The Jezebel Influenced Pastor
I recently had a very interesting conversation with a pastor that I had known for several years. I had attended some of his Bible studies and enjoyed his teaching. This one encounter however was a bit different. I had mentioned something about not compromising with church leadership that had officially made practicioners of a certain sexual sin acceptable in the pulpit. This triggered a response from this pastor that I had not anticipated. He then proceeded in the course of our conversation to reveal the three basic characteristics that identifies a person that is under the influence of a Jezebel spirit.
I was responding to him with Scriptures that apparently he had never heard before and he refused to acknowledge them, even though they were directly contradicting what the man was saying. One of the things I told him was "Love without correction is no love at all." The Scripture I had in mind at the moment was Hebrews 12:6 - My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.
I also told him that we can test whether anyone is genuinely saved by asking if they believed that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
At that point, the pastor responded by accusing me of having a "spirit of right."
Apparently he thought I was wrong in adhering to the word, however, by disagreeing with me, he apparently thought he was right. So he didn’t have a “spirit of right” either? The Bible tells us that those who walk in opposition to the word of God are deceived by a "spirit of right" -There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death – Proverbs 14:12. This certainly would not apply to those who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit in following God's word.
The Jezebel spirit abhors absolutes, so anyone who is clinging to the word of God as the standard for behavior is going to be opposed and ridiculed.
Jesus said that before His return it would be like the days of Noah - Matthew 24:37. We are told that Noah was a preacher of righteousness - II Peter 2:5. I'm sure Noah's messages at that time of corruption were received with a great deal of ridicule, but he could not be deterred from building a relationship with God that would carry him above the storm waters of God's judgment on those who refused to receive correction and repent.
Noah certainly was "right" with God and possessed a "right" spirit. When handling the word of God I believe that it is very important to be right rather than be wrong, don't you? As Christians we are admonished to be followers of God and the word says - For the righteous Lord loves righteousness, His countenance does behold the upright - Psalm 11:7."I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right" - Isaiah 45:19. I want to be like my Father, ministering His words in a spirit of love.
It is out of love for God and the spiritual welfare of His children, that I would like to cover the three basic characteristics of a Jezebel spirit that this pastor was exhibiting.
First of all, a Jezebel spirit is allowed into a person’s life though the door of compromised doctrine. God consistently warned His people throughout the scriptures to not marry foreign wives. Foreign wives worshipped foreign gods and the Lord did not want His people to be led away from the authority of God’s word and His worship. Whenever a church or individual begins to wander away from the authority of the Scriptures and embraces the teachings of men on an equal basis with the word, the Jezebel spirit gains a foothold, bringing with it “foreign doctrine.” This spirit abhors absolutes and that includes the absolute authority of what the word teaches as opposed to man’s opinion of what it is actually saying.
The Apostles warn us to listen to them and by doing so we will be able to discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. – I John 2:19
We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error - I John 4:6.
Ahab brought Israel into spiritual decline and apostasy by disregarding God’s command to not marry foreign wives, and married Jezebel, who was a Phoenician. She introduced Baal worship to God’s people which involved fornicating with temple prostitutes as an act of worship.
We see that the church at Pergamos began to fall into this sin, which is referred to as “the doctrine of Baalim” (Rev. 2:14) who taught Balac to cast this stumblingblock before God’s people and seduced them to marry the Moabite women (Numbers 31:15,16). To relate it to the church at Pergamos, they were beginning to embrace foreign doctrine, and the downward trend continued to manifest itself into a full-blown Jezebel spirit in the church at Thyatira - (Rev. 2:20).
The three characteristics that identify this spirit are revealed to us in God’s reprimand to the church at Thyatira that was “tolerating” Jezebel’s influence.
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest (tolerate) 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.- Rev. 2:20.
This spirit is teaching God’s people to eat things that are sacrificed to idols. This means that this spirit is bringing in a spirit of compromise. God has called His people to be kings and priests and His priests were always taught to put a difference between what is clean and unclean.
