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The Lakota people are not without remedy for the hopelessness and despair that has robbed them of years of peace and joy. Their deliverance — their restoration rests in recognizing the source of their sin, repentance and surrender to the only ONE TRUE GOD.
Hopelessness Is Not Hopeless
Photo by Dyaa Eldin / Unsplash

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Visit

Articles and books have been written about the “spirit of Jezebel” or the “Jezebel spirit” from many perspectives. Some see this spirit working through individuals while others recognize it in their churches, etc. The problem is, sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture especially when we consider how the Church at Thyatira in Revelation seems to be under the control or power of a spirit of Jezebel.

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches the mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works” (Revelation 2:18-23).

Several years ago I had the privilege of visiting Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The few short days I spent there have left a profound impression on me. I’ve prayed and meditated on the issues that seem to have driven the people to a state of utter hopelessness, poverty and despair. I saw it (naturally and spiritually) while there, and have since been learning more about the history and how the plight of the Lakota seems to have been passed down from generation to generation. To me, it seems we’re not looking beyond the sin to identify the spirit of lawlessness that seems to have established itself as a strongman or a principality (spiritual forces of evil) over the entire Reservation (see Eph 6:12).

When John, while on the Isle of Patmos, penned the letters to the seven churches of Asia, he wasn’t addressing the First Baptist Church on the corner of High and Main. Rather, he was writing to the BODY — the ecclesia — within a certain city like Smyrna, Thyatira, Ephesus, Pergamum, etc. However, the tendency is for us to read these letters and use them to label a local assembly or an individual whose actions may be suspect rather than looking at the bigger picture—the picture painted by John the Revelator. It seems that there may have been more than a hint of a demonic principality at work in Thyatira, impacting the BODY in that entire geographical region. I truly doubt John’s letters were to specific local congregations just from the fact that he addressed the letters to a city/region rather than the “Congregation meeting on High Street” or the “Believers at the Synagogue of Stephen”. The letters were addressed to the collective assemblies in specific regions or territories or cities.

If we were to take the letter to the Church in Thyatira and change the name to the letter to the “Church at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,” it would be easy to see a powerful revelation of the root problem. This isn’t a matter of one local church or denomination failing to be the Church on the Reservation, it’s a matter of the Body of Christ throughout the region failing to acknowledge the source of the problem and enter into the spiritual fray for righteousness. Utter hopelessness and despair, anger and hatred, not to mention sexual abuse, incest, drunkenness, gambling, and drug abuse is at work throughout the Rez and killing the kids through suicide.

Although there are some true believers who live on the Rez, the general population (based on verifiable statistics) is the product of seducing spirits. It has become a way of life, like a black cloud separating this region from the brightness of the glory of God! It’s not a physical cloud although you can see it and feel it and are very much aware of its presence no matter where you travel on the Rez.

An article I recently read says, “when you find a spirit of Jezebel operating you will also find an ‘Ahab’ nearby, or someone in leadership who is allowing the spirit access and control.” When I read this, I immediately began to think of the Tribal Leaders — those who who have carried the ancient practices and beliefs forward from generation to generation. They are literally allowing or granting this spirit entrance to have access and control! By not acknowledging the ancestry worship as pagan and of an anti-Christ spirit, they instead glorify the ways and practices of their ancestors.

But, there is a fine line here that needs to be noted. The lifestyle of the ancients wasn’t bad — it was the spirit worship, mysticism, rituals, symbols, culture of death, superstition and the supernatural. Many people have found elements of redemptive analogy in the forms and practices of Lakota worship — types and shadows of the Truth that could be used to communicate the Truth — but I contend that these practices are more akin to falsifying or watering down the Truth while allowing the people to adapt it to their own cultural beliefs and practices. Again, there is beauty in the natury lifestyle culture which is not to be confused with the pagan worship culture, though they are closely related, hence the thin line that separates the two.

As a ministry in this area, it is needful to recognize and acknowledge the holy from the profane — the good elements of the Lakota culture that are worth preserving and passing on while dissecting from it the profane and unholy practices of ancient spirit worship. But before any disassembling of ancient worship rituals can take place, the “strong man” must be revealed and exposed as the propagator of evil, spiritually and physically destructive, and of an antiChrist spirit. This is where the battle lies — not with the drunkards or gamblers or even the sexual abusers themselves. The root of the battle must be directed toward the bearers and promoters of the spirit of antiChrist on the Reservation. Until they are identified and stopped, the oppressive hopelessness will continue to kill, steal and destroy the people — men, women and children alike.

It is absolutely necessary to enlist the pastors and Christian leaders, both on and off the Reservation, to come together on common ground and begin to understand that they’ll not make much headway in their local congregations until the demonic principality is recognized and rendered powerless by the power of the blood of Yeshua. Unity is essential. Setting aside denominational differences is critical. Becoming one in Yeshua is of paramount importance. Being of one mind and in one accord doing battle against the demonic hold over the entire region. And, once that hold begins to loosen in the Name of Yeshua, then it will be time to begin the work within the local congregations to bring salvation and deliverance and healing to the people, one by one. Until this occurs, however, most any spiritual breakthroughs will be superficial and temporary, ultimately making a mockery of the cross as it appears to be powerless against the strongman literally choking the life out of those who dwell on the Reservation.

Anything less than starting at the top and working down is only putting a bandaid on a festering wound and a temporary fix that has the potential to promote further infection. The Rez needs the antibiotic that will cleanse the infection — the all powerful, pure and perfect blood of Jesus.

“…I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil. Behold I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of the sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it...” (Jer 33:5-9).

The Lakota people are not without remedy for the hopelessness and despair that has robbed them of years of peace and joy. Their deliverance — the restoration of their glory as a people created by God — rests in recognizing the source of their sin, repentance and surrender to the Lord God, the Sovereign Creator of the Universe — the only ONE TRUE GOD.

“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" (Jer 33:11).