Friday, March 1, 2013

Who Are The Gnostics?




Who are the Gnostics?

The Catholic and Orthodox church will tell you the Gnostics were just early heretics, who rejected the flesh and dealt only with the spiritual, teaching a duality of sorts, that flesh was all evil and spirit was all good. To a point that is true, however it goes much deeper then that. Gnosticism is a wide ranging subject, so I know this article deals with some generalities so please bear with me. Claiming that Gnostics were just some early heretics who rejected the flesh world ignores the bigger picture.

There is a diversion of sorts there as you will see as I write this article

There are different definitions out there for Gnosticism running around, some pinpoint it having to do with the seeking of special esoteric or hidden knowledge for salvation, here you see the root of the focus on MYSTERIES. The Bible tells us that God is not a keeper of secrets

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Mark 4:22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

Luke 12:3 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Gnosticism forms the foundation for those who today claim there is no absolute truth, or claim that truth lies in various guises. When a past Pope tells us that that the "Seeds of the Word lie in various false religions" that is a Gnostic concept. See my article: The One World Religion: The Beast Gets Ready For Delusion. When interfaithers claim that world religions all lead to "god", doesn't this contain the attribute that there is  "special knowledge" that is so vague and nebulous that it is spread out in the world under various guises? 


The "seeds of truth" present and active in the various religious traditions are a reflection of the unique Word of God, who "enlightens every man coming into world" (cf. Jn 1: 9) and who became flesh in Christ Jesus (cf. Jn 1: 14). 

  How does that make any sense? It doesn't and it's not what scripture says, its inherent roots lie in Gnosticism which impart that one's religion will automatically contain secrets and knowledge only available to high level "adepts" or "intiates". This is a core part of Gnosticism. The focus on MYSTERIES is as well too.

Gnosticism...first emerged in the Babylonian lowlands." 5
 "The gnosis religion of Babylon was called Mystery, because it contained 'secret knowledge' disclosed only through: "blood-oaths, oaths.. sexual rituals, and meanings of coded riddles." This secret knowledge is alleged to be identical to that 'gnosis-knowledge' taught to Eve by the serpent... the 'good-god.'...Eve is the whore goddess and high-priestess."8 [cite]


Watch out if you are in a church that speaks of mysteries or tells you there are mysteries beyond your understanding that only expert clergy can understand. Watch out for churches that teach that mysticism is a good thing. They didn't call them MYSTERY CULTS for nothing.

Watch out for churches that claim "veiling" or secrets of "god"!

From the Catholic Catechism detailing the "Gnostic" qualities of the false Eucharist teachings.

1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ," asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord."
By the way just so you know, today those who are self-avowed Gnostics, discuss the "magic" qualities of the Catholic Mass and admit that it is GNOSTIC. I of course have called the Catholic Mass witchcraft

When I read the word Gnostic, it translates into the same as the Alexandrian cult, Mystery Babylon and Mystery Cults, It is merely another word to describe the world's separation from God and true biblical Christianity. Satan's lies are thousands of years old and as I have written elsewhere on this blog many times appear over and over in false religions. Babylon is really where Gnosticism arose from:
Some consider Simon Magus to be the Father of Gnosticism. However, Gnosticism has also been defined as a mystical religion said to be "as old as humanity itself."(Ellwood and Partin: 95-96) Gnostic beliefs can be "found in all religions and religious philosophies, from Upanishads to the wisdom of ancient Egypt, and from the Gathas of Zarathustra to the mystery-cults of Greece and Rome."(Ellwood and Partin: 96) There are others who say that Gnosticism was built upon the combined teachings of its important leaders. Some of these include Basilides, Valentinus, Marcion, Ptolemaeus, Cerinthus, Menander, Simon Magus, and Saturninus (Grant: 30-43).
What is Gnosticism: As noted, Gnosticism has been defined as a mystical religion (Ellwood and Partin: 96). It is a mixing of rites and myths from a variety of religious traditions, combining Occultism, Oriental Mysticism, astrology, magic, elements from Jewish tradition, Christian views of redemption, and even aspects of Plato's doctrine that man is not at home in the bodily realm (McManners: 26). Despite the fact that many Gnostic systems vary, they all have in common "a world view shaped by Hellenism and Neoplatism" and "esoteric Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the ancient heritages of Egypt and Mesopotamia."(Ellwood and Partin: 92) One can directly trace some of the individual aspects of Gnosticism to their roots. Their beliefs in the resurrection of the dead and dualism come from Iranian-Zoroastrian religious ideas (Rudolph: 282). Their communities are organized like the Hellenistic Mystery religions (Rudolph: 285). Orphism and Greek background influenced the Gnostic belief that the soul suffers in this world and it is fate that man should have to endure it. In turn, living a righteous life leads to salvation (Rudolph: 286).

Gnosticism is another word to describe false luciferian religion, and it overlaps with quite a bit, even the Kabbalah. Kabbalahism is basically Jewish Gnosticism. In essence it forms the foundation of the New Age movement of today. I have gone to Kabbalah websites for research and exposure purposes and noticed right off all the parallels with theosophy and the New Age movement with inner mediations, seeking of esoteric knowledge and more serving as parallels. That of course would be a topic for another article.

