Teacher-Brother Dave's Compilation of
TOPICAL STUDIES from
THE NEW EPOCHAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
Topical Study number 114
"Prayer, Meditation, Reflection, Worship", Part 14
Part 1 - on of Study 106 on "Worship" starts about 30% down this page; click this link:
Topical Study 106
Topical Study number 114, Part 14
The Urantia Book
PAPER 137. Tarrying Time in Galilee
6. The Events of a Sabbath Day
[PAPER:Section.Paragraph (Page.full paragraph on that page)]
137:6.6 That evening, when they had returned to the land, before they went their way, Jesus, standing by the water’s edge, prayed: “My Father, I thank you for these little ones who, in spite of their doubts, even now believe. And for their sakes have I set myself apart to do your will. And now may they learn to be one, even as we are one.”
8. Sermon on the Kingdom
137:8.3 Jesus did his last work at the carpenter bench on this Tuesday, June 18, A.D. 26. Peter rushed out of the shop and by midafternoon had rounded up all of his associates, and leaving them in a grove by the shore, he went in quest of Jesus. But he could not find him, for the Master had gone to a different grove to pray. And they did not see him until late that evening when he returned to Zebedee’s house and asked for food. The next day he sent his brother James to ask for the privilege of speaking in the synagogue the coming Sabbath day. And the ruler of the synagogue was much pleased that Jesus was again willing to conduct the service.
137:8.6 (1536.3) [Jesus:] “I have come to proclaim the establishment of the Father’s kingdom. And this kingdom shall include the worshiping souls of Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, free and bond, for my Father is no respecter of persons; his love and his mercy are over all."
PAPER 138. Training the Kingdom's Messengers
5. The Call of Thomas and Judas
138:5.1 Thomas the fisherman and Judas the wanderer met Jesus and the apostles at the fisher-boat landing at Tarichea, and Thomas led the party to his near-by home. Philip now presented Thomas as his nominee for apostleship and Nathaniel presented Judas Iscariot, the Judean, for similar honors. Jesus looked upon Thomas and said: “Thomas, you lack faith; nevertheless, I receive you. Follow me.” To Judas Iscariot the Master said: “Judas, we are all of one flesh, and as I receive you into our midst, I pray that you will always be loyal to your Galilean brethren. Follow me.”
138:5.2 When they had refreshed themselves, Jesus took the twelve apart for a season to pray with them and to instruct them in the nature and work of the Holy Spirit, but again did they largely fail to comprehend the meaning of those wonderful truths which he endeavored to teach them. One would grasp one point and one would comprehend another, but none of them could encompass the whole of his teaching. Always would they make the mistake of trying to fit Jesus’ new gospel into their old forms of religious belief. They could not grasp the idea that Jesus had come to proclaim a new gospel of salvation and to establish a new way of finding God; they did not perceive that he was a new revelation of the Father in heaven.
7. Another Disappointment
138:7.2 Once more were his associates shocked, stunned. Jesus sent them away two and two to pray, asking them to return to him at noontime. On this crucial forenoon they each sought to find God, and each endeavored to cheer and strengthen the other, and they returned to Jesus as he had bidden them.
10. Organization of the Twelve
138:10.3 #2. Peter, James, and John were appointed personal companions of Jesus. They were to attend him day and night, to minister to his physical and sundry needs, and to accompany him on those night vigils of prayer and mysterious communion with the Father in heaven.
PAPER 139. The Twelve Apostles
5. Philip the Curious
139:5.6 (1556.6) The one quality about Jesus which Philip so continuously admired was the Master’s unfailing generosity. Never could Philip find anything in Jesus which was small, niggardly, or stingy, and he worshiped this ever-present and unfailing liberality.
PAPER 140. The Ordination of the Twelve
2. The Ordination
140:2.1 Jesus now instructed the twelve mortals who had just listened to his declaration concerning the kingdom to kneel in a circle about him. Then the Master placed his hands upon the head of each apostle, beginning with Judas Iscariot and ending with Andrew. When he had blessed them, he extended his hands and prayed:
140:2.2 “My Father, I now bring to you these men, my messengers. From among our children on earth I have chosen these twelve to go forth to represent me as I came forth to represent you. Love them and be with them as you have loved and been with me. And now, my Father, give these men wisdom as I place all the affairs of the coming kingdom in their hands. And I would, if it is your will, tarry on earth a time to help them in their labors for the kingdom. And again, my Father, I thank you for these men, and I commit them to your keeping while I go on to finish the work you have given me to do.”
