Neville Goddard Lectures: "Repent and Believe in the Gospel"

Neville Goddard Lectures: “Repent and Believe in the Gospel”

By Neville Goddard December 10, 1963

Tonight’s subject is “Repent and Believe in the Gospel.” When you read the words, you wonder, what is it all about? These are the first words put into the mouth of the central figure of the entire Bible, Jesus Christ. This is the earliest gospel, the gospel of Mark. You read it in the very first chapter, the 15th verse, “Repent.” Then he tells us, “The time is fulfilled; repent, and believe in the gospel.”

What is this time being fulfilled? “The time is fulfilled” simply means the time foreseen by the prophets, the time fixed in God’s own foreknowledge. For he said, “The vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it be long, then wait; for it is sure and it will not be late.” So the time is fulfilled: the time for the hatching has come. It does not say that if you and I repent that we would in any way aid this passage. But as man repents he does not in any way cooperate with God in bringing him in. Then you are God. Then you are ___(??) whether we repent or not. And so the door is open for everyone to enter; not because of their repentance. The door is open and when the time is fulfilled for the individual, then he enters, whether in the interval he repented or not.

Yet we are invited to repent. Why? Because divine history is culminated; human history is cyclic. And so, you may wait without repentance for the entire cycle, then move and move and move, and suffer beyond the wildest dream of man. At the end, when it’s all culminated, then you enter. But why suffer that much? And so, he calls upon us to repent. To repent means “to turn from and to turn to.” It’s like praying. It’s an art. I turn from what I don’t want in this world and turn to what I want in this world. Turning to, I am repenting. To repent means “a radical change of attitude toward life.” But not only to turn from it, but to turn to what I want in place of what I am presenting in this world.

So here we find these four statements. The time is fulfilled; it’s already happened, and the first ___(??) is broken, and all are moving through the open door, leading to a new order called the kingdom of God. So, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Believe in the gospel—believe in the good news of salvation—that’s what it really means. Hear the story of salvation and believe in it, for every word of it is true.

Tonight, we’re going to stress repentance, but I cannot leave the platform without telling you that it has come and every word is true. We are told, “There are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the kingdom of God.” And many scholars have scoffed at that word. There is no record that they saw the kingdom of God, and yet they were told they would not taste of death before they saw the kingdom of God. I stand here as a witness to the truth of that statement. We are told in the 14th chapter of the Book of Luke that, here, he is giving a banquet, it’s a messianic banquet: Go out into the highways, the byways, and bring in first the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. When he made that statement the servant said, what you have commanded is already done, and still there is room. Go out into the ways now and command all to come in. But only these four followed him, the blind, the poor, the maimed, and the lame. Bring them in. And they are all seated waiting for the coming of host, who was Messiah. Suddenly he appeared and restored to wholeness. That’s the banquet. They don’t gorge themselves, as we would on this level; they’re completely restored. The blind began to see.

Well, if you think you haven’t played these parts, may I tell you, you are not going to play them, you are playing them. Until the time is fulfilled in your individual cases you will continue to play them. Well then, what are these parts? I may this night be a billionaire and I cannot buy health, am I not poor? I may buy yes-men, but I can’t buy real respect. I can’t buy anything with my billions. Look into the world. There are people who are multi-millionaires and they cannot buy health. They can buy all the services of the medical world, but they can’t buy health. They can buy all the pills in the world, but they can’t buy health. Are they not poor? They do not see God’s purpose, God’s plan, for as we are told, “He put eternity into the mind of man, yet so that man could not find out what he has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Are they not blind? Sure they’re blind. They can’t see what God has done from the beginning to the end. Are they not maimed? They may not be physically handicapped, but there are men living in this world who, unless they can express themselves physically, feel themselves impotent, when time takes its toll and outlaws that so-called urge in man, and they can’t buy it. All the transforming of monkey glands in the world cannot produce in them what time, called Nature, has outlawed. So they’re maimed, they’re lame.

