URANTIA

Dan R. Smedra

Your world, Urantia, [Earth] is one of many similar inhabited planets which comprise the local universe of Nebadon.  This universe, together with similar creations, makes up the superuniverse of Orvonton, from whose capital, Uversa, our commission hails.  Divine Counselor

The URANTIA Book, Page 1

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  God the Holy Spirit via the Apostle Paul

2 TIMOTHY 4:3,4

Introduction

The Urantia Book, Urantia Foundation, Urantia Fellowship, and the Urantia three concentric circle symbol above (Banner of Michael) represent a modern-day Arian/Gnostic cult.  Urantia followers reject the tenets of orthodox Christianity (particularly canonicity) and thus cannot be considered "Christian" by any traditional definition.

Arian - Arianism was a movement in the early church that believed God the Father alone was God, and that Jesus was a created being - i.e., not the eternal Son of God.  The teaching was attributed to Arius of Alexandria.  It was declared heretical at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, and again at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381.

Gnostic - The English word "Gnostic" comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means "knowledge".  Gnosticism is an ancient religion which, while altering its appearance down through history, always claims access to special or secret knowledge based on extra-biblical revelations.  The Urantia Book is the extra-biblical "fifth epochal revelation," supposedly picking up where the Bible leaves off.  Rightly considered a dangerous heresy, several New Testament epistles (Colossians and 1, 2, & 3 John) contain warnings against Gnosticism. 

The Urantia Book (a.k.a. "The Urantia Papers", "God's Bible", the "Revelation"), consisting of 2,097 six by eleven inch pages, was complied in 1934-35 and first copyrighted in 1955.  It is a collection of 196 apocryphal "papers" (i.e. so-called revelations) said to be communicated by various "authors"--i.e. spirit beings who names are listed in the papers.  The book's theme consists of highly detailed, mythology-like descriptions of (our) universe, surrounding universes, numerous extraterrestrial spirit beings which are said to inhabit these universes, the spiritual evolutionary history of planet earth (Urantia), and the life and teaching of a "Jesus", also called "Christ Michael", a "Creator Son".  The Urantia Foundation has provided multiple copies of the cultic Urantia Book to libraries across the United States and world.

The group began in Chicago during the early 1930's among high-ranking members of the heretical Seventh Day Adventist1 sect.  The cult gained increasing popularity during the hallucinogenic 1960s, as the interrelationships between mind-altering drugs, the occult, metaphysics, and the New Age movement were being forged.  Urantia is one of several esoteric New Age religious efforts to create spirituality within the context of the philosophic naturalism and modernism that pervades Western culture.2

Failing to understand the biblical concepts of canonical revelation and dispensational distinctions, Urantia substitutes and applies the naturalistic concept of evolution to the realm of spirituality and religion.  Judaism is not seen as God's special theonomic order among an elect, earthly people during ancient times, but rather a form of primitive religious consciousness. According to Urantia, Christianity evolves beyond Judaism in much the same way that Darwinist theory sees humans evolving from apes. Thus, the Urantia and its followers promote themselves as the most "evolved" form of religious consciousness, which for them is still taking place, a common theme among New Age groups.  Accordingly, biblical Christians are often contemptuously viewed as unenlightened Neanderthals.

As part of the larger "Urantia Brotherhood", small groups of followers...Societies... engage in stealth-like activities "to study the book and ... pledge themselves to disseminate its teachings."  Urantia evangelist George Zuberbuehler wrote:

Over twenty years ago I got down on my knees and asked God what his will was for my life. The immediate and clear thought response was totally unexpected: "Build a bridge between the Bible and The Urantia Book." As part of my ongoing effort to comply with this directive, I am currently attending a weekly Bible study conducted by an ordained minister, who is also a strict Bible fundamentalist. While I have learned to not mention the existence of the UB, my tactful contributions, which are based on it, are well received. When I occasionally step over the line, as in mentioning my refusal to believe in a God who eternally tortures unbelievers, I am rewarded by being shown the exact place in the Bible where the relevant passages exist. In this way I am learning what I need to learn to help me fulfill my appointed task.

