Monday, August 06, 2007

Is Your Word Your Bond? Are Some Lies Good?

One of my associates mused as follows in response to the comments about Federal Judges’ oaths:

“Is not a bond the same as an oath?
“If my word is my bond am I not pledging my oath by virtue of my word (bond)?”

Before tackling these conundrums, let us review the meaning of "bond."  A bond binds a person to a commitment, such as a promise to appear in court, or to perform some service.  People generally know that they cannot trust a person's promise to behave in some particular way because people have short memories and they tend to change their mind as time goes by.  

Therefore, folks, particularly those in business and government, devised a method of enforcing a bond.  They demanded that the bonded person forfeit something of value in the event of breaking the promise and forsaking the bonded act.  The item(s) of value include cash, land, or other chattel or realty. Specialty insurance companies or bonding agencies provide the bonding service for individuals who do not have sufficient assets to satisfy the bond requirement.  

The most popular of these:  bail bondsmen.  These agents put up the full amount of the bond, say $10,000, and charge a 10% fee to the bonded individual, promising the court that the individual will appear in court at the appointed time and date.  If the bonded individual fails to appear, the bail bondsman will hunt him down, capture him, and bring him before the court so as not to have to forfeit the bond amount. 

Similarly, other bonding agencies charge a fee to public officers who must provide government with a performance or surety bond to guarantee that they will do their public officer duties honorably. Florida law requires that sheriffs, deputies, tax collectors, comptrollers, county clerks, and public service commissioners provide property or performance bonds in order to get and keep their jobs.

Interestingly, important though it seems, no law requires a person swearing a loyalty oath to provide a bond guaranteeing performance according to the oath (to support the Constitution of the US and the State).  Instead, the act of swearing the oath, with a "so help me God" at the end, seems to serve as the only bond.  The bond is the "word" of the oath swearer.

The Value of Constitutional Loyalty Oaths

I don’t think it much matters whether an oath stands equivalent to the bond of your word. Men and women generally revered God in the days of yore. They swore an oath in God’s name, or they just swore it. The oath meant something, and it thereby bound them to perform accordingly. Why? Because they feared that God would smite or punish them somehow if they violated the oath. Or they feared public censure that could jeopardize life in a relatively small community.

Nowadays, you can’t trust people, particularly those in government, to care about, honor, or even believe in God. And if they say they do, you can’t trust them to mean they believe they have made a commitment to operate righteously as God does. They typically justify unrighteous behavior by saying “Hey, nobody’s perfect.”

Furthermore, the law obliges all who would vote or take government employment swear a "loyalty" oath to support the Constitution of the USA, and (for state employment) of the State.  But most who swear that oath have never read nor fully studied the constitutions.  It seems a foregone conclusion that the vast majority of loyalty oath swearers cannot possible support what they do not know, and that they have committed perjury upon swearing that oath.

So, what value has the oath of loyalty to the Constitution ? I believe it has little value, for these reasons:

  1. Violating the loyalty oath does not cause the violators to forfeit money or position;
  2. One cannot support what one does not know, and most don't know the constitutions;
  3. God certainly does not smite, punish, or strike violators dead. 
  4. No law that I know of penalizes a violation of the loyalty oath.

The Kol Nidre Declaration

Furthermore, some groups of people, like fundamentalist Jews, may and do engage in ritual denials of oaths in advance of swearing them.  Take, for example, the Kol Nidre solemn declaration of fundamentalist Jews at Yom Kippur every late September/early October:
"All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."
How can "we the people" possibly trust the integrity of those who foreswear their oaths in advance?  Religion pundits might claim they mean that Kol Nidre declaration refers only to personal oaths like "I swear I'll stop smoking,"  But in reality they have no idea what sincerity lurks in the hearts of the members of their flocks. Kol Nidre could apply to all oaths, personal, impersonal, formal, informal, large, small, significant, and insignificant.  In other words, you cannot trust people who foreswear their oaths in advance to adhere to oaths they swear subsequently.

And, interestingly, Ashkenazi Jews often wind up in leadership positions in courts and elsewhere in government because they have the highest average IQ (115) of any genetic group on the planet.  So the meaning and sincerity of their oath taking has salient relevance to their performance of duties according to law and rules of procedure.

Public Officers Must Build a Record of Trustworthiness

From practical experience, how do I know you can’t trust judges and other officials to abide by their loyalty oaths?   Simple.  I have monitored their behavior. You can too. Start attending court hearings and you will conclude as I have that some judges violate their loyalty oaths repeatedly.

