Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday 29 July 2021

By grace are ye saved Ephesians 2:8




Ephesians 2:8, 9 "By grace are ye saved . . . it is the gift of God . . . not of works, lest any man should boast.


This passage is used by some Christians to justify their doctrine of "eternal security" when "Jesus comes into the heart". This "eternal security" is said to be independent of subsequent works. 

Let it be said at the outset that one cannot obtain salvation as a return for works done. The law taught this lesson. (Gal. 2:21; Rom. 3:21; 5:21).

There are two sides to salvation. The divine side which is grace and the human side which is obedient faith. some Christians argue that if one "works" for salvation then the reward is paid as wages rather than a gift. This is an over-simplification. God gives us food, but we must work for it. God gave Joshua the city of Jericho, but he was still commanded to march around the walls for seven days. (Josh. 6:2, 4). Likewise salvation is the free gift of God, but man must comply with the conditions.

It is true to say that no man can ever be saved without the grace of God, but there are other characteristics required in the receiver of grace, for salvation. The following is a list:
"For we are saved by hope." (Rom. 8:24).
"Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God . . ." (Rom. 5:1).
"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all men that obey him." (Heb. 5:9).
"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us . . ." (1 Peter 3:21).
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7).
". . . Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12).
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:24).
"Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:40).
"By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you . . . " (1 Cor. 15:2).

Grace involves three things: a giver, a gift, and a receiver. From these passages it is clear that the receiver must demonstrate hope, faith, obedience, baptism, works, and that he also saves himself.

The question as to which single characteristic saves the man is an abstraction. An illustration is helpful. A man who has fallen into the river screams for help. A man on the bank runs with a rope and throws it to the man in the river. He catches hold and is pulled to safety. What saved him? Was it his scream? Was it the rope? Was it the man on the bank? Did he save himself? Or was it all of these working together?

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12

Ultimate salvation is not now a present possession. The following passages indicate this:
". . . he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matt. 10:22).
". . . the gospel . . . by which ye also are saved if ye keep in memory what I have preached unto you . . ." (1 Cor. 15:1, 2).
". . . give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." (2 Peter 1:10).
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God . . . lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." (Heb. 3:12-14).


The logic of Calvinism has a superficial impressiveness. When examples are cited of "saved" members who have fallen away (e.g. drunkards, who will be excluded from the kingdom, Gal. 5:19-21), these Christians reply by stating that such individuals never were really "saved". This is not logical since security has been purchased at the price of truth.


Almost without exception, those who are quick to stress Eph. 2:8 are the very ones who dismiss baptism as a mere outward sign of an inward change. When such occasions arise Gal. 3:27 ("For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ"), should be emphasized. It is also impressive to cite the baptism of Paul, since it can be shown that a man can be "converted" (Acts 22:10), but does not have his sins washed away until baptized. (Acts 22:16 cf. Acts 2:38, 41).

Conditional Grace
God’s grace has been offered to the entire human family. “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men . . .” (Titus 2:11). This cannot mean that every soul will be saved. Such a conclusion would contradict numerous other passages.

What this does suggest is that God’s grace is potentially available to all who care to access it by means of the divine plan of redemption (cf. Romans 5:1; 6:3-4,17).

The receiving of God’s grace is conditional. Some Christians get this wrong asserts that grace is bestowed unconditionally by the sovereign will of God. The Bible negates this concept.

The principle is illustrated by the example of Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of Yahweh” (Genesis 6:8); and yet, as the writer of Hebrews shows, Noah and his family were saved by preparing an ark in obedience to God’s instruction (11:7; cf. Genesis 6:22). Yahweh proffered the grace. Noah, by faith, obeyed Yahweh, and so was blessed. While God extends grace, human beings must be willing to “receive” the favour (2 Corinthians 6:1).

Grace is conditional and requires something on our part: faith.

Justification– “A man is justified by faith” (Romans 3:28)
Sanctification– “sanctification by…faith in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
Glorification– “[Jesus will] present you before Him (God) holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if you indeed continue in the faith.” (Colossians 1:22)
The Grace/Knowledge Connection

1 Corinthians 1:4-7

4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,
5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all discourse and all knowledge,
6 just as the witness about the Christ has been made firm among you,
7 so that YOU do not fall short in any gift at all, while YOU are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ

Grace is expanded into "discourse and all knowledge,” v5 endowments with which the Corinthians were especially favoured

The access to God’s grace is by means of an objective body of revelation. Paul noted: “For the grace of God hath appeared . . . instructing us . . .” (Titus 2:11-12). Christianity is a taught religion. Isaiah, speaking of the kingdom age, proclaimed: “. . . he will teach us of his ways . . .” (2:3). Jesus himself declared: “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and has learned, comes unto me” (John 6:45).

