This is the revelation that Adam taught his son Seth in the seven hundredth year.
The Fall of Adam and Eve
“Listen to my words, my son Seth,” said Adam.
When Sakla created me out of the earth along with your mother Eve, I walked about with her in the glory that she had seen in the eternal realm from which we came. She taught me knowledge of the eternal god. We resembled the great eternal angels, for we were higher than Sakla, who created us, and the powers who were with him, whom we did not know. Your mother Eve and I didn’t come from the eternal realm, but knowledge entered into us, we children of the great eternal beings.
Sakla, the ruler of the realms and the powers, was wrathful and divided us, and we became two separate beings. The glory in our hearts left us, me and your mother Eve, along with the first knowledge that had breathed in us. Glory fled from us and returned to the eternal realm. For this reason, I name you the ancestor of the great generation, and its predecessor. After all knowledge of the eternal god of truth withdrew from me and your mother Eve, we learned about the inanimate and about human beings. We recognized Sakla, the god who had created us. We were no strangers to his powers, and served him in fear and slavery. After this, our hearts darkened, and I slept in my heart’s darkened thoughts.
Sakla (the foolish one) is the name of the demiurge, the being that created the physical realm. In other Gnostic books, he is known as Samael or Yaldabaoth. Though he created Adam and Eve, they were imbued with divine knowledge of the eternal realm.
Adam and Eve are Awakened
I saw three people before me who I didn’t recognize. They were not sent by the powers of Sakla, who created us. They surpassed his glory.
“Rise, Adam, from the sleep of death,” they said, “and learn about the eternal being and the embryo of the person to whom life has come, who will be born by Eve, your wife.”
When we heard the words of the great beings standing before me, Eve and I sighed in our hearts.
Later, Sakla, the god who created us, stood before us.
“Adam,” he said, “why were you both sighing in your hearts? Don’t you know that I am the god who created you? I breathed the spirit of life into you as a living soul.”
Darkness came over our eyes. Then the god who had created us created a son from himself and Eve, your mother. The vigor of our eternal knowledge was destroyed in us, and weakness pursued us. The days of our lives were few. I knew that I had come under the authority of death. Yet still I knew a sweet desire for your mother.
Adam and Eve are visited by angels from the heavenly realm who restore their knowledge of the eternal realm. When Sakla discovers this, he curses them with death. This is analogous to Satan enlightening Adam and Eve in Genesis, and Yahweh cursing them with death.
Noah and the Flood
Now, my son Seth, I will reveal what those whom I saw revealed to me, after which I lived until the span of my generation was over.
Rain showers from almighty Sakla poured down to destroy all flesh on the earth, along with the descendants of those who received the life giving power of true knowledge. That life and knowledge came from your mother Eve and me. They themselves were strangers to the eternal god. Afterward, great angels came on high clouds to take those people in whom the spirit of life lived. A multitude of flesh was be left behind in the waters.
Sakla rested from his wrath. He cast his power on the waters, and gave power to his sons and their wives by preserving them in an ark, along with the animals, whichever he pleased, and the birds of heaven, which Noah called forth and released upon the earth.
“Look,” said Sakla to Noah, whom later generations will call Deucalion, “I have protected you in the ark along with your wife, your sons, their wives, their animals, and the birds of heaven, which you called and released upon the earth. I give the earth to you and your sons. You will rule over it as king. You are not descended from the people who would not stand in my presence but gloried in another.”
In a cloud of great light, people came who were sent out with the knowledge of the great eternal realms and the angels. They stood before Noah in the earthly realm.
“Why have you strayed from what I told you?”, Sakla asked Noah. “You have created another generation who scorns my power.”
“I testify before your might,” said Noah, “that this generation of people didn’t come from me or my sons.”
Those people were brought to their proper land and a holy dwelling was built for them. They were called by the name of that place and lived there six hundred years, knowing incorruptibility. Angels of the great light lived with them. No foul deed resided in their hearts, only the knowledge of the true god.
Noah divided the whole earth among his sons, Ham, Japheth and Shem.
“My sons, hear me,” he said to them. “I have divided the earth among you. Serve Sakla in fear and slavery all the days of your life. You children must not turn away from the face of Sakla the almighty.”
“You and lord Sakla will be pleased with our descendants,” said his sons. “Rule them with your strong hand and with fear, and command them, and the whole generation that come from us will not turn from you and Sakla the almighty, but will serve in humility and fear of what they know.”
