Herein lies one of the strangest, and saddest, stories of the Bible. The story of a fine young man who saw the coming of a new order, actually prophesied of the coming Kingdom, who knew and loved the coming King dearly, yet missed being in that glorious Kingdom simply because he never got around to coming out of the old order! And with this story comes a solemn warning to those who are seeing the coming of a new order to the Church, who know what it is to feel the anointing of that new Move of the Spirit, who have every reason to be included in that glorious new Kingdom, yet who are in great danger of missing the ascent to the Throne simply because, like Jonathan, they will not separate themselves from the old order and "come out of her, my people". They continue to hang around the edges of what God is doing in these last days, content to keep in touch with the anointed people in the wilderness, but not willing to bear the reproach of being one of that "motley crew" in Adullam. Now read on, if you dare.
"Swifter than the Eagle"
Jonathan was one of the finest and most admirable young men in the Bible. Many wonderful attributes are recorded of him, and not one sin laid to his charge. He was a man of faith, courage, vision, unselfishness, and deep spirituality. He was a King’s son, next in line for the throne of his father. But he laid all this aside for the love of David, God’s anointed, for he saw that it was the will of God for David to be the next King.
The first we see of Jonathan is in the 13th chapter of 1 Samuel. He is in Gibeah at the head of a thousand men in the army of his father, Saul. Here he refused to compromise or coexist with the devilish Philistines, but smote a garrison of them, and thus precipitated a crisis in Israel. His courage knew no limit. The Bible says that he was "swifter than the eagle, stronger than the lion". His army was not so. They had few weapons, were used to being trampled under the feet of the Philistines, and upon occasion they would flee to the rocks and the caves. He dwelled in the midst of a fearful and trembling people, but he was as bold as a lion, for he trusted in the living God.
"By Many or by Few"
As we go to the 14th chapter of 1 Samuel, we find Jonathan initiating a great victory over the Philistines, with the help of the God of heaven. He started out alone, with only the young man that bear his armour, and after putting out a fleece to God, he single-handedly attacked an entire garrison of the Philistines. He had to crawl up a mountain on his hands and feet in order to get to them, but when he got there he caused such a slaughter that the entire Philistine army went into utter confusion and began to attack each other. God stepped in with an earthquake and a great trembling, and there was a great victory that day. Jonathan was one who knew what it was to eat of the fresh honey and have his eyes enlightened and his soul strengthened. As a result, he also knew what it was to face the wrath of Saul, who is a type of the man-made king over God’s people. But tho he sees the wrongness in this system, he continues to stay in it.
"And He Stripped Himself"
After young David came along on that memorable day and slew Goliath, we find David and Jonathan becoming very close friends. In fact, it says:
"The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle."
The love between these two brave young men, the shepherd boy and the prince, was the brightest thing in Israel at this dark hour of history. Jonathan had at last found someone who did not run from the Philistines, someone whose courage matched his own. And he felt the divine anointing that rested upon David. For Samuel had anointed David with the horn of oil, to be king over Israel in Saul’s place. And Jonathan came to the knowledge that David was the one to sit on the throne, not himself. For if he ascended to the throne of his father Saul, he could only continue the order his father was in, and he knew that this was not of God. But here was a new order, a new anointing, a new Kingdom that Israel had never experienced before. And God had ordained it. So Jonathan stripped himself of his princely garments and gave them to David. This was all while David was in Saul’s house, under Saul’s rule.
"David in the Wilderness"
Suddenly a great reproach falls upon David. It comes from nothing evil that he has done. No sin can be laid to his charge. But Saul is suddenly jealous over the anointing that is on David, and he tries to destroy that anointing. So David flees for his life into a wilderness place. Jonathan does not go along. He stays in Saul’s house. He still loves David, he knows David has the anointing and the true message from God, but he is not quite ready to leave father’s house and break all the family ties and bear the reproach that David is bearing.
How many there are that are pictured here! They love the anointing and the true message of the Kingdom. They are willing to make any sacrifice, pray, fast, go, and give… just to have that anointing. Except leave the old order. When it comes to that, they cannot see the need for it. Now it is not courage that is lacking. They have courage, and a great love for God. Like Jonathan, they are full of many fine qualities. But they cannot hear the trumpet saying "Come out of her, my people." They can hardly understand why the "Davids" have to waste their time in the "wilderness", with that little motley band of discontents, when they could be doing so much more, preaching to bigger crowds, winning more souls, sitting at Saul’s table. They just can’t see the reason for the separation. If David had gone forth with the approval of the organization, making some desperate charge against a powerful enemy, then Jonathan wouldn’t have hesitated a minute. But what is David doing? Nothing. Just sitting out there in a cave somewhere, or hiding in the woods with his little band of four hundred men. Now four hundred may seem like a great congregation to some of these Move of God preachers who can hardly remember when they had more than fifty to preach to. But compared to the hundreds of thousands that Saul could assemble by blowing a trumpet, it was a tiny crowd.
