As the care pastor followed me to my office, I prepared my heart and my mind to hear the results of another evil assignment. Once again I bowed my head as I was informed that one of our leaders had forsaken the “call” and had chosen to leave the ministry and backslide into an old lifestyle. He and his wife had returned to their spiritual Egypt, deciding it was too difficult to live for the Lord. My heart sank.
My husband and I had been senior pastors for years. Our ability to survive and remain in the Christian race consisted of continual re-commitments and renewed decisions to “lock back in” to fulfill destiny. The battle with the accuser of the brethren had been relentless. It seemed as if we could barely catch our breath from a previous onslaught before another “air raid” targeted us.
Once again, I began crying out, begging God for an answer. “Why, God, why? What is happening to our leaders? They are constantly being attacked and they quit. Just when they are on the verge of breakthrough, they give up!”
The Lord answered with an astounding vision. I saw a strong seducing spirit, in the form of a thief. This thief was successfully stealing God’s people, seductively drawing them away from their position and inheritance. First, he would seduce them into believing the lie that they didn’t belong, that they didn’t “fit” any longer. As a result, each of them would separate from the Church body. Once he had them alone, unprotected and vulnerable, he would strip them of their power and authority, stealing their destiny. Before the enemy convinced them to exit, we would notice such complaints as, “I can’t find my place in the body” or “No one cares about me in this church.” Even though we made many attempts at contact and tried every possible way to prove our love and concern, it was never enough.
The seducing spirit in the vision was in the form of a type of Jezebel, the “painted lady” in the Scriptures who dressed seductively, murdered the prophets and threatened to destroy Elijah (1 Kings 18-19, 2 Kings 9:30). In the vision her countenance changed from a seductive-type person into a thief or bandit-type character. A third time, the countenance transformed into a person plagued with uncleanness and defilement. The spirit had no gender.
Our church was not experiencing an isolated attack; this was the enemy’s strategy against every ministry that made an impact in the spirit realm! In the vision it was clear that the result of this demonically-inspired attack was the seduction and apostasy of godly leaders and saints. The spirit of deception was so overpowering that it was deceiving the elect! Saints who had tremendous calls of God upon their lives were being attacked and seduced. The enemy had convinced them that it was just “too hard” to remain in the race. Since we are all called to be leaders and servants in the Kingdom, this vision affects the entire Body of Christ.
The Lord spoke clearly that He was taking me on a journey to understand how the seducing spirit works through the Accuser of the Brethren, the Amalekite stronghold, the spirits of Jezebel and Belial, along with unclean and religious spirits. One sure thing I have realized is that we must continually be determined for destiny or seducing spirits will ensnare us. I have desired to quit the ministry more times than I care to mention. However, God has been faithful to bring breakthrough after breakthrough. His divine ability delivers from ALL oppression of my enemy and there is nothing too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:17).
Satan’s voice is very seductive and many times his voice is familiar because we spend too much time listening to him! The Scripture states that Satan is transformed as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Light is symbolic of truth. Therefore, Satan’s words sometimes sound like truth. If we are not properly trained to discern the Father’s voice, we can be deceived. Spending intimate time with the Father guarantees levels of accuracy in discerning the true Light. Through proper use of discernment we will not easily be seduced by the enemy’s lies.
In most situations the battle is in the mind. This is why we are encouraged to renew our minds and cast down every imagination (from the enemy) that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Too often, in our minds, Satan has exalted his lies above God’s plans and God’s wisdom. Unless we challenge the negativity, these areas become strongholds of Satan.
Know this before we go further…we have already won the battle! The blood of Jesus has cleansed and strengthened us to go forth into great victory. But in order to appropriate our victory, we must understand the tactics and strategies of the destiny thief.
We observe in Scripture that the devil’s day and night job is to wear us out! “And he shall speak words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High…” (Daniel 7:25) Our enemy will attempt to do whatever it takes to obtain such a hold on us that we will quit running the race and abort the fulfillment of destiny.
The name Belial is another name for Satan translated as wicked, ungodly, evil, worthless and good for nothing. The name also applies to ruin, destruction, having lack and to wear out. Perhaps you have heard a beguiling voice whispering into your thoughts statements similar to these: “You are worthless!” “You are wicked and good for nothing!” “God would never answer your prayers!” “You should be ashamed of yourself!” “You would be better off dead!”
If you have heard these words, a seducing, beguiling Belial spirit is attempting to wear you out and wear you down. The spirit of Belial is a demonic stronghold that reinforces patterns of shame. The spirit attempts to convince us that we deserve evil and that we will never “measure up” to the expectations of others. The resulting hopelessness can cause even God’s children to choose death over life. Belial targets our children and suicide is at an all-time high among teenagers. Belial’s seductions also include idolatry, illegitimate authority, homosexuality, spiritual barrenness, and having one’s inheritance stolen.
To overcome Belial requires the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit to burn away the agreements made with this enemy. Then we must be determined to cry out to God for our blessing. Jacob wrestled with the angel of God until he possessed his breakthrough. Our God is the God of the possible. Our strength and our ability to defeat Belial will be in our determination to war over our inheritance! Break covenant with the lies of Belial that you may have come into agreement with, and agree with God’s Word and what He declares over your life. Then thank the Lord for the Blood of Jesus which cleanses you and places you in right standing for your promised inheritance!
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Samuel 15:3).
The Amalekite, is responsible for a compromising attitude. When God is commanding us to “get out the leaven” and to “utterly destroy all” we are tempted to compromise and retain the best part. The devil often speaks into our ears with a sly seductive voice: “You don’t have to stop that sin; God loves you. You are under grace and not the law. If you continue to sin, God will forgive you.” “Did God REALLY say that? It was probably your imagination or a false prophecy.” The word “smite” means to strike, beat or kill. If we do not slay every trace of an Amalekite stronghold, we will find ourselves backsliding until finally our destiny is aborted.
Our obedience to God’s Word releases blessings upon our lives. The king of Israel was to strike the arrows against the ground to utterly destroy all of the enemy’s plans (2 Kings 13:18-19). He smote the arrows only a few times, representing a limited victory. Strike the enemy and make a bold confession against compromise, lack of self-discipline, indulgence of the flesh and selling your birthright. Be determined to smite your arrows until all of the enemy’s plans are destroyed!!
A religious spirit always attempts to convince us to compromise. When God is bringing forth a new truth or a new move, the religious spirit rises up and manifests. Religious tradition is legalism and the Word says that the law brings death. Only the Spirit of God will release LIFE in a service.
To overcome the religious spirit, press into God and ask Him how you can accommodate the Holy Spirit more! Allow His fire to burn away traditions, mindsets and old religious structures that do not present life.
Religious spirits team up with the accuser of the brethren to speak evil reports concerning others, especially against leadership. Negativity will stop a fresh move of the Spirit because it gives place to doubt and unbelief. God always honors faith. Doubt and unbelief abort breakthroughs planned by the Spirit.
An evil report involves false accusation, a distortion of facts and bogus information. Most of the time these falsehoods are communicated with the intent to cause harm to someone or his/her reputation. At first it may be received in total innocence but if repeated, it later brings contamination. An evil report is similar to an evil germ that becomes active upon infection. If not treated, the infection moves into disease and possible death. Whether we “receive” the report or “give” the report, the defilement is the same.
We will never reach destiny if we choose to believe negative reports. The only way to move into our destiny is to believe God and His Word. This involves believing what He says about others and us! Rather than remaining critical of others, begin confessing what God has declared over their lives. Believe me; it will make a difference in your heart! Soon you will notice your attitude (and motive) toward them changing!
“And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone: what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Hath thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:23-24).
Webster’s Dictionary defines unclean as “being morally or spiritually impure.” It also means being “infected with a harmful supernatural contagion.” This is very interesting, because the instructions from God have always been to touch not the unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are instructed to remove ourselves from every unclean influence and become holy and blameless before the Lord.
The unclean spirit is a tremendous stronghold in the Body of Christ. Sin causes defilement and defilement closes the doors to spiritual breakthroughs. This is the very reason that unclean spirits cry out “Leave us alone!” The spirits will persuade us into believing that there is no power in the name of Jesus and no need for deliverance. They work against our minds and feed thoughts such as: “Go ahead and sin, no one will ever know.” “It was easier BEFORE you were a Christian.” “Go ahead, take a drink. God won’t care.” “God doesn’t really care about you. Give up.”
With proper discernment any spirit is recognized. However, there are certain characteristics that are common when an unclean spirit is manifesting within a congregation or individual: an unkempt appearance and defiled speech; lust, sexual perversion and pornography; rigid belief systems; doubt and unbelief; bondage and mental torment; evil reports; and spirits of death, sickness and disease, often with generational patterns.
Since doubt and unbelief always manifest with an unclean spirit, the way to uproot its power is to begin to speak God’s Word in FAITH. Fear will attempt to enter into the hearts of man when this spirit is at work, however take a firm stand and remain in faith. It takes clean hands and pure hearts to totally destroy the unclean spirit. Are there areas of defilement in your life? Take time now to repent. Sanctify yourself by the washing of His powerful Word. When God calls you away from an old lifestyle, a city or a relationship, don’t look back. Separate yourself unto Him and He will be faithful to save you.
The scriptures speak of the spirit of Jezebel, which still operates today, infecting churches with its manipulation and control. Have you had an incredible breakthrough only to be greeted with intimidation, false accusations, fear, manipulation, control and seduction? “Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.’ And when Elijah saw that, he arose and went for his life…” (1 Kings 19:2-3). Notice the emphasis: Elijah saw his destruction! Jezebel’s intimidating threats grip not only our emotions but also our minds! The mental torment leads us to envision defeat, hopelessness and despair BEFORE if even happens!
The Spirit of Jezebel will operate through anyone who allows it to control and use him/her. Every Jezebel has an Ahab who co-labors with her in manipulation and control. Saints, God has stated that we are NOT to tolerate this type of seduction! (Revelation 2:20)
Jezebel attracts people with “soulish” connection – ungodly “soul ties” – relationships of unnatural emotional dependence. The spirit “binds” you to itself, so tightly that you feel that you will never be free even if you try. The spirit will seduce others into her control by using false flattering words that appeal to PRIDE. Jezebel desires total control; she will not remain in a place or relationship that she cannot control.
We are well able to slay the giant of Jezebel! Repentance always brings breakthrough. If you have allowed any entrance to Jezebel, take this opportunity to repent. Immediately separate yourself from the spirit/person, remain submitted and accountable to delegated godly authority, and seek servanthood over positions and titles.
Each of us is called as a “priest of the Lord’ – chosen ones to serve Him (1 Peter 2:9). We are descendents of a royal lineage, called to show forth the praises of God and to rule and reign with godly authority. We are assured of victory if we commit ourselves to purification and consecration. By utterly destroying all areas of defilement and committing to our destiny, we will overcome the seduction of the destiny thief. It is our season to take off old garments and exchange our clothing for the righteous garments of Christ Jesus.
By Sandie Freed