Jezebel

 

Introduction (Rev.: 2-20-22)

 

       One of the most harmful seductress in the Bible is Jezebel the harlot. We need to study her and her ways because hers is a powerful spirit that effects the church well into the tribulation. When speaking of individuals in the Word of God we need to keep in mind that we are dealing with spiritual attributes that guide our choices. Some to good while others to evil. Jezebel appeals, deceive and seduces the carnal man which causes a spiritual fornication with the world. 

 

 

1.      Hey Good Looking (Rev 2: 20-22)

        Jezebel was a seductress, on the outside WOW a gorgeous looking babe, Anna Nichole, Pamela Anderson Etc.

        Her ambition was covered firstly she would gain access thru the lust of the flesh.  (2Pet 2:18-19)

        The lust of the flesh is corruption it brings forth bondage but the outward is that pleasantness.

a.    Jezebel delivers freedom from God's laws, religion is too radical, that's what the main stream says.

b.    Ahab desired material possession ( 1 Kings 21:5-7) Jezebel will give you the unlawful

c.     This is the same greed that Satan possessed in heaven ( ISA. 14:12-16)

d.     Jezebel is a spirit of appeasement, whatever Johnny wants Johnny gets, against God's will

e.     It attacks the weak at heart Ahab had a pity party and Jezebel responded by killing Naboth the Jezreelite.

f.      Braking God's commandments ( Ex 20:1- 20) do not covet

        The Garden (Gen  3:1-5) Don't listen to God much blessing will come if you follow me, tree is good

        Jezebel gives you alternatives like Baal, you make the rules and allow the lust to govern you life not Jesus

        Sin is pleasant to the eye ( Gen 3:6 )  Sin appearance is by the most part pleasing to the eye.

 

2.      Anything For Love ( 1 Kings 21;4-7 )

        Ahab returns and falls upon his bed sad, does not eat, Jezebel plots for Ahab lust

        This is the spirit as believers we need to mindful of, covetousness the forbidden fruit

o       No respect for the inheritance of others it is the what ever feels go do, regardless of the cost

o       When you worship false gods and sleep with Jezebel, sin is of no concern

1.      Your the King of Israel Ahab and you are the King of your destiny

o       The spirit of Jezebel causes the demise of innocence, make love, sin and make your own rules

o       Spiritual fornication, it is the love of self gratification, who cares what's right and wrong 

o       Jezebel comes as a servant of God, a false prophetess, for of godliness ( 2Cor 11:13-15 )

o       Her beauty cast spells on her victims, Hot, the bed, sexual gratification, sin and folly

o       She cause you to partake of the pleasures of sin, demonic whoredom, disguised as spiritual blessing

 3.      Falling For You (  2 Kings 9:30-37 )

This is the solution of dealing with Jezebel, throwing her off the wall as Jehu ordered

        The spirit of Jezebel to the end will continue the masquerade, she painted herself for Jehu

        This spirit is very aggressive and with fornicate with whoever gives it's attention to her 

        God hates Jezebel and orders her death to include her devoured by Dogs, no mercy

        The jezebel spirit rejects the space God gave her to repent, instead she made her bed to whoredom

        Witchcraft is the mortal enemy of God, it is divination to cause men to sin against God

God is still merciful but judgment is pending to those that partake of her lust and repent not

 

 _________________________________________________________________________

Rev 2:20-22

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
KJV
 

2 Peter 2:18-19
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
KJV

1 Kings 21:5-7
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
KJV

Isa 14:12-14
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
KJV

Ex 20:1-20
20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
KJV

Gen 3:1-5
3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
KJV

Gen 3:6
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
KJV
 

1 Kings 21:4-7
4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
KJV
 

2 Cor 11:13-15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
KJV
 

2 Kings 9:30-37

30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.
35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
KJV
 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians or Tyre and Sidon. King Ahab of Israel, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord, took Jezebel in marriage and went and served Baal. Ahab coveted the vineyard of Naboth and when he could not obtain it, Jezebel slandered Naboth, he was stoned and the vineyard given to Ahab. The wife of Ahab had introduced the abominations of Astarte worship into Israel. Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, hiding others in a cave with bread and water. Jezebel is referred to as the corrupt woman, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. She led her husband into the same idolatry and fed the prophets of Baal at her own table.

Jezebel is mentioned as the licentious false prophet of the Thyatira Church of the seven churches of Revelation. The church at Thyatira seems to fulfill the age of the Western Church from the dark ages unto the present time when their last works are more than the first. The nicolaitan idea of fleshly leadership in the church typified Rome and continued with the Protestants with the separation of clergy and laity. The denial of the sacramental quality of marriage leads the church into fornication and the false authority leads the church into confusion and false prophecy.

What Jesus had against the church of Thyatira was that "You suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds."

Jezebel is a figurative and spiritual name for us. The Thyratiran church continues to this day and the Jezebel spirit manifests herself in the church and reaches to the highest pinnacles of government. The prophecy of the tribulation is in these last days and includes the greater part of Christendom that has allowed idolatry and the Jezebel spirit to flourish in the church and subsequently into all areas of society. Without an attitude of holiness, grace turns into licentiousness.

Jezebel is a whore and a witch whose spirit endures in the church by taking over the vineyard of the Lord. She covers her face with make-up to appear more attractive. Finally, Jezebel was a woman eventually destroyed by the very government she herself corrupted. The word of God came to Elijah and called him to show himself to Ahab and it would rain. The prophet came out of nowhere, stirred the righteous hearts, and the priests of Baal were put to death by the people. It was not Elijah alone but Jehu the anointed King over Israel that sought out the prophets of Baal and slew them, avenging the blood of the prophets. It was this king that dealt Jezebel the death blow by having her thrown down from the wall. In the end, Jehu did not follow the laws of the Lord with all His heart but it shall not be so with us. You are under the law of love and are among the overcomers, if in fact you are among the remnant. We may not be the Elijah to come or even a prophet but under our heritage, we are kings and priests. It is up to the church to become the spotless Bride in these last days and cast out the false prophets, we have the right and the power, we need but have the resolve to appropriate this power as the chosen remnant.

