The Feast Of Unleavened Bread

Feast On Jesus

Pastor Jerry Gillis - April 30, 2017

Clean the house so it’s a home for holiness.


More From This Series

Passover

Pastor Jerry GillisPart 1 - Apr 23, 2017
Watching Now

The Feast Of Unleavened Bread

Pastor Jerry GillisPart 2 - Apr 30, 2017

Firstfruits

Pastor Jerry GillisPart 3 - May 7, 2017

Weeks

Pastor Jerry GillisPart 4 - May 14, 2017

Trumpets

Pastor Jerry GillisPart 5 - May 21, 2017

Review Questions

  • What were some of the “yeasts” that were mentioned in Sunday’s message? Which one of these have you discovered in your own life?
  • Based on what we heard in Sunday’s message, what does it mean to “get rid of the yeast” in your life? Why is this important?
  • What action step can you take in light of this message?

Daily Readings


Memory Verse

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)


Transcript

Alright, show of hands. How many of you have started spring cleaning already? Just raise your hand. Yeah, type A. Achievers, you know. There was a lot of us that felt pressure, you know, we kind of were like, oh yeah, I started spring cleaning. Not really.

I was reading about this guy, this typical bachelor who was living on his own and they were asking him about spring cleaning, like when does he decide to clean his place. I don't know, he's like you know, twenty-eight, thirty, whatever. When does he decide to clean his place? He said, here is the test that he uses. That if he thinks about that if he died and people came into his place to like get all of his stuff together, would he be ashamed? So his test is basically shame from beyond the grave, that's the test that this guy is using as to whether or not he's going to clean his place. I'm not sure that's a great idea.

I don't know where the idea necessarily of spring cleaning came from exactly, like in our modern kind of way we always talk about that, you know, spring cleaning. But I do know where the seed of it came from, it came from a feast from about thirty-five hundred years ago, and it's called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now before you get too confused, we talked last week about the idea of Passover. And we talked about the people of God, the Israelites who were in captivity in Egypt for hundreds of years. And that God had made a promise that He was going to deliver His people. And He was going to do that after sending plagues, and then He was going to protect His people in the last plague, which was going to be the firstborn children of all that did not have the blood of a perfect, spotless lamb that was put on the doorpost and on the sides of the doors. That if they weren't then they were going to lose their firstborn child just like Egypt had taken the firstborn child of the Israelites many years earlier. And so, all those who had blood on the door, the Bible says that God would pass over and they would be protected, they would be saved as a result of that.

So we learned about Passover, but in that same time frame when Passover was instituted, so too was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread is oftentimes used interchangeably in terms of name with Passover, so sometimes you hear about Passover week, sometimes you hear about Feast week of Unleavened Bread. They all kind of run together, because Passover is really the first day Passover and then after that is the Feast of Unleavened Bread for a week following that.

So, we read last week in Exodus chapter 12 to learn a little bit about the Feast of Passover, but I want us to go back to Exodus chapter 12 and see a little bit of writing on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so we'd begin to understand it better. Here's what it says. It says: "This is a day" God says "that you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord - a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast." That's where we get the idea of unleavened bread, bread made without yeast. "On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. One the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do. Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."

Pretty specific, I think God's reasonably serious about no yeast in the bread, right? He's like, clean it out, I don't want to see it in the house, I want it all gone, don't anybody eat it, or else you're going to get kicked out of the community. That's my paraphrase right there. That's the Jerry International Version that I just read to you, alright?

So Leviticus tells us about the time frame of that, look what it says in Leviticus chapter number 23 it says: "These are the Lord's appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies that you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. And on the fifteenth day of that month the Lord's Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. One the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work."

So here's the idea. Passover occurs on the fourteenth, that's the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, not like the car, Nisan. The month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is the first month of their year. Because God kind of established it. It wasn't actually the first month of their year, God made it so when He was taking them out of Egypt. He said this now becomes the first month of your year, because everything is becoming new. I'm taking you out of captivity and making you a people. And so on the fourteenth day of that month, remember the tenth day was when they would select the lambs, on the fourteenth day of the month, they're observing Passover, on the fifteenth of the month of Nisan would begin the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And there would be a sacred assembly, kind of a sabbath, and then for seven days that would occur and there would be a sacred assembly at the end. No yeast anywhere, in any bread, in any home at all. That was the idea.

