This article is titled, “The Gnostics”. One criticism that has been leveled at my sermons is this. They say: People are turned off from listening to my sermons because I dare to mention names of churches and names of denominations. They say: I should not have to mention names. I should just preach the truth, and after a while people will be able to recognize a false gospel because they have been hearing the truth so many times. They say: It is like a bank teller who can feel a false 10 dollar bill because they know what a real 10 dollar bill feels like, because they have felt it so frequently.
Now, is that really so?
For example, take:
Have you heard about the Gnostics?
Most of you have probably heard the name “Gnostics”. Many of you have read in a commentary that the Epistle to the Colossians an the First Epistle of John were written to refute the teachings of the Gnostics.
But what do you know about the Gnostics?
What did they teach?
And here you probably will say: “Nothing”. I have searched in my personal library, but I found almost nothing about the Gnostics. Bible dictionaries and commentaries and books about Systematic Theology do not give any summary of what the Gnostics were. This subject is passed over as unimportant. It is only in the last 10 years or so that you can find a lot of information about the Gnostics on the Internet. But most of it is presented as a curiosity, only from a historical perspective, and not much of a threat to today’s churches. We don’t do those childish things any more. We are now much wiser.
Well, is that really so?
Are we much wiser, or are we ignorant about the dangers of Gnosticism?
Today I will show you that the warning against the Gnostics is not much of a warning without mentioning names. The warning is real, and the danger of falling into it is very great.
The word “Gnostic” comes from the Greek verb “ginosko”, which means “to know, or to be taking in knowledge”. Or you can derive it from the noun “gnosis”, which means “knowledge, or a seeking to know”. The Gnostics were a group of individuals who considered themselves as “an elite group that knows it all”. Their headquarters was in Alexandria, Egypt, where they had collected an enormous library.
What doctrines did the Gnostics teach?
They claimed to understand God and Salvation perfectly. They believed that they themselves were spirit, while all other people were soul and body. They believed that all matter was evil, and therefore the world produced from evil matter and possessed by evil demons cannot be a creation of a good God. Therefore they were willing for Christ to be the creator as long as it was agreed that He was an inferior god. Therefore they denied the reality and the necessity of the Atonement of Christ, and they claimed that Christ’s body was an illusion. They did not believe that Christ really came in the flesh. They rejected the Old Testament and its God Jehovah.
They were obsessed with a cult of angels, from which they derived the concept of guardian angels. They were obsessed with the concept of man, and of God, and of the world through religious experiences. They allegorized all the teachings of Scripture in order to achieve a strange conformity between Gnosticism and Christianity. The Gnostics worked hard on destroying the Person of Christ as coequal to God, and as having both a human nature and a Divine nature. Therefore we recognize that the Apostles in their letters were warning the churches against the influence of the Gnostics. We read that in 1 John 2:22, from which we can see their struggle against the Gnostics of the 1st century.
1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? (Which means “the anointed One”, spoken of in the Old Testament.) He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:2-3
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Is this a dire prediction that the spirit of Gnosticism will prevail until the end of time?
I believe so, and I will show you that in this article.
1 John 5:1
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
Now turn to the right to 2 John 1:7
2 John 1:7
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
And let me quote to you one verse from the Epistle to the Colossians,
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Proud Gnostics, worshipping angels.
Does that ring a bell for these days?
In my summary of what the Gnostics believe have you recognized some of the things that are going on today in the church and in the world?
Baal worship in the Old Testament days was almost impossible to stamp out. Amazingly, the worship of Baal persisted for more than 1500 years. God showed this as a warning how the Gnostics are almost impossible to stamp out in the New Testament period of time. For example, the 19th century German writer and philosopher Goethe was strongly influenced by Gnostic ideas.
But can we also see Gnostic ideas in the church today?
1. The Promised Seed
In this Epistle to the Galatians God shows us that we need to read the Bible very carefully. Each word and each letter of each word is significant.
Who is the Seed of Abraham?
Are these all the descendants of Abraham?
