Throughout history many great teachers and leaders who tried to bring a new spiritual revelation to the world have been persecuted or became martyrs for the cause. Prophets like Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and Baha'u'llah were martyred or exiled, as well as many of their devotees. In this country Joseph Smith, considered by many as a modern-day prophet, was persecuted and then assassinated. And in these contemporary times Gabriel of Urantia, who many consider a mind-expanding and bold spiritual visionary, has been demonized by many of the status quo, including, of course, the mainstream media.
The word "cult" with negative connotations has been used to identify most new religious movements. Even the first followers of Jesus were considered a cult in the most negative sense of the word. In those days, to most religious Jews only Judaism was legitimate. Who were those so-called "Christians" to bring this new spiritual doctrine to the world? Judaism had been around for hundreds of years. "How dare Jesus and his followers try to change the established way!" cried the more fundamentalistic religious leaders of the day.
Ironically, the Jews who persecuted the first Christians had also been persecuted as a group in those days and continue to be today in certain places on the planet. As seems to be the pattern, Christians have been guilty of persecuting Jews, Muslims, and others in the past 2,000 years and even in these current times in some circumstances. So, all too often the persecuted become the persecutors and do to others what was done to them.
Many religions have evolved in the past several thousand years of history, and people generally fall into categories of religious thought (usually the particular religion they are born into), thus we have people who are Catholic because they grew up in that religious thought, or they are conservative Protestant or Mormon or Hindu or Jew or Muslim and so on. It is few who actually leave the religion in which they grew up, though they may make adjustments in some of their theology or doctrine, but it still remains usually within the main religious thought of their parents and family.
Each one of those "isms" teach that they are the last and final revelation. For example, the Muslims believe that the last prophet to this world is Mohammed and that the text of the Qur'an/Koran is the latest (and last) written word of God. The later Mormons make the same claim of their prophet Joseph Smith and their sacred text, as do most Christians of the Bible believe that it is the final word of God, the final revelation. The New Testament of the Bible is not "new" but almost 2,000 years old. (If you're one of those who do believe that God speaks in some manner to the people of this world, wouldn't you think that God might have something new to say?)
Truth can be found in all of those religions, but truth stretches from one era to another, from one place in the cosmos to another, always expanding into more comprehensive concepts as individuals and a people mature in their understanding of reality, on this earth as well as in the universes. People who get stuck in those religions of rote come against anything new that ruffles their feathers of complacency and standardization. Journalists of mainstream media use their power to come against true change, because conformity is comfortable and profitable.
It has been the call and destiny of Gabriel of Urantia to bring through a new spiritual revelation to the world: Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation. There have been five epochal revelations to the world. Briefly they are:
- The First Epochal Revelation was the Planetary Prince, Caligastia, and his staff of 100 supermortals (500,000 years ago), whose good work was almost completely lost in Caligastia's deviation from divine pattern in the Lucifer Rebellion (200,000 years ago).
- The Second Epochal Revelation was the Material Son and Daughter, Adam and Eve (38,000 years ago), whose mission was mostly aborted in a default about 150 years after arriving on the earth.
- The Third Epochal Revelation was the presence of Machiventa Melchizedek for 94 years (4,000 years ago), whose teachings spread worldwide and are still partially evident in many of the world's religions and philosophies.
- The Fourth Epochal Revelation was the earthly incarnation of the Creator Son, Jesus (known as Christ Michael by some), and his teachings (2,000 years ago), which the religion of Christianity has compromised and even deviated from.
- The Fifth Epochal Revelation is in the form of a book called The URANTIA Book (196 Papers), and some of the continuation of this revelation, Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation, is available in The Cosmic Family volumes, starting at Paper 197 (twentieth and twenty-first centuries).
- repersonalization of starseed from other universes and their unique ascension plans
- ascension science, the fusion of spirituality and science
- the physics of rebellion
- the adjudication of the Bright and Morning Star versus Lucifer
- morontia counseling of the soul and the cause of diseases
Epochal revelation can inspire many to leave the religions, politics, and social practices of their parents, therefore making many who remain in the status quo angry at the harbinger of this new alternative philosophy and religion. As has been the case throughout history, when a higher and new moral code or standard is taught that challenges the accepted norms of the day, individuals who choose to not follow a higher moral standard come against the harbinger or group who try to live up to those higher standards. Today this is done by discrediting them through promotion of degrading and demonizing gossip and utilization of the methods of yellow journalism to present misrepresentations and falsehoods that incite ridicule, fear, and even hatred.
Pioneers of new and expanded thought have been attacked at every level. Mohandas Gandhi, who powerfully protested the accepted religious, political, and social norms of the status quo, said, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Pioneers of epochal revelatory thought inspire others to try to imitate some of the more progressive ways. Unfortunately those who are opportunists—who exploit people and situations for their own selfish agendas—plagiarize and drastically compromise the original teachings and thought with no acknowledgement of the pioneers' contribution.
People are so used to standardization that all too often originality is not understood or appreciated—not in the fields of science, politics, healing, music, the arts, or spirituality. Sadly, compromise and commonality win out most often over progressiveness and alternative thought. And so I call upon the highest good in each soul, to challenge ourselves to rise to expanded viewpoints and compassionate interactions for the common good of all, in hopes of building a truly better tomorrow for our world.
Niánn Emerson Chase