Untitled Document
The Urantia Book Fellowship


Faith is a gift from God.

We may develop by our own efforts our own belief systems, but belief is not faith. Belief is founded on our own attempts to rationalize why we choose to see and understand things the way we do, but faith transcends belief. Faith not only affects how we see and interpret our world, it also adds a unifying insight into the interrelatedness of all things and ideas, adding penetrating layers of meanings and values to those life experiences that belief can only begin to understand. Belief understands the facts of things while faith comprehends the truth of things. Belief is built on intelligent observation and direct experience, but faith can comprehend things that mind alone fails to grasp. Faith can anticipate underlying relationships beneath the surface of reality - faith can comprehend things without seeing.

For example, even as a very young child I believed that if I drop an object from my hand, it will fall forthwith directly to the ground. My observations always seemed to validate this belief. If I threw a ball up into the air, it always fell to the ground. If I slipped on an icy sidewalk, I always fell to the ground. If I bumped too hard into a side table dislodging a lamp, the lamp always fell to the ground (and most of the time, it broke into pieces as well). I could always find examples to demonstrate my understanding of and control over this phenomenon of earth's gravity acting on falling objects. If you wanted evidence, I was happy to drop a water balloon off the top of any tall building.

However, as I grew older and more experienced, I learned that this belief had to be modified and qualified. I discovered that if I dropped a balloon filled with helium, it not only failed to fall to the ground, it actually did just the opposite by rising high into the air and on upward towards the clouds. In studying elementary physics in school, I learned that falling objects fell with a predictable accelerating speed that could be calculated using mathematical tools. At least this understanding was predictable if such an event were occurring in a vacuum and in close proximity to a sufficiently massive object such as the earth. Otherwise, things became much more complicated. I have recently discovered that I can drop a metal ball into a properly oriented magnetic field of sufficient strength and it will fail to hit the ground. Rather, it will fix itself suspended in the magnetic field indefinitely. In other words, I have learned to dismantle and rebuild my beliefs as the volume of my experiences and observations increase. I have learned to modify and evolve my beliefs over time as I progressively expand my experience with such phenomena.

Faith works a little differently than does belief. For example, I have evolved a faith that I will survive the death of my body, that my life will persist beyond the eventual disintegration of my physical vehicle of identity. How do I know this? I would certainly have a heck of a hard time demonstrating this assertion of faith. I would be hard pressed to convince many people who fail to share this same faith. The graveyards of the world are filled with the physical remains of the dearly departed, but we have no solid evidence of life-continuation for the deceased (spurious ghost sightings and sance-generated contacts excepted). We cannot firmly point to someone who has either returned from the dead (except for possibly Lazarus, although we have to take the historical testimony of this event as an act of faith). Nor can we without question recount an irrefutable instance where someone who once lived in this world has contacted us from the beyond. Nevertheless, my faith in this regard is firm and unshakeable. I am resolute in my expectation of an afterlife, and my faith in the afterlife has broad influence on how I live and interpret my life.

Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates. [UB 101:8:2 (1114:6)]

Our rigid foundations for building belief systems are very fragile. These foundations can slowly and easily be dismantled through methodical argument and counter-experience, and sometimes these foundations can be shaken so severely and traumatically as to completely shatter the supporting structure leaving us very little to stand on. Seeing is believing, and believing can easily be influenced by experience and circumstance. Faith, on the other hand, cannot so easily be shaken. Faith is flexibly adaptable to changes in our life circumstances, and it ever reveals new insights of truth to us as we are confronted with new challenges. Our faith tends to expand and grow as we ourselves expand and grow as individuals. Faith builds on the secure foundation of our soul. In many ways, our spiritual development goes hand-in-hand with the expanding growth of our faith.

My faith that the universe is organized and friendly rather than chaotic and impersonal allows me to "see without seeing" that divine love permeates all of creation, that the heartbeat of the cosmos flows with the Father's love. I can give and share testimony of this faith, I can affirm my personal faith-experience with the Father's love, but I cannot demonstrate this faith-reality to someone who does not share in this faith. I cannot convince those without such faith that this is still true in the face of their denials and protestations and counter-arguments.