New Agers are to seek after special "knowledge" and "secrets" and "channelings" from their "spirit guides and other spiritual experiences such as through crystals. When a Catholic contemplative, goes "inside" so to speak to have special "communication" with the spirits of "Mary" or other beings appearing to them, to impart special mystical "messages" it is no different from a New Ager doing the same thing with their "spirit guides" or "contact with the universe". It is mysticism and at a core point it is Gnosticism. When I was a UU Theosophist, I was taught that there was "special knowledge" beyond human reach and that special wisdom and "mysteries" were taught through all the world religions. Of course we know today the Popes teach the same thing.  Alice Bailey said this of the world's religions: keep in mind that vague nebulous wisdom of all religions thing I pointed out earlier:
"We believe in a universal divine principle, the root of all, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of being" (ibid., p. 63).
 Gnosticism is about human beings seeking after higher "consciousness"--becoming as gods warned about in the book of Genesis and seeking after mysteries. When humans seek higher or altered consciousness--Buddhism, TM Mediation, Catholic contemplative meditations, Hinduism, Wicca--this is done to facilitate spells--putting the mind in what they call in some witchcraft books the Alpha state---this is following one of the major lies in the garden that "ye shall be as gods". It is something almost every false religion of the world is centered on. They ALL center on it where one is taught to do same thing with the mind using techniques such as the E-meter to various forms of meditation. Any religion who has it's mystics, seers, and the rest is flirting with Gnosticism. These prophets seek after experiences and their own inner "knowledge" instead of the true prophets of God, who said..."Thus saith the Lord"


And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

1 Kings 20:13

So Gnosticism is part of the Catholic and Orthodox church with their contemplative "mystics for the former and those who practice "theoria" for the latter. Here is an example at this at work:

In the Eastern Orthodox ascetic tradition called hesychasm, humility, as a saintly attribute, is called Holy Wisdom or sophia. Humility is the most critical component to mankind's salvation.[44] Following Christ's instruction to "go into your room or closet and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret" (Matthew 6:6), the hesychast withdraws into solitude in order that he or she may enter into a deeper state of contemplative stillness. By means of this stillness, the mind is calmed, and the ability to see reality is enhanced. The practitioner seeks to attain what the apostle Paul called 'unceasing prayer'.


One thing I have to add here, the whole SOPHIA thing, is a counterfeit Trinity that includes a "feminine" spirit: Sophia that they refer to as Wisdom. SOPHIA, which is mentioned in both the Catholic and Orthodox church, comes straight out of Gnosticism. When I was UU, they praised Sophia and directly referred to her as a "goddess", there is a reason that the members of the harlot keep to these false teachings. Sophia came straight out of Gnosticism:
In Gnostic tradition, Sophia is a feminine figure, analogous to the human soul but also simultaneously one of the feminine aspects of God.[citation needed] Gnostics held that she was the syzygy of Jesus Christ (i.e. the Bride of Christ), and Holy Spirit of the Trinity. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamōth (Ἀχαμώθ, Hebrew חכמה chokhmah) and as Prunikos (Προύνικος). In the Nag Hammadi texts, Sophia is the lowest Aeon, or anthropic expression of the emanation of the light of God. She is considered to have fallen from grace in some way, in so doing creating or helping to create the material world.
This reminds me of a memory, when I was coming out of the Catholic church and warning of their false teachings, I remember a popular Catholic teacher, Scott Hahn, teaching the Holy Spirit was feminine and maternal?  [warning Catholic link] Where else would this be from? Where did he get this idea?

It's interesting who else claimed the Holy Spirit was "feminine":

"The various cosmogonics show that the Archaeal Universal Soul was held by every nation as the "mind" of the Demiurgic Creator, the Sophia of the Gnostics, or the Holy Ghost as a female principle."--Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol 1, 1877
Also see: Mary Worship and It's Gnostic Roots

The Catholic and Orthodox church also calls to "Mary" as "The Throne of Wisdom" or "Seat of Wisdom".

With the mystics and contemplatives, all of this is a twisting of Jesus's instructions to pray. We are to use words and our minds, not seek after mind-emptying, enhanced reality or false visions. I was trained in meditative techniques within the UU church, and let me be honest, reading the books written by Catholic mystics such as St. Teresa of Avila, the meditative techniques used are no different. The above also is no different from what New Agers are led to do when seeking after their "higher consciousness", while the Catholic or Orthodox mystics may call upon biblical figures [from a false "jesus" to saints] instead of spirit guides or the "universe" the concept is the same. Catholic mystics, basically travel the same road with some even following "angels".

[warning Catholic link] Sr. Maria Antonia (Cecy Cony): "Under Angel Wings" is the true story of a Brazilian girl named Cecy Cony (later Sr. Maria Antonia), who was born in 1900 and was led to high sanctity under the continual guidance, protection and inspiration of her Guardian Angel, whom she called her "New Friend." Thanks to her autobiography we can follow the extraordinary gift of the visible presence of her guardian Angel who guides her to an intimate relationship with God throughout her childhood and early adult life. Click here for the remarkable story of Sr. Maria Antonia and her guardian Angel

This is no different from a New Ager following a spirit guide. Both are demons. A real angel of God would rebuke someone not to worship them and to focus on God instead.

Revelation 19-10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Asceticism and it's traditions out of Rome and the Orthodox church arose mostly in the East, the so called desert fathers,  the roots are in Babylon and from the Alexandrian cult. Those who trust in early church fathers are led astray.  There is a reason why even the Buddhist religion has monks like the Catholic and Orthodox and there is quite a bit of overlap there. In fact one trend that is not really talked about out there, is there are all these interfaith meetings between Catholic monks, nuns, and other religious, with Buddhist and Hindus monks and "nuns".



