“I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel…” Revelation 2:20
During the time when Elijah the prophet lived, there was a Sidonian princess named Jezebel. She married Ahab, King of Israel. She hated and murdered God’s people, especially the true prophets of the LORD. She was an idol worshiper and a witch.
While the Jezebel of the Old Testament was an actual woman, her life is a type. It is through the account of her life that we are given a picture of what a person who tolerates the spirit of Jezebel looks like. However, most people who tolerate this spirit have not fully yielded to it the way that the woman Jezebel did. If we’re honest, most of us will probably recognize that we have yielded to some of the markers of this spirit at one time or another. The key is that we don’t stay in that place.
What exactly is a “spirit of Jezebel?” The spirit of Jezebel is an evil spirit. This spirit is in the category of “rulers, authorities and powers” listed in Ephesians 6:11-12 when it says,
“…Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
This spirit has the potential to affect groups of people, such as a church, a city, a region. It is my opinion that this spirit also has the potential to influence a nation. Possibly even worldwide influence.
What are the markers of this spirit?
- Claims to being gifted in the prophetic, but it is false prophecy. (Revelation 2:20)
- Leads God’s people astray (Revelation 2:20, 1 Kings 21:25)
- Uses teaching to entice God’s people to commit sexual immorality (Revelation 2:21)
- Eats things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)
- Baal worship. Prophets of Baal “eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Ki 18:17-19) What does it mean to “eat at Jezebel’s table?” Looking to something other than God to sustain, protect and provide for us. Indications of Baal worship include idolatry, cutting oneself (1 Ki 18:27), selling ones’ soul to Satan (1 Kings 21:20,25) Use of sacred stones (2 Kings 10:26-27) Burning incense to the sun, moon, stars as an act of worship (2 Ki 17:16, 23:5). (2 Ki 23:5) Human sacrifices (Jeremiah 32:35) Limping around alter (1Ki 18:24-29) Dancing around the alter (1 Ki 18:26) Cursing God’s people (Nu 22-25,31)
- Worship of Asherah. Prophets of the Asherah, “eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:17-19)
- Indication of Asherah worship: false alters (Judges 6:25-26), Use of sacred stones (Exodus 34:13)
- Unrepentant hearts (Revelation 2:21)
- Idolatrous (Revelation 2:22)
- Satanic in nature. (Revelation 2:24)
- Witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22)
- Murder and mass murder (1 Ki 21:19)
- Dominating over others. This might happen when someone with no legitimate position of authority postures. (Acts like they have authority that actually belongs to someone else) It can also happen when legitimate authority “lords it over” others. (over-stepping one’s legitimate authority) This spirit also seeks to topple legitimate authority. (1 Ki 21:8)
- Comes as an angel of light through an unholy protection of others. This type of protection is motivated by fear rather than love. This can be a blind spot, even for good-willed people. It can happen when believers carry too much weight of burden to protect those we care about. Trusting in God to be THE Protector is the antidote.
- Religious spirit (1 Ki 21:9-10) This often manifests through hypocrisy, expecting others to value one’s own pet projects, or adding to God’s law.
- The wrong type of judgment. Either idolatrous judgment that puts others on a pedestal or critical, prideful, self-righteous, condemning judgment of others.
- When the spirit of Jezebel is operating, Baal, slumber and the fear of man are often operating as well.
- Use of beauty to control men. Flattery (2 Kings 9:30)
- So-called deep and secret Satanic knowledge (Rev. 2:24)
How do we know if we are being affected by or discerning this spirit?
- Temptation to flee and isolate
- Weariness, exhaustion, feelings of being overwhelmed
- Sleep/rest is disturbed
- Freakish near death experiences (Revelation 2:23)
How should we respond if we recognize that we have tolerated the spirit of Jezebel?
- Repent. Ask the Lord to give you understanding as to how you may have tolerated this spirit. Understanding the markers of this spirit can be helpful so that you recognize when it is operating. What is even more vital, however, is keeping our eyes on the Lord Jesus. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. He has disarmed the rulers and authorities. They are far beneath Jesus’ feet, and He will protect His church as we honor Him.
- If your rest is being disturbed, press in to the Lord through worship. Instead of tossing and turning for hours, get up and worship & pray. You’ll go back to bed and sleep like a baby.
- Guard against unholy judgments, both of putting people on pedestals and condescending criticism. Both are door openers to this spirit. Choose humility. This is especially true if you discern it in spiritual leaders; honor is still called for.
- Guard against controlling behaviors, both in yourself and others. Ask the Lord to give discernment between submission to authority and unholy domination. Ask the Lord to help you recognize when this spirit is posturing for authority in your life that is not from God. Resist the temptation to “get bigger,” and dominate those who are trying to dominate you. Let’s all submit to God’s dominion instead.
- A spirit of slumber is also often found to be operating alongside with the spirit of Jezebel. Ask the Lord for discernment. When the spirit of slumber tries to convince you that facing the spiritual battle that you are in is just too hard, use the sword of the spirit by quoting scripture, such as, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Phil. 4:13) “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak,” etc. (Isa.40:29) Resist the temptation to flee and isolate when you feel weary. For more on this topic see post entitled, “Overcoming the spirit of slumber.”
- Guard against seeking to protect others with an unholy type of protection. Recognize God as The Protector who does the heavy lifting. The wrong type of protection takes protecting others all upon one’s own shoulders. Instead, recognize that we only partner with God in protecting others…a conduit rather than the source of protection. Unholy protection can be detected through the unloving ways it expresses itself. Ask: what is the fruit of my attempts to protect? Unholy protection is one way that the enemy comes against God’s people as an angel of light. What should be a good thing (wanting to protect those that you love) gets twisted and actually accomplishes the opposite, which is harming those we seek to protect. When we act as conduits of God’s protection, gentleness should be evident. Unholy protection often comes across harsh and intense. It is a form of friendly fire within the church.
- Choose unity. Focus on what the Holy Spirit is saying in a given situation, rather than who is right. When we focus on who is right and who is wrong, we are already divided. Seek God’s perspective in the situation, even if you strongly believe you are right. This could be for a number of reasons, one being that you may both be right, but with different marching orders.
- Speak the truth IN LOVE to those who may be showing indications of tolerating this spirit. Exercise grace and truth. Be patient, remembering that we have all probably tolerated this spirit at one time or another. We all need grace. We all need each other to stay on track.
May you honor Christ as Lord in your hearts today,
Other resources on the topic of the spirit of Jezebel:
Sermon by Pastor Jimmy Evans: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jimmy+evans+jezebel
Sermon by Robert Morris: