Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Cross of Light in the Acts of John

The Cross of Light in the Acts of John




The cross of light


Ode 27
I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord,
For the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross.
Hallelujah.

16 Adv. Haer. 1. 2, 5 f. According to Refutatio vi. 31,5 f. another aeon, the Cross, was produced in order that the deficiency that had occurred within the Pleroma might not be made known to the perfect aeons. The Cross also separated that which was outside the Pleroma from the Pleroma itself, and was believed to contain in itself the thirty aeons at one and the same time.

The Acts of John 



97 Thus, my beloved, having danced with us the Lord went forth. And we as men gone astray or dazed with sleep fled this way and that. I, then, when I saw him suffer, did not even abide by his suffering, but fled unto the Mount of Olives, weeping at that which had befallen. And when he was crucified on the Friday, at the sixth hour of the day, darkness came upon all the earth. And my Lord standing in the midst of the cave and enlightening it, said: John, unto the multitude below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But unto thee I speak, and what I speak hear thou. I put it into thy mind to come up into this mountain, that thou mightest hear those things which it behoveth a disciple to learn from his teacher and a man from his God.

98 And having thus spoken, he showed me a cross of light fixed (set up), and about the cross a great multitude, not having one form: and in it (the cross) was one form and one likenesst [so the MS.; I would read: and therein was one form and one likeness: and in the cross another multitude, not having one form]. And the Lord himself I beheld above the cross, not having any shape, but only a voice: and a voice not such as was familiar to us, but one sweet and kind and truly of God, saying unto me: John, it is needful that one should hear these things from me, for I have need of one that will hear. This cross of light is sometimes called the (or a) word by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men: but that which it is in truth, as conceived of in itself and as spoken of unto you (MS. us), it is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, and indeed wisdom in harmony [this last clause in the MS. is joined to the next: 'and being wisdom in harmony']. There are [places] of the right hand and the left, powers also, authorities, lordships and demons, workings, threatenings, wraths, devils, Satan, and the lower root whence the nature of the things that come into being proceeded.

99 This cross, then, is that which fixed all things apart (al. joined all things unto itself) by the (or a) word, and separate off the things that are from those that are below (lit. the things from birth and below it), and then also, being one, streamed forth into all things (or, made all flow forth. I suggested: compacted all into [one]). But this is not the cross of wood which thou wilt see when thou goest down hence: neither am I he that is on the cross, whom now thou seest not, but only hearest his (or a) voice. I was reckoned to be that which I am not, not being what I was unto many others: but they will call me (say of me) something else which is vile and not worthy of me. As, then, the place of rest is neither seen nor spoken of, much more shall I, the Lord thereof, be neither seen [nor of spoken].

100 Now the multitude of one aspect (al. [not] of one aspect) that is about the cross is the lower nature: and they whom thou seest in the cross, if they have not one form, it is because not yet hath every member of him that came down been comprehended. But when the human nature (or the upper nature) is taken up, and the race which draweth near unto me and obeyeth my voice, he that now heareth me shall be united therewith, and shall no more be that which now he is, but above them, as I also now am. For so long as thou callest not thyself mine, I am not that which I am (or was): but if thou hear me, thou, hearing, shalt be as I am, and I shall be that which I was, when I [have]thee as I am with myself. For from me thou art that (which I am). Care not therefore for the many, and them that are outside the mystery despise; for know thou that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me.

101 Nothing, therefore, of the things which they will say of me have I suffered: nay, that suffering also which I showed unto thee and the rest in the dance, I will that it be called a mystery. For what thou art, thou seest, for I showed it thee; but what I am I alone know, and no man else. Suffer me then to keep that which is mine, and that which is thine behold thou through me, and behold me in truth, that I am, not what I said, but what thou art able to know, because thou art akin thereto. Thou hearest that I suffered, yet did I not suffer; that I suffered not, yet did I suffer; that I was pierced, yet I was not smitten; hanged, and I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, and it flowed not; and, in a word, what they say of me, that befell me not, but what they say not, that did I suffer. Now what those things are I signify unto thee, for I know that thou wilt understand. Perceive thou therefore in me the praising (al. slaying al. rest) of the (or a) Word (Logos), the piercing of the Word, the blood of the Word, the wound of the Word, the hanging up of the Word, the suffering of the Word, the nailing (fixing) of the Word, the death of the Word. And so speak I, separating off the manhood. Perceive thou therefore in the first place of the Word; then shalt thou perceive the Lord, and in the third place the man, and what he hath suffered.


102 When he had spoken unto me these things, and others which I know not how to say as he would have me, he was taken up, no one of the multitudes having beheld him. And when I went down I laughed them all to scorn, inasmuch as he had told me the things which they have said concerning him; holding fast this one thing in myself, that the Lord contrived all things symbolically and by a dispensation toward men, for their conversion and salvation.

