Unity comes through communication, sincerity, harmony, and reconciliation. To perfect our union with our brothers and sisters, we need to first recognize the strengths and weaknesses that exist within ourselves, our prayer-groups and our churches. Should a weakness arise, prayer and reconciliation can rectify our union. Sustained harmony is a channel towards receiving the Holy Spirit.
By Vassula Rydén
One reason why God created man was to prove to Satan that not only was it in His nature to want to communicate His glory to created beings, but that He could deify him, “like the Most High”, out of the very dust of the earth. This creature would rise out of the slimy origins of corruptible matter and be exalted to the supreme heights of divinity, becoming a god by participation. This is why man in his restored and sanctified state stands over and above the ranks of even the angels. In the Orthodox worship, our Blessed Mother can be called; “the sweetness of the angels,” and “higher than the heavens,” and “more honourable than the cherubim and beyond compare, more glorious than the seraphim.”
But our adversary, Satan, from the moment God created us was against us. Envious that God has created us in His image and likeness, he never ceased to use his freedom to put man to the test and tempt him for his fall.
Today, the world does not believe in the existence of Satan as an evil spirit or any other evil spirit, nor does it believe in the other dark forces that plague God’s creation. To accept that the evil spirits exist is already to have conquered part of the spiritual battle. But Jesus warned us that in our days, the latest trick of Satan is to make people believe he does not exist nor that there is a place like hell. Many Christians today are not aware of his presence and the presence of the evil spirits either on the physical aspect of things or in the spiritual sense and the effect these evil spirits can do to us. Thus by rejecting this reality, we are giving Satan and his fallen angels their freedom to move and go about without being detected and without hindering them. Satan is not just a form of evil, or an energy, or an idea, but a real personality with intelligence. With him are hordes of other evil spirits who are in the same battle against the Kingdom of God, that were they to be physically seen by the eye, they would darken the sun.
We know and have learnt that evil spirits are never content to roam around marshlands and open spaces, but are always seeking to make their abode into a body and soul. They roam to look for “openings” and opportunities to lodge in souls. Apparently, demons are never impressed while being exorcised by timid and effeminate persons, perhaps this is why we find in the Orthodox Tradition the practice of literally blowing away the demons and spitting at them. In the baptismal rite the person who is being baptised is asked to blow and spit at Satan three times. An Orthodox priest says on this: “How regrettable that some priests have discontinued this custom, finding it vulgar and distasteful! O, if they only realized what a service they do to Satan! He sure is fond of persons with such qualities of courtesy and refinement and appreciates their cooperation…”
A Greek Orthodox father said: “The Orthodox Church obviously has a vivid awareness of the reality of the devil as an invisible personality who not only seeks to take over the souls and bodies of men, but also dwells in material things like homes, certain rooms, the air and water. Before a person is immersed in the baptismal water, the water is always exorcised so that it might be liberated from demonic powers. For example, the priest prays to God that “all invisible phantoms of the air depart from us and let no demon of darkness be hidden in this water, nor, we beseech Thee, O Lord, allow to descend, with him who is now being baptized, any evil spirit which bringeth defective reason and confusion of thought.” He then blows into the water three times in the form of a cross and signing it with his hand which he dips three times, he says, “By the sign of Thy precious Cross let all adverse powers be shattered!”
Many Christians are not aware that they might be carriers of one demon or more. They can never imagine that whatever physical or psychological illness they suffer could be caused by evil spirits that made their home in them. Many emotional disorders, neurosis, break downs, unfounded fears, anxieties, migraine headaches, asthma, allergies and other psychosomatic diseases very often are caused by a demon that has taken his abode in the soul and body of a person. In our days if someone suggests to them such a thing, they would laugh at the notion of having such a demon or they would simply think your thoughts are medieval, outdated or superstitious. Leaving such a demon or even ignoring it would simply cause more damage since it would be an invitation to this evil spirit to remain permanently in us.
