THE SECOND COMING

AND THE END OF THE AGE
 

 COMPARISONS AMONG THE GOSPEL RECORD

AND THE URANTIA PAPERS

 WITH COMMENTARY

These comparisons constitute the replies by Jesus to questions by Nathaniel and Andrew inspired by Jesus' momentous remarks in the Temple precincts earlier that Tuesday. These responses are found on pages 1912 and 1913 of the Urantia Papers, and in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, the so-called "Little Apocalypse."  The replies by Jesus address the two-fold subject of the destruction of Jerusalem, first at the hands of the Romans, and now, at his second-coming and this time of world judgment.
 
 

Matt 24:1-31 
Mark 13:1-27 
Luke 21:5-27 

Urantia Papers 
THE DESTRUCTION 

OF JERUSALEM 


 
1 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.  1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!"  5 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,  As they went on toward Olivet, Matthew, calling attention to the temple construction, said: "Master, observe what manner of buildings these are. See the massive stones and the 
beautiful adornment: can it be that these buildings are to 
be destroyed?" 

This query was inspired by remarks Jesus made earlier in the day in the Jerusalem Temple.  He had condemned the scribes and the Pharisees.  He had forecast doom to the nation.  This alarmed the apostles and raised great concern in their minds.  Thus the question by Matthew.  See pages 1906 through 1908 in the Urantia Papers, and the parallels in Matthew 21 - 23, Mark 11-12, and Luke 20.
 

2 But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down. 2 And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." 6 "As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."  As they went on toward Olivet, Jesus said: 
"You see these stones and this massive temple; verily, verily, I say to you: In the days soon to come there shall not be left one stone upon another. They shall all be thrown down." 

The Urantia Papers go on to state:

"These remarks depicting the destruction of the sacred temple aroused the curiosity of the apostles as they walked along behind the Master; they could conceive of no event short of the end of the world which would occasion the destruction of the temple."
 

3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"  4 "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?"  7 And they asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?" In answering Nathaniel's question, Jesus said: "Yes, I 
will tell you about the times when this people shall have filled up the cup of their iniquity; when justice shall swiftly descend upon this city of our fathers. I am about  to leave you; I go to the Father. 

The "cup of iniquity" was true for both the day when the Jews crucified Jesus, and for now, when
they belligerently and erroneously impose their image of national destiny upon their neighbors.
 
 

4 And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. 
5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. 
5 And Jesus began to say to them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. 
6 Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. 
8 And he said, "Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is at hand!' Do not go after them.  After I leave you, take 
heed that no man deceive you, for many will come as deliverers and will lead many astray. 

The preeminent claim of the being "The Christ" is found in A Course In Miracles.  No more insidious betrayal by a false Christ can be found.  But A Course In Miracles is only one of a multitude of false Christs who parade their blasphemy, leading many astray to eternal death.

Another group of "false Christs" are those proposed by Christian fundamentalists who believe Jesus will offer miraculous escape from our imminent tribulations.  No one will escape the persecutions and decisions we all must make in these days of judgment.
 
 

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, 
7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. 
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 
9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once." 
10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not troubled, for though all these things will happen, the end of Jerusalem is not yet at 
hand. 

The record of the twentieth century is one of war and rumors of wars.  The litany of kingdoms which have risen against one another extends to dozens of names.  More outstanding wars have been World War I, World War II, the Korean war, the Viet Nam war, as well as many others.
 
 

and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 
8 all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. 
there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.  11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.  You should not be perturbed by famines or earthquakes; 

While famines have been striking in many areas of the world, we have no scientific evidence that earthquakes have been more prevalent or more devastating in this century than in other centuries.  We do not know the reason for Jesus' reference, except that earthquakes may become more impressive in these last days.

The recital by Jesus of woe to be experienced by the world rises above application to the relatively stable world of the first century.  Famines and earthquakes were not a part of the concern of his apostles, neither were the circumstances of wars and rumors of wars, nor of nations rising against nations.  Thus we can see that Jesus intended these statements to refer to the end of the age.
 
