Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 31 August 2020

Why Gnostic Christians Should Not Use the Rosary!

Why Gnostic Christians Should Not Use the Rosary!




There are many websites claiming to be Gnostics on the internet most of them advocate the use of the rosary with prayers similar to those used by the Roman Catholic Church which have been adapted for a more Gnostic style. However not many people know the true origin of the rosary and how it was used as a spiritual weapon against Gnostic Christians this study will look into this:

Rosary a string of beads for keeping count in a rosary or in the devotions of some other religions, in Roman Catholic use 55 or 165 in number.

The term “rosary” Latin: rosarium, means "crown of roses" or "garland of roses"

The rosary was not used by Jesus, by His apostles, or by the early church fathers, nor is it referred to in the Gnostic Gospels.
A Troubled history
The original, lengthy prayer cycle is devoted to the Virgin Mary and was composed by St Dominic as an antidote to heresy at a time when the Catholic Church was seeking to crush the Cathar sect in what is now south-western France.

The crusade against the Cathars stands as one of the bloodiest episodes in Church history.

The Rosary was roundly cursed by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century as "mere babbling, as stupid as it is wicked, nourishing a false confidence". (Pope updates ancient Rosary prayer BBC NEWS Monday, 21 October, 2002, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK)

One Catholic website says "Our Lady gave Saint Dominic the Rosary as a weapon to combat the awful Albigensian heresy."

St. Dominic set up his headquarters in the town of Fanjeaux in 1206, becoming its parish priest and taking charge of its ancient church, Notre Dame de Prouille. In Fanjeaux, St. Dominic founded a convent for young women fleeing the vice and debauchery of the Cathar sect. Soon after, St. Dominic added monks to his growing community. From these small beginnings, he planted the seeds of what would later become the Dominican Order.

Church tradition tells us that, in the year 1208, St. Dominic had a vision of the Virgin Mary while praying in his church. The Blessed Mother reportedly taught him to pray the Rosary, telling him to use this weapon to defeat the heretics.

Aflame with enthusiasm, St. Dominic called on Catholics and heretics alike to pray the Rosary. By 1213, many Catholic Crusaders had taken St. Dominic’s advice. Devotion to the Rosary had spread among them like wildfire.


That year, a Crusader army under Simon de Montfort met a Cathar army under Raymond of Toulouse in the battle of Muret. The heretics were routed. Years later, when the Cathar heresy was finally extinguished, many Catholics attributed its defeat as much to St. Dominic’s zeal as to the Crusaders’ arms. (From a Catholic Website)


From a Cathar website:

Leo XIII claims that the Cathars were defeated not by human force, but by Mary's Rosary:

8. Moreover, we may well believe that the Queen of Heaven herself has granted an especial efficacy to this mode of supplication, for it was by her command and counsel that the devotion was begun and spread abroad by the holy Patriarch Dominic [Dominic Guzmán] as a most potent weapon against the enemies of the faith at an epoch not, indeed, unlike our own, of great danger to our holy religion. The heresy of the Albigenses had in effect, one while covertly, another while openly, overrun many countries, and this most vile offspring of the Manicheans, whose deadly errors it reproduced, were the cause in stirring up against the Church the most bitter animosity and a virulent persecution. There seemed to be no human hope of opposing this fanatical and most pernicious sect when timely succour came from on high through the instrument of Mary's Rosary. Thus under the favour of the powerful Virgin, the glorious vanquisher of all heresies, the forces of the wicked were destroyed and dispersed, and faith issued forth unharmed and more shining than before.


1891-09-22- SS Leo XIII - Octobri Mense: Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on September 22, 1891 On the Rosary


Leo does not explain why Mary's Rosary had so little effect before Catharism was exterminated by physical force - a long war of extermination followed by operations of the Inquisition over generations.


Leo still seems to accept that Catharism was descended from Manicheism, as the medieval Catholic Church held, but the modern Catholic Church doubts.


Pius XI elaborates on The Rosary and likens Catharism to Communism:

19. The Holy Virgin who once victoriously drove the terrible sect of the Albigenses from Christian countries, now suppliantly invoked by us, will turn aside the new errors, especially those of Communism, which reminds us in many ways, in its motives and misdeeds, of the ancient ones.

20. And as in the times of the Crusades, in all Europe there was raised one voice of the people, one supplication; so today, in all the world, the cities, and even the smallest villages, united with courage and strength, with filial and constant insistence, the people seek to obtain from the great Mother of God the defeat of the enemies of Christian and human civilization, to the end that true peace may shine again over tired and erring men.
Not Biblical
Unsurprisingly, we are given various advice in the Bible, both about how we should, and how we should not pray.

In particular, we look to the words of Jesus himself, as reported in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 6, verses 5-13. Please, look at what Jesus said and then repeated, to clearly stress the importance of what he was saying (Matthew 6:7-8 AMP)

7 “And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 So do not be like them [praying as they do]; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Can you see this? Jesus says “do not use meaningless repetition“. If you prefer the KJV, these two verses are even stronger

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

In the KJV, we are told even more clearly not to use vain repetitions as the heathens do.

Jesus then “doubles down”. First he castigates people who use vain/meaningless repetition and calls them unGodly, and then he tells us not to be like them.

Can this be any clearer? How can Jesus’ own words, speaking clearly and literally, be reconciled with 53 identical prayers in a row to the mother of Jesus (an unkind person would suggest that the act of praying to anyone other than the Holy Trinity is in and of itself a heathenish act)?


