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Chapter 11


Lucifer goes down to the earth, sees mankind – A hidden opportunity is revealed – Lucifer plans to establish the Law of Immediate Recompense – The symbol and power of knowledge – Jehovah threatens man, commands not to partake of knowledge – Contentions between Jehovah and Lucifer – The seed of curiosity – Jehovah accepts the challenge of Lucifer

 

1  And Lucifer and all his host moved across the face of the land, and seeing upon the plains the children of men gathered from afar, Lucifer was filled with amazement, saying:

2  “Behold, what a marvelous wonder I do see! How these creatures in the image of God do strangely look, being in the similitude of his being; being fashioned hand for hand, and foot for foot.

3  Yet are they but little better than the wild beasts which roam idly about, being in themselves naked and continually frightened, for they are few in number and to them is no knowledge given.

4  But still do they seem but oddly strange, for in their countenance do I perceive still the face of heavenly beings, while they themselves move about as beasts upon the earth.”

5  Such were the musings of Lucifer, and hovering there upon the winds, he watched constantly over the children of men, being deep in thought; and when he was concluded, he spoke unto the angels, saying:

6  “What blessings unknown from the dark do rise, that even I should rejoice in heart and mind; for here in this world beyond the Gods have I found a creature like unto us.

7  And though the mind of man be filled with darkness yet shall I give into their keeping the knowledge of good and evil whereby I might lift them above all things common.

8  Know then that I shall establish over them the Law of Immediate Recompense, that they may choose the good above the evil;

9  And if it so be that they shall choose the good, even then shall I add to their goodness a multitude of blessing; but if they do evil instead of goodness, then shall I afflict them with sore displeasure.

10  By such means shall I prove the worthiness of my way, and I shall go again before the councils of Elohim to plead my cause; that I may remove forever Hodos Alea, and I shall increase beyond measure the dominions of the greater Light.

11  For see how the children of men are without any spirit within; if, therefore, the law of my hand shall prove them greater, how much more benefit shall we find in placing the law over those in whom the spirit children of God reside?

12  And if by chance the law should prove no benefit to the children of men, what is that to me? For I shall increase my power through the greatness of Yaldabaoth; and I shall ascend unto Heaven to take by force the kingdom of God.

13  For if the law of my hand should fail in making these men good, what proof is there in that, seeing that they are without any spirit within.

14  Take you, therefore, ready charge over all the elements of this world and in land, and sea, and sky give forth their dominions unto me, that I may bend them to my will.

15  And if the children of men will seek the good, then shall I cause the earth to yield of her increase for their sake, and the seas shall give up their bounty, and from the skies above shall I cause the gentle rains to fall whereby there might be found a ready harvest.

16  But if the children of men be disobedient and seek not goodness from my hand, then shall I cause the earth to belch forth noxious fumes, and earthquakes shall devour the wicked; and in the storm and in the flood shall many perish.

17  And the earth shall I cause to withhold her increase and great famines shall haunt the living; and I shall bring upon the winds pestilences of every kind.

18  By such measured means shall I bend the children of men to some greater purpose, that by the Law of Immediate Recompense they might receive good for good and evil for evil.

19  Yet must the imperative first be established, for without a knowledge of good and evil, how shall any greater thing come?

20  For except this knowledge first be given, how shall any man be benefited, for he must remain as he is, being ignorant and filled with fear.”

21  So spoke Lucifer unto the angels which followed after, and stretching forth his hand there leaped out of his palm a bright and burning flame, and speaking again unto the host, he said:

22  “Behold the symbol and the power which I would place into the hands of men, for the knowledge of good and evil is like a flame which would give to their good both heat and light.

23  For the fire which burns brings forth out of itself a good or evil fruit, even according to your diligence; and if a man give unto it a constant watch, then shall the flames yield to his benefit a great advantage.

24  But if a man be slothful and not vigilant, then do the flames, in their fury, rush forth to destroy and make desolate; and the foolish man, being not watchful, is consumed every whit.

25  In like manner is the knowledge of good and evil; for if a man be diligent and ever watchful to do the good always, then shall there be given unto him some great advantage, for this man shall I richly bless.

26  And if a man be slothful in discerning the good or the evil, but shall turn his hand to mischief instead, then shall the flames of my wrath rush forth to destroy him in the midst of his wickedness.”

27  And when he was finished speaking, the angels went forth throughout the earth; and in land, and sea, and sky did they take hold of every element and give forth of their dominions unto Lucifer whereby he might bend them to his will.

