Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr
Series Code: GAB
Program Code: GAB000006
01:12 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
01:15 Father in heaven, we thank You so much
01:16 for the privilege of being here today.
01:19 And we ask that as we open Your Holy Word
01:22 that Your Spirit will come to be with us.
01:25 Teach us the lessons that we need to learn
01:28 from the story of Korah's Rebellion.
01:31 And we thank You for hearing our prayer
01:33 for we ask it in Jesus name, Amen.
01:37 As I mentioned in my prayer
01:39 today we are going to speak about Korah's Rebellion.
01:44 It's a very interesting story
01:45 that we find in Numbers Chapter 8.
01:49 Now in order to understand this story
01:51 I have to give you a little bit of background.
01:54 God shows Moses to be the ruler of Israel
02:01 and He also chose Aaron to be His spokesman.
02:07 In other words, Moses was supposed to sit
02:11 under throne of Israel
02:12 and Aaron was supposed to be the mouthpiece of Moses
02:18 before the congregation.
02:21 And we can express it as Moses being the king
02:25 and Aaron being the priest.
02:28 Actually, we're gonna find
02:30 that the roles of Moses and Aaron
02:32 represented the same roles of God the Father
02:36 as the ruler of the universe
02:38 and Jesus Christ the spokesperson for the Father
02:42 and actually the Priest of the God the Father.
02:46 Now we need to say a few things about the identity of Korah.
02:51 Korah actually decided at a certain point--
02:56 we're gonna notice in our study
02:58 to challenge the leadership of Moses and also of Aaron.
03:04 Even though God had chosen Moses as the leader
03:07 and Aaron as the priest Korah decided
03:10 that he was going to challenge this arrangement
03:13 which God had established.
03:15 Now who was Korah?
03:17 Korah was a member of the tribe of Levites.
03:21 But he was not of the house of Aaron.
03:25 So that's a very important distinction
03:27 because all priests had to be from the house of Aaron
03:31 and Korah was not of the house of Aaron
03:35 even though he was a Levite.
03:37 Now the Levites fulfilled very important tasks
03:42 in relationship to the sanctuary,
03:44 very important ministries and services
03:47 on behalf of the congregation.
03:50 In fact, we know that the Levites
03:54 had many functions relating to the sanctuary
03:57 and that actually they were set aside
04:01 by God by the lane on of hands.
04:05 In other words,
04:06 they were separated for their ministry,
04:09 they were separated for their functions
04:12 by God having hands laid upon them.
04:17 This will be a very important detail as we study along.
04:21 Now we're ready, to turning our Bibles
04:24 to the Book of Numbers Chapter 8
04:27 and let's read verse 10.
04:31 "So you shall bring the Levites before the Lord,
04:37 and the children of Israel
04:39 shall lay their hands on the Levites."
04:43 So the Levites were chosen and ordained by God
04:48 to the position which they occupied
04:50 in the sanctuary.
04:52 It's important to realize that the Levites were not priests.
04:58 They were called to a special ministry,
05:01 they were ordained by the lain on of hands
05:04 but they did not have the function of the priesthood
05:08 but they had very important functions in the sanctuary.
05:12 For example, they provided the music
05:15 in the sanctuary service.
05:18 Not only the choral music but also the instrumental music.
05:24 They were the ones who gathered
05:25 the tithes of Israel.
05:28 They bore the Arch of the Covenant.
05:31 They pitched and tore down the tent
05:34 as Israel walked through the wilderness.
05:37 They were the custodians of the temple
05:40 and of the sanctuary.
05:42 They actually flayed the animals.
05:45 And they also taught the law to the people.
05:48 They were teachers in Israel.
05:52 Now all though they were ordained
05:55 they were not ordained as priest before the Lord.
05:59 They were set aside for the function of a Levite
06:04 not for the function of the priesthood
06:06 which belonged to the family of Aaron.
06:10 This is a very important detail.
06:13 I'm sure that many of the Levites
06:16 were well qualified to serve as priest.
06:19 In other words, they probably knew
06:22 how to perform the work of the priest.
06:24 And may be some of them
06:26 could even perform the work of the priest
06:28 better than some of the priests.
06:31 But you see,
06:32 their function was determine not by their abilities
06:36 but by the fact that God had set them aside.
06:41 Now, we are going to notice
06:43 in our study today a parallel between
06:46 what happened with Korah's Rebellion
06:49 and what happened with the rebellion
06:51 of Lucifer in heaven.
06:54 Because, what happened in the days of Korah
06:56 was earthly small scale reflection
07:00 of the original rebellion of Lucifer
07:04 against God in heaven.
07:06 You see, Moses and Aaron would represent God the Father
07:10 who is the ruler of the universe
07:12 and Jesus Christ who is the spokesman of the Father.
07:16 He is the Word of God.
07:18 He is the Voice of God in other words.
07:22 And Jesus was set aside in a special way as God's Son.
07:28 He had a special position of honor and dignity.
07:33 But there was another individual
07:35 who had also been anointed because he is called
07:37 the anointed Cherub in Scripture.
07:40 In fact, this anointed cherub his name was Lucifer
07:45 was actually also a master musician.
07:51 He was the director of the heavenly choirs
07:53 just like the Levites
07:55 where the musicians in the sanctuary in Israel
07:59 and we know that Lucifer was also an instrumentalist.
