Passive Men and Controlling Women: The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits Today

Have you noticed that our culture is filled with passive men and controlling women? What you may not know is that these demonic movements are empowered by the Jezebel and Ahab spirits, who have been at work since the days of Elijah. In this sermon, Pastor Mark tells that the story of Elijah gives context for real men, especially those who may struggle with the Ahab spirit and leave themselves vulnerable to the Jezebel spirit.

Passive Men and Controlling Women: The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits Today

Tony and Gina met in college while attending the same church. After dating a few years, they were married and moved out-of-state for job opportunities. They began volunteering in nearly every role needed at a small church, spending hours every week serving. Before long, they knew nearly everyone in the church, and had become close with the leaders. People really appreciated the enthusiasm of this young couple, who were quickly promoted to teaching roles. 

Since they both had musical ability, they were soon on the stage. The wife even gave them a title, announcing to the congregation one Sunday that her and her husband were the new worship leaders. The pastoral team assumed it was a youthful error and overlooked the public declaration of official leadership. The couple continued serving, and everything was fine until the wife was corrected in a women’s Bible study. She said something minor about the Bible that was incorrect, and the simply accurate correction brought out a defensive and self-righteous religiousness that never dissipated. 

Eventually, the couple became the greatest threat to the church. The wife became increasingly controlling and domineering. She would show up for team meetings at the church that she was not invited to or part of, started having people to her home on her turf where she could be in control, and began undermining the long-standing doctrinal beliefs of the church. Eventually, she had gathered enough women to form her own home Bible study that she taught, handing out books by authors promoting teaching contrary to the church, and a faction formed. 

The church leadership sat down with her husband to encourage him to speak with his wife, help her heal up, and get professional help if she was willing to deal with a lot of past traumas that had slowly become known as people got to know the couple. The husband was kind, not defensive, listened, and did not say much. The church leaders assumed that he was on the same page with them. The leaders asked him to come to his own conclusion about his wife, get her help if he thought she needed it, but to not divulge all the details of their conversation to her. 

The husband went home and reported everything that was said in the meeting, which set the wick that would lead to the explosion of his wife. She started emailing everyone in the church, attacking the church and leaders on social media, and connecting with larger networks led by others with the Jezebel spirit, collecting unhealthy and wounded people to take turns attacking churches and leaders. The church leaders yet again met with the husband and asked the wife to join him, which she refused, as she was acting completely independently of her husband by this time. The meeting was a replay of the first and, after a few more meetings, it became obvious that he was a passive Ahab who would say and do nothing. 

It was later revealed that this pattern started in college. Although they professed to be Christians, she became very sexually aggressive early in their dating relationship and he enjoyed that very much. However, it caused him to lose his respect and spiritual leadership in the relationship. In the marriage, if he did what she said, she was kind to him, took good care of him, and dealt with anything difficult from making money to having conflicts, and making decisions. He learned early on that if she was in control and he was passive, she was happy, and he was cared for. 

Rather than leaving the church, the wife started demanding that the current leadership step down and that her husband be the new pastor. She started telling incredible lies about the church and its leaders, inviting anyone else who ever had a problem to come forth and meet with her so she could be their advocate. Eventually, there was some anonymous group represented by this woman who was now growing in control over people in the church. Her husband did not much want to be the senior pastor, but he was too afraid of his wife to say or do anything. She knew that if he was the leader, his passivity would allow her to ultimately be in control. 

As turmoil rolled through the church, people started leaving, but the leadership was not budging. Suddenly, the wife started reported various visions, dreams, and words from God confirming her plan to overtake the church. This included quoting Scriptures out of context, which confused new Christians and less mature believers. 

Eventually, she started demanding detailed financial information about the church. The leaders wrongly assumed that providing her financial data would be something of an olive branch and bring peace. She quickly demanded more specific church expenses, including the salaries of all staff members. When this request was denied, she declared to anyone who would listen that there was a coverup, funds were being misspent, and the leadership refused to “walk in the light” and be “accountable”. All of this took place even though she and her husband had given only a pittance during their entire time at the church. 

The church leadership did not resign but did continue tolerating her behavior, assuming that at some point she would calm down and they would go away. That would not happen, because her goal was control and if she and her husband left the church, they would not be in control. The only way for her to have control was to rule the church through her passive Ahab husband or to destroy the church as her final act of control. It took some years, but eventually the church died. Of course, the Jezebel woman took to social media to mourn the death of their church and used the demise of the church caused by her years of attacks as proof that she was right, and the leaders were wrong. She alleged that they should have listened to her and allowed her husband to become the pastor because God would have blessed and saved the church. In typical Ahab fashion, he joined her on social media, talking like a victim about how hurt he was, as they had put in so many hours volunteering at the church and he would have been able to keep it from closing, but he was never given the opportunity, which broke his heart.

