Rebellion and Presumption

Rebellion and Presumption

Written by traveler

Just a little something to consider. The difference between true worship and idolatry is that in idolatry the people own their God and their God is there for their own benefit. But in true worship it is God that owns the people and the people submit to God.

Now the human race may have acquired a lot of knowledge over the generations but there basic nature has not changed one iota. They are still self centered and still like to be the ones in control and still seek their own position and importance and reputations. All that changes is how it is packaged.

The events that happened here is still being repeated in one form or another, hence it would be a good idea to examen the chapter. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom but familiarity breeds contempt. Once the fear departs wisdom wains. It is wise to remember just who God is and understand that he is also the final judge who determines our fates at his own discretion. We are to please him, He is not here to please us.

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Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Pallu, the son of Reuben, made themselves ready,

Num 16:2 And came before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty chiefs of the people, men of good name who had a place in the meeting of the people. [/quote]

This event starts off with a rebellion instigated against Moses by Korah, Dathan and Abiram. These three banded together in their own religiosity and started working through the ranks of the leadership of the nation to ferment discontent at the way things were being done and directed by Moses who they wanted to remove from above them and place themselves in the seat of power. Basically it was religious politics and a grab for the top spot.

They were so good at what they did that they managed to get 250 of the chiefs of the people to fall in line behind them. Now you would think that after all they had seen God do through the hand of Moses they would know better but unfortunately they still had the mentality of the pagan idol worship that they learned in Egypt where the Gods are expected to back who ever just happens to gain the top spot! They did not fear God or consider what God wanted because they considered themselves just as special as anyone else in the nation and God to behave just like the god Ra of the Egyptians.

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Num 16:3 They came together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, You take overmuch on yourselves, seeing that all the people are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; why then have you put yourselves in authority over the people of the Lord? [/quote]

Now it starts off with a false accusation. Moses and Aaron did not put themselves in a position of authority of the nation, God did! In effect they were challenging Gods decision directly but they rationalized this away by claiming that all the people of the nation were Holy and that Moses had no right to tell them what to do. Big mistake! They wanted to claim the moral high ground when in fact they didn’t have any except in their own minds. To this day self justification for selfish ambition is still prevalent.

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Num 16:4 And Moses, hearing this, went down on his face;

Num 16:5 And he said to Korah and his band, In the morning the Lord will make clear who are his, and who is holy, and who may come near him: the man of his selection will be caused to come near him.

Num 16:6 So do this: let Korah and all his band take vessels for burning perfumes;

Num 16:7 And put spices on the fire in them before the Lord tomorrow; then the man marked out by the Lord will be holy: you take overmuch on yourselves, you sons of Levi. [/quote]

Now the interesting thing here is that Moses did not allow himself to get caught up in defending himself or his position but instead placed himself at the mercy of God and told his accusers that it was the job of God to decide who he was willing to accept or not. The plan of action was for all those that believed that they knew the way things should be done to come before God and have God prove who he wanted.

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Num 16:8 And Moses said to Korah, Give ear now, you sons of Levi:

Num 16:9 Does it seem only a small thing to you that the God of Israel has made you separate from the rest of Israel, letting you come near himself to do the work of the House of the Lord, and to take your place before the people to do what has to be done for them;

Num 16:10 Letting you, and all your brothers the sons of Levi, come near to him? and would you now be priests?

Num 16:11 So you and all your band have come together against the Lord; and Aaron, who is he, that you are crying out against him? [/quote]

However Korah was a Levite so Moses did warn him that he was going against Gods commands by doing this. But things had progressed so far that pride would not allow him to back out.

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Num 16:12 Then Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: and they said, We will not come up:

Num 16:13 Is it not enough that you have taken us from a land flowing with milk and honey, to put us to death in the waste land, but now you are desiring to make yourself a chief over us?

Num 16:14 And more than this, you have not taken us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given us a heritage of fields and vine-gardens: will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.

Num 16:15 Then Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, Give no attention to their offering: not one of their asses have I taken, or done wrong to any of them. [/quote]

The other two instigators were of the tribe of Ruben so they knew full well that they had no place even being there so they backed out. When Moses called them to present themselves before God all they did was tell him how bad he was and how useless he was and that he was planning to promote himself chief over them when in fact Moses already was as in the form of the nations High Priest anyway.

Basically they behaved much the same as now when backed into a corner and not willing to meet a challenge they themselves instigated.

