Reviewed by: Ken James
Satan in the Bible
Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
Is there an actual place called Hell? Answer
Why was Hell made? Answer
Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer
Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? Answer
What should you be willing to do to stay out of Hell? Answer
How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer
The Good News—How to be saved from Hell. Answer
Can a saved person ever be lost? Answer
What is the eternal destiny of an infant who dies? Answer
VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Tunney, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger | Director: Peter Hyams | Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Bill Borden | Distributor: Universal Pictures
Ephesians 6:11-12 gives the warning to…
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Without even realizing it, suicidal skeptic Arnold Schwarzenegger sets out to fight the evil one head-on in “End of Days.” Throughout the story, he resorts to a plethora of guns and firepower. He just didn’t understand that spiritual warfare cannot be fought with guns. Not until the conclusion, when Arnold comes face to face with the knowledge that, without God he is useless, is he able to effectively battle Satan. In this I find redemption in “End of Days”, and Biblical truth, though one will find a theologically flawed plot, profanity, a heavy sex scene (though it was edited out of the version I saw in Manila), and other offensive materials.
Some call this movie a “theological mess.” I can see their point. Early on in this apocalyptic thriller, a baby girl is born in New York City that is marked to be the chosen one of Satan. The Bible says in…
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth…” —Revelation 20:7
Those familiar with Biblical prophecy know that this doesn’t really mean that Satan will be released to Earth in 1999, try to get a girl pregnant, thus producing the antichrist and ushering in the end of days. Other biblical errors made were supposed references to the Bible which say things like “Satan cannot see into the house of God” and “God didn’t say he’d save us, he said we have to save ourselves.” What’s more, we learn that the famous mark of the best, 666, is really just an upside down version of 999 (because we see things upside down in our dreams). Thus 1999.
Yes, they’re stretching it, but I don’t think “End of Days” is intended to be biblically accurate.
Through various heavenly signs and prophecy, the mystical Catholic church catches on that the chosen one of Satan has been born and, through papal orders, sends out representatives into the major cities of the world to try to find this girl and protect her. Of course, there are those in the church that believe only the death of this unknown woman can stop the end of days. And so we are introduced to a special group of assassin priests whose only job is to find and destroy Christine (Robin Tunney).
Thus lies the conflict: Satan (shown as a Wall Street tycoon character played by Gabriel Byrne) is trying to impregnate Robin in the final hour of 1999 or he loses his chance (again bad theology), the Catholic church is split as it works to both protect and kill Christine, and Arnold is caught in the middle trying in futility to blow the brains out of Satan to protect Christine while struggling to find meaning in life.
Dr. Rebecca Brown, in her book “He Came to Set the Captives Free,” talks extensively about spiritual warfare and how we as Christians are to fight. In her book, she tells the story of an occultic group at work in the hospital where she was a doctor. Patients mysteriously die. Things happen. Eventually Dr. Brown learns what is going on as she begins to go through an education in spiritual warfare and on what Satan and his followers can and cannot do. It is through the Bible and these experiences that she tells her incredible story. I had to wonder if someone in the production of “End of Days” read her book, or at least has extensive insight into the spiritual world. “End of Days” accurately shows Satan as limited in power and knowledge, full of hatred for both his followers and enemies, evil to the core, yet entirely cunning—a master of temptation and deception. An excellent scene occurs in Arnold’s apartment with Satan, as he tempts Arnold with the offer of a restored family, and encourages him to blame God for allowing the murder of his wife and daughter to happen. This is another point where the film comes through with truth of Satan and his schemes.
In viewing this movie, I couldn’t help but think about the Christian church. We’ve nearly lost the comprehension of the incredible authority we have in the name of Jesus Christ. We must be aware that much of the stuff portrayed in “End of Days” is *real* and *does* happen. In the film, Satan is free to enter the doors of the church and, to the dismay of the religious men present, is not even mildly phased by being rebuked in the name of God. He carries on as if he loves smashing the myth that he can’t do as he pleases inside the church, as well as outside (evidence for this is in many churches today). Christians can only stand firm against the powers of Satan through the authority that we have in Jesus Christ, and because of what He did on the cross. It is His authority that what are to use, not weapons. So, if you are a Christian,
“put on the full armor of God”… with “the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” —Ephesians 6:14-18
For those who are not yet followers of Jesus, I hope you are not relying on your good works. If you’ve sinned only once in your life, if you’ve ever broken even just one of the Ten Commandments, you are still a lawbreaker and guilty of punishment. The fact is that all of us have sinned. God, being just and fair, has to punish us because we have broken his law and sinned. But Jesus has paid the penalty for us through his death on the cross. After being buried, he raised again on the third day and went to heaven, where He is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father. The spiritual world is just as real as the physical world, and it is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved from the eternal destruction of hell.
While “End of Days” raises many open doors for a conversation that may lead someone to the truth, it is marred with a heavy sex scene, profanity, and theological problems. Discernment may lead you away from this film, despite the pro-God, anti-Satan message. Be warned of the problems in content, but be aware of some of the more positive aspects of this film.