The Eli Church. This is a church that preaches truth, prays, walks uprightly, but tolerates much that is wrong. It is a church that has never learnt to judge righteous judgement. It judges what it should not judge and does not judge what it ought to judge. It is a church where you find genuine prayer, faith, miracles, truth and Christ but a church that will not carry out in fullness what God's Word says about dealing with sin. In an Eli Church you find a real mixture. In it you find wicked sons of Belial as well as travailing Hannah's and holy Samuel's. This Church fears and reverences men more than God. It is a place where God disannuls previous prophesies of blessing. It is a church that ends its days blind, fat and old. It is a church on the downgrade. I believe that today most of the best of leaders and genuine churches fall into this category.
The Church of Hophni and Phinehas. An Eli Church always allows the rise of the Hophni and Phinehas church. When Eli does not judge correctly and deal with sin a new young militant church arises that does not truly know the Lord. It has no time for hot straight preaching; neither does it give heed to godly rebuke or to obeying the written scriptures. It is totally ruled by the carnal mind and the whole function of it is centred on man. It is a counterfeit Christianity ruled by the carnal mind. Its wisdom and decisions come out of a carnal nature. It hears true preaching but never applies it. It knows of spiritual, holy, serious and sincere believers but has no desire for such fellowship. When Biblical truth is preached it disregards it as not being culturally appropriate, practically possible or presently relevant. It merely treats the preaching of holiness as the words of men. As a result the Lord cuts the whole thing off and starts all over again.
This third church is the Samuel Church. Hannah was a member of the Eli church but radically different from it. Through her sorrow and travail she brought forth a Samuel who was raised in the Eli church but would arise out of it's ashes under Gods judgement to prepare the land for revival. The Samuel church was a Nazarite, a prophet, a priest and a judge. Eli refused to deal with sin and implement judgement and godly discipline but the Samuel church restores godly, righteous judgement to the land. This is a holy church that gives itself to prayer and the Word of God. It is a church according to the mind and heart of God. It is a church that will be used by the preaching of the Word to bring the heart of the nation to a place where God can send revival. Out of the Samuel Church is raised up a leadership like unto king David, a man after God's own heart, to lead God's people forward into the purpose of God.