Casualty of War
Vol: 35 Issue: 21 Saturday, August 21, 2004
According to the Bible’s scenario for the last days, the antichrist’s government will exercise such total control over the lives of individuals that, unless one becomes part of his system, it will impossible to hold a job, earn a living or be part of daily social commerce.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
Consider, for just a second, when John wrote this prophecy from exile on the Isle of Patmos, sometime around 87 AD. John would have been an old man — in his seventies, at least — so he had lived a long, long time.
In all his long life, John’s world changed very little. Cutting-edge technology included horses, spears, chariots and single-masted ships. It is unlikely that, during his lifetime, there was a single invention of any significance.
In his world — and for the next fifteen hundred years or so, the pace of change came so slowly that it was imperceptible from one generation to the next.
Like Daniel, John was forced to try and describe twenty-first century technology using a 1st century vocabulary. Like Daniel, he had no words to describe modern mechanized warfare, mass communication, aircraft, nuclear mushroom clouds, etc.
But he did the best he could to describe a highly evolved technical society in the last days, using a vocabulary that demanded that anything that moved under its own power must be alive.
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.” (Revelation 9:7-10)
Ever seen an Apache gunship? How would you describe it if cutting-edge technology in your world is a horse-drawn cart?
“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” (Revelation 9:17)
How would you describe an Abrams tank speeding across the battlefield from John’s perspective?
John’s account of the government of antichrist was even more difficult to describe, since it demanded a level of individual control that didn’t exist in John’s day — or even fifty years ago!
“And ALL that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. . . And [he]deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:8, 12-15)
Until this generation, it would have been impossible to get ‘ALL that dwell upon the earth to worship him’ — it wasn’t until 1990 that there was even such a thing as a 24 hour news network with global reach.
Today there is CNN, BBC World Service, Fox News, al-Jazeera, al Manar, Skynews, and so on.
And until this generation, any news network had to be honest.
Nobody expects to hear the truth from the news anymore. They expect to hear THEIR truth. That’s why CNN is one long Kerry campaign commercial, while Fox News is one long Bush campaign commercial.
Everybody knows it — they choose their news coverage based on which candidate they support in the 2004 election. It is extremely doubtful, for example, that a Kerry supporter would prefer Fox News over CNN. Or vice-versa. Both networks claim to be unbiased. But if they were, then why would anyone identify Fox with conservatives or CNN with liberals? Then there are the major US networks, who don’t even pretend to be neutral anymore.
In this generation, there are two choices for news. News that favors conservatives, like Fox. And news that favors liberals, like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS, to name a few. A third choice — news devoid of editorial spin — does NOT exist.
The Kerry SWIFT boat controversy provides an excellent example of how the mainstream liberal press openly manipulates the news.
ABC’s World News Tonight, which ignored the May 4 press conference by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and hasn’t since mentioned their charges or early August ad, led Thursday night with how, as anchor Elizabeth Vargas framed the matter:
“John Kerry fights back against charges he lied about his war record. He accuses a veterans’ group of doing the President’s ‘dirty work.'”
The CBS Evening News led with how the group’s “ads may be working” since a CBS poll found a significant drop in support for Kerry amongst veterans. The CBS Evening News certainly couldn’t credit or blame itself since its total coverage of the ad consisted of two sentences on August 5 when anchor John Roberts stressed criticism of it:
“A harsh new television ad that attacks John Kerry is being denounced as quote, ‘dishonest and dishonorable’ by a Bush supporter, Republican Senator John McCain.”
CNN’s NewsNight, anchored by Daryn Kagen, devoted two full stories and an interview segment with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, with whom Kagen fretted about the negative ad on an irrelevant topic. Those represented only the second time NewsNight has touched the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
The first ever came on Tuesday night when the Aaron Brown-anchored show tied a story to a new MoveOn.org ad denouncing the ad NewsNight had ignored. The MoveOn.org ad asserted, as played in part by CNN:
“George Bush used his father to get into the National Guard, was grounded and then went missing. Now he’s allowing false advertising that attacks John Kerry.”
And none of the broadcast evening networks stories mentioned that Kerry has now changed his story about being in Cambodia in 1968, changing a recollection that was ‘seared — seared — into’ his memory — until somebody pointed out he was not telling the truth about it.
On Wednesday, as the Media Research Council noted, “TV Gives No Respect to Swift Boat Vets for Truth: ABC, CBS & NBC Gave 75 Stories to Bush ‘AWOL’ Charge, 9 to Claims Kerry Embellished War Record.”
According to the Bible, the antichrist will attain total control of the social infrastructure, including the political, religious, and economic systems. In order to accomplish all that, he will first need to control the propaganda machine that makes it all palatable to the masses.
The global propaganda machine that John foresaw was, as noted earlier, no more possible than the space shuttle, yet John confidently predicted its existence for one generation, somewhere in time. That propaganda machine, described in AD 87 by an old man in a cave, didn’t even begin to take shape until the early 1980’s and the introduction of CNN.
Today, truth is whatever somebody wants it to be, and such a person has no trouble locating a propaganda outlet that will deliver the ‘truth’ desired. Of all the necessary social structures required by the Bible’s scenario for the last days, the most important — and least noticed, is the global propaganda machine now operating at full capacity to a willing audience.
We are in the midst of a great spiritual war in which the ultimate goal is control of the hearts and minds of men. Back in the early days of the Second World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill observed that, “the first casualty of war is truth.”
Paul wrote, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Peter warns; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. . . Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH. . .” (Ephesians 6:11,14)
When asked of the signs of His coming and the end of the age, the very first thing Jesus said in reply was;
“Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)