Virtual Reality: One World, Different Rules
Studio Session 78
As we’ve been talking about the world of virtual reality some things are becoming abundantly clear and apparent such as: we’re in a different world, a different form of world and reality and the rules are different. Reality, as we have known it, is gone. Yes you may still look through your eyes and see the world the way you’ve always seen it, but how that image of the world is being interpreted is as vastly different as two epochs might be—one from each other. And in fact, if we do not see the world in all of its difference we will find ourselves—as the body of Christ—by and large “out of step” with this age. For example: in this age this world of virtual reality is not permanent, it’s very movable. The rules are temporary, the formats are for now, but may be reconfigured as a different reality requires a change in format.
One of the areas in which you can see what I am speaking about with great clarity is in the field of electronic devices. If you had the standard VCR a few years back—of course now increasingly people are having the DVD player—and your VCR is on its way to becoming like your 8-track tape player from another period of time. But just recently I was watching a new clip on what are the new products that are coming out in the world of electronics and again, the DVD player has been said to be “too limited,” so now there are different models, different technologies coming out. The old cathode-ray tube television is like the VCR player—a thing of the past. It will be more expensive to have it repaired than to buy one of the new LCD TV’s, or plasma. And the interaction between technologies, the way that technologies are made now to interface is moving—that whole genre is moving—at such a rapid pace that it is hard to keep up.
And that’s my point; my point is that if you want to hold onto reality as you have known it, it will become increasingly difficult for you to do so. I noticed in the Scriptures recently, I paid attention once again to a verse of Scripture that spoke of the mark of the beast and I was struck by the fact that instead of saying that people were “given” the mark of the beast it said they “received.” (Inserted – actual verse—“But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” – Revelation 19:20)
Now there is quite a bit of difference between “being given” and “receiving.” To be “given” would suggest some measures of force and coercion, but to receive would suggest the necessity, the convenience, or the requirement. In many ways, we are racing toward a global society based not in geography but in technology, and in that sense… technology of course is an aid to an existing mindset. The mindset is: that as a people, we cannot survive apart from being integrated in a global scheme. Have you noticed how events of recent times are demanding that we have a global response? For example: terrorism, the scourge of our day. Perpetrated by a relatively small handful of people all over the world, nevertheless the whole earth has come to be on alert.
When you consider that there are some six billion people in the earth, the perpetrators of terrorism are really an insignificant minority by comparison to the numbers of people. And yet they have succeeded in changing the way the world sees itself. Terrorists strike at New York and Washington but the effects are heard in Brussels and Bombay. A train was bombed in Madrid, Spain and all of Europe stood up and took note. Events of this kind have catapulted the world toward a global response. In the United States great efforts have been made at the governmental level to control the flow of money and to restrict the access to international banking in order to restrict funding and finances that go toward the support of terrorism. We are in that time when no one can complain about the rights that are being lost and in the process a society is being developed to which there is really no requirement of consent. We are developing a global society, rapidly.
What is interesting to me, as a side-note, is that in America this is occurring at a time when the administration is strongly supported by the Christian population. I would suspect that that would be the only way it could happen because the ones who would normally recognize the drift toward globalism would be the Christians and would recognize that such a drift holds great portents of one sort or another for the church. Let me show you. We are still talking about virtual reality, but you must understand that there is nothing that is happening that the Scriptures do not speak to, and give form and direction to our response. Now I am saying of course that these things are simply “happening.”
The Scriptures advised us ahead of time that these things would happen. So what should we do about these things? What should we do about this rising globalism? Really… nothing. We should just observe that it is happening and understand its Biblical context. Before I get to Daniel 7, to show you where this globalism is going and how virtual reality is rapidly creating this reality of a global existence. Not quite, as we have been told by a former generation of prophets and writers who saw this matter arising—more as a geographic phenomenon, that is that the world would be divided into seven geographies, each ruled over by a king of some sort, and then together they would concede to the rise of the antichrist. It’s not like that at all, and in fact I am astonished that there is no review of these theories which—because of the way the world has developed in politics (the politics of nations has developed)—it has made it abundantly clear that these things have been alleged from another generation of prophets and/or Biblical eschatological commentators.
I’m shocked that nobody is saying, “These fellows were all wrong.” For example, you have repetitively heard of the 12 to 13 members of the EU—the European Union. Well that number, for those who are paying attention, is somewhere around 22 now with nations such as the Ukraine, newly formed, seeking entrance into it. So it is not 12 or 13, and it is not the reconfiguration of the old Roman Empire as you have been told. The numbers do not match. The theology that came out some 25 or 30 years ago still is sort of dangling around in the background of people’s thinking but everyone knows that it is not that. If it isn’t that, then what is it?
You see, God will never allow you to simply “figure it out.” It has to be by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation otherwise the world will be as capable—perhaps even more so than we are—of figuring out what this is. But the Lord will give wisdom and insight to those who… in fact the Scriptures say, “those who have understanding.” Now “understanding” is one of the seven Spirits of God according to the book of Isaiah that lists the characteristics of the Holy Spirit—the seven Spirits of God. He is the Spirit of Lordship, Counsel, Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding, Power and the Fear of the Lord: the seven Spirits of God spoken of the book of Revelation, referred to in the book of Isaiah. (Inserted – actual verse—“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;” – Isaiah 11:2,3) (Inserted – actual verse—“John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,” – Revelation 1:4)
So “understanding” is not “ciphering”… it’s not logical thinking as the main prophetic and Biblical commentators of the last 25 years have lead us into. No, the Spirit of understanding is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Oddly enough, many of these commentators upon whom we’ve relied for our information question whether or not the gifts of the Spirit are functioning today. No wonder we’re in such darkness. But, not to worry; the day is dawning. The Morning Star—a metaphor for the Lord Jesus Christ—is rising in our hearts and the day is not far. We shall see, we shall know, and we shall be given the understanding by the Holy Spirit.
