The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals
THE SOMATIC SPIRITUAL GOSPEL
"And there was given to me a reed, like a rod; and the angel stood saying Arise, measure the Temple of God and the Altar and those who worship therein. But the Court which is outside the Temple, leave out. Do not measure it, for it shall be given to the Gentiles and the Holy City shall be trodden under foot by them for forty-two months" - The Revelation of Jesus Christ 11:1, 2
"Know, oh brother . . . , that the study of sensible geometry leads to skill in all practical arts, while the study of intelligible geometry, leads to skill in the intellectual arts because this science is one of the Gates through which we move to Knowledge of the essence of the Soul and that is the root of all Knowledge." - From the Rasa’il by the Brotherhood of Purity, translated by S. H. Nasr
"You amuse me, you who seem worried that I impose impractical studies upon you. It does not only reside with mediocre minds, but all men have difficulty in persuading themselves that it is through these studies, as if with instruments, that one purifies the Eye of the Soul and that one causes a new fire to burn in his organ which was obscured and as though extinguished by the shadows of the other sciences, an organ whose conservation is more important than ten thousand eyes, since it is by it alone that we contemplate the truth.
"And do you not know that they [the geometers] make use of the visible forms and talk about them though they are not of them but of those things of which they are a likeness, pursuing their inquiry for the sake of the square as such and the diagonal as such and not for the sake of the image of it which they draw? And so on in all cases . . . What they really seek is to get sight of those realities which can be seen only by the mind." - Plato, Republic, VII, 527, 510, d,e
The great evangelical teacher of the 2nd Century, Origen tells us in his writing concerning John’s Gospel that there are at least two levels of Christianity. He wrote: "We must not, however, forget that the sojourning of Christ with men took place before His bodily sojourn, in an intellectual fashion, to those who were more Perfect and not children, and were not under pedagogues and governors. In their minds they saw
the fullness of the time to be at hand--the Patriarchs, and Moses the servant, and the Prophets who beheld the glory of Christ. And as before His manifestation and bodily coming He came to those who were Perfect, so also, after His coming has been announced to all, to those who are still children, since they are under pedagogues and governors
and have not yet arrived at the fullness of the time, forerunners of Christ have come to sojourn, discourses (logoi) suited for minds still in their childhood, and rightly, therefore, termed pedagogues. But the Son Himself, the glorified God, the Word, has not yet come; He waits for the preparation which must take place on the part of men of God
who are to admit His deity. And this, too, we must bear in mind, that as the law contains a shadow of good things to come, which are indicated by that law which is announced according to truth, so the Gospel also teaches a shadow of the Mysteries of Christ, the Gospel which is thought to be capable of being understood by any one.
"What John calls the eternal Gospel, and what may properly be called the spiritual Gospel, presents clearly to those who have the will to understand, all matters concerning the very Son of God, both the mysteries presented by His discourses and those matters of which His acts were the enigmas. In accordance with this we may conclude that, as it is with Him who is a Jew outwardly and circumcised in the flesh, so it
is with the Christian and with baptism. Paul and Peter were, at an earlier period, Jews outwardly and circumcised, but later they received from Christ that they should be so in secret, too; so that outwardly they were Jews for the sake of the salvation of many, and by an economy they not only confessed in words that they were Jews, but showed it by their actions.
"And the same is to be said about their Christianity. As Paul could not benefit those who were Jews according to the flesh, without, when reason shows it to be necessary, circumcising Timothy, and when it appears the natural course getting himself shaved and making a vow, and, in a word, being to the Jews a Jew that he might gain the Jews--so
also it is not possible for one who is responsible for the good of many to operate as he should by means of that Christianity only which is in secret. That will never enable him to improve those who are following the external Christianity, or to lead them on to better and higher things. We must, therefore, be Christians both somatically and spiritually,
and where there is a call for the somatic (bodily) Gospel, in which a man says to those who are carnal that he knows nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so we must do. But should we find those who are perfected in the spirit, and bear fruit in it, and are enamored of the heavenly Wisdom, these must he made to partake of that Word which, after it was made flesh, rose again to what it was in the beginning, with God." - 1
MEASURE THE TEMPLE?
