This was brought in Schenectady, NY on 3-27-07. Edited February 2012.
[For a printable version click here.]
Lord again we thank You for this day. Lord again we thank You that Your Spirit dwells within us and among us and that thekingdomofGoddwells within us. I thank You Lord that when we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”, this is the kingdom that we want Lord. Let Your kingdom come this day, we ask in Jesus name. Amen.
I want to turn to Ezekiel Chapter 44. Today we are going to be talking about the sons of Zadok. Quite a long time ago we talked about this; I think it was about nine years ago. There are a lot of you who are new since then. And the Lord keeps showing us things, so we need to bring some refreshing to this.
By the way, since we brought that Word there was a book that was published by a man in Texasnamed C. R. Oliver. The name of the book is called The Sons of Zadok. [Video of this and other books by C.R. Oliver can be viewed at the following URL: http://www.zadokpublications.com/videos.htm] I have read the book and it is a good book, by the way. He is a friend of Clayt Sonmore,Gary’s father.
Now we are going to start in Ezekiel Chapter 44 in verse 10.
10 “And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.”
11 “Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them.”
12 “Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house if Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.”
13 “And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.”
14 “But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.”
15 “But the priests and Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:”
16 “They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.”
Now you see there is a contrast here. Do you understand what I am saying? There are two different groups of the sons of Levi here. Now some may find this offensive. I have been misunderstood quite a bit and I believe I have offended a few people. The very idea that God makes a difference between the people of His house is offensive to some people. I don’t want to put this in a real negative way, but people simply don’t understand this or they cannot accept this concept.
I remember one time when I was a hospital administrator, and this was after I began to hear the kingdom word. I was working in a hospital; it was actually a nursing home in a hospital based setting. There was a chaplain that worked part-time for us at the hospital and he was a pastor of a denominational Protestant Church.
One day he said to me, “I would like to have lunch with you. I would like to talk to you and I would like to know what you believe. I understand you are a Christian and I would like to meet with you.”
I said, “Oh good. Let’s do that.”
So we went down to the hospital cafeteria and we had lunch and we began to talk. In the course of talk he wanted to know what we believed. I already kind of knew what he believed, so I didn’t ask him a lot of questions. But he was asking me questions. Somehow we got onto the subject where we were talking about the wise and the foolish virgins. [Matthew 25:1-12]
I said, “You notice that these are all virgins and therefore there is a common thread of purity among them all. These are not harlots, they are not unclean and of course a woman in scripture speaks of churches here.” That is what I told him. Then I said, “But you see, when the midnight hour came, some of them were wise and they entered in to a place with the bridegroom when He came. Some of them entered in and were (shall we say) a partaker of the bride in this wedding. Others were not and they were found outside the door, knocking on the door and asking, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us.’” I said, “Now there is a separation here that took place.”
The man looked at me and he said, “Well isn’t that rather exclusionistic?”
I said, “Well I suppose. You are saying that it is not right that God excluded some and He let some in?” “Well yes,” he replied.
I said, “Well then, perhaps you should tell me, what your interpretation of this parable might be. Tell me what this means. I didn’t write it. I am not the author if it. I am only trying to understand what God is saying here.”
This understanding did not go down well, that God would treat some Christians differently than others. Where is this verse, isn’t it in Ezekiel where He talks about the different kinds of cattle? He says He is going to separate cattle from cattle and sheep from sheep. It is the part where some of the cattle push with the horn and tread down the drinking water and they foul the waters so that the others can’t even partake of it. He says, “I am going to make a difference between cattle and cattle and between sheep and sheep.”
20 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.”
21 “Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;”
22 “Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey, and I will judge between cattle and cattle.”
My Bible also interprets this as, “between sheep and sheep”.
This could be said as “small cattle”, but it doesn’t matter. They are all clean animals.
22 “…I will judge between cattle and cattle.”
23 “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.”
This is not talking about a natural man named David here. This is a reference about the coming of thekingdomofJesus Christ(the son of David). Amen.
Now when we are thinking about these cattle being separated, we are also thinking about the women (the virgins) that are being separated. And as we are thinking about the cattle that are being separated, we are thinking about the fat cattle and the lean cattle. We can see how the fat cattle have pushed the lean cattle aside and have given them no regard. We have to know that God is not just talking about natural animals here. God is talking about churches and systems and brutish shepherds. And He is going to make a consummate act of judgment. Not only is He talking about churches (systems), but He is talking about people within these churches. There is coming a time when God is going to make a difference and He is going to manifest that difference in a way that all will see and know.
Now let us get back to the sons of Levi. Brethren, we understand that the whole tribe of Levi was set aside (shall we use the term ordained), sanctified by God for a purpose of ministry. But remember that it was the purpose of God that the entire nation should become a nation of priests; this was the purpose that God showed to Moses. “Would to God that all of His people did prophesy.” [Numbers 11:29]
Remember, Joshua came running to Moses one day when there was a meeting of the 70 elders and two of the elders didn’t make it to the meeting. But as they were gathering together, the Spirit of the Lord broke out among the elders. The two elders that weren’t in the meeting were out in the camp and they began to prophesy. [Numbers 11:26] Joshua was a young man and he didn’t understand what was going on yet. Joshua thought they all had to be in the same location at the meeting in order for this to happen.
He came running to Moses, “Moses, forbid them. There are two of the elders out in the camp and they are prophesying.” [Numbers 11:28] Moses said, “Would to God that all of them would prophesy.”
No, don’t forbid them. You understand, as we come into the things of God we begin to understand that the Spirit of God can break out and manifest in places that we didn’t expect Him to.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw this happen; I was living in Glens Falls and I was attending the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. They had a new pastor that came in. The former pastor had been all in favor of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. His name was Paul. But he didn’t last long. He was gone. I don’t know whether he personally had the gift or not, but he was for it.
Well the next fellow that came in was dead set against it. But there was one problem. His wife had been baptized in the Holy Ghost and she spoke in tongues. He was really persecuting her very hard. In fact she came to the place at one time that she had a total nervous breakdown, just everything of her shut right down. I was young then and didn’t understand it. As I think back on this time, I am convinced that she “broke down” because he forbade her to move in the things of the Spirit and she just couldn’t handle it. She finally submitted and obeyed him, quenching the Holy Spirit’s manifestation right out of her life.
