Bartholomew deals with Christ's descent into Hades, and his liberation of the Old Testament saints there. The text is preserved in many fragments in several languages, and can be dated to around 200.
Before the passion of our Lord Christ, he assembled with all the Apostles. They asked him as one, "Lord, show us the secrets of Heaven." Jesus answered, "I can show you nothing about the afterlife until I have put off this body of flesh." After his suffering and rising, the Apostles didn't dare ask him that question, because his appearance changed; he revealed himself to them in the glory and fullness of the Godhead.
Courageously, Bartholomew approached him and said, "Lord, I wish to speak to you." Jesus spoke next, "Bartholomew, my beloved, I already know what you wish to say. Ask then, and I will tell you what you need to know. I will make known to you what you do not say."
Bartholomew said, "Lord, when you went to be hanged on the cross, I followed from a distance and saw that angels from above descended to worship you. When it became dark, I looked up and found you gone; except that I seemed to hear your voice speaking from among the sounds of wailing and gnashing of teeth rising from the nether world. Tell me, Lord, where you left the cross." The Lord replied, "When I seemed to disappear from the cross, I descended to the nether world with my angels in order to raise Adam and the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) as Michael, the archangel, had petitioned me to do. As we intended to shatter the doors and rend the iron bars of that place, all hell cried out to the devil, 'I perceive that God has come down to earth!' Then the angels cried to the principalities and powers there, 'Open your gates, you princes, for the King of Glory has come down!' Hell asked, 'Who is this King of Glory?'
"When I had descended down the length of five-hundred steps, all Hell began to tremble violently and cried, 'I believe Yah has come! His mighty breath comes before him! I cannot stand it!' But the Devil said to Hell, 'Don't submit! Make yourself strong! Yahweh has not come down!'
"When I descended another five-hundred steps, the strong angels commanded, 'Open up, you doors of your prince! Throw the gates wide open! Look, the King of Glory has come.' Again Hell cried out to the devil in fear, 'How doleful I am! I feel the Divine breath! Yet you say He has not come!'
"The Lord of the Flies replied, 'Why do you fear? You think it is Yahweh, but it is only a prophet who has made himself like the Most High. We will take him and put him with the rest of those who have the ridiculous hope that they will ascend to Heaven!'
"Hell then said, 'So which of the prophets comes? Enoch, the scribe of holiness? Yahweh has not allowed him to descend until six thousand years are completed. Elijah, the avenger? You told me that he does not come down here before the end. What will I do if I am to be destroyed by Yahweh? I feel that already the end is near, for I know the number of years that I have!'
"But when the Devil finally perceived that the Logos of the Father had come down, he said, 'Hell, don't be afraid! We will lock the gates and fortify the bars. This is not Yah that comes down.' And Hell cried out, 'Where, oh where will we hide ourselves from the face of Yahweh, the greatest king? Do not keep me from hiding; I was created before you!'
"At this cry, the angels tore the brass gates of Hell to pieces, while I shattered the iron bars. I went in and pummeled Hell with one hundred blows, and bound him up with unbreakable chains. I brought out all those awaiting, then I returned to the cross."
Then Bartholomew said to him, "Lord, I saw you again on the cross, and what appeared to be the dead arising and worshipping you. Tell me, Lord, who was that giant whom the angels brought up in their arms, and what did you say to him that caused him to groan so deeply?"
The Lord told Bartholomew, "It was Adam, the first living soul that was created. I said to him, 'I suffered on the cross for your sake and for your generation.' He groaned and told me, 'You were pleased to complete this mission, O Lord.'"
Bartholomew then said, "Lord, I saw angels coming up before Adam and singing songs of praise. The largest of these angels, who had a fiery sword in his hands, would not come up. Although he was bid to arise, he refused. When you commanded him to come, I saw a mighty flame issue from the sword in his hands, that reached as far as Jerusalem!" Jesus replied, "My beloved Bartholomew, you are blessed to have seen such mysteries! This angel you witnessed was one of the avengers who stands before my Father's throne, and he was sent to me. He would not go up because he wanted to destroy all the power of this world. When I commanded him to rise, he ripped the temple veil in two by that fiery sword as a testimony to the children of Israel of my sufferings. They are the ones who bear the guilt of my crucifixion."
