Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gnostic Writing Excerpts that Don't Suck

I'm not saying these are true quotes or true accounts but I wondered if there were some truths that could be culled from these as there is from any book today. Most of these writings are crap or nonsense. Some easily show you the exact teachings John was writing against in 1 John. If you're not looking to understand the Gnostics don't bother reading these because below are the only good things I could find. Don't think, "Boy there are some wise, graceful things here. Maybe I should check these writings out" because I assure you these are the only wise, graceful things I've found in these writings. Brackets denote paraphrasing or changes made by me. All sub-bullets are notes by me.

From The Apocryphon of John:
  • Be not afraid. I am with you all always.
  • A saved soul receives eternal rest.
  • I am the providence of everything. I became like my own human children.
  • I completed everything and you have heard it.
From The Gospel of Mary:
  • Beware that no one lead you astray saying look here or look there! For the Son of Man is within you.
  • Do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.
From The Sophia of Jesus:
  • The Father is unchanging good. He is faultless. He is eternal. He is blessed. He is immeasurable. He is perfect, having no defect.
  • God is full of ever-imperishable glory and ineffable joy. His people are at rest in him, ever rejoicing in ineffable joy in his unchanging glory and measureless jubilation.
  • They ever delight themselves on account of their unchanging glory and the immeasurable rest.
  • I came here that you might be joined with that Spirit and Breath, and might from two become one, that you might yield much fruit and go up to Him Who Is from the Beginning, in ineffable joy and glory and honor and grace of the Father.
  • Those who have the untraceable wealth of the Spirit may take from his goodness, even the wealth of their rest.
  • I came to remove them from their blindness, that I might tell everyone about God.
From The Gospel of Thomas:
  • The treasures of God are unfailing and enduring.
  • The one who lives from the living one will not see death.
  • His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here it is' or 'there it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking on the road, still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her on the road. She did not realize it; she had noticed no accident. When she reached her house, she set the jar down and found it empty."
    • The parable of the empty jar from the Gospel of Thomas strikes me as a true teaching of Jesus that found its way into the gnostic writings.
    • My Interpretation:  The meal is sin. Home is heaven. This refers to Jesus taking away our sins here on earth but the majority of us do not realize that they are gone. When we get to heaven all of us will find that our sins had been emptied out. This does fit the experience of the kingdom for most Christians. Many of us think we are taking the meal (sin) home (to heaven) & will be judged for it but we do not realize Jesus has already removed our sins from us.
From The Gospel of Truth:
  • The established truth of Jesus as the Savior is unchanging, unperturbed and completely beautiful.
  • Jesus is the expression of God's desires.
  • The Son reveals the Father so that through the compassion of the Father people may know him & end their wearying search for the Father and rest themselves in him, knowing that He is rest.
  • When you are unified with the Father you are complete. Those who do not know the Father are incomplete but when they know the Father, incompleteness, from that moment on, will cease to exist. As one's ignorance disappears when he gains knowledge, and as darkness disappears when light appears, so also incompleteness is eliminated by completeness. You understand yourself when you understand your unity with the Father.
  • Say in your heart that you are [in] this perfect heavenly day of salvation, rest, & endless light. Say in your heart that in you the light which does not fail dwells.
  • Make sure-footed those who stumble and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry and set at ease those who are troubled. Foster men who love. Raise up and awaken those who sleep.
  • Do not be concerned with that which you have cast forth from yourselves, that which you have dismissed [sin]. Do not return to them to eat them. Do not be moth-eaten. Do not be worm-eaten, for you have already shaken it off. Do not be a place of the devil, for you have already destroyed him. Do not strengthen your last obstacles.
  • The Father is sweet and his desires are good. He knows the things that are yours, so that you may rest yourselves in them.
  • God came and destroyed the division and he brought love.
  • They have not been deprived of the glory of the Father nor have they thought of Him as small, nor bitter, nor angry, but as absolutely good, unperturbed, & sweet.
