The Rebellion Of Korah Is Alive And Well In Today's Church

One area of the Christian faith that is often disputed by those who reject the faith of the original apostolic Churches is the definition and office of the ordained “Priesthood”, as instituted by the apostles usually basing their objections on two points of conjecture. One being their misrepresentation of the verses that call all Christians “priests” while the other is that there is only one Priest in heaven and that is Jesus Christ.

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelations 1:6

These two arguments in themselves demonstrate the confusion within the minds of many of those that stand against the apostolic teachings. They cannot see that these two arguments conflict against each other, if in fact there is only one priest in heaven, how can we all be priests?

All claim they have structured their beliefs according to the scriptures yet if God had abolished the ordained priesthood then this would constitute a change in the ways of God, whom states that He never changes. They are also ignoring the words of the apostle Paul when he talks of the priesthood when he says,

“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Hebrews 5:4

If they accepted Paul’s words as truth then they would know that not everyone is chosen to fulfill the duties of a priest but only “he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Yet today we have countless numbers of men and even women declaring themselves Pastors or ministers with nothing more than some type of government recognition or popular opinion, but do they truly meet the criteria of God.

As for the women pastors, they not only lack any true anointing, but they are also are in direct violation of the commandment of God which expressly forbids women speaking during Church.

To those who rebel against Word of God in their attempts to justify themselves before men, the following scripture, along with the earlier verse Revelations 1:6, are often used to support their argument,

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5

To them, all who call upon the name of Christ are priests and therefore none can hold any specific rank or authority above another. They are confused as to how if all are priests as the scriptures state, then how can only some be called to perform the functions of a priest as the scriptures also state.

Possibly the reason these self-proclaimed pastors fail to understand their quandary is their choice not to learn from the following words of Jesus Christ,

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

When Satan vainly attempted to tempt Jesus by challenging His faith, the Lord rebuked the devil by stating that life comes from all of what God has spoken, not just through a few verses taken out of the overall context of the scriptures as a whole. If we then choose to follow Christ’s example, rather than Satan’s, we see that in the Book of Exodus the answer is recorded for us,

“‘And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:6

In Exodus we read that the people shall be “a kingdom of priests” and “a holy nation”, no different to Peter’s statement that the Christians are “a holy priesthood” and an “a spiritual house”. Thus, we see that both the Jews of Moses’ time and the Christians, were both all considered by God to be priests, but does this mean that God separates none for specific priestly duties.

In the book of Numbers, we read that amongst the Jews only some, being Aaron and his sons, were anointed with the duties of serving at the altar and any who dared to usurp their position was to be put to death, demonstrating the seriousness of the offence.

“herefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” Numbers 18:7

Moses, who was God’s authority or agent on earth, much like the apostles were to Jesus, anointed Aaron and his sons and they served as priests in accordance with their instructions from God.

However, some did not agree with the priesthood as the Lord had ordained it. Korah, Dathan and Abiram led about two hundred and fifty of the leaders of the people and challenged for the priesthood of God based on their claim that all the people were holy, using the same arguments that we see today.

“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?” Numbers 16:3

After hearing their words, Moses declared that those who wished to usurp the role of priest that the Lord had allotted to Aaron should offer incense along with Aaron and that God Himself would judge who spoke truth and who did not.

The following day when those involved came to offer their incense the Lord told Moses to instruct the congregation to move away from even the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, then after they complied the Lord showed His judgment.

**“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: 32And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33They, 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. 34And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. 35And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.“ ** Numbers 16:31-35

From this judgment of God, there can be no mistake that the duties of priest were not to be performed by just anyone of the Jewish congregation but only those whom the Lord allocated to the position. This was irrespective of whether the entire race was considered a “kingdom of priests” or not. Those that perished with Korah misunderstood the scriptures and in their pride, they would not listen to Moses and attempted to steal a position of honor of which they were not called.

It must then be asked, does this same principle apply within Christianity and does the priesthood still exist. Many today will answer “No, we are all priests”, but so would have Korah, Dathan and Abiram and they also used the same scriptural message as their evidence.

So is there a spiritual meaning to the statement we are all priests as opposed to a literal meaning in Revelations 1:6, Christians are called “kings and priests”, but are all Christians literally “kings” and if so where is their kingdom. It is obvious that not all are literally “kings” so we must examine what it means to be spiritually a priest as this is what the scripture must mean.

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalms 141:2

In Psalm 141, David asks that his prayer be set before the Lord as “incense”, but at no time did he literally offer it, as he knew this was a duty of the priesthood. Yet he did offer a spiritual incense through his prayers just as we can all offer spiritual sacrifices by the way in which we live our lives, such as we read in the following words of Paul,

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

By these words, we know that it is our very selves that are offered to the Lord. We do this by sacrificing our passions and desires and elect to live according to the Spirit of God. We are to serve the Lord in the way He instructed through His agents, the apostles, and the Church founded on them that hold firmly to those directives.

This next scripture gives us an example of what God considers an “acceptable” sacrifice for every believer.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16

In Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews, we read that we should praise God with thanks. These praises are not limited to singing, but extends to every utterance or “fruit of our lips”. The apostle also reminds us to do good and to share as these are also considered a sacrifice and in this next scripture, Paul calls the generosity of the Church of the Philippians a “sweet smell”, comparing it to the “incense” offered by a consecrated priest.

“But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.” Philippians 4:18

These forms of sacrifice are correct for the spiritual priesthood of all believers, whether in the time of Moses or amongst the Christians. They are a spiritual offering far different from those offered at the altar from a consecrated priest. The only variation between the duties of a consecrated priest of the Christian Church and those of Judaism is that the Jewish priest offered blood sacrifices for the atonement of sin, whereas Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for all the sins of the world if the sinner should “abide in the doctrines of Christ” (2 John 9).

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 9

However, nowhere in the scriptures does it state the ordained priesthood no longer exists, in fact if it did not then why would Paul had said the following concerning the priesthood,

“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Hebrews 5:4

The only true difference is that what the Jews called “sacrifices”, the Christian Church calls “sacraments”. However, what both duties have in common is that either can only be offered by a priest “called of God, as was Aaron”. To contradict this would be to be in agreement with the sin of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.

When reading the following scripture from Jude, keep in mind that it, like Paul’s previous verses, were written to Christians, not Jews. If Christianity no longer had consecrated priests then why would these things be said, as they would have no bearing on the Christian faith?

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 10-11

Unfortunately, the “gainsayings of Core (Korah)”, as Jude calls this action, is not isolated to one incident. The scriptures tell us of others who also tried to undermine the priesthood and usurp the position God appointed only to those of His choosing.

“And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 13:9

After King Saul had committed this sin, the Lord delivered His judgment though the prophet Samuel. Saul was told that because he did not keep the commandments, he would lose his kingdom and it would be given to a man who sought after God’s heart. What also is of note is that even though the Holy Spirit had come upon King Saul that he may prophecy (1 Samuel 10:10-11), after this the Spirit of God left him and the Lord punished him by sending a “evil spirit”.

“But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.” 1 Samuel 16:14

King Uzziah also received judgment from the Lord because he entered the temple with the intention to commit the same sin and for his rebellion against the Lord; he was given leprosy and cast out from amongst the people (2 Chronicles 26:19-21).

The question I put forward is by what authority in Christ did mortal men about five hundred years ago decide that someone could take upon themselves the role of an ordained priest, regardless of whether they hide it behind the titles of pastor, minister, reverend or anything else.

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John 10

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