Jezebel & Ahab

Characteristically this duo of darkness will zero in on the pastor or leadership and right into the centre of church administration. They aim to eventually lead or control the church. They will gain power in the process, and water down Christ focussed worship, prophecy and sound doctrine. 

The ultimate goal is to put pseudo religious methodologies and control management structures as a replacement to Christ centred worship and the delivery of sound doctrine.

Ultimately the church will then be able to function seemingly perfectly without the Holy Spirit.

The Bible draws our attention to a curious character in the Bible called Jezebel. In certain religious circles since Bible times, focus has been played on identifying Jezebel as a malevolent demonic presence in political culture including religious and Christian gatherings (inc. churches). There is certainly good reason for this, as found in the books of Kings and Revelation. As we reach into the text and see the effects of Jezebel both in the Old and New Testament period and observe how God deals with them, we soon realise that we are dealing with something akin to what in military terms is called the 5th Column (fifth column is any person or group of people who undermine a larger group from within). Theologians understand that Jezebel is an unclean spirit which can secretly reside in either a man or woman. In addition, this spirit often works in partnership with another unclean spirit, loosely referred to in (theological circles) as an Ahab spirit which will be discussed later. Typically there will be a delinquent and whinging like character (Ahab) working in conjunction with a scheming character (Jezebel) to pollute the works of God in people groups. While the Biblical account is male female we see from church history that these roles can be reversed either way.

Jezebel

Characteristically for the 5th Column protagonist in Biblical terms the Jezebel spirited person, makes everything on the outside look fairly normal and organised, yet a hidden agenda soon reveals itself, but always too late and after the damage is done and irreparable. Within a Judeo-christian context this manifests in two clear areas.

1) Attack on the prophets, those who have a special relationship in hearing the Father 

The mind v spirit dynamic that Paul the apostle focussed on is key in understanding the role of the 'mind aspect' shunning the ‘spirit aspect’ in holy gatherings.

2) Encouraging various forms of idolatry. 

Idolatry can referred to as anything that is placed between God and His people. For example; this can even be simply a 'good sounding religious teaching but with wrong or soft doctrine’. Or just a really nice church structure or teaching plan or timetable restriction that respectfully and softly prevents the breakout of revival. Idolatry can simply be the ‘good' in place of the ‘best’.

3) Ultimately the aim is to lead and control religious or governmental groups

Anthropology is a fascinating topic and it is interesting to observe people who seem to appear from nowhere, come into gatherings and over months or a year or so rapidly gain positions in the body where they exercise great levels of control, opinion, or influence.

4) A prominent feature through lies is to split groups / cause division among close friends

There is no real easy way of saying this; the Bible teaches us that Satan is the God of the air and of the earth. Ultimately he will have his end in hell. However, currently he does have an army on earth which emerges from the original works of the fallen angels, in what theologians delicately refer to as 'a rather strange phenomenon' that occurred in Genesis 6:4. Biblically cited as ‘leaving their first estate’.

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Demons

Angels

Division

In the Old Testament Jezebel was denounced by the prophet Elijah because she encouraged and caused Baal worship in Israel (1 Kings 16:31, 21:5–15, 2 Kings 9:30–7). We know from history that the Baal worship cult focussed on the male fertility god in ancient Phoenician and Canaanite lands and was particularly abhorrent to God.

Furthermore it is clear that in both the OT and NT accounts of Jezebel she preaches and pushes for external, physical and sensual practices. But the warning is this - you wont immediately see this because fundamentally from the OT picture we see that the activity of this behaviour is very normal and practical. A very calculated approach to making things happen - yet quite in contrast to God’s call for his people to hear and obey: instead we have a kind of 'if you want this or that’ - 'just do it!’ and 'this is how it is done’.

The woman Jezebel in King’s use of make-up raised eyebrows in certain Christian circles especially Puritan England for example. This is really of little concern because it is merely an indicator. The Jezebel spirit here is only using make-up to make everything look fine and normal, and to present oneself in excellence.

From the Bible we see the following about Jezebel’s behaviour:

a) The presentation is beautiful

b) The logistic or political activity is logical but with hidden agenda

c) This spirit hates prophets because they can see straight through the situation

d) The spirit lives in the centre of religious or political situations

e) The spirit causes a miss focus on the things of God through idol worship

While asherah idol worship for example is not practised these days, idolatry is still a very real factor in popular culture, leadership styles, political agendas, passions and dreams. It often presents itself as ‘good' but hides 'God’s best', so the good is the barrier between God and his best for his people. Dynamically this is the most dangerous form of idolatry because it goes unnoticed except by the prophets until it is too late. Too late not because the prophets are slow, no, but because the people are slow to trust the prophets: that is until it is too late.

Ahab

We touched upon the name Ahab, as a Bible character. He features prominently in the book of Kings, contrary to popular belief of Jezebel being the main focus there is much to consider about Ahab as a character. Schematically he is in a position of great power but there is something about his character that displays a wanton spirit, a selfish and jealous spirit and a whining attitude to others in power. Crucially though he is weak in authority, not wishing or understanding his ability and responsibilities. This comes out in his relationships in his immediate family, his business and in religious arenas. In the Bible account of Jezebel and Ahab it is actually his wife who has to manage logistics and shape his thoughts to action.

We see from the context of Jezebel and Ahab in Kings that in practice they are a duo of machiavellian activity which seeks to shut the mouth of prophecy and gain status, wealth, land and political power, and ultimately perpetuate a cultural focus away from God’s best. 

So how does this work out for us in our modern world today?

As mentioned already we have to remember that Satan is alive and kicking, he is by default a military leader with an organised army. In essence he is a liar and a deceiver. On account of this we cannot automatically assume that we can see his work or his minions: because deception means hidden!

To the right side of this web page are 14 useful characteristics to have in the believers radar when leading God’s people (from John Paul Jackson). While there are some ambiguities in his examples, this is still a valuable guide for leadership, Christian gathering or music ministry. 

One important consideration however is the idea of what church is, as many of the problems listed below would not actually manifest in a proper New Testament style gathering. The close dynamics of such gatherings and the fact that they were self governing to a large extent from individuals homes, meant that the owner of that home obviously had the final word in what happened in their home. Doctrine came out from the home (after being established by the apostle) and then into any larger meetings not the other-way around, which sadly we have today in many of our churches.

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