Tonight’s subject is: “His Purpose.” When purpose is revealed, everything falls into place, so the revelation of purpose gives meaning to the existence of life. There is a purpose behind it all. It may not seem so, judging from this level, but there is a purpose . . a great purpose. It is God’s purpose to give Himself to us, because in the end we will awake as God. That is the purpose.
Paul tells us he knows the plan by which it is done when he writes his letter to the Ephesians. He says, “He has made known unto us the mystery of His will according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time.” (Ephesians 1:9) Then he tells us, “In the fullness of time God sends forth His son into our hearts crying, “Father.” (Galatians 4:6)
“In the fullness of time” . . that is, in the very end of the drama, His son appears calling us, “Father.” Then, and only then, will we know that God has fulfilled His purpose in us. Now, this is the fulfillment of Scripture, and we are told, “Scripture must be fulfilled in me.” (John 17:12)
“And beginning with Moses in the law and all the prophets and the Psalms, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures, the truth concerning Himself.” (Luke 34:27, RSV ) “For Scripture must be fulfilled in me.”
He says, “In the volume of the book . . “which means the Bible . . “it is written of me.” (Psalm 40:7, KJV ) For, from beginning to end, it’s all about that central character that is being formed in us. And when He is formed in us, He comes forward, and That One calls us, “Father.”
In the story of “Job,” the innocent being suffered unmercifully; the word “Job” means, “Where is my father?” That is the search of every child born of woman . . Where is the Cause of the phenomena of life? Where is the Father of it all? Where is He?
In the end of the book of Job, Job can say . . as the world can say who has accepted the belief in God, “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees Thee.” (Job 42:5) When you have heard of God . . and those who believe in God have heard of God . . but in the end, more than having heard of God . . you see Him. Now, how do you see God?
We are told in Scripture, “No one has ever seen God, but His only begotten son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made Him known,” (John 1:18) for to see God, you must see Him in His son. The son reveals the Father.
Now we are told, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (Luke 10:22)
Now, we have searched the Scriptures for that Son, and we are told in Scripture, in the 2nd Psalm . . and the Psalmist by the name of David is speaking, and he is made to say:
“I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said unto me, ‘Thou art my son;
Today I have begotten thee.’”
Then in the 89th Psalm . . these are now the words of the Lord, and He says:
“I have found David, my servant,
And he has cried unto me, ‘Thou art my Father,
My God, and the Rock of my Salvation.’”
(Psalm 89:20, 26)
Man, having been taught that the Bible is secular history, hasn’t the slightest concept of this Scripture . . of this mystery. When Paul speaks of this mystery that was revealed unto him, he is not telling us that this is a matter to be kept secret, but it is a truth that is mysterious in character. Tonight I will share with you my personal experience of this mystery, and I know it’s going to be the experience of everyone in the world, for it is God’s purpose.
Twelve years ago today in this City, across the way at the Hotel Sir Francis Drake, that mystery began to unfold in me. I retired quite early, having read a bit of the Bible, a bit of William Blake, and then retired. I made a call to my wife and daughter, who were then in Beverly Hills, and then turned in, in a very normal manner. Then at about 4:15 in the morning a vibration that was the most intense thing that I’ve ever experienced began in my head. It was an earthquake, plus a storm! I felt that every bone in my skull was coming apart. I entertained the thought, not knowing anything of the human form . . I am not a doctor, so I knew nothing of what a cerebral hemorrhage would be, but I thought for a moment, “This must be it. It must be a massive cerebral stroke, and maybe this is my departure from this world.” That was the feeling I had . . the thing was so intense!
But this is what happened: instead of being one who departed the world, I began to awake. At the moment, I thought I would awake as I had awakened for 50-odd years of my life. Now this was 1959, twelve years ago. But as I awoke, I awoke within my skull, and I knew, as I woke within my skull, that my skull was a sepulcher. It was a tomb, and I am alone! And my skull was sealed, there was no opening, a completely sealed tomb . . sepulcher. I had one consuming desire, and that was to get out. I intuitively knew that if I would push at the base of my skull that something would give. I pushed the base of my skull from within, and something gave . . rolled away. Then I stuck my head through that opening and pushed, and I pushed and pushed, and I came out inch. . by-inch-by inch, just as a child comes out of the womb of a woman, only this exit was out of my skull! And when I was almost out, I pulled the remaining portion of my body out of my skull.