After he had spoken with Bartholomew, he again addressed his Apostles and said, "Wait for me here." I am going to Paradise where a sacrifice is being offered in my honor." But Bartholomew, bewildered, said, "Lord, what kind of sacrifice can be offered in Paradise?" Jesus answered, "When the body dies, the spirits of the righteous ascend to Paradise. Unless I am present there, they cannot enter. The spirits of the righteous are the sacrifices of Paradise!"
Bartholomew further questioned the Lord, "How many die daily?" Jesus answered, "About thirty thousand." Again he asked, "If thirty thousand die daily, about how many go to Paradise?" "Only three," Jesus answered.
Bartholomew continued, "How many are born every day?" Jesus said, "Thirty thousand and one." Again he asked, "Lord, when you lived here among us, how were they able to receive sacrifices in Paradise?" Jesus answered, "Truly I say to you, my beloved, even when I was here teaching you, I sat at the Father's right hand and received the sacrifices in Paradise."
When Jesus had said these things, he passed them the peace and left their sight.
Mary Magdalene quotes Christ, "Did not our Lord say: 'The head of the man is Christ, but the head of the woman is man?'"
Later, the Apostles followed Jesus to the mountain Moriah,and he sat down among them. They were in awe of him, and afraid to ask anything of him.
Jesus told them, "Ask me whatever you want, and give me the opportunity to teach and show you things, for I will no longer appear to you in this form after I ascend to my Father. I will be here only seven more days."
Hesitating, they said to him, "Lord, show us the abyss, as you promised." He said, "The abyss is not a good thing for you to see, but if you so desire, my promise I will keep. Follow me and see." He led them to Cherubim, the place of truth. He then summoned the angels of the west. The earth seemed to be rolled as a scroll, and beneath it was the awesome sight of the abyss.
When the Apostles beheld the spectacle, they fell into a swoon on their faces. Jesus said to them, "Didn't I say that it wasn't a good thing for you to see the abyss?" Again he summoned the angels, who covered the abyss.
After the Apostles had recovered from the sight of the abyss, Jesus again appeared to them. Bartholomew said, "Lord, show us the adversary of men so that we can see what he looks like, or what evil he works, where he comes from, and the power he has in that he did not even spare you, but caused you to be hanged on the cross." Jesus looked on Bartholomew and said, "O bold heart! You ask for something you cannot have."
Bartholomew, being afraid, fell at Jesus' feet and cried, "O lamp never extinguished, Lord Jesus Christ, the everlasting, who entrusted grace to the ones he loved for the entire world, and gave everlasting light through his appearance on earth, who at the Father's bidding gave up his heavenly home and fulfilled his destiny, who transformed the shame of Adam into joy and nullified the sorrowful curse of Eve through his birth from a virgin mother; Do not be angry, but grant me the right to ask."
When he had thus said, Jesus compassionately raised him to his feet and told him, "Bartholomew, do you truly wish to see the Adversary of Men? I tell you the truth, that the Apostles, Mary, and yourself will all fall on your faces like the dead when you see him." Nevertheless, they all said, "Lord, this is our desire."
So he led them down from the mount of Olives. He bound the demons that protected hell, and commanded Michael to sound the trumpet of authority in the heavens. When the notes of the trumpet reverberated over the earth, it began to shake as though there were an earthquake, and Beliar himself came up from beneath the earth, held by 666 angels and bound with chains that appeared as fire.
Beliar seemed to be nearly a mile long by about forty yards wide. His face was ablaze as though it was lightning, and his eyes were threatening sparks. His nostrils exuded a stinking and foul smoke. His mouth was like the crag of a mountain, and each wing spanned about eighty yards. As soon as the Apostles saw the spectacle, they fell to the ground in a deathlike swoon. Jesus came near to each and lifted them up, imparting to them the strengthening Spirit of Power.
When Bartholomew recovered, he found this Beliar approaching. Before he could fear any more, Jesus said, "Approach Beliar, and draw near to him, Bartholomew." He did. Then Jesus told him, "Put your foot on Beliar's neck, and take authority over him; command him to tell you what his mission is, and how he deceives men." Then Jesus left Bartholomew there with Beliar, and retreated back a space with his Apostles.
