Times Square Church Pulpit Series Part I

The Zadok Priesthood!

Discerning the Difference Between Holy and Phony Ministries!

By David Wilkerson 7-25-1994

The book of First Samuel tell us that an unnamed prophet came to Eli with an awful message. This unknown man delivered an amazing prophecy – one that has everything to do with what we see going on in the church today. It is a word that reveals much about dead, dry, ungodly ministers and churches in operation right now!

This prophecy tells of two priesthoods that would develop and continue, from that day onward until the very end of time. Both of these priesthoods would be ministering in the church. One would be a cursed, abdominable shame. But, the other would be a ministry after God's own heart!

The unnamed prophet tells Eli: “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” (l Samuel 2:3l). He is describing a curse upon the ministry of Eli!

But then he continues: “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: (verse 35).

This prophecy of two priesthoods is being fulfilled today – right before our eyes. Indeed both ministries are operating simultaneously, in nations all across the world!

First, the prophet speaks of the ongoing ministry of a self-centered, backslidden, compromising priesthood. He describes those priests who are of the spirit of Eli mentioning two things:

  1. Such priests are people-pleasers, more than pleasers of God. “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering...and honourest thy sons above me...” (verse 29).

Eli was soft on sin! He never made any decisions that would offend his two sons. Only once, in over fifty years of ministry, did Eli correct them. They had been committing adultery, raping women, committing the most vile acts. Yet even then, all Eli could say to them was, “Why do you do this?”

There are churches today that you can attend for up to a year, and yet never hear one word of reproof. A church could be totally corrupted – half of the congregation divorcing, adultery rampant, teenagers sleeping around, children unruly. The whole congregation can be given over to pleasure, sports, entertainment – but there is never a word of correction from the pulpit! Instead, the pastor caters to the people's weaknesses and cravings. He is afraid to offend anyone – afraid the offerings will go down and he'll lose his income.

This is the first characteristic of the evil ministry developing in Eli's soul. And it is the mark of every ongoing, compromising priesthood today!

  1. They cater to their own needs and comfort rather than give themselves toward the needs of the flock. They “...make (themselves) fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people” (verse 29).

When the people brought the meat offering to the priest, it was supposed to go into the seething pot to be boiled. Afterward, the priest dipped a three-pronged hook into the pot, and whatever came out on the hook went onto his table.

But, Eli's two sons didn't want the boiled, sodden meat. They wanted the red, raw filet mignon!

So they brought their father the prime cuts. There was no sodden flesh on his table. That's how Eli got fat, lazy, careless. If he would have dealt with his sons, he might have lost his filet mignon!

Eli was concerned with his own interests, his own table. And that is what is happening in many dying churches today; Preachers are interested only in their own comfort, in caring for themselves – instead of spending time on their knees for the sake of the people!

The prophet is saying, “You are self-absorbed, Eli – feathering your own nest! To you, the ministry means nothing more than food on the table, security for you and your family. You don't really care about the flock. You are more interested in what goes onto your table than in what goes into the people's hearts. Yet you never once think about how your compromise and selfishness bring reproach to God's name. You never consider the people who watch as your sons steal the prime meat. You are soft on sin, afraid to reprove – because you're consumed with things that make you comfortable!

The Prophet Pronounced Three Terrible Judgments On This Priesthood!

Every so-called minister who is of the seed of Eli – compromising, soft on sin, concerned only for himself – will know three judgments:

  1. A loss of all spiritual power and authority. “...they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm (strength), and the arm of thy father's house...” (verses 30-3l).

To be “lightly esteemed” by the Lord meant a loss of God's favor and blessing! It meant no impact against Satan's kingdom. Such a minister may be esteemed by others – but in God's eyes he is a light-weight, someone in whom He puts no trust!

God said, “You despise Me by not preaching My whole counsel. You're not a man of prayer. You're not concerned about My people, but only about your success and reputation. You just want to make sure there's a crowd. You have lightly esteemed My Word – and now I am going to lightly esteem you! Go your way – do your own works. You are lightly esteemed in My eyes!”

This cutting off of God's anointing leaves the Eli priesthood to busy, helter-skelter programs-- works of the flesh that only look good. It all sounds like important kingdom work. But God refuses to touch it! It is simply busy activity – lightly esteemed ministries undertaken by lightly esteemed ministers!

    1. They will be bypassed by the true anointing and blessing of God in the last days.

“And you will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all that I do good for Israel...”(verse 32, NAS).

In other words: “When I choose the time to pour out My Spirit, you'll be standing in ruins!” And that's exactly what is happening in America today: Preachers are standing in churches that are dead, dry, and ruined! God has said to them, “I will pass you by!” (20l4...And, He is!)

This priesthood will be standing there among the ruins as God blesses and anoints another priesthood – men of God who have paid the price! Right now, in these Last Days, His anointing is falling on those who have given their lives to Him. The Spirit is laying hold of these praying, fearless men (and women). But those of Eli's seed are being bypassed – left to play their church games!

God is saying, in essence, “In spite of all I do, you will not see the good! You will not be part of My Last-Day, Holy Remnant. You are lightly esteemed – and you will go about your ministry with no real spiritual authority!”

    1. They will lose God's touch in the very prime of their life.

“all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life” (verse 33, NAS).

This verse is taken two ways. First, it was fulfilled literally when Saul sent Doeg up to Nob to slay eighty-five priests who were of the seed of Eli.

But the verse also has a spiritual application: It is saying that this priesthood will look good up to a certain point. The ministers will be very active and busy. But just at the point when they ought to be at their best – full of energy, power, wisdom and holiness, ready to be used the most – a spiritual death will take place. God is going to leave them! They'll be left standing before the people as dead men, while in the very prime of their lives!

Yet perhaps the most tragic of all the prophecies given by this unnamed man of God is that this backslidden, compromised priesthood would never be cut off from God's altars.

The evil ministry would continue to the very end: “Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar that your eyes may fail from weeping and your soul grieve...” (verse 33, NAS).

God will not cut them off! Compromising, spiritless, dead men are going to exist till the last day, when the Lord returns. But, God says, “What a grief they're going to be. They will be a cause for weeping!”

Yet now I want to show you another kind of priesthood. It is the other ministry that the prophet said God was raising up: “But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always” (verse 35, NAS).

*Cont'd in...'The Zadok Priesthood...Part II'.