Gnosticism

   By Rayola Kelley

Have you ever noticed how Christians seem to operate in extremes? Balance in the life of a Christian is a must in order to avoid the extremes of religious foolishness such as embracing false doctrines that are plaguing the church today. Only God’s perspective can bring balance.

There are two extremes that Christians can end up pursuing and both are referred to in 1 Corinthians 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock and unto the Greeks foolishness.” The Jews sought after signs and wonders; therefore the simplicity of the Gospel tripped them up because they looked for spiritual manifestations. Their focus kept them from accepting the work of the cross that ended with the greatest miracle ever, the resurrection of Christ.

Jesus stated that only a wicked generation seeks after signs (how much of the church is seeking signs today?). Wickedness always blinds people to the reality of the Gospel, causing them to overlook salvation.

The second thing people are searching for in the spiritual realm is spiritual knowledge. The Greeks pursued this type of knowledge with an unrelentless tenacity. The preaching of the cross sounded foolish to their intellectual ears. After all, they could not stoop to accept a message that was not shrouded in complicated knowledge; stamped with various degrees; upheld by the greatest philosophers or recognized by the most popular schools of thought. This Gospel promoted saving grace instead of salvation by works; faith in the unseen rather than that which could be evaluated by the senses and the mind; one absolute truth as opposed to various truths that could be explored and only one road to heaven. To the “enlightened” gnostic mindset such concepts had to be archaic-absolute foolishness! 

Today many in the church are pursuing after knowledge. Knowledge only puffs up, it can never edify. The problem with this pursuit is that is it misguided. It is true we need to seek for knowledge, but it must be directed at growing in the knowledge of the Person of Jesus who is all truth. Intellectual knowledge at best is carnal. It will ultimately demean, overlook and/or reject the simplicity of Christ and the cross.

This knowledge that is gaining momentum in the church today often goes one step further to embrace what is called “revelation knowledge.” This “revelation knowledge out; has nothing to do with a greater revelation of Jesus Christ. It actually refers to (esoteric) hidden truths that are revealed by spirit guides or demons supernaturally to the initiated who become part of the inner core or the elite.

This pursuit for “revelation knowledge” is called Gnosticism. Gnosticism is considered the doctrine of the antichrist. It is linked to Masonry and is behind every cult, the New Age movement and the Manifest Sons of God.

This doctrine has certain central beliefs that can be found at the root of the false movements that have gained a tremendous inroad into the church at the expense of ignorant and vulnerable people. Following are some of the heretical beliefs:

1) Their goal is to attain self-awareness as a being, or in other words, a god-consciousness. (what about self-denial to realize the person of Christ?).

2) The real world is spirit; therefore, the material realm is a snare (what about the fact that man was created by God with spirit, soul and body?)

3) All men possess a divine spark, a part of the divine being, but it has been imprisoned in human bodies (notice how sin (our fallen condition) and free will is not mentioned).

4) Reawakened by knowledge (not the Holy Spirit), which is considered the divine element can restore man to his proper home in the transcendent spiritual realm (so much for redemption, Christ’s death on the cross was all in vain).

Simply put, Gnosticism does not recognize the redemption of the body, only the transformation of the soul. This transformation can only be obtained through secret doctrines and rites associated with the initiated (the “apostles” and “prophets”). These doctrines and rites supposedly have the ability to rescue the divine spark from its evil material environment and be reunited with the divine (so much for the fact there is only one true God).

Gnostic doctrines include extreme indoctrination through repetition, aggressive, twisted and unscriptural teachings and choruses that have been readily accepted by the church. Certain religious practices are promoted that supposedly help a person to realize their divine spark or immortality. Emphasis on fasting, keeping the law, worldly repentance and holiness are few of the works that are encouraged by those who are advocating this antichrist doctrine within the church.

The Apostle John wrote a gospel and three epistles to combat this antichrist doctrine. What a tragedy that great numbers of Christians today are becoming deluded because they fall for this lie. 

What are you pursuing today? Is it “revelation knowledge” or the revelation of the Person of Jesus? Truthfully, if you are not pursuing to know Christ intimately, you are chasing after a substitute that will not only fail you, but also could bring judgment upon you. 

We want to thank everyone who supports us. Above all else, know it is our heart that you fall in love with the One who loved you enough to die for you. May His reality consume your lives. We trust God will richly bless you for your faithful support of this ministry.