The Church, Korah and a Rich Man

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. Therefore do and observe everything that they tell you, but do not do as they do, for they tell others to do something and do not do it themselves.

W. Hall Harris III et al., eds., The Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Mt 23:1–3.

What does the church, Korah and a rich man all have in common? There are other people in this group, such as Jannes and Jambres, who all had a specific trait that made them stand out. That trait is that they opposed Moses. Yeshua told his disciples to do everything the scribes and Pharisees tell them sitting on the seat of Moses. They read the words of Moses while sitting on this seat. Why would we want to oppose Moses if we are disciples of Yeshua?

Korah was a Levite and he and his sons had a serious occupation. Their job was to carry the ark of the covenant.

Numbers 3:29–32 (LEB)

29 The clan of the descendants of Kohath will encamp on the side of the tabernacle to the south. 30 The leader of his family according to the clans of the Kohathites is Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 Their responsibility was the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary, with which they ministered, and the curtain, and all of its use. 32 The chief of the leaders of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the priest who had oversight of those keeping the responsibility of the sanctuary.

Korah was a grandson of Kohath, son of Levi, and he decided he should not have to listen to Moses anymore.

Numbers 16:1–3 (LEB)

16 Now Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, the descendants of Reuben, took two hundred and fifty men from the Israelites, leaders of the community summoned from the assembly, renowned men, and they confronted Moses. They were assembled in front of Moses and Aaron, and they said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves! All of the community is holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is in their midst, so why do you raise yourselves over the assembly of Yahweh?”

Korah basically asked Moses, “who died and made you boss?”. People do not like answering to authority, and everyone wants to be the one in charge. Moses was a humble servant of God who was trying to follow the instructions the Creator, Yahuah, gave him.

Numbers 16:4–7 (LEB)

When Moses heard this, he fell on his face. And he said to Korah and to his entire company, saying, “Tomorrow morning Yahweh will make known who is his and who is holy, and he will bring him near to him, whomever he chooses he will bring near to him. Do this: take for yourselves censers, Korah and all of your company; tomorrow put fire in them and place incense on them before Yahweh; the man whom Yahweh chooses will be the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, sons of Levi!”

This was a group of people that did not want to take direction from Moses any more. They were rebelling against Moses and felt that they were right and God would understand their heart. What they didn’t realize, apparently, is that Moses was doing exactly what Yahuah commanded him to do.

Numbers 16:8–14 (LEB)

And Moses said to Korah, “Please listen, sons of Levi! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel set you apart from the community of Israel to allow you to approach him to do the work of the tabernacle of Yahweh, to stand before the community to serve them? 10 He has allowed you to approach him, you with all your brothers, the descendants of Levi, but yet you also seek the priesthood. 11 Therefore you and your company have banded together against Yahweh. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”

12 Moses sent to call for Dathan and Abiram son of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come! 13 Is it too little that you have brought us from a land that flows with milk and honey to kill us in the desert, and that you also appoint yourself as a ruler over us? 14 Surely, you have not brought us to a land that flows with milk and honey, and you have not given us the inheritance of fields and a vineyard. Will you gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come!”

Once Creator Yahuah got involved things became very clear as to who should be listening to whom and which people were put in charge by the Creator himself.

Numbers 16:18–35 (LEB)

18 So each of them took his censer, and they put fire on them, and they placed incense on them; they stood at the doorway of the tent of the assembly of Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah summoned them, the entire community, by the doorway of the tent of assembly, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the community.

20 And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from the midst of this community, that I can destroy them in a moment.” 22 And they fell on their faces, and they said, “God, God of the spirits of all flesh, will one man sin and you become angry toward the entire community?”

23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the community, saying, ‘Move away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ” 25 So Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed after him. 26 He said to the community, saying, “Please turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything that belongs to them, or you will be destroyed with all their sins.27 And so they moved away from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out standing at the doorway of their tents, with their wives, sons, and little children. 28 And Moses said, “In this you will know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works; it is not from my heart. 29 If they die a natural death or if a natural fate is visited upon them, Yahweh has not sent me. 30 But if Yahweh creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up and all that belongs to them, and they go down alive to Sheol, and you will know that these men have despised Yahweh.”

