The Spirit of Jezebel By Jon Hamilton
(taken from the book "The Nature Of Our Enemy")
In the book of Revelation, the Lord speaks to the church at Thyatira
"Nevertheless, I have this 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." (Rev 2:20)
At first glance we might ask "What? Jezebel? Didnít she die back in Second Kings? How can Jezebel be threatening the church in Asia?"
Obviously, the literal person of Jezebel was not present in Thyatira. The reference is a prophetic parallel. Just as John the Baptist was "Elijah" because he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, this person or influence in Thyatira was under the spiritual control of the same demonic influences that controlled Jezebel of old.
Thus, there is a type of demonic influence in society and the church that can rightly be called by the name Jezebel.
This spirit obviously existed long before Queen Jezebel, but she was so totally controlled by its nature that she has become its namesake. In scripture, Herodias is also a type of this force. As Jezebel opposed Elijah, so Herodias opposed John the Baptist. A third example is found here in Revelation 2:20
Jezebel, the Biblical character, first appears in First Kings 16, when she marries Ahab, king of Israel. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, the king and high priest of the Baal worshipping Sidonians. Baal worship was closely associated with obsessive sensuality and often involved sex acts. Jezebel, as a daughter of this perverse kingdom, was raised in an atmosphere where sex was a path to power and influence.
Ahab, King of Israel, was completely subdued and dominated by Jezebel. Jezebel then introduced the worship of Ashtoroth to Israel. This goddess, represented in Canaanite culture by the moon, was a power-hungry goddess of love and sensuality. Priestess-prostitutes filled her shrines and serviced her worshippers. The lure of these legal, readily available erotic encounters was more than the men of Israel would resist. By Jezebelís influence, 10 million Israelites left the worship of God for Baal and Ashtoroth. Only 7000 people in the entire nation were not swayed by her control.
The Characteristics of the Jezebel Spirit
A Jezebel spirit seeks control through manipulation. It has a deep hatred of true spiritual authority, and uses emotional pressure, witchcraft and obsessive sensuality in its pursuit of power. It uses subtle persuasion to gain influence and get close to those in control. It then uses this position to gradually dominate.
In the Hebrew, the name Jezebel means literally "without cohabitation". She will not live or "cohabit" with those she cannot dominate and control. She will have no equals. Control is what Jezebel wants more than anything. Even when Jezebel appears to be submissive, it is usually out of a carefully wrought plan to gain influence.
Although it may be common to refer to Jezebel as "she", we obviously must conclude that as a spirit, Jezebel is gender neutral. Jezebel certainly has as many male slaves as female. However, since Jezebel initially tends to establish control without the actual use of physical force, she is more easily associated with classic feminine persuasion techniques.
Jezebel likes to appear close to leaders, and use their influence. She likes to use the power and influence of others to accomplish her goals and control her environment. In 1 Kings 21:8 we read " Jezebel wrote letters in Ahabís name and sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and nobles of the city." This is typical of Jezebel. She prefers to remain concealed in the background, while she manipulates situations and leaders.
Jezebel is often associated with pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. She will use any form of sensuality at her disposal to gain influence and control. Jezebel uses sensuality, but make no mistake, Jezebel is seeking CONTROL. Lusts are merely tools used to weaken others in order for her to accomplish her goal of control. In many cases sex is not involved at all.
Jezebelís greatest enemy is true spiritual authority. As Jezebel opposed Elijah and Herodias opposed John the Baptist, so Jezebel today opposes righteous authority. In her heart, she despises all moral authority. .
Jezebel in Society
In America today, Jezebel is the arrogant, angry spirit behind abortion, crying out "Itís MY choice! Donít tell me what to do!" She has cleverly manipulated debate and positioned herself behind seats of power.
She is the power behind the rebirth of witchcraft in our culture. She calls to millions of teenagers via popular music and movies, telling them that new age witchcraft will give them power. She is the force behind the psychic hotlines, which control and manipulate millions.
She is also the spirit at the center of Hollywood. Jezebel is the reason so many homosexuals are drawn to the entertainment industry, desperately seeking recognition and acceptance.
