Most of us know that the "American" Church is in trouble, as far as being a worthy influence in society. We see things going down like a crash and burn meteor. Many lament to each other, sighing over what we see. We can know the Lord hears that and notices, but we also want to be effective if we can, in changing things. We don't want to become discouraged or bitter. Another petition to sign, another march or rally just isn't going to get it because after so many times of doing that, we know that we see little change. We need to know what works.
I have gone through some experiences where I have encountered some hard spiritual onslaughts. Knowing that as a "prophetically called" person by God that I will be a forerunner on some things, it never fails that I have to personalize it to the degree I feel it and take it personally. It becomes "my experience" that I own and then I do my best to share it with others. My prize is the Body's victories.
As a child I heard (encountered would be a better word) the Voice of God. Really I thought everyone heard the way I did but they didn't. If their predominate gift was something else, the Spirit was working that in them to pefect. But I would sense this Force that would invade my very soul. It was a call to ministry. More and more it would remind me that He was with me and sometimes I would hear words with the Presence. I knew it was God because (1) I had had a born again experience encounter and (2) it arrested me. It could capture my whole attention and it could show me things beyond myself.
I often would try to analyze it but inevitably found this Spirit "analyzing" me and revealing to me His will. It reasoned with me. This was nothing I could conjure up or manipulate to my will. This was a Spiritual encounter and I was being called to interact with this Spirit. There was an exhileration with it at times, and a wonder and a rejoicing.
I remember the first time I felt the joy of the anointing was when I realizied one day that I was in His Service. I was a teen in the Methodist youth choir and we were in the processional of the service and a glory came all over me and I could have run and jumped like a charismatic! That was before I even knew what one was.
Of course I could not share that with anyone and my parents certainly did not understand it. Some parents do, but many in the world have parents who do not. I had a desire for more of these encounters but there is more to encountering God than just joy. There is also a drive put into you by His Spirit that makes you want to seek Him. When you are born again, there really is a co-mingling of of His Spirit Seed in you and you are a new creation.
We grow slow. God is patient. Encounters are not everyday occurrences even though we often wish they were. But the reason is that God is about a maturing relationship and that is by persuading our will to fellowship in agreement with Him as we progress. I am sharing all this because I want to lay a foundation of innocence and need.
Jezebel will manipulate you by accusation. The spirit will take advantage of your ignorance to snare you and steal your blessings and inheritance. Then she will want to destroy your life work and ultimately murder you.
As I look over my life and see the more fruitful days and times and seasons, I do work to consider the things that made for that. Some things were just blessing inherited by the faithful who have gone before. Some things are by the personal promise of God, and some things are the results of my efforts. Not every blessing and not every curse is because of something "we did." If that were really so, then we would in effect become "Gods" and not have a need to submit to Him and His will. Some go so far as to teach that, and when submission is taken out of the picture, then corruption has set in.
The problem is that we need the right submission and the enemy of our soul knows that and so he works to pervert it, as we know he has, from the beginning. The Universe is big. And our God is at least that big! Since all things came through Him, we need to work to see the bigger picture as best we can. It's called our "world view." Know it or not, our world view affects every aspect of our lives. Now since I was born and entered this life as totally dependent on others, I know that the Universe is not my problem. There is a Higher Force and Source. I did not create my own world. I encountered it and the Divine has offered a place in my life and I have accepted it.
With that offer comes a counter-offer and I must choose which path I will take. Things can seem just fine and then there is a fork in the road and it can often takes the shape of a pitchfork! (humor)
But there are encounters that make us choose the path we want to take. Not all of them seem so evil at first but then we find that we must contend. And that trying of our faith is more precious than gold. I have to share this with you in this manner because to really learn more about the spirit of Jezebel will require an encounter of response, particularly if you recognize "her" activity in your life. The spirits of the spirit world are really genderless but I will call her "she" sometimes after our Biblical model.
I have been dealing with some spiritual issues and then I was given a little booklet by Adrian Guest from the UK, a man in ministry there, and I was amazed at what I learned. I had been wanting to write on some developing understandings on this but was waiting on the Lord. This little booklet really helped push it forward. Some things I knew and some things were identified in a way that I could now share it myself. I am going to borrow some of those concepts along with my own to share with you here.
You have heard it said that if you want to discern the real from the false you must handle the real until the false becomes identifiable. When you seek God with all of your heart, He visits you. You may not have a full understanding, but you will get His Presence. Seeking Him brings you into places of new understandings and reveals insights and opportunities for walking in a fuller path. That fullness causes you to feel more alive because more of your potential is realized.
One of the biggest things that I discovered through this little booklet is the concept of the fact that the spirit of Jezebel matures. I have tended to look at spirits as one dimensional entities. I knew that some spirits teamed up with other spirits and that you had to discern the strongman in the bunch. Once you got the strongman then the others lost a lot of their power. People logically don't just choose destruction, they are tricked into it or are deprived by ignorance.
This is why we NEED a Savior. Like I inferred above, if you don't need one, then you don't submit, and if you don't submit, then you are declaring yourself as master of your own world. We can master different things but if we don't need our God then we have rejected fellowship. And that puts us "in authority" and as managers of the Universe and inevitably you will find death at work in your mortal body - and then what? Do you still not need a Savior? Does your God endorse life or death?
