|PROPHECY AND PROPHETS|
In my papers on Jesus and Melchizedek and the Millennium I ignored certain Old Testament prophecies concerning unique individuals who were to appear on the world scene. I did so because they were not related directly to the forecasts of Melchizedek, nor did they apply to the life of Jesus, nor were they intended for planetary episodes in the new world era. However, it would be a major fault to pass over them. Their usefulness is just now coming into service at this time of grave personal decisions.
In those other discussions the reader may have noted that I applied all prophecies to Melchizedek; I applied none to Jesus.
Why? Is Jesus not greater than his created Son? Would Jesus' life not deserve prediction? Would Jesus, as God, not offer descriptions to show his power and his mercy?
If prophecy on Jesus had been too explicit, if it had revealed too many episodes, with too many details, it would have caused individuals to modify social circumstances and personal relationships according to their private desires. It was better that his life not be conditioned by the notions of his mother, his father, local Rabbis or even the Jewish government. Otherwise, they would have interfered with his free-will decisions through the sheer weight of human expectation.
This expectation is illustrated by the marriage feast, and the turning of water into wine, John 2. His mother, with private revelations from Gabriel, looked forward to his assumption of an earthly throne and demonstration of miracle power. She used the privilege of her position to create a situation that went unexpectedly beyond Jesus' control.
The ability of Jesus to live and operate freely conditioned prophetic prediction. If everyone around him had requested miracle performances his life would have degenerated quickly into chaos. We have easy witness today by the masses of people who assemble around holy shrines, or around numerous "faith healers." From this human desire we see the problems Jesus would have created had he been too easy with his healing, or otherwise not restrained human expectation.
When we search prophecy to find passages on Jesus we discover several episodes, but they were limited to the latter part of his life. Examples are his riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, John 12:15 and Zech 9:9, Judas Iscariot receiving his reward for betrayal with thirty pieces of silver, to throw them broadcast across the temple floor, Matt 25:3-10 and Zech 11:12-13, Jesus crying aloud on the cross, Matt 27:47 and Psalm 22:1, or the several comparisons between Psalm 22 and the gospel accounts of his crucifixion.
Some may question why there should be detailed prophecy on the appearance of Melchizedek but not on Jesus. Do the same constraints not apply to both personalities?
The answer lies in the planetary environment. The new world, and its human expectations, will be far different from that which we know today. After the nuclear holocaust, and the great planetary upheavals, men will dramatically alter their attitudes about God. They will have unforgettable demonstration of God's great power. They will be far more humble; they will not carry the arrogance, thoughtlessness, and selfishness that typify the generations of this era. The usefulness of those predictions will unfold far differently than in today's degraded world.
These examples illustrate how all prophecy and all personalities, high and low, are constrained by God's purpose. Recognition of the details of prophecy, and exact application, is conditioned by the danger of disruption, and by effectiveness at a time of fruition.
We would engage in serious error if we took the old timeworn view that somehow the prophets were divinely inspired to make predictions, without direct guidance from on high. Such view is the mystical explanation of how God works in time and space. Such attitude led to the drift away from a real, living God.
Human mortals cannot be the source of prophecy. Information contained within prophecy reaches beyond human vision. Furthermore, prophecy reveals according to God's usefulness; he does not offer all knowledge of all time. Knowledge of cosmic transactions is limited according to his criteria and his needs. These facts lead to important questions.
First, who provided information from the celestial realms? If Jesus uses divine agents rather than doing all things himself, who among the immortal beings worked with the prophets and seers to provide forecasts? Second, most of prophecy deals with events. What was the purpose in offering revelation on personalities? How would such information enlighten the people of the world? What would be accomplished?
