“The place where you worship makes a difference. It matters
who touches you; it matters
who teaches you; it matters who ministers to you”
(quote from C.R. Oliver’s book; The Sons of Zadok)
THE “HOLY REMNANT PRIESTHOOD”
“[Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5–Amplified Bible).
Whether we want to admit it, recognize it or not; God’s Word tells us that we are “a holy priesthood”, PRIESTS in God’s kingdom.
“And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), PRIESTS to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6).
A CURSE FOUND UPON ONE PRIESTHOOD
It all started back in the Old Testament with The First Book Of Samuel; a raising up in the prophetic, “an enduring” holy remnant priesthood.
Eli the priest represents a “cursed priesthood”; self-centered servants of God. Although they were called “priests”, they lightly esteemed the work of God:
–They didn’t like the ministry of correction.
–Their spiritual children became wicked because of their “lazy” life-styles.
–Their refusal to cry out against sin.
–They made themselves “fat” (1 Samuel 2:29).
Eli saw iniquity in his sons who had brought down a curse on to themselves:
“And I [now] announce to him [Eli] that I will judge and punish his house forever for the iniquity of which he knew, for his sons were bringing a curse upon themselves, and he did not restrain them” (1 Samuel 3:13).
WHAT WAS THE EVERLASTING JUDGEMENT ON THE ELI PRIESTHOOD?
FIRST, a weak priesthood (1 Samuel 2:31).
SECONDLY, the continuance of falling short to God’s fullness, even during a spiritual outpouring; “DOOMED” to come short of God’s glory:
“And you shall behold the distress of My house, even in all the prosperity which God will give…and there shall not be an old man in your house forever” (verse 32).
THIRDLY, all in this kind of priesthood will fall in the prime of life; “spiritual life” and “blessing; because of a flawed walk with God.
FOURTHLY, this weak, flawed and self-centered priesthood continues on and is still with us today! Will we be tolerant of the priesthood?
“Yet I will not cut off from My altar every man of yours; some shall survive to weep and mourn, but all the increase of your house shall die in their best years [1 Sam. 22:17-20]” and (verse 33).
THE “UNKNOWN PROPHET”
A prophet, which went un-named in Scripture, came to the priest Eli and prophesied. He says that there is going to be a “new kind” of priesthood that God would raise up:
“And I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in My heart and mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed (Anointed) forever” (1 Samuel 2:35).
That is an amazing prophecy; the first prophecy of a “holy remnant priesthood“:
–Enduring until the end.
–Enduring till Christ returns.
–It’s a “remnant” which God says, “I will build”.
A DUAL PRIESTHOOD REVEALED
Now during king David’s reign, there was a dual priesthood; Zadok and Abiathar which fulfilled the prophecy to the letter (2 Samuel 15:35).
Zadok in Hebrew is ‘tsadog’, meaning “one proved righteous”. Abiathar is ‘ebyathar’, meaning “at peace with the Lord who is God”. These two priests represents two priesthoods mentioned by the unknown prophet; one of the spirit of Eli and the other a ministry unto the Lord.
Let’s look at ZADOK first by turning to and reading 1 Chronicles 12:1, 22, 28. We learn that Zadok and his household, his family reject Saul. They gave their hearts and allegiance to David. They never looked back, they all proved to be righteous and proved to be faithful! Zadok was there when David needed him and he remained faithful ‘through it all’! [See”Through It All”; PART 1 & 2 The Word Detective blog of 2011-10/7; 10/8]
“All the country wept with a loud voice as all the people passed over. The king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people went on toward the wilderness. Abiathar [the priest] and behold, Zadok came also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of god until all the people had gone from the city. Then the king told Zadok, Take back the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, He will bring me back and let me see both it and His house” (2 Samuel 15:23-25).
“The king also said to Zadok the priest, Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan son of Abiathar” (2 Samuel 15:27).
Read again the words, “Are you not a seer?” This meant, Zadok, you have the gift of discernment! You know what is evil and what is holy. You are strong enough, faithful and committed enough to Me to go into that realm of rebellion and idolatry. Save the kingdom! The king said to Zadok to “return to the city”. God now had a holy priest to guard the house of God from ruin!
A whole nation was in rebellion but in God’s house, there was a remnant; the holy remnant, the faithful priesthood today! The servants of the Lord’s heart are blameless and faithful–these are the offspring of Zadok! The spiritual sons and daughters of Zadok!
EZEKIEL HAD A VISION OF A “SPIRITUAL TEMPLE”
“You shall give to the priests, the Levites who are of the offspring of Zadok, who are near to Me to minister to Me” (Ezekiel 43:19).