She called me one day on the phone and she said to me, “Brother Mark, would you pray for me?”
So I started praying for her on the phone. I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit for about a year, but I just wasn’t in a real good place yet insofar as my spiritual walk. So on the phone I also heard her start to pray.
And she started to pray in the Spirit (in tongues) and I thought, “Is this allowed? On the telephone? Are we allowed to do that on the phone?” Really, I am serious. I didn’t think this was proper. I thought that we weren’t supposed to do this on the phone. Well I finally got over it and realized that God could do what God wanted to do.
So as we consider the sons of Zadok, I am telling myself today, “Would to God that all of the church could prophesy, that all were a nation of priests and yes that we were all among the sons of Zadok (the sons of God).”
I think we need a little understanding of who this man Zadok is. But now we understand that there is a difference here now in ministry. And God is saying that the difference in ministry is because He, in His judgment, has made a division.
There was a ministry of the sons of Levi and He said of them, “Because some of you participated in the backsliding of Israel, because you served them in their backslidden state, in their idolatry; you also ministered to them in your own idolatry.”
My God, I have to wonder today, “Are there ministries that are ministering to the church in their own idolatry today? Are they ones that have been called of God to a high calling and yet they are ministering on a lower carnal level?”
It is a question. I had to ask as I was reading this passage in Ezekiel. Now God didn’t cast them out. He didn’t say, “Well there is no place for you whatsoever.” What He said was, “I have a different place for you.” “You can minister to the house (in this case I believe it means that you will minister to the natural level of the house.) You are on a natural (carnal) level; you will minister in natural things; you are not on the spiritual level. You can kill the animals for sacrifice.” We are talking here of the natural sacrificial service back before the coming of Jesus Christ to Israel. “You will minister to the people. You will minister to the sanctuary. You will have charge of the gates to the house, minister to the house, burnt offering, sacrifice, stand before them and minister to them but this is as far as you are going to go. You are not going to go beyond the door into the holy place, but you will minister to the people and you will take care of the house. You can take care of the natural things. The reason for that is because you followed the people into idolatry. You did not lead them out. You did not stand up and say, ‘Whoa, stop! Wait a minute! That is not the right way to go!’”
“But,” He says in verse 13, “But you shall not come near unto me. You will not do the office of a priest unto Me, but you can take care of the people.”
Do you see, there is a difference between ministering unto the people and ministering unto the Lord? How many of you know that ministering unto the Lord is the higher calling? Now I believe it is good to minister to people, but it is better to minister unto the Lord.
You know I can’t help but think of Mary and Martha again. To what and to whom was Martha’s main ministry oriented? It was to the house, to the natural things, to the natural appetites, to the food. She wanted to make sure that the people were comfortable and well taken care of. That is good; it is a good ministry and I don’t decry anybody who has the Martha ministry. But if you have a Martha ministry, you also need to be paying attention to what Mary was doing too. Jesus said that Mary had chosen a better way and a better thing. [Luke 10:42] What was Mary doing? She was ministering at the feet of Jesus. She was drinking it in and that was pleasing to the Lord, for her to simply sit before His throne and be there for Him.
Mary wasn’t involved in any activity that generated sweat. Now I don’t believe that Mary was lazy, that was not her problem. Mary was so captivated by the presence of the Lord that she must have just said in her heart, “Oh, this is the place to be. Tomorrow He won’t be here. Today I am going to take advantage of sitting at His feet.” You know she wasn’t self absorbed in front of the Lord. She didn’t have to be always talking. Here is a verse that we read in Isaiah. I think it is a picture of Mary.
Isaiah 30:15 “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”
I would like to leave the last part out for us, “and ye would not”.
Isaiah 32:17 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”
Do you see this? If we can live in quietness and rest and peace, then we have been walking in righteousness, because this is the Word of God now. This is what righteousness is going to accomplish in you. It is going to “peace you down” and it is going to “quiet you down”. You know, it is going to take the stress out of you and it is going to make us quiet before the Lord.
Mary, I believe, was sitting quietly before the Lord. Can’t you just see a picture of her? Just sitting there, peacefully, and loving the Lord. Her love, she didn’t have to be saying anything. She was communicating her adoration of the Lord to Him. She just sat there and the Lord knew that she was drinking in His life. You know, you can tell when people are drinking it in. You can tell when they are listening. Yes, you can tell.
So let us be getting back to Ezekiel and the priests who are the sons of Zadok. Now the sons of Zadok are in contrast here inasmuch as they did not go astray. They did not lead the people away into idolatry nor did they follow them. And of them He said:
15 “…They shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:”
16 “They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table…”
What is the table of the Lord? What was the purpose of the table of shewbread? Is it not a place to take in the Life of Christ? You know that not every man had the right to go in there, did they? Because it was a holy place and the bread of the Life of Christ was a holy thing. It was not common bread. It is not the kind of food that you can buy anywhere. It is precious spiritual food. It will not be just average, everyday, ordinary preaching. It is the preaching of the kingdom of Christ and is anointed by the Holy Spirit in Christ and not everyone is able to partake of that. Do you see this? By the way, I don’t believe that God has set the barriers for the purpose of saying who cannot enter, but it is more of man’s refusing to meet God’s qualifications. God is mainly defining how these exclusionist limitations came to be. His door is now open to all and His veil has been rent. Nevertheless, He acknowledges that there will be some that will enter in and there will some that won’t and it will be because of each one’s decisions and behavior that one won’t be able to be there. I believe that this is what Jesus means in this passage:
Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
So let us continue in Ezekiel and we will go down to verse 17.
Ezekiel 44:17 “And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court…”
We are talking about the inner court that is restricted, not the outer court. This is the holy place and the most holy place.
Ezekiel 44:17 “…When they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them…”
What is the difference between linen and wool? Wool comes from flesh. Wool is made from animals. Linen is made from a plant that grows.
Ezekiel 44:17 “…No wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.”
In the holy place and the holy of holies they are to only wear linen. “No wool”, the sheep doesn’t go that far.
Ezekiel 44:18 “They shall have linen bonnets…”
That means turbans. They didn’t wear baseball or cowboy hats in those days.
