The Prophetic Power of the Tongue
The worship of Baal in the Old Testament of the Bible was characterized by its false prophets. 450 alone, sat to eat at queen Jezebel’s table. In the same way, the spirit of Baal manifests itself in the Body of Christ today, through false prophets and false prophecy. ONE of the ways it manifests is through the negative or destructive words that people speak about others.
The bible says that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy, and one of the ways he will do this is through the words of our own mouths
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”.(John 10:10)
Queen Jezebel in the Old Testament was a worshipper of Baal and just like our adversary the devil she was hungry for control and power. She tried to exert control over others through the power of the tongue, including through the false prophets of Baal. The Bible declares; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
Don’t Partner With Jezebel’s Work
Just as Elijah and King Jehu found (see 1 Kings 19:2 and 2 Kings 9: 31), after any great victory over Baal, you can expect the spirit of Jezebel to retaliate. She will do this by using thoughts of intimidation, accusation and confusion; trying to gain your hearts agreement so you will give her words power by speaking them out. She will also incite others to do her dirty work for her; others who may pray their own purposes against you, or release curses over you through the negativity of their mouths. We are clearly told in the word: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14).
Whether we realize it or not, our words activate a direct response in the spiritual realm.
When our words are good, speaking in agreement with the word of God, they activate the Spirit of God to move on our behalf, bringing forth life. But when our words are evil, speaking things contrary to the word of God, they activate demonic spirits to move against us, or those we are speaking about, bringing forth death.
Protecting the Next Generation
Those who were worshippers of Baal in the old testament were known for sacrificing their sons in the fire, destroying the lives of the next generation! God said that this was a thing that had never entered His mind for them to do. “They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind” (Jeremiah 19:5).
The consequences for those who did this were severe: “Therefore behold the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet (meaning “place of burning” or “place of fire”) or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (A geographical location close to the walls of Jerusalem, from which the Greek word Gehenna in the New Testament is derived from, being a ‘type of hell’), but the Valley of Slaughter” (Jeremiah 19:6).
When we speak against the church, the leadership of the church, or others in the body of Christ, we release cursing words that flow down to affect the next generation.
Wrong Words Spread Like a Fire
The book of James says our wrong words are sparks that spread like a fire. That is because our words have a power (see also my previous article “the creative power of words”): “even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity (*unrighteousness, injustice, morally wrongful). The tongue is so set among our members (*A limb or part of the body) that it defiles the whole body (*a number of men closely united into one society, as in the New Testament Church), and sets on fire the course of nature (*generation, natural, nature); and it is set on fire by hell (*Hell, hell fire, Gehenna, Valley Of Hinnom)” (James 3:5 & 6). (*Translation from the Greek, from Strong’s concordance).
The word used for nature in verse six is directly translated generation! Strong’s concordance also outlines nature as “a book of one’s lineage, i.e., in which his ancestry or progeny are enumerated (or mentioned separately as if counting, named one by one).”
It is no coincidence that James says that the tongue “sets on fire the course of nature (one’s lineage or the next generation) and it is set on fire by hell”(Gehenna or the Valley of Hinnom); In exactly the same way as those who shed innocent blood by sacrificing their sons to Baal in the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna or hell), innocent blood is still being shed today.
Through our wrong words the next generation is still being destroyed, being set on fire by hell
- Wrong words have demonic spirits working behind them.
- Our wrong words destroy the lives of the next generation!
- When we speak cursing words over the church; the church leadership; or others in the body of Christ, we destroy the future of the church!
Test the Spirits
Every time we open our mouths or hear the words of others, we need to have a ‘listening ear’ to discern what spirit is operating.
Every spirit that is not of God whether we recognize it or not; actively undermines the purposes of Christ
We are not warned to discern the spirits in others to point out other’s faults, but so that we can be forewarned. The bible clearly tells us: “beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (acknowledging the fully redemptive purpose of Christ through the finished work of the cross) is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (who refuses to acknowledge the fully redemptive work of the cross) is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4: 1-3).
“Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them”.(1 Corinthians 16:17)
People who stir up strife are not always in obvious contention with others, but deceive the unsuspecting through their smooth words and flattering speech!
“For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (*innocent or unsuspecting, harmless, simple)”. (*Strong’s Concordance).(Romans 16:18)
Beware of False Prophets, Apostles and Teachers.
A wrong spirit operating out of the mouth of just one person can be detrimental to our spiritual health, especially when we are unsuspecting of those we trust.
