feast: The Handwriting is on the Wall: Conspiracies
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 02-Oct-09; 49 minutes
Evelyn and I watched the Steven Spielberg movie, Munich, a couple of months ago. It is the story of Israel's attempt to take revenge of the assassinations by the Muslims who killed 11 members of the Israeli wrestling team during the 1972 Olympics. The movie is historical fiction. It is derived from a book titled, Vengeance, written by a Canadian journalist and it uses some actual news clips from the 1972 event. There is a loose weaving of actual historical facts within the film, but it also includes a great deal of fictional dialogue, and action and reaction.
It impressed us in regard to two realities that it showed. The first being that it showed, rather impressively, that taking revenge, even though it is against a proven vicious enemy, at first may seem justified but in the end it likely produces the death of oneself and almost certainly intense physiological suffering before death comes.
The film begins with the Palestinians taking revenge against the Israelis because they believe that the Israelis have unfairly taken their land from them. An Israeli death squad is then formed to retaliate and in their revenge succeeded, eventually killing 9 of the Palestinians.
Now it takes several years for them to do this because the Palestinian perpetrators are scattered throughout all of Western Europe, so it took them a long time to find them, and find them they did, but along the way, the Israeli death squad paid a very high toll.
First, each member of the death squad is utterly cut off from all of his family and associates. They become persona non grata, even in Israel. In fact, in regard to Israel, they officially ceased to exist except for a few people in the Mossad, which is the Israeli version of the CIA.
Second, even though they are achieving success, we also witness the gradual disintegration of the passionate, confident attitude that they had at the very beginning. At the start, they were angry and they single-mindedly believed that what they were doing was justified. But the team’s bomb maker withdrew from the group after several years saying that he felt that what he was doing was immoral and unrighteous. So he departed from the rest, but instead, he apparently committed suicide, blowing himself to bits with one of his bombs.
Arguments erupt amongst them frequently and one by one they, too, are killed. And finally only the team’s leader remains alive, and incidentally he is still alive today. By the film’s end, he is depicted as dispirited, disillusioned, and virtually insane with paranoia. He fears even his Mossad leaders are attempting to kill him because he knows so much about so many things the Israeli government is trying to hide from others.
Now the second item is the one that I am most interested in for the purpose of this sermon. The film clearly depicted the entire Western world as ripe with national conspiracies that are very often at cross purposes even with their supposed allies.
One vivid example involved a Palestinian by the name of Salameh. He was the Israeli group’s main target. He was the man who was the originator, the architect of the original attack of the Palestinians in Munich. They had a very hard time locating him. They finally located him, I believe it was in London, and they trapped him in a very vulnerable position. Escape for him seemed impossible. In fact, the Israelis were only a few feet and probably one minute from killing him when American CIA agents deliberately, pretending to be drunk, made a great deal of noise to alert Salameh and thus allowed him to escape.
It turned out that the Americans were protecting this murderous man, knowing full well who he was but using him the their own ends. Salameh was eventually killed in 1979 by a car bomb explosion.
The film also intimated that the Russian KGB was involved, and strikingly depicted a large French family deeply involved with many national assassins, selling information at very high prices to anybody that was willing to pay and thus this family lived at a very high level.
But the movie depicted that family suffered a great deal of physiological stress. Its members were very much at odds with each other because many in that family detested the family leaders who involved them in this dirty business.
History reveals that conspiring alliances of nations of some type have existed for a variety of reasons. The two most common reasons are (1) to nullify power against a common enemy and, (2) at the same time can strengthen power for the purposes of conquest by those within the alliance.
Occasionally, a singular superpower comes into existence on its own and it begins by conquering weaker powers on its borders and occasionally builds into an empire. Such was the case with Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
The most common form of nationhood over the past 2000 years has been of individual nations formed because of the commonalities of its citizens, and thus, we see nations like Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the United States, and two modern nations of Israel.
