THE SPIRIT OF ABSALOM
The whole story of Absalom can be found in II Samuel chapters: 13-18.
The spirit of Absalom is the very similar to the spirit of Korah because it’s also a spirit of rebellion. In addition to being rebellious and leading people astray from God’s given authority, this spirit is out to cause dissention in the body of Christ, by winning the hearts of man to rebel against God’s given authority. When this is done; damage to the body of Christ and to the kingdom of God can be disastrous.
Although the spirit of Korah and Absalom are all from the same divisions of the army of Satan, the spirit of Absalom moves to win the hearts of man, (II Samuel 15:6) rather than working through the accusation of the brethren. This in itself will cause church splits because once someone loses their loyalty, they will lose their servanthood, and once they lose their servanthood, they will follow after "doctrines of demons", and/or, a spirit of religion which will bring with it many different kinds of curses on their life.
Hebrews 13:17 makes the will of God very clear when it talks about anyone in authority: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you!”
Romans 13:1-2 - Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Discerning the spirit of Absalom in the Church
Why the spirit of Absalom can hurt us worse than any other spirit:
Psalm 55:12-14 - For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.
2 Samuel 15:12 - Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city--from Giloh--while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.
What Caused Absalom’s sin: He was offended, full of hatred, unforgiveness & bitterness.
Matthew 24:3, 10 - What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" …10 "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Absalom’s Motive: Revenge, discredit and ruin.
2 Samuel 15:6 - In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
How David Failed in dealing with Absalom: His feelings almost destroyed him:
2 Sam 13:39 And King David longed to go to Absalom. For he had been comforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead.
2 Samuel 14:1 So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was concerned about Absalom.
Feeling he has to prove his compassion to others to the point of ruining his own kingdom
He tolerated his Absalom and didn’t confront him
The reason why this spirit is to difficult to deal with: People are emotionally attached to them through relationships.
Absalom is nice, lovable and popular. Everyone loved Absalom (even David).
If you deal with them you have the appearance of being unloving. The only way to deal with them is to cut him off.
Had David not let him back into the kingdom he would not have had a problem. Many times those who operate in an Absalom spirit will leave a church out of rebellion, but want to stay a part in fellowship. “We are still apart of the kingdom of God even if we are not in the same church” is the spiritual reasoning. The logic sounds good, but the past history and the fact that they are causing division are the indicators that their true motive is not for fellowship. Remember we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
It appears as if the pastor/leadership is paranoid.
The Characteristics of an Absalom Spirit
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom have an attitude of spiritual pride.
A person with an Absalom Spirit is usually but not always is young in the Lord or immature in the ways of God (You're only young once, but you can be immature forever). Like most adolescent's, they think that their ideas are more anointed than anyone else's. They believe that their way is better than what the leadership has to offer, so they try to persuade leadership to do it their way. They are cloaked in religion, and even though they put on a show of being submitted to leadership, they are not submitted in their heart. This is most likely what happened when Absalom went before King David to plead his case (2 Sam. 14:33).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom get their feelings hurt easily.
If leadership does not follow their suggestions or teach their doctrinal beliefs, the Absalom spirit becomes offended. Once they are offended, they begin to suspiciously question every decision or spiritual insight that the leaders bring forth.
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom use their own ideas as criteria for judgment of ALL decisions of leadership.
From that point on, all leadership teachings and decisions are questioned. Nothing that leadership says or does is right, and they begin to judge leadership out of the critical Absalom spirit that now dominates them.
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom lose their loyalty and servanthood.
Once the decision to oppose leadership has been made in their heart, they lose their loyalty and their servanthood to leadership. This is caused by an independent spirit (Phil. 2:20-21). Absalom lost his obedience and servant hood, and that's when his rebellion against David set in (2 Sam. 15:1-12).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom maneuver for recognition and the praise of men.
The first move in rebellion against the leadership is to get visibly active in a ministry among the people. Absalom stood by the gate where he could be seen and ministered a flattering word to the people as they passed by (2 Sam. 15:2).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom undermine leadership among the people.
The Absalom spirit moves among the people and distorts not only the teaching, but the decisions of the leadership. Progressively discrediting and tearing down leadership is the only way in which Absalom can justify his rebellion in the eyes of his potential followers (2 Sam. 15:3).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom suggest a better way and steals the hearts of the people.
In the midst of discrediting the leadership, the Absalom spirit suggests that he has a better way. That better way always tickles the ears and the flesh of those who will listen. When Absalom did this he, "... stole away the hearts of the people" and some began to follow him (2 Samuel 15:4-6).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom gathers followers to himself.
Once the Absalom spirit gains the people's confidence, he starts gathering people to himself. Initially he promotes these gatherings as fellowship times built around a Bible study, prayer or dinner, but his real purpose is to provide an opportunity where he can begin criticizing leadership.
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom feeds their followers on their critical and fault finding spirit.
