THE WORLD OF THE CROSS
This was a letter written to:
August 18, 1996
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Click on items to go directly to that text.
IDEAS OF THE CROSS
TRAUMATIC WORLD RELIGIOUS EVENTS
THE FUTURE OF THE TWO WITNESSES
|Page-1319: Urantia is the sentimental shrine of all Nebadon, the chief of ten million inhabited worlds, the mortal home of Christ Michael, sovereign of all Nebadon, a Melchizedek minister to the realms, a system savior, an Adamic redeemer, a seraphic fellow, an associate of ascending spirits, a morontia progressor, a Son of Man in the likeness of mortal flesh, and the Planetary Prince of Urantia. And your record tells the truth when it says that this same Jesus has promised some time to return to the world of his terminal bestowal, the World of the Cross.|
We should give close regard to the fact that we are the sentimental shrine of an entire universe. Throughout Nebadon we are regarded with tender emotions and feelings. And we are hallowed by the unique spiritual transactions of this world.
Consider planetary episodes, both past and future, which place us in such a unique and hallowed position:
1. The rebellion of Caligastia, and the corrupt social conditions brought by his deplorable act.
2. The default of Adam and Eve, and the genetic confusion brought by their failure.
3. The work of Melchizedek with Abraham as part of a program of genetic and spiritual rehabilitation. (This program will require millennia to consummate.)
4. The work with Moses, emancipator of a remnant of the submerged violet race and the instigator of the revival of the worship of the Universal Father under the name of "The God of Israel."
5. The collaboration of Melchizedek with the prophets and seers of Israel, in order to keep alive the Truths of Salem, the Third Epochal Revelation statements of destiny for our forlorn and wayward world.
6. The unusual work of Elijah, a soul of high spiritual development, and his dramatic removal in a "chariot of fire."
7. The birth, life, death on the cross, and resurrection of our Creator as a vivid demonstration of love and mercy to an entire universe.
8. The vivid conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus, and his service to enlighten the pagan people of Europe -- modern Christianity.
9. The continuing presence on this world of a rebellious Prince, long past any recognizable usefulness, for reasons which have not been explained to us.
10. An imminent and intense spiritual struggle, brought on by the mortal agents of Caligastia, in which all planetary residents will be forced to make eternity decisions.
11. A new Teacher, as one of two witnesses, shortly to appear, who will focus the nature of that spiritual struggle.
12. The subsequent death of those two witnesses at the hands of the agents of Caligastia, Rev 11:3-12, and their resurrection in glorious splendor, witnessed by an entire world, as a demonstration of God's power.
13. National decisions which will bring a shattering judgment to this world, subject entirely to the hands of human mortals, who could choose otherwise.
14. The transformation of the planet into a new geophysical mode, brought by God, to return this world to an era of bounteous plenty, when the desert shall truly blossom like the rose, when the wilderness shall become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be deemed a forest, Isa 29:17 and 32:15.
15. The appearance of Melchizedek as a babe of the world, our future planetary ruler, acquiring the experiences of a mortal life.
16. The appearance of Caligastia as a babe of the world, and growth into manhood, in one final mercy gift from our God, to once again betray his Creator.
17. The coexistence of both Melchizedek and Caligastia as human mortals, with the final world struggle to take place entirely at the mortal level.
18. The victory of Melchizedek over Caligastia, the death and final dissolution of that wicked Prince, and the return of Melchizedek to his divine status, except now with a mortal experience as part of his mercy credentials.
19. Other episodes unrevealed to us, both in the material and spiritual domains, for the far future of this unique and special world, this sentimental shrine of all Nebadon.
Except for the two witnesses, I provided an exposition of the future episodes in a series of Papers, dated from July, 1995 to March, 1996, as revealed to us by Melchizedek through the prophets and seers of Israel. Refer to my letter to Stuart Kerr and David Kantor dated Aug 18, 1996.
