THE PROMISE EXPLAINED
Neville Goddard 26 June 1970
The Bible tells the story of a promise - of a dream that existed two thousand years only in the imagination of Israel; and when their dream came true, Israel did not recognize their own harvest, and rejected their own harvest - denied it, for they were looking for it in an entirely different way. That is really the essence of the Bible, a promise made to man, and then man believed it. It was to Abraham, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. So, he had the faith to sustain it and pass it on to generations, and they all believed it; and they maintained, only in their imagination, for two thousand years the dream. Then the dream erupted within an individual - within Israel; and he told the story, but they did not believe.
Now we turn to the story. It's an old man, a hundred years old, and a wife ninety years old; and it is said that "it had ceased to be with her after the manner of women." In other words, it would be impossible for her to have a child. And the promise was made that she would have a child, and that child would be "your heir, and you will call him Isaac, which means, "he laughs." Abraham had, from a slave, a son called Ishmael. It was said of him that his hand was against every man, and every man's hand was against him.
This same story repeats itself all the way through. It begins with Abraham, and then the two - Ishmael who came first and then Isaac. Isaac was the promise. Then the grandchildren: Esau and Jacob, and God said "Jacob I love; Esau I have hated," - the same pattern following all through Scripture coming into the New Testament.
And in man it erupted - the story.
Now we find a wonderful story in the Book of John, the 3rd chapter of John. It is not repeated in the Bible; it is only in John. It is not mentioned in Matthew, Mark, or Luke,--where a member of the Sanhedrin -a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus, --a member of the Sanhedrin is the highest body of a religious order. And Israel was a theocracy; it was ruled by the Rabbis, and here was the highest of the Rabbis. He identified something from what he knew of his own scripture, but couldn't quite put the pieces together. So, he sought Jesus "in the night," we are told. He came during the night, seemingly in a furtive manner - not to be identified or recognized by other members of the Sanhedrin.
He addressed him as "Rabbi," whence the fact that the man knows what others seemingly are not aware of. The conversation takes place in this manner; He said, "I know that you are the one that is sent, for no one who is not sent by God could do the things that you do;" and then a sudden break takes place in the conversation, and Jesus said to him; "Unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.".
Nicodemus answered, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" And Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born from above, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I have said unto you that you must be born from above, for I tell you that the wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you cannot tell whence it comes not whither it goes. So is every one who is born of the spirit.
Nicodemus answered, "How can this be?"
And Jesus answered him and said, "Are you a teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? I tell you - I tell you what I know, and I bear witness to what I have seen, but you do not receive my testimony.".
That is the story in essence. Man was looking for it to take place, as Nicodemus did, as all births take place, never having heard of an entirely different kind of a birth. Here, that which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the spirit is spirit; but he never heard before that Isaac represented what which is born of the spirit.
Now, when you read the Bible, the characters of the Bible are not persons as we are; they are eternal states of consciousness through which you and I - the Immortal Being -we pass through these states. The end of it - the climax of it is simply Jesus Christ. Each is destined to awaken one day as Jesus Christ, who is nothing less than God Himself! Every one is destined to awaken as God!
The birth cannot be of the flesh, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It cannot enter the Kingdom of God - only Spirit, for God is Spirit. So this represents - Isaac represents - the birth of the Spirit.
Nicodemus saw only physical birth. He could not understand any kind of a birth outside of a physical birth. Paul, now, explains in his 9th Chapter of his Letter to the Romans, the difference between the two births, and he speaks of the descendants of Abraham after the flesh and that which comes out of Isaac - and "we are named out of Isaac," he said..
Well, I will tell you now from my own experience which duplicates that recorded in Scripture. You could not find a more beautiful recording than that which I have just repeated for you from the 3rd Chapter of John. It is accurate. It is perfect. When he uses the word "wind," some translators said he should have used the word "spirit;" but the words "spirit" and "wind" are identical, both in Hebrew and in Greek - the same word. But he used the right word, for when it happens to you, you think only in terms of wind. When you are "born from above," and the child is placed in your hand - this wonderful child actually laughs. You pick it up and you look into its face and say in the most endearing manner, "How is my sweetheart?" This heavenly smile breaks upon his face; but you hear a wind. It's an unearthly wind that I can't describe by anything known to my physical senses, and yet I heard it through, seemingly, senses, for I heard the wind. I heard it coming from within me and seemingly coming from without.
So when one is "born from above," it is the moment when he is resurrected from the grave. This whole thing is dead - just as dead as it can be, but we animate it because we are in it. We are the Dreamer in it dreaming and keeping alive the dream - the promise that is made. May I ask you not to reject it.
A man - a little man - stands before you, with all the weaknesses, all the limitations of the flesh; but everything that you are heir to I am. I am still heir to it, in spite of what has happened to me; and yet I tell you it has happened to me, and plead with you not to reject it, but accept it, for the day is not long from now when this little thing [indicating his physical body] must be shed. That which has already happened within me, which is forever, just simply escapes. That is the Imprisoned Splendor waiting - bursting to get out permanently. It gets out night after night on a certain work to be done; but it is waiting for that moment when, for the first time, it takes off this little garment, and the silver cord is snapped and the Imprisoned Splendor set free, that which is within a man. It comes when he is "born from above."
So, the conversation between them is all about the Kingdom of Heaven and the only way that it can be entered. There is no other way you can enter it. So, until the "birth" takes place, you are still flesh and blood. You will "die" here - yes, but you cannot die, may I tell you? It seems silly. It seems stupid to tell you when a man dies and you cremate the body and you scatter the ashes that he is not dead. Yet, I know from my own experience of many who have gone - I have seen them. I have talked with them. I am talking to you. They don't even know they are "dead." They say to me, "Who is dead?".
I say, "You're not dead, but you 'died.' I was at your funeral. You are buried," - and I tell them the cemetery where they are buried. They can't believe it, because they are not dead. They are so alive to themselves, they can't believe it for one moment. And you can bring back certain things: "You recall so-and-so?" ..."Yes. Did he die?" they begin to think. ..."Well, yes, he did die." .."Well then, look at him. Is he 'dead'? There he is - he died. You went to his funeral, didn't you?" -and then they begin to think..."Yes, I did." "Well then, look at him. He isn't dead, but he died."
"Well, you died, too, Jack; but you are not 'dead' because nothing dies in God's world, for God is the God of the living.".Every one that "dies" here is instantly restored in a body just like this, but young -unaccountably new - unaccountably young with nothing missing. If you had parts missing, they aren't missing then. If you were deaf, blind, dumb, you aren't deaf,--none of these things happened. You are simply completely restored, and you are perfect. But you are still in a world just like this, and you will still go through all the things you do here. You will work. You will marry; you will do all the things you do here, just as you do it here, until that moment when you are "born from above.".When you are "born from above," you can die no more. That is behind you, as told you in the 20th Chapter of the Book of Luke, when they asked the question: "Tell me, in the Resurrection whose wife will that one be?" because she had married seven brothers. And he said to those who questioned him, because they were all great scientists - in those days they spoke of the Pharisee and the Sadducee; and the Sadducee was what we would call today the scientist - the agnostic or even the atheist. He won't believe in survival because nothing could convince him that the body was not the reality - that something could escape from this body. So they asked him the question, "In the Resurrection, whose wife will she be?" for she married seven.
And he said to the Sadducees, "The children of this age marry, and they are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that Age and to the Resurrection from the dead, they neither marry, nor are they given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, being sons of the Resurrection.
So, the whole drama begins with the Resurrection, which is the "birth from above." They are two sides of the same coin; it happens only moments apart. You feel the most terrific vibration within your head. You feel - as I did - that "this is it!" meaning this is now a hemorrhage - a brain hemorrhage that must be massive, and therefore they will find the body tomorrow morning on the bed, and Neville is gone from this world.
Instead of that, I felt myself waking - waking from a dream. I had no idea it wasn't a normal dream; but when I awoke, I was not in this world. I was in my skull, and I knew instantly that my skull was a sepulcher and I had been placed there. How I got there, I did not know; but I only knew that somebody who put me there knew of thought I was "dead." So, I was buried as one that was dead, and you are now buried as one that is dead; and you are dreaming this dream of life in your skull. And that's where you are. Your Immortal Being is there...
When I awoke to find myself completely sealed, I had an intuitive knowledge - as you are told, "The one who wakes is the wisdom of God, and he is the power of God," for that's how Christ is defined in Scripture: "the power of God and the wisdom of God." And I knew exactly what to do. I would push the base of the skull. May I tell you? All things being relative, I stood within my skull. This [indicating his head] is a little tiny thing. How could Neville, 5'll", stand in a skull? I stood in my skull! It is the Immortal Skull - and the Immortal Head. I stood in it just like I stand here on the stage, and I went to the base of it, and I pushed from within. As I did so, something rolled away..
That stone rolled away, and then I came out, inch by inch, head first, just like a child being born; but I'm a man, and a whole man came out; and then when I was almost out, I pulled the remaining portion of me out of that body. And then the wind became even more intense - "the wind blowing where it wills." I heard the sound thereof, but I could not tell whence it came or whither it would go. So, I looked over to the corner, having just seen the body; I looked over and couldn't see anything that could be the cause of it, but still it intensified like some enormous hurricane. I looked back to the body and it was gone.....................................................................................................................................
