02 Jan “A Confession of Faith”
Tonight’s subject is “A Confession of Faith.” The Bible really is a confession of faith, a confession put in the form, I may say, of an anthology, for they are the collected sayings of one shepherd given through his servants the prophets over the centuries. But the book has been culled and culled, as you can see from the Apocrypha; for at one time they were all part of the canon of scripture. Before the 4th Century A.D. the epistles of Peter and the epistle to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation they were not included in what is now our canon of scripture. But if you take it as it is today—and it has been in this form since the end of the 4th Century—it really is a confession of faith in the form of an anthology. But faith is not complete until it becomes experience.
And so, we have a hymn of praise for faith given to us in the Book of Hebrews, where he took all the witnesses beginning with Abel and he came all the way through, all living by faith. They received the promises of God, but they did not receive the thing that was promised. There’s a vast difference between receiving the promise and receiving that which was promised. The time was not completed for them to enter what we speak of this day as the new age or the kingdom of God. But he defines faith for us in the 11th chapter as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Then he tells us that the whole vast world was framed and created by the word of God. The word of God is called “the truth” in scripture. The seal of God consists of the three letters in the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, Mem and Tau. If you put them together they spell truth, Emeth. It’s the first, the middle and the last letter of the alphabet. So we are told in the Book of John, “I have taught them thy word. Thy word is truth” (7:14,17). He comes only to bear witness to the word. His every act is simply foreshadowed in scripture. No one is concerned in the scripture as to whether one is a good carpenter or a poor carpenter, whether one is rich or poor, for scripture is something entirely different. It simply is God’s word and everyone is destined to experience scripture. And so, then faith becomes experience; faith is fulfilled in the experience of scripture.
Tonight we’ll take a statement from the Book of Hebrews and one from Luke. In Hebrews it’s the 12th chapter: But now you’ve come into Mount Zion, the home of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…where the assembly of the first-born are really now entered into heaven, and here you find the spirits of just men made perfect, here you find a judge who is God of all, and here you find Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking— that’s in the 12th chapter of Hebrews (verses 22-25). The one speaking in this chapter is Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. There you find the entrance into the book of those who are raised from the dead, and they’re called the first-born of those who slept; there you find the spirits of just men made perfect; and we’re told it all takes place in the new Jerusalem in Mount Zion which is the home of the living God.
When you read it you wonder, “What is it trying to tell us?” Well, let me share with you my experience. We go back now to the 12th chapter of Luke. Here we are told that everything in this world is forgiven but one—which is unbelievable because to a merciful God everything is possible and everything is forgivable—but we are told that the sin against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven; it is the eternal sin. But it doesn’t leave us there, as Mark does, the 3rd chapter of Mark, when Mark makes that statement Mark leaves us there and there is no out. But not Luke, Luke is more developed as to this mystery. And then Luke turns our attention to that one moment in eternity when it’s possible for man to sin against the Holy Ghost by adding the words, “And when they bring you before the synagogues, before the rulers, before the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (verse 11). The very little word “ought” is your freedom to stand in the presence of the one who is speaking and refuse to make your confession of faith after having been supernaturally prompted what to say. For you are told what to say…not audibly…but in that very hour when you stand in his presence you are actually being prompted, supernaturally prompted what to say. Now listen to it carefully, “Do not be anxious when you stand in his presence how or what you are to answer.” Well, if I am to answer, someone must have asked me a question. And so, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say. So having answered, I’m also going to make a statement: for while in that very hour the Holy Spirit will teach you what you ought to say. So when you stand in the presence of this one, defined for us so beautifully in the 12th of Hebrews, I can’t conceive of anyone not actually automatically answering the question that is asked you.
