“For the spirit of harlotry has led them astray
and they have played the harlot,
withdrawing themselves from subjection
of their God.”
Are we being lulled to sleep in the church regarding the Jezebel spirit; the “SPIRIT of HARLOTRY” today? I’ve been reading and studying God’s Word in THE BOOK OF HOSEA. This message was given to Israel through the prophet Hosea. It pertains to God’s love for a backsliding nation. The infidelity of Gomer, Hosea’s wife, portrays the apostasy of Israel in her covenant relationship with God.
We don’t hear messages from the pulpit regarding the spirit of Jezebel or a spirit of harlotry, of prostitution because…well, it might stir up negative feelings in the church; “Not in our Church!”. Remember, Jezebel is not a person but a spirit and as a prophet I can say, ” It is here in the church today.” Maybe NOT in your church but the “spirit” is here never-the-less!
REJECTION OF BIBLE DOCTRINE
“HEAR THE word of the Lord, you children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy (a pleading contention) with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness, love, pity and mercy, or knowledge of God [from personal experience with Him] in the land” (Hosea 4:1–Amplified Bible).
And because the relationship between the people and God was strained…okay, it was non-existent; the people and the animals were suffering (Hosea 4:3, 10). There was a loss to economic prosperity; they didn’t have enough to eat and because of the lack, the population didn’t increase, the nation didn’t grow because they had “forsaken the Lord for harlotry” (Hosea 4:10).
LIFESTYLE OF INDULGENCE
“Harlotry and wine and new wine take away the heart and the mind and the spiritual understanding” (Hosea 4:11).
New wine is wine in the beginning stages of fermentation, barely able to make a person inebriated; dulling the senses.
Harlotry enslaves a person of “reversions“; causes a loss capacity of life and love.
NOT ABOUT THE “LADIES OF THE NIGHT”
The “harlotry” that Hosea is referring is not about prostitutes, not about street walkers, it’s about the spiritual condition of the believers.
God is referring to any spiritual infidelity on our parts. We were once married to sin and when we became born again believers, we are now married to Christ Jesus, to our new husband. James says to compromised Christians, “You adulteress (feminine in the Greek text). Do you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever is a friend of the world (system) is expedient to the world’s celebrations; makes himself an enemy of God.”
I believe expediency has become rampant in the church today!
What is an expedient church or expedient doctrine? An expedient is a tool, an aid, or method that is profitable for achieving a goal; personally or corporately. Webster defines expedient as something “useful for effecting a desired result; suited to the circumstance or the occasion; advantageous, convenient.”
IS IT GOOD OR BAD TO BE EXPEDIENT?
The first rule of lawful expediency is anything we use to fulfill a command of God. It must abide with the limitations of His word. If an aid does or includes anything that goes beyond or contradicts God’s Word, it isn’t lawful. We in the church have no authority in using it as expedient. 2 John 9 illustrates the point:
“Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.”
Are you perhaps still unclear about expediency and what it has to do with the Spirit of Harlotry? Let me give a simple explanation:
Some people believe it’s acceptable to lie if it helps turn a sinner to God. Their argument is, lying can be used as an expedient to fulfill the command to go and teach the lost. However, in Revelation 21:8, we are told that all liars, not some, will have their part in the Lake of Fire. Since God condemns lying, it is impossible to lie and still be pleasing to God, no matter what the purpose is. Can you lie to your spouse and say that you did so because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings? Since the church is the bride of Christ, how do you think He feels when the “spirit of harlotry” has entered into our way of being in the relationship?
THE SPIRIT OF HARLOTRY–What Jezebel Hates is, *
“Their doings will not permit them to return
to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is
within them and they know not the Lord
[they do not recognize, appreciate,
give heed to, or cherish the Lord]”
(Hosea 5:4-Amplified Bible).
What the spirit of harlotry hates is humility: “But the pride and self-reliance of Israel testifies before his [own] face” (Hosea 5:5).
Jesus taught greatness in the kingdom is not measured in what it seems to be, but a childlike honesty of the heart. A true ministry is willing and eager to be submitted and accountable to other ministries. It is typical of those who are servant minded. We must learn that spirituality is measured in meekness and not power.
SPIRITUAL HARLOTRY “HATES PRAYER” *
Intercessory prayer is prayer that changes things. It pries the spirit of Jezebel’s fingers off hearts and souls of man. It sets people free in the spirit to worship. when you pray against immorality, it cripples her.