In the Acts of John the Cross has many names such as logos, mind (Greek: nous), Christ, door, way, son, father, spirit  and life


These names of the cross of light show that the cross is a mode in which Christ reveals himself. But at the same time John sees him on top of the cross.

And the cross is not just Christ; it is also a symbol of the unity of the true, redeemed believers.

The crossbeam divides the universe into an upper world and a lower world, and humanity itself also appears to be divided: around the cross there is a multiform multitude that has not yet been saved. In the cross the redeemed can be found.


The Cross is a symbol for the pleroma the centurion and the roman soldiers around the cross represent the unsaved and that state of consciousness termed "mind of the flesh, or the thinking of the flesh." This is the "carnal mind" of Paul


The friends and followers of Jesus represent the church and the 12 aeons


The Cross and the Crucifixion are a Valentinian metaphysical principle of separation and unification. In this process, the Cross became a symbol of the two-fold process in which the lower essences (the Dyad) are separated from the higher ones, and at the same time, the purer essences are strengthened into a unity (the Monad). 

Extracts from the Works of Theodotus:

42 The Cross is a sign of the Limit in the Pleroma, for it divides the unfaithful from the faithful as that divides the world from the Pleroma. Therefore Jesus by that sign carries the Seed on his shoulders and leads them into the Pleroma. For Jesus is called the shoulders of the seed and Christ is the head. Wherefore it is said, “He who takes not up his cross and follows me is not my brother.” Therefore he took the body of Jesus, which is of the same substance as the Church. (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus)

the Cross plays a double role: it both separates and strengthens 

The strengthening power of the Cross is depicted in the words of Jesus according to which “whoever does not take his cross cannot be my disciple” (Mt. 10:38) and the separating power of the Savior is depicted when Jesus says “I came not to send peace, but a sword”, i.e. the Cross (Mt. 10:34).

The Testimony of Truth The males dwell [...] the virgin, by means of [...] in the word [...]. But the word of [...] and spirit ...
... (4 lines unrecoverable)
... is the Father [...] for the man ...
... (1 line unrecoverable)
... like Isaiah, who was sawed with a saw, (and) he became two. So also the Son of Man divides us by the word of the cross. It divides the day from the night and the light from the darkness and the corruptible from incorruptibility, and it divides the males from the females.


Barnabas 9:7 For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred In the eighteen 'I' stands for ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross in the 'T' was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross..


The superscription on the cross



The superscription on the cross:


GospelQuoted language?ReasonWording of inscription
Mat 27:37Latin (Matt was Roman official)Civil, legal"Hic est Jesus rex Judaeorum" (This is Jesus the king of the Jews).
Luk 23:38GreekIntellectual, cultural"This is the king of the Jews".
Joh 19:19,20HebrewReligious, national"Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews".
Mark 15:26Greek, but only words common to all threeSummary of other 3, most concise"The king of the Jews"

"His crime became his title" -- the "titulus" = inscription board, commonly used in Roman executions.


The fullest title, in Hebrew -- "Yeshua [Jesus] Ha-Natzr [of Nazareth] u'Melek [the King] Ha-Yehudim [of the Jews]" -- spells out, as an acronym, the very name of God: "YHWH". And for this reason, too, the leaders of Israel would demand that the title be removed!

"His crime became his title" -- the "titulus" = inscription board, commonly used in Roman executions. The fullest title, in Hebrew --  ישוע הנצרי מלך היהודים (Yeshua HaNazri Melekh HaYehudim), "Yeshua [Jesus] Ha-Natzr [of Nazareth] u'Melek [the King] Ha-Yehudim [of the Jews]" -- spells out, as an acronym, the very name of God: "YHWH". And for this reason, too, the leaders of Israel would demand that the title be removed!


The cross has four points. "The four points of the cross symbolize the 4 letter of the divine name of God YHWH, Yahweh the divine name and the four faces of the Cherubim the four faces were: that of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. They represented the emblems of the four leading tribes of the fourfold division of the nation of Israel: the lion for Judah; the ox for Ephraim; the man for Reuben; and the eagle for Dan. Yahweh is revealed fourfold as Light (Jn. 1:5), Fire (Deu. 4:24) and Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and His characteristics are manifested through the Man (Jn. 1:14)


"The cross does not alone represent a cross upon which a man was hung, this is called a crucifix. The cross also represents a manifestation of God his glory and fullness. The cross is the symbol of one crucified and reborn into the divine nature, by torture and pain. Crucifixion means one who has mastered his lower nature that is the outward senses, and has been made clean in the consciousness of his mind


Crucifixion The giving up of the whole personality.


In the early Church, the cross symbolizes mankind's fall and restoration


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