Pastor Al, the late-night parson, answers again...
It's All a Conspiracy!|
Posted: 4 January 2010
I was standing with a group of people at a health care reform conference when an intense, skinny guy with a sparse beard, sharp features, and piercing eyes came over to me. I saw him trying to engage others earlier and would have avoided him except that I was waiting to speak to one of the conference organizers.
He fixed me with an intense stare and started to lecture me on the dangers of a government takeover of health care. From there he branched off to a variety of conspiratorial rants, ending with why he KNEW that the United States government blew up the World Trade Center towers and sent a missile into the Pentagon on 9-11. Then, looking at my Air Force hat, he said emphatically, "And we NEVER landed on the moon."
Now, I know a few things about conspiracy theories. I am by no means an expert but I have been reading about them since my teen years back in the 1970's. The Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the Skull and Bones, Freemasonry, the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, the Knights of Malta, International Zionism, the Jesuits, the International Bankers, the International Communists, the Group, the Order, the Rothschilds, Queen Victoria, the Rockefellers, the Clintons, Walt Disney, you name it and I've probably read about it.
Over the years I noticed how interrelated the various groups are. Chances are, if your favorite conspiracy group is not listed above, it is tied into one or more that are. I also noticed that groups merge and morph over the years and new groups rise from the ashes of others. That explains why many of today's conspiracy groups haven't been around for more than a few hundred years despite thousands of years of human history.
That got me to thinking. If so many of these groups are so similar in their goals and methodologies and have so many leaders and members in common, could there be a larger, more sinister, conspiracy behind the scenes controlling the groups that we see. I also began to wonder why, if these groups are so pervasive, they haven't been successful in achieving world domination and control yet. (The very fact that I can write this and you can read it proves they haven't!)
The truth is, there is a master conspiracy and there is a very good reason why it has not yet succeeded. The Apostle Paul wrote about it in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 when he said, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way."
The "mystery of iniquity" is the satanic master conspiracy that has been trying to dominate and control not only the world but the whole universe and all of heaven. It began shortly after the creation of the heaven and the earth when Lucifer said, "...I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13-14)"
The Devil conspired against God, enlisting perhaps a third of the angels (Rev 12:4) and eventually even Adam and Eve (Gen 3) in his efforts to control and dominate heaven and earth. The satanic conspiracy spread so far and so fast that God was forced to destroy the world with a flood (Genesis 6-8), saving only Noah and his family alive.
Despite repeated efforts ever since, Satan has been unsuccessful in bringing his plans to fruition. He has employed countless individuals, groups, and even whole nations in his quest for domination and control but has been thwarted at every turn. True, he may have had some apparent successes from time to time. Nevertheless, something or someone has kept him from in achieving his goal.
That something or someone is hinted at in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Look at that verse again: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." The "he" in the verse implies a someone rather than a something. Also, "letteth" and "let" suggest an action taken by that someone.
Let's discuss the action part of this verse first. The action portrayed in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is conveyed with the words, "letteth" and "let". Now you may be thinking that "letteth" and "let" imply permitting; the opposite of a restraining action. However, "letteth" and "let" actually have to do with hindering or impeding in this case.
It's kind of like using the word "let" in the legal phrase, "without let or hindrance." In fact, the same Greek word, translated as "letteth" in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is translated as "withholdeth" in verse 6: "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time."
Something or someone, therefore, is actively impeding the "mystery of iniquity" and will continue to do so until taken out of the way. Unfortunately, many commentators in the past identified the "he" in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 as the Roman empire and the "mystery of iniquity" as Roman Catholicism. They contend that the secular government of the Roman empire kept the power of the Roman Catholic Church in check. As the empire's civil power waned the church's civil power waxed. When the Roman Empire fell then the Roman Catholic pontiff, the "man of sin", was revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The problem with that is 2 Thessalonians 2:4 tells us that the "man of sin", otherwise known as the antichrist, "...as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." The temple here clearly is not the Vatican, as some would teach, because the Vatican is the seat of an apostate, false institution portraying itself as the true church. Neither does it refer to believers, even though 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 calls believers the "temple of God".
No, the temple in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 refers instead to a future temple which will be rebuilt in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. It is in that temple that the antichrist will enter at the midpoint of the seven year Tribulation period and, as Daniel 9:27 says, "...he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Therefore, the "mystery of iniquity" is not Roman Catholicism but rather the satanic master conspiracy, nor is what restrains it the Roman empire. Which brings us back to the question of who the "he" of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is.
Jesus Christ gives us a clue in John 16:7 when he said, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
Prior to this dispensation of grace the Spirit of God came upon God's people and left. For instance, in 1 Samuel 16:14 we read, "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul…" And King David begged God to, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalms 51:11)" However, since the advent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:8), the Holy Spirit now comes upon believers at the time of salvation, sealing us until the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13-14).
What's more, Ephesians 4:30 tells us that we are "sealed unto the day of redemption." That means that the Holy Spirit is in us, sealing us, until the day the Lord catches us up to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). That event, known as the Rapture, marks the removal of the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) to heaven. It also marks the end of the Christians' ministry of being moral salt and spiritual light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16).
Salt and light, of course, hinder decay and darkness. Now, it is not the Christians who hinder moral decay and spiritual darkness in the world but rather the Holy Spirit working through them. Consequently, the Holy Spirit is now actively impeding "the mystery of iniquity" by working through believers and will continue to do so "until he be taken out of the way."
Now that's comforting! It means that Satan, the master conspirator, cannot succed until God allows him to. He does not know when the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way. He does not know just which group will be successful. What he does know is that he needs to be ready.
And we need to be ready as well. If you are not saved you need to know that "...now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)" If you are saved you need to know that "...now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)"