WE HAVE GIVEN THE MEDIA MUCH IN THE WAY OF POWER.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.’”
“Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.”
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
THE CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS SEEN UNPRECEDENTED PANIC, MAYHEM, HYSTERIA, AND FEAR PERMEATE WORLDWIDE SOCIETY AT LARGE. Who can forget the videos and stories of people quite literally fighting over toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other staples and hygienic necessities? We’ve seen long, long lines at grocery stores and supermarkets, Wal-Mart and Costco, department stores and discount shops of people buying and hoarding and stockpiling necessities. We have also seen city, county, and state governments order lock-downs, “shelter-in-place” edicts, the closings of schools and restaurants. Entire nations, themselves, have gone on restrictions as leaders order people to remain inside for fear of the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. What has caused this? Has it been the virus itself, or the fear of the virus? What kind of power have we given over to those who are supposed to report the news?
THE HEADLINES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. Here are a few media headlines from the date of this writing (26th March 2020)…
“New York has most COVID-19 cases, but sees smaller surge in jobless claims than 14 other states”
“Albany County COVID-19 cases jump to 166, include 2-month-old”
“Indy 500 Postponed from May 24 to August 23 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic”
“Releasing inmates; joblessness rises; Pressley has symptoms”
“SA has more than 900 confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ramaphosa”
“Second Minnesotan dies from COVID-19; case numbers jump to 346”
“Livestock, poultry appear safe from COVID-19, expert says”
“Tracking the coronavirus in Collier County: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 now up to 57”
“COVID-19 crisis leaves N.Y. home health aides, visiting nurses without masks, gowns”
“Coronavirus: Baystate Health reports 97 cases of COVID-19”
What do these – and other – headlines scream? What do they say? Are we not as a society being told how dangerous the COVID-19 virus is supposed to be; how many it has killed; how many, many are infected? When one reads, sees, and hears these headlines, what is the feeling, the emotion that tends to run through a person’s heart and mind? Is it peace and stability, or warning, warning, and more warning? Is it calmness and clear-headedness, or panic, fear, and danger abounding? Can you, do you, see how the headlines influence and affect people’s daily lives?
WE HAVE GIVEN GREAT AUTHORITY TO THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA! Friends, this COVID-19 Episode simply shows how much power, authority, and influence we have, as a worldwide society, have given to the mainstream media. Yes, the media can be a great, great power for good. How else would we ever have fully known about the events of the past century without the media? How would we have known — and later seen — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; the assassination of his brother, Senator Robert Kennedy; the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; the Terrorist Attacks of September 11th, 2001; and any number of other newsworthy stories and events in modern society? And yet, at the same time, we have given the authority to impact our lives even more deeply to the Mainstream Media of the world. We have seen how the media has tried to influence presidential and parliamentary elections, both successfully and in failure. We have seen how the media have attacked American Traditional Values and Biblically Based Christian Beliefs. We have seen how special homosexual rights have been foisted upon worldwide society, especially in the USA, to the detriment of Christian Believers everywhere.
Friends, this Coronavirus situation has simply shown us, once again, the influence that we have given to the mainstream media of the most powerful nations and countries. In the USA alone, every state and territory has some form of public restrictions in place, allegedly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Great Britain has been fully placed on lock-down, on pain of police enforcement. Europe, as well, has gone on complete lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. Why? Is the virus really all that dangerous? While it does cause death and respiratory issues, the COVID-19 virus isn’t classically a pandemic, when compared to other epidemics and pandemics in and of the past. What we are seeing is simply people giving way to the fear and the panic and the power of serious influence as demonstrated by the mainstream media worldwide.
THAT GREAT FALLING AWAY…? We see in Scripture a very disturbing event that takes place…
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
In light of this Scripture, is it at all possible that this COVID-19 Public Restriction and Social Distancing practice could be the great falling away? The list of news stories of churches closing their physical doors to their congregations is nearly endless. While the vast majority are allegedly doing so thanks to recommendations of state, local, and federal government edicts and agencies, is this taking place because of something else: fear? Doesn’t the Bible state this…?
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
“And I say unto you my friends, ‘Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.’ But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: ‘Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell;’ yea, I say unto you, ‘Fear him.’ Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.’”
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
How many times in the written Word of the Living GOD command those who follow him to fear not? And look at this incredible passage…
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Do you see what it says here? It is the Spirit of the Living GOD that helps our infirmities! Take a look at these verses…
“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.”
Friends, what do the people of GOD have to fear? And yet, how many churches are still open for the physical presence of their congregations during this COVID-19 panic and pandemic? Take a look at this…
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Friends, if the Church of Jesus Christ has been given the Spirit of Jesus Christ to lead her and guide her, why, then, are we cowering under the fear and the threat of a virus, which has infected 512,000 people out of nearly 7.8 billion? Could this be the church giving in to that spirit of fear and, even, worse, this…?
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Could it be that the Church of Jesus Christ in the USA has given in to that spirit of deception; that we have believed the great lie? And who is the purveyor of the Coronavirus lies?