Mr. Zuberbuehler's work extends to the Koran, Hadith, and Islam as well.

Here is a selection of some of the Islamic sayings that may help to cast this religion in a more benevolent and hope-filled light. I felt they contained much in common with the higher truth and love contained in The Urantia Book, and could one day serve somehow as a bridge to our revelation.  [Underline emphasis mine.]

These groups (societies) are found throughout the United States with large concentrations in AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, OR, TX, and WA.  Larger memberships can typically be found in cities and towns which draw above-average numbers of New Age followers, e.g., San Francisco, CA; Boulder, CO; Sedona, AZ, etc. There's a possibility that the growing availability of ayahuasca or synthetic DMT may play a role with some of the followers.

Legitimate Religion or Satan-inspired* Cult??

The Urantia can be classified as a cult largely due to their ex-biblical revelation and the fact that according to their teachings, the Lord Jesus Christ is considered a created spirit being, rather than the preexistent, second person of the Trinity, God the Son.  The New Testament is full of warnings concerning those who deny that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh (e.g. 1 John 2:18-27, 2 John 7-11).

Like other cults, they engage in various semantic games in an effort to cloak and hide this fact.  Their position is similar to the beliefs of Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, New Agers and others.  The following direct quotes from the Urantia Book substantiate the fact:

The Eternal Son is the Original and only-begotten Son of God.  He is God the Son, the Second Person of Deity and the associate creator of all things. p. 73.

As they function in the superuniverse of Orvonton, the Sons of God are classified under three general heads: 1) the descending Sons of God; 2) the ascending Sons of God; and the trinitized Sons of God. p. 223.

All descending Sons of God have high and divine origins. p. 223.

Of the numerous orders of descending Sons, seven will be depicted in these narratives. Those Sons who come forth from the Deities on the central Isle of Light and Life are called the Paradise Sons of God and embrace the following three orders: 1) Creator Sons--the Michaels; 2) Magisterial Sons--the Avonals; and 3) Trinity Teacher Sons--the Daynals. p. 223.

When a Son of the Eternal Son appeared on Urantia, those who fraternized with this divine being in human form alluded to him as "He who was from the beginning, whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our eyes, whom we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, even the Word of life." p.74. (The quote is from 1 John 1:1).

On your world, but not in your system of inhabited spheres, this Original Son has been confused with a co-ordinate Creator Son, Michael of Nebadon (Jesus of Nazareth), who bestowed himself upon the mortal races of Urantia. p. 74.

And from this prebestowal charge of Immanuel to the universe ruler who subsequently became Jesus of Nazareth (Christ Michael) on Urantia... p. 1325. (emphasis in bold mine).

Thus, for the Urantia cultist who sees 'descending orders of spirit beings', the Lord Jesus Christ is lower down this chain of created beings.   Similar to the teachings of the Cambridge, Massachusetts based Scientology sub-cult "The Process" or the "Church of the Final Judgment," the Urantia Book views Satan and Jesus Christ as feuding angelic brothers.  This can be documented in Paper #53 entitled, The Lucifer Rebellion.

* - "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."  2 Corinthians 11:13,14.

Who Wrote the URANTIA Book?

The Urantia Book's clear mark of "demonic" influence upon its authorship is its total lack of understanding regarding the Christian doctrine of sin or salvation.  Judaism and Christianity are constantly portrayed as "primitive" religions practiced by "primitive men."  The biblical concept of progressive revelation is exchanged for an evolutionary theory which is used to explain the basis for religious differences.  Of course, the Urantia religionists considers themselves at the top of this evolutionary spiritual pyramid.  While the book quotes and paraphrases several portions of the Bible, distortions of key biblical truths are found throughout.  For example, Paper #89, Sin, Sacrifice, and Atonement states:

As the savage mind evolved to that point where it envisaged both good and bad spirits, and when the taboo received the solemn sanction of evolving religion, the stage was all set for the appearance of the new conception of sin.   p. 975

The concepts of substitutionary atonement and propitiation with blood are viewed by the Urantia as grotesque and grossly primitive.

