By Dirk Eichhorst & Scott Holmgren
A new “Christian” film that leaves God’s Word in the lobby
On October 15, 1999, THE OMEGA CODE opened across the country in select theaters. Produced by Paul Crouch and TBN Films, the film stars Casper Van Dien, Michael York, Michael Ironside, and Catherine Oxenberg, was directed by Robert Marcarelli, and was written by Hollis Barton and Stephan Blinn. Hal Lindsey served as a consultant.
THE OMEGA CODE is the latest of several end-times movies that have been produced recently, which include APOCOPLYSE and its sequel REVELATION (both released by Jack Van Impe Ministries in partnership with the Lalonde brothers of This Week In Bible Prophecy). But THE OMEGA CODE strays even farther from Scripture in its attempt to entertain with the truth. The unfortunate reality is that viewers unfamiliar with the actual teachings of Scripture regarding end-time events will come away with a grossly inaccurate impression of God’s plan for the end of the age.
The story told in THE OMEGA CODE revolves around a secret Bible code that is hidden in the pages of Scripture. It draws heavily on theories popularized by several recent best-selling books such as “The Bible Code” by Michael Drosnin and “The Signature of God” by Grant Jeffrey. The code is basically a giant “word search” puzzle that picks out Hebrew letters in the Bible that spell out predictions for the future and is supposedly validated by “past predictions” concerning Princess Diana’s death and the Gulf War.
As the film opens, a Jewish scholar cracks the code but is murdered, and his computer disk and notebook are stolen by a man who turns out to be Antichrist’s henchman Dominic (Ironside). Possessing all but the final step in the code, the new world leader, Stone Alexander (York), begins taking successive steps toward the end of the age. Every now and then a laserprinter spits out interpretations of the code, and “end-time events” unfold. But an unlikely hero, Dr. Gillen Lane (Van Dien), aided by the beautiful reporter Cassandra Barris (Oxenberg), holds the final bit of the code and always manages to stay one step ahead of Alexander and Dominic.
But for whatever merits the film garners for its flashy production, it fails miserably in its eschatology (the study of end times).
THE OMEGA CODE is a theological mess, mixing genuine biblical prophecy with fictional concoctions to advance an unbelievable fantasy. The film leaves you with the impression that biblical end-time events are just a big fairy tale. Rather than clarifying end-time events in a way that viewers can understand, the film further confuses issues by relying heavily on the “Bible Code,” which is put center stage as the sole source of plot dictation. Bits of prophecy from Daniel and Revelation are interspersed with these fictional “Bible Codes” which are necessary to advance the plot. The film almost seems to make even God subordinate to the Code. The only accurate references to Daniel’s Seventieth Week include the reality of a literal Antichrist, empowered by Satan, the signing of a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, and Antichrist’s declaration of being God at the midpoint of that seven-year period (Daniel 9:27, cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
The following are just a few examples of how this film strays from what the Bible teaches:
The two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12) are introduced right at the beginning of the film, long before the seven-year treaty is signed. Revelation 11:3 says that they will “prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days.” This period is understood to be half of the seven-year period initiated by the signing of the treaty. But in the film, the two witnesses are around prior to the signing of the treaty and are therefore present for longer than three-and-one-half years (1260 days)!
Biblical events of God’s wrath are confused with general worldwide destruction, particularly a reference to the “mutating molecular structure” of the oceans (perhaps the second trumpet judgment of Revelation 8:8), and reference to a “meteor shower” (perhaps the seventh bowl judgment of Revelation 16:17-21). In the film, these events occur while Antichrist still has control of the earth. No distinction is made between the wrath of Satan and the wrath of God as Scripture plainly does (Revelation 12:12 and 6:16-17). In fact, those realities do not exist at all in this film. According to the Bible, the bowl events are part of God’s wrath and do not occur until after Christ takes back control of the earth (Revelation 11:15, 17).
Speaking of God’s wrath, at no time do we ever see the sign in the sun, moon, and stars that indicate the beginning of the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31 and 3:14-15, Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12-17). Given this fact, what view of the end times does THE OMEGA CODE hold to? Pretribulationalists say that the entire seven-year period is the day of the Lord. But in the film, the sign in the sun, moon, and stars doesn’t happen when Alexander signs the treaty with Israel. The film literally invents its own end-times perspective as illustrated by omitting the day of the Lord from its story outline.
Despite Antichrist’s words of warning after killing the two witnesses, he exacts no persecution against anyone in the film following his claim to be God, except for the poor Dr. Lane, who still holds the last piece of the “code.” Lane spends the bulk of the middle portion of the film running, via foot chases, car chases, and doublecrosses from his own relatives.
Contrary to the Scriptural teaching which states Antichrist and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire at the end of the 70th Week at Armageddon (Revelation 19:20), this film has the two witnesses kill the false prophet with a Darth Vader-like suffocation technique. Furthermore, the shockwave of a nuclear blast blows Satan out of Antichrist’s body. He feels the wound on his head and falls dead. Amazingly, the other people in the building and the building itself are unaffected by this nuclear blast!
At one point, a cloud of demons surrounds Dr. Lane. He falls to his knees and cries out to Jesus to help him, and suddenly the demons vanish. But this “call for help” does nothing to motivate him to serve Christ, nor does it result from recognition of his sinful condition. What were the filmmakers trying to say here?
The Rapture is completely ignored. Jesus Christ does not return to earth for his elect. In fact, He makes no appearance at all. One could guess that when the film starts, the Rapture has already happened (suddenly and secretly prior to the seven-year treaty). But this completely contradicts Matthew 24:27, 30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 which show the Rapture happening after Antichrist is already on the scene (Matthew 24:15-31 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). This point is a very serious omission.
And there’s no mention of Armageddon or the salvation of Israel. Both events are monumentally important events in the end times.
No Stars and Thumbs Down
In summary, THE OMEGA CODE is a far-fetched and sadly inaccurate portrayal of end-time events. It is an embarrassment for Christianity and must not be relied on as a tool for teaching the truth of end times as found in God’s Holy Word.
It is our desire to help people understand end-time events according to Scripture. For a detailed explanation of end-time events, the Bible itself is our best source of truth. Be a Berean (Acts 17:10-11).