Neville Goddard Lecture, Signs From Above

Signs From Above

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The evangelists of scripture, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are anonymous names of men who wrote salvation history. They introduced characters who never walked this earth, but whose names are significant. In the Book of John, we find the story of Nicodemus. Now, Nicodemus is not mentioned in any other part of the Bible, or in any historical records of the time; so we see Nicodemus was not introduced for some historical purpose. The word means ‘conqueror of the people; all victorious’. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a very learned member of the Sanhedrin – which was the supreme council of Jews in New Testament times, having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction. In this case, Nicodemus desires to interpret scripture and pass judgment on his findings. Tradition has it that Nicodemus was the third richest man of his day; so we see he was not only learned, but very, very rich. Observing all the rules of the rabbinical order, Nicodemus sought Jesus at night, as he did not want to be seen in the company of one who – according to scripture – had no education by standards known to man. Coming to Jesus by night, and recognizing him as a teacher, Nicodemus said: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs unless God is with him.” Jesus then answered in the form of a dialogue, saying: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you are born from above you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus then said, “How can a man who is old, enter his mother’s womb for a second time and be born? To this Jesus replied, “You, a teacher of Israel, and you do not understand? I tell you, unless you are born from above, you 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; and flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom.” So we see that an entirely different birth must take place. That birth comes from above. The word is “anothen” and means “from the beginning; the top.” This same word, anothen, is used for the seamless robe John speaks of as having been woven from the top. And when Pilate said: “Do you not know that I have the power to crucify you and the power to set you free?” Jesus replied: “You have no power over me were it not given to you from above.” Here the word anothen is translated “above.” Through the Gospel of John the word anothen is brought into play, as he distinguishes that which is spirit from that which is flesh. When reading the 3rd chapter of John, start with the 1st verse, and go through to the 21st. Jump to the 31st, and continue to the 36th. Then go back to the 22nd, and on to the 30th. Do this and you will find a flow in the dialogue that is completely broken as it is now recorded. It is as though the pages were dislocated before publication. The words belonging to Jesus flow from verse 10 through 21, then continue at verse 31 through 36. As it is now written, words have been put into the mouth of John the Baptist that do not belong there.Nicodemus was introduced when the evangelist was seeking a greater understanding of the meaning of Jesus, God’s image which must be implanted in the individual. There is an interval between the implanting of God’s Word and its eruption. And when that eruption takes place, everything recorded of Jesus unfolds in a first-person, present tense experience, making that individual the son of God by nature, to be used as an agent to implant the idea that men may become sons of God by grace. That which is implanted, contains within itself the entire plan of redemption, which takes a period of thirty years to erupt into the individual’s birth from above.

Let us now turn to the Book of Luke, where it is recorded that: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” And Paul tells us that the power of the Most High is Christ Jesus. Anyone who is twice born can be used as an agent for the creative power of the Most High. There may be no awareness of it on the surface level, but a supernatural impregnation must take place; and it takes 30 years for the child – the symbol of spiritual birth – to occur. You entered this world of sin and death for the impregnation and ultimate departure from it. While you are here, you may own all of the treasures, have its people worship and adore you – if that is your desire. But when you leave it, you will simply assume a new body in a terrestrial world like this one, to continue your same journey of slavery. This you will do over and over again, until your supernatural impregnation and your spiritual birth. Then you will depart this world and enter an entirely different one; for after the implantation, a metamorphosis takes place within you. Just like a caterpillar who clings to a leaf and cannot move beyond it, that which comes out of you when you are born from above, is greater than the painted butterfly. In that new body, you move into an entirely different world. Now, in the 3rd chapter of John, the words put into the mouth of John the Baptist in the 22nd verse, are really a dialogue between Jehovah and Nicodemus, the victorious one. Experiencing that which he could not find in a book, Nicodemus was seeking a fuller understanding of the meaning of the word ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Jesus,’ which can only come through revelation. Now, if Nicodemus was a part of secular history, he would be mentioned elsewhere; but the Bible is not written about physical history, but about the supernatural history of salvation. There was no little boy called Jesus who was born of a woman called Mary.

As you walk the earth and answer to your physical name, you conceive of the spirit and are supernaturally born. Nicodemus personifies the Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, of today – those who keep alive any belief in an outside God. Believing that because of his social, educational, or financial background he should not be seen with certain people, Nicodemus sought one who could remove his blindness, because he was so eager to understand. His statement: “Rabbi, we perceive that you have been sent from God, for no one can do these signs unless God is with him,” is followed by these words which are seemingly not related to any sign: “Unless you are born from above, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ Then Jesus uses this phrase: “As the wind blows where it will and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell whence it comes or whither it goes, so it is with everyone who is born of the spirit.” This is true, for the vision comes so suddenly, just like the wind, as it is a spiritual experience. And if you conceived the word 30 years ago, your birth from above could come tonight.

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Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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