08:03 Because we are told in Ezekiel 28
08:05 the timbrels and pipes were prepared for him
08:09 the day in which he was created.
08:12 In other words,
08:13 he was also set aside for a specific function
08:16 but he could not occupy the function of God the Father
08:19 and the function of Jesus Christ.
08:23 And so the time came going back to the story of Israel
08:28 that Korah became unsatisfied with his position.
08:33 He aspired to the position of being a priest
08:38 because he considered this to be a higher office
08:41 and a higher calling than of a mere Levite.
08:45 And eventually we're gonna find in this story
08:48 that he not only aspired
08:50 to occupy the position of a priest
08:53 but he also aspired to overthrow Moses from his throne
08:59 and become the ruler of Israel.
09:03 We find these very significant words
09:05 in Patriarchs and Prophets Page 395.
09:07 I'm gonna be using several quotations
09:09 from the chapter on Korah's Rebellion
09:11 because Ellen White describes this in such vivid terms.
09:16 She says "Korah became dissatisfied with his position
09:23 and aspired to the dignity of the priesthood.
09:28 The bestowal upon Aaron
09:30 and his house of the priestly office,
09:33 which had formerly devolved
09:35 upon the first-born son of every family,
09:38 had given rise to jealousy and dissatisfaction."
09:46 So you see that those who have been set aside as priests
09:50 were looked upon as rivals by Korah, interestingly, enough.
09:58 Now the same thing happened in heaven.
10:01 Lucifer desired the position of the king.
10:07 He desired the position of Jesus the spokesman of God
10:12 We all know the verses of Isaiah 14:13, 14.
10:16 Now I'm gonna read those.
10:19 Speaking about Lucifer it says,
10:20 "For you have said in your heart,
10:23 I will ascend into heaven,
10:25 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God,
10:30 I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
10:33 on the farthest sides of the north.
10:36 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
10:39 and I will be like the Most High.'"
10:42 I'm not gonna be a second-class citizen anymore.
10:45 I'm not happy with the position of the covering cherub.
10:48 I want to be like Jesus.
10:50 And eventually, he also wants to overthrow
10:53 the Father from his throne.
10:57 Ellen White perceptively
10:59 in Patriarchs and Prophets Page 35
11:02 describes the rebellion of Lucifer.
11:06 She says "Not content with his position."
11:08 Did you see this parallel here?
11:10 "Not content with his position,
11:12 though honored above the heavenly host."
11:15 As Korah was honored above the congregation of Israel
11:21 "He ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator.
11:26 Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections
11:31 and allegiance of all created beings,
11:33 it was his endeavor to secure their service
11:36 and loyalty to himself.
11:39 And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father
11:44 had invested His Son,
11:46 this prince of angels aspired to the power
11:51 that was the prerogative of Christ alone."
11:55 Dissatisfied with his position
11:58 to which he had been ordained by God
12:02 for which he had been anointed by God
12:04 and aspiring to a higher office
12:07 and being unhappy about the Father and the Son
12:10 having higher positions than he.
12:13 And so now a secret conspiracy began.
12:18 It's described like this
12:20 in Patriarchs and Prophets Page 395.
12:24 She says, "A deep-laid conspiracy was formed."
12:29 And you can find this in Numbers Chapter 16.
12:34 "The result of a determined purpose to overthrow
12:39 the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself."
12:46 Notice the description
12:47 a deep-laid conspiracy was formed
12:50 the result of a determined purpose to overthrow
12:54 the authority of the leaders appointed by God himself.
13:00 It's interesting to notice that,
13:01 Korah at first worked undercover by using deception.
13:08 We find these words
13:09 in Patriarchs and Prophets Page 395.
13:13 "For some time Korah had been secretly
13:18 opposing the authority of Moses and Aaron,
13:23 though he had not ventured upon any open act of rebellion."
13:28 In other words he had harbored these feelings
13:31 deep in his heart secretly undercover
13:34 wanting to occupy the position of Moses and Aaron.
13:38 Just like Lucifer wanted to occupy the position of Jesus
13:43 and ultimately the position of God.
13:46 In Patriarchs and Prophets Page 37
13:49 Ellen White tells us about Lucifer in heaven
13:52 "Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit
13:57 of discontent among the angels."
14:00 And now notice this.
14:01 "He worked with mysterious secrecy,
14:06 and for a time concealed his real purpose
14:10 under an appearance of reverence for God."
14:16 In other words he says,
14:17 I'm not really fighting to overthrow God
14:20 I really want to improve upon the government of God.
14:24 I'm doing this for the good of God in other words,
14:27 but actually he is opposing God as Korah
14:31 was opposing Moses and Aaron.
14:36 It's interesting, to notice that
14:38 Korah had a couple of coconspirators
14:42 that are mentioned by name.
14:44 Their names are Dathan and Abiram.
14:48 Interestingly enough Dathan and Abiram
14:51 were actually from the tribe of Reuben.
14:55 And Reuben was the eldest son of Jacob.
14:58 And so they said, the eldest son has the ruler ship function.
15:02 So we should be the ones sitting
15:05 upon the throne instead of Moses.
15:09 And so now the feelings
15:12 that had begun with Korah in his heart
15:15 which he had harbored
15:17 he begins whispering among the leaders of Israel.
15:24 And we are told in Patriarchs and Prophets Page 396
15:29 the following.
