You Can Never Outgrow I Am
Neville Goddard 03-10-1969
A man can never outgrow or lose the God he knows in a first person, present tense experience. And when he finds this God he tells his brothers, saying: “If I had not come and spoken to you, you would have no sin, but now you have no excuse for your sins.” God reveals himself to man as his eternal contemporary, saying: “Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins,” but man finds it almost impossible to keep the tense. He thinks of God in the third person, addresses him in the second person, but can only know God in a first person, present tense experience. Just imagine – no one can sin until God reveals himself to the individual in a first person, present tense experience. Only then can man have no excuse for his sin. And when one who finds God tells his brothers, he receives no greater reception than the first one did, because they see him as a man of flesh and blood, and cannot see this invisible being who says: “I came down from heaven.” Man is looking for Christ to come from without, but his revelation is whispered from within.
“I tell you: I have been crucified with Christ. It is not I who lives, 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.” In that act he, whose name is I AM, became me. And if I do not believe that my I amness is he, I will die in my sin.
When asked to identify his Father, he said: “If you knew me, you would not ask, for no man can know me without knowing God, for he and I are one.” This is not a physical man speaking to another, but self speaking to self. What child is not aware that he (or she) is? And to be aware is to say, “I am,” the name God revealed to Moses on the mountaintop. All things are possible to God, but man has difficulty keeping the tense. He speaks of God in third person, prays to God in the second person, but can only know God in first person, present tense, for “I am the Lord, thy God and besides me there is no other God.” In the 50th Psalm these words are put into the mouth of David: “Against thee and against thee only have I sinned.” Only I, who must know myself in a first person present tense experience, have sinned and I have only sinned against myself!
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is in you as your very self? Are you willing to test yourself? Let me tell you of one lady who did. Many years ago while living in a rooming house in Brooklyn, with very little money, this lady started each day with these words: “I am a very wealthy woman. I have $50,000 in cash.” Every Sunday morning she would go to the corner and buy a Sunday Times for her neighbor, Miss Mead, who was a little old lady living frugally and rarely left the house. Within a year after this lady began starting her day claiming her wealth, Miss Mead died, leaving her $50,000 in cash, plus jewelry valued in excess of $30,000. She received an estate of over $100,000 by keeping God in the present tense.
My friend has now found him and I want all who hear me to find him, for when you find this God you will never outgrow – and therefore never lose – him, for you can never grow outside of self. You may believe in astrology, and outgrowing that belief you may then believe in tea leaves. Outgrowing that, you will find something else to believe in as you grow and outgrow, grow and outgrow; but you cannot outgrow the God you find in the first person, present tense, for when you find him to be your I amness, you have found the only God. One day everyone will find him and join their brothers who, already awakened, are in eternity contemplating this world of death, watching for the little stir of life.
I have been sent to tell you these things, for if I had not come and spoken to you, you would have no sin. You could not miss the mark because you did not have any, but now you have no excuse for missing it. I have revealed God to you in first person saying: “He who sees me sees him who sent me.” I was sent by my Father, he whom you call God, only I know my Father and you know not your God, for I know that I and my Father are one.
In the 1st chapter of Colossians, Paul tells us: “The gospel which you have heard has been preached to every creature under heaven,” and in the 3rd chapter of Galatians he states: “The scripture, foreseeing that all would be saved through faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” In the state of faith called Abraham we heard the story and then went astray. Falling asleep, we forgot our true identity and worshiped idols. Speaking of God in the third person, and to him in the second person, we have forgotten the God who gave us birth. Yet I tell you: God is eternally contemporary for he is our awareness of being.
Now, without faith it is impossible to please God, and faith does work on this level. Everything you possess was brought into being through faith, and the glory of faith lies in its power to link us to the heavenly realm. Having heard salvation’s story, can you have faith in this divine vision (which is the gospel) in the time of trouble? No matter what happens to you, can you center yourself upon the vision? Can you believe that, housed within you as your I amness, is the only creative power in the world? I hope so, because your faith in God is measured by your confidence in yourself.