In this article I shall mainly focus on one spirit, that is very common and found especially in religious circles, but as well in offices, families and circle of friends. One could detect it easily if one knows its behaviour. It is a product of the flesh that opens the door to an evil spirit. It is behaviour that operates through a person to control by the use of manipulative, domineering and intimidating tactics. When it is in the church it is to disrupt the flow of the Spirit. The devil hates the prophetic flow of God, because the prophetic ministry demands repentance and cuts away evil without compromise. The prophet always speaks against Jezebel. Additionally, the prophetic words come with creative power, which renders the enemy helpless. There is such significance in the fact that Jezebel wanted to destroy Elijah. The Jezebel spirit hates the prophetic, uncompromising voice. It cannot accomplish its agenda with a prophet around. However, here, I shall not so much talk about the queen Jezebel, married to King Ahab, because that is from what it gets its name, but because one can read the Scriptures and find out their story. I shall only write of her spirit.
Jezebels have a personality that has been shaped by controlling demonic thoughts. Therefore, the person must be willing to ruthlessly face truth and be willing to let God crucify his flesh. The flesh and its patterns must be subjected to the Holy Spirit daily in order for the person to be permanently set free.
Jesus had warned the Church at Thyatira about this diabolical spirit called Jezebel. Jezebel’s aim is to silence God’s prophets because in doing so, it destroys the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev.19:10). It takes you away from the truth and from the words of our Lord given to us for the benefit of His Church, to follow what does not come from God. Expert in aping God, it can lure many faithful away from the real prophetic revelation that is given by God’s grace. Since a Jezebel spirit counterfeits the prophetic anointing in gifts, calling, and authority, a prophetic leader will become a target of a Jezebel spirit, as will a church in which the prophetic is held in high regard. A prophetic church and its leaders must realize that if the spirit of Elijah is going to return, so will its counter-spirit – the Jezebel spirit.
In these last days the Holy Spirit led us to be aware more than ever of this evil spirit revealing to us its name. It had infiltrated in some of our prayer groups in the past, causing a lot of damage, frustration, quarrels, and finally division and destruction as well as in the Associations of True life in God. It would not fail to penetrate as well in the good work of the Coordinators’ team and disrupt it, but with the grace of our Lord we will always succeed in discerning it and remove it from within our circles before damage is done. Just like the angel removing the darnel from the wheat, I have a feeling that these are the times when our Lord is cleansing His field.
Face to face with Jezebel
During these past fourteen years, how many times have I come face to face with this spirit, but without knowing its name! I have met individuals carrying this evil spirit in my meetings, during encounters, in prayer groups, and other places. How many times have I heard from them the classical sentence: “I’m just like you. I have exactly the same experiences as you have. I understand you. God tells me the same things as he tells you.” Or, “Jesus is also giving me messages very similar to yours. We should join forces and work together.” Or, more direct, “Jesus and the Virgin Mary told me that we should work together.” Some would be simple but just as deadly and would say: “Our blessed Mother wants you to do this or that,” indicating to me what I should be doing. These comments would be either in verbal form or they would be in written form, passing in my hand or through friends a written message from “their angel” to me, or from “Jesus or Mary,” many of which will be either flattering me to lure me, or flogging me because I had rejected them!
A true gift of the Holy Spirit never labels itself but allows God to let it be discovered. Since it is His work and He intends to deal with it, He will see to it to be known in His time. If one has a genuine call of God, people will recognize it. But so many who are not given the gift of prophecy, go around wearing a badge, cheapening themselves by sticking the label on themselves.
As I was in transit in Nice one day and waiting for my plane, I was approached by a young lady who apparently had recognized me. She said that she had been reading the TLIG inspirations and was delighted with its contents. Just before leaving she pulled out her private card
which contained her name and just below her name was her profession. It read: “Messenger of God.” How brazen can one get!
Very recently we had to face this evil spirit again in several different places. Thanks for Fr. Abberton and Fr. Sullivan’s help, this evil spirit was dealt with great success but not without a struggle. Unfortunately to this day, those that carried it and were asked to go for deliverance prayers and healing have not gone. It is very difficult to bend pride in them or submit to their self-ego. Those that said they went for deliverance prayers, went there unconvinced that they were carrying this spirit; denying what they carry does not help much because they block themselves to the Spirit who is ready to heal them.
