Elijah, Jehu and the War Against Jezebel
By Francis Frangipane
There is a war, a very ancient war, between the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Jezebel. In this age-old battle, Elijah represents the interests of Heaven: the call to repentance and the return to God. Jezebel, on the other hand, represents that unique principality whose purpose is to hinder the deep work of God in the church.
To the Victor Goes the Nation
To understand the conflict between the Elijah spirit and the spirit of Jezebel, we must understand these two adversaries as they are seen in the Scriptures. Each is the spiritual counterpart of the other. Is Elijah bold? Jezebel is brazen. Is Elijah ruthless toward evil? Jezebel is vicious toward righteousness. Does Elijah speak of the ways and words of God? Jezebel is full of systems of witchcraft and words of deceit. The war between Elijah and Jezebel continues today. The chief warriors on either side are the prophets of both foes; to the victor goes the soul of our nation.
In the tradition of Samuel, Elijah was the head of the school of prophets. Under him were the "sons of the prophets" -- literally hundreds of prophetic minstrels -- who proclaimed the Word of the Lord in song. In this war, however, Jezebel had viciously and systematically murdered nearly all of God's servants until it appeared only Elijah remained (see 1 Kings 18:22). Elijah, as the last of the prophets, then challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the Asherah to a demonstration of power: their gods against the power of the Lord.
These 850 men were the false prophets, the satanic priests "at Jezebel's table" (1 Kings 18:19). They were the most powerful, demonized individuals that the hosts of darkness could produce. King Ahab, Jezebel's husband, sent a message out to "all the sons of Israel" (v. 20), and the nation came to witness the battle between the God of Elijah and the demons of Jezebel.
The terms of the challenge were simple: each was to place an ox upon an altar. Elijah then said, "You call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God" (v. 24). Six hours later the cult priests still could produce no fire; twelve hours passed and Elijah began to mock them: "Call out [to Baal] with a loud voice . . . perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened" (v. 27). Then, just before evening, Elijah prayed over his sacrifice and "the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering" (v.38). The Bible says that "when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God'" (v. 39). Immediately after this powerful witness of the Lord, Elijah had the Hebrews secure the prophets of Baal and all of them were put to death.
We would suppose that, at this point, Elijah would have asked God to finish off Jezebel, but he did not. In fact -- and this may surprise you -- Elijah came under spiritual warfare. When Jezebel heard what had happened to her servants, she released a flood of demonic power against Elijah, and he fled in fear.
You may ask, "How could such a mighty prophet turn and run?" The answer is not simple. In fact, the situation worsened. We next see Elijah sitting under a juniper tree, bewailing that he is no better than his fathers -- actually praying that he might die! (See 1 Kings 19:4.) What pressure overwhelmed this great man of God that he would fall prey to fear and discouragement? He succumbed to the witchcraft of Jezebel.
And now, let the reader understand: when you stand against the spirit of Jezebel, even though you resist her lusts and witchcrafts, you must guard against the power-demons of fear and discouragement, for these she will send against you to keep you from your victory!
The Drama Continues . . .
It is a mystery, but the Bible tells us that under certain circumstances the Holy Spirit will transfer the anointing of one to function through another. We read that a double portion of the spirit of Elijah ministered through his successor, Elisha (see 2 Kings 2:9–11). When John the Baptist came forth, he came "as a forerunner before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17). Jesus said of the Baptist, "John himself is Elijah who was to come" (Matt. 11:14, see also 17:11–13).
The spiritual influence of Elijah had returned to the world in the ministry of John the Baptist. Like Elijah, John proclaimed the need for repentance. One such area was in the adulterous lives of King Herod and his wife Herodias. When John confronted them, Herodias had him imprisoned (Mark 6:17–18).
Who was this manipulating and working through the dark, psychic side of Herodias? As Elijah's spirit ministered through John, so Jezebel had resurfaced through the rebellion of the seductress, Herodius. Remember, through Jezebel's many witchcrafts (2 Kings 9:22), she attacked Elijah, causing fear and discouragement, which led to Elijah's time of self-doubt and confusion. Now Herodius had come forcibly against John the Baptist. This is the prophet who had visibly seen the Spirit descend upon Christ; he heard the Father's audible voice announcing His beloved Son; he gazed with awe upon the purity of Israel's Messiah. Now fear and discouragement are weighing upon the prophet's shoulders. Doubt floods his soul about Christ:
"Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" (Matt. 11:3).
"A strategic day came when Herod . . . gave a banquet" (Mark 6:21). "Strategic" is the perfect word to describe the timing of this event. For Herodias had her daughter dance before Herod, enticing out of him a promise to give whatever she asked. At her mother's request -- more truly, at Jezebel's request -- she demanded and received the head of the Baptist. And temporarily, the confrontation between the spirits of these enemies subsided.
Elijah Is Coming!
Two thousand years ago, Jesus stated that the ministry of Elijah was not over. He promised, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things" (Matt. 17:11). Also, Malachi the prophet wrote, "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore . . ." (Mal. 4:5–6). Elijah is coming to war and restore. He came before the great day, and he is returning before the terrible day of the Lord.
Let it also be known that if Elijah is coming before Jesus returns, so we shall also see the manifestation of Jezebel in the world. Do you not discern her in our land in the abundance of witchcraft and harlotries? Do you not hear her brazen voice rejecting God's authority? Have you not, with shame, beheld her working as she caused God's "bond-servants" to "commit acts of immorality" (Rev. 2:20)? Seeing Jezebel so blatantly manifest herself only confirms that the spirit of Elijah is also here bringing repentance and raising up warring prophets throughout our land.
Not a Time of Peace
In the Old Testament we see how God destroyed Jezebel. Jehu, the newly crowned king of Israel, was sent by the word of the Lord through Elijah's successor, Elisha, to fulfill God's promise. As Jehu and his men furiously drove their chariots toward Jezreel, the kings of Israel and Judah came out to meet him. They asked, "Is it peace, Jehu?" And he answered, "What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?" (2 Kings 9:22). And Jehu slew the two kings. Immediately afterward, he rode into Jezreel to confront Jezebel.
The Word tells us that when she saw him, "she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head," and looking out an upper window, she called to him, "‘Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?' And he looked up at the window and said, ‘Who is on my side? Who?' So two or three eunuchs looked out at him. Then he said, ‘Throw her down.' So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot" (2 Kings 9:30–33 NKJV).
There was something in Jehu's spirit that we must possess today. While we must be compassionate toward those captured by her wiles (see Rev. 2:21), we must show no mercy to the Jezebel spirit itself. Jehu offered Jezebel no compromise whatsoever. So we must offer this demon no opportunity to probe our soul and unlock vulnerabilities to her "many witchcrafts." She must be cast down from her high place of influence in our minds, that we may truly follow Christ (see Luke 10:19; Rom. 16:20).
There can be no peace, no relaxing under our "fig tree" until the spirit of Jezebel is overcome and as long as her harlotries and witchcrafts are so many in our land. We must refuse to settle for a false peace based on compromise and fear, for the Spirit of God is calling for war!
It is significant that the eunuchs cast her down. Some who are reading this have become slaves to this evil spirit. Today God is giving you the privilege of participating in His judgment against Jezebel. You cast her down from your imagination! Side with God and let the deliverance of God come forth!
Let's pray: Heavenly Father, I submit my heart to You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I resist the spirit of Jezebel. As a servant of Jesus Christ, I release those who have been Jezebel's captives, even those who have become open to immorality through the Internet or illicit relationships. I speak to Jezebel's slaves: If you are truly on the Lord's side, then cast down your sympathetic thoughts toward this cruel master! Renounce her evil imaginations from your mind! In the power of Jesus' name, I release you from her psychic grip upon your soul. In the authority of the living Christ! Amen.