The Nature of Jezebel and the Depths of Satan

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 29. Revelation 2:20-24.

“I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel…to commit fornication” (Rev 2:20). What does that mean? Since Hosea, marriage has been and continues to be an illustration of the intimate, faithful relationship between the Lord and His own (cf. Hos 2:19-20). Isaiah 54:5-8 is a moving example: 

“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”

Marriage is undoubtedly a shadow of the Lord’s wonderful relationship with His people. Just consider Ezekiel 16:8a: “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love.” In the New Testament, Paul puts it poignantly: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2). And in Ephesians 5:32, he explains, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Therefore, unfaithfulness to the Lord (regardless of form) is fornication, adultery, and sorcery. And that is Jezebel’s nature. When Joram asked, “Is it peace, Jehu?” Jehu replied, “What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2 Kings 9:22).

In order to better understand this spiritual fornication, it’s important to absorb what Jeremiah 3:6 says: “The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot” (cf. Ezek 16:15; Mark 8:38; James 4:4).

The prophetess Jezebel doesn’t just defile the church through sexual debauchery, but also through dreadful straying from following Jesus: godless misconduct is tolerated on Christian soil. Instead of breaking with Rome’s pagan idolatry and the local customs with enthusiasm, Christians were (and still are) incorporating any number of them into their spiritual life. They sacrificed total obedience to Jesus’ absolute claim, in order to assimilate with the world. This is the yeast that leavens the entire lump, and it begins with false tolerance toward yourself.

Today, we’re observing a careless relaxation of Christ’s commands, a frivolous conformity to worldly thought patterns and lifestyles, all in the name of “spiritual freedom.” That was the evil in Thyatira, and that same evil is still devouring in our time. Thyatira could have reached a decisive turning point, but nothing happened: “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not” (Rev 2::21).

Under the Old Covenant, if someone was suspected of having leprosy, the priest would inspect that person thoroughly and then isolate him for seven days. In other words, he was given a week’s grace period. If leprosy still couldn’t be clearly diagnosed after these seven days, he was “shut up” for another seven days (Lev 13:1ff.). If it was determined to be leprosy, that person was unclean and was cast out of the community. To extend this to Jezebel, she was given time to repent but did not. Hence the verdict: “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death” (Rev 2:22-23a).

A staggeringly serious word! The living God is threatening and executing a judgment. It also becomes clear here that the seduced in Thyatira are not being judged for their sin (although it was very serious). They are being judged because they are unwilling to repent: “except they repent of their deeds…”

We always want things to change for the better, and pray for it: a spiritual change in our family, in our workplace, in our church. But what if we’re not fulfilling the only prerequisite? Repent. Then comes judgment. The Lord throws Jezebel and her followers, who hold fast to evil, “into a bed.” In other words, He throws her into a powerless situation. A bedridden man is helpless. “Into great tribulation,” says the Lord. Maybe He’s thrown you “into a bed” as well. Why? Because He loves you and wants you to finally come to repentance. The disasters in our lives aren’t always temptation from the devil.

Verses 24-25 also show that this intermingled doctrine of Jezebel evidently had the intent of knowing the depths of Satan: “ many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”

What does it mean to “know the depths of Satan”? It’s the same thing Paul is talking about in Romans 6:15: “What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” In other words, should we do what is of the devil, so that we can experience salvation even more? Should we go into the depths of Satan, to understand the depths of Jesus Christ? Never!

There is another aspect to knowing the depths of Satan. Let’s return to the false identification of the source of our challenges, when every temptation is being assessed as a satanic or demonic attack. Some people are actually dealing with Satan and demonic bondage. They want to “know the depths of Satan”; as a result, they no longer have the strength to engage with Jesus’ victory. But Jesus is the Victor, and all power in heaven and on earth has been given to Him!

Midnight Call - 06/2022

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