A LESSON IN SCRIPTURE Neville Goddard
October 23, 1967
In the second chapter of the Book of Luke the story is told of Jesus’ parents, worried and seeking him for three days, finding him and complaining, to which Jesus said: “How is it that you sought me? Know you not that I must be about my Father’s business?” I ask you not to put yourself in that frame of mind. Your earthly parents seek you and, at the tender age of twelve, you dare to say to them: “I must be about my Father’s business.”
This statement has reference to the 40th Psalm and the 4th chapter of John. In the 40th Psalm you are told: “In the role of the book it is written about me.” Every man is destined to discover that scripture is his autobiography. It’s not written about individual beings like Jesus Christ, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and so on who lived unnumbered years ago, but about the individual you! The 4th chapter of the Book of John begins with a discussion between the Lord Jesus Christ and a woman of Samaria about a well and water. After this discussion the disciples say to Jesus: “Master you have had nothing to eat” and he replies: “I have food you know not of. My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
This is true. You have come into this world only to finish the work of him who sent you. And who is he? The Father. “He who sees me, sees he who sent me. I came out from the Father and came into the world. Again I leave the world and return to the Father. He who sees me sees the Father, for I and the Father are one.”
Conceiving the thought in the beginning, God had to have an agent to express it. Everything in this world needs man to express it and may I tell you: God is man. In the beginning God made man in his image. “Male/female made he them and called their name Man.” Read it carefully in the 5th chapter of Genesis. Creating Man to express himself, God comes into the world to express and finish what he conceived in the beginning. Conceiving a state and knowing it takes a man to express it; God sent himself from the depth of his own being into this world to fulfill the state.
“In the beginning was the Word (the purpose) and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Old Testament is God’s Word (his plan) which he made known through his servants, the prophets. The New Testament interprets the Old. The story of Jesus Christ is the interpretation of the prophecy recorded in the Old. Read it carefully, for everything said of Jesus Christ, you are going to experience. It is said: “His name shall be called the Word of God.” Called God’s Word, his seed, his creative power, your imagination is God’s creative power and wisdom. Can you conceive of any greater wisdom than your own wonderful human imagination? Think of something. The moment you do, it’s right before your mind’s eye. Maybe you can’t draw a straight line, yet you can imagine your mother even though she is gone from this world. Think of anyone and they instantly appear before your mind’s eye. That is your own wonderful creative power-filled imagination who is Jesus Christ in you. It is he who has come into the world to fulfill the Word of God, and everything must be fulfilled by the Jesus Christ in you, who is your hope of glory.
We are told in the 22nd chapter of the Book of Luke: “Scripture must be fulfilled in me,” so you must be about your Father’s business by experiencing everything said of Jesus Christ in scripture. The miraculous birth will be yours, the discovery of the Fatherhood, the ascent into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon you in the bodily form of a dove. Then like the psalmist you will say: “Thou hast delivered me from the world of death,” for you will know from experience that in the volume of the book it was all about you!
I have been sent from the depth of my soul to act as a magnet to those who are about to fulfill scripture, and they come, each in his own order. Last Friday morning my friend Bennie found himself cataleptic. Unable to open his eyes or move his body, Ben could hear within himself the cry of a child as he felt an unearthly wind in his skull. Then a star exploded from his skull and a child wrapped in swaddling clothes fell into his arms. Looking at the child he said: “Oh, my darling” and knew that no one in eternity could care for that child but himself. As the vision faded he was given a photograph of the child.
The birth from above came to Bennie that way. He was left with a photograph. This happened on the 20th day of October. Now, if the current record of order is correct (and it has happened to my friend Bob and myself), five months from now Bennie will experience the coming of God’s only Son, David, who will reveal him as the Father. I am basing my interpretation from what he told me, and I say the birth has happened to him. Why should the birth occur in the same manner to any two when God is infinite in his creation? Of all the children who come into the world, seemingly from the womb of woman, no two births are exactly alike, there is always something different.
