[anzac] 'REBELLION' OR WHAT? - please read

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 11:48:51 +1300
To bring some BALANCE to the 'New Leaders/ Old Leaders'

"Davids, Sauls & Jonathans"
-by Andrew Strom.

While many of us look forward to the coming move of God 
(-including the rise of modern apostles), the fact is that 
most of us are still having to deal with the 'old' set-up, the 
church system as it exists today. And no doubt many of 
us have struggled with exactly how we are to approach 
our relationship with the current structure. What should 
our attitudes be towards today's church leaders, for 
instance, in situations in which we are personally involved? 
How would God have us relate to these leaders? And how 
can we recognize the seeds of 'rebellion' in our hearts? 
These are very important questions, and they are some of 
the major points that we will be discussing here.

In working through these issues in my own life, God has 
very clearly pointed to the well-known "rebellion" lesson 
contained in the story of David. What I want to do in this 
article is to take a fresh look at the story of David, Saul 
and Jonathan, from a somewhat new perspective. One 
of the main focuses, of course, will be the tremendous 
godly attitudes that this man David had.

You will no doubt recall how King Saul had fallen into 
compromise, presumption and rebellion, and that the 
prophet Samuel had told Saul that the kingdom would be 
taken from him and given to another. The prophet then 
went and anointed David to be the future king. However, 
there was to be a time of waiting and preparation before 
David could assume the leadership of Israel. It is my 
belief that this equates directly to the current situation. 
I believe that there is definitely a "David company" of 
future 'leaders of Israel' (ie. the Church) whom God has 
been preparing in secret for many years right around the 
globe. Most of those who are part of this "David company" 
will already know who they are. Many of them will have 
received their first or even their second anointing 
(remembering that David was anointed THREE TIMES 
before he became leader of all Israel), and will probably 
already be operating in their calling to some degree.

One thing is certain: This will be a company of 'prophetic' 
people - people whom God has been speaking to about 
the 'things to come'. Such people will often have great 
difficulty fitting into the present system, for essentially 
they are "designed" for tomorrow's church, rather than 
today's. They will often feel like misfits, and may be 
misunderstood, persecuted and maltreated by those who 
identify themselves strongly with the present order. Often 
the powers-that-be will see them as some kind of "threat".

Such was the case with David. For years Saul's jealousy 
and rage caused him to have to flee for his life. Pursued 
relentlessly by Saul and his men, David was forced to 
hide out in caves, in the desert, and for a time even 
amongst the Philistines! How hurt and lonely he must 
have felt at times. Here he was, the one whom Samuel 
had anointed to be the future king of Israel, now an 
outcast, persecuted, maltreated, slandered... And this 
went on for years.

But now we come to the part of the story that applies 
directly to the major theme of this chapter. Remember, 
Saul was still king over Israel, even though he had already 
been rejected by God. He was still positioned as the 
leader of God's people. Now here is the crucial question: 
What was David's attitude toward Saul all this time? The 
answer is very simple: David regarded Saul as being the 
"Lord's Anointed", and he was utterly constant in his 
deep respect and love toward him. He would make no  
move to try and wrest the leadership away from Saul (as 
he could have done). He was very aware of God's timing, 
and he would make no move to circumvent it. His policy 
was, "touch not the Lord's  anointed". Twice he could 
easily have killed Saul and the kingdom would have been 
his, but he chose instead to demonstrate his love and his 
loyalty toward him. His love for Saul was truly from the 
heart. When news reached David that Saul was dead, he 
wept and mourned over him. He had still held out hope 
for Saul, and had treated him as the rightful leader of 
God's people, right up until the day that Saul died.

It is my belief that by-and-large, there are essentially 
three types of leaders or ministries operating in today's 
Christian world: the Sauls, the Jonathans and the Davids. 
Let us look at each of these in a little more detail: 

1. THE SAULS. These are the Christian leaders who 
have firmly aligned themselves with the present order, 
with its compromise, its soulish love of 'experiences', 
its rejection of seeking true holiness, etc. Sadly, such 
leaders will often welcome any new Christian fad, so 
long as it doesn't "cost" them too much and so long as 
it helps them to keep people involved with "their" church. 
(-This is why they often welcome new 'church growth' 
methods). But beyond this, they stand firmly for the 
status quo. The thought of TRUE Reformation would 
absolutely horrify most of them (which is why they will 
oppose or persecute any genuine 'Davids' that they can 
identify). And when the new 'David'-type ministries 
arise in their church, they will often attempt to "stomp" 
on them, to dominate them, or if that doesn't work, to 
limit their influence as much as possible.

To the "Sauls" of today I believe God would have me say:
Because you have made yourselves "lords" over the 
church in Jesus' stead, God will snatch the royal sceptre 
from your hands. And because of the compromise that 
has been found in your mouths for so long, God will lay 
much of the blame for the sickly state of today's 
'lukewarm' church directly at your feet. You have been 
rejected by God as being unfit to lead His people. "The 
kingdom shall be taken  from you and given unto another" 
(Mt 21:43, 1 Sa 15:22-23, 1 Sa 28:17). "Behold, you 
despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in 
your days, a work which you shall in no way believe, 
though a man declare it unto you"  (Acts 13:41).

It is interesting to note that the most serious sin that 
Saul committed in God's eyes (the sin that finally 
caused him to be rejected by God as unfit to lead His 
people) was that after the battle with the Amelikites, 
Saul compromised what God had said by allowing his 
men to take the best of the enemy flocks as spoil, 
instead of killing them all. This 'men-pleasing', rebellious 
disregard for God's word, caused Saul to be immediately 
told that his kingdom would be taken from him and given 
to another. Notice that it was not Saul's 'control' or 
domination of the people that caused him to be rejected 
by God, but rather his WEAKNESS AND COMPROMISE 
as a leader (ie. his desire to be pleasing and accomodating 
toward his people at the expense of God's word). Is it not 
the same today also?

2. THE JONATHANS. You will no doubt remember that 
Jonathan, who was Saul's son, had a tremendous 
devotion and love for David. They were like brothers. 
While Saul went about trying to kill David, Jonathan was 
doing his best to quietly protect and help him. I believe 
that there are quite a number of leaders and ministries 
around the world today who are just like Jonathan. They 
have definitely been "friends of the true Revival", but like 
Jonathan they are caught between their allegiance to 
the old or existing order, and their affinity with the new 
ministries - the 'Davids'. They want to be part of the great 
Revival that God is about to send, but they are just too 
attached to the old system and the old ways to really let go.

This is a very dangerous position to be in - in a very real 
way, just as dangerous as that of Saul. For it is very 
significant that even though Jonathan was a friend of 
David's (ie. a friend of the "new move of God"), he was 
killed on the SAME BATTLEFIELD and on the SAME DAY 
that Saul was killed. Jonathan never got to see or enter 
into the new move of God at all (ie. the reign of David). In 
essence, he suffered exactly THE SAME FATE AS SAUL.

Another thing that is significant about Jonathan was that 
he was the "heir apparent" (ie. the 'obvious' choice to lead 
Israel in the new era, when Saul was gone). I believe that 
many of  today's "Jonathans" are also like this. They are 
the seemingly 'obvious' Revival-oriented leaders of today - 
the kind of men who preach on Revival, prophecy and 
prayer, etc, but in an "acceptable" kind of way. Many of 
them are truly prophetic, but they fit into the current set-up 
just a little too well. They have a 'reputation'  to uphold in 
the existing system, and they can be trusted not to say 
anything too radical, or to rock today's Laodicean boat 
too hard. They are certainly nothing like the stench in 
Saul's nostrils that David was. No-one feels particularly 
'threatened' by their presence.

As I have said, I believe that there are quite a number of 
'Jonathans' in ministry all over the world today. The 
greatest danger for them is that because of their current 
respectability and their attachment to the existing order, 
they just can't imagine God bringing judgement upon 
the very systems and streams that they have formed 
relationships with. They love David and all that he 
stands for, but they just cannot let go of Saul. Deep in 
their heart they are still clinging to a kind of 'acceptable' 
amalgam between both the existing order and also the 
new move of God. (-It will never happen).

Today's Jonathans would be quite happy if the 'new wine' 
could somehow be crammed into the old wineskins. 
They have their feet in both camps. And the terrible 
likelihood is that when the day of decision dawns, when 
that fateful hour arrives, because of their double-
mindedness they will surely be found with Saul, rather 
than with David. And this can only result in tragedy.

Their failure to see the signs that it is time to finally 
abandon Saul, and throw in their lot entirely with David, 
means that they will surely be caught up in the very 
judgement that falls upon Saul. Sadly, all the signs are 
there that the cry, "How have the mighty fallen" is again 
about to ring out in our time.

I believe it is very important that we await God's perfect 
timing before 'leaving behind' this old system. But I 
certainly believe that right now God is calling His people 
to truly let go of the existing systems and ways in their 
hearts, in preparation for this time. It is clear that we 
cannot afford to be found even partially clinging to 'Saul' 
(or his compromising, Laodicean Christianity) when that 
hour arrives.

