The Omega Code
The Ad in front of the movie theater read "Revelation foretold it Nostradamus predicted it. Prepare yourself for the secrets of the omega code." (Nostradamus? He was practicing the occult).
The movie made by TBN's Paul and son Matt Crouch cost a thrifty $7.2 to make, considering the effects. Obviously for budget reasons and limitation in time this was a micro version of what Scripture says will be a vast, panoramic, and extensive climax to the end of the age. The movie Stars Casper Van Dien, Michael York, Catherine Oxenberg Michael Ironside, a fairly decent cast. The plot is about the end of time through the tribulation and is built around the theme of the Omega code. The Omega code is suppose to be a hidden code of prophecy within the Torah. It teaches that there inside the bible are secret phrases that predict all of history in further detail then the prophecies of Scripture. The premise is that mystics and scholars have for thousands of years searched for a key to unlock the mysteries of our future. While it implies that the code says nothing different then the bible, this is not so. In the movie there are more details of the antichrist and his plans through the code than by the plain reading of the bible.
There have been a number of attempts on the end times scenario, This one is added to the procession. I certainly can't call it a failure, but neither can it be called a real success. For a number of reasons that will be covered.
The key has been found the code revealing prophetic secrets The movies premise is he who controls Jerusalem controls the world. The plot unfolds as a Jewish computer programmer unlocks the code and just as he finds the last piece the beasts helper shows up to get it. He shoots him, and he searches his notes only to not find it. The last part of the code is taken by the two prophets of Rev.11 (who took it out of the pocket of the man who discovered it. ) who are going to be revealed in Israel.
Casper Van Dien plays Dr. Gillen Lane who is a world famous motivational speaker. He holds a Ph.D. in world religion and is an expert on mythology. He promotes ideas about the power of myth and the collective consciousness of man, and he is intrigued with the code although he disbelieves the bible, much like Drosnin who in real life has promoted the code yet does not believe the bible. He is a staunch promoter of the code although he teaches that the bible itself is a myth and has turned his back on anything resembling traditional faith. His part is well portrayed as he convinces people of their human potential as he is modeled after Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker who tells everyone, you can do it.
Catherine Oxenburg plays Cassandra Barris who is international news correspondent, hosting her own talk show on the Alexander Satellite Network which is owned by the soon to be anti Christ Alexander Stone. She has Dr. Lane interviewed on her program and seems to scoff at his personality and exuberance on the code. Her character is often shallow and throughout the movie there is lacking of getting to know the characters and what makes them tick. Only the antichrist and Dr. Lane allows you some introduction and drawing into them as real persons.For a Cast surrounding only 4 , this would seem essential.
Stone is asked to join the European Union and becomes their Chairman, and quickly rises to power politically on the global scale. He becomes an outspoken humanitarian and is loved by people of all nations. His goal is to do what no other has, to unite the world in an era of global peace. He is very charming, convincing and magnetic figure who will dominate the world stage. What is missing is the Bibles depiction of how the people give their allegiance to the beast and the brutal methods he is suppose to use to exterminate his enemies.
As the Anti christ rises to power he is looking for someone to be his spokesman. Dr. Lane is invited to one of his conferences and is seen as an asset by Stone Alexander the anti christ.
Lane is currently having marriage problems when he is picked as Alexanders a new age motivator. Although he has made commitment to renew his marriage he is willing to leave his family for the greater cause for humanity.
The antichrist with presumably the first beast who gives him his power, is in search of the code that unlocks his instructions for world peace and domination. Michael Ironside plays Dominic the antichrists helper, who was a former priest and has become a ruthless, killer. The bible code unveils its secrets as Dominic and what appears to be the beast unlock its dark secrets-- to control the ancient city Jerusalem. In doing so they are fulfilling prophecy from the books of Daniel and Revelation. Sounds right, but it is not all that clearly portrayed, since it is the secret code that is giving them day to day guidance's. And it also has the appearance that God is assisting to fulfill the code which is not his word but a scrambling of words in holographic images.(the key word is scrambling)
The false prophet who presumably is Dr. Gillen Lane is haunted by his mother's death, at one point in the movie he remembers his mom singing him Jesus loves me this I know and remembers the her car accident. I say presumably the false prophet since many times it is left open who is fulfilling what role and at times becomes confusing. The false prophet is seduced to follow him, and throughout the movie antichrist calls mankind's next step evilution a purposeful slip of the word evolution. As things unfold Dr. Lane receives a call by a man investigating the code warning him. He agrees to meet him and when he goes to meet the man he is handed a paper and he is told to follow the pages of blood. The man is suddenly shot by the first beast, Dominic (although Dr. Lane is unaware who shoots him) . He is then manipulated to run into the antichrists arms of refuge to trust him, and to fulfill the antichrists destiny. The antichrist does not have the final piece of the code and because of this does not foresee the end, which will be his.
