Vortrag: The Bible is Addressed to the Imagination / Die Bibel ist auf die Vorstellungskraft gerichtet
Vortrag von Neville Goddard am 06.11.1967
Englisch: The Bible is Addressed to the Imagination
Blake asked the Reverend Trussler, who always criticized him, “Why is it that the Bible is more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because it is addressed to the Imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and only immediately to the understanding or reason?” If you’ll take this thought of Blake, take it seriously, you’ll be amazed at what you get out of it. When you think there are sixty-six books, it’s a library in that one book of ours…sixty-six books. It’s a challenge, something addressed only to the Imagination. The understanding is simply like the mediator…it passes through, as though someone comes in to mediate some problem. And from the depths of your own soul you’re speaking to the surface of your being, the enormous, infinite Imagination speaking to human Imagination. So it’s not really addressed or directed to understanding or to reason.
Now, let us take just a simple theme tonight. I challenge you to test it. May I tell you, you will not disprove it; if you test it, you’ll prove it. This is what Paul said in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (5:7). Now, what does he mean? You and I when we walk by sight we know our way by objects that the eye sees. For instance, while we are seated here suppose the entire city was suddenly rearranged. Take a simple example, here is Wilshire…if all the buildings on the south were suddenly transferred, still related to each other, to the north of Wilshire, and all of the north to the south; and this building here, which is now north of Wilshire is just as far south as it is now north, and all the buildings that are now on this side equally distant…and you started home tonight and you turned here and turned toward Wilshire, and by habit you turned, say, to the west but as you go the Ambassador is on the north side, well, you know right away you’re going in the wrong direction. Then here is the Brown Derby, that’s on the south side. Well, you know you’re in the wrong direction. So what do you do? You turn around. Do you know you’ll never get home?
But fortunately for us in our simple childlike manner, these things are fairly stable. Not completely, because if someone came back from the last century into New York City today, who knew New York City well, they would not know New York City. They would have to be directed and ask question after question where to go and so and so. I came back to New York City in 1922. Well, I have lived there for years, and go back every year, and every year an old landmark is gone and some towering thing is in its place. So I know the city well…I haven’t really left it, because going back every year for at least five or six weeks at a time, I keep in touch with it. But if you are gone, say, for a long spell of time, you wouldn’t even know it. They change the names of the streets. What was, when I first came there, Sixth Avenue is now called the Avenue of the Americas. You wouldn’t know where you are, because that was not something…it didn’t exist. So now, that’s how I walk by sight. When I walk by sight I know my way by objects that my eye sees.
Now how do I walk as Paul said he walked and invites us all to walk? He said, “I walk by faith, not by sight.” When I walk by faith, I order my life by objects that only my Imagination sees, that’s all, when I know where I want to go. Where do I want to go? I want to go to the top of his particular business. I want to be promoted from where I am to where I want to be. Well now, how do I rearrange the structure of my mind? I can’t rearrange the structure of the outside physically, that doesn’t help me. But if I walk by faith, I will now walk by a rearrangement of the structure of my mind, all the things of my mind, and so set them up that that’s all that I see. I must now remain faithful to this state.
Now he makes another observation, he said, “This is the one thing I do.” Well, if it is the one thing I do, I should read it over and over and over. What is the one thing that he does? This is in his letter to the Philippians, the 3rd chapter, “But the one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (verse 13). Now, you name it. He had his goal. So that was his, but you need not have such a high goal. You can have any goal in this world…a business beyond the wildest dream of man. There is not a thing that did not begin in the Imagination. No matter what it is, whether it’s the highest political position in our world, the greatest financial structure of the world, all things begin in the human Imagination. Because there’s only God and God and man’s own wonderful human Imagination are one.
If they differ, and they do, it’s only in the degree of intensity, that’s all. Keyed low as we are, well then, we have to either walk by sight or walk by Imagination. We may falter in Imagination. Walking by sight is easy, because we know things are fairly stable. They are not going to be rearranged suddenly overnight so that you may lose your way tomorrow morning when you come out and turn in one direction through habit to find the building isn’t there and you’re completely lost. But if I walk by faith, I now order my objects in my mind’s eye, as these are ordered here to my physical eye, and then I walk in that manner.
