Don’t miss this month’s Discovering Victory Podcast. This month’s teacher is Dr. D.R. Hubbard sharing a powerful exposition from the book of Colossians. Check it out.
The Wood of Ephraim — HANGING BY A HAIR
“Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak.” 2 Samuel 18:14 (ESV)
In my last Freedom Fighter I gave you the first six stages of an “Absalom Spirit”. I can personally tell you that the Absalom spirit is alive and well today working to destroy God’s church. I would like to share the last six stages this morning with you…
Rebellion never has a good outcome. None the matter of the reason for its cause, there are times where the ends cannot justify the means…it’s just that simple. If the wages of sin are death, then the death of Absalom should scare us all. It’s not so much that Joab disobeys his king’s request to not lay a hand on Absalom but it sounds like Absalom was quartered up before he was thrown into a pit. A disgraceful way to die indeed…
The following shows how the Spirit of Absalom works in the church today.
- 7. Sowing Strife and Division…Here, the Absalom will take his offenses to many individuals in the church and spread his discontent through telephone calls, meal times together, and secret gatherings such as home fellowships.
- Accusing the Leadership…At this stage, he feeds his followers on his own critical spirit and faultfinding. Through bold gossip, he speaks against faults that he sees in the leadership which are usually not related to God’s spiritual qualifications set down in the Word. Minor things will be made major issues, such as what kind of car the pastor drives, how long he takes to receive the offerings or his insensitivity to babies crying in the services.
- Open Disloyalty and Division…Finally, 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.
- 1 A Bold Conspiracy…In this stage 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.)
- A Church Split…Sadly, the Absalom leads a naive splinter group out to birth a new church or ministry. II Samuel 15:11 says, “And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem that were called, and they went in their simplicity (innocence) and they knew not anything.” The people innocently followed the rebellious Absalom and split the kingdom.
- 1 God’s Judgment on the Rebellious Church…Pathetically, every church that is birthed through an Absalom split will have God’s judgment fall upon it.
And then what of those people who genuinely want to return to the congregation that suffered the split? Do we, as the Body of Christ, shun them because they followed by their itchy ears and not their servants heart? May that not be so…no matter how we slice it Jesus’ mission on this planet was reconciliation. I kinda wish Absalom would have understood that instead of becoming offended and lashing out because of it. This is an area that I know well within myself. As I have immersed myself in the study of the fruits of the Spirit I have found no room for an “Absalom Spirit”. I hope you find the same thing.
Folks, do you see yourself or any of your friends or enemies exhibiting the Spirit of Absalom? If so get within the following verse…“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (Matt 18:15-16)
If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he shouldn’t complain about it to others, like when it happens during the snack break between Sunday School and Worship Service, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct…Elder, Trustee or Pastor alike. Please know that God does not look kindly on the ones who have the spirit of Absalom. God loves His church and He will protect it. Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger.
Think About This: “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.”—Dr. Dick Chase
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8