Ministry

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MINISTRY

I. INFINITE SPIRIT THE GOD OF MINISTRY

1. Minister of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy.

“The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son’s mercy and the Father’s love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you.” (98.3) 9:0.3

2. Infinite Spirit is the God of ministry.

“God is love, the Son is mercy, the Spirit is ministry—the ministry of divine love and endless mercy to all intelligent creation. The Spirit is the personification of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy; in him are they eternally united for universal service. The Spirit is love applied to the creature creation, the combined love of the Father and the Son.” (94.4) 8:4.2

3. Conjoint Creator is the universal mercy minister.

“The Conjoint Creator is truly and forever the great ministering personality, the universal mercy minister. To comprehend the ministry of the Spirit, ponder the truth that he is the combined portrayal of the Father’s unending love and of the Son’s eternal mercy. The Spirit’s ministry is not, however, restricted solely to the representation of the Eternal Son and the Universal Father. The Infinite Spirit also possesses the power to minister to the creatures of the realm in his own name and right; the Third Person is of divine dignity and also bestows the universal ministry of mercy in his own behalf.” (95.2) 8:4.7

4. Infinite Spirit is the universal mind minister.

“The unique feature of mind is that it can be bestowed upon such a wide range of life. Through his creative and creature associates the Third Source and Center ministers to all minds on all spheres. He ministers to human and subhuman intellect through the adjutants of the local universes and, through the agency of the physical controllers, ministers even to the lowest nonexperiencing entities of the most primitive types of living things. And always is the direction of mind a ministry of mind-spirit or mind-energy personalities.” (103.1) 9:5.3

Note: Ministry is the measure of socialization—brotherhood attainment. God the Father is infinitely socialized.

II. MINISTRY OF THE PARADISE SONS

1. The Paradise Sons are ministers of salvation.

“The Paradise Sons are the divine presentation of the acting natures of the three persons of Deity to the domains of time and space. The Creator, Magisterial, and Teacher Sons are the gifts of the eternal Deities to the children of men and to all other universe creatures of ascension potential. These Sons of God are the divine ministers who are unceasingly devoted to the work of helping the creatures of time attain the high spiritual goal of eternity.” (232.5) 20:10.2

2. The Paradise Sons are a revelation of Deity.

“In the local universes these orders of sonship collaborate to effect the revelation of the Deities of Paradise to the creatures of space: As the Father of a local universe, a Creator Son portrays the infinite character of the Universal Father. As the bestowal Sons of mercy, the Avonals reveal the matchless nature of the Eternal Son of infinite compassion. As the true teachers of ascending personalities, the Trinity Daynal Sons disclose the teacher personality of the Infinite Spirit. In their divinely perfect cooperation, Michaels, Avonals, and Daynals are contributing to the actualization and revelation of the personality and sovereignty of God the Supreme in and to the time-space universes. In the harmony of their triune activities these Paradise Sons of God ever function in the vanguard of the personalities of Deity as they follow the never-ending expansion of the divinity of the First Great Source and Center from the everlasting Isle of Paradise into the unknown depths of space.” (233.1) 20:10.4

III. JESUS’ LIFE OF MINISTRY

1. Jesus came to minister.

“‘And mark well my words: I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. The Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister and to bestow his life as the gift for all. I declare to you that I have come to seek and to save those who are lost.’”(1750.3) 157:6.9 Matt 9:13. Mark 10:45.

2. Jesus went about doing good.

“He loved men as brothers, at the same time recognizing how they differed in innate endowments and acquired qualities. ‘He went about doing good.’”(1102.5) 100:7.8 Acts 10:38.

