Operation Jezebel

(getty images/istock-Thomas-bethge | E+-D-Keine)

On August 19, 2018, at the end of his sermon, John Kilpatrick, pastor of Church of His Presence in Daphne, Alabama, called for special prayer for President Donald Trump. He said witchcraft was coming against the president and quoted 2 Kings 9:22, which attributes the troubles the nation of Israel was facing to the sorceries of Jezebel.

"I am not being political but ... here's what the Holy Spirit said to me last night, and here's what He said for me to tell you," Kilpatrick said. "He said, 'Tell the church that so far, Trump has been dealing with Ahab. But Jezebel's fixing to step out from the shadows.' That's what the Lord said to me. ... He said, 'Pray for him now because,' He said, 'there's about to be a shift, and the deep state is about to manifest, and it's going to be a showdown like you can't believe.' So I'm coming to you as a prophet, as a man of God, and I'm telling you, it's time to pray for the president."

To Pastor Kilpatrick's complete surprise, the video of his call for prayer went viral. The word God gave him clearly struck a nerve, and I can say it resonated with my spirit immediately. But why? What is the Jezebel spirit? What might the Holy Spirit be speaking to the church in this season? And what is at stake if we fail to respond?

The Jezebel Spirit

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From the Bible, we know Israel's Queen Jezebel was a zealous idol worshipper, a seductress, an archenemy of the prophets, a murderer and a woman who emasculated her husband and engaged in sorcery. If we break this down some more, a very clear picture emerges.

The primary deities Ahab and Jezebel worshiped were Baal (male) and Asherah (female). According to Canaanite myth, Baal was the son of El, the chief deity, and his wife, Asherah. Baal was a weather deity, which also meant he was associated with the fertility of the land, while Asherah was the fertility goddess.

Regarding the worship of Asherah, Bible teacher Ray Vander Laan writes that worshippers often "engaged in immoral sex" in an attempt to bring fertility on the land—an act which became "the basis for religious prostitution." As for the worship of Baal, Vander Laan notes that "at times of crisis, Baal's followers sacrificed their children, apparently the firstborn of the community, to gain personal prosperity."

Are you starting to see a pattern? Jezebel was associated with sexual immorality and idolatry, and idolatry was associated with baby killing. This is why I say Jezebel is alive and well in America today. Pornography has become a plague, and immorality is celebrated. Baby killers have become more militant by the day, determined to preserve their "right" to terminate children in the womb.

Almost a thousand years after the death of Israel's Queen Jezebel, Jesus Himself referred to her again, but this time it was a different woman called by the same name. Speaking to the church of Thyatira in the Book of Revelation, Jesus first commended the congregation for the good it was doing before delivering these shocking words: "But I have a few things against you: You permit that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not repent. Look! I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will put her children to death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the hearts and minds. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds" (Rev. 2:20-23).

Who was this so-called prophetess? We have no definitive record other than what is recorded here, but it's likely that her name was not really Jezebel. Instead, most scholars believe Jesus gave her this name because she was just like the Jezebel of old. She was a woman of the same spirit, operating by the same demonic forces, turning God's people away from the truth into sexual immorality and idolatry. In that sense, Jezebel has appeared on the scene over and over again throughout history, right until this day.

So there is Jezebel the woman, the wife of Ahab and the daughter of a pagan king. That woman is long dead. And there is Jezebel the spirit, meaning the demonic power that acted through her and through her New Testament counterpart. That spirit is still alive and thriving.

Put another way, we know that human beings are fully responsible for their actions and cannot say, "The devil made me do it!" But we also know that Satan is our ultimate enemy, the one with whom we do battle (Eph. 6:12). That's why Jezebel had such power. She was not simply a domineering, manipulative woman. She was demonically empowered as well, hence her almost supernatural ability to intimidate and control. And when we see this same type of demonic activity at work in our day, we identify it as the spirit of Jezebel.

This doesn't mean there is a specific demon (or principality) named Jezebel. It means there are certain characteristics associated with Jezebel, and when we see this same set of characteristics at work, we know who is behind it. Put another way, when we observe the same things happening in our society (or within the church) as happened in Israel in Jezebel's day, we understand it is no coincidence. It is satanic, it is systematic and it is intentional. And that's why I say Jezebel is alive and well today in 21st-century America.

Four Critical Steps

How, then, do we defeat Jezebel on a national level? Obviously, if we want to help others, we must get our own houses in order. As some of us said years ago during court battles over the public display of the Ten Commandments, the biggest problem is not that we've taken these commandments out of our schools; it's that we removed them first from our hearts and homes.

Thus, the first step is that we must give ourselves to prayer. Since we have established that our greatest battle is spiritual, we understand how we must wage war. It begins on our knees. It begins in the prayer room and at the prayer meeting. It begins with fasting, with intercession, with prevailing prayer and persevering prayer, with fervent prayer and focused prayer. It begins with crying out—real, genuine, crying out to our Father—and with faith-filled rebuking of the enemy. When we pray like this, we will see results.

