A picture of our time is found in Numbers 16 where Korah, Dathan and Abiram usurped the authority of the true ministers of God (verse 1-3) and all the congregation followed them (verse 19,22). This gives you an idea of the extent of the apostasy in our day. The Levites were the true ministers of the sanctuary, and Aaron, as a type of Christ, was the high priest. Korah as a Levite was an ordained minister of God, but he sought to usurp the high priest's office (8-10). Each believer is like the tabernacle in the wilderness. We have a Holy of Holies (spirit), a holy place (soul), and an outer court (body). The only one permitted to rule in our spirit is our high priest, Jesus Christ (1Cor.11:3). Anyone else entering the Holy of Holies had the sentence of death upon them. This teaches us that a minister is not to take the place of Christ in our life. He is to make disciples of Christ and not of himself. He has authority only when he is in obedience to the Word who is Christ. A minister who is going astray from the Word is making disciples of himself and is usurping the place of the high priest, Christ. This is what Korah's error represented.
Since Dathan and Abiram were not Levites and as such they were not ministers ordained of God. According to the percentage represented here, two out of every three ministers are not ordained by God but by man. History has always supported this type and shadow, but it has never proved more true than today. Even a brief examination of the conditions for office in the New Testament would exclude the majority of ministers (1 Tim. 3:1-10; Titus 1:5-9,16; Acts 1:4,5,8; Mk.16:17-20). Paul said, "For we are not as the many making merchandise of the word of God" (2 Cor. 2:17). Second Peter 2:1-3 says, "many shall follow their lascivious doings". Merchandise is another word used in these two places. Under the Old Testament type and shadow of the tithe, ten percent was taken from eleven tribes and given to one tribe, the Levites ([ministers] Num.18:24). Then the Levites gave ten percent to the high priest (25-28). This left the Levites with ten percent from ten tribes. That was an average of what the other tribes had to live on. Even when Israel grew, they still lived on an average income. Today because of the Nicolaitan doctrine a much larger percent of the people are supporting the pastors. This coupled with the fact that the pastors have usurped the authority of the rest of the five fold ministry (Eph. 4:11), ministers have become fat and filthy rich. This is a great stumbling block to the world and to the ministers. This also makes all the people of God bad stewards. We have made God's house a "den of robbers" (Mt. 20:13). The Lord has not changed his mind "the righteous shall live by faith" -- not salaries. He said, "Freely you have received, freely give. Get you no gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses". This caused the early ministers to live by faith, which ensured that they had to walk with God to get supplied. This ensured righteous leadership. God has not changed His commands for leadership, men have, and so the church filled with carnal leadership. The early church leadership was not in the habit of taking up collections; but when they did, it was not for themselves but others (1Cor.16:1-3). It was up to the individual to not store up (Mt.6:19-21) but to meet the needs around him "that there may be equality" (2 Cor.8:l4,l5), "not grudgingly or of necessity" (2 Cor.9:7), and for this God gave great grace (2 Cor.9:8). In Old Testament type and shadow, giving was cast into the treasury which was in the temple (1 Kings 7:51 / Mk.12:41). In the New Testament the temple is God's people, and Jesus said that we would be judged by whether we meet the needs of God's people (Mt.25:31-46, 1Jn.3:16,17). This is how we store up treasure in heaven (Lk.12:33,34). Those who will not renounce ownership and become stewards of one hundred percent are not being disciples (Lk.14:33). Tithers need to know that in the New Testament they no longer own ninety percent, for they were bought with a price. See also Buying and Selling.
God separated his people from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Num. 16:23-27) lest they be consumed in all their sins (verse 26). Revelation 18:4 says, "Come forth my people out of her, that you have no fellowship with her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues" (see also Jer.51:45). Those who did not come out were judged with their Babylonish teachers "for the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korah.... went down alive into Sheol: and the earth closed upon them (32,33)". Notice that Num.16:26 says, "consumed in all their sins"; and this verse says, "the earth swallowed them alive". According to Gen.2:7 the earth is a type of our flesh. To be swallowed alive by our flesh is to be consumed in sins. I am sure you have seen the rash of ministers that have been consumed with sins. According to Jude 11 and 12, the New Testament Korahs and Balaams are hidden among us and their real interest is to "feed themselves". It also says they are "twice dead" which means they were born again and died again. In God's eyes they are dead while they are living. In 1Tim.5:6 "She that giveth herself to pleasure is dead while she liveth". Korah, Dathan, and Abiram went down alive into Sheol (Greek [Num.16:30,33]), which is a revelation of the last days (verse 1). These leaders are not easy to see for they have a "form of godliness" (verse 5) and are "impostors "(verse 13); but if you could examine their personal life, you would find they live according to the description in verses 2-4. Do not trust your own heart (4:3,4); but be full of the word (3:13-17) so that you may have discernment. Ask God to show you how he sees your leadership. Expect God to answer (James 1:5-7) either by word, dream, vision, or examination of the Word (2 Thes.3:6,7). If you are led by some of the few good leaders, pray for them and humble yourself to them.
While in prayer one morning a few years ago, God spoke to me. He said, "I'm moving the Sauls out of the way to make room for the Davids; and you are one of my Davids". (I only qualify because God chose the foolish, weak, base, and despised of the world, so that no flesh should glory. [1 Cor.1:27-29].) After the Lord spoke this, the news of a famous minister's scandal broke that evening. After that, there was a rash of nationally-known minister scandals. Saul was a leader who would not obey God and was consumed by his flesh. I once ministered in a church where the pastor was in this condition and was being a very bad witness to his congregation. He told me one day that God had spoken to him and told him three times that he was Saul and I was David. Later, I asked the Lord what he wanted me to do about this man. He said, "Let the Philistines take him out". Although I prayed and tried to bring him to repentance, the Philistines took him out because we wrestle not with flesh but principalities and powers. A great army of Philistines is on the way. They will totally corrupt Saul, his sons, and his government. (See Justin's vision in Tremble Ye Women That Are at Ease.) Then lowly Davids will come out of the wilderness with God's authority. This is also foreshadowed by Jesus in Lk. 4:1,2,13-18 (see also Isa.1:21-28 with emphasis on verse 26).