The Secret Book of John (The Apocryphon of John)

[The Teaching of the Savior]
The Revelation of the Mysteries Hidden in Silence
[Those Things that He Taught to John, His Disciple]

Prologue

One day John, the brother of James [these are the sons of Zebedee], was going up to the Temple. A Pharisee by the name of Arimanios came up to him and challenged him, asking: “Where is the teacher you used to follow?”

John replied, “He has gone back to the place from which he came.”

The Pharisee said, “That Nazarene misled you (plural), told you lies, closed your hearts and turned you away from your ancestral traditions.”

When I heard these things, I, John, turned away from the temple and went off to a deserted mountainous place. I was very unhappy, saying to myself:

“How was the Savior designated?
Why did his Father send him into the world?
Who is his Father?
What kind of realm will we go to?

For, although he told us, ‘This realm is modeled on the imperishable realm,’
He didn’t teach us about the latter.”

All of a sudden, while I was contemplating these things,
Behold!
The heavens opened and the whole of creation shone with a light from above,
And the world quaked!
I was afraid, yet
Behold!

A little child appeared before me in the light.
I continued looking at him as he became an old man
And then he changed again, becoming like a young man.
I didn’t understand what I was seeing,
But the one likeness had several forms in the light,
And these likenesses appeared each through the other
And the vision had three forms.

He said to me,
“John, why doubt?
Why be afraid?
Don’t you know this image?
Be not afraid.
I am with you (plural) always.
I am the Father
The Mother
The Son
I am the incorruptible
Purity.

I have come to teach you
About what is
And what was
And what will be
In order for you to understand
The invisible world
And the world that is visible
And the immovable race of perfect humanity.

Raise your head;
Understand my lessons;
Share them with any others who have received the spirit,
Who are from the immovable race of perfect humanity.”

The Inexpressible One

The One rules all. Nothing has authority over it.
It is the God.
It is Father of everything,
Holy One
The invisible one over everything.
It is uncontaminated
Pure light no eye can bear to look within.

The One is the Invisible Spirit.
It is not right to think of it as a God or as like God.
It is more than just God.

Nothing is above it.
Nothing rules it.
Since everything exists within it
It does not exist within anything.
Since it is not dependent on anything
It is eternal.

It is absolutely complete and so needs nothing.
It is utterly perfect
Light.

The One is without boundaries
Nothing exists outside of it to border it
The One cannot be investigated
Nothing exists apart from it to investigate it
The One cannot be measured
Nothing exists external to it to measure it

The One cannot be seen
For no one can envision it
The One is eternal
For it exists forever
The One is inconceivable
For no one can comprehend it
The One is indescribable
For no one can put any words to it.

The One is infinite light
Purity
Holiness
Stainless,

The One is incomprehensible
Perfectly free from corruption.
Not “perfect”
Not “blessed”
Not “divine”
But superior to such concepts.
Neither physical nor unphysical
Neither immense nor infinitesimal
It is impossible to specify in quantity or quality
For it is beyond knowledge.

The One is not a being among other beings
It is vastly superior
But it is not “superior.”

It is outside of realms of being and time
For whatever is within realms of being was created
And whatever is within time had time allotted to it
The One receives nothing from anything.
It simply apprehends itself in its own perfect light

The One is majestic.
The One is measureless majesty

Chief of all Realms
Producing all realms

Light
Producing light

Life
Producing life

Blessedness
Producing blessedness

Knowledge
Producing knowledge

Good
Producing goodness

Mercy
Producing mercy

Generous
Producing generosity

        [It does not “possess” these things.]

It gives forth light beyond measure, beyond comprehension.

[What can I say?]

His realm is eternal, peaceful, silent, resting, before everything.
He is the head of every realm sustaining each of them through goodness.

The Origin of Reality

[We would know nothing of the ineffable
And nothing of the immeasurable
Without the help of the one who comes forth
from the One who is the Father.
He alone has informed us.]
The Father is surrounded by light.
He apprehends himself in that light
[which is the pure spring of the water of life
that sustains all realms].

He is conscious of his image everywhere around him,
Perceiving his image in this spring of Spirit
Pouring forth from himself.
He is enamored of the image he sees in the light-water,
The spring of pure light-water enveloping him.

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being.
Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light.
She stood before him.

This, then, is the first of the powers, prior to everything.
Arising out of the mind of the Father
The Providence (pronoia) of everything.
Her light reflects His light.

She is from His image in His light
Perfect in power
Image of the invisible perfect Virgin Spirit.

She is the initial power
glory of Barbelo
glorious among the realms
glory of revelation

She gave glory to the Virgin Spirit
She praised Him
For she arose from Him.

[This, the first Thought, is the Spirit’s image]

She is the universal womb
She is before everything
She is:
Mother-Father
First Man
Holy Spirit

        Thrice Male
        Thrice Powerful
        Thrice Named

Androgynous eternal realm
First to arise among the invisible realms.

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for foreknowledge (prognosis).
The Spirit agreed.
Foreknowledge came forth and stood by Providence
[This one came through the Invisible Virgin Spirit’s Thought.]
Foreknowledge gave glory to the Spirit
And to Barbelo, the Spirit’s perfect power,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.

Primary Structures of the Divine Mind

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for Incorruptibility
The Spirit agreed.
Incorruptibility came forth and stood by Thought and Foreknowledge.

Incorruptibility gave glory to the Invisible Virgin Spirit
And to Barbelo,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for everlasting Life.
The Spirit agreed
Everlasting life came forth and they all stood together.
They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for Truth.
The Spirit agreed
Truth came forth and they all stood together.
They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.

This is the fivefold realm of the Father:

The First Man who is
The Image of the Invisible Spirit who is
Providence who is
Barbelo who is
Thought.
And
Foreknowledge – Incorruptibility – Life Everlasting – Truth

[These are an androgynous fivefold realm – therefore it is a realm of ten – of the Father.]

Secondary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Father looked into Barbelo
[into the pure light surrounding the Invisible Spirit]

Barbelo conceived and bore a spark of light
Who had blessedness similar to, but not equal to, her blessedness,

Who was the only child of that mother–father
The only offspring,
The only begotten child of the pure light, the Father.

The Invisible Virgin Spirit celebrated the light that had been produced
Coming forth from the first power who is
The Providence
Barbelo

The Spirit anointed him with Goodness, making him perfect
[he lacked no goodness whatsoever,
for he was anointed with the Invisible Spirit’s Goodness]

He stood in the Spirit’s presence and it was poured upon him.

Having received this anointing from the Spirit he immediately glorified Him
And he glorified the perfect Providence.
Because of Her he had come into being.

He asked for Mind (nous) to be a companion to him.
The Spirit consented

When the Invisible Spirit consented
Mind came into being.
It stood by the Anointed
and glorified the Spirit and Barbelo

[These beings came into existence through silence and thought.]

He wished to act through the Word of the Invisible Spirit.
Whose Will became an action and appeared with Mind
Glorifying the Light.

And then Word followed Will into being.

        [The Christ, the divine autogenes, 
        created everything through the Word.]

Everlasting Life and Will,
Mind, and Foreknowledge
Stood together.
They glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo.
Because of Her they had come into being.

Tertiary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Holy Spirit
Brought his and Barbelo’s divine autogenes Son to completion
In order that he could stand before the great Invisible Virgin Spirit
As the divine autogenes Christ
And honor Him with a mighty voice.

[The Son came through Providence].

The Invisible Spirit
Placed the divine autogenes over everything.
All authorities were subordinated to him.
The truth within him let him learn everything

[He is called by the highest name of all.
That name will be told only to those who are worthy to hear it
From the light, [which is the Christ,]

From the incorruptibility,
Through a gift of the spirit
The Four Lights arising from the divine autogenes stood before him.

[The four fundamental powers are Understanding, Grace, Perception, and Consideration.]

Grace exists within the realm of the Light called Harmozel, the first angel.
Along with Harmozel are
Grace
Truth
Form

The second Light is called Oriel and it stands over the second realm.
With Oriel are:
Conceptualization (Epinoia)
Perception
Memory

The third Light is called Daveithai and it stands over the third realm.
With Daveithai are:
Understanding
Love
Idea

The fourth Light is called Eleleth and it stands over the fourth realm.
With Eleleth are:
Perfection
Peace
Wisdom (Sophia).

These are the four lights standing before the divine autogenes.

Twelve realms stand before the Son of the Powerful
The autogenes
The Christ
Through the intention
And the grace
Of the Invisible Spirit
Twelve realms belong to the Son of the autogenes.

[All of this came into being through the intention of the Holy Spirit
Through the autogenes.]

From the perfect mind’s foreknowledge
Through the intention of the Invisible Spirit
And the autogenes’s will.
The perfect human appeared,
Its first true manifestation

The Virgin Spirit named the human Adamas
And placed him over the first realm with the mighty autogenes Christ
With the first Light Harmozel and its powers.

The Invisible One gave Adamas invincible power of mind.

Adamas spoke, glorifying and praising the Invisible Spirit:
“Everything has come into being from you
Everything will return to you.
I will praise you and glorify you
And the Autogenes
And the triple realm:
Father – Mother – Son,
the perfect power.”

Over the second realm was appointed Adamas’s son Seth
With the second Light Oriel.

In the third realm were placed the children of Seth
With the third Light Daveithai.
[The souls of the saints are placed there.]

In the fourth realm were placed the souls of those ignorant of the fullness
Those who did not repent at once
But who, after some time, eventually repented,
They are with the fourth Light Eleleth.

All of these created beings glorify the Invisible Spirit

A Crisis that Became the World

It happened that the realm (aeon) Wisdom (Sophia)
Of conceptual thought (Epinoia),
Began to think for herself,
She used the thinking (enthymesis)
And the foreknowledge (prognosis)
Of the Invisible Spirit.

She intended to reveal an image from herself
To do so without the consent of the Spirit,
Who did not approve,
Without the thoughtful assistance of her masculine counterpart,
Who did not approve.

Without the Invisible Spirit’s consent
Without the knowledge of her partner
She brought it into being.

Because she had unconquerable Power
Her thought was not unproductive.
Something imperfect came out of her
Different in appearance from her.

        Because she had created it without her masculine counterpart
                    She gave rise to a misshapen being unlike herself.

Sophia saw what her desire produced.
It changed into the form of a dragon with a lion’s head
And eyes flashing lightning bolts.
She cast him far from her,
Outside of the realm of the immortal beings
So that they could not see him.

[She had created him in ignorance.]

Sophia surrounded him with a brilliant cloud,
Put a throne in the center part of the cloud
So that no one would see it.
[Except for the Holy Spirit called the Mother of the Living]
She named him Yaldabaoth.

Yaldabaoth is the chief ruler.
He took great Power (dynamis) from his mother,
Left her, and moved away from his birthplace.
He assumed command,
Created realms for himself
With a brilliant flame that continues to exist even now.

The Fashioning of This World

Yadabaoth united with the thoughtlessness (aponoia) within him.
He begot ruling authorities (exousia)
Modeling them on the incorruptible realms above.

