And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. ( I Kings 16: 31-33)
It is unfortunately not that uncommon these days to hear Christian preachers, often decrying very real evils such as feminism, and the distortion of the male/female roles occurring in the church. But too often they respond to it by calling out Christian women whom they disagree with as being a “Jezebel”.
Of course there really was a person called Jezebel, and there truly are reasons why the name ‘Jezebel’ is a pretty accurate archetypal description of some women. Jesus himself refereed to a woman as “Jezebel” in one of his letters to the churches, in the book of Revelation;
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.( Revelation 2: 20)
Calling a woman a ‘Jezebel’ is a pretty serious accusation though.
Jesus called one woman in the church of Thyatira a Jezebel. This woman wasn’t merely guilty of being a feminist, or of wearing loud clothes or of having a mouth full of gossip.
She was literally a false prophet, employing the doctrine of Balaam, getting the church to destroy itself by “prophetically ” teaching license to fornicate and to commit idolatry.
It is a serious thing to call any woman a Jezebel. The real Jezebel was an idolator, a sworn enemy of the only true God. She was a murderer, who didn’t fear God, she persecuted and opposed the Prophet Elijah, and other prophets had to be hidden from her or she would have killed them. Literally killed them.
I admit that there is a lot of gender confusion, and confusion of roles even in the church, as a result of the plague of feminism, one of the most destructive heresies of our day, Feminism, saturates our culture and outside of the church, the culture is at the very point of complete gender inversion.
It is unfortunate that too few in the church have insisted on maintaining the teaching of the roles assigned to male and female by the Creator, and re-inforced by Jesus and the Apostles. This is all of a piece of the lager cultural decline we are experiencing and against which, the true church is the final witness.
I do not think it right or healthy that there are women ministries such as Beth Moore and Joyce Myers, to which Christian men line up to receive their spiritual guidance from. This is a tragedy and a shameful denial of the revelation of the Divine order of the sexes, in a time where the world needs that witness desperately. Leadership in the church is and should be male, but women are desperately needed to help in the work.
But it would be a stretch to call Joyce Myers, Beth Moore or Kay Arthur a ‘Jezebel’. Have any of them killed anyone? Have they promoted other ‘gods’ as Jezebel did? Have they persecuted and killed true ministers of the LORD?
Or to put it into a New Testament context of who Jezebel is… Do they induce the church to go ahead and commit fornication? Do they justify compromise with open idolatry? This is what the woman Jesus called ‘Jezebel’ did.
Jesus and the Apostles didn’t go around flinging the title ‘Jezebel’ on Christian women lightly. there really are people in our society who fit the archetype, as I believe that the patterns revealed in scripture are applicable for all time and all of humanity.
But just getting irritated at a Christian sister, whom you happen to have disagreements with, even if they seem to be somewhat serious disagreements, doesn’t merit flinging a serious accusation such as ‘Jezebel’. Remember that the WORD of GOD commands us .”Thou Shalt not bear false witness….” .
I have a couple of friends in Scotland, who are serious, witnessing, publishing and film making Christians, earnestly striving to serve the LORD, who came under attack by a very popular preacher, Jacob Prasch who publicly rails at them as being “Ahab and Jezebel”.
I cringe every time I hear this, because this man seems to have no idea what a serious thing it is to call someone that. He is guilty of a serious sin every time he does so.
This couple are nothing like Jezebel and Ahab, they have given their lives to serve Jesus Christ, they produce gospel films at their own expense, to my knowledge they have never hurt anyone in or outside of the church, and they would vigorously resist the idea that a Christian can fornicate, or commit idolatry.
Simply because of a disagreement, They are called Jezebel and Ahab. In effect, they are maligned as murderers and idolaters, although they are worshipers of Jesus Christ. They are not perfect….but they are not Jezebel and Ahab either.
In the church, have seen a virtual mythology develop over the concept of calling people Jezebel and Ahab. It is a “christianized ” mythology, involving elaborate teachings about ‘the Jezebel spirit’ and ‘the Ahab spirit’ and ‘the spirit of Elijah’, and the constant ‘warfare’ among them. This has become an accepted aspect of the false spiritual warfare I once wrote about in my book, “Making War On The Saints”.
Many times I have observed that the men who fling such terms around have abysmal marriages, they lord it over their own wives, (I actually heard one preacher say to his wife in front of others, “SHUSH!!!YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT WOMAN!) He was a big proponent of the “Jezebel/Ahab” myth, obviously.
