Repercussions of "Helping" God

by Rolaant McKenzie

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) is the sixth in a series of action films depicting survivors of a post-apocalyptic global plague battling the Umbrella Corporation, creator of the bioweapon that caused it. However, it is in this movie, unlike the previous ones, that an explanation for why the corporation did this is given.

In a flashback scene, the movie's primary antagonist, Umbrella Corporation co-founder and supreme leader Dr. Alexander Isaacs, is in a conference room chairing a meeting with the board of directors. On the table in front of him was a Bible. Dr. Isaacs described the world as being on the brink of its end. Incurable diseases, nuclear warfare, global environmental hazards, unchecked population growth, and widespread famine were things that he pointed out as leading to the rapid and inevitable end of the world.

Noting that the Bible described a world-ending catastrophe, Dr. Isaacs proposed that he and the board of directors end the world on their own terms by releasing a virus that would cleanse the earth of its population but leave its infrastructure and resources intact. The chosen few -- many of the wealthy and powerful, including the top executives of the corporation -- would, of course, be exempt. They would ride out the storm, not in an ark as in the Book of Genesis, but in secure underground facilities in cryogenic stasis. With the earth cleansed, the elite would emerge to repopulate the world and build it back better.

The board of directors voted in favor of this strategy to take things into their own hands in an attempt to preempt the apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible with an orchestrated end of the world and fulfill their vision of a new earth. In the end, though, the death and destruction they brought to the world overtook them, and their grandiose plans came to naught.

While this is fortunately a fictional story, one can see similarities in the attitudes and beliefs of a number of very wealthy and powerful people around the world working in collaboration with supranational corporations and organizations like the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. Though they have not used a fast-acting virus to wipe out humanity in the same way as in the Resident Evil movies, through various means such as engineered poverty, wars, famines of food and energy, and diseases, they aim to cleanse the earth of its population -- except themselves, of course -- and come out on the other side of their managed apocalypse to build back a better, new world.

Living according to the philosophy "The ends justifies the means," their pride and arrogance cause them to reject trusting in the God of the Bible, refuse to wait for the new heavens and earth He will bring about at the appointed time, and try to take things into their own hands to do it themselves. They fail to realize the truth that they are not powerful enough to thwart God's plans (Job 42:1-2; Psalm 33:8-11; Isaiah 14:27; Daniel 4:35), and their efforts lead to suffering, death, and failure to create paradise on earth.

Unfortunately, failure to trust in God and trying to take things into one's hands has not been the sole province of film villains or global elites. The Bible includes a few examples where even those called by the Lord tried to "help" Him accomplish His promises, with disastrous results.

Saul became king of Israel during a time when the land was under the domination of the Philistines. He sought to rally the people to him by raising an army of 3,000 men and successfully attacking a Philistine garrison (1 Samuel 13).

The Philistines, recognizing that their servants were rebelling against them, assembled an army that to Israel appeared in number like sand on the seashore. Daunted by the overwhelming force amassing against them, many of Saul's army ran away and hid themselves. Even the men with the king trembled in fear.

The prophet Samuel sent word from the Lord to Saul to wait seven days until he arrived to make a burnt offering and peace offerings to the Lord. On the seventh day Samuel had not yet come, and more of the king's men were deserting him. Fearful of waiting further for Samuel, Saul took matters into his own hands and offered the burnt and peace offerings. Samuel, appearing shortly after, told Saul that his failure to obey God and wait caused him to lose out on having an enduring kingdom.

God made a promise to Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a son and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars he could see in the night sky (Genesis 15:4). Through the following years, Abraham and Sarah tried and waited but could not have a child. So, they took matters into their own hands and had a son, Ishmael, through Sarah's Egyptian maid Hagar (Genesis 16).

When Abraham and Sarah were 90 and 100 years old respectively, the Lord fulfilled His promise to them, and they had a son named Isaac (Genesis 21:1-12), through whom Abraham's descendants would be named and not Ishmael. But because they tried to "help" God instead of continuing to wait on Him to fulfill His promise in His time, strife between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael was the result, and this continues to this very day in the Arab-Israeli conflict. One can imagine how things would have been different and less bloody if Abraham and Sarah simply trusted God in this situation.

In some Western countries, especially the United States, there are people in positions of power and influence who associate themselves with evangelical Christianity but hold to eschatological views that influence them to pursue policies they believe would bring about the return of Jesus and His global rule from Jerusalem. This includes efforts ranging from donating money to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to pursuing war with the enemies of Israel.

Conversely, in the Islamic world, especially among the Shiite Islamic rulers of Iran, there are those who believe in the coming of the Mahdi, a messianic deliverer who would bring the world under Islam and usher in a seven-year golden age before the end of the world and the final judgment. This belief influences them to pursue policies that include seeking the annihilation of Israel through Islamic terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Through their actions, both sides believe that they can "help" God bring about the end times and their vision of a new world, and in doing so, bring about destruction, suffering, and death, especially on a massive scale should World War III come as a result.

Born in Iran, Afshin Javid was a fighter for Hezbollah devoted to Islam and the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. He believed in the coming Mahdi and was endeavoring to do his part to make it happen. But like Saul of Tarsus, he had a "Damascus Road" encounter with Jesus Christ that forever changed his life (Acts 9). He recognized that, in spite of his religious devotion, he was not just before God and received the forgiveness only Jesus could give.

Realizing that God did not design us to hate each other, Javid dedicated his life to sharing the gospel in the Middle East, especially among Persians and Jews, to bring them together in friendship. Concluding an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on October 16, 2023, he prayed:

"The creator of heaven and Earth, God Almighty. You love the world, the whole world, and all the people of the world. So much that you sacrificed Jesus Christ so that we will not perish but have eternal life. I pray today that the revelation of Jesus Christ will go forth amongst the Muslims and the sons of Ishmael. Father, I pray that you would remember that covenant with Ishmael, that you would go forth because Ishmael is thirsty for the revelation of love, for the revelation of Jesus Christ, and for the revelation of salvation. Father, I pray that there would be a hand of protection that would protect Isaac on every front, not only in Israel but all around the world. Give us visions, dreams, and wisdom to speak peace in this war. In Jesus's mighty name, I pray. Amen."

It is good and right to pray that Israel, the covenant descendants of Abraham, the Jewish people, be blessed and for the peace of Jerusalem (Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 122). The greatest blessing and peace -- the acceptance of Jesus Christ as King and Savior by them, their Arab brothers, their Persian neighbors, and those from every nation, tribe, and tongue around the world -- will be God's ultimate fulfillment of those prayers (Romans 11).

Just before Jesus ascended back to heaven, His disciples asked if He would at that time be establishing His worldwide kingdom from Israel. Jesus answered:

"It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8)

Lifeguards are trained, when rescuing a drowning person, to tell him not to try to swim or help the lifeguard but to go limp, relax in his arms, and let him do his job to save him. Efforts by the drowning person to "help" actually cause more difficulties for his rescue.

God, in His perfect way and time, will bring about end time events leading to the return of Jesus and the establishment of His global rule from Jerusalem without our help. Not waiting on Him and taking things into our own hands to "help" make prophesied events come to pass leads to widespread dire consequences.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). While we wait for the Lord to fulfill His promises, we should do everything possible to follow God's command, wherever He has placed us, to pursue activities that promote peace rather than war, chief among them sharing the gospel message (Matthew 28:18-20).

True lasting peace comes from receiving the gospel message of forgiveness and reconciliation with God and each other through the cross of Jesus Christ.

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