Spiritual Awakening, Growth, and Enlightenment/Afterlife
QUESTION: Brother Dave,
I have been worrying about the existence of hell for some time now. I am a Roman Catholic and I just can't seem to get past this fear. What bothers me is how could God punish someone eternally? It seems like the punishment far outweighs the crime. Some things here just don't seem to add up. What of the people like the cavemen or American Indians that never heard Of Jesus or any other holy messenger. Did they all go to hell? What of people who are born retarded? Do they automatically go to heaven? This doesn't seem quite fair and God has to be fair. What purpose could heel serve God? Do you mean anyone could be comfortable in heaven knowing there are so many screaming in endless agony forever? Of all the people in heaven there has to be some of their relatives that went to hell. How can anyone be happy then. If God is all knowing which he is didn't he know at the precise second your soul was created where you would ultimately end up, and if he did why would he create a soul that would eventually suffer eternally? Brother Dave I am limited in how much love I can give because I'm human, but I could never punish someone forever, how then could God when he is unlimited love. And on that theme if God's love is limitless why does it end when we die and face judgement? This is the time, you would think, that we need his love the most. Please help me understand because this is driving me crazy. No one seems to be able to answer my questions to the point where I can accept them. Thank you.
ANSWER: Dear Brother in Christ, Joel,
I am sorry that I just learned about your pending question a few minutes ago; sometimes I don't get e-mail notices about my pending questions.
Your questions are very valid. You know, as I and many others do, that our Universal Father God has to be Absolute (unchanging), all loving, full of mercy and compassion, and all wise. How could our real Father God ever design such an inhuman, ungodly, barbaric torture of humans for any reason at all? He didn't. The "parable of Lazarus" was never said or taught by Jesus Christ; that came from the old Nazerite Brotherhood and from some disciples of john the Baptist. Peter did say that once to some evil Pharisees; and he said that it was not taught by Jesus, but they could maybe learn something from that old parable. Sadly, that did not become recorded in the Bible. Now we have super-human revelation of the much fuller, and true Life and Teachings of Jesus, the nature of God, man, destiny, much more. As mankind progresses, ever higher portions of infinite, eternal truth, beauty and goodness arrive in Epochal Revelations as well as personal auto-Revelations.
The best way to know the True nature of god is to study the wonderful Life and Teachings of our good Master Jesus Christ. Read again in Luke chapter 15 Jesus' three most stated and favorite Parables: The Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost (Prodigal) Son. This is the true loving and merciful Father God who forgives all of our sins even before we decide to ask for God's forgiveness ! No real human father or mother would ever think of torturing their erring children with endless fire ! And God is infinitely better and more understanding of all human flaws ! The Eternal Creator Son of God Christ came our from God on infinite Paradise over 400 billion years ago to start building his space-time local universe that you and I live in. (Yes our astronomers and cosmologists will soon discover that our universe is much larger and much older than just 13.7 billion years old. Last week they increased it to 13.8 billion years. Larger space telescopes will bring that soon up into the several hundred billions of years. It was our Creator Son (see John 1:1-18, Heb 1:1-3) who is making and evolving this universe of ours ! Christ is the God of the Old Testament and He has God the Father also within him ! The "Burning Bush" is actually Christ as our Light (burning) and Life (live bush) that seemed to burn but was not destroyed. Isaiah and Job and others in the Old Testament also sad Christ as the Light of God here with us. In A.D. 30-on, Jesus Christ ascended and returned that same day back to earth as He the Spirit of All Truth - The Spirit of/as God here with us forevermore ! Those primitive, savage cavemen and cave women of old have all dies and are in higher soul and spirit training for up to nearly one million years in the higher Heavens; some of them we will meet when we die and are also trained by them up in our next mansion worlds ! Jesus says, "The first shall often be last; and the last, first." Those early cavemen will always slightly be our elders in soul and spiritual wisdom until we are finally all-perfected on Paradise and beyond.
Today, in the Western Christian world, reliable polls show that less than one-third of Christians now believe in a literal "hell" made to torture any humans ! That is good progress from centuries of the majority of Christians believing in "burning in total agony in the fires of Hell forevermore." This originated in the evil minds of ancient, savage Bible writers who thought that God was the fire erupting from exploding volcanoes ! Later, the story of "Dante's Inferno" added to these terrible errors about God and his alleged doings.