One of the justifications for using a rosary is that it helps us to concentrate and gives us a format for our prayer. But do we need a necklace of beads to help us pray? No. We don’t. God offers us all the help we need, in the form of the Holy Spirit. In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom 8:26-27), we are told (AMP)

26 In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.
27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.

We are also encouraged not just to “not repeat empty incantations”, but to make our requests specifically known. Philippians 4:6 (AMP) says

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
Summary
The word “Rosary” is not found in the Bible
The Rosary was created as a spiritual weapon to use against Gnostic Christians called the Cathai or the Albigensians for this reason alone Gnostic Christians today should reject the use of the Rosary.
Since gnosis does not come by repetitive praying Gnostics should not use the Rosary
Repetitive praying is a type of brainwashing or mind control 

at war prayer manual by Traci Morin:

Father God, I repent and renounce using Demons of candle burning, rosary prayers and idol worship to do evil or through ceremonies, and I take authority, dominion, bin and break and cast out all demonic spirits of curses to go to the pit of hell, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Kataphasis and Apophasis in Pseudo-Dionysius (Part II)

God Talk: Kataphasis and Apophasis in Pseudo-Dionysius (Part II) with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kupperman




Dr. Kupperman takes us through an exploration of Kataphatic and Apophatic Theology in Pesudo-Dionysius at Conclave 2015



Kataphasis and Apophasis in Pseudo-Dionysius (Part I)

God Talk: Kataphasis and Apophasis in Pseudo-Dionysius (Part I) with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kupperman




Dr. Kupperman takes us through an exploration of Kataphatic and Apophatic Theology in Pesudo-Dionysius at Conclave 2015



[Talk Gnosis] Pseudo-Dionysius



The ineffable Dr. Jeffrey Kupperman joins us once again to tell us about Pseudo-Dionysius, the late 5th-early 6th century philosopher. This enigmatic Christian, or possibly pagan writer had some interesting ideas about God and the universe.

Read Jeffrey's paper:
https://independent.academia.edu/JeffreyKupperman/Papers
Read Pseudo-Dionysius:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/dio/

Jeffrey's Website:
http://jeffreyskupperman.com
His Twitter: @Demon_Writer
The Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition:
http://jwmt.org



Tuesday, 25 August 2020

How to Become a Gnostic


How to Become a Gnostic

Gnosticism is an age old spiritual path focused upon Gnosis, which means individual direct knowledge of the divine. If you've seen The Matrix, then you've seen pieces of art that embody Gnostic themes. If you want to become a gnostic, then you have to start with the basics and work your way up to changing your life and spirituality.

Steps 


1
Read, Contemplate, Read, Contemplate, and Read. Although Gnosticism embodies Gnosis which is divine knowledge rather than simple facts, being a Gnostic requires quite a bit of reading. Gnosticism arose in an ancient cultural matrix, involving a different world-view, and a different understanding of the practice of religion. At the bottom of this page there will be links to several excellent sources.



2
Find out if Gnostic views are for you. Although Gnostic myths are incredibly varied due to the very nature of the tradition, there are some key points that are common. Note, you don't have to accept all of these, but a majority of these represent traditional Gnostic thought, so it's a good idea to use these as a sort of starting point (taken from Stephan A. Hoeller's "Introduction to Gnosticism"):
There is an original and transcendental spiritual unity from which emanated a vast manifestation of pluralities.
The manifest universe of matter and mind was created not by the original spiritual unity, but by spiritual beings possessing inferior powers.
One of the objectives of these creators is the perpetual separation of humans from the unity (God).
The human being is a composite: the outer aspect is the handiwork of the inferior creatures, while the inner aspect is a fallen spark of the ultimate divine unity.
The sparks of transcendental holiness slumber in their material and mental prison, their self-awareness stupefied by the forces of materiality and the mind.
The slumbering sparks have not been abandoned by the ultimate unity; rather, a constant effort directed toward their awakening and liberation comes forth from this unity.
The awakening of the inmost divine essence in humans comes through salvific knowledge, called "gnosis".
Gnosis is not brought about by belief or by the performance of virtuous deeds or by obedience to commandments; these at best serve to prepare one for liberating knowledge.
Among those aiding the slumbering sparks, a particular position of honor and importance belongs to a feminine emanation of the unity, Sophia (Wisdom). She was involved in the creation of the world and ever since has remained the guide of her orphaned human children.
From the earliest times of history, messengers of Light have been sent forth from the ultimate unity for the purpose of advancing gnosis in the souls of humans.
The greatest of these messengers in our historical and geographical matrix was the descended Logos of God manifest in Jesus Christ.
Jesus exercised a twofold ministry: he was a teacher, imparting instruction concerning the way of gnosis; and he was a hierophant, imparting mysteries.
The mysteries imparted by Jesus (which are also known as sacraments) are mighty aids towards gnosis and have been entrusted by him to his apostles and their successors.
Through the spiritual practice of the mysteries (sacraments) and a relentless and uncompromising striving for gnosis, humans can steadily advance toward liberation from all confinement, material and otherwise. The ultimate objective of this process of liberation is the achievement of salvific knowledge and with it, freedom from embodied existence and return to the ultimate unity.

3
Spiritual Practice. Amassing facts is not enough, one must also practice to achieve gnosis:
Read Gnostic Scripture Gnostic scripture is a fairly wide category, and includes the Bible, Lost Gospels, Sethian literature, Valentinian literature, Early Syrian Christian literature, Hermetic literature, Mandaean literature, Manichaean literature, Cathar literature, Islamic mystical literature, Jewish mystical literature, and several more.
Pray often Prayer focuses the mind and also calls the attention of the divine unity which can impart grace for gnosis. Regular prayer is as vital for a Gnostic as meditation is for a Buddhist (in fact, meditation can be used in Gnosticism to great effect as well).
Practice and receive the sacraments These will be covered in the next major step.




