By Patrick Hawthorne
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your [j]patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. (Revelation 2:18-21 NJKV)
Much has been written concerning Jezebel mentioned in Revelation 2. Some of what has been written has been well thought out and theologically sound. Others…well, let’s just say that they have been interesting, to say the least.
To understand the heart of what Jesus is telling the Church of Thyatira, it is important to first understand who He was alluding to from His Word. Jezebel of the Bible was the queen of Israel who was married to King Ahab. Daughter to the king of Sidonia, Jezebel was a worshiper of Baal, a pagan god considered to be supreme over all other gods. Interestingly, the name Jezebel means chaste or of purity which is rather fitting when you consider the method by which the spirit of Jezebel infiltrates the church.
Jezebel was a master manipulator and deceiver obviously under demonic possession. Pulling the strings of Ahab like a master puppeteer, she was able to entice him to do unimaginable evil in the sight of the Lord. In 1 Kings 21:25, we are told that there was no one like Ahab who SOLD himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord because – now get this – Jezebel his wife stirred him up.
So, the question must be asked. How would a demonic spirit like that of Jezebel be tolerated in a church setting? Surely it would be discovered and immediately removed, wouldn’t it? Maybe not if the leadership is not in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Consider the words of Paul to young Timothy.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV bold/underline/color mine)
Remember, Jezebel was a master of manipulation and deception. We are warned that this same type demonic spirit will permeate the Church through people who have a form of godliness but who deny its power. In other words, these deceivers will walk the holiness walk and talk the holiness talk yet are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Through flattering words and lying tongues they deceive those with itchy ears, enticing them to pervert the grace of God through their teachings.
Yet, there is another aspect to the Jezebel spirit within the Church; a much more subtle aspect. The spirit of Jezebel may latch hold of some very faithful people who mean well but are led astray of the will of God. Their motives might be entirely pure, yet their hearts are out of align with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Thinking they are doing good, they may just be doing evil in the sight of the Lord. No, these people are not possessed by the spirit of Jezebel put may be oppressed and not even aware of it. Looking back, I can point to times where this spirit was in operation in my own life.
Lastly, for those in leadership positions, be very careful of who you allow to get close to you. There has been some great teachings on Armor Bearers within the church to assist those in leadership. However, we are instructed to put on our own armor. Beware of those who want to do everything for you and want to be constantly at your side. Let your dependence be upon the Lord, not on man.
The spirit of Jezebel is one of the most subtle of the tools of satan. Like a small mouse, it can sneak in unaware and if left unattended can cause major destruction, Yet, it has no power over the child of God who is prepared and in tune with the Holy Spirit. Just listen to the voice of Jesus and you will be fine. Be blessed.