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The Secret Book of Yaaqob [James]

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The Apocryphon of Yaaqob

Originally translated by Ron Cameron



Yaaqob writes to you. Peace be with you from Peace, love from Love, grace from Grace, faith from Faith, life from Set-Apart Life!

You asked me to send you a secret book which was revealed to me and [Simon] Kepha by Yahushua. I could neither refuse you nor speak directly to you, so I wrote it in Hebrew letters. I sent it to you, and to you alone. You are a minister of the salvation of the saints, endeavor earnestly, and take care to not recount this book to many. The Savior did not desire to recount to all of us, his twelve disciples. Blessed are those who will be saved through faith in this discourse.

Ten months ago I sent you another secret book the Savior revealed to me. That one you are to regard as revealed to me, Yaaqob.

The twelve disciples were sitting all together at the same time. Remembering what the Savior had said to each one of them, whether secretly or openly, they were setting it down in books. I was writing what was in my book. Lo, the Savior appeared, after He had departed from us while we gazed at Him. Five hundred and fifty days after He arose from the dead, we said to Him: "Have you gone and departed from us?"

Yahushua said: "No, I shall go to the place from which I came. If you desire to come with me, come."

They all answered and said: "If you bid us, we'll come."

He said: "Truly I say to you, no one will ever enter the Kingdom of Heaven if I bid him, but rather because you yourselves are full. Let me have Yaaqob and Kepha, in order that I may fill them." When He called these two, He took them aside, and commanded the rest to busy themselves with that with which they had been busy.

The Savior said: "You received mercy....

[7 lines are missing]

"Do you not desire, then, to be filled? Is your heart drunk? Do you not desire, then, to be sober? Therefore, be ashamed! Waking or sleeping, remember that you saw the Son of Man, you spoke with Him, and you listened to Him. Woe to those who saw the Son of Man! Blessed are those who did not seen the Man, who did not consort with Him, who did not speak with Him, and who did not listen to anything from Him. Yours is life! Know that He healed you when you were ill, in order that you might reign. Woe to those who rested from their illness, because they will relapse again into illness! Blessed are those who were not ill, and knew rest before they became ill. Yours is the Kingdom of Yahweh! I say to you, become full, leave no place within you empty, since the coming one is able to mock you."

Then Kepha answered: "Yahushua, three times you said to us: 'Become full'. But we are full."

Yahushua answered and said: "I say 'become full' unto you, in order that you may not be diminished. Those who are diminished will not be saved. Fullness is good, and diminution is bad. Therefore, just as it is good for you to be diminished and, on the other hand, bad for you to be filled; so also the one who is full is diminished, and the one who is diminished is not filled as the one who is diminished is filled; and the one who is full, for his part, brings his sufficiency to completion. Therefore, it is fitting to be diminished while you can still be filled, and to be filled while it is still possible to be diminished, in order that you can fill yourselves the more. Therefore become full of the Spirit but be diminished of reason. Reason is of the soul, it is soul."

I answered, and said to Him: "Yahushua, we can obey you if you wish. We forsook our forefathers, our mothers, our villages, and followed you. Grant us, therefore, to not be tempted by the wicked Devil."

Yahushua answered and said: "What is your merit when you do the will of the Father, if it is not given to you by Him as a gift while you are tempted by Satan? If you are oppressed by Satan, are persecuted, and you do the Father's will, I say that He will love you, make you equal with me, and will consider that you became beloved through His providence according to your free choice. Will you cease being lovers of the flesh, and being afraid of sufferings? Do you know you have not yet been mistreated, not yet been accused unjustly, nor have you yet been shut up in prison, nor have you yet been condemned lawlessly, nor have you yet been crucified without reason, nor have you yet been buried shamefully, as I was myself, by the evil one? Do you dare to spare the flesh, you for whom the Spirit is an encircling wall? If you contemplate the world, how long it is before you, and also how long it is after you, you will find that your life is one single day and your sufferings, one single hour. For the good will not enter the world. Scorn death, therefore, and take concern for life. Remember my stake and my death, and you will live."

I answered and said to Him: "Yahushua, do not mention to us the stake and the death, for they are far from you."

Yahushua answered and said: "Truly I say to you, none will be saved unless they believe in my stake. Those who believe in my stake, theirs is the Kingdom of Yahweh. Therefore, become seekers for death, just as the dead who seek for life, for that which they seek is revealed to them. And what is there to concern them? When you turn yourselves towards death, it will make known to you election. In truth I say to you, none of those who are afraid of death will be saved. The Kingdom of Yahweh belongs to those who put themselves to death. Become better than I, make yourselves like the son of the Set-Apart Spirit."

