Dismantling Jezebelís Mantle ~ Ch.11
Jeremiah watched in horror as Babylonian soldiers set fire to the Temple in Jerusalem.† His eyes burned from the smoke as well as his own grief, as he watched buildings throughout the city become pillaged and set ablaze. He wondered why the people had not listened to him.† Why had they allowed themselves to be influenced by the pagan nations around them?† If only the Jews would have heeded the profits!† If only they would have listened to Moses!
Gazing at the billing black pillar of smoke rise, Jeremiah stared as the flames consumed the Holy Place.† Although they were Godís chosen people, the Jews slowly became like the Babylonians.† How, they had fallen under judge may, just as Moses predicted.
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be your irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.† Moreover it shall be in that I will do to you as I thought to do to them ~ Numbers 33:55-56.
A Demonic Thorn
Any thorn will cause infection unless it is removed.† A demonic thorn can prick† the Church and cause infection, just as a splinter can inflame the skin and cause infection.† The longer it is ignored, the greater the spread of infection.† If neglected, the infection can spread and lead to amputation -- or even worse, death.
To resolve the matter of a Jezebel spirit, God requires His servants to remove the demonic thorn that infects His Body.† Godly confrontation is necessary in order for conviction and true repentance to occur.
Conviction and repentance occur with the help of the Holy Spirit.† Pastors cannot force repentance upon anyone because we are not the ďconvicterĒ of sin.† The Holy Spirit has that responsibility.† We can pray that the Holy Spirit will convict an individual who operates with a Jezebel spirit.† However, if an individualís behavior becomes obviously malicious and damaging to others in the church, a pastor must confront that issue.† Decisive and unified action is needed by the pastor and the eldership before God takes action, as He was about to deal with Thyatira.
Responsibility For Removal
Responsibility for addressing a Jezebel spirit belongs to the pastor. As an overseer of the flock, a pastor has the authority to confront and remove any troublesome person or problem in a church.
A pastor should not expect a prophet to address this issue. A prophetís responsibility is only to reveal an individual who covertly operates in a Jezebel Spirit. Remember, the prophet Elijah ran from Jezebel. His successor, Elisha, realized that only kings had the authority to remove Jezebel. Thereby, God instructed Elisha to anoint Jehu to be king.
There are two basic approaches to take when confronting a Jezebelite.† The first is to announce your conclusion (I.e., ďyou have a Jezebel spiritĒ), and that identify the reasons you drew that conclusion.† However, this approach rarely works.† The stigma of being called ďJezebelĒ is too offensive.† In addition, such people have erroneously perceived that the Jezebel spirit is the Holy Spirit.† Therefore, everything they have embraced becomes suspect.† Since the Jezebel Spirit counterfeitís the Holy Spirit, they will have to admit that they were operating In the wrong spirit.† They will need to acknowledge that the spare a which gave them comfort, power, insight, authority, value, and self-esteem is demonic.† If they make such a confession, it will leave them feeling confused and disoriented, not knowing what to believe or who to trust.
For these reasons, I do not recommend taking this approach.† More than likely, they will not acknowledge their problem.† It will continue to believe they heard from the Holy Spirit.† Consequently, they will begin to mount a defensive campaign against you, trying to entrench themselves further in the Church so that you can not get rid of them.† Or, they will leave the church.† While this solves your immediate problem, they remain unhealed.† Pastors with a Kingdom mentality will grieve for the loss of Godís original destiny for them.
The second and more apostolic approach is to identify and address core issues before announcing your conclusion.† In fact, you may never have to identify that spirit to those who have it.† Hopefully, they will see the issues and draw the conclusion on their own.† For instance, if someone is spreading lies about you as a pastor, you will need to confront the specific lie and discover why he or she has lied.
More than likely, this person has grown up with poor role models and has seen authority figures misuse their power.† In a sense, this approach will require that the pastor help straighten out an individualís skewed thinking about authority figures.† A pastor may want to encourage the individual to identify and sort through unrealistic expectations and re-parent himself or herself.
Address Individualís Fears
To encourage an individual† to genuinely repent, a pastor will need to seek Godís wisdom.† He or she will also have to deal with the individualís fears.
Before people let you pray for them, they will need assurance that what ever made them vulnerable to operating with a Jezebel spirit will be eliminated.† The door of access to this spirit of fear must be discovered, closed, sealed, and covered.
An individual must also feel safer around a pastor and others who are ministering to him or her.† Love and wisdom must be clearly demonstrated in order for ministry to the Jezebelite to succeed.† Simply having good intentions will not reassure the individual.
