August 30, 2013
Good Morning!! In the same way that we began the last Coffee Break with a real story of an event which clearly marks the behavior pattern of the spirit of Jezebel, let me begin today's discussion with another story -- this one an experience that affected our family.
When we first moved to Alaska in 1944 and Dad built the first of seven different churches in the arctic and one in the Pribilof Islands (five of which I participated in building), my folks had been a part of a major denomination. When we first left Washington state for Alaska, Dad's denominational leaders had forbidden him to go to Alaska and tried to entice him to go to China or Africa instead. His response to them was, "Brethren, God didn't call me to China or Africa; He called me to Alaska, and I'm going."
The denominational leaders abandoned him and said, "You're on your own. You will go without our support or backing." It was behavior typical of the spirit of Jezebel, and it was to manifest many times in the years to come. You see, if Jezebel can't get you to do things her way, (more accurately, it's way!) this spirit will do everything in its power to put roadblocks in front of you and make you think you can't do what God has directed you to do without Jezebel's involvement.
When you act in obedience to the rhema Word from the Lord, you need not fret over Jezebel's threats; and Dad wasn't about to allow Jezebel to prevent him/us from obeying the Lord. Funny thing. Five years later, the denomination decided that because the ministry in Alaska was paying such dividends, maybe they'd been too hasty and they needed to get on board. In 1949, in response to a plea for help from Dad in purchasing a vehicle that could be used to transport folks back and forth to and from the church in minus 40-degree weather, the organization sent some financial help for the first time.
The church in Nome was the first one to be built. Barrow followed in the mid-1950's, followed by Wainwright, Kaktovik (on Barter Island), Point Hope, and then Nuiqsut and Atqasuk. In each instance, because the denominational organization seemed to have gotten fully behind my folks, despite the fact that the denomination didn't have so much as one penny of its finances invested in any of the communities, Dad had confidence that he could turn over each of the churches, the homes and the properties to the denomination; and that they would carry on the ministry in the same manner so that the Gospel would be preached until each community came to know the Lord Jesus Christ in an intimate way.
Along the way, and throughout the first 21 years of ministry, the Alaska missions organization (which was part of the denomination) had convinced Dad to serve on the state boards for the denomination in a representative capacity. Pastors throughout the state began to lobby Dad to become the state's General Superintendent for the denomination. He had just stepped away from his representative status as a General Presbyter.
When I talked to him about it, he said, "Son, what I've seen and what I've heard tell me that this organization is not the same thing I became a part of back in the 1930's. It has become nothing more than a bunch of religious politicians vying for office and power and control. I want none of it! That's not what God called me to. If they try to elect me, I will not take the office."
Despite this disgust with the politics of the denomination, Dad still had confidence in the organization as a whole and particularly with leaders whom he considered as his personal friends. That being the case, in every instance -- namely, Nome, Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut and Atqasuk -- when the church buildings were complete, along with housing for each local pastor and family, he created a title deed for the property in each community and signed it over to the denomination, free and clear.
The fact that the denomination provided no funding for any of these pioneer efforts (Dad raised the money, or earned it with his own labors) made no difference. From his perspective, it was all God's money anyway. He considered that he was simply a servant of the Lord who'd been given both the opportunity and the abilities (along with the provision) necessary for each task. Year after year my parents labored. Year after year Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts came to know the Lord as a result of their labors. Over the years, the effects of their ministry spanned the arctic from Alaska, through northern Canada, into Greenland, Iceland, and even into Siberia.
As their ministry moved to Saint Paul Island in the Pribilofs (an island group in the Bering Sea, north of the Aleutians), Dad began to see increasing evidence that the denomination was more interested in gaining title to the individual properties, the churches and parsonages, than they were in providing backup for individuals called by the Lord to each of these communities. (At one point in the past few years, five of the churches were without pastors -- all at the same time -- and some that the denomination had sent in abandoned their churches because they simply were not called and prepared by the Lord for that type of ministry.)
In the mid-eighties, Dad's health began to deteriorate. Della and I had taken my folks and her mother to Hawaii for a vacation. We were sitting on the beach at Waikiki watching Dad frolic in the water with our oldest son, Chris, when Holy Spirit spoke to me very clearly and told me that Dad had two years to live, that he would be diagnosed six months before his death with inoperable cancer and told that he had six months to live. I shared it with Della. We felt to withhold it from the family and treated it as a preparatory word from the Lord.
Meanwhile, in the months that followed Della and I shut down our activities and moved out to Saint Paul Island to help my parents. While there, Dad confided in me that he did not want to sign over the property to the denomination (he had lost confidence in the spiritual integrity of the leadership), and that he really hoped we would take over that ministry in the years to come.
He went home to be with the Lord on Good Friday in 1986. Mom continued the ministry on the island until September of 2000. While she was on her death bed at the hospital, my stomach almost curdled at the sight of the denomination's leader sweet-talking Mom and getting her to sign over the Saint Paul Island property -- which was easily the biggest and nicest property of all the building efforts my folks had created -- to the organization, never mind the fact that Dad had specifically said he didn't want that to happen.
Della and I were given three weeks to clear the place of Mom and Dad's personal possessions in the supposition that a family was coming out to replace them. It didn't take place for months afterward, and then it turned out to be a couple of ladies who served more as caretakers for some short period of time. When they left, no one came to replace them, and the property fell into a state of disrepair -- a condition that exists to this day. From what we've been told, the organization made an effort to sell the property, but the sale never went through and it sits essentially abandoned.