So this is what will happen to you. As you’re told, he was taken in spirit, just as you’re told in Isaiah he was taken in spirit; they all were taken in spirit, and you are taken in spirit. You have the sensation of a long, long journey, that’s the sensation, yet it’s completed only in a matter of moments. But you, if you would analyze the feeling, it’s a feeling of an infinite journey. And you are taken in spirit, you don’t see your ___(??), but you are brought into this heavenly council. As you are told in the 82nd Psalm, “And God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.” Well, who are the gods? The spirits of just men made perfect, they’re the gods. You are the gods. And when you enter that society you meet men, and you’re brought into the presence of the one who you’re told not to refuse, the one who is speaking. You’re told that those who are born from above are now being enrolled. You will see the most glorious angelic being with an open book and a quill pen. Now, what is directed, I do not know. I only saw what I’m now describing. I saw this angelic being sitting at a desk with a quill pen, an open book, and here was motion. What was recorded I do know. But you’re told in Hebrews that these are enrolled in heaven. Who are enrolled? Those who are called the first-born from the dead, those who are born from above, and they are enrolled. You actually see it.
Then you are brought before the one that is speaking now. You stand in the presence of the risen Christ, the Lord of hosts. You can’t describe him, save that he was encompassed in light, infinite light, but it’s man. The words of Blake may speak to your mind, Don’t humble yourself—if you humble yourself you humble me—for you too are man and God is no more. You stand in the presence of man, infinite in love. That’s the one feeling that you feel coming from him, infinite love. Then he asks you a very simple question, “What is the greatest thing in the world?” And maybe after that moment, in your conscious reasoning mind, you never fully understood it or even accepted it, but you don’t hesitate to answer. And you answer in the words of Paul, his 13th Corinthians, because he did for love what the writer of Hebrews did for faith. And so, he said, the greatest thing in the world is love: “Faith, hope and love, these three abide; but the greatest of these is love” (1Cor.13:13). That’s what you’re going to say. And as you say it, the risen Christ will embrace you; and from that moment on you wear his body. No mortal eye can see it but you are incorporated into the body of God, and you feel a joy and an ecstasy that you can’t describe in words. Then from that, you are sent on your mission, for to be called is also to be sent. And as Paul said, “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen the risen Christ? Have I not seen the Lord Jesus Christ?” (1 Cor. 9:1). So to have seen him is to be qualified for apostleship. The word apostle simply means “to be sent, one who is sent.” So as you are embraced and become one with God you are then sent to tell the story that all may hear it and then respond to it. That’s why it’s so very important that the testimony of Jesus should be heard by all, and then let them be the judge and respond to it. Reject it or accept it.
But I tell you, every word of scripture you’re going to experience. But you accept it first purely on faith, and you walk blindly led only by faith. You do not receive the promises until the end of a certain journey. But the door is open now and has been since the first one who was raised from the dead. Everyone is being called, called one by one, into that divine council; and while you are there you will encounter all of these things that are mentioned in the 12th chapter of the Book of Hebrews. You will see the men. They are giants, not in height but giants in power. The first one that I saw was the embodiment of infinite might, but a man. I felt in his presence that if he desired he could destroy the earth. I felt he could destroy the universe. I felt the embodiment of infinite might in the presence of that man…and it is a man…the spirit of a just man made perfect. I met others. I met infinite love…that’s God himself. But, mercy was present, peace was present, all these attributes were present in the form of man. And I mingled with them and I moved among them—they’re all men, the spirits of just men made perfect. The children preceded that motion and they were simply perfectly heavenly children. So everything recorded that seems so silly on the surface you are going to experience. That’s why I can tell you from experience the book is true.
On this level of ours, you take the same faith that led the patriarchs and move it in our world to better the environment in which we live. Now what do we mean by living by faith? He said, they endured as seeing him who was invisible, that’s what they did. Well, you and I endure as seeing that which at the moment is invisible. Seeing what?—the success that you see. When I walk by sight I go my way by the objects that my eye sees. If I leave here tonight and suddenly the streets are not what they were when I came in and the signs are rearranged or gone, or the buildings are gone, I am quite sure that we couldn’t find our way home. We must have some familiar objects, stable objects, to lead us that we see them by the eye. So I know my way when I walk by sight by objects that the eye sees.
