2002-08-16-Apostles & Disciples

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Topic: Apostles & Disciples

Group: SE Idaho TeaM

Facilitators

Teacher: Paul of Tarsus, Daniel, Minearsia

TR: Bob S., Bill K.

Session

Opening Prayer

Prayer by unknown being (Bob S): Children of eternity, hear these words from your elder brother. Let us be at prayer.

O’ most high and holy Trinity, Whose universe of universes we inhabit, we reach out to You in love, in faith, in hope, in trust, knowing that You are our Creator, our Guide, our Benefactor. Be with us now as we open our minds and hearts to the words which have been prepared for our edification. And may the love which guides the universe guide our minds in this process. So be it. Amen.

Lesson

Apostleship

Paul the Apostle (Bill): Grace, mercy and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am again with you, my friends. I am Saul of Tarsus, otherwise known as Paul. (Greetings from group.)

Many are the days which have passed since I have left this planet in the natural process of death and resurrection. And yet, as is true of my brothers and sisters in the original company of Apostles, our interest has not waned in the slightest for the progress of the Gospel. In fact our excitement mounts as we see the transformation of the 4th Epochal Revelation as it is enshrined, enlivened and expanded in the 5th Epochal Revelation, not confined to the words of a book, however, but upon the pages of your lives.

When I was still a mortal on this planet I was gifted with visions of the advanced stages of Light and Life which, according to my thought forms, were visions of heaven. Now, of course, I realize that I was privileged to understand just a little more than what I had previously understood about the future of the human race so that I would not become despondent and discouraged during my long imprisonment.

In some ways, my friends, although several thousand years have come between us, we are contemporaries. You are close to me as were Titus, Timothy and the other disciples who chose to accompany me on my travels. You are close to me because you also live in a world of great uncertainty and turmoil where it is easy to lose faith in the ultimate triumph of the purposes of God in history. I have been allowed to speak to you tonight to help to solidify the connection between us, and also to verify the reality of your perception of this time in your lives, that it is like the excitement of New Testament days. Yes, my friends, it is the same outpouring of the Spirit which we experienced at Pentecost that once again has come afresh into your lives as a result of this new epochal revelation. We are literally walking in the footsteps of our Master as though his departure was yesterday. He is every bit as much present with you as he ever was with me or the other Apostles: Peter, James, John, Nathaniel, Simon and so forth.

You are not required to represent Christianity for that was my job; was more or less Peter and my creation. Whether or not you relate to a so-called Christian context is not the center of your job. All this you know very well. So our comradeship is not in an institutional church called Christian. Our comradeship is that we are called Apostles of our Sovereign Lord, Jesus the Christ, the same one who is Christ Michael of Nebadon.

There were many days in which I was weak, very weak. These times are not openly explained in my letters to the churches for when I took in hand pen to write I was filled with the Spirit. So while my writing was not inspired and should not have been canonized as infallible truth, nevertheless I was able to be so up-lifted at those times that you do not usually sense the many other times when I was under the gun, discouraged, depressed, and self-doubting.

But those times never took me down all the way. I was not out at the count of 9 -10. I was on my feet before the count reached 4. So have you displayed the same courage and resilience in your walk in the footsteps of our Master.

We are still in the twilight zone before the dawn of the first stage of Light and Life. We are still mostly engrossed with shadows, and darkness still grips the minds of most people. As long as the worship of materialism continues those shadows hold forth; but you, as I was, are the light in darkness. Your ability has been to get up at the count of 4, 3, 2, whatever, instead of staying on the mat paralyzed until the very last number comes up. Your ability to respond early and more quickly to your failures, your discouragements, and your depressions show that the light within you is penetrating throughout your body and minds to the outer world, to those people who see you in intimacy.

Do not take the term apostle personally. I personally had to defend myself against those who said I was fraudulent, not worthy of the name apostle for I had been the leader, or one of the leaders, of the movement to destroy the Jesus Brotherhood. But I was commissioned by none other than our Lord and Master Himself, even as you were. In the pledge of allegiance that your repeated last week, your reaffirmed that apostle status.

