Beware Of The Leaven
Of The Pharisees And Of The Sadducees


“Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Read Matthew 16:6-12

Like leaven, it only takes a little false doctrine or wrong teaching to corrupt the whole. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth,“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” I Corinthians 5:6

Jesus, in his parables, compared people to earth and bread, because what we hear and take in will take root and bear fruit in us.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” Matthew 13:31-33

Is this warning which Jesus gave relevant to believers in this day and age? You’d better believe that it is! Not only is it extremely relevant, but the leaven that was being taught by the Pharisees and religious leaders of that day is essentially THE SAME leaven being taught by the Pharisees and religious leaders of our day! And what exactly is this leaven that we are told to beware of? In a nutshell, it comes down to this:

“And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.” Galatians 5:11

“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the wor Galatians 6:12-14

The issue at hand then was circumcision, which plainly spelled out was the need to initiate gentile converts into the Jewish religion. And the “leaven” of today? Again, essentially, the same thing. On one end a Jewish gospel is taught, where one must observe the seventh day Sabbath, use only the names of Yahweh or Yeshua, observe the feast days, stay away from pork, or in simpler terms, to be brought back under the law, removed from grace. And on the other end, some argue that because we are not under the law, but under grace, since we have this “knowledge,” we can continue in sin and it doesn’t really matter. God forbid!
BEWARE! Remember what Paul said:

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:15-16

This is exactly what Jesus said in the parable of the wine skins, when John’s disciples were asking Jesus why his disciples didn’t fast as they had. New wine must be held in new wine skins. To hold the Spirit of God, you need to be a new creature, Born Again by faith in Jesus Christ! Your religious efforts cannot save you! Look at what scripture says about Abraham and circumcision,

“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:” Romans 4:11

You see, Abraham received the seal of circumcision from God because he believed God! He believed God and the promises God made to him, so that justification by faith is by no means a new testament doctrine only. Of course, many will disagree and present their arguments. “God commanded us to keep the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments! Are you saying we should break the commandments and teach others to do so also? Didn’t Jesus tell us, “He that keeps my commandments, he it is that loves me” Others will contend that to say the name Jesus, Lord or God is wrong because there is no “J” pronunciation in the Hebrew and Yahweh will not recognize you unless you say Yahweh or Yeshua.” And still others will say,
“Hey man, don’t try to bring me back into bondage, it’s all “grace” so I can do whatever I want.” Quite frankly, as many opinions as people have, there are just as many denominations! And why is this?

“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” I Corinthians 11:18-19When you come to the end of it all, this is the end of the commandment: CHARITY. Love is the fulfilling of the law.

Scripture tells us...

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”Galatians 3:21-27

The greatest commandmnt is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To fall back into legalism, or to turn back to following after the sins of the flesh, or to give heed to any other thing, is to fall short of this.

I leave you with this, is it wrong to worship on Sunday or any other day of the week for that matter? The scripture says, “… and daily shall he be praised.” Psalm 72:15 Is it wrong to say “Jesus or Lord”? “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13 And is Gods grace a license to do whatever pleases us? Is it true, as many would say, that Jesus knows we are going to sin anyway, so he simply overlooks our sins: past, present, and future? Scripture has this to say, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4

And to quote Paul once again “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:4-6

Serving in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter, because we are crucified with Christ, and raised with him, filled with his Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law!