Doctrines of Devils


"Boring" scientific/religious theories or discoveries rarely rate big headlines, but the popular media will eagerly make an exception when it comes to unmasking the purported falsehoods of the orthodox Judeo-Christian worldview, emphasis on Christian.

So, in a span of a week, we learned that Jesus, in fact, walked on ice at the Sea of Galilee because it was really cold at that time, and also that Jesus secretly told Judas to turn Him in to the authorities, so Judas didn't do anything wrong after all. (Never mind that "Satan entered Judas" in Luke 22:3, John 13:27.)

With Easter just around the corner, the National Geographic Society and its cable channel (jointly operated by such international media conglomerates as Fox and Sky TV, among others) are touting the restoration and translation of an ancient Gnostic manuscript (written in the Sahidic dialect of Coptic and dated between 300-400 A.D.) called the "Gospel of Judas" with two newly published books and a special television program to be aired internationally this weekend.

National Geographic has cleverly dovetailed its own effort with the increasing hype surrounding next month's Hollywood A-list adaptation (to be released by international media conglomerate Sony) of Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code (published by international media conglomerate BMG). A summary of the theology behind The Da Vinci Code and its Gnostic underpinnings can be found in this article at Kjos Ministries.

They Believe It

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Secular media and academia appear to be less and less concerned about veiling their anti-Christian bias. While they maintain they are simply providing an objective counterpoint to established Judeo-Christian culture and thought in the West, the secular elite must know (with some sense of accomplishment) that when it comes to historical Christianity, the masses are thoroughly confused. As good stewards of humanism (secular and Christian), members of this elite are merely doing what they believe. Core to this pursuit of progressive humanism (the collective will of mankind) is the rooting out of absolutism, parochialism, and exclusivism — code words for Bible-based Christianity.

Writer, professor, and Gnostic apologist Elaine Pagels said this to the New York Times (subscription req'd) about the Gospel of Judas: "These discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion and demonstrating how diverse and fascinating the early Christian movement really was." One reviewer of The Gospel of Judas at wrote these comments (which he titled "Objectivity is the key..."):

No one is forcing The Gospel of Judas to be read or even accepted by anyone at anytime. It's publication simply reaffirms the fact that the four gospels commonly accepted into the canon are a tiny fraction of Christian literature....However, as the world changes and the internet allows for free disemination [sic] of knowledge, the "other" gospels are developing a gravity of their own....Here's to hoping that Judas' Gospel takes its rightful place among all of the others that exist outside of the limited world of the New Testament.
Writing over 1,800 years ago, Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons and one of the early Church leaders, dismissed the Gospel of Judas as heresy:
They declare that Judas the traitor...knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.
Church and Science Fiction

"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

The reemergence of Gnostic and apocryphal heresy in our modern day has met with weak opposition in many churches and seminaries, including those we would think of as conservative or evangelical. (Pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries has recently been writing on contemplative prayer in the church.) Today, we find the Church under judgment, infiltrated by pragmatism on one end and New Age spirituality on the other, beset by sex scandals and the acceptance/celebration of impenitent sin. (See "judgment must begin at the house of God," 1 Peter 4:17, KJV.) Churches lacking real Scriptural teaching will find that these heretical "revelations" act as subcutaneous injections into their anemic flocks.

A simple reading of what remains of this Gospel of Judas (about 80%) yields heresies and blatant inconsistencies with Scripture, and sometimes it reads like science fiction. Certain textual quotes selected by the popular media (e.g. ''You will exceed all of them, for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me") are intended to give the general public the idea that this "gospel" is a reasonable, historical accounting, complete with Bible-ish formality.

Many news outlets are quoting the following excerpt where Jesus supposedly tells Judas, "Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal." This one sounds a lot like the Serpent asking Eve, "Did God really say?" (Genesis 3:1) Or, in other words, "Here's the real scoop."

But it gets weirder. Albert Mohler points out one peculiar passage in the Gospel of Judas that you won't see quoted by the secular media:
No person of mortal birth is worthy to enter the house you have seen, for that place is reserved for the holy. Neither the sun nor the moon will rule there, nor the day, but the holy will abide there always, in the eternal realm with the holy angels. Look, I have explained to you the mysteries of the kingdom and I have taught you about the error of the stars; and . . . sent it . . . on the twelve aeons.
The Gospel of Judas speaks of the "thirteenth spirit" and "enlightened aeons." There's a lot of "heavenly" esoterica. The news media have conveniently ignored those parts and instead have focused on the scholarship and behind-the-scenes recovery of the manuscript, with disingenuous comparisons to the Dead Sea Scrolls. They know better not to address the Gospel of Judas in full because, even to a Scripturally malnourished public, it would start to look really phony and bizarre.

The cultural elite understand that few will take the time, or care, to scratch beneath the surface. An unsettling axiom and a sign of the times.


Sillie Lizzie said... on 4/08/2006 8:28 AM  

You hit the nail on the head. These are "days of delusion". But take heart. Jesus is still setting captives free. I was a New Ager for 12 years and now I'm a born again Christian. Jesus is Lord!

Check out my testimony on

Kristen said... on 4/10/2006 6:20 AM  

Great, spot-on analysis. When I started hearing about this "Gospel of Judas" last week, I immediately thought, 'Interesting timing--The Da Vinci Code is gathering buzz...looks like the enemy is helping every way he can.'

It's great to see others making those connections. Thanks for the link to Kjos Ministries' article (Berit's site is wonderful!).

I just finished editing a very similar article by my pastor on this topic; it should be up in a few days at The Da Vinci Con.

Kristen said... on 4/10/2006 6:50 AM  

Leaving this in lieu of a trackback--I mentioned your post in my latest; I don't want anyone to miss your analysis.

Anonymous said... on 4/10/2006 12:44 PM  

Berit Kjos posted a new article on the Gospel of Judas, and Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason has also added his insights.