Tuesday 28 August 2018

Christ's Own Need Of Salvation

Christ's Own Need Of Salvation

Now the angels were baptised in the beginning, in the redemption of the Name which descended upon Jesus in the dove and redeemed him. And redemption was necessary even for Jesus, in order that, approaching through Wisdom, he might not be detained by the Notion of the Deficiency in which he was inserted, as Theodotus says.

Not only do humans need redemption, but also the angels, too, need redemption, along with the image and the rest of the Pleromas of the aeons and the wondrous powers of illumination. So that we might not be in doubt in regard to the others, even the Son himself, who has the position of redeemer of the Totality, needed redemption as well, - he who had become man, - since he gave himself for each thing which we need, we in the flesh, who are his Church. Now, when he first received redemption from the word which had descended upon him, all the rest received redemption from him, namely those who had taken him to themselves. For those who received the one who had received (redemption) also received what was in him.

Gospel of philip

Jesus revealed himself [at the] Jordan River as the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who was begotten before everything, was begotten anew. He who was once anointed, was anointed anew. He who was redeemed, in turn redeemed others.

This shows that the some gnostic groups understood that Jesus first needed redemption for himself before he could redeem those for whom he came to die for. Jesus is thus the redeemed redeemer coming in our sinful nature the savour himself was in need of redemption

78. The Lord was conceived (born again) from what is imperishable, from God. The [Lord arose] from among the dead. But [He did not come into being as he was. Rather [his body] was [completely] perfect. It was of fleshand this [flesh is indeed] true flesh.¹ [Yet our flesh] is not true, but rather a mirror-image of the true [flesh]. (¹Jn 1:14, 20:27, II-Jn 7; NHS p. 174

This passage shows that the spiritual body is corporeal (tangible) and it has flesh and this flesh is true flesh, which is called spiritual flesh thus spiritual body but our flesh is only a shadow of the true like Adam who was only a type of him who was to come/

Ode 8
20) Pray and increase, and abide in the love of the Lord;
21) And the beloved ones in the Beloved, and those who are protected in Him Who liveth, and those who are saved in Him Who was saved.
22) And ye shall be found incorrupt in all ages, on account of the Name of your Father.

The interpretation of Knowledge::
 And through the one who was reproached and the one who was redeemed we receive grace.


He included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring. He offered them up as an offering to the All. For it is not cattle that you will offer up for sin(s) of unbelief, and for the ignorances, and (for) all the wicked deeds which they will do NHS p. 601

He included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring

Here this passage teaches that Christ the high - priest offered his own body for his own redemption He offered himself for himself and his brothers his offspring in the living offering that is his life as a living sacrifice

Adam was "sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken - a sentence which defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity" (Clause 5);

Jesus Christ "though wearing the condemned nature, was to obtain a title to resurrection by perfect obedience, and, by dying, abolish the law of condemnation for himself, and all who should believe and obey him" (Clause 8);

Jesus was "a sufferer, in the days of his flesh, from all the effects that came by Adam's transgression, including the death that passed upon all men, which he shared by partaking of their physical nature" (Clause 10); that the offering of Jesus’ body was "a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God, as a basis for the remission of sins" (Clause 12).

Because of his human nature, Jesus experienced minor illnesses, tiredness etc. just as we do. It therefore follows that if he had not died on the cross, he would have died any way, e.g. of old age.

In view of this, Jesus needed to be saved from death by God. Intensely recognizing this, Jesus "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him (God) that was able to save him out of death, and was heard for his godly fear" (Heb. 5:7 A.V. mg.).

The fact that Christ had to plead with God to save him from death rules out any possibility of him being God in person.

“this body of death” (Rom. 6:24 mg.) needs 'redemption' (Rom. 8:23) which comes on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice (Rev. 5:9) when we are 'clothed upon' with our house from heaven (2 Cor. 5:2) which results in mortality being swallowed up of life (2 Cor. 5:4)"

(The Lord’s own body was redeemed on this same basis – (Heb. 9:12, 23 etc.).

After Christ's resurrection, death had "no more dominion over him" (Rom. 6:9), implying that beforehand it did.

Many of the Psalms are prophetic of Jesus; when some verses from a Psalm are quoted about Christ in the New Testament, it is reasonable to assume that many of the other verses in the Psalm are about him too. There are a number of occasions where Christ's need for salvation by God is emphasized:-

- Ps. 91:11,12 is quoted about Jesus in Matt. 4:6. Ps. 91:16 prophesies how God would give Jesus salvation: "With long life (i.e. eternal life) will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."- Ps. 69:21 refers to Christ's crucifixion (Matt. 27:34); the whole Psalm describes Christ's thoughts on the cross: "Save me, O God...Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it...Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high" (vs. 1,18,29).

- Ps. 89 is a commentary upon God's promise to David concerning Christ. Concerning Jesus, Ps. 89:26 prophesies: "He shall cry unto me (God), Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation."

Christ's prayers to God for salvation were heard; he was heard because of his personal spirituality, not because of his place in a 'trinity' (Heb. 5:7). That God resurrected Jesus and glorified him with immortality is a major New Testament theme:-

- "God...raised up Jesus...Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour" (Acts 5:30,31).

- "God...hath glorified his Son Jesus...whom God hath raised from the dead" (Acts 3:13,15).

- "This Jesus hath God raised up" (Acts 2:24,32,33).

