Saturday 20 July 2024

The concept of the Holy Spirit in biblical theology

 The concept of the Holy Spirit in biblical theology is profound and intricate. In the original Hebrew, "El" refers to God, a term that signifies strength, might, and power. "Elohim" is often interpreted as "Mighty Ones" or angels. The Holy Spirit is seen as an emanation from El, representing a powerful and formative force.


In Genesis 1:2, the Holy Spirit is depicted as "brooding" over the waters. This "brooding" is likened to a devoted mother bird sheltering her young, illustrating the Spirit's nurturing and protective nature. The Hebrew term for "hovering" or "moving" suggests a gentle, caring presence, much like that of a mother bird. This image conveys God's loving and creative power, preparing to bring order out of chaos.


The Spirit's role in creation is pivotal. As described in Genesis, the Spirit's brooding presence covered the earth's surface, ready to enact the commands of the Mighty Ones. This creative principle penetrated the substance of the earth, making it possible for God's word to bring forth creation. This formative power of the Spirit is echoed in Job 26:13, "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens," and in Job 33:4, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." These verses underscore the Spirit's role as a dynamic, creative force.


The Holy Spirit's formative and creative power is further demonstrated in its ability to generate light, separate the waters, form the expanse of the heavens, gather the seas, and develop both the vegetable and animal kingdoms. This comprehensive creative work is described as "very good," showcasing the Spirit as the executor of Divine Wisdom.


When contemplating the Spirit through these actions, it becomes clear that it is an almighty power emanating from El. Etymologically, El signifies strength, might, and power. Thus, the Spirit of El is a powerful emanation of divine strength. This Almighty Power is the source and origin of the universe, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 8:6, "out of whom are all things." The Spirit represents the omnipotence of God, a glowing and torrid center, as described in 1 Timothy 6:16, the dwelling place of an Invisible, Intelligent, and Deathless Being.


The imagery of the Holy Spirit as a nurturing presence is reinforced in Deuteronomy 32:10-11, where God is depicted as an eagle hovering over its nest, protecting and caring for its young. This portrayal emphasizes the energy-giving presence of God, wrapping, protecting, and caressing the chaotic and unfinished earth, preparing to complete His creation.


The Holy Spirit's guiding role is evident in the New Testament as well. In Luke 3:22, the Spirit descends upon Jesus, and in Luke 4:1, it leads Him into the wilderness. This guidance continues for believers, as seen in Romans 8:14, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." This leadership signifies the transformative power of being "born of the Spirit" as described in John 3.


It is essential to clarify our theological stance regarding the Holy Spirit. We reject the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is a distinct person from the Father. Instead, we view the Holy Spirit as a powerful emanation from God, integral to His being but not a separate entity. Furthermore, we reject the doctrine of the Trinity, which posits that God exists as three distinct persons. We hold that God is one, and the Holy Spirit is an aspect of His singular divine power, not a separate person.


In conclusion, the Holy Spirit is a formative, creative force, an emanation of God's power. It nurtures, protects, and guides, illustrating the omnipotent and loving nature of God. Our understanding of the Holy Spirit emphasizes its integral role within the unity of God's being, rather than as a separate person.

Friday 12 July 2024

The Treatise on the Resurrection

 How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature - but I call it 'Death'. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence.The Nag Hammadi Library The Treatise on the Resurrection


**A Christadelphian Perspective on the Nature and Mission of Jesus Christ**


The text from the Nag Hammadi Library's "The Treatise on the Resurrection" raises profound questions about the nature and mission of Jesus Christ, particularly concerning his dual identity as both human and divine. From a Christadelphian perspective, these concepts align in some ways with our understanding of Jesus, but there are significant distinctions rooted in our rejection of Trinitarianism and the emphasis on the unity of God.


**The Nature of Jesus Christ**


Christadelphians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but not as the "second person" of an eternal trinity. Rather, Jesus is the manifestation of the One Eternal Creator, the Almighty God, who is "above all and through all" (Ephesians 4:6), and "out of whom are all things" (Romans 11:36). This Creator, who is Spirit, dwells corporeally in heaven and fills the universe through His Spirit effluence. By this Spirit, He begot Jesus, making Him His Son. Jesus, therefore, had two aspects in his earthly life: the divine nature of the Father dwelling within him and his own human nature, born of a woman, of the lineage of David.


Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, yet during his mortal life, he shared in the nature of humanity. This means he experienced all the effects of Adam's transgression, including suffering and death. This understanding is crucial because it emphasizes Jesus' full participation in human experiences and his ability to overcome them through divine power. The Apostle Paul refers to this as the "mystery of godliness" – "God manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16).


**Jesus’ Mission and the Concept of Restoration**


The mission of Jesus Christ is deeply connected to the idea of restoration, which Christadelphians interpret as the restoration of all things to their intended state by God, as spoken by the holy prophets (Acts 3:21). This restoration is not merely a spiritual or mystical concept but has significant political and eschatological dimensions. It refers to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, where Jesus will reign as King.


The concept of Pleroma, or fullness, in the context of the Kingdom of God, reflects the ultimate goal of divine restoration. Jesus, as the Son of Man and Son of God, plays a crucial role in this process. His death and resurrection are pivotal events that made this restoration possible. By overcoming death, Jesus laid the groundwork for the future resurrection of all believers and the eventual renewal of creation.


