21 Jul Neville Goddard: “He Breaks the Shell” (1964) [RARE FULL BOOK]
HE BREAKS THE SHELL
GOD UNVEILS HIS IMAGE IN FOUR ACTS
“Teach me, O Holy Spirit, the Testimony of Jesus! let me Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law!”
Blake: Jerusalem Pl. 74.
I am but a fellow-servant with you and your brothers who bear their testimony to Jesus.”
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me”
“The yoke of the law” is a common rabbinical expression for the study of the scriptures. “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead” (Rev. 1:5) proposes an exchange of the Scriptures based on his own personal experience for others based purely on speculation.
HE BREAKS THE SHELL
It is very difficult for man to change his understanding of the meaning of an event, once old accepted interpretations have become rigidly fixed in is mind. But the four acts of God which veil his “Image” “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26) appear in a quite different light in prospect from what they really are seen to be in retrospect.
The Resurrection is God’s first act in the unveiling of his “Image.” It is fulfilled in a way man could never have guessed, by an awakening in his skull, not at the end of his history, but within his history. Resurrection is an event happening within the earthly life of man. Our human life has its significance only and always in relation to our resurrection. The man so awakened is “”declared Son of God by a mighty act in that he rose from the dead; it is about Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 1:4). Participation in the life of the age to come depends on God’s act of awakening the dead.
We are resurrected one by one to unite into a single Man, who is God: “And the Lord will become king over all the earth: on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.” (Zec. 14:9). Resurrection is an individual experience, an awakening in one’s own skull, followed instantly by a supernatural birth from his skull, a privileged birth in a new creation. This is effected by the grace of God alone; and only of such an awakening does the New Testament use the term “the resurrection.” All other men apart from the resurrected are, at death, restored to life only to die again.
“There came to him some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife. And Jesus said to them, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20: 27-36)
“He hath awakened from the dream of life ‘Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep With phantoms an unprofitable strife.”
God’s purpose lies not in evolving the natural order but in awakening his sons associated with it. “For the created universe waits with eager expectation for God’s sons to be revealed.” (Rom. 8:19).
“Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to complete. I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke will disappear from the Law until all that must happen has happened.” (Matt. 5: 17-18)).
“My task is to bear witness to the truth. For this was I born; for this I came into the world, and all who are not deaf to truth listen to my voice.” (John 18 37-38)
“I was dead and now I am alive for evermore” (Rev. 1:18)
“Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead” (Rev. 1:5)
The testimony of Jesus should be heard and responded to. Some will be convinced by what he says, while others will disbelieve. The testimony of Jesus cannot be induced at will. It is the unveiling of God’s Image. This sudden and completely unexpected awakening in one’s skull, to find it to be a sepulcher in which you had been entombed, is bewildering and perplexing.
The Resurrection is God’s first act in the unveiling of is primal wish, “let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26). “The one who started the good work in you will bring it to completion by the Day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6) Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). God’s work in you is completed, when “you take the shape of Christ” (Gal. 4:19).. Then you will be awakened and raised from the dead.
The first act by which God unveils “the Son who is the effulgence of God’s splendour and the stamp of God’s very being” (Heb. 1:3) is a double act. It awakens the sleeper and brings him forth from his skull: Born anew.
Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine upon you.”
He is “born anew … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for him” (I Peter 1: 3-4).
The “new birth” follows “the resurrection.”
“Flesh can give birth only to flesh; it is spirit that gives birth to spirit. You ought not to be astonished, then, when I tell you that you must be born over again. The wind blows where it will; you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from, or where it is going. So with everyone who is born from spirit.” (John 3: 6-8)
Man awakens within his skull to discover that he is entombed within it. Intuitively he knows that if he pushes the base of the skull an opening will be made and he will emerge. He pushes the base, finds an opening and comes out the head first in the same manner a child is born. As he contemplates the skull out of which he has just emerged, suddenly there comes a sound like that of a strong driving wind which fills the whole room; he hears the sound of it, but he does not know ‘where it comes from or where it is going.’ His attention is diverted for a moment from the body out of which he has just emerged by the sound of the wind. When looking back to the body he is surprised to find that it has been removed and in its place sit three men; one sits where the head was and two sit where the feet were.
They, too, hear the sound of the mighty win but do not know “where it comes from or where it is going.” They do not see the man who is born from his skull but they find the sign of his birth; a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying on the floor.
“Today in the city of David a deliverer has been born to you – the Messiah, the Lord. And this is your sign; you will find a baby lying all wrapped up, in a manger” (Luke 2: 11-12).
They find the sign of his birth but not the twice-born man, for he is now “declared Son of God by a mighty act in that he rose from the dead.” (Rom. 1-4).
“My Father and I are one” (John 10:30).
The second mighty at unveils the mystery of the fatherhood and Brotherhood of Man. Man finds David of Biblical fame and discovers that David’s nature and mission are spiritual, not physical or historical. “I have found David…. He shall cry for me, Thou are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation” (Ps. 89:20, 26). “You re my son, today I have begotten you” (Ps 2:7). “No one knows who the Son, is but the Father, or who the Father is but the Son, and those to whom the Son may choose to reveal him” (Luke 10:22).