Many of the ancient languages of the Middle East had numerical values encoded in their alphabets. This was especially true of the Hebrew, Greek and Latin alphabets, so that when a person wrote down a name or whatever, he was also writing down numerical values simultaneously. Conversely, if one wrote down a series of numbers, a word or sentence might appear. So, when the angel told John to ‘measure the Temple’, it was understood that there might be a message encoded there. An example of this is the number 144 which contains the letters meaning Light. This process is called Gematra.
Now, before I go any further, I have to say, that I do not put any credence in the modern day ‘Bible Decoders’, who are using computers to draw vertical , horizontal, diagonal lines through sentences from the Bible to come up with strange messages. With the help of a computer and using such methods, I could come up with anything.
Having said that, let me come back to the revelation that was being revealed to John by ‘measuring the Temple’. When Ezekiel had a vision of a beautiful mystical temple, he was told to show the pattern, design and measurements to the people of Israel, in the hope that its coded message would lead them to repentance. "Show the House to the people of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the number (sum). And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the House and the fashion thereof and the exits and entrances thereof." 2
Here, we must ask ourselves which Temple John was supposed to measure. It could not have been the Temple of Herod the Great because it had been totally destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. The Greek word that John uses here is the word naos (naos). It is the same word Paul used when speaking of the Church: "Know you not, that ye are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?" 3
John is given to know even before he measures the Temple that the outer Court will be given over to the ‘Gentiles’: "But the Court outside the Temple, leave out [of your measurements]. Do not measure it, for it shall be given to the Gentiles and the Holy City shall be trodden under foot by them for forty-two months." Considering that the Church in 96 A.D. (when John wrote this) was already composed of many Gentiles,
we must be looking at some secret message. Since these people are already in the Church/Temple, they must be calling themselves ‘Christian’ but obviously, they do not have access to the main part of the Temple itself, much less the Adetum. According to the 1st Verse, they were ‘worshippers’ but they were in the outer Court. Concerning those ‘outside’, Origen had this to say:
"I have not yet spoken of the observance of all that is written in the Gospels, each one of which contains much doctrine difficult to be understood, not merely by the multitude, but even by certain of the more intelligent, including a very profound explanation of the Parables, which
Jesus delivered to ‘those without’ while reserving the exhibition of their full meaning for those who had passed beyond the stage of exoteric teaching and who came to him privately ‘in the House’. And when he comes to understand it, he will admire the reason why some are said to be ‘without’ and others are ‘in the house." 4
"It is sufficient however, to represent in the style of a historical narrative what is intended to convey a Secret Meaning in the Garb of history, that those who have the capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject." 5
What I find interesting here is the fact that they will only be recognized for 42 months, which translates into 1260 days, which in prophetic terminology means 1260 years. For those who have eyes to see with and ears to hear with, we have here a wonderful Promise that pertains to our own time. We’ll come back to it.
Those who have borne with me through all my studies over the years, will recall that the same ‘Mother’ Church which destroyed the authority of the church at Jerusalem also destroyed the schools of the Gnostic and Orthodox teachers, like Valentinus, Novatian, Marcion, Origen and
Donatus. That first war to establish the supremacy of the Roman Hierarchy occupied the later part of 4th Century. Did that make the Roman Church any less Christian than the other ‘spiritual Christian’? Not in the eyes of men but how about God" This brings us to a serious question about roll models and true leaders.
Today, we see modern T.V. evangelists, who own their own programs and conduct sitcoms on the silver screen. Too many of these seem to feel that it’s just wonderful if they can find a ‘beauty queen’ who believes in God or professes to be a Christian or a ‘movie star’ or a famous sports figure. sic.
MEASURE THE ALTAR
Now, as most Bible students are aware, there was an Altar of Incense in the Temple and there was an Altar for sacrifices, in the outer Court, which was where the ‘somatic’ Christians were. We read of an incident concerning this Altar in the Old Testament. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron took each of them, his Censer and put fire and incense therein and offered STRANGE FIRE before the LORD, which he had
commanded not to do. And there went out from the LORD, fire which devoured them, so that they died before the LORD."6 Which leads to another question: Is there ‘strange fire’ today"? I am afraid that there just might be. I know we aren’t supposed to ‘judge’ anyone (but he that is ‘spiritual’ judges all things).
