Wednesday 31 May 2023

The Twelve Apostles as a type of the Twelve Aeons Matthew 10:1-4

The Twelve Apostles as a type of the Dodecad
The Twelve Apostles as a type of the Twelve Aeons

Matthew 10:1 And he called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. 
10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 
10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
10:4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

There are four lists of the apostles -- in Matthew 10, Mark 3, Luke 6 and Acts 1. The order of names is not the same, but each list is divisible into three quaternions. In each of these groups the order varies, but the names are the same. Thus, Peter and Andrew, James and John are always together. Next come Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, whilst the last group is James the son of Alphaeus, Simon Zelotes, Judas of James, also called Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus, and, always last, Judas Iscariot, replaced in Acts.1 by Matthias.

apostles--Those sent forth (emanations); messengers; ambassadors; active spiritual thoughts (aspects of the divine mind). Jesus conferred this title on the Twelve whom He sent forth to teach and to heal.

From the writings of Irenaeus of Lyons we learn that some Gnostic Sects understood the Twelve Apostles as a type of the aeons:

He chose the apostles with this view, that by means of them He might show forth the Aeons who are in the Pleroma (Irenaeus of Lyons)

Jesus saw the twelve Apostles as a figure of the twelve faculties of the Divine Mind which expanded from the Deity

Now it is to the twelve apostles that you shall go, for they are elect spirits, and they will greet you." (The Coptic Apocalypse of Paul)

The apostles, as emissaries or messengers, sent forth by Jesus to teach and heal, representing active spiritual thoughts or aspects of the divine mind "for they are elect spirits". 

First the aeons are aspects or attributes of the Father which emanate from the mind of the Father. The aeons are also separate spiritual beings which emanate from the Father's substance 

Altogether there are 30 aeons collectively called the Triacontad the last group of emanations is called the Dodecad meaning Twelve

According to the Gnostic interpretation of the New Testament, Jesus chose the twelve apostles to represent the twelve Aeons, which are aspects or attributes of the Father that emanate from his mind. The Aeons are also seen as separate spiritual beings that emanate from the Father's substance. 

The group of thirty Aeons is collectively called the Triacontad, and the final group of twelve Aeons is called the Dodecad.

In Gnosticism, the aeons are viewed as emanations or attributes of the ultimate divine being, often referred to as the Father or the Monad (The One). These aeons exist within the Pleroma, a term used to describe the fullness or completeness of the divine realm. The aeons are seen as spiritual beings that emanate from the Father's substance and collectively they represent the fullness of the divine qualities or aspects. The last group of emanations is known as the Dodecad, which represents the twelve primary aspects of the divine mind. In this context, the twelve apostles can be seen as representing these twelve aspects of the divine mind, which Jesus used to reveal or manifest the fullness of the divine to humanity.

The Twelve
Twelve. The patriarch Jacob had 12 sons, who became the foundations of the 12 tribes of Israel. Their offspring were organized by God under the Law covenant as God’s nation. Twelve therefore seems to represent a complete, balanced, divinely constituted arrangement. (Ge 35:22; 49:28) Jesus chose 12 apostles, who form the secondary foundations of the New Jerusalem, built upon Jesus Christ. (Mt 10:2-4; Re 21:14) There are 12 tribes of “the sons of [spiritual] Israel,” each tribe consisting of 12,000 members.—Re 7:4-8.

Joshua had taken 12 stones out of Jordan, as a token of Israel's dedication to turn the Land of Promise into God's Kingdom. Jesus ("Joshua") now selects 12 men (the first, Peter, a "stone"), baptized in Jordan, to become foundation stones of a new Jerusalem (Rev 21:14). 

New Jerusalem (Rev. 21) Twelve gates, twelve angels, twelve foundations.
Measurement of New Jerusalem, 12,000 furlongs.

Twelve is the number of orderly government and spiritual fulfillment.

Understanding Times and Seasons 
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so (Genesis 1:14-15)... in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies," (Genesis 22:17).

The analogy between Genesis 1:14-15 and Genesis 22:17 unveils a sublime truth—a truth that parallels the vastness of the stars with the multitude of grains of sand upon the seashore. Just as the celestial lights serve as markers for sacred times, days, and years, so do true believers become luminous beacons, illuminating the path of spiritual journey and understanding. The stars in the heavens and the sands upon the seashore converge in a poetic tapestry, reflecting the grandeur of the Divine plan, wherein each believer emerges as a profound testament to the passage of time.

What is time? Time is the motion of the sun, moon, and stars in relationship to one another. In the political heavens  God Himself is the Great Light which the earthly sun symbolizes. Wisdom is symbolized by the moon, and the stars are the true believers. And in that regard, the figure of a man is shaped like the familiar 5-pointed star.

Our numbers and our "work" constitute "days, seasons, and years". In our world men use clocks, watches, sun dials, and hourglasses to mark "TIME". Spiritually speaking each son and daughter (sun/moon) pair as one day of spiritual "TIME" is the equivalent of 1000 earthly years. 
No man has made it alive down here for a full "day". Adam and Methuselah came closest, but their time was cut short because of the introduction of "sin". One looks at a "watch" in order to tell the time. Heavenly "Watchers" look at men below to observe our motions (works)  (Daniel 4:13,23).

Note spiritual time is not 
measured by material motion Spiritual time is aeon. Spiritual motion can only be conceived of, by us men, as "Thought". It is God's Thought, and God's Thought is a Thought, Plan, or Design, of Redemption for Man, expressed in human beings who are, as Philo says, "measures of aeon." In this context, the heroes of Israel are incarnate thoughts of God, and his series of illustrations represents spiritual lives that are phases of God's foreordained redemptive Purpose.

all true believers are "watched" by the Heavenly Hosts, we are all "human watches" designating time. Watches "tick" and so do fleshy watches. Our hearts beat daily as time goes by. When our hearts stop beating, the watch stops and time is up h. An hourglass is filled with sand which trickles downward as the hour passes. When all the sand is in the lower part of the glass, one hour has expired. Man's body is the "sands of time". When a certain number of true believers have been lowered in their graves, one spiritual hour has passed. And in regard to this time analogy, when Jesus warned us in parable "not to build a house on sinking sand", he was teaching us not to build our doctrines and place our confidence in the teachings, traditions, and opinions of men, because man's mind and thinking is also under the influence and regulation of devils, Proverbs 16:25; Daniel 7:4; Revelation 13:4-7

Similarly, just as the Heavenly Hosts watch over true believers, these believers also serve as poignant markers and guides for one another along their spiritual journeys. Men, too, possess the role of being signs and heralds of significant seasons (Genesis 1:14). Let us delve into the concept of men as "signs," as delineated in Zechariah 3:8, Ezekiel 12:11, and Ezekiel 24:24. These signs hold purposeful meanings, and their audience is none other than fellow True Believers. In this divine orchestration, the lives of the faithful are employed as living symbols and guiding beacons, observed by the vigilant Hosts of fellow believers.