Now let me share with you my experience. It happened in 1946, when suddenly I found myself lifted up, and a heavenly chorus is singing that I am risen. They called me by name and proclaimed my identity, saying that I’m risen. And here I found myself like a being of fire, clothed in a garment of air. There was no sun, no moon, no stars, no need of light; I was the light. I radiated light. Not like a noonday sun, just a twilight, a soft lovely light. And here as far as my eye could see were seated the poor, the blind, the maimed, the lame. And then I came by. And as I came by, gliding—I didn’t walk, I simply glided by—everyone was restored to wholeness. Not one was left untouched as I walked by, glided by. And when the very last was restored to complete perfection, complete wholeness, then the chorus exulted, “It is finished.” Then I left that banquet and found myself crystallizing once more into this garment of flesh, for unfinished business here. So I have experienced the 14th chapter of Luke.

So when he said, Let them call everyone in the world, they all made excuses. He said, I did not come to save the righteous but the sinners. For there’s a greater rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents than ninety and nine righteous who have no need of repentance. So you invite this one and he doesn’t think he needs anything in this world. He knows that he sees perfectly, and he’s as blind as a bat. He doesn’t know God’s purpose, but he thinks he sees perfectly. Then you invite this one, he doesn’t feel any limitations in his world, so he’s not maimed, he’s not lame. So he makes an excuse. Then comes another and he makes excuses. He isn’t poor. He can buy a home, buy three if he wants it. He has no sense of poverty, and he doesn’t know how poor he is. He said to the servant, Go out into the highways and the hedges, and you bring in all the blind, and all the maimed, and all the lame, and all the poor; and the servant said, it’s already done, what you’ve commanded.

Just exactly like that, for it was already done when I rose within myself, rose as David rose into Zion. For we are told that no one could take Zion; the lame, the blind, the halt, would ward them off. That’s all that you needed in Zion, the lame and the blind, they could ward them off. And David began to build in a circle. And he built not only a circle but he built inward at the same time, performing the most fantastic architectural feat, which is to build in a circle and inward at the same time, is to build in a spiral. That’s exactly what takes place in you, when you’re lifted up to give the grand banquet. You find yourself moving up in a spiral. You’re pulled out of yourself just as though you’re a whirlwind, in a spiral. And suddenly you’re clothed in your prenatal wholeness, in your primal form, clothed in this being of fire, as you are fire, and clothed in air. And then you walk by and they’re all seated on the ground as far as the eye can see, an infinite sea of human imperfection. And this is your banquet, the banquet of Messiah. Messiah is giving this banquet: “Feed upon me.” And so they behold the one passing by, yes, even those without organs in their skulls. And as you walk by they become what they behold. And so because you felt yourself one with perfection, everyone beholding you as you walk by feeds upon you, and man invariably becomes what he beholds. And so, here, that story is true, every word of it is true.

And so, the time is fulfilled. Not because of anything I did as a man as to repentance. Whether I repent or not the time is fulfilled. God’s period for hatching out has come and they’re all being hatched out. It is my hope, but I can’t prophesy, that everyone here will be hatched out this night. For the joy of being hatched out, where the circle is over. For human history is cyclic; divine history is culminated. And so, you go over and over on this wheel and finally comes that moment in time when up you go, like David taking Zion, in that spiral motion. And here, you give a banquet. And you only give it, read it carefully, everyone refuses the invitation but the blind, the maimed, the lame, and the poor.

