Shabbat Shalom everyone, praise יהוה our Elohim, for it is He who gives us the ability to be together and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, aměn! I have been reading the same chapter in Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel over and over this week, stirring a great hunger and desire to fully understand what יהוה is saying to us at this time. Yeḥezqĕl’s name means ‘in the strength of EL’ or ‘Elohim will strengthen’, and his name indicates to us a great deal about his character and the nature of his ministry – to walk in the fullness of his calling he needed Elohim to strengthen him, and he knew where his strength comes from – of course he did – his name reminded him constantly! He prophesied concerning 3 different time periods – he prophesied concerning events that would take place in his day, about events that would take place at the first coming of Messiah and also about events that concerned the second coming of our Messiah and His Millennial Reign. Yeḥezqĕl is the only person in Scriptures beside יהושע who is called ‘son of man’ and is a picture of יהושע eschatologically.
The second half of his book is largely concerned with the Millennial Reign and here in chapter 44, the chapter I have been glued to as a base camp for other Scriptures this week, and he in a sense shows for us the priesthood duties of the Millennium. But in showing this we see a clear contrast between two priesthoods – that is in the form of the sons of Tsaḏoq (Zadok) and the ordinary Lĕwites (Levites). Please turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 44 and let us be challenged by the call of יהוה for us at this time as I believe that He is restoring the very Tsaḏoq priesthood in our time! My message is called ‘Sons of Tsaḏoq – a clear call to Righteousness’. (Read)
Yeḥezqĕl is in the process of being shown the Temple in the Millennial Reign and begins this chapter by coming back to the set-apart place and sees that the East gate is shut as יהוה has already entered. The partial fulfilment of this took place when יהושע came riding on a colt through this gate but will ultimately be fulfilled in the Millennium.
The East Gate lies on the western slope of the Temple Mount, opposite the Mount of Olives, with the Kidron Valley in the middle, and is now cemented up. This happened because there was once a Turkish sultan during the Ottoman Empire, after they had conquered Israel, who knew that the Messiah would have to come through that gate according to Jewish beliefs. So he put an Islamic cemetery in front of the East Gate so that the Messiah could not go through it without being ritually defiled, and he cemented up the gate. He did not know, of course, that he was in part causing the prophecy to be fulfilled concerning the East Gate.
Yeḥezqĕl (Ezekiel), while prophesying from captivity about coming events, the people were more concerned about listening to false prophets, even though they were being proven false, than the Truth of the Word of יהוה that was being proven TRUE. The people would rather have their ears tickled with lies that face up to the Truth! The same is true today. I get very annoyed when people say that these prophetic words of the Scriptures do not apply to them today as it has already happened! They are so short sighted, as much of what the prophets write about still has to come and is clearly of the end days, and so we would do well to wake up and listen and do what יהוה requires of us! And in this passage he shows a clear contrast between the sons of Tsaḏoq and the ordinary Lĕwites. Not all Lĕwites were Tsaḏoqites, yet all Tsaḏoqites were Lĕwites! What this shows us today is the same message he was showing them back then for the coming kingdom – we are called to be priests – the question I ask you tonight is which priesthood do you belong to?
‘Tsaḏoq’ means ‘right’ or ‘righteous’ or ‘just’ and is from the Hebrew word ‘Tseḏek’.
In Hebrew ‘sonship’ is more than just an ancestral line – it also carries with it the character of a person, as we see for example in the two pictures of Messiah in Hebrew: 1 – ha Maschiach ben Yosĕph and 2 – ha Maschiach ben Dawiḏ – that is 1 – Messiah son of Yosĕph, who is a suffering servant and 2 – Messiah son of Dawiḏ, is a conquering King. יהושע in His first coming came in the character of Yosĕph as a suffering servant and when He comes again He is coming in the character of Dawiḏ as the ‘Melek – Tseḏek’ – The Righteous King where He will rule and set up His Kingdom!
So when we see the sons of Tsaḏoq, it is not only linked directly to an ancestral line, but also to that which represents and carries the very character of Tsaḏoq. Those who are truly characterised by righteousness in the fullest meaning and form can too be referred to as the ‘sons of Tsaḏoq’. So who was Tsaḏoq and why does his name, or rather the character of his name, carry great importance in the millennial reign?
Well what I share with you tonight is by no means a completion of the understanding of the sons of Tsaḏoq, yet I believe that we can begin to see what the Father is doing in our time as He is truly restoring the righteous priesthood that will serve in total faithfulness.
