Tinfoil Hat Time!
A "conspiracy theory" that would explain a lot, if true, about the evil and corruption we see in our world ...
Time to put on our tinfoil hats and consider an interesting “conspiracy theory” that, if true, would explain a lot about the evil and corruption we see in our world. It combines strains of Christian pre-millenialism, Gnosticism, and various notions that the history of our world has been deliberately falsified (e.g., theories like “Phantom Time” or “New Chronology”).
But first, this caveat: I have no way of conclusively determining whether or not this theory is literally true. Like many conspiracy theories, it is not falsifiable. Besides the impossibility of proving a negative, the theory itself accounts for contrary evidence. After all, one of the central claims is that the conspirators deliberately falsified the historical record.
Therefore, I am not saying that this particular conspiracy theory is literally true; however, I think it is useful as a thought-experiment, to jar your subconscious assumptions just enough to allow you to catch a glimpse of a bigger picture in the Rorschach Inkblot of our disordered world. That is essentially the role that stories and symbols play — whether ancient myths or modern movies like Dark City, 13th Floor, Memento, and The Matrix. Think of this theory like a dream, or like an abstract representation of some aspect of a deeper reality.
The “Conspiracy Theory,” in a Nutshell …
Revelation 20:1-10 provides a timeline that doesn’t get a lot of attention in mainline Christian teachings:
Christ returns (the Second Coming) and defeats and imprisons Satan;
Christ initiates the first resurrection for those who resisted the false religion of Satan, especially those who were martyred;
Christ then reigns for 1,000 years (although the Greek word translated as “millennium” or “1,000 years” apparently does not actually specify that length of time);
At the end of Christ’s 1,000-year reign, he apparently ascends to a heavenly realm and takes with him all the saints from the first resurrection;
Christ then releases Satan and turns the earth over to him to deceive the nations freely for an unspecified allotment of time;
During this era of deception, Satan practically takes over the nations of the world, assembles a massive “army,” and ultimately attempts one final battle against Christ; and
Christ then returns and destroys Satan and his minions once and for all (this is actually Jesus’s Third Coming, since the Second Coming already happened prior to Christ’s millennial reign).
The theory — which for lack of a better term, I’ll call “The Era of Satanic Deception” — is that we are presently living in the middle of Satan’s nightmarish worldwide empire, awaiting Jesus’s third coming. This means that Christ’s second coming already happened, along with the first resurrection and Jesus’ millennial reign. Satan has been released to deceive the nations, and as part of this deception, history has been rewritten, and the religious institutions and traditions have been corrupted and perverted into serving the demonic agenda. Secular and religious leaders are agents of the devil — lower echelons may be mere unwitting dupes, but higher-ups are likely conscious participants, meaning they made a literal deal with the devil in order to get where they are. Meanwhile, as the climactic end to this cosmic war approaches, the world is rapidly getting crazier and crazier. Armageddon is closer than we think.
One thing that the Era of Satanic Deception would explain: the apocalypticism of early Christianity. From the writings of Paul, to statements Jesus makes in the synoptic gospels, there is abundant textual evidence that the first generation of Christians expected Jesus to return in the very near future, possibly even within their lifetimes. “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28.) And in the context of discussing the signs that would precede his return in glory, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:34.) This has given Christian apologists some consternation: here we are 2,000 years on, that first generation passed away, and Jesus hasn’t returned yet . . . Or has he? If the Era of Satanic Deception reading of Revelations 20 is correct, perhaps Jesus already returned, and we, or our forebears, got “left behind.” And perhaps we are not actually 2,000 years removed from the time of Jesus; perhaps the historical record is so unreliable that we don’t actually know what year it is, or how long it has been since Rome fell. And now we’re awaiting Christ’s third coming.