- Jesus himself recognized all this when he asked God to glorify him (John 17:5 cp. 13:32; 8:54).

If Jesus was God Himself, then all this emphasis would be out of place, seeing that God cannot die. Jesus would not have needed saving if he were God. That it was God who exalted Jesus demonstrates God's superiority over him, and the separateness of God and Jesus.

We do not believe that the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was not required for the cleansing of his sin nature. [The Lord's sacrifice was necessary for his own redemption. His sacrifice was a public demonstration that his flesh was rightly related to death and a declaration of the righteousness of God that required the offering of his life in devotion to Him. By his sacrifice the ungodly propensities (diabolos) of his nature was destroyed (Heb. 2:14; 9:12; 7:27), thus providing for the granting of immortality


Monday 27 August 2018

The Greater and Lesser Yahweh Exodus 23:21

The Greater and Lesser Yahweh

'two powers in heaven' (shtei rashunot ba-shammayim)

During the second temple period an idea developed within a number of Jewish texts, about a second divine figure, either beside YHWH or beneath him this lead to the idea that there are many powers in heaven Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 - Sefaria or two powers in heaven (shtei rashunot ba-shammayim).

these two powers are referred to has the Greater and Lesser Yahweh

In the gnostic works Pistis Sophia and the Book of Jeu we encounter the "Great Iao" and the "Little Iao" (Pistis Sophia, chs. 7 [twice], 86, 140; Book ofJeu, ch. 50). These may correspond to the titles "greater YHWH" and "lesser YHWH" found in the Merkabah texts (3En 48B:1[44]; 48D:1[90]) (cf. Odeberg, 3 Enoch, pt. 1, app. 2, pp. 188-92)

Two Yahwehs in the bible 

 The teaching first comes from Exodus 23:20,21 

Exodus 23:
20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.

There is an angel who is called Yahweh (Exodus 23:20,21)

in Exodus 24:1-2, we see one Yahweh who instructs Moses to go to another Yahweh

24:1 And to Moses he (that is Yahweh) said: “Go up to Yahweh

However these two Yahweh's are angels or elohim one is "the Lord God" or "Yahweh Elohim" (that is the archangel Michael the Lesser Yahweh). Read chapter 23 and 24 together to see this. 
EL and Elohim
Gen 35:1 ¶ And God <0430> said unto Jacob , Arise , go up to Bethel , and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God <0410>, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother .

Gen 35:1 Then Elohim (or an angel) said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to the El, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother."
2 And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to the El, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone."

ESV: Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.

here one Yahweh engage in conversation with another Yahweh

In Genesis 19:23, for example, we see the "Yahweh who was Sent calling up to His Elohim or Yahweh the Greater who SENT Him to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Amos 4:11 "I overthrew some of you, As Elohim overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a burning stick plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to me," Says Yahweh.

Who is the “I” and who is the “Elohim”

The "I" is Michael the Lesser Yahweh and the Elohim is Yahweh the Greater

This angel is the chief angel or archangel Michael whose name means who is like the Divine One (God) EL or power

Yahweh is the head angel in the O.T....right?

Thus, Yahweh is said to have appeared to Abraham as he sat in the door of his tent. (Gen. 18:1) When he first saw the visitor, though, he did not see the Lord but “three men” or Elohim, of whom one was the chief. Read all of Genesis 18 to 19:29 and you will see that the Everlasting Deity talks and acts by or through these Elohim, but chiefly through one of them called the Lord God or Yahweh Elohim.

Second Century Jewish Literature

In 3 Enoch, Metatron is called the lesser YHWH.

The Third Book of Enoch

CHAPTER XII God clothes Metatron in a garment of glory, puts a royal crown on his head and calls him "the Lesser YHWH" 

 R. Ishmael said: Metatron, the Prince of the Presence, said to me: (1) By reason of the love with which the Holy One, blessed be He, loved me more than all the children of heaven. He made me a garment of glory on which were fixed all kinds of lights, and He clad me in it. (2)And He made me a robe of honour on which were fixed all kinds of beauty, splendour, brilliance and majesty. (3) And he made me a royal crown in which were fixed forty-nine costly stones like unto the light of the globe of the sun. (4) For its splendour went forth in the four quarters of the Araboth Raqia', and in (through) the seven heavens, and in the four quarters of the world. And he put it on my head. (5) And He called me THE LESSER YHWH in the presence of all His heavenly household; as it is written (Ex. 23:21): "For my name is in him"
Philo of Alexandria

in Allegorical Interpretation, II (2.86), God is said to be the supreme power and His logos the second one.

But the most universal of all things is God; and in the second place the word of God. But other things have an existence only in word, but in deed they are at times equivalent to that which has no existence. (Allegorical Interpretation, II)

And the most ancient word of the living God is clothed with the word as with a garment, for it has put on earth, and water, and air, and fire, and the things which proceed from those elements. But the particular soul is clothed with the body, and the mind of the wise man is clothed with the virtues. (111) And it is said that he will never take the mitre off from his head, he will never lay aside the kingly diadem, the symbol of an authority which is not indeed absolute, but only that of a viceroy, but which is nevertheless an object of admiration. Nor will he "rend his clothes;" (112) for the word of the living God being the bond of every thing, as has been said before, holds all things together, and binds all the parts, and prevents them from being loosened or separated. (ON FLIGHT AND FINDING)

John 1:1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 

the Word or Logos was the chief or the firstborn among all the other angels whom the bible call elohím or “gods.