By calling herself a “prophetess,” Jezebel was teaching and leading God’s bondservants astray. Over the centuries, she has been around, seeking to attack the prophetic ministry given either on a person or in the Church, and where the prophetic gift is present, you can be sure that sooner or later the Jezebel spirit will manifest itself. I sometimes doubt that the person carrying the Jezebel spirit has any notion that she or he carries it, since this person is determined in reaching his or her goal at any price.
Probably most deceiving to many is that Jezebel was religious and did religious things. She was the daughter of Ethbaal, meaning “with Baal”. She converted her husband Ahab to follow Baal. Ahab married her against God’s command. The name Jezebel specifically means “without dwelling or habitation.” A true explanation of Jezebel can clearly be described as the worship of self-will.
Some characteristics of Jezebel
The clear battle with the Jezebel spirit is over people. In the church, that spirit desires to rule and control the people of God. If we are not people of decision, we will fall under the spell of the Jezebel spirit. She is a supporter of, and heavily influential in, religious organization as well as politics. While Jezebel is religious, she wields her false power against the true prophetic flow of God. She hates the prophets and all prophetic ministry. Specifically she hates repentance, humility and intercessory prayer, because they destroy her strongholds of stubbornness and pride.
Jezebels love to project a sense of power they do not have. It is based on intimidation, in order to cloud the minds of those they desire to oppress. How frequently that spirit tries to wield influence: In the church – “If you take this action, we will withhold our tithe.” Or, “Submit to me, or you won’t have a spiritual covering.” In spiritual organizations, – “If you don’t see it my way, I will just pull out and you can deal without me and all the work I prepared I will keep.” Yes, if one does not go along with his or her action, there will be consequences. Intimidation always seeks to move the person through threats. This use of fear puts the victim under control out of fear of losing something precious to him. This is blackmail and far from God’s love, because these are all improper channels, use of illegitimate power and authority, projection of power that is not ours to use. This by no means insinuates that a person shouldn’t stand up for himself, but rather that it should be done through proper channels. Manipulating, intimidating and dominating another human being are blatant uses of control and illegitimate authority.
In the first stages of my witnessing while in Switzerland I was approached by a lady who seemed quite gentle and eager to give some help in the French translations. As I had no one yet, I accepted her offer. Her husband worked in a school and was teaching French Literature. She appeared to be the right person to translate as her husband could give some light as well in what she translated. But after reading the text given to me, I discovered that the terminology was far from Biblical terminology. Jesus’ simple clear words, were turned into French literature, losing the touch of intimacy. And as we know, TLIG has indeed very close links of terminology with the Scriptures. In fact there are many quotations from the Scriptures. I took the liberty to alter certain words that were biblical, taking them from the French Bible. When she found out that I dared interfere in what she called “her” work, I was threatened and accused of interfering into what she called perfect French, treating me as an ignorant person who does not know refined French language, reminding me that her husband is a teacher of French literature, etc. She wrote a hard letter to me and said that either they do it their way without me altering their language and putting it into Biblical language, or they would pull out. After consulting my confessor, he advised me to let them go.
I called her and said to her that I don’t accept what she said. Frustrated, she asked me to give her back her translated manuscript. Immediately I turned to our Lord and asked Him to send me a translator. That same evening Lucien Lombard called me and asked me if he could do some work, perhaps translations? That is how our Lord works. If one instrument fails Him, He replaces that person. No problem.
This lady then, having been stopped to work in the translations, wrote her own book of “divine messages”. Went over to Belgium and had them print them out. The Jezebel spirit is also vengeful. She started to approach many of my friends to tell them how evil I was and that she too had visions. In one of her visions, she said, she saw Padre Pio, who indicated to her that I was indeed very evil and that I was a false prophet. As this was not enough to get even with me, she opened a website against TLIG. Her mission was to destroy the prophetic flow of God. To my knowledge her site is still there.