And so, I’ve played every part in this world. Yes, physical poverty, physical blindness, physical maimedness, physical lameness, I’ve played those parts. But no matter what part I’ve ever played, I still incorporated in the part all of these qualities. I have a memory of being fabulously wealthy. And yet, I was, in that state, poor. I could not buy help. I could not buy the respect of people. I could buy yes-people, but I couldn’t buy the real respect of people. So I have the memory of that state. Never once did I lose the sense of I-ness. You are individualized and you will continue to be more and more individualized forever and forever. You will never lose the sense of I-ness that you have now, never, not in eternity. You’re individualized. And so all these characters you have played, and you are playing, and will continue to play until that moment in time when you break the surface. You break it by an act of God. It is he who breaks it, and out you come, just like…

Well, tonight’s story is repentance. Because you’re on the wheel anyway, and you can’t get off the wheel; and you must continue on that wheel until that moment of hatching. “At length for hatching ripe he breaks the shell.” So why repentance? Well, to ease the blow, to cushion it. For it is a play, a horrible play, may I tell you, it’s a horrible play, something that is sheer fantasy if you saw it in its inception, sheer fantasy. But while it’s being played, now comes an awakening. Man can, while he is playing it, repent. And repentance hasn’t a thing to do with remorse, not a thing to do with regret, all to do with a radical change of attitude toward life. A radical change of inner attitude toward life results in an external change corresponding to the inner change.

It’s all an inner thing, told us in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Do you think I have come to abolish the law and the prophets? I have not come to abolish them; I have come to fulfill them. For I tell you, should heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, shall pass from the law; it will all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17). And then he explains the law, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you anyone who looks lustfully on a woman has already committed the act of adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27). That to restrain the impulse is not good enough. Man thought if the act was not performed he didn’t perform it. And here I am told that was not it at all: the impulse was in itself the act. Well, that means an imaginal act is fact. For I am ___(??) mentally and performed the act, and that was the act, even though, physically, for one reason or another, I didn’t do it. I might have contemplated the act along with its consequences to myself or my family or society and then I was afraid. But my fear, which restrained me from performing it physically, wasn’t good enough. I am told, to contemplate it is the act.

Now, if causation is mental to that extent, now repent. I need not be a slave of the things as they pass before me. I can interfere with the otherwise mechanical structure of the brain. I don’t have to simply watch the screen as it passes before me and observe a panorama; I can dislike it and interfere with it. So something is happening in my world, something appears on my body and I don’t like it. It’s something that disfigures my face or my form, and I don’t like it. So why must I tolerate it? I can repent. I can revise it. If I actually see myself as I would like to be seen by the world and remain faithful to that feeling, just as though it were true, I will change it in my world. It doesn’t mean I am ripening any better and any faster because of that, but until that moment of fulfillment of time, as far as I the individual goes, do it anyway. And cushion the blows as I move from where I start to where I must go for this ripeness to complete itself that I may burst the shell and come out as God.

For everyone is coming out as God. There’s only God begetting himself, that’s all there is in this world. There’s nothing but God. And whether you believe it or want to believe it or not, the most horrible beast in the world is God being hatched out. And in the end, it is just as though he never did anything that the cyclic motion tells us that he did. Yes, a Hitler, a Stalin, or others that are not yet recorded in the world—all will be hatched out. And they were never Stalin, they were never Hitler, these are only garments that they wore in the cyclic motion of human history. So when we come out we are never these garments that we wore. As Blake said, “Oh, Satan, thou art but a dunce. Thou canst not tell the garment from the man.” We see the garment and we think it’s the man.

May I tell you, if I could but share with you an experience when you get to the apex and he’s almost enticing you to discover himself. He’s bringing you up to the very point where he’s enticing you and encouraging you to discover, who?—himself. And he’s you. And you see you were never this thing at all. These things that you judge so harshly, the same being is playing all the parts, but every part in the world. So while we are playing it, repent, for the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel, believe in the good news of salvation. And the good news of salvation: at that very moment when the shell breaks you pass through a series of events that leaves no trace within you of any ___(??), and you know who you are.

So, Christianity is based upon the affirmation that a series of events happened, in which God revealed himself in action for the salvation of man. And I tell you from experience they have happened and they will happen in the life of every being in this world. Not one will fail, because you can’t fail. Because you aren’t doing it, the being in the depth of yourself who is God, the only God, he’s doing it. We all will come out in spite of what we have done as you play the part here.

