Chapter 11:

The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits

Jezebel and Ahab

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Although we seek to be filled with Yeshua’s Spirit, not every spirit in the assembly is truly of Messiah, or clean. At a most basic level we can identify anti-Yeshua spirits because they do not confess Yahweh-Yeshua Messiah has come in the flesh.

Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 4:1-3
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of Elohim; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that Yeshua Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Yeshua Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the Anti-messiah, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

However, even among those who confess Yeshua with their lips, there are other impurities. For example, the Renewed Covenant (New Testament) forewarns us of leaders who would mislead the flock like savage wolves, dividing the flock, speaking perverse doctrines, and drawing away disciples after themselves (rather than seeking to keep the body united under a clean doctrine). If we have eyes to see, we are living in those days now. Yeshua’s body is thoroughly divided, and many teachers teach perverse doctrines to their own personal flocks.

Ma’asei (Acts) 20:28-30
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Set-apart Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of Elohim which He purchased with His own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Have we taken stock of the fact that Revelation 2:20 tells us that inside the body of Messiah, one of the seven assemblies allows a false prophetess named Jezebel to teach and seduce Yeshua’s servants into committing sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols? Let us read this carefully, and consider that one in seven is about 14%.

Hitgalut (Revelation) 2:18-24
18 “And to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of Elohim, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit [spiritual] adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the assemblies 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.”

While it is probably not right to conclude that one out of seven sisters in the body of Messiah has a Jezebel spirit, it might not be wrong to conclude that one out of seven brothers and sisters in the body has no issue with her teaching and seducing Yeshua’s servants with her false doctrines. This is a most serious issue, because in verses 22 and 23, Yeshua tells us plainly that the 1 in 7 who commit spiritual adultery with her, and who commit wrong deeds, will be slain with death. How can we know for sure it does not refer to us?

Since Jezebel is such a common spirit, and is allowed in one of the seven assemblies, and since the penalties for allowing her in our midst are so severe, let us learn more about her, and her enabler spirit, Ahab. That way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones by putting these evil spirits out of our midst.

To begin, let us learn more about Jezebel, and her evil enabler counterpart, Ahab.

Ahab and Jezebel in the Tanach (Older Covenant)

Ahab was king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim). He did evil in Yahweh’s sight, more than all who had gone before him. Not only did he take as his wife Jezebel the Sidonian, but he also set up a temple for Baal (Bel, “the Lord”) in Samaria, and set up an altar for Baal (“the Lord”), and a wooden image. (To see why the name “the Lord” derives from Baal or Bel, see the chapter, “Ephraim’s Final Warnings”, in the Nazarene Israel study.)

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 16:30-33
30 Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of Yahweh, more than all who were before him.
31 And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.
32 Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.
33 And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke Yahweh Elohim of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

Scholars disagree on the meaning of Jezebel’s name, but most believe that Jezebel (i.e., Jeze-baal) means, “Where is the prince (of this world)?” And since the prince of this world is Satan (Bel or Baal, aka “the Lord”), even Jezebel’s name is a summons for Satan. Therefore we should not be surprised that she murdered so many of Yahweh’s prophets.

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:4
4 For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of Yahweh, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

Jezebel will murder average everyday Israelites also, if they displease her or those she loves.

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 21:5-10
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?”
6 He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'”
7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8 And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.
9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;
10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, You have blasphemed Elohim and the king. Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.”

This shows us that Jezebel does not hesitate to give false witness against other Israelites, or to misuse the seals of her husband’s office. She also feels no remorse about manipulating her man, or stirring him up to do evil.

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 21:25
25 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of Yahweh, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.

Ahab also does not have a normal conscience. Although Ahab did much wickedness in Israel, he accused Eliyahu (Elijah) of being the one to cause trouble.

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:17
17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”
….

What this shows us is that Ahab and Jezebel do not have normal consciences. They do evil, and accuse others of being the ones to do evil. This is important to remember, because we will see that this pattern holds true today as well.

The “Power Woman”: Seduction, Pomp, or Both?

Yehu was anointed king over Israel, and came to strike down Jezebel. When Jezebel heard of it, she put paint on her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked through the window at Yehu.

Melachim Bet (2 Kings) 9:30-31
30 Now when Yehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window.
31 Then, as Yehu entered at the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?”

Some believe that although Jezebel was older, she was adorning herself, trying to seduce Yehu. Others believe she was trying to dress herself up in royal grandeur as a matter of intimidation. A third alternative exists, which is that it may have been a bit of both.

