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Apocalypse of the Apostle Thomas

Introduction

The Apocalypse of Thomas divides its message into two special sections. The first section deals with typical apocalyptic material speaking of future socio-political scenarios. The second section deals with the individual person’s experiences on The Way.

The book is thoroughly rooted in the genre of apocalyptic literature of its time (2nd century). Few of the esoteric keys to unravel the obscurities of the text have survived history.

Who wrote the book?

Scholars seem to see certain late passages in the book, which date around the 4th century. The bulk of the book, however, may have been written in the 2nd century. The Church understands the book to be a product of a an ashram, perhaps near today’s Baghdad. The deeply esoteric message of the second part is information reserved for initiates of the inner circle. The book could therefore have only been produced and used in a religious community where an oral tradition knew the inner-secret parts.

The possibility that the book relates information that St. Thomas taught must not be overlooked. It is very possible that they compiled the book in its current form at a later date, but working from older sources.


Apocalypse of the Apostle Thomas: Chapters 1 - 12

This is a letter of the Lord, which he wrote to Thomas

Chapter 1

The Three Periods

1 My friend and younger twin Thomas this is the mystery of the things which must come to pass in the last times: First there shall be famines and wars and earthquakes in various places, snow and ice and great drought will be and many disagreements among the people, blasphemy, iniquity, envy and villainy, indolence, pride and intemperance, so that every person shall speak whatever they wish.

2 And the priests shall not have peace among themselves, but shall sacrifice unto me with deceitful mind, therefore will I not look upon them.

3 Then shall the priests behold the people departing from the house of the Lord and turning to the gods of the world, turning the holy things we have taught into shrines of the world as it pleases their vainglory.

4 And they shall justify for themselves many teachings and turning it around as if they were of us, but they will be serving Caesar, as also they were before: giving poll-taxes from the house of worship which will be defiled and be a temple of men and politic; the women and children, the poor and sick, and the saints and sages will be locked outside, servants of the priests, fulfilling Caesar.

5 For there shall be great disturbance throughout all the people, and death. The house of the Lord shall be desolate, and their altars shall be abhorred, so that spiders weave their webs therein.

6 The place of holiness shall be corrupted, the priesthood polluted, agony shall increase, virtue shall be overcome, joy perish, and gladness depart.

7 In those days evil shall abound : there shall be respecters of persons, hymns shall cease out of the house of the Lord, truth shall be no more, covetousness shall abound among the priests; an upright priesthood shall not be found.

8 After that shall arise a crafty trader from the south, a lover of the Law, who shall rule for a short time. In the days of his brothers there shall be all manner of evils, even the death of the race of the humans from the east even unto Babylon they will pitch their tents.

9 And thereafter death and famine and sword in the land of Canaan even unto Rome. Then shall all the fountains of waters and wells spew forth and be turned into dust and blood.

10 The heaven shall be moved to another place, the stars shall fall upon the moon cut in half and the sun shall not give its light. In those days, when this Anti-Christ draws near, these are the signs. Woe to them that dwell on the earth; in those days great pains of travail shall come upon them.

11 Woe to them that build, for they shall not inhabit. Woe to them that break up the fallow, for they shall labour without cause.

12 Woe to them that make marriages, for unto famine and need shall they beget sons.

13 Woe to them that join house to house or field to field, for all things shall be consumed with fire.

14 Woe to them that forsake themselves for his sake for knowing the truth hereafter shall they be condemned to him for ever.

15 Woe unto them that shun the poor when they ask, and look not upon the orphans from mothers dead in dead in body and father’s dead in soul.

Chapter 2

1 Again for nine ages the multitude shall command a golden calf image of a Caesar, to be worshipped in the house of the Father, and books and prayers and rulers and martyrs shall abound.

2 Then shall the spirits of the east return for their own sake and faith shall return to the servants of the Lord, and holiness shall be multiplied and agony will multiply.

3 The high places and the mountains shall be the comforters and shall drop down sweetness of fire from the facet, that the number of the saints may be consummated in the new worlds.

4 After a short time there shall arise saints as kings out of the East and the West, who shall cause all good things and necessary to a abound in the house of the Lord:

5 they restore mercy unto the widows and to the needy, and command the priests to take up their royal gift.