140:2.3 When Jesus had finished praying, the apostles remained each man bowed in his place. And it was many minutes before even Peter dared lift up his eyes to look upon the Master. One by one they embraced Jesus, but no man said aught. A great silence pervaded the place while a host of celestial beings looked down upon this solemn and sacred scene — the Creator of a universe placing the affairs of the divine brotherhood of man under the direction of human minds.
3. The Ordination Sermon
140:3.1 Then Jesus spoke, saying: “Now that you are ambassadors of my Father’s kingdom, you have thereby become a class of men separate and distinct from all oer men on earth. You are not now as men among men but as the enlightened citizens of another and heavenly country among the ignorant creatures of this dark world. It is not enough that you live as you were before this hour, but henceforth must you live 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. Of the teacher more is expected than of the pupil; of the master more is exacted than of the servant. Of the citizens of the heavenly kingdom more is required than of the citizens of the earthly rule. Some of the things which I am about to say to you may seem hard, but you have elected to represent me in the world even as I now represent the Father; and as my agents on earth you will be obligated to abide by those teachings and practices which are reflective of my ideals of mortal living on the worlds of space, and which I exemplify in my earth life of revealing the Father who is in heaven.
140:3.15 “I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them.
4. You Are the Salt of the Earth
140:4.5 While light dispels darkness, it can also be so “blinding” as to confuse and frustrate. We are admonished to let our light so shine that our fellows will be guided into new and godly paths of enhanced living. Our light should so shine as not to attract attention to self. Even one’s vocation can be utilized as an effective “reflector” for the dissemination of this light of life.
140:4.6 (1572.6) Strong characters are not derived from not doing wrong but rather from actually doing right. Unselfishness is the badge of human greatness. The highest levels of self-realization are attained by worship and service. The happy and effective person is motivated, not by fear of wrongdoing, but by love of right doing.
5. Fatherly and Brotherly Love
140:5.7 1. “Happy are the poor in spirit — the humble.” To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus’ times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit — egotistical; the other felt “poor in spirit” — humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth — for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They fid the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.
6. The Evening of the Ordination
140:6.3 “I demand of you a righteousness that shall exceed the righteousness of those who seek to obtain the Father’s favor by almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. If you would enter the kingdom, you must have a righteousness that consists in love, mercy, and truth — the sincere desire to do the will of my Father in heaven.”
140:6.11 When Jesus heard this, he said: “Be willing, then, to take up your responsibilities and follow me. Do your good deeds in secret; when you give alms, let not the left hand know what the right hand does. And when you pray, go apart by yourselves and use not vain repetitions and meaningless phrases. Always remember that the Father knows what you need even before you ask him. And be not given to fasting with a sad countenance to be seen by men. As my chosen apostles, now set apart for the service of the kingdom, lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, but by your unselfish service lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasures are, there will your hearts be also.
140:6.13 (1577.7) And then Thomas asked Jesus if they should “continue having everything in common.” Said the Master: “Yes, my brethren, I would that we should live together as one understanding family. You are intrusted with a great work, and I crave your undivided service. You know that it has been well said: ‘No man can serve two masters.’ You cannot sincerely worship God and at the same time wholeheartedly serve mammon. Having now enlisted unreservedly in the work of the kingdom, be not anxious for your lives; much less be concerned with what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor yet for your bodies, what clothing you shall wear. Already have you learned that willing hands and earnest hearts shall not go hungry. And now, when you prepare to devote all of your energies to the work of the kingdom, be assured that the Father will not be unmindful of your needs. Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you. Be not, therefore, unduly anxious for the morrow. Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof.”
PAPER 141. Beginning the Public Work
5. Spiritual Unity
141:5.2 (1591.7) [Jesus:] “In this way you may experience a perfected unity of spirit purpose and spirit understanding growing out of the mutual consciousness of the identity of each of your indwelling Paradise spirits; and you may enjoy all of this profound spiritual unity in the very face of the utmost divrsity of your individual attitudes of intellectual thinking, temperamental feeling, and social conduct. Your personalities may be refreshingly diverse and markedly different, while your spiritual natures and spirit fruits of divine worship and brotherly love may be so unified that all who behold your lives will of a surety take cognizance of this spirit identity and soul unity; they will recognize that you have been with me and have thereby learned, and acceptably, how to do the will of the Father in heaven. You can achieve the unity of the service of God even while you render such service in accordance with the technique of your own original endowments of mind, body, and soul."
7. At Bethany Beyond Jordan
141:7.12 The apostles were beginning to recognize the unaffected friendliness of Jesus. Though the Master was easy of approach, he always lived independent of, and above, all human beings. Not for one moment was he ever dominated by any purely mortal influence or subject to frail human judgment. He paid no attention to public opinion, and he was uninfluenced by praise. He seldom paused to correct misunderstandings or to resent misrepresentation. He never asked any man for advice; he never made requests for prayers.
PAPER 142. The Passover at Jerusalem
2. God's Wrath
142:2.4 Then Jesus went on to say: “When your children are very young and immature, and when you must chastise them, they may reflect that their father is angry and filled with resentful wrath. Their immaturity cannot penetrate beyond the punishment to discern the father’s farseeing and corrective affection. But when these same children become grown-up men and women, would it not be folly for them to cling to these earlier and misconceived notions regarding their father? As men and women they should now discern their father’s love in all these early disciplines. And should not mankind, as the centuries pass, come the better to understand the true nature and loving character of the Father in heaven? What profit have you from successive generations of spiritual illumination if you persist in viewing God as Moses and the prophets saw him? I say to you, Jacob, under the bright light of this hour you should see the Father as none of those who have gone before ever beheld him. And thus seeing him, you should rejoice to enter the kingdom wherein such a merciful Father rules, and you should seek to have his will of love dominate your life henceforth.”
3. The Concept of God
142:3.1 (1598.2) The telve apostles, most of whom had listened to this discussion of the character of God, that night asked Jesus many questions about the Father in heaven. The Master’s answers to these questions can best be presented by the following summary in modern phraseology:
142:3.2 (1598.3) Jesus mildly upbraided the twelve, in substance saying: Do you not know the traditions of Israel relating to the growth of the idea of Yahweh, and are you ignorant of the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the doctrine of God? And then did the Master proceed to instruct the apostles about the evolution of the concept of Deity throughout the course of the development of the Jewish people. He called attention to the following phases of the growth of the God idea:
142:3.3 (1598.4) 1. Yahweh — the god of the Sinai clans. This was the primitive concept of Deity which Moses exalted to the higher level of the Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven never fails to accept the sincere worship of his children on earth, no matter how crude their concept of Deity or by what name they symbolize his divine nature.
142:3.4 (1598.5) 2. The Most High. This concept of the Father in heaven was proclaimed by Melchizedek [about 4,00to Abraham and was carried far from Salem by those who subsequently believed in this enlarged and expanded idea of Deity. Abraham and his brother left Ur because of the establishment of sun worship, and they became believers in Melchizedek’s teaching of El Elyon — the Most High God. Theirs was a composite concept of God, consisting in a blending of their older Mesopotamian ideas and the Most High doctrine.
142:3.5 (1598.6) 3. El Shaddai. During these early days many of the Hebrews worshiped El Shaddai, the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven, which they learned about during their captivity in the land of the Nile. Long after the times of Melchizedek all three of these concepts of God became joined together to form the doctrine of the creator Deity, the Lord God of Israel.
142:3.6 (1598.7) 4. Elohim. From the times of Adam the teaching of the Paradise Trinity has persisted. Do you not recall how the Scriptures begin by asserting that “In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earth”? This indicates that when that record was made the Trinity concept of three Gods in one had found lodgment in the religion of our forebears.
142:3.7 (1598.8) 5. The Supreme Yahweh. By the times of Isaiah these beliefs about God had expanded into the concept of a Universal Creator who was simultaneously all-powerful and all-merciful. And this evolving and enlarging concept of God virtually supplanted all previous ideas of Deity in our fathers’ religion.