My wife and I attend a local church, which on Thursday nights, opens the worship center for prayer. Not prayer circles, not a formal meeting but a special time alone to pray and worship the living God. The pastor emphasizes the importance of prayer in the church (a church that prays together stays together) and has labeled this time, IGNITE. Worship music is played quietly during the hour while some people are lying on the floor, standing, sitting, no formality at all. JUST WORSHIPFULL PRAYER! “Spiritual harlotry” hates this time and will try to prevent the gathering every week. “It’s just too cold tonight” or “I am too tired to go tonight. I’ll go next week, for sure!” and so on and so forth. I can say those things because I have said them to myself before.
SPIRITUAL HARLOTRY “HATES PROPHETS” *
The prophets in the church are her worst enemies. When she wars, it stirs people up against the message of the prophetic church. More than that, she hates the prophets themselves and hates the words they speak. Her real enemy is the spoken Word of God.
THE HARLOT CHURCH SYSTEM
Jesus said to the believers at Thyatira, “I have a few things against you“; that should get one’s attention. Why did He say that?
“Because you have suffered [allowed] that woman Jezebel, who calls herself prophetess to lead and seduce my servants” (Revelation 2:20).
Who was “that woman Jezebel” and what did she do that Jesus would have had such contempt toward her? It could have been a real person among the called-out-ones who was engaging in sexual immorality. There is that problem in the church today at times but I think it’s something far more engaging; far more spiritual significant.
The “Jezebel spirit” or the “spirit of harlotry” as Hosea the prophet calls it, represented a spiritual condition in the hearts of the people. In 1 and 2 Kings in the Old Testament, Ahab’s Jezebel defines what the “Jezebel spirit” was by her life and reputation: (1) She was controlling and manipulative and (2) She practiced witchcraft and harlotry [manipulation is a form of “witchcraft“].
Spiritual harlotry is simply put as “seeking anything for self“. It is the flesh hungering to enhance ourselves in position or recognition by others around us. We all have harlot hearts that are easily deceived. When idolatrous harlotry is brought into our assembly life as the body of Christ, we have the Jezebel spirit in operation. Our idolatry and spiritual harlotry may not be as blatant as hers but is just as much a hindrance to having an intimate relationship with our Lord.
The Jezebel-harlot spirit will seek anything for selfish reasons. It is the idolatry of Self–self-love.
“For the others all seek [to advance] their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (the Messiah)” (Philippians 2:21).
The harlot spirit is always present, anytime we try to build something in the flesh for Self; church ministries, growth in church attendance, prayer meeting participation. In contrast, the Holy spirit is present when we set our hearts to build only for Him and by Him.
As our pastor said in church this week, “We don’t build the church, Christ builds the church.” There are many well-meaning but ill-informed Christians who try to exploit the Holy Spirit to advance themselves. Many even fake the presence of the Holy Spirit to make their church or their services look good and this is wrong! ‘Faking it until you make it’ might fool some but God sees the heart of man. We have not been given the Holy spirit to make the “harlot” look good.
IN CONCLUSION–The Defeat of the spirit!
The Book of Hosea begins with a great, great love story of Hosea’s love for Gomer. It is the story intended to portray the love of God for His people and His Church.
The last chapter of the Book starts with these words:
“O ISRAEL, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled and fallen, due to your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to Him, Take away all our iniquity; accept what is good and receive us graciously; so will we render [our thanks] as bullocks [to be sacrificed] and pay the confession of our lips” (Hosea 14:1-2–Amplified Bible).
After reading the above verses, perhaps you are asking yourself this question: “Is this addressed to lost sinners? Is God speaking to those who do not know Him or is He speaking to believers?” The answer is “Yes”. It is God’s word to you and me in the Church; the body of Christ.
Like it or not, we belong to God! He will never give up His property. He is our…
. Great Creator!
. Merciful Benefactor!
. Mighty Preserver!
Let us never forget the Lord God is the Lord our God, distinctly, personally by His own distinguishing grace. He is our God by…
. His special Choice
. His Covenant Grace
. His Blood Atonement
. His Savior Operations
Though we may be knowingly or unknowingly partakers in the spirit of harlotry, He is still our God! He is ever ready to be gracious, to receive us and to embrace us back into the fold.
“turn to the Lord” fully and completely with all of your heart. The Lord wouldn’t have us merely recite words before Him: “…I am sorry Lord for my unfaithfulness.” Yet He does demand confession of sin and faith in His Son as expressions of our hearts before Him. ‘Come on Church!’ The “Jezebel spirit” must be acknowledged first, then repentance must be declared; faith must be confessed (I John 1:9).
Say to Him, “Take this spirit away–all our iniquity…
. The Guilt of it!
. The Curse of it!
. The power of it!
. The Being of it!
Repentance is more than most imagine. It is a change of heart…
. A Change of Masters
. A Change of Motives
. A Change of Manners
. A Change of Mind
Only then can the “spirit of Harlotry”; the “Jezebel spirit” be defeated!
*from Discerning the Jezebel Spirit by Francis Frangipane.