Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 11 February 2022

Errors Doctrines to be Rejected by Gnostic Christians

Errors Doctrines to be Rejected by Gnostic Christians 



 


Doctrines to be Rejected
(With Explanations Expressed Positively — in italics)

Valentinians and Cathars did not share all what would be classed as the classical Gnostic teachings on the Demiurge, the nature of immortality, and the nature of Christ




 1. We reject that the Bible is only partly the work of inspiration — or if wholly so, contains errors which inspiration has allowed. [The Bible, in its original text, is altogether the work of inspiration, and that God has been the true author of every part of His Word, thereby constituting it infallible — 2Tim. 3:16; 2Pet. 1:19-21.]


 2. We reject that God is three persons. [The doctrine of the trinity being false, it remains that God is a Being of Spirit; the Lord Jesus Christ is His Son, born of the virgin Mary; the Holy Spirit is His power — 1Tim. 2:5; Jn. 1:14; Lk. 24:49.]

To the Cathars, the Holy Trinity is a lie. For the Cathars, Jesus was neither divine nor man. He was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit sent by the good god to show us the way to freedom.

 3. We reject that the Son of God was co-eternal with the Father. [Jesus was begotten of the virgin Mary; he was only “known” beforehand in the mind and purpose of Yahweh from the beginning — Gal. 4:4; Jn. 1:1].




4. We reject that Christ was born with a “free life”. [A “free life” signifies that Christ’s nature was not under Adamic condemnation as is that of all other members of the human race, and that therefore his sacrifice was a substitute for the “lives” of others. However, he needed to obtain redemption himself in order to redeem his “brethren” — Gal 4:4; 1Tim. 2:6; Heb. 9:12.]

We reject the doctrine of docetism

Furthermore, they will say of him that he is unbegotten, though he has been begotten, (that) he does not eat, even though he eats, (that) he does not drink, even though he drinks, (that) he is uncircumcised, though he has been circumcised, (that) he is unfleshly, though he has come in the flesh, (that) he did not come to suffering, <though> he came to suffering, (that) he did not rise from the dead, <though> he arose from the dead. (Melchizedek text from The Nag Hammadi Library)


Odes of Solomon 8:21 
  1. 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.
42:18
  1. May we also be saved with You, because You are our Savior.
The Gospel of Philip

Jesus appeared at the Jordan River with the fullness of the kingdom of heaven.
He was born before there was birth.
He was anointed once and was anointed anew.
He who was redeemed redeemed the world. 

 5. We reject that Christ’s nature was immaculate, or that he was of a different nature from other men. [Through his birth he inherited a nature sin-affected, and destined to death, being mortal, as all others — Heb. 2:14.]

Heracleon: Fragments from his
Commentary on the Gospel of John


Fragment 10, on John 1:29 (In John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”) John spoke the words, "Lamb of God" as a prophet, but the words, "who takes away the sin of the world" as more than a prophet. The first expression was spoken with reference to his body, the second with reference to Him who was in that body. The lamb is an imperfect member of the genus of sheep; the same being true of the body as compared with the one that dwells in it. Had he meant to attribute perfection to the body he would have spoken of a ram about to be sacrificed.

 6. We reject that the Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father. [The Holy Spirit is the exclusive power which emanates only from God to perform His determination — Lk. 24:49.]

The Holy Spirit is a feminine aspect of god

 7. We reject that man has an immortal soul. [The soul of man defines his being, his life, his existence; and is related to his attitude and emotions. He is wholly mortal, and has no immortal essence hereditarily.]