We have already seen that the Jezebel spirit is common, and some people believe that with Jezebel there is always a little bit of “power woman” energy that can have a hypersexualized aspect to it. This is difficult to put into words, but it can be sensed. Jezebel would have nothing to lose by attempting either or both strategies, and the spirit we see in Revelation is certainly a “power woman” spirit that also has a very subtle sexualized energy.

The Jezebel Spirit in Revelation

Now with this background, let us review what we know about the Jezebel spirit in Revelation. We have already seen that the Jezebel spirit is common, and that perhaps up to 1 in 7 of the believers inside of the body of Messiah feel comfortable enough with her to allow her to teach, and also to seduce Yeshua’s servants, to get them to commit sexual immorality, and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Hitgalut (Revelation) 2:18-24
18 “And to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of Elohim, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit [spiritual] adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the assemblies 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.”

Can we see the “power woman” of Jezebel here? Even though the doctrines she teaches are unclean, people accept her as a leader and a teacher, perhaps because she is so dynamic, and hard working. She presents herself as a “prophetess”, which in her case means a faithful and devout worker of the word. She is admired by many for her capabilities, and her good works.

Even though the Jezebel spirit is not of Yeshua, it knows how to mimic the Set-apart Spirit very well. In fact, it fools perhaps 1 out of 7 in the body!

Jezebel is perhaps all the more convincing because the sister with the spirit does not typically recognize that she has a demonic spirit—and so she is able to protest quite convincingly that she does not have a Jezebel spirit, because she truly does not believe she has one. (This is much the same as Sunday Christians and Messianics do not believe they have Babylonian spirits. They know they have a relationship with the Spirit, and they do not realize that their doctrine is wrong, or that wrong doctrine signifies a false religion.)

Let us also realize that the Thyatirians seem like a model assembly! They have love, service, faith, patience, and many works. Because of this, if anyone should accuse her of a wrong spirit, she can point to her track record of service and protest, “Look at my good works! And look at the fellowship I keep! How can you possibly say that I have a wrong spirit?” Yet the fact remains that her works are not of Yahweh, but are a clever deception—in fact so clever that she herself is probably deceived.

Jezebel’s Unclean Teachings

Verse 20 tells us that Jezebel teaches and seduces Yeshua’s servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Most brothers and sisters probably figure that this cannot apply to them, since they do not have an orgy at the altar, or golden calves in the banquet hall. Yet, since Revelation lets us know that one-seventh of the body of Messiah is misled in this way, it cannot be anything obvious. It can only be something subtle.

The “sexual immorality” that Jezebel teaches may refer to worldly divorce and remarriage. In “Yahweh’s Heart in Marriage” (in Covenant Relationships), we show that Yahweh considers worldly divorce and remarriage to be sexually immoral—yet numerous Messianic ministers teach this exact same doctrine (and some of them have relatively large followings).

About how Jezebel “seduces” Yahweh’s servants, this may be a reference to the subtle sexual energy that some (but certainly not all) Jezebel “power women” give off, or it may refer to spiritually seducing Yeshua’s sheep toward the broader, easier road of Sunday Christianity, with suggestions like “even torahless Christians can be saved.” Given the fact that the true pathway is narrow, and afflicted, the prospect of a broader, easier pathway to salvation could seduce some away from the original faith.

Rebellion Against the Helper Role

So let us ask, what exactly is it that makes a capable, hard-working sister a Jezebel? If we are willing to accept it, the main issue seems to be a subconscious rebellion against her Yahweh-given helper role, and a desire to usurp male headship. That is, she is not satisfied with her portion as a woman. Rather, she wants the portion Yahweh gave to the men. This is a type of coveting, or envy. It is also a rebellion against what Yahweh ordained (and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, 1 Samuel 15:23).

B’reisheet (Genesis) 2:18
18 And Yahweh Elohim said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Righteous women gladly embrace their Yahweh-given helper role, as that is how they were created. Yet in contrast, Jezebel spurns her Yahweh-given role as a helper, because she wants to take the lead. This is true whether she is married or single. The old saying, “She wears the pants in the family” relates to a Jezebel spirit (and righteous women find it offensive).

Jezebel invariably wants to “stand up and teach men” because she is capable, even though Scripture forbids it.