Ezekiel 44:18 “They shall have linen (turbans) bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches (trousers) upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.”
Isn’t this interesting? Labor, sweat, works of man’s effort and man’s righteousness or rituals. The sons of Zadok are not in there to perform works. They are in there by the grace of God. They are in there by the blood, not their own blood. If it were by their own blood, they would be dead. They are in there by the token substitutional blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Ezekiel 44:19 “And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.”
Now this is a description of the requirements of priesthood. Now He goes further in that He even has standards for their grooming, their appearance.
Ezekiel 44:20 “Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.”
Now He is saying, “You are not going to look like a Neanderthal and you are not going to look like a skinhead. You cut your hair. “Poll” means that the hair is to be cut in a decent manner and whenever needed.
Ezekiel 44:21 “Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.”
Total prohibition, there is to be no wine when they enter into the inner court (the place where the sons of God walk by the Spirit). This is also a spiritual picture here of everything defined above. Do you understand? They are not to partake of intoxicating doctrines, such as of easy escape from tribulation but they are to be partakers of the message of overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
Ezekiel 44:22 “Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before.
In other words, the women that they marry have to be of their own kind. She has to be of the same caliber that they are. We have talked before about how in the days of Noah the sons of God were taking to wife the daughters of men. Spiritually they had gone down below their own order in their carnal choice of spouses and the result of the seed produced was monsters.
Ezekiel 44:23 “And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Are you aware that today people don’t know the difference any more? People don’t know the difference any more. I was reading that the issue of homosexual marriage is on the agenda when the time of elections comes. The very fact that it is even put on the agenda is evidence that people do not know the difference between the clean and the unclean. Now the big report that they voted it down by 51% to 49%, is not a big deal. It shouldn’t have even been on the ballot if we had understood what our founding fathers really believed. I am not just talking about our national founding fathers, I am referring to our spiritual founding fathers. Such a thing is an abomination!
The writer would say, “Can you imagine America’s first president, George Washington going into a voting booth and finding that issue to be a thing that he was going to vote about approving? Can you imagine?”
Do you understand what I am saying? So this is the world, but what about the church? Take for instance the issue of premarital sex? The statisticians declare that among the people 98% have sex before marriage. Is it still defined as fornication? Not really; they have rewritten the rules to their own liking and the new definition is that if two people love one another and/or plan to be married it is no longer fornication.
Does this mean that this is the way of the church too? Is it maybe only 90%. Still, are we saying that we don’t know the difference between the unclean and the clean? The fact that it happens doesn’t mean that we condone it. All right, enough on the clean and the unclean. You can apply this to many, many situations.
The one thing that I see here is that the sons of Zadok go into the inner court and they feed on that special revelation from the Lord. But then it says that they go out to the outer court and there they are to teach those people, much like Moses said they should be teaching the nations.
They, the sons of Zadok (in addition to the other sons of Levi, the fallen priests) also have a ministry to the outer court. But apparently God does not trust them any more to show the people the difference between the common (profane) and the holy, or the difference between the clean and the unclean. The word profane means: the common; ordinary thing; the thing that is not sanctified unto the Lord; it is just a usual everyday thing. Certain vessels were sanctified to the Lord, they were holy. Certain vessels were just commonplace things, you have them in your household and your children eat out of them.
The sanctification of these priests extended to their clothing, in that they had to take off all of their consecrated vestments and leave them in the holy place, so that this that was sanctified wouldn’t go to the people and be polluted by their uncleanness. The Lord made sure of that and what they gave to those people was what the Lord ordained for them. The way I see it is that they got what they wanted, the people choose not to hear directly from God. And the priest that ministered to the Lord didn’t really minister to the people.
You see there are two systems in the realm of religion. There is a Zadok system, a very small minority today. And there is another larger system of religion. Now let’s look at this other system here as we go back to the book of 2nd Samuel. I want to show you the origin of this man Zadok. I really want to trace Zadok’s genealogical origin all the way back to Aaron.
Question: “The Levitical priesthood that they were called into, now obviously we know that everybody was not called into the Levitical priesthood. It is the same way with the church today. The Lord says there are special vessels and vessels of silver and gold and wood and vessels of honor and vessels of ordinary. But the thing that I am seeing here is that we are not all called to the Levitical priesthood.”
Brother Mark: Well let’s leave the word Levitical off now when we are talking about the church because that order of priesthood has passed away. [Hebrews Chapters 7-10 (esp. 10:11-12)]
Question: “Now what I am asking you is that priesthood was specifically ordained of God. They were a special vessel unto God, not just something common.”
Brother Mark: But, you missed the part about where the purpose of God was that all would be a nation of priests. You see, they rejected that when they said, “We don’t want to hear directly from God. You (Moses) go hear what He has to say and then you can tell us what He says and we will believe you.” [Exodus 20:19; 2nd Corinthians 3:13-16] That is basically what priesthood is. It is a go-between. You hear from God and you tell us what God said. Now God has done away with that imperfect pattern inasmuch as Jesus has now become our only and perfect priest. “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” [1st Timothy 2:5] That is in the book of Hebrews and that is Jesus Christ. [Hebrews 9:15] So therefore every believer now has a right and a calling to be in that priesthood and come boldly before the mercy seat (in the holy of holies) on one’s own behalf. The veil that kept us out has been torn.
We are not talking about ministry now. We are not talking about five fold ministry or anything like that. We are talking about the right to go directly before God into the most holy place (if that is where you want to go) and commune with Him. This is the “royal priesthood”; you see Peter understood the purpose of God in this way that he wrote in his first epistle. [1st Peter 2:9] “…A royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…” Amen.
You see, this is the whole idea of the veil being removed. The veil is rent from top to bottom and the Levitical priesthood is done away with now. Christ is now the only priest “after the order of Melchisedec”. [Hebrews 5:6, 10] But let’s study the principle here. Even in Malachi where it speaks of the sons of Levi being purged; this prophetic Word is reaching right on over into the New Testament. That very last prophetic Old Testament book reaches right across into Christ, “The sons of Levi being purged with fire.” [Malachi 3:3] There is where we can claim to be the sons of Levi, spiritually. We have got to transfer our thinking from natural to spiritual, which is the transfer from old to new covenant.
The present church systems have either partially or wholly failed to make this transfer, inasmuch as they have maintained a clergy system (Nicolaitanism) which is patterned after the old order. In the worst case example of Babylonish Roman Catholicism and some of her harlot daughters, her priests are unclean (not washed by the blood of Christ in rebirth) and are therefore unfit to represent Christ in any manner.
Let’s look at this natural man Zadok now so we can understand: “Why did Zadok get this special privilege that he had of God?” I don’t know everything about the “sons of Zadok”, but we can know about Zadok himself. We’ve got to go back to 2nd Samuel Chapter 15 and we find the situation where Absalom had taken over Jerusalem, having invaded the palace and David’s house. The place where David had ruled, Absalom had taken it over and David had fled. Absalom was busy corrupting everything there including David’s family that was left behind, the women that were left to keep the house. He was publicly exposing and violating David’s concubines on the roof of the house. Absalom, the son of David was a vile, wicked man.
Now David, God’s ordained man, was being driven out of Jerusalem with those who were loyal to him. David was God’s chosen man to lead the people. Remember we are talking about a natural man, we are talking about natural people here, but there is going to be a spiritual application to this. So let us read of the situation here in verse 23:
2nd Samuel 15
23 “And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.”
24 “And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.”
25 “And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:”
26 “But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.”
27 “The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? …”
Listen to this? Do you know what that word literally should be translated to? “Are you not also a prophet?” Zadok was a prophet. “Zadok you know, you can see. Surely you have eyes to see. You know what is coming. You know God. Art thou not also a seer Zadok?”
27 “… Art not thou a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.”
Now, I will quit there. Actually Jonathan was not his son. He might have been a spiritual son, but he was the natural son of Abiathar, another priest.
So it is this other priest that came out with Zadok, named Abiathar. These two priests, along with their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan, as well as a number of Levites followed David. So far these men are both loyal to David, but they are from different blood lines. Now from the scripture I will show you that Abiathar came from the line of Eli and that Zadok did not come out of the seed of Eli. I will show you the difference as we go through the Word here.
So to continue now with the present plight of David’s flight, let’s go over here to Chapter 17 and we will start at verse 15. While David is fleeing, this is what is happening back in Jerusalem, how Absalom is defiling the place with his rule and his reign. David must have thought he would never have to be on the run again. But from rebellion within his own family (his own son) he has been driven out and Absalom will surely kill him if he has the chance.
2nd Samuel 17:15 “Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests…”
Hushai was a man who was really loyal to David, but David had sent him back into the city as a spy, but really more than a spy, more as a double agent. He sent him back to Jerusalem with these instructions, “Tell Absalom, ‘I was loyal to your father, I will be loyal to you. I am your man Absalom.’ Give him advice as a wise elder and perhaps he will hear your advice and your advice will be able to defeat Absalom.” That is how David sent him in. But word had to get back to David who had camped in the wilderness on the run, as to what was going to happen, so that David would know how to act out there in the wilderness; he had to have information from within the inner circle. Did Absalom accept Hushai’s advice, or did he not? Or did he accept this other man, Athitophel’s (who had truly betrayed David) demonic counsel that was trying to advise Absolom on how to destroy David?
So Hushai will give the report to the priests that Absolom had actually accepted his own counsel, which resulted in delaying an attack on David and giving him more opportunity to flee over the Jordan. The priests are then going to be the actual couriers of the message. This is a rather complicated scheme that they have got going here as to how this word is going to get back out to David, but brethren, you are going to see the “body of Christ” in action here.
2nd Samuel 17
15 “Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled.”
To remind you again, Ahithophel is the real traitor. He is the one that betrayed David. Hushai knew he was a traitor and that what he was telling Absalom could actually destroy David.
16 “Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.”
They had to cross a river and it was not a river that you could cross in a few minutes time. It took time and it was a very difficult place to cross. They advised David, “Don’t stay where you are. Keep moving. Get over that river.”
17 “Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city…”
In other words the priests themselves, the fathers of these two young men were in the city but their sons were not. Now of course these two young men are going to be priests some day; they are now being trained to be priests. So they could not come into the city, because if anyone caught them there they would surely say, “Oh, these are surely David’s men” and kill them right away. So they had to stay outside in this place Enrogel.
17 “… And a wench (a maid servant) went and told them; and they went and told king David.”
Do you understand how the message is passed? Hushai told the priests. The priests got this little girl and said “Take this message out to Enrogel and tell our two sons. They are hiding out there in that little village.” So the maid servant took this word out there and then these boys are going to take it on to David. But it isn’t that easy yet. Let’s read a few more verses.
2nd Samuel 17:18 “Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: …”
So there is another spy, a boy betrayed them to Absolom. As a boy you can be faithful to God, or as a child you can become big traitor. This lad betrayed King David and he betrayed God. They didn’t give his name; he wasn’t worth having his name mentioned in history.
18 “Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they (two young priest’s sons) went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down.”
How many of you would like to go down in a well? What is down in a well? Water, cold, damp and dark. But nevertheless they had to have a place to hide.
19 “And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known.”
“Oh I am just grinding my flour here, fixing my breakfast. I do it every day out here like this”. This woman was the homemaker of this home. She was the wife of the man who owned the home or she owned the home herself. So an unnamed woman is also working with God’s anointed one to preserve his life, another small but vital member of the body.
2nd Samuel 17
20 “And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.”
21 “And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said, unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.”
So David got the word and David knew what he had to do. The point that I am making here is that there are two different lines of priests. So far through the time of Absolom’s rebellion, they are both faithful. Now let’s go close to the end of David’s life and see some another situation in 1st Kings Chapter 1, verse 5. David’s troubles are not over yet. There is another son that is giving trouble to David when he is almost seventy years old. David was considered old as he was feeble and he had lived a pretty hard life.
1st Kings 1:5 “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself…”
It doesn’t say that God exalted him. By the way God doesn’t have a problem promoting somebody. God has a problem with man promoting himself. This man promoted himself. Haggith was his mother; Absalom had a different mother. Adonijah was the fourth son born to David.
1st Kings 1:5 “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.”
