We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
Channel 4’s “The Doomsday Code”
Figuring out ‘The Doomsday Code’ (without freaking out too much!)
Channel 4 did another of the media’s hatchet jobs on the Bible (I eagerly await their
first demolition of the Koran) with Tony Robinson fulminating on the evils of ‘end-timers’
in his two hour documentary ‘The Doomsday Code.’ Ghostly voices quoted from apocalyptic
parts of the Bible, notably Daniel and Revelation, while weird demonic looking beings
jerked too and fro.
Evangelical preachers from America (mainly) were given a platform and then made to
look ridiculous (not a single Brit amongst them – why don’t they ever talk to local
British Christians on these programmes?). A few charges made against the evangelicals
were that they are responsible for:
The State of Israel (a bad thing by the way)
The absence of peace and love in the Middle East
Poverty and Aids in Africa
In conclusion Robinson made the remarkable discovery that the end time scenario is
all a terrible mistake because the writer of Revelation (not John) was a refugee
from the destruction of the Temple writing a coded attack on the Emperor Nero (odd
that – Nero died in 68AD and the Temple was destroyed in 70AD). He was boating across
the Med and got holed up on Patmos where he ate local magic mushrooms and went on
a trip which produced the Revelation.
As an evangelical Christian who believes we are living in the last days I tried not
to get too worked up about it, but thought I might jot down my thoughts on some of
the more outrageous errors Tony Robinson managed to make.
1. ‘Israel exists because of end time Christians causing it come into being to fulfil
Actually there were Christians (not mentioned by Robinson) who did believe and pray
and work for the return of the Jewish people to Israel before the event – Lord Shaftesbury,
William Hechler, Lord Balfour and others. But there were other reasons (not given
in the programme). For example:-
Jewish pioneers returning to the barren land of Palestine under the Turks and draining
the swamps, planting trees and making the land productive after centuries of neglect
(what a wicked thing to do!)
Anti-Semitism in Europe causing Jews to look for their own bit of space where they
would not be picked on because of being Jewish.
A UN Declaration in 1948 backed by such rabidly Christian evangelical powers as the
Soviet Union under Stalin which brought into being the State of Israel (on a fraction
of the land initially promised by the Balfour Declaration).
Incredible hard work and enterprise of Israel’s citizens creating a viable modern
state despite constant efforts of their enemies to wipe them out.
2. ‘There is no peace between Israel and the Arab world because evangelical
Christians are preventing it from happening in order to push the world towards Armageddon.’
Why – according to Robinson – they are even supporting that ‘abomination’ of a Wall
and trying to rebuild a third temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands. Now
there are Christians in America who believe we should support the rebuilding of the
Temple, I admit. As I see it they have missed a big point because they also believe
the Temple will be defiled by Antichrist so in that case it is a bit more than pouring
money down the drain.
What got a bit missed in the programme was anything about:
Arab invasions aimed at the destruction of Israel in 1948, 1967, 1973.
Palestinian terror organisations sending human bombs to blow up themselves and as
many Israelis as possible with the promise of 72 virgins in paradise if they succeed
(come to think of it that could have been worth a mention within the issue of the
evils of fundamentalism couldn’t it?)
The fact that both Bill Clinton and George W Bush support in principle the idea of
land for peace. Clinton’s last fling on this one was not stopped by evil Christian
fundamentalists tearing up the script, but by Arafat rejecting Barak’s offer of the
Temple Mount and half of Jerusalem at Camp David in 2000 and reverting to type by
launching the second Intifada. Bush’s support for the Road Map potentially gives
more land to the Palestinians than Clinton proposed under Camp David.
The fact that when Israel withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza the vacuum was filled with
Hezbollah and Hamas both of whom believe in fundamental Islam and think the best
way to run the territory under their control is to use it to fire rockets at Israel.
The fact that Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist and aims at destroying the Jewish
state. Hezbollah’s hero chief Nasrullah also wants to destroy the entire Jewish
people (said so in Beirut in 2002).