Primitive man believed that something special must be done to win the favor of the gods; only advanced civilization recognizes a consistently even-tempered and benevolent God.  p.974

Similar to other cults who deny the inherited consequences upon humanity of Adam and Eve's transgression, the gospel according to the Urantia speaks of:

the Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of all men.  p. 1085

and

God...who dwells, by his spirit, in every sincere human soul.  p. 1453.

There are conflicting stories ["various histories"] regarding the origin of the Urantia Papers.  According to long-time faithful, Ernest Moyer (author of a book on the group's beginnings entitled THE BIRTH OF A DIVINE REVELATION--The Mechanical Origin of the Urantia Papers), information similar to that found in the Urantia Book was communicated by various "spirit beings" using a male individual ("contact person") while that person slept (a.k.a. Sleeping Subject "SS").  This communication was but a preparatory exercise.  Beginning 1905-11 and over a 20+ year period, divine "revelations" were hand-recorded by a Dr. William S. Sadler, a noted Chicago physician and psychiatrist.  Dr. Sadler had extensive and close ties to the heretical Seventh Day Adventist sect/cult.  Sadler is said to have engaged in conversations with "spirit visitors" as the SS functioned as an automatistic portal to a spiritual dimension.  In Sadler's own words, SS was "sort of a clearing house for the coming and going of alleged extra-planetary personalities" i.e. angelic [demonic] beings.  However, Sadler would later deny that these conversations were the source for what would later become the Papers.  Moyer elaborately documents Sadler's ultimate claim--that the "final Papers appeared miraculously...out of thin air."  "The actual Revelation by invisible divine agents was accomplished by placing the writing miraculously on paper in groups, or sets.  The form was in handwriting which was then physically transcribed by Emma Christensen (Christy), a trained secretary and member of Sadler's family, into typewritten form.  After proof reading for accuracy the original papers disappeared equally miraculously."  See General Statement and A [not so] Brief Account.  In another account, SS, in response to numerous written questions, is said to have delivered the Papers to Dr. Sadler.  See THE URANTIA BOOK: A Brief Description and Its Secret Author Discovered, by Eric Pement, 1992.

Due to the extraordinary volume of detailed and complex information, it is difficult to conclude that the Urantia Book was the product of one or more inflated imaginations.  While that is not out of the realm of possibility, a more plausible explanation is some form of genuine demonic influence.  Similar to the claim for the Book of Mormon, divine revelation did not cease with the 66 canonical books of the Old and New Testaments.  However, the Mormon product pales by comparison to the encyclopedic detail and complexity of the Urantia Book.  The fact that the Urantia Book agrees with the Bible in certain areas confirms the fact that the author (human and/or demonic) had some level of understanding regarding spiritual themes.  Further, while select statements found in the Urantia Book are not necessarily contradictory to the Bible, a number of critical topics are diametrically in disagreement with sound, orthodox Christian teaching.

Extra-Biblical Revelation

The following appears in the Urantia Book's Forward:

We may resort to pure revelation only when the concept of presentation has had no adequate previous expression by the human mind.  p.16

...in making these presentations about God and his universe associates, we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universal meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe.  p. 17

The Holy Spirit, via the Apostle Paul, instructs believers that spirit beings were capable of communicating with human beings and warned the Christians living in the providence of Galatia to beware of such apocryphal messages. Christian, never forget this spiritual admonition:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned [anathema]!" Galatians 1:8.

Growing Christians, who have studied and become clear on the divine origin and nature of the Bible, are generally not vulnerable to the extra-revelatory claims of Pentecostals, charismatics, or various cults.  They rest in the fact that the Bible is God's exclusive channel of written communication to man.  Sadly from time to time, we receive email from vulnerable Pentecostals, charismatics, and liberals who have fallen prey to the Urantia cult and who attempt to rationalize their involvement.

For a more in-depth (albeit tedious) look at Gnosticism, "New Age Christianity" and the coming One World Church, see THE NEW WORLD RELIGION, Gary H. Kah, Hope International Publishing, Inc., 1998. Also, ONE or TWO: Seeing a World of Difference, Peter Jones, Main Entry Editions, 2010.

