Neville Goddard Lecture, The Free Man

The Free Man

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Paul was the first man in history to be set free. His letters, forming a quarter of the New Testament, were written approximately thirty years prior to the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. His 1st letter, chronologically speaking, was to the Galatians and began in this manner: “Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead.” That statement, if understood, tells the entire story of salvation. An apostle is one who is sent on a mission. Paul’s mission was to tell the story of salvation from experience. In this same first chapter he makes this confession: “I will have you know, brethren, that I did not receive this from man, it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul doesn’t deny that he heard the story from others, just as you and I have. My mother taught me the story of Jesus Christ as secular history. She died believing that one little individual lived and died two thousand years ago.

That’s how she was taught by her mother. Throughout the ages men have heard the story told in that manner. So Paul heard it from others, but questioned if that was what the prophets intended, because the only scripture was the Old Testament. When told of a miraculous birth, a resurrection, and ascension of one who dared to claim he was God the Father, Paul rebelled against the idea – until one day, in shocking suddenness, the mystery of Jesus Christ unfolded in him. Having experienced this pattern of salvation, Paul insisted in defending his interpretation of the story. Paul tells you who he is, by saying: “When it pleased God to reveal his Son in me…” Some translations record the preposition as “to,” but it is not “to,” but “in” – for Luke tells us that “No one knows who the Son is except the Father and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Paul confessed that God revealed his Son in him, therefore he must be God, for only God the Father knows his Son. John tells us that: “No one has ever seen God, but the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” Knowing who he is because of his revelations, Paul claims: “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus, our Lord?” Now, you can take that statement two ways. Paul actually saw the Risen Lord and became what he beheld when the union took place.

And because of his experience he could say: “I will tell you a mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations.” It is the mystery of Christ – the image of the invisible God in you – that is your hope of glory. When Paul wrote his words there was only the one scripture, which was the Old Testament; so we turn to the 17th Psalm and read these words David spoke to the Lord, saying: “Keep me as the apple of the eye and when I awake I will be satisfied in seeing your form.” The phrase translated “the apple of the eye” literally means “the little man of the eye.” Look into the pupil of any man’s eye – be he good or evil – and you will not see the man, but yourself. So the Lord, looking into your eye, sees his own reflection. Having hollowed out the eye to form a pupil that could reflect, God can only see himself in its darkness. Now, be faithful, O Lord, to the vision you saw when you said: “Let us make man in our image.” Looking into your eye, God sees only himself, and keeps the heavenly vision, no matter what furnaces he puts you through in order to bring himself out as a living being. Paul realized after the experience what David meant when he said: “Keep me as the apple of the eye.” God, forever beholding himself, does not see the outer you. He sees only the inner man, the same image he saw when he looked at me. No matter what color your outer skin may be, when God looks into your eye he sees only that which he is going to bring out. Having buried himself in you, he will bring out of you the being that he is, endowed with all the power and wisdom that he is and clothed in his body of infinite love. You may be a violent, horrible creature here; but when that one is awakened within you, you will come out as God, and God is love! This I know from experience. Now, Paul does not tell you that, having had the experience, the remaining years will be pleasant. No. His story is one of horror. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and left for dead.

Don’t think that once you have experienced scripture you are in any way set free from the horrors of the world, for you are not. You will still go through them until the very end, but you will know that when you take off your garment of flesh (your cross) you are set free to radiate and reflect the glory of God, knowing yourself to be the express image of his person. Everyone, individualized without loss of identity, will wear the form of God and possess the power of God, the power to assume any shape or form. Then you will be called and sent on a mission as Paul, an apostle and a free man. Paul was first known as Saul, which means “ask for,” as Saul was seeking the cause of the phenomena of life. His name was changed to Paul, which means “the little one.” He is the Jacob who is so small you question how he can stand. Look into the pupil of the eye of anyone and your reflection is so small you wonder how it can stand. But Jacob is changed to Israel, which means “the man who rules as God.” Not like a god, but as God. Seeing only himself, Jacob – the supplanter – awakens as Israel and rules as God. God’s purpose cannot fail, for “He has made known unto me the mystery of his will according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time.” Paul discovered through revelation that Jesus Christ is a plan which is contained in man. The plan is not outside of you, but within; and when it unfolds it is man, for you are man. Paul shared his revelations to the best of his ability. We only have thirteen of his letters. There may have been more, or he may have taken those into his confidence who did not record his words; but I am quite sure that he had the identical plan which unfolded in me. It’s the same story, for there is only one plan. And when the time is fulfilled, that plan will erupt in you, and you will discover you are the Lord God Jehovah.

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

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