We see the full scenario played out in Old Testament Daniel 3 — in the conspiracy for power orchestrated by visible and invisible forces,2 and in the compulsory worship of Nebuchadnezzar's massive, golden idol.
How many permutations of this story have played out within every nation, kindred, tongue, and people?
Here is Walter Wink's take on the condition of nigh every human in this world of fallen, corrupted systems:
We "[are\]were dead," because the total world-system is a conspiracy against God, a lie perpetuated by people and presided over by Satan. We "were dead" because we were born into such a world and never had [or pursued] any other options. "Dead," because having taken in its deadly vapors, we breathe them out on others; we become its carriers, passing it into our institutions, structures, and systems even as these have reciprocally passed on the same deadly fumes to us.3Wink asserts that Christ's life, death, and resurrection unmask the truth about world systems — that from divine purpose and vocation,5 systems (both visible and invisible) and their stewards have strayed6 into “worshiping power instead of God.”7
It is, in short, what we mean today by such terms as ideologies, the Zeitgeist, customs, public opinion, peer pressure, institutional expectations, mob psychology, jingoistic patriotism, and negative vibes. These constitute "the power of the air," the invisible but palpable environment of opinions, beliefs, propaganda, convictions, prejudices, hatreds, racial and class biases, taboos, and loyalties that condition our perception of the world long before we reach the age of choice, often before we reach the age of speech. It "kills" us precisely because we "breathe" it in before we even realize it is noxious. Like fish in water, we are not even aware that it exists, much less that it determines the way we think, speak, and act. To seem not to appear is part of its essence, as Schlier put it." So invisible are its assaults, in fact, that only a special coat of invisible arms can protect even those who have been made aware of and delivered from it. I refer, of course, to the "panoply of God's armor" spoken of in Eph. 6:10-20.4
So the question arises for each of us: What good is the unmasking if seeing, we do not see and hearing, we do not hear what "the spirit of power"8 does and has done to people and systems throughout history? Can we see that the pursuit of power (the “conspiracy against God”) is reaching its zenith as competing factions and systems battle for the “throne” with technologies of power never before seen?
What should We The People do? take sides with competing, mortal powers? believe / support some lies while rejecting others? let ourselves be led about by people and powers without conscience? refuse to acknowledge the full spectrum truth of every power-player?
Truly, we are in desperate need of seeing and understanding the truths and déjà vus of powers and power-players, and of
becoming united as one in prayer and action for their exposure, awareness, healing, transformation, and redemption.
New Testament | Ephesians 6:12 ~ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high (heavenly?) places.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 29:1, 36 ~ “... for he [the devil] rebelled against me [Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I AM], saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; “ (Bold emphasis added.) | Note: Could honor for Satan mean praise and power; but for Christ, could it mean integrity ("on My honor")?
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:1, 3-4 ~ AND I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. ... Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; ... ; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Bold emphasis added.)
3. Walter Wink. Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (The Powers : Volume One) (Kindle Locations 950-952). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)
4. Ibid., (Kindle Locations 960-966). Kindle Edition.