Those who know God have experienced the fact of his presence; such God-knowing mortals hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living God which one human being can offer to another. The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father. [UB 1:2:8 (24:6)]

Faith is a gift from God. Our faith is not of ourselves, but rather it becomes a reality in our lives once we have been graced with the indwelling presence of the Father's loving spirit. If we are open to the Father's presence, we can be assured that he will indeed enter intimately into our lives. He will indwell us to the very depths of our consciousness with a fragment of his divine spirit, the divine Thought Adjuster. This is our true re-birth, the virtual transformation of mind and spirit that accompanies our entrance into the fellowship of the Father's kingdom and our realization of living sonship.

From the heights of eternal glory the divine Spirit descends, by a long series of steps, to meet you as you are and where you are and then, in the partnership of faith, lovingly to embrace the soul of mortal origin and to embark on the sure and certain retracement of those steps of condescension, never stopping until the evolutionary soul is safely exalted to the very heights of bliss from which the divine Spirit originally sallied forth on this mission of mercy and ministry. [UB 34:6:3 (380:5)]

Is the Father's gift of faith given to all people? In a very real and practical sense, yes, I believe faith is given to some initial degree at that time a normal-minded child activates his top two adjutants of mind, "worship" and "wisdom" (a time we are told in The Urantia Book usually occurring on our world shortly before the age of six [UB 111:1:3 (1216:4)]). The child initiates this by making his very first spiritually impacting freewill moral choice. This human milestone, whereby a courageous "leap of faith" redirects the personal focus of the immature child from himself to others like himself, completes the truth corollary that the recognition of our Father in Heaven directly implies the living truth of the brotherhood of man. This enlightened child begins to concern himself with the feelings and perceptions of those around him.

I think in practice, and to varying degrees, a young child discovers these connected truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man at least partially in tandem with each other. This child begins to sense that his decisions and actions have an impact on other children and even on adults as well. The child develops an alter ego that serves as a moral conscience. The emergence of this expanding faith-insight truly marks the child's escape from mammalian existence to that more exalted state as a potential son or daughter of the Paradise Father. What progresses beyond this spiritual awakening at such a young age is, of course, fully dependent on the freewill choices that are committed to by this very young freewill son or daughter of the Father of free will. Will such an ascending child prove spiritually fruitful in his life, will he mature and become a productive ambassador of the Father's kingdom? That, of course, is the real "dance" of living, and this great adventure is creatively built into the most basic foundations of the Father's purposes and plans.

This first-time jubilee of moral-decision making provides for indwelling of this fully functioning mortal mind with the spiritual presence of the Universal Father (in the form of the Father's bestowed Thought Adjuster). This infusion of the Father's divine spirit, in concert with the morally sensitive child's awakening intellect, activates the emergence of the immortal soul within the mind of such a new child of the kingdom. Such a soul has a final and divine destiny, but whether or not we personally share in this destiny by becoming one-in-identity with our souls is our spiritual life-challenge. The destiny of mortal ascension depends on the choice of soul-identification by the mortal personality. We must identify our innermost being with this immortal soul that we helped to give "birth". In the event that a mortal personality rejects the opportunity for post-death resurrection, The Urantia Book tells us the personality values of this "non-identitied" soul enter into final spiritual union with the personality of the emerging Supreme Being taking all of its spiritual contribution towards bringing "light and life" to the evolving grand universe. [UB 16:9:3 (195:9)]

In most basic function, our assigned Guardian Seraphim can be considered soul guardians. They take protective responsibility for our souls. It is our post-death souls that are enseraphimed by our guardian angels for safekeeping preceding our resurrection on the mansion worlds. This is the real severity of these angels' trust, that all potential good of cosmic and supreme impact within God's finite creation will be safely kept for providential destiny.  Nevertheless, do not overlook the love that our angels have for us individually - they desire that we survive with our soul-identity intact!

The gift of faith is given to us once we accept the indwelling of the Father's spirit presence. This gift of faith leads to soul expansion and spiritual progress, and this newfound spirituality is an outgrowth of the insight born of the activity of the divine presence. The "eyes" of a faithful mind perceive the presence of the Father's divine nature and the resulting communion of man with God leads to true spiritual insight.

Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark, the immortal germ, that lives within the mind of man, and which is the potential of eternal survival.The human soul (personality) of man survives mortal death by identity association with this indwelling spark of divinity, which is immortal, and which functions to perpetuate the human personality upon a continuing and higher level of progressive universe existence. The concealed seed of the human soul is an immortal spirit. The second generation of the soul is the first of a succession of personality manifestations of spiritual and progressing existences, terminating only when this divine entity attains the source of its existence, the personal source of all existence, God, the Universal Father. [UB 132:3:6 (1459:6)]

We would do well to review the true nature and interactions of our mind, "the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival." [UB 111:1:6 (1217:1)]It should be made very clear that we mortal beings are provided with a wealth of spiritualizing tools beyond the functioning of mortal mind for formulating our personal expressions of life-choice. We are the beneficiaries of special and divine gifts that are expressive of our Father's wise and all-consuming love for us as his own children.

The Mortal Decision-Making Framework

1.      Personality: The unique bestowal by the Universal Father

         Superimposed upon the living and associated energies of matter, mind, and spirit

         Implies identity, self-consciousness, self-will, and possibility for self-revelation

2.      Mind: The combined human intellect

         Material mind, the arena in which human personalities live, are self-conscious, make decisions, choose God or forsake him, eternalize or destroy themselves

         Adjutant mind-spirits, the intelligence ministry to the lower and evolving levels of material minds

         Cosmic mind, the contributor of faith-insight and spiritual intuition

3.      The Triune Spiritual Ministries: The attuned and symmetrical spiritual presences of the Father (Adjuster), Son (Spirit of Truth), and Spirit (Holy Spirit)

         The Holy Spirit, the spirit of the Spirit, providing the inspirational ministry for choosing the spiritual presence of the Universal Father

         The Spirit of Truth, the spirit of the Sons working in concert with the Holy Spirit, providing the enlightened ministry to teach truth (spiritual philosophy, wisdom of spirit realities)

         The Thought Adjuster, the indwelling spirit presence of the Paradise Father, everlastingly seeking for divine freewill unification of the ascending pilgrim with the freewill Paradise Father

We of little faith should take heart in the assurance that the Father will always respond even to the faintest flicker of faith. Sometimes even the weakest faith "amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religions of authority" [UB 155:6:17 (1733:5)], but the Father still responds.Just think of what that means! Even if I feel completely lost in my faith, if I would simply act as if I had such faith, then such an act can help to establish a behavioral pattern. The continuance of this behavioral pattern reinforces the established response, and this reinforcement provides the fertile ground for the Father to offer the insights of his truth for inspiring newfound faith through our experience of his grace. The gift of sonship is grounded in such seedling faith, and the Father's bountiful love and mercy will always bolster even the smallest show of faith.

But truth can never become man's possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man's thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination. [UB 132:3:5 (1459:5)]

Simply put, mortal man propels his own spiritual growth by first organizing his thinking. He applies the results of this scrutinized thinking, his reasoned and logical ideas, through his free-willed acts and decisions. He transforms these applied ideas into supernal ideals of practice. The indwelling Adjuster spiritizes these ideas and renders them available for faith-association by mortal mind. The accepted human complements of these elevated ideas are hence made subject to the truth-leadings of the Spirit of Truth. [UB 101:6:7 (1112:3)]

When reason once recognizes right and wrong, it exhibits wisdom; when wisdom chooses between right and wrong, truth and error, it demonstrates spirit leading. And thus are the functions of mind, soul, and spirit ever closely united and functionally interassociated. [UB 103:9:10 (1142:1)]

The Spirit of Truth teaches and leads to truth, and the indwelling spirit of the Father elevates man through his faith from his animalistic origins to his higher spiritual nature. This spiritual rebirth inevitably brings mortal man to actually bear the noble fruits of the spirit and promises everlasting joy within the kingdom of heaven. Living faith is always personal, and it displays a child-like trustfulness in the goodness of God. Living faith brings about a tranquil experience of supreme and unquestioned trust in God. At the same time, it adds the thrill of living in the very presence of the Father.