Then three witnesses, as told us in the Book of Genesis,--they then stand before - you didn't see them approaching - they stand before Abraham, to whom the promise was made. Now I am playing the part of Abraham, for here the promise is made; and these three witnesses sent from God, and one is not only the spokesman of God, it is God Himself! As he looks up, he doesn't see them approaching. There they are! I looked and I didn't see these three men approaching. There they sat where the body was, and they are discussing.
And in Scripture, whenever vision breaks into sound - into speech, the presence of David is assured. They began to talk, discussing the wind; and then one is completely disturbed and walks towards the same direction where I thought the wind originated. He goes two steps and he sees the infant, the sign. As told us in Scripture, the child is only a sign of the "birth" of God. He announces the father of the child. They question his right. They say, "How can," - calling me by name - "have a baby?" He doesn't argue the point; he lifts the child and presents it, and then I take the child. And then is when it smiles in my face..
Are we not asked in the 30th Chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, "And the Lord said unto Jeremiah," -and the word "Jeremiah" means "Jehovah will rise." It is Jehovah who is buried in you. Jehovah will rise. And then Jehovah speaks to His prophet whose name, as I've just defined for you, is "Jehovah will rise," - "Can a man bear a child?" Obviously the answer is, No. And then the Lord speaks:.
"Why, then, do I see every man with his hands drawing himself out of himself just like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale?".
That is just as it happens. The face is ghastly pale like one in death practically, only it is moving, because the head moves, like one in recovery from a great ordeal.
But here, you draw your Self out of yourself, just as you are told. But the Old Testament is an adumbration: it is a forecasting in a not-altogether conclusive or immediately evident way. The whole thing is adumbrated. One reading it could not read the sketch. It's like a sketch. But when it actually happens in one as the cubic reality, and he reinterprets Scripture, taking you from the sketch to the reality of it, they would not accept it. They could not believe it.
Now, the Bible begins with the Self-revelation of god. He said to Moses, --and this is the Lord speaking: "I speak unto my servant Moses. I appeared unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name The Lord I did not make myself known unto them."
The word translated "the Lord" is "Yod-He-Vau-He," which means "I Am." It is to Moses that He reveals His intimate identity, which is I Am.
But Moses said, "When they ask me, What is his name, what must I say?". ..."Say I Am has sent me unto you."
He didn't reveal this intimacy to the three states called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They saw Him purely as Power - sheer power that was a destructive power, like the lightning, like the thunder, like the earthquake. Thy saw It only as power.
Now He comes into the more intimate revelation of Himself in one called Moses, and there He reveals Himself as I AM. It is an intimate relationship. You say, "I am." That's He! But the word "Moses" means "One to be born." So we are told in the story, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, because it was not yet born. The revelation of God came to that point of an intimate relationship of the presence being felt, which was I AM; but something more had to be born. So we are told he was not allowed to go into the Promised Land, but one called Joshua went into the Promised Land.
Well, the word "Joshua" is the same as the word "Jesus." It is the Hebrew form of the Anglicized form "Jesus," which means "Jehovah Saves," which is the same thing as "Jehovah." "Joshua" and "Jehovah" and "Jesus" are identical in meaning. So, Moses couldn't go because he was not yet born into the further unveiling of God.
What was the other unveiling of God? The final revelation of God-in-man is that of Father. When He unveils Himself as Father, that's the final revelation of God to man, for then he has completed His task in giving Himself to man. For it's God's purpose to actually give Himself to man. So, there's no two - just you; and you and He are one. So, you can't say, "God and I," -for you are God! You actually become God.
That is the story of the Bible. So, God as Father - only when you find Him now as Father. How would I find Him as a father? To see a man standing before me that I know to be my father? No. I see his son standing before me who knows me as his father.
So, when I find God's only begotten son standing before me,--and he doesn't even have to call me "Father;" I know he is my son, and he knows I am his father; but he does call me "Father." He calls me his lord, and I know I am his father. He stands before me, and who is he? He is the one mentioned in the Old Testament, for "I've come only to fulfill Scripture."
The only "scripture" spoken of in the New Testament is the Old Testament. So when he said, "I come only to fulfill Scripture. Scripture must be fulfilled in me; and beginning, " - not with the Gospels, not with the Letters, he begins with the Old Testament; he begins with the law of Moses, then he comes to the Prophets, he comes into the Psalms; and "he interprets to them in all the scriptures of the Old Testament the things concerning himself."
So, when one fulfills Scripture - that is the Old scripture,--then the story has come to its end, and in the fulfillment God unveils Himself, and that's the last unveiling, and that is "Father." So, he has come to make known the real name of God, and the name is "Father." So, he smiled, "I have made known Thy name, and I will make it known that the love with which Thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them." He begins the whole thing by calling upon the Father. Then he said, "I and my Father are one."