I know this sounds crazy. I know my critics will howl. I can simply say that I experienced what I experienced, and if you believe the words of the Bible, nothing I say should shock you.
After all, Paul wrote, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
There really is an array of demonic powers set against us, and spiritual warfare is as real as natural warfare. The battle can be intense.
In this case, when I speak of encountering the spirit of Jezebel, I mean that I encountered the same kind of demonic forces that worked through this wicked queen 3,000 years ago. And just as Queen Jezebel was demonically empowered to silence the prophets in ancient Israel, these same spiritual forces seek to silence us today.
The first time I encountered this Jezebel-type demonic power came shortly after I felt burdened to bring a message of repentance and revival to our nation.
The moment I began to release the message, it was as if all hell broke loose against Nancy, my wife, and me, and even ministry became a total drag for me.
I had been preaching since I was eighteen, starting in 1973, and I loved to travel and minister the Word. But during that time of spiritual attack, I dreaded it. I didn’t want to get on a plane. I didn’t want to stand behind the pulpit. The warfare was like nothing I had ever experienced, and I had to pray for several hours at a time just to get to the starting line.
Above all, I felt spiritually emasculated – not by a person, but by some demonic power. I felt intimidated. I was hit by fears. (All this was totally unusual for me.) I felt a constant challenge against bringing any type of confrontational message, and it was easy to understand what was happening.
“This is just like Jezebel and Elijah!” I thought to myself. (Lest anyone misunderstand me, I was not comparing myself to Elijah. I was thinking about how Jezebel attacked and intimidated those with a prophetic message.)
By God’s grace, and after serious, extended prayer, coupled with fasting, the stronghold was broken. But, to repeat, it was miserable. Nancy would affirm this as well.
Then, while traveling with Nancy and a small team in India in 1994, I encountered this Jezebelic spirit again.
We were preparing to minister in the city of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, and my Indian colleague and I had a burden to confront the idol worshiped by millions in the state of Andhra. It was a female deity named Kanaka Durga, whose big temple was housed on a mountain in that city. God had put a message in my heart to call on the Hindu priests and the worshipers of this idol and to have a public service and ask who the real god was, Kanaka Durga or Yahweh.
We were in India for about one month, and as we got closer to our time in Vijayawada, I began to feel that same type of oppression, very similar to what I experienced almost some years earlier. I felt emasculated spiritually. I felt I had no authority. I felt intimidated by the challenge of preaching against idolatry. Shades of Jezebel once again!
So I asked my colleague, Bro. Yesupadam, to tell me a little about this goddess. What did her statue look like? And was there anything unusual about the worship associated with her?
He described this powerful, false deity, a warrior goddess with multiple arms, and in one of her hands, she held the head of a giant she had conquered. He also told me that once a year, her male worshipers would put on women’s clothes and wear makeup. Seriously! Talk about an intimidating, emasculating, demonic image.
When I subsequently researched things for myself, I learned that this warrior “goddess” was depicted as a beautiful woman (remember how seductive Jezebel was!). But she rode on the back of a fierce lion, holding a spear in one of her many hands.
And, what my friend described as the head of a giant was actually the image of the demon King Mahishasura, whom Durga vanquished, according to Hindu myth. In the image I’m looking at now, the spear has pierced his side, which is gushing blood, as he looks back over his shoulder, with fear, at his conqueror.
This is what I was encountering in the spirit – a demonic entity, represented in Hindu myth by this goddess. And it was so reminiscent of my earlier encounter with this Jezebel-type of satanic power.
Thankfully, we had an incredible breakthrough in Vijayawada, and many Hindus were powerfully touched. As we proclaimed on that memorable night, “Kanaka Durga is not lord! Jesus is Lord!”
But once again I realized how real these demonic powers are and how we must be hidden in God to bring them down.
In my just-released book, Jezebel’s War with America, I explain how the war on gender today, along with the rise of gay activism, ties in directly with this Jezebelic, demonic attack.
And as I spoke on this theme recently at a church in Florida, an Indian woman came up to me afterwards, confirming every word I spoke. Then she asked me, “Are you aware that Kanaka Durga is worshiped as the god of the transgenders and homosexuals?”
I was stunned to hear this, given my experience in India in 1994, but a few minutes of searching online confirmed what she said. (See here and here.) In fact, Kanaka Durga is now depicted as half male and half female.
What I encountered in 1994 was very real, and very intense.
But Jesus remains Lord, and as we proclaim him on every front, Jezebel will be defeated.