“Absolom rose up early…” (2 Samuel 15:2a.)
“…[T]here was none to be praised as Absolom for his beauty…” (2Samuel 14:25a.)
“And [Joab] …thrust [three darts] through the heart of Absolom…” (2 Samuel 14b.)
Absolom is a very important young man to understand for the Church today. He is a very important young man for Church leaders to understand especially. Absolom is dead but his wicked spirit is alive, well, and very active in the Church today…very active. He is active at some point in EVERY Church’s history at one time or another and if he isn’t the church may be dead and without the Holy Spirit. Absolom is only interested in the Church where he sees value and a pastor that he believes may be easy to take down and we will discuss the types of pastors he puts into his cross hairs. I have seen Absolom in every Church I have been associated and I have heard stories from pastors of whom I am associated with if not their Church. Onto exposing Absolom.
It is said in the Holy Gospels and in the epistles of Paul that both these (M)men arose early in the morning before day braek to pray and to spent time with God. Many ministers follow this method and some do not. We do not suggest that a specific time is better than another. Whatever time works better for an individual is best or the individual for God is listening always. I know pastors that stay up most nights and commune with God as everyone else is asleep. this works best for them. I know some that arise before daybreak and this works best for them and I know pastors that sleep until late in the morning, pre noon and this works for them.
Absolom rose early in the morning as well, however his purpose was not to seek God. Absolom knew not God nor did he retain God in his thoughts. Absolom rose early in the day so that he could stand in the gates. The gates were a place where important men would convene to meet. Job was a man that met at the gates as is the husband of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Persons who would come to the gates in order to seek time with the king and seek his royal and wise, and just counsel.
Absolom did not meet to seek counsel of the king, King Davis, his father. Nor did he seek to give sound cousel out of the goodness of his dark and ambitious heart. Absolom sought to cut off those persons that sought counsel of the king, King David. Absolom’s purpose was to meet these seekers and be a help to them in order to ingratiate himself and to win over their affections and loyalty, thereby robbing it from King David.
We are told that people loved Absolom and praised him for his great beauty. I’m sure they loved him for his appearance but they loved him for his counsel as well as he would seek to come down upon their side of disputes. We know that people then and now love good looking persons. The jews prior to King David desired Saul for their king due to his beauty, even Samuel they great judge and prophet fell for his appearance. Today is the same as persons are drawn to others according to their appearance. This is a fault of human nature and a mark of the fall. Eve took the fruit because it was good to look at. Many persons choose a spouse according to their looks. I am not a viewer or a respector of realities shows that make a farce out of loce and marriage. However I have been unfortunate enough to catch others watching it and I have observed in the fw seconds that I can bear it, all the contestants are attractive. We are a foolish people because of the fall and we never learn from past mistakes. Absolom was nice to look at and he had winsome traits though they were all for appearance sake. It is said of our Lord that there was nothing that would cause others to look upon him as a standout based upon appearance. Paul certainly was not known for his beauty.
In time, Absolom was successful and won the hearts of the foolish people. King David, Absolom’s father was exiled from his throne. David was forced to escape in order to avoid being killed. Eventially David regained his kingdom but only after many good persons were killed. Absolom also was killed. His death came upon this wise. He was riding upon horseback and was caught and was hanged by a thick branch by his long and luxurious hair. He did not die from this however.
Joab, David’s general was informed by a soldier that he saw Absolom hanging in a tree. Joab, the wise general who was very knowledgeable about the nature of war and the nature of the enemy took (3) three darts, found Absolom and thrust them through Absolom’s ambitious, treacherous and loveless heart. This however had been forbidden by the King. He did not want Absolom killed. One can understand this as David was a man after God’s ownheart and loved his children inspite of their foolish actions.
The aftermath saw David broken hearted and lamenting his son. While this is understandable, it caused many of his faithful and loyal soldiers and Joab his loyal general great frustration. Joab confronted to kind and explained to him that he should be lamenting the loss of many good soldiers and not the traitorous Absolom that caused these deaths. David, composing himself spoke to his soldiers and thanked them for their love and loyalty and queched the understandable frustration and anger of his army.
What can be learned frm this event? As we said before, we have seen and experienced this same scene of betrayal in every church we have ever been associated with. In one case we saw a few “believers join a church and speak of their past church in negative terms. They won over the elderly pastor, who like many pastors desire to see their ministry and influence expand. Before one could realize what was happening a large number of other members from that same “bad” church began attending and very soon joined the church, gaining voting rights.