Tsaḏoq was the son of Aḥituḇ, and one of the two chief priests in the time of Dawiḏ, Eḇyathar being the other. Tsaḏoq was of the house of Elʽazar, the son of Aharon, and the eleventh in descent from Aharon. He joined David at Hebron after Saul’s death and remained faithful to Dawiḏ, even when Aḏoniyah set himself up as king and persuaded Eḇyathar the priest to join his party – Tsaḏoq remained unmoved and steadfast in his loyalty to his king! He was then commissioned to anoint Shelomoh (Solomon) as king and Shelomoh dismissed Eḇyathar, the last descendant of Ithamar of which family was Ĕli, from being priest to יהוה fulfilling the word that was given to Ĕli at Shiloh, where Elohim told Ĕli that the priesthood would depart from his house and Tsaḏoq was made high priest in his place having the promise of the everlasting priesthood given to Pineḥas being kept true as Tsaḏoq is from this lineage:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 25:11-13 “Pineḥas, son of Elʽazar, son of Aharon the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Yisra’ĕl, because he was ardent with My ardour in their midst, so that I did not consume the children of Yisra’ĕl in My ardour. 12 “Therefore say, ‘See, I am giving him My covenant of peace, 13 and it shall be to him and to his seed after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was ardent for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl.’ ”
What we have here is a clear picture of a faithful line – a remnant of zealous priests faithful to their duties unto יהוה, regardless of the circumstances they found themselves in.
We are called to be a faithful people of Elohim! As you look at some of the descendants of Tsaḏoq you see this faithfulness being displayed and carried through:
1 – Azaryahu (Azariah)– When he was high priest he opposed king Uzziyahu who did lawlessness and told the king to get out of the set-apart place. Uzziyahu was mad and יהוה struck him and he became leprous until his death.
Azaryahu stood up for righteousness in the face of a wicked king (Diḇre haYamim/2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Azaryahu means ‘Yah has helped’ and what a wonderful declaration for where does our help come from? From יהוה!!! And when we need to stand up for the Truth amidst a wicked rule, we need the Helper – the very Ruach (Spirit) of יהוה!
2 – Ḥilqiyahu (Hilkiah) – he was the high priest who found the Torah in the time of king Yoshiyahu (Josiah) (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 22:8-13). Ḥilqiyahu means ‘portion of Yah’.
3 – Ezra – Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Torah of יהוה, and to do it, and to teach laws and right-rulings in Yisra’ĕl.” It was Ezra who brought the Torah and read it before all the assembly which you can read about in Nehemiah 8:1-5.
These are just a couple of examples of great men, great priests of the Most High and their dedication to walking wholeheartedly for the Truth, not compromising in the least.
That is what we are called to do as a royal priesthood and set-apart nation:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. 11 Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works,1 esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
But what is it about the sons of Tsaḏoq that make them special to יהוה? They are the ones who guarded the duty of יהוה’s set-apart place when the rest of Yisra’ĕl went astray. They are the ones who have a zeal and jealousy for the honour of יהוה. Right through the ages there have been the faithful few who were willing and bold enough, having the zeal to stand up for the Truth of the Torah of יהוה and not back down in the slightest – this is the character of the ‘sons of Tsaḏoq’ or rather could be better translated as the ‘sons of the righteous’.
This is exactly what יהוה is raising up in our day – the righteous priesthood that serve Him with their all. The Tsaḏoq priesthood is not for the fainthearted or the timid or the lukewarm or those who are concerned with the cares of this life.
The Tsaḏoq priesthood is for those who are passionate about the Truth, the passionate Torah warrior whose only desire is to follow and fellowship and serve יהושע in the most set-apart place; a dedication that requires a full yielding to the work of the Ruach HaQodesh.
The modern day son of Tsaḏoq is one who worships in Spirit and in Truth. We are called to worship יהוה and be directed by the very same breath that directed the nation of Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. He is the One and same breath that came in to the upper room on Shavuot and descended on those who were waiting. It is the very breath of יהוה, His very Ruach that leads us to worship and live surrendered at the feet of יהושע in spirit and in Truth, living sanctified from those in the world.
Yeḥezqĕl (Ezekiel) speaks of the linen garments they are to wear so as to not cause sweat – the linen garments spoken of in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 is the righteous acts of the set-apart ones! Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 tells us that ‘it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’
The Tsaḏoq priesthood in its character represents the pure set-apart Bride of Messiah.