Jesus died to take on sin that we might overcome it. He is the Resurrection and the Life. Apart from Him, we don't have that!
The Jezebel spirit is false authority. And like the serpent she is spawned from, she can be very subtle. "She" will begin her bequilement with flatteries and false honor. Of course you don't realize in the beginning that is what she is doing. You just think he or she likes you. In the lower level stages of this, if you don't agree with her, she will become angry with you. The "younger" Jezebel spirit will react quickly, and will often just reject you outright then. The goal is to stop a believer from believing and so she throws confusion about your faith into your life.
She may make a scene or just cold shoulder you. She may shame you or discredit you publicly or behind your back. The main goal is to make you feel unworthy and incapable of your own decisions. The value of your own decisions is downplayed or even crushed, if that is possible.
That can seem bad enough but this spirit matures. In the beginning, this spirit is often one person on one, but as it develops its skills, it realizes that it can take on more than one person at a time, and so it will move from small groups to larger assemblies. The whole idea is to get a groundswell of support against Godly authority. The Bible warns us that flattery is a big tool of the enemy in the last days. (Daniel and Jude are just two books that speak strongly about this.)
The war against Godly authority is to eliminate yours. We need parents, we need schoolmasters (teachers), we need Spiritual leaders and we need governmental authorities. We need them. If the Jezebel spirit can overthrow Godly respect for authority then she has destroyed the society.
Quoting from this booklet by Adrian Guest, "Jezebel, Our Secret Enemy":
If you just have good you will know when evil comes along and [you] will reject it. These false brethren will dominate, not lead by example. Wherever you get someone dominating someone else, I don't care if its husband dominating his wife or wife dominating husband, parents dominating children, children dominating parents, pastor dominating congregation or congregation dominating pastor, the force behind it is evil. It is demonic, it is not of God and that is every time, there are no exceptions. These people are nothing more than witches. They don't know they are witches but that is what they are. They are usually good church members and in the name of being spiritual they control and dominate. In women it will prevent the husband from being the head of the household, or the man of God he should be. In the Church, it kills them spiritually.
Again we say, the goal is to destroy you Spiritually. The spirit of Jezebel is a deceptive spirit. It will prophesy and tell you great things about you. It will prophesy your control over others, as it is giving what it wants to get. Again, we have to understand the right and wrong spirit of mastery. The difference is that this spirit will want your mastery over others but wants you dependent upon it. If it can flatter you and prophesy great things to you - health and wealth and control and influence - then your lusts will be drawn to that and you will submit to it. Then all that together will be used as a power punch against the true Body of Christ.
The true leadership spirit will lead by example and by laying down its life for you. It is NOT the spirit of abasement that means if you are "nothing" then you are pleasing God. No!!! God wants you to walk with Him in fellowship and maturing understanding. The purpose of His suffering was to eradicate sin, not accommodate it.
What Jezebel is About
The spirit of Jezebel is a manipulator. Whether it is through flattery or false dreams and visions, her entourage will include her school of prophets and ministers that will lead you into serving her and not the Body. It is the old "bait and switch" game. Even in the Garden the enemy said "you will be like God" - something that sounded good on merit - but the real goal was to switch gods.
Jezebel will set up programs that will undermine the leadership. She begins by "submitting" and then sets up another program of her own to undermine and undercut the work of the leadership to where she is in control. Often she will destroy prayer by saying that she knows the better way. She will not honor authority, she will challenge it - in the beginning to their face, maturing into behind their back to gain a consensus.
Offenses are not dealt with forthright, they lurk in the background. If a consensus is gained with others, then that "fruit" of your confusion is made evident. You can't figure out what went wrong. Suddenly the rug is pulled out from under you. No explanations, even if you seek one. But what was gained was using your endorsement to qualify her and then you are destroyed (if that is possible - this is why we MUST keep our faith in spite of not understanding some things sometimes).
A more mature Jezebel will bait you into a war that she has pre-planned. Because she has won you over in the beginning of the relationship, you will find that now she is using your weaknesses against you. If in your heart you shared your weakness in order to be Spiritual, trust God that He will see you through this. He is working on you for victory and setting her up for defeat. The Bible calls her the great whore of Babylon because she buys other people. They give their souls over to her payments - whether it is actual gifts or flatteries or honor. But in this they deny the true Kingdom of God. She wants you to need her more than you need God. She will "take care of that" for you. It's a false gospel with a false messiah!
She will not want you to mature Spiritually! She will 'manage' all your maturing. Your gifts will have to come under her authority. She will not encourage you to trust the God is who at work within you. She will manipulate you by fear. Instead of building you up, she will find subtle ways to tear you down.
A real indicator of the Jezebel spirit is when you find mixture in the meetings. You will see the Holy Spirit at work but yet something is not right. You will see babes prosper but the older ones carrying heavy burdens, or being totally silent, or stooped with cares. If you get in their confidences, you will find they are concerned about leadership and what they "see."