But the rise of technology has provided rapid transportation in communication in the 19th and 20th centuries which have helped to trigger political and economic circumstances that are helping force the nations into entirely different configurations.
We use phrases like, “the world is getting smaller every day.” The world has not shrunk one inch, but what has happened is that with rapid transportation in communication, it has diminished the amount of time it takes to do business. It makes the world seem smaller.
Europe is less than 6 hours from the east coast of the United States and Canada. That used to be a journey of a couple of months by boat. Another factor is that very much of international business and politics are conducted in a single common language—English. Not only is business much faster and all travel, for all reasons, is much faster, all these factors are blurring the borders between nations.
Nations are more and more tending towards commercial unions that have built in them some measure of intent for a political union. It starts out commercially, but the end is to be a political union. They are called common markets. The United States is the richest and most successful common market that the world has ever seen. Its fifty states have very much in common though, and this has paved the way for much of its success.
The European common market is much different in this regard. The members share a common continent but little else. There is no common language, currency, or ethnicity. The members have often been at war with one another, and even though the strides they have made towards a unity have been uneven, they are nonetheless remarkable. What has been accomplished in such a short period of time is remarkable.
Thus, they are setting a pattern which others nations in other parts of the world that have very little in common are preparing to follow. Many in the United States from business, academia, and politics want to become involved under the heading of globalism.
We often hear talk of a new world order. The possibilities of having conspiracies to bring the United States in alignment with other nations abound on the Internet. I am asked quite often whether I believe in conspiracy theories. Yes I do and here is why. It is not complicated at all.
The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one!
Another scripture that fits into this category right now comes from the Old Testament in Job 41. The subject of this chapter is leviathan. Anybody can read this and we know that the one that is being spoken of here it is only symbolized by leviathan.
Job 41:33 On earth there is nothing like him which is made without fear.
Think of this in terms of Satan. He has no fear. He does not fear God, even though he can see Him. Even though he attacked God at one time, and was terribly defeated, but he still has no fear.
Job 41:34 He beholds every high thing; he is king over all the children of pride.
Now this first reason why I believe is the most important. It is because there is a Satan and though he is a dupe in the hands of Almighty God our Creator, our Creator has given him a great deal of latitude in governing what the Creator has given him. Satan is the ruler of this world.
What does he stand to gain from his efforts at deceiving mankind? In his mind, he has much in every way. I want you to notice in Revelation 9:11
Revelation 9:11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Both of these names mean destruction or destroyer. This is the one whose dominant features bear this characteristic. This is Satan. He is so ingrained to destroy that he cannot help himself. And coupled with the fact that he has no fear of anything, he just keeps on moving, always making efforts to destroy anybody that would get in the way of his path. His every thought is given over to ultimately destroy whatever he is working toward. As much as God takes pleasure in creating, Satan takes pleasure in destroying.
Now back to John 8:44, a very familiar scripture. Jesus is speaking here and He tells the Jews:
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, [we can see very clearly what the subject is] and the desires of your father you want to do. . . .
Pay attention to that: The desires of your father, who is the ruler of this world, who was influencing men and women to go in the direction of destruction that he wants them to go and they have no way to fight back. I am sure that many of these people do not even believe that he exists.
John 8:44b He was a murderer from the beginning [destroying life] and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
These traits add to his arsenal of destruction. To him, there is much to be gained through destruction and sometimes it is hard for us to imagine a being so violently twisted in his thinking that he lives to destroy. He hates God to such a degree that he literally lives to destroy God, God's purpose, and any possibility of a relationship of mankind with God. He lives to destroy any possibility of unity, harmony, and peace with God and with each other. It is his desire to deceitfully create and promote confusion, anger, envy, covetousness, and to make people feel that they are being taken advantage of and mistreated, especially by God.
He holds authority over all the operations of all the cultural systems on earth that the Bible calls “this world.” This being, this spirit, is so supremely full of itself that the author of that spirit believed, and still does to this day, that he can conquer God and displace Him from His throne.
