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The Gnostic Jesus, a Gnostic Christianity

Eccl 3:15 That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past”

History has a funny way of repeating itself. As Christianity first began to grow, spiritual competition began to surface. As Paul, and the other apostles labored to build up the house of God which was to be the pillar and ground of the truth, the enemy also labored and bore the first competitor to the Church, Gnosticism. This was the first heresy that the church had to contend against.

The old saying what crawls in one generation walks in the next. What we have emerging and synthesizing within the Church today is no different than before. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. Its unfortunate that little attention is given to the early Church after the apostles. It was at this time that the challenges came into the body that prompted the church to explain its faith. As it was so it is again, Gnosticism has arisen in various ways to challenge us and the revealed Word of God and it is still alive and well in the year 2002. The person of Christ, the true Christian Gospel is again finding itself being distorted in the hands of those who think they have a greater revelation.

The original Gnosticism that predated Christianity was a philosophical system built on Greek philosophy that taught matter was evil and the Spirit was good. According to the Gnostic world- view, the created order was evil, inferior, and opposed to the good. God created the first order, but each successive order was the work of anti-gods, archons, or a demiurges (a subordinate deity). These spheres are ruled by archons who guard their spheres by barring the souls who are seeking to ascend from the realm of darkness and captivity which is below, to the realm of light which is above. This was done by spiritual knowledge or experience, we identify it today as enlightenment.

They taught a docetism which promoted a clear separation between the material and spiritual world. Some of the Christian Gnostics said since matter was evil God could not really incarnate in a human body He was not subject to any human experiences or feelings. The Christian form of docetism taught that Jesus body was not a real body, was really a (spirit) phantom. he only appeared in human form and only appeared to suffer, it was an illusion. Thus Jesus could be a pure spiritual being in the midst of an evil world and not be contaminated by it. Jesus only appeared to have flesh which denied his genuine humanity. They believed if Christ suffered he could not be divine, (this was an integral part of Gnosticism) because God cannot suffer. Instead the Bible says that God descended into sinful matter and took on human flesh, it was real, this they could not believe. You can see this error in the cults today when they refuse to believe the Bible teaches God became a man. And that the resurrection was a spirit body and not the flesh. The Bible teaches that the body that emerged from the tomb Sunday morning was the exact same body that went into the tomb except it was glorified.

The Bible term en sarki in flesh (2 Tim. 3:16) and became flesh (Jn 1:14), means Jesus is of a complete human nature, 100% humanity. 1 Jn.1:1-4. 1 John 4:2 says, “that every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” John is writing after the resurrection, he uses the perfect tense in the Greek language that denotes a past action with continuing results into the future. Jesus came in the flesh, He rose in the flesh and is still in the flesh.” Verse 3 then states, “that every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.” Those who deny that Jesus came in the flesh are of the anti-Christ spirit. This is one of the ways to discern a false teacher from a true one. But there are many other tests needed to be applied.

If Jesus Christ is not presently in a flesh body in heaven then the integrity of His incarnation has been deprived. Then one would have to concede that he is no longer incarnate and he has no flesh today, we would then have no true resurrection, no mediator or high priest. This would mean that 1 Tim. 2:5 is not true “there is one mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus.”.

When you have someone deny this doctrine indirectly such as Creflo Dollar or Kenneth Copeland who says “Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh” (Following the faith of Abraham #01-3001 Audio side 1). Or the Mormon Brigham Young who says “Adam is our father and God.” (Brigham Young, Deseret News, 6/16/1873).  It is denying Christ was the only God in the flesh, substituting another creature. This is the denial that John addresses “ every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” for it is an exclusive statement to mean Him alone as the only human who is also God. (Christ having two natures 100% God and 100% man ). You don’t have to deny it directly, but can take away from this one time incarnation by adding another.

Then there were others who denied he rose physically like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do today, or the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research. They claim he rose as a spirit no longer needing his body.

Biblically He as God came in the flesh and rose in the same flesh, yet it was transformed to an eternal flesh body, not a spirit one leaving the flesh behind.

The early church was adamant on this. Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) said plainly: “The resurrection is a resurrection of the flesh which dies.” As for those who “maintain that even Jesus Himself appeared only as spiritual, and not in flesh, but presented merely the appearance of flesh: these persons seek to rob the flesh of the promise.” Justin even insisted that Christ's ascension shows that it is possible “for flesh to ascend into heaven.” This means that this would include the rapture of which many cults deny. Tertullian declared the resurrection of the flesh to be the church's “rule of faith,” saying it “was taught by Christ” and only denied by heretics. In Against all Heresies Chapt.4. Cerdo, Marcion, Lugan, Apelles It states” A resurrection of the soul merely does he approve, denying that of the body.” “He reinstated in heaven His spirit only. This man denies the resurrection of the flesh.”