15:31 "Professing great interest in the prosperity of the people,
15:38 they first whispered their discontent to one another
15:43 and then to the leading men of Israel."
15:48 So it starts with Korah.
15:50 He whispers it to Dathan and Abiram
15:54 and then they start whispering it
15:57 among other prominent leaders in Israel
16:01 because in order for this rebellion to be successful
16:04 they have to recruit followers.
16:07 And so we're told in Numbers 16
16:10 that they were able to recruit 250
16:14 of the cream of the crop of Israel.
16:20 We're told in Numbers 16
16:22 if you read with me Numbers 16:2, 3.
16:27 "And they rose up before Moses
16:31 with some of the children of Israel,
16:34 two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation,
16:38 representatives of the congregation,
16:41 men of renown.
16:44 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron,
16:47 and said to them,
16:49 'You take too much upon yourselves,
16:53 for all the congregation is holy,
16:57 every one of them, and the Lord is among them.
17:01 Why then do you exalt
17:05 yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?"
17:09 What you makes you Moses think you're so great
17:13 that you can rule over Israel
17:15 and what makes you Aaron think
17:17 that you can be the only priest
17:20 along with your household in Israel?
17:23 Don't laud it over the people.
17:26 Commenting about this in Patriarchs and Prophets,
17:29 Page 396 Ellen White remarks,
17:33 "Korah and his fellow conspirators were men
17:40 who had been favored with special manifestations
17:45 of God's power and greatness."
17:47 Did you notice this?
17:49 They had been given special manifestations
17:54 of God's power and greatness.
17:56 She continued saying, "They were of the number
17:59 who went up with Moses into the mount
18:03 and beheld the divine glory."
18:06 In other words they were not the common folk of Israel
18:09 down in the valley at Mount Sinai.
18:12 These 250 leaders had actually
18:14 gone all the way to the top of Mount Sinai
18:16 and they had beheld directly the glory of God.
18:22 You know, it makes me think of Lucifer.
18:25 Lucifer had also been in the very presence of God.
18:30 He had been next to the throne of God.
18:33 He had actually shared in a certain sense
18:36 the glory of the throne of God
18:39 just like these leaders in Israel.
18:44 Now what actually did Korah, Dathan and Abiram
18:48 and the 250 leaders want?
18:51 Actually, what they wanted to do
18:52 was supposedly to improve the government.
18:57 They actually wanted to get rid of the laws
19:00 which restricted the freedom of Israel.
19:03 In Patriarchs and Prophets Page 397,
19:06 we find these words.
19:08 "They felt confident of making a radical change
19:15 in the government and greatly improving
19:20 upon the administration of Moses and Aaron."
19:26 What is that they wanted to do?
19:29 Supposedly they wanted to improve the government
19:33 make a radical change in the government
19:36 and they wanted to improve
19:37 the administration of Moses and Aaron.
19:41 And so now they start repeating among the people
19:44 you know Moses and Aaron they lauded over you,
19:47 they command you.
19:48 You know, if you really accepting our leadership
19:52 thinks would go much better
19:54 and you would have a lot more freedom.
19:59 And soon the people started repeating
20:01 what they heard from the leaders.
20:03 And then the leaders said,
20:04 see the people feel the same way we do.
20:08 But the leaders had planted this in the minds
20:11 of the people already.
20:12 So it wasn't the attitude of the people originally
20:14 it was the attitude of the leaders.
20:17 Speaking about the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven
20:20 we find something very similar.
20:23 These words come from Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 37.
20:27 Speaking about Lucifer
20:28 "He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws
20:33 that governed heavenly beings,
20:36 intimating that though laws might be necessary
20:40 for the inhabitants of the worlds,
20:42 angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint,
20:48 for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide.
20:52 They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God
20:56 all their thoughts were holy."
20:58 Interesting expression because Korah and Dathan
21:02 and Abiram says all of the people are what?
21:04 All of the people are holy.
21:07 "All there thoughts were holy,
21:09 it was no more plausible for them
21:12 then for God himself to err.
21:15 The exaltation of the Son of God has equal with the father
21:19 was represented as an injustice to Lucifer,
21:22 who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor.
21:28 If this prince of angels could but attain to his true,
21:32 exalted position, great good would accrue
21:37 to the entire host of heaven for it was his object
21:41 to secure the freedom for all.
21:45 But now even the liberty
21:47 which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end
21:51 for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them,
21:55 and to His authority all must pay homage."
22:00 So as what Lucifer is saying is
22:03 God and his Son Jesus are dictators.
22:07 And we need to overthrow those dictators
22:09 and if we do things will improve
22:12 we'll have liberty and freedom
22:14 and everything will function better.
22:18 Patriarchs and Prophets Page 38,
22:21 Ellen White amplifies this rebellion in heaven.
22:25 "He cunningly drew his hearers
22:29 on to give utterance to their feelings,
22:32 then these expressions were repeated by him
22:36 when it would serve his purpose,
22:38 as evidence that the angels were not fully in harmony
22:42 with the government of God.
22:44 While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God,
22:48 he urged that changes in the order
22:53 and laws of heaven were necessary
22:56 for the stability of the divine government."
23:02 Do you see how things are developing on earth
23:05 just like they developed originally in heaven
23:08 because the prince of darkness was behind both rebellions?