3. Jesus’ life was one of ministry.

“But the Master was so reasonable, so approachable. He was so practical in all his ministry, while all his plans were characterized by such sanctified common sense. He was so free from all freakish, erratic, and eccentric tendencies. He was never capricious, whimsical, or hysterical. In all his teaching and in everything he did there was always an exquisite discrimination associated with an extraordinary sense of propriety.” (1101.7) 100:7.3

4. Jesus acts a parable of ministry.

“‘Do you really understand what I have done to you? You call me Master, and you say well, for so I am. If, then, the Master has washed your feet, why was it that you were unwilling to wash one another’s feet? What lesson should you learn from this parable in which the Master so willingly does that service which his brethren were unwilling to do for one another? Verily, verily, I say to you: A servant is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than he who sends him. You have seen the way of service in my life among you, and blessed are you who will have the gracious courage so to serve. But why are you so slow to learn that the secret of greatness in the spiritual kingdom is not like the methods of power in the material world?’” (1939.6) 179:3.8 John 13:5-17.

IV. MINISTRY OF THE LOCAL UNIVERSE MOTHER SPIRIT

1. Ministry of Local Universe Mother Spirit.

“Mortal man first experiences the ministry of the Spirit in conjunction with mind when the purely animal mind of evolutionary creatures develops reception capacity for the adjutants of worship and of wisdom. This ministry of the sixth and seventh adjutants indicates mind evolution crossing the threshold of spiritual ministry. And immediately are such minds of worship- and wisdom-function included in the spiritual circuits of the Divine Minister.” (379.3) 34:5.3

2. How the Universe Mother ministers.

“As individuals you do not personally possess a segregated portion or entity of the spirit of the Creator Father-Son or the Creative Mother Spirit; these ministries do not contact with, nor indwell, the thinking centers of the individual’s mind as do the Mystery Monitors. Thought Adjusters are definite individualizations of the prepersonal reality of the Universal Father, actually indwelling the mortal mind as a very part of that mind, and they ever work in perfect harmony with the combined spirits of the Creator Son and Creative Spirit. (379.6) 34:5.6

3. The far-flung Spirit ministry.

“From the heights of eternal glory the divine Spirit descends, by a long series of steps, to meet you as you are and where you are and then, in the partnership of faith, lovingly to embrace the soul of mortal origin and to embark on the sure and certain retracement of those steps of condescension, never stopping until the evolutionary soul is safely exalted to the very heights of bliss from which the divine Spirit originally sallied forth on this mission of mercy and ministry.” (380.4) 34:6.3

4. The adjutant mind-spirits.

“The seven adjutant mind-spirits are called by names which are the equivalents of the following designations: intuition, understanding, courage, knowledge, counsel, worship, and wisdom. These mind-spirits send forth their influence into all the inhabited worlds as a differential urge, each seeking receptivity capacity for manifestation quite apart from the degree to which its fellows may find reception and opportunity for function.” (401.6) 36:5.2 Isa 11:2,3. Rev 1:4.

V. THE HOST OF MINISTERING SPIRITS

1. Spirit beings the living ladder to glory.

“The spirit personalities of the vast family of the Divine and Infinite Spirit are forever dedicated to the service of the ministry of the love of God and the mercy of the Son to all the intelligent creatures of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. These spirit beings constitute the living ladder whereby mortal man climbs from chaos to glory.” (107.13) 9:8.25 Gen 28:12. Heb 1:14.

2. Tireless celestial ministers.

“As man learns more of the loving and tireless ministry of the lower orders of the creature family of this Infinite Spirit, he will all the more admire and adore the transcendent nature and matchless character of this combined Action of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. Indeed is this Spirit the eyes of the Lord which are ever over the righteous’ and ‘the divine ears which are ever open to their prayers.’”(95.3) 8:4.8 Ps 34:15.

