THE SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT : Neville Goddard
19th Feb 1963
Tonight we have as our subject: “The Sin Against the Holy Spirit.” Undoubtedly you have heard unnumbered concepts of this statement from scripture. The most common interpretation is the violation of the sex act. But that is not my picture – not as it has been revealed to me. As I told you: the Bible is not something you can open up and read as you would a novel. It is a building on three levels. As you are told: “A three-fold cord is not quickly broken.”
I personally cannot conceive that you will violate and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. I will give you my reason for it afterwards. So, if I can comfort you, may I tell you: don’t be anxious, that you will simply sin. Yes, we all sin every moment of time. But all sins are forgiven, all blasphemies are forgiven.
The only blasphemy that cannot be forgiven is that against the Holy Spirit, as told in Matthew 12, Mark 3, and Luke 2. I find in the Book of Luke a more advanced development of the theme than I do in Matthew and Mark. Mark is the earliest revelation of this theme, but each statement is followed by the strangest, most irrelevant theme in the three books. That which follows in the Book of Luke gave me my cue.
He made the statement that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven (Luke 12:8). You will think you are reading an entirely different chapter on a different theme. Then it goes right into this statement:
“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 11-12).
That little word “ought” reveals so much. It implies you need not say what you should say. “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” – and that is the crux of the whole thing.
Man is free and, because he is free he need not say what he should say. So, He will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.
First of all, you must understand what a synagogue is. It is a gathering, a community called by Jehovah. We think a synagogue is built with human hands, but the synagogue in the true sense of the word is a place of worship, a place of instruction, and the only worship in the synagogue is the reading of scripture, the word of God. No getting down and saying prayers. “And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8)
Here, for almost 2,000 years, in the most populous of our Christian denominations, they read it in Latin, in a tongue not understood by anyone in the congregation. We are warned to “read from the book, the law of God, clearly; and they gave sense, so that the peope understood the readings.”
Were I in France and spoke only English, I could not go to any church and “hear” anyone who read to me in French. You would have to read to me in the English tongue, and with understanding, that I may understand. Here is the word of God. But if I understood some other tongue, read it to me in that tongue, read it with the sense so that I may understand it. This is the story all over the world. We will take one little passage, and we do not understand it and we criticize others. It has nothing to do with things taking place in the outer world. It is all about you.
Before we go into this statement, let me show you the difference between Jesus, and the Christ – for the whole thing is about the Christ. The connection between Jesus and the Christ is not that of an historical figure and some metaphysical entity, but that of a visible history condensed into a few years, and the history that is continuously unfolded throughout the ages – a history that is known as the history of salvation. Christ is divine history interwoven in every child born of woman.
The whole vast history of God is inwoven in you and in me and in every being, and when it reaches maturity in you in one short interval of time – that condensed amount of time, just a few years – the whole thing unfolds. But may I tell you: only a few will believe it. The entire divine history of God inwoven in man like a seed matures through the ages – all the pains and violence – everything in the world. And suddenly what you heard about another begins to awaken in you. It will come out petal by petal. The whole thing flowers in you and you are he. That is the story.
Now why do I not believe that you could ever sin against the Holy Spirit? I will tell you:
“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Someone asked me a question. Who asked me a question? Some question must be asked for me to answer. What am I to say? The Holy Spirit will teach me in that very hour what I ought to say.
So when I am brought into this wonderful gathering and presented to the Holy of Holies, God himself – I am told supernaturally, yes, I am prompted as though on a stage and the prompter is telling me what I ought to say. And I cannot, from my own experience, believe that anyone in this world could falter. It is automatic. When you stand in his presence and he is infinite love, he will ask you: “What is the greatest thing in the world?” and you – without taking thought or batting an eye or trying to rationalize – you will automatically, like an echo, say:
“Faith, Hope and Love, these three abide, but the greatest of these is Love.”
And he who asked the question and prompted you supernaturally what to say, will then embrace you, and you are one with God forever and forever. Then you will be sent to tell that story to the whole vast world who will listen. Some will listen and accept it, others will reject it, and the majority will not even listen. It does not matter. The tree is growing in us, and when it matures in a very short interval of time –only a few years, the whole thing unfolds. It doesn’t take fifty years (I am fifty-eight) but in just a matter of years it begins to happen, and one after the other everything said of him unfolds in you, and you are he.