**Dual Nature: Humanity and Divinity**


In "The Treatise on the Resurrection," there is an emphasis on Jesus’ dual nature, described as possessing both humanity and divinity. From a Christadelphian perspective, while Jesus indeed embodied both natures, it is essential to clarify that his divinity was not an inherent part of his personhood but was the presence of the Father dwelling in him through the Holy Spirit. This indwelling empowered Jesus to fulfill his mission and to reveal God's character to humanity. His humanity ensured he could truly represent and redeem humankind.


**Vanquishing Death and Restoring the Pleroma**


Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian hope. It signifies the defeat of death, not just for Jesus himself but for all who are united with him through faith. This victory over death is a crucial aspect of the restoration to the Pleroma – the fullness of God's Kingdom. It is through Jesus’ resurrection that believers have the assurance of their future resurrection and participation in the eternal Kingdom of God.


**Conclusion**


From a Christadelphian viewpoint, the teachings found in "The Treatise on the Resurrection" resonate with the core beliefs about the nature and mission of Jesus Christ, albeit with important distinctions. Jesus is the Son of God, not as part of a trinity, but as the unique manifestation of the One True God. His life, death, and resurrection are central to God's plan to restore all things, culminating in the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. This restoration, often referred to as the Pleroma, reflects the fullness of God’s purpose, where Jesus’ victory over death ensures the future hope of eternal life for all believers.


Certainly! I’ll integrate the teaching of God manifestation into the analysis of the phrase “originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence” from "The Treatise on the Resurrection," focusing on the Christadelphian doctrine of God manifestation.


---


**A Christadelphian Perspective on “Originally from Above, a Seed of Truth, Before This Structure Had Come into Being”**


The phrase from "The Treatise on the Resurrection" introduces rich theological concepts that intersect with Christadelphian beliefs about the nature of Jesus Christ and the divine plan for creation. This analysis will explore the implications of these concepts, focusing on the Christadelphian doctrine of God manifestation and the understanding of spiritual dominions and entities.


### **God Manifestation: Understanding Jesus Christ**


Christadelphians hold that Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the One Eternal Creator, rather than being a pre-existing divine person or a member of a trinity. The doctrine of God manifestation is central to our understanding of Christ’s nature and mission. This teaching asserts that God revealed Himself through Jesus, not by personal pre-existence, but through divine purpose and agency. 


The concept of Jesus being "originally from above" refers to his divine origin in the sense that he was begotten by the Spirit of God (Luke 1:35). This divine origin is integral to the idea of Jesus as the "seed of Truth." In Christadelphian belief, Jesus was not a pre-existing being but was the culmination of God’s purpose and truth manifested in the flesh. Jesus embodies God's Word and serves as the ultimate expression of divine will and truth (John 1:14). Thus, the phrase “a seed of Truth” can be interpreted to mean that Jesus is the manifestation of divine principles and promises, which were laid out by God from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).


### **Before This Structure Had Come into Being**


The phrase “before this structure had come into being” refers to a pre-temporal divine plan rather than a pre-existing Christ. From a Christadelphian perspective, this means that God's plan for Jesus was established before the creation of the world, not that Jesus Himself existed in a conscious form before his birth. Ephesians 1:4 states that believers were chosen “in Christ before the foundation of the world,” illustrating that God’s redemptive plan through Christ was conceived from eternity. This does not imply that Christ existed before his human birth but that God’s purpose for him was part of a divine blueprint established from the beginning.


### **Dominions and Divinities**


In Christadelphian theology, the "many dominions and divinities" mentioned in the text reflect the various spiritual powers and entities created by God. Colossians 1:16-17 asserts that “by him all things were created,” including all spiritual and material realities. These dominions and divinities are part of the created order, serving God’s purposes and existing under His sovereign authority. Christ’s role as the Son of God includes the function of mediator and ruler over these spiritual realms, as seen in Ephesians 1:20-22, which declares that Christ has been exalted above all powers and authorities.


Christ’s mission, therefore, involves reconciling these dominions and divinities to God. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus achieved victory over death and established the foundation for the eventual restoration of all things to their intended harmony under God’s Kingdom (Colossians 1:19-20). This reconciliation is not a personal victory of Christ alone but the manifestation of God’s larger plan for the ultimate restoration of creation.


### **Reconciliation and Restoration**


The reconciliation of all things through Christ’s work is central to the Christadelphian belief in the future restoration of God’s Kingdom. Jesus’ role as the "seed of Truth" and his divine mission entail not only spiritual redemption but also the future establishment of God's Kingdom on earth. Acts 3:21 speaks of a time when “heaven must receive [Christ] until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” This restoration encompasses the spiritual renewal of humanity and the physical renewal of the world.


### **God Manifestation and the Divine Plan**


The doctrine of God manifestation is essential in understanding how Jesus Christ, as a seed of Truth, fits into God’s plan. In Christadelphian theology, Jesus did not exist as a divine person before his birth but was the embodiment of God’s purpose and truth in human form. His mission was to reveal God’s character and bring about the plan of salvation. This doctrine emphasizes that God’s divine will and truth were made manifest through Jesus’ life, teachings, and sacrificial death, thereby fulfilling the redemptive promises made through the prophets and establishing the foundation for the future Kingdom of God.


### **Conclusion**


In conclusion, the Christadelphian perspective on the phrase “originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence” integrates several key theological principles. Christadelphians understand Jesus as the manifestation of God’s truth rather than a pre-existing divine entity. This view aligns with the belief that Jesus’ divine origin and role as the “seed of Truth” are part of God’s eternal plan, which was revealed through his human life and mission. The existence of spiritual dominions and divinities reflects the created order under God’s sovereign control, and Christ’s work through his death and resurrection aims to reconcile all things and fulfill God’s promise of restoration. This perspective maintains the unity of God and emphasizes the significance of Jesus as both the Son of God and the Son of Man in the divine plan for the world’s redemption and ultimate restoration.



