I have been contemplating writing this article for almost a month, but wasn't sure exactly how to write it. As I read through Ms. LeClaire's article, she described a situation that is so startlingly similar to my own that I felt encouraged to share my own story. She wrote about something we often don't want to think about: The cursing church. Those are words that should never be in the same sentence, but unfortunately it happens.
We recently encountered a situation that involved someone that we had not heard from in quite some time. Apparently this individual was troubled enough that it prompted them to call an innocent and unsuspecting third party to 'enlighten' that individual about things that had occurred in our lives well over a decade ago. Friend, any time someone feels they need to inform another person about someone past, they are entertaining less than loving thoughts. If they haven't been asked for their opinion but they're volunteering irrelevant or negative information in order to sway another person's opinion or draw them into a situation that doesn't involve them, that person's motive should be questioned. This person knew how to get a hold of us and could have at any time, but they did not. Instead, they chose to go to a third party and asked the other person to 'relay a message.' As we took the time to pray over the matter, we discerned that the request was not what it was presented to be. Though it may have sounded innocent to the other person, it really wasn't, and we knew all the hidden reasons why.
Here's the reality. About 12-13 years ago I thought I was going to an ordinary mid-week service at my (former) church. I walked into a prayer meeting and quite unexpectedly found myself watching a Korah's rebellion plot unfolding in front of my eyes. I observed trusted intercessors and others and understood exactly what was the intent of their prayers. The Holy Spirit gave me discernment to understand what was going on, but unfortunately the enemy knew it too. I recognized his evil intent, and he recognized that someone he hadn't counted on showed up to that prayer meeting. Evil spirits hate the prophetic anointing because it exposes them, and then the enemy's plots get ruined. As a result of my unfortunate 'discovery,' I found myself accused, slandered, judged and convicted in an all out war that I didn't ask for, and that was before things things really fell apart. The enemy did not want me to be seen as anyone credible. Things didn't end well for me in that situation. I won't go into all the details here, but if you are interested in the whole story you can read my book. I write about the events of my failure with a great deal of transparency in my book, Healing the Heart of a Woman. (available on Amazon). I haven't tried to hide anything, but the enemy and those that have allowed Satan to use their mouth in an ill manner, have. For well over a decade, we've had some troubled individuals pop up randomly in an effort to persuade others against us. From time to time some feel a need to share their version of truth about events that occurred over 12 years ago. Although they change up their 'tactics' a bit, it never fails that they have only approached those that have either promoted us or have been instrumental in helping us be able to advance the Kingdom of God. That is the jealous spirit of Saul LeClaire mentioned in her article, When Saul and Jezebel Conspire Against You. Some of the same people that were involved in trying to orchestrate an overthrow of authority 12 years ago were mentioned by the person that presented it to the third party, asking that person to 'relay a message.' What Jezebel really wanted was an opportunity to try to bring us into a troublesome situation, and we didn't accept the offer. While healing, forgiveness and unity are always encouraged and desired, it's important to discern those that truly want it and those that are operating with a different agenda. When ever a person operates in a deceptive manner, unity, healing and forgiveness is not their objective. Being able to discern a person's real motive for their actions is key to avoiding traps that the enemy tries to set for you. It is so important to pray through and not just act out of emotion. The enemy wants you to have an emotional reaction; if he can get you to do so, he can pull you into a snare.
Why does the Jezebel spirit despise God's prophets? It recognizes the assignment against God's people to deceive, destroy, and take them into captivity. If it cannot get people to submit to a demonic order, it will destroy them through slander and evil plots to remove them. Jezebel sees prophets as an obstacle to be removed at any cost and that spirit is relentless to do so.
The Jezebel assignment attempts to discredit, destroy and hinder God's prophets any way it can. If it can discredit the prophetic voices and cut them off from the body of Christ, then the enemy can derail the church. It can shipwreck ministries and leave them without spiritual wind in their sails. They will lack direction and be unable to navigate the body of Christ in those churches and ministries, because as it is written in Proverbs 29:18, "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed." MSG Bible
The prophetic voice is the voice of God to His people. The Spirit of Prophecy bears testimony to Jesus. It is the very breath of God that lifts, encourages, sheds light on the path and gives comfort and encouragement to His body. The prophetic voice also warns the body of danger and exposes darkness and evil. Watchmen are called to alert the church to danger and also call them back into right relationship with God when they've gotten off track. Without the breath of God, people are left with nothing but religion. Religion is rules without relationship. It is a breeding ground for rebellion, idolatry and witchcraft because it elevates the traditions of man above the Spirit of Christ. Legalism eliminates grace and replaces it with works of the flesh. It may sound scriptural, but it's not spiritual.
