Yes, I have read many books about this “spirit” and if anyone was honest while reading regarding the “signs of Jezebel” we could admit we have done some of the signs of being Jezebel. It is like when we look at the signs of certain diseases and think, “Oh no, I probably have _____________ disease”. I think the term Jezebel has been very misused in the church body. Let’s dive into this and look a little closer. Why would Jesus mention a woman’s name from the Old Testament to describe what was happening at one of the churches in the letter John penned, “Revelation”? What exactly is being said here?
Let’s start with the first time Jezebel is talked about. Jezebel was a queen back in the Old Testament in 1 King 16-21 and 2 Kings 3-9. She had led the Israelites into idolatry and sexual immorality. She ended up dying because a eunuch threw her out a window, horses hooves trampled her, then the dogs ate her flesh. Wow..yuck! So you can see why being called Jezebel could have frightening consequences. Thankfully now though we live in the New Covenant!!! Jezebel is then mentioned once in the New Testament in Revelation 2, to the Church of Thyatira that was penned by John. Here it is here:
“’I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them-I place no other burden on you. Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”Revelation 2:19-29 NASB (emphasis mine)
- érgon (from ergō, “to work, accomplish”) – a work or worker who accomplishes something. 2041 /érgon (“work”) is a deed (action) that carries out (completes) an inner desire (intension, purpose).
One of the most challenging scriptures for me has been the following:
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”” Matthew 12:30-37 NASB (emphasis mine)
But it is important to look at this in its entirety and start with the right starting point. Jesus was here talking pre-Cross. He was making it known in the last part of this that our words flow from our heart, He sees our heart, our words will be judged and we are held accountable for those words. Yet, in the last sentence that I had bolded we are justified by our words not our deeds, our deeds flow out of our belief (faith) in Jesus because our faith in Christ supplies us with the Holy Spirit in us.
We need to know that our faith always proceeds our deeds because the Holy Spirit in us produces our deeds; not the other way around.
It is the fact, we are justified by the words: Jesus is my Savior. Even here, pre-Cross, Jesus is pointing to the fact we will be justified by our words of faith! We also need to start with the knowledge or understanding that I can never live up to what is expected. Jesus only can and has for us. Okay now that we have that cleared up let’s dig in. Jesus was making a clear teaching that what is in the heart does come out. Because we have the Holy Spirit in us, as Christians, we bear good fruit naturally. Do we get this perfect, no! Do we go from glory to glory, yes! Are we forgiven, always! What is interesting is Jesus is calling the Pharisses and Sauducess, the religious leaders of the time, a brood of vipers and evil without any good thing coming from their mouths. Pretty tight!! What we need to see here is that these religious leaders have spent their lives studying God’s word and leading people. They knowingly choose to lead people astray, or away from God, to serve their own purpose by stating that the miracle Jesus just performed with the work (deed) of the Holy Spirit was from Satan work (deed). They fully knew that at the base of things God is “life” and Satan is “death”. They desired so badly to call Jesus a fraud, they fully knowing called something that was a Holy Spirit work (deed) a work (deed) of Satan. We know they had full understanding because Jesus saw their heart and called them a brood of vipers who could not speak good. I want to address when someone speaks against or blasphemes the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven them in this age or the age to come. I believe we live in the age to come. We need to remember it is specific to people who know it is a work of the Holy Spirit and say for their benefit it is a work of Satan. Many people have had this used against them by the very Phaarisees and Sauducees of our age believing they can not be forgiven, scaring people and misusing this term. Please stop! This is very specific and should not be used lightly. We need to understand that it was so specific to the point of Jesus saying those that are with Him are with Him and those that aren’t scatter. Truly, I believe the individuals this would apply to know what they are doing and Jesus knows their heart. There are many clues into the specificity of His statement regarding speaking against the Holy Spirit.