Consider the exemplar of Noah, a devoted and unwavering believer, who stood as a renowned sign. His name and noble endeavors left an indelible mark, signifying a life lived in alignment with divine principles (Genesis 6:9, 9:12; Isaiah 54:9; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5). Similarly, Abraham, chosen by God, bore the mantle of a "sign," symbolizing the radiance of divine glory and covenant (Genesis 15:6, 7). The life of Moses, intricately woven into the fabric of history, held profound significance as a sign of deliverance and enlightenment, leaving an indelible impression on Pharaoh and future generations.

In the grand tapestry of existence, the figure of Jesus stands as the most illustrious and impactful sign of all. Every word spoken, every action taken reverberated through time, carrying immense import for humanity's salvation and the revelation of divine judgment. His life, a testament of love, compassion, and sacrifice, holds eternal significance.

Yet, the concept of believers as signs transcends individual lives, encompassing the collective body of True Believers. Described as trees within God's terrestrial garden, these believers burgeon with the essence of love, compassion, and mercy—a resplendent display that heralds the imminent arrival of the son of man and the profound moment of judgment.

In this symphony of symbolism, the lives of True Believers radiate as luminous guides, illuminating the path for fellow travelers on their spiritual pilgrimage. Just as the celestial luminaries punctuate the celestial expanse, the lives of these believers punctuate the narrative of human existence with purpose and meaning. Together, they form an interconnected constellation of signs, beckoning humanity towards higher truths and spiritual awakening.

Through the ages, the faithful have stood as living beacons, bearing witness to the majesty of divine design. Their existence, like celestial bodies, marks the passage of epochs, revealing the profound intricacies of the eternal plan. As the stars above and the sands below, True Believers mirror the cosmic dance, embodying the sacred rhythm of time and eternity.

A "watchman" refers to a spiritually enlightened believer who possesses the ability to perceive both the inner and outer realms of existence. Armed with the authoritative word of command, the watchman fearlessly confronts and challenges any negative forces or influences that may arise.

Then, in this aeon, which is the psychic one, the man will come into being who knows the great Power. He will receive (me) and he will know me. He will drink from the milk of the mother, in fact. He will speak in parables; he will proclaim the aeon that is to come, just as he spoke in the first aeon of the flesh, as Noah. Now concerning his words, which he uttered, he spoke in all of them, in seventy-two tongues. And he opened the gates of the heavens with his words. And he put to shame the ruler of Hades; he raised the dead, and he destroyed his dominion. (The Concept of Our Great Power)

Just as the present aeon, though a unity, is divided by units of time and units of time are divided into years and years are divided into seasons and seasons into months, and months into days, and days into hours, and hours into moments, so too the aeon of the Truth, since it is a unity and multiplicity, receives honor in the small and the great names according to the power of each to grasp it - by way of analogy - like a spring which is what it is, yet flows into streams and lakes and canals and branches, or like a root spread out beneath trees and branches with its fruit, or like a human body, which is partitioned in an indivisible way into members of members, primary members and secondary, great and small (The Tripartite Tractate)

Therefore our aeon came to be as the type of Immortal Man. Time came to be as the type of First Begetter, his son. The year came to be as the type of Savior. The twelve months came to be as the type of the twelve powers. The three hundred and sixty days of the year came to be as the three hundred and sixty powers who appeared from Savior. Their hours and moments came to be as the type of the angels who came from them (the powers), who are without number (Eugnostos the Blessed)

A treatise on TIME appears in Secrets of Enoch LXV, Lost Books of the Bible. It speaks on the "rolled up" effect of God's "TIMES" (children). He wrote "When all creation visible and invisible as the Lord created it shall end, then every man goes to the great judgment (as we have described it in the "GOOD NEWS") ... then shall all time perish and the years (men shall rise to heaven at death), and thenceforward there shall be neither months, nor days, nor hours, they will be stuck together and will not be counted. There will be one aeon and all the righteous who shall escape the Lord's Great Judgment shall be collected in the great aeon, for the righteous the great eon will begin and they will live eternally", Secrets LXV:5,6. 

In another text, Philo speaks of "aeon" as being in the life of God what "time" is in the life of Man. Time is measured by material motion, but aeon by spiritual motion. Spiritual motion can only be conceived of, by us men, as "Thought". It is God's Thought, and God's Thought is a Thought, Plan, or Design, of Redemption for Man, expressed in human beings who are, as Philo says, "measures of aeon." In this context, the heroes of Israel are incarnate thoughts of God, and his series of illustrations represents spiritual lives that are phases of God's foreordained redemptive Purpose.

Philo speaks of "aeon" as being in the life of God what "time" is in the life of Man. Time is measured by material motion, but aeon by immaterial or spiritual motion. Spiritual motion can only be conceived of, by us men, as "Thought". It is God's Thought. God's Thought as is reiterated throughout the Odes is a Thought, Plan, or Design, of Redemption for Man. This Thought was revealed by God's Word or Son moving and expressing Himself in the sons of Man, more especially in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These three Philo calls "measures of aeon," that is to say, phases of God s Thought of Redemption as it was developed through Faith, Joy, and Righteousness

For him the heroes of Israel are incarnate thoughts of God. His series of illustrations is a picture-book of the progressive phases of God's foreordained redemptive Purpose expressed in human beings. It represents spiritual lives (which are, as Philo says, "measures of aeon 1"],

Philo says (i. 277) that "time," xpuvos, being measured by the motions of the material Cosmos, may be called son of Cosmos, but only the grandson (not the son) of God, who is the Father of Cosmos. Aeon, he says, is the archetype of Time. We might be disposed to say that it must be measured by the motions of God's Thought; but he thinks of God's Thought as never past or future but always present: (id.) "In aeon, nothing has passed away, nothing is future, but everything simply subsists." The Hebrew view is that God combines past, present, and future, in a motion that is also rest. Elsewhere Philo says that the race of Wisdom produced (i. 455) "the threefold fruits of him that seeth, [namely], Israel." These are "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and he calls these three "measures of aeon" i.e. apparently of divine Time. According to Philo (i. 342), "aeonian" does not mean "infinite in time" but "He that is graciously giving (6 x n P l C"f Ji(l "^--- always and continuously...," in other words, "infinite in His scope of graciousness," so that no limit of space, time, or thought, can be attached to it.

The Jews believed that all through the generations, from Adam to Abraham, God was waiting for the latter that He might begin to build His Habitation. Before Abraham, all was swamp. When he came, the rock rose to the surface, and building became possible. In effect, the Building was begun when Abraham "believed." 

