20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Rev 2:20-23
The Church in Thyatira was generally doing well. Unlike the Church in Ephesus that had forgotten their first love, they were doing more that they did at first. But they were in danger and were warned against their attitude towards a woman whose real name probably wasn’t Jezebel, but was called that as a reference. She was the Queen of Israel, married to King Ahab and you can read about what she did in 1 Kings 19 and 1 Kings 21.
When someone is referred to as Jezebel (as in Thyatira) or where some people may talk of a ‘a Jezebel spirit’ they are referring to behaviour that exhibits the following: control, manipulation, attacking leaders, seducing both leaders and followers. Someone with this behaviour is ungovernable and unteachable and will not submit to authority. The effects of this kind of influential behaviour are a dis-empowered leadership and a quenching of the work of the Spirit of God. Elijah was a great prophet and after the threats from Jezebel, the Bible tells us that he “was afraid and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3). Ahab was the king, but his wife Jezebel would manipulate and control him as she advanced her evil agenda. Another effect is sexual immorality and a general disregard for the standards of God.
In the case of Thyatira, it is unclear whether the so called Jezebel (and her followers) was a part of the the Church or someone from outside. Either way, the Church is warned against her and is susceptible to the effects and consequences of tolerating her.
Today, pray for the maturity to identify those who may lead you astray through their influence in your life. Ask that God would make you studious (so that you can be sound in doctrine) and full of the Spirit (so that you may be discerning). If God brings to mind people around you who exhibits any of these traits and put you or others at risk of compromising God’s standards, ask Him to give you the wisdom to know how to remove their influence.
God’s standards are very high and with His help, we can attain them!