Sakla sends the flood not to destroy evil in humanity, but to wipe out the Sethians, who inherited the secret knowledge of the eternal realm. Only Noah and his sons, who are faithful to Sakla, are saved. After the flood, the angels bring people who have knowledge of the eternal realm down to the earth.
The Four Hundred Thousand
Four hundred thousand of the descendants of Ham and Japheth entered the land of those people who came from the great eternal knowledge. The shadow of their power protected them and those with them from everything evil and every filthy desire. Then these descendants of Ham and Japheth formed twelve kingdoms.
Their other descendants entered the kingdom of the eternal people. They took counsel with the great aeons of incorruptibility. Afterwards, they went to their god Sakla, lord of the temporal powers, and accused the glorious great ones.
“What is the power of these people who stood in your presence,” they said to Sakla, “and those who are descended from Ham and Japheth who number four hundred thousand? They were received by those who claim to come from another realm, and have overturned all the glory of your power and the dominion of your hand. Noah, through his sons, has done your will, and so have all the powers in the realms over which your might rules. Both those people and those who reside in their glory have not done your will. They have turned aside your whole throng.”
The heavenly people pass on their knowledge of the heavenly realm to four hundred thousand of Noah’s descendants. The twelve kingdoms may represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
Fire, Sulfur and Tar
The great ones who had not been defiled were not defiled by any desire. Their souls did not come from a defiled hand, but from an eternal angel’s great command. Sakla, the god of the earthly realms, commanded some of those who served him. They descended on the land of the undefiled. Then fire, sulfur and tar were cast upon those people, and fire and blinding mist come over their realm, and the eyes of their rulers and luminaries were darkened, and the inhabitants of the realm could not see.
Great clouds of light descended from the great eternal realms. Abrasax, Sablom and Gamaliel descended and bring their people out of the fire and the wrath, and took them to the eternal realms with their rulers to dwell there with the holy angels and the eternal beings. The people were like those angels, for they were not strangers to them, but worked with the imperishable children.
Sakla attempts to destroy the people of heaven, but the archangels descend and remove them to the eternal realm.
The Illuminator of Knowledge
The whole creation that came from the dead earth is under the authority of death, but those who reflect on the knowledge of the eternal god in their hearts will not perish. They have not received their spirit from the earthly kingdom, but from something eternal, angelic. The illuminator will come, Seth. He will perform signs and wonders to scorn the earthly powers and their ruler.
Once again, for the third time, the illuminator of knowledge passed by in great glory to leave some of the descendants of Noah, the sons of Ham and Japheth, as fruit-bearing trees for himself. He redeemed their souls from the day of death.
“What is the power of this person who is higher than we are?” Sakla, the god of the powers said.
He brought great wrath against that person. Glory withdrew and lived in holy houses it had chosen for itself. The powers did not see it with their eyes, nor did they see the illuminator. They punished only the flesh of the one over whom the holy spirit had come.
The illuminator is, of course, Christ. Sakla is behind his death, but does not see that Christ has left his flesh. Interestingly, Christ is not born, but has merely “come over” Jesus.
The Origin of the Illuminator
The minions of Sakla all the generations of the earthly powers used his name in error.
“Where did he come from?” they asked. “Where did these words of deception, which all the powers have failed to realize, come from?”
The first kingdom said that the illuminator came from the eternal god, and emanated as a spirit in heaven. He was nourished in the heavens. He received the glory of the eternal one and the power. He came to the bosom of his mother, and in this way he came to the water.
The second kingdom said that he came from a great prophet. A bird came, took the child, and brought him onto a high mountain. He was nourished by the bird of heaven. An angel came forth there and said to him, “Rise! God has given you glory.” He received glory and strength, and in this way he came to the water.
The third kingdom said that he came from a virgin womb. He was cast out of his city, he and his mother; he was brought to a desert. He was nourished there. He received glory and power, and in this way he came to the water.
The fourth kingdom said that he came from a virgin. Solomon sought her, he and Phersalo and Sauel and his armies, who had been sent out. Solomon himself sent his army of demons to seek out the virgin. They did not find the one whom they sought, but the virgin who was given to them. It was she whom they fetched. Solomon took her. The virgin became pregnant and gave birth to the child. She nourished him on the border of the desert. When he was nourished, he received glory and power from the line from which he was conceived, and in this way he came to the water.