Tuesday 30 April 2024

The Essenes Were the Herodians




 Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (Book 15 Chapter 10.5[10]) states "5. Now there was one of these Essens [sic], whose name was Manahem, who had this testimony, that he not only conducted his life after an excellent manner, but had the foreknowledge of future events given him by God also. This man once saw Herod when he was a child, and going to school, and saluted him as king of the Jews; but he, thinking that either he did not know him, or that he was in jest, put him in mind that he was but a private man; but Manahem smiled to himself, and clapped him on his backside with his hand, and said," However that be, thou wilt be king, and wilt begin thy reign happily, for God finds thee worthy of it. And do thou remember the blows that Manahem hath given thee, as being a signal of the change of thy fortune. And truly this will be the best reasoning for thee, that thou love justice [towards men], and piety towards God, and clemency towards thy citizens; yet do I know how thy whole conduct will be, that thou wilt not be such a one, for thou wilt excel all men in happiness, and obtain an everlasting reputation, but wilt forget piety and righteousness; and these crimes will not be concealed from God, at the conclusion of thy life, when thou wilt find that he will be mindful of them, and punish time for them." Now at that time Herod did not at all attend to what Manahem said, as having no hopes of such advancement; but a little afterward, when he was so fortunate as to be advanced to the dignity of king, and was in the height of his dominion, he sent for Manahem, and asked him how long he should reign. Manahem did not tell him the full length of his reign; wherefore, upon that silence of his, he asked him further, whether he should reign ten years or not? He replied, "Yes, twenty, nay, thirty years;" but did not assign the just determinate limit of his reign. Herod was satisfied with these replies, and gave Manahem his hand, and dismissed him; and from that time he continued to honor all the Essens [sic]. We have thought it proper to relate these facts to our readers, how strange soever they be, and to declare what hath happened among us, because many of these Essens [sic] have, by their excellent virtue, been thought worthy of this knowledge of Divine revelations."


Josephus said Herod "continued to honor all the Essenes." The people could have thought that the Essenes were Herod's pet and called them the Herodians.

 Some people[7] think that the Herodians was another name for the Essenes who probably wrote the Dead Sea ScrollsYigael Yadin, The Temple Scroll (New York: Random House, 1985), pp. 80-83


Title: The Essenes Were the Herodians


In exploring the historical context of ancient Judea, particularly during the time of Jesus, it is essential to reevaluate the traditional understanding of certain religious and political groups. Specifically, the connection between the Essenes and the Herodians presents an intriguing avenue for investigation. While conventional wisdom has treated these two groups as distinct entities, a closer examination of historical sources, particularly the works of Jewish historian Josephus, suggests a compelling case for equating the Essenes with the Herodians.


Josephus, in his monumental work "Antiquities of the Jews," provides a fascinating account of the relationship between King Herod the Great and the Essenes. According to Josephus, Herod not only honored the Essenes but also sought their counsel, exemplified by his interaction with the Essene sage Manahem. Manahem's prophetic words to Herod, foreseeing his rise to kingship and urging him toward justice and righteousness, indicate a significant rapport between Herod and the Essenes. Herod's subsequent respect and honor towards all Essenes underscore the depth of their relationship.


This episode raises intriguing questions about the relationship between Herod and the Essenes. Josephus's assertion that Herod "continued to honor all the Essenes" suggests a level of esteem and patronage extended to the Essene sect. It is conceivable that such favor from the ruling authority could have led to the Essenes being colloquially referred to as "Herodians" by the populace, especially considering the close association between Herod and the Essenes depicted in Josephus's account.


The notion that the Essenes were revered by Herod challenges the conventional understanding of the Herodians as mere political loyalists. Instead, it suggests a more nuanced relationship, wherein the Essenes may have wielded influence within Herodian circles, shaping policy and decision-making.


The Gospel accounts further illuminate the connection between the Essenes and the Herodians. In Mark 3:1-6, Jesus' healing of a man with a crippled hand incites the opposition of both the Pharisees and the Herodians. While Pharisaic opposition to Jesus is well-documented, the inclusion of the Herodians in this narrative suggests a deeper historical significance. Mark's Gospel, likely drawing from ancient traditions, highlights a conflict between Jesus and a coalition of religious and political forces, including the Herodians.


Furthermore, the parallels between the teachings and practices of the Essenes and the actions attributed to the Herodians in the Gospels provide additional support for the hypothesis of their identity convergence. Both groups exhibited a commitment to religious observance and adherence to traditional Jewish law, albeit with differing emphases. The Essenes, with their focus on spiritual purity and communal living, shared certain ideological affinities with the Herodians, who may have viewed themselves as guardians of Jewish tradition under Herodian rule.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, attributed to the Essene community and found in the vicinity of Qumran, adds another layer of complexity to the debate. While the Scrolls themselves do not explicitly mention the Herodians, some scholars have posited a connection between the Essenes and the authors of these ancient texts. 

Moreover, the Damascus Rule, a document attributed to the Qumran sect, sheds light on the Essene perspective regarding Sabbath observance. This text indicates a stringent interpretation of Sabbath law, suggesting that even acts of benevolence on the Sabbath could be considered transgressions. The emphasis on strict Sabbath observance aligns with the criticism leveled against Jesus for allegedly violating the Sabbath, further linking the Essenes to the opposition against him.