These new member for all intents and purposes were great new members. They joined in and helped, they brought good ideas, they even started a mid week service at their home of which I attended. I really enjoyed these people and valued them. But then they started introducing some of their beliefs and they were very “charismatic.” Let me be clear, I could enjoy and good charasmatic service and I have. That is until they begin introducing unscriptural teachings.
Before long the elder pastor lost his wife of decades. He was of course lonely. The leader of this new group began to “comfort” him. I am not suggesting there was anything sinful on his part and I do not think there was. However, this woman possessed the Absolom spirit just as John Baptist had the spirit of Elijah and the anti Christ will have the spirit of Judas. The pastor in the ensuing weaks announced his engagement to this Absolom and Absolom began introducing new doctrines, including reading her poems and speaking of Christ in the first Person!!!
Before long the dam had to break and it did. Your writer’s gift of speaking truth was unleashed that day amidst much chaos. Fists were drawn and curse words flew. Many good hearts were broken that morning and the church lost at least half her members and I believe, if my memory serves me the Absolom was made associate pastor soon thereafter. I was loyal to that elderly pastor and knew his beliefs. abefore the chaos started I asked him in front of all what his posotion on the gifts were…the charasmatic gifts were. Within seconds of his answer I knew he has changed and lined up with the charasmatic witch…err, leader.
This has happened at some point or another in any and all churches that have spiritual life. However, in most that stick to Christ and sound doctrine stand and the spirit of Absolom is cast out. What kind of astors are subject to these attacks? Typically this will happen to pastors that are older, pastors that lead a smaller church, big hearted and forgiving pastors and pastors that seek, at great expence to grow “their” church. Not all of these qualities have to be present in a single pastor. I know pastors that did not seek to grow the church at all costs but were still put in Absolom’s cross hairs. The new pastor is also a man that is sought out for destruction as well as a young minister. The absolom spirit seeks for any qualities that he can exploit. Another pastor that is selscted for taking down is the pastor with a younger and spiritually young congregation or does not have many members or helpers that are watching his back.
Counsel to the targeted Pastor:
- Simply adhere to the Lord’s Words and beware of the Absolom spirit.
- Do not be deceived by every “well meaning believer”
- Never, ever put a novice in any kind of position of leadership. If they want to help out let them scrub the toilets, clean to dishes, put chairs away. Never put them into aposition that needs to be voted on until they have scrubbed to floors to Martin Luther’s satisfaction.
- Never ever allow them time alone with the flock…never ever. If you see them talking with someone in a corner, check it out.
- Let any new members know, tacyfully, that you are aware of the Absolom spirit and you will not be fooled or put up with any kind of usurping in the church.
- Develop a good and faithful group of men of likeming.
- Find and engage the services of a Joab that is not one to suffer a fool or an Absolom and give him a reasonable amount of liberty to deal with problems so thay you have plausable deniabilty.
- Understand you are a type of David and the church is a type of a kingdom of which, under Christ, you are responsible. You must protect the kingdom at all costs even putting (3) three stakes through the heart of Absolom and all his loyal followers (I speak spiritually and do not suggest physical harm to anyone.”
Counsel to the Usurper Absolom:
- Don’t seek to usurp control of a church…simple.
- Do not mistake and older or elderly pastor with an easy target. You may have one man in your target but you have put yourself in the cross hairs of an almighty God that is more pleased with the pastor than he is with you.
- Beware of the pastor’s Joab, you don’t want him on your trail, especially if the pastor has given him liberty to ask for the church. The pastor may speak love and forgiveness from the pulpit but Joab is able to discern your goals and he may act as he loves the church and the pastor more than he likes a usurper.
- Look into the Scriptures. Christ told His enemies to search the Scriptures because they speak of Him. I counsel all usurpers to search the Scripture for they speak of you.
- Ask yourself, Is God pleased with my ambition? Is God pleased with my plans? Is God pleased with me and how please will He be if I go forward?
- This is probably the most important. Examine yourself to see if you are even in the faith. Do you even believe in Christ and by believe I mean, love, trust, and obey. Would a lover of Christ seek to harm one of Christ’s servants? Didn’t David forbid himself from harming Saul? Are you trusting Christ with your future if you feel the need to act in God’s place? Are you obeying God’s Word(s) or the examples like Absolom and Ditrephes (3 John) or anyone else that sought to hinder God’s servants.
