29 Aug Neville Goddard Lectures: “Advent: The Four Tears” (1963)
By Neville Goddard
November 26. 1963
Tonight’s subject is Advent. And I’m not referring to that tremendous tragedy and great advent that all of us have experienced in this past weekend, for that really was an advent [JFK], but I’m speaking of God’s Advent. Advent is the term used to designate the coming or the second coming of the Christ at the end of the age. The purpose of his coming is to redeem man from the wheel of fate, the wheel of recurrence. There’s a definite pattern by which it is done.
Advent will begin next Sunday in the churches. Now this does not mean it actually begins next Sunday, but that’s part of the ritual. It always starts on the Sunday nearest to the day of Andrew. Andrew’s day is always the thirtieth day of November, and the nearest Sunday to that day begins the season of Advent. And it runs four Sundays and culminates on the day of Christmas, the birth of Christ—because, Andrew was the first, in the most mystical of the gospels, to behold Jesus. Andrew first found him and told his brother Peter. And so, on the day marked as Andrew’s day, here comes the great watch: It is the longing for the coming of the Savior of the world.
Now, man has been taught to believe that he comes from without; and the way he comes the world finds it difficult to believe that he did come. So Andrew who found him could not have found him on the outside. He never comes from without. The only way that you will know that he came is to compare what is happening in you to what was foretold in the ancient scriptures. You go back and you read the ancient scriptures, meaning the Old Testament, and there it was all foretold… but not through any one prophet. And suddenly it happens in the individual, and he finds in the ancient scriptures confirmation of what is taking place in him. And he tells of the coming of this great event.
So Advent is the coming of the great event. It’s really a series of events where the structure is unveiled. It’s the unveiling of Christ in man, and this unveiling takes a certain series of events. It’s told symbolically. And they looked at him, and then they tore his garments into four parts and each took a part. But they said, “Let us not tear the tunic, for it’s woven without seams from top to bottom; let us cast lots to see who will get it” (John 19:23, 24). And there were four who cast lots to see who would get it. There are always four, because the fourth one falls heir to the next unveiling of the temple. For, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). That day is not at the end of history; it is within history. It happens tonight—I hope it does to many of you—but it comes at the moment that you least expect it, when the scaffolding comes down, and the scaffolding is torn apart, in four parts, and then the building is revealed. It’s the immortal body you will wear. The same identity, now no change in identity. But with all the changes of identity there’s a radical discontinuity of form. You don’t wear this form. This is the scaffolding and it is this that is torn.
May I tell you, I speak from experience. I have no scars to bear witness to the tearing, but I felt and experienced and observed the tearing of this scaffold. It starts in the head, and here the very first blow is in the head, an enormous blow. You think this is it, meaning, well, oblivion. But it’s not oblivion. Suddenly you awake and you had no idea that you were asleep. Suddenly you begin to awake for the first time in eternity. Although that is measured in time, you feel you’ve never before been awake. Blake calls it a period of 6,000 years: “I behold the visions of my deadly sleep of six thousand years dazzling around my skirts like a serpent of precious stones and gold. I know it is myself, O my divine creator and redeemer” (Jerusalem, Plate 96). He beholds himself after six thousand years of the most horrible dream in the world. So said he, “Do not let yourself be intimidated by the horror of the world. It is all ordered and correct and must fulfill its destiny in order to attain perfection. Follow this path and you will receive from your own soul an even deeper perception of the eternal beauties of life. You will also receive from your own soul an ever increasing release from what now seems to you so sad and terrible” (Blake to Max Beckman, Looking at Modern Painting).
