So many conspiracy theories! We’ve all heard conspiracies about why Trump lost, where the corona virus came from, and what’s in that vaccine they are distributing.

People can get really upset about these conspiracy theories. I think it’s because a conspiracy by definition means “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful to others.” [Oxford Languages]. It’s easy to understand why people can get upset if they think other people are acting in secret to hurt them.

Although these conspiracy theories may bother us, the Bible says there’s another even more sinister conspiracy that is going on right now. The Apostle Paul wrote that in the end times a hidden conspiracy, called the “secret power of lawlessness”, would be revealed:

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the day of the Lord] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction… For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.

2 Thess. 2:3,7 NIV

The Bible here is plainly predicting that before Jesus comes back a hidden conspiracy will take place. This conspiracy will unleash incredible evil and rebellion upon the world. Part of this unleashing includes the revealing of a ‘man of lawlessness.’ The Bible says this man is “doomed to destruction” but before then:

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thess. 2:4 NIV

Whoever this person is (most agree he is the “Antichrist”), he comes as a deceiver, a rebel, a destroyer, an opposer of God and good, and one who promotes himself over everything, including even God. As the personification of lawlessness, the Antichrist will exhibit the same evil characteristics that the secret power of lawlessness produces in the lives of those who succumb to its power. Ultimately, all who are influenced by this hidden conspiracy will rebel against God’s rule and God’s rules.

This hidden conspiracy promotes the idea that there is no higher authority in rulemaking than ourselves. As we hear this idea subtly inserted into our news, schools, and music, we grow more and more comfortable with the idea that the rules either don’t matter or they don’t apply to us. The result is that many become convinced they can do whatever they want and become lawless.

The Bible reveals who the originator of this hidden conspiracy is:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders.

2 Thess. 2:9 NIV

Satan himself is the originator of the hidden conspiracy. He is the one generating the activity that causes the “lawless one” to come. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. We see here also that Satan is the leader of the conspiracy, working stealthily to deceive us into becoming lawless.

How does Satan work to get people to act lawlessly? No doubt there are many ways, but one well-known way is to avoid rational discussion and personally attack the people who are defending law and morality.

This tactic is as old as Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot tried to reason with the sodomites. They were seeking to have sex with Lot’s angelic guests, but he sought to protect them from such violence. Rather than reason with Lot, they made up accusations against him, brought up irrelevant arguments and physically threatened him:

“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.”

Genesis 19:9 NIV

In the same way the sodomites treated Lot, lawless people will often seek to discredit and attack defenders of moral truth. Coercion and even violence is not beyond the capacity of lawless people.

Like so many arguments of today regarding supposed sexual “freedom”, lawless people claim they have the right to do what they want with their own bodies. But they usually refuse to discuss whether their “right” to do such things is moral, harmful to others or consistent with God’s law.

Lawless people extol the virtues of freedom but they know nothing of it. As the Apostle Peter wrote:

For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

2 Peter 2:18-19 NIV

This passage reveals the true goal of the hidden conspiracy. Satan wants to enslave us! He moves secretly to deceive people into seeing lawless behavior as “freedom”. Once they act out these rationalizations, they become slaves of depravity. Trapped in Satan’s spiritual chains, they become easy prey to his manipulation and control.

And this is clearly what Satan wants: control over humans. Satan’s desire to control everything, including us and God, is well documented in the Bible. For example, the Prophet Isaiah wrote:

You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

Isaiah 14:13-14 NIV

However, God would not give the rule to Satan or any of the angels. Instead, He gave rulership of the earth to the human race and particularly to His Son, Jesus Christ.

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.”

…But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death…

Hebrews 2:7-9 NIV

Humans, who are lower than angelic beings like Satan, were promoted over the angels. Satan became so furious with God’s choice that he sought to abort God’s plan. As a result, it caused a war in heaven where Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven down to the earth forever. [see Rev. 12:1-9]

Although Satan is losing his place in heaven he has not given up the fight.

But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

Rev.12:12b NIV

Satan is still doing everything he can to deceive mankind and maintain his rule as the ruler of the power of the air. [Ephesians 2:2]. Satan will have some success because there will be a “rebellion” where many will fall away from the faith. [see 2 Thess.2:3].

Jesus warned us:

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Matt. 24:10-11 NIV

Jesus is speaking to his church and not just the world. In this passage He also said that “false messiahs and false prophets will… deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matt. 24.24 NIV.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

1 Corinth. 10:12 NIV

We must not allow ourselves to think that we are in some way immune from the power of this deception. We may ask, how can we be sure that we are not being deceived into accepting lawlessness into our lives? We will explore this in our next blog.

God bless you and give you spiritual eyes to see how this hidden conspiracy is seeking to seduce you and your loved ones, and the grace to overcome.

© Tony Nardella 2021

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