The ancient conflict between the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Jezebel is an incredibly powerful glimpse into spiritual warfare. In this age-old battle, Elijah represents the voice of Heaven: the call to repentance and the return to God. Jezebel, on the other hand, embodies that unique principality of Satan whose purpose is to hinder and defeat the work of repentance. The goal is to silence the work and Word of God.
To understand the conflict between Elijah and 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.
Elijah was the spiritual leader of Israel's school of prophets. Under him were the sons of the prophets---literally hundreds of seers and prophetic minstrels, each of whom proclaimed the Word of the Lord. In this war, however, Jezebel had viciously and systematically murdered God's servants until only Elijah remained (I 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, satanic priests of Baal worship, who ate "at Jezebel's table" (I 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 Israel, and the nation came to witness the conflict between the God of Elijah and the demons of Baal led by 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' (I Kings 18:24). Six hours later the cult priests still could produce no fire; twelve hours passed and Elijah began to mock them, "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside...perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened" (vs 27). Then, just before evening, Elijah prayed over his sacrifice and, 'The fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering... And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, 'The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God' (I Kings 18:38-39).
Immediately after this powerful witness of the Lord, Elijah instructed the Israelites to gather the prophets of Baal and all of them were put to death. We would suppose that, at this point, Elijah would have gone into Jezreel and, with the same confidence and power that just accompanied him, destroyed Jezebel, but he did not. In fact---and this may surprise you---Elijah came under spiritual warfare. Jezebel, in a fit of rage, released a flood of satanic oppression and curses against Elijah that overwhelmed him, swamping his soul with fear and discouragement, causing him to flee. How could such a mighty prophet turn and run?
The answer is not simple. In fact, the situation worsened. We next see Elijah sitting beneath a juniper tree, bewailing that he is no better than his fathers--actually praying that he might die! (I Kings 19:4) What pressure overwhelmed this great man of God that he would fall prey to such fear and discouragement? Satan's work through Jezebel. Now listen, my beloved comrades, and understand. When you take a stand against forces of darkness like those who controlled Queen Jezebel, even though you resist such attacks, you must be aware that fear and discouragement as well as other devices of Satan will be sent against you to smother your prayer and silence your voice.
The Drama Continues... The war between Elijah and Jezebel reanimates at peak seasons in the history of man. Remember what the Scriptures speak concerning John the Baptist: he was to be a, "forerunner before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Lk 1:17). Jesus said of John the Baptist, "...he himself is Elijah, who was to come" (Matt 11:14, 17:11-13). John even looked like Elijah. Like Elijah, John proclaimed the need for repentance wherever he saw sin. One such area was in the adulterous lives of King Herod and his wife, Herodias. When John confronted them, Herodias had him imprisoned (Mk 6:17-19). But who was this manipulating and controlling in the dark, spiritual side of Herodias? As Elijah's spirit ministered through John, so Jezebel-like influences had surfaced into this world through Herodias! What Jezebel did to Elijah in the wilderness, Herodias now released against John: fear and discouragement blanketed the thought life of this mighty servant of God. John the Baptist, who had visibly seen the Spirit descend as a dove upon Christ, who heard the Father's audible voice and beheld the living Son of God, was now asking if what he saw was real (Matt 11:3). The only man alive who had living contact with the Trinity, now doubted the vision. "And a strategic day came when Herod...gave a banquet" (Mk 6:21). "Strategic" is the perfect word to describe the timing of this event. For in this war between the spirits of Elijah and Jezebel, Herodias had her daughter dance before Herod, enticing from the king a promise to give whatever she asked. At her mother's request---more truly, at a type of "Jezebel's" request---she demanded the head of the Baptist be brought to her. Why decapitation? Through John's mouth came the Word of God. The audible proclamation of the Word of God is the greatest threat to Satan. To cut off John's head was to silence his mouth and cut off his authority. Thus, temporarily, the confrontation between God and Satan (Elijah's godly influence and Jezebel's evil influence subsided.
Be encouraged. The Bible says that 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). Malachi the prophet also wrote, "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord" (Mal 4:5). The spirit or influence of Elijah, according to scripture, will return to the affairs of mankind before the great and terrible day of the Lord! His purpose will be to restore all things. Even as the Lord used the spirit of Elijah, through the Holy Spirit, to empower Elisha and then John the Baptist, so the Lord is raising up an "Elijah" company of Spirit-filled men and women sent to prepare the way for the return of Christ!
Let it also be known that, if Elijah is coming before Jesus returns, so also is Satan in the form of Antichrist (just like Jezebel opposed Elijah). Indeed, do you not see her in our land in the practice of witchcraft and false religions? Do you not hear her brazen voice rejecting God's authority? Have you not beheld her causing even God's spiritual leaders to "commit acts of immorality"? (Rev 2:20) Seeing "Jezebel" (the work of Satan) so blatantly attacking Christians only confirms that the spirit of Elijah, the Holy Spirit, is also here to bring repentance and help prepare God's people for the return of the Lord.
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 judgment. As Jehu and his men furiously drove their chariots toward Jezreel, the kings of Israel and Judah came out to meet him, " 'Is it peace, Jehu?' And he answered, 'What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?' (II Kings 9:21-22) Jehu murdered the two kings-servants of Jezebel. Immediately afterward, he rode into Jezreel to confront Jezebel. The Word tells us that when she saw him, she painted her eyes and adorned her head, and looking out an upper window, she called to him, 'Is it well, Zimri (Jehu), your master's murderer?' Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, 'Who is on my side? Who?' And two or three eunuchs looked down at him. And he said, 'Throw her down.' So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot"" (II Kings 9:30-33 NAS/KJ).
There was something in Jehu's courageous spirit that we must possess today in our war against Jezebel. While we must be compassionate toward those captured by Jezebel, Jehu had no mercy, no hope for reform, no compromise or sympathy whatsoever toward this Satan-controlled woman! Jehu '...trampled her under foot.' While she lay bleeding and near death, he trampled her beneath the feet of his horse! While we are not called to so physical a demonstration of our resolve, spiritually, like Jehu's heart, we must have no tolerance whatsoever to compromise our faith and our purity! There can be no peace, no relaxing under our "fig tree," until the influence of Jezebel is slain! We must refuse to settle for a false peace based on compromise and fear, especially when the Spirit of God is calling for "War"!
Side with God, and remember that to have victory over satanic oppression requires that you stand strong in the "armor of God" (Ephesian 6) and you pray for spiritual protection! When God wants to use you the most, as He did with Elijah, Satan is not far behind to discourage and depress you. Let God give you the victory!t