Some scholars, including Yadin, posit that the term "Herodians" may have been a colloquial designation for the Essenes, reflecting their perceived association with King Herod. The people of Judea, observing Herod's favor towards the Essenes, may have interpreted this relationship as evidence of a special status enjoyed by the sect. Over time, this perception could have led to the adoption of the term "Herodians" to refer to the Essenes, emphasizing their purported alignment with Herodian interests.


The conflation of the Essenes with the Herodians challenges conventional scholarly paradigms but offers a more coherent explanation of historical events. Rather than viewing the Essenes and the Herodians as separate entities with divergent agendas, this perspective presents them as overlapping or complementary factions within Judean society. The Essenes, known for their emphasis on spiritual purity and withdrawal from mainstream society, could have also aligned themselves with Herodian interests, particularly under the patronage of King Herod the Great.


The implications of identifying the Essenes as the Herodians extend beyond historical scholarship and into the realm of theological interpretation. By reevaluating the identities and motivations of these ancient groups, we gain a deeper understanding of the socio-political landscape in which Jesus ministered. The opposition faced by Jesus, as depicted in the Gospels, becomes more nuanced when considering the involvement of both religious and political factions, including the Essenes-turned-Herodians.


In conclusion, the evidence provided by Josephus, corroborated by Gospel narratives and sectarian texts, supports the proposition that the Essenes were indeed the Herodians. This paradigm-shifting perspective challenges traditional assumptions and invites further exploration into the complex dynamics of ancient Judean society. By reframing our understanding of these historical actors, we gain new insights into the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and the socio-political forces that shaped his world.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Gnostic understanding of the names of God

The names of worldly things are utterly deceptive, for they turn the heart from what is real to what is unreal. Whoever hears the word god thinks not of what is real but rather of what is unreal. So also with the words father, son, holy spirit, life, light, resurrection, church, and all the rest, people do not think of what is real but of what is unreal, [though] the words refer to what is real. The words [that are] heard belong to this world. [Do not be] [54] deceived. If words belonged to the eternal realm, they would never be pronounced in this world, nor would they designate worldly things. They would refer to what is in the eternal realm.

The names of worldly things are utterly deceptive, for they turn the heart from what is real to what is unreal. [we are misguided by the names because we perceive what we have been taught by religious leaders to be true when they are not in most cases - names are meaningless but the characteristics of those with them are paramount] Whoever hears the word god thinks not of what is real but rather of what is unreal. [the bible itself if written in a symbolic style or code and it takes a lot of effort to discern the true meanings of its length, width, depth and height. Many scriptures translate the word God from numerous variables that hide the true meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek term applied to the account such as “Elohim”, “El”, whereas they could mean a plurality of divine beings the elohim/angels, or simply “Power”, etc.. The rulers use the term often but are referring to a god other than the true Deity] So also with the words father, son, holy spirit, life, light, resurrection, church, and all the rest, people do not think of what is real but of what is unreal, though the words refer to what is real. The words that are heard belong to this world. Do not be deceived. If words belonged to the eternal realm, they would never be pronounced in this world, nor would they designate worldly things. They would refer to what is in the eternal realm (Gospel of Philip)

[names were actually "titles" that had deeper meanings giving understanding to those who knew them, these have all been changed/modified using pagan names and other utterances that have no meaning so that people could not discern the truth through them]

that names given to worldly concepts, including those associated with religious and spiritual terms, can be deceptive and lead to misunderstanding. Instead, Gnostics emphasize the importance of seeking deeper, spiritual understanding beyond the limitations of language and conventional religious concepts

Deceptive Nature of Names: The passage suggests that names given to concepts like "God," "the Father," "the Son," "the Holy Spirit," and others can be misleading and divert our thoughts from the true nature of these concepts. Gnostics believe that the true essence and meaning of these concepts go beyond the conventional understanding conveyed by their names.

Symbolic Style or Code: According to the passage, the Bible itself is written in a symbolic style or code, requiring effort and discernment to uncover its true meanings. Gnostics emphasize the need for spiritual insight and interpretation to grasp the deeper dimensions of the biblical texts, going beyond surface-level understanding.

Plurality of Divine Beings: The passage mentions that terms like "Elohim" and "El" could imply a plurality of divine beings, such as the angels or the elohim. Gnostics recognize that the rulers of the world often use the term "God," but it may refer to a false god or an inferior understanding of the divine.

Seeking Correct Knowledge: The passage emphasizes the importance of coming to know what is correct and seeking deeper understanding beyond the misleading names and conventional interpretations. Gnostics believe in the pursuit of gnosis, a direct experiential knowledge of the divine truth that goes beyond mere intellectual understanding.

Furthermore, the Gnostic Chrstians criticize the common use of the word "God" in English, as it is derived from the Saxon word for "good." They argue that "God" does not accurately capture the specific meanings conveyed by the Hebrew names for deity, such as Eloah, Elohim, Shaddai, and Yahweh. These names are plural in nature and require terms of the same number to express them correctly. However, they note that the term "God" does not fully translate or convey the intended meanings of the specific Hebrew names for God, leaving the true understanding obscured.

Valentinian Perspective: The Valentinians were a group of early Christian Gnostics who offered a unique interpretation of biblical texts, including the Old Testament. They believed in a spiritual understanding of the scriptures, interpreting certain passages allegorically while taking ethical teachings, such as the Sermon on the Mount, literally.

