“A Messenger in a vision saw people locked up in a house of fire and bound with fiery chains, lying in a flaming ointment. He asked them, “Why can’t they be saved?” “We did not desire it,” they told the messenger, “but we got this place of punishment. It is the outer darkness, and we are in it.”
“Soul and spirit came into being from water and fire. From water and fire and light came the attendant in the bridal chamber. Fire is chrism. Light is fire. I am not referring to flame, which has no form, but to another kind of fire, whose appearance is white, which is luminous and beautiful and gives beauty.
“Truth didn’t come into the world naked but in types and images. Truth is received only that way. There is rebirth and its image.”
“They must be reborn through image. What is the resurrection? Image must rise again through image. The bridegroom and image enter through image into truth, which is restoration. It is right that those who don’t have it take on the name of the father and son and the holy spirit. But they have not done so on their own. If you do not take on the names for yourself, the name “Christian” will be taken from you. You receive them in the oil of the chrism, the aromatic unction of the power of the cross. The messengers called this power “the right and left.” You are no longer a Christian but Christ.
“The lord did everything through mystery: baptism and a chrism and a Eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber.
“The lord said, “I came to make things below like things above, and the outside like the inside. I came to join them in one place. He revealed who he is through types and images.” ~The Gospel of Philip
House of Fire
The destructive house of fire is the material world that we live in. It is a house of fire because it operates in a constant self of self-destruction mixed with creation. Some think this is how it should be, but it isn’t. God doesn’t create things and beings only to destroy them a short time later. What God creates is permanent; not consumed by fire, disease, or rot. This means that the house of fire is not a creation of God. It is a creation of what the Gnostics call the Demiurge. And since it was not created by the One Perfect Consciousness that is God, it is defective and self-destructive.
According to Philip, the people in this house of fire are bound in chains of fire and lying in flaming ointment. This is his way of saying that we not only live in a self-destructive realm, but we add to it ourselves by wrapping ourselves in chains of fire and coat ourselves with flammable oils. The fiery chains are false beliefs that we cling to thereby preventing us from seeing the truth. The flaming ointments and oils are our attachments to material things that pull us down to destruction along with them.
Cooling the Flames
The good news is the flames of the house of fire can be controlled and possibly eliminated. First, there are firemen who fight the flames of spiritual ignorance. They are angels, beings of light, and spiritual masters who have passed into the spiritual realms. They help reveal to us the falsehoods in our beliefs until they get us to recognize them as false. Once they have cracked this shell around us (allegorically speaking) they can push bits of truth to us through the cracks. This cools those fires of ignorance and allows us to relax a little, look around, and realize that we need to change.
Second, we cool those flames ourselves once we realize that it is possible to do so. We may be trapped in a house of fire, but we can stop dousing ourselves in the flaming oils of materialism and capitalism. We can retard the flames with good deeds and the development of our spiritual faculties. We can even leave the house of fire in spiritual form and visit the cool worlds of reality. After a while, when we realize that the house of fire is an illusion, we can stop the pain of burning and become free beings of spirit. Then we can not only but become free of the flaming chains, we can help others do the same. When millions of us do that, the house of fire will go out and everything will be eternal spirit once more.