31 And it happened, as soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open. 32 The land opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their houses and every person that belonged to Korah and all the property. 33 They went down alive to Sheol, they and all that belonged to them, and the land covered over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 All Israel who were around them fled at their cry, because they said, “Lest the land swallow us up!” 35 And fire went out from Yahweh, and it consumed the two hundred and fifty men presenting the incense.

Opposing Moses has consequences. These men were burned up and buried alive. Before anyone left Egypt, there were two men, the sons of Balaam, who also opposed Moses, which Paul equates to opposing the truth, because Psalm 119:142 (LEB), “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth.”.

2 Timothy 3:8–9 (LEB)

And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these oppose the truth, people corrupted in mind, disqualified concerning the faith. But they will not progress to a greater extent, for their folly will be quite evident to everyone, as also the folly of those two was.

This is the only place in the sixty-six book bible that Jambres and Jannes are mentioned. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature has this to say about Jannes and Jambres:

Jannes and Jambres are thought to have been two of the Egyptian magicians who attempted by their enchantments (לָטַים, Exo_7:22, etc.; or לְהָטַים, Exo_7:11, secret arts) to counteract the influence on Pharaoh’s mind of the miracles wrought by Moses (see Exodus 7, 8). Their names occur nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures, and only once in the New Testament (2Ti_3:8), where Paul says no more than that they “withstood Moses,” and that their folly in doing so became manifest (2Ti_3:8-9). He became acquainted with them, most probably, from an ancient Jewish tradition, or, as Theodoret expresses it, “from the unwritten teaching of the Jews.” They are found frequently in the Talmudical and Rabbinical writings but with some variations.

We also can find an account of Jannes and Jambres in the book of Jasher:

And Phar’oh said to Mosheh, What do you require? and they answered him, saying, Yahuah Elohiym of the Ivriym has sent us to you, to say, Send forth my people that they may serve me. And when Phar’oh heard their words he was greatly terrified before them, and he said to them, Go today and come back to me tomorrow, and they did according to the word of the king. And when they had gone Phar’oh sent for Bil`am the magician and to Iannes and Iambres his sons, and to all the magicians and conjurors and counselors which belonged to the king, and they all came and sat before the king. And the king told them all the words which Mosheh and his brother Aharon had spoken to him, and the magicians said to the king, But how came the men to you, on account of the lions which were confined at the gate? And the king said, Because they lifted up their rod against the lions and loosed them, and came to me, and the lions also rejoiced at them as a dog rejoices to meet his adoniy. And Bil’am the son of Be’or the magician answered the king, saying, These are none else than magicians like ourselves.  YASHAR (JASHER) 79:25-30 את CEPHER

Jannes and Jambres’s fate is unclear. Some sources say they drowned in the Red Sea with Pharoah’s army and others have them still with their father Balaam opposing the Israelites. Either way, opposing Moses only brought them hardship and ultimately death.

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we find Moses being opposed indirectly. We have to infer that Moses was opposed by the rich man and his brothers by the way the parable ends.

Luke 16:19–31 (LEB)

19 “Now a certain man was rich, and dressed in purple cloth and fine linen, feasting sumptuously every day. 20 And a certain poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, lay at his gate, 21 and was longing to be filled with what fell from the table of the rich man. But even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 Now it happened that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. And the rich man also died and was buried. 23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes as he*was in torment and saw Abraham from a distance, and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he could dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering pain in this flame!’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received your good things during your life, and Lazarus likewise bad things. But now he is comforted here, but you are suffering pain. 26 And in addition to all these things, a great chasm has been established between us and you, so that those who want to cross over from here to you are not able to do so, nor can they cross over from there to us.’ 27 So he said, ‘Then I ask you, father, that you send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he could warn them, in order that they also should not come to this place of torment!’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must listen to them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

Yeshua (Jesus), through this parable, told us that those who do not listen to Moses will not listen to Him either by referring to “if someone rises from the dead”. In another place Yeshua says something similar.

John 5:46–47 (LEB)

46 For if you had believed Moses, you would believe me, for that one wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe that one’s writings, how will you believe my words?”