4
Sacraments. Gnostic Christianity often uses the same seven sacraments used in the Orthodoxy, but with different liturgy and different applied meaning. These sacraments are: Baptism, Chrism (Confirmation), Holy Eucharist, Redemption, Bride-Chamber, Extreme Unction, and Healing. Redemption is considered the ultimate form of liberation and should not be undertaken by anyone wishing to incarnate again in a body. Bride-Chamber is a mystery that is usually conferred after death in the spiritual realm, however, it may take on some earthly form at a later time that God ordains. There are two lesser versions of these sacraments, and they may be taken as a form of preparation for these greater sacraments (Redemption and Bride-chamber). These are Penance and Matrimony (marriage). Unlike many churches, most Gnostic Churches allow anyone to partake of the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist should be received often, and one should receive baptism and chrismation when one feels comfortable to do so. Note: You can contact a nearby Gnostic church for baptism and chrismation without being a member and travel there. These aren't rituals designed to make you a member of a physical church, but rather the body of Gnosis. The Eucharist can be performed solo and there are many ways of practicing it available on various websites and in several books.


5
Never stop practicing Gnosticism is a constant striving. You don't have to be a member of a church, or follow their liturgy to the word. You just have to understand the mysteries, perform them, pray often, and immerse yourself in writings that will assist you on your path to gnosis.





How to become a Christian according to the Gospel of Philip

https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Gnostic

Thursday, 20 August 2020

The Circle Dance of the Cross Part 1

The Circle Dance of the Cross

Ring Dance performed in legend by Apollo and the Muses




The Circle Dance of the Cross is found in the Acts of John. Embedded in the text is a hymn (sections 94 – 96) that some consider to have originally been "a liturgical song (with response) in some Johannine communities" (Davis). The Acts of John is not part of the Christian canon, mainly because of its docetic teachings, however the text presents a picture of Jesus performing a dance this may seem strange to some Christians however dancing is part of the Jewish worship from which Christianity grow out of
Biblical Background of Dancing 
In the Hebrew Scriptures several expressions occur that are translated “dancing,” “circle dances,” “dancing around,” and “skipping about.” The Hebrew verb chul, which basically means “whirl; turn,” is also rendered “dance.” (Jg 21:21; compare Jer 30:23; La 4:6.) Two nouns meaning “dance; circle dance” are drawn from this verb, namely ma·chohl´ (Jer 31:4; Ps 150:4) and mecho·lah´.—Ca 6:13; Jg 21:21. (Insight into the Scriptures)
Victory and Festive Dances
In the Hebrew Scriptures dancing is referred to in various contexts as an important ritualized activity and as an expression of joy.

After the triumphant crossing of the Red Sea, “Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances” (Exodus 15:20-21). 

On his triumphant return from battle to Mizpah, Jephtah was greeted by his daughter with timbrels and dancing (Judges 11:34).

When David and Saul returned from the battle with the Philistines, “the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with timbrels, with joy, and with rattles” (1st Samuel 18:6).

There is a detailed description of a victory parade, where Judith leads the women in the dance, to the accompaniment of a special thanksgiving song: “And all the women of Israel hurried to see her, and they praised her and made a dance for her…And she went out in the dance before all the people, leading all the women” (Judith 15:12-13).

It was a great occasion when the ark of the covenant finally arrived in Jerusalem, especially for King David, who gave way to his emotions in a most vigorous dance. “And David was dancing around before Jehovah with all his power, . . . leaping and dancing around before Jehovah.” (2Sa 6:14-17) In the parallel passage David is described as “skipping about.”—1Ch 15:29.

14 And David was dancing around before Jehovah with all his power, all the while David being girded with an eph´od of linen. 
15 And David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of Jehovah with joyful shouting and sound of horn. 
16 And it occurred that when the ark of Jehovah came into the City of David, Mi´chal, Saul’s daughter, herself looked down through the window and got to see King David leaping and dancing around before Jehovah; and she began to despise him in her heart. 

David’s dance before the Ark was an example of the religious ecstatic dances performed by men. The Psalms exhorted people to “praise God’s name in the dance”–“praise Him with timbrels and dance” (Psalms 149:3; 150:4). (Insight into the Scriptures)

The Psalms also endorse dancing as a means of honoring and praising Jehovah. “Praise Jah, you people! . . . Let them praise his name with dancing. With the tambourine and the harp let them make melody to him.” “Praise him with the tambourine and the circle dance.”—Ps 149:1, 3; 150:4. (Insight into the Scriptures)

In Israel, dancing was performed mostly in groups, particularly by women. When men joined in the dance, they were in separate companies; apparently there was no mingling of the sexes in their dances. The dances were both processional and circular (Jg 21:21; 2Sa 6:14-16), but these styles did not make the dances akin to the pagan processional or circle dances. The motives and objectives behind the dances themselves, the announced purpose of the dances, the movements of the dancing bodies, and the ideas such movements convey to observers are the important things to consider and compare in determining resemblance in dance patterns. (Insight into the Scriptures)
The horah
Hora, also known as horo and oro, is a type of circle dance

The name (spelled differently in various countries) is cognate to the Greek χορός (khorós): "dance" which is cognate with the Ancient Greek art form of χορεία (khoreía). The original meaning of the Greek word χορός may have been "circle". 

The horah (הורה), which differs somewhat from that of some of the Eastern European countries, is widespread in the Jewish diaspora and played a foundational role in modern Israeli folk dancingTo start the dance, everybody forms a circle, holding hands or interlocking arms behind their backs or on their shoulders[4] and steps forward toward the left with the right foot, then follows with the left foot. The right foot is then brought back, followed by the left foot. This is done while holding hands and circling together in a fast and cheerful motion to the left. Large groups allow for the creation of several concentric circles.