So you see the drama taking place here is all the scaffolding. Someone is blown apart, gone from the world, and someone played the part of blowing him apart… and then he is blown apart. All this confusion in the world, that’s all the outer picture. For, “He who began a good work in you”—not on the outside, in you—“is bringing it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” And he unveils in you Jesus Christ. There’s only one being in this world that is ever resurrected and that being is Jesus Christ. As told us in the 1st epistle of Peter, the 1st chapter, the 3rd verse: rebirth is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. There is no other rebirth in the world and yet everyone must be reborn. You must be born from above: “For unless you are born from above, you cannot in any wise enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). And rebirth comes in only one respect, only in one way, and that way is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Well then, who is Jesus Christ from the dead? It never occurred to me, raised as I was in the Christian faith, that when it happened to me it was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for the simple fact I was resurrected. I was awakened in a tomb and the tomb was my skull. Well, if I find myself in a tomb I must have been dead or someone thought me dead and placed me there. And was I placed there six thousand years ago? Is this some strange peculiar recurrence? Is this a mystery where a man at the end of a few score years here, and the body decays, and yet he doesn’t? Is he placed in a peculiar wheel where he experiences death and restoration, and death and restoration, and finally redemption from the wheel of fate, completely removing that individual from the wheel of recurrence? And that’s what it is. So we are all on the wheel of recurrence, actually imitating the great mystery of death and restoration.
Then comes that moment in time when God, as we are told, he resurrects us by his glory. And he looks upon us, and looking upon us we receive his glory. As told us in the Book of John: “Glorify thou me with thine own self” (17:5). If God would only glorify me I would awaken. For he will not give himself to anyone but himself, as told us in the Book of Isaiah: “I have put you through the furnaces of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, for how should my name be profaned? I will not give my glory unto another” (48:10). So when the cry is “Glorify thou me with thine own self,” I’m asking God to give me himself. He shines upon me and by his shining upon me he awakens me.
Well then, why was I ever placed in that tomb? Listen to the words carefully from the 8th chapter of the Book of Romans: “And the creature was subjected unto futility… not of his own will but by the will of him who subjected him in hope; for the creature will be set free from his bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (verse 20). It’s the grand mystery of life through death, and I, not willingly but by the will of him who subjected me, I was placed in a tomb and the tomb was my skull. Then in that tomb I appeared dead; but it was a profound sleep, and then I dreamt the dream of this world, the most horrible dream in the world. So I dreamt all the horrors of the world I was subjected to as I dreamed it. I dreamt that I was shot while I was a president. I dreamt I had the most wonderful fantastic funeral, where the whole world mourned because of my exit from this world. And then I dreamt I was a poor man and couldn’t buy a loaf of bread. And I dreamt I was mutilated. I dreamt I was honored, I was dishonored. And all these were my dreams in this world.
At the ending, God stepped beyond and by his wonderful mercy he looked upon me. And I always become what beholds me, as I become what I behold. So God beheld me and he, beholding me, resurrected me. And the first act in the great Advent is to awaken. I awoke one night four years ago; I awoke in a sepulcher to discover the sepulcher was my own wonderful skull. It never occurred to me that I was really dead prior to that moment, that I had slept prior to that moment, save the nocturnal event night after night. But to find that I had been asleep for 6,000 years and then I awoke, and here I am completely awake in a tomb and the tomb is my skull! That’s the beginning of Advent.
Now there are four Sundays to it. They take my robe and they tear it into four parts. They dare not touch my tunic for it is woven from head to foot, and it is woven so beautifully it’s without seam. They must cast lots for it, for scripture must be fulfilled. The 22nd Psalm tells me, you cannot fail. Tear my robe apart. For a new way is now opened to man; it’s through the curtain of the flesh… and it is the flesh. I bear no scars to prove what I tell you, but I felt everything in my flesh. As told us in the 10th chapter, the 20th verse of the Book of Hebrews, this is the new way that is opened.
Now, no ritual in this world do I need. I need no individual to lead me to God. From then on, having torn the scaffolding away, I have direct access to my Father because he and I are one. He built that garment that he wanted me to wear and this is the garment that he built. How can I describe it? You have to experience it. He took a garment into which I was encased, an animal garment and transformed it into “the human form divine.” My face remains, what you see now, only raised to the nth degree of majesty. Hands remain but raised to the nth degree of beauty and expression. Feet remain, the body not. He transformed me into the human form divine.