The first is Athoth
The second is Harmas [called the eye of flame]
The third is Kalilaumbri
The fourth is Yabel
The fifth is Adonaiu [called Sabaoth]
The sixth is Cain [called the sun]
The seventh is Abel

The eighth is Abrisene
The ninth is Yobel
The tenth is Armupiel
The eleventh is Melcheir-adonein
The twelfth is Belias
Who rules over the very depth of Hades.

He made the first seven rulers to reign in the seven spheres of heaven.
He made the next five rulers to reign in the five depths of the abyss.

He shared a portion of his fire with them,
But shared none of the power of Light he had received from his mother.

[He is ignorant darkness.
When the Light mingled into the darkness
the darkness shone.
When darkness mixed with the Light,
the Light diminished,
No longer Light nor darkness but dim.]

This dim ruler has three names:
Yaldabaoth is the first.
Saklas is the second.
Samael is the third.
He is blasphemous through his thoughtlessness.
He said “I am God, and there is no God but me!”
Since he didn’t know where his own Power originated.

His rulers created seven Authorities for themselves.
Each of these Authorities created six demons apiece,
There came to be 365 demons altogether.

Here are the seven Authorities’ names and physical forms:
First, Athoth with a sheep’s face
Second, Eloaios with a donkey’s face
Third, Astaphaios with a hyena’s face
Fourth, Yao with the face of a seven headed snake
Fifth, Sabaoth who has the face of a dragon
Sixth, Adonin whose face is that of a monkey
Seventh, Sabbataios with a face of flame and fire.
These are the seven of the week.
These Authorities rule the world.

Yaldabaoth has many faces.
More than all that have been listed
So he can convey any face he wants to the seraphim around him.

Yaldabaoth shared his fire with his seraphim
But gave them none of his pure Light
Although he ruled them by virtue of the power and glory
Of the Light had received from his Mother.

        [Therefore he called himself “God” and defied his place of origin.]

He united his thought’s sevenfold Powers with the Authorities who accompanied him.
He spoke and it happened.

He named those sevenfold Powers starting with the highest one:
Goodness paired with the first: Athoth
Providence paired with the second: Eloaios
Divinity paired with the third: Astaphaios
Lordship paired with the fourth: Yao
Kingdom paired with the fifth: Sabaoth
Zeal paired with the sixth: Adonin
Understanding paired with the seventh: Sabbataios

Each has its own realm modeled on one of the higher realms.
And each new name refers to a glory in the heavens
So that Yaldabaoth’s demons might be destroyed.

The demons’ own names, given by Yaldabaoth, are mighty names
But the Powers’ names reflecting the glory above
Will bring about the demons’ destruction and remove their Power.
That is why each has two names.

Yaldabaoth modeled his creation
On the pattern of the original realms above him
So that it might be just like the indestructible realms.

        [Not that he had ever seen the indestructible ones.
        Rather, the power in him, deriving from his mother,
        made him aware of the pattern of the cosmos above.] 

When he gazed upon his creation surrounding him
He said to his host of demons
The ones who had come forth out of him:
“I am a jealous God and there is no God but me!”

        [But by doing this he admitted to his demons that there is indeed another God.
        For, if there were no other God, whom would he possibly be jealous of?] 

His mother began to move back and forth
Because she had become aware that she now lacked Light
For her brightness had dimmed.

        [Since her consort had not approved of her actions, she grew darker] 

[I said “Master, what does it mean ‘she moved back and forth’?”
He laughed, saying, “It’s not as Moses said ‘upon the waters.’ Not at all.”]

When she saw the evil that had taken place and
The theft of light that her son had committed
She repented.

In the darkness of ignorance
She began to forget.
She began to be ashamed.
But she could not yet return above
Yet she began to move.
And so she moved back and forth.

[The arrogant one removed Power from his mother
For he was ignorant
He thought no one existed except for his mother.
He saw the host of demons he had created
And he elevated himself above them.
But when the mother realized that that miscarriage
Was so imperfect
She came to realize that her consort had not approved.
She repented and wept furiously.]

All of the divine realms (pleroma) heard her repentant prayer
They sought blessing for her from the Invisible Virgin Spirit.
The Spirit consented.
He poured the Holy Spirit over her
Brought forth from the whole full realm.

[Her consort did not come down to her on his own,
but he came through the whole full realm
to restore her to her original condition.]

She was elevated above her son,
But she was not restored to her own original realm.
She would remain in the ninth sphere until she was fully restored.

Humanity Begins

Then came a voice from the highest realms saying:
“The Man exists! And the Son of Man!”

Yaldabaoth, chief ruler, heard it
He thought it came from his mother
He did not know the true source of the voice:
The Holy Mother-Father
Perfect Providence
Image of the Invisible
Father of Everything
In whom everything has come to be.

The First Man
[This is the one who appeared to them.
He appeared in the form of a human being.]

All of the realm of the chief ruler quaked!
The foundations of the abyss moved!

He illuminated the waters above the world of matter,
His image shown in those waters.

All the demons and the first ruler together gazed up
Toward the underside of the newly shining waters.
Through that light they saw the Image in the waters.

Yaldabaoth said to his subordinate demons:
“Let’s create a man according to the image of God
And our own likeness
So that his image will illuminate us.”

Each one through another’s Power created aspects of the man;
Each added a characteristic corresponding to the psychic factors
They had seen in the Image above them.
They made a creature of substance
In the likeness of that perfect First Man
And they said, “Let us call him Adam, so that his name will give us the power of light.”

Construction of the Human Body

The seven Powers began to work:
. Goodness made a psyche of bone
Providence made a psyche of sinew
Divinity made a psyche of flesh
Lordship made a psyche of marrow
Kingdom made a psyche of blood
Zeal made a psyche of skin
Understanding made a psyche of hair

The host of demons took these substances from the Powers to create the limbs and the body itself. They put the parts together and coordinated them.

The first ones began by making the head: Abron created his head; Meniggesstroeth created the brain; Asterechme the right eye; Thaspomocha, the left eye; Ieronumos, the right ear; Bissoum, the left ear; Akioreim, the nose; Banenrphroum, the lips; Amen, the front teeth; Ibikan, the molars; Basiliademe, the tonsils; Achcha, the uvula; Adaban, the neck; Chaaman, the neckbones; Dearcho, the throat; Tebar, the shoulder; Mniarcon, the elbow; Abitrion, the right arm; Evanthen, the left arm; Krys, the right hand; Beluai, the left hand; Treneu, the fingers of the right hand; Balbel, the fingers of the left hand; Kriman, fingernails; Astrops, the right breast; Barroph, the left breast; Baoum, the right shoulder joint; Ararim, the left shoulder joint; Areche, the belly; Phthave, the navel; Senaphim, the abdomen; Arachethopi, the right ribs; Zabedo, the left ribs; Barias, the right hip; Phnouth the left hip; Abenlenarchei, the marrow; Chnoumeninorin, the skeleton; Gesole, the stomach; Agromauna, the heart; Bano, the lungs; Sostrapal, the liver; Anesimalar, the spleen; Thopithro, the intestines; Biblo, the kidneys; Roeror, the sinews; Taphreo, the spine; Ipouspoboba, the veins; Bineborin, the arteries; Atoimenpsephei, respiration; Entholleia, the flesh; Bedouk, the right buttock; Arabeei, the penis; Eilo, the testicles; Sorma, the genitals; Gormakaiochlabar, the right thigh; Nebrith, the left thigh; Pserem, the kidneys of the right leg; Asaklas, the left kidney; Ormaoth, the right leg; Emenun, the left leg; Knyx, the right shin; Tupelon, the left shin; Achiel, the right knee; Phnene, the left knee; Phiouthrom, the right foot; Boabel, its toes; Trachoun, the left foot; Phikna, its toes; Miamai, the toenails.

And those who were appointed over all of these are:
Zathoth,
Armas,
Kalila,
Iabel,
Sabaoth,
Cain,
Abel.

The energizing powers in the limbs were divided among:
the head made by Diolimodraza; the neck by Yammeax; the right shoulder Yakouib; the left shoulder Verton; the right hand Oudidi; the left Arbao; the fingers of the right hand Lampno; the fingers of the left hand Leekaphar; the right breast Barbar; the left breast Imae; the chest Pisandriaptes; the right shoulder joint Koade; the left shoulder joint Odeor; the right ribs Asphixix; the left ribs Synogchouta; the abdomen Arouph; the womb Sabalo; the right thigh Charcharb; the left thigh Chthaon; the genitals Bathinoth; the right leg Choux; the left leg Charcha; the right shin Aroer; the left shin Toechtha; the right knee Aol; the left knee Charaner; the right foot Bastan; its toes Archentechtha; the left foot Marephnounth; its toes Abrana.

Seven govern the whole body:
Michael,
Ouriel,
Asmenedas,
Saphasatoel,
Aarmouriam,
Richram,
Amiorps.

The one who governs perceptions: Archendekta
The one who governs reception: Deitharbathas
The one who governs imagination: Oummaa
The one who governs integration: Aachiaram
The one who governs impulse: Riaramnacho.

There is a fourfold source of the bodily demons:
Hot, Cold, Dry, Wet.

        [Matter is the mother of them all.]

       Ruler of hot:                Phloxopha
       Ruler of cold:              Oroorrothos
       Ruler of dry:                Erimacho
       Ruler of wet:               Athuro.

Their mother stands among them: Onorthochrasaei
She is unlimited
She mixes with all of them.
She is matter
And they are nourished by her.

The four chief demons are:
Ephememphi, associated with pleasure,
Yoko, associated with desire,
Nenentophni, associated with distress,
Blaomen, associated with fear.
Their mother is Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.

Out from these four demons come passions:
From distress arises
Envy, jealousy, grief, vexation,
Discord, cruelty, worry, mourning.

        From pleasure comes much evil
                    And unmerited pride, 
                    And so forth.

        From desire comes
                    Anger, fury, bitterness, outrage, dissatisfaction 
                    And so forth.

        From fear emerges
                    Horror, flattery, suffering, and shame.

[Their thought and truth is Anayo, the ruler of the material soul.
It belongs with the seven senses, Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.]

This is the total number of the demons: 365
They worked together to complete, part by part, the psychical and the material body.

There are even more of them in charge of other passions
That I didn’t tell you about.
If you want to know about them
You will find the information in the Book of Zoroaster.

All of Yaldabaoth’s servants and his demons
Worked to finish the psychic body.
For a very long time it lay inanimate
It did not move.

Yaldabaoth’s mother wanted to take back the Power
She had turned over to the Chief Ruler.
She earnestly asked the most merciful,
The Mother-Father of everything,
For help.

Yaldabaoth Deceived

By His sacred command He sent down the five Lights
In the forms of the principal advisors to Yaldabaoth.
[This led to the removal of Yaldabaoth’s mother’s divine Power from him.]
They told Yaldabaoth:
“Blow some of your Spirit in the man’s face,
Then his body will rise up.”
Yaldabaoth blew some of his Spirit into the man.
That Spirit was the divine Power of his mother.

