“Nevertheless, I have something against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20, NIV).
The name, “Jezebel” meaning “virgin or whore of Ba`al” is certainly telling of her (or his) agenda. Jezebel in Scripture was the Sidonian wife of Ahab. She was an aggressive and avid promoter of Ba`al worship which involved imitative magic, the performance of rituals, and “sacred prostitution” all designed to give Ba`al vitality and power. She was extremely antagonistic and opposed to the true prophets of the Lord (like Elijah) persecuting and even murdering them and anyone else if it would further her agenda (1 Kings 21).
Though the woman Jezebel was eventually killed by Jehu (2 Kings 9), the demonic Jezebel spirit remains in the earth to this day moving and operating against the purity of the gospel and those that are faithful servants of the Lord. Even though the spirit is called “the Jezebel spirit,” men, as well as women, can function under its influence to hinder and sidetrack the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days. In fact, we are seeing an unprecedented flurry of Jezebel (and Jezebilly) activity against the Church today. Most certainly the enemy knows his days are numbered and he is doing everything he can to take believers and particularly leaders down. Jesus himself alerted the Church in Revelation 2 of Jezebel’s ability to lead the people of God into sexual immorality and idolatry.
The key to overcoming the influence of the Jezebel spirit in our lives is to understand the characteristics of the spirit so that we can (1) guard our own hearts against those tendencies, and (2) be aware when someone operating in the Jezebel or Jezebilly spirit is moving to take us down. Remember that the spirit, even though associated with female beauty, prowess, and allure, will use a man as well as a woman to work its destructive agenda. Consider the following characteristics of the Jezebel spirit:
- Masquerades as a Servant of God – it should be no surprise to us that if Satan can masquerade as an Angel of Light then a person subject to this spirit can pretend to be a believer and even flow unhindered and undiscovered in the Church especially if vision is missing, love is absent, and the Holy Spirit is sequestered. This ability to function undetected behind the scenes is one of the greatest weapons for the Jezebel spirit.
- Manipulative – manipulation in Scripture is equated with the sin of witchcraft and Jezebel is a master of manipulation, that is to force one’s will on another through deception, coercion, or intimidation. Often the Jezebel spirit will use emotion such as sulking or anger to force an individual’s compliance
- Promiscuous – according to Bible history and the prophetic statements of Jesus, the Jezebel spirit entices the servant of God into sexual immorality of all kinds including premarital relations, same-sex relations, extramarital relations, pornography and all manner of sexual perversion. When you see a believer or church leader succumb to sexual immorality you can bet Jezebel (male or female) was behind it.
- Seductive – the Jezebel spirit is extremely seductive (and not just in sexual matters). Seduction refers to the luring away of the believer from right duty, conviction, and conduct. It is a gradual and deliberate process designed to take control of one’s life working first in the mind to cloud and twist the thinking before taking over the heart. It is important to note that only previously faithful people can be seduced (a reality and warning we should all heed). The person operating in this spirit will show up during critical challenges and hard times offering the proverbial shoulder to cry on and emotional support. Endowed with charm, they know just the right things to say and they prey on the hurt, alienated, the distressed, the burned out, the discouraged, and the hopeless.
- Controlling – another meaning of “Jezebel” refers to the controlling nature of the spirit. The goal of this sprit is to dominate, subjugate, and control the individual. If this is not possible, the Jezebel spirit will do everything in its power to destroy what it cannot control (you might recall Jezebel’s angry tirade and threat against Elijah after the defeat of the prophets of Ba`al on Mount Carmel). The spirit’s speciality is taking down the committed believer and particularly spiritual leadership because this is the only way for that spirit to defeat true, anointed spiritual leadership in the Church.
So what can you do to protect yourself, your family, your church, and your church leadership from the accelerated influence and agenda of the Jezebel or Jezebilly spirit? Romans 12:21 from the NASB says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Consider the following three keys for Jezebel-proofing your life:
First, walk in the light because ungodliness will lead to our seduction. We need to make a concerted effort to stay away from dark things and abstain from even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 1:22, KJV). If we live lives of purity and holiness and stay out of the darkness it will be very hard for the spirit of Jezebel, which thrives in darkness, to seduce us. Take heed the wisdom and counsel of Isaiah, “Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us” (Isaiah 2:5, GN).
Second, walk in love because unforgiveness will lead to our seduction. Ephesians 4:32, declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as sin Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32, NIV).We need to forgive quickly when we are hurt or disappointed because the more time we spend holding a grudge, the more opportunity the spirit of Jezebel has to work on our minds and hearts. Every believer needs to remember that offense is a doorway to our seduction and the Jezebel is effective in helping us to manufacture offense, keep us focused on the offense, and then push to act on the offense.
Finally, walk in living contact because unfaithfulness will lead to our seduction. Our daily focus should be to spend time in God’s presence. The believer that is closer today than he or she has ever been to the Lord is less likely to be seduced and controlled by the Jezebel spirit. We are busy people and Satan will use our busyness to ensnare us. We need to realize that nothing is more important than spending time in living, vital union with the Lord. This means that we make the Lord our number one need above everything else in life. He needs to be more important to us than oxygen, food, water, money, relationships – everything. Micah 6:8 reminds us what the Lord requires: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Let me encourage you to be alert and sober and on the look out for the spirit of Jezebel trying to find a way into your life, your home, your marriage. The Jezebel spirit is annihilating marriages, compromising ministries, embittering children, and destroying dreams. Make up your mind that just like Elijah, you will stand against the Jezebel or Jezebilly spirit by walking in the light, walking in love, and walking in living contact with your God.