Vortrag: The Promise Fulfilled / Das erfüllte Versprechen
Vortrag von Neville Goddard, Jahr unbekannt
Englisch: The Promise Fulfilled
Tonight’s subject is “The Promise Fulfilled.” Now, here we are gathered together, and I daresay if I asked anyone here, including myself, the speaker: Are we really known in the world? I think we would all admit, “Only to a very small circle, our relatives,” and then we could think of those who are so publicized the world over throughout the ages, and you might think that you are not really known, that not a thing is ever mentioned about you in any book ever written. But I want to tell you that the greatest book ever written is all about you. The Bible is your biography. It is also your autobiography, because you inspired it. It is you who dictated it, and it’s all about you - every word in it.
You came here for one purpose, and one purpose only - to fulfill it. You came into the world to fulfill your own prophecy! So, you are far better known than anyone in this world, for when we speak of the “outer man,” it vanishes and his little accomplishments, but your accomplishment is to come down into the world and conquer it, and actually rise out of the grave and return to the Being that you were, only enhanced by your victory over death. That’s the thing that you really are.
Now, I am not making this up. I tell you what I know, for I have had the experience. I am not alone. The Bible is my biography, for I have fulfilled it. It is your biography, and if you have not yet fulfilled it, you will. That is the story of Scripture.
The One spoken of in Scripture - he said, “All the promises of Scripture find their ‘Yes’ in Him.” You might think this refers to someone other than yourself who lived two thousand years ago. It is said of Him, “He is clad in a robe, in blood, and the name by which He is called is ‘The Word of God.’”
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt within us,” (John 1:14) “bom not of blood, not of the will of the flesh... but of God.” (John 1:13)
The Bible speaks of two births in the world. It’s told in the most glorious way. Paul tells it in the book of Galatians. But we will go back to the Promise as we find it in Genesis, for this is the basic promise in Scripture, a promise made to Abraham. Now, the word “Abraham” means “the father of the multitudes.” He was old. This is the story - a hundred years old, and had no heir, although he did have a son, and the son was called Ishmael. It was said of Ishmael that he was a wild ass; his hand was against every man, and every man’s hand against him. But he was born of a slave, Hagar, in the household of Sarah. Sarah was barren, and she was ninety and “it ceased to be with her after the manner of women,” (Genesis 18:11) being ninety years of age, and Abraham was a hundred, and there was no offspring from that union. The word “Sarah” means princess. And they prayed to the Lord for an heir, not one bom of a slave, and the Lord granted their prayer, and said, “You will have a son, and the son will be the heir, and you will call his name Isaac.” “Isaac” means “he laughs.” But they laughed at the very thought that at their age they could have a child. And then the question was asked: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) And Abraham replied, “No.”
Abraham believed all things were possible to God. At the appointed hour the child was born, and they called him as the angel said, “Call him Isaac - he laughs.” That is the story.
Now the story, as explained to us in the book of Galatians, which is considered the earliest book written in the New Testament, [it was written twenty-odd years before the earliest gospel, Mark] and in this he tells the story. “The promise was made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, offsprings, referring to many, but, referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
He states it clearly - offspring. The offspring promised is Christ, and it was promised to Abraham. Then he states, “This is an allegory,” (Galatians 4:24) as he goes on to explain the story of the birth. He said Abraham brought forth a son. We have only one son - the offspring, which is Christ. He speaks now of two sons, one born of Hagar, which he likens to the present Jerusalem, and that son was “bom from below;” another son came, bom of a free woman and “bom from above.” The one bom of slavery brings her sons into slavery and is enslaved with them, and the one “born from above” is born of our Mother, Jerusalem, bom into liberty. And again he states that this is an allegory.
Having experienced it, I can tell you a story. You and I are born of Hagar, Ishmael, as the garments of flesh go. All these garments of flesh and blood are “the sons of Hagar, bom into slavery.” You are enslaved by the bodies that you wear.
We are told in Scripture, “They will go into a land, and they will be sojourners there.” They will be enslaved, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years. Then, afterwards, they will come out with great possessions.