The fifth kingdom said that he came in a drop from heaven. He was thrown into the sea. The abyss received him, gave birth to him, and carried him up to heaven. He received glory and power, and in this way he came to the water.
The sixth kingdom said that one of the angels came down to the realm below in order to gather flowers. She became pregnant by her desire for the flowers. She gave birth to him in that place. The angels of the flower garden nourished him. He received glory and power there, and in this way he came to the water.
The seventh kingdom said that he came in a drop from heaven to earth. Dragons brought him down into their caves, and he became a child. A spirit came over him and raised him to the place from which the drop had come. He received glory and power there, and in this way he came to the water.
The eighth kingdom said that a cloud came over the earth and enveloped a rock. He came forth from it. The angels above the cloud nourished him. He received glory and power there, and in this way he came to the water.
The ninth kingdom said that one of the nine muses separated. She came to a high mountain and spent some time seated there. She desired her own body and become androgynous. She fulfilled her own desire and became pregnant. He was born. The angels who had created her desire nourished him. He received glory there and power, and in this way he came to the water.
The tenth kingdom said that a god loved a cloud of desire. The god spent his seed in his hand and cast some of it upon the cloud above him, and the illuminator was born. He received glory and power there, and in this way he came to the water.
The eleventh kingdom said that a father desired his own daughter. She was pregnant by her father. She cast her child into a tomb out in the desert. An angel nourished him there, and in this way he came to the water.
The twelfth kingdom said that he came from two luminaries. He was nourished. He received glory and power, and in this way he came to the water.
The thirteenth kingdom said that one born of their ruler was a word. The word received a mandate there. He received glory and power, and in this way he came to the water, that the desire of those powers might be satisfied.
But the people without a king said that the eternal God chose the illuminator from all the eternal realms. He caused knowledge of the one of truth, which is undefiled, to reside in him. From a foreign place, from the mighty eternal realm, the great illuminator appeared. He made the generation of those people whom he had chosen for himself shine, so that they would shine on the whole eternal realm.
Sakla and all the people loyal to him did not know Christ. The first kingdom, the true heavenly kingdom, knew that he was an Aeon, an emanation from the eternal god, who was born to an earthly mother. The remaining twelve kingdoms, established by those who had lived with the people of heaven, had various misunderstandings of his origin. The people without a king, presumably the people of heaven who were rescued by the archangels, knew Christ was a heavenly being as well.
The People Acknowledge Their Error
Those who received his name upon the water fought against the earthly powers. A cloud of darkness came upon them. Then all the people cried out with a great voice.
“Blessed are the souls of those people because they have known the true god. They shall live forever, because they have not been corrupted by their desire, along with the angels, nor have they performed the works of the earthly powers. They have stood in God’s presence and knowledge of God like light has come forth from fire and blood. But we have foolishly done every deed demanded by the earthly powers. We have boasted in the transgression of all our works. We have cried out against the God of truth because all his works are eternal. This weighs on our spirits, for now we know that our souls will die in death.”
“Why do you cry out against the living God with lawless voices and tongues, and souls full of blood and foul deeds?” said Micheus, Michar, and Mnesinous, who were lords over the holy baptism and the living water. “You are full of untrue works, yet your ways are full of joy and rejoicing. Having defiled the water of life, you have given it over to the will of the powers who you serve. Your thought is not like that of the people who you persecute. Their fruit does not wither. They will be taken up to the great eternal realms, because the words they have kept, of the God of the eternal realms, were not committed to a book, nor were they written down. Angelic beings, who all the generations of your people will never know, will bring them. They will stand on a high mountain, upon a rock of truth. Therefore, they will be called by words of incorruptibility and truth as those who know the eternal God in wisdom of knowledge and the teachings of angels forever, for He knows all things.”
These are the revelations that Adam made known to his son Seth. Seth taught his descendants about them. This hidden knowledge of Adam, which he gave to Seth, is the holy baptism of those who know the eternal knowledge through those born of the word and the imperishable illuminator, who came from the holy seed: Yesseus Mazareus Yessedekeus, the living, water.
This apocalyptic passage speaks of the end times, when the followers of Christ rise up against the earthly powers. Then everyone else realizes that they are doomed to die, whereas the followers of Christ will be taken up to the eternal realm. As in all Gnostic texts, it is knowledge that saves, not faith.