In canonical accounts, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, Not actually identified in the Acts of John as Gethsemane, but we can infer that this is the possible location from the context, which states that the scene takes place before Jesus is ‘delivered up’ to ‘the lawless Jews’. (Sean Martin)

This Hymn is no hymn, but a mystic ritual through which Jesus sought to instruct consolidate his followers on the eve of the crucifixion. he had the disciples form a circles holding hands , and dance round him. Standing in the center he sang a sequence of mystical phrases, to which the disciples had to respond in chorus "Amen":
The Circle Dance of the Cross
The Circle Dance of the Cross from the Acts of John:

[Before the crucifixion] he gathered all of us together and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing an hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring (circle), holding one another's hands, and himself standing in the midst he said: Answer Amen unto me. He began, then, to sing an hymn and to say:

“Glory be to you, father.”

And we circled around him and responded to him,

“Amen.”

“Glory to you, word. Glory to you, grace.”

“Amen.”

“Glory to you, spirit. Glory to you, holy one. Glory to your glory.”

“Amen.”

“We praise you, father. We give thanks to you, light, in whom no darkness is.”

“Amen.”

“Why we give thanks, I declare:

I will be saved and I will save.”

“Amen.”

“I will be released and I will release.”

“Amen.”

“I will be wounded and I will wound.”

“Amen.”

“I will be born and I will bear.”

“Amen.”

“I will eat and I will be eaten.”

“Amen.”

“I will hear and I will be heard.”

“Amen.”

“I will be kept in mind, being all mind.”

“Amen.”

“I will be washed and I will wash.”

“Amen.”

Grace Dances

“I will play the flute. Dance, everyone.”

“Amen.”

“I will mourn. Lament, everyone.”

“Amen.”

“A realm of eight sings with us.”

“Amen.”

“The twelfth numbers dances on high.”

“Amen.”

“The whole universe takes part in dancing.”

“Amen.”

“Whoever does not dance does not know what happens.”

“Amen.”

“I will feel and I will stay.”

“Amen.”

“I will adorn and I will be adorned.”

“Amen.”

“I will be united and I will unite.”

“Amen.”

“I have no house and I have houses.”

“Amen.”

“I have no place and I have places.”

“Amen.”

“I have no temple and I have temples”

“Amen.”

“I am a lamp to you who see me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a mirror to you who perceive me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a door to you who knock on me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a way to you, you passerby.”

“Amen.”

Understanding the Song 

“If you respond to my dance, see yourself in me as I speak, and if you have seen what I do, keep silent about my mysteries. You who dance, understand what I do for yours is this human passion I am about to suffer. You could by no means have comprehended what you suffer unless I had been sent as the word to you by the father. You who have seen what I suffer have seen me as suffering, and when you have seen it, you have not stood firm but were completely moved. You were moved to become wise, and you have me for support. Rest in me. Who I am you will know when I depart. What now I am seen to be I am not. You will see when you come. If you knew how to suffer, you would have been able not to suffer. Learn about suffering, and you will be able not to suffer. What you do not know I myself shall teach you. I am your god, not the traitor’s. I want holy souls to be in harmony with me. Know the word of wisdom. Say again with me,

Glory to you, father.

Glory to you, word.

Glory to you, spirit.

Amen.

“If you want to know what I was, once I mocked everything with the word, and I was not put to shame at all. I leaped. But understand everything, and when you have understood, declare,

Glory to you, father.

Amen.”


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Holst "The Hymn of Jesus" Sir Adrian Boult





 Jesus, who says, "Before I am delivered to them, let us sing a hymn to the Father and so go to meet what lies before us". Directed to form a circle around him, holding hands and dancing, the apostles cry "Amen" to the hymn of Jesus. Embedded in the text is a hymn (sections 94 – 96) that some consider to have originally been "a liturgical song (with response) in some Johannine communities" (Davis). In the summer of 1916 Gustav Holst set his own translation from the Greek (Head), influenced by G.R.S. Mead, as The Hymn of Jesus for two mixed choirs, a semi-chorus of female voices, and a large orchestra (Trippett).

Monday, 17 August 2020

The Gospel of Philip and Transubstantiation

The Gospel of Philip and Transubstantiation










Does the Gospel of Philip teach the doctrine of Transubstantiation?

A superficial reading of the the Gospel of Philip may lead one to conclude that it teaches Transubstantiation with sayings like "The eucharist is Jesus" but this is not the case as we will see below

The master [did] everything in a mystery: baptism, chrism, eucharist, redemption, and bridal chamber.[For this reason] he said, “I have come to make [the lower] like the [upper and the] outer like the [inner, and to unite] them in that place.” [He spoke] here in symbols [and images].

Here the word mystery is musthrion 3466: μυστήριον meaning means ‘something hidden or secret’ – our word ‘mystery’.


a secret, of which initiation is necessary; in the NT: the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof; the Christian revelation generally; particular truths or details of the Christian revelation.

The word does not mean a "sacrament(s)"

The language surrounding ‘sacraments’ did not develop in the Church for some time. We hear of a ritual of baptism in the Christian community of the Acts of the Apostles, and of the ‘breaking of bread’ – the Eucharist (Acts2:38, 41- 42). These celebrations were called by their name, there was no generic term for these experiences.

The Lord [did] everything in a sacred secret: a baptism, and a anointing, and a eucharist, and a redemption, and a bridal chamber. [For this reason] he said, “I have come to make [the lower] like the [upper and the] outer like the [inner, and to unite] them in that place.” [He spoke] here in symbols [and images].

The Greek word musthrion, translated “sacred secret,” has reference primarily to that which is known by those who are initiated.

GPh 67:27–30:“The Lord did everything like a mystery: baptism, chrism, Eucharist, redemption and bridal chamber.”