Now, why exactly was God so serious about the idea of no yeast being added to the bread? In other words, it had to be unleavened. Well, there's two pictures here. The first picture is it's a picture of what had to happen fast. If you remember in the time of Passover, what the people of God were told is that "here's how we want you to eat it. We want you to have your cloak tucked into your belt, we want you to have your sandals on because it's about to be go time. You've been in captivity for a long period of time, hundreds of years. I'm about to fulfill my promise. I need you ready. Cloak, get ready to run." So in other words, instead of it dragging on the ground and you know, doing all this, it's like I'm hiking it up, putting it in here, let's get it on, put my sandals on, it's like, and this is how I'm eating. Not exactly like that. That was a very bad impersonation of Israelites thirty five hundred years ago. Forgive me. But they were eating like that in haste. So much haste, in fact, that no yeast could even be put in the dough so that it would ferment and rise and kind of expand. No, no. We're going quick, right? So that was the first picture. It was a reminder of what God had done in getting them out of Egyptian captivity in a hurry.

But there's a second picture, and it's a picture of purity. You see, I am no culinary scientist, believe me. You can ask my wife, she could confirm that and testify before the Lord and all people that in the kitchen I'm pathetic. I can cook hamburgers on a grill, grills are fine. In the kitchen I'm worthless. So I'm not an expert in this, but here's what I do understand is that what the ancients would do is they would always keep back some old bread that they had. And they would take some of that and put it into the new dough, so that it had taken the time to ferment and it would help the bread to expand. Now it puffed up, but it didn't actually increase it's weight so much, it would just kind of puff up because it would ferment, the yeast would get in there and make a little more, so to speak.

But what God says is "I don't want any in that. I want this to be just pure bread, nothing that can decay, nothing that can sour," where we get our idea of sour dough bread, you know. "Nothing that can sour, nothing that can decay. I want this to be pure."

Well, that was the picture, right? The picture was of purity. It was not only haste in what God had done in getting them out of captivity, but He also had an idea that He wanted His people to be a people of purity. Another way we could say that is He wanted them to be a people of holiness.

In fact, when He takes them out of Egypt and is bringing them toward the direction of the Promised Land, He gives a number of instructions through Moses to the people. And listen to what God says very specifically in Leviticus chapter number 19: "The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.' In other words, it's almost as if God had said "I want my people to be yeast free. I want them to be holy, to be pure."

Now another way that maybe we could say what God was intending to do here, is maybe I would paraphrase it this way: "Clean the house so it's a home for holiness." Clean the house so it's a home for holiness. This is what God was actually calling His people to do during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because He told them, I want you to go through the house, I mean nothing, no leaven, no yeast in the whole house, not just in the bread, not in the house. I want the house cleaned so that it's a home for purity. A home for holiness. That was kind of the idea.

Interestingly enough, Jewish families, even many to this day have a tradition in their homes where during the time of preparing for the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, they really go to cleaning. I mean it's like clean city. They'll paint walls sometimes, you know, they'll clean baseboards. It's not, this is spring cleaning on steroids, right? They go off cleaning the place.

Then, there's a tradition that many families uphold just prior to the Passover on kind of the night prior, is that after kind of most things are all cleaned up, Mom, typically in the tradition, would take ten small pieces of leaven, ten small pieces of old dough with yeast in it and would hide those ten pieces in the house somewhere. And then when it got dark, what Dad would do with the kids is light a candle and then they're on the hunt, right? Kind of a fun thing to start off the week. He and the kids are going through the house with the candle, right? And they're looking for these pieces of dough because you can't have any in the house. And so they're looking for them. When they would find it, the Dad was also equipped with a few tools. A feather, and he would feather the dough onto a wooden spoon. And then the wooden spoon, he would have a cloth next to it, he would take it from the wooden spoon and put it into a cloth. And once they found all ten of them and they wrapped them up in the cloth, they would take them outside and they would burn them. This was a tradition that to this day, many Jewish families still do. That they would do to kind of get this out, it was kind of a symbolic picture to be able to get this out of the house.

You see, God was really serious about cleaning the house so that it could be a home for holiness. We'll come back to that picture in just a few minutes because it's a stark picture and a really great reminder. But what we're doing in this series is we're actually looking at these Old Testament feasts like we did with Passover last week. And because we believe the whole Bible actually points to Jesus, we're looking at these feasts and seeing how they point us to Jesus. And that's how we want to be able to kind of look and say okay, how does the Feast of Unleavened Bread show us Jesus?

Well, let me begin this way. If we go all the way back to the time of Jesus' birth, which we could go back before that and we will in just a moment, but if we go back to the time of Jesus' birth, we find that He was born in a very small town and I'm going to get your help right here, the small town where Jesus was born was named Bethlehem. Excellent, everybody's come to a Christmas service, fantastic. The place was called Bethlehem. In Hebrew the word bayit means house and lechem, Bethlehem means house of bread. So Jesus was born in the house of bread.

And in fact, when Jesus began His ministry one of the early pictures that we have, not only did John the baptizer, as we saw last week call Jesus the "Lamb of God" who would take away the sins of the world, giving a picture of the Passover, but notice what Jesus said about Himself that we see in John chapter 6: "Then Jesus declared, "I am the Bread of Life"." So the pure bread of God, the Bread of Life, was born in the house of bread.

There's more. Interestingly enough, you know and I know that Jesus, when He began His ministry would do what every Jew would do around the time of the Festival and the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. They would make their way to Jerusalem, right? His ministry was predominately in the Galilee region, mostly in fact around Capernaum, which was His home base in the Galilee region. But every single time, every time in the spring of the year when the time of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, He and His disciples would make their way into Jerusalem to observe that time.

Now interestingly enough, what Jesus did in His ministry is He actually fleshed out, the living out of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When Jesus showed up the first time to Jerusalem in His public ministry, and my guess is in His public ministry He came to Jerusalem at least two times, probably three, okay, in His public ministry. But the very first time, when Jesus had just started His public ministry and He goes for the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, notice what happens in John chapter 2: "When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; and He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. And to those who sold doves He said, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" And His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

Don't you find it interesting that Jesus shows up to Jerusalem in preparation for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and what does He do? He cleans the house so it's a home for holiness. That's what He does. And in fact, my guess is is that every time Jesus showed up to Jerusalem during His public ministry, is He was doing the same thing. Because we know that in the last time that He came to Jerusalem, just like the first time we read about in John chapter 2 when Jesus came in on what we call Palm Sunday, or as we noted last week, lamb selection day. When Jesus came in, what did He do right away? It says in Matthew chapter 21: "Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," He said to them, 'My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers'." What does Jesus do even the last time He comes in in preparation for the Passover and the Feast? He cleans the house so it's a home for holiness. See Jesus is actually living out the reality that the pure bread of God who was born in the house of bread is actually cleaning the house so that it is a home for holiness.

Now, last week we saw that Jesus was the Passover Lamb, right? We put all of that together, realized that He Himself was the Passover Lamb who was sacrificed. We would find that to have occurred on the fourteenth of the month, right? At the who you guys were reading just before you got here, if you read some of his old work, what you find out, he was a Jewish man, wasn't a Christian. He just kind of reported history and what he said, Josephus, he said that the time of the sacrifice of the lambs for the time of Passover occurred on the fourteenth. And then he got specific. He said actually the beginning of the sacrifice of those lambs or sheep began at 3:00 pm. You do know when Jesus died, right? 3:00 pm. You see, this is the picture of Jesus as the Passover Lamb. And just as the Passover talks about Jesus' death, where His blood was extended out on the cross so that God, in judgment, would pass over all of us who put our faith in Him, just as the Passover pictures His death, the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures His burial.

Let me see if I can explain this a little bit because there was this prophecy in Isaiah about the Messiah to come. And this prophecy was about His death and His burial. And of course, we're talking about the Bread of God here, the pure Bread of God in whom there is no decay, there is no souring, He is the pure Bread of God. But notice what Isaiah says in Isaiah chapter 53: "That He," speaking of the Messiah to come, "was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." In other words, pure as He was, He was still assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich.

Now, both of those things are actually true of Messiah Jesus because what happened, as you know, is that He was crucified as a criminal. And as a criminal on a cross between two criminals who were on crosses. Criminals were dealt with in the Roman system, when they were crucified they were dealt with in one of usually two ways. Both of them are pretty gruesome. The first way that they would deal with the bodies of those who were crucified is that at times what they would do is just leave them on the cross, and then they became food for the vultures. That's a grotesque kind of thing, it's barbaric, but it's true. Or if they took them down, they would put them in a criminal's only burial spot, where there were multiple criminals who were sometimes piled on one another in burial places, not given a kind of a proper burial at times. And had no one intervened, particularly God, this would have been the fate of Jesus. That He was assigned a burial place with the wicked, with the criminal.

But God entered in and He moved in the heart of a man named Joseph, not His earthly dad, a different man named Joseph who was from Arimathia. And notice what happened after Jesus died. Here's the story that we read about in Matthew 27. "As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pontius Pilate he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. And Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. And he rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and he went away." Some of the other gospel writers tell us it was a burial place, it was a new tomb and that means that there had been no body in it. It was brand new.

So notice what happened here. The pure bread of God was assigned a place with the wicked, but God, knowing the purity of the Bread said no, there will be no leaven. So the pure Bread of God gets a pure burial ground because of His pure sacrifice. It's startling, really. In fact, as