Now listen to the words of one who not only saw it, as I have seen it, but he had the ability to tell it as I have not arrived so far to tell it. He was the grand poet, Blake.
Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear.
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity the human face.
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Well, how could I describe to anyone “the human form divine”? And yet I stood in the presence of “the human form divine” and it was infinite love. Infinite love embraced me and incorporated me into the form of infinite love. But I can’t describe what the body is, not to the satisfaction of anyone in the world before he experiences it. But the face, yes, the sameness of identity but a radical change as to form.
And so, Advent is the unveiling of Christ in man. That’s what it really is. You take the curtain apart and you unveil Christ in man. And you do it in four great tears in the flesh. The first is in the skull. And you can take it in this way: when you awake in your skull and then you come out of your skull, which is called the birth from above, it’s really one. It takes place in one night.
The second one is an explosion, a fantastic explosion, and then it comes where you know who you are. That second event reveals who you really are. And it takes the Son to reveal the Father, and the Son appears and calls you Father. Then and only then do you realize who you are. That God fulfilled his promise to give you himself as though there were no others in the world, just God and you; and now, because he gave you himself, just you because you are he. Prior to that moment you did not know what you would be like, but you knew that when he appeared you would be like him. And so, when his Son appeared you were the Father. You didn’t know what you would be like, as told us in the 1st epistle of John, the 3rd chapter: “It does not yet appear what we shall be like, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him” (verse 2). And no one can reveal him save the Son. So the Son appears in your world and he calls you Father, and you know that then you are like him. You are the Father because the Son calls you lord, he calls you Father. You have no uncertainty in your heart as to the reality of what is taking place in your world. That was the second tear of the garment.
Then comes the third tear. He tells you, I will come in this manner “The earth will shake and every stone will be split right through” (Matthew 27:51). That’s when I come; that’s the third tear. And every stone is really split, every segment of your spinal column is completely severed in two, and you see them separated by inches, fulfilling the 27th of Matthew. He will come and every stone will be split, and there is an earthquake. You have never felt anything comparable to it. That’s the third tearing.
The fourth one is when you take off the garment for the last time. Because then when it actually comes off, the tunic that is made without seam, woven from the top to the bottom, is your immortal garment. It’s the garment of love, for then you wear the “human form divine” and the “human form divine” is all love. There’s nothing but love.
So, when you experienced as we all ___(??) day, experienced this past weekend, this horror, may I tell you, the one who played both parts was God. God played both parts. He also played the third part of horror, for there’s nothing but God in this world. And in the very end when the curtain comes down, “God who only acts and is in all existing beings or men” will call us all together—for we’re incorporated into the body of love—and reveal the meaning of the play. And the four acts will be over. The four tears will be over. Then in some wonderful fifth act he will display the purpose of these four acts. For then you and I will be although identified as to face, no loss of identity, but with this radical change of this immortal form, we will play the fifth act. And, oh, what an act! But then we are qualified to play it. We have the garment with which we can play it. We couldn’t play it with these. It takes these, the outer structure, to play this so-called horror of the world.
Now, I am not speculating. I am giving you and sharing with you my vision. I’ve experienced it. But I cannot in any way describe it save in words. I cannot, on this level, do any more than I am doing now—using words to tell you what I have experienced. For if this seems to be a horrible play, then I ask you to believe God played all the parts. The so-called insane part that blew one that we all admired so much into seeming eternity. It’s not eternity. It could be that very moment in time that impact was the tearing of one section of the garment, who knows? For he’s on the wheel of recurrence. Haven’t you seen where—we go back to 1840—and he elected every twenty years made his exit while in office? Now, we’ve gone beyond the hundred years. Can’t you see the wheel of recurrence? This is now beyond a hundred years. We started back in 1840 with a change in pattern. Not really a change, but to those who had memories it seemed to be a change because memory is so short.
