Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 7 February 2019

The Gnostic Prophecies

Gnostic Prophecy
Esoteric Knowledge of the End Times
or
Gnostic Eschatology




Many people think that Gnosticism is beyond prophecy or they do not contain prophecies or Eschatology teachings this we shall look at this in this study In the Nag Hammadi Library there are many esoteric texts however there are some eschatology texts as well these can be called the Gnostic Prophecies


So what are the Gnostic Prophecies?


In the The Nag Hammadi Library there are different types of prophecies, prophecies about the end of the age, and prophecies about the corruption of the church also there are prophecies about Jesus and teachings on the spiritual gifts with reference to the gift of prophecy as well.


It is normal for apocalyptic literature to record contemporary history has a prophecy yet to happen or about occur in the near future


This can be seen from 2nd Apocalypse of Baruch 
2nd Apocalypse of Esdras (also called 4 Ezra or Esdras) others are set in the primordial past like the Book of Enoch or set in the life of the patriarchs like the Assumption of Moses and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

This will help us to understand the settings of the Apocalypse in the Nag Hammadi Library


if we look a the book that have eschatology themes like The Apocalypse (Revelation) of Adam, The Concept of Our Great Power, On the Origin of the World

The Ages or Aeons of Human History
First human history is divided in two or three ages or aeons.

Whoever sows in winter reaps in summer. Winter is the world, summer is the other aeon or 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. (The Gospel of Philip)


Here in the Gospel of Philip winter is this age and summer is the age to come 


However in the Revelation (Apocalypse) of Adam and the Concept of Our Great Power we can see that world history is divided into thirteen kingdoms or as in the Concept of Our Great Power three Aeons the aeon of the flesh, the psychic aeon, the 3rd aeon is the "the aeon that is to come"


The third age of man will begin at Christ's second coming and is referred to in God's Word as "the world to come"(Hebrews 2:5). The third era will start with the resurrection of the righteous at Jesus' return to earth.

The Aeon of the Flesh
The first age is the period before the Flood, from the time of Adam to Noah. It is called in the Bible "the world that then existed." We read in 2 Peter 3:6 that "the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water."

The aeon of the flesh is the human race before the flood it is called the 
antediluvian pre-diluvian or pre-flood) period is the time period chronicled in many anenti texts like the The Concept of Our Great Power:

This is the work that came into being. See what it is like, that before it comes into being it does not see, because the aeon of the flesh came to be in the great bodies. And there were apportioned to them long days in the creation. For when they had polluted themselves and had entered into the flesh, the father of the flesh, the water, avenged himself. For when he had found that Noah was pious (and) worthy - and it is the father of the flesh who holds the angels in subjection. And he (Noah) preached piety for one hundred and twenty years. And no one listened to him. And he made a wooden ark, and whom he had found entered it. And the flood took place. (
The Concept of Our Great Power)

And thus Noah was saved with his sons. For if indeed the ark had not been meant for man to enter, then the water of the flood would not have come. In this way he intended (and) planned to save the gods and the angels, and the powers, the greatness of all of these, and the <nourishment> and the way of life. And he moves them from the aeon (and) nourishes them in the permanent places. And the judgment of the flesh was unleashed. Only the work of the Power stood up. (
The Concept of Our Great Power)

The Psychic Aeon
The second age includes the time after the Flood until Christ's second coming. It is called in Scripture "this present evil age" (Galatians 1:4). Jesus' disciples wanted to know when this period would end. They asked Him: "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3).

Next the psychic aeon. It is a small one, which is mixed with bodies, by begetting in the souls (and) defiling (them). For the first defilement of the creation found strength. And it begot every work: many works of wrath, anger, envy, malice, hatred, slander, contempt and war, lying and evil counsels, sorrows and pleasures, basenesses and defilements, falsehoods and diseases, evil judgments that they decree according to their desires. The Nag Hammadi Library, The Concept of Our Great Power


The psychic aeon or the soul-endowned aeon is the human race after the flood. This aeon will remain in being until the consummation.


parousias
He passed through the three parousias which I mentioned before: the flood, and the conflagration, and the judgment of the archons and the powers and the authorities, to save her (the race) who went astray, through the reconciliation of the world, and the baptism through a Logos-begotten body which the great Seth prepared for himself secretly through the virgin, in order that the saints may be begotten by the holy Spirit, through invisible, secret symbols, through a reconciliation of the world with the world, through the renouncing of the world, and the god of the thirteen aeons [thirteen ages of human history compare the thirteen kingdoms], and (through) the convocations of the saints and the ineffable ones, and (through) the incorruptible bosom, and (through) the great light of the Father, who pre-existed with his Providence, and established through her the holy baptism that surpasses the heaven, through the incorruptible, Logos-begotten one, even Jesus the living one, even he whom the great Seth has put on. And through him, he nailed the powers of the thirteen aeons, and established those who are brought forth and taken away. He armed them with an armor of knowledge of this truth, with an unconquerable power of incorruptibility (The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit.)

The three historical ‘aeons’ or ‘ages’ are also called the three parousias. Each parousia is related to the descent or visitation of a saviour figure

Hence the word ‘parousia’ (which means ‘presence’) relates to the presence or manifestation of certain saviour-figures in history.

Each parousia is also related to a natural catastrophe, which the race of the Elect must pass through.

- As a catastrophe, the parousia becomes a ‘purging’ or ‘cleansing’ and so is also called a ‘baptism’.

- In general, the three parousias are the Flood, the Conflagration and the Judgement (of the Archons)

there are three historical purgings which the race of the Sethians must pass through: “the three parousias which I mentioned before: the flood, and the conflagration, and the judgment of the archons” (Gospel of the Egyptians)

The Flood: “For rain-showers of God the almighty will be poured forth, so that he might destroy all flesh (...) along with those from the seed of the men to whom passed the life of the knowledge (...) Afterwards, great angels will come on high clouds, who will bring those men into the place where the spirit of life dwells” (Apocalypse of Adam)


- In On the Origin of the World, the three parousias are related to ‘three types of humans’: the Pneumatic, Psychic and Hylic races. The 
three parousias can also be compared with the three ages or aeons of the The Concept of Our Great Power


The three parousias are of ‘the spirit’, ‘fire’, and ‘water’: There are [...] (these races of ) three men, and also his posterities, unto the consummation of the world: the spirit-endowed of eternity (i.e. pneumatic), and the soul-endowed (i.e. Psychic) and the earthly (i.e. Hylic). Likewise, the three phoenixes <in> Paradise - the first is immortal; the second lives 1,000 years; as for the third, it is written in the Sacred Book that it is consumed. So, too, there are three baptisms - the first is the spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.” (Origin of the world)

In the third parousia, ‘the illuminator of knowledge’ will appear to work miracles, arouse wrath, and be punished in the flesh: “Once again, for the third time, the illuminator of knowledge will pass by in great glory, in order to leave (something) of the seed of Noah and the sons of Ham and Japheth - to leave for himself fruit-bearing trees. And he will redeem their souls from the day of death. For the whole creation that came from the dead earth will be under the authority of death (...). And he will perform signs and wonders in order to scorn the powers and their ruler. Then the god of the powers will be disturbed, saying, ‘What is the power of this man who is higher than we?’ Then he will arouse a great wrath against that man. And the glory will withdraw and dwell in holy houses which it has chosen for itself. And the powers will not see it with their eyes, nor will they see the illuminator either. Then they will punish the flesh of the man upon whom the holy spirit came.” (Apocalypse of Adam)


In Jewish and Christian apoplectic literature the word visitation is used instead of parousia or consummation

viz-i-ta’-shun, vis-(pequddah; episkope): In Biblical writings, the divine investigation or 
inspection of men’s character and deeds with a view to apportioning to them their due lot, whether of reward or of chastisement; divine dispensation of mercy or of punishment. 


visitation Most frequently in an evil sense, of calamity or distress viewed as divine punishment: "What will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far?" (#Isa 10:3). So #Jer 8:12; 10:15; 11:23; 23:12; 46:21; 48:44; 50:27; 51:18; Ho 9:7; Mic 7:4; The Wisdom of Solomon 14:11. 


"Visited after the visitation of all men" (#Nu 16:29), i.e. in natural death, the usual lot of men, as opposed to a calamitous death; "She shall have fruit in the visitation of souls" (The Wisdom of Solomon 3:13 the King James Version), i.e. in the time of divine judgment. So Sirach 18:20 and perhaps #1Pe 2:12.


Isa 10:3  And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?


Jer 8:12  Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.


Sirach 16:17 "Do not say, "I shall be hidden from the Lord, and who from on high will remember me? Among so many people I shall not be known, for what is my soul in the boundless creation? 18.Behold, heaven and the highest heaven, the abyss and the earth, will tremble at his visitation. 19.The mountains also and the foundations of the earth shake with trembling when he looks upon them."

III, 13. To the instructor, for demonstrating (making plain) and for teaching all the Sons of Light concerning the origin (tôlĕdôt, birth, fundamental nature, family history) of mankind (the sons of man); 14. for (knowing) every type of their spirits by their tokens, and of their deeds by their history (generations). 15. From God is the knowledge of all that exists and that will (yet) be brought into existence. And before they existed he prepared their whole plan, 16. and when they exist according to schedule (lit. their appointment) they are to carry out (fill) all their activities according to his glorious plan without any changes. 17. All decisions rest with him (lit. in his hand), but he will sustain them in all their righteous desires. For he created man to have dominion (to rule, govern) over 18. this earth. And he appointed (lit. placed) for him two spirits by which he should walk until the time of his visitation (or judgment). 


For you have established their ways forever and ever and have ordained from eternity their visitation for reward and chastisements; you have allotted it to all their seed for eternal generations and everlasting years. dead sea scrolls


In the former visitation, these faithful men escaped, while those that turned back were delivered to the sword. Such will be the fate also of those who in the latter days will have entered God's Covenant but not held fast to these things. Them will God punish unto extinction by the hand of Belial(The Damascus Document)


Luke 19:44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."


2 Peter 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.


The end of each parousia or visitation is called the consummation 

The End of the psychic aeon or age is called the consummation


At the end will come the consummation: 



The consummation

Gnostic use the word consummation to refer to the end of the world or cosmos meaning the order of things thus the end of the age or aeon. 

Matt 24 Departing now, Jesus was on his way from the temple, but his disciples approached to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 In response he said to them: “Do YOU not behold all these things? Truly I say to YOU, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”

3 While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”

Or, “joint end; combination end; ending together.” Greek, synteleias; Latin, consummationis.


4930. συντέλεια sunteleia soon-tel’-i-ah; from 4931; entire completion, i.e. consummation (of a dispensation): —  end.


4930 συντέλεια sunteleia soon-tel’-i-ah


from 4931; n f; TDNT-8:64,1161;  {See TDNT 785 }


AV-end 6; 6


1) completion, consummation, end



The consummation is not the end of this planet but the end of a order of things 


Then Justice created Paradise, being beautiful and being outside the orbit of the moon and the orbit of the sun in the Land of Wantonness, in the East in the midst of the stones. And desire is in the midst of the beautiful, appetizing trees. And the tree of eternal life is as it appeared by God's will, to the north of Paradise, so that it might make eternal the souls of the pure, who shall come forth from the modelled forms of poverty at the consummation of the age.


Now we shall proceed to consideration of our world, so that we may accurately finish the description of its structure and management. Then it will become obvious how belief in the unseen realm, which has been apparent from creation down to the consummation of the age, was discovered.  (Origin of the World)


- During the ‘consummation’ (end of the system of things): “And the Deficiency will be plucked out by the root (and thrown) down into the darkness. And the light will withdraw up to its root.” (On the Origin of the World)


But, after the consummation, the Elect will rise up and come to exist once more in the Upper Aeons.


Several Gnostic texts say the consummation will come when the number of the Elect is reached.


Again, the consummation (the end of the Archons’ rule) will come when ‘the number of perfect souls’ is reached: “And he took their light to the Treasury of the Light. (...) so that they should not dissolve, but that they should be retarded, and should spend a great time until the completion of the number of perfect souls which would be in the Treasury of the Light.” (Pistis Sophia - Ch. 26)


Now I have come the second time in the likeness of a female, and have spoken with them. And I shall tell them of the coming end of the Aeon and teach them of the beginning of the Aeon to come, the one without change, the one in which our appearance will be changed. We shall be purified within those Aeons from which I revealed myself in the Thought of the likeness of my masculinity. I settled among those who are worthy in the Thought of my changeless Aeon. Trimorphic Protennoia (Three Forms of First Thought) 


The great Seth wrote this book with letters in one hundred and thirty years. He placed it in the mountain that is called 'Charaxio,' in order that, at the end of the times and the eras, by the will of the divine Autogenes and the whole pleroma, through the gift of the untraceable, unthinkable, fatherly love, it may come forth and reveal this incorruptible, holy race of the great savior, and those who dwell with them in love, and the great, invisible, eternal Spirit, and his only-begotten Son, and the eternal light, and his great, incorruptible consort, and the incorruptible Sophia, and the Barbelon, and the whole pleroma in eternity. Amen. (The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit.)  