Now I can tell you unnumbered stories where men and women simply ordered it in their mind’s eye and they walked faithful to what they fixed up in their mind’s eye and they became it. I think of my brother, my family, who had not a nickel, not a penny, and here he rearranged in his mind’s eye a certain structure which if true would imply that we owned this building and all that it contained. It took him two years. Two years later without any more money than when he started, a total stranger…I wouldn’t say a total stranger, but we knew him, but not socially. We never wined or dined with him; he never wined or dined with us. This building is up for sale. In the meanwhile, it faltered, it failed, and the sale is this day. The very day of the sale he comes in and asks my brother if he wants to buy it. We didn’t have any money, no collateral. Well, he said, “I have been watching you and your father…you seem like an honest family…and so I have money. So I’ll buy it, but not for myself. I’ll have my lawyers bid for it, because if they knew that I am bidding they’d bid it up. So whatever I can get it for, will you take it? What it will cost I do not know, but will you take it? Yes? No collateral, just your signature that’s all.” And that day we owned the building.
We sold it…we bought it for only $50,000 in 1924, sold it eight years ago to a bank for $850,000…and there is no capital gains in Barbados. Didn’t lose the business, didn’t buy our business, only the building, only the little plot where it started. So we bought it for $50,000 on borrowed money, did a whale of a business in it, expanded beyond the wildest dream, and then sold it for $850,000…without any capital gain tax whatsoever. That is my brother Victor. Every day as he passed by he saw on the marque instead of the name that was there he rearranged the structure of his mind and he saw what he would like which if true meant we owned the building. For our name is Goddard; my father’s initials were J. N. He saw “J. N. Goddard and Sons” and the name read “F. N. Roach & Co.” Well, you can’t transliterate the initials of F. N. Roach & Co. and make it spell J. N. Goddard and Sons, so he walked by faith, not by sight. Sight told him it was F. N. Roach & Co.; faith tells him it’s J. N. Goddard and Sons. So in the structure of his mind he simply rearranged the entire structure. Every day for two years, as he walked past this building on his way to a little tiny shop on a side street which my father had and on the way back home at night he always stopped and looked and saw what he wanted to see. That was the beginning of my family’s good fortune. That one had the good sense to put into practice this which is taught in scripture. We walked not by sight, we walked by faith.
Well, faith is what? Now let us go into the Book of Hebrews and get the definition of faith. We are told in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…so what was made was made out of things that do not appear” (verses 1-3). That’s what we are told in the very beginning of the 11th chapter of Hebrews, that what was seen was made out of things that do not appear. Well, that certainly did not appear, but it was made out of unseen things. No one by my brother Victor performing this mental act saw what he saw. In this world even in a simple manner I can say to anyone, you see what I see, but you do not see what I see. As Blake said when someone asked him, “When you look at the sun, don’t you see a huge big disk like a guinea?” he said, “No! What I see…I see a host of angels singing “Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty!” Others look at the sun and see a disk, a round disk, a huge big guinea, and he sees a host of angels singing, Lord God of Hosts.
I look at a tree. Do we all see the same tree? We don’t see the same tree. So I can say, you see what I see but you do not see what I see. So you can look at someone who is in need and we see the same being, but you do not see what I am now seeing. I’m seeing one who is not in need. So we see the same thing, but we see it differently. So I either live by faith or I live by sight. If I want to live by sight, well then, let me be just simply an automaton and accept everything that happens; and if I fight from now to the ends of time to change it, I will not change it. I will change it only as I begin to live by faith. So I walk in faith and not by sight. That’s what we are told.