Various other traits of Jezebel playing the Master – playing the Martyr
Self-pity is clearly a conscious resignation and surrendering to the victim mentality. “When you see yourself as a victim, you literally enter into sin with Jezebel, because you are not resisting her,” says one book about the Jezebel spirit. They talk about brotherly love but they do just the opposite, consciously or unconsciously. This “love” is not a divine love or even a refined human love. Rather, it is totally selfish love with its own agenda, seeking recognition or control. They would even use a religious term, fasting, and a religious occasion to bring their will to pass. They would quote passages out of Scriptures to you and preach to you and give you a full conference of moral values to show to you how wicked you are and how far from God your thoughts are, contrast to how good they are, yet victimized. In other words, they would play the Master who are spiritually elevated and exceeding you, instead of the humble servants of God who follow what Scriptures say: “There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interest first but everybody thinks of the other people’s interests instead.” (Philippians 2: 3-4).
Jezebel, I have noticed has many traits. She will take any trait so long as she attains her goal. The other façade to manipulate will be this of a Martyr instead of playing the Master. This façade of Jezebel will try and manipulate everyone, accusing them as evil towards her. They go around to make you believe you are misunderstanding them and that you are chasing innocent blood, just like The Sacrificial Lamb or martyred as the Saint Martyrs. We had one who compared himself to Jesus the Supreme Victim, when Jesus was forced to leave Israel because of Herod. This person I am writing of carried the Ahab spirit and was manipulated by a Jezebel spirit. At times though he himself carried the Jezebel spirit and through his characteristics I started to believe that as a person can have a double personality so it could be with the spirits lodging inside people. I believe that this particular person carried both spirits; in that particular event I will be speaking of he carried both.
This leader of our prayer group had allowed another person who had the Jezebel spirit to take over not only his spiritual activities for his own selfish agenda but also our prayer group. He thought by proclaiming the Jezebel spirit as The Prophet and Healer it would gain him popularity in a declining and dying prayer group. When I discovered and confronted the two spirits, the leader who carried the Ahab spirit tried to put the blame on other innocent people accusing them of all sorts of things. This is why I believe that one can carry both spirits. From Ahab, he became Jezebel because he had no problem to lie so long as he would gain his cause. Jezebel has no problem to lie, she is known to be notorious in lying. This leader of our prayer group was forced to leave not only the prayer group but the country he lived in as well, to avoid a court case that was declared on him and is still pending. Although he was advised to go to a deliverance and healing retreat, he refused, acting as though he was unjustly attacked. Taking on the spirit of a martyr, unfortunately they would enlist many in their “cause”. This already satisfies them without them caring they are causing division and becoming an abomination in God’s Eyes.
It is also quite common for someone with a Jezebel spirit to show up at someone’s house without notice, saying the Lord told him to go pray for a particular need. They feel compelled to pray over others, but this urge is not from God.
Confronting Jezebel’s and Ahab’s spirit
When the Jezebel spirit is confronted with the truth, it would perceive the confronter as the enemy. Then it counter-attacks with assaults against this “enemy”. In fact, no greater wrath seems to occur than when a controlling person is confronted. This person will never admit guilt or relinquish the sense of power and will retaliate against the confronter. Defensiveness is a common reaction when a suggestion is made. Pride with a mixture of insecurity, which is deep rooted, cannot take correction, because all correction is perceived as rejection. Therefore, you will never hear a person with a controlling spirit admit he is wrong. It is always the fault of someone else. Never is there confession of guilt, contrition or true remorse.
The Jezebel spirit is in contrast to the will of God. Her will has become god. Her will must be accomplished, regardless of the consequences. Not only did Jezebel steal authority, she manipulated those in leadership. She used lies and distortions. God waits for someone to stand up to her – to confront her. Many succumb to the Ahab spirit and simply turn their heads from her tactics. They reason that, after all, she is religious and works hard in the Church. The greatest weakness among leaders is the fear of confrontation. They want peace without paying the price of confronting the manipulation and controlling tactics of the Jezebel spirit.
