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7 Unmistakable Signs of a Jezebel Spirit

Britt Mooney

Contributing Writer
Published Apr 08, 2024
7 Unmistakable Signs of a Jezebel Spirit

If you’ve grown up in the church, especially among certain denominations, you’ve heard people talk about “the Jezebel spirit.” Among more charismatic-leaning churches, the term describes a controlling and manipulative person influenced by evil forces.

The term comes from Queen Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 and 2 Kings). King Ahab ruled the northern nation of Israel when God’s people were split into Judah and Israel. Ahab married Jezebel, a princess of the land of the Sidonians, who worshipped the god of Baal. Since northern Israel already dealt with idolatry, Ahab and Israel adopted Baal as the national god and religion based on Jezebel’s influence. Beyond her religious influence, Jezebel persecuted and killed prophets and led Ahab to murder Naboth to acquire his land.

When a person begins exhibiting controlling and manipulative behavior within a church community, some apply the term “Jezebel spirit” to acknowledge the unseen evil forces behind these people and their actions. Unfortunately, since Jezebel was a woman, this term has been applied to manipulative or seductive women in the church. However, men and women can be guilty of operating by a Jezebel spirit.

Interestingly enough, these signs of a Jezebel spirit can also apply to cultish behavior, which makes sense. The Jezebel spirit directly opposes the Spirit of God, God’s authority, and the love of Christ. Left unchecked, the Jezebel spirit seeks to set up its own religious system, even in the name of Christianity, however perverted it becomes.

Here are seven unmistakable signs of a Jezebel spirit.

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puppeteer manipulating paper figures to represent manipulation

1. Manipulation

Manipulation, both spiritual and personal, is a hallmark sign of a Jezebel spirit. It exemplifies control-driven behavior aimed at subverting and dominating others. Jezebel epitomized manipulation through her schemes and control over her husband, King Ahab.

In 1 Kings 21:7-16, Jezebel manipulates events to fulfill her own desires, orchestrating the wrongful execution of Naboth to acquire his vineyard for Ahab. Her cunning manipulation showcases her willingness to deceive and exploit others to achieve her selfish ambitions.

Similarly, individuals influenced by a Jezebel spirit employ manipulation tactics to gain power in both spiritual and personal contexts. In spiritual areas, they may distort religious teachings, misinterpret scripture, or fabricate spiritual experiences to manipulate others’ beliefs and behaviors for personal gain or influence.

On a personal level, these individuals exploit those who are vulnerable and insecure to manipulate emotions and decisions. They may employ charm, flattery, or intimidation to manipulate others into conforming to their wishes or fulfilling their needs. This manipulation is characterized by a lack of empathy or concern for the well-being of others, prioritizing self-interest and power dynamics above genuine relationships or mutual respect.

Believers must be quick to resist any efforts to manipulate people intellectually or emotionally, especially those vulnerable for various reasons, whether children or others going through personal crises. Those with the Jezebel spirit may also manufacture a miraculous spiritual experience to support their bad doctrine, theology, or spiritual authority. Christians should be wary of these, as well. A spiritual experience doesn’t justify bad doctrine.

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hand holding figurines to signify control, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

2. Domination and Control

The kingdom of God isn’t about domination, control, or manipulation. Therefore, seeking control over others proves an unmistakable sign of a Jezebel spirit.

1 Kings 21:25-26 states, “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.” Jezebel controlled Ahab and led him to engage in wicked deeds and forsake the commands of God.

Similarly, individuals influenced by a Jezebel spirit seek to assert dominance and control in various aspects of life, including relationships, organizations, and communities. They employ intimidation, threats, and deception to manipulate others’ thoughts and actions, ensuring compliance with their desires and agendas.

In relationships, this manifests through patterns of coercion and abuse, seeking to dominate and subjugate partners or family members to fulfill their own needs and desires. In organizational settings, like the church, individuals with a Jezebel spirit may use micromanagement, gaslighting, and scapegoating to maintain control and suppress dissent. If left unchecked, this control leads to division and dysfunction within churches and families.

If anyone could dominate and would be for good, it would be God. However, he appeals through love and sacrifices himself for our good. Be wary of individuals who seek this dysfunctional control over others and resist it as soon as you recognize it.

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Hand shakes one crossing fingers behind his back, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

3. Deception

Since the Jezebel spirit is from the realm of darkness, it uses deception. A pattern of dishonesty and lying stands as an unmistakable sign, as Jezebel revealed this trait through her cunning schemes.

In 1 Kings 21:5-16, Jezebel orchestrates a scheme to acquire Naboth’s vineyard for her husband. She fabricates false accusations against Naboth, leading to his unjust execution, thus enabling Ahab to seize the vineyard.

Similarly, individuals influenced by a Jezebel spirit employ deception to manipulate and control others in various aspects of life. They may use lies, half-truths, and information manipulation to mislead and exploit others for personal gain or to maintain power and authority.

A Jezebel spirit manifests in relationships through gaslighting and deceit, leading to confusion, distrust, and emotional harm. In groups like organizations or churches, individuals influenced by a Jezebel spirit may manipulate facts, withhold information, or spread false rumors to undermine others and advance their own interests. This deception often leads to discord within relationships or even ruined reputations. When others react angrily, their responses are further exploited for personal gain or control.

Believers should take any accusation seriously, but the Bible teaches us to be careful when accepting an accusation based on one person’s testimony. Especially in the modern cancel culture, we must be patient and reserve judgment before properly investigating. In general, this also requires us to develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, who will lead us into all truth.

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Woman alone in her apartment, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

4. Isolation

Those influenced by the Jezebel spirit will attempt to isolate people from their families and communities, usually to control them better. Therefore, these isolating tactics are an unmistakable sign of the Jezebel spirit.

In 1 Kings 19:1-3, Jezebel responds to Elijah’s win against the prophets of Baal by threatening Elijah’s life, causing him to flee and seek isolation in the wilderness. By isolating Elijah and cutting him off from his community and support network, Jezebel attempts to weaken his effectiveness as a prophet of God.

Individuals influenced by a Jezebel spirit employ tactics of isolation to exert control and dominance over others in various aspects of life, just like a predator tries to get their prey separate from the protection of the herd. Those of this evil spirit seek to isolate individuals from friends, family, or community support systems, creating a sense of dependency and vulnerability.

People were designed to be in a relationship with God and others, empowering and mutually benefitting all. The Jezebel spirit isolates partners or family members from these support networks to better lie and coerce. They also isolate, gossip, slander, and marginalize those who oppose their agenda.

As Christians, we must check on people who seem to be more isolated from the community and recognize when this isolation is the influence of a certain individual. Abuse almost always happens in secret. The truth isn’t afraid of a crowd, and God seeks to bring all things to light.

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man's fist clenched, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

5. Rebellion

Since power and control are often the goals of the Jezebel spirit, those influenced by this embody defiance and insubordination towards legitimate leadership and established order. Jezebel showed this train by challenging and usurping all authority in pursuit of her ambitions, primarily the authority of God.

Jezebel’s control over her husband led him to rebel against God and, by extension, those prophets anointed by God to spread his word. She persecuted and killed those prophets. It wasn’t enough for her to worship her god; she also needed to bring down any authority other than her own.

People influenced by a Jezebel spirit exhibit a spirit of rebellion against proper authority in various contexts. They may challenge or undermine legitimate leadership, seek to manipulate or control those in positions of authority or incite discord and division within organizations or communities.

In relationships, a Jezebel spirit manifests through defiance and disrespect toward partners, parents, or authority figures, causing disruption and instability. Beyond this, the rebellion can cause conflict and chaos in families or other organizations. Those under the Jezebel spirit resist accountability and refuse to submit, expressing how they know better than a leader and actively undermining them in every situation.

The Jezebel spirit must remove current leadership to become the authority. Christians must recognize when conversation seeks to tear down leadership instead of encouraging and building them up. Scripture tells us to honor and pray for our leaders, not tear them down. Steer discussions to love, and if there are genuine issues, bring a community in to talk it through and get these problems out in the open in love and with a goal for unity and support.

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haughty man pointing to himself with prideful expression, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

6. Arrogance

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. A Jezebel spirit reflects an attitude of pride, self-importance, and superiority over others. Jezebel’s haughty demeanor and disdain for others she deemed inferior or unworthy proves a great example. Even at the moment of her death, when Jehu comes to execute her, she comes to the window in full makeup and adorning her head to face him.

Men or women influenced by a Jezebel spirit exhibit arrogance in their interactions with others, displaying a sense of entitlement and superiority. They may belittle or dismiss the opinions of others, considering themselves above reproach or criticism. The Jezebel spirit may be revealed through condescension, arrogance towards family members, subordinates, leaders, or colleagues, and refusal to acknowledge their contributions or value. They often take credit for the work of others, claiming they were the ones to do it or they should get the benefit since they ordered someone around.

As Christians, we are called to be humble. If Jesus came not to be served but to serve, we should note this as a strong spiritual character. Believers should be quick to recognize the contributions and strengths of others and not talk about themselves to the detriment of people, whether leaders or family. When we encounter someone who does this, we must stand for the truth and expose it for the health of an organization. We set up systems of self-awareness and accountability to avoid discord and division.

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man and woman walking in separate directions, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

7. Division and Destruction

Along with control, the main goal of the Jezebel spirit is division. When a person reflects a pattern of discord, this becomes a prime sign of the Jezebel spirit. When Jezebel orchestrated the destruction of Naboth and his family to seize a vineyard for her husband, Ahab, this didn’t only result in the death of an innocent man. Her actions also sowed seeds of discord and division within the kingdom as God’s judgment was pronounced upon Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness.

Those under the influence of a Jezebel spirit exhibit a propensity for destruction and division in their interactions with others. They may sow seeds of discord, spread rumors or falsehoods, and manipulate situations to undermine relationships and cause harm to those they perceive as threats to their authority or interests. The aspects previously discussed—isolation, rebellion, deception, and control—work together to break up marriages, families, companies, churches, and other important relationships.

These patterns of manipulation and abuse lead to confusion and resentment in marriages or with other family members. This rebellion within churches or organizations instigates conflicts and factions among colleagues and other members. This leads to long-term consequences, including broken marriages and split churches, negatively affecting everyone involved.

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people praying for each other to signify reconciliation, warning signs of the jezebel spirit

How Can We Deal with the Jezebel Spirit?

God calls us to be unified and speak in love, promoting reconciliation, forgiveness in relationships, and forgiveness when issues occur. We must address these toxic behaviors influenced by such spirits through accountability and healing as a community.

We must do two things when we recognize someone with a Jezebel spirit. First, recognize our battle is with a spirit, not a person, and pray through spiritual warfare with the confidence we intercede from the victory of Christ.

Second, we expose these actions to at least a few individuals to hold people accountable. Through love, we correct the person and one another. If unrepentant, we give boundaries. In rare and extremely dangerous cases, we must remove the person from the community.

Generally, in my experience, when someone with a Jezebel spirit is exposed and given the loving opportunity to repent and change, they leave of their own accord.

Peace.

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Britt MooneyBritt Mooney lives and tells great stories. As an author of fiction and non -iction, he is passionate about teaching ministries and nonprofits the power of storytelling to inspire and spread truth. Mooney has a podcast called Kingdom Over Coffee and is a published author of We Were Reborn for This: The Jesus Model for Living Heaven on Earth as well as Say Yes: How God-Sized Dreams Take Flight.


This article is part of our larger resource library of Christian questions important to the Christian faith. From core beliefs to what the Bible says about angels, we want to provide easy to read and understand articles that answer your questions about Christian living.

What Do Christians Believe?
How Old Is the Earth?
Who Is My Neighbor in the Bible?
What Does God Look Like?
Are Guardian Angels Real?
What Does it Mean to Be Zealous for God?

Originally published Wednesday, 17 April 2024.