The academically trained "Higher Criticism" Priesthood of Great Britain seem to have problems identifying spiritual attack!
Well, let them get their heads around Ephesians 6 for why else have we been given the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD!
We are grateful to Victory Life Church of Folsom, California for their excelent identification of the Spirit of Absalom.
THERE ARE BASICALLY 12 STAGES THAT INDIVIDUALS GO THROUGH WHEN THEY HAVE BECOME INFLUENCED BY THE ABSALOM SPIRIT OF REBELLION AND DISLOYALTY.
Ultimately, if not dealt with, the disloyalty that spreads through the congregation will bring a church split or the departure of many affected saints.
Here are the twelve stages:
1. AN INDEPENDENT SPIRIT – An attitude of independence emerges when the person no longer wants to serve the leadership but seeks recognition and a reputation.
2. SELF-PROMOTION – The person will maneuver for the praise of men. In II Samuel 15, Absalom stole the hearts of the people.
3. SPIRITUAL PRIDE – As people recognize and praise the deceived individual, he begins to believe that he is more spiritual than the leaders.
4. AN OFFENDED SPIRIT – The Absalom falls into an offended spirit because of spiritual pride. When his ideas and gifts are not promoted by the leadership as he believes they should be, he becomes highly offended. Often he will seek others that will agree with him in his offense.
5. A CRITICAL SPIRIT – Almost all the decisions of the leaders are questioned and undermined to the people. Sadly, with this critical spirit, the Absalom no longer can receive any spiritual feeding or direction from the leadership.
6. A COMPETITIVE SPIRIT – The Absalom sees himself in competition with the church leadership and begins to distort and misrepresent the decisions and directives the leaders are giving.
7. SOWING STRIFE AND DIVISION – The Absalom will take his offenses to many individuals in the church and spread his discontent through various means.
8. ACCUSING THE LEADERSHIP – The Absalom feeds his followers his critical spirit and faultfinding. Minor things, usually not related to God’s spiritual qualifications, will be made major issues, such as what kind of car the pastor drives, how long he takes to receive the offerings, etc.
9. OPEN DISLOYALTY AND DIVISION – The Absalom feels that many are following him so he boldly brings his disloyalty out into the open. At this point the leaders become aware of his discontented splinter group. Now the people are forced to make a choice between the leaders of the church and the Absalom who has deceived them.
10. A BOLD CONSPIRACY – The Absalom justifies his conspiracy to everyone by focusing their attention on all the minor issues that he has found fault with in the leadership. (Usually, the Absalom does not have legitimate accusations such as the preaching of false doctrines or blatant sin on the part of the pastors.)
11. A CHURCH SPLIT – The Absalom leads a naive splinter group out to the birth of a new church or ministry. Declare a new vision.
12. GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THE REBELLIOUS CHURCH – The scripture tells us, "if the root be evil, the whole tree will be evil," and every church or ministry that is birthed by an Absalom spirit will be full of rebellion, disloyalty, and continual church splits.