Fragment 1, on John 1:3 (In John 1:3, “All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made.”) The sentence: "All things were made through him" means the world and what is in it. It excludes what is better than the world. The Aeon (i.e. the Fullness), and the things in it, were not made by the Word; they came into existence before the Word. . . “Without him, nothing was made” of what is in the world and the creation. . . "All things were made through Him," means that it was the Word who caused the Craftsman (Demiurge) to make the world, that is it was not the Word “from whom” or “by whom,” but the one “through whom (all things were made).”. . . It was not the Word who made all things, as if he were energized by another, for "through whom" means that another made them and the Word provided the energy.

Philo of Alexandria
 Now this disposition stands in need of two powers to take care of it, the power that is of authority, and that of conferring benefits, in order that in accordance with the authority of the governor, it may obey the admonitions which it receives, and also that it may be greatly benefited by his beneficence. But the other disposition stands in need of the power of beneficence only; for it has not derived any improvement from the authority which admonishes it, inasmuch as it naturally claims virtue as its own, but by reason of the bounty which is showered upon it from above, it was good and perfect from the beginning; (1.163) therefore God is the name of the beneficent power, and Lord is the title of the royal power.



The Symbolism of The Cherubim

The Symbolism of The Cherubim

Symbolical figures used in the Scriptures to represent the majesty and ruling power of God; also His attributes (Exod. 25:18-22).

The word "Cherubim" of Genesis 3:24 symbolise protection, or sacred life. The inner spiritual life is protected from the outward senses, the carnal mind. The "flame of a sword" is the divine logos or Word of God. Believers must unite with the inner Word, or sacred life, through spiritual thought, meditation, and prayer and bible study.

The Word is made flesh, or is brought into manifestation, when we transform our minds to the ideas of the Divine Mind and set up the activity of the divine will, which is perfect thought and corresponding perfect action. The "way of the tree of life" is the narrow path referred to by Jesus Christ; it is the way of unfolding the divine consciousness by studying the word of God the bible.

The fact that these cherubim had the face of a man to the front went nicely with the fact that they had the hands of a man under their wings and also that the cherubim had, in general, “likeness with the appearance of a man.” The heavenly cherubim also have the God-given quality or attribute of love, just the same as man has, the first man Adam having been created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-28) The face of a lion, in being on the right side of the head of each cherubim, emphasized the quality of rightousess, justice. This justice has power as its support, which is well pictured in that opposite the lion’s face there was, to the left, a bull’s face. In his later description of the cherubim, Ezekiel calls the bull’s face the “face of the cherub.” (Ezekiel 10:14) Doubtless, cherubim are creatures of great power, like that of the bull.

the eagle’s face to the rear of the cherub’s head points to wisdom, the heavenly wisdom, which corresponds with the heavens in which the high-flying eagle soars. This face fits in nicely with the fact that the cherubim had each four wings, enabling them to match the eagle in its flight. The eagle’s face, as well as the man’s face, the lion’s face and the bull’s face, is found among the faces of the four cherubim living creatures that were seen in vision about seven hundred years later by the John, these latter cherubim being located around the throne of God in heaven.—Revelation 4:6-9.

Thus, consistently, down through the centuries, the same symbols represent God’s wisdom (the eagle), power (the bull), justice (the lion) and love (the man). These four attributes, are in perfect balance with one another, Yahweh has gifted his heavenly creatures and his earthly human creatures with the suitable measure of these four attributes.

these attributes must always be present in the holy of holies within our minds. we have this holy place and these cherubim with their wings spread over the whole Ark. No matter how great a backslider you may be, the presence of the Spirit of God is not far away from your conscious mind.  engraved on the very substance of your being (two tables of stone).

If we do not have this higher realization before us constantly, we shall drop down to the physical plane and our religion will become a mere phenomenal display.

The Comforter: An Angel?

The Comforter: An Angel?

The point has been made by several expositors that as Israel were led by a special Angel through the wilderness, whom Isaiah 63 associates with God's Holy Spirit, so the new Israel were led by a Holy Spirit Angel, the Comforter, who was sent to the church by Jesus after His assuming of all power over the Angels on His ascension. A summary of the reasons for thinking this is now attempted:

- Is. 63:7-11 describes the Angel that guided Israel through the wilderness as the "Holy Spirit"- which is the Comforter.

- The Comforter was sent in God and Christ's Name (Jn. 14:26)- the Angel was sent in God's Name (Ex. 23:21)

- The Comforter would teach (Jn. 14:26), guide (16:13), be a judge (16:8) and prophesy (16:13); the Angel guided Israel through the wilderness, taught them God's ways, judged Egypt and the Canaanites, gave prophecies, and represented God to Israel as the Comforter represented Jesus to His people. As the church began a new Exodus and was constituted God's Kingdom in prospect as Israel were at Sinai, it was fitting that it should also have an Angel leading them, representing God to them.

- The Comforter would "shew you things to come" (Jn. 16:13)- fulfilled by the Angel giving the Revelation to John.

- The Angel testified to the churches (Rev. 22:16)- "the Comforter. . shall testify of Me" (Jn. 15:26).

- The references in Acts to the Holy Spirit as a person are now easier to understand - e. g. "The Holy Spirit said, Separate Me Barnabas. . " (Acts 13:2). Similarly the frequent occurrences of the ideas of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit together fall into place if the Holy Spirit has some degree of reference to a personal being in the form of an Angel. The error of the doctrine of the trinity is not in identifying the three common forms of God manifestation (i. e. through God Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit Angel), but in the blasphemous inter-relationships between them which it proposes. This idea is worth applying to our understanding of the baptismal formula.