6 In their days shall be abundance of all things. There shall be plenty of corn and wine and oil,

7 but great dearness of money, so that the substance of gold and silver shall be given for corn, and there shall be great death.

Chapter 3

1 At that time again six ages, a very great rising of the knowledge of the energies , so that no one tell news to any other.

2 The kings of the earth and the princes and the captains shall be troubled, and no one shall speak with a brother openly.

3 Gray hears shall be seen upon boys, and the youth shall not give place to the aged.

4 And the substance of gold and silver shall be given for a multitude of things and less will be spared for corn.

5 Abundance of all things in some parts and children will die on their mother’s dry breasts in another. These are the signs of the end of time for this race.

6 Woe to them that heed not the labours of the saints, for all the ages they have been given grace. Woe, for they receive the sweet odour of the mountain dew and the fire from on high but in their darkness desire only vainglory and the body of flesh.

7 Woe, for they receive grace which is wasted upon them, they take from the Father the food that should feed the babies in distress.

Chapter 4

1 At that time a healer shall rise in the south and my spirit shall be on him. Great division will be caused and the pain of the physician will not be spared anyone.

2 The faith of the faithful will increase and the house of the Father and Mother will again be restored.

3 And the substance of gold and silver shall be given for healing and for food, and children shall believe.

4 My saints will rejoice and goodness will reign for a time throughout the world where the Anti-Christ is banished.

5 The lawless and slaves of prison and deceit will empower the lovers of the law where the will trick everyone with cunning and lies and portents.

6 These are the signs of the end things, when only the healers will bring forth good trees and children to God.

7 The good trees are the hidden fruits of the mysteries, removed from the multitude in the time of their worship of the gods of this world, the golden image and likeness of truth.

Chapter 5

Mystical doctrine of the Way

1 I write these things, my Thomas, for I am of concern for our brothers and sisters. The Father shows me these things for I am with the high and powerful: I am one with the Father of all spirits, who sees the cycles of time even in the eye of the swallow.

2 These are the seven signs of the ending of this world.

3 There shall be in all the earth famine and great pestilence and much distress: then shall all men be led captive among all idols of the nation and shall fall by the edge of the sword. Those who conquer will inherit the First day.

4 On the first day of the judgment will be a great mystery. At the third hour of the day shall be a great and mighty voice in the firmament of the heaven and a great cloud of blood coming down out of the north and great thunderings and mighty lightning shall follow that cloud, and there shall be a rain of blood upon all the earth and tears will swell the rivers.

5 Barren wombs will seek fulfilment and the rising of passion will hasten their steps unto the mountain, hearts will bleed and cover the feet of those running up the mountain, leaving every familiar thing and possession behind and running in wailing.

6 These are the signs of the first day. Those who conquer this night will find more sorrow in the next night, and the day will not shine upon them, and peace will flee from them.

7 Woe to those who speak of the passion and taste not the blood.

Chapter 6

1 And on the second day there shall be a great voice in the firmament of the heaven, and the earth shall be moved out of its place: and the gates of heaven shall be opened in the firmament of heaven toward the east.

2 A great feminine power shall be belched forth by the gates of heaven and shall light all the heaven even until midnight. The Virgin will see the sin of every man on earth and she will tell the Judge each transgression.

3 There will be senses of new things and terrors of strange sights, and hearts will belch forth blood in great distress covering the eyes of those running into the mountains for cover.

4 Prayers and wails will be heard from every corner of the earth. These are the signs of the second day.

5 They that conquer will repent of sins and barren wombs will stir in amazement.

6 Woe to them that heed not their teachers, the serpent will rise to devour them.

7 Woe to them that move to foreign lands for the nations will deceive them and rob them of their inheritance.

Chapter 7

1 And on the third day, about the first hour, there shall be a voice in heaven, and the abysses of the earth shall utter their voice from the four corners of the world.

2 The first heaven shall be rolled up like a book and shall straightway vanish.

3 And because of the smoke and stench of the brimstone of the abyss the days shall be darkened unto the seventh hour.

4 Then shall all people see the child of austerity and fathers will say: “I think that the end is drawing near, that we shall perish.”

