It has been our suggestion that those who attempt to read The Urantia Book begin in Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus. However, you will quickly realize that you are entering the story of Jesus ‘in the middle’ so to speak. It is evident that much had transpired before his bestowal on earth (Urantia) and the writer of the account assumes that the reader is familiar with his pre-human history, as set forth in Parts I, II and III. So we endeavor to provide a summary or overview of Jesus’ pre-human existence, as told in the previous parts, which we believe will make the entire account in Part IV, and The Bible, more understandable.
Part IV opens with “The Bestowal of Michael on Urantia,” Paper 120. To many Bible readers, this is the first unequivocal identification of Michael as the pre-human name of Jesus. When The Bible refers to Michael, it identifies him as “one of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13), “your prince” (Daniel 10:20-21), “the great prince” (Daniel 12:1), and as “the archangel” (Jude 1:9) But The Urantia Book clearly identifies the pre-human Jesus as Michael who is one of the Creator Sons of God. It explains that each Creator Son is the creator of his own universe and the only-begotten son of the Paradise Father in that universe. The Apostle Paul explains it this way:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
- Colossians 1:15-16
The order of Creator Sons are all called “Michaels.” They are the appointed sovereigns who create their own universe and and they rule their universe by permission of the Paradise Father. In order to rule by their own right, a Michael must bestow himself on the seven primary orders of his creations and live the experience of his creations. Humans/mortals are the seventh and lowest level of intelligent creatures in the universe, and thus the bestowal on earth as Jesus was his seventh bestowal. When a Michael completes all seven bestowals, he becomes a Master Son. This is what happened to our Michael who incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth, as the Apostle Paul explained:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
– Philippians 2:5-11
So because our pre-human Michael had not yet gained his sovereignty in his own name, he could rightly have been referred to as a “prince,” “a great prince,” and as “one of the chief princes.” As for the account in Jude where Michael is called an archangel, that is a mis-translation. The Urantia Book explains that it was not “the archangel Michael” but rather “the archangel of Michael.”
We next encounter Immanuel. The Bible writers indicate that Immanuel is one of the names for Jesus; whereas The Urantia Book identifies Immanuel as the elder brother of Jesus, the one who managed his universe during the time Jesus was on earth. But how can an only-begotten son have an elder brother?
The Urantia Book identifies another order of Sons, the “Immanuels,” who are not creators of a universe, but who serve as advisors to the “Michaels” and as representatives of the Paradise Father. One Immanuel is assigned to each Local Universe and remains in that Local Universe as long as the Michael complies with the Father’s plan for the Michael to ‘earn’ his sovereignty, or establish ‘his right to rule,’ in his own name by means of the bestowal process. But should a Michael, as a free will being, decide not to undergo the bestowal career, the Immanuel will withdraw to Paradise and the Michael will manage his universe without Paradise advice. However, no Michael has ever gone against the Paradise plan.
As the Paradise Father’s representative, Immanuel gave our Michael the customary instructions that are given to a Creator Son who embarks on a bestowal mission, and he assured Michael that his universe was in good and competent hands. This fact answers a question sometimes raised by atheists or agnostics, namely: If Jesus was the ruler of the universe, who was ruling the universe while he was on earth? Questions like these only have teeth when presented in rebuttal to a partial revelation. But as many will come to appreciate, the celestial message contained in The Urantia Book silences many, if not all, critics.
But why do The Bible writers refer to Jesus as Immanuel? Could it be that the concept of an elder brother to the ‘only begotten’ God was too difficult for them to understand? Could it be that they were aware of a Son of God named Immanuel and erroneously identified him with Jesus? That is quite possible. In fact, it is what man historically does when he does not understand heavenly matters. Think of man’s many attempts to understand the book of Revelation. Whenever he encounters a strange being, he interprets it as something related to earth. Consider how many different interpretations there are of the 24 Elders or the 7 Spirits. Man will do his very best to try to understand these heavenly matters, but unless the heavens reveal it to him, he could never accurately identify them. And what loving Father would fault his well-intentioned children for such an error? So. The Bible refers to Jesus as Immanuel. No harm was done. The controversy is only heavenly trivia, not a matter of salvation.