“…put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean – Leviticus 10:10.
Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them – Ezekiel 22:26.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you - II Corinthians 6:16.
God’s people are called to separate from sin and the love of the world. Jezebel refutes this doctrine and the people who become veiled by this spirit can no longer discern the difference between what God calls holy and the things He has called His people to avoid. This is spiritual fornication which also can lead to physical sin.
The pastor I was talking to could not acknowledge that God abhors certain sins. He said all sins are the same. Yes and no. While any sin disqualifies us from heaven and we must have Jesus to eliminate our sins and make us worthy, the Bible makes a distinction between sins. Some are referred to as abominations, others are not. The Apostle Paul made a point to remind those who had just come to Christ, to avoid fornication, (Acts 15:20). Then he goes on in one of his epistles to tell us why.
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.- I Corinthians 6:15-20.
Jesus tells us that sex is only sanctioned between a married man and woman. -
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall be one flesh- Matthew 19:4,5.
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her which is put away commits adultery - Matthew 19:9.
Therefore any sexual act that is performed outside of God’s will is sin.
One of the worst sermons I ever heard was from a Jezebel influenced pastor in California. He was mocking a book about “What God Hates.” According to this pastor God doesn’t hate anything. This young pastor apparently had not read the Bible very much, because there are many things in His word that God tells us He hates, one of them is divorce, (Malachi 2:16). We are told to hate what God hates and love what He loves. God hates sin, because it hurts what He loves and that is people. When we commit adultery by divorcing we hurt our former spouses, our children and the damage goes on for years.
Jesus sat with sinners, He loved them and ministered to them, but He never compromised the word of God to accommodate them.
When He forgave the woman who was caught in adultery and saved her from being put to death by the religious leadership, He promptly assured her that she was not condemned, but He commanded her firmly to sin no more; He was not sanctioning her behavior – “Go and sin no more.” - John 8:11.
The church or individual that is under Jezebel’s spirit of compromise is more inclined to fall into sexual sin.
One famous Christian who was unhappy in her marriage visited a Christian marriage counselor who was under Jezebel’s influence and through his counsel she received the excuse she needed to divorce her husband and marry another man, which also broke up his marriage. She did not have Biblical grounds for her divorce; therefore according to our Lord she was committing adultery and also causing her new spouse to commit adultery.
The word of God was not consulted in her decision or taken seriously, nor was the implications of the witness she was proclaiming to the world and other members of the body of Christ. Her whole motive it appears was that God wanted her to be happy.
God wants His people to be faithful.
We can be forgiven of any sin, but blatant sin will eventually reap its consequences if there is no repentance, which brings us to the second characteristic of a Jezebel spirit.
2. An Aversion to Repentance
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds - Rev 2:21.
God tells us that He gives the people that are under the influence of this spirit “space to repent” of her fornication, and she refuses to repent, because she does not want to change - or obey God. (This spirit will downplay obedience, substitute the word obedience for "performance" and make it sound like it's something bad.)
A pastor under Jezebel’s influence will therefore de-emphasize Biblical repentance, refuse to preach it, ignore it or acknowledge the need for it. The pastor I was talking to actually changed the meaning of the word to accommodate his compromised doctrine. Repentance to him was merely accepting the kingdom of God.
There are three words in the Greek language for repentance in the New Testament. Metamelomai is a verb which means a change of mind that produces remorse or regret for sin, but does not produce a change of heart. This word is used to describe Judas’ repentance – Matthew 27:3.
The word metanoeo is used to denote a change of mind and heart after knowledge. This verb is used with the cognate noun metanoia and is utilized to describe a true repentance of a changed life, desires and purpose. This is the repentance that appropriates the atonement through which grace and forgiveness of sins are imparted.
For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death - II Corinthians 7:10.
But you go and learn what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance - Matthew 9:13.