It is clear, however, that this text does not speak about “mysteries” in the sense of sacraments, but about the hidden, symbolic meaning of the Saviour’s deeds in the world. (Einar Thomassen)


Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world cannot receive truth in any other way. There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. It is necessary to be born again truly through the image. How is it with the resurrection and the image? Through the image it must rise. The bridal chamber and the image? Through the image one must enter the truth: this is the restoration.
Flesh and Blood Symbolic 
24 Some are afraid lest they rise naked. Because of this they wish to rise in the flesh, and they do not know that it is those who wear the flesh who are naked. It is those who [...] to unclothe themselves who are not naked. "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Co 15:50). What is this which will not inherit? This which is on us. But what is this, too, which will inherit? It is that which belongs to Jesus and his blood. Because of this he said "He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him" (Jn 6:53). What is it? His flesh is the word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing. I find fault with the others who say that it will not rise. Then both of them are at fault. You say that the flesh will not rise. But tell me what will rise, that we may honor you. You say the Spirit in the flesh, and it is also this light in the flesh. (But) this too is a matter which is in the flesh, for whatever you shall say, you say nothing outside the flesh. It is necessary to rise in this flesh, since everything exists in it. In this world, those who put on garments are better than the garments. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the garments are better than those that put them on.

Ignatius identifies the flesh with faith and the blood with love (Trall 8 Ign Rom 8:3)

The Gospel of Philip in particular shows that Valentinians understood the flesh and the blood of the Savior to be symbolic thus, for instance, the “flesh” is the Logos and the “blood” is the Holy Spirit

For more information on this saying from the Gospel of Philip see:

Valentinian Teaching on the Resurrection
What is the blood and Flesh of Christ


57 The eucharist is Jesus. For he is called in Syriac "Pharisatha," which is "the one who is spread out," for Jesus came to crucify the world.

eucharist literally thanksgiving, actually the Lord's Last Supper

this saying does not prove much Jesus the eucharist is turned into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus

Jesus often used metaphor in order to communicate a point. For example, he says “I am the door,” “I am the vine,” “You are the salt of the earth,” and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14) but people know that we don’t take such statement literally. After all, who believes that Christ is literally a door swinging on a hinge?

Men too walk long distances but do not get anywhere, When evening came for them, they saw neither city nor village, neither creation nor nature, power and angel. In vain have these miserable men taken trouble over the Eucharist'

Segelberg suggests that this passage 'might be a criticism of the eucharistic practices of the Church,' and renders 'Men too walk long distances but do not get anywhere' (15-17) and 'In vain have these miserable men taken trouble over the Eucharist' (20-21). This interpretation is certainly valid in that the passage is a condemnation of unproductive effort. (Gospel of Philip, R. McL. Wilson)

The Eucharist of the Churches lacks pneuma or spirit it does not give life. Therefore those who have frequently taken communion have nevertheless not received anything but when the evening of life comes then they are as un-spiritual as when they began life. Their church is a donkey church. ( Segelberg)

For more information on this saying from the Gospel of Philip see
Jesus the Measurement Spread Out

,106 The cup of prayer contains wine and water, for it represents the blood for which thanksgiving is offered. It is full of the holy spirit, and it belongs to the completely perfect human. When we drink it, we take to ourselves the perfect human. The living water is a body, and we must put on the living human. Thus, when one is about to go down into the water, one strips in order to put on the living human.

The cup represents Jesus at the last supper
Priest or Holy Man
114 The priest is completely holy, down to his very body. For if he has taken the bread, he will consecrate it. Or the cup or anything else that he gets, he will consecrate. Then how will he not consecrate the body also?

In the Coptic the word "priest" is not used, the word used is a "holy man" or a "saint" it is a dishonest translation to use the word "priest" it changes the meaning of the text. The Valentinians did not have a priesthood. According to Tertullian, "Today one man is bishop and tomorrow another; the person who is a deacon today, tomorrow is a reader; the one who is a priest is a layman tomorrow. For even on the laity they impose the functions of priesthood." ( Tertullian Against the Valentinians 1) He goes on to relate that even women could take the role of bishop, much to his horror. 

From the Quote from Tertullian we can see that the Valentinian congregations were organised autonomously.

The correct word to be used is "holy man" or "saint" this is seen from the translations by Thomas Paterson Brown and R. McL. Wilson:

The holy man is holy altogether, down to his body. For if he has received the bread he .will make it holy, or the cup, or anything else that he receives, purifying them. And how will he not purify the body also? (Gospel of Philip R. McL. Wilson Translation)

How does a person purify the body? The answer is given in the Gospel of Truth: 'Through the unity shall each one find himself Through knowledge he will purify himself from diversity into unity, swallowing up the matter in him like a flame, darkness by light, death by life.' He who is holy is capable of making everything holy, even to the body. (Gospel of Truth)

according to Philip a believer becomes 'not a Christian but a Christ at the anointing

The saint respresents Jesus' flesh He must consecrate the bread which is his body. Likewise the saint represents the blood of Christ  the saint or holy person must consecrate the blood


Eating Blood

Eating or drinking blood is forbidden

Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it. (The Prayer of Thanksgiving The Nag Hammadi Library)


104. Furthermore, thus it is regarding the Bread with the Chalice, and the Chrism: there is nonetheless another (sacrament) exalted over these (Gospel of Philip)



Holy communion

communion, kept secret--There are times when it is to our own spiritual benefit and to God's glory to keep things concealed and, like Mary, to ponder them in our heart until due time for expression. There are joys of the Spirit that are secret between a man and his Lord. One feels a sense of condemnation and depletion if he talks too freely about his communion with the Lord.

Christians have lost the mystical meaning of the communion service. The object of the ritual was to enable the worshipper to establish oneness with the Deity, to symbolically die and rise again from the dead and have a new life with the Deity in a new world. This was a well-cultivated theme in many religions of the day. The people believed that by drinking the blood and eating the bread it would be possible to absorb the qualities of the Deity.