Notice the focus on the INNER LIFE, here we are back to the Gnostic basics, as various false religions seek the "truth" from "WITHIN". If you really want to see Mystery Babylon in it's full glory, stop by the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue website, there you will be left with no doubts that there is overlaps with various forms of monasticism among the various world religions. What led these folks to non-biblical traditions? Why is there so much overlap?

With false world religions, Satan's lies are the SAME across the board.

Theosophy is based on Gnosticism at its core. When I was Unitarian Universalist, as I have admitted, I was into Theosophy even subscribing to one of its magazines named Quest.  No UU that is part of those churches however remains uninfluenced by the Theosophists.   I personally know about seeking transcendental moments. One major root of Unitarianism and of Theosophy itself is Transcendentalism, with it's 19th century intellectuals, ranging from Thoureau to Emerson and other literary figures, whose writings actually appear in a lot of UU services along with the scriptures of false religions including Hindu and Muslim ones. There they teach meditation and seeking "truth from within" same as today's New Age movement does.  How do I explain it but to describe it in the way that it holds a person to seek after inner experiences, a sort of "god" within, just like Hindus bow to the "god" [namaste] within each person, the same focus is there. One is to seek after the transcendence via inner experience and personal intuition.  There is overlap with Transcendentalism and Vedic [hindu] thought, most definitely:

Thoreau in Walden spoke of the Transcendentalists' debt to Vedic thought directly. In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Brahmin, priest of Brahma, and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water-jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.[10]
Gnosticism tells people to seek after inner "knowledge". It also is really today the philosophy that is the foundation of the movement in the world to tell people there is no such thing as absolute truth and that "truth" lies under different guises such as in the interfaith movement. When Catholic monks and cloistered nuns are led into "contemplative" techniques, it is the same thing, focusing on making the mind empty, such as hours of staring at the Catholic Eucharist in Catholic Eucharist adoration. False intuition and vain imaginations are followed instead of God's Word.

Gnosticism leads people to seek after esoteric revelations--often from different spiritual areas, personal feelings and experiences, and confusing vain philosophies. As far as vain philosophies go, we know the false seminaries teach it and the past Popes have expressed their love for the vain philosophy of phenomenology.

In fact these are aspects of all Mystery Babylon religions and the harlot's daughters which join under the umbrella of mysticism. MYSTERY BABYLON is warned of in the BIble. MYSTERY BABYLON is ALL the False religions of the world which teach and CENTER on all the same false things.

When one is UU, the UU church dabbles in EVERYTHING in the spiritual pantheon, except biblical true Christianity. This means I had years immersed in the various scriptures, philosophies and more of various religions. People have gotten confused and have asked me regarding my time in the UU church on this blog before? How could you have been Humanist, Theosophist and studying Wicca at same time? ..its possible because all the false religions and philosophies of the world share the same CORE COMMONALITIES.

  Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

It was always odd to me, when I used to visit the message board world how Catholics, Orthodox and others would claim bible-believing Christians were Gnostics when it's the Catholic church following Gnostic beliefs that incorporate evolution, mysticism and the interfaith movement. Sure there are daughter Protestants in these errors as well too but I always found this to be confusing. Why complain about those who seek after mysteries and "inner knowing" when your own religion does these very things? One thing about false religions, they are full of lies. The people who follow them may be sincere, but the contradictions add up.

 If you aren't a born again and a bible believing Christian, you are messing around with some degree of Gnosticism.  The Interfaith movement is based on Gnosticism too as a whole. Think about it when they say all religions lead to god,  this turns "god" into a mystery instead of the true God of the Bible who has revealed His Commandments and Who He is.





Teaching like the Popes that the "Seeds of the Word" are present in false religions is EXTREME gnosticism that is based on esoteric knowledge claiming that false religions hold truths "under cover". A false mystical "jesus" is promoted, the so called "cosmic christ", the false "christ" they promote as "speaking" through various religions.



Bible Christians know and recognize the voice of Jesus and know that false religions do not hold any  of God's Word. False religions come from Satan and hold no truth.  Gnostic paganism is advanced via interfaithism, and the lie that all religions hold a semblance of truth or the "seeds of the word".

John 10: 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

To sum things up, the world is being led into Gnosticism/aka Mystery Babylon/Mysticism. It is the foundation of the one world religion after all. It is the lie that people are to seek after mysteries, inner experiences, inner contemplation, "enlightenment" and "INNER KNOWING" instead of truth in God's Word. 

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


27 comments:

Gordon said...

Well this is kind of interesting, I was talking with a friend only a month ago about this, and so here is some of what we were looking at then, to add some resources for consideration.
Dictionary of Christian churches and sects from the earliest ages of Christianity –John Buxton Marsden 1854

Gnostics
http://www.google.com/books?id=n6E817oDEDcC&pg=PA479#v=onepage&q&f=false

This resource is pretty well written and helps clear up some other questions. As stated, the topic is pretty wide, but there are some distinctions made in that chapter of the book that are really helpful.

With an understanding of what the Gnostic doctrine is pertaining to licentiousness and food for example, you also understand the terminology and doctrine used in the Bible by the Apostles in directly refuting it. There is a lot in this section of the book that will pull together a lot of what has been said on this blog recently, not just in this post alone but several other recent posts.