“He said to them, How can they say that the Messiah is son of David? For David himself … calls him “Lord”: how then can he be David’s son?” (Luke 20: 41-44). David in the spirit calls him “my Father”. When the “Messiah”, “the image of the invisible God,” is formed in man, that man will find David and David will call him Father. Eventually, all men will say to David “You are my son, today I have begotten you” (Ps. 2:7), and all will know Fatherhood and Brotherhood of Man.
“Philip said to him ‘Lord, show us the Father and we ask no more.’ Jesus answered, Have I been all this time with you, Philip, and you still do not know me? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Then how can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” (John 14: 8-10).
The third mighty act unveils God’s Image is of two-fold nature.
“You are God’s temple and God’s spirit dwells in you” (1 Cor. 3:16). “And the curtain fo the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15: 38). “So now, my friends, the blood of Jesus makes us free to enter boldly into the sanctuary by the new, living way which he has opened for us through the curtain, the way of his flesh (Heb. 10: 19-20).
A bolt of lightning splits man in two from the top of his skull to the base of his spine. He is cleft as though he were a tree that had been struck by lightening. at the base of his severed body he sees “the blood of Jesus”, a pool of molten gold; he knows it is himself; then fusing with “the blood of Jesus” he ascends his severed spine in a serpentine motion into his skull. This is to fulfil the Scripture; “This Son of Man must be lifted up as the serpent was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness” (John 3:14).
The fourth and final act is an expression of God’s satisfaction with his work. “And God saw everything that had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
Man’s skull suddenly becomes translucent. Hovering above him, as though floating, there is a dove with its eyes focused lovingly on him. “And behold, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him and lo, a voice from heaven saying, “This is my son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:16-17). The dove descends upon him and smothers him with love, kissing his face, his head, his neck. These four mighty acts though separated in time by approximately three and a half years are all parts of a single complex.
There is conferred upon the risen Christ- in these four mystical and supernatural experiences of man- the divine names of Jesus, Father, Son of Man, Son of God.
The Resurrection is a unique personal experience; it is by definition the resurrection fo the Christ. Though the resurrection itself is nowhere described in Scriptures it represents the central point of the Christian faith. It marks the division between this age and that age in which even the law of death is broken -where one does not die any more, where all are equal to angels, sons no longer of this world but of that world, of God and of the resurrection: it is a new creation.
To become someone else is to extinguish one’s self – in effect to die. It is in this sense that God died for man. “He was in the form of God … but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2: 6-7). God became man that man may become God.
“I lay down my life, to receive it back again. No one has robbed me of it; I am laying it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to receive it back again.” (John 10: 17-18).
After the Resurrection, man reads back into the ancient Scriptures intimations and foreshadowings of the truth as he experienced it. “In the role of the book it is written of me.” (Ps. 40:7). “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Cor. 13:5). Christ could not “emerge” from the man in whom he did not exist.
“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him … for as yet they did not know (i.e. understand) the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20: 2, 9).
One of the men at the tomb found “The Babe”, the sign of the supernatural birth “but him they did not see” (Luke 24:24), the man who was supernaturally born. He is risen! he is born anew he said: “but these words seemed to the others an idle tale, and they did not believe them” (Luke 24: 11).
To be raised is to “bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49). There is no loss of identity but there is a radical discontinuity of form. “He will change our lowly body to be like (lit. of one form with) his glorious body” (Phil. 3:20-21).
God’s primal wish “Let us make man in our image” is maturing to its appointed hour. And “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7)
“The vision has its own appointed
it ripens, it will flower;
if it be long, then waits,
for it is sure, and it will not be
Israel’s sacred history, as it is recorded in the Old Testament, is a completely prophetic history which God brings to climax and fulfillment in Jesus Christ in you.
“The Lords of hosts has sworn:
As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand.
The promises of God, so long cherished as buds upon the tree of his unfolding purpose, will burst into flower – in four mighty acts – in Christ in you. The full force of this truth may be missed because you are not conscious of any sudden break with the past. A new thing has happened. You are born anew.
“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion.”
1 Timothy 3:16
Everything written in the Scriptures about Jesus Christ is written about Man. “And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him” (Luke 23:33). The “rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever been laid.” (Luke 23:53) is the skull of man. And “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5).
I have related my own experience that you may know the truth concerning the Christian mystery – the message of salvation as I myself have experienced it.
The Divine image is unveiled in this series of supernatural events which evoke the response of awe and wonder. Personal experience must seal the truth of Scripture.
God is buried in the skull of man. His name is I AM. He will awaken in the skull of man. He will emerge from the skull of mn and be born anew. God became man that man may become God.
Jesus Christ is the true identity of every man.
“And now, go write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness for ever.”
The Bible quotations in “HE BREAKS THE SHELL” are from the King James, Revised Standard Versions, the NEW English Bible and Moffatts.