Survived The Fiery Trial

(Editor’s note: Gary wrote this article a few years ago. It relates to a debate that has been held by Urantia Book readers for a long time. Some readers here may recall that in 1988 Trevor Swadling gave a presentation at the South Pacific Conference in which he was trying to figure out the same issue based on that same quote. Gary’s conclusions are a lot more positive than some of the conclusions that have been floating around for years. It makes for a good read.)

I recently spent time reflecting on a curious detail in The Urantia Book — something that has caused a number of seasoned and sincere Urantia Book students some considerable consternation. During my reflection, discussion, and study I had somewhat of a revelation about this apparent oddity in the Fifth Epochal Revelation, which I have written about here. Below is the salient paragraph:

It was over two years of system time from the beginning of the “war in heaven” until the installation of Lucifer’s successor. But at last the new Sovereign came, landing on the sea of glass with his staff. I was among the reserves mobilized on Edentia by Gabriel, and I well remember the first message of Lanaforge to the Constellation Father of Norlatiadek. It read: “Not a single Jerusem citizen was lost. Every ascendant mortal survived the fiery trial and emerged from the crucial test triumphant and altogether victorious.” And on to Salvington, Uversa, and Paradise went this message of assurance that the survival experience of mortal ascension is the greatest security against rebellion and the surest safeguard against sin. This noble Jerusem band of faithful mortals numbered just 187,432,811. 53:7.12 (608.8) [emphasis added

I can recall a number of other revelation readers discussing this apparently problematic number, many whom I consider to be robust students; André Radatus, Chris Halvorson, and other seasoned and sincere readers I know have tackled this or found contention with the number. I remember a few years ago, Chris had talked around this number in a Perfecting Horizons Institute study and posited, “It represented a small graduation class of Jerusem.” I was reminded of feeling that Chris’ appraisal did not add up for me. I had always felt we must spend a fairly long time on Jerusem as citizens (relatively speaking). Again, more recently André was discussing the likely prolonged length of time we spend as citizens on Jerusem at a Urantia University Institute Cafe I was attending. So what is the meaning of this number?I had a realization, which felt like a “flash of truth from within me” — it was:

“This number relates exclusively to those who had yet to fuse with their adjusters — 187,432,811 noble Jerusem faithful mortals.”

Bear with me as we look at some significant correlating revelatory statements for this.

First, I should point out that there are no specific statistics to explain the ratio of people who make it to Jerusem without fusion. However, we know that ascenders can indeed ascend all the way to Salvington without fusing (consequently being fused with a Son fragment). Here is a notable paragraph that speaks to these details:

While practically all surviving mortals are fused with their Adjusters on one of the mansion worlds or immediately upon their arrival on the higher morontia spheres, there are certain cases of delayed fusion, some not experiencing this final surety of survival until they reach the last educational worlds of the universe headquarters; and a few of these mortal candidates for never-ending life utterly fail to attain identity fusion with their faithful Adjusters. 40:8.1 (449.4)

So in an abundance of simplicity, let’s imagine that the ratio for those who had not fused before Jerusem is quite low (1:1000 ascenders — or maybe 1:2000). It seems logical that this ratio could be considerably higher than this, of course.

To start out, let’s use 1:1000 as the ratio:

187,432,811 x 1,000 / 607 (607 being the number of inhabited worlds in Satania at the time) would calculate to 308,785,520 (about 308 million) total residents on Jerusem from each of the worlds in Satania at the time of the Lucifer rebellion.

Next, let’s use a 1:2000 ratio:

187,432,811 x 2,000 / 607 equals 617,571,041 (about 617 million) residents on Jerusem – per mortal sphere in our local system of Satania at the time.

Upon this realization, I researched the revelation to identify any corroborating quotes to this possibility; but it seemed logical and truthful to me that post-fusion ascenders are rebellion-proof; surely they cannot fall!

Taking a momentary side note; I feel it is worth articulating that I very much doubt life was easy for fused mortals on the mansion spheres at the time of the rebellion.