I WILL JUDGE YOU WITH MIRTH
In 1996, when Rodney Howard Browne came to America from South Africa, he brought with him what has come to be known as the ‘laughing revival’. I hear about people driving or flying thousands of miles to attend meetings where the ‘laughing revival’ holds sway. When the ‘spirit’ comes upon them, they fall to the floor and howl like dogs or some other wild animal. They laugh like hyenas or monkeys on wine. Women fall to the floor in a most unseemly and indecent manner. They forget the wisdom of Solomon, who said, "Laughter is mad". "I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore, enjoy pleasure and behold, this also is Vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad and of mirth, To what purpose?" 7
To those who would draw near to God, James the Apostle said, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you: Cleanse your hands, - sinners; purify your hearts, - double minded; be afflicted and mourn, let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness." 8
Don’t jump to the conclusion that I don’t want God’s people to be happy. Far from it. But I hear Solomon teaching, "Keep your foot when you go into the House of God and be more eager to hear than to offer the Sacrifice of Fools; for they do not consider that they are doing
evil."9 Paul, the Apostle asked, "If the whole church be come together into one place and everyone is speaking with tongues and there comes in those who are unlearned or nonbelievers, will they not say that you are Mad?" 10
Many are not satisfied that they got ‘slain in the spirit’ once, they keep going back for new experiences, time after time. They run after one preacher or another hoping that they will have a greater experience than the last time. All I can say is, "There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death. For even in laughter, the heart is sorrowful and the end of that mirth is heaviness."11 So much for ‘strange fire’!
MEASURE THOSE WHO WORSHIP THERE
During the early nineties, a young woman, named Nancy, who was somewhat spiritually inclined, came to me to ask about a religious movement she had gotten involved with, called Eck, short for Eckankar. As she began explaining to me the teachings of her spiritual masters, I could hear the ring of truth in much of what she told me, for
there is a science of soul travel and a science of ascending into the various heavens to fellowship with God. But there were also things she told me that troubled me greatly. She gave me some of their literature to read, so I took it and began pursuing it. One of the writings, was a book written by Paul Twitchell, containing letters addressed to his fiance. I found him to be a man of great spiritual intellect and acumen.
As it turns out, he had been a part of L. Ron Hubbard’s organization (Scientology), which to me is a real Cult. After breaking away from Scientology, Twitchell began to give out that he was the latest in a long line of Eck (a word he made up) masters. When I saw his supposed list of ‘masters’ I could not contain myself. I appraised Nancy that this list was totally invented and contained names of people who never existed.
I advised her that there does indeed exist a long line of Spiritual Masters going back through Kirpal Singh and Sant Nanak. As I pointed out in my book Forbidden Truths Revealed, Kirpal Singh came to America and attended the World Fair. When he was young, Christ appeared to him in a vision and taught him wonderful things. It was from
him and his followers that I learned how to attune to the Ten Sounds that sustain the entire Universe. What troubled me most about Eckankar, is that after Twitchell’s death, Harold Camping took over Twitchell's position. He requires of his followers that they envision him personally
during meditation. And I would have no truck with an organization that purports to sell ‘initiations, through correspondence courses. Just as there must be genuine money before there can be counterfeit, so it is in the Science of Soul Travel.
As for Nancy, I don’t know what happened to her. I understand that she traveled to India where she attempted to walk barefoot on burning coals. She burned herself so badly that she was flown home to a hospital.
Just as there are ten Sepharith on the Tree of Life, so are there ten Chakras along the back of man. I know some say there are only seven but there actually are ten. Why do you think there are ten numbered cards in the Tarot Deck? And there are ten heavenly Sounds that make up the one Sound from Heaven. He that is Born of God can hear that Sound.