When Abraham "believed." Nothing outward and visible took place then. But inwardly and invisibly a new spiritual period began, the period, or age (aeon), of "Faith." Such an age is not measured by days or years or by "time" at all. For time depends on material, acoti on spiritual, motion

With Abraham began the aeon of Faith.

Then after the aeon of Joy typified by Isaac, and the aeon of Hopeful Endurance typified by Jacob, and after the silent aeons of the Egyptian oppression during which the patriarchal seed was being prepared to grow up into the tree of national life came Moses

The passage suggests that believers are the time aeons of God, represented by the twelve months of the year, which are the twelve powers of God. In this context, the "psychic aeon" is the present time, and the man who knows the great power is a reference to Christ or the enlightened ones who will receive the knowledge and proclaim the aeon to come.

The passage also suggests that time itself is a creation of God, with the First Begetter being the source of time and the Savior being its representation in the year. The three hundred and sixty days of the year are representative of the three hundred and sixty powers that appeared from the Savior, with their hours and moments being the angels that came from them.

Moreover, the passage draws on the imagery of light and stars to convey the idea that believers are the time aeons of God. The stars are compared to believers, and the sand on the seashore represents the multitude of believers who will possess the gate of their enemies. The earthly sun symbolizes God, and the moon symbolizes Mother Wisdom, with believers being represented by the stars. The passage suggests that just as the sun, moon, and stars mark time, so do believers in their daily lives and work.

In summary, the passage suggests that believers are the time aeons of God, and the twelve months of the year represent the twelve powers of God. The idea is that time is a creation of God, and believers mark time in their daily lives and work, just as the sun, moon, and stars do in the heavens.

In these texts, believers are not explicitly referred to as symbols of time or aeons. However, there are references to time and aeons as being connected to spiritual concepts such as redemption, the Word of God, and the Thought of God. In one passage, believers are described as "human watches" designating time, and in another passage, spiritual lives are referred to as "measures of aeon." Overall, the texts suggest that time and aeons are spiritual concepts that are intimately connected to God's plan for redemption, and believers may be seen as participating in this plan.

The Zodiac
The twelve apostles are also type of twelve signs of the Zodiac. One of followers of Valentinus identified the twelve apostles with the twelve signs of the Zodiac:

25 The followers of Valentinus defined the Angel as a Logos having a message from Him who is. And, using the same terminology, they call the Aeons Logoi.
The Apostles, he says, were translated into the twelve signs of the zodiac, for as
birth is managed by them, so too is rebirth <overseen> by the Apostles. (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus)

To these same Valentinians the Decad is indicated by seven circular bodies, an eighth heaven encircling them, and the sun and moon. The zodiac indicates the Dodecad.

The Ogdoad the heavenly world was within the compass of the Twelve Zodiacal Signs, that is to say, it extended from the moon upwards to the Boundary or Firmament.

The heavenly bodies excited the interest of early man. It is obvious that astronomy was a subject in which Job had delighted (Job 9:9; 38:31-32; see also Amos 5:8). Gesenius suggests that the word Mazzaroth (Job 38:32) relates to the Zodiac, and this is supported by the margin of the A.V.
The twelve signs of the Zodiac, answering to the twelve months of the year, are connected with different seasons, and these, in turn, speak of Yahweh's purpose. For example, winter is often related to death, and springtime to resurrection. (Gospel of Philip)

It should also be noted that the Greek Deity Aion was linked to the zodiac. Aion is usually identified as the nude or seminude young man within a circle representing the zodiac, or eternal and cyclical time. The "time" represented by Aion is unbounded, in contrast to Chronos as empirical time divided into past, present, and future. He is thus a god of the ages

This would also link the apostles with the twelve aeons of the Dodecad since the Apostles were put in place of the twelve signs of the Zodiac as birth is governed by the signs so is rebirth governed by the Apostles

The signs of the Zodiac, which are like the Dodecad:

They (the signs of the Zodiac) are a type of the twelve disciples and the twelve pairs (The First Apocalypse of James)
The Twelve Apostles Are a Type of the Aeons
Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Jesus came full of the Aeons this fullness of the aeons was poured out upon all those of the Church by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost

Christ the Verifier who stood as the sonship in their midst. this Christ bore twelve aspects which were manifest in the twelve apostles (The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)

Then Thomas said to him: "Lord, Savior, how many are the aeons of those who surpass the heavens?" The perfect Savior said: "I praise you (pl.) because you ask about the great aeons, for your roots are in the infinities. Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, he provided ....
"Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, Self-begetter Father very soon created twelve aeons for retinue for the twelve angels. All these are perfect and good. (The Sophia of Jesus Christ cp. Rev 4:4,6,7)

For this cause have I chosen you verily from the beginning through the First Mystery. Rejoice then and exult, for when I set out for the world, |11. I brought from the beginning with me twelve powers, as I have told you from the beginning, which I have taken from the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light, according to the command of the First Mystery. These then I cast into the womb of your mothers, when I came into the world, that is those which are in your bodies to-day. For these powers have been given unto you before the whole world, because ye are they who will save the whole world, and that ye may be able to endure the threat of the rulers of the world and the pains of the world and its dangers and all its persecutions, which the rulers of the height will bring upon you (Pistis Sophia chapter 7)

The Christ, has twelve powers of spiritual perception or mental ideas emanations from the Divine Mind these twelve powers or attributes are represented in the history of Jesus by the Twelve Apostles. So each of us has spiritual perception or attributes to make manifest, to bring out, and to use in the attainment of his ideals.

In order to command our powers and to bring them into unity of action, we must know what they are and their respective places on the staff of Being

The twelve apostles function as counterparts of the aeons they make up the body of truth or duodecad
The Dodecad
The Dodecad is group of twelve aeons they are the emanations of Anthropos and Ecclesia 

The Names of the aeons of the Dodecad are: 

  • Paracletus (Comforter)  and Pistis (Faith) 
  • Patricas (Paternal)  and Elpis (Hope) 
  • Metricos (Maternal)  and Agape (Love) 
  • Ainos (Praise) and Synesis (Intelligence) 
  • Ecclesiasticus (Son of Ecclesia)  and Macariotes (Blessedness)
  • Theletus (Perfect)  and Sophia (Wisdom) 

In the Dodecad, the masculine aeons’ names describe the functions of the aeons of the Ogdoad (especially Mind); the female aeons’ names describe virtues in a partially recognizable sequence (Faith, Hope, Love: 1 Corinthians 13.13).