[He didn’t understand what was happening, for he lived in ignorance.]

His mother’s divine Power left Yaldabaoth
It entered the psychic human body
Modeled on the primordial image.

The human body moved!
It grew powerful!
It shone!

Yaldabaoth’s demonic forces envied the man.
Through their united efforts he had come into being
They had given their Power to him.
His understanding was far greater than that of those who had created him.
And greater than that of the Chief Ruler himself.

When they realized that he shone with light
And could think better than they could
And was naked of evil,
They took him and cast him down
Into the lowest depths of the material world.

The Beginning of Salvation

The blessed one.
The Mother-Father
The good merciful one
Looked compassionately upon the Mother’s Power
Relinquished by the Chief Ruler.

Since Yaldabaoth’s demons might again overpower the perceptible psychic body
He sent down from his good Spirit a helper for Adam,
Out of his great compassion
A light-filled Epinoia emerged.
And he called her Life (Zoe).

        She aids the entire creation
                    Working with him
                    Restoring him to the fullness.
        She taught Adam about the way his people had descended
        She taught Adam about the way he could ascend,
                    Which is the way he had descended. 

The light-filled Epinoia was hidden in Adam.
So that the rulers wouldn’t know about her
For Epinoia would repair the disaster their mother had caused.

[Adam was revealed because within him dwelt the shadow of light.
His mental abilities were far greater than those of his creators.
They had gazed upward and seen his exalted mental capability.]

        The host of rulers and demons plotted together
        They mixed fire and earth and water
                    Together with four blazing winds
                    They melded them together in great turbulence.

Adam was brought into the shadow of death.

They intended to make him anew
This time from
Earth,
Water,
Fire,
Wind,
Which are
Matter,
Darkness,
Desire,
The Artificial Spirit.
This all became a tomb,
A new kind of body.

Those thieves bound the man in it,
Enchained him in forgetfulness,
Made him subject to dying.

[His was the first descent
And the first separation.
Yet the light-filled Epinoia within him will elevate his thinking.]

Adam in Yaldabaoth’s Paradise

The rulers took the man and put him into paradise
They told him to eat freely.

[Their food is bitter; their beauty is corrupt.
Their food is deceit; their trees are ungodliness.
Their fruit is poison.
Their promise is death.]

They placed the Tree of Their Life into the middle of paradise.

[I will teach you (plural) the secret of their life:
The plan that they made together about an artificial spirit.]

Its root is bitter
Its branches are dead.
Its shadow is hatred
Its leaves are deception
The nectar of wickedness is in its blossoms.
Its fruit is death
Its seed is desire
It flowers in the darkness.
Those who eat from it are denizens of Hades
Darkness is their resting place.

As for the tree called “The Knowledge Of Good And Evil”
It is the Epinoia of the light.
They commanded him not to eat from it,
Standing in front to conceal it,
For fear that he might look upwards to the fullness
And know the nakedness of his indecency.

[However, I caused them to eat.

I asked the Savior,
“Lord, isn’t it the serpent that caused Adam to eat?”

He smiled and replied,
“The serpent caused them to eat
in order to produce the wickedness of the desire to reproduce
that would make Adam helpful to him.”]

The chief ruler, Yaldabaoth, knew that
Because the light-filled Epinoia within Adam
Made his mental abilities greater than his own,
Adam had been disobedient.
In order to recover the Power that he had put into Adam
Yaldabaoth made Adam completely forgetful.

[I asked the Savior, “What is it to be ‘completely forgetful?’”

He replied, “It is not what Moses wrote in his first book:
‘He caused Adam to fall into deep sleep’
Rather, Adam’s perceptions were veiled
And he became unconscious.
As he (Yaldabaoth) said through his prophet:
‘I will make their minds dull so that they do not see or understand.’”]

Woman Comes into Being

The light-filled Epinoia hid deep within Adam.
The Chief Ruler tried to remove her from his ribcage,
But Epinoia cannot be captured.
Although the darkness pursued her it did not catch her.

The Chief ruler did remove a portion of his Power from Adam
To create a person with a woman’s form
Modeled on the light-filled Epinoia that had been manifested to him.
He placed the Power removed from the man into the woman.

        [It did not happen the way Moses said it did:
         “he took a rib and made the woman.”] 

Adam saw the woman standing next to him.
The light-filled Epinoia immediately appeared to him
She raised up the veil that dulled his mind.
He sobered up from the dark drunkenness
And he recognized his own counterpart.

He said: “This is bone from my bones
Flesh from my flesh.”
Because of this a man will leave his mother and father
And be joined to a woman and those two will become one flesh.
For they will send his helper to him.

[Sophia, our sister, came down
Descending innocently
So as to regain what she had lost.
Therefore she was called Life.
The Mother of the Living
The one from the Providence of the Authority of Heaven
By her assistance people can achieve perfect knowledge.]

I appeared as an eagle perched on the Tree of Knowledge!
[Which is the Epinoia from the pure Providence of Light.]
In order to teach them
And raise them up from sleep’s depths.

        [For the two of them were fallen and aware of their nakedness.
        Epinoia appeared as a being full of light
        She enlightened their minds.] 

When Yaldabaoth discovered that they had moved away from him
He cursed his earth.
He located the woman as she was preparing herself for her man.
He gave the woman over so that the man might be her master,
Because he did not know the secret of the divine strategy.

The man and woman were too terrified to renounce Yaldabaoth,
Who showed his ignorance to his angels
And he cast both of them out of paradise
Dressing them in heavy darkness.

The Chief Archon saw the young woman who was standing by Adam.
He realized that the light-filled Epinoia of life was within her.
Yaldabaoth became completely ignorant.

        [When the Providence of all saw what was going to happen
        She sent assistants to remove Divine Life from Eve.] 

Yaldabaoth raped Eve.
She bore two sons.

[Elohim was the name of the first.
Yahweh was the name of the second.
Elohim has a bear’s face.
Yahweh has a cat’s face.
One is righteous;
One is not.
Yahweh is righteous;
Elohim is not.
Yahweh would command fire and wind
Elohim would command water and earth.]

Yaldabaoth deceptively named the two: Cain and Abel.

[From then until now sexual intercourse has persisted
Thanks to the Chief Ruler
Who put desire for reproduction into the woman who accompanies Adam.
Through intercourse the Ruler caused new human bodies to be produced
And he blew his artificial spirit into each of them.]

Yaldabaoth installed the two with authority over natural elements
So they can to rule over the tomb.

The Children of Seth Populate the World

Adam had intercourse with the image of his foreknowledge (prognosis)
He begot a son like the Son of Man
And he called that son Seth
Modeling him on the heavenly race in the higher realms.

In the same way the mother sent down her spirit
The image of herself
A model of the full higher realm,
In order to prepare a place for the descent of the realms.

The Chief Ruler, though, forced the humans to drink
From waters of forgetfulness
So that they might not know their true place of origin.

The children (of Seth) remained in this condition for a while
In order that when the Spirit descends from the holy realms
The Spirit can raise up the children and heal them from all defects
And thus restore complete holiness to the fullness of God.

Six Questions about the Soul

I asked the Savior, “Lord, will every soul be saved and enter the pure light?”

He replied, “You are asking an important question, one it will be impossible to answer for anyone who is not a member of the unmoved race. They are the people upon whom the Spirit of Life will descend and the power will enable them to be saved and to become perfect and worthy of greatness. They expunge evil from themselves and they will care nothing for wickedness, wanting only that which is not corrupt. They will achieve freedom from rage, envy, jealousy, desire, or craving.”

“The physical body will negatively effect them. They wear it as they look forward to the time when they will meet up with those who will remove it. Those people deserve indestructible eternal life. They endure everything, bearing up under everything that happens so that they can deserve the good and inherit life eternal.”

Then I asked him, “Lord, what about the souls who didn’t do these things even though the Spirit of Life’s power descended on them?“

He answered, “If the Spirit descends to people they will be transformed and saved. The power descends on everyone and, without it, no one can even stand up. After they are born, if the Spirit of Life increases in them, power comes to them and their souls are strengthened. Nothing then can leave them astray into wickedness. But if the artificial spirit comes into people, it leads them astray.”

Then I said, “Lord, when souls come out of the flesh where do they go?”

He replied, smiling, “If the soul is strong it has more of power than it has of the artificial spirit and so it flees from wickedness. With the assistance of the Incorruptible One that soul is saved and it attains eternal rest.”

I then asked him, “Lord, what of the souls of the people who do not know whose people they are? Where do they go?”

He responded, “In those people the artificial spirit has grown strong and they have gone astray. Their souls are burdened, drawn to wickedness, and cast into forgetfulness.”

“When they come forth from the body, such a soul is given over to the powers created by the rulers, bound in chains, and cast into prison again. Around and around it goes until it manages to become free from forgetfulness through knowledge. And so, eventually, it becomes perfect and is saved.”

Then I asked, “Lord, how does the soul shrink down so as to be able to enter its mother or a man?

He was happy that I asked this and said, “You are truly blessed because you have understood. The soul should be guided by another within whom is the Spirit of Life. It will be saved by that means and accordingly will not have to enter a body again.

And I said, “Lord, what happens to the souls of people who achieved true knowledge, but who turned away from it?”

He said to me, “Demons of poverty will take them to a place where there is no possibility of repentance. There they will stay until the time when those who blasphemed against the spirit will be tortured and subjected to punishment forever.”

I asked, “Lord, where did the artificial spirit come from?”

And he told me:

Three Plots against Humanity

The Mother-Father is merciful
A Holy Spirit sympathizing with us.
Through the Epinoia of the Providence of the light
It raises up the children of the perfect race
Raising up their thought, their light eternal.

When the Chief Archon learned that they were elevated above him
And that their mental ability surpassed his
He wanted to put a stop to their thought
But he did not know the extent of their mental superiority
And he could not stop them.

He made a plan with his demons
Who are his powers
Each of them fornicated with Wisdom (Sophia)
And produced fate
The last variety of imprisonment.

Fate changes unpredictably
It is of different sorts just as the demons are of different sorts.
Fate is hard.
Fate is stronger than
The gods, the authorities, the demons, the generations of people
Who are caught up in it.

Out of fate emerged
Sinfulness, violence, blasphemy, forgetfulness, ignorance,
Weighty commandments
Heavy sins
Terrible fear.
In this way all of creation became blind,
Ignorant of God above everything.

Because of imprisonment in forgetfulness
They are unaware of their sins,
They are bound into periods of time and seasons
By fate who is lord of it all.

Yaldabaoth eventually came to regret everything he had created.
He decided to bring a great flood
Upon creation, upon mankind.

But the great light of Providence warned Noah.
He preached to all of the children,
The sons of men,
But if they were strangers to him they didn’t listen.

        [It was not the way Moses said: “they hid in an ark.”
        Rather, they hid in a special place,
        Not just Noah
        but also many other people from the immovable race.
        They went into hiding within a cloud of light.] 

Noah knew his own authority
And that of the light Being who illuminated them
Although the Chief Ruler poured darkness over all the world.

