How to Deal with a Leader in Faith

 

1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took action, and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown. They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?"

4 When Moses heard this, he fell on his face; and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His, and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; even the one whom He will choose, He will bring near to Himself. Do this: take censers for yourselves, Korah and all your company, and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of the LORD tomorrow; and the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough, you sons of Levi!"

8 Then Moses said to Korah, "Hear now, you sons of Levi, is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD; but as for Aaron, who is he that you grumble against him?"

12 Then Moses sent a summons to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said, "We will not come up. Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us? Indeed, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!"

15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, "Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them." Moses said to Korah, "You and all your company be present before the LORD tomorrow, both you and they along with Aaron. Each of you take his firepan and put incense on it, and each of you bring his censer before the LORD, two hundred and fifty firepans; also you and Aaron shall each bring his firepan." So they each took his own censer and put fire on it, and laid incense on it; and they stood at the doorway of the tent of meeting, with Moses and Aaron. Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.

20 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." But they fell on their faces and said, "O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?"

23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the congregation, saying, 'Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.'"

25 Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him, and he spoke to the congregation, saying, "Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin." So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and their sons and their little ones. Moses said, "By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing. If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD."

31 As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. All Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, "The earth may swallow us up!" Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

36 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the blaze, for they are holy; and you scatter the burning coals abroad. As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they did present them before the LORD and they are holy; and they shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel." So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the men who were burned had offered, and they hammered them out as a plating for the altar, as a reminder to the sons of Israel that no layman who is not of the descendants of Aaron should come near to burn incense before the LORD; so that he will not become like Korah and his company―just as the LORD had spoken to him through Moses.

41 But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD's people." It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." Then they fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!" Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.

 

Korah Rises in Rebellion against Moses

The Korah incident in the passage is not to be viewed as anything but of ours, in that similar incidents will come upon us and no church is free of the latent peril of this sort. In summary, the four men, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, were renowned leaders in the sons of Israel, and they always nursed grudges against what Moses did.

 

They were dissatisfied because they thought that Moses had not brought them into the land of Canaan flowing with milk and honey as he had promised, and that consequently he was causing Israelites not to be endowed with all peace and blessing but to be afflicted always in serving God. They further charged that Moses thought it not enough to have done thus, and he exalted himself above the Israel congregation to abuse his power on them. Thus they had the congregation seduced and agitated.

 

The four―Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On―had been seducing the congregation of the sons of Israel so long that as many as half the people had come to lean to their seduction. Even though Moses had been trying to admonish the people, they continued their resistant movement.

 

Judgment of God Suggested

So Moses said, "If you think that I and Aaron ourselves have assumed the priesthood of God to burn incense to Him, you can also assume the ministry to burn incense before Him. Then we will see whom God chooses to burn incense, you or those along with Aaron. However much we may say to you, you will not listen to us because you think that we are saying for ourselves. Let us have God judge on this matter."

 

"Let those two hundred and fifty of you, chosen in the assembly and men of renown, take censers for themselves, and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of the LORD God. Also let Aaron along with his people prepare censers for themselves and do the same. If God accepts your offering, then you are holy and you will lead the congregation of the sons of Israel. If God accepts the offering of Aaron and his men, then you will know that it is of the will of God that they do the service of the tabernacle of God, not of the will of men for themselves," thus said Moses, and they agreed to do as he suggested to be gathered the next day.

 

Judgment of God and Consequences

So the priests belonging to Aaron and the two hundred and fifty leaders belonging to Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On were distinctively separated. Then God caused the ground that was under them to split open, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

 

When they saw what happened, all Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, "The earth may swallow us up!" On the next day, however, the evil spirit aroused repellent sentiment in the congregation, so they confronted Moses and Aaron, "You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD's people. Is it righteous? We will not let you live." When they assembled against Moses and Aaron to crush them, God said to Moses, "They are not trying to crush you only, but they are also trying to crush Me. Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly."

 

The Atonement Concludes the Incidence

Moses and Aaron at first pleaded with God for those who burned incense and the others belonging to them, not to do what He intended to do, and to be patient with them. In some occasions God had listened to admonition for pardon before, but this time He would not listen, and caused the ground to split open to swallow those belonging to them; how many of them were killed we do not know. Also the rest were consumed by fire from heaven. Now on the next day when the people rose again against Moses and Aaron to kill them, God told Moses to get away from the congregation so that He may consume them instantly. This time also the two men fell on their faces to beg for forgiveness but God would not listen.

