Tag Archive | Elijah

Showdown: A Gamble of Long Odds

He came out of nowhere to confront the political establishment of his day. He was an outsider in the truest sense of the word.

JezebelSpiritThe nation’s leader was married to an un-elected, unselected ambitious woman who was the enemy of people of faith. This man of mystery spoke words that threatened the establishment, so they attacked this interloper, and put him on the run, for trying to overturn the corrupt and ungodly orders of an equally corrupt leader… corruption that, among other things, unjustly sent many to their deaths, seized the property and wealth of a law-abiding family by executive order, and after first framing the owner by accusations brought forward by false witnesses, had him murdered by an angry mob.

This woman unleashed her entire corrupt establishment on the “mystery man” in an effort to destroy him as she had every enemy before him. She sent her minions and surrogates after him to strike him down.

No… this is not Donald Trump and the Clintons. The woman in this story is Jezebel and the man she attacked was Elijah. Jezebel was eventually overthrown and fed to the dogs, and the nation was spared her continued and pervasive ungodliness. It was the spirit of Elijah that fell upon the nation.

The showdown on the mountain between Elijah and the 450 heathen prophets seemed like a gamble of long odds. However, the showdown ended when Jehovah God answered by fire from Heaven. It was the prayer of one righteous man that prompted God Almighty to show His power to His people who had strayed from Him. At 450 to 1, it WAS a gamble of long odds…

… And the 450 prophets of Baal never stood a chance.

KS77759Today we need some folks with the anointing of Elijah to bring down the corruption in America. We need people of faith to stand on their God-given rights and boldly speak the Word of truth to a people that have lost their way. We need leaders who will rise up, and declare the words of Proverbs 14:34 from the rooftops…

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.

We need people of God who will stand up in the face of overwhelming odds, look the enemy squarely in the face, and laughingly say, “Is that all you brought?”

Washington MonumentIt is time for the petty bickering to end.

It is time for sin to be called out, and for the righteous to stand firmly in the face of evil.

It is time for our leaders to rise up, stop mincing words and playing along with politics as usual, thinking they are somehow not complicit in the downfall of our nation and society.

It is time for those in authority to start defending the laws they swore before God to uphold.

It is time for the Church to find its voice, lead the way, and declare our dependence on God as “one nation under God.”

Yes, it is a gamble of long odds. And when the people of God stand in unity, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance.

Pray.

Seek God.

Vote.

May God bless America once again.

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

A Time To Stand

Sometimes I feel like a man born in the wrong time in history…

BibleThere was a time in this nation when preaching mattered. There was a time when newspapers would print sermons, and preachers would not fail to take stands for Biblical truth. There was a time, not too long ago, when congregations could gather and count on hearing an unapologetic, Bible-based word spoken by a pastor who had spent time on his face before God.

Fast forward to 2014…

Today, we have preachers being harassed and scrutinized by public “servants” (I use that term loosely). Just recently, we have pastors in the Houston area being ordered (via subpoenas) to turn over their sermons, notes, and a host of other types of correspondence for legal review. In Idaho, a couple— both ordained ministers — is facing potential fines and jail time for refusing to perform gay marriages. An Oregon baker was forced to choose between shutting down her business or being fined into bankruptcy for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

I could go on and on… you get the picture.

ConstitutionWhile roughly 77% of the population of the United States claims to be Christian, less than 4% claim to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender*. Yet, in spite of this wide disparity, the silence on this matter by pastors and preachers in our nation is deafening. Our “leadership” in Washington is trampling on the very Constitution they swore to uphold and protect — the one that plainly states in its First Amendment…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In spite of this very guarantee of freedom of speech and worship, the church has allowed itself to be cowed into the corner of silence and insignificance. The pop psychology pablum running off the pulpits in our country is challenging and changing no one. The problem has become that we have confused a crowd for a true church, and popularity for real ministry. We have sacrificed being righteous for being “relevant”, and “speaking the truth in love” for beating around the bush with psycho-babble that never gets to the heart of what is killing our nation and world today.