God’s grace is not dispensed apart from an instruction that requires both understanding and obedience. In these days when there is a tendency to “stampede” folks into the church, with little  comprehension of what they are doing, this is a crucial matter to emphasise.
Grace Is Not Earned
Grace excludes merit. We must constantly remind ourselves that humanity is not deserving of salvation. No one can “earn” pardon by works of human merit. If such were the case, we could boast regarding our redemption; however, that is impossible (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Even if one were able to perform everything God commands, he still must regard himself as an “unprofitable servant” (Luke 17:10). Jesus taught that our sins have put us head-over-heels in debt, and no person has the ability to liquidate that obligation (cf. Matthew 18:24-27).

When this concept is truly comprehend, service to Almighty God will flow with a freshness and zeal that invigorates the soul. Doubtless a failure to comprehend fully the true significance of grace is the reason many church members are spiritually inactive.


"Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17); that is, the real saving, redeeming, transforming power came to man through the work that Jesus did in establishing for the race a new and higher consciousness in the earth. We can enter into this consciousness by faith in Him and by means of the inner spirit of the law that He taught and practiced.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

infant baptism

Infant baptism





History
The origins of infant baptism are uncertain.

The first incontestable evidence for the practice of infant baptism comes in the writings of Tertullian. He asks,Why should innocent infancy be in such a hurry to come to the forgiveness of sins? Let them come while they are maturing, while they are learning, while they are being taught what it is they are coming to. Let them be made Christians when they have become able to know Christ. (On Baptism 18.5 quoted in Pelikan, 290)

Cathar teachings shared by the Waldensians became defining features of Protestant belief. Many of these teachings follow from the rejection of Roman Catholic "tradition" in favour of scripture. Examples include the rejection of a priesthood, the rejection of graven images and the idolatry associated with them, rejection of the cults of saints and relics, denial of Purgatory, and a rejection of the Roman Church's sacraments.

Protestants, like Cathars, rejected the medieval Roman doctrine of transubstantiation and infant baptism.

For the Cathars, infant baptism with water was not merely unscriptural, it was an appanage of the bad god Jehovah, and had been expressly rejected by Christ. (Taken from https://www.cathar.info/cathar_legacy.htm)

The doctrine of baptism
BAPTISM is an act of obedience required of all who believe the Gospel. It is a bodily immersion in, and not a face-sprinkling or head-pouring with, water. Its administration to infants, in any form, is unauthorized and useless;* it is only enjoined on those who have intelligence enough to believe the glad tidings of the kingdom of God and the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ. To such, it is the means of that present (legal) union with Christ, which is preparatory to perfect assimilation at the resurrection. It is, therefore, necessary to salvation.

If the reader of the New Testament will substitute for the words 'baptise' and baptism'wherever used, the words *pour' or ' sprinkle,' or their substantives, he cannot fail to perceive that such construction is frequently senseless and incongruous: but if he will use the words to immerse' or 'immersion,' he will readily perceive that they harmonise in every instance with the sense and figure


The evil effect of inquiring of God's word in order to sustain an adopted theory, is manifest in the pertinacity with which theologians wrest the scripture, in order to build up one of their imaginations—infant baptism. The Saviour says, Mat. xix. 14, " Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." If the kingdom of heaven be sinless, then little children are sinless, for such as they compose it the Lord himself hath declared. Paul asserts, Rom. iv. 15, "Where no law is, there is no transgression;" and John says, I. Epis. iii. 4, " Sin is the transgression of law." But the wildest theorist has never yet pretended that infants can transgress or be amenable to any law, human or divine. No transgression no sin, say the apostles, and thus with their Great Master bear testimony to the innocence of children. Baptism is instituted by the Lord for remission of sins. Surely nothing but a strong delusion could persuade mankind to take from the penitent believing sinner this gracious institution, this balm for all his fears, and confer it on those who can neither believe nor sin.

Infants are made the subjects of a religious ceremony to regenerate them because of original sin; on account of which, acoording to Geneva philosophy they are liable to the flames of hell for ever! If original sin, which is in fact sin in the flesh, were neutralized, then all "baptismally regenerated" babes ought to live for ever, as Adam would have done had he eaten of the Tree of Life after he had sinned. But they die; which is a proof that the "regeneration" does not "cure their souls"; and is, therefore, mere theological quackery. 

Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized  shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
-*Maarrkk xvi, 16, l<f.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.—/no. iii, 6. Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. * * * Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.
—Actt ii, 38, 41.

And when they (the people of Samaria) believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both MEN AND WOMEN.—Acts viii, 12.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and HE BAPTIZED HIM.—Actt viii, 39.

