by Ted Kyle
We're hearing a lot recently about things devilishly calculated to separate Christians and Christian sympathizers from firm reliance on the Word of God. Actually, this satanic activity could be described as a "one-two punch," in boxing jargon.
First came The Da Vinci Code—now in a movie as well as the best-seller book. And hard on its heels came the "Judas Gospel."—the resurrection of an ancient Gnostic false gospel—for it is no "good news" at all.
Da Vinci, which bills itself as fiction but presents itself as fact, seeks to seduce credulous readers into believing that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but lived to marry and leave a blood line which continues to this day. (Of course, if Jesus did not die on that cruel cross, neither did His blood cover over our sins, and He was not our Savior but merely our fellow-traveler in the human experience. We would be yet in our sins, with no hope. And the Bible, of course, would be merely another fallible book—a "nice try," but nothing more.)
The Judas Gospel attacks from a different direction, attempting to discredit the four Gospels in the accepted canon of the Bible by presenting a fifth "gospel." This ancient text glorifies Judas Iscariot as God's chosen instrument to "liberate" Jesus' spiritual man—by betraying Him to those who would crucify him. The text has Jesus saying to Judas: "But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me"—meaning that the death of Jesus would "be the liberation of the spiritual person within," according to the editors of The Gospel of Judas.
This is pure Gnostic nonsense. The Gnostics believed in a dualism, in which man's spirit was trapped in his earthly body. Hence, "Judas would perform a service to Jesus by betraying Him to those who would then crucify Him, liberating Jesus from the physical body and freeing Him as spirit," Albert Mohler explains.
This "gospel" seems to be genuinely ancient, being dated to the third century. But "old" does not guarantee truth. As a matter of fact, this century saw numerous attacks upon the Christian faith, and upon the New Testament. One could say with perfect justice that our Bible was forged in the fires of false attacks. It took the church hundreds of years to finally free itself and the Bible from its early foes—though these attacks obviously continue.
But isn't it interesting that, as we near the Last Days, the attacks upon our foundations are recurring, and grow stronger and stronger? As a matter of fact, Jesus warned this would come: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24); and again, "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect" (Mark 13:22).
Jesus was saying that though the temptations to follow a false Christ be ever so seductive and impelling, those who are truly His will not be deceived. But woe to those who are deceived!
Deception begins with destroying the "faith once believed." There will be more, and stronger, attacks upon our faith, and ultimately a powerful false Christ will arise, who will be able to perform great miracles, to the seduction of many (Rev. 13:13-14).
Teach your people! Forewarned is forearmed!<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>