"Without God the soul is a prisoner; to know God releases the soul. By meditation on God, by union with him, there comes deliverance from the illusions of evil and ultimate salvation from all material fetters." [UB 131:4:7 (1449:2)]

The gift of faith sweeps away spiritual doubt. Faith leads to the certainty and security of the guidance and protection of the heavenly Father. Salvation-through-faith is the gift of the Father to the faithful. His Sons reveal the truth of this. Freewill faith makes such a believer a spiritual son or daughter of this same Paradise Father.

To material, evolutionary, finite creatures, a life predicated on the living of the Father's will leads directly to the attainment of spirit supremacy in the personality arena and brings such creatures one step nearer the comprehension of the Father-Infinite. Such a Father life is one predicated on truth, sensitive to beauty, and dominated by goodness. Such a God-knowing person is inwardly illuminated by worship and outwardly devoted to the wholehearted service of the universal brotherhood of all personalities, a service ministry which is filled with mercy and motivated by love, while all these life qualities are unified in the evolving personality on ever-ascending levels of cosmic wisdom, self-realization, God-finding, and Father worship. [UB 106:9:12 (1175:1)]

The Kingdom

Faith and the Kingdom: [UB 138:8:8 (1545:9)]

1)     Faith is the new birth

2)     Faith is the price of admission to the kingdom

3)     Faith is the only requisite to entering the Father's kingdom

4)     Faith is the open door for entering into the present, perfect, and eternal love of God; for the finding of a real and personal experience in the satisfaction and assurance of the indwelling of God's spirit of love and saving grace

Jesus preached the good news of his gospel that all men are the sons of God, that the Fatherhood of God asserts the brotherhood of man, and that by faith all men may be saved. Jesus spoke of faith as the key to the entrance into the Father's kingdom of heaven. Nevertheless, this faith in the liberty and joy of divine sonship in the kingdom comes to us by the Father's grace in response to our willingness to accept and do his will. Only those who desire intimate partnership with the heavenly Father and choose to do his will are enrolled into the kingdom of heaven, and it is through the Father's gift of faith that mortal man becomes spirit-conscious that he is such a son of God. Salvation in the heavenly kingdom means survival beyond mortal death, and this inspiration for eternal life is a gift that all men receive by faith.

Jesus' "Good News" Gospel

1. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

2. By faith in the fatherhood of God you may enter the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the sons of God.

3. Love is the rule of living within the kingdom--supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself.

4. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one's personal life, is the law of the kingdom.

[UB 142:1:2-5 (1596:4-7)]

Salvation by faith dominates the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit. Starting with this influential foundation of faith, we all may participate in three key essentials of the kingdom. These three essentials have their primary impact on different aspects of our being. There is the intellectual recognition of the fact of God's sovereignty by mortal mind, there is the soul-belief in the spiritual truth that we are the children of God, and there is the personally exercised faith in our freewill effectiveness to do our Father's will.

The Three Essentials of the Kingdom: [UB 141:1:4 (1569:1)]

1)     Recognition of the fact of the sovereignty of God.

2)     Belief in the truth of sonship with God.

3)     Faith in the effective will of the supreme human desire to do the will of the Father in heaven.

Recognition -- Fact -- Mind
Belief -- Truth -- Spirit
Faith -- Will -- Personality

It is that personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God for salvation that initiates the transformation of the mortal mind into a proper receptacle for God's spirit.  "You are the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwells in you" - you are "first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind". [UB 143:2:4 (1609:5)] In accordance with the Father's promises, this spiritually fertile mind becomes subject to God's spirit of love and saving grace. We who are thus born of the spirit of God will become increasingly aware of this God-presence, and we will begin to better discern the Father's will in our hearts. We will exercise a renewed sincerity in our faith that will bolster us to "fight the good fight of faith." [UB 159:3:8 (1766:4)] The sincerity of our faith validates our citizenship within the Father's kingdom.

Sincere Faith: [UB 170:2:21 (1861:3)]

1)     To be open-minded and teachable like an unspoiled child.

2)     To receive the bestowal of sonship as a gift.

3)     To submit to the doing of the Father's will without questioning and in the full confidence and genuine trustfulness of the Father's wisdom.

4)     To come into the kingdom free from prejudice and preconception.

