05 Jan Neville Goddard Lectures: “Signs and Wonders”
Tonight’s subject is “Signs and Wonders.” As we are told in the 6th and 20th chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy, “The Lord brought his people out of Egypt with signs and wonders.” Now, the Bible from beginning to the end is divine history. But this history is not history as you and I understand it. In other words, you could never by historical research either prove or disprove it; and any religion in this world that depends upon historical and scientific confirmation really is not a fixed act.
Let us now take the book, this divine history. It’s your history, a history that you and every child born of woman will experience. Every child is Adam, and Adam is compelled to be disobedient. As we are told in the 11th chapter of the Book of Romans, that “God has consigned every man to disobedience that he may have mercy upon all” (verse 32). So Adam is the garment that God wears. And that disobedience is for one outstanding purpose: He eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that conscience may be born. And so conscience is born by the seeming disobedience. Then he passes through the furnaces of affliction. But at least he does have conscience and he does know right and he knows wrong. He violates it time after time. And so from Adam to Noah it is sheer hell in scripture, because everything is for self-gain; and so, he simply buries his conscience which tells him it is wrong, and simply, well, for the purpose of self-gain. Then we’re told this is all wiped out, and then we start with Noah.
Remember these are all states…every character in the Bible is a state of consciousness. They’re simply personifications of the eternal states of the soul through which the individual passes like a pilgrim. So he moves first through Adam to Noah. We find now the character called Noah, for here is Noah the first tiller of the land, the first beginning of civilization (Gen. 11:20). Then he drinks successfully of the fruit of the vine, and he got drunk, and found himself completely exposed, but completely drunk, flattened out and uncovered. Then we are told, his son Ham came in and saw him in his nakedness, and then he told his brothers Shem and Japeth. They brought a sheet and walking backwards, without turning around, they covered the nakedness of their father that they would not see his nudity. When he arose from his drunkenness and once more returned to normalcy and discovered that his son Ham had seen his nudeness, he cursed Canaan…didn’t curse Ham. He cursed Canaan and said, “Cursed be Canaan; you shall be a slave of slaves to all your brothers” (verse 24). So that is now a new beginning. Well, who is this Noah and the state of consciousness, when you and I start a certain attempt to create a civilization, to really move forward? Who is this Ham that saw my nudity? For the word Ham in Hebrew means “life.” It’s Cheth Mem—it is life itself. He curses Canaan and Canaan is the world that is cursed.
You can’t understand Canaan until we jump now to the next character where you and I really begin in this world. The next character is Abraham. It’s really Abram in the beginning of it all which is faith. So all this is a turmoil. Then Abram is put into a deep sleep and then a dread and frightful darkness descends upon Abram. While he is in sleep, the Lord speaks to him and tells him to leave Haran and migrate into Canaan. There he and his descendants will be enslaved as sojourners in this strange land, and they will be slaves of slaves for 400 years; then he will deliver them with signs and wonders. So every descendant of Abraham will go into this land and be completely enslaved. He must leave Haran. Well, Haran means “sanctuary, it’s the haven of rest, a comfort.” He must leave this innocence and move into a world of experience; and in the world of experience he goes through all the fires of hell. For every conceivable situation that man could ever think of, man, the individual, must pass through as he goes into Canaan. And there he remains for 400 years.
Well, he doesn’t mean 400 years as you and I would measure years by the clock. Four hundred is the numerical value of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which has a symbolical value of a cross—it’s Tau. And so, the twenty-second letter is a cross. And so I wear this cross for that interval of time called 400 only for its symbolical meaning, its numerical meaning; but not 400 as you and I would measure 400 years. How long it is, well, some claim 6,000 years, others 8,000 years…but, really, who knows? I don’t know, I really do not know. I only know there are signs and wonders that tell me the end of the picture. How long I went through this thing as years, I haven’t the slightest concept. But reading the Bible carefully, I know by the signs as they begin to appear within me I am at the end, the very end of the journey only by reason of the signs.