TimaTheus Aleph (1 Timothy) 2:12
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

Rather than learn to enjoy the ancient role for which she was created, Jezebel will try to play one verse against another, trying to get her way. And because she is so intelligent, and hardworking, she can succeed a seventh of the time.

Jezebel: Not Deborah, Junia, or Priscilla

There are three main offices in Israel: the king, the priest, and the prophet. (And there is also the judge, who is a special combination of all three.)

There are ancient examples of women serving in the kingship (as queens), but there are no ancient examples of righteous queens who served without a king (only evil ones).

Further, there are ancient examples of women serving as righteous prophetesses (such as Devorah and others), but this does not mean that women can serve in the priesthood. There have never been any ancient examples of women priests. Rather, the priesthood has always been the exclusive domain of the men.

These facts notwithstanding, Jezebel will wrongly claim that there are ancient examples of female priests, based on three female personages: Deborah, Junia, and Priscilla. We discuss these in detail in “Gender Roles in the Kingdom” (in Covenant Relationships), and also in “Junia: Woman Apostle or Courier?” (in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 3). For more details, see those studies, but we will briefly recap the main points here.

Devorah the Rebuking Prophetess

Devorah was a woman prophetess who also served as a judge (i.e., an informal king, or in her case, a queen). However, for a woman to serve as a prophetess or as a judge does not make her a priest. Devorah never wore a linen ephod, and she never served in the tabernacle. She could not have served in the tabernacle if she was of childbearing age, as menstrual blood qualifies as a ritual impurity, which prohibits service in the tabernacle (Leviticus 15:31).

But what we need to see about Devorah is that she did not want to lead. She even said it would be better if men did the job, and that it was a blemish on the men in those days that no qualified men wanted to serve. That is, Devorah would have preferred that a man take over for her.

Shophetim (Judges) 4:8-9
8 And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”
9 So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

Leadership had ceased in Israel until Deborah arose. This was a great shame to the men, and like a true prophetess, Deborah rubbed their faces in it.

Shophetim (Judges) 5:7
7 “Leadership ceased! It ceased in Israel until I, Deborah, arose! A mother in Israel arose!”

A Jezebel will read this as if Devorah was exulting that a woman served in this position. Rather, it was a rebuke to the men. What kind of a disgrace would it be if a mom had to lead the nation’s military? That is what Devorah was saying. She thought it was wrong.

Interestingly, Deborah’s husband was Lappidoth. His name refers to someone who is a “flambeau” (i.e., someone flamboyant, or a showboat).

OT:3940 lappiyd (lap-peed’); or lappid (lap-peed’); from an unused root probably meaning to shine; a flambeau, lamp or flame:

Deborah did not want to have to step into the men’s shoes; yet in contrast, Jezebel is eager to teach, and to lead—and she uses Devorah as her excuse. However, that is to misapply Devorah’s example.

Junia: Female Courier

Jezebel also claims that women can be in leadership based on Romans 16:7, which tells us that Junia and her husband Andronicus were “of note among the apostles.” They claim this means that Junia was a female apostle, but that is wrong, for many reasons.

Romim (Romans) 16:7
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Messiah before me.

In Greek, the word for an apostle is apostolos, and it refers to someone who is sent out. While this can refer to an apostle in the theological sense, Strong’s Greek Concordance tells us it can also refer to a messenger.

NT:652 apostolos (ap-os’-tol-os); from NT:649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ [“apostle”] (with miraculous powers):
KJV – apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

We know that Junia could not have been an apostle in the theological sense, because Shaul forbade women to teach, so why would they be allowed to be theological apostles? The idea makes no sense, but Jezebel will fight for it.

(For details, see “Junia: Woman Apostle or Courier?”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 3.)

Priscilla was Submitted

Priscilla and Aquila’s example is often misapplied to support the idea of female leadership as well. This is because while Hebrews normally recorded the husband before the wife, Shaul generally does the opposite. Specifically, he records Priscilla before Aquila in Romans 16:3, 2 Timothy 4:19, and 1 Corinthians 16:19. Luke mentions them as a husband-wife team in Acts 18:24-26.

Ma’asei (Acts) 18: 24-26
24 And a certain Jew named Apollo, born at Alexandria, a learned man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This one had been instructed in the Way of the Master. And being fervent in Spirit, he was speaking and teaching the matters about the Master exactly, though he knew only the immersion of Yochanan.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the congregation. And when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of Elohim more exactly.

Jezebel’s argues that because Priscilla was listed first in the narrative, Priscilla must have been in the lead. This is then used to justify the concept of women teaching men, which Shaul clearly prohibits.