One of the things in the book (url link above) that is easy to miss if you don’t speak Greek (which I don’t either) is the names of the 2 Aeons -Power and Wisdom. These Greek words are δύναμις (dunamis) and σοφία (sophia)

I point this out because BB mentioned Sophia (wisdom), and this dictionary explains further how this is understood in 2nd century Gnosticism as taught by Basilides of Alexandria.

Something else needs to be considered about Simon Magus, or Simon the Sorcerer from Acts 8:9-25. Remember that Simon tricked the people of Samaria into believing he himself had the power of a god, and later he wanted to purchase the power of the Holy Ghost (the living breathing active authoritative power) himself. Simon the fake wanted the real thing for his own purpose, and missed the truth completely and fell or stayed in the devils trap…

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
[The problem with that is…]
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isa 14:14-15

Bible Believer said...

Thanks Gordon for that link, it looks like pretty interesting reading.
I especially want to check out the "sophia" part that you mention, which includes Basilides of Alexandria. One thing to consider among the early deceivers and "early church fathers", I suspect the extreme ones, were used as "cover" to bring in more subtle errors. Kind of like today. This is why Rome can say today look at those pantheists and gnostics, while within their own theology, they carried forth with endless factors from the mystery cults.

one thing about the Apochyrpha which Rome clings to, is the books are very GNOSTIC, including the book of Wisdom.
I had to read these things during my Catholic years case in note these verses from Wisdom...[remember what I wrote about Sophia]

Chapt 1

6 Wisdom is a spirit friendly to humanity, though she will not let a blasphemer's words go unpunished; since God observes the very soul and accurately surveys the heart, listening to every word.

Chapter 6

13 She anticipates those who desire her by making herself known first.

14 Whoever gets up early to seek her will have no trouble but will find her sitting at the door.

15 Meditating on her is understanding in its perfect form, and anyone keeping awake for her will soon be free from care.

16 For she herself searches everywhere for those who are worthy of her, benevolently appearing to them on their ways, anticipating their every thought.

17 For Wisdom begins with the sincere desire for instruction, care for instruction means loving her,

18 loving her means keeping her laws, attention to her laws guarantees incorruptibility,

19 and incorruptibility brings us near to God;

20 the desire for Wisdom thus leads to sovereignty.

21 If then thrones and sceptres delight you, monarchs of the nations, honour Wisdom, so that you may reign for ever.

22 What Wisdom is and how she was born, I shall now explain; I shall hide no mysteries from you, but shall follow her steps from the outset of her origin, setting out what we know of her in full light, without departing from the truth.

Yes I know this is a very broad topic too.

Anonymous said...

False religions come from Satan and hold no truth

In my own experience, I have found that false religions MAY actually contain truth, but ALWAYS with a twist! Something is added or subtracted. Someone once said something about being able to know the difference between what's true and what's almost true.

Thanks for another great article.

Anonymous said...

You are right in your summation to point to all the inner knowledge that leads to the "Divine Spark". The same old lie of Satan, "I will be like the Most High". - Don

Bornagain Soldier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bible Believer said...

I've seen associated hand signs symbols with Luther and Lutheranism that concern me too.

See here. {take Texe Marrs of course with a grain of salt as I have warned about him, but this particular information is accurate, that is one hand sign still used all over the place}

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/codex_magica/images/dcodex_44.jpg

"MARTIN Luther, priest who set in motion the Protestant Reformation, is shown in this picture from Christian News, a periodic Lutheran publication, giving a masonic sign.



The same Lutheran newspaper carries on its masthead (pg. 1) of every edition Luther's seal, of Rosicrucian design. In fact, Luther was a Rosicrucian. Masonic signs and grips closely parallel those of Rosicrucians (Christian News, February 18, 2003, p. 1).



In an article on the internet entitled "Calvinism," John Paul Jones quoted Masonic scholar Manly P. Hall, 33o, as affirming that Protestant reformer Martin Luther was a Rosicrucian initiate.



In the article, Luther's official seal, middle, was depicted, along with the seal (far right) on Martin Luther's ring. At far left is Luther's seal with author Jones showing how if the petals of the flower are connected, an occult pentacle results."

By the way during my UU days, I saw the
Rosicrucian rose and wondered why that was the choice for that Lutheran seal.

From your link BAS "The name derives from the order’s symbol, a rose on a cross, which is similar to the family coat of arms of Martin Luther. Rosicrucian teachings are a combination of occultism and other religious beliefs and practices, including Hermeticism, Jewish mysticism, and Christian Gnosticism. The central feature of Rosicrucianism is the belief that its members possess secret wisdom that was handed down to them from ancient times."

Bible Believer said...

Thanks Anon, I agree false religions have no truth, remember they may toss appearances of truth, like saying they stand for love, etc, but there is no true love when it comes to a false god or religion. Now human beings have God-given consciences that hopefully will lead them to the gospel and the truth. {Romans 2} but this is in spite of the false religions.

Thanks anon for mentioning the "divine spark". Obviously in interfaithism they deem that this is in every false religion of the world.

Thanks for your encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I watched this video tonight with my wife. It is about "Women in the New Testament and covers the gnostic view very well. You will be uplifted! It has 4 parts, here is the link to the 1st; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvbD9Tv-rb4 Enjoy - Don

Anonymous said...