The door of eternal life is wide open to all; "whosoever will may come"; there are no restrictions or qualifications save the faith of the one who comes. [UB 139:12:7 (1567:0)]

Positive and living faith generates in man's heart a hunger for spiritual perfection, and this dynamic faith-attitude increases his capacity for further faith. This dynamic faith is confidant and hopeful, and it reinforces positively habitual mental attitudes and spirit reactions. A growing faith-trust in the absolute love of an infinite Father dominates personal thinking, feeling, and believing. The attitude of self-forgetfulness and spiritual conviction enables enhanced spiritual receptivity, it reinforces the desire for partnership with God in carrying out his will, and it generates an unbounded enthusiasm for exalting in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

The Four Faith Attitudes [the Beatitudes]: [UB 140:5:7-13 (1573:9-15)]

1)     Humility - to be poor in spirit, to be humble, to be teachable and truth-seeking

2)     Righteousness - to hunger after righteousness, to possess dynamic love, fatherly-brotherly affection

3)     Meekness - to endure, to display the attitude of man cooperating with God with patience and forbearance, "not my will but your will be done"

4)     Spirit insight - to be pure in heart, to augment God-consciousness which confirms sonship and leads to fatherly-brotherly love

The kingdom of heaven is an evolutionary process - you must continue to bring forth the fruits of the Father's indwelling spirit if you are to continue to ascend in the progressive life of divine fellowship. This effort begins right here on earth and will continue to progress up through each and every successive life station all the way to Paradise itself.

The spirit kingdom is that state of being whereby the faith sons of God give their wholehearted devotion to doing the will of the Father in heaven. This loving service is both enlightening and liberating to man in his struggle between the flesh and the spirit. Man's pursuit for the divine attainment of perfection leads him into the spiritual kingdom of God. The kingdom of heaven is a spiritual experience resulting from the enthronement of God in the hearts of men. However, this newly acquired kingdom experience often takes some measure of time before its secure lodgment in the soul of man will eventually lead to everlasting righteousness and eternal salvation. It is by virtue of the perfecting effort in the service of the heavenly Father that progressive righteousness and increasing joy will be attained.

You cannot become spiritually stagnate and remain in the eternal kingdom. You must seek and follow the Father's divine will energetically and wholeheartedly. The Father requires that his children continue to grow vigorously in grace and experience, that they live their lives righteously. In the kingdom, you must be righteous in order to do righteous things. As Jesus said, "Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." [UB 140:10:6 (1585:4)] Salvation is initiated by whole-hearted believing, by simple and sincere faith. Being righteous by faith precedes doing righteous things in one's daily life. The truth is that such practical comprehension of faith-righteousness must necessarily yield the eventual fruits of unselfish and everlasting service.

"But for you, my children, and for all others who would follow you into this kingdom, there is set a severe test. Faith alone will pass you through its portals, but you must bring forth the fruits of my Father's spirit if you would continue to ascend in the progressive life of the divine fellowship." [UB 140:1:4 (1569:1)]

The unassisted material mind of man "does not naturally bear the fruits of the divine Spirit" - the Spirit of Truth co-operates "with the indwelling Adjuster to bring forth the bountiful harvest of the character fruits of the spirit." [UB 34:7:1 (382:1)] As you follow your spirit leanings, life will increasingly manifest itself to you in a new spiritual context. You will all the more be able to discern and choose to do the will of the heavenly Father. When you wholeheartedly seek the Father's will in all things, you will become re-born of the spirit and find enduring entrance into the kingdom of God. Your life will correspondingly become abundant in the manifold fruits of the spirit through loving service to your fellow brothers and sisters. The showing forth of these spiritual fruits becomes spontaneous in the lives of such ennobled souls, and such lives are filled with abundant joy and controlled self-mastery. Such life transformations lead to spiritual rebirth and citizenship within the holy kingdom of heaven.

How does someone know that they are doing the will of the Father? The life of Jesus in the flesh reveals a supreme example of dedicated living in accordance to the Father's will, but how can someone be assured that they are in spiritual harmony with the leading of the Father's inner presence? An individual's attunement with this indwelling presence of the Father (the Adjuster) is made apparent by that individual's outward manifestation of the fruits of the spirit - "By their fruits you shall know them." These spirit fruits are the tangible outworking of a true believer's honest efforts to follow the Father's will.

