Bob Hurt’s Introduction
I have focused on the Gospel for years. I have found the Christians and Muslims give lip service to it but cannot articulate it meaningfully. Muslims think the gospel is spread throughout the Koran. Christians think it has to do with belief in Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. This would not bother me so much but for the resources both groups waste on relative nonsense, proselytizing on the one hand and murdering on the other.
Meanwhile families across America and around the world languish from lack of two-by-two visitation that knowledge of the gospel inspires. Urantia Book Enthusiasts and Evangelists (UBEES) have less excuse than ANYBODY for such negligence, for they have the most beautiful story the world has ever heard to impart to the languishers.
So, I have made it a point to try to bridge the gap between Christians and UBEES by identifying the essential elements of the gospel from the red words of Jesus in the Bible which The Urantia Book also endorses. I then tell Christians the equivalent of this:
“So, you believe in Jesus and his gospel, right? Would you mind articulating that gospel? Give me its tenets from the teachings of Jesus.”
They cannot do this of course because they know only Paul’s teachings as the gospel. So when they stumble around, I start presenting the scriptures from Jesus’ red words in the King James Version of the Bible, and take them step by step to the understanding of that Gospel. Some want to know more. Some reel in shock. Preachers tell me I’ll burn in hell. But, it plants the seed of awareness that the preachers’ preachers have misled or lied to them. And eventually that seed, nurtured a bit, will grow into a mighty oak of interest in advanced truth – The Urantia Book.
I have demonstrated the first part of this approach in Gospel Discussion 2012</a>, a document I posted at http://www.scribd.com/doc/96866950. I have appended it below and attached it in PDF and ODT formats. Word, LibreOffice, and OpenOffice should open the ODT file. Please feel free to download and use it in your evangelism efforts. It might even work on Muslims.
Why will it work? Because THEY think they are experts in the hard core fundamentals of their religions. And they both THINK they know the gospel. But they don’t. So, when you tell them they need to know the gospel they think they believe, that challenges them to learn it.
You will probably suffer a backflash of resistance, annoyance, resentment, etc. But don’t let that disappoint or worry you. Just tell them that the family resemblance between them and their Heavenly Father is unmistakable.
Say this: “You’re becoming just like your daddy.” Then walk away with that thought fresh in their minds.
Please send any refinements and suggestions to me. I don’t hide. I respond just fine to well-founded criticism. The truth can always withstand honest investigation, can’t it?
Bob Hurt (full contact info below)
B U a UBEE? I B.
An Evangelist Evangelizes An Evangelist – Will Bob Hurt Burn in Hell?
Bob Hurt’s Original Message to Brent Parker
|Date:||Mon, 11 Jun 2012 22:17:53 -0400|
|From:||Bob Hurt, Evangelist <bob|
|To:||A. Brent Parker, Evangelist <a.brentparker|
Thanks for the phone msg. I have been an evangelist of sorts for many years. I adhere to the gospel Jesus taught and lived, not to the religious philosophy of Paul. Now I know that you as an evangelist of Paul’s religious philosophy might not appreciate my views and position on Paul’s teachings in contrast to those of Jesus, so I write to explain and justify my position with proofs from the writings of both Paul and Jesus. I figure all Christians believe the red words of Jesus over anybody else’s words.
I do not mean to say that Paul just lied to everybody for the heck of it. He included many principles of Jesus’ teachings in his religious philosophy. But, he developed that religious philosophy in order to harmonize Judaism with the Greek philosophy of Plato and Philo (Google them) , and the teachings of Jesus. First and foremost, though, he was a Jew and believed Judaism and the whole law of Judaism. And in the harmonizing process he sacrificed his loyalty to truth in favor of loyalty to Judaism and its pagan roots (human sacrifice to appease God).
