The Jezebel deception. It sounds like an intriguing murder mystery that promises to hold you in suspense right until the last page of the book—and indeed it is.

You have learned about this crafty villain, perhaps in sermons, and have read warnings in Scripture. You might even be sure that you have seen it in your own church. You continue to gather clues to help you uncover the true identity of Jezebel, but as we will soon discover, it is likely that you have been sidetracked—or even duped—by red herrings along the way.

This is not an insignificant enemy. Like all captivating murder mysteries, the Jezebel deception presents a sinister antagonist. The antagonist in this story is, of course, a spiritual seductress named Jezebel. Her victims are real—the countless saints this siren has lulled into destruction. And the uncompromising protagonist who stands ready to set the captives free from the sorceress is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jezebel’s fate is sealed, and so are the fates of her spiritual children—those who follow her teaching. Yet despite decades of teaching about Jezebel—and despite the fact that the book of Revelation outlines this spirit's motives and tactics and even shows the way of escape—many in the body of Christ seem ignorant as to who Jezebel really is, how the spirit of Jezebel manifests and how to overcome this ancient foe.

That is because Jezebel hides its most malevolent actions behind the mask of control and manipulation—characteristics that do not always demand the gift of discerning of spirits to identify—and these are the traits on which most “Jezebel” sermons focus. The result: Christians are whacking away in prayer at superficial fruit while the root that feeds Jezebel grows stronger and manifests more and more powerfully. Most people are clueless, not recognizing the subtle work and hidden motives of this spiritual being; they fail to investigate below the surface to see the demonic roots and the deeper agenda. Control and manipulation are strong manifestations, but ultimately they are merely means to an end.

Jezebel’s Greatest Deception 

Nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire once said that Satan’s greatest deception is convincing the world he does not exist. If that is true, then perhaps Jezebel’s greatest deception is convincing the church that it is nothing more than the spirit of control. Think about it. If your enemy can distract you from his purpose by throwing out false clues as to where he is hiding, then he can catch you off guard, ambush you and take you captive. That is just what Jezebel is doing by convincing the church that its motive is nothing more than controlling and manipulating for the sake of power and authority.

The strategy is working. Online stores offer books and videos by the hundreds proclaiming Jezebel to be the “spirit of control” and suggesting ways to break, overthrow, defeat and otherwise expose the spirit of Jezebel. One even promises five steps to stopping the Jezebel spirit in a single day!

Jezebel must be laughing out loud as people battle against the wrong spirit. She has become marketable, a demonic superstar who draws attention from some spiritual warfare camps intent on putting this spirit of control under their feet or pulling down its influence over cities once and for all.

Indeed, the spirit of Jezebel has become such a key topic that Christians are penning novels about it. Some pastors have jumped on the Jezebel bandwagon, attracting visitors to their websites with little understanding of what they are really dealing with. These shepherds are unknowingly propagating the Jezebel deception. The spirit of Jezebel must be relishing the attention—and the reality that it is keeping the deeper danger well hidden.

Jezebel’s greatest deception is convincing Spirit-filled churchgoers that it is a power-hungry, self-promoting spirit of control that wants to cozy up to the pastor in order to gain a position of spiritual authority in the local church. This is partly true; Jezebel manifests with control and manipulation.

But that is merely the low-hanging fruit of a rotten tree. Jezebel has succeeded in distracting the church from its broader purpose by disguising what it really is—a spirit of seduction that leads people into immorality and idolatry (see Revelation 2:20) and a partner with Babylon that seeks to murder. The Lady of the Kingdoms brags, “No one sees me” (Is. 47:10). The Lady of the Kingdoms is the spirit of Babylon, and its religious running mate is Jezebel. Part of Jezebel’s agenda is to seduce people to worship the Lady of the Kingdoms instead of the King of kings.

It may begin with control and manipulation, but it ends in murder.

Jennifer LeClaire, The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel, Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2013. Used by permission. Click here to download all of Chapter 1.

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