  • They rest in him who rests, without wearying themselves. The Father is in them, and they are in the Father, since they are perfect, inseparable from him who is truly good. They lack nothing in any way, but they are given rest and are refreshed by the Spirit.
  • The Father is good and his children are perfect and worthy of his name, because he is their Father.
From The Gospel According to Philip:
  • The son is not only a son but lays claim to the inheritance of the father. The dead are heirs to nothing. For how can he who is dead inherit?
  • He who has believed in the truth has found life.
  • Jesus said "He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him." What is it? His flesh is the word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing.
    • This is an interesting possibility.
    • Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)
      • Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
      • Do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
  • The father makes a son, and the son has not the power to make a son. For he who has been begotten has not the power to beget, but the son gets brothers for himself, not sons.
  • Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love.
  • When the pearl is cast down into the mud, it becomes greatly despised but it always has value in the eyes of its owner. Compare the Sons of God: wherever they may be, they still have value in the eyes of their Father.
  • An ass which turns a millstone did a hundred miles walking. When it was loosed, it found that it was still at the same place. There are men who make many journeys, but make no progress towards any destination.
  • [You are all equally loved but do not see it]. When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.
    • When you have knowledge of God's love you will see it as it is & rejoice but when you have an inaccurate view of who God is & how He loves you you will not recognize His love even while it is being poured out on you or in you.
  • If you fear the flesh it will gain mastery over you.
  • Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed begotten. We are anointed through the Spirit. When we were begotten, we were united.
  • Adam's separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them [to Himself].
  • Men make gods and worship their creation. It would be more fitting for those gods to worship men!
  • To those who so desired, Jesus gave life, that they might not die.
  • The law was the tree of knowledge. It has power to give the knowledge of good and evil. It neither removes from evil, nor does it set men in the good, but it creates death for those who eat of it.
  • These are the ones which will not be able to rise above the heart of flesh. If they do not know themselves they will not enjoy what they possess. But those who have come to know themselves will enjoy their possessions.
  • [Those who are better at abstaining from sin] become arrogant. Even their knowledge gives them a sense of superiority over the whole world. But "Love builds up." Those who are really freed through the truth are willing to live as slaves because of their love for those who have not yet been freed by the truth.
  • Spiritual love is [like a] fragrance. All those who love take pleasure in it. Those who are nearby also profit from their love. [Love those who are nearby & they shall be able to love as well because] love heals wounds.
  • Knowledge is the light through which we ripen.
  • It is not proper to cause anyone distress - whether the person is great or small, unbeliever or believer - and then give comfort only to those who take satisfaction in good deeds. Some find it advantageous to give comfort [only] to the one who has fared well.
  • Truth is stronger than ignorance and error. It gives freedom. The Word said, "If you know the truth, the truth will make you free." Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us.
From The Book of Thomas the Contender:
  • Since you are called my brother learn who you are, in what way you exist. It is not fitting that you be ignorant of yourself.
  • Blessed is the wise man who sought after the truth, and when he found it, he rested upon it forever and was unafraid of those who wanted to disturb him.
  • It is useful & good for you to rest.
  • Their mind is directed to their own selves, for their thought is occupied with their deeds.
From The Apocryphon of James:
  • I came down to dwell with you, so that you in turn might dwell with me.
  • You are the beloved; you are they who will be the cause of life in many.
  • Rejoice, and be glad, as sons of God.
  • For your sakes I placed myself under the curse of the law, that you may be saved.
From The Letter of Peter to Philip:
  • Why are you asking me to hear you? I am Jesus Christ who is with you forever.
  • Be not afraid, I am with you forever.
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ is the author of our rest.
From The Prayer of the Apostle Paul:
You are my treasure house open for me!

