Surveillance Technology and the Coming Police State :: By Don McGee

Late one quiet night well over 40 years ago at a U.S. Army Security Agency field station in Europe one young soldier said to another, “If the American people knew what was happening in the world tonight they would not sleep so peacefully.” What was happening? Well, there was a tactical war of insurgency going on in Southeast Asia where eventually over 58,000 American fighting men would die in vain, and there was a strategic cold war going on in Europe that was perilously susceptible to any number of flash-points.

The force of his comment, however, had something of a double entendre. Obviously, the first had to do with foreign enemies. But, the second part was the subtle part of the comment, something his comrade-in-arms understood clearly. It had to do with the phenomenal capabilities of governments to see deeply into the private lives of people — any people, both friend and foe — without detection. Frankly, America’s enemies knew then, and know now what is going on and they accept the rules of the game; they just don’t always know how successful America is, or is not, at spying. But, spying on loyal citizens? Until recently most didn’t have a clue they were even being watched. George Orwell’s fictitious 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is today’s reality.

It is not the purpose of this article to engage in debate regarding such governmental intrusions, but it is most definitely the purpose to hold up these hyper-technical monitoring capabilities to the light of Bible prophecy. And the two are most definitely connected.

It is a fact that it is impossible to explain all of what Jesus showed John in Revelation with mere technology; we simply cannot make a definitive call on some things. For example, how will fire come from the mouths of the two witnesses of Revelation 11:5? This is, no doubt, symbolism of some kind, yet the action it portrays is equally, without doubt, contextually literal. Another good example of symbolism portraying something literal is that the red dragon in chapter 12 is clearly identified as Satan. So, regarding all those prophecies whose fulfillments are not so easily understood, we must simply rest knowing God will make it all very clear when it happens.

But, that does not mean we are to throw all prophetic scripture into some box labeled “Don’t Know” and let it gather dust in a corner. The gist of this whole subject is that a number of the prophecies described in Revelation were unclear prior to the 20th Century, a period that introduced mega-leaps in technology. Much of what was once perplexing is now made clear, and the literalness of those prophecies is now more easily understood. The officially organized and self-canonized church has always laughed at those who believed in the literal interpretation of those things Jesus revealed to the apostle John. And they still laugh, though today it is no stretch whatsoever to see how a number of those prophecies will be carried out literally. And, it is the advent of modern technology that has opened the door to some of this clarity.

For example, 150 years ago no one could imagine how the entire world would be able to witness the spectacle of Revelation 11:9. But, with modern satellite communications it will be no more of a rarity than seeing a local news broadcast.

One of the boldest indicators pointing to our living in the end time is the tsunami effect technology is having on humanity. The impossibility of yesterday is the reality of today and the antiquated of tomorrow. For the Holy Spirit to have given Daniel and John details of how their visions, dreams, and revelations would evolve and unfold with obvious clarity would not have furthered the understanding of their early readers. Because a type of “fullness of time” had not yet arrived, any explanation would have been more perplexing than the actual events.

Interestingly, and as a sidebar, the marriage of modern technology with genuine science actually makes it much easier and more logical to believe in creationism than evolution. The truth of the matter is that contemporary tools of examination and investigation reveal that Darwinism is darker and more irrational and inconsistent than was obvious 100 years ago.

In Daniel chapter 12 God twice said to the prophet that the meaning of what he was shown in the visions would be sealed up “until the end time”. He also said that in the end time those who have insight will understand. In context of that passage it seems clear that the insight spoken of would be a matter of choice in the last days. That such insight would be a matter of choice in the end time was emphasized six hundred years later in one of Jesus’ rebukes of the religious leaders of His day. He said they could read the signs of the weather, but could not read the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3). They did not understand because they did not want to understand. Little has changed in biased hearts in 2000 years.

If the recent revelations regarding the intrusion of government into the private lives of citizens has any up side to it, that up side has less to do with national security than it does with the glaring fact that it can actually be done. Current events make it obvious that classified, high-powered technology will play a direct role in the police state of the future. The vanguard of such a police state is here. As Christians, we would do well to look at this intrusion from a prophetic standpoint in addition to any Constitution-based viewpoints we might have.

The ability of a government to identify and monitor specific target groups is here. Thus, the events and governmental invasions into personal matters so clearly defined in Revelation 13 are no longer bizarre, or implausible. What Antichrist will do to the people on this earth post-rapture is now a verifiable reality. Though 50 years early in his thinking, Orwell would no doubt be amazed.

