The Gnostic Society Library

Pistis Sophia
translated by G. S. R. Mead

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"It came to pass then, when the rulers of the æons and those of the Fate and those of the sphere continued to carry out this type,--turning on themselves, devouring the refuse of their matter, and not allowing souls to be born into the world of mankind, in order that they might delay in being rulers, and that the powers which are in their powers, that is the souls, might spend a long time here outside,--they then persisted doing this continually for two circles.

"It came to pass then, when I wished to ascend for the ministry for the sake of which I was called |38. by command of the First Mystery, that I came up into the midst of the tyrants of the rulers of the twelve æons, with my light-vesture

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about me, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was about me.

Adamas and the tyrants fight against the light-vesture."It came to pass then, when those tyrants saw the great light which was about me, that the great Adamas, the Tyrant, and all the tyrants of the twelve æons, all together began to fight against the light of my vesture, desiring to hold it fast among them, in order to delay in their rulership. This then they did, not knowing against whom they fought.

Jesus taketh from them a third of their power and changeth their course."When then they mutinied and fought against the light, thereon by command of the First Mystery I changed the paths and the courses of their æons and the paths of their Fate and of their sphere. I made them face six months towards the triangles on the left and towards the squares and towards those in their aspect and towards their octagons, just as they had formerly been. But their manner of turning, or facing, I changed to another order, and made them other six months face towards the works of their influences in the squares on the right and in their triangles and in those in their aspect and in their octagons. And I made them to be confounded in great confusion and deluded in great delusion |39.--the rulers of the æons and all the rulers of the Fate and those of the sphere; and I set them in great agitation, and thence on they were no longer able to turn towards the refuse of their matter to devour it, in order that their regions may continue to delay and they [themselves] may spend a long time as rulers.

"But when I had taken away a third of their power, I changed their spheres, so that they spend a time facing to the left and another time

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facing to the right. I have changed their whole path and their whole course, and I have made the path of their course to hurry, so that they may be quickly purified and raised up quickly. And I have shortened their circles, and made their path more speedy, and it will be exceedingly hurried. And they were thrown into confusion in their path, and from then on were no more able to devour the matter of the refuse of the purification They no more have the power of devouring their matter.of their light. And moreover I have shortened their times and their periods, so that the perfect number of souls who shall receive the mysteries and be in the Treasury of the Light, shall be quickly completed. For had I not changed their courses, and had I not shortened their periods, they would not have let any soul come into the world, because of the matter of their refuse |40. which they devoured, and they would have destroyed many souls. For this cause I said unto you aforetime: 'I have shortened the times because of my elect; otherwise no soul would have been able to be saved.' And I have shortened the times and the periods because of the perfect number of the souls who shall receive the mysteries, that is to say, the 'elect'; and had I not shortened their periods, no material soul would have been saved, but they would have perished in the fire which is in the flesh of the rulers. This then is the word on which thou dost question me with precision."

It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, that they fell down all together, adored him and said to him: "Blessed are we before all men, for unto us thou hast revealed these great exploits."

Next: Chapter 28

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