Now, my friends, as I said the last time I spoke to you, you know much more than I knew. You have a much larger perspective. As the song goes, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will go strangely dim in the light of his marvelous grace." The idea is, don't be distracted by those who go off here, who go off there, who walk in the steps of evil and follow in the pathways of pride, who, like Lucifer, trust their own thinking and their own understanding instead of deferring to the wisdom of God's guidance. Rather keep your eyes on Him Who was and is the complete guide, the way-shower, and the strengthener, Whose yoke is light and Whose burden is easy when you let Him be the guide.

In conclusion, then, I wanted to touch base with you again because I truly do feel we are companions, that our times are similar, as I refer back to my time in history, and that we are fellow apostles whose task is to represent Him who represented his Father, the First Source and Center of all things and beings. Yes, my friends, welcome to the Jesus Brotherhood, for that is what it is, the Kingdom of Heaven within you. And this Jesus brotherhood is part of the universal brotherhood of all faith sons and daughters of the living God, as well as divine personalities who draw directly their heritage from the Paradise Trinity.

I am still within the Local System of course, but even so this universe is so amazing in its breadth and depth that you really still have no idea of what is in store for you. My words of long ago are even more true today, "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for his sons and daughters, they that love him."

I look forward to seeing you in morontia form soon. Laughter.] I am not predicting your immediate demise, however, [more laughter] but in the space of eternity it is but a moment and we shall be face to face. In the meantime be assured that your brothers and sisters that preceded you are completely interested in this Correcting Time project, this 5th Epochal Revelation. Be at peace. Always be thankful. Never give up hope. I am Paul, your brother. Good night. (Group: good night.)

Daniel (Bill): I am Daniel. Good evening, my friends. (Group: good evening.) You are all very thoughtful this evening having made connection once again with one of your common heroes of the Christian heritage. And perhaps you are thoughtful for personal reasons. But Paul is our featured speaker this evening, and therefor my role tonight will be to be the chairperson for any questions or comments that you wish to make. So I open the floor now for your participation.

Dialogue

LaReen: Good evening, Daniel. I don't know, I speak for only myself, but when I am compared to an Apostle like Paul, it just doesn't ring true. I just can't go there.

Daniel (Bill): Understood. Your name will probably not be on the pages of a sacred book. [Laughter.] You will probably not have the legacy of accomplishment in terms of dramatic, public work, that Paul has. Let me see if I can help you with your skepticism and self-doubt. (Pause.)

First of all, the Apostles were distinguished from the disciples by our Master because in addition to dedication to following the teachings of Jesus, they accepted the responsibilities of sharing the Good News with everyone that they could effectively interact with. They assumed the role of teacher as well as student. And they assumed a third role, and that was that they spoke in the name of another person-not on their own authority. They spoke as representatives, as ambassadors, for Christ Michael.

The original Apostles were all Jews. In Judaism the number 12 was very significant, representing the whole of Judaism, the 12 tribes of Israel/ Judah. Jesus chose 12 Apostles and limited it to that number because of the symbolism of 12. Once the Jesus brotherhood expanded beyond the Jews to include the Greeks, later the Romans, and beyond that the entire world, the role of apostle was assumed by thousands of people without the title formally given. In the case of Paul, he was given the title and replaced Judas in the 12, in spite of their selection of another; but that was just a symbolic beginning. Now in this 5th Epochal Revelation we begin again to bring to the world the teachings of Jesus as they are fleshed out in Part IV of the Urantia Book, for this generation did not actually have the opportunity to hear the man speak. And because his Gospel is now world-wide, presentation is not limited to the symbolism of the 12 of Judaism. The number of apostles is unlimited as long as one is willing to be a learner, a teacher and an ambassador. Do not compare yourself, therefor, to someone else. Only ask yourself if you sincerely fulfill those 3 requirements; and I believe I can say very certainly you do. Has this helped you, LaReen?

LaReen: Yes, you have really helped me, as usual. Thank you, Daniel.