From The Prayer of Thanksgiving:
From the Father to everyone and everything comes the fatherly kindness and affection and love, and any teaching there may be that is sweet and plain

From The Treatise on the Resurrection:
  • We have received rest through our Savior, our Lord Christ. We received it when we came to know the truth and rested ourselves upon it.
  • We have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, "He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe." Great are those who believe.
  • The mind of those who have known him shall not perish.
  • We have received salvation from end to end. Let us think in this way! Let us comprehend in this way!
  • The resurrection is the truth which stands firm. It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition into newness. For imperishability descends upon the perishable; the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up. Why not consider yourself as risen and already brought to this?
  • Do not be jealous of anyone who is in your number when he is able to help.
From The Exegesis on the Soul:
  • It is by being born again that [lives] will be saved. And this is due not to rote phrases or to professional skills or to book learning. Rather it is the grace & gift of the [Father].
  • The Father is good and loves humanity, and he hears the soul that calls upon him and sends it the light of salvation.
  • He is long suffering and abundantly merciful.
From The Testimony of Truth:
  • Many have sought after the truth and have not been able to find it; because there has taken hold of them the old leaven of the Pharisees and the scribes of the Law. For no one who is under the Law will be able to look up to the truth, for they will not be able to serve two masters.
  • For one who is in ignorance, it is difficult for him to diminish his works of darkness which he has done.
  • The foolish - thinking in their heart that if they confess, "We are Christians," in word only (but) not with power, while giving themselves over to ignorance, not knowing where they are going nor who Christ is, thinking that they will live, when they are (really) in error - hasten towards the principalities and authorities. They fall into their clutches because of the ignorance that is in them.
  • This is the thought that they have within them: "If we deliver ourselves over to death for the sake of the Name we will be saved." These matters are not settled in this way.
  • This is the perfect life, that man know himself by means of the All.
  • We have been released from the flesh.
  • He who has found the life-giving word, and he who has come to know the Father of Truth, has come to rest; he has ceased seeking, having found.
  • A free man is not envious.
From Eugnostos the Blessed:
  • The Father is unchanging good. He is faultless. He is everlasting.
  • The Father is ever full of ineffable joy. They are all at rest in him, ever rejoicing in ineffable joy, over the unchanging glory and the measureless jubilation of the Father.
  • The kingdom of the Son of Man is full of ineffable joy and unchanging jubilation, ever rejoicing in ineffable joy over their imperishable glory.
  • They ever delight themselves on account of their glory that does not change, and the rest that is not measured.
  • He will speak all these things to you joyously and in pure knowledge.
From The Secret Gospel of Mark:
We are children of Light having been illuminated by the dawn of the Spirit of the Lord from on high, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty for all things are pure to the pure.

From The Living Gospel:
The Savior Jesus [is] the head (source) of all these gifts. May he be praised!

From Second Treatise of the Great Seth:
  • They put on the new man since they have come to know that perfect Blessed One of the eternal Father, which is I. I came to my own and united them with myself.
  • We were hated and persecuted, not only by those who are ignorant, but also by those who think that they are advancing the name of Christ, since they were not knowing who they are. They persecuted those who have been liberated by [Christ]. They weep & groan because they did not fully know [Christ]. Instead, they served two masters, even a multitude.
  • We are innocent, pure, & good.
  • They have bruised the noble pleasure of the Assembly because they revealed a mixture of ignorance in a counterfeit since they are untaught & have not understood that light [God] has fellowship with light [children of light]. They made an imitation of truth, having proclaimed a doctrine of lies so as to resemble the freedom and purity of the perfect Assembly. It was ludicrous. It is I who bear witness that it was ludicrous. They join themselves with their doctrine to fear and slavery and worldly cares. [They see themselves] as small. They hate the One in whom they are, and love the one in whom they are not. For they do not know the knowledge of the greatness that it is from above and from a fountain of truth, and that it is not from slavery & fear. They freely use the [laws] which are not theirs. They desire a law from themselves over whatever they will wish.