The prophets were explicit about their divine sources. Isaiah opens his presentation with a statement that he saw a vision concerning the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. He saw the word of those things which were to come to pass in the latter days, Isa 2:1-2. He saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, surrounded by heavenly beings, Isa 6:1-4. The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, Jer 1:2. Ezekiel said the heavens were opened and he saw visions of God. The word of Yahweh came to him also, Ezek 1:1-3. Daniel explicitly describes visits by celestial beings. Hosea, Joel, and other prophets report that the word of Yahweh came to them. John also described visions and communication given him by celestial beings, Rev 1:1, 22:8. These statements show clearly that divine agents collaborated with the prophets to produce those works. No human mortal has the power to foresee time; only high spirit beings know the future.
Recognition of this process of communication from celestial agents to individual human mortals should tell us that formulation of those future forecasts was determined at some high universe administrative level. The form, and the content, were determined by God and his agencies, not by man. Furthermore, if Melchizedek was the primary personality of the Old Testament forecasts, and if he is to rule our world in future ages, we should expect him to have a major hand in those transactions. Indeed, he did.
The Urantia Papers, Page 1025 -- This same Melchizedek continued to collaborate throughout the nineteen succeeding centuries with the many prophets and seers, thus endeavoring to keep alive the truths of Salem until the fullness of the time for Michael's appearance on earth.
Past generations believed that prophecy is a demonstration of God's power. If he predicts the future, and those predictions come to pass, human mortals gain respect for him, even come to stand in awe of such a great God. They then clearly recognize that he is in command of his creation.
Attempts to show this greatness is illustrated by broad application of Old Testament prophecy to Jesus despite technical inconsistencies. Christians distorted reality by indiscriminate assignments.
Prophecy serves other, far more important, purposes. Communication from the celestial realms has a functional utility lost on prior generations. Prophecy was not intended to impress; it was intended to inspire and to enlighten. In these latter days it serves a crucial function of leading to human decisions.
We must question whether Jesus-Yahweh, Gabriel, Melchizedek, or other divine beings have a need to show their greatness through prophetic forecast. High spirit beings have no such need; they already know the future; they exist above time. Nor would they have human emotions of pride to show how truly great they are. But the argument goes that this activity helps men to stand in respect of God.
Our understanding would be far more fruitful if we came to recognize that prophecy is a vehicle to create a working relationship between a timeless Creator and his created children. God offers information; we use it for his purpose. But we will do so only if we love him, truly dedicate ourselves to him, put our reliance upon him, and make choices to obey his will. Then prophecy fulfills its real purpose.
Prophecy also expresses a concern by the Creator for his created children. By such methods God conveys his concerns to men, and they, in turn, come to recognize his purposes and respond to him. Prophecy is a technique whereby God gives men insights into destiny. And destiny is his preordained schedule for universe creation and administration. But again, by recognizing God's concerns, men can make decisions that fulfill his will.
Prophecy is necessary because God placed this planet and the activities of his divine agents under restraint. We were isolated from the heavenly realms. Open and visible activity and exchange were cut off. God still communicates with men but the transfer of information is now conditioned by this administrative policy.
The olden people of this world knew about the planetary isolation. They also knew that a great kingdom existed in the heavenly realms. Noah Kramer, in his Mythologies of the Ancient World, reported that in the myths of ancient China, Shang Ti, the August Lord on high, charged two of his agents, Ch'ung and Li, to cut the communication between heaven and earth so that there would be no descending and ascending of spirits and men between the two. C. S. Lewis, in his fictional Out of the Silent Planet, stated that it was important for us to recognize certain facts concerning the planets. As he phrased it, "the present celestial year was to be a revolutionary one, and that the long isolation of our planet was nearing its end. Great doings were afoot."
The Urantia Papers also address this planetary isolation.
Page 760 -- It should be recorded that, when Van (one of the sons of God of Gen 6) appealed to the Most Highs of Edentia after Lucifer had sustained Caligastia on Urantia, the Constellation Fathers dispatched an immediate decision sustaining Van on every point of his contention. This verdict failed to reach him because the planetary circuits of communication were severed while it was in transit.