The dodecad are forces and energies of the psychical universe or the material universe. They are the product of Anthropos and Ecclesia and are related to our states of being. The genders pairs refer to “form” and “substance,” so the Aeons of the Dodecad describe tangible actions and reactions

According to Irenaeus, the Valentinians say that the production of the Duodecad of aeons corresponds to the election of the twelve apostles. The twelfth emanation, the suffering Sophia, corresponds with Judas the twelfth apostle

Irenaeus writes that they think that Sophia's suffering points to Judas' apostasy because both were associated with the number twelve. He reiterates this by saying that the Valentinians relate the suffering Sophia to the betrayal of Judas. Thus her suffering was her error, when she did what was forbidden. It is Sophia's betrayal that results in her suffering which the Valentinians said corresponded to Judas' betrayal of Jesus

It is Sophia's betrayal that results in her suffering which the Valentinians said corresponded to Judas' betrayal of Jesus

Judas was replaced by Matthias this corresponds to the restoration of Sophia

The twelve sons of Jacob and the twelve tribes also signal the Dodecad (Against Heresies 1.18.4). So too the twelve stones on the breastplate and the twelve bells.[Genesis 35.22–26, 49.28; Exodus 28.21, 36.21. (Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho 42.1) 

The concept of the Twelve Aeons, also known as the Dodecad, is a central component of Gnostic cosmology. According to this belief system, the Aeons represent emanations of the divine and are arranged in pairs of male and female. Together, they form a system of twelve interconnected and complementary powers that emanate from the divine source.

The Twelve Apostles of Christianity are often seen as symbolic of the Twelve Aeons. Each of the apostles represents an aspect of the divine, and together they embody the fullness of God's power and wisdom.

Here is a breakdown of how each apostle may be associated with an Aeon:

  1. Paracletus (Comforter) - Represents the Holy Spirit, who comforts and guides believers.
  2. Pistis (Faith) - Represents the principle of faith and trust in God.
  3. Patricas (Paternal) - Represents God the Father as the source and origin of all being.
  4. Elpis (Hope) - Represents the principle of hope and optimism in the face of adversity.
  5. Metricos (Maternal) - Represents the nurturing and caring aspect of God, as a mother cares for her children.
  6. Agape (Love) - Represents the all-encompassing love of God, which transcends human understanding.
  7. Ainos (Praise) - Represents the power of praise and worship in connecting with the divine.
  8. Synesis (Intelligence) - Represents the principle of knowledge and understanding.
  9. Ecclesiasticus (Son of Ecclesia) - Represents the Church, as the community of believers.
  10. Macariotes (Blessedness) - Represents the state of being blessed by God.
  11. Theletus (Perfect) - Represents the perfection and completeness of God.
  12. Sophia (Wisdom) - Represents the principle of wisdom and the knowledge of God.

the twelve apostles are seen as symbolic of the twelve Aeons of the Dodecad. Here is a breakdown of how each apostle may be associated with an Aeon:

  1. Paracletus (Comforter) - This attribute could be associated with the Apostle Peter, who is often seen as a representative of the divine Comforter, providing support and guidance to believers.

  2. Pistis (Faith) - The attribute of faith can be linked to the Apostle Andrew, who displayed faith and trust in the teachings of Jesus.

  3. Patricas (Paternal) - This attribute, representing fatherhood and protection, could be associated with the Apostle James (son of Zebedee), who was one of the prominent disciples and had a close relationship with Jesus.

  4. Elpis (Hope) - The attribute of hope can be aligned with the Apostle John, who emphasized the hope and expectation of eternal life through Jesus' teachings.

  5. Metricos (Maternal) - This attribute, symbolizing motherhood and nurturing, could be associated with the Apostle Philip, who is said to have cared for and nurtured the early Christian community.

  6. Agape (Love) - The attribute of love can be linked to the Apostle Bartholomew, who demonstrated selfless love and devotion in his discipleship.

  7. Ainos (Praise) - The attribute of praise can be aligned with the Apostle Thomas, who is often remembered for his expression of praise and devotion to Jesus.

  8. Synesis (Intelligence) - This attribute, representing intelligence and understanding, could be associated with the Apostle Matthew, who was known for his background as a tax collector and his ability to comprehend and articulate Jesus' teachings.

  9. Ecclesiasticus (Son of Ecclesia) - This attribute, symbolizing community and belonging, could be linked to the Apostle James (son of Alphaeus), who was part of the close-knit group of disciples forming the early Christian community.

  10. Macariotes (Blessedness) - The attribute of blessedness can be aligned with the Apostle Thaddaeus, who is believed to have experienced the joy and blessedness of being a follower of Jesus.

  11. Theletus (Perfect) - This attribute, representing perfection, could be associated with the Apostle Simon the Zealot, who dedicated himself to the pursuit of righteousness and perfection in his discipleship.

  12. Sophia (Wisdom) - The attribute of wisdom can be linked to the Apostle Judas Iscariot, who, despite his unfortunate betrayal, may be seen as representing the potential for growth and redemption through the pursuit of wisdom.

Moses and Joshua built altars made of twelve stones, twelve men carried the ark of the covenant across the Jordan, and Elisha placed twelve stones around the bull when he contended with the priests of Baal.[Exodus 24.4; Joshua 4.9, 4.20, 3.12; 1 Kings 18.31]


antilutron corresponding ransom


1timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all

what is the ransom of Jesus?

The term "ransom of Jesus" refers to the concept of redemption or atonement through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ 

what was the price paid for the ransom?

the price paid for the ransom of humanity is considered to be the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

who was paid?

How was the payment made to God? He created everything and needs nothing. The wage of Sin is death. Does not Sin need to be payed off?  

You raise an important point. In Christian theology, the concept of payment for sin is often understood in the context of God's justice and the consequences of sin. While God, as the creator of everything, is indeed self-sufficient and lacks nothing, the concept of payment serves as a way to address the issue of sin and its consequences.

According to Christian beliefs, sin has serious consequences, and the Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This means that sin leads to physical death and separation from God. In order to address the problem of sin and provide a way for humanity to be reconciled with God, a payment or sacrifice was required.

The concept of payment is used metaphorically to convey the idea that Jesus' sacrifice satisfied the demands of justice and made reconciliation with God possible. It is not a literal transaction of paying off a debt to God, but rather a theological understanding of how Jesus' sacrifice provides redemption and salvation for humanity.

Jehovah's Witnesses and some Christadelphians claim Jesus had Adam's nature before the fall they interprte the word "corresponding" to mean Jesus had Adam's nature

According to the Bible Jesus's nature must correspond to fallen human nature after the fall see Hebrews 2:16,-18 Romans 6:9,10 Gal 4:4-6

16 For indeed He does not [a]give aid to angels, but He does [b]give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being [j]tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

 How could God condemn sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3) if Jesus was not sin’s flesh Himself by physical constitution? To deny that Christ, born of woman, was not as unclean as the bodies He died for is to propound the doctrinal heresy of Antichrist or clean-flesh rampant even in Apostolic Times and resisted by the Apostles (1 John 2).