    They lead astray those who possess the truth of their freedom. They buy them for servitude & constrain them by cares and fears. Yet they are in slavery themselves. But he who is brought by constraint of force and threat has [still] been guarded by God. Those who are from Him [always] belong to Him. He has made them perfect through the living water. They are perfect & worthy & established & united with Christ. There is no enmity [between them & God but the offer] of good friendship. O those who do not see, you do not see your blindness. The blind ones are always being slaves of law and earthly fear. He who lives in harmony and friendship of brotherly love, naturally and not artificially, this person is truly the desire of the Father who is perfect love.
    • This has some interesting & exact language that can apply to Christians & Christian leaders who live under law, how they treat those who are under grace, & how God loves & values both groups regardless. I've gussied it up a little by light editing, reordering, & paraphrasing. So don't go thinking the Gnostics were persecuted grace people. This same document denies Jesus' death & other terrible things.
  • I accomplish everything through the Good One.
  • Through our fellowship we grasped his teaching.
  • He is life & perfect Truth, since he came from the Father. The Father is the union of peace and a friend of good things, and life eternal and undefiled joy. [We know Him by] a great harmony of life and faith.
  • [Your union with God will be a] joyful union [when you trust that He] is trustworthy and [you] faithfully listen to [Him].
  • The Father is in fatherhood and motherhood and brotherhood and sisterhood and wisdom.
  • Union, peace, & love are perfected in Christ.
  • They have been blended into the one through the Living Word.
  • I am in the spirit and the truth of motherhood.
  • I am among those who are united in the friendship of friends forever, who neither know hostility at all, nor evil, but who are united by my knowledge in word and peace. These are in friendship with each other in the spirit.
  • All these are from a single Spirit.
  • You are perfect and incorruptible ones because [you are born] of the incorruptible and perfect One.
  • Present the knowledge of incorruption from the spiritual union. [If you] do not know it, [it is] because the fleshly cloud overshadows [your mind].
  • The bosom of the Father is the place of the sons of the Truth. Rest then with me in His bosom, my fellow spirits and my brothers, forever.
From The Three Steles of Seth:
  • You have saved, you have saved, you have saved us, O crown-bearer, crown-giver! We bless you eternally. We are perfect on account of you. We became perfect with you who is complete, who completes. You are Perfect! You are Perfect! You are Perfect!
  • You have empowered the eternal ones in being; You have empowered divinity in living; You have empowered knowledge in goodness.
  • You have come forth to these and from these.
  • Salvation has come to us; from you is salvation. You are wisdom, You are knowledge; You are truthfulness. On account of You is life; from You is life.
  • Unite us as You have been united. Teach us those things which You do see.
  • You have heard! You have heard! You have saved! You have saved! We give thanks! We bless You always! We shall glorify You!
  • We bless You Father of divinity and life, creator of mind, giver of good, giver of blessedness!
  • We bless You because we were saved. Always we glorify You. We have blessed You, for we are empowered.
From The Teachings of Silvanus:
  • Do not flee from the divine and the teaching which are within you, for He who is teaching you loves you very much.
  • Cast your anxiety upon God alone.
  • A foolish man puts on shame like a garment of sorrow.
  • [Partake in] your divine nature. Regard Christ, this true friend, as a good teacher.
  • God, the holy Father, the true Life, the Spring of Life
  • The divine which is within you will purify you & make you become self-controlled in your soul and body. He will give you a great light & you will become a throne of wisdom.
  • Know your birth. Know yourself.
  • The created, however, is the [spirit], which has come into being in [the likeness of] the image of God. Live according to the [spirit]. Do not think about things pertaining to the flesh. Acquire strength, for the [spirit] is strong.
  • The Adversary comes as a true friend, saying, "I advise good things for you." But you did not recognize the deceitfulness of this one when you received him as a true friend. For he casts into your heart evil thoughts as good ones, and hypocrisy in the guise of true wisdom, eagerness in the guise of conservative frugality, boastfulness and pride in the guise of great self-control, and godlessness as great godliness. And he casts false knowledge into your heart in the guise of mysterious words. My son, how will you be able to comprehend the schemes of this one, or his soul-killing counsel? For his devices, and the schemes of his wickedness, are many.