In an attempt to weaken righteous leadership, Jezebel is the force that draws millions of Christian men into hours of television. She is behind the explosion of Internet pornography. Today she is luring men of God into secret lives of bondage and condemnation. Some leaders, once powerful men of prayer, are now too ashamed to even sneak into the throne room. They are wracked with condemnation. They have been reduced to being mere eunuchs of Jezebel. Men with the calling of David have become pleasure shackled Ahabs. (God still wants to free these!)
Jezebel in the Church
Jezebel is not only visible in society. Jezebel is quite at home in the church pew.
1 Kings 21:9 In those letters she wrote: "Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them testify that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death."
With a heart of ice, Jezebel gained control of Nabothís vineyard under the pretense of a FAST. She suddenly got religion when she needed it.
Remember the adulterous woman in Proverbs 7? She first lured the foolish young man with, "Iíve just finished making my peace offerings, and have come looking for you." She made sure he knew she was a good religious woman before she seduced him! Likewise, Jezebel doesnít let her sin keep her from church.
Jezebel often manifests within the most "spiritual" people you will ever meet. In the Church, Jezebel will first attempt to get close to the pastor or other leaders with flattery. She will attempt to gain his confidence. She "calls herself a prophetess" and often manipulates others with her spirituality. Her deep "truths" usually result in condemnation and burdens for those in her care.
If the pastor, like Elijah, sees and opposes her deceptions, he will find himself in a fight for his life! He may find himself unemployed! Many a man of God has unwittingly had this spirit of control drive out his godly leadership.
While Jezebel often claims to have inspired messages, (she "calls herself a prophetess" according to Rev 2:20), she usually discourages other prophetic voices unless they are under her control. She will attempt to cause leaders to be suspicious of true prophetic messengers, which bear the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 19:10)
This same controlling spirit may manifest in very different, even opposite ways. For example, a controlling, super-spiritual, self righteous, manipulative mother (the kind that wants to run the church), will often be horrified when her daughter grows up to be sexually immoral. Little does she know that she released that very spirit into her childís life!
Demonic Depression and Loss of Vision
For seven years, God had carefully protected Elijah. God fed him in the wilderness. When Ahabís armies sought to kill Elijah, they were unable to lay a finger on him.
Finally, in a showdown at Mt. Carmel, Elijah called down fire from heaven and resoundingly defeated and killed the priests of Baal. All Israel fell at his feet in repentance, worshipping the true God. Elijah was the man of the hour. He was vindicated, victorious, and clearly in charge.
Nevertheless, when Jezebel sent Elijah a single threat, he suddenly turned coward and fled to the desert. Anxious, depressed, and miserable, he begged God to kill him!
Think about this. It makes NO sense. Elijah enjoyed supernatural protection for seven years. He watched fire fall from heaven and defeat his enemies, yet when a single angry woman threatened him one time, he lost every shred of vision and ran away. He moaned in self-pity and depression, begging God to kill him!
This is a great example of Jezebelís powerful demonic "anointing" to intimidate, create fear, and cause men of God to withdraw. Jezebel steals your vision. Jezebel will even make you depressed and anxious when there is nothing significantly different in your circumstances. If there are difficult circumstances, this spirit will tell you they are insurmountable, impossible, and overwhelming. Jezebel will make you feel like dying when in reality, you are Godís man of the hour.
Jezebelís witchcraft will attack key leaders in her targeted area through intimidation. Those under attack may awaken one morning to find it takes effort just to breathe. All joy seems to depart. Spiritual life seems irrelevant. Demonic voices will echo in their minds "somethingís wrong with you!" They may suddenly find themselves in unreasonable anxiety, fearing tragedy or death. Much of what is called "depression" in the ministry is simply Jezebel!
Jezebel wants to paralyze with fear, condemnation, depression, apathy or whatever it takes until we withdraw. The only answer for those under Jezebelís attack is perseverance in battle. We must remain on course no matter how long it takes!
This is War
The war continues today between Jezebel and Elijah. Like all wars, there are casualties. Leaders sometimes fall. Soldiers sometimes withdraw. Jezebel wants to keep the church within its present boundaries. She claims to decide the extent of the church locally. We must not tolerate this.
A Victory for Jezebel
The Welsh Example
The great Welsh revival of 1904 is a shining example of a true move of God. It has been called the "pentecost greater than Pentecost." Sadly, the revivalís demise is also an excellent example of how Jezebel works against the church.
