Revelation 2.18-20“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.”
Before we leave the subject of Jezebel, it is important to examine the reference to her in the New Testament. In Revelation chapter 2, Jesus writes a letter (through John the apostle) to each of the seven churches in First Century Asia Minor. In these letters, the Lord praises each church for what it is doing well, and he also critiques each church for where it has failed to be obedient.
The praise section of each letter begins with “I know your works ….”
The critique section of each letter begins with “But I have this against you … ”
It is a very strong admonition from the Lord Jesus to continue to do the things that are pleasing to him, and to repent of the things that displease him. It should be noted that the only church of the seven that does not receive a critique is the church at Smyrna, which was going through serious persecution and tribulation, yet remained faithful and strong.
The verse at the top is what Jesus writes to the church in Thyatira.
There is a type of spiritual influence in society and the church that can be called the spirit of Jezebel. Like the Jezebel we read about in 1 Kings, the spirit of Jezebel seeks control through manipulation. It has a deep hatred of true spiritual authority, and uses emotional pressure, political maneuvering, excessive sensuality, and slander and even murder in its pursuit of power. It uses subtle and seductive persuasion to gain influence and get close to those in control. It then uses this position to gradually dominate.
The spirit of Jezebel professes the Christian faith—often persuasively—but it does not faithfully practice the Christian faith.
Jezebel is often associated with pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. She will use any form of sensuality at her disposal to gain influence and control. The spirit of Jezebel is at work today in the proliferation of sex in media, especially pornography.
Sex is not the only thing that the spirit of Jezebel uses to seduce and enslave people. Addiction can come in many different forms: alcohol and drugs, gambling, money and possessions, popularity, position and power, even work. The point is that the spirit of Jezebel entices and seduces people into giving themselves to obsessive, self-destructive behavior.
We must be diligent to recognize and reject the spirit of Jezebel in our society, in our churches, and in ourselves.
“With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him … Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7.21, 25-27)
Stand strong. The Lord is calling.