Gnosticism is a Greek term which relates to a special kind of privileged knowledge that is not common to all but to chosen ones. A Gnostic is a `knowing one'. (Gnosis means to know, we are familiar with the word agnostic - one who claims not to know). The Gnostics supposedly had knowledge of God that was exclusive, that another did not have. They considered themselves superior to the average Christian. The Gnostics taught that man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. The body and the soul are man's earthly existence, and evil. Enclosed in the soul, is the spirit a divine substance of man. This “spirit” is asleep and ignorant; it needs to be awakened and liberated by this special knowledge. (This teaching is also found in Caballa.) To the early  Christian Gnostic salvation came by knowledge and experience, not by the Word of God. Those who did not have this knowledge were associated with ignorance. It was through esoteric truth they received direct revelation from the Spirit which was more important than the Word. Instead real spirituality according to the Bible promotes humility rather than pride.

The Christians had the Scriptures. But Knowing God through a a written book was considered Head knowledge and insufficient for a spiritual life. The Gnostics offered  experiential knowledge, the deeper things that came from the spirit.

Pastor Bill Randles in his book Mending the nets puts it this way, “The Gnostics were impatient with the standard Christian teaching regarding the knowledge of God. It was just too simple and pedestrian. Good enough for uneducated peasants, slaves, and the disenfranchised people who made up the bulk of the Christian converts in the first century (see 1 Cor. 1:25-26), but orthodox Christianity was far too plain for converted philosophers and intellectuals!

“Think of it this way. Do you know God? How do you know Him? Have you ever seen Him? Have you ever heard His audible voice? Have you gotten beyond the Scriptures into a deeper intimacy with God, or are you still on the level of “mere head knowledge”? You say you love Jesus, but have you ever seen Him? Are you still waiting for Him to come and rescue you in some kind of an escape plan?” (Pastor Bill Randles, Mending the Nets p. 9)

So what does this have to do with today, you may ask? Everything. The New Age movement which is Gnostic in its origin and mystical in its practice, has had a tremendous influence on the world and even the church. It’s a blend of many esoteric methods to discover truth and live a freestyle spirituality. But it also has its presence in the Church and many are completely unaware what kind of Christianity they are practicing. They need the tools to distinguish and identify it.

But the Church has never been an island by itself on this counterfeit spirituality. It has today, as it once did, come inside the Church. There are numerous epistles that address this ancient heresy that is now having a revival.

Writers of the New Testament condemned many of the Gnostic teachings. There are numerous epistles that address this ancient heresy that is now having a revival. Paul emphasized a wisdom and knowledge that comes from God and does not concern itself with idle speculations, angelic visitations, fables, and a amoral lifestyle (Col. 2:8-23; 1 Tim. 1:4; 2 Tim. 2:16-19; Titus 1:10-16). Paul addresses the Gnostic influences in portions of Colossians as a direct threat to Christ being our salvation and His being sufficient in all things. To overcome the indulgences of the flesh The “Colossian Heresy” taught a false philosophy, which denied the all-sufficiency and pre-eminence of Jesus Christ (Col. 2:8). When he wrote that “in him dwells All the fullness of the deity bodily” it was a rebuttal against the Gnostics.

Ethical behavior among the Gnostics were on two ends of the spectrum. Some tried to separate themselves from all earthly evil in order to avoid contamination, other Gnostics were libertians. The spiritual knowledge meant having the freedom to participate in all sorts of indulgences. Since they had received divine knowledge and were enlightened, it didn't matter how they lived in the body.

In its place they promoted Judaic Ceremonialism, attached special significance to the rite of circumcision, with the observance of special days (Col. 2:16-17). Asceticism which called for harsh treatment of the body to control its passions (Col. 2:20-23). 1 Tim.4:1-5 the forbidding of meats and marriage was even then found in early Gnosticism in their ascetic practices to purify the body. The denial of the flesh went to extremes. The teaching of demons was developing as well as spirits masquerading as the spirit of truth communicated to man by offering him superior knowledge beyond the Scriptures. This can be easily recognized in the new age movement under its practice of channeling or the old fashion séances. But can we recognize it when it takes place in the church?

