Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Creation is an Emanation of God

The Creation is an Emanation of God

In this study we will look at the doctrine of emanation first an introductory reading from the Tripartite Tractate

The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well. (The Tripartite Tractate)

The Meaning of Emanation

To begin with we will look at the meaning of the word emanation

The word "Emanation" comes from the Latin e-manare, "to flow forth". 

The Greek word Exerchomai means to go or come forth of 
emitted as from the heart or the mouth 2e
to flow forth from the body 2e
to emanate, issue 

The word Exerchomai (Strong's Number: 1831) comes from two Greek words from 1537 and 2064;

1537 ἐκ ek [ek] or ἐξ ex [ex] 

a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; prep;  

AV-of 366, from 181, out of 162, by 55, on 34, with 25, misc 98; 921 

1) out of, from, by, away from

1Cor 8:6 there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, on account of whom all things are, and we because of him. (NWT)

1 Chron 16:27 Majestic splendor emanates from him, he is the source of strength and joy. (Net Bible)

Psa 96:6 Majestic splendor emanates from him; his sanctuary is firmly established and beautiful. (Net Bible)

The Hebrew terms used for emanation are aẓilut or aẓilah (cf. Num. 11:17), hishtalshelut, meshekh, shefa; the verbs shalaḥ and sadar (in the pu'al) are also used (see J. Klatzkin, Thesaurus Philosophicus (1930), 96; 4 (1933), 112).

God's Substance
To fully understand the teaching of Emanation we need to understand God's Substance or his corporeal body. Now the problem is most people think of God has a sort of formless, shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will.

Hebrews 1:3 He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power; and after he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places

Hebrews 1:3 who, being the radiance of His glory and the exact expression of His substance, and upholding all things by the power of His word, through having made the purification of sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Berean Literal Bible)

The word translated "very being" or "substance" is the Greek word hypostasis

5287 ὑπόστασις hupostasis [hoop-os’-tas-is] 

from a compound of 5259 and 2476; n f; TDNT-8:572,1237; [{ See TDNT 820 }] 

AV-confidence 2, confident 1, person 1, substance 1; 5

"an accurate representation in the manner of an 'impress' or 'stamp', as of a coin to a die" (NIBC); "the mark [which] is the exact impression of the seal" (Barclay). Christ is "the image of God" (2Co 4:4) and "the image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15); although in these two instances, the Gr word "eikon" is different from that used here. John expressed the same idea in the words "anyone who has seen me [Jesus] has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

the Son is the Character of his Hypostasis rendered, in the common version, "express image of his person." The Son is the character or exact representation, and the Father is the hypostasis. In reference to the former, the Father says, in Zech. iii. 9, "Upon One Stone there shall be Seven Eyes ; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof (that is, of the stone), saith He who shall be hosts." The graving engraved on the stone is termed, in Greek, character, an impress wrought into a substance after some archetype or pattern. This archetype is the hypostasis, so that hypostasis is the basis or foundation of character; wherefore the same apostle in Col. i. 15, styles the character engraved the IMAGE of Theos the Invisible. Seth was the image of Adam, and Adam, the image of Elohim (cf. Gen. i. 26 ; v. 3.). Like Seth, Jesus was an image of Adam, but only in relation to flesh. Adam the First was image of Elohim, and this was in relation to bodily form. Body and form were the hypostasis of Adam and Seth; that is, they were the basis or foundation of the images so named. Where body and form do not exist, there can be no image; therefore, where image is predicated of hypostasis, that hypostasis must have both body and form. The Father-Spirit, unveiled, is, then, a bodily form; and as all things are "out of Him," He is the focal centre of the universe, from which irradiates whatever exists. (Eureka by Dr. Thomas)

The Creation by Emanation

Gen 1:1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth (YLT)

Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Psalm 33 paints a similar picture: 

6 By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalms 33) 

For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. From these premises, then, it is evident that Wisdom, the Word, and the Spirit, are but different terms, expressive of the same thing; so that the phrases, "the Spirit of Wisdom," and " the Spirit of Counsel and of Might" are combinations expressive of the relations of the Spirit in certain cases.

The apostle John, in speaking of this, saith, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was made not any thing which exists. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." This appears to me to be a very intelligible account of the matter. The Word, Wisdom, Spirit, God, all one and the same; for He, being the fountain and origin, is as the emanation from himself.

2tim 3:16 Every scripture, is God-breathed (2315. θεόπνευστος theopneustos), and profitable--unto teaching, unto conviction, unto correction, unto the discipline that is in righteousness,--

[Inbreathing (2315 /theópneustos) relates directly to God's Spirit (Gk pneuma) which can also be translated "breath."]

[G. Archer, "2315 (theópneustos) is better rendered 'breathed out by God' as the emphasis is upon the divine origin of the inscripturated revelation itself" (A Survey of OT Introduction, fn. 7, 29).]

It is styled "the word of God" because it is a good message emanating from Him

The Spirit is a proceedure from the Father; an emanation sent forth wheresoever He pleaseth. It is that by which he establishes a relationship, or connexion, between Himself and every thing animate and inanimate in the Universe.

Heb 11:1 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities (5287 ὑπόστασις hupostasis or 
hypostasis) though not seen.
2 For by means of this the men of old times had witness borne to them.
3 By faith we perceive that the ages (165 αἰών aeon ahee-ohn’) were put in order by the word of God, so that what is seen has come to be out of things that do not appear.

The ages or aeons were set in order by the word of God that means they were God-breathed the ages emanated from God they are the unseen realities

1 Cor. 8:6  yet to us there is but one God, the Father, out of whom are all things and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ on account of whom are all things, and we by Him.

