentance, in entering the kingdom you are baptized with the Spirit.

11. If you would be great in the kingdom, you must become server of all. And his life was an example of just such devotion.

12. He compared the kingdom to a growing seed—there is an interval between the planting and the ripening of righteousness and salvation.

13. The kingdom is not a reign of power and plenty—meat and drink. It has to do with perfection of service in doing the Father’s will.

14. He preached the glad tidings of the kingdom—divine rest, spiritual progress, and eternal life.

15. The kingdom is an everlasting dominion—it has nothing to do with political conflicts. Its citizens ascend to the Father on Paradise.

16. Said Jesus: “I have not come to call the would-be righteous but sinners and all who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of divine perfection.”

17. Jesus proclaimed faith as the price of kingdom entrance. If you believe that the Infinite God loves you—you are in the kingdom.

15. THE ORDINATION SERMON

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

A. TIME: Sunday, January 12, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: A highland, north of Capernaum

C. OCCASION: This was the ordination sermon, delivered to the twelve just after their formal ordination.

D. REFERENCES: (1570.2) 140:3.1 (Matt 5,6,7; Luke 6:20-49)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Make one thing clear: The Sermon on the Mount is the ordination sermon. It is the credo of the twelve apostles—not the gospel of the kingdom.

2. He addressed the twelve as “ambassadors of my Father’s kingdom”—as “a class of men separate and distinct from all other men on earth.”

3. He called them “enlightened citizens of another and heavenly country among the ignorant creatures of this dark world.”

4. He told them they should not live as they had before this hour, but “as those who have tasted the glories of a better life and have been sent back to earth as ambassadors of the Sovereign of that new and better world.”

5. Said Jesus: “Of the teacher more is expected than of the pupil.” Of the citizens of the heavenly kingdom more is required than of the earthly citizens.

6. Jesus warned his apostles that some parts of his ordination charge might seem to be hard, but that such mandates were justified by the fact that they were under obligation to reflect his ideals of mortal living.

7. The gist of his charge was: I send you forth to—

  1. Proclaim liberty to spiritual captives.
  2. Proclaim joy to those in the bondage of fear.
  3. Heal the sick.

8. Jesus summed up the religious philosophy of the twelve apostolic ambassadors of the heavenly kingdom in the ten beatitudes, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.

9. The beatitudes:

  1. Happy are the poor in spirit, the humble, for theirs are the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
  3. Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

After giving them these four beatitudes he said: “...speak to my children these further words of spiritual comfort,” and added six more admonitions.

  1. Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  2. Happy are they who weep, for they shall receive the spirit of rejoicing.
  3. Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  4. Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
  5. Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  6. Happy are you when men shall revile you—and say all manner of evil against you falsely—great is your reward in heaven.

 

10 Then Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth.” Then he reminded them of the uselessness of salt which had lost its savor.

11. Next he said: “You are the light of the world.” Then followed the lesson about the “city set on a hill” and the “candle put under the bushel.”

12. Then comes one of his greatest admonitions: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

13. Said Jesus: “I am sending you out into the world to represent me and to act as ambassadors of my Father’s kingdom.” And then he admonished them:

  1. Go forth to proclaim the glad tidings.
  2. b Put your trust in the heavenly Father.
  3. Do not forcibly resist injustice.
  4. Do not trust the arm of flesh.
  5. If your neighbor smites you, turn the other cheek.
  6. Suffer injustice rather than go to law.
  7. Minister to all who are in distress and need.
  8. Love your enemies.
  9. Do good to those who hate you.
  10. Bless those who curse you.
  11. Pray for those who despitefully use you.

14. And in summing up these admonitions Jesus said: “And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them.” This is the super-Golden Rule—the apostles’ Golden Rule as distinguished from the disciples’.

15. Next, he tells about the sunshine and rain coming to the evil as well as the good and exhorts them to show forth the mercy of God.

16. Now he sets forth the goal of the Paradise ascent—”...in the eternal future of the kingdom you shall be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

17. They were to save men—not judge them. Then the warning about plucking the mote out of your brother’s eye, while overlooking the beam in your own.

18. He admonished them: “Discern the truth clearly; live the righteous life fearlessly.”

19. Next, he talks about the folly of the blind leading the blind and reminded them that the business of the kingdom requires just judgment and keen wisdom.

20. Then comes the wise saying, “Present not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine...”

21. He warned them against false prophets coming in sheep’s clothing. “By their fruits you shall know them.”

22. The motive determines entrance into the kingdom of heaven; God looks at the sincere intentions of the heart.

23. Jesus concludes this ordination charge by reference to the great judgment day—and the separation of the loyal sheep from the hypocritical goats.

24. The apostles had never heard Jesus talk like this. He spoke to them "as one having supreme authority."

16. THE EVENING OF THE ORDINATION

A. TIME: Jan. 12, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: The Zebedee home at Bethsaida

C. OCCASION: This is the discussion with the twelve during the evening of their ordination day. After supper, Jesus walked on the beach and the apostles talked among themselves. After the twins had built a fire in the garden, Andrew went out to look for Jesus. Finding him, he said: “Master, my brethren are unable to comprehend what you have said about the kingdom.”

D. REFERENCES: (1576.1) 140:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Said Jesus: “You find it difficult to receive my message because you would build the new teaching directly upon the old...you must be reborn. You must start out afresh as little children...”

2. He said they had wrong ideas about many things, but should not think he had come to destroy the law and the prophets—he had come to fulfill.

3. He said their righteousness must consist in love, mercy, and truth and said the new commandments should be written in their hearts.

4. In answer to Peter’s question about the new commandments, Jesus discussed the motivation of sin—anger and vengeance in relation to “you must not kill.”

5. Concerning the seventh commandment, he referred to looking “upon a woman with intent to lust after her.” He said that God judges by the heart’s real desires.

6. At this point James Zebedee brought up the question of divorce. Jesus said: “I have not come to legislate but to enlighten...not to reform the kingdoms of this world, but rather to establish the kingdom of heaven.” He was not to regulate government, commerce, or social behavior.

7. Jesus said his mission was solely to:

  1. Comfort minds.
  2. Liberate spirits.
  3. Save souls.

8. Jesus said the attitude toward divorce in the times of Moses was different from the practices in the days of the Garden of Eden.

9. Jesus then discussed the two viewpoints of mortal conduct—the human and the divine—the flesh and the spirit—time and eternity.

10. They erred in that they would interpret his message literally. They missed the spirit.

11. He told the twelve not to expect all believers to live up to the standard which had been set for them.

12. Then he told them he must provide a pattern of living not only for this world but also for other flocks.

13. Nathaniel asked about justice—an eye for an eye, etc. Said Jesus: “You shall return good for evil. My messengers must not strive with men, but be gentle toward all...mercy shall always determine your judgements and love your conduct.”

14. Jesus told them if they found the requirements of apostleship too hard, they could revert to discipleship. But Peter announced that they would continue as apostles.

15. Then said Jesus (in substance); If you would be apostles, then—

  1. Take up your responsibilities and follow me.
  2. Do your good deeds in secret.
  3. In giving alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does.
  4. When you pray—go by yourself and use no vain repetitions.
  5. Remember, God knows what you need before you ask him.
  6. Avoid fasting with a sad countenance.
  7. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, for where your treasures are, there will your hearts be also.

16. Then Thomas asked if they were to continue to have all things in common. Jesus replied saying that they were to continue as one understanding family, having but one master, without anxiety regarding their temporal needs.

17. This was when he said: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you.” Be not anxious for tomorrow. Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof.

18. Jesus told them it was time to retire, but Peter insisted on having a private talk with his Master. And then all the others (except the twins) followed Peter’s example. When Andrew asked if he should awaken the sleeping twins, Jesus said: “They do well—trouble them not.”

19. And when these personal sessions were finished, the night had passed; “the light of another day was dawning.”

17. TEACHING OUT ON THE LAKE

A. TIME: A.D. 27

B. PLACE: Teaching afternoon on the shore of Lake Galilee

C. OCCASION: This discussion occurred the week following the ordination. They had been engaged in several days of intensive study followed by a few days of recreation—fishing and visiting. Jesus had been telling them that his mission was to reveal the Father and make men faith-conscious of divine sonship.

During this week, Peter announced: “We are ready—let us now go forth to take the kingdom.” Jesus replied: “May your wisdom equal your zeal and your courage atone for your ignorance.”

During an afternoon, Jesus took Peter, James, and John out in a boat for a private discussion of the affairs of the kingdom.

D. REFERENCES: (1579.3) 140:8.1

E. SYLLABUS:

This conference is reported under five heads:

  1. Doing the Father’s will.
  2. Political attitude.
  3. Social attitude.
  4. Economic attitude.
  5. Personal religion.

1. Doing the Father’s will

  1. Jesus’ trusting to the overcare of the heavenly Father was not a blind and passive fatalism. He quoted approvingly, “He who will not work shall not eat.”
  2. b .His precepts about trusting God are not to be judged by the social or economic conditions of any age or on any world.
  3. He made clear the difference between the requirements of apostleship and discipleship. He did not forbid the exercise of prudence and foresight.
  4. He did not preach against forethought—but against anxiety and worry. He taught active and alert submission to God’s will.
  5. Answering questions about frugality and thrift he simply called attention to his life as carpenter, boat builder, and fisherman.
  6. They were not to regard the world as an enemy—the circumstances of life work with the children of God.
  7. It was difficult for him to explain his personal practice of nonresistance—refusal to combat evil, injustice, or injury. But he did not teach passive tolerance of wrongdoing.
  8. Civil governments have a right to employ force for the maintenance of social order and for the punishment of evildoers and criminals.
  9. He warned against retaliation—revenge—getting even. He deplored holding grudges. He assigned administration of justice to the civil government and the judgment of God.
  10. He summarized his instruction in these matters as:

    Love your enemies—remember the claims of brotherhood.

    Do not make the mistake of fighting evil with its own weapons.

    Have faith—confidence in the triumph of divine justice and eternal goodness.

2. Political Attitude

  1. He cautioned against becoming involved in the relations between the Jewish people and the Roman government—to avoid political snares. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.” (Matt 22:21)
  2. He would not be diverted from his mission of establishing a “new way of salvation.” But he was observant of all civil laws.
  3. He was concerned, in his teachings, with man’s personal spiritual life. He ignored civic, social, and economic realms.
  4. Jesus was not a political reformer, but he did show men the better way of life. Don’t identify his teachings with any political, social, or economic theory—any industrial system.

3. Social Attitude

  1. In answering the question, “Who is my neighbor,” Jesus expanded the neighborhood to include the whole world.
  2. Jesus was not a sociologist. He was interested in the individual—not the mass.
  3. He did teach mercy, sympathy, and compassion—these qualities were his very nature.

4. Economic Attitude

  1. Jesus was not an economic reformer. He worked, lived, and traded in the world as he found it. But he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth.
  2. He offered no solutions for economic injustice. While the twelve were not to hold property, he made it clear these restrictions were not to apply to others. He did not preach against wealth—only its abuse.
  3. Luke interpreted Jesus’ teachings according to his own ideas of social equality. Jesus never directed his followers to adopt a communal mode of life.

5. Personal Religion

  1. You can better understand Jesus’ teachings by his life. How he lived best reveals the divine character and loving personality of his Paradise Father.
  2. Jesus did not attack the teachings of the Hebrew prophets or the Greek moralists. He rather presented additional truth—”The voluntary conformity of man’s will to God’s will.”
  3. Jesus’ teachings have been perverted—he did not want to produce merely religious men—but all-round men who could function as he functioned for the good of men and the glory of God.
  4. We have had wrong ideas about the Master’s meekness and humility. His life was one of superb self-respect. He placed great value on sincerity—a pure heart.
  5. Fidelity and courage were the heart of his teachings. “Fear not” was his watchword. Endurance was the ideal of his character.
  6. His teachings constitute a religion of valor, courage, and heroism, and his apostles were rugged, virile, and manly fishermen.
  7. Jesus had little to say about vice and delinquency. He was a teacher of positive virtue—he avoided negative methods.

    He refused to advertise evil—he was not a reformer.

  8. His first denunciations were directed against pride, cruelty, oppression, and hypocrisy.

     

 

18. THE CONCEPT OF GOD

A. TIME: April, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: During the Passover at Jerusalem

C. OCCASION: The apostles had listened to Jesus discuss God’s wrath with a wealthy Jewish trader from Crete. This man, Jacob, had been brought by Andrew to see Jesus. Following this discussion (see Urantia Book, (1597.1) 142:2.1), the apostles asked many questions which brought forth this discourse on the “concept of God.”

D. REFERENCES: (1598.2) 142:3.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. After mildly upbraiding the apostles regarding their ignorance about the evolution of the God concept among the Jewish people, Jesus called attention to the following phases of the growth of the idea of God.

  1. Yahweh—god of the Sinai clans—proclaimed by Moses—the Lord God of Israel.
  2. The Most High—proclaimed by Melchizedek to Abraham.
  3. El Shaddai—the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven.
  4. Elohim—the trinity concept of Deity derived from the times of Adam.
  5. Supreme Yahweh—the enlarged Deity concept of Isaiah.
  6. The Father in Heaven—the new and completed concept of the Paradise Father.

2. The apostles were terribly shocked by this recital of the evolution of the God concept among the Jews. They were so bewildered they asked no questions.

3. Jesus continued by calling attention to the narrative in the days of Samuel that God tempted David to number the people, and then later on the Scriptures say that it was Satan who tempted David. (See 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chron 21:1)

4. Next Jesus called their attention to the two versions of the ten commandments—one found in Ex 34:14-27 and the other in Ex 20:2-17 He called the Moses version the more worthy and acceptable.

5. Then he pointed out that the reason for Sabbath keeping in the first law was deliverance from Egyptian bondage. In the Moses version it was resting on the seventh day after the creation of the world.

6. And then he pointed out how Isaiah had exalted these laws—negative commandments—into the great dual positive law—supreme love for God and loving your neighbour as you love yourself—the whole duty of man.

19. DISCOURSE ON ASSURANCE

A. TIME: A.D. 27

B. PLACE: The temple—during Passover week

C. OCCASION: This sermon was in answer to a question asked by a man from Damascus: “...how shall we know of a certainty that you are sent by God...”

D. REFERENCES: (1601.1) 142:5.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus said that his teachings should be judged by their fruits. If my message is genuine, then will the spirit confirm it in your hearts.

2. Concerning assurance of acceptance by the heavenly Father, Jesus referred to the security which a child has in the affections of a worthy and kindhearted human father. Such fathers do not torture their children with feelings of anxiety or fears of uncertainty.

3. If you receive God as your father, then you can know that you are his son. If you believe me—you believe God—and your heavenly citizenship is secure.

4. If you do the will of the Father in heaven you shall not fail to attain eternal life in the kingdom.

5. The Supreme Spirit shall bear witness with your spirits that you are the sons of God—that you have been born of the spirit.

6. And this is the victory that overcomes all uncertainty, even your faith.

7. And then he quoted from the prophet Isaiah: “When the spirit is poured upon us from on high then shall the work of righteousness become peace, quietness, and assurance forever.” 
(Isa 32:15-17)

8. And for all who believe this gospel, I am the surety for their reception into my Father’s kingdom.

9. You who believe this gospel are the sons of God—you have life everlasting. And the proof of all this is the fact that you love one another.

20. LESSON ON THE FAMILY

A. TIME: A.D. 27

B. PLACE: At Bethany

C. OCCASION: The Wednesday after a busy Passover week in Jerusalem, Jesus and the twelve were resting at Bethany. This discussion occupied the afternoon and evening, and was in response to a series of questions asked by Thomas.

D. REFERENCES: (1603.2) 142:7.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Thomas asked the following questions, introducing his remarks by reference to the ordination sermon, in which Jesus instructed them regarding many features of their personal living:

  1. What shall we teach the multitude?
  2. How are people to live after the kingdom more fully comes?
  3. Shall your disciples own slaves?
  4. Shall believers court poverty and shun property?
  5. Shall mercy alone prevail so that we shall have no more law and justice?

2. Jesus was living a unique life on earth and the twelve were required to share in many of the restrictions and obligations of his bestowal experience.

3. Jesus could simultaneously see into the very heart of God and the very depths of man’s soul.

4. The kingdom is an evolutionary experience—extending from Urantia to Paradise. (In this connection he intimated that he would sometime revisit this world.)

5. He said the kingdom idea was not the best way to property man’s relations to God, but that John had thus introduced their mission.

6. Jesus said the family idea was the better concept—fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man.

7. At some length he discoursed on various aspects of family relationship and mutual affection.

8. He explained how real brotherly affection would always lead to unselfish and loving social service.

9. Then Jesus launched into the discussion of the foundation of family life. He propounded seven fundamentals:

  1. Fact of existence.
  2. Security and pleasure.
  3. Education and training.
  4. Discipline and restraint.
  5. Companionship and loyalty.
  6. Love and mercy.
  7. Provision for the future.

10. After hours of discussion, Jesus explained that he was experiencing the fullness of sonship relation with his Father, and that this opened up a new way for all others to find the Father—to become perfect, even as the Father is perfect.

11. But Thomas asked still another question, saying that the Father does not always deal kindly with us. Many times we suffer and our prayers are not always answered.

12. Jesus replied: Thomas, how long will it take you to learn how to listen with the ear of the spirit? The Father is spiritual and the kingdom is spiritual. You are supposed to be his spiritual children.

13. Can you not separate spiritual realities from the material aspects of social, economic, and political problems of our times?

14. Cease to apply the spiritual teachings of the kingdom to the sordid affairs of slavery, poverty, houses, lands, and the problems of human equity and justice.

15. These temporal matters are the concern of the men of this world. You are the ambassadors of a spiritual kingdom.

16. Cannot I address you as adults of the spirit kingdom? Must I ever speak to you only as children? Will you never grow up?

17. In conclusion he said: “Nevertheless, I love you and will bear with you, even to the very end of our association in the flesh. And even then shall my spirit go before you into all the world.”

21. IN DEFENSE OF THE GOSPEL

A. TIME: August, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: One of the Greek cities—Archelais or Phasaelis

C. OCCASION: In preaching in these cities they encountered many objections on the part of Greek and Roman citizens. Said Philip: “Master, these Greeks and Romans make light of our message, saying that such teachings are fit for only weaklings and slaves...They affirm that we would convert all men into enfeebled specimens of passive nonresisters who would soon perish from the face of the earth. They like you, Master, and freely admit that your teaching is heavenly and ideal, but they will not take us seriously. ...And now, Master, what shall we say to these gentiles?”

When Jesus had heard similar objections presented by the other apostles, he delivered himself of this defense of the gospel.

D. REFERENCES: (1607.3) 143:1.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus declared: “I have come into this world to do the will of my Father and to reveal his loving character to all mankind. That...is my mission. And this one thing I will do regardless...”

2. Jesus said that divine love has its severe disciplines. A father’s love impels restraint for the universe acts of his thoughtless offspring. The child may not always understand the father’s motives of love.

3. Truth is a liberating revelation, but love is the supreme relationship. Notwithstanding man’s blunders, Jesus’ gospel will someday rule this world.

4. The goal of human progress is: Recognition of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

5. With considerable emotion, Jesus asked:

Who told you my gospel was intended only for slaves and weaklings?

Do you, my apostles, look like weaklings?

Did John look like a weakling?

Am I enslaved by fear?

6. True, the poor and oppressed, so long neglected, have the gospel, for God is no respecter of persons. The poor have been the first to accept the call to sonship with God.

