Some biblical visions and prophecies are descriptions of events, situations and technologies that only make sense in our modern world.
Daniel's prophecy of a time when "...knowledge shall increase..." (Dan 12:4) certainly fits our age of global media and mass communication. Anyone with a connection to the Internet has vast libraries of information at their fingertips.
The 20th century saw the explosion of electronic communications with radio, television, computers, satellites and finally the Internet bringing these technologies together in one worldwide web, so that virtually anyone can instantly see and hear events anywhere on the planet.
These developments are foundational to understanding two ancient prophecies describing the way people are made aware of a final warning from two servants of God, called the "two witnesses," just before the return of Jesus Christ.
Scripture indicates the two witnesses will be seen and heard throughout the entire world, although most people will not believe them. But before this occurs the Bible reveals a person referred to as the ‘Beast’ and a religious leader the Bible calls "the false prophet" will powerfully manipulate the news media, dazzling the world with supposed supernatural acts most people will think are divine.
Paul tells us the false prophet "will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God...proclaiming himself to be God" (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 4, New International Version). Revelation 13:13-14 further explains he "performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven... And he deceives those who dwell on the earth…"
Then a remarkable prophecy in the book of Revelation tells us every nation will simultaneously see the murder of the two witnesses, the prophets of God, by this dictator called the "Beast”: "... those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days...And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another...Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them ... And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them" (Revelation 11:9-12).
These astounding prophecies indicate that television or similar electronic media will broadcast the murder of these two prophets and their resurrection by God throughout the world. These two men will be the ultimate witnesses as nations behold these startling events and commentators report on them live from Jerusalem.
Paul wrote of yet another trend in the last days in which mass media even now plays a major role. "But mark this," Paul wrote shortly before his death, around A.D. 67: "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4, NIV).
Does this sound familiar? Each of these abysmal traits can be found in the daily menu of mass media entertainment devoured by billions of minds on televisions around the world. God warns we are to, "Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4). We are to turn away from that self-obsessed way of life promoted by our global media system, and turn to God and His Word, the Bible.
The Good News Magazine