Now the story Jesus, Jesus Christ, from his conception by the Holy Spirit to his ascension into heaven is a sign vouchsafed by God to those who will receive it. It’s a sign. The words are put into the mouth of the prophet Simeon, “And the child is a sign for the fall and the rise of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34). But it is a sign…and people look upon the child as a fact. The child is a sign, as told us in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Luke, when the angel of the nativity told the shepherds she would give them a sign; and this is the sign of the event just before it, “You shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.” They hastened to Bethlehem to find the child, just as foretold, to fulfill prophecy of Micah. In the 5th chapter of the Book of Micah, there you will read, Bethlehem…and then Bethlehem becomes personified as the woman who conceived by the Holy Spirit; and she was so little among the clans of Judah; and how should Bethlehem have this great honor bestowed upon her? We then are told in this 5th chapter that I will deliver you into all things and forget you until she who is in labor brings forth (verse 3). What she brings forth will be the ruler in Israel, but it will be a sign…these are all signs from beginning to end.
So it is not history that any archeologist in this world, by his search, could ever find to support the claim that these things ever took place on earth. Because not one character of scripture walked this earth as an individual, as you walk it, as I walk it. They are the eternal states, which one day everyone will see, see in their Imagination—-as I have seen them all, seen them just where they really belong, in my Imagination. I’ve seen Abraham; not as the world thinks it, to see Joseph, to see every one of them, all in my Imagination. And to see them at a certain focus, when all together they form one man, and that man is Jesus. When you look at him closely, you’re looking at yourself. You know who he is, the Lord of Lords, and when you look at him closely with all in him, it’s only one. But when it’s fragmented, they become unnumbered characters and all these are the states, the states that are eternal states through which every soul must pass.
So here, these signs and wonders as told from the very beginning to the end is the only thing I can tell you that I know: When they begin to happen in you, you are at the end. Because I know of no other way of measuring the time between entering the state…for the real thing begins with Abraham. So if he promises him a child and “Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Well, how could you possibly know Abraham, he preceded me by a thousand years? “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Well, I am, as you are, of the Ancient of Days. We were before the whole thing was brought into being, and this was brought for a purpose: to create and to extend our creative power. The only reason for this play is to develop the creative power of God which power is Jesus Christ. As we are told: “Jesus Christ, the power and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). But man thinks that Jesus Christ is an individual on the outside. Isn’t so at all! Always think of Jesus Christ as the little child…always think of him as the little child. And everyone must bring forth Jesus Christ, as told us in the 3rd chapter of the Book of Galatians. And everyone beginning with Abraham, which is only a state, but we all enter that state of faith and only by faith are we led and simply move forward, bringing at the very end, we bring forth the child. So he saw me and rejoiced that he was to see my day. Saw what? He saw the child, the laughing infant, called Isaac, which really is the prototype of Jesus Christ (Gen. 17:18).
So these are the signs and they are signs from beginning to end in scripture. So I will tell you of the signs, and when they begin to happen, don’t look back to ask how long have you been journeying. You’ve been journeying 400 years, symbolically. The 400 years may be as we measure time 8,000 years. It may be 6,000 years. I do not know, I haven’t the slightest idea this night. If I ever get it I’ll tell you before I leave. But until then I can only tell you that the signs are the measure of the end. And the first sign which is God’s most majestic act in the world is resurrection. That’s his greatest sign and all the other signs are understood within the framework of that…that’s resurrection. And then you will know who you are, that you were God before you became man. You have never been less than God, but you did it for one purpose and one purpose only that God the one—-“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” Hear, O Israel: The I AM our I AMs is one I AM (Deut. 6:4)—but for creative powers and for creative reasons it fragments itself into the Elohim. The Elohim is a plural—-the gods. And so every being in this world is one of the Elohim, and scattered beyond the wildest dream. On a frightful journey, a terrifying journey, where in the very end, when he has prepared the way to redeem all, everyone will be redeemed—-not one will be lost—-and come back into the unity that is I AM. And that I AM, as we told you recently, is called the Father—-that’s his wonderful name.