Yeshua told us if we do not believe Moses then we will not be able to believe His words. That is due to the fact that Moses spoke the words of the Father, just like “a prophet like Moses”, Yeshua, also did. He said He only would say what His Father said, which is also what Moses did.

How has the church made out with “believing Moses”? My observation is that the church has opposed Moses, and not believed Moses for a very long time. Here we see Constantine, arguably the first pope, call the practices of the Jews keeping passover “destable” when they were following the instruction God gave to Moses. In a letter to the bishops who could not attend the first council at Nice, this is what Constantine wrote:

We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year.

So Constantine would rather make up his own day than celebrate the Passover on the 14th of Nissan, as many did in the eastern churches, trying to obey what Yahuah told Moses.

Leviticus 23:4–7 (LEB)

“ ‘These are Yahweh’s appointed times, holy assemblies, which you shall proclaim at their appointed time. In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month at the evening is Yahweh’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of this month is Yahweh’s Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day there shall be a holy assembly for you; you shall not do any regular work.

The church continues to oppose Moses. One of my favorite go to sources to exemplify the church opposing Moses is mega-pastor Andy Stanley. He gives us a lot of material to work with because he blatantly opposses Moses, much like Korah did in the desert. “All of the community is holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is in their midst, so why do you raise yourselves over the assembly of Yahweh?”. The following is from churchleaders.com:

Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, argues that Jesus’ new commandment—to love one another (John 13:34)—“replaced all the old commandments.” Although the 10 Commandments “played a significant role in God’s creation of the nation of Israel,” he writes, “Jesus’ death and resurrection signaled the end of that covenant and all the rules and regulations associated with it.”

The result, Stanley says, is that Christians, as “participants in the new covenant,” are “not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles.” Instead, they’re “expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

He adds, “While Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it. He came to fulfill it.”

This is an old heresy called Marcionism, which morphed into dispensational theology, believed by many of the thousands of denominations today. Andy Stanley completely forgot that “loving your neighbor” was what Jesus called the second greatest commandment. The first is “loving God with all of your heart and mind”, which involves doing what He said to do. It just so happens Yahuah used Moses as the messenger of the instructions stating how to love Him.

Another example of the modern church still opposing Moses comes from timberlandchurch.org, a random church website I found searching the ten commandments on the internet. I only copied the first two paragraphs, they go on to say all of the nine commandments were repeated in the New Testament, so the Sabbath is the only one that does not apply today. It is all opposing Moses; as Jesus said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead.”.

From timberlandchurch.org:

The Ten Commandments are not our Savior; Jesus is! As a code of ethics, the Ten Commandments promoted allegiance to God and encouraged moral uprightness. But no man is good enough morally to save himself. We all sin (Romans 3:23), and we all need the forgiveness of sins found only in Jesus. Therefore, to be saved we must believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of our sins (Acts 17:31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9), and be baptized in the name of the Lord for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).

Furthermore, the Ten Commandments are no longer in effect today. The Ten Commandments were written on two tables of stone and given to the Jews at Mount Sinai when they came out of Egypt (Exodus 20:3-17). These commandments were a part of the Law of Moses and the covenant that God made with the Jews- the Jews would keep the commandments, and God would make the Jews His special people (Exodus 19:5). The law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, was “nailed to the cross” with Christ (Colossians 2:14). In times past, God spoke to Israel through the law of Moses, but now He speaks to all men through Christ (Hebrews 1:1,2). Israel is no longer God’s chosen people, but those who are redeemed in Christ- the church- whether Jew or Gentile; they are His people (Ephesians 2:13-16).

Why does the ark of the covenant show up on the day of the Lord when the sky is ripped open and the ark is shown in the heavenly tabernacle? Is it empty, or is what is inside going to be what people are going to be judged by?

Revelation 11:19 (LEB)

19 And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant appeared in his temple, and there were lightnings and sounds and thunders and an earthquake and large hail.

