Korah a Levite, and Dathan and Abiram of Reuben led 250 other leaders, to rise up against Moses. For decades this has been misapplied as a lesson that we are to accept and to follow any man who takes to himself a title and are not to question his leadership.
The true lesson here is the exact opposite of that teaching.
Moses had been personally chosen by God and had proved his loyalty and zeal for God over many trials and many years; this faithful Moses was the mediator of the Mosaic Covenant, and as such; Moses was a type of the Mediator of the New Covenant, “that prophet” Jesus Christ (Deu 18:18).
These three men were leading a rebellion against the faithful mediator of the Mosaic Covenant; which was a type of rebellion against the faithful Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ!
The lesson here is that we are to be absolutely faithful to every Word of God, which was inspired by the ONLY Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, the Logos.
If someone says: “do not question me, remember Korah” he is misapplying this lesson. We have a command not to blindly follow any man, but to prove and test all the words of men by every Word of God and to reject what is different from the Word of God. Remember the Berean’s and the words of Paul:
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Moses was a type of Christ, and these men were rebelling against Moses; which is the same thing as rebelling against Jesus Christ, the HEAD and High Priest, the Mediator of the New Covenant under God the Father.
To follow any man contrary to any part of the Word of God, is the same as these folks following Korah against Moses, it is rebellion against Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
Those who claim that questioning them is as the rebellion of Korah are exalting themselves to the same level as the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ; they have forgotten who their HEAD is, and they are usurping the authority of the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ!
Numbers 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
Moses as a mortal man did not defend himself at all; instead he called on God to reveal God’s will!
Why will so many elders not call on the Eternal to reveal his will for your leadership today? There are many Korah’s today, each one rejecting any zeal for the Mediator of the New Covenant, seeking the pre-eminence for himself and doing what he wants instead of doing as God commands.
16:4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: 16:5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
Take censors of incense, symbolic of rising prayers and appealing to God for God’s judgment; and the Eternal shall judge and reveal who he wants to lead his people.
16:6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 16:7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
Moses warns the Levites of their called out place and heritage, and asks them why they want to rise out of their place. Why are they not content with the honor of a Levite and want to have the preeminence also.
16:8 And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: 16:9 Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? 16:10 And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?
These men would not submit to the mediator of the Mosaic Covenant, Moses, nor submit to and serve the priesthood of Aaron. And although it was they themselves who had refused to go into the land; they claimed a breach of the Covenant by God, for not bringing them into the promised land.
Today many elders in the Ekklesia engage in this same rebellion against God; insisting that the brethren must follow and obey them and their organization instead of living by every Word of God to enter the Promised Land of eternal life
16:11 For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him? 16:12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up: 16:13 Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us? 16:14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.
Moses is furious that they will not submit to the will of God, and says that he has taken nothing from them: Just as Jesus Christ is furious with us today for our rebellion against him, to decide right and wrong for ourselves instead of living by every Word of God.
16:15 And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.
Moses demands that these rebels appear before God, with Moses and Aaron to see who God has chosen for the office of mediator of the Mosaic Covenant.
16:16 And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow: 16:17 And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer.
16:18 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
Korah then came and brought very many supporters with him. Perhaps he was beginning to realize the magnitude of his offense and needed the moral support of numbers?
16:19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.
Jesus Christ then appeared in the cloud of glory and commanded the faithful to separate themselves from the wicked rebels that the rebels might be destroyed.
Even so the time is almost at hand in our day, where those who rebel against zealously living by every Word of God; who rebel against Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant and their espoused Husband; will be separated from the zealous, that they may be cast into the furnace of affliction.
16:20 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.
God commands that the faithful to his Word separate themselves out from among these rebels, that the good not be destroyed with the bad.
The time of the separation of the zealous to live by every Word of God are to be separated OUT, from those who rebel against any zeal for the whole Word of God is almost at hand. Yes, God IS the author of division; dividing the holy from the profane, the good from the evil and the faithful from the faithless!
16:22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? 16:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:24 Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
My Dear and Much Beloved Brethren; it is those men who are not zealous for the sanctity of the Sabbath or for the practical keeping of the Word of God that are in rebellion against Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant! The time is very near at hand when it WILL be time to separate out the zealous so that the idolaters and compromisers may be cast into the furnace of affliction for their good, to humble them and bring them to sincere repentance.