God says, “NO!” Pay attention! The word Seed is not plural, but singular. Do not replace the word Seed by “descendants”, because that is wrong.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Is it not clear that God intended the word “seed” to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to anyone else?
The singular word “seed” occurs many times in the Bible. It occurs 57 times in Genesis.
Is it not clear that God wanted us to see the relationship between Galatians 3:16 and many of the verses in Genesis?
Is it not clear that we are forbidden to change the word “seed” into the word “descendants”, because that is not what it means?
For example, let quote two verses, Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 21:12,
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy Seed be called.
Is it not clear that in these two verses Christ is in view, because Galatians 3:16 says so?
And yet, when we open the NIV, which is the most popular Bible these days, we read there in Genesis 3:15 & Genesis 21:12
Genesis 3:15 (NIV),
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Genesis 21:12 (NIV),
But God said to him, Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned
In both verses the word “seed” is left out. In Genesis 21:12 seven words have been left out and ten words have been added. And yet, the NIV does show the word “seed” in Galatians 3:16. The authors of the NIV have deliberately changed the Old Testament prophecies in such a way that they cannot be connected with the Holy Spirit’s announcement of the fulfillment of the promise and the prophecies. By not translating the word “seed” in Genesis 3:15 and in Genesis 21:12, and instead thrusting in this place the word “offspring”, the NIV erases all the relationships between Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 21:12 with Galatians 3:16.
God the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, declares the original promise was in the singular “Seed”. Those using the word “offspring” are using a word that refers to children, which is considered to be plural. By using deliberately the word “offspring” is to misrepresent what God said, By this action they have destroyed entirely the statement here that this was not of many, but of one Seed, in the singular.
God the Holy Spirit carefully preserved the original prophecy, writing in all three verses the word “seed”, not seeds. And God the Holy Spirit was preserving those Scriptures through the centuries so that it was still written in the singular when the Apostle Paul was to refer to it, for the Holy Spirit knew that He would announce the fulfillment of the prophecy through the Apostle Paul in the 1st century AD. In the face of this marvellous Divine preservation, now these bold authors of the NIV carelessly or deliberately make it impossible for their readers to recognize and rejoice over God’s care for this precious prophecy and its fulfillment.
Were not these learned men aware of the words in Galatians 3:16, and that the basic meaning in all three places was “seed”?
Of course they were aware of this. You will recognize their work as a Gnostic perversion. Remember, the Gnostics rejected, or belittled the Old Testament prophecies for the purpose of attacking the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had no need for a Jesus who was also God Himself. For example, let me bring up one more verse to this accusation. Matthew 1:25,
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
The people who produced the NIV also doubted the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Therefore the NIV says,
But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son, and he gave him the name Jesus.
Was Jesus Mary’s “firstborn son”?
From the NIV you would not know if Jesus was the firstborn. What mountain of evidence must have been piled up against the word “firstborn” that it must be excluded from this verse!
But the facts are that in every Greek manuscript the words “firstborn son” are found, except in the ancient manuscripts originating from Alexandria.
It shows the evil work of the Gnostics in Egypt, who desired to remove any word that would imply the Deity of Jesus Christ. So they changed it to “a son”, as if His was only a common birth. The willfully blind textual critics would have us believe that the word “firstborn” has been sinfully added to every Greek, Syriac and Latin manuscript in all places in the inhabitable world. And at the same time they would have us believe that God has chosen the Gnostic heretics to preserve His precious words.
However, I want you all to be aware that in almost all the new versions of the Bible:
Words Identifying Christ as God Are Stolen Away
I am focusing on the NIV, because it is by far the most popular these days. But these attacks on the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ are permeating most other versions that have been produced in the 20th century. The amazing thing is that so many have jumped on the bandwagon of the NIV, discrediting the King James Bible and discrediting the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus said in:
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
This is literally what the Greek Textus Receptus says.
But according to the NIV this verse reads:
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will die in your sins.
