We Need To Talk About Jezebel.
In the film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, which is the story of how a young man eventually massacres his fellow students at his high school, there is an ongoing theme from which the film earns its title. The need to talk about Kevin was rejected by his father, for he didn’t see the problems that were manifesting in Kevin, even though his wife clearly did. It is likely that the tragedy that landed Kevin in jail could have been averted if the parents had discussed Kevin’s behaviour. However, because only his mother saw the real Kevin and feared him, he was left unchecked and became a cold blooded killer.
I have entitled this post We Need To Talk About Jezebel, because if we don’t, then I fear that today’s church will end up in captivity also.
It is as if the subject of Jezebel is widely enough discussed amongst ‘end-timers’ and those disposed to understanding the more spiritual side of life. But, amongst average church-goers, it is the very large elephant in the room. This is probably because many don’t understand the spiritual side of our existence and therefore tend not to discuss it. However, like in the movie, it is the lack of discussion that will be to the detriment of all. You see, I believe that the ‘Jezebel spirit‘ is currently alive and well and controlling a great many of our modern churches. Please stay with me, as I explain the myth and the practice of this dominating spirit. Then I will tell you how to identity its presence. For the spirit leaves clues everywhere.
In the Bible, we first hear about Jezebel when she marries Ahab, king of Israel. We must be clear at this point – this isn’t about the person named Jezebel. We know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of the spiritual world (Ephesians 6). No, not the woman Jezebel, but the spirit whom she was influenced by. And this spirit to whom Jezebel was obedient to, had been around a great deal of time already. For although the spirit often dominates men by influencing women, that is not exclusively its Modus Operandi. As I will show, men as just as likely to fall under the direct influence of the Jezebel spirit.
If you were to look online for facts about the Jezebel spirit you will find a very large volume of work. In fact, so much so, that wading through it and coming to a reasoned decision is almost impossible. You need the help of the Holy Spirit and the word of God to truly discern this spirit’s origin and nature. I will be brief on the history of the spirit, but for those who wish to know fully the nature of the spiritual world from a sound biblical perspective, I recommend that you check out The Fuel Project’s ‘Know Your Enemy‘. You can find their channel on YouTube. Here is a link to the Know Your Enemy Playlist.
First things first. I don’t how you imagine a spirit to be but here’s something that you might find helpful. Rather than thinking of a spirit in the same way that you might a person – that is with the same restrictions to shape, think of a spirit as an influence that can exert its influence over many people at different places around the world all at the same time. We have to allow ourselves to be influenced by spirits – they can’t just impose their will on us. The Holy Spirit is exactly the same – He will never impose His will on us without us saying ‘your will be done’. We have to give any spirit some kind of foot hold for them to establish their influence in our lives. I think it might work something like this: using a spirit of anger as an example, you might see an outrage on the news that stirs you. That stirring brings forth a spirit or spirits to you who will try to influence you. Their influence is so subtle that it is almost impossible to detect. But you might suddenly be having thoughts that promote anger in you, so much so that you find yourself motivated to act upon your anger. You might join an organisation full of people also angered by what you saw on the news and you might display your anger even further by a public protest. You might even go as far as to hurt someone you see as responsible for what has angered you. And you will feel justified in doing so. And the next day you might even find yourself saying ‘I don’t know what came over me’.
That is just my take on what the process might be. The Bible teaches us about these things and somehow, we either fail to identify them when they are happening or we simply allow them to run roughshod over our lives. For many people, especially those trapped in addiction or other life-dominating problems, it will always start with a spirit trying to influence their thoughts in to doing something that is ultimately a sin. The Bible says that sin is crouching at the door and desires to have you (Genesis 4:7), our job is to discern that influence and to master it before it masters us.
That is why we need the Holy Spirit to help us discern these influences and lead a life free of sin. It is very easy for us to fall under the influence of the wrong spirit because those spirits try to appeal to the parts of us that have desires. The model they use is the same as the way the serpent tempted Eve back in the Garden. They have no new tricks. They simply have to influence our minds so that the fleshy option seems best to us. That is why it is so important to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh (see Romans 6,7 & 8).
So that said, the Jezebel spirit works on exactly the same principle as the spirit of anger. Ultimately all evil spirits are doing the work of Satan and trying to get us trapped into a life of sin and death. But with Jezebel there is a particular agenda that is so subtle that we fail to even detect when it is staring us straight in the face.
When Ahab married Jezebel it was in complete defiance of God’s commandment not to marry from outside the people of the nation of Israel. Not only that, but she was the daughter of the king of Sidon whose people practiced the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Also forbidden by God. Ahab even set up a temple to Baal in Samaria where his throne was and it is written that he ‘did more to provoke the anger of the LORD than all the other kings before him’ (1 Kings 16:33).