You will appreciate the fact that the Lord really had to sit on me and quiet my spirit after what I saw take place. You can also appreciate why I speak out so strongly against the spirit of Jezebel. I'm not angry at the people in the organization; they are pawns who've been taken captive by a spirit whose principal objective is to steal, kill and destroy.
The spirit of Jezebel has a clear modus operandi, and that method of operation has been in evidence since the days of Jezebel and Ahab when Jezebel had Naboth killed off so she could take the generations-old vineyard and give it to her compliant and enabling husband, Ahab.
Notice how Jezebel did it. Let's recap this story from I Kings 21.
Ahab sees and admires the fruitful vineyard that Naboth was tending. This vineyard was old and it was producing a grape harvest which would have resulted in a fine wine. More than that it was quite close to the king's palace and easily visible.
Ahab approaches Naboth and offers him a trade for a "better vineyard." From Naboth's perspective, his vineyard represents an inheritance passed on down to him as the labor of his father, his grandfather and generations of family before him. To treat that inheritance as a mere tradeable commodity for another vineyard in which he had no personal labor or investment was unthinkable. Furthermore, from Naboth's point of view, to give up what his father's had poured blood, sweat and tears into would be an insult to the Lord. (I could take this further in terms of the Law of Moses but it would take us off-track.)
Naboth refuses to sell the vineyard to the king – at any price. Ahab begins to pout and throws himself a hissy fit. Jezebel sees him in a blue funk and says to him, “What’s your problem?” Ahab cries on Jezzy’s shoulder, and Jezzy says, “No problem. I can fix this. I’ll personally give you Naboth’s vineyard.”
Now Jezebel commences to do something that is one of the primary tactics of that spirit in control of her, and epitomizes the manner in which it still works today. She goes hunting for two men of political repute and standing in the area – men who are easily corruptible and easily swayed by Jezebel’s position as Queen – and gets them to conspire with her against Naboth.
First things first. Set up Naboth. Let’s call a public feast, let’s send out letters of invitation to a celebration, and let’s honor a “Man of the Year” shall we? Piece of cake. Guess who the “Man of the Year” is? You got it!
Think Naboth has any clue that he’s being set up, that his pride is going to be his downfall? Nope. Neither do the overwhelming majority of Christians who fall into this same trap. They become the willing pawns of the spirit of Jezebel once their pride has been appealed to, and they think they’re being “honored.”
Honor? Some honor! Sure enough, Naboth shows up for his “honoring”, and right in the middle of the celebration, these two so-called “men of standing” (men of Belial: wicked, worthless, evil and ungodly) stand up and accuse Naboth of treasonous activity – namely, blaspheming God, AND (Horror of Horrors!) King Ahab.
There was no trial, no opportunity for Naboth to confront his accusers, and no one who stood up for him. This is something I’ve always found interesting about the spirit of Jezebel: its ability to intimidate even those who might under ordinary circumstances speak out on behalf of the righteous when falsely accused. Despite the fact that Jezebel wasn’t even an Israelite; despite the fact that Naboth had lived and spent his whole life there in Jezreel where the folks knew him, knew his family, and undoubtedly had been recipients of assistance and favors from Naboth and his family, not one single person stood up in his defense against two spokesmen whose accusations were completely fabricated out of whole cloth.
And this is the norm for folks when they’ve been intimidated by the spirit of Jezebel. The Fear of Death and the Fear of Man seal their lips shut. They stand by, keeping silence, and allow the fabrications of lying spirits to come against men and women of God. When judgment based on those lies is executed against the righteous, their silence is all the more sealed, and the spirit of Jezebel gets away with murder.
That’s exactly what happened with Naboth. Not one single person stood up in his defense. Folks who knew him as a righteous man, who knew that Naboth would rather die than blaspheme God or the king, stood by, capitulating to the spirit in Jezebel allowing him to be taken out of the town and stoned to death.
With Naboth dead and unable to defend himself or his lands, Jezebel seized his vineyard and proudly walked in to Ahab and handed him title to those lands he had coveted. Thus the spirit of Jezebel is also liar, thief, murderer, and willing conspirator to those who capitulate to its usurpation.
The obvious companion spirit to the spirit of Jezebel is what I have come to call “the spirit of Ahab.” Jezebel couldn’t have gotten away with such treachery had she not had Ahab to support and permit her activities. The spirit of Ahab, therefore, is a spirit of capitulation in the midst of Jezebel’s usurpation. In a modern sense and application, I have seen the spirit of Ahab operating in folks who were submissive or capitulative to a spirit of Jezebel, and rather than allow folks to defend the falsely accused, they move heaven and earth to see that the would-be defenders are moved somewhere else, or have no opportunity to speak out.
I want to break down for you each of the eight descriptive pictures or characteristics of the spirit of Jezebel that we referred to in the last Coffee Break, but I think I’ll wait on that until next week.
Once again, this is a pretty heavy subject and I don't want to weight folks down unnecessarily without reminding you all that there is no substitute for the presence of the Lord. In His presence comes revelation. In His presence comes deliverance. In His presence comes the kind of true authority necessary to take on evil spirits like Jezebel.
Blessings on you!
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