John the Baptist spoke to the religious leaders of his day when they came to see him baptising, “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matt 3:8).
Why is it that people who were reading the word of God could be so heartless and inconsiderate to their fellow believers? Clearly they were not right in their hearts before God and refused to follow His ways and had developed into self-seeking, self-gratifying, evil creatures.
It was Jesus who harshly called these leaders “vipers and snakes” (Matt. 23:33) and tellingly accused them of having the devil as their father (John 8:44). They demanded all control as they went about as wolves in sheep’s clothing destroying everything that God was doing in people.
This same spirit exists in the world today and it still presents an obstacle to believers. It pretends to be a part of the team, and to all intents and appearances it talks the talk and walks the walk, but it secretly sets about destroying those in leadership positions to install itself in that position. To these people Jesus gave an extreme prophecy:
“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds” (Rev.2:22).
I’d say it was impossible that a person in active ministry for Jesus would never encounter this evil spirit. They are beguiling as they appear to be innocently gaining control over peoples’ lives. Anyone who is seen as a threat is criticised and attacked, sometimes viciously.
Watch out for this unrepentant spirit and, like Elijah, flee from it. Pray that it may manifest and show its true colours so that others may not be deceived by it. Don’t be afraid to call it out like Jesus did – there is always hope that in the end the person will repent.
*All quotes from NLT.