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.
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 dispensation divisions, 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. Later, Christianity evolves beyond Judaism in much the same way that Darwinist theory sees humans evolving from apes. Thus, the Urantia and its followers promotes itself as the most "evolved" form of religious consciousness, which to them is still in progress. 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:
Mr. Zuberbuehler's work extends to the Koran, Hadith, and Islam as well.
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.
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 warning 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:
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" authorship is its total lack of understanding regarding the Christian doctrine of sin or salvation. Judaism and Christianity are continuously 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 most religious differences. Of course, the Urantia religionists considers themselves at the top of this spiritual evolutionary chain. 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:
The concepts of substitutionary atonement and propitiation with blood are viewed by the Urantia as grotesque and grossly primitive.
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:
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 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.
The following appears in the Urantia Book's Forward:
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:
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 are attempting 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.
Numerous study guides and books, available through Christian bookstores, are designed to develop your knowledge of the Bible in this important area. For example:
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.
For additional information regarding URANTIA, see:
For further reading on the subject of Gnosticism, see:
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