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The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book


Paper 178: Last Day at the Camp


After breakfast Thursday Jesus led fifty disciples to a secluded place above the camp to deliver his farewell discourse. He spoke for nearly two hours on the subject of the relationship between earthly kingdoms and the kingdom of heaven. Jesus taught that while earthly governments may use physical force to maintain law and order, in the kingdom of heaven believers will not, although social groups of believers are right to maintain order and discipline among their membership.

Awareness of spiritual sonship should help mortals become ideal earthly citizens. There is no conflict between cosmic and earthly citizenship unless human rulers usurp the spiritual honor and worship that belongs to God. Material-minded people will only know of spiritual light when those who possess it draw near them in unselfish social service.

Jesus taught, "As faith-enlightened and spirit-liberated sons of the kingdom of heaven, you face a double responsibility of duty to man and duty to God while you voluntarily assume a third and sacred obligation: service to the brotherhood of God-knowing believers."

Jesus admonished his followers not to worship earthly rulers and not to use temporal power to further the spiritual kingdom. He asked them to offer loving service to believers and unbelievers alike; sincere and loving service is a mighty social lever. Jesus advised them to become experts at adjusting misunderstandings and disagreements, and to seek to live peacefully with all people.

Jesus warned his followers that in the near future they should expect trouble, persecution, and death. He told them that the manner in which they suffered for the gospel would enlighten their backward brethren. He asked that they remain faithful to the kingdom even in times of peace, always laboring to persuade people but never trying to compel them.

He gave them much instruction in dealing with other people in the work of spreading the gospel. "The revelation I have made to you is a living revelation, and I desire that it shall bear appropriate fruits in each individual and in each generation in accordance with the laws of spiritual growth, increase, and adaptive development. You are not to attack the old ways; you are skillfully to put the leaven of new truth in the midst of the old beliefs. Let the Spirit of Truth do his own work." Few who heard Jesus speak that morning comprehended anything he said, but the Greeks understood him best. The apostles were bewildered by his references to generations of believers.

David Zebedee learned of the plan to arrest Jesus-including Judas' part in the plot-but when he tried to speak to Jesus, Jesus asked him to remain silent. Philip asked Jesus what plan should be made for the Passover meal. Judas tried to eavesdrop on this conversation, but David quickly drew Judas aside to discuss the status of the apostolic funds. During this conversation, Judas turned over the money in his possession to David.

Meanwhile, Philip, Peter, and John learned that Jesus had made plans to have supper that evening at John Mark's parents house in Jerusalem. They went into the city to make the arrangements, then returned to the camp to lead the rest of the group back into Jerusalem.

To avoid the crowds, the group traveled by way of the western brow of Mount Olivet. As they paused to look down on the city, Jesus told his men that he would soon leave them to return to the work the Father had given him. He warned them not to needlessly expose themselves to danger when he was taken, saying that if the Father wished his departure, nothing the apostles could do would change things. The Master asked them not to be misled into any foolish plan to defend him. He spoke to them of cities whose builder is God and worlds whose habit of life is righteousness and joy in the truth. He told them that they would one day sit with him on high when their work on earth was finished. The apostles then stood up and made their way into the city, where John Mark welcomed them into his parent's home.

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