He made a parade. Now notice how this boy was raised and maybe you can take counsel in what David did wrong and not raise the same kind of rebel.
1st Kings 1:6 “And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?…”
His father had never corrected him. His father had never interrupted what he had wanted to do. David had some problems in his life too, didn’t he? Too many wives and too many children and too many houses, he couldn’t keep track of them all. You see it wasn’t God’s order to have that many wives. David had about seven of them. You say, “It wasn’t as bad as Solomon.” No, it wasn’t, but it was still too many. He could not properly raise his sons.
1st Kings 1:6 “…And he also was a very goodly (handsome) man;…”
That is a good candidate for king at least in the natural.
1st Kings 1:6 “…And his mother bare him after Absalom.”
His mother was not the same mother. I went back and looked it up. Absalom had a different mother, but this one was younger than Absalom.
1st Kings 1:7 “And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.”
Joab had been the general. Abiathar, now remember, was one of the two priests who had been loyal to David during the Absalom rebellion.
1st Kings 1:8 “But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah (David’s rebellious son).”
1st Kings 1:9 “And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, (there is Enrogel again) and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:”
However, he left a few off of his guest list.
1st Kings 1:10 “But Nathan the prophet…”
He wasn’t on the list. Remember Nathan was the one who came and said to David, “Thou art the man.” [2nd Samuel 12:7] Nathan loved David. He loved him enough to tell David, “You are wrong. Cut my head off if you want, but I love you, I love the kingdom of God and I am not going to allow it to be corrupted the way you are going. I am doing the job of a prophet the way a prophet is supposed to do it. Stop what you are doing David and turn back.”
1st Kings 1:10 “But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah…”
By the way, if you go back and look up this Benaiah, he was one of the mighty men of David. He was a powerful, mighty fighter, warrior, a tremendous man of faith, courage and natural strength as well.
1st Kings 1:10 “…And the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.”
Let’s just follow a little bit further here in Chapter 2 to see how this thing all comes down in verse 26 and 27.
Nathan the prophet said to Bathsheba (Solomon’s mother), “Your job is to go in and remind David that, ‘My son Solomon is the one that you have chosen to be king.’ And tell him what this other son has done.”
She did, she went in and David said, “Call me Nathan. Call my mighty men. We are going to make a change right here.”
And they called in Zadok the priest and he said, “Anoint Solomon with oil now and declare him to be the king.” They also had Solomon to ride on David’s special mule.
A mighty shout went up in the city and they blew the trumpet. And the other camp that was outside the city trying to make Adonijah king heard the shouting and the trumpet. And they said, “What is going on? What is going on?” And a runner came out. They asked the runner, “What is going on? Are you bringing good news or what?”
He said, “Solomon has been made king.” Incidentally this runner happened to be Jonathan, the son of the now disloyal priest Abiathar. And I am thinking that he had to have been in the right place that day. If he had been at Adonijah’s celebration with his father he would not have known what was happening back in Jerusalem with the anointing with Solomon. So he had made the right decision that day.
So Adonijah’s reign of kingship didn’t last for even one full day.
Now Solomon is king and Solomon is cleaning up some things left from David’s reign. In due course Solomon had Adonijah put to death. He would have left him alone, but no. He (Adonijah) had to send Bathsheba in to Solomon, as ask if he could marry Abishag the young Shunammite girl that they had brought in to minister to David in his last days. David had never known her, but nevertheless, Solomon said, “Wait a minute. You have gone way too far. This is it.”
So Solomon had him executed. He saw that he was a dangerous and ambitious man who would have taken any opportunity he could to do just what Absalom had done to David; he would have done the same thing to Solomon. In the course of time he is going to have to take care of Joab too, but let us first look concerning Abiathar, the priest who betrayed loyalty to David:
1st Kings 2:26 “And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; (Go back to your own home farm.) for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.”
This was treason what this priest had done, but Solomon had some mercy on him because he had has a history of loyalty during Absolom’s rebellion.
1st Kings 2:26 “…for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father…”
Because you did this with my father, I won’t do it to you.
1st Kings 2:26 “…and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.”
“You did have loyalty in you at one time Abiathar. Yes, you bore the same afflictions [If you go to I Samuel 22:20 you will see that Abiathar was the only one of his family to escape the slaughter of Saul because his father, Ahimelech had helped David.] that David did when he was young. But what you did now is inexcusable; you may no longer be priest.” So he fired him from his office as priest.
1st Kings 2:27 “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.”
Now what is this prophecy concerning the house of Eli? Now if you go back again to 1st Samuel we can see what the Word of the Lord was that He spoke concerning the house of Eli. First this tells you that Abiathar was from the house of Eli.
Incidentally, Solomon didn’t fire Abiathar’s sons from being priests; he just fired Abiathar.
“Your sons haven’t done anything wrong; they can still be priests, but not you. You are the one being retired.”
Question: “But the sons couldn’t minister unto the Lord.”
Brother Mark: Apparently they could do so until the time of Ezekiel. But somewhere between this time of Solomon and the time of Ezekiel there was a falling away that took place. You see, at the time of Solomon they hadn’t yet gone into idolatry.
Question: “But Abiathar turned away from the Lord and that is why they are doing that in Ezekiel. It was Abiathar that turned away from the Lord.”
Brother Mark: No, the word in Ezekiel isn’t just because of what Abiathar had done to David and Solomon. But I am going to show you that there is a line of Eli that is still in the priesthood up until the time of Jesus Christ, evidence from the courses that David had set in order. I believe that God is referring to another fallong away that took place between David’s time and when Ezekiel is writing about the sons of Zadok. You see, there have been hundreds of years between Abiathar and Ezekiel. We have all this period of Ezra and Nehemiah were many priests fell away and were corrupted by marriage to unbelievers. And because of this they were put out of the priesthood. They had corrupted themselves by nothing more than by marrying strange women and polluting the holy seed. So there were a lot of things that happened. I think there was more than just this. I believe that a great number of the priesthood genealogy line had corrupted itself to some extent and compromised itself to the point where when David actually set up the line of priests, you find that only one-third of them were from Ithmar and two-thirds were from Eleazor. I’d like us to look into that; I want to show you that it is a picture of the church today. So I’ll go back again in saying, there is a spiritual picture to be drawn here. Whether or not we can follow all of the details here, try to follow the big picture.