Now, if there’s one thing he tells us that he does, he forgets the past. No matter what he has done or did not do, he completely puts it behind him. “One thing I do, forgetting what is behind me, what lies behind, and I then stretch forward towards what lies ahead” (Phil.3:13). Now his ideal is to be called to the highest spot of God, that’s his ideal. Maybe that is not your ideal. I hope it is, but maybe it is not. Maybe other things are pressing and you need money, and you need this and you need that. Alright, if that is what you need, take that as your objective. But take the same technique; put the past behind you. Don’t look back and become like Lot’s wife who turned into a pillar of salt. Salt is a preservative. You want to preserve something you simply put it in brine and you can keep it indefinitely. So that is salt. If I turn back to the state that I want to leave behind me, if I turn back and dwell upon it, I turn back to it and once more re-enter it and become it. But if I will turn my back on the past, no matter what I have done or didn’t do, and then stretch forward towards what I want to do in this world, and remain faithful to it, there’s no power in the world that can stop me because there’s no other power. You will actually become the man that you’ve assumed that you are, the lady that you’ve assumed that you are, if you remain faithful and persistent in this assumption.
So this is why Blake said, is there any book in the world comparable to the Bible? It’s the most entertaining. What a challenge! And it’s the most instructive. Because as you read it…on the surface it’s not the easiest thing to read, but he said, if it were easy to read it, it would not be worth my care, for the ancients discovered that what was not too explicit was fittest for instruction. And so if you want me to make it so explicit that everyone in kindergarten can see it, well then, it isn’t worth my care. You’ve got to dig. They made it in this manner because it rouses the faculties to act. So you read something, take a simple, simple thing like this. One of the most glorious…of course, they’re all glorious, all the books…but take Hebrews. “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…who reflects the very glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature” (Heb. 1:1, 3). Well, you read this and you wonder what is it all about?
“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets.” Well, the 118th Psalm, the 19th Psalm, all these psalms will give you where the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows forth his handiwork, and all these things we see as he spoke this way. But then, who are the prophets? We see as we read it they are only instruments through which he spoke…these are the instruments. All these things came through in a not altogether conclusive way. They were foreshadowings of what God intended. But in the last days he has spoken to us by his Son. You read that and may I tell you from my own experience, I am still—not here in this group because you do believe me and you accept it—when I go across country or if I’m invited on a panel on TV or on radio, it’s the most difficult series ever to convince man to accept this Son of whom I speak.
They will say “he means.” It doesn’t state it in the book…no one knows this unknown author, he remains unknown, and no one knows to whom he addresses the letter. When we speak of the letter to the Philippians, the letter to the Ephesians, to the Corinthians, we know to whom it is addressed, but the letter to the Hebrews does not in any way indicate who is the recipient of the letter. It’s unsigned and no one knows the author of the Book of Hebrews. But here, “In many and various ways he spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in the last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” Because you read the Old Testament and then we have a New Testament, and the churches of the world tell us that son is Jesus Christ. There we are stuck. Now he’s stuck—it’s Jesus Christ— and it isn’t so at all.
This is the most fantastic revelation: In the end he is going to reveal himself, and he’s going to reveal himself only in one manner…through his Son. So it is the “last day” of the one to whom he reveals it—it’s not the world is coming to an end—we come to the end of the journey, individually. So the individual who experiences this Son has reached the end of the road; it’s his “last day.” In the last days he has spoken by his Son…spoken to us. When the Son comes, you are so thrilled and so surprised that you can’t, well, can’t describe it in words. And the Son is David; it’s not Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God the Father. And he calls Jesus Christ “my Lord.” He calls Jesus Christ “my Father.” So when he calls Jesus Christ, “my Lord, my Father” and then he appears and calls you “my Lord, my Father,” then and only then do you really know who you are. I could tell you from now to the ends of time that you are Jesus Christ, you are God the Father, but not until this happens will you really believe it…really believe it, really know it.