IDEAS OF THE CROSSPrevalent in Christian thinking for two thousand years is the idea that we human mortals, caught in the conditions of this planet, suffer a cross of life experience. This idea is indicated when The Urantia Papers state on page 2018:
|The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion. In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the cross of a real and intense mortal existence. The real value of the cross consists in the fact that it was the supreme and final expression of his love, the completed revelation of his mercy.|
All of us live real and intense mortal existences. The calumnies of
this world ensure that we will experience many sufferings, misunderstandings,
alienation of affections, injustice, impositions of greed, presumptions
of social power, physical ailments, and material disasters. These are the
conditions under which we live on a wayward and wandering world, currently
devoid of a divine administration.
|Page-2019: When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offers up his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty harassments and their many purely fictitious grievances. His life was so glorious and his death so triumphant that we are all enticed to a willingness to share both. There is true drawing power in the whole bestowal of Michael, from the days of his youth to this overwhelming spectacle of his death on the cross.|
|Page-2018: On millions of inhabited worlds, tens of trillions of evolving creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on the cross and then have forged on ahead, inspired by the sight of God's laying down his incarnate life in devotion to the unselfish service of man.|
If Jesus gave all he could possibly give in the life of the flesh, did he not submit himself to the cross as a sublime demonstration of his love for us? Did he not set the supreme example?
It should be obvious to everyone that Jesus made a choice to die on the cross. There was no law within the universe that bound him to that death. While all Paradise bestowals require that a divine Son of God experience the full gamut of human existence, including death, Jesus could have chosen a less tortuous way to die. Therefore, he set an example of willingness to give in a service of love for his lowly created children.
If Jesus were willing to give as much as he possibly could in the flesh,
should we deny the same level of gift in return to our Creator, in service
to his will, and for our fellows?
|Page-2018: The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.|
Is his example worthy for us to meet the tribulations we must shortly endure? Does God bring tribulation merely as an accident of time, without clear purpose, merely to torture mankind?
TRAUMATIC WORLD RELIGIOUS EVENTS
As I outlined above, we are about to experience a series of spectacular planetary episodes. In order for our Creator to effect cosmic decisions, of awesome magnitude, hitherto unrecognized in our social and religious relationships, events must occur which will totally obliterate dependence on the current institutions and ways of thinking. God will shake the attitudes of all human mortals to bring them out of their lethargy, and their complacency. Within such context of total disillusionment and disappointment with all Christian, Jewish, and New Age "prophets" a new religious Teacher will appear. He will not be a social or secular "leader," but rather a "Teacher of Righteousness."
Refer to the remarks by Theodore Gaster in his Dead Sea Scriptures, Doubleday Anchor Books:
". . . a new Prophet and a new Teacher (perhaps one and the same) will arise at the end of the present era to usher in the Golden Age . . ."
Refer also to the volume on Second Isaiah in the Doubleday Bible series, where John McKenzie discusses the attributes of the Servant who will come at the end of the age, (Isa 42, 49, and 50).
Refer further to my paper on Two Servants, wherein I show that these prophecies do not refer to Jesus.
The coming dramatic episodes in planetary destiny remain outside the comprehension of all human residents. I have not met anyone, or heard of anyone, who understands what is about to transpire. Christian fundamentalists have belabored pieces of it, from their mythological viewpoints. They believe the "Devil" will appear, but the form of his appearance, and the manner in which he will execute his purpose, is beyond them. Not until I fully recognized "Spirit Entry Into Human Mind" did I comprehend how this episode would unfold. Refer to my paper by that title. Jesus warned us. His warnings are retained in our historical documents, but the foolish notions of the generations effectively suppressed that knowledge. Refer to my paper, A Warning from Jesus About the End of the Age.
Refer also to my paper on The Release of the Prince.
This spectacular episode will demonstrate why our Creator permitted Caligastia to remain on this planet. The purpose is rooted in his service, to his liking or not, in bringing men out of their lethargy and complacency. He will initiate profound reexamination of our spiritual loyalties, and supreme test of our moral stamina in the face of the most extreme social danger. He will serve to separate the wheat from the chaff.
By whatever process, or whatever methods, God showed me this. Some persons have commented on my "intuitive" abilities. I always thought of it as deductive ability, putting pieces together in a puzzle. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to recognize my deep devotion to God, and a full commitment to his will, regardless of the personal cost. And here is a clue to the great secret now unfolding.
