In Revelation, an excerpt from the message to Thyatira:
“I know your works—your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice fornication and to eat food sacrificed the idols.”
~Revelation 2:19-20 (NRSV).
Here above, also, is the Spirit of Jesus speaking to the modern-day church, community, people group or person. This is a universal message; ever relevant.
This spirit of Jezebel wasn’t really something created in the woman that was King Ahab’s wife (see 1 Kings 16:29 – 22:40 and 2 Kings 9). She, and her spirit, has existed almost from everlasting to everlasting.
The woman at Thyatira—called “Jezebel” by Jesus in John’s vision—was acting like many women, and indeed men, have acted, at wickedness, against the church’s true objectives; that is, to disrupt the flow, work and commands of God saving many souls from eternal death.
She led them astray, typically, in her use of sexual deviancy and broad acts of idolatry—to set up anything of worship, but God.
She works, today, as a mistress of overbearing control, yet it’s winsomely deployed.
Direct Affront of the Biblical Mandate
We’re servants of the Lord or servants of the devil by pure virtue of our behaviours, and the motives of our hearts underpinning them.
The real issue is how this Jezebel led people astray—it was wantonly, knowingly; done with blasphemous intention. If we’d virulently oppose God, we’d take up the inspiration of Jezebel in our minds and hearts; employing it in our mortal flesh.
We think of today’s outlaw gangs as synonymous of this spirit but, worse ever, if done by beguilement. Many outlaws flout justice, but openly. The Jezebel spirit is a direct affront to the biblical mandate, and even worse if done with covert deceit in mind. The obvious trap: one cloaked in ministry, or as partner to the minister—female or male—but with ungodly, controlling, manipulating intent.
Specifics of this Spirit
This Spirit of Jezebel has myriad manifestation. There are too many to go into here in this short article. My purpose is to highlight the main character of this strain of evil.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
“Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
~Matthew 12:31 (NRSV).
We can be assured that the one continuing in this way, unrepentantly, will certainly go to hell. They don’t want heaven. Godliness they find sickening.
In an earlier article I delved into the theology of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
The unforgivable sin is the action of the person actively worshipping Satan; the one doing his dirty work against the kingdom of God. That is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is the intent of the Jezebel spirit—one and the same. They may not even know Satan’s name, but their acts dignify their worship—they’re his!
Is It a Specific Wickedness of the Feminine Gender?
This is a very good question. Under certain pretences, yes, we would have to say that femininity, like masculinity, carries with it certain characteristics common to the gender.
The adulteress portrayed in Proverbs chapters 5–7 symbolises the type of woman seeking to trap the naïve young man. She is a good illustration of one housing the Jezebel spirit. Only a woman, typically, can act this way—to entice a man sexually to trap him—but nearly all women don’t. Paradoxically, the vast majority of women are more morally prudent regarding their sexuality than men secretly wish them to be.
But women, like men, know, innately it seems, how to manipulate people and situations—if bent for evil. We all can if we choose to go up against God—for we’d not just be sinning against people, but against the very Spirit that affords us life.
The spirit of Jezebel is undoubtedly a vast subject. I’ve merely begun to broach it here.
Our role is to juxtapose two characters—the evil and the good—for instance, Galatians 5:19-26, and decide which we’ll serve. Active forays into acts of the sinful nature are demonstrative of the Jezebel spirit—yes, known to some leading others astray. Ours is to be watchful for this Jezebel spirit; in persons, situations and movements.
We watch for evidence of purity, honesty, humility, compassion, kindness, peace, gentleness, patience and other virtue—those seeking God. Those speaking by these motives, and with authority; we follow those. They’re ever pointing to Jesus.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Image Credit: Cersei Seated by Jezebel.