Characteristics of the Spirit of Elijah

“What is the Spirit of Elijah?” This question came to me from a young man during a recent Q&A session of a conference. Beyond the hunger of his heart, I heard the voice of Holy Spirit prompting his inquiry. Although we reference the Spirit of Elijah frequently in our revival culture, do we really grasp its nature or composite? Having answered the question from my reservoir of revelation, I later went back to the well for a deeper drink. There is much more to be said about the spirit of Elijah than has already been said. The following is an acrostic (E-L-I-J-A-H) revealing the nature of the Elijah spirit. Flow with me into deeper waters of understanding as we prepare our hearts for this last days shift of ministry.

E – Engaging

As I meditated on the spirit of Elijah, I heard the following in my spirit. “The rules of engagement are changing.” Jesus and His church have two clearly different protocols for interacting with the world. Simply read the gospel accounts and you’ll find yourself marveling at the boldness of Christ. He very purposefully wove His interactions in and out of very sinful, “secular”, and religious circles. The ministry and miracles of Christ also crossed over into non-religious territory (ie. Turning the Water into Wine at the Wedding in Cana; Healing the Syropheonician’s Gentile Daughter; Producing the Coin in the Fishes Mouth to Pay for Taxes). Jesus challenged the rules of engagement that the religious system had put in place. This is characteristic of the Elijah Spirit.

To examine the Spirit of Elijah, we can look at the lives of three biblical figures: Christ; Elijah, himself; and John the Baptist. The angel of the Lord prophesied to John’s father, Zacharias in John 1:17, “And it is he (John) who will go as a forerunner before Him (the Messiah) in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

John said of his mission in John 1:23, that he was called to “Make straight the way for the Lord.” Much of our religious ministry is based on making straight the way for the sinner. The Spirit of Elijah, however, is not sinner-focused, but Christ-focused. Making straight the way for the Lord requires one to break down hindrances and boundaries to the Kingdom in normal everyday life. The church has too many taboos, too many off-limit-zones that hinder Jesus from encountering people. The Spirit of Elijah fearlessly overwhelms barriers that keep Christ quarantined from the world. This, Elijah does by declaring the Way of the Lord. Whenever the Lord is exalted, hindrances and taboos among men are broken down. As the old saying goes, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”

Elijah engages governments. One-half of Elijah’s recorded miracles were interactions with the government or governmental figures. As the Lord’s return approaches, we can expect Father to raise up many who will boldly confront the governments of our world. These will wield signs and wonders testifying to the sovereign rule of the King of kings. Miraculous demonstrations will happen internationally, nationally, territorially, and locally as well. Witness will be given to a higher government, turning the hearts of earthly rulers back to their Heavenly Creator.

Elijah engages the Seven Mountains. No longer will the church be confined to its mountain of worship. The Spirit of Elijah makes straight the way of the Lord into the Seven Mountains of Societal Influence. More information, here… and here.

  1. Government
  2. Media
  3. Arts/Entertainment
  4. Education
  5. Business
  6. Family
  7. Religion

L – Legacy

Elijah cultivates and passes along a legacy. The very fact that we’re talking about him, today, is proof positive of a lasting legacy of fruitful ministry! Malachi 4:6 prophesies that he will “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” This must happen for transference of the Elijah mantle or spiritual legacy from one generation to the next.

Youth Magnets. Most every leader of modern revivals have exemplified a magnetic ability to attract young people to the move of God. Unfortunately, the church as an organization tends toward antiquation. The new wine of modernity is generally frowned upon. After working with young people for years, I’ve discovered no amount of intercessory prayer for the youth can overcome a crusty, rigid demonstration of Christianity. Up-and-coming generations will always reject any ministry or message that is unpliable, unimpassioned, or stale as day-old bread. It’s time to kick crotchety out of the church house. The legacy of Elijah is cultivated and transferred through people who possess certain of the following characteristics.

  • Accepting: Unconditionally accepting of youth.
  • Apologetic: Repentant for mistakes of the current generation.
  • Adaptable: Always a novice with an ear to the rails of innovation.
  • Attractive: Capable physically and mindful of tasteful outward appearance.
  • Accessible: Available for mentoring and fellowship.
  • Acknowledging: Recognizes and honors what God is doing in the next generation.

I – Illustrates

Elijah illustrates the message of the Kingdom with his lifestyle. Both Elijah and John wore a mantle of fur, speaking of their prophetic call. Both spent significant time in the wilderness or desert geography, sacrificing a life of ease. Both championed the cause of the poor and disadvantaged. Elijah took up the cause of the starving widow and her son. John ate locusts and wild honey, traditionally food for the homeless and squatters. Not just content to proclaim the message, they lived it to their own discomfort.

Whenever needful, Elijah illustrates the Word with miraculous demonstrations. There are 14 recorded major miracles in Elijah’s ministry, each affirming the Word and will of the Lord.