- The work of the Comforter Angel may have been confined to the first century, in the same way as the Angel was particularly evident to the ecclesia in the wilderness during the initial Exodus period. Thus the words 'Angel' and 'Spirit' are obviously interchangeable in the book of Acts (e. g. 8:26,29; 10:3,19,20).

- In the same way as the angel of Israel dwelt in the temple after delivering them, so perhaps it is through Christ's Comforter Angel that He dwells in the spiritual temple of the New Israel.

- The Angel in Revelation "like the son of man" (i. e. representing Him but not Him personally) was this same Comforter Angel representing Jesus (Rev. 1:11 cp. 22:13,8,16). He carried the titles of Jesus, who carried the titles of God- e. g. "Alpha and Omega".

- We have seen that our prayers are presented to God through Christ by an Angel (Rev. 8:4) and that God answers prayer through commanding His Angels (Num. 20:16; Dan. 9:20,21). This perhaps allows us to interpret the 'Spirit' of Rom. 8:26,27 as having some reference to Jesus manifested in the Comforter Angel; whilst remembering that Jesus is ultimately the only mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) it may be that the mechanical presentation of the incense of our prayers to Him is done by the Comforter Angel.

- The Comforter is called “the spirit of truth” (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). In the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls literature, this phrase describes an Angelic Spirit who is the leader of the “good forces” and ‘in whom’ the righteous walk [Testament of Judah 20, 1-5]. The Aramaic translation of Job, and the targums on it, uses the term prqlyt to describe the Angelic spokesman [the malak melis] who makes a testimony in Heaven in Job’s defence (Job 16:19; 19:25-27; 33:23).

- Otto Betz, Der Paraklet (AGJU, 1963), brings out many connections between the Comforter and the Angel ‘Michael the Spirit of truth’ in contemporary Jewish writings.

- When we read of the “spirit of the Lord” snatching away Philip, it seems logical to interpret this as the same Angel already mentioned earlier in the chapter (Acts 8:26,29,39). But this Angel is defined as the Lord’s Angel- and the Lord in Acts is nearly always the Lord Jesus. Clearly we are led to understand the Lord Jesus as being associated with a specific Angel.

"He, the Spirit (Angel) of truth. . . will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come" (John 16:13). As the present writer understands it, the work of the Holy Spirit Comforter was initially achieved through the miraculous gifts, and now through the spiritual strength we receive from the written word. Thus nearly all the statements made about the Comforter are also made concerning the written word (e. g. Jn. 15:26; 16:13 cp. 17:17; 16:8 cp. 2 Tim. 3:16; 4:2; Titus 1:9; 16:8 cp. 12:40). The Angels being closely associated with inspiration, notably of the Revelation, the Comforter Angel now largely achieves His aims through the written word He has inspired. "Things to come" were shown us by the Comforter Angel inspiring Revelation, the ultimate prophecy of the future. The Comforter was to make known everything that was told Him. It therefore follows that even the mighty Comforter Angel only has the same words of prophecy to study regarding the future unfolding of God's purpose as we have. Therefore they with us earnestly look into these things, and search "what manner of time" must elapse before the final fulfilment of God's word.

Article taken and adapted from Angels by Duncan Heaster (Christadelphian)

Sunday 26 August 2018

Christian Gnostic Views on Hell

Christian Gnostic Views on Hell

What do the Gnostic Gospels say about Hell?

Before we can answer this question it is best to find out what does the bible really say about Hell

Hell is not a word used in the original manuscript it is an old English word which has lost its original meaning over time

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, under "Hell" says: "from 'helan' to conceal." The word "hell" thus originally conveyed no thought of heat or torment but simply of a 'covered over or concealed place.' In the old English dialect the expression "helling potatoes" meant, not to roast them, but simply to place the potatoes in the ground or in a cellar. In old English literature, we read "the helling of a house" – covering/thatching a house. Putting a thatch roof on a house was called “helling” the house, but it didn’t mean to set the house on fire.

Hell, to conceal, to hide, to cover. 

There are four words translated hell in the bible in this study we will look at Hades and Sheol 

Hades (Greek.)--not to be looked upon; outer darkness.

Sheol (Hebrew)--hollow; cavernous; empty; outer darkness; place of unquenchable, consuming desires.

Sheol meaning “ask; request.” The common grave of mankind, gravedom; not an individual burial place or grave (Heb., qever, Jg 16:31; qevurah´, Ge 35:20), nor an individual tomb (Heb., gadhish´, Job 21:32). Sheol the grave, which is as it were always asking or craving more. This would indicate that Sheol is both a place and condition that asks for or demands all without distinction, as it receives the dead of mankind within it. —Ge 37:35, ftn; Pr 30:15, 16 (Insight into the Scriptures)

In the Authorized Version, in many places in the Old Testament sheol is interpreted grave or pit. For examples see Genesis 37:35; 42:38; I Samuel 2:6; I Kings 2:6; Job 14:13; 17:13, 16, and there are others. In the American Standard Version the word sheol is used in these texts. Please compare the two, and then look up the places where the translation hell is given.  
(Charles Fillmore)

“Hades,” perhaps meaning “the unseen place,” appears 11 times in the Textus Receptus on which the King James Version is based , namely, in Mt 11:23; 16:18; Lu 10:15; 16:23; Ac 2:27, 31; 1Cor 15:55 Rev 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14.