And that sacrifice did not appeal to Jesus’ followers who had known him and heard him teach. But Paul tried to hide this reality. In Acts and Galatians you read about the blinding incident where the voice told Paul to go to Damascus and get instructions. Then he traveled to Arabia, but he doesn’t say where, then back to Damascus. HE fell out with Peter in Jerusalem, and with John Mark in the first mission. Why? He claims he had a dispute with Peter over circumcision, etc, but fails to say why he went to Arabia or what happened and what happened between him and John Mark. The answer: he learned the real gospel in Arabia at Philadelphia where Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Andrew had fled after Jesus died and the persecutions heated up in Jerusalem. They founded a church loyal to the teachings of Jesus (the only one truly loyal, according to Revelation)
Revelations 3 – Jesus liked the church at Philadelphia
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.
Luke tells the story of Paul falling out with John Mark on Paul’s first missionary journey. Why? Because John Mark DID NOT AGREE with Paul’s version of the gospel. You see, John Mark had been a young teenager during Jesus’ public ministry and he hung out a lot with Jesus and the apostles, tagging along with them on preaching adventures. HE KNEW THE GOSPEL of Jesus INTIMATELY, having heard it through parables and many conversations. So, when Paul started preaching his conglomerated religious philosophy, John Mark objected strenuously, and they split up as a result. John Mark would have no part of Paul’s aberrant teaching.
Acts 15 – John Mark abandoned Paul’s false gospel
35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
In 1 Cor 9 Paul admits that he’ll say whatever he must to convince people, just to win. In Rom 7 he admits that he does what he shouldn’t. In Gal 1 he claims only HE tells the authentic gospel, even while John Zebedee still lived and preached. And he might have lied about not meeting other apostles, particularly since he went to Arabia (Philadelphia) where Lazarus’ family and Andrew had escaped during the persecutions. Also, take note that John the Baptist’s dozen apostles who signed on with Jesus after JtB’s death, served as preachers of the gospel in Idumea during Jesus’ public ministry, which is why Jesus never bothered going here to preach. Some of them met up with Lazarus’ family in Philadelphia too.
Why? Because that town and synagogue warmly received Jesus durin his last preaching tour before raising Lazarus from the dead.
1 Corinthians 9 – Paul will prevaricate in order to win
18 What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you].
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
Romans 7 – Paul has severe moral and ethical weakness
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Galatians 1 – Paul curses John for preaching the real gospel
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called [me] by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
But let me take you back to the beginning of the altered gospel Paul taught: the fiery sermon of Peter on Pentecost after Jesus’ final appearance.
Acts 2 – Peter’s Pentecost sermon substitutes resurrection for gospel
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And then he tells the abridged Hebrew history, then this:
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Do you see what happened? He FORGOT the marching orders Jesus had just given him earlier that day:
Mark 16 – Jesus says to preach his gospel to all everywhere
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Matthew 28 – Jesus orders us to teach all nations and observe his commands
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
I ask you this: WHERE DID JESUS TELL HIS FOLLOWERS TO PREACH ABOUT THE RISEN CHRIST?
Answer: NOWHERE. But Peter preached that, not the Gospel, in his Pentecost sermon. Right then and there PETER began warping the RELIGION OF Jesus into a religion ABOUT Jesus.
Then later, Paul, continued the warping to you see the convoluted mess in Hebrews which he probably authored, and at least inspired.
And then Paul has the gall to declare in Galatians 1:8 that only HIS warped gospel is the real gospel, and any other gospel (including the real gospel Jesus spent his public ministry and gave his life proving) is false.
Maybe Paul meant well, but he set the gospel back at least 1500 years. And so BAD A JOB DID HE DO that the gospel message nearly died completely but for the efforts of monks to keep it alive in the dark ages.
Then, suddenly, a light from Heaven… a Philadelphia missionary told the gospel to Muhammad and set him on fire in the 7th century AD. And you can see its tenets in the first three pillars of the 5 pillars of Islam – There is one God, Pray 5 times a day, Give alms to the poor and succor to the suffering. And you can verify by reading the beautiful things Muhammad said about Jesus and the Gospel in the Qur’an.
Surah 5 – Muhammad honors Jesus and the Gospel
And we followed up the footsteps of these (prophets) with Jesus the son of Mary, confirming that which was before him and the law, and we brought him the gospel, wherein is guidance and light, verifying what was before it of the law, and a guidance and an admonition unto those who fear.
Then let the people of the gospel judge by that which is revealed therein, for whoso will not judge by what God has revealed, these be the evildoers.