Now a peculiar, unearthly wind began, and I thought it was coming from the corner of the room. I looked over where I thought it originated. I hadn’t turned away more than a matter of seconds. The wind was in my head, and it was also coming from the corner of the room. When I turned back to where the body was, the body was gone, but in its place sat my three older brothers. The oldest sat where the head was, the second one sat where the right foot was, and the third one sat where the left foot was. They, too, were disturbed. They could not see me . . and I will tell you why later. I could see them and hear their thoughts. Every thought was objective to me. I heard their voices. I heard their discussion about the wind.
And my brother Lawrence, the first one . . he got off the bed and started towards the same direction where I thought this storm originated. He hadn’t gone more than, say, two feet when his attention was attracted to something on the floor. And looking down, he announced this . . he said, “Why, it is Neville’s baby!” My other two brothers, Cecil and Victor, in the most incredulous voices asked, “How can Neville have a baby!” He did not argue the point. He stooped over and lifted the evidence from the floor, and here was a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. He brought it towards the bed, and laid it on the bed. Then I lifted that little infant in my arms, and looking into its face, I asked the little child, “How is my sweetheart?” It broke into the most heavenly smile, almost to a laugh, and then the whole scene dissolved.
That is the story of the birth of God! It’s not the child. The child, we are told in Scripture, is only a sign. “And this shall be a sign unto you: ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12) . . lying at the very lowest ebb. But a sign of what? That God is born! “Not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13) . . Self-begotten.
I had not the slightest idea that the story of Jesus Christ was so literally true, for I was taught, as every Christian is taught, that it was historically true two thousand years ago. I did not realize that it was contemporary, that it has to be something that takes place in everyone throughout Eternity . . that God’s timeless Plan is taking place in time. His timeless purpose is working in time. And in the fullness of time, this one is called, that one is called, that one is called, and each gives birth to God, for God is the Savior! As we are told, “I AM the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior, and beside me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:3) So, the Savior is born! And you contain that Savior within you! God literally became, as you are, that you may be as He is. This is the story of life through death, the story of the germ of wheat. That little grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die, or else it remains alone, but “if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
So God actually dies, to completely forget He is God when He becomes you. He is buried in you, and He will awake in you, and the sign of His awakening in you is the little child wrapped in swaddling clothes. That is the evidence that an event outside of the wildest dream of man took place at that moment in time, and the one in whom it took place was the one in whom God awoke! That was the sign.
Now we come to the child. There’s another child. We are told, “Unto us a child is born” . . that is the child, but . . “unto us a son is given.” (Isaiah 9:6) These are two entirely different events.
They are separated by approximately four and a half months, approximately, 139 days, to be exact.
A hundred and thirty-nine days later, a vibration similar to that one that preceded it [in the child’s birth] takes place again in your skull. And this time it is centered at the top of the skull, and you feel you can’t take it. When it reaches the apex of intensity, at that moment your skull seems to explode. It actually explodes. And then you find yourself in a modestly furnished room, looking at a son, and you know he is your son! He’s a boy, oh, about thirteen years of age, and you know exactly who he is. You know that he is David of Biblical fame, and you know he is your son. And you know he knows that you are his father! You look down before you, and here is an enormous head severed from a body. That is the head of the giant that your son severed, and you know he is the David of Biblical fame and you are his father!
David’s father is God. The name in Scripture is Jesse, and “Jesse” is any form of the verb “to be.” It actually means, “Jehovah exists.” That is the name of David’s father.
What I am telling you, you do not know now, but no one in Eternity can convince you that you are God but your Son. I can tell you from now to the ends of time that you are God, and you will say, as Job said in the end of the book of Job, “I have heard of Thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees Thee.” (Job 42:5) You can only actually know that you are when the Son appears. For, “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 it.” (Luke 10:22)
So, “No one has ever seen God, but His only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.” (John 1:18) But He appears at the end of the drama. Then you know why you put yourself through the “furnaces of affliction.” It took all these “furnaces of affliction” to awaken you from that self-imposed death, that you may redeem man. And, so, He actually awakens within the individual, and he awakens as God!
But not one thing in Eternity could ever convince an individual that he is God, save the Son of God who calls him, “Father.” He said:
“I have found David . . .
And he has cried unto me, ‘Thou art my Father,
My God, and the Rock of my Salvation.’”
(Psalm 89:20, 26)
That, you will read in the 89th Psalm. This is how the drama unfolds within the individual. This is God’s purpose.
Now, we are told, “You must be born again. Except you are born from above, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (John 3:14) You read those words, and they seem to mean what? Nothing! Just words. May I tell you, they are literally true.
As we are told in Peter’s First Epistle, “We are born anew … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (I Peter 1:3, RSV) Now you know who Jesus Christ is! It is your own True Being, which is that in you that will actually rise from the grave.
The moment you rise from the grave . . right on the heels of it, follows your “birth from above.” So, you are “born from above” through the resurrection of Jesus Christ-in-you. But He rises in you from the grave of your own skull. That’s how He rises in you.
So, do not look on the outside for Him. Jesus Christ is in man, or man could not breathe! He is in you, or you could not be alive. And the day will come He will actually unfold Himself within you as you. He comes to us “as one unknown,” yet one who in the most ineffable mystery lets us experience who He is. And when we experience Him, we experience Him in the first-person singular, present tense experience.
You can go out and tell it to anyone who will listen to you, but you cannot persuade them that it is going to happen to them until it does happen, and they will know how true your story is. Because, the Bible teaches that, no matter how you tell it . . how persuasive you are, you cannot convince anyone that he is God. Only the Son can convince the individual that he is God! Until the Son appears, the Son cannot be spoken of as your son. He has to appear, and through some peculiar, innate wisdom, you look at your son as though memory is returning . . as though you had suffered from amnesia. So, God is rising in man and his memory returns. “God has sent unto you,” as it is said in Scripture, “your own spirit.” (Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 32:15; Luke 11:13; John 3:24, 34; I Thessalonians 4:8.) Now you know that the Holy Spirit is The One who brings back the memory of all that was foretold. “I will send the Holy Spirit, and he will bring unto you all that you have heard from me. He will reveal to you all Truth, and you have only heard the truth from me.” (John 14:26.) That is what He says.
So, when memory returns, you can hardly believe that you are looking at one that you formerly denounced as your son. When you read the story of David, has it ever occurred to you that the David of Biblical fame is your son? You would say, maybe . . if you were not born in the Jewish faith, “How could he be? I am a Christian. David is a Jew, and how could he be my son?”
Forget Jew, forget Christian, forget black, white, yellow, pink, and see it as what it really is. It is God’s Plan of Salvation. It hasn’t a thing to do with what the world teaches. It is all something entirely different.
Now, if this is true, and he said Christ is the Son of God, and he tells you that David is the Son of God, is David the Christ? Let me turn to the 11th chapter of Revelation. “And the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of His son.” (Revelation 11:15) “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His son.” They do not say in Revelation, the 11th chapter, “Jesus Christ.” They speak of “the Lord and of His son.”
Now, who is the Lord? We are told in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the 12th chapter of II Corinthians, “No one can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” No one can really know it. Unless you know He is the Lord, then you can speak of “the Lord and of His son,” for the Christ is the Son of the Lord.
So, if you know the Lord, you can only know that Jesus is the Lord by the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is simply memory returning. It is remembrance. “He will bring unto your memory all that I have told you.” (John 14:26) So, when He sends the Holy Spirit upon man, then the whole thing begins to return as something that was a lost memory. So, we suffer from total amnesia.
Now, let us go to the Scripture, for He tells us we must be “born again,” and then, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (John 3:14) Is that something you can experience? I tell you, from my own experience, yes. You experience it in this manner: you are told at the very end of the drama, after He was resurrected, then as they crucify him and he is resurrected, came the splitting of the curtain of the temple from top to bottom. (Luke 23:45) You are told in Scripture, “You are the Temple of the Living God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (II Corinthians 6:16)
If you are the Temple of the Living God and the curtain of the temple is split from top to bottom, is it not your body that is split from top to bottom? It cannot be some piece of cloth hanging in some synagogue or some cathedral or some church made with human hands. For if you are the Temple of the Living God and that temple’s curtain is split from top to bottom, marking the resurrection of the Spirit of God, then it is your body that is split, and it splits in this manner:
This comes 123 days after the discovery that David is your son, revealing you as God the Father. A bolt of lightning, seemingly out of the blue, splits you in two from the top of your head to the base of your spine. Then you look at the base of your spine and there you see a golden, liquid, pulsing, living light. As you contemplate it, you know it is your Self, and you fuse with it.