7. This gospel is for all men—Jew and gentile, Greek and Roman,

8. Just because God delights in mercy, the service of the kingdom will not be one of monotonous ease. The Paradise ascent is the supreme adventure of time—the rugged achievement of eternity.

9. The service of the kingdom calls for courageous manhood. Many of you will die—not in the ecstasy of battle—but for the love of truth enshrined in your hearts.

10. You may be taunted for preaching a gospel of nonresistance. But you are the first of a long line of believers who will astonish mankind by their heroic devotion, courage, and bravery displayed in proclaiming the good news.

11. The courage of the flesh is the lowest type of bravery. Mind courage is better, but the highest type of courage is uncompromising loyalty to enlightened convictions of profound spiritual realities.

12. This sort of courage constitutes the heroism of the God-knowing men.

22. LESSON ON SELF-MASTERY

A. TIME: August, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: The Greek cities

C. OCCASION: During their sojourn in the Greek cities, one evening Andrew asked Jesus: “Master, are we to practice self-denial as John taught us, or are we to strive for the self-control of your teaching?”

D. REFERENCES: (1609.2) 143:2.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. It should be remembered that Jesus was a perfected specimen of human self-control. When threatened or reviled he never denounced his enemies.

2. John taught a religion of self-examination and self-denial. Jesus presented a religion of self-forgetfulness and self-control. He who rules his own self is greater than he who takes a city (see Prov 16:32)

3. Self-mastery is the measure of man’s moral nature and spiritual development. Under the old order you fasted and prayed; under the new, you believe and rejoice.

4. You are to become new creatures—old things are to pass away. Your mutual love will convince the world that you have passed from bondage to the liberty of life everlasting.

5. In the old order, you suppress, obey, and conform. In the new, you are spiritually transformed so as to joyously perform the perfect will of God.

6. Never forget: It is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that insures your becoming partakers of the divine nature.

7. The indwelling spirit endows us with the liberty of self-mastery in place of the old law of fear and self-bondage—the slavery of self-denial.

8. We credit the evil one with much that is derived from our own natural tendencies. He quoted Jer 17:9; “The human heart is deceitful above all things and sometimes even desperately wicked.” This self-deception leads to fears, lusts, malice, envy, and vengeful hatred.

9. Salvation is by the birth of the spirit—not by the deeds of the flesh. You are justified by faith and fellowshipped by grace.

10. But the man born of the spirit is always master of the self. Saving faith yields real peace with God—and advancing status in the divine service.

11. It is a privilege, rather than a duty, to cleanse ourselves from all evils of mind and body while we seek perfection in the divine love.

12. Our sonship is grounded in faith and born of trust. You are unmoved by fear and are free from doubt. It is the goodness of God that leads to true repentance. (See Rom 2:4)

13. The secret of self-mastery is your faith in the indwelling spirit. But even this faith is the gift of God. Thus you are no longer bondslaves but the liberated sons of God.

14. If you are born of the spirit, you are delivered from the bondage of self-denial and the watchcare of the flesh while you show forth in your lives the fruits of the spirit—the highest type of enjoyable and ennobling self-control.

15. And all this is the essence of the heights of terrestrial mortal attainment—true self-mastery.

 

23. THE WOMAN OF SYCHAR

A. TIME: A.D. 27

B. PLACE: In Samaria, at Jacob’s well, near the village of Sychar.

C. OCCASION: It was about six o’clock on this summer’s evening that the weary Jesus sat down by Jacob’s well. The twelve had gone into Sychar to get food and tents, for they were minded to tarry for a while in this vicinity.

D. REFERENCES: (1612.4) 143:5.1 (John 4:4-42)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. The water from Jacob’s well was better for drinking than that from the wells of Sychar. Nalda, a Samaritan woman of Sychar, coming out to draw water, encountered Jesus sitting by the well. Jesus said to her: “Give me a drink...”

2. Nalda was surprised that a Jewish man would thus speak to her and, misunderstanding his intent, became somewhat flirtatious.

3. Jesus said to Nalda: “I have indeed asked you for a drink, but if you could only understand, you would ask me for a draught of the living water.” “...whosoever drinks of the water of the living spirit shall never thirst.”

4. Then said Nalda: “Give me this water that I thirst not neither come all the way hither to draw.”

5. As Nalda beheld Jesus’ countenance, she realized that she had mistaken his friendliness for commonplace familiarity.

6. Jesus disillusioned Nalda when, looking into her eyes, he commanded: “Woman, go get your husband and bring him hither.”

7. The frightened woman, in her confusion, replied: “But, Sir, ...I have no husband.” Then Jesus revealed that he knew all about her associations with various men, adding: “Better it would be if you would cease to trifle with my words and seek for the living water which I have this day offered you.”

8. By this time Nalda was sobered and ashamed, saying: “My Lord,. I repent of my manner of speaking to you, for I perceive that you are a holy man or maybe a prophet.”

9. Then she did the commonplace thing of trying to dodge the direct issue of personal salvation by turning the discussion to theology and philosophy—should one worship on Mt. Gerizim or at Jerusalem?

10. Jesus perceived the ruse of her mind, but also knew that in her heart she really thirsted for the water of life. Therefore was he patienttelling her that the day was near when she would worship neither on Gerizim or at Jerusalem.

11. After stating the worship philosophy of Jew and gentile, Jesus said: “...the hour will soon come—even now is—when all sincere worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth...God is spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

12. And then he added: “Your salvation comes...by receiving into your own heart this living water which I am offering you even now.”

13. Nalda made one more effort to dodge personal response by talking about John the Baptist and his pronouncements regarding the coming of the Deliverer. And in answer to this, Jesus made the startling announcement: “I who speak to you am he.”

14. Nalda rushed back to Sychar, and presently returned with a large crowd. The apostles thought Jesus should eat before talking to the crowd, but as it was getting dark, he insisted on addressing them right then, saying, “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.”

15. Pointing to the folks from Sychar, Jesus said: “...the fields are already white for the harvest...One sows and another reaps...others have labored, and you are about to enter into their labor.” In this he was referring to the preaching of John the Baptist.

24. THE DISCOURSE ON PRAYER

A. TIME: September, A.D. 27

B. PLACE: At the Gilboa encampment. (Most of the time during this month was spent in answering the plea of the apostles—”Master, teach us how to pray.”)

C. OCCASION: John had taught his followers prayers, and Jesus’ followers were desirous that he teach them set prayers. Finally, in response to the request of Thomas, Jesus started these discussions on prayer.

D. REFERENCES: (1616.3) 143:7.1 (Luke 11:1-13)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. John’s prayer: “O Father, cleanse us from sin, show us your glory, reveal your love, and let your spirit sanctify our hearts forevermore, Amen!”

2. Said Jesus: “Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit; prayer should be the communion of sonship and the expression of fellowship.”

3. Concerning prayer, Jesus taught:

When indited by the spirit, prayer leads to spiritual progress.

It is spiritual communion leading to worship.

It reaches heavenward for the attainment of ideals.

Prayer is the breath of the soul.

4. Then he told the story of borrowing bread from the neighbor who had gone to bed. He used this story to teach persistence in prayer. (See Luke 11:5-10)

5. And then he added:

Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened.

6. Next, he told the story of the father and his son’s unwise requests—the loaf and the stone—the fish and the serpent—saying: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the spirit and many additional blessings to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13)

7. He concluded this part of the discussion by saying: “Men ought always to pray and not become discouraged.” (Luke 18:1)

8. Then he told the story of the wicked judge and the importunate widow. Concluded the judge: “Though I fear not God nor have regard for man, yet because this widow ceases not to trouble me, I will vindicate her lest she wear me out by her continual coming.” (Luke 18:1-8)

9. Said Jesus: I tell you these stories about persistence not to intimate that your petitions change God, but they do change your attitude and enlarge your soul’s capacity for spirit receptivity.

10. “Genuine faith will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress.”

11. When all was said and done, he consented to give them the prayer he had taught his family in Nazareth.

12. The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come; your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our bread for tomorrow;

Refresh our souls with the water of life.

And forgive us every one our debts

As we also have forgiven our debtors.

Save us in temptation, deliver us from evil,

And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.

13. Two lines were lost in the later copying of the Lord’s Prayer and in their place subsequently there was added “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forevermore.”

14. Jesus taught that effective prayer must be:

Unselfish—not alone for oneself.

Believing—according to faith.

Sincere—honest of heart.

Intelligent—according to light.

Trustful—submission to the Father’s will.

15. For several days, they continued to discuss prayer and worship, and the following summarizes these teachings:

True religion is a soul function, but organized religion is a socialization of worship.

Worship should alternate with periods of practical service.

Work and play should alternate.

Religion should be balanced by humor.

Philosophy should alternate with poetry.

Strenuous living should alternate with worship.

Feelings of insecurity should be antidoted by faith.

Prayer makes you less thinking, but more realizing.

Prayer does not increase knowledge, but expands insight

Worship grasps the better life and reflects it back onto the present existence.

Prayer is spiritually sustaining, but worship is divinely creative

Worship looks to the One for inspiration to serve the many.

Worship is the yardstick which measures spiritual progress.

Prayer is self-reminding—worship is self-forgetting.

Worship is effortless attention—restful spiritual exertion.

Worship identifies the part with the whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father.

Worship is the act of time striking step with eternity.

Worship is refreshing, creative, fraternal, and romantic communion with the Father.

16. In connection with these discussions, Jesus gave the apostles several prayers from other inhabited worlds. (See Urantia Book (1621.11) 144:5.1)

25. PRAYER, THANKSGIVING, AND WORSHIP

A. TIME: January, A.D. 28

B. PLACE: Jotapata

C. OCCASION: Early during the first preaching tour, at Jotapata, Nathaniel asked a question which led to this discussion of prayer and thanksgiving.

D. REFERENCES: (1638.1) 146:2.1

E. SYLLABUS:

This discourse on prayer, thanksgiving, and worship was delivered to the 24 apostles, and is summarized as follows:

1. Regard for iniquity gradually destroys the connection between man and his Maker.

2. Prayer which is inconsistent with the universe laws of mind, spirit, and matter is an abomination to God. Jesus quoted Zechariah 7:11-13, and then he quoted from Proverbs: “He who turns away his ear from hearing the divine law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” (Prov 28:9)

3. Experientially speaking, when you are willing to receptively hear God, then God hears you. When you forgive, God forgives you.

4. Paradise is not for the selfish. Salvation and survival can be had only by choosing. “There are mandates of justice which even love combined with mercy cannot effectively abrogate.” And then Jesus quoted Prov 1:24-28

5. They who would receive mercy must show mercy; judge not. Sincerity is the assurance that prayer will be heard. The wisdom of God determines the answer. Jesus quoted Prov 21:13

6. When you are wholly dedicated to doing the Father’s will, the answer to your prayers will be forthcoming. What the true son desires and the Father wills IS.

7. Prayer does not change the divine attitude, but it does change man. It is the motive of prayer that provides right of way to the divine ear.

8. Prayer may not be employed to avoid the delays of time or to transcend the handicaps of space. Prayer is not to aggrandize self or to gain advantage over others. Jesus quoted Ps 37:5; 102:17

9. Avoid praying too much for yourself—materialistic praying. Pray for the spiritual progress of your brethren—for the gifts of the spirit.

10. Don’t expect prayer for the sick to take the place of loving and skillful ministry. While praying for your loved ones, do not neglect to pray for your enemies.

11. While praying when in trouble, don’t neglect prayer when all goes well. Pray in secret—and always remember—not my will, but yours be done.

12. Pray for the extension of the kingdom. Then he quoted Ps 51:10; 19:13; 141:3 (The untamed tongue is referred to in Jas 3:8)

13. We can pray for wisdom—but knowledge and skill are gained by experience. Prayer enlarges spiritual capacity and reveals the Father’s will. Prayer must be wholehearted, steadfast, and earnest.

14. In praying, Jesus pointed out the uselessness of ornate, repetitious, eloquent phraseology, fasting, penance, and sacrifices. He exhorted to use prayer and thanksgiving as an approach to worship. He quoted Ps 92:1-4

15. Next Jesus told them to avoid anxiety about everyday needs. He said it was all right to spread their needs out before the Father. Then he quoted Ps 69:30,31

16. Jesus taught them, after prayer, to remain in silent receptivity for a time. Give the Father’s indwelling spirit a chance to speak. Worship makes you increasingly like the one who is worshipped—enables the finite to attain the Infinite.

17. The apostles were disconcerted by Jesus’ assent to many of the teaching of the Greeks. He warned them against prejudice and intolerance, saying: "Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals."

 

26. EVIL, SIN, AND INIQUITY

A. TIME: A.D. 28

B. PLACE: Bethsaida

C. OCCASION: This was one of the evening discourses during the five-months’ period of the training of the evangelists. This message was drawn out by Thomas who asked about being 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?”

D. REFERENCES: (1660.1) 148:4.2

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Said Jesus: “Do not make the mistake of confusing evil with the evil one,” who was guilty of deliberate rebellion against the rule of the Father and his Sons. Then he added: “But I have already vanquished these sinful rebels.”

2. EVIL is the unconscious or unintended transgression of divine law; it is a measure of the imperfectness of obedience to the Father’s will.

3. SIN is the conscious, knowing, and deliberate transgression of the divine law. Sin is the measure of unwillingness to be divinely led and spiritually directed.

4. INIQUITY is the willful, determined, and persistent transgression of the divine law; it is the measure of the continued rejection of the Father’s loving plan of personality survival and the Son’s merciful ministry of salvation.

5. By nature, man is subjected to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections are not sin. To be imperfect or partial is not sinful. Man may be subject to evil, but he is not a child of the evil one.

6. Evil is inherent in the natural order of this world, but sin is an attitude of conscious rebellion.

7. Said Jesus: Thomas, you are confused by the doctrines of the Greeks and the errors of the Persians. Mankind did not begin with a perfect Adam and retrogress to his present deplorable state. Remember that Cain got a wife in the land of Nod, and that the sons of God found wives among the daughters of men. (See Gen 4:16,17; 6:1,2)

8. Man requires the new birth because he tends to evil, but all of this does not detract from the fact that man is a son of God.

9. Potential evil in man does not imply that man is estranged from God—some sort of alien or stepchild—standing in need of legal adoption.

10. These wrong notions grow out of a misunderstanding of God and ignorance of man’s destiny. The Greeks teach man’s progressive deterioration—I teach man’s certain ascension to divine perfection.

11. And then Jesus quoted the following Scriptures:

“You are the children of the Lord your God.” (Deut 14:1)

“I will be his Father and he shall be my son.” (l Chron 7:13) (? ed.)

“I have chosen him to be my son—I will be his Father.” (1 Chron 28:6)

“Bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one who is called by my name, for I have created them for my glory.” (Isa 43:6,7)

“You are the sons of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10)

“They who have the spirit of God are indeed the sons of God.”

12. As there is a material part of the human father in the child, so there is a spiritual part of the heavenly Father in every faith son of the kingdom.

13. In continuing these discussions, Nathaniel asked: While I am beginning to understand why you do not practice indiscriminate healing, I do not understand why God permits so many of his children to suffer so many afflictions.

14. Said Jesus: You are perplexed because you do not understand the natural order of this world and how many times this has been upset by rebellious traitors. I have come to set things in order—but it will require ages to finish the task.

15. The presence of evil alone is sufficient test for the ascension of man—sin is not essential to survival.

16. The Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man afflicts himself by refusal to walk in the divine way. Affliction is potential in evil, but much of it is caused by sin and iniquity.

17. No matter how puzzling the affairs of this world—be assured that God does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing.

18. The handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin inevitable; the consequences of iniquity inexorable.

19. Do not blame God for the doings of your own choice; do not complain about those things which are a part of life on this world.

20. Intelligent efforts will change much on your world—and it is God’s will that you should make such changes for the better.

21 It is our mission to help men solve their spiritual problems, and thus qualify them the better to solve their manifold material problems. But do not ascribe to God everything you fail to understand.

22. Jesus ended this discussion by quoting Scripture:

“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as the father corrects the son in whom he takes delight.” (Prov 3:11,12)

“The Lord does not afflict willingly.” (Lam 3:33)

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now do I keep the law. Affliction was good for me that I might thereby learn the divine statutes.” (Ps 119:67-71)

“I know your sorrows. The eternal God is your refuge, while underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut 33:27)

“The Lord also is a refuge for the oppressed, a haven of rest in times of trouble.” (Ps 9:9)

“The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of affliction; the Lord will not forget the sick.” (Ps 41:3)

“As a father shows compassion for his children, so is the Lord compassionate to those who fear him. He knows your body; he remembers that you are dust.” (Ps 103:13,14)

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Isa 61:1)

“He is the hope of the poor, the strength of the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm and a shadow from the devastating heat.” (Isa 25:4)

“He gives power to the faint, and to them who have no might he increases strength.” (Isa 40:29)

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench.” (Isa 42:3)

“When you pass through the waters of affliction, I will be with you, and when the rivers of adversity overflow you, I will not forsake you.” (Isa 30:20)

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to comfort all who mourn.” (Isa 61:1)

“There is correction in suffering; affliction does not spring forth from the dust.” (Job 5:6)

 

27. THE DISCOURSE ON JOB

A. TIME: A.D. 28

B. PLACE: Bethsaida

C. OCCASION: This discussion on the book of job occurred the same evening as the discourse on evil, sin, and iniquity. It was presented as the answer to John, who asked why so many innocent people suffered from so many diseases and experienced so many afflictions.

D. REFERENCES: (1662.3) 148:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus referred to the book of Job as a parable—a masterpiece of Semitic literature.

2. According to Jewish philosophy, material prosperity was all-sufficient evidence of divine favor. And Job enjoyed all these temporal blessings.

3. But God loves the poor as well as the rich—he is no respecter of persons.

4. Transgression of law will eventually bring punishment, but all suffering is not caused by antecedent sin.

5. Although Job did not find comfort from the philosophy of his friends nor from his own theology, he did achieve victory by gaining a vision of God.

6. Job gained spiritual insight. He came to abhor himself and trust in God in spite of the erroneous advice of his many friends.

7. ELIPHAZ, the first of Job’s friends, reminded him of his own philosophy: Only the wicked suffer, not the righteous. Or, he added, maybe the Lord is chastising you for your own good.

8. BILDAD was even more depressing. God is not unjust—you and your children must be in error or you would not be thus afflicted. The Almighty destroys only the wicked.

9. Job’s reaction was one of despair—why was I ever born? Job craved a human God—one who could understand his plight.

10. Then Jesus explained that he had come to provide just such a human understanding of mortal affliction—just the comfort that Job craved.

11. ZOPHAR was no more comforting with his suggestion of the hidden purpose of affliction. Job could only exclaim; “Man, born of woman, is few of days and full of trouble.”

12. Then begins the second round of melancholy advice. Job takes consolation in the hope of a future life when these inequities will be rectified.

13. Faith wins over doubt in Job’s struggles and he exclaims: “My Vindicator lives!”

14. Job was altogether right when he challenged the doctrine that God afflicts children in order to punish their parents.

15. Job knows that God is righteous, but he longs for assurance of his personal character. It is our mission to make this revelation to man.

16. God speaks to man, not out of the whirlwind, but by the still, small voice, saying, “This is the way; walk therein.”

17. God dwells within you. He has become what you are that you may become what he is!

18. Then Jesus summed up his teaching:

The Father does not willingly afflict the children of men. Man suffers from:

The accidents of time.

The imperfections of evil.

An immature physical existence.

The inexorable consequences of sin.

The harvest of rebellion.

19. But man’s miseries are not a personal visitation of divine judgment. Man is not afflicted at the behest of the evil one, and man can do much to lessen his sufferings.

