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One of the oldest branches of Gnosticism, argued by some to
be the oldest existing, is the sect that named themselves “Sethians.”
Sethians claimed to be descended from Seth, the third from
Adam, and their teaching was widespread throughout the Mediterranean. This Gnostic group was founded primarily by Jewish
mysticism, but was strongly influenced by the philosophy of Plato.
This group practiced mysticism through several gnostic
scrolls that had heavy influence by several pagan gods. Some of these include the Apocryphon of John,
The Thought of Norea, The Trimorphic Protennoia, The Coptic Gospel of the
Egyptians, The Gospel of Judas, Zostrianos, Three Steles of Seth, Marsanes, and
Allogenes. But they also produced their
own secret writing from their mystic teachings of Kabbalah, and called it the
“Apocalypse of Adam,” or the “Revelation of Adam.”
This ancient scroll was also discovered in 1946, around the
time William Branham began to re-establish his ministry by adding an angelic
visit to his “commission.” Until 1945,
Branham was producing pamphlets such as “I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly
Vision,” describing commission through a vision, but after 1946, an angelic
visit is included in Branham’s story.
In this scroll, a 700-year-old Adam tells his third son,
Seth, how he learned a word of knowledge of the eternal God from Eve and that
he and Eve were indeed more powerful than their supposed creator. But that
knowledge was lost in the fall when the subcreator - the demiurge - separated
Adam and Eve.
to my words, my son Seth. When God had created me out of the earth, along with
Eve, your mother, I went about with her in a glory which she had seen in the
aeon from which we had come forth. She taught me a word of knowledge of the
eternal God. And we resembled the great eternal angels, for we were higher than
the god who had created us and the powers with him, whom we did not know.
Apocalypse of Adam
Irenaeus devotes an entire chapter to this Gnostic group
known as Sethians, and a second chapter immediately after to a Gnostic group
created by their influence, known as the Cainites. The book ends with the Cainites, describing how
damaging their heresy was to the church.
The teaching had taken such a stronghold that Irenaeus said that it
would fill another book to try to untangle their teaching that was woven
throughout the teachings of the true Bible.
The first book ends with these words:
I have laboured to bring forward, and make clearly manifest, the utterly
ill-conditioned carcase of this miserable
little fox. For there will not now be need of many words to overturn
their system of doctrine, when it has been made manifest to all. It is as when,
on a beast hiding itself in a wood, and by rushing forth from it is in the
habit of destroying multitudes, one who beats round the wood and thoroughly
explores it, so as to compel the animal to break cover, does not strive to
capture it, seeing that it is truly a ferocious beast; but those present can
then watch and avoid its assaults, and can
cast darts at it from all sides, and wound it, and finally slay that
destructive brute. So, in our case, since we have brought their hidden
mysteries, which they keep in silence among themselves, to the light, it will
not now be necessary to use many words in destroying their system of opinions.
For it is now in thy power, and in the power of all thy associates, to
familiarize yourselves with what has been said, to overthrow their wicked and
undigested doctrines, and to set forth doctrines agreeable to the truth. Since
then the case is so, I shall, according to promise, and as my ability serves,
labour to overthrow them, by refuting them all in the following book. Even to
give an account of them is a tedious affair, as thou seest. But I shall furnish
means for overthrowing them, by meeting all their opinions in the order in
which they have been described, that I may not only expose the wild beast to
view, but may inflict wounds upon it from every side.
Under the Gnostic teaching of the Sethians, the early Church
was infected by the teaching that God created “spirit bodies,” and that Adam
and Eve roamed around the world without form.
By stressing the words written in Genesis, “Let us make man in our own
image,” Sethians began to teach that this “image” was “spirit,” because God is
Many of you that have been influenced by the teaching of
William Branham will be familiar with this doctrine, though it comes under
several different names and examples.
Branham resurrected the Gnostic teaching, claiming that there was a
period of time when Adam and Eve were “sprit gods” roaming the earth. This claim was reestablished in Branham’s
attempt to promote “prophets” to “gods.”
