Do you believe in conspiracy theories? They range from the feasible to the fantastic. Many think that secret groups are plotting to destroy democracy. Some are convinced that American pop singer, Lady Gaga, is a victim of a CIA mind-control program and an Illuminati puppet. Did the government plan and then cover up the 9-11 attacks? And what about schemes to manipulate the world economy and mass media worldwide?
Conspiracy theories are nothing new. You may worry about them or dismiss them as nonsense. But here's something you shouldn't dismiss: Thousands of years ago, the greatest of all conspiracies took root. This is one conspiracy that really matters. It's the one that can't be taken lightly. The one that will affect your life!
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine the threat to you and the secret behind the Spiritual Conspiracy.
Are conspiracy theories true? The Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderbergers are hot topics on talk radio and the internet, in books, and in movies. Are you fascinated by conspiracy theories and secret organizations that supposedly manipulate the masses?
Some trace these kinds of conspiracies back to the early 1700s in England with the Freemasons. Others point to the Knights Templar, that came into the existence at the time of the crusades. But many debate the influence of these and other secret societies. Now, whether you think their conspiracies are real or not, there is one to watch out for.
Thousands of years ago, the biggest of all conspiracies took root. This conspiracy is one that really matters to you, because it's the most powerful plot on the planet.
Did you know that this conspiracy is revealed in your Bible?
Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (NLT)
There is a great spiritual conspiracy going on all around you! It's run by a powerful evil spirit-being who wants you to fail. He wants you to lose hope. He's the author of depression and discouragement.
What is this plot all about and what should you be doing about it? Here's what your Bible advises: "Stay alert, watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."(1 Peter 5:8 NLT).
This spiritual conspiracy is led by Satan the devil. It's a life or death matter! It's not just a fantasy. He's not just a symbol of evil or a man in a silly red suit with a pitchfork, sitting on your shoulder. Satan is a real being who's conspiring against you and God's plan. True--not all conspiracies are real but, Satan is real.
Did you know that in the Bible, God names things for what they are? Satan is called the accuser, an enemy, the serpent, and a dragon. His focus is to deceive, to divide and destroy God's people and defeat God's purpose. The Bible demonstrates that the devil is a very real and dangerous being--not some philosophical idea or superstition.
He's your enemy, and he is what his name means: adversary or opponent. The one who opposes. He is hostile. He is contrary. The one who fights against you. Satan is so devious. He is so deceitful and even though you may be unaware, he schemes and conspires to destroy you!
Why? Why is the devil conspiring to destroy you and God's plan? Well to find out why, we have to go back to his origin. And that's found in two different chapters of the Bible. In Ezekiel 28, we learn that in the beginning, Satan wasn't evil. He was created by God and described as "the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty," and as "the anointed cherub that covers" who was "on the holy mountain of God" (verse 12-14). So you see Satan started out as a perfect creation. It says, "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created." Now imagine that--initially the devil was a flawless creation.
But, along the way, something happened. Something terrible. It says, "Till iniquity was found in you." (Ezekiel 28:15 NKJ). You see God gave spirit beings free moral agency, the freedom to choose--the opportunity to make independent decisions. Well Satan became vain. He developed ideas of grandeur that led to disastrous consequences. We're given insight into his thinking in Isaiah 14. He declared, "I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; [and] I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14 NIV)
That's where the conspiracy began. Satan actually attempted to depose God. His vanity, pride, lust for power, led him into war against the Almighty. He became the adversary--by his very own choice! It was a deliberate, defiant sin. That sin perverted his thinking. It corrupted his mind and filled him with a violent nature.
You know, he wasn't alone in his rebellion. Millions of other angels joined him in rejecting God's leadership and authority. This is symbolically described in Revelation 12:4. "His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth."
You see the Bible uses stars as symbols for angels, showing that one third of the angels followed Satan in this revolt and were cast down to the earth with him.
No wonder the Bible refers to Satan and the other rebellious angels as evil, unclean spirits and as demons. You see there are fallen angels who renounced their purpose of serving God and humanity and now have only hatred and bitterness toward God, and His purpose for mankind.