Of course, those who deal this way, fancy themselves to be like…. (you guessed it)… Elijah.
The truth is, Jesus elevates women and the gospel has elevated them wherever it has gone. I do not believe in feminism, it is a cancer, killing every society that embraces it. But I do believe that Women are to be respected, treasured and honored by all who love our Lord Jesus. Remember, we were warned at the beginning, that God would put enmity between the Serpent and the Woman. Satan has a particularly vicious hatred for women.
Amen Bill. We have been in fellowship where one woman was claimed to have a Jezebel spirit. When we looked at it there was nothing of deception or seduction about her. It was simply the fallen flesh nature going back to the fall as with all of us. “Your desire will be for your husband.” But no one calls it the Eve spirit. Does anybody ever accuse men who allow their wives to control the marriage as having the Ahab spirit? Why do we only accuse the women of having a “spirit”? However, we as husbands are called to love our wives as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself up for her. When we fail to live up to the standard are we not simply following the flesh nature? I agree that these labels are not helpful and in the case of my friend and other women it is a bearing of false witness.
Thanks for your balance Bill. I while heartedly agree! It’s the reason we decided to abstain from any further ministry from JP.
Really appreciate your faithfulness to Gods Word and Shepherd heart.
I stopped listening to Jacob Prasch about Ten years ago. I read a questionnaire a man sent him and Yacov railed on this fellow mercilessly. I was a new Christian but I realized, rather the Spirit of God, showed me this counterfeit Jewish teacher was going to cause my spiritual life much harm.
A common feature of false teaching is to take something biblical (for example a name) and add a lot of non-biblical significance to it.
A similar thing has been teaching about different kind of “anointings”, often taught by the same kind of groups that speak of a “Jezebel spirit”.
Both of these create a mythologised type of “spiritual warfare” that resembles nothing we’ll ever see in scripture.
I agree it is a very serious thing to call someone a Jezebel. It certainly is wrong to do this to someone just because you are angry at them, or don’t agree with them. But having said this, I think it is a valid question to ask if in fact a Jezebel spirit has influence in America through Paula White. It is inexplicable by rational logic to explain why Paula White has been chosen, among the thousands of ministers in America, to be the “spiritual advisor” to the president of the United States. I agree I find no need for ministries like Joyce Meyers and Beth Moore. But while these women teach heresy, Paula White not only teaches heresy but lives a life of blatant, unrepentant sexual immorality. I do not know if she advocates sexual immorality with her words, but by her life and her conduct even in the eh church service she endorses all sorts of immoral lascivious behavior. I don’t know if she is a Jezebel or not, but if anyone is, it would most likely be Paula White, in my opinion.
Some thoughts I wrote about this topic several years ago.
Why is it a valid question if a so-called “Jezebel spirit” has no biblical validity?
The whole idea of “jezebel spirits” is a fiction on which a lot of recent false teaching has been based.
There is a very real need to challenge both heresy and the immorality evident among professing believers – but turning to non-biblical ideas to do so is counterproductive.
I completely understand your point. However, when you have so-called discernment ministries pointing at these women (some of whom, Paula White included, are a cancer), and screeching “Jezebel” it becomes part of the nomenclature, unfortunately!
And the same teacher will tell you how false teachers “put truth next to error” when this particular person does the same. I wholeheartedly agree that we need to stop using these phrases; however, there are a LOT of women teachers who are leading people into ecumenism and idolatry (as I see it, that does not necessarily mean you are bowing to a statue, just making anything other than God the focal point in your life, job, money, house, etc.) and some are promoting Visualization, Easten meditation and that kind of pagan stuff, so I completely understand Paul Almstead’s point. I was praying with someone who is in deep sin the other day and in praying they said “I plead the blood of Jesus” but this person does not want to stop the sin. I don’t even know what that means, frankly but I think it’s more of this pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo that people say because they’ve heard it from these false teachers.
However, I think Pas Bill is referring to someone calling a Christian woman “Jezebel just because they disagree with that person and not even doctrinally but using as a slur and I am in total agreement, it’s a terrible thing to say, especially having just listened to his study on Jezebel.
Also, all these posts and the comments give the best food for thought, thanks to you all and God bless you.
