KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN THYRATIRA
“And by the angel of the church in Thyatira write…” (Rev. 2:18).
The church in Thyatira has a longer message delivered to it from Jesus Christ than any of the seven churches, although it is interesting to note that the church there is the smallest of the seven, and the city of Thyatira is the smallest of the seven cities. Thyatira was a small city, but it was the gateway into the larger metropolis of Pergamos, the capital of Asia. Thyatira was located on a trade route that led right in to Pergamos. Much of the traffic that came into Pergamos from that direction had to pass through Thyatira. Thus Thyatira was a city people went through, not to. El Paso is such a city today; not very many people come to El Paso, but millions of people pass through the city on their way to Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Mexico, or other points of importance.
Thyatira means “sweet perfume of sacrifice” and when you study this word it speaks of a perfume that sends forth its fragrance as the result of bruising, crushing, or breaking. As we study the message to the church in Thyatira we see that the primary emphasis is upon the Jezebel spirit in that church and the “great tribulation” into which the Lord will cast her in order to judge, break, and purify her. By this we can understand the great purpose of tribulation or pressure — to cause the bruising by which the flesh is weakened and the fragrance of the Lord is sent forth out of our lives!
Most of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil with which the priesthood of Israel was anointed were made fragrant through the process of bruising and crushing. Once the spices were gathered, only as they were pierced and crushed did their fragrance go forth. It is not easy to yield to the crushing and bruising! This truly is as bitter as myrrh, though it yields fragrance in the peaceable fruit of righteousness. The elect of God have been passing through a time of purification; we are being beaten and pressed. But it is needful for us, for there is no other route to the anointing of sonship! How we need the pressures, the trials, and the testings! Oh, we must have the dealing hand of God!
Under pressure and bruising we turn to the Lord in a deeper, more intense way, and the Spirit moves mightily on our behalf to guide, comfort, encourage, teach, chasten, correct, counsel, instruct, develop, strengthen, and perfect. In all this the Spirit operates and we are enlightened; we learn the necessary lessons of the ways and purposes of the Lord. Under this enlightening, we receive the ability to express something which issues out of Christ as the sweet incense unto God. There comes the expression of His grace, holiness, glory, and power in our walk. Then not only are we blessed, but the heart of the Father is satisfied, and creation will be touched by the fragrance of His life. THIS IS SONSHIP ANOINTING! It is not an emotional experience received at an altar; it is the power of the Father’s nature revealed through a transformed life!
There is a great and magnificent future ahead for the sons of God, and a great work our Father has for us to do in the age and the ages to come, and He is preparing us and making us ready for the high and holy place He has for us. Can we not see that all the opposing, crushing, breaking, and trying experiences we go through are working together for our good — to develop the strength, character, wisdom, and power we must possess as sons of God? Through the valley of death into the realm of life and victory is God’s way to sonship, and the secret to “glorying in tribulation” is to understand the great purpose of trial and the glorious end of tribulation. Through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of God! Beautiful anointing! The time will come when the sweet fragrance of Christ will be everywhere in the reconciled universe. Nothing of self left, no stench of flesh, no blight of sin, no pain of death. Everyone and everything in the universe of bliss will come under the anointing of His life. What pleasure for God! What peace and love and unity throughout the whole vast scene pervaded by the perfume of the holy anointing!
Are we willing to go through the piercing and crushing process in order to gather a precious cargo of heavenly fragrance and incense? Are our hearts crying out for a deeper revelation of the Son of God, and for it to be operative in our lives? Do not look for the answer in the outpouring of blessings and miracles and prosperity most believers seek, but at the foot of the cross, outside the camp. Look for heaven’s perfumes in a wilderness place that no one sees nor understands, excepting Jesus who gathered the first cargo of spices to the glory of the Father. This is the revelation of the church in Thyatira!
“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” (Rev. 2:18-20).
There is one name in the Bible that no parents would think to give to their daughter, and that name is Jezebel. The name Jezebel sweeps across the pages of the Bible. The typical Jezebel of the Old Testament was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and Sidon. The name Ethbaal means “with Baal.” Prior to becoming king, Ethbaal was a priest to the goddess Astarte, also known as Ashtoreth or Ishtar. This was the goddess of sensual love and sex. From her childhood Jezebel was steeped in false religion and government. Jezebel grew up in an atmosphere of position, power, and prestige. She drank deeply of all the arts of political cunning and intrigue.
The name Jezebel means “Baal exulted,” and also indicates one who is “unchaste and unhusbanded.” In other words it denotes one who is lewd, sexually impure, and defiled. Jezebel’s name not only reveals her character, but is also a prophecy of her life! She was so infamous for her wicked wantonness, immorality, and treachery, that lewd women down through the centuries have been dubbed “Jezebel”. These women always display the spirit of Jezebel!
