Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel The Gospel of Thomas 52

52) His disciples said to Him, "Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and all of them spoke of You." He said to them, "You have omitted the one living in your presence and have spoken (only) of the dead."

The Gospel of Thomas says 24 Jewish prophets spoke of Jesus. How can this be, if the Old Testament God is bad?

This saying does not suggest that we should deny in any way the Hebrew scriptures for the presence and coming of Christ shows that the prophets to be truly prophets

The number of prophets corresponds to the number of books in the Hebrew Bible.

Throughout the New Testament it is emphasized that Christ has fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures: 'To him all the prophets bear witness' (Acts 10:43).

the one living in your presence or the living one this could be pointing forward to the resurrection. The living one literally this is the living Jesus that is the resurrected Jesus, rom 6:10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Jesus also lives though his sayings, and all true believers are the living Jesus. To become the living Jesus, you must empty yourself of yourself and let the spirit that is the mind of Christ (his character) fill you. Dying to yourself so that you can be reborn of the spirit as the living Jesus. We must experience the same conception, gestation, and birth as the living Jesus so that we might be his twin (Mt 3:17 Mk 1:11 Lk 3:22 Ps 2:7 89:27)

See saying 108 Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I, too, will become that person, and to that person the obscure things will be shown forth."

Another understanding would be that the living one Jesus is speaking about is John the Baptist, living in his generation John was the 25th of the great prophets and secondly he is speaking of himself the 26th, fulfilling the prophets and manifesting the Divine presence and power of the holy name Yahweh.

Yahweh has the numerical value of twenty-six YHVH=Yod 10 He 5 Vav 6 He 5 these 4 Hebrew letters add up to 26 Jesus had the Divine name Jn 17:11,12 phil 2:5-9 Jesus made the name known to others that is the teaching about God manifested in flesh.

Ultimately Jesus is not speaking about John or the prophet (himself) but he is speaking about the holy spirit the spirit of the Deity. Each of the prophets had the holy spirit for all the prophets spoke by the holy spirit which is the power of God that works within then and through them so God dwelled among them the Living One in your presence. which is called the living word

The disciples had spoken correctly. All of the prophets had spoken in the same spirit about Christ which inspired and guided them all. But his disciples speak in past tense, of history, not of the present living reality of the holy spirit among them.

Listen and hear! This very day the holy spirit, the spirit of the prophets the spirit of Christ, lives and moves among us. By reading the word of God the bible the Living Word we can put on the Christ-Consciousness and know the spirit of Christ in the prophets also works in our lives.

52) His disciples said to Him [again in their fleshly minds], "Twenty-four prophets [the 24 books of the Hebrew canon] spoke in Israel [the Jewish camp - the Old Covenant - to both condemn them and to show them the way to repentance which was to come in Christ], and all of them spoke in You [they prophesied of the Messiah (the Word) allegorically in festivals and traditions and were not aware of it]." He said to them, "You [disciples] have omitted [gone astray from] the one living in your presence [by clinging to the old teachings and ways of the Pharisees and scribes] and have spoken (only) of the dead [the "letter" lower/outward (carnal) teachings of the Word]." 

Treatise on the Five Senses From a Spiritual View

Treatise on the Five Senses From a Spiritual View

It would seem to the astute believer, coupled with an inherent faith that the scriptures are actually true; that what is heavenly (spiritual) is couched or contained in that which is earthly (fleshly - in types and images).  With this in mind we must venture into the visible (physical) bodies five senses in order to understand what the hidden "spiritual" five senses might be.  Since the physical senses are used as a catalyst for sin to gain entrance and mastery over the flesh and effectively steal our souls (hearts) from us (which is best termed "spiritual thievery"), it would be prudent and wise to understand this.

In the beginning before we can create any real awareness of our own, there is a spiritual awareness that gets its strength from the spirit of Elohim who forms us in the womb.  This hidden awareness remains with us until the day our physical bodies die. We are able to perceive this by the involuntary processes that makes our heart beat, our lungs breathe, our system to digest and eliminate what we eat, our eyes to blink, our body to heal its wounds, etc..  However, along with these "involuntary" movements the other form of awareness begins to develop in our soul as soon as we are able to "reason" or collaborate data gained from our senses which makes us distinct from all other souls.

Now the fruit that our individual soul produces is derived from the culmination of all the "experiences" we have processed and witnessed through these senses in our life. It is important at this juncture to point out that none of these senses have the power to conceive an experiential "awareness" upon its lone input but must be accompanied by another witness of the same experience.  For instance a child can infer nothing of value or gain any experience from "hearing" the word "hot" without anoOver time, the physical senses create what we call "awareness" which "moves us" or influences us to act in certain ways which often manifests who and what we are while "in the world" as creatures of flesh; just as the spiritual senses move us and compel us in a way that re-defines who and what we are as creatures of the spirit (so whether it be the spirit of the world or the spirit of God we are moved by the foundations of our faith).

It is written that Jesus "grew in stature and in wisdom" while he was growing up in a "slaves form".  This is an important thing to bear in mind for we must all grow the same way so it is how we are "brought up" that influences our soul (individual spirit consciousness) or heart, hence it is written in Proverbs; "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.".  So our upbringing is critical to our spiritual health. Since Mary, the mother of Jesus was "blessed among women" and had "found favor with God" and Joseph was described as "being just" not to mention that all three of them were often visited by angels of God, it is beyond presumption to believe that Jesus was brought up "in the way he should go" by righteous men and women from His youth up.  For the rest of us, this type of growth in the spirit was not possible until Jesus poured out that spirit during the Pentecostal period (which is continuing to this day) declared in the book of Acts for we are reminded in John that He is "the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world".

So let us examine the senses and how they shape our "awareness" and what that means. First, the senses whether physical or spiritual are really a window or doorway to our "soul" where all that we see, hear, smell, taste or feel is captured, processed and stored in our subconscious mind (heart/soul) for the duration of its life. The physical/fleshly senses do all of this in the depravity of our lower/outward (carnal) image which is not capable of discerning the spiritual; while the spiritual senses discover and process the light in the higher/inward substance while remaining "aware" of the lower forms that it might get mastery over them.