In Thyatira, the Jezebel spirit was and is introducing these same vile practices into the Christian church. By attaching herself to the Christians and manipulating them, she is insisting on the right to teach and practice licentious indulgence and claiming inspiration for her teaching. Those in the church that despise prophecy and forbid the true prophets to speak are under the influence of the Jezebel spirit. They may not have actually killed the prophets but by not allowing God's free operation to speak through His ministers, they kill the spirit that speaks through Him, thereby introducing the confusion of Babylon and the false teaching and doctrines of demons that identify a divided church. Among an apostate church, true prophets are hidden and not allowed to feast upon the richness of spiritual meat. Those under her influence will despise true prophecy, entertain the false prophets and attack those with true spiritual authority. Not all Thyatira pastors accept this teaching and this stinging rebuke is not for those that have not reached into Jezebel's satanic depth. Judgment is given according to the works of those under the Jezebel spirit, the words against them are delivered from One "with eyes like fire and feet like brass." Without repentance, these sins and the accompanying worldliness and schismatic confusion will cause tribulation and the death of the children who commit adultery with her.

Different demons have different names. The Jezebel demon spirit entices God's servant to fornication and adultery. Attitudes are contrived to try to cover the sin and the true prophetic spirit of conviction is allowed to be cast out. The sin of fornication includes any sexual act outside of marriage, male and female, to one partner and in the New Testament, it is the sin with the most singular condemnation but we must realize here that there are prophecies concerning the church committing fornication with the kings of the earth. Jesus is wedded to the church. When Jesus condemns those that have committed adultery with Jezebel, He is referring to the church and worldliness, not necessarily sexual immorality. Jezebel was and is a political figure and uses spiritual control and manipulation to exert influence. Once under this delusionary spirit, she takes them captive, disguises herself as the spirit of God and allows false prophecy, idolatry and worldly practices to flourish.

Jezebel uses her controlling influence to lead God's people to worship a church system that is not led by His spirit. Instead of being the Bride of Christ, the church is turned into a harlot turning to other gods, and a harem, becoming many wives through denominational divisions. It is hard to resist once under her spell, she feels just like Jesus but it is a delusion. Those under the Jezebel spirit are given a false peace about the sin and confusion and the spirit of conviction does not take hold because they are given over to satan's deception for the destruction of the flesh. She will even counterfeit the Holy Spirit feeling of holiness in the heart. Jezebel is the spirit of modern day Babylon and we are told to flee from her.

Jezebel is not gender specific. She is a type that shows up in todays relationship with the church to the world and the relationship with church authority and the congregation. When Jezebel painted her face to make herself more attractive it suggests a type of evil that is all made up to look attractive to those that are under her spell. The Jezebel spirit is a type of delusion that is given to the church so that they might not recognize the influence. If you understand the hypocrisy and worldliness of the political Christian right and their pretense of proper Christian truth, you have an idea how far this has gone. This is much more of a balanced approach to the world situation today and what Elijah would be fighting against than merely a women doing anything in authority over a man or any person usurping authority in the church.

There is a movement today that looks like it is coming against pastors in the church but this impression is only half right. Pastors are needed in the church and are a proper part of the ministry and there are many that have not bent the knee to Baal but more and more, we are learning about the Jezebel spirit in the church and that it applies to many pastors and teachers. The Elijah spirit that comes against the spirit of Jezebel is prophetic and those pastors that will not submit to the prophetic voice in the congregation are starting to feel the heat. There are pastors and Christian leaders that use control and manipulation to bring forth their own special interests and pet denominational doctrines. Some of those pastors are trying to turn it around and blame it on the prophets speaking out in church but these very pastors that are muzzling the prophets are exposing the Jezebel spirit to their own shame. Pastors who are hearing the insistence of apostolic mandate and treat these times as business as usual are being exposed as fools. It is true that most Christians will be taken unawares but many hear the Lord.

Jezebel is a hot prophetic topic right now, the Lord is exposing these people as false teachers and it includes so-called apostles and evangelists. Your pastor may accept the prophetic but it is time to come against the Jezebel spirit in the church and prophets called to do it will be sent to them. If your pastor falls into that category, then it will be to his loss but it is not for us to judge. There are pastors who have not fallen prey to the delusions of Jezebel and they are standing along side of these truths. We must come to the irrefutable conclusion that as the remnant, we should not be subject to this power. The Elijah spirit that is taking on the Jezebel spirit is coming forth with another power, that of the "Spirit saith the Lord" kind of power that will knock Jezebel out of her exalted perch and bring her down to the level that she is destined to fall into, along with Babylon.

It is the Jezebel spirit that has seduced our present generation to commit fornication, whether sexual or political, to deny the prophets and has allowed the spirit in the mainstream, justifying it according to the mores of the times. Those under her spell think it is overlooked by God. We need to pray for these ones that the Jezebel spirit is overcome so that they will see the truth. There are loved ones involved that need to be restored, churches that need the prophetic truth, there are millions right around you just waiting to hear this truth and submit themselves to true spiritual authority so that they may be delivered. Now you know, the trumpet is at your lips, sound the alarm.
[294, I Kings 16, 19, 21, II Kings 9, 10, Revelation 2, 298, 378, 398, 338, Jezebel was a topic of the latter rain list end-time discussions]

Baal

Baal was a spurious god of the Old Testament and an idol of the Phoenicians. He was the son of the pagan god Dagon and introduced to the Hebrews by the Tyrians. The children of Israel were inclined to forsake the commandments of Jehovah and worship Baal, make idols of him and kiss his image. The name Baal means Lord and is used for the master of the house or the owner of the property, like a landlord. He would be the god of the house or of the local land and neighboring vicinity. Baal was worshiped as the god of vineyards and groves, the god of nature and fertility bringing thunder and winter rains. He was the warrior god who champions divine order and opposes chaos. One would imagine him coming in the clouds, holding a thunderbolt in his hand and bringing refreshing rain.