23:13 And so now Korah would have began with Korah
23:16 and continued with Dathan and Abiram
23:19 and continued with a 250 princess
23:22 now begins to spread among the people.
23:27 In fact, there was envy that led Korah to rebel
23:30 against the authority of Moses and Aaron.
23:32 Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 37
23:34 tells us "Jealousy had given rise to envy
23:38 and envy to rebellion."
23:42 In the same way Story of Redemption Page 14,
23:45 Ellen White says "Lucifer was envious
23:47 and jealous of Jesus Christ."
23:50 And so now these leaders have to recruit
23:53 people from among the congregation
23:55 to proliferate the rebellion.
23:59 And they felt that the best way to win them over
24:03 was to flatter them and make them feel good
24:07 about themselves and make them think
24:11 that Moses was an overbearing leader
24:16 who needed to be thrown of the throne.
24:20 I read from Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 398,
24:24 "Korah's success with the people increased his confidence
24:29 and confirmed him in his belief
24:32 that the usurpation of authority by Moses,
24:36 if unchecked, would be fatal to the liberties of Israel."
24:41 In other words if they still kept Moses on the throne
24:43 this would be a risk to the liberties of Israel.
24:47 "He also claimed that God had opened the matter to him,
24:52 and had authorized him to make" and now notice this
24:56 "to make a change in the government
24:59 before it should be too late."
25:03 In other words Korah is saying,
25:05 if I could be placed on the throne
25:08 everything would function well in Israel.
25:11 I wouldn't be dictatorial.
25:13 I wouldn't tell you what to do.
25:15 Everybody would be free to follow their own will.
25:19 There would be freedom indeed.
25:23 Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 398,
25:27 we find that the rebellion now
25:30 proliferates among the congregation.
25:32 It says "For a while
25:34 the work of Korah had been carried out secretly,
25:38 but now he came forward publicly."
25:40 Notice that first of all it was secret,
25:42 it was underhanded it was quite but now it says,
25:46 "He came forward publicly and openly challenged
25:50 the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
25:53 He openly charged that the people had been deprived
25:58 of their liberty and independence."
26:02 And so now the secret underhanded rebellion
26:05 becomes open rupture and revolt
26:10 among the children of Israel
26:12 and the congregation begins taking sides.
26:17 I'd like to read an interesting statement
26:19 from Patriarchs and--
26:20 actually it's from Volume 3 of the Testimonies
26:21 where the strategy of Korah, Dathan and Abiram is described,
26:28 how they were able to win over the people.
26:32 It says there, "There is nothing
26:35 which will please the people better
26:38 than to be praised and flattered
26:40 when they are in darkness
26:42 and wrong, and deserve reproof."
26:44 By the way this is happening immediately after
26:46 Israel has been excluded from the land of Canaan
26:49 if you look at the context.
26:51 Moses says, we're not going to going to Canaan now,
26:52 we're gonna spend 40 years in the wilderness.
26:56 And the people sent in a delegation
26:58 and they were defeated in the Promised Land.
27:01 And so they came back and cried,
27:02 they said Moses is to blame for this.
27:04 See if we didn't have Moses as our leader
27:06 Korah said I would take you into the Promised Land.
27:10 And so the people didn't want to hear
27:11 that they didn't go into the Promised Land
27:13 because it was so bad
27:14 because they sinned against Lord.
27:16 They wanted to hear how good they were.
27:18 She continues saying
27:20 "Korah gained the ears of the people,
27:24 and next their sympathies,
27:28 by representing Moses as an overbearing leader.
27:33 He said that he was too harsh,
27:35 too exacting, too dictatorial,
27:41 and that he reproved the people as though
27:43 they were sinners when they were a holy people,
27:47 sanctified to the Lord, and the Lord was among them.
27:52 Korah, the leading spirit,
27:55 professed great wisdom in discerning the true reason
27:59 for their trials and afflictions."
28:03 So the way in which Korah
28:05 was able to win over many of the people
28:07 was unflattering them
28:09 and telling them what they wanted to hear,
28:12 to make feel good about themselves if you please.
28:17 And so multitudes among Israel
28:19 now started joining the rebellion.
28:22 In fact, in Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 400
28:25 we are told "A large part of the congregation
28:29 openly sided with Korah."
28:33 Now what have been very easy for God
28:36 to simply snuff out Korah,
28:39 Dathan and Abiram, the 250 and all of those
28:43 who had participated in this rebellion
28:47 but it's interesting to notice
28:48 that God did not destroy them immediately.
28:52 Because it was necessary for Israel to see
28:55 the fruits of this rebellion before they were destroyed.
29:00 Interestingly, enough
29:02 when Lucifer rebelled in heaven God did not destroy him
29:07 and those who he recruited all at once.
29:10 In fact, we are told in Patriarchs and Prophets,
29:12 Page 41,
29:14 "God permitted Satan to carry forward his work
29:17 until his spirit of disaffection
29:21 ripened into active revolt."
29:26 And Revelation Chapter 12 tells us
29:28 that there was war in heaven.
29:32 "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon,
29:34 and the dragon and his angels fought."
29:37 What has began as a secret underhanded endeavor
29:42 now became open revolt
29:46 both in the days of Korah and also in heaven.
29:51 Now how did Moses confront this crisis in Israel?
