God loves and rehabilitates humans mercifully; He does not punish them !
- Dear perfecting sons of God in Spirit and in Father-Son Eternal Truth !
God does not punish humans ! He rehabilitates and transforms them with his infinite love, lavish mercy and all-wise ministry. Evil humans do retributive punishment. I have selected a few paragraphs from the public domain, free on-line, Fifth Epochal Revelation called The Urantia Book. Urantia is the given name of our planet; very long ago, some humans shortened it to Urth; and now it is still pronounced that way, even though it is now spelled as earth. Ur means Light: God's Light here with and within us.
I have added a few brief comments of explanation in these [square brackets]. I have added some bold text to highlight very important parts.
Page-36 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. [no barbaric hell !] The final result of wholehearted sin is [painless] 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. [Jesus Christ Michael, our Sovereign local universe Creator, will allow many thousands of years in a long series of his progressive and rehabilitative higher soul-level Heavens for each human to decide if they want to love and follow God eternally or to agree to be not. This choice much be eventually made to allow each human son of God to have freewill as to his or her final destiny. God does not want robot slaves to his perfect will. We are each an: I am a freewill son of our loving Father-Infinite I AM of freewill !]
Page-428 2. Court Advisers. These are the seraphic advisers and helpers attached to all orders of adjudication, from the conciliators up to the highest tribunals of the realm. It is not the purpose of such tribunals to determine punitive sentences but rather to adjudicate honest differences of opinion and to decree the everlasting survival of ascending mortals. Herein lies the duty of the court advisers: to see that all charges against mortal creatures are stated in justice and adjudicated in mercy. In this work they are closely associated with the High Commissioners, Spirit-fused ascendant mortals serving in the local universe.
Page-617 3. No affectionate father is ever precipitate in visiting punishment upon an erring member of his family. Patience cannot function independently of time.
Page-751 Mankind was not consigned to agricultural toil as the penalty of supposed sin. "In the sweat of your face shall you eat the fruit of the fields" was not a sentence of punishment pronounced because of man's participation in the follies of the Lucifer rebellion [200,000 years ago] under the leadership of the traitorous Caligastia. [the former, now deposed, traitorous Planetary Prince of Earth -- a low-level administrative Son of God, many levels under the Melchizedek Sons of God who are one level under our Sovereign Creator Father-Son of God Jesus Christ Michael] The cultivation of the soil is inherent in the establishment of an advancing civilization on the evolutionary worlds, and this injunction was the center of all teaching of the Planetary Prince and his staff throughout the three hundred thousand years which intervened between their arrival on Urantia [on Earth 500,000 years ago] and those tragic days when Caligastia threw in his lot with the rebel Lucifer. Work with the soil is not a curse; rather is it the highest blessing to all who are thus permitted to enjoy the most human of all human activities. [I remember having a sudden spiritual insight several decades ago when seeing the first two opposite dicot leaves (resembling to me the symbol for infinity) of a giant Russian sunflower plant in my garden emerge just above ground level. I continue to enjoy much yard and garden work at home and the healthy physical exercise it provides.]
Page-796 [Early human evolution:] Justice was thus first meted out by the family, then by the clan, and later on by the tribe. The administration of true justice dates from the taking of revenge from private and kin groups and lodging it in the hands of the social group, the state.
Punishment by burning alive was once a common practice. It was recognized by many ancient rulers, including Hammurabi and Moses, the latter directing that many crimes, particularly those of a grave sex nature, should be punished by burning at the stake. If "the daughter of a priest" or other leading citizen turned to public prostitution, it was the Hebrew custom to "burn her with fire."
Page-917 Modern sex jealousy is not innate; it is a product of the evolving mores. Primitive man was not jealous of his wife; he was just guarding his property. The reason for holding the wife to stricter sex account than the husband was because her marital infidelity involved descent and inheritance. Very early in the march of civilization the illegitimate child fell into disrepute. [See the terrible, unjust "thigh and belly rot test", falsely stated as God's will ! in Numbers ch 5] At first only the woman was punished for adultery; later on, the mores also decreed the chastisement of her partner, and for long ages the offended husband or the protector father had the full right to kill the male trespasser. Modern peoples retain these mores, which allow so-called crimes of honor under the unwritten law. [Progress here on earth is slow but very sure ! This 2097 page modern Revelation is a powerful boost !]
Page-953 Early man entertained no ideas of hell or future punishment. The savage looked upon the future life as just like this one, minus all ill luck. Later on, a separate destiny for good ghosts and bad ghosts -- heaven and hell -- was conceived. But since many primitive races believed that man entered the next life just as he left this one, [false, of course] they did not relish the idea of becoming old and decrepit. The aged much preferred to be killed before becoming too infirm.