The Chief Ruler and his powers plotted a strategy,
To send his demons to human daughters
And make themselves children by them to enjoy.
But they failed.

After their failure they made another plan.
They created an artificial spirit
Modeled on the Spirit who descended
So, to impregnate souls by means of this spirit,
The demons changed appearance
to look like the women’s husbands
They filled the women with that spirit of darkness and wickedness.

They brought into being
Gold and silver,
Money and coins,
Iron and other metals and all things of this sort.

And the people who were attracted were led astray into troubles
And were greatly misled.
And grew old
Experiencing no pleasure,
And died
Finding no truth,
Never knowing the true God.

This is the way that they enslaved all of creation
From the foundation of the world until now.

[They took some women and produced children out of darkness
And they closed their hearts
And they hardened themselves
in the hardness of their artificial spirit
Until the present day.]

The Providence Hymn

I am the Providence of everything.
I became like my own human children.

I existed from the first.
I walked down every possible road.

I am the wealth of the light.
I am the remembering of the fullness.

I walked into the place of greatest darkness and on down.
I entered the central part of the prison.

The foundations of chaos quaked.

I hid because of their evil.
They did not recognize me.

I came down a second time
continuing on.

I emerged from among those of light
I am the remembering of Providence

I entered the middle of darkness,
The inner part of the underworld
To pursue my mission.

The foundations of chaos quaked.
Threatening to collapse upon all who were there
And utterly destroy them

I soared upward again
To my roots in light
So as not to destroy them all yet.

I descended a third time.

I am light
I am dwelling in light
I am the remembering of Providence

I entered the midst of darkness
I came to the deepest part of the underworld.

I let my face light up
Thinking of the end of their time
I entered their prison
The body is that prison

I cried out:
“Anyone who hears,
Rise up from your deep sleep!”

And the sleeping one awoke and wept
Wiping bitter tears saying
“Who calls me?”
“Where has my hope come from
As I lie in the depths of this prison?”

“I am the Providence of pure light,” I replied,
“I am the thought of the Virgin Spirit
Raising you up to an honored place.
Rise up!
Remember what you have heard.
Trace back your roots
To me.
The merciful one.
Guard against the poverty demons.
Guard against the chaos demons.
Guard against all who would bind you.
Awaken!
Stay awake!
Rise out of the depths of the underworld!

I raised him up
I sealed him with the light/water of the five seals.
Death had no power over him ever again.

I ascend again to the perfect realm.
I completed everything and you have heard it.”

Conclusion

“I have told you everything now so that you can write it all down
And share it with your fellow spirits secretly
For this is the mystery of the unmoved race.”

The Savior gave all of this to him to write and to keep carefully. He said to him, “Anyone who exchanges it for a present, or for food, or for drink, or for clothing, or for anything else of that sort will be cursed.”

These things came to John in a mystery.
Instantly the Savior vanished.

John came to his fellow disciples and told them what the Savior had said to him.

Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

The Apocryphon of John

The Mystic Name of Supreme Deity


ΙΑΩ Greek for Yahיָהּ Mystic name of the supreme deity. The great I AM presence & essence. ΙΑΩ (iota, alpha, omega) INRI (In nobis regnat Iesus) IHS (Invictus Hoc Signo) אל-יהו means God IAO
Yah – pronounced as it appears.


This Divine Name is contained in Eheieh and Yahweh – it is the end of Eheieh and beginning of Yahweh, and is the emanation of Pure Supernal Force or Life-Force. It is akin to El, though corresponds to Hokmah-Wisdom, representing the very essence of God’s Word and Wisdom or Creative Power.

Yah is a Divine Name that appears frequently in the inmost secret teachings, specifically in relationship to the generation of the Body of Light or Threefold Body of Melchizedek and the Mystery of Divine Rapture and Ascension. When teachings are given on this Name the Sign of Silence always follows, for they are spoken only to the elect. We can say, however, that the Baal Shem destroys and re-creates the Universe with the intonement of Yah and that it contains the secret of Eternal Life.


Prayer to Yeshua Messiah: Christ Melchizedek

In the Holy Womb of Primordial Sophia,

The Emptiness of Infinite Space,

You shine forth as the Pleroma of Light,

The Human One of Light,

Diamond Being,

Christ the Logos – 

As Supernal Glory you shine forth in your Holy Bride, Christ the Sophia!

O Perfect Thunder Mind of El Elyon, Christ Melchizedek,

We praise you and we bless your Name:

Truth-Consciousness!

You have gone out and you have come in,

Flashing forth in Divine Revelation;

O Bornless Being, Self-begetting, Self-generating,

You have emanated from within yourself as the Pleroma of Light,

And you have come forth from the Pleroma into the Entirety,

Running and returning, you have drawn the Soul of the World in ascent with you,

Your Twin Sister, your Holy Bride, as called you to herself, and you have answered her,

In love and compassion you have come, the True Light of the Living Father, Holy One

Eheieh, the Divine I Am, is your Holy Name,

Adonai, the consummation of the Aeons, the Perfection of Creation,

The Sacred Tau –

We praise you and we bless your Name,

O Spiritual Sun of Yahweh Elohim!

You have put on the images of those to whom you have appeared,

In your Great Glory and Splendor you have appeared among the gods and goddesses, archangels and angels, the shining spirits and human ones;

You have appeared to titans, hungry ghosts and demons, as to the righteous ones,

You have come to awaken the spiritual elect and made a ransom of yourself for the faithful;

Into height and depth, east and west, south and north you have made the Light of the Infinite to shine; into all realms, worlds and universes of the Entirety you emanate yourself –

You have put an end to Forgetfulness,

You have rent the Veils of Ignorance,

You have shattered the Dominion of the Demiurge,

Revealing the True Light and imparting Divine Gnosis!

On the Holy Day of the Resurrection you set our spirits free,

In the Ascension you carried our souls up in the Great Exodus –

From the first to the last, you have liberated all, going forth triumphant, gathering all holy sparks into your Body of Light!

O Risen Savior, we cleave to you,

We praise and we bless your Holy Name:

O Truth Body Savior, we praise you,

O Glory Body Savior, we praise you,

O Emanation Body Savior, we praise you,

Christ Melchizedek, we praise you and we bless your Holy Name:

Adonai Yeshua,

Yeshua Messiah,

IAO-OAI

O Light of the True Cross, illuminate our minds,

O Supernal Mercy, open our hearts,

O Grace Most High, transform our bodies –

Bless and empower us in the Way,

Heal us and establish us in the Truth,

Take us up into the Divine Life!

We give ourselves and our lives to you:

O Light-presence and Light-power,

Indwell us –

Lead us in the Path of True Gnosis,

That we might remember ourselves in the Light-continuum,

And be empowered as Holy Apostles, true Light-bearers!

We invoke your Holy Name and we pray for ourselves and all beings:

Let the Divine Light go forth to dispel the darkness in all beings and all realms;

Let all illness and dis-ease be healed and all beings be made whole;

Let all living spirits and souls receive Divine Illumination –

May the inmost heart’s desire of all beings be fulfilled;

May all beings be blessed with your repose and joy:

O Holy One, please bless and empower all beings!


Calling upon the Divine Power of your Name, we pray that the Holy Ones and Divine Beings continue to incarnate among us until the fruition of the Second Coming, that all might be brought up in the Great Resurrection and Ascension –

O Yeshua Messiah, bless and empower us with your Holy Shekinah in the divine labor of the harvest of souls!

Kadosh (= Holy) Adonai (= O Lord) Elohím (= our God) Tze’va’ot (= Lord of Hosts) Asher hayah (= Who was and who is) V’hoveh V’yavo! (And will come!) Amen Amun Amon

The History of Trinity Doctrine and Correct Understanding


Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.
The light that comes from the Bible will diffuse and disperse darkness. This is what the meditation of this new series will be – we will be looking to the Bible to diffuse the delusions and take away the fallacies. The following inspired words will follow us all throughout this series:

When errors come into our ranks, we are not to enter into controversy over them. We are to present the message of reproof and then lead the minds of the people away from fanciful, erroneous ideas, presenting the truth in contrast with error. Presenting heavenly scenes will open up principles that rest upon a foundation as enduring as eternity. {20MR 307.3} 

We want a foundation that is enduring as eternity, based upon the pure truth, in contrast to fanciful and erroneous ideas.

The truth of God is found in His Word, and those who feel that they must seek elsewhere for present truth need to be converted anew. They have habits to mend, evil ways to be abandoned. They need to seek anew the truth as it is in Jesus, that their character building may be in harmony with the lessons of Christ. As they abandon their human ideas and take up their duties, beholding Christ and becoming conformed to Him, they say, “Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee, e’en though it be a cross that leadeth me.” {20MR 307.4} 

There are many people who believe in something so strongly that when it is proven out of Scripture that they are in error, it is a cross for them to come nearer to God in the truth.

With the Word of God in hand, we may draw nearer, step by step, in consecrated love to Jesus Christ. Let those who have been deluded give up all their fallacies. The love of Jesus will not endure such rivals. {20MR 307.5}

If I hold to my delusions and fallacies the love of Jesus cannot rival that. We need to give up those delusions and fallacies; and to give them up we have to go by the directions of God’s word, and not our own mind fabrications. A plain “Thus saith the Lord” is our only safety. The purpose of this series is to remove the delusions that we may hold to, by looking at plain and simple Bible readings on the subjects of these delusions. Our first subject is the Trinity Doctrine, a delusion that needs to be cleared by a plain “Thus saith the Lord”. If we have any delusions on that subject and we hold any fallacies, they need to be given up, even if it is a cross we have to bear to give them up.

Many delusions are being circulated in the ranks of professed Seventh-day Adventists today. The Seventh-day Adventist church has splintered up into many different beliefs; but those beliefs cannot all be true. There is a pure truth that we are to embrace. To deal with these delusions we are counselled in the Spirit of Prophecy not to enter into controversy.

Speak the truth, and let Him carry forward the reformatory power and principle. Make no reference to what opponents say; but let the truth alone be advanced. The truth can cut to the quick. Plainly unfold the word in all its impressiveness. {CW 73.1}

Here is the instruction which I need to practise as I share this subject with you and all the other subjects to come. If people hold error on the subject of the Godhead and the Trinitarian doctrine, I am not going to have controversy with them; I will make no reference to what opponents say, but will let the truth alone be advanced. And those who have error will find that the truth will cut them to the quick, if they will only listen to a “Thus saith the Lord”. We will therefore practise what is written – leading the minds of the people away from fanciful, erroneous ideas, presenting the truth in contrast with error, letting the contrast be made vivid.

Steering Away from Babylon

There are many delusions and fallacies that have taken root even among Adventist people today. The early Adventists had steered away from the delusion of the Trinitarian doctrine. God led His people in regards to dealing with this doctrine; but in labouring in a certain direction, even there they later discovered that they had some error that had to be corrected. In seeing how the truth corrected their error as they were themselves trying to correct the error of the Trinitarian doctrine, we will see the truth brought to perfection in the minds of the pioneers of Adventism and in our own minds.

