What Is Ministry in Divine Pattern?
Think of someone in your past who inspired you to become better than you were—someone who encouraged you when you were down and out, who helped you get out of a mindal maze of confusion and chaos, of lower emotions that were destroying your happiness and health. That person functioned as a minister to you within divine pattern.
The URANTIA Book gives a comprehensive pattern of ministry within divine pattern, starting at Paradise with the three Paradise Deities (the Trinity) and moving through the Paradise-origin personalities down to the local universe-origin personalities—all created and/or trained to serve in divine ministry throughout the absolute, absonite, and finite levels of universe living. Even we evolutionary mortals are created to evolve, to expand, and to ascend into the pattern of divine ministry.
In perusing the topic of ministry in the Fifth Epochal Revelation (The URANTIA Book), it seems that the main mandate, the main purpose for all persons—spirit, morontia, or material—is to help and guide all who seek to attain the Universal Father and His pattern of being and living. In attaining this goal, it appears that the basic ministry given to us mortals by human, morontia, and spirit ministers is assistance in “subjecting the flesh more and more to the leading of the Spirit.”
Within that general mandate are many degrees, types, and levels of ministering in divine pattern. I discovered some descriptive terms for functions of ministers—such as creators, servers, bestowers, judges, teachers, counselors, directors, and truth revealers. I found that ministers are highly adaptable and can serve in many areas and that those who work with evolutionary mortals are unceasingly devoted to the work of helping the creatures of time attain the high spiritual goal of eternity. Ministers are: tireless, hard-working, sympathetic, flexible, patient, wise, versatile, gracious, and merciful. They are interdependent with each other on all levels of universe reality; they cooperate and coordinate.
How do we very fragile and imperfect human beings live up to that divine pattern? What does it look like for us here on confused and endangered Urantia (Earth)?
There are many human beings who call themselves “ministers” or “gurus” or “priests” or “spiritual advisors” or “shamen” or “rabbis” or “avatars” or “healers” or “channelers” or . . . need I go on? Some of these people are indeed ministers at some level within divine pattern, but many are travesties, clowns, abominations in the eyes of those with the spiritized eyes to see.
The first sentence in Paper 140 in The URANTIA Book, entitled “The Ordination of the Twelve” states: “Just before noon on Sunday, January 12, a.d. 27, Jesus called the apostles together for their ordination as public preachers of the gospel. . . .” There follows 17½ pages of instruction and teaching for these twelve apostles, which are powerful messages for us today.
What are referred to today as the beatitudes are included in Jesus’ ordination, and I recommend that you go through these beautiful attitudes and reflect upon their meaning for you currently. How do these beatitudes apply to you personally as a disciple and follower of Jesus today in the 21st century? How do they apply to you as mandated minister or mandated-minister-in-potential? How do they apply to you as apostles of the Divine New Order? (Celestial Overcontrol has referred to those aligned in Divine Administration as “apostles of the 21st century,” as “apostles of the Divine New Order.”)
In this ordination instruction in Jesus’ time, Jesus stated to his apostles that what he was saying to them applied to people of all ages and eras who would desire to follow the path he was setting forth then. He said that much faith is needed in order to fulfill the commission he gives to those who would be ministers. Jesus told the apostles he was ordaining that they had a solemn responsibility of representing him to the world, that they needed to become ministers to all. He told those twelve men: “But for you, my children, and for all others who would follow you into this [ministry], there is set a severe test [emphasis mine].” Jesus indicated that the severe test is bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, of living moment-to-moment his teachings, of continually growing and unfolding in perfection. In other words, “Practice what you preach.” “Walk your talk.”
Jesus, the Perfect Example of a Minister
We do have Jesus as the example of living his ministry. He was the Avatar, the minister, the teacher who we have as an inspiration and a guide. Thank God for the section of The URANTIA Book that gives us that life and those teachings. What made Jesus so noble and great as a minister for others? In Paper 149, Section 2 of The URANTIA Book we are told that Jesus understood the minds of people. He knew also what was in the hearts of individuals. He was able to relate to each person as an individual. He did not stereotype people; he looked at them as unique individuals. He was able to know their mental, emotional, and spiritual states and minister to those individual needs. He also had an understanding of human nature in general and what human beings universally share. And of course he had a tremendous love and compassion for persons and built self-respect in those that he ministered to.
In the instructions for teachers and believers, Jesus said about himself:
. . . Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but that I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evildoing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven.
Sounds like a spiritual warrior doesn’t he? In other words, Jesus ministered in the Father, the Son, and the Mother circuitry, depending upon the individuals and the situation. Sometimes he was comforting and nurturing, and sometimes he was confronting and stern.
In talking to his apostles and evangelists, Jesus said:
. . . You should remember that in body and mind—emotionally—[people] react individually. The only uniform thing about [individuals] is the indwelling spirit. Only through, and by appeal to, this spirit can [hu]mankind ever attain unity and brother[sister]hood.