“Four hundred” is not 400 years as we measure by the calendar. We are speaking now of the great mystery of Scripture. Every number has a symbolic significance. Four hundred is simply the numerical value of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. That letter is tav, the 22nd letter. They do have five other letters, but they are repetitions of five of the original twenty-two. The 22nd letter is the last letter. Its numerical value is 400; its symbol is that of a cross. So, as long as we wear the cross - this burden called the human form [indicating the physical body] - we are oppressed in this world. We are enslaved by the cross that we wear.
When we “come out,” we will receive “great possessions,” Paul tells us in the fourth chapter of the book of Romans. The possession that is ours is the world itself! Not a little section of the world - the world we inherit when we come out of this tribulation. We receive the Promise, and there’s a difference between receiving the Promise, and receiving what was promised. In receiving the Promise, we are declared heirs; in receiving what was promised, we will accept it and receive and obtain our inheritance.
In between receiving the Promise and receiving what was promised, so that we actually obtain the inheritance, lies the great tribulation of the “four hundred years.” When it comes to the actual obtaining of the Promise - with no warning whatsoever, suddenly you come into your inheritance. And you come into your inheritance by the “second birth.” You are “born from above!” Born of the Jerusalem from above, who is our Mother.
In the 87th Psalm, it is said, “The Lord chose Zion. Zion is His perfect dwelling place.” (Psalm 87)
The word “Jerusalem,” the word “Zion,” the word “Bethlehem,” the word “City of David,” and the word “City of God” are synonymous terms. In this 87th Psalm, it is said, “The Lord records as he registers the peoples, and the Lord said, ‘This one and that one were bom here, and this one was bom there.’” Bom where? Born above.
If I like, now, this above to an Infinite Mind - and you and I are brain cells in the Mind of the Dreamer, every cell has to be bom. And because it is one with the Dreamer, every cell as it unfolds and explodes, it is the Dreamer Himself. He is simply bringing into birth His Own Being! And you are that Being!
So, far from being unknown, you have the greatest biography in the world. The Bible, the most popular book in the world - they don’t mention it when they speak week after week of the popular books; they put at the top of the list the fiction book that sells the most, or non-fiction, and they would pale into insignificance concerning the sale of your biography.
Your biography has been translated into over twelve hundred languages, more or less. Take all the best sellers put together, and they pale into insignificance concerning the sale of our biography , for your biography is the Bible.
“I have come to fulfill Scripture.” (See Matthew 5:17) “Scripture must be fulfilled in me.” (Mark 14:49, KJV 1 )
And, then, beginning with Moses and the Law, and all the Prophets, with all the Psalms, He interpreted to them all the scriptures and things concerning Himself. And then He said, “In the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Hebrews 10:7) It is all about Me.
I have no other book. Then comes the fulfillment of the Promise, and the Promise is: You will have a Son, named Isaac. It’s like saying, “Name him, ‘He laughs.’” Well, I can’t tell you the thrill that is in store for you when that child appears; in spite of your age, in spite of your seeming barrenness, suddenly the child appears. Others find it. You hold it in your arms, and in the most endearing mood that possesses you, you look into the face of this wonderful infant and you say, “How is my sweetheart?” He will burst into the most heavenly smile. He laughs. Well, that’s Isaac. Then you will know who Abraham really is! He is the son of Abraham in his old age.
I was only in my 50 ’s when it happened, and still could have sired a child, but I had been coming through the tribulations for thousands of years. I reached the end of the journey, and the journey takes thousands of years - by implication, six thousand years, if you read Scripture carefully. For Peter said when they asked him, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of the world.” (II Peter 3:4) And then Peter answered that these wonders will come, but they do not know that one day of the Lord is equal to one thousand years. A thousand years here is but a day of the Lord. (II Peter 3:8) So, “Let us make man...” (Genesis 1:26) on what day? Oh the sixth day. So, six thousand years you’ve been traveling. You actually came down and annexed these bodies called men. You never were these bodies. These are garments that you wear, and you are enslaved by the garment that you wear. Yet only as you enter these garments and penetrate them and annex the brains of these garments, can you enter this world of death. And by entering this world of death , you experience death, or you could not have died! You are immortal - you were immortal - and you return to your immortality! You cannot die.
Although you seem to die, you cannot die, I assure you. My father and my mother are as alive to me today as they were before they made their departure from this world. My brother Lawrence, who took part in my drama of the finding of the child, departed four years ago; he’s just as alive to me, only he is young. He was 62 when he departed. When I meet Lawrence now, he’s young. And strangely enough, all the intelligence of my brother [he was a doctor] - not a thing is lost. But he’s young now, in his 20’s. He knows what happened, and I prophesied with him, “Lawrence you will be the next member of our little family to have the experience, because you found Him. My other two brothers laughed when you said, ‘It’s Neville’s baby,’ and you found Him in that drama. You played the part of Simon. ‘Oh, God, let me now depart according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,’ (Luke 2:30) and you are entitled now for the unfolding within you.”
Everyone in the whole world will have it. No one will fail. I don’t care what you have ever done in this world. I don’t care what you are planning to do; it could be the most unlovely act in the world - you are my brother before that the world was. (Ephesians 1:4) You were God’s Son “before that the world was.” And you were addressed as His son and told that you would come down into this world and die - what? “Like men.” (Psalm 82:7) If you die like men, then it would have had no meaning whatsoever if you were a man when you were addressed. Obviously, if I am a man, and men die, why tell me I will die like a man if I am a man when you address me? But I was not a man and you were not a man. You [were] sons of God. You were all sons of God, and only through the act of Crucifixion will we be exalted to God. Through the Crucifixion, the sons become the Father.
If I was not crucified on man - man [indicating the physical body with arms outstretched] is a cross - I could not be raised to the exaltation of the Father. And because in the end there is only God the Father, everyone has to be raised to God the Father.
So, the Promise has already reached its climax, but it is taking place. If I could only get this idea over to the whole vast world that would listen! Think of a drama that is actually taking place written in the imperative passive mood - a command to be done absolutely and continuously, without any reference to completeness or incompleteness. It is taking place. The curtain doesn’t come down on it. It is always taking place, with no reference whatsoever to its position in time, whether it be 1971 or the Year One, or the Year Three Thousand. It’s always taking place. There is no reference to position in time, no reference to its duration or repetition.
So, in 1959 the drama repeated itself. Where? In me. What drama? The one recorded in Scripture in the 1st Century. How many times it took place? I can only believe it must have taken place unnumbered times in that interval, because there are billions of us to awaken, and I can’t conceive for one moment that there are long intervals between times for all to awake. But not everyone tells the story. The only one who tells it is the one who is called, and then sent. He is sent for a purpose: to get the barnacles off the wonderful story. Organized religion simply is stranded, really. It is stranded on form and vested interests. They have so much to take care of in the world of Caesar there is no time to tell the story.
So, once in a while He calls one who is about to have the experience. You are now going to be sent into the world to tell it. And everyone who is called has the same sense of - not guilt - a sense of inadequacy. Moses said, “I have an impediment of speech. I cannot tell it; I cannot talk.” He said, “I have sent you.” He didn’t volunteer; he was drafted! When Paul was called, Paul said, “I have a thorn in my side.” He was inadequate. He didn’t feel qualified to tell it. And He said, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”
When I was called and sent, no one could have felt more inadequate than the speaker. I had had no formal education. I had no background, socially, intellectually, financially, or anything of that nature. Whatever I have today, it is quite current. My family made it in this generation. What they gave me is now; there is no background of wealth, and certainly no background that is social, prominent, and no intellectual background. So, I felt inadequate. How on earth could I face an audience? But I didn’t know that He was coming, that He would unfold in me what the wise scholars of the world did not experience. When you face the wise scholars of the world, they are theorizing, but you are speaking from experience. So, you are not standing even on the same level. You don’t make any apologies because they are not on the same level. They are speculating, and you are not speculating. You tell exactly how this thing has happened in you, and how it must happen to them. So, you are not making any excuses now for yourself, for no one could have foreseen that that would happen in me to give me the courage to speak, to give me that feeling of adequacy when inwardly I felt so inadequate.
So, I tell you, you have the greatest biography in the world! The Bible is your book. It’s all about you from beginning to end. You are the Jesus Christ of Scripture! You are the Lord God Jehovah of Scripture! And all these characters of Scripture are phases of your being. Abraham - that represents a state. All these characters, the Disciples - all of them are only aspects of your own wonderful Being. You are the Lord Jesus Christ!
So, He only speaks of two, the Father and His Son. Jesus is the Father. His Son is Christ, and Christ is David! David is the sum total of humanity. If you take all the beings of the world, all of their experiences, and then fuse it into one grand whole, that concentrated time that represents humanity’s history - personify it now. It comes out as David, and that is your son! That is David, for David will call you, “Father.” And then you know who you are. You are God the Father! Even though you are still a little man, weak with all the limitations of the flesh, you still have to play the weakness of man until the very end when you take it [the body] off. In my own case, when this thing [body] drops - tonight, tomorrow night, or any other night - when it drops I am through with the drama. I can say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth is laid out for me the crown of righteousness.” (II Timothy 4:7, 8) The whole thing is over. All I can do from now on is to tell it. I tell it tonight with force because I have no premonition about it, but I am speaking to you tonight as if it were the last time that I will be addressing you.
I have no plans for my future. [Note: At this point there is a flaw in my tape, during which interim Neville explained that he normally makes plans, both in Los Angeles and San Francisco, for the following year’s appearances, but he did not do it this year.] I made no plans for the fall in Los Angeles this year; I am not doing it here this year. I am speaking to you tonight just as though this is the last time that I will address you. I have no commitments whatsoever beyond tonight. I leave tomorrow morning; I am going back to L. A. to my wife and daughter, and that is it. So, I could be actually speaking to you for the last time - I do not know. I only know I have finished the work.
I have done everything that Scripture foretold that man must do. “I have finished the work thou gavest me to do. Return unto me the glory that was mine, the glory that I had with thee before that the world was,” (John 17:4, 5) for I was one with God the Father, and He detached me - as He detached you - for purposes of His own; and He actually implanted us His Word in this stock called “Humanity,” that we may become as He is. For, while we are part of that wonderful Eternal Tree, we partook of the nature of the tree - yes. Our substance was supplied by the trees; we had no life in ourselves. We were part of the Life of that tree. By detachment and incorporation in the stock called “Humanity” we, the grafted bud, now bear the fruit from the parent tree from which we were taken. And now we bring forth everything of that parent tree. Well, He was a Father; I have to bring forth fatherhood.
In order to bring forth fatherhood, I must bring forth a son, because He was a Father of a Son. The same Son must come out when I begin to bear the fruit. I have borne the fruit. I have brought forth David, and David revealed me to myself as God the Father. And now it is coming into my world day after day, writing me the letters, telling me in visions they saw me as the Being what I know that I am.
So, it has to take place just as we are told in Scripture! So, I am sharing it with you. Everyone in this world will have it - everyone. What hour, I cannot tell you. That day no one knows but the Father. The Father-in-you knows the hour and the day, but no one else knows it. I tell you, when it comes, it comes like a thief in the night - unexpectedly. It comes with such shocking suddenness! Then, all of a sudden, you are The Being. And what an awe! What a feeling that you - and you have a memory, remembering the weaknesses of your past - you know the things you did, things of which you are ashamed. What man walking this earth is not ashamed of things that he has done? Maybe he didn’t have the courage to do them, but he did them in his thoughts. He wished he had the courage. Maybe he didn’t have the courage, but he still entertained such thoughts. And in spite of these weaknesses, God erupts within you, and the story of God becomes your story!
Here is a mingled mood - you know you are incapable of doing those glorious things, and yet those glorious things written in your biography you are now actually experiencing, for you know the story of the Bible is your story.
So, I tell you, no one ever walked the face of this earth whose history is written in the world of Caesar that is anywhere near your biography. I don’t care who he is. I admire the great Lincoln. I have his biography by many who wrote it - wrote the story of Lincoln. He fades into insignificance when you compare it to your biography, for your biography is the Bible! Can you get any greater biography in the world than that? It’s all about you, written in the 40th Psalm.
Read it in the 40th Psalm. (Psalm 40:7) Everything said in that book, it’s all about me. And when you hear it, you cannot restrain your enthusiasm. You tell it to the whole congregation, and tell it to the world, especially when it unfolds within you. Now you speak from experience. You aren’t theorizing, and you aren’t in any way speculating.