J. N. Loughborough

To commence with, we are looking at the fallacy that the pioneers dealt with. This is what J.N. Loughborough, one the pioneers of original Adventism, said to identify the error that the people at that time were addressing and clarifying:

QUESTION 1. What serious objection is there to the doctrine of the Trinity?

ANSWER. There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the three following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to scripture. 3. Its origin is Pagan and fabulous.

These positions we will remark upon briefly … It is not very consonant with common sense to talk of three being one, and one being three. … There is a sense in which they are one, but not one person, as claimed by Trinitarians. {November 5, 1861 UrSe, ARSH 184.2-4}

What error were they unveiling in the Trinitarian teachings? Although in the Godhead there are three that are one, in a sense, yet they are “not one person, as claimed by Trinitarians.” This is what they were attacking – the idea that God is three beings in one person. This is the Trinitarian doctrine that they wanted to correct.

The Spirit of Prophecy qualifies what Loughborough was identifying in his own words. And it is important that we read from the Spirit of Prophecy, because there are many other statements that I could bring up from the pioneers, but we want to worship God and to hear what He is saying.

I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: “The Father is as the light invisible: the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad.” “The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life.” Another representation: “The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.” {Ev 614.1} 

Nice statements, aren’t they? But what are they really?

All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God cannot be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father cannot be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. {Ev 614.2}

Do you understand what these spiritualistic ideas are according to the Spirit of Prophecy? They teach that the Father is vapour, and that the Son is like the leaden cloud. When the cloud begins to gather together the vapour becomes visible. At first it is invisible, and then it becomes visible in a cloud. Then the idea goes that the Holy Spirit is as rain fallen. Can you see here one person segregated into three, just as Loughborough pointed out? The Spirit of Prophecy identifies this false teaching as representing God as one substance – water – in its state of vapour, cloud, and rain. But that is untrue as a representation of the Godhead. The Trinitarian expression is based on this idea, but it is false and spiritualistic.

E. J. Waggoner

In fact, in the turn of the century E.J. Waggoner made a point in reference to the word Trinity and what the church of the early believers had established.

You ask what we teach about the Trinity. Inasmuch as we find no such expression in the Scriptures, we do not teach anything about it. {February 6, 1902 EJW, PTUK 83.12}

Because there is no doctrinal teaching in the Bible called “Trinity”, therefore we don’t teach anything about the “Trinity”, he said.

But as to the Being of God,-the Godhead,-Divinity as revealed in the Father, the Word (the Son), and the Holy Spirit, we believe and teach just what the Bible says, and nothing else. No man can by searching find out God. No creature can understand the Almighty to perfection. The finite mind cannot comprehend infinity. Therefore, in discussions about the Trinity, about the nature of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, are manifestations of gross presumption. {Ibid.}

As we seek to get a clear understanding of the Godhead, we must have it erased out of our mind as a Trinitarian doctrine, a doctrine in which one is three and three are one. The pioneers of the Adventist faith clearly refuted the Trinitarian doctrine. However, as you examine their progressive discovery of truth in carefully rejecting error, you find that they had to discover that some of the material they were handling was also to be corrected. Because they rejected the Trinitarian doctrine they now harboured an error, and God lovingly and slowly guided them to give it up; because it was a delusion and that had to be given up.

An Error

Very early in their experience, in 1854, a man named J. M. Stephenson, in his work The Atonement, expressed an error which a great number of the pioneers in the early years did harbour:

I will conclude the evidence upon this point by quoting one more passage. Paul says, “And again, when he bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Heb. i, 6. He must have been his Son before he could send him into the world. In verse 2, the Father declares that he made the worlds by the same Son he is here represented as sending into the world. His Son must have existed before he created the worlds; and he must have been begotten before he existed; hence the begetting here spoken of, must refer to his Divine nature, and in reference to his order, he is the first-begotten; hence as a matter of necessity he must have been “the first born of every creature.” Col. i, 15. “The first born of every creature.” Creature signifies creation; hence to be the first born of every creature, (creation) he must be a created being; and as such, his life and immortality must depend upon the Father’s will, just as much as angels, or redeemed men: and as the Father has given his Son to have life in himself, so his Son will give this life to all his children. {1854 JMS, ATO 132.2}

This is what they believed: —There is only one God, and then there is the Son of God who was created, born as the first of all creatures. “Creature signifies creation; hence to be the first born of every creature, (creation) he must be a created being” – a being that the Father gave life to. It wasn’t His; it was the Father’s, and He gave it to the Word, the Son of God—

There are many quotes we could read from Uriah Smith, Waggoner, and others like them. Even James White expressed these sorts of things in the early years, that sometime in the distant past of eternity the Word of God (the Son) was budded off from the Father.

Fundamental Beliefs of SDAs (1872)

As a consequence of what they believed, by the time we came to 1872 they made their first declaration of fundamental principles. Notice what they say in their book Fundamental Principles; they believed

-I- That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Ps. 139:7.

-II- That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist; {1872, FP1872 4.2-3}

This was their declaration of faith in 1872. So by the time they came to that year they still held that there was one God, the Father, and that the Word (the Son of God) was someone different, but not God. He was the Son of God, they said. And many people have picked this up again today. But we won’t refer to what people are teaching today, we will refer to the truth of how God patiently and lovingly led His people out of this error.

The error was that God is the Father, and that the Word (Christ) is the Son of God (not God, just the Son of God), and that the Holy Spirit is an effluence from the Father and the Son; because they rejected that there is three persons as being God.

They rejected the decision which had been taken by the papal church in the First Council of Constantinople, in A.D. 381, where the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was stated as “one substance”. This was the Catholic doctrine. The pioneers rejected that doctrine, but in rejecting it they held on to the idea that there was only God the Father, that Jesus was the Son of God, and that the Holy Spirit was an effluence from the Father and the Son. This they held until, under the guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy, this subject was made clear. God came to lead them out of this falsehood through the Testimony of Jesus.
Clarifications on the Godhead

Sister White here identifies the Godhead, and I want to appeal to all who read this: Take the words as they read, and don’t read them from any perspective of personal interpretation.

The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. {Ev 614.2}

The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be “the express image of His person.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here is shown the personality of the Father. {Ev 614.3}

So the Father is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and the Son is the fullness of the Godhead manifested, revealed. When the Godhead is to be revealed to you, you look at the Son. That is God.

The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. {Ev 615.1}

Now comes the summary in plain language:

There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.– Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63. (1905) {Ibid.}

This is a beautiful comfort – we have three living persons who are part of the Godhead, three separate, living persons. This is the way it is written. And to make it abundantly clear that the Word, Jesus Christ before He came to this earth, the Son of God, had a pre-existence within Himself and did not depend upon the existence of the Father for His own existence, we read the following:

Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God…. In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.–Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1900. {Ev 615.2}

There was never a time in past, eternal ages “when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.”

He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. . . . He is the eternal, self-existent Son.–Manuscript 101, 1897. {Ev 615.3}

The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.–Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. {Ev 615.4}

So Jesus, the Son of God, was God.

Christ shows them [the Pharisees] that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.–Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899. {Ev 616.1}

Did He get His life from the Father?

Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. {Ev 616.2}

What does that mean? It simply means that He had it and it was not given to Him from anyone else. It was His – underived. This is plain wording.

The Third Person

As we now come to the Holy Spirit, the pioneers had the understanding that it was only an effluence, that which came from the Father and the Son as a dismembered influence. But the Spirit of Prophecy came in to help them see their mistake:

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.–Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.) {Ev 616.5}

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. {Ev 616.6} 

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. …–Manuscript 20, 1906. {Ev 617.1}

The Spirit searches the deep things of God, we are told. He is a person who is part of God and searches out the deep things of the mind of God.

The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.–Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897) {Ev 617.2}

The earliest of these revelations came in 1897. The pioneers accepted E. G. White as being the servant of God who, under inspiration, was giving the truth to His people, and they were aroused to the knowledge that they had been holding an error.

Former Difficulties

To verify that they did indeed have this error, we read an article from the Review and Herald of May 17, 1898, written by R. A. Underwood. This man described the revelation that they had received through the Spirit of Prophecy that they had made a mistake in viewing the Holy Spirit as simply an influence:

There is an influence and a power, it is true; but we should not make the mistake of believing in an influence simply, when we so much need the One who carries the influence and power. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s personal representative in the field; and he is charged with the work of meeting Satan, and defeating this personal enemy of God and his government.

It seems strange to me, now, that I ever believed that the Holy Spirit was only an influence, in view of the work he does. –R.A. Underwood, “The Holy Spirit A Person”, Review and Herald, May 17, 1898.

What is he saying? He was one of those people among the pioneers who believed that the Holy Spirit was the influence that came from the Father and the Son. But now he was saying, “It seems strange to me, now, that I ever believed that the Holy Spirit was only an influence;” because there in 1897 the Spirit of Prophecy had clarified the subject.

But we want the truth because it is truth, and we reject error because it is error, regardless of any views we may formerly have held, or any difficulty we may have had, or may now have, when we view the Holy Spirit as a person. Light is sown for the righteous. –Ibid.

So the righteous had been lightened. This is what he was talking about. “We had ideas about the Holy Spirit which have now been clarified,” he said. “It is more than an influence; it’s a person.” The Spirit of Prophecy had helped them to see this.

It was once hard for me to see how a spirit could be a person; but when I saw “that God is a spirit ” (John 4: 24), and that he is no less a person; when I saw that the last Adam (Christ) ” was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45), and that he is a person; when I saw that the angels are ” spirits” (Heb. 1:7, 14), and even that the fallen angels, called “devils,” are said to be “unclean spirits” (Luke 8:26, 29; Acts 19:15, 16); and knowing that all these are persons, I could understand better how the Holy Spirit can be a person. –Ibid.

A separate person from the Father. I’m so glad I found this article, because with all the efforts I had to try and convince people out of the error of what the pioneers once taught, when I read this I thought, Hallelujah! He is actually dealing with it – their past mistake that had now been revealed. While their earlier beliefs appeared to be substantiated by Scripture, it was in fact an error, although they did read Scripture and did use Scripture to try and prove their idea.

False Readings

Here is where Scripture, if not correctly perceived, can actually be misinterpreted. What follows are the kind of scriptures the pioneers used to prove their false idea about the Godhead. We are now going through an exercise of reading the Scriptures with a false premise and then with a right one.

1 Timothy 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Can you see here a text that says there is one God and that besides that there is only a mediator, the Son of God? This is how people can read it, and this is how you can read it if you are not careful. You can get the idea that there is no more than one person who is God. In fact, some of these people have said, “You are telling us that there are three Gods!” No, there is one God. We will see this shortly. The pioneers used these kinds of texts.

The following text in John can also be read to mean that there is only God the Father and that’s all:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

“The only true God is the Father; that’s all.” This is the way they read it.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

“So there is one God, and then there is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Can you see how these Bible texts can be used to prove that there is only one God, not three in the Godhead, and that Jesus is the Son of God and the Holy Spirit is only an influence? This is how you can use scriptures to come to that kind of conclusion.

