19 Jan Neville Goddard Lectures: “Thy Dead Shall Live”
Tonight’s subject is taken from Isaiah, the 26th chapter, just as a title because it’s really not on that chapter. The title is “Thy Dead Shall Live.” To understand this we have to go all through the Bible and take pieces from here and pieces from there and put them all together. So we turn now to the Book of Romans, the 6th chapter, you’ll find it in the 3rd and 4th verses. I am quoting from the New Age Bible. I find it far more clear when it comes to this passage, in fact, many, many passages. But in this a question is asked—-in the other Bibles they state “Do you not know”—that passage has been interpreted “Have you forgotten?” All the difference in the world! Have you forgotten that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death and lay dead? By baptism we were buried with him and lay dead, in order that Christ would rise in the splendor of his Father; then comes a hope, so also we would step into this new life (Rom. 6:3,4).
So you and I through what he called baptism—-it doesn’t mean the baptism that you and I experience when we couldn’t even experience it, for we were just simply days old—-hasn’t a thing to do with that earthly baptism. He’s telling us, before the whole thing was, you and I were incorporated into one body, all of us, and we lay dead. And then like life coming out of the depths, like the seed falling into the earth—-“Unless the seed falls into the earth and dies it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”—the mystery of life through death. So, all of us have union with Christ. You can’t think now, if you believe this, of God as “other,” can’t be other. So we are told, As a body is one and has many members, so it is in Christ. By one Spirit we were all baptized into Christ, and all were made to drink of one Spirit (Rom. 12:4). Well, that you can see. I say “Who are you?” and as you reply you say “I am John.” And before you go any further I can stop you and turn to another and another and all will begin “I am” and then they’ll say so-and-so. We all say the same thing. You ask me “Who are you?” I am…I may say Neville, I may say I’m an American by adoption, I may say anything; but before I say anything I first say “I am.” So we’re all made to drink of one Spirit and that Spirit is God. There’s nothing but! So God is not “other.” Until that comes into man’s consciousness and remains there and he feeds upon it, he will die in despair. So, have you forgotten? he asked. So we’ve all forgotten. We’ve drunk deeply of the Spirit and lay dead; and now we’re about to be resurrected, raised from the state of death. But how did we simply die?
Now let me tell a story. It’s taken from 1st Kings, the 13th chapter. It’s a strange story but a fascinating story…the entire chapter, not just a verse. “And the man of God came from Judah by the word of the Lord, and came to Bethel.” As he came to Bethel, he pronounced this I wouldn’t call it a curse but a prophecy on the altar of Bethel, for it was used for idolatry, and said it would be destroyed and all the ashes would be poured out. The king, Jeroboam— whose name simply means “may the people be multiplied, may they become numerous or unnumbered like the sands of the sea,” that’s his name, that’s what it means—he was at the altar and when this prophecy was made against the altar of Bethel the king stretched forth his hand to injure and the king said, “Take hold of him, this man of God.” And as he did so his hand stiffened and withered so he could not bring it back to himself. And he knew he was in the presence of the man of God. Then he said to the man of God, “Entreat the Lord your God to restore my hand” and so the man of God entreated his Lord and the hand was restored to its former healthy state.
Then the king said to him, “Come into my house and refresh yourself and dine and drink with me.” He said, “By the word of the Lord I cannot eat in this place or drink in this place, neither can I return by the way that I came.” And so, he started by a different way. Then there was an old, old prophet in Bethel, and his son came to him and told him of the man of God and what he had done to the altar of Bethel. The old man said to his son, “What direction did he go?” and the son pointed the direction where the man of God departed. So he said, “Saddle my ass,” then the ass was saddled and the old prophet started in search of the man of God. When he came to him he found him under an oak tree—-think in terms of Abraham the father of the multitudes found under the oak tree as you read that in the 18th chapter of Genesis. And he said to him “I too am a prophet. An angel of the Lord said to me, come after you and have you dine with me, eat with me and drink with me.” But he said, I cannot, because the Lord told me, he said, “I am the prophet and angel of the Lord.”