When God Himself proclaims Himself to be the Redeemer, He announces that He will become "next of kin" to those whom He will save. How did the great Creator become near of kin to us? By manifesting Himself in the flesh (2Co 5:19-21; Rom 8:3), through the birth of a Son who will bear the image and stamp of His character, while at the same time being a man.

That being so begotten of God, and inhabited and used by God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God manifested in the flesh-yet was, during his natural life, of like nature with mortal man, being made of a woman of the house and lineage of David, and therefore 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.

That for delivering this message, he was put to death by the Jews and Romans who were, however, but instruments in the hands of God, for the doing of that which He had determined before to be done-namely, the condemnation of sin in the flesh, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, as a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God, as a basis for the remission of sins. All who approach God through this crucified, but risen, representative of Adam's disobedient race, are forgiven. Therefore, by a figure, his blood cleanseth from sin.

 Jesus, as God manifest in the flesh, fully participated in the human experience and shared in the physical consequences of Adam's sin. By affirming Jesus' full humanity, Christadelphians emphasize his ability to identify with and redeem humanity, bearing our sins in his own body.

The terms "commercial transaction" and "substitution" are neither scriptural words nor scriptural ideas.

3. If by virtue of the ransom paid to justice a transfer of man's account has been made to the Lord Jesus, then by reason of the purchase, Jesus, not God is the owner of the race.

4. If, as you understand, the sacrifice of Christ was a substitute, a payment, then how can there be real forgiveness with God. A creditor who releases his debtor because someone not his debtor pays the latter's debt, surely cannot claim to have forgiven the debt! If the debt is paid, then there is no longer need for forgiveness.

5. Your substitutionary theory demands the presentation of evidence that Christ himself had a free or unforfeited life by nature of which he would not have died, had he not willingly given his life for others. Such evidence could never come from scripture, for there is "one flesh of man" (1 Cor. 15:39) and Christ was "a man" (1 Tim. 2:5). He was identical with "the flesh and blood nature of his brethren" (Heb. 2:14). Because the life is contained in the blood (Lev. 17:11- 19) the same process of "dying thou shalt die," would have produced death in Christ just the same as it does in his brethren.

6. If Christ. died as "a unforfeited life," a "substitute" or "instead" of us, paying the penalty naturally due to us - death, then he ought not to have risen, (which he did) for his life was what he gave as the redemption price. (John 10:15-18). On a "commercial basis" how can one pay a debt and then get his money back? For Jesus paid his with life, and then received it back (John 10:18).

7. And further, if his death was a part of a commercial transaction, then the redeeming power lay in the death and not in the resurrection, but Paul declares "If Christ has not been raised up, your faith is useless; you are yet in your sins," (1 Cor.15:28).

8. If Jesus died as a substitute for me, paying my penalty, then why should I die? Why is it that for all visible appearances mankind seem to die the same today as they did before this supposed substitute took place? If I am sentenced to jail and a substitute takes my place instead of me, I do not then go to jail with,him!

9. On the basis of the sacrifice of Christ, God forgives sins; (Eph. 4:32). The scriptural language is that Christ died "for us", "tasted death for every man" (Heb. 2:9) and that "if we died together (with him, K.J.), we shall also live together" . (2 Tim. 2:11). This is the language of representation exhibited throughout the types of the Law of Moses; it is not the language of substitution understood as a "commercial transaction". God does not present himself in scripture as One who punishes the innocent instead of the guilty, but rather the wickedness of man will rest "upon his own self" (Ez. 18:20)..

6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all Verse 6: "Who gave himself a ransom for all": another "oncer", antilutron, implies the paying of a price for something to be released. It is true that the anti- gives an added meaning to lutron, the word for "ransom" in Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, where the Lord Jesus describes himself as the Son of man who came "to give his life a ransom for many". But the prefix does not imply a substitutionary payment but an adequate one, an equivalent in value: all that Christ resigned in a life of obedience and a death as though he were a sinner since be bore the sins of many, is that which was given back to him, even honour, glory and life everlasting, and it is given also to all those who "die in him". It was his life he gave as a ransom for many: he made "his soul an offering for sin" (Isaiah 53:10). There is no contradiction between the Lord's "for many" and Paul's "for all"; the ransom has infinite value, but the benefits require appropriation (Guthrie, Tyndale Commentary), and not all are prepared to receive what God has offered.

In the phrase a ransom for all 'ransom' is from the Greek anti-lutron where anti means 'equivalent to... ', and lutron is 'the price paid to set a person free' (as in Leviticus 25:48). Christ bought us out of our bondage to "Sin";

However, Paul is referring to a ransom from the bondage of sin which results in eternal death -- "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, who is our Lord". Adam, the man, is the federal head of all natural mankind, including Jesus -- "in Adam all die". Jesus, the Christ, is the federal head, the first born, of mankind after the spirit "in Christ will all be made alive". If Jesus is our Lord, and not human nature, and if the law of Christ overcomes the law of sin in each of us, we shall be ransomed from the wages of sin which is not simply death, the death due to all of Adam's heritage -- but death in the final sense -- and we shall receive eternal life, the gift given to those who are truly, federally in Christ. The ransom paid was 'death' to sin -- to sin's flesh -- to human nature. This is accomplished in us through the forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of Christ. Just as by one man's sin, we all became sinners, by one man's righteousness can we all be made righteous. Our minds, hearts and lives must revolve around Christ, His Word, and His Father. Originally we have little choice in the inclination of our natures -- we inherit the tendencies of sin and human nature's consequence. Now, as men and women, we have a choice and we have a way of escape from the finality of death, through the 'ransom' of Christ. A ransom, something of equally-appraised value, was given -- Adam lived, failed and died; Christ died, succeeded and lived -- lives. Truly we may say we have been purchased by precious blood. Truly we can appreciate more than any others the sacrifice of Christ since we know him to have been one of us, yet without sin.

We must recognize the necessity on our part of a holy life and of an admittance and disavowal of our sins. And we must understand that God, by the death of His son, has shown His personal displeasure with sin, and the punishment due for it -- which should rightly fall without mercy upon each of us. We must see that we are saved, not by a bargain between Jesus and God, but only by God's mercy and forgiveness. All this, and more, is encompassed in the concept of Christ as a "ransom for all".