POWER ONCE GIVEN IS NOT SOON NOR EASILY RETURNED! History is a great teacher with regards to the giving of power. In Ancient Rome, power was with the people, in the form of the Roman Senate and other parts of the Roman Government during the times of the Roman Republic. As Rome lurched towards Empire, leader after leader after leader was given more and more power. There were the two triumvirates; the first ending when Crassus was killed in battle against the Parthians, and Caesar defeating Pompey for supremacy, then being named Dictator for Life. Even prior to this, there was the struggle between Marius and Sulla in the Social War, ending with Marius being exiled for a time, and Sulla eventually declaring himself dictator. After the wars between the Senate and the Second Triumvirate, Rome was then split into two, with Gaius Octavian eventually gaining the final victory over Marc Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, and solidifying power unto himself. He was given the title of Augustus by the Senate, from then on being known as Augustus Caesar. From largely that point on, 27BC to 476 AD, the Caesars of Rome rules with the Senate and the other parts of the Roman Government basically being a charade, a club.
The same can be said of a large majority of the regimes and governments throughout history. Germany saw the rise of dictators twice, in the form of Kaiser Wilhelm II and then the rise of Adolf Hitler, the latter being most glaring in that he was ushered into power by the German Electorate. Ad the 1930s came to an end, Hitler was given more and more power, never to be relinquished, even as World War two came to an end in Europe in the Spring of 1945. The same was with Benito Mussolini in Italy, Ivan Lenin and Josef Stalin (and their successors) in the Soviet Union, and numerous other dictators, despots, and tyrants in the world in the recent (and even ancient) past.
It can also be said about weaponry and technology. Since their inception and two uses in the 1940s, nuclear weapons continue to be a threat to this world. As of 2016, there are nine nations with nuclear weapons, five of them within the same region of Asia (and all of them having been belligerents in the past). None of these nations have chosen to give up their power with regards to nuclear power and weapons, and it is likely that more nations will join the Nuclear Club in the very near future. This power, now given to many nations, likely won’t be surrendered easily or quietly.
So, too, the power that the Media now has over people. We can see that just the threat of a “new” virus as reported by the media has caused panic, mayhem, hysteria. It has forced the cancellations and/or postponements of numerous sporting and social events. This fear and panic has caused entire nations and states and regions to go on lock-down, with several leaders enacting “emergency ‘powers’” that have transformed them into dictators in their own right. The power that the Media has will not be given up, and if it does, it will be a hard surrender!
THE BOTTOM LINE: POWER CORRUPTS; ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY! Have we not seen this quote by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, First Baron Acton played out so glaringly and blatantly well in our media? Can we not see how this power that the media holds over people corrupts the media, insomuch that President Donald John Trump popularized the phrases “Fake News” and “Corrupt News”? Friends, is it any wonder that news organizations and media outlets seem to have a hegemony over a large number of people throughout the world? Friends, this is the power that modern mainstream media has, and how it affects most people. Many may say that the COVID-19 virus is serious, and we need to take it and its effects seriously. This treatise in no way disputes these ideas. This begs a lot of questions, however. Where was this kind of panic, hysteria, and fear-mongering when the H1N1 virus (also known as “swine flu”) was literally tearing a swath through the world? Yet, the press — especially in the USA — was muted at that time, by comparison to the cacophony of panic and fear spread concerning the Coronavirus. Seasonal flu killed eighty thousand Americans in 2017-18, yet there were no great sporting events postponed, no basketball tournaments canceled, no state nor cities nor nations went on lock-down…life seemingly passed normally. What changed? Could it be the rise of nationalism and populism in various nations throughout the world, including the USA that the media brought this panic to us? Could it be that, in order to try and stop the tsunami-like momentum of President Trump in an election year, the media decided to go all-in on the COVID-19 panic, to try and get President Trump voted out of office? Again, the media has done tricks in the past to try and get candidates elected or voted out. The bottom line is that the power that the media has is corrupting them, and greatly swaying and affecting people at large! The truth is, it doesn’t have to continue this way.
CONCLUSION: TO GET THAT POWER BACK, WE MUST TURN OFF THE TV! Friends, it’s as simple as that: to get power back to the media we must simply turn off the television, and turn to the LORD GOD. Take a look at these incredible verses…
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”
If we will simply trust in GOD, we will leave the panic, the fear, the hysteria behind. More importantly, we will snatch power back form the media corporations. When we do that, look at what happens…
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
If we but trust in GOD, he will give us wisdom; and not wisdom from below, but wisdom from above!
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
Trust in Jesus Christ today, and gain access to that wisdom! It will help us to take power away from the media giants!
PRAYER — Heavenly Father, we live in a world where we have given power over to those who would give us an uncertain and oft panic stricken sound. Would you help us, O LORD, to turn our eyes upon you, to trust in you? Would you, O LORD, be the power that guides our lives? We ask these things, and we pray these things, and pray for all those afflicted by illness; that they’d come to a quick and complete healing. We pray these things in Jesus Christ’s matchless Name, Amen!
THE LAST WORD — “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs iii. 5-8)
NOTES — 1. All Scripture is taken from The Authorized King James Version of the English Bible. London, England, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Initial publication, 1611
2. AUTHOR’S NOTE: Similarly is written by Baralphaeus, Levi “Matthew”, CPA. The Gospel of Jesus Christ According to Saint Matthew. Jerusalem, Province of Judaea, Imperium Romanum. 1st Century, AD. Ch. xxiv, vv. 24–25: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”
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