While watching some man in jeans and a t-shirt preach a sermon this Sunday morning, said to be “senior pastor” at some ‘new wave’ branch of the Baptist Church, he touched on how early Christianity was changed due to philosophical adjustments that entered the churches. His point was that Paul went around establishing churches that changed after he left, causing him to write letters to ‘tell the congregation’ to stay true to what he told them before.
The two philosophical influences were what are today called “religious syncretism” and “Gnosticism.” Upon his on-stage TV screen, he brought up his definitions of these two philosophies, which he read and then explained. Under “Gnosticism” his definition said it required “a denial of Jesus as a deity.” That moved one of my ‘thought bones’ (connected to the Spirit bone) and led me to write this now.
In a general search of the Google space, typing in “Gnosticism,” this is the first response listed:
a prominent heretical movement of the 2nd-century Christian Church, partly of pre-Christian origin. Gnostic doctrine taught that the world was created and ruled by a lesser divinity, the demiurge, and that Christ was an emissary of the remote supreme divine being, esoteric knowledge (gnosis) of whom enabled the redemption of the human spirit.
The above definition needs to be understood as written by one of those (long ago) who crushed the life out of Gnostics, deeming those human beings to be heretics. Due to this mass murder (largely ordered by the ‘Inquisitioners of the Western world’ – the Roman Catholic Church), very few Gnostic writings survive today. As such, any unbiased definition needs to cease the guesswork and go to the basics.
The basics of “Gnosticism” is the etymology that begins with the word “gnosis,” meaning “knowledge based on personal experience.” This is important to grasp, because much of what people believe is based on their personal life experiences, where repetition over time becomes the teacher of truth. The past predicts the future, as discerned (knowledge) from personal experience.
The Wikipedia article entitled “Gnosticism” explains this:
“In a religious context, gnosis is mystical or esoteric knowledge based on direct participation with the divine. In most Gnostic systems, the sufficient cause of salvation is this "knowledge of" ("acquaintance with") the divine. It is an inward "knowing".”
This, again, is written by someone guessing (intellectual study leading to hypotheses), without actually having the personal experience of “the divine.” Thus, to reason “the sufficient cause of salvation” as ‘what these second century fools believed’ is a flawed conclusion. It becomes obvious the author had nobody explaining to him or her (as a true Gnostic – by definition) that “salvation” is not caused, but a reward. Such a reward is given by Yahweh (“the divine”) to His servants that sacrificed his or her soul-body to Him. That lack of intellect, willingly released to “the divine,” is what allows the tee-tiny brain of a human being to personally experience the utter vastness of KNOWLEDGE that comes from Yahweh. This “inward ‘knowing’” is then the divine possession of a soul-body, which is the truth of a Saint. Thus, all Saints were-are-and always will be, by definition, Gnostics, with nothing they KNOW and SPEAK being intellectually discerned.
As for the Baptist preacher’s definition that a Gnostic “denied Jesus was a god,” this is another misjudgment, based on a lack of personal experience. The man wearing the jeans and t-shirt only knew what his brain could lead him to know. He did not hear a voice inside his head that said, “Mortal, write down this definition of Gnosticism.” Had that have happened, the preacher would have remembered Yahweh sending down Moses with a sacred table that said (first), “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” This means Jesus – who certainly is a god to many, who place him right up there beside God, as an equal – must be denied.
When I write that, I mean Jesus the man – the flesh and bones that walked the earth roughly two thousand years ago – cannot be seen as a deity worthy of worship. To believe that is to place Jesus before Yahweh, which means Yahweh will turn one’s back to Him; because the First Commandment being broken means no KNOWLEDGE from Yahweh is ever going to that soul in flesh.
I have written in the past about the Cathari people (or Cathars), who were deemed Gnostics in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, who lived primarily in southwestern France. The first Papal Inquisition took place there, to exterminate them for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism. That genocide is referred to as the Albigensian Crusade. From what I read about the Cathars, the Vatican sent their most intelligent and eloquent religious debaters to Albi, France (also still known as Cathar country), to convince them conversion to Roman Catholicism was best for their souls. Every one of those men of intelligence would then return to Rome, reporting back, “We are the ones who have it all wrong and should convert to be like them.”
Those philosophical debates were won by rustic, hard-working weavers (mostly), who lived a hard life with a smile on their faces. None of them had attended any schools of religion, even though all were home-schooled to learn the Word in the Holy Bible. They were Christians, but ones who did not place coins in the offering box at a local Catholic cathedral. They had no name for themselves (other than Frenchmen); but those who knew them called them Cathari, from the Greek word for “Pure” (“katharos”). Those who spoke French called them “bons hommes,” “bonnes femmes,” or “bons Chrétiens” (“good men,” “good women,” or “good Christians”). They must be realized to have had the personal experience of Yahweh within them – men and women alike – making them KNOW how to live righteously, without the interference of self (a big brain thinking). It was that inner presence of KNOWING that made Yahweh a much better debater than someone intellectually schooled at a Vatican sponsored seminary.
When you understand the history of the Cathars, it is like seeing the life of Jesus multiplied. All were born into this world as souls in flesh and blood. All did not expect the world to make them kings and queens, or give them lives of luxury and recognition, so the lived in their spiritual presence, worked hard and smiled. Still, all were persecuted unfairly and murdered, in the name of justice.