Page 830 -- And now, after their formal installation, Adam and Eve became painfully aware of their planetary isolation. Silent were the familiar broadcasts, and absent were all the circuits of extraplanetary communication. Their Jerusem fellows had gone to worlds running along smoothly with a well-established Planetary Prince and an experienced staff ready to receive them and competent to co-operate with them during their early experience on such worlds. But on Urantia rebellion had changed everything. Here the Planetary Prince was very much present, and though shorn of most of his power to work evil, he was still able to make the task of Adam and Eve difficult and to some extent hazardous. It was a serious and disillusioned Son and Daughter of Jerusem who walked that night through the Garden under the shining of the full moon, discussing plans for the next day.
Here we have an important clue to one of the reasons behind the mechanisms employed in prophecy. It is a means of communication from the heavenly realms under the continued presence of the Devil and threat of his evil machinations. If celestial information were too open he could pervert its usefulness. His efforts to reduce the significance of revelation are even now evident in the general attitude he has developed among men. According to godless minds prophecy does not come from God; it merely expresses the psychic emotions, religious feelings, and frustrations of men who lived in times long past. To reduce Devil influence prophecy was given under conditions of symbolism and imagery for proper development at a time of fruition.
As a result of universe isolation men were left to their own devises. If they removed themselves from a close personal relationship with God, if they heeded godless and devilish philosophies, they could not use God's information constructively. They could not respond to his will. While several important episodes of contact were made, (Moses and the Exodus), how human generations handled that information came under their control, not subject to continual guidance from above.
But why forecast in time? Why not reveal when needed? The respect of tradition was an important component of prophecy. Prophecy emphasizes God's righteousness, not his administration. Revelation of administration was given in The Urantia Papers, but men spurned it because they lost ability to distinguish among those things which come from God, from the Devil, or from man. They believed new revelation is a spiritualist production, or human invention. They might deny new revelations but they cannot deny their traditional sources, the foundations of their faith. It was God's purpose to ensure against such doubt.
He gave information to men but he wanted them to come to their own realization of its purpose and usefulness. He did not want this process of human comprehension to be voided by overt contact from the heavenly realms.
Furthermore, God did not want his created children to know fully what was going on in his creation. If men had learned too much they would have conditioned their decisions according to that knowledge, but without the maturity or wisdom to conduct themselves righteously. They would have perverted God's program. As a result, mortals were left to determine their own paths. Partly, this self determination was an exercise in respect. Men were given opportunity to display their spiritual worth by their decisions, without direction from above.
God also did not want lesser divine beings to interfere with human decisions. Consequently, they do not make their presence or activities known to mankind. They do not come down here in glorious celestial splendor for public display. The condition of restraint prevents them from exercising open contact.
In order for all created children, mortal and immortal, to obey these constraints, but still to accomplish his program under conditions of isolation, God used substitute methods. His purpose was to provide information that would not unduly influence the flow of man's decisions through the centuries. Destiny had to unfold. But a time would come when celestial information would become crucially important.
The substitute is prophecy. Through the instrument of prophecy God provided information instructive for the grave decisions now facing us. But prophecy had other constraints placed upon it.
A major fault affected fruitful use of prophecy. Since men were not privy to God's secrets, prophecy suffered under a burden of interpretation. Man's ignorance, his a priori assumptions, his attitudes, and his expectations influenced what he thought prophecy should say or was saying.
Prophecy was conditioned by the form of the revelation. Information was buried under symbolism and imagery that gave profound hope to man, and provided religious inspiration through the centuries, but effectively prevented him from recognizing suitable connection to the immediate world. This cloudiness was a major reason for the errors of the apostles. Jesus left them to interpret with limited understanding. If a divine Son was forecast, and Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, Jesus had to be that Son.
Furthermore, prophecy created reactions in human mortals. The generations held prophecy is great respect because they recognized its holy quality although they may not have fully understood its content. This instinctive human response served to preserve revelation through the many centuries. Men knew prophecy portrayed future forecast; they knew it displayed God's presence. In effort to better understand God's will they interpreted against their transient cultural frameworks. While this led to highly speculative and fanciful notions about God's purpose, the motivation was healthy. It preserved the prophecies against loss.
