A myriad of prophetic words have been released regarding 2015, which coincide with Shemittah year 5775. While some prophets are declaring that 2015 will be a year of escalating terrorism, war, pestilence and economic collapse, others are declaring that it will be a turnaround year of divine reversals, breakthrough, multiplied grace and new beginnings. On the surface it seems as if these prophetic declarations contradict one another, bringing confusion to some within the body.
However, when these diverse prophecies are prayerfully evaluated, embraced and executed, the bride will be victorious in the season ahead. For instance, prophetic warnings regarding impending global judgments should catalyze the faithful to mobilize prayer and evangelistic relief efforts. Solemn prophetic rebukes to the worldly and lukewarm should lead them to profound repentance. Inspirational prophetic words should renew vision and restore hope among those who have forsaken all to fulfill the Master's end-time harvest strategies (Ps. 91:5-6, Esth. 9:25).
Regarding the Shemittah year 5775, it is crucial that the remnant church understand and execute all aspects of the divine directives associated with this pivotal year. In Scripture, Shemittah is the seventh or Sabbath year of a seven-year cycle, during which Israel left their fields fallow and released all debts. In fact, the word Shemittah is a Hebrew word meaning "release."
A Shemittah year is one in which nations honoring Jehovah and Israel experience peace, blessing, freedom and exaltation, while those who dishonor the Lord often reap destruction and hardship. Regrettably, the past two Shemittah years, 5761 (2001) and 5768 (2008), were characterized by terrorism and economic judgment (Deut. 15:1-2).
What is not commonly known about Shemittah is that it is derived from the Hebrew root word "shamat," which is used nine times in Scripture. In three instances "shamat" is translated "throw down" and is used in the passage where Jehu commanded two eunuchs to throw Jezebel down from a second story window, killing her. Jezebel's demise at the hands of Jehu ultimately resulted in the obliteration of Baal worship in Israel.
Could it be in this Shemittah year that the preparation of the bride and expansion of the kingdom of heaven on earth are contingent upon the exposition and elimination of the Jezebel spirits among us?
2 Kings 9:33 "He said, 'Drop her down.' So they dropped her down and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses. Then he trampled her."
Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab, who reigned in Israel during the time of Elijah. Ahab and Jezebel were devout worshippers of Baal and Asherah, and led all of Israel into idolatry. Jezebel hated and massacred all of the Lord's prophets, except for Elijah and 100 prophets of the Lord that were hid in caves by Obadiah, the palace governor (1 Kin. 18:4).
Jezebel is witchcraft personified. Witchcraft is a rebellious work of the flesh, exercising counterfeit spiritual authority to manipulate others for selfish, ambitious purposes. Jezebel can operate through a man or woman and has three main modes of operation, the first being Gain and Maintain the Platform.
Through a political spirit, Jezebel attempts to manipulate leaders through flattery, favors or finances to gain favor. Once Jezebel shares a platform with legitimate authority, she abuses that platform to achieve her personal agenda. If this first mode of operation fails, Jezebel uses witchcraft in an attempt to Seduce and Reduce Leadership.
Through a seducing spirit, Jezebel often traps leaders through sexual sin. In the church, Jezebel operates through a religious spirit, sometimes posing as a prophet or prophetess to usurp spiritual authority. When leaders compromise morally or spiritually, guilt causes them to forfeit their spiritual authority, opening the door for Jezebel to take over. If these first two forms of manipulation will not work, Jezebel then aggressively plays the Blame and Shame Game.
Through a spirit of fear, Jezebel will use ridicule to demean and undermine or use intimidation to threaten and challenge legitimate leaders in an attempt to overthrow them (1 Sam. 15:23, Rev. 2:20).
While there are many legitimate reasons for the spiritually lukewarm condition of the church worldwide, one principal root cause is compromise in our pulpits. While some messengers have been deceived into becoming Mammonites, hedonists or narcissists, others have been seduced, intimidated or in some other way manipulated by Jezebel. Consequently, the gospel truth has been compromised. Prophetic messages on repentance, holiness, the fear of the Lord, travailing intercession, the burden of the Lord and the fellowship of Christ's sufferings have been exchanged for a self-centered gospel of prosperity and boundless grace.
In effect, many messengers have tickled the ears instead of touched the hearts of their congregants, heralding what members want to hear instead of what they need to hear. As a result, the church at large is complacent, unarmed, egocentric and ineffective. Without a doubt, in order for the church to be transformed into an energized, equipped, selfless and formidable army, we need a new order of messengers to emerge—an Elisha company.
While Elijah challenged and executed the 450 prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, he feared Jezebel and therefore failed to confront her 400 prophets of Asherah. Three years later these 400 prophets counseled Israel's king to war against Syria—a war in which Israel was defeated and King Ahab was killed (I Kings 18:19; 22:6). Intimidated by Jezebel, Elijah ran for his life, prayed that he would die and resigned from his prophetic ministry. However, under the ministry of Elisha, Elijah's replacement, Jehu emerged to execute Jezebel and eradicate Baal worship in Israel.
In this Shemittah year, it is crucial that a bold, uncompromising order of messengers begin to emerge in the spirit of Elisha to preach repentance and an inspirational kingdom gospel that will catalyze a remnant. Only then can a Jehu army arise in the zeal of the Lord to violently throw down Jezebel—the prophet killer, and eradicate Baal worship throughout the world (2 Kings 9:30–10:28).
Father, raise up an Elisha company of messengers in this hour. Let them break off all chains of Jezebelic deception, manipulation, intimidation and compromise so that they might boldly preach prophetic, inspirational kingdom messages that cut to the heart. Use this new order of messengers to inspire and catalyze a Jehu army to arise and throw down Jezebel, in all of her expressions, throughout the world, in Jesus' name, amen.
Rob Winters is president of Prepare the Way International, an itinerant prophetic ministry based in Glendale, Arizona. He is author of numerous books, including Turning America Back to God and Prophets and Prophetic Ministry. For more information, visit his website at preparethewayint.com.