Now this spirit managed to conspire and persuade one third of the angels to follow him in this impossible attempt and he will do it again as Revelation 12:7-9 shows. And meanwhile he is deceiving all of mankind in the process.
Turn with me to Genesis 3:1 Notice the wording here:
Genesis 3:1 Now that serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'you shall not eat of every tree in the garden'?”
There goes the persuasive powers to make Eve feel as though she was being taken advantage of; to begin to build up in her a bit of resentment and to question God's Word. Now cunning is not a word usually associated with achieving good. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: marked by or given to artful subtlety and deceptiveness.
By means of cunning, he is continually employed in his work of destruction. So the pattern of mankind’s antagonistic relationship against God is established in this event. This is where it started, with Adam and Eve. He twisted Adam and Eve's thinking in regard to God by subtle suggestions that God was unfairly withholding good from them and that continues to this very day.
We are going to shift gears here just a little and begin to make it more direct and personal. Just from the opening we can see overall there is a dynamic lying, twisted, destroying being who is persuading and influencing people to go in the direction that he wants them to go.
John 13:27 Now after the piece of bread [that Jesus gave to Judas], Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
Besides this very clear occasion, there are numerous instances in Scripture showing demon spirits dominating people's minds and bodies and using them as they will and they influence people towards destruction of anything that God labels good.
Let us go to Luke 22. We are still on the subject of Judas here.
Luke 22:1-5 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him [Jesus], for they feared the people. Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.
Interestingly, Satan enters in and he immediately begins to conspire with the priests to put Jesus to death. First to deliver him into their hands and then of course they would be free to do with Him as they will. Now let us expand out on this just a little bit with a couple of very familiar scriptures.
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which 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.
It is not just Judas, it is not just a few powerful people that he leads in government, or in business, or in academia; he has influence over all of mankind until God, in His mercy, breaks that bondage of individuals here and there, that bondage to Satan and to his influence, against which we are virtually helpless. So his power, brethren, is really widespread and he has no fear, and all he lives for is to destroy God and anything connected with God's purpose, and that includes you and me.
Now at this moment, Satan is moving men, especially people in positions of power, to conspire to form into an alliance of 10 nations that will ultimately fight against God even as Satan led angels. God fully intends, and intended from the beginning, that each nation be sovereign on its own. But what do men want to do? They want to join together and multiply their power. They think that is a better way. Guess who is cunningly putting those thoughts into their minds that this is a better way? Except the way that God wanted was for each nation to be sovereign on its own.
Now it is very nice, kind, and graceful of God to show us that it happened before. So we already have a pattern where men did this.
Genesis 11:4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the earth.”
Can you see the pattern here? “Let's all get together, let's unify, let's form an alliance, let's not be scattered, let's not have sovereign nations, let's all join together to be one. How much better that would be.”
Genesis 11:5-6 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.”
So it has happened before and interestingly as we approach the return of Jesus Christ what are men trying to do? To become one again. I am letting you know why I believe in conspiracies. Was Satan working through Nimrod and his fellow henchmen? He was guiding and directing men to form what became know as Babylon.
Now let us look at an interesting scripture in Proverbs. Because of Satan, it is in the mind of men to conspire and I think that it is so interesting that in Proverbs 1 . . . here is this marvelous book of wisdom, and right after Solomon gets done with his opening statements as to why this book has been written and how it can profit people—let us pick up the story in verse 10:
Proverbs 1:10-19 My son if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; cast in your lot among us [the first chapter of this book of wisdom God teaches us do not conspire to join together.], let us all have one purse”—My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
And that is what I thought the movie Munich showed so clearly. Everybody in that movie got destroyed in some way operating their conspiracies for revenge. What did they want to do? They wanted to destroy one another.
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those given to change.