Ezekiel saw in the vision; a “remnant priesthood” offering sacrifices to the Lord. The ones who are “near to the Lord“, who minister to Him. The ministry to the Lord was the mark of the Zadok remnant.
LOOKING AT ABIATHAR; WHO WAS HE?
“Not all Levites were Zadokites, but all Zadokites were Levites.” Abiathar was pious, dedicated and at peace with God on the surface, but who was he really?
His very name suggests a reverence for His lordship. He was also with David and Zadok on the other side of Kidron (2 Samuel 15:24, 29, 35).
He appeared to be just as faithful as Zadok; he wanted nothing to do with Absalom’s rebellion. Outwardly, he appeared to be blameless and faithful. So why did the prophets ignore him, speaking of Zadok as the example of the holy remnant priesthood?
Abiathar had in him the seed of Eli; lazy, indulgent, a weak spirit of Eli laid dormant in his soul. It happened just as it was prophesied to Eli that his inner weakness would be exposed. He would go so far and then stop just short of God’s glory. Abiathar’s heart wasn’t right with God.
Listen to these tragic words: “Then Adonijah son of [David’s wife] Haggith exalted himself, saying, I [the eldest living son] will be king. And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, with fifty men to run before him (1 Kings 1:5–Amplified bible).
“He conferred with Joab [the commander of Israel’s army], son of Zeruiah [David’s half-sister] and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s mighty men did not side with Adonijah. Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fatlings by the Stone of Zoheleth” (verses 7-9).
This was a boastful bunch. They mocked the “old and worn out ways” of David. They wanted a new kind of kingdom; a new priesthood. There was rebellion in the land; a spirit of adultery, a demonic realm of pride and self-esteem. A new wave of self-exultation was sweeping all around deceiving the masses and Abiathar was one of them.
Abiathar became caught up in this demonic realm. How sad! A pious, once faithful man at the peak of his ministry made a wrong move; he compromised and turned against the true way, though he thought he was doing God’s will. Now we see him spiritually blind with no discernment. He was doing the ministry of a priest at the stone of a serpent (the Stone of Zoheleth).
THE “EZEKIEL WARNING!”
“And you shall say to the rebellious, even the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O you house of Israel, let all your previous abominations be enough for you! [Do not repeat them!] You have brought into My sanctuary aliens, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to pollute and profane it, even My house, when you offer My bread, the fat and the blood; and through it all and in addition to all your abominations, they and you have broken My covenant” (Ezekiel 44:6, 7).
Here is a house of God, full of abominations so bad that God can’t take any more of it! “Enough!” He declares. They had polluted His sanctuary with ungodly worshipers. They had“a form of godliness but no power of holiness”. No more! These half-converted, worldly, corrupt, so-called believers had no place in God’s house. Those are tough words to read!
When I first read those verses in Ezekiel, I thought God would wipe them out–bring them down. But I see the picture more clearly after meditating on the Word; God is a merciful God and full of grace and promise!
God is cursing a corrupt people with corrupt shepherds. He is appointing shepherds after their own hearts. Idolatrous shepherds being appointed to shepherd idol-loving sheep! Read what the Word says:
“But the Levites who went far away from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, they shall bear [the punishment for] their iniquity and guilt (Ezekiel 44:10).
“And they shall not come near to Me to do the office of a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things that are most sacred; but they shall bear their shame and their punishment for the abominations which they have committed. YET I– will appoint them as caretakers to have charge of the temple, for all the service of the temple and for all that will be done in it” (verses 13, 14).
These shepherds won’t be removed from God’s house. They will keep the”charge of the house and all that shall be done in it”.
What is their shame, their punishment? “Therefore will I do to this house (the temple), which is called by My Name and in which I gave you trust, to the place which I gave you and to your fathers, as I did in Shiloh. And I will cast you out…” (Jeremiah 7:14, 15).
The worst punishment and shame upon a man or a woman of God is to minister in the flesh with no anointing. Their houses are like Shiloh; “The glory has departed!” Their message is chaff; God’s holy presence ‘has left the building’.
Yet, they are still appointed to minister to the house but abandoned by the Lord. Might this be the reason for church attendance is dwindling and church closings in America and through out the world? This is the offspring of Eli; the “Abiathar priesthood!”
I want to leave you with this question: “Which Priesthood Do You Belong to? Zadok or Abiathar? I will try to deal with some of the answers to these questions in my next blog. As For Me and My Household… “It’s Your Choice to Make (PART 2)”.
Study and research found in the Amplified Bible and [i.e., “Copyright @2002 by World Challenge“].