If Christ. died as "a unforfeited life," a "substitute" or "instead" of us, paying the penalty naturally due to us - death, then he ought not to have risen, (which he did) for his life was what he gave as the redemption price. (John 10:15-18). On a "commercial basis" how can one pay a debt and then get his money back? For Jesus paid his with life, and then received it back (John 10:18)

Sin, I say, is a synonym for human nature. Hence, the flesh is invariably regarded as unclean. It is therefore written, "How can he be clean who is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." (Job 14:4) "What is man that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman that he should be righteous? Behold, God putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity like water?" (Job 15:14-16) This view of sin in the flesh is enlightening in the things concerning Jesus. The apostle says, "God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21); and this he explains in another place by saying, that "He sent his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3) in the offering of his body once (Heb. 10:10,12,14). Sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, if it had not existed there. His body was as unclean as the bodies of those for whom he died; for he was born of a woman, and "not one" can bring a clean body out of a defiled body; for "that", says Jesus himself, "which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6).

We reject that Christ was born with a “unforfeited life”. [A “unforfeited life” signifies that Christ’s nature was not under Adamic condemnation as is that of all other members of the human race, and that therefore his sacrifice was a substitute for the “lives” of others. However, he needed to obtain redemption himself in order to redeem his “brethren” — Gal 4:4; 1Tim. 2:6; Heb. 9:12.]

5. We reject that Christ’s nature was immaculate, or that he was of a different nature from other men. [Through his birth he inherited a nature sin-affected, and destined to death, being mortal, as all others — Heb. 2:14.]

Sunday 14 May 2023

The Figure of Error in the Odes of Solomon

The Figure of Error in Odes of Solomon

First a reading from Ode 38
1 I went up to the light of truth as if into a chariot:
2 And the Truth took me and led me: and carried me across pits and gulleys; and from the rocks and the waves it preserved me:
3 And it became to me a haven of Salvation: and set me on the arms of immortal life:
4 And it went with me and made me rest, and suffered me not to wander, because it was the Truth;
5 And I ran no risk, because I walked with Him;
6 And I did not make an error in anything because I obeyed the Truth.
7 For Error flees away from it, and meets it not: but the Truth proceeds in the right path, and
8 Whatever I did not know, it made clear to me, all the poisons of error, and the plagues of death which they think to be sweetness:
9 And I saw the destroyer of destruction, when the bride who is corrupted is adorned: and the bridegroom who corrupts and is corrupted;
10 And I asked the Truth 'Who are these?'; and He said to me, 'This is the deceiver and the error:
11 And they are alike in the beloved and in his bride: and they lead astray and corrupt the whole world:
12 And they invite many to the banquet, p. 138
13 And give them to drink of the wine of their intoxication, and remove their wisdom and knowledge, and so they make them without intelligence;
14 And then they leave them; and then these go about like madmen corrupting: seeing that-they are without heart, nor do they seek for it!
15 And I was made wise so as not to fall into the hands of the deceiver; and I congratulated myself because the Truth went with me,
16 And I was established and lived and was redeemed,
17 And my foundations were laid on the hand of the Lord: because He established me.
18 For He set the root and watered it and fixed it and blessed it; and its fruits are for ever.
19 It struck deep and sprung up and spread out, and was full and enlarged;
20 And the Lord alone was glorified in His planting and in His husbandry: by His care and by the blessing of His lips,
21 By the beautiful planting of His right hand: and by the discovery of His planting, and by the thought of His mind. Hallelujah.

Now we have read Ode 38 of the Odes of Solomon let us look at the word Error in the Bible

Error in the Bible
05771 עון ‘avon aw-vone’ or עוון ‘avown (#2Ki 7:9; Ps 51:5) aw-vone’ this Hebrew word is normally translated 1) perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity 1a) iniquity 1b) guilt of iniquity, guilt (as great), guilt (of condition) 1c) consequence of or punishment for iniquity
However the new world translation (1983 edition) translates this Hebrew word 05771 עון ‘avon as Error the Watchtower writes this about the word 05771 עון ‘avon:

,`a·won´ is the Hebrew term most frequently linked with or used in parallel with chat·ta´th´ (sin, missing the mark)

Thus, `a·won´ basically relates to erring, acting crookedly or wrongly. The Hebrew term refers to a moral error or wrong, a distortion of what is right. (Job 10:6, 14, 15

The “error” (`awon´) may be intentional or unintentional, either a conscious deviation from what is right or an unknowing act, a “mistake” (shegha·ghah´), which, nevertheless, brings the person into error and guilt before God. (Le 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Nu 15:22-29; Ps 19:12, 13) If intentional, then, of course, the error is of far graver consequence than if by mistake. (Nu 15:30, 31; compare La 4:6, 13, 22.)

Error is contrary to truth, and those willfully sinning pervert the truth, a course which only brings forth grosser sin. (Compare Isa 5:18-23.) The apostle Paul speaks of “the deceptive power of sin,” which has a hardening effect on human hearts. (Heb 3:13-15; compare Ex 9:27, 34, 35.)

In the Septuagint the Hebrew word 05771 עון ‘avon is translated by the word G4108 πλάνη plánē

Prov 14:8 ¶ The wisdom of the prudent will understand their ways; but the folly of fools leads astray. LXX

LXX Deut 29:19 Job 19:4 Job 35:13 Ec 5:6 Ec 10:5 Isa 19:14 Isa 30:28 Isa 32:6 Jer 4:11 Jer 23:17 Eze 44:13 Eze 48:11 Dan 6:4

G4108 πλάνη plánē, plan'-ay; feminine of G4108 (as abstractly); objectively, fraudulence; subjectively, a straying from orthodoxy or piety:—deceit, to deceive, delusion, error.

1) a wandering, a straying about
1a) one led astray from the right way, roams hither and thither
2) metaph.
2a) mental straying
2a1) error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion
2b) error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting
2c) error, that which leads into error, deceit or fraud

In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion Ephesians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:11; 2 Peter 2:18; 2 Peter 3:17; 1 John 4:6; Jude 1:11

Error has a mental condition That which is untrue. Error thoughts represent belief in thoughts and beliefs not of God. Error thoughts have no foundation in Truth. They originate in the intellect. They are eliminated by one's denying their reality and power, and affirming the Truth of Being.

The Odes of Solomon
In the Odes of Solomon Error means to go astray, mislead, deceive, to be deluded, to forget in the Odes Error parallel to nothingness Ode 18:9,10 and linked to knowing Leading astray is characteristic of Error as her own going astray Ode 31:2 Death is parallel to error Ode 15:6-9 Ode 42:11

Ode 15:6 I repudiated the way of error, and went towards Him and received salvation from Him abundantly.

ode 18

10 And You know not error; because neither does it know You.
11 And ignorance appeared like dust, and like the foam of the sea.
12 And vain people thought that it was great, and they became like its type and were impoverished.
13 But those who knew understood and contemplated, and were not polluted by their thoughts;
14 Because they were in the mind of the Most High, and mocked those who were walking in error.
15 Then they spoke the truth, from the breath which the Most High breathed into them.
Praise and great honor to His name.