God is using a technique to force individual human decisions. They are individual decisions, not "leader" or "authority" decisions. God is not using mortal charismatic power for the crystallization of these great and grave decisions. Everyone must make up his own mind. From that process God will find his true people. There will be a great contest between the forces of Caligastia, and the forces of God.
As you well know, this is an experimental world. A crucial experiment is now unfolding at the human level. It is a faith experiment. People must decide by faith. But they need key elements of knowledge to reach those decisions. And that is the role of the "teachers and leaders" who will emerge mostly from the body of Urantians, individuals on this planet who have a grasp of the true kingdom of heaven. Refer to my letter to Bobbie Dreier dated Aug 3, 1995.
The spectacular episodes now unfolding are all at the human level. Superhuman or "heavenly" agencies are not visible, although their presence is direct and here. Thus God needed some human mortal who could bring all these factors into focus, someone who could be a catalyst for the work which is about to unfold.
We should not expect the new "Teacher" to be known by his popularity, the way the world now defines "greatness." He will be known by the impact he has on decisions processes, at key moments of decision time.
Credentials are a serious problem. If a new Teacher appears how will people know he is authentic?
This question must be answered within the context of that which is about to unfold.
Within this great spiritual struggle, a contest will occur between the forces of Caligastia and the witnesses for God. The "Devil" will bring dramatic demonstrations of his power through his human agents. They will go forth in massive slaughter of God's people. They will ask each individual where his loyalties lie, with
the "old-fashioned God," or with the "god of this world." If individuals do not respond correctly they will immediately be dispatched to heaven.
These dispatches will not be performed out of hate. They will be performed out of love, at least love as the devil agents understand it. They will ask why human mortals should continue on this world in such great spiritual confusion. They literally will go to the heart of their victims and liberate them once and for all.
The psychic, mental, and emotional phenomena Caligastia will produce within his servants will convince them with no doubt that he truly is "God." And they will give themselves to this "God" in insane episodes of "spiritual" dedication.
God will use human mortals also, the "leaders and teachers," driven by their loyalty to him, and the insights he provides them. For all the power Caligastia brings, God will bring equal power, focused in his human representatives. This struggle will show no supernatural beings.
Thus the great spiritual contest will provide a context for eternity decisions, forever removing dependence upon social institutions, religious sects, and human authority.
To better grasp the dramatic nature of these events, the context in which this struggle will ensue, and to examine the problem of credentials, I shall discuss the "two witnesses" described in Revelation 11:3-12. But before that I must examine the resurrection of Lazarus, John 11 and The Urantia Papers, Paper 168. I refer you especially to the remark on page 1846. Lazarus was:
". . . the first instance on Urantia, and the last, where a mortal creature had been resurrected in the likeness of the physical body of death."
If the description in Rev 11 is valid Lazarus' resurrection was not the only miraculous one. However, it was the only one that will ever take place in the "likeness of the physical body of death." Other miraculous resurrections may take place that are not in the "likeness of the physical body of death." They may be in a body different from the physical body of death.
One of the puzzling aspects of the resurrection of Lazarus was Jesus' hesitation. He was only a short distance away in Jerusalem. Why did he not come to heal Lazarus before he died, and why did he wait four days more after his death to perform that miracle? The significant factor was the four days; they were sufficient to cause Lazarus' body to decay. If Jesus were to validate the miracle of his act he had to wait to the point where there would be no doubt that Lazarus was dead.
Until modern times we could not effectively weigh the full significance of Jesus' act. Olden people might have known that the body "stinketh" but they did not have the technical insights to understand why Jesus waited those four days. By the time Jesus acted the protein molecules and the physical structure had begun to deteriorate. There was no longer a cohesive functioning chemical or biological unit. To make Lazarus body into a full functional unit the protein molecules and physical structure had to be reconstituted. He had to be recreated. We can carry this idea further down deterioration. If Jesus had waited four weeks, or four months, the significance of his act would not have been greater, but it would have been more apparent to human mortals who did not comprehend the processes at work. Once the deterioration had started the point of reconstitution did not matter. Jesus had the power to create a body regardless of the state of decay. All the protein molecules had to be rebuilt; he created anew. In the extreme this would be a new creation out of nothing!