You become one with that, which you contemplate, and then, like a bolt of spiral lightning, you ascend your spine into your skull once more, and it reverberates like thunder. We are told, “You will take the kingdom of heaven by storm.” (Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16 RSV) You take it with violence, for when you enter, you enter in the most violent manner and the nearest thing on earth that I can use to illustrate it would be a rivet. It is like a hot, hot rivet, and you bore it into steel. This thing simply reverberates; your whole head reverberates as you go up your spine like a serpent right into your skull. So, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” (John 3:14) and he finds himself as the Son of Man! And if you go up that way, why, then, you are the Son of Man!
Then comes one that takes place 998 days later, completing the circle of 1260 days. Then suddenly, without warning, the heavens open. Your skull becomes translucent, and there is no circumference . . infinite transparency, and hovering above you is a dove, about twenty feet up. And it’s floating, yet there is no water, but it is not using its wings to remain aloft. It floats just as a duck would float, but it’s a dove. And the dove looks at you lovingly.
At your side there will be a witness. In my case it was a woman of about 30. I call her the “Voice of God.” And here, as I looked at the dove, she said to me: “They avoid men, because men give off the most offensive odor. But he so loves you, he penetrated the ring of offense to demonstrate his love for you.”
Then the dove descended, and I stuck my hand out with my index finger this way [illustrating]. It lit on that index finger. I brought it automatically to my face, and it smothered me in kisses all over my neck, my head, my face, and while it was smothering me with kisses, the whole scene then dissolved, completing the Four Mighty Acts as spoken of in Scripture. (Psalms 106:2; 145:4, 12; 150:2, KJV) So, I tell you from my own experience that the story of Jesus Christ is true. As told in Scripture, “Jesus Christ in you is the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) Were He not in you, it wouldn’t happen to you, because all these things happen to Jesus Christ . . to the Father and the Son . . to the Lord and His Son. It has to happen to Jesus Christ. And, so, no one can say Jesus is the Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
Now, He makes the statement, “When you see me, you have seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show me the Father?’ I AM the Father.” (John 8:9) “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) “Have you been so long with me, Philip, and yet you do not know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 8:9) But you do not know the Father unless the Son reveals Him, and the Son does not reveal Him . . I can talk about the Father, but you do not know that you are the Father. The Son must come into your world in the manner, which I have just described. There’s an explosion within you, and that explosion reveals that which was hidden there. Well, where in Scripture is it said that He was hidden within you? We are told in the 3rd chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes, the 11th verse: “And God has put Eternity into the minds of men, yet so that man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Now, the interpretation of this verse, which is the most disputed verse in Ecclesiastes, hangs upon the meaning that you give to the word translated “Eternity” The Hebrew word is olam; it is translated in the King James Version as “the world.” “God has put the world into man’s mind.” In the Revised Standard Version it is translated as Eternity. “God has put Eternity into man’s mind.”
But the word . . you find it three times in the 17th chapter of the book of I Samuel, and this is how it is translated: He has just severed the head of the enemy of Israel, personified as the giant Goliath. It has been promised that the father of the son who severs the head of the enemy of Israel will be set free. Not the son, but the father will be set free. So, the king now turns to his lieutenant, Abner, and he asks the question, “Abner, whose son is that youth?” Abner replies, “As your soul liveth, O King, I do not know.” He sends him to inquire whose son that stripling is. No one knows. Now, David stands before the king with the head of Goliath in his hand, and he turns to David, and he says to David, “Whose son are you, young man?” (II Samuel 17:56-58) Now, the three words: “young man,” “stripling” and “youth” are translations of the word olam, the same word that is translated eternity.
So, when He put Eternity into the mind of man, He put David! Well, now, who is David? I tell you, he is the Son. Well, now is he the son, or does he represent something? He represents the history of humanity, but that history consists of all the generations of men and their experiences, condensed into one grand whole, and that concentrated time into which all the generations of men are fused, and from which they spring, is named Eternity. That complete history of humanity, if personified, would come out as David.
So, the man who sees David as his son has gone through the entire history that was put into the mind of him. He has played all the parts, and having played all the parts, he is now entirely entitled to be awakened as the Father-within-him as him. And the concentration of the whole history of humanity stands before him as David, and David is the personification of Humanity. So, you can say that Humanity is the son of God! But Humanity personified as David of Biblical fame. So, all are contained within the man who awakes.
