September 6, 2013
Good Morning!! We are witnessing stupendous signs and proofs of what God is doing in the earth today as it relates to the purification of the Bride of Christ, and the great ingathering of souls into the corporate Ekklesia. Over the past couple of weeks as the shofar has sounded during the conclusion of our praise and worship, we have witnessed simultaneous demonstrations of enormous claps of thunder in the heavens, followed by and uncountable number of lightning strikes, followed by hail appearing on the ground as pieces of glass, followed by buckets of rain the likes of which we haven't seen since Della and I were in Louisiana.
In the first instance, the hail appeared like you would normally expect hail to look like. That same evening the Lord gave me a dream/vision of what we had just experienced, but this time I saw the hail as tiny pieces of glass. The Lord spoke to Della and told her that He had shattered the glass ceiling or dome that the Enemy had surrounded His people with in an effort to keep their prayers from being effective. At the same time, Holy Spirit spoke in my ear and said, "I have opened up the windows of Heaven, and I'm pouring out a blessing you can't even begin to contain."
That same Sunday night we had the experience of the thunder, the lightning and the hail, another group of believers being led by our friend, Ed Young, along with a group of Amish brethren (**more about this momentarily), were concluding a three-day period of praise, worship, intercession and prophetic decrees in an area near Lewiston, Idaho. As they came to the crescendo of their worship, the skies seemed to explode over them. The thunder rocked the building they were in. Lightning began to strike all around them and hail fell like glass!
Ed called me on Monday morning to share the experience. His comment to me was, "I have NEVER, EVER seen hail looking like pieces of flat glass on the ground." I shared with him our experience of the same evening and the subsequent dream/vision with the accompanying Word we had received from the Lord. If I said that it was an emotion-evoking event, that would seriously understate things. You get the picture, I'm sure! We had the visible signs in the heavens of what the Lord was doing and saying to His people.
Now, let's get on with today's discussion.
Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of Jezebel in Revelation 2 as John unfolds this prophecy – the characteristics of this spirit – and how it was contaminating the body of Christ even then, in or around 96 AD. We mentioned them in the first Coffee Break in this series.
1. “She calleth herself a prophetess.” Hmmmmm.…. OK. False prophet (ess) and false prophecy.
2. “to teach and seduce my servants…” Right. This spirit poses as a seductive teacher, promoting doctrines and teachings that lead the people of God astray.
3. “to commit fornication.” This seduction is both spiritual and sexual. We’ll get into that in more detail shortly.
4. “and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” Uhh Huhh. Idolatry: the worship or reverence of things, or individuals, or entities other than the Lord Himself: the prioritizing of doctrines over a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Just wait. It gets worse.
5. “I gave her space to repent of her fornication.” So Jezebel (or those individuals contaminated with that spirit) are actively committing fornication. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily running around, having promiscuous sexual relations, although they well may.
6. “and she repented not.” So those afflicted with this spirit generally tend to be unrepentant. They have no remorse over their sin, can’t see that what they are doing is sin, and refuse to repent when faced with exposure of their sin.
7. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” So it’s more than just fornication: it is adultery, too. We’ll get into this more, too, as this discussion proceeds.
8. “And I will kill all her children with death.” Strange phrase, isn’t it? If one gets killed, they are dead are they not? How do you kill someone with death? This is an interesting Hebrew metaphor occurring in the Greek text. In this case, the Lord is talking about more than physical death: He is talking about an eternal death and separation from all possibility of redemption or future relationship with Him.
If there is any hallmark of the spirit of Jezebel, or some particular characteristic that sums up and describes its overall purpose, it would be “usurper.” The primary objective of the spirit of Jezebel is to usurp the operational authority of the Lord Jesus Christ in those who are anointed and appointed by the Holy Spirit to minister, to present itself as THE voice of the Lord instead, and to take control of the leadership of God’s people.
See that word, “control”? It goes with manipulation. It’s called witchcraft. So what is witchcraft, really? Black magic? Hocus-pocus? Magical incantations? Spells?
Whenever you use the word, witchcraft, people automatically associate it with magic, incantations, casting of spells, etc. And that, folks, is exactly how Satan wants you to see witchcraft! The Enemy wants you to focus on the superstitious aspects of witchcraft, the mythological and fantastical images of an old hag stirring a cauldron of some evil brew. He doesn't want you to see witchcraft for what it really is: the deliberate manipulation of people through deception, mis-direction, creating suspicion of others and -- more specifically -- creating dissension among God's people by promoting false teachings which question just how far our relationship with the Lord stretches.