 

Then Moses praying urged Aaron, "Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!" Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. This is what befell Korah.

 

Instruction from the Passage

This passage is a prophetic word of God, and we have not had a similar incident of this sort yet. We may have such occasions in the future but not until now, since our church is yet relatively in its early history. Nonetheless we do not know when such an occasion will come upon us; so we should learn from this passage to understand and to be cautious lest we should fall into such a temptation.

 

 

1988-08-14 Afternoon How to Deal with a Leader in Faith (Continued)

 

A Mirror as an Instruction to Us

This incident is a historical fact given to us as a mirror and a way of truth of the salvation. Therefore we should examine ourselves through this passage so that we may not fall into condemnation of the law of God, and should be edified to work better salvation of ours.

 

We should not think that Numbers 16 is merely an Old Testament word so that it has nothing to do with us, New Testament believers; it is given to us to correct us.

 

Also we have already passed by the infancy period when we were easily moved emotionally and sympathetically. It will be wise of us to judge ourselves through the word of God to correct what is wrong now to find a way of life to walk on without delay.

 

Not to Be Motivated by Jealousy

 

Jealousy

First we should be cautious of ourselves, not to become a man like Korah. Korah was jealous of Moses and Aaron above himself who were institutions of God, eventually to slander them and to try to snatch their authority only to destroy himself in disgrace.

 

Korah was a leader, or a patriarch, in the middle position between the institution of God above himself and numerous people under himself. A leader means part of the eldest sonship. There is no one that is not in the position of a leader. I do not know whom God has established as Moses to work the gospel movement to fulfil His will in Korea now. I may know but I do not know exactly. These days and in the East or West, we may know sometimes and may not know sometimes whom God takes hold of, or which institution or organization, to do gospel works. If there is such an institution near us, we must cooperate with the institution. If we cannot afford to help the institution, we should be faithfully engaged in what we are entrusted with, but we are liable to be jealous of such institution and slander it.

 

The more opposed, the more cautious

I have been praying personally for the pastors in the Koryo denomination since I left the organization, most of whom passed away now though. Those remaining are Revs. Lee, In-Chai and Sohn, Myoung-Bok, as far as I know. Rev. Lee stood by me then, and then Rev. Sohn is now only one of those who opposed me then. Rev. Han, Myoung-Dong is alive, but he was not an institution set above me but was equal with me as a colleague.

 

I have never failed to pray for those who were opposed to me. I have prayed earnestly that God take hold of them to fulfill His will. I have always prayed for the young people who are opposed in faith to me, since God may take hold of them to work good.

 

In my everyday prayer, I cannot pray for those who go the same way with me, naming one by one owing to lack of time, and I do not pray for them all the time, but only sometimes for them as a whole. Those who were opposed to me, I pray that God do with them to achieve His will and to guide them to the true path, naming everyone of them. I pray the same for those who have seceded from our Council.

 

Why? Those who go along with me will go the same way that I am going, good or bad; I will go a right way if they go a right way and I will go a wrong way if they go a wrong way. As for those going an opposite way to mine, I am afraid that I may be going a wrong way in case God should establish them to go a right way. That is why I pray for them every day.

 

We are what God should take hold of to use, and we can do nothing by ourselves. When God lays hold of us to work through us, God will work through us according to His own will, not our desires or opinions.

 

Now we know that we cannot work unless we are taken hold of by God. Those who take side with us may be taken hold of by God, and this is good because it means that we too are taken hold of by God. As for those who are opposed to us, they may also be taken hold of by God, and this means that we are not taken hold of by God. This is why we must pray every day for those who are opposed to us and we should be careful lest we should slander them from the position of Korah. We should be always cautious not to slander the servants of God whom God takes hold of to work through.

 

We know when we are jealous.

When we are slandering someone, we know that we are being slandering out of our jealousy. In the passage Korah and his company calumniated Moses out of jealousy; and jealousy comes in when others excel us in something. We can hate one and we can vilify one even though we acknowledge him to be right, and this is the sin of jealousy.

 

Dealing with those above us or under us, we should be always careful not to rage out of the evil of self-centeredness in speech, deeds, mind, and thoughts, destroying ourselves before God. When we judge that the way that we are going is right, we should be going the way faithfully to death. We cannot assert, however, that only a certain way is right, which is condemned evidently by the words of God. We should be careful lest we should be a Korah. Also those attending our church―pastors, elders, exhorters, preachers, deacons―should be afraid lest they should become a jealous Korah to slander their own paster to grab the leadership of church.

 

There is no one that never happens to be in the position of Korah. We may be both a Korah and a Moses. In Seobu Church, I, Rev. Paik, am in the position of Moses because God has instituted me. To the Korean Christianity, I may be either in the position of Korah or in the position of Joshua and Caleb. Both Joshua and Caleb cooperated with and obeyed Moses faithfully.

 

As for the Christianity in Korea above us, we do not clearly know who our leader Moses is. We must pray that any denomination or movement that is opposed to us go a right way without deviation, and definitely we are not allowed to be jealous of it and to slander it.

 

In a church and among church members, everybody has a Moses, being as a Korah or a Joshua and a Caleb. Then there will be one who tries to respect, encourage, and help his leader faithfully like Joshua and Caleb. We should try not to become a Korah. For instance, among elders who each have a good relationship with the pastor in charge, there will be those who commit sin trying to be closest to the pastor in charge and to be the head among elders themselves; also there will be some who commit sin trying to block others to become the head among themselves in jealousy, calumny, and strife.

 

What those with church functions should be cautious about.

It is the same for the Sunday School teacher chiefs and the Sunday School managers. I do my best to prevent such things from happening. In Seobu Church the largest Sunday School unit is the women's section in the second floor, and the next is men's section in the first floor. Women's section is relatively larger, though. Sometimes I would shuffle Sunday School teacher chiefs, sending a chief ministering a large section to a smaller section or vice versa. This is to discipline one to be faithful in his current position set by God, so that he is determined as to his position and may not desire what is beyond his position. When he desires what is beyond what has been assigned to him, he is no longer a servant of God, and is falling into the case of Korah; I want to prevent this situation in advance.

 

When assigned a new but smaller section or lower position, some will perform less than they can, fallen into temptation because of the apparent demotion. They will do all by themselves without grace, and I can perceive that. Then I will pray for them that they assume the right attitude relevant to what position the Lord assigns to them. Then they will become normal, now ready to work faithfully whatever the Lord commits to them. Then we will see that grace works through them.

 

Leaders Affected by a Korah

Second, we must try not to become one like Dathan, Abiram, and On. Korah was the first to slander, envy, and oppose Moses; Korah was the originator, the initiator, the starter, and the sower. Also Dathan, Abiram, and On were leaders and captains of tribes, influenced by Korah, and they were raging now.

 

We should not be influenced by others whom we see wrong. We should not be influenced by such people, however powerful they may be. Even if Rev. Paik should go a wrong way, you must oppose him and must not be influenced by him to become like Dathan, Abiram, and On. Those were all buried to destruction, and their offspring too.

 

Jealousy can be traced to the human ancestor, so it may be the first, or the second sin. In the kingdom of heaven God is Head, King, and Creator, and should be served as such. It was Satan that had been cast out when he had envied God to become a God. That Satan came to the earth and led Eve astray to make her jealous of God. When told, "God told you not to eat it for fear that you should become like God," Eve became foolish out of jealousy, "I can become like God, but God has forbidden so that I may not become a God."

 

That sin of jealousy was imparted to Cain; he was jealous when God had regard for Abel's offering but not for his own offering, and killed Abel. Cain should have agreed and given thanks when Abel's offering was accepted―"We human beings would never have brought an offering that God would be pleased with if Abel had not brought an offering pleasing God. I thank Abel for bringing an offering to appease the wrath of God." If Cain had given thanks for Abel's offering, had become relieved because of the acceptance, had congratulated Abel, and had cooperated with Abel and his offering, he would have received the same reward and blessing as Abel's. He killed a man out of jealousy.