So the first sign, the real first sign of the awakening is the resurrection, where you awake to find yourself entombed within your skull. And then things begin to happen. Entombed within your skull…A seed must fall into the ground and die before it is made alive. If it doesn’t fall into the ground and die, it remains alone and brings forth nothing. If it falls into the ground and it dies, then it brings forth a hundredfold. So the seed, called the Elohim, it falls into the ground which is your skull and there it dies. And then after a frightening dream of creating in this world of death, it still creates, creates all kinds of things, and then it awakens. As it awakens it resurrects, for it was dead, and then it comes out, proving that what was a skull has been turned into a womb. It was a tomb and the tomb became a womb. Then it comes out of the womb, and as it comes out of the womb, the first sign is that of the child, Emmanuel—-“God is with us”—-the Christ child wrapped in swaddling clothes. So I tell you, go into Bethlehem and you will find this as a sign. And so they went quickly and they found the sign. They could not see the event but they trusted the angel’s words that it was a sign, and they found the sign.
Following that, now we know another sign is told us in Deuteronomy and told us first of all in Exodus. This is a nature sign, for it always happens and only happens when Israel departs from Egypt; and you are the Israel, the pure in heart. So only the Israelite can see God and the Israelite is one who is pure in heart. So here we are told that this sign always occurs with the departure of Israel from Egypt, and the sign is that of the serpent. So here is the other sign. And so, suddenly you will find that sign, whether you see it in the world as some little thing or whether you actually experience it. But sometimes, as it happened this last week…the lady is not here tonight but she lives in the Palisades and she’s right on the beach and sees the ocean all the time. Walking down the beach this past week she saw a little object and said to herself, “No, why stop and pick it up? It may be some stupid little glittery little thing.” But she said, “Don’t be lazy, pick it up.” So she picked it up, it was a little ring, almost the size of a child’s ring. It was a serpent swallowing itself, with a little tiny, I presume almost valueless, jewel for a head. But nonetheless, there it was. I saw the thing last week. She walked on a few yards and something else caught her eye—-the next symbol was a cross, a little silver cross that at one time hung on someone’s necklace because it had a loop for the chain. Then she kept on walking, and then a little wooden chalice…here is the cup of wood. She brought the three that she found on the beach. They are only external symbols of the internal signs that she one day will experience. So everything in this world, this outer world, is a shadow of the inner world.
So I saw them last week, right here in the little room behind…that right on our Pacific beach, one after the other, she encountered the three grand signs. First, the serpent was the tempter who said, “You will not really die. He said, ‘You will die, but not really.’” So you were made to disobey and so by disobeying conscience is born. How could you ever start the journey unless conscience is born? What conscience?—-good and evil. Man must know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. But he will suppress it for personal gain until he reaches a certain point where then he reaches the point called Abraham. And Abraham believed the most impossible thing in the world, and to him it was accounted righteousness. So he starts the journey, and he leaves the haven, the sanctuary of Haran, and moves into Canaan that is cursed. Canaan is cursed by one whose secret was exposed; for the father was seen in his nudity and he who saw him saw the secret of creation. Seeing the secret of creation he cursed Canaan as a land and sent every descendant of himself into this world that he would learn how to create and to expand his power to create in this world. Before we started the journey he sets up a series of signs they are called in the Book of John. They’re called miracles in the synoptics, and they’re called, by any other name, portents in the Old Testament. So the child will be a sign and a portent. And the serpent will be a sign and a portent. So when they begin to happen, know the end is at hand.
And so, when will they come? Well, I will come like Jonah. And they’re all trying to find out what does it mean to come like Jonah. When I come, it will be just like the sign of Jonah. Matthew adds, Jonah was three days in the whale; therefore, he was three days in the earth before he rose (Mat. 12:39). They are all confused as to it. The word Jonah is the Hebrew word for dove; dove in Hebrew is Jonah. I will only give you one sign and that sign is the sign of Jonah. It comes. Wait for it. He will descend upon you and when the vision comes to an end that descent of the dove will not have departed. He’s still on you when the vision comes to an end, smothering you with kisses. While the whole thing begins to come to an end, the dove is still upon you, so Jonah is still upon you. That is the descent of the Holy Spirit and it is forever and forever. So, you’ll know. When will the end come, O Lord? The end? This generation seeks the sign. There shall be no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah. The prophet is telling you this is the end and Jonah, which means dove, is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and he descends upon you as promised in scripture. I will depart…for we all heard this story before we set forth, we heard everything that could ever happen to us…then he departed. Departed where?—he entered us; for we are the very being who conceived the play, who is playing the play. So, unless I go away then the Spirit cannot come; but if I go away, there is a Comforter, the Comforter will come (John 16:7). And so, I will depart and you will be sad, but I will come again. These are the signs by which I will awaken, and you will know that I never really left you. I am closer than ever before as we are told. So he departs from the visible world by actually becoming invisible, and never was he nearer than when he was invisible.
So in man is God, this Holy Spirit, who is taking us through from the beginning of it, whenever that time was, to the end, and the end we know by observing the signs. So by signs and wonders he brings his people out of Egypt. You read it carefully; only by signs and wonders would you ever know. Don’t ask, “How long, O Lord, how long?” Wait for the signs. May I tell you, not one in this world will fail, no one will fail. It’s all ours! You and I conceived it; we are playing it; and in the end, when these masks are taken off, you and I will know each other more intimately than you and I have ever known anyone in this world. I’ve been a father of two children and love my wife, love her dearly. I have never known her in this world, though she bore our daughter, as I will know her, and know you, when these masks are off. There’s an intimacy when the masks are off which you can’t compare to anything here, not a thing here is like it. Here the most intimate relationship is like living at arm’s length…just like arm’s length. When these are off, we are the Elohim, and the Elohim is a compound unity. It is a unity, a oneness made up of others: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” And that’s who we are.
So, one by one by one the mask comes off, and you know when the mask is coming off only by the signs and wonders. And they simply…then you are told, the first shall be the last of these signs and the last shall be first. People think in this world where we live in terror and are afraid of each other by the masks that we wear, that it means that someone who is now prominent will be demoted by some tyrannical god. No, it means only the signs. The first sign recorded is the dove, in the earliest scripture and that is Mark. So the first event or sign is the dove and the last one recorded is resurrection. Well, reverse them. It’s going to happen exactly like that: The resurrection is going to come first and the dove is going to come last. So when the dove appears, which is the very last, although recorded first, it really is the last sign. Then, at any moment in time, but not one second before the appointed hour, you will depart from this world. You may be the healthiest being physically, but you’re only wearing a garment. Your departure is already cut and dried; not one can add one hour to his span of life, not one being in this world. You can have all the great doctors in the world, you could have all the finest food in the world, all the medicines in the world, and they think they can put you some place where there isn’t a germ it is so completely clean; but at your moment in time you make your departure, and you do not add one hour to your span of life. Our entrances and our exits are all predetermined.
But within the framework of God’s play, our play, for we are the being who conceived it, we can change all kinds of things to our amusement, really. You can be rich or you can be poor; you can be strong or you can be weak; you can be known or you can be unknown. You are encouraged to use a certain power, a certain talent, to change anything to make your life more desirable. But you aren’t going to extend it. “Who by being anxious can add a cubit to his stature?” “Who by being concerned can add a cubit to his span of life?” And the latest translation, “Who by worry can add an hour to his span of life?” So they’ve finally come down to the real meaning of the word which is stature, which is cubit. So first they gave it a spatial dimension—twenty-two inches would be the cubit—and then they turned it into time and gave the word translated cubit a time measurement of an hour. Then they took the word stature, which would be spatial and then turned it into a time measure of a span of time, span of life. So today, the perfect translation is what Goodspeed has given us: “Who by worry can add one hour to his span of life?”
So your entrance is perfect, your exit is going to be perfect. But within the framework of the play use your talent. Your talent can be used by a simple process: Whatever you desire, no condition attached to it, whatever you desire, believe that you’ve received it and you will. But bear in mind, we began because God imposed upon us disobedience to bring about the birth of conscience. But when conscience is born, don’t bury it! So use it! So you are free to imagine anything in this world, but remain aware of the birth of conscience, and conscience is the knowledge of right and wrong, of good and evil. I need not tell you what you know to be right and what is wrong. You can always ask yourself this question if you are in any doubt whatsoever, “Would I like it done unto me?” Ask that simple question, for do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So if you are in doubt when you have a longing, an intense desire, would you like it, were things reversed, to have it done unto you? For that is conscience, the knowledge of good and evil. So you begin there. That’s how the whole vast world begins as far as God expanding his talent. So you could bury it, you could bury your conscience, and accept the evil because it seems a temporary gain, a little moment of joy, a little moment of a thrill, where you could take from someone else what you know in your heart belongs to them, but you would bury your conscience. Well, do it if you will, but then you are only putting upon yourself the most horrible tomorrows. And so use it.
But the real journey begins with faith, and faith is nothing more than Abraham. Abraham is not a member of a certain racial group; Abraham is the eternal state where everyone really begins the journey in faith. And so you hear the story, the whole story was told you, and then you reacted. You either believed it or you didn’t believe it. If you believed it, you start the journey. So as Paul brings out, only the sons of faith are the sons or descendants of Abraham; that no one can claim that because he is a Levite or that he belongs to the tribe of Benjamin or the tribe of someone else that he is a Jew. The true Jew is the one who is the descendant of Abraham in faith. As Bishop Pike brought out so beautifully when he was asked, being an Episcopalian and a bishop concerning the Jew, he said, “I am a Jew because I am a Christian. I could be a Jew and not be a Christian, but I can’t be a Christian and not be a Jew.” You dwell upon it. Because that’s where you start, you start in the faith of Abraham, and unless you have that faith you are still moving between Noah and Abraham. We all start with Adam where conscience is born and consciousness is there; but conscience becomes the child, the first one. And then we go through the most horrible experiences; and then all the signs are set up when you enter the state called Abraham.
I wish I could take everyone with me this night, all together, and show you what you’ve forgotten, because you have forgotten it. Because things that I see today and see constantly now, they’re only memories, things I have known forever as you know them. Every one of them you see. I saw the whole thing before I set forth and have been up until now trying to remember them. Then comes the last and the last is simply the signs and the wonders. As they begin to unfold then night after night the vision comes back, and all that you and I shared together before we started the journey is there, all in you. May I tell you, don’t ask how long between now and then: “How long, Lord, how long?” As you are warned, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But wait for the promise from the Father.” What is the promise? As told us in 2nd Corinthians, the 1st chapter, “All of the promises of God find their Yes in him” (verse 20). Then you know who you are. So every promise is being realized in you by the signs and every promise of God finds its Yes in him. Of whom are they speaking? God’s creative power personified as one called Jesus Christ—-that’s you. So every promise of God will find its Yes in you.
So when you come…suddenly it happens. At first you are so bewildered your response is nothing more than awe and wonder. You can’t talk or think of anything but, when the first thing happens. And then when the second one happens, it adds to your confusion and your bewilderment. And you go back and you read the scriptures for intimations and for foreshadowings of what is taking place in you, and you see it had to take place because it was all foretold. The third one happens and then the fourth one happens. Here when the fourth one happens…for the first I would call a double one like two sides of a coin, resurrection and birth come the same moment, just one moment after the other. And so the minute you are awake, you come out of the womb which is the tomb of your skull. So they’re are two events but they’re really one, one follows on the other at the same moment or the same night, I ___(??). Then comes the second grand event, the discovery of the fatherhood of God; the discovery of yourself as God the Father who conceived it and then fragmented himself into all these things. Then comes the third, your real departure from this realm—the serpent.
And then comes the fourth one and that is the end. As you’re told, it all started…and he named the fourth one Judah. He is the one, the gate, the Daleth, through which all things pass. Now, don’t for one moment think that because you aren’t the fourth child physically you aren’t the fourth. May I tell you, you are. There are numberless ways of arriving at the fourth, at the Daleth. You could be the fourth in your class and not the brightest and yet that’s the one chosen. You could be the fourth to come through the door one day. You can be then fourth in a million different ways, but in some peculiar way the mystery is so set up that through the door you go, and the door is the fourth. The fourth letter is Daleth and that is the fourth. In my own case, I am the fourth physically of the children of my mother, but it doesn’t mean that I would have to be physically the fourth. My daughter is my wife’s first child, she happens to be my second, but she could be the fourth in her class or she could be the fourth in marks, she could be the fourth in many ways, as you can be. Don’t try to analyze it, it’s all been done.
But within the framework of what has already been arranged for us you play it beautifully. You just take God’s law, assume that you are now this night the man, the woman that you want to be. Live it fully in your Imagination and sleep in it just as though it were true, and fall asleep in that assumption. And be as faithful to that as the state called Abraham is faithful to the vision when he rejoiced that he was to see my day, he saw it and he was glad; and then started the journey leaving the haven of Haran. He left the sanctuary, the comfort of that wonderful home, and moved into a land where he knew by prophecy he would be a slave of slaves to all his brothers. So he moves right into the cursed land, the land of Canaan. And the land is cursed; he takes upon himself the curse of the world and becomes obedient unto slavery; then hoped for, because the memory remained with him, that he would be redeemed by signs and wonders. Then came that moment in time when the first sign appeared. In his case, it was the child, it was Isaac. So Isaac is not some little thing that is born of generation, it’s something that was promised. It’s only a sign. Some will call it (I will go along with them) it’s simply the generation of God…and he brings forth his child. But the child is brought forth that’s seen by others; the shepherds saw it, but they didn’t see the being who awoke; for that being awoke in an entirely different dimension, and that being could not be seen by the eye that would see the sign. So let us go quickly and see the sign this day.
So Simeon saw the sign and knew the sign was for the fall and rising of many in Israel. He knew it, but he couldn’t see that which the sign represented. He was only told, as the prophet, that it represented the birth of God this day in Bethlehem. And so in this city of Bethlehem he was born, and go and see the sign. When you see the sign, well, certainly you’ll see the sign…that is not an unnatural thing…every child is wrapped in swaddling clothes. But you don’t see it in the flesh, you see it in Spirit. And so it is supernatural in the sense that you only encounter the child, this heavenly child in the Spirit, as you encounter all the states. David, you encounter him in the Spirit: “Did not David in the Spirit call me Father?” (Mat. 44:28). Not in the flesh! We are separated by, well, 3,000 years, but in the Spirit we aren’t separated…he calls me Father. So everyone will experience these things in Spirit…all these signs are yours. So by signs and wonders he brings us, his people, out of Egypt. And when we are all brought out, once more we form the unity that is ours before, for creative purposes, we fragmented ourselves and became a divided, conflicting, fiery state.
So when you read the scripture in the future, bear in mind it is simply an infinite play. It’s divine history, not ever to be known by any historical research. There is no archeologist who will ever find anything in this world to either prove or disprove the claims of scripture. It was never intended to be understood as secular history, never! And every character in it from beginning to end is a state of consciousness that’s eternal. And these states, one day you will see them, actually see them. You will see them sometimes coalesced into one man; and then you will see them scattered into nations, and places, infinite numbers of people, and one day, all together. And as you look, it is really the Lord of Lords, but he has your face, and you know it. You’re looking right into your own being when the time comes for your return and your departure from this wheel of recurrence.
Now let us go into the Silence.