Just one person operating out of a ‘spirit of strife’ can subtly stir up a lot of confusion, dissension and conflict within the body of Christ
There are serious warnings in the bible about false prophets, false apostles and false teachers. In 2 Peter chapter 2 we see another reference to false prophecy being connected to the error of Balaam, who was deceived by the love of money. The apostle Peter describes these false prophets and false teachers to us: “they have forsaken the right way and gone astray (to forsake it means they once followed the right way but abandoned it), following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 peter2:15).
The apostle peter describes these people as those who are deceived, but like Judas Iscariot, they eat at the table with you.
These people gain access to you by being close to you!
“They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you”.(2 Peter 2:13)
Again Jude describes false apostles who deny the Lord Jesus Christ (read the whole chapter of Jude): “woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves” (Jude 1:11 & 12).
A Final Warning for False Prophets!
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven’. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”.(Matthew 7:21-23)
The Outworkings of Death in the Body of Christ
Jeremiah went on to say that their counsel (*advice, advisement, counsel) would be taken away; that they would fall by the sword by the hands of their enemies and make their city desolate (*desolation, ruin, waste, astonishment). (*Strong’s Concordance).
What a Picture of Utter Defeat!
“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives (hence the name Valley of Slaughter); their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. I will make this city desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues”.(Jeremiah 19:7-8)
We don’t often see with our natural eyes the workings of the spirit realm, but we do see its manifestations, including in the lives of those in the body of Christ
When cursing words are spoken over others, and resident sin or unforgiveness gives them cause to alight (See Proverbs 26:2-4); there will be increased manifestations of — sexual immorality and sexual sin; an increase in sicknesses, addictions, bondages, anxieties and depressions; divisions, contentions and all manner of strife. These are all designed by the enemy to incapacitate its members and cause disruption in the body of Christ; placing in jeopardy their own salvation and rendering them incapable of reaching the lost. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5: 19-21).
“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there”.(James 3:16)
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war”.(James 4:1 & 2)
God’s word — for good or for evil — you choose
When addressing any issue in the body of Christ, God always leaves mankind the freedom of choice. This was the Lord’s promise to the Israelites who listened to His warnings and obeyed the words that He spoke: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive”
But to those who refused Him and chose the words of lying prophets instead, He said: “Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon (these were false prophets)” – therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brethren who have not gone out with you into captivity — thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad” (Jeremiah 29:15-17).
This reference to a basket of rotten figs comes from Jeremiah 24: 1-10. God proclaimed that those whom He sent into exile were sent there for their own good, so that they would return to him with a whole heart. Those who did not suffer exile did not learn from their mistakes. Jeremiah went on to say that those people who chose the words of lying prophets, who were once called by God’s name, would become a curse and a reproach among the nations instead. What a horrendous thing for the people of God to become, all as a result of their disobedience!
Let it not be like that for us in the body of Christ!
Ask and You Shall Receive
James goes on to talk about fights and wars in the body of Christ: “Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2 & 3).
If we truly believe that God is a loving Father who gives good gifts to His children, then we need only to come to Him and ask. But there is an added ‘therefore’ that releases God’s blessing through others: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12).
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you”.(Luke 6:38)
It Begins with the Heart of the Leadership
The leadership of any household; church congregation, business corporation, or nation, etc. cannot lead its members through the process of sanctification when it has not first walked through it itself.
When we have ‘walked the talk’ ourselves, we then have the anointing from God to teach others.
“The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider. Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity (*perversity, moral evil, fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment, sin), a brood of evildoers; children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment”. (*Strong’s Concordance).(Isaiah 1:3-6)
As we begin to partner in agreement with God — doing those things that he says — we will see the body of Christ restored
Sickness will be healed; broken hearts will be mended; addictions and bondages broken; and contentions and divisions will cease.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! it is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments, it is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing — Life forevermore”.(Psalm 133)
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
For further help and a word of caution to prepare your own heart carefully before confronting the spirit of Baal, see my previous article “Overcoming the Spirit of Baal.”
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I ask for Your forgiveness for any way in which I have partnered with the spirits of Baal or Jezebel, by making agreement in my heart and allowing them to convey their messages through me. I repent of and renounce every cursing word I have ever spoken, and I pray that You would lift those curses off the lives of me and all others, and the next generations to come, in Jesus’ name. I pray that You would convict me every time I am about to do this. Help me, Lord, to be one who would bless and not curse, speaking well of others with my mouth. I ask You to deal with any ongoing issues within my heart that would cause me to do this, for Matthew 12:34 declares: ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ I thank You in agreement with Your word in Philippians 1:6, which declares that You are faithful to continue to complete this work in me, until our Lord Jesus returns. In Jesus’ name, Amen”.