And God in the beginning made His first man. He made him out of spirit. And spirit is
the invisible part of man that you don't see. Now, God made man in His
Oh, I can just see Adam and Eve going down through the garden
and the winds blowing, Eve, the little bride, saying, "Oh, Adam, the--the
wind is so strong."
He'd say, "Peace." See, man was actually made to be a god. Do you know that? The Bible
said... Jesus said, "If they called them who the Word of God came to
(which was the prophets), if they were gods, then how can you condemn Me when I
say I am the Son of God?"
prophets were considered gods. Man was give--made a lesser god, and given a domain
on the earth. That's the reason that the world today is groaning, waiting for
the full manifestations of the sons of God.
But the nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, under this
teaching, is changed directly from the very first book in the Bible, the book
of Genesis. Using teaching from
Kabbalah, the Sethians introduced the idea that the original sin was “sex,” as
well as the idea of a union of the forces of good against a union that formed
the forces of evil. They taught that
Christ was the result of the “god of lights” mating with the “mother of the
living” while in her spirit-form.
The father and son thus both
had intercourse with the woman
(whom they also call the mother of the living). When, however, she could not
bear nor receive into herself the greatness of the lights, they declare that
she was filled to repletion, and became ebullient on the left side; and that thus their only son Christ,
as belonging to the right side, and ever tending to what was higher, was
immediately caught up with his mother to form an incorruptible AEon.
But while producing the spirit form of Christ, the Sethians
taught that there was another union that produced a physical bloodline of evil.
This doctrine, which Irenaeus names a “system of falsehood,”
was tied to astrology and worship of the stars.
Just as the Valentinians worshiped a seven-god Ogdoad, the Sethians
included seven persons in this system.
have also given names to [the several persons] in their system of falsehood,
such as the following: he who was the first descendant of the mother is called
Ialdabaoth; he, again, descended from him, is named Iao; he, from this one, is
called Sabaoth; the fourth is named Adoneus; the fifth, Eloeus; the sixth,
Oreus; and the seventh and last of all, Astanphaeus. Moreover, they represent
these heavens, potentates, powers, angels, and creators, as sitting in their
proper order in heaven, according to their generation, and as invisibly ruling
over things celestial and terrestrial. The
first of them, namely Ialdabaoth, holds his mother in contempt, inasmuch as he
produced sons and grandsons without the permission of any one, yea,
even angels, archangels, powers, potentates, and dominions.
The union that produced evil under this teaching of Jewish
Mysticism was between Ialdabaoth (the serpent) and Eve after she took the form
of human flesh. While Christ was
believed to be the union of the “light god” and “spirit eve,” Cain was believed
to be the result of a sexual union between Eve and the serpent. To accomplish this, and since Ialdabaoth was
a spirit himself, he must lessen himself from his place in the heavens to the
form of a flesh-and-blood serpent.
At this point, now presenting himself to the physical form
of Eve, Ialdabaoth proclaimed himself to be God.
this account, Ialdabaoth, becoming uplifted in spirit, boasted himself over all
those things that were below him, and exclaimed, "I am father, and God, and above me there is no one."
But his mother, hearing him speak thus, cried out against him, "Do not
lie, Ialdabaoth: for the father of all, the first Anthropos (man), is above
thee; and so is Anthropos the son of Anthropos."
Interestingly, while Ialdabaoth proclaimed himself to be the
creator to Eve, William Branham proclaimed the same to his following:
But in the human race, it's the woman that's pretty, not the
man; if he is, there is something wrong, there is crossed-up seed somewhere.
Originally it's that way. Why, why was it done? To deceive by. Her designer, Satan, is still working on
her, too, in these last days.
After this union and according to the Apocalypse of Adam,
Seth was to be the “keeper of the secret” down through the ages. Seth was to be the only one who knew about
the adultery of his mother to Ialdabaoth.
this reason I myself have called you by the name of that man who is the seed of
the great generation or from whom (it comes). After those days, the eternal
knowledge of the God of truth withdrew from me and your mother Eve. Since that
time, we learned about dead things, like men. Then we recognized the God who
had created us. For we were not strangers to his powers. And we served him in fear
and slavery. And after these things, we became darkened in our heart(s).