Since Satan and his demons failed in their coup attempt, you might think that, conspiracy's over. But, it didn't stop there. Even though he failed to overpower God, He just will not give up. Now, the devil has turned his attention to us, to human beings. While he can't defeat God himself, he wants to disrupt God's plan for mankind--His plan for you!
The adversary is a jealous being. He doesn't want you to have a relationship with God. He knows that God has an amazing plan for mankind. God wants people to become a part of His very own spiritual family but, Satan hates that plan. He hates that family relationship God wants with you. So his goal is to undermine it and do everything he can to bring harm.
Proof? He wasted no time destroying God's relationship with the very first human beings: Adam and Eve. You know the story.
And when you think about it, can you see a direct connection to humanity's problems and the magnitude of Satan's deception? Mankind has had thousands of years to experiment with governments, with philosophies, with all kinds of ways of living. Have our troubles gone away? Why can't we solve our problems? Difficulties persist year after year, century after century. It's evidence that Satan has blinded this world.
Revelation 12:9 puts it this way: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Now did you catch that? Satan deceives the whole world! Not just some people, not even many, but the whole world!
Society suffers from relentless problems because we've been lied to. We've been fooled. We've been conned into rejecting the true God. 2 Corinthians 4:3 says: "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJ)
Now, that's an amazing statement. Startling! Who rules this age? Satan is the god of this age. You could say he's the head of state of this world. Things have been just so turned upside down that most don't even realize, they've been blinded. They've been influenced by Satan's attitude of getting all we can for ourselves. Infected with his wrong motives. Induced to hatred and jealousy, anger, and bitterness. He is the master of persuasion. Satan is slyly deceiving us into focusing on anything but God.
There is a real spirit world out there that wants to harm you. But the Bible reveals this spiritual conspiracy is working behind the scenes, trying to manipulate the world to his will and his agenda. Now, could you be taken in? How can you avoid being misled?
We have a special booklet: Is There Really a Devil? to help you see through the confusion of this spiritual conspiracy. It exposes the real source behind so many of our world's problems and the underlying reason for so many of the difficulties you face in your own life.
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You know when you take a look around, it's not hard to see how successful Satan has been in his deception. He's been adept at leading the world to question the very existence of God and doubt the validity of the Bible. Even many Christians have a laissez-faire, do whatever you choose, view of the Scriptures and God's way of life. But, don't underestimate the devil's impact.
How does he do it? Your Bible says, "you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2)
Satan's responsible for a spiritual broadcast to sway our minds. Imagine it this way: the airwaves are saturated with TV and radio signals that can be tuned in with electronic receivers. In a similar way, it's also saturated with Satan's spiritual broadcast. That broadcast of selfishness and wrong attitudes. His conspiracy is to contaminate your mind into rejecting God and His law. Under Satan's influence, humanity has rejected God's guidance and built this world on the wrong foundation.
The spiritual conspiracy of Satan and his demons is multifaceted. He has many strategies, many schemes, and many devices to deceive you. Remember, the devil deceives the whole world! (Rev 12:9) That means people of every nation. That means you and me. I have been deceived. You've been deceived.
Do you think that because you're religious, that you can't be deceived? Jesus revealed that one of the most wide-ranging forms of deception is found in religion. The Bible reveals who is behind many religious deceptions. Notice this: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).
Isn't that amazing? This is not just talking about people throughout the ages who've been manipulated to worship the sun, or their ancestors, or animals, or nature, or imaginary gods, or nothing at all. The astonishing truth is Satan has even corrupted Christianity!
A famous historian recognized this deception. He wrote, "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it…Greek mysteries…contributed to the result… Christianity was the last creation of the ancient pagan world" (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization , pp. 595, 599).
I mean, it's amazing. The devil has done an effective job of combining truth with deception to confuse people about God and what the Bible really means. Think about this: The teachings of most Christian churches have been under the influence of the prince of the power of the air.
You want evidence? A recent nationwide survey conducted by The Barna Group, found that American Christians have beliefs that "are contradictory or, at least, inconsistent." Now here's an example. The survey found that almost 6 out of ten agree that Satan "is not a living being but is a symbol of evil." Now, that's shocking to realize, that only 1 out of 4 Christians strongly agree that Satan is a real being. Now imagine that.
