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A Synopsis of Paper 181: Final Admonitions and Warnings

Before returning to camp, Jesus gave the apostles his last words of comfort and advice. He told them that when he was released from mortal form he could return as an indwelling spirit to guide each one of them. Jesus told them that everyone who received his spirit would be enlightened, cleansed, and comforted. He asked them not to feel troubled or fearful, because in him they would all triumph in faith.

The peace that Jesus gives to his followers is not that of a stoic prepared to endure the worst, nor that of an optimist who longs for future peace. Some stoicism and optimism are serviceable in life, but neither is the cause of that superb peace the Master brings. The peace of Jesus is based on human faith in God's overcare. It is the assurance of a child who knows that his universe career is safely in the keeping of a wise, loving, omnipotent Father.

As the apostles were still seated at the table in John Mark's home, Jesus moved around the table to speak to each of his men individually. Jesus asked John to continue to act in his stead in all matters pertaining to his earth family, and to dedicate his life to teaching others how to love as Jesus had loved. John wept as he asked Jesus how he could learn to love his brethren more. Jesus told him that he would love others more after he learned to love God more. Jesus told John to try to live peacefully with everyone, and not to strive with the people he was trying to win for the kingdom.

Jesus observed that Simon was still set on making a kingdom according to his own liking. He knew that none of his apostles were more sincere or honest than Simon, and that none would be more upset when Jesus was gone. The Master warned Simon about rendering unto Caesar what was Caesar's, and told him that throughout Simon's discouragement Jesus' spirit and the apostles themselves would be at hand. He warned him that people who fight with the sword perish with the sword. Jesus promised that Simon would see the kingdom that he longed for, but not in this lifetime.

The Master advised Matthew that the apostles would soon be scattered to the ends of the earth proclaiming the gospel. When Matthew asked how they would know where to go and who would send them, Jesus replied that the Spirit of Truth would lead them. He told Matthew to show the world what God could do for a tax-gatherer who dared to follow the Son of Man. He asked that Matthew serve by showing that God was no respecter of persons, that all believers are children of God.

Jesus asked James to allow the new teacher to give him compassion and tolerance. He warned James to remember that wisdom embraces discretion as well as courage, and that there would be times when it was better to placate the wrath of unbelievers so as to continue to live and preach another day. Jesus also told James that he and his brother would be separated, and that one would die long before the other.

When Andrew spoke with the Master, Jesus released Andrew from his duties as administrator and thanked him for his faithful service. He asked that Andrew hold the apostles together until the Spirit of Truth arrived to guide them individually. Andrew was instructed to do his best to promote harmony among the various groups of gospel believers.

Jesus counseled the Alpheus twins that when their time with him was finished they would return to their previous work, and that someday they would sit with him on high. He asked the twins to dedicate their lives to enhancing common toil. He said that to them all things had become sacred, and their labor had become a service to the Father.

The Master reminded Philip of the many foolish questions Philip had asked. Philip always wanted to be shown, and Jesus assured him that very soon he would see great things. Jesus predicted that since the world is filled with people who look at life the way Philip did, he would have great work to do. He told Philip that when his life was finished, he would come to Jesus in his kingdom, and that Jesus would then take great pleasure in showing him "that which eye has not seen, ear heard, nor the mortal mind conceived."

Nathaniel was warned that his frankness might interfere with getting along well with others. He was told that his lessons must be adapted to the intellectual status and spiritual development of the person he was addressing. "Sincerity is most serviceable in the work of the kingdom when it is wedded to discretion." Jesus cautioned Nathaniel that he was handicapped by a tendency to interpret the gospel according to Jewish teachings, and that what Nathaniel did not learn from Jesus, he would be taught by "that master of all teachers-actual experience."

Jesus advised Thomas that even though he had often lacked faith, he had never lacked courage. Jesus had confidence that false prophets would not deceive Thomas, and he asked Thomas to dedicate his life to showing how the human mind could triumph over the inertia of intellectual doubt.

To Peter, Jesus revealed his distress that years of such close association had not done more to help Peter think before he spoke. "What experience must you pass through before you will learn to set a guard upon your lips?" Jesus told Peter that he was destined to make much trouble for himself if he didn't overcome this fault.

Jesus then addressed all of the apostles, saying, "This night you will all be in great danger of stumbling over me."

Peter replied, "No matter if all my brethren should succumb to doubts because of you, I promise that I will not stumble over anything you may do."

Jesus then foretold that Peter would deny Jesus three or four times that very evening. "But remember my promise: When I am raised up, I will tarry with you for a season before I go to the Father. And even this night will I make supplication to the Father that he strengthen each of you for that which you must now so soon pass through. I love you all with the love wherewith the Father loves me, and therefore should you henceforth love one another, even as I have loved you."

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