Leaven of
the
Pharisees
And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then
Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no
bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye
among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither
remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither
the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 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? 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. (Matthew 16:5-12 KJV)Mark 8:14-21

Doctrine is teaching. Beware of the teaching which is not of God. It was not the things of God
that the Pharisees  and Sadducees taught, but the tradition of the elders that were peculiar to
their sect that was the problem.

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. If there come any unto
you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11 KJV)

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)

There was a preacher who preached Sunday morning on hypocrisy. That evening, his three
year old, standing in the second pew where they always sat, said, “Daddy, are any of those
hypocrites you spoke about this morning here tonight?” It became a “moving sermon.”
Hypocrisy is a touchy subject. “Practice what you preach,” is an old axiom.

An old preacher told me, “Remember that the Gospel that you preach is perfect, and you never
will be. But, there needs to be a consistency between what you preach and teach and how you
act.”

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to
exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:12-13 KJV)

And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a
woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Luke 13:20-21
KJV)

It is impossible to hide leaven in meal – it will permeate the meal. In the same manner it is
impossible to hide false doctrine – it will permeate the church.

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge
out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even
Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old
leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of
sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV)

Leaven, or yeast, is the agent of fermentation or decay. It releases gas which makes bubbles in
dough, making it rise. In liquids, it deposits alcohol. The only way to for the yeast not to corrupt
is to eliminate it. All of it.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9 KJV)

The church at Corinth had problems that needed to be purged.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the
Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)

What problems does the church face today that must be purged? What problems do you face
today that must be purged?

Repentance calls for putting away sin – not continuing in sin.
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