Then I questioned Him: "Yahushua how may we prophesy to those who ask us to prophesy to them? There are many who ask us, and who look to us to hear an oracle from us."

Yahushua answered and said: "Do you not know that the head of prophecy was cut off with Yahchanan?"

I said: "Yahushua, it is not possible to remove the head of prophecy, is it?"

Yahushua said to me: "When you come to know what 'head' is, and that prophecy issues from the head, then understand what is the meaning of 'Its head was removed'. First I spoke with you in parables, and you did not understand. Now I speak with you openly, and you do not perceive. But it is you who were a parable in parables to me, and what is apparent in what are open.

"Be zealous to be saved without being urged. Rather, be ready on your own and, if possible, go before me. For thus the Father will love you.

"Become haters of hypocrisy and evil thought. It is thought which gives birth to hypocrisy, and hypocrisy is far from the truth.

"Do not let the Kingdom of Heaven wither away. It is like a date palm shoot whose fruits poured down around it. It put forth leaves and, when they budded, they caused the productivity of the date palm to dry up. Thus it is also with the fruit which came from this single root. When the fruit was picked, fruits were collected by many harvesters. It would indeed be good if it were possible to produce these new plants now, for then you would find the Kingdom.

"Since I was glorified in this manner before this time, why do you all restrain me when I am eager to go? You have constrained me to remain with you eighteen more days for the sake of the parables. It sufficed for some persons to pay attention to the teaching and understand 'The Shepherds' and 'The Seed' and 'The Building' and 'The Lamps of the Virgins' and 'The Wage of the Workers' and 'The Double Drachma' and 'The Woman'.

"Become zealous about the Word. The Word's first condition is faith, the second is love, the third is works. From these comes life. The Word is like a grain of wheat. When someone sowed it, he believed in it. When it sprouted, he loved it, because he looked forward to many grains in the place of one. When he worked it, he was saved, because he prepared it for food. Again he left some grains to sow. Thus it is also possible for you all to receive the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless you receive it through knowledge, you will not be able to find it.

"Therefore I say to you, be sober. Do not go astray. Many times I said to you all together, and also to you alone, Yaaqob, I said, 'Be saved!' I command you to follow me, and I taught you the response in the presence of the rulers. Observe that I descended, I spoke, I troubled myself, and I received my crown, when I saved you. I descended to dwell with you in order that you also may dwell with me. When I found that your houses had no ceilings over them, I dwelt in houses which would be able to receive me when I descended.

"Obey me, my brothers. Understand what the great light is. The Father does not need me. A father does not need a son, it is the son who needs the father. I am going to Him, for the Father of the Son is not in need of you.

"Pay attention to the Word. Understand Knowledge. Love Life. No one will persecute you, nor will anyone oppress you, other than you yourselves.

"O you wretched! O you unfortunates! O you dissemblers of the truth! O you falsifiers of knowledge! O you sinners against the Spirit! Do you even now dare to listen, when it behooved you to speak from the beginning? Do you even now dare to sleep, when it behooved you to be awake from the beginning, in order that the Kingdom of Heaven might receive you? In truth I say to you, it is easier for a set-apart one to sink into defilement, and for a man of light to sink into darkness, than for you to reign, or even to not reign!

"I remember your tears, your grief, and your sorrow. They are far from us. You who are outside the inheritance of the Father, weep where it behooves you, grieve, and proclaim that which is good, since the Son is ascending appropriately. In truth I say to you, had I been sent to those who would listen to me, and had it been with them that I was to speak, I would have never descended upon the earth. Be ashamed on account of them.

"Behold, I depart from you. I am going. I do not desire to remain with you any longer, just as you yourselves do not desire. Now, then, follow me quickly. Therefore I say to you, for your sake I descended. You are the beloved, you are those who will become a cause of life for many. Beseech the Father. Implore Yahweh often, and He will give to you. Blessed is the one who saw you with Him when He proclaimed among the malaks, and glorified among the saints. Yours is life! Rejoice and be glad as children of Yahweh. Keep His will in order that you may be saved. Take reproof from me and save yourselves. I intercede on your behalf with the Father, and He will forgive you much."