Names of God in the Old Testament: Valentinians approached the names of God in the Old Testament from a symbolic and mystical perspective, looking beyond literal translations. They recognized that names given to worldly concepts, including God, can be deceptive and divert our thoughts from the true understanding. Valentinians sought to uncover the deeper spiritual meanings conveyed by these names.

  1. EL (AIL): The name "EL" or "AIL" represents the concept of power, might, and strength associated with the Deity. It signifies the absolute, omnipotent, and independent power of the universe. EL represents the corporeal and transcendent Being that exists beyond the material world. The substance of EL empowers and sustains the other divine beings.


  2. Most High God (EL): Valentinians understood the term "Most High EL" as representing the Higher Power, the ultimate corporeal and transcendent aspect of the divine. It signifies the supreme and transcendent nature of the Deity, surpassing all worldly concepts and limitations.

  1. Eloah: Valentinians saw Eloah as another name for the Deity, emphasizing the corporeal nature and power of the Deity. Eloah signifies the divine essence as a source of power, authority, and sustenance. Eloah is also an individual Elohim or angel, manifesting the corporeal nature of the divine.


  2. The Holy Spirit: Valentinians view the Holy Spirit as a force, the power of EL, emanating from the substance of EL and flowing through the Elohim. It is not considered a person but rather a divine force that empowers and energizes the divine beings.


  3. Elohim: Valentinians understood Elohim as referring to the mighty ones or powerful ones, including aeons, angelic beings, or enlightened individuals with spiritual insight. Elohim represents various divine forces or spiritual powers that interact with the material world. They have form and shape, being corporeal, and derive their power from the spirit of EL.


  4. Yahweh Elohim (Archangel Michael): The chief Elohim is called Yahweh Elohim or the archangel Michael, considered the Demiurge. In Gnostic Christianity, the Demiurge is not seen as evil but as a powerful divine being associated with Yahweh. Yahweh Elohim represents the interaction between the eternal nature of the Deity (Yahweh) and the various divine powers (Elohim).


  5. Yahweh: Gnostic Christians may interpret Yahweh as the name of the Deity associated with existence and the eternal nature of divine presence. Yahweh signifies the unchanging essence of existence and the ultimate source of being. Yahweh can be interpreted as "He Shall Be" or "The One Who Will Be." It represents the unchanging essence of existence and the ultimate source of being.


  6. Yahweh Elohim Sabaoth: Gnostic Christians may see Yahweh Elohim Sabaoth as a prophecy about what the Deity will become. It suggests that the Deity will manifest as a group of Mighty Ones of the Armies of Israel. This concept is supported by references in 2 Peter 1:4 and John 17:19-24.


  7. El Shaddai: Valentinians interpreted El Shaddai as the sustaining power of the mighty ones. El Shaddai represents the continuous support, nourishment, and provision provided by the divine force or EL in the spiritual journey and overall well-being of individuals. It is an expression of the corporeal nature and empowerment of the Elohim.

Avoiding Trinitarian Doctrine: Valentinians emphasized that the application of Elohim to angels, mortal men, and even Jesus (as seen in John 20:28) does not endorse the doctrine of the Trinity. They rejected the Trinitarian understanding and interpreted the references to God and gods in the Old Testament within their symbolic and mystical framework.


In this approach, 
Gnostic Chrstians seek to uncover the deeper spiritual meanings behind the names of God, moving beyond literal translations and embracing the symbolic and mystical dimensions conveyed by these names. They emphasize the importance of inner revelation and personal spiritual insight to comprehend the true essence of divine realities.

Aeon and the World: The passage distinguishes between the Aeon, which represents the eternal realm of divine truth, and the world, which is characterized by deception and incorrect perceptions. The names associated with worldly concepts and ideas do not have the same significance as they would in the eternal realm.

Overall, the passage from the Gospel of Philip highlights the Gnostic perspective on the limitations of language, the deceptive nature of worldly concepts, and the need for spiritual insight to grasp the true meanings behind religious and spiritual terms. It encourages seekers to go beyond conventional understandings and pursue a deeper, experiential knowledge of the divine.

In the Valentinian understanding:

EL: Valentinians recognized EL as representing power, might, and strength. It conveyed the idea of a supreme and independent power that is the source of all energy and the basis of all matter. EL is the absolute, omnipotent, and independent power of the universe.

ELOHIM: Valentinians understood Elohim as the plural form of Eloah, signifying Mighty Ones. They recognized that Elohim could refer to the heavenly host, including angels and other divine beings who manifest the attributes of the great Increate. Elohim can also be applied to mortal men who act with divine authority and power.

Usage of Elohim: Valentinians noted that Elohim is used in various ways in the Old Testament. It has been translated as "God," "gods," "angels," and "judges" in different contexts. The usage of Elohim can refer to the heavenly beings involved in the discussion of creation, the judges who acted with divine authority, and even Moses, who was elevated to a position of authority before Pharaoh.


Overall, the Valentinian understanding of EL and Elohim focuses on the concept of divine power and authority, recognizing the plurality of divine beings and their role in the spiritual realm. They sought to uncover the deeper spiritual truths behind these names and their varied usage in the biblical texts.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Emanation creation out of the substance of God (creation ex deo)

Emanation creation out of the substance of God
Emanation or creatio ex deo




1 Cor. 8:5 For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,”
6 yet to us there is but one God, the Father, out of whom are all things and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ on account of whom are all things, and we by Him.

I want to challenge a commonly assumed theory called creatio ex nihilo. This is the idea that when God created the universe, he created it out of nothing. It put forward as fact that God didn’t form and shape creation out of his own being but made the creation itself appear out of nowhere.