I’ll tell you why. You and I, I don’t…no, I shouldn’t say that you and I, because I don’t think for one moment that you do doubt the authority of scripture…but many in high places in the world, like Bishop Pike, he questions the authority of scripture. Yet he is the highest that in the Protestant world one can go, you can’t go any higher. We don’t have popes in the Protestant world, and the highest order is a bishop. So, he questions the authority of scripture, well, that’s alright. But may I tell you, let him do it. He questions the authority of scripture, but no man can question the authority of scripture after he has experienced scripture. Now, scripture is called the Word of God and we are told “his name shall be called the Word of God,” speaking now of Jesus Christ in Revelation (19:13). Now in the Book of John it is said, “And thy word is truth.” Now, if you experience it then you know it’s true, don’t you? Well, may I tell you, a truth which man has experienced he knows more thoroughly than he knows any other thing in this world, or than he can know that same truth in any other way. For I can tell you what I’ve experienced and it’s true, and so you’ve heard it and you believe it—if you come here, I think you believe it—but you do not know it to the degree you will know it after you have experienced it. So a truth which one has experienced he knows more thoroughly than he knows any other thing in this world, or tan he can know that same truth in any other way.
So I tell you from my own experience, as I’ve just told you about my brother, it can’t fail you. You say two years? Well, what’s two years? He was just only a kid really. He hadn’t yet turned, well, he was in his early twenties when he started this. Now, he’s two years my senior. And so today we have this fantastic, I would say, set-up business-wise in the islands, because someone really believed scripture and walked by faith rather than by sight. Because sight told him he didn’t have a penny and no possibility of getting any. A large family, all these mouths to feed and to live, all kids, all little children, and what on earth are we going to do when we think forward in time to support a large family of ten children, a father and mother and grandmother and aunts, too. For we never neglected anyone, we included everyone who was part of the family tree. Not one went outside; if we had anything, they shared it. Then he started this wonderful walking by faith, ordering his life by objects that only the Imagination could see.
Well, others ordered their lives and walked and found their way by objects that the eye sees. Your eye can only register what is right there now. If you don’t like it and that’s all you’re going to register, you’ll continue to perpetuate it. But if you don’t like it, you have a power within you to completely change it and change it radically. That power is Christ in you who is the Father. Who is he?—your own wonderful human Imagination. That’s Christ in you.
So tonight you can start. May I tell you, it will not take you long, but you are the operant power. And you can tell where you are going by simply watching at any moment in time what you are imagining…just watch what you are imagining and you know where you are going. If I imagine certain things based upon my past and it’s not lovely, that’s where I’m going. I’m only perpetuating, bringing it forward again. But if I would turn my back…as he said, “This is the one thing that I do, forgetting what lies behind and stretching forward towards what lies ahead.” If that’s the one thing he does, then let me do it. But he had the highest ideal: his ideal was the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
So it’s entirely up to us. I invite you to try it. May I tell you, you’ll never disprove it, not in eternity. But being the operant power, then you have to live by it if you’re willing this night to actually live by it. I could tell you unnumbered stories where an individual having nothing …you don’t have to have anything…that’s the wonderful story. You start just where you are and start moving from there. But you must walk by a certain direction and you walk by the direction that you yourself set up. What would it be like if it were true…what, what you want to be? What would it be like? Well then, conceive it in your mind’s eye, what would the feeling be like? Now Blake said Imagination was spiritual sensation. Well, what is spiritual sensation? Analyze it. Feel a piece of glass. Can you feel it? Alright, can you feel a baseball? Does it feel like a piece of glass? No. Can you feel a tennis ball? Does it feel like a baseball or a piece of glass? Can you feel a piece of cloth? Can you feel a violin? Can you feel a piano? Do they all feel alike? No. No two really felt alike. That’s spiritual sensation. You can do the same thing with the ear. It’s simply a living, a vivid living way of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling…a vivid way of doing it. And you can do it right now. I can feel right here without going elsewhere.
