BHP/Research

 

The Three Sent Ones


 

Moses 5:6
Angels Come to Adam

Moses 5:58
Angles Reveal Ordinances to Adam

Alma 12:29
Angels Reveal These Ordinances/Mysteries

D&C 29:42
Angels Teach Adam

Testament of Adam
Three Angels

Mandiean  Texts "The Book of Adam"
Three Pillars of the Church

Apocryphon of John
Three sent ones

D&C 27
Reverse line of Authority

 

THE SENT ONES


Moses 5:6

6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

Moses 5:58

58 And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Alma 12:29

29 Therefore he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory.

D&C 29:42

42 But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son.

 

D&C 27:11-12

11 And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days;

12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.1, Ch.6, p.153 - p.154

First he was taken to a place of detention, the shomai, the place in which to be instructed. Here he learns the signs of the nail of glory and the keys of the Kushta on both arms. The Kushta is a hand grip of some type. A messenger from the House of Light was sent to fetch Adam farther when he was ready. The reason that so often the Adam of light comes down (the preexistent Adam, that is, the Adam of Light that comes down to help us) is that he was the first one who needed help; he as our Father sympathizes with us, and he wants to see that we get through. So he is our great helper. He is the sent one. Of course Jesus Christ is the Sent One of all. When Adam faced the Light and called for help, the Lord himself approached him in glory and took him by the palm of the right hand and calmed him and instructed him. Then he comforted Eve, and in this way he brought joy and aid to his descendants. The Lord came to bring hope to Adam, who was in the image of God. This is repeated also in the case of Abraham. In the vast majority of accounts, it's the three sent ones who instruct Adam. There is no conflict. There are simply two great teams of three. There is the Creation team: Adam and Jesus and the Father; and there are the three that instruct Adam, who are later of the twelve, the three pillars of the Church, Peter, James, and John. We have references to them in some of the writings, and the passages are rather interesting.

 

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.1, Ch.6, p.154 - p.155

In the Berlin Papyrus, "The first man, Adam, was really the third sent one at the Creation." (There were three sent ones, and he was the third one.) According to the Apocryphon of Adam, Adam was awakened from his deep sleep by three men from on high, who said to him, "Adam awake, arise and hear the teachings of the Savior." It was through a team of three, according to the Sophia Christi, that God created everything, employing them as his agents. As the Abbaton puts it, "The Father instructed the Son, who in turn instructed the great angel to go down and form a new world." But they didn't merely delegate the work, they worked together. "The three," says our source, "stretched forth their hands, took clay and made man." And many expeditions were sent to the earth before things were ready to receive him. Codex Brucianus 96 says, "Whenever that life-giving spark is sent, it is always followed up by three Sent Ones to give instruction." So in any world, those who receive the spark will also find three helpers ready to instruct them. The three are always there to supervise, and the evil spirits resent it. Here is a very interesting passage from the Ginza where the evil spirits say, "They claim this world for their own." They have been cast down here, this is theirs, and they don't like people intruding. "These three men," they say, "are in the world. They are not really men. They are light and glory, and they have come down to this little enush [Adam-he's little enush now because he has taken on flesh, and he's very susceptible to ills of the world], who is helpless and alone in the world. They are intruding in our world. The children of men have taken over the earth. They are really strangers who speak the language of the three men, and they have accepted the teachings of the three men and rejected us in our own world and refused to acknowledge our kingdom and our glory." And thus the evil ones plotted to overthrow Adam, who was hoping for the Savior, the Teacher of Life, to come down later and teach him--give him aid and support.

 

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.1, Ch.6, p.155

We read of another team of three when Adam called upon God; the Great Spirit sent to him from the land of greatness the three who belonged to the twelve who were hidden in the veil of light (and those were later Peter, James, and John). Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael and all the angels come down. "I will come, and my Father and Michael," Jehovah says; "we are the great three who have visited the earth." They are also matched by the three violent ones and the Watchers.

 

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.1, Ch.6, p.158 - p.159

Of extreme importance is Adam as Michael. And Adam is aroused by the three sent ones. Standing with the apostles in the prayer circle, the Lord tells them, "I will teach you all the ordinances necessary that you may be purged by degrees and progress in the next life. These things make it possible for you to achieve other exaltation, but they must be performed in this life. Unless one performs them here, one cannot become a Son of Light," since the Sons of Light are by very definition those who are perfect in the ordinances. Throughout these writings, no matter where they come from, whatever part of the Old World they come from, the code word is "Sons of Light." Nobody knew what it meant until now. It means "those who have received all the ordinances." Temple ordinances are what they are. And this is the way it is explained in Second Jeu also: The sons of light are by very definition those who are perfect in the ordinances. It is interesting that this same definition applies to the once mysterious title of Nazoraean, which means the same thing.