So, Christ is divine history, and Jesus – the first to be raised from the dead is the one in whom that divine history unfolds. Just a little short interval of time, and you are he.
Everyone becomes Jesus, because in everyone, in one moment of time, it is going to happen. When this garment of flesh comes off you will know exactly who you are. Personally I cannot believe (although the word is used, and I am told in Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Revelation:
“Do not change one word of scripture,
” do not add to or take from it, leave it as it is) –
Therefore I cannot alter the word “ought,” and it is used both in the King James and Standard Revised Versions. He will tell you what you ought to say, giving man freedom to deny it and not say the greatest thing in the world is Love. That is man’s choice. But I do not believe man will ever not say it.
In my own case it was like a response, an echo. How could you change an echo? Not if you screamed it from canyons. The voice will come back as I said it. You are supernaturally prompted what to say. So I cannot see how you are prompted in the depths of your soul what to say, and not say it.
Don’t despair – you will not sin against the Holy Spirit. But all other sins are forgiven – but all of them. What are they? It is stated so clearly for us if we understand the Bible: every sin in the world is forgiven. All blasphemies are forgiven and we hold the key.
In the end of John 20, he appears, and the inner room was completely filled, and he was shut out, as it were. They wondered if he really rose. He appears in the midst of them and shows them the marks upon his body to testify to the reality of this appearance. Then he said to them: “Peace be with you.” Listen to it carefully.
He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven, and if you retain the sins of anyone they are retained.”
He breathes upon them and gives them the Holy Spirit. (The words, “breath,” “wind,” and “spirit,” are one, the same word, both in Greek and Hebrew.) So he breathes upon them. I will tell you what it is. It is the most intense vibration you have ever felt. There is nothing comparable to it, that breath which transfers to you the gift God promised, the gift of the Holy Spirit. It awakens you. It took place in the “upper room.” If you read it correctly, they were gathered together in the upper room. Suddenly he appears and breathes upon them and gives them the power to hold, or release.
I tell you: you can exercise this faculty right now. You can take someone in your world and represent them to yourself as you would like to see them. To the degree you are self-persuaded he is such a being, he becomes it. You are actually freeing him, and not holding him enslaved forever by seeing in your mind’s eye the being that is limited. That is your privilege. These are only states of consciousness, and every state a man leaves, he grows – as Matthew brings out: “If a tree be good it bears good fruit, if it is bad it bears bad fruit,” and he invites us to take the good tree. Luke went beyond Matthew in this statement of sinning against the Holy Ghost. If you sin against the Holy Spirit there is no forgiveness, but against anything else there is forgiveness.
Everyone in this world is bearing fruit – poverty, wealth, health, being known, being unknown, everything – and you who know this law can take anyone from the state where you find them and put them in the state you desire to see them. You don’t need his consent or knowledge. Don’t tell him what you are doing. Trust this power in your own being. Persuade yourself that this imaginal act is true and real, and to the degree that you are self-persuaded it is real it becomes real.
And so I tell you: if you forgive anyone he is forgiven; if you retain his sin it is retained. Don’t blame him if he does not find the good job you think he should find. Don’t give him an argument. Does he need a good job, and you tell him to go and to make a greater effort? You are not applying this principle. Only after you become self-persuaded that he is employed are you forgiving his sin.
Sin means missing the mark. If he misses it and you know it, you can help him. Listen to the words:
“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not know sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
He comes and shows man that causation is mental, that it is not physical – and now man has no excuse for his sin, missing the mark. If man has a mind, an imagination. he can exercise it.
“You have heard of old that you should not commit adultery, but I say unto you to look on a woman lustfully you have already committed the act in your heart.”
He raises it out from the physical state. He makes every man responsible for missing the goal. If I do not get the job, he does not condemn me. He only asks me to apply the law as it is revealed.
“They read from the book the law of God clearly, and they gave the sense so that the people understood the reading.”
He reads from the Book (God’s revealed Word) that causation is mental, that imaginal acts create facts.