In Acts 2:27, Peter’s quotation of Ps 16:10 shows Hades is the equivalent of Sheol and is applied to the common grave of mankind (in contrast with the Greek word ta´phos, an individual grave). The Latin word corresponding to Hades is in·fer´nus (sometimes in´fe·rus). It means “that which lies beneath; the lower region,” and well applies to the grave. It is thus a fitting approximation of the Greek and Hebrew terms. (Insight into the Scriptures)

The Bible record shows that Sheol refers to mankind’s common grave as a place where there is no consciousness. (Ec 9:4-6, 10) Those in Sheol neither praise God nor mention him. (Ps 6:4, 5; Isa 38:17-19) 
(Insight into the Scriptures)

Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (AVKJ)

Notice also that hell is not the same as the lake of fire but will be cast into the lake of fire.

Strange! Is hell itself to be tormented? And how can death, a condition, be thrown into a literal fire? 

Hell (Hades, Sheol) Is Not a literal place of fiery torment suffering Job prayed to go there. Job 14:12-14

it is a place of inactivity. Ps 6:5; Ec 9:10; Isa 38:18, 19
Jesus was raised from grave, hell. Ac 2:27, 31, 32; Ps 16:10
Hell will deliver up other dead, to be destroyed. Rev 20:13, 14
Fire is a symbol of annihilation Cutting off in death is symbolized by fire. Mt 25:41, 46; 13:30
Unrepentant wicked destroyed forever as by fire. Heb 10:26, 27
The Soul
In the Old Testament Hebrew, the original word for soul is nephesh. In the New Testament Greek it is psuche. Both mean the same thing and are used Interchangeably. One is used to translate the other.

The Hebrew word ‘Nephesh’ of the Old Testament has the same meaning as the Greek word ‘Psuche’ of the New Testament.  They mean “a living animal being” and are applied to both man and beast as shown from biblical quotations and notes given below.  The men who translated the original manuscripts into the English Bible believed in the immortality of man’s souls, and so translated these words to conform to their own belief wherever possible.  They translated ‘Nephesh’ 428 times “soul”; 119 times “life”; 15 times “body.” They translated ‘Psuche’ 58 times “soul”; 40 times “life”; 3 times “mind.”

Ezekiel 18:4 & 20:
"Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die."

"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."

Matthew 10:29:
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Heracleon a member of the Valentinian Christian Gnostic School did not believe in the teaching of the immortality of the soul

Fragment 40, on John 4:46-53 By the words “it was at the point of death,” the teaching of those who claim that the soul is immortal is refuted. In agreement with this is the statement that “the body and soul are destoyed in Hell.” (Matthew 10:28) The soul is not immortal, but is possessed only of a disposition towards salvation, for it is the perishable which puts on imperishability and the mortal which puts on immortality when “its death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54) (Heracleon: Fragments from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)

The soul is temporary.

The Odes of Solomon not part of the nag hammadi library however it is an important document since it is a early christian hymn book from the second century CE

Ode 6:14) They have refreshed the parched lips, and have aroused the paralysed will. 
15) Even souls who were about to expire, they have seized from death. 

And when we heard these things, we became elated, for we had been depressed on account of what we had said earlier. Now when he saw our rejoicing, he said: "Woe to you who are in want of an advocate! Woe to you who are in need of grace! Blessed are those who have spoken freely and have produced grace for themselves. Make yourselves like strangers; of what sort are they in the estimation of your city? Why are you troubled when you oust yourselves of your own accord and depart from your city? Why do you abandon your dwelling place of your own accord, readying it for those who desire to dwell in it? O you exiles and fugitives! Woe to you, because you will be caught! Or perhaps you imagine that the Father is a lover of humanity? Or that he is persuaded by prayers? Or that he is gracious to one on behalf of another? Or that he bears with one who seeks? For he knows the desire and also that which the flesh needs. Because it is not the flesh which yearns for the soul. For without the soul the body does not sin, just as the soul is not saved without the Spirit. But if the soul is saved when it is without evil, and if the spirit also is saved, then the body becomes sinless. For it is the spirit which animates the soul, but it is the body which kills it - that is, it is the soul which kills itself. (The Apocryphon of James)

The Treatise of the Resurrection:

"From the savior we radiate beams, and we are held in his arms until our own sunset, our death in this life. We are drawn to heaven by him, like beams, by the sun, and nothing holds us down. This is the resurrection of the spirit, which swallows up the soul and the flesh."

Tripartite Tractate:

"They became flesh and soul, that is, eternally which (things) hold them and with corruptible things they die. "

The Gospel of Philip:

"Adam’s soul came from a breath. The soul’s companion is spirit, and the spirit given to him is his mother. His soul was [taken] from him and replaced with [spirit]. "

Apocalypse of Peter:

"For evil cannot produce good fruit. For the place from which each of them is produces that which is like itself; for not every soul is of the truth, nor of immortality"
Hell is this World
Origen and theologian Gregory of Nyssa thought of hell as a place of separation from God—of spiritual suffering

The Authors of the Nag Hammadi library have the same understanding that the world itself is Hell.