Survival

Virginia: Daniel, Paul quoted a part of the Bible that I was familiar with, and that is "And it is not entered into the hearts of men what is prepared for (them)," and he said I think "It was God's sons and daughters or brothers and sisters," and I thought "Oh yes". But then he added, "for those who love God." I was disappointed because there's a lot of people on this planet that would never say they love God; yet I am hoping and planning on seeing them again because I know God has prepared a place for them too with more insight so they can make a wise decision.

Daniel (Bill): I will let Paul answer.

Virginia: I was hoping he'd left. [[[Laughter]].]

Paul (Bill): My dear sister, I have not left, and I beg your pardon if you find my words offensive, [more laughter] because they were not intended that way. (Virginia agrees) I was quoting myself, and expanding the meaning of those that love God beyond the traditional, limiting parameters of Christianity to include everyone who are sons and daughters. You know well enough that those who do not love God and choose to not love God, but love themselves instead and go along with their prideful arrogance, that they do not participate, indeed cannot participate, in the things that God has prepared. It is not a limitation of love on God's part. It is their choice to not love the One who is the Source of all Love. Does this clarify it for you, my friend?

Virginia: Yes, Paul, but my concern is that so many times our definition of God on this planet has been so varied, so unreal and untrue that people can believe that it's God they are angry with or dislike. Really, it is the definition of God that has been given to them; so I am hoping that these people who say such things will be given more insight-the possibility of a wiser choice.

Paul (Bill): Well, your hope is satisfied, my dear. There is no question that the righteous judgement of all people will be effected, and those whom you have described with limited ideas about God, totally wrong ideas about God, but have not made that whole-soul rejection without the possibility of recantation, those people who have not made a final decision to reject God after they know enough to do it intelligently, they will be given further opportunity. It is not fair for someone to make a decision that has eternal significance, based upon partial information. Therefor, it is not permitted. Total information necessary for the momentous decision of the ascension career is always there for each individual. Have I made myself clear?

Virginia: Yes, Paul, thank you very much.

Paul (Bill): Never doubt the fairness of the universe in spite of the unfairness of your planetary existence. The contrast is indescribable between the fairness of the universe and the distorted and unjust status of your Urantian mortals.

Virginia: Thank you, Paul, I am looking forward to that.

Paul (Bill): You're welcome. I now return you to Daniel.

Daniel (Bill): Well, my friends, any other comments or questions, on Paul's comments or anything else that you wish?

Ken: I was just like to say "thank you" to Paul for his comparison of the apostleship of those days and the apostleship of today. The words in the letters that he wrote as a mortal here showed love. His words tonight showed love also. Thank you, Paul, for coming and talking to us.

Paul (Bill): I was very honored to again be a guest speaker at your group. So, thank you, Ken, for your hospitality.

Ken: The door is always open, my friend.

Paul (Bill): Yes, on your part that is true. But there is organization, and many are the ones that wish to claim some time in your presence. Are you aware of that?

Ken: Yes, I am.

Paul (Bill): Very well, I will depart. Daniel once again will host. Thank you all once again for your generosity, and be aware that I love you all. Good night.

(long silence)

Closing

Daniel (Bill): Let us stand to conclude our meeting.

Minearsia (Bill): I am Minearsia, your Instructor in Residence. Let us pray.

We thank You, O God, our most loving Father, Mother and Creator, that Your universe reflects You in relationship and equality. I thank You that we have the joy and great pleasure of companionship across universe orders of sonship, across diversity of cultures and planet of origin, across all other diversities that tend to reduce our awareness of unity. I thank You for these young ones who are stalwart ambassadors for Michael at this time in history on this planet of His nativity. I thank you for them because it is an honor to be their instructor, to be associated with them.

And so I also wish their well-being, their success in the struggle of life, and their faith ever flaming higher, a bright fire of hope, love, and assurance which will shine forth to all who see them. Go with them, each one, this evening as they go their separate ways; and if they get beaten by the blows of life help them to rise before the count reaches 10 and continue the good fight of faith. In the name of Michael may our intentions, our thoughts, and our prayers be acceptable. Amen.