The word Baalim is plural of Baal. Baalim are worshipped under many names as the Sun god and god of fertility and by Beelzebub as the lord of flies. The people would build houses, shrines and altars to Baalim and make images of them and burn incense to them. Sacrificing to Baal would bless the produce of the land and increase of the cattle. Baal is often associated with the goddess Ashtaroth. As early as the third millennium BC, the ancient priest Berosus served lord "Belus" or "Bel", as he was called then and it was Berosus that partially erected the Tower of Babel in his honor on the plain of Shinar. These early writings of Berosus also are among the historical documents that relate the story of the great flood.

Elijah protected the true prophets of God and opposed the false prophets of Baal. The worshippers of Baal in Israel were far more numerous than the prophets of the Lord but existed side by side with the true worshippers. "And Elijah came unto all the people and said, 'How long halt you between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him'. And the people answered him not a word." The message of Elijah was to forsake the worship of Baal, in whom they called Lord, and worship the true God. " And it came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Are you he that troubles Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you and your father's house in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed Baalim."

The practice of the Baal worshippers included aberrant sexual behavior and religious rites of sexual union in disobedience to the commandments of Jehovah. They would sacrifice their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto him. This would explain why Elijah was so opposed to the prophets of Baal and hated them so much.
[380, BD, Judges 2, I Kings 18, 19, Jeremiah 19]

Thyatira

One of the Seven Churches of Asia, Thyatira signifies "sweet savor of labor" or "sacrifice of contrition." This church is the only one that is commended for an improvement in spiritual things, yet tolerated Jezebel. It was a city in the province of Asia, on the boundary of Lydia, and Mysia. It had no illustrious history and is scarcely mentioned by ancient writers. Located in a small outpost town of little importance, compared to the other 6 cities.

Thyatira was a garrison town, a center of commerce, and the records preserve references to more trade-guilds. Lydia, whom Paul met in Philippi, was a Thyratiran seller of "turkey red", the product of the madder-root. Necessity for guild membership in a trading community must have strengthened temptation to compromise.

 

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 2:18-29

Jesus charges the church with tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel, even though it was a church of charitable works. A female oracle called the Sambathe presided over a lucrative fortune-telling business. The preoccupation with female religion may have been an influence on this church, as it allowed the corrupt ministry of Jezebel. Either there was a Jezebel in the church, or the Lord just likened her to the evil person Jezebel that lived in the time of Elijah.

The sun god Apollo Tyrimnaios was the tutelary divinity of this prosperous city and his worship was joined with that of the emperors, who were identified as Apollo incarnate and each, like him, the son of Zeus. Possibly this is why Christ is represented with the eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze, as the Son of God. Thus the celestial Christ, the son of God, is set over against and above the emperor, who as the incarnate Apollo is the son of Zeus. The final promise to the Church of Thyatira was that Christ would give the conqueror, the martyr, the morning star which the faithful will see in the new age: a symbol of a new day. Peter mentioned the morning star arising in your hearts.
[298, 338, 339, 353, 359]

Seven Churches of Asia

When God first instilled into me the desire to become a devotee of church history it was from the reading of the seven churches in Revelation. I had first been taught that the seven churches were seven different church dispensations and when one age ended, the next began. I prayed for the wisdom to understand. God gave me to know that all the churches in these periods represented a panorama of church history and are still around today representing the seven lights that still shine until Jesus comes again. God speaks to us in history, His revelation is progressive.

The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyratira were founded by John the apostle, and formed either directly or indirectly by St. Paul. Much corruption had crept into the seven churches of Asia, but Jesus' was not fully rejected; and not withstanding the declination they had experienced, many enjoyed what was approved of by Him who searched their hearts. Allowing corruption to enter into the churches placed them in eminent danger and they were severely admonished by the Lord to repent and retrace their steps or the candlestick would be removed out of its place.

The church of Smyrna began in the period of the Roman persecutions, ten days represent the ten general persecutions that have been identified in history.

"He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches." This was not just the church only that was then addressed, but "the churches" being all churches of professing Christians to the end of the world, that the obedient may be encouraged and the disobedient corrected. Our knees, then, must bow to Him who thus walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks.

The last church age to appear is the luke-warm Laodicean age without ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the churches. They are in the luke-warm church because they believe what their luke-warm pastors are telling them. They shine as a flicker in the candlestick without seeing past their own small flame. The candlestick in danger of being moved out of its place was that of the Ephesian Church by leaving her first love. That is changing too. Jesus loves all the churches, even though He might not be able to praise them.

Out of the seven churches, five were described by Jesus as being a mixture of good and bad. You cannot deny the good, just because there is bad. You will receive the same judgment as you judge. The church in Pergamos after the persecutions of Smyrna sat in Satan's seat, bad. They held fast to Jesus name and did not deny the faith, good. Two of the seven churches were very good: Smyrna and Philadelphia. Two were very bad: Sardis and Laodicea. Three were part good and part bad: Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira. The two good churches were composed of the humbler classes of people, and were facing persecution. The two bad churches, seem to have included the ruling classes, nominally Christian, but pagan in life. Ephesus was orthodox in teaching, but losing their first love. Pergamum was worldly, but faithful to the name of Jesus. Thyatira was immoral, tolerating Jezebel, but growing in zeal. Asia minor is a term not used by classical writers; it was invented in the middle ages. The entire west coast of Asia minor was colonized by the Greeks.
[18, 87, 338, 20]

Nicolaitans

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was mentioned in the Apocalypse of John to the churches of Pergamos and Ephesus of the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2. It is a symbolic name of a party that represents the hierarchy of a ruling class over the rest of the people, developing a pecking order of fleshly leadership. Jesus hates this and warns the people to repent or else "I will come upon you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." The same warning illustration is applied to those that abused grace, which led to licentiousness from the example of Balaam, seducing Christians to fornication and tampering with idolatry. The individual overcomer is allowed to eat of the hidden manna and given a white stone with a new name written in it.

The Early church father Iranaeus, identified the Nicolaitans in his treatise "Against Heresies" in the second century as they who are an "offshoot of the knowledge which is falsely so-called," mentioning that they "lead lives of unrestrained indulgence." There is no absolute proof that the heretic Nicolas was the Deacon of the same name from Antioch of the seven deacons in the book of Acts, but Iranaeus supposed him to be so. Ignatius mentions the Nicolaitans also, so there was in fact a heretical group existing at that time. Nicolas the deacon was perhaps confused with another Nicolas, the bishop Nicolas of Samaria who was a heretic in the company of Simon Magus.