29:58 We might have thought that Moses would have stepped forward
30:01 and said Korah, Dathan and Abiram,
30:04 "folks you want to know who I'm? I'm Moses.
30:10 I have been called by the Lord.
30:13 I'm the ruler of the Israel.
30:16 And don't you forget it."
30:19 He could have done that
30:21 but do you know that Moses actually
30:22 didn't even defend himself.
30:25 He must allow God to defend and describe his position.
30:31 Notice Numbers 16:4-5, Numbers 16:4-5,
30:37 it says "So when Moses heard it,
30:41 he fell on his face and he spoke to Korah
30:45 and all his company, saying,
30:48 'Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His"
30:52 who will show? The Lord will show.
30:55 "Who is His and who is holy,
30:58 and he will cause him to come near to Him.
31:02 That one whom He chooses
31:05 He will cause to come near to Him."
31:11 Ellen White commenting on this
31:13 in Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 400
31:16 has this to say, "It was evident
31:19 that the sympathies of the people
31:21 were with the disaffected party
31:24 but Moses made no effort at self-vindication.
31:29 He solemnly appealed to God,
31:32 in the presence of the congregation,
31:34 as a witness to the purity of his motives
31:37 and the uprightness of his conduct,
31:40 and implored Him to be his judge."
31:46 Now if you remember when Lucifer rebelled in heaven
31:50 when his position was questioned
31:54 what did Jesus say?
31:56 He said to Lucifer, don't you know who I'm.
32:00 I'm the son of the living God.
32:03 I'm your creator.
32:07 How dare you think that you can take My position
32:10 and my throne is that what happened? No.
32:13 Actually in Patriarchs and Prophets,
32:15 Page 36 a statement
32:16 which is rather long I'm not gonna read it.
32:19 Ellen White says that the Father
32:21 called all of the heavenly hosts together
32:24 just like the congregation of Israel is called together.
32:27 And now God the Father explained the position
32:33 of Jesus Christ to the heavenly hosts.
32:36 Jesus did not self-vindicate Himself
32:40 but He allowed His Father to explain His true position.
32:46 Now you might be wondering
32:47 what was so terrible about Korah
32:51 and the 250 leaders in Israel wanting to be priests.
32:56 What so bad about that?
32:58 Shouldn't you aspire to a high and holy office?
33:02 Allow me to read from Numbers 16:9-11
33:06 where the issue was--
33:07 because we're gonna come now to the application
33:09 how this applies to us today
33:12 because this whole story
33:13 is written many times in the church.
33:17 Now notice Numbers 16:9-11.
33:20 Here Moses is speaking and he says this,
33:23 "Is it a small thing to you
33:26 that the God of Israel has separated you
33:29 from the congregation of Israel,
33:32 to bring you near to Himself,
33:34 to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord,
33:38 and to stand before the congregation to serve them."
33:42 In other words, you think it's a small office
33:44 that God has called you to as Levites?
33:48 Continues saying in verse 10.
33:51 "And that He has brought you near to Himself,
33:54 you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you?
33:59 And are you seeking the priesthood also?"
34:03 What were they doing?
34:05 They were dissatisfied with their position.
34:08 They wanted an office
34:10 to which God had not called them.
34:14 They might have had the necessary qualifications
34:17 and the necessary abilities to perform it
34:19 but that made no difference
34:21 because they had not been called to that position.
34:25 In other words, aren't you satisfied with the position
34:27 that God has given you?
34:28 Why do you aspire to the priesthood?
34:32 In verse 11 it says
34:33 "Therefore you and all your company
34:36 are gathered together" and I want you to notice this
34:39 "are gathered together against the Lord.
34:44 And what is Aaron that you murmur against him?"
34:48 Who are they rising against
34:50 when they desired the office of the priesthood
34:53 and they were not satisfied with the office
34:55 to which God had called them?
34:58 They were rebelling against the Lord.
35:02 They were repeating the story of Lucifer in heaven
35:05 who was dissatisfied with the position
35:07 for which God had anointed him
35:09 and he wanted a higher position.
35:11 He wanted the position of the king
35:13 and he wanted the position of his spokesman.
35:18 You see, only ministers which have been ordained
35:23 by God for that function
35:25 had the right to minister in the sanctuary.
35:31 They did not seek their position.
35:34 They did not campaign for their position.
35:38 They were called by God to their office
35:41 and all of the rest no matter what their ability was,
35:45 were disqualified
35:47 because they were not called to that holy office.
35:52 I'm sure that many of those 250 individuals
35:55 were very well qualified and had the ability
35:58 to perform the work of the priesthood
36:01 in terms of being able to do it
36:04 but what disqualified them or qualified them
36:07 was not whether they were able to do it
36:10 or not whether they could it well or not
36:13 it was whether God had called them
36:15 to that particular function and position.
36:19 They were disqualified not because of their abilities
36:23 they were disqualified because God had not called them
36:27 to this sacred office.
36:30 And the same was true with Lucifer.
36:32 He was called to a specific position
36:36 to occupy under the leadership
36:38 of God the Father and his Son Jesus.
36:41 Just like Korah was to be and the Levites
36:44 were to be under the direction of Moses as the ruler
36:48 and Aaron as the priest.
36:51 It's interesting to notice how God chose to vindicate
36:55 the leadership of Moses and Aaron
36:58 and you know this is something terrible.