142:3.8 (1598.9) 6. The Father in heaven. And now do we know God as our Father in heaven. Our teaching provides a religion wherein the believer is a son of God. That is the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Coexistent with the Father are the Son and the Spirit, and the revelation of the nature and ministry of these Paradise Deities will continue to enlarge and brighten throughout the endless ages of the eternal spiritual progression of the ascending sons of God. At all times and during all ages the true worship of any human being — as concerns individual spiritual progress — is recognized by the indwelling spirit as homage rendered to the Father in heaven.
142:3.9 (1599.1) Never before had the apostles been so shocked as they were upon hearing this recounting of the growth of the concept of God in the Jewish minds of previous generations; they were too bewildered to ask questions. As they sat before Jesus in silence, the Master continued: “And you would have known these truths had you read the Scriptures. Have you not read in Samuel where it says: ‘And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so much so that he moved David against them, saying, go number Israel and Judah’? And this was not strange because in the days of Samuel the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But when a later writer narrated these events, subsequent to the enlargement of the Jewish concept of the nature of God, he did not dare attribute evil to Yahweh; therefore he said: ‘And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.’ Cannot you discern that such records in the Scriptures clearly show how the concept of the nature of God continued to grow from one generation to another?
4. Flavius and Greek Culture
142:4.2 (1600.3) The Master saw that his host [Flavius had collected art treasures from around the world] was bewildered at his friendly attitude toward art; therefore, when they had finished the survey of the entire collection, Jesus said: “Because you appreciate the beauty of things created by my Father and fashioned by the artistic hands of man, why should you expect to be rebuked? Because Moses onetime sought to combat idolatry and the worship of false gods, why should all men frown upon the reproduction of grace and beauty? I say to you, Flavius, Moses’ children have misunderstood him, and now do they make false gods of even his prohibitions of images and the likeness of things in heaven and on earth. But even if Moses taught such restrictions to the darkened minds of those days, what has that to do with this day when the Father in heaven is revealed as the universal Spirit Ruler over all? And, Flavius, I declare that in the coming kingdom they shall no longer teach, ‘Do not worship this and do not worship that’; no longer shall they concern themselves with commands to refrain from this and take care not to do that, but rather shall all be concerned with one supreme duty. And this duty of man is expressed in two great privileges: sincere worship of the infinite Creator, the Paradise Father, and loving service bestowed upon one’s fellow men. If you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you really know that you are a son of God.
142:4.3 (1600.4) “In an age when my Father was not well understood, Moses was justified in his attempts to withstand idolatry, but in the coming age the Father will have been revealed in the life of the Son; and this new revelation of God will make it forever unnecessary to confuse the Creator Father with idols of stone or images of gold and silver. Henceforth, intelligent men may enjoy the treasures of art without confusing such material appreciation of beauty with the worship and service of the Father in Paradise, the God of all things and all beings.”
7. The Lesson on the Family
142:7.16 Although Jesus discoursed for several hours, Thomas was not yet satisfied, for he said: “But, Master, we do not find that the Father in heaven always deals kindly and mercifully with us. Many times we grievously suffer on earth, and not always are our prayers answered. Where do we fail to grasp the meaning of your teaching?”
PAPER 143. Going Through Samaria
2. Lesson on Self-Mastery
143:2.3 “Verily, verily, I say to you, he who rules his own self is greater than he who captures a city. Self-mastery is the measure of man’s moral nature and the indicator of his spiritual development. In the old order you fasted and prayed; as the new creature of the rebirth of the spirit, you are taught to believe and rejoice. In the Father’s kingdom you are to become new creatures; old things are to pass away; behold I show you how all things are to become new. And by your love for one another you are to convince the world that you have passed from bondage to liberty, from death into life everlasting.
3. Diversion and Relaxation
143:3.3 (1611.1) This was a marvelous occasion in the experience of each of them; they [the twelve apostles of Jesus] never forgot the day going up the mountain. Throughout the entire trip hardly a word was said about their troubles. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, Jesus seated them about him while he said: “My brethren, you must all learn the value of rest and the efficacy of relaxation. You must realize that the best method of solving some entangled problems is to forsake them for a time. Then when you go back fresh from your rest or worship, you are able to attack your troubles with a clearer head and a steadier hand, not to mention a more resolute heart. [your Spirit-led soul and mind] Again, many times your problem is found to have shrunk in size and proportions while you have been resting your mind and body.”