So again, the awareness that is created by our physical senses is exclusive to our own particular growth and no one can know it but by our words and our acts.  This is the opposite of spiritual awareness which is of the One spirit and shared by all who own it (being aware that you are aware have you) and others with this spirit will know it in you.

ther sensory input witnessing to and allowing one to process the word accurately.  Now if you were to place the child's hand upon a cup with hot (but not too hot!) coffee in it while saying "hot", that child's senses (hearing and feeling) have now formed an experience that is true awareness which will warn the child (via the subconscious mind/soul) anytime either of these two witnesses (senses) might encounter a similar event requiring caution whether it is merely seeing a cup or hearing/seeing the word hot!  Now both of these witnesses and the awareness they create will give birth to increased awareness as other inputs fortify, increase or change in any way in our daily walk.

Bear all of this in mind as you begin to grow in stature and wisdom from a spiritual standpoint for those senses are also creating new experiences from the witnesses they receive.  This process is not a stranger to "worldly" religious leaders and kings who in their carnal lusts have used it to commit spiritual thievery upon those they wish to "lord it over".  This includes all religions (atheists, statists, evolutionists, capitalists, communists are also forms of religions for these all bind people to a "way" other than the Way of Truth) These religions use speech, radio, television, movies, newspaper, news channels, schools, etc.. in repetitive mantras using both your "sight" and your "hearing" to form an experience in you, but these are "false witnesses".  No matter how you examine it the experience is false because you do not own it of yourself but have fallen prey to deceptive practices.  Unlike actually "seeing" the cup and "feeling" the hot (whereby your senses were able to create a true experience) the media events were not true experiences because all that was purported is "hearsay" and all that was seen was an image/video that can be altered or modified or associated with a monologue that has nothing to do with it...well you get the idea.  Yet both of these can create an awareness, one true and useful to the body and soul while the other false and detrimental to the body and soul.  Nonetheless, these seem just as real as a real experience and people who gain them will fight to preserve them.

Let us now endeavor to address each of the physical/fleshly senses and see if we can come to understand their spiritual counterparts bearing in mind that all of the physical senses have in common that they do not perceive the spiritual and can only provide physical experiences to create carnal awareness which is the fallen state of man in the first birth.  Yet the spiritual can not only perceive the things of the spirit but also the things of the flesh for what they truly are.

Seeing (physically/carnally) can be the actual viewing of an earthen thing (image) or it could be the dreamlike viewing of one's creative imagination which is influenced by the awareness that already exists.  This is why those of the world put so much effort into beguiling you with visual media so as to form your awareness into thinking and doing according to their will.  Once one is "raised up" the way they (rulers of the world) wish you to speak and act it is extremely difficult to change.  Thus one must be willing "to leave all that he has behind" and  "start with a new lump" i.e. come to regard all experiential awareness received in the world that was not personally obtained while in the flesh as "dung".  It is the doffing of the old moth eaten garment for a new everlasting garment.

Seeing with the eyes of the spirit gives depth to your vision as never before as it sees both the lower/outward (fleshly) forms and the higher/inward (spiritual) substance of things.  Even imaginations and dreams are carefully scrutinized by spiritual eyes as to source.  This vision is very difficult to accept initially because it discovers all of the "earthly treasures" (sins) stored up in ones soul.  But if one puts faith in the Truth and conforms to it, he will come to know the Father and the Son who is in all things.

Hearing, much like seeing has to the same two variables.  If one hears only physically/carnally, he is limited to the same conditions as "seeing" above.  If one hears spiritually he can also discern the errant ways of what is physically heard.  Where the Word is concerned, the physical sense can only hear the lower/outward (fleshly) forms of sound. All of the scriptures are seen as substance when in fact they are only types and images (forms) of substance.  For example, to the carnal mind the animals in the "bible" are actual animals and not representative of types (character traits) of people.  This is demonstrated for us in detail in the epistle of Barnabas.  It is also revealed to us by Paul when he speaks of the Abraham's two wives as being "allegories" in that they mean two covenants.  Although people have heard this (declared), they still cannot perceive that all of the accounts in scriptures have similar hidden meanings in them which is why Jesus said; "those who have ears to hear, listen to what the spirit is saying."

Smell is a bit more difficult to address for this particular sense is deeply associated with taste so these usually bear witness together in order to create an awareness.  When we first smell an odor, it is a new experience for us and has no real meaning unless one of the other senses give witness to what it is.  We only know that it is either pleasant, or unpleasant to take in.  Some pleasant odors can be deadly while some foul odors are quite good for you so it is critical to have that second witness to help us know which is which.

From a spiritual perspective, odors are often synonymous with sacrifice or prayers and how they are presented determines whether or not they are of benefit or detriment.  One who prays or sacrifices in a lower/outward (fleshly) heart (disobedient and sinful nature) is considered a foul odor to the Father but, where when one prays in spirit and in truth or ones sacrifice is a lowly spirit and a contrite heart it is considered a joyful or sweet aroma.  Either way we need two witnesses in order to create a real experience whether it be spiritual or carnal.

Taste is not much different in that eating physical food can give us a witness to something that we find either pleasant or unpleasant it cannot without a second witness provide a true awareness.  Just as physical food has a direct bearing on our physical health, spiritual food has a direct bearing on our spiritual health. For instance from a spiritual perspective; if we eat what the world feeds us in its lower/outward (fleshly) forms (customs, traditions, ordinances, festivals etc..) we will find ourselves in a depraved spiritual condition. This food although sweet enough in our mouths (we do love a good lie especially when it hides or covers our sins) it  becomes bitter in our bellies (when we discover the Truth).  If we eat what the Word (Messiah) feeds us in its higher/inward (spiritual) substance, we will find ourselves in a robust spiritual condition.  This food (the Truth) is also sweet in our mouths but found to be bitter in our bellies (for it discovers our sins to us).  Now there is no condemnation for those who accept the Truth and act upon it!!

Feeling is much more complex than the word "touch" but captures the depths of this particular sense as touching is purely an outward expression in a physical sense where feeling is both inward and outward.  For instance one can feel pain from touching something hot, yet one can also feel pain when their heart is contrite.  This form of pain born of tribulation is of the heart and soul but can be felt physically by those who experience it.  This is also one of the few senses that are able to influence the soul that it knock on the door to spiritual awakening.  Feeling in both realms can also give pleasure.  Physical feeling once witnessed by another input give awareness to whatever it is that caused it.  If it is carnal in nature it will bear fruit to pride, covetness, fornication etc.., if it is spiritual in nature it will bear fruit to love, joy, peace, charity etc..

