conspiracy theories

What Is Revival? 6 – Hindrances: Conspiracy Theories

13 October 2023

15.2 MINS

Our examination of the hindrances to revival, which I referred to in the previous instalment, came out of the need highlighted by David Bryant for prayer, repentance and reordering as preparation for revival. The importance of this reflective phase cannot be overstated. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that every individual who is earnestly praying for revival will be confronted by the need to face hindrances in their own lives.

What I’m covering here, though, is restricted to what the Holy Spirit spoke to me last year through three words: Diversion, Deception, Division:

“Satan is attempting to divert Christians from their true devotion, development and direction by deception in relation to false narratives and fear about world events. This leads to the division that is a consequence of the conjoined dominating mindsets of doubt and distrust, scepticism and cynicism which are the antithesis of faith and trust in our good God.”

The other chief cause of division I was shown is the attraction of many Christians to conspiracy theories. These are what I referred to at the end of the previous instalment as those “which have the opposite effect to “edification and exhortation and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3 NKJV).

I know that this is contentious ground for some, so I hope that any who might be concerned by this issue being raised will approach what I have to say with an open heart and mind. My issue here is not with specific theories. My issue is with what they produce. So you may agree or disagree, but you should only do so on prayerful consideration of the points I raise.

even if some particular theories contain seeds of truth, I hope to show that it’s not the outcome that is relevant. It’s where and how they begin, and what they produce in the hearts and minds of Christians that is the issue.

Suspicions

So, how do we define a conspiracy theory? There was a very clear and simple definition given to us in an article here by our Features Editor Kurt Mahlburg a couple of years ago:

“A conspiracy theory rejects the commonly accepted story about an unusual event in favour of a more sinister explanation. Conspiracy theories tend to invoke shady figures hidden from public view — powerful (often political) groups that carry out a secret plot to harm others to their own benefit…

… A telltale marker of a conspiracy theory is that it can’t be falsified. In other words, evidence for it and a lack of evidence for it are both taken as proof that the theory is true. In this way, conspiracy theories are essentially a matter of faith, rather than something that can be objectively proven or disproven.”

In a way, our age is fertile ground for these theories, as information is disseminated so far and so fast. This is particularly so in relation to what politicians and other people of influence do. Because of this, we get so much more of a laser point of view of much that goes on. Or, at least, we do on the surface.

As a result we also see those in high office resorting to the “party line” in interviews and speeches. When people in those positions of influence and authority are obviously “massaging the message”, it’s no wonder they breed suspicion.

Jared Stacey, from Britain’s Premier Christianity, lays out the consequences:

“Pervasive distrust makes conspiracies plausible. When the government lies or the media misreports, distrust can fuel paranoia… When people cannot trust their leaders, they turn to other sources of information. Now we have ‘alternative facts’ to counter ‘official narratives’.

Scandals in the media in recent times,… as well as innocent mistakes made by reporters may also be fuelling people’s changing perceptions of journalism as a force for good. This can lead to a mass exodus from traditionally trusted sources of information… This paranoid posture encourages conspiracies not because people want to believe lies, but because they believe they’re already being fed them.

Confirmation bias also makes us susceptible to conspiracy theories and, in this respect, Christians are no different from non-Christians: we interpret our world downstream based on what we believe upstream.”

That last sentence raises an interesting point, because I would go further and say that we as Christians can be more susceptible. That’s because we read in Scripture about an end-time global government ruled directly by Satan himself. So, in this respect, it comes as no surprise to see Christians get caught up in such speculations and taking it to the ultimate negative conclusion, especially when you consider the globalist aspirations on show by powerful and influential people and nations today.

Choose Faith Over Fear

But this is all the product of fear, not faith in our victorious Saviour. The last thing these end-times Scriptures are purposed for is to create fearful speculation over the identity of the Antichrist, whether current political leaders we disagree with could prove to be the one, or whether the kind of globalist aspirations on show will become Satan’s global government.

Bill Muehlenberg recently gave us an excellent commentary on this theme, based on the Book of Daniel.

Neither are we meant to speculate on such things as “the Mark of the Beast”. Instead, we are given enough information to recognise it when it is introduced, and to know that we must reject it, even at the cost of our lives. Prior speculation will almost certainly be wrong, and even if you could pick it beforehand, foreknowledge will be of no use.

