Impending Judgment: The Days of Hophni & Phineas Are Returning!
This word is like FIRE shut up in my bones!!! But before I get good and going like y’all know I can and will, check out my brand new book Judging the Prophetic, available on CreateSpace and Amazon! Pastor Samuel Rodriguez who did the foreword for my book is the author of Be Light states, “Judging the Prophetic is a testament to Desirée’s desire to see order, authenticity, soundness of doctrine, clarity, and compassion restored to prophetic ministry at large.” Jennifer LeClaire, Senior Editor of Charisma Magazine and author of The Making of Prophets states, “Books like Judging the Prophetic are vital in this hour as we contend for accuracy and accountability in prophetic ministry. If you want the truth, this book will bless you!” I intentionally priced this book inexpensively because I wanted everyone to be able to afford it and be blessed by the contents therein. I had to write this book. Get your copy today!
Now that that’s out of the way, PLEASE READ THIS POST by Amanda Ferguson!!
OH MY LORD!!! *said in my most Paula Deenest of voices*
I wanted to just get money, a shoe, a book - anything - and throw it at her for divinely penning “When the Preacher Wants Your Panties”!!
FATHER GOD, ON HIGH!!!
Read her short post before you read this essay, because I’m gonna take it to the next level.
I have said it and I will continue to say it, but the days of Hophni and Phineas are returning! I touch on it in my #UnderstandingJezebel mini-series and workshop, and I hope to do a teaching on it soon, but for the time being, I’ll content myself with the “pen of a ready writer.”
I tried to write this earlier tonight on Facebook when sharing Amanda’s post, but of course, it got deleted before I could share it. (The tragedy!!)
Amanda Ferguson, the beloved wife of Apostle/Prophet Jonathan Ferguson, (you may see the Bootcamp Prayer Series that I recently posted here and here), penned this poignant piece on the ministers of the Lord manipulating women out of their panties and this is a word in season!! And while reading it, I recalled that this was one of the two great sins of Hophni and Phineas.
Who are Hophni & Phineas?
Hophni and Phineas were the sons of the High Priest Eli, the spiritual father of the Prophet Samuel, and Judge of Israel. I’ll allow Scripture to make the formal introduction.
Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them. (I Samuel 2:22-25)
These young men were not only the sons of Eli, but priests in the Tabernacle of the Lord. And these men used their priestly positions to make the people of God transgress in two severe ways:
- They made the Lord’s people despise the offerings
- They bedded the women of Israel who came to the Tabernacle
Can you say NO FEAR OF THE LORD???
Nobody just wakes up that bold and brash; you become that way. You grow into sinfulness. James said, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death,” (1:15). They were bold because they were unchecked, which leads me to my next topic: their daddy.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s first address this causing-the-Lord’s-people-to-transgress thing. Jesus took this kind of thing exceedingly seriously. The Apostles Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recall Him addressing this topic severely saying,
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)
“Then He said to the disciples, ‘It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.’” (Luke 17:1-2)
To sum it up, if you cause the Lord’s people to stumble and sin, if you cause the Lord’s people to be offended at you, at ministers, at Christians, or at Him through your actions - namely those who are young in age, or faith, or both - Jesus Himself said it would be better if you hung a rock around your neck and drowned yourself, than if you did this wicked thing, whatever form your particular “wicked thing” takes.
The “wicked thing” we’ll be discussing in conjunction with Amanda’s article is having sex with the women in God’s house. Now this could be very literally having sex with women in God’s house, or meeting women in God’s house, then sexing them later; it includes women of God as well as those who desire to know God. However you slice it, this is a grievous sin in the eyes of God.
Now, let’s talk about Hophni and Phineas’ daddy.
Eli, the Ahabic Priest
My rhetorical question to Amanda in her comments and to the Church at large is this:
How can these men honestly be checked if 1) they don’t have spiritual fathers that they are TRULY accountable to or 2) the [spiritual] fathers they do have are busy perfecting this “craft” themselves?!
And I will add:
How can these men honestly be checked if no one - especially their spiritual fathers - are willing to check them?!
Eli occupied the highest position in all of Israel. The Word says “he heard everything his sons did to all Israel.” But all he did was talk. He didn’t remove his sons from their priestly positions or, as us old school folks say, “sit ‘em down.” He didn’t even sit them down for a short season. He simply allowed their perversion of their position to continue without any actual repercussions.
Eli was all talk and no action.
And God killed him for it.