Now the Key to all of this is that there are two realms of understanding; the lower/outward (fleshly) forms of the five senses and the higher/inward (spiritual) substance of the five senses.  Now bear in mind that the image can either be that of God (in the spirit of Truth), or that of the beast (in the spirit of the world).  Not so as to confuse the matter but to give us clarity as to why it is so difficult to discern for most people.  The spirit of the beast truly believes that it is the substance of things when in fact it is not while the spirit of God bears witness to both conditions. Knowing the difference should help those who are toiling and laboring in the Word that it guides them into all Truth (higher/inward spiritual meanings) in the scriptures.

God’s Active Force

The first holy spirit is the Active Force of the Deity

God’s Active Force; Holy Spirit. By far the majority of occurrences of ru´ach and pneu´ma relate to God’s spirit, his active force, his holy spirit.

In Hebrew the word "Spirit" is ruach is a feminine noun, leading to references as "She".

The holy spirit is a force, the invisible power and energy of the Father by which God is everywhere present. 

The chosen messengers have been given only the power and authority from Yahweh they need to accomplish their mission. Gen 1:2; Num 11:17; Mt 3:16; John 20:22; Ac 2:4, 17, 33. 

The Spirit is not a 'separate' or 'other' person. Ac 7:55, 56; Re 7:10 It is God's own radiant power, ever out flowing from Him, by which His 'everywhereness' is achieved. Ps 104:30; 1 Cor 12:4-11.

The Spirit is personal in that it is of God Himself: it is not personal in the sense of being some other person within the Godhead" The phrase like a dove is a descriptive comparison. The Spirit is not a dove, but descended like one in some sort of bodily representation.

Distinguished from “power.” Ru´ach and pneu´ma, therefore, when used with reference to God’s holy spirit, refer to God’s invisible active force by which he accomplishes his divine purpose and will. It is “holy” because it is from Him, not of an earthly source, and is free from all corruption as “the spirit of holiness.” (Ro 1:4) It is not Jehovah’s “power,” for this English word more correctly translates other terms in the original languages (Heb., ko´ach; Gr., dy´na·mis).

Ru´ach and pneu´ma are used in close association or even in parallel with these terms signifying “power,” which shows that there is an inherent connection between them and yet a definite distinction. (Mic 3:8; Zec 4:6; Lu 1:17, 35; Ac 10:38)

“Power” is basically the ability or capacity to act or do things and it can be latent, dormant, or inactively resident in someone or something.

“Force,” on the other hand, more specifically describes energy projected and exerted on persons or things, and may be defined as “an influence that produces or tends to produce motion, or change of motion.”

“Power” might be likened to the energy stored in a battery, while “force” could be compared to the electric current flowing from such battery.

“Force,” then, more accurately represents the sense of the Hebrew and Greek terms as relating to God’s spirit, and this is borne out by a consideration of the Scriptures.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Yaldabaoth a Psychological Approach

To escape this disorder of the world one can transcend it by extraordinary insight, learning, or knowledge, called a gnosis

Ialdabaoth Greek Ιαλνταμπαόθ Yaldabaoth Hebrew ילדאבהות (Literally "Children of the Void," or Children of the Abyss (depth of the waters) from ילדה = yalda= child; בהו = bohu = void; אבהות = abbott = fatherhood, parentage, paternity).


And when she saw (the consequences of) her desire, it changed into a form of a lion-faced serpent. And its eyes were like lightning fires which flash. She cast it away from her, outside that place, that no one of the immortal ones might see it, for she had created it in ignorance. And she surrounded it with a luminous cloud, and she placed a throne in the middle of the cloud that no one might see it except the holy Spirit who is called the mother of the living. And she called his name Yaltabaoth.
The Apocryphon of John

And when Pistis Sophia desired to cause the thing that had no spirit to be formed into a likeness and to rule over matter and over all her forces, there appeared for the first time a ruler, out of the waters, lion-like in appearance, androgynous, having great authority within him, and ignorant of whence he had come into being. Now when Pistis Sophia saw him moving about in the depth of the waters, she said to him, "Child, pass through to here," whose equivalent is 'yalda baoth'.
On the Origin of the World

Since that day, there appeared the principle of verbal expression, which reached the gods and the angels and mankind. And what came into being as a result of verbal expression, the gods and the angels and mankind finished. Now as for the ruler Yaltabaoth, he is ignorant of the force of Pistis: he did not see her face, rather he saw in the water the likeness that spoke with him. And because of that voice, he called himself 'Yaldabaoth'. But 'Ariael' is what the perfect call him, for he was like a lion. Now when he had come to have authority over matter, Pistis Sophia withdrew up to her light.
On the Origin of the World

In the gnostic scriptures Yaldabaoth is described as a lion or a lion-faced serpent these are symbols of the outward senses or ego

O Ialdabaoth, who art the rational ruler of the outward senses,

Yaldabaoth (ignorance via the ego) is created when reason follows the outward senses

The Gnostics held that Yaldabaoth was the lord of this world and dominates the human condition. Yaldabaoth defines human psychological existence. humans are of necessity ego-bound in the sense of being required to develop an individual ego for the gnostics the figure of Yaldabaoth is the shadow of ego development Yaldabaoth is the archetype that creates and sustains an inevitable development within human consciousness toward the formation of the focal narcissistic ego

mankind has observed the characteristics and habits of animals and has applied them in a figurative or symbolic sense to persons, peoples, governments, and organizations. Thus Yaldabaoth is a symbol of human consciousness individually and organised collectively in opposition to God

lion-faced serpent The "serpent" is outward senses of consciousness. It may also be called desire, Those who had been bitten by the fiery serpents that is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,.
In the Bible wicked people and nations are described has a lion

.Because of the lion’s fierce and predatory characteristics, the animal was also used to represent wicked ones (Ps 10:9), persons who oppose God and his people (Ps 22:13; 35:17; 57:4; Jer 12:8), false prophets (Eze 22:25), wicked rulers and princes (Pr 28:15; Zep 3:3), the Babylonian World Power (Da 7:4). And the seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast out of the sea, which gets its authority from the dragon , was depicted as having a lion’s mouth. (Re 13:2) At Psalm 91:13 the lion and the cobra seem to denote the power of the enemy, the lion being representative of open attack and the cobra of underhanded scheming, or attacks from a concealed place.—Compare Lu 10:19; 2Co 11

The lions of Daniel 6:10-23 represent the savage thoughts that arise in us.

Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Pr 28:15 ¶ As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

Ps 22:21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Isa 5:29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

1Pe 5:8 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
Like the Beast in Rev 13:1 Yaldabaoth is described as ascending out of the sea there appeared for the first time a ruler, out of the waters, lion-like in appearance

The "Seas" of Genesis 1:10 represent the unformed state of mind. We say that a man is "at sea" when he is in doubt about a mental process; in other words he has not established his thoughts in line with the principle involved, he is unstable.

Water ("the sea"), in Mark 6:47-51, represents doubt; it can also be understood as denial of sin bad thoughts and beliefs. The racing thoughts have formed a sea of thought, and to walk over it safely requires that one have faith in oneself. Faith necessary to accomplish so great a work comes from understanding--understanding of God and Christ.

Yaldabaoth is not Yahweh but represents the carnal mind or the ego

Yaldabaoth is a personification of human nature

Yaldabaoth describes human psychological existence

the figure of Yaldabaoth is the shadow of ego development Yaldabaoth is the archetype that creates and sustains an inevitable development within human consciousness toward the formation of the focal narcissistic ego

Wednesday, 21 November 2018



Hear O' Israel.

Yahweh is our God,

Yahweh is One.

I am a Son of God,

I am a son of the living Father.

I am essentially One with Jesus

in the Communion of the Father.

I accept Jesus as my Personal Image,

whose Twinship is the Light of the World.

I seek all these things,

in the name of the Living One.


And Jesus Gives Us In The Gospel of Thomas, The Two Great Commandments That All Spirituality Hinges Upon:

1. "Fall On Your Faces And Worship. That Is Your Father." (Logion 15)
2. "Love Your Brothers And Sisters Like Your Soul." (Logion 25)

This Is The Fulfillment of All The Laws, And All The Prophets.

I take refuge in Jesus.

I take refuge in his Sayings.

I take refuge in the Kingdom.....Amen.

I Worship the God that is in Jesus.

I Worship the God that is in You.

I Worship the God that is in Me.

Jesus Said, "I Myself Shall Become That Person."

The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 108.

The Doctrine of Immortality in the Odes of Solomon

Review of Immortality in the Odes of Solomon 

Ode 3:8 reads, “Indeed he who is joined to Him who is immortal, truly shall be immortal.” The “Him” in this passage refers to God. Those who are joined to the Immortal One shall be immortal. This suggests that those who are not joined to God shall not be immortal.

Ode 5:14 reads, “And though all things visible should perish, I shall not die.” It is not clear at this point in the ode whether the writer is claiming that he already possesses immortality, and therefore cannot die, or if he is hinting at a future resurrection to immortality. However, we should note that this verse equates “perish” with “death.”

6:14 And souls that were near departing they have caught back from death:

Ode 6:15 reads, “Even living persons who were about to expire, they have held back from death.” In this verse we find “expire” regarded as the same as “death.” Those who still draw breath, though about to die, are held back from losing what is left of their breath and passing from the state of living to the state of death.

Ode 7:24 reads, “And let there not be anyone who breathes that is without knowledge or voice.” This is a rebuke for all who breathe (that is, for all who are alive) to acquire knowledge of God and speak boldly and joyfully of their knowledge. Those without breath are dead and have no ability to speak.

Ode 8:21-22 reads, “And you who were loved in the Beloved, and you who are kept in Him who lives, and you who are saved in Him who was saved. And you shall be found incorrupt in all ages, on account of the name of your Father.” The “Beloved” refers to the unnamed Messiah. The Messiah himself is said to be saved and those found in him are saved. This at the very least implies that those not found in Messiah are not saved.

Ode 9:4 reads, “For in the will of the Lord is your life, and His purpose is eternal life, and your perfection is incorruptible.” This verse associates the life of the believer with the purpose of God – that is, eternal life. This perfection is said to be “incorruptible.” Presumably, one who is not a believer may anticipate that his/her status before God is imperfect and therefore will be found “corruptible.”

Ode 9:7 reads, “And also that those who have known Him may not perish, and so that those who received Him may not be ashamed.” This verse equates “knowing God” with the prospect (or hope?) of not “perishing.” It further suggests a link between “perish” and “shame.” Those who know God will not be ashamed. Those who have not known Him will be ashamed.

Ode 10:2 reads, “And He has caused to dwell in me His immortal life, and permitted me to proclaim the fruit of His peace.” Here we see that God causes immortal life to dwell in the believer. The converse is implied for those who do not believe. That is, God will not cause immortal life to dwell in the unbeliever.

Ode 11:12 reads, “And from above He gave me immortal rest, and I became like the land that blossoms and rejoices in its fruits.” This passage speaks of God giving the believer immortal rest. Immortality is thus presented as something that is given, rather than something that one already possesses.

Ode 15:8-10 reads, “I put on immortality through His name, and took off corruption by His grace. Death has been destroyed before my face, and Sheol has been vanquished by my word. And eternal life has arisen in the Lord's land, and it has been declared to His faithful ones, and has been given without limit to all that trust in Him.”

This verse is speaking about the Messiah putting on immortality. One does not put on something which one already possesses. Immortality is contrasted with corruption. Death, which is said to be destroyed by Messiah putting on immortality, is destroyed by this act. Death is also associated in this passage with Sheol, i.e. the place of the dead. The clothing of Messiah introduces eternal life in God’s land. This suggests that, prior to this act, eternal life was not seen in God’s land. If there was no eternal life found in the land prior to this event, then the opposite state, i.e. mortal life, is all that existed in the land.

Ode 22:8-10 reads, “And It chose them from the graves, and separated them from the dead ones. It took dead bones and covered them with flesh. But they were motionless, so It gave them energy for life.”

Here the word “It” refers to the right hand of God, i.e. Messiah. It is the Messiah who chooses (rescues?) believers from their graves. This choosing separates the chosen from those who are not chosen. The ones who are not chosen remain behind in the grave. They are in a state of death. Messiah is said to take “dead bones,” not “live bones,” and cover them with flesh. Those who are so clothed with flesh are motionless until Messiah gives them energy (spirit?) for life, that is, reanimates them. (This sounds very much like a description of resurrection from death to life. This observation may not seem significant but it will be seen to be when compared with Charlesworth’s view, which will be given below.) In contrast, those who are not chosen are not clothed with flesh, their bones remain dead and they are not given energy to become re-animated.