20. The book of Job shows how many wrong ideas about God even good men may entertain. And then note how the afflicted job found the God of comfort in spite of all such erroneous teaching.

28. THE “FEAR OF THE LORD”

A. TIME: A.D. 28

B. PLACE: Gamala

C. OCCASION: It was during the evening conference at Gamala that Philip asked Jesus: “Master, why is it that the Scriptures instruct us to ‘fear the Lord,’ while you would have us look to the Father...without fear?”

D. REFERENCES: (1675.2) 149:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. It was only through fear that early man could learn reverence. Jesus came to reveal the Father’s love and the Son’s affection.

2. Said Jesus: I would deliver you from the bondage of slavish fear in the service of a jealous and wrathful King-God. I would instruct you in the Father-Son relationship of God and man.

3. I would lead you into the joyful and sublime worship of a just, loving, and merciful Father-God.

4. The “fear of the Lord” has evolved through the ages up from fear through anguish and dread, to awe and reverence. And now, I would lead you up, through realization and appreciation, to love.

5. When you behold only the works of God, you are led to fear the Supreme; but when you grasp the personality and character of the living God, you are led to love such a good and perfect Father. And to effect just such changes is my mission.

6. Children love their fathers because of the good gifts received from them, not in order to obtain such gifts. The goodness of God leads to repentance. His beneficence leads to service. His mercy leads to salvation, and the love of God leads to worship.

7. Your forefathers feared God because he was mighty and mysterious; you shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth.

8. The power of God engenders fear, but the nobility of his personality begets reverence, love, and worship. An affectionate son does not fear even a mighty and noble father.

9. I have come into this world to put:

Love in the place of fear.

Joy in the place of sorrow.

Confidence in the place of dread.

Loving service in the place of slavish bondage.

Appreciative worship in the place of meaningless ceremonies.

10. But it is still true of those who sit in darkness that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But in the new light the sons of God are led to praise the Infinite for what he is rather than to fear him for what he does.

11. Young children are admonished to honor their parents, but when older they respect and love their parents for what they have done.

12. The father naturally loves his child, but the child must develop love for his father up through fear, dependence, and reverence—to love.

13. You are told to “fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man.” But I have come to give you a new and higher commandment—to love God and learn to do his will, for that is the highest privilege of the liberated sons of God.

14. Your fathers were taught to “fear God—the Almighty King.” I teach you, “Love God—the all-merciful Father.”

15. The kingdom of heaven is a divine family—there is no mighty king. The universally worshipped head of the brotherhood of man is my Father and your Father. I am his Son—you are his sons, therefore are we brethren.

16. Cease to fear God as a king—rather:

Reverence him as a Creator.

Honor him as your Father.

Love him as a merciful defender.

Worship him as the all-wise Father.

17. Hypocrisy and false humility grow out of your wrong ideas about God. Man may be a “worm of the dust” by nature, but when indwelt by my Father’s spirit, man becomes divine in destiny.

18. The divine spirit will return to the Father-source with the surviving soul of man. Humility is becoming, but there is divine dignity attached to all Paradise ascenders.

19. Humility before God is commendable, but false humility is unworthy of your salvation and destiny. Avoid the display of self-conscious and self-righteous superiority.

20. The prophet spoke wiseley, saying: “Walk humbly with God” for the Father dwells “with him who is of a contrite mind and a humble spirit.” (Isa 57:15)

21. The Father disdains pride, loathes hypocrisy, and abhors iniquity.

22. I have often used a little child as illustrative of the spirit which is essential to the entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

23. Jeremiah described many mortals when he said: “You are near God in the mouth but far from him in the heart.” (Jer 12:2) Again: “The priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money.” (Micah 3:11)

24. You have been warned against those who “speak peace to their neighbors when mischief is in their hearts.” (Ps 28:3)

29. WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Shunem

C. OCCASION: During the third preaching tour, at Shunem, after John’s apostles had returned to Hebron, Jesus was teaching the group of young evangelists and the women’s corps. Rachel asked Jesus: “Master, what shall we answer when women ask us, What shall I do to be saved?”

D. REFERENCES: (1682.3) 150:5.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Answering the question, “What must I do to be saved,” Jesus said:

Believe this gospel of the kingdom.

Accept divine forgiveness.

By faith recognize the indwelling spirit.

Know that you are a son of God.

2. Next, Jesus quoted a number of Scriptures:

“In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” (Isa 45:24)

“My righteousness is near; my salvation has gone forth, and my arms shall enfold my people.” (Isa 51:5)

“My soul shall be joyful in the love of my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation and has covered me with the robe of his righteousness.” (Isa 61:10)

“His name shall be called the Lord our righteousness.” (Jer 23:6)

“Take away the filthy rags of self-righteousness and clothe my son with the robe of divine righteousness and eternal salvation.” (Isa 64:6)

“The just shall live by faith.” (Hab 2:4)

3. Salvation is the gift of God but is revealed by his Sons. Faith makes you a partaker of the divine nature. By faith you are justified and advanced in the way of divine perfection, even as was Abraham.

4. In summing up his teaching, Jesus said:

You cannot buy salvation—it is a gift.

You cannot earn righteousness.

You are not saved by a righteous life—you live such a life because you are saved.

5. Belief of the gospel leads to repentance, for it is a revelation of the goodness of God.

6. Kingdom believers realize that sonship is incompatible with the desire to sin; they hunger for righteousness and thirst for perfection.

30. THE NAZARETH SERMON

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Nazareth

C. OCCASION: This was an episode of the third preaching tour. It was after his sermon that the so-called “Rejection of Jesus” occurred. The record gives little more than the Scriptures he read.

D. REFERENCES: (1685.1) 150:8.3 (Luke 4:16-30)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus read as his lesson first from Deuteronomy and then Isaiah. (Deut 30:11-14; Isa 61:1,2)

2. After reading these texts, Jesus said: “Today are these Scriptures fulfilled.” Then he launched forth into a fifteen-minute sermon on “The Sons and Daughters of God.”

31. THE EPOCHAL SERMON

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. LACE: Capernaum

C. OCCASION: This was the focal episode of the Capernaum crisis. The day before 53 Jewish leaders had arrived from Jerusalem. It was after this sermon that Judas first entertained thoughts of deserting the cause. Remember, this sermon follows right upon the heels of feeding the five thousand. The Jerusalem leaders tried to persuade Jairus to prevent Jesus from speaking—but he replied: “I have granted this request, and I will not violate my word.”

D. REFERENCES: (1709.2) 153:2.1 (Matt 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus introduced his sermon by reading from the law. Deut 28:47-53. Then he read from the Prophet Jeremiah 26:4-15.

2. Then you read how they put Jeremiah in the dungeon and how he sank down in the mire to his armpits. And now what will you do with one who dares to proclaim the word of the Lord? Will you seek his death?

3. What do you seek as evidence of my mission? We have left you in your positions of power—we have made no hostile attack upon you.

4. We have preached the gospel to the poor; we have proclaimed liberty to fear-ridden captives.

5. I have come to reveal the Father and establish the spiritual brotherhood of the sons of God. My kingdom is not of this world.

6. And my Father has granted you the evidence of many material wonders and spiritual transformations.

7. What new sign do you seek? I declare you have enough to enable you to make your decision. As Joshua said: “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” (Josh 24:15)

8. After the feeding of the multitude, some of you sought me—not for the bread of life, but for unearned bread to fill the belly. You look for a Messiah who will give you the loaves and fishes.

9. But I have come to:

Proclaim spiritual liberty.

Teach eternal truth.

Foster living faith.

10. Hunger not for the food which perishes, but seek that which nourishes eternal life. Take and eat the bread of life which the Son gives.

11. Would you perform the works of God—then believe him whom he has sent.

12. Pointing to the pot of manna on the lintel, Jesus said: Your fathers ate the bread of earth and are dead. You are offered the bread of eternal life.

13. If you ask for this bread of life, I will answer: “I am this bread of life.” He who comes to me shall not hunger—he who believes shall not thirst.

14. Those led of the Father shall come to me—and all who come shall be received. I have come not to do my will, but the will of Him who sent me.

15. It is the will of the Father that you believe on the Son and have eternal life. Yesterday I gave you bread for the body—today I offer you bread for your hungry souls.

16. As Jesus paused to look over the congregation, a Sanhedrist asked: Do you say you are the bread of life? Jesus answered. “You understood aright.” Said the Pharisee: But you are Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph the carpenter. We know your family. How can you stand here and say you came down from heaven?

17. There was confusion in the synagogue. Said Jesus: “Let us be patient; the truth never suffers from honest examination. I am all you say but more. The Father and I are one.”

18. Jesus here quoted Scripture:

“You shall all be taught by God.” (Isa 54:13)

“Those whom the Father teaches will hear also his Son.”

19. Those who yield to the Father’s indwelling spirit will come to me. The Son has seen the Father, and those who believe the Son already have eternal life.

20. I am the bread of life—he who eats thereof shall never die in spirit. This living bread is the united nature of God and man—the Son one with the Father. This is my life-giving revelation to the world—my saving gift to all nations.

21. When dismissed, they would not depart. They crowded about Jesus asking questions and disputing among themselves until

32. THE DISCOURSE ON TRUE RELIGION

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: On the way to Phoenicia (LUZ)

C. OCCASION: While pausing for lunch, Peter asked Jesus to explain why they were fleeing from their enemies, but before Jesus could answer, Thomas interjected a question: “Master, I should really like to know just what is wrong with the religion of our enemies at Jerusalem. What is the real difference between their religion and ours?” Jesus elected to answer Thomas’ question, delivering one of the most remarkable addresses the apostles ever listened to.

D. REFERENCES: (1728.3) 155:5.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. The world’s religions have a double origin—natural and revelatory. There are three types of religion:

  1. Primitive religion—fear of mystery and force.
  2. Religions of advancing civilization. Religion of theology—tradition—established authority.
  3. Religion of revelation. Insight into eternal realities—revelation of God. Religion of the spirit demonstrated in human experience.

2. Jesus deplored—but did not belittle— the persistence of so much fear and superstition in the religion of mind as contrasted with the religion of the spirit.

3. The natural religion of mind is upheld by ecclesiastical authority; the religion of the spirit is validated by human experience.

4. Until mankind becomes more civilized, many will prefer the religions of authority rather than the religion of the spirit which requires the faith adventure of grappling with the rigorous realities of progressive human experience.

5. Religions of authority present the easy way to escape fear and uncertainty. Such a religion requires only passive intellectual assent. For a long time, timid and fearful souls will prefer this type of religious consolation.

6. But in thus choosing, these hesitant souls—

Compromise the sovereignty of personality.

Debase the dignity of self-respect.

Surrender the personal quest for truth.

Forego the exhilaration of the victory of faith over doubt.

Miss the supreme adventure of man seeking God—and finding him.

7. The religion of the spirit requires struggle, conflict, faith, love, loyalty, and progress. The religion of tradition is easy and avoids those faith voyages out upon the high seas of unexplored truth and undiscovered spiritual realities.

8. Thus, those who seek refuge in tradition miss the thrill of the faith adventures of the progressive human mind and the evolving human soul.

9. In Jerusalem, they have formulated the doctrines of other days into an established system of religious belief and authority. This is the religion of mind. We are about to proclaim a new and conflicting religion—the religion of the spirit.

10. Our religion of the spirit derives its authority from the fruits of the spirit which so certainly appear in the lives of its believers.

11. Jesus called the twenty-four by name and asked: Which one of you would prefer to take this easy path of conformity to an established and fossilized religion, rather than to suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant upon proclaiming the new and better way of salvation?

12. Jesus exhorted them: Realize the satisfaction of discovering for yourselves the beauties of the realities of a living and personal experience in the eternal truths and supreme grandeurs of the kingdom of heaven.

13. And then Jesus asked them: Are you fearful, soft, and ease-seeking? Will you go back to the easy path of traditional authority? Are you afraid to trust your future in the hands of God? Or, will you go forward with me into an uncertain and troublous future proclaiming the new truths of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men?

14. All twenty-four rose to their feet—signifying their united response to this, one of the few emotional appeals Jesus ever made to them.

15. Then said Jesus: Go now apart by yourselves and find the unemotional answer to my questions.

16. And when they reassembled, with spirits uplifted and minds inspired, the Master said: “Let us resume our journey.”

33. THE SECOND DISCOURSE ON RELIGION

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: On the way to Phoenicia

C. OCCASION: This talk on religion follows shortly after the noontime discussion in answer to the question of Thomas.

D. REFERENCES: (1730.5) 155:6.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. You have come out from among those who crave security and prefer conformity; you have exchanged authoritative certainty for the spirit of adventurous and progressive faith. You dare to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the religion of tradition.

2. True, God did speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. But that was not the end of his revelation. My Father is no respecter of races or generations. The word of truth is not for any one age.

3. Don’t call that divine which is wholly human, and don’t reject truth because it comes not through the traditional oracles.

4. I call upon you to be born again—I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light—making the supernal discovery of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself.

5. And so you pass from death to life; from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God.

6. Thus you go from darkness to light—from an inherited racial faith to a personal faith achieved by experience. You progress from the theology of your ancestors to a soul religion of eternal endowment.

7. The religion of mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit beckons you on toward higher and holier ideals of eternal realities.

8. For the security of the religion of authority, you pay the price of losing your spiritual freedom and religious liberty.

9. The Father does not require you to believe things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. You are not required to outrage your sense of mercy, justice, and truth. You are not slaves of outworn religious ceremonies.

10. The religion of the spirit frees you to follow truth wherever it leads—and maybe this spirit will tell us things which other generations have refused to hear.

11. Shame on those religious teachers who drag hungry souls back into the dim and distant past and leave them there. These teachers are frightened by every discovery of new truth.

12. Then Jesus quoted—”He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God.” (Isa. 26:3) Such a truth-knowing human had found God—he was no mere believer in authoritative theology.

13. Stop always quoting the prophets and praising the heroes of Israel. You should aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom.

14. To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past may be worth while, but why should you sacrifice the supreme experience of finding God for yourself?

15. Traditional religion must ever run true to the various social viewpoints—never can religious authority attain unification. Unity and brotherhood can be attained only by the religion of the spirit.

16. Racial minds differ, but all mankind is indwelt by the same divine spirit. The hope of brotherhood can only be realized when the religion of authority becomes overshadowed by the unifying religion of personal experience.

17. Religions of authority divide men and set them against each other; the religions of the spirit draw men together.

18. Religions of authority require uniformity—religions of the spirit require only unity of experience—uniformity of destiny.

19. Religions of the spirit allow for diversity of belief—requiring only uniformity of insight—spiritual feeling.

20. Religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; religions of the spirit generate the joy of loving service and merciful ministration.

21. But do not look with disdain upon the children of Abraham because they have fallen on these evil days of traditional barrenness. Our fore-fathers were devoted to the persistent search for God—and they found him as no other whole race of men ever did.

22. My Father marks this untiring struggle of Israel to find God. Untiring generations have not ceased to toil, sweat, groan, suffer, and sorrow in order that they might find God.

23. Notwithstanding the falterings of Israel, from Moses to Amos, they did reveal to the whole world increasingly the true concept of the eternal God.

24. And all of this was to prepare the way for the still greater revelation of God—a mission which you are to share.

25. There is only one experience more thrilling than attempting to discover the will of God—and that is the supreme experience of trying to do that divine will.

26. Forget not that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular to those who are led of the spirit.

27. Those who are led of the spirit are:

Subordinated to truth.

Ennobled by love.

Dominated by mercy.

Restrained by fairness.

28. Cease to seek for God’s word only in olden records of theologic authority. By the aid of the spirit you discern God’s word regardless of whence it appears.

29. Reject not truth because it is bestowed through a human channel. In the mind many accept the theory of God, but fail to realize his spiritual presence in their hearts.

30. To feel the presence of God is more important than to know about the fact of God.

31. I have taught you that the spiritual simplicity of a child illustrates the easy-believing, fully-trusting attitude of kingdom believers.

32. When you find God in your own soul, presently you will discover him in other men’s souls. You know so little of God because you have so little time for the contemplation of eternal realities.

33. While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature it is indeed the gateway thereto. Do not make the mistake of trying to prove to other men that you have found God.

34. But there are two proofs of the God-knowing soul:

  1. The fruits of the spirit.
  2. The fact that the believer risks everything in the assurance of survival after death—finding the God of eternity whose presence you have foretasted in time.

35. The Father ever responds to the faintest flicker of faith. The Father ever honors the most feeble and fearful attempts to reach out for him.

36. But you have been called out of darkness into the light—your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.

37. You are my apostles. To you religion shall not become a theologic shelter to which you flee from the rugged realities of spiritual progress and idealistic adventure.

38. Your religion shall be a fact of experience showing that God has found you, idealized, ennobled, and spiritualized you, and that you have enlisted in the eternal adventure of finding the God

34. DISCUSSION OF TEMPTATION

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Tyre

C. OCCASION: While teaching at Tyre, one evening Nathaniel asked Jesus: “Master, why do we pray that God will lead us not into temptation when we well know from your revelation of the Father that he never does such things?”

D. REFERENCES: (1738.2) 156:5.3

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Said Jesus: It is not strange that you ask such questions. Our fore-fathers saw God in almost everything that happened—all natural occurrences and in every unusual episode. They connected God with both good and evil.

2. They thought God softened the heart of Moses and hardened the heart of Pharaoh.

3. When man had a strong urge to something, he was wont to say: “The Lord spoke to me saying, do thus and so, or go here and there.”

4. Since men so often ran into temptation, it became their habit to say that God led them thither for testing or punishment. But you now know better.

5. You know men are led into temptation by selfishness and the impulses of their animal natures.

6. When you are thus tempted, redirect your energies of mind and body into higher channels—idealistic goals. Transform your temptation into an uplifting type of mortal ministry, thus avoiding the wasteful conflicts between the animal and spiritual natures.

7. I warn you against the folly of trying to supplant one desire by another and supposedly superior desire by the mere force of the human will.

8. Your victory consists in developing a love for the higher conduct which is then easily substituted for the lower. You are thus delivered from temptation through spiritual transformation.

9. You avoid deceptive suppression of mortal desires because the old and inferior is forgotten in the love of the new and superior. Beauty triumphs over ugliness.

10. There is a mighty energy in sincere spiritual affliction. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

11. Material success depends on ambition, judgment, and wisdom. Leadership depends on natural ability, discretion, will power, and determination.

12. Spiritual destiny depends on faith, love, and devotion to truth—the wholehearted desire to find God and to be like him.

13. Don’t be discouraged by the discovery that you are human. You may have evil tendencies, but that is not sin. The mistakes of time will be forgotten in eternity. Acquire a long-distance view of your destiny.

14. Do not judge a soul by its imperfections and unfortunate episodes, rather by its spiritual longings and true purposes.

15. Religion is the spiritual experience of evolving the immortal soul, but these energies are mighty forces in dealing with social and economic problems. Spiritual endowments make all levels of human living richer and more meaningful.

16. If you love only those who love you, your life will be mean and narrow. Human love may be reciprocal, but divine love is outgoing—it cannot be self-contained.

17. You must believe in the triumph of righteousness—undoubting of eternal salvation. Learn to escape the harassments of life while you refresh the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful communion.

18. God-knowing men are not discouraged by misfortune and disappointment. They are unperturbed by material upheavals. They possess an invigorating and constructive technique for confronting the vicissitudes of life.

19. Spiritual living increases self-respect—not self-admiration. You cannot respect yourself more than you love your neighbor—the one is the measure of the capacity for the other.