 

The jealousy movement of Korah influenced Dathan, Abiram, and On to take part in together slandering Moses. It was the poison of sin of jealousy that killed flesh. It was the spiritual jealousy of God that killed soul and flesh, and it was the human jealousy of others that killed flesh. Jealousy of God killed soul and flesh alike, and jealousy of men killed flesh.

 

Those around Following a Jealous Korah

Third, in verse 32, we see that all the men were killed who belonged to Korah with their possessions. We must try not to follow in unrighteous affairs, father, mother, brothers, wife, or husband, however close they may be to us. We should not follow family, spouse, brothers, friends, or junior or senior associates in unrighteous affairs however intimate they may be to us. It is said in verse 32.

 

The Masses Following a Jealous Korah

Fourth, in verse 35, we see that it was Korah alone at first and he mustered the three, and the three gathered two hundred and fifty leaders, and the two hundred and fifty leaders further occupied almost half the congregation; it was now the Korah's company. It was called as Korah's company.

 

When those close to us in flesh―father, son, or brothers, however close they may be to us―slander, while working in what God is not together with them, a thing that is God's works and righteous works, we must definitely turn back to resist them as far as we can. If it is impossible to resist, then we must not yield and we must pray to God; we will perish when we have ourselves influenced in favor of blood and flesh, in favor of company, and in favor of carnal desire. We can see this in verse 35.

 

Atonement Was the Final Solution

Fifth, in verse 41, we see the last phase of the incident. First, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men who belonged to Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, and fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense. What was happening was evident enough for the congregation to acknowledge the truth. It is evident that the men were punished to death while rising against Moses. Moses announced, "If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD. You must not belong to them." Then they fled when it happened according to what Moses had said, crying, "The earth may swallow us up." On the next day, the devil lording inside the congregation and the evil of centering on themselves and orienting to themselves worked to gather more than half the congregation of the sons of Israel to kill Moses and Aaron.

 

They tried to kill Moses and Aaron because they thought that it was Moses and Aaron that killed not only the servants of God, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, but also two hundred and fifty chosen, renowned, and active leaders, and thus Moses and Aaron were murderers not to be allowed to live.

 

Then Moses and Aaron cried to God, saying that the congregation was hardened to do such, but God said to them, "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." Moses again could do nothing but pray for God's mercy, "Whom can they hope for if God of life should consume them?"

 

God had already struck them with plague which was infectious. The congregation was infected by the two hundred and fifty leaders who in turn were infected by Dathan, Abiram, and On who in turn were infected by Korah. Moses had not been able to whisper to them in private, but they had whispered with each other slandering Moses whenever they met day and night. Then almost half the sons of Israel had been infected to become opposed to Moses.

 

Now Moses knew that God recompensed for that so that the people were dying. Praying to God inside, Moses sent Aaron, saying, "Take your censer and put fire in it from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them."

 

Aaron put on the incense and made atonement for the people. He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. They were dyed with the evil of Korah to be killed.

 

We Must Not Slander to Our Profit an Institution of Grace

This is what we should understand from this passage. First, we must try not to become a Korah. What was the cause of sin of Korah? The evil and jealousy. Whenever we are self-centered and self-oriented, we cannot but perish. Korah went the path of destruction when he was self-centered and self-oriented, and he was jealous of the righteous works which God wrought. We must try not to be a Korah, and also we must try not to be like Dathan, Abiram, and On who were dyed with Kora's jealousy. These leaders cooperated with Korah as if they could be benefited with great authority even though they knew that he was in the wrong. Then two hundred and fifty leaders also followed suit.

 

We must be careful not to become like Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, and two hundred and fifty leaders, and the family belonging to them; otherwise our life will be futile.

 

Seobu Church, 1982

I had an opportunity to see what God would show me using a temptation of this sort on members of our church in 1982 when I fell ill. As I saw during my illness what God revealed in advance, I gave thanks to God and repented. God was merciful to reveal those as forewarning and seed, and He did not allow those to come to pass. I and those who are under me underwent the temptation as an experience to become purer and to prevent ourselves from getting completely imbued with the evil to the destruction of death. We know that the experience has become a huge capital for us.

 

I am not sure if I will remain until the Second Advent, but if I leave before the Second Advent, all of you at Seobu Church must remember this word firmly―Who is the one that God has raised? There must be the one whom God has instituted. You must examine whom God has raised, and you must follow him if he is right, but you must resist him if he is wrong.