Heracleon: Fragments from his
Commentary on the Gospel of John


Fragment 40, on John 4:46-53 (In John 4:46, “So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose child was ill.) The official was the Craftsman, for he himself ruled like a king over those under him. Because his domain is small and transitory, he was called an “official,” like a petty princeling who is set over a small kingdom by the universal king. The “child” “in Capernaun” is one who is in the lower part of the Middle (i.e. of animate substance), which lies near the sea, that is, which is linked with matter. The child’s proper person was sick, that is, in a condition not in accordance with the child’s proper nature, in ignorance and sins. (In John 4:47, “When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his child , for it was at the point of death.”) The words “from Judea to Galilee” mean ‘from the Judea above.’. . . 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)

 8. We reject that man consciously exists in death. [At death, man ceases to exist in every respect. He has no consciousness in death — Ecc. 3:19; Psa. 49:17-20.]

20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

The Gospel of Philip 

Ignorance is the mother of [all evil]. Ignorance leads to [death, because] those who come from [ignorance] neither were nor [are] nor will be.


 9. We reject that the wicked will suffer eternal torture in hell. [The wicked are destined to eternal oblivion in the grave, excepting only those of their number who are answerable to God and will be raised to condemnation, to return eternally to the grave. — 2Thes. 1:8-9.]

A child claims the father’s legacy,
but those who inherit the dead are dead.

Heirs to the living are alive
and are heirs to life and death.

The dead are heirs to nothing.

How can the dead inherit?
Yet if the dead inherits the living,
the living won’t die and the dead will survive.


GENTILES, JEWS, CHRISTIANS

A gentile doesn’t die, never
having been alive to die.



10. We reject that the righteous will ascend to the kingdoms beyond the skies when they die. [None ascend to heaven; the Lord Jesus being the only exception, and in this case for the purpose of his continuing mediatorial work. The righteous await the return of Christ for the bestowal of immortality — Jn . 3:13.]

Yeshua said,
If your leaders tell you, “Look, the kingdom is in heaven,”
then the birds of heaven will precede you.
If they say to you, “It’s in the sea,”
then the fish will precede you.
But the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves,  then you will be known,
and you will understand that you are children of the living father.
But if you do not know yourselves,
then you dwell in poverty and you are poverty.


11. We reject that the devil is a supernatural personal being. 

[The devil is variously manifested as that which falsely “accuses.” It is the manifestation of the ungodly characteristics of sin’s flesh, and will cease to exist when sin is ultimately destroyed — 1Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:10.]

We reject the doctrine that Yaldabaoth and the Demiurge is the same person

Valentinian never use the word Yaldabaoth 

As we have amply demonstrated, the Demiurge in Valentinianism is quite different in character from the hostile Ialdabaoth familiar from the Sethian school. The Demiurge acts as an intermediary between the higher powers and the material world. The Valentinian view of the world created by the Demiurge is also quite different. According to Valentinian teaching, the world is created to aid the spiritual element to return to the Fullness (pleroma). Its creation was necessitated by the primordial fall into deficiency and suffering.

We reject the doctrine that the Demiurge is evil

The Valentinian teacher Ptolemy strongly criticizes non-Valentinian Gnostics who taught that the Demiurge was evil. In his view, those who view the creator as evil "do not comprehend what was said by the Savior...Only thoughtless people have this idea, people who do not recognize the providence of the creator and so are blind not only the eye of the soul but even in the eye of the body" (Letter to Flora 3:2-6). They are as "completely in error" as orthodox Christians who taught that the Demiurge was the highest God (Letter to Flora 3:2).

In contrast, he and other Valentinians steadfastly maintained that "the creation is not due to a god who corrupts but to one who is just and hates evil" (Letter to Flora 3:6). He carefully distinguished the Demiurge from both God and the Devil. According to Ptolemy, "he is essentially different from these two (God and the Devil) and is between them, he is rightly given the name, Middle" (Letter to Flora 7:4). He is "neither good nor evil and unjust, can properly be called just , since he is the arbitrator of the justice which depends on him" (Letter to Flora 7:5).



12. We reject that the Kingdom of God is “the church.” [The Kingdom of God is a divine political empire to be established on earth at the return of Jesus Christ. — Isa. 2:2-5]




13. We reject that the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ merely. [The gospel includes the covenants of promise granted to Abraham and David and involves the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth — Gal. 3:8.]