The consciousness of the spirit domination of a human life is presently attended by an increasing exhibition of the characteristics of the Spirit in the life reactions of such a spirit-led mortal, "for the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance." Such spirit-guided and divinely illuminated mortals, while they yet tread the lowly paths of toil and in human faithfulness perform the duties of their earthly assignments, have already begun to discern the lights of eternal life as they glimmer on the faraway shores of another world; already have they begun to comprehend the reality of that inspiring and comforting truth, "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." [UB 34:6:13 (381:7)]

Faith conditions the right to enter the kingdom of God, but Jesus points out that there is a cost exacted for remaining in the progressive ascent of the kingdom. He maintains that "you must bring forth the fruits of my Father's spirit if you would continue to ascend in the progressive life of divine fellowship."[UB 140:1:4 (1569:1)] The law of the kingdom is to obey the Father's will, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one's daily life. Your rebirth in the Father's spirit delivers you from the "bondage of life". You are released into the joys of his spirit kingdom "whence you spontaneously show forth the fruits of the spirit in your daily lives; and the fruits of the spirit are the essence of the highest type of enjoyable and ennobling self-control, even the heights of terrestrial mortal attainment--true self-mastery." [UB 143:2:8 (1610:3)]

"You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My Father requires all his children to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellow servants." [UB 176:3:5 (1917:1)]

Jesus' Teaching of the Gospel

Jesus taught his apostles the better technique of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven as a positive and fulfilling proclamation that seeks not to replace or overpower the faulty misperceptions and erroneous beliefs of those who are seeking salvation. Rather, the kingdom is that open door that leads to the great and living truths that are destined to fill the emptiness in the hearts of all hungry souls.

"When you have presented to mortal man the good news that God is his Father, you can the easier persuade him that he is in reality a son of God. And having done that, you have brought the light of salvation to the one who sits in darkness." [UB 141:6:3 (1592:5)]

In instructing the apostles to preach the gospel, Jesus emphasized that they proclaim the glad tidings of the kingdom of heaven whereby man actually enters into the exquisite happiness therein. They must instruct believers by generously showing forth their own love, compassion, and sympathy.

"You are to love all men as I have loved you; you are to serve all men as I have served you. With understanding sympathy and brotherly affection, fellowship all your brethren who are dedicated to the proclamation of the good news.Remember, as you love one another, all men will know that you are my disciples." [UB 191:4:3 (2041:6)]

Jesus prevailed upon his disciples to be worthy ambassadors of this kingdom whereby they actually choose to live that new life that results from having tasted of the good spirit realities of the kingdom. All men who are witness to these reborn lives of the spirit will become sufficiently kingdom conscious to seek further inquiry concerning the joyous ways of the kingdom. The disciples ought to provide themselves as living examples of kingdom faith that will reveal the workings of God to the individual man and thus to lead him into son-consciousness, to become a faith-son of the living God.

"In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals." [UB 159:3:9 (1766:5)]

Jesus' gospel of the kingdom was more essentially the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man - sonship with God. This is analogous to a family relationship where the first familial commandment is love for the father, and the second commandment is the mutual love among the children. This quality of brotherly affection will inevitably manifest itself in unselfish and loving service.

To Jesus the kingdom was the sum of those individuals who had confessed their faith in the fatherhood of God, thereby declaring their wholehearted dedication to the doing of the will of God, thus becoming members of the spiritual brotherhood of man. [UB 170:5:11 (1865:1)]

Jesus loved men so much that his love invariably awakened the responses of love in the human heart. This love is truly contagious and eternally creative. This love of Jesus is sublimely twofold: as the divine Creator Son of God he loves man with a fatherly affection, and as the human Son of Man Jesus loves man as a brother - as a man among men. As the sovereign Creator of our universe, he sends his Spirit of Truth to enrich each one of us. His presence in our hearts compellingly draws all children of light towards one another, and, along with his Father's co-inhabiting Adjuster presence, they are both able to live in the hearts and souls of every one of us. They are supremely able to make that love divinely real in all of our experiences of loving one another.