When you see this parallel, you can then understand how Jesus in the flesh was not a deity, simply because he was unfairly charged with a crime, treated harshly and crucified to death. Even the criminal who died on a cross next to Jesus (and the guards and people below watching), cried out, "If you are the Son of God, save yourself." The soul is eternal, while the flesh is temporal; so, why would any soul totally in love with Yahweh (heart, mind, and soul) want to spend another second away from Him? Wanting to save the flesh makes the world a god one worships before Yahweh. As such, all of the Cathari people were Jesus reborn into flesh, who were killed the same as him, proving mortality is not to be deified. The flesh is never to be worshipped. Each and every one of the “good men” and “good women” of the books in the Holy Bible are not deified; and, they too were all “good Christians” (before the Greek word Christos was applied to the Hebrew Mashiach).
To see that Jesus was reborn in the “good people” of the Old Testament, as well as the Apostles of the New Testament, says that Jesus (the man born of Mary) was not an original being. When not an original being, it is impossible to be a deity. A deity is defined as a god, which is heavenly, not material. Jesus was the example sent for all souls likewise into flesh to be led to model.
That means it is important to realize that Mary and Joseph did not scratch their heads in the cave stable, with baby in a feeding trough for cows and mules, asking, “What do you think we should name him?” The archangel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” (Luke 1:31, NIV) That means the name “Jesus” was commanded by Yahweh and sent to Mary (who had found favor from Yahweh) via the messenger Gabriel; so, that name must be realized to have important meaning. That meaning behind the name says, “Yah Will Save, Yah Saves” (Abarim Publications), with “Yah” an abbreviated form of “Yahweh.” Thus, the name of Jesus says, “Yahweh’s Salvation,” meaning all “good Christians” in his name will have been Saved by Yahweh.
Yahweh is then the only deity – the Supreme Divine Being of Creation – who Christians and Jews must worship. Worshiping Yahweh does not mean singing songs and listening to speakers not teach the truth of the Word, while sitting in a pew, saying “Thanks be to God.” Worshiping Yahweh means sacrifice of self to Him (divine union via the Spirit) and being reborn as His Son. This means all true Christians and Jews [two differing religious dogmas] must become souls in bodies where the soul of Adam is resurrected, making one become in the name of Jesus, as one soul Yahweh has Saved. The presence of that divine soul makes it the Lord of one’s host soul, controlling that flesh so it lives righteously [the only way that can be accomplished]; and, that presence makes one become Gnostic [KNOWING, by the Christ Mind Lording over one’s brain].
The Son of Yahweh [Adam] is then a Creation of Yahweh, made for the purpose of Redemption and Salvation. The resurrection of that soul within a soul-body self-sacrificed to serve Yahweh makes Jesus be the name of one’s inner Lord [one's Yahweh elohim or adonai]. This realization should make any serious student (a disciple) of Christianity look back to Genesis, chapter two, where the only Son of Yahweh was made by His hand, on the seventh day, after everything else had been finished (work done by the gods Created by Yahweh [elohim]).
In Genesis 2, one finds written eleven times "Yahweh elohim," which is ‘God speak’ for a soul to be placed into a body of flesh, which we have been trained to call Adam (the Hebrew word for “man”). Later, the DNA (a sex chromosome ‘rib’) of Adam was taken and formed into the female form of Adam (XY > XX, with all else the same replicated), which we have been trained to call Eve (actually she is called isha, meaning “woman”). Adam and Eve are actually the eternal souls (elohim) made by Yahweh (as Yahweh elohim), for the purpose of entering into bodies of flesh, so the lost souls (those of the sixth day – male and female He made them) could be saved. They were made to become the priests of Yahweh, sent to the earthly plane to teach the heathen human beings about Yahweh.
Of course, to save the souls of human beings on the earthly plane, both Adam and Eve had to sin, get kicked out of Eden, marry, and then begin a lineage of Yahweh elohim on earth. Jesus is then the return of the Adam soul (Yahweh elohim) into a new body of flesh, born of Mary. That was not his first reappearance, as Jesus was the inner Lord of every Saint in the Old Testament, from Abel's replacement (Seth) onward [Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Aaron, Joshua, David, and all the Prophets and righteous people named]. The divine lineage of Jesus is stated in both Luke (from Adam) and Matthew (from Abraham). Jesus is Adam reborn; and, Adam is not worshiped as a deity.
When one has been a disciple of the ‘course load’ for Judaism and Christianity [the Torah, Psalms, and Prophets, plus the New Testament] and realizes what is written within the words written by Saints (hidden so the wise cannot see it), then self-sacrifice is the first step towards saying “Yes” to Yahweh’s proposal of marriage. Proving one's commitment to discipleship, through study that questions, "What does this mean?" leads to favor given by Yahweh (like that given to Mary, who received the soul of Adam, along with a baby to be in the name of Jesus). The next step is when the Anointment by Yahweh's Spirit is the official joining of two as one [and "Anointment" is the translation of both Messiah and Christ]. This divine union with Spirit then immediately places a second soul within one, which is Adam, making one (male and female) be in the name of Jesus [and Yahweh, being the Supreme Divine Being, can make as many reproductions of Adam's soul as there are brides at the altar of divine marriage; so, all will be resurrections bringing Jesus back to the earth].
When one has that name as one’s own (a Spiritual title), then one becomes KNOWING by this Advocate, who is the only one able to speak for Yahweh. Gnosticism is then a religion that only has Saints as members. Those Saints then teach the truth of the Word to seekers (disciples), motivating them to realize the need to self-sacrifice for Yahweh. That is the ministry of Jesus reborn. The only reason Gnosticism is not commonly known by the population today is the Church of Rome persecuted so many, way back when, that they almost became extinct.