Ode 23:20 reads, “Then all the seducers became headstrong and fled, and the persecutors became extinct and were blotted out.”

The “seducers” are those who have been seduced into unbelief and go about seducing others to unbelief. They flee away from, rather than running to, the source that is able to save them from death. They are said to become “extinct” and “blotted out.” This means that they will die and the very remembrance of them will be removed.

Ode 24:9 reads, “And all of them who were lacking perished, because they were not able to express the word so that they might remain.”

Those who are lacking (in knowledge and belief) will perish. As we have observed previously, the writer equates “perish” with “death.” These persons are not able to express the word i.e. the confession of faith in Messiah. Is that inability due to their lack of knowledge/faith or is it their inability to speak because they have died? Both understandings are possible.

Ode 26:11 reads, “Who can interpret the wonders of the Lord? Though he who interprets will be destroyed, yet that which was interpreted will remain.”

This is a difficult text, but it appears to be saying that although he who interprets God’s acts is destroyed in death, the interpretation itself cannot be destroyed. This appears to me to be a reflection on the mortality of even those who are righteous. In other words, all human beings, whether righteous or wicked, will be destroyed in death. As we have seen in other passages, this destruction is not final for the righteous believer, though it is for the wicked unbeliever.

Ode 28:6-8 reads, “Because I am ready before destruction comes, and have been set on His immortal side. And immortal life embraced me, and kissed me. And from that life is the Spirit which is within me. And it cannot die because it is life.”

This verse seems to be an echo of Ode 26:11. The righteous man prepares himself for the destruction that all men must endure. He is confident that he has already been assured through his faith in Messiah that he will not remain in a state of destruction. His faith places him on the side of the one who is immortal and who has the ability to grant him immortality. Because of his faith, he is embraced (or has the sure hope of being embraced) by immortality. Conversely, those lacking this faith can hold no such sure hope. The writer goes on to link immortal life with the Spirit that is within, or will be in him again when his dead bones are clothed again with flesh and energized to become capable of motion. His immortality depends on the immortality of the energizing Spirit.

Ode 28:17 reads, “And I did not perish, because I was not their brother, nor was my birth like theirs.”

The speaker in this verse is apparently the Messiah. He is not denying that he died. He is claiming that he has been rescued from the grave while his enemies either have not been (or will not be) so rescued.

Ode 29:4 reads, “And he caused me to ascend from the depths of Sheol, and from the mouth of death He drew me.”

The “he” in this verse refers to the Messiah. The writer is saying that Messiah has caused him to come out of the grave. This appears to be another example of resurrection of the believer from the grave. The writer equates “Sheol” with “the mouth of death.”

Ode 29:10 reads, “And the Lord overthrew my enemy by His Word, and he became like the dust which a breeze carries off.”

The writer’s enemy, the unbeliever, becomes like dust that is carried off in the wind. This sounds very much like the reduction of a person to ashes (in the lake of fire?) and the dissolution, or scattering, of the once united components of the body. This carries the connotation of utter destruction of the unbeliever.

Ode 31:7 reads, “And possess yourselves through grace, and take unto you immortal life.”

Immortal life is something that the writer urges his reader to take unto themselves. There is no need to urge someone to take unto themselves something they already possess.

Ode 33:9 reads, “Be not corrupted nor perish.” In this passage we find a parallel between “corrupted” and “perish.”

The writer is admonishing his readers to avoid this terrible end.

Ode 33:12 reads, “And they who have put me on shall not be falsely accused, but they shall possess incorruption in the new world.” The “me” in this verse is Grace personified. Those who accept God’s grace will possess incorruption in the age to come. This suggests that those who do not accept God’s grace will not possess incorruption in that future day.

Ode 34:6 reads, “Grace has been revealed for your salvation. Believe and live and be saved.” Salvation (from the penalty of sin, death) is found only through accepting the grace of God. Those who believe and live a righteous life will be saved. In contrast, those who do not accept God’s grace are unbelievers. They will not live righteously and will not see salvation.

Ode 38:3 reads, “And became for me a haven of salvation, and set me on the place of immortal life.” In context, it is Truth personified that sets the believer on the place of immortal life. Those who are not guided by Truth are not set on the place of immortal life. They remain set on the place of mortal life.

Ode 39:12 reads, “And they are neither blotted out, nor destroyed.” This verse is speaking of the sure path of Messiah’s footsteps. Just as his footsteps are not “blotted out, nor destroyed,” neither will the footsteps of those who follow in Messiah’s path – who place their trust in him. Those who do not obediently follow Messiah walk a different path. There is no such assurance of protection from being “blotted out, nor destroyed” for those walking another path.

Ode 40:6 reads, “And His possessions are immortal life, and those who receive it are incorruptible.” God’s possession is immortal life. It is something that belongs to Him and man must receive it as a gift from Him in order to be incorruptible. If man possessed immortal life inherently, there would be no need to receive the gift of immortality from Him. Those who do not receive the gift are corruptible.

Ode 41:3 reads, “We live in the Lord by His grace, and life we receive by His Messiah.” The “life” we receive by God’s Messiah is that of immortality. There is no immortality for man apart from accepting the grace of God. That immortal life is dispensed by God’s Messiah. Those who do not follow the Messiah do not receive life in the age to come.

Ode 41:11 reads, “And His Word is with us in all our way, the Savior who gives life and does not reject ourselves.” God’s “Word,” the “Savior,” is His Messiah. He gives (immortal) life to those who follow him. Those who do not follow Messiah will be rejected. In other words, those who will not follow Messiah will not receive (immortal) life from him.

Ode 41:15 reads, “The Messiah in truth is one. And He was known before the foundations of the world, that He might give life to persons for ever by the truth of His name.” This verse restricts the gift of life to persons who accept the truth that the person able to give the gift is God’s Messiah. Since all persons have life, the “gift of life” implies that Messiah is able in the name of his God, by His authority, to grant something that man lacks in his life. That something is immortality, but only for those who believe and follow him.

Ode 42:10-13 reads, “I was not rejected although I was considered to be so, and I did not perish although they thought it of me. Sheol saw me and was shattered, and Death ejected me and many with me. I have been vinegar and bitterness to it, and I went down with it as far as its depth. Then the feet and the head it released, because it was not able to endure my face.” The speaker in this passage is Messiah. His enemies thought they had caused him to perish. Ultimately, they have not. The place of the dead (the grave) and death were not able to hold him. This vivid imagery describes the resurrection of Messiah from the dead. As we have seen in earlier passages, the hope of mortal man is to be resurrected from the dead, by the one who defeated death and the grave.

