The eating of meat offered to idols was a great point of contention in the early church.  The new Gentile converts to the church were used to buying this meat, but it offended many of the Jewish believers who despised anything to do with idols.  The Apostle Paul taught that the eating of such meat was not something of which to be concerned.  He wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:4, “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”  Yet, he also cautioned the Gentile believers to be sensitive to the conscience of those who were offended by it.  He goes on to say in verse 7, “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.”  There were those who were not convinced in their sense of right and wrong that eating this meat was correct.  Their conscience was “weak” and became “defiled” by eating this meat.

Let’s continue by reading 1 Corinthians 8:9-11, “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?”  If a younger, weaker brother witnessed an older, more knowledgeable brother eating meat offered to idols it may encourage him to go ahead and eat it although his conscience was still not settled on the matter.  This would cause him to go against what he thinks is wrong and cause him to stumble.  We read in Romans 14:22, “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”  To eat this meat would cause the weaker brother to lose his joy, thinking he had sinned by eating the meat.  Paul, taking his younger and weaker brothers into consideration said in 1 Corinthians 8:13, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”  His desire was to edify, not offend his fellow believers.

Jezebel is altogether different.  Her desire is to offend young believers in Christ, not to edify them.  She purposefully encourages the believers to commit sin and go against their consciences.  Revelation 2:20 says, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” 

Although we cannot be certain of Jezebel’s identity in Revelation 2:20, we know her namesake in Hebrew scripture. The Jezebel of the Old Testament was the wife of Ahab, king of Israel. She was an evil, idolatrous and unashamed queen whose name today is synonymous with a shameless woman without any good morals.  We read of her in 1 Kings 21:25, “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom JEZEBEL HIS WIFE STIRRED UP.”  The Jezebel in Revelation carries the same characteristics of the Jezebel in the Old Testament.  Her intent is not to help, but to hurt.  Not to build up, but to tear down.  Not to honor the Lord, but to dishonor Him by leading His servants into lives of sin and disobedience.  (460.2)