This is where the first description (She calleth herself a prophetess) plays such a major role within the Body of Christ today. For centuries, God's people have been plagued with folks who've succumbed to this spirit, and I daresay that more men are contaminated with the spirit of Jezebel than women.
Let's talk for a minute about the role of the prophet(ess). This word is derived from the original Greek, prophetes, which is a conjunction of two other words meaning: to proclaim, or to put forth the thoughts or expressions [of God]. The more common interpretation of the Greek term is to describe one who speaks forth under specific inspiration -- one who is a "forth teller." That can describe one who foretells future events (and that is probably the most common perception of a prophet), but is more accurately referring to one who speaks forth under divine inspiration, "telling forth" that which Holy Spirit is speaking about or addressing under certain circumstances and in certain situations. Foretelling the future is certainly a part of being a prophet.
All too often, however, the spirit of divination is what masks itself as the spirit of prophecy. The spirit of divination is the demonic counterpart for the spirit of prophecy. Divination is that which takes place when an individual is "inspired" with thoughts and pictures of unfolding events, either by the use of astrology, Ouija boards, palm reading, seeing images in a crystal ball and a myriad of other means. The catch is that the spirit of divination often has a particle of accuracy in some facts, enough of which leads to deception -- both for the "diviner" and for the intended target of the divination.
Again, the spirit of divination will at times utilize Scripture verses out of context and in the wrong situation in order to lead men and women astray. You may ask how that could be possible, or how people could fall prey to such deception. The real truth is that when people do not live in a place of intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, when they do not continually live in a place of daily, moment-by-moment communication with the Lord where they hear His voice, they become susceptible to deception.
Once a person hears and KNOWS the voice of God, any other voice and any communication which comes out of a wrong spirit simply lacks the authority, the peace, the love and the power of God. Many years ago (and I've shared this before) when I had my first trip to Heaven and had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Abraham, he said to me (in response to a question), "Once you've heard the voice of God, there is no other voice!" That is absolutely true!
No matter how much Satan tries to counterfeit the voice of God through the spirit of Jezebel, no matter how much effort is made to seem like the authoritative voice of God in what seems like a prophetic word, if that word comes from a spirit of divination, the difference between that voice and the voice of God is unmistakable. No demon, no voice of an evil spirit can match the supreme authority that rests in God's voice. Any voice which speaks without the peace that passes all understanding -- especially if correction is being brought -- comes out of a spirit of divination operating through and in cooperation with a spirit of Jezebel.
When I hear the Lord speak to me, I don't have to sit and try to figure out whether I'm actually hearing Him, or whether I'm being led down the primrose path by a lying spirit. The voice of Father God has supreme authority in it, along with agape love, and even in the midst of correction and reproof there is a peace that defies explanation.
I'd like to take you back into an event that took place a number of years back which demonstrates how easily one can be deceived and enticed by this spirit.
It was 1966. I was in Barrow, Alaska , working with Dwain McKenzie and sharing with him in ministry. (I've often spoken of Dwain throughout these Coffee Breaks. He and I have known each other and labored together in the Gospel off and on throughout more than 55 years.) Dwain was the pastor of the church I had helped my father build a little more than a decade earlier. I was the Youth Pastor. Because this was a missionary endeavor, my livelihood didn’t come from a salary or weekly paycheck from the church. I was working for a branch of Alaska National Bank.
Dwain and his family decided to take a vacation trip to California.
He wanted to spend some time with his dad and mom and help his folks out with some needs, so he arranged for the Alaska Missions District (of the church denomination) to provide an interim missionary during his vacation. The missions’ superintendent picked a likely young couple to fill in for Dwain, and they arrived in Barrow in the spring of 1966.
Hervel was the young minister’s name, and his vim and vigor obviously impressed the Alaska Missions leaders. This was, to the best of my recollection, Hervel’s first real pastorate, and he was gung ho to show everyone what a good job he could do. One problem. He had never really undergone any period of discipline and preparation for taking on what was at that time one of the denomination’s largest churches in Alaska.
Once in Barrow, and once in the driver’s seat as the senior pastor, Hervel decided he didn’t want to let go of the position and the supposed prestige that came with it. He began to scheme and connive and try to figure out how he could have Dwain ousted and remain on as the permanent senior pastor.
Are you with me so far? Do you see the situation ripe for the spirit of Jezebel? Right.
Hervel opened the door wide for that spirit, and it rushed in where angels fear to tread. Before you know it, he had filed a formal complaint with the District Missions office alleging that Dwain had mismanaged the church’s finances, and that Dwain was misappropriating church funds for his own use.