3. THE DAVIDS. As we have seen, by and large, the reign 
of King Saul was not a particularly happy time for David. 
However, I believe that this long, enforced period of 
brokenness and humility in David's life was absolutely 
ESSENTIAL in preparing him to become a truly Godly 
leader of Israel. It was at this time that David could easily 
have become a 'rebel', deliberately stirring up dissension 
against Saul in retaliation for the way he was being 
treated. Remember, David had already been anointed 
by Samuel as the future leader of Israel. He was a 
renowned warrior, a natural leader, a mighty man of 
valor. If he had wanted to, he and his men could have 
stirred up a great deal of trouble for Saul.

But instead, with great patience and forbearance, David 
endured all things, treating Saul as the "Lord's anointed", 
respecting his authority, not murmuring or causing 
dissension against him. And I truly believe that we are 
to be like David in our attitude towards the church 
leaders in our own situations today.

Even though there must have been times when David felt 
extremely distressed, angry and hurt at Saul's treatment 
of him, he never allowed this to become a festering wound 
of resentment that would cause him to "react" in rebellion 
against Saul. I truly believe that if David had acted out of 
rebellion, then he may well have proven himself unworthy 
of the calling to lead God's people. I do not believe that 
God ever sanctions rebellion. In fact, as we have seen, it 
was because of REBELLION that Saul had been rejected 
as king in the first place. I believe that God was watching 
David to make sure that this kind of rebellion was not 
found in him also. And of course, He is watching us for 
the self-same reason.

I am convinced that God would have even the 'Sauls' 
amongst today's Christian leaders treated as the "Lord's 
anointed", right up until God Himself acts to completely 
anull their authority, and to anoint and  raise up the 
'Davids' to take their place. (Please note: It is GOD who 
will do this, in His own perfect time). Until then, I believe 
that we are to willingly give today's pastors genuine 
honour and loyalty as befitting God's appointed leaders 
over His people. We are also to GENUINELY LOVE 
THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM. Remember, David 
mourned and wept over Saul when he died. What depths 
of Godliness this man David had! And I firmly believe that 
God is calling the Davids of today to be of this same 
spirit. We are certainly not to be like Absolem, who sat 
in the gates of the city some years later, murmuring 
and subtly turning the people to rebellion against king 
David. Rebellion is sin, and every one of us needs to 
ask God to search our hearts to see if there be any 
"wicked way", any dark seed of rebellion, found in us.

In saying all of this, I do not want people to think that 
I am advocating some kind of abject, zombie-like 
submission to pastors (where you don't "think" - you 
just do what you are told). This is certainly not the kind 
of relationship that David had with Saul. In fact, while 
David was utterly constant in his deep love and respect 
for Saul, he also did his best to avoid him as much as 
possible, even when Saul assured him that he would be 
safe! David and Saul were of opposing spirits, and "how 
can two walk together unless they be agreed?"  They 
were by no means real 'friends' or natural allies. This is 
the way it has always been between these two opposite 
types of leaders. One walks under God's special favour, 
and the other (-who once knew this divine favour himself) 
now does not, and in their heart of hearts they both know 
it. (Which is why the 'Sauls' are so jealous).

But during Saul's entire life, David did nothing but treat 
him with honor as the "Lord's anointed". If we cannot do 
this ourselves, then there is something wrong. Somehow
we have got to get rid of all Rebellion out of our hearts
while still not compromising our message or our heart-cry
for "CHANGE".

David was finally anointed as leader of all Israel some 
years later. Under his leadership, Israel became a united, 
prosperous, victorious nation, mighty in battle and utterly 
glorifying to God - displaying His grace and glory to all 
nations. This is exactly what the coming move of God will 
bring about also. All of this is the exact purpose and 
reason for the coming Reformation and Revival. Glory to 
God! And the result will be a worldwide harvest of 
staggering proportions - a great outpouring of God's Spirit 
upon "all flesh", in which the knowledge of His glory will 
cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

As with all Revivals - and the Book of Acts itself - leadership
is the key. The new Davids must arise for Revival to come. 
So it has always been and always will be with the greatest 
moves of God.

And thus a great army of Davids are being prepared in the
wilderness for this time - even as we speak. But isn't it
possible that 'Rebellion' could be their key test today, just
as it was in history?
[-Adapted from Andrew Strom's book "The Coming Great
Reformation" - 1996.]