"David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." (1 Samuel 22:1-2)
Where is Jonathan? Back in Saul’s house, probably sitting around wondering what is happening with God’s anointed tonight, maybe wishing he could just be there and hear David sing some of the psalms that God is giving him by the Spirit. He attends Saul’s banquets, but they are dead, dry affairs, full of business meetings, committee meetings, programs, promotional humbug, political maneuvering, arguing and bad spirits floating around. Yet he can’t seem to pull away. Maybe you think he can do more good for David there in Saul’s palace. Friends, believe me, God will take care of David. But he needs Jonathan out there in the wilderness with him. He is training an army, making leaders and future heroes. And Jonathan desperately needs to be in that Army. And there is a place for him. But he can’t leave the old order, break the family ties and bear the reproach from his "brethren".
Now Jonathan knows David is right, and that the new order will eventually come in. And on occasion he says so. Saul wants Jonathan to kill David, but in 1 Samuel chapters 19 and 20 we find Jonathan opposing his father and refusing to put his hand against this new move of the Spirit. This infuriates Saul so that he rails out at Jonathan and threatens him:
"Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse and rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion?" (1 Samuel 20:30)
Saul goes on to tell Jonathan that as long as this new order is alive, that Jonathan will never be able to take over the old order and get it established. But Jonathan refuses to oppose David, and Saul throws a javelin at him. But he still will not leave Saul. He knows that there is an evil spirit troubling his father’s house, and that there is no victory in the camp. But there are strong natural ties that hold him.
"I Shall be Next to Thee"
Perhaps you think that Jonathan is not aware of what is going to happen to Saul’s kingdom? Listen to him as he slips off secretly and visits David out in the woods:
"And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph (which means "flowing"). And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand."
"And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life; and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan, Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God."
"And he said unto him, "Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and THOU SHALT BE KING OVER ISRAEL, AND I SHALL BE NEXT UNTO THEE; and that also Saul my father knoweth." And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house."
Now David only had a few with him, and they were in the wilderness. But the blessings of God were "flowing" there in Ziph. But what a tragedy in those last few words. Jonathan has all good intentions. He has a true vision. He has a tremendous revelation of the coming Kingdom, probably more than most of the men who follow David. A lot of the men were in the wilderness with David because they had no place else to go, they were discontent with the old system. Some were there because they didn’t want to go to a debtor’s prison, some because they admired his ministry and the way he had killed Goliath. Some perhaps even had caught a vision of the message of the new order of the Kingdom. But none had the picture so clearly as Jonathan. He had the revelation. He loved the anointing. But all during the wilderness processing, he was missing!! Why? He couldn’t get around to coming out of the old order. And when the new Kingdom came in and David sat on the throne, Jonathan was not standing there by him as he had prophesied. Why? Because the day that Saul fell in the battle, Jonathan was still with him, and fell also under the sword of the Philistines.
There was a time when Jonathan could put a whole army of Philistines to flight single-handedly. But that was because God was with him. Listen friends, what worked yesterday won’t work today, because the order is changing, and God is moving on. Either move on with Him, or you’ll find yourself missing out on the greatest thing man has ever seen. Babylon is going to fall, and if you don’t come out of her, you’ll find yourself falling with her, "being a partaker of her sins, and receiving of her plagues."
There is a little Army in the wilderness today, small, insignificant, reproached, lied-about, but anointed of God. They don’t seem to be doing much, but they are not idle. They are in training. Mighty men of war are being raised up, men who will soon go forth and in the power of the new Kingdom order to do that which Saul and all his armies have not been able to do. Saul started his reign with a battle against the Philistines, and for a while it looked like he would do alright and was making good gains against the enemy. But after 40 years on the throne, the Philistines were still around, and in fact, they overcame Saul in the end and hung his body in the halls of their false god. Jonathan’s body hung there also, a reproach to the man who saw the glory from afar, but never received the inheritance.