These fellowships soon turn into fault finding sessions in which Absalom ends up pronouncing his judgment concerning some imagined error he believes leadership is in. Absalom's criticisms all begin with little things that he personally doesn't like or agree with. Things like, "He dresses weird," or "I don't like the way he flows in a certain gift of the Holy Spirit" or "What he said was offensive." Then the Absalom spirit leads the group into demonic imaginations like, "I don't like the direction the church is going," and "I see cultic activity starting to develop" or "I think he's in sin," or "He's probably stealing church money," etc. Then Absalom counsels his followers to leave the church and follow him in his new Bible study/prayer group, etc. (2 Sam. 15:6).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom conspire to manipulate the innocent.
This new group generally degenerates into a conspiracy to destroy the leadership. After Absalom breaks away from the church, he will many times send some of his followers into the congregation as spies to sow seeds of dissension among the people in an effort to manipulate the innocent into rebelling also. Then the conspiracy becomes bold to the point where Absalom either calls the rest of the church on the phone (or internet), or sends them a letter falsely accusing the pastor and warning them to leave the church for their own good. He will even go after the subordinate leaders or those in training for leadership. For example, Absalom went after Ahithophel, who was David's Chief Military Officer and right-hand man. It is at this time that the leadership is informed of the conspiracy (2 Sam. 15:10-13).
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom seek an audience.
2 Samuel 15:2 Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, "What city are you from?" And he would say, "Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel."
Their tools are love, kindness and favor. Who wants to resist that?
Absalom caused division by sweetness, “stealing the hearts of David’s followers”
2 Samuel 15:5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.
Tells people, “You are special to me and my friend”. “I love you more than the pastor; I will spend the quality time with you he doesn’t”.
Special treatment: Coffee, Tea, fellowship, trips, gifts, favors. Everyone likes to be treated special. Everyone wants to feel special.
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom thinks that nothing the pastor/leadership does is good enough. Even if most of Absalom’s ideas are implemented it will never be good enough. Fault will always be found.
They plant doubt concerning leadership. They find faults in leaders usually not related to spiritual qualifications, and minor things are made major issues; such as what kind of car the pastor drives, how long he takes to receive offerings, etc.
2 Samuel 15:4 Moreover Absalom would say, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice."
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom have a hidden agenda.
Their motives are not known until they manifest and it will be too late. You know where you stand with Jezebel and Korah, but Absalom is sneaky, and does things behind your back.
Absalom tells you what you want to hear. A pastor’s job is to speak the truth in love; sometimes that truth hurts and requires change, but it is always for our good.
Deception means you don’t know you are being deceived.
We think we have more discernment than we do. We forget this is a demonic spirit we are dealing with.
Those used by a Spirit of Absalom is involved so they can come against God’s established authority and seeks to divide His church and His kingdom.
They eventually come forward with open disloyalty and division. He later came to a place of such brazenness as sleeping openly with his fathers wives.
Deception of continuing in fellowship with Absalom takes the following form:
“I can handle it, I’m mature enough”. Even Superman had his kryptonite. Charm is powerful and deceptive.
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful
Amplified - Charm and grace are deceptive,
Darby 1890 - Gracefulness is deceitful
The Century Bible - Charm can fool you,
“I am special to them”. They prey upon our insecurities and our need for acceptance.
2 Samuel 15:5 - And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.
“They are my friends. Your problem is not my problem with them. Being their friends will not affect my relationship with my church”.
“They love God. You should not judge them”.
2 Samuel 15:11 - And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem (to worship), and they went along innocently and did not know anything.
“I can help them” Those operating in this spirit think they are helping you. We have false notion that we can love Absalom back into the kingdom. He exists on that sentiment, and it gives him a greater inroad to influence, take advantage of, and shipwreck you. Their main purpose is advancing their agenda.
Titus 3:10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition.
The spirit of Absalom works to get you to call it quits on your calling
Proverbs 18:9 - He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster,'
WHAT DO THESE WORDS REALLY MEAN?
Slothful means to be slack or idle, which many of us don’t think we are right? So that can’t be us right? Let’s look at the rest of the biblical definition; "to be despondent, or to withdraw, to desert or quit." Now, how many of you have been through bouts of pulling back from places and people that you feel wounded or offended by. When we get rejected, we usually just disappear, if not in the natural then for sure in the spirit. Maybe you’ve prayed for thicker skin, but thicker skin might mean less responsive.
Offense means stumbling block or an occasion to fall. Do you know that Jesus was a stumbling block for many (Isaiah 8:14), so if we’re offended by someone it might just be Jesus (or the truth) we’re stumbling over.
WHY DO WE FLEE FROM YOUR POSITION WHEN CHALLENGED?
Work -- this is our favorite subject as many of us feel we are hard workers. But the writer of Proverbs isn’t talking about labor. "Work" means "duty-ship" or "ministry." It can mean the activity of work or the fruit of your labor. It basically means someone's call. So now Proverbs 18:9 starts with, "He that quits his call or ministry...now how many of you see that reacting to rejection really means quitting a call or a ministry duty. Remember King David fleeing his call when his son Absalom made an advance for the throne (2 Sam.15:13-29). Why did David seemingly just give up something he had been anointed to do? He was clearly a warrior so he shouldn’t have been afraid. Maybe he was afraid of confrontation, but there are a lot of Scriptures showing him confronting and challenging his men.