Perhaps I am a bit naïve but I would have thought some of these issues might be a
teeny-weeny bit relevant to the fact that all is not sweetness and light in the Middle
East. But of course you are not allowed to criticise Muslims in the media any more
so I suppose you just have to take it all out on the Jews and the Christians. All
in the cause of justice and even
3. ‘It’s the fault of the end-timers in the US that the world can’t solve the environmental
Americans consume 25% of the world’s energy we are constantly reminded. It is because
of end-timers in America that the world can’t get an agreement on the burning of
fossil fuels which will save the planet. Come to think of it don’t Europeans use
up a few fossil fuels? Take a trip round London’s M25 or the Paris Périphérique
if you don’t believe me. Of course you can’t
mention China’s rapid and uncontrolled industrialisation because they are Communists
and therefore not end-timers.
Actually it is pretty obvious that the world system based on consumption of fossil
fuels is going to crash whatever your viewpoint. I have written a book called ‘The
House built on the Sand’ on this subject available for £5 including postage. If
you want to save the planet there is a simple way to do it:
Ban the use of private cars
Ban air travel for pleasure trips
This way you would stop pollution of the environment and dependency on Middle East
oil which would also solve the Islamic problem overnight.
But it won’t happen, not just because of America but because the world is not run
by the most far sighted people. So we are on the road to ruin. Sorry. But not entirely
my fault or that of those who believe we are living in the end times.
‘The end-timers don’t like the UN which is the only hope of solving problems of wars
and human rights.’
Like it has done in its forthright condemnation of human rights abuses in China,
North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Or its magnificent efforts to stop the slaughter in
Sudan. Or its stern rebuke to Zimbabwe for the oppression of its citizens.
Do me a favour Tony Robinson. I won’t even bother to spell out why the UN is such
a den of hypocrisy, but just ask why its secretary Kofi Annan sanctioned and attended
a ‘Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’ in December 2005 at UN headquarters
with a large map of ‘Palestine,’ with Israel literally wiped off the map, featuring
prominently in the festivities? Why there are endless resolutions against Israel
but nothing about the suppression of human rights and freedom of religion (especially
for Christians) across most of the Middle East?
‘The end-timers are responsible for poverty and Aids in Africa.’
Robinson took a trip to Uganda where he was appalled to find preachers telling people
we are living in the end times which, he claimed, made them fatalistic and drop out
of school and (amazingly) fornicate so much that they spread Aids by not using condoms.
Uganda seems to be uniquely a place to be liberated from this influence because
it has an evangelical Christian
president and gets help from American Christians.
Actually Uganda is by African standards a moderate success story. It has pulled
itself out of the abyss left behind by the tyranny and slaughter of Idi Amin (not
an evangelical Christian by the way – after being deposed he sought asylum in Saudi
Arabia which may tell you something of his religious persuasion). It has its problems
of course, one of which is fanatical cults which have led to tragic suicides and
the horrible ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ which has nothing to do with Christian belief
or practice as a brief reading of the Sermon on the Mount will soon tell you.
There are some other African countries Robinson could have shown on his programme,
like Zimbabwe, potentially one of the most fertile and productive countries on the
continent, now being wrecked by a mad Marxist. Or Sudan where black African Christians
and Muslims are slaughtered and enslaved by racist Arab Muslims. Correction. He
could not have shown these countries on TV because he would not have been let in
to make his film. Nuff said.
Regarding Aids and condoms, evangelical Christians believe that sexual abstinence
outside of marriage and faithfulness inside of marriage is the way to avoid all sexually
transmitted diseases. This outrageous opinion offends all right thinking people
in the western media who argue that having sex with as many partners (of the opposite
sex or the same sex or both) but
using a condom is the best way to avoid spreading STDs.