The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life. Without the Spirit living, moving and edifying the body of Christ, people come back under legalism, and back under a curse. That's a whole other message, but read the Book of Galatians and you'll see the warning in scripture. I say all this to remind you that Jezebel has an ultimate goal in mind when ever that spirit sends its messengers. It's trying to intimidate God's prophets, but also to rob the church of it's very life and breath. So, before you take in everything you hear, check the source. Not necessarily with others, but with God. Take it to prayer or you might get caught in Jezebel's snare.
Envy, selfish ambition and evil speaking fuel a spirit of jealousy and lust for power that comes from a spirit of witchcraft. The enemy comes only to kill and destroy. It doesn't have to be a complicated plan to damage a person's reputation or future. Satan just needs to find someone willing to let them use their mouth to speak ill of others. Gossip and negativity energize the enemy to hatch a plot and run with it. This is how Satan takes people into captivity and places a curse upon them. He uses their mouth to speak word curses and operate out of a spirit of witchcraft and rebellion. It's also considered idolatry to elevate a different spirit other than Christ's Holy Spirit. People become subservient to a different master.
If you have a concern, take it to prayer before you take it to another individual.
If you feel the temptation to act, wait until you've prayed through and gotten a response from God.
Don't react to anything when you're emotional. There is wisdom in waiting. It is often during the waiting and praying that God reveals the heart and motive of others. This is how you can keep your foot from being caught in a snare.
We see the murderous intent of the spirit of witchcraft operating in a Jezebel assignment in 2 Kings 21. A man named Naboth had a plot of land that King Ahab wanted very badly. Naboth refused to sell, so Jezebel, King Ahab's wife, stepped in and concocted a plot to get rid of him. Naboth would not give up his father's inheritance. Jezebel hired a couple of unsavory men that could be bribed. They were known as sons of Belial, which means wickedness and worthless. Belial is actually used as a name for the devil himself. These two had a reputation for lying and dishonesty. Jezebel was no fool. She knew the law. She had them lie so that Naboth could be accused and a sentence carried out against him. The sentence for the trumped up crimes was death, because that was the only way that Jezebel could take his land by force. This spirit must always have a following, otherwise Satan would be unsuccessful in carrying out evil agendas.
How does Jezebel gain secret agents? By convincing them, through a religious spirit, that what is suggested as a course of action is honorable, and indeed, greatly necessary, often for the benefit of others. This religious witchcraft spirit usurps authority, often speaking or acting as though it has actual authority. This is why it is so very important for the body of Christ to be able to recognize the difference between self-appointed authority and God's authority. God's authority looks a lot like Christ, sounds like Him, and models humility, gentleness and kindness. God's authority is loving, restorative, redemptive and full of grace, even in the most challenging of circumstances. God's authority is confident of being appointed by Him, and does not need to strive with others. Self- appointed authority, however, is quite the opposite.
Allow me to highlight a few things to keep in mind.
If someone comes to you sharing a concern or a grievance, ask them if they have practiced Matthew 18. Did they approach the person first, bringing their issue directly to them to try to resolve? Or, are they trying to plant seeds of disunity, offense or suspicion by things they are sharing with you?
In what they are sharing with you, are they attempting to draw you into a situation that doesn't concern you? Could they be trying to manipulate your emotions towards others?
When someone shares something about another with you, listen to their heart. Read between the lines. Are they looking for someone to agree with them or pick up their offense? Are they, through their behavior, displaying that they desire you to be loyal to them and shun the person they are speaking to you about?
There is a big difference between someone honestly sharing their heart, trying to figure out how to handle a situation, and those that are just seeking an opportunity to speak ill of others. Those that make a deliberate attempt to plant seeds that undermine the integrity of relationships often have ulterior motives.
A spirit of witchcraft is very deceptive and manipulative. It looks for those that can be unwitting accomplices and thus be used as Jezebel's messengers. Gossip and negative reports can pick up tremendous power when repeated to others. A Jezebel spirit seeks to manipulate others in order to carry out ulterior motives. The goal of a Jezebel assignment is to introduce the will of an individual into a situation so that they can obtain their desired outcome. This 'outcome' is by the plan of the enemy. The spirit of Jezebel will attempt to exert a sense of authority over others, even if it means manipulating others to accomplish their will. Many times this person is influenced by a fear of losing control, a deep seated need to control others, or a lust for power or position.
After the prophet Elijah had a major power encounter with the forces of darkness, he destroyed hundreds of Jezebel's prophets. Jezebel was furious!
"Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them." 1 Kings 19:1,2
Her next course of action was to send a messenger to the prophet that struck him with great fear. You might wonder why Elijah allowed Jezebel to get under his skin so much after such a tremendous victory. It was because those words were anointed to produce fear. that evil queen had made a covenant with her demonic gods - Her life for Elijah's - if Elijah's life wasn't taken. That woman was seriously committed to her cause. Jezebel wanted him dead! People empower what they allow in their life. When demonic spirits are given authority to operate in a person's life, they become energized to carry out demonic assignments.
Have you ever had a fiery dart hit you and you just couldn't shake the words someone said to you or about you? It's because that dart was anointed with strange fire. There was death attached to the words that were sent out against you. You wonder why some days you just feel completely overwhelmed, depressed, oppressed and discouraged? The enemy fired off a fiery dart and you got hit. Words carry great power in the spirit realm. That is what Elijah felt when Jezebel's messenger relayed her message. She wanted Elijah to know that even though she couldn't immediately put her hands on him, she had great resolve to do so, and when she did, she intended it to be the end of him. Fear that she could actually produce what she threatened made him ready to throw in the towel. It wasn't so much that he was afraid of her; he had, after all, just wiped out 450 of her prophets in hand to hand combat. Elijah wasn't a timid or fearful man. No, it was the discouraging thought that after all he went through to stand up for God that he might actually die at her hand. The thought of it was too much. Elijah felt like he did everything he could to take a stand, and then nothing really changed. The thought of it was unbearable. Have you experienced that kind of deep disappointment? The feeling that no matter what you tried to do, there was no real sense of justice? You've got to shake of the disappointment. Pull that fiery dart out. Shake it off! God IS just. God took care to feed and care for His prophet, and make sure he got adequate rest. He also let him know that He would rally the troops needed to put an end to Jezebel and her arrogant defiance of the God of Israel. He told Elijah to anoint others that would carry out the judgment against Ahab and Jezebel.
Before we allow ourselves to become someone else's messenger, carefully consider what you might be getting into, especially if the message or the conversation prior to the request is questionable. If it makes you feel uneasy, then it's probably best not to get involved. Encourage the person to speak directly to the individual they want to communicate with. It can help you avoid getting involved in a situation that doesn't concern you; and, perhaps avoid communicating a message that would act as a fiery dart to someone else.
A person cannot afford to let word curses go unchallenged. To do so allows those negative, death laced words to hang over yourself or others in the spirit. It doesn't mean you need to confront those that are speaking against you, but it does mean you need to take authority over those words and cut them off in the spirit.
"No weapon forged against you shall prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17
Notice that the scripture tells us to refute the accusation. We do this by breaking the power of those words through prayer. We free ourselves of fiery darts by taking authority over them, blessing those that sent out those words, and refusing to operate by the same sort of spirit. Don't retaliate! Though the enemy may send out an invitation to spar with you, it doesn't mean you need to R.S.V.P. and attend his party. Let him dig his own hole. Sooner or later those that allow their mouth to be used by the enemy are going to fall into the pit they think they're digging for you. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Eventually, a person's mouth will reveal what's really in their heart.
Jezebel still functions through the same deceptive, manipulative behaviors that we see outlined in scripture. The goal of this spirit is to use divination, a demonic counterfeit of the Holy Spirit, to lead people into confusion through false prophetic words. It uses deep discouragement to defile and cause offense, knowing that those that are discouraged and offended remain stuck in captivity until they repent and come back into right relationship with God. Jezebel's tactics still use guilt and manipulation to control others, and to bring them back under religious legalism. Those that are influenced by this religious system are under a curse and often cannot perceive it.
The closer you are to Jesus, the more apt a person is to recognize behaviors that are opposite that of Christ-like behavior. Keeping yourself safe and out of the snares is to stay close to the Lord, make everything a matter of prayer, and not rush to judgment. A person may not realize they are being used as a pawn by the enemy, and some that are influenced by that spirit may not believe it could be operating in their life. The only real freedom from this spirit comes through humility, repentance, and a willingness to become relentless in the pursuit of Christ. Not for the sake of appearing religious or politically correct, but because the person genuinely desires inner healing and an authentic relationship with the Lord and others.
For more on this spirit as well as a prayer for inner healing and freedom from this devious spirit of witchcraft, please go to: Overcoming a Spirit of Compromise.