As the world declined in respect for God and celestial powers, increasing skepticism led the modern godless generation to reject prophecy as communication from God. The notions of their ancestors seemed silly, if not outright demented. However, the power of God's word, and the possibility that God is truly the source behind those works, gives every thinking person serious pause. Many individuals now recognize that prophecy carries more than was credited by our degraded cultural orientations. Prophecy did not lose its influence upon the psyche of mankind. Somehow, God designed and built into us a sensitivity to his actions.
Unfortunately, for godless minds, prophecy is a two-edged sword. On the one side it reveals truth; on the other it conceals truth. Since God is a rational being, with plans and purposes, it is natural to ask why he would engage in such mysterious behavior. Why not communicate openly and explicitly? Symbolism and imagery have stood in the way of understanding.
The two edges were designed to cull mankind. If a mind cannot go beyond imagery to recognize content, that mind is not in tune with its Creator. It is not sensitive to truth, despite form or appearance. If that mind becomes trapped by literalism it cannot elevate itself to more spiritual concepts. It becomes a slave to mechanics; it is not freed by spiritual substance. Since crucial decisions rest upon the recognition of truth, and not upon literal imagery, God will be able to find more devout souls for the future of this world. The method of two edges serves as a technique for screening mankind.
To overcome these burdens, to open the meaning of the symbolism, and to construct a proper framework of understanding, specific human mortals were used. Paul was one of those. Many features of God's program were explained to him through direct communication, Acts 9:6, II Cor 12:8, Gal 1:12, 2:2, and so on. But he also was under conditions of restraint to prevent premature revelation. He could speak according to his commission, and his knowledge, but not beyond that. (Except for John and the Book of Revelation, Jesus personal apostles were not so used.) Other, anonymous, persons may have been used to insure against the breakdown of necessary knowledge through the centuries, but if so they are unknown on the pages of history. Finally, at the end of the age, and the time of critical decisions, other mortals now appear.
Because God's program is covert, not overt, and because celestial agents do not work directly in opening God's plans to mankind, that task devolved to human shoulders. Somehow, God had to provide a means for his operations to be explained at a time of grave human decision. If celestial agents were prohibited from engaging in such activity, that task had to be executed by a human agent. A human mortal had to be used who could help others come to understand.
But this need is also evident as part of the human decision process. If God uncovered his plans through divine agents it would void those decisions. Under this condition all mortals must decide for themselves without that celestial influence. Their decisions are not subject to faith in the human mortal, but their faith in God's truth. He is not the source of truth; he is merely an interpreter who unfolds explanations to help provide a path for correct understanding. He is a human instrument, not an infallible agent.
A devastating difficulty of prophecy is its form. It is a master puzzle. The countless human books, papers, and articles dealing with prophecy, each with attempts to provide unique interpretation, show the great puzzle that has afflicted us. One reasons for this great puzzle is the scattering of topics. Within one prophet a theme may begin in one chapter, skip to another theme in a following section, change to a third, and back to the first. Chapter One of Isaiah is a warning of destruction upon Jerusalem if the people do not turn their hearts to God. Chapter Two then jumps to a picture of a future world era. In 2:5 the focus reverts to an indictment against the people, and further warning of judgment. 4:2 then starts another small piece on the far future. This mixing of topics, without sequential continuity, afflicts the contents of one prophet, and from prophet to prophet. The many human books, papers and articles show the struggle to make sense out of this confusing segmentation.
To bring order into this design a framework was provided. A context was given that would allow broader views. The proper term is cosmic perspectives. An explanation of planetary epochs, and the role of celestial agents, was necessary to bring some sense. This information was provided by The Urantia Papers. Without them no mortal would have the necessary insight to understand the relationship of individual pieces of prophecy to planetary destiny.
