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There has been a lot of activity from a Spirit Of Offense in our prophetic chatroom lately. There have been misunderstandings that have led to substantial upset and offense for no apparent reason -- and that is often an indication of a Spirit Of Offense operating subtly behind the scenes.
Let me explain what it is and how it operates. A Spirit Of Offense is a demon that tries of cause division and strife between believers through misunderstandings. The way it operates is to cause people to misunderstand or misperceive something that is said or done. Then the demon begins whispering in their ear to blow that misperception way out of proportion. It causes the person to either becomes angry or offended or hurt by the thing that they saw or heard or perceived wrongly.
Spirits Of Offense are closely related to Spirits Of Strife or Spirits Of Division, but they tend to be a bit more subtle in their operation. They cause some type of misunderstanding that makes one or more people involved to become offended at each other. This type of demon often operates on two or more people at the same time. Each person sees himself as the victim of the other person and each is hurt and upset and offended. The truth is that both of the people are victims -- but they are victims of this demon and not victims of each other.
This is a very subtle spirit that can waylay even the most mature of believers. I consider myself pretty mature in the Lord, and also pretty aware of demonic strategies and tactics. Yet, I have been waylaid by a Spirit Of Offense on more than one occasion. When that has happened to me, I did not recognize it as a Spirit Of Offense until afterwards when I debriefed with God and asked Him what happened.
The Bible mentions a Spirit of Offense in Judges 9:23, calling it a "Spirit Of Ill Will" in the NKJV. It caused an entire city to be offended at King Abimelech because of something he had done. As a result, a group of men rose up in rebellion against the king and it eventually lead to an armed conflict where many people were killed. Eventually King Abimelech was also killed. The goal of any demon is to carry out Satan's task to "kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10), and the Spirit Of Offense attempts to destroy relationships through misunderstanding and offense.
As I said, this spirit has been active in the chatroom lately. We have had a prophetic chatroom since January of 2000 and the Lord has blessed this room immensely. And in the past five years, we have only had a couple of incidents where conflict or offense arose in that room. But in the past ten days, we have had three separate incidents that have effected about ten people.
I am not going to go into all of the details, but I would like to generically describe one of them to give you a flavor of how this demon works. One lady sent me three separate emails complaining about a session and the person who led it. She painted the leader as behaving in a grossly inappropriate manner and cited several specific things that this leader did. But when I obtained the session log and read it, most of the things the leader had been accused of simply were not in the log, and others were simple misunderstandings, where the leader said one thing and the person interpreted it in a totally different manner.
Was she trying to lie to me? No. In fact, she was so deeply offended by what she perceived that she wrote me three separate emails. Yet, what she perceived and what the log showed did not match up very well. Why? I believe it was because a subtle Spirit Of Offense was operating. It caused her to see things differently than how they actually happened, then she was deeply offended and upset by what she perceived. In fact, if the things she had detailed in her email really happened, she would have been very justified in her offense.
How could this lady miss it so badly? Is she emotionally or mentally unstable? I don't know her personally, but I doubt it. Was she spiritually immature to be deceived like that? Probably not. Even the most mature Christian leaders can fall prey to this subtle type of attack.
This lady was attacked by the enemy. She was waylaid by a subtle demon when she was not expecting it, so she fell prey to enemy strategies of misinformation. Like I said, this spirit is very subtle. It is nasty and it's goal is to hurt as many people as it can in the process of trying to sow strife, offense and discord.
This Spirit Of Offense caused two more problems in the next nine days. (We have literally had more problems in the past 10 days than in rest of the past five years.) It appears to be a concentrated attack -- maybe the devil doesn't like people being equipped to prophesy and minister to each other in power. One of those incidents was where a different participant was offended by a different leader. The other was where one of the leaders was unduly offended by one of the participants. None of the people involved in any one of those incidents was present when another of those incidents took place. It is not a personality conflict thing; it was a demonic attack against the people in the room.
This has been a challenging problem for me, the ministry leader, to handle. On the surface, it looks like three separate personality conflicts. But it is really the operation of one demon who seems to be assigned to stir up problems in the room. Unfortunately, real people with real feelings are effected by the operation of this hurtful spirit. Then they come to me to share their feelings/concerns. It requires the wisdom of Solomon to handle it when there is a conflict and neither side is clearly in the wrong. I am not Solomon, but I am praying and seeking God for His wisdom.
It would be highly inappropriate for me to take sides and say this person is right and this person is wrong. Even if taking sides were appropriate, there is not one person misbehaving against another person. The true sides are as follows: on one side we have a sinister and subtle demon and on the other side we have a bunch of believers coming together to grow in the prophetic. So the question becomes, "How do I get these people who have been attacked by this spirit to unite and fight the spirit instead of being hurt/offended at each other?"
I don't know if I have the full answer yet, but God has shown me a few things to do. For starters, I have mobilized the GodSpeak intercessors to pray into this. Another is that I am asking the room leaders to take authority and explicitly bind any spirit of offense in their opening prayers at the start of their session. Another is that I am letting the effected people know about this spirit and how it operates, and I am asking them to join me in praying into this. And finally, I am starting to educate the body of Christ about how this spirit operates. My hope is that as people are aware of the Spirit Of Offense and how it operates, they will be less susceptible to it's tactics when it tries to attack them personally.
I wish I could tell you that I have all the answers or that the problem has been fully resolved and the spirit can't attack the room anymore. But the truth is that we are in the middle of this situation right now; we have not won the battle yet. But we will...because God is greater than any/all of the power of the enemy and He makes us more than conquerors in Christ.