And now we are going to see where another priest went astray before David’s time. Samuel is a child now and is in the temple in Shiloh. It is not really a temple, it is more or less a tabernacle, but this tabernacle was located in Shiloh. Eli was the high priest and Eli’s two sons Hophni and Phinehas, were also priests. This is a different Phinehas than the son of Eleazor in the days of Moses. Keep that in mind. There are two different Phinehas’. Okay. So now let’s start in verse 27.
1st Samuel 2:27 “And there came a man of God unto Eli…”
The man had no name. How many of you know that God has got prophets and servants out in His field and you don’t know who they are? The man never got his name in the book and yet he obeyed God and he gave a monumental prophetic Word to the priest that was recorded in the book. Was it Nathan? Was it Nathan’s father? We don’t know who it was.
1st Samuel 2
27 “And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?”
28 “And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?”
29 “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering…”
You are kicking at it in an obscene manner. Like an unruly heifer kicks at her master when he comes by, she gives him a kick with her hoof.
29 “… Which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me…”
You put your sons above Me? Are you hearing? Not only is this a picture of the fallen church, but a picture of her backslidden people. You put your own family above God.
29 “…To make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?”
30 “Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
God is saying, “Look, I am making a change. I said your family; your house was going to walk before me for ever: but there have been some things happening here and I am going to make a change.”
1st Samuel 2
31 “Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.”
He didn’t say, “I am going to wipe out the whole house.” He just says, “There is not going to be an old man, in your family; you aren’t going to live long.”
32 “And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.”
33 “And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.”
Do you know, I can’t help but think that there are diseases today among people who have these genetic flaws, and almost nobody in these family lines lives to be an old age. Did you know that? I’d like to give you the name of it. It is a very complicated name. What it amounts to is “genetic-hyper-cholesterol-emia”. It is also called familial hypercholesterolemia. There is a family line that has this genetic trait and they can do nothing about it. They have extremely high LD cholesterol and there isn’t much they can do to control it. They all have cardiovascular disease and heart attacks in their thirties and forties, and if they live to be sixty it is a miracle. They have tested these families and found that every one of their children have this genetic trait. There was one family of eleven or twelve children; I saw their pictures, beautiful people. They were nice looking handsome men and women. The girls, the boys, every one of them were found to have that genetic trait. I was just thinking, wouldn’t it be interesting to go back into their past generations? And there are other diseases that I could also list that do the same thing.
“Lord how did this get into my family? What did some great-great-grandparent do? Was he involved in killing Christians back there in the 1500’s? What happened that this curse got into this family’s life?” I don’t know, it is just a question. I don’t have the answers. It reminded me of this when I read what was going to happen to the house of Eli’s descendents; they were all going to die young.
1st Samuel 2
34 “And this shall be a sign to thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.”
35 “And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.”
We can stop reading this prophecy against Eli’s house here, but let me take this just a little bit further so that you will know where this Abiathar came from. Go over in the same book, 1st Samuel Chapter 14, verse 3. I am going to show you that this Abiathar is the great-grandson of Phinehas, the son of Eli.
1st Samuel 14:3 “And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother…”
Do you remember Ichabod? He was born the day that Hophni, Phineas and Eli all died.
1st Samuel 14:3 “And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD’s priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.”
I just read that verse so that you would have proof of the line that he comes from. Okay. Now let’s take it one step further into Chapter 22. We are doing a Bible study today by the way, if you don’t mind. This is very difficult. It is very hard to just preach this without doing it as a study. Chapter 22, verse 9.
1st Samuel 22:9 “Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.”
Here is Ahimelech now, the son of Ahitub. Okay. What happened to Ahimelech and 85 members of his family, how they were slaughtered by Saul you can see in verse 18. So the killing probably also included Ahiah , the brother of Ahimelech. So the carelessness of Abiathar’s great-great grandfather (Eli) and wickedness of his great grandfather (Phineas) are being visited upon this family by the madman king Saul.
1st Samuel 22:20 “And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.”
Let’s look at what happened that he had to escape? This man Ahimelech again was good to David; he was a good man. He had a bad family line, but nevertheless he was a good man. David came into the tabernacle here when he was on the run from Saul, who was chasing him and trying to kill him.
David came in and said to the priest, “I am starving, my men with me are starving, do you have anything here for us to eat?”
The priest (Ahimelech) said, “Well there is only the holy bread (from the table of shewbread).”
David said, “That is okay, we will eat it.”
The priest said, “Well if the men have kept themselves clean and all that for a certain period of time, yes, I will go ahead and I will give it to you.”
Then when they had eaten the shewbread, David said to the priest, “Is there any weapons around here? I don’t have anything.”
Ahimelech said, “Yes, I have got the sword of Goliath. Remember, you used it to cut his head off.”
David said, “Oh yes, that is a good sword. I’ll take it.”
I remember once that Brother Campbell brought a great word on this subject, the mighty sword of Goliath. David was not mature enough to have that sword as a seventeen year old. He could not possess that mighty weapon. But he is now mature and he can handle this mighty weapon to use against the enemies of God.
But now Doeg the Edomite (an unclean and bloody man); he was not an Israelite, he was an Edomite that had gotten in and made himself comfortable in Saul’s camp. He didn’t care who he killed. He had no respect for the priesthood or anything consecrated or holy. Saul was likewise a vicious and wicked man When Saul found out that Ahimelech had helped David, he ordered his men to kill Ahimelech. His men, the Israelites, had enough respect in them that they wouldn’t do it.
They said, “No! He is the priest! He is the man that wears the ephod. He tends to the ark of the covenant. We can’t kill him.”
“Doeg, will you do it?” Sure, Doeg will do it. He doesn’t care. He fell on him and he killed Ahimelech and all of the defenseless priests.
1st Samuel 22:18 “And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.”
Oh that prophecy to Eli, eighty-five family members! He probably took women, children and everything and everybody in that household.
1st Samuel 22:19 “And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”
What a vicious, vicious dog, unclean animal this Doeg was!