    Accept Christ, who is able to set you free, and who has taken on the devices of that one, so that through these he might destroy him. For this is the king whom you have who is forever invincible, against whom no one will be able to fight nor say a word. This is your king and your father, for there is no one like him. The divine teacher is with you always. He is a helper, and he meets you because of the good which is in you.
  • A wise man does not blurt out every word, but he will be discerning toward those who hear.
  • Entrust yourself to God as father and as friend.
  • Christ is the true light and the sun of life. For just as the sun which is visible and makes light for the eyes of the flesh, so Christ illuminates every mind and the heart.
  • Do not think in your heart that God exists in a place. If you localize the Lord of all in a place, then it is fitting for you to say that the place is more exalted than he who dwells in it. For that which contains is more exalted than that which is contained.
  • It is necessary to know God as he is. You cannot know God through anyone except Christ, who has the image of the Father, for this image reveals the true likeness in correspondence to that which is revealed.
  • Indeed, it is good to ask and to know who God is.
  • He who is in darkness will not be able to see anything unless he receives the light.
  • Do not cease walking in the way of Christ. Walk in it so that you may receive rest from your labors. If you walk in another way, there will be no profit in it.
  • You [are] a temple, (but) you have made yourself [out to be] a tomb. Cease being a tomb, and [know that you are] a temple, [Behold] uprightness and divinity remain in you.
  • The Tree of Life is Christ. He is Wisdom. For he is Wisdom; he is also the Word. He is the Life, the Power, and the Door. He is the Light, the Messenger, and the Good Shepherd. Entrust yourself to this one who became all for your sake.
  • The Life died for you when he was powerless, so that through his death, he might give life to you who have died.
  • Give yourself gladness from the true vine of Christ.
  • Do not pierce yourself with the sword of sin. Do not burn yourself with the fire of lust. Do not surrender yourself to barbarians like a prisoner, nor to savage beasts which want to trample upon you. For they are as lions which roar very loudly.
  • The [spirit] which is a member of God's household is one which is kept pure, and the [spirit] which has put on Christ is one which is pure. It is impossible for it to sin. Now where Christ is, there sin is idle.
  • Let Christ bring to naught all powers which have come upon you.
  • Know who Christ is, and acquire him as a friend, for this is the friend who is faithful. He is also God and Teacher. This one, being God, became man for your sake. It is this one who broke the iron bars of the Underworld, and the bronze bolts. It is this one who attacked and cast down every haughty tyrant. It is he who loosened from himself the chains of which he had taken hold. He brought up the poor from the Abyss and the mourners from the Underworld. It is he who humbled the haughty powers; he who put to shame haughtiness through humility; he who has cast down the strong and the boaster through weakness, so that humility for God's sake might be highly exalted; (and) he who has put on humanity.
  • God bears patiently with man always.
  • Christ has exalted man to become like God, not in order that he might bring God down to man, but that man might become like God.
  • The Life of Heaven wishes to renew all, that he may cast out that which is weak that everyone may shine forth in heavenly garments in order to make manifest the command of the Father (who) is exceedingly brilliant, and that Christ may crown those wishing to contend well. Christ, being judge of the contest, is he who crowned every one, teaching every one to contend. This one who contended first received the crown, gained dominion, and appeared, giving light to everyone. And all are made new through the Holy Spirit.
  • O Lord Almighty, how much glory shall I give Thee? No one has been able to glorify God adequately. It is You who have given glory to Your Word (Son) in order to save everyone, O Merciful God.
  • Christ is illuminates the power of God, and he is an emanation of the pure glory of the Almighty. He is the spotless mirror of the working of God, and he is the image of his goodness. He is the eye which looks at the invisible Father, always serving and forming by the Father's will. He alone was begotten by the Father's good pleasure. He is Wisdom and Life. He gives life to, and nourishes, all living things and powers. For he is the beginning and the end, watching over all. He is troubled on behalf of everyone, and he rejoices and also mourns.
  • Raise yourself up when you have left your old man behind like an eagle.
  • O this patience of God, which bears with every one, which desires that every one who has become subject to sin be saved!
  • For God does not need to put any man to the test. He knows things before they happen, and he knows the hidden things of the heart.
  • Open the door for yourself, that you may know the One who is. For he is the Ruler of Faith and the Sharp Sword, having become all for everyone because he wishes to have compassion on everyone.
  • If you have Christ, you will conquer this entire world.
  • Do not wish to acquire honors which are insecure, nor the boastfulness which brings you to ruin.
  • Accept the wisdom of Christ, (who is) patient and mild, and guard this, O my son, knowing that God's way is always profitable.