יהוה is raising up the natural priesthood of Tsaḏoq that is those who are natural; descendants from the line of Tsaḏoq who are being trained at present, as well as the spiritual priesthood that has the heart of the natural priesthood.
Without the characteristics of the Tsaḏoq priesthood we cannot rule and reign with Messiah.
It is of vital importance that we guard His Torah, guard His Honour and guard His Name or else we will not be qualified to rule with Him. A belief system alone does not qualify us to rule and reign with Him. If a person cannot obey Him now then then יהוה cannot trust Him to rule over others with a rod of iron by the standards of Torah. It is a call to righteous living, a call to being ‘lawful’ now. The ‘lawless’ get no reward – and sin is lawlessness – torahlessness which is rebellion against the Most High.
I want to ask you – do you have the zeal of the Tsaḏoqites? The Tsaḏoqites are the ones who teach the difference between clean and unclean and between the set-apart and the common. In order to teach others we must be living it!!! And in order to live it we need to hear and obey – hear – guard and do!
The Tsaḏoq ministry is one that has separated itself from the desires of the world and walks every step by faith in Messiah being the very light of His Word to a dark world.
Zeal in Hebrew in the word ‘qa-na’ which means ‘to burn with intense passion for a person or thing’ or to have ‘love and emotion that involves a high level of commitment’. As we look back and see this zeal for יהוה through the lives of His called out priesthood, we see how Pineḥas was zealous, which is an active word that also means to glow or shine, being fiery hot. He was on fire for יהוה!!! He could not just sit by and watch the nonsense that was going on – he could not sit around and be blind to the immorality and debauchery and drunkenness that was going on – he stood up in zeal and made a stand and took action. When he thrust the spear threw the two who were in the tent, the plague that had already killed 24000 people stopped. What we are to realise is that as long as we sit idly by not taking a righteous stand and walking set-apart, people are dying!!!
Sha’ul tells us in Galatians 4:18 that we are to always be zealous for good not just when people are looking!!! He was telling the recipients of his letter to always have a zeal for good – what is the good he is referring to? The Torah – they were to be zealous always for the Torah of יהוה and not only when he was with them. How many times we see today many people who only get a little ‘zealous’ when the crowd is looking or when they have gathered for their weekly meeting, yet the rest of the week the zeal for the Word is the farthest thing from their minds!!!
In 1 Corinthians 12:31 he commands us to be zealous for the gifts, not just sit and expect the gifts to just happen, but rather be zealous and passionate about seeking the gifts and exercising them by great faith.
יהושע is our perfect example of having zeal for the house of Elohim after He turned the tables of the money changers and chased them out of the Temple:
Yoḥanan/John 2:17 “And His taught ones remembered that it was written, “The ardour for Your house has eaten Me up.”
In Romans 12:11 Sha’ul instructs us to not be idle in our duty but be zealous in spirit to serve the Master!
Let me ask you, does zeal for the House of יהוה ‘eat you up’ or could you simply not be bothered and be only concerned with your own welfare? True sons of the Most High are zealous for His House!!!
The Tsaḏoq priesthood is something that will become more and more apparent and visible as we see the Day of יהוה approaching. There is however another priesthood and that is not the Tsaḏoq priesthood. In Yeḥezqĕl 44 we see the contrast between the sons of Tsaḏoq – those who are zealous for His Name and guarding His Covenant and the other priests who have compromised their duties.
I believe that from this we can see this clear distinction going on right now – those who are truly seeking to walk wholeheartedly after יהושע and those who are merely giving lip service and putting on a show to entertain a crowd.
What we see is the clear distinction between the true and the false – even though the false may have a Name attached to them it carries no fruit. Many of the wicked kings we read of had great Hebrew names yet did not live accordingly and so it is a reflection of the Anti-Messiah who sets Himself up as Messiah yet is false. The difference between the Tsaḏoqite and the other priests, or rather those who claim to be priests:
The Tsaḏoqite teaches discernment as they diligently seek and learn the pure and unadulterated Word presenting themselves as workman approved able to correctly handle and divide the Truth, being able to discern and teach other to do the same.
The false priest will prefer to rather be politically correct where anything and everything is permissible – as long as you pay your dues!!!
The Tsaḏoqite will minister righteousness unto יהוה and take a stand and judge according to Scripture and give the people what they need.
The false believer will compromise as they no longer minister unto יהוה but rather unto men being men pleasers, giving people what they want to hear as they mix their worship. A kind of like worshipping at the base of the mountain with a golden calf – they just can’t get rid of the world!!!