Obviously, within the conditions imposed by God, a clear and objective analytical mind was needed. The individual had to possess an intuitive ability to see patterns, to recognize how pieces fit with one another. This native talent then required training through years of practice in complex issues.
In order for the matrix of prophecy to be fitted into a proper framework, and to recognize God's context, that individual also had to be someone familiar with both the Bible and The Urantia Papers. Training in the totality of revelation was necessary.
If this person were well acquainted with the Bible, with historical revelation, both Old Testament and New, it seems he had to come out of a Christian environment. It is highly doubtful he would be Jewish. But far more, he had to be removed from sectarian allegiance. God had to lift him above "church" and "theology." He could not have devotion to any particular sect or exclusive theology. God had to shape his life to far loftier views. If the individual became free of manmade notions and ideas, he could concentrate on the content of revelation, and not on its human interpretation.
That individual would also not be sidetracked by secular preferences, attractive intellectual orientations, or private desires. God had to remove him from loyalties to political
|philosophies, national agendas, economic concerns, and sentimental relationships. This does not mean that God would remove him from social
environments, personal economics, or family associations. Rather it means that he learned not to depend psychologically on social relationships, economics, or familiar
associations. By providing difficult personal situations, and causing the human mortal to grow through arduous challenges, God provided means for spiritual maturing. Making his
own way without reliance on social or economic institutions was good discipline for that human mortal. He could stand in the face of adversity without social support, perhaps
isolated and much alone as a citizen of this world, but with the presence of God to sustain him.
Still more, the urgency of the days required someone who would not be embedded in academic environments or attitudes, the sophistications of philosophical or theological systems. God may have introduced that individual to higher education and more sophisticated academic methods but without building a reliance on them. When men are facing starvation they restructure their priorities. Academicians cannot speak to them at times of extreme mortal crises. When men must choose between God and human authority they will seek recourse in information that is most useful to their life-and-death decisions.
If God were bringing a new world era, and if the old things were "not to be remembered or brought into mind," it became crucially important that the individual, and others, acquire a larger "cosmic" sense. It was necessary that people on the planet achieve higher perspectives of the greatness of God. The timing of this new awareness was also important. If this was fitting to a particular generation, that generation would need reorientation. Previous generations would not need such new views. To bring this cosmic awareness from the "outside," not merely through religious inspiration, an exercise in subtle contact was initiated to strike the external senses of man, to suggest new cosmic attitudes, and to alter both mind and psyche.
A new program began all around the planet. This new program was exhibited through celestial activities in earth skies, beginning immediately after World War II, and continuing to the present day. Within more recent years another phenomenon also appeared. This phenomenon was the amazing crop circles in England, and elsewhere. The worldwide phenomenon in our skies, and the creation of crop circles, served to accomplish the goal of enlarging cosmic awareness. Mankind was gradually being lifted to views of universe activity, still without interfering in human decisions.
Many minds today eagerly and longingly seek to understand the strange events that now transpire in our skies and upon our earth.
With a natural intuitive ability and pattern talent, that individual could pull together information that would unfold the meaning of those strange activities. If God were creating a new cosmic awareness, he required someone who could perceive the cause behind such activity. Otherwise men would continue to toss about, with wild speculation, and with explanations limited by their mythological frameworks and secular orientations.
For Christian fundamentalists that activity was from the "Devil," simply because they did not have an adequate grasp of God's great creation. It was beyond their capacity to consider that the Devil just simply does not have that kind of power. They also could not conceive that the Kingdom of Heaven is filled with "transports" and "technology." Their view of the Kingdom was "spiritual," not mechanical, although they had information about "mechanical" components from the historical record. (These are contained in the reports on Moses and the Exodus, in Ezekiel's descriptions, and other places.)
