In 1 Samuel we read about the rise and fall of Saul as King of Israel. Saul was physically tall and imposing. He was charismatic, known to prophesy when the Spirit of God came upon him (1 Samuel 10:10, 18:10, 19:23). However, Saul was also a carnal man. Because of his pride, fear, insecurity, jealousy, and disobedience God took the kingdom away from him and gave it to David under whom the kingdom of Israel rose to her greatest prominence. Eventually Saul suffered a shameful death at the hands of God’s enemies. The Philistines cut off his head, stripped him of his armor, and hung his body from the wall of Beth Shan for all to see.
Before his death, Saul in his jealousy tried to hunt down and kill David on different occasions. Despite Saul’s murderous intent, David would not lay a hand on him, but even spared him when God put him in David’s hands. When David fled from Saul, about four hundred men gathered around him. These were men who were discontented or in distress or in debt.
1 Samuel 22:1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
Eventually this group grew to about six hundred. These were the ones who would endure and follow David all the way to the throne when he was finally anointed King over Israel.
1 Samuel 23:13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
During this time David and his men would go on periodic raids against the enemies of Israel.
1 Samuel 27:8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.)
Down through the history of the Church, there are occasions on which we can see the drama between David and Saul played out again and again. For example we can consider Martin Luther to be David and the Roman Catholic Church to be Saul at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation over 500 years ago. Today is another such occasion.
The Church today is increasingly big in numbers and many churches have imposing physical facilities. The Church today is also increasingly charismatic, with the power to prophesy, cast out demons, and perform miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. Unfortunately the Church is also increasingly carnal. Sexual immorality, divorce, pride, jealousy, competition, materialism and greed are despoiling the holiness of the body of Christ. It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God.
There are increasing numbers in the Church today who are “discontent, in distress or in debt.” They could be pastors, ministers, leaders, or just nameless disciples of Jesus Christ. They are discontent with the Church. They are tired of the pagan system in which the professional clergy do most of the work and the believers just sit on pews Sunday after Sunday being preached at but never sent out to do the work of the Kingdom. They are tired of the rampant carnality in the body of Christ, especially the false teachers driven by greed who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. They bemoan the fear and lack of faith and power which paralyzes the Church. Today’s complacent Church does not bear resemblance to the Church of Acts either in supernatural power and boldness for sharing the gospel to the lost or in day-to-day holiness. We are becoming the Church in Laodicea to whom the Lord said in Revelation 3:
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
Some discontented ones question and no longer want to submit to the system of Saul. Some have stopped going to church altogether because of their disappointment with the Church as it is today. But Jesus loves His Church. He is in the process of seeking out a Church after his own heart like David.
We are not at all suggesting that anyone leave their church. Please remain in your church unless the Lord specifically tells you otherwise. Like David we will not lay a hand on Saul. For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)
We are not called to start another church. But we are inviting you to join a band of like-minded discontents. We will come together and learn to fight like David, who was a very skilled warrior and had a kingly anointing for us to receive. We will come together to be trained to heal the sick consistently and effectively as Jesus taught His disciples to prove to the world that He is the only way to the Father. Like David and his six hundred men, we will go out to conduct raids against God’s enemies to set captives free from Satan. We will hold public healing outreaches in neighborhoods where we will heal the sick in Jesus’ name. The miracles will confirm the truth of the gospel of repentance to the lost. We will do this working together with like-minded churches. Those who are equipped can go back to their churches to train their own people how to conduct raids to set sinners free.
If we continue to do this and teach it to God’s people in obedience to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will gradually restore His Church for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. After that will come the kingdom of the Son of David, Jesus Christ.
Two related commands of our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples for today:
Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near you.’”
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”