Tag Archive | demonic

The Judas Paradigm

 He had a kind boss, but for some inexplicable reason,
that wasn’t enough.

He had seen amazing things at the hands of his master, and thousands of people were touched by his goodness. Yet, as in many cases, the saying of him was definitely true… “No good deed goes unpunished”. And when betrayal comes with a pricetag…

Well, where do we sign up?

judasHe waited for the opportune time to spring his trap — a time when all was quiet, the adoring crowds were gone, and he was relatively alone, except for maybe a few of his closest friends. His accusers were seconds away in hiding, just waiting for a sign…

A kiss. Yes!!! Such a sign of affection would be unmistakable for the wolves hiding in the shadows.

By now, if you know anything about the life of Jesus, you have probably figured out that I am talking about His betrayal at the hands of Judas Iscariot. With his singular act of betrayal, Judas entered the ranks of the most despised individuals in Biblical history, joining names like Cain, Goliath, Jezebel, Absalom, and many others. Yet his betrayal of the Son of God moved him straight to the head of the class; Judas had betrayed God for 30 pieces of silver, and although remorse soon set in, and he tried to undo the damage he had done, some things cannot be undone.

In a matter of days, Jesus was tried, convicted, killed, and rose from the grave.

Judas, on the other hand…

(For the whole story, read Matthew 26 – 27:9)

So how does one go from a position of favor to embracing a curse? How does one go from a place of honor to dying by suicide, and being buried in an unmarked grave? While I’m sure the other eleven disciples were somewhat surprised by Judas’s betrayal, none of this caught Jesus by surprise. After all, this historic betrayal had been foretold hundreds of years before…

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me. ~ Psalm 41:9

And was again alluded to in Zechariah…

 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.”
So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me.
So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into
the house of the Lord for the potter. ~Zechariah 11:12-13

So what drove Judas to betray the Creator of the Universe to a self-serving and self-righteous bunch? What path did Judas take that led him to the hanging tree? What are the symptoms of The Judas Paradigm?

  • Judas had no faith. In John 6, Jesus puts before His disciples some pretty tough language about what it takes to follow Him. He recognized that there were many of His disciples who did not really believe, and their desertion bore out this fact (v.64-66). In the face of unpopular and controversial teaching, they bailed out. Even when given the choice to leave, and hearing Peter declare, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 68-69), Judas still masqueraded as a follower, and gave the illusion of devotion and trust. 
  • Judas had no respect for the sacred. When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with a costly perfume (John 12), Judas objected. “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (v. 5). The next verse reveals that Judas had no care or concern for the poor, but that he was a thief, and as the one tasked with the care of the money box, he regularly stole from the money that was given to Jesus and His disciples for their needs and the care of the poor.
  • Judas had no loyalty to the Truth. Because of the deceit of his heart, Judas was ripe to be used by the devil. John 13 bears out the fact that the rest of the disciples were clueless to his deceit (v.28-29). In verse 2, we learn that the devil had “put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot” to betray Jesus. At that point, he was considering his betrayal. But when consideration turned to commitment, Satan entered into him (v. 27). At that point, he was totally under the control of the demonic. In spite of the fact that Jesus had, in an act of abject humility, just washed Judas’s feet (as well as the other disciples), Judas maintained his destructive path that ultimately took him to the grave.

In our world today, we are seeing The Judas Paradigm alive and at work in our homes, our churches, and our government.

As statistics bear out, we are seeing a decline in the organized church in America today. Children are abandoning the faith of their parents for convenience, comfort, and a feel-good Gospel that requires no sacrifice, no commitment, and no tough choices. The goal is relevance and inclusion, at the expense of Truth and holiness. We have so blurred the lines between the sacred and the secular that the message of the blood of Jesus has been lost in pop-psychology and moral relativism. We have forgotten the words of Jesus, that fly in the face of this 21st century mindset…

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” ~ Matthew 16:24

When we lose our faith, it’s open season on what is sacred. We are seeing that at work in America today. Our founding documents (The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution) were written by men of faith that held the teachings of the Bible as guiding principles in their authorship of these documents. You cannot disregard one without catastrophic results to the others. When we removed the Bible from a place of prominence and respect in our society, it was a matter of time before our nation’s founding documents followed suit. The assault on our freedoms that we are seeing now, with utter disregard for The Constitution, is unprecedented. With the fate of the Supreme Court in the balance, America stands on the edge of a precipice. This year’s election will determine whether we move away from the edge, or plunge headlong into an abyss of lawlessness and Godlessness.

Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. ~ Proverbs 29:18

It’s easy to be loyal when people agree with you. But when society stands in opposition to the Word of God, we are forced to make a choice: We are forced to choose between the acceptance of the world or the approval of God. But make no mistake about it… if we choose the acceptance of the world, it puts us at odds with a Holy God. James 4:4 is pretty clear on the subject…

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity (hostility) against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. ~ James 4:4

Yet we are seeing an astounding number of “Christian” churches and pastors who are ignoring this dire warning, and condoning what God condemns. We are seeing politicians who — because of personalities — have abandoned their principles, promising to support a candidate who represents everything that is wrong with our political system, and who promises to continue us down a path of secularism, hedonism, and liberalism. The Judas Paradigm (spirit) allows loyalty to the Truth to take a back seat to our own comfort, feelings, and agenda. If we don’t like criticism, we cower to conformity. If we don’t like the messenger, we reject the message. If the road gets tough, we retire to the median and resign ourselves to being another casualty to a society bent on running over the righteous and off the cliff.

 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9a

God is still looking…

He is looking for those who have faith, however small.

He is looking for those who recognize and respect the sacred.

He is looking for people of honor, who are loyal to Him.

He is looking for those who will stand when the crowd sits, be loud when the crowd is silent, and be faithful when the crowd is faithless.

He is looking for those who will gaze defiantly into the face of The Judas Paradigm, and refuse the 30 pieces of silver.

He is looking for YOU!

Pastor Ron

And Her Name Was Jezebel…

JezebelSpirit“Was”?

Actually, she’s alive and well.

She is probably operating in your church, seeking to control the weak of mind and spirit.

She may not be a “she” at all. She may actually be a “he”.

She has a name.

Jezebel.

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow[b] that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols…

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.

~ Revelation 2:18-20, 26

A war goes on in today’s church, and the battle lines are drawn. One of the most powerful spirits at work in this ongoing battle is the spirit of Jezebel, or control. The book of I Kings tells the story of the woman for whom this spirit is named.

Known as the wife of King Ahab and a follower of the false god Baal, the scriptures regarded Ahab’s marriage to this woman as a horrible sin.

“He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him” ~ I Kings 16:31 (NIV)

Jezebel ordered a “hit” on the innocent man Naboth so that she could obtain his prize vineyard. Not only was this murder, but it broke God’s covenant of the land with His people. Furthermore, she hated the prophets of God. Scripture says,

“While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water” ~ I Kings 18:4 (NIV).

Later, Jezebel pursued the prophet Elijah following the great contest where God sent fire from heaven and defeated the prophets of Baal. Her relentless pursuit drove the prophet into depression and suicidal thoughts.

Jezebel’s character was wicked, controlling, sexually immoral, murderous, and demonic. It is astounding that the same strong spirit was still operating in Revelation 2:20, and still operates in today’s church. We find in every congregation those who want to control, manipulate, and subvert the men and women of God.

Recognizing the Spirit

This spirit is basically the spirit of “domination,” or an unwillingness to cohabit peacefully. This is not about women or liberation, for this spirit can attach itself to a man or a woman. Many may think that this spirit is identified with sexuality, believing that a woman who “looks” a certain way is a “Jezebel” in her character. But this is not so. A wolf can easily hide in sheep’s clothing.

When you find a spirit of Jezebel operating, you will also find an “Ahab” nearby, or someone in leadership who is allowing the spirit access and control.

The Strategy of Jezebel

The tool this spirit uses is manipulation. In I Kings 21, we learn that King Ahab would pout when he did not get his own way. He had seen a vineyard that he greatly desired, but the owner would not give up his precious property, even to the king. As King Ahab lay on his bed sulking, Jezebel assured him she would get him what he wanted. This powerful woman had introduced pagan worship into her kingdom, and she was not above killing to obtain the things she needed to gain more power.

The Seat of Jezebel

“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

~Revelation 2:20 (NKJV)

When the spirit of Jezebel begins to manifest in the church, it seeks out a high seat in the church, or a place of dominance. Usually it will manifest in someone who wants to teach or lead, usually leading them astray!  To find that place of leadership, Jezebel must look and act in a spiritual manner.

One of these spirits operated in Moses and Aaron’s day. Numbers 16 tells us,

“Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” ~ Numbers 16:1-3 (NKJV)

Korah was operating in the spirit of Jezebel, with Dathan and Abiram operating as his power core, and 250 other princes as a structure under them. Moses took immediate action—he fell on his face before God and prayed. Following his prayer, he confronted the spirit, saying,

“Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also?” ~ Numbers 16:9-10 (NKJV)

Judgment came to this Jezebel spirit—an earthquake came and took the three evil leaders and fire consumed all the rest.

Jezebel’s Targets

The controlling spirit wiggles into the church, bent on destroying and undermining the very things that we hold dear as believers. Through manipulation, domination, and control, the spirit begins its battle against the body of Christ.

First, this spirit hates the prophets, the true leaders of God. She cannot control them, and when she tries to win their approval and fails, she will stop at nothing to try and kill them.

In addition, the spirit of Jezebel hates the preaching of the Word. She can’t cope with its message. She will try to either reduce the messenger or the message.

This controlling spirit also hates the praise of the church. During times of true, powerful worship, her carnality is exposed. In I Kings when the prophet Elijah prayed fire down from heaven against the prophets of Baal and Jezebel’s schemes, praise broke out (I Kings 18:39). Jezebel had lost and the praises of God filled the air.

A Jezebel spirit also hates the preeminence of Christ. There is no way to compete against it. The first time “preeminence” is mentioned is in Colossians 1:18:

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (NKJV)

However, the second time we find the word, a Jezebel spirit is attempting to control a body of believers

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.”

~ 3 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Banish the Spirit

If you sense this spirit is at work in your church, it is important to see the enemy as spiritual, not fleshly. Don’t hate the person being controlled by the spirit of Jezebel, recognize that it is a spiritual power—one that God must fight. Let your prayer be, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” ~ 2 Chr 20:12 (NKJV)

~ Adapted from my book
Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
Copyright © 2010 Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House Book Group

The Demonic Downgrade of America

In 1983, Disney produced a film adaptation of the 1962 Ray Bradbury novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes. It is the story of a mysterious carnival that comes to Greentown, Illinois, and is run by a character named Mr. Dark. While the carnival at first appears entertaining and thrilling, two young boys discover that the carnival and it’s proprietor have a much darker purpose… the acquisition of innocent souls for condemnation. The film was promoted with the tagline…

For every desire, there will be a cost.

Now, 31 years later, this film has become eerily prophetic.

FlagJust as, in 2011, the United States experienced it’s first-ever fiscal downgrade (by Standard & Poors), America is in the midst of experiencing a demonic downgrade. For the last 50 years, America has been experiencing a fundamental shift from our founding Judeo-Christian roots to a nation I hardly recognize. And now, we are seeing our faith, our freedom, and our very foundation under a full-scale attack from the forces of darkness… an attack that began with the removal of Scripture and prayer from our public school system. This victory led to an attack on any Judeo-Christian reference in the public arena. Our timeless symbols such as the cross, the Star of David, the Menorah, and the manger scene (among others), have been deemed unwelcome. Political correctness has not just invaded the statehouse, however… it has cooled the fervor of preaching and witness in America.

Dachau StatueOur government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has been replaced by an “all-seeing, all knowing, all-controlling” government that is now attempting to take over every aspect of our private lives. Because America has abandoned God, our protective covering has been removed, and we have been invaded by demonic entities. We saw the same thing happen 81 years ago when evil in the form of a man named Adolph Hitler took the reins of power in Germany, and began his Islamic-sanctioned attack on the Jews (the Islamic Grand Mufti (mayor) of Jerusalem (at the time) later traveled to Germany and personally endorsed Hitler’s Jewish “final solution” – the Holocaust).

So, take a look at where we are today…

  • Worst unemployment since the Great Depression.
  • Historic devaluation of the American dollar.
  • Destruction of the world’s best medical system.
  • Since 1973, over 56 million babies have been murdered through the act of abortion.
  • September 11 saw the brutal murder of almost 3,000 of our fellow Americans in New York, The Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA.
  • Benghazi… the first murder of an American ambassador since 1939.
  • The gradual disappearance of our religious freedoms.
  • The legalization of drugs.
  • The systematic breakdown and confusion of the family unit.

While I could go on and on, the fact of the matter is that only demons could orchestrate such a rapid decline of a once God-fearing nation.

In order understand the significance of these things, and how we can fight back against the spiritual forces of wickedness that are influencing public policy in America, we must understand what brought about the circumstances that created an environment conducive to such Godless behavior.

Iwo JimaThis Sunday (June 29), we will be celebrating the birthday of our nation (5 days early) at Abba’s House with All-American Day. We love our nation, and believe in the principles that made this country great… faith, family, & freedom. Our worship ministry will be performing a number of patriotic songs, we will honor our veterans and armed services, and I will bring a message entitled Upgrading The Demonic Downgrade of America. If you love our nation like I do, join me as we find out together what it is going to take to put her back on the right track.

If you are in the Chattanooga area, I invite you to come and join us. Our service begins at 10:30a.m.

If you follow my blog from a distant city or state, and cannot join us in person, you can watch us online at abbashouse.com  Click on this link to watch us live.

Join with me, and let’s enter into this season of national pride and celebration on our knees, with the determination that we will once again be “one nation under God” — for generations to come.