Rapture, tribulation, Antichrist and Armageddon
Robinson mocked evangelical beliefs on this subject with the help of a lady vicar
from America who he took as the ultimate authority on this subject. What is interesting
however is that even a casual look at the average newspaper reveals a strong degree
of fear and foreboding that we are heading for disaster because of:
Violence everywhere and the collapse of cohesion and morality in society
Environmental problems / global warming threatening the future of the planet
Fears about energy sources running down causing the system to crash
The clash of Islam and the West causing a conflict in which weapons of mass destruction
could be used
The Middle East conflict dragging the world into a potentially catastrophic crisis
Abuse of power causing poverty, corruption and tyranny
You don’t need much imagination to see that all these things could come together
in a global crisis which would bring about a surrender of freedom in order to save
the planet with some kind of world government taking over. That is what the end time
Bible view says will happen with power being given to the Beast (antichrist) of Revelation.
All these things are prophesied in the end time passages of the Bible – in both Old
and New Testaments. They are not happening because a few evangelicals in America
are orchestrating them, but because human beings have failed to care for the earth
as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and have disregarded His commandments and the salvation
He offers us through the
Messiah Jesus. The Bible does prophesy signs of this event, some of the main ones
which are as follows:
1. There will be an increase in wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes leading to
a time of great trouble on the earth. Luke 21.10-11
2. The earth will be full of violence ‘as in the days of Noah’ and many people will
be afraid of what is going to happen. Luke 17.26-27, Luke 21.25-6, Genesis 6.11.
3. There will be great sexual immorality ‘as in the days of Lot’ (Sodom and Gomorrah)
causing a breakdown of family life and disease. Luke 17.28-8, Matthew 24.12, Romans
2 Timothy 3.1-9
4. There will be many false cults bringing religious confusion while organised religion
will form a union known as Babylon which will persecute true believers in the Lord
Matthew 24.5, 24.23-27, Revelation 17.1-6
5. There will be an apostasy in the church with false teachers denying the truth
of the Bible, especially the divinity of the Lord Jesus and the power of His shed
blood to save us from our sins. Matthew 24.10-11, 2 Timothy 4.2-5, 2 Peter 2, 1
6. The Jewish people will return to Israel and Jerusalem will be a source of conflict
involving all nations of the world. Ezekiel 36-9, Zechariah 12-14, Luke 21.20-24,
7. There will be widespread pollution of the earth. Isaiah 24, Revelation 8.6-11
8. There will be an increase in technology and travel helping to bring the world
together into a one world economic and political system. Daniel 12.4, Revelation
9. A world leader will emerge, known as the beast or Antichrist, who will take control
of this system. Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, Revelation 17.
10. The message of the Gospel will reach all nations despite opposition and persecution.
Matthew 24.9-14, Matthew 28.18-20.
It is not only in Revelation that these things are spoken of but throughout the Bible.
Revelation sums them up and is anything but the product of a drug induced hallucination.
It is a well ordered and amazing book whose symbols make perfect sense in the light
of the interpretation given within the book itself or in relation to other passages
in the Bible, mainly in the Hebrew prophets. Jewish Christian writer Arnold Fruchtenbaum
in his book ‘Footsteps of the Messiah’ says there are over 500 references or allusions
to the Old Testament in Revelation. Early church leaders (who were much closer to
the event than modern liberal theologians) Polycarp, Irenaeus and Eusebius, all testify
to the Apostle John as its author during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Domitian
in about 95AD. Polycarp who passed this
information on to Irenaeus was a disciple of John. I have written an article ‘When
was Revelation written?’ giving further information on this subject.
According to the New Testament the day will come when believers will be separated
from unbelievers (the Rapture) and the Lord Jesus will return in person at a time
of unique trouble (the tribulation) on the face of the earth to save the world from
destruction. He will judge the world righteously. He will bring in the Millennium
in which He will reign on earth from Jerusalem bringing peace and justice to the
Middle East and to the whole earth. However far fetched and scary it may sound to
Tony Robinson it is going to happen. Better to look in to what the Bible
actually does say than rely on sensation seeking TV promoters who always have an
agenda to undermine it.