So, all the Promises of God find their “Yes” - their affirmation in you. And The One spoken of is seated here in this audience tonight, clothed and clad in a robe of blood. You aren’t clothed in a robe of blood? But you do not know your name, and the name by which He is called is “The Word of God.”
Now go back to the first chapter of John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Now the Word is detached from the Tree of Life. “The Word became flesh and dwelt within us.” (John 1:14) He detaches it. God tears out of His own Being His Son, that they all may become as He is, and he actually engrafts them, as we are told in the book of James. “Receive with meekness the implanted Word.” (James 1:21 RSV ) And, so, that’s the Word, and you are that Word, that spore that is now engrafted into that wonderful stock called “Humanity.”
And, now, when you come out, you do not bear the fruit of man; you bear the fruit of that Tree from which you were taken, and that was God Himself. And the Bible tells you the fruit, so you follow the pattern.
When you go home, if not tonight, in the not-distant future, take the book of Hebrews. Every chapter quotes the Old Testament. Numberless verses all the way through quote the Old Testament. No other book is quoted - only the Bible, and that “bible” is the Old Testament. It lays out the pattern for you, the most marvelous pattern all the way through. You will see, beginning with the very beginning “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 a Son.” (Hebrews 1:1,2) Then he tells you who that Son is. And the first quote that he makes after that, of whom did he say - and he quotes that 2nd Psalm, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee.” (Hebrews 1:5) There he is quoting the words mentioned by David. Then he goes on, and you receive it in faith.
Then he takes the entire 11th chapter, which is a hymn in praise of faith, and goes forward into the 12th chapter, and shows you these characters who did not receive it, but still they are sustained by the faith of the Promise, and they are moving forward until that moment in time when the whole thing unfolds within them. He names all these wonderful characters in Scripture who had it, who accepted it on faith but not by works, because works cannot produce it. You either reject it, or you believe it.
If you accept it, then it is engrafted, and that wonderful spore is engrafted by your acceptance in faith alone.
So, go and tell them, and keep on telling the same story over and over and over. Then it will be grafted, and the whole thing unfolds within you.
I can’t tell you anything more wonderful than to tell you who you are. You may think you are Mr. Brown or you are Mrs. Smith, and that’s lovely. You are important in your own community in the world of Caesar. But it fades to nothing compared to the Being that you really are! You may not have one dime tonight, but if you really believe what I am telling you, you are far richer for your inheritance in the 4th chapter, the 13th verse of Romans tells that you “inherit the world. That is the Promise. It’s not just a little inheritance; you inherit the entire world. Well, the word translated “world” does not mean just the earth; it means Eternity! The same word translated “world” in the Old Testament is used to translate “eternity.” The word is “olam.” He puts “olam” into the mind of man, “yet so that man cannot find out what He has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) In the end, he comes into his inheritance, and that is the Universe. He owns everything; he owns Eternity!
So, that is the glorious Being that you really are, and no one can paint it on earth. You can’t paint the Being that you are. I could begin - and how I would fail would be miserable - to tell you how glorious you really are. To try to describe the glory of your body - and it is a body. May I tell you - this is not some fable; it’s a body, a living, living body that is so altogether right, it is perfect. You cannot improve upon perfection. As your Father in Heaven is perfect, you must be perfect, and clothed in that body wherever you go, it is perfect, and you don’t raise a finger to make it so. There is no effort on your part. You do nothing. Everything transforms itself before you, and it’s all perfect - all unearthly beautiful. That’s the Being that you are! And you dwell upon it. When you go to bed at night, dwell upon it, dwell upon what you really are, as against what your bank balance tells you. That’s not the thing that you are.
You are destined to inherit the world, but there is an interval between receiving the Promise of the inheritance and then actually coming into possession of it. When you are given the Promise - and we are all given the Promise - we were declared heirs. When we actually obtain the Promise, we receive our inheritance; and that is the difference between Christ-in-us and we-in-Christ.
Christ-in-us is the universal gift of God. It means His Son buried in all, therefore, sons. Now, We-in-Christ is when the individual comes out, and the individual is incorporated into the One Body, as told you in the 4th chapter of Ephesians: “...one body ... one Spirit ... one hope ... one Lord ... one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) If He is above all. He is transcendent. If He is through all, He is omnipresent. And if He is in all, He is immanent. I can’t turn any place to touch Him, because He is immanent - He is in all. If He is through, all, He is omnipresent, therefore He is present, and He is never so far off as even to be near, for nearness would imply separation. He is not separate. He is not only transcendent, He is omnipresent and He is immanent, and He is the Being you are destined to be.
