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Valentinianism is a Gnostic Christian movement that was founded by Valentinus in the second century AD, and it was one of the most powerful Gnostic movements that rose against the Church of the living God. Its infection was not limited to Rome, but stretched as far as Egypt, Asia Minor, Syria, and up into Northwest Africa. Valentinianism was very active well into the fourth century AD, even after the Roman Empire declared themselves Christian.
The Valentinian system was comprised of a pyramid, representing the superstructure of the celestial system, or the world of Aeons as they believed. At the top of this pyramid was the Ogdoad, a combination of Egyptian gods that included eight deities worshipped in Hermopolis during the time of the Old Kingdom (2686 BC – 2134 BC). In Egyptian mythology, their interaction was believed to be unbalanced, resulting in the arising of a new entity. When the entity opened, it revealed Ra, the fiery sun, inside. After a long interval of rest, Ra, together with the other deities, created all other things.
At the bottom of the Valentinian pyramid was the foundation, Sophia. Sophia was the goddess of wisdom, or more specifically, goddess of wisdom of the hidden mysteries. Sophia was believed by the Gnostics to embody the “female” aspect of God, and she was the lowest Aeon. According to Valentinian mythology, Sophia was fallen from grace and responsible for creating the material world of sin.
Combining these Egyptian gods into Christianity, the Valentinian belief system proclaimed that Christ was just a man, a pure vessel for His reception of Sophia. In the book “Against Heresies,” the book written by the man William Branham claimed to have been the second “church age” messenger, Irenaeus describes this belief system and its heresy. According to Irenaeus, the Valentinians believed that Sophia descended down into the world created by her disgrace, poured herself into Christ, and then leaves Him again just before the Crucifixion. When Christ rose, these Gnostics describe Christ ascending with Sophia into the world or Aeon which will never pass away.
Because this was the most powerful Gnostic influence on the early Church, Irenaeus devotes a great deal of time towards describing the heresy of including Egyptian Gods into Christian worship. Like the Babylonian and Sumerian systems of worship, this Egyptian worship system that was being re-established in Greece relied heavily upon the sun, moon, and stars. The solar system and more specifically the Zodiac provided the high priests access to powerful knowledge, the gift of Sophia. Using solar calculations, these priests would use numerologies to determine the powerful numbers, paths of life, current and future events, and more. It is the same type of astrology used in Hindu temples or Wiccan ritual of today, and its trail descends all the way back to the great pyramid of Egypt and before.
Of the Valentinians, one person became a real threat to the church. Irenaeus describes Marcus, and his ability to use this knowledge and these numbers to persuade many. Marcus was responsible for pulling several Christians from the body of Christ into Gnosticism, and he used basic numbers to do so.
In the chapter, “THE DECEITFUL ARTS AND NEFARIOUS PRACTICES OF MARCUS,” Irenaeus describes him:
But there is another among these heretics, Marcus by name, who boasts himself as having improved upon his master. He is a perfect adept in magical impostures, and by this means drawing away a great number of men, and not a few women, he has induced them to join themselves to him, as to one who is possessed of the greatest knowledge and perfection, and who has received the highest power from the invisible and ineffable regions above. Thus it appears as if he really were the precursor of Antichrist. For, joining the buffooneries of Anaxilaus to the craftiness of the magi, as they are called, he is regarded by his senseless and cracked-brain followers as working miracles by these means.
Irenaeus continues to describe his power, but warns the church that Marcus himself was not in control. There was an elemental spirit involved, and that spirit had given Marcus the gift of prophecy.
Not only prophecy, but Marcus apparently had an angel. The combination of the angel and the prophetic gift was deceiving many in the church, and causing not only division, but severed limbs in the body of Christ. Like so many today, the early Church was confused by the signs and wonders, and did not heed instruction by Jesus and the apostles to test the prophecies.
It appears probable enough that this man possesses a demon as his familiar spirit, by means of whom he seems able to prophesy
[Marcus was proclaiming] Now the place of thy angel is among us: it behoves us to become one. Receive first from me and by me [the gift of] Chaffs. Adorn thyself as a bride who is expecting her bridegroom, that thou mayest be what I am, and I what thou art.
Using these elemental spirits and their associated demons from Egyptian worship, Marcus had found power in the number seven. Though the alphabet contained several letters, Marcus focused upon numerical groupings of letters. Several other “types,” “symbols,” and representations Marcus focused attention to contained the number seven and the number five.
Using this strategy, Marcus grouped “sevens” and “fives” together, focusing attention on the number “seven.” There were eight gods in the Ogdoad, but one of them had fallen. When Sophia joined with Christ, according to this Gnostic teaching, Christ ascended into the throne to complete the eight.
The other names which are to be uttered with respect, and faith, and reverence, are, according to him, Arrhetos and Sige, Pater and Aletheia. Now the entire number of this Tetrad amounts to four-and-twenty letters; for the name Arrhetos contains in itself seven letters, Seige(1) five, Pater five, and Aletheia seven. If all these be added together--twice five, and twice seven--they complete the number twenty-four. In like manner, also, the second Tetrad, Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia, reveal the same number of elements. Moreover, that name of the Saviour which may be pronounced, viz., Jesus 'Ihsous, consists of six letters, but His unutterable name comprises for-and-twenty letters. The name Christ the Son(2) (uios Xreistos) comprises twelve letter, but that which is unpronounceable in Christ contains thirty letters. And for this reason he declares that fie is Alpha and Omega, that he may indicate the dove, inasmuch as that bird has this number [in its name].