14. We reject that Christ will not come until the close of the thousand years. [Jesus Christ returns to establish the millennium, and will reign as king during that period — 1Cor. 15:24-29; Rev. 20:6.]


15. We reject that the tribunal of Christ, when he comes, is not for the judgment of saints, but merely to divide among them different degrees of reward. [The Judgment seat of Christ is for the purpose of revealing the motives, actions and characteristics of all the responsible, and to prepare the righteous for the granting of immortality — Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10.]


16. We reject that the resurrection is confined to the faithful. [The resurrection will involve all who have known the Will of God, including those who have rejected that Will and those who have failed to uphold it in a faithful life — Jn. 12:48; 9:39-41; 15:22; Acts 15:24.]


17. We reject that the dead rise in an immortal state. [The dead come from the grave in the same state as they entered it; they will remain mortal as they appear before the judgment seat.]

Some are afraid that they will ascend from death naked, and they want to climb back to life in their flesh.They are unaware that those who wear their flesh are naked, and those who strip are not naked. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of god.” What will we not inherit? The flesh we wear on us.
But what then will we inherit as our own? The body of Jesus and his blood. And Jesus said, “Whoever will not eat my flesh and drink my blood has no life within him.”  What does he mean? His flesh is the word and blood the holy spirit.
Who has received these has food and drink and clothing. I condemn those who say the flesh won’t rise. Then both are wrong. You say the flesh won’t ascend. Tell me, what will rise so I can honor you? You say spirit in the flesh and light in the flesh. What is the flesh?
You say there is nothing outside the flesh. Then rise in the flesh, since everything exists in it. In this world those wearing garments are better than garments. In heaven the garments are better than the wearers.




18. We reject that the subject-nations of the thousand years are immortal. [The nations will consist of mortal men and women, subject to the laws of Jesus Christ — Isa. 65:20.]


19. We reject that the law of Moses is binding on believers of the gospel. [The Law being fulfilled in Jesus Christ, its demands are not binding upon Christ’s disciples, as they are now subject to his commandments — Heb. 8:13.]


20. We reject that the observance of Sunday is a matter of duty. [Although the “first day” is commonly used for remembrance of the Christ-covenant, there is no obligation to limit such observance to a Sunday. It is a matter of “as oft as we do so,” whatever the day — 1Cor. 11:25.]


21. We reject that baby sprinkling is a doctrine of Scripture. [Baptism is only valid upon a confession of understanding the complete Will and purpose of God. It is the outward manifestation of an inner conviction — Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12.]


22. We reject the doctrine - that those without knowledge - through personal choice, immaturity, or lack of mental capacity - will be saved

[Salvation is based upon a reasonable and logical understanding of the Truth; those who are foreign to the gospel, who lack the capacity to perceive its responsibilities; or who are unable to comprehend, are outside the sphere of salvation — Acts 8:12.]


23. We reject that man can be saved by morality or sincerity, without the gospel. [Morality and sincerity must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the gospel for salvation — Acts 10:1-6.]


24. We reject that the gospel alone will save, without the obedience of Christ’s commandments. [Obedience to the commandments is a responsibility required of all believers; salvation will be determined upon the application of faith and obedience. Rev. 22:14; Mat. 7:26; 2Pet. 2:21; Mat. 28:20; Gal. 6:2]


25. We reject that a man cannot believe without possessing the Spirit of God. [In this case, the “Spirit of God” identifies a direct, miraculous influence from God in a person’s life. Belief comes from understanding the Word of Truth.]


26. We reject that men are pre-destined to salvation unconditionally. [Salvation is based upon a personal decision by a believer to uphold God’s Truth, and is dependent upon the grace of God — Eph. 2:8.]


27. We reject that there is no sin in the flesh. [The flesh is hereditarily related to sin, caused by the transgression of Adam, the effects of which have passed upon all men, including the Lord Jesus Christ — 2Cor. 5:21.]