In spite of the fact you have a body, yet you are omnipresent. You can’t describe it in 3- dimensional terms, you can’t describe it in the world of Caesar, but that is the Being that you are. And wherever you are, you are perfect, and the world is perfect.
So, I can tell you from my own experience that the Promise made in the beginning of time, before we started the journey - and if you read it carefully, you will read it in these words, “And a deep, deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and he slept. A darkness descended upon the earth, and a deep sleep fell upon him and he slept, and as he slept, then the Lord spoke - and gave that foreshadowing - “Your descendants will go into a land that is strange, a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved, and they will be oppressed four hundred years. Afterwards they will come out with great inheritance” - and then comes the statement of the Promise of the child. How will I know it? He is going to laugh. And I can’t describe the laugh of the child, any more than I can describe the beauty of David. I know great sculptors have tried their best to paint and to sculpt David. They can’t! He is too beautiful. You cannot describe the beauty, which is the essence of the experiences of being Man. It all comes out as one Being - a youth, an eternal youth. He’s not an old man. Eternity is youth, but man paints him as an old, old man; and yet Eternity is eternal youth, and it’s David. And that is the result of your oppression in the world of Caesar. And having reached the end, I share it with you.
No one will crow. No one will be better than the other, because all will be God, and you can’t transcend God. Everyone is destined to be God! And there’s nothing but God!
Now, this being the last night - and it may be my last night in a literal sense of the word - let us, after the Silence, bring any question that is on your mind to clarify the evening or whatever you want from the last ten lectures. Now let us go into the Silence.
Now, are there any questions, please?
Mrs. Berryhill: Will you please explain the meaning of the last verse of Hebrews 11, the 11th chapter where it tells that they should not be made perfect?
Neville: That 11th chapter comes to its end in the 4th verse of the 12th chapter. It begins, as you know, with a definition of faith, and then it begins taking Enos and the characters all the way through who had not yet received the Promise. Yet they were sustained by faith because the whole chapter is a hymn in praise of faith. But go through to the 4th verse of the 12th chapter. In spite of their not receiving the Promise, they still remained faithful. These characters are states of consciousness; they are not individuals as we are. These are states through which we pass. And in spite of all the wonderful things that the characters said, they still remained faithful but did not receive the Promise.
I hope that everyone here tonight will go to their grave in faith, even if you do not, between now and that moment in time when you depart the world, actually experience what I have experienced. It is my hope that you will. Then you will be numbered among those named in the 11th chapter right up through the 4th verse of the 12th. Remain faithful even though it has not erupted.
There are those in my southern class down in L.A. and those in New York who write me of their experiences, but I do know they are all human enough to want to write me and tell me it has happened to them. Many of them have had marvelous adumbrations of the Word - wonderful adumbrations. It is not the true Word, but it is a wonderful foreshadowing that should come in the not-distant future. It is not the Word, but it is a marvelous foreshadowing. Many of them are having it. So, I only ask everyone to remain faithful like those mentioned in the 1 1th and into the 4th verse of the 12th. They remained faithful, although they had not yet received the Promise.
The Promise is the child. That is the beginning of all the Promises. “I will give you a Son that will be your own heir,” and the heir bom into your house, which is now the son of the slave, won’t be your heir. You will have your own heir when Sarah will conceive and have a child. And Sarah laughed, but so did Abraham laugh, but he wasn’t criticized. Sarah was criticized. And he said, “Why did Sarah laugh?” when it is obviously stated that Abraham laughed too. It seems ludicrous if you take it on the literal side, in the secular sense. He was an old, old man, 100 years old; and Sarah was an old woman, 90 years old. The journey is so long, and after all these years, am I still going to have this child that was promised? Now, it comes to us at the end of the journey. That is when it comes to all.
When the child comes, it is the end of the journey. The word “telos” means end. It means, “Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” The word “perfect” is defined from the word “telos,” meaning the end. When you reach the end, the child is born.
