May 31, 2013
If you've visited our website in the last few days, you should have noticed that the Coffee Breaks are now available (with the use of a Microsoft Translator) into 91 different languages. We've had numerous requests for the Coffee Breaks to be available in other languages -- most notably Arabic and Spanish -- and for the first time, they now are! Many thanks to our webmaster, Rich Hoffman, who has worked tirelessly to make http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com a success.
Anyway, Good Morning! Let's pick up where we left off last week, talking about Jezebel, and more than that, the spirit of Jezebel.
Ahab and Jezebel had built for themselves a rather posh ivory palace on a promontory, jutting out from the hill, Samaria. Just below the palace lay a vineyard belonging to Naboth, the Jezreelite. Ahab looked out from his palace day after day, admiring Naboth's vineyard. Finally, he went to Naboth and offered to buy it from him, or trade a larger and better(?) vineyard in exchange for Naboth's vineyard.
Naboth refused saying that this was an inheritance passed down from his father, Jezreel, and his fathers before him. No matter how hard Ahab tried to dicker, Naboth wouldn't be bought or swayed in his decision. Naboth felt that it would dishonor his father, Jezreel, to dispose of that which he had labored a lifetime to establish.
Ahab took Naboth's refusal as rejection, went home, laid on his bed, refused to eat, and simply pouted. Jezebel walked in on him, saw his despondency, and asked him what his problem was. Ahab told her, and she responded, "No problem! Just leave it to me. I will personally give it to you as my gift."
Jezebel thereupon set in motion a scheme all Christians should observe, which is a classic example of the spirit of the Amorites -- and specifically, the spirit of Jezebel -- in operation. The first thing she did (you can read this in I Kings 21) was to call a fast and instruct the elders of the city to prepare for a public meeting in which Naboth would be honored and set before the people as "Man of the Year" (or something like that!) Look out, Naboth! This is sucker bait!
The next thing she did was to find two men of believable reputation in the community, and get them (through bribery, or promises of certain favors) to stand up at the public meeting where Naboth was being honored and accuse him of blasphemy (isn't that interesting!) against God, and treason against the king. It worked like clockwork.
Because the Mosaic Law specified that an accusation had to be confirmed in the mouth of two or more witnesses, Naboth was a certain dead duck as soon as the second witness confirmed the first.
The elders of the city, like good, law abiding believers, accepted the accusations against Naboth without so much as a whimper or protest, even though he had been among them for a lifetime and they had all grown up together. Never mind the fact that Jezebel was an outsider, a newcomer to the community, and a citizen of a nation whom God had condemned to death. She was "the King's wife!" She was "the Queen." Sure enough, they took Naboth outside the city and stoned him to death.
See what the spirit of Jezebel does to those of God's people who have genuine integrity in their relationship with Him?
Jezebel promptly confiscated Naboth's vineyard, his property, and all his belongings, and then went and piously presented her gift to Ahab.
See what the spirit of Jezebel does to God's people -- how it first kills, and then robs them of their inheritance -- all under the guise and protection of the Law (whether New Testament, or Old Testament)?
Ahab, having been completely hoodwinked by Jezebel, bought into the spirit of the Amorites spirit, soul and body. We are told (in I Kings 21:25-26) that "There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel, his wife, stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel." (KJV)
The Lord sent Elijah to prophesy certain coming judgment against Jezebel, promising that "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel," which she killed Naboth to obtain.
We won't get into all of the events which followed, or how that spirit in Jezebel caused the prophets in Israel (with precious few exceptions) to prophesy falsely to Ahab (their "words" from the Lord actually came from the spirit of divination instead). It is important, however, to note that Ahab and Jezebel had a very desirable daughter, along with their sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram.
What!?! Yup! You've got it! Here we go again. Same song, third verse.
We have noted that there was a break in Judah for one generation -- that of Jehoshaphat -- in which the spirit of the Amorites was not in power, and was unable to influence the throne of Judah. Know why? Jehoshaphat was the first king since the time of Rehoboam to reappoint the worshippers, the descendants of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun, to minister before the Lord twenty-four hours per day.