So, I can say to you tonight that everyone of you . . all who ever walked the face of this earth . . all that ever walked the face of this earth are now contained within you. And I can say that all things are within my own wonderful human imagination, because all are part of the history of Humanity. And having seen all personified as a single youth . . the Eternal Youth, for Eternity is a youth, not an old man . . having seen my son and having identified him as David, I know exactly who I was, having seen David. So, the Bible is completely correct in saying, “No one has seen God,” (John 1:18) “but the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made Him known.” (John 1:18, RSV) “And 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 it.” (Luke 10:22, RSV) So, that Son cannot reveal you as God the Father until the end when you have completed the play and played it all.
When you have played it all, then automatically there is an explosion within your head. Well, that is where the whole drama takes place, and standing before you will be your son, the sum total of the history of Humanity. So, this is Eternity, and He placed it in man, “yet so man could not find out what God had done from the beginning until the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The word end is telos, which simply means perfect . . being “perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) It means to actually reproduce the original. Now, the Original is God the Father. As we are told: “Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26) Now, there is an image. That Original must be reproduced in you. So, Paul could say, “Again I am in labor with you until Christ be formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19, RSV) When He is completely formed in you, like a child being formed in the womb of a woman . . when it is formed, then it comes out at the appointed hour. So, this will come out at the appointed hour, but “from above.”
So, there are two births: one “from below” from the womb of a woman, and one “from above” out of the skull of generic Man. This is told us beautifully in the Gospel of John, but told us symbolically in this manner, “And Peter went into the tomb and the body was not there, but the linen clothes were there, and then the napkin was folded up that was lying on his head, but apart by itself.” (John 20:6, 7, RSV) Now you hear that, or you read it in Scripture, and you wonder: What on earth did they record this for? But John is the most profound of the Evangelists, and he told the birth in symbolism so that no one could understand it.
You and I use the word napkin in a very limited sense today. We speak of a cocktail napkin, a dinner napkin, or a sanitary napkin, but the ancients had a wider use . . a wider sense of meaning for the word napkin. It meant the placenta, the afterbirth. It is that which attaches the fetus to the uterus for the purpose of nourishment, and then the uterus at birth expels the placenta. So, that napkin is the evidence that a birth took place. It took place in the tomb, and the tomb’s name is Golgotha, and the word Golgotha means skull. So, there was this napkin bearing evidence of the fact that some birth took place, but that which was born has disappeared . . it isn’t here, but the evidence is here in the form of a napkin.
A birth did take place. And the “linen clothes” simply mean the body out of which it came. It escaped from death, for the body is the body of death. It rose out of death, leaving behind it the linen clothes, or the body, and the evidence of its resurrection, which is the napkin, the placenta . . the afterbirth.
So, this is God’s purpose. Now, if you know anything in this world that could interest you more, why, then, tell it. There are men today who are in their 80’s who, every time their name appears in the paper, they add to it, “a millionaire,” and their consuming love is another million. They aren’t going to take one penny with them, but they still want another million. What I am talking about tonight would not interest them at all. But, may I tell you, the best and the worst in this world differ in only one thing: the object of their love.
When you have the love for the Word of God, rather than for happiness, wealth, and so on, then you are really on your way. He said, “I will send a famine upon the world. It will not be a hunger for bread, or for the thirst for water, but for the hearing of the Word of God.” (Amos 8:11, RSV) Until you have played the part, that hunger will not come until the end.
Men would rather have the honors of men and frame them and put them up on the wall and point them out to their friends, “Look, I got this one for so-and-so, and that for so-and-so”, and all these things mean absolutely nothing. They will vanish in no time, but what I am talking about is forever; it never, never vanishes. I am speaking of Eternity. You are headed towards an eternal life in an entirely different age . . a New Age, and this that I’ve told you tonight is the way you are going to enter it. You do not enter it by giving your substance to the poor, and giving to the foundations of this world . . no. You enter it in this strange, mysterious and peculiar manner that I have spoken of here tonight. That’s how you enter it.
I hope I have made it clear. It is not the easiest topic, because nothing is more difficult than to take something of this nature and strain it through preconceived misconceptions of Scripture. So, man having been taught Scripture as secular history rather than salvation history . . and I am telling you this evening all the symbolism of salvation history; it’s difficult to completely absorb it in a moment.
