The DaVinci Code

Sermon Outline


No doubt you have heard of it, or you will. It is a fictional novel and also a movie. The author, Dan Brown, claims that is novel, though fiction, is based on reality. He claims the historical events really happened. The book is titled, "The DaVinci Code".

It is with mixed emotions that I consider this topic. While the motivation of those behind the book and the movie are wicked, they want to tear down faith in Jesus as God's Son and our Savior, I also know that it will provide opportunity for us to talk about our faith. It will cause people to ask us "Why do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" and I always look forward to the opportunity to tell others why I believe as I do (1 PET 3:14-16). That our faith is attacked is not new. This is merely another way to do it. By all means, prepare yourselves to take advantage of the opportunity to give answer to those who ask!

I. A Serious Divine Warning of Things to Come
A. Jesus, the Son of God (JOHN 20:30-31)
 1. First, I wish to affirm just who Jesus is (COL 1:13-23)
 2. My eternal salvation is in His hands and no one else's (JOHN 3:34-36).
B. Some Would Come to Deny This
 1. There would arise false teachers (ACTS 20:28-30)
 2. They would deny the truth about Jesus (2 PET 2:1) The remedy - return to the teachings given by Jesus and His apostles from the beginning of the gospel (2 PET 3:1-2)
C. Specifically, toward the end of the first century, doctrines denying the nature and role of Jesus in God's plan of eternal salvation began to make some inroads at some places.
 1. The apostle John is yet alive and deals with this near the end of his life (1 JOHN 1:1-5; 2:18-19; 22; 4:1-3; 4-6;  5:20-21).
 2. These teachers made disciples, who in turn made others, and began a movement that became known as "Gnosticism'. They taught that people were not saved by faith, but by mystical knowledge concerning the nature of God, the human spirit and the flesh. This movement lasted for several centuries before dying out. But some of their writings have endured time.
 3. While the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John date from the first century, the Gnostic gospels date from no earlier than mid-second century. To get people to more widely accept them, they assigned names to them such as "The Gospel of Peter" or "The Gospel of Thomas" or "The Gospel of Judas"
  a. “For if what they have published is the Gospel of Truth, and yet is totally unlike those which have been handed down to us from the apostles, any who please may learn, as is shown from the Scriptures themselves, that that which has been handed down from the apostles can no longer be reckoned the Gospel of truth.” - Irenaeus;   Against Heresies; Book Three 11:9 - (180 AD)
  b. "They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, 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." - Irenaeus; Against Heresies: Book One 31:1 (180 AD)
 4. Some early false teachers:
     Valentinus: considered himself a Christians. Died about 160 AD. Did the most to combine Greek mystical thought with Christianity to produce Gnosticism: Knowledge of and fellowship with the Supreme God is impossible; A lesser God created the world; all matter is evil; Jesus only seemed to be human, did not die on the cross; only men who are spiritual by birth and therefore can know these things can be saved (Gnosticism - "knowledge")
     Marcion: at the forefront of the false teachers in 140 AD. The God of the OT is different from the God of the NT.  Influenced by Gnosticism, but differences as well  
     Arius: lived toward the end of the 3rd & early 4th century. Denied that Jesus was God and that God Himself did  not  create the physical world. It was to address these views that the Council of Nicea was called in 325 AD. They  did this by examining the teachings in light of the writings handed down from the apostles and their associates.
II. What is the "DaVinci Code"?
A. The DaVinci Code - A Speculation of Futility (ROM 1:21)
1. Denies that Jesus is the Son of God; denies His death, burial and resurrection, denies that eternal salvation from sin depends on Him.
2. Borrows from and depends on ancient philosophies, propaganda, forgeries such as the Gnostic gospels and inaccuracies to formulate the fiction, many of which can be disproved
B. Specifics of the False History of the DaVinci Code
1. Up until 325 A.D., disciples of Jesus held Him to be a great Rabbi and teacher, and that is all He was, and all He had ever claimed. He did not die on a cross. He married Mary Magdalene and they had children. He was a great teacher, but that is all. He was not the Son of God.
2. Mary Magdalene has a much more prominent role among Jesus' disciples, becoming "an apostle to the apostles".  There is a rivalry between her and Peter. She is actually "the holy grail" and identified as "the sacred feminine."  (This was a part of Gnostic teaching)
3. There circulated stories about Him describing His life in this manner. In 325 AD, Emperor Constantine called together a council of church leaders at Nicea and from there changed the doctrine about Jesus. In order to cement his political power, Jesus was changed from a great teacher into the Son of God and it began to be taught that you could be saved from sins and go to heaven through accepting His Lordship. He was never referred to as  "Lord" before Constantine. Constantine, with the blessing of the church leaders, became powerful because now  people, in order to be faithful to Jesus and go to heaven, had to submit to Constantine. (By the way, why didn't someone notice such a thing? If they were not worshipping Jesus before the Council, what caused everyone to forget that?)