The truth is we flee because we never believe in our hearts we were competent enough to do the job. David felt the same as do many other believers that are truly called into a ministry.
God does not call people to a place or position because they are competent or capable, but because He wills it. If He has called me, then He will equip me (Hebrews13:20-21).
DON'T GIVE UP
The "great waster" in proverbs 18:9 means to destroy or to ruin by pulling down. It goes on to say this pulling down can kill others and eventually pull down an entire community. The word "wicked" is in there too. With all this in mind this simple Scripture could be paraphrased as, "He that quits his call is brother to one who pulls down others to the extent of destroying an entire community."
Now does all your rejection issues start passing before your eyes when you know you were a brother to one who could destroy a community. If one soldier leaves his post during war time, the enemy will most assuredly come in that open door. It doesn't matter if he has a legitimate reason for leaving or not.
No matter what you may be feeling right now you can turn your situation around. Get with God and find out what you are called to and find out if you are running from it. Even if there are huge hindrances in the way of getting right with someone who has wounded you, you can’t give up the call on your life. Being accepted or rejected has nothing to do with the call God has placed on any life. Since the gifts and callings are without repentance (Romans 11:29), how can any of us make a decision to quit based on the rejection of others?
I NEED TO ASK YOU A QUESTION; WILL THE CALLED RESPOND?
I believe there are a lot of us who are in ministry or were in ministry and have backed way off from the first call on their lives. There are a lot of reasons for quitting, but I want you to know that none of these reasons are good enough to stop an anointed, called, and released person from doing everything the Lord has made them to do.
How does leadership deal with this spirit?
The leadership has to operate in the gift of discerning of spirits.
There has to be proper role modeling. If the rest of the sheep see you hobnobbing with Absalom and letting things go, then they will think it’s okay also.
Have a sheep-dog mentality. Protect the sheep from being kissed (bitten).
Wolves don’t come dressed as wolves, but sheep.
Stop tolerating their antics. Put an end to the Absalom spirit.
Don’t give them a place in the life of the body
2 Samuel 14:21 - And the king said to Joab, "All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore; bring back the young man Absalom."
Avoid promoting people until their true character is proven.
Mark those who cause division and avoid them.
Romans 16:17-18 - Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Pray for them.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Leave vengeance to the Lord. Their own pride will bring them down
2 Samuel 18:9, 14 “His head got caught in the terebinth tree; so he was left hanging … Joab … took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom’s heart
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Absalom’s downfall ended like that of Jezebel, Korah and Judas.
They fell through pride and their lives ended prematurely and tragically. It is dangerous ground to sow strife and cause division in the body of Christ.
The Lord hates … one who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Later on, Ahithopehl joins Absalom's rebellion. Ahithophel means: A brother/kindred: to smear, plaster, slime; a brother to (or those who) smear, slime. Let me give you a warning: Absalom is not your friend. How does Ahithophel get healed and/or what do you do with an Absalom spirit?
Any one of you that have the trust of your leader(s) are targets for an Absalom spirit.
Stay loyal to leaders who are putting their trust in you even if they are not perfect or adequate. Either be loyal or quit or you will damage the body.
Confront any Absalom who tries to manipulate you and use you.
If you can’t confront then stay away from them…period.
Go straight to your leader and tell them about “Absalom” before it is too late for them and for you.
In the end, Absalom is from the enemy, and Satan led and continues to lead a rebellion against God. That means that the Absalom spirit will continue its rebellion against leadership even within any new group. This will continue until the new group and everyone in it is consumed in much the same way that Absalom was (2 Sam. 18:1-9). The only deliverance for those involved with the Absalom spirit is to repent before God, church leadership and even the congregation. Unless this repentance takes place, they will not come into all that God has for them. The reason why there are so many different ministries, and so many divisions of ministry, and so many divisions is because these spirits cause people to walk in opposition to God given authority, and now they will have their own ministry, doing it their own way. Not walking in submission causes curses which cause division and even the breakdown of the family. And in the case of spiritual matters, this means, breakdown of spiritual family and it will introduce a spotted bride which will eventually be the apostate lawless church. The reason I think that the curse behind rebelling against God given authority is the breakdown of family and the body of Christ is because no one has the right to rebel against another mans God given authority. When someone does this, it crosses the lines of the Word of God and brings a curse on their own authority. (I Peter 2:13 and Ephesians 5:21) (Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18) Remember that demons of any kind operate on weaknesses and immaturities. This is why we have to strengthen the areas we are weak and grow up. Amen?
We need to pray for deliverance for those who are, about to be or may be used by any of these spirits and also for those who struggle using unsanctified grace and mercy and those who are afraid to confront.