Despite what Jesus taught, despite what the Word of God reveals, despite the clear instruction of God, most Christians actually deny Satan's existence! Doesn't this show that Christianity has failed to preserve the true teaching of God? I mean if you deny that the devil exists, you let your guard down and you let him bring in deception. Some churches have allowed Satan to distort the true teachings of Jesus Christ.
So, are you deceived? Are you practicing the worship of the true God or merely traditions in the name of Christianity? Remember, Jesus' warning. He said, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:9).
So brings us to a critical question: How well does your practice match with the instruction in God's Word?
Now, it's true. Not all conspiracies are real. But Satan is real. He continues to use religion to mislead, to cause confusion and suffering. Satan doesn't care which of these groups you fall into: Whether you believe in God, whether you accept and worship a false god or whether you are deceived into a false view of the true God. He's just out to get you any way he can.
Jesus taught about this. He mentioned this in one of His parables. He said, as soon as some people hear God's truth, "the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12). Don't let this happen to you. Satan will stop at nothing to keep you blinded to the fullness of God's truth.
So we each face questions: Do you understand what you're up against in your spiritual journey? Are you repeatedly caught off guard? Do you recognize wrong influence on your thoughts? That influence on your opinions? Wrong influence on your viewpoint? Are you alert and close enough to God to sense that improper influence?
You know God gives specific guidance to counteract the devil and his influence. James 4:6 says, "…He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.' Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:6-8)
Isn't it amazing that we're given a powerful promise with God's authority? When we resist the influence of Satan, he has to retreat. It's almost like it's backwards for some reason--humbling and yielding brings success. Our normal reaction, isn't it, normally we want to defend ourself, we want to attack anything that threatens self. But, God says the key is to yield to Him. He's got the power. Then He unleashes that power on your behalf and the devil is forced to draw back from you. You see, resisting the devil is the way that we have to earnestly and consistently draw nearer to God and remain close to Him.
Did you know it's possible? It's possible to be protected from Satan's influence, from his way of thinking, from that way of behaving wrongly in our lives. So, how? Well, we need to recognize and acknowledge our sins. We have to repent of them. When we begin to truly repent and submit to God from the heart, we begin to take His Word seriously, and we begin to obey His instruction and His commands. Then! Then His Word, the Bible, begins cleaning up our minds of the evil thoughts and motives.
So, do you regularly ask God for the strength you need to resist Satan's attacks? Are you determined not to give in to temptations? The Bible says to "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).
God's Word clearly shows that Satan exists. He's an evil enemy of every one of us, every Christian. But, if we remember his goal: He wants to deceive us. He wants division. He wants destruction. But on the other hand, the good news is that he can be defeated. With God's help, you can successfully combat and overcome the adversary!
There's so much to discuss on this topic. Up next we'll be talking with the Beyond Today panel. But first, we have a special free offer for you.
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We've been examining the great spiritual conspiracy taking place all around you. What can you do about it? We're going to discuss this with fellow hosts of Beyond Today, Gary Petty and Darris McNeely.
Now as we talk about this game of conspiracy that the devil plays, what exactly is the extent of that deception?
The extent Steve, is exactly as you quoted from the scripture there, where it says that the devil, Satan, has deceived the entire world. It is a, global worldwide deception that covers every age and every epic of human existence, human experience. There's a famous line, the devil's greatest deception is to convince people he doesn't exist. And, perhaps that's probably his biggest deception.
Isn't that amazing…
With so many people, especially those that you quoted, that believe, are Christians, but don't believe he exists.
When you go back to the book of Genesis, we think of Adam and Eve walking out of the garden of Eden. Actually they weren't, they were kicked out. We have to realize that the creator God, kicked humanity out of His presence. And human beings came under the rule of the god of this world, as Paul calls him. And so, there is a god of this world and whether it's government, or religion, or education, or societies, or cultures, his fingerprints are on everything.