What we are observing in our time is how human events are pushing us toward this global response. We’ve all noted in recent times how major cataclysmic occurrences have compelled a global response. For example, the more than 150,000 deaths attributed to the tsunami of recent times in Southeast Asia has embarrassed the nations from the West to the Middle East in their responses, typically, to global disasters. We have seen an outpouring of both governmental aid and private aid to assist, and commentaries to the effect that in some of these areas there were rebel forces agitating against governmental forces and how the rebels and the government forces came together to help people. We are watching a global response to natural disasters, to terrorism, to economic problems and the creation of systems of distribution to take care of people’s needs. And it is as though these occurrences are coming with greater and greater frequency, greater and greater rapidity, and each disaster requires a greater response—at least a greater financial response from the global community.
Jesus spoke about the end of the age and said that as the end of the age comes it will be, “as birth pangs on a pregnant woman.” (Inserted – actual verse—“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” – Matthew 24:7,8) Now one of the things that you note about birth pangs on a pregnant woman, one of the things that might be noted about that is that each set of contractions comes in half the time of the previous sequence and with twice the intensity. And it would appear that these global disasters and/or human-created conditions such as terrorism are requiring greater and greater responses and the lapsed time in between the later occurrences and the latest occurrence is getting shorter and shorter.
Eventually, the world will simply not be able to keep up… not keep up and maintain its individual national statehoods. It will have to merge—whether into ad hoc, or deliberate, global responses—and these global responses are going to have to be permanent. This will lead the way, or perhaps it will follow in a direction that has already been established for a global society. The global society is virtual. It means that the boundaries of nations may be as readily redrawn from one day to another. The leadership of nations will change as rapidly, the politics of nations will give way to the politics of expediency and be shaped and molded by the politics of expediency—all of which is moving toward a global response and a global consciousness.
The Internet and this virtual reality already have established a global reality. Young people have Internet friends all over the world. You can shop all over the world. Travel destinations now, are as readily available throughout the world because of the access to information available in cyber-space. So reality has come to be: whatever you want to construct. And people think in terms of global culture as essentiality, global reality. The Scriptures spoke of just such a thing. In the book of Daniel, the 7th chapter, Daniel said this in verse 1, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. Daniel said: ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. ‘The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it. ‘And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. ‘After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.’” (Inserted – Daniel 7:1-7)
And then the scene switches—we’ll skip a few of these verses—and then we’ll go to verse 11, which says, “ ‘Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn…” (this beast had a horn, eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke blasphemously) The horn began to wage war and it says, in verse 13, “ ‘In my vision at night I looked,’”—and then he talks about the son of man receiving a kingdom. Now Daniel of course in verse 15, spoke about how troubled he was and he said, “ ‘I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. ‘So he told me and gave me the interpretation…’”
Now here is what is significant to you. So far we have been reading about these four beasts and we’ve been talking about a global kingdom. Now here is what the Scriptures have to say which ties it all together: “The four great beasts,” (that’s verse 17, Daniel 7) “are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.” So what are these four beasts? What is the lion, what is the bear, what is the leopard and then the ten-horned beast? They are four kingdoms. Now for our purposes—and we’ve been talking about the rise of a global kingdom—for our purposes, the fourth beast is especially significant. Verse 19, “Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims…”
And then verse 23, it says—now I’ll come back and I’ll read these passages in between, but I’m getting to a point and I’ll close this particular session. Verse 23 says, “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth.’” So the last of these beasts is a kingdom that will appear on the earth. “ ‘It will be different from all the other kingdoms…’” All four beasts were four kingdoms, but this last one will be different from all the others. Here is how: it says, “And will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.” This fourth beast is a global kingdom. (Inserted – actual verse—“ ‘Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. ‘I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. ‘So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’ ‘Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. ‘He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.’” – Daniel 7:11-23)
Now when God takes the time and goes through the effort of recording Daniel’s vision—Daniel being a prophet of the most sterling reputation and character in the Old Testament—when God goes through the matter of doing so, of recording Daniel’s vision, He means to tell us something. There has never been on the earth, until now, a global kingdom. We’ll focus our attention on the schemes of Satan to counteract the purposes of God, but one of the schemes at the very heart of Satan’s response to the things of God is this global kingdom. And we are watching this global kingdom arise. You have to have an identity to participate in global reality. In the world of virtual reality, if you do not have an identity you do not exist. If someone else possesses your identity they are “you” for all intents and purposes.
So what is going on? What is going on is that the world of this globalism is not based in geography, as has been suggested before, but it is based in a perception in the mind. And if you were not willing to change your perception in your mind, you would be rapidly out of step with the coming age, like the VCR, like the cathode ray TV. This virtual reality is the way the world is seeing itself so I want to talk a little bit more about it, about what virtual reality is and how the global reality is being formed by events that are catapulting us toward this concept of a global reality. Stay with me then as we look at this foundation of prophetic understanding. I’m Sam Soleyn. God bless you and I’ll see you again.