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 2:12-15
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (regarding teaching),
13 For Adam was formed first, then Havvah (Eve).
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing (Peshitta: “but she has life by way of her children”) if they continue in faith, love, and set-apartness, with self-control.

The thing is, just as Yahweh gives some women a gift for prophecy that her husband does not have, it can also happen that Yahweh gives the wife a gift for teaching that the husband does not have. However, the woman can only exercise her gift when she operates as part of a husband-wife team, with the husband acting as her covering. Notice in verse 26 that Priscilla and Aquila explained the Good News to Apollo as a team. It does not say that Priscilla taught Apollo by herself. And we should also note well that this was an informal teaching situation. It was impromptu. This is a very different thing than women standing up to teach men in the assembly in the manner that Jezebel desires.

Ahab and Jezebel: Demonic Duo

If Jezebel wants to usurp male authority, Ahab lets her. Remember that Ahab said nothing when Jezebel used his instruments of office to concoct Naboth’s murder.

Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 21:4-10
8 And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.
9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;
10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, You have blasphemed Elohim and the king. Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.

If Jezebel stirs up Ahab to do evil, Ahab allows himself to be stirred up. He has the power to resist, but does not.

1 Kings 21:25
25 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of Yahweh, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.

My Experiences with Jezebel

My experiences with Jezebel is that she is indeed rather common spirit. She is certainly rarer than one in seven, but perhaps one in seven brothers or sisters believes she should be allowed to act as a minister in a formal setting (more than simple impromptu sharing). That is, they are fine with her as a group leader or teacher. My best advice is, do not participate in such groups.

When dealing with Jezebel, there can be a subtle “power woman” sexual energy that is hard to define. When you sense this kind of energy, pray hard against it. If you cannot overcome it, leave the conversation.

Jezebel also often uses very many words. Often she will try to use one verse to contradict another, to do away with whatever verses she does not like. Recognize the satanic nature of this. If her statements seem confusing, realize that Jezebel is a Babylonian spirit, and her goal is to confuse, so she can get her way. Also recognize that the sister may not realize she has a Jezebel spirit. Regardless, if you sense disobedience to Scripture, or if you find your head spinning because of contradictions, pray hard against the spirits, and either force her to make sense with relation to Scripture, or if you cannot do that, shut the conversation down.

Many times it will not be possible to get a Jezebel or an Ahab spirit to make sense, because their goal is not to make sense, but to destroy. Either cast the demons out by forcing them to acknowledge certain scriptures, or if that is not possible, leave the conversation, because Jezebel and Ahab are murderous spirits who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

My Experiences with Ahab

One time I had a brother with an Ahab spirit boast to me that he counseled two young women how to get their way with their husbands by withholding intimacy until they got what they wanted, or by giving their husband “more and better” intimacy if they got what they wanted. This was an Ahab spirit, which encourages Jezebel. As with Jezebel, he probably does not realize that he has this spirit.

Marriage is all about two complementary halves coming together to be one flesh, and sharing their lives together in such a way as to be of service to Yeshua’s kingdom. Any time a marriage partner withholds from their partner, it is not clean. A man should never encourage a woman to withhold to get her way. In fact he should counsel the exact opposite.

Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 7:1-5
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Ahab and Jezebel: Narcissists in the Extreme

A narcissist is someone with such extreme pride issues that he cannot admit he has any faults, even when they are pointed out clearly, and in love. That is, a narcissist is not broken, and is not submitted to Yeshua.

While a narcissist may confess Yeshua with his lips, he denies Him with his actions. He also practices different doctrines than those Yeshua taught.

Because prayer is the most powerful thing we can do, it is always good to pray for a narcissist. Yet, no matter how well-intentioned we might be, we should not expect to change them, because narcissists do not have normal consciences. They do not believe they can be wrong, and so they do not truly listen to when you try to explain. They are like the people who listen only for openings in your position, through which they can press their next assault.

Pray sincerely for narcissists, but do not expect to be able to change them. That is Elohim’s job.

If someone is not listening, there is no point in casting your pearls. You will only lose time, or get injured.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 7:6
6 “Do not give what is set-apart to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Jezebel and Ahab have dysfunctional consciences. They have potentially murderous spirits, and they have no qualms about lying. They seek positions of power, influence, and leadership.

About one in seven brothers and sisters accepts them.

He who has ears, let him hear.