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THE DA VINCI CODE - AN ATTACK ON THE BIBLE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon given on Saturday Evening, May 20, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).


In his second Epistle, the Apostle Peter said,

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place (II Peter 1:19).

That is our Bible. Paul tells us that the Bible was given by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16). The Apostle Peter called the Bible a more sure word of prophecy - and he wants us to pay close attention to the Scriptures, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place (II Peter 1:19).

The Apostle Peter tells us, in II Peter 3:3,

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts (II Peter 3:3).

This verse prophesied that many people would be scoffers who reject the authority of the Bible in the last days (II Peter 3:3).

Surely this passage of Scripture includes reference to men like Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. Listen to what Brown said about the Bible in his book, The Da Vinci Code.

Teabing cleared his throat and declared, The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. [Sophie says] I beg your pardon? [Teabing answers] The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as an historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Anchor Books, 2006, pp. 250-251).

One of the reasons for the interest in The Da Vinci Code is simply this: that it affirms what many readers already think about the Bible. But are they right? Lets take that quotation apart, line by line, and look at it under the microscope.

I. First, The Da Vinci Code says, The Bible did not arrive by fax
from heavenThe Bible did not fall magically from the clouds.

Whoever said that? Whoever believed that? I have been studying this subject for nearly forty years. I have read countless books on this subject. I attended and graduated from two very liberal theological seminaries, where the truth of the Bible was undermined by the professors virtually every day, in every class. They made me read the most extreme books, books that tore the Bible to shreds. Yet, in all of my reading and study of what those liberals said, they never stooped to the low level of reasoning found in that quotation from The Da Vinci Code. I never read a liberal who gave such a crude attack on the Scriptures: The Bible did not arrive by fax from heavenThe Bible did not fall magically from the clouds.

On the other hand, I have read numerous books by conservative scholars defending the Bible. And not one of them said what Dan Brown says in The Da Vinci Code. Surely a thinking person ought to see that this is inane braying, imbecilic spouting. The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. Whoever thought it did? Whoever said such a stupid thing? Surely a person with any education at all must know that there were no fax machines in the days when the Bible was written. The fax machine is an invention of the late twentieth century. No conservative Christian scholar on earth has ever believed that the Bible arrived by fax machine from heaven.

Then take the next sentence from The Da Vinci Code. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Again, I ask, whoever said it did? I have never heard a single conservative scholar or any scholarly preacher say that, nor have I ever read that anywhere. No one ever said that the Bible fell magically from the clouds.

Then where did Dan Brown get that idea? There is one person who said things like that. What that person said was quite similar to the quotation from The Da Vinci Code. The person who said that was Satan. Yes, Satan put that very thought into words:

And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said
     (Genesis 3:1).

It seems to me that Satan doesnt need to come up with new tricks when the old ones still work. Since the beginning of time, the Devil has always been against the Word of God. He has always been against the Bible, and he always will be against it. Questioning and doubting of the Scriptures has always been the method used by Satan to draw people away from Christ. There is no need for the Devil to devise new schemes when the old ones still work so well. By the way, if you read The Da Vinci Code, did you notice that the idea of Satan is not developed? The book tells people to use their natural reason, and follow their own feelings, without warning them that Satan may very well befog their natural reason, and lead them astray emotionally. But the Apostle Peter gave this clear warning:

There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them (II Peter 2:1).

Dr. Henry M. Morris gave the following comment on that verse,

This warning is very appropriate today, for false teaching in the name of Jesus is rampant today as never before, ranging from subtle heresies to flagrant denial of His divine/human nature (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defenders Study Bible, World Publications, 1995, p. 1403).

But lets go back and look again at what The Da Vinci Code says about the Bible.

Teabing cleared his throat and declared, The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. [Sophia says] I beg your pardon? [Teabing answers] The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God (ibid., pp. 250-251).

II. Second, The Da Vinci Code says, The Bible is a product of man,
my dear. Not of God.

Where did the author of The Da Vinci Code get that idea? Those who know the Bible realize that it is the same idea that Satan put forth in the Garden of Eden when he said to our first mother, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1). Down through the ages of time Satan, the arch-enemy of God, has put doubt into the minds of men regarding the Holy Scriptures.

No, the Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. No, the Bible did not fall magically from heaven. But, yes, the Scriptures were given by inspiration. The Apostle Paul said, in our text,

All scripture is given by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16).

Dr. W. A. Criswell earned a Ph.D. in Greek, and also studied Hebrew, the two main languages of the Bible. After spending nearly forty years studying the Bible in the original languages, Dr. Criswell gave this comment on II Timothy 3:16,

All scripture is given by inspiration of God. Two words used in this text present to us the apostolic view concerning the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. One word is graphe, which means writing, and the other is theopneustos, which means God-breathed. It is the writing, the Scriptures, that is God-breathed, that is inspired. On the original parchment every sentence, word, line, mark, point, pen stroke, jot, and tittle were put there by inspiration of God. There is no question of anything elsePaul plainly states in II Timothy 3:16 that all the Scriptures are God-breathed. The inspiration of the Scriptures includes the whole and every part. There are many who deny this and say that the Scriptures are inspired in spots, in portions, in pieces, in sections. However, no such doctrine as this is found in the Bible. The historical books, the books of Mosaic legislation, the poetical books, the prophets, the Gospels, the Epistles, the Apocalypse all are inspired in every detail. The inspiration includes the form as well as the substance, the word as well as the thought. This is called the verbal theory of inspiration, which is vehemently denied by many modern theologians. They say it is too mechanical. They say it degrades the writers to the level of machines. They say it has a tendency to make skeptics and unbelievers, and they say many other things. But I am insisting upon, and presenting, no theory except that which is found in the Bible [itself]. God used the human personality and the human mind to deliver his divine revelation (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., Why I Preach that the Bible is Literally True, Broadman Press, 1969, pages 33-34).