Of course, the angel lied. It was a lying angel. And so he did, believing it was from the voice of God. Having dined, then the old prophet said to him, “Because you disobeyed the voice of the Lord your God, you shall not be buried in the tomb of your fathers”—-a nice way of saying you shall not reach home, you shall die on the way. Then the prophet saddled the ass and gave it to the man of God. The man of God started on his ride and a lion destroyed him, a lion came out of the nowhere and killed him. Then the people passed by and here was the ass, here was the lion, and here was the man of God lying dead. So when news came to the old prophet, the old prophet set out in search and came upon these three—the man dead (the man of God), and the ass and the lion. The lion killed him but had not eaten him, and the lion had not torn the ass. Then the man of God was taken by the old prophet and buried in his own grave, in the old prophet’s grave, and then he said to his son, “When I die, bury me in the grave of the man of God that my bones be with his bones.”
Now you read that story and you say, what is it all about? What a glorious story! The man of God disobeyed God. Well, then who made him disobey? Now we turn back to Romans, the 11th chapter from which we quoted earlier. In the 11th chapter it is said that “God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all” (verse 32, RSV). So who is playing the part? It’s all God! There is nothing but God. Now this 11th chapter ends on this note, that God is the source, the guide and the goal of all things. The source, the guide and the goal of all things! There’s nothing but God. God is not other. He has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. So, “Unless I die,” said God, “thou canst not live, but if I die I shall arise again and thou with me.” (Blake, Jer.,Plt.96). You couldn’t possibly breathe were it not for this death of the man of God and when we die we are buried in the same grave. And so, the weary man enters his grave, his cave, and there he meets his Savior in that grave. So when I die—as the prophet who was fooled by the so-called angel of God—I am buried in the grave with God. So the question is asked, Have you forgotten when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus that we were baptized unto his death? That by baptism we were buried with him and lay dead, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead in the splendor of the Father, so also we would step in this new way of life (Rom. 6:4).
Now I say experience must seal the truth of scripture. Everyone is going to have this experience, but everyone. It must be sealed only by experience. He said, “The word is true, every word of it is true.” Well, I could tell you unnumbered stories to show survival, but that’s not what the Bible is speaking about. Survival is—that I know. As Blake said, “Death awakes to generation.” That I know from my own personal experience. “Death awakes to generation. O Lord, arise and rend the veil.” I don’t want to awake to generation…I have it here. I live in a world of generation, and all death unless resurrected awakes the generation. “Arise, O Lord, and rend the veil”: tear it so there is no more generation in my world. For, all the dead are restored to life only to die again, as told us in the 20th chapter of the Book of Luke. When we are asked by the Sadducee…and the Sadducee simply is the man who does not believe in the resurrection. That is the wise man of the world, the scientist of today, the brilliant mind who understands the structure of the physical world. And he can’t find the soul no matter how he opens up the brain. He can’t find anything that could survive the dissolution of the body. And so they’re called in the ancient world the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection. And they said to him, “Teacher, Moses in the law said that when a man dies and leaving no children and having a brother, the brother should marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well, there were seven brothers. And one died, leaving no offspring, and the second took her. He died leaving no offspring, the third took her, and finally they all married her and left no offspring, and finally she died. Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” He answers, “The sons of this age marry and they are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain unto that age and to the resurrection from the dead, they neither marry nor are they given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, for they are now sons of God and sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:28-36). He distinguishes between this age which he calls “the age of death” and that age which is “the age of life.”