In New York City one night when I was giving something similar, a lady sat in the front row…and she lived in the Waldorf Astoria. She said, “Well, I’ll try it now,” and she embraced mentally…as she sat in the Silence she embraced a huge, huge bunch of roses. She was passionately fond of roses and she embraced roses. She could smell them, she could feel that velvety petal; she could actually, well, she could see them in her mind’s eye. She saw the roses, she saw all these things. And then she departed as they all did at the end of the meeting. The very next day this is what happened. When she went back to the Waldorf Astoria, the one that is now called the Queen Mother Elizabeth—not the present queen but her mother—they gave a party for her at the Waldorf Astoria, and there must have been, I would say, 2,000 who attended. Naturally the flowers came, like gardens and gardens. But the next day, the maitre d’ looking at all these lovely fresh flowers wondered what to do with them. This lady was a permanent resident of the Waldorf Astoria. He said, “Well, I’ll tell you what, take three dozen up (calling this lady by name) take it up to her room and place it in her bedroom for me. Then take this to so-and-so and take that to so-and-so, and he distributed all the flowers. But he sent to her room three dozen roses named for the Queen Mother. It was a new rose that year named for her because of this occasion. They all knew that it was going to happen, that she was coming to what is called the English-speaking Union. So, when she came home that second night, walking down the corridor she could smell this fragrance, this lovely…almost like someone had broken a bottle and the attar of roses is coming out. She stopped at three doors beyond her door and wondered if it’s coming from that room. She was overpowered. And then she got to her room and saw these lovely things on her bureau, three dozen of these lovely, giant beauties left on her bureau. She simply embraced it and lost herself in feeling it.
I try to get everyone to feel it and walk by faith and not by sight. Now, if something is very important to your life, maybe you can’t lose yourself to that extent…and then you are looking back on what you are against what you want to be. She didn’t have to have flowers, so she could completely forget anything in this world, and she lost herself in embracing roses, not just flowers but roses. And here, the maitre d’ casually said, “Take these up to Mrs. Neidemeyer” (that was her name)…“Take them up to Mrs. Neidemeyer.” Because she was a gracious lady, very kind to all the people who lived there, and all of a sudden he had one idea, take three dozen to her.
So I tell you, even in the simplest thing…a lady came one day, she said, “I want more money” I said, “What do you do?” She said, “I am a seamstress and yet I am also an artist. I design and yet I’m a seamstress, but I do aid in designing.” I said, “Now what do you want?” She said, “I want x-number dollars, and then minus…I’m a single person living in a hotel, so minus my deductions for taxes and all the other things that are taken out of my salary, I want exactly $100.” This goes a way back in years, not today; I’m going back when a hundred dollars was really not what a hundred dollars is today. And she said, “This is what I did, I held the envelope in my hand and then I tore off the end. I could hear the tearing of the paper, the envelope. I shook the contents out and then I counted out the money, even to the very pennies that I would get if I had x-number of dollars minus that they would deduct. I counted everything out. That very week the phone rang in the lobby of my hotel and here was a total stranger…she knew of me but had never met me…and she asked me if I would see her. So I came down to the lobby, not knowing who she was, and here was someone who employed many people and offered me a job and paid me to the penny what I had counted out.” That lady could have counted out much more, but it was more than she got before and she was quite satisfied with it. Right to the penny and it all happened that week.
Well now, if there is evidence for a thing, what does it matter what the world will think? How could you now take from her what she has experienced? So the truth that she has now experienced is paralleled in scripture, for “all things are possible to him who believes.” Well, how do I believe? I’ve got to imagine. How can I believe without imagining? Believing what? I’m believing I’m getting this money…that’s what I’m doing. Well, if I’m getting it, will I not do it? Well now, bring all of your senses to bear upon the act, for Imagination is spiritual sensation. And so, all these things…she played every part. She could hear the paper tear, she could hear that; then she shook the contents out, she heard that; and she felt it, felt the paper, felt the contents. Do you know that money has an odor unlike anything in the world, so you can smell money. If I put a piece of money before your nose and you closed your eyes, what are you smelling? You know exactly what you’re smelling…it’s money. You can smell it. So, all the senses were brought to bear upon this event, and that very week she started working for this party as a seamstress plus designing in part.