You can judge many churches by the appearances of their women. Is there freedom and respect? Respect comes from Godly men who know how to honor their wives and children and one another and give them a place of value. And they in turn will know how to respect and honor their men. Order for the assembly is taught. It's not a mystery or a secret code. The boundary lines are clear. It is seen as what works and it is welcomed. People are fulfilled and a house family atmosphere is present.
If there is ignorance in these areas, it become ripe ground for the spirit of Jezebel to operate. Some may even mean well but only have seen one way and that is the wrong way! A true seeker will respond to truth when it is presented but the rebellious will not. When truth is presented, the spirit of Jezebel will go into secret ministry mode, pointing out all the flaws of others and drawing folks to her. This can be a male or female person operating in this spirit!
The Test - when the Master is away
A true test is watching what happens when the pastor is away. When I was in Houston I had a precious pastor who was out of town for a season. I really can't remember the exact reason he was gone, but it was legitimate. So in that meantime, the elders carried the services as they should have. But soon after there began to be a lot of undercurrents. The pastor was back but seemed burdened but he really didn't say why. He just continued to preach truth from the pulpit.
Later it was time for a board meeting and there was a big split. That resulted in a vote from the congregation over these issues, the way it was set up. Ministers got up and shared and suddenly others came up and started repenting for not being faithful to the pastor. Later it came out that "one of the nicest elders" had started undermining the pastor believing that he was to take over the church. Of course he didn't say that right away. He had really felt that God sent him there to do just that and when the senior pastor was away, he made his moves. It all became exposed and the senior pastor remained but it was not without its scars.
This male elder was not only operating in a Jezebel spirit but was also probably a victim of it. But the responsiblity to submit to God's order and Spirit is on believer. The world plays wicked politics well, but God does not play politics in His Church, except His own. But here you can see Jezebel promising the vineyard of Naboth to the one who lusted for it, even though the way it was obtained was not proper protocol. This elder could have learned and hopefully did learn from this successful senior pastor that the truth wins, and if he would pattern his own life after this type of success, the he too, could have a successful church.
But when people want to usurp and undermine and character assasinate, then they are not walking in the right spirit. And it is painful to the people around them who have tried to love them.
Roots of Jezebel
According to the writer of the booklet I just read that I am so impressed with, the first major root of Jezebel is rebellion. It is exalting one's own will above God's authority or above any authority that God has set over you. Bitterness is the second, and bitterness and rebellion walk hand in hand. When the person does not get the attention they want and feels overlooked, they seek ways to get that attention and the spirit of bitterness will work against God's placements for government and order. It culminates in the rejection of grace for people. They are labeled and put in "a box."
After rebellion and bitterness comes fear. Fear is used to take control over its victims. The Jezebel spirit fears losing control and thus tries to impose fear on others in order to control them. The next is pride, elevating oneself to be like another who has greater influence when God has not given that (yet). Again, it comes to understanding proper protocol. Some people are drawn by attraction more than service and that is a spirit.
The last root mentioned is the "unholy spirit." Jezebel can entwine a person so much that they begin to fail to see and discern the spirit of the holy with the unholy. It becomes mixture and then unholiness.
What to Do
You can reach out to one with a Jezebel spirit but it seems about impossible to reach one who has matured in it. To deal with this spirit you must confront it and then reject it (the spirit, not the person). God offers grace and His Spirit is speaking if they want to hear. Oh, there may be backlash and I can testify of a number of times I have encountered this backlash, but there is a wonderful and healing freedom when you cut the soul ties. You may feel quite humbled but you will feel clean!
I like what my friend Gale Maiden says: "I was fighting Jezebel but when I got her out of me, a lot of the problems were solved!"
The meek will inherit the earth. Sometimes we just have to allow the wicked to be wicked while protecting ourselves as best we can. As we do our best to separate from it, we can cry out and petition God to deal with it. The sooner the righteous are away from it, the sooner He can deal with it. He does not want to hurt the babes - so truth must presented in a loving and non threatening way because much of the manipulation can be by the fear of rejection.
The spirit of Jezebel hates prayer and the prophetic. Prayer is that personal relationship with God and the prophetic gives insight and hope to the future. The spirit of Jezebel will define you and put you in that box that limits you and cuts off your hope. It puts you in your place but it is a limited place. When you recognize it, then you can begin to do something about it.
Our human weakness often wants to rebel against authority, but when we encounter true authority, we will come to love it when our hearts find it in righteousness. That is why it pays to give governments a chance or find a place of greater expression without resenting the old wineskins. When you graduate from elementary school it is time for high school!
Some know that if they stay in a place too long they will burst things and we want to honor our forbears who got us this far as it is the Godly and righteous thing to do.
I could write much more and probably will at a later time. If we can recognize false authorities we can replace them with God's true authorities. By submitting, we grow into more strength.
The booklet that encouraged me so much to write this article was given to me so I don't know where to buy it, but on the back it has:
For futher information:
Abundant Life Full Gospel Church
& Baraq Ministries
Auxerre Ave/Sheldon Road
tel/fax 01527 456856
Booklet title: Jezebel, Our Secret Enemy
Your comments are welcomed.