Now, how exactly does he do that then? When we talk about the whole world, or the fingerprints on everything, how does that influence manifest itself? You know, how is that possible, that it's everywhere?
The answer is in a scripture that, in Ephesians 2 that talks about the prince of the power of the air. Satan broadcasts by mood, by attitude, in invisible ways that cannot be discerned. Like radio waves or television waves that go through the air. Look, we all have our cell phones and other devices that operate on frequencies we cannot see. We only hear and we see the impact of it. The scripture gives us that indication of how Satan broadcasts his influence and attitudes, his moods into human minds in an invisible manner that we cannot see but it is very, very, real--the prince of the power of the air.
And what we absorb from him is hate, greed, lust, selfishness--these negative parts of human nature--we're actually absorbing from him. That's what we have to recognize. But that's what he does to us.
And so in a sense, he's just broadcasting that and if you're receptive to it, you're going to pick it up and then you're going to reflect that back on others. And so it is a reflection of, the way the world is, we just have to look through history to see throughout time, how that's come about…
The key is just being aware of how he works and that he does in that way, as a first step toward resisting him…
Now that's an important thing. How do we then, if we're surrounded by this broadcast and it's everywhere around and even though we don't see it, what can we do then to combat that influence?
Well, first thing is what Darris just said, we have to recognize it. We have to recognize that we have absorbed those attitudes, those thoughts and we think they're ours because they become ours. We have to recognize it and then understand that we must turn to God to have that changed.
And we choose, the thing is what is it that we're choosing? Do we choose God's way? Do we choose Satan's way? Do we choose love? Do we choose hate? We have to choose these attitudes. We have to choose these mindsets. And he wants us to choose his.
Now we can choose God's way. Can't we? We need that protection. So what do we do? How do we make sure that we get the protection that we need? How do we do that?
I think by an immersion into a standard of truth. The Bible is a standard of truth that you have to either accept or reject. The idea of a devil is not a very chic, modern concept that really we want to admit and believe in and yet, it is a reality. It is an understanding. It's a key to understanding the way the world is today and even a key to some of our own personal problems. But you have to immerse yourself in a standard of truth that gives us the keys to resist Satan, and knowing that he will flee from us, if we have a standard of truth that we base our life and hope in and that's what's called faith.
I think you start with realizing you have to replace that. You have to replace Satan's thoughts with something else. You start with the Sermon on the Mount. Look what Jesus Christ taught as the basic concepts of human thought, human conduct. Go there when you begin to replace that with something else.
Then we realize that we need protection. We need God's authority in our life. We need God's holy spirit. We need to change from our perspective and put on God's way. We need to get closer to Him, don't we?
But we have to have God's help. You can't play chess with Satan and expect to win. You just can't. You need something greater than ourselves to fight this real, spiritual being who is very intelligent, very powerful and wants to destroy humanity.
It is amazing when the Bible describes it as spiritual wickedness in these high places, that there is an authority there for the moment, that God's eventually going to do away with. But we better turn to God and get His protection in order to make sure that we're living His way and have that guidance from Him.
It's so much to the subject that, you probably need some more information, so we hope you'll remember our free offers today. They're designed to help you as you study. Is There Really a Devil? will help you grasp the real truth about the adversary of all of us, of every Christian.
And you can get it by reading it online at BeyondToday.tv or download it, or request your own copy. We'll mail it to you free of charge. Or you can call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632 and request your free booklet.
Now don't forget your free subscription to The Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you recognize what's going on in our world in the light of your Bible. There are also all kinds of articles that are relevant to your everyday life.
So go online and request your free subscription. You can leave us a comment or you can even ask us a question.
Is there really a devil? Yes. Absolutely. But you don't have to be fearful or live under his influence.
God assures us that the time is coming when Satan and his evil spiritual conspiracy of suffering, misery, and the mental anguish that he brings, will be terminated.
God wants you and everyone to have peace, prosperity and happiness. So follow God's instructions and develop a close relationship with Him. With God's help, you can successfully combat and overcome the adversary!
Thanks for joining me today. I hope you tell your family and friends about our programs. I'd like to invite you back again next week, at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today . I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.