So when it comes to repentance, put it in this light. It’s simple. Start with a simple process. Imagining is spiritual sensation. And take a simple little thing now that isn’t here ___(??). It is not present that you and I can see it. I love to use a flower, any flower, but I like a rose. So I will imagine a rose. Well, I can’t physically see it, but I can see it in my mind’s eye, it’s very vivid. And I can smell it. And I can feel it. So Imagination is spiritual sensation. So I can see the reality of what is not physical to the world. To me it’s real. The same sensation I apply now toward repentance, no matter how I repent.

If tonight there is a lady present or a man present, who is single and who would like a companion in this world, in the right sense of the word, where they feel wanted. When they come home and he or she is not present, you will say, “Where is everybody?” If there are a dozen people present and the mate isn’t present, you say, “Where is everybody?” The house is empty. No matter how many people are present, it’s empty if she or he, the loved one, isn’t present. That’s a perfect relationship, a perfect mate, in this world. So, if this night you retired and she or he, the mate, naturally would be in the house, could you feel their presence as you felt the rose? Could you detect their presence? All right, you could feel it. You can sense it. Extend your imaginary hand and touch the individual. If you would, if it is your habit to kiss people goodnight, all right, kiss him or kiss her goodnight. And live in that state just as though it were true. That’s repentance. To repent is simply a radical change, not a little change, a radical change of attitude toward life. So life is barren? Repent.

If you don’t repent, you’re on the wheel and you’re going to play it over and over. But it does not mean you will not, when it’s right, come out as God. No, it doesn’t mean that you will not. So if a man does not repent he still is born of God. If he repents, he does not in any way cooperate with God in bringing about the new order. So repentance is given to man that while he’s in this world that is a horrible play he can cushion the blows and simply make it easier for him in this world. But no matter how great you are in this world you’re still poor, you’re still lame, you’re still maimed, and you’re still blind.

So if you don’t know what God hid in your mind from the beginning of time to the very end, and so hid it that you do not know what he’s done from the beginning to the end, then you must be blind as to his purpose. That’s told us so clearly in the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes, the 15th verse, “he hid it.” I’ll tell you one night before we close what he hid, for I have found it. I found exactly what he hid in the minds of man, and hid it from the beginning to the end, and so hid it that man couldn’t find out what he did from the beginning to the end.

But the end has come, as far as I’m concerned, and so it was revealed to me what he hid. He hid the secret of his fatherhood: that no power in the world could show me that I’m a father but my son. So the very last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi, “A son honors his father:”—the very first chapter—“if then I am a father, where is my honor?” In other words, where is my son? And that’s what he hid. In the beginning he hid it until the very end of the days. He brings him out by an explosion. He stands before you and calls you Father. That’s what he hid. Calling you Father and knowing who he is—he’s God’s only begotten son—then you know who you are. So it’s God coming out, and only God exploding and revealing himself, and it takes his Son to show you who you really are.

As to repentance, learn the art of repentance. It’s the greatest secret in the world as to cushioning the blows and making life easier in this world. Therefore, no one in this world really need despair, they can always repent. I don’t care where you were inserted into the wheel, how you start life, you can always repent. And so, learn the art of repentance. As you learn it, then no matter where you start you can go where you want to in this world. You can start unknown, unwanted, unloved, and then if you desire to be wanted, desire to be loved, then completely ignore the evidence of the senses and rearrange your mind so that you are really wanted, really loved. Fall asleep night after night in the assumption that it is true, I am wanted, I am loved, and the world will reflect it, you’ll be wanted and you’ll be loved.

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Blake said he dined with Ezekiel and Isaiah, and he said to Isaiah, “Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so make it so?” And Isaiah replied, “All poets believe that it does, and in ages of Imagination a firm persuasion removed mountains. But many are not capable of a firm persuasion of anything today.” That I can persuade myself that I am the man that at the moment reason denies, my senses deny?—yes. It’s a simple, simple technique and this is how I work it. There are many here this night who have done it and you will go along with me. This is how I do it and I know that some of you do it. You simply, wherever you are you imagine that you are where you would like to be or you imagine that you are what you want to be.