If you could go back as Blake went back and he said: “I behold the visions of my deadly sleep of six thousand years.” Six thousand years. Well, what man can go back 6,000 years? If you could, you would see everything, as it is about to appear. And what is more horrible in this world than to sit in a play in the presence of one who saw it, and who is talking, who tells exactly what’s going to happen? You go to a picture, and all of a sudden someone who wants you to know they saw it before, “The one going through that door, he’s going to shoot that one.” And you don’t know that, you don’t anticipate it, but it comes to pass, and you get annoyed with him. But he keeps on talking about it and he tells the entire play as it unfolds. Wouldn’t you want to hit him over the head? Well, that’s the play, this fantastic play.
But don’t feel yourself a slave; within the framework of God’s play as actors you and I can modify the part, we can change the part, but we are playing a part. And an actor to play a part well must to some extent feel the part that he’s playing, and to the best of his ability he must imagine himself as the character that he is depicting. And so, I am playing a part. I was cast in this role. I stood in the drama in the depths of my soul and cast lots for his robe, and got the fourth part. So I came into the world playing the part of the fourth and had to play what I am playing.
This all goes back and anchors on the one called David. The earliest manuscripts, but the very earliest manuscripts, know only one ancestor of David and that is his father Jesse. He had no mother. And for this you may go back and search the Encyclopedia Biblica, the most scholarly work on the Bible to date. They say, as far back as we can go we can find no ancestor of David, other than his father whose name was Jesse. Furthermore, they say, in the earliest manuscripts there are only four brothers and he was the youngest of four. Others are mentioned as brothers but not named. And in scripture unless a thing is named it doesn’t exist. And so, there could be seven brothers, as they’re told, and eight brothers, as they’re told, but they must be named. Only four are named and the youngest of the four named is David.
“So tell me, whose son are you, young man?” And he answered, “I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite” (1 Samuel 17:58). And Christ is made to say, I came not to serve, or to be served, “I came to serve, I came as a servant” (Mark 10:45). “I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.” And the word Jesse is I AM. The word Jesse means Jehovah. Jehovah comes not to be served but to serve. Well, who serves but the actor who is playing the part, playing all the parts. And, the one who discovered this father… as we are told, and David brought down the giant. Having brought down the giant, the promise now must be fulfilled. And the promise is: “That he who brings down the giant, the enemy of Israel, I will set his father free in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:25). Well, who is the father? The father is Jesse. The father is Jesus Christ—that’s Jesse. And so, suddenly he looks and he calls you Father. There is only Jesus Christ. So we go back, your rebirth, the unveiling of the works of God in you, is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The only one who is resurrected is Jesus Christ. So when you are resurrected, you are he. There is only Jesus Christ.
You too will say in the end, as you will say this night when you read all the papers, as you saw the TV, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He knew no more what he did driving in the open car than he who fired the fatal bullet, and the other one who fired that bullet; and you and I, on this level, will speculate and do all kinds of things, and it was all a play. You go tonight and you see Macbeth. And sitting in the audience stirred by the emotion of the play when she wants that spot rubbed out, and you in the play crying because of what she has done and what she prompted her husband to do, you hope it will never in eternity be wiped out. You hope that spot remains on that hand as a reminder of her violence, the horrible ambition that resulted in this innocent murder. But the curtain comes down, and you really don’t want that spot to remain if you know she’s a grand actress. You only want it to remain on the part she played, but not on the actress who played it. But while you’re carried with emotion you want it to remain. Well, in this wonderful play of ours you want this one snuffed off and that one snuffed off, and all these things, just because we don’t know it’s a play.
But I’m telling you from my own experience this is a play, the most glorious play that God could conceive. And the purpose of it was to create in us an immortal structure, the human form divine. And the human form divine is all love, there’s nothing but love. One day, I prophesy, everyone in this world—the insane today, the imbeciles today—all will play all these parts. But one day, not be playing these parts, and be brought into the presence of infinite love. He will embrace them, incorporate them into his body. And in the end, when the curtain comes down and the play is over, everyone is wearing the human form divine. And everyone will have the heart of mercy, everyone will have the face of pity, and everyone will be wearing the dress of peace. But the form itself will be the human form divine, and that form is infinite love.