For a brief overview of biblical revelation and the Bible by this author, see FROM GOD TO US The Divine Chain of Communication.

Numerous study guides and books, available through Christian bookstores, are designed to develop your knowledge of the Bible in this important area.  For example:

THY WORD IN TRUTH, Edward J. Young, Eerdmans Publishing.

FROM GOD TO US, How we got our Bible, Geisler & Nix, Moody Press.

This article is primarily written to warn and protect new-creation Christians.  We can only hope God will grant mercy and rescue some of whom it is said--"the god of this age has blinded the minds" 2 Corinthians 4:4.  Urantia is a blinding light!

*****

(1)  Seventh Day Adventism (SDA) is commonly, but erroneously, considered "just another fundamentalist Christian sect."  Since its inception, Adventists have worked hard to gain acceptance as fellow "Christians", similar to the efforts of The Church of the Latter Day Saints--Mormons.  One of the best and most comprehensive treatments of the SDA error is Another Look at Seventh-Day Adventism, Norman F. Douty, 1962, Baker Book House.

(2)  For a detailed discussion, see One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference, Peter Jones, 2010, 268 pages.  This is an up-to-date exposition of the rising panoply of neo-pagan beliefs in the Western industrialized world.  While it's a complex subject, Professor Jones reduces it to basics even the novice can grasp. 


We regularly receive email from Urantia cultists (most hostile and many unprintable) challenging our conservative Christian views.  For the most part, we only respond to those who appear to ask genuine questions.  To the disingenuous, we apply Titus 3:10, "Warn a divisive [Greek: hairetokos - heretic] person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him."

Permission is granted to photocopy and distribute this article to your Christian friends and relatives who may have questions concerning the beliefs of the Urantia cult.

Dan R. Smedra


For additional information regarding URANTIA, see:

For further reading on the subject of Gnosticism, see:


Some Email

Dan

I've read the Urantia Book from front to back and I find your understanding of it out of touch.  I will tell you that I was not as assured about the fact of God or faith until I had read this [Urantia] book.  Now I am committed to the truth (Scripture) no matter were it is found for I know He is there for all His children and He protects us all from false prophets.

 
Some literature I have found His truth in: The Koran, Bibles (many versions), A Course In Miracles, Edgar Casey, many philosophers, computer chats of individuals finding Him in their personal lives just to name a few.  He is there in my heart.  I have to look hard to see Him in your teachings, but I know he is there as well.
 
God Bless.
 
Bud H
Soldotna, Alaska

The above email demonstrates the crisis of the age and the pure subjectivism of Gnostic heresy.


 

Hi Dan,

Have you read the Urantia book from front to back?  I'm currently on my second go around. I've never felt closer to God than I do now.  Is it possible for something that brings me to God to be a trick.  If I am not reading the truth how is it that I feel such love for God?  I am sincere in my questions.  I hope you can help me with your response.

Thank you,

Michael


Again, note the subjective emphasis upon "feelings".  "I know it truth because it feels so right!"


 

Dear Michael:

 
Please turn in a Bible and read the third chapter of Genesis, particularly verse 6.

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it."

Succumbing to the Satanic lie and illusion of autonomous knowledge and so-called free will, Eve chose to ignore God's words of warning and enshrined her own rationality and sensory experience as authoritative—becoming the Grand Madam of Rationalism and Empiricism.  Adam followed his wife's disobedience and thereby plunged humanity into both spiritual and physical death, and the universe into corruption and decay.  The philosophies of rationalism and empiricism assert that all knowledge is respectively derived from reason or sensory experience, or some blend of the two.

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning [Genesis 3:6 tells us that the first sin, the Fall of mankind, provided pleasurable feelings or sense perceptions.] your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."  2 Cor. 11:3
 
"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness."  2 Cor. 11:13-15.
Your current assurance that the Urantia is of God is anchored in how you "feel".  This is a totally inadequate foundation for truth and an inadequate defense against deception.  As your feelings and emotions shift--and they most certainly will; so will your confidence.
 
By His sovereign love, grace, and mercy,

Dan

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