3. Hammers of suffering wielded by children of mercy.

“In addition to this supercontrol of energy and things physical, the Infinite Spirit is superbly endowed with those attributes of patience, mercy, and love which are so exquisitely revealed in his spiritual ministry. The Spirit is supremely competent to minister love and to overshadow justice with mercy. God the Spirit possesses all the supernal kindness and merciful affection of the Original and Eternal Son. The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit.” (100.2) 9:1.8

VI. HUMAN MINISTERS

1. True religion leads to social service.

“But true religion is a living love, a life of service. The religionist’s detachment from much that is purely temporal and trivial never leads to social isolation, and it should not destroy the sense of humor. Genuine religion takes nothing away from human existence, but it does add new meanings to all of life; it generates new types of enthusiasm, zeal, and courage. It may even engender the spirit of the crusader, which is more than dangerous if not controlled by spiritual insight and loyal devotion to the commonplace social obligations of human loyalties.” (1100.7) 100:6.5

2. To be great you must minister.

“‘Whosoever would become great in my Father’s kingdom shall become a minister to all; and whosoever would be first among you, let him become the server of his brethren. But when you are once truly received as citizens in the heavenly kingdom, you are no longer servants but sons, sons of the living God. And so shall this kingdom progress in the world until it shall break down every barrier and bring all men to know my Father and believe in the saving truth which I have come to declare. Even now is the kingdom at hand, and some of you will not die until you have seen the reign of God come in great power.’” (1569.3) 140:1.6 Matt 20:25,26.

3. Jesus gives the new commandment.

“After a few moments of informal conversation, Jesus stood up and said: “When I enacted for you a parable indicating how you should be willing to serve one another, I said that I desired to give you a new commandment; and I would do this now as I am about to leave you. You well know the commandment which directs that you love one another; that you love your neighbor even as yourself. But I am not wholly satisfied with even that sincere devotion on the part of my children. I would have you perform still greater acts of love in the kingdom of the believing brotherhood. And so 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 if you thus love one another.’” (1944.4) 180:1.1 John 13:34,35.

4. The supreme measure of affection.

“‘When I give you this new commandment, I do not place any new burden upon your souls; rather do I bring you new joy and make it possible for you to experience new pleasure in knowing the delights of the bestowal of your heart’s affection upon your fellow men. I am about to experience the supreme joy, even though enduring outward sorrow, in the bestowal of my affection upon you and your fellow mortals.
“‘When I invite you to love one another, even as I have loved you, I hold up before you the supreme measure of true affection, for greater love can no man have than this: that he will lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends; you will continue to be my friends if you are but willing to do what I have taught you. You have called me Master, but I do not call you servants. If you will only love one another as I am loving you, you shall be my friends, and I will ever speak to you of that which the Father reveals to me.’” (1944.5) 180:1.2

5. Sharing the master’s service.

“‘You have not merely chosen me, but I have also chosen you, and I have ordained you to go forth into the world to yield the fruit of loving service to your fellows even as I have lived among you and revealed the Father to you. The Father and I will both work with you, and you shall experience the divine fullness of joy if you will only obey my command to love one another, even as I have loved you.’
“If you would share the Master’s joy, you must share his love. And to share his love means that you have shared his service. Such an experience of love does not deliver you from the difficulties of this world; it does not create a new world, but it most certainly does make the old world new.” (1945.1) 180:1.4

I. MINISTRY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

The Old Testament recognized as ministers only priests and prophets. The priesthood was divided into priests—the sons of Aaron—and Levites—the other members of the tribe of Levi.

1. PRIESTS. (Sons of Aaron.)

“And put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him that he may serve me as a priest.” Ex 40:13.

2. LEVITES. (Servants of the priests.)

“But appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings, ....they are to carry the tabernacle....and they shall tend it.” Num 1:50.

“And the priest....shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes.” Neh 10:38.

II. MINISTRY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

In the New Testament all believers are reckoned as priests.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.” 1 Pet 2:9.

“And made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” Rev 1:6.

The New Testament recognizes many groups of ministers.

1. APOSTLES.

“And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers....for the work of the ministry.” Eph 4:11,12.

“I, Paul,..... called to be an apostle.” Rom 1:1.