When you imagine a state, do you believe that the scene has the power to externalize itself? Or do you feel you must pray to a being on the outside for help? I tell you: there is no being on the outside. The creative power of the world is housed within you now. Sit down and imagine a state of confidence that it must externalize itself. Believe that because all things are possible to imagine, the state you have imagined must become an external fact.
I have tried this time and time again, and it has always proved itself in performance. Now I share this knowledge with everyone who will listen. How many believe my words and put them into practice I do not know. I only know that man finds it hard to keep the tense. Religious leaders speak of God in the third person as if he were on the outside, yet I tell you he comes from within. When Moses heard the words: “I AM has sent me unto you,” it seemed to come from without, yet it was whispered from within.
There is no evidence of an historical Jesus Christ. We have the essence of Christ, but not an historical one. The being within me that is speaking, is the Christ, but that which is talking to you is only a garment. Everyone knows its background. Its parents are known, its physical brothers and its limitations; yet the being wearing this garment of flesh came out from God who is my Father, for I am from above. The body I wear is from below. I am in the world but not of it, for the being who awoke within me is the one speaking to you now. It is not the same being who entertains guests in our home or enjoys dining in a good restaurant, for this being is not in any way a part of this world. This is the being in you that I am trying to reach tonight, trying to stir and awaken to return to the one grand I AM.
Believe me when I tell you the only purpose in life is to discover who you are. Against thee, O Lord, and thee only have I sinned. Addressing him in the second person as “against thee,” he realizes the Lord is within him; that he is the “I” of man who inspired the prophets to write what they did. Having conceived the play and coming out from the Father to play it, “I” must fulfill what I foretold I would do, and I will.
Christianity is based upon the affirmation that a certain series of supernatural events happened in which God revealed himself in action for the salvation of man. I have experienced every one of these events. As each event took place I recorded the date in my bible, even to a simple little one like: “What you must do, do quickly.” Against that statement I marked the date of October 10, 1966, for I had been preaching to a group of twelve men, all seated on the floor, when one man jumped up and departed quickly. Then a man dressed in costly robes entered, approached me and unveiled my arm revealing the arm of the Lord. But the one who revealed it moved quickly, as that simple statement dictated.
The words of the Lord recorded in the red letter edition of the Bible will be fulfilled by you. Whether he quotes the Old Testament or relates to it, you are predestined to fulfill the red letters recorded there.
The entire drama has unfolded in me, so I know the perfect pattern that God sent into the world. We are told the first shall be last, and the last first. In the story the last act is recorded as the crucifixion yet it is the first. 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 loves me and gave himself for me by actually becoming me. His name is I AM. That’s the Lord God Jehovah, who is Christ. He is God the Father who became you. His death – in the sense of complete forgetfulness as to his true identity and belief that he is actually you – is your life. It is this being who tells you: “Unless I die thou can’st not live, but if I die I shall rise again and thou with me.” He rose in me. He proved that he could die and rise, for when he rose I rose knowing I AM He. He became me in the most intimate way by becoming my awareness. Then he talked to me and revealed himself to me from within my very self. In the beginning the words seemed to come from another, as though someone on the outside had spoken them; yet they were whispered from within as everything said of Jesus Christ unfolded in me.
Can you accept my words and keep the tense? It is so very important to do so, for if you turn to the second person, or the third, you have created a false God and a false Jesus Christ. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? For unless you believe that your I amness is He you will die in your sins. Put the little word ‘is’ in the sentence: “Unless you believe that I am is He, you die in your sins,” to give it meaning, for without it you may think a being on the outside is speaking and keeping you from missing the mark. If you want to be rich and do not believe that you are the cause of wealth, then you will go on missing the mark by remaining poor. The true goal is to know God is your own wonderful human imagination. This God you will never lose, for when he reveals himself within you it is in a first person, present tense experience.
As God unfolds himself within you he doesn’t call himself “God,” but “I AM.” It was “I” who awoke and rose in that tomb; no one else was there. I had no help getting out; “I” pushed the stone away myself. And when I looked back to see that out of which I came, I saw the three witnesses as recorded in Genesis. It is said that Abraham (the state of faith in which I started) was seated by the door of his tent in the heat of the day when the three men appeared. As one spoke concerning the child, Abraham knew he was the Lord. That child is Isaac, which means, “he laughs.” I found that promised child. Like Simeon, I took that promised child in my arms and he laughed.