I did that to show you the family line that brings us up to this man that finally betrayed David. The son of one of these faithful men finally turned and betrayed David at the very last.
Now what about these family lines even before Eli? For this we need to go back into the book of Numbers. You know that Aaron (the first high priest and the brother of Moses) had four sons. And the names of the four sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Now Nadab and Abihu were slain by the fire of the Lord and they had no sons. I didn’t know if they were married or not, but it says that they had no sons. They were young men. They had played with unholy fire in bringing it into the holy place to the golden alter. There are some spiritual lessons here again, pictures of the church where they are bringing unholy fire before the Lord.
What is unholy fire? What would unholy fire before the Lord be today? Could it include bringing unholy music into the house of God? Music that is not really praise or worship and that comes from the world’s rock, rap and such?
“We will remake it a little bit. We will put some Christian lyrics in here, but it will have the same beat and it will have the same spirit. We have got to be “HIP” in the church, you know. We have got to be modern. We have got to keep things on a fast, user friendly pace, you know. Bring in the drums and bring in all of the beat of the world.”
It is all unholy fire before the Lord. Do you want to find a picture of true worship before the Lord? Go to Revelation where the four and twenty elders are gathered before the throne of God singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord. Great and mighty is the Lord.” [Revelation 4:8] Can you imagine some of this modern noise that passes in church as praise and worship coming before this true throne of the Holy God? Brethren, it is the same thing that Nadab and Abihu brought before the golden alter in the holy place.
It is the same throne. You know the first time they do something like that, God always makes an example. After that He doesn’t kill everybody, but it has got to be just as grievous before the Lord. You know the first time a man gathered sticks on the Sabbath day, he was stoned. They didn’t kill everybody that violated the Sabbath after that. The first time Aaron and Miriam complained against Moses –she was smitten with leprosy. But this kind of thing has been going on for years and years – and they are not all getting leprosy today. I’m talking about first-time mention – God deals with it and He shows what He really feels about it. He just can’t go and wipe out all of humanity. If He did it every time He would wipe us all out. Do you understand?
So they brought unclean fire. They brought fire from perhaps their own home to come into the holy place. They probably lit the lampstand and thought “No problem. It is going to work. We don’t have to get the fire from the brazen altar after all.”
They brought flesh, man thinking, man opinion, Adamic flesh. You see flesh was not to come in there. That is part of the reason for the garments that they wear. Even wool is flesh, it comes from the sheep and it makes you sweat. It can’t come in. But when they got to the golden altar! Do you see what happened?
Do you understand what the golden altar means? The golden altar is the last stop before they cross through the veil and from there they go into the holy of holies. The golden altar is where the incense is offered. If God accepts the incense offering at the golden altar, then the priest can breathe a sigh of relief. He can say, “At least I think I can go in now.” He would see the Shekinah glory. He would see the cloud in there. Then he knew he could go in. Amen.
So what does this sacrifice at the golden altar represent? You see there is a series of steps taking place in order to bring us into the holy of holies. There is the sacrifice of flesh that is taken care of out in the outer court, our flesh. Jesus was the substitute sacrifice for us. Nevertheless, our flesh should have been mortified out there. The walking after flesh – we can’t get out of the flesh, but we don’t have to walk after the flesh. Flesh doesn’t have to dictate everything that we do in life. But God is after something more than just our flesh. He is after our soul. So where does the soul get its final dealing? At the golden altar. So if we try to bring a soulish thing into the holy of holies, it isn’t going to survive. So even trying to bring an emotional judgment based on our feelings isn’t going to work. It is still fleshly.
You see the soul is either going to respond to the flesh, or it is going to respond to the spirit. The soul lies between these two. The flesh wants to drag the soul down into the carnal realm. The spirit is trying to draw the soul into the heavenly places, (the spirit of man I mean). The only influence upon the spirit of man is the Spirit of God. So therefore we can say that it is God drawing the soul higher, but it is the flesh drawing the soul down.
Now who has the influence over flesh? Flesh is fallen; therefore flesh can be ruled by none other than Satan, who has a claim on our flesh. He has a legitimate claim. But if we walk by the Spirit we nullify Satan’s claim on our flesh. Is that understood?
The final point of demarcation is at the veil. It is at the veil, the finality of flesh vs. spirit orientation is reckoned. Jesus flesh was rent on the cross and the veil in the temple was also rent at that time. The problem with our coming into the holy of holies is resolved; God has no more physical barriers there. The barriers are all within us. You can go in if you want, but you are going to do it on His terms. I suppose you could say that those are barriers, His terms.
But the genetic barrier is gone. He doesn’t say, “Because you are not of that Aaronic priesthood blood line, you cannot go in.” That legalistic barrier has been removed.
So let us go back to Numbers Chapter 25. The two sons of Aaron that are now left alive are Ithmar and Eleazor. You don’t hear much more about Ithmar, do you? So Ithmar apparently did not distinguish himself. Thank God He didn’t distinguish himself like Nadab and Abihu. But nevertheless, there apparently was not found in Ithmar (shall we say) an excellent spirit like there was in Eleazor. You read a lot more about Eleazor. Not just the servant of Abraham Eleazor, but I am referring to Eleazor the priest. And Eleazor had a son named Phinehas. Remember, I said there was another Phinehas that was the son of Eli the priest.
By the way, before we leave Eli the priest, the child Samuel also brought a word to Eli. The Lord spoke to this child and told the child, “Tell Eli thus and thus and thus and thus and thus.”
Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas were wicked men. They took more than their portion when the offerings were brought. They committed adultery with women that hung around the tabernacle. Eli was the chief priest; he had every right and obligation to deal with it. Do you know how he dealt with it?
He said to his sons, “This is not good what you are doing.”
Eli, Is that all you are going to do? Is that it? Are you just going to say a few words and then say, “I am discharged from my obligation. I told them I don’t like it.”
By the way, these sons were not children. These were adult men. Considering the age of Eli, I would say these men had to be in their forties. Yet God was expecting Eli to discipline his forty year old sons. They had to at least be in their thirties since you couldn’t function as a priest until you were thirty. He could have fired them in the same manner that Solomon fired the priest Abiathar. “You are finished,” Eli could have said.
