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Questions and Answers from Joel

Many of us enjoy the classes in which Joel answers questions from students.  Sometimes the question is one that we ourselves might have asked.  Other times it is one that might not have occurred to us, but which we find interesting, and we are curious about how Joel will answer it.

On this page of our website, on the first and third Saturdays of the month, we will post a new question and answer from one of Joel’s classes or books.  We trust that you will find these interesting, helpful, and sometimes an answer to just what is on your mind.

You can access previously posted questions by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

To download or print this Q and A, click here. 

Posted on 2/17/18:

Q:  Please explain the loaves and fishes miracle.

A:  There is no loaves and fishes miracle.  There are no miracles in this world.  The great miracle is that “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.[1]  So that if you were in the desert, or in a rubber boat in the ocean, or anywhere else conceivable, as you would retire within yourself and feel this inner peace, everything necessary for your experience would in some way appear in the visible realm to you.

Now this is not confined to an experience of Jesus Christ, because a few years ago we witnessed this same experience in the Pacific with Eddie Rickenbacker.  He was in two rubber boats—he and his companions were in two rubber boats—in the middle of the Pacific, in the season of the year that was not the rainy season, and there was no food, as you can well imagine.  And they were out there three weeks.

Now how did they survive that?  Well, strangely enough, some rain did fall every day, and so they had water in a non-rainy season.  But then—and you’ve probably never heard this happening anywhere else at any time before—fish jumped up out of the sea into their boat, and so they ate fish.  And then, miracle of miracles, birds came down and sat on Mr. Rickenbacker’s head, and just sat there until he reached up and brought them down and shared them for the men to eat.  So they were fed and they were watered for three weeks.

Isn’t that the multiplication of loaves and fishes?  Well now, what does Mr. Rickenbacker know?  He doesn’t know anything except how to be still and fold his arms and wait for God’s glory to be made manifest.  And he does know that.  He has been well instructed.  Three times he has been rescued from death by the miracle of spiritual power, and he had a very fine teacher, too.

Now, there are no miracles in this world.  Nobody can perform miracles.  Nobody can make something appear out of nothing.  Not even magicians can get rabbits out of hats unless they first put them there.  But if you are able to bring to your inner conscious awareness a realization of the presence of God, if you need fish, they’ll appear.  If you need water, it will appear.  If you need money, it will appear.  Regardless of what you need, it will appear, and you know why?  God is the substance of all form, and therefore, if you have God, you have all form.  But because God is infinite intelligence, you have only the form that you need at that particular moment.

Now it’s strange, but when you need money in the United States, it comes in the form of dollars.  But if you happen to be in England and need money, isn’t it strange?  It comes in the form of pounds.  God even seems to know what currency, and that is because God is the substance of all currency.  And so wherever you are, whatever the name or nature of it, it will appear in that particular currency.  Now in my particular case, food never appears as fish, because the Lord knows I don’t like fish.

God is the substance of all form, and in these last nights, I have repeated to you that one of the basic themes of the entire message is that you must make no attempt to demonstrate loaves and fishes.  You must make no attempt to demonstrate person, thing, or condition.  Be satisfied to go within and demonstrate the presence of the Lord, and then you will find that the presence of the Lord is the presence of an infinite supply.  That is the meaning of this passage in Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;  he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…”[2]  By what virtue could these things be done?  And it’s told: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me.”  Now without that Spirit being upon you, rest assured that you are not anointed.  No human being is anointed.  No mortal is anointed.  There is no anointing; there is no power of healing, or freeing, or supplying, or even preaching, in our right sense of the word “preaching.”

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me.”  Through that, I can “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.[3]—that He might be glorified; not me, not you—He, the Spirit of the Lord.  “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up …”[4]   Do you not see that?  Unless the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, all you can be is an ordained minister that can get up and read out of a book, or write a sermon and have you walk out and say, “Well I certainly went to church today, so I’ve earned a good place for myself in heaven.”

But real preaching, the preaching that “frees the captive,” that “feeds the hungry”—that’s only done when the Spirit of the Lord is upon an individual.  That is why the individual doesn’t have to think or prepare what the word shall be.  The individual doesn’t have to know how fishes are multiplied.  An individual has to be concerned with “having the Spirit of the Lord God upon me.”

Now whatever it takes to bring that about—that’s your function.  When it happens, the loaves and fishes are multiplied.  But not in any way you know.  It’s done by the grace of God.  You don’t know how it’s done any more than Rickenbacker could explain why those birds flew down on his head and waited to be captured, or why fish jumped up out of the sea into the boat.  Nobody knows that, but I do know that he could say this to you, if he knew you well enough to speak frankly.  He’d say, “All I know is that I sat there quietly, and I knew the Lord would provide.”  That’s all, and that’s the end of it.

In that peace, the Spirit of the Lord God descends upon him, and that happens.  And I’m sure that if you could speak to Jesus Christ and say, “How did you multiply the loaves and the fishes?”  he would have said, “I didn’t multiply any loaves and fishes.  I looked up to God and said, ‘Break!’ and then whatever happened, that is what happened.”

So it is. Here you see is our really major point:  that everything we teach, every message we receive, is nothing more nor less than another invitation to meditate, to ponder, until the Spirit of the Lord God is upon us.  And then let’s see what happens by the presence and the power of the Spirit of the Lord.

(Excerpt from Recording #191, 1957 First Halekou Closed Class, Side 1:  “A Meditation—Ye Are the Light.”  This excerpt is posted with kind permission from the Estate of Joel Goldsmith, which holds the copy protection on the recorded classes and the copyright on the transcripts. The full transcript of this recording is available at www.joelgoldsmith.com or by calling 1-800-922-3195.)

[1] 2 Corinthians 3:17
[2] Isaiah 61:1
[3] Isaiah 61:2-3
[4] Isaiah 61:4

Previously Posted Questions and Answers

2/3/18:  “How can we help an individual who has taken on the habit of gloom?”
1/20/18:  “How would a truly illumined soul die?  Would they make an ascension?”
1/6/18:  “How do we know if we have received divine guidance?”
To view questions and answers posted in 2017, click here.
To view questions and answers posted in 2016, click here.