We have revealed to thee the Book in truth verifying what was before it, and preserving it; judge then between them by what God has revealed, and follow not their lusts, turning away from what is given to thee of the truth.
For each one of you have we made a law and a pathway; and had God pleased He would have made you one nation, but He will surely try you concerning that which He has brought you. Be ye therefore emulous in good deeds; to God is your return altogether, and He will let you know concerning that wherein ye do dispute.
Wherefore judge thou between them by what God has revealed, and follow not their lusts; but beware lest they mislead thee from part of what God has revealed to thee; yet if they turn back, then know that God wishes to fall on them for some sins of theirs,- verily, many men are evildoers.
But did the people of the Book believe and fear, we would cover their offences, and we would make them enter into gardens of pleasure; and were they steadfast in the law and the gospel, and what has been sent down to them from their Lord, they should eat from above them and below them. Amongst them are a nation who are moderate, but many of them- bad is what they do.
O thou Apostle! preach what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord; if thou do it not thou hast not preached His message, and God will not hold thee free from men; for God guides not people who misbelieve.
Say, “O people of the Book! ye rest on naught until ye stand fast by the law and the gospel, and what is revealed to you from your Lord.” But what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord will of a surety increase many of them in rebellion and misbelief, vex not thyself then for a people who misbelieve.
Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews, and the Sabaeans, and the Christians, whosoever believes in God and the last day, and does what is right, there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
They misbelieve who say, “Verily, God is the Messiah the son of Mary;” but the Messiah said, “O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord;” verily, he who associates aught with God, God hath forbidden him Paradise, and his resort is the Fire, and the unjust shall have none to help them.
They misbelieve who say, “Verily, God is the third of three;” for there is no God but one, and if they do not desist from what they say, there shall touch those who misbelieve amongst them grievous woe.
Will they not turn again towards God and ask pardon of Him? for God is forgiving and merciful.
On the day when God shall assemble the apostles and shall say, “How were ye answered?” they will say, “We have no knowledge; verily, thou art He who knoweth the unseen.” When God said, “O Jesus, son of Mary! remember my favours towards thee and towards thy mother, when I aided thee with the Holy Ghost, till thou didst speak to men in the cradle and when grown up.
“And when I taught thee the Book and wisdom and the law and the gospel; when thou didst create of clay, as it were, the likeness of a bird, by my power, and didst blow thereon, it became a bird; and thou didst heal the blind from birth, and the leprous by my permission; and when thou didst bring forth the dead by my permission; and when I did ward off the children of Israel from thee, when thou didst come to them with manifest signs, and those who misbelieved amongst them said, ‘This is naught but obvious magic.’ “And when I inspired the apostles that they should believe in him and in my Apostle, they said, ‘We believe; do thou bear witness that we are resigned.'” When the apostles said, “O Jesus, son of Mary! is thy Lord able to send down to us a table from heaven?” he said, “Fear God, if ye be believers and they said, “We desire to eat therefrom that our hearts may be at rest, and that we may know that what thou hast told us is the truth, and that we may be thereby amongst the witnesses.” Said Jesus the son of Mary, “O God, our Lord! send down to us a table from heaven to be to us as a festival,- to the first of us and to the last, and a sign from Thee,- and grant us provision, for Thou art the best of providers.”
God said, “Verily, I am about to send it down to you; but whoso disbelieves amongst you after that, verily, I will torment him with the torment which I have not tormented any one with in all the worlds.” And when God said, “O Jesus, son of Mary! is it thou who didst say to men, take me and my mother for two gods, beside God?” He said, “I celebrate Thy praise! what ails me that I should say what I have no right to? If I had said it, Thou wouldst have known it; Thou knowest what is in my soul, but I know not what is in Thy soul; verily, Thou art one who knoweth the unseen. I never told them save what Thou didst bid me,- ‘Worship God, my Lord and your Lord,’ and I was a witness against them so long as I was amongst them; but when Thou didst take me away to thyself Thou wert the watcher over them, for Thou art witness over all. If Thou shouldst punish them, verily, they are Thy servants; if Thou shouldst forgive them, verily, Thou art the mighty and the wise.” God said, “This is the day when their confession shall profit the confessors, for them are gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever and for aye.” God is well pleased with them, and they well pleased with Him; that is the mighty happiness.