And a lot of men teachers are doing the same – and most if not all will claim to be teaching something biblical. However rather than basing the teaching on the Bible, they are using parts of the bible to give a thin biblical veneer to non-biblical teachings.
The use of “Jezebel” is one example – a biblical name belonging to two dangerous women, and its so easy for that name to be misused for very inappropriate purposes.
Over recent years I’ve become increasingly aware of how “pseudo-spiritual mumbo-jumbo” easily infiltrates Christian teaching and practice, and how tempting it can be to tolerate, or even use it ourselves.
A lot of the time we’re not aware of what’s being done because such things have even become part of mainstream teaching.
The false Charismatic movement has done much harm to the body of Christ and has popularized the term “Ahab & Jezebel spirit”. It is a extreme term for a vicious woman who leads her husband around with a ring through his nose and wears the pants in the relationship. As we all know, this is not the role of a true Christian woman filled with the Holy Spirit, so it is the insult of insults to be referred as “Jezebel”. I am not real familiar if Kay Arthur went off the straight and narrow road, but Joyce Meyer teaches radical unbiblical spiritual warfare among other things in the Charismatic crowd, and Beth Moore is in the Contemplative camp of mysticism and following teachings of the “Desert Fathers”. She has had a huge influence to import mysticism and occult practices into the evangelical churches. She also supports many known heretics so no, we don’t need any of those ladies teaching a brand new Christian ANYTHING! Also my grave concern for Paula White becoming Trump’s “spiritual advisor”. She is hyper Charismatic and promotes the doctrines of demons.
Wouldn’t inducing people to commit Spiritual Adultery with the world and cause spiritual death to thousands of Christians not count?
I believe that you recognized, the greater danger to the church.
Committing adultery with the Scriptures, leading people astray, most certainly should count, especially if the “teacher” earns a small fortune while doing so.
While I know that issues like these need to be addressed I do have a concern. It seems like you are on a bit of an anti-Jacob mission and there is a danger of being angry and bitter. I also say this in light of a post called “Just. Preach. The Gospel…” where it seemed like you were moving on from these things. I mean this out of concern and with respect.
Thanks for the concern, duly noted. I am not on an anti-Jacob mission it just so happens that he is a recent example of this unfortunate phenomenon. Thanksforthepiint
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and acts like a duck I will call it or her a Duck or Jezebel. That is the essence of discernment.
Go for it brother, but you had better be right, every idle word on the day of judgment
If you are relying on appearances (such as looks and sounds) then its not necessarily discernment. That is more “observation”, and we need to be wary of how we respond to what we observe.
How someone responds to what they perceive demonstrates the kind of fruit in their own life.
To often our observations are influenced by our own preconceptions and assumptions.
Although I largely agree with pastor Bill’s definition of the ‘Jezebel’ as well as the danger of labelling someone to be such, I do, however, see the ‘Jezebel’ entering a deeper dimension.
In 1st Peter 2:2, we read of the ‘pure’ or ‘sincere’ milk of the word. The Greek literally has the meaning of ‘without deceit’ or ‘UNADULTERATED’.
In 2nd Corinthians 4:2, Paul used a similar expression. He did not handle the Word deceitfully or “ADULTERATE” the Word.
Therefore, a false teacher, (2nd Peter 2:3, one who knew God intimately), who teaches a different Gospel, is 1) accursed (Galatians 1:9); 2) deceiving people who need God to serve a foreign god.
So, all the elements of the Jezebel definition are present:
a) Immorality – adultery of Scripture,
b) The pretence of being a true Christian teacher while pursuing wealth,
c) Deception of people to serve a foreign god in accordance with a compromised gospel.
I believe that this last manifestation is more dangerous than the former.
Consider the implications of this.
And particularly consider the implication of how WE, OURSELVES view the word, which perhaps should be our primary concern, before we make assumptions about how others deal with the word.
It can unfortunately be far easier to make judgements about others than about ourselves.
Jesus said something about “motes” and “beams” in eyes – NOT to forbid judgement of others, but to make sure WE have dealt with OUR OWN situation before we make judgement on others.
The pertinent point that I want to address is that we need to be SURE that we ourselves aren’t “adulterating” the ‘sincere milk of the word’ (for example by referring to “Jezebel spirits”) when we react to the clear errors of others.
It’s not exactly wise to resort to non-biblical claims and observations when we are trying to expose the non-biblical claims and observations of others.
Malachi 3:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.