Well, that’s a mental motion, isn’t it? It’s not a physical motion. If I want to be in, say, San Francisco and I’m here in Los Angeles, and I assume I am in San Francisco, well then, that’s a mental motion, for physically I am here. Well, how will I know that I have made the journey? Well, motion can be detected only by a change of position relative to another object. There is no other way of knowing that something moved unless there is some frame of reference against which the object moved. So, I will assume I am in San Francisco. If I really am in San Francisco I should know it only by observing my world. I am looking at my world, so I will think now of Los Angeles. I should see it five hundred miles to the south of me, a way to the south of me, five hundred miles. I would think of other areas and they must be related to my assumption. If I see them as I would see them were this now a physical fact, I made the journey, I moved. I made my mental adjustment. I have repented.

Now, fall asleep. Though physically here, I put on the mental state and fall asleep in it. For man being all Imagination, man must be wherever he is in Imagination. And so, in Imagination I am in San Francisco. Time will not allow the journey, then my finances will not allow the journey, maybe all kinds of things will not allow the journey, my commitments here, but I am going to journey. Do you know that all of my commitments will reshuffle themselves, and my finances will reshuffle itself, and my time commitments all will reshuffle themselves to permit that journey? And I will be compelled to make it, whether I afterwards desire it or not. So I’ve gone and made the journey. Having done it inwardly then everything moves to compel that physical journey.

You do the same thing with finances. Say, you have no money. All right, if you had it how would you see your present circle of friends? Instead of talking negatively to them and asking them what you should do or maybe they could help you, all of a sudden they know of your good fortune. They knew of it. And so let the same frame of reference reflect the change in you. If your present friends know of the good fortune in your life, they’ll know it. You will see it on their faces, you’ll hear it in their voices, and you will simply be aware of it. Well now, make the mental journey from not having to having, and use this frame of reference to prove that you’ve made a motion. The whole thing is a motion in mind.

I am telling you when this whole dream is over you have never left home. You’ve never journeyed. You’ve never really made any trip whatsoever, in spite of all these trips in the world. You’ve been sound asleep in heaven, but sound asleep, and compelled to dream the dream of this life. And here, we have the experience of motion, all these experiences, but we never left heaven. Not in eternity have we ever left. So the expulsion was seeming, in a dream, and the whole thing is an adjustment in mind. Every adjustment in mind, if you desire the adjustment, is real repentance. So repent and believe in the gospel.

The gospel, I tell you, is literally true, word for word. I had no idea until 1959, in the month of July, that it was literally true. I taught it as law and got wonderful results from coast to coast in all the major cities. But I didn’t know the story, that I must believe in the gospels and believing in it that it was literally true, but no idea. That everyone in this world would experience, when that fullness of time had come relative to him, everything said of Jesus Christ. He gives the banquet. He is Messiah. And unnumbered thousands wait for him to come by to feed them, not with bread and wine, but to feed them by beholding him, and he being whole they become what they behold. And all are transformed into the wholeness that they had lost as they play these parts in this world. The blind that’s restored to perfect sight, the maimed, the lame, the poor, all restored to fullness, to the wholeness that was there.

And so, man clothed in his pre-natal wholeness, in his primal form, walks by and sees unnumbered thousands waiting for him. But no righteous is present, no complacent; only these four qualities are present, multiplied to the nth degree. I can’t tell you how vast that sea of human imperfection was as you walk by it. And without effort it is all done, and that heavenly chorus, as told us in Revelation, the 144,000 formed the chorus, the redeemed singing your praise as you walk by, and then exult at the very end, and say it is all finished. The very last words on the cross, “It’s finished” and every one made whole. Then you return here to practice and to teach repentance. Because you can’t change that interval of time: For a “vision has its own appointed hour; it ripens, it will flower. If it be long, then wait, for it is sure and it will not be late.” It’s like pregnancy, wait, it’s coming… and then the joy of the breaking of the shell when you come out as he who begot you. There’s only God.