16:25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 16:26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their’s, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
Then the faithful removed themselves because they believed the warnings and trusted in their God
16:27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
Moses then asks God to reveal who his true servants are
16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. 16:29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. 16:30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
At the words of Moses; Jesus Christ: yes, the same Christ which many falsely claim will wink at sin and overlook transgressions and tolerate false teachings [doctrines]; opened up the very earth and swallowed up these rebels against his Word directly into the grave.
16:31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: 16:32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 16:33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
When these rebels began to scream as they felt the earth open under them, the others nearby fled away
16:34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
Then the men who offered incense on behalf of Korah were killed by fire from Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ WILL NOT TOLERATE any departure from the Word of God to idolize men and exalt men above the authority of the Word of God!!! NO! NO! NO! A thousand times NO!
16:35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
Christ then commanded Eleazar to beat the censors into plates to cover the altar, that the people may see and remember to never rebel against any part of the Word of God.
16:36 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:37 Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed.
Those who compromise with or fail to zealously live by every Word of God, sin against their own lives.
16:38 The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before the LORD, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel. 16:39 And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar:
These Levites wanted to be the deciders and leader in rebellion against the Word of God; and they wanted to usurp this position by self will and open rebellion.
Today in the Ekklesia men rule by their own ways and are not diligent to live by every Word of God; thereby rebelling against many parts of the Word of God to do as they choose.
The time of separating the faithful to God from such people is almost at hand
16:40 To be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the LORD; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the LORD said to him by the hand of Moses.
Astounding! The next day the people accused Moses of killing God’s people!
16:41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.
The people gathered against Moses and Aaron and Jesus Christ came down in the cloud of glory to meet them.
16:42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. 16:43 And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.
The Eternal then told Moses and Aaron and the faithful to immediately separate themselves from the sinning people that he might destroy them. This same event is to soon be repeated as God’s two servants will call, by the Word of the Eternal, for the faithful to leave so that the faithless may be corrected in great tribulation
16:44 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.
Moses commanded Aaron to quickly offer an atonement for the people as the plague was upon them for their rejection of the Word and Will of their God. This is Jesus Christ doing this and destroying the unrepentant compromisers and tolerator’s of sin and the false ways of human imagination!
Because he has been a long time patient with us, does not mean that out correction will not come soon now.
16:46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
16:47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. 16:48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 16:49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
16:50 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
Jesus then moves to clearly identify who he has chosen as the high priest of Mosaic Israel.
Numbers 17:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod.
The name of the head of each tribe is to be written on Rods, with Aaron’s name written on the rod of Levi. God was going to clearly identify which tribe and which person he had called going to be the first high priest and father of the priesthood of physical Mosaic Israel.
17:3 And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. 17:4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
17:5 And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
Moses then obeyed and gave each a rod. This is very similar to the choosing of Matthias as an apostle in Acts 1:26.
17:6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 17:7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
The rod of Aaron had budded and bloomed and brought forth the fruit of almonds.
Here I want to point out that the Menorah lampstands in the tabernacle, were to be decorated as almond branches with almond buds, flowers and fruit.
We are nothing on our own and our own ways are nothing; it is the internalizing of the whole Word of God and living by every Word of God by his Holy Spirit dwelling in us [the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ living in us as they have lived through eternity], being totally zealous for the whole Word and Will of God the Father in heaven; which makes us shining lights in this dark world.
Tolerating false doctrine and sin, while idolizing men above the Word of God; quenches God’s Spirit and dims our light to extinction!
ONLY if we are filled with whole hearted Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God; will we be given the Spirit of God; ONLY if we follow God’s Spirit in passionate zeal to keep God’s Word, can our light truly shine! And ONLY then will we spiritually grow, bud and blossom and bear much fruit!
17:8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. 17:9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
Aaron’s rod was then set in the tabernacle as proof of the Mosaic priesthood of Aaron; and we who are called to the spiritual priesthood of Jesus Christ; if we remain steadfast and faint not, will grow, bud, blossom and bear fruit; as a shining light in the spiritual darkness of this world; not on our own, but through the Holy Spirit of God and its passionate zeal for the Word and ways of the Almighty.
17:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. 17:11 And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
The people now realized that Christ meant it when he said that they would die in their sins.
17:12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish. 17:13 Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?