What kind of ministry or ministries do you want? One that only ministers to the people or one that ministers first to God? It seems that a majority of God’s people prefer the Eli priesthood. You are probably saying to yourself, “Not me!” And that might be true in your case but how about the others around you? Now don’t get the idea that shepherds should not minister to the people. What I am saying is about “priorities” in the ministry. Minister first to God and the people around you will follow and be ministered too at the same time!
“An appalling and horrible thing has come to pass in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests exercise rule at their own hands and by means of the prophets. And My people love to have it so! But what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:30, 31)
“When the end comes”, what does that mean?
“For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold. And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4–Amplified Bible).
God wants to raise up shepherds for His people after His own heart, BUT with a big IF:
–IF God’s people are repentant.
–IF they will truly seek Him with all their hearts, minds and souls; with all their strength.
IF we are prepared to do these things, God will provide faithful and holy shepherds for us sheep to sit under [Thank you Lord for Pastor Andrew!].
THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE ELI SYSTEM
Nothing exemplifies this idea of the Eli System better than the ministry of John the Baptist. The first of two passages is in Luke 3:1-3; I have been reading through the Gospel of Luke in the mornings and these three verses came to mind:
“IN THIS fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign–when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituria and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene–In the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] came to John son of Zachariah in the wilderness (desert). And he went into all the country round about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance (of hearty amending of their ways, with abhorrence of past wrongdoing) unto the forgiveness of sin.”
God passes all the power elite of the secular and religious sectors of society and comes to John, who is separated from them in the wilderness. The Spirit of God directs Luke to place all of these power sources in their order to emphasize God’s worthlessness of them. In naming all of the secular and religious figures in consecutive order, He passes them up in order to focus on the only functionary on the scene. (God’s dignitaries and man’s dignitaries are two separate worlds most of the time.)
JESUS RE-EMPHASIZES THE PRINCIPLE
“But (Jesus) said to them, You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent in the sight of God. Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than god’s way into it]” (Luke 16:15,16–Amplified Bible).
Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and between these two verses is embedded an interesting concept–what man enthroned is not what God enthroned.
Man enthroned, through political power, a set of rulers who were linked by one thread: “abomination!” John could have come to Israel and the nations following the priesthood of his father Zacharias; but he didn’t!
God separated him from that priesthood because the system would have regarded him as part of the order. Spiritual man cannot look to the system for any answer. Politico-religious systems will grow closer and closer in these last days.
John’s ministry was a Zadok ministry. His father’s prophecy at His birth reiterates the vast truth behind His son’s ministry:
“…that we, being delivered from the hand of our foes, might serve Him fearlessly, in holiness (divine consecration) and righteousness [in accordance with the everlasting principles of right] within His presence all the days of our lives” (Luke 1:74, 75).
The absolute emblem of the Zadok ministry is holiness and righteousness. They are the only characteristics which will stand before HIM!
WE ARE CALLED TO A MINISTRY
We are all called as believers in Christ Jesus to a ministry. You might not think you have but you have! And direction comes to priesthood as we minister to the Lord Jesus.
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
There is a sure word that comes forth to all those who love the table of the Lord; who know their one ministry is to the Lord. All other ministry springs out of that ministry to Him.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
–Is the Spirit purging you?
–Are you being refined by fire?
–Do you weep over abominations of the Land you live in?
–Do you hunger for Christs holiness?
–Do you sit often now at the Lord’s table?
–Are you casting down idols?
–Are you sick of all the self-exalting ministries in the Lord?
God is seeking to get you out of one priesthood and into another. You are going to have to take a stand. It’s your choice to make! Do you want to strive to be sons and daughters of Zadok or sons and daughters of the Abiathar priesthood? I have already made my choice. I want to fly with the eagles! I am a son, an offspring of Zadok! HOW ABOUT YOU?