Spiritual Warfare

in American Media

By Zander Dell Raines

Copyright 2006 Apocalypse Productions


Class 1-Printing Press To Television

A History of American Media



America was born a Christian nation.  In 1492, God opened the heart of an explorer to find it.  In 1607, He opened the heart of a king to plant colonies here.  In 1776, he opened the heart of a people to establish it as a Christian nation.


From its very beginning, a massive spiritual warfare has taken place for the heart and soul of America and its people.  The spiritual strongholds of love of money and love of self have battled against the love of God in the United States of America for the hearts of the American people. This battle has continually raged from the time of our founding fathers and continues unabated today.


In 1963, by the authority of five judges on the United States Supreme Court, America ceased to be a Christian nation.   How did this come about?  The answer to this vital question can be found in the warning given by American President Woodrow Wilson in 1911.


"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.  The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation."


To truly understand the dynamics of how this change in our nation took place, we must look at the power of media, specifically the electronic media and its ability to change the heart of our people.  Just how did America begin as a Christian nation and become the post-Christian America that we live in today.  That is what we will explore in this opening study.


1400’s to 1860’s

Romans 1:15-17

So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.


In the year 2000, historians from around the world gathered together on a project of massive proportions sponsored by the Biography Channel.  Their purpose was to determine the 100 most influential people of the past 1,000 years.  They reviewed the history of kings, presidents, warlords, scientists, theologians, and others from every possible field of endeavor. After a year of discussions, they determined that the most influential man of the last 1,000 years was a lowly printer in Germany.


This man was born in Germany around 1400.  His name was Johann Gutenberg.  This man was given a dream from God, which showed him a marvelous device.  It was the world's first printing press.  Gutenberg followed God's instructions and began printing Bibles for the people in 1455 in spite of the fact that the Roman Catholic Church had outlawed the Bible during that time.  This is the man that today’s historians saw was the most influential man of the past 1,000 years!


In fact, God would see to it that three men would be born in Europe in the 1400’s that would change the world forever.  All three were born in Europe.  One of these men was born in Italy.  The other was born in the same nation as Gutenberg.


It would be many years later in Germany when one of the newly circulated Bibles reached the hands of a young German priest named Martin Luther, who was born in 1483.  His love of God made him read this forbidden book and he found a verse that changed his life forever in Romans 1:17.  In 1517, he would nail on the door of the Wittenberg church his 95 complaints against the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation began.


Martin Luther, years later, would reject the Alexandrian Text of the Roman Catholic Bible and translate the Received Text into German in the Luther Bible in 1534.  Thus yet  another language group would receive the true word of God.  The very fierceness of the battle between light and darkness becomes so great, that God Himself had to provide a way of escape.  


Isaiah 40:21-23

Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:  That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.


In the 14th century, there was a young seaman by the name of Stefano Columbo made his living traveling along the coast of Africa, buying spices and other items to sell back in his homeland, Italy.  On one of his return trips, he received what was that day’s version of a 911 call.  On the African shore, he saw a distress fire, which met someone needed help.  He stopped his ship and sent ashore a rescue boat.  They returned with a solitary old man.


This man was a Christian missionary who had spent his life sharing Christ with the African natives.  He had become old and sick, and was planning to return home to spend his final days in his native land.  As this old missionary traveled with Stefano, he told him of his great desire to bring Christ to the people who did not know him out there.  As he told Stefano this, he did something unusual. He pointed not west to the African shore, but out to the east across the Atlantic Ocean.


This story stuck with Stefano.  As Stefano was a Christian himself, he told this story to his family when he returned home.  His son was so impressed with the story that, when he grew older and had a son of his own, he named “Christ-bringer”. In Italian, this name was Christobal.  Today we know Stefano’s grandson as Christopher Columbus.


From the time of his childhood, Christopher Columbus had heard the story of those who needed Christ out there across the Atlantic Ocean.  Keep in mind that, during the time in history, it was believed that the world was flat and if you sailed east across the Atlantic you would meet with terrible monsters and ultimately fall off the edge of the earth.  However, Grandfather Stefano had done a good job and his grandson was also now a dedicated Christian.  Therefore Christopher Columbus believed God’s word more that the current scientific theories popular in his day, as we see in the following quotation.