20. Become more skillful in alluring hungry souls into the spiritual kingdom by revealing the goodness of God.

21. Let your ideals be high enough to insure eternal salvation while your ideas are so practical as to make you a useful citizen. Render to Caesar the things which are material and to God the things which are spiritual.

22. The measure of the spiritual capacity is your faith in truth and your love for man. The measure of human character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges. Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self.

23. As you grow older in the affairs of the kingdom you will become more tactful in dealing with troublesome mortals and stubborn associates.

24. Tact is the fulcrum of social leverage; tolerance, the earmark of a great soul. If you have these charming gifts you will become alert and expert in avoiding social misunderstandings.

25. Much trouble is the portion of those who suffer from emotional maladjustment—those who refuse to grow up or to grow old gracefully.

26. Avoid unfairness in preaching the gospel—seek no unearned recognition. Love, you should freely receive and freely give, but in honor seek only that which belongs to you.

27. The God-conscious mortal is:

Certain of salvation.

Unafraid of life.

Honest and consistent.

Bravely enduring of unavoidable suffering.

Uncomplaining of inescapable hardship.

28. The true believer does not grow weary in well-doing when thwarted. Difficulty whets the ardor of truth lovers. Obstacles challenge the undaunted kingdom builder.

35. PETER’S CONFESSION

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Caesarea-Philippi

D. OCCASION: This occasion immediately followed a conference of believers at Magadan Park. Assembled here were the apostles, evangelists, the women’s corps, one hundred believers, and many Pharisees and Sadducees. It was planned to begin at once the mission to the Decapolis.

E. REFERENCES: (1744.4) 157:2.1 (Matt 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21)

F. SYLLABUS:

1. Remarks at Magadan Park

  1. Before the evening conference, Jesus held a public meeting and the Pharisees heckled him. They wanted a “sign.” Jesus reminded them of signs of the weather, and asked: How is it you discern the face of the heavens but are unable to discern the signs of the times?
  2. Then he added: Truth seekers already have a sign, but to an evilminded and hypocritical generation no sign shall be given.
  3. In discussing the evening conference, Jesus said: Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Be not deceived by their show of learning and loyalty to the forms of religion.
  4. It is not the fear of a dead religion that saves you, but rather faith and living experience in the spiritual realities of the kingdom.
  5. Do not become blinded by prejudice and paralyzed by fear. Do not allow reverence for tradition to pervert your understanding.
  6. It is not the purpose of true religion merely to bring peace, but rather to insure progress.
  7. Peace and progress mean wholehearted love of truth—the ideals of eternal realities.
  8. The issues of life and death are set before you—the sinful pleasures of time and the righteous realities of eternity.
  9. Accept deliverance from fear and doubt—enter upon the new life of faith and hope.
  10. And when you feel the urge to serve your fellows—do not stifle it.

2. Discussion at Caesarea-Philippi

This was the capital of Philip’s domain and was a region of wondrous beauty with Mt. Hermon in full view. On the way, near the Waters of Merom, they paused for lunch.

  1. Suddenly, Jesus confronted the twelve with the first question he ever asked them concerning himself. He asked this question—”Who do men say that I am?”
  2. Jesus decided that the time had come to tell the apostles about his own nature and relation to the kingdom. Under the mulberry trees Jesus held one of the most momentous sessions of his association with the twelve.
  3. The apostles told Jesus that he was regarded as:

    A prophet.

    An extraordinary man.

    In league with devils.

    John the Baptist risen from the dead.

    Compared with Moses,Elijah,Isaiah,andJeremiah.

  4. Then Jesus stood up and asked: “But who say you that I am?” There was a moment of tense silence. Peter sprang to his feet, exclaiming: “You are the Deliverer, the Son of the living God.” And all eleven rose to their feet.
  5. Jesus beckoned them to be seated, saying: “This has been revealed to you by my Father. The hour has come when you should know the truth about me. But for the time being, I charge you to tell this to no man.”
  6. They resumed their journey to Caesarea-Philippi, arriving at the home of Celsus. They slept little that night. Assembled for their noon meal, when Jesus appeared, they all stood. But they saw that Jesus did not approve of this outward show of respect.
  7. At the end of the meal, Jesus asked: After a full day do you still hold to your decision regarding the identity of the Son of Man? The twelve all stood up and Peter said: “Yes, Master, we do.”
  8. Jesus then said: You are my chosen ambassadors. You know these things by the revelation of the Father—by the insight of the spirit which indwells you.
  9. Upon this foundation I will build the brotherhood of the kingdom. All the forces of evil and the hosts of sin shall not prevail against this human fraternity of the divine spirit.
  10. While the Father’s spirit will be the guide and mentor of all who enter this fellowship, to you and your successors I now deliver the keys of the outward kingdom—the authority over things temporal—the social and economic features of this association of men and women as fellows of the kingdom.
  11. And again he charged them, for the time being, that they should tell no man that he was the Son of God.

     

    NOTE: The vital feature of Peter’s confession was the clear-cut recognition of the combined nature of Jesus—human and divine—Son of Man and Son of God.

 

36. TALKS WITH THE APOSTLES

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: In Celsus’ garden at Caesarea-Philippi

C. OCCASION: These talks with the apostles grew out of Peter’s confession of Jesus’ divinity. One occurred the next afternoon and the others after the experience of the mount of transfiguration, when they were again lodging with Celsus.

D. REFERENCES: (1750.1) 157:6.7; (1758.2) 158:6.1 (Matt 16:21-28 )

E. SYLLABUS:

1. If any man would have fellowship with us, let him assume the obligations of sonship and follow me. When I leave you, think not that the world will treat you better than it did me. If you love me—then be prepared to make the supreme sacrifice.

2. I come not to call the righteous, but sinners. I come to minister and bestow my life as a gift for all. I have come to seek and to save those who are lost.

3. I come forth from the Father, and if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself. Whoever believes this truth of the combined nature of the Son shall have life everlasting.

4. Though I stand before you in this physical presence, I came forth from the Father. Before Abraham was, I am. But I will not meet the expectations of your fathers as they conceived the Messiah.

5. My kingdom is not of this world. The foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but I have not where to lay my head.

6. Nevertheless, the Father and I are one. Who has seen me has seen the Father. The Father never leaves me alone, even as I will never forsake you when you go forth to proclaim the gospel throughout the world.

7. I have brought you apart with me that you may comprehend the glory, and grasp the grandeur of the life to which I have called you—the faith-adventure of the establishment of my Father’s kingdom in the hearts of mankind.

8. While Jesus was on the mountain, the apostles had failed to cure the epileptic boy. When he returned, Thomas asked Jesus to explain their failure and to learn something about what happened on the mountain.

9. Said Jesus: While we were on the mountain seeking a larger knowledge of the Father’s will, you fell into your old tendency to seek for yourselves preferred places in the kingdom, and you cling to these concepts in spite of my reiterated declaration that my kingdom is not of this world.

10. No sooner does your faith grasp the identity of the Son of Man than your selfish desire for preferment creeps back upon you. Have I not told you that he who would be greatest in the kingdom must become the server of all?

11. Spiritual greatness consists in Godlike love—not in self-exaltation. You fail because your purpose was not pure, your motive not divine, your ideal not spiritual.

12. Your ambition was not altruistic. Your efforts were not based on love, and your motive was not the Father’s will—and so you met failure.

13. Remember, you cannot time-shorten natural phenomena, except by the Father’s will. You cannot do spiritual work without spiritual power. And you must have living faith.

14. Must you always have material manifestations in order to believe the spiritual realities of the kingdom?

15. Now, go to your rest. Tomorrow we return to Magadan. We must prepare for the final phase of my bestowal. The Son of Man will be put to death, but he shall rise again.

16. In answer to a question by Andrew, Jesus said: You confess that I am the Son of God, but I am not the Messiah who will sit upon a throne in Jerusalem. I will be rejected by the elders and the chief priests.

17. It was here that Peter said that these things would never happen to him. Jesus knew Peter meant well, but he rejected any suggestion that he depart from the Father’s will, therefore he rebuked Peter, saying: “Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary...”

18. Talking like this, you are not on my side, but on the side of the enemy. You are making your love for me a stumbling block.

19. After they had recovered from the shock of Jesus’ stinging rebuke, the Master said: If any man would follow me, let him take up his daily responsibilities. Whosoever would selfishly save his life shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for the sake of the gospel shall save it.

20. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for eternal life?

21. Be not ashamed of me in this sinful generation, for I will not be ashamed of you when in glory I appear before my Father.

22. But many of you now standing before me shall not taste death

37. SERMON ON FORGIVENESS

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: On the Decapolis tour at Hippos

C. OCCASION: This was an evening discussion in answer to various questions asked by his disciples.

D. REFERENCES: (1762.3) 159:1.1 (Luke 15)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus told the story of the good shepherd who leaves ninety and nine and goes forth to find the lost sheep. When he finds the lost sheep, he calls upon his neighbors to share his rejoicing.

2. There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety and nine who are righteous.

3. It is not the will of God that any should go astray—much less perish. In the old religion God receives repentant sinners; in our gospel God goes forth to find them.

4. God loves his children, therefore you should learn to love one another. The Father forgives your sins—you should forgive your brother.

5. If your brother sins—go to him in person. If he hears you—then you have won your brother. If he rejects you—then take two or three with you. If he still refuses to hear you, then tell it to the congregation.

6. If he refuses to hear the brotherhood, let them take such action as they see fit. You cannot sit in judgment on the soul, but you can maintain temporal order in the kingdom.

7. You may not meddle with the issues of eternal life, but you shall regulate conduct as concerns the temporal welfare of the brotherhood.

8. Whatsoever you shall decree on earth shall be recognized in heaven. You cannot determine the eternal fate of an individual, but you can legislate regarding the conduct of the group.

9. Where two or three agree concerning these things—it shall be done, if your petition is not inconsistent with the Father’s will.

10. And all of this is true, for, where two or three believers are gathered together, there I am in the midst of them.

11. Then asked Peter: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” Answered Jesus: “Not only seven times but even to seventy times and seven.”

12. Then Jesus told the story of the chief steward who owed the king ten thousand talents. When he pleaded for mercy and asked for time, the king forgave the whole debt.

13. Then this man came upon a subordinate steward who owed him a hundred denarii. When he asked for mercy, the chief steward threw him in prison until he should pay all.

14. When the king heard these things, he denounced the chief steward and threw him in jail until he should pay his debt.

15. So shall God show more abundant mercy to those who freely show mercy to their fellows.

16. How can you expect God to show consideration for your shortcomings when you are wont to chastise your brethren for being guilty of these same human frailties?

17. I say to you: “Freely you have received the good things of the Jesus: “Not only seven times but even to seventy times and seven.”

“Not only seven times but even to seventy times and seven." (1763.1) 159:1.4

"I say to all of you: freely you have received the good things of the kingdom; therefore freely give to your fellows on earth.” (1763.2) 159:1.5

 

38. INSTRUCTION FOR TEACHERS AND BELIEVERS

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Edrei

C. OCCASION: During the Decapolis tour, Jesus spent a day and night with the group at Edrei. Thomas led this group and the evening discussion dealt with methods of teaching the gospel.

D. REFERENCES: (1765.3) 159:3.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Respect the personality of man. A righteous cause cannot be promoted by force; spiritual victories are won only by spiritual power.

2. We proscribe psychic force as well as physical force. Do not coerce men by overpowering arguments or by mental superiority. Don’t crush the mind by weight of logic or overawe man by shrewd eloquence.

3. Make your appeals to the indwelling divine spirit and not to human emotions. Do not appeal to fear, pity, or sentiment.

4. Be fair; exercise self-control; exhibit due restraint. Show proper respect for personality. Remember: “...I stand at the door and knock, and if any man will open, I will come in.”

5. Do not destroy self-respect, even though too much may engender pride, conceit, and arrogance. Loss of self-respect may end in paralysis of the will.

6. The gospel both restores and restrains self-respect. Do not only condemn wrong, but remember to commend the praiseworthy things in men’s lives.

7. I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it.

8. Do not wound self-respect in the timid and fearful. Avoid sarcasm and be not cynical. Idleness destroys self-respect.

9. Do not try to frighten men into the kingdom. Strong feelings of emotion are not the leading of the spirit.

10. Remember the fringe of conflict between the life in the flesh and the life of the spirit. Uncertainty characterizes transition between these two levels of living. The gospel yoke is light—the burden of truth easy.

11. Hungry souls famish in the very presence of the bread of life. Men die searching for the God who lives within them.

12. Man seeks for treasures which lie within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship. There is but one struggle—to fight the good fight of faith.

13. When you preach the gospel you teach friendship with God. This fellowship satisfies the longing of humankind.

14. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their frailties, but that I am also inexorable in dealing with sin and iniquity.

15. You shall not portray your teacher as a man of sorrows. Future generations should know the radiance of our joy, the bouyance of our good will, and the inspiration of our good humor.

16. Our religion is throbbing with new life and new meanings. Believers are constrained to rejoice evermore. Happiness is the part of those who are certain about God.

17. Don’t lean upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of self-pity. Do not crave the fellowship of misery.

18. Extend sympathy to the brave, but withhold overmuch pity from those cowardly souls who refuse to stand up before the trials of living.

19. Offer not consolation to those who lie down before their troubles without a struggle. Do not sympathize just to get sympathy in return.

20. When my children become self-conscious of the divine presence, such faith will—

Expand the mind.

Ennoble the soul.

Reinforce the personality.

Augment happiness.

Deepen spirit perception.

Enhance love.

21. Entering the kingdom will not afford immunity from the accidents of time or the catastrophes of nature. Faith will not keep you out of trouble, but it will insure that you will be unafraid when trouble does come.

22. I do not promise to deliver you from the waters of adversity, but I do promise to go with you through all of them.

39. SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: This discussion occurred at Abila during the Decapolis tour.

C. OCCASION: Nathaniel was bothered by certain of Jesus’ statements respecting the authority and authenticity of the Hebrew scriptures. He asked Jesus: “Master, could you trust me to know the truth about the Scriptures? I observe that you teach us only a portion of the sacred writings—the best as I view it—and I infer that you reject the teachings of the rabbis to the effect that the words of the law are the very words of God...”

D. REFERENCES: (1767.3) 159:4.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus said he did not regard the Scriptures as did the rabbis. He consented to discuss the matter provided Nathaniel would not relay the things talked about to his brethren. Nathaniel promised.

2. Only in recent times, long after Moses, were the Scriptures gathered together. While they contain the higher thoughts and longings of the Jewish people, they also contain much that is not truly representative of the Father in heaven.

3. In formulating the gospel I must choose from the better teachings of the Scriptures.

4. These writings are the work of holy men—and some not so holy. They reflect the enlightenment of the times of their origin. The last are better than the first.

5. The Scriptures are human in origin, but they represent the best religious wisdom and spiritual truth to be found in all the world at this time.

6. Many of the books were not written by the names they bear—but that does not detract from their value. The story of Jonah does not have to be a fact to illustrate the love of God for Nineveh.

7. The Scriptures are sacred because they were written by God-knowing men who were searching for the highest concepts of truth, righteousness, and holiness.

8. Never believe those records which portray God as directing his people to go forth to slay all their enemies—men, women, and children. Such teachings are not the word of God.

9. The Scriptures always reflect the spiritual status of those who create them. Have you not noted that the concept of Yahweh grows in spiritual beauty from Samuel to Isaiah?

10. The Scriptures are intended for religious instruction; they are not the works of historians or philosophers.

11. It is an error to believe in the absolute perfection and infallibility of the Scriptures. The confusing misinterpretations of the Pharisees is deplorable.

12. Now will the leaders employ both the doctrine of inspiration and the authority of their misinterpretation to withstand the teachings of our new gospel.

13. The Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people. Many earnest souls are disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.

14. The authority of truth is the indwelling spirit of those who proclaim it—not the dead words of another generation.

15. Today, we make no record of our teaching. We would avoid dividing believers into sundry and separate groups, because of diversity of interpretations.

16 For the present, it is better that we live these truths while we shun the making of records.

17. Nothing which human nature has touched can ever be regarded as infallible. Truth coming through the human mind can be only partially divine. Only the Creator is infallible.

18. The Scriptures are not sealed books of mystery which only the wise can interpret. Revelation is sealed only by ignorance, bigotry, and intolerance.

19. The light of Scripture is dimmed by prejudice and superstition. Fear prevents hungry souls from accepting the light which the God-knowing men of other generations intensely longed to see.

20. Many of the teachers of today fully understand these limitations of Scripture—but they are moral cowards—they will not admit it. They prefer to withhold such truths from the people.

21. These false teachers employ the Scriptures to maintain the sanctity of traditionalism and their own religious authority.

22. But the Scriptures are the repository of the moral wisdom, religious inspiration, and the spiritual guidance of the God-

40. THE FIRST TEMPLE TALK

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: This was Jesus’ first temple talk given during his attendance upon the feast of tabernacles.

C. OCCASION: The tension was high—the apostles knew that the Sanhedrin intended to do away with Jesus. The Jewish authorities were disconcerted by Jesus’ boldness—they even surmised that he had been promised immunity by the Roman officials.

D. REFERENCES: (1790.4) 162:2.1 (John 7)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus was discoursing on the “liberty of the new gospel and the joy of those who believe the good news,” when one of his listeners interrupted to ask: “Teacher, how is it you can quote the Scriptures and teach the people so fluently when I am told that you are untaught in the learning of the rabbis?”

2. Jesus replied: “No man has taught me the truths which I declare to you. And this teaching is not mine but His who sent me.” If you really desire to do the Father’s will, you shall know whether my teaching is from God.

3. Before you enter the new light, why don’t you follow the light you already have—Moses gave you a law—are you honestly trying to fulfill its demands? Moses said, “You shall not kill,” yet some of you would kill the Son of Man.

4. This led to wrangling among the crowd. Some said he was mad—others that he had a devil. But others said this was the prophet from Galilee.

5. Some said the authorities were afraid to lay hands on him. Others thought some of the leaders had come to believe in him.

6. Then one of his hearers asked: “Why do the rulers seek to kill you?” Said Jesus: Because they resent my teaching about the good news of the kingdom, the gospel that sets men free from the burdensome traditions of a formal religion of ceremonies. They are determined to uphold their religion at any cost.

7. On the Sabbath, they circumcise, but they would kill me because I cured a man of his afflictions on the Sabbath.

8. They know this glorious gospel will overthrow their traditional religion—and they will be deprived of their authority. I appeal to you to judge not by appearances—but to judge righteously.

9. Then another asked: Yes, Teacher, we look for the Messiah, but he will come in mystery—but we know all about you—we know your family. The deliverer will come in power to restore the throne of David. Do you really claim to be the Messiah?

10. Jesus replied: You claim to know me—I wish your claims were true, for then would you find abundant life in that knowledge. I am sent by the Father, and in refusing to hear me you are refusing to receive Him who sent me.

11. And the people said among themselves: “Even though this teacher is from Galilee, and even though he does not meet all of our expectations of the Messiah, we wonder if the deliverer, when he does come, will really do anything more wonderful than this Jesus of Nazareth has already done?”

41. SERMON ON THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: The temple at Jerusalem

C. OCCASION: This discourse was delivered on the evening of the next day to the last of the feast of tabernacles. The scene was brilliantly illuminated by the lights of the candelabras and the torches.

D. REFERENCES: (1794.4) 162:5.1 (John 8:12-30)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.

2. You presume to sit in judgment on me, but never can the creature sit in judgment on the Creator. Even if I bear witness about myself—my testimony is everlastingly true.