Keil and Delitzsch say that this means: do not join with dissidents, rebels, and revolutionaries. What will they do? They will conspire to overthrow governments. Now we are getting closer and closer to the end and as we do it is very interesting that God's Word begins to warn us of things.
Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against the His anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” [What is he talking about there? He is talking about a conspiracy against God of the nations.]
Now verse 9. This time the psalm has switched and it is talking of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 2:9 You [Jesus] shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
So the psalm begins with mankind clearly plotting against God and at stake is the rulership of the earth, but then one comes along who breaks them with a rod of iron. Now you can see why Jesus said in Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15 that at Christ's return, this conspiring shall come to an end and He will rule all nations with a rod of iron. Thus we have a connection between Psalm 2 and the conspiracies that take place before Christ's return and then in the book of Revelation after He returns He beats those things into pieces with a rod of iron.
Psalm 83:1-5 Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people [there is the conspiracy], and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation [talking about destroying Israel], that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You:
Psalm 83:12 Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.”
Now who said that? The conspirators said that. You think the conspirators would not like to get the United States of America and its pastures? Oh they would love it. What a blessed land.
One thing that we have got to understand is that because of Satan, conspiracies are rampant all over the world. Ethnicity does not matter, race does not matter. If you tune into the news, you will know that there are conspiracies taking place in virtually every nation on the face of the earth. You are reading or hearing about it very often about a government being overthrown and some new group of people taking over the government in that nation.
We can go way back in the Bible and we can see conspiracies right in the family of Jacob. The sons of Jacob conspired against Joseph, and only by God's intervention was Joseph's life saved through Reuben.
In II Samuel, Absalom conspired against Amnon and David. In I Kings 21:7-16, 24, Jezebel conspired against Naboth to get his vineyard from him. How many conspiracies are shown in the book of Judges? It is in our blood; it is part of our spirit to conspire, overthrow, and destroy.
In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people of the land conspired against both Ezra and Nehemiah. In Mark 3, it starts early in the life of Jesus that people began to conspire against Him.
In Matthew 22:15, Matthew 27:1 and if you want to go back to the Old Testament, some portions of the book of Amos show the rich conspiring against the poor within the nation to get their money. All kinds of fraudulent business going on and people will take advantage of any situation “to make a killing,” as they say.
Now what has happened in this nation in our lifetime? Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone? Self interest drove those jobs to China, Japan, India, Mexico, Turkey, and many other nations. The wealthy had the power to do this and they conspired with the government of the United States and other governments to have the jobs shipped to those nations because they could make more money that way. They conspired to do that.
Did you ever stop to think that bribery is part and parcel of a conspiracy, as is fraud? You may not remember, but it was just a few years ago that several large corporations in the United States in the electronics industry conspired with one another to set the price on CDs. Well the government caught up with them. Fraud is the result of a conspiracy to make more money.
Can you begin to see what it is that drives conspiracies? It is self interest, the desire for more power, the desire for more money. People begin to make connections here and there and begin to say, “Hey, let's get together, and we'll combine things, and between us we will really make a killing,” just like Proverbs 1 says.
I am not saying that none of us should ever go into business in a partnership. I am not saying that at all. But you can see what is driving it—it is the self interest, the personal gain. Now this same thing is happening in politics because the same nature is driving the people in politics as is driving the people in the commercial world as well.
Do you think that the leftist leaders of this present administration have not conspired to get back into control of the government these past 8 years? And what pray tell do you think the Republicans are doing probably right at this moment? They are plotting their revenge and conspiring with one another to get the power of the government back into their hands. What is driving it is their self interest; their desire to be able to control; the desire to be able to manipulate; the desire for power, money, or some kind of gain.
Forms of the word conspire appear 35 times in Scripture, but its synonyms appear numerous times more. Synonyms are: plot; plan; design; devise; scheme; contrive; chafe; arrange; concoct; engineer; purpose; propose; frame.