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Num 16:16 And Moses said to Korah, You and all your band are to come before the Lord tomorrow, you and they and Aaron:

Num 16:17 And let every man take a vessel for burning perfumes, and put sweet spices in them; let every man take his vessel before the Lord, two hundred and fifty vessels; you and Aaron and everyone with his vessel.

Num 16:18 So every man took his vessel and they put fire in them, with spices, and came to the door of the Tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.

Num 16:19 And Korah made all the people come together against them to the door of the Tent of meeting: and the glory of the Lord was seen by all the people.

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As it turned out Korah was the only one of the instigators left so Moses told him to take his stand against Aaron for the Lords favor and to come back the next morning with all those he had gathered to see who it was that God was going to accept. Korah did more than that, he brought the entire nation to come and stand against the leadership of Moses as if he thought that he could force Gods hand just by weight of numbers.

As far as religious politics went this guy had the masses eating out the palm of his hand but it was also quite obvious that he had no real understanding of the God he thought he could represent for his own ambitions. Not only that but he had caused the entire nation to step into sin by following him.

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Num 16:20 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

Num 16:21 Come out from among this people, so that I may send sudden destruction on them.

Num 16:22 Then falling down on their faces they said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, because of one man’s sin will your wrath be moved against all the people?

Num 16:23 And the Lord said to Moses,

Num 16:24 Say to the people, Come away from the tent of Korah Dathan, and Abiram.

Num 16:25 So Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the responsible men of Israel went with him.

Num 16:26 And he said to the people, Come away now from the tents of these evil men, without touching anything of theirs, or you may be taken in the punishment of their sins.

Num 16:27 So on every side they went away from the tent of Korah Dathan, and Abiram: and Dathan and Abiram came out to the door of their tents, with their wives and their sons and their little ones. [/quote]

Well crunch time had come, Korah had gathered all the nation behind him in his rebellion. Even though they all saw the glory of God above the Tent of Meeting they still wanted to challenge the Chosen of God and make Korah their high priest which in the context of their setting was basically the same as their king. They were not even asking god they were basically telling him what they now considered right in their own eyes.

Gods initial reaction was swift, he told Moses and Aaron to get out the way because he was just going to destroy the whole nation and be done with it. Fortunately Moses was the best High Priest that the nation could hope for and he put his own life on the line to plead with God that he not destroy the entire nation but Just those who had actually caused the people to sin in the first place. In fact Moses would save the nation over and over again in this manner because the people themselves just could not seem to grasp what God expected from them. They liked to consider themselves blessed and Holy but only on their own terms.

Long story short the families of the three initial instigators were isolated from the rest of the nation and God dealt with them directly.

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Num 16:28 And Moses said, Now you will see that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and I have not done them of myself.

Num 16:29 If these men have the common death of men, or if the natural fate of all men overtakes them, then the Lord has not sent me.

Num 16:30 But if the Lord does something new, opening the earth to take them in, with everything which is theirs, and they go down living into the underworld, then it will be clear to you that the Lord has not been honoured by these men.

Num 16:31 And while these words were on his lips, the earth under them was parted in two;

Num 16:32 And the earth, opening her mouth, took them in, with their families, and all the men who were joined to Korah, and their goods.

Num 16:33 So they and all theirs went down living into the underworld, and the earth was shut over them, and they were cut off from among the meeting of the people.

Num 16:34 And all Israel round about them went in flight at their cry, For fear, said they, that we go down into the heart of the earth.

Num 16:35 Then fire came out from the Lord, burning up the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the perfume. [/quote]

Well that basically settled the question of who God was willing to work through and it also made know what the fate would be of any who would presume to take on themselves any place of authority that God did not call them to. These people were not engaging in any form of personal devotion to God but wanted to use God to legitimize their own ambitions to rule over others with authority and power.

The only problem is that God is not an idol, he is the real power and authority and he is the one in Charge and the one that will be making all the decisions and those that wish to be called by his name or dwell under his wing do so on his terms only. He had built up this nation for his own inheritance from out this earth but the problem was that they had been in Egypt so long that getting them out of Egypt was to prove far easier than getting Egypt out of them. We face the same problem to this day. Redeeming us out this world is quite often the easy part. Getting the world out of us is the problem!