He had reached the end, and strangely enough, he was 100 years old. And a hundred is “qoph,” and “qoph” is the back of the head. That is the symbol of the number “100,” right at the back of the head, exactly where you find the vibration starting, and you feel your whole head is coming apart like in an earthquake. And it is from here that you come out. And you are 100 years old, and a hundred is the numerical value of the letter “qoph,” the back of the head.
Are there any further questions? This is the last night, so take full advantage of it. Question by a gentleman: Is there any way to hasten the process - say, by “good works”?
Neville: No, Sir. We are warned in Scripture, it is not by good works; it’s by faith. As we are told in Galatians, the 3rd chapter:
“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?” (Galatians 1:1-3)
So, they turned to the physical Jesus, and it was portrayed as you go to a play. I can go to a play tonight, and the same actor who is killed on the stage tonight - a lot of tomato juice is running all over his vest as blood - I can go back tomorrow night and see the same actor be killed again, and the next night, and the next night until the curtain comes down. So, it was a portrayal. It was not something that actually took place in a physical sense; it was portrayed. It took place in Eternity. This drama is actually taking place in Eternity. And here, we are living in a shadow world. And
the evangelists were not writing history; they were writing “salvation” history when they wrote the story. They only related their own experience.
You cannot hasten it, and may I tell you, don’t try to. Be kind, be loving, gentle. Be all the lovely things in this world. You will find it so much easier to be kind - so much easier. If people would only realize how much easier it is to be - well, civil. When you go into a restaurant, why must you be uncivil because he or she waits upon you? You are the same people. So they are playing the role of a waiter. Well, what’s wrong with that? Why must they, because they are playing the part of a waiter, be treated as an inferior? Respect them; they respect you.
And, so, the whole vast world - just be kind. If you are ever in doubt, do the loving thing, and you’ve done the right thing. But as to hastening this thing - may I tell you from my own experience, when I went to sleep in this City in 1959, on the night of the 19th of July, I hadn’t the slightest idea of the literacy of the Promise of Scripture. I only knew the Law. Well, I taught the Law from the 2nd day of February - my wife’s birthday, 1933. I taught it because I had experienced it. I tried it and it worked.
I found that if I assumed a state and remained faithful to that assumption - well, it would work. It would crystallize into fact. Well, I was so excited that it worked; I began to teach it! I had not the slightest idea of this glory of the Promise. It happened to me suddenly right in this City twelve years ago the last 20th of July; and I certainly did not work for it, because I didn’t know it. It came like a shot out of the nowhere.
So, all the meditation in the world isn’t going to produce it. All the diets in the world will not produce it. All the things you do will not produce it, because it was promised by God, and it is not contingent upon anything that one can do. Man is the operant power. When it comes to the Law, he has to operate the Law, but when it comes to God’s Promise, that will come true, whether you believe it or not. Stalin may be the greatest atheist in the world; still it is going to prove itself in him!
But the Law - we are the operant power. We have to operate the Law. But when it comes to God’s Promise, God made the Promise, and there was no one with whom He could agree when he swore, so He swore by Himself, as we are told in Genesis 15:18. Finding no peer - He has no peer, so when He came to the point of swearing this testimony - this covenant, finding no one, He swore by Himself. And, so, that is Gods Promise to Himself! And God is faithful. Unlike man who goes astray and changes his loves, God does not change His Love.
Read it in the 136th Psalm. There are 26 verses, and every verse ends with, Thy faithful Love endures forever. “Thy steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136, last line of each verse) Twenty-six times that line is repeated.
And Shakespeare said it so beautifully in his hundred and sixteenth Sonnet:
“Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds, ...”
Now, all of us are guilty of that violation. Things change in our world, and we modify what we call our “love.” They grow old before our eyes, when we who fell in love with their youth and loved them dearly, and then because they grow old before our eyes as we before their eyes, we modify what we call our “love.” That isn’t Love.
“For love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds, ...”
So, God never alters. His “steadfast love endures forever.” Read it in the 116th Sonnet of Shakespeare. He was a very, very able man. We read all these marvelous things today. Go first to the Bible for the source, and if you don’t find it there, go to Shakespeare. All these so-called “original thoughts” of men today, they are all plagiarized.