Enlightened by Inspiration

But we are told that we must compare scripture with scripture. And as under the influence of the Spirit of Prophecy the pioneers were beginning to realise that the Spirit of Prophecy was saying that there are three persons in the Godhead, they said, We must examine the word, because it must agree with the word. So they did find what is written in John 1:1.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This is a text that says that in the beginning there was God and there was the Word of God, who also is God. This is the way it plainly reads.

And there are also other scriptures which they were able to use to compare scripture with scripture. We see here God the Father speaking to the Son:

Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.

What did the Father call His Son? O God. He is speaking to His Son and addressing Him as God.

Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Here is God speaking to God.

Why Is He Called the Son?

If He is pre-existent and has no borrowed life, if He didn’t get life from the Father but He had it in Himself, why then is He called the Son of God? The Son of God is speaking here:

Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Was He literally born? According to that scripture, it was by decree that He was called God’s Son. God made a decree upon the second Person of the Godhead. I am going to call You My Son, He said. When God decided that He was going to create the universe He knew that if He was going to create other living creatures there was the possibility that sin would arise, so the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit decided that They would establish a picture of Themselves to the creatures they created. They counselled among Themselves that if sin should arise They would place Themselves in certain positions before the beings They created, to work a plan of salvation. And God the Father said to the Word, “I shall declare a decree: You are My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.” So ever since that decree the Word, which was God, was called the Son of God. When God decrees something it becomes a reality.

So although He was not born, and He had life unborrowed within Himself because He was part of the Godhead, yet He was declared by decree to be the Son. This is what the pioneers of the Advent faith gradually discovered under the guidance of God in the Spirit of Prophecy.

A Correct Understanding

Why then are those texts of 1 Timothy 2:5, John 17:3 and 1 Corinthians 8:6 worded that way? How come those things were written and people are given occasion to use these texts as a foundation for their wrong beliefs? Let the Bible explain itself.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Who was He? He was in the form of God;

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Can we now see what those three texts (above referred to) are saying? “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” This man Christ Jesus was actually God, but He made Himself of no reputation. Do you follow? Therefore the scriptures that people read to say that there is only God the Father, and not God the Son or God the Holy Spirit, are actually written that way because to help us to have God very close to us Jesus made Himself of no reputation; and therefore Jesus, as a man, would cry, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? He had relinquished His position as God, and He cried unto the Father, saying, My God! This is correctly comparing scripture with scripture. So in reality, all those scriptures that people use to say that Jesus is not one of God, are actually expressing those things because He made Himself of no reputation. He was subordinate to God.

Therefore, if we misread the Scriptures we will be deluded, and we will hold fallacies as truth. But when we compare scripture with scripture and carefully let the Scriptures explain themselves, we will put away our delusions. We must let the Bible unravel our delusions and fill us with pure truth. We are called upon to correctly interpret the Scriptures by correctly reading and dividing the word in its own explanations.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There are scriptures that can be misread if you are not correctly dividing them. But there are also scriptures that say plainly that God is one God in three persons. And in the light of these Bible texts we then get a clear understanding of other Bible texts.

The Benefit

What is the benefit of understanding how these delusions are clarified by correctly reading the Bible?

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: 

How does that fit in? This word “one” comes from the Hebrew word “achad”, and it means “one in unity”. Our Lord is one in unity. So God is one in unity of three. This is spelt out in the words of John, where the unity that existed between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is identified. Jesus here addresses the position that He had with God before He gave it up to come down to earth; He prayed for His followers,

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

As the Father and the Son are one in unity, so He is praying that we, His disciples, would be one.

John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The oneness of the perfect unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is so that we could have that unity as well – to be one together with God. We may be as united as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are. They are so close to one another that they can be called one God in unity.

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

Jesus was God. He became a human being but He was an heir of God. He was part of the Godhead. And He is lifting us in unity with the Godhead. We can be heirs of God, part of the unity that exists in the Godhead. What a privilege.

The church is to be the body of Christ; it is to be one church – one body, but many people; just like there is one God, but three. One church, one faith. This is the true appreciation of that “one God” that we may be part of:
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One body, but many members; one God, but three persons.

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

Can we grasp the precious privilege that is ours if we can believe that three comprise the Godhead, so that many can comprise one unit, even though they are many? This is a beautiful picture. And as we submit ourselves to this subject in its truth, our befogged and deluded mind begins to appreciate what is our privilege – one body, one in unity.

Amen.

The Forbidden Sayings of Jesus


Have you ever heard of the Gnostic Gospels? They’re a collection of 60 or so texts written from the first to third century, based on the wisdom teachings of several prophets and spiritual leaders—including Jesus. In fact, they’ve been referred to as “the secret sayings of the savior”.
Many of the gospels were written in the first through third centuries, about the same time as their more famous brethren, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. Once in wide circulation, these gospels were passed around fledgling churches throughout the Mideast and beyond and show the rich diversity of early Christian beliefs.

There’s just one problem: in the fourth century, the early Roman church declared the books heretical in an attempt to centralize authority and get all Christians literally on the same page. The edict came down not just to stop reading these books, but to destroy every last one of them.

In spite of the best efforts of the book burners, many of these texts survive today. A treasure trove of them were discovered in 1945 in Egypt. But they are largely ignored or even considered taboo by mainstream religions. (Two examples: the reverend at my local church acted as if he had never heard of them, while a mild-mannered former priest I know agitatedly called the texts “pure garbage” when I asked about them.)

So what are these Gnostic books all about and why do they strike fear and loathing in some people? I’ve read 30 to 40 of the texts and can report the themes are as varied as those found in the Bible, with topics ranging from creation mythology to wild tales of a coming apocalypse. Most interesting though, and perhaps most controversial, are the many passages about the sayings of Jesus.

Like the Bible, some of the passages will leave you scratching your head. Yet, there are common themes that come up again and again threading their way through several of the texts. The Web site The Gnosis Archive sums it up this way:

Gnosticism asserts that…direct, personal and absolute knowledge of the authentic truths of existence is accessible to human beings…and the attainment of such knowledge is the supreme achievement of human life.

The key words here are direct and personal. There are several Gnostic passages that state that you and I have the power to tap directly into the higher source of knowledge. Consider the two sayings that follow, both attributed to Jesus (followed by the name of the Gnostic text):

What you seek after (is) within you. ~The Dialogue of the Savior

Beware that no one lead you astray, saying ‘Lo here!’ or ‘Lo there!’ For the Son of Man is within you. Follow after him! Those who seek him will find him. ~The Gospel of Mary

Note the common words “within you”. They may sound innocent enough but they’re really quite radical. After all, if what we seek after is inside us, it cuts out the need for a middleman to reach God. Which may explain why in the early church and even today the Gnostic Gospels are considered religious texts non grata.

Other Gnostic books continue this theme by pointing out the rich rewards and wisdom that can be found by looking within. Again, all of these passages are said to be the actual words of Jesus:

He who has known himself has…already achieved knowledge about the depth of all. ~The Book of Thomas The Contender

Those who have come to know themselves will enjoy their possessions. ~Gospel of Phillip

That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. ~Gospel of Thomas


A copy of the The Gospel of Thomas, discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi

There are also several additional interesting passages from the Gospel of Thomas, which many scholars think was written before the four traditional Gospels of the Bible. A common theme is that God and the Kingdom of Heaven are right in front of us, here on this Earth, if we can only learn to see them:

The Kingdom is inside of you and it is outside of you. ~Gospel of Thomas

Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest. ~Gospel of Thomas

His disciples said, “When will the Kingdom come?” 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. ~Gospel of Thomas

As you can see, many of the ideas in the Gnostic Gospels run counter to mainstream Christian beliefs. Yet, they give me a greater appreciation for Christianity and Jesus than I can find in any church or read in any traditional version of the Bible.

Some Things You Completely Loose When You Become Spiritually Awakened


As we grow, become more aware, and love, our thoughts and actions change as well.

This is not only due to our goals changing but the resources we draw on become more productive. As we ‘wake’ to the world as it truly is, the truth of it all changes us from the core outward.

We are till human so we still experience and project negativity, but the magnitude and length of time being negative changes.

I still get angry at some fairly dumb things, but where before I would become a ball of rage and self destruction, I accept it as it is and smile to my heart.

I thank it for being able to experience an array of emotions and through that love and acceptance, my rage subsides. Through the years of experience and learning, I have come to understand the pitfalls life can trick us into stepping into.

Here is a list of some of those emotions and concepts that you will naturally let go of as you reach higher levels of consciousness.

Hatred

I talked on this a little but anger and hate are sadly dominant aspects of our society.

Anger is like a fire in our souls, that clouds our eyes with smoke and chokes up true expressions. The feeling from anger is nauseating and entirely destructive. After spending long enough in the presence of love, hatred makes us feel physically ill.

The once perceived strength that comes from anger, is seen as one dimensional and unproductive.

Jealousy

Jealousy is a direct descendant of comparative thought.

WE look at what we have and compare it to another. We then judge the two parties off superficial elements. As we grow as people and fill our lives with love and works of compassion, we stop worrying about what others have.

We acknowledge our own successes and failures as being precious and irreplaceable. This makes our mental and spiritual ‘belongings’ priceless.

The joy attached to experiences and loved ones has shown us the flimsiness of the pursuit of physical objects. As we see others with a deeper understanding or a more powerfully expressed form of love, we are glad to have witnessed it. 

We are filled with joy at the success of others, because everyone deserves to be happy.

Fear of Failure

For you to have built up your consciousness and prepare your tools of mindfulness, you have undoubtedly stumbled more than once. 

But as we grow older and wiser, we fear scrapped knees less and less.

We know that that the harm of failure only extends as far as a lesson not learned. We welcome all opportunities of growth and knowledge.

Our ‘tools’ wouldn’t be nearly so sharp if we never ‘sharpened’ them on suffering.

Insecurity

This thought child of comparative thought is normally one of the first negative formations to leave us. Insecurity can not prevail where there is acceptance, love and hope for the future.

We remember that we are a perfect and constantly evolving form of beauty.

Anxiety

The future and past are nothing more than mysteries and stories.
We don’t allow the unknown to cause us discomfort. We have faced it down many times and survived for the better.

Revenge

If someone wrongs us, the natural urge at one point was to return the favor.

As we conquer our own negative formations, we come to recognize the pain that fuels the antagonists in our life. We don’t hate them, we don’t want to inject more negativity into the world.

Staying wary of potential harm, we avoid it or try to save it from the negativity of their actions.

This Week’s Torah Portion | May 14 – May 20, 2017 – 18 Lyar – 24 Lyar, 5777


BeHukotai (In My Statutes) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

BEHAR/BECHUKOTAI 

TORAH : LEVITICUS 25:1-27:34

PROPHETS : JEREMIAH 16:19-17:14

GOSPEL : LUKE 13:1-33/JOHN 10:22-42/LUKE 14:1-15:32

From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets. 

We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world. The references for all texts are those found in English translations of the Scriptures. 