In other words, you must speak to each person’s higher self, the self that is in tune with the fragment of the Father. Jesus appealed to each person’s better self while understanding their lower natures. He was not an enabler of the lower nature, feeding into people’s fears, resentments, stupidities, and erroneous addictive attitudes. He was an inspirer and an encourager of nobility and ethical thinking and acting. He said, “Make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of [people]”
“Jesus was a teacher who taught as the occasion served; He was not [usually] a systematic teacher. Jesus taught not so much from the law as from life, by parables.” He used common daily situations to bring in a higher perspective.
The URANTIA Book tells us that Jesus was patient “in dealing with backward and troublesome inquirers.”
. . . He inspired hope and confidence in the hearts of all who came under his ministry. Only those who had not met him feared him, and he was hated only by those who regarded him as a champion of that truth which was destined to overthrow the evil and error which they had determined to hold in their hearts at all costs.
In those instructions for teachers and believers, we can determine key points in Jesus’ counsel and advice on ministering to others. First and foremost was his emphasis on respecting yourself and others. Never destroy the self-respect of another person. Always, he said, respect the personality of persons. We who study The URANTIA Book know in a much broader way what “personality” is. In honoring self-respect in others, Jesus advised never to use dio (evil) power in promoting your cause. He said:
. . . Never should a righteous cause be promoted by force; spiritual victories can be won only by spiritual power. This injunction against the employment of material influences refers to psychic force as well as to physical force. Overpowering arguments and mental superiority are not to be employed to coerce men and women into the kingdom.
Using overpowering arguments and mental superiority is an example of employment of psychic force.
. . . [A person’s] mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic or overawed by shrewd eloquence. Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls. Do not indulge in sarcasm at the expense of my simple-minded brethren. Be not cynical with my fear-ridden children.
I think that “fast thinkers” have to be very careful in this area, for, at times, they can have impatience in dealing with others who may not see things the way they do. So-called “bright” people must work at being patient with those who seem to be slow at “getting it.” Those fast-thinking and “intelligent” people who are also prideful can be sarcastic in their impatience and lack of compassion.
Those who arrogantly think they “have it” in their mindal understanding of something tend to continually argue to prove that they are correct. And many of them are good arguers and debaters. But using their intellectual prowess and their ability to “yap” to coerce someone to understand or see something is not necessarily always the correct method, especially with those who are humble and are sincerely seeking God’s truth and will.
Another example of incorrectly using psychic force is appealing to people’s lower emotions. Jesus said:
. . . While emotion as a factor in human decisions cannot be wholly eliminated, it should not be directly appealed to in the teachings of those who would advance the cause of the kingdom. Do not appeal to fear, pity, or mere sentiment. Never be guilty of such unworthy tactics.
In discussing appealing to the higher self, the spirit of God within each person, Jesus said:
Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize that strong feelings of emotion are not equivalent to the leadings of the divine spirit. To be strongly and strangely impressed to do something or to go to a certain place, does not necessarily mean that such impulses are the leadings of the indwelling spirit.
He went on to say:
Teach all believers to avoid leaning upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of the indulgence of self-pity; honestly endeavor to avoid the deceptive influence of mere fellowship in misery. . . .
When people come together merely to sit on the “pity pot” and “boo-hoo” together without encouraging problem-solving and healing, then they will not change; they will continue to feel victimized and just get worse in their helplessness and resentments. Those who encourage this by operating from misplaced compassion (if they are sincerely trying to minister) are only enabling others to stay in their dis-ease.
Jesus goes on to say:
. . . Extend sympathy to the brave and courageous while you withhold overmuch pity from those cowardly souls who only halfheartedly stand up before the trials of living. Offer not consolation to those who lie down before their troubles without a struggle. Sympathize not with your fellows merely that they may sympathize with you in return.
One of my favorite bumper stickers says, “No Sniveling”. Don’t you love that! We in Divine Administration call inappropriate pity and sympathy “misplaced compassion.” Many feel obligated to sympathize with people who are sniveling when maybe the true way to minister to them is to confront them or just walk away from them, refusing to enable them in their self-pity and cowardliness.
In our ministering, we should have a balance in praising and rebuking others. Jesus said, “Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils, [those you minister to]; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives”. Flattery is false; beware of that which is so prevalent among insincere people. One of the marks of true religious living is being able to acknowledge spiritual growth in others and to honor those others for their growth and healing.
There is a lot more advice about being a true minister that Jesus gives to his apostles, evangelists, and disciples in Section 3 of Paper 259. I encourage you to reflect upon it, which I remind you is called, “Instruction for Teachers and Believers”. As you study this, jot down the meaningful ideas that come up for you personally that apply to you and how you see yourself as a servant of God.
 See The URANTIA Book, Paper 34, Section 6, Paragraph 9
 Ibid., Paper 159, Section 2, Paragraph 9
 Ibid., Paper 149, Section 3, Paragraph 3
 Ibid., Paper 159, Section 3, Paragraph 3
 Ibid., Paper 159, Section 3, Paragraph 1
 Ibid., Paper 149, Section 2, Paragraph 12
 Ibid., Paper 159, Section 3, Paragraph 2
 Ibid., Paragraph 6
 Ibid., Paragraph 11