Of course, it's easy to get discouraged, since major change does not happen overnight, and it seems like Christians are always having prayer meetings and calling for seasons of fasting and prayer. But the reality is that very few really respond (in terms of the whole body). Very few really cry out persistently. Consequently, if more of us took the Lord's invitation to ask and believe, if more of us persevered, we would see glorious results.

Second, the prophets must speak. It was one thing to be silenced during the days of Jezebel. She was literally killing the prophets, and I don't imagine her henchmen cared about how they went about their bloody business. This was brutal work, and the suffering was acute. If you did stand up and speak out, you could be dead within the hour, if not on the spot.

This does not excuse the silence of the prophets, and not all were silent. Elijah took his stand at the risk of his own life. But at least it's understandable why they were on the run. To speak was to be killed. Guaranteed. This will certainly shut some mouths.

But today in America, who is putting a gun to our head or a knife to our throat? (I mean this literally.) Who is threatening us with death if we speak? And yet so many of us are silent. So many have retreated. So many have given way to a spirit of fear. So many have made a bargain with the devil, basically saying, "I won't bother you if you don't bother me. I'll stay in my nice, safe, popular lane, and you stay away from my family."

I'm talking about preachers. About pastors. About prophets. I'm talking about local leaders and national leaders. All too many are in self-imposed spiritual exile and have made a calculated decision to stay out of the fray. All too many have put outward success before inward obedience. All too many have taken the path of least resistance. This cannot continue!

It's time we arise and speak! It's time we overcome the fear of rejection, the fear of conflict, the fear of loss, and with hearts aflame and minds ablaze with truth and love and righteousness and compassion, it's time we speak to our nation.

"But I have no national platform!" some will say. That may be true, but you do have a sphere of influence, be it in your local congregation, your family and circle of friends, the people you reach online, or the people you work with. You are reaching people. The question is how and with what message you are reaching them.

And to all my colleagues with national platforms: America needs your voice now more than ever. Take up the cross and follow Jesus afresh. Don't let ratings and reviews dictate your choices. Get a fresh message from heaven, raise your voice and speak. The prophets must no longer be silenced!

Third, the body of Christ must stand together and push back against radical activism. It's not just a matter of leaders speaking up. In that sense, let's learn what we can from President Trump. Obviously, there are many things we cannot and should not learn from him. We don't need to call people debasing names, label them "dogs" or use profane speech. Even more obviously, we have no desire to emulate the president's carnal past, from adulterous affairs to building casinos. But there are things we can learn from President Trump that are especially effective when dealing with Jezebel.

One lesson, which is particularly important for Christian leaders, is this: Don't avoid confrontation. We often try so hard to be nice. At all costs, we do not want to offend. But sometimes confrontation is necessary, and there are scores of biblical examples for this. Nathan the prophet confronted King David (2 Sam. 12). Paul confronted Peter (Gal. 2). Proverbs 27:5 (ESV) even says, "Better is open rebuke than hidden love." And the New Testament calls us to "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15a, NLT).

Last, and certainly not least, the castrated males must regain their manhood. In 2 Kings 9, Jezebel is ultimately killed by eunuchs. She who emasculated men was cast down by emasculated men. Even castrated men can take a stand and regain their strength and virility. They did, and she was cast down.

Without a doubt, Jezebel hates women and attacks them too. She has destroyed many a woman's life, including many a godly woman. Anytime there is a strong, anointed woman of God with a calling on her life, some insecure male leader is sure to brand her a Jezebel. How ironic and how ugly.

But allow me to focus for one final moment on the men of America, specifically the born-again, Bible-believing men. Many of you have been emasculated by sexual sin, stealing your confidence and your manhood, making you into a self-condemning slave. Others have been emasculated by spiritual intimidation, because of which you stay clear of conflict and confrontation. Still others have been emasculated by an apparent failure in faith, because of which you have become cautious and calculating, not wanting to be disappointed again.

My friends, you must not let Jezebel win! Our nation needs you. Our families need you. Our children need you. Our pulpits need you. A. W. Tozer said, "Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must have men again, the right kind of men. She must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of."

My brothers, we need you to take hold of biblical manhood, using Jesus as your example. We need you to stand tall. To be strong. To lead well. To be spiritual. To mix compassion with toughness and humility with courage.

It doesn't matter what has spiritually or emotionally castrated you in the past, be it your upbringing or dynamics in your marriage or denominational politics or a moral failure. Jesus is a redeemer and a restorer, and with His help, you can become a real man, a biblical man, a godly man.

Jezebel may have ruled you for many years, but it's time to cast her down. Get her out of your head, your heart, and your life. Together, as we stand by ones and twos, by tens and twenties, by hundreds and thousands, by millions and tens of millions, both men and women together, we will see this wicked stronghold defeated. Jezebel is coming down!

Dr. Michael Brown served as a leader in the Brownsville Revival from 1996–2000, out of which was birthed the FIRE School of Ministry. He is the founder and president of AskDrBrown Ministries and the host of a nationally syndicated daily talk radio show.

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