Without question, the author(s) of the Odes of Solomon presented a view on human immortality that is clearly Conditional in nature. The description of dead bones being clothed with flesh and being re-animated by the injection of spirit is the classic description of resurrection from the dead. The author is blunt in confining this life to those who believe and follow Messiah.

Immortality is the possession of God alone. He granted it to His Messiah when He resurrected him from the place of the dead. The once mortal Messiah has put on immortality. It is this same Messiah that will resurrect from the place of the dead those who follow and obey him, and clothe them with immortality.

Charlesworth’s comments on the concept of immortal life pictured in the odes are somewhat perplexing. He writes, “The Odist professes neither the Greek concept of an immortal soul that is transmigrated from one body to another nor the Jewish concept of the resurrection of the body…The Odist rather exults in his salvation and experience of immortality because he has taken off a corrupt garment and put on a garment of incorruption…All of this language is used to state emphatically that his immortality is geographically here and chronologically now.” 12

Certainly the odes do not profess the Greek concept of an immortal soul, even without speaking of transmigration “from one body to another”. However, the odes do not fail to express the Jewish concept of the resurrection of the body.

Charlesworth understands the odist to say that the change from corruption to incorruption has literally occurred in the odist’s natural lifetime – it is something that has already been obtained by the followers of Messiah. But it seems clear that the odist is expressing the sure hope that the follower has in Messiah. It is hope held in prospect; the literal accomplishment is sure but reserved for the day when Messiah bodily resurrects the believer from the dead and clothes him with immortality.

I acknowledge both that I lack Charlesworth’s academic credentials and that my understanding of the odes may be biased by my own belief in the Jewish concept of human immortality. It is possible that I am reading something into the text that is not there. Keeping that concession in mind, I am respectfully suggesting for consideration the proposition that the odist does in fact express the Jewish concept of a bodily resurrection of mortal believers to immortal life in the age to come.

12 Charlesworth, op. cit., p. 731.

The Kingdom of God in the Odes of Solomon

The Kingdom of God in the Odes of Solomon

first of all what are the Odes of Solomon 

The Odes of Solomon is a collection of 42 hymns or poems

Technically the Odes are anonymous, but in many ancient manuscripts, the Odes of Solomon are found together with the similar Psalms of Solomon, and the Odes began to be ascribed to the same author. Unlike the Psalms of Solomon, however, the Odes are much less Jewish, and much more Christian in appearance. 

However unlike the Gospel of Thomas they are to the general public unknown

The kingdom is the promises to the forefathers

Ode 31
8) And they condemned me when I stood up, me who had not been condemned.
9) Then they divided my spoil, though nothing was owed them.
10) But I endured and held my peace and was silent, that I might not be disturbed by them.
11) But I stood undisturbed like a solid rock, which is continuously pounded by columns of waves and endures.
12) And I bore their bitterness because of humility; that I might redeem my nation and instruct it.
13) And that I might not nullify the promises to the patriarchs, to whom I was promised for the salvation of their seed. Hallelu Yah!

will correspond to 2 Chron. 7:18:
' I will establish the throne of thy Kingdom as I made an agreement with David your father.'

Gal 3:7-18 Gen 12:1-4 Gen 12:6,7

The Kingdom is established in the age to come

In ode 33:12 the Kingdom comes in the new world cp. 15:3

33:12) And they who have put Me on shall not be falsely accused, but they shall possess incorruption in the new world.

Ode 15:3) In Him I have acquired eyes, and have seen His holy day.

Ode 18
Christ Speaks
1) My heart was lifted up and enriched in the love of the Most High, so that I might praise him with my name.
2) My members were strengthened, that they may not fall from his power.
3) sicknesses fled from my body, and it stood firm for the Lord (Yahweh) by his will; because his kingdom is firm.

"And Jesus went about... preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people."

Ode 18:3 "sicknesses have removed from my body... because His (i.e. Yahweh’s) Kingdom is true"
Here there is a contrast between "sicknesses" and the "Kingdom."

that "every sickness" should be taken away in the new Kingdom of Yahweh over redeemed Israel, if only Israel would be loyal to its Redeemer and King. "Sicknesses must needs be removed far off from the faithful, because the King promised that it should be so, and His Kingdom is true "

The Christ who is ' the rock upon which the Gentile Church is built', is the one referred to in Ode 22:12, as the ' Rock which is the foundation of everything, upon which thou didst build thy kingdom'.

Ode 22
8) And it (the right hand) chose them from the graves, and separated them from the dead ones.
9) It took dead bones and covered them with flesh.
10) But they were motionless, so It gave them energy for life.
11) Incorruptible was Your way and Your face; You have brought Your world to corruption, that everything might be resolved and renewed.
12) And the foundation of everything is Your rock. And upon it You have built Your kingdom, and it became the dwelling-place of the holy ones. Hallelu Yah!

Matthew 16:18 has: 'Thou art Cephas, and upon this rock {or stone) I will build my Church . . . And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.'

In both texts the words used to express ' to build  Kingdom ' , and ' stone '  are identical

Ode 23
9) For it (the letter) was not permitted to them to loose its seal; for the power that was over the seal was greater than they.
10) Others saw the letter and chased it; wondering where it would land, and who might read it, and who might hear it.
11) But a wheel received it, and it came upon it.
12) And with it was a sign of the kingdom and of the government.
13) And everything which was disturbing to the wheel, it mowed and cut down.
14) And it restrained a multitude of adversaries; and bridged rivers.

The references to the Kingdom and the Government are easily made from Isaiah, e. g. Isa. 9:7. ' The increase of His government, . . . the throne of David . . . and His Kingdom.'

compare Dan 2:34,35,44

Ode 6
8) For there went forth a stream, and it became a river great and broad; indeed it carried away everything, and it shattered and brought it to the Temple.
9) And the barriers which were built by men were not able to restrain it.
10) For it spreads over the surface of all the earth, and it filled everything.

Ode 6
10) For it (the water) spreads over the surface of all the earth, and it filled everything.