As it turned out, my position at the bank allowed me to see every single expenditure of the church, as well as Dwain’s personal accounts. When I first heard of the allegation, anger rose up in me at Dwain’s accuser. However, I decided to hold my peace and personally (and surreptitiously) audit the finances of the church, as well as Dwain’s personal finances from my place at the bank. It wasn’t my place to do it, and my actions were certainly unauthorized by either the church, or the denomination, or the bank’s management (at least at first). The bank manager was a personal friend, and I explained to him the accusations being made, telling him (after I was already part way through the audit) that I was certain the accusations were fraudulent – that I wanted to either prove or disprove them. He agreed, and we went to work on it.
As I had suspected, the accusations were completely unfounded. I readied my documentary evidence to present to the District Superintendent, whom I knew would shortly be coming to Barrow to check things out. Without letting Hervel know that I had evidence contradicting his allegations, I confronted him and asked him if he would kindly show me his proof. He refused, telling me it was none of my business and saying that he was taking it up with the church board. Not being a member of the church board, I had no standing and no way to compel them to allow me into the board meetings in Dwain’s defense.
I bided my time until the District Superintendent came to Barrow. When I had my first chance to speak with him privately, I told him that the accusations against Dwain were completely spurious, and that I could produce documentary proof that the church finances had been handled in a completely above-board manner, and that I could account for every supposed mis-spent dime. To my astonishment, he refused to hear me.
The District Superintendent was easily twice my age if not close to three-times. I had known him since I was a young whippersnapper, and his refusal to hear any evidence from me in Dwain’s support was both baffling and angering. My frustration overflowed in that moment, and I let him know that Hervel was deliberately conspiring against Dwain in order to take the church away. My language was unequivocal. Hervel was a crook, he was a cheat and a liar, and there was no integrity in him.
The DS shushed me up and told me “simmer down,” that he would look into things and deal accordingly. I didn’t think there was any reason not to believe him, and I let it go. He still refused my offer to provide him with the documentary evidence, however.
It wasn’t more than a couple of days later when I received a phone call from the bank president asking me if I would like to train to take the management of the Kotzebue branch. He said I would have to move to Nome and train at the branch there. It was an enticing offer. I was not a happy camper working with a pastor whose greed and connivance to take control of a church through political maneuvering made me want to throw up. As far as I was concerned, this man had no concern whatever for the Gospel, nor for the things of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was simply a self-serving political operative using the Gospel for personal gain.
While I was still mulling over the offer to come to Nome and train for the management of the Kotzebue branch of the bank, I received a phone call from Paul Bills who was pastoring the church in Nome my father had built and pioneered. Paul, of course, had been a friend of our family for many years. He had filled in for Dad when we had taken a family vacation, and in fact, took over the church in Barrow when we moved on to build churches in Wainwright and Point Hope, preceding Dwain as Barrow’s pastor.
“I’m told that the bank has made you an offer to come to Nome. I’m calling you to see if I can talk you into taking the position. I need your help here in the church in Nome.”
Wow! That was the clincher. I called the bank president back and told him I would take the position. But first I talked to the DS again to make sure he was going to get to the bottom of the issue in Barrow before I agreed to leave. He assured me that no decisions would be made without Dwain having the opportunity to defend himself.
It didn’t dawn on me that I had been royally set up. My move to
Nome was orchestrated by folks with a whole lot more political pull than I imagined, and the objective was to get me out of the way so I wouldn’t prevent Dwain from being politically assassinated.
As soon as I was gone from Barrow, a fake trial was held before the church board. Dwain was found guilty in absentia. He never had an opportunity to present evidence that would have cleared him. He was contacted while in
California and advised to get back to Barrow to pack up his personal belongings, and told that he was through as a pastor in Alaska .
Next week, I’ll share with you the end of the story to show you how the Lord vindicated Dwain, and how both the DS and Hervel suffered Jezebel’s fate.
As we wrap up today's Coffee Break, following is an excerpt of a recent prophetic word delivered by Dutch Sheets, a brother with a profound accuracy in his prophetic utterances, and one whom I first met and came to deeply appreciate a good 30 years ago. This word is relevant to what I've been sharing on the spirit of Jezebel.
"Opposition, both from the Church and the world, will increase as we break out of normal. Religious spirits will insist on maintaining old structures and systems, and the kingdom of darkness will react aggressively to the spirit of revival. Don't be alarmed at this. Stay the course and resist the demonic pressure!"
Blessings on you!
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