The Cosmic Conspiracy, Part 4
The Exodus of the Hebrew people out of Egypt after more than 400 years of slavery and bondage must have rattled Satan and his dark kingdom to its core. Egypt, without a doubt, was the apex of Satan’s domain on the earth during that period of human history. Egypt was filled with incredible wisdom in natural sciences like architecture and astronomy, and it was ground zero for sinister, dark, demonic worship and extremely powerful sorcery. At the beginning of the epic battle of the 10 plagues, the Egyptian magicians were going toe to toe with Moses and Aaron until God began to reveal His unmatchable prowess in signs and wonders. For certain, Satan must have been banking on his Egyptian kingdom to grind God’s chosen people into the dust of oblivion.
Instead, God kicks open the gates of slavery and marches His people out to freedom with the intention of bringing them into the land that was promised to Abraham and his family line. Satan even tried to annihilate the Hebrew people on their way to their new land by trapping them in the desert regions on the shores of the Red Sea. If you have read the account of the Egyptian attack you will know that it did not go well for them!
Almighty God has led His nation across the Red Sea and now had a vast company of Hebrews out in the wilderness on the outskirts of the land of Canaan, and He needs to get their undivided attention to let them know the details of His rescue mission. God calls Moses, Aaron, and all the people to gather around Mt. Sinai, and He descends upon it in a fiery cloud with flashes of lightning and booming peals of thunder. Moses, alone, is summoned to the top to meet with God in this cloud and for 40 day & nights, Almighty God is laying the foundations for a nation that would begin the process of bringing the Kingdom of God back to the earth in full power and glory.
When this majestic meeting concluded, Moses was sent back to his people carrying two stone tablets that were inscribed with 10 divine decrees that would become the backbone for establishing the code of ethics and a new structure for worship for this newly formed nation. All of this sounds great and glorious, but while Moses was fixated in the presence of God, the populace, under Aaron’s watch, were having a mass orgy of worship to a demon god depicted as a golden calf.
We may think this to be so blatantly sacrilegious, but remember, these Hebrews were living in Egypt for centuries, and the worship of this demon (the calf image) was a common practice. When God revealed Himself in the awesome display of power, the people were terrified. Who, or what, was this new God that they were being called to worship? They did what they knew to do - call upon one of the gods that they did know in hopes that they would be protected from this new and very powerful deity.
Satan must have watched this event with diabolical glee. Here was the opening he was looking for. God was establishing a new system of worship that was focused on revealing His true nature and preparing a way for the promised Messiah to be born into the world. But deep in the psyche of these former slaves, the roots of demon worship and all the lustful trappings were still alive and well. Satan would now have to focus his attention on exploiting this weakness and develop a new form of religion to feed the soul and temp the lustful desires that still lurked in God’s chosen people. But what could he do? Could he outsmart God?
Let’s do a quick review of the religious weapons that were in Satan’s arsenal. After realizing that humanity had an insatiable need to worship, he set about propagating two major platforms for worship. The first could be called, polytheism, which is a belief system that consisted of the worship of many gods that were believed to exist in the universe. Each of these gods had different functions, powers, needs, and attitudes. There were major and minor gods, and humans had to figure out who was who, and who needed what to keep peace, prosperity, and a good rapport with their human servants. Most of the people groups that were in the land of Canaan were polytheists when the Hebrews arrived on the scene.
The second major worship platform could be called, pantheism, which is a belief system that consists of worshiping creation. In short, pantheists believed that the universe is god, and god is the universe. God is not an entity or distinct personality, but an it. God is to be found in all the created matter and, therefore, everything could and should be worshipped. Everything had the “god spirit” within it.
Both of these worship platforms had elaborate systems of faith and practice. Because they were inspired and propagated by demons, they were rooted in fear, violence, domination, and most importantly, deception. The goal was to keep humans occupied and satisfied with their “religion” and incite hatred and violence against any group that believed differently. This way, religious wars would be a part of human history until Satan could cast his dragnet over all mankind and conscript them all into his ranks of conspirators against the Throne of God.
The two religious systems mentioned above are at the heart of most major world religions that exist even to this day. Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confussism, Animism, and others, still entice and entrap multitudes of people on our planet. All of these were up and running and producing the results that Satan wanted. But now, Almighty God was piercing this dark deception over humanity and revealing Himself to His chosen people group. The great revelation was being made known to the Hebrews.
A new “religion” was birthed on the earth, monotheism, which is the belief in One God, Creator, and Almighty, Who is personally invested in redeeming humanity from the wretched slavery of sin. This new religion was now the looming threat to Satan’s plan of human domination. This new religion had the potential to display the wonders and majesty of the One, True God, and entice mass hordes of his followers to abandon the chains of their demonic overlords and join forces with God. This could spell doom and Satan had to figure out how to defuse this ticking time bomb of salvation. Satan, the master of deception and disguise, set out to create a poisonous hybrid mixture of just enough truth and just enough lies that anyone who drank it would eventually wander back into his web of darkness. Here is how the plan played out...
Syncretism is the process of amalgamating, or attempting to amalgamate, different religions or cultures into one, new whole. If Satan could not destroy the purposes of God, perhaps he could distort the purposes of God by mixing just enough demonic influence to entice God’s people to play both sides. Could this plan really work? Could a group of people who have encountered the awesome power and majesty of the One, True God, actually be duped into duplicity? The answer is a very disheartening, yes.
Old Testament history recounts how this syncretism nearly destroyed the nation of Israel on numerous occasions. Time after time, Israel would go whoring after the demon gods that the nations around them were worshipping. Disgusting and vile practices were celebrated right alongside the worship of the Almighty. God would continually send His prophets to warn His people that He could not, and would not, tolerate this. Unless there was repentance and forsaking this evil, He would turn away and let them walk right into the jaws of the savage demonic wolves that were waiting to devour them.
There were times of repentance and reform only to be followed by utter abandonment and disregard for God and His love for His people. Numerous wars, and even two extended periods of captivity under demon-controlled nations still did not rid the nation of its syncretistic practices. Why?
Over and over again after reforms were set in place, the scriptures reveal the root of the problem. “But they did not remove the high places,” is a phrase that encapsulates the epitaph on the history of God’s people throughout their heritage. These high places were locations where temples, altars, or other structures used in the worship of demons were set up. God’s people refused to give up their secret passion. It seemed as though Satan had successfully perverted God’s chosen people beyond repair. Was this the final blow? Did Satan now control the kingdom of Earth by total domination over humanity?
In the midst of all this idolatry, there remained a remnant of God’s people that did not bow the knee to these abominations. They remained true to God and would not embrace these betrayals of their precious covenant. Once again, God had His seed of righteousness to work through. The line would be unbroken. The promised seed of the Messiah was still barreling through human history, and would make it to its appointed time and place regardless of how many times Satan had successfully tempted humans into darkness.
Satan was (and is) so maniacally blinded and completely consumed with his own rebellion that he could not stop prosecuting his planned coup d'état. It seemed the monotheism of the Hebrews was set in stone. Their belief in THE Almighty was woven into the fabric of their culture despite centuries of all-out assaults on their faith. Satan would have to resort to his original strategy of, “if you can’t beat em’, join em’.” But this time he would have to come up with a plan that was not opposed to the worship of one God. He would have to devise a plan that actually encouraged it! Again, Satan’s sly, subtle, cunning is unmatched, except for the stunning wisdom of God that would be displayed as Satan’s next phase of human conquest kicked into gear.
To set the stage for what came next in the demonic agenda of the kingdom of darkness, we need to look at the state of the nation of Israel after centuries of captivity and struggle to regain their position as a nation. At the end of their Babylonian captivity in the mid 500’s BC, the Israelites were slowly moving back into their homeland after the decree of King Cyrus of the Persians. After he defeated the Babylonian empire, he began freeing many of the captive peoples, including the Israelites, and allowed them to repopulate Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (he even footed the bill!).
The historical events are recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The issue of note, that was not lost to Satan, was that the Priest and Scribe, Ezra, and Nehemiah, the governor of the province, were adamant that the returning exiles would know what their Holy Scriptures said and required of them in order to remain in covenant with Almighty God. Bold, new reforms were instituted, and a fresh, and at times ferocious zeal for staying true to the Word of God engulfed the bulk of the nation.
A stroke of nefarious genius must have surged through the hellish recesses of Satan’s being. This would be his finest work of deception yet! He had succeeded in planting the seed of rebellion in the heart of mankind. He had succeeded in building the two monumental worship systems of polytheism and pantheism. He had successfully syncretized the monotheistic worship of ancient Israel with the demonic worship of his prized dark domains of the Ancient Near East regions. Each time the Hebrews would somehow come out with a remnant that refused to worship any other god in any other way than what was handed down to them through the patriarchs. But now Satan would unveil his newest “ism” that would revolutionize his plan of attack. With his other religious systems operating at full steam under the domain of his demonic underlings, Satan now would be personally engaged on this new battlefront. So, if you want to find out what comes next, stay tuned and tune in...
by Pastor Jim Anan