The root of the word Nicolaitans comes from Greek nikao, to conquer or overcome, and laos, which means people and which the word laity comes from. The two words together especially means the destruction of the people and refers to the earliest form of what we call a priestly order or clergy which later on in church history divided people and allowed for leadership other than those led by the spirit of the risen Lord. A good translation of Nicolaitan would be "those who prevail over the people." This clerical system later developed into the papal hierarchy of priests and clergy lording over the flock. The Council of Trent stated, "If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema." It is not the question of the ministries but rather in the separation of them into a hierarchy over the people. This very idea was taken over by the Protestants with their own corruption of leadership roles and coverings. The Church of Ephesus was commended for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The wrong separation of the clergy from the laity is a great evil in God's sight and He hates the lust for religious power over others. There is an ungodly spiritual authority in the Church today, which is nothing more than the prideful spirit of control, manipulation, domination and intimidation and a rebellion of the rightful authority of God.

Faithful believers who have put on Christ Jesus, are all God's laity. Peter exhorted us to

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God's heritage but being examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.

Shepherds serve the sheep but the wolves that clothe themselves with so-called leadership and spiritual authority serve themselves, thinking that they serve God, in essence, this makes them false christs. Early church leaders were established as overseers, not a ruling hierarchy.

Immediately after John the revelator received the message to the seven churches, a door was opened in Heaven. The very first voice that John heard was as a trumpet talking with him which said, "Come hither and I will show you things, which must be hereafter." The trumpets will be sounding in these last days and this is the first one. John was given a vision of the very throne room of God, and the true pecking order, and the way in which that authority conducts itself. John is carried in the spirit to this place with the 7 Spirits of God. Round about this throne were 24 seats for 24 elders clothed in white with golden crowns upon their heads. Now we do not know who these elders are or how much power and authority they have, but if anyone has bragging rights for a high ministry they have attained, it would have to be these 24 elders. Every time they hear the 4 living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to God, they fall down prostrate, worship Him and cast their crowns before the throne of God. Now if Jesus said that we should pray "let it be on earth as it is in heaven," no one has any business at all claiming a position over any other person as it always leads to abuse. God is now demanding that we throw down our crowns and gather around Him. Either we are obedient and the crowns are cast down or the Lord Himself will take them away.

If we want spiritual crowns throughout eternity we must first give up our authority and leadership at the foot of Jesus. In these things we must come out and separate from the Babylonian wolves of the apostasy in sheep's clothing that will not give up their faded crowns, and become holy if we would not partake of her plagues. This describes the Bride of Christ, not the interlopers and usurpers called godly who would lead you into the mystery of iniquity through fleshly leadership. Jesus wants servants who will defer the authority and care for His sheep. Different people in the church have different gifts and ministries from God, but all are of equal importance to the well being of the body.

There is in the world today a tremendous cry from the people of God, a travail coming forth touching the very heart of God. The shepherds are not leading the sheep into this outpouring so the people are entering in spite of the restraint that the shepherds are trying to put on them. The reason that the "leaders" do not want the Presence of the Lord in the midst of the congregation is that they will have to relinquish their crowns. The blind leading the blind have for too long demanded to have praises sung to them. Now is the time that if a man is a prophet he should be saying like Zechariah, "I am no prophet, rather a tiller of the ground."

The Lord said to His disciples,

You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.

This is the opposite of the wisdom of the world in regards to leadership and authority, the key here is dominion and sovereignty is the issue. The greatest among us are those that would be the servant or slave to the most of us with the authority to love, minister and serve, not to rule or govern those in the church. At stake here is getting out of the same Babylon of old that exalted herself by trying to reach heaven. We are only beginning to see this and God is calling us out of Babylon, what we do see are those attempting to gain a false authority that puts them in a position to be served and recognized by the most. As true apostles and prophets are raised up, you will see men and women who are absolutely sold out to the concept of servanthood and being poured out in love upon their brothers and sisters.

Leadership and Authority:

There has been such a strong tendency for authority in any measure to be misused that I wonder if there is any way that it can be used righteously. Of course there is but is this among the new thing that Jesus would have us learn? Are we singing a new song or the same old tired one that brought the church into the lack of knowledge. In the parable of Mark 13:34, "For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch." Jesus has gone and left us His authority? We are warned not to be found sleeping when the master comes back but we are also not to abuse the authority and mistreat the servants. Also in John 5, Jesus said that: "For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself; and has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." We are His brothers and we are to be the representatives of Christ, do we in truth have that authority?

We also know that we will have the authority in the kingdom, but is that the kingdom of now or the kingdom to come? Another parable of Luke 19 has us given the authority over cities, if we have been faithful, we will have authority. Saul (Paul) had authority before He encountered the Lord but that was temporal authority from the high priests. Once He became a Christian, he talked of himself being a minister and servant and even a slave. When Paul writes of the second coming in I Corinthians 15, he says that Jesus will "put down ALL rule and ALL authority and power." Paul asks us to pray for kings and those in authority, is he speaking of ministers? He does however tell Titus "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." What kind of authority is Paul speaking of here? Elders are to rule well, what does that mean? Is Paul teaching differently than Jesus? Paul speaks of us following him as he follows the Lord as if in leadership but he also tells us that it is his example that we are to follow. Can we have order without rule?

We do have the authority of Jesus but authority in the church can lead people down the wrong path if it used in the wrong way or used with pride and out of step with the Lord. Knowing the pitfalls of false authority can help us to recognize how the leadership of Jesus should be in all that we do. The more we grow together in humility, the more authority God will be giving us. God is truth and we are seekers of the truth, we do not concern ourselves with the wisdom that the world gives us but as obedient servants we decrease and allow the Lord to increase in each one of us. Every one of us should desire to operate in the prophetic and bear witness to each other. This is the way it should be.