And he put to shame the ruler of Hades; he raised the dead, and he destroyed his dominion.
Then a great disturbance took place. The archons raised up their wrath against him. They wanted to hand him over to the ruler of Hades. Then they recognized one of his followers. A fire took hold of his soul. He (Judas?) handed him over, since no one knew him (Jesus?). They acted and seized him. They brought judgment upon themselves. And they delivered him up to the ruler of Hades.
And they handed him over to Sasabek for nine bronze coins. He prepared himself to go down and put them to shame. Then the ruler of Hades took him. And he found that the nature of his flesh could not be seized, in order to show it to the archons. But he was saying: "Who is this? What is it?
His word has abolished the law of the aeon. He is from the Logos of the power of life." And he was victorious over the command of the archons, and they were not able by their work to rule over him.

For the Son of Man clothed himself with their first-fruits; he went down to Hades and performed many mighty works. He raised the dead therein; and the world-rulers of darkness became envious of him, for they did not find sin in him. But he also destroyed their works from among men, so that the lame, the blind, the paralytic, the dumb, (and) the demon-possessed were granted healing.And he walked upon the waters of the sea. For this reason he destroyed his flesh from [...] which he [...]. And he became [...] salvation [...] his death ... ... (4 lines unrecoverable) [The Testimony of Truth]

In the book called Thomas the Contender fire is a symbol of the fiery lustful and sexual passions of the natural body that makes the mind drunk the the soul deranged. the main theme of the text is ascetic (the passions of the body versus the tranquility of wisdom and self control):

Then the savior continued and said, "O unsearchable love of the light! O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men and in their marrow, kindling in them night and day, and burning the limbs of men and [making] their minds become drunk and their souls become deranged.

"Woe to you who hope in the flesh and in the prison that will perish! How long will you be oblivious? And how long will you suppose that the imperishables will perish too? Your hope is set upon the world, and your god is this life! You are corrupting your souls!
Do not fear the flesh nor love it.
If you fear the flesh it will gain mastery over you.
If you love the flesh it will paralyze and engulf you. (Gospel of Philip)

Hell is being trapped and controlled by your emotions

And so he dwells either in this world or in the resurrection or in the middle place. God forbid that I be found in there! In this world, there is good and evil. Its good things are not good, and its evil things not evil. But there is evil after this world which is truly evil – what is called “the middle”. It is death. While we are in this world, it is fitting for us to acquire the resurrection, so that when we strip off the flesh, we may be found in rest and not walk in the middle. (The Gospel of Philip)

Hell, to the Cathars, was not a remote place under the Earth. For them Hell was here and now. The world itself, the creation of the Bad God, was the only Hell they knew. Torture, pain and misery of this life was all the Hell they needed to contemplate.

Hell is a Condition of the Mind

As a condition Hell would symbolize consuming desires

One does not have to die in order to go to hell, any more than one has to die to go to heaven. Both are states of mind, and conditions, which people experience as a direct outworking of their thoughts, beliefs, words, and acts. If one's mental processes are out of harmony with the law of God, they result in trouble and sorrow; mental as well as bodily anguish overtakes one, and this is hell.
(Charles Fillmore)

'Hell' is our separation from God's love, which leads us to reason judgmentally, and, in turn, live barren lives. 

"Hell is the fire that burns in our conscience, the fire of despair because of our separation from God." (Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, (Harper & Row, 1967), p. XXVII, p. 64.) 

"Fire symbolizes consuming desires and ignorance of God." (Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Paul, p. 61) In effect, for Paul, hell is living in the thinking of the flesh our judgmental reasoning separates us from God and the understanding that we have fellowship with our heavenly father.

Hades refers to the outer darkness, the consciousness of the carnal mind, in contrast to the inner or spiritual consciousness of light. To live in the outer darkness is to live according to the flesh 

Hades denotes the burying out of sight, out of thought and mind, of that above which the overcomer has risen, of that which has become inactive in his consciousness. (Charles Fillmore)

What the Hell is Gehenna?

Logos the reasoning mind of God

Logos the reasoning mind of God

"In the Beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. This was in the Beginning with God. Through it everything was done; and without it not even one thing was done, which has been done. In it was Life; and the LIFE was the LIGHT of MEN....
And the Logos became Flesh, and dwelt among us,--and we beheld his GLORY, a Glory as of an Only-begotten Son from the Father,--full of Grace and Truth" (John 1:1-4, 14).

Logos is the Greek word for the reasoning mind of the Deity. Corresponding Greek words which have a similar meaning to logos are spirit, will, mind, and wisdom. Wisdom is the practical equivalent of logos or word. The Greek speaking Jews saw wisdom has been virtually identical with God's will and word or reason that is (logos).

The Greek word Logos can be translated into many different English words


Logos' can strictly refer to the inner thought which is expressed outwardly in words and other communication. The extent of the concept was that behind spoken words were thoughts.

Thoughts were mind. Mind has a close link with reason. Reason was the structure of orderly action…that ultimate reality was reasonable, was in fact reason itself."

And because human beings have the capacity to reason, it was taught by Jesus and the early Christians that our destiny is to "make contact with divine reason and, like God, discern ultimate truths

Logos also means man's ability to recognise reality. It is man's ability to reason.

Logos is the anointing power of the Father the divine light, the living Word, or Word of the Eternal Spirit, and it causes all things; all things were made by it. Jesus expressed the Logos in its fullness, and He became the Logos, or Word, made flesh. In other words, Jesus united Himself in thought, word, and deed with this Heavenly Christ, Logos, Word, creative principle of God, in which are all the ideas in the Divine Mind--life, light, love wisdom.  thus throughout His entire life Jesus showed forth the glory and perfection of the Father.