We have living proof from the behavior of judges in all levels of courts that their word does not constitute their bond. And you will note that many states (including Florida) do not require judges to have surety bonds to give people a modicum of confidence that the judges will abide by their oaths.  Florida government "self-insures" the performance of its judges.

Why do judges lie and disobey their oaths so much?  Because they enjoy judicial immunity that no constitution grants them.  The Judicial Qualification Commissions have judges and lawyers in them who overlord the citizen appointees, and they virtually never discipline judges widely reputed to flout the law and rules.  Furthermore, citizens find it virtually impossible to get the House Committee on the Judiciary to impeach "bad" judges.  The newspapers refuse to publish negative stories about all but the worst of judges.  Prosecutors won't prosecute them.  And grand juries, usually perverted by prosecutors, won't indict them.  Thus, judges do lie and disobey their oaths because they can get away with doing it.  In summary, I have concluded that many judges, having no check or balance on their behavior, breach their oath and lie, and some do it a lot.

Also, many prosecutors enjoy qualified immunity, and as prosecutors their winning has greater importance to them than their honesty and integrity.  They will typically say or do anything to win their case because they know that the law means only what the judge says it means.  They don't want to trust that they will win a case on its merits, so they lie to the defendant in order to coax out a plea bargain agreement.  And because so many defense attorneys plea bargain their clients into a conviction, they never become competent litigators. Because so many prosecutors face off against incompetent defense counsels, prosecutors generally win, but still never develop competence.  In effect the defendants become victims of a comedy or errors practiced by figurative dunces.

So, I believe ALL prosecutors lie more than judges do, in other words, whenever it suits their purpose.  And, horror of horrors, many prosecutors go on to become judges.  They start lying early in their careers, carry it over into judgeships, and never stop.    Since they lie so much in public, surely they have no compunction about doing it at home.  So, I have often wondered why their children and spouses don't kill them in their sleep.

I realize my reaction to judge/prosecutor lies and flouting of loyalty oaths seems extreme.  But I can think of no liar more horrid, intolerable, and deserving of excision from the planet than a lying judge, and next to that, a lying lawyer.

According to Mark Twain

A person saying “My word is my bond” signifies the intent to say and obey the truth of that word. That statement implies such an intent and behavior since the time of accountability or of having made the first moral decision in childhood. It seems somewhat equivalent to saying “May God strike me dead if I’m lying or if I fail to abide by what I said.” That person means:
I have lived my whole life since a child saying the truth, and obeying what I said. I shall continue doing so.”
Mark Twain would take exception to such a grandiose statement. He believed everyone a liar. He even wrote an essay about it in 1885 - On the Decay of the Art of Lying. There he quoted Benjamin Disraeli (actually, Lord Leonard Henry Courtney) as referring to the three kinds of liars – “liars, damned liars, and statistics.” Mark Twain alleged that everyone tells at least little white lies. Since we can’t stop lying, he asserted, we should lie more artfully, thoughtfully, and judiciously according to these rules:

1. to lie with a good object, and not an evil one;
2. to lie for others' advantage, and not our own;
3. to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously;
4. to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily;
5. to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling.

I Side with Twain

I feel rather inclined to side with Twain. We should not claim “my word is my bond,” for we MUST sometimes lie in the name of nobility and righteousness. In fact, as any politician would tell you, one’s profession can require one to lie quite often.

For clarification, consider the following partial List of Kinds of Lies or Liars. I imagine it could easily grow to twice its number of lie types, or more. All of the items on it constitute lies of one kind or another.

List Kinds of Lies or Liars (partial)