So what are you imagining? I can say morning, noon, and night that I am holding the thought for you, and hope you get it. But I must so persuade myself, that I can’t see anything else in the world. That is what he taught us to do.
And I tell you the day will come (it begins in one moment when you least expect it) when suddenly the whole thing begins to awaken and the flower begins to unfold in you. In the beginning of time you were shown it on Mount Sinai. They can’t find Mount Sinai – they never will – God’s secret mountain where all of us were gathered together around Mount Sinai where Jehovah pledged it. He called us his bride. We were Israel then. Then he took us and pledged Israel to himself in this wonderfully holy covenant and showed us what we would go through. You forget it in passing through, and can’t remember it until the very end. In the very end memory returns – and these wonderful words from Edward Thomas’ great poem:
“All was foreshown me, what could I foresee, when I learned how the wind would sound after these things should be”
– you do. Suddenly the thing begins to unfold and you hear the wind, this terrific hurricane of power.
Then all things begin to unfold, and everything said of Jesus Christ in the scripture you will experience, from the birth to the very end – everything.
Do not see him as something on the outside. See Jesus, as I told you earlier, as history – condensed in a few years, just a few years. And see Christ as history, continuously unfolded throughout the ages and you – the individual matching this already unfolded divine history. You went through all the fires of the world and suddenly you reached the point of blooming, and in a quick moment you bloomed, and all that was foreseen and foretold – you suddenly awaken, and you are it.
Everything in the world is forgiven – I don’t care what you have done or plan to do. They are only states. The only thing not forgiven is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and that is, as I see it, when the individual refuses to confess his faith when supernaturally prompted to do so.
You are brought into the presence of the God of Gods (the only God) and here in his presence you are prompted to confess your faith, and the words are told you. But you have heard it before. We have all heard them before, but even at that very moment they are still repeated in the depths of your soul that you may not make any mistake:
“What is the greatest thing in the world?” and without batting an eye, you answer: “Faith, Hope, and Love, these three abide. But the greatest of these is Love.”
And here is infinite love embodied before you, the Holy Spirit – Jehovah himself – and he embraces you and you are merged with him, you are one with him – infinite love, never in eternity to be dissolved from him, because you answered correctly. Yet you did not write the words. So I cannot see how anyone can sin against the Holy Spirit. I cannot change the scripture, and as far back as we can go – to the earliest manuscripts – the word “ought” is there.
But there is a possibility that one having been supernaturally prompted what to say could change the scripture – and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost. But I do not think you will. I cannot conceive of anyone doing it. I cannot conceive of God failing.
In the interval, all these things we sin against – we fall into states. A man falls into the state of feeling sorry for himself. Knowing the law, instead of arguing with the man just take him out of it. He may fall in again twenty-four hours later.
A friend called me today and my wife answered the phone, and he said: “What news have you of Vicki?” She said: “We are very pleased with her report.” He answered: “Pleased? I wish I could say pleased about things concerning myself.”
He has been coming to my lectures for years. He was here last week. After years of saturation, he cannot conceive of feeling happy. And you tell him morning, noon, and night that these are states – that if you put yourself in a state of being wanted, you will be wanted; the state of being unwanted, then you will not be wanted. It will go on forever. He cannot believe in this reality.
I have brought him out unnumbered times, and yet I must never falter. “How often must I forgive? Seventy times seven.” If he calls me a thousand times I still must pull him out, and you go over it all again. You and I who know this principle must forgive seventy times seven and not ignore him, because he will not do it himself. If he wants to lean, let him lean. One day when he least expects it, suddenly the whole story of Jesus Christ will unfold within him, and he is Jesus Christ.
Christ is divine history, the history of salvation. And Jesus is history condensed into a few years that match it. Suddenly the whole vast thing has been stretched out and continuously unfolded throughout all the ages and is now telescoped in a short interval of time – the life of one man. May it happen to you now. When it will happen, only God knows. I do not know, but he knows, and when it starts to happen you cannot stop it.
The whole thing will form the flower that is Christ. When you make your exit from this world you have made it for the last time and then you are in eternity – but not better than those who have not. “Christ is the first fruit of those that slept,” the first that has been raised from the dead, but he is the beginning of the prophecy. We are not better than any being in this world because of our awakening. All will be one, and that one is God.
