Thursday, May 31, 2007

No Toleration - Lou Engle

No Toleration

I suspect I’ve got more in common with Jezebel and Ahab than with Elijah. I’m working to build a tolerant, pluralistic society that respects other faith traditions. I’ve devoted ten years of my life to calling the church to repentance and transformation, on account of its homophobia and heterosexism, its narrowness and its prejudice. I don’t have any sympathy for the austere Yahwehism of the prophet Elijah and his quick to kill and “throw to the dogs” invocation of judgment and divine retribution. Elijah would have stoned me without a second thought. Jezebel was an enlightened woman – I reckon she’d give the likes of me a fair go.” Dr. David Bromell Pentecost Sunday Sermon, 1998. Methodist Mission Church, Christchurch.

Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess. She leads and teaches my bondservants astray so that they commit acts of immorality. I gave her time to repent and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold I will cast her upon a bed of sickness and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with the plague and all the churches will know that I AM HE who searches the minds and hearts and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Jesus Christ, Ruler of the kings of the earth and Husband of a pure bride, Rev 2:20-23

The dream was so vivid. In it, my young friend dreamt that he was about to be married to a well known seductive entertainer. She knew she had him wrapped around her finger. Her powerful spell of seduction began to take control of him. Suddenly he came to his senses. “I know who you are! You are Jezebel!” he shouted out in the dream. The demonic spell was broken. This dream changed this young man’s life forever. He repented from a love for the world and now stands as a holy testimony for God, even as he works in the midst of Hollywood’s seductive entertainment culture. America as a nation must come to such an awakening as this young man.

As it is in America today, so it was in Israel in the days of King Ahab.

Elijah was determined to turn back the nation to God and his message was for repentance from compromise with the spirit of Jezebel. “How long will you halt between two opinions. If Baal is God serve him, but if God is God, serve Him.” Summed up, Elijah’s revolutionary challenge to his nation was, “NO TOLERATION!” The same command of God can be heard 2000 years later where the spirit of Jezebel is exposed in the Church at Thyatira. Jesus dictates a strongly worded letter to them:

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess…” (Rev 2:18-20)

In the midst of a church tolerating sexual laxity and promoting a casual approach to sin, God says, “I have this against you, you tolerate the woman Jezebel who seduces my bondservants into sexual immorality.”

“..the eternal Word specifically described Himself as “He who searches the minds and hearts” (Rev 2:23), for it is in the inner sanctuary of our private soul-life where tolerance to Jezebel begins. It is here, within us, where tolerance must end… This spirit was sitting in the church in Thyatira when it was exposed by the Holy Spirit nineteen hundred years ago. It still has its favorite seat in church. There are respectable men who love God and who seek to serve Him, yet secretly in their hearts are prisoners of Jezebel. Even now, they are deeply ashamed of their bondage to pornography, and they can barely control their desires for women. Ask them to pray and their spirits are awash with guilt and shame. Their prayers are but the whimpers of Jezebel’s eunuchs.” (The Jezebel Spirit by Francis Frangipane)

We all know the story of Jezebel perched in the window with her make-up on, trying one last time to seduce her way out of judgment. (2 Kings 9:30) Jehu looks up at her in the window and commands her eunuch attendants to throw her down! Hundreds of years later, Jesus said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. If someone were to gaze into your eyes, what would they see? Would they see Jezebel and her seductive compromises enthroned there? “Or would they see the burning One with pure blazing eyes of fire and feet burnished with bronze?” (Judah Smith) This is the New Testament description of Jesus when He comes to confront the sexual compromise in the church.

“I will set no vile thing before my eyes.”(Psalm 101:3) “Death has climbed in through our windows… it has cut off our children from the streets.” (Jeremiah 9:21) Our eye windows are particularly vulnerable in this age of technology. We are flooded with images. Most of us take this for granted as a part of daily life, yet we forget that until little more than a century ago, photographs did not even exist and the only visual images people ever saw were those drawn or painted by artists. This severely limited the amount of visual information a person had to process. It also meant that the tide of pornography as we know it today was unthinkable back then. As a generation that has been born in this climate, we hardly even notice the vile thing it is! I am preaching to myself as well as to those who read. The pastors and leaders of this nation are being called to be the first to repent.