As to spiritual authority, it is ours through faith, God has given us the authority over spiritual wickedness in high places, we have the authority to cast out demons, to bring down the high places and bring down strongholds. It is the same authority that Jesus had, He spoke as a man having authority but He did not speak on His own authority while He was here on earth but what authority that His Father had given Him. We know that Jesus has shared His glory with us and in His name, we have the authority to bless and rebuke, to intercede for others, to establish, to break down, to build up and to rule over the earth as our dominion. We have the power to stretch out our hands and allow the blood of Jesus to course through our veins and out of our bodies in spiritual power to heal and to deliver and to fill others with His spirit. We have the authority to have signs and wonders following, God speaks and lives through us through the death and resurrection of His Son and in the power of His Holy Spirit. This is true authority but it is derived authority, not assumed.

We are nothing without Jesus, it is not our authority, dominion or glory, it is His. We have no righteousness in ourselves, we cannot save others and for sure we are not to rule over them in the church. We are never called to lead apart from total submission to the Holy Spirit. He is our One and Only Commander and we are not part of a worldly army but a spiritual one that must march as One in unison, marching in one rank shoulder to shoulder behind Jesus, not one another. We should only submit to others that have the humility, love and servant attitude that we have been taught from the beginning. We are to be restored to the original purity of the early church. How can we submit to each other as in the Lord if we differentiate between leaders and followers among us? To be one body, we must submit to One Head. Let the fragments fall where they may but they will be devoured by the dogs. Jesus want us to be perfect, without spot or wrinkle and ready to meet Him in the air.

The restoration of the temple includes the rebuilding of the walls of the New Jerusalem and we have all seen pretended watchmen of the walls that think they have a ministry of tearing people in the church down instead of building up. Be strong in the spirit, accept the authority yourselves and submit one to another. You need to know that Jesus wants your eyes focused on His leadership and for us not to put our confidence in man. You need to know that Jesus is the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne and He is the One that shall feed us, and lead us unto living waters. What could be the motivation that any one of us would follow any other than Jesus unless you don't have the faith to know that He is among us when we gather together. The sons of God are not the ones that are being led by men but rather the ones led by the Spirit of God.

More than causing division, the problem with the question of authority has caused mass confusion. Yes, there is leadership in the church. But it is only true leadership if it is Jesus living through us. The problem is in the fleshly leadership that has manipulated, controlled and dominated the church and brought it into the mess that it is in and saturated it with the traditions of men and the doctrines of demons. Wanting to be a leader in the church is a hard bad habit to break. This is the Nicolaitan spirit, it injures and alienates the same ones that the church was supposed to have served and ministered to, not ruled over.

The watchword is pride and the power of the flesh taking control instead of the power of the Holy Ghost. To have leadership in the church that does not take into account the service and ministration necessary to keep it pure is to allow pride to creep in, corrupt it and leave us in confusion. If Jesus is truly operating His will through us, then He is the leader and still the only leader, we are only operating according to His purpose and He is living His leadership through us through our submissive service and ministration to others. This is why we are to submit to each other, because He is living His shared leadership through us - but be careful, not all are following Him in the spirit. To even call yourSELF a leader is to act in the flesh. If Jesus has called you to a leadership position, keep it to yourself and trust Him enough to act through you and He will put you where He wants you to be. Do not seek to promote yourself or your ministry but rather act upon the spirit and allow others to do the same in order for that position to be manifested. If God is truly speaking and acting through you then His sheep will hear His voice and the words and actions will speak for themselves.

Jesus is still the only leader. For Jesus to share that leadership with us is to give us the responsibility to continue in that spiritual service to the point that we do not seek titles, exalt ourselves, lord it over others, act in pride, operate in the flesh or any such thing. To be in a leadership position REQUIRES you to operate totally in the spirit. And it is shared leadership only among us that are living in the spirit, there are no chiefs here, no rulers outside of that spiritual authority, no pecking order; we are to submit to each other and not to seek others to submit to us. We must have the mind that Jesus had to be effective.

The saints of the New Testament never confirmed or bestowed leadership, not once. In all cases, Jesus was the true leader and His true followers were given ministerial functions as servants in the church. Leadership may have been inferred through the authority that we have in Jesus such as the rulership mentioned by Paul, but never once was it ever referred to or conferred. There were no clergy as distinguished from laity. All the laoi of Christ were God's lot, inheritance, or clergy. The elders and overseers among them were divinely inspired and endowed "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." Too many in leadership positions in the church today are acting in the flesh according to the pride of their calling. It is important that we not step out of Gods will into any kind of presumption through leadership.

If we are to meet Jesus as His Bride, we need to have a mind-set that we only want to follow the Bridegroom. The best that we can do to get others into the kingdom is to point them to our leader Jesus Christ. The carnal mind will never understand what we are trying to do here. Jeremiah prophesies of the last days,

A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end thereof?

This is the question of the hour and our last chance to get it right, many are called but few are chosen.

We have those called to leadership conferences, youth leaders, apostolic leadership, church leaders and all kind of leaders. Much of it is good but if the servant's attitude is not stressed early on, it is not a given that Jesus is Lord. If we are to have true restoration, we need to restore the headship of Christ with us as the Body with different members and reject the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. True authority speaks for itself. As Paul would say, "those that think they are somewhat add nothing." The great Commission gives us the mandate to proclaim the good news and do the work of an evangelist and we should all guide and pastor the sheep, teaching them the right way to go. No lords among us but Jesus.

 

but be filled with the spirit... submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

The whirlwind of the Lord is going forth in fury. This is God's truth we speak and He is pronouncing judgment on the church age preachers as we enter the kingdom age. The Lord is about to bring an everlasting reproach and perpetual shame on those who will not come to one accord. If church leaders do not lay down their crowns before Jesus as Lord, they will not be singing the praises of a new song with us but weeping alone between the porch and the altar. We as ministers are given to humanity as a sacrifice offering. Just as Jesus laid His life down for the brethren, we are to lay our own lives down. Jesus did not come to lord it over humanity, but to lay His life down for it; we could never do more yet no less is expected.
[17, 294, 330, 339, 18, 101, Acts 6, Mark 10, Revelation 3, 4, Zechariah 13, Ephesian 4, John 15, Jeremiah 5, Galatians 2. The Nicolaitans and the issue of leadership and authority was an item of the latter rain discussion list.]