Jesus is telling the Jews that He is God, the great I AM, the only one who can save them from their sins. Yet the NIV goes so far as to make it only a claim in saying, “the one I claim to be”. You can see what adding a few words can do to rob the Scriptures of their power and to rob Christ of His Deity. We now go to John 9:35. The Lord Jesus has healed the blindness of a man who was blind from birth. This man has been examined again and again by the Pharisees, because they did not believe that he was blind from birth. But the man did not want to discredit Jesus. Therefore the man was cast out of the synagogue. He was now an outcast, having no church where he can go to. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and Jesus found him again. Then He said,
Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
Notice that Jesus said, “the Son of God”. Why would the authors of the NIV write this as:
Do you believe in the Son of Man?
What is so bad about calling Christ “the Son of Man”?
Did not Jesus repeatedly refer to Himself as “the Son of Man”?
Yes He did. But the Lord Jesus Christ never told anyone to believe in “the Son of Man”. This is very important here, because the NIV and the other new versions are depending on Egyptian manuscripts for their evidence. They rely on 6 corrupt manuscripts from Alexandria, against 99.9% of all the evidence. They are denying that there is a systematic attempt to alter the Scriptures in the early centuries AD by the Gnostics, to do away with the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This has been known by the abounding array of historical references in the patristic literature. And did you know that the Devil and his demons never refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of Man? But men who believe that Christ was a created being are quick to seize the opportunity to portray Him as man, rather than God. Now we will consider:
2. Attributes of God
We read here in the beginning of John’s Gospel these words,
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
The NIV translators have totally mangled this verse. There we read in the NIV Bible,
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
The patristic fathers were insistent on calling Jesus God. The Gnostic opponents were insistent on calling Jesus a created being, or at best an inferior god. John chapter 1 became the battleground, because it contains so many references to Christ as God. Valentinus, a 2nd century Gnostic, devised the clever theory that the Word and the Son of God were not the same person. The Gnostics referred to Christ as “the Beginning”, the first of God’s creation, and Valentinus referred to Him as “the Only begotten God”. In their lexicon the Word was a god. Gnostic lies never die. The Mormons and the Jehovah’s witnesses still refer to Christ as a god. But the fact is that only 7 Egyptian manuscripts have “the Only begotten God”, whereas 2000 manuscripts have “the Only begotten Son”.
The critics of the King James Bible have put their trust in Egypt.
Is it not more logical to put your trust in the rest of Christendom where “the Only begotten Son” appears in every manuscript all over the inhabitable world?
They should have done so especially after knowing that Alexandria was the center of the Gnostic movement. It is logical, from the common use of language, that God is eternal, and therefore God cannot be begotten. But if they trust the 7 manuscripts created in Egypt more than the thousands of manuscripts throughout the world, then you know that there is something wrong here. They trust the words preferred by the Gnostics, and the Unitarians, the Mormons, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am not exaggerating the facts. The United Bible Society, which is the organization that produced the NIV, listed as their authorities: Valentinus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, all three of them Gnostics who believed Christ was a created being.
In John 4:50 the Lord Jesus healed the sick son of a nobleman. Jesus was at Cana of Galilee, the son was sick at Capernaum. Then we read in Verse 50,
Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
How did the translator of the NIV mishandle this verse?
Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live. The man took Jesus at His word and departed.
When Jesus said, “your son lives” He said it in the present indicative case. Right at that moment the son was alive, and the man believed that his son was alive at that moment. To put into Jesus’ mouth, “your son will live” changes the meaning altogether, for this means that the man must go and see if what Jesus said was true. Jesus knew all, being both omniscient as well as omnipotent, He could and did make the son well. And the man believed that Jesus could and did do this at that moment. This is not a case of “seeing is believing”, but of having faith in things not seen. We have here also a demonstration of changing the present for the future changes what God wrote. When the NIV writers say, “your son will live” they are denying the omniscience of Jesus when He declared at that moment, “your son lives”. This subtle change in the tense takes away both the omniscience and the omnipotence of Jesus, and also denies that Jesus can create faith in a man before the man can see whether or not what Jesus said is true.
The Bible teaches of itself the:
3. Plenary and Verbal Inspiration
Plenary means “full”. The Bible says of itself that it is the FULL and verbal inspiration of God.
2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Literally, “holy men of God spake, having been borne along by the Holy Ghost”. In other words, when the Apostles and Prophets wrote Scripture their hands were moved by God the Holy Spirit. The words we read in the original Hebrew and Greek were the words God wrote. Moreover, God told us that these words were given by the inspiration of God, for He said in:
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
All Scripture is profitable like that. But when we have a Bible that has been adulterated by the Gnostics then the doctrine of the Plenary and Verbal Inspiration of God cannot be taught. That Bible is not FULL, and it is certainly not inspired by God. God is not pleased when we use a cursed book.
Why would it be a cursed book?
It is because God spoke in the Bible about the sin of:
Adding and Taking Away Words (Revelation 22:18-19)
We have seen in several verses how the Gnostics focused on destroying the image of Christ as coequal God. How successful they have been in their evil design to dethrone Christ in the Scriptures. Even if Satan planned it, and the Gnostics executed his plan, it is doubtful that they would believe that one day in the 21st century those same adulterated, corrupted manuscripts would be elevated to such a height that Bible version after Bible version would appear with their falsified scriptures intact in many places of the new Bible versions of the 21st century. They were no dummies, those Gnostics. By introducing just small changes here and there, by leaving out a word and adding a few words here and there, they were able to have Christians doubt the Virgin Birth of Christ, or His sinlessness, or His omnipresence, and so on. And most of all, the Deity of Christ has been put in question.
God’s words are precious, and especially precious are those verses which assure us that Christ is coequal God, ever existing, without beginning or end. Because of this it is important that that every lover of Christ and His Word must be alerted to what is being done in the new versions, each new one being more corrupt than those that went before. And having been informed, it is essential that all true believers spread the message that the Scriptures are being stolen away from them, under the guise of having a new version in the language of the people. Especially the NIV is the great offender in this case. What we see in practice is an application of adding and taking away from the Word of God. We read in:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God did us a big favor by giving us this warning. God said it because God knew that there would be many people who would try to draw attention to themselves by adding or by taking away from God’s words. The sad part is that those who follow their leaders into error are themselves subject as well to the plagues written in this Book.
What are those plagues written in this Book?
“The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever”.
Why would God assign such a stiff penalty for something that we might call a misdemeanor?
It works this way. The Bible is given to us by God, and it portrays a word-image of Christ. The moment we add to the Bible, or we take away from the Bible, we have changed the image of Christ, and we have produced another god, an idol that cannot save. And so, it leaves people unsaved, who are instructing other people, who also remain unsaved, and so on. It is in this way that God will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the 3rd and 4th generation of them that hate Him. It is a fact of Scripture that unsaved people hate God, and God hates all of those who do not belong to him.
When did it all start?
When was the beginning of this avalanche of new Bible versions, and critics of the KJ Bible?
Well it really started in 1881 when the Gnostic manuscripts were revived by two Roman Catholic Professors from Cambridge, by the names of Westcott and Hort. These two disbelieved the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and created the Revised Version of 1881, which was not a revised version, but a completely new translation from the Gnostic manuscripts from Alexandria. So when your Pastor stands up in front of the congregation and touts the NIV as being the best translation, he is being an intellectual idiot because he is using a cursed book. If you have been duped by your seminary trained Pastor into using a Gnostic Bible, then you need to change back to the KJ Bible, or else you will be using a book from Hell.
And when you have changed back to the KJ Bible you can enjoy:
God’s Great Gift to Us
Think on these verses and meditate on these. When we are tempted and are troubled by earthly troubles, we look to Jesus for help. When the Lord Jesus was tempted in the wilderness He said these words to our comfort:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
What is the effect of those words from the mouth of God?
Paraphrased God says they are for our benefit, so that we may overcome our troubles and may grow in the faith. God says in:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
This is a fundamental principle, so let us be careful in handling the Word of God. Let us remember to speak the Word of God honestly.
2 Corinthians 4:2
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
This is how we must speak and handle the Word of God, with meekness and fear. Therefore we give thanks to God that He has given us so great a gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation among those whom He intended to save. We read in:
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift, and pray that the Holy Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth. AMEN.
By Alfred Chompff