Elijah, Jezebel and the Bride:
Where Are We Now?
A Prophetic Healing
In the same way that God has begun delivering the pastoral-led church to see the prophetic, He has begun healing the outcast apostolic/prophetic stream to open its eyes to the pastoral. In this episode, we look at what has been happening to prepare these more obscure saints for integration and government in the completed frontline church.
The Apostolic/Prophetic Stream: Two Phases to Overcoming Jezebel
Under the historic oppressions of jezebel, apostolic/prophetic saints have found a special place in their hearts for the concept of “overcoming.” Bolstered by numerous scriptural examples, they have learned what it means to overcome the fears of confronting evil, daring to stand up to jezebellic pastors, taking their licks at the hands of unbelieving disobedient leaderships and suffering the shame of expulsion for the sake of the Truth imparted into them.
But standing up to jezebel is only part of the full overcoming that marks true sons of God. There is far more to overcoming than this. And happily, a new generation of prophetic/apostolic saints has begun to see and step up into it.
- Life After Jezebel
Elijah provides the heroic role model for prophetic people in their battles with jezebellic pastors. But if we look carefully, we find that Elijah’s clash at Mt. Carmel was only his first stage of overcoming this evil. Once he departed from there, Elijah was challenged to a still higher more demanding level of victory.
After standing up to jezebel, Elijah was left in the desert to the classic prophetic legacy—isolation, self-pity, and a sense of elitism: “I alone am left to serve you.” But God challenged that legacy. He opened Elijah’s eyes to a faithful remnant larger than himself, and to a further productive destiny—one that took him back out of the wilderness and to the frontline nation of pastorally-minded people.
A similar overcoming remains for today’s prophetic people who, forced to leave the pastor-led church due to inability to conform, have found themselves in Elijah’s wilderness. Complete victory requires the prophetic nature to overcome the poisons of self-referenced elitism, isolationism and remaining woundedness—to retain the unquenchable hope of becoming part of something larger than oneself and joined to more than just those who share the same sufferings.
In this new day, God has begun bringing forth such a maturing remnant.
First, God has begun to deal with prophetic outcasts over the weaknesses on the edge of their gift for discerning error and imperfection. Through a refined tempering of the tongue, God has been teaching the desert’s deeper listeners how to discern between their gift for perfecting others and the fruitless cynical criticism of all the errors in every church.
These have been learning how to read the cycles of relationship, how to avoid unnecessary conflicts, and how to choose the necessary conflicts strategically. In the course of this, they have also come to realize that there is a specific relationally-appointed place for their authority—that their inherent prophetic authority does not give them carte blanche rule over any and all pastoral churches. So they are in a period of targeted discovery of their right place with the right people.
Gaining new perception between what is “false” and what is simply “different,” the healing breed of wilderness saints have become much less quick to split from others over differences. Where they were once fast to wield the sword, they are now swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to exercise the Lord’s wrath. They want a more settled conviction that something different is indeed false before they condemn it.
Secondly, as segments of the pastoral church have begun receiving the spirit of prophecy, worship and intercession, the maturing outcasts have begun to objectively appreciate God’s purer stream of pastoral people in frontline churches and movements. They are seeing that not all pastors are jezebels and sauls, even though the pastoral church retains its native deficiencies of discernment and is still far from recognizing the authority of their calling. Like Elijah, these prophetic ones have received the sense of commission to become wed to something that is greater than themselves, and have begun internal deliberations about how such a union could actually work.
(Note: as we noted concerning pastors, so to about prophets—this is not happening everywhere. There are many embittered prophets who will never overcome their wounds. But to those pastors with any redeemed sense of prophetic smell, the word is: Be on the lookout. There may be a maturing prophet or two on the fringe of your church fresh from the desert!)
As the pastoral and apostolic/prophetic streams begin escaping enough of jezebel’s effects to recognize one another’s legitimacy, their incipient courtship is being tested by the raw differences in their natures. Perhaps the greatest present lightning rod for this testing is over the question, what does it mean to be prophetic? In Part 5 we will take aim at unraveling this conflict.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created October 15, 2016