Sonship and Brotherhood

The universality of the Father's love for each and every individual as a beloved child in the heavenly family, without special distinction accorded to any one individual, brings about the relationship of the whole, the universal brotherhood. This divine family of all individuals manifests itself in the universal brotherhood of the freewill children in the kingdom of God.

This very love of God for the individual brings into being the divine family of all individuals, the universal brotherhood of the freewill children of the Paradise Father. And this brotherhood, being universal, is a relationship of the whole. Brotherhood, when universal, discloses not the each relationship, but the all relationship. Brotherhood is a reality of the total and therefore discloses qualities of the whole in contradistinction to qualities of the part. [UB 12:7:10 (138:5)]

Sonship is the supreme relationship of man to God, creature to Creator. By recognizing sonship as a gift of God, God's children will discover that service in the kingdom is the supreme delight of life. Citizens within the kingdom naturally hunger for truth and righteousness, just as they thirst for divine perfection. They possess a secure faith in the certain triumph of righteousness in the world. Jesus declared himself to mankind as Son of God just as we are sons of God. This shared relationship to the Universal Father makes mankind and Jesus brethren in the flesh of earthly life by virtue of this final bestowal mission of this now sovereign Creator Son to our local universe. When Jesus portrays the divine nature and perfectly loving nature of his Father and our Father in Paradise, he knows whereof he speaks.

Brotherhood and service are the cornerstones of the gospel of the kingdom. This brotherhood is a natural outgrowth of the fatherhood of God. Consciousness of one's neighbor as a creature brother becomes possible when we are conscious of God as our Creator Father. This brotherhood is a relationship of the whole as rooted in the Father's universe presence to all moral creatures. We are driven to search out our brothers and sisters, to discover their problems, and to consequently learn to love them. This is the supreme experience of living our lives in this world. The better that we develop an understanding of our neighbor, the easier it becomes to love him.

Fruits of the Kingdom

The Urantia Book seems to recognize spiritual "fruits" on three categorical levels. The first level, The Fruits of the Spirit, categorizes the most basic recognizable characteristics of a newly born citizen of the kingdom of heaven. These personality traits comprise the spiritual foundation that distinguishes a newfound son or daughter of the kingdom, and it is on this foundation that this child of faith embarks on his mission to seek and do the Father's will and consequently change the supreme nature of the world. These fruits of the spirit "are the substance of the Supreme as he is realizable in human experience". [UB 117:6:17 (1290:3)]

The Fruits of the Spirit: [UB 34:6:13 (381:7)]

1.      Love

2.      Joy

3.      Peace

4.      Long-Suffering

5.      Gentleness

6.      Goodness

7.      Faith

8.      Meekness

9.      Temperance

The next categorical level, The Fruits of the Divine Spirit, seems to focus in on the personal repercussions in character development that result from a faith-child's efforts in doing the Father's will in loving ministry to his fellow brothers and sisters. These are the spiritual transformations enacted on a dedicated child of the kingdom. As we apply our "fruits of the spirit" to good use in carrying out the loving will of our Father, as we lovingly minister to our brothers and sisters, these fruits attain the shine of divinity within our souls. They become the earmark of a faith-pilgrim as he progresses through the psychic circles of cosmic attainment. These are the personally enjoyed fruits of the spirit in practical application, and they signify the harmonious functioning of the faith-child in the attainment of elevated mind, in the growth of the soul, and in the attunement with the indwelling Adjuster.

The Fruits of the Divine Spirit: [UB 193:2:2 (2054:3)]

1.      Loving Service

2.      Unselfish Devotion

3.      Courageous Loyalty

4.      Sincere Fairness

5.      Enlightened Honesty

6.      Undying Hope

7.      Confiding Trust

8.      Merciful Ministry

9.      Unfailing Goodness

10. Forgiving Tolerance

11. Enduring Peace

The last categorical level, The Fruits of Divinity, connotes the supreme impact of the socially applied "fruits of the spirit" (the "fruits of the divine spirit") on the collective meanings and values of spiritual ministry. There is manifested by evolving faith-pilgrims a divine unity in faith and reason, and this individualized quality of spiritual unity is impressed upon the world at large. There results a coordinated enhancement of the innate recognition for meanings and values, and this enhanced comprehension benefits both the individual child of faith (microcosm) and the totality of all cosmic reality (macrocosm).

The Fruits of Divinity: [UB 56:10:20 (648:3)]

1.      Intellectual Peace

2.      Social Progress

3.      Moral Satisfaction

4.      Spiritual Joy

5.      Cosmic Wisdom

The purpose of cosmic evolution is to achieve unity of personality through increasing spirit dominance, volitional response to the teaching and leading of the Thought Adjuster.

[UB 112:2:17 (1229:2)]

Survival faith is living faith. The willingness to be freely guided by the spiritual shining of the Father's inner loving light brings about an inevitable transformation of personal soul-identity, and this change in self-identity brings about an outwardly visible renewal of personal expression and action. The Father inspires such a living faith that "increasingly manifests the fruits of that divine spirit which first inspired it in the human heart." [UB 176:3:3 (1916:3)]

"If you receive God as your Father, then indeed and in truth are you the sons of God. And if you are sons, then are you secure in the position and standing of all that concerns eternal and divine sonship. If you believe my words, you thereby believe in Him who sent me, and by thus believing in the Father, you have made your status in heavenly citizenship sure. If you do the will of the Father in heaven, you shall never fail in the attainment of the eternal life of progress in the divine kingdom."

[UB 142:5:2 (1601:2)]

We are compelled to imitate the loving perfection of the Father. The loving spirit of the Father becomes dominant in the day-to-day life of such a spirit-led believer, and this influence is expressed by a noticeable increase in the recognizable fruits of the spirit. This faith lovingly leads the way towards the fruitful carrying out of the Father's will in service for mankind. With the spiritual eye of living faith and the constant leading of Jesus' Spirit of Truth, the kingdom believer dedicates his life to the noble cause of leading mankind to search for the eternal realities of God. Such a faith shall see "that which eye has not seen, ear heard, nor the mortal mind conceived." [UB 182:2:20 (1960:1)] 

Entrance through the portals of the kingdom of heaven is enabled by faith, and living within the kingdom is guided by the golden rule of love. Being guided by the Father's will in the yielding of the fruits of the spirit is the law of the kingdom. A true believer is justified by faith, fellowshipped by grace, and "sanctified to the eternal service of the ever-advancing sons of the eternal God." [UB 143:2:6 (1610:1)] By faith you are saved, and this regenerating salvation will lead you into real peace with God. The spirit of the Father indwells you and leads you to salvation. If you wholeheartedly follow his spirit guidance, you will "begin to see with the eyes of the spirit" - you will be re-born in the spirit, and "so finding yourself born of the spirit and happily in the kingdom of God, you would begin to bear in your daily life the abundant fruits of the spirit." [UB 142:6:7 (1602:6)]

"In order to yield the fruits of the spirit, you must be born of the spirit. You must be taught by the spirit and be led by the spirit if you would live the spirit-filled life among your fellows." [UB 156:5:2 (1738:1)]

The self-realization of communion with the Father's spiritual presence is recognized in the soul consciousness, but this experience is made manifest in the abundant fruits of the spirit. There is a natural outworking of the inner faith of the soul, manifesting itself in the day-to-day harvesting of the fruits of the spirit. God's will becomes increasingly discernible in the spirit fruits that are borne in the lives of the spirit-led children of God. Jesus' Spirit of Truth co-operates with the Father's indwelling spirit presence "to bring forth the beautiful harvest of the character fruits of the spirit." [UB 34:7:1 (382:1)]

It is through the ministry of selfless service as inspired by our true and all-consuming faith that we are "delivered from the darkness of doubt by the birth of the spirit into the light of faith--the kingdom of heaven." [UB 152:6:3 (1705:3)] As mortal lives become dominated by spiritual soul-consciousness, they experience genuine joy in life and their days become filled with sublime peace and confident righteousness. These spirit-guided lives are progressively building upon a living and positive foundation of faith that provides a very real sense of spiritual certainty and empowerment. Such personal soul-experience of this fruit-bearing faith provides a sense of religious security that overcomes doubts, eliminates fears, and erases uncertainties.

A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship