RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL – PART 5

PREVIOUS PART : https://johnranjit.wordpress.com/?p=663

WHAT JEZEBEL HATES?

Jezebel’s worst enemies are the prophets; her worst fear is that the people will embrace repentance. Jezebel hates repentance.

Jezebel hates humility. Jesus taught that greatness in the kingdom was measured in childlike honesty of heart, not in what we appear to be to others. It is typical of those who are servant-minded. Therefore, we must learn that spirituality is measured in meekness, not power.

Jezebel hates prayer. Intercessory prayer pries her fingers off the hearts and souls of men. It sets people free in the spirit.

Jezebel’s ultimate hatred is against God Himself. She hates the grace God lavishes upon His bondservants, even after they sin. She hates the fact that God will take the weakest and lowliest and use them to bring her down.

Her real enemy is the spoken Word of God.

Go nearer to God’s word , to go farther from Jezebel’s hold .

THE END.

PEACEFUL PAINTING

Once upon a time,

There was a king who appreciated art a lot.

He asked all the artists of his kingdom to participate in a competition and create a painting with the subject of “peaceful view.” He announced that there would be a great prize for the winner of the best painting and promised that he would hang the frame in his palace, which was a huge honor and fame for artists. Every artist started to paint their version of the most peaceful view. On the day of the competition, there were hundreds of beautiful paintings all gathered in the big hall of the palace for the king to judge. The king looked at each painting in depth. There were many paintings of the blue sky and great sea, quiet and peaceful.

Between all the peaceful paintings, the king announced the winner.

The winner was a painting with a dark cloudy sky, sea waves madly stroking the cliffs and a waterfall deviated to the side because of the angry wind. All the artists were shocked, how could the king choose such a madness painting as a peaceful subject?

The king said: “behind all this madness, in the corner of the waterfall I saw a crack with a green bush and a bird’s nest. Birds were sitting in their nest in peace. Peace doesn’t certainly mean that there shouldn’t be any noise, toughness or craziness, being in peace means that you could live peacefully amongst all the madness.”

The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength. – Marcus Aurelius

RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL – PART 4

PREVIOUS PART : https://johnranjit.wordpress.com/?p=656

SET THE CAPTIVES FREE!

Jezebel’s spirit flows unhindered throughout the entertainment industries. It flaunts in the world of fashion; it holds degree in the philosophical departments of our schools and colleges. Where can you go in our society that the influence of this spirit is not felt? She is the destroyer of politician and preacher alike. She is the cruel motivator behind abortion. It is Jezebel who frequently generates dissatisfaction between spouses.

There are good women who come to church seeking God, but this spirit has them fantasizing about the men in the assembly; lamenting that their husbands are not as spiritual as other husbands. Soon, these women develop problems that only the pastor can understand. Ladies, the older women the godly women in the church are the ones you need to consult with first, not pastors or elders( Titus 2:3-5 ). If you must counsel with a church leader, do not be offended when he asks for his wife or an older, godly woman to join him.

Let us recognize that this demon can also operate through men. In fact, Jezebel seeks the highly refined qualities of the professional musician, especially when such a man has both the ambition and the opportunity to become a worship leader or director.

… To be continued

WINNING VERSUS WINNERS

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND BEING A WINNER? WINNING IS AN EVENT. BEING A WINNER IS A SPIRIT.

INSPIRATIONAL WINNERS

The Olympics is a lifetime event. Lawrence Lemieux stopped racing in an Olympic yacht race to help a fellow competitor who was in trouble. The whole world was watching. His priority of safety and concern for other people’s lives was greater than his desire to win. Even though he did not win the race, he was a winner. He was honored by Kings and Queens all over the world because he kept the spirit of the Olympics alive.

Reuben Gonzales was in the final match of a racquetball tournament playing for the world title. In the final game, at match point, Gonzales played a super shot. The referee and the linesman both confirmed that the shot was good and he was declared the winner. But Gonzales, after a little pause and hesitation, turned back to shake his opponent’s hand and said, “The shot was faulty.” He lost the serve and eventually the match.

Everyone was stunned. Who could imagine that a player with everything in his pocket, would disqualify himself and lose. When asked why he did it, Gonzales replied, “It was the only thing to do in order to maintain my integrity.” He lost the match, yet he was a winner.

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories. – Michel de Montaigne

RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL – PART 3

PREVIOUS PART : https://johnranjit.wordpress.com/?p=652

WHAT THE BATTLE WITH JEZEBEL IS ABOUT?

Since the dawn of the electronic age, the scale of battle has greatly enlarged. It is difficult for us in our generation to discern the scope of warfare that hits the church and the world in general. We might actually suppose that warfare should decrease since the number of demons has not changed since the first century, while mankind has grown from 150 million to over five billion souls today. Yet, the access the devil has to the souls in our world has increased through the mass communications media and literature.

John wrote of this period in time in Revelations 12:15 – The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

Water, in this context, symbolizes words. In our world there exists a flood of words and visual images coming out of the mouth of Satan. Our society, through technological advances, has made sins of the mind and heart more accessible. More than ever before, the carnal mind, with its openness to this satanic flood of filth and rebellion, is being structured into a powerful stronghold for the devil.

In our information-filled, entertainment-oriented world, even minor demons can exercise major influence simply by possessing the script writers and producers of movies and television, Satan has always been the prince of the power of the air ( Ephesians 2:2 ). But we should realize that the power of the air is not merely the wind; we see that in our world this power uniquely includes the electronic airwaves which carry radio and television signals.

Therefore, we must discern exactly where the satanic inroads are in our lives and cut them off. We cannot worship God Sunday morning and then tolerate Jezebel through immoral entertainment in a movie Sunday night. Indeed, it is with this in mind that, in regard to warning against Jezebel, the Eternal Word specifically described Himself as He who searches the minds and hearts. (Rev. 2:23), for it is in the inner sanctuary of our private soul-life where tolerance to Jezebel begins. It is here, within us, where tolerance must end.

To be continued …

RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL – PART 2

PART 1 : https://johnranjit.wordpress.com/?p=647

Jezebel is fiercely independent and intensely ambitious for pre-eminence and control. It is noteworthy that the name Jezebel, literally translated, means without cohabitation. This simply means she refuses to live together or co-habit with anyone. Jezebel will not dwell with anyone unless she can control and dominate the relationship. When she seems submissive, it is only for the sake of gaining some strategic advantage. From her heart she yields to no one.

Bear in mind that the spirit which produced Jezebel existed before its namesake was born. Although we refer to Jezebel as she, this spirit is without gender. However, it is important to note that, while men in leadership are the main targets of most principalities, Jezebel is more attracted to the uniqueness of the female psyche in its sophisticated ability to manipulate without physical force.

This spirit operates through women who, because of insecurity, jealousy, or vanity, desire to control and dominate others. Jezebel is there behind the woman who publicly humiliates her husband with her tongue, and then thereafter controls him by his fear of public embarrassment.

To a woman under the influence of Jezebel, conquering a man need not involve physical contact if a seductive glance of her eyes will capture him.

While she uses every means of sexual perversity known in hell, immorality is not the issue; control is what she seeks, using the power of sexual passions for the purpose of possessing men.

To be continued …

RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL – PART 1

UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols”. – Revelation 02:20

When we speak of Jezebel, we are identifying the source in our society of obsessive sensuality, unbridled witchcraft, and hatred for male authority. To understand the spirit of Jezebel, we must understand the genesis of this personality in the Bible. The first mention of Jezebel is seen in the rebellious, manipulative wife of King Ahab. It was actually this spirit, operating through Queen Jezebel, which had caused millions of Israelites from the northern ten tribes excluding the seven thousand faithful souls to bow to Baal. Under her control, these people had forsaken the covenant, destroyed the sacred altars, and killed the prophets ( 1 Kings 19:14-18 ). Think of it! This one spirit was almost totally responsible for corrupting an entire nation. And it is this principality that, today, has come full force against our nation.

To be continued …

HUMOUR OF CHRIST

A cheerful heart is a good medicine.”—Proverbs 17:22

Do we miss the humour of Christ when we read the Gospels?

Few of us are familiar with the culture Jesus lived in. In our culture, most humour is based on joke telling, verbal inexactness, and physical comedy. Jewish humour often employed witty hyperbole—clever, startling, over-the-top statements—to get a laugh. Though some comedians today do this and we laugh, when we see Jesus use the technique in the Gospels, we usually don’t get it.

The New Testament, similarly, abounds with laughter. Jesus must have been a compelling personality, to keep the attention of crowds for days and the steadfast loyalty of at least twelve disciples for three years. In addition to being a riveting teacher whose words brought life, he was likely the kind of personality that was just fun to be around.

For example, a crowd numbering about 5,000 men followed him to a solitary place (Mark 6:30-44). Jesus’ teaching evidently made people forget to eat, bring food or worry about work.

The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery says, “Jesus was a master of wordplay, irony and satire, often with an element of humour intermixed.” [2] Jesus makes many serious points in humorous ways. “Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes?” He asks, “or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16). People who worked the ground in that culture surely smiled at the self-evident answers. When encountering a verse such as this one, which instructs us not to “cast your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6), a modern reader might wonder why anyone would even think to do such an unfamiliar thing. But that’s the whole point—no sane person would! Therefore, Jesus was saying, don’t do the spiritual equivalent of that ridiculously stupid thing.

Jesus told people, “When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others” (Matthew 6:2). No one would do anything so obviously self-promoting. Instead, they’d draw attention to themselves by walking slowly and piously, making their money clearly visible. These self-congratulatory actions, which Jesus characterised as “sounding a trumpet,” undoubtedly produced numerous smiles, smirks, and chuckles.

Can’t you imagine folks looking at each other with amazement and nervous glee when Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27)? Jesus was not telling jokes but painting mental pictures with a humorous, satirical sting. Think of the religious leaders’ outrage when Jesus said, “The harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31). Then think of the approving smiles of the poor and oppressed in the crowds who finally saw someone unafraid to confront these pseudo spiritual false shepherds.

Jesus referred to the shrewd and ruthless political leader Herod as “that fox” (Luke 13:32). Since a fox is cunning, this may appear to be a compliment, but it certainly wouldn’t have been lost on the crowd that those pointy-eared varmints were nuisances, not terrors. Jesus was poking fun at a vicious, immoral, murderous tyrant by comparing him not to a lion or a bear but to a fox! Imagine people going home and telling their friends, “You won’t believe what Jesus called Herod!”

“The most characteristic form of Jesus’ humour was the preposterous exaggeration.” It’s important to understand that this form of exaggeration is not falsehood in any sense, because the hearer knows it’s overstatement. The speaker is not misleading anyone; rather, He is appealing to the hearer’s humour to make his point.

Consider when Jesus asked, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). Surely the ridiculous picture of a log sticking out of a man’s eye produced not only a sense of conviction but also broad smiles.

Those who heard Jesus speak knew His keen humour—and they were endeared to Him. The humour of Jesus is far more apparent if we understand His culture and engaging personality. There’s nothing disrespectful about noticing that many of Jesus’ statements are, by design, happily outrageous.

INSPIRED FROM : Elton Trueblood, The Humour of Christ (New York: Harper & Row, 1964)

A TRUE INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF AN ARMY OFFICER – SHAW

Tears glistened in the eyes of Salvation Army officer Shaw as he looked at the three men before him. Shaw was a medical missionary who had just arrived in India. It was the turn of the century, and the Salvation Army was taking over the care of the leper colony.

But these lepers had metal chains binding their hands and feet, cutting the diseased flesh. Captain Shaw turned to the guard and said, ‘Please unfasten the chains.’ “It isn’t safe,” the guards replied. ‘These men are dangerous criminals as well as lepers.’

I’ll be responsible. They’re suffering enough, ‘Captain Shaw said, as he put out his hand and took the keys. Then he knelt on the ground, tenderly removed the shackles and treated their bleeding ankles.

About two weeks later Captain Shaw had his first misgivings about freeing the criminals. He had to make an overnight trip and dreaded leaving his wife and child alone. But his wife was also a Salvation Army officer whose life was dedicated to God. She insisted that she was not afraid.

The next morning when she went to her front door, she was startled to see the three criminals lying on her steps.

One of them explained, ‘We know doctor go. We stay here so no harm come to you.’This was how ‘dangerous men’ responded to an act of love.

LOVE CAN CREATE MIRACLES.

Inspired from : Norman Vincent Peale (Treasury of Courage and Confidence)

ELIMINATING THE SECRET SINS OF THE HEART

Indulging in secret sins of the heart is comparable to touching a sore tooth with your tongue to eliminate pain. We return to the source of pain, time and again, without finding a viable solution to stop the root cause of discomfort. Christians are especially accountable to God for committing sins that non-believers also engage in. God is holy and does not relate to someone who knowingly and habitually sins. Sin ends your fellowship with God.

Secret sins involve sinning against God through coveting, idolatry, or behaviour involving sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Galatians 5:19-21 provides a list of secret sins. “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance–as I told you before–that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Notice the behaviour of those that sin in secret. A thief hides and lurks about in the dark, murderers cover their tracks, and people pursuing sensual pleasures do so behind closed doors. They know it’s wrong.

God told Adam and Eve they should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They ate anyway and then hid from God, crouching in fear among the trees while covering their bodies. What they did in secret was pleasurable to their senses for a short season. People hiding alongside their deeds of darkness fear discovery even while they enjoy the sin.

STEPS TO ELIMINATE SECRET SINS FROM OUR LIFE :

Develop a repentant heart towards sin whether we consider it big or small. In Jeremiah 17:9, the prophet reminds us that “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? John Calvin said the “heart is an idol factory.” By knowing this, we can stay proactive so we don’t fall into traps set by Satan. At the first sign of disobedience, repent quickly.

Don’t blame our sins on someone else like Adam and Eve did. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed both Eve and God. When God withdraws from us because of sin, it seems like He doesn’t know. On the contrary, He’s giving us an opportunity to come clean.

No one enjoys being in bondage to behaviour meant to destroy our lives. When we live close to God, we protect ourselves from the onslaught of the enemy who is intent on bringing us harm and destruction. What secret sins do you need to eliminate from your life? Are you ready to expose and bring secret sins out of the darkness into the light?