Today, most Christian Theologians know and teach that the word for "hell" in the New testament is a bad translation of the words "sheol" and "gehenna". The word "sheol" means grave-site, not a burning hell; and the word "gehenna" means garbage dump. Sheol was a grave-site for rich Jews; gehenna was a garbage dump for the poor and criminals outside of Jerusalem; and it was frequently burned off for better sanitation and to remove much of the the terrible stench.
The Catholic doctrines of "purgatory" do have some merit. As a Jesusonian Christian Theologian
I well know that Jesus Christ has made the next seven higher heavens --called the seven Mansion Worlds -- for several thousand or more years for all humans to slowly have their erring, evil, sinning natures to be slowly removed without violating God's sacred Gift of giving each human everywhere an unique, unchanging personality which has sacred free-will volition-choice-decision. God does not want to force instant perfection on any human ! Rather, He/They (The Trinity One Godhead Government of all Reality) give us this tremendous Invitation-Command: "I AM the Almighty God; walk before Me; and Be you perfect; even as I AM perfect." This strongly implies that we start out here on earth in this first, brief life as imperfect; and continual perfecting in the fruits of the Spirit into final, eternal perfect Sons of God in Jesus in Spirit is our Glorious Destiny !
Jesus teaches in all Truth the exact words of his as found in John 12:31-32. Yes, Jesus is all Powerful to really seek and to really save all who really desire such an eternal Gift. The Bible also mentions "the second death" or "the final death" which is for those who absolutely reject God's loving and glorious plan for that person AFTER ascending up into a higher (post seven mansion worlds sometimes) Heaven for the Final loving and merciful Judgment of God the Father and Son and Spirit. If, at that later time, any human absolutely rejects God's plan after glimpsing his Final Destiny Potential, then that human being is painlessly and instantly extinguished in personality eternally - the second death. I think very few, if any, humans would be so foolish; but God has to have this as an option to protect our free-will decisions.
Everything in eternal Paradise and God Glory-Light and Life is voluntary. It may take a trillion years on one billion progressively higher soul and then Spirit reality Heavens to allow us to freely seek and freely achieve, with lavish Divine Help, our full perfection; and which we so eternally love and cherish in always perfectly doing God's freewill !
Here are a few selections from the Fifth Epochal Revelation (2097 pages, free-online, no copyright, freely share as you desire) They add further illumination.
Page-49 We [Paradise Divine Counselors] are not wholly certain as to whether or not God chooses to foreknow events of sin. But even if God should foreknow the freewill acts of his children, such foreknowledge does not in the least abrogate their freedom. One thing is certain: God is never subjected to surprise.
Page-70 The bestowal of personality is the exclusive function of the Universal Father, the personalization of the living energy systems which he endows with the attributes of relative creative consciousness and the freewill control thereof. There is no personality apart from God the Father, and no personality exists except for God the Father. The fundamental attributes of human selfhood, as well as the absolute Adjuster nucleus of the human personality, are the bestowals of the Universal Father, acting in his exclusively personal domain of cosmic ministry.
Page-71 Concerning those personalities who are not Adjuster [the pure spirit Essence of God the Father within all moral humans - the will of God - the future perfect You. Luke 17:21] indwelt: The attribute of choice-liberty is also bestowed by the Universal Father, and such persons are likewise embraced in the great circuit of divine love, the personality circuit of the Universal Father. God provides for the sovereign choice of all true personalities. No personal creature can be coerced into the eternal adventure; the portal of eternity opens only in response to the freewill choice of the freewill sons of the God of free will.
Page-109 Divine personality is not self-centered; self-distribution and sharing of personality characterize divine freewill selfhood. Creatures crave association with other personal creatures; Creators [our Jesus Christ here] are moved to share divinity with their universe children; the personality of the Infinite is disclosed as the Universal Father, who shares reality of being and equality of self with two co-ordinate personalities, the Eternal Son and the Conjoint Actor.
Page-448 All evolutionary worlds of mortal habitation harbor these faith sons of God, sons of grace and mercy, mortal beings belonging to the divine family and accordingly called the sons of God. [Earth] mortals are entitled to regard themselves as being the sons of God because:
1. You are sons of spiritual promise, faith sons; you have accepted the status of sonship. You believe in the reality of your sonship, and thus does your sonship with God become eternally real.