In Matthew 24, Jesus describes to the disciples a long list of the catastrophic conditions for believers in those last days. But most importantly, He says, “See to it that no one misleads you” (v.4), and “See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place…” (v.6).

Then He tells us,

“Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time, many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved.” (vv. 9-13)

These end-time prophecies in Scripture are horrific, but they’re not included for the purpose of predicting who or when, or to make us fearful about our current situation. They are there for us to be alert and strong in our faith and devotion to our God and Saviour.

But notice the next verse, which almost seems to contradict those calamities afflicting believers:

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (v. 14)

The consequence of all that persecution “by all nations” (v.9) will be revival: the “gospel… preached… as a testimony to all nations” (v. 14)! There will not be a living soul left who has not made a firm decision to accept or reject the Gospel!

But Satan’s deception is to use the predictive end-time prophecies to stoke fear, which can draw attention away from the injunctions against being fearful. This is how he deceives and diverts Christians from the focus of their devotion, which is God’s majesty and authority, and His focus, which is “to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10 NLT)

It’s this diversion and deception that causes some to focus intently on what evil may be being committed in high places in the present, none of which can possibly be known, as Kurt noted. It’s all of this mixed together that leads to fear and paranoia, as Stacey shows in his article:

“Paranoia is not the lens through which Christians should view the world, or as Philip Yancey once said: faith is ‘paranoia in reverse’.”

Prominent Christian author John Piper writes:

“The right ordering of our thoughts about reality comes from a right view, a right valuing of God and Christ and salvation at the center of all of our other thoughts… the root problem with disordered thinking is that the center has been removed… the things of greatest importance get neglected. The glory, the wonder, the beauty of the Christian faith is passed over, and they’re always fascinated with marginal things that are not preeminent.”

In fact, Piper goes one step further and describes following conspiracy theories as a “spiritual disease”.

Sin and Lies

Even worse is the fact that these are issues for which Kurt tells us involve rumours of “shady figures hidden from public view — powerful (often political) groups that carry out a secret plot to harm others to their own benefit”. In other words, there is no evidence anywhere for the claim. The only evidence is the claim itself, and whoever made the claim originally, if that’s at all known, is assumed to be authentic.

Thus, from a Christian standpoint, this means they involve spreading rumours and slander, which are condemned in Scripture:

  • You shall not give a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked person to be a malicious witness. (Exodus 23:1 NASB)
  • Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. (2 Timothy 2:23 ESV))
  • Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. (Psalm 34:13 ESV)

In particular reference to end-times one-world-government theories, we find these passages:

  • He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. (Psalm 2:4 NASB)
  • Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21 HCSB)
  • But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. (Mark 13:7 NKJV)

An example from Scripture of a body of believers living under an actual totalitarian One World Government is found in Acts 2, where the disciples were living in fear for their lives, huddled together in an upper room hiding from the Jewish authorities. This was because they were basically proxy agents of that truly totalitarian Roman regime for the purpose of keeping the peace. Yet the disciples “were continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer”.

Many today are fearful of the vague spectre of today’s globalist elites’ pipe dream being realised and praying frantically, “Come quickly, Lord!” This is, in fact, the opposite of the desire to see the mission of the Body of Christ fulfilled. It is no more than a fearful and self-interested plea for personal rescue, and yet another manifestation of individualism.

Empowered by the Spirit

These disciples, on the other hand, were living under an actual threat of death, the same as their Lord weeks earlier. Yet they were praying faithfully and fervently for the fulfilment of the promise their Lord gave them:

“… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB)

As a result, when the promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, those 120 people burst out of their upper room in the power of the Holy Spirit, picking up 3,000 converts that day, and thus started an explosion within the empire ruled by that One World Government which proceeded to, in the words of one loyal citizen, “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6)! That’s revival!

So, how do we break out of that cycle of fear and break into what God has for us? I believe Paul gives us the key:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NASB)

There is a continuous “loop” of advancement here, “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18), which revolves around rejoicing in the continuous Presence of God, through the Holy Spirit, through a combination of “prayer and pleading with thanksgiving”. Consequently, we can experience “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension”. What does that last phrase mean? It means that we will experience peace that totally contradicts even the most life-threatening circumstances.

