Recurring Spirits


Rev 2:19-23
Jude 11-13

I. The Bible recites several warnings to the church which are recorded in Jude and Revelation. These warnings to the church are drawn from people and events from the Old Testament—people and events of antiquity. Jude warns us of the spirits of Cain, Balaam, and Korah and the Book of revelation warns us of the spirit of Jezebel—old spirits that never die!

II. These spirits have not resurrected to live again in their original persons but these spirits are still active in our times. Balaam, Cain, Korah and Jezebel have not risen from the dust from which they fell but the same spirits of evil that consumed them are presently evident in the church. The attitude that killed an Abel and that came against Moses and that sought the life of Elijah lives on today to fight against the church—because old spirits never die. It’s the same old evils in new packages. Human nature does not change, therefore, the tactics of the devil have not changed. Even though times change certain spirits’ work and the nature of their work are still the same!

III. CAIN: The “spirit of Cain” is one of the earliest spirits noted in the Bible and yet it continues to find a place to prosper even to this day. Cain became a reject when he failed to offer a blood sacrifice as God had required, and then when God condemned for his disobedience he rather than repent and do what was required became angry and slew his brother Abel who had simply done what God asked.

1. What then is the spirit of Cain? It is a spirit that exhibits a bitter attitude toward the exactness of the Word of God. The spirit of Cain brings a “sacrifice” of convenience and justifies itself rather than being obedient to God. It also shows itself further by attacking those who do obey. When people are more concerned for their comfort and their own way rather than living in godly obedience—this is the spirit of Cain.

2. The Word of God is not very important to those who exhibit the spirit of Cain. “That is just the opinion of the preacher, and I can take it or leave it.” The fact that God has chosen to use an earthly messenger does not change the power of it’s source or it’s truthfulness! God has chosen “through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” A willful disregard of the Word of God: that’s the Spirit of Cain. As Cain found out, God will hold us responsible for a message delivered through a messenger.

IV. KORAH: Another spirit that refuses to die is the spirit of Korah. We often think of Korah as the sin of rebellion against the man of God and in a general sense. Korah and Dathan and Abiram felt that they were just as able to spiritually lead Israel as Moses and Aaron and decided to prove it by offering incense before the Lord. The end of the account ended with the families of the usurpers being swallowed by a great crevice that opened up in the earth and God caused a plague to break out among the crowds that killed 14,700 people when they murmured against God.

1. The Spirit of Korah is alive and well today. This spirit will rise up against a pastor to blame him for the outcome of their own actions—they breed unrest among the congregation. This unrest results usually in individuals who are not called to be the spiritual leader of the church trying to take the reins from the pastor and destruction and the judgment of God is usually the result. The spirit of Korah is an old spirit that never dies!

V. BALAAM: Jude warns against the spirit of Balaam just as also does John to the church in Pergamos: “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.” Rev 2:14. The spirit of Balaam is not yet dead in our age.

1. Balaam is famous because God spoke through a donkey to warn him of his wrongdoing. Not that it mattered, because Balaam eventually continued ahead and went against God’s wishes anyway. Why? Because the Spirit of Balaam is more interested in personal gain than godliness. This spirit will override all spiritual guidance in order to do its own will and accomplish its own heart’s desire. The spirit of Balaam still lives today.

VI. JEZEBEL: The spirit of Jezebel. Ironically, the name “Jezebel” means “chaste and sexually pure” and yet she was the exact opposite of her namesake. Ahab was a weak man and Jezebel used her powers of seduction and strong will to control him and to ultimately run the nation of Israel. Jezebel was famous for open sexuality and idolatrous worship through sensual means. It was she that reintroduced to a new generation of Israeli women, that Egyptian practice of painting the face to appear sexually alluring and of immodestly revealing the body to seduce and therefore gain control over the men and bring them to the immoral level of Baal worship and promote their appetite for such wanton sexuality. Jezebel’s attack was so strong that she might have completely conquered God’s people if it had not been for a strong prophet Elijah who dared look her in the face and denounce her open sexuality and flagrant rebellion to the Word of God. Through the word of Elijah and a few other men of God who were willing to defy her, God brought a fresh revival of repentance and the destruction of this evil king and queen.

1. Jezebel’s tactics are prominently revealed when Jehu came into the town intent on tearing down the altars of Baal. When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. Upon hearing that someone was coming to destroy her, Jezebel “painted her eyes” and then “adorned her head” and after fixing herself up with add-ons and such to make her fifty-year-old self more seductive, she looked out the window. She intended to appear sexually inviting to Jehu and accepted him to take the bait, but he simply looked up and said “who is on my side” and to her shock two of her own servants through her out of the window to her death.

2. Fast forward several hundreds of years and in instructing the church in Thyatira, Jesus says:
‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.’

3. The same spirit of Jezebel teaches our women are not “pretty” unless they are made up into appearing in an alluring state of sensuality, and that they are not “attractive” unless they immodestly reveal the body is alive and well today. This spirit opposes the scripture that teaches “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” The spirit of Jezebel is an old spirit that never dies.

4. God’s charge against the church in Thyatira was that “you allow Jezebel to stay among you.” Not a particular person, but rather a spirit was allowed to stay in the church that promoted sexual themes and open sexuality. As our society becomes more and more godless due to a lack of sexual morality, the church cannot sit idly by and allow Jezebel to influence standing for truth. We must guard ourselves lest we entertain that same spirit which refuses to die!

— jlg —