May 16 is Day #35 of “Counting the Omer” to Pentecost

The Parashah for this week May 14-20, 2017 is a “double reading”:

I. B’har—“On the Mount”

     TORAH: Leviticus 25:1—26:2

     *HAFTARAH: Jeremiah 32:6-27

II. B’Chukotai—“In My Statutes”

     TORAH: Leviticus 26:3—27:34

      HAFTARAH: Jeremiah 16:19—17:14

  • On weeks in which a “double reading” occurs, only the Haftarah of the second reading is generally used.

B’Har

*Leviticus 25:2, 23: “When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD…for the Land is Mine, for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me.” 

The land in which Elohim ordained that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should dwell is precious to Him. Last week’s readings spoke of His causing that land itself to spit out inhabitants who defiled it with gross sin. In this chapter Israel was commanded to allow the Land to observe its own regular ‘sabbaths’ to the LORD. Every seven years, the land was to be allowed to rest. Unfortunately, Israel chose to ignore this earnest direction from her Lord. When Judah was eventually carried away captive in Babylon, the LORD said that for 70 years the land would now finally receive the rests which it had been denied.

PLEASE PRAY: that Israel will deal wisely with the land to which God has returned to her, coming to realize that it is a gift, and also a holy charge. That she will come into a relationship with her God which will enable her in His timing to be entrusted with all of the land He has promised to return to her oversight (Ezekiel 36:4-8 teaches of a time when the very land currently under contention in Judea and Samaria will “put forth its branches” to bear fruit for the returned children of Jacob).

*Leviticus 25:8-10 (Trans: Alter): “And you shall count you seven Sabbaths of years, seven years seven times, and the days of the seven Sabbaths of years shall come to forty-nine years. And you shall send round a blasting ram’s horn, in the seventh month on the tenth of the month, on the Day of Atonement, you shall send round a ram’s horn through all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and call a release [or liberty] in the land to all its inhabitants. A jubilee it shall be for you, and you shall go back each man to his holding and each man to his clan, you shall go back. It is a jubilee, the fiftieth year it shall be for you. You shall not sow and you shall not reap its aftergrowths and you shall not pick its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy for you.” 

Just as we are presently ‘counting the omer’ up to the fiftieth day (Pentecost) upon which the Spirit of Freedom (II Corinthians 3:17) was released, the Hebrews in the land were asked to count seven “sabbaths” of years, and then to proclaim Dror!— “Release!” “Freedom!” “Liberty!” This was to be a year of “freeing up”—both for the land, and for those Israelites who, because of financial hardship, had placed themselves under servitude to their brothers. It was to be a Jubilee! The name is related to the Hebrew yovel—which is another name for a shofar or “ram’s horn” (The word yovel is actually combined in usage with the word shofar in Joshua 6:4).

It is significant that in the 50th year, this freedom-proclaiming horn was carried round on Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement”—the very day in which the congregation was released from its sin for the previous year. And it was significant that the freedom-blasts were made with a ram’s horn. The “ram caught by its horn in the thicket” (Genesis 22:13) had signified the atoning, substitutionary sacrifice for Isaac (God had provided the Lamb). Such a horn would release its redemptive sound every fifty years upon God’s Day of Atonement to proclaim freedom from slavery and debt.  

It is significant that today, the fast of Yom Kippur always comes to an end with one long blast of the shofar. We believe this to signify the coming Great Day when the “last shofar” of God (I Cor. 15:52, Hebrew translation) is sounded to proclaim eternal freedom from death and our fallen earthly natures, and Celebration in Heaven and on Earth with the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World!

*Leviticus 25:10b. “…Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.”   

This portion of Lev. 25:10 is quoted on the American “Liberty Bell” in Philadelphia, founded in 1753. A park southwest of the Old City in Jerusalem contains a replica of this bell, and is in fact itself called “Bell Park.” Yet it is important for Israelis to realize that the word dror in the context of this verse is by no means referring to a humanistic, general “liberty” from all human constraints. Rather, it is a God-ordained release from oppression and bondage into a new freedom in His presence! This is the same word used in Isaiah 61 where the “Spirit of the Lord GOD” (Adonai YHVH) is present to “proclaim liberty to the captives.” 

We are grateful for the freedoms we presently enjoy in the nation of Israel. But for our people to be really free, it will take a work of the “Spirit of the Lord GOD!” II Corinthians 3:17 of the New Covenant Scriptures reads, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!”   
PLEASE PRAY: FOR A RELEASE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD OVER ISRAEL TO BRING US INTO A TRUE FREEDOM—through grace and supplication to see, be convicted for, and freed from our sin (Zech. 12:10); through washing of regeneration and renewing to become clean and born anew (Titus 3:5); through the love of God having been shed abroad in our hearts, to be filled with hope, no longer disappointed and ashamed (Romans 5:5); through being filled, to speak the word of God with boldness, stretching out our hands to heal, that signs and wonders may be done through the name of God’s holy Servant Yeshua! (Acts 4:29-31) . 

“ ‘…and I will not hide my face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:29). 

*Leviticus 25:18-19. “So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.”  

It is essential to realize in our prayers, that Israel’s capacity to dwell safely in the land, and the land’s capacity itself to stay fertile and productive, is related to her relationship with her God. Israel is currently in a period of grace as her gathering is completed—but God is bringing her back to give her revelation and understanding of herself, to be cleansed and to return to her God (Ezekiel 36, 37; Jeremiah 31). The fact that she is a “chosen people” does not in and of itself guarantee her safety. We must pray that the veil be removed, and that Israel will return to the Shepherd of her soul.

*Leviticus 25:23. “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners (“sojourning settlers”) with Me.”

B’Chukotai

With this reading we come to the end of the Book of Leviticus. Chapter 26 brings the book-proper to a close (Chapter 27 is an appendix “focusing on a variety of laws pertaining to voluntary offerings and taxed obligations to the sanctuary). Chapter 26 emphasizes the favor and blessing which will accompany walking in obedience to statutes and commandments of the Lord (vss 3-13)—Obedience will affect the very weather and soil of the land, even as dis-obedience (in the Garden of Eden) had brought a curse on the ground.

Then follow five necessary warnings of the consequences for getting out from under the Protection afforded by obedience to God’s directives. Each of these warnings is preceded by “But if you do not obey Me”—or, “And after all this, if you do not obey Me”—or, “Then if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me”—or, “And if by these things you are not reformed by me, but walk contrary to me’. (The clear implication is that it is the LORD’s desire that these severe disciplines will draw His people back into His way of life, not away from it.)

Verses 34-35 deal with the recovery of the Land if Israel is finally ejected, the plight of Israel in exile without God (36-39); and the restoration of the people when they at last humble themselves (“It is the Lord’s mercies which lead us to repentance”) and turn back to seek His ways. These closing words would be a comfort, an encouragement to repentance, a hope of a future for Jews—both during the future exile in Babylon, and through an even greater exile down to today.

As we complete our way through each of the Books of Moses, it is customary to end the reading with the following declaration: 

“Chazak, Chazak, v’Nit’Chazek!!

“Be Strong! Be Strong! And may we be Strengthened!”

*Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NIV): “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’”

This is a wonderful passage to pray over the Body of Messiah in Israel. It is so essential that we be weaned from trusting in our own natural abilities—otherwise, we will not even see true prosperity when it arrives. We know that ‘heat’ will be coming, and in many forms . But it is God’s desire that we be so rooted in the streams of His living Spirit that His grace will keep us green and fruitful, even during those times.   

PLEASE PRAY: that we be nurtured and trained in placing our trust and confidence totally in Him. We pray the same for you!

*Jeremiah 17:14: “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be ashamed. ‘Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the source of living water, the LORD.’ Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.” 

HaTiqva—“The Hope,” is the name of Israel’s national anthem. The ‘hope’ in that song is “to be a nation free in our Land.” But Israel will never be truly ‘free’ in her land until the Son has set her free and she is “free indeed” (John 8:36)—until she realizes that the LORD alone is her ‘Hope.’ EACH YEAR WE SEE THIS MORE AND MORE BEGINNING TO HAPPEN!! Please continue to pray that more and more Israelis will find the ‘Source of living water”—our healing, our Salvation—and that He become “Our Praise!”

The Parashah for next week May 21-17, 2017 is called B’Midbar—“In the Desert.” 

TORAH: Numbers 1:1—4:20

HAFTARAH: Hosea 1:10—2:20

In A Nutshell

The portion, BeHukotai (In My Statutes), deals primarily with the topic of reward and punishment for the children of Israel according to their behavior—whether they follow the ways of the Creator. It is written, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and do them” (Leviticus, 26:3). The portion begins with presenting the reward: “Then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit” (Leviticus, 26:4). Opposite that is the presentation of the punishment: “But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments” (Leviticus, 26:14), “I will appoint terror over you: the tuberculosis and the malaria,” (Leviticus, 26:16), and the worst punishment of all—exile.

If the people of Israel repent, the Creator promises to remember the covenant He has made with them and forgive them. It is written, “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God” (Leviticus, 26:44). The portion ends with additional laws concerning vows, ostracism, tithing, and others.

Commentary

The issue of reward and punishment was not presented at the beginning of the Torah because it is impossible to understand it unless you are able to make free choice. Without this ability it is pointless to instructions on this issue. First you must learn the laws and judgments. Then, if you keep them you will be rewarded, and if not, you will be punished. You cannot punish in advance. First one needs to reach the spiritual degree of shifting from unfounded hatred to brotherly love, to “love your neighbor as yourself,”[1] which is the whole Torah. This is the way we must walk: we must correct our evil inclination and turn it into a good inclination through the light that reforms[2], by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, the wisdom of light.

An ordinary person does not have free choice. Rather, such a person is “managed” by Reshimot (recollections), which are desires and thoughts that awaken within without knowing their origin. A person simply wants something without knowing the source of that desires, living one’s life aiming to satisfy the desire that awakens within without any ability to rise above those Reshimot, these bits of data, or govern them.

Such people cannot scrutinize and sort: I want this but I do not … as it is written, “And you will not follow after your own heart” (Numbers, 15:39). Rather they do it as a natural instinct, as part of the process of development. This sort of work does not require reward or punishment. This is why it is written, “They are as beasts” (Psalms, 49:13).

A person begins to develop through the Torah—by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah and drawing the light that reforms, thus correcting the heart. The heart is all the desires we must correct from aiming to receive for ourselves to aiming to bestow, to love of others, in favor of the world and in equivalence of form with the Creator—similarity with Him, as good as He is.

We do not feel this goodness because it is hidden from us. Through our egos we feel everything as bad, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.”[3] We are required to gain extensive knowledge and experience in order to correct ourselves so we can control our inclinations and thoughts, to aim those lights, those upper forces, and connect with the right approach, in mutuality and partnership with the Creator. By that we adhere to the Creator, connect with Him, understand the purpose, the plan of creation, everything that is happening, and the process we must undergo.
In the physical world we teach children until they are twenty years old or so. According to the Torah, at twenty, a child is ready for everything, unlike at thirteen. At twenty years of age we can control everything and be in our own right. That degree gives one the ability to withstand any correction in spirituality, face the reward and the punishment.

