Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Gnostic Teaching Matter is Evil Romans 8:20

Matter is Evil and Impure
Matter is Sinful and Impure

First an opening reading from the Gospel of Philip and the first letter of John

The world came about through a mistake. For he who created it wanted to create it imperishable and immortal. He fell short of attaining his desire. For the world never was imperishable, nor, for that matter, was he who made the world. For things are not imperishable, but sons are. Nothing will be able to receive imperishability if it does not first become a son. But he who has not the ability to receive, how much more will he be unable to give? The Gospel of Philip 

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The Gospel of Philip informs us that the world "came about through a mistake"  and the first letter of John commands us not to love he world  but what is the world? 
The "world," John referred to is the prevailing order or arrangement of things as it existed in the political, social and religious systems then and now extant. The Greek word is kosmos, and signifies "order," "arrangement," "ornament," and so forth. It was the prevailing order or system of things that they were not to love.

The Greek word kosmos

2889. kosmos, κόσμος, ου, ὁ

2889 kósmos (literally, "something ordered") – properly, an "ordered system" (like the universe, creation); the world.

Usage: the world, universe; worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; adornment.

As we have seen from the quotation from the Gospel of Philip the word "world" is used in the Coptic text the word for "world"   is the Greek word kósmos. The translation of the Gospel of Philip by Dr. Thomas Paterson Brown uses the word "system" instead of the word "world" 

The system began in a transgression, for he who made it had desired to make it imperishable and immortal. He fell away and did not attain (his) ambition. For there was no imperishability of the system, and there was no imperishability of him who has made the system. For there is no imperishability of things but rather of the Sons, and no one can obtain imperishability except by becoming (a) Son. Yet he who is unable to receive, how much (more) will he be unable to give! (The Annotated Gospel of Philip Dr. Thomas Paterson Brown)

The Annotated Gospel of Philip Dr. Thomas Paterson Brown

Hypertext interlinear of the Gospel according to Philip

From the Hypertext interlinear of the Gospel of Philip we can see that the word "world" is the Greek word Kosmos  

THE WORLD: Gr "kosmos", the order or arrangement of things: in this case, the nations of the earth (Gen 17:4-6). The word "world" is kosmos and refers to the current order of things; thus the world of flesh, comprising both Jew and Gentile. This implies not mere locality and area, but also legal jurisdiction and authority over the world.

The word kosmos refers to the orderly arrangement seen in the systems of mankind.

The order of things (kosmos) is also referred to as an age (aeon)

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

Eph 6:12  because we have not the wrestling with blood and flesh, but with the principalities, with the authorities, with the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, with the spiritual things of the evil in the heavenly places;

In some translations of the Bible the words kosmos and aeon are translated with the English word "world"

Galatians 1:4  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

The king James bible refers to the present order of things to be "this present evil world"

The Greek word translated "evil" Poneros´ often signifies that which is evil or wicked in a moral sense (Lu 6:45) and can apply to something that is bad or worthless in a physical in a physical sense: ὀφθαλμός, diseased or blind, Matthew 6:23Matthew 7:17, 18; Luke 11:34

So the present ages of this order of things is both evil from a moral and a physical sense

Whoever sows in winter reaps in summer. Winter is the world, summer is the other age. Let us sow in the world to reap in summer. And for this reason we should not pray in winter. From winter comes summer. If someone reaps in winter, the person will not really reap but will pull out the young plants, and such do not produce a crop. [That person’s field] is barren not only [now] but also on the sabbath. (Gospel of Philip)

But why is this age or order of things evil?

The simple answer to this is because God cursed it


This may seem strange associating evil with God and creation but God’s plain statements concerning them are clear.
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are ALL things: to whom be glory forever, Amen.” Romans 11:36
All is "of God” according to Romans 11:36,

God’s Word contains many passages that reveal the great truth that ALL things – the evil as well as the good – come from God, who alone can create it. 

Romans 11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God--harshness toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Ec 7:13  Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
Ec 7:14  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Am 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Creation and the Fall
When God's work of creation was completed he saw the earth it was very good

Ge 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
It should be noted that "very good" does not mean perfect

However it would not stay that way for long

Gen 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

After the fall the creation is no longer "very good" it is cursed

Cursed: Originally the earth was proclaimed "very good," but afterwards it sprouted thorns and thistles in abundance (Gen. 3:18). Its proneness so to do is similar to the proneness of the flesh to sin, producing moral thorns and thistles (see Heb. 6:8). 