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Num 16:36 And the Lord said to Moses,

Num 16:37 Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he is to take out of the flames the vessels with the perfumes in them, turning the fire out of them, for they are holy;

Num 16:38 And let the vessels of those men, who with their lives have made payment for their sin, be hammered out into plates as a cover for the altar; for they have been offered before the Lord and are holy; so that they may be a sign to the children of Israel.

Num 16:39 So Eleazar the priest took the brass vessels which had been offered by those who were burned up, and they were hammered out to make a cover for the altar:

Num 16:40 To be a sign, kept in memory for ever by the children of Israel, that no man who is not of the seed of Aaron has the right of burning spices before the Lord, so that he may not be like Korah and his band: as the Lord said to him by the mouth of Moses.

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And so another tradition is established and a perpetual warning placed in plain sight so that this sin of presumption never be repeated again. Unfortunately there seems to be something lacking in human logic because they keep repeating the same mistake over and over again.

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Num 16:41 But on the day after, all the children of Israel made an outcry against Moses and against Aaron, saying, You have put to death the Lord’s people.

Num 16:42 Now when the people had come together against Moses and Aaron, looking in the direction of the Tent of meeting, they saw the cloud covering it, and the glory of the Lord came before their eyes. [/quote]

Well the next day the nation had recovered from their initial shock and now it was the blame game. Who was to blame and of course they could not blame God so it had to be the fault of Moses that all those people had died. Moses was the cause of it and they were all Gods people so Moses must be the bad guy that had God kill members of the nation.

Normal story, everything gets twisted around so as to serve self justification to the point where it is just an outright lie. Somehow the people just do not get it that God has a will of his own until God himself shows up in defense of his own anointed.

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Num 16:43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the Tent of meeting.

Num 16:44 And the Lord said to Moses,

Num 16:45 Come out from among this people, so that I may send sudden destruction on them. And they went down on their faces. [/quote]

Well there was a repeat of the sin so there was going to be a repeat of the reply. God has never shown any interest in a false rationalization so common to men. People have turned truth into a grey area determined on perspectives. But God is the author or truth and he sets the line between what is right and wrong.

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Num 16:46 And Moses said to Aaron, Take your vessel and put in it fire from the altar, and sweet spices, and take it quickly into the meeting of the people, and make them free from sin: for wrath has gone out from the Lord, and the disease is starting.

Num 16:47 And at the words of Moses, Aaron took his vessel, and went running among the people; and even then the disease had made a start among them; and he put spices in his vessel to take away the sin of the people.

Num 16:48 And he took his place between the dead and the living: and the disease was stopped.

Num 16:49 Now fourteen thousand, seven hundred deaths were caused by that disease, in addition to those who came to their end because of what Korah had done.

Num 16:50 Then Aaron went back to Moses to the door of the Tent of meeting: and the disease came to a stop. [/quote]

Now what Aaron did there was the early form of atonement before the law was given and the use of animal sacrifices introduced. The people had sinned against God and his judgment had already fallen. An atonement for that sin had to be made which normally goes along with repentance. Well after 14 thousand dead you can bet that there was repentance and a fear of God well and truly established. The Lords people finally got the message that they belonged to the Lord, the Lord did not belong to them.

Some practical advice

 

I wrote this as encouragement for a friend that is going though a hard time but thought that it may be of interest to others in the same boat as well.

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I have been looking at that word that the Lord gave you and I am now in the situation where the Lord is impressing upon me to give you a few examples out of my own life to demonstrate some points.

Lets ask a simple question about me. How much credibility do you think I have in the eyes of the regular Church body as a whole? Now lets face it, I not only wrote an article about Aliens but I refused to repent of it either.

When I first mentioned it a few years back everyone was blocking their ears so as not to be influenced by my blasphemy. And of course I was the focus of all the mock fests and the warnings would go out that you do not want to end up like me etc. But no one will forget me even if it is in a derogatory way and when the events do start to unfold those that mocked me and derided me will know that I was right and they will heed the warnings I gave even if they will never apologize for what they did and said to me and about me.

The same thing happened with my criticism of the prosperity teaching. I was first looked upon with shock then everyone started to distance themselves from me and to prove the point they even helped me to be poor. I have been labeled a false prophet even if I do not have the gift of prophecy, I have been shunned and ridiculed and held up as an example of what you do not want to become. and lectured too by total fools who think they have understanding but also think they look cool doing it. I have been able to look back over the years and as it turns out they are not doing too well after all. When the judgments come they are the ones that fall apart and I just breeze through like another day at the office.

