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[Sin & Forgiveness]:
[Lost & Found]:
Korah's Rebellion
Written on January 9th, 2007 - 8:38PM
Last Updated: January 9th, 2007 - 8:38PM

Jude gives us insight into that group of people which, having infiltrated God's people, secretly sin to the uttermost and "perish" (or, "lose or destroy themselves").

Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah's rebellion. (Jude 1:11)

After describing several groups of people, he includes those who perished in Korah's rebellion. Again, as in many instances in scripture, this word "perish" ("lose") is in the aorist middle voice, indicating something they did to themselves at a point in time.

Korah was a son of Levi and a rightful heir of the service of the Tent; however, he gathered other prominent men from the congregation of Israel, including non-Levites, and came to Moses demanding that they all be allowed to do the work of priest. He claimed that the whole congregation of Israel was holy, for Yahweh was among them; therefore why should only Moses and Aaron and his sons do the work of priest (Numbers 16:1-10)? It was truth mixed with error, for indeed Israel was holy unto Yahweh, but He had reserved a chosen few to do this specific work of offering incense, sacrificing, and the other priestly work in the Tabernacle. No others were to approach (Numbers 4:15-20).

The others involved would not come to Moses when he wanted to talk to them about this dispute, rather insulting him by claiming Moses had brought Israel to die in the wilderness and was now also making himself a prince over them (Numbers 16:11-15).

Moses then responded to Yahweh that he had done no such thing, and asked that He would not honor their offering; he then came up with a test, that Yahweh might affirm what His desire truly was—whether it was only Moses and Aaron and his sons to do the work, or all the Levites as well as all of Israel (Numbers 16:16-18).

Yahweh's response was very plain—He at first wanted to destroy the entire congregation, as proof that they had rebelled against Him and were no longer in covenant. But Moses intreated for them, that only those responsible for the intial rebellion would die for it (Numbers 16:19-27). As further proof of Moses' calling by Yahweh, He intreated for a special judgment, that the ground itself would open up and they would be taken down alive into Sheol—which was answered by Yahweh (Numbers 16:28-34). More so, those who had offered the incense were consumed by the fire of Yahweh (Numbers 16:35-40).

New Covenant Rebels

How does this story relate to the subject of being lost and found? We've seen that the word "lost" or "perish" has various meanings, but all referring to the same concept—a total separation from the subject's previous place unto a complete ruin or destruction.

Jude says that people would enter the Assembly to malign the truth, and such people were just as those who "perished" in Korah's rebellion. This word for "rebellion" (αντιλογια) is from two Greek words meaning "against" (αντι) and "to speak" (λεγω). It is a gainsaying, a contradiction, and opposition.

They destroyed themselves because they rejected Yahweh's authority. It had been clear who God had chosen to lead Israel and to perform His service in the Tabernacle, but a few lifted themselves up to do the same when they had not been so called. They spoke against His commandment through Moses. It revealed their heart was not right but they only sought glory from men, not God's will (Jude 1:16).

They ruined themselves, just as those infiltrating the Assembly of God would do when they served their fleshly passions (Jude 1:4), and despised authority and counted glory as though it was not.

Yet in like manner these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings. (Jude 1:8)

Jude calls these people "brute beasts," or reasonless animals, because they speak about things they don't understand. Claiming to have knowledge, they show themselves to be ignorant, just as those who joined in Korah's rebellion against Moses.

But these speak evil of whatever things they don't know. What they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, they are destroyed in these things. (Jude 1:10)

Spiritual vs. Soulish

Paul elsewhere tells us that those who don't have the Spirit can't understand the things of the Spirit; that they are soulish, so that those spiritual things are foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 2:14). This could be compared to a child trying to understand calculus or some other advanced science—they simply cannot comprehend it because they are inherently incapable of it.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

So it is for those who have no communion with Yahweh—they have not been born again, receiving a new nature from God Himself, and therefore cannot operate in or understand things from that realm. In response, they act in the flesh, or in a soulish way, because that is all they know. They try to bring things down to their level, rather than ascending to the level of those higher things. In the process, they destroy themselves, as Jesus warned in His parable about new wine and old wineskins.

"Reasonless Animals" & Sexual Sin

"Brute beasts" ("reasonless animals") is a good description of such people, for they live as though life is only about eating, drinking, having sex/reproducing, viewing others as just like them, and so on. They live as animals, with no ability to think concerning more lofty things such as godly love, mercy, self-control, patience, kindness, faithfulness, etc.

Jude especially draws out their sexual sins, by comparing them to Sodom and Gomorrah. He says "these" (those infiltrating the Assembly) have given themselves over to sexual immorality, going after "strange flesh," just as those sinful cities of old. Indiscriminate sexual activity, including homosexuality, was a sign that these people were truly not part of the Assembly. Jude explains this to his readers, revealing that the fact that they were living in this way was proof of their heart. The fruit reveals the tree.

Even today, this sin (sexual immorality, especially homosexuality) continues to mar the image of the Assembly. Those not truly part of God's People have infiltrated the outer trappings of the Church, becoming a stumbling block for those truly seeking Yahweh by living these depraved lifestyles. Paul is clear that those who live in such ways will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

9Or don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

But in turn, they not only give God and His people a bad name in the eyes of the world, but also cause believers to stray from the path of righteousness through their words.

These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaks proud things), showing respect of persons to gain advantage. (Jude 1:16)

These people are those who have ruined themselves. Like the ones who perished in Korah's rebellion, as they sought to intrude into the things of God because they despised His authority, Jude says that it's in the very things in which they live that they "are destroyed." This is not our study word, but another meaning "to pine, or waste away." It is also in the passive voice, meaning it is being done to them. Those people who speak evil of the truths of God are wasting away in the things in which they live: sexual sin, etc. All the things in which reasonless animals live, in those same things these people are pining away. Just as the rebels of Korah died through their own rebellion, so do these perish through their own sinful lusts.

Hope for Salvation

But, it is for these people that Christ came—and He desires that they come to a place of repentance, or a change of mind, that they would receive His life. We must remind ourselves of the prophecies of old that foretold these things.

17But you, beloved, remember the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18They said to you that "In the last time there will be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts." 19These are they who cause divisions, and are sensual, not having the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19)

It is possible that some of them may be saved and so Jude counsels us to pray in the Spirit, in order to continue walking righteously and in the love of Christ.

20But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)

In so doing, we may have the ability to save some of those going astray; being used by the Lord Jesus in His ministry to save the ones who have lost themselves.

22On some have compassion, making a distinction, 23and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:22-23)

For this, we may all praise God, that in all these things, Yahweh is glorified through His Son, Christ Jesus!

24Now to him who is able to keep them{TR and NU read "you"} from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy, 25to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)

Last Accessed: June 22nd, 2022 - 6:28AM
Times Read: 2178
Other Articles in Lost & Found
The Good Message

As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.

But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.

This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, Christ Jesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.

You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.

God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.

That Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.

His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.

The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.

So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.

Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!

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