In tonight’s study I will share a story told by the author.
Nelson took another sip of coffee and continued to watch the attractive young woman. She was tastefully dressed in a dark suit and had the look of optimism – a confident handshake and direct eye contact, while soulfully engaging people in conversation. With her penetrating charisma, the woman was vivacious and enthusiastic. She had the ability to draw people to her. She was fun to be with and seemed to be a devoted student of the Bible.
Nelsons church was beginning to shrink Individuals that he had earmarked for leadership had left. To fill their void, Nelson needed to find new leaders. Each month his desperation increased, as the money from tithes and offerings continued to shrink.
During their times together, the woman suggested her theories on how to increase church membership. A savvy businesswoman, she created a blueprint to steer the church towards a position of dominance. Over the ensuing months, she became more entrenched in the church and began to lead a women’s Bible study group.
At that same time, Nelson was puzzled by the woman’s beliefs. She seemed to be in touch with the spirit, however it seemed to be a “dark spirit.” This spirit had told her to do unusual things, some of which had previously resulted in immorality. Despite this, Nelson and his wife loved being around this woman. Seeing her potential they met with the woman and attempted to mentor her.
As they placed their hopes in her, young women in the church began to rally around this woman. While her influence grew, Nelsons diminished like a slow leaking tire. Each month, the church continued to shrink in members. Then, Nelson’s wife began to suffer various illnesses, and his mind became filled with sexual fantasies. To make matters worse, his once amiable church staff became divisive and their vibrant small-groups program began to dwindle.
One day, Nelson called and asked for help. As I began to seek God, a dream came, allowing me to see through the enemy’s smoke screen. I relayed what God had shown me, which he affirmed to be accurate. But Nelson and his wife still continued to give this woman responsibility, leadership, and authority within the church. They admitted that she might occasionally receive counsel from a “spirit guide.” Nonetheless, they loved this woman and wanted to help her. What where they to do?
What I have just described is called an unholy alliance – a relationship that eventually leads to catastrophe, even though you are aware that the person continues to willingly sin. Furthermore, it is evident from Scripture that God dose not condone such a person being given a leadership roll in the church. Nelson and his wife justified their decision not to remove this woman from leadership “for the sake of the Kingdom.” Therefore, the Kingdom was compromised by the unholy arrangement, and their church suffered.
Agreeing to take a foreign queen violated Gods command. Apparently, Ahab justified this in his own mind, but the Lord condemned Ahab as having sold himself to wickedness ( 1 Kings ). Since Jezebel was a zealous participant in the depraved worship of Baal, a political alliance would have officially endorsed her immoral and idolatrous beliefs and inflicted them upon the Israelites. History tells us that is precisely what happened.
Jezebel had personality characteristics that included manipulation, control, sexual perversion, and idolatry. Some startling and relevant conclusions can be made about such a woman. An evil spirit may have motivated and bestowed widespread influence upon her.
The influence of this spirit still exists today. It has never been eradicated from the Church. Instead, it has enjoyed unholy reign. This spirit seems more entrenched in the church as the spirit of prophecy is poured out on all flesh (Joel ).
The name, Jezebel, is Phoenician in origin and means “un-husbanded.” Although she was married, her lack of submission and her infidelities prove that true marriage meant nothing to her.
While marriage is the mutual respect and submission to one another, Jezebel submitted to no one. Instead, she required others to submit to her. Her marriage was not just a political alliance that allowed her to become queen; it allowed her in essence to be acting king! She held the answers to all the king’s problems.
Jezebel had learned treachery from her father, Ethbaal, whose name meant “like unto Baal.” Ethbaal had become king by plotting murder. Thereby, Jezebel’s penchant for murder had generational roots. Eliminating someone’s life was merely incidental to achieving an objective.
Jezebel was no ordinary women. She had a flair for the dramatic. Every action she took, every word she spoke must have been done with great passion and unholy abandonment. She was an intimidating figure, a rose with razor sharp thorns. She was impossible to ignore, because to do so could cost you your life.
The way Jezebel had greeted Jehu, Israel’s tenth king (2 Kings 9:6) was more then just a casual hello, she had dressed in her finest painted her eyes to lure him into forming an alliance with her – perhaps by becoming his wife. If, nothing else, she sought to intimidate Jehu.
of Israel from 869-850 BC (1 Kings )
was not the only one to succumb to Jezebel’s perversions. Her children yielded
their mothers control. Her son, Ahaziah, was guilty of Ahab’s sins (1 Kings -53). Another son, Joram, was
killed by Jehu as punishment for all the things his parents had done to God’s
prophets (2 Kings -26).
Jezebels daughter, Athaliah, became queen of
a dominate force in
A spirit of Ahab symbolizes the giving up of authority, or at the very least, passive authority. It bespeaks of a mind-set that avoids confrontation and denies fault. The spirit of Ahab loves the position it has and fears confrontation. Someone with an Ahab spirit would rather make peace at any cost, even if it leads to making an unholy alliance.
An individual with an Ahab Spirit will often make truces instead of relationships prostituting rather than sanctifying relationships. How can you have a truce with someone who is out to destroy you? It is impossible but someone with an Ahab spirit will always sacrifice the future good for peace today.
Working together the spirits of Ahab and Jezebel will quietly form a codependent relationship. Both will need to feed off each other in order to accomplish each one’s goals. A pastor who is influenced by an Ahab spirit will need someone who influenced by a Jezebel spirit to maintain position and enlarge or entrench a powerbase.