So the questions are, am I that strange and bad. am I the dark horse that is not to be trusted, am I servant of Christ or an abomination to nature and the good order of the establishment. Well when the chips are down I have noticed that the creator of the entire universe is willing to listen to my prayer and help me out here and there while everyone else seems to be preoccupied with reciting their positive confessions until they drift away in a fallen state of disbelief as opposes of the gospels they once misinterpreted.

But the interesting thing to note is that most of the attacks that did the damage did not come from the world. The people in the world think that anybody that is religious is a little nuts anyway. In fact the world is surprisingly tolerant. The most harmful and hurting attacks came from inside the religious establishment. Now lets just think about that! There is the call for the unity of the saints but the battle fields are in fact located inside the religious establishments. That is where the front lines are. The battle fields are not found out in the world, that is satans home turf and no one there is interested in the gospels or what the saints are doing because it does not effect them.

But it is inside the religious establishments that the lines are drawn and the battle between good and evil takes place. That is where the interests in the gospels are to be found. When someone in the world is drawn to Christ they are brought into the religious establishments and that is where the battle to build them up or cause them to fall takes place. Bet you never realized that point, few want to look at it that way even though it is blatantly obvious.

Satan is opposed to the spread of the Gospels and the message of salvation whereby men are able to be reconciled to God. He wants to stop the spread of this information but he has a problem. Men have been given the authority through Christ to trample all over him and he is unable to defy that authority. The only way he can oppose this situation and retain a hold on his territory is to corrupt the gospel messages and cause the saints to fall into sin their by separating them from access to the authority they are entitled to if the remain faithful to their calling.

He cannot do this by leaving the church alone to train up the new converts in peace or the church will just grow stronger and stronger with each passing generation as their numbers grow. So he is compelled to take his battle right to the church leadership where he has to corrupt the teaching and introduce his deceptions so that the leadership will lead the flock astray thus enabling him to keep the church contained. Because of our short life spans he is able to practice this with each successive generation while keeping those that do come to the greater understandings isolated through peer pressures and in house politics motivated by power and greed. Hence the front lines of the battle is to be found in the upper ranks of the church itself. Satans weapons of choice is pride, ego and self esteem. Pump the higher ranks full of this until they are built up in self importance in their own sight and then insult them in the right way and all the negative emotions pour out to be manipulated in the right manner to tear the body apart from the top. Keep doing it over and over and disintegration starts to occur as the more skilled saints just get worn down.

So now the question becomes. How are you to conduct yourself in order to counter this and still be of service to the kingdom. The first thing to remember is that it is Christ himself that is the head of the church, not us. It is not our job to work out how to counter this and what strategy to employ where and when. That’s Christ’s job. We just worry about our own little area of responsibility, Jesus will worry about the bigger picture.

Then we have to keep ourselves out of the pride and self esteem trap. When we are going about serving the kingdom and someone that is supposed to be a part of the body just up and torpedoes all our work and effort how do we react? Or when we are falsely accused what is our emotional response? When we are labelled in derogatory terms and isolated from our fellow servants how do we react? If you start becoming an effective servant and moving in the spirit in any meaningful way all those things are going to be happening to you continually. Because that is the nature of the spiritual conflict that we are in.

The only way to counter this and defeat satans plans of engagement is by dieing to self. Dieing to self is not just some holy exercise to make you more spiritual. It is in fact the most effective and practical way to counter satans strategies of engagement in this spiritual conflict that is playing out all around us. Turning the other cheek is not all about being all Holy, it is a practical application of a defence strategy to counter satans negative emotional plays. It is achieved through an act of your own free will with deliberate intent of stopping the progression of division within the body. Yes you do stand up when you see deceptions being introduced and you do speak out against false doctrine etc but know when to stop before it becomes a case of hounding the person as opposed to stopping the spread of the heresy.

If correction comes your way do not allow your own ego to get bruised. Take a step back, examine and double check, if you are wrong correct, if not then stand your ground but defend your stand, do not attack the opposing person. If you are indeed right let the Lord vindicate you.

Anyway as you can see, serving the Lord is not a bed of roses. When I look back at my own life and then consider what the first Apostles wrote about their own lives I see little difference. In both cases it sucks. You cannot expect to enter a battle on the front lines and not expect to be pelted with the debris. You have to defend the flag and heal the wounded at the same time while rescuing the enslaved whom often do not even know that you are the good guy. Anyway I hope that helps you get things in perspective.