' Ignorance hath been destroyed because the Knowledge of the Lord has arrived.'

the new Kingdom is inferred to be the Knowledge of the Lord. We see now that the Wisdom in Ode 6, represents the Knowledge of the Lord which covers the earth as the Kingdom of God

GTh 113
113) His disciples said to Him, "When will the Kingdom come?" <Jesus said,> "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is.' Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is to be spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."

Hab 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Re 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Re 15:4  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

The Land of Israel in the Odes

Ode 11
12) And from above he gave me incorruptible rest, and I became like the land that blossoms and rejoices in its fruits.
13) And Yahweh is like the sun upon the face of the land.
16) And he took me to his Paradise, in which is the wealth of Yahweh's pleasure. I contemplated blooming and fruit-bearing trees, and their crown was grown naturally. Their branches were sprouting and their fruits were shining; their roots were from an immortal land. And a river of gladness was watered them, and round about them in the land of eternal life.
17) Then I adored Yahweh because of his magnificence.
18) And I said, Blessed, O Yahweh, are they who are planted in Your land, and who have a place in

Your Paradise;
Ode 15
8) I put on incorruption by means of his name, and stripped off corruption by his grace.
9) Death has been destroyed before my face, and Sheol has been vanquished by my word.
10) And immortal life appears in the land of Yahweh, and it has been declared to his faithful ones, and has been given without limit to all that trust in him. Hallelu Yah!


Ode 11
23) For there is abundant room in Your Paradise. And there is nothing in it which is barren, but everything is filled with fruit.
24) Praise be to You, O God, the delight of Paradise for ever. Hallelu Yah!

To enter the Kingdom; is by the gift of Sonship'

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Boundary Between the Physical and Spiritual Heavens

The Firmament or Expanse
The Firmament, the chasm, the limit, the middle or boundary

The outermost extension of the Upper Aeons is called ‘the limit’ and ‘the exalted boundary’: “ that the limit which the Father had set might be established.” “ for the one who is set up in this way and who is within the exalted boundary.” (Tripartite Tractate)

Lk 16:26  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm<5490> is fixed<4741>, so that those who desire to pass hence to you cannot, nor do they who desire to cross from there pass over unto us.

Heb 12:18  For ye are not come unto the mount <3735> that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Heb 12:20  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain <3735>, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

Just as there exists a great chasm in Hades between the righteous and the unrighteous. so also there exists a great chasm between the Physical universe and the spiritual universe, this is called the Great Firmament

The Firmament is the boundary everywhere and no where 

Valentinians would sometimes refer to the Cross to explain the Boundary. 

Both Jews and Gnostic Christians believe the firmament is the Boundary between Physical universe and the spiritual universe
In Valentinianism the Boundary has many names the chasm, the limit, the middle or boundary

The Boundary or 
The Limit (horos G3735)

Valentinians would use a Greek word ὅρος (horos G3735) to try and explain the Firmament. Since the Greek word has a etymology term "limitation" or "restriction". Also the Greek word ὅριον (horion G3725) means "borders" and the two words are closely related. The word  ὅρος (horos G3735) has a second meaning a "mountain" . 

The Greek word (horion G3725) seems to come from the another Greek word ὅρος (horos) 3735 meaning a mountain this is where I got the idea to quote from Luke 16:26 as the chasm would be related to the mountain.

Strong's Concordance 3725. ὅριον horion hor’-ee-on; neuter of a derivative of an apparently primary ορος horos (a bound or limit); a boundary-line, i.e. (by implication) a frontier (region): —  border, coast. 

3725. ὅριονὁρίουτό (from ὅρος (boundary)) (fr. Sophocles down), a bound, limit, in the N. T. always in plural (like Latinfinesboundaries (R. V. borders), equivalent to region, district, land, territory. (Thayer's Greek Lexicon

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon the Greek word ὅριον G3725 comes from the word ὅρος G3735
3724. ὁρίζω horizo hor-id’-zo; from 3725; to mark out or bound ("horizon"), i.e. (figuratively) to appoint, decree, sepcify: —  declare, determine, limit, ordain. 

3724 ὁρίζω horizo hor-id’-zo 

from 3725; v; TDNT-5:452,728;  {See TDNT 563 } 

AV-determine 2, ordain 2, as it was determined + 2596 + 3588 1, declare 1, limit 1, determine 1; 8 

In the New Testament horizo is translated ‘determinate’, ‘ordain’, ‘limit’, ‘declared’. This word gives the English ‘horizon’ which has no element of fate in its meaning, but means simply the ‘boundary’ where sea and sky appear to meet.

Strong's Concordance ὅρος (horos) 3735. ὄρος oros or’-os; probably from an obsolete ορω oro (to rise or "rear"; perhaps akin to 142; compare 3733); a mountain (as lifting itself above the plain): —  hill, mount(-ain). 

5490. χάσμα chasma khas’-mah; from a form of an obsolete primary χαω chao (to "gape" or "yawn"); a "chasm" or vacancy (impassable interval): —  gulf.

The two Greek words ὅρος (horos) 3735 and 5490. χάσμα chasma are not related but they share the same idea that is that a mountain or chasm is the border or limit of a territory or land   

Here we can see how horos (The Boundary or The Limit) is used as a symbol for the Firmament the division between waters and waters.

The next Greek word to look at From Luke 16:26 is 4741 στηρίζω sterizo stay-rid’-zo 

from a presumed derivative of 2476 (like 4731); v; TDNT- 7:653,1085;  {See TDNT 745 } 

AV-stablish 6, establish 3, strengthen 2, fix 1, stedfastly set 1; 13 

1) to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix 
2) to strengthen, make firm 
3) to render constant, confirm, one’s mind

"In all these (regions) there is a great chasm fixed." Movement to or from was impossible.

Therefore the Boundary or the Limit had to be fixed into place like the Firmament

Psalm 36:6  (35:6) Thy righteousness is as the mountains (ὅρος (horos) of God, thy judgments are as a great deep (G12 ἄβυσσος): O Lord, thou wilt preserve men and beasts. LXX

Psalm 36:6  Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.

Here in Psalm 36:6 we now have a link between the Bythos (Depth βάθος) and the horos (mountain ὅρος)

The Firmament

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above (H5921) the firmament: and it was so (Gen. 1:7).

Philo says in Opif. 36-37 that the first thing to be created in the visible cosmos was heaven, which is called the firmament. In Plant. 3-4 it is also called the “boundary” which separates the visible cosmos from the ideal world. 