Afterwards, when they had recovered from the daze, they came to Adam; and seeing the likeness of this woman with him, they were greatly disturbed, thinking it was she that was the true Eve. And they acted rashly; they came up to her and seized her and cast their seed upon her. They did so wickedly, defiling not only in natural ways but also in foul ways, defiling first the seal of her voice - that had spoken with them, saying, "What is it that exists before you?" - intending to defile those who might say at the consummation (of the age) that they had been born of the true man through verbal expression. And they erred, not knowing that it was their own body that they had defiled: it was the likeness that the authorities and their angels defiled in every way (On the Origin of the World)


And thus when the world had come into being, it distractedly erred at all times. For all men upon earth worshiped the spirits (demons) from the creation to the consummation - both the angels of righteousness and the men of unrighteousness. Thus did the world come to exist in distraction, in ignorance, and in a stupor. They all erred, until the appearance of the true man  (On the Origin of the World)


Let this suffice so far as the matter goes. Now we shall proceed to consideration of our world, so that we may accurately finish the description of its structure and management. Then it will become obvious how belief in the unseen realm, which has been apparent from creation down to the consummation of the age, was discovered.


Here we can see there is a beginning and an end of world history "creation down to the consummation of the age" "from the creation to the consummation" 


Before the consummation of the age, the whole place will shake with great thundering. Then the rulers will be sad, [...] their death. The angels will mourn for their mankind, and the demons will weep over their seasons, and their mankind will wail and scream at their death. Then the age will begin, and they will be disturbed. Their kings will be intoxicated with the fiery sword, and they will wage war against one another, so that the earth is intoxicated with bloodshed. And the seas will be disturbed by those wars. Then the sun will become dark, and the moon will cause its light to cease. The stars of the sky will cancel their circuits. And a great clap of thunder will come out of a great force that is above all the forces of chaos, where the firmament of the woman is situated.

Having created the first product, she will put away the wise fire of intelligence and clothe herself with witless wrath. Then she will pursue the gods of chaos, whom she created along with the prime parent. She will cast them down into the abyss. They will be obliterated because of their wickedness. For they will come to be like volcanoes and consume one another until they perish at the hand of the prime parent. When he has destroyed them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to exist

The consummation is thus: He whom she indicated will be completed by the one who indicated. And the seeds that remain will endure until the All is separated and takes shape. (The Interpretation of Knowledge)


The conclusion or consummation is the end of a state of consciousness--the place of emanation where the old is cast off and the way is opened for the incoming of the new.


emanation a flowing out by successive development; growth. As we grow spiritually day by day, Spirit reveals more and more good to us. (see 1 Cor. 2:9)

The "end of all things is at hand" (I Pet. 4: 7) is the dissolution in mind of the lower realm of thought that has been built up by a belief in the reality of seemingly material things and conditions.



Chronology


There are a few chronological dates given in the Nag Hammadi Libary

(chronology the study of historical records to establish the dates of past events.)

Just as the present aeon, though a unity, is divided by units of time and units of time are divided into years and years are divided into seasons and seasons into months, and months into days, and days into hours, and hours into moments,

After five thousand years, the great light Eleleth spoke: "Let someone reign over the chaos and Hades." 

And he will [...] those men and bring them into their proper land, and build them a holy dwelling place. And they will be called by that name and dwell there six hundred years in a knowledge of imperishability. And the angels of the great Light will dwell with them. No foul deed will dwell in their heart(s), but only the knowledge of God.

. And he (Noah) preached piety for one hundred and twenty years. And no one listened to him. And he made a wooden ark, and whom he had found entered it. And the flood took place.  
Day for a Year

In the text the Concept of Our Great Power there maybe a day for a year prophecy:

Then he will come to destroy all of them. And they will be chastised until they become pure. Moreover their period, which was given to them to have power, which was apportioned to them, (is) fourteen hundred and sixty years. When the fire has consumed them all, and when it does not find anything else to burn, then it will perish by its own hand. Then the [...] will be completed [...] the second power [...] the mercy will come [...] through wisdom [...]. (the Concept of Our Great Power)



Prophecies About the End of the Age


the Concept of Our Great Power


Then a great disturbance took place. The archons raised up their wrath against him. They wanted to hand him over to the ruler of Hades. Then they recognized one of his followers. A fire took hold of his soul. He (Judas?) handed him over, since no one knew him (Jesus?). They acted and seized him. They brought judgment upon themselves. And they delivered him up to the ruler of Hades. And they handed him over to Sasabek for nine bronze coins. He prepared himself to go down and put them to shame. Then the ruler of Hades took him. And he found that the nature of his flesh could not be seized, in order to show it to the archons. But he was saying: "Who is this? What is it? His word has abolished the law of the aeon. He is from the Logos of the power of life." And he was victorious over the command of the archons, and they were not able by their work to rule over him.