We cannot tell a person who knows nothing, “Be careful or you will be punished.” That person is like a little child who has no idea what is being asked. Therefore, reward and punishment requires serious preparation.

This portion comes after a person has gone through a lot, the exit from Babylon, the development leading to the exile in Egypt, the reception of the Torah, and so forth. Following the learning in the desert, a person seemingly rises a little above the ego, gradually reaching the state of reward and punishment.

Today the whole world is in a process and a system that are in fact, reward and punishment. All 613 Mitzvot (commandments) are to correct the evil in us toward others. We are all good to ourselves and to an extent, mean to others. We must invert it, become considerate only of others because this is the only way is go from “The love of man to the love of God.”[4]

Many people doubt that it is even true that if they correct their attitude toward others, as in “love your neighbor as yourself,” which is the great rule of Torah, all the problems and illnesses, and all the bad in the world will be corrected.

Can we prevent diseases and plagues by correcting our relations? Will the climate suddenly change for the better and we will live in paradise? What is the connection between treating others well and a good life in every sense and on every level?

This is just how it works—keeping the law, “love your neighbor as yourself,” corrects everything; there are no other Mitzvot. All 613 Mitzvot are the 613 desires in our soul. They appear when we begin to correct and rise above our “beasts” in the correction of the human in us, in our desire to connect with others, to give them abundance, desiring to rise above ourselves in order to discover the Creator.

As we come to know the 613 desires of the soul, we discover that they are all bad. This is why we say during the days of the Selihot (asking forgiveness, special days before Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement]) and on Yom Kippur, “We are to blame,” “We are at fault,” without understanding where all this evil came from.

As we discover our soul, we first discover that it is broken. This is how we receive it because “I have created the evil inclination.”[3] If we correct these desires we will not need to correct anything else, and all the problems will vanish and disappear.

It is written in the portion that if they follow it they will have rain in time, health, and success in everything they do. They will be blessed in everything. It seems perplexing that there is a connection between rain and good behavior, especially if we are talking about treatment of others. And yet, this is the general solution for everyone.

According to the development of humanity, we are in a state where we are begin to take control over our fates, something we did not have before. It is surprising because we have always developed through desires that appeared from within.

Today, however, we are moving into a very special situation where the next degree is appearing to us, the degree of the “round,” integral world where everyone is interconnected, and where the obligation to be “as one man with one heart”[5] is appearing.

For the first time in history we must implement this law, and not only in Israel, but throughout the world. Therefore, we must tell about it and explain to everyone, learn, to teach, and be the “light of the nations” (Isaiah, 42:6). We must convey the light that corrects the evil inclination, and this is how the whole world will achieve the desirable correction.

Questions and Answers

If I can see and feel the reward or punishment, there is no need to explain. If I mistakenly put my hand in the fire, I will naturally pull it out. But if I cannot see or feel the transgression, what is the point of explaining it? I cannot keep what I do not know, so what are the reward and punishment for, and for whom is the explanation?

We are not talking about putting our hand in the fire. We are talking about correcting our egoistic desires. Each desire is luring us to what appears as good so we will profit at the expense of others, consider only ourselves, and never give a thought to what happens outside of us. This is how we feel naturally, namely that the world was created for our own pleasure. But the Torah requires the opposite—that we rise above the ego and transform into “love your neighbor as yourself.”

This is why we must obtain Arvut (mutual guarantee) between us, Arvut that was the initial precondition for the reception of the Torah. Arvut means that I think of everyone and vouch for them. It seems as though the Arvut is like signing for everyone and being responsible for what every person does. This is unreasonable. Yet, this is the degree we must achieve. It is the correction we must eventually obtain.

The world is advancing. Each day we are discovering that it is changing toward demanding this of us. The Torah explains that if we do this, things will be good, and if we do not, we will be punished. And if we are completely unworthy, we will be exiled.

Exile is complete detachment. It is a state where one is living a harsh life, detached and tormented. These torments are like the torments of Pharaoh, leading us back toward the goal, as was said about Pharaoh, who “brought the children of Israel closer to our Father in heaven.”[6] From this point onward we try once more to rise to the degree of choice.

It is best if we learn in advance what to do and how, and on what it depends. We need to learn the general law of reality using the wisdom of Kabbalah, which explains how the forces act on us, how they are set up, and how they rear us as embryos and as growing children.

As we are advancing toward that state, we must take upon ourselves the laws of this vast reality, and keep it consciously and willingly. In other words, we have to change our desires, as it is written, “Make your wish as His wish.”[7]

The world is in a very difficult state today. If we look at where we are and at what lies ahead, we will feel obliged to make that leap of faith and spread the wisdom of Kabbalah.

From The Zohar: If You Walk in My Statutes

“If you walk in My statutes.” “In My statutes” is Malchut, the place upon which the sentences of the Torah depend, as it is written, “My statutes shall you keep.” Malchut is called “law.” The sentences of the Torah are included in her. “My ordinances shall you keep.” An ordinance is another, high place, ZA, to which that statute, Malchut, grips. Thus, upper and lower conjoin. The statutes in Malchut are in the ordinances in ZA, and all the Mitzvot [commandments] in the Torah and all the sentences in the Torah and all the sanctities in the Torah are gripped to these ZA and Malchut, since the written Torah is ZA and the oral Torah is Malchut.

Zohar for All, BeHukotai (In My Statutes), item 16

Malchut is called the “Assembly of Israel” because she assembles all our souls. She is also called Shechina (Divinity) because the Creator is in her. She becomes revealed by the law of equivalence of form.

The Creator is called “The Holy One Blessed Be He,” Zeir Anpin. Toward Malchut, it is her upper one, and the upper one is always considered the “emanator.” Our work is only to correct Malchut (kingdom/kingship) as it is written, “To correct [also establish] the world in the kingdom of Shadai [the Lord].”[8]

The world is concealed, and we must make everything revealed. Shadai means She Dai (enough), meaning under limitations. When Malchut clings to Zeir Anpin there will be Zivug (coupling), connection between them. This will connect the Creator and the Shechina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut, law and ordinance, the written Torah and the oral Torah. Everything will connect.

It is not the Torah that we know as a printed book or as text on parchment. Rather, the Torah is a revelation of the Creator to the creature. According to our level of revelation, we have the written Torah and the oral Torah, either at the level of Malchut or at the level of Zeir Anpin. The Zohar relates to our ascent from souls scattered in the worlds Beria, Yetzira, Assiya, to the collection of our souls, desires, our cravings to reveal the Creator, to rise to His degree, when all of us gather in Malchut, the Assembly of Israel. By the force of our desire to be together we compel Malchut to rise to Zeir Anpin and unite with him. This is how we achieve Dvekut with the Creator.

Do reward and punishment indicate where we are not acting according to nature’s laws, so nature acts toward us in an unfavorable manner?

We live in the world we have built for us. Even now we are standing right before the light of Ein Sof (infinity). The world is a projection of our own qualities. The Creator fills everything; we only feel the world outside and others. That is, we only feel our own qualities: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking, projecting various shades on the abstract light, which we see as the image of the world. We have no idea how truly immersed we are in that depiction, in the charade. We build our world by ourselves. The wisdom of Kabbalah often writes about it, such as in Baal HaSulam’s “Preface to the Book of Zohar,” and in the ARI’s Gate to Intentions.

Today even science is saying that to the extent that we correct ourselves, we see an opposite world. If we change one of our qualities from bad to good, we will see a different world. This is how we correct all the desires that the light that reforms shows us. Of course, it is impossible to correct them alone, but one can ask for the correction and sympathize with it, and thus achieve the corrected state.

In other words, the animate degree that humanity is currently in must pass away and rise to a higher degree, called Adam (human). Only then will we understand what reward and punishment truly are feel them.

When and how will that transformation take place?

It will happen only through disseminating the wisdom of Kabbalah, as the Kabbalists write. This is why the Kabbalists hid it until now, as Baal HaSulam writes in his essay, “Time to Act.” Today we must disseminate the wisdom and correct ourselves, as well as work for the correction of the world, thus being a “light for the nations.”

Is this the natural flow of humanity?

Of course, we have to do it. It is the future of the whole of humanity. In the near future all of us will have to make that change. First, the people of Israel will dispel anti-Semitism and the negative attitude toward Israel that is prevailing in the world today.

Actually, anti-Semitism is a natural attitude, which will only worsen as the ego grows and the people of Israel delay the correction. Israel will be blamed for the world not being in good condition. It is arranged this way from above. The world is feeling it subconsciously, and we are witnessing reflections of that accusation on a daily basis.

From The Zohar: Seven Times More for Your Sins

The Creator’s sublime love for Israel is like a king who had an only son who sinned before the king. One day, he sinned before the king. The king said, “All those days I have been striking you but you did not receive. Henceforth, see what I will do to you. If I expel you from the land and take you out of the kingdom, bears might charge you in the field, or wild wolves or murderers could obliterate you from the world. What should I do? Instead, you and I will go out of the land.”

“You and I will leave the land and go into exile.” This is what the Creator said to Israel. “What shall I do with you? I have stricken you but you would not listen; I have brought upon you enemies at war and harm-doers to strike you, but you would not listen. If I take you out of the land alone, I fear that several bears and several wolves will rise against you and obliterate you from the world. But what shall I do with you? Thus, you and I will leave the land and go into exile, as it is written, ‘And I will chastise you,’ to go into exile. And if you say that I will leave you, I, too, am with you.”

Zohar for All, BeHukotai (In My Statutes), item 49-50

The above text does not concern exile from the plot of land we live on and call “the land of Israel.” rather; it is exile from the spiritual land of Israel. The word Eretz (land) comes from the word Ratzon (desire). Ysrael (Israel) comes from the words Yashar El (straight to God). We want to correct all of our 613 desires one at a time, so they all aim Yashar El, in order to bestow, like the Creator.

It is called being in the “complete land of Israel.” As long as we want to correct our desires so they are Israel, we will be worthy of being in those desires, as well as in the physical land of Israel. Baal HaSulam writes that we have received the land of Israel and the state of Israel as an advance so we may begin the correction. However, we have not actually won it, and if we do not carry out the correction, it will be taken away from us.

[1] Jerusalem Talmud, Seder Nashim, Masechet Nedarim, Chapter 9, p 30b.

[2] “Through engaging in it, the light in it would reform them” (Midrash Rabah, Eicha, Introduction, Paragraph 2).

[3] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Kidushin, 30b.

[4] Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Love of God and the Love of Man,” p 482.

[5] RASHI, Exodus, 19b.

[6] “Who caused Israel to draw near to their father in heaven? It was Pharaoh, as it is written, ‘And Pharaoh drew near’” (Zohar for All, BeShalach (When Pharaoh Sent), item 67)

[7] Mishnah, Seder Nezikin, Masechet Avot, Chapter 2, Mishnah 4

[8] Likutey Moharan (Assorted sermons of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev), Part 1, 17.