God’s is the kingdom of the heavens, and the earth, and all that is therein, and He is mighty over all.
So, you see, Muhammad seemed to have his act together pretty well, identifying Jesus as a creator, coming from the spirit of God, being the presider over judgment day, and the gospel constituting something people ought to believe. But of course, Muslims cannot articulate the Gospel any more than Christians can.
The Three Tenets of the Real Gospel by Jesus
I have told you that the gospel inheres in three tenets:
of the fact of the sovereignty of God – he is our loving Heavenly Father, we his children;
in the truth of the brotherhood of man – we should love and serve one another unselfishly and lovingly;
in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to become like God – to do his will, for through sincerity alone we can eventually become like him in behavior, to the extent our inherent capacities and antecedent conditions allow.
I do not have to work very hard to prove to you that Jesus taught and lived the foregoing principles throughout his public ministry, but he did not even mention his death till shortly before he got arrested, and did not mention his torture till the descent from Mt Hermon from the transfiguration, and did not mention his serious persecution till the “Get thee behind me” incident about 3.5 years into his public ministry. Thus his death had NOTHING to do with the gospel, and so, neither did his resurrection.
As to the real Gospel, Jesus started teaching it immediately after selecting his apostles:
Matthew 4 – Jesus taught the gospel early in his public ministry
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
But you have noted, I hope, that Jesus commanded his followers (and by extension that means you and me) to teach his COMMANDS and his GOSPEL to all creatures and all nations (Mark 13, Mt 28). Either you believe that and you will follow it or you won’t. Personally, I have decided to follow it. So, let me cover this issue just a little more with some proofs.
About 40 years ago I decided to switch from “Hard core Christian” to “Hard Core Jesusonian.” I see a huge difference between the two that could matter a lot to the future of the planet.
A Jesusonian rivets attention on the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it, not on the religious philosophy of Paul. And there you have the substance of the difference.
And yet, underlying Christian Tradition (Paulism, for want of a more descriptive term), the precious gospel that Jesus taught and lived lies so, SO close to the hearts and minds of Christians who really cannot articulate it and whose Paulist beliefs keep them from confessing their loyalty to it.
And such an admission, I predict, will someday pull Hard Core Christianity out of the mud of its pagan roots of human sacrifice and put it into the sunshine of Jesus’ most important teachings:
Man must embrace Sonship with God in order to enjoy “salvation.”
That’s the Gospel in a nutshell. One approaches that Sonship through embrace of the above three Gospel tenets above.
Do you see this? People love you ONLY because of the divinity they see in you. We show our “God-ness” to others through loyalty to truth, beauty, and goodness. We demonstrate it through acts of love, mercy, and ministry. Look directly at Jesus’ admonitions and exhortations:
- You live forever by loving God and your fellow humans (Luke 10:25-28)
- You obtain the Father’s forgiveness through forgiving others (Mt 6:14, 15)
- You must love and unselfishly serve others (John 13:15-17; 34-35)
must spread the above gospel to everyone everywhere (Mt 28:19-20)
As you can see, I did not invent this gospel. I just bring you the message, with crystal clarity, unlike ANYBODY has ever done for you before, EVER.
So, if you want to get HARD CORE about something, get that way about spreading the above gospel to everyone, the way Jesus commanded. Basically, you have already received your hard core orders from him. I just remind you of them.
Do YOU transgress the “Word of God” when you fail to spread the above Gospel as Jesus told his apostles (and by extension, all of us) to do? Maybe you could TEACH THAT GOSPEL to others in your church (from the pulpit) and newsletters.
I hereby call on you to DO THAT, EXACTLY THAT, spread that gospel. No, Jesus did not tap me on the shoulder or whisper in my ear and say “You go say that.” I just recognize in you the qualities of a good evangelist and I know you have the ability to influence a lot of Christians to turn their loyalties and teaching efforts to the Gospel message of Jesus.