The apostle Paul explains they had revelation from angels (messengers) and they even went to the extreme and worshipped them (Col. 2:18), as they took delight in things they had not seen through vain imaginations, receiving visions that taught them. The Gnostic Carpocrates taught ...“At every sinful and infamous deed an angel is present, and he who commits it ...addresses him by his name and says, `O thou angel, I use thy work! O thou Power of such and such, I perform thy deed!' And this is the perfect knowledge, unafraid to stray into such actions whose very names are unmentionable.” (Quoted in Spirit Wars p.174 Peter Jones)

Stories of angelic revelation that counter the word of God makes up a major portion of new revelation today. When Duplantis went to heaven by an angel he describes seeing the Father and Jesus “I asked that angel, now, you know, kind of a dumb question. I said, “Where's the Holy Spirit?” The angel tells him he’s on earth.

Today people have angels appear and give numerous messages about peoples future, their ministry even about their city.

We can hear similarities of the early Gnostic pursuits as certain men teach what will be in the future.  

In 1987,  “Jesus” promised dramatic angel manifestations were going to increase in the church to Kenneth Copeland and that many “will have visitations from the spirit realm.”  “Jesus” also told Copeland “A time is coming when there will be manifestation of angels more than usual, more than there has been in the past. Many of you are going to witness for yourselves the angel that has been put in charge and in command of your ministry and your life. Many of you are going to have visitations from the spirit realm. Many of you will have divinely appointed visions and dreams... Suddenly, you will be standing in that [spiritual] country, and suddenly you'll deliver a message and then suddenly you'll be brought back in your kitchen again. Oh, I have some outstanding things, saith the Lord. Kenneth Copeland, (“Take Time to Pray,” Believers Voice of Victory, February 1987, p. 9.)

Rick Joyner states “Angelic appearances will be common to the saints and a visible glory of the Lord will appear upon some for extended periods of time as power flows through them” (Rick Joyner, The Harvest, 128-129). 

Benny Hinn says a similar thing, “The angels of heaven are about to appear in visible form…the angels of the Lord are about to invade planet earth and come to your house and literally open the prison doors like they did with Peter.” (Benny Hinn Honolulu Blaisdell, Jan.21, 1999). 

All this detracts from the uniqueness and sufficiency of Christ (Col. 2:18), as it shifts the focus off of Christ onto other experiences and other beings. Paul’s solution was “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” the word is the revelation of Him who is our sufficiency, and the Holy Spirit accompanies the Word He wrote. It is God’s word that we are to know this is where the power of the Spirit is. There is not need to anticipate encountering angels when we are focused on Christ, especially receiving power or revelation from them.

In John’s gospel and in his epistles, he countered heretical teaching that also included Gnosticism. John concentrates on it the most in his Gospel-- that God actually did become flesh. Every second letter in the Scripture is to counter a false teaching that has crept in and challenged what was already taught, so it was necessary to write another letter. I John directly confronts the Gnostic influence.

This became a serious issue even after the apostles, as we read numerous refutations of the Gnostics by the early church fathers that were theologians and apologists. Some of the more important ones are Irenaeus, Against Heresies; Hippolytus, Refutations of All Heresies; Epiphanius, Panarion; and Tertullian, Against Marcion. Irenaeus (A.D. 130-200), who had firsthand experience of Gnostic teaching, called those who blaspheme the Creator “agents of Satan”( Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.26.2). Hippolytus, in a graphic description of certain Gnostics who called themselves the Naasenes (from the Hebrew nahas, “snake”) or Ophites (from the Greek ophis, “snake”), who were worshipers of the serpent. Because they received secret knowledge as the serpent offered to them what he offered Eve in Genesis. Much like the Mormon church teaches today, that the Serpent making man fall gave him the opportunity to be a god.

Iraneaus took the time to research and read their writings and spoke with them became their greatest opponent debating them. He wrote, “These men falsify the oracles of God and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretense of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, They had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein” (Iranaeus, Against Heresies, Book 1).

This certainly can fit into the genre' of today's Christianity. The Gnostics thought that one must directly experience the spirit to learn the truth, this being apart from the word. Stepping over into the supernatural, experience becomes the teacher and gives them real knowledge. What was and is now being taught is spirit to spirit communication that is completely outside the Biblical revelation given by the apostles.

There were many facets to Gnosticism and we can find its echoing sound inside the churches walls even today.