If God created the universe, and 'before' that the only existence was that of God, and From nothing comes nothing, and something always comes from something, then God must have created the universe out of his own being. (creation ex deo)

The common phrase creatio ex nihilo (lit. "creation out of nothing"), the idea of a big bang is incorrect you can not make something out of nothing this is were the doctrine of emanation comes in or creatio ex deo (creation out of the being of God or Creation out of the substance of God himself.) 1st Cor. 8:6.

Note that the substance of God is his divine nature which is corporeal  

The word "Emanation" comes from the Latin e-manare, "to flow forth".

According to Emanationism, Creation occurs by a process of emanation - "out-flowing".

The source or fountain of power in the universe is One. It is a unit. Therefore, everything that exists is “out of Him.” Hence, the Creator did not “make all things out of nothing.” This is the theology taught by the orthodox scholars of the old self of the flesh, and it leads many of its children to affirm that “matter is God.” They understand “matter” to be that “which is knowable by the five senses.” Hence, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the things they can see, taste, touch, smell, and hear on Earth are God to them. They confuse that which is “of Him” with the “Him” out of whom all things proceed.

On the other hand, some children of the old self claim “God is immaterial.” By this they
mean God is not matter, or substance, or body, but an inconceivable something they call
“spirit,” an incorporeal, unsubstantial, immaterial spirit that is as near to nothing as words can express.

Nothing making all things out of nothing is the old self's teaching concerning God.

the Scripture declares that Spirit is the Deity. "Spirit," then, is the Deity commonly called God. But more than this, this Spirit is the Father; that is, the One, out of whom (ex autou) are all things.

This appears from what is said of “Spirit” and of “Father.” Jesus stated in John 5:31: “The Father raises the dead and quickens them.”That is, He makes the ones liberated from the grave incorruptibly alive. 

And in John 6:63, he says: “It is the Spirit that quickens” or makes alive. Therefore, the Father and the Spirit are the same. 

Nevertheless, the word “spirit” is often used in other senses. It is the FATHER-SPIRIT Paul refers to in 1 Timothy 6:16 that no one has seen in His unveiled splendor. 

Veiled in flesh (“the Veil of the Covering” - Ex. 35:12) those who discerned the one who spoke to Philip “saw the Father.” (Jn. 14:9 and 12:45) 

But veiled or unveiled, the Father-spirit is material. Regarding the Unveiled Father-Spirit, Hebrews 1:2-3 tells us that the Son is the Character of his Hypostasis, rendered in the common version as “the express image of His person.” The Son is the character or exact representation, and the Father is the hypostasis.

The Father is absolute power from his incorruptible substance radiates holy spirit or active force is before all existing things. This self-existing incorruptible substance is essentially spirit—spirit substance—a concentration and condensation into ONE BODY of all the attributes, intellectual, moral and physical, of omnipotence—all things are out of Deity (1 Cor. 8:6).

 All things being out of Deity, they were not made out of nothing. The sun, moon and stars, together with all things pertaining to each, were made out of something, and that something was the radiant flowing out of His substance, spirit or active force, which pervades all things. By his spirit or active force, all created things are connected with the creator of the universe, which is light that no man can approach unto, so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father, who is not far from every one of us.

The formation of the first man of the earth was the expression by spirit of the peculiar divine idea or mental image. The spirit-developed form, styled man, was the result of power divinely exercised upon the dust of the ground.

Thus, Creation is not Creation out of nothing, but creation out of the being of the higher hypostasis.

Monday 15 April 2024

The gospel of Thomas Saying 11

The gospel of Thomas Saying 11





Jesus said: This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away; and those who are dead are not alive, and those who are living will not die. In the days when you ate of what is dead, you made of it what is living. When you come to be light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you have become two, what will you do?

In the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus, there lies a profound exhortation that resonates with the spiritual truths found within the Bible. Jesus proclaims, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away; and those who are dead are not alive, and those who are living will not die" (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 11). This declaration echoes the prophecy of Isaiah, stating, "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll" (Isaiah 34:4).

Central to this saying is the notion that the dead are not alive, a concept deeply embedded in the fabric of the one true faith as delineated in the Bible. Contrary to the beliefs of many other religious traditions, the Bible teaches that death is not a gateway to eternal life in heaven but rather a state of unconsciousness. This truth is reiterated throughout both the Gospel of Thomas and the Scriptures (e.g., Ecclesiastes 9:5, Psalms 115:17, 146:3-4).

Sayings 15, 51, 52, 59, along with biblical references such as Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 and Psalms 115:3-4, underscore the theme of the unconsciousness of the dead. They emphasize that death is a state of non-being, where individuals are unaware of the affairs of the living world. This aligns with the biblical notion that in death, there is no consciousness or knowledge (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and that the dead do not praise the Lord (Psalms 115:17).

Furthermore, Saying 87 and 112, along with the reference to Genesis, highlight the interconnectedness of the body, flesh, and soul. This echoes the biblical concept that humanity is comprised of both physical and spiritual elements, and these aspects are intricately linked. The unity of body, flesh, and soul underscores the holistic nature of human existence, emphasizing the importance of both physical and spiritual well-being.

The interpretation of these sayings goes beyond a mere understanding of physical death; they also speak to spiritual death—the separation from God due to sin. Those who remain spiritually dead, unenlightened by the truth, face not only physical death but also spiritual death, symbolized by a second death after judgment. In contrast, those who are spiritually alive in Christ experience eternal life, marked by a profound union with God.

