In Part III of this series, we’re looking at the damsel in Thyatira and how he handled this situation in the light of the Jezebel spirit and false apostles and false prophets. It was in Thyatira that Paul encountered a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling (Acts 16:16).
The “masters” in this verse were governmental officers with natural authority in the jurisdiction just as the apostles were governmental officers with spiritual authority in the jurisdiction. But the thievery of these wicked masters lumps them in with the “sorry bunch” Paul described as pseudo-apostles and crooked workers.
So in Thyatira we see the damsel (false prophetess) making a way for the masters (false apostles) to gain unjust profit (merchandising) through a false ministry gift (divination).
We’re talking about the spirit of Jezebel, and false prophets. You’ll recall that the Apostle Paul spoke against false apostles who sought unjust gain, proclaiming: “I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing ‘preachers,’ vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch – pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers – posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core” (2 Corinthians 11:12-13 MSG).
Apostle Paul was no stranger to the operations of false apostles or demonic governments. Jezebel is likely one of the principalities Paul wrestled against (Ephesians 6) as she attempted to exercise her influence in territories through which he traveled to preach the Gospel. Thyatira was such a territory. Jesus had one thing against the church in Thyatira: it tolerated Jezebel (Revelation 2:20).
Jezebel gained her reputation as an enemy to the prophets of God in the Old Testament era. While dogs devoured the wicked Queen Jezebel, her spirit is alive and well in New Testament times. And this depraved principality has earned another reputation in the last days: enemy of the apostolic.
Queen Jezebel is infamous for her antics in the Book of I Kings. Jezebel is charged with murdering many prophets and cutting off the voice of others that fearfully hid in caves (I Kings 18:4, 13). The Book of Revelation exposes this spirit’s operation in the New Testament age as one that calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce the Lord’s true prophets with lust and idolatry (Revelation 2:20).
Jezebel’s attack on prophets has a ripple effect on apostles because these two graces are foundational gifts that work together to build the Church (Ephesians 2:20). Prophets say and apostles do. Cutting off or perverting the prophetic voice, then, hinders the manifestation of the glorious church because apostles are most effective when prophets are in watchtowers instead of caves, in local churches instead of in lust, parking lots and street corners.
I was teaching a class at church this morning on healing. I was expounding on James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
What does it mean to resist the devil? This is part and parcel of spiritual warfare. When we submit ourselves to God’s Word, we are, in fact, resisting the devil. But beyond that, resisting the devil means resisting the attacks he launches against us; attacks such as fear, doubt, sickness, discouragement, etc. These things are not of God and are contrary to God’s will for us.
So when fear comes, I engage in spiritual battle by opening my holy mouth and saying, “I resist you fear, in the name of Jesus. God had not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” When sickness tries to find a home on my physical body, I resist it. When doubt comes, I resist it. We need to actively resist emotions, thoughts, and physical manifestations in our bodies that are not from God. Resisting means speaking against it.