Paul (after his conversion) arose and WAS BXTTizvD.—Acts ix, 18.

Lydia was BAPTIZED, and her household.—Acts xvi, 15.

The keeper of the prison (at Philippi) * • * v a s BAPTIZED, he and all his straightway, * * * believing in God with all his house.—Acts zvi, 27, 33, 34.

When they (twelve men at Ephesus) heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.—Acts xix, o.

The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.—1 "Peter iii, 21.

At what age should one be immersed?

Preferably when one has reached the age of reason, however infant Baptisms or baby sprinkling, are meaningless and useless.

We reject that infant baptism or baby sprinkling is a doctrine of Scripture. [Baptism is only valid upon a confession of understanding the complete Will and purpose of God. It is the outward manifestation of an inner conviction — Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12.]


We reject that baptism is not necessary to salvation. [Baptism establishes a covenant-relationship, and is an act of obedience required for salvation — Acts 2:38.]

We reject that a knowledge of the Truth is not necessary to make baptism valid. [Baptism is only valid upon a knowledge of God’s revealed will and purpose, and an open declaration and confession thereof — Acts 8:12.]

Tuesday 27 July 2021

The Soul is Temporary

The Soul is Temporary


Next the psychic aeon. It is a small one, which is mixed with bodies, by begetting in the souls (and) defiling (them). For the first defilement of the creation found strength. And it begot every work: many works of wrath, anger, envy, malice, hatred, slander, contempt and war, lying and evil counsels, sorrows and pleasures, basenesses and defilements, falsehoods and diseases, evil judgments that they decree according to their desires. (The Concept of Our Great Power)

This realm of things made, or consciousness of condition, is termed the soul. The body is the outer court of the soul, and an exact representative, in form, of the ideals that are revolving in the inner realms of its domain.

soulduality of the--That phase of the soul named subconsciousness, which draws its life from both the earthly side of existence and the spiritual; it answers to both good and evillight and darkness.


I believe both canonical and gnostic text support the teaching that the soul is temporary.

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."

Revelation 6:9:
"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne."

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"


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

Heracleon: Fragments from his Commentary on the Gospel of John Fragment 40

Fragment 40, on John 4:46-53 (In John 4:46, “So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose child was ill.) The official was the Craftsman, for he himself ruled like a king over those under him. Because his domain is small and transitory, he was called an “official,” like a petty princeling who is set over a small kingdom by the universal king. The “child” “in Capernaun” is one who is in the lower part of the Middle (i.e. of animate substance), which lies near the sea, that is, which is linked with matter. The child’s proper person was sick, that is, in a condition not in accordance with the child’s proper nature, in ignorance and sins. (In John 4:47, “When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his child , for it was at the point of death.”) The words “from Judea to Galilee” mean ‘from the Judea above.’. . . 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

14 The demons are said to be incorporeal, not because they have no bodies (for they have even shape and are, therefore, capable of feeling punishment), but they are said to be incorporeal because, in comparison with the spiritual bodies which are saved, they are a shade. And the angels are bodies; at any rate they are seen. Why even the soul is a body, for the Apostle says, “It is sown a body of soul, it is raised a body of spirit.” And how can the souls which are being punished be sensible of it, if they are not bodies? Certainly he says, “Fear him who, after death, is able to cast soul and body into hell.” Now that which is visible is not purged by fire, but is dissolved into dust. But, from the story of Lazarus and Dives, the soul is directly shown by its possession of bodily limbs to be a body.

The Scriptures give spirit, soul, and body as constituting all of man.

12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul [ ψυχή psykhḗand spirit [ πνεῦμα pneuma], and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart (Hebrews 4). Compare Php 1:27; 1Th 5:23.

The “spirit” (Heb., ruach; Gr., pneuma) should not be confused with the “soul” (Heb., nephesh; Gr., psykhe´), for they refer to different things.


Paul the Apostle used ψυχή (psychē) and πνεῦμα (pneuma) specifically to distinguish between the Jewish notions of נפש (nephesh) and רוח ruah (spirit)


So the soul and the spirit are two different things, and the difference between them is explained by the bible.


7 And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground [he made the body] and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life [he put a spirit in the body], and the man came to be a living soul [body + spirit = living soul] (Genesis 2).



1 Corinthians 15:44  It is sown a body of the soul, it is raised a body of the spirit; if there is a body of the soul, there is also of the spirit:--

45  Thus, also, it is written--The first man, Adam, became, a living soul, the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
46  Howbeit, not first, is the body of the spirit, but that, of the soul,--afterwards, that of the spirit. (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible)


1 Corinthians 15:53  For this corruptible must needs clothe itself with incorruptibility, and this mortal, clothe itself, with immortality.
54  But, whensoever, this mortal, shall clothe itself with immortality, then, shall be brought to pass the saying that is written--Death hath been swallowed up, victoriously; (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible)

Definition: A Body is a physical or spiritual vessel. In other words a human or angelic body.
Definition: A Soul is a human or angelic body.
Definition: A Dead Soul is a dead body
Definition: A Spirit is a character, a personality. It is 'you'.