I remember when I had to confront people with that spirit, what a quantity of accusations suddenly poured out of their mouth! The hatred that was being manifested suddenly, reminded me when, in the beginning, I was attacked by Satan. The terminology was exactly the same and this is why I recognized Satan in these people. Before that, they had me as a friend and were greatly appreciating my mission, but after confronting them, they would drag me in mire and call me all sorts of names, as well as false prophet, and would call my mission and witnessing as, “total rubbish.” What is interesting is that they all react in the same way! The spirit of Ahab though would react in a different way.
It is interesting how similar Jezebel’s reactions are to those of Satan. When the devil tried to infiltrate into the writings in the beginning and I would discover him, his language suddenly from “divine” would become vulgar. The people who “loved” me would turn into a devotee to destroying me and my reputation, after my confrontation with them.
Sometimes Jezebel becomes temporarily remorseful, but soon she’ll go back to her controlling tactics. When it comes to prayer, she would be praying for her own agenda. There is no power in that. True, fervent intercessory prayer causes hearts to change from pride and loftiness to repentance and humility; nothing brings a greater death blow to the spirit of Jezebel. As is typical of a Jezebel, she would complain that she wasn’t appreciated enough. In her self-centred nature she would go to any lengths, by lying and exaggerating, to make herself look spiritual; after all when being self-centred, no one is as important as they are. Jezebel would state again and again that her decision was the result of much prayer. She knows how to garner sympathy by knowing how to cry at the drop of a hat and fool almost anyone.
As for the Ahab spirit, it is known to abdicate his authority. It be-speaks of a mind-set that avoids confrontation and denies fault. The spirit of Ahab is weak and fearful. It loves its position but fears confrontation. Working in tandem, the spirits of Ahab and Jezebel quietly form a co-dependent relationship. Both will need and feed off the other in order to accomplish their goals. A pastor influenced by an Ahab spirit will need the help of someone with the Jezebel spirit, in order to maintain position and to entrench his popularity. The pastor may allow this person to exercise his or her “gifts” for his own selfish agenda and that is only to gain popularity at any cost. In acting in this way, any previous flow of true prophecy that was there, would be given less importance and eventually would be silenced. When this happens a spiritual vacuum will be created in their church.
One day, one of our prayer groups held a private meeting to deal with certain arrangements for the future. That day, unexpectedly, walked in two gentlemen whom they slightly knew and who were claiming they had the gift of prophecy. When they intruded right in the middle of that meeting no one said a word to them. Indeed some were even happy to have them around, thinking that they could have been God-sent to solve the problem they were dealing with. Unfortunately the spiritual director of that particular group had been promoting them secretly, influencing the whole group to believe in them, not knowing that both carried the Jezebel spirit. These two had no business in this meeting but they had invited themselves to stay in. In a flash, a communication started with the Divine and “divine messages” started to pour in for several people in there. These messages were indicating to them what to do. No one insisted for them to leave, since the “divine messages” were so flattering and complimenting that it made it more difficult for anyone to do something. It was a lure of the devil. No one dared confront them. Much later on, the people who received those “divine messages” understood that they had not come from God.
Confrontation is really the only “cure” in dealing with a Jezebel spirit. The problem is that many people fear confrontation, knowing it will create an ugly scene. Therefore they prolong the inevitable.
Manipulation, control and intimidation
Two things have always plagued the Church – control and the desire to dominate. This power struggle has always divided and short-circuited the power of the Church.
The most cunning and yet most common way the spirit of control operates is through manipulation. Manipulation is used in several ways: such as flattery, self-pity, hinting for something, etc. The use of manipulation to extract money, for example, comes in many forms. The most ridiculous form I heard of, was of this “seer”, who opened a house of prayer and who put up a notice that declared that the more money one gives for that house of prayer the less risk one would have to go to purgatory. Giving money would lead you straight to heaven. Unfortunately many good people believed this “seer” and poured their money in there. Without fear, she used their money to provide herself with an expensive car and another one for her husband. When one day I confronted her, from that “loving” friend she was once, she turned around to show her real colours. She accused me of false prophet and alerted many people she knew who were reading the TLIG inspirations to burn the books. She took a lot of trouble, taking all means to destroy me and my mission. I had understood that once you discover and reveal to everyone the Jezebel spirit, she would go into fits and from playing the spiritual person would become the opposite. She would declare war and make so much noise for fear of others seeing in her falsehood. She would call people who were our distributors in the States to ask them to burn my books and video tapes and would give them the best of reasons, that is: “God asked me to warn you” etc.
