Many people have a real problem discerning fact from fiction. The very first psychological manipulation satan tried (and succeeded) using on a human being was in Genesis 3:1 where he asked Eve: “Hath God said?” (Did God REALLY say that?). The devil was trying to persuade Eve that she and Adam hadn’t heard God correctly when He instructed them not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
One of the devil’s favorite strategies is to confuse the mind of the believer about what God has plainly stated in His written Word. Satan blurs the line between true scripture and manmade religious fiction. He attacks the integrity of the canon of God-inspired scripture with manmade traditions. Consider how the Body of Christ on Earth, the Church, began as a shining beacon of light filled with the Holy Ghost, knit together in the love of Christ, serving one another in love. But over the centuries, flawed traditions and manmade fables crept in to deceive seekers of Christ. The Church on earth has degenerated from pure faith in Christ into a Babylonian confusion of thousands of misguided denominations and sects which have incorporated a bit of Biblical truth into a big mess of “Christianized” pagan traditions! The Catholic Church believes in continuing revelation above and beyond written scripture. The Vatican decides all policies of faith and practice, not scripture illuminated by the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit in the individual believer’s life.
Consider the false doctrine of Purgatory, taught nowhere in Scripture. It is of pagan origin, and was first introduced into the institutional church in the second century, long after the death of the Twelve Apostles. Unscrupulous prelates peddled papal indulgences to help surviving relatives to shorten their deceased loved one’s stint in the burning fires of Purgatory. Not only were many ignorant people robbed by this religious fable, but Christ was robbed of glory as His own sacrifice on Calvary was deemed insufficient to pay for people’s sins.
People who don’t carefully examine Scripture for themselves will believe just about anything. “God helps those who help themselves” and “Cleanliness is next to godliness” are two of the most commonly quoted “scriptures” which are found nowhere in the Bible.
Even devout Christian parents will often teach their children to believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny leaves eggs at Easter time (pagan traditions incorporated into Christendom). The Tooth Fairy leaves a dollar (it used to be a dime). Old Saint Nick leaves a Captain Car Crusher Game Board under their heathen Christmas Tree (see Jer.10:3-4). Then when they’re tucked into bed for the night, Mommy prays with them to Jesus. You can’t fool a kid. Once they reach the age of ten or thereabouts, they find out that these benevolent characters were only fables. The kid says: “All right, Mom. So now you’ve told me there’s no Santa Claus. So what about this Jesus Christ business?”
Night after night people sit in front of the television (hell-e-vision) filling their minds with fantasy. Some programs might be helpful or harmless (example: a cooking show or a nature program). But even certain religious programs can be harmful. I just recently visited the States and tuned in to the Black Entertainment Channel. A white preacher was selling some miracle-working water. Now I know how those guys operate because I’ve received some of their mailings in the past. You’ll get the free water. But it only works if you send the preacher your “most sacrificial” offering by noon the next day. As this big, loud preacher praised the merits of faith in his water (not faith in the One Who FREELY gives us all things (Rom.8:32), his wife urged viewers to phone in for the water (and accompanying instructions to send money). A long list of happy testimonials was read from various cities of the U.S. but no names were given. Any fool can make such testimonials up! These two were the very same preachers exposed as frauds by a secular magician. The wife transmitted people’s names and personal details to an ear bug worn by her preacher husband, who led people to believe he was getting his information directly from the Holy Spirit!
Long ago I received red prayer cloths from this man, allegedly signed by other people. I was instructed to sign it myself, wrap my “best offering” around it, and send it back to the preacher so he could pass it on to others. Why didn’t Paul instruct people to wrap their “best offering” inside the prayer cloths he sent them (Acts 19:12)? Funny how the handwriting on those prayer rags was the same for all the signatures, the ink color was the same, and even the letters were spaced apart the same on all the signatures. How stupid do preachers think God’s people are? Don’t Christians have an ounce of holy discernment in them, or could it be they land in such an awful trial that they WANT to believe some mass-produced pre-packaged, hocus-pocus tap water is the answer to their prayers?