J – Jezebel

Elijah will draw out the Jezebel spirit. The greatest enemy of Elijah, Jezebel will try to stop, manipulate, seduce, or discredit this ministry through any number of diabolical schemes. Elijah triumphed over Jezebel but, John was martyred by Herodias, her New Testament counterpart. Likewise, we will either triumph or fall to this timeless spirit as we rise to confront the Ahab’s and Herod’s of our day. Here are some basic manifestations of the spirit of Jezebel to watch for. This spirit CANNOT be tolerated in your life and ministry.

  • Controlling
  • Hyper-spiritual
  • Alluring or flirtatious
  • Flattering
  • Self-promoting
  • Critical of long-standing relationships
  • Manipulative
  • Political
  • Divisive
  • Cruel
  • Religious
  • Secretive
  • Disregards protocol or rules
  • Dramatic
  • Guilt-inducing
  • Threatening

A – Avant-Garde

Elijah speaks of what is to come. Rather than long for the good ole’ days, he declares “eye has not seen and ear has not heard!” Avant-garde is defined as advanced and experimental in any group or field. Not afraid to pioneer new paths, Elijah braves the accusation of heresy to create a new normal within the Kingdom community. Synonyms for avant-garde include: unorthodox, daring, and radical. Elijah will raise eyebrows and fire up the traditional media and blogosphere with allegations of every evil. To the next generation, however, he is a hero and champion of revolution.

H – Humility

The highly confrontational personalities of Elijah and John the Baptist tend to overshadow their awesome humility. Elijah was willing to stand alone against Ahab and Jezebel. A person of pride would quickly fall to political power and the promise of prominence. Not Elijah! He withstood corruption by humbly representing the agenda of Jehovah instead of his own. This he did with no human support system, or Aaron and Hur.

Likewise, John the Baptist preached the gospel of another Whose sandals he felt unworthy to unlatch. Upon the emergence of Jesus’ ministry, two of John’s closest disciples left him to follow Christ. He willingly gave them to another ministry greater than his own. How we welcome the fresh wind of humility that is reviving the Spirit of Elijah in the church! Remember, Elijah is but a ministry of transition, not the end-game. He hands the bride to the coming bridegroom, beginning the ultimate reign of the King. Jesus told his disciples in Mark 9:12, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things.” It takes humility to restore that which has been cast off as unnecessary by prior generations. Restoration is indeed the work of the humble.

Elijah and Enoch

In recent days, I’ve entertained a possible connection between the Spirits of Elijah and Enoch. Both of these men are the only known two humans to escape death. It is argued that these men might be the two faithful witnesses who emerge during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Of a certainty, Elijah and Enoch generations are on the rise, today. Enoch represents the walk of unbroken intimacy with God. Hebrews 11:5 describes the life of Enoch. “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God.

Enoch lived to bring pleasure to God. This he did through perpetual communion and fellowship. Genesis 5:24 records, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” I don’t believe this was a metaphorical “walk with God” but a literal walk, such as Adam and Eve enjoyed. Don’t you want to walk with God? Those who do, like Enoch, will carry an unprecedented level of revelation.

We are witnessing the emergence of these two ministries. One voice that has captured the Spirit of Enoch, is Michele Perry. I highly recommend her book, An Invitation to the Supernatural Life, published by Chosen Books. You may also listen to a recent interview I conducted with Michele on my podcast entitled “Supernatural Living” at the AM Cafe Highlights. Here is a link to the podcast on iTunes.

I welcome your thoughts, comments and confirmations! Blessings and thank you for reading Defining Words. If you would like daily encouragement, visit my weekday blog at

15 thoughts on “Characteristics of the Spirit of Elijah

    • The spirit of Jezebel is active. It all makes sense now. You know it’s after you when you find yourself running away and praying to God to die – just like Elijah. Exhaustion, fear, and sexual perversion is always involved. Roots of rejection, insecurity, and pride make a good candidate for the Jezebel spirit. A Jezebel spirit can work on a wounded Christian. It is a spirit that many Christians give permission to operate. Many Christians don’t realize that they give it permission. I didnt until recently. In Revelation, Jesus rebuked a church for tolerating Jezebel. This spirit seems to be satan’s best way to stop Godly authority. Leaders need to be especially aware of it. This spirit isolates the Christian and causes them to dread. It’s easy for me to recognize, but its hard to combat. When you dread waking up, it makes functioning tough.

  1. I thank God for making you write this message for us, for me this message is beyond awesome. Now I fully understand the spirit of elijah. I am also inspired by how enoch&elijah must have had a strong unbroken intimacy with God.
    May God continue to raise you for glory to glory.God bless you!!!

  2. Amen!!! Loved this!!! Such a crucial teaching for this moment right now!!!!!
    My husband’s 89 year old grandmother just told us at Christmas that his middle name should have been Elijah, not Edmund. It is a family name and somewhere got mixed up. She told him to have it changed and we are in full agreement! We are ready to rise up in these exciting end days with the Spirit of Elijah!!! Praise The Lord!!

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