So the sin against the Holy Spirit – may I ask you not to be too concerned? I can’t conceive that you in any way will respond [incorrectly] when you are prompted supernaturally what you should say. God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment. You are brought into his presence and presented to the Ancient of Days – the Holy Spirit – and he is Man, the embodiment of love.
And he will ask you a very simple question. He is the Rule, the Author, but don’t be anxious of how or what you are to answer or what you are to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. And I tell you: what you ought to say, you are going to say. You are going to say it automatically and then he embraces you – and he is infinite love, joy beyond the wildest dream.
No one could conceive of the joy when Jehovah embraces you. And then you are sent to do what you will be doing: telling the word of God, just speaking – you can’t add to it or take from it. (Nehemiah 8:8) The four chapters from the 8th through the 11th [chapter] of Nehemiah simply tell you about the word of God, nothing else.
Let no one tell you that the sin against the Holy Ghost means any physical departure, or misuse, or abuse – or any other thing. Hundreds of books have been written on that theme, and it is not so at all. They are rationalizing God’s word. You can’t rationalize it. It has to be revealed. That is a mystery known only by revelation.
I have read these books. I had them at home. Today, having had the experience, I know that everything is forgiven – but in the true sense of the word – no matter what man has done. Man has fallen into states. If he falls in time after time after time, you pull him out. And you do it for yourself, though your reason and senses deny it – it does not matter. You remain faithful and you – the only living reality in the world – will take the state, and the state will bear fruit. In Matthew 12:33, we are told:
“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.”
Those who do things you do not like are bearing bad fruit. But he is not the tree; he is the immortal soul falling into these states, one after the other. As Blake said:
‘I do not consider either the Just or the Wicked to be in a Supreme State, but to be every one of them States of the Sleep which the Soul may fall into in its deadly dreams of Good and Evil when it leaves Paradise following the Serpent.”
Man falls into these states unwittingly. You take someone, and without their knowledge or consent draw them into a level state,and persuade yourself it is true. Though you have no evidence to confirm it, you persuade yourself it is so, and suddenly you will hear and he will confirm the fruit that he is hearing. But if you don’t do it and you believe all the things you hear and see in the course of a day, you are moving unnumbered (persons) into all kinds of confusing states. I say: don’t be concerned, but do practice freeing individuals from the sin that is forgivable. You could forgive every being in this world before He breathes upon you and gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit. You still can forgive. Everyone can do it.
My friends in San Francisco, and here – dozens of them whose stories I have told, who forgave, who took certain things that they wanted in this world and denied they did not have them and assumed they had them. These are all states, but you got them and you took others and changed them and made them conform to your dream of them and they conformed to it.
Let us remember what we did and continue doing it, knowing that any moment in time, when we least expect it, like a thief in the night he comes upon us and he breathes upon us and our head becomes a vibrant center and we awaken from this sleep.
It is Christ breathing upon himself in us, for Christ – being divine history – he simply awakens and unveils it in us, and we suddenly become aware, and we awaken and we are he. Then we look into our scripture and read the story in Matthew and in Luke, and everything said of his birth we experience, even to the three who were present, even to the swaddling clothes – and then you stand confounded and bewildered. Then a few months later something equally as fantastic happens. And we are told: if the son makes you free you are free indeed.
The promise is made that the son will make the father free. (I Sam. 17:25) If he sets the father free, there must be a child, and he tells us he is trying to find the child. It takes the son to set the father free. In John 8:35, he said:
“The Son abides forever. If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.”
Then you see the Son after another breathing (or wind) upon you, your head becomes a vibrant state, and all of a sudden, here he comes. He calls you, “Father.” You know who he is. He calls you, “Father” and you know exactly who you are. So everything is telescoped.
Let me again repeat the connection between Jesus and the Christ. It is not that of an historical figure and a metaphysical entity, but that of a visible history condensed within a few years, and the history that is continuously unfolded forever – continuously unfolded throughout all the ages. And suddenly this matches that, and it is telescoped, and all that is unfolded forever is telescoped in you in a few short years – and you are he.
Now let us go into the silence.