28  But from the regions of greater darkness, out of the womb of endless night did Jehovah-Yahweh suddenly leap forth; and knowing already the designs of Lucifer, he flung himself throughout the earth.

29  And wheresoever he found the children of men, whether in their groupings or in their tribes, he did command sternly that they partake not of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that they should partake thereof, even in that day would they surely perish.

30  Now when Jehovah-Yahweh had completed in seeking out the children of men, he sought earnestly the presence of Lucifer, and when he had found him, he spoke hotly against him, saying:

31  “Why will you think to lift your hand against me, or to give unto man the knowledge of good and evil? Would you have man to become greater than god; for by my own hand did I fashion them from the dust of the ground.”

32  But Lucifer, being filled with cunning, spoke soothingly unto the Demiurge, saying: “Not so dread lord, but for your glory only would I give unto man the knowledge of good and evil.

33  Who will delight in ignorance only, or again, what triumph is there in ruling over mere beasts, which being dumb and brutish, can add no glory unto you?

34  Thus did I, with all noble intent, think to separate man from the beasts of the field; that by such achievements as they might gain for themselves, even thereto would their glory be added unto your own.”

35  But Jehovah-Yahweh hissed loudly in reply, saying: “What care have I for these things? Can that which is small and puny add glory to that which is strong and mighty already?

36  Behold, man has naught but to fear me, to obey me, and to worship me; for this cause only did I bring him forth. I care for nothing else.

37  For this cause have I commanded all men to refrain from seeking knowledge, for whosoever shall partake of such knowledge as you would give, even that one shall I cause to perish suddenly, even in the very moment.

38  Deceive me not, therefore, with smooth words of subtle speech, neither speak well of noble intent; for I know well from whence you come; and that goodness which abides in the very shadow of you has given me cause for alarm and constant watching.

39  Know then, O Lucifer, that the children of men will scorn such knowledge as you would place into their keeping; for fear is greater than knowledge, and ignorance more preferred than swift destruction.

40  For these causes alone man will shun you altogether and your name will be had only for evil; for in the weighing of the balance, men shall seek my favor more readily than the sum of all your knowledge.”

41  And Jehovah-Yahweh laughed in great delight, and the stars, like rain, fell from Heaven and the sun did the moon consume at midday; and all which lived upon the earth grew terribly fearful at the signs which ruled the sky.

42  But in his soul did Lucifer smile at the pretensions of the Demiurge, and he spoke unto him, saying: “Not so, dread lord; for I perceive in the heart of man a thing far greater than any fear; before whose very countenance pale death shall lose its hold, and all men shall be free of you forever.”

43  And the Demiurge, being troubled by the words of Lucifer, grew still and strangely quiet; and he spoke unto the Fallen One, saying: “What is this thing of which you speak, for even I would deign to see it?”

44  And Lucifer, stretching forth his hand unto the Demiurge, revealed in the palm thereof a small and trifling seed; and Lucifer spoke, saying:

45  “Behold this seed of curiosity which I have found unnurtured in the heart of every man; and if it so be that I should tempt it to grow but a little, even it will lift all men above the greatness of your powers;

46  And by its rising up cast down the yoke of fear and death; for so trifling a thing as this, if tempted to some greater purpose, will prove the whole of your undoing.”

47  Now when Jehovah-Yahweh saw for himself so small a seed, he was filled with scorn, saying: “By what strange power shall this seed prove greater than the fear of me? For I am god, and of my power and greatness there is no end.”

48  But Lucifer tempted Jehovah-Yahweh to challenge him; and he spoke, saying: “Whether this seed be greater than the fear of you, let us determine for ourselves. For by your leave would I go forth to tempt those which you commanded.

49  And if they shall turn hard their hearts away from me, to shun altogether the knowledge of good and evil, then shall you be made the victor.

50  For how shall you claim to be the greater, seeing that you have set before you no challenge, or added to your boasting any proof?”

51  Such are the words which Lucifer spoke, and the Demiurge for countless days did ponder and carefully weigh; and when he was decided, he spoke unto Lucifer, saying:

52  “Go you down quickly unto the earth, for I would see for myself whether or not the children of men will obey me above all else, and shun you altogether.”

53  Then did Lucifer rejoice in himself, saying: “Now shall I set forth the rightness of my way.” And immediately he went down unto the earth whereby he might tempt the children of men to some greater purpose.

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