2. A Creator Son of God became one of you; he is your elder brother in fact; and if in spirit you become truly related brothers of Christ, the victorious Michael, then in spirit must you also be sons of that Father which you have in common even the Universal Father of all.
3. You are sons because the spirit of a Son has been poured out upon you, has been freely and certainly bestowed upon all Urantia races. This spirit ever draws you toward the divine Son, who is its source, and toward the Paradise Father, who is the source of that divine Son.
4. Of his divine free-willness, the Universal Father has given you your creature personalities. You have been endowed with a measure of that divine spontaneity of freewill action which God shares with all who may become his sons.
5. There dwells within you a fragment of the Universal Father, and you are thus directly related to the divine Father of all the Sons of God.
Page-448 7. FATHER-FUSED MORTALS
The sending of Adjusters, their indwelling, is indeed one of the unfathomable mysteries of God the Father. These fragments of the divine nature of the Universal Father carry with them the potential of creature immortality. Adjusters are immortal spirits, and union with them confers eternal life upon the soul of the fused mortal.
Your own races of surviving mortals belong to this group of the ascending Sons of God. You are now planetary sons, evolutionary creatures derived from the Life Carrier implantations and modified by the Adamic-life infusion, hardly yet ascending sons; but you are indeed sons of ascension potential--even to the highest heights of glory and divinity attainment--and this spiritual status of ascending sonship you may attain by faith and by freewill co-operation with the spiritualizing activities of the indwelling Adjuster. When you and your Adjuster are finally and forever fused, when you two are made one, even as in Christ Michael the Son of God and the Son of Man are one, then in fact have you become the ascending sons of God.
Page-1008 4. Jesus of Nazareth. Christ Michael presented for the fourth time to Urantia the concept of God as the Universal Father, and this teaching has generally persisted ever since. The essence of his teaching was love and service, the loving worship which a creature son voluntarily gives in recognition of, and response to, the loving ministry of God his Father; the freewill service which such creature sons bestow upon their brethren in the joyous realization that in this service they are likewise serving God the Father.
Sorry that this is a quick reply today. Please feel free to ask me any more questions for further clarifications.
Love. peace and progress in Spirit and in Father-Son Eternal Truth !
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Brother Dave,
If that is what you consider a short answer I would hate to see your long answers. Thank you so much for responding to me you have given me some things to think about. Of course I have more questions and I hope you are a patient man!!! What is your opinion of reincarnation? Do you believe in it? It makes perfect sense to me and seems to answer all my questions. Have you read any of the books by Neale Donald Walsh? Is this gut for real? Can his books be the truth? What about Sylvia Browne? She wrote a book about the Life Of Jesus. There is so much out there Brother Dave how to you sort out truth from lies.
Answer These new questions are on reincarnation, Neale Donald Walsch, Sylvia Brown and the fuller Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.
Please do ask any questions you have on religion, spirituality, reality, etc. My avocation for over 38 years is sharing these truths widely.
The ancient Eastern religion concepts of stultifying theories of reincarnation appear here at times.
Here are some of my comments on why reincarnation is evil and wrong and not possible for any human. Then I will provide some references on reincarnation from the 2097 page Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth. All of that supernal text is free of copyright and thus may be widely shared as you desire. Look at the detailed Contents of this Book and start perusing at any subject of interest and or expertise. There is a robust word search engine there also.
If you want to discuss any of this or ask questions about it, let me know.
My personal comments on reincarnation
If you had a loved one who lived well up to age 78, and who had a life of many good friends, excellent skills and glorious achievements in life, and then suddenly had a major stoke and was just a helpless, non-communicating invalid on life-support for about one year before death, would that last year of sudden decay make you feel good? I hope not.
If we mere humans can not stand to see our loved ones suddenly degenerate, going suddenly backwards from continual progress, why would we ever think that God would allow that to any or all of his human sons and daughters here? Humans being forced to go back down to the zero
awareness helpless babe state of “reincarnation” many times ? He will not. Thank You our loving and merciful Father God !
God’s loving invitation-command to each and to all humans is:
"I AM the Almighty God; walk before Me; and be you perfect, even as I AM perfect.”
Wonderful, true, beautiful and good ! That also strongly implies that we start out in our first life here on earth as imperfect. Continual perfection achievements is our glorious, final Destiny !