So Blake was right, the dead awake to generation. They don’t realize that this is the world of death, none of us do. We think this is the world of life, and when a man goes to the grave that’s the world of death. No, that’s simply going through a little veil to be once more awake to generation. You’re restored to life, automatically inserted into your wonderful time sequence best suited for the awakening as the being that you really are who is God. This is a self-imposed state of sleep, a sleep so deep that it appears as death. As you are told, “In great Eternity those who contemplate on death said thus, ‘What seems to be is to those to whom it seems to be, and is productive of the most dreadful consequences to those to whom it seems to be, even of despair and eternal death. But Divine Mercy steps beyond and redeems man in the body of Jesus’” (Jerusalem, Plt.36). So while we are here, what seems to be is to those to whom it seems to be, and is most productive, whether it be for something lovely or something horrible. But it’s only a grand dream. You and I are in the body of Christ and we are here dreaming until he awakens us in his body as that body, as that Christ. There aren’t two Christs. So when we awaken, his body is our body, and he and I are one. We are all one in the end. So “In that day the Lord shall be one and his name one.” All awaken…but in our own good time, that is, in his good time. But when we awaken we are he, therefore, it’s really in our good time.
So do we really survive? I could tell you of unnumbered cases where I know from my own experience and from the experience of my friends who shared with me their experiences in continuity. For you meet someone who died…many years ago, while I was here in this city, the first year I came here, my secretary died. I received a cable saying that Jack was dead. Well, Jack had no one but the speaker. He had a sister living somewhere, where I didn’t know. She popped up at the last moment to get some money out of me, I know. But before that, I knew nothing of her and Jack never breathed anything of any relative. He was simply a lone wolf. He simply died on one hot August day when I was out here, my first year. So I went back and took care of the funeral, buried him up in Haverstraw, New York.
My sister-in-law always said to me, “I love you because you take care of my sister, but I don’t believe one word that you say. I don’t believe in immortality. I believe that we are immortal only through the loins—-our children who are our extension in this world.” I said to her, Aren’t you a good Christian? She said, “Oh, yes!” Well, she is a pillar of her church, the Episcopalian church. So I said, “How can you say you are a good Christian and say there is no immortality? Why, the foundation stones of Christianity are: the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and life everlasting. You can’t remove one of these stones and not have the whole thing topple. So you say you are a good Christian, but you do not believe in life everlasting. You may have the first two—-fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man, but you can’t rub out the third, for this is a God of the living, not a God of the dead.” She said, “I still don’t believe in your teaching.” Alright.
Six months went by after Jack died. One night in question, I’m fully awake but I am not in this world, I am in that world, through this little gossamer…it’s sort of…thin little veil between here and there. And so, here is Jack standing in my room and here is my sister-in-law, and she said to me, “I still don’t believe what you teach, you know.” I said, Well, how can you say that and see Jack? She said to me, “What has Jack to do with it?” I said, Jack died you know. I came back and buried him. At that moment her face becomes now aware of the truth of what I’ve said. She’s fully conscious that Jack died and she’s seeing Jack. But Jack now intercedes and Jack said, “Who’s dead?” I said, “Jack, you’re not dead but you died.” He said, “That’s stupid! I’m not dead but I died.” I said, “Jack, you died. I came back from California and I buried you. You’re buried, that little body that you wore is buried right now in Haverstraw, up in New York.” With this, he thought the whole thing was stupid. I said, “Come over here.” He did. I said to Al, “I’ll show you how solid he is.” I put my hand this way on his thigh and squeezed it. I said, “You see my hand doesn’t go through the thigh, he isn’t made of gossamer, he’s as solid as I am, as you are. And Jack did this to me as he would have done in this world. He said, “Take you hand off!” just like that and slapped my hand with his hand in a very friendly manner. And suddenly the whole thing after a few more scenes, then the whole thing dissolved.
I could multiply these experiences of the reality of continuity. Jack was not transformed one iota, not one change in Jack, the same Jack that he was here. I say, death here is simply a passage through a door where you can’t see them from this side, and they are restored to life to continue. It’s a continuous state, but resurrection is discontinuous. It’s a different world altogether, things that the eyes have not seen and ears have not heard what God has prepared for those in that day of resurrection. And the resurrection is taking place now at every moment of time, for all of us are one in Christ Jesus. When we awake, we aren’t another; we are Christ Jesus, and that body we wear is that glorious body of God. And it isn’t another, all one. So I can say when the question is asked, “Have you forgotten?” yes, the whole vast world has forgotten. “Have you forgotten when you were baptized into Christ Jesus, into that union with him, and that that baptism meant death with him?” Well, the old prophet knew it. Whoever wrote that Book of Kings, that 13th chapter, he knew it: “So when I die bury me in the grave with the man of God.”
And may I tell you, all of these experiences you are going to have. You, too, will be called the man of God and strange powers will be yours. The first night I was called the man of God I found myself in a strange, strange area standing at the opening of a cave, and in that cave lived the most horrible, monstrous looking thing, the witch of witches, a horrible thing instructing a brood of children in the misuse of Imagination, complete misuse. The witches of Macbeth had nothing compared to this thing. She looked up and she screamed at me and she called me “man of God” and she said, “Man of God, what have you to do with me?” Well, she knew as far as she was concerned she was powerless in my presence. But I wouldn’t raise, in that moment, I wouldn’t raise a finger to stop her misuse of my power. For Christ Jesus in scripture is described as the power and wisdom of God. You read it in the very first chapter of the 1st epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, “Jesus Christ, the power and the wisdom of God” (verse 24); only one power, only one wisdom. And so, the power is Christ. You stand in the midst of some misuse of the power that is yours, that you are yourself, and you wouldn’t raise a finger to change…it has all to be done.
Then, a second time that I came upon this same strange power, I found myself in a city that I knew so well, but it had changed, the whole thing had changed. I came to a junction and I thought, “Well, this is a radical change of the city since the last time I saw it.” And a policeman dressed in black across the way—the voice of authority. Whether it be a king, a soldier, or a policeman, any form of uniform would be one of authority—here is the law. It could be Jeroboam as king or it could be a simple policeman across the way; in this case, a simple policeman. As I looked around wondering of this radical change, he rushed across the square and took me by the arm and started leading me away. I asked him, “What are you doing?” He said, “Your actions look suspicious to me.” I said to him, “For the insult to the man of God, your voice is now still and the hand that touched me is just as still as the voice.” And they were. He couldn’t move the hand and he couldn’t speak, and the expression on his face was one of stark fear. Then that scene came to an end.
So I know all of these things of scripture are true and every child born of woman must experience it. As he wakes in us, you are the man of God deceived by yourself, by a false, lying prophet. For in the very beginning there was only God who deceived man, the first man. For you’re told, the word Yod He Vau He in its base although we interpret it as I AM (good interpretation, it’s true), still it’s primitive meaning, the primal meaning was “to fall or to cause to fall; to blow or to cause to blow.” So who caused the fall was Yod He Vau He, the I AM. So I caused myself to fall for purposes beyond the wildest dream of man on this level. So the whole thing is done by God; he’s the source, it’s now through God, and the goal is God. So he crystallized and took upon himself the limit of contraction, the limit of opacity which is man; and then he starts bursting through from here, because there’s no limit to translucency and none to expansion. It begins to burst beyond the wildest dream. But he took upon himself…like the little story of the seed, the grain of wheat, falls into the earth and dies…if it doesn’t, it remains alone. But if it falls and dies it brings forth much. And so, here we are the great grain of seed, all gathered together in one body, one Spirit, and we all drank of that one Spirit, so we can all say “I am.” And though we can say “I am” and do marvels in this world by the wise use, or even the misuse of Imagination, it’s the same power. One day we suddenly are awakened from it all, and we enter the world called the world of resurrection—-not continuity, but discontinuity.