Originally, the animals were vegetarian, and came tamely before Adam to be named (Gen. 2:19); but subsequently they became carnivorous and fierce; though ultimately they will be restored to their original state (Isa. 65:25). 

Man's physical state under the curse, his proneness to sin, is expressed in Scriptures such as Gen. 3:19; Rom. 7:5, 14, 17, 18, 20; Phil. 3:21, etc
Matter and Corruption
The whole creation desires a better state than that presently experienced, in which sin and death reign supreme (Rom. 5:12), and groans under existing conditions. There is no hope for a world facing destruction by its own hands (cp. Rev. 11:18, "destroy the earth"). As all nature was subjected to the curse, so all nature looks for alleviation of distresses under which it now labors. The animals prey upon each other, and the farmer labors to destroy the weeds that choke his land.

Romans 8:19 For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. 
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will but through him that subjected it, on the basis of hope 
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. 
22 For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now. 
23 Not only that, but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves, while we are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons

Paul tells us that the Creation was not subject to vanity (futility – sin) willingly (voluntarily). It has no will or choice in the matter. God is subjecting the Creation against its will!

“For the Creation was made subject to vanity (futility – sin), not willingly (voluntarily), but by reason of Him who has subjected it in hope (literally - expectation).

“Because the (entire) Creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (sin and death) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:20,21
Creation is subjected to vanity or futility it is also subjected to the bondage of corruption therefore creation is no longer very good it is corrupted and sinful

For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23
All matter is decaying: Because matter is temporary, changing and thus decaying it is sinful or unclean 
The power of death is held by 'sin' (Hebrews 2:14). Therefore in the absence of sin, mortality and its result, death, should not exist.
We are told in Genesis, "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee" (Genesis 3:17-18). 

Death does not cause "thorns also and thistles" to grow. It is neither logical as a literal truth, or as a symbolic expression of death. But thorns and thistle that blight the earth are typical, or a good symbol, of indwelling sin that blights human life.
"The nature of the lower animals is as full of this physical evil principle as the nature of man; though it cannot be styled sin with the same expressiveness; because it does not possess them as the result of their own transgression; the name, however, does not alter the nature of the thing." (Elpis Israel, p. 126)

"The clear evidence of Genesis 3 is that sin had a physical reaction on creation: the serpent crawled upon its belly; all other animal creation was cursed (v. 14 — above all cattle); the woman found her sorrow and conception multiplied; the earth brought forth thorns and thistles; man was made subject to death. (HP Mansfield, Atonement: Salvation Through the Blood of Christ, p. 243).

Of all creatures, only man has possession of the moral sentiments. "Where no 'moral sentiments' exist as part of 'the flesh', or brain, there is no ability in the creature to render an account for its aberrations from the requirements of moral, or spiritual, institutions." (Elpis Israel, p. 88)

Thus, there is no moral law under which the lower creation has been placed but it has been placed under the same sentence of death which works by the law of sin and death.

Uncleanness Caused Through Contact

Cleansing was generally carried out by the use of water and ashes of a red Heifer, and the ceremony was conducted in behalf of persons, places, and objects. (Nu 19:2-9)

Hebrews 9:22 and with blood almost all things are purified according to the law, and apart from blood-shedding forgiveness doth not come.

Ex 29:36  And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

The word for "cleanse" is chata, a word used elsewhere for "sin." Accordingly, Rotherham renders the phrase: "and shalt make a sin-cleansing for the altar."

But why should the altar need "atoning," and why should the term "sin" be used in relation to it, seeing that it never transgressed in any respect? The altar was considered as "defiled" to identify it with a people who had sinned, and needed atonement therefrom. Therefore, it had to be cleansed first in order to provide the  means of the forgiveness of sins on the behalf of actual transgressors, who desired to reach unto God through its means. So with Christ our altar (Heb. 13:10).

Numbers 31:23 every thing which may go into fire, ye cause to pass over through fire, and it hath been clean; only, with the water of separation it is cleansed, and all that may not go into fire, ye cause to pass over through water;

The spoil was purified by fire, representing the spirit of Yahweh Who is described as a "consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). But then it also had to go through the water, which represented the cleansing action of the Word (John 15:3; Eph. 5:2). Fire and water were also used in the parable of the heifer, the sacrifice designed for cleansing from the defilement of death (Num. 19:9; Lev. 11:32; 15:17).

As natural death came by sin, beasts which in life are treated as "clean", are considered "unclean" when they die.

Lev 11:25 And everyone carrying any of their dead bodies will wash his garments, and he must be unclean until the evening.