If my reader will refer back to Page 26 of this series, he will find the glyph of the Tree of Life with the ten Sepharith. Starting at the top and moving down to the right, they read as follows: Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Mulkath. The fourth letter of he Hebrew alphabet is Daleth and it means
‘door’. Daleth (or door) is the invisible Sepharith that sits right in the middle of the Tree of Life, just above Tiphareth. If we superimpose a drawing of Man on the Tree of Life, Daleth would be the center of his forehead where the Ajna Chakra exists. It is associated with the Pinal gland also. When Jesus said ‘I Am the Door’, he was speaking in a Kaballist sense, since this is the very place where the 144,00 are anointed on their foreheads.12 He also said, "If your Eye shall be single, your whole body shall be full of Light".13 When the complete number of 144,000 is completed the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord. This is the great Promise I spoke of earlier.
THE CROP CIRCLES CREATED BY SOUND
In the early 70s, the phenomena known as ‘crop circles’ began appearing in England. The first ones were simple and could have been made by driving a stake in the ground, tying a wire to it and walking with boards to create them. But each year these circles which appear in the
space of twenty seconds, are becoming more and more complicated. There are two which appeared this year, that I would like to have you link to. They are the one at Aldbourne, England http://home.clar.net/lovely/99alington.html and the one at Oldbury Hill fort. Compare them with the Mandala on Page 1 of this study. God Bless,
I remain Jeffrey Brackeen
1. From the Commentary
of Origen on John’s Gospel
2. Ezek. 43:10, 11
3. I Cor. 3:16, 17
4. De Principiis
5. Against Celsus
6. Lev. 10:1, 2
7. Eccl. 2:1, 2
8. Jas. 4:8, 9
9. Eccl. 5:1
10. I Cor. 14:23
11. Prov. 14:12, 13
12. John 10:9 & Rev. 7:3
13. Matt. 6:22
The Origin of the New Testament
by Jeffrey Brackeen, Copyright © 1989
We have heard in recent months of controversies in major church denominations about the inspiration of the Bible. Some theologians are contending that every word is "God breathed" (as though God spoke English) while others are contending that there are human errors in the writings of those who produced the scriptures and also errors in the translation from the original languages into contemporary languages. Some, on the other hand, seem to feel that the King James Version was hand written on Mount Sinai by God himself.
As I have shown in other writings, there were several books which the early Christian Churches recognized as scripture but which are no longer part of Bibles in either the Catholic or Protestant churches. The focus of this article will be directed at showing why many of those writings were repudiated by later generations of church fathers and how the New Testament as we know it came into being. In the process it will also be necessary to take a very brief look at some of the early Christian groups which influenced the formation of the early canon.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOOK OF ENOCH ?
When Jesus appeared in Judea and began his ministry, there were already many fervent religious groups operating in what was then called Judea and Galilee. Some of these groups used books which the developing church came to revere. One such book was called the Book of Enoch. Its influence upon early Christianity cannot be disputed as all Christians used it and quoted from it; even Jesus quoted from it. Some
of his utterances are nothing but para-phrases from the Book of Enoch. It was also quoted by Peter and Jude, so to deny its relevance to the early Christians would be foolish and yet, it is not contained in our Bibles today. The Gospel of Barnabas was also part of the accepted canon for the early churches, yet it too has disappeared from favor along
with the Epistle of Barnabas. Clement of Alexandria in his day still quoted from the writings of Barnabas and called them "scripture", yet, I dare say few ministers would have the nerve to get up on Sunday morning and speak to their congregations from Barnabas.
WHY A NEW TESTAMENT?