It’s the peace that believers under extreme persecution will tell you they experience. It’s the peace that leads those believers to pray for the souls of their persecutors. It’s the peace that leads them to express God’s love to their torturers and jailers. And it’s the peace that the pagans of ancient Rome noticed when they said,

“See how these Christians love one another; they are even ready to die for one another!”

This is what happens when Christians face the issues of their day in God’s strength.

Heresy

Another negative aspect of conspiracy theories for Christians is that they are fundamentally a form of Gnosticism. This involves proclaiming “hidden truths” that only those who accept them as fact can find “enlightenment”, having learned them from those “in the know”. Gnosis is the Greek word for “to know” or “knowledge”.

This I see as a flow-on effect of what I mentioned before about the loss of trust in authorities, the media and corporations. Those “in the know” in our day who are the source of these theories typically pass themselves off as brave “whistle-blowers”. They claim to be standing courageously against censorship of their “revelations” by powerful interests in media, politics and industry.

But when you compare any of these to true “whistle-blowers”, the difference could not be more striking.

When I think of whistle-blowers, I think of people like Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked what became known as “the Pentagon Papers” in 1971.

Then there’s David Daleiden, who in 2016 leaked concealed video recordings proving that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling body parts from aborted foetuses. Several years on, he is still being slowly ground up by the same legal machine which is meant to protect whistle-blowers like him.

And, of course, there is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

All of these men have paid a high price for their revelations. But when you see individuals who have lucrative online subscriptions and other money-making ventures linked to their conspiracy theories, their claims to be whistle-blowers can be seen to be nothing of the kind.

Melbourne pastor and blogger Murray Campbell puts the issue of the Gnostic connections well in an article on his website.

He begins by quoting Paul in Colossians 2:

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:2-10 NIV)

In relation to this passage, he raises three points of objection, two of which are relevant here: “God’s mystery has been revealed”, and that “mystery, which is Christ, is sufficient in every way”. He then contrasts that with the “secret knowledge” that underpins conspiracy theories:

“The origins of this new and secret knowledges is human speculation. As Paul adds in 2:15 behind these movements are devilish ‘powers and authorities’. These have been defeated by the cross, but are lingering about and trying to take God’s people ‘captive’ and uprooted from Christ…

… Conspiracy theories succeed because they play into pre-existing assumptions, and they justify irrational political and religious beliefs. Conspiracy theories don’t depend on evidence but on capturing those seeds of doubt or inquisitiveness that otherwise may lay dormant in the consciousness.

Christians should avoid conspiracy theories because they depend on rumours and spreading speculations. Christians should ignore conspiracy theories because they reject well-established truth and they regularly turn to gossip and slander… Conspiracy theories also encourage suspicion and hatred, where the Christian ethic requires us to love our neighbours.”

That last point is insightful. Whenever I see people publicising these theories online, they are so often combined with contemptuous and judgemental comments about those in high places who are the subject of the theory. It’s so common to see the people targeted assigned to an eternity in Hell, or some other derogatory term used, instead of prayers for their salvation which a revival mindset produces. But that’s the kind of judgement that will always be produced by people who claim to possess exclusive knowledge. As Paul taught the church at Corinth, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1 CSB)

Distraction

One of the subtle outcomes of this Gnostic element is that it allows those Christians to think they’re engaging in spiritual warfare by the mere fact that they possess this “special knowledge”. But the reality is that they are actually avoiding the true commitment to spiritual warfare. These are Christians who huddle behind the parapet. And even if they are praying fervently against the enemy, it’s a phantom enemy. Prayer that doesn’t express God’s will is prayer that’s wasted.

In relation to this, theologian Dr Dru Johnson makes this point:

“We just want to know because we think knowledge is power in and of itself. But scripture would say doing what God has commanded is actually the power part.”

There is also another way the contemporary strain of rampant individualism drip feeds into the Body of Christ from the surrounding culture. It does so through the lie at the heart of the libertarian view of personal autonomy.

When individuals adopt a mindset that is contradictory to the way God created us to be, this leads to feelings of alienation, because they simply cannot live that way. So they look around for other like-minded individuals. They “find their tribe”.