Yet, in the end, everything - the most original thought in the world - is divine plagiarism, because it’s all God! So, the most original thought in the world is only divine plagiarism. When you make it yours by belief, it is yours. Anything I’ve ever said - if you really believe it to the point where, in your dreams, you act upon it, it’s yours. Don’t say it is Neville’s - it’s yours.
When you actually, in your dreams, begin to think in the same manner with the same beliefs, the same convictions, it is yours. I quote the Bible, and you know what passage I am quoting, but it becomes so much a part of you, you feel as though you wrote it, that you dictated it. It is a part of you. It is all yours.
Any other questions, please?
Question by a lady: Suppose you were creating some beautiful scene with a person involved in a loving situation, but over and over again this is broken by some unlovely memory. Is there any way to overcome that negative tendency?
Neville: My Dear, that question was asked two thousand years ago and answered in this manner, “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother? Seventy times seven?” (Matthew 17:21) You don’t multiply 70 by 7. He answers, “Seventy times seven.” (Matthew 17:22) Well, if you take it - seven is the sword; Zion is the name. Seventy is the eye until the eye is single, and you cannot move from anything other than the vision. “He kept the divine vision in time of trouble.” If you “keep the Divine vision in time of trouble,” [from “Jerusalem” by Wm. Blake] the eye becomes single. That is “seventy times seven.”
The Lady: No matter what he has done?
Neville: Oh, yes, no matter. I cannot conceive of my daughter Vicki - I really can’t conceive that she could do something that would ever cause me to turn from her. I can’t. I watch her with a dog. She has a dog, an all-American dog. It has no pedigree or background. She took it to the obedience class where all the other dogs costing fortunes have wonderful pedigrees, but she didn’t care. This was her dog. She walked with them, too. So when it came to graduation, they had to give her some kind of a certificate, but what to give it? So, the man very sweetly said, “He’s an all-American dog.”
But, you know, I can’t criticize that dog in the presence of Vicki for anything it does, because whatever it does, it’s my fault. You cannot criticize the dog. She named it Stanley, and Stanley, if he comes home and for some reason or other misbehaves - well, if she be late in coming, I do the cleaning. And if I tell her when she comes what he did, it’s my fault. “You didn’t walk him when you should have walked him.’’ I should have taken him out before I did, and he would not have done it.
It may have come from his front; maybe he ate something that disagreed with him, but it is my fault. And if it comes that way, she will say, “You shouldn’t feed him so much.” You cannot criticize Stanley to Vicki. That’s love. She really should have a farm, a tremendous farm. She should marry some man who loves animals. That is her great passion. Now, that is really love.
She has a friend who shares her home. The other one cannot change the paper for the birds. She has birds. So, when Vicki goes away, the other one can’t take care of the birds or the dog. What do they do? They bring them to my home. I have to take the little birds and change the paper and water them and give them feed, and then, of course, I have Stanley with me. And I live in a home where my contract says, No dogs. But that doesn’t affect her at all!
That is what I mean by love. When we love someone, as you love a child if you have a daughter or a son, when you know that they have done something that - well, you are not proud of it; on the other hand, you love them, and that’s all that matters. Let no one criticize them! You might say something tenderly, but you don’t want any third person to pass any opinion. It is between the two of you, and that is how I feel about it.
When you love - well, you just love. That’s all there is to it. When God loves, He never changes - not in Eternity. He has fallen in love with His son, and you are His Son, for in the Resurrection, man is above the organization of sex as told us in the book of Galatians. “There is no Greek, no Jew, no bond, no free, no male or female. We are all one in Christ.” (Galatians 3:28)
And, so. He fell in love with His sons and called His sons from afar, and He is calling them, one after the other, and His love remains steadfast. He never changes His Love.
It was on that note that Shakespeare wrote his sonnet, for Shakespeare was a great student of the Bible. In fact, it was interpreted into English in the day of Shakespeare; that is why that King James Version is so beautifully told. It is a monument to the English language because it came in the day of Elizabeth, when the great giants in the use of the tongue lived, Shakespeare for one. Oh, what a Book! And it’s all your book; it is all your biography.
Well, the time is up. And thank you for coming. Thank you so much. Good night.