So in this 1st chapter, the 15th verse of the Book of Mark, the earliest of the gospels, where man is called upon to listen and the time is fulfilled, all that they foresaw is now upon us. The kingdom of God is really at hand. Now repent and believe the good news of salvation. And so, whether you believe it or not, you will be saved. But if you believe it and practice it, it doesn’t in any way hasten the moment of breaking the shell, but you do make life for yourself on this horrible wheel of recurrence, you make it easier. And that’s why I can say to everyone live so that your mind can store a past worthy of recall, because you are on the wheel of recurrence. If you don’t change it now, it will confront you tomorrow.

The main events in human life, like the thing that happened two weeks ago, they seem beyond human control, completely beyond, seemingly. The lady who saw it before it happened, and saw it so clearly ten days before, she forgot. Within a matter of seconds she completely forgot that she’d seen it, saw the headlines, complete headlines, “Kennedy Shot.” And in three seconds it all vanished, only to be recalled ten days later when the paper, un___(??) page, on the green sheet, was placed before her. But she didn’t see it, didn’t remember it. So memory failed. As you are told, “There’s no memory of former things.” She saw it perfectly. That was a crisis in the history, which is a type of history, secular history of the world. And so she was made to forget. Another lady who saw it and even warned the authorities, they wouldn’t even listen to her warning, because they couldn’t. But in the minor things of life, like getting more money, getting health, getting companionship, these are minor, you get all these things in the world.

This present week, telephone calls and a letter, a lovely letter from this friend of mine, who is now living down the coast, a complete change in a job and everything he did prior to the second job fitted him for the job. He is thrilled beyond measure for what he has today. He couldn’t dream that he could ever get it. And everything added up to what he has by the application of this principle by his own confession in the letter. A telephone call today—a similar job from this friend about the same age, and he despaired of this other job. Now this is far bigger, more responsibilities, more money, more everything, right where he wanted, in this city—by repentance.

You don’t call it repentance, because I have changed the word in my book, and I call it “revision.” Because repentance has become almost outdated in the misuse of the word, for we think it means to feel regretful, to feel remorseful. Hasn’t a thing to do with that. It’s simply a radical change of attitude toward the effects of life. Instead of reacting and recording them and reflecting them, affect them. To repent is to affect life rather than to reflect life, and unless you repent you’re only reflecting life. The whole thing is before you and you simply come upon scene after scene after scene and reflect it. So outside of these major crises in the world, the turning points in history, secular history, man must interfere with every little thing in this world. And we’re invited to try it, to interfere.

So, the story is, you will be saved whether you repent or not. And you’re not going to delay the time of your birth by not repenting and you’re not going to hasten your birth by repenting, for the vision has its own appointed hour. But, he who first broke the shell, the first to be raised from the dead, told us to repent and invites us all to bring about a complete change of attitude toward life, even though God’s fixed vision for us remains fixed and he will not change it whether we change our views or not. And in the end we come out, we all come out as God. No loss of identity, none whatsoever, only a greater being: We encompass God. You and I are the immortal parts of the immortal God, who is one, but one in a strange way, one made up of others. And we are the others… the immortal parts that make the one being that is God. So you could not in eternity cease to be. You can’t vanish from the scene. And one day, at the appointed hour, you awaken. You aren’t any better than the other, because God is one, and his name is one… completely perfected and made whole. So, all of the stories of perfection as told in scripture are true.

And so, as I stand before you I can confess I have given the banquet. I call all that I have played in this world, all the blind, all the lame, the poor, and the maimed, and they’re all waiting for me, seated on the ground waiting for me to come. Then came that wonderful final motion, as David took Zion, and so, I found myself clothed in my primal form, a being of fire in a body of air, and walked by and fed them by letting them behold me. As they beheld me they were completely restored to their wholeness and everyone was restored. At the very end when the last was completely restored, the exultation of this choral group! And then, back here to tell you about it.

Now let us go into the Silence.