Referring to Barnabas, “But the people of the city were divided, some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.” Acts 14:4.

Referring to James, the Lord’s brother, “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.” Gal 1:19.

Referring to Andronicus and Junias, “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles.” Rom 16:7.

2. PROPHETS

“Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.” Acts 11:27.

“And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words.” Acts 15:32.

“And there was a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel.” Luke 2:36.

Speaking of John the Baptist, “And through he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.” Matt 14:5.

3. EVANGELISTS. (The Seventy.)

“On the morrow we departed and came to Caesarea; and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist.” Acts 21:8.

“As for you....do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Tim 4:5.

(Note: Timothy was first a traveling evangelist—afterward he became a settled pastor.)

4. TEACHERS. 

“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers.” Acts 13:1.

5. PASTORS. (Eph 4:11.)

(Bear in mind that pastor, bishop, elder, presbyter, and overseer are many times used interchangeably. They were all administrators.)

a. Bishops.

“To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philipi, with the bishops and deacons.” Phil 1:1. (Marginal reading for bishops is overseers.)

“Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way.” 1 Tim 3:2-4.

On ordaining Titus a bishop: “For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled.” Titus 1:7,8.

b. Elders.

“That you might....appoint elders in every town as I directed you, men who are blameless, married only once, whose children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.” Titus 1:5,6.

“On the following day Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.” Acts 21:18.

Speaking to Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you.” 1 Tim 4:14.

“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” 1 Tim 5:17.

“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” Jas 5:14.

c. Presbyters.

1 Tim 4:14 uses the term presbytery in place of elders in the King James Version.

d. Overseers.

“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of the Lord.” Acts 20:28.

(Note: Guardians is rendered overseers in the King James Version.)

6. DEACONS AND DEACONESSES. Supervisors of finances and all types of social service.

“Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, nor addicted to much wine, nor greedy for gain; they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” 1 Tim 3:8.

“For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith.” 1 Tim 3:13.

“I commend you to our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae.” Rom 16:1.

“The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.” 1 Tim 3:11.

III. JESUS’ EARTHLY MINISTRY

1. To preach the gospel—to establish the new and living way—to proclaim the kingdom of heaven, the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men—to heal sick minds and bodies.

“And he went about all Galilee.... preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.” Matt 4:23.

“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matt 4:17.

(Note: Called kingdom of God in other gospels.)

“The new and living way which he opened up for us.” Heb 10:20.

2. To proclaim man’s sonship with God.

“So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5:45.

“Your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High.” Luke 6:35.

“But to all who received him....he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12.

3. To save sinners.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I come not to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Mark 2:17.

4. He came to serve mankind. He went about doing good.

“I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:27.

“The Son of man came not to be served but to serve.” Matt 20:28.

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Matt 20:26.

“How he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed.” Acts 10:38.

5. To reveal the Father and do his will.

“And no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matt 11:27.

“I can do nothing on my own authority....because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 5:30.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38.

IV. ANGELIC MINISTRY

“For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.” Ps 91:11.

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” Heb 1:14.

“Who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers.” Ps 104:4.

See Heb 1:7. “Of the angels he says, ‘who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire."

“And behold, angels came and ministered to him.” Matt 4:11.

“And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:43.

“The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” Luke 16:22.

Note: Speaking of the work of the guardian angel after death, The Urantia Book says: Page 1246. Par. 6. “Upon your death, your records, identity specifications, and the morontia entity of the human soul—conjointly evolved by the ministry of mortal mind and the divine Adjuster—are faithfully conserved by the destiny guardian together with all other values related to your future existence, everything that constitutes you, the real you....”

V. HUMAN MINISTRY

“Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of his power.” Eph 3:7.

“For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me.” Acts 26:16.

“We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4.

“To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God.” Rom 15:16.

“I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.” Mark 9:41.

“And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” Mark 10:44.

“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35.

“I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me....as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matt 25:36,40.

“Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15.

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