Bartholomew cried out, "O womb larger than a city! O womb wider than the heavens! O womb that held the one whom seven heavens could never contain! Painlessly you held within your bosom him who was able to change into the smallest of things! O womb that hid the Messiah who became visible to many! O womb that became greater than the space of the entire creation!" Then Bartholomew became exceedingly the more afraid and cried to the Lord, "Jesus! Give me but a hem of your garment, and I will have courage to approach closer!" Jesus replied, "You can have none of my garment. It isn't the garment I wore before my passion!"
Then Bartholomew said, "Lord, I fear that Beliar will swallow me whole, since he did not spare your angels!" Jesus answered, "Weren't all things created through the Word and according to my Father's plan? Even Solomon had authority over spirits. Go on, then - you have been commanded to do so in my name! Ask him what you wish!"
Finally Bartholomew put his foot on the neck of Beliar. To his surprise, he was able to press his face in to the ground as far as his ears! Bartholomew asked him, "Tell me your name and who you are." Beliar said, "Let up a little, and I will tell you how great my power is...."
Then Bartholomew commanded Beliar to return to where he came from. Then he came back to Jesus and prostrated himself before him and began to cry. And he prayed, "Abba, Father, who can't be discovered by mortal men, Word of the Father...whose thought ordained all as it should be...because of your advent you have made all souls rejoice at the prospect of the gospel of eternal life. My God, great Father and King; save the sinner, Lord!"
When Bartholomew finished praying, Jesus said to him, "Bartholomew, the Father appointed me as Messiah, that I might come and anoint everyone who comes to me with the oil of life. He called me Jesus, that I might heal every evil of the ignorant and dispense God's truth."
Again Bartholomew spoke, "Lord, allow me to tell everyone the mysteries that have been revealed to me." Jesus answered him, "My beloved, tell the faithful who can keep these mysteries to themselves. Some are worthy of mysteries, but others can't be trusted with such revelation, especially the boasters, drunkards, prideful, merciless, idol worshipers, sexual seducers, gossips, false teachers, and those who follow the devil. Do not let these mysteries fill their ears, for they are not worthy! So it would be better if you kept these things a secret, for ones such as these will not believe you - they will mock you!
"On the other hand, all who can bear these things will have a part in them. Therefore, my beloved, I have shown you because you are especially blessed, as are all those to whom you entrust this message. Those who gain grace from your words will receive all they want in all times of my judgment."
"The odes are so truth-filled and beautiful, they thrilled my heart and took my breath away! I hope that they will have a wide audience, and be enjoyed by many many more people. I am going to share these with others. I hope that the Lord uses these for the encouragement of His people all over the world." - ATS, August 9, 2009
Shalomé of the Cross was the daughter of Mary and sister of Yahshua of Nazareth. She is mentioned several times in the New Testament Scriptures as a witness to the crucifixion. The Egyptian Scriptures portray her as a person much more important than a mere onlooker. In them, she is a fervent disciple who harbors and nurtures her brother as she learns the Way of the True Worshipper. To this same Shalomé tradition has attributed forty-one songs composed in the Aramaic language of the holy family. Her spiritual insight has much in common with that of the Beloved Disciple and the Teacher of Righteousness. Yet Shalomé has more to offer than a religious comparison of darkness and light. Her songs comprise a young woman’s unique and often mystical vision of the ‘divine feminine,’ love both mundane and ethereal, and hope that reaches far beyond the boundaries of earth and sky.
THE AUTHENTIC PETER: Ever wonder why Simon Peter only got a couple short letters in our Scriptures? Wouldn’t someone have recorded Peter’s AUTHENTIC acts and preaching? Of course his preaching was recorded! By Clement, an affluent Gentile convert, at the command of James the Just. So why would the Church Fathers bury the preaching of their first pope since Clement was their second pope? Because Peter's teachings are HEBRAIC. This volume is one-of-a-kind, containing teachings on many subjects, including deliverance, healing, true worship, and lost doctrines. We dispensed with churchy language in restored the original Hebraic names and titles of people, places and concepts - and a full GLOSSARY.