Paper 120 emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ first advent. He came: (1) to complete his bestowal career and establish his right to rule in his own name; (2) to reveal the true nature of the Paradise Father; and (3) to open the heavens to mankind so they could receive their adoption as the children of God. (Matthew 11:12; John 14:2-3; Romans 8:15-17) The ‘old wine’ was for the earth; whereas the ‘new wine’ is for the heavens.
No, Jesus did not come on an emergency mission necessitated by the default of Adam and Eve. It was always the Father’s purpose for His earth children to come to Him, even as the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
– Ephesians 1:3-6
To Bible readers, the idea that Jesus is the creator of only a Local Universe, and not the creator of all universes, is new. But when we consider how vast the heavens are, it is certainly reasonable that there would be many, many Local Universes and accordingly, many, many Creator Sons. As you continue reading The Urantia Book, you will learn that the entire Grand Universe, consisting of the inhabited universes and the four as-yet-uninhabited outer space zones, is very well organized. The inhabited realm, referred to as The Master Universe, is divided as follows:
There is Paradise Isle which is the only unmoving, stationary thing in the entire universe.
Paradise Isle is surrounded by the Central Universe of Havona.
Havona is encircled by seven SuperUniverses.
Each SuperUniverse is divided into 10 Major Sectors
Each Major Sector is divided into 100 Minor Sectors
Each Minor Sector consists of 100 Local Universes
Each Local Universe consists of 100 Constellations
Each Constellation consists of 100 Systems
Each System embraces up to 1,000 inhabited worlds
Thus, in one SuperUniverse, there are up to 1 trillion inhabited worlds, and in all seven SuperUniverses, there are up to 7 trillion worlds inhabited by intelligent procreative life!
And, remember, that does not include the four gigantic circuits of developing universes – universes still under construction – in the outer space zones. Yes, as The Bible tells us, our Father continues working, even until now. (John 5:17)
But hold onto your hats! To add to your understanding of the immensity of Paradise Isle, consider this. If you group together all of the inhabited worlds, and all of the uninhabited spheres such as moons, suns, asteroids, etc., plus all of the creation in the developing four outer space zones, the mass of all of these worlds together is smaller than the size of Paradise Isle! In fact, Paradise Isle is a universe in itself – the Divine Universe.
When we consider the vastness of the Grand Universe, it is certainly reasonable that The Bible, as a revelation to a primitive, nomadic people, would limit its scope to those matters that occur in connection with our planet, so as not to overwhelm these spiritual babes. Think of how children progressively learn to encounter their world. They begin with knowledge of their own home, then their neighborhood, then their city, state, country, and finally the world. In the same way, man learns to progressively encounter the universe by beginning with knowledge of his own planet, then his solar system, then his galaxy, and out to the observable universe.
And true to the kindness and wisdom of a loving Heavenly Father, just when man was capable of venturing off his planet and out into the ‘heavens,’ in the mid-1960's, the Father allowed for a revealing of the Grand Universe to man by way of this New Revelation in the mid-1950's. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
And consider the Old Testament. When Moses began writing, he recorded events that occurred thousands of years earlier, and the compilation of the canon continued another 1,500 years; whereas the writings contained in the New Testament cover a period of only 100 years, and the canon was closed about 200 years later. Why so little information for such a momentous turning point in human history?
We believe now is the proper time for man to receive this New Revelation. But before it can be widely accepted, it must be fairly examined, critiqued, and tested against known facts. We encourage all who have taken on the challenge of The Urantia Book to be open to the possibility that this is the time for something new to take man into the future.
So we share these tidbits with you to whet your appetite for what The Urantia Book has to offer. In the meantime, we welcome questions about the book, and/or how it relates to Jesus and we will openly answer all such questions to the extent that we are able.
Your Family in the Faith,