3. I know whence I came, who I am, and whither I go. You know not these things. You judge by appearances—you know not the realities of the spirit.

4. I judge no man—not even my archenemy—but if I did, my judgment would be righteous. I judge only in association with my Father.

5. But even you allow that the witness of two persons may be accepted—well, then, I bear witness to these truths and so does my Father.

6. Yesterday you asked me concerning the whereabouts of my Father. Truly, if you had known me, you would also have known my Father.

7. I have told you that I am going away—that you will seek me in vain—for where I am going you cannot come. You prefer to sit in darkness, but I live in the eternal light of the Father of lights.

8. I am the light of life, and everyone who deliberately rejects this saving light shall die in his sins. Much more would I tell you, but you are unable to receive my words.

9. But my Father loves even his erring children. And all that the Father has told me I will proclaim to the world.

10. When the Son of Man is lifted up, you shall know me and realize that all I have done was shown me by the Father. And the Father is always with me, for I do always that which is pleasing in his sight.

42. DISCOURSE ON THE WATER OF LIFE

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—the temple

C. OCCASION: This talk was given in the temple on the last day, the great day, of the feast of tabernacles. The procession from the pool of Siloam was passing through the temple courts, just after the water and wine had been poured upon the altar.

D. REFERENCES: (1795.5) 162:6.1 (John 7:37-44)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. I bring to this world the water of life.

2. If you believe me you shall be filled with the spirit which this water represents.

3. Says the Scripture: “Out of him shall flow rivers of living waters.” (Ca 4:15) (? ed.) When I have finished my work, there will be poured out upon all flesh the living spirit of truth. Those receiving this spirit will never know spiritual thirst.

4. Remember the Scripture: “Behold, as the waters are poured out upon the dry ground and spread over the parched soil, so will I give the spirit of holiness to be poured out upon your children for a blessing even to your children’s children.” (Isa 35:7)

5. Why will you try to water your souls with traditions poured from the broken pitchers of ceremonial service?

6. That which you see going on is the way your fathers sought to symbolize the bestowal of the spirit upon the children of faith, but now comes the bestowal of the spirit of the Father and the Son upon the children of men.

7. If you have faith, this bestowed spirit becomes the true teacher of the way that leads to everlasting life—the true water of life in the earthly kingdom and the Father’s Paradise.

43. DISCOURSE ON SPIRITUAL FREEDOM

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—in the temple

C. OCCASION: On the afternoon of the last day of the feast of tabernacles—in Solomon’s Porch.

D. REFERENCES: (1796.3) 162:7.1 (John 8:31-59)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If my words abide in you and you do the will of my Father, you are my disciples.

2. You will say you are the children of Abraham—that you are not in bondage —therefore how can you be made free? But I refer to the liberties of the soul.

3. Whoso commits sin is the bondservant of sin. The servant will not remain in the father’s house, but the son will.

4. If, therefore, the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

5. Your leaders are blinded by prejudice, pride, and revenge. If you were the true children of Abraham, then would you do the works of Abraham.

6. You would destroy me because I have told you the truth as I have received it from God. Abraham did not reject the truth from God.

7. I fear some of you are determined to do the work of the evil one. If God were your Father, then would you love the truth which I reveal.

8. If you choose to walk in darkness you will hardly follow the truth which I reveal. The children of evil follow the ways of their father, the deceiver who became a stranger to the truth.

9. But when I come speaking and living the truth, many of you refuse to believe.

10. Which of you convicts me of sin? Why do you not believe? If you were of God, you would gladly hear the words of God.

11. Your teachers even say that I do my works by the power of the prince of devils. One near-by just whispers that I have a devil.

12. Even though you would dishonor me, I truly honor the Father. I seek not my glory, but the Father’s. I do not judge you, for there is one who judges for me.

13. If you believe the gospel and keep this truth in your heart, you will never taste death. But one of you says this proves that I have a devil, because Abraham is dead.

14. You ask: Am I so much greater than Abraham and the prophets that I dare stand here and say that whoso keeps my words shall not taste death? Again, you ask: Who do you claim to be that you dare utter such blasphemies?

15. I answer—I do not glorify myself—I am glorified by my Father whom you call God. You may not know the Father, but I truly know him.

16. You know not God, but I have come to bring you together—to show you how to become truly the sons of God.

17. Even Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and by faith he saw it and was glad.

44. THE RICH YOUNG MAN AND OTHERS

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: At Magadan Park

C. OCCASION: This discussion occurred in connection with the ordination of the seventy. Abner, Andrew, and the chief of the evangelists constituted a committee of acceptance. When they did not agree on a candidate, that person was brought to Jesus. Jesus rejected no one, but several, after they talked with Jesus, no more desired to be messengers.

D. REFERENCES: (1801.4) 163:2.1 (Matt 19:16-20:16; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. One candidate for ordination wanted to go home to comfort an ailing father. To him Jesus said: “My son, the foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” You can remain a faithful disciple and return to your home, but the messengers have forsaken all to receive this ordination.

2. To another who desired to return home to comfort his family Jesus said: To be ordined, you must forsake all—you cannot have divided affections. If you put your hand to the plough, you cannot turn back.

3. Then Andrew brought young Matadormus to see Jesus. The Master talked with him—advising more thought about ordination. He returned the next morning, and told Jesus he had observed the commandments from his youth, but desired the assurances of eternal life.

4. Said Jesus: If you keep the commandments, you do well, but salvation is the reward of faith. In answer to the Master’s question, Do you believe? the young man said: “Yes.” Said Jesus: “Then are you indeed my disciple and a child of the kingdom.”

5. Then said Matadormus, I am not content to be a disciple, I desire to be an ordained messenger. Jesus kissed him on the forehead, saying: Go sell all that you have and bestow the proceeds upon the poor, follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven.

6. Matadormus’ countenance fell—he had great riches. He went away sorrowful. This young Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, thought wealth was a token of God’s favor.

7. Jesus wanted to deliver him from the love of wealth. Jesus’ disciples did not part with their property, but the apostles and the seventy did—eventually.

8. Then said Jesus to Peter and the apostles, you see how difficult it is for the rich to enter the kingdom.

9. Spiritual worship cannot be shared with material devotions; no man can serve two masters.

10. You say that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the heathen to inherit eternal life. I tell you that it is as easy for the camel to go through the needle’s eye as for the selfsatisfied rich to enter the kingdom.

11. Then exclaimed Peter—”Who then, Lord, can be saved?” Answered Jesus: Those who put their trust in riches shall hardly enter upon eternal progress. But things impossible to man may not be beyond the reach of God. With God all things are possible.

12. When Peter asked if all believers should part with their wealth, Jesus said: No, Peter, only those who would become apostles. The Father requires that our affections be pure and undivided. You must part with whatever comes between you and the kingdom. If wealth does not invade the precincts of the soul, it is of no consequence.

13. You who have left everything to follow me shall receive manifold more in this world—perhaps with persecutions—in the world to come eternal life. Many who are first shall be last, while often the last shall be first.

14. My Father deals with you in accordance with your needs and in consideration for the welfare of a universe.

15. Then he told them the story of an employer who sent laborers to work in his vineyard, agreeing to pay them so much a day. During the day he sent out others at noon, three, and five o’clock.

16. At the end of the day, they all received the same full day’s pay. Those who toiled all day complained when those who had worked only one hour received the same pay.

17. The employer disallowed their protests, saying, you should be satisfied with your wages—it is lawful for me to do what I will with my own. You should not begrudge my generosity. (See Matt. 20:1-16)

45. FAREWELL TO THE SEVENTY

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: The Magadan Camp

C. OCCASION: This was just before the ordination of the seventy. This was the morning of the sending forth of the evangelists on their first mission. This is a summation of Jesus’ final instruction.

D. REFERENCES: (1804.5) 163:4.1 (Luke 10: 17-23)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. This gospel is for all the world—gentile as well as Jew.

2. Minister to the sick—but do not expect miracles.

3. Proclaim the spiritual brotherhood—not a material kingdom.

4. Avoid overmuch social visiting and trivialities which might detract from preaching the gospel.

5. On entering a city, select your headquarters, and abide there.

6. Let believers understand that the time has come for an open break with the Jerusalem leaders.

7. Teach that man’s whole duty is summed up in this one commandment: Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.

(This they were to teach in place of the 613 rules of the Pharisees.)

8. Following Jesus’ remarks, Peter preached the ordination sermon. He presented his admonitions under six heads:

  1. Consecrated devotion.
  2. True courage.
  3. Faith and trust.
  4. Zeal and initiative.
  5. Kindness and courtesy.
  6. Ministry to the sick.

 

THE RETURN OF THE SEVENTY

Upon the return of the seventy, Jesus, after listening to their experiences, made the following remarks:

1. It is not strange that the disobedient spirits should be subject to you, seeing that I beheld Satan falling as lightning from heaven. But you should the rather rejoice that the Father and I will soon send forth our spirit and then these lost spirits will no more enter the minds of men.

2. Be glad you have power with men, but rather rejoice that you are going forward on an endless career of spiritual conquest.

3. That evening Jesus experienced one of those rare moments of emotional ecstasy and his unusual remarks are found at (1807.2) 163:6.3

4. The next day, being the Sabbath, Jesus went apart with the seventy and his remarks may be summarized as follows:

  1. Why were you so surprised that your message had power? Did you not expect that the gospel would be effective?
  2. I would not quench your rejoicing, but I would warn you against pride.
  3. You teach that man is a son of God. Go on—and be not weary in well doing.
  4. I am always near you and my call is: Come all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  5. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am true and loyal, and you shall find spiritual rest for your souls.” (1806.5) 163:6.1

 

46. STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: At an inn in Jericho

C. OCCASION: Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem with Nathaniel and Thomas. The three were stopping overnight at Jericho. During the evening a group was discussing many things, when a lawyer, seeking to entangle Jesus, asked him: Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

D. REFERENCES: (1809.3) 164:1.1 (Luke 10:25-37)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. In answering the lawyer’s question, Jesus said: “What is written in the law and the prophets; how do you read the Scriptures?”

2. The lawyer shrewdly answered: To love the Lord with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. Said Jesus: You have answered right.

3. But the lawyer would make further effort to embarrass Jesus. He said: But, Teacher, just who is my neighbor?

4. The lawyer hoped to entrap Jesus into contradicting the Jewish law which defined one’s neighbor as “the children of one’s people.” Jesus discerned the lawyer’s motive, and proceeded to tell him a story which would be appreciated by any Jericho audience.

5. The story of the good Samaritan. (See (1810.1) 164:1.3)

47. TEACHING IN SOLOMON’S PORCH

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—in the temple

C. OCCASION: This was during Jesus’ attendance upon the feast of dedication. On this Sabbath he had healed Josiah, the blind man. The leaders were holding a session of the Sanhedrin—and during this meeting, Jesus was talking to the crowd in Solomon’s Porch.

D. REFERENCES: (1815.2) 164:5.1 (John 10:22-42)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. We have but little on record of this two hours of teaching. One asked: “How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Messiah why do you not plainly tell us?”

2. Said Jesus: I have told you about myself and my Father, but you will not believe me. The works I do in my Father’s name bear witness for me.

3. But you do not belong to my fold, therefore you do not believe. Truth attracts only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

4. My sheep hear my voice and they follow me, and I give them eternal life; they shall never perish.

5. My Father has given me these children and he is greater than all. None is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.

(Some tried to stone him, but were restrained by believers.)

6. Then Jesus continued: Many loving works have I shown you from the Father—for which one of these works would you stone me?

7. Answered one of the Pharisees: For no good work would we stone you, but for blasphemy—you dare to make yourself equal with God.

8. You refuse to believe that I am sent by God. If I do the works of God, I would think, even if you do not believe in me, you would believe for the works’ sake.

9. But I tell you that the Father is in me and I in the Father. As the Father dwells in me, so will I dwell within every one who believes this gospel.

10. And again they sought to stone him, but he slipped out to join

48. SERMON ON THE GOOD SHEPHERD

A. TIME: A.D. 29

B. PLACE: The Pella camp

C. OCCASION: About three hundred followed Jesus to the Pella camp when he left Jerusalem where he had attended the feast of dedication. Following a half-hour of informal discussion, Jesus spoke to a company of about one hundred.

D. REFERENCES: (1818.2) 165:2.1 (John 10:1-21)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Many of you are my disciples, some are my enemies, but I have much to tell you. I think best that I present my teaching in a parable. Let me tell you a story.

2. Here before me are those who would be willing to die for me and this gospel—and no doubt some will so offer themselves up in the years to come. Here, also, are some who are slaves of tradition who follow their deluded leaders, and who would kill me.

3. The life which I now live in the flesh shall judge both of you—the true shepherds and the false shepherds. If you were blind, you would have no sin, but you claim to see—you even profess to be teachers in Israel.

4. The true shepherd gathers his sheep into the fold at night in times of danger. In the morning he enters the fold by the door—he calls and the sheep know his voice.

5. Every shepherd who gains entrance by other means than the door is a thief and a robber.

6. The true shepherd enters after the porter has opened the door. The sheep follow while he goes before them. But they will not thus follow a stranger.

7. The sheep flee from a stranger because they know not his voice. You who are here gathered about me are like sheep without a shepherd. If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, when I speak to you, you will follow me.

8. Some of you are not of my fold; you know not my voice, and you will not follow me. And because you are false shepherds, my sheep know not your voice and will not follow you.

9. Jesus paused—but no one asked him a question. Then he went on to say: You who would be the undershepherds of my Father’s flock must not only be worthy leaders, but you must also feed the flock with good food.

10 You are not worthy shepherds unless you lead your flocks into green pastures and beside still waters.

11. And now let me declare that I am both the door to the Father’s sheepfold and the true shepherd of my Father’s flocks.

12. If you seek to enter the fold without me you will fail—the sheep will not hear your voice. Every soul who enters upon the eternal way by the means I have ordained will go on to the eternal pastures of Paradise.

13. I am the true shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for the sheep. The thief breaks in to steal and to destroy; but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.

14. When the sheep are in danger, the hireling flees, but the true shepherd will not flee when the wolf comes. He will protect the flock, and, if necessary, lay down his life for his sheep.

15. To you, friends and enemies, I declare that I am the true shepherd; I know my own and my own know me. I will not flee in the face of danger. I will do the Father’s will—I will not forsake the flock.

16. But I have many other sheep not of this fold. These sheep also know my voice and follow me. I have promised my Father that I will bring them all into one fold—the brotherhood of the sons of God.

17. And then shall you all know the voice of one shepherd, the true shepherd, and shall all acknowledge the fatherhood of God.

18. This is why the Father loves me and has put all of his flocks in my keeping. He knows I will not falter—that if necessary I will lay down my life for the sheep.

19. But if I lay down my life, I will take it up again. No one can take away my life. I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again. I received this authority from the Father even before this world was.

49. TRUST AND SPIRITUAL PREPAREDNESS

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: At the Pella camp

C. OCCASION: On the Sabbath, Jan. 28, the audience numbered almost three thousand. Jesus preached this sermon after some preliminary remarks by Simon Peter.

D. REFERENCES: (1819.9) 165:3.1 (Luke 12)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy, borne of prejudice and nurtured in traditional bondage, albeit some of them are honest—even my disciples.

2. Presently all of you will understand my teaching—when I have completed my mission on earth and in the flesh.

3. Soon the things which our enemies plan in secret will be brought to light. Fear not those who only have power to kill the body.

4. Fear none, in heaven or on earth, but rejoice in him who has power to deliver you from all unrighteousness and present you blameless before the judgment seat of a universe.

5. Five sparrows are sold for two pennies, but not one exists without the knowledge of the Father—the source of all life. To your guardian angels, even the very hairs of your head are numbered.

6. Then why should you live in fear of the trifles of daily living? Fear not, you are of much more value than many sparrows.

7. If you have courage to confess me before men today, you shall presently acknowledge me before the angels of heaven. But if you deny the truth, then will these guardian angels deny you.

8. Say what you will about me, and it shall be forgiven, but if you blaspheme against God, you will hardly find forgiveness. When you ascribe the doings of God to the forces of evil, you will hardly seek forgiveness.

9. When your enemies bring you before rulers and high authorities, be not concerned about how you shall answer their questions, for the indwelling spirit shall certainly teach you in that very hour what you should say.

10. How long will you tarry in the valley of indecision? Why do you halt between two opinions? Why should either Jew or gentile hesitate to accept the good news that he is a son of God?

11. How long will it take to persuade you joyfully to enter into your spiritual inheritance? I came to reveal the Father and to lead you to the Father. The first I have done, but the last I may not do without your consent.

12. The Father never compels men. The invitation has always been: Whosoever will let him come and freely partake of the water of life.

50. DIVIDING THE INHERITANCE

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: The Pella camp

C. OCCASION: This discussion followed one of Jesus’ Sabbath sermons at the Pella camp. While the apostles were baptizing believers, Jesus remained behind to answer questions. A young man besought Jesus that he would influence his brother in the matter of dividing the inheritance which had been left by their deceased father.

D. REFERENCES: (1821.1) 165:4.1 (Luke 12:13-21)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Jesus was mildly indignant that this material-minded youth should expect him to settle a business dispute with his brother. Said Jesus: Who made me a divider over you? Where did you get the idea that I give attention to the material affairs of this world?

2. Then addressing those about him, Jesus said: Keep yourselves free from covetousness; a man’s life consists not in the abundance of his possessions. Happiness comes not from wealth nor joy from riches.

3. Wealth, in itself, is not a curse, but the love of riches may blind the soul to the spiritual realities of the kingdom on earth and the joys of eternal life in heaven.

4. Then Jesus told the story of the foolish rich man who said to himself, what shall I do with my riches? I will build greater storage barns, so that I can say to my soul, take your ease—eat, drink, and be merry—for you are rich and increased in goods.

5. But this rich man was foolish. In providing for his material requirements, he failed to lay up treasures in heaven for the salvation of his soul.

6. But he did not long enjoy his hoarded wealth. That night brigands broke into his house to kill him, after they had plundered and burned down his barns. This man had treasures on earth, but he was not rich toward God.

7. Jesus never meddled in the temporal affairs of his apostles or disciples.

8. Then a man asked him: Master, I know your apostles have all things in common like the Essenes, but would you have all of us do likewise? Is it a sin to possess honest wealth?

9. Said Jesus: It is not a sin to possess honorable wealth; but it is a sin to convert wealth into treasures which absorb interests and divert your affections from the spiritual pursuits of the kingdom.

10. There is no sin in having honest possessions, provided your treasure is in heaven, for where your treasure is there will be your heart also.

11. There is a great difference between the wealth of covetousness and the wealth held in stewardship. Many of you here are supported by the liberal persons who have given funds to your host, David Zebedee, for such purposes.

12. Wealth is unenduring. Love of riches obscures and destroys spiritual vision. There is danger that wealth will become your master, not your servant.

13. Jesus did not countenance improvidence, idleness, or indifference to providing the necessities for one’s family, or dependence upon alms. But he did teach the subordination of the temporal to the spiritual.

14. Then came the young man again to ask Jesus about his inheritance. Said Jesus: Why do you neglect the bread of life in order to indulge your covetousness? Take your complaint to the court of the synagogue. Can’t you see that I am concerned with your heavenly inheritance?

15. Have you not read the Scripture: “There is he who waxes rich by his wariness and much pinching, and this is the portion of his reward: Whereas he says, I have found rest and now shall be able to eat continually of my goods, yet he knows not what time shall bring upon him, and also that he must leave all these things to others when he dies.”

16. Do you not know the commandment: “You shall not covet?” And again, “They have eaten and filled themselves and waxed fat, and then did they turn to other gods.” Have you not read in the Psalms how “the Lord abhors the covetous”? (Note: These three quotations cannot be found.)

17. Have you not read “The little a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked”? (Ps 37:16) “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” (Ps 62:10)

16. Have you not read in Jeremiah: “Let not the rich man glory in his riches”? (Jer 9:23) Then said Ezekiel, “With their mouths they make a show of love, but their hearts are set upon their own selfish gain.” (Eze 33:31)

17. As Jesus sent the young man away, he said: “My son, what shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?”

18. When a bystander asked him how the wealthy would stand in the judgment, Jesus answered: “I have come to judge neither the rich nor the poor, but the lives men live will sit in judgent on all.”

19. Three questions will be asked those who acquire great wealth:

How much wealth did you accumulate?

How did you get this wealth?

How did you use this wealth?

 

51. TALKS TO THE APOSTLES ON WEALTH

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: The Pella camp

C. OCCASION: This was a talk with the apostles the evening of the day on which the young man wanted Jesus to constrain his brother to divide their inheritance. Andrew asked: “Master, while we were baptizing the believers, you spoke many words to the lingering multitude which we did not hear. Would you be willing to repeat these words for our benefit?”

D. REFERENCES: (1823.1) 165:5.1 (Luke 12:22-34)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Yes, Andrew, but my words to you, my apostles, must differ somewhat from what I said to the multitude. You are ambassadors of the kingdom. You have forsaken all to follow me.

2. You know from experience that the Father will not forsake you. You should not be anxious about the things of the temporal life—what you shall eat or what you shall wear.

3. The welfare of the soul is more than food and drink; the progress of the spirit is far above the need of raiment.

4. Consider the ravens—they neither sow nor reap, they have no barns, yet the Father provides for them. How much more of value are you than many birds.

5. Anxiety and fretting can do nothing to supply your material needs. Anxiety cannot add to your stature. Why are you concerned with such problems?

6. Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass of the field, how much more shall he clothe you, O you of little faith:

7. When you devote yourselves to the gospel, be not doubtful concerning the support of yourselves or your families. If you give your lives to the gospel, you shall live by the gospel.

8. Believing disciples must earn their own bread and contribute to the gospel. But if you are anxious about your bread, wherein are you different from the natives of the world?

9. The Father and I know you have need of these things. Dedicate yourselves to the work and all of your needs shall be supplied.

10. Seek the greater things, and the lesser will be found therein; ask for the heavenly, and the earthly shall be included. The shadow is certain to follow the substance.

11. If you have faith you will not stumble in fear. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you this kingdom. Lay up treasure where no thief can despoil, and where no moth can destroy. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

12. After I go to the Father, you will be grievously tried. Be on watch against fear and doubt. Gird up the loins of your minds and keep your lamps burning.

13. Be like men watching for their master’s return from the marriage feast, that you may quickly open to him. Then will you receive the master’s blessing.

14. There is a crisis just ahead in your lives, so it behooves you to watch and be ready.

15. I well know that no man would suffer his house to be broken into if he knew what hour the thief would come. Be you also on watch, for in an hour you least suspect and in a manner you think not, shall the Son of Man depart.

52. THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW WAY

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: Gerasa

C. OCCASION: This discussion occurred at Gerasa during the last visit to northern Perea. A believing Pharisee asked Jesus: “Lord, will there be few or many really saved?”

D. REFERENCES: (1828.5) 166:3.1 (Luke 13:22-30)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. You have been taught that only the children of Abraham and the gentiles of adoption can hope for salvation. Since only Caleb and Joshua entered the promised land, so only comparatively few shall get to heaven.

2. You have a saying among you: The way leading to eternal life is straight and narrow, and the door thereof is also narrow, so that which leads to destruction is broad, the entrance is wide, and many choose to go this way.

3. This proverb is not without its meaning. But I declare that salvation is a matter of your personal choosing.

4. The door of salvation is wide enough to admit all who sincerely seek to enter, for I am that door. Every child who seeks the Father, by faith, shall find the Father through the Son.

5. There is a danger to those who postpone entrance to the kingdom because of pleasure-seeking and selfishness. Later on, when the kingdom is revealed in glory, they would find entrance. But I must then say to all such selfish ones—I know not whence you are.

6. You refused the proffers of mercy—the heavenly citizenship. You rejected the invitation to come while the door was open. You refused salvation, and now the door is shut.

7. Salvation is not for those who are unwilling to pay the price of wholehearted dedication to doing my Father’s will.

8. When in spirit and soul you have turned your backs upon the Father’s kingdom, it is useless in mind and body to knock upon the door, saying: “Lord, open to us, we would also be great in the kingdom.”

9. To all such—I must declare that you are not of my fold—you do not belong among those who have fought the good fight of faith.

10. And when you say, did we not eat and drink with you, and did you not teach in our city, then must I declare that you are spiritual strangers—you are not ministers of my Father’s mercy.

11. And when I declare that I do not know you, then shall the judge of all the earth say: Depart from us all you who have taken delight in the works of iniquity.

12. But fear not; every one who sincerely desires eternal life shall certainly find such everlasting salvation. Those who refuse salvation today will some time see the triumph of the kingdom.

13. True believers will take the kingdom in spiritual power and by the persistent assaults of living faith. And many who are first shall be last, and those who are last will many times be first.

14. And this, my friends, is the new and strange version of the old and familiar proverb of the straight and narrow way.

15. Slowly the apostles are learning the meaning of Jesus’ declaration: Unless you are born again—born of the spirit—you cannot enter the kingdom.

16. But to all who are honest of heart, it remains eternally true: Behold, I stand at the doors of men’s hearts and knock, and if any man will open to me, I will come in and sup with him and will feed him with the bread of life; we shall be one in spirit and purpose—we shall be brethren in the long search for the Paradise Father.

17. And so, whether few or many be saved depends on how many will heed the invitation: “I am the door, and I am the new and living way, and whosoever wills may enter to embark on the

53. TEACHING ABOUT ACCIDENTS

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: During the northern Perea mission, on the way to Philadelphia

C. OCCASION: While most Palestinians ate only two meals a day, Jesus and the apostles, when on a journey, often had a midday lunch. And it was at such a noontime meal that Thomas asked Jesus: Master, from your remarks this morning, I would like to ask if spiritual beings are concerned in the production of strange and extraordinary events in the material world. Are angels and other spirit beings able to prevent accidents?

D. REFERENCES: (1830.1) 166:4.1 (Luke 13:1-9)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Have you not observed my life—how I refuse to employ spiritual forces for my sustenance? We live by the same means whereby all men exist. You see spirit forces in the material world only by the will of the Father and the sometime healing of his afflicted children.

2. All too long have your fathers believed that prosperity was the token of divine approval; that adversity was the proof of God’s displeasure. All such notions are but superstitions.

3. Do you not notice that greater numbers of the poor joyfully receive our gospel? If riches evidence divine favor, why do the rich so often refuse to believe the good news?

4. The rain falls on the just and the unjust; the sun likewise shines on the righteous and the unrighteous. You know about the Galileans whose blood Pilate shed, but they were in no manner sinners above their fellows.

5. You know about eighteen men upon whom the tower of Siloam fell; these men were not offenders above their brethren. These folks were simply innocent victims of the accidents of time.

6. There are three groups of events which may occur in your lives:

  1. You may share in those normal happenings which are a part of the life which is lived on earth.
  2. You may fall victim to one of the accidents of nature.
  3. You may reap the harvest of your direct efforts to comply with the natural laws governing the world.

7. Then he told the story about a man who planted a tree in his yard. After three years, when it bore no fruit, he asked the more year while I fertilize it. And then, by the laws of nature, they were rewarded with an abundant yield.

8. Sickness and health are matters of material cause and effect. Health is not the smile of heaven, neither is affliction the frown of God.

9. The Father’s children have equal capacity for the reception of material blessings, therefore does God bestow things physical upon men without discrimination.

10. In the bestowal of spiritual gifts, God is limited by man’s capacity for receiving such endowments. Although the Father is no respecter of persons, in the bestowal of spirit gifts, God is limited by man’s faith and his willingness to do the Father’s will.

54. THE TALK ABOUT ANGELS

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: On the road from Jericho to Bethany

C. OCCASION: On the way from Jericho to Bethany (for the resurrection of Lazarus) as they journeyed up the hills, Nathaniel asked Jesus: “Seeing that the high priest is a Sadducee, and since the Sadducees do not believe in angels, what shall we teach the people regarding the heavenly ministers?”

D. REFERENCES: (1840.6) 167:7.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Angels are an order of creation entirely different from material mortal creatures. In the Scriptures angels are not called Sons of God; neither are they the spirits of departed human beings.

2. Angels are a direct creation and they do not reproduce themselves. As man progresses in the journey to Paradise, he does traverse a state of being analogous to that of angels, but mortal man never becomes an angel.

3. Angels never die—they are immortal unless they become involved in sin and rebellion, as some did in the Lucifer upheaval. Angels are pure and holy, but they are not all-wise nor all-powerful.

4. If your eyes could be opened, you would see angels ascending and descending. By means of angels we keep in touch with other worlds. I have many times told you that I have sheep not of this fold.

5. Angels are not spies of the spirit world who watch over you to discover the thoughts of your heart and observe the deeds of the flesh that they may report these things to the Father in heaven.

6. The Father really has no need of such service—seeing that his spirit lives within you. But these angels do keep one part of the universe in touch with other parts.

7. Angels while functioning in the service of the Father and his Sons are also assigned to the service of the human races.

8. When we call these seraphim ministering spirits, we are not speaking in figurative language nor poetic strains.

9. Angels are enlisted in the work of saving men. Have I not told you of the seraphic joy when even one soul elects to forsake sin and begin the search for God?

10. And I also told you of the joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner who repents—and this means that there are other and higher orders of celestial beings who are also interested in man’s salvation.

11. And these angels are also concerned in the release of man’s spirit from the tabernacles of the flesh when his soul is to be escorted to the heavenly mansions.

12. Angels are the heavenly guides of the soul of man during that uncharted period which intervences between death in the flesh and the new life in spirit abodes.

55. THE ANSWER TO PRAYER

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: On the way from Bethany to Pella

C. OCCASION: After the resurrection of Lazarus, on the way to Pella, the apostles asked many questions which Jesus answered, except those pertaining to the details of the resurrection of the dead. They were much concerned with the answer to prayer. They recalled Jesus’ remark at Philadelphia, on hearing of Lazarus’s illness—when he said: “This sickness is not really to the death.”

D. REFERENCES: (1848.1) 168:4.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Prayer is the reach of the finite mind in an effort to approach the Infinite. Prayer must, perforce, be limited by the knowledge, wisdom, and attributes of the finite; likewise must the answer be conditioned by the vision, aims, ideals, and prerogatives of the Infinite.

2. You can never observe an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto.

3. When a prayer is apparently unanswered, such a delay often betokens a better answer—albeit, one which for good reasons is greatly delayed. (When Jesus said that Lazarus’s sickness was not to death, he had already been dead eleven hours.)

4. No sincere prayer is denied an answer except when the superior viewpoint of the spiritual world has devised a better answer—an answer which meets the petition of the spirit of man as contrasted with the prayer of the mere mind of man.

5. A prayer of time may be so indited by the spirit and expressed in faith, that its all-encompassing petition can be answered only in eternity.

6. A finite petition may be so fraught with the grasp of the Infinite that an answer must be long postponed to await the creation of adequate capacity for receptivity. Maybe an answer can be received only on Paradise.

7. The answers to the prayer of a mortal mind are often of such a nature that they can be received and recognized only after that praying mind has attained the immortal state.

8. The prayer of a God-knowing person may be so distorted by ignorance and so deformed by superstition that the answer thereto would be highly undesirable.

9. Such confused prayers are so translated by the intervening spirit, that when the answer arrives, the petitioner wholly fails to recognize it as the answer to his prayer.

10. All true prayers are addressed to spiritual beings, and all such petitions must be answered in spiritual terms—spiritual realities. Spirit beings cannot bestow material answers.

11. Material beings can pray effectively only when they “pray in the spirit.” No prayer can hope for an answer unless it is born of the spirit and nurtured by faith.

12. Your faith implies that you have in advance granted your prayer hearers the full right to answer your petitions in accordance with supreme wisdom and divine love.

13. Always the child has a right to petition the parent; always must the parent determine the answer to the immature in accordance with mature wisdom.

14. Accordingly, the answers to the prayers of immaturity may be delayed, modified, segregated, transcended, or postponed to a subsequent stage of spiritual ascension.

15. Do not hesitate to pray the prayers of spirit longing; doubt not that you shall receive an answer. These answers will be on deposit, awaiting your attainment of future levels of spiritual existence—on this world or on others.

16. All spirit-born petitions are certain of an answer. Ask and you shall receive.

17. But you should remember that you are time-space creatures. You must ever reckon with the time-space factor in the full reception of the answers to your manifold prayers.

56. JESUS’ CONCEPT OF THE KINGDOM

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: At the Pella camp

C. OCCASION: This was the Master’s last sermon at the Pella camp. This was among the notable addresses of his public ministry. This was an effort to clarify the confusion existing in the minds of his followers respecting the true nature of the heavenly kingdom. Concerning the kingdom, Jesus’ last word always was: “The kingdom is within you.”

D. REFERENCES: (1859.11) 170:2.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. The concept of the kingdom was based on the truth of the fatherhood of God and the fact of the brotherhood of man.

2. This teaching would liberate man from the age-long bondage of animal fear and enrich human living with spiritual liberty.

3. The gospel imparts new courage and augmented spiritual power. Such liberated souls can dare to hope for eternal life.

4. The gospel carries new confidence and consolation for even the poor.

5. It is a new standard of moral values, a new ethical yardstick for measuring human conduct—the ideal of a new order of society.

6. It teaches the pre-eminence of the spiritual as compared with the material—it glorifies spirit realities and exalts superhuman ideals.

7. Spiritual attainment becomes the goal of living. Human life has a new endowment of moral value and divine dignity.

8. Man’s mortal striving acquired new meanings—even eternal rewards.

9. Human salvation is the revelation of a far-reaching divine purpose—the endless service of the salvaged sons of God.

10. There are two phases of the kingdom:

  1. In this world—the supreme desire to do the will of God.
  2. In the next world—the perfected estate wherein the will of God is done more divinely.

11. The conditions for entering the kingdom— Faith, sincerity, truth hunger;

As a child receives sonship as a gift.

Do the Father’s will without questioning.

Full trust in the Father’s wisdom.

Freedom from prejudice and preconception.

Open mindedness of the unspoiled child.

Hunger and thirst for righteousness.

The motive to find God and be like him.

12. In this sermon and during the discussions of that evening,Jesus presented five phases of the doctrine of the kingdom.

  1. The social brotherhood of believers.
  2. The invisible spiritual brotherhood of believers.
  3. The improved spiritual living of the next age of man.
  4. The kingdom in its fullness—the spiritual age of light and life.

13. Jesus in summing up his instruction placed emphasis on the following five points:

  1. Pre-eminence of the individual.
  2. The will as the determining factor in man’s experience.
  3. Fellowship with God the Father.
  4. Satisfactions of the service of man.
  5. The transcendency of the spiritual over the material in human personality.

 

57. TUESDAY MORNING IN THE TEMPLE

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: The Jerusalem temple

C. OCCASION: Jesus was stopping at the home of Simon—near Bethany. This morning Jesus advised Lazarus to flee to Philadelphia; said good-bye to Simon; gave parting advice to the women’s corps; and greeted each of the apostles with a personal salutation. Before going to the temple, James and Peter engaged the Master in a discussion of forgiveness. When he began teaching in the temple, he was confronted with a series of questions designed to entrap or compromise him.

D. REFERENCES: (1897.1) 174:0.1 (Matt 22:15-40; Mark 12:13-34; Luke 20:20-40)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. In saying good morning to the apostles, he voiced an appropriate greeting to each:

Andrew: Be not dismayed by the events just ahead.Keep a firm hold on your brethren and see that they do not find you downcast.

Peter: Put not your trust in the arm of flesh nor weapons of steel. Establish yourself on the spiritual foundations of the eternal rocks.

James: Falter not because of outward appearances. Remain firm in your faith, and you shall soon know of the reality of that which you believe.

John: Be gentle; love even your enemies; be tolerant. And remember that I have trusted you with many things.

Nathaniel: Judge not by appearances; remain firm in your faith when all appears to vanish; be true to your commission as an ambassador of the kingdom.

Philip: Be unmoved by the events now impending. Remain unshaken, even when you cannot see the way. Be loyal to your oath of consecration.

Matthew: Forget not the mercy that received you into the kingdom. Let no man cheat you of your eternal reward. As you have withstood the inclinations of the mortal nature be willing to be steadfast.

Thomas: No matter how difficult it may be, just now you must walk by faith and not by sight. Doubt not that I am able to finish the work I have begun, and that I shall eventually see all of my ambassadors in the kingdom beyond.

Alpheus Twins: Do not allow the things which you do not understand to crush you. Be true to the affections of your hearts and put not your trust in either great men or the changing attitude of the people. Stand by your brethren.

Simon Zelotes: Simon, you may be crushed by disappointment, but your spirit shall rise above all that may come upon you. What you have failed to learn from me, my spirit will teach you. Seek the true realities of the spirit and cease to be attracted by unreal and material shadows.

Judas: Judas, I have loved you and have prayed that you would love your brethren. Be not weary in well doing; and I would warn you to beware the slippery paths of flattery and the poison darts of ridicule.

 

PETER’S QUESTION ON FORGIVENESS

James claims that you teach that the Father forgives us even before we ask him, and I maintain that repentance and confession must precede forgiveness. Jesus answered:

1. You err because you do not understand the loving relations between the creature and the Creator. You fail to grasp the sympathy which the wise parent entertains for his immature and sometimes erring child.

2. It is doubtful if affectionate parents ever have to forgive the child. A part of the father lives in the child—insuring understanding.

3. For the earthly child, the heavenly Father possesses infinity and divinity of sympathy and understanding—forgiveness is inevitable.

4. It is inalienable in God’s perfection of knowledge that God would forgive. Divine justice is so eternally fair that it unfailingly embodies understanding mercy.

5. If you understand your fellows you will love them. If you really love your brother—you have already forgiven him.

6. The child often feels estranged—but the loving parent does not create such a separation. Sin is an experience of creature consciousness; it is not a part of God’s consciousness.

7. Your unwillingness to forgive is the measure of your immaturity—your lack of adult sympathy, understanding, and love.

8. The parent who holds grudges is ignorant of the true inner longings of the child. Love is founded on understanding, nurtured by unselfish service, and perfected in wisdom.

THE TEMPLE TALK

1. At a meeting of the Sanhedrin Monday evening, several groups had been instructed to attend Jesus’ temple talks and endeavor to entrap and embarrass him.

2. The first question came from a group of students. “Master, we know you are a righteous teacher, and we know that you proclaim the ways of truth,...our difficulty is this: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar...?”

3. Jesus perceived their hyprocrisy and said: “Show me the tribute money and I will answer you.” When they handed him a denarius, he looked at it and said: “Whose image and superscription does this coin bear?”

4. And when they answered, “Caesar’s,” Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

5. Next came the question about the man with six brothers dying with no children and how the six brothers successively married his widow. They wanted to know whose wife she would be in the resurrection.

6. All this was unlikely and such a law was a dead letter in that day. Nevertheless, Jesus replied: You err in not knowing the Scripture nor the living power of God.

