The Da Vinci Code Effect
by Tom Stewart
May 28, 2006
"Little children, it is the Last Time: and
as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists;
whereby we know that it is the Last Time" (1John
It comes as no surprise that part of the effect of Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code, is to generate a lot of money from both the sale of his book and the release of the motion picture. Da Vinci Code movie fans continue to applaud the book's Grail quest plot that Mary Magdalene is the Holy Grail and that Jesus of Nazareth had offspring by Mary Magdalene, creating a presently surviving, royal bloodline. Literary critics felt justified in condemning the book as poorly written, while film critics have labeled the screen adaptation as boring, unwieldy, and plodding. Most agree that Ron Howard attempted to faithfully stick to the essence of the book. Evangelical Christians concluded that the novel gave Dan Brown the opportunity to deliver a pack of blasphemous, vicious, anti-Christian lies in the name of being only a work of fiction acting as a springboard to discuss faith, religion, and history. Poorly grounded professed Christians may find themselves overwhelmed, when assaulted by Dan Brown's seductive but ancient position that the New Testament is itself a pack of lies, Jesus was merely a good man (which Constantine and others of the Council of Nicea elevated to the position of God), etc. On the contrary, some curious seekers may even inadvertently find salvation and sanctification, as they investigate the true divinity of Christ and the entire trustworthiness of the Infallible Word of God, i.e., "But these [the Gospel of John] are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (John 20:31).
Prophetically, however, the Da Vinci Code Effect is to prepare the way for the Antichrist. Thoughtful Christians understand that nothing happens by accident. "The LORD of Hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand" (Isaiah 14:24). "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). The recent groundswell of interest in The Da Vinci Code testifies that Dan Brown has tapped into the interest and fascination of a large number of people that the Church of Rome, in particular, has conspired to cover up the truth about the nature of the so-called Holy Grail-- that it is not the chalice or cup of Christ of the Last Supper, but it is the purported royal bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. How could such a convoluted story be taken seriously by anyone? But, as Dan Brown has written, "Everyone loves a conspiracy." It is apparent that rebellious humankind is more content to entertain the lie that denies Christ's divinity and His truthful claim that "every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20).
How is The Da Vinci Code a preparation for the upcoming appearance of the Antichrist? "Little children, it is the Last Time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists [Greek, antichristos]; whereby we know that it is the Last Time" (1John 2:18). This timely statement was inspired by the Holy Spirit towards the end of the First Century AD. The Apostle John warned that many antichrists were present nearly two millennia ago. Antichristos means both instead of Christ, as well as, against Christ. He further noted that Antichrist will deny two things: (1) the divinity of Jesus, i.e., "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1John 2:22), and (2) the humanity of Christ, i.e., "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1John 4:3). The Da Vinci Code gives a platform to specifically deny the divinity of Jesus by allowing the fictional novel to propound the premise that the historical Jesus was considered as only a man, and was not esteemed as the Living God until the First Council of Nicea (325 AD). Dan Brown's fictional novel becomes a lie, when he takes every opportunity to make Jesus only human, with no apparent effort to make Him divine. Therefore, according to 1John 2:22, Dan Brown qualifies as an antichrist. During the upcoming Tribulation Week, when the Antichrist will sit in a restored Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the Antichrist will deny both the divinity and humanity of Jesus. "3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin [the Antichrist] be revealed, the Son of Perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2Thessalonians 2:3-4). Obviously, Antichrist will claim Jesus Christ's true divinity, but he will also usurp Jesus Christ's true humanity by claiming to be seated on Earth in Jerusalem in the restored Jewish Temple, while the True Christ is still bodily in Heaven, "standing on the right hand of God [the Father]" (Acts 7:56), i.e., Christ cannot be humanly present in two places at the same time-- to be present on Earth is to deny that He could be humanly present in Heaven (thus, denying the True Christ's humanity).
Dan Brown describes a warfare between the purportedly historical organization, the Priory of Sion, and Opus Dei, established in 1928 as an international prelature of the Roman Catholic Church. The Priory of Sion was believed by Dan Brown to be founded in 1099 AD to protect the hereditary succession of Mary Magdalene-- the so-called Holy Grail. He links this succession to the Merovingian dynasty of the political thrones of Europe. In contradistinction, apostolic succession through Peter is Rome's method of maintaining her religious power-- that is often in contention with the secular seats of power. Regardless of the historical authenticity of the Priory of Sion, it is significant that a secular author would depict a warfare between the religious and political, for this is exactly what the Book of Revelation has prophesied since the First Century AD. The Apostle John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to record the mysterious identity of this institution of apostolic succession "arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand" (Revelation 17:4). John further describes this feminine entity with the derogatory name, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5).
One of the seven angels, who will pour out the Seven Vial Judgments (Revelation 16), offered to John an explanation of the prophetic picture given to the apostle nearly 2,000 years ago. "And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns" (Revelation 17:7). Demonstrating that divine knowledge expressed by the angel is far greater than conundrums, anagrams, and secret symbols of any Satan inspired human conspiracy, the angel explains that those "whose names were not written in the Book of Life" (Revelation 17:8) shall marvel, wonder, and even admire the "beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Revelation 17:8). Briefly, (1) Satan is the "beast that was" (Revelation 17:8), for he "shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit" (Revelation 17:8), (2) The beast that "is not" (Revelation 17:8) is the Antichrist, who was (at that time) yet to be revealed, and (3) The Antichrist political, economic, and social system of the world is the beast that "yet is" (Revelation 17:8). With double-entendre, the angel describes BABYLON THE GREAT as sitting upon a "scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns" (Revelation 17:3). "The seven heads," the angel explains, "are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth" (Revelation 17:9). The "seven mountains" primarily refer to a succession of seven kingdoms or empires, i.e., Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and Revived Rome; but, they also point to Rome-- the famed city historically identified by the ancient Romans as the City of Seven Hills. The Papal Throne rules from "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the Earth" (Revelation 17:18).
Again, in The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown depicts a warfare or antagonism between Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion-- religious vs. political-- which is seen also in the Book of Revelation, where the Beast or Antichrist (representing the political) burns the Whore (representing the religious). "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the Beast [the Antichrist-- the political], these shall hate the Whore [the religious system represented by Papal Rome, i.e., the False Prophet], and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (Revelation 17:16). Though The Da Vinci Code makes the religious Opus Dei the hunter and the political Priory of Sion the hunted-- while the Book of Revelation reverses the positions with the religious system of the Whore more the victim and the political system of the Antichrist more the villain-- the tension or warfare is the same. "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground [using the instrumentality of the Antichrist]" (Isaiah 21:9).
How does The Da Vinci Code have the effect of preparing the way for the Antichrist? With 60.5 million copies of the novel in print (as of May 2006) and $77.1 million for the movie's opening weekend-- compared to Spiderman ($114.8 million), The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million), and Jurassic Park ($47.0 million)-- even with the controversy fueling book and ticket sales, this is a significant number of readers and viewers! What does this say about these people? First, The Da Vinci Code reveals the interest and willingness of too many to view sympathetically, Satanic symbols, occult imagery, and Antichrist associations, e.g., hieros gamos (the ancient pagan, sex orgy ritual performed by Sophie's grandfather). Second, The Da Vinci Code reveals the possible willingness of many of the readers or viewers to entertain the idea that Jesus was merely a man and not God. Third, The Da Vinci Code increases the willingness to distrust the integrity of the Bible as the Infallible Word of God, i.e., just the opposite effect of Paul's words upon the Thessalonians. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians 2:13).
The Da Vinci Code, most significantly, gives respectability and receptivity to the Antichrist, accompanied by blatant disregard and latent hostility to Jesus Christ. "3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know What [the Holy Spirit] withholdeth [restrains the Antichrist] that he [the Antichrist] might be revealed in his time" (2Thessalonians 2:3-6). Upon reflection, the success of The Da Vinci Code points to how close we are to the advent of the Antichrist. "7 For the Mystery of Iniquity doth already work: only He [the Holy Spirit] Who now letteth [Greek, katecho, restrains] will let [Greek, katecho, will continue to restrain], until He [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way [at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, when the Spirit indwelt Saints are removed, thus removing the primary means of the Spirit's influence upon the world]" (2Thessalonians 2:7). More importantly, it should also be reminding us that the "end of all things is at hand" (1Peter 4:7) and the "coming of the LORD draweth nigh" (James 5:8), when the LORD Jesus Christ returns to judge the world, i.e., "He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man [Jesus Christ] Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). And, the Second Coming of Christ is, of course, significant to the Saints on Earth, because He will gather us before He comes again, i.e., "by the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him" (2Thessalonians 2:1).Christian, fear not. God will use even the clever blasphemy of The Da Vinci Code to accomplish His own purposes. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10). LORD, make it to be so! Amen, and Amen.
"Blessed is he that readeth [the Book of Revelation], and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3).
[For positive suggestions on your Endtime Christian conduct, please read our article, "The Restraining Influence of the Holy Spirit" ---New Window. A discussion of the nature and relationship of the Beast and the Whore can be found in our Commentary on the Book of Revelation, i.e., "Revealing the Mystery of Babylon the Great and the Beast" (Ch. 17) ---New Window and "The Destruction of Babylon the Great" (Ch. 18) ---New Window. "Must There Be a Pre-Tribulational Rapture?" ---New Window is our attempt to answer the question in the affirmative. Our articles, "Antichrist Shall Come" ---New Window and "The Amazing Humanity of Jesus Christ" ---New Window, offer additional information on the subjects of the Antichrist and the humanity of Jesus Christ. Ian Paisley's "Christian Foundations" demonstrates how the Bible is the Word of God ---New Window, Jesus is fully divine ---New Window, Christ's blood atoned for our sins ---New Window, and Christ bodily resurrected from the dead ---New Window.]
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