It may come as a shock to many Christians to learn that the very concept of a 'new testament' came from a very influential Christian who was declared a 'heritic' many years after his death by an established orthodoxy. Certainly in his own day, no Christian would have dared call him a heretic. I am referring to Marcion, who was a rigid ascetic and a devoted disciple of Paul of Tarsus. He was the first person to gather
together a collection of Christian literature and call it a 'New Testament'. So intense was his love for his teacher, the apostle Paul, that he journeyed through all the cities where Paul had taught and established churches, to look for Paul's writings. Before Marcion sold his idea to other Christians in the churches of the western part of the empire, the
Bible of the early church had consisted of all the books accepted by the Jewish synagogue - the books of Moses and the other prophets. They also revered the writings of the apostles and other friends of Jesus who had accompanied him during his ministry. But, Marcion completely rejected all the writings of the other Apostles, contending that they
were false apostles, if we can believe Tertullian. He did not accept any gospels written by the other apostles. Instead, he used a gospel said to have been written by Paul himself. It had some of the same material now found in the Gospel of Luke, but it was not as long as Luke's Gospel. Coupled with this 'Gospel' he combined all of Paul's writings into what he called 'The Apostle'.
His influence upon the churches of the west was so strong that they also were tending to dismiss the writings of other apostles. Justin Martyr, (who was martyred around 150 A.D.) said that Marcion had disciples in many countries. When Epiphanius many years later wrote that Marcion had "seduced a virgin" he referred to his winning over of a whole church to his way of thinking.
One of the reasons why Marcion was considered a 'heretic' by Tertullian and Epiphanius was because he was a true ascetic. He did not drink wine and he abstained from marriage. But worst of all, he taught the system of 'gnosis' (knowledge) which Paul had taught in private to his most advanced disciples. However, he rejected the 'spiritual' interpretation of scripture which many early Christians favored.
For instance, Barnabas in his Epistle laid down that the true meaning of the Jewish Scriptures (what we now call the Old Testament) was not to be found in the surface or apparent meaning but in spiritual meanings which were veiled to those who did not see with spiritual intuition. Marcion, on the other hand, stuck to a strictly literal approach, which led him into a kind of anti- cosmic dualism.
He like certain other Gnostic groups contended that this world was created by the Demiurge (Creator) who is not the same as the Supreme unknowable God. This Creator is the same as the God of the Jews. He is just, inflexible, righteous and possessed with petty jealousy. The Unknowable Father, on the other hand, is pure love. He came down
into the world of the Demiurge (Creator) to redeem the souls of all who would come to him. Marcion taught that a man does not need to 'redeem' what he already owns and that it was necessary for the Father to redeem from the Demiurge those souls whom He wishes to save.
According to his thinking, the Father had no previous relations to those souls - it is pure unmitigated grace on his part. This process of thinking lead Marcion to reject the use of this world as much as possible. By abstaining from marriage, for instance, one can thwart the
purposes of the Demiurge, who is the 'God' of this world and of the Jews. If we can believe Hippolitus, whose writings were supposed to refute the teachings of the Gnostics, this lead Marcion into extreme asceticism - denying himself certain foods and even marriage. (Refutation of Heresies, X, 19. 4)
In short, this would amount to rebellion against his command to 'replenish and fill up the earth'. Clement of Alexandria, recorded, "Not wishing to help replenish the earth made by the Demiurge, the Marconites decreed abstention from matrimony, defying their Creator and hastening to the GOOD ONE, who has called them and who, they say, is God in a different sense; wherefore, wishing to leave nothing of their own down here, they turn abstemious not from a moral principle but from hostility to their maker.. ."
Even Origen felt compelled to put distance between himself and Marcion, when he wrote the preface to his work, 'De Principlis', "This God, just and good, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has himself given the law and the prophets and the gospels, he who is the God both of the Apostles and of the Old and the New Testament. Tertullian listed
the ten writings of Paul, which Marcion included in his 'Apostle'. They ran as follows: Galatians, Corinthians (first and second combined), Roman, Thessalonians (first and second combined), Laodicean (Tertullian shows that this letter is the same one we today know as Ephesians), Colossians and Philemon/Philippians (combined).
The fact that first and second Timothy and Titus were not included in Marcion's 'New Testament' only shows that they did not exit. In fact those books were written by members of the Roman church to counteract tendencies which Paul himself had set in motion and to augment their own authority. There are several teachings in those
three books which completely fly in the face of doctrines which Paul clearly taught in other writings. The writers of first and second Timothy would put words in Paul's mouth that completely militate against doctrines which he clearly enunciated in other letters. For instance, Paul is known to have strongly dissuaded young people from entering into marriage.