Despite a fused ascender’s personal “immunity,” imagine for a moment, the horror and helplessness they may have witnessed if their contemporaries (sons, daughters, parents, friends) who had not yet fused were falling into the rebellion while they had their eternal “guardrail” of being fused. This must have been a very distressing time for all.

Here are a few of the most relevant quotes I looked up that help correlate my new understanding of this curious number:

1: This paragraph speaks to how the lower mansion spheres had more non-fusers – therefore more of them fell into the rebellion.

The ascending mortals were vulnerable, but they withstood the sophistries of rebellion better than the lower spirits. While many on the lower mansion worlds, those who had not attained final fusion with their Adjusters, fell, it is recorded to the glory of the wisdom of the ascension scheme that not a single member of the Satania ascendant citizenship resident on Jerusem participated in the Lucifer rebellion. 53:7.10 (608.6)

2: Here, expounding the eternal and immortal nature of a fused ascender.

Thought Adjuster fusion imparts eternal actualities to personality which were previously only potential. Among these new endowments may be mentioned: fixation of divinity quality, past-eternity experience and memory, immortality, and a phase of qualified potential absoluteness. 112:7.1 (1237.3)

3: Explanation of the transcendence of adjuster fusion.

The achievement of the seven cosmic circles does not equal Adjuster fusion. There are many mortals living on Urantia who have attained their circles; but fusion depends on yet other greater and more sublime spiritual achievements, upon the attainment of a final and complete attunement of the mortal will with the will of God as it is resident in the Thought Adjuster. 110:7.1 (1212.2)

4: A secure value in the universe.

When the self attains the spiritual level, it has become a secure value in the universe, and this new value is predicated upon the fact that survival decisions have been made, which fact has been witnessed by eternal fusion with the Thought Adjuster. 112:7.6 (1238.1)

5: And this last one really brought it home for me.

Human beings are capable of making an everlasting self-identification with total and indestructible universe reality — fusion with the indwelling Thought Adjuster. 116:7.5 1276.6) [emphasis added].

Looking logically at these additional quotes, this much seems clear: 

Ascending mortals who fuse have — by the prerequisites of adjuster fusion — proven themselves in their personal journey from mortal to immortal. Therefore, at the time of the rebellion, these fused ascenders were “above” this strenuous test of potentially falling. They were fused with a fragment of The Perfect Father and therefore are beyond “the fiery trial.”

However, these meritorious 187,432,811 ascenders (along with the no-doubt many billions of non-fused ascenders navigating the mansion worlds) were significantly tested, and yet they did not fall. When looked at in the context of the rebellion — and the sinful actions at work all around those caught within these bewildering events — this next paragraph is a profound statement:

Not a single Jerusem citizen was lost. Every ascendant mortal survived the fiery trial and emerged from the crucial test triumphant and altogether victorious. 53:7.12 (608.8)

Reflecting once again on this. What the authors are implying here seems to me to be:

Those ascending mortals who had attained Jerusem — but had yet to fuse — were able to unequivocally overcome the potential of falling into the rebellion. Put another way: of these 187,432,811 ascenders resident on Jerusem not one of them fell. Statistically, this is a clear indication that the personal growth and qualification for Jerusem citizenship — regardless of fusion — was enough to protect from all that beset these noble mortal ascenders during the rebellion that benighted our system 200,000 years ago.

I would surmise, if the celestial authors had chosen to give us more detailed information on the mansion spheres, we would have been able to clearly see a growing percentage of ascenders (who had not fused) falling, if we stepped back from sphere 7, 6, 5, etc.

What I adore about the Fifth Epochal Revelation is that it is written with nuance, expecting the student to use significant critical thinking, spiritual insight, philosophical reasoning, and reflection to unpack these more profound details and correlating truths, that are missed in a more cursory reading.

Our fusion qualification lifts us beyond the potential of rebellion. We become an “eternal actuality” when we fuse with our indwelling adjuster. Nevertheless, This noble Jerusem band of faithful mortals (53:7.12) all met sophistries we cannot imagine, leveraged by beings we cannot describe — and they withstood it all, to the glory of God.

Love to you — fellow inconstant but potentially eternal and perfected brethren!