The Gospel of Thomas, much like the Bible, emphasizes the transformative power of truth and the significance of spiritual awakening. Through faith in Christ and adherence to His teachings, believers transition from spiritual death to life, from darkness into the everlasting light of God's presence.

In essence, these additional sayings reinforce the central themes of spiritual consciousness, interconnectedness of body and soul, and the transformative power of truth found within the Gospel of Thomas. They complement the broader narrative of Jesus's teachings, inviting believers to contemplate the nature of life, death, and eternity in light of divine truth.

In light of these additional sayings, the concept of eating dead and living things takes on a broader spiritual significance. It encompasses not only physical nourishment but also spiritual sustenance, highlighting the importance of feeding the soul with divine truth rather than relying solely on worldly pleasures. Just as the body requires sustenance for physical life, the soul requires spiritual nourishment for eternal life.

Therefore, the admonition to eat dead and living things in the Gospel of Thomas goes beyond mere dietary practices; it serves as a metaphor for embracing spiritual truths and rejecting spiritual death. By partaking of the living bread—the teachings of Christ—and rejecting the dead works of the flesh, believers find true fulfillment and eternal life in Him.

Moreover, Jesus's words in Saying 11 align with the biblical teaching that the spiritually dead will face a second death after judgment, while those alive in Christ will attain everlasting life. The distinction between the dead and the living is not merely physical but spiritual, highlighting the importance of being spiritually alive through faith in Christ.

The imagery of eating dead and living things in the saying symbolizes the consumption of spiritual nourishment. The dead represent adherence to the Law of Moses, which fails to impart eternal life, while the living symbolize partaking of Christ's flesh and blood through belief in His testimony as revealed in the Scriptures (John 6:54, Revelation 22:14). Thus, truth nourishes life, leading believers from darkness into the light of Christ.

"When you are in the Light, what will you become?" Jesus's question invites contemplation on the transformative power of light, equating it with moral enlightenment and unity with God. As believers walk in the light, they become united with God, transitioning from a state of oneness to a divine partnership, symbolized by the union of man and woman in marriage (Genesis 2:24).

This transition from oneness to twoness signifies both unity with God and the potential for division. Through faith in Christ, believers become united with God, yet this unity also distinguishes them from the world, making them "two" in their spiritual journey.

Ultimately, the saying challenges believers to ponder their spiritual state and trajectory. Will they remain spiritually dead, adhering to temporal laws and doctrines, or will they embrace the life-giving truth of Christ, transitioning from darkness into the eternal light?

In conclusion, the Gospel of Thomas, like the Bible, illuminates profound spiritual truths concerning life, death, and light. Through reflection on Jesus's teachings, believers are invited to transcend mere existence and embrace the abundant life found in Him. As they walk in the light, they become united with God, shining as beacons of truth and righteousness in a world enveloped by darkness.



















This saying is an exhortation of Isaiah 34:4  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. Cp. Isaiah 13:13

“The dead are not alive” here we have one of the spiritual truth of the one true faith found only in the Bible the dead are not alive and the kingdom is not in the sky cp. Saying 3, every other bible based faith and religion teaches we go to heaven when we die or that only some go to heaven to rule with Christ. If death is not death than what the Bible says about death is a lie. 

However it is not only the bible that teaches that the dead are unconscious and know nothing and this is summed in the words of Jesus here in saying 11 "The dead are not alive." compare sayings 59, 60. 

So like the Bible and the true believers of the Bible, the Gospel of Thomas does not teach that we go to heaven to rule with Christ or that the soul live on after death. The GTh teaches that the dead are unconscious and know nothing so The dead are not alive Cp. Saying 15, 51, 52, 59, Ecc 9:5, 10 Ps 115: 146:3, 4. And the body, the flesh, and the soul are equivalent in value or interdependent Saying 87, 112 Gen 

This also has another meaning it is also about spiritual death those who have not been made alive by the word of truth. The spiritually dead will die a second death after the judgment. However those who are alive in Christ will have indefinitely lasting life.

The eating of dead and living things are not a doctrine of vegetarianism for the dead things are dead animals compare saying 60 87 111 112 which are killed and than eaten to sports life thus making the dead thing living. The dead and living things are also rational principles cp. 13 61 108 111 this is the same in the bible it is spiritual meat Ps 73:24. Thus, the dead principle would be the Law of Moses, which does not bring everlasting life only a long life in this life if they live by it. Now the living principle is the bread that is the flesh of Christ and if we do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood we have no life in us. But we only eat and drink his flesh and blood by believing the written testimony of the Logos concerning Jesus, set forth in the Bible and become the subject of repentance and remission of sins in the name of Christ Jesus, eats his flesh and drinks his blood. Cp. Rev 22:14 Jn 6:54. Truth eats life no one nourished by truth will die. This is the meaning of eating living things which bring us out of darkness and into the light.


“When you are in the Light, what will you become?” Jesus is the light of the world and also God is light, and we are told in the Bible add that we are to become like Jesus is now and Jesus now is consubstantial with God so we are to become consubstantial with God and God is Light so we shall become light first moral light (which denotes the knowledge of the truth i.e. a light to the nations) second when we shall shine like the brightness of the expanse and those who lead many to righteousness, like the starts forever.

On the day when you come into the light you became two. When you are two, what will you become? Two can be a figure both of unity and of division. Man and woman form the basic family unit (Gen 1:27 2:20,24) we become two when we are united with God we are two because God is with us and we are walking with him we are walking in the light and we are no longer one but two.