I found a much better link for the video. It's not chopped up and has all of Guy's comments at the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YNyuHjWJlc - Don

Bible Believer said...

Thanks for the video links Don. :)

Anonymous said...

To go further, are not the gnostics also included in the camp of "reformed theology" and "calvinism", etc. Gnosticism also envelops the whole reformed theology teaching of "imputed righteousness". Do not the gnostics teach that what happened on the cross was that Jesus made a “swap.” It is evident that those "pastors" that have given over to ecumenicalism (the likes of Stanley, Warren, Giglio, Swindoll, Moore, Tony Evans, Piper, Graham, ,etc,etc, etc)really want us to believe such erroneous traditional teachings that exceed what is written in the bible.

Jesus did not become sin itself; the Bible is clear that he was a sin OFFERING. There was never a time, nor shall be, where Jesus will be found with sin. “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sin and IN Him is NO sin” ( 1 Jn. 3:5)

The Bible clearly tells us that Christ was an OFFERING for sin. (Isa. 53:10; Heb. 9:13-14; 9:28; 10:10). He was a SACRIFICE to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Eph. 5:1-2). These verses also affirm, Christ NEVER became sin on the cross, which means, when God viewed His Son on Calvary He saw NO sin. (Isa. 53:7; 53:9; Acts 8:32-33; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pe. 2:22-23)

Just the long list of catholicism, stemming from the pharisees, reproducing through satans harlotry spawning every conceiving denomination and sect littering the landscape of christendom today.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the full Gnosticism lecture that Dr. Heiser gave; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDyl1qrpj_Q Part 1 is a very good simple breakdown. - Don

William Sculley said...

seeing how far you got from the original Gnosticism, instead describing neo-Gnosticism, I'm going to post a list of the teachings of Valentinius concerning various topics. Please show me how the Neo Gnostics fit into this theology:

A Brief Summary of Valentinian Theology

The Secret Tradition

According to Valentinus, there are esoteric teachings which originate from Jesus that were passed on in secret. When Jesus spoke in public, he used metaphors that did not disclose his complete teachings. He only passed them on to his disciples in private. He referred to this when he said: "The knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but to the rest it comes by means of parables so that they may look but not see and listen but not understand."(Luke 8:9-10 cf. Ireneus Against Heresies 1:3:1). Similarly, when Saint Paul encountered the risen Lord in a vision (2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Acts 9:9-10), he received the secret teaching from him. Valentinus claimed that he learned this secret teaching from Theudas.

According to Valentinus, this secret tradition provides the key that is essential for a complete understanding of Jesus' message. One of his followers put this in the following words: "The scriptures are ambiguous and the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition." (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:2:1). The Valentinians claimed that the secret teachings are meaningful only to those who are spiritually mature. If a person was not ready to receive them, they seem like nonsense "because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis" (1 Corinthians 2:14). According to the Valentinian tradition, Paul and the other apostles revealed these teachings only to those who were 'spiritually mature' (1 Corinthians 2:6)

God

Valentinians believed that God is incomprehensible and cannot be known directly. Therefore he defies accurate description. He is infinite, without beginning or end and is the ultimate origin of all things. He encompasses all things without being encompassed. Everything including the world lies within the deity and continues to be part of it. The Godhead manifests itself through a process of self-unfolding in the subsequent multiplicity of being while maintaining its unity.

Valentinians believed that God is androgynous and frequently depicted him as a male-female dyad. This is related to the notion that God provides the universe with both form and substance. The feminine aspect of the deity is called Silence, Grace and Thought. Silence is God's primordial state of tranquillity and self-awareness She is also the active creative Thought that makes all subsequent states of being (or "Aeons") substantial. The masculine aspect of God is Depth, also called Ineffable and First Father. Depth is the profoundly incomprehensible, all-encompassing aspect of the deity. He is essentially passive, yet when moved to action by his feminine Thought, he gives the universe form.

The Son

The origin of the universe is described as a process of emanation from the Godhead. The male and female aspects of the Father, acting in conjunction, manifested themselves in the Son. The Son is also often depicted by Valentinians as a male-female dyad. The Son manifests himself in twenty-six spiritual entities or Aeons arranged into male-female pairs. The arrangement and names of the Aeons will not be discussed here. They represent the energies immanent within Son and were seen as part of his personality. Together they constitute the Fullness (pleroma) of the Godhead.

William Sculley said...

The Fall

The Aeons who are manifested by the Son are conceived as having some degree of psychological independence. They lie within God but are separated from him by a Limit or boundary. As a result, they do not know the one who brought them into being. The Aeons sensed that they were incomplete and longed to know their origin.

This longing passed to Sophia (Wisdom), the youngest of the Aoens. On behalf of the whole Fullness, she took up the quest to know the supreme Parent. She attempted to know him by thinking alone, something that is impossible. As a result, she became separated from her consort and fell into a state of deficiency and suffering. Through the power of Limit, Sophia was divided in two. Her higher part was returned to her consort but her lower part was separated from the Fullness into a lower realm along with the deficiency and suffering. This lower realm is identical with the physical world.