The couple gathered some people from their former church into a house church. The wife liked having people in her environment because she was in control. Eventually, she drifted into transgenderism and other sexual and gender confusion. Her husband remained passive, and today they are not really Christians anymore, but more committed to deconstructing all that is wrong with orthodox Christianity and the Church. She does most of the attacking in the form of talking and posting like Jezebel, while he says and does little just like Ahab.

Bible – tells us what always happen

  • 1st marriage – man/woman, Satan showed up, 
  • man passive – omission
  • woman controlling – commission 

= Women want to rule over husbands (Genesis 3 curse) 

Ahab & Jezebel (1 Ki. 16-2 Ki 2) – A. people who died empowered by B. spirits live on 

1.    Possessed – counterfeit Spirit-filled. Powerful. Multiple Personality Disorder 

2.    Oppressed – Elijah ran 100 miles wanted to die, exhausted, foggy, dysregulated 

3.    Tendencies – personality (shy/passive), bad teaching, family system, temporary (Obadiah) 

  • A man or woman can have either Ahab or Jezebel spirit

= Ahab and Jezebel spirits feed off one another. 

Ahab spirit

  • Ahab spirit avoids conflict, disagreement, and confrontation. 
  • ? insecure, needy, and struggles with “fear of man” (Prov. 29:25). 
  • ? shy personality, bad upbringing, or unhealed trauma = more severe 

= vulnerable to Jezebel spirit 

Jezebel spirit

Control (unhappy, very emotional, manipulative unless in control) = she’s the BOSS! 

  • Married young, beautiful, sensual, evil 
  • Father – Sidonian King – priest of Asherah (generational curses) 
  • Father’s name means “with Baal”, & “enjoying his favor & protection”
  • Jezebel – name means “un-husbanded” & “Baal is my prince” 
  • Fiercely independent, manipulative, controlling, unrepentant – VERY RELIGIOUS

= Knows the power of seducing or attacking men 

= Harder to overcome Jezebel than Ahab spirit

Alliances and Soul Ties

  • Controlling, domineering, rules by threat, fear, sex seduction, punishment/reward 
  • = Tolerated 

Codependent The Am. Psych. Assoc.  “the state of being mutually reliant” and “a dysfunctional relationship pattern in which an individual is psychologically dependent on (or controlled by) a person who has a pathological condition…” 

  • Counterfeit of unity 

Holy alliances (Ezra/Nehemiah, Moses/Joshua, Elijah/Elisha, Paul/Timothy) 

=Jesus & Disciples 

Unholy alliances (Sanballat/Tobiah, James/Jambres, Ahab/Jezebel, Hymeanaeus/Alexander).

=Judas & Mob 

“Soul Ties”  -“a bond between two individuals. The souls (mind, will, emotions) of individuals knit or joined together. A bond, a joining together of souls for good or evil. 

Ungodly soul ties – one person manipulates/controls other 

Soul ties will cause:

–       One person to follow another (Ruth 1:14–16)

–       A person to fulfill the desires of another (1 Sam. 20:4)

–       A person to surrender his goods to another (1 Sam. 18:4)

–       A person to react in anger when the person to whom they are soul tied to is attacked (1 Sam. 20:34)

–       A person to protect another in times of danger (1 Sam. 20:35–40)

–       Loyalty between a leader and his followers (2 Sam. 20:2).

= Ahab & Jezebel = clinical “codependent”; spiritual “soul tie

Godly soul ties – 2 believers in the Sprit spurring one another onto love and good deeds 

  • Healthy marriage 
  • Loving Spirit-filled family 

= Elijah & Elisha godly soul tie 

The Holy Spirit introduces people 

Demons also introduce people 

Elijah spirit 

Malachi 4:5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Holy Spirit- Elijah – Elisha – John Baptizer – Jesus Christ – Spirit-Filled believers

Discussion and Prayer 

1.    Is your tendency to be more like Ahab (passive), Jezebel (aggressive), or Elijah (assertive)? 

2.    What did the Holy Spirit highlight for you apply in your own life (or marriage) in the talk?

3.    How can we pray for you? 

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Mark Driscoll

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