And you can go through…I can take you all through even silly little things…like a lady going into Stearn’s department store on 42nd Street in New York City. She said, “Now Neville said I could have anything I want if I can imagine it and believe it.” Well, she had no money, but none. She couldn’t really purchase anything. She takes off her hat and she tries on a hat and she likes the hat. Leaves her hat there and she tries on the hat, and she walks around admiring herself before all the mirrors, and then she comes back. She can’t afford the hat. Then she wonders “Where is my hat?” So the one who is selling hats asked her, “What hat?” She described the hat. “Oh,” he said, “I’m sorry, I sold that hat. I couldn’t find the price tag on it, but the lady loved it and the lady bought it.” So he called a section manager over and described the problem and where is her hat. He was frightfully embarrassed and he said, “I’ll tell you what, no publicity, take any hat in the department and it’s yours.” So she liked what she had on and she walked out with it. That was her hat.
Another story of a similar nature…here is a lady whose profession in this world was a lady of the evening. There are all professions in the world. In New York City this lady came to all of my meetings, and I ran into her on 73rd and Broadway. She lived at the Ansonia. She said to me, “You now, Neville, the strangest thing happened. You told me that I could have anything that I wanted by simply imagining it.” I said, “Yes I do. I still teach that.” She said, “You know, I saw a beautiful hat in the window and it was”—in those days you could buy a hat for $3.50-$4.00, but this was $18.00—she said, “I stood before the window, I imagined that hat on my head, and then I walked up Broadway. As I came back, I would not look into the window to become disillusioned to see the same hat there, so I walked by as though I had the hat on my head. Then when I went home I took off the hat without looking into the mirror and put it up as though I took off that hat that I saw in the window. It was my hat now. Well, the next morning when I got up the old hat is still there, and so I wore that hat for maybe a week or ten days. Then a friend called me and asked me to come and see her, she wanted to see me; so I called on my friend and during the conversation she said, ‘Pardon me a moment.’ She goes into her room and brings out the hat and she said, ‘You know, Ann, this hat I bought…I must have been insane when I bought it, I wouldn’t wear it to a dogfight. Yet, strangely enough, I think it would look lovely on you’ and brings out not a hat but the hat,” the very hat she saw in that window. Something possessed this lady to buy it; she buys it, takes it home and keeps it for eight-ten days and calls up the one person, and says, “I think it would look lovely on you.” So she gets the hat.
Then she said to me, “But Neville, why didn’t God give me the money to buy the hat? Why did he give me the hat in this manner?” So, knowing her profession, I thought I could talk to her openly, I said, “Now tell me, Ann, do you owe any rent?” She said, “You’re too nosey.” I said, “I’m asking a simple question, do you owe any rent?” She said, “Yes, two weeks.” I said, “I presume you pay just about $17.50 a week rent, don’t you, at the Ansonia?” She said, “I do, exactly $17.50.” “And you owe two weeks, so you owe $35. What price hat do you usually buy?” “Oh,” she said, “$3.50, $4.00.” “Have you ever bought a $17.50 hat? That’s what the hat cost.” She said, “Never.” I said, “Now, Ann, tell me honestly, if while you were watching the hat you saw a $100 bill, and it was all yours now…you found a $100 bill, owing $35 in rent and the uncertainty of your future, would you, without ever having bought a $17.50 hat, would you have bought it?” She said, “No. I still say you’re too nosey.” She had confessed she would not have bought it if she found a hundred dollars. So I said to her, “Well, how much must God give you to get you to buy the hat? If he gave you a hundred, you wouldn’t have bought it; if he gave you, what, a thousand dollars to buy it, he could do it cheaper than that…so he gave you the hat.” Someone bought it who didn’t like it, so what. I have bought clothes and when I went home I wondered what possessed me to buy it, and then called up a friend and gave it away. I’ve given all kinds of things away after having bought them. At the moment I was possessed to buy it…and someone was treading in the winepress elsewhere; I was simply the one moving and he was treading it some other place. Someone wanted a suit of clothes. So I go to my tailor, I said, “I think I’ll take this” so he sells me something that when I came home my wife said, “Alright, so you bought it. Don’t expect me to go through the door with you.” And then a friend who wanted something just like it, he comes and gets in touch and he gets the suit. So he was treading the winepress while I bought the suit.
So may I tell you, Imagination, as Blake defines it, is spiritual sensation. Really believe it! It’s a vivid sight, a vivid sound. When Beethoven went deaf, all sounds to the outer ear came to an end, but it didn’t come to an end with Beethoven. Didn’t he hear with the inner ear? Don’t you and I go and enjoy all these lovely things that he heard not with the outer ear but with the inner ear? Well, can’t you now think of someone that you love and hear what they are saying? Can’t you hear them? Anyone that you know, whose voice you know, you can hear them. If you can’t see them vividly, you can hear them. Well, any one of the senses is enough to get through—a touch, a sound, a sight, an odor.
I know in New York City years ago I walked through Harlem and I would get the whiff coming from someone’s cooking and it was all West Indian food. Why, instantly I’m in Barbados. I could smell odors that only come from Barbados…the kind of vegetables that you only get in the West Indies, the kind of fruit, and the mixtures…I could get everything. I walked by and suddenly an odor is coming…why, I’m walking in Harlem and yet I’m in Barbados. It just transports you 2,000 miles away. So you can bring back an odor and put yourself in any place in this world…a sight, a sound, a touch.
So, “I walk by faith,” said Paul, “and not by sight. But this one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind I stretch forward to what lies ahead.” Now he names the most glorious thing…but it need not be yours. You read this in the 3rd chapter of Philippians. So he named the most glorious thing, the highest calling in the world, the calling of God in Christ Jesus: To become one with him so that before you stands his only Son who in turn calls you Father, who calls you Lord.
Well, tonight you try it. For your life is forever, may I tell you. Nothing dies, but nothing dies. Even the little rose that blooms and you wear it in your lapel, you take it out, it’s gone and you throw it away. “The rose that blooms once blooms forever.” Nothing passes away. And so tonight, if one should cease to be in this little sphere, he doesn’t end. He’s instantly restored to life and carrying on the wonderful journey in this age until that moment in time, the last day, when he speaks to him by his Son and the Son calls him Father. Then and only then does he know who he really is: the author of it all. His journey in this world is over, and when he takes off the little garment, as he tells us in Philippians again, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is better by far” (1:23). Then he uses an expression which always interests me, “But,” he said, “it is more necessary”—an unusual expression—“it is more necessary that I remain in the flesh on your account.” Longing to depart and be one with Christ—because there’s only one Christ who is God the Father—but it is more necessary. And when I first read that it struck me as the most wonderful way of expressing something…that he remain in the flesh because it is essential for us that he remains and continues the instruction.
So tonight, you take this. It’s very practical. All that I have told you has been right down here. But I will not limit you as to your goal. You’re goal may be God, you’re goal may be anything, but whatever the goal is, take this and walk by faith and not by sight. Then take the one thing Paul said he did, the one thing that I do, and then he turns his back on anything that he’s ever accomplished, and then he goes forward. Doesn’t matter what he’s done before. He has a goal and now he walks by faith towards that goal. So you set it up in your mind’s eye. What would I see if it were true? How would I feel were it true? What would I do were it true? Now walk in that state and you cannot fail!
Now let us go.
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A: The fairy tales? My dear, all the fairy tales are based upon vision. Well, I will some night.
But they really are all based upon vision. Not…I would say, they’ve taken the true vision and put it into the form of the fairy tale, for sometimes that’s the best way to get it over. But all the great classics are really true, and to sit down and read them and all of a sudden to see what they saw…for they’re telling the truth. The Bible is simply a story based upon vision, an actual experience. But man doesn’t know it, and he’ll fight to the death to protect his concept which is complete misinformation of who Jesus Christ really is. I tell you, Jesus Christ is the true identity of every man. You couldn’t breathe were it not that Jesus Christ became you. Actually, he is the true identity of every child born of woman, regardless of the nation, race, religious background, anything. He is the true identity of every being…that’s Jesus Christ. Were he not within you, buried within you, you couldn’t even breathe. One day he will awake within you, and when he does, you are he.