The main article in the May, 2012 CSM Newsletter was, “Building the Tribulation GESTAPO”. It pointed out that there is a parallel between what Hitler built for the subjugation and control of the masses in 1933 and what is being built today for the same purpose. The technology for massive surveillance is here, and it is ostensibly being used solely in the pursuit of “national security”. However, the system of which this technology is presently a part will soon morph into a veritable machine whose authority and power will oversee a global political, economic and religious system, and what people consider as national security today will have nothing to do with it.

As the human authority behind this tripartite, Antichrist will necessarily need a means of public intrusion. Early in his consolidation of power he will disregard any nation’s constitution and will eventually make no effort to conceal his use of any means of observation and control. Not only will human rights be ignored, but the concept of private property as people have known it along with the protection of confidential legal, medical and other personal information will be disregarded. Realistically, privacy is quickly going the way of the Dodo bird. All in the name of safety, of course.

Historically, those who believe in the literalness of prophecy have emphasized that Antichrist will be the heartless beast as described in scripture who will have no regard for human life, much less any regard for anyone’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights. They have also believed that, in context of the mark that will be forced upon everyone, no aspect of a person’s life will be free from his prying eyes and ears. As literalists spoke and wrote of these things in the past there was always the feeling that such capabilities were “coming”. But, that has all changed. Such capabilities are here. Right now. And that simple fact alone is a flashing sign indicating that Jesus’ return for His church is imminent.

It could be that Americans know only a small degree of what might actually be technologically possible. It appears that it is only because of leaks, persistent investigations and forced testimonies under oath that citizens are even aware of the government’s current tracking programs. Could it be that soon-to-be implemented resources exist whose reach goes far beyond what is known to be in use today? Resources that might be useful to Antichrist’s agenda?

No government intelligence agency voluntarily surrenders information. Thus, it is their practice to not answer questions about their activities. To answer any question even with a simple “yes” or “no” can be a game-changer because it removes any doubt that might have existed just a moment before. Of course, along with silence is the practice of giving, or leaking false information that is sometimes seasoned with just enough truth (a commodity often incorrectly assumed by the public) to make what is being said plausible. Such is the way things are in 21st Century Orwellian society.

None of this is happening by accident. To the degree it can be done, Satan is orchestrating things to his advantage for the introduction of Antichrist onto the world stage. So, what are some of those “things” that will make it easy for a competent, charismatic, secular-savvy and very eloquent (but deceptive and self-indulgent) leader to be accepted en masse?

An amoral society. An amoral heart, personal or collective, is so polluted with narcissism that there is little to no room for liberty and responsibility. The insatiable appetite for unregulated license dulls the mind to the spiritual, emotional and even political slavery it demands. People do not care what the government does as long as there are no restrictions upon lust and greed. “Listen to my phone calls…follow me to the house of my neighbor’s wife…destroy the Bill of Rights…I don’t care…! Just let me live like I want…and, Oh, by the way, don’t forget to send my government check.”

Scorn for Christians and the Bible. As proverbial light and salt, the lives and worldview of God’s people bring light into the dark recesses of an evil society, and they have a way of stinging and burning the lacerated consciences of God-haters. When God removes the church from this earth the attitude of government and secular society will be, “Good riddance! Now, we can get on with what we want to do.”

False churches. False churches appeal to many people. Churches that no longer cherish biblical truth appeal to politicians who cherish nothing except themselves. They also appeal to an electorate that believes “religion might be OK, but don’t take it too seriously”. Thus both the professional clergy and the pew-sitters are de-facto void of spiritual discernment and become inherently susceptible to whatever despotic proposal a politician might offer. Antichrist’s regime will be the ultimate in tyranny, and the false church of that day will be his cover for inclusiveness and civility. The foundation for that false church is very much in place today.

The list could go on, but the point is already clear. Evil hearts, reprobate religious systems and tyrannical governments are compatible. Though there is no real love lost between them, still they can coexist because each can have what it wants in a godless, inclusive society. This is what is coming under Antichrist, except he will destroy the false church when she is no longer useful.

Antichrist will be history’s most notorious control-freak. The compulsory acceptance of his mark under penalty of death is proof of this. The only real question about all this has to do with the means he will use to implement his tyranny. The details are not spelled out for us, but it is obvious surveillance, intrusion and tracking will play a role. All forms of detection and identification will be employed. Fixed cameras, airborne drones, listening and tracking devices, facial recognition, wall-penetrating audio, wall-penetrating radar/video, infrared detectors, satellite surveillance, etc. are all effective tools in the business of population exploitation and control. And, of course, human intelligence as seen in Luke 21:16.

Clandestine services are absolute necessities for America, but some citizens believe they are being used as personal assets by devious politicians and bureaucrats. My guess is that these practices will continue without regard to sworn testimony before Congressional committees. That is the nature of a country and a world that has invited God to leave. But, do not be overly alarmed, for these things are on the end time to-do list. Each new day is borrowed time.

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