The Word, Logos, Thought of God, the anointing spirit or Christ, in which is the creative power of the Father-God, is the foundation principle, of the true inner self of every believer.

The Heavenly Places in Christ

Ap James 15.13-23. And when we had passed beyond that place, we sent our mind(s) farther upwards and saw with our eyes and heard with our ears hymns and angelic benedictions and angelic rejoicing. And heavenly majesties were singing praise, and we too rejoiced.

In this text, the disciples mentally ascend to heaven, where they join the heavenly worship.

Disc. 8-9, 56.22—57.9. Lord, grant us a wisdom from your power that reaches us, so that we may describe to ourselves the vision off the eighth and the ninth. We have already advanced to the seventh, since we are pious and walk in your law. . . . Lord, grant us the truth in the image. Allow us through the spirit to see the form of the image that has no deficiency, and receive the reflection of the pleroma from us through our praise.

Here, the speakers pray for the ability to ascend to the eighth and ninth heavens so that they may have the heavenly vision of God
How can persons in “heavenly places” still be on earth?

"God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace" (Eph 2:6,7).

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians speaks of Christians then living on earth as though they were in heaven, being raised up and “seated . . . together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 1:3; 2:6) The context shows that true believers are so viewed by God because of his having ‘assigned them an inheritance’ with his Son in the restored Kingdom on earth.

They have been exalted, or ‘lifted up,’ by faith into the heavenly places. (Eph 1:11, 18-20; 2:4-7, 22) With this in mind it helps us to understand the figurative visions in the book of Revelation 11:12.

Likewise it provides a key for understanding the symbolic vision in Daniel 8:9-12, where the goat which has previously been shown to signify a political power is spoken of as “getting greater all the way to the army of the heavens,” and even causing some of that army and of the stars to fall to the earth.

Note, too, the symbolic use of stars in the book of Revelation, chapters 1 through 3, where the context shows that such “stars” refer to persons who are obviously living on earth and undergoing earthly experiences and temptations, these “stars” being responsible for churches under their care.—Reve 1:20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14.

IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS: A present situation -- having access with God (cp Eph 2:4,5,7,18). Our heavenly calling (Heb 3:1), from the heavenly Father (Mat 18:35), through a heavenly word (John 3:12), presents to us a heavenly status (Eph 2:6), as we await a heavenly image (1Co 15:48,49), to be a heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), in a heavenly country (Heb 11:16), within a heavenly kingdom (2Tim 4:18). All this constitutes Christ's brethren as a heavenly people of God! they are the congregation of the chosen ones

the Heavenlies in Christ are not luoghi, heux, or places, but STATES. the Christ consciousness bestows states of joy, peace, and happiness to those who enter into it. All these are heavenly “places” or conditions of mind and soul.

There are 2 types of Heavenlies when he speaks of the heavenlies in which "the spirituals of wickedness" are found he omits the phrase "in Christ Hence, the two kinds of supernal states are characterized by being "in Christ" or not in Christ; which is equivalent to being out of Christ - outside,

Paul tells the saints in Ephesus, that he with them were "blessed with all spiritual blessings" in these heavenlies; in which they and Christ, though the latter is at the Right Hand of the Divine Majesty, and they in Ephesus and elsewhere, were regarded as sitting together (Eph. 1:20; 2:6). A heavenly is a constituted supernal state. It may be Divinely constituted, or constituted by human authority. We have these two kinds of heaven-ies in Paul's letter to the saints in Ephesus. In ch. 6:12, he alludes to the heavenlies constituted by human authority.

The heavenlies in Christ are 3 states answering to the 3 places of the tabernacle of Moses, the  outer court, holy place and the most holy place these 3 places in the tabernacle correspond to the 3 spiritual realm of Olam/Aeon

These apocalyptic temple states answer to the Altar-Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy within the Vail of the Mosaic Building. The apocalyptic Altar-Court and the Holy Place are what Paul styles in Eph. i. 3, "the Heavenlies in Christ." They are constituted of "the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus," who are partakers with the Altar, and worshippers therein (1 Cor. ix. 13; x. 18; Heb. xiii. 10; Apoc. xi. 1).

 Being in Jesus and the Father, they must be, in a certain sense, where Jesus and the Father are. Alluding to this fact, Paul says in Heb. 12:23, "22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.",

But Paul says that Jesus is at the Father's own Right Hand. True; but he also says, that "being justified by faith, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." In other words, we have admission to the Father in heaven by faith; and when a person is permitted access to a place, and avails himself of the permission, he is in some sense certainly there; and when there in this certain sense, he is "dwelling in the heaven" in the presence of "the Judge of all."

 entrance into the tabernacle gate is by faith For it is the domain of faith,

How, then, does a sinner come to "dwell in the heavens"? By being "transformed in the renewing of his mind" "by knowledge" (Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:10); that he may discern and do "that good and acceptable and Perfect will of the Deity." In other words, by believing the gospel of the Kingdom and Name; and being immersed into and upon that Name. In so doing, he enters into the Holy Heavenly State.

By faith in "the truth as it is in Jesus," and obedience, he puts on Christ, and is therefore, "in Him;" and being in him, he is constituted holy or a saint; and sitting together with him in the Most Holy, not personally, or corporeally rather; but by faith. This is his present adoption through Jesus Christ, by which he becomes a son of Deity, of Abraham, and a brother of Christ himself (Gal. 3:26-29); and a "dweller in the heavens."