From The Gospel of Judas:  Nothing worth keeping
From The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles:  Nothing worth keeping
From The Apocalypse of Paul:  Nothing worth keeping
From The Thought of Norea:  Nothing worth keeping

From The Apocalypse of Peter:
  • Those who oppose the truth & are the messengers of error will set up their error and their law against the pure thoughts of God, thinking that good and evil are from one source. They do business in my word and what they spread will result in harsh outcomes.
  • I ransomed them from the slavery in which they were to give them freedom.
  • They think they are in the spiritual fellowship of those united [by Christ's death & life]. But instead they are in the imitation. Where [brothers] oppress their brothers.
  • There shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also ministers, as if they have received their authority from God. People will bend themselves under the judgment of [these] leaders.
  • There are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes of living ones, and destroy them among themselves. And when they speak your name they will be believed.
    • This is a picture of all of church history. On the violent side like the Catholics killed those who opposed them for centuries & the protestants killed those such as the anabaptists.
    • All that is needed is for people to speak (in) God's name & others will follow them regardless of how ungodly they lead.
  • In proportion to their lies they will rule over the little ones.
  • He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus.
  • He whom they crucified is the first-born. He stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence
  • Be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail unto you. Peace be to you, Be strong!
From The First Apocalypse of James:
  • For you descended into a great ignorance, but you have not been defiled by anything in it. You walked in mud, and your garments were not soiled.
  • Now since you are a just man of God, you have embraced me and kissed me. Truly I say to you that you have stirred up great anger and wrath against yourself [from men].
  • They seize people & sit there as toll collectors. Not only do they demand toll, but they also take away souls by theft.
  • A just man will perish through injustice.

From The Second Apocalypse of James:
  • This Lord who is present came as a son who sees.
  • I hasten to make them free and want to take them to the Father who wants them.
  • I am the beloved. I am the righteous one. I am the son of the Father. I speak even as I heard.
  • Understand and know the Father who has compassion.
  • I tell you judges, you have been judged. And you did not spare, but you were spared.
  • Renounce the difficult way, which is so variable, and walk in accordance with Him who desires that you become free men. God will not judge you for those things that you did, but will have mercy on you. He is not a wrathful one, He is a kind Father. But you have judged yourselves, and because of this you will remain in chains. You have oppressed yourselves [thus] you will repent but it will be of no benefit to you at all.
    • When you judge yourself & oppress yourself you put chains on yourself, keeping you from experiencing the freedom God wants you to have. In this bound state repenting (trying to sin less/turning from sins) never works out. That was my experience before I saw the freedom God had given me. I would repent for the same things pretty well every day & nothing ever improved. It didn't benefit me because I was judging myself as a sinner struggling in chains instead of knowing God had removed the real chains long ago. The idea of repentance that I grew up with was "feel really bad (ashamed) & promise God I'll never perform that particular action again." It wasn't just of no benefit, it was also additional self-oppression because I was relying on my performance & promises instead of God's on my behalf.
  • I am the Just One. I do not act as your master but I act as your helper.
  • My God and my Father saved me from dead hope & made me alive.
  • Love is alive in me.
  • I trusted in you with all my strength, because you are the life of the life!
  • Because I am alive in you, your grace is alive in me.
From The Infancy Gospel of Thomas:
Let those bear fruit that were barren and let them see that were blind in heart.