Marcus pointed out names that are powerful, using the count of the number of letters in the written form of the name. Each of the eight Gods in Egyptian mythology were comprised of a triad, or grouping of three. As Marcus completed the eight triads, there were a total of 24 letters.
Know, then, that the four-and-twenty letters which you possess are symbolical emanations of the three powers that contain the entire number of the elements above. For you are to reckon thus--that the nine mute letters are [the images] of Pater and Aletheia, because they are without voice, that is, of such a nature as cannot be uttered or pronounced. But the semi-vowels represent Logos and Zoe, because they are, as it were, midway between the consonants and the vowels, partaking of the nature of both. The vowels, again, are representative of Anthropos and Ecclesia, inasmuch as a voice proceeding from Anthropos gave being to them all; for the sound of the voice imparted to them form. Thus, then, Logos and Zoe possess eight [of these letters]; Anthropos and Ecclesia seven; and Pater and Aletheia nine. But since the number allotted to each was unequal, He who existed in the Father came down, having been specially sent by Him from whom He was separated, for the rectification of what had taken place, that the unity of the Pleromas, being endowed with equality, might develop in all that one power which flows from all. Thus that division which had only seven letters, received the power of eight
From this, Marcus had determined the power in the number seven. Seven deities, and one fallen from grace. The seven were all-powerful, and the church, according to this mythology, joined itself with the fallen to become one with the other seven. Seven plus one equals eight.
He employed as his instrument, as the Sige of Marcus declares, the power of seven letters, in order that the fruit of the independent will [of Achamoth] might be revealed. "Consider this present Episemon," she says--"Him who was formed after the [original] Episemon, as being, as it were, divided or cut into two parts, and remaining outside; who, by His own power and wisdom, through means of that which had been produced by Himself, gave life to this world, consisting of seven powers,(7) after the likeness of the power of the Hebdomad, and so formed it, that it is the soul of everything visible.
But Irenaeus pointed out the nonsense of the teaching of Marcus. While he was achieving supernatural power using the numbers, able to prophesy and perform signs and wonders, Marcus was a deceiver. Marcus struggled to tell the truth:
And the first heaven indeed pronounces Alpha, the next to this Epsilon, the third Eta, the fourth, which is also in the midst of the seven, utters the sound of Iota, the fifth Omicron, the sixth Upsilon, the seventh, which is also the fourth from the middle, utters the elegant Omega,"--as the Sige of Marcus, talking a deal of nonsense, but uttering no word of truth, confidently asserts.
While many in the cult of William Branham do not realize the source of the powerful spell they are under, we find the exact same strategy used by Branham that Marcus employed.
Branham also taught the power of the number seven. Seven was referenced in several places, including his name, and his comparison between his last name and Abraham’s first name. It is believed that Branham’s middle name was originally Marion (six letters), which was a very common name and a county in Kentucky, but later changed to Marrion (seven letters). By doing so, each of his names, first, middle, and last, equal the number seven.
When you examine all of the teachings on the “different jesus” that Branham proclaimed, it almost seems as though William Branham read this book “Against Heresies,” and started preaching from the dark side of the text. While Irenaeus condemned Marcus for describing a Jesus that was “just a man” that was filled with Sophia, who became a god but later a man once more when Sophia left, Branham describes the very same thing.
“Remember, Jesus was a Man; God was in Him. There come a time, where the Spirit that was leading the Lamb, the Dove.”
Now notice this quickening Power, Zoe, bringing the Word, the mind that was in Christ was in you then. I'm trying to show you, that, you, when you raised. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He raised up you, also. And also quickened to Life, with Him, you are now quickened to Life, although then you were but an attribute in His thoughts, but God had saw all in Him, at the finish, see. When God looked down upon the body... The Spirit left Him, in the garden of Gethsemane. He had to die, a man.
If you have listened to any sermon by William Branham, you will quickly recognize the use of the number seven. But I’m not sure that you caught exactly HOW MANY times that this number is used, and how many “supernatural” or “spiritual” references. The number seven is used almost 2500 times on recorded tape – not to mention the many “household idols” that contain seven elements.
It is no mystery where Branham got his theology on the Zodiac and the Pyramids; these were the exact forms of worship in Egypt that descended into Gnosticism:
What's He doing? He's writing His first Bible. The first Bible was ever written, was written in the skies, the zodiac. It starts out with the virgin; that's how He come first. It ends up with Leo the lion, the second coming. And He's writing His first Bible.
The second Bible was written, was written by Enoch, and put in the pyramid.
Notice the “triad.” Three bibles, one the Zodiac, one the Pyramid, and one the King James.
The Bible foretells of the coming false prophet. When you find your first prophecy given by William Branham that has failed, it should be enough to make you flee for your lives – but unfortunately for many blinded, this is not what happens. Just as Irenaeus describes in the early Church as Marcus employed sorcerery to cause Christians to sever themselves from the Body of Christ, many in the cult will choose to ignore failed prophecy to believe signs and wonders.
But the bible warns also of sorcery. The very strategies Branham used in his sermons are the ones that were used when Paul wrote his letters. They were the same when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, and when Balaam rose against the Children of Israel. It was the same sorcery used in Egypt by Jannes and Jambres.
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders
2 Thessalonians 2:9
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
The book of Acts describes people using this power, but when true Christianity came into their lives, and their hearts were surrendered to Christ, they burned their books of numerologies and sorcery:
And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Colossians 2:18 speaks of these Gnostics and their influence. Even as Paul wrote his letters, the elemental spirits were rising up against the church, sending fallen-spirit-filled men to deceive and divide the Body.
These are words that all should heed:
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mindColossians 2:18