For secular minds, embedded within human "scientific" orientation, those activities had to have "natural" explanations. After all, we now had a "good handle" on the processes of the universe, without demonstrable evidence of a living God. When the evidence went beyond their rational system they invented methods to explain it, from weather balloons, to two crazy men skipping wildly across grain lands to produce sophisticated circles beyond either the ken or ability of human mortals. Unthinking mortals, taken beyond their belief systems, found ways to dismiss the actions of God and his celestial agencies. Those attitudes were directly the result of planetary isolation.
With the religious and secular distortions of reality pervading our society, the sense of God's work could not come out of a mind that was not attuned to God, or that could not rise above the heavy intellectual and spiritual darkness. Such individual had to possess a deep love of, and respect for, God.
If he were to give himself to others he also had to carry a great concern for his fellow mortals. Just as Jesus gave of himself to the cross as an exhibition of love for his created children, even so would this human servant give of himself in full commitment to brothers and sisters.
He had to carry a minimum of self illusions. He had to be trained to hard realities, not soft pleasures. He had to have a mind that was willing to accept reality, in the face of its harsh consequences. Such conditioning and such training could only take place over extended life experiences.
He also had to have a deep sense of, and affinity for, God's righteousness, the way God views creation, and the need for the establishment of justice. God's righteousness is designed for the greatest good of mankind, for the greatest number of human beings, for the greatest length of time. God is not a slave to the convenient desires of mankind. If God can bring a wonderful new planetary era, with bounty of food, "good grazing pasture," and with "brooks running on every high hill" why would he hold the planet from such changes, although it might cause physical suffering for a few generations? Would that not be a small price to pay for the ultimate good?
Page 36 -- God is righteous; therefore is he just. "The Lord is righteous in all his ways." "I have not done without cause all that I have done," says the Lord. "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." The justice of the Universal Father cannot be influenced by the acts and performances of his creatures, "for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no respect of persons, no taking of gifts."
How futile to make puerile appeals to such a God to modify his changeless decrees so that we can avoid the just consequences of the operation of his wise natural laws and righteous spiritual mandates! "Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap." True, even in the justice of reaping the harvest of wrongdoing, this divine justice is always tempered with mercy. Infinite wisdom is the eternal arbiter which determines the proportions of justice and mercy which shall be meted out in any given circumstance. The greatest punishment (in reality an inevitable consequence) for wrongdoing and deliberate rebellion against the government of God is loss of existence as an individual subject of that government. The final result of wholehearted sin is annihilation. In the last analysis, such sin-identified individuals have destroyed themselves by becoming wholly unreal through their embrace of iniquity. The factual disappearance of such a creature is, however, always delayed until the ordained order of justice current in that universe has been fully complied with.
Page 1488 -- This rule of the Most Highs in the kingdoms of men is not for the especial benefit of any especially favored group of mortals. There is no such thing as a "chosen people." The rule of the Most Highs, the overcontrollers of political evolution, is a rule designed to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all men and for the greatest length of time.
Unless the individual was completely attuned to such plans, to such long range views, he would not recognize, accept, deal with, or properly teach prophetic promise.
Imposed upon all of these elements and conditions was a deadly planetary environment of doubt, confusion and despair. How could a human mortal be guided through such horrendous conflicts?
The deadly environment and gross disbelief would prohibit direct communication. He could not be used the way Paul was used. If the individual made claims to direct contact he would not be accepted. No one would believe him. Yet, somehow, God had to shape him to accomplish his purpose. Furthermore, it would be very helpful if the mortal had personal reassurance of his usefulness to God.
How did God operate with such an individual to bring him understanding?
God began by training that individual from youth up, founded on genetic propensities, through religious environment, through deep disillusionment with mortal systems, through rugged life trials, and through years of study. God shaped the attitudes of the mortal to his mind, to view creation in its vast implications. The mortal came to recognize a higher goal behind God's purpose. He became cosmic in attitude, not overwhelmed by the magnitude of planetary events or geological upheavals. He came to possess universal perspectives, reaching far beyond this world to God's greater creation.
