Lessons Of A Lifetime

The Hindering Influence Of Leaven
Or
Secret Things Revealed
Sunday Feb. 2, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Another parable Jesus spoke to them: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.’

“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.’” Matthew 13.33-35

Something To Consider:
This extremely short one verse parable has become a proverbial seed bed for much controversy. Some understand this parable to mean that the gospel is as an agent of action when placed within the whole of human society, which will bring about Christian culture and the kingdom of God on earth. And yet, Jesus speaking futuristically of His second coming, asked a rhetorical question in Luke chapter 18. “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

And, when Jesus spoke of the narrowness of the gate leading to eternal life, He declared that few would find it and many would be lost by choosing the wide and broad gates that lead to eternal destruction. Therefore, Jesus, in this parable is setting the stage for what lies ahead of the church that was not yet established but was in its smallest of seed starts form.

Paul reiterates a similar end time scenario to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 4.3, as he wrote of the coming last days apostasy or mass turning from the faith. “For the time will come when they [one-time believers in Jesus] will not endure sound doctrine.” That is, because of the introduction of leaven into the teaching of the church, many will turn from the sustaining power of the bread of life and choose rather to foolishly feast on the folly of false doctrine flowing freely throughout the so-called church and Christendom.

Jesus, in Matthew 16.6 instructed, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” What was Jesus warning His early disciples of? They assumed He was rebuking them for not having brought any bread or food with them on their journey. Jesus then explained, “How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Matthew recorded in verse 12 of Matthew chapter 16, “Then they [Jesus’ early disciples] understood that He [Jesus] did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine [false teaching] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Do we understand that Jesus was and is still warning all generations of true believers to beware of the false doctrines, false teachings, and false messages of any religious leader or organization, if what they are proclaiming is in direct opposition to God’s Word?

Something Else To Consider:
Therefore, according to Jesus and the entirety of Scripture, we do not believe that the leaven spoken of here is the gospel as some have supposed. Just shy of one hundred times, the bible equates leaven with evil. Leaven was not allowed to be used in any offerings that were to be offered unto God. Therefore, Jesus has warned us to beware of the leaven or evil influence of the Pharisees and Sadducees or any religious but not spiritual leaders of any generation, including this 21st century generation.

Paul speaking to the Galatians in chapter 5 of his letter, asked the question; “Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” Then Paul emphatically stated in 1 Corinthians 5.8; “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” If indeed leaven hinders a person from being obedient, then leaven is not the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ as some seek to communicate. We must seek the whole truth by searching the entirety of Scripture.

As already mentioned, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness, that the man [woman, or young person] may be complete [in Christ] thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Therefore, if what is being taught as the Word of God is not the Word of God, it is of the hindering influence of leaven and not inspired of God, and is not profitable for doctrine, for reproof, or for instruction in righteousness.

Therefore, Paul admonished us in the next two verses of 2 Timothy 4.1-2, by stating; “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

Something More To Consider:
Here at According To Jesus, we take these words of 2 Timothy 4.1-2 very seriously! For we must be prepared for the appearing of Jesus Christ. We must therefore, be rightly prepared for the judging of the living and the dead at His appearing. And so, we must ask the question. Are we rightly prepared for the appearing of Jesus Christ? Are we listening to the truth of the Word of God or are we listening to the hindering evil influence of the leaven still being spread throughout Christendom?

According to Paul and the inspiration of God in 2 Timothy 4.3-4, we have been warned. “For the time will come [and has come] when they [those influenced by the hindering effects of the leaven of false doctrines] will not endure sound doctrine [biblical doctrine], but according to their itching ears, they will heap up [or gather many] for themselves teachers [false teachers]; and they will turn their ears away from the truth [of God’s Word], and be turned aside to fables.”

So, Paul lovingly warned in the very next verse; “But you [true enduring to the end believer in Jesus] be watchful in all things, endure afflictions [difficulties brought on by end time tribulation], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Timothy was called to be an evangelist. What work is it that God has called us to? What spiritual task within the body of Christ has God called us to and has also equipped us to accomplish? Let us therefore, be about our heavenly Father’s spiritual business here on earth.

A Few Final Words:
Matthew quoted from Psalm 78 when referring to Jesus’ method of teaching. “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Could the hindering and infiltrating influence of the leaven of false doctrine be the hidden thing kept secret of which Matthew understood Jesus to be revealing? Or will this topic remain one of those mysteries many will tuck away awaiting further instruction from Jesus on that great day of final revelation?

For some that day will be a day greatly looked for, and for others that day will be a day thought or wrongly believed never to come. Will we allow the hindering and wicked influence of the leaven of false doctrine and man-made traditions to stop us in our spiritual tracks? Will we turn our ears away from the truth of God’s Word to be eternally turned aside to fable-like false teaching? Or will we become and remain watchful with the help of the Holy Spirit of truth?

Will we heed the many warnings of the Word of God and endure afflictions as if lessons of a lifetime preparing us for the soon appearing of Jesus Christ? Christ-like leaders are aware of the evil influence of hidden hinderances; therefore, they speak of things others are satisfied to keep secret about. Therefore, “Another parable Jesus spoke to them: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.’

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, let not the entry of the enemy’s evil influence hinder us in any way from serving You in love, faith, and obedience. In Him Always, Amen!

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