Page-976 The habitual violation of a taboo became a vice; primitive law made vice a crime; religion made it a sin. Among the early tribes the violation of a taboo was a combined crime and sin. Community calamity was always regarded as punishment for tribal sin. To those who believed that prosperity and righteousness went together, the apparent prosperity of the wicked occasioned so much worry that it was necessary to invent hells for the punishment of taboo violators; the numbers of these places of future punishment have varied from one to five.
Page-990 4. Sin -- punishment for taboo violation. In comparatively recent times it has been believed that sickness is a punishment for sin, personal or racial. Among peoples traversing this level of evolution the prevailing theory is that one cannot be afflicted unless one has violated a taboo. To regard sickness and suffering as "arrows of the Almighty within them" is typical of such [false] beliefs. The Chinese and Mesopotamians long regarded disease as the result of the action of evil demons, although the Chaldeans also looked upon the stars as the cause of suffering. This theory of disease as a consequence of divine wrath is still prevalent among many reputedly civilized groups of Urantians. [Humans of Earth]
Page-1065 4. AMOS AND HOSEA
A great step in the transition of the tribal god -- the god who had so long been served with sacrifices and ceremonies, the Yahweh of the earlier Hebrews -- to a God who would punish crime and immorality among even his own people, was taken by Amos, who appeared from among the southern hills to denounce the criminality, drunkenness, oppression, and immorality of the northern tribes. Not since the times of Moses had such ringing truths been proclaimed in Palestine.
Page-1065 Amos was not merely a restorer or reformer; he was a discoverer of new concepts of Deity. He proclaimed much about God that had been announced by his predecessors and courageously attacked the belief in a Divine Being who would countenance sin among his so-called chosen people. For the first time since the days of Melchizedek [4,000 years ago] the ears of man heard the denunciation of the double standard of national justice and morality. For the first time in their history Hebrew ears heard that their own God, Yahweh, would no more tolerate crime and sin in their lives than he would among any other people. Amos [falsely] envisioned the stern and just God of Samuel and Elijah, but he also saw a God who thought no differently of the Hebrews than of any other nation when it came to the punishment of wrongdoing. This was a direct attack on the egoistic doctrine of the "chosen people," and many Hebrews of those days bitterly resented it.
Page-1066 5. THE FIRST ISAIAH [there were two Isaiah prophets]
These were the times when some were proclaiming threatenings of punishment against personal sins and national crime among the northern clans while others predicted calamity in retribution for the transgressions of the southern kingdom. It was in the wake of this arousal of conscience and consciousness in the Hebrew nations that the first Isaiah made his appearance.
Page-1070 In order to understand how the devastating pressure and the inescapable coercion of secular history so terrorized the captive and alien-ruled Jews that they attempted the complete rewriting and recasting of their history, we should briefly survey the record of their perplexing national experience. It must be remembered that the Jews failed to evolve an adequate nontheologic philosophy of life. They struggled with their original and Egyptian concept of divine rewards for righteousness coupled with dire punishments for sin. The drama of Job was something of a protest against this erroneous philosophy. The frank pessimism of Ecclesiastes was a worldly wise reaction to these overoptimistic beliefs in Providence. [The normal, secular history of the Jews was fabricated into a false "sacred history of the chosen by God Hebrew nation of Israel". Only a spiritual idiot would believe all of the Old Testament ! I chose to love and teach from only the best 2% or so of this Old Testament. Many atheists of today are caused when they are greatly shocked in perusing the Old Testament at the horrendous immorality alleged to be of their tribal god ! But God's Truth is slowly winning on this greatly spiritually retarded planet !]
Page-1091 Always keep in mind: True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards.
The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. Jesus shattered tradition, destroyed dogma, and called mankind to the achievement of its highest ideals in time and eternity -- to be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. [Amen !]
Page-1401 Jesus began wise discipline upon his brothers and sisters at such an early age that little or no punishment was ever required to secure their prompt and wholehearted obedience. The only exception was Jude, upon whom on sundry occasions Jesus found it necessary to impose penalties for his infractions of the rules of the home. On three occasions when it was deemed wise to punish Jude for self-confessed and deliberate violations of the family rules of conduct, his punishment was fixed by the unanimous decree of the older children and was assented to by Jude himself before it was inflicted.
While Jesus was most methodical and systematic in everything he did, there was also in all his administrative rulings a refreshing elasticity of interpretation and an individuality of adaptation that greatly impressed all the children with the spirit of justice which actuated their Father-brother. He never arbitrarily disciplined his brothers and sisters, and such uniform fairness and personal consideration greatly endeared Jesus to all his family.
