November 15, 2019

Revelation of Peter

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Last night I was reading a remarkable work of Scripture from the Nag Hammadi Scriptures – The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts. From Codex VII comes The Revelation of Peter, a most precise writing because the words come directly from Christ.

I would like to provide some of the highlights, which is difficult to do because the entire piece is a highlight. Note: Any emboldening is mine.

Jesus Christ, the Savior, and Peter were sitting in the Temple. Jesus said to Peter, “Blessed are those who belong to the Father, for they are above the heavens. It is he who through me revealed life to people from life. I reminded those built on what is strong that they should listen to my teaching and learn to tell the difference between words of unrighteousness or lawlessness and words of righteousness, which come from the height of every word from the fullness of truth. These people have been enlightened in good pleasure by him whom the principalities sought but did not find, nor was he proclaimed among any of the generations of the prophets; now I have appeared among these people as the Son of Humanity, exalted above the heavens, among a huge number of people of the same nature.”

Jesus and Peter are threatened by people coming at them with stones. Jesus reminds Peter that these people are blind and have no leader. He tells him if he wants to know what it’s like, to put his hands over his eyes and ears. At that moment Peter is blessed with the real knowledge of the Savior and because of that he understands that while he hears the voices of the priests and the scholars “praising you as you are sitting here,” he is, once again, reminded by the Savior that these people are blind and deaf. Peter is then told to, “Listen to the things I am telling you in secret and keep them. Do not tell them to the children of this age. For they will denounce you during these ages, since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you when there is knowledge.”

Even though many will hear the Word of God and follow it, they will revert back to their “error,” as the Savior called it. Jesus tells Peter, “Those who have associated with people of error will become their prisoners, since they are without perception. But the good person, who is pure and upright, will be handed over to the dealer in death, in a kingdom of those who praise a Christ of a future restored world. And they also praise people who preach this falsehood, people who will come after you. They will hold on to the name of a dead man, thinking that in this way they will become pure, but instead they will become more and more defiled. They will fall into a name of error and into the hand of an evil deceiver with complicated doctrines, and they will be dominated with heresy.

“Some of them will blaspheme the truth and proclaim evil teachings, and they will speak evil against each other. Some of them will give themselves a name, for they stand in the power of the rulers: the name of a man and a naked woman of many forms and many sufferings. And those who say all this will inquire into dreams, and if they claim that a dream came from a demon, which is appropriate for their error, they shall be granted perdition instead of incorruption.”

“Evil cannot produce good fruit. Everything, wherever it comes from, produces what is like it. Not every soul is of the truth, nor of immortality. In our opinion, every soul of these present times is assigned to death and is always enslaved, since the soul is created for its own desires. These souls are destined for eternal destruction, in which they are and from which they are, for they love the creatures of matter that came into being with them.

“But immortal souls are not like these, Peter. Still, as long as the hour has not yet come, an immortal soul resembles mortal souls. It will not reveal its true nature: it alone is immortal and contemplates immortality, and has faith, and has desire to renounce these mortal souls.

“People do not gather figs from thistles or thorns, if they are wise, nor grapes from thornbushes. Something always stays in that state in which it exists. If something is in a bad state, that becomes destruction and death for the soul. But the soul abides in the eternal one, the source of life and immortality of life that these resemble.

“All that does not really exist will dissolve into nothingness, and those who are deaf and blind associate only with people like them.”

“Others will wander from evil words and mysteries that lead people astray. some who do not understand the mysteries and speak of what they do not understand will boast that the mystery of truth is theirs alone. In arrogance they will embrace pride and will envy the immortal soul that has been used as down payment. For every authority, principality, and power of the ages wants to be with the immortal souls that do exist. The powers have not been saved or shown the way by them, though they always have wished to become imperishable. For if an immortal soul is empowered by a spirit of thought, at once it is joined by one of those who were led astray.

Many others, who oppose truth and are messengers of error will ordain their error and their law against my pure thoughts. Since they see from one perspective only, they think good and evil come from the same source. They do business in my word. And they will establish harsh fate in which the generation of immortal souls will run in vain, until my return…”

Some will create a mere imitation of the remnant in the name of a dead man, who is Hermas, the firstborn of unrighteousness, in order that the little ones [True Believers] may not believe in the light that is. These are the workers who will be cast into the outer darkness, away from the children of light….”

“Still others among them endure suffering and think they will perfect the wisdom of the brotherhood that really exists, the spiritual fellowship with those united in communion, through which the wedding of incorruptibility will be revealed. Instead, what will appear is a mere imitation, the kindred generation of the sisterhood. These people oppress their brothers and say to them, ‘Through this fellowship our God has mercy, since salvation comes to us alone through this.’ They do not know the punishment of those who rejoice at what was done to the little ones, those who watched when the little ones were taken captive.

“And there are others among those outside our number who call themselves bishops and deacons, as if they have received authority from God, but they bow before the judgment of the leaders. These people are dry canals.”

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

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