Who was Jezebel? In short, she enticed Israel to worship false gods.
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(Photo: Shane Idleman)

In Revelation 2:20, Jesus addresses the church in Thyatira, "...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..."

Who was Jezebel? In short, she enticed Israel to worship false gods. Psalm 107:35-37 gives us a glimpse into the debauchery, "But they mingled with the Gentile and learned their works; they served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons..."

Before we judge, do we not sacrifice our children and unborn on the altar of convenience and pleasure? What do we allow into our homes through the internet and television? What do we allow in our churches as we continue to embrace sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman. The Jezebel seduction is alive and well.

The power of the Jezebel seduction is only as strong as her fuel source. She is alive and well in those who continue to fuel her desires. The more you feed her the stronger she will become. For example, if, "Hello, click here to see my pictures" pops up on your phone or PC, the seduction to click is very strong in the person who feeds this idol often, but weak in the person filled with God's Spirit.

Jesus "gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent." He adds, "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds (2:21-22)." God gives us time to repent; there is no excuse. Sexual sin is damning and destructive. Only when we expose, confess, and repent does the seduction begin to loosen its grip. Satan is subtle; he is not in a hurry. He lets us climb higher and higher so the fall is greater. Expose sin before sin exposes you.

The liberal trend today promotes tolerance: "A loving God would let me do what I want," they say. This is not love; its passivity - much like a parent who allows a child to play in the street because they're too tired to get off the couch. God says the opposite, "Come out of her My people so you don't share in her sins and receive of her plagues." His laws are guardrails, not guidelines.

Jezebel and those who participate, are judged by the same idol they worship - they become an abomination like the thing they love. Larry Tomczak, in a recent article about Charles Manson's last words, makes the same connection with idolatry. I'll paraphrase: Michael Jackson's last words were, "More Milk! More Milk!" as he cried for more of the drug Propofol. His idol promised pleasure but brought destruction. He was pleading for the same thing that was destroying him.

In April 1994, heroin whispered to singer Kurt Cobain, "Come take my hand let me lead you to hell," as he pulled the trigger and ended his life. In a prideful rant, actress Joan Crawford rebuked her housekeeper who prayed as she died, "Don't you dare ask God to help me!" She was seduced by pride - the idol she served.

America's porn epidemic will continue to pervert with the ultimate goal of destroying. Ariel Castro, who was exposed in 2013 for kidnapping three women and holding them for 10 years, admitted that a deep addiction to pornography fed his perversion. He eventually committed suicide in prison. His idol promised pleasure but brought death and destruction.

What's leading you astray...what's seducing you? Make no mistake, the sins of one affect others - families are destroyed one sin at a time, one compromise at a time, one seduction at a time. We must stop confusing God's patience with His approval. The problem is not "out there," it's "in here" - in the heart of man.

Additionally, false teachers, such as Jezebel, give themselves titles: "Who calls herself a prophetess." 2 Peter 2:18-19 ESV says, "For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved."

Self-promotion and self-exaltation is alive and well in the church today. Many want the recognition but not the brokenness; the honor but not the humility; the limelight but not the loneliness. The pulpit is affected as well: "Life-giving preaching costs the preacher much—death to self, crucifixion to the world, the travail of his own soul. Crucified preaching only can give life. Crucified preaching can come only from a crucified man" - not a self promoter (E.M. Bounds; italics mins).

In the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: Aslan represents Jesus who is described as a lion. "Ooh," said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"Safe?" said Mr Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? "Of course He is not safe." He is God almighty. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. He spoke the Universe into existence. His eyes are like flames of fire - His feet are solid brass crushing any enemy that opposes Him. He has a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords (italics mine). "But He's good. He's the King, I tell you." God is very safe and loving to those who know and love Him, but a consuming fire for those who reject Him.

Do not be seduced by the Jezebel spirit that is alive and well today - turn to God today. Repent, believe and be set free.

Watch the sermon on the Jezebel spirit here: https://youtu.be/r2ybGAY5tCM and the series on the churches in Revelations here: WCFAV.org. ​

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. Shane's sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.
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