But the tribe is just a collection of autonomous individuals; their focus is only on the issues and beliefs that are common to them. So the “ties that bind” are limited to external issues. As individuals created in God’s image, with the innate need for true fraternal love found in a deeper level of fellowship, when the only “ties that bind” are so minimal, that fraternal bond is absent.

When the “ties that bind” are in relation to a conspiracy theory, scientists who have researched this growing phenomenon have found that the alienation which drove these people together in a like-minded “tribe” intensifies. Then the paranoia, coupled with the cynicism driven by the accompanying confirmation bias against counter evidence, goes into overdrive. This is the mindset I referred to in an article here two years ago.

How much worse if the only link these “tribes” have is in online communities?

The consequences for the Body of Christ are considerable. When you have individuals drawn into such “tribes”, even if the members of that “tribe” are all Christians, the group reactions are the same. Then, the result is division and the breaking of fellowship that I wrote about in the previous instalment. Anyone who dismisses or disagrees with the theory is hit with the double wave of the Gnostic element of “special knowledge” and the self-protective reaction from paranoia and cynicism.

Pray Unceasingly

How much more consistent with God’s heart for the lost, and also with our prayers for revival, would it be if instead of constantly jumping to negative conclusions about the motives of those in high places, we prayed just as fervently for them to be saved and the Holy Spirit to be poured out on them?

That’s what our mindset needs to be if we’re going to facilitate revival.

In place of “special knowledge” that comes from fallen men, we need the spiritual gift of discernment that will give a “God’s eye view” of every situation. Then, we can pray the desires of God’s heart into reality. We need to reorder our mindsets away from chasing conspiracy phantoms, which only serve to empower the enemy, and pray the majesty and glory of the Almighty Saviour into every situation.

As a good example of what that “God’s eye view” looks like, I recently found this from Gary Morgan, the founder and director of the School of Prophets in Melbourne:

“When we know the mandate, the message never changes! As called out ones, we call out the purpose, the promise and the plans of God over cities, regions & nations. That’s the beauty of the prophetic, that’s the privilege of being a Christian!

… We are a people who capture the heart of the King for kings! We have a throne room perspective by gaining an inner vision of God’s heart. We execute, as the Ecclesia, the mandate of our King!”

From that, he offers this encouragement:

“Ask God to give you His heart for a people/place and begin to call it out, speak it, declare it… someone might be waiting for what you’ve got!”

How much better is that than wasting precious time and energy in empty and futile speculation about what people in high places might be up to, especially when, even if those speculations were true, we have no means of influence. But what Gary Morgan has given us is a catalyst for an exponential increase of fruit in revival. When prophecy is rightly handled and rightly honoured, it gives the Body of Christ a declarative power to unleash God’s actual power into every secret venue where people in high places gather (Ps 2).

In this and the previous instalment, I’ve dealt with two hindrances to revival that were shown to me by the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are more than that, and there are other causes of broken fellowship. But the main thing that God wants from this is restoration so that His Body can be a fit place for those who will come when revival comes.

For that, there must be healing of what was broken. If there isn’t, then this is nothing more than an exercise in apportioning blame. There must be healing for the Body of Christ to become a Healer of others!

The last word belongs to Winkie Pratney from his book, Revival: Principles to Change the World:

Two conditions of true unity are common understanding and common unselfishness. Wisdom and love – if we want revival, we need them both. It begins with each of us possessing a servant’s heart and a genuine love for Christ; … from such a true commitment to His Lordship, differences can be accommodated and distinctions maintained without hurtful division.

Brothers in the same family may not always agree, but, they must not forget they are still brothers. those true to Him will not hate each other. And that, friends, is the commonality of affection and conviction which sets the stage for His entry.”

I’m sure that for every one of us, that is relevant in some way. But that’s the purpose of this most vital stage of revival, preparation: pray, repent, reorder.

There’s no time to waste! Revival awaits!

___

Photo by cottonbro.

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11 Comments

  1. Peter Pearce 13 October 2023 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Usually the difference between a conspiracy theory and fact is usually about six months.

    Luckily we have people that do the hard yards to put facts behind these theories, case in point, Dr Jocab Nordangărd and his research into the Club of Rome and their instigation of the climate hoax.

    A must read for anyone looking for the facts and not afraid of being labelled a “conspiracy theorist”

    https://open.substack.com/pub/drjacobnordangard/p/why-the-president-of-the-club-of?r=tckxr&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

    • Kim Beazley 13 October 2023 at 7:08 am - Reply

      You have missed the issue altogether, to the point where i wonder if you even read the article, as this is what i wrote at the start:

      “My issue here is not with specific theories. My issue is with what they produce. So you may agree or disagree, but you should only do so on prayerful consideration of the points I raise.

      even if some particular theories contain seeds of truth, I hope to show that it’s not the outcome that is relevant. It’s where and how they begin, and what they produce in the hearts and minds of Christians that is the issue.”

      You would also have seen the quote from Kurt Mahlburg’s article:

      “A conspiracy theory rejects the commonly accepted story about an unusual event in favour of a more sinister explanation. Conspiracy theories tend to invoke shady figures hidden from public view — powerful (often political) groups that carry out a secret plot to harm others to their own benefit…

      … A telltale marker of a conspiracy theory is that it can’t be falsified. In other words, evidence for it and a lack of evidence for it are both taken as proof that the theory is true. In this way, conspiracy theories are essentially a matter of faith, rather than something that can be objectively proven or disproven.”

      The reality is that what you are doing is spreading rumours, which is condemned in Scripture, as I pointed out.

      So you really need to read the article carefully, and most importantly, prayerfully.

  2. Vivienne Williams 13 October 2023 at 10:46 am - Reply

    There is a lot of good stuff in this, actually too much for one article for me anyway. We do live in a corrupt world and sadly many of the leaders fall into that corruption. That pandemic certainly changed my way of thinking and trusting completely. My trust is in God who is able to do more than I can ask or think and He God is working out His will on this earth. God allows man to be involved, but God does not need us to be involved. God in His sovereignty leads us, wants us, but can do all things as He wills without us. We are privileged to be called the children of God and desire to spend time with Him and in His word.

    • Kim Beazley 13 October 2023 at 11:08 am - Reply

      Thank you, Vivienne. It is an endless source of wonder to me that the infinite God of the universe chooses, through love, to execute His plans through the actions of His children, fallible as we are. But that’s actually a sign of his infinite power and wisdom, that even though we get so much wrong, He can still execute His plans in spite of our constant mistakes, as well as the actions of other people who are unsaved and actually rebelling against God’s intentions.

  3. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 13 October 2023 at 11:41 am - Reply

    . Thank you . I did not know any of this . I will add David Daleiden to the other Whistle -Blowers I pray for every night — Julian Assange, Richard Boyle and David McBride .

  4. John Burr 15 October 2023 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I see this as too wordy too long and not hard hitting – it brings in people’s comments which you feel support your narrative not primarily scripture. Paul named the people who opposed the gospel – who are the people you have in view? – at the moments its generic -that loses me I don’t have the interest in a theoretical discussion that has no practical application.The starting place is scripture (read text and co text in context) guys like Piper I am familiar with see Soteriology 101 discussion of his heresy of determinism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DFYtW-lmok&t=41s. If God has spoken to you – we are interested what is it that he said? If you have something spiritual to say for 2023 that would be useful, generic concepts by Muhlenberg and others are theories – nothing more. In conclusion if all God said is Diversion, Deception, Division: well that has always been Satan’s strategy its been that way for 2,000 years. Are their conspiracies absolutely Follow Dr John Campbell – was his stuff useful yes it was people who followed his you tube posts avoided Astra Zeneca and Pfizer and they are alive to day many sadly are not. What about the illustrious history of the truth telling Australian government leading us into, Vietnam Iraq, Afghanistan – all lies as was the response to Covid and now the Voice- There are serious reasons to doubt what you hear and to spiritulize real life events as if God is sovereign at the micro level of human affairs and it will work out for his glory and that you will be OK by believing with your head in the sand. . God is sovereign but not in the way reformed theology construes it – he gave everyone free will including Adam and Eve- everyone born has the same free will Adam had – we are not decrepit versions of Adam. God made us and as is God’s way his gifts and callings are without repentance – we were called to subdue the world and we will even judge angels so it is correct to use our brain in concert with God and his wisdom per Jeremiah 33:3 and James 1:5. IMO there is good stuff in your submission but it would be better if it was distilled to a shorter more hard hitting presentation.