Valentinians envisioned the universe as a series of concentric spheres. The innermost sphere is the world or deficiency where the lower Sophia was exiled. Enclosing this is the Fullness (pleroma) where the Aeons are. The Aeons are enclosed within the Son. The outermost sphere which encompasses the Son is where the Father (Depth and Silence) is. There is a boundary or Limit between God and the Fullness. There is a second boundary or Limit between the Fullness and the deficiency. Just as the Fullness is a product of the Godhead and lies within it, so also the realm of deficiency is a product of the Fullness and lies within it. The deficiency arose as result of ignorance and it will be dissolved through knowledge (gnosis).

Through the mediation of the Son, the Aeons within the Fullness were given knowledge (gnosis) of God and received rest. All of the Aeons then joined together in celebration and became completely integrated into the personality of the Son. The reintegrated Son is also called the Savior. He is destined to be the male partner or bridegroom of the fallen Sophia. He is surrounded by a retinue of angels who were brought forth in honor of the Aeons.

The lower Sophia, trapped in the realm of deficiency, continued to suffer the emotional torments of grief, fear and confusion. As a result of her ignorance, she was trapped in a state of illusion and was unable to distinguish what was real and what unreal. She underwent a conversion when she thought of the light and she began to plead for assistance. In response, her bridegroom, the Savior, and his retinue of angels descended through the Limit to her. Through knowledge (gnosis) of the eternal realm she was freed of illusion and suffering.

The lower Sophia rejoiced at the sight of the Savior and his retinue of angels, and brought forth spiritual seeds in their image. These seeds are the spiritual element present in every Christian. For this reason the seeds are referred to as the spiritual Church. Just as the Savior is the bridegroom of the lower Sophia, so also the angels will be the bridegrooms of the spiritual seeds at the end of time.

Three states of being or "substances" came into being from Sophia as a result of her quest to know God. First the illusion which characterizes material existence came from ignorance and suffering; it is personified as the Devil. Second came soul which comes from conversion as an intermediate stage between ignorance and knowledge. It is personified as the Craftsman (demiurge) who forms the material world. Last the spiritual seed came from her knowledge (gnosis) and is personified in the lower Sophia herself.

Despite the fact that the lower Sophia was no longer ignorant, the ignorance was not fully dissipated. The spiritual seeds were immature and needed training. For this purpose, the creation of the material world was necessary. The lower Sophia and the Savior secretly influenced the Craftsman to create the material world in the image of the Fullness. The Craftsman is ignorant of his mother and thinks that he acts alone, but he unconsciously acts as her agent.

William Sculley said...



Human Beings

Human beings were created by the Craftsman. In addition to a physical body, Valentinians believed that people were composed of three non-corporeal elements: a demonic part (chous), a rational soul (psyche), and a spiritual seed (pneuma). Human beings were divided into three types depending on which of the three natures is dominant within them. That is why Adam and Eve are described as having had three children who they named Cain, Abel and Seth. They are the prototypes of carnal (choic), animate (psychic) and spiritual (pneumatic) human beings respectively.


Jesus

The decisive event in the history of the world was the ministry of Jesus. He is the physical manifestation of the Son or Savior. Prior to his coming, the true God was unknown. Jesus came to bring knowledge (gnosis) to a suffering humanity that was desperately seeking God. By knowledge, the two elements which had been separated (i.e. the seeds and the angels) are joined.

The Valentinian tradition draws a sharp distinction between the human Jesus and the divine Jesus. The human Jesus was born the true son of Mary and Joseph. By a special dispensation, his body is consubstantial with Sophia and her spiritual seed. When he was thirty years old, he went to John the Baptist to be baptized. As soon as he went down into the water, the divine Savior, referred to as the "Spirit of the Thought of the Father", descended on him in the form of a dove. This is the true "virgin birth" and resurrection from the dead, for he was reborn of the virgin Spirit.

Jesus taught publicly in parables and riddles, but to his closest disciples he revealed the whole truth about the fall of Sophia and the coming restoration of the Fullness. According to Valentinian tradition, Mary Magdalene was an important member of this inner circle. She is seen as an image of the lower Sophia and is described as Jesus' consort in the Gospel of Philip.

The divine Jesus experienced all of the emotions of human being including grief, fear and confusion in the Garden of Gethsemene. However, only the human Jesus suffered pain and died on the cross. His divine aspect transcends physical suffering and death. When his physical body died, his non-corporeal spiritual body rose up from it.

Following the crucifixion, Valentinians believed that Jesus continued to appear to his disciples for eighteen months, not the forty days reported in the Acts of the Apostles. During this period he instructed the disciples "plainly about the Father." Even after his ascension, he continued to appear to people in visions, most notably Saint Paul and Valentinus.

William Sculley said...


Redemption

According to the Valentinians, people manifest their true nature by their response to the message of Jesus. Using the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-8), they explain that through Jesus, Sophia sows the spiritual seed in all who hear the message. In some people the seed "falls on the path" and they do not respond at all. Such people are carnal by nature. In others the seed is choked by the thorns which are worldly concerns. They are hesitant and are unable to go beyond the level of rational explanations. Such people are dominated by their rational element or soul. In others, the seed was planted "in good earth" and they bear spiritual fruit. Such people are Gnostic or spiritual Christians.

People bear fruit spiritually by attaining a state of mystical knowledge (gnosis) in which they are joined with their angel who accompanies the Savior. Awakened from the drunken stupor of ignorance, and freed of suffering, they recognize their true spiritual nature. This is the true resurrection from the dead, that is, from the death of ignorance. This resurrection does not take place in the afterlife. It must be experienced in the here and now.