7. Those who attain the worlds to come neither marry nor are given in marriage—they are more like the angels of heaven.

8. They are resurrected into the progress of eternal life. They are the children of light—the sons of God.

9. Even Moses at the burning bush heard God declare that he was the God of the living—not of the dead.

58. THE GREAT COMMANDMENT

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: The temple in Jerusalem

C. OCCASION: It is still Tuesday morning in the temple. The Pharisees and Sadducees are still asking Jesus entangling questions. After the question regarding the resurrection the Sadducees kept silent—the Pharisees took over.

D. REFERENCES: (1901.1) 174:4.1 (Matt 22:34-40)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Said one of his auditors: Master, I am a lawyer, and I would like to ask you which is the greatest commandment? Answered Jesus: There is but one commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2. Jesus went on—The second commandment is like the first: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

3. When the lawyer saw that Jesus had answered wisely and in accordance with Jewish religion, he thought best to commend him, saying, of a truth, Master, you have well said.

4. Jesus looked down upon the lawyer, saying, “My friend, I perceive that you are not far from the kingdom of God.”

5. That very night this lawyer went out to the Gethsemane camp, professed faith, and was baptized.

6. When no more questions were forthcoming, Jesus asked the Pharisees a question. What do you think of the Deliver? Whose son is he? After a pause, one answered: “The Messiah is the son of David.”

7. Said Jesus: If the Deliverer is the son of David, how is it that David says, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.” If David calls him Lord, how then can he be his son? (Ps 110:1)

8. They asked no more questions. They later changed this Psalm so as to make it refer to Abraham instead of the Messiah.

59. THE INQUIRING GREEKS

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: Jerusalem, around noon on this Tuesday

C. OCCASION: While Philip was around buying supplies for the new camp at Gethsemane, he was accosted by a delegation of Alexandrian Greeks who asked to see Jesus. Philip was perplexed by this unexpected episode. He decided to look for Andrew. Then Andrew and Philip led the Greeks to the home of Joseph where Jesus and the apostles were stopping.

D. REFERENCES: (1902.2) 174:5.1 (John 12:20-36)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. The Father sent me to reveal His loving-kindness to the children of men. But the children of Abraham and their leaders are about to reject me.

2. In rejecting me, they reject Him who sent me. I have told this people about sonship with joy, liberty, and life more abundant in the spirit. And my Father has done many wonderful works among these fear-ridden souls.

3. Truly, Isaiah referred to this people: “Lord, who has believed our teachings? And to whom has the Lord been revealed?” (Isa. 53:1) Truly have the leaders of my people deliberately blinded their eyes that they see not, and hardened their hearts lest they believe and be saved.

4. All these years have I sought to heal their unbelief and save them. Some have responded, for in this room are a score of men who were once members of the Sanhedrin.

5. I am constrained to show forbearance, for I still fear for the safety of some of you who are so near me.

6. Here are Jews and gentiles in about equal numbers. This may be the first and the last of such a group that I can instruct in the gospel before I go to the Father.

(These Greeks had been in conference, at the home of Nicodemus, the evening before and throughout the night. Thirty elected to enter the kingdom. As Jesus stood before these Greeks, he perceived the end of one dispensation and the beginning of another.)

7. In believing this gospel, you believe not only in me, but also in Him who sent me. I am the light of the world, and whosoever believes this teaching shall no longer abide in darkness.

8. If you gentiles will hear me you shall forthwith enter into the joyous liberty of sonship with God.

9. I do not judge the Jews who reject me. I came not to judge but to save. But all who reject the truth will be judged.

10. And the words which the Father directed me to speak to the world are words of divine truth, everlasting mercy, and eternal life.

11. To Jew and gentile I declare the hour has about come when the Son of Man will be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it abides alone. But if it dies in good soil, it springs up and bears much fruit.

12. He who selfishly loves his life stands in danger of losing it; but he who is willing to lay down his life for the sake of the gospel shall enjoy more abundant existence on earth and in heaven, life eternal.

13. I am troubled, for I know my hour is approaching. My people are determined to spurn the kingdom. I rejoice to see these gentiles inquiring for the way of light.

14. My heart aches for my people. When I look ahead, I cannot ask the Father to save me from this awful hour, for it was for this very purpose that I came into this world.

15. Rather will I say: Father, glorify your name; your will be done. (Then the Personalized Adjuster spoke—”I have glorified my name in your bestowals many times, and I will glorify it once more.”)

16. While those with Jesus heard no voice, they concluded that an angel had spoken to him.

17. Said Jesus: All this has happened not for my sake but for yours. I know of a certainty that the Father will receive me and accept my mission, but it is needful that you be encouraged and be made ready for the fiery trial which is just ahead.

18. Be assured that victory shall crown our united efforts to enlighten the world and liberate mankind.

19. The old order is bringing itself to judgment; the Prince of this world I have cast down; all men shall be liberated by the spirit which I shall pour out upon all flesh.

20. I, if I be lifted up in your lives, will draw all men to myself and into the fellowship of my Father.

21. You have thought that the Deliverer would remain on earth, but I declare that the Son of Man will be rejected and that he will go back to the Father. Only a little while will I be with you.

22. Walk while you have the light. He who walks in darkness knows not where he goes. If you walk in the light you shall indeed become the liberated sons of God.

23. And now, all of you, come with me while we return to the temple to speak farewell words to the benighted rulers of Israel.

60. THE LAST TEMPLE DISCOURSE

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: The Jerusalem temple.

C. OCCASION: Shortly after two o’clock this Tuesday afternoon, Jesus, accompanied by eleven apostles, Joseph of Arimathea, the thirty Greeks, and other disciples, arrived at the temple and began the delivery of his last address in the courts of the sacred edifice. This was his last appeal to the Jewish people and the final indictment of his enemies. The money changers had been driven out of the temple. All was quiet. No one asked him a question.

D. REFERENCES: (1905.1) 175:0.1 (Matt 23)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. This long time have I been with you, going up and down in the land proclaiming the Father’s love for the children of men. Many have seen the light and, by faith, have entered the kingdom of heaven.

2. In connection with this teaching, the Father has done many wonderful works—even to the resurrection of the dead. Many sick and afflicted have been made whole, but all of this has not opened the eyes of those who refuse to see the light.

3. In every manner consistent with my Father’s will, we have done our utmost to live at peace with our brethren—to conform with the laws of Moses.

4. We have persistently sought peace—but the leaders of Israel will not have it. By rejecting the light of heaven they are aligning themselves on the side of error and darkness.

5. There cannot be peace between light and darkness, between life and death, between truth and error.

6. Many have already entered into the joy and liberty of sonship, and you will bear witness that I have offered this same sonship to the whole Jewish nation—even to those who seek my destruction.

7. Even now would my Father receive these blinded teachers and hypocritical leaders if they would only accept his mercy. It is not too late to accept the gospel and welcome the Son of Man.

8. Generation after generation have we sent the prophets to teach and warn this people. They have killed these heaven-sent teachers and now your willful priests and stubborn rulers would destroy the Son of Man as Herod brought about the death of John.

9. As long as there is a chance that the Jews will seek salvation, God will keep his hands of mercy outstretched.

10. But when you finally reject my Father’s mercy, this nation shall speedily come to an inglorious end.

11. This people was called to become the light of the world—to show forth the spiritual glory of a God-knowing race.

12. But you are so departing from such a destiny that you are rejecting the gift of God to all men and for all ages.

13. And when you do once reject this revelation of God to man, the kingdom of heaven shall be given to other peoples—who will receive it with joy and gladness.

14. I solemnly warn you that you are about to lose your position in the world as the standard-bearers of eternal truth and custodians of the divine law.

15. I am offering you your last chance to come forward and repent—to seek God with all your hearts—sincerely, like little children, by faith enter the kingdom.

16. My Father has long worked for your salvation—then I came to show you the way. Many have believed, but you who should be the first to see these things have steadfastly refused to accept the revelation of truth—God revealed in man and man uplifted to God.

17. My apostles stand here in silence, but soon you shall hear their voices ringing out with the call to salvation—the urge to unite with the kingdom as sons of the living God.

18. And now I call you all to witness that I have once more offered Israel and her rulers deliverance and salvation. But you behold how the Father’s mercy is slighted and His messenger rejected.

19. Nevertheless, I admonish you that these rulers sit in Moses’ seat; therefore, until the Most Highs overthrow this nation, I bid you co-operate with these elders in Israel.

20. You are not required to join them in their plans to destroy the Son of Man, but in everything related to the peace of Israel you are to be subject to them.

21. This is the sin of your rulers: They say that which is good, but they do it not. They bind heavy burdens on you, but they will not help you bear these burdens. They oppress you with ceremonies and enslave you with traditions.

22. The rulers delight in doing their good works so that they will be seen of men. They demand the chief places in the synagogues. They want to be called rabbi. At the same time they despoil widows and take profit from the temple services. They make long prayers and give alms to be seen.

23. While you honor your rulers and reverence your teachers, call no man Father. Do not lord it over your brethren. If you would be great in the kingdom, become the server of all.

24. If you exalt yourself, you will be humbled. If you are humble, you shall be exalted. Seek not self-glorification—but the glory of God. Subordinate your will to the will of the Father.

25. I bear no malice toward the chief priests and rulers who seek my destruction; I have no ill will for the scribes and Pharisees who reject my teachings.

26. Woe upon you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You would shut the doors of heaven against men because they happen to be unlearned in your teachings. You refuse to enter the kingdom and at the same time you would prevent others entering.

27. You encompass land and sea to make one proselyte, and then you make him twofold worse than he was.

28. Woe upon you, who lay hold on the property of the poor and demand heavy dues from those who would worship God. If you refuse to show mercy, how shall you hope for mercy.

29. Woe upon you, false teachers and blind guides. What can we expect when the blind lead the blind?

30. Woe upon you who are dishonest when you take an oath. If you swear by the temple, you can break your oath. But if you swear by the gold in the temple, you must keep your word. Which is the greater—the gold in the temple or the temple which supposedly sanctifies the gold?

31. Woe upon you, hypocrites who tithe mint and anise while you disregard the weightier matters of the law—faith, mercy, and judgment. Blind guides and dumb teachers who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.

32. Woe upon you, scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites: You are scrupulous to cleanse the outside of the cup, but within remains the filth of extortion, excesses, and deception. You are spiritually blind.

33. You wicked reprobates: You make the outward performances of your religion to conform to the letter of your interpretation of Moses’ law while your souls are steeped in iniquity and filled with murder.

34. Woe upon all of you who reject truth and spurn mercy. Many are like whited sepulchres, outwardly appearing beautiful but within full of dead men’s bones.

35. Rejecting the counsel of God—you outwardly appear to be holy and righteous, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and iniquity.

36. Woe upon you, false guides of a nation: You build a monument to the martyred prophets, while you plot to destroy Him of whom they spoke.

37. You are only proving that you are the wicked sons of those who slew the prophets. Go on, and fill up the cup of your condemnation to the full:

38. Woe upon you, children of evil: John did truly call you the offspring of vipers. How can you escape the judgment John pronounced upon you?

39. But even now I offer you mercy and forgiveness—the loving hand of eternal friendship.

40. My Father sent you the prophets—some you killed. Then came John proclaiming the Son of Man. And now you make ready to shed more innocent blood.

41. Do you not comprehend that a terrible day of reckoning will come—an accounting for the way you have rejected, persecuted, and destroyed the messengers of heaven?

42. And if you are determined to go on in your evil ways, this accounting may be required of this very generation.

43. O Jerusalem and the children of Abraham, you who have stoned the prophets and killed the teachers, even now would I gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you will not.

44. And now I take leave of you. You have heard my message and have made your decision. You have chosen to reject the gift of God. My work for you is done. Your house is left to you desolate.

61. THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: Mount of Olives

C. OCCASION: Tuesday afternoon, as they left the temple Matthew called attention to the massive stones of the temple, and Jesus said: “In the days soon to come there shall not be left one stone upon another.” On the way to the Gethsemane camp, they passed on the western slope of Olivet, saw the temple glorified in the rays of the setting sun, and watched while the lights of the city appeared.

They sat down and while the Master was talking to them, Nathaniel asked: “Tell us, Master, how shall we know when these events are about to come to pass?”

D. REFERENCES: (1912.1) 176:0.1 (Matt 24- 25:26; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-46)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. In answer to Nathaniel’s question Jesus said: I will tell you about the times when justice shall swiftly descend on this city of our fathers. After I leave you—take heed that you are not deceived, for many will try to lead you astray.

2. Be not disturbed by wars and rumors of wars—famines and earthquakes. You will be persecuted and thrown out of the synagogues; you will be imprisoned and some of you killed.

3. When they bring you up before judges, be not anxious as to what you should say, for the spirit will teach you in that very hour what you shall answer your adversaries.

4. In these days of travail, even your kinsfolk will deliver you up to prison and death. For a time, you may be hated by all men for my sake, but I will not forsake you.

5. Be patient: Doubt not that the gospel will triumph over all enemies and, eventually, be proclaimed to all nations.

6. Then Andrew inquired: But, Master, if the Holy City and the temple are to be destroyed, when should we forsake Jerusalem?

7. Said Jesus: You may remain throughout the bitter persecutions, but when the Roman armies encompass Jerusalem, you should flee to the mountains. Tarry not to save anything.

8. This people will be led captive and Jerusalem shall be trodden by the gentiles.

9. Be not deceived by false teachers, saying here is theDeliverer or there.

10. Then Peter asked: We know all things will pass away when the new heavens and the new earth appear, but how shall we know when you will return to bring all this about?

11. Said Jesus: You ever err since you always try to attach the new teaching to the old. You seem determined to misunderstand me. Nevertheless, I will try to enlighten you.

12. Why do you still look for the Son of Man to sit upon the throne of David? Have I not told you all these years that my kingdom is not of this world?

13. This which you now look down upon is coming to an end, but this will be the beginning of the gospel going to all the world.

14. And when the kingdom comes to full fruition, be assured that the Father will vest you with an enlarged revelation of truth.

15. There came Adam, then Melchizedek, and in these days the Son of Man. And so will my Father continue to show forth his love to this dark and evil world.

16. After the Father has invested me with all power and authority, I will continue to follow your fortunes and guide you by the presence of my spirit which shall presently be poured out upon all flesh.

17. And I promise that I will sometime return to this world where I have lived this life in the flesh.

18. Soon I must leave you to take up the work the Father has intrusted to my hands. But be of good courage, for I will sometimes return. Meantime, my Spirit of Truth shall comfort and guide you.

19. You behold me now in weakness and in the flesh, but when I return, it shall be with power and in the spirit. The eye of flesh beholds the Son of Man, but only the eye of the spirit will behold me glorified by the Father and appearing in my own name.

20. But the times of the reappearing of the Son of Man are known only on Paradise; not even the angels of heaven know these things.

21. But when this gospel shall have been proclaimed to all the world—in the fullness of the age—the Father will send another dispensational bestowal, or the Son of Man will return to adjudge the age.

22. But concerning the travail of Jerusalem—even this generation will not pass until my words are fulfilled. But concerning my return, no one in heaven or on earth may presume to speak.

23. But you should be wise regarding the ripening of an age—alert to discern the signs of the times. You know when the fig tree puts forth leaves that summer is near.

24. When the world passes through the long winter of material-mindedness you should discern the coming of the springtime of a spiritual dispensation—and that the summertime of a new visitation draws near.

25. Do you not perceive that when each of you is called to lay down his life and pass through the portal of death, you stand in the presence of judgment—facing the facts of a new dispensation.

26. What a whole world must face at the literal end of an age, you individually must face when you reach the end of your natural life.

27. Later on, that evening, about the campfire, Thomas asked: Since you are to return to finish the work of the kingdom, what should be our attitude while you are away on the Father’s business?

28. Said Jesus: And even you, Thomas, fail to comprehend what I have been saying. All this time I have taught you that the kingdom is spiritual, individual, a faith-experience—and by faith. What more shall I say?

29. If you are God-knowing and your life is hid in the eternal surety of the kingdom, what does it matter if:

The nations fall.

Empires crash.

The Jews perish.

The age of the world ends.

Temporal upheavals happen.

Terrestrial cataclysms occur.

All things visible crash.

30. Even if all this happens, it cannot affect you when your life, the gift of the Son, is eternally secure in the Father.

31. Having lived the temporal life by faith—yielding the fruits of loving service for your fellows—you can look forward with confidence to the next step in the eternal career.

32. Each generation should carry on their work, in view of the possible return of the Son of Man, just as each individual believer carries forward his lifework in view of inevitable and ever impending natural death.

33. When, by faith, you have established your sonship with God, nothing else matters as regards the surety of your survival.

34. Make no mistake: This survival faith is a living faith—increasingly manifesting the fruits of the divine spirit.

35. Being sons of the kingdom will not save you in the face of knowing and persistent rejection of the truths essential to progressive spiritual attainment.

36. Even you who have been with me in the Father’s business on earth, can even now desert if you love not the Father’s service

62. DISCOURSE ON SONSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP

A. TIME: A. D. 30

B. PLACE: The Gethsemane camp

C. OCCASION: This Thursday’s forenoon talk was given to a chosen group of both Jews and gentiles. It was really his farewell address to the combined company of the apostles and his leading disciples. The twelve were all present, except Judas. He talked for almost two hours to this group of fifty believers and answered a score of questions. This record is a summary of this discussion.

D. REFERENCES: (1929.2) 178:1.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Kingdoms of this world may employ force to maintain order. The heavenly kingdom of spiritual brotherhood may be promoted only by the power of the spirit.

2. This does not nullify the right of believers to enforce discipline upon unruly members.

3. There is nothing incompatible between sonship in the spiritual kingdom and citizenship in the secular government. It is the believer’s duty to render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s.

4. There is no conflict between the obligations of the material and the spiritual—unless Caesar presumes to usurp the worship prerogatives of God.

5. You shall not render worship to earthly rulers; and you shall not employ the powers of earthly governments to further the work of the spiritual kingdom.

6. Sonship should make you the ideal citizen—love for your fellows and the absence of hate.

7. But the worldly minded will never know of your light and truth unless you draw near them in unselfish social service.

8. You face a triple responsibility—service to God and man—and special devotion to the brotherhood of believers.

9. The fruits of the spirit—loving service—are a mighty social lever to uplift the races of darkness. The Spirit of Truth will become your power fulcrum.

10. In your dealings with civil rulers—display wisdom and exhibit sagacity. By discretion expertly iron out the trifles of misunderstanding.

11. Seek to live peaceably with all men. Be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves.

12. Sonship should make you better citizens and better rulers of the secular government. Sincerity in one sphere of life should favor response to duty in another sphere.

13. If civil rulers become religious dictators, you will suffer persecution. But the manner in which you suffer and die will eventually enlighten the world.

14. This gospel will bring about divorcement of politics and religion—intellectual freedom and religious liberty.

15. Under persecutions, the kingdom will prosper, but you will be in grave danger, subsequently, when all men speak well of you, when men in high places nominally accept the gospel.

16. Learn to be faithful even in times of peace and prosperity. You should not require trouble to save your ease-drifting souls.

17. You are commissioned to preach the gospel—let nothing divert you from this one duty. Let all mankind benefit from your spiritual ministry, intellectual communion, and uplifting social service.

18. But these humanitarian labors are not to take the place of the gospel. These mighty ministrations are but the by-product of the still more mighty transformations which the Spirit has made in the hearts of the faith-sons of the kingdom.