The archons searched after that which had come to pass. They did not know that this is the sign of their dissolution, and (that) it is the change of the aeon. The sun set during the day; that day became dark. The evil spirits were troubled. And after these things he will appear ascending. And the sign of the aeon that is to come will appear. And the aeons will dissolve.


The text goes on to say:


Behold, these aeons have passed. What size is the water of the aeon that has dissolved? What dimensions do aeons have? How will men prepare themselves, and how will they be established, and how will they become indestructible aeons?


On the Origin of the World



But it should be noted that Orig. World also concludes with a sweeping apocalyptic eschatology

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/origin-Barnstone.html



THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE AND THE APOCALYPSE



Before the consummation of the age, the whole place will be shaken by great thunder. Then the rulers will lament, crying out on account of their death. The angels will mourn for their human beings, and the demons will weep for their times and seasons, and their people will mourn and cry out on account of their death. Then the age will begin, and they will be disturbed. Their kings will be drunk from the flaming sword and will make war against one another, so that the earth will be drunk from the blood that is poured out. And the seas will be troubled by that war. Then the sun will darken and the moon will lose its light. The stars of the heaven will disregard their course, and great thunder will come out of great power that is above all the powers of chaos, the place where the firmament of the woman is situated. When she has created the first work, she will take off her wise flame of afterthought and will put on irrational wrath. Then she will drive out the gods of chaos, whom she had created together with the chief creator. She will cast them down to the abyss. They will be wiped out by their own injustice. For they will become like the mountains that blaze out fire, and they will consume one another until they are destroyed by their chief creator. When he destroys them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to be. And their heavens will fall upon one another and their powers will burn. Their realms will also be overthrown. And the chief creator’s heaven will fall and split in two. Likewise, his stars in their sphere will fall down to the earth, and the earth will not be able to support them. They will fall down to the abyss, and the abyss will be overthrown.



THE LIGHT IS SAVED AND GNOSTICS RETURN HOME



The light will cover the darkness and obliterate it. It will become like something that never existed. And the source of the darkness will be dissolved. The deficiency will be plucked out at its root and thrown down to the darkness. And the light will withdraw up to its root, and the glory of the unconceived will appear, and it will fill all the eternal realms, when the prophetic utterances and the writings of those who are rulers are revealed and are fulfilled by those who are called perfect. Those who were not perfected in the unconceived father will receive their glories in their realms and in the kingdoms of immortals. But they will not ever enter the kingless realm.


For it is necessary that everyone enter the place from which he has come. Each one by his deeds and his gnosis will reveal his nature.


















But this much is enough, since it is impossible for anyone to dispute the nature of the words I have just spoken about the blessed, imperishable, true God. Now, if anyone wants to believe the words set down (here), let him go from what is hidden to the end of what is visible, and this Thought will instruct him how faith in those things that are not visible was found in what is visible. This is a principle of knowledge.
Eugnostos the Blessed















The Day of the Lord



63 Now the repose of the spiritual elements on the Lord's Day, that is, in the Ogdoad, which is called the Lord's Day, is with the Mother, who keeps their souls, the (wedding) garments, until the end; but the other faithful souls are with the Creator, but at the end they also go up in the Ogdoad. Then comes the marriage feast, common to all who are saved, until all are equal and know each other.

Excerpts from Theodotus 63.1 makes an explicit reference to the Lord’s Day. It does so by symbolically relating this day to the theme of resurrection and to the Valentinian concept of the Ogdoad: “Now the repose of the spirituals takes place on the Lord’s Day, in the Ogdoad, which is called ‘dominical’, where the Mother is


The passage alludes to the eschatological elevation of the spirituals, when they will rise above the Demiurge and his hebdomadal cosmos, and join their mother Sophia in the eighth sphere. The fact that the Lord’s resurrection took place on a Sunday, the eighth day, is interpreted as a symbolic reference to this redemptive ascent of the spirituals at the end of the age.



The adjective κυριακή, by which the early Christians designated Sunday as the Lord’s Day because the resurrection took place on it, is, by a typically Valentinian combination of meanings, understood as containing, in addition, an allusion to Ogdoad, because it is the sphere in which Sophia resides as master, κύριος, over the psychic powers in the cosmos below.4 The theme is also found in the Gospel of Truth 32:24–34, which contrasts the Sabbath filled with labour with “the day from above,” “the perfect day” of never-sinking light.



Thus one can easily imagine the Valentinians celebrating the Lord’s Day in practice as well, as the day symbolizing their liberation from the archons and their future redemption into the Ogdoad.



The Valentinian Cosmology ends with a collective return back to the Pleroma at the end of time.

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