Thus we are assured of living our first life here in continual perfection.(or later being more sorry for our sins, and hoping to be able to do better later ! That too is progress in volition -intent -desire.) When we die here, we each are lovingly re-personalized up on the next higher mansion world Heaven in a better super-body and a much better mind potential, and with exactly
the spiritual values, philosophical wisdom and science facts that we learned down here at the time of death. Then we continue to live this same one continuing life on a huge number of ever higher Heavenly Spheres until we are all perfect in our domain of action and then admitted into God’s perfect infinite Family on infinite Paradise.
GOD requires continual perfection of each of us with no degeneration, no going backwards ! Isn’t that beautiful and good ! No mere false Eastern religious beliefs of many “reincarnations” which sadly would mean you would have to learn to eat and walk and talk and write over and over, and have to have, in many alleged reincarnations, thousands of school-yard beatings by bullies, and have to do your Federal Income Taxes over and over 5,000 or more times ! and go through many divorces, hatreds, terrible diseases, accidents, murders of loved ones, etc. And having no (or very little) memory of all of your “past reincarnations.” Pure rot !
Why do so many unthinking, spiritually uneducated youths want to believe in this terrible “reincarnation” concept? Simple. They don’t know the infinite saving love of God and Jesus here as One Combined Spirit ! They might think that only “144,000″ or less of seven billion living humans here could be saved — meet God’s “stern” demands ? Thus they vainly hope
that maybe there is this “reincarnation” plan to allow a defective human many times of “rebirth here” to eventually get it “right”, and then be allowed to go into Nirvana (a name for their Heaven) with no more sickly, struggling rebirths back, way-down here ! However, if they are spiritually brave; they will sincerely try to seek God in Jesus here fully in Spirit (John 16:7-16) and receive the full, all-satisfying Knowing in soul and in mind of God’s infinite love, lavish mercy and perfect, ever-continuing ministry ! And full Sacred Assurance of one unending, all-perfecting, ever-ascending Life in God’s Eternal Light !
Just believe that JESUS CHRIST now has all Spirit Power of GOD to really seek and to really SAVE all humans !! He does ! Read now and believe Jesus here in Spirit Who states in John 12:32 “…I will draw ALL HUMANS unto Me.” Yes ! Since AD1977, I am a Spirit-Drawn-up into Paradise, salvaged son of God in Jesus ! All humans who really desire such loving salvation now have this as a FREE GIFT of GOD ! If you now lack faith to believe Him and his Teachings, just sincerely pray to be given the Gift of living faith in God and His infinite love ! Your living faith is a Gift from God also ! Abide in Him and you will certainly grow very well in spiritual character and achievements.
Personality is the eternal, ever unchanging you, forever without duplicate in both time and in Eternity. Personality unifies you as spirit and soul and mind and body all as one integrated unity. Personality is “I am of I AM” direct Gift from God to you !
Now you know a little more why Jesus here in Spirit upon all of us tells us to: “Fear not ! Be of good cheer ! Rejoice that you are now a forever ascending son of God in Me.”
Now some references from The Urantia Book Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth:
Page-953 The orange race [in N. Africa. 300,000 years ago, the orange and green races long fought at Armageddon and nearly extinguished each other] was especially given to belief in transmigration and reincarnation. This idea of reincarnation originated in the observance of hereditary and trait resemblance of offspring to ancestors. The custom of naming children after grandparents and other ancestors was due to belief in reincarnation. Some later-day races believed that man died from three to seven times. This belief (residual from the teachings of Adam [Adam and Eve came down to earth about 38,000 years ago as biologically uplifting Material Sons of God to mate with the human races] about the [seven] mansion worlds), and many other remnants of revealed religion, can be found among the otherwise absurd doctrines of twentieth-century barbarians.
Page-967 [Early human history several hundred thousand years ago to recently among some savages] If an animal ate human flesh, it became a fetish. In this way the dog came to be the sacred animal of the Parsees. If the fetish is an animal and the ghost [a fantasy, not real] is permanently resident therein, then fetishism may impinge on reincarnation. In many ways the savages envied the animals; they did not feel superior to them and were often named after their favorite beasts.