The Father, out of whom are all things

The Father is absolute power from whose incorruptible substance radiates holy spirit or active force is before all existing things. This self-existing incorruptible substance is essentially spirit—spirit substance—
a concentration and condensation into ONE BODY of all the attributes, intellectual, moral and physical, of omnipotence—all things are out of Deity (1 Cor. 8:6). All things being out of Deity, they were not made out of nothing. The sun, moon and stars, together with all things pertaining to each, were made out of something, and that something was the radiant flowing out of His substance, or active force, which pervades all things. By his active force, all created things are connected with the creator of the universe, which is light that no man can approach unto, so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father, who is not far from every one of us.

John 1:3  All things, through him, came into existence, and, without him, came into existence, not even one thing: that which hath come into existence,

The Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) as Creator, is necessarily before all things, and is, therefore, the "Theos," and the "Logos" of John 1:3, where it is testified that "all things were made on account of Him; and without Him was made not one thing which exists."

For out of Him, (ex autou) and through Him, and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory for the Aeons. Amen" (Rom. 11: 33-36).

The source or fountain of power in the universe is one. It is a unit. Therefore, everything which exists is out of Him. Hence the Creator did not "make all things out of nothing."

Hence the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all the things they can see, taste, feel, smell, and hear upon earth, are God. But do not confuse that which "is of Him" with the "Him" out of whom all things proceed.

The angels or the Elohim also emanated from the Father
For on the first day He created the heavens which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits which serve before him -the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels [of the spirit of fire and the angels] of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer and of all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide <and night>, and the light, dawn and day, which He hath prepared in the knowledge of his heart. (The Book of Jubilees)

Emanations of the formative Spirit being out of him. The Spirit-Elohim are also "God"; nevertheless they are created. They are formed and made out of and by that which is uncreated. They are Spirit-Forms, the substance of which (spirit) is eternal; while the forms are from a beginning. Each one is a God in the sense of partaking of THE DIVINE NATURE, and being therefore a Son of the Deity.

The Deity (EL), therefore, refers to that mighty Power whose work is publicly displayed in all creation, and whose energy is the basis of all matter for "out of Him were all things made." "Lord," declared the Psalmist, "thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are Power" -- Ps. 90:1-2.

Psalm 8:3, "When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained because Elohim are the agents or administrative fingers of the Spirit.  "The Spirit of God" and "the fingers of God" are synonymous, as appears from Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20; and Elohim are spirit, being out of Deity (EL). What the fingers of the hand are to the brain, such are the hosts of Elohim to Deity (EL); they are "Unity of Spirit," which is "God."

The Father-Spirit is embodied power. which implies offspring or children, children or SONS OF POWER. Son-power is also embodied power. It is power emanating from the Father, corporealized in one or a multitude, but never separated or detached from the focal centre. . The Son-power is, therefore, the Father-power, multitudinously expressed, manifested through many bodies.

"He only hath deathlessness." Life radiating from His substance, is spirit-life (El ruach), that is power of spirit. Formative of a creature, and sustaining it in life, it is power of spirit, or spirit-power for that creature. Twelve such Eloahh ruach become Elohim ruchoth, spirit-powers of the twelve. Hence, these Elohim are son-powers, or emanations from the Deity, the great "paternal power." He is therefore the Deity of all flesh, as well as Elohim for all flesh. "The ruach or spirit of Deity (EL) has made me, and the breath of the Shaddai, or Mighty Ones, hath given me life" (Job. 33:4). Here is the Spirit of Deity (EL) through the breath of Shaddai that gives life to men. This withdrawn and they die. Hence it is written: "If He gather unto himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn unto dust" (34:14).

In this elaboration, then, we have Father-Power, Son-Power, or emanation, and Holy Spirit or active force. The Father-Power is One; the Son-Power is the One Father-Power in plural manifestation; and the manifestation is developed by Holy Spirit or active force emanation from the Father Power.

As we have seen, Moses and the prophets teach "One" self-existent, supreme fountain of Power, Deity (EL) who is Spirit, and self-named I SHALL BE, or Yahweh: that is ONE YAHWEH-SPIRIT POWER is "God" in the highest sense, and constitutes the FATHER IN HEAVEN; and He is the Springhead of many streams, or rivers of spirit,

according to the will of the Yahweh-Spirit Power, and that when formed after the model, archetype, or the pattern, presented in HIS OWN Substance, they become SPIRIT-ELOHIM, or sons of God; and are Spirit, because "born of the Spirit" -- Emanations of the formative Spirit being out of him. The Spirit-Elohim was also "God"; nevertheless they are created. They are formed and made out of and by that which is uncreated. They are Spirit-Forms, the substance of which (spirit) is eternal; while the forms are from a beginning. Each one is a God in the sense of partaking of THE DIVINE NATURE, and being therefore a Son of God.

Any teachings which involve emanation are usually in opposition to creation ex nihilo as emanation advocates that everything has always existed and has not been "created" from nothing.

God and his Spirit are inseparable. This Spirit is coeternal with God himself; is the emanation of his incorruptible substance ; out of which he has generated the universe ; by which he is present everywhere, and with which he pervades all things.

To emanate is to bring about and sustain all things from the essence or substance that the True Deity supplies through his Spirit, it sustains all created things in life; so that when withdrawn they perish, and man returns to dust, Job xxxiv. 14

The Holy Spirit is God’s power, not a separated deity or divine personality, but is rather an unseen power emanating from the Deity, filling all space, and by which God is everywhere present. God is omnipresent by the means of His Spirit flowing out from his personal presence. This spirit power is universal in upholding all things in the natural world. It is medium by which God created all things.

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