  1. ambiguity
  2. amphigory
  3. amplification
  4. artifice
  5. balderdash
  6. baloney
  7. bamboozle
  8. beat around the bush
  9. beguile
  10. bilgewater
  11. bilk
  12. blather
  13. bluff
  14. bosh
  15. bullshit
  16. bunco
  17. bunk
  18. cajole
  19. canard
  20. cheat
  21. claptrap
  22. cock and bull
  23. codswallop
  24. con
  25. counterfeit
  26. cow plop
  27. coy
  28. crap
  29. deceit
  30. deceive
  31. deception
  32. decoy
  33. defraud
  34. delusion
  35. diddle
  36. diplomacy
  37. disguise
  38. dishonesty
  39. disinformation
  40. dissemble
  41. dissimulation
  42. distortion
  43. double-cross
  44. drivel
  45. drool
  46. dupe
  47. duplicity
  48. equivocation
  49. euphemism
  50. evasion
  51. exaggeration
  52. fable
  53. fabrication
  54. fairy tale
  55. fallacy
  56. falsehood
  57. falsification
  58. falsity
  59. fib
  60. fiction
  61. figure of speech
  62. flattery
  63. flimflam
  64. fob
  65. fool
  66. forgery
  67. fraud
  68. fugazi
  69. game
  70. generalization
  71. gull
  72. half-truth
  73. hoax
  74. hocus
  75. hogwash
  76. hornswoggle
  77. humbug
  78. hustle
  79. hyperbole
  80. imposture
  81. inaccuracy
  82. inveigle
  83. invention
  84. joke
  85. josh
  86. liar
  87. libel
  88. lie (damned)
  89. lie (white)
  90. lie (ordinary)
  91. malapropism
  92. malarkey
  93. mask
  94. mendacity
  95. mental reservation
  96. misdirection
  97. misinformation
  98. mislead
  99. misrepresentation
  100. myth
  101. omission
  102. paltering
  103. paltery
  104. perjury
  105. poppycock
  106. pretense
  107. prevaricate
  108. propaganda
  109. pseudologue
  110. pseudology
  111. rumor
  112. sham
  113. slander
  114. song and dance
  115. spoof
  116. statistic
  117. story
  118. stretching of the truth
  119. swindle
  120. tale
  121. tall tale
  122. taradiddle
  123. tergiversation
  124. tommyrot
  125. trick
  126. twaddle
  127. untruth
  128. unveracity
  129. whopper
  130. yarn

Why I Side with Mark Twain

As I suggested when I sided with Twain, I don’t mean to imply that one can never justify a lie. A lie can save relationships, lives, or perhaps a civilization. But however justified, it still amounts to a lie.

And even though statistics constitute mathematical lies, they also provide a way of analyzing facts so as to discover their general nature. And that kind of lie, a generalization, highlights truth to prevent people from equating an exception with its rule. As Harvard professor emeritus Frederick Mosteller pointed out, "It is easy to lie with statistics, but it is easier to lie without them." Statistics can keep some liars somewhat honest.

Summary and Conclusion

Don’t worry. Even “bad things” like lies can serve good purposes.  

However, disloyalty to truth never does any good.

Anyway, statistically speaking, I guess every human who ever lived did or became at least one of the things in the above List of Kinds of Lies or Liars.

And that means no man’s word is his bond.  So I say "this statement a lie," and I ask "Is it, really?"

Bob Hurt
Am I who I seem?
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Rapture Rebutted

Executive Summary:  This article rebutts a proselytizer's notion of waiting virtually forever for rapture, and proposes a method of obtaining it for sure during one short human lifetime.

K.N. Arku-Lawson, on Saturday, June 23, 2007 10:48 AM, wrote:

The Dos and Don’ts after Rapture. –YOUR COMMENTS, PLEASE

Dear reader, admittedly, there are varying opinions concerning the micro-second event, called, the ‘RAPTURE’. But the following vital points need to be noted, carefully, about this impending great event;

  1. It, certainly, will occur as clearly stated by Jesus Christ in Luke 17:34-36
  2. The exact time of its occurrence is still unknown, and will remain unknown until it does occur; Mark 13:32
  3. Its occurrence will defy the wisdom of, even, the top human scientist, sending ‘shockwaves’ throughout the print and electronic media, worldwide.
  4. Only those who are prepared, and ready, for a ‘flight’, catch the ‘flight’, when it arrives.Luke 12:40

QUESTION: What are the crucial Dos and Don’ts, then, for those who may be left behind on this earth? 

Kn Arku-Lawson.,

Bob Hurt answers:

If we seek rapture, perhaps we should heed the example of the magnificent spiritual achievements of Elijah. The bible records only one pre-death terrestrial escape other than his. Let us what we can glean from their stories.

First we see the Bible’s tales of two Enochs: the first, the son of Cain, and the second in the 7th generation starting with Adam – Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch.Apparently nothing much came of the first Enoch, but the second, WOW!

Genesis 4:16-19 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Genesis 5:1-24 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan: And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died. And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel: And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared: And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died. And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

II Kings tells us of Elijah’s terrestrial escape thusly:

2 Kings 2:1-12 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me toBethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

Some stories, huh? We get little information from Enoh’s. Elijah’s reveals much more. In the presence of 50 students of Elijah’s seminaries in Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho, Elijah achieved terrestrial escape in a spectacular departure that looked to Elisha something like a whirlwind and chariots and horses of fire.

In other words, Elijah “flashed off.”

Today investigators of the paranormal refer to such events as “spontaneous combustion.” I first saw a television show about it on 60 minutes in 1981.  People just burn up, and nobody has figured out precisely why.

We can presume that Elijah’s body disintegrated in a flash of fire, and the “real” Elijah (the soul?) continued in his journey to meet our Heavenly Father face to face. I imagine Enoch left behind the travails of this world in a similar fashion.

Do you suppose such escapes happened by freak accident, or did they result as a natural phenomenon from the achievement of some majestic level of spiritual growth? I believe the latter.

Why? Well for one thing, the tale in II Kings makes it obvious that Elijah knew well in advance what he would experience. Such prescience could result only from a superconscious rehearsal or communication with the indwelling fragment of the Heavenly Father’s spirit. And, we know from I Kings that Elijah had close communication with the “Angel of the Lord” (whom I imagine as Melchizedek in spirit form) and with our Heavenly Father during his ordeals with Ahab and Jezebel. Thus, it appears Elijah had enjoyed an incredible degree of spiritual achievement before and as a condition for flashing off.

We might also consider other extra-biblical records which indicate Enoch and Elijah deserve our admiration. For example, the Urantia Book places them among the 24 counselors at system headquarters. It indicates both achieved significant spiritual growth, sufficient to enable them to fuse with the indwelling spirit fragment of the Father, which the book refers to as the “Thought Adjuster.”


At the center of the seven angelic residential circles on Jerusem is located the headquarters of the Urantia advisory council, the four and twenty counselors. John the Revelator called them the four and twenty elders: "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats, and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment." The throne in the center of this group is the judgment seat of the presiding archangel, the throne of the resurrection roll call of mercy and justice for all Satania. This judgment seat has always been on Jerusem, but the twenty-four surrounding seats were placed in position no more than nineteen hundred years ago, soon after Christ Michael was elevated to the full sovereignty of Nebadon. These four and twenty counselors are his personal agents on Jerusem, and they have authority to represent the Master Son in all matters concerning the roll calls of Satania and in many other phases of the scheme of mortal ascension on the isolated worlds of the system. They are the designated agents for executing the special requests of Gabriel and the unusual mandates of Michael.

These twenty-four counselors have been recruited from the eight Urantia races, and the last of this group were assembled at the time of the resurrection roll call of Michael, nineteen hundred years ago. This Urantia advisory council is made up of the following members:

1. Onagar, the master mind of the pre-Planetary Prince age, who directed his fellows in the worship of "The Breath Giver."

2. Mansant, the great teacher of the post-Planetary Prince age on Urantia, who pointed his fellows to the veneration of "The Great Light."

3. Onamonalonton, a far-distant leader of the red man and the one who directed this race from the worship of many gods to the veneration of "The Great Spirit."

4. Orlandof, a prince of the blue men and their leader in the recognition of the divinity of "The Supreme Chief."

5. Porshunta, the oracle of the extinct orange race and the leader of this people in the worship of "The Great Teacher."

6. Singlangton, the first of the yellow men to teach and lead his people in the worship of "One Truth" instead of many. Thousands of years ago the yellow man knew of the one God.

7. Fantad, the deliverer of the green men from darkness and their leader in the worship of "The One Source of Life."

8. Orvonon, the enlightener of the indigo races and their leader in the onetime service of "The God of Gods."

9. Adam, the discredited but rehabilitated planetary father of Urantia, a Material Son of God who was relegated to the likeness of mortal flesh, but who survived and was subsequently elevated to this position by the decree of Michael.

10. Eve, the mother of the violet race of Urantia, who suffered the penalty of default with her mate and was also rehabilitated with him and assigned to serve with this group of mortal survivors.

11. Enoch, the first of the mortals of Urantia to fuse with the Thought Adjuster during the mortal life in the flesh.

12. Moses, the emancipator of a remnant of the submerged violet race and the instigator of the revival of the worship of the Universal Father under the name of "The God of Israel."

13. Elijah, a translated soul of brilliant spiritual achievement during the post-Material Son age.

14. Machiventa Melchizedek, the only Son of this order to bestow himself upon the Urantia races. While still numbered as a Melchizedek, he has become "forever a minister of the Most Highs," eternally assuming the assignment of service as a mortal ascender, having sojourned on Urantia in the likeness of mortal flesh at Salem in the days of Abraham. This Melchizedek has latterly been proclaimed vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia with headquarters on Jerusem and authority to act in behalf of Michael, who is actually the Planetary Prince of the world whereon he experienced his terminal bestowal in human form. Notwithstanding this, Urantia is still supervised by successive resident governors general, members of the four and twenty counselors.

15. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Michael's mission on Urantia and, in the flesh, distant cousin of the Son of Man.

16. 1-2-3 the First, the leader of the loyal midway creatures in the service of Gabriel at the time of the Caligastia betrayal, elevated to this position by Michael soon after his entrance upon unconditioned sovereignty.

These selected personalities are exempt from the ascension regime for the time being, on Gabriel's request, and we have no idea how long they may serve in this capacity.

Seats numbers 17, 18, 19, and 20 are not permanently occupied. They are temporarily filled by the unanimous consent of the sixteen permanent members, being kept open for later assignment to ascending mortals from the present postbestowal Son age on Urantia.

Numbers 21, 22, 23, and 24 are likewise temporarily filled while being held in reserve for the great teachers of other and subsequent ages which undoubtedly will follow the present age. Eras of the Magisterial Sons and Teacher Sons and the ages of light and life are to be anticipated on Urantia, regardless of unexpected visitations of divine Sons which may or may not occur.

The Urantia Book further says this of Elijah and his protégé Elisha:

2. ELIJAH AND ELISHA (page 1064)

In the tenth century before Christ the Hebrew nation became divided into two kingdoms. In both of these political divisions many truth teachers endeavored to stem the reactionary tide of spiritual decadence that had set in, and which continued disastrously after the war of separation. But these efforts to advance the Hebraic religion did not prosper until that determined and fearless warrior for righteousness, Elijah, began his teaching. Elijah restored to the northern kingdom a concept of God comparable with that held in the days of Samuel. Elijah had little opportunity to present an advanced concept of God; he was kept busy, as Samuel had been before him, overthrowing the altars of Baal and demolishing the idols of false gods. And he carried forward his reforms in the face of the opposition of an idolatrous monarch; his task was even more gigantic and difficult than that which Samuel had faced.

When Elijah was called away, Elisha, his faithful associate, took up his work and, with the invaluable assistance of the little-known Micaiah, kept the light of truth alive in Palestine.

But these were not times of progress in the concept of Deity. Not yet had the Hebrews ascended even to the Mosaic ideal. The era of Elijah and Elisha closed with the better classes returning to the worship of the supreme Yahweh and witnessed the restoration of the idea of the Universal Creator to about that place where Samuel had left it.


The long-drawn-out controversy between the believers in Yahweh and the followers of Baal was a socioeconomic clash of ideologies rather than a difference in religious beliefs.

The inhabitants of Palestine differed in their attitude toward private ownership of land. The southern or wandering Arabian tribes (the Yahwehites) looked upon land as an inalienable--as a gift of Deity to the clan. They held that land could not be sold or mortgaged. "Yahweh spoke, saying, `The land shall not be sold, for the land is mine.'"

The northern and more settled Canaanites (the Baalites) freely bought, sold, and mortgaged their lands. The word Baal means owner. The Baal cult was founded on two major doctrines: First, the validation of property exchange, contracts, and covenants--the right to buy and sell land. Second, Baal was supposed to send rain--he was a god of fertility of the soil. Good crops depended on the favor of Baal. The cult was largely concerned with land, its ownership and fertility.

In general, the Baalites owned houses, lands, and slaves. They were the aristocratic landlords and lived in the cities. Each Baal had a sacred place, a priesthood, and the "holy women," the ritual prostitutes.

Out of this basic difference in the regard for land, there evolved the bitter antagonisms of social, economic, moral, and religious attitudes exhibited by the Canaanites and the Hebrews. This socioeconomic controversy did not become a definite religious issue until the times of Elijah. From the days of this aggressive prophet the issue was fought out on more strictly religious lines--Yahweh vs. Baal--and it ended in the triumph of Yahweh and the subsequent drive toward monotheism.

Elijah shifted the Yahweh-Baal controversy from the land issue to the religious aspect of Hebrew and Canaanite ideologies. When Ahab murdered the Naboths in the intrigue to get possession of their land, Elijah made a moral issue out of the olden land mores and launched his vigorous campaign against the Baalites. This was also a fight of the country folk against domination by the cities. It was chiefly under Elijah that Yahweh became Elohim. The prophet began as an agrarian reformer and ended up by exalting Deity. Baals were many, Yahweh was one--monotheism won over polytheism.

Did Enoch and Elijah play a pivotal role in any major spiritual events of this world? I believe they, particularly Elijah, did, as part of the master plan for revealing spiritual truth to guide the people of this world out of confusion. That plan began with the arrival of Melchizedek, about 4000 years ago.