When I walk by faith, I know my way by objects that only the mind sees. And so, when I want to walk by faith, I set up in my mind’s eye objects to lead me. The objects are the faces of the friends that I call my friends, who would sincerely rejoice with me if they learned of my good fortune. Then I let them know of it. I see the world as I want to see it, not as it is here to be seen. So I rearrange the structure of the mind; and then I remain faithful to it—as the patriarchs remained faithful to their invisible being. For we are told in the 11th of Hebrews that Moses endured as seeing him who was invisible. He was told about him, as Job was. And Job said, “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now, in the very end, my eye sees thee.” He was faithful to the end, and then he saw the being who predicted the moment in time that he would actually stand in his presence. And Job went through, as you know, the proverbial hell, but he was always faithful. He never once complained, but he did not feel for one moment that this pain that he endured was justified. And in spite of that he still believed in God. He believed in the Promise. So the Promise is to all of us that God one day will give himself to us, individually. That’s called grace in scripture…and grace is God’s gift of himself to man. So when he embraces you he gave you himself. All that he had he gave you in that one moment that he embraced you. If he is the king of kings, he gives you that honor. If a king has a kingdom, he gave you the kingdom. So you will inherit with that embrace not only a presence but a kingdom. He doesn’t take back anything. He gives you his most precious possession: He gives you his only begotten son as your son. Not as your companion, to walk as a friend, but he gives you his only begotten son as your son. Therefore, he gave you fatherhood in that gift. He gives you everything that he has.
Now, you are sent into the world to encourage all to be faithful and endure as seeing him who at the moment is invisible. And to prove to them that you are on solid ground you explain to them the nature of faith, that faith is “the assurance of things and the conviction of things not seen.” So I would put it in these words, faith is simply loyalty to unseen reality. So you tell me what you want in this world and you name it. You want to be successful and you name what you mean by success. I’m not here to judge you, just to guide you, to tell you, well alright, if you really want to be successful, assume this very moment that at this moment now you are now what you want to be. Take the dream and wear it as you would a suit of clothes. Now, see the world as you would see it were it true. Now that’s the invisible you. Now you walk faithful to this invisible you. But make it natural, wear it just as you would wear any apparel in the world, and as you wear it, it becomes more and more you, more and more natural. And you can tell it in your dreams. Your dreams will change, because your dreams will reflect the mood that really dominates you, because the dominant mood really spells out the individual. That mood to which man most often returns constitutes the man’s truest self. So if I return constantly in the course of a day to the mood of success, at the end of a couple of days it’s a natural thing. I don’t have to come back to it as often. Then, in a little while, I take it for granted. It’s the most normal, natural thing in the world thereafter.
Let me tell you a story of my brother, which I told a friend tonight. We started after a disastrous failure in a way back in l919…started from scratch with borrowed capital. When my brother and father, who were then partners together, owed the bank 5,000 dollars they were concerned, they were worried. This past November in New York City, discussing with my brother Victor, I said, “Vic, what do you owe the bank?” Oh, he said, “I presume a million and a half.” I said, “You owe a million and a half?” “Yes, always owed a million and a half. That’s their money, their rent money, and our rent money to them. And so I need money to turn the wheels of industry. But today, owing them on every day of the year 1,500,000 dollars I’m not as concerned as I used to be when I owed them 5,000 dollars. No concern whatsoever.”
And it brought to mind a story, which is a very true story. He’s gone from this world now. He was mayor of Hamilton __(??), a little island in the Indies. He started from scratch washing bottles in a little store. But they couldn’t import bottles all the time so if you brought your bottle back you got a penny for it; and he had to smell the bottles to see that you didn’t put kerosene in that bottle before you brought it back, for these bottles were used for rum. Well, he was a very ingenious lad and he rose to be the mayor of the town. He owned the biggest hotel and parts of other hotels. So during this period that we called Prohibition in this world, there were nine indictments against him in this country, because he was running as much rum as would float the country into this land of ours, all on the eastern seaboard, had his own ships, had everything else. He bribed this mayor, bribed that mayor, and they all would come down and count the pieces that he brought ashore, because these mayors got two dollars a case, and they weren’t taking his count for it. They would come down and count the cases and each got their two dollars in cash per case. It ran into millions.
