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Elijah, Jezebel and the Bride:
Where Are We Now?
The response to our recent teaching on the prophetic/pastoral divide has been encouragingly positive, but has also demonstrated a need to fill in pertinent details. Today we begin an article that will amplify on the pastor/prophet discussion in a way I hope will round out the perspective of the duel and dance between these dominant natures in the church.
To make this easier to digest, I have broken it into smaller more “email-friendly” parts. Every few days I will send out another part until finished. We’ll start by taking a look at the role of the jezebel spirit in keeping the pastoral and prophetic natures apart.
[A word of clarification: throughout this article, based on the original teaching, we’ll be referring to the apostolic/prophetic nature in the masculine and the pastoral/evangelist nature in the feminine. All gender references here should be interpreted only from this divine perspective. The same is true for terms describing one’s age, such as “adolescent,” “mature,” etc. These refer only to one’s development in the Lord.]
The Jezebel Factor
After the original message, one prophetic-natured reader pointed out the need to account for the “jezebel factor” as it relates to the ongoing expulsion of prophetic people from pastor-led churches. I purposely refrained from speaking to this in that message, but will do so now.
What is already a native tension between pastoral and prophetic natures has been amplified throughout church history by the interference of the jezebel spirit. This controlling spirit of religion and lust, as its feminine name suggests, has shadowed and usurped the true pastoral divine nature and the assemblies nurtured by it. Like the evil stepmother in Cinderella, or the wicked queen in Sleeping Beauty, jezebel operates to keep the pastoral and the princely prophetic natures from ever coming together. But in this version of the fairy tale, the wicked stepmother/ queen tricks Cinderella into hating the prince, and convinces the prince to hate Cinderella!
By superimposing itself over the pastoral nature and feeding off the dynamic of corporate energy, jezebel asserts control over God’s people. Her aim is to keep them from being changed and perfected by the Lord’s truth toward eternal-oriented holiness. It is also to corrupt them by “sanctifying” natural immorality and the sense of cohabitation with human society (spiritual immorality). Jezebel perverts the genuine people-oriented nature of God to glue the church’s affection on “the nations” in place of the Lord—and is able to pull it all off in the Lord’s name.
The spirit of jezebel corrupts the pastoral nature the same way the serpent perverted Eve—through the power of deception and seduction. Being the “weaker vessel” in ability to discern and maintain vision for eternal truth, the pastoral nature has ever been the prime target for this spirit. In this way jezebel has succeeded in ruling the pastoral-led church throughout history.
Conversely, jezebel holds an unparalleled vicious hatred for the truth-oriented governmental nature of God as imparted through the apostolic/prophetic people. If she cannot seduce them as she did Adam and Ahab, she will expel and destroy them. The struggle between jezebel and this “Elijah” nature is keenly witnessed in Scripture from Mt. Carmel all the way to the final clash between the prophetic martyrs and great harlot of Revelation. It has formed the major line of contest between true righteousness and religious evil in every place and generation throughout the mortal ages.
Jezebel’s Greatest Success: The Prophetic/Pastoral Veil
The real success of jezebel however lies not just in her power to usurp the pastoral nature, but in blinding both divine natures from ability to recognize one another’s legitimacy. Under jezebellic unbelief, the pastoral nature has historically rejected the validity of the “masculine” prophetic nature in any form. This is plainly evident to any prophet/apostle that has felt the stinging expulsion of pastoral authorities and ostracism by the assemblies they control.
But of greater significance is that the prophetic/apostolic nature with its superior revelational gift has been equally unable to discern the legitimacy of the “feminine” pastoral nature underneath jezebel’s usurping power! This observation cannot be overstated. Though of greater gifting for vision, the prophetic/apostolic, under its rejections by pastor-dominated assemblies, has been unable to pierce the jezebellic mask to see through to the genuine gift of the people-attuned pastoral heart.
Under this blindness, governmental prophetic saints have written off the entire pastoral nature and frontline church as the Great Harlot and a bunch of “man-pleasers.” Most have concluded that the true church consists only of their own prophet/apostle types who gather in wilderness isolation. And so they build fellowship around their wounded opposition to the great apostasy.
But because the body was never designed to consist of only one “gender,” outcast masculine wilderness groups historically fail, disintegrating over their own wilderness stag / turf conflicts. The tones of exclusivism, elitism and unhealed bitterness are unmistakable in these places. Not discerning the complete body of Christ, they are as “weak and sickly” as the jezebellic pastoral churches they flee.
“O wretched Body that we are, who shall deliver us from this unbearable divide?”
In the next segments, we will consider God’s plan for reconciling the irreconcilable.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created October 15, 2016