The Great Tribulation

The great tribulation is generally regarded as the final week of Daniel's seventieth week, especially the last three and a half years. The gigantic wars, cataclysms, pestilences, etc., that befall the earth are actually manifestations of the risen, victorious Christ taking an open hand to claim His redeemed rights to the earth in preparation for the divine program involving His people on the earth.

 

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one that shall be found written in the book. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. The hour of temptation, which shall come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed. He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto nations and then shall the end come.

There has been a commonly accepted idea that the Great Tribulation would be a period of seven years. The Lord said it would start at the midpoint of the seven years. This is the period of unparalleled suffering, which, according to premillenial eschatology, will precede the establishment of the future kingdom of Israel. The trouble will embrace the entire earth, it is the time of Jacob's trouble. It will involve the Jewish people who will have gone back to Palestine in unbelief. Made identical with the last 3 and a half years of Daniel's seventieth week.
[Daniel, Mark, Revelations, Jeremiah, BD, Psalms, Matthew, 240


 

Elijah

Elijah was the greatest of the Hebrew prophets and deservedly revered as the most honored. The boldness and faithfulness of Elijah stands out like a lighthouse in the midst of a dangerous sea. He was a strict and selfless zealot for the adoration of God but endearingly human. The name Elijah means whose God is Jehovah. Elijah bursts upon Bible history without warning and then just as suddenly, miraculously disappears. He appears as a supernatural messenger from heaven with a chosen job to do and a single mindedness to accomplish God's will. As promised, his spirit has returned to our generation.

Elijah's illustrious career is a matter of record but he left nothing of his own in writing; there is no record of any of his prophecies yet he is the most mentioned prophet in the New Testament and his spirit has influenced all the prophets to follow. Ahab the King of Israel had taken for wife a Canaanite woman named Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal. "And Ahab, the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him." Showing a weak and vacillating character, Ahab tolerated Jezebel and allowed the practice of Phoenician worship in Israel on a grand scale. The false prophets and priests of Baal were chosen in great numbers and were known to sacrifice infants at the altar. Elijah suddenly appears before Ahab speaking words of majestic power and proclaims God's vengeance for the apostasy of King Ahab and the corruption of Israel. Elijah challenged the priests of Baal and consumed them in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit by calling down fire from heaven.

Elijah's unquestioning faith in God was boundless and that passionate faith was his purpose in life. "I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts," he would say, and his courage was a fearless example to God's prophets since. He was a recluse by nature and only appeared before men in God's own time to deliver His message, enforce it by a miraculous sign, and then disappear again. Elisha asked from him a double measure of his spirit. Elijah said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be done for you; but if not, it shall not be so." If you know the story, you know that Elisha did indeed receive the double portion. The translation of Elijah is given to us to confirm the fact that there will be an ultimate deliverance for all of God's people, we ourselves will be carried off into the heavens and spend eternity in the company of such men as Elijah.

Elijah's prophetic spirit left a great impression upon Israel. He became the archetype of the promised forerunner of the great and dreadful day of the Lord of hosts. "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist received a message from an angel telling him that his son will come in the spirit and power of Elijah. Jesus taught the truth of an end time Elijah to come to His disciples in the future tense after John the Baptist was dead:

Elias truly shall first come and restore all things. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Jesus had suggested that John the Baptist was the expected Elijah but John had denied being the Christ, Elijah or the prophet to come. John the Baptist was the return of the spirit of Elijah, but just as it was Elijah before the first coming of Christ, so it will be before the second.

Saint John in his Apocalypse informed us of two witnesses who were to preach against the Anti-christ, be killed by him and then miraculously resurrected in the eyes of all and translated to heaven like Elijah taken away in the chariot. Zechariah has identified them as the two olive branches, the "two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Popular eschatology throughout church history has identified these two witnesses as Elijah and Enoch, or sometimes Elijah and Moses, but always Elijah. Elijah was "translated that he should not see death." These are the only three Bible characters that were translated to heaven without undergoing bodily corruption. We confirm that by scripture concerning Elijah and Enoch and by tradition as regards to the assumption of Moses. It was Moses and Elijah with Jesus at the transfiguration. The Elijah pattern is the model these two last day figures will follow in denouncing the exploitation and oppression of the four-headed beast, the Anti-christ and the false prophet of Babylon. Like the two witnesses to come, it was Elijah that called down fire to consume the messengers of King Ahaziah and it was Elijah who was responsible for a drought, "there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." The prophet Elijah comes also as the new Daniel, to whom is given the key of David to open the book sealed with seven seals.

There is a lot being revealed lately about the Elijah company, being a corporate Elijah that come with his spirit in the last days as a group rather than one man. Believe it, there will be many who will be revealed with the manifest sons of God who have transcended the religious system brainwash and bursting forth with denunciation and spiritual outpouring in the power of Elijah. This comes with a deception however, for those that think that they are in the power and spirit of Elijah and one of the two witnesses when they are not. Without true discernment and anointing, many are being spiritually deceived and deceiving others.

This corporate Elijah will be part of the man-child of Rev.12:5 and may be the messenger of Revelation 10. The Elijah spirit as one of God's two witnesses however, seems to be totally upon one man. Elijah as one of the two witnesses should have the power of a double-portion ministry. God often uses His stories in the Bible to serve as a lesson to us. The Elijah that we will know will have the power to bestow that double portion on the Elijah Company like he did with Elisha, we should expect no less. Through an anointing of the manifest sons we should be able to recognize those in the church who can stand out with a double portion and be part of the restoration, speaking the word of God with boldness, authority and prophetic power.

Many Muslims also look forward to the coming of Elijah. The Quran records, "So also was Elias among those sent and we left this blessing for him among generations to come in later times: Peace and salutation to such as Elias." Elijah will be called as like the last Imam to the Muslims but it will only be to a remnant that has washed themselves in the blood of the Lamb. Most of the entire nation of Islam will attempt to bathe in the blood of the anointed one through violence, not love, and march against Zion.