Only a couple of days before this happened to Bennie, he said:, “In the spirit you were teaching the word of God when someone said: ‘Tell us the story of Jesus’ and you replied: ‘The story of Jesus is a persistent assumption that you are what you want to be, that things are as you desire them to be.’“ This is true, for unless you believe that you are the being you now worship on the outside, you remain desiring and die in your sins of unfulfilled desires. You’ve got to begin to believe that you are Jesus Christ, the Word of God, which – having gone out will not return empty, but will fulfill your purpose and accomplish that which you sent yourself to do. What is that? To fulfill scripture. That’s all you are here for.
On this level you can be rich if that is your desire, but remember the story of Jesus is persistent assumption. You can persist in the assumption that you are wealthy. I have many friends across this country who are very, very wealthy, yet I would say ninety-nine percent of them are miserable; but they will all tell you the same thing. I think of one in particular now. She has a fortune in diamonds. Tiffany, who sells diamonds marked up 300-400%, offered her $100,000 for one piece. When she joins us for dinner in New York City she wears a broach, a ring, and a pendant, worth a half million dollars. Ruth was born a very poor girl and – desiring wealth – she persistently assumed she was married to tremendous wealth. She had no money. Her only claim to any social status was that she was a descendant of the Adams who were in the White House. He, on the other hand, came out of a line of rascals. His great-grandfather was a bishop in New York; therefore, had good advice as to his descent and how to guard it. Ruth married and lived in hell for twenty-odd years, bearing him three sons. Now well into her seventies, her only desire is to marry more wealth and have more diamonds.
That is all right. The story of Jesus is a complete and undeviating persistence in the assumption that you are what you want to be. If you haven’t experienced wealth and that is what you want, persistently assume “I am wealthy.” If you have not experienced fame, assume you are famous, but “The day will come,” saith the Lord “when I will send a famine upon you. It will not be a hunger for bread or a thirst for water, but for the hearing of my Word.” If that hunger hasn’t come to you, then take the same story of Jesus and fulfill your every desire.
When I am in New York, my friend comes to every meeting. She is a delightful person, but she is brutally honest with her desires. She wants more and more diamonds, more emeralds, more museum pieces. She confessed that she had no hunger to hear anything about David, but wants more and more money to leave her two sons. She wants more and more worldly illusions; but it is my hope that the hunger has come to you who are here – not for more and more bread and water, but for hearing the word of God with understanding.
The Book of Luke begins: “I have come to fulfill scripture. Then beginning with Moses in the law and the prophets and the psalms, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Questioning his earthly parents, he asks: “Why do you seek me? Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”….fulfilling scripture? Entering the temple, he is given a book which he opens and reads the first verse and half of the second of the 61st chapter of Isaiah, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to preach glad tidings to the poor and suffering. To open the prison doors to all who are in prison.”
Now, claiming to have come only to fulfill scripture, he tells you that the Spirit of the Lord God was upon him that day. It is not expressed that way in Luke, but he says – as you heard it “this day” – it was fulfilled. What does he mean? That he saw the Spirit descend in bodily form as a dove. It has been fulfilled in him and he is urging everyone to follow his pattern, for no one comes to the Father save by this pattern. The Spirit of the Lord God descended in bodily form as a dove. The same dove who returned to Noah in the ark. Man is the ark of God and the dove – coming to bring assurance that everything is all right – descends upon one, and as it remains he is told to “Rise and anoint him, for this is he.” Luke tells you how he is fulfilling scripture, for he knows that “In the volume of the book it is all about me.”
Like Paul, I have not restrained my lips. I have told of your deliverance. I have told of your everlasting love to anyone and everyone who will listen. They may not accept my words, but I do know that within a certain group the hunger is there and they will all begin to awake.
Now, in the 30th chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord speaks, saying: “Can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands pulling himself out of himself like a woman in labor.” The Hebrew word “chalatz” (translated in both the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version as “loins”) means “to take off; to pull oneself out of oneself; to deliver.” When the Psalmist said: “He has delivered my soul from death” he was speaking of the physical body. It is a garment of death which appears in the world, waxes, wanes, vanishes, and turns into dust. The word translated “delivered” in the Psalms, is the same word which was translated “loins” in Jeremiah.
