The Conspiracy

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Why to the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? Psalm 2:1

At least since the time this Psalm was written there has been a world wide conspiracy. From what is written about Adam and Eve’s experiences in the Garden of Eden, it is safe to say the conspiracy began at the beginning of human history.

A conspiracy is just a plan to do something. Psalm 2 tells us the goal of the plan that has been in place for all of human existence. That is to slough off the rule of God Himself. They are still at it. Whether we are talking about political leaders, world bankers or whomever, many are trying to create a world that operates as if God does not exist and they have all the power and authority.

Most of you who understand the symbolism in the image I have used above will know about the following history better than I, so please forgive my lack of details and specificity. For decades now, the term conspiracy theorist has been used in a derogatory way. The term was coined by the CIA for the purpose of mocking anyone trying to figure out what the conspiracy is. A theorist is simply someone who is trying to come up with an explanation about something. A conspiracy theorist is someone who is coming up with scenarios to explain the conspiracy. We have been taught to see such people as crazy and to marginalize them. Those who started this trend don’t want anyone to figure out the plan. The plan is theirs, and it will be thwarted if too many people understand it.

Therefore, there is much value in learning what the various theories may be (or in doing the hard work of unveiling these things). Ephesians 6:12 tells us that all our battles are spiritual. If you look into the conspiracies very far, you might get overwhelmed with it all. You might feel hopeless to do anything about it. I felt that way until I remembered that the real fight is spiritual. The one who came up with the plan and who is pulling the strings of the people who think they are in control is Satan himself. We know that only God can conquer him and already has. For this reason, we can take great comfort at: 1) looking at world events, comparing them to Scripture (Daniel, Revelation, Matthew, most of the prophets, etc.), and reading the work of the conspiracy theorists. 2) Asking God what He is doing amid all of this. And 3) Asking God if He has a role for us in all this.

Those of you who are new to the idea that conspiracy theories are legitimate or who still don’t know what to think, I encourage you to take the following steps.

Before you get started, re-read Revelation and look for the promises made to God’s people. For a long time, I saw Revelation as a scary book stating that lots of bad stuff happens at the end of time. Many people spend a lot of time trying to figure out if God’s people will have to be around to experience it all. I recently read the book again and saw the promises. It is quite encouraging. For example, have you ever worried about how you would feed your kids when you choose not to accept the mark of the beast? Revelation says there will be hidden manna for God’s people.

Once you have read Revelation again, start keeping up with world events. Ask one of the conspiracy theorist you know what sources they trust. Granted, there are some conspiracy theorists who are crazy. However, many do solid research using sources you can trust (better than the big time “journalists”). Read from several to determine who you trust.

Throughout this process, keep praying. Ask God to show you what to pay attention to. It’s amazing how He will show up and reveal things to you. Once you begin to understand some of the things that the enemy is up to, you will very readily see what is in God’s heart as an answer to these things. Begin praying for God to strengthen and encourage those already in the fight. If you feel a longing to be in the fight, ask God what your role is.

To the frogs, I want to say thanks for all you do. I love you. I am praying for you all to have a community of people who will love and support you even when they don’t understand. I am praying that you will always be made aware of the right news at the right time and that you will be supplied with the best evidence. I pray that you will have favor with the right people of power who can act on the proper information.

Finally, always remember…. Not only is our fight against the spiritual realm, but God is using His people to bewilder and prove His greatness to the most powerful beings in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 3:10). God sits in Heaven and laughs at all those who plot against Him (Psalm 2). He likes to use people to accomplish His goals.

We are living in exciting times. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are on the winning side, so have no fear. Just jump in the fight. It’s way better than sitting around worrying about the state of the world and hoping it will all turn out OK.

Layers of Trust

Photo by Armin Hanisch from FreeImages

Most are familiar with John 3:16. It says “For God so loved the world that He sent his only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

For about the first 35 years of my life, I interpreted that verse in this way:

1) Belive that Jesus is God. 2) Believe that His death was sufficient to cancel out all your sins. 3) Then, you can live with God in Heaven forever when you die.

I now believe that this verse is way deeper and more comforting than I ever realized.

The greek word translated believe here can be translated as belief, faith or trust. When Jesus was walking the earth, His message was not about accepting certain truths for the purpose of escaping this planet nor eternal torture. His message was that the Kingdom of Heaven had come to earth. He was continually inviting people to follow Him. He was teaching what life in this Kingdom looked like.

As I have focused on this idea of trust over the last 8-10 years, I have begun to experience more and more freedom.

One of the first things I discovered was that I needed to reform the idea formed in my head when the Bible talks about surrender to God. I used to picture myself as an enemy of God that needed to lay down my arms, get on my knees and give myself to His control. Now I see it more like a baby allowing itself to be consoled and comforted in the arms of its parent.

Another thing I discovered is that trust is in layers.

The first layer conforms to my early interpretation of John 3:16. I trusted Jesus to forgive my sins and to let me live in Heaven when I die. For me, this layer didn’t give much hope for this life.

The second layer I discovered has to do with making decisions in life. I have desired to follow Jesus all my life. As I began to think more about trust, God helped me to see that I didn’t need to agonize over decisions. He knows that I desire to follow Him. I can trust that He is guiding me on the best path for me, for my family and for His purposes in my life. Sometimes this guidance is via circumstances. Sometimes it is via our own desires. Sometimes God uses people to give us guidance. Most of the time, we have to make a choice, but once the decision is made, we can rest in the fact that God is at work and taking us where we need to go. This is even true if the decision ends up looking like a bad idea later on.

The third layer of trust had to do with my own motives. Once I learned to rest in the fact that God was guiding me, I would sometimes agonize over my own motives. In 1 Corinthians 4:3, Paul says that he doesn’t even judge himself. God helped me understand what Paul was talking about here by causing me to focus on trusting Him. Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are not meant to decide what is good and what is evil. We are meant to let God define these things for us. God declares that all who trust Jesus are righteous. We don’t get to call ourselves anything else. We don’t get to judge ourselves or anyone else. What freedom there is in just talking to God about things, trusting Him to guide us and to point out when we have areas that need growth.

The latest layer of trust that God is teaching me might come at an earlier stage for some followers of Jesus. Throughout the Bible, God gives promises about causing our lives to be prosperous and abundant and full of reward. Hebrews 11:6 says that in order to please God, we must believe that He rewards those who seek Him. For so long, I have wanted to claim God’s promises, but I had such a hard time believing them. I have known MANY people who have sought God and not experienced many of the promises we see in Scripture. I was in this place for much of my life. God helped me see that Hebrews 11:6 was not just about following it but also requires belief. I knew that the only promise of God that I was believing was the promise of eternal life. As I reflected on this, I realized that most of the people I knew were in the same boat. Most believers I knew were trusting God for salvation and nothing else. I realized that the promise of salvation is only for those who believe it. I’m pretty sure all of God’s promises are like this. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible, none of God’s people are rebuked for being presumptuous? People are often chastised for not having enough faith, however.

We need more faith and more trust.

I now interpret John 3:16 this way:

God loves everyone so much that He sent His son to show and tell them how to live life in His Kingdom. To the extent that you trust Him (and what He has to say about the best way to live in the Kingdom), you will experience life in the fullest sense as it was meant to be lived in the Kingdom. It starts now and continues for eternity.

Do You Have A Seat At God’s Banquet?

The forces of darkness are engaged in a vast war in the spiritual realm. This war has raged since before Earth was created. It’s battlefields have included the spiritual realm, Earth, and every human heart. The war is waged against God and those who stand with Him. In multiple places within the Psalms, it says that God laughs at the efforts of these forces of darkness and at the kings of Earth who partner with them.  Those who stand with God can thrive in this environment and laugh right along with Him, but most don’t.

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By way of analogy, imagine that your spiritual life is a banquet. God is inviting all people to a great banquet. He is inviting you to enjoy the best foods, drinks and desserts ever imagined. He is inviting you to endless singing and dancing to the most enjoyable music. God’s banquet is being held in the most beautiful landscape surrounded by the most exquisite art. On top of this, He desires to give you infinite capacity to enjoy all these good things for eternity.

Our enemy, Satan, uses lies to lure people away from God’s banquet.