 

While I was ill in 1982, everybody was working Korah's works; my own church, Seobu Church, was doing Korah's works and pastors inside our Council were doing the same. Rev. Lee, Jae-Soon was doing the same in the room next where I was lying in bed. I was weak in illness, but when I heard what he was saying, I woke up with all my strength to rebuke him, "Lee, Jae-Soon, what are you talking about now? Are you not evil?"

 

Men seem to be more confident when they are healthy. He answered, smiling, "Now that you do not seem to be interested in my future, I cannot but do what I should do after you die," and he repented. Rev. Paik, Tae-Young had the same ambition to be my successor after my death. I had told you about it several times before I fell ill. I have already seen what will happen after I die.

 

Everybody present here! Elders, deacons, pastors! Remember what you did and realize that you can do what Korah did, and repent what you did then. You can repent only when God allows you to repent, and you cannot repent by yourselves.

 

Moses' Prayers for the Opposed

There is one more thing that we should understand. Whenever God was indignant with the congregation, Moses never failed to pray for them. If Moses had been satisfied with the woes which befell those who opposed him, the wrath of God would have been more violent toward him than that toward those who opposed him. That would have been causing more wrath of God. Moses fell on his face to apologize, to beg forgiveness, and prayed three times. He prayed three times in verses 4, 22, and 44 through 45. Again we should understand that those who are to receive grace cannot receive grace if they slander the institution that distributes grace.

 

How to Deal with an Institution of Grace

 

A poor pastor is still the shepherd of the church.

We can see in a church that the pastor is unskilled and incompetent, but still all the congregation of the church receive grace from him. In such case, we can only encourage the laity to serve the pastor better, whether we belong to the same Church or not. On the other hand, if we find fault with the unskilled and incompetent pastor, the church may be influenced to cease to serve their pastor. We are to bear the responsibility for the grace that would be given to the church should we not find fault with the pastor. We should live wisely in the world.

 

Immature revivalists

We can see that a revivalist preacher invited to a church will expose what is lacking and erroneous in the current pastor of the church, the laity of which are nonetheless satisfied with the grace rendered by him, and the preacher will only present himself like an angel. As a result, the members will find it difficult to receive grace from the current pastor from whom they have had no problem to receive grace. The Lord is not pleased at this. A revivalist should preach to edify members to acquire right faith, and at the same time to connect the church to the grace institution to make the flow of grace easier.

 

Children Should Be Taught to Respect the Pastor

 

It is harmful for children to hear the pastor found fault with.

It is the same for our households. Family problems are to be cured through sermons of the pastor. In Seobu Church, children also listen to sermons of Rev. Paik; then parents should teach their children to listen to the sermons attentively, "Children, the testimony today is invaluable to us. We will die or live according to the words of Rev. Paik. We will live if we practice what the words tell us to do, but we will die if we do not practice." Instructing thus will be an easiest way to raise family. I witnessed, however, that even an assistant pastor in Seobu Church would caution his children, saying, "You are not supposed to listen to all the words of Rev. Paik. There are some words to listen to and there are some words not to listen to." Then he would review Rev. Paik's sermon inserting his own opinions. This would make the children appraise their father's teaching superior to that of Rev. Paik.

 

That assistant pastor would teach thus his children out of his evil of self-centeredness, and they would come to church for grace but they would go home without receiving grace, saying, "Our father not being allowed to deliver sermon, that pastor in charge, Rev. Paik, cannot give us grace." I saw those children become ill spiritually in faith in the course of a long time.

 

They could not repent since they had been raised to ignore the sermons of the pastor of the church which they were attending. That assistant pastor finally approached me for solution, having suffered in languish from letting his family reduced to misery. Even though the family had many problems, they could not be corrected. We can escape destruction when we repent, but they had no way to repent.

 

Exalt the pastor to repent to receive grace.