Okay now to try and put this all together. The main reason I used these two scriptures together is to point to the fact that both idolatry and sexual immorality are a way God sees to define whether or not you believe in Him or not. You are either with Him or against Him. Either Christ’s bride or not. There is no in between. So when Jesus is looking down (this is the true definition of “this against you” in Revelation) from His place in Heaven He is seeing a toleration or better definition is to permit, allow or not to hinder an individual that is proclaiming she/he is a believer and yet leading other believers to commit idolatry and sexual immorality. So what exactly is idolatry or sexual immorality? Let’s look at the definitions in Greek:
- porneúō – commit fornication (sexual immorality); (figuratively) to be unfaithful to Christ, while posing as His true follower. See 4202 (porneia).v
- sacrificed to idols—εἰδωλόθυτος, εἰδωλόθυτον (εἴδωλον and θύω), a Biblical and ecclesiastical word (Winers Grammar, 26; 100 (94)), sacrificed to idols; τό εἰδωλόθυτον and τά εἰδωλόθυτα denote the flesh left over from the heathen sacrifices; it was either eaten at feasts, or sold (by the poor and the miserly) in the market: Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; 1 Corinthians 8:1, 4, 7, 10; 1 Corinthians 10:19, 28 (here L text T Tr WH read ἱερόθυτόν, which see); Revelation 2:14, 20. (Cf. Lightfoot on Galatians, p. 308f.)–www.biblehub.com
Now to the text that Paul wrote regarding what would happen when he was taken captive:
“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “”Acts 20:29-35 NASB (emphasis mine)
Paul warned that there would be those that would come in and teach perverse things to draw disciples away. Paul did not commend us to the law but to God and the word of His grace. Paul fought for the grace message, the message of the Cross, the gospel of grace, the New Covenant to be taught unadulterated. Yet, he also knew there would be those that would come in and even those from among them that would teach perverse things. Paul makes it very clear only the word of His Grace can build us up, sanctify us and give us an inheritance.
So bear with me, but I believe the Nicolatans and Jezebel were up to the same desired outcome–they desire to sneakily turn us away from the simple truth of what Christ fully accomplished at the Cross and in His resurrection. The Nicolatans were just forthright in their position of being anti Christ—-trying to disprove Who He was, what He did and Jezebel was pretending to believe in Jesus all the while knowingly turning away from the truth of the grace gospel by teaching a need for an intermediary (herself) between people and God—this position is for Christ alone- He is the only way to the Father-no one else can take that position. They would be the ones teaching perverse things such as leading us back to the law, performance based religion rather than the truth of the gospel of grace. It is interesting because the word Nicolatans means “conquering the laity”. That is exactly what has been done with the perverse teaching that the law justifies us and not the Christ. Jezebel inserted herself as a go between laity and God a place no one needs to take. There becomes a faithfulness to that person rather than Jesus Christ Himself. Anything that teaches against the fact that Christ died for the whole world’s sin for all time or that we need a go between for the “laity” is perverse teaching. (For more understanding read God Always Leads in Love). When we believe anything other than Christ and what He did for us is the only way to be sanctified, delivered and made righteous then we have been led down the road in perverse teaching. When we believe that we must uphold the law to justify ourselves we have nullified the cross and in so doing we have aligned ourselves with idolatry and sexual immorality. Remember sexual immorality figuratively means being unfaithful to Christ while posing as a believer in Jesus (Old Testament story of Hosea brings to light how God sees sexual immorality with unbelief in Him). When we knowingly teach this, knowing it is not the truth we are contributing to “her deeds” not “Christ’s deeds”. All we have to do is turn and see things His way (repent) make amends with our brothers/sisters and move forward in His grace.
Now let me wrap this up. See Jezebel in 1 and 2 Kings was a woman that pulled the people of Israel into idolatry and sexual immorality. Elijah was the chosen prophet to help the people see how they had chosen to follow the wrong gods. To show the people the true God. That is when the sacrifice on top of the mountain takes place and Baal is not heard from and God burns up a very wet altar and sacrifice. There may have been sexual immorality; yet what God was truly concerned about was the fact that they had turned their hearts to a false god, that was sexual immorality throughout the Bible. In the same manner today we have had wolves enter in way long ago in the history of the church that have taught we must keep the law, we must create our own righteousness by our deeds (works). This is a perversity to the true gospel of grace and what Christ accomplished on the Cross. This way we are believing in a false god-ourselves to do what only Christ can do for us….make us righteous. This would be exactly where the enemy (Baal or any other false god)would want us to be. To believe that we ourselves can somehow do what Christ did for us by our actions and no longer fully rely on what Christ did for us. The Gospel of the New Testament, what Christ did for us and does through us is simply Grace.
There is so much more to this topic. It is time for old belief systems that are fear based to be torn down and rebuild our belief (faith) on the Rock-Jesus Christ Who was and is and is to come; the Author and Finisher of our faith; the One who took all sin, condemnation and sickness upon His body for the whole world for all time; and furnished us with a free gift that includes: righteousness and being filled with His Holy Spirit. To have all this all we have to do is say: you are my Savior–I believe You are the Son of God. If you have questions please write a comment. If you don’t want the comment published…just let me know. May God’s abounding love, grace and peace wash over you…with greater understanding of Who He is and Who you are in Him. ❤️