One of the favorite books used by early Christians was a book about the conversion of Thekla. She had sat in a window sill and listened to Paul preaching to the young people of her city telling them to abandonee carnal ties to seek heavenly treasures. She was so convinced by Paul's preaching that she broke off her engagement to a high- ranking Roman
officer. To punish Paul, the officer had Paul beaten and cast into prison and then driven out of town. But Thekla remained a virgin all her life. She was a famous teacher of women. Paul, in his letters to the Roman church and the Corinthian church stated his position unequivocally against marriage, if a person is able to endure. Yet, the writer or writers of I Timothy, rail against those who "forbid to marry and command to abstain from meats".
In the letters to Timothy and Titus, we see the first warnings against refusing to obey the bishops and elders. It is obvious that they were written after ecclesiastical authorities began to demand unconditional obedience. It is unlikely that Paul himself would urge others to do something he was unwilling to do. Contemporary scholars
have dug up a wealth of information showing how wide the rift had become I between Paul and the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Paul openly defied Peter and James because they like Jesus had contended that the Law of God was binding forever. Paul was willing to throw overboard circumcision and the eating of certain meats like pork.
This rift had widened to such an extent that the churches were being divided into two camps: the Jewish church and the Gentile church. The writer of the book, Acts of the Apostles, sought to build a bridge between these two camps. Ignoring all the other apostles, he concentrated on seven speeches and seven healings by Peter and seven speeches and seven healings by Paul, as if to show that they were somehow equal. I personally don't believe that the dispute was ever resolved. My personal research shows that as the church of Rome gained ascendancy over other Christian churches, they simply shunted aside the original Jewish Christians who were called Ebionites and Nazareans.
Around 150 A.D. Justin Martyr wrote about the original Jewish Christians stating that they regarded Jesus as the Messiah but held him to be a mere man. According to him, they adhered strictly to the Jewish law in diet, in the observance of the Sabbaths and in circumcision. He implied that they were being shunned even at that early date by the
gentile Christians. About half a century later, Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyons set down to write a refutation of heresies. An objective reader will readily see that he did not refute any of the so-called heresies that he railed against; he merely enumerated many of their doctrines as though that somehow constituted refutation of their beliefs.
But his influence upon the Roman Church became pronounced. In the section dealing with the Ebionites ( a word that means 'Poor'), he says that they taught that Jesus was just a man and not God. They denied that he was actually born through a virgin birth and insisted that he became the Messiah only at his baptism. What really riled Irenaeus was the
fact that they used only the gospel written by Matthew and completely rejected all the writings of Paul, saying, "They reject the apostle Paul, calling him an apostate from the Law." (Adversus Haereses, I, 26) Bear in mind, that the Ebionites (also sometimes called Nazareans) were the original Christians who lived with the original apostles and Jesus.
At the beginning of the fourth century, the Christian historian, Eusebius attacked the Ebionites (he used the names Ebionite and Nazarean interchangeably). He says that they denied that Jesus was born of a virgin, saying that he had a human father and that he became the Messiah only at his baptism. He says that they also used other Acts of
apostles (probably the Acts of Thomas, the Acts of John, the Acts of Matthew and the Acts of Peter). Like Irenaeus, he says that they rejected Paul calling him 'Pseuda- postolorum' (a false apostle). One of the texts used by the Ebionites, calls Paul "the enemy" . The text says that James was the rightful heir to Jesus (various other gospels call him the 'High
Priest') and interestingly enough, it says that Peter never defected to Paul's way of thinking. The text quotes Peter as warning against accepting any authority not recognized by the Nazarean hierarchy: "Wherefore observe the greatest caution, that you believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord's brother.. ." (Clementine Recognitions IV:34-35)
PETER & SIMON THE MAGICIAN
One of the books used by early Christians was the Acts of Peter. This book tells how Peter sets out from Judea for Antioch to counteract the teachings of a person called Simon Magus (or magician). In one scene Peter upgrades Simon the 'Magican' because he openly reveals the Mysteries of God to persons, whom Peter judged unworthy or not ready
morally to receive them. As the Acts of Peter continues, Peter follows the 'magician' about from town to town attempting to rectify his teachings. It would appear that Simon Magus is able to perform magical feats because he is acquainted with the Kaballah (the esoteric teachings handed down from Moses by word of mouth). Eventually, Peter follows
him to Rome, where we know Peter was martyred. But according to the Acts of Peter, Simon was not killed but actually left the city of Rome for parts unknown. Needless to say, this whole story sounds much like the conflict between Peter and Paul.