So who is Christ? And who is the Lord? Did scripture not fulfill itself in me? I have come only to fulfill scripture, and this I have done. I know I am the temple of the Living God, for my body was torn from top to bottom. I found my son, He who was set up in the beginning to reveal me as the Father. This is not what the priesthoods teach; but I am telling you what I have experienced, for I have found David. He cried unto me: “Thou art my Father.”
I do not care what the priesthoods of the world may say; I am telling you what I know from experience. If they do not believe in me, they will continue to live in sin by worshipping a false God. All the priesthoods and rabbis worship an idol, for the true God cannot be worshipped in any tense other than the present. His name is I Am. No picture on a wall or stature in a garden is the Lord. “Make no graven image unto me.” If you do not see him as yourself you will not find him, and when he comes he reveals himself through his son calling you Father. This you set up in the beginning and then you agreed to play all the parts. Not one part can you condemn, for all contribute to the end when you find God. The goal of life is to find him, not on the outside, but within yourself in the first person, present tense. The world thinks I am insane when I tell them who I am, for they see the garment of flesh I wear and know I am subject to all its weaknesses. But because the drama of the scripture has unfolded within me, I know how true scripture is.
I cannot describe the joy that is yours when you awaken. I can only say that the world into which I go night after night is entirely different, and earth does not contain anything which I can use as an image to describe that world. I return through darkness into this world every day to share my experiences with everyone who will listen, while some believe me and some do not. My most intimate friends may not believe me, for they know and judge me by my human weaknesses. My brothers, knowing we were sired by the same father and came out of the same mother’s womb, cannot believe my experiences are related to scripture. But I am not asking you to believe in Neville, but to believe in God who is your own wonderful human awareness.
I have been sent to tell you who God is. He who sent me is one with me, for although he seemed to be another when I stood in his presence, when we embraced we fused and became one. The recording angel, the ledger, the being of love who embraced me, is within. In the beginning I foreknew myself. Through foreknowledge I was predestined to be called from the world of death, called from within myself by an infinite being of love, wearing the human form divine, to be embraced and sent. And the moment we embraced we fused, and I knew myself to be infinite love. There had been a seeming separation when I entered a world that was not mine, to experience all of its horrors until its end when I am called, acquitted, justified, and glorified. Now there is nothing left for me to do but tell it to everyone who will listen and urge them to set their entire hope upon this grace which is coming to all at the unveiling of Christ in each individual, in the first person, present tense.
While you are here you can become independently secure, certainly. All of these things are possible to you, but the real objective in your life is to find God, the cause of all life. To believe in God does not aid you. The question is: do you believe in yourself? Can you believe you are rich when you have no money? Can you continue to believe it throughout the day and fall asleep night after night as though you were? If you will, you will become rich. Then fulfill another desire and then another, and one day you will discover the one who made it possible. That one is God.
Millions of people claim to believe in God in the third person, but they do not know God. Only when God reveals himself in the first person, present tense can he be known. That God cannot be outgrown or lost, for you cannot outgrow I am. I am is the theme of the Book of John, which goes back to the 3rd chapter of the Book of Exodus, the 14th verse, as: “Go say, ‘I am has sent me to you.'” As a man, I am revealing God’s true name, but those who hear my words know the outer garment I wear and judge it. They know my weaknesses, but they do not know the Lord. I tell you: when you know the Lord (or rather are known by him) you will experience a thrill that is beyond description. Your shock will turn to joy, however, as the drama of one called Jesus Christ unfolds within you.
In the meantime you can test him in the world of Caesar. There is no limit to his power, so take that power which became you and attach it to your desire. Sleep every night so attached to your desire that you feel its reality, and in no time you will prove my words. Within a year the lady in New York City received her $50,000, pressed down and running over. She knew exactly what she did and would never have guessed that the little old lady she bought the paper for every Sunday morning would be used as the means to give her the wealth she claimed. This lady has found God, yet she is still inclined to speak of him in the third person.