From the reading of both books of Kings in the Old Testament, we can see that Ahab’s wife was able to influence him and control what he did with great ease. Only it wasn’t her that was the influence. She was a worshipper of Baal and Ashtoreth and in doing that she laid herself wide open to those spirits. It was easy for the spirit whom we now call Jezebel to influence her willing subject, the queen of Israel.
Characteristics of the Jezebel spirit’s influence usually have a two-pronged approach, for the purposes of this post I am going to call them Plan A and Plan B, just as The Fuel Project have in their Know Your Enemy series.
The principle aim of the Jezebel spirit is to find someone who will be willing to do its will. In the story of Ahab and his queen we see that her subtle persuasion had caused him to build temples to her gods and to set up idols. It is likely that she used her sexuality to have control over Ahab. This type of persuasion I am calling Plan A. When she has gained control over Ahab’s decision making, she quickly switches to Plan B – in this case, the queen started killing the prophets of the Lord (see 1 Kings 18). And that is the pattern – Plan A is all subtle persuasion, which is often hidden within sexuality; and Plan B which is usually not hidden but is forthright and aggressive in nature.
Remember that the spirit will use people to achieve its ends. Once that spirit has found someone willing, then the true nature of the spirit’s intent becomes clear. Ultimately, the plan is always to bring down those whom God has chosen. How often do we hear of men of God being brought down by sexual scandal? In every case the Jezebel spirit will be involved, influencing anyone who will fall prey to its tempting ideas.
Now, I have been careful not to give any sense of gender to the Jezebel spirit. It is entirely possible that it is a female spirit, but we have no evidence to support that. What is likely is that this spirit has no gender but understands the weaknesses of all humans and seeks to exploit them.
I have come across several people over the course of my life, all within churches still, whom I consider to be under the influence of the Jezebel spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. How do I know? The same way that Y’shua (Jesus) taught us to know. He said that we will know people by the fruit that they produce (Matthew 7). Everything in our walk with Christ is geared up towards the harvest. At the harvest, at any harvest, only good fruit is harvested. As followers of The Way, if we are walking by the Holy Spirit, we will be producing fruit according to the spirit. Galatians chapter 5 outlines this brilliantly. But if we are walking by or are being led by any other spirit than the Spirit of God, then we will produce works, or fruit, of the flesh. This makes identifying a Jezebel spirit surprisingly easy. You don’t need the gift of discerning between spirits to spot the evidence.
Think now of someone whom you know that you would say is full of the Spirit of God. You will be able to equate many of the fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5 with that person. If you can’t, then there is a problem somewhere. The spirit that they are following isn’t of God. They might think it is, but if there is no good fruit, it can’t be the Holy Spirit. And Romans 8 tells us that if we don’t have the Spirit of God, the we don’t belong to Him (Romans 8:9).
On two of the occasions when I have encountered this other spirit, the one they call Jezebel, I can tell you that they same things happened both times. Both times involved leaders of churches. I pause here because I want to warn you very carefully and in all seriousness about what happens when you decide to take on a spirit like Jezebel.
Everything will be fine whilst you are walking in agreement with the person whom is under the influence of Jezebel. However, the moment that you challenge them in any way, the validity of that person’s decisions will be questionable. By holding those decisions up to the light of scripture then you will be able to discern the spirit. You must expect wrath to follow swiftly. Usually this will come in the way of discrediting you. They might say that you have a problem with authority, or that you need ministry. Occasionally, you might find that they will influence another person to openly attack you, and you will get the blame for the attack, even if you are innocent. You will be called to a meeting of the elders where you will find it almost impossible to defend yourself. You will often find that the whole church have seen this behaviour before but fear the repercussions and so don’t speak out. They will have seen the way others have been ostracised until they feel so uncomfortable that they simply leave, or worse still, blame God and walk away. Be warned. But, I take scripture at its word and Ephesians 5:11 tells us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” And that is what I do. I have nothing to fear because I choose to walk by God’s spirit and not any spirit of this present darkness.
On the first occasion that I encountered the Jezebel spirit, it had a pastor of a church I was attending under its very strong influence. From the moment I was introduced to this person I was aware that there was something wrong. At first, they tried to befriend me with insincere platitudes. They tried to make themselves appear spiritual and holy. And, to all intents and purposes, you would meet them and believe that side which is shown. But the moment I questioned something that was going on in the church that had no foundation in the Bible, everything changed. First of all I was ignored for around ten days. Then I went to a meeting and was confronted by someone else in the church who accused me of all sorts of things that simply weren’t true. I was called to another meeting and was told that this person had attacked me because they had been told of a vision that this pastor had seen where a dagger was pushed through my attacker’s heart. The pastor had told my attacker that it was my hand on the dagger!