And let me hasten to add that there are reports that Paul did not die in Rome but went on to Spain and other places. We know that Paul also taught his most advanced disciples the secret Wisdom. One such advanced student was Theudas. We do not know a great deal about him other than the fact that Paul taught him very advanced teachings, which he inturn taught to Valentinus. Concerning Valentinus, we know a great deal because of his writings and his disciples.
Around 140 A.D. Valentinus left Egypt and went to Rome, where he began teaching. He said that he had been initiated by Theudas into the secret doctrines of God. In essence, what Valentinus says is that Paul taught exoteric doctrine in public, but to those who were worthy and
who were spiritual, he taught the esoteric doctrines. Paul, himself, in his first letter to the Corinthians admitted that he taught the higher wisdom to those who were able to receive it. Irenaeus tells us that Valentinus offered to instruct "those who are mature". (Praefatio 2; 3:15, 1-2)
According to Clement of Alexandria, the secret Wisdom which Valentinus imparted said that the God which the common people worshiped as Creator (Demiurge) was in reality only the shadow and image of the Great God, who dwells in Secret. In other words, the Creator only serves the Higher Power. (Stromata 7.7) Valentinus
offered a secret initiation which repudiated the authority of the lesser god. This secret sacrament was called 'apolytrosis' which means 'to release'. During the course of this initiation, the following words were placed in the mouth of the candidate: "I am a son from the Father - the father who is pre-existent... I derive my being from Him who is
pre-existent, and I come again to my own place where I came from" (Praefatio 1.21.5) The person who comes to the true knowledge (gnosis) knows the source of divine power within himself and knows that it originated from the 'Depth' of all being. He comes to know his true Father and Mother.
Unlike Marcion, Valentinus held that it was important for a person to be married for earthly marriage was the symbol of an even more important marriage which unites human with divine. The Valentinian system followed the Kaballah which had been handed down from generation to generation by rabbis and holy men. Since Paul had been a
'Pharisee of the Pharisees' he would undoubtedly have been familiar with its secrets. The disciples of Paul and Valentinus followed the typical Gnostic theology. Originally there was the Forefather, who is also call the 'Deep' (bathos) who dwells in Silence. Dwelling with the Fore-father is Thought. Thought fecundated and brought forth Mind. Mind in turn
was divided into two sides: Unique and Truth. Next came Wisdom and Design. In some of the cosmologies, Wisdom is synamous with the Mother. The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia while in the Hebrew it is Hokrnah. In the Coptic literature, she is called the All- Mother and Barbelo, which some scholars believe came from the word 'belbile' which means 'seed' or 'grain'.
In Kaballistic literature, She is the womb which receives Thought and Knowledge. She is also called 'Grace' or 'Charms'. The word 'charisma' literally means 'the grace of the Mother'. In some of the Coptic literature, she is one of the thirty Aeons. Their interpretation of the parable of the laborers has a total of thirty hours (Matt. 20:1 - 16). Paul refers to these thirty Aeons in Ephesians 3:21, "To all the generations of the Aeons".
When Wisdom, who is also philosophy caught a glimpse of the Fore- father, she desired to mate with him but since she could not see him or reach him, her desire caused her to fall into the Aeons. From her strong desire, the universe was born. In her distress, she cried out to the Fore- father, who sent Soter (the Savior) to save her. He is also called Horos, which means 'definition' and 'emancipator'. Horos was represented by the cross; not the + we use but T, which separated the right from the left.