"I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely.  I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.  For the execution of the journey to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps.  It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied."


The verse he mentions here is the one we see above.  Based on his belief in Isaiah’s prophecy, this young man earned a major place in world history. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America and changed the world forever. 


In 1601, King James began to rule in England.  He was also a dedicated Christian family man and, before he would allow any of his people to go to America, he passed certain rules concerning American colonization.  As far as he saw it, the only reason for going to America was for…


"The propagating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in these parts, to human civility and to a settled and quiet government."


In 1607, with the permission of King James, the Jamestown Colony was founded in America.  The Virginia Company, who had promised to evangelize the American Indians, began stealing from the Indians and searching for gold instead.  Since these men failed God in this area, He decided to plant a new colony that would be dedicated, not to the love of money and love of self, but to the love of God.


Thus in 1620, the Plymouth Colony was also founded in America.  This colony was founded by the Pilgrims, who were a Christian group that had grown sick of the ungodly ways of the Old World.  Therefore they had decided to dedicate their lives to becoming a steppingstone for the Gospel of Christ in the New World. For this reason, the Pilgrims brought with them the first printing press to America.


During the crossing of the Atlantic, a terrible storm came up and the waves became so rough that the main beam running down the center of the ship, broke.  The Pilgrims, who were below decks, used the center screw on their printing press to raise the beam back into place and thus saved the ship and all their lives.


God knew that the ungodly colonists in Jamestown might corrupt even the Pilgrims.  Therefore, He had created the storm to bring them far north off their original course.  Because they were not landing at Jamestown as they had planned, they decided that they needed to make an agreement about what they were to do when they landed.  This became known as the Mayflower Compact which begins as follows…


“In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britain, France, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, etc., having undertaken, for ye glory of God, and advancement of ye Christian faith, and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant ye first colony in ye Northern parts of Virginia.”


Thus we see that the original purpose of the English colonies, as decreed by their king and also as written in their own words, was to bring the Christian faith to the New World.  Thus our country began as a Christian nation, in spite of what any historical revisionists may say to the contrary.


When God’s people are following Him with all their heart, He rewards them accordingly.  This is true in America, as it has been shown throughout history.  One of the earliest blessings He gave our young nation is mentioned in…


Job 28:26-28

When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:  Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.


In 1754, American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity.  Little did he know how this would change the world long after his death.  All the conveniences that electricity affords us today can be traced back to Franklin’s simple experiment with a kite and a key. 


While most of the founding fathers; George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson to name a few, were dedicated Christians, Franklin remained a confirmed Deist most of his life.  In spite of this, when the Continental Congress stalled due to divisions and arguments among its participants, it would be Franklin who would rise up and remind all present of the words of Jesus Christ, as he advised our fledgling nation that…


“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”


Benjamin Franklin dedicated his life to the printing press because he was so greatly influenced by the books he read as a young man.  Although he may well have died a lost man, he was a great influence for good in the formation of Christian America.


In 1765, America’s first mass media campaign began to free the colonies from England.  A group of American patriots called the Sons of Liberty printed thousands of pamphlets and distributed them throughout the colonies.  These little paper missiles decried the unfair taxation and lack of representation of Americans in their own government.  These missiles found their mark in the hearts of the American people.  The seeds, thus planted, took root and in just a few short years, they would bear fruit that would again change the world forever.


In 1776, the American Revolution began.  With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the American people declared that “all men are created equal”.  Our original declaration called for the freeing of all American slaves.  Once the war was over and the colonies freed, the southern colonies changed their minds, and the young nation failed to keep its promise and abolish slavery.  This failure would bring with it a curse that would ultimately cost many thousands of American lives.  President Thomas Jefferson was almost prophetic when he said,


“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”


In spite of the growing strife within our young nation because of our failure in this area, God would continue to shower His blessings upon us.  Again it is the Old Testament figure Job who would prophesy of yet another of the marvelous blessings that God gave our young country.


