Beyond Ahab and the eunuchs, Jezebel had at least 850 false prophetic puppets to manhandle. These 850 prophets came from two different camps in Israel—they were the prophets of Baal and the prophets of Asherah, sometimes called the prophets of Jezebel. Queen Jezebel’s false prophets were wrapped up in a religious system that spoke contrary to the will of God, while Jehovah’s prophets were hidden in caves for fear of their lives.
Indeed, ironic is the fact that Queen Jezebel was executing the true prophets of God as if they were false prophets (1 Kings 18:4) while the false prophetic puppets were being pampered and eating prime rib in the palace (v. 19).
God clearly mandated that false prophets be put to death (Deut. 13:1-5) along with people who adopt idolatry or lead others into this spiritual adultery (Deut. 13:13; 17:2-7). Yet Ahab stood by as Jezebel massacred the true prophets of God under false pretenses to protect her puppets, so it’s no wonder she was murderously mad when Elijah executed true justice against her misaligned mouthpieces (1 Kings 18:40).
But who were these 850 false prophetic puppets? How did Jezebel and religion work together to drive a sinister agenda—and how can we apply that to modern times?
False Prophetic Camps Rising
There are prophetic cults rising in the body of Christ that are deceiving and being deceived (2 Tim. 3:13). And should we be surprised? The Bible warns of false prophets over and again. Just as true prophets travel and minister in companies, wouldn’t it stand to reason that false prophets would too? If you need further evidence, just read 1 Kings. There you will find two companies of false prophets: the Baal prophets and the Jezebel prophets. In fact, you’ll only find three types of prophets mentioned in the Old Testament: the prophets of Baal, the prophets of Jezebel and the prophets of Jehovah.
Baal is a god of prophetic divination. This spirit leads people into idolatry through the guise of religion just like it led the Israelites into idolatry when Moses was on the mountain talking with God. Remember when the children of Israel made a molten calf as an idol to worship? That was the spirit of Baal (Ex. 32:8). Prophets of Baal, then, offer prophetic utterances that lead you into idolatry. These were among Jezebel’s puppets. Not much is said about the function of these prophets in the Bible, but it’s clear they were helping Jezebel forward her false religious agenda or she wouldn’t have kept them on her payroll.
What is idolatry? It’s when you put something above God in your life. It’s when you are more devoted to something than God. That could be a job, a relationship, money or a whole host of other things. You still see these “prophets of Baal” in the church today. They tap into the idolatry in your heart and prophesy what they find there through familiar spirits. Listen now, if you go to a meeting and a prophet announces a special prayer line for all those who sow $1,000 in exchange for a financial breakthrough, a powerful prayer life, a restored relationship or anything of the like, then you are in the midst of Baal’s camp. The Baal prophets network together and invite each other to their churches to merchandise their own sheep. They join together for mega-fundraisers that leave the sowers with empty pockets that won’t be filled with anything other than the wrong motives they came to the altar with.
The Prophets of Jezebel
The spirit of Ashtoreth influences the prophets of Jezebel. Ashtoreth was the pagan god Queen Jezebel served and was known as a seducing goddess of war. This is a different camp than the Baal prophets—and with a different motive. The prophets of Jezebel prophesy smooth, flattering words to manipulate and control, and they ultimately seduce you into immorality and idolatry (Rev. 2:20). If that doesn’t work, they transition into warfare mode and prophesy fearful sayings to control you.
When you hear prophetic judgments and curses that are clearly not coming from the heart of God, you are dealing with one of Jezebel’s modern-day prophets. Just like Queen Jezebel released fearful death threats in the Old Testament (1 Kings 19:2), New Testament prophets consumed with the spirit of Jezebel continue to release fearful death threats in the form of judgments and curses that are not from God. Ashtoreth and Baal were married. So these spirits often share one another’s characteristics. We must discern what we are dealing with. The prophets of Jezebel were puppets, probably among her messengers of doom.
The Prophets of Jehovah
The third type of prophets, of course, are Jehovah’s prophets. In the New Testament, these are the Melchizedek prophets. New Testament prophets are not serving under the order of Aaron. They are serving under the order of Melchizedek just as Jesus did (Heb. 5). Jesus, our prototype prophet, will not tolerate the spirit of Jezebel (seducing spirits that lead you into immorality and idolatry), nor will He condone Baal worship (idolatry). If Jesus doesn’t tolerate these spirits, we should not tolerate them either. We must first look to our own hearts to purge ourselves of any common ground we may have with these wicked spirits. Then we can begin to confront these dark powers and set captives free from the grip of deception. Amen.