I challenged the pastor and asked if they were sure that this vision was ‘of God’. They said yes they were sure. I was certain that it wasn’t – I could find no basis for anything similar in scripture and besides, I had done nothing wrong except for questioning something. Then when I refused to submit to some conditions that they wanted to place on me (no one else in the whole church had any such conditions – this is typical Jezebel tactics – control), I decided it was wise to leave. I was, for a while, confused, until I met several other people to whom this same pastor had treated in a likewise manner. This pastor had been under the influence of the Jezebel spirit for so long that they had successfully chased from the church all the mature Christians. All that remained were those who lived in fear of the same reprisals. This pastor remains in charge of a church today.
The second encounter I really should have spotted earlier, but it was hard to believe at the time that I could come across another person under that same influence. Sure enough though, I did.
This time, although the Plan A tactic was the same – all sweetness and light, the Plan B escalation was much more aggressive and didn’t rely upon a third party to attack me. What was same in both encounters was the bending of the truth to fit their version of the events; the subtle discrediting – not in open lies, but with snide remarks to people who gossip, knowing that they could blame the gossip for starting it. On both occasions, however, something that had been told only to them in confidence was spread like malicious poison, so that I knew exactly where the source had come from. The second pastor is also still in full time ministry; their congregation having witnessed countless others who didn’t see eye to eye with their pastor, now left to cower in the corner and convinced that speaking out is actually a sin.
People, in both cases, have tried to convince me that the pastors have changed. Fine, if they have then their fruit will be the evidence of that. Both are pastors. Pastor means to shepherd. In the parable of the lost sheep the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to go and find the one which is lost. The fruit, the good fruit of these two pastors would be to go and make amends with all those who they have hurt. I’m not talking about me because I recognise that they don’t even know that they are under the influence of Jezebel and I have forgiven them. But if you don’t have that revelation then it hurts. No good fruit. No good spirit.
The real problem is that many churches are probably under the influence of Jezebel by proxy. Their pastor has been influenced – perhaps enchanted by the success of growing numbers and pride kicks in. Their heads are then filled with ideas of being hailed a hero in Christian circles for starting their very own revival. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What a spirit like Jezebel looks for in Christians is their weaknesses. It seeks to influence by the way of a lure and then to dominate once their victim is trapped in sin. The spirit goes for the desires that we have, that we all have. Often it starts with lust, but can just as easily be recognition or power. Once the weakness is exposed the spirit will then influence in subtle ways until the Christian is befuddled and actually believes that the influence is the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Bible this can be seen to be true.
So, we need to talk about Jezebel. We need to arm ourselves against this spirit’s wiles. We need to protect our minds from its tempting ways. We need to make ourselves accountable to one another. We need to test the spirits to make sure they are of God. One of the biggest problems in this current church climate is that anything seems to go. Everyone is trying to find some formula for revival. Most of what we do in church doesn’t even have a solid foundation in scripture. That means we just accept whatever direction our churches are being driven in, and quite often we are too fearful of the confrontation that we have seen others suffer when they raise the hand of concern.
The only way forward is to walk in the Spirit of the one true God. Revival only ever comes after reform. God will cleanse His church of all wickedness before any revival comes. Those who have allowed themselves to be influenced by any other spirit than the Holy Spirit will be in serious trouble. The cleansing wave of God will sweep them away in a second. He will not bring revival until we find our way back to the narrow way; the ancient pathway; to His way. It is time to start taking all this seriously. Time is short, most will agree that these are the end times. We might well all have the desire to see revival. But it won’t be like all these false prophets are saying – it won’t be like rain falling from heaven, or a waterfall, or a dam busting. No. It starts here in the heart of each of us and wells up and overflows out of us. Streams of Living Waters.
So, if you need to identify the Jezebel spirit, look for Plan A (pleasant, nice, seductive, flattering, etc) and it will be followed by Plan B (deceitful, aggressive, self-seeking, etc). Be careful how you challenge the spirit. Remember that you have the authority and duty to expose it. If you can, find someone else in the church who is wise and full of the Spirit of God, and talk to them first in confidence. And pray. Pray lots. Expect to be run out of the church. Don’t worry, it happens a lot. Trust in God. Expose the deeds of darkness. Live the life of holiness, doing God’s will. Live by the Spirit of the living God. Always remember not to take anything personally when someone under the influence of an evil spirit attacks you. They don’t know that it is even happening. It is not the human that is the problem, it is the spirit. Our fight is never against flesh and blood. Never.
Do not be deceived.