Most people do not understand the spiritual significance of Melchizedek’s life, for the bible indeed skimps in the telling of his tale. Melchizedek came here 4000 years ago for one reason: to establish benign monotheism in Palestine in anticipation of the bestowal of Jesus 2000 years later. 

The succession of seers, prophets, and holy men like Elijah received considerable assistance from Melchizedek and his unseen associates in the enormously difficult task of keeping “the wanderers” of the Hebrew world focused on monotheism, for they had thousands of years of religion inertia to overcome. Beginning with Melchizedek, they had to eliminate human sacrifice, the worship of idols and a multiplicity of deities, and even the worship of volcanoes like Mount Sinai, which still trembled, roared, and belched smoke during Moses’ time. They had to prepare a fertile religious soil for the seeds of truth that Jesus would plant through his life and teachings. As the Old Testament stories record, when the Hebrew people started backsliding, some prophet would arise to set them straight, and usually they ended up oppressing or killing him for it.

Understanding this grand plan might make it easier to see why, after Jesus finally experienced birth, life, and death on this world, most of the celestial visitations and men like the prophets of old simply ceased gracing the pages of religious history. Naturally, I except the events around the 6th century BCE, for I believe that men like Gautama Siddhartha, Lao Tse, Confucius, and Daniel arose during a low ebb of spiritual awareness on this world (about the time of the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews), in order to keep the light of truth alive.

As for the indwelling spirit fragment of the Father, I found at least 18 references to it in the Bible. The Urantia Book goes into considerable more depth, referring to that unseen spirit guide as a “Mystery Monitor,” or “Thought Adjuster” who seeks to adjust our thinking to conform with cosmic reality, to plan our eternal adventure, and to fuse with our personalities during our lives on this world if possible. Thus we seem to have the potential for eternal partnership with God, and the “fusion” gets signified by the flash-off event. I  give you below a few passages from the Urantia Book to paint a bit of a picture about the nature of the Thought Adjusters and their association with people.

P 64. Likewise is man's eternal destiny assured when Adjuster fusion proclaims to the universe that such an ascender has made the final and irrevocable choice to live the Father's will.

P 445. God the Father does not, cannot, thus downstep himself to make such near personal contact with the almost limitless number of ascending creatures throughout the universe of universes. But the Father is not deprived of personal contact with his lowly creatures; you are not without the divine presence. Although God the Father cannot be with you by direct personality manifestation, he is in you and of you in the identity of the indwelling Thought Adjusters, the divine Monitors. Thus does the Father, who is the farthest from you in personality and in spirit, draw the nearest to you in the personality circuit and in the spirit touch of inner communion with the very souls of his mortal sons and daughters.

Spirit identification constitutes the secret of personal survival and determines the destiny of spiritual ascension. And since the Thought Adjusters are the only spirits of fusion potential to be identified with man during the life in the flesh, the mortals of time and space are primarily classified in accordance with their relation to these divine gifts, the indwelling Mystery Monitors.

P 447. Series three--mortals of Adjuster-fusion potential. All Father-fused mortals are of animal origin, just like the Urantia races. They embrace mortals of the one-brained, two-brained, and three-brained types of Adjuster-fusion potential. Urantians are of the intermediate or two-brained type, being in many ways humanly superior to the one-brained groups but definitely limited in comparison with the three-brained orders. These three types of physical-brain endowment are not factors in Adjuster bestowal, in seraphic service, or in any other phase of spirit ministry. The intellectual and spiritual differential between the three brain types characterizes individuals who are otherwise quite alike in mind endowment and spiritual potential, being greatest in the temporal life and tending to diminish as the mansion worlds are traversed one by one. From the system headquarters on, the progression of these three types is the same, and their eventual Paradise destiny is identical.

P 622. Such a morontia temple also serves as the place of assembly for witnessing the translation of living mortals to the morontia existence. It is because the translation temple is composed of morontia material that it is not destroyed by the blazing glory of the consuming fire which so completely obliterates the physical bodies of those mortals who therein experience final fusion with their divine Adjusters. On a large world these departure flares are almost continuous, and as the number of translations increases, subsidiary morontia life shrines are provided in different areas of the planet. Not long since I sojourned on a world in the far north whereon twenty-five morontia shrines were functioning.

On presettled worlds, planets without morontia temples, these fusion flashes many times occur in the planetary atmosphere, where the material body of a translation candidate is elevated by the midway creatures and the physical controllers.

P 1193. The Thought Adjusters would like to change your feelings of fear to convictions of love and confidence; but they cannot mechanically and arbitrarily do such things; that is your task. In executing those decisions which deliver you from the fetters of fear, you literally supply the psychic fulcrum on which the Adjuster may subsequently apply a spiritual lever of uplifting and advancing illumination.

When it comes to the sharp and well-defined conflicts between the higher and lower tendencies of the races, between what really is right or wrong (not merely what you may call right and wrong), you can depend upon it that the Adjuster will always participate in some definite and active manner in such experiences. The fact that such Adjuster activity may be unconscious to the human partner does not in the least detract from its value and reality.

No matter what the previous status of the inhabitants of a world, subsequent to the bestowal of a divine Son and after the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth upon all humans, the Adjusters flock to such a world to indwell the minds of all normal will creatures. Following the completion of the mission of a Paradise bestowal Son, these Monitors truly become the "kingdom of heaven within you." Through the bestowal of the divine gifts the Father makes the closest possible approach to sin and evil, for it is literally true that the Adjuster must coexist in the mortal mind even in the very midst of human unrighteousness. The indwelling Adjusters are particularly tormented by those thoughts which are purely sordid and selfish; they are distressed by irreverence for that which is beautiful and divine, and they are virtually thwarted in their work by many of man's foolish animal fears and childish anxieties.

And as you are the human parent, so is the Adjuster the divine parent of the real you, your higher and advancing self, your better morontial and future spiritual self. And it is this evolving morontial soul that the judges and censors discern when they decree your survival and pass you upward to new worlds and never-ending existence in eternal liaison with your faithful partner--God, the Adjuster.

The Adjusters are the eternal ancestors, the divine originals, of your evolving immortal souls; they are the unceasing urge that leads man to attempt the mastery of the material and present existence in the light of the spiritual and future career. The Monitors are the prisoners of undying hope, the founts of everlasting progression. And how they do enjoy communicating with their subjects in more or less direct channels! How they rejoice when they can dispense with symbols and other methods of indirection and flash their messages straight to the intellects of their human partners!

You humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment. When the clouds gather overhead, your faith should accept the fact of the presence of the indwelling Adjuster, and thus you should be able to look beyond the mists of mortal uncertainty into the clear shining of the sun of eternal righteousness on the beckoning heights of the mansion worlds.

P 1204. They are persistent, ingenious, and perfect in their methods of work, but they never do violence to the volitional selfhood of their hosts. No human being will ever be spiritualized by a divine Monitor against his will; survival is a gift of the Gods which must be desired by the creatures of time. In the final analysis, whatever the Adjuster has succeeded in doing for you, the records will show that the transformation has been accomplished with your co-operative consent; you will have been a willing partner with the Adjuster in the attainment of every step of the tremendous transformation of the ascension career.

P 1208 Man's dream experiences, that disordered and disconnected parade of the un-co-ordinated sleeping mind, present adequate proof of the failure of the Adjusters to harmonize and associate the divergent factors of the mind of man. The Adjusters simply cannot, in a single lifetime, arbitrarily co-ordinate and synchronize two such unlike and diverse types of thinking as the human and the divine. When they do, as they sometimes have, such souls are translated directly to the mansion worlds without the necessity of passing through the experience of death.

During the slumber season the Adjuster attempts to achieve only that which the will of the indwelt personality has previously fully approved by the decisions and choosings which were made during times of fully wakeful consciousness, and which have thereby become lodged in the realms of the supermind, the liaison domain of human and divine interrelationship.

While their mortal hosts are asleep, the Adjusters try to register their creations in the higher levels of the material mind, and some of your grotesque dreams indicate their failure to make efficient contact. The absurdities of dream life not only testify to pressure of unexpressed emotions but also bear witness to the horrible distortion of the representations of the spiritual concepts presented by the Adjusters. Your own passions, urges, and other innate tendencies translate themselves into the picture and substitute their unexpressed desires for the divine messages which the indwellers are endeavoring to put into the psychic records during unconscious sleep.

It is extremely dangerous to postulate as to the Adjuster content of the dream life. The Adjusters do work during sleep, but your ordinary dream experiences are purely physiologic and psychologic phenomena. Likewise, it is hazardous to attempt the differentiation of the Adjusters' concept registry from the more or less continuous and conscious reception of the dictations of mortal conscience. These are problems which will have to be solved through individual discrimination and personal decision. But a human being would do better to err in rejecting an Adjuster's expression through believing it to be a purely human experience than to blunder into exalting a reaction of the mortal mind to the sphere of divine dignity. Remember, the influence of a Thought Adjuster is for the most part, though not wholly, a superconscious experience.

