The Rebellion of Korah & The Spirit Of Division

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
Jude 11

Through the years there have been many ways in which our adversary has caused serious damage to the work of the ministry of the Gospel. One of the most destructive and costly tactics is the church split as demonstrated in the rebellion of Korah.

The usual pattern is not hard to discern as it tends to repeat itself. One comes along with the spirit of Korah who has the ambition to be a leader but does not want the humble road to the top. Instead, this spirit will join a group, or just walk alongside, and at first appear in agreement until they find their opening. A point of contention with enough “moral outrage” with which to garner support and thereby siphon from the work of another, presorted sympathetic followers.

In chapter 16 of Numbers we read about the rebellion promoted by a Levite, Korah. Great-grandson of Levi, there is no doubt he had much influence and authority, for he managed to gather after him two hundred and fifty men of renown, leaders of the people.

Jude gives us warning about the last days and how this very spirit would again appear and lead men into rebellion whom have not the calling nor character of those set apart by Yahuah Tzeva’ot in Messiah Yahusha. The meek would never divide the work of another.

Insight: What these who have this spirit do not realize is that the “korah spirit” is used of Elohim to purge the deceitful, duplicitous, treacherous, and dishonest. Those within the group who identify with a spirit of korah will be “drawn out” with the rebel and thus the group is cleansed. Woe to them who follow the spirit of Korah.

Inflated by his position, Korah promoted a demonstration of power before Moshe and Aaron in order to tear away their authority, exclaiming that Moshe and Aaron unduly exalted themselves over the people, where all should be equal.

You’ll notice that those with the spirit of “korah” only want to express the “equality of man” while they wrest power away from those chosen of Elohim. As soon as that power would have been usurped, there would have been a new leader. The message of “equality of all men” was only a ruse to get the support of others to tear down the authorized.

With his partners, Dathan and Abiram he instigated the people to revolt, asserting also that Moshe had brought Yashar’el “out of a land flowing with milk and honey” (Egypt) to kill them in the wilderness, and kept acting like a prince over them!

It was all a lie, without any foundation. Moshe hadn’t assumed the leadership of his own will, having shown much reluctance before accepting the mission which יהוה entrusted to him, and Aaron was also appointed by יהוה because Moshe needed a helper.

The people would have already entered the land of Canaan if it had not been for their unbelief. If they had followed the command of Moshe, they would now have been enjoying the true land which “flowed with milk and honey”, which was not Egypt where they had been enslaved.

Moshe, along with all those whom Elohim would appoint down through the ages, wanted nothing for himself, contrary to Korah, who provoked this rebellion because of envy. יהוה had defined the position and ministry of each one, including that of Korah, a coatite (Exodus 6:16,18; Numbers 3:17,28,29,31; 4:36; 26:57,62).

Intertwined with the spirit of Korah is the error of Balaam which we learn is to place a stumbling block in the way of the people of Elohim and seeking profit by cursing. One can not build a set apart work of Elohiym by cursing and causing others to stumble.

In his meekness, Moshe didn’t retort with insults or try to defend his position. With all humility he proposed to leave it to יהוה to indicate who He had chosen to be holy, that is, the man Elohiym had separated for Himself for a specific purpose.

It is Elohiym who makes the choice and enables His servants to discharge their particular services. Moshe knew what motivated them – even though they already had an important function in the Tabernacle, they wanted leadership for themselves in the exercise of priesthood. Moshe rebuked them for this and reminded them that they were acting against יהוה.

Dathan and Abiram did not want to cooperate in this test and made malicious accusations against Moshe and Aaron. This time Moshe became angry with such an injustice and declared his innocence before Elohiym.

יהוה’s judgement came, severe and swift. If it weren’t for the intercession of Moshe and Aaron, He would have consumed the whole congregation.

The main rebels, Korah, Dathan and Abiram were punished in a remarkable way: just as their purpose had been to separate the people, יהוה separated them from the people, then “the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.”