Jezebel married Ahab, the king of Israel. As queen of Israel, she immediately set up the altars, shrines, and temples of her false gods, and began to require the people of Israel to worship these gods. The Bible tells us that she also practiced witchcraft and that at one time Jezebel had four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of the grove who “ate at her table” (I Kings 18:19), which undoubtedly means that she supported and influenced every one of these false prophets. Baal was the god of agriculture. Baal represents the god of plenty and increase. The goddess of the grove was Astarte, the goddess of all sensual love and sex. Temple prostitutes, sexual orgies, and all manner of uncleanness were part of the ritual of her worship.
Jezebel used her seductive and manipulative ways to control king Ahab. Ahab became a puppet in the hands of Jezebel, as do all those who refuse to deal with the spirit of Jezebel. Ahab followed her every whim to keep peace in his kingdom. It is written of him, “And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:32-33).
The great prophet Elijah came on the scene during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel. Elijah’s first recorded act as the prophet of Yahweh was to inform king Ahab that it would not rain until he (Elijah) said so. After this pronouncement Elijah fled, for he knew queen Jezebel would seek to take his life. Everywhere the brooks ceased to flow, the springs became dry, the ground was parched, and the fields gave no harvest. There was no grass for the cattle and the flocks, and there was scarcely any food for the people. After three and a half years of this terrible drought, Elijah returned at the word of the Lord. Elijah met with king Ahab and told him to gather the people of Israel unto mount Carmel. We all know the story of what followed!
Ahab did as Elijah commanded and brought all the people to mount Carmel, which stands by the Mediterranean sea. And Elijah stood before all the multitude, and he said to them, “How long will you go halting and vacillating back and forth between two sides, not choosing either? If Yahweh is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, then follow him.” And the people had not a word to say. Then Elijah spoke again and said, “I am alone, the only prophet of Yahweh here today; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Now, let the people give us two young oxen, one for Baal’s prophets, and one for me. Let the prophets of Baal take one young ox and cut it up and lay it on the altar on the wood. But let no fire be placed under it. And I will do the same; then you call on your god, and I will call on Yahweh. And the God who sends down fire upon His altar, He shall be the God of Israel.”
The people answered and said, “What you have spoken is right. We will do as you say and we will see who is the true God.” Then the two oxen were brought, and one was cut up in pieces and laid on the altar of Baal. The prophets of Baal stood around the altar and cried aloud, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no answer, nor any voice. After a time the worshippers of Baal became desperate. They leaped and danced around the altar, and they cut themselves with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And Elijah laughed at them, and mocked them, calling out, “Cry louder, for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is sitting still and meditating, or he has gone on a journey; or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened!”
But it was all in vain! The middle of the afternoon came, and there was no answer. The altar stood with its offering, but no fire came upon it. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And they came near. He found an old altar to Yahweh that had been thrown down, and he took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes, and piled them up to form the altar anew. Around the altar he dug a trench. Then he cut wood and laid it on the altar, and on the wood he placed the young ox, cut into pieces as a sacrifice. Then he said, “Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the offering.” He called them to do it again, and a third time, until the offering and the wood and the altar were soaked through and through, and the trench was filled with water.
Then in the sight of all the people Elijah drew near and stood all alone before the altar, and prayed in these words, “O Yahweh, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me; that this people may know that Thou, Yahweh, art God, and that Thou hast turned their hearts back again to Thyself.” Then the fire fell from the Lord and burned up the offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they cried, “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!” And Elijah said to the people, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape!”
They took them all, four hundred and fifty men; and by Elijah’s command, they brought them down to the dry bed of the brook Kishon, at the foot of the mountain; and there Elijah had them put to death, because they had led Israel into sin. Then Elijah prayed with his face between his knees, for the Lord to send rain. In a little while the sky was covered with black clouds, and there came a great rain! Thus in one day a great victory was won for the Lord God, and the power of Baal was thrown down. But Jezebel was not through!
Eventually king Ahab was killed in a battle at Remoth-Gilead by the Syrians. For the next fourteen years Ahab’s sons reigned successively upon the throne and Jezebel ruled Israel through her sons, just as she did through Ahab. Then God raised up a new king by the name of Jehu, whom the prophet Elisha anointed king of Israel. The Lord raised up the spiritual power and authority in Jehu to deal with the false spirit of Jezebel! Jehu brought judgment on the whole house of Ahab and at last went after Jezebel herself. When he found her he threw her down from her upstairs window, and the horses trod her underfoot. We will refer to more of the details of her overthrow in our next study, but her blood ran in the street and the dogs came and ate her flesh and licked up her blood. She was so mangled they found nothing left but the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. Jehu destroyed Jezebel as God commanded him!