In fact, it was Jahaziel, a fifth generation descendant of Asaph, who stood before Jehoshaphat when Moab and Ammon assembled an army against Judah, and prophesied the deliverance of the Lord. Jahaziel's prophecy tweaked Jehoshaphat's memory so that he sent the singers, the worshippers and musicians out before the armies of Judah -- a move which resulted in a stunning victory for Judah as the Lord caused Moab and Ammon to fight among themselves and decimate one another's armies.
Jehoshaphat sat on the throne of Judah for twenty-five years. His son, Jehoram, came to the throne following his death. As unbelievable as it seems, and in spite of seeing the great victories the Lord gave to his father in the midst of the praise and worship, "[Jehoram] walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab (and Jezebel) [Athaliah] to wife: and he wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord." (II Chronicles 21:6)
Well, the spirit of Jezebel isn't about to allow any contestants for her throne, and wouldn't you know it, Jehoram set about to kill all of his brothers -- anyone who might conceivably be in line to take the throne in the event of his untimely death.
Can you believe this? Ahab has been killed in battle. Ahab and Jezebel's son, Ahaziah, now takes the throne of Israel. Jezebel is very much alive, and the power behind the throne of Israel as "Queen Mother." Her daughter, Athaliah, marries Jehoshaphat's son, Jehoram, when he takes the throne of Judah. Now the spirit of Jezebel is in control of all Israel and Judah!
Ahaziah, Ahab and Jezebel's son, only survived on the throne of Israel for two years before being killed. Ahaziah had not had time to have any children who could succeed him to the throne of Israel, so Jezebel fixed things right smartly. Now Jehoram, her other son, took the throne in the place of his brother, and Mama Jezebel stayed in control of things.
Over in Judah, Jehoshaphat's son, also named Jehoram, lasted on the throne for eight years and died after "the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease." No problem for Jezebel...er, make that Athaliah. Oh well, same difference. So Jehoram and Athaliah's son, Ahaziah, now takes the throne.
(Would you believe that this family has a problem with names. They seem to be stuck in a rut! Jehoram! Ahaziah! Israel, or Judah -- it makes no difference. The spirit of Jezebel always makes its identity known.)
This Ahaziah only lasts on the throne of Judah for one year. He met the judgment of the Lord in the person of Jehu, the captain of the armies of Israel, who was executing God's word against the household of Ahab and Jezebel.
Well, the spirit of Jezebel isn't going to take that lying down. Nosiree! We'll fix that! No more of these weakling men on the throne! I'll just take the throne myself! So Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, the wife of the late King Jehoram, and the mother of the late King Ahaziah, how takes the throne of Judah herself. She decides to take things one step farther than her erstwhile husband by destroying all of the seed of the lineage of David who might step forward to contest her claim on the throne of Judah.
It would have worked, too, had it not been for the spiritual awareness of the high priest in Jerusalem, Jehoiada by name. He realized that he'd better act quickly. His wife, Jehoshabeath, who was Jehoshaphat's daughter, hid Joash in her nursery as one of her own children. Jehoiada and his wife raised Joash as one of their own children.
In the mean time, Athaliah sat on the throne of Judah for six years.
When Joash turned seven years of age, Jehoiada made preparation for his coronation. In a stunning move, the captains of the armies of Judah went throughout the land gathering together the priests, the Levites, and the elders of all the cities in Judah. These were quietly brought into the temple on the Sabbath, as though it were a normal gathering.
Swords were passed around, and the announcement was given. As the coronation began with fanfare, praise and worship, Athaliah came in to see what all the commotion was about. The priests stopped her at the gate and put her to death. So much for the daughter of Jezebel.......but not for the spirit of Jezebel which remained in hiding -- for thirty-nine years.