This prophet told Eli, “You have put your sons ahead of me.”
But no, he couldn’t do it. You see, parental responsibility carries on for quite a while, doesn’t it. I don’t believe it ever ends in our lifetime. Apparently you
are expected to do everything that you have power to do. I know that there comes a point where you don’t have much power, but if you have power to do something, you are expected to exercise it.
Getting back to Phinehas the son of Eleazor. Israel was in the plains of Moab. Balaam had done his wicked thing. He had given his prophesies which turned out to be “correct” prophesies, but he was still a false prophet. Yes they were true prophesies, but the Bible says that the man had a perverse heart, therefore he was a false prophet. You don’t judge a prophet by whether he said everything correctly. “Oh he is a true prophet of God, everything he said was right.” So did Balaam and he had a perverse heart.
After the prophesies were all said and done, Balaam said to Balak, “I’ve got another great idea and I’m sure you can get the Israelites to fall for this one. Have a big party. Invite the guys, invite the girls. Send your girls in with the guys and see what happens They were corrupting themselves in the plains of Moab sexually. Sons of God with daughters of men were again committing sin.
So a plague breaks out in the midst of this. People begin to die from a plague from God. In the midst of the plague some of the people of Israel began to repent and they began to cry out to God. “Oh God we are sorry!” “Oh God please have mercy on us!”
Now let us read the account from Numbers Chapter 25, beginning at verse 1.
1 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”
2 “And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.”
3 “And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.”
4 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.”
It sounds like there was a beheading or a hanging by the neck or it was the heads (chiefs) of the people that were hung up. These were the ones that were committing adultery, fornication.
5 “And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.”
That was their big party called Baalpeor.
6 “And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
The people were weeping and repenting and this man still wasn’t finished with his sin.
7 “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;”
8 “And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them trough, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”
Now we come down to verse 10.
10 “And the LORD spake to Moses, saying,”
11 “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.”
12 “Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:”
Now take note of this covenant that He is giving to Phinehas.
13 “And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.”
Let me tell you why I went back to Phinehas? Because Eli came from the line of Ithmar. And the prophecy against Eli was a complete opposite of the promise to Phineas. I’m sorry I’m not taking you through all of the begets and the begottens and you can check it out if you like. But trust me, Eli came from Ithamar. And Zadok came from Phinehas. Zadok therefore was a recipient of the promise of an everlasting priesthood given to Phineas the son of Eleazor.
Now let me take one more reference here, in 1st Chronicles 24. David set up twenty-four courses of priests to serve on a rotational basis through the temple (in his day it was the tabernacle). Twenty-four families of priests were set up. Each one, the senior one of that family line was to serve a two week period in the service of the tabernacle. Let us read it here.
1st Chronicles 24
1 “Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.”
2 “But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office.”
3 “And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.”
4 “And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.”
Do you see that the one had a double blessing? Eleazar and Phinehas his son have a double blessing in that house. Ithmar is a recipient of just a single blessing.
Now go to verse 10.
1st Chronicles 24:10 “The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,”
Now why did we read that? Because I am going to take you over to Luke and we are going to finish up there. Do you know where we are going? We are going to Zacharias. It is in the very 1st Chapter of Luke in verse 5.
Luke 1:5 “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia...”
That is the same as Abijah. Abia and Abijah are the same man, the same name.
Luke 1:5 “… And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron and her name was Elisabeth.”
This Zacharias, had to have come from the genealogy of Phinehas. Isn’t that interesting? God privileged him to be the father of John the Baptist. But, let’s not forget something else, Elisabeth was a 1st cousin of Mary. We can’t prove it, but I think that Phinehas is in Mary’s line too. We can’t prove it, but the evidence is pretty strong.
So brethren, considering the sons of Zadok, here is the bottom line: God wants a people today to be of the spiritual sons of Zadok Company. You can be. There is no reason any one of us can’t be of that spiritual line of the sons of Zadok.
Did you follow everything here? It was kind of complicated. There are a few little things that I can’t prove. There was only so much time that I had to track everything down and I wanted to get it as close as I could. I believe there were many other places where the other Levites went astray.
You know, God is raising up a new priesthood today. God is raising up a priesthood after the order of Phinehas and after the order of Zadok and now we have a perfect high priest, Jesus Christ after the order of Melchisedec.
God bless you.
A summary sheet follows:
The Sons of Zadok
From Ezekiel 44: 9-14 and 15-16
The lineage of Zadok and the priests traced from Aaron.
Aaron the 7th generation from Abraham has 4 sons. Two of the sons, Nadab and Abihu are slain in the Holy Place before the golden alter attempting to offer strange fire. They had no children, therefore the other two sons, Eleazor and Ithmar make up the priestly lines.
Eleazor son of Aaron
His son Phineas
Numbers 25:6-13 Phineas is promised an everlasting priesthood because of the action he took when Israel went after Baal.
About 7 more generations
Zadok in the days of David
Loyal to David during The Absolom Rebellion
Zadok’s son Ahimaaz
Loyal to David in the Adonijah Rebellion
Zadok anoints Solomon as king
1 Chron. 24:1-4 David sets up 24 courses of priests for temple service. 16 of the priests or 2/3 are descendants of Phineas.
About 28 more generations
Luke 1:5 Zacharias, father of John the Baptist has a 2:1 probability of descending from Phineas.
Ithmar son of Aaron
Nothing remarkable about this man or any of his sons is ever mentioned. Father of Eli’s family.
Eli aged priest in the days of Samuel is warned by prophets that his family will lose their place of priesthood. 1 Sam 2:31-35, 3:13.
Phineas, one of Eli’s 2 wicked sons.
Ahitub his son, (brother of Ichabod).
Ahimelech priest of this line and 85 other family members slain by Saul, in fulfillment of prophecy against Eli and his sons. His son Abiathar escapes; he and his son Jonathan are both loyal to David during Absolom’s rebellion. But Abiathar is not loyal to David in the Adonijah Rebellion.
He supports David’s son Adonijah to be king.
Solomon eventually thrusts Abiathar out of the priesthood. Another step in the fulfillment of prophecy against Eli and his family.
Prophetically Zacharias could not descend from Eli and probably not from Ithmar either.