You may read the lengthy word of the Lord from an unnamed prophet in I Samuel 2:27-36 here, but I will post the shorter, child-prophet Samuel’s prophecy against the House of Eli below.
Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” (I Samuel 3:11-14)
So we see that Samuel received this harrowing, ear-tingling prophecy from a seasoned man of God and also from a prophetic prodigy, yet all he says is, “It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him,” (v.18).
I’m sorry, WHAT?!?!
He doesn’t repent, he doesn’t even try to change his ways! He just says, “Okay, Lord; do what You gotta do.” You wonder if the man had a death wish, and actually wanted to see his seed struck from the earth!
The literal Ahab heard the harrowing, ear-tingling word of the Lord unto him, repented in truth with sackcloth and ashes, and the Lord heard him and stayed His hand of Judgement.
So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning.
And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.” (I Kings 21:27-28)
So if God heard and received the prayer of repentance from the most wicked king in all of Israel, you mean to tell me He wouldn’t hear the prayer of repentance from His High Priest?
OF COURSE He would have!!
But, in true Ahabic form, Eli does nothing. He’s passive. He abdicates his God-given authority as a father first, a priest second, and a judge third. It doesn’t matter that there is scriptural provision for the forgiveness of priests.
If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and kill the bull before the Lord. Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting. (Leviticus 4:3-5)
Had they repented in truth and followed God’s Law, He would have forgiven them. His son may have needed all the bulls in the land, but at least their sins would have been cleansed. (You can always buy more bulls from a neighboring kingdom, right?) Eli had an obligation as the High Priest to check them. And if they chose rebellion over obedience, then the Pentateuch provides instructions for that too.
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
So, the Word of God under the dispensation of the Law was that Hophni and Phineas should have been killed - stoned to death. But Eli didn’t bother.
I don’t know if he “loved” them too much, or if he felt they couldn’t be replaced, or if he was just flat-out lazy (which his weight would suggest), but he did not carry out his priestly and fatherly duties, so the Lord did it for him.
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines, and encamped beside Ebenezer; and the Philistines encamped in Aphek. Then the Philistines put themselves in battle array against Israel. And when they joined battle, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men of the army in the field. And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before. Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become servants of the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men, and fight!”
So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. (I Samuel 4:1-11)
And because Eli was a punk who wouldn’t chasten his sons, God killed him too.
Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. Now when he came, there was Eli, sitting on a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the sound of this tumult mean?” And the man came quickly and told Eli. Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were so dim that he could not see.
Then the man said to Eli, “I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.”
And he said, “What happened, my son?”
So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.”
Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. (I Samuel 4:12-18)
The Bible goes on to say that Eli’s daughter-in-law, Phineas’ wife, went into labour as a result of the stress brought on by the news of the day, gave birth to a boy, and named him, “Ichabod” meaning “the glory has departed,” (I Samuel 4:19-22).
[Isn’t it fitting that our American folk tales speak of Ichabod Crane, a headless horseman? Horsemen represent judgment in Scripture, and to be headless is to be without submission to authority; no government, no rule. A very fitting name indeed.]
Eli, the High Priest and Judge of Israel, was supposed to be the head, but through his lack of government, through his lack of judgment, he was made a byword in all of Israel.
Hypocrites in the Pulpit
The other interesting thing to note about Eli was that the same Eli who would not dare to judge his sons, had no problem judging Hannah, Samuel’s mother.
So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”
But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” (I Samuel 1:9-16)
Eli didn’t hesitate to call this sorrowful, praying woman a drunkard in the House of the Lord. (Displaying his lack of discernment.) Yet he didn’t do a darn thing about his sons being man-whores in the House of the Lord. If we’re weighing, then you’d think sexing women on the doorstep of the Lord’s house would be a far worse sin than simply being drunk, although not doing any real harm! But that just shows you the hypocrisy of Eli. And knowing his type, he probably didn’t allow anyone to say a word against his sons. Who knows how many of the upright priests of the Lord, and prophets, and angry fathers of despoiled daughters, and fuming husbands of tainted wives and had warned Eli of his sons’ actions? Even Eli himself admitted, “For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.” Can you imagine how outrageous and plenteous someone’s actions would have to be for AN ENTIRE NATION to hear about it - without newspapers, telephones, TV, internet, and social media?
Eli was an undiscerning, hypocritical coward!! And my Bible says that cowards will have their place in the lake of fire!
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
And to confirm that Word, Paul taught the Romans:
...Those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)
The Word of God equates cowardice with sexual immorality and other grievous sins. (Also, note that lying is their equivalent as well!) You might say, “But how am I guilty if I didn’t personally commit the sin?” Your silence makes you complicit to the sin; you become an accomplice because you didn’t [try to] stop it.