"And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons." (1 Samuel 31:2)
"Maybe Saul Will Change"
Why did Jonathan stay with Saul? He always had the hope that maybe Saul would have a change of heart and accept David and take him back. In fact, in chapter 19, we see Jonathan talking to David about this very thing. And it really looked like it would work. Jonathan convinced Saul that David was a good one to have around, and Saul relented.
"And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan; and Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain. And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, AS IN TIMES PAST." (1 Samuel 19:6-7)
But only three verses later we find Saul again making a desperate effort to kill David. Friends, it will not work. Every once in a while a revival comes along to some church in Saul’s organization, and God moves, and the anointing moves back in with signs and wonders, and Saul seems very pleased with it. "You see? Everything is going to be just like it used to be, 40 years ago." Is that so? Just wait till the old spirit of Babylon begins to work again, they begin to pull some political ram-rodding, and you will see Saul trying to fasten David to the wall of his house with a javelin. Yes, he wants David, but he wants him dead, fastened to the wall of his house. Yes, they want the anointing, but they want it fully under their control, under their name, fastened to their wall. If God permitted that, they’d have the anointing all right. But it would be dead. It wouldn’t be that living power of God. Not for long. But God gets David back out of Saul’s house for good. Some preachers that had a touch of the Revival and later went back into an organization have told me: "But Brother Bill, they give us lots of liberty. They even let us lay hands on folks and prophesy over them, and don’t say a thing." Yes, in my heart I’d love to see them accept the Move of God in its fulness in all the organizations. But I don’t speak out of my desire, I speak by the Word of the Lord when I say IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! The spirit that is in Saul will never allow it for long. Mark that down, and watch it come to pass!
"David Comes to the Kingdom"
In the book of 2 Samuel we find David taking over the Kingdom. Saul is dead. And in chapters 5, 6, and 7 we find David ascending to the throne, conquering the Philistines, bringing the Ark of God back to the Tabernacle where it belonged, and making plans to build God a permanent Temple. The glory has come to Israel. "The King sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies". (2 Samuel 7:1)
"Where is our Jonathan?"
In chapter 8 we find a list of those who are ruling with David. Jonathan is not among them. If someone had to be missing, why did it have to be this man? He had such an intense desire to see this day. He longed to see David on the throne, that he might stand by his side and help him rule and reign. But he was not there. Look at 2 Samuel 8:15-18…
"And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people. And JOAB the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and JEHOSHAPHAT the son of Ahilud was recorder; and ZADOK the son of Ahitub, and AHIMELECH the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and SERAIAH was the scribe; And BENAIAH the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and DAVID’S SONS were chief rulers."
Just one great omission. Among the list of those who help David rule over Israel, Jonathan’s name was missing. Now this was one of the finest young men in Israel, one of the finest in the Bible. Why didn’t God arrange for him to be around and stand by David’s right hand? Friends, please hear this… God is not allowing anything of the old order of Babylon to have a ruling part in the Kingdom that He is setting up. That is why He is calling "Come out of her, my people". Now you can see that ALL of Israel were enjoying the blessings of this new kingdom, even those who had been loyal to Saul. In fact, David sets a special place at his own table for Saul’s grandson. But he does not rule the Kingdom with David. This is for those who suffered with him through Adullam and the wilderness. And, sad to say, Jonathan did not choose to suffer with him in the wilderness. So he does not sit upon the throne with him now in the Kingdom. This grieves David greatly. He mourns much for Jonathan, for he loved him sincerely. But God’s will must be done.
Now I know that most of you who read this probably have already come out of the old order of man’s ecclesiastical systems, and are moving with the Christ in the wilderness. But this message is primarily to those who have a deep revelation of the Kingdom, who know that God is moving by His Spirit, who realize that a new order must take over soon, that we must come into a higher realm in the Spirit in order to conquer our enemies the "Philistines". But they have not been able to see why they must leave Saul’s house. My heart goes out to these, for I know they are in a torment. They hang around the Revival close enough to know where to find the anointing, and they keep in touch with the Message. Some say that they can do more good by staying in the denomination and encouraging others to be more spiritual. You’ll encourage them to stay in, just like you’re doing until eventually not only you but all the sons of Saul are slain by the Philistines. Come out into the wilderness with David and see how many you encourage to move on out with God! I wonder how fast David’s army would have grown if Jonathan had joined in the cave? Well, God didn’t need Jonathan. But Jonathan needed God, and David.
