Have you noticed the kinds of programming major TV networks and Hollywood producers have been pumping out lately? Ancient history, including the Bible, is extremely trendy today. And people are listening.
Take, for instance, huge Hollywood productions like Kingdom of Heaven, a movie that told the story of Saladin’s conquest of Jerusalem during the Crusades. This movie was a big hit because tensions with the Muslim world are ramping up yet again, and people need some kind of reference point to help them understand. And not that long ago, we had Alexander, a blockbuster movie that told the story of everybody’s favorite Macedonian, Alexander the Great. The intense interest in Alexander can’t be just an accident, especially when he features so prominently in the story of Bible prophecy.
Over the last decade, we’ve also had Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, movies that tapped into the general public’s uneasy feeling that something’s gone wrong in the world of Christianity. Unfortunately, Dan Brown just made stuff up—he invented stories to cash in on the public’s mistrust of Christianity. But the fact remains: he drew in millions of viewers.
Then there are all the biblical movies and TV shows that have just come out—a long string of them—shows like A.D.: The Bible Continues, Roma Downey’s Bible series on NBC; the movie Noah, with Russell Crowe; and Prince of Egypt, the story of Moses.
Here’s what I want you to consider:
The people who put hundreds of millions of dollars into those miniseries and movies weren’t guessing. They weren’t gambling. While Christians may be throwing up their hands assuming that the postmodern world isn’t interested in spiritual things, movie producers know that ancient religious history and biblical themes still sell . . . and they sell big.
That’s the reason we’re creating Shadow Empire. This brand new, four-part series is designed specifically to tap into these same kinds of audiences. It’s designed for the history buff, those interested in Bible prophecy, and anyone who has this nagging feeling that something went dreadfully wrong with the Christian faith at some point in the distant past.
The moment is ripe to share the story we know. There couldn’t be a better time to talk about the unbelievable history of the Christian faith.
Our film crew spent three weeks this past fall in Europe and the Middle East gathering footage for Shadow Empire. The editing process is now underway, but there is still much work to do before the series debuts in churches throughout North America April 28-30, 2016. Will you consider making a special year-end gift today to help complete the production of this important, timely project?
Shadow Empire will feature rare access to ancient sites and exclusive footage that’s on par with what you see on the History Channel and documentaries. We’ll uncover stories from history that few people—including church members—have ever heard. And we’ll introduce people to the idea that history’s key moments are foretold in an ancient book most people have in their homes.
The story begins in the ancient village of Naissus, a Roman outpost, where a 16-year old girl gets pregnant after sleeping with a high-ranking Roman officer. She gives birth to a baby boy who later rules the whole world—the man who became the Emperor Constantine. As you know, prophetically, that’s a big name. But the young emperor-to-be had a problem: he was an illegitimate peasant who had to prove that his father was the governor of Dalmatia. It’s a story you have to see to believe.
We’ll follow Constantine as a young man as he travels to Turkey to work for Diocletian, the emperor who launched the 10-year persecution predicted in the letter to Smyrna in Revelation 2. We’ll deal with big questions such as: Why did the Roman Empire hate Christianity? Why did they torture Christians and put them to death? Why have Christians always been so countercultural?
Later, Constantine conquers the city of Rome and becomes the undisputed emperor. We’ll look at that old story where Constantine sees the cross in the sky and hears a voice telling him to conquer through the sign of the cross. I’m going to take you into Rome and reveal something that I’m guessing very few people have ever heard—and it might just change the way you tell the story of prophecy.
Finally, we’ll look at the way Christians eventually begged the Roman emperor to solve the internal problems of the church. And we’ll raise some simple questions: Was it a good idea for the church and state to mix? Where, exactly, did people learn to burn heretics at the stake? Did we get that from Jesus or did we get that from Constantine?
Constantine is without question one of history’s most influential characters. He is also someone many people are talking about today. Unfortunately, they’re a little confused. Some people say Constantine invented the New Testament—that he decided, 300 years after Christ, which gospels were going to appear in the Bible. Others say Constantine invented the idea of Christ’s divinity—that nobody thought of Jesus as God before Constantine’s time. With Shadow Empire, we’ll show that’s neither of those is true.
But people know Constantine did something. They talk about it all the time. So we’re going to show them what he did. We’re simply going to let history tell the story, and then we’ll just ask a simple question: was the marriage of Constantine’s government and Christianity a good thing for Christians?
Here’s another important thing. Maybe you’ve noticed that Christianity has kind of fallen out of favor here in North America. Many people have hard feelings toward Christians. Sometimes those feelings are justified, and sometimes they’re not.
So what we’re going to do is visit the world of the New Testament. We’ll visit ancient Rome and use the stories of the first Christians to address some really important questions:
- Why did the Roman Empire hate Christians?
- Why did the early Christians have so much trouble fitting in?
- Was the persecution against Christians actually good for the church?
- Did Bible prophecy predict that the Roman government would persecute the church?
- What, exactly, are those 10 days of tribulation mentioned in Revelation’s letter to Smyrna?
- Was it a good idea for the Roman emperor to step in and try to solve the internal disputes of the church?
- And if Christians really are Jesus’ followers, then why do they have disputes? Why aren’t Christians perfect?
It will be an honest examination of the church and prophetic history that will answer lots of the questions you and your friends and neighbors are asking right now. By simply taking a fascinating trip into the past, the world we live in today will suddenly make much more sense.
Shadow Empire will only be available exclusively in churches this spring. Visit ShadowEmpire.com to learn more.
Will you make a special year-end gift today to help us finish production of this series? Production costs for Shadow Empire are nearly $400,000—an absolute cut-rate bargain as far as television production is concerned, but still a step of faith for the Voice of Prophecy. It has required the acquisition of equipment we will need to move forward as a media ministry. This is a significant commitment, especially since we are still rebuilding the ministry. But we have no choice. Using media to share the everlasting gospel is why we exist. We have stepped out in faith, and God has already blessed this production in surprising ways. Will you join with us through your prayers and financial support?
Thank you for being a vital part of our ministry team. Your special year-end gift will make a huge difference! We could not do what we do without you. Thank you for caring.
Your brother in Christ,