Ammunition too is another issue. Jezebels are continually collecting ammunition. They acquire information that they can use against you in case they ever begin to lose their grip on power. All what they would have collected they would use against you without mercy. Here we had a case, when the associations were being formed. This person I am talking of was given in our groups great authority to deal with the organizers, my meetings, the reports, one of our journals and other things. He gained the respect of one of our close priests and had managed to manipulate him to the point that if I did not agree with him, he would report me to the priest and turn him against me. If I dared arrange myself a meeting dealing with the organizer directly without going through him, he would report me to that priest who would shout to me and threaten me of quitting. I was even told by that priest to confide in this person everything, as one does to a spiritual director or to a confessor! He made the priest force me to give all the information I carried, to him, otherwise He would report me and I would be in trouble. He had to be informed about everything.
As if this was not enough, suddenly this man would start behaving strangely, declaring that he too had locutions from Jesus. He would go into a sort of trance and would give orders to everyone, declaring later on that these orders came from Christ Himself. He would play the prophet. In a retreat, he would gather some people who were in the same country as his, and would try to gain them on his side, saying, “Jesus tells you to follow me and not Vassula. Her mission is over” His aim was to divide our group and gain on his side as many as he could. He went as far as to say: “Jesus told me that I would be the one who would take over the TLIG messages because the messages have ended with Vassula.” As though TLIG is an inheritance! When “slain” in the spirit, he would go into a “crucifixion” giving us “divine messages.” It was of no use for me to insist that all what he had did not come from God since he had full support from that priest who held the group together.
In the end, when I confronted him and the priest as well, all hell broke loose. I lost both. For us, it was not a loss but a relief to get rid of that Jezebel spirit; we only regretted we lost that priest as well who was a good priest, but blinded and manipulated by that spirit. Many years passed by, and in the end, this priest, realizing his mistake, contacted me once more. The other man, simply vanished.
Therefore, when people try to manipulate or dominate the will of others, it is in direct violation of God’s laws and comes under Satan’s domain.
Control as well is to withhold information. A Jezebel wields power over you by knowing something you don’t know in a situation. In the eyes of a Jezebel, having information you don’t have is a powerful weapon of control.
Many times, I noticed, when one is given a greater responsibility than others, working in our groups, they start being tempted by thinking they are exempt from correction. Just like the case of above. It is of utmost importance to remain humble, to have the heart of a servant, and not a tyrant. Ego probably stands in the way more than any other factor in becoming responsible. When ego has not been dealt with, someone who has been given responsibility begins to think of himself as without faults or flaws. Jesus is our example, and he opposes the proud. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”, (1 Peter 5:5). Anyone who is tempted to control gives an open door to the Jezebel spirit.
One major characteristic of a controller is that he has to be right. He has no tolerance for being wrong and will rarely, if ever, admit to wrongdoing. A Jezebel spirit is never wrong, unless it is a temporary admittance of guilt to gain “favour” with someone. When a Jezebel apologizes it is never in true repentance or acknowledgment of wrongdoing but rather, “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt.”
In a dialogue, he will twist things around to the point of making you feel you need to apologize for causing him to make a bad decision. I have also noticed some other characteristic from the Jezebel spirit. The controller will always take the glory for anything that looks good. He will quickly overlook those who did the hard work and easily would step on people, sacrificing all etiquette to be the one who receives credit.
Spirit or flesh?
Is Jezebel a spirit or a work of the flesh? Jezebel is a spirit, but it has found access through uncrucified flesh. You will never have a person with a controlling spirit admit he is wrong. It is always the fault of someone else. If you insist on an apology and confront the controller, you will probably get a screaming response such as, “Yes, I’m wrong. I’m always wrong.” This sarcastic spewing is a long way from repentance.
