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“Leaven”, what does it mean? Verse 12 below tells you!
Matthew 16:6 (KJV) Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
(The leaven, [yeast], hits every part of the bread and infects it. [See Galatians 5:9 (KJV)]. False teachings do the same when they enter into a congregation or ministry. Also, see 2 Timothy 2:16-17 (KJV). Beware of false teachers; those who teach traditions and doctrines of men and not the doctrines of Christ).
Matthew 16:11 (KJV) How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Christ was not talking about food. He was talking about the false teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees; the religious community of that day and area. Lets compare the two; the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees did not. The Pharisees believed in the supernatural. The Sadducees believed in nothing spiritual. The Pharisees believed in the entire old testament as the inspired word of God. The Sadducees only believed in the first five books of the bible (Pentateuch, books of the law), as being inspired of God. So far apart in their beliefs, but yet they had one thing in common that Christ was talking about. Hypocrisy! In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [Luke 12:1 (KJV)]. Note that Luke hit it right on the head. These groups were a bunch of Hypocrites! [They said and taught one thing, but lived another]. Hypocrisy is growing even more rapidly in the world today. "Do not be deceived."
Matthew 16:12 (KJV) 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.
At last they understood that by "yeast/leaven" He meant the "deceptive teachings" of the Pharisees and Sadducees. "They look so godly." You know the ones; "I had a vision last night and God spoke to me." This is what happens in large congregations; confusion, false teaching, and traditions of men work there way in. If you are a true well learned Christian, no longer a child in the Word, you should not have these problems with false teachings and traditions of men. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. [Ephesians 4:14 (KJV)]. Then we will not listen to those who try to turn truth into a lie. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. [Ephesians 4:15 (KJV)]. Learn and teach the truth, and better yet, "live the truth."
Where does judgment begin and why? Please read the following verses:
1 Peter 4:17 (KJV) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (Judgment begins at the pulpit).
2 John 9 (KJV) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2 John 10 (KJV) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2 John 11 (KJV) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
As always, please continue to study God’s Word completely. Don’t be deceived by the leaven (false teachings) that can creep in. You want to make sure you are sharing or teaching God’s exact word and not the false teachings, traditions and commandments of men.