Valentinians describe the process of union with the divine in terms of a general eschatology that can be realized in the individual here and now. First the person spiritually ascends above the Craftsman and the lower powers to join Sophia, the Savior and their angel. Rejoicing with all of the saved, the person is joined with their angel and enters the Fullness. Such a person is "in the world but not of it." They have already attained a spiritual existence such that, for them, the world has become the Fullness.

Ethics

Despite the untruths spread by their enemies, Valentinians insisted on the highest possible ethical standard from members of their school. They believed that it was possible to lead a sinless existence through perfect knowledge (gnosis) of God's will. Sin was seen as an expression of ignorance. As it says in the Gospel of Philip, "The one who has knowledge is a free person. But the free person does not sin, for the one who sins is a slave of sin " (Gospel of Philip 77:15-18).

The Sermon on the Mount was seen as a guide to leading an ethical life. According to the teacher Ptolemy, the law of love taught by Jesus abolished unjust laws, tranformed other laws to a spiritual sense and fulfilled the true divine law (Letter to Flora). While they did reject wealth and temporal authority, Valentinians never rejected marriage and raising children. According to the Alexandrian teacher Theodotus, marriage was necessary so that those with the spiritual seed might be born. Despite his advice, some members of the school practiced celibacy.

William Sculley said...

The last few posts I have made are NOT what I really believe, but are a breakdown of what Gnostics really taught in the early foundations of the heresy. This heresy is very different from New-Gnosticism, which, as I had predicted, is what Bible Believer has actually described.

Bible Believer said...

New Gnosticism? Is that to try and change the meaning of it?
Ok lets look at the Valentinus teachings and break it down...

1. You wrote they taught that Jesus has secret esoteric teachings.

This is still taught in Gnostic, New Age and Theosophy circles TODAY.

In fact many look to false Gnostic gospels that feature false writings about "jesus" to look for these.

what churches today teach secrets and MYSTERIES?

{Catholic etc, the "mysteries" of the Eucharist, the secret of Fatima, etc}

Christians go with what God's Word says...

Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

You wrote this:

" One of his followers put this in the following words: "The scriptures are ambiguous and the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition." (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:2:1). The Valentinians claimed that the secret teachings are meaningful only to those who are spiritually mature."

Don't we hear this today from Catholics and Orthodox who claim that a person cannot understand scripture on their own, and that they need special "spiritually mature" clergy to intepret it for them?

This is what the Bible tells the Christian.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

"Valentinians believed that God is incomprehensible and cannot be known directly. Therefore he defies accurate description."

Isn't this what is taught via the interfaith movement and false religions holding truths?

" He encompasses all things without being encompassed."

Like all religions, where supposedly they all lead to God?

Bible Believer said...


"Valentinians believed that God is androgynous and frequently depicted him as a male-female dyad."

Gnostics today still value androgyny. Just look at the modern feminist movement. Look at the push for homosexual rights.

"Thought that makes all subsequent states of being (or "Aeons") substantial."

Same for today's Gnostics as they visualize their desires and more. Contemplative prayer goes along with the same idea.

"The Son manifests himself in twenty-six spiritual entities or Aeons arranged into male-female pairs."

Not much different then Gnostics today who look to avatars and spirit guides. Many of today's modern New agers and Gnostics, look to "jesus", "buddha" etc, as different spiritual avatars of "god".

Aeons looks like it is just another word for AVATAR.

I noticed in the fantasy occult world both are used interchangeably...

example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3zGEKnzFrY
"Valentinians envisioned the universe as a series of concentric spheres. "

So do UUs.

Serious about that.

That is still within TODAY's GNOSTICISM, occult and other places.

one will hear about the SPIRAL universe in THEOSOPY, WICCA, etc. Wiccans even pray to the spiral goddess. Spiral dances, I remember that from the UU church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spiral_Dance

Hey what is considered NEW is just rehashed Satanic lies.

"Through the mediation of the Son, the Aeons within the Fullness were given knowledge (gnosis) of God and received rest."

Sure the same thing is taught today.

"All of the Aeons then joined together in celebration and became completely integrated into the personality of the Son. The reintegrated Son is also called the Savior."

Today's "COSMIC CHRIST".

Which the interfaith movement as a whole, the RCC, Orthodox and false churches all look towards.
" Valentinians believed that people were composed of three non-corporeal elements: a demonic part (chous), a rational soul (psyche), and a spiritual seed (pneuma)."

This is still true now.

Gnostics, Occultists and New Agers
all speak of the "shadow side".

That would be another word for Chous.

Jung spoke of the shadow...

warning occult website but showing this for proof..

http://www.shadowwork.com/about.html

They had shadow work seminars even in UU churches.
"That is why Adam and Eve are described as having had three children who they named Cain, Abel and Seth. They are the prototypes of carnal (choic), animate (psychic) and spiritual (pneumatic) human beings respectively."

Seth is celebrated NOW in occult circles.

The stuff about Jesus you wrote is still taught in New Age circles that advance a New age false jesus.

Mary Magdalene is massively celebrated in those circles.

"People bear fruit spiritually by attaining a state of mystical knowledge (gnosis) in which they are joined with their angel who accompanies the Savior. Awakened from the drunken stupor of ignorance, and freed of suffering, they recognize their true spiritual nature".

Spirit guides in the New Age.

But also sounds like today's Catholic mystics.