37:00 You know that these are the passages of scripture
37:02 that we don't we like to read
37:04 when we talk about the character of God.
37:06 You know we like to study the gospels
37:08 you know about Jesus being loved
37:09 and by the way God has loved even
37:11 and what we're going to read about
37:14 because when you start aspiring into position
37:16 for which God has not called you the result is disorder.
37:21 See, God has established a certain order
37:24 for things to function properly
37:26 and when you try to occupy a position
37:28 that you were not been called for to
37:31 then your position is left vacant
37:33 and the result is chaos in the congregation,
37:36 chaos in the universe.
37:38 You see the angels they fulfilled the mission
37:40 for which God has called them.
37:42 And there are different ranks of angels.
37:44 And all of the loyal angels fulfill the role
37:47 that God has called them to.
37:48 They don't aspire to a higher or to a lower position.
37:51 They simply take their orders from the Lord.
37:53 Notice, Numbers 16:29-30.
37:58 Here Moses is speaking and he says this,
38:00 "If these men die naturally like all men."
38:04 As if they a natural death
38:06 all though there is nothing natural about death.
38:09 "Or if they are visited by the common fate of all men."
38:13 In other words, they pass-away because they got old.
38:17 "Then the Lord has not sent me.
38:22 But if the Lord creates a new thing,
38:25 and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up
38:29 with all that belongs to them,
38:32 and they don't go down alive into the pit."
38:37 That's a very important expression "alive into the pit."
38:40 "Then you will understand
38:43 that these men have rejected the Lord."
38:46 Who were they rejecting by aspiring to an office
38:49 to which God had not called them?
38:51 They were rejecting the Lord.
38:53 This is serious folks, very serious.
38:57 And do you know what happened?
39:00 It tells us in Numbers Chapter 16
39:02 that "they did not die a natural death."
39:06 In fact we are told
39:08 that "God vindicated the leadership
39:12 of Moses and Aaron by making the earth open up
39:17 and swallow up Korah and the conspirators,
39:22 the fellow conspirators were burned with fire
39:27 that fell from heaven and the people
39:30 who sympathized with them also perished."
39:33 You know this is a serious matter,
39:37 this aspiring into a position
39:39 which God has not called you to,
39:41 even if you have the qualifications
39:43 to perform it.
39:45 Now let's read Numbers Chapter 16
39:48 beginning with verse 31.
39:50 It describes this moment.
39:51 It says "Now it came to pass,
39:53 as he finished speaking all these words,
39:55 that the ground split apart under them,
39:59 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up,
40:04 with their households and all the men with Korah,
40:08 with all their goods.
40:10 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit."
40:15 I want you to remember expression alive into the pit.
40:18 "The earth closed over them,
40:21 and they perished from among the congregation.
40:25 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry,
40:29 for they said, 'Lest the earth swallow us up also!"
40:33 And notice that not only did the earth,
40:36 the pit or the abyss swallows them up
40:38 But it says, "And a fire came out from the Lord
40:41 and consumed the two hundred and fifty men
40:45 who were offering incense before the Lord."
40:50 I guess God takes very seriously people
40:53 who officiate as ministers
40:55 when they are not called to be ministers.
41:00 And he wanted God, he wanted Israel to remember this.
41:04 And so do you know what was done
41:06 with the 250 sensors because the story says that,
41:09 that the 250 princess brought their senses
41:12 and they were gonna offer
41:13 the incense in the sanctuary just like priests.
41:16 And Moses said, "Bring your sensors."
41:18 And that's when they were swallowed up
41:20 when they were gonna exercise the position
41:22 for which God had not called them.
41:25 Do you know what was done with the sensors?
41:28 The sensors were hammered out
41:31 and they were used as a covering for the altar
41:34 so that every time that Israel contemplated the metal
41:42 that had been hammered out
41:45 and that covered the altar
41:46 they would remember this rebellion
41:50 so that they would not repeat the same rebellion.
41:53 In fact, it says
41:57 about hammering out these sensors
42:00 to be a memorial to the children of Israel.
42:03 Now listen to this that "no outsider,
42:07 who is not of the descendants of Aaron,
42:10 should come near to offer incense before the Lord
42:14 that he might not become like Korah and his companions
42:18 just as the Lord had said to him through Moses."
42:23 And so the leadership of Moses and Aaron was vindicated.
42:29 Have you ever read the way
42:32 in which Satan and his followers will come to their end?
42:36 In Isaiah 14:15, it says
42:40 "that Satan will end up swallowed in the pit."
42:45 And Revelation Chapter 20 in several verses
42:48 speaks about those who are rebellious against the Lord
42:51 who were outside the congregation of Israel
42:54 says fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
43:00 Now do you know that this story as I,
43:02 as we have noticed in our study
43:05 is actually a type of the great controversy
43:07 between Christ and Satan on a narrow scale.
43:11 Allow me to read you a statement
43:12 that we find in Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 403
43:17 where Ellen White grasps this parallel
43:19 that I'm sharing with you this morning.
43:20 It's not an invention of mind
43:22 it's actually found in Patriarchs and Prophets.
43:25 This is what she says,
43:26 "In the rebellion of Korah is seen the working out,
43:31 upon a narrower stage, of the same spirit
43:36 that led to the rebellion of Satan in heaven.