The Gnostics did not employ the mind. In a video from May 1994, Rodney Howard-Browne laid hands on a woman and encouraged her to “Step over, step over, step over, step over into the realm of the supernatural. Step over out of the realm of reason into the realm of glory.” Another time he said, (“get out of your minds step over into the realm of the spirit of God.”) This is an encouragement of Gnosticism. Who would encourage a person not to think analytically? When you hear to put your mind on hold; ignore reason; step over into some kind of supernatural realm it is promoting mysticism, and contradicts everything Scripture teaches about true spiritual knowledge and discernment. We cannot learn God’s truth without using our mind. We are one unit  this is why we are told to love and worship with all our heart, strength, mind and soul.

Where can we identify its practices inside the church today? This Gnostic Jesus was poured out in the new wine by Rodney Browne who began to rise to prominence in the early 90’s, Benny Hinn inaugurated him at one of his meetings telling him to release the anointing of laughter on the people. (the laughter anointing just occurred at Hinn's meeting in Hawaii Jan.11 2002)

For a Gnostic to ascend to commune with the perfect invisible God. Bordering on the macabre the master would lead the disciple in a prayer-chant of long vowel sounds and nonsense words: “Zoxathazo a oo ee o0o eee o00o ee 00000000000 00000 uuuuu 000000000000 000 (p.33 Gnostic Empire Strikes Back, Peter Jones).

The Gospel of the Egyptians, has the imperishable name: “Ie ieus eo ou eo oua! Really truly, O Yessus Mazareus Yessedekeus, O living water, O child of the child, O glorious name, really, truly, aion o on, iiii eeee eeee oo oo uuuu oooo asaa {a}, really, truly, ei aasa oooo, O existing one who sees the aeons! Really, truly, aee eee iiii uuuuuu ooooooo, who is eternally eternal, really, truly, iea aio, in the heart, who exists, a aei eis aei, ei o ei, eo os ei . . . Thou art what Thou art, Thou art who Thou art!” (Nag Hammadi Library, 204).

In the Kabbala unveiled is a chart with 72 names of angels angel 12 is hho angel 26 Haa angel 71 Hil --when the name of these deities are combined with the tettragrammaton in the 4 worlds of the Kabbala. Angel 41 haha angel 62 yaha angel 71 haiai. And when the name of these are spoken they sound very similar to what was going on in Rodney Browne's services as he preps people to laugh and has them drink in the new wine. Browne's chant “Fill, ho ho hehe fill... haha haha hehe fil ho ho fill heha fill huho fill hahha fill hehe hahahaho.” (ad infinitum) Whether he is aware of this is unknownl, but it does bring the results desired.

It was this mantra that many learned to repeat in these meetings that made them incoherent intoxicated from the new wine. The body heat would increase paralysis would set in much like one experiences in Kundalini yoga. Even in Kundalini yoga the fifth located in the throat has a sound vibration of HA (Bernaed Gunther Energy Ecstasy p.22) The guru can touch chakra points on the forehead and the stomach to pass along the power to the recipient. Is this all coincidence or are there real powers working through all this? They certainly have been with the gurus and others into other religions and spiritual practices.

The Gnostics used allegorical interpretations, spiritualizing literal meanings in the Scripture. There was an inner and an outer meaning to the Scripture (such as Rosicrucian's, and Masonry practice). Literal method of interpretation was abandoned and in its place was hearing and interacting with the Spirit alone. They received direct revelation from the Spirit which was supposed to be superior to the Word.

Spirits masquerade as God or Jesus all the time. A Voice that was supposed to be Jesus spoke to Dr. Helen Schucman, a Jewish atheist and psychologist in 1965 in A Course in Miracles, that is an illusion, and sin is the illusion that separates us from our own innate divinity, our own godhood. This voice said to “Forget your dreams of sin and guilt and come with me,” the denial of the Cross is evident if there is no sin, Jesus Christ as Savior becomes meaningless. Echoing the Gnostics her Jesus declares, “It is impossible to kill the Son of God.”

This spiritual knowledge was revelation that brought salvation to the Gnostics. K. Copeland states “The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don't let your tradition trip you up.' He said, 'Think this way--a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.' And I threw my Bible down...like that. I said, 'What?' He said, 'A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.' He said, 'You are the very image, the very copy of that one.' I said, 'Goodness, gracious sakes alive!' And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, 'Well now you don't mean, you couldn't dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?' He said, 'Oh yeah, if you'd had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could've done the same thing, cause you're a reborn man too.” (K. Copeland, Substitution and Identification, K. Copeland Ministries, 1989, audiotape #00- 0202, Side B)

Notice God is saying if you had the same knowledge you could have defeated Satan in hell. It wasn’t that Jesus was the chosen one, the Christ, but that we all are what he is, we just need this knowledge and we can do all that he can. This was exactly what the Gnostics taught in the early church.