A person carrying the carcase of an unclean creature from place to place was regard as unclean. The impurity was passed on to his garments, and these also had to be purified. See the Letter of Jude 23: "Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh," and the constant exhortation to keep one's garments pure (Rev. 3:4; 16:15,16). The law taught that it is easier to pollute than to purify; it emphasised the need to keep separate from all polluting influences

This impurity comes from the Curse placed on creation the impurity is the pollution of sin

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am Yahweh, that doeth all these things.

By creating evil God cursed creation

note The word evil means calamity. A specific calamity may or may not be a sin, as will be illustrated

Sin and evil are as cause and effect. God is the author of evil, but not of sin; for the evil is the punishment of sin. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I, Yahweh, do all these things." (Isa. 45:7) "Shall there be evil in a city, and Yahweh hath not done it?" (Amos 3:6) The evil then to which man is subjected is Yahweh's doing. War, famine, pestilence, flood, earthquake, disease, and death, are the terrible evils which God inflicts upon mankind for their transgressions. Nations cannot go to war when they please, any more than they can shake the earth at their will and pleasure; neither can they preserve peace, when He proclaims war. Evil is the artillery with which He combats the enemies of His law, and of His saints; consequently, there will be neither peace nor blessedness for the nations, until sin is put down, His people avenged, and truth and righteousness be established in the earth. Dr. John Thomas Elpis Israel
The Constitution of sin
You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else

The word sin is used in two major ways in the scripture. It signifies in the first place, "the transgression of the law"; and in the next, it represents that physical principle of the animal nature, which is the cause of all its diseases, death, and resolution into dust. It is that in the flesh "which has the power of death" and it is called sin, because the development, or fixation, of this evil in the flesh, was the result of transgression. Inasmuch as this evil principle is present and apparent throughout every cell of the body or every part of the flesh, the animal nature is styled "sinful flesh," that is, "flesh full of sin"; Hence, sin according to the Holy Scriptures came to represent the substance called Man. Dr. John Thomas Elpis Israel

In human flesh "dwells no good thing" (Rom. 7:17,18); and all the evil a man does is the result of this principle dwelling in him. Operating upon the brain [physical], it [indwelling sin] excites the 'propensities', and these set the 'intellect' [mental], and 'sentiments' [moral] to work. The propensities are blind, and so are the intellect and sentiments in a purely natural state; when therefore, the latter operate under the sole impulse of the propensities, 'the understanding is darkened through ignorance, because of the blindness of the heart'" (Eph. 4:18). Dr. John Thomas Elpis Israel

The nature of the lower animals is as full of this physical evil principle as the nature of man; though it cannot be styled sin with the same expressiveness; because it does not possess them as the result of their own transgression; the name, however, does not alter the nature of the thing.  Dr. John Thomas Elpis Israel

Humans, as they are physically constituted, are imperfect. This imperfection can be traced to their physical organization being based on the principle of decay and reproduction from the blood. When this system is acted upon by the [atmospheric nephesh or the] air, it becomes the life of the flesh. All the phenomena that pertain to this arrangement of things is summed up in the simple word “sin.” Therefore, sin is not a single abstraction. It is an assortment of relationships in all animal bodies constituting the source of all their physical infirmities Dr. John Thomas Elpis Israel


  1. Matter is good.
    Can I get Gnostic Christians to agree on this?
    Let me speak to the lie of our hating matter.

    I wrote this to refute the false notion that Gnostic Christians do not like matter and reality that the inquisitors propagated to justify their many murders of my religions originators. It shows that Christians should actually hate matter and not Gnostic Christians.

    The Christian reality.
    1 John 2:15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    Gen 3; 17 Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.

    The Gnostic Christian reality.
    Gnostic Christian Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all.
    [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"

    "If those who attract you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.

    If they say to you, 'It is under the earth,' then the fish of the sea will precede you.

    Rather, the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you.

    [Those who] become acquainted with [themselves] will find it; [and when you] become acquainted with yourselves, [you will understand that] it is you who are the sons of the living Father.

    But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

    As you can see from that quote, if we see God's kingdom all around us and inside of us, we cannot think that the world is anything but evolving perfection. Most just don't see it and live in poverty. Let me try to make you see the world the way I do.

    Here is a mind exercise. Tell me what you see when you look around. The best that can possibly be, given our past history, or an ugly and imperfect world?

    "It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end.”

    That means that we live in the best of all possible worlds, because it is the only possible world, given all the conditions at hand and the history that got us here. That is an irrefutable statement given entropy and the anthropic principle.


    1. You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else