In Paul's writings, Soter originates from the All and is the All. (Col. 3:11, Rom. 11:36, Col. 2:9, Eph. 1:10) Paul's scheme of things has a Redeemer, who is a heavenly being, descending from the Unknown (I Cor. 2:8) and returning to God (II Cor. 8:9, Phil. 2:6-11) When Wisdom (or Sophia) failed to mate with her true consort, the virtue which went
out of her produced Ialdabaoth, who in turn begets a son from the waters who is lAO. lAO begets Sabaoth and so forth. In various Gnostic literature, Wisdom has to rebuke Ialdabaoth for believing that there is no God above him, Ialdabaoth, becoming arrogant in spirit, boasted himself over all those who were below him, and explained, 'I am
the Father and God, and above me there is no one'. His Mother, hearing him speak thus, cried out against him; Do not lie Ialdabaoth, the the Father of All, the primal Anthropos is above you, and so is Anthropos, the son of Anthropos.' " If we bear in mind here that the word anthropos means 'man', we see that she is referring to the "son of man" which is an expression that Jesus often used to describe himself.
The Gnostics (those who possessed experiential knowledge) viewed man as being divided into three parts: First was the Hylic, which is called the Left. This part of man is invisible and is very close to God but not necessarily cosubstantial with Him. The second part of man is Psychie (the Spirit of life seen in Genesis 2:7) which is breathed into the Hylic. Therefore, the Hylic man is the 'Image' of God, while the Psychic man is the 'Likeness' of God. The third part of man is the fleshly body or the 'animal skin' into which is placed the Hylic and the Psychic.
In the same manner, the race of mankind is divided into three categories: The Hylics are those who remain dead to spiritual things. The Psychics believe in spiritual things but still require miracles and signs to keep their faith strong. The Pneumatics are spirit controlled persons who are capable of attaining the true knowledge of spiritual things. This view
is affirmed by the parable of the distribution of talents which were distributed to the three classes of men. Paul never denied that there are men and women who have become Pneumatics; in fact, he affirms that belief. (I Cor. 3:16) In the Mysteries, such a person is called a 'King'. When some of the carnal Christians in Corinth began to label themselves 'kings', we can hear Paul chuckling to himself, knowing that they were far to immature to even understand the sacrifices necessary to attain that level.
According to Theodotus, a teacher of Knowledge, the 'spiritual' will soar through the seven heavens and reach the Eighth Heaven (the Ogdoad) which is the region of the stars. In that place they know no labor or change and are 'male'. The 'psychic' remain 'feminine' unless they become joined to the 'spiritual' while they live and thus become
changed from slavery to freedom and from feminine to masculine. They will not rise above the fourth heaven unless they are joined in union with their angels, who love them and yearn for them as their spiritual brides. These will then assist them to rise through the last three 'mansions' into the Ogdoad or eight heaven. Those who are 'hylic' will remain in the obscuration of matter until the end. In other words, the 'hylic' will be reborn again and again working out the law of 'cause and effect'.
To return to our main consideration, which is why certain Christian literature found its way into the received canon while others were rejected. Let me refer my reader to a little book written by our sister, Elaine Pages, entitled The Gnostic Gospels (published by Vintage Press, 1981). Mrs Pages' excellent research chronicles the rift between
those groups which permitted women to participate in their circles, through prophecy and by serving as priestess and those groups which sought to establish male dominance in every sphere of activity. Her research led her to the conclusion that as the years passed by and the 'orthodox' became more and more entrenched with the Imperial
government, those scriptures which the Gnostics groups and the Jewish groups revered were proclaimed heretical. I have to agree with her that one of the main considerations which determined which scriptures to keep, was the place which women were allowed to occupy in church affairs. Those groups which permitted women a wide latitude, such as
the Gnostics, saw their scriptures fall under the ban of the Imperial government. As time and space permit within the pages of The Seventh Trumpet, I hope to discuss several other groups, whose regard for the Mysteries kept alive the teachings and practices down through the ages, which caused kingdoms to tremble in awe. I also hope to devote space
to a discussion of the powers which the Perfect developed and used for the good of their fellow men. Their lives and the wonders they performed should prove an inspiration to our people today. God Bless, Jeff Brackeen