But what is the mystical meaning that Jesus was seeking to convey to us? Communion is union in consciousness with God. It is more than an intellectual thought or a feeling even though these are included. In a moment of union the soul is quickened and we are exhilarated both mentally and emotionally. This is especially true when an individual first begins the practice of communion or silent meditation.


The communion service that Jesus instituted is contained in His words, “When you pray, go within your closet and shut the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret.” Many people reach out in thought and feeling to a god they think is out in space. But the true God, the Source of Creativity and Intelligence, is within you. Of course, God is omnipresent, but your place of contact or communion with Him is within your consciousness. What happens or can happen in a true communion service? The soul can experience a feeling of security and peace even though outer circumstances may seem to indicate turmoil and instability.





Saturday, 15 August 2020

Gnostic Saints or Fathers of Christian Gnosticism

Gnostic Saints or Fathers of Christian Gnosticism

Praying for the Saints | Gnostic Devotions





Gnostics often considered pre-Christian figures to be among their important early teachers and leaders. Adam and his son Seth were especially important. Several figures appear in Gnostic versions of old testament stories who do not appear in canonical versions, such as Norea, who saves the Gnostics from the flood in the time of Noah. The three companions of Daniel are called by many names in Gnostic texts, and often invoked. John the Baptist is sometimes claimed as an early Gnostic leader — for example, by the Mandaeans

Jesus Christ is usually claimed as a gnostic leader by gnostics, as are several of his apostles, such as Thomas the Apostle, often thought of as the founder of the Thomasine form of Gnosticism. Indeed, Mary Magdelene is respected as a Gnostic leader, and is considered superior to the twelve apostles by some gnostic texts, such as the Gospel of Mary. John the Evangelist is claimed as a Gnostic by some Gnostic interpreters. As is even St Paul. The Gospel of Thomas relates that the disciples asked Jesus, after his resurrection and before his Ascension, "We are aware that you will depart from us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you come [from] it is to James the Just that you shall go, for whose sake heaven and earth have come to exist."

A student of Valentinius claims that Theudas was a student of St. Paul, and in turn taught Valentinius, which would put Theudas in the late 1st century if true.

Valentinus, who may have been a student of Basilides, and Theudas was a prominent Gnostic teacher of another major form of Gnosticism in the second century AD. He taught many other Gnostic fathers whose names we know, and his school survived for centuries.

His school was later divided into Eastern and Western branches based on a Christological dispute. Western Valentinians include: Ptolemy the Valentinian, whose letter to Flora survives, and who seems to have been martryed in 152; Flora a female Valentinian who corresponded with Ptolemy; Heracleon who has several surviving excerpts; Hermogenes (the painter) a late 2nd century painter, Monoimus the Arab, and Prodicus the Gnostic, Secundus, Florinus (a presbyter), Alexander, and Theotimus. Eastern Valentinians include: Marcus the Valentinian, a magician interested in using Gematria with Valentinianism; Axionicus of Antioch, who was alive in time of Tertullian; and Theodotus who also has several surviving excerpts in Clement of Alexandria's Extracts from the Works of Theodotus; Ambrose and Candidus (in the 3rd century).

The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church is a term used in Catholic and Orthodox forms of Christianity to refer to the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church. The study of the Fathers is known as Patristics. There is no evidence that ancient Gnostic Christians used this term for their leaders. 

It is generally supposed that a saint is someone who, having led a blameless and pious life and worked a few so-called well authenticated miracles, is then honoured by the Pope (though not until he or she has been dead for many years!). Having been beatified and canonised such an one is then reverently alluded to as Saint Francis or Saint Cecelia etc. It becomes a sort of honorary title. This has everything to do with Roman Catholic tradition and nothing whatsoever to do with the Biblical meaning of the word ‘saint’. Both in the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New, the word translated ‘saint’ comes from a root word which means ‘to be made clean’.The many Scriptural references to living members of the congregation as “holy ones,” or “saints” (Dy, KJ), make it clear that a person is not made a holy one, or “saint,” by men or by an organization, nor does such a one have to wait until after death to be made a “saint.” He is a “holy one” by virtue of God’s calling of him to joint heirship with Christ. He is holy in the eyes of God while he is on earth, with the hope of heavenly life in the spirit realm, wherein dwell Jehovah God and his Son, along with the holy angels.—1Pe 1:3, 4; 2Ch 6:30; Mr 12:25; Ac 7:56.


Monday, 10 August 2020

Valentinian Teaching on the Resurrection

Valentinian Teaching on the Resurrection
or
Christian Gnostic Understanding of the Resurrection

Greek anastasis resurrection


anastasis




13. They affirm that many of his disciples were not aware of the descent of Christ into him; but that, when Christ did descend on Jesus, he then began to work miracles, and heal, and announce the unknown Father, and openly to confess himself the son of the first man. The powers and the father of Jesus were angry at these proceedings, and laboured to destroy him; and when he was being led away for this purpose, they say that Christ himself, along with Sophia, departed from him into the state of an incorruptible AEon, while Jesus was crucified. Christ, however, was not forgetful of his Jesus, but sent down a certain energy into him from above, which raised him up again in the body, which they call both animal and spiritual; for he sent the mundane parts back again into the world. When his disciples saw that he had risen, they did not recognise him--no, not even Jesus himself, by whom he rose again from the dead. And they assert that this very great error prevailed among his disciples, that they imagined he had risen in a mundane body, not knowing that "flesh(3) and blood do not attain to the kingdom of God."
14. They strove to establish the descent and ascent of Christ, by the fact that neither before his baptism, nor after his resurrection from the dead, do his disciples state that he did any mighty works, not being aware that Jesus was united to Christ, and the incorruptible AEon to the Hebdomad; and they declare his mundane body to be of the same nature as that of animals. But after his resurrection he tarried [on earth] eighteen months; and knowledge descending into him from above, he taught what was clear. He instructed a few of his disciples, whom he knew to be capable of understanding so great mysteries, in these things, and was then received up into heaven, Christ sitting down at the right hand of his father Ialdabaoth, that he may receive to himself the souls of those who have known them,(4) after they have laid aside their mundane flesh, thus enriching himself without the knowledge or perception of his father; so that, in proportion as Jesus enriches himself with holy souls, to such an extent does his father suffer loss and is diminished, being emptied of his own power by these souls. For he will not now possess holy souls to send them down again into the world, except those only which are of his substance, that is, those into which he has breathed. But the consummation [of all things] will take place, when the whole besprinkling of the spirit of light is gathered together, and is carried off to form an incorruptible AEon.