5 And the infants shall be wrapped in sackcloth and they will feed from the field.

6 And they will wander and awake people from their dreams with loud voices.

7 These are the signs of the third day.

Chapter 8

1 At that time a small peace will be restored for a short space. Water from the mountains will flow for the maidens to bath and for old men to wash their clothes.

2 And on the fourth day at the fifth hour, the earth of the East shall speak, the abyss shall roar: then shall all the earth be moved of an earthquake.

3 In that day shall all the idols of the heathen fall, and all the buildings of the earth will crumble.

4 The light from the East will blind the minds of men and maidens will hear voices and see portents.

5 Strong men will be humiliated and maidens will lead them into the mountains blinded by the light.

6 A great rumble in the house of God will bring the priests into the streets and a great passion will sweep through the hearth and a third will be overcome.

7 Menfolk and womenfolk will succumb but of the maidens and the strong men, a third will find shelter in a cave of the mountain, from the devouring passion. These are the signs of the fourth day.

Chapter 9

1 And on the fifth day, at the first hour, there shall be great thunderings suddenly in heaven,

2 and the powers of light and the wheel of the sun shall be caught away, and there shall be great darkness over the world until evening,

3 and the stars shall be turned away from their ministry.

4 In that day all shall hate the world and despise the life of this world.

5 A third will turn away from the mountains and take their hate and wisdom to the nations.

6 Those who conquer will find equanimity and resign to the East. These are the signs of the fifth day.

7 Woe to those who are wise in the these days.

Chapter 10

1 And on the sixth day there shall be signs in heaven. At the second hour the firmament of heaven shall be cloven from the East unto the West.

2 And the angels of the heavens shall be looking forth upon the earth from the opening of the heavens.

3 The maidens will conceive and give birth in the caves to female souls who will make themselves male, and male souls who will make themselves female.

4 The beasts of the world and the underworld and of all the waters will set up ways to devour the newborn. And all shall see above the earth the host of the angels looking forth out of heaven.

5 Then shall all men flee and cower by the babies and the women.

6 And the earth will roar and the abyss will spew forth its stench and will empty itself in the ocean. And the ocean will rise and fill the abyss and a great noise will fill the earth as the abyss is quenched.

7 Then shall they behold me coming from above in the light of my Father with the power and honour of my Mother and the holy angels shall announce me. Then at my coming shall the fence of fire of paradise be opened.

8 And the child born to the maiden will be my twin. And this shall be that perpetual fire that shall consume the earth and all the elements of the world. These are the signs of the sixth day.

Chapter 11

1 And on the seventh day at the seventh hour there shall be voices in the four corners of the heaven. And all the air shall be shaken, and filled with holy angels, and they shall make war with the forces of the world along with my brothers and sisters.

2 And in that day shall the perfect twins be sought out by the holy angels from the destruction of the world. Then shall all humanity see that the hour of their destruction is near.

3 And a great cloud of darkness will cover everything for the time of the rapture and great confusion will be upon all. The pillars of the temples and the holy things of the nations will fall apart and sorrow and distress will be on every saint.

4 Then shall their bodies be changed into the image and likeness and the honour of the holy angels, and into the power of the image of mine holy Father.

5 Then shall they be clothed in the vesture of life eternal, out of the cloud of light which was never been seen in this world; for that cloud comes down out of the highest realm of the heaven from the power of my Father. And that cloud shall go about with the beauty of all the spirits that have believed in me.

6 Then shall they be robed, and shall be borne by the hand of the holy angels like as I have told you. Then also shall they be lifted up into the air upon a cloud of light, and shall go with me rejoicing unto heaven, and then shall they continue in the light and honour of my Father.

7 Then shall there be great gladness with my Father and before the holy angels. These are the signs of the seventh day.

Chapter 12

1 And when the seven days are passed by, on the eighth day at the sixth hour there shall be a sweet and tender voice in heaven from the East.

2 And that angel be revealed which has power over the holy angels: and all the angels shall go forth with him, sitting upon chariots of the clouds of my holy Father, rejoicing and running upon the air beneath the heaven to deliver the elect that have believed in me.

3 And every twin-saint will be taken in the chariots and rushed up to the Kingdom where they will be awaken to see again the King.

4 And the destruction of this world has come and they shall give eternal praise that they will never again return there.

The letter of the Saviour to Thomas, concerning the end of this world, are ended.