4. A secret society, produced a document.  "The Priori of Sion" continued to know the truth about all this through time. DaVinci was associated with this group. Though he did not "spill the beans", he wove into some of his work hints and codes.  Especially prominent in this is his painting "The Last Supper". (Show painting: John is really Mary. Who is the "Holy Grail" - notice no Holy Grail on table - its Mary!)
5. The book and movie is a fictionalized account of how the Romans Catholic church resorts to murder and  mayhem to keep it all a secret. However, says the author, though the book is fiction, it is based on this concept of Jesus which is true.
C. Many people are going to be led to think this is true. What shall we say to them?
III. In What Ways is the Code Inaccurate?
A. The Holy Grail - supposed to have been the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper, according to legend (not according to the Bible) - at any rate, Jesus did have a cup, though no special significance is attached to the container itself. But rather the contents that represented His blood to be shed (MATT 26:26-30). The source of this idea appears to be a wacky story written in 1981 called "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" (sued Brown but lost. Also used Gnostic gospels).
B. Constantine - The idea that Constantine and the Nicean council invented elevated the status of Jesus is disproved by the many, many documents preserved from times before 325 AD which clearly show the same thing taught, that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. For example, the Didache (the teachings") is a list of the beliefs of disciples that dates from not later than 100 AD. (By the way, if Constantine had "doctored" the writings, and since he needed warriors, why would he have left these in? (MATT 26:52; 2 COR 10:3-5)?
C. The Priori of Sion - In WW2, a forged document speaking of the secret society was planted in French archives  and used as a means of promoting anti-semitism in Vichy, France, by a man named Pierre Plantard who, claimed  to have been an descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. It was proven a forgery in court. (Ironic, that a man who hates Jews would claim to be a descendant of Jesus and Mary!) He later began the organization called "The Priory of Sion" in 1956.
D. The place of Jesus in the early church - The early manuscripts: Writings of early Christians; Clement of Rome (95 AD); Hermas of Rome (100); Ignatius of Antioch (110); Polycarp of Smyrna (117-118). Later called "Apostolic Fathers" because they had been disciples of the apostles. Early disciples contributed to a book of articles called "The Teaching of the 12 Apostles" (The Didache - The Teachings) about 100 AD.
 1. YES! They did refer to Jesus as "Lord" before 325 AD! “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sceptre of the majesty of God, did not come in the pomp of pride or arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a lowly condition,  as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him.“ - Clement of Rome; Epistle to the Corinthians; 16:2 (see also 20:11; 21:6; 24:1) - 96 AD
2. YES! They did teach the literal death, burial and resurrection of Jesus before 325 AD! “All these sufferings, assuredly, He underwent for our sake, that we might be saved. And He suffered really, as He also really raised Himself from the dead. It is not as some unbelievers say, who maintain that His suffering was a make-believe. In reality, it is they that are make- believes: and, as their notion, so their end: they will be bodiless and ghostlike shapes!” - Ignatius of Antioch; Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans - (Before 110 AD)
3. In their writings they quote the Scriptures as authoritative because it came down from the Apostles. They do NOT  quote from the lost gospels (because they did not exist yet). Remember, not only were these people fighting against the developing false teachings the apostles had warned would come, but also against severe Roman persecution. (IMPORTANT NOTE: In this outline, all quotes of men such as Clement, Ignatius, Irenaeus,  are for the purposes of showing that the early church did, in fact, historically believe what Dan Brown in 'The DaVinci Code", denies they believed. They are not being quoted as authorities, only the inspired Scriptures have the authority of Jesus Christ).
4. This is what they believed about Jesus:
   Papyrus Bodmer II – from @ 200 AD: “Perhaps the oldest book in substantial condition” - Neil R. Lightfoot in  How We Got the Bible - This papyrus contains Gospel of John; includes John 1:1-3; 14 (read JOHN 1:1-3; 14). This manuscript is 125 years older than the earliest that the DaVinci Code says the Nicean Council doctored the documents and people started believing these things!
E. The Gnostic Gospels - The reason they (the "lost" gospels) lost out is because they were fabricated. They did not appear at the right time at the right place, and contradict those writings of the eyewitnesses to these events which were actually there!
Jesus said "Know the truth" (JOHN 8:32). That is the first step in reacting to this or any other thing that challenges our Lord. Second, is have the courage and conviction to stand for the truth. It saddens me that old battles must be refought over this same material. This should have been settled centuries ago, and was, but now is being recycled. But hear this: Those who propagate these things are in the same situation as those who taught them centuries ago (2 JOHN 7-9). INV.



The Manuscripts Disprove the Code's "History"

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