Some people are afraid that they may arise from the dead naked, and so they want to arise in flesh. They do not know that it is those who wear the [flesh] who are naked. Those who are [able] to take it off are not naked.
“Flesh [and blood will] not inherit God’s kingdom.” What is this flesh that will not [57] inherit? It is what we are wearing. And what is this flesh that will inherit? It is the flesh and blood of Jesus.
For this reason he said, “One who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood does not have life within.” What does this mean? His flesh is the word and his blood is the holy spirit. Whoever has received these has food, drink, and clothing.
And I also disagree with others who say that the flesh will not arise. Both views are wrong. You say that the flesh will not arise? Then tell me what will arise, so we may salute you. You say it is the spirit in the flesh, and also the light in the flesh? But what is in the flesh is the word, and what you are talking about is nothing other than flesh. It is necessary to arise in this sort of flesh, since everything exists in it.
In this world those who wear clothes are superior to the clothes. In heaven’s kingdom the clothes are superior to those who wear them. (The Gospel of Philip)

The lord rose from the dead. He became as he was, but now his body was perfect. He possessed flesh, but this was true flesh. Our flesh isn’t true. Ours is only an image of the true. (The Gospel of Philip)

It is commonly said that the Gnostics denied the resurrection of the flesh on the ground that the flesh (being material) was evil and could have no part in the world of the spirit but Philip and the Treatise on the Resurrection addressed to Rheginus show that the situation is somewhat more complex.

the readers are warned in another saying in the Gospel of Philip "neither to fear nor to love the flesh" but at a distinction is apparently drawn between the true flesh and a flesh which is only an image of the true

Flesh and blood are allegorized as the logos and the holy spirit. while literal flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom the word and holy spirit surely can

Ignatius identifies the flesh with faith and the blood with love (Trall 8 Ign Rom 8:3)

The exposition of john 6:53 forms the transition between the two parts of this saying and is possibly the link which connects them. The flesh and blood we now have will not inherit the kingdom but the flesh of Jesus is true flesh and will inherit.

"It is necessary to arise in this sort of flesh, since everything exists in it."

The idea is that the true believer must rise in this mortal flesh in order to put on immortality to be clothed with the heavenly garment

By the words “it was at the point of death,” the teaching of those who claim that the soul is immortal is refuted. In agreement with this is the statement that “the body and soul are destoyed in Hell.” (Matthew 10:28) The soul is not immortal, but is possessed only of a disposition towards salvation, for it is the perishable which puts on imperishability and the mortal which puts on immortality when “its death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Corinthians 15:54] (Heracleon: Fragments from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)

As Christ rose from the grave and had his mortal body changed to an immortalized body, so the true believer will share his reward (Phil. 3:21). Through baptism we associate ourselves with Christ's death and resurrection, showing our belief that we, too, will share the reward which he received through his resurrection (Rom.6:3-5). Through sharing in his sufferings now, we will also share his reward: "Bearing about (now) in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (2 Cor. 4:10). "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit" (Rom. 8:11). With this hope, we therefore wait for "the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23), through that body being immortalized.

For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion, but it is truth! Indeed it is more fitting to say that the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which came into being through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (From The Treatise on the Resurrection)

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author here is defending the doctrine of the resurrection.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Gnostics and Transubstantiation

Gnostics and Transubstantiation







What is Transubstantiation?


Regarding transubstantiation, The Encyclopædia Britannica (9th Ed.) states: “The Church of Rome teaches that the whole substance of the bread and wine in the Eucharist is converted by consecration into the Body and Blood of Christ, in such a manner that Christ in His entirety, including his human soul and His divine nature, is contained in the elements; and that with such a thorough transmutation that not only is the whole Christ contained in the wine as well as the bread, but with the same completeness in each particle of the bread, and in each drop of the wine.” The Council of Lateran of 1215 pronounced accursed any who would in any way doubt transubstantiation.


The Catholic Church glories in the mystery of transubstantiation, describing the elements in the moment of consecration as being "switched aside with the speed of a lightening flash, and its place is taken by what looks like a line of fire--a single thread of communication, reaching up, without division or alteration, to the Lord Christ Himself." This is ironic, since the formulation of the doctrine of transubstantiation is traditionally attributed to St. John and St. Ignatious for the sole purpose of keeping the idea of the union of God's spirit with flesh in Jesus before the minds (and eyes) of the early Christians in order to battle the heretical dualisms of the Doceticism.


Transubstantiation is completely unbiblical, being a doctrine that grew out of the Docetic controversies of the mid second century and gradually developing to full flower in the 4th century. Those who believed in Doceticism claimed that Jesus did not have literal flesh and blood, it only appeared that way. The early post-apostolic Christians countered that Jesus indeed had ordinary human flesh and blood and they began to emphasize this in the Lord's Supper.


Note not all Gnostics believed in Doceticism see the post  Non-Docetic Teachings in the Nag Hammadi Library

Some Gnostics sects refused to break bread altogether: 


Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 110): “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1).


Are there some Gnostic who reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation?

Yes in the early Church, before 200AD, both Gnostics and the church took the same symbolic view of the bread and juice. But those Gnostics who did partake of the Table of the Lord, were openly criticized by the church as being inconsistent.