43:40 It was pride and ambition that prompted Lucifer
43:44 to complain of the government of God,
43:47 and to seek the overthrow of the order
43:50 which had been established in heaven.
43:52 Since his fall it has been his object to infuse
43:56 the same spirit of envy and discontent,
43:58 the same ambition for position and honor,
44:02 into the minds of men.
44:04 He thus worked upon the minds of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,
44:08 to arouse the desire for self-exaltation
44:12 and excite envy, distrust, and rebellion.
44:16 Satan caused them to reject God as their leader,
44:20 by rejecting the men of God's appointment.
44:25 Yet while in their murmuring against Moses and Aaron
44:27 they blasphemed God, they were so deluded
44:31 as to think themselves righteous,
44:33 and to regard those who had faithfully reproved their sins
44:37 as actuated by Satan."
44:42 Is His spirit still alive
44:45 and dwell on planet today? Absolutely.
44:51 Now allow me to give you some
44:54 actual practical present examples
45:02 and I'm going to get myself
45:03 in a little bit of hot water right now.
45:05 This is an issue which I don't usually touch upon,
45:12 the issue of the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.
45:19 According to the scriptures has God called
45:22 women to be ordained to the gospel ministry? No.
45:29 Has He given women a function,
45:31 a very important function of service in the church?
45:35 Absolutely, like the Levites
45:39 but he has not called them to be ministers,
45:46 Gospel ministers.
45:50 And you know people
45:51 who argue in favor of the ordination of women say
45:54 women can do things just as well as men can.
45:57 True, I'm sure many of the Levites
46:00 could do things just as well as the priest
46:06 but what disqualified them was not ability
46:09 or not having ability what disqualified them
46:12 was the fact that God had not called the Levites
46:17 to that particular branch of ministry.
46:19 It didn't mean that they were inferior
46:21 but they had a different what?
46:23 They had a different function.
46:25 And, you know, this falls issue is created
46:28 that the Fresno Central Church
46:30 does not believe that women and men are equal
46:35 because we don't believe that we should ordain
46:37 women to the gospel ministry.
46:38 Let me explain this, the Bible says
46:42 that God the Father is the head of Jesus.
46:47 Jesus takes His order from His Father
46:52 even after sin comes to an end.
46:55 The Bible says "that the Son
46:57 would subject himself to His Father
46:59 so the Father is all in all."
47:02 And so I suppose that
47:03 because Jesus has subjected Himself to His father
47:06 and He accepts His father as the head
47:09 that Jesus is inferior to His Father.
47:12 No, because Jesus said I and My Father are what? Are one.
47:18 The Father and the Son are equal
47:20 but they have different functions.
47:24 Are you following me?
47:26 And so it is with the gospel ministry I love,
47:29 I love the women of the church
47:32 and women in the church have many ministries
47:35 that they should be involved
47:36 in that God has opened them for them
47:39 but the gospel ministry is not one of them.
47:42 Does that mean the pastor Bohr is a male chauvinist pig?
47:46 No, you know that I'm not that way.
47:49 It simply means that we want to preserve here
47:52 the gospel order that God has established.
47:55 Now if God had not called women to the gospel ministry
47:58 and they are campaigning
48:01 to be the members of the gospel ministry
48:03 and they are looking to occupy that position
48:06 in the gospel ministry.
48:07 Let me ask you in what way is that different
48:10 then what Korah, Dathan and Abiram wanted?
48:15 I leave that for food for thought
48:16 it got very quite in here.
48:19 Do I believe that women are inferior than men?
48:22 No, what I believe is that
48:23 women have a different function than man.
48:26 And by the way I'm not alone there are many denominations
48:29 non-Adventist denominations that have gone down this road.
48:32 They have followed the Bible order.
48:36 Is the spirit still alive today of people
48:38 who criticize the preacher because he says thanks
48:41 that people don't like?
48:44 No, not at central all those people have left.
48:52 The spirit is still well alive
48:55 because many people come to church
48:56 because they want to hear smooth things.
48:58 They want to hear nice things.
48:59 They want to hear the preacher say
49:01 about how good they are and how wonderful they are.
49:05 You know one time somebody said to Ellen White
49:07 I think you should preach less about duty
49:09 and more about the love of Jesus.
49:11 And Ellen White said
49:12 "I will preach what God asked me to preach."
49:16 Yes the love of Jesus along with duty.
49:20 It's not either, or.
49:23 Let me ask you, is this spirit of rivalry
49:27 still alive at constituency meetings?
49:32 No, now George Johnson who is here
49:36 he can identify with this a little bit better.
49:38 Central California has had
49:39 very peaceful constituency sessions.
49:41 Not much politicking you know people go in
49:43 we vote everybody back in and in a matter of half-an-hour
49:47 and then we do our constructional
49:49 and bylaws business and then we are gone.
49:51 Praise the Lord.
49:52 But I have been conferences
49:54 where there are individuals maneuvering
49:57 to get those higher positions in the conference office.
50:01 Some individuals even wanting to knockoff
50:03 the president of the conference so they can be president.
50:07 Whose spirit is that?
50:09 That's a spirit of Lucifer.
50:11 It also happens in the local church
50:13 around nominating committee time.
50:15 Oh, bring it closer to home here.
50:19 There are people who aspire to a certain position
50:22 and if they are not elected to that specific position
50:25 they are offended.