Man is in the habit of thinking of God and not as God. It is so easy to forget to keep the tense. Every good, well-trained Jew is familiar with the first five books of the Old Testament. They have read the Book of Exodus many times and believe God is the great I AM; yet they still think of him in the third person. They would think that anyone who boldly stood up and proclaimed, “I Am He” was arrogant; yet I tell you that is the only way you will ever find God.
But when he comes, there is no need to brag about it. You know who you are, and when they call you by your earthly name you respond. Perhaps you will have dinner together, but they will continue to be totally unaware of the being within you, and you don’t always throw pearls before swine, because they are not prepared to receive them. You will join their party and enjoy the evening as you let the outer man play his part, but you know the inner man, the one they know not of. That man is Jesus Christ.
There is only one Christ. Everyone has been crucified with that one Christ can make the statement: “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in this body of flesh and blood, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” God actually became as you are, that you may rise to the one being called God the Father. As one power, we came down from God to become the gods. In order to descend in power and play these parts we had to enter complete forgetfulness. The actor cannot pretend. He must enter and become the part he has agreed to play. He cannot step upon the stage knowing he is a great actor who everyone recognizes. He must lose himself in the character by leaving his personality in the dressing room and entering the stage as the character he is to portray. So when God stepped upon the stage wearing this, he is Neville, one hundred per cent. He had to completely forget that he was God, yet knowing that he brought with him a pattern which would erupt and his memory would return. I agreed to play the part as Neville. He and I are one, but I am greater than he.
Look upon Jesus Christ as a pattern. I have told you how the pattern erupted in me in the hope that you will believe me. Although a few believe my words, the majority disbelieve fulfilling scripture. “He came unto his own and his own believed him not.” What I tell you and what you are capable of conceiving may be entirely different. Can you receive what I tell you as my own personal experience? I can tell you that scripture is true from beginning to end, but can you believe me enough to set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the unveiling of God within you? I hope so, for God is in you as your I am. And when he awakes you go through a series of supernatural events called Jesus Christ. Then you will tell your experiences to those who will listen in the hope that they will accept them; but it does not matter if they do or do not, for in the end, you take off your garment of flesh and return to an intimacy that is indescribable.
Eyes have not seen or ears heard the things that are already prepared for you. In that world you are in control of everything and everything is alive. Every night I pass beyond the world of dream to enter the world of reality, and I return each morning through the world of dream to reenter this world of death. This I do night after night, and will continue to do until that moment in time when it pleases the depth of my own being (who is the Father) to take off this garment of flesh and call it a day.
Remember, you can only sin against that self of you who is God. And any time you think of God in any tense other than the first person, present, you are entertaining an idol, no matter what you call it. If you leave this auditorium tonight conscious of being God, you are walking in the knowledge of the true God and all things are possible to you. Walk in complete trust that things are as you want them to be. This is loyalty to unseen reality. This is faith. There are only two things that displease God: One is lack of faith in I AM He, and the other is eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Before descending into the land of forgetfulness you made yourself a promise that one day your memory would return and you would realize you were the creator of it all, for God gave you himself. He actually became you, as told in the story of Melchizedek. He had no father, no mother, no beginning, and no end. In the end you become a priest after the order of Melchizedek, knowing the whole vast infinite universe was created by and sustained by you. Now, this is really incredible. I recently read that the great Einstein said: “I rejoice in the discovery of the uniformity of the laws of nature and whoever is behind it that we call the Lord. But that man should survive the disintegration of the brain, to me is unthinkable.” If a man as wonderful as Einstein feels that the story of the gospel is unthinkable, then condemn no one. You can’t deny Einstein’s greatness. He was tender, kind and sincere; but in spite of that gentility he was quite satisfied to dwell in the uniformity of the laws of nature and whoever is behind it.
I tell you there is one behind it all. He so loved you he became you and the day is coming when you will know that you are he. You will know you are not the creation of the city, but its creator. You are not the made, but the maker. Whether you are male or female, you are the emanation of the Lord yet his wife till the sleep of death is past. Then you will awake to know you never left your heavenly home, you were never born and never die, save in your dreams.
Now let us go into the silence.