- Do not only examine your faith but also your motives and intents. Ask God to reveal these to you, David did.
- What are the traits in your life that speak to you salvation, if saved you be. Do you display the traits of Christ or Absolom, Judas, Diotrephes or the wicked kings that sought to destroy Israel. I suggest if you are a usurper you share traits with the latter (4) four than the Former.
- Note, While the pastor is a leader in the Church, Christ Himself is the Head of the Church and the Master of the pastor.
- Repeating number (1) don’t do it…just don’t or if you have begun, stop for their are many that stand against thee…The Triune God, the pastor, the church leadership, and atleast (1) one Joab that is willing, ready and able to stick (3) darts in your heart…figuratively speaking.
In closing, Pastor(s) while the church is a place of love for God and His people, and thhe neighbors and the enemy, it is a place that demands protection for it is (s)atan’s number one target after you. You can love the usurper at the same time you are putting him outside the church. After this Absolom has been put out, realize that he is the old man with the old nature for he is not one of Christ’s but he is like his father the devil and he is captive to the devil’s will and commands (2 Timothy 2:25-26) for even Christ “was taken” to the pinnacle and the top of a mountain. If we find the devil difficult to battle how much for impossible is it for his agents when they are happily within his control.
Also remember that Absolom was not the first to be cast from a kingdom, but Christ saw him fall as lightning from the Kingdom of Heaven and John in his (3) third epistle suggested the removal of Diotrephes. Also if Paul commanded the church to put out certain memebrs fro sin how much more must a usurper be cast out?
There is a scene in a movie called “The Apostle”. This film stars Robert Duvall as a minister on the run for a crime of passion he perpetrated while intoxicated. He was of the Lord to discover his long time wife of adultery with his youth pastor. [Sidenote: Pastors beware of you sinday school teachers and all leaders in your church…Hey, it is what it is].
the pastor after his crime of passion runs from the law and finds himself in a small southern town without a pastor as the previous pastor was forced to retire due to a heart condition. Anyway…
The retired pastor joins up with the pastor on the run and they start up the church…I get goosebumps as I type this. And God blesses mightily. One service a hateful and Christless man shows up to cause trouble. He begins to trouble the evening service and inquirer why all the n-word’s are there. After the minister tries to calm the situation down and realizes that due to the troubles intoxication there was only one thing left to do. The preacher took the much larger man out side and pummeled him with his fists. One church member said, “I didn’t know a preacher could hit that hard.”
As with all films I cannot endorse every little thing in this one but I can endorse some of it especially the ending. The Gospel message was good and someone comes to faith. Goosebumps and tissues…I can promise.
After Duvall puts and end (for a season), he returns inside the Church, wiping his hands free of blood and with tears says, “I’m sorry about that bit I will not let anyone hurt this Church…I love this little church and the people began to sing praises to the God of that church.
I say all of that to say this…sometime the church must be protected. I recall one time many years ago during a service, (3) three punks…err rather young men entered and began to cause trouble. Of course we attempted to ignore them but after a few minutes it became impossible as they grew louder and demanded attention. We were the first to ask them or rather tell them to keep quiet. They hearkened not therefore, I took them out side and began to warn them err, rathet speak gently to them. As it was easy to see things were about to get physical and I was outnumbered or rather they were. As it was (4) against them, the Triune God and myself, (2) two other men came out. One of these men were a large and imtimidating man that wasn’t always the nicest of guys and a (7′ plus) seven foot plus gentleman.
The boys left promising to return on the following wednesday evening with their father(s) and I suggested they bring a few more than just themselves and their dadies. Surprisingly they showed up !!! After the service ended their small army asked to speak to me outside. We didn’t have a pastor at that time and the two men that were with me were not there as they worked evenings. We went out and sugeested we would not put up with any trouble and that we would call the police. They laughed and told me they were friends with the police officers on call. So I suggested we settle it a different way and apparently if “God be for [me] [none] can be against me” and things ended peacefully.
My point is this, if you have something worth something others will seek to take it from you…even your Church and your ministry for Absolom will seek a ministry prior than seeking to usurp the church. And if some seek to usurp the church they most likely are not under the control of Christ the Head so do not fear putting them out of your misery.
I am aware of the length of this article but it was necessary and it has been on my heart for sometime now.