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Why Christians Should Not Be Advocates Of Conspiracy Theories

by John Edmiston

(Isaiah 8:10-17 NKJV) Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us." {11} For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: {12} "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. {13} The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. {14} He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. {15} And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken." {16} Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples. {17} And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him.

Wherever there is power, wherever there is unguarded wealth, there will be a conspiracy or three to gain the power or the wealth for the group that covets it.

There are thousands of such conspiracies - Communist conspiracies, Masonic conspiracies, Jesuit conspiracies, Jewish conspiracies, conspiracies involving the Kabala and the occult, conspiracies involving the New Age or the Nazis or right-wing power groups. Conspiracies to hide and protect money, run drugs and influence world markets. Collusion, secrecy and planning are common to such conspiracies. They are part of political life in a fallen world. However all such conspiracies are, as it were, "on a leash".

They can only go so far before God, who sees the things in secret will expose them, confound them, and bring them to naught. For there is no planning and no counsel against the Lord. (Proverbs 21:30 NKJV) There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD.

Some Bible Verses

The following bible verses illustrate that God is in control and that schemers and conspirators will come to nothing.

(Job 5:12-13 NKJV) He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. {13} He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.

(Psalms 33:8-11 NKJV) Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. {9} For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. {10} The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. {11} The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.

(Proverbs 16:9 NKJV) A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

(Proverbs 19:21 NKJV) There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel; that will stand.

(Psalms 2:2-4 NKJV) The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, {3} "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." {4} He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.

(Job 12:13-25 NKJV) "With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. {14} If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release. {15} If He withholds the waters, they dry up; If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. {16} With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His. {17} He leads counselors away plundered, And makes fools of the judges. {18} He loosens the bonds of kings, And binds their waist with a belt. {19} He leads princes away plundered, And overthrows the mighty. {20} He deprives the trusted ones of speech, And takes away the discernment of the elders. {21} He pours contempt on princes, And disarms the mighty. {22} He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light. {23} He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. {24} He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. {25} They grope in the dark without light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

God Foils The Conspiracy

Clearly no conspiracy can totally succeed against the plans and counsel of God. For instance Absalom conspired to overthrow David. It was a large and carefully planned conspiracy guided by the wise and crafty Ahitophel.

(2 Samuel 15:12 NKJV) Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city; from Giloh; while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

The rebellion was launched, Absalom declared himself king, David has to flee from Jerusalem and all looked lost until Hushai the kings friend confounded the counsel; of Ahitophel and David's network of spies among the priests brought him vital intelligence. In a few days Absalom was dead, the conspiracy was overthrown and David restored to the throne. Absalom's conspiring was dangerous and id start a war and cause a national crisis. But God overthrew the conspiracy (2 Samuel 17:14) and it came to nothing.

Similarly the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees conspired together to have Jesus crucified. (Acts 4:25-29) The conspiracy indeed resulted in the death of Jesus. But God triumphed over plotting, scheming, injustice and the power-brokers, and raised Jesus from the dead. Later, in 70 AD God razed Jerusalem, the temple and the power base of the plotters to the ground.

Finally, there was the conspiracy to kill Paul:

(Acts 23:12-13 NASB) And when it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. {13} And there were more than forty who formed this plot.

Paul's nephew found out about the plot, informed the Roman commander and Paul was taken under guard by 200 Roman soldiers to Caesarea This has left some commentators wondering about how long the forty conspirators kept their oath to "neither eat or drink".

God Decides Who Will Be In Power

While conspiracies may place someone in power for a moment God decide who will wield power in the long run. Absalom was king for a week. But David ruled for forty years. In the end there will be no human kingdoms, just the Kingdom of God, ruled by Jesus Christ and His servants. Even the conspiracies of the Anti-Christ will fail and even Satan himself will be thwarted, how much more the conspiracies of today's politicians and bankers!

(Revelation 11:15 NKJV) Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

(Revelation 2:26-27 NKJV) "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; {27} 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'; as I also have received from My Father;

Ultimately God decides who will be in power. That does not mean that every politician is legitimate or honest or fairly elected or there as a result of the will of God. Many are usurpers and frauds, there because of a "power base" in some sectional interest. But this is nothing to worry about. One day their plan will fail, their power base will collapse and they will be replaced by someone of God's own choosing. The prophet Daniel was continually conspired against by the other administrators in Babylon. Here is his view of power:

(Daniel 4:24-26 NKJV) this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: {25} They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. {26} And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules.