"The Faithful Zadok"
In the listing of David’s rulers in 2 Samuel 8:17, we find the name of a young priest, a descendent of Aaron. He had braved the reproach of being a heretic and a traitor, to leave Saul and join David’s band. And well he might, for in 1 Samuel 22 we find Saul commanding Doeg to slaughter the 85 priests of the Lord that had remained with Saul, along with Nob, the city of the priests. But Zadok had turned his back on the old order and the apostasy of Israel and their king, and chose to be faithful to the moving of the true Spirit of God. So he cast his lot with this New Move, lock stock and barrel, wife, son and possessions. And now he helps David rule the Kingdom.
The verse in 2 Samuel 8:17 is the first time we find Zadok mentioned in the Bible. But not the last. 1 Chronicles chapter 6 tells us that he is of the tribe of Levi, and a direct descendent of Aaron, (the brother of Moses) and Eleazar the priest. He has quite a heritage, but more than this, he leaves an even greater heritage for his sons to live up to.
"The Rebellion of Absalom"
When David takes the throne, Zadok and Abiathar are placed in the Kingdom as Priests of God. After many years, there suddenly comes an overthrow of the government. Absalom, the popular son of David, has risen up to usurp the throne from his father. Things look very dark for David. The people favor Absalom. The great warrior Amasa, leader of the hosts, is with Absalom. But Zadok and Abiathar need not fear. They will be as safe and as comfortable under the new regime as they were with David. No need for them to leave the safety of the city and go back out into the wilderness again. They were "charter members" of the past revival, and too old to lay aside their present ministry to start all over again.
But not so. These two faithful priests leave all and start out to flee with David. They recognize where the anointing of God lies. They want that anointing, no matter if it does look from the natural as tho this is the end of it. So in 2 Samuel 15:24-29 we find the story of these two priests following David out of the City, bearing the Ark of the Covenant.
"Faithfully Wait for the Revival"
But David stops them. He reminds Zadok that he is a Seer, and David says that he will wait in the wilderness until the Word of the Lord comes through Zadok to certify him back into the Kingdom. But he tells the priests to take the Ark back into the city, and serve as spies for him. A thrilling spy story is told in the succeeding chapters, of Zadok’s son hiding in a well, while a woman sits on top of the well grinding corn as Absalom’s soldiers hunt for him. David has told Zadok that if God is with him, that He will again bring him to the throne, but if not, then the sooner he dies the better. Beloved, I say unto you that if God is in this last day Revival known as the New Move, Sonship, Latter Rain, Forward Move, and other names (none of which full identify it), then He will see to it that it will come to the Throne regardless of the opposition. And no one, yea, no system of man, will be able to destroy it. But if they can destroy it, then God is not in it. And if God is NOT in it, then I say the quicker they destroy it, the better for all of us. Hallelujah! We can’t lose for winning!
So Zadok and Abiathar return with the Ark to the city and served David in the midst of his enemies. Twice now this man has proved himself faithful to the Anointed of God, at the risk of his life and family. But more tests are coming, and it is "he that endureth to the end" that shall win the prize of the high calling of God. Zadok proves himself worthy.
"The Rebellion of Adonijah"
Zadok and Abiathar serve faithfully in the priesthood for many years. But God is digging deeper into the hearts and lives of men than ever before. He is weeding out every bit of rebellion. And he finds some in Abiathar. And Joab. Some mighty men are falling. God is cutting the number of the faithful down, as He searches the inward parts.
In the 1st chapter of 1 Kings we find Adonijah, the son of David, exalting himself and rebelling against the word of the King. And in verses 7-8 we read:
"And he (Adonijah) conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him."
"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."
Adonijah had determined to be king. Now when someone rose up to be king in those days, your choice of action could very well mean your life, your future, and the future of your offspring. Adonijah looked like a sure winner. He asked for the priests and warriors to help him. Joab and Abiathar went with him. Now Joab was over the Army. Things looked good for Adonijah. But the Word had gone forth from the King that another was to rule in his place, his son Solomon. And Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the warrior put their confidence in the word of the King, and sided with Solomon. As history shows, Solomon took the throne. Adonijah and Joab died violent deaths, and Abiathar was banished from his priest’s office. Abiathar almost made it. He had come through a serious crisis in the past, and had been faithful to the anointing. He had been duly rewarded with his priesthood office. But now, almost at the finish line, he stops following the anointing and the true word of the Lord, and follows after circumstances that look good. And he is banished from his office, tho not from the kingdom. Zadok takes over the office of Abiathar. And it is Zadok who is called upon to anoint Solomon as King of Israel. Again he is setting an example for those to follow.
