Have you ever heard of the Jezebel Spirit? What is it? What does it mean to have a Jezebel Spirit?
Who was Jezebel?
Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab and Jezebel was one of the wickedest women in all of the Bible. She was the daughter of a Sidonian king and a Phoenician princess. In 1 King 16:31c it says that “Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him” and she caused Israel’s King Ahab to abandon the worship of the One, True God. Her name means “Where is the prince?” which was a ritual cry of the priests in their worship of Baal. Baal was believed to be the god of the underworld and was one of the evil of pagan deities. She was associated with false, pagan prophets and worshipped Baal and Asherah, which are no gods at all. She had commanded that all of the prophets of God be put to death (1 Kings 18). This invoked the fierce anger of God and so God sent Elijah to challenge these false prophets in front of all of Israel.
Elijah versus the 450 False Prophets
When Elijah came to King Ahab, “Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel? And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:17-19). In what may be the greatest showdown of good versus evil, God versus a false, pagan god, Elijah challenged 450 false prophets to a contest to see who the One, True God is. This took tremendous courage and faith to challenge the king and that many of the false prophets. How alone must have Elijah felt, but he never showed it. Elijah said “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men” (1 Kings 18:21b-22). From morning to evening, the Baal prophets cried out to this false god and nothing happened but after one, small prayer God came down and consumed the soaked offering and the altar upon which it lay that Elijah had made and as a result, all of the false prophets were brought down to the brook Kishon and killed (1 King 18). This invoked the fury of Jezebel so much that she sought to have Elijah killed.
What is the Jezebel Spirit?
The Bible is silent on the term “Jezebel Spirit” so perhaps it is best to be thought of as an evil, dominating, and lustful woman who actually ruled over Israel’s king Ahab. She was consumed with the false, pagan worship of deities that did not exist and hated the true God of Israel. She was a cruel, sensuous woman whose worship involved crude, degrading sexual activities. Her relentless passion to destroy anything to do with the worship of Yahweh and her deep desire for riches may be why she is described in Revelation 2:18-29 as being like the church at Thyatira.
The Jezebel Church in Thyatira
In Revelation 2:19-23
“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 mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.”
This is Jesus speaking to this “Jezebel church” and He is angry with it. He sees their tolerance of “that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess” and is “teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality.” Could it be that Jesus is chastising that church and churches today that teach that sexual practices among same sex or sex outside of marriage are acceptable and by their teaching these as acceptable to God, they are “teaching and seducing [His] servants to practice sexual immorality?” It seems to fit many of the watered-down practices of churches in our culture and today there are many women who claim to be prophets of God (prophetesses) and they believe that God is not really against homosexual marriages, homosexual clergy, and same-sex sexual intercourse and by them teaching that it is acceptable, they have this “Jezebel Spirit.” Remember Jezebel was really running the show in Israel and ruled over King Ahab and so she was not in submission to her husband and she was running the so-called worship program in Israel.
Jesus acknowledges that not all in this church of Thyatira are practicing what is a satanistic religion because He says “But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come” (Rev 2:24-25). Jesus says that some (“to the rest”) in the church of “Thyatira, who do not hold to this teaching” of sexual immorality and false gods that they should “hold fast what you have till I come.” This Jezebel church at Thyatira is really saying that “My god wouldn’t condemn homosexuality because He is a god of love” but that is true idolatry because that is a god of their own imagination, and that is not the God of the Bible. That is a god that does not exist, therefore it is a false god and worshiping this god is idolatry, and it breaks the first two commandments. They have created a god in their own image and in their own likeness.
Anyone who rebels against the One, True God and is unrepentant or unremorseful for their greed and murderous tendencies and believes that God does not judge homosexuals could be thought of as having a Jezebel Spirit. Anyone who teaches what was once considered sin in the Bible is now acceptable has a Jezebel Spirit and teaching the doctrine of demons. The Word of God does not change any more than God Himself does. Anyone who claims to be a prophet of God today, man or woman, may have this Jezebel Spirit. You must be discerning today if you are a believer and place any claims that someone makes against the high standard of the Word of God. By doing so, we can know if a thing is from God or from the Devil himself, who appears as an angel or minister of light (2 Cor 11:14).
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon