8 Signs that a Lying Spirit has Infiltrated YOUR Church Leadership by Tavares Robinson

If a ruler listens to lies, all those who serve him will become wicked –Proverbs 29:12

1) Misplaced Authority – The Word of God is no longer the governing and deciding voice. God’s word is replaced by men’s opinion. Members of leadership begin to exalt themselves as more spiritual than those in the congregation; therefore, they are the only ones who are capable of hearing God’s voice. Leadership becomes the source of truth and not the Holy Spirit. Such leaders will use their titles and position to give their dreams, visions and prophecies great value. Their goal is to get the people to view them as the source; consequently, demoting the absolute authority of God’s Word. Eventually, the leaders words seem more important than the scripture. The first sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders place their authority above the Word of God.

2) Misuse of the Scriptures – Bible verses are pulled out of context to defend, support, and protect sins that are done in secret. There’s mixture in the teachings, which usually indicate that the leader is trying to cover up a secret lifestyle lived beyond the church. Stanley Frodsham, in his prophetic warning concerning the coming of seducing spirits stated, “The minister of righteousness shall be on this wise — his life shall agree with the word, and his lips shall give forth that which is wholly true — there will be no mixture. When the mixture appears, then you will know that he is not a minister of righteousness. The deceivers speak first the truth and then error, to cover their own sins which they love.” The second sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders will twist scripture justify their own secret sins.

3) Emotional Control – When the Word of God is no longer the governing voice, the word is replaced with emotional appeal. Topics like Loving People, Showing Kindness, Forgiveness, Gossip and Submission to Authority are emphasized. And when the truths regarding such subjects are twisted, they have a way of controlling one’s thoughts to the point of unsoundness. When someone is emotionally controlled, they are afraid to discern what’s going on, for fear of being called unloving. They are often afraid to ask other people, within the church, about their concerns for the fear of spreading gossip.  But, this is exactly what the unbiblical leader desires. For one in this position, is neutralized, having surrendered their God given right to inquire and discern. Lying spirits, then, work on the mind of such victims to hinder their ability to see things from God’s point of view. The third sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders will manipulate the teaching to gain control over the mind of the people.

4) The Favoritism Game – Forming a following of persons who will not question unscrupulous things or strange behavior in the leader is the objective of this game. Those who question abnormal issues are usually labeled rebellious or fleshly, or at the very least are considered to be “influenced by demons”. On the contrary, those that believe “hook line and sinkers” and fall for anything the leader says, are regularly recognized by the leadership; placed in visible positions in the church; and are always the recipients of the “good” prophetic words.  This is the bait that causes the others, who once questioned certain leadership behavior, to conform to the “status quo”. The fourth sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders will begin to show favoritism for those that follow without question.

5) About-Face Character – A 180-degree turn will manifest in the character of the leader. Things that were once off limits are now acceptable. The leader’s speech, mannerisms and beliefs have subtly morphed to support the new behavior. Old notebook of messages and recordings of former sermons serve as evidence that a metamorphosis of the leadership has taken place. If one takes the time to examine artifacts, they will recognize that the character is not the only thing have changed, but the teachings and meanings of words, as well. The fifth sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the character and teachings of the leadership will change and, often contradict, what was previously taught.

6) Off-Limits Accountability – The leadership is no longer accessible or “touchable.” They feel as if they are not accountable to the people, and therefore abuse their leadership position as shepherds. Feeding and caring for the sheep is replaced with cruelty and neglect. The leaders are not transparent about the concerns of the people and, eventually, rumors spread throughout the church resulting in a climate of isolation. Once leaders become isolated, they are no longer in a position to accept counsel from those who God, in his mercy, has put in place. Instead, they will reject Godly wisdom and, therefore, remain blind and unresponsive to the attempts of God to reach them. Solomon, clearly, describes this in Proverbs Chapter 18 where he states, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise counsel.” The sixth sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders will gradually become isolated/unreachable.

7) A Tongue on Fire – The picture you see here, is of a hose that spews fire instead of water. The leaders, because they are usually very “sensitive” and defensive while under this spirit, are very angry people. Instead of refreshing souls, mislead leaders damage souls. An irate leader will make the latest church “scandal” the Sunday Morning message. There is nothing more tragic than having an angry watchman responsible for your soul. Such fury is ignited when the people’s actions are not in harmony with the leader’s desire. An untamed and uncontrollable tongue, and explosive rage will always be the fruit of a defiled leader. King Saul’s behavior in 1 Samuel 18 is a perfect example of such conduct. The seventh sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that the leaders will become very sensitive and their emotional instability will be made evident through their angry conduct.

8) A Departure of the Righteous – When those who have lived their lives, by understanding the entire counsel of God, start to exit the building, that’s an indicator that the lying spirit has hardened the heart of the leadership. The Bible talks about Jeroboam, who was the king over the Northern Kingdom of Israel. When he fell under the influence of a lying spirit, he began to alter and change the original order of God by undermining God’s original order that all worship would remain in Jerusalem.  Jeroboam built idols and changed the order to worship in Bethel in order to accommodate the people. When that happened, the scriptures tell us how all the true priest under Jeroboam, left their houses and possessions, and supported the King of South Rehoboam – whom God was with. Take inventory of your church now and ask yourself, “Is the righteous vanishing?” If so, take heed. The eighth and final sign that a lying spirit has infiltrated the church leadership is that those, whom you know to be righteous, are escaping the leadership.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is indeed, some of the most common traits among leaders who fall victim to A Lying Spirit. If you have witnessed such signs among those in leadership, don’t ignore them. Trust me, you are not alone. Others have seen them, as well, but may be afraid to speak – just as yourself.

Once you suspect a lying spirit, pray and ask God to reveal to you those with whom you can share your concerns. God is faithful, and he will create a unique opportunity to voice your issue. If you consistently pray for God’s intervention – for leaders to repent and change behavior – but find that the behavior is only getting worse, this may be a sign that God is no longer in this place and it is time to leave. Our Lord and Savior will never subject his sheep to these types of harsh-and-bully-shenanigans.

Leaving is usually the last thing on one’s mind; especially, because of the meaningful friendships and personal bonds developed over time. However, when it comes to your soul, no friend is worth disobeying God.  Keep in mind what Jesus told his disciples in the book of Matthew:  “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted himself will be pulled up by the roots. Stay away from them; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a ditch.” In other words, if you remain under the leadership of one that has been overtaken by a lying spirit, you will endure the same end – eternal separation from God. God could have allowed you to remain blind. But, the fact that he has allowed you to see the signs is an indicator that he intends for you to make a change. As a body is to the head, so is the relationship between the church body and it’s leader. A leader cannot take you where he or she, themselves, is not going.