When we heard these things, we became elated, for we were depressed on account of what we said earlier. When He saw our rejoicing, He said: "Woe to you who are in want of an advocate! Woe to you who are in need of grace! Blessed are those who spoke freely and produced grace for themselves. Make yourselves like strangers, of what sort are they in the estimation of your city? Why are you troubled when you oust yourselves of your own accord, and depart from your city? Why do you abandon your dwelling place of your own accord, readying it for those who desire to dwell in it? O you exiles and fugitives! Woe to you, because you will be caught! Or perhaps you imagine that the Father is a lover of humanity? Or that He is persuaded by prayers? Or that He is gracious to one on behalf of another? Or that He bears with one who seeks? He knows the desire, and also that which the flesh needs. It is not the flesh which yearns for the soul. Without the soul the body does not sin, just as the soul is not saved without the spirit. If the soul is saved when it is without evil, and if the spirit is saved also, then the body becomes sinless. It is the spirit which animates the soul, but it is the body which kills it. That is, it is the soul which kills itself. Truly I say to you, the Father will not forgive the sin of the soul at all, nor the guilt of the flesh. None of those who wore the flesh will be saved. Do you imagine that many have found the Kingdom of Heaven? Blessed is the one who saw himself as a fourth one in Heaven."

When we heard these things, we became distressed. When He saw we were distressed, He said: "This is why I say this to you, that you may know yourselves. The Kingdom of Heaven is like an ear of grain which sprouted in a field. When it ripened, it scattered its fruit, and in turn, filled the field with ears of grain for another year. You also be zealous to reap for yourselves an ear of life, in order that you may be filled with the Kingdom.

"As long as I am with you, give heed to me, and obey me. When I am to depart from you, remember me. Remember me because I was with you without your knowing me. Blessed are those who knew me. Woe to those who heard, and did not believe! Blessed are those who did not see, but had faith!

"I persuade you once again. I am revealed to you building a house which is very valuable to you, since you take shelter under it. In the same way it will be able to support the house of your neighbors when theirs is in danger of falling. In truth I say to you, woe to those on behalf of whom I was sent down to this place! Blessed are those who are to ascend to the Father. Again I reprove you. You who are, make yourselves like those who are not, in order that you may come to be with those who are not.

"Do not let the Kingdom of Heaven become desolate among you. Do not become arrogant on account of the light which illumines. Rather, become to yourselves in this manner: as I am to you. I placed myself under the curse, in order that you may be saved"

Kepha answered to this and said: "Sometimes you urge us on to the Kingdom of Heaven, and other times you turn us away, Yahushua. Sometimes you persuade us, impel us to faith, and promise us life, other times you expel us from the Kingdom of Heaven."

Yahushua answered and said to us: "I give you faith many times. Moreover, I revealed myself to you, Yaaqob, and you do not know me. Again, now I see you rejoicing many times. When you are elated over the promise of life, are you nevertheless glum? Are you distressed when you are taught about the Kingdom? Through faith and knowledge you received life. Therefore, scorn rejection when you hear it, but, when you hear the promise, be the more glad. In truth I say to you, the one who will receive life and believe in the Kingdom will never leave it, not even if the Father desires to banish him!

"These things I say to you for the present. Now I ascend to the place from which I came. You drove me out, when I was eager to go. Instead of accompanying me, you pursued me. Give heed to the glory which awaits me, open your hearts, listen to the hymns which await me up in heaven. Today I am obliged to take [my place] at the right hand of my Father. I said my last word to you. I shall part from you. A chariot of wind took me up, from now on I shall strip myself in order that I may clothe myself. But give heed, blessed are those who preached the Son before He descended, in order that, when I come, I may ascend. Thrice-blessed are those who were proclaimed by the Son before they came into being, in order that you may have a portion with them."

When He said these things, He went away. We knelt down, I and Kepha, gave thanks, and sent our hearts up to heaven. We heard with our ears and saw with our eyes the sound of wars, a trumpet call, and a great commotion.

When we passed beyond that place, we sent our minds up further. We saw with our eyes and heard with our ears hymns, heavenly praises, and heavenly jubilation. Heavenly majesties were hymning, and we ourselves were jubilant.

After this, we desired to send our spirits above to the Majesty. When we ascended, we were permitted to neither see nor hear anything. The rest of the disciples called to us and questioned us: "What is it you heard from the Master?" And: "What did He said to you?" And: "Where has He gone?"

We answered them: "He ascended." And: "He gave us a pledge, promised us all life, and disclosed children to us who are to come after us, since He bid us to love them, inasmuch as we will be saved for their sake."

When they heard, they believed the revelation, but were angry about those who would be born. Not desiring to entice them to scandal, I sent each one to another place. I went up to Yahrusalem myself, praying that I may obtain a portion with the beloved who are to be revealed.

I pray that the beginning may come from you, for thus I can be saved. They will be enlightened through me, through my faith, and through another's which is better than mine, for I desire that mine become the lesser. Earnestly endeavor to make yourself like them, and pray that you may obtain a portion with them. Apart from what I recounted, the Savior did not disclose revelation to us. For their sake we proclaim, indeed, a portion with those for whom it was proclaimed, those whom Yahushua made His children.







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