Posted in prophecy, theology

The Orwellian time in which we live, and the mark of the beast

By Elizabeth Prata

Annotation 2020-04-21 080231

Tech giants are making decisions for us. Governments, with the assistance of technology, are intruding on our private lives in ways that we’d believe unthinkable two months ago.

Example: Amazon is delaying fulfillment based on their assessment of whether the item is “essential” or not. At the outset of the lockdown, I ordered two items.

1. CPAP headgear
2. Compression socks

Both items were medically necessary for me. I use the CPAP machine to breathe at night, my sleep apnea is bad and I stop breathing multiple times per night for lengthy periods. The headgear is the strap that keeps the mask attached to my face. It had gotten very stretched and through repeated washings the velcro was practically useless. My machine data showed increasing number of apnea incidents during the night due to mask slippage. I ordered a new one. Amazon said it wasn’t essential.

Oh, yes it is.

During times I am not at work I sit a lot at my table and write, edit, use the laptop for entertainment, and communication. I might sit for long periods, and thus the circulation in my legs causes ankle swelling. I use compression socks to help with this. Amazon said the socks weren’t essential.

Oh, yes it is.

So, tech giants are monitoring what we buy and making decisions for us as to whether we truly need it or not.

Then I learn that some tech apps are suspending privileges based on the topic of sermon, if they don’t like it!

Tech Giants Begin the Crackdown on Unapproved Sermons as Churches Are Forced Online

On Friday, Google suspended Christ Church’s app from the Google Play store after accusing the pastors of a lack of sensitivity and/or capitalizing on the current coronavirus pandemic. The church received a notice from the platform, stating: “We don’t allow apps that lack reasonable sensitivity towards or capitalize on a natural disaster, atrocity, conflict, death, or other tragic event. “Your app has been suspended and removed due to this policy issue,” the notice added.
It’s believed Google was referring to Pastor Douglas Wilson’s short lessons on responding faithfully to the COVID-19 crisis, and Pastor Toby J. Sumpter’s sermon calling God’s people to humble repentance in the face of the pandemic.

Tech giants are making decisions about the topics of the video content we view.

Facebook will steer users who interact with coronavirus misinformation to WHO

The move is just the most recent step in an aggressive and coordinated response by Facebook and other tech companies to promote facts and guidance from reputable sources. … Users who have liked, commented on or otherwise reacted to coronavirus misinformation that Facebook has flagged and removed as “harmful” will be directed to a website debunking coronavirus myths from the World Health Organization.

Tech giants making decisions about how we need to be ‘guided’ and to whom (or WHO) we need to be guided TO.

In a chilling dystopian move, 22 states now using drones to enforce lockdowns

In this article, Drone Pandemic, we read, “straight from a dystopian film script—as successive lockdowns have been declared across the world from Wuhan to Lagos—authorities have begun turning to loudspeaker-equipped flying drones to enforce social distancing rules,  Elsewhere, the buzzing beasts hover ominously over upright citizens engaged in seemingly innocent activities like shopping or getting some fresh air…”

In Daytona, they have a drone with “a FLIR cam that can read a person’s body temperature.”

In NJ, “Some may notice drones monitoring your neighborhoods. These drones are going to alert people to move away from each other if they are congregating. … These drones will be around the City with an automated message from the Mayor telling you to STOP gathering, disperse and go home.”

Authorities in Britain were criticized last week for sending drones flying over visitors to a park and then shaming them by posting the footage on Twitter.

Neighbors were encouraged to snitch on other neighbors who were not wearing masks or not staying 6 feet apart from each other.

Technology that finds us, photographs us, does a biometric on us, shames us, orders us, manages our behavior…

Have we given too much authority to the techs?


Technology is a blessing. I love technology. I am glad I’m living now, when the internet was invented, color television, cell phones, digital cameras & etc.. I am old enough to have been born before those things were invented and I appreciate being able to use them now.

But as with anything, technology has a dark side. Technology is a slave to user input and users are sinners. Pornography comes to mind. Bank fraud. Shell corporations. Cyber stalking/bullying. I’m personally not crazy about drones.

This next statement will seem like a non sequitur, but eventually I’ll bring these two thoughts together. We are in the end time now. We have been since Jesus ascended, and we will be until the rapture when Jesus returns in the sky and calls up His saints, dead and alive, to heaven, ending the Church Age.

I named this blog The End Time to remind myself and readers of that fact, that we are in the latter days and Jesus could return at any moment. When He does, our duties here on earth will be done. We should have a sense of urgency every day with that fact in mind. His return for His church in the air has always been imminent.

After the rapture, an imminent event described in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, John 14:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, to name some, there will be a period of judgment on earth called The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7). It is when the Jews will be finally punished for 7 years to finish the decree, (Daniel 9:24-27) and also sinful Gentiles remaining on earth will be punished. Jesus said in Matthew 24’s Olivet Discourse that many will have tribulation, so, many people call this time “The Tribulation” as well.

During the 7 year Tribulation, when God’s wrath is poured out over the whole earth (but the Church is not destined for wrath – 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10), an event occurs which even most unsaved people know about.

It is called the Mark of the Beast. In this time, God allows satan and his demons to run the earth in greater and greater ways than even now (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin will be king. The upheavals in economies, weather, geophysical, behavior events are so terrible, no a worse time there shall never be, (Matthew 24:21) that the nations reform into one world government with one leader, the antichrist. In Revelation 13:16-17 he is described as instituting a mark upon all the people of the earth. It is a mark of allegiance and worship and oh by the way, those without the mark cannot buy or sell. Christians refuse the mark because they refuse to worship the beast, and are hunted down and beheaded.

We are not in the Tribulation now. I repeat, we are not in the Tribulation now. I am not saying that prophetic time is immediately upon us. I want to make the point though, that in former times it has been hard for people to imagine how the ‘one world government’ and the ‘mark of the beast’ will come about.

During this pandemic time in 2020, I believe that what occurred indicates just how easy it will be to enact the prophecies we read in Revelation.

The world acquiesced to lockdowns, shutdowns, social distancing, and the like, almost immediately. In America, the land of the free, people acquiesced immediately to orders to remain inside, to wear masks, to shop only at certain times or certain places. Because of the good obedience in good faith of the American people, sadly, some politicians have taken advantage. They extend the lockdown beyond the flattened curve we were told was the reason for the lockdown in the first place.

Fear drove it, uncertainty propelled it, suspicion wafted in. Compliance was easy to engender. However, the power that was grabbed has been hard for them to let go.

I don’t know what the Lord is doing through this pandemic. Pastor Don Green preached a good message that asked the question, the seminal and primary question we should all be asking: Why did God stop the world? Coming out the other side we may see some new things, to the good or to the bad or both. People miss church People miss friends. People don’t take for granted the time we are given. People may value educators, first responders, hospital workers more. People may respect the president more as he has led through this pandemic. They may respect certain leaders less since they totally failed during the pandemic. They may not buy as much from China.

Alternately, people may quickly forget and revert to old ways. They may have become conditioned to accept drones, government intrusion, immediate compliance, and tech giants making decisions for us.

When the time comes, the Antichrist will seem like Orwell’s ‘Big Brother,’ a benign, helpful overseer of all that is good, when in reality the truth will be that he is a demon spawn from hell bent on forcing worship and won’t hesitate to kill anyone who objects. The ultimate dystopia.

Why DID God stop the world? Perhaps this time was meant to advance the plan of God forward in a huge and visible leap. All I want to say is, this pandemic time of COVID-19 has shown me at least, how easy it will be when the time comes for secular people to accept a one world government and to take the mark of the beast.


Further reading

If you enjoy dystopian literature then see these:

EM Forster: (1909, novella) The Machine Stops, The story, set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs, predicted technologies similar to instant messaging and the Internet.

Article – Prophet or Futurist? 7 Technologies Jules Verne Predicted Leagues Ahead of His Time
Author (and inventor for some) Jules Verne created worlds in his stories that featured technology that is still relevant to this day. You might enjoy pairing his book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, with the book or movie Ice Station Zebra, or his story Robur the Conqueror that predicted helicopters with the movies Black Hawk Down or Blue Thunder.