Benny Hinn who is the ultimate example of  Gnosticism with a Christian covering explains his new revelation knowledge” on the “rebirth” of Christ in hell: “My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth-it’s, it’s just heavy right now on me…He’s [referring to Jesus] in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was begotten. Do you know what the word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. You say, ‘What are you talking about?’ He was reborn. He had to be reborn, If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn, Jesus was born again.” (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1, Orlando Christian Center, FL. 1991), videotape #TV-254.)

Notice he says don't let anyone deceive you, insinuating this is absolute truth. Jesus was reborn just as we were. This is crucial, was Jesus reborn when only sinners need to be reborn again. Because ones spirit that is dead to God and they have no relationship with him there is the necessity to have the new birth. There are literally hundreds of examples such as this one in Hinn’s ministry. Hinn's ministry is operational by Gnostic type revelations of “God said”, “the spirit showed me.”

In a similar fashion to the word faith teaching the Gospel of Thomas, begins by saying: “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down . . . Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death." In other words if you really know these words, then  no sickness or death will befall you. This extreme can be found in the latter rain teachings as some have taught they will become immortal

Today we have a new gnostic awakening that is taking place all over the Christian Church!! It is being called various names such as “revival”, “renewal”, even “transformation”, “the power of God” but it is far removed Scripture and no different than the Gnostic doctrine once practiced early on. We need to comprehend the extent of this gnostic influence today: Seeing it for what it is will help you withstand the deception that is now taking place. But you must see it for what it is or you will be carried away by it. I do not see any  more middle ground on this issue, it will increase even more.

In the Gnostic view of spirituality has man ascending to different levels, which it fostered a spiritual superiority through receiving visions, revelations, communications with angels, insight by God speaking directly and giving unknown doctrines; regularly in long conversations with its participants and giving doctrines that are not found in the Scripture.

We have heard the argument that “the man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument” This is what we are confronted in Mormonism, no matter what objective proof is shown to a Mormon, they rely on their subjective “burning in the bosom” experience and ignore what the Bible states as objective truth. Beliefs and systems of thought came from personal experience but this does not mean they are from God or of the truth.

For those who have begun to practice their Christianity like this, it becomes very difficult to make sense to them why it is wrong. Because they cannot understand the truth from the word, they are unable, incapable to read or hear the word in its correct interpretation, its always outside the Biblical context and meaning. It means only what they want it to mean and that is subject to change at their own whim. Instead they have trained themselves to look to an experience and feelings to validate what they perceive as the truth. They can no longer follow logic through to its conclusion because they are not intellectually attentive, and the words that we are familiar with do not mean the same thing to them.

Today we are told that we are going into higher levels by numerous movers and shakers of the new wave of the spirit: having Christ and his spirit is not enough one must come into greater experiences of the spirit to be with what is happening in the new thing. Normal worship is not enough, there must be power to shake the heavenlies and destroy Satan's strongholds. We must come to a new level to have power to do signs and wonders. This is Gnostic talk. Levels were never associated with Christianity but they were of Gnosticism. There is no one who has these levels incorporated into their theological position than Rick Joyner who speaks of levels of anointing. He believes the church is moving into a “new level”. he explains, “There will be a. special anointing present for commissioning, confirming commission, imparting spiritual gifts, and stirring up again spiritual gift that have been dormant for a time,” 'There will be a special anointing released for mobilizing the army of the Lord.” and 'There will be an impartation of strategic vision ... to boldly march against the greatest strongholds of our time ... This army of which Joel speaks is about to be revealed ... They will take cities. They will burst through the enemy's strongholds and take houses (families). The very heavens and the earth are about to shake because of this great army ... the time has come.” (The Morning Star, Prophetic Bulletin, August 1994)

In his the book the Final Quest which is all about his vision Joyner describes himself ascending the multilevel Holy Mountain, above lower ‘levels' of truth with which other Christians are content with such as Salvation,” “Sanctification,” “Prayer,” “Faith,” etc. these are the lower levels. As he climbs, the mountain he learns new truths, gets new weapons and is at a greater vantage point to kill the Vultures and other demonic creatures that are coming after him.

He even meets an angel called WISDOM, who teaches him to rise to the third heaven and this angel we later find is Jesus.