By avoiding direct contact God accomplished an important purpose. The individual could experience his own faith in God, without demonstrative proof. God did not deprive him of that opportunity. He then could also serve as an example to others. He could relate to them as one who shared fully with their personal dilemmas and plight. God did not violate spiritual growth; he nurtured sublime faith.
The requirements of grave human decisions determined how this individual would come to understand God's purpose, how he would be employed, and how he would give of himself. Far beyond all other elements, and a crucial aspect of the functioning of this person, was the method by which God brought the mortal into tune with himself and his purpose.
God built a spiritual bridge to the human mortal. This was not a visible display as Paul experienced on the road to Damascus. God projected and focused his spirit upon this individual. The act did not so devastate the mortal that he was unable to function. But it left an abiding deep spiritual relationship and constant influence that conditioned all the individual felt and understood. Through such method the mortal came to a living connection with God, a relationship that shaped all his actions and choices. However, God did not impose his spirit against the will of the mortal. God was able to create such a relationship because of the psychic and spiritual state of the individual. In a sense, the mortal sought God, God appeared through his spirit, and the individual responded.
As described in The Urantia Papers.
Page 224 -- The Creator Sons seem to possess a spiritual endowment centering in their persons, which they control and which they can bestow, as did your own Creator Son when he poured out his spirit upon all mortal flesh on Urantia. Each Creator Son is endowed with this spiritual drawing power in his own realm; he is personally conscious of every act and emotion of every descending Son of God serving in his domain. Here is a divine reflection, a local universe duplication, of that absolute spiritual drawing power of the Eternal Son which enables him to reach out to make and maintain contact with all his Paradise Sons, no matter where they may be in all the universe of universes.
Page 381 -- And when such a life of spirit guidance is freely and intelligently accepted, there gradually develops within the human mind a positive consciousness of divine contact and assurance of spirit communion; sooner or later "the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God." Already has your own spirit told you of your kinship to God so that the record testifies that the Spirit bears witness "with your spirit," not to your spirit.
Page 1130 -- Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the "birth" of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a "birth day." You do not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you have been "born again" -- born of the Spirit. Many spiritual births are accompanied by much anguish of spirit and marked psychological perturbations, as many physical births are characterized by a "stormy labor" and other abnormalities of "delivery." Other spiritual births are a natural and normal growth of the recognition of supreme values with an enhancement of spiritual experience, albeit no religious development occurs without conscious effort and positive and individual determinations. Religion is never a passive experience, a negative attitude.
Through the presence of his fragmentized spirit the Creator Father maintains immediate contact with his creature children and his created universes.
This discussion leads to a highly important concept. The mortal became a human complement to a celestial agent. He served as a vehicle for exposition, for human example of faith and trust, and for decisions leading into actions.
He was ". . . some human being who was the material complement of a spirit personality entrusted with the enactment of some cosmic achievement essential to the spiritual economy of the planet."
Melchizedek, able to know time, recognized individuals who would appear on the world scene and who could respond to his program of prophecy. He created a context, and a style, of presentation that would come into usefulness at a time of grave world danger. He could shape that program to the limitations of intelligence, of psychic sensitivity, and of spiritual intuition of human mortals. Then God, in his ability to reach across space and time, could prepare the way for the birth and appearance of such individuals. In this manner communication could be effected for decisions without violating the freewill choices of all human mortals.
This knowledge of time was not limited to one human mortal. God knows all men in all time. Neither could one human mortal accomplish God's program; other human mortals were needed. With the intense crises of the days God prepared a body of people to help in his program. They also had propensities toward cosmic perspectives, with human attitudes that rose above secular or social allegiances.
In speaking of a unique group of human mortals who were members of a reserve corps of destiny The Urantia Papers describes their function in times of world crisis.
Page 1258 -- The cosmic reserve corps of universe-conscious citizens on Urantia now numbers over one thousand mortals whose insight of cosmic citizenship far transcends the sphere of their terrestrial abode, but I am forbidden to reveal the real nature of the function of this unique group of living human beings.