Dr. Lane is starting to realize he has been trapped in the Omega Code's web of deceit. In the midst antichrists quest for the Omega Code's secrets and the antichrists desire for world domination , he finds his world and everything he believes turned upside. He ventures into the headquarter where the code is being deciphered by the computers by the antichrist and finds its meaning. This part is so pretentious as it is unguarded and he just waltzes in. Dominic follows him and starts to shoot him as he discovers he found the code. Stone walks in on the shooting and Dominic misses Dr. Lane, and hits the antichrist in the head and he is killed. He then goes before the public and blames the killing on Dr. Lane, who now finds himself on the run to save his life, running from a power he does not immediately understand. His mission is now to save his family. Lane who is the false prophet who has become aware of being manipulated as a pawn in this game. He is met by the two prophets of Rev.11 and they tell him to follow the trail of blood. The 2 prophets are played well and are probably the most realistic acting to the biblical record.
Alexander stone is shortly resurrected in the hospital room. The giveaway seems to be his dead eyes, as if he has an empty soul. Most of the remainder of the movie ends up to be the antichrist chasing down his false prophet who has defected. He is on the run to save family and others from this now power-crazed madman, the "Beast" from the book of Revelation... Unfortunately he is not portrayed as that evil, though he is the incarnation of Satan himself.
Dr. Lane is handed the real real code at the end by the two prophets in Israel. And told the truth will set him free. What that truth is somewhat left up to subjection. It could be who the antichrist is, or about Jesus. Lane the false prophet was tricked by the woman reporter into handing over the code which fades as it is put in the antichrists hands, he is imprisoned and beats him for the real code.
There are a few classic moments (and biblical, yet not completely accurate) in this movie. The two prophets enter the temple where Stone has just declared himself God by saying he will ascend on the mount of the congregation, he has become like the most high. The two prophets of God go into the holy place and preach Daniel's prophecy of seeing him standing in the holy place. Other scriptures are spoken that are relevant and a few that seem to have nothing to do with anything. The two prophets challenge him by saying what Jesus did, destroy this temple and after 3 days it will raise again. All this is moving, but is at best speculative as far as the bible is concerned, though it does make for good theater. He has the prophets slain in the temple. Matthew 24:15-18 says that when the Abomination of Desolation happens, then the Jews are to flee immediately (to Petra), but no such flight takes place after the Antichrist's temple appearance. Although many are shown to run out of the temple it is weak in its portrayal. What are the gentiles doing meeting in the holy place anyway? Matthew 24:21-22 says that immediately after this is the time of tribulation, worse than any other in history occurs. But in the movie it is neglected. This is a major theme of Scripture in that that if Jesus were not to return at the right time, no flesh would survive.
The prophets are raised up from the dead and the effects are good as the breath of life enters them, but they hang around. Unlike the biblical record they are caught up to heaven. The reign of Antichrist in the movie is over almost immediately , but in Scripture it continues for 3 1/2 years according to Revelation 13:5 " He overcomes the saints" (Revelation 13:7), which is also not portrayed in the movie. Overall the tribulation is put aside for the main theme of the code. everyone according to the bible is to worship the beast. An Orthodox bishop who formerly followed him calls him a heretic. By this time according to the bible everyone has the mark of the beast which they cannot repent from. This is not shown at all in the movie. Its becomes obvious they are not using the bible as a reference point for all the theme. For me I was confused more than once and only few times were the answers available to what actually happened. I left confused, instead of clarifying end times events it did the opposite.