"How can they (Gnostics) be consistent with, themselves when they say the bread for which they give thanks is the body of their Lord and the cup his blood, if they do not say he is the Son of the Creator of the world? ... Let them either change their views or avoid offering the bread and wine. But our view is in harmony with the eucharist, and the eucharist confirms our view". (Irenaeus, Against Heresies IV.xviii.4, 5)

Irenaeus refutes the Gnostics on the basis that the Lord would not use "evil material things" like bread and juice in the Lord's Supper. Had Irenaeus argued that the bread and juice Transubstantiated (changed) into something different from what they appear, the Gnostics would have agreed, saying this change was essential because Jesus did not have physical flesh either!

"Irenaeus has the realist terminology but not the realist thought. There is no conversion of the elements. Indeed, if there were any change in the substance of the elements, his argument that our bodies-in reality, not in appearance-are raised would be subverted." (Early Christians Speak, Everett Ferguson, 1981, p 114)


A generation after Irenaeus, Tertullian (160–225) used the same arguments against the Gnostic heretic Marcion. However, Tertullian provided more information into how the eucharistic elements ought to be understood. Tertullian wrote:

“Having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, Jesus made it His own body, by saying, ‘This is My body,’ that is, the symbol of My body. There could not have been a symbol, however, unless there was first a true body. An empty thing or phantom is incapable of a symbol. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new covenant to be sealed ‘in His blood,’ affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body that is not a body of flesh” (Against Marcion, 4.40).


From this it may be inferred that the Valentinians celebrated the Eucharist with bread and a cup. This conclusion is confirmed by the Gospel of Philip and the Eucharistic prayers in NHC XI, 43–44. The Gospel of Philip in particular shows that Valentinians could speak without difficulty about partaking of the flesh and the blood of the Savior in the Eucharist, because they gave a symbolic meaning to these words: thus, for instance, the “flesh” is the Logos and the “blood” is the Holy Spirit.

But what is this, too, which will inherit? It is that which belongs to Jesus and his blood. Because of this he said "He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him" (Jn 6:53). What is it? His flesh is the word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing. (The Gospel of Philip)


What is the Blood of Christ? The Gospel of Philip

When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it. (The Prayer of Thanksgiving, The Nag Hammadi Library)

The Didache, written in the late-first or early-second century, referred to the elements of the Lord’s table as “spiritual food and drink” (The Didache, chapter 10). The long passage detailing the Lord's Table in this early Christian document gives no hint of transubstantiation whatsoever.

We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant.



The Cathars are another famous sect in history that denied the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.


The term “transubstantiation” was used against the Cathars at the fourth Lateran Council in 1215. It was at this council that the teaching of the Cathars was formally condemned.


The Cathars also refused the sacrament of the eucharist saying that it could not possibly be the body of Christ.


The following is a quote taken from the Inquisitor Bernard Gui's experiences with the Cathar practices and beliefs:


Then they attack and vituperate, in turn, all the sacraments of the Church, especially the sacrament of the eucharist, saying that it cannot contain the body of Christ, for had this been as great as the largest mountain Christians would have entirely consumed it before this. They assert that the host comes from straw, that it passes through the tails of horses, to wit, when the flour is cleaned by a sieve (of horse hair); that, moreover, it passes through the body and comes to a vile end, which, they say, could not happen if God were in it


The doctrine of transubstantiation, first formally declared at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, looks suspiciously like a way of contradicting Cathar teaching on the impossibility of combining earthly and spiritual elements


Cathar teachings shared by the Waldensians became defining features of Protestant belief. Many of these teachings follow from the rejection of Roman Catholic "tradition" in favour of scripture. Protestants, like Cathars, rejected the medieval Roman doctrine of transubstantiation and infant baptism.

"They spared their branches," says Gibbon, "over the face of Europe." United in common hatred of idolatry and Rome; they were connected by an ecclesiastical organization of over-seers and presbyteries, usually styled elders and pastors. The French called them "Bulgarians" by way of reproach, meaning thereby "unnatural sinners". Their catholic enemies also falsely styled them Manichaeans, and charged them with contempt of the Old Testament, and the denial of the body of Christ, either on the cross or in the bread and wine. They repudiated the catholic dogmas connected with the cross and eucharist; but they took both bread and wine, discerning by "the testimony of the anointed Jesus which they held," the representation therein of his broken body and blood, shed for remission of the sins of the many (Matt. 26:28). "A confession of simple worship and blameless manners," says Gibbon, "is extorted from their enemies; and so high was their standard of perfection, that the increasing congregations were divided into two classes of disciples, of those, who practised, and those who aspired. It was in the country of the Albigeois, in the southern provinces of France,

The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation was formally propounded in 1215 based on contemporary philosophical notions that were later discredited. The Cathar practise of blessing bread before meals by contrast is identical to the practice of the earliest Christians at communal meals called agapes (abandoned by mainstream churches in the second or third centuries when their own agapes degenerated into disreputable occasions)



The Lord's Supper



Matthew 26:27  And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.

Luke 22:20  And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, [even] that which is poured out for you.

God's covenant with mankind, through His perfect expression, Christ Jesus. This contract was completed through Jesus Christ's breaking the bread and blessing the cup. The bread symbolizes the flesh or body that is spiritual knowlege, or the wisdom. The wine symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ, or spiritual life .

By mentally eating the flesh 
and spiritually drinking the blood of Jesus Christ we install within our consciousness the eternal truth of the Gospel and drink of the waters of eternal life.

bread of life--The word of Truth that imparts new vitality to mind and body. "Thou shalt eat bread at my table continually" (2 Sam. 9:7).

blood of Christ--The life contained in God's Word


Who are the Quartodecimans?