Apocalypse of Adam
While this teaching alters both the original creation story
and the eternal nature of Christ, it also paves the way for followers of the
Sethian sect to ignore solid doctrine and scriptural truth. When Sophia (the spirit of wisdom) fell from
the other seven gods, Sophia was behind the evil scheme that produced Cain.
their mother (Sophia) cunningly devised a scheme to seduce Eve and Adam, by
means of the serpent, to transgress the command of Ialdabaoth. Eve listened to
this as if it had proceeded from a son of God, and yielded an easy belief.
Under Branham’s teaching, wisdom and knowledge is also
considered to be evil, and the idea is promoted that understanding of scripture
comes only to prophets. As part of
religious worship, followers are trained in submission, letting the pastors and
the “prophet” be the “key” that unlocks the secret “mysteries” of the
Bible. But just as the Sethians taught
that Eve had a secret desire for wisdom, and that the wisdom of Sophia was
behind the “adultery” of eve, Branham taught the same. Only he took things to the present day and
age, comparing “knowledge” to “sex,” and claiming that it was the “church” that
leads man astray today. (All churches,
of course, except his own).
Satan did it by the woman's
lust for knowledge, for sex, which she chose by her own choosing. Now
notice, it was Eve that led Adam to the wrong, and it was the woman that took off her clothes before her Adam took off
his. See? It's the woman, always. It's always been. It still is the
the church that leads the man astray. It's the church, see, that leads the man that
wanted to be a son of God. It's the
woman, the church. Not the Bible, God, for the Bible is man. Oh, yeah,
"the Word was made flesh," and He was a Man. See? The Bible is man; the church is woman.
See? It isn't the church... the Bible that leads the man astray. It's the church that leads him astray.
It's the church he went naked with, not the Bible. See? No, indeed. The
Bible tells him he's naked. Yes, sir.
Now notice how, by sex, desire of sex, she lusted for
knowledge, to know what was this, and how, whether this fruit was good or not.
And she did it.
This sexual union caused the evil forces to rejoice, because
they had created a form that was equal to Christ. The Yin to the Yang.
Prunicus perceived that the powers were thus baffled by their own creature, she
greatly rejoiced, and again cried out, that since the father was incorruptible,
he (Ialdabaoth) who formerly called himself the father was a liar; and that,
while Anthropos and the first woman (the Spirit) existed previously, this one
(Eve) sinned by committing adultery.
It should be no surprise that Branham also taught the
Yin-Yang version of God and Satan:
Did you know Satan
was co-equal with God one day? Sure was, all but a creator; he was
everything, stood at the right hand of God, in the Heavens, the great leading
"And at that time Michael shall stand, the great
prince." Michael was Christ, of
course, Who fought the angelic wars in heaven with the devil. Satan and
Michael fought together, or fought against each other, rather.
The Cainites took this a step further. Under their belief system, Judas was the one
who held the secret mystery of truth, and they produced the Gnostic scroll
known as the Book of Judas, which has recently been pieced together in
again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge
that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to
themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator,
yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying
off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas
the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone,
knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished
the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and
heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of
this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.
Interestingly, the god they worshipped was believed to be
one of the angels, and compounded “works” on top of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. While the Bible teaches that the
work Christ did on the cross of Calvary was once-for-all, and that Salvation is
given freely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Cainites believed that
you must first have an experience. Like
the Pentecostal movement that influenced several churches into falsely
believing that you must have “evidence of the Holy Spirit,” the Cainites taught
that you cannot be saved until you have had such an experience.
they call this Hystera the creator of heaven and earth. They also hold, like
Carpocrates, that men cannot be saved until they have gone through all kinds of
experience. An angel, they maintain, attends them in every one of their sinful
and abominable actions, and urges them to venture on audacity and incur
pollution. Whatever may be the nature(3) of the action, they declare that they
do it in the name of the angel, saying, "O thou angel, I use thy work; O thou power, I accomplish thy
operation !" And they maintain that this is "perfect knowledge,"
without shrinking to rush into such actions as it is not lawful even to name.