God's two witnesses will come in the power of Elijah to shut up the heavens so it may not rain upon the earth. "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." Thomas Muntzer wrote that the church should with sighs and prayers recognize their abject condition and at the same time their need for a new, God sent leader. "If the holy church is to be renewed through the bitter truth, a servant of God must stand forth in the spirit of Elijah and set things in motion. In truth, many of them will have to be roused, so that with the greatest possible zeal and with passionate earnestness they may sweep Christendom clean of ungodly rulers."

The ministry of Elijah will be in the warning of impending judgment and the broadcasting of restoration principles to a church starving for truth and thirsting for the power of the Holy Ghost. Elijah will warn the church of its false practices, denounce the false leadership and prophesy the downfall of the false church and false prophets. He will come and "restore all things." Restoration principles are the apostolic truths and spiritual power that the church has rejected. "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers." This will not be business as usual. Will the people listen? Many will and it is in this acceptance that more drastic judgments will be averted: "Else I will come, and strike the land with a curse." It is in the blessings of this latter rain outpouring that a great revival will commence over the entire earth through the marriage supper of the Lamb. Unfortunately, many will not heed the warnings of Elijah, including the church, and it is in this denial that Christian Babylon will show forth her apostasy by rejecting and opposing the outpouring. They will be cut off from fellowship with God's spirit. Daniel writes that "many shall be purified and made white and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." The wickedness and apostasy of the church is in the main - the refusal to put away their pride long enough to be able to love each other.

Elijah's words will burn like an intense flame, subduing his enemies with the sword of the spirit. God has given him the power to control the elements and perform miracles. He will set the trumpet to his mouth and come as an eagle against the house of the Lord. He will be more of a social revolutionary than evangelist and can only teach the Christian freedom taught by Jesus by denouncing the legalism of the churches and the oppression and right wing tyranny and oppression of the forces of Anti-christ. This is not what people will be expecting and Babylon can only hate, fear, oppose and disrespect him. Elijah will set the stage for the Day of the Lord and will preach righteousness and judgment and cleanse the church with a purifying fire. He will deliver stinging retribution toward the ministers of the Lord who have chosen mammon instead of His spirit with soothing words of peace and safety.

The cry of Elijah will be the cry of the oppressed and by his word will nations arise to denounce the nature of the beast. He will be able to enter a congregation and call down a powerful invocation reminiscent of Pentecost and the Lord will suddenly appear like the mighty rushing wind of old. False prophets and the proud have no power over him, their tongues will stammer and they will be left as fools. He is able to stretch forth his hand in rebuke and call spiritual fire from heaven. The ministers of the Lord will weep between the porch and altar and they are left alone to bear recompense for the iniquities of Babylon. "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand."
[12, 35, 58, 70, 81, 224, 58, 330, 338, 35, 08, 380, Unger's BD, Matthew 11, Luke, I Kings 16, 17, II Kings 2, Ecclesiastes, Malachi 3, 4, James, Revelation 11, 12]

Prophet

A prophet is one who speaks with divine inspiration. There are also false prophets. Didache: "If he asks for money, he is a false prophet." Simply, a prophet is one that God speaks through but He also spoke through Balaam's donkey and if that is the case, He can speak through anyone or anything or any circumstance. Not everybody making ecstatic utterances is a prophet, but only if he behaves like the Lord and speaks the truth in love. It is by their conduct that the false prophet and the true prophet can be distinguished. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants, the prophets."

A prophet is an oracle of God, God's mouthpiece if you will and available to every believer. Peter writes these words:

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

If any man speaks, of course includes women and this means the act of speaking as the oracle of God is for all of us, not just those who speak "thus saith the Lord" or the ecstatic visionaries and seers but for the whole body of Christ.

It's time for all of us to mature. We must embrace some of this prophetic power that has been given to us and identify exactly what happens in the process. The discussion here will be focused on prophecy and what we can do to stir up the gift in ourselves and in bringing others to come into line with the spirit of prophecy. More than any other gift, this is where we must submit to each other in the spirit. If God is truly speaking through us, then it will be according to what He is speaking through others and the most perfect mechanism in the body to come to unity. Those that have been given the gift of prophecy come in all levels of maturity. Those that exhibit the spirit of prophecy and then use it in a prideful manner are the first to come out with false prophecy by speaking in the flesh. We do not need to convince ourselves of the validity of the gift, we are already full-gospel people. What we need to do is stir up the gift and bring ourselves to the maturity that comes with total submission to the Lord and each other through the gift.

The English word prophet derives from the Greek word meaning "public expounder." In order for men to discern between false and true prophets, the Spirit gave the gift of "discerning the spirits" to other believers. New Testament Christians were not to despise prophesying but they were told to test all things. False prophets are ever with us, and false prophets generally begin by deceiving themselves.

The ancient world was full of prophetic preachers. Dressed in a rough cloak, one would take his stand at some street corner or at the gates of the city and amuse and instruct. His easy, animated talk to the chance crowd that gathered about him would mingle question and answer, apostrophe, dialogue, examples and anecdote, urging his little congregation to fortitude and self-control. Christian preachers had to compete with these men for the attention of the crowds to bring them Jesus, and they naturally adopted some of their methods. They would preach in the open air, lift up their voices in the market places, preach on the promenade at Ephesus, deliver their sermons right on the street. The early church also had itinerent prophets, those that would travel from town to town. Jesus had said "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." A traveling prophet had no problem being accepted for this reason. They would go without purse and depend on the Lord completely for their provision.

I believe that it is out of order for any other but the prophets to judge prophecy but clarification is needed. Many time prophets today take too much authority upon themselves as if they are to be the watchman of everything that goes on. They can be meddlesome at times and interfere without thought of proper edification but spout off just to get attention and show off their gift. If they are walking in the spirit, and they decrease so Jesus can increase, things are fine. Discernment is needed here however, for satan has a spirit also and will try to keep others from hearing the Lord correctly. Discernment of spirits is a prophetic gift, so is the interpretation of tongues. Preaching in the spirit is a prophetic gift, charismatic teaching is also. So just having the office of a prophet does not necessarily make the prophet some kind of judge over what others say unless it is is the spirit of prophecy and in its proper order.