Those words, and that description of the plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible came from Dr. W. A. Criswell, great Bible scholar, and pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas for more than fifty years, whom I consider to be one of the two greatest preachers of the twentieth century, the other being Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, long pastor of Westminster Chapel in London. Dr. Lloyd-Jones was in perfect agreement with Dr. Criswell on the plenary inspiration of the Bible,

All scripture is given by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16).

That was the view of Orthodox Jews, at the time of Christ and throughout history, regarding the Old Testament Scriptures. That was the view of Christ Himself, who said,

The scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).

It was Christ Himself who said,

O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spokenAnd beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:25, 27).

This was not only the view of Orthodox Jews, and of Christ Himself - it was the same view of the Bible held by the Apostles of the New Testament, the apologists, the church fathers, the martyrs, the Reformers of the sixteenth century - Luther, Melanchthon, John Calvin, John Knox. It was also the view of the Puritans of the seventeenth century, John Owen, Richard Baxter of Kidderminster. It was the view of our Baptist forefathers John Bunyan, Dr. John Gill, and the prince of preachers, C. H. Spurgeon. It was the same view held by the evangelists of the First Great Awakening, George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Howell Harris and John Cennick. It was the view of the mighty preachers of the Second Great Awakening, Timothy Dwight, Asahel Nettleton, and Francis Asbury. It was the view of Moody and Torrey and Chapman and Sunday. And it is the view of Billy Graham.

I may disagree with Luther on some things. I may disagree with Billy Graham on decisionism, but I am in full agreement with every man I have listed regarding the absolute certainty that

All scripture is given by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16).

I knew Dr. Criswell personally. As I write this sermon, I am looking at a framed letter he sent me before he died. I was also a personal friend of the late Dr. Harold Lindsell. What a marvelous champion of divine inspiration he was! He was a great intellect, professor at two leading seminaries, editor of Christianity Today. This marvelous scholar preached a sermon at the wedding of me and my wife. I can still hear his clear, crisp voice in my mind. It was Dr. Lindsell who said,

Inspiration may be defined as the inward work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of chosen men who then wrote the Scriptures so that God got written what He wanted. The Bible in all of its parts constitutes the written Word of God to man. This Word is free from all error in its original autographsIt is wholly trustworthy in matters of history and doctrine. However limited may have been their knowledge, and however much they may have erred when they were not writing sacred Scripture, the authors of Scripture, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were preserved from making factual, historical, scientific, or other errors. The very nature of inspiration renders the Bible infallible, which means it cannot deceive us. It is inerrant in that it is not false, mistaken, or defective. Inspiration extends to all parts of the written Word of God and it includes the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit even in the selection of the words of Scripture. Moreover, the Bible was written by human and divine agencies; that is, it was the product of God and chosen men. The authors of Scripture retained their own styles of writing and the Holy Spirit, operating within this human context, so superintended the writing of the Word of God that the end product was Gods. Just as Jesus had a human and a divine nature, one which was truly human and the other truly divine, so the written Word of God is a product that bears the marks of what is truly human and truly divine. Inspiration involves infallibility from start to finish. God the Holy Spirit by nature cannot lie or be the author of untruth[The men who wrote the Bible] were kept from error by the Holy Spirit (Harold Lindsell, Ph.D., The Battle for the Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1976, pages 30-31).

I am in full agreement with both Dr. Criswell and Dr. Lindsell regarding the Holy Scriptures. They were great men and great scholars. What they wrote about the divine inspiration of the Bible is what I believe. They were my friends and I know how much they loved God and His Word. I can honestly say that they loved the Word of God more than the praise of men. And I thank God that he raised these men to defend the Bible from Satanic attacks like the one I quoted from The Da Vinci Code.

Now, what does this say to you? Abraham Lincoln late in life told a friend, Take all of the Bible you can by reason and the rest by faith and you will live and die a better man. When the Bible speaks of Christ dying on the Cross to pay for your sins - believe it! When the Bible says that Christ rose physically from the dead and ascended back to heaven - believe it. When the Bible says,

Except ye be convertedye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3)

believe it. When the Bible tells you to come to Christ - believe it, for Jesus said,

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).

Believe what Jesus said on the inspired page of Scripture - and then come to Him by faith and you will be saved from sin and judgment, and Hell - for all time and for all eternity. And may God Himself draw you to His Son, and may He do it soon. Get yourself a King James Bible, for I believe it to be the most reliable. Read the promise of Christ,

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).

Then come to Christ, and you will be saved by Him forever. Forget the demonic drivel in The Da Vinci Code. It cannot save your eternal soul, and it cannot help you to live the Christian life. Forget it now, for it will soon be forgotten in the dustbin of history, along with the writings of Voltaire and the speeches of the agnostic Robert Ingersoll. As the Apostle Peter put it,

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (I Peter 1:24-25).

May you hear the Word of God. May you pay attention to what Christ says in it. May you come and fall at His feet, trust the Son of God and receive pardon for sin and life everlasting. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 24:25-27.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
I Know the Bible is True (by B. B. McKinney, 1886-1952).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DA VINCI CODE - AN ATTACK ON THE BIBLE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).

(II Peter 1:19; 3:3)

I.   First, The Da Vinci Code says, The Bible did not arrive by fax
from heavenThe Bible did not fall magically from the
clouds, Genesis 3:1; II Peter 2:1.

II.  Second, The Da Vinci Code says, The Bible is a product of man,
my dear. Not of God, Genesis 3:1; John 10:35;
Luke 24:25, 27; Matthew 18:3; John 6:37; I Peter 1:24-25.