Book – One Second After by William Forschen, A post-apocalyptic thriller of the after effects in the United States after a terrifying terrorist attack using electromagnetic pulse weapons, which destroy all electronics and technology, rendering them useless.

Q&A – What is the Mark of the Beast, credible and biblical answers to this amazing and devastating period to come.

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Does your phone bless or curse those around you?

If you’ve ever been around people who drink alcohol, and you’re not drinking, you know how their increasing lack of sobriety looks and sounds. The person drinking thinks they are still in full possession of all their faculties, but to the sober observer on the sidelines, the story is completely the opposite. It’s a stark and un-pretty picture.

I used the drinking analogy to set up my main point. There are a lot of people who don’t drink, but it seems that there are few people who don’t have a cell phone anymore. I am one. I don’t have a cell phone, a smartphone, a mobile device, tablet, iPad, or portable technology of any kind. I am the one on the sidelines, watching the rest of the world get drunk on cell phone checking. It’s a stark and un-pretty picture.

Never was the rising cell phone addiction so prevalent than when I went into the fray last weekend to do some street photography. Athens, GA is a college town, and very liberal. As with most cities, there are fringe characters, weird dressers, buskers, hucksters, panhandlers and regular folks ambling along the bustling streets. I went into the city on a Friday afternoon after school and was there until about 5:30 or 6:00. I was observing and photographing long enough to watch the night city come alive. The buskers set up, and panhandlers claimed their spots, and the frat boys began roaming the bars in packs. Time to go.

I went home and began processing my pics. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. ALL my photos contained a plethora of people either looking at, dialing, or speaking on their phones. The ones who didn’t, had a phone in their hand. Period.

It was a warm and bright spring day. The trees and flowers were blooming. The skies were vivid azure and the sun was glowing with long shadows, making dappled leaf patterns on the sidewalks. The shops were open and the al fresco cafes were inviting. There was plenty to look at and notice, but one would think all that was invisible with a number of passersby who were enthralled with the tech world of their two-inch smartphone screens.

I’m old enough to have been an adult when cell phones came in. I remember walking down city streets all over the United States and the world, enjoying the day, people watching at the cafe. I’d enjoy the clouds, muse on people’s fashion choices, admire the architecture. Most of all, I’d talk to the person I was with, sharing these thoughts and observations and listening to theirs. We created common memories and enjoyed our shared experience.

Those says seem gone.

Author Tony Reinke expressed his concerns with the technological age epitomized by the smartphone in his book 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. In his book he writes of concerns wth technology creating the Age of Distraction, but he also tempers his concerns with ideas and strategies to steward our time well and use the technology instead of it using us.

He wrote,

We check our smartphones 81,500 times each year, or once every 4.3 minutes of our waking lives, which means you will be tempted to check your phones three times before you finish this chapter.

My time photographing the street activity in Athens seems to bear this out. I stood in one spot for about ten minutes and this was the scene.

Concerns are with any device that distracts us from engaging with God’s world and His people. In fairness, Reinke also said this about cameras, which I think can be applied to philosophies about any device-

If the cameras in our pockets mute our moments into 2-D memories, perhaps the richest memories in life are better “captured” by our full sensory awareness of the moment- the later written down in journal.

Smartphones are here to stay. That ship has sailed. What we’re left with is not that we use our phones but how we use our phones. A title (I think) Westminster Books used in reviewing Reinke’s book was, “Is your phone a blessing or a curse to those around you?” For me, they are a curse.

Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition writes that Reinke’s book blurb convicted him. Nate Claiborne at Christ + Pop Culture wrote

Whether for advances in productivity (thanks to apps like Things and Evernote) or the pull of imminent distraction (thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter being accessible at all times), my daily life is no longer the same. Rather than treating technological advances as givens, we ought to think about the good as well as the potential bad they bring.

You can find this Tony Reinke book at Westminster Books, and elsewhere.