The name Gnosticism derives from the Greek word gnoses, which means "knowledge." According to the Gnostics, they possessed a special, mystical knowledge reserved for those with true understanding. That knowledge was the secret key to salvation. This knowledge was acquired through mystical experiences.

They concluded that all matter is evil, or at best unreal. A human being is in reality since the body is a prison to the spirit, and since it misguides us as to our true nature, it is evil. Therefore the Gnostics' final goal was to escape from the body and this material world in which we are exiled. The world is not our true home but rather an obstacle to the salvation of the spirit,   an eternal spirit that somehow has been imprisoned in a body

How, then, is the origin of the world and of the body to be explained? Gnosticism affirmed that originally all reality was spiritual. The supreme being had no intention of creating a material world but only a spiritual one. Thus a number of spiritual beings were generated.  In any case, one of these eons, far removed from the supreme being, fell into error and thus created the material world.  Apostle Paul defended this idea by saying,  "For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;  all things were created by him and for him." (Colosians 1:16)

During the times of the apostles Gnosticism was in embryo stage,  and apostle Paul wrote the book of Colossians to defend this kind of heresy that was creeping into the Church.  However this heresy crept into the church, and it did not deny Christ but dethroned him. It gave Christ a place but not the supreme place.  Most of them rejected that Christ had a real human body.  They denied the incarnation of Christ. The body of  Jesus was just an illusion.  But some Gnostics believe that Christ had a real body, but it was different than ours.  Also there were others who denied the deity of Christ. As this teaching was at the very embryo stage in the early Church,  apostle Paul protected the sheep by saying,  " So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,  and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to that no one takes you captive, through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.."  (Colossians 2:6-9)