Human Person = Spirit + Physical Body = Lining Soul (human)
Corpse = Physical Body with no Spirit = Dead Soul (human)
Angelic Person = Spirit + Angelic Body = Soul (angelic)
Second Dead angel = Spirit with Shared angelic Body = Spirit with no individual Soul (angelic).

Sunday 25 July 2021

Do the AEONS describe a path?

Do the AEONS describe a path?




Article by William Charnock taken from https://www.nockwoodcards.com/single-post/beyond-archetypes-do-the-aeons-describe-a-path


Beyond archetypes: Do the AEONS describe a path?

And then it struck me.

The origin mythos of the Gnostics describes the emanations of the Aeons that start with the ineffable being and roll out through the different aeons to the youngest of the Aeons Sophia. The bridge between the earthly and divine domains. This journey from the ineffable, via the knowable forces of the Aeons, to the chaos of our material world, is referenced in chapter 6 of the Pistis Sophia.

Then Jesus, the compassionate, said unto them: "Rejoice and exult from this hour on, for I have gone to the regions out of which I had come forth… From this hour on will I not hide anything from you of the [mystery] of the height and of that of the region of Truth. For authority hath been given me through the Ineffable and through the First Mystery of all mysteries to speak with you, from the Beginning right up to the Fulness, both from within without and from without within. Hearken, therefore, that I may tell you all things. Pistis Sophia.

Because the story was always told from the origin out, I had never really thought about the pathway “from the Beginning right up to the fullness”. The beginning in this instance being the repentance and rejection of the realm of darkness and created by the lion headed Demiurge.

While I had written much about the syzygies (link) of the decad and the dodecad. The 22 aeons (24 if you include Anthropos and Ecclesia) [Editor's note see Revelation 4:4]. I had not seen them as a pathway before with a beginning and an end. Where the journey of enlightenment starts and the fulfillment is realized.

Jesus said “Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death.” Book of Thomas, Saying 18.

In this direction it makes sense that the path of enlightenment starts with Sophia for she was the Aeon who transgressed the realm of the Aeons and in doing so created the chaos. (It also explains why the symbol of Sophia is on the cover of the AEON book).

I elaborate on all of these steps in the Syzygies of Aeon but not as a linear progression but here for anyone interested is the reversed path.

Starting from the Earthly realm:

Step 1: Sophia (Wisdom) and Theletus (Perfection): The desire of Gnosis and improvement. The realization that the material realm is imperfect and must be rejected.

Step 2: Ecclesiasticus (son of the church) and Macariotes (Utopia): To do what is right and true to ourselves so that we might be blessed. The power to give and receive. Communion

Step 3: Ainos (Praise) and Synesis (Understanding): To find the divine in ourselves so that we might know the divine in others. Rites and Sacraments.

Step 4: Metricos (Mother) and Agape (Love): To give of yourself, to create and bring forth love. The power to renew and fuel new life. Resurrection.

Step 5: Patricos (Father) and Elpis (Hope): Responsibility to protect and die for a legacy and future you believe in. Transcendence of self.

Step 6: Paracletus (Helper) and Pistis (Faith): To build reciprocity and trust. Faith in self and others comes before faith in God.


Moving into the realm of the divine:


Step 7: Monogenes (Originality) and Macaria (Happiness): The power to create what makes you happy. Explore your True nature. Build your inner compass.

Step 8: Acinetos (Immovable) and Syncrasis (Intercourse): The power to combine our true nature with others to find new potential. Revealing new understanding of our self in different combinations and contexts.

Step 9: Autophyes (Self-Made) and Hedone (Pleasure): The power to find self satisfaction and the satisfaction of others. What we bring forth is not only for ourselves but for others.

Step 10: Ageratos (Eternal) and Henosis (Union): The power of our intimacies. The secret of eternal life comes only from our togetherness.

Step 11: Bythos (Depth) and Mixis (Stir-up): The power of infinite growth comes from both the deeper understanding of your own being and the agitations and reactions with others of equal depth of knowledge.

Step 12: Anthropos (Mankind) and Ecclesia (Congregation): The two modes of being (personal and social) for which we must achieve cohesion and coherence. Personal wholeness reveals our true nature, body, mind and spirit. Integrated self-ness. Social and collective ‘ wholeness’ from which we find harmony and balance within our environment and society.