So, can a Man bear a child? Yes. Let us go back to what I quoted earlier. “Male/female made he them and called their name Man.” There is a womb in the male/female unlike that of an earthly woman. This womb is the skull of generic Man. It is there that God has planted His Word which cannot return unto him void, but must accomplish that which is His purpose and prosper in the thing for which he sent it. That purpose is to fulfill scripture, for God has an entirely different world awaiting those who fulfill His Word.
We are told: “This Word is truth.” Everyone enters the world to fulfill the truth and will not depart until God’s Word is accomplished. If God’s Word has not been fulfilled in you when the world calls you dead, you are restored to a life just as real as this, in a world just as real as this, to continue your journey until the hunger comes upon you and you will be drawn to that final point.
In his book called Urizen, William Blake tells of the serpent in the womb of Enitharmon who, shredding the scales of death, his hissing changes into the cry of a child and
“The dead heard the voice of the child
And began to awake from sleep
All things heard the voice of the child
And began to awake to life.”
You actually hear the cry of the child in your skull. It seems impossible, but may I tell you: it is true.
Now, to encourage those who are not interested in that aspect of the truth, let me go back to what Bennie heard me say in the spirit: “The story of Jesus is a persistent assumption.” This is true in every aspect of your life. You want to be rich? That’s the story of Jesus, which is a persistent assumption in the conviction that “I am rich,” for unless you believe that “I am rich” you die in your sins and continue to claim “I am poor.” You want to be known? Then persistently assume: “I am known.” Want to be healthy? “I am healthy!” Regardless of what you want to be, you must declare you already are it and persist in that assumption. An assumption is an act of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Your reasoning mind may deny wealth. Your senses deny it too, but if you have faith you will dare to assume wealth, thereby becoming the man you want to be.
Maybe, tonight you would rather continue to worship a Jesus Christ on the outside. Maybe you would rather continue to walk with the sheep of the world and not be the shepherd, but you would like to feed on green pastures by still waters, instead of climbing the steep hills of doubt and fear as most people do. You can, if you will persistently assume: “I am well fed. I am wanted. I am known and everything is as I want it to be.” But remember: to bring all these things into being, there must be a persistent assumption. That’s the story of Jesus.
Now we are told in Jeremiah that God’s word will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind, which is that you become God. “In the later days you will understand it clearly.” It is God’s purpose to give himself to man and he will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. So in the final days he sends a hunger unto your heart – not for bread, a larger home or jewelry – but for the hearing of the Word of God. When this hunger possesses you, nothing will satisfy you but an experience of God. And if it is God’s purpose to give you himself as himself, when you have experienced his Word you are God!
Here is the story: “What is the greatest commandment, master? “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” In the original manuscript the word “hear” is “sh’mA” whose last letter is larger than the other letters in the word. This is also true of the world “echaD” (translated “one”) at the end of the sentence. Put the two words together and they spell a word meaning “witness.”
At the very end of the Book of Luke you read: “You are witnesses of these things, but remain here until you are endowed with power from on high.” What power? The power of God called Jesus Christ. You are destined to put on and wear the Lord Christ Jesus as you would a garment. Wait for it, for it will be born within you. And when God’s power and wisdom is born, you will find the sign of his birth in the form of a little child. Then all of these signs will unfold in you and you will wear the garment of Jesus Christ. So I tell you, you will be witnesses of all that I have told you, for now I am returning to the very source out of which I came.
I came into the world completely forgetful of the being that I AM. I had to. When I first met my friend Abdullah back in 1931 I entered a room where he was speaking and when the speech was ended he came over, extended his hand and said: “Neville, you are six months late.” I had never seen the man before, so I said: “I am six months late? How do you know me?” and he replied: “The brothers told me that you were coming and you are six months late.”
I was late because the one who told me of Abdullah was a Catholic priest. I loved him dearly, but I thought he was almost a moron. His father, a rumrunner in the days of prohibition, left him two million dollars, which he proceeded to lose on Wall Street the first year. The only wonderful thing he did was to take the last $15,000 and give it to a Catholic organization to care for his mother the rest of her earthly days. So, having no respect for his judgment, when he told me about Abdullah I postponed going to hear him until one day I could find no excuse. When Ab called me by name I said: “I don’t know you” and he replied: “Oh yes you do, but you have forgotten. We were together in China thousands of years ago, but you promised to completely forget in order to play the part you must play now.”