While many Christians don't go to the theater to purposely avoid blood-and-guts movies, this movie certainly had little considering all the death and devastation that would actually occur. The amazing thing to me was the movies avoidance of all the judgments and plagues that would occur in the tribulation.What goes on in the movie is not much different than what we see today. So the tribulation according to this portrayal wasn't so bad after all.
The real surprise is after the false prophet is beaten he is in a jail cell plagued by demons of his past and calls out to God and Jesus to save him. This is the only reference to Christ in the movie. Certainly this is not the gospel, although the message sent is that Jesus saves. But what does he save from? Demons, not sin. Nor is it biblical, since the false prophet is cast into hell with the antichrist. As in Rev.19:20 "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. "Another essential part missing, there are no miracles done by the false prophet or the beast. I'm not sure if this was done purposely to avoid any connection to its filmmakers network.
At the end of the movie the antichrist orders a nuclear strike. In classic shot he stands over the veranda watching the planes fly by in procession. The movie ends with what first appeared too be at first an atomic blast overtaking the earth. We see the devil being ripped out of the antichrists body and he gets his mortal wound back that was healed. This was somewhat confusing since it took a while to figure out that it was really Christ's 2nd coming. The ending was flat! The paper comes out of the computers printer reading 0000 a new millennium. This too was confusing since we are on the verge of a new millennium. what is the message being sent? When Christ comes back it is THE Millennium, not just a new millennium.
While they have said the point of the film is to get it out to as many lost people as possible, This movie is geared toward a Christian audience, not the unsaved. Since one would have to have a working knowledge of the prophecies to understand it. It is not self explanatory, especially with the theme of the code. I wonder if any of the actors were saved from the story or being around those who made it? (just a thought)
While some cheer about it as a decent film with a Christian message in it, What did it accomplish? Except to mostly entertain, and not with much truth in it to boot. The point they are trying to make is that Christians are not going to spend money on these other films. While there is nothing wrong with some entertainment I think we have too much of it, instead we should be looking to do something a little more constructive with our time, maybe to be equipped to evangelize on our own, (just a thought).
One of my objections of this movie is not that the story is embellished like other Hollywood productions, such as The Robe or Ben Hur. But that what the Scripture clearly says was missing or contradicted in the movie. I expected more since it was written and made by Christians. Does this send the message that Scripture is wrong. An example is there is no time of Jacobs trouble portrayed and other such essential elements missing. The antichrist is following the code as it leads him to fulfill his destiny which he thinks is good for the world. I'm not sure if this sends the message that the code is true or false. But what can one expect from TBN as Crouch states that the angel in mid heaven in the book of revelation is TBN. that God spoke clear as he ever heard him, saying one word, satellite.
What I find somewhat disturbing is seeing people open to accepting the code and looking further into it. People will and do take this movie as authoritative (especially the many who do not read much Scripture but watch TBN avidly). What if someone were to ask if the code is real? what would a TBN fan say? If he says no then they may question the whole movie, if he says yes then they have opened the door to a false gospel. What has also become concerning is that a friend told me he saw Matt Crouch with Yacov Ramsel one of the Jews promoting the code, saying in a conversation with Matt Crouch that he has found the word Omega Code in the bible code (implying the movie production). When you think you found an underlying pattern or code that is equal or more than important than the plain meaning, then this is kabalistic in its approach and certainly promotes mysticism. The Bible says no such thing about the code and actually states the opposite Isa. 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth Isa.48:16 "Come near to Me, hear this:I have not spoken in secret from the beginning " (to learn about the Bible Code) God speaks his prophecy plainly, it is of no private interpretation, which is what it would be if one needs the code to decipher it.
There is probably more correct doctrine in this movie than the usual preaching on Praise the Lord, but that doesn't deserve a pat on the back. Whether one teaches from a pulpit or from song, teachers will be accountable for what they teach, for the music they play and the books they write. Even for movies they make that influence the sheep and others falsely, which this does.
Because of the the popularity and interest in secret Bible Codes Now there is "Unlocking the bible codes" on computer CD by Compworks. So now everyone can get involved in looking for "the secrets hidden from the foundation of the world" on their personal computer. This will bring many further away from a literal interpretation of Scripture and be romanced into cabalism.