 “Wisdom” which is “Sophia” the Greek word for wisdom was adored by some, and the church of Santa Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was built in Constantinople in the 6th century. 

Remembering that the Gnostic ascent is to discover the Christ-spirit within, read this quote from the book the Vision. Where wisdom tell Rick Joyner “You are still lacking something very important. You must yet have a great revelation of the King. Even though you have climbed to the top of the mountain, and received from every truth along the way, and even though you have stood in the Garden of God, tasted of His unconditional love, and have seen His Son many times now, you still only understand a part of the whole counsel of God, and that only superficially.”

“The Lord dwells within you. You have taught this many times, but now you must live it, for you have eaten of the Tree of Life.” The angel then began to lead me back to the gate [out of the Garden of Paradise]. I protested that I did not want to leave. Looking surprised, the angel took me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyes. That is when I recognized him as the angel, Wisdom. “You never have to leave this garden. This garden is in your heart because the Creator Himself is within you.”  

On p.43 “I then looked past him to the Tree of Life. I had a compulsion to grab all of the fruit that I could before leaving. Knowing my thoughts, Wisdom gently shook me. “No. Even this fruit, gathered in fear, would go bad. This fruit and this tree are within you because He is in you. You must believe.”

Yet the Word of God tells us another story. It says that, with the Holy Spirit as our Guide not an angel who reveals secrets we can know what God has revealed through His Word. We do not need to discover inner wisdom by some esoteric route. Climbing up levels of knowledge to have greater revelations. So what are we to make of all this?

In the Gnostic Empire Strikes back by Peter Jones a Christian refuting the Gnostic teaching he says this “experience is the way to perfection and knowledge. Gnostic believers are “saved” when they realize who they are-a part of the divine; possessing within themselves the kingdom; capable of anything; and untrammeled by human traditions, creational structures, or divine laws. p.26.

Theosophist and Anti Christian Joseph Campbell, in The Power of Myth, explains the ascension to mean that Christ “has gone inward . . . to the kingdom of heaven within. (Douglas R. Groothuis, “The Shamanized Jesus,” Christianity Today, April 29, 1991, 20.)

There is a fine line between the truth and error in all this. If truth is to be found within, it can be found anywhere, so long as it agrees with the subjective experience of a Gnostic.

Irenaeus observed: “they adduce an untold multitude of apocryphal and spurious writings, which they have composed.” 

Some of the Gnostic documents are Letter to Rheginus, Treatise on the Three Natures, Apocalypse of Adam, the Gospel of Matthias, Acts of Peter, and Acts of Thomas. The Apocryphon of James, The Acts of Peter, the twelve apostles, the treatise on the resurrection, three editions of the Apocryphon of John with the creation story reinterpreted. In the early church there were so-called infancy gospels that were written to fill in the details of the early unrecorded years of the life of Christ. “The Birth of Mary,” a work written in the middle of the second century; “The Protoevangelium of James,” written about the same time; the first “Gospel of Infancy,” composed about A.D. 400; which narrates the birth of Mary to innocents. Theses were stories circulating at the beginning of the second century all the way through the fifth century. These works include stories of Jesus forming clay figures of animals and birds which He makes walk, fly, and eat. Another account has a child who runs into Jesus falls down dead. These examples and representative of the fanciful nature of the accounts. It has been proven that Muslims have taken these stories from these apocryphal writings.

It was the apostle Paul who warned in Galatians chapter 1 “if we or angel from heaven brings any other gospel, they are accursed. Notice that he includes he himself among the “we” as the apostles, making the point that anyone can find themselves removed from the truth if they do not hold fast to the truth. They, the apostles held themselves to a higher standard. So even a witness of Christ in the early church can be subject to this. 

There were three categories of writings in the early centuries the Greek words were Homologumena, Antilogumena, Notha.

Homologumena = all books accepted by the entire church east and west.

Antilogumena= books accepted by some of the church these were disputed books because they were not familiar with them, but they were accepted later.

Notha= writings claiming inspiration but were false. There were false books circulating by authors who claimed to be an apostle or penned an apostles name to them. Many of them were Gnostics, they were considered false because it contradicted the writings previously delivered. They as the church had to make judgments on so-called writings. Today its no different we have to make judgments; except these are in books, tapes, videos and crusades. All these are to be compared to what is already delivered.

We're to discern and recognize who are true teachers and false teachers ... Believers are to use discernment -it’s a command and if you are not looking to discern, your being disobedient. We don’t make a judgment on the power or experiences they give, but by what they teach.

Part 2 Gnosticism>



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