If I tell you, as I did tonight, that David is the Messiah . . and David is simply the sum total of all the events, all the experiences of Humanity . . he is the personification of human history and the Lord Jesus is The One Who plays all the parts, and He plays it in you . . and you, having played all the parts, will awaken as the Lord. And because He is God the Father, there must be a son bearing witness of His Fatherhood, and the sum total of this adventure passes before you as the Son of that awakening . . the result of it.
Now, because of the nature of tonight’s subject, suppose we go into the Silence, and then you start with your questions.
Now, are there any questions, please?
A Lady: [The question is inaudible on the recording.]
Neville: My dear, this is something so unlike anything I had ever experienced before . . I have had many mystical experiences and many wonderful visions, but this came so suddenly, so unexpectedly. Certainly, I did not expect it. But I did not realize how literally true, on a higher level, the Gospel story is! Your head is simply like an earthquake. I’ve gone through two very severe earthquakes in Southern California: the one in ’52 that registered 7.5, and the recent one registering 6.2. The whole house just kept shaking; we had hundreds of aftershocks. That was an intense one. But this all takes place in your head. It is all in your head, and you feel as if every bone were going to fly apart. But instead of that, you simply begin to awake. And unlike all the other waking states preceding it over the years that you have lived, you wake to find yourself, not on your bed where you fell asleep the night before, but you wake to find yourself in your skull. And your skull is quite a large area, and you are not a diminutive little thing like a miniature; you are simply your normal size, and you rise in your head. And you have the consuming desire to get out, but you have an innate wisdom of how to do it, and you do it. And just as you are told in Scripture, “And the stone was rolled away,” (Mark 16:4) but you roll it away. But it is a peculiar, unearthly sensation and a peculiar, unearthly wind. It is a storm wind all right, but it is something that is different, and when it happens, as the poet said:
“All was foretold me: naught Could I foresee!
But I learned how the wind would sound After these things should be.”
. . Edward Thomas . . Now, Robert Browning, in his poem called “Saul” . . he was inspired to write it by the 12th chapter of the book of I Samuel, and he has David say to Saul, because Saul was insane . . he had lost his memory. He suffered from amnesia. He did not know one from the other, and in this poem, David is telling Saul of the coming of Messiah, and these are the words that the poet has put into the mouth of David! David turns to Saul and says:
“O Saul, it shall be
A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like to me, Thou shalt love, and be loved by, forever. A Hand like this hand Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee, See the Christ stand!” . . as he stands before Saul.
[Robert Browning, “Saul,” Sec. XVIII]
Browning could only have written those words after he had experienced it. So many of the great poets are writing from experience, and having the ability to tell it beautifully . . well, he is one who can tell it beautifully, and those were the words he put into the mouth of David of Biblical fame. Then memory returns. After all, Paul’s first name was Saul, from the same tribe of Benjamin; and that was Saul . . King Saul.
But King Saul was demented, and so was Paul’s first aspect of life, because he took everyone who followed this way and persecuted them. So his mind was demented. Then he heard the Voice say, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” He called him Saul; and he said, “Who art thou, Lord?” He said, “I AM Jesus whom thou persecutest.” (Acts 9:4, 5) And then he was blinded, and when the blindness left him, he was converted and changed his name to Paul. A complete change of heart, which is nothing but a change of nature.
So, when memory returns, you are not the being that you were when you suffered from amnesia. Can you conceive looking into the face of one you love dearly . . your wife, your child, and not recognizing them? We have that in all of our hospitals: those with partial amnesia, where a section of time is blotted out, and those who have total amnesia who do not remember anything, and they give them all kinds of shocks trying to bring back some kind of memory. You go and you know them, but no matter what you do, you cannot persuade them that they are who you tell them that they are.
If tonight a man who had a million dollars, and you know that he has it, and his lawyer knows he has, and his banker knows that he has it, but he doesn’t know that he has, and he has a code that will not allow him to sign a check for something that he does not know that he has, he could not sign a check. If his ethical code denies that, he would not sign it for a dollar, but he could sign it and have it honored for a million dollars. So, that’s how we are.
Are there any other questions, please? Well, the time is almost up. This, I know, is entirely different, but, I tell you, we are mixing them up. Last night we gave you the Law, and tonight we have given you the Promise, so we are mixing them for the series. There are ten of them . . eight more to follow. Well, if there are no questions, there is no need for remaining. Thank you.
Let us go into the Silence.