"The Sons of Zadok"
As you trace Zadok’s descendants down through the Bible, you find some interesting things in the lives of those who have received such a heritage as this. One of his descendants, known as Jerushah "daughter of Zadok" married King Uzziah and was the mother of Jotham, King of Judah. Now the Bible is careful to give the name of this king’s mother, for Jotham was only 25 years of age when he began to reign, and no doubt his mother had a lot of influence on him. The mothers of the kings many times influenced them for or against the ways of the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 22:1-3 it tells the story of the wicked king Ahaziah, and it says "His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly." But with the daughter of Zadok it was a different story. Her son was a good king, and "He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord… so Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God." Zadok’s heritage continues.
Zadok’s great-great grandson was the first priest in Solomon’s Temple, where the glory of the Lord so filled the place that he couldn’t stand to minister. Another descendant, Azariah, was priest in the Temple under Hezekiah when they cleaned up the Temple and had a Revival that shook the nation. Ezra, the priest who returned from the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the Temple of God, was also a descendant of this faithful priest of David’s reign. What I’m saying is that had he made the wrong choice in favor of Saul, or Absalom, or Adonijah, he would have been cut off and never left his descendants this glorious heritage to follow.
"The Glory of the Latter House"
But the greatest glory for the Sons of Zadok comes in the last days, as shown by the vision of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is seeing the glory of that great Temple made without hands, eternal in the heavens! And in this great and final order of God, the highest realm of ministry is reserved for the Sons of Zadok…
"It shall be for the priests that are sanctified OF THE SONS OF ZADOK; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray."
Now I am confident in my own heart that out there in the cave Adullam, wandering through the wilderness with that little band of 400 men, Zadok could not have fully known what lay ahead for him. All he knew at that time was that this was the will of God for him, here was God’s anointed, here was the one who would someday rise to the Throne, and he had to follow this course, live or die, sink or swim. Listen, beloved, God has more planned for you than I dare to tell you at this time. More even than He has revealed to me or anyone else. It will take another book to go into detail on the glory of that Zadok ministry for the last days. In this booklet I can only give a few Scriptures, and tell you there is a higher glory! Just trust Him, and be faithful to the glorious heritage left us by the Son of God!
"Keepers of the House"
In the 44th chapter of Ezekiel we see a vision of the glory of God filling the House of the Lord. Then God gives instructions concerning the ministry in that new Temple, a picture of the glorious House of God in the last days. The Lord is very gracious to those who have gone astray, and were not faithful to the anointing during the testing time in the wilderness and the Babylonian captivity. He lets them minister in that end time Revival, but it is only a ministry "to the house". Since they led the people astray, they will be allowed to minister now to the people in the true things of God. But verse 13 says:
"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 commited."
"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."
"But the priests the 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."
Believe me friends, God remembers. Those who led the people into Babylon, and helped keep them in bondage in the systems of man, shall experience a great Revival. They shall, by the grace of God, be able to minister to the people in a miraculous ministry, to bring the people a ministry to meet their needs. But they shall NEVER come into the Most Holy place beyond the vail. Thus saith the Lord! Their ministry is on a lower realm, outside the vail, in the church realm where the candlestick resides.
But to the faithful Sons of Zadok, those who pressed on in God through the wilderness, those who were faithful to the true anointing tho it cost them everything, to these God has reserved "the prize of the High Calling of God." Paul saw it, and desired it! I am seeing it, and find it VERY desirable! Ezekiel says that these Sons of Zadok wear only linen. Linen bonnets, linen breeches, and no wool to cause sweat. Sweat is part of the curse, and now the curse is lifted! Works are over, it is God’s Rest, and God’s righteousness! And verse 19 says that they have a relationship with the Father that no one else can know. They can come out of the Holiest Place and dwell among the people, but they cannot bring the people into what they have in God, nor sanctify the people with their holy garments. They are the Lord’s Chosen, His Elect, His Sons.
In all the glory of this latter house, I cannot find the sons of Jonathan. Poor Jonathan. He had such opportunity, but couldn’t bear the reproach. Couldn’t pull away from the old order. Oh, beloved, seemingly small things are SO important in this hour! We are fixing our destiny in God. Go all the way with Him! Let nothing hinder. It will be worth it all, in that glorious New and Eternal Temple of God, as we stand before Him, and minister UNTO HIM! SONS OF ZADOK, ARISE! Go forward in the power of the Spirit! Victory is yours!