    • Kim Beazley 16 October 2023 at 9:03 am - Reply

      As you found this “too wordy too long”, I wonder how you can then claim to objectively critique what I wrote, and in such sprawling detail.

      For example, “it brings in people’s comments which you feel support your narrative not primarily scripture. ”

      But I did provide scriptural proof for what I wrote. And to assume that I only quoted people who supported my views is the kind of cynicism I have written about in previous instalments of this series. I have used quotes by others in the same measure here as in all previous articles. If I only made similar comments myself, without the support of authorities like Piper et al, I could be accused of forcing my opinions on others without any kind of consensus.

      Then there’s this:

      “Paul named the people who opposed the gospel – who are the people you have in view? – at the moments its generic -that loses me I don’t have the interest in a theoretical discussion that has no practical application.”

      Neither did I have specific people, or for that matter, specific conspiracy theories, in mind. Nor did I intend to. That’s because it’s NOT the specific theories that are the practical issue here, contrary to your claim. It is the underlying principles where the problem is found, which is the entire focus of the article. THAT is the “practical application” you have failed to see. It is the very notion that is wrong, as I explained through a number of Scripture passages (which I could have quoted many more, but as you say, it was already a long article).

      “In conclusion if all God said is Diversion, Deception, Division:”

      How could you miss the fact that everything in every article since I first referred to that has been all about what I gleaned from that three word revelation? Everything!

      “Are their conspiracies absolutely Follow Dr John Campbell – was his stuff useful yes it was people who followed his you tube posts avoided Astra Zeneca and Pfizer and they are alive to day many sadly are not.”

      Unfortunately, Dr Campbell is a prime example of those I was referring to who set themselves up as “whistle blowers”, while making a fortune disseminating lies and fraudulent information. Every single claim he has made has been proven to be a lie. And I refuse to turn this into a debate on the fraudulent claims of grifters like Campbell. There’s a whole raft of refutations in articles and YouTube videos of real scientists showing precisely how Campbell distorts and cherry-picks random information from clinical trials and other sources to make white into black.

      Finally,:

      “IMO there is good stuff in your submission but it would be better if it was distilled to a shorter more hard hitting presentation.”

      It was not my intention to write an article this long, but it became unavoidable. I take the view that, if you present an issue that you disagree with, or is demonstrably wrong (as was the case here), you also need to present a positive alternative, which is what I have sought to do.

      So, I hope that you and any others who struggled with the length can find the time to give the issues raised here your attention, taking whatever amount of time you need to absorb what’s here.

  5. John Burr 23 October 2023 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I read your comments , I then when went and re read your article – I liked what I read, I acknowledge your scriptural references and concepts underlying “conspiracy theories” to be useful and good.

    My ability to comprehend and to utilize your work is some what limited, that is a personal issue to me, that does not in any way cast a shadow over your work, twenty years ago I probably would have found it stimulating and I could incorporate it into my world view easily.

    The level of multi tasking during my working years is lost to me today, so I need an ordered approach, I can’t keep ten things simultaneously in my head and continue on my tasks, which makes reading your article difficult..

    Which brings me to your paper there are so many scriptures and the narrative running at the same time. For me paragraph headings would be helpful, an intro and a conclusion for such a deep and well thought out work would help.

    I take your point this paper is the underpinning for our world view- to understand our wrong praxis, which IMO stems from wrong theology- Reformed Theology (RT) is one for this paper I see it as a primary evil. I am wanting to go beyond underpinning to what is wrong with the church today.

    From RT we get the misuse of scripture from its clear unambiguous meaning to looking at it through a filter which progressively takes people further away from biblical truth, John 3:16 is only the elect, those lucky people won the lottery God ran at the foundation of the world, they don’t know why they won, but they’ll take it, can you tell me why they won?

    The fall of Adam (TULIP depravity) has now turned people into ones with no free will, they just do what God wants them to do and that’s how God’s wants it. Falsehood lies at the heart of John Macarther, the Gospel Coalition and all RT, how can the church apprehend God’s calling when every church service keeps them in darkness and his truth when proclaimed is mixed with equal amounts of falsehood.