Thyatira is the fourth church, and in her we see the rise of the woman Jezebel. No such lady of that name is known except the wicked wife of Ahab, Israel’s worst king. In the church at Thyatira we find that the spirit of Jezebel was alive and at work in the midst of the Lord’s people! Some of the believers in the church in Thyatira were in the Jezebel condition!
A brother related, and I, too, remember in the days of my childhood, in the Pentecostal churches in south Alabama where I was raised, all it took for the Holy Ghost to speak was for a woman to come in with bobbed hair and with make-up and jewelry on, and it was automatic — the Holy Ghost was going to speak! “Yea, thus saith the Lord, There is one in the midst that has a Jezebel spirit!” Everybody would get all shook up because Jezebel was there. They would spend the whole night trying to get Jezebel in the altar, to get her saved and delivered from the “Jezebel spirit.” But the Jezebel spirit was not a spirit of lipstick, rings, bracelets, and smart clothes — the Jezebel spirit was a religious spirit, a controlling and manipulative spirit that would not let God have His way.
The reign of the house of Ahab is typical of the reign of the flesh through carnal men all through the history of Israel and the church. Jezebel is typical of that internal feminine quality of the soul which works in union with the flesh and men who walk after the flesh. Jezebel represents the aggressive, seductive, lustful desire that influences people in a religious sense apart from the mind of the spirit. This soulical Jezebel is the instigator of all religious and spiritual perversions! She is the source of all error and carnal religious activities! The Lord Jesus said of Jezebel in the church at Thyatira, “which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants.” Jezebel is the carnal and soulish “spirit” that prophesies and teaches in the church systems and seduces many to “commit fornication” with the world and with other false prophets of the church systems! Paul Mueller once commented about Jezebel, saying, “The worst thing about this prophetic witch of evil is that she is married or joined to those who think they are appointed to rule and reign with Christ, as Jezebel was married to wicked Ahab.”
In the messages to the seven churches there are three primary individuals, teachings, or spirits that are revealed to us as standing among the Lord’s people in opposition to the life of the spirit. The first is Nicolaitanism. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes puts one man above another, a hierarchical system that makes some people “laity” and others “clergy” or “lords” rather than a family of sons under the Headship of Christ. All church systems of man still hold to this doctrine today with their hierarchy of ministers and offices. They conquer the people through the force of their seminary training, titles, prestige, charisma, rules, regulations, and authority, rather than serving in humility out of the ministration of the Spirit. Then we have Balaamism. The error, way, and doctrine of Balaam goes beyond the Nicolaitanes, for Balaam taught Balak to cause Israel to stumble, to be turned away from the Lord, to be corrupted — and he did this in order to gain a reward of money, prestige, and power for himself! This is the corrupt “hireling” and “religious racketeer” system which has always been in the church, but has had a special heyday over the past sixty years in the person of big-name preachers and healers and televangelists!
Finally, in the church at Thyatira we meet the Jezebel spirit. The Lord starts with the outward form, men, often good and sincere men, who seek to control and dominate God’s people. Then He moves to the Balaamites, those hireling ministries who bring the Lord’s people into union with the flesh and world, corrupting the work of God in their lives. Oh, yes! God will bring us out of the various forms of Babylon. But ultimately He will bring every overcoming son of God to the root of the matter — getting the Babylon out of us! This is accomplished only through the salvation of the soul, the renewing of our mind, bringing transformation and union with the spirit. Israel is the type — God brought Israel out of Egypt in one miraculous night. But it took forty long years of dealing in the wilderness to get the Egypt out of them so they could rise up in faith and obedience, enter in, and possess their land! The same pattern appears in the book of Revelation in the seven steps of the overcomer! Only at the end — in the final step of overcoming — does the overcomer finally ascend to the throne of God! (Rev. 3:21).
Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, Jezebel teaches, and Jezebel seduces God’s bondslaves to commit fornication and eat things offered unto idols. She seduces the bondslaves! Her attack is against the seed of Christ within, her assault is upon the sons of God! Remember, my beloved, the real things the overcomer must overcome are not the theater, the dance hall, and the bar — it’s these perverted, corrupted, fleshly, carnal, soulical and pseudo-spiritual conditions found in the seven churches! To him that overcomes these are all the promises made!
Here is a group of God’s people, full of good works and charity, having a form of faith and patience. But the eyes of the Lord Jesus appear among them, blazing with flames of fire. With all that is good and commendable, there is something very dangerous going on, something so seductive that Christ warns He will send judgment and make them an example to all the churches. Their good works, charity, service, faith, and patience were overshadowed by a seduction they were involved in, a seduction of a false spirit and teaching. They were under the spell of something false, a teaching that came disguised as the true word of the Lord but was in fact evil. It was the teaching and seduction of Jezebel!
Jezebel represents a realm more insidious than the Nicolaitanes and the Balaamites for it speaks of the internal realm of the soul — the very root of everything! She represents the mind that’s sitting, not as a king, excuse me, but as queen, on our personalities. And we read about that queen further on in the book of Revelation! We read about her in the prophets of the Old Testament. Like the Jezebel of old, the Lord says of her in Revelation 18:7, “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen…and shall see no sorrow.” She glorifies her “self” and she sits as a “queen.” This queen is the one that rules over millions of the Lord’s people! This queen is one that every overcomer is called to overcome! This queen is Jezebel!
YOUR WOMAN JEZEBEL
“I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel…to teach.” (Rev. 2:20).
While the King James Version calls Jezebel “that woman,” translated directly from the Greek, the phrase would read, “Your woman Jezebel,” or, “Your wife Jezebel.” The term “your woman” and “your wife” have the same connotation in Greek. The Emphatic Diaglott shows the literal word for word (interlinear) rendering from the Greek as follows: “But I have against thee, because thou lettest alone the wife of thee, Jezebel, the one calling herself a prophetess, and she teaches and seduces the my bond-servants…” “Your woman” is your soul! Every one of us has a “woman” in us, just as psychologists tell us that every one of us has a “child” in us, and she wants to take the throne and rule. Soul wants to mingle with spirit, not in subjection to spirit, but as an independent, domineering, controlling woman, bringing duality and mixture.
On a day in the long ago an apostle by the name of Paul penned these telling words: “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds (souls) should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:2-3). In this significant passage Eve in the garden of Eden is contrasted with two things: the bride of Christ and the mind or soul (psuche). The mind is a function of the soul. The vision of the bride of Christ pervades the whole of scripture, from Eden onward, with ever-increasing clearness. Eve, the mother of the human race, is the first type of this great mystery! Let us not underestimate this remarkable woman from whom the whole human race has sprung!
In that ancient shadow Adam stands as a type of the spirit, Eve is a type of the soul, and the garden of Eden is a type of the body, which Adam was to “dress and keep.” Thus we see our tri-partite being symbolically portrayed in the Adam-Eve-Garden story. The Garden was the earth, the land, the habitation; and Adam and Eve were the inhabitants, in the same way that our spirit and soul are the inhabitants of the physical body. It is through our “Eve,” our soulical mind, desires, will, and emotions, that we who have been espoused to Christ the bridegroom in our spirit, can be “beguiled” and turned from our single and pure devotion to Christ, entering instead into intimate associations with things of the earth realm, the flesh, the world, and the devil. When the soul-bride is turned from the spirit-husband to fornicate with the flesh and fleshly things, we become disqualified from being presented to Christ as a chaste virgin! Paul shows that just as Eve was beguiled from her singleness to Christ, so those espoused to Christ can be corrupted IN OUR MINDS from singleness to Christ.
I would now draw your reverent attention to a very significant point in the garden of Eden experience. The serpent can only speak to the woman! The serpent never spoke to Adam. The serpent cannot tempt the spirit, for the spirit speaks of the pureness of Christ. Let me state that again. The serpent can only speak to the woman! It was Eve who was “beguiled” (II Cor. 11:2-3). It was Eve who was “deceived” and was “in the transgression” (I Tim. 2:14). Can you not see the mystery? The serpent cannot deceive the spiritual man! The serpent can only deceive that which is less than the spiritual man — that which comes out of a man — the woman, the soul. The spirit of a man cannot be deceived, that is why scripture declares that the woman was deceived. The serpent cannot be where the spirit dwells! There is war in heaven, and Michael and his angels, Christ and His many brethren, cast him out! The serpent can only speak to, prophesy to, teach and control those who settle for less than the spirit!
Thus, the woman, the soul, who hearkens unto the serpent, is deceived in all facets possible. The spiritual person is above the fray, but the woman is totally immersed into it. When the serpent spoke, the woman could have asked direction of the spirit, but she did not. The woman had not experienced God, was not conscious of God, did not know the life of God, as the man had. The woman needed to depend on the man, to consult with the man, to walk in union with the man, just as the soul needs to depend on the spirit! The woman, the soul, can hear two voices. It can hear the call of the spirit, but can also hear the call of the serpent. The woman, the soul, can rule over the flesh (Ahab), but cannot rule over the spirit (Elijah)! So the serpent seeks to make the soul , the woman, a priestess and a queen over the flesh through carnal religious doctrines and activities. The soulish person must have a kingdom even if it is not truly real. So the serpent deceives the woman with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — religion! That is the mystery.
When we can recognize what kind of person is soulish, it is not difficult to realize what kind of person is spiritual. Since a soulish person lives by the mind, emotion, will, and desire, a spiritual person is one who does not live by any of these! A spiritual person must live in the spirit, act by the spirit, speak out of the spirit and not the soul. He allows the spirit to be the master and source of all his action and behavior. The spirit in him occupies the preeminent position; it is the source of his behavior and the starting point of his action. The soul in this person is in the position of submission, under the government of the spirit, dominated by the spirit, and in loving union with the spirit. Thus he allows the spirit to be LORD in him! He allows the spirit to direct his whole being so that he becomes the expression of the spirit. Whenever he encounters a situation he does not consult his mind nor draw from his mind, desire, will, or emotion to deal with it; rather he draws from his spirit to comprehend and understand it, seeking first in the spirit for the Lord’s wisdom and purpose in the matter. This is the spiritual man, living by the life of the spirit, and the soul is but a vehicle of expression for the spirit. Isn’t it wonderful! It is the one spirit, our spirit joined to His Spirit, that ultimately is joined to the soul — receives the soul unto itself — the marriage of the Lamb within ourselves!
Jezebel, like Delilah in the book of Judges, was a harlot. The name Jezebel means “one without a husband” or “one that can’t be touched.” Jezebel is that soul that will not allow the Spirit of God in our spirit to touch her, or to be a husband unto her. She will not enter into union with the spirit! She spurns the purposes of God and rejects the living word of the Lord, and will stone literally or figuratively any prophet who would speak the word of the Lord. She has multitudes of lovers, she follows after men and man’s way, man’s methods, man’s programs, man’s promotions, and man’s organizations; but she seeks no intimacy with the Christ of God, nor does she submit to the spirit’s lordship.
Furthermore, Jezebel relates to the “strange woman” of the book of Proverbs, which speaks of a soul or a mind that is perverted and twisted and needs to change. Jezebel is your soul before it is transformed! Let me talk to you about an attitude. Let us explore that attitude, that mind-set, that soulish condition in your life that would seduce you away from the headship of Christ. This seduction is carried out by Jezebel! Jezebel speaks of the soul-life and ever since Eve she is a woman who wants to do her own thing. She will not allow the spirit to touch her. She cannot enter into a mature relationship with the Christ within. She cannot be subject to One as her head. She cannot love and be faithful to one husband. She cannot walk only in the Spirit of God, for she is lusting after carnal, fleshly, man-centered, need-oriented, religious ways, involvements, and activities. She has roving eyes and a lustful, flirtatious, wild, rebellious nature. She wants blessings, chills, and thrills — a religious good time — not a marriage.
Let us look at this “strange woman.” The wise man said, “My son, keep my words…and live. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart…that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the simple ones (spiritually ignorant), I discerned among the youths (immature ones), a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner (church on every corner); and he went the way to her house (denomination). In the twilight, in the evening, in the dark of night (darkened fleshly understanding); and behold, there met him a woman (the untransformed soul) with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: now is she without (seeking fleshly things), now in the streets, and lieth wait at every corner. So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows (I am very religious, I go to church, pray, pay tithes, and serve God in all kinds of programs and activities). Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face (to invite you to church, get you involved), and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry (creeds, doctrines), with carved works (images, programs, rituals, ceremonies), with fine linen of Egypt (self-righteousness, works). I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon (false anointing, soulish worship, emotional appeals). Come, let us take our fill of love (soulish emotional thrills and chills, blessings, excitement, good times, fun, play) until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves” (Prov. 7:1-18).
You will find in the book of Revelation that there is a true church and there is a false church. You will find in the book of Proverbs that there is a true church and there is a false church. In the book of Revelation they are called the bride of Christ and the whore. In the book of Proverbs the bride of Christ and the Jezebel spirit are presented under the figure of the virtuous woman and the strange woman. Proverbs chapter thirty-one gives you the characteristics of the virtuous woman, and Proverbs chapter seven gives you the essence of the strange woman. Here’s how you can identify a soulish or false ministry. First of all they will flatter you! Then they will substitute emotion and religious fervor for the anointing to seduce you. The main way this harlot’s anointing is seducing the church is by preachers going forth in an entertainment-based, man-centered, need-oriented thrust, keeping the Lord’s people in constant need so that they can come back every week and deliver them. The constant “altar calls” in which the same people go down front time after time to be prayed for for the same things, to dedicate, rededicate, and then re-rededicate again and again, to get all encouraged and blessed, to receive their weekly “fix” so they can make it through to the next meeting, is simply the young man void of understanding returning over and over to the harlot’s house for his fill of loves!
A true ministry will grow you up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ! A true ministry will bring you to know God for yourself, and work himself out of a job! A true ministry will not desire to rule you or dominate you! A true ministry will support you and serve you, not control you! A true ministry will give you the word of God by the Spirit and commit you into the hands of the Father to learn by your own experience the ways and dealings of the Lord! A true ministry will encourage you to hear from God by the Spirit out of the anointing which abides within you through the Christ in you, your hope of glory!
It pains me to say it, but vast multitudes of the Lord’s people today have been seduced by an imitation anointing. The land is filled with lying signs, wonders, miracles, and prophesying by those who will one day come before the Lord, saying, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” Then will the Lord profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness)” (Mat. 7:22-23). That’s not a heaven or hell issue! The Lord is saying, “I never knew you as Lord, I never knew you in intimacy of fellowship and vital union. I never knew you as a man knows a woman. You did all those works, and you did those things in my name. You did things you wanted to do and you did it as by my authority and at my word — but I had nothing to do with it! I never knew you as Adam “knew” Eve when she conceived and brought forth a son! Nothing that you did led to sonship! Everything that you have done “in my name” that didn’t originate out of union with me, will go up in smoke for all the world to see! Depart from me — there is a place for you, but you cannot share my throne — for you worked iniquity, lawlessness, unauthorized activities!” Can we not see by this that within these folks the religious soul is acting independent of the spirit. It is the spirit of Jezebel!
Now, dear saints of God, this brings us to an important thought. I must confess that I have often been distressed by the lack of understanding among the Lord’s people. Somehow so many seem to miss the point. And nowhere is this more true than when we come to the harlot church systems of man! Let me make this point as clearly as I can. The mother of harlots is not the Roman Catholic Church. The mother of harlots is a lot closer home! The mother of harlots is still birthing her children! The mother of harlots is the soulish dimension of man’s life that through her carnal sense-consciousness and human logic and reasoning births what she believes is pleasing to God, what she feels is the worship of God, what she perceives to be the work of God, and what she determines to be the way of God. The mother of harlots is our own soul — our very own religious mind, will, emotion, and desire! Where did the Roman Catholic Church, with all her false doctrines, pagan practices, and carnal rituals, come from? Did it not proceed right out of the soulish heart of man? You see, beloved, carnal church systems, creeds, rituals, ceremonies, and methods are not really birthed out of other carnal church systems at all — they are, one and all, birthed out of the mother of them all — the soulish heart of man!
God’s people have been walking after the mother of harlots too long. We have been deceived by her prophecies, we have been mislead by her teachings, we have been enticed by her attractiveness, we have been seduced by her wantonness, we have been betrayed by the spirit of Mystery Babylon right within the midst of us! We have walked by the direction of the soulish nature rather than by the leadership of the spirit. It is time for “our woman” to keep silence in the church! I do not hesitate to tell you that most of the men I have met in my life-time who were concerned about “women preachers” were themselves under the control of the loudest-mouthed woman of all — their own soul! They were so stuck in their soulish dead-letter-of-the-word understanding that they could never hear the spirit! But now we have the word of the Lord Jesus Himself — it is time for “our woman” to be brought under subjection! This is one of the vital keys to overcoming! It is time for the spirit to BE LORD in the house of God! When we reach the place where we willingly refuse to accept as spiritual that which thrills and chills and seems right to the soulish realm, where we willingly refuse to identify with that outer world that stimulates the soulish affections, casting ourselves upon Jesus Christ who Himself is the truth, the light, the reality — then the spirit takes the throne of our life to reveal out of our innermost being the wisdom and the power of God.
This should help us see how it is that when the soul speaks — Jezebel prophesies! The soul is always prophesying! The soul is just bubbling over with all kinds of revelations out of the tree of knowledge! The soul wants to serve God just as Jezebel wanted to run the kingdom of Israel, but always in a manipulative, carnal, perverted way. The soul is assertive, aggressive, creative, articulate, seductive, controlling, and demanding. The soul will invent a thousand ways to serve God, none of which are sanctioned by the spirit, born of the spirit, or led by the spirit. Eve and Jezebel are both cut from the same cloth and instead of living by the tree of life they live by the tree of knowledge. The soul wants to serve God independent of the spirit and always quenches the spirit in favor of carnal means and methods. Furthermore, self-knowledge, self-effort, and self-development are major subjects in the Seminary of the Soul! The New Age mandate, “Know thyself,” is a prophecy from Jezebel. The mandate, however, from the School of the Spirit is: “Know the Lord!” The Lord is in our spirit. Our Self is in our soul! That is why the firstborn Son of God said again and again, “Except a man deny himself, and come after Me, he cannot be my disciple.” Again He proclaimed that we must hate our self.
In making the above statement, I am fully aware that such a thought runs contrary to what is being proclaimed in some circles of this kingdom word today. Some time ago I received a little article, part of which I quote: “I am experiencing a gradual, yet constant, awakening to Reality. I am experiencing my true identity. I am experiencing who I am. I am experiencing I am one; there is no other. I am experiencing being that which I am. I am experiencing all things coming to me from within — from Me — for there is no other — there is no transfer, for nothing is really coming. It is already here. I am experiencing no need to seek anything; for I am that which I might be tempted to seek. I am experiencing the truth that all that one experiences is within one’s consciousness (mind, awareness, soul), which I am.”
Oh, yes! The work of God is within! Oh, yes! God is the Father of our spirits! And yes, the seed of God is within every man! But if all of the above article is true, then we have absolutely no need for the preaching of the Gospel, no need for Jesus Christ, no need for the body of Christ, no need for the word of God, no need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, no need to seek the Lord, or to seek the kingdom of God, no need for any moving of God on any level beyond our Self, for there is no transfer, nothing coming, I am everything, there is no reality beyond ME! My “consciousness” is ALL! That sounds very deep and very spiritual, but may I reverently suggest that it is, in fact, the seductive voice of the Soul, the deceiving claim of the Self, the bewitching call of the Woman, the false prophecy of that woman Jezebel! It is like the tree saying, “I am, and outside of me there is nothing. I don’t need the sun, I have no need for the rain, and the soil is of no use to me. I am the only reality!” Ah, “he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” — not he who discovers his own reality apart from the Lord in his own self-consciousness! If my spirit has not been quickened by His Spirit then I know nothing and will never amount to anything. If there is no God outside of me, no God above me, no God beyond me, no God before me — pray tell me just who created all things, who upholds all things, who fills all things, who was before all things! Do you uphold all things? If you and all other men in the world suddenly ceased to exist, would there then be no God anywhere? Would the universe spin out of control and self-destruct? Let me tell you something. There is no man on Mars, no man on Venus, no man on Jupiter, and no men throughout vast stretches of the endless vastnesses of the universe. If the God in me is the only reality anywhere, then there is no God on Mars, there was no God who was there directing and creating when Mars was formed, there was no God who established the laws of the universe, and the whole Bible story of God’s dealings with men, God’s revelation to men, God’s appearing to men, God’s manifestations to men, God’s pouring out His Spirit on men, God saving men, God reconciling men, God quickening men, God’s giving to men is all a lie and irrelevant to anything! Watch out for Jezebel! Watch out for the soul! She will pass herself off for the SPIRIT!
The supreme mission of the prophet Elisha was to destroy that which had destroyed the anointing and work of God in the land of Israel. So Jehu (the king) went into Jezreel and the scripture says that when he arrived Jezebel got her face all painted, her hair tired, and looked out of the window high upon the wall. The painted face wasn’t what made her Jezebel — she was Jezebel before she put the paint on and had already done great damage. But she had herself all made up this day because she heard that something was going to happen in town. The painting of the face has the meaning of painting the eyes. Painting the eyes has the meaning “to allure, to look more appealing.” What Jezebel was actually doing was appearing at the window high upon the wall with the tawdry appearance of a harlot. She counted on Jehu being a man, and she thought she could seduce her way out of her problems. Jezebel tried all her alluring and deceptive ways to dissuade Jehu from his appointed task! King Jehu, whom Elisha had anointed, was on his way to get her! Jezebel hoped to flatter her way out of king Jehu’s advance to take her captive or destroy her! She plotted to get into a high place, up on the wall of the city, into a high and elevated position in the church, as it were, where she could see all that was going on and manipulate and control and create a resistance to the thing the prophet of God had said he was going to accomplish. But Jehu was on a mission for Yahwey and wasn’t having any of it!
Terry Crisp wrote once about the marks of harlotry: “In the natural, the spirit of harlotry was generally evidenced in a woman’s countenance, and in her attire. It was easy to spot a prostitute by her appearance; by the way she excessively painted her face, and seductively dressed herself, the message she sought to convey was unmistakable. This is why the Lord admonished Israel to “clear her face of the marks of harlotry.” He knew that as long as she adorned the countenance of an available woman, seeking to enhance her features in order to attract the attention of others than her husband, she would not be true to Him. No matter what she told Him, or how she tried to convince Him that she was doing it all for Him, the intents of her heart were obvious; the image she projected told the story! It was a manifest token that she was not committed to a monogamous relationship; and she was not ready to settle down and become one with Him. The underlying truth was that she sought independence from her Husband!”