"The Sermon on the Mount was seen as a guide to leading an ethical life."

That is still taught today.

Certainly heard a few UU sermons attesting to the same.

"The last few posts I have made are NOT what I really believe, but are a breakdown of what Gnostics really taught in the early foundations of the heresy. This heresy is very different from New-Gnosticism, which, as I had predicted, is what Bible Believer has actually described. "

I don't see the differences from Today's Gnostics as opposed to yesterday's. They may use some new vocabulary words, but it's the same luciferian lies.

William Sculley said...

Neo-Gnosticism is different in and of itself. It is a culmination of the following:

Arianism (the belief that there was once a time when the Son of God did not exist. Arius is a fourth century heretic)
Valentinianism (described above)
Monophysitism (the belief that Christ had one nature which was a hybrid of the divine and the human, rather than a hypostatic union where He is all human and all divine.)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't mean to bring up old topic, I'd have rather emailed you with this question, but commenting seems to be the only way to get in contact.

You do a lot of talking about Rome and Catholicism changing the way worship is held etcetera. and here you liken the Gnostics to the same mentality and the same path but that makes me question "why were they driven out in the beginning by the very people who we are to stay away from even now?" It makes me interested in what Rome was so afraid of in them.

I'd also like your comment on the Word in-itself, how do we know it was not adulterated by Rome to serve their purposes? You talk of false books, how do we know the ones we have are not false, and how do we know some deemed false by Rome are not actually good? I have always struggle with who decided on our books and why.

If you have any blogs on the subjects listed above you can link me in comment below. Thank you!

William Sculley said...

"Hi, I don't mean to bring up old topic, I'd have rather emailed you with this question, but commenting seems to be the only way to get in contact.

You do a lot of talking about Rome and Catholicism changing the way worship is held etcetera. and here you liken the Gnostics to the same mentality and the same path but that makes me question "why were they driven out in the beginning by the very people who we are to stay away from even now?" It makes me interested in what Rome was so afraid of in them.

I'd also like your comment on the Word in-itself, how do we know it was not adulterated by Rome to serve their purposes? You talk of false books, how do we know the ones we have are not false, and how do we know some deemed false by Rome are not actually good? I have always struggle with who decided on our books and why.

If you have any blogs on the subjects listed above you can link me in comment below. Thank you!"

I do not have a blog, but rather an entire podcast about the ancient heresies that I will link at the bottom.

However, I will clarify a few things:

1. Rome began to change their methods of worship around the 11th century, when they decided to make the Pope boss, and the rest of the Christian world said "Oh, no you didn't!". Up until that point, Rome shared a common style of worship with the rest of the Church: a liturgical service which was started by St. James, the brother of Christ.

2. Rome wasn't actually highly involved in the Gnostic heresies. The ones which most combated those were Irenaeus of Lyons and Ignatius of Antioch. Their letters to the Church are fairly easy to obtain, and do a much better job of explaining it than I can. I would recommend reading "Against Heresies", by St. Irenaeus of Lyons.

3. Scripture wasn't officially canonized until the late 300's, following the NT listing of St. Athanasius (27 books from Matthew to Revelation), and the OT listing found in the Greek Septuagint (the Masoretic text was not yet compiled, and there was no extant Hebrew text at the time). The Septuagint was confirmed by Christ, who quoted about half the time from its pages, including the "apocrypha". The New Testament texts were determined by the qualities of:
A. Written by an Apostle, or by one of their close associates
B. Of salvific nature, or able to lead to salvation.
C. Doctrinal Truth. They did not contain any heresy.

Some of the writings of the Apostles were not put into Scripture, such as the Protoevangelium of James.

For more information on the history of the divisions in the Church: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

Start with the last podcast on page 2 and go up from there.

William Sculley said...

Why not just know what the Gnostics taught by reading what they wrote? Instead of making up your own definition, you ought to know what the heck you are talking about.

Bible Believer said...

Being an ex-UU Theosophist, I USED TO BASICALLY be a Gnostic. I read Gnostic books. Rome lied about driving the Gnostics out, their beliefs were fully integrated into the false Romanist system.

William Sculley said...

Correction. You used to be a neo-gnostic. The writings of the Gnostics is available to read. We don't claim what they believe out of some guess. It is easily shown by picking up the writings of Marcion, Valentinus, and other early Gnostics. Neo-Gnostics like the UU don't come close to the original Gnostics.

Bible Believer said...

You think Satan's lies with time change? They remain the same.

William Sculley said...

You underestimate the cunningness of the Devil. We do not fight some simpleton who couldn't come up with an idea on his own. We don't fight against someone who is unskilled.

Satan is in the art of deception. His whole goal is to steal men from the flock of God. His lies have always changed.

In the first and second century, he tried to convince men that Jesus wasn't a man.

In the third and fourth century, he tried to convince men that Jesus was just a man.

In the past, he tried to convince man that they had to follow every ritual invented by a madman who hid some secret knowledge from them.

Today, he has convinced many that God is not found in an organized Gathering of fellow believers.

Satan's lies change. The UU is nothing like the Gnostics. If you want to read the original Gnostics, here is a collection of their writings:

http://gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Valentinian_Writings.htm

Valentinian writings can be divided into two broad groups:

Exoteric writings: These were works which were intended for wide circulation and served to attract new students to the school.
Esoteric writings: These were intended only for initiates into the school. Such works describe Valentinian speculation in full detail.