Now here is a story told me this past week. A lady said she bought a franchise—didn’t tell me the nature of the franchise—-to discover right after she’d paid for it that the president of the concern was a fraud. And so, the investigator downtown asked her to secure a photostatic copy of the check she paid. But, she said, “I couldn’t produce it because it was a check given to me by Bache and Co., the brokers. They sold some stock of mine for a little over $3,000, and I took that check and endorsed it over to the person with the company for the franchise, and I couldn’t produce the check. That was in the company of Bache. But I applied this principle towards it and kept on working on it, just as you teach. Four months went by and Bache called me up and said that “the check issued to you for over $3,000 has not passed through the bank, therefore, we have put a stop on it, it’s too long, and now we will issue you another check.” And so, she got every penny back. How that check did not go through, who knows? She said, “I’ve never heard of it before, but, nevertheless, I have all the money that I gave this so-called fraud.”
Well, he might have been a fraud in her eyes and maybe he had intentions that way, but it’s God. Maybe this wonderful story of having faith in God’s promise, God’s law…that whatever you desire in this world, believe you have received it and you will (Mark 11:24). Even though reason denies it and your senses deny it and everything denies it, could you at a moment like that, knowing the man is a fraud, or you believe he is, and you gave him over $3,000, and time goes by, and you can’t locate the check because it wasn’t your personal check, it was a check that you endorsed that you received from your broker, from Bache and Co., and could you in the face of all that still believe that you’d get it back, and feel the reality of it, and actually believe in the reality of the imaginal act? Well, she did. Now, what caused the displacement of that check she doesn’t know and she doesn’t care; she got the money back! So Bache called up and said, “It hasn’t passed through, so we’ve stopped it and now we’ll issue another check in lieu of that.” So I say to everyone here, it doesn’t matter what the world will tell you, when you know what you want, assume that you have it and then walk just as though it were true.
Even though you haven’t yet been raised from the dead, while you are dreaming dream noble dreams. For this death spoken of in scripture is a death of a profound sleep, that’s the death; for in the 2nd chapter of Genesis we’re told, “And God caused a profound sleep to fall upon man and he slept” (2:21). Not a thing is said of waking that man until Christ awakes. So all through the Bible the command is, or the plea is, “Rouse thyself! Why sleepest thou, O Lord?” (Ps. 44:23). Not another, God is the one that fell into that state. It is God in man who is dreaming. And the Bible recognizes only one source of dreams: All dreams, all visions proceed from God, whether it be a waking dream or the dream of the night (Job 33:14; Num. 12:6). So why not have lovely dreams if everything comes from the same source. Your dream produces an effect in the world. It can either scare you to death (your own dream) or enlighten you. So everyone here can dream the most marvelous dreams in the world, because it comes from God, and all things are possible to God.
So in this story of…there is no death, really, although you see them die. I can tell you—and multiply it many times over, when I talked with friends—that continuity of the same state, same pattern in this world. But like Blake, let your prayer be “Arise, O Lord, and rend the veil.” You reverse all the currents of life when the veil is torn from top to bottom; and then what goes out in generation turns into regeneration and you rise into a world completely subject to your imaginative power. No waiting for it…you are now God and create by simply imagining.
In this state, you are still God but in a state of dream…and we’re having bad dreams, horrible dreams. This past week I bought Wednesday’s New York Times. To show you there is not anything in this world called fiction…don’t believe it…there is no fiction! If you conceive something and you call it fiction because it’s not based upon external fact, you may think, “Well now, this is fiction because I have no external fact to support my theory or my Imagination,” don’t believe it! A month ago, two of my friends, who come with me every week here, and my wife and myself went off to see a picture. Here was this comedy laid in Greece and Turkey, and the story is the plot to steal this fabulous bejeweled sword that was under real strong guard in Turkey. They had this fantastic way of getting this sword. Well, they got it, but they were caught and imprisoned. While they were all in jail, the one who held the idea was a woman, and the men were simply tools of her idea. And so, they were parted by the rails, she’s on the one side, and as the curtain is coming down, she said to the men on the other side, all in their prison garb, “I have an idea: the jewels in Russia. I know a secret pass way into that fabulous museum there.” And so, as the curtain is coming down, here they are trekking through the snows of Russia towards the fulfillment of her idea.