I prescribed the following to him, in a smile since he and I were close with each other. "You should play a part from now on in your house." "What part should I play?" I said, "Say that Rev. Paik is a god. Rev. Paik is a true agency of God. He is not a man, but he is a god that God works through directly. Thus you should make Rev. Paik appear as a god to your family. Then your family will say to you, 'It contradicts what you have been saying.' Then say, 'I was ignorant before, but now I have come to understand that Rev. Paik is a servant of God whom He goes with.' The family, however, will not be persuaded that easily, saying, 'Father, you used to say the opposite, and now you are being inconsistent.' Then keep saying on, 'I was wrong. I am being punished for having slandered the servant.' Then they will begin to wonder, 'Is that so?' Also discuss among yourselves after my sermons, 'What did you learn from today's sermon?' 'I learned this or that.' Discuss and interpret my sermons to acquire grace as if I were an idol to them since their notion about Rev. Paik has been too low. You must repent to the extent that I will be exalted like an idol. Your problem will not be solved before you have performed what I am telling you."

 

I said the following in another occasion; "In your case, you, the wife of the pastor, should play a part. The problem cannot be cured unless you play a part," I told the wife of the pastor who was in tears from agony. "What part should I play?" I said, "You have been finding fault with Rev. Paik and criticizing him whenever you come home from church to make your family what they are now. Then you should announce to your family, 'I was demon-possessed and I committed a grave sin before God. Now I have come to know that Rev. Paik is a servant of God.' You should do this to the extent that you have almost exalted Rev. Paik like an idol. You should repent, and say to them, 'I have been slandering the servant of God and forsaking all his sermons.' Also you should begin to receive my sermons sincerely as the word of God one by one to make them grace to you to transform yourselves. The problem cannot be cured otherwise."

 

Try to receive grace through pastor's sermons.

There are parents who will say to their children after church, "I am fed up with our pastor's repeating again and again spending an hour to finish the sermon." Then the children will respond, "I agree that a shorter sermon would be better." Such conversations will pour out to bury graces with which the children come home after church. The parents will go further to induce complaints from their children, "Well, what are you saying on today's sermon? Was it good?" "Not quite. It was boring." "Why was it so boring?" Then they will answer, "Repetition after another." Then the parents will begin to slander to their hearts' content and lead the children to think that their father is the best.

 

That is jealousy. They are afraid that their children and their wives should be closer to the pastor to become pastor's, and they try to make their family regard them as best and belong to them. They start to work on their wives first, and then their children, and the family is destroyed. There is no hope. They cannot turn back from destruction unless they repent to turn back. When they do not repent to turn back, it may take them long before they fall into destruction, but once destruction starts, they will collapse and they cannot change the course.

 

Even if one has not received grace, he should say to his children after church, "Oh, what a good word! It was a good word to make us alive. We must pray for our pastor for giving us this precious word. He is a valuable worker and servant of God." When the father repeatedly says that he has received grace and the word was sweet, his son will come to wonder, "Today's word was not sweet to me. Instead, it was bitter. Now that Father is saying that it was sweet, I will check if it is really sweet." Then he will listen to that day's sermon on tape, and it will sound sweeter than when he first listened to the sermon in the church.

 

Then pastor's sermons will become sweeter so that all the family members will come to agree to say to one another, "How much do we have to repent? We have not appreciated such a good word enough." A family should go on like this. On the other hand, there will be one who desires to be head of family or who hates to see his children side with the pastor or wife support the pastor, and he will find fault with the pastor. Then his family will be ruined. The pastor, however, who is a mediator to God, should make those who have become his people the people of God.

 

Once one has received grace, he or she will even try to have a look at the face of the pastor. It is natural to have respect for the grace institution since they have received grace. We are not to envy this relationship mediated through grace; rather, once we are in such an occasion with anyone, we should do every means to encourage and consolidate the positive relationship between the pastor and the flock. That is the way that we should go.

 

A child's face tells it all.

Therefore practice anyhow a Joshua and a Caleb but not a Korah. First, parents should receive grace, and then say to their children, "Our pastor is the best. Today's word is a word of grace, and we must practice it." If parents keep doing this, the children will become saints. We can clearly judge whether a family will prosper or fall if we look at the children of the family. Even a child of four or five will despise the pastor in a family where the pastor is slandered. The pastor will be contemptible to every member of the family. On the other hand, the pastor may be respected like a God. All family will welcome a visiting district chief like a God. The visiting district chief is not God, but it is promising to respect the visiting church officer. You do not have to worry lest it should become idolatry.