Job 38:34-36

Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?  Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?


The power of media has always had a great effect on the hearts of people throughout all of history.  One example of this occurred in 1815, following England’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo.  As soon as General Wellington of England had defeated General Napoleon of France, a ship was dispatched across the English Channel with the good news.


As the ship approached England, a great fog rose up off the coast.  The fastest media method of that day was the signal light.  Using a signal light, a seaman sent the following message to those on shore.  Wellington Defeated Napoleon!”.  However, the fog closed in before the complete message was sent, so the message received on the shore was only “Wellington Defeated!”  Rushing this message back to London, the city went into a panic.  It would be several hours before the ship came ashore and the city was calmed.  Needless to say, a more reliable form of media transmission was needed.  By the grace of God, such a new media was about to emerge.


In 1845, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph.  Morse was a humble Christian who always tried to praise God for the good things in his life.  The first message he transmitted on his invention shows he understood that it was actually God who had given us this blessing.  The message was “What hath God wrought?”


With the invention of the telegraph, two great powers, that of electricity and that of the media, were merged.  The world has changed in many ways since that day.  One of the greatest of these changes, by far, is the electronic media that encircles the earth and so greatly influences all the nations of the world.  As all great inventions, electronic media has become a great source for evil, as well as a great source for good.  To better understand what I mean, let me share the following story from American history.


As America grew, it became harder and harder to communicate across the vast reaches of our young nation.  For example, the Battle of New Orleans was fought in 1814, two weeks after the War of 1812 was over.  Many lives would have been saved if only General Andrew Jackson had known that the peace treaty had already been signed in Washington many days before this battle was fought.


With the invention of the telegraph, this situation was greatly improved.  In America, telegraph lines first spread from the east across Middle America and from California in the west.  Finally, like the great railroads of that time, these lines would be connected all across the country.  However, for a time, a 2,000 mile gap separated the eastern telegraphs from the western lines.


In 1860, the Pony Express was established to bridge that gap.  These young riders would cover this 2,000 mile gap in a matter of around 10 days.  That same year, a young man by the name of William Cody joined the Pony Express.  He would later be known as “Buffalo” Bill. 


This was also the year that Abraham Lincoln ran for president for the first time.  Since our nation had not freed the slaves before now, God had raised up this man to help free the slaves.  The country had become deeply divided over this issue and civil war threatened. 


Many pro-slavery southerners had gone to California to assure that the vast natural resources of this region would be used by the south.  They had even made arrangements with the local Indian tribes to kill the Pony Express riders so they would not be able to communicate the election results to California in time to stop it from seceding from the United States of America and joining the Confederate States.


It was Buffalo Bill Cody who would fight his way through these hostile Indians and get the message to California that Lincoln was elected and thus keep that state in the union. This shortened the Civil War significantly and thus saved countless lives on both sides.  The riders of the Pony Express would stay in existence less than two years, but this was one of many services they did for our nation in that short time.


It was President Abraham whom God used to finally free the slaves in our country.  In fact, President Lincoln is unique among our Chief Executives in the fact that he became a Christian while he served in the White House.  He had originally seen the Civil War as a struggle to preserve the union, but ultimately would see it as a judgment from God, as he explains below.


“Whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessings of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him and to pray for His mercy - to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reestablishment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in its original excellence.”


1860’s to 1960’s

Daniel 12:4

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.


Although it takes a bloody Civil War, America finally frees the slaves and honors the promise originally given in the Declaration of Independence.  Directly after America frees its slaves, the Gilded Age begins, which was one of the most blessed times of technological advance in the history of the world. 


One of the areas of greatest blessing is the area of electronic media.  Keep in mind, from the beginning of time until 1754, no one had discovered the marvel of electricity.  Then from the time that Benjamin Franklin discovers electricity in 1754, nearly 100 years passed before Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in 1845.  Then things begin to change drastically.  Within the next few years, inventions literally explode across the American landscape.  This is especially true in the area of electronic media. 