Last Friday night a lady gave me a letter saying: “The previous Monday as you stood on the platform I could not see you as Neville, but as an ancient Chinese philosopher. I have seen my friends change from moment to moment, but you remained changed during your entire lecture. This bothered me, so I questioned the experience on the way home and then I remembered. Several years ago in a psychic experience, I was walking up a hill with other students to attend a class. Falling away from the group, I saw an ancient Chinese in a white garment at my side. Beckoning me to follow him, we approached a cave where I saw huge granite stone with a peak at the top. Two hands containing a cocoon covered the top of the stone. Removing the cocoon, the ancient Chinese broke it on the peak of the granite, and water, mixed with colorful oil, came out as life took on the sense of heat rising. Then the ancient Chinese took my hand and led me back to the group, where they had not realized that I had been away. “Now I know whose face you wore last Monday night.”
Well, that’s what Abdullah told me in 1931, but to this day I have no knowledge of it, because I swore in the beginning to empty myself completely of all memory and take on the form of a slave, but to have faith in him who sent me. Now knowing that he and I are one, I have no other place to go but back to myself, the sender. Having played every part I have completely wiped out the memory, but I know that no one can arrive at the end of the road until he has played it all. I do know from my intuitive knowledge that, just as an actor must feel the part he is playing and imagine himself the character he is depicting, you will imagine yourself into every part, and when the play is over for you, the signs will come to show you the being that you really are.
You who are here are hungry for the Word of God. You are thirsty for the Word of God. You could be at home this night watching TV and it would cost you nothing, but you have given up your time and your money to be here because of your hunger. I have been sent to tell you not only that you become God when he is fulfilled in you, but how to cushion the blows in this world of reason by delighting in his law. His law is simply a persistent assumption in the claim: “I am what I want to be.” Do not judge one who does not have the hunger for the Word of God, but tell him how to become what he wants to be.
Tell him that the story of Jesus is a perpetual, persistent assumption in whatever he wants to be. That Christ in him is the power of God and his imagination is that power and wisdom. Tell him that imagination knows how to bring his assumption to pass, but that he must persist.
Now I ask you: are you willing to persist in the assumption that you are what you want to be? Or are you going to go home tonight and say: “That was a nice little talk he gave, but after all he has a million dollars in the bank and I have nothing.” If you think that, you are disobedient, for by that thought you have lack of faith in “I am he!” That’s the fundamental sin of the universe. There are only two sins recorded in scripture that offend God. One is: “Unless you believe that I am he you die in your sins,” and the other is eating of the fruit of tree of knowledge of good and evil. Ask our generals tonight if it would be good to stop bombing Vietnam and they would say No. Go across the ocean and ask the Vietnamese and they would say Yes – so what is good and what is evil?
I am not asking anyone but you! What would be good for you? Tell me, because in the end every conflict will resolve itself as the world is simply mirroring the being you are assuming that you are. One day you will be so saturated with wealth, so saturated with power in the world of Caesar, you will turn your back on it all and go in search for the Word of God. I remember when I had so much wealth. I did not have one home, but many, each fully staffed from secretaries to gardeners. That was a life of sheer decadence. I recall walking out of it and not returning. Whether they ever found the body I do not know, but I do know I deliberately walked away. Then about ten years ago in one of my journeys in spirit, I walked back into the world and saw it just as it was before. Strangely enough, everyone recognized me and welcomed me with open arms, but I stayed only for a moment then returned here bringing with me its vivid memory. So I do believe that one must completely saturate himself with the things of Caesar before he is hungry for the Word of God.
I am convinced you are here because of your hunger. I know you have obligations to society, you must pay Caesar’s debts, so you want more money, but your hunger is greater for the hearing of the Word of God than for things of Caesar. That is why you are here, and you are blessed by it.
Now let us go into the silence.
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