Many of you are familiar with William Branham praying to his
angel, using the same power of the elemental spirits:
of God, I do not see You. But I know that You are standing near. Please, Thou knowest my heart, and know
how I love these people. Stand by me tonight. And may not one go through
without faith. And I know that Your Words have been true. I've took You at Your Word, for You said You were sent from God. I
believed You. And You've stuck by me. You have confirmed the Word with
signs following. Now, again tonight, in this March the fifth, this Memorial
night, may You stand now and heal every one. Grant it. May every demon be
submissive to the Name of Jesus Christ.
This Kabbalistic teaching of the sexual union between
Ialdabaoth and Eve, and the spiritual union between the “god of light” and
“spirit eve” frustrated Irenaeus. The
roots of this doctrine run so deeply woven through the Bible that it is very
difficult to untangle – even still today.
While seemingly harmless, any single branch of this teaching that is ran
out to conclusion ends with false teaching.
Irenaeus explains that to believe the Sethians and the
Cainites was to destroy the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself. The very fabric of the Bible was being
recreated simply by changing the creation story, and it was a Heresy that
required a full second book to try and untangle. It was a heresy so strongly rooted in the
early church that Irenaeus deemed it necessary to combat – because it had
recent origin. This doctrine was not a
teaching that was established in the Law of Moses, nor in the Gospels or
Apostolic Letters. Kabbalistic men
expanded upon words and phrases of the Bible text to produce this “mystery
given by Adam to Seth,” and Irenaeus called it a “miserable and baseless
was necessary clearly to prove, that, as their very opinions and regulations
exhibit them, those who are of the school of Valentinus derive their origin
from such mothers, fathers, and ancestors, and also to bring forward their
doctrines, with the hope that perchance some of them, exercising repentance and
returning to the only Creator, and God the Former of the universe, may obtain
salvation, and that others may not henceforth be drown away by their wicked, although plausible, persuasions,
imagining that they will obtain from them the knowledge of some greater and
more sublime mysteries. But let them rather, learning to good effect from us
the wicked tenets of these men, look with contempt upon their doctrines, while
at the same time they pity those who, still cleaving to these miserable and baseless fables,
have reached such a pitch of arrogance as to reckon themselves superior to all
others on account of such knowledge, or, as it should rather be called,
ignorance. They have now been fully exposed; and simply to exhibit their
sentiments, is to obtain a victory over them.
In the precursor to the second book, Irenaeus gives us the
tools to combat this doctrine of “Serpent’s Seed.” While he felt it necessary to compile a
second book to conquer the beast, Irenaeus tells us that everything we need to
know is exposed in his writings. He has
taken every form of false god that created Gnostic influence, and exposed them
in his writings.
in our case, since we have brought their hidden
mysteries, which they keep in silence among themselves, to the light,
it will not now be necessary to use many words in destroying their system of
opinions. For it is now in thy power, and in the power of all thy associates,
to familiarize yourselves with what has been said, to overthrow their wicked and undigested doctrines,
and to set forth doctrines agreeable
to the truth.
If you have been programmed with this Kabbalistic teaching
of the Sethians and the Cainites, there is only one thing you need to know:
So when the
woman saw that the tree was good for
food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to
be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was
with her, and he ate.
There is no sexual innuendo in the Bible. Moses did not write the books of the Bible
with a perverted mind, and did not write the book of Genesis in parables. The tree was good FOR FOOD.
This word, “food,” is used in Hebrew to describe a substance
that is made for intake: eaten.
people will be food for the birds
and their fruit
will be for food and their
And the word used when it describes Adam “eating,” was
indeed to “eat.” To consume. That same word is used all throughout the
NAS: up from
the rock and consumed the meat
her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied
2 Samuel 12:21
you arose and ate food.
1 Kings 13:22
returned and eaten bread
Today’s language lends itself to seeing “sex” in many words,
simply because of the shock value of sex in our world of “proper
etiquette.” But the ancient world and
especially the Bible is written plainly without hiding what we consider to be
“dirty words” or “R-rated behavior.” The
Law of Moses calles black “black,” and white “white.”
There is only one verse you must know about this subject to combat
And hath made
of one blood all nations of
men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times
before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;