So I ask you not to despair. I know tonight the whole country is disturbed—maybe not tonight but certainly last night—and wondering. And so to repeat Blake: “Do not let yourself be intimidated by the horror of the world. Everything is ordered and correct and must fulfill its destiny in order to attain perfection. Follow this path and you will receive from your own wonderful soul an even deeper perception of the eternal beauties of life. You’ll also receive an ever increasing relief from that which now seems to be so sad and so terrible.” You will. You’ll suddenly awake from it all and you will see the reason behind the play, and you will allow it. Although the face will be yours forever and forever, the form by this horrible play is transformed into the human form divine. And that form is infinite love.
But in the meanwhile, use God’s law. Use it to create and modify all the things in this world. Create things you want and cushion the blows of the play. Because, like actors you can play it differently—the same play, same part, but you would play it differently—without the blow that would be the inevitable blow if you did not use God’s law wisely. The play, the part I’m playing using this law and play it wisely, everyone can do it. And you play the part wisely when you use your Imagination lovingly on behalf of yourself and others. That when you hear the most horrible story, you revise it. When you hear anything, you revise it. All that is allowed within the play; it does not change the outcome of the play. God planned everything as it has come out and as it will be consummated. As we are told in the 14th of Isaiah, “I have planned… that which I have planned shall stand, and my purpose is forever” (verse 24). I have planned it just as it is and my purpose is forever. No one will change it. You read it carefully and you will understand ___(??).
But in the end, when the scaffold comes down and the building is revealed, I just can’t tell you the glory of that building, for it’s the glory of God. I can’t tell you what it is to wear the garment of love, and yet, this remains until the final tearing. There are four tears and no one gets the fourth tear until he makes his exit from this world, then comes the fourth one. All these other things appear, like the dove, and all these things that are part of the eternal story, they all appear to show you how true the story is. But the fourth tear, when the garment is torn into four parts, and then others will cast lots for the untorn garment to play that part. For the fourth one is the one who comes through the door. And maybe tonight you may be that fourth one. I cannot in any way determine who will win the garment, but God knows exactly how he is unfolding this fantastic drama ___(??).
So you read it carefully. Only one relative and the relative was father, born without a mother, begotten of God, begotten of the spirit and not of flesh and blood. And the being begotten is beloved, David. David is the one, the second tearing of the garment. And when the garment is torn a second time, it exposes David as the Son. David looks and he calls you Father, and then you know. That’s the second tear.
And then comes the third tear and your departure from Egypt, where in the most fantastic way you can take the imprint of God. Because only if you are in the state of molten gold can you take the impress of God. And so, we are taking the seal of God. But you can’t take the seal that comes sealed upon wax or upon clay. But then wax or clay must be in a molten state to take the impress; and so you see the gold, and you are it. Then, suddenly the gold becomes serpentine, and up it moves, up the shaft of what was formerly split. You move up the shaft of your own spinal cord and here you take the impress upon the face of God. But God dwells in Zion and Zion is your skull, and it’s in there that you go. You make the most tremendous effort to get out. But you don’t get out. You just press into that skull and take the impress of the face of God… yet no loss of identity. But you’ll wear forever the form of God, without loss of identity.
As you are told, “From John the Baptist till now, the kingdom of God has been preached and everyone who enters the kingdom does so with violence” (Matthew 11:12). And may I tell you, you’ve never known such violence in your life as at that moment in time when you move up with a power that you’ve never felt before. But that power pushes into that seal and you take the face of God. But it will not be unveiled to you until the last tear, which is the taking off of the garment. So what you have inherited, your heavenly state cannot become actual or is, at least, not fully realized by you so long as you still wear this, waiting for the last tear. And then the garment is torn, as you are told, into four parts, and you’re clothed in that seamless robe, wearing, without loss of identity, the human form divine.