Talks in confusion
One of its sly ways to slip away once confronted, is to try to confuse you by changing the subject five times in one minute. Confusion keeps them “undiscovered” and unexposed. Therefore, it is impossible to converse with a Jezebel in logic. They would write several pages dealing with all sorts of other situations than the one you are confronting them with. The context would be so vague that no one would understand head or tails. If it is in conversation they would simply talk nonsense to delude and confuse you, never responding to your question. In this situation, one has to repeat the question and ask them only to respond to that question. They never do. They never will.
Talks in a monologue
Many times the ones that carry the Jezebel spirit talk non-stop. They have a need to feel power and authority, and they will do anything to achieve it. They feel they know more than anyone; therefore they dominate all conversations. Jezebel uses talking as a form of control. In a typical conversation, he does all the talking, whether it is about sports, the weather or the Kingdom of God. Because of this form of control, he is unable to receive input from anyone in his life. All conversation with him is one-sided. You are doing the listening. And if ever there is a break and you want to say something, the Jezebel switches off and does not hear you.
Rather than seeing themselves as committed servants in God’s affairs who at one time volunteered willingly to serve God, they see themselves as chief executive officers of a large company. God sees them more as the butlers. God is the Chief Executive Officer. Their attitude aggravates their surrounding. They boss people around, running the spiritual affairs like a business rather than the Kingdom of God. To say the least there is a great need of dying to one’s ego and humility. There is no place for ego in the Kingdom of God.
There is no doubt that God chose us to serve Him without our own agendas. For many of us, we have determined to serve God “our way.”
We must therefore mature and acknowledge His Leadership and comprehend His words: “I am the Vine, you are the branches, He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
Some people who had a change of heart and acknowledged God as Number One in their lives are doing their own thing for God. They are loners and not team workers. Without a prayer life, there will be no awareness of what the Lord is saying, and passivity and lukewarmness will take over. Jesus was not on the earth to carry His will, but to fulfil the Will of the Father. As believers, we must renounce our own agenda and seek to fulfil His purpose in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the Guide to reveal to us His purpose.
We have learnt how the Jezebel spirit is full of ego and envious as well. To desire (envy) the gifts of the Spirit given to others for your own glory is a sin. It resembles the sin of Cain over Abel. Abel was pleasing to God and because of egoistical reasons and envy, Cain sliced Abel’s throat. Here I am bringing the attention to those whom I heard saying to people: “Go home and practice to speak in tongues”. As if one could practice this gift given by the Holy Spirit as one practices his piano lesson! I remember a young priest who asked our prayer group to come often to him so as to practice the gift of tongues. When nothing was happening, after a few “lessons”, he blamed the group by saying that among them is an evil person that blocks the flow of the Spirit and he chased them away!
Recently I heard that in one of our groups someone goes to lessons of prophecy: in other words, to learn to prophecy. Have we really come to that? How much more can we deviate the Scriptures? For this is deviation and misinterpretation of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit does not sell and trade His gifts, but gives them freely to whom he chooses. The gift of tongues is a realm of prayer that is higher than the natural range of prayer. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2) Of course Saint Paul says that it would be better that there is one who could interpret this language for the benefit of the church and he goes on to say that prophecy is more valuable because the church benefits from it.
When a believer prays in tongues, he is bypassing the limitations of his brain and speaking to God in the Spirit. In fact, it is the same with all the gifts of the Spirit – prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, etc. No manifestation of the Spirit is a product of the brain but rather a gift and manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, I would warn anyone who goes to “special lessons” that the Spirit of God gives.
I will end up with this; I want to add though that a lot of the context of this article has been taken out of the books written by R.T. Kendall who has written two volumes about the Jezebel spirit. The beginning of this article are passages taken from a Greek Orthodox priest’s newsletter. The rest are from my own experiences.
Although I am in the middle of packing to move and now it is 6.00 pm the day before I leave definitively Rome, I managed to finish this article. Because of the rush, please forgive my mistakes, bad English, and perhaps repetitive passages. The aim in doing this work is for our benefit. Read attentively and see if anyone of you might start having traits of this spirit. If you think you recognize yourself in any part, remember all is not lost, but there is a wide door of escape and that is: REPENTANCE.
God bless you all,
(This letter was written in December of 2004)