Jesus came to turn us from our iniquities, which is the true meaning of Biblical repentance. -
Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities - Acts 3:26.
He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy - Proverbs 28:13.
Biblical repentance means that God is calling us to be willing to let Him change us into the people He wants us to be, a people that are conformed to the image of His Son through the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As the Apostle John informs us, no one who willfully, deliberately continues to practice sin has ever seen God or known Him - Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin,(continually practice) because he is born of God. – I John 3:9.
This verse does not mean that we “cannot sin” because we all do sin, but the true Christian whose life has been transformed by the living word of God within him, does not want to continually practice sin.
According to Greek language expert AT Roberson’s commentary on this verse, “The present active infinitive hamartanein can only mean ‘and he cannot go on sinning.’”
To a true believer sin is not a continuous practice.
According to the word of God anyone who stands in the Lord’s counsel will preach repentance. - But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. – Jeremiah 23:22.
The same “spirit of whoredoms” (Hosea 4:12) that infected ancient Israel is alive and well received in a majority of Christian churches today and the characteristic of this spirit is a blatant refusal to repent for she wipes her mouth after her fornication and says, “I have done nothing wrong.”
Thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. – Jeremiah 3:3.
Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness - Proverbs 30:20.
3. Refusal to acknowledge God’s Correction
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. - Rev. 2: -23.
The third characteristic of a Jezebel influenced pastor is a refusal to acknowledge that God “punishes” or corrects His children. Therefore the corrective Scriptures are ignored or twisted.
God tells us that He corrects His children and those who are without His chastisements are “illegitimate” –
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby – Hebrews 12: 6-11.
When Jesus healed the man in John 5:2-14, His care for this individual caused our Lord to seek out this man in the temple, where he had, through Jesus, been restored to a place of worship. Jesus warned him then not to sin anymore “lest something worse happens to you” -Verse 14.
God says to Jezebel and those who are led by this spirit that He will “cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." - Rev. 2:20-23.
You can show these scriptures to someone whose mind has become veiled by Jezebel’s influence as I have done and they’ll reply – “Oh, no He doesn’t do that. God doesn’t punish.”
They have belied the Lord, and said, “It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us, neither shall we see sword or famine.” – Jeremiah 5:12.
But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: - Jeremiah 21:14.
Jezebel’s response to this is usually, “That’s Old Covenant; we’re in the New Covenant now.”
If God only chastens in the Old Testament, Jezebel’s theology negates the entire book of Revelation when God brings His judgments on the world fulfilling a multitude of Old Testament prophecies including - For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by My name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. - Jeremiah 25:29.
God is not mocked, we will reap what we sow. – Galatians 6:7 – And we mock our Lord with compromised lifestyles He has counseled us in His word to avoid.
I was visiting another church in California years ago and the pastor and many members of his charismatic congregation had just returned from a prophetic conference. Many of them at the conference had seen the same vision of impending dark clouds. They were ecstatically declaring that these clouds meant that there would be “showers of blessings.”
This Jezebel influenced gathering could not see that dark storm clouds in the scriptures are not used to indicate blessings, but coming judgment: Joel 2:2, Zephaniah 1:15. Bright clouds represent God’s blessings of the latter rain – Zechariah 10:1.
God says to Jezebel and her children – “I will give to everyone of you according to your works.” – Rev – 2:23, - and the storm clouds are gathering.
In summary, the Jezebel spirit comes into the church through leadership that prefers the doctrines of men above the word of God and marries “foreign wives,” resulting in the seduction of God’s people into a spirit of compromise with the world and its standards.
There is an aversion or avoidance of true repentance.
A revenant fear of God is diminished and the doctrine of God’s correction is eliminated from the church.
Compromise – no repentance – no correction - Does your pastor’s theology fit this description? Does yours?
There is only one remedy for someone who is infected with Jezebel’s disease. God has said it before and He is saying it again, “Repent, children, repent.”
Copyright 2010 by H.D. Shively