    As for making money Dr John Campbell – I’m sure he is. How much do you thing Dr Jeremiah makes, what is the financial model of word of faith preachers – all are making money by falsehood and when confronted they flat out refuse to give any back – it only flows one way from the gullible to their coffers – they have expenses like Copeland he maintains several jets a huge house and estates the rest do the same.

    Lets look at this another way, to me you have a teaching ministry and your work examines and shows what is wrong. I am interested in a prophetic ministry I want that truth you examined to be leveled at everything that falsifies God’s word and his work on earth, regardless of what “holy cows” are exposed. You want an internal change in the heart of Christians I want a movement of Christians tied to God’s word who take no prisoners and acknowledge sin in preachers as well, the God of this world is firmly entrenched in theology, and pastors. Consider Caiphas and the second temple priesthood – the whole lot had the word of God, which they abused and turned it 180 degrees away from its intended meaning. To put it bluntly Jesus never met a teacher of the law he liked – blind guides who hide the key to knowledge Luke 11 Woe to you – he called them out, so did Paul and John and Peter.

    Finally there are different gifts and we need to work together using those gifts for God’s glory not our own. Bit by bit I’ll read and assimilate your paper.

    • Kim Beazley 24 October 2023 at 11:18 am - Reply

      I’m so pleased that you made such an effort, John. I’m even more pleased that you got so much out of it, and especially considering it obviously didn’t come easy to you. At 68 I often feel those powers of concentration beginning to wane a little.

      In relation to paragraph headings, there are headings for groups of paragraphs which are included by the editor prior to publication, which I’m always interested to see what they are (they’re always very good, I think), as well as the embedded links (in blue text) which so often fill out the point even further.

      As for Reformed Theology, I’ve referred to those who hold a Cessationist view in one or two others in this series, but it wasn’t actually part of this one. So while I agree with you that those like MacArthur who hold to that view are flat out wrong, they are not relevant to the discussion here. This one is all about the equally damaging issue of conspiracy theories.

      Which brings me to Dr John Campbell. There’s literally dozens of YouTube videos by reputable scientists which prove that Campbell is dishonest. But I’m not sure that equating what he does with ministry figures like Kenneth Copeland, who have grown inordinately wealthy, is relevant. There are different reasons underlying their riches. Campbell gets his from telling lies, while Copeland and others at least get theirs from preaching the Gospel. And in spite of the smearing of him and other prominent Word of Faith teachers, their theology is actually pretty mainstream. They should be judged on each issue separately.

      Finally, I would like to tease apart you final paragraph.

      “…to me you have a teaching ministry and your work examines and shows what is wrong. I am interested in a prophetic ministry I want that truth you examined to be leveled at everything that falsifies God’s word and his work on earth, regardless of what “holy cows” are exposed. ”

      For myself, yes, I do believe I have a gift (however limited or still undeveloped) for teaching. But I have also been involved for over 20 years in prophetic ministry. In relation to that, it’s important to understand that where OT prophecy involved using bald truth to expose sin and “holy cows”, that is not the case with prophecy in a NT context, the purpose being, as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 14:3: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (NKJV). That doesn’t mean that what’s wrong in people’s lives gets glossed over in prophecy or words of knowledge, but that people are pointed beyond their current behaviour to the plan and purpose of God for their life.

      Because of that, when you say, “You want an internal change in the heart of Christians I want a movement of Christians tied to God’s word who take no prisoners and acknowledge sin in preachers as well…”

      But everything, especially revival, as I’ve outlined, begins with that internal change. Take fresh note of my first paragraph here:

      “Our examination of the hindrances to revival, which I referred to in the previous instalment, came out of the need highlighted by David Bryant for prayer, repentance and reordering as preparation for revival. The importance of this reflective phase cannot be overstated. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that every individual who is earnestly praying for revival will be confronted by the need to face hindrances in their own lives.”

      The first person we need to confront, to “take no prisoners and acknowledge sin” is ourselves.

      “…the God of this world is firmly entrenched in theology, and pastors.”

      No he’s not. Not at all. As Christians none of us is without sin, nor do any of us have perfect theology. That only comes after we die. As Paul put it, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB).

      “To put it bluntly Jesus never met a teacher of the law he liked…”

      You’re forgetting Nicodemus.