28. We reject that Joseph was the actual father of Jesus. [Joseph was his guardian; Yahweh, through His Spirit acting on the virgin Mary, was his Father — Lk. 1:35.]


29. We reject that the earth will be destroyed. [The earth has been created for Yahweh’s glory, and will never be destroyed — Psa. 37:11; Num. 14:21.]


30. We reject that baptism is not necessary to salvation. [Baptism establishes a covenant-relationship, and is an act of obedience required for salvation — Acts 2:38.]


31. We reject that a knowledge of the Truth is not necessary to make baptism valid. [Baptism is only valid upon a knowledge of God’s revealed will and purpose, and an open declaration and confession thereof — Acts 8:12.]


32. We reject that some meats are to be refused on the score of uncleanness. [No foods are forbidden on the grounds of divine law or ceremonial defilement; such decisions are a matter of personal conscience — 1Cor. 6:11; Col. 2:16; Mk. 7:15.]


33. We reject that the English are the ten tribes of Israel, whose prosperity is a fulfilment of the promises made concerning Ephraim. [The ten tribes comprise the Jewish people in dispersion, descendants of Shem. The English people are descendants of Japheth, and do not form part of natural Israel — 1Pet. 1:1; Jas 1:1.]


34. We reject that marriage with an unbeliever is lawful. [Marriage with the unbeliever, or with a divorced person whose spouse is living, is forbidden by the law of Christ — 1Cor. 7:39; Mk. 10:8-12.]

35. We reject that we are at liberty to serve in the armed forces, in the police force, take part in jury duty or politics, or recover debts by legal coercion. [These constitute elements of society and its law-enforcement requirements, of which the believer will have no part. — Jn . 17:16]

36. We reject that Holy Spirit Gifts are available today. [These special and miraculous personal gifts were limited to the apostolic era, and are not manifested today — 1Cor. 13:8-10.]

37. We reject that the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was not required for the cleansing of his sin nature. [The Lord's sacrifice was necessary for his own redemption. His sacrifice was a public demonstration that his flesh was rightly related to death and a declaration of the righteousness of God that required the offering of his life in devotion to Him. By his sacrifice the ungodly propensities (diabolos) of his nature was destroyed (Heb. 2:14; 9:12; 7:27), thus providing for the granting of immortality.

 38. We reject that the Bible account of creation is figurative, or parabolic, of a type of organic evolution in which all living things evolved from simpler varieties. [The record of Genesis 1-3 describes the literal work of God in creating this world and its creatures out of the previous void and chaos. Each day was a period of 24 hours duration, and does not permit an evolutionary process].

 For this reason error was angry with him, so she persecuted him. She was distressed by him, and she was made powerless. He was nailed to a tree.  He became a fruit of the knowledge of the father. He did not, however, destroy them because they ate of it. He rather caused those who ate of it to be joyful because of this discovery.

For this reason Jesus appeared; he put on that book; he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross. O such great teaching! He draws himself down to death, though life eternal clothes him. Having stripped himself of the perishable rags, he put on imperishability, which no one can possibly take away from him. Having entered the empty spaces of terrors, he passed through those who were stripped naked by oblivion, being knowledge and perfection, proclaiming the things that are in the heart, [...] teach those who will receive teaching.

 Not only (that, but) I have come to reveal to you the truth, which is within the brethren. He included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring. He offered them up as an offering to the All. For it is not cattle that you will offer up for sin(s) of unbelief, and for the ignorances, and (for) all the wicked deeds which they will do [...]. And they do not reach the Father of the All [...] the faith ...

I have offered up myself to you as an offering, together with those that are mine, to you yourself, (O) Father of the All, and those whom you love, who have come forth from you who are holy (and) living. And <according to> the perfect laws, I shall pronounce my name as I receive baptism now (and) forever, (as a name) among the living (and) holy names, and (now) in the waters. Amen."

(The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek)

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