Well, he had to be financed too. And so he went to the local bank and he raised money to finance this project. The banker one day said to him, “Ronnie, did you know you owe me an awful lot of money.” He said, “Are you worried?” “Why, certainly I’m worried, because you owe me more money than we are capitalized for.” Well, he said, “You’re worried…there’s no need for both of us worrying.” He had one person worried so he didn’t worry, while Ronnie did all the money for him. Now, Ronnie applied this unwittingly. He never saw failure. He couldn’t conceive of failure. He started, as I told you earlier, without one nickel in this world, but he lived in the assumption that things were right. And with nine indictments against him in this country the day that Prohibition went out this country tore the nine up and he was as welcome in this country as you are. For, he came and left as he wanted after they tore the nine indictments up; for they only belonged to that age of Prohibition.
So I tell you, faith—read it in the 11th chapter of the Book of Hebrews, “Things that you see were made from things that do not appear.” If one could only keep that in mind. The success that you want is made from things that you do not know in this world. It is not made from your friends. Don’t depend upon one friend in this world. Don’t depend upon anyone, just…it’s all in you. The whole vast world is yourself pushed out, and so, if you know that the things seen were made from things that are not seen, then you will take off from there; and you will know that imagining and faith are the stuff out of which man fashions his world. You can start wherever you are and fashion anything you want in this world. So when you walk by faith, you walk by objects only the mind sees. If you insist on walking in the natural way by sight, well, then you walk by objects that the eye sees. Your friends will see you as they now see you, and you’ll never get beyond it if you don’t dare to assume that you are other than what you seem to be. You must dare to assume it and be faithful to it, be loyal to this unseen reality, and then day in and day out it becomes more and more natural. After awhile you will know what I’m talking about concerning proving it here on this level, and then be blessed with the proof on the depths of the soul.
But I can’t tell anyone what a thrill it is when you are taken in spirit into the divine society. Because you read it in a book, but you can’t believe, as most people can’t believe, that God is man. It’s a stumbling block. No matter when I speak or where I speak there’s always someone to challenge my right to say that God is a man. “You dare in this modern age of 1964, of nuclear energy, to say that God is man?” Well, I’m speaking from experience. I stood in his presence. I can say exactly what Paul said, “Have I not seen the risen Christ? Am I not an apostle?” Did he not send me? I saw him, therefore, that was the qualification. And the words ringing in my ears then are still ringing in my ears, and the command was “Time to act!” Therefore, if you say you believe this. then it’s time to act. Don’t say I believe it and not act. For, I’ll tell you, there’s not a thing in this world that tests one’s belief better than action. Action puts belief to the acid test. For if the belief isn’t strong enough to effect action then it can’t move anything in this world. So if I say I believe, then I will act upon it. I will not sleep this night in the assumption of being the man that I was today if I didn’t want to be that man. I would dare to assume that I am the man that I want to be, though at the moment everything denies it. If I don’t act that way, well then, my belief or my claim isn’t really great enough.
Now, people will say who know the Bible, “Did not James say that faith without works is dead?” Granted, he did say that, but he did not propose that we substitute works for faith. Works are the evidence of whether the faith we profess in this world is alive or dead. If it is alive, you’ll act; if it’s dead, you’ll simply give it lip service and do nothing about it. You will say, “Imagining creates reality. It’s a lovely statement. It causes arguments if you’re at a social gathering.” And so, you can have that as some little thing as a toy. But I’m not speaking of a toy, I’m speaking of the force of creation in this world. It does create reality, but if I really believe it I will act upon it.
So when I was commanded to go and tell the story of Christ, the words in my ears that were ringing from the one who embodied infinite might were the words “Time to act.” And the words that preceded that, that have disturbed so many people, were the words “Down with the bluebloods” because we have a certain association of bluebloods that we think it means the socially prominent. Hasn’t a thing to do with that, because in heaven the only aristocracy is the aristocracy of the Spirit. Hasn’t a thing to do with flesh and blood, because no one can inherit the kingdom of heaven with flesh and blood; because God is Spirit but man; and you are Spirit, just as solidly real as you seemingly are here, but you are Spirit and you are man. You stand in the presence of man and you look around and there are only men.