 

A family is to be raised like this. But there will be one who discourages his children from listening to the sermons of the pastor of his church, criticizes the sermons after church, and shows them how to derogate the pastor, saying, "You are not supposed to obey all of what the pastor says." We can see inside him that he is a king. He will try to be above the pastor, and to be a king, but what is it good for us for to belong to such a person? Is he God? What could it be good for if he were really a king?

 

When one works evil to make his family belong to himself, not to God, the family will be ruined. Many families in our church have been wrecked through such foolishness. The behavior of little ones will indicate the future of the family. Children of a wholesome family welcome the visiting pastor like a God, and they love to listen to him saying even a word and savor it, if any, to their hearts.

 

It is when children are young enough to believe whatever the master of the house says to be true, that children should be taught to regard in honor and listen to the servant and words of God. Once one has been slandering pastors to destroy his children, he cannot but beat his breast in tears later, but it is what he will have worked. We should not do this.

 

Self-centered pastors to be destroyed

There will be pastors preaching this passage solely on behalf of their welfare. If a pastor ever carries such a trait, even by a chance of one in ten thousands, he will be destroyed, destroyed, destroyed, destroyed, and destroyed completely before God. All this is for believing families to be blessed and for believing church members to benefit for salvation. Of course there are wicked servants of God, but there are many families not appreciating men of God. The laity should do what they should do even though they serve a wrong pastor.

 

Exemplars of Saints

 

David against Saul

King Saul was the head of king David, and king Saul was an abominable and unfaithful king before God. Even though God was wroth with Saul and had already rejected him, David never slandered Saul since Saul was the person whom God had raised. Saul was so jealous of David that he tried to strike David many times. He tried to kill David 23 times or so, but David did not resist him, slandering him.

 

David once left his trace to a sleeping Saul to let the king know. David had every opportunity to kill Saul, but he did not do it to respect the One who had raised Saul and not to defy Him. All that David did was to be worried and troubled, and to cooperate to supplement what Saul could not do, and he prayed to God. Then God treated Saul causing him to commit suicide, and after him raised David to be king.

 

Samuel and Eli the priest

Eli the priest was the one who had stored wrath before God not on account of himself but of his worthless sons. As Samuel was serving Eli the priest, he was worried about Eli since Samuel was a pure person. He was worried about the priest but he never spoke ill of him. Samuel only prayed earnestly that somehow Eli the priest live uprightly to go a right way. He never harbored any ambition to become a judge instead of Eli by speaking ill of him. He prayed purely to God for Eli the priest, and tried hard to cooperate with Eli in what was lacking.

 

Then God brought a war during the years of Eli the priest to cause the two sons to fall in battle, Eli himself to fall off the seat backward to break his neck to die, and his daughter-in-law to perish, purging the house of Eli the priest. Samuel did not take part in the purge, nor did he ask of God the purge. Samuel always blessed and prayed for Eli, and God had him purged.

 

Pray for a wrong pastor and cooperate with him in a right Way.

When we have a servant of God who is not compatible with ourselves, all we have to do is to pray for him in any way we can, and to cooperate to supplement what he is lacking to work the will of God, and we should pray for his authority to be maintained. Then if he is a man whom God raised, God will somehow treat him. If men slander a man whom God raised, they happen to slander the God who raised the man rather than to slander the man, and if men try to treat the man, they happen to treat the God who raised the man rather than to treat the man. This causes God to become indignant. We must treat all things according to the Scripture.

 

Assistant district chiefs belonging to a district chief may have their assigned district changed; they can do it. If they, however, still want to belong to the district chief, they have to pray for the chief even though it is evident that the chief is in the wrong, and also they have to cooperate to correct what the chief is doing wrong to make it right. When there are other members in the same district receiving grace from the wrong district chief, then we must not slander the district chief; that causes the wrath of God. To slander someone means to find fault with and to speak ill of the person.

 

At any rate, it is God that has instituted one as grace institution, and we should cherish the grace institution. If something is wrong with the grace institution, we should pray for the person, and if something is lacking in the grace institution, we should cooperate to complement for the lack. We should let God treat the one whom He raised, and we are not to treat the one whom He raised according to our will because that will only invite the wrath of God.

 

Read Numbers 16 several times when you go home, and understand one by one to stand right.