Page-1453 [early Confucianism]
"A wise man is occupied with the search for truth, not in seeking for a mere living. To attain the perfection of Heaven is the goal of man. The superior man is given to self-adjustment, and he is free from anxiety and fear. God is with you; have no doubt in your heart. Every good deed has its recompense. The superior man murmurs not against Heaven nor holds a grudge against men. What you do not like when done to yourself, do not to others. Let compassion be a part of all punishment; in every way endeavor to make punishment a blessing. Such is the way of Great Heaven. While all creatures must die and return to the earth, the spirit of the noble man goes forth to be displayed on high and to ascend to the glorious light of final brightness."
Page-1462 Meeting a poor man who had been falsely accused, Jesus went with him before the magistrate and, having been granted special permission to appear in his behalf, made that superb address in the course of which he said: "Justice makes a nation great, and the greater a nation the more solicitous will it be to see that injustice shall not befall even its most humble citizen. Woe upon any nation when only those who possess money and influence can secure ready justice before its courts ! It is the sacred duty of a magistrate to acquit the innocent as well as to punish the guilty. Upon the impartiality, fairness, and integrity of its courts the endurance of a nation depends. Civil government is founded on justice, even as true religion is founded on mercy." The judge reopened the case, and when the evidence had been sifted, he discharged the prisoner. Of all Jesus' activities during these days of personal ministry, this came the nearest to being a public appearance.
Pages 1468-1469 1. MERCY AND JUSTICE
A very interesting incident occurred one afternoon by the roadside as they neared Tarentum. They observed a rough and bullying youth brutally attacking a smaller lad. Jesus hastened to the assistance of the assaulted youth, and when he had rescued him, he tightly held on to the offender until the smaller lad had made his escape. The moment Jesus released the little bully, Ganid [a young man from India working in Jerusalem with his merchant father Gonod] pounced upon the boy and began soundly to thrash him, and to Ganid's astonishment Jesus promptly interfered. After he had restrained Ganid and permitted the frightened boy to escape, the young man, as soon as he got his breath, excitedly exclaimed: "I cannot understand you, Teacher. If mercy requires that you rescue the smaller lad, does not justice demand the punishment of the larger and offending youth?" In answering, Jesus said:
"Ganid, it is true, you do not understand. Mercy ministry is always the work of the individual, but justice punishment is the function of the social, governmental, or universe administrative groups. As an individual I am beholden to show mercy; I must go to the rescue of the assaulted lad, and in all consistency I may employ sufficient force to restrain the aggressor. And that is just what I did. I achieved the deliverance of the assaulted lad; that was the end of mercy ministry. Then I forcibly detained the aggressor a sufficient length of time to enable the weaker party to the dispute to make his escape, after which I withdrew from the affair. I did not proceed to sit in judgment on the aggressor, thus to pass upon his motive--to adjudicate all that entered into his attack upon his fellow--and then undertake to execute the punishment which my mind might dictate as just recompense for his wrongdoing. Ganid, mercy may be lavish, but justice is precise. Cannot you discern that no two persons are likely to agree as to the punishment which would satisfy the demands of justice? One would impose forty lashes, another twenty, while still another would advise solitary confinement as a just punishment. Can you not see that on this world such responsibilities had better rest upon the group or be administered by chosen representatives of the group? In the universe, judgment is vested in those who fully know the antecedents of all wrongdoing as well as its motivation. In civilized society and in an organized universe the administration of justice presupposes the passing of just sentence consequent upon fair judgment, and such prerogatives are vested in the juridical groups of the worlds and in the all-knowing administrators of the higher universes of all creation."
Page-1579 Jesus had great difficulty in getting them to understand his personal practice of nonresistance. He absolutely refused to defend himself, and it appeared to the apostles that he would be pleased if they would pursue the same policy. He taught them not to resist evil, not to combat injustice or injury, but he did not teach passive tolerance of wrongdoing. And he made it plain on this afternoon that he approved of the social punishment of evildoers and criminals, and that the civil government must sometimes employ force for the maintenance of social order and in the execution of justice.
Page-1597 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."
And Jacob answered: "Rabbi, I believe; I desire that you lead me into the Father's kingdom."
Page-1630 [Jesus:] "No more should you fear that God will punish a nation for the sin of an individual; neither will the Father in heaven punish one of his believing children for the sins of a nation, albeit the individual member of any family must often suffer the material consequences of family mistakes and group transgressions. Do you not realize that the hope of a better nation--or a better world--is bound up in the progress and enlightenment of the individual?"
