“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” Revelation 2:20-23
Here is a sweeping indictment of the church’s toleration of the woman named Jezebel and her teaching and influence which led the church to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Though she claimed the right and office of a prophetess, she had urged the Christians in Thyatira to continue their pagan worship of idols which characterized the unbelievers in the city. They were therefore not only permitted to participate in the idolatrous feasts by eating things sacrificed to idols but they were also instructed to take part in the immorality which characterized the worship of idols. In promoting these wrongs, the woman prophetess, whose real name was probably not Jezebel, was fulfilling the role of the historic Jezebel in the Old Testament
Jezebel herself had a most unenviable record of evil. She was responsible for the killing of Naboth and possession of his vineyard for her husband (1 Kings 21:1-16). She had also killed practically all the prophets of the Lord and did what she could to kill the Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:2). So evil was Jezebel’s character that she is singled out by Elijah for a special prophecy that she would come to a sudden end and that her body would be eaten by dogs—a prophecy fulfilled in 2 Kings 9:33-35. The Jezebel in Thyatira had a similar influence upon the church and broke down all boundaries of moral separation from the wicked world. Jesus gave her time to repent, but she chooses to continue in her sinful way, with this she will face terrible judgment.