Then he said to me, son of man do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his own carved images.” (Ezekiel 8:12) If God were to dig in the dark room of our own imaginations what photographs would he see there?

I urge you, in the fear of God, to examine your “windows.” What have you been watching? Are you irresistibly drawn to those sites on the Internet that are perverse and defiling? Are you addicted to pornography? Have you been seduced by entertainment and computer games? Let me ask you, “What’s in your imaginations?” The spirit of Jezebel works in the imaginations. Don’t say, “Oh, I can handle this.” Listen, if you let that seed get in your heart, it will kill your prophetic fire with its little compromises. Pornography is toleration. Homosexuality and fornication are toleration. Books, magazines and movies that allure our hearts away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ are all tolerations. Rebellion toward parents and leaders are toleration. Is this struggle going on in your soul? God wants to set us free! Go and see your pastor or someone in leadership today and confess your sins if you are in bondage to these things. Thank God for his mercy for if God counted sin, then who could stand? I boast alone in the great mercies of God. And may God show mercy to this nation.

Jezebel’s worst enemies are the prophets; her worst fear is that the people will embrace repentance. Jezebel hates repentance.” (Jezebel Spirit, By Francis Frangipane)

In a culture saturated with sexual sin, Elijah strides onto the stage of history and confronts Jezebel only to find himself under her very spell. On a 40-day fast he breaks the power of that spell and unleashes a new generation of leaders to end her vile reign. If Elijah is coming again before the great and terrible day of the Lord, then we know that Jezebel is coming as well. The 40-day fast is the mighty weapon to break her spell of addictions, sexual bondage, mental torment, suicidal thoughts, disorders and diseases. What would happen in America and the nations if tens of thousands of fathers and mothers, the Elijahs of today, fasted for 40 days intensely repenting and cleansing themselves of inward toleration of sexual immorality, addiction to entertainment and spiritual apathy? What if these parents prayed for their children for 40 days to break off rebellion and release revelation of the Lord into their hearts? What if a young generation of Elishas fasted for 40 days to be cleansed from lust, TV addictions, pornography, spiritual mediocrity, and rebellion toward their parents believing that a double portion of the Holy Spirit will rest on their lives?

What would happen if tens of thousands would pray Song of Solomon 8:6? “Lord, put your fiery love as a seal over my heart, capture me with your vehement flame of love, a love stronger than the flames of lust. Send this fiery love over a whole generation, a love that many waters cannot overflow.”This is the Lord’s answer! The earth will experience spiritual convulsions, the powers of darkness will tremble and the children of God will break forth with freedom and a great light of spiritual awakening will dawn all over the earth. Lord, right now I release Elijah’s 40-day fast for freedom and deliverance. And may there be a shout in the nations, “No Toleration!”

In Jesus’ name, Amen. Lou Engle

2 comments:

Brandon said...

Man that's powerful. I gotta let that sink in.

I think if you're really being obedient then these things wouldn't be plaguing us like that.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I sit down or go to my mail box and there is media of any kind that has a naked-like woman on it. I have a choice at that moment, look at it or get rid of it. The holy spirit is always with us, how often we ignore Him and go our own way. It's not the fire we need, its an obedient heart, a willingness and wanting to love the father.

Again this is just me... maybe I'm out of touch?

Brian Francis Hume said...

Brandon,

Thanks for the comment. It is always good to have new visitors!

You are definitely right about having that choice - yet, many in the Body of Christ have forfeited their ability to make that choice because their hearts are enslaved by the whims of lust. One of my former mentors told me this concerning the path of lust: "You make the choice, but then the choice makes you." We think we can get by with a casual glance at the magazine rack or a double take at some girl at the store. But, each time we do that it weakens our ability to resist temptation.

I commend you for being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! (2 Timothy 2:1) This is the hour that the Lord is raising up men and women who possess the fortitude of Christlikeness within their inner life.

I'm looking forward to checking out your blog. Blessings!

Brian