Well, this current week, this past Wednesday, on the front page of the New York Times, Russia for the first time revealed this fantastic robbery that took place of this jeweled sword this past year in Russia. The most unique way they got into that museum and took this bejeweled sword. They finally located it. They did not bring it out in the papers of Russia until they redeemed the sword. It took them about a year before they could find where the thieves had taken it. In the same paper two different articles, one is saying such things couldn’t happen in Russia as they could happen in a capitalist country. But it happened in Russia! Just as this so-called fiction just to give a good laugh, because as the curtain is coming down here she is in her prison garb and she has another idea which will put them in jail again. And if it didn’t take place in Russia!
I say there is no fiction! You can sit here alone and think, “But no one knows what I’m thinking.” Not a thing that you do in the dark is kept in the dark; it’s always revealed in the light. And so, you could be this night in a dungeon and you could hate the world and lose yourself in hatred and be the invisible cause of the most fiery conflict. The cause need not spring from the leaders of the world at all. Some woman in a dungeon treading the winepress of hate could produce tomorrow’s real, real conflict. So that no one really can stop you, because who can stop you from doing it? You’re a dreamer. And while you are in the state of sleep not yet awakened, not yet resurrected, it’s entirely up to you to use your talent, which is the talent of dreaming. If you hear someone who knows the story, and believe him, you will stop the bad dream and produce the good dream but still a dream; in the hope that it won’t be too long before you are resurrected from this wheel of recurrence and enter into the world of resurrection. We’re all destined to enter that world anyway.
I tell you, the whole story as recorded in scripture is true, and it’s all about you, every word is about you. So you’re the one that he made in the very beginning, so you can truly say, “Before that the world was, I am.” Because, before the thing is made the creator must exist. So, before the world was, I am. And if in the beginning I was actually by baptism united in the body of Christ Jesus and buried with him, well then, before the world was, I am. I can say, when the world shall cease to be, I am. For I am a world within myself…the whole vast thing is contained within me…and now I’m dreaming. You can’t conceive of something in this world that isn’t possible to God, you can’t conceive of it. Everything possible to be imagined is an image of truth. It could be a horrible state, but it’s still truth. So tonight, I appeal to everyone to take the most glorious concept of yourself and your friends and your circle, and though at the moment everything denies it, dare to believe that it’s true. Just dare to believe it’s true and feel yourself right into that state as though it were true, and then let it unfold in your world. It will. No power in the world can stop it.
So here, when you go home read that 13th chapter of the Book of 1st Kings, and as you read it put yourself into the place of the man called the man of God. He comes from Judah. Now a lion killed him—-that’s all imagery, beautiful symbols. The words for “scatter” in the Bible—-“and he scattered them all over the face of the earth”—-they were one people with one language, and the Lord said, Let us go down and scatter them, and give them all the different tongues of earth so they will not understand each other. The word translated “scattered” in scripture is defined in the biblical concordance as “the fall.” For here I point it this way, then scatter it; yet it is still bound, one body…many members but one body. And so he breaks it and becomes fragmented. So the “fall” killed him by being scattered. So he was simply a scattered being or a fragmented rock. So you’re told in scripture, “You’ve forgotten the Rock that begot you” (Deut. 32:18). So the Rock is fragmented and we are all the pieces. But when we are gathered together, we form one body, one Spirit, one God, and we are that being.
So you take it tonight and try it…costs you nothing. Doesn’t cost you a penny to imagine that things are as you would like them to be, and see how they mold themselves in harmony with your assumption. You remain faithful to your assumption and they all become a dream projected, objectified, in your world; for we are dreaming it until we awaken from the dream.
Now let us go into the Silence.
If there aren’t any questions, thank you. Goodnight.