 

Matt 10:17-22 
17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, 
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. 
9 "But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. 
10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 
12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. 
13 This will be a time for you to bear testimony. 
neither should you be concerned when you are delivered up to the civil authorities and are persecuted for the sake of the gospel. You will be thrown out of the synagogue and put in prison for my sake, and some of you will be killed. When you are brought up before governors and rulers, it shall be for a testimony of your faith and to show your steadfastness in the gospel of the kingdom. 

Note how a section of the Matthew text was removed from its location in the "Little Apocalypse" in Chapter 24 and moved to Chapter 10 where Jesus commissions his twelve apostles.  Some Christian editor made a decision that these words more properly belonged to this earlier apostolic episode.  The editor may have felt the discussion of dire conditions associated with  revelation work should be applied to the apostles, failing to recognize that Jesus spoke to a future generation, when these exhortations would apply to his messengers in the last days.  Or the editor's choice may have been based on a tradition now lost to us.

This section begins the episode now shortly to come upon us.  This is a brief period, not more than two years in length, in which we will be called to that supreme service.

Note also that the "synagogues" may mean Christian churches.  Jesus had no word by which he could substitute for the gathering for religious worship.  He could not use the word temple, since that might leave the wrong impression of pagan worship.

Unknown to us is the nature of the civil arrest we will experience.  Have dictatorial powers been assumed by the national governments? Do the governors, rulers, kings, and presidents want to know what is transpiring?  One would expect an invitation in such case, not arrest.  But if arrest is involved the implications are that the message is creating social disturbance. Even if the message is creating turmoil this does not mean that the rulers would lack interest in the meaning of the events.

Or is it possible that Caligastia has taken over civil rule through his agents, and that they have imposed dictatorial conditions for speech, worship, and teaching?

We do not know.

See further comments below.
 
 

19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 
20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 
11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  14 Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; 
15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 
 And when you stand before judges, be not anxious beforehand 
as to what you should say, for the spirit will teach you in that very hour what you should answer your adversaries. 

Clearly, we need not prepare ourselves for this service.  When our time comes we will speak from our hearts, with the many years of preparation now behind us, and the time of fruition at hand.  God will show us what to say.
 
 

21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and put them to death; 
22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 
12 And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and put them to death; 
13 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 
16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; 
17 you will be hated by all for my name's sake. 
18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 
19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
In these days of travail, even your own kinsfolk, under the leadership of those who have rejected the Son of Man, will deliver you up to prison and death. For a time you may be 
hated by all men for my sake, but even in these 
persecutions I will not forsake you; my spirit will not desert you. 

 The nature of this episode is so unbelievable in our present social context none of us can credit it.

Normal human feelings would not give over brothers and sisters, parents and friends, or children to murderous onslaughts.  A basic alteration in mind and heart must be instilled into the agents of Caligastia to bring such betrayal of human feelings.  They will believe they are following the commands of God when he enters their minds, and produces phenomena they cannot deny comes from this "God."  They will truly believe they are bringing a better world, by "cleansing" this present one.  This will be a work of total insanity, inspired by the most insane mind.
 

9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 
10 And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. 
11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 
12 And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. 
13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.
    Be patient! doubt not that this gospel of the 
kingdom will triumph over all enemies and, eventually, be proclaimed to all nations." 

Here the biblical text departs markedly from the actual statements by Jesus, as recorded in the Urantia Papers.

The text also turns from a statement of the social and religious conditions to take place at the end of the age, together with the concomitant destruction of Jerusalem, to a warning about the destructions of 70 AD.  However, the dramatic images invoked by Jesus in his response to Andrew show that he intended his remarks to be remembered long after the destructions of 70 AD.  He couched them in such language that they impressed themselves upon his apostles, to effect their escape from Jerusalem, but also were remembered as a more complete statement of conditions to appear at the end of the age.

Thus the great confusion in the biblical and Urantia texts.  After we recognize Jesus' method we can come to more full appreciation of his technique.
 