In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.  In 1896, Thomas Edison invented the motion picture camera, and Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio.  However, what may well have been the greatest of these marvels may well have been described nearly 2,000 years before by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos when he wrote…


Revelation 11:8-10

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.


In 1924, Philo Farnsworth invented the television. The world has never been the same since.  Today, less than a century later, we have video recorders, digital video recorders, satellite television and a myriad of other electronic media devices. 


Since that time, things have become commonplace that the world had never even dreamed of in years past.  In fact, things have changed so quickly that I believe we are living in the time spoken of by the Apostle Luke in…


Luke 21:25-26

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:  for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.


Anyone who doesn't understand what Doctor Luke is telling us in this verse, needs only to watch the 6 o'clock news to be reminded that this is indeed true for the modern age that we live in.  Stress has become an accepted fact of life.  The real question should be why does there have to be so much stress in the world. 


One good way to analyze this statement is to look at the speed with which we travel (run to and fro).  In the Garden of Eden, if Adam wanted to get somewhere in a hurry, he would have jumped bareback onto a horse and would have then been able to travel at about 30 miles per hour.  Going back to the first of this century, the same would have been true.  Until then, the fastest man had traveled was about 30 miles per hour.  Now just imagine what it would have been like if you traveled to work this morning at 30 mph.  Since the turn of this century, with the invention of the automobile and manned flight, man now attains many times the speed that was the fastest anyone had traveled in all the 5,900 years of history that had passed before.  Indeed, man in running to and fro because knowledge has been increased.


A recent stress management seminar that I attended illustrated this phenomenon quite well. A  study of the growth of knowledge throughout history shows very dramatically what we are talking about. First you must take all the knowledge obtained from the beginning of time up until the time of Jesus Christ at the height of the Roman Empire, a total of 4,000 years, and give this vast body of knowledge a numerical value of 1. 


It only took a total of only 1,500 years for all of the knowledge in the world to double.  Keeping in mind that the first 4,000 years of knowledge was doubled in only 1,500 years is just the beginning.  All the knowledge of the human race would double again between 1500 and 1800, a mere 300 years.  Now things really begin to pick up.  Between 1800 and 1900, human knowledge would again double in 100 years. 


A good example of this is to take a moment to look at the technology of war.  Think for a moment.  What type of weapons were used in the Civil War?  World War I?  World War II? 


In 1865, the American Civil War ends. This war was fought like most wars before it throughout history, with charges on horseback and hand-to-hand combat.  The biggest change would have been the invention of gunpowder allowing guns and cannon to increase the destruction and death considerably.


In 1915, we are in World War I.  Just 50 years after the Civil War, we have cars, bi-planes, tanks, poison gas, armored battleships, etc. By 1945, only 30 years after World War I and 80 years after the Civil War, we are in World War II, we have dive bombers, V-2 missiles, bazookas, machine guns, etc.  The newest development is called the blitzkrieg or lightning warfare which causes wars to be over in a matter of days instead of months or years. Finally, in 1945, World War II ends with America dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and the Nuclear Age begins.


Do you begin to see the magnitude of the change in mankind's knowledge in just 80 years?  You can now see why stress has become a way of life for Americans and the world. This stress study ends with the statement that, with the coming of the computer age, man’s knowledge is now doubling every two years!

1960’s to Present


With all of the blessings that have been poured out on America in the last 150 years, you would think we would be closer to God than any other generation before us.  Actually the opposite is true.  Today, in our nation, the love of money and the love of self have won stunning victories over the love of God.


In fact, things have gotten so bad in this country that in 1963 America removed the teaching of the Bible from public schools. Within months of this fateful decision by our Supreme Court, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.  A few months later, a rock and roll group called the Beatles tour America. Within the decade, abortion is legalized and the American Holocaust begins.


Our nation has been on a long moral slide ever since the day the Bible was removed from public schools.  It is easy to understand what Doctor Luke was talking about in the verse mentioned above but don’t give up hope.    Let’s go back and finish the sermon that Jesus is giving on the fearful times we are living in.  Verse 26 is followed by verses 27 and 28 which state...


Luke 21:27-28

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.