What the Hell is Gehenna?

What the Hell is Gehenna?

Gehenna” means “valley of Hinnom,” for it is the Greek form of the Hebrew geh hin·nom´. In Jos 18:16, where “valley of Hinnom” occurs, LXX reads “Gehenna.” It occurs 12 times in the New Testament, first appearing in Mt 5:22.

The valley of Hinnom lay to the west and south of ancient Jerusalem. (Jos 15:8; 18:16; Jer 19:2, 6) Under the later kings of Judah it was used for the false worship of a pagan god, to which human sacrifices were offered by fire. (2Ch 28:3; 33:6; Jer 7:31, 32; 32:35) To prevent its use again for such religious purposes, faithful King Josiah had the valley polluted.—2Ki 23:10.

The valley of Hinnom became the dumping place and burning waste material for the filth of Jerusalem. Bodies of dead animals were thrown in to be consumed in the fires to which sulphur, or brimstone, was added to assist the burning. Also bodies of executed criminals, who were considered undeserving of a decent burial in a memorial tomb, were thrown in. If such dead bodies landed in the fire they were consumed, but if their carcasses landed upon a ledge of the deep ravine their putrefying flesh became infested with worms, or maggots, which did not die until they had consumed the fleshy parts, leaving only the skeletons.

No living animals or human creatures were pitched into Gehenna to be burned alive or tormented. Hence, the place could never symbolize an invisible region where human souls are tormented eternally in literal fire or attacked forever by undying worms. Because the dead criminals cast there were denied a decent burial in a memorial tomb, the symbol of the hope of a resurrection, Gehenna was used by Jesus and his disciples to symbolize everlasting destruction, annihilation from God’s universe, or “second death,” an eternal punishment.

Therefore, to have one’s dead body cast into Gehenna was considered the worst kind of punishment. From the literal Gehenna and its significance, the symbol of the ‘lake burning with fire and sulphur’ was drawn.—Re 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8.

The Biblical use of Gehenna as a symbol corresponds to that of “the lake of fire” in the book of Revelation

. It is evident that Jesus used Gehenna as a symbol of utter destruction resulting from judgement of God, hence with no resurrection to bodily life being possible. (Mt 10:28; Lu 12:4, 5) The scribes and Pharisees as a wicked class were denounced as ‘subjects for Gehenna.’ (Mt 23:13-15, 33) To avoid such destruction, Jesus’ followers were to get rid of anything causing spiritual stumbling, the ‘cutting off of a hand or foot’ and the ‘tearing out of an eye’ figuratively representing their deadening of these body members with reference to sin.—Mt 18:9; Mr 9:43-47; Col 3:5; compare Mt 5:27-30.

Jesus also quoted from Isaiah 66:24 in describing Gehenna as a place “where their maggot does not die and the fire is not put out.” (Mr 9:47, 48) That the symbolic picture here is not one of torture but, rather, of complete destruction is evident from the fact that the Isaiah text dealt, not with persons who were alive, but with “the carcasses of the men that were transgressing” against God. If, as the available evidence indicates, the Valley of Hinnom was a place for the disposal of garbage and carcasses, fire, perhaps increased in intensity by the addition of sulfur (compare Isa 30:33), would be the only suitable means to eliminate such refuse. Where the fire did not reach, worms, or maggots, would breed, consuming anything not destroyed by the fire. On this basis, Jesus’ words would mean that the destructive effect of God’s judgement would not cease until complete destruction was attained.
Gehenna means the place of purification 

James the brother of Jesus uses the word “Gehenna” to show that an unruly tongue is itself a world of unrighteousness and that one’s whole round of living can be affected by fiery words that defile the speaker’s body. The tongue of such a one, “full of death-dealing poison” and so giving evidence of a bad heart condition, can cause the person to be sentenced by God to go to the symbolic Gehenna.—Jas 3:6, 8; compare Mt 12:37; Ps 5:9; 140:3; Ro 3:13.

The purifying fires of the mind. Our God is a consuming fire, and when judgements, or times of tribulations take place in our consciousness, the wrong thought is utterly consumed, swallowed up, by the love and perfection and Truth of Spirit.

Solom 8:6 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for love is strong as death. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a very flame of Yahweh.

There will be no termination of these cleansing, purifying processes until there is no more refuse to be burned, then this fire of God will express in us as eternal life.

1Cor 3:13-15 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Again, "Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings ?" Not the wicked, but "he that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly" (Isa. 33:14-16).

The purifying fires of the soul are symbolized by the fires of Gehenna.

Gehenna--Represents the cleansing fire of Spirit, which consumes all the dross of sense and materiality.

Our God is a consuming fire, and when judgments, or times of separation of the true from the false, take place in our consciousness, the error is utterly consumed, swallowed up, by the love and perfection and Truth of Spirit. There will be no cessation of these cleansing, purifying processes until there is no more refuse to be burned, then this fire of God will express in us as eternal life. "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. But who can abide the day of his coming ? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi" (Mal. 3:1-3). Again, "Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire ? who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings ?" Not the wicked, but "he that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly" (Isa. 33:14-16).

The sinners in Zion are afraid;
Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
He who despises the gain of oppressions,
16 He will dwell on high;
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
Bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.