And how dare you priests of God speak against the sheep for following the shepherd’s example?! How dare you preach against fornication, and then fornicate?! How dare you preach against adultery, and then keep a mistress?! How dare you preach against homosexuality, and then seduce your armor-bearers?!?!
You impart what you ARE, not what you TEACH.
So if your church has a reputation of fornication, look in the mirror. If your church is full of adulterers and traded spouses, look in the mirror. If your church or ministry attracts a vast majority of men struggling with their sexuality or outright homosexuals, then look in in the dagone mirror!!! Either you are operating in it, or you are allowing it. Both will land you in hell if you don’t repent.
Judgement Is Coming!!!
God is coming for the modern-day Hophnis and Phineases who are using their ministerial positions to manipulate women - married and unmarried, old and young alike - out of their panties!!
God is coming for the priests who say, “I’m God’s man,” and entice God’s daughters into their proverbial and literal beds.
God is coming for those bishops who have one room for their wives and one room for their mistresses at the church conferences.
God is coming for those praise and worship leaders who are sleeping with the sopranos (and tenors!!) after they lead the congregation into praise and worship.
God is coming for the musicians who rotate groupies like they change their underwear.
God is coming for the preachers who preach hard, then pick up prostitutes afterward to help them “work off” the anointing.
God is coming for the youth pastors who pretend to counsel young girls (and boys!!) and wind up coercing them into statutory rape.
God is coming for the pastors who are WILLFULLY and KNOWINGLY infecting the women of their congregation and others with HIV, AIDS, and other STIs.
And yes, God is coming for the spiritual fathers AND THEIR WIVES who turn a blind eye to the sins of their sons.
He ain’t here for that mess, neither did He put you here to orchestrate and keep up that mess.
God ain’t winking at our sin no more. We can no longer say, “I didn’t know it was wrong!” especially if you’ve read this post!! Or Amanda’s!
He demands holiness! Truth in the inward parts!
And for those men of God who try to say, “You’re just old school; you’re just religious,” I say to you, you have a either a demon of lust that needs to be cast out or a mental stronghold of blindness to this sin that needs to be torn down - or both!! You need deliverance, not a microphone; accountability, not “space.”
God is demanding truth in the inward parts!!
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)
Now you go try and tell God that He’s religious or old school or some other tomfoolery! Let me know how that works out for you.
But, But...I’m Under Grace!
And for those of you hollering about all of these Old Testament references, I got something for you too. Christ laid out a method of godly confrontation in the Gospels.
1) “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 2) But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 3) And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. 4) But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17 emphasis mine)
And Paul, specifically addressing sexual immorality and perversion amongst Believers, says:
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (I Corinthians 5:1-5)
God chastens those He loves (Heb. 12:7). Proverbs states:
He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. (Proverbs 13:24)
And as Paul warns in I Corinthians 5:6 that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Restoration & Reconciliation
Correction can and must be brought for the preservation of God’s priests AND people. He doesn’t actually want to strike us with His judgment. The heart of God is restoration and reconciliation. This is why He desires true repentance. Restoration cannot take place without it.
Many often query on “the unpardonable sin”: blaspheming the Holy Spirit. One person even commented (whether facetiously or genuinely, I couldn’t tell), “The blood of Jesus can’t cover the sin of blasphemy?” I admit, my initial reaction was to go on the defense. (You bet’ not joke about the Blood of Jesus!!!” But the Holy Spirit quieted my spirit, and I was able to think clearly - without telling anyone off. *wink, wink* And I believe He impressed upon me that it’s not that the Holy Spirit WON’T forgive blasphemy, it’s simply that blasphemy has pride built into it and if you don’t think you did anything wrong, then the Holy Spirit CAN’T forgive you because you’ll never ask Him for forgiveness! It’s the same with any sin really: you can never be forgiven for a sin you’ve never repented of.
[This is why many religious people will lift up their eyes in Hell: because they were too religious to admit - even to God - that they were human and finite enough to sin. Religion is a beast of a spirit to host!]
So today, if you’ve read this post, harden not your heart. Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches: REPENT! The revival that we’re praying for and prophesying about can never come unless we first fall to our knees and repent of all our sins. God will be faithful and just to forgive us, according to His Word. And the Church said, “amen.”
Stay tuned for Part II: “I Did It. Now What?” And don't worry, I've got something coming for the ladies too. *wink, wink*