The author points to a friend he once had, Russell, kept attempting to introduce him to a specific woman in his church. While this wasn’t unusual – nor is it wrong in itself – Russell appeared to rely too heavily on this woman’s input into every decision he made. The author cautioned him about developing a codependent relationship, but it was too late. Six months later, Russell fell into sexual sin with this woman.
Like many leaders today, Ahab’s reign was characterized by trying to placate and pacify Jezebel’s demands. He tolerated Jezebel’s abominable decrees and practices.
Many pastors embrace an individual influenced by a Jezebel spirit because that person appears to have leadership skills or spiritual insight that the pastor thinks will help their church grow. Some may even convince themselves that, in time, they will be able to spiritually “mature” the individual. But in the process of helping this individual, many pastors strike a compromise and weaken their authority. Remember, Ahab’s placating spirit is exactly what gave rise to Jezebel’s lethal powerbase.
Several pastors remain complacent and not confrontational out of fear that an individual would split their church. One pastor was very aware that his chief intercessor operated with a Jezebel spirit. However, he was afraid to address the situation simply because she was intimidating and had influence over others. He thought if he lost anymore church members he would default on his church loan payment. Unfortunately, this situation characterizes many pastors today. Prayer and encouragement are needed for pastors who are caught in this deadly snare.
It takes a courageous pastor to confront the strength and obstinacy of a Jezebel spirit. By their actions, individuals with a Jezebel spirit will reveal a pastors strengths and weaknesses. Pastors will see things about themselves that they might rather ignore. They may react defensively when their authority is challenged. For instance, to quell a revolt, a pastor may respond by appeasing or promoting this spirit. Or in fear, a pastor may suppress all prophetic gifts in a church. Or, the pastor may selfishly even use this person to promote his or her agenda. Any of these responses will damage the spiritual life of a church.
If this type of pastor is left unchecked by a strong board of elders, he or she will leave the church open to domination and control by this demonic spirit. The church will sink beneath an increasing weight of spiritual oppression, crushing healthy spiritual vitality and vision.
A Jezebel spirit defiles everything it touches. That which is holy becomes vile. People will begin to leave a church, not knowing why; simply feeling compelled to go as if they could feel the impending darkness.
Pastors also can not over react, eliminating intercessory and prophetic groups, this will only serve to silence their most reliable sources of decrement and revelation. When this happens it creates a spiritual vacuum. As in a game of chess, if you leave a space unoccupied, your opponent may soon seize that ground. Such a maneuver may allow the enemy to position his own deadly prophets in key places.
Pastors who retreat from exercising their authority may bring injury upon God’s people by inadvertently allowing they increased rule of this spirit in the church. As long as the issue is avoided, the problem will only worsen. When it is finally challenged, a Jezebel spirit that has become entrenched in a church is more difficult to dislodge.
If the pastor plays ignorant of Jezebel’s wrongdoings, he or she may become a kindred spirit. Knowingly or unknowingly, the pastor will align himself or herself with this spirit. Their methods and goals will begin to match one another. A pastor will also discover that he or she can accomplish their goals by exploiting his or her spiritual mirror image, becoming a conspirator with darkness.
One of two judgments will come to such pastors, unless they recognize that they are in error and repent. They will either fully embrace a Jezebel spirit and become a puppet subject to delusion, heavy depression, and indecision even in the smallest matters or, they and their churches will face spiritual famine. God’s manifest presence will be removed from their midst. Only memory of His presence will remain. Most likely, they will not perceive this as God’s judgment.
When a pastor has a friend that begins to show traits of a Jezebel spirit, it is easy for him to justify the persons rebellion or to simply ignore it. Generally, pastors demonstrate tolerance toward those who are “friends.” However, the trust and loyalty given to a friend will create a blind spot. A pastor, therefore, will need to step outside of friendship emotionally, view the situation as a pastoral issue, and correct any rebellion.
Ultimately, if a pastor brings correction, people will feel secure under the pastor’s leadership and develop trust in Godly authority. However if a pastor fails to correct rebellion, people will loose respect and trust for the pastor. People will regard the pastor with distain because of the consequences brought on the church by his inaction. Confusion will arise and God’s purpose will become obscured by a waffling leadership. Furthermore, a pastor who compromises will attract people who compromise. The pastor’s anointing will be reduced to a mere drop of what it was meant to be. In the churches of such pastors, the light will grow dim and the Body begins to lose its spiritual cutting edge.
1 Kings 21:25 But 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.
Ahab permitted Jezebel to sacrifice children as a form of worship, so our
permissive (tolerant) spirit allows the Jezebel spirit to remain the driving
force behind abortion in the
Beloved, the hour has come for a new mandate. It is rising up in the land and gaining momentum. God is empowering His Church with boldness and zeal brought about by true apostolic and prophetic voices. In this hour, God desires the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus, to be vibrant in every church. The prophetic spirit will reveal that which is hidden.
2 Kings 9:6 And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.
2 Kings 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
At this point in history, a great battle awaits God’s representative – the shepherds of His Church. Pastors are being summoned by the Lord to take on the spirit of Valor and to stand up as true kings. Just as Jehu’s commission was to rid God’s Kingdom of the defiling demoralizing influences of Ahab and Jezebel, a call is going forth today to remove those same apostate spirits from the Church.
Next week’s lesson: A Corrupting Influence