In just two years, over 100,000 people were saved. Welsh society was revolutionized. Entire towns recorded no arrests for over a year. Places that formerly were hotbeds of vice suddenly became transformed. Police departments were forced to lay off idle officers. Professional sports teams disbanded because no one was willing to miss church for a game. Services continued virtually around the clock and there were demonstrations of Godís presence and power.
When God begins a work, he usually begins with a man. During the Welsh revival that man was Evans Roberts. Evans was only 26 years old at the time. Most of his leaders were only in their late teens and twenties. Evans was deeply devoted to the Lord, and his devotion to wait upon the Lord released a shower of blessings that was a marvel to the Church. Pastors and leaders from around the world streamed to Wales to behold it.
Many people became associated with the revival as it grew. Among these was a well-to-do woman named Jessie Penn-Lewis. For years Penn-Lewis had considered herself a Bible teacher, but she had never found a broad acceptance for her teachings. She had largely been rejected or ignored by most church leaders in Wales. At first, Jessie Penn-Lewis appeared as a friend and financial supporter to Evans Roberts. She gained his confidence, and began speaking into his life.
Long time friends of Evans Roberts expressed concerns that she appeared to isolate Roberts too much, but Roberts trusted Penn-Lewis completely. She began to minister certain messages to Roberts, which appeared to him to be profound corrections from the Lord. These filled him with condemnation. He was convinced her deep "truths" were things he needed to hear.
Mrs. Penn-Lewis began to express her "concern" to Evans that with the revivalís great success, perhaps too much glory was going to Evans Roberts instead of to God. The thought of stealing Godís glory horrified the sincere young man. He began to think that perhaps others should lead for a while. Penn-Lewis convinced Evans Roberts to withdraw from public ministry, and to move into the Penn-Lewis home.
Evans Roberts never returned to the ministry. The Welsh revival ended quickly and quietly.
After a short time in the Penn-Lewis home, Evans Roberts began experiencing severe bouts of depression. Often he was unable to leave the bed for days at a time. He appeared nervous and anxious. By todayís standards he was in severe clinical depression. It took a toll on his health.
Meanwhile, Penn-Lewis began writing articles and letters in Evans Robertsí name, and on his behalf. These were published in both Roberts and Penn-Lewisí name, and eventually, in her name alone. According to many former close associates of Evans Roberts, some of the works attributed to him could not possibly have had his approval. Certain publications were highly critical of other movements, especially the newly emerging Pentecostals. Unfortunately, few people were able to see or speak with Evans Roberts. He was kept guarded in the Penn-Lewis home. He was completely dominated.
Evans Roberts spent many dark years of depression in the house of Jezebel. Mercifully, he eventually broke all ties with Penn-Lewis, but not until his health was broken and his ministry just a shadow of its former glory.
Evans Roberts made contributions in two years of ministry, that most never see in a lifetime. His memory should be honored. Nevertheless, he is a sad reminder of the old proverb "Age and treachery will always defeat youth and enthusiasm." A revival that in 24 months saw 100,000 salvations and a glory some called greater than Pentecost, was destroyed by a single unwitting servant of Jezebel, seeking control in order to gain recognition and acceptance.
First, we must rid ourselves of Jezebelís ways. We can not cast out lust when we harbor lust in our lives. We can not bring down a spirit of control if we use manipulation and hype to control our congregations. We must examine our own ways, and repent of Jezebel.
Second, it takes Jehu. Although Elijah was Jezebelís enemy, it took JEHU to trample Jezebel.
Jehu took no prisoners and showed no mercy to Jezebel. He had singleness of purpose and was driven. As he approached Jezreel those who saw his chariot noted he "drives furiously" (2 Ki 9:20) When others offered peace and compromise, Jehu responded "How can there be peace as long as the harlotries and witchcrafts of Jezebel are many?" (2 Ki 9:22)
Jehu would not rest until Jezebel was dead. Her pleasures could not attract him. Her threats did not deter him. He would not tolerate Jezebel.
Jesus says we too can not TOLERATE Jezebel. (Revelation 2:20) We must learn the prophetic power of the word "No!" We must give no ground!
When Jezebel attempted to captivate Jehu, he did not even allow himself to be drawn into conversation with her. Instead, he called on her eunuchs to cast her down from her balcony. Those with the Jehu anointing will call to Jezebelís emasculated slaves, and they too will cast her down!