So when you hear these words “Down with the bluebloods,” don’t think for one moment it means that you destroy any of the lovely fruits of this world…not a thing about it. The bluebloods is simply “church protocol.” You do not need them. Leave them alone. But you don’t need it; you don’t need any external worship, any external form of worship or ceremony or any outside creed. The whole thing comes from within. So I have never gone out to disturb any group, I assure you, and yet these words were my command. And so, they came back in the late 1920s. I was not more than twenty-one or twenty-two when this happened. I have never been a disturbing influence in any group. I might disturb your mind as I go by you, but not if you’re satisfied with a certain thing. I never invite you to leave a certain church to come here, nor would I invite you to leave a certain group to come here. But the protocol being spoken of is simply church protocol—anything that is on the outside that you think in some strange way God is looking out on you and will accept that in lieu of acting. No, he wants you to act. He wants you to create, for God is a creator; and his sons must be as creative as he. So we must create and create and still create again.
So, this is a confession of faith. And one day, I swear as I stand here, the joy is beyond measure when you are called. The night you are called you do not know; you haven’t the slightest idea. You go to sleep as you would sleep this night, not expecting anything, and suddenly you are picked up in Spirit and you are carried seemingly forever. Then you come into this grand, wonderful gathering of the gods. And when he holds you, because you’ve answered correctly, you did not sin against the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit prompted you by asking the question. Now, I do not say that everyone will be asked the same question. But I do say, regardless of the nature of the question, the answer you will know, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. And because he teaches you what you ought to say, you’re prompted by some supernatural power which is the Holy Spirit, you will say it, and because the answer is correct he will embrace you. The moment he embraces you, you fuse with God and you never become un-fused again. You’re one with God forever and forever. When you’re time is up here and this little flesh and blood garment is taken off, you awake there. And that is the being that you are. It seems incredible but it’s true.
And may I tell you, you don’t earn it. You don’t earn it, it is a gift, therefore, you’re going to get it. And secondly, don’t think that you’ve got to fit yourself to receive it, just act. I’m quite sure that Ronnie who violated all of our laws that we ourselves violated when he ran unnumbered cases of liquor into this country. He violated all the laws of this country, but there wasn’t an American who wasn’t violating the same law. Unless, naturally, you were an extreme “dry” and many of them were, but on the whole we did not want the Volstead Act. It was against the grain of the country. And so he simply fed America what they wanted and made millions doing it. But I am quite sure that in the presence of God he is not unclean because he did that, I’m quite sure. No one can tell me that they feel in their heart that they’re qualified to stand in his presence and be embraced by him, and be incorporated into his body as himself. So I know today that fitness is the consequence not the condition of his grace. The minute you are embraced you are fitted. You weren’t fitted prior to that, yet you were called. So man is called. And what is the secret of God’s elective love I do not know. But we are called in order, not in groups; we are called singly but in God’s own order. For he is building his new Jerusalem, building it out of these living stones that we are. And he…his body is that great Jerusalem, that creative power that can create anything in this world.
So to come back to that unforgivable sin, I can’t conceive of it. I can’t conceive of anything impossible to God. And a merciful being that God is, I can’t conceive of a thing that his mercy could not forgive. So we’re pointed to it, and Luke leads the way. Mark doesn’t. When Luke adds what he does to that statement, it throws light on it. So when you are brought before the synagogue, before the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer. Right away he tells you you’re going to be asked something. Don’t be anxious. Why? Because in that very hour the Holy Spirit will teach you what you ought to say. So he does give you the freedom of choice to say no, or refuse to speak, or give the wrong answer. Because, you ought to say what you’ve been prompted to say, but you need not because you’re free. So you are warned again in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, So when you stand before him, he who is speaking, do not refuse him (verse 25). Don’t refuse him, the one who is speaking. Well, who is speaking? The previous verse tells you who is the one speaking: the risen Christ. You stand in his presence, he is the one asking the question, and you stand there, and you answer him, and then he incorporates you into his body.
So here you take it this night and take it in hope. As you’re told, “Put your hope fully on the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It’s coming! Can’t stop it! Put all of your hope on that grace. But in the meanwhile live by faith. Ask a friend “What do you want in this world?” and don’t raise a finger to make it so for him. Don’t call your friends and tell them to help him; you do it, do it in your mind’s eye. And if they are a thousand miles away or ten thousand miles away, still do it. They aren’t 10,000 miles away in your Imagination, they’re right here. I get a call from Barbados, well, physically that would be 5,000 miles from here, but they’re not. I could talk to my sister as though she were here. I could talk to my father, who is gone, as though he were here. I talk to my mother. In fact, my memory of my mother has been quite a guide in much of my behavior. First of all, I don’t think that mother would approve, well, that stops me; because I know she isn’t dead, and I know she isn’t 5,000 miles away, and I know she’s as near as to me as my thought is to her.
So, I know when I think of mother that her attitude towards my behavior guides me, because I know what she’d expect from her son. She used to tell us when we were little children and the word Goddard had no meaning whatsoever in the island—no social standing, no financial standing, nothing, no intellectual standing—and when we were little tots and mother was raising us, we could ill-afford the little things that we had to have. If you did something that displeased her, mother would say, after she corrected us, “Have you forgotten that you are a Goddard?” Well, she shamed you that you forgot you were a Goddard. She made the name important. It had no importance whatsoever, had no significance, but you walked in the consciousness of being a Goddard. With the result having built that into your consciousness, they are the biggest business people in all the islands today. That is in all the…that’s nearly all the islands…definitely in Barbados, and now St. Lucia, and St. Vincent, and they are the tops as to name and industry. She made it important. And quite often she didn’t have to go beyond shaming you, “Have you forgotten that you are a Goddard?” Try it with your children. Make your name, which they bear, an important name. And then actually you can spare the whip by simply recalling their memory to the fact that they have forgotten the importance of their parents and, therefore, the importance of themselves.
And so, if you treat those who are gone from this world as though they were here, and you respect their opinions, and know that they can see you as I see you now, then you would not do many things that, well, without that consciousness you would do. Because I know that she would disapprove. I know my father would disapprove. I know that he had a certain attitude towards life that you could not criticize any woman in his presence. A man, yes, you could say what you want of a man, but he would not allow anyone of us to say anything that was not noble concerning a woman. He just wouldn’t stand for it. And that happened even when we were all grown men with our wives and children. He disapproved heartily of any criticism of woman. He always put woman on a pedestal. To the very day he made his exit they were something different in his life. If something obviously was not right, he would rather not discuss it. No matter how obvious it was, he just wouldn’t discuss it. He built that into his mind’s eye.
And so, I say to everyone, try it. Walk by these internal guides, for we have guides. The internal guide is the same you use with the external guide of the eye. You walk home by objects that you know, and you walk to your objective in life by the inner object that you know. Along the way you’re going to meet this one that you know well and they will congratulate you on your good fortune, and as a friend you will accept it and be gracious about it. Then the next one will congratulate you and you will congratulate them because you want them to be equally progressive in this world. We can take everyone in our circle and lift them up in the inner circle of the mind seeing them as we would like to see them. And may I tell you it will work. If we have evidence for a thing, does it really matter what our critics say? It doesn’t really matter if we have evidence for it. So we can test God’s law. We can test the power of faith and when we test it and prove it, well, then we’ll live by it. If someone asks us what is the secret, you tell them. If they don’t ask us, well, we need not shout about it. But, if they ask we’ll tell them. They may not believe it, but you can tell them. I know my father told me the very first day he heard me in New York City, we came home after the lecture in the morning and he said, “Boy, I agree with every thing you said this morning but one.” I said, “Alright, tell me. You are a success in life. In my eyes you’re a great success. So what is the one?” He said, “You told them this morning that when they meditate close the eye. No, don’t do that, just partly close it. Just close the lid but don’t completely close it, and then you can see better. You can see exactly what you want to see if you only partly close it. If you close it completely, then your mind wanders.” And so, that was his advice to me.