Some are lured all the way to Satan’s banquet table. Everything he offers is a pathetic imitation of what God has prepared. It appears sweet, beautiful and enjoyable simply because we have yet to taste the real thing. In addition, these things suck the life out of those who partake.  We see examples throughout literature such as the apple eaten by Snow White or the turkish delight eaten by Edmund Pevensie. Many people partake of this table and appear to be thriving. Some are able to amass great wealth. Some enjoy great numbers of friends.  Some even seem to be very spiritual. These people actually can interact quite freely with the spiritual realm and can even do supernatural works. However, all of these “benefits” come at immense cost.

There are many who know not to eat from the enemy’s table. However, Satan has convinced these people that they can earn a seat at God’s banquet table. People in religions throughout the world think God’s banquet is a potluck. They are slaving away trying to prepare a meal to impress God when the fact is that all our righteousness is as menstrual rags to God. (Isaiah 64:6)


Nothing Satan offers can satisfy like God’s banquet!! Don’t be lured to your death!!

There is nothing you can do to add to this feast!! Stop working so hard to create something that will just make God vomit!!

Jesus already prepared the banquet by His death on the cross. And, He is the only way to get into the party. As John 3:16 says, all you must “do” to get in is believe in Jesus. This word “believe” can also be translated as “have faith” or “trust.” I like the word trust because in my mind, belief can simply look like mental assent to some facts. However, trust implies relationship and resting in the one with whom you enjoy said relationship.

Trust that Jesus purchased your banquet ticket. Trust that following his ways will turn you into one that is worthy to eat at that table.  So many see the commands of Scripture as things they must do to get in.  However, they are invitations. God is telling you what He wants to do in you, but only His power can do it.  My favorite example is when Jesus told Lazarus to come out of the tomb. As a dead man, Lazarus had no more power to walk out of the tomb than you do to perfectly follow any one of the ten commandments. Jesus’ command provided the power for Lazarus to obey. When we trust God to cause us to obey any one of His commands, He will do it in us. As 1 John 1:9 says, if we confess our sins (i.e. agree with God and call them sin), He not only forgives us, He cleanses us of the unrighteousness. WE don’t change our ways!! HE DOES IT!!

So, to reiterate, what must you “do” to enjoy God’s banquet?  Simply trust Jesus. There are various levels of trust we are invited to as we follow Jesus. I will explore many of them in future articles. For now, just trust that God’s banquet is one you don’t want to miss and that Jesus has already gotten you in. When you really trust what Jesus has done for you, you can join God in laughing at all the efforts of Satan and his minions to scare you and/or drag you away.
Taking responsibility for your own health leads to freedom.

Taking responsibility for your own health leads to freedom.

Photo by Gözde Otman from FreeImages

Does it really matter that we care for our bodies if our spirits will someday depart to be with Jesus? In caring for our bodies, does it really matter that we use natural products when man made health care systems are extending our life expectancy so greatly?

We have had friends who really denigrated the idea that they should be careful about what they eat, what kind of chemicals they use for cleaning and what they put in their bodies to combat illness. They said that we should focus on our spiritual health to best prepare for heaven. (These same friends did seek medical assistance to have cancer removed.)

I also once had a friend who said that the modern medical establishment was a blessing from God because of how it has increased our life expectancy. (The worldwide life expectancy has gone from just over 50 in 1950 to just under 75 now.) I believe factors other than the modern medical system have contributed to this improvement in life expectancy. If it were all about modern medicine, one should expect the wealthiest nation to have the greatest life expectancy, but the US is in 46th place. For the sake of my point, however, let’s assume that our increased life expectancy is because of our medical advancements….

We were created to glorify God, to spread and establish His kingdom in the Earth, and to love and bless those around us. On the third day, God provided the means of our healing. The leaves of the trees are for healing (Ezekiel 47:12). They also happen to work well for cleaning. If we care for creation, our bodies can be maintained at the highest levels of wellness (for our entire lives) through the use of things found in nature. If, like Caleb in the Bible, we can say at 80 that we are as strong as when we were 40, we can glorify God, spread His kingdom and love those around us at the highest levels for so much longer. It is not worth adding 10 years to your life if the last 20 years will be spent fighting deterioration of your body, living in a nursing home, and spending any money you may have saved over the years.

Finally, there is the part about being faithful over a little and being given more. Yes, we will leave these bodies eventually, but we have a responsibility to care for them while we have them because God desires us to be faithful with everything He gives us regardless of how important or lasting we view those gifts to be. Jesus told parables teaching us to carefully invest what God has given us. He also told parables teaching that God will not deal lightly with those who do not treat His servants properly. Jesus paid for you with His blood. You are His. Treating God’s servant (yourself) properly is a spiritual matter not to be neglected for the purpose of “preparing for Heaven.”

I have spent many years in ignorance treating my body harshly. I have spent a few years now learning to trust God’s provision, learning to recognize it, and learning to rest in it. I can tell you that it’s worth it. I can also tell you that it often does not take a long time doing things the better way before you begin to enjoy the benefits.

Taking responsibility for your own health leads to freedom.

Why Doesn’t God Keep His Promises?

Throughout the Bible, there are promises from God to His people. Growing up in the church, I was confronted with nothing but confusion on this topic. 1) I didn’t really know anyone who was experiencing all the blessings God promises in the Bible. 2) Perhaps because many believers have had this same experience, the theologians and teachers that I was exposed to had come up with lots of ways to explain away these promises. Some of the explanations were that the promises were meant for someone else. One popular way of dealing with the promises was to spiritualize them. “Oh, that promise is reserved for Heaven,” or “We enjoy that promise now but on a spiritual level.” 3) I knew of teachers who claimed that we can enjoy all the promises, but so many of them sounded as if they were only after the stuff rather than seeking to receive from God with gratitude. This kind of attitude provided much ammunition for those seeking to explain away the promises.

Photo by Arcelia Vanasse from FreeImages

I have never been particularly satisfied with the idea that the only promise from God that I can hold onto is the promise of going to Heaven when I die. I don’t think I ever had this thought consciously, but perhaps part of me wondered about the veracity of that promise when none of the others applied to me.

In college, God brought to my attention Psalm 27. At the end, David says that he is confident that he would see the goodness of God in the land of the living. At that time, I had specific ideas about what God’s goodness to me should look like. I clung to those words and prayed them back to Him for years. Over time, God did grant the desires I had in my heart at that time, and beyond that, He has continued to teach me about and show me His goodness.

You Must Believe!!

Over the last 10 years, God has exposed me to people who are clinging to God in anticipation of His goodness. He has been growing in me a hunger to experience His goodness and to be able to trust Him and rest in Him. One verse that has been particularly helpful in this fight has been Hebrews 11:6. If you want to please God, you MUST believe that He REWARDS those who seek Him. He wants to reward His people!!!

Confronted with this truth, I asked God for a long time why so very few people I know experience the blessings that the Bible seems to promise. He reminded me of the promise given in the most famous Bible verse (John 3:16) and believed and taught by evangelicals everywhere. Salvation is promised to all who BELIEVE in Jesus and that His death on the cross paid for all your sins.

That is the key. Most if not all (I have not done an exhaustive study) of God’s promises are for those who believe them. Most of the people I grew up around did not experience the promises of the Bible. As I mentioned already, most of them didn’t believe the promises but explained them away.

In Healing…

This principle is especially important to remember when it comes to healing. God wants all His people to experience healing: physical, mental, emotional and ESPECIALLY spiritual. BELIEVE it for yourself!!

To be clear. The healing is not always immediate. Often, God likes to take us through a process because he wants more for us than just our healing. My wife has struggled with some health issues for decades. A couple years ago, she was talking to God and asking when she would be healed. He told her that He could heal her now but that then she would not learn all that He wants to teach her. She chose to learn and grow, so she is being healed, but it is a long slow process. There are also rare times as with the apostle Paul when God chooses not to heal because He has something better in mind. God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Paul. Paul got to experience something in his relationship with God that we know nothing about. First of all, very few of us are the apostle Paul. Very few of us are worthy of a “thorn in the flesh.” If you are one of those few, God is gentle and kind. He will communicate with you about it, and convince you that what you are dealing with is worth it.

There are things that can hinder healing which we will explore in future articles. However, the first step is to BELIEVE. TRUST God and REST in His goodness and love for you.

Joshua 21:45 Joshua 23:14

May God bless you with the salvation and peace to be found in His Son Jesus Christ.
Curtis Eastin, MDiv