commentary: Conspiracy Theory (Part Four)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 13-Dec-14; Sermon #1244c; 12 minutes
We share our residence on this earth with Satan and his fallen demons, and to them, we are interlopers and intruders. Satan has not abandoned his tactics from the original rebellion described in Isaiah 14, but is now attempting to garner the support of human leaders and their gullible followers to attempt to topple the Creator from His position of authority, setting himself up as the supreme power. The conspiracies concocted by world leaders are inspired by Satan—even the infighting and apparent conflicts involving kings deposing kings, and a 'supreme' blasphemous religious leader totally possessed by Satan attaining miraculous powers to impose slavery on the populace, with the hopelessly unattainable goal of defeating the sovereign God, are elements of Satan's plan! No created being can depose his Creator.
This is "Conspiracy Theory (Part Four)." In the previous commentaries in this series, we've established that (1) conspiracies are not uncommon in our nation; (2) we explored, briefly, the general principles under which they form and operate; (3) the Bible clearly prophesies that a major one will form just before the return of Jesus Christ.
Having advance notice that a conspiracy will form, and that its goal (according to Psalm 2) is to remove God and His Son from their rightful positions as Rulers of this earth, provides us with a major set of insights so that we are able to understand some of its formation, governance, and operating principles more clearly.
Despite what some people with vastly expanded opinions of their own greatness might think of themselves, no mere men are going to knock God from His sovereign position. However, Satan has attempted in the past, and even with his greatly magnified power over that of a human, he failed.
Here is how it will form: He and those demons under his control will enlist and organize the forces of mankind they control in certain nations, and together, spirits and humans will attempt this doomed project. We already know from Psalm 2 that not only will the conspiracy occur, but it will also fail. We must have it firmly planted in our minds that we will never visibly see the leadership of Satan and his demons. But be assured, they will not only be casually involved, they will forcibly be planning and governing its operations. They will be, as we might say, pushing the buttons.
This conspiracy will therefore be planned and operated with more deception, skill, and power than would normally be available to mere men. It will not be Satan's final attempt to overthrow God, but it will be (as far as we know) his utmost effort since he attempted that occasion, as reported in Isaiah 14.
Let's review what some of the Bible reveals as to why Satan will be so deeply involved with men in this particular conspiracy. I am sure that besides his obviously vanity-driven nature, he feels a measure of possessiveness toward this planet. We know, for instance, from I John 5:19 that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." That is a fact right now. In addition to that, in Jude 7, it also designates the world as his first estate or proper domain. Planet Earth was apparently given to him by our Creator to rule before the creation of man, and it was to here that he was cast down after his original attempt to overthrow God failed. It might easily be said that he has feelings of possessiveness toward earth, seeing mankind as being intruders in his home.
He and his demons are also the creators of what the Bible calls the cosmos, the ordered system we are born into, live, and have our being in to this very day. It is here in this very site that he has deceived all of mankind, and thus he is not only familiar with man, he is very familiar with those he specifically is preparing and already using for his master stroke against God and His purpose, as shown in Psalm 2.
Thus—here is a conclusion—he is clearly free to invisibly bear rule over us if God, or we individually, permit him to do so. This is shown by his working in and through Judas Iscariot, and Jesus' statement to Peter in Luke 22:31 that "Satan has desired to have you and to sift you as wheat." He can do that to any man.
Recall that Psalm 2 states that the conspiracy is to be formed around nation, kings, and rulers. All of those terms are plural. This lets us know that this is going to be one massively-sized conspiracy involving human participants of very varied national and personal characteristics, and perhaps languages as well.
This description fits Daniel 7:23-24, the description of the fourth kingdom that shall arise in the time of the end. The context prophesies that when it is formed, it shall consist of ten kings—plural—which in turn indicates ten nations—plural—are united in the original formation. It proceeds to describe another king arising, different from the first ten, and he shall in some way dispose of three of those first ten kings. This tends to make one know that there will be a great deal of infighting within this conspiracy, so that even within the formation, it will be tumultuous to say the least.
All of this coordinates well with Revelation 13:1-9, which pictures a nation rising up from many populous areas of earth, also having seven heads and ten horns. In this description, a very definite and strong a connection is made to the dragon. There is Satan, operating, pulling the levers on what is going on amongst men.
Revelation 13:4-8 makes a clear departure from the other two descriptions in that it prophesies that this conspiracy will result in one of the kings rising as supreme above the other kings, and speaking outrageous blasphemies against the true God and being worshipped as though he is God.
Revelation 13:11-18 then reveals a second, very notable person within the conspiracy: a religious person. He will be joined to the man who rose to the top of the original kings. This notable person will support the first notable one and add a false religious element to the original group. He will be very verbally persuasive and capable of performing spectacular but deceptive miracles in support of the conspiracy, so that people will accept it and submit to its rule. And as the conspiracy grows in power, it will exercise almost complete control over the population's lives. Slavery will be it's dynamic from the top down.
Daniel 11:36-37 has a chillingly-vivid description of the oppressive mindset of the leader of this conspiracy as he takes possession of what he believes is his by right:
Daniel 11:36-37 Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
Surely this man will be totally possessed by Satan, who is forming this conspiracy even as we live.