But I couldn’t laugh at my father for the simple reason he had proved it. He started without a nickel and his goal was success in this world. He had his own ideas concerning religion, concerning family life, and he held them up very high. But in business he started from scratch. When he was thirty-nine he could give us what he did, and when at eighty-five when he made his exit from this world had you come in the next day and offered to buy out the enterprises, you couldn’t come with less than five million and get even a carrot. And he did that for us by simply not closing his eye. Every morning he would sit after breakfast and see exactly what he wanted for the day. He would carry on all of his transactions and bring them out successfully. Any contract he had pending for the day, he’d get it before he left home and saw the whole thing at the end. Now, whether he did it unknowingly or someone told him, I don’t know. But I know in my own case, after my first lecture that he heard, he said to me, “Everything you said is true but one. Don’t tell them again to close the eye, just partly close it, and then they see exactly what they want to see and carry on conversations with that scene from the premise of exactly what they want in this world, and believe it.” He was a very faithful man to this belief.
So now, as we go into the Silence, I’ll close mine because I’ve grown accustomed to it. But try my father’s technique. I can close my eye and see exactly what I want to see. But maybe others are helped by his technique. As I say, I can’t laugh at him because he proved it. And if he had evidence for a thing it doesn’t matter what others think. We will stick by what we know based upon experience.
Now let us go into the Silence.
Q: ___(??) of Rachel dying in childbirth?
A: I really don’t know.
A: The first-born is disclosed in the 1st chapter of Revelation: He was the first raised from the dead, the first-born of those who slept. You’ll find that in the 1st chapter (verse 5). So the first- born…he’s speaking of an entirely different age, when one leaves this age, the wheel of recurrence, and enters that age. Everyone who enters that is the first-born.
A: ___(??) it seems this way to us, but no, “All that I behold, though it appears without, it is within.” Well, you’re told in so many passages of the Isaiah story, in the 6th chapter of Isaiah, and he beheld him. Moses saw him face to face and talked to him as a man talks to a man. Jacob saw him, wrestled with him through the night, and said, “This is the place of God.” He called it Bethel, or the house of God. And so, it’s not a unique thing. Everyone will see him. And everyone, I’m quite sure, is going to see infinite love and you’ll stand in his presence. If you say you die, you die only because in Jacob’s case it gave the cue: his name was changed from Jacob to Israel. He could not remain Jacob and see God, because to see God is to be transformed. And whatever you were prior to that, you’re not the same being. You appear to others to be the same being, you answer to the same name, but you are not the same being; because you cannot rub out that indelible imprint that has been made upon you. You can’t forget the sensation of love that was yours, the ecstasy that was yours, and it haunts you. And so, you are not the same being.
Now, I didn’t say one of these things to my father. When I went home to my father in 1933— I left there in ’22—I’m sitting on the veranda with him one day, a minister calls, and this minister is an old friend of mine as a schoolboy. He went his way and became a minister and came to America. So he came home to see me to discuss, and, naturally, we got to discussing the Bible. My father turned to me in the presence of the minister—I had never discussed it with my father before—and he looked at me, he said, “You know, son, you are an apostle.” Well, at the moment I did not accept my father’s judgment on that score, for I still hadn’t…I couldn’t bring myself to believe the significance of the experience that happened some years before. But he was very, very familiar with his Bible, and he knew that having seen the risen Christ and having been sent that that in itself would imply, whether you know it or not, you have been sent. And you can’t be sent and not be one. But people will say, Well after all, the man has been married twice, he has children, he drinks, eats meat, he does all these things, how can he be one? If you go back to the book you see he came eating and drinking; they called him a drunkard and a glutton and he liked all the harlots. He was a friend of all the sinners and the harlots and the tax collectors. And so, you point these things out in the scriptures, they get annoyed, they don’t like that. Because man has a strange concept about what is a holy man. What is a holy man? (tape runs out…)