As Paul reminds us: “Do not be deceived, Elohiym is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

It is abominable for a man or a group to revolt against an order established by Elohiym, and to introduce something to divide His people.

The way to rebellion begins with discontent and, from the skepticism generated, passes on to complaints against circumstances and the order established by Elohiym, then acquires bitterness and resentment finally followed by rebellion and hostility.

Rebellion => Discontent
Skepticism => Complaints
Bitterness => Resentment
Rebellion => Hostility

The spirit of Rebellion is the spirit of Anti-Messiah.

Let us watch if we are discontented, skeptical, inclined to complain or to be resentful, these attitudes will take us to rebellion against Elohiym and the consequences will be serious for us, as they were for that people.

When brethren in the faith meet somewhere in the name of Mashiach regularly, accepting the lordship of the Master Yahusha and acknowledging the control of the Ruach HaQodesh, unconditionally submitting to the only and exclusive authority of the Word of Elohiym contained in the Bible, a assembly of Elohiym is formed.

Its main functions are worship, praise, thanksgiving, The Master’s Supper, prayer, supplication, intercession, communication and ministry (Hebrews 13:15-16, 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 20:7). There is no teaching or example in the Bible approving an interference or jurisdiction over the assembly by another, even less on the part of a person or group of people not belonging to it.

Even though they weren’t far from each other, the seven assemblies of Revelation were very different, yet יהוה didn’t order there to be any interference between them, or that one be “put out of fellowship” by the others because of its state.

Whenever a assembly is formed on this basis, Elohiym provides it with sufficient spiritual gifts for the edification of its members, which include those necessary for its leadership and administration (1 Corinthians 12).

The leaders responsible for the oversight of the assembly, known as elders, presbyters or bishops, are called by יהוה for this service, they are never elected by the flock (1 Corinthians 12:6,11).

The assembly is not ruled democratically, but it is the Ruach HaQodesh who binds its members, so that each may perform his part as it has been conceded to him.

New birth must be the experience of every believer who is a member of the assembly, but the spiritual condition, wisdom and ability of each one varies a lot. The leaders of the assembly which have been approved by Elohiym are recognized by their spiritual maturity, their wisdom in teaching and in leadership, and their dedication to the work.

The basic qualifications required are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-8 and Titus 1:5-20. Integrity of character is essential. We do not only look at their ability to teach or preach but their life, marriage, children, reputation among others, and manner of life are all at the “stricter judgment” level compared to the congregation.

Referring to the high priest, the Bible says: “no man takes this honour to himself, but he who is called by Elohiym, just as Aaron was” (Hebrews 5:4). So also the servants of Elohiym are chosen by Him, and we should never try to impose our will without His authority.

The New Testament teaches us to recognize the gifts of ministry (1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Ephesians 4:8,11,12), the overseers (elders, presbyters, bishops) and the servants (deacons) (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).

Even today we see assemblies being disturbed by jealousy and ambition of some of their members, who in their conceit want a prominent position for themselves, without admitting that Elohiym does not want them there, because they lack character or the necessary gifts or talents.

This results in rebellion against their leadership and even in the division of the assembly, Korah style. We are instructed to be clothed with humility and meekness (Colossians 3:12), as all authority in the assembly comes from Elohiym.

The members of the assembly are responsible concerning their leaders: to pray for them, to show appreciation of their work, to obey them, to hold them in esteem, to honour them, to give them financial support and to walk together united in whatever assignment Elohiym has assigned to that assembly for that time and place.

Just as the congregation isn’t competent to elect its overseers, it cannot dismiss them from their position by means of election. The overseer will give account to Elohiym for his performance (Hebrews 13:17), not to the flock. No accusation is to be received against an elder except from two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19).

Let us beware not to perish in the rebellion of Korah!

About The Author

Peter Michael Martinez

Released into Ministry in 1995, Apostle Peter Michael is an Emissary of the New Kingdom of YHWH, Elohim of Israel.