This Timberland church even adheres to replacement theology, where Israel is “no longer God’s chosen people”. These are all reasons I will no longer have anything to do with churches that preach this type of nonsense. Who is the new covenant with? The house of Israel and the house of Jacob; there is no third party called “the church”. Through God’s grace we outsiders are given the chance to be grafted into Israel and partake in their irrevocable promises, if and only if we repent.

Hebrews 8:8–9 (LEB)

For in finding fault with them he says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took hold of them by my hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

We are told about this new covenant in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 30:1–8 (LEB)

“And then when all of these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse that I have set before you and you call them to mind among the nations there where Yahweh your God has scattered you, and you return to Yahweh and you listen to his voice according to all that I am commanding you today, both you and your children, with all your heart and with all your inner self, and Yahweh your God will restore your fortunes, and he will have compassion upon you, and he will again gather you together from all the peoples where Yahweh your God scattered you there.“Even if you are outcasts at the end of the heavens, even from there Yahweh your God shall gather you, and from there he shall bring you back. And Yahweh your God will bring you to the land that your ancestors had taken possession of, and he will make you successful, and he will make you more numerous than your ancestors.“And Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your inner self so that you may live. And Yahweh your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, on those who harassed you. And you will again listen to the voice of Yahweh, and you will do all his commandments that I am commanding you today.

This has not happened yet, and will not happen until the end. Yeshua alludes to this gathering of His people. Yeshua tells us this will happen after the tribulation of “those days”.

Matthew 24:30–31 (LEB)

30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect together from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end of it.

Paul tells us that those on the outside must be grafted into the olive tree. Do not boast against the natural branches! We may be at a point of the “fullness of the gentile” in 2022 and the natural branches are getting jealous at a “foolish nation”, which appears to be the thousands of denominations that cannot agree with each other.

Romans 11:1–24 (LEB)

11 Therefore I say, God has not rejected his people, has he? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, from the descendants of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people, whom he foreknew! Or do you not know, in the passage about Elijah, what the scripture says—how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life!” But what does the divine response say to him? “I have left for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.” So in this way also at the present time, there is a remnant selected by grace. But if by grace, it is no longer by works, for otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel was searching for, this it did not obtain. But the elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened, just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, until this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a cause for stumbling and a retribution to them; 10 let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see, and cause their backs to bend continually.”

11 I say then, they did not stumble so that they fell, did they? May it never be! But by their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy. 12 And if their trespass means riches for the world and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness mean? 13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Therefore, inasmuch as I am apostle to the Gentiles, I promote my ministry, 14 if somehow I may provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean except life from the dead? 16 Now if the first fruits are holy, so also is the whole batch of dough, and if the root is holy, so also are the branches. 17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although you were a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them and became a sharer of the root of the olive tree’s richness, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you boast against them, you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off in order that I could be grafted in.” 20 Well said! They were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand firm because of faith. Do not think arrogant thoughts, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity upon those who have fallen, but upon you the kindness of God—if you continue in his kindness, for otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And those also, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

Yeshua came preaching the gospel. He wasn’t the gospel. The fact that God raised Him from the dead is certainly the good news, or gospel. His sacrifice and resurrection made the gospel possible! Yeshua proclaimed the year of Jubilee when slaves are set free and land is returned to its owners. This is the good news. No one realized that He was working in a “kingdom of God” capacity and not an earthly capacity. What Yeshua would do would be permanent and eternal! He also had a custom of entering the synagogue on the Sabbath. Let’s be like Him! After all He is “Lord of the Sabbath”, and if the Sabbath is now nothing, then that means the people claiming this are saying the Savior of the world is the Lord of “nothing”.

Luke 4:16–21 (LEB)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and according to his custom he entered into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbath and stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, and unrolling the scroll he found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because of which he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send out in freedom those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were looking intently at him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Opposing Moses has severe consequences. Please do not believe this nonsense that anyone replaced Israel. “May it never be!”, as Paul proclaims. The idea that the righteous instructions of God were somehow “nailed to the cross” is equally as absurd. Run from this theology. These very instructions are supposed to be written on your heart if you are going to be in the new covenant with Yahuah, by the grace of God, through the sacrifice of Yeshua. Repent and beleive the gospel.

The featured image is by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash.

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