The Treatise on
from codex I Nag Hammadi Library
Some there are my son Rheginos, who want to learn many things. They have this goal when they are occupied with questions whose answer is lacking. If they succeed with these, they usually think very highly of themselves. But I do not think that they have stood within the Word of Truth. They seek rather their own rest, which we have received through our Saviour, our Lord Christ. We received it when we came to know the truth and rested ourselves upon it. But since you ask us pleasantly what is proper concerning the ressurrection, I am writing you that it is necessary. To be sure, many are lacking faith in it, but there are a few who find it. So then, let us discuss the matter.
How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in the flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature - but I call it Death!. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both. possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this structure many dominions and divinities came into existence. I know that I am presenting the solution in difficult terms, but there is nothing difficult in the Word of Truth. But since the Solution appeared so as not to leave anything hidden, but to reveal all things openly concerning existence - the destruction of evil on the one hand, the revelation of the elect on the other. This Solution is the emanation of Truth and Spirit, Grace is of the Truth.
The Saviour swallowed up death - of this you are not reckoned as being ignorant - for he put aside the world which is perishing. He transformed himself into an imperishable Aeon and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way to our immortality. Then, indeed, as the Apostle said We suffered with him, and we arose with him, and we went to heaven with him. Now if we are manifest in this world wearing him, we are that one`s beams, and we are embranced by him until our setting, that is to say, our death in this life. We are drawn to heaven by him, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual ressurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly.
But if there is one who does not believe, he does not have the capacity to be persuaded. For it is the domain of faith, my son, and not that which belongs to persuasion: the dead shall arise! There is one who believes among the philsophers who are in the world. At least he will arise. And let not the philosopher who is in this world have cause to believe that he is one who returns himself by himself - and that because of our faith! For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, He became the destruction of Death, as he is a great one in whom we believe. Great are those that believe.
The thought of those who are saved shall not perish. The mind of those
who have known him shall not perish. Therefore, we are elected to salvation and
redemption since we are predestined from the beginning not to fall into the
foolishness of those who are without knowledge, but we shall enter into the
wisdom of those who have known the Truth. Indeed, the Truth which is kept
cannot be abandoned, nor has it been. Strong is the system of the Pleroma ;
small is that which broke loose and became the world. but the All is what is
encompassed. It has not come into being: it was existing
So, never doubt concerning the ressurrection, my son Rheginos! For if you were not existing in flesh, you received the flesh when you entered this world. Why will you not receive the flesh when you ascend into the Aeon? That which is better than the flesh is that which is for the cause of life. That which came into being on your account, is it not yours? Does not that which is yours exist with you? Yet, while you are in this world, what is it that you lack? This is what you have been making every effort to learn.
The afterbirth of the body is old age, and you exist in corruption. You have abscense as a gain. For you will not give up what is better if you depart. That which is worse than diminution, but there is grace for it.
Nothing, then, redeems us from this world. But the All which we are, we are saved.We have received salvation from end to end. Let us think in this way! Let us comprehend in this way!
But there are some who wish to understand in the enquiry about those things they are looking into, whether he who is saved, if he leaves his body behind, will be saved immediately. Let no one doubt concerning this ..... Indeed, the visible members which are dead shall not be saved, for only the living members which exist within them would arise.
What, then, is the ressurrection? It is always the disclousure of those who have risen. For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the ressurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the ressurrection which has come through our Lord the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
But what am I telling you now? Those who are living shall die. How do they live in an illusion? The rich have become poor, and the kings have been overthrown. Everything is prone to change. The world is an illusion! - lest, indeed, I rail at things to excess!
But the ressurrection does not have this aforesaid character, for it is the truth which stands firm, It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition to newness. For imperishability descends upon the perishable; the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up ; and the Pleroma fills up the defiency. These are the symbols and the images of the Ressurrection. Christ it is who makes the good.
Therefore, do not think in part, O Rheginos, nor live in conformity with this flesh for the sake of unanimity, but flee from the divisions and the fetters, and already you have the ressurrection. For if he who will die knows about himself that he will die . even if he spends many years in his life, he is brought to this - why not consider yourself as risen and already brought to this? If you have the ressurrection but continue as if you are to die - why, then, do I ignore your lack of exercise? It is fitting for each one to practice in a number of ways, and he shall be released from this Element that he may not fall into error but shall himself receive again what at first was.
These things I have received from the generosity of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I have taught you and your brethren, my sons, considering them, while I have not omitted any of the things suitable for strenghtening you. But if there is one things written which is onscure in my exposition of the Word, I shall interprete it for you when you ask. But now, do not be jealous of anyone who is in your number when he is able to help. Many are looking into this which I have written to you. To these I say: Peace be among them and grace. I greet you and those who love you in brotherly Love.
The Treatise of the
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
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