The firmament is the boundary between the visible universe and the Pleroma (fullness) the spiritual heavens 

The word “firmament” — that which is firm or fixed — is taken from the word used by the translators of the Septuagint, στερεωμα, from the idea that the heavens above us are a solid concave.

It properly means an expanse — a thing spread out. The verb from which the word is derived means to beat; then, to beat out — that is, to spread out by beating, as gold is; and then, simply to spread out, to expand. Compare #Ps 136:6 Isa 42:5 44:24. In Syriac the word means to make firm; but this idea is not necessarily in the Hebrew word. The idea of a firmament as something firm is derived from the Septuagint — in Genesis 1:6, στερεωμα — in this place, εν στερεωματι. 

Philo describes here how God began to shape the pre-cosmic matter and bring it from a state of “confusion” into a state of “separation”: ἐκ συγχύσεως εἰς διάκρισιν ἄγων ὁ κοσμοπλάστης μορφοῦν ἤρξατο. Heaven is not separated out of matter, but God set it as a boundary between the visible and the invisible world. Heaven, i.e. the firmament, is arranged as a boundary and “container” that divided the material creation and the regions of earth, water, air and fire from the divine world

Gen 1:6 And God [Elohim] went on to say: Let an expanse (Firmament) [chasm, the limit, the middle or boundary between the light matter universe and the dark matter universe, which is above the Firmament were God lives, this is called the pleroma] come to be in between the waters [aeons that is God’s heavenly hosts or dwelling place so Elohim is these waters. So Elohim is the waters above the Firmament ] and let a dividing occur between the waters [above and the heavens called the pleroma] and the waters [below, the Physical Heavens].

Gen 1:8 And God began to call the expanse (Firmament atmosphere, sky, or physical universe, outer space) Heavens [shamayim always in the pural - heavens] [this Firmament is the name for our atmosphere, the first heaven, and for space, the light universe, the second heaven and for God's home in the dark matter/energy universe, the 3rd heaven.

The true God then divides the light matter universe and the dark matter universe and separates them by 'an expanse' which is some sort of heavenly barrier, which is symbolized by the atmosphere of the earth.

This spiritual barrier is symbolized by the atmosphere of the earth, the earthly expanse, which is a barrier between the clouds (the waters above) and the seas (the waters below).

The Pleroma is the 3rd Heaven. The firmament or expanse is the limit, the middle or boundary between the Physical Heavens and the spiritual heavens called the Pleroma.

Valentinus assumed the existence of two boundaries one is between the ineffable depth and the rest of the fullness or Pleroma and the other bounds the material universe from the pleroma

Psalm 150:1 ¶ Praise ye Yahweh. Praise God in his sanctuary (that is in the upper depth of the Pleroma): Praise him in the firmament of his power (that is the Boundary between the ineffable depth and the rest of the Pleroma). 

Psalm 19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens (the Pleroma or the waters above the heavens) declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Psalm 19 suggests that the heavens (the pleroma) are a greater work of God than the mere firmament which is referenced as a small example of God’s creative work. 

This would be compatible with the notion of firmament which we have developed above in comparing the relatively small matter of the visible heavens with the grand design of the invisible which are currently totally beyond mankind's comprehension

“It is he (the Father) whom the outside worlds all, like the stars of the firmament at night, see. As men desire to see the sun, in this way also the outside worlds desire to see him, on account of his invisibility that surrounds him.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)

According to the Scriptures, there is a physical/spiritual structure to the universe. The Apostle Paul makes reference to the importance of this knowledge in the book of Ephesians where he wrote:

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness (pleroma) of God."(Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV)

"[It is] he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD [is] his name."
(Amos 9:6 KJV)

The first heaven is the Earth's atmosphere:

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Gen 1:20 KJV)

The second heaven is the vast expanse of the physical universe - outer space as we call it:

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:" (Gen 1:14 KJV)

These two heavens constitute a continuum called the "firmament," and this firmament is collectively called "Heaven":

"And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day." (Gen 1:8 KJV)

The Third Heaven is above this upper "Sea," and this higher sea is below the Throne of God:

"And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind."

(Revelation 4:6 KJV)

This particular "Sea" is above the firmament (the known physical universe). It represents a firm and impassable barrier between the world of man (below) and the world of God or pleroma (above).

As we said, this is a present "sea" of separation is a FIRM and impassable barrier between the world of man (below) and the world of God (above) and they only way through there is in the Lord Jesus Christ. That barrier structure can be seen in the design of the Tabernacle and the Temple. It is represented by the Veil.

The "Sea" under discussion is a barrier between the second and third heavens, represented by the veil between the 'Holy Place' and 'Holiest of All.' The 'Brazen Alter' represents the Earth where the sacrifice was to be made. The 'Laver' in Moses' Tabernacle, and the 'Molten Sea' in Solomon's Temple, were places for the priests to wash themselves before entering the 'Holy Place'. You MUST be washed in the Blood of the Lamb of God to pass into that most Holy Place.

The Firmament is the Middle the space between the Upper and the Lower Aeons

The middle is like a veil between the Upper Aeons (‘the eternal’ ‘those who exist’) and the Lower Aeons (‘matter’ ‘those who do not exist’): “And then the existent separated itself from the non-existent. And the non-existent is the evil which has manifested in matter. And the enveloping power separated those that exist from those that do not exist. And it called the existent ‘eternal’, and it called the non-existent ‘matter’. And in the middle it separated those that exist from those that do not Exist, and it placed veils between them.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)

- The middle as a veil : “A veil exists between the world above and the realms that are below; and shadow came into being beneath the veil; and that shadow became matter; and that shadow was projected apart.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)

- The middle as a curtain between the Upper and Lower Aeons: “the Father of the Universe, that his unimaginable goodness might be revealed, he created that curtain between the immortals and those that came afterward” (Sophia of Jesus Christ

what we have learned

The first heaven (the atmosphere)
The second heaven (outer space)
The sea above outer space and below the third heaven (a sea of separation)
And above it all, there is the Third Heaven.

The Limit is linked to the cross because it is also the time after death a state of ‘non-existence’ which is greatly feared.

There is a boundary or Limit between God and the Fullness. There is a second boundary or Limit between the Fullness and the deficiency.

“firmament” is separated from the infinite Void (waters), a bounded finite space in which to create. It is the power of imposing limits, that is of boundaries, that creates form. Without a boundary there is no form,