Page-1029 [History of India] The undue concentration on self led certainly to a fear of the nonevolutionary perpetuation of self in an endless round of successive incarnations as man, beast, or weeds. And of all the contaminating beliefs which could have become fastened upon what may have been an emerging monotheism, none was so stultifying as this belief in transmigration -- the doctrine of the reincarnation of souls -- which came from the Dravidian Deccan. This belief in the weary and monotonous round of repeated transmigrations robbed struggling mortals of their long-cherished hope of finding that deliverance and spiritual advancement in death which had been a part of the earlier Vedic faith. [from the teachings of Melchizedek who was sent by Christ here about 4,000 years ago to keep the Light of Truth alive in humans of earth.]
Page-1029 These were the times of the compilation of the later scriptures of the Hindu faith, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. Having rejected the teachings of personal religion through the personal faith experience with the one God, and having become contaminated with the flood of debasing and debilitating cults and creeds from the Deccan, with their anthropomorphisms and reincarnations, the Brahmanic priesthood experienced a violent reaction against these vitiating beliefs; there was a definite effort to seek and to find true reality. The Brahmans set out to deanthropomorphize the Indian concept of deity, but in so doing they stumbled into the grievous error of depersonalizing the concept of God, and they emerged, not with a lofty and spiritual ideal of the Paradise Father, but with a distant and metaphysical idea of an all-encompassing Absolute.
Page-1035 Amid the confusion and extreme cult practices of India, the saner and more moderate teachings of Gautama [founder of Buddhism] came as a refreshing relief. He denounced gods, priests, and their sacrifices, but he too failed to perceive the personality of the One Universal. Not believing in the existence of individual human souls, Gautama, of course, made a valiant fight against the time-honored belief in transmigration of the soul. He made a noble effort to deliver men from fear, to make them feel at ease and at home in the great universe, but he failed to show them the pathway to that real and supernal home of ascending mortals --Paradise -- and to the expanding service of eternal existence.
Page-1431 That afternoon Jesus and Ganid [a visitor who came from India to Jerusalem] had both enjoyed playing with a very intelligent shepherd dog, and Ganid wanted to know whether the dog had a soul, whether it had a will, and in response to his questions Jesus said: "The dog has a mind which can know material man, his master, but cannot know God, who is Spirit; therefore the dog does not possess a spiritual nature and cannot enjoy a spiritual experience. The dog may have a will derived from nature and augmented by training, but such a power of mind is not a spiritual force, neither is it comparable to the human will, inasmuch as it is not reflective -- it is not the result of discriminating higher and moral meanings or choosing spiritual and eternal values. It is the possession of such powers of spiritual discrimination and truth choosing that makes mortal man a moral being, a creature endowed with the attributes of spiritual responsibility and the potential of eternal survival." Jesus went on to explain that it is the absence of such mental powers in the animal which makes it forever impossible for the animal world to develop language in time or to experience anything equivalent to personality survival in eternity. As a result of this day's instruction Ganid never again entertained belief in the transmigration of the souls of men into the bodies of animals.
Page-1811 [Jesus heals a blind beggar, about A.D. 30 in Israel] There was, throughout all these regions, a lingering belief in reincarnation. The older Jewish teachers, together with Plato, Philo, and many of the Essenes, tolerated the theory that men may reap in one incarnation what they have sown in a previous existence; thus in one life they were believed to be expiating the sins committed in preceding lives. The Master found it difficult to make men believe that their souls had not had previous existences.
However, inconsistent as it seems, while such blindness was supposed to be the result of sin, the Jews held that it was meritorious in a high degree to give alms to these blind beggars. It was the custom of these blind men constantly to chant to the passers-by, "O tenderhearted, gain merit by assisting the blind."
Neale Donald Walsch
I have sampled only some of his writings and find his "New Thought" Theology quite defective. We are not God, we are perfecting sons and daughters of God; and each of us is absolutely unique in both time and in all Eternity ! Some of his perceptions of problems in society and the churches might be somewhat accurate. See these:
(about 60% down that page, see: Criticism)
Neale Donald Walsch is much better than
[Here, she is shown as a fraud ! Her predictions are also unreliable.]
The fuller Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ
This is my Theological and evangelical speciality. You might find this unique resource to be of interest
[ if part of the above link gets cut-off,
it ends as /part-iv-life-and-teachings-jesus ]
After perusing that, you will find much more on Jesus Christ throughout all of that 2097 page supernally revealed tome. There is also a free on-line earlier edition of Duane Faw's "Paramony" which cross-references the Christian Bible
and The Urantia Book
both ways with over 20,000 references.
You will probably have more questions which I am well-pleased to answer. New subjects should be entered as a new question. Thank you.