4. The Jews and the Samaritans
143:4.2 (1612.2) The religious enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans dated from the return of the former from the Babylonian captivity, when the Samaritans worked to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Later they offended the Jews by extending friendly assistance to the armies of Alexander. In return for their friendship Alexander gave the Samaritans permission to build a temple on Mount Gerizim, where they worshiped Yahweh and their tribal gods and offered sacrifices much after the order of the temple services at Jerusalem. At least they continued this worship up to the time of the Maccabees, when John Hyrcanus destroyed their temple on Mount Gerizim. The Apostle Philip, in his labors for the Samaritans after the death of Jesus, held many meetings on the site of this old Samaritan temple. [See Jesus' Parable of brotherly love: The Good Samaritan"]
5. The Woman of Sychar [at the well]
143:5.5 (1613.3) By this time Nalda was sobered, and her better self was awakened. She was not an immoral woman wholly by choice. She had been ruthlessly and unjustly cast aside by her husband and in dire straits had consented to live with a certain Greek as his wife, but without marriage. Nalda now felt greatly ashamed that she had so unthinkingly spoken to Jesus, and she most penitently addressed the Master, 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.” And she was just about to seek direct and personal help from the Master when she did what so many have done before and since — dodged the issue of personal salvation by turning to the discussion of theology and philosophy. She quickly turned the conversation from her own needs to a theological controversy. Pointing over to Mount Gerizim, she continued: “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and yet you would say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship; which, then, is the right place to worship God?”
143:5.6 (1613.4) Jesus perceived the attempt of the woman’s soul to avoid direct and searching contact with its Maker, but he also saw that there was present in her soul a desire to know the better way of life. After all, there was in Nalda’s heart a true thirst for the living water; therefore he dealt patiently with her, saying: “Woman, let me say to you that the day is soon coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. But now you worship that which you know not, a mixture of the religion of many pagan gods and gentile philosophies. The Jews at least know whom they worship; they have removed all confusion by concentrating their worship upon one God, Yahweh. But you should believe me when I say that the hour will soon come — even now is — when all sincere worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for it is just such worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Your salvation comes not from knowing how others should worship or where but by receiving into your own heart this living water which I am offering you even now.”
7. Teachings [of Jesus] About Prayer and Worship
143:7.2 (1616.4) True religion is the act of an individual soul in its self-conscious relations with the Creator; organized religion is man’s attempt to socialize the worship of individual religionists.
143:7.3 (1616.5) Worship — contemplation of the spiritual — must alternate with service, contact with material reality. Work should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor. Profound philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry. The strain of living — the time tension of personality — should be relaxed by the restfulness of worship. The feelings of insecurity arising from the fear of personality isolation in the universe should be antidoted by the faith contemplation of the Father and by the attempted realization of the Supreme. [God the Supreme is under the Paradise Trinity out here in the space-time grand universe experiencing with and as us -- current human "process Theology" is striving to grasp some of that. Peruse Papers 115 through 118]
143:7.4 Prayer is designed to make man less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase knowledge but rather to expand insight.
143:7.5 (1616.7) Worship is intended to anticipate the better life ahead and then to reflect these new spiritual significances back onto the life which now is. Prayer is spiritually sustaining, but worship is divinely creative.
143:7.6 (1616.8) Worship is the technique of looking to the One for the inspiration of service to the many. Worship is the yardstick which measures the extent of the soul’s detachment from the material universe and its simultaneous and secure attachment to the spiritual realities of all creation.
143:7.7 (1616.9) Prayer is self-reminding — sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting — superthinking. Worship is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion.
143:7.8 (1616.10) Worship is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father; time in the act of striking step with eternity. Worship is the act of the son’s personal communion with the divine Father, the assumption of refreshing, creative, fraternal, and romantic attitudes by the human soul-spirit.
The next part of this Study will be published here Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at about 8:00 PM CST (new Study material here usually each Mon. Wed. and Fri. at 8:00 PM CST)]
Past TOPICAL STUDIES 93 and 94
Past TOPICAL STUDY 1-on
Spiritual High-Lights of Jesus Christ
Spiritual High-Lights of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
FIFTH EPOCHAL REVELATION (full text and my added comments)
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES (shorter, with some FER)