The Spirit of Jezebel
Robert Wurtz II
However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews (John 7:13).
His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 9:22-23).
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews…, (John 19:38a).
The Chinese have an old idiom that says, “kill the chicken, scare the monkeys.” It deals with making an example out of someone to scare others into submission. This is what the unbelieving Jewish leaders did to potential followers of Jesus. They threatened them with ex-communication from the faith community, and the only place they could express their faith, the synagogue. Over time they added a benediction to their daily synagogue prayers that cursed believers in Jesus (Birkat ha-Minim).
It’s staggering to think that even Jesus had friends who wouldn’t openly support him because they feared what others would say or do. Joseph of Arimathea secretly followed Jesus because he feared retaliation from the unbelieving Jews. Like John the Baptist before Him, who was a type of Elijah (Matthew 17:12), Jesus was resisted by forces akin to what challenged Elijah. These demons inspired strategies in the leaders to scare people off and minimize John and Jesus’ influence.
Understand that Elijah was a mighty prophet, but spiritual forces, operating through the notorious Jezebel, employed the “kill the chicken, and scare the monkeys” strategy to silence him. Those same forces were at work in a person at Thyatira, teaching the people fornication and idolatry until they knew the depths of Satan (Revelation 2:20-24). Jesus referred to this person as “that woman Jezebel,” who used the prophetic to gain notoriety and could have been a man or a woman. The “Jezebel” moniker brings to mind her ancient, diabolical character traits.
Undoubtedly, the godless leadership, whom Jesus called children of the Devil (John 8:44), enjoyed wielding control over people through intimidation. When the evil forces inside them couldn’t scare Jesus into silence or put Him to flight as they did Elijah, they attacked His character and intimidated His followers. They did everything in their power to diminish the influence of Jesus. Why? Was it a mystery? No. Even Pilate knew they hated Jesus because of envy (Matthew 27:17-18).
The evil forces inside the unbelieving Jews stirred up envy like Jezebel stirred up Ahab to do evil (1 Kings 21:25). Before it was over, two parents wouldn’t even acknowledge that Jesus healed their blind son (John 9:22-23). That is a disgrace. “Jezebel” stole the honor that was rightfully due. Yet, envy is defined as “displeasure and anger at the success of others — especially a rival.” It stems from pride and self-exaltation. The question is, why would Joseph of Arimathea yield to the whims and will of these unbelieving Jews? Why would he hide his support for Jesus to please them? He probably wasn’t spiritual enough (so to speak) to ward off the spirit of Jezebel that kept him intimidated.
Understand that the unbelieving Jews, full of the devil, hated Jesus, so you had best not be caught reading His sermons, attending His meetings, or saying amen if you hear Him speak. Many people, including Joseph of Aramathea, allowed these godless men to control them in this way. What did he do? He cautiously slipped around, lurking about, following Jesus. He didn’t dare show support publicly. In modern times, the spirit of Jezebel, operating in the unbelieving Jews, would have had him liking every Instagram and Facebook post on the internet except those posted by Jesus.
I’m sometimes bewildered and amazed at people who allow others to dictate who they will and won’t support. Jezebel put Elijah on the run, and he fled to a cave. Understand that he wasn’t running from a woman; he was oppressed by the demonic spirit she was moving in. As great a man of God as he was, he couldn’t handle that demonic spirit. His protege, with a double portion of the Spirit, would deal with it.
The spirit of Jezebel, in my view, is more of a demonic strategy than an actual demon. Many demons who seek to destroy the work of God follow the pattern of Jezebel. Below are just some of the diabolical character traits that manifest:
- They inspire a domineering attitude that controls everything and everyone.
- They wear people down until they give up and, in time, won’t even acknowledge their own family, much less a man or woman of God.
- They use fornication to annihilate marriages and divide churches.
John the Baptist was killed by a “Jezebel” type we know as Herodias. She was the vessel the enemy used to employ the “kill the chicken, to scare the monkeys” strategy and undoubtedly instilled fear in the people. “Jezebel” is persistent and, in time, wears out the saints until they do the enemy’s will. It’s a repulsive spirit, like confronting the smell of raw sewage; most people avoid it. They consent to its will to avoid confrontation. Nobody wants to be worn down.
The same demonic forces that challenged Elijah (Jezebel), John the Baptist (Herodias), Jesus (the unbelieving Jews), and the church at Thyatira (that woman “Jezebel”) are alive and well today. The ancient demonic strategies of control, intimidation, and fornication work tirelessly to put preachers on the run, destroy churches, and silence the voices of truth. Understand that there are many ways to “kill the chicken and scare the monkeys.” Meanwhile, the same reaction among the people is found. The “fear of the Jews” is replaced with fear of_________ (insert a name).
If you are afraid to publicly support someone who you know is a legitimate man or woman of God for fear of_________ (insert a name), then that person may be operating by demonic influence. Moreover, suppose you feel compelled to support _______ (insert a name) or face backlash and feel pressured to snub other legitimate Christians. In that case, you need to ask yourself what is provoking me to behave outwardly in a way contrary to my heart. The chief rulers snubbed good and godly people because they loved the praise of men more than the praise that comes from God (John 12:42-43).
The enemy seeks to destroy not merely the person but their message and influence for God’s kingdom. For the unbelieving Jews, demonic forces tapped into their envy to provoke them to destroy Jesus. The enemy will patiently and persistently employ all the earlier tactics to infiltrate deeper and deeper into the churches to bring death and destruction. If we overlook these warning signs, we are ignoring the enemy invading the camp.
Yet Jesus gives those who yield to these destructive spirits (demons) an opportunity to repent. At Thyatira, the person persisted in the behavior until judgment was the only recourse. God is no respecter of persons or churches. These people need to recognize and renounce these diabolic behaviors. If they don’t, death and destruction await them.
Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:22-23)