Everything has their proper place but Paul is not so clear on who the "first" is that should hold his peace in I Cor. 14, so I would think that the "other" mentioned could be anyone in the congregation that is hearing the Lord at any particular time and holding your peace should be according to the spirit and not any legalistic rules. Without the spirit of prophecy, the prophets as a particular office have no function and it is all the same spirit no matter what the gift. Remember that Paul told us that if we "all" prophesy, others will be convinced of the message. God distributes the gifts as He wills but then we are told to desire to prophesy, so we do have a say in the matter and we are told that God gives gifts to those who ask. We can have multiple gifts, there are apostolic prophets and prophetic teachers and those who speak in tongues and interpret. We cannot lock anyone into any particular gift and say that this is their gift and one cannot operate in others, it is not our job to do that, it is the Lord's good pleasure.

We cannot elevate prophecy but the Lord has and has reminded us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Once Jesus is exalted in this way, by giving prophetic testimony, others will be drawn to Him. There should be guidelines to follow but they must be according to present truth as to any particular situation at any particular moment as the spirit moves. The spirit must be exalted, not to the letter of given rules.

If God speaks through a prophet it is God speaking, the prophet is only the mouthpiece that God uses to deliver the message. God is not a respector of persons and there are several instances of women being prophets in the book of Acts. Many have a problem in submitting to women as a leader over the church or as an authority over men. Our contention should be that there should be only one leader in the church and that is Jesus but He shares His leadership with His body. It is clear ignorance to despise prophetic utterances just because God has delivered his message from a woman. The true prophet whether man, woman or child, if obedient, is passive in delivering God's message. He/she is not being the authority or leader over the one receiving the Lord's message, God is. In that there are many that do not have the wisdom to understand this is disappointing. Many women are not given a fair hearing on this matter as being a true prophet and are prejudged immediately, not because she is a prophet but because she is a woman. Anyone who is willing to listen to God's voice and repeat the words of the Lord according to his/her spiritual gifts are to be acknowledged in the church.

There is clear direction from the Lord in a true prophet but it can lead to pride. We must all be careful of what we do in the flesh. Pride is the real killer and through pride, prophecy has been misunderstood and taken to the kind of extremes that have diluted its effectiveness. When prophets start speaking in the flesh out of the pride of what they believe instead of waiting on the Lord for unction, confusion reigns and must be dealt with, this is the judgment involved. Many times, true prophecy suffers if we are to give it freedom of expression yet God's word will continue to be brought forth just because God is God and will protect His ways.

Many young prophets who have not learned the self-control necessary to be effective will think that the Lord is giving revelation and speaking through them all the time, so when they make mistakes, they fall into delusion and except the falseness as from the Lord. This leads to neurosis, religiosity, learning disabilities, self-importance, grandiosity of the message, recklessness, bad habits, false assumptions, speaking in the flesh, false thinking and in the worst cases, schizophrenia. Just because we have heard from the mature prophets in this group as well as the immature, it does not lessen God's love for all of us and the best groups seek to lift each other up and bear each other's burdens. We are all in the process of maturing.

Jung - Every respectable prophet strives manfully against the unconscious pretensions of his role. Some were diviners who could read the secrets of the heart and the past, and foretell the future, according to remuneration; some were fanatics who worked themselves into a frenzy.

There is one pastor that I will not mention by name that is in the midst of a waning revival. The congregation still wants to hold onto the revival fire but the leadership has resisted the prophetic spirit among them to bring them into the unity of the five-fold. We should all know that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy but this particular denomination that they belong to was founded upon the gift of tongues being the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord has overlooked past ignorance and used them in revival but it is time for restitution now and for us to come together in unity before the harvest. For them to give up this false doctrine exposed through the spirit of prophecy would force them to admit that they have been wrong all these years and introduced a divisive schism. Any church today has a choice, either bear witness to the spirit of prophecy and give up their divisiveness and traditions of men or hold onto their pride and refuse to admit that they were wrong. For unity to come about, the divisiveness and schismatic doctrines must give way to spiritual truth. For this church to choose to hold onto false doctrine, they must do something to curb the prophets that are hearing the Lord and being obedient by speaking out. This particular pastor abused his authority over his flock by having the final word over the spirit of prophecy and decided to curb the prophets. God is not allowed to speak through others whenever the Lord wills but only under strict control by the "leadership" and not until they go through a screening and training process. If this pastor truly loves the Lord and humbles himself before Him, he will start hearing the Lord as he sees things going wrong and truly decide to lay down his crown along with the control, manipulation and indoctrination involved in muzzling the prophets that speak the word of the Lord. If not, the last great revival that we are being prepared for will pass him and his entire church by. God is getting ready to pull down the strongholds of false authority and fleshly control in the church. The point that I am trying to make is that pastors such as this should be given space to repent and for no one to pass judgment ahead of God's timing. There is still more for us to do before they will be weeping between the porch and the altar.

We are certainly to be aware of false prophets among us as well as false teachers or apostles or whatever. But we must also realize that a prideful pastor, no matter how committed he is to his flock, by not submitting to others in the Lord through the true spirit of prophecy will deny growth to the flock. Among other things, it is in this abuse of authority that would make him false. The pastor must test the spirits, desire to bear witness by humbling himself, seek edification and order and allow the spirit of prophecy to be subject to the prophets, not to himself. The pastor is not to restrict prophecy, put controls or any constraints or legalistic rules on prophets in any way outside of what is stipulated in the Word or confusion and division follows.

The church does not qualify a prophet, or any other office, God does. Training for those that are truly called is good; we should never despise instruction and should take great strides that our giftings in the body are used wisely. Even so, we must still allow God total freedom to act spontaneously through us and to allow the gifts that He has given us to operate as He wills, not as the pastor of the church wills. It is our responsibility as obedient servants to show ourselves approved before God and man, not to lord it over the flock.
[17, Peter 4:ll, 117, 197, 279, 310, Amos, 374, the role of prophets as part of the five-fold ministry was an item of the latter rain discussion list