This has important significance to the remark about the "likeness of the physical body of death." For Lazarus the resurrected body was an exact duplicate of his original body. This never will take place again. If the "two witnesses" are resurrected they must arise in bodies different from those at the time of their death. They will have bodies that are entirely new design. Since our Creator has the ability to constitute material bodies from nothing, this is not a detriment to the resurrection of the two witnesses.
Furthermore, the resurrection described in Revelation must be physical, or at least semi-physical, in a material body, or at least a semi-material body, not in a "glorified" or "morontia" body. "A breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet." Men will be able to look upon them to view their new glorious splendor.
This event will accomplish two crucially important objectives.
1. It will demonstrate unequivocally who is God. The contest centered in that great spiritual struggle will now be held up to vivid contrast.
2. It will establish the credentials of the "two witnesses," again without equivocation. Upon those credentials God's people will then have a firm foundation for their life and death decisions.
Undoubtedly, theirs will be a gift of love, a choice for unreserved dedication to their brothers and sisters.
THE FUTURE OF THE TWO WITNESSES
We now encounter the question of this unique resurrection. Can we gain insight into the future of those two?
It seems ridiculous that God would resurrect them merely to put them back to death. That would accomplish nothing for the two; it would merely demonstrate the power of God. It seems natural to assume that he must have some future role for them, in positions compatible with their new bodies. This proposal of new bodies grows out of the fact that they will not be resurrected in the "likeness of the physical body of death." Furthermore, it does not seem reasonable that he will merely trade their old clay bodies for new clay bodies. They lived a life, they gave themselves in service, they will not go on to "glorified" or "morontia" bodies; therefore, they must assume some role which is compatible with all of these conditions.
From the quotation at the beginning of this letter, and other revelation, we know that a unique program is in store for this planet. It is the home planet for the Creator. It is entirely subject to his personal plans. It is the sentimental shrine of all Nebadon. Melchizedek will be our future planetary ruler.
The question then arises if the two witnesses will serve in some capacity on this world, or if they will serve on other worlds.
Note that they will be lifted up to heaven "in a cloud." This "cloud" probably is similar to the "cloud" which guided the Moses and the people of Israel during the Exodus. A startling element of the modern "abduction" reports is the "beaming up" from the earth to transports in the sky. Individual humans are somehow lifted directly to "seraphic transports." The statement in Revelation 11:12 now does not seem so mysterious. Refer also to Elijah's removal in a "chariot of fire."
If we examine various episodes, both of the past and the future of this world, we find that the residents of this planet hold a unique position in the administrative assignments of Michael. For example, the four-and-twenty counselors are all chosen from this world, and hold high administrative duty for the entire system of Satania. Refer to my letter to John Murney dated Dec 28, 1995, The Holy Seed.
Note also that four different divine Sons did or will live in mortal form on this world. Michael, Melchizedek, Caligastia, and Adam did or will experience life in mortal flesh. (When Adam defaulted his semi-physical body reverted to purely mortal status.) Therefore, we should not be too far amiss if we should propose that, somehow, the two witnesses were to assume some future role in the administration of this star system. The nature of that role, and their future status are not revealed to us.
These episodes show vividly the nature of religious events that are so imminent. Never, in all the history of this world, nor perhaps in all the history of this universe, has such unique drama unfolded. Because of these unique episodes, the residents of this world would be lost without explanation or ministration. This is the form of the ministration God has planned. And all of it toward decisions, by individual human mortals, with faith in God, toward a restructured and reorganized world.
How great he truly is!
Page-2019: The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion of one's life to the welfare and salvation of one's fellows. The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.
We do not know how the two witnesses will be killed. The method is not described in the Revelation passage. The agents of Caligastia might dispatch them with firing squad, put their heads on chopping blocks, burn them at the stake, or nail them to a cross. We can rest assured that whatever method is chosen it will be highly symbolic. Undoubtedly, it will portray, in unique service demonstration, the "world of the cross."
Ernest P. Moyer
P. O. Box 1206
Hanover, PA 17331