I hope you let the seed germinate, that you water with your missionary zeal and fertilize it with your hunger for truth, and you harvest it in preachments to your fellow old-timey church associates, and especially in those seeking for the real meaning of Christ’s adventure on this planet.
Take to heart this story of the training days of the disciples:
Luke 9 – Jesus explains how to spread the gospel in your town
1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for [your] journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
From this I have surmised that we might best spread our FoGBoM (Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man) Gospel by offering to help others. When we meet folks we ought to ask, “What troubles or difficulties do you have in life?”
We should encourage them to talk with us PAST their social veneer, and then encourage them by letting them know that they can become just like God by embracing God as their Heavenly Father and accepting their Sonship with him, if they truly desire and sincerely act, to the extent their antecedent conditions and inherent capacities allow.
For most people, that is absolutely ASTOUNDING NEWS because so many Christian proselytizers tell people they are sinners and will die in their sins if they don’t accept Jesus as a human sacrifice for their sins.
How to Become Indistinguishable from God
Jesus pointed out nearly 2000 years ago, and I point out now, that everyone who sincerely acts in faith can become so much like God others cannot distinguish between them and God.
that hath seen me hath seen the Father” – John 14:9
And we ought to take his own mission to heart as we go about our life’s work:
he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” Luke 4:43
And remember these commandments from Jesus:
- “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in in Heaven is perfect” – Mt 5:48
- “sin no more” – John 5:14, 8:11
- Forgive your brother “unto seventy times seven” – Mt 18:22
- “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. ” – John 13:34
Would Jesus have commanded these things if his followers did not have the capability of doing as he commanded? Should we take the commands lightly or act sincerely on them while we take his gospel messages to others so desperately in need?
Right or wrong, I spend most of my waking hours showing unselfish loving service to others. Why? I can’t help it. Something inside me makes it irresistible.
kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17: 20-21
I hope you realize that in presenting my views about the real gospel, I have given full deference to the teachings of Jesus over any other purported expert in the Bible. If you want scriptural support for that decision, just ask. And I have intentionally refrained from denouncing the bible as an unreliable source reference because of
- its sketchy history
- its utter lack of credentials
- the lack of any divine authority for its selection and production
- its gross inconsistencies of purported fact
- its contradictions to historical fact
- its obvious editorialization, especially among the four gospels
- its blending of the secular history of the Hebrews with purported relation and paganism
dealing only with the affairs of the Middle East, as though nothing of spiritual worth happened elsewhere in the world
The Age of Reason – Horrifying to Christians, but Worth Understanding
To the end of abject honesty, I commend the sincere Bible student to reading of Thomas Paine’s three-volume Age of Reason, ca. 1794-1810. While you can read it online, I have attached a pdf rendering hereto for your study. Paine makes many declarations which I consider unfair, for he well knew that the bible contained a selection of writings discovered and jealously protected for centuries, with considerable alteration by the Hebrew scribes and later Christians for consistency with their pet beliefs at the time. He knew one ought to approach a bible study as a feast on a banquet table, some prepared by figurative cave men, french chefs, and enlightened nutritionists of 2000 or more years ago. One carefully selects the nutritious fare and does not eat the plates and centerpiece. If one has half a brain. But if Paine didn’t do anything else, he let the Bible prove itself monumentally errant from cover to cover.
I personally believe the essential facts of Jesus birth, life, teachings, and death, but I see obvious editorializations in the four gospels, and know that their unknown authors of Matthew, Mark, and John did not write those documents till 30 or more years after Jesus’ death. Memories fade. And modern criminologists have proven the unreliability of eye-witness testimony. So even those who witnessed the recorded events probably recounted them wrongly. Nevertheless, I believe the core of Jesus gospel AS I HAVE RECOUNTED IT ABOVE.
And out of kindness to you, I haven’t condescended by stuffing Age of Reason in your face as proof of the Bible’s errors. Instead, I appeal to the Bible itself to show the REAL gospel Jesus taught, and that Paul, wittingly or not, perverted it.
In the end, you now know both sides of the issue: Paul’s and Jesus’. Now you can do what I did 40 years ago: choose.