50:26 They say how dare they not have placed me
50:28 as an elder this year
50:30 or how dare they place as a mere deacon
50:34 when I should be an elder
50:36 or I wanted to be a Sabbath school superintendent.
50:39 It happens the same today and all of these issues
50:43 really go back to the spirit of Lucifer.
50:47 The spirit of wanting to be up there,
50:50 the spirit of one to have a higher position,
50:52 not being satisfied with the position
50:55 which God has placed us in.
50:59 You know there is no better place
51:00 than the place that God has given to us to serve.
51:05 And Jesus taught that by saying that the greatest
51:08 is the person who saves the most.
51:12 Now allow me to get into another little controversial issue
51:15 before we come to end.
51:18 You know theirs is this common idea
51:21 that in marriage there was no order.
51:24 Do you know that God established a certain order in marriage
51:27 the man is the head of the wife?
51:32 And the apostle Paul said after Jesus died on the cross
51:35 that the wife is to be subjected to her husband.
51:38 Oh, no I may get in trouble here
51:40 I have to go up the backdoor.
51:44 Is that the order God has established?
51:47 And when that order is not respected what do you have?
51:51 You have chaos, you have disorder.
51:56 Now at the same time God says
51:58 that wife should be subject to their husbands
52:01 but he also says husbands love your wives.
52:04 Let's look at the other side of the equation.
52:06 See it's not a problem being subject
52:08 if your husband loves you.
52:11 For Jesus there is no problem being subject to his Father
52:14 because He knows His Father loves Him.
52:16 His Father would only do
52:18 that which is in His good own good interest isn't right?
52:22 And so for Jesus it's a peace of cake
52:25 to be subject to the will of His Father
52:27 because He knows that His loves Him.
52:31 And so it should be in marriage
52:32 the man should be the head of the household,
52:35 the woman should be subject to her husband
52:38 but the husband should love his wife.
52:42 And apostle Paul says
52:43 "he should love his wife as himself."
52:47 You shall love your neighbor as yourself,
52:49 you should love your wife as yourself.
52:53 Basically the Lord Jesus expressed this concept
52:56 that I'm trying to share with you today.
52:59 when he says
53:01 "He who exalts himself will be humbled,
53:07 and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
53:11 This is the essence of the teachings of Jesus.
53:15 You see, Jesus gave the example.
53:17 Jesus was way up there in heaven
53:21 and it says in Philippians Chapter 2
53:24 that He made himself of no reputation
53:27 He emptied himself and He became a servant.
53:31 Then have to but He who is the ruler becomes a servant.
53:36 And then in Philippians 2
53:38 it says that it because He became a servant
53:40 the Father gave Him a name that is above every name
53:45 and He has called upon every knee
53:47 to bow in the name of Jesus.
53:50 Because Jesus humbled himself, He was exalted.
53:56 Lucifer was different because with Lucifer
54:00 you have him occupying this position down here
54:03 and he says I want that position up there.
54:07 And so instead of humbling himself
54:09 he exalts himself.
54:12 And where is he gonna end up?
54:14 In the pit down there.
54:18 So you have the mystery of godliness
54:19 and mystery of iniquity.
54:21 The mystery of godliness is when you are up here
54:26 and you come down to serve and then God exalts you.
54:29 The mystery of iniquity is when you're down here
54:32 and you want to occupy this high position
54:34 for which God has not called you
54:36 and as a result you will be humbled.
54:40 I'd like to end by reading a passage
54:42 from Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 404
54:45 where Ellen White making the final application
54:48 of this story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram says this.
54:51 "It is by sinful indulgence
54:54 that men give Satan access to their minds,
54:59 and they go from one stage of wickedness to another."
55:04 It is by sinful indulgence.
55:05 Notice, "The rejection of light darkens the mind
55:11 and hardens the heart,
55:14 so that it is easier for them to take the next step in sin
55:19 and to reject still clearer light,
55:22 until at last their habits of wrongdoing become fixed.
55:27 Sin ceases to appear sinful to them.
55:31 He who faithfully preaches God's word,
55:35 thereby condemning their sins,
55:38 too often incurs their hatred.
55:42 Unwilling to endure the pain
55:43 and sacrifice necessary to reform,
55:46 they turn upon the Lord's servant
55:48 and denounce his reproofs as uncalled for and severe."
55:54 Now there's when the preacher points out sin
55:58 stone the preacher don't change the sin.
56:02 She continues to saying
56:04 "Like Korah,
56:05 they declare that the people are not at fault,
56:09 it is the reprover that causes all the trouble.
56:13 And soothing their consciences with this deception,
56:18 the jealous and disaffected combine
56:21 to sow discord in the church and weaken the hands of those
56:27 who would build it up."
56:30 Folks, lets not be on that side.
56:33 Ellen White says that the emptying of self
56:37 is the essence of the teachings of Jesus.
56:40 Making self of non effect, making others first,
56:47 humbling yourself
56:48 and do you know what God some day is gonna exalt us
56:50 don't worry about it.
56:52 You know as "he who exalts himself will be humbled
56:57 and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
57:01 And so may God help us to be satisfied
57:04 with the position that we have
57:07 and do with the smiling with joy
57:09 as a result that the church will be much more coordinated.
57:12 It will function in the order that God has established
57:16 and we will have joy and we will have peace
57:20 in our personal experience in our walk with the Lord.