"Heaven rules" - even over Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the "head of gold". After Nebuchadnezzar was humbled and learned his political lesson this is what he wrote:

(Daniel 4:34-37 NKJV) And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. {35} All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" {36} At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. {37} Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

King Nebuchadnezzar found out that: "And those who walk in pride He is able to put down." including kings and nobles and conspirators. The well known example of a failed conspiracy was against Daniel when he was thrown into a den of lions. The result? Daniel delivered and satraps for a leonine lunch!

God appoints who will be in power and can set "the lowliest of men" in power (Daniel 4:17). David puts it this way:

(1 Chronicles 29:11-12 NKJV) Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. {12} Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.

It is God who retains the power to make great and to give strength to all.

Mary caught a vision of this in her speech:

(Luke 1:51-53 NKJV) He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. {52} He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. {53} He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.

The Political Consequences

Does this mean that a Nero, a Hitler, a Mussolini, or a Saddam Hussein are from the Lord and that their decisions are His will? Not al all! The wicked gain power for a moment that God may destroy them forever. The classic case of this is Pharaoh:

(Romans 9:17 NKJV) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."

By resisting God's will Pharaoh allowed God to demonstrate His great power on behalf of Israel, a power that would have been unable to be exercised in any moral way had Pharaoh cooperated.

(Exodus 7:4-5 NKJV) "But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. {5} "And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them."

God is totally in charge and the wicked do not catch Him by surprise by rather go their appointed fate:

(Proverbs 16:4 NKJV) The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

Thus God is in a dynamic interaction with the political world. God strengthens the righteous: 2 Chronicles 16: 9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." and as we have seen above He overthrows the wicked. Individual politicians have room to make choices and some like Saul make poor choices while others like Manasseh repent to everyone's astonishment.

As people repent and fear God - He blesses the, As others hide in darkness and multiply schemes He thwarts them. However is someone should give up their wickedness God is glad and relents of the calamity He has planned. Psalm 18 neatly captures God's interaction with human character:

(Psalms 18:24-26 NKJV) Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. {25} With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; {26} With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

But Aren't Conspiracies Dangerous?

Conspiracies are dangerous but not victorious. They can cause a lot of civil unrest and strife as Absalom certainly did, they can even kill the righteous - as they did with Jesus. But in the end they will come to nothing.

As a missionary I have occasionally lived in some trouble spots where there were rebels or gangs or terrorists and where there were also members of various government agencies. I have taken on cults and criminals and even had a few death threats and two kidnap attempts. But God has always delivered me, and "even if He does not" as Shadrach said, I will not bow down to fear and to evil. In such situations it is easy to get a bit paranoid and to see shadows everywhere and to want to "nut out" all the details of the various plots and "know what is going on". But such an attitude only breeds fear and spiritual and emotional insecurity. I just do my ministry, stay out of trouble and take due and reasonable security precautions without getting too concerned.

Conspiracies can be tied up with religious and occultic forces and so the Christian should be able to defeat curses and engage in spiritual warfare - but again without becoming fearful, anxious or paranoid. If you want a short primer on spiritual warfare click here . Remember sorcery is never completely effective against God's people: (Numbers 23:23 NKJV) "For there is no sorcery against Jacob, Nor any divination against Israel. It now must be said of Jacob And of Israel, 'Oh, what God has done!'

The Babylonians trusted in conspiracies and sorcery and this is what Isaiah prophesied about them:

(Isaiah 47:9-11 NKJV) But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments. {10} "For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, 'No one sees me'; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me.' {11} Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know.

So even the most wicked, occultic, secret conspiracies can be, and will be, defeated by the Sovereign Lord of the Universe, our God and Savior, Jesus Christ who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Proper Christian Attitude To Conspiracies

(Isaiah 8:12-13 NKJV) "Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. {13} The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.

Isaiah gives us four key attitudes to conspiracies:

  • Do not say "a conspiracy".

  • Do not be afraid of their threats

  • Do not be troubled.

  • Fear God alone.

We are not to be concerned with conspiracies. God will deal with them. Rather we are to be concerned with living righteous lives in the fear of the Lord. David, Daniel, Jesus and Paul were unafraid, they simply trusted God in the middle of the conspiracies launched against them and let God deliver them. And He did! The proper Christian attitude to conspiracies is neither fight nor flight, not fear or concern but faith and peace in the sovereignty of God who has dealt with conspiracies since the dawn of mankind.

© Copyright GlobalChristians.Org 1997

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.