Maybe people swallow religious fables because the REAL Word of God isn’t their cup of tea. The promises of the Bible aren’t enough. The Comforter, the REAL Holy Spirit isn’t enough. The REAL Jesus of the Bible isn’t enough. So desperate Christians turn to some snake oil act on a stage for relief from the troubles of life. They place their trust not in Jesus, but some wealthy charlatan who uses special lighting effects, slogans, repetitious music, and emotional appeals to break down a Christian’s defenses and charm the rent money out of his pocket.
Christians, like other people, are often reluctant to believe that certain people are rotten to the core and bound for hell. It seems downright uncharitable to admit that God means what He says when He proclaims that some individuals are created as vessels of wrath prepared by the Master Potter for ultimate destruction and dishonor (Romans 9:21-22). No, it’s not God’s fault. Some people are so ornery and stubborn they refuse to repent. If a person lies continually to himself that homosexuality is acceptable to God, they’ll begin to believe it, though the Word denounces that lifestyle as sin. When God finally runs out of patience He gives up on such impenitent sinners and gives them over to a reprobate mind (Rom.1:24-28).
Some believe that God will ultimately save everybody, if not in this life then in the world to come, contrary to scripture.
Matt.12:32: And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
A certain popular British politician wrote his own Gospel of Judas. My mother’s well-meaning friend presented me with this book and said it would do me good to read it. I don’t know about that. I scanned through it and what I read about the fate of Judas contradicted the clear statement of Scripture about that villain. According to this tall tale, Judas survived his betrayal of Christ. Instead of hanging himself, Judas went to live with the Essenes, a Jewish monastic sect. Judas said Christ was a great teacher, but nothing more. His motivation for betraying Christ wasn’t greed for money, but trying to force Jesus’ hand so He would drive out the Romans and restore the Kingdom to Israel before God’s time. There was nothing in this fake gospel about the triumphant resurrection of Christ or the merits of His atoning blood. Lots of interesting historical background, but zilch spiritual value for the Christian.
The devil knows we can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. If he can persuade people to put works like THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS on an equal footing with REAL scripture, then the REAL written Word of God is devalued in the eyes of those who can’t discern fact from fiction. It is then that satan achieves one of his primary objectives: to cause “It is written” to lose its authority in the life of a gullible believer.
Satan loves to blur the distinction between fact and fantasy, especially where it concerns the things of God. Writing an imaginary Gospel which “should have been written” sounds like an exciting literary undertaking, but it’s treading on dangerous water.
Deut.12: 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Prov.32:5: Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Gal.1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Rev.22:18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The author of the Gospel of Judas tries to make the reader doubt that Judas went out and hanged himself because only the Gospel of Matthew mentions that he did. But Peter agrees that Judas was no longer among them when he said this:
Acts 1:25: That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
What did Jesus Himself have to say about Judas?
Mark 14:21: The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. * * * * How does this square with the idea that Judas might have been saved, or redeemed himself after the death of Christ?
John 17:12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition (condition of being spiritually lost); that the scripture might be fulfilled.
The Bible holds NO hope for Judas Iscariot. If, as many Universalists believe, ALL will end up being saved at some point in eternity, then why did Jesus state it would have been better for Judas if he’d never been born? Judas’ hopelessly lost condition is comparable to that of the Beast of Revelation (the Antichrist).
Rev.17:8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The devil will likely use this fake Gospel of Judas to lead many simple minds away from the knowledge of the truth. They’ll fail to make the connection between how it must be fiction if a modern-day author wrote it. A man who questions the validity of the apostle Matthew’s claim that Judas hanged himself.
Judas was a son of the devil who betrayed the Son of God to an agonizing death on the cross. Even if the Gospel of Judas were a valid historical document instead of a modern work of fiction, why would any godly Christian include it in the canon of legitimate scripture or put any credence to what this demon-driven traitor allegedy could have written about our Savior?
Beloved, stick strictly to what the REAL Word of God says. Beware of being deceived by manmade fables.
2 Tim.4:3: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Titus 1:14: Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
2 Peter 1:16: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.