Where are the voices crying “prepare the way of the LORD“?

Where is the prophetic call to repent?

Where are the Elijahs, the Daniels, the Isaiahs, and the John the Baptists of our day?

With an end-time scenario in the Middle East, and the resurrection of the beast of the Ottoman Empire with its philosophy of genocide toward Jews and Christians, believers in Christ are fast asleep. The horde known as ISIS is sweeping across Syria and Iraq, destroying lives at will. The plague of ebola is sweeping across West Africa, infecting and killing thousands as the numbers continue to rise. Both of these calamities have spilled onto our shores, and while our leaders posture and preen in their attempt to appear effective while basking in their political correctness, the Churches of America fiddle while the nation burns.

It is time for the Church to stand… Stand with the poor. Stand with the persecuted. Stand with the voiceless and oppressed. Stand with those on the front lines of the war for our culture.

At our church — Abba’s House — we have made a decision: We will not be silenced. We will stand on the Word of God. We will stand for traditional marriage. We will stand for Israel, and its right to exist as a nation. We will stand for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will stand for America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. We will stand on the FACT that we are still a Christian nation. We will confront Islamic terror with the Truth. We will stand on the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare, ready to fight.

I look around the city in which we live, and see nearly 1,000 churches constantly swapping members, while 230,000 souls won’t darken the doorstep of our houses of worship. Yet, I have a deep conviction that there are 7,000 in our county who have not bowed their knees to Baal, and that remnant will arise, cross over the barriers, and end the indifference. I believe that God is going to show up and awaken our cold and callous hearts once again.

Some of you reading this, for one reason or another, are no longer in church. If you are in the Chattanooga / North Georgia area, and are looking for a church that preaches the Word of God unreservedly, I invite you to visit us at Abba’s House. I’d love to meet you. We are a truth ministry that operates in grace and mercy. If you have stumbled along the way, and are looking for a place to call home, you can visit us and find welcome and restoration. If you are living out of town, I encourage you to find a church that stands on the truth of God’s Word, and get plugged in. If you can’t find one, you can join us online at www.abbashouse.com for our online streaming during worship times.

The time for complacency is long-since past. It is time that we once again believe that we are, without question – “One nation under God”.

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/08/137057974/-institute-of-medicine-finds-lgbt-health-research-gaps-in-us

Burning Ships

Across the Water

According to legend, when Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés came to the new world, upon reaching Veracruz, he had his men unload the ships. As they headed inland, those in the exploration party looked back only to see the entire fleet of ships on fire. Cortés himself had ordered the ships destroyed to make turning back an impossibility.

When the prophet Elijah called his successor – a farmer by the name of Elisha – Elisha asked his master if he could go home and say goodbye to his parents. Once there, Elisha himself proceeded to kill his oxen and burn his plows, thereby totally eliminating any chance of returning home. He committed himself wholeheartedly to the task God had called him to… turning back was not an option.

Here at the start of a new year, maybe you need to “burn down the ships” that have kept you in stagnant water. Maybe you need to “kill the oxen and burn the plows” that have kept you chained to defeat.

This is the year you need to allow radical faith to make a difference in your world.

This is the day you need to lay aside those things that are behind you – the things that have kept you bound to a life that is going nowhere – and start anew with the Father.

Pray… diligently seek the face of God concerning His plan for your life, and have the courage to say, as Jesus did, “Not my will, but YOUR will be done.”

Believe… prayer does little good unless it is accompanied by faith. Believe that God has your best interests at heart. Have confidence that He knows your end from the beginning. The psalmist wrote…

   Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Proceed… determine in your heart that you are going to follow the path He lays out before you. When He opens a door, go through it. If He closes one, trust that another will soon open. Allow your faith in His goodness to influence your decision-making this year. You have a Father in Heaven who is crazy about YOU, child of the Most High… Walk in that assurance!

The winds of change are blowing, so cast off the bow lines, set your gaze on the horizon, and follow the Son. This can be, not just the beginning of a New Year, but the beginning of a New Life as well!

Happy 2014!

Make it the best year ever!