For months TBN had been advertising this film as it was being made to prep the people. Providence spent $600,000 in advertising with a half million people showing up to see in its first week, obviously supporters of TBN. Christians have turned out for this movie by the busload. Many churches and people have purchased hundreds and thousand tickets for their congregation and workplace, some churches buying the whole theater out. Many have seen this movie 2-3 or even 4 times.( I wonder if we were all to go evangelizing on the streets if the same people would have this enthusiasm? (Just a thought.)
TBN is advertising it on the web as the #1 hit movie which is certainly not accurate. TBN has literally boasted about it being the surprise of the season. In some ways it is, (for there audience.) Matt Crouch has gone as far as to say they were really No.1 in ratio, so "we win". Theaters were filled with $7,745 per screen average, the highest of all the Top 10 movies. This is because it was released in 305 theaters (as of Oct.23), it has now been released in more. The top 3 movies were in 1,900-2,900 theaters. If it was shown in 1,000 as the others, they would not have focused as manypeople into it and had as many per screen. Here in Hawaii it has been full at most of the showings because there is only 1 theater hosting it. A matter of fact of one looks at the facts, 305 theaters in 50 states means about 7-8 theaters hosting in each state. While they had the most per screen, they were last in gross. They grossed $2.4 million compared to the top 3 that grossed over 10 million. Nonetheless this is a good showing but not as great as they are promoting.Whose attending?Mostly TBN supporters 2-3 or more times.
The Internet was heavily used in its advertising. Crouch said an "Omega Code" Web site has been receiving 12,000 e-mails a day in recent weeks, with 350,000 hits in a week. Internet chat rooms are devoted to religious topics have been swamped with talk about the movie.
The TBN Web page offered the people to download posters of the movie and a scriptural guide. In one day they got 500,000 hits and 150,000 people downloaded the material. The movie's success certainly can be attributed to the grass roots marketing, and the audience support of TBN. From its success we can in the future presume to see TBN in the movie business.
Many of the secular reviews have been quite gracious. Holly McClure said 'This is a unique attempt at delivering an action-filled story as well as a message based on biblical writings. .. The movie reveals enough biblical prophecy to keep it intriguing, while delivering lots of action and "Indiana Jones"-style special effects. ... delivers a slick-looking, special-effects adventure that competes with other independent films that have dominated the box office since summer.
Awakened by a Hungry Audience By Rick Lyman Said, "The Omega Code" is about an apocalyptic battle between good and evil that draws its inspiration from prophecies in the Book of Revelations, grafting onto them a standard-issue plot with a hero, a villain and a pretty girl. The idea, Crouch said, was to make an intense, traditional Hollywood thriller that would appeal initially to conservative Christian audiences, but without being so overbearing as to scare away those who do not normally tune into a right-wing Christian message.
THE ARTS/CINEMA Nov. 1, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 18Born-Again Box Office How Evangelicals made the apocalyptic The Omega Code a surprise hit By David Van Biema who stated, "The Omega Code features a sprightly enough plot: codes hidden in the Bible lead the audience to an understanding that the Apocalypse, complete with York as the Antichrist, is unfolding around Van Dien. Given its budget, the quality of its writing, acting and production is remarkably high."
Still the major movie critics have ignored it completely, with no reviews.
Last thoughts: Much of the acting is mediocre, although at times captivating. What is suspenseful in the plot is often times confusing and one is left at the end wondering what certain parts meant. If they were connected a little better the movie would have avoided the choppy spots and flowed more. With all intentions, it is a good first try. Overall this is a grade B movie. It is certainly not as bad as some think but it is not as good as some proclaim either. Hopefully one will not go away believing in the code as portrayed in the movie.
I hardly ever agree with TBN in their programming but I commend them for trying this. Although I did hope for the best from them on this project, it didn't come through, maybe they will do better on the next one.(yes, there will be another!)
I think one can enjoy this movie as long as they keep in mind it is not a biblically accurate portrayal of the end times, but a fiction. It may open the door to answer questions to unsaved people, providing that one knows what they are talking about, and can discern the wheat from the chaff.