Neville Goddard Lecture, The Heavenly Vision

The Heavenly Vision

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The most that can be expected of any man is that he be true to the vision he has seen. Paul, the greatest and possibly the most influential figure in the history of Christianity, was such a man. When brought in chains before the king, he said: “Here I stand on trial for hope in the promise made by God to our fathers. Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Here I stand testifying, saying only what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass.’ As he made his defense Festus said, ‘Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad.’ But Paul said, ‘I am not mad. I am speaking the sober truth. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought in me.’” Paul knew no physical Christ, but defined him as the power of God and the wisdom of God, telling us: “From now on I regard no one from a human point of view; even though I once regarded Christ from a human point of view, I regard him thus no longer. I know only Christ and him crucified.” Paul urged us to always bear in mind that scripture was a mystery – a shocking mystery. It is told so beautifully, unless you take the trouble to look up the words as you read them you will accept their surface meaning, as one billion Christians do. Tonight, if I used the word, “crucified”, the average Christian would see a man impaled upon a wooden cross, or maybe hanging on a tree, but that is not what Paul meant when he used the word, “crucified.” If you will look up the word, “crucified” in the James Strong’s Concordance, you will discover that it is made up of two Greek words. The first word means “union by association; companionship; completeness” and the second word means “to extinguish passion.” That is the purpose of the union. Paul, seeing Christ as the creative power of God, says: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Then he continued by saying: “You were bought for a price, so glorify God in your body.”

The price paid is union with Christ. That is the heavenly vision Paul referred to when he said: “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” For by this act God gives you himself, thereby transforming your mortal body of beliefs into a body of glory. This is done by a creative act. You will find scripture is filled with creative acts. In one story, the Risen Christ is made to say: “Who touched me, for I perceive that power has gone forth from me.” (The word “touch” here means “to set on fire” and is a euphemism for “to lie with a woman,” as touch is a creative act.) The story is told of a woman who touched the hem of the garment of a man called the Son of God and was healed, but Christ is not a man, Christ is the creative power of God. That power is expressed through man supernaturally, not physically, for God, his Father, is Spirit and therefore he is Spirit. You cannot separate Christ from God, for God and his creative power are one, but it takes a man to express God’s power. In the Book of Matthew, his disciples came to him, saying: “Explain the parable of the sower,” and he answered: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world. The good seed means the sons of God.” When the Son of man comes he plants his spiritual seed in those whom he calls. This act of crucifixion (which is the planting of the seed), far from being painful, is the most ecstatic experience possible. No union on earth can compare in ecstasy to this spiritual act. And when you, an individual, are called, you are told to “There remain with God.” There is no need to change your job, join a monastery, or go into a nunnery after the act. If you are a housewife, mother, father, businessman, or doctor when you are called, there remain with God and lock the memory of what has happened within you. Do not broadcast it to the world, for – not understanding – they would condemn you for talking such nonsense; yet this is the way God raises the dead.

Only Christ is raised. “We are born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” But to be raised, the seed must be penetrated by Christ. This ecstatic union takes place your own wonderful human imagination as you walk the earth doing earthly things. Then, in due time you are raised and born from above as the drama of Jesus Christ unfolds within you. The word translated “seed: is the Greek word “sperma,” which means “the male sperm.” Penetrated by Spirit, he leaves his spiritual sperm which bears his image of God which you carry within you, until it completes itself and you are raised, born from above, and unfold within yourself everything said of Christ in scripture. This is how God, being the Son of man, produces sons for the kingdom. Now the Risen Lord asks this question: “Who do people say that the Son of man is?” and they answered: “Some say John the Baptist come again, others say Elijah and still others say Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Then, identifying himself with the Son of man, he asked: “But who do you say that I am?” (You will notice that when he first asked the question concerning the Son of man they brought in a physical state, but when he asked: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered: “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” Then he said: “Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to your but my Father who is in heaven.” Here we see that the drama must unfold within the individual, for no man of flesh and blood could have told Peter, it had to be revealed to him. In Paul’s case, as in Peter’s their seat of authority was not in scripture as a dead written code, but in experience. Having experienced scripture, they could identify the Son of man with the I AM and Christ, for he is the power of God who impregnates the chosen ones. Eventually all will be called, and all will be raised through the impregnation of Christ, the Son of man who is God.

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

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