Page-1661 [Jesus:] "But, my son, you should know that the Father does not purposely afflict his children. Man brings down upon himself unnecessary affliction as a result of his persistent refusal to walk in the better ways of the divine will. Affliction is potential in evil, but much of it has been produced by sin and iniquity. Many unusual events have transpired on this world, and it is not strange that all thinking men should be perplexed by the scenes of suffering and affliction which they witness. But of one thing you may be sure: The Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing. The imperfections and handicaps of evil are inherent; the penalties of sin are inevitable; the destroying consequences of iniquity are inexorable. Man should not blame God for those afflictions which are the natural result of the life which he chooses to live; neither should man complain of those experiences which are a part of life as it is lived on this world. It is the Father's will that mortal man should work persistently and consistently toward the betterment of his estate on earth. Intelligent application would enable man to overcome much of his earthly misery.
Page-1663 [Jesus:] "Although transgression of divine law is sooner or later followed by the harvest of punishment, while men certainly eventually do reap what they sow, still you should know that human suffering is not always a punishment for antecedent sin. Both Job and his friends failed to find the true answer for their perplexities. And with the light you now enjoy you would hardly assign to either Satan or God the parts they play in this unique parable. While Job did not, through suffering, find the resolution of his intellectual troubles or the solution of his philosophical difficulties, he did achieve great victories; even in the very face of the breakdown of his theological defenses he ascended to those spiritual heights where he could sincerely say, 'I abhor myself'; then was there granted him the salvation of a vision of God. So even through misunderstood suffering, Job ascended to the superhuman plane of moral understanding and spiritual insight. When the suffering servant obtains a vision of God, there follows a soul peace which passes all human understanding.
Page-1663 [Jesus:] "The first of Job's friends, Eliphaz, exhorted the sufferer to exhibit in his afflictions the same fortitude he had prescribed for others during the days of his prosperity. Said this false comforter: 'Trust in your religion, Job; remember that it is the wicked and not the righteous who suffer. You must deserve this punishment, else you would not be afflicted. You well know that no man can be righteous in God's sight. You know that the wicked never really prosper. Anyway, man seems predestined to trouble, and perhaps the Lord is only chastising you for your own good.' No wonder poor Job failed to get much comfort from such an interpretation of the problem of human suffering.
Page-1664 [Very important ! Jesus:] "Job was altogether right when he challenged the doctrine that God afflicts children in order to punish their parents. Job was ever ready to admit that God is righteous, but he longed for some soul-satisfying revelation of the personal character of the Eternal. And that is our mission on earth. No more shall suffering mortals be denied the comfort of knowing the love of God and understanding the mercy of the Father in heaven. While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, 'This is the way; walk therein.' Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you, that he has become what you are that he may make you what he is! " [I hope and pray that we all grasp the deep significance of this mighty Revelation from our Master Jesus !]
Page-1811 As the Master stood there before the blind man, engrossed in deep thought, Nathaniel, pondering the possible cause of this man's blindness, asked: "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" [False !]
The rabbis taught that all such cases of blindness from birth were caused by sin. [False !] Not only were children conceived and born in sin, [False !] but a child could be born blind as a punishment for some specific sin committed by its father. [False !] They even taught that a child itself might sin before it was born into the world. [False !] They also taught that such defects could be caused by some sin or other indulgence of the mother while carrying the child. [False !]
Page-1996 8. PILATE'S TRAGIC SURRENDER
Here stood the Son of God incarnate as the Son of Man. He was arrested without indictment; accused without evidence; adjudged without witnesses; punished without a verdict; and now was soon to be condemned to die by an unjust judge who confessed that he could find no fault in him. If Pilate had thought to appeal to their patriotism by referring to Jesus as the "king of the Jews," he utterly failed. The Jews were not expecting any such a king. The declaration of the chief priests and the Sadducees, "We have no king but Caesar," was a shock even to the unthinking populace, but it was too late now to save Jesus even had the mob dared to espouse the Master's cause.
Page-2007 Crucifixion was resorted to in order to provide a cruel and lingering punishment, the victim sometimes not dying for several days. There was considerable sentiment against crucifixion in Jerusalem, and there existed a society of Jewish women who always sent a representative to crucifixions for the purpose of offering drugged wine to the victim in order to lessen his suffering. But when Jesus tasted this narcotized wine, as thirsty as he was, he refused to drink it. The Master chose to retain his human consciousness until the very end. He desired to meet death, even in this cruel and inhuman form, and conquer it by voluntary submission to the full human experience.
Page-2017 When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.
Page-2017 Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes. They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.
Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.
The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.
Page-2017 5. LESSONS FROM THE CROSS
The cross of Jesus portrays the full measure of the supreme devotion of the true shepherd for even the unworthy members of his flock. It forever places all relations between God and man upon the family basis. God is the Father; man is his son. Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature--not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.
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