11) Jesus said, "This heaven [the errant Christo-pagan system of worship] will pass away, and the one above it [errant Judaism] will pass away. The dead [those who are "of" the two heavens named] are not alive [have not found the Life, the resurrection (“Christ in you”)], and the living [those who have “Christ in them”] will not die. In the days when you consumed [put your faith and trust in false teachings of men] what is dead [the lower/outward (fleshly) forms], you made it what is alive [a falsehood has no life of its own, one must give it life by believing and accepting it as true]. When you come to dwell in the light [come to learn the truth about all of these things], what will you do [great question but I am guessing it is best answered by; “choose this day whom you will serve”]? On the day [you sinned] when you were one [still in harmony with the spirit (for most of us, this is lost pretty early in life!)] you became two [you were separated from the Father (duality of mind) eating only from the tree of knowledge, the lower form]. But when you become two, what will you do [try like crazy to recover that lost unity]?" 

seeks rule and rest Gospel of Thomas Saying 2

[Jesus said], "Let him who seeks continue [seeking until] he finds. When he finds, [he will be amazed. And] when he becomes [amazed], he will rule. And [once he has ruled], he will [attain rest]."

The Journey of Seeking, Finding, and Reigning in the Kingdom of God

In the teachings attributed to Jesus, there lies a profound message about the journey of seeking, finding, and ultimately reigning in the Kingdom of God. This journey, filled with mystery and revelation, is intricately woven throughout the biblical texts, inviting seekers to delve deeper into the truths hidden within.

Jesus urges his followers with timeless wisdom: "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds" (Matthew 7:7). This call to persistence in seeking echoes throughout the Scriptures, inviting individuals to embark on a quest for the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus specifically directs his disciples to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Yet, the nature of this seeking is not merely a casual inquiry but a laborious endeavor to uncover the profound truths concealed within the Word of God. It is a journey that requires diligence and perseverance, as Jesus alludes to in his teaching: "Let him who seeks [toils/labours for the true meaning of these words] continue seeking until he finds." (Matthew 7:7)

As seekers delve deeper into the mysteries of God's Kingdom, they are confronted with a profound realization—the recognition of their own shortcomings and the revelation of the truth. This revelation often brings about a sense of turmoil and astonishment, as individuals come face to face with the reality of their own depravity. Jesus alludes to this transformative process, stating, "When he finds [the meaning], he will become troubled, and he will be astonished" (Matthew 7:7).

The journey of seeking and finding leads to a transformative experience—a shift in perspective and understanding that culminates in reigning in the Kingdom of God. Jesus speaks of this profound outcome, stating, "When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will reign over the All" (Matthew 7:7).

This reign is not one of worldly power or dominance but of spiritual authority and understanding. It is a reign over the self, over the illusions of the world, and over the forces of darkness. As co-heirs with Christ, believers are called to share in his reign, participating in the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

The concept of ruling over the all encompasses two significant aspects. Firstly, it entails a discernment of the fallacies and deceptions of the world, casting off the shackles of ignorance and fear. This newfound wisdom grants believers spiritual authority over the systems of this world, allowing them to see through the illusions of power and control.

Secondly, ruling over the all involves a journey of transformation and sanctification, guided by the Spirit of God. Through repentance and obedience to the Word, believers are refined and prepared to reign with Christ in his Kingdom. As it is written, "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations" (Revelation 2:26).

In conclusion, the journey of seeking, finding, and reigning in the Kingdom of God is a transformative process that leads believers to a deeper understanding of truth and a greater participation in God's divine plan. It is a journey marked by persistence, revelation, and ultimately, spiritual authority. As seekers embark on this quest, may they be empowered by the Spirit of God to reign with Christ in his everlasting Kingdom.















We are told to seek and find, but we are not told what we are seeking. However, in Matthew we are told that we should seek the kingdom of God when we find it (enter it) we shall reign and after having reigned, we shall rest when Jesus hands over the Kingdom to the Father 1Cor 15:

“He will marvel” We are amazed to realize that we are part of this plan of God. There, in the Kingdom as co-heirs with Jesus in Christ, we reign over all. There we have come to realize that God is all in all! To come to this realization is to come into the Kingdom of God. The one who lives by the Spirit of Christ is the one who reigns over all in the Kingdom. Here there is no fear, no death and no more work! Here the Sons of God rest in God’s peace and rule's all other kingdoms with God’s love.

"'Rest' is mentioned not in the Coptic text but in the Greek fragment; but 'rest' or 'repose' occurs in Sayings 51, 52, 60, 61, 86, and 90.

2)# Jesus said, "Let him who seeks [toils/labours for the true meaning of these words] continue seeking until he finds [this is not only an endurance test but a quest to find the hidden meanings (mystery) within the Word that Jesus only shared with His closest disciples]. When he finds [the meaning], he will become troubled [knowing that he has been living a lie all of his days - it is deeply troubling when one comes to realize how depraved they really are].

When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished [at the simplicity of the truth which will set him free], and he will reign over the All [as joint heir of the Kingdom (as part of the body of Christ) - no longer deceived by the serpent (the mind of flesh) and all of its outward forms]."

The term “rule over the all” has a twofold effect.  First, we are able to recognized the fallacies of our worldly ways and cast them off as nothing (when we are finally “free” from the bondage of the worlds religious system it gives us rule over the world in a spiritual sense) for their only power comes from ignorance and fear of the governed/laity. 

Secondly, we learn the path to perfect love over time through the help of the spirit word which teaches us how to repent and turn back from our sins so that we may be made spotless and gain the first resurrection as kings and ministerial servants in the Kingdom of God.