Urantia mortals should not allow the comparative spiritual isolation of their world from certain of the local universe circuits to produce a feeling of cosmic desertion or planetary orphanage. There is operative on the planet a very definite and effective superhuman supervision of world affairs and human destinies.
To bring this cadre of destiny reservists into action God also planned for a human catalyst, a mortal who could serve to bring awareness to those other mortals, to explain their role and their contribution to world destiny. This was a part of his service.
As further described in The Urantia Papers:
Page 1112 -- Revelation teaches mortal man that, to start such a magnificent and intriguing adventure through space by means of the progression of time, he should begin by the organization of knowledge into idea-decisions; next, mandate wisdom to labor unremittingly at its noble task of transforming self-possessed ideas into increasingly practical but nonetheless supernal ideals, even those concepts which are so reasonable as ideas and so logical as ideals that the (Spirit of the Father) dares so to combine and spiritize them as to render them available for such association in the finite mind as will constitute them the actual human complement thus made ready for the action of the Truth Spirit of the Sons, the time-space manifestations of Paradise truth--universal truth. The co-ordination of idea-decisions, logical ideals, and divine truth constitutes the possession of a righteous character, the prerequisite for mortal admission to the ever-expanding and increasingly spiritual realities of the heavenly worlds.
And so it is with any human mortal who would become a child of God. This is a call to all of God's children, wherever they may be.
Beyond the personal spiritual state of the individual, and his relationship with God, stands the practical necessity for establishing credentials. How can others truly know the commission of this individual is true? No sensible person in his right mind will accept claims without assurance. There must be reliable demonstration. Why should his word be trusted, especially at a time of such extreme decision? It cannot be left to mere human say-so.
Demonstration can come at several levels. First, the individual shows accurate knowledge of coming events by confirmation of prediction. He states it will take place; it does. But this cannot be more than given the individual according to his commission. All human mortals are subject to weakness and potential for betrayal. Therefore God would not entrust them with more knowledge than necessary to accomplish their assignments.
A crucial feature of current unfolding events is the appearance of the spiritists, and the terror they bring. Except for the mythological imagery created by Christian fundamentalists, this aspect of God's unfolding will was completely hidden from the eyes of men. Ability to forecast this planetary episode is a unique feature in the repertoire of this individual. That uniqueness will be displayed through fulfillment of the prediction of terror about to descend upon us when Great Babylon becomes "drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
Second, the style of forecast must be more than the form of predictions which has plagued interpretation over the past two thousand years. Many false prophets predict doom and terror. Ability to discern the secrets of prophecy is an indicator of the qualifications of this individual.
Third, God may choose to provide an even greater display of authority of commission. Perhaps the fulfillment of prediction and prophetic discernment are not sufficient to establish that such mortal is truly a mouth piece for God. God's people may be caught in the forces of destruction, for eternal loss, unless they have reliable demonstration of God's power. They may hold to a "wait and see" attitude. If they wait for a nuclear holocaust it will be too late. To modify this dangerous attitude the individual may give himself to God's purpose in an incontestable demonstration of Creator power.
All of this discussion is directed toward proper understanding of God's call to his people.
In this manner God will bring a cleansing of unrighteousness from the human race.
Ps 104:35 -- Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless Yahweh, O my soul! Praise Yahweh!
Isa 1:28 -- But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together, and those who forsake Yahweh shall be consumed.
Amos 9:10 -- All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, `Evil shall not overtake or meet us.'
God could not accomplish these objectives if he had directly, openly, and explicitly communicated with all mankind. His action was conditioned by his purpose. God cannot reach the new world unless human mortals recognize his call and respond to it. There will be no miraculous escape. What a glorious opportunity, to become contributing members to a new world era! And all by our individual choices, decisions, and actions. How great God truly is!
I shall now examine prophecies concerning two human servants. One of those appeared in the past; the other will now appear at this consummation of the age.