I do not know, and nor do I need to know any of the specifics of what has caused the latest moral failure of one of our precious brothers in the most recent casualty of spiritual warfare. However, I hope to reveal a modern tool of the enemy, one that is not openly seductive or initially noticeably attractive. The “sleeping seductress” plan has a different kind of cunning, a sly system of warfare and proven tools of destruction. I have never heard of anyone else describe this satanic strategy, however, I have personally experienced this spirit’s subtle approach and suffered the heartache of its bite. We must realize it can come as a he or a she and is more powerful in these last days.
Almost 14 years ago, in March of 1987, it was announced that televangelist Jim Baker was stepping down from his position as the worldwide leader of PTL ministries due to sexual sin. Less than a year later, the world experienced an even bigger shock wave from the spiritual earthquakes that are rocking the planet all too frequently in these last days. Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart had fallen morally as well. In February of 1988 he announced to his congregation and to his worldwide audience that he was stepping down from his ministry until further notice.
I remember these men’s subsequent public confessions and the inside information eventually disclosed by confidents of both men. This information revealed that lurking behind the scenes, wrapped up in Satan’s sinister premeditated plans, was the Jezebel tool of our eternal enemy. Unlike the traditional image of Jezebel as characterized in the movies, this temptress’s plan was not designed to trick someone into some quick passionate sex. I call this seductress a sleeping Jezebel! These carefully camouflaged traps, custom designed for each of them, were only successful because both men were drawn away by their own hidden lusts, just as the scripture warns concerning temptation. These global spiritual leaders, each touching millions of lives a week, were brought down because they were somehow blinded, perhaps by their own pride, and because they ignored the gently repeated warnings of the Holy Spirit.
Tragically, so many leaders have fallen over the last couple of years that we have come to accept moral failures as commonplace. May we all feel the responsibility to never idolize any man or woman, and to also remember to pray for our pastors and the spiritual leaders of the world at this critical time in history! We must realize that none are immune, and that Jesus, referring to the last days, warned “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows he has but a short time” Revelation 12:12b (NKJV). I have come to realize that what I too experienced in my life was the most preplanned and complex yet subtle attack of the enemy that had I ever experienced or ever even heard of!
In every case whose details I have heard, a similar confession emerges from all the men. “God was working on my heart throughout this subtle deception, warning me, bringing scriptures to mind, even in some cases delivering warnings through concerned comrades in the faith,” as He did to me. In my particular case, thankfully the situation did not lead to a ministry failure on my part, but it could have. God even gave me the mental picture of a cougar and spoke a stern warning to my heart using a phrase that He knew that I would understand! However, I continued on the same path, which led to a lot of heartaches.
Peter warned “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced in your brotherhood in the world.” 1st Peter 5:8,9(NKJV). Take note, my brothers and sisters, especially those in leadership. Even though you probably have memorized hundreds of scriptures, including this one, realize that even exegeting every word of these verses, seeking total understanding, probably will not stop your passions! You see, God giving me a stern warning and an image of a cougar (a cousin to the lion family) did not stop me! I simply did not recognize that the situation warranted any alarm. Similarly, your situation may seem as innocent as a lamb, but may in actuality be a demonic wolf coming to devour your credibility!
Playing “dead” is a method often taught to soldiers as a warfare survival mechanism. Satan has adapted this strategy to many an unsuspecting victim. In these last days, he utilizes more of a “sleeping” or “undercover” mode to hide the true personality of an individual in order to eventually sabotage a leader and ultimately destroy their reputation. Striking at just the right time, a time, which is pre-designed to be the worst time for you, he can affect a local church or even an international ministry.
In this hour I want to warn you, my brothers and sisters, to prayerfully suspect the unexpected! Whatever you do, do not ignore the Holy Spirit’s warnings, which are most generally not loud warnings, but are instead His still small voice, whispering deep in your heart. Take note, sometimes the person that is loved in the church or ministry, the one who is popular, could be a plant! The one subtly involved in several ministries and can even seem naturally and spiritually gifted, can be the vessel that houses the “sleeping Jezebel” sent to destroy your integrity, your ministry, and possibly even your life itself! This is no time to be worried about being overly cautious, but as Peter warned, it is a time to be alert, to daily crucify your flesh, remembering that the instincts, which protected you in the past will be of little use in this hour. Who will fall into moral failure next? Prayerfully, not you!