Jezebel is the spirit of harlotry — mixture. Mixing the truth of God with the carnal philosophies of the world; mixing the revelation of Jesus Christ with pagan eastern religions or other strange voices; mixing the move of the Spirit of God with the promotions of man; mixing the work of God with the efforts of the flesh; mixing the light of Christ with the darkness of the carnal mind. It is the soul joined to anything — except the spirit!
Thyatira is the stronghold of Jezebel. It is the place of corrupt self-proclaimed ministry. They can’t wait on God to develop something in them. They must be saying something and doing something for God! They will prostitute the life of God in them with anything which will be to their benefit. They care nothing about purity and will accept any mixture as long as they can profit by it. They receive their “life force” from more than one source. They seek out many lovers — join themselves to many causes, trying to receive life from each. Bigger crowds, bigger buildings, bigger television ministries, bigger, bigger, bigger — not better! Not more godly! Not more mature! Not after God’s own heart! All the works of man are soulish; man’s works exist in this world for the sensual, for the sole purpose of gratifying the desires of the carnal souls of all mankind. Religious soulishness is for the same purpose!
God has now called His elect to overcome the Jezebel spirit! Every son of God has overcome the spirit of Jezebel! Our spirit can only be satisfied by communion with our Father in the spirit! Our spirit must find its life from God, for He is the Father of our spirits! The carnal soul, on the other hand, rejoices at the sound of a man’s voice, for the soul is fed and sustained by many voices of man. The soul is always playing the harlot, seeking many lovers other than the Lord alone in the spirit. The false prophetess, Jezebel, who becomes later in the book of Revelation the great whore which sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication, is the fleshly, carnal wisdom within all of us organized into a world religious empire.
The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is that which resists and is hostile to the Spirit of God, for it seeks not a husband to be lord over it, but rather uses its subtle and beguiling ways to be joined to her fleshly lovers. Thus, Jezebel, who is also the great whore, lies in the inmost recesses of our soul! It is the wisdom of the flesh. That is the mystery! Jezebel is the wisdom of the flesh in man, which proceeds out of the soul, which is the mother of all the religious abominations which are committed against the Lord. All outward religious creeds and activities not born of the Spirit of God are, as Joseph Salmon wrote, “but bastards of this strange woman, the brats of this great adulteress. And happy, yea, thrice blessed shall that Man be called, who shall take and dash these children of the great whore against the stones. This Man is Christ, who shall come in power and great glory in a Christian, and destroy, and dash in pieces the conceptions, bringings forth, and appearances of fleshly wisdom in us.”
Joseph Salmon goes on to say, “Now see O Man! whether this whore be not your fleshly wisdom. Look into your soul, and behold and see, how opposite your fleshly wisdom is to anything that is good or goodness. What means those often resistings of the spirit in you, O Man! Do you not see how the whore deceives you? What conception, bringing forth, or appearance of God is there in you, but the wisdom of the flesh seeks to devour it (as the dragon the manchild), by violent attempts, and oppositions. This is what crucifies the Lamb afresh, and puts him to open shame. And all this is done by that bloody whore that harbors in your bosom.
“Now therefore know, O Christian! that this whore appears to you in all your spiritual performances, and sacrifices to the Lord. If you but observe, you shall see her appear in prayer, in humiliation, in fasting, nay, in all outward ordinances, you shall see your wisdom in all these things, steal your heart from the Lord, by attributing something to form, flesh and creature: so that we are apt oftentimes to bless ourselves in our spiritual performances, and sing a requiem to ourselves in our fleshly forms; so that hereby, all our duties are but the sacrifices of the whore, the vows of our fleshly wisdom which she appears in, to delude us.
“Now, woe and alas for us! that we should even be deceived by this whore, in those things wherein we think she appears least, herein is plainly seen her mystical apparition. This whore meets you, O Man, in all your religious performances; and there does she attribute all the goodness of all that is done, to her self. And you also gave consent to it, and to commit fornication with her. Now when the whore has thus estranged the heart from the Lord, then she propounds her own way to the creature; she will persuade the creature...to go and feed upon the husks. And here the soul commits adultery, in subsisting on the shadow, forsaking the Fountain, running to broken cisterns, and so commits a great evil against the Lord. And thus poor naked man runs from God , as from an enemy, behind the trees…he will cover himself with the fig-leaves of his own fleshly wisdom, and so commits adultery with the mother of harlots” — end quote.
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY