REVELATIONSMade for TV mini-series
Reviewed by: Joseph Sinko
1 hr. per episode
Year of Release:
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
Read the Book of Revelation
When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, does that imply that it is completely accurate, or does it contain insignificant inaccuracies in details of history and science? Answer
Could the End of Days be near?
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “From executive producer Gavin Polone (“Panic Room”) and writer/creator David Seltzer (“The Omen”), comes this six-hour event series starring Bill Pullman (“Independence Day”) as Harvard professor Dr. Richard Massey, an astrophysicist whose certainty that all worldly events can be explained by Science, is challenged by a nun, Sister Josepha Montafiore (Natascha McElhone, “Solaris”), who leads him on a journey through the unfamiliar world of faith.
Review of Episode One:
Concerning “end times” events, there is a marked contrast between what comes out of the imagination of Hollywood and the illumination of Holy Scripture. To be fair, even before I watched “Revelations” episode one, I knew its purpose was not to teach correct biblical eschatology, but to tap into the spiritual-genre craze so popular in our society today. One thing is sure, if we want to know the truth about what’s to unfold in mankind’s future we will not find it in this miniseries, but to it’s credit, it is a bit of fun to watch and might make a good show to watch with a Sunday school class and discuss the various philosophies put forth in the show.
There are many memorable lines in the show from a solid cast of good actors who all do a good job with the script. The show starts in a college classroom with a distinguished professor played by John Rhys Davies discussing the Big Bang Theory of creation with his students. The opening line is a classic of this world’s secular evolutionary philosophy concerning creation. Then, when a student raises his hand to ask, essentially if science can leave room for God in the discussion, the professor affirms it can, but then bemoans, “if only He would show Himself.”
Sadly, this does reveal the mindset of many people in our world today, be they brilliant or of average intelligence. Once again we see that it’s not through a person’s intelligence that God is found, but through faith and faith alone! God has revealed Himself clearly. He has revealed Himself in creation (Psalm 19); He has revealed Himself in His word (Deuteronomy 29:29), and He has revealed Himself in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:30). The truth about God is known, and it has been revealed, but it can never be seen or realized apart from saving faith (Hebrews 11:1-6).
From the classroom scene you are introduced to a character called Dr. Richard Massey played by Bill Pullman. He’s on a rather sad flight home escorting a Satanist Isaiah Haden played by Michael Massee who was responsible for murdering Dr. Massey’s daughter in a satanic ritual. He has been captured and is being escorted to prison.
The scene is tense, with the jet experiencing a lot of turbulence. For some reason the Satanist is also escorted by a preacher who is sitting next to him. The Satanist asks the preacher if God is going to cause the plane to go down because he’s on board. The preacher responds that if God does, it’s because He doesn’t want to take a chance of this man being out in society again. Then, to show Satan’s power, the Satanist snaps his fingers and the flight instantly smooths out. I appreciated this scene because it shows that there is a lot of supernatural power at play in our world either for evil or for good, and that people must make the choice of either following the Light of the World and knowing His peace, or being subjected to the Devil’s power and being taken captive by him to do his will. So, despite Hollywood’s creative imagination and it’s desire to capture and keep an audience, certain truthful elements were shown from time-to-time.
The next important scene comes quickly. A young, rebellious girl is having a confrontation with her father as she’s getting ready for school. She appears to be no older than 12 or 13, but she’s dressed too provocatively and has a fake tattoo on her bare abdomen—partially revealed above her beltline. When her father sees this he gets very angry. It’s obvious they are living in a broken home. The girl is in angry rebellion and tells her father it’s fake and can be washed off. But as the confrontation escalates the girl says she has to run for the school bus or she’s going to be late. As she’s running out of the house she uses Jesus Christ’s name in vain. When her dad hears this he yells, “Just for that you’re going to church on Sunday.” I had to laugh, but it also broke my heart because that’s what some people really do, they use the threat of attendance at church as a form of punishment! It’s no wonder that their children develop a negative outlook toward church and God.
So, obviously this girl is very angry, and as she runs across a golf course during very stormy weather to catch her bus, she pauses on her way due to the weather, and in a very disturbing and rather graphic scene she is blasted by lightning. And I do mean blasted! The clear implication is that God has struck her with lightning (apparently to punish her blasphemy). She was blasted out of her shoes and into a tree. Then the limb on which she landed was blasted, and her body thumped to the ground. This would be a disturbing scene for children, or for anyone else.
This girl becomes central to episode one. And this is where the story really gets strange and more unbiblical. She hasn’t died; she’s “brain dead” and is being watched closely in a hospital room so that her organs can be harvested when she dies. A political scene is inserted here where a man says they have to be careful because “pro-lifers” consider the consciousness of earthworms to be life. This is a reminder of the recent controversy surrounding Terri Schaivo.
From this point we are introduced to another pivotal character, a nun called Sister Josepha Montafiore played by Natascha McElhone, who works for a group that is sponsored to study paranormal activity, specifically to look for evidence that Christ has already returned to earth! That’s when I nearly fell out of my chair, but also felt sorry for those who believe it could happen like this.
The Bible is clear, when Jesus returns to earth there will be no doubt as to His second coming. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 24 and 25, and so did the Holy Angels in Acts 1, and the Apostle Paul in Thessalonians. Jesus Christ’s return to earth will not be a secret! It will be accompanied by a heralding trumpet sound that everyone can hear, and the voice of one of the archangels, of which there are only two revealed in Scripture, so you have a 50/50 chance of guessing whether it’s Michael or Gabriel.
But the purpose of this scene is to connect Sister Montafiore and Dr. Massey in their quest to uncover, and possibly stop end time events. In the show, this little girl (who should be dead), actually begins to channel information from Dr. Massey’s murdered daughter. Of course, Sister Montafiore becomes an advocate for what seems to be any spirituality found in the world, and that God is not in control of all that is going on, but mankind can write a chapter of the Bible themselves and spare themselves from end time events.
The truth is, however, that we know end time events ahead of time because of God’s foreknowledge. God knows how everything is going to end because He knows what mankind is going to do and how He will judge the world for it’s rejection of Christ, and it’s constant rebellion against Him. The only safe place to really be is in the merciful grace of Jesus because no matter what happens, we have assurance that He will never cast us out.
A lot of negatives could be expressed about this show and all of it’s blending of religions and twisting of truth. However, I suggest that people watch it not only for the entertainment sake, but more so for the opportunity to get inside of the minds of people in Hollywood to see what they are thinking about our world and spiritual things. As I said earlier, this would be a great show to watch with a Sunday school class, or perhaps a neighbor and to use it as a springboard to talk about what’s true from a biblical perspective, what the Bible says about the future, what the Bible reveals about the Devil, and especially what the Bible says about the purpose of His first coming to earth and what His second coming will be like, because that’s the blessed hope of all those who place their faith in Him!
Have fun watching, but listen closely and compare all that you hear with the Bible.
See: List of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
USA premiere Episode 1: Wednesday, April 13, 2005