Vital Words to the Body of Christ

Teaching the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom
Revelation 14:6-7

George and Jeannie Kirkpatrick, Authors

Issue 201103

                                                                Judgment Must Begin at the House of God                                                          

As we read the Bible we know one thing for certain, and Paul explained this to the Hebrews: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The all-wise Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes proclaimed:

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us." Ecclesiastes 1:9-10.

How God dealt with sin in the Old Testament is the way God will deal with the sin in His church today. Even the prophet Malachi declared:

"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6.

The Lord's ways never change. As Solomon asked, ". . . Is there anything new under the sun . . ." Jeremiah made a proclamation:

"But go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel," Jeremiah 7:12.

Shiloh was where the tabernacle was set up. It was located between Jerusalem and Bethel. It was centrally located so all Israel could go there to make sacrifices. The twelve tribes were encamped around the Tabernacle in Shiloh. It was in Shiloh that Joshua divided the promise land among the children of Israel.

"And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions." Joshua 18:10.

Shiloh had become the center of all activity concerning the children of Israel. We know by the book of Samuel,

"And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hopni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there." I Samuel 1:3.

Eli was the chief priest and his two sons: Hophni and Phinheas were priest when the people came to make sacrifice in Shiloh.

"And the priests' custom with the people was that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither." I Samuel 2:13-14.

This was God's way of providing for the priests. But this was not good enough for Hophni and Phinehas. They had their own way to provide for themselves.

"Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord." I Samuel 2:15-17.

Many preachers today are like the Eli's sons Hophni and Phinehas, priests in Israel, who always have a need before the people; and who by hook or crook, fleece God's flock. So God dealt with the sin of Shiloh.

There came a time when God raised up the Philistines to deal with the sin at Shiloh. When Israel turned their backs completely on their God, and demanded He give them a king, like other nations, God gave them Saul who did much evil in the sight of the Lord, even to inquiring of the witch at Endor.

"And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men," I Samuel 4:3.

Many today, like Israel when they meet defeat and trouble, cry out to God to help them. Israel wanted God to be on their side, to defend them against the Philistines.

"And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies." I Samuel 4:3.

So Israel brought the Ark of God into the battle, and the Ark was taken by the Philistines. As we know, the Ark of God represents the presence of God. So the presence of God was no longer in Israel. It would be years before the ark came to Jerusalem and placed in the tent King David had erected for it. The presence of God never again dwelt in Shiloh. The Psalmist Asaph declared:

"Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not His testimonies: but turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He placed among men:" Psalm 78:56-60.

The church system today, like Israel, believe God will wink at their sin. But God is a just and holy God who will judge sin wherever He finds it. Those who choose to ignore His warnings will be part of His judgment He is bringing upon the whole earth. The apostle Peter warned:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17.

The time has surely come for judgment to begin at the house of God. His judgment is sure, and those who do not repent of their sin will be part of that judgment. Then Peter asked the question, "What shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?" This also includes those who are called by His name, who think they can get away with their sin. These should study out how God dealt with Shiloh.

As always in Christ, George and Jeannie Kirkpatrick 


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