A myriad of fears may drive such an individual.† It may be a fear of those in authority or a fear of those who are perceived as a threat.† Discovering the root problem or access point that allowed this spirit to Infiltrate will greatly facilitate the healing process.† This will also help the person to refuse the same spirit and future situations.† For example, if the Jezebel spirit has entered through a time when the person was feeling rejected, the specific situation that occurred should be identified.† Then, the next time the individual is rejected -- or perceives rejection -- he or she will not resort to the old behavior of control and manipulation.
When you attempt to deliver Christians who have the Jezebel spirit, they will be afraid of losing everything.† What you see as roots of the Jezebel spirit, they will see as necessary for their protection.† They have mistakenly believed they are operating in the Holy Spirit.† Therefore, they will believe that all their perceptions, opinions, words of knowledge, and dreams have come from God.† The pastorís task is to dismantle this lie so that individuals can recognize the deception in which they have walked.
Normally, such people will need to be assured that God is at work to help them effectively resist and overcome a Jezebel spirit.† Over time, this process of discernment and not yielding to old habits will build godly character.† Remember: God is faithful to complete the healing that he has begun in their lives (Philippians 1:6).
Remorse for Getting Caught
Remorse has underlying tones of regret for being caught.† In addition, it suggests the possibility that the individual will repeat their actions again, at another time.† It takes a seasoned leader to discern the difference between repentance and remorse.
Church discipline must continue until true repentance comes forth, evidenced by godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10).† Godly sorrow is a sign of a broken will.† Even if an individual repentance, he or she must not remain or be placed in any form of leadership.† The individualís soul and spirit must first be renewed and restored.† All of this takes time to heal properly.† We must understand that this process involves more than forgiveness.† It involves inner healing, which usually takes several years.† Therefore, if the individual wants to start leading a small group, to not bow to their pressure.† Rushing to reinstate him or her in leadership would be like sending a former alcoholic into a bar to witness.† Wisdom cautions us not to do it!
When Problems Resurface
Problems arise if the person denies having issues of control or manipulation.† Surprisingly, denial often happens after a private meeting occurs in which the person admitted to having the problem.† When these problems resurface, they will have a greater sting.† Since you have already played your hand, the Jezebelite will begin to anticipate what you will say and craft clever rebuttals.† Piece by piece, they will dismantle your entire case against them.
A pastor, who should have informed the leadership of the Jezebelite, will need to gather the leadership team.† Together, a pastor and leaders will need to address and confront the individual quickly.† Do not allow this problem to linger, because it will brew to hurricane strength.† Repentance must be required immediately.
Since God requires two witnesses, you must have witnesses when confronting an individual with a Jezebel spirit.† Furthermore, what is this may be necessary if the individual later lies or twists what was said.† By having witnesses present, you ensure that proper and necessary pastoral action will be taken.† In addition, witness says provide a power of agreement to bind and to loose.† Together, you can bind the Jezebel spirit and its power from affecting future events in your church.
If the individual is unrepentant and unwilling to undergo deliverance, he or she must be removed from the church.† Scripture describes a man who challenged pastoral authority and who was severely corrected and removed from the fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:4-5).† These severe corrections require that leaders continue to demonstrate love, character, and valor.
Because the apostle Paul was interested in the Kingdom and not in harboring a personal vendetta, several years after advising the removal of a man from the church in Corinth, he noticed the manís godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 2:4-11).† The church leadership, however, had failed to notice it.† So, Paul brought it to their attention and encouraged them to reinstate the man into church fellowship.
Likewise, after the individual has been removed, if the stronghold over the Jezebelite is truly broken, then we must forgive and restore the person to the church.† Obviously, restoration must be done wisely by those who can accurately judge the individualís sincerity and depth of repentance.
Time to Act
Jehu, was the ruler of the longest-lived dynasty in Israel, was anointed king by Elisha and given a mandate by God to eliminate Jezebel and the house of Ahab (2 Kings 9:7). Jehu wasted no time in carrying out his assignment. At Jehuís command, Jezebelís own servants threw her down from her lofty perch on the cityís wall. Her servants were eunuchs who did not yield to her seductions. As such, they were able to carry out Jehuís orders, in order that the true watchmen of God could stand there (2 Kings 9:33).
Likewise, a pastor who is going to confront Jezebel must become a spiritual eunuch. He or she must not be tempted by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Such a pastor must be as resolute and uncompromising as Jehu and as incapable of being seduced as Jezebelís eunuchs.
In this hour, I pray that godly pastors of kingly character, valor, and strength will arise. I pray that with courage, they will lay an axe at the root of this demonic spirit that seeks to destroy prophets, emasculate pastors, and pervert the Body of Christ. As Godís people, we need to love what He loves and hate what He hates. We do not need to shrink back and become afraid of addressing and correcting lawlessness and rebellion that defile the Body of Christ.
The Antidote to Lawlessness
Today, since lawlessness is a disease of our culture, I recommend that pastors take a proactive approach. They may want to consider having on-going teaching in a church on the topics of spiritual authority and lawlessness.