Now with Ode 18 I have noticed a similarity with the Gospel of Truth in Ode 18 ignorance (which is linked to error in verse 10 and 14) appears "like dust and like the foam of the sea", and in the Gospel of Truth ignorance became dense like a fog. I think "dust like the foam of the sea" is a good description of fog

Acquaintance and ignorance The gospel of truth is joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the grace of knowing him, through the power of the Word that came forth from the pleroma, the one who is in the thought and the mind of the Father, that is, the one who is addressed as 'the Savior', (that) being the name of the work he is to perform for the redemption of those who were ignorant of the Father, while in the name of the gospel is the proclamation of hope, being discovery for those who search for him.

When the totality went about searching for the one from whom they had come forth - and the totality was inside of him, the incomprehensible, inconceivable one who is superior to every thought - ignorance of the Father brought about anguish and terror; and the anguish grew solid like a fog, so that no one was able to see. For this reason, error became powerful; it worked on its own matter foolishly, not having known the truth. It set about with a creation, preparing with power and beauty the substitute for the truth.

Acquaintance is gnosis Un-acquaintance is a lack of gnosis or "deficiency" lack is destroyed by the advent of gnosis.

the terms "error" and "lack" are used interchangeably in the Gospel of Truth

ignorance (Un-acquaintance) of the Father brought about Error through anxiety and fear

Ode 18
1 My heart was lifted up and enriched in the love of the Most High, so that I might praise Him with my name.
2 My members were strengthened, that they may not fall from His power.
3 Infirmities fled from my body, and it stood firm for the Lord by His will; because His kingdom is firm.
4 O Lord, for the sake of those who are in need, do not dismiss Your Word from me.
5 Nor, for the sake of their works, withhold Your perfection from me.
6 Let not light be conquered by darkness, nor let truth flee from falsehood.
7 Let Your right hand set our salvation to victory, and let it receive from every region, and preserve it on the side of everyone who is besieged by misfortunes.
8 You are my God, falsehood and death are not in Your mouth; only perfection is Your will.
9 And vanity You know not, because neither does it know You.

Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface.

And ignorance appeared like dust, and like the foam of the sea.
And vain people thought that it was great, and they became like its type and were impoverished.

This ignorance of the father brought about terror and fear. And terror became dense like a fog, so no one was able to see. Because of this, error became strong. But she worked on her material substance vainly, because she did not know the truth. She assumed a fashioned figure while she was preparing, in power and in beauty, the substitute for truth.

Error in the Gospel of Truth is not set in the primordial past, as for instance in the Apocryphon of John, but in the time of Jesus’ earthly mission and in the present time of the community

The personification of error represents the "state of consciousness of the Jewish Sanhedrin and the Roman authorities " For this reason error was angry with him, so she persecuted him. She was distressed by him, and she was made powerless. He was nailed to a tree."(Gospel of Truth 18:16-18).

Error is simultaneously a symbolic designation for the group of people that persecuted Jesus and a description of their mental state.

I have found a paraphrase translation of the Gospel of Truth which best explains this:

Ignorance of the Source of Life generates anguish and fear, which are like a fog clouding mortal vision so that mankind cannot perceive the realities of their existence. This is the reason Error is powerful. It has generated its own world, a world of illusions and falsehoods, in which mortal mind is trapped, unable to see the Divine Reality which is beyond those illusions. Error's illusions are often beautiful and desirable to mortal mind, but in the end they melt like the mists they are, and those who embrace them as their reality are left with only darkness in their place. The evils of mortal existence do not reflect the nature of the Parents. They take nothing from Divine perfection, for it has no part in them. The Parents are the Source of all Good, all Light, all Life. That which is not of these flows from Error's illusions. (A paraphrase of the Gospel of Truth: Truths Good News Church of the Pearl)

In the Odes of Solomon and the Gospel of Truth, Error is a personified power opposed to God. Error has characteristics of the human condition 31:25; 32:35

Ode 31:1 Chasms vanished before the Lord, and darkness dissipated before His appearance.
2 Error erred (Error went astray) and perished on account of Him; and contempt received no path, for it was submerged by the truth of the Lord.

Since error is frequently linked with or used in parallel with sin in the Bible it would be logical to conclude in the Odes of Solomon that error is equivalent to sin

Ode 31 a song of triumph sung by the church this Ode represents the victory of christ over sin and death :

Ode 31:1 The abysses [world's religious systems] were dissolved [the Old Covenant and its institutionalized way of things passed away] before the Lord [with the New Covenant]: and darkness [ignorance] was destroyed by His appearance [leaving no excuse]:
2 Error went astray [and tried to kill Him] and perished at His hand [by His power to overcome death]: and folly found no path to walk in [when the physical temple fell these were in great confusion], and was submerged [brought low] by the truth of the Lord [the hidden higher/inward (spiritual) meaning of the Word].

Again this Ode can be linked to the Error of the Gospel of Truth

Jesus the anointed. Through him he enlightened those who were in darkness because of forgetfulness. He enlightened them and gave them a path. And that path is the truth that he taught them. For this reason error was angry with him, so she persecuted him. She was distressed by him, and she was made powerless. He was nailed to a tree. (the Gospel of Truth)

(the Gospel of Truth) Error was upset, not knowing what to do; it was grieved, in mourning, afflicting itself because it knew nothing. When knowledge drew near it - this is the downfall of (error) and all its emanations - error is empty, having nothing inside. Truth appeared; all its emanations knew it. (Ode 18: Because they were in the mind of the Most High, and mocked those who were walking in error.)

Error hates him because he redeems those who are enmeshed in its chains. Error persecuted him but could not overcome him. It tried to destroy him, but its own state of nothingness was manifested in the attempt. He was nailed to a tree; he became a fruit of divine gnosis, (A paraphrase of the Gospel of Truth: Truths Good News Church of the Pearl)
Ode 38