 

      Then Andrew inquired: "But, Master, if the Holy City and the temple are to be destroyed, and if you are not here to direct us, when should we forsake Jerusalem?" Said Jesus: "You may remain in the city after I have gone, even through these times of travail and bitter persecution, 
15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),  14 "But when you see the abomination of desolation set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand),  20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.  but when you finally see Jerusalem being encompassed by the Roman armies after the revolt of the false prophets, then will you know that her desolation is at hand; 

Here the Urantia text follows the remarks recorded by Luke.  It inserts the word "Roman" to emphasize the warnings to his apostles for their personal escape, but fails to mention the crucial information about the "abomination of desolation."

Since modern minds could not understand the literal meaning of the "abomination of desolation," going back to a strange theological creation about setting up images in the Temple at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, the modern translators of the Bible perverted the words by falsely creating "desolating sacrilege" out of "abomination of desolation."

The meaning of the "abomination of desolation" is simple.  It is something that is utterly loathsome, but brings complete destruction.  Not until the 1950's could we understand this phrase in application to nuclear weapons.  Thus revelation opens only when world conditions become ripe for understanding.
 
 

16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 
17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; 
18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 
then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 
15 let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away; 
16 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 
21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 
22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 
then must you flee to the mountains. Let none who are in the city and around about tarry to save aught, neither let those who are outside dare to enter therein. 

Here we can see how Jesus used the context of the Jerusalem warning to his apostles to also offer warning to us. The urging is to rapidly flee, and to flee to the mountains.  The reason is simple.  When events unfold God's people will have little time to save themselves. Higher elevations will see less radioactive debris; lower elevations will see more accumulation of that debris, and hence greater threat to physical survival.

The false interpretation by modern disbelieving minds is seen in the fact that the apostles did not flee to the mountains.  They fled to Pella, which is in the Jordan valley, in direct contradiction to Jesus' warning.  Thus we seriously question if the Urantia Papers are giving us a literally correct report of Jesus' remarks.
 
 

19 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 

20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 

17 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 

18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 

23 Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; 
24 they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; 
 

Again we see again direct application to the results of nuclear radiation.  Pregnancies will suffer because of radiation damage.  Again the Urantia Papers avoid these warnings.

A remark that we should pray for a flight not in winter is practical -- that would increase hardship.  The reference in Matthew to the Sabbath is a purely human insertion designed to respect Jewish prohibitions for Sabbath travel.  Under the conditions of  nuclear escape such social prohibitions become meaningless.
 
 

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 
22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 
19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. 
20 And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 
and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  There will be great tribulation, for these will be the days of gentile vengeance. 
And after you have deserted the city, this disobedient people will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all nations; 
and so shall Jerusalem be trodden down by the gentiles. 

We can now easily infer the reasons for Jesus to shorten these days.  If nuclear destruction is allowed to proceed too far, no human being would survive.
 
 

23 Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 
24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 
21 And then if any one says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 
22 False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 
  In the meantime, I warn you, be not deceived. If any man comes to you, saying, 'Behold, here is the Deliverer,' or 'Behold, there is he,' believe it not, for many false teachers will arise and many will be led astray; but you should not be deceived, 

This is a reiteration of the warnings about false "Christs."  Furthermore, no national leader, no academic theologian, and no intellectual scientist, hoping to save the current godless social order, should be accepted as a true prophet.
 
 

25 Lo, I have told you beforehand.  23 But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.    for I have told you all this beforehand." 

 
26 So, if they say to you, 'Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 
28 Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
     


Editorial Note: August 11, 2005. I failed to note the explicit statement in Matthew about the Return of Jesus. Here we were given the exact conditions of his Second Coming.

 

29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;  24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 
25 "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 
26 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 
 

 

The warnings now take on a description of the physical catastrophe which will affect the planet.  The massive dust clouds raised by the nuclear explosions will darken the light of the sun; the moon and the stars will disappear from view.  Afterwards, the planet will experience a twisting of its axis, to bring even greater geological and physical catastrophe.
 

30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;   26 And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  

 

At this time, after the nuclear holocaust, but before the twisting of the planet, Jesus will send his seraphic transports, his "angels," from one end of the earth to the other, to gather those individuals and families selected to contribute to an enlarged program of biological salvation.
   

31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  27 And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.     

Note that there are no references to these stupendous transactions in the Urantia Papers.

Refer to more complete discussion in other of my documents.