Previous Chapter: Book 1, Chapter 6
The universe arose because of the First Mystery, which existed from the beginning, and out of it I myself have also now come, though I did not in the time before my crucifixion. When the sun rose in the east, by the command of the First Mystery, I was sent my robe of Light. It had been given to me from the beginning, but I had left it behind in the last mystery, which is the twenty-fourth mystery from the inside out in the order of the second space of the First Mystery. I left my Robe behind in the last mystery until the time was right to put it on, and I could begin to discourse with the race of men and reveal everything to them, from the inside of the inside to the outside of the outside, and back. Rejoice and exult greatly, for you are the first I will to speak to of the Truth from the beginning to its completion.
For this reason, I have truly chosen you from the beginning through the First Mystery. Rejoice and exult, for when I first set out for the world, I brought twelve powers from the beginning with me, as I have told you, which I took from the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light at the command of the First Mystery. I then cast them into the wombs of your mothers, when I came into the world, and they are in your bodies today. These powers have been given to you before the whole world, because you are the one who will save the world, and so that you may be able to endure the threat of the rulers of the world, the pains of the world, its dangers and all its persecutions, which the Archons18 who rule the earth will bring upon you. For this reason I have said to you from the beginning that you are not of this world. I am also not of it. All men in the world have been given their souls out by the power of the rulers of the æons. But the power that is in you is from me; your souls belong to heaven.
I had taken the twelve powers of the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light out of the portion of my power which I first received. When I had set forth for the world, I came into the midst of the Archons of the material realm19 in the form of Gabriēl20, the angel of the Archons. The Archons did not know me; they thought that I was the angel Gabriēl. I looked down on the world of mankind, by command of the First Mystery. I found Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, before she had conceived him, and I sowed into her a power which I had received from the little Iaō21, the Good, who is in the Midst22, so that John would be able to proclaim my coming, make ready my way, and baptize with the water of the forgiveness of sins. That power went into the body of John.
Moreover, in place of the soul of the Archon which John was appointed to receive, I found the soul of the prophet Elias among the Archons. I took it to the Virgin of Light23, and she gave it over to her receivers. They brought it back to the material world and cast it into the womb of Elizabeth. So the power of the little Iaō, who is in the Midst, and the soul of the prophet Elias were bound into the body of John the Baptist. For this reason, you doubted me when I said to you: ‘John said: I am not the Christ,’ and you said to me: ‘It is written in the scriptures that When the Christ shall come, Elias will come before him and make ready his way.’ But when you said this unto me, I said to you: ‘Elias truly has come and has made ready all things, as it is written, and they have done to him as they would.’ And when I knew that you had not understood that I was telling you of soul of Elias which was bound into John the Baptist, I answered you plainly, face to face: ‘If you like to accept John the Baptist, he is Elias, who I have said would come.’
18 The Pistus Sophia seems to use the term ‘aeon’ for the demonic beings created by the demiurge who rule the material world. These are normally referred to as Archons.
19 The term ‘sphere’ is used when referring to the material (non heavenly) realm.
20 The angel Gabriel is an agent of the Archons
21 Iao (iota, alpha, omega) is the Greek form of YHWH (Yahweh). Iao is presumably an Archon, though good, similar to Samaoth in Eleleth’s Revelation.
22 It is unclear what the author means by the ‘midst’. Possibly this refers to the ogdoad, the 8th sphere, which lies between the 7 spheres of the material world and the heavenly realm.
23 Sophia, the Aeon who gave rise to the demiurge and the material world, is the heavenly virgin.