From The Acts of Paul and Thecla:
  • Paul's companions Demas & Hermogenes were then full of hypocrisy. But Paul looked only at the goodness of God and did them no harm, but loved them greatly.
  • We arose again when we came to the knowledge of God.
  • God stands in need of nothing but the salvation of his creatures. He wants to reclaim them from their corruptions, from sin & death.
  • Jesus Christ the Son of God alone is the way to eternal salvation and the foundation of eternal life. He is a refuge to those who are in distress, a support to the afflicted, a hope and defense to those who are hopeless, and in a word, all those who do not trust on him shall not live, but suffer eternal death.
From The Gospel of Nicodemus (aka Acts of Pilate):
  • They which speak the truth are judged by them that have authority upon earth.
  • Blessed be the Lord God, who has redeemed Israel from shedding [the] innocent blood [of Jesus].
  • The most beloved Son of God will come upon the earth to raise up the body of Adam and the bodies of the dead. He shall anoint with the oil of lovingkindness all that trust him, and that oil of lovingkindness shall be unto all generations of them that shall be born of water and of the Holy Ghost, unto life eternal.
  • Satan the prince of death said, "Jesus has much been mine enemy, doing me great hurt, and many that I had made blind, lame, dumb, leprous, and possessed He has healed with a word: and some whom I have brought to death, them he has taken away."
  • Jesus who was able to raise the dead is God, strong in command and mighty. He is the saviour of mankind. He will set free all that are shut up in the hard prison and bound in the chains of their sins that cannot be broken, and will bring them unto the life of his God forever.
  • The Lord looked down from heaven that he might hear the groanings of them that are in fetters and deliver the children of them that have been slain.
  • The Lord of majesty appeared in the form of a man and lightened the eternal darkness and broke the bonds that could not be loosed: and the help of his everlasting power came to us that sat in the deep darkness of our transgressions and in the shadow of death of our sins.
  • In majesty unblemished Jesus in wrath condemned the power of Satan.
  • Jesus, so great and so small, both humble and exalted, both soldier and commander, a marvelous warrior in the shape of a bondsman, and a King of glory who bore the cross & was slain upon it.
  • Jesus sets free the prisoners that are held bound by original sin and restores them into liberty. Jesus sheds his divine & bright light upon them that were blinded with the darkness of their sins.
  • The world of earth has been always subject unto death & sin until Jesus. By His death on the cross He tries to take all men out of the bonds of sin [& give them His life].
  • The King of glory in His majesty trampled death & drew mankind to Himself, unto His own brightness.
  • Jesus made all the darkness of death flee by the brightness of his majesty & has broken the strong depths of the prisons, and let out the prisoners and loosed them that were bound. And all that were sighing in torment do rejoice. The captives which never could be joyful now threaten the powers of darkness.
  • From the beginning until this day they have despaired of life and salvation, BUT NOW none of their usual roarings are heard, neither do any groan, nor is there any sign of tears upon the face of any of them.
  • O Satan, the riches which you had gained by the tree of transgression and the losing of paradise, you have lost by the tree of the cross, and all your gladness has perished.
  • Satan is the author of death and head of all pride.
  • Satan [has been given over to eternal torture] in the stead of Adam and his children.
  • The Lord stretching forth his hand, said, "Come unto me, all my holy children which bear my image and my likeness. You that by the tree and the devil and death were condemned, behold now the devil and death condemned by the tree."
  • Life is in the Lord's good pleasure.
  • O Lord, you have set the name of your glory in the heavens and set up your cross for proof of redemption upon the earth.
  • The Lord has made known his saving health, before the face of all nations has he revealed his righteousness.
  • God is the Lord and has showed us light. Amen, Alleluia.
  • What God is like you, O Lord, taking away iniquity and removing sins? And now you withhold your wrath for a testimony that your are merciful of free will, and you do have mercy on us, your remove all our iniquities and have sunk all our sins in the depths of the sea, as you swore unto our fathers in the days of old.
  • All the saints said, "This is our God for ever and ever, he shall be our guide. Amen, Alleluia."
  • He brought them all into the glory and beauty (grace) of paradise.
  • Blessed be the Lord Almighty, the Father of eternal good things, the Father of mercies, you that has given such grace unto sinners & has brought them again into the beauty of paradise & into your good pastures.

The main problems with the gnostic writings I read are 1. They often depersonify God making him into an incomprehensible thing rather than a loving Father to relate to. 2. They create the idea that certain people are superior to others. 3. They are filled with non-sense with Jesus speaking about things & in such a way that we never see Him speak of elsewhere nor do we see the writers of the NT speak of such things. They support each other some but they find no support in the letters of the NT. 4. Its religious fan-fiction play time. Except for the fact that some narratives have Jesus giving out the information most of these purely resemble man made mythology.

On the plus side they seemed to grasp the idea of spiritual union with God & God's people being created perfect from their rebirth (spiritual identity), something taught by John & Paul yet almost absent from all of Christianity today. They also emphasized resting in God.

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