God created us so that we are not absolutely locked into and confined solely in the present. God made it possible for us to think spatially. However, because we are carnally self-centered and influenced by Satan’s spirit, most often we are going to naturally think about how we can make things better for ourselves. This is what drives conspiracies. All that Satan has to do is influence people to go in a given direction, and this is what he will cunningly take advantage of. The desire for self-improvement.
In the area of politics, these powerfully placed people are mostly Americans, British, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedes, Danes, Norwegian, Belgian, and some Spanish. Have you noticed that they are almost all Israelites? They no longer think and plan regarding their commercial, political, and personal interest on a national sovereignty basis. To them, the future is global and they are moving to position themselves so that they are in a position to take advantage of the way events are moving and that is their focus. It is self interest and the spirit of Satan that is the driving force. It is going to succeed; we know absolutely that it will succeed because God's Word says so.
In the United States, at the heart and core of it is the single most powerful organization in America. It is the Trilateral Commission, ably supported and assisted by the Council of Foreign Relations. Now I want you to understand that these people are not particularly evil people as we would normally think of evil, but they are driven by self interest and they are in a position to affect moves that would be good for them. They are simply following human nature’s drive to look out for themselves.
Do not be deceived into thinking that all these people have to be in lock-step agreement with each other. They do not! Always understand that anywhere that Satan operates there will be confusion, fighting, and maybe even chaos, but nonetheless it will keep moving in the direction that he wants it to go.
But his kingdom will not stand. The organization these people move about in may be called the Bildebergers, the Illuminati, the Club of Rome, the Order of the Garter, it used to be maybe the G-7, then it became the G-8 and now it is the G-20. Notice how big it is getting. We might eventually see G-50 or something like that. They are all working towards the Satan-devised goal.
Just knowing who is who is not really going to help us very much spiritually at all. Our responsibility is to get ready for God's Kingdom right under the noses of those who are conspiring to put together their plan to succeed commercially, politically, in the years ahead, and they are doing this because they have become convinced that it is good. So they are moving to position themselves according to their beliefs.
Now our attention must be focused on the responsibility that God has given us to do. These other things like the move towards globalism can, in the end, become nothing but a huge, Satan-devised distraction that will bring us to failure.
For a final scripture I want us to turn to Isaiah 8. We are breaking into the middle of a prophesy here.
Isaiah 8:9-13 “Be shattered [ God says], O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; [You can see God is talking about a conspiracy here.] Speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” 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: “Do not say, 'A conspiracy,' [Do not say don't be afraid of this, a conspiracy] concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.
Here is what is happening, brethren. This took place when Ahaz was king of Judah and he feared that a conspiracy was coming together involving Israel—the 10 northern tribes and Damascus, the Syrians. So Ahaz in turn made an alliance with Assyria. Now he did this in order, he felt, to strengthen himself. God is warning him not to fear conspiracy, but rather put his trust in God. But what happened was this: Ahaz did not put his trust in God, Assyria was in the picture and so Assyria took a big bite out of Israel. They destroyed it between 721 and 718, right around in there, and then Judah's partner Syria began devouring Judah. You can read it. One city at a time they began.
So the lesson here from God is: Do not get involved in conspiracies. They are a fact of life because it is the way of human nature, and to me it is a clear warning to us to not allow this ongoing conspiracy to consume our time and therefore our life, because it is going to come to an end because God Himself is against it. And what God is telling us is that His will will be done regardless of what we think that we know about this conspiracy.
Some people are so involved in their perception of prophesy that it interferes. It even interferes so that people go to certain festival sites because they think or they know that they are going to get sermons on prophesy. So it is determining what they are spending their time and efforts thinking about.
Apparently they do not believe what it says in I Corinthians 13 where Paul said:
So the lesson for this opening sermon tonight is this: They are there, they are reality, but do not get yourself so involved in them that you lose yourself and spend your time and efforts trying to know who's who and what’s what right down to the last detail, because I am confident that when you reach that place, your answer is going to be wrong.