In varying degrees and increasingly as you ascend the psychic circles, sometimes directly, but more often indirectly, you do communicate with your Adjusters. But it is dangerous to entertain the idea that every new concept originating in the human mind is the dictation of the Adjuster. More often, in beings of your order, that which you accept as the Adjuster's voice is in reality the emanation of your own intellect. This is dangerous ground, and every human being must settle these problems for himself in accordance with his natural human wisdom and superhuman insight.

P 1209. The sum total of personality realization on a material world is contained within the successive conquest of the seven psychic circles of mortal potentiality. Entrance upon the seventh circle marks the beginning of true human personality function. Completion of the first circle denotes the relative maturity of the mortal being. Though the traversal of the seven circles of cosmic growth does not equal fusion with the Adjuster, the mastery of these circles marks the attainment of those steps which are preliminary to Adjuster fusion.

The Adjuster is your equal partner in the attainment of the seven circles--the achievement of comparative mortal maturity. The Adjuster ascends the circles with you from the seventh to the first but progresses to the status of supremacy and self-activity quite independent of the active co-operation of the mortal mind.

P 1210. The seventh circle. This level is entered when human beings develop the powers of personal choice, individual decision, moral responsibility, and the capacity for the attainment of spiritual individuality. This signifies the united function of the seven adjutant mind-spirits under the direction of the spirit of wisdom, the encircuitment of the mortal creature in the influence of the Holy Spirit, and, on Urantia, the first functioning of the Spirit of Truth, together with the reception of a Thought Adjuster in the mortal mind. Entrance upon the seventh circle constitutes a mortal creature a truly potential citizen of the local universe.

The third circle. The Adjuster's work is much more effective after the human ascender attains the third circle and receives a personal seraphic guardian of destiny. While there is no apparent concert of effort between the Adjuster and the seraphic guardian, nonetheless there is to be observed an unmistakable improvement in all phases of cosmic achievement and spiritual development subsequent to the assignment of the personal seraphic attendant. When the third circle is attained, the Adjuster endeavors to morontiaize the mind of man during the remainder of the mortal life span, to make the remaining circles, and achieve the final stage of the divine-human association before natural death dissolves the unique partnership.

The first circle. The Adjuster cannot, ordinarily, speak directly and immediately with you until you attain the first and final circle of progressive mortal achievement. This level represents the highest possible realization of mind-Adjuster relationship in the human experience prior to the liberation of the evolving morontia soul from the habiliments of the material body. Concerning mind, emotions, and cosmic insight, this achievement of the first psychic circle is the nearest possible approach of material mind and spirit Adjuster in human experience.

Okay, okay, so now the punch line…

K.N. Arku-Lawson has tried to focus our attention on the “rapture,” and I believe wrongly so.  Not that the rapture, when it happens, does not matter, for it will matter.  It just does not matter now, and it won’t matter until it happens.

What does matter? 

Living every day in simple, childlike loyalty to the Father’s will. 


Because Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus have all led the way with their stellar examples of spiritual growth that resulted from precisely that kind of devotion to their main mission on this world: to become like God in their daily living.  Two of them flashed off as a result. And the mortal body of the third simply disappeared.  The same can happen to us if we live in sincere devotion to discerning and doing the Father's will so that we may become ever more like him.

Billions of people have lived and died in the 2000 years since Jesus promised he would return to raise the faithful in the rapture experience. All of those who waited with bated breath for the rapture suffered sore disappointment. And most of them could have experienced their own private rapture after the fashion of Enoch and Elijah. They could have flashed off, if they had only attended to one thing: sincerely living each moment in devotion to the will of our Heavenly Father, and striving in all things to become like him.  As the Master (Jesus of Nazareth)  said: 

  • "Go and sin no more" - John 8:11
  • "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect" - Matthew 5:48
  • " For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." - Matthew 6:14-15 
  • [Forgive your brother] "Until seventy times seven"  - Matthew 18:21-22
  • "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." - Luke 10:25-28  
  • " 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
  • "Whosever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all" - Mark 10:44

I equate the focus on the rapture to the example of the good-luck-seeker spending all his time in the back yard looking for four-leaf clovers, and meanwhile not hearing opportunity knocking repeatedly at the front door. Let such luck-seekers note:  the rapture might not happen for another fifty millennia…

So, I ask this:  WHY WAIT disappointing millennia for Jesus to bring the “official” rapture WHEN YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN happen during your short life on this world?  If Elijah did it, maybe you can too.

Live the unswervingly devoted God-like life today, and flash off tomorrow, well before you would otherwise die a natural death.

Bob Hurt