      “…blind guides who hide the key to knowledge Luke 11 Woe to you – he called them out, so did Paul and John and Peter.”

      Yes, He did. But He did so with authority as the Son of God, which is the reason He did so, because they refused to recognise Him, even when He had performed miracles which left them in no doubt as to who He was.

      As for the apostles you named, they actually did not address the priests and temple rulers the same way. In fact, we have this account in Acts 23:

      “Now looking intently at the Council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with an entirely good conscience before God up to this day.” But the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law, order me to be struck?” But those present said, “Are you insulting God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I was not aware, brothers, that he is high priest; for it is written: ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” (Acts 23:1-5 NASB).

      “Finally there are different gifts and we need to work together using those gifts for God’s glory not our own.”

      Absolutely! One of my favourite passages is this one:

      “And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NASB).

      Thanks again, John, for your wonderfully detailed comment. There’s actually not enough who do so.

  6. John Burr 25 October 2023 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Bless you Kim, You keep on making me look deeper at the text and my response. Your point about building up believers is valid re prohecy although it can be used to predict as Agabus did for Paul, its primarily to show with power & deep insight what the biblical text means, its depth and God’s intentions so we can better move forward But there is also contending for the faith as well -: //www.gotquestions.org/contend-for-the-faith.html . Similarly evangelism is the same Spirit empowered gift to build up, raise up the church so that we appreciate God’s desire to reach the lost – hence revivals always happen outside of the existing church. Maybe there is something about the Billy Graham style that was ok, once, but the primary task is to mobilize God’s people, 1 Corithians12;12 we are beyond the time of show ponies on stage. All such “acts” limits what the body can and should do. – EACH BELIEVER does needs to believe their input is vital and important. We are God’s imago dei in the place we are . The current system does not do that for believers – we see a constrained and POWERLESS version of God’s plan for the church . Gifts are all necessary, teaching is good , motivating God’s church is also good. I’m sure you understand all the above – ministry is reminding us about things we already know, which God want us to consider now. Iron on iron Kim, sharpen up younger brother, I’m 71 your making me younger and more warlike (in a good way) – I’m working on my two edged sword daily, I need polish for my helmet and breastplate too .

    • Kim Beazley 26 October 2023 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      I’m blessed by your responses. And provoked to think (yes, iron DOES sharpen iron!).

      And you’re correct in relation to prophecy. My focus was on its purpose, which is always “edification and exhortation and comfort”. So even when it’s predictive (as with Agabus to Paul) that is still the case. And I suspect that’s why Paul didn’t take it only as a warning, but as a comfort (from Late Latin confortare, which means to strengthen much – also Old English, “to push towards battle” – scene on Bayeux Tapestry depicting King Harold of England “comforting” his troops at the point of his lance!).

      I do disagree, though, with your notion that revival always occurs outside the existing church. Of course, there have been occasions where the next move of God has been criticised and even persecuted by the previous move of God, but that’s not always the case. And I would say that, from the genesis of the Moravians, and then the Methodists, it has been mostly within established churches, or has produced new movements without any opposition.

      And while I certainly agree with you regarding the defence of the faith (Jude 1:3), I disagree that the type of ministry you describe as “show ponies” is at all prevalent. And I do know the kind you mean. But it is virtually extinct. And I cannot agree that we currently see a predominance of “a constrained and powerless version of God’s plan for the church”. On the contrary, there are many churches advancing and growing.

      In many ways, I don’t think it’s our task to focus on what we see in a general sense that we find concerning. After all, unless we’re in a senior ministry position we simply do not see what goes on. Of course if we see whole denominations going down a dangerous path we should be concerned by that. But even then, in praying for such issues we need to remember that our God is in control, and so our prayers of intercession don’t need to remind him of the problems we see. Because He sees them far better than us. Our prayers are to focus on His majesty, His goodness, and His love for those on that dangerous path.

      In fact, our primary focus, as a prophetic people, is each of us becoming more and more like Christ. So our focus isn’t even meant to be on what’s wrong, but on Who is in control. I found this just this morning on my Facebook feed, from Rick Joyner, a significant prophetic voice over the past 40 years, and one I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in person here in Sydney at a couple of conferences back in the ’90’s:

      https://publications.morningstarministries.org/word-for-the-week/signs-kingdom-part-xxvi

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