Jehoiada lived to the ripe old age of 130 years. Joash reigned well, so long as Jehoiada lived. He had been contaminated by the spirit of Jezebel, however. He was, after all, her great-grandson. So long as praise and worship went forth in Judah (and it did for thirty-nine years), that spirit was subdued.
When Jehoiada died, Joash was beset by self-seeking politicians currying his favor. The first thing to go was the praise and worship.
Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, who had been raised with Joash as his brother, came to reprove Joash with the word of the Lord. Naturally, the spirit of Jezebel couldn't tolerate reproof and rebuke. Joash, if you can believe this, arose in anger and put his erstwhile brother, Zechariah -- the prophet of the Lord -- to death. Less than a year later, Joash's servants assassinated him.
113 years passed before another king, Hezekiah, came to the throne of Judah who had any real concept of relationship with the Lord. Even so, in spite of the blessings of the Lord, and a "world-class" military victory over Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, Hezekiah became insensitive to that which the Lord had accomplished on his behalf.
Judah had been a third, or even fourth-rate power during the years of Hezekiah's predecessors, being continually invaded, having their cities destroyed, and their wealth carried away by the armies of the Edomites, the Philistines, the Egyptians and the Assyrians. With the astounding victory by Hezekiah over Sennacherib, who had been one of the most feared kings and battle strategists of that era, Baladan, the king of Babylon, sent his son, Merodach-Baladan and several ambassadors to check out this Hezekiah and see what sort of king he might be -- whether they should also fear him, or whether this was just a fluke.
Hezekiah was flattered by the attention -- especially by the king of Babylon. By this time, Babylon had become a major military and political power to be reckoned with. To receive an ambassage from Babylon was quite an honor. It meant that they regarded Hezekiah as their equal! (Oh yeah!?!) Hezekiah took the same bait that Naboth fell for, not realizing that he was being set up for conquest by Babylon.
Naturally, he showed the prince of Babylon and his ambassadors the fruit of his great victory, along with the treasures in his house, and the treasures in the house of the Lord. The Lord sent Isaiah to pay a visit to Hezekiah. "What said these men, and from whence came they unto thee?" Isaiah asked. Hezekiah told him that they had come from Babylon, and that "there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them."
Dummy! You fell for the trap of Jezebel! (Isaiah 39:5-6) Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, "Hear the Word of the Lord of Hosts: behold the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left," saith the Lord. "And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." (KJV)
See how the spirit of Jezebel operates? It sets people up by making them believe that they are being honored, only to make them talk about themselves and display all of their weaknesses. Ahhh, but wait! There was nothing said about Jezebel in this instance!
Right! Now you're beginning to get the picture. It was the King of Babylon, and he was utilizing exactly the same ruse that Jezebel used on Naboth. Get it? Jezebel was subservient to the King of Babylon. He was her true husband. Whatever he desired, she carried out.
It all had one end, and one end only: captivity! Captivity for all those whom Jezebel was able to snare. They all wound up -- in Babylon! Eighty-seven years after Hezekiah's death, his great-grandson was carried off into Egypt by Pharaoh Necho. Less than 12 years later, Nebuchadnezzar came against Pharaoh Necho and carried off Hezekiah's great grandsons -- including Jehoahaz, who had been taken into Egypt -- turned them into eunuchs, and kept them in the palace at Babylon to be his prisoners. All Judah fell prey to Babylon, and was taken into captivity. One hundred thirty-four years earlier, the king of Israel -- along with the ten tribes in his kingdom -- were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar's grandfather.
The spirit of Jezebel had done its work, faithfully carrying out the wishes of the king -- the master spirit -- of Babylon, Lucifer himself. Jezebel, the spirit of the Amorites incarnate, had seduced the kings of Israel and the people of God, and in the process, blasphemed, defamed, and killed multiplied thousands of God's people, and especially His prophets and messengers who could expose her and contest her claim.
That's it for today. Next week we'll start linking all of this to Babylon, the driving spirit that is Babylon, and the direct connection to John's Revelation of "Mystery Babylon."
Blessings on you!
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