In verse 8 of Yeḥezqĕl 44 he says that the rebellious (that is the lawless) did not guard that which was set-apart unto יהוה but have set others over the charge of His set-apart place. This speaks of allowing the wolves in sheep’s clothing to come in and take over the worship and turning it into a circus business, manipulating many by their schemes and traditions – in other words giving place to the alien – by that I mean giving place to allow those who have no right to teach the Word, as they have twisted the truth to suit themselves and build their own empires and denominations.
The Tsaḏoqite will quickly kick out the alien – giving no room for false doctrine as they are well equipped and zealous for the Truth!
The Tsaḏoqite does not mix – hence the linen garments – there is no mixture in what they believe, teach and do. They live and teach His Word simultaneously.
The false will compromise, teaching one thing and doing another – mixing their worship with pagan practices and saying it is ok – it is not ok – it is an abomination unto יהוה
The Tsaḏoqite walks by faith and not by sight – יהוה is the provider and they trust totally in Him. יהוה is their inheritance and their possession, and we see here in this chapter that יהוה is restoring His pure Torah and taking care of his priesthood!
Much is being studied and discovered at present in regards to the Tsaḏoq priesthood. You can get the Tsaḏoqite files, also known as the Damascus Documents that were found at Qumran and see the great standards they early Tsaḏoqim lived by in adherence to the Torah of יהוה.
Eḇyathar who defected to the revolt of Aḏoniyah represents those who attach themselves to the false teachers and prophets who seek only their own gain as their followers have their ears tickled. Aḏoniyah did not invite Nathan the prophet of Tsaḏoq the priest and seer because the false will never seek confirmation from true servants. The false will always seek after the false to verify and confirm their own falsehood to justify their own standards that are in clear rebellion to the Torah of יהוה. So as we see the many today that refuse to walk in obedience to the Torah, so we will see how they will not seek the Truth but rather a twisted watered down version that soothes their conscience.
But those who are desperate for the Truth and are willing to forsake all for the sake of His Name and follow Him no matter what may come – these are the Tsaḏoq priests that יהוה is raising at this hour. The Righteous are being raised and taught and tested in this time.
The Philadelphia Assembly spoken of in Ḥazon/Revelation for me is a clear picture of the Tsaḏoq priesthood, as they hold fast to the Truth, guarding the Word of endurance and do not deny His Name. The Laodicea Assembly on the other hand is a picture of the false priesthood that is mixing its worship with pagan practices and have denied the Truth of His Word by ignoring the feasts, the Sabbaths and have denied His Name by adopting pagan titles as an accepted norm – this is the assembly that יהושע said He will spit out of His mouth!!!
Today we have clearly seen the false being more and more exposed as we can see the lies that have been handed down and caused a lukewarm worship that is nothing but a failed attempt at trying to worship יהוה while mixing it with pagan worship. At the same time יהוה is raising up the Tsaḏoq priesthood – the ones who will not compromise the Truth, the ones who will hold fast to the Word and walk in it fully obeying His commands, decrees, statutes and instructions – obeying His Living Torah, the ones who will not deny His True Name, but will proclaim His Name, worship His Name and Esteem His Name in every way – this is the priesthood that He is raising up at this time.
Is the Ruach urging you/ Are you being refined by fire? Do you weep at the abominations you see all around? Do you hunger and thirst for purity? Are you constantly casting down idols? We, who have called on the Name of יהוה and accepted the Blood of יהושע, are chosen, royal and set-apart – we are priests. The Question I have for you now is – what priesthood do you belong to -Tsaḏoq or Eḇyathar?
In the midst of the ruin and the apostasy the Tsaḏoq remnant is coming forth – visible and anointed.
Those of the Tsaḏoq remnant speak the same language – they walk in faithfulness to יהושע, repentance is lived and taught and proclaimed, they are separate from the world and have and intense hunger and thirst for righteousness willing to go through the refining process! What language do you speak, in other words!!! Is it the language of the sons of Tsaḏoq? For this is a call unto righteousness!
Ask yourself – why are you here? Are you here because you truly burn with zeal for righteousness? If so, then be a Tsaḏoq – be right and just and walk in His ways with your all – being prepared to change as you learn and grow, being transformed by His Word and able to lead other in righteousness.
It is time for the sons of Tsaḏoq to rise and take up their rightful role – this is a call to righteousness – he who has ears let him hear what the Ruach is saying at this hour!!!