19. Do not employ civil power to promote religion. Persuade men, but never compel them. Whatsoever that you would that men do to you, do even so to them.

20. When believers serve the civil government, their service should be enhanced by the spiritual enlightenment of their religion. If the believer is not a superior civil servant as compared to the unbeliever, there is something wrong with his spiritual life.

21. Consciousness of sonship with God should quicken the entire life service of every man, woman, and child who possesses such a mighty stimulus to all the inherent powers of a human personality.

22. You are not to be passive mystics or colorless ascetics; you should not become dreamers and drifters, supinely trusting in a fictitious Providence to provide the necessities of life.

23. Be gentle with erring mortals, patient with ignorant men, forbearing under provocation; but also be valiant in defense of righteousness, mighty in the promulgation of truth, and aggressive in the preaching of the gospel.

24. This gospel of living truth is like the leaven, the mustard seed—and it is also like the seed of living beings extending from generation to generation.

25. I have made to you a living revelation, and it should bear spiritual fruits in successive generations of believers.

26. From generation to generation the gospel should show increasing vitality and exhibit greater spiritual power. You must not allow this gospel to become merely a sacred memory, a mere tradition about me and the times in which we now live.

27. we have made no direct attack upon the persons or upon the authority of those who sit in Moses’ seat; we only offered them light which they so rigorously rejected.

28. We only denounced their disloyalty to the truths which they profess to teach and safeguard. We clashed with them only when they opposed the preaching of the gospel.

29. Even now we do not assail them, but they seek our destruction. You are to preach the good news—not to attack the old ways.

30. Give the Spirit of Truth a chance to do its work. Avoid controversy unless they force it upon you. But do not hesitate to defend the truth which has sanctified you.

31. Throughout the vicissitudes of life, remember always to love one another. Do not strive with men—even with unbelievers. Show mercy to those who abuse you.

32. Prove yourselves loyal citizens, upright artisans, praiseworthy neighbors, devoted kinsmen, understanding parents, and sincere believers in the brotherhood of the kingdom.

33. And my spirit shall be with you, even to the end of the world.

63. THE LAST SUPPER

A. TIME: A. D. 30

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—in the upper chamber of the home of John Mark’s parents

C. OCCASION: Jesus, knowing that he would not be able to celebrate the Passover with his apostles on Friday, planned to have this special meal with them on this Thursday evening.

D. REFERENCES: (1933.2) 178:2.5 (1938.1) 179:2.2 (Matt 26:17-30;  Mark 14:12-26)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. On the way to the last supper, they tarried on the western brow of Mount Olivet, while Jesus entered upon an intimate discussion of their work on earth after his departure. He again referred to the destruction of Jerusalem and admonished them to avoid all foolish notions about defending him when his enemies should come upon them. He referred to the “many abodes” in his Father’s universe. He promised that, after much tribulation, they would sit down with him in the spirit kingdom on high. (See Urantia Book, (1934.4) 178:3.2)

2. When the apostles first entered the upper chamber, there was much confusion while they sought to get for themselves seats of honor at the table.

3. After the taking of the first cup of the Passover ceremony, Jesus made ready to enact the parable of washing the apostles’ feet.

4. After being seated, Jesus said: I wanted to eat with you once more before I suffer. I arranged for this supper tonight because tomorrow we are all in the hands of the Father. I will not again eat with you until we sit down in the kingdom over there.

5. Jesus then went over to where reposed the water, basins, and towels, and after girding himself with a towel, went over by Peter, and kneeling down, made ready to wash his feet. They all stood in breathless amazement.

6. At first, Peter refused to allow the Master to wash his feet. Then said Jesus: If I do not wash your feet, you will have no part with me in that which I am about to perform.

7. Then answered Peter: Then, Master, wash not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

8. In washing Peter’s feet Jesus said: He who is already clean needs only to have his feet washed. You who sit with me tonight are clean—but not all. I perform this service as a parable to illustrate a new commandment which I will presently give you.

9. When he had finished washing their feet—Jesus said: Do you really understand what I have done? You call me Master, and I have washed your feet—why was it that you were unwilling to wash one another’s feet? The servant is not greater than his master. But why are you so slow to learn the secret of greatness in the spiritual kingdom?

10. When I came here tonight you not only proudly refused to wash one another’s feet, but you must also fall to disputing among yourselves as to who should have the places of honor at my table.

11. There are no places of preferment at my table. I love each of you as I do the others. He who would be great among you, let him become as the younger; he who would be chief, let him become one who serves.

12. You observe that I am among you as one who serves. And you should be willing to become fellow servants with me in doing the Father’s will.

13. During the meal Jesus, looking them over, said: Knowing that the forces of evil have conspired to bring about the death of the Son of Man, I determined to eat this supper with you since I will not be with you by this time tomorrow night.

14. While my hour has come, it was not required that one of you should betray me into the hands of my enemies. Looking at one another, they all inquired: Is it I?

15. must go to the Father, but there was no reason why one of you should become a traitor. This is the coming to fruit of the concealed evil in the heart of one who failed to love truth with his whole soul.

16. How deceitful is the intellectual pride that precedes the spiritual downfall. My friend of many years, who even now eats my bread, will be willing to betray me.

17. And when Judas asked, Is it I? Jesus handed the bread to Judas, say-ing: You have said. It was so natural to serve the one sitting on the left of the host, the apostles failed to comprehend that Judas was the betrayer.

18. Said Jesus: I sorrow that this evil should happen and hoped up to this hour that the power of truth would triumph over evil. But such victories are not won without the faith of the sincere love of the truth.

19. I tell you these things only because you should be strengthened for the temptations and trials which are just ahead. Then Jesus leaned over to Judas and said: What you have decided to do, do quickly.

20. Then they brought Jesus the third cup of wine—the “cup of blessing.” He arose, saying: Take this cup, all of you, and drink it. This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you the emblem of the bestowal of the divine Spirit of Truth.

21. And I will not again drink this cup with you until I drink it in new form with you in the Father’s eternal kingdom.

22. The Master was now instituting a new remembrance supper as a symbol of the new dispensation wherein the enslaved individual emerges from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of the brotherhood and fellowship of the liberated faith sons of the living God.

23. Next, Jesus took the bread and after giving thanks and breaking it, directed them to pass it around, saying: Take this bread of remembrance and eat it. I have told you that I am the bread of life. And this bread is the united life of the Father and the Son in one gift. The word of the Father, as revealed in the Son, is indeed the bread of life.

24. When you do these things, recall the life I have lived on earth among you and rejoice that I am to continue to live on earth with you and to serve through you.

25. Contend not among yourselves as to who shall be greatest. Be you all as brethren.

26. This mighty occasion took place in the upper chamber of a friend. There was nothing sacred or ceremonial about either the supper or the building. The remembrance supper was established without ecclesiastical sanction.

27. Said Jesus in conclusion: As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. And when you do remember me, first look back upon my life in the flesh, recall that I was once with you, and then, by faith, discern that you shall all some time sup with me in the Father’s eternal kingdom.

28. This is the new Passover which I leave with you, even the memory of my bestowal life, the word of eternal truth, of my

64. THE NEW COMMANDMENT

A. TIME: A. D. 30

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—following the Last Supper at the Mark home

C. OCCASION: Following the Last Supper, Jesus recounted their preaching tour and advised them to make provision for proper support in their future work. He then told them that he must return to the Father but that they were to carry on the gospel work.

D. REFERENCES: (1944.1) 180:0.1 (John 15:1-27)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. Said Jesus: When I enacted for you a parable indicating how you should be willing to serve one another, I said I desired to give you a new commandment. I would do this now as I am about to leave you.

2. You all know the commandment which directs you to love one another—to love your neighbor as yourself. But I am not wholly satisfied with even that sincere devotion.

3. I give you this new commandment: That you love one another even as I have loved you. And by this will all men know that you are my disciples.

4. This new commandment puts no new burden on your souls. Rather it brings new joy by the bestowal of added affection upon your fellows.

5. This is your supreme measure of true affection—for greater love can no man have than to lay down his life for his friends.

6. You are my friends. You call me Master, but I have never called you servants. I have chosen you and ordained that you go forth to yield the fruit of loving service to your fellows.

7. You shall experience the fullness of divine joy, if you shall love one another even as I have loved you.

8. If you would share the Master’s joy, you must share his love—share his service. This will not deliver you from trouble in this world—but it does create a new world.

9. It is loyalty—not sacrifice that I demand. Sacrifice suggests the absence of that affection which would have made such a service a supreme joy.

10. Duty suggests that you are servant minded—you thus miss the mighty thrill of doing your service as a friend and for a friend.

11. The impulse of friendship transcends all convictions of duty. And service for a friend can never be called a sacrifice.

12. Jesus called his apostles sons of God and brethren—now he calls them friends.

13. Jesus now stands up saying: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. I am the vine and you are the branches.

14. The Father requires that you bear much fruit, therefore is the vine pruned. If the branch bears no fruit, the Father will take it away.

15. The Father will cleanse every fruitful branch that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean by the word I have spoken.

16. The branch dies if it is separated from the vine. You must abide in me, and I in you.

17. As I am the vine, so are you the living branches. You cannot yield the fruits of loving service unless you abide in me.

18. If you maintain this living spiritual connection you will bear much spirit fruit.

19. If my spirit infuses you—you can ask what you will with the assurance that the Father will grant our petition.

20. Herein is the Father glorified: That the vine has many living branches, and that every vine bears much fruit.

21. And when the world sees these fruit-bearing branches—my friends loving one another, even as I have loved them—all men will know that you are my disciples.

22. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Live in my love even as I live in the Father’s love.

23. After discussing the remarks on the vine and the branches, the Master continued: When I leave you, be not discouraged by the enmity of the the world. Faint-hearted believers may even turn against you.

24. If the world hates you, recall that it also hated me. You are not of this world, therefore does the world refuse to love you.

25. While you are in this world, your lives are not to be worldlike. I have called you out of the world—even to represent the spirit of another world.

26. Always remember that the servant is not greater than his master. If they persecute me, they will also persecute you. And all this they do because they believe not in me nor in Him who sent me.

27. When you suffer for the gospel—remember that I suffered before you. Some of your enemies are ignorant—but not all. Some have knowingly rejected saving light—they have no excuse for their sin.

28. What have I done that the rulers should hate me? I have only offered them salvation. But have you not read in the Scripture: “And they hated me without a cause”?

29. But I will not long leave you alone in the world—I will soon send you a spirit helper—to comfort and teach you the way of truth.

30. Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. Even though I leave you, I will not be far from you.

31. In my Father’s universe there are many spheres. I go to these worlds of light—and sometime you also shall ascend thereto.

32. If I go before you to the Father, I will surely send for you. Mean-time, I shall be present with you in spirit even while you tarry on this world.

33. Though you cannot go with me to the Father just now, you shall certainly follow me in the ages to come.

34. As Jesus sat down, Thomas said: Master, we do not know where you are going but we will follow you if you will show us the way. Jesus answered: Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man goes to the Father except through me.

35. This was all too deep for many of them. Said Philip: Master, show us the Father, and everything will be made plain. Said Jesus: Philip, have I been so long with you and even now you do not know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father.

36. I speak the Father’s words, do the Father’s will, and perform

65. THE PROMISED HELPER

A. TIME: A. D. 30

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—after the Last Supper in the Mark home

C. OCCASION: This was one of the talks given after the Last Supper. This was a part of the farewell discourse.

D. REFERENCES: (1948.2) 180:4.1 (John 14:16-31; John 15-16)

E. SYLLABUS:

1. After I have gone to the Father, after I have received the final sovereignty of my domain, according to my promise, I will send you another Teacher—I will pour out my Spirit of Truth upon all flesh.

2. You already have the spirit of my Father in your hearts—then you shall also have this new gift of the spirit of living truth.

3. Unbelievers may not want to listen to this Spirit of Truth, but the sons of light will receive him gladly. And you shall know this spirit as you have known me.

4. You perceive that I am not going to leave you alone and without guidance. Today I can be with you only in person—in times to come I can be with you and all other men wherever you may be.

5. So you see, it is better that I go away—that I leave you in the flesh so that I may the better and the more fully be with you in the spirit.

6. In a few hours the world will see me no more. You will know me because I will send my spirit to live within you. I have kept the Father’s word and you will keep my word. And this spirit will comfort you and eventually lead you into all truth.

7. I tell you these things to prepare you for the trials which are just ahead. You will be indwelt by both the Father and the Son, and this spirit friend will bring to your remembrance everything I have taught you.

8. At this point Judas Alpheus asked one of the few questions he ever addressed to Jesus: Master, you have always lived among us as a friend. How shall we know you when you manifest yourself only by this spirit?

9. Smiling, Jesus said: I am going back to the Father. In a little while I will send you my spirit—just like me except for this material body. This teacher of truth will live in you.

10. In these ways both the Father and I will dwell within you. And you shall learn to love one another as we both have loved you.

11. After many questions had been asked, Jesus continued: I am trying to prepare you for what is coming upon us. They will put you out of the synagogue and some of you they will kill.

12. They refuse to know the Father by rejecting me, and when they reject you, they refuse to receive me.

13. I am talking plainly to you because you are confronted with trouble. A man’s foes may be those of his own household.

14. While the gospel brings great peace to the soul, it does not bring peace on earth until men are willing to do the Father’s will.

15. It is strange that none of you ask me why I am leaving you. As I have told you, it is profitable that I go away—so that the new teacher can come. He will help you to judge between sin and righteousness.

16. There is much to say, but you cannot stand any more just now. This Spirit of Truth will guide you through the many abodes in my Father’s universe.

17. This spirit will not speak of himself, but will declare that which the Father has revealed to the Son; and will show you things to come.

18. Everything which the Father has in this domain is now mine; wherefore did I say that the new teacher would take of that which is mine and reveal it to you.

19. I am about to leave you for a little while. When you see me again, I will be on the way to the Father so that even then you will not see me for long.

20. The apostles were much confused. They did not comprehend what he intended by these remarks about “a little while,” etc.

21. Said Jesus: Why are you so confused? I have plainly told you that the Son of Man must die, but that I will rise again. Why can you not understand these things?

22. A woman may be sorrowful in her travail, but presently she is joyful with her child. So you will be sorrowful at first, but later your sorrow will be turned to joy.

23. There is going to come to you a new revelation of salvation which no man can ever take away from you.

24. Hitherto you have made all your requests in my Father’s name. After you see me again, you may also ask in my name, and I will hear you.

25. I have had to teach you in parables because you were only children in the spirit. But the time will come when I can talk to you more fully about the Father and his kingdom.

26. The Father desires to be more fully revealed to you. I have shown you the Father, but when you are perfected in spirit growth, you shall see the Father himself.

27. After a pause, Jesus again addressed them: In the flesh, I can only be one among you; but when delivered from this investment of mortal nature, I can become a spiritual incarnation in the souls of all true believers.

28. And so will I be the better prepared to guide you through this life as I also will guide you through the many abodes in the future life of the heaven of heavens.

29. Your future life is not an endless rest of idleness and selfish ease but rather a ceaseless progression in grace, truth, and glory.

30. You will go on from glory to glory until you finally attain the divine state wherein you are spiritually perfected even as the Father is perfect.

31. If you would follow after me, strive to do the Father’s will—rather than trying to imitate my natural life in the flesh.

32. All will not receive the new teacher as their guide, but to those who do, this Spirit of Truth will become in them a well of living water springing up into eternal life.

33. As I am about to leave you, I would speak words of comfort. My peace I leave with you. I give each of you all you will receive.

34. Let not your heart be troubled—neither be afraid. I have overcome the world, and through me you shall triumph by faith. I may be killed, but I will come back before I go to my Father.

35. I love you with a great affection. I would not leave you—but it is the Father’s will—my hour has come. Remember, I will surely send you the new teacher.

36. Do not doubt even after you are scattered abroad by persecution and cast down by many sorrows. But you will not be alone, even as I am never alone—always we have the Father with us.

37. I tell you all these things that you may have peace—and have it more abundantly. In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have triumphed over the world and I show you the way to eternal joy and everlasting service.

66. FAREWELL PERSONAL ADMONITIONS

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: Jerusalem—upper chamber of the Mark home

C. OCCASION: This was the concluding part of the after supper remarks of the Master.

D. REFERENCES: (1955.2) 181:2.1

E. SYLLABUS: These farewell remarks do not lend themselves to any sort of condensation. It will, therefore, be best to refer directly to the text.

67. THE LAST GROUP PRAYER

A. TIME: A.D. 30

B. PLACE: Mt. Olivet—on a large, flat rock, a short distance from the Gethsemane camp

C. OCCASION: A few moments after arriving at camp, Jesus said: My friends and brethren, my time with you is now very short, and I desire that we draw apart by ourselves while we pray to our Father in heaven for strength to sustain us in this hour and henceforth in all the work we must do in his name.

They knelt in a circle about Jesus as they had done on the day of their ordination; and then, standing there in the midst of them glorified in the mellow moonlight, he offered the last group prayer.

D. REFERENCES: (1963.3) 182:1.1 (John 17)

E. SYLLABUS: No effort will be made to condense this extraordinary prayer. Reference should be made to the text.

68. LAST HOUR BEFORE THE BETRAYAL

A. TIME: A. D. 30

B. PLACE: At the Gethsemane camp.

C. OCCASION: These are some of the exchanges which took place between Jesus and some of his associates on his last evening with them, and just before they retired for the night.

D. REFERENCES: (1966.1) 182:2.1

E. SYLLABUS:

1. When David Zebedee and John Mark informed Jesus that Judas intended to betray him, Jesus said: My friends, nothing can happen to the Son of Man unless the Father in heaven so wills. Let not your hearts be troubled; all things will work together for the glory of God and the salvation of men.

2. Then Jesus addressed his last words to the eleven: My friends, go to your rest. Prepare yourselves for the work of tomorrow. Remember, we should all submit ourselves to the will of the Father in heaven.

3. Jesus called David Zebedee and said: Send me your most fleet and trustworthy messenger. David brought Jacob—and Jesus said to him: In all haste go to Abner at Philadelphia and say: The Master sends greetings of peace to you and says that the hour has come when he will be delivered into the hands of his enemies, who will put him to death, but that he will rise from the dead and appear to you shortly, before he goes to the Father.

After rehearsing this message, Jesus said to Jacob: Fear not what any man may do to you, Jacob, for this night an unseen messenger will run by your side.

4. Turning to the chief of the visiting Greeks, Jesus said: My brother, be not disturbed by what is about to take place since I have forewarned you. The Son of Man will be put to death at the instigation of his enemies, the chief priests and the rulers of the Jews, but I will rise to be with you a short time before I go to the Father. And when you have seen all this come to pass, glorify God and strengthen your brethren.

5. Said Jesus to Andrew as he left his side that night: Andrew, do what you can to keep your brethren together until I come again to you after I have drunk this cup. Strengthen your brethren, seeing that I have already told you all. Peace be with you.

6. Before David went to his self-imposed task of outpost duty, he bade farewell to Jesus, saying: Master, I have had great joy in my service with you. My brothers are your apostles, but I have delighted to do the lesser things as they should be done, and I shall miss you with all my heart when you are gone.

7. Said Jesus to David: David, my son, others have done that which they were directed to do, but this service have you done of your own heart, and I have not been unmindful of your devotion. You, too, shall some day serve with me in the eternal kingdom.

8. As they prepared to go on watch, David said to Jesus: You know, Master, I sent for your family, and I have word by a messenger that they are tonight in Jericho. They will be here early tomorrow forenoon since it would be dangerous for them to come up the bloody way by night.

And Jesus said: Let it be so, David.

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