 

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.1, Ch.7, p.201

61. Called "Three Great Men" in Apocryphon of Adam 66:12ff., they are three archangels. (Creation Apocryphon 152:23; Sophia Christi 96:3ff.; Second Gnostic Work 19a.) They are sent down to instruct and accompany Adam. (Ginza, pp. 15, 33-35.) They are the Three Uthras, "sent into the world to fetch the Elect. . . back to the House of Light." (R. Bultmann, in ZNTW 24 [1925]: 132.) Thus Enoch is fetched by three men in white (1 Enoch 90:31), who also visit Abraham (Gen. 18:1-2; Genesis Apocryphon 21:21). For the Jewish version of the Three Men in White, see E. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period (New York: Pantheon, 1958)9:102-4, 84-89; 10:91-96. Cf. J. Barbel, "Zur Engel-trinitatslehre im Urchristentum," in Theological Review 54(1954): 48-58, 103-12; K. Rudolph, Die Mand‚er, I, 162, noting that these three were the arch-types of the Sent Ones in general.

 

Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.4, Ch.3, p.64 - p.65

As to the teacher, sometimes it is Jaoel or Jehovah as "the heavenly choirmaster," and sometimes it is Michael or Gabriel. As often as not it is three Sent Ones. But of course all the knowledge is sent down from God. "Abraham . . . would utter prayers on certain occasions while sacrificing, thus invoking the 'One God.' " This was the beginning of Jewish liturgy. Clement, however, takes it back a step farther: "Adam finding he needed help, solicited divine assistance with prayers and sacrifices. . . . That was the beginning of the ordinances of God." According to the Moslem commentators, all creatures form in circles around God to be taught, suggesting the gathering of all the beasts at life-giving water holes in the desert. H. Leisegang finds that throughout the ancient world the prayer circle is for the instruction of initiates. We may even go beyond his range to the medicine circles of Indians all over America. Among the Plains Indians, as described by H. Storm,

 

Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, p.3

Now he gives them commandments. He gives them the law of God. He gives them the law of obedience. He gives them the law of sacrifice, and he gives them the law of the gospel in this column here, which they follow. They are starting on the way back now. The newly discovered Apocryphon of John (there are three of them) will tell you that it was three messengers that were sent to instruct them. The Mandaean literature will tell you that the messengers that came to instruct Adam and Eve were the apostles who later became the pillars of the Church (Peter, James and John). They came and instructed Adam and Eve in the garden. But here they are the "sent ones." He gave commandments that they should worship the Lord their God and should offer firstlings. The first thing is "that they should worship the Lord their God." Worship, weorthscipe, means to hold in highest value. It means "to call upon" here, to esteem Him above everything else. "Y And should offer the firstlings of their flocks,Y " Notice, sacrifice goes right with it. They are commanded to sacrifice (no explanation given yet) the firstlings of their flocks for an offering unto the Lord. "Y And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord." So there you get it. Here's the law of God, and the law of obedience goes with it. He was obedient. He showed his obedience by practicing the law of sacrifice, offering the firstlings of his flocks. It doesn't mention here the firstlings of the fields. They don't come yet. You know why it had to be the flocks, the animals (because it was the shedding of blood). This is a similitude of the blood of the Only Begotten. Then the shedding of blood ceased with the Law of Moses. So here we get those three laws all bound together. The first things that bind Adam are that he should worship God, and that he should be obedient by making the offering. Then come the "sent ones" to teach him after many days. He kept this up; he was true and faithful. You receive no testimony until after the trial of your faith. "After many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, sayingY " At last we getting that one religion.

 

Hugh W. Nibley, BYU Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, p.12

The unimpeachable orthodox Pastor of Hermas is quite as specific: "Behold God, constructing the world in accordance with the great council [in some Mss. "the most honored council"]. . . creating the beautiful world and turning it over to his chosen ones, that He might carry out his promise to them, which he gave in the midst of great glory and rejoicing, that is, if they keep his laws (legitima) which they accepted in great faith."40 The Mandaean version is interesting because it calls the Creator Ptah-il, combining the archaic Egyptian and Semitic names,41 and while giving the familiar account of the great council, adds the important detail that three messengers were sent down to supervise the work and to instruct Adam, these three being glorious angels who were later to live upon the earth as ordinary mortals and prophets.

 

Hugh Nibley, BYU Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1, p.59

As to the teacher, sometimes it is Jaoel or Jehovah as "the heavenly choirmaster," and sometimes it is Michael or Gabriel. As often as not it is three Sent Ones.75 (See: Erwin Goodenough; Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period; Vol. 1:25-28) But of course all the knowledge is sent down from God. "Abraham . . . would utter prayers on certain occasions whole sacrificing, thus invoking the 'One God.'"76 This was the beginning of Jewish liturgy. Clement, however, takes it back a step farther: "Adam finding he needed help, solicited divine assistance with prayers and sacrifices. . . . That was the beginning of the ordinances of God."77 According to the Moslem commentators, all creatures form in circles around God to be taught, suggesting the gathering of all the beasts at life-giving water holes in the desert.78 H. Leisegang finds that throughout the ancient world the prayer circle is for the instruction of initiates.79 We may even go beyond his range to the medicine circles of Indians all over America. Among the Plains Indians, as described by H. Storm,