2002-11-22-Self Preservation, Self Forgiveness
Topic: Self Preservation, Self Forgiveness
Group: Pocatello TeaM
Teacher: Daniel, Paul, the Apostle, Peter, the Apostle
Giver of eternal life, Lover of men's souls, sure and steadfast Pilot Who unerringly guides us toward Paradise, God of our limited understanding, we worship You with all that we are! We thank you for life eternal. We thank You for the mortal experience with its ups and downs which brought us to great decisions and produced unparalleled soul growth. I am pleased to be once again with these, my friends, and ask that our time together may be richly blessed as we share with each other in Your presence. To You be all glory and honor, world without end. Amen
Ken: Well, thank you, Paul. Welcome to the group!
Daniel(Bob S.) Greetings, my friends. This is Daniel, your teacher, guide, friend, elder brother and staunch companion on our trip toward Paradise. As you already know, we have a superb group of guests here visiting us tonight; and, again, I apologize for putting off a lesson which I partially promised you last week , for we must take advantage of individuals as they are available. So, tonight, we will take advantage of one or more of the guest personages who are available this evening. I now pause to allow time for one of our guests. One moment, please.
Simon Peter(Bill): I am Peter...(Ken: Welcome, Peter)...the self doubting apostle, the impetuous one, and the one whom Jesus loved as much as any other man, woman, or child. Don't be concerned over my authenticity, for it has been determined that if Paul could be present and allowed to speak, others of us will have that same opportunity.
Yes, like my brother, Paul said, these are exciting times for those of us whom you refer to as "apostles". We are very much in understanding of your feelings and your situation as you once again respond, as we did, to the majesty, the brilliance, the unquestionable authenticity of the Spiritual Presence of God as was manifested through the incarnation of His Son, Michael of Nebadon. Yes, we are sensing the same quality of spiritual experience in you people, my brothers, my sisters, as was our daily fare.
I have been given this opportunity tonight as a follow up on your lesson on self forgiveness, for I am the perfect example of that great need which every person, to some extent or another, has within himself: the need to understand how God's love both transcends and uplifts our own self love and consequent self forgiveness.
Without going on at great length I would simply remind you of some key points in my own history. The first point was, I never expected to err as I did! Even though Jesus told me that before the cock crowed I would deny him three times,(181:2.29) those words did not enter my soul! They barely entered my mind. I was sure, with all the enthusiasm of my impetuous nature, than nothing could bring me to deny my Master! We were all in shock that night when Jesus said there was a betrayer in our midst. But we didn't understand, then, who it was and our self doubt manifested as we each said, "Is it I, Lord?" Yet, when it came my turn to question I really couldn't conceive that I would deny our Lord Jesus and shamefully deny either knowing him, his message, or my fellow apostles.
Consider the irony of it, my friends! Was I in front of Pilate, being accused of being a follower of this man? Was I in front of Caiaphas when I made my denial? Oh, no, a teasing servant girl was sufficient stimulus to bring my instinctive, animalistic desire for self preservation to the point that, without thinking, the words came out of my mouth...the first time! Then, having heard myself say it, the second time I had knowledge aforethought; and yet I still continued to profess non-involvement with this one charged as a criminal, as a blasphemer against Israel. It was a horrible time, for at the same moment that my animal nature asserted itself my conscience and probably my Thought Adjuster were speaking too. The final, conclusive, conviction of sin came as I saw the face of my Master, whom I had denied, look upon me, not with anger, but with great and profound pity and understanding. [Editor's note: The UB says "Pity, co-mingled with love"] I, Peter, the Rock, the chief spokesman, tumbled from my self appointed pedestal of spiritual pride to the depths of despair and humiliation!
I so loathed what I had done that I was almost completely sure I could not be forgiven! Yes, I became fairly convinced that the appearances of Jesus that we were told about after his resurrection were real and that he didn't visit us because of me. (191:1) What minuscule understanding I had then of our Master's love! How limited was my experience of his love that I could think that he would restrict communication with the others because of some problem with me! How self centered in my guilt and shame!
No, it was necessary for Jesus to seek me out. He had to convince me that he knew that my words were not spoken from my whole being, my heart. He knew I was human and that self preservation would overcome me. He understood! He never actually forgave me at that moment. As he said, he forgave me before I ever thought to ask, because he understood. My great task was to forgive myself. And so like my brother, Paul, who called himself the ""chief of sinners", I, Peter, the rock, experienced sifting sand before I could once again climb up upon the true Rock of divine love.
What Jesus wanted me to do was to stop thinking about myself, stop wallowing in the guilt of the past and get on with the work of the Kingdom. "Feed my sheep", he said. As you know, he said it three times to let me know that instead of thinking about my failure, I was to point my face forward and feed his flock.
That is your job, too, my dear friends. For you are apostles by your own acceptance of that commission. This is the Correcting Time. It is an epic (epoch?) in Urantia's history. You will understand how Magisterial missions, Trinity Teacher Son missions and other spiritual ministrations are coordinated when it is necessary for you to understand those things. But today I speak to you because your time has come to continue to serve our Lord Jesus Christ as we did. Rejoice, my dear friends, for you know so much and the door to the Kingdom is wide open. Invite, encourage, draw to your hearts his sheep, that they may enter the fold and find green pasture and still waters! I leave you with these thoughts. My blessing, my encouragement I give you. Good evening.
Group: Good evening.
Daniel(Bill): Thank you, Simon Peter, for your follow up sermon to my teaching. You are still a gifted preacher; I can tell. It is our joy, my friends, to meet these famous people from your history, those of us who come from far away and other planets. I am guessing that, if appropriate, you may have the privilege of more contact now in your mortal lives, and of course, in your life to come. Are there any comments you would like to make to Peter, who is present still, or on other subjects? If so, the time is yours.
Ken: We are delighted, Daniel, Peter, that Peter was here to talk to us, to share his love for the Father, and to share with us, show us an example of true freedom. Thank you, Peter, for being here. It was our delight to have you.
Peter(Bill): Thank you, Ken, for your welcome. You heard words which others had heard when I was still walking on this planet, for I often told this to my friends and helped strengthen them, especially in the Jerusalem church. But those conversations have, of course, not been recorded. So, in the spirit of common apostleship, I came tonight. Are there other comments that you want to address to me or to Daniel? Very well, Daniel will conclude our meeting. He requests that Bob transmit, if he wishes to.
Daniel(Bob S.) I am Daniel, with you still. My friends, how awe struck we all are by the story of our brother, Peter. The story of his colleague, Paul, is equally worthy of study. You, my friends, can learn from your elder brothers and hopefully not have to endure what they had to experience in order for the Master to get their attention. I suggest, as an assignment for the week, that you review what our textbook has to say regarding our brothers Peter and Paul and refresh your memories as much as necessary; but do it from your advantage of years and lessons and superior understanding. Yes, I say superior, for you are the product of 2,000 years of experience which Peter and Paul did not have. This puts us in a position of historical significance and greater understanding. Learn what you can from your brothers for their story is timeless. I will now close tonight's meeting. Will you stand and take each other's hands. Our brother Paul wishes to conclude with a word of prayer.
Paul(Bill): To You, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father, may all honor and glory spread from shore to shore on this beautiful planet, Urantia, so that all knees may bow, and all hearts confess that You are Lord and Master. We, indeed, long for the day of Your Kingdom coming in fulness, the days of Light and Life. Help us, and especially these my younger brothers and sisters, always to set our faces toward that goal. In the name of Christ Jesus, Christ Michael, I pray. Amen.