And He went with me and caused me to rest and did not allow me to err; because He was and is the Truth.
And there was no danger for me because I constantly walked with Him; and I did not err in anything because I obeyed Him.
For Error fled from Him, and never met Him.
But Truth was proceeding on the upright way, and whatever I did not understand He exhibited to me:
All the poisons of error, and pains of death which are considered sweetness.
And the corrupting of the Corruptor, I saw when the bride who was corrupting was adorned, and the bridegroom who corrupts and is corrupted.
And I asked the Truth, Who are these? And He said to me: This is the Deceiver and the Error.
And they imitate the Beloved and His Bride, and they cause the world to err and corrupt it.
And they invite many to the wedding feast, and allow them to drink the wine of their intoxication;
So they cause them to vomit up their wisdom and their knowledge, and prepare for them mindlessness.
Then they abandon them; and so they stumble about like mad and corrupted men.
Since there is no understanding in them, neither do they seek it.
But I have been made wise so as not to fall into the hands of the Deceivers, and I myself rejoiced because the Truth had gone with me.
Ode 38 can be compared with Revelation 17 the Beast and the Harlot of Revelation 17 is the Deceiver and Error who resemble the Beloved and his bride. The beloved is Christ and his bride is the church. The counterfeits are the Antichrist (The Pope or papacy) and the harlot woman (the roman catholic church) Rev 17:4
The deceiver and Error are both personifications in Ode 38 of the Antichrist the Pope and the Roman Catholic system

[the word of error found in religious systems];

The feminine error is paired with the masculine deceiver this is the architect of all deception and his companion is Illusion (the illusory self)

and the false " Bride." These appear to mean the parody, or false image, or evil antitype, of the union that should join the true "Bridegroom" with the true "Bride" (Ode 38:69)

The passage in Ode 38:9 14 repeatedly mentions "corrupt" in various forms the Bride that is "corrupted" the Bridegroom that "corrupts and is corrupted" and then others who go about "corrupting."

we are told that the teachers of error operate upon their victims with intoxicating wine (Revelation 17:2) ; and the suggestion arises that the deadly poison has been introduced into the wine (false doctrine), and that the wine thus drugged has been sweetened with honey

The Antichrist is the bridegroom who corrupts and is corrupted ode 38:9 the Deceiver ode:38:10; 2 john 7 and his ally is error typified by the harlot gaily adorned. Christ with his church which is truth and Anitchrist with his companion error

They invite many to the wedding feast, and allow them to drink the wine of their intoxication rev 17:3 17:2 Gospel of Thomas saying 28

Who is the Deceiver? The Deceiver is a personification of sin. Sin is a deceiver (Rom. 7:11).

Human nature is the devil of the Bible, and is a great deceiver (see Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8; Rom. 7:11; Mark 7:20-23). Moreover, it is manifested in many forms. It can relate to the lust of the flesh, denote a person who incites to evil, describe a government, or an organisation, opposed to the truth, and so forth.
Sin, as the great deceiver of mankind, is there well spoken of as the Liar, the Accuser, the
Slanderer of God—alias the Devil. In its literal aspect, it is, of course, an impersonal thing,
tempting without being a conscious tempter, as expressed by James. "Every man is tempted
when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed; then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth

forth sin: and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death" (James 1:14).

1 I went up to [believed in and accepted] the light of truth [Christ] as if into a chariot [a vessel of (spiritual) war]:
2 And the Truth took me and led me [into more Truth]: and carried me across pits [falsehoods of religion] and gulleys [persecutions - "the shadow of death"]; and from the rocks [governments] and the waves [agitated or raging thoughts of political winds] it [Truth] preserved me:
3 And it [Truth] became to me a haven of Salvation [it set me free]: and set me [established me that I put my trust in] on the arms of immortal life [as opposed to "the arm of flesh"]:
4 And it went with me and made me rest [from my own works], and suffered me not to wander [out of the Way] because it was the Truth [and once you have it, you cannot away with it only throw it to the ground].
5 And I ran no risk [of failure], because I walked with Him [obeyed His Commandments];
5 And I did not make an error for anything [did not allow any errant thoughts to take hold of me] because I obeyed the Truth [which discovers our sins for us and helps us destroy them].
7 For Error [errant thoughts and intents] flees away from it [Truth] and meets it not: but the Truth proceeds in the right path [regardless of being surrounded by Error], and
8 What ever I did not know [in my ignorance in the flesh], it made clear to me [in the spirit of Truth], all the poisons [bitter waters] of error [the lower/outward (fleshly) forms (traditions, ordinances etc.) of religion, government], and the plagues of death [caused by the errant word ("the letter which kills") and has been the basis for unjust wars and killing for almost six thousand years] which they [the religious leaders and their adherents] think to be sweetness [sweet waters - they believe that they are doing a service to God and country]:
9 And I saw the destroyer of destruction [the Messiah], when the [Errant] bride [religion] who is corrupted is adorned [by the world as though she is in incorruption]: and the bridgegroom [the Antichrist, the Pope] who corrupts and is corrupted [from the beginning of her ways (as are all religions)];
10 And I asked the Truth, 'Who are these?'; and He said to me, 'This is the deceiver [the Antichrist, the Pope] and the error ["the mother of harlots" (Rev 17:5) and her daughters - the apostate churches of Christendom from Rome downwards]:
11 And they [the religious leaders] are alike in the beloved and in his bride [his ministers also "transform themselves into angels of light"]: and they lead astray [captive] and corrupt the whole world [under Roman Catholic Cult Laws even unto this day]:
12 And they invite many to the banquet [to eat of their poisoned food],
13 And give them to drink of the [worldly] wine of their intoxication [ignorant stupor], and remove their [ability to acquire] wisdom and knowledge, and so they make them without [spiritual] intelligence [these are clearly spoken of in Isaiah];
14 And then they leave them [to their own devices]; and then these go about like madmen corrupting [this is quite evident in how the rulers of the world are acting today]: seeing that they are with out heart [they have no love in them], nor do they seek for it [they only seek power and glory in the world].'
15 And I was made wise so as not to fall into the hands [under the power] of the deceiver; and I congratulated myself because the Truth went with me,
16 And I was established [in faith] and lived and was redeemed,
17 And my foundations [my conscious/subconscious mind and heart (soul)] were laid on [handed over to] the hand [power of] of the Lord: because He established me [by Grace].
18 For He set the root [the foundation of faith of the True Vine] and watered it [with the Words of Life] and fixed it [removed any spots from the world] and blessed it; and its fruits [of Righteousness] are for ever.
19 It [the root] struck deep [into the hearts of man] and sprung up [within them] and spread out [through their testimony] and was full and enlarged [filled the whole earth];
20 And the Lord alone was glorified in His planting [the Vine] and in His husbandry [the branches]: by His care and by the blessing of His lips,
21 By the beautiful planting of His right hand [the Power in Messiah]: and by the discovery of His planting [by those who found Him (or the lost sheep that He found!)], and by the thought of His mind [which they are being conformed to]. Hallelujah.

The Ode 38 above discussed describes the soul as going up to the region of Truth. Its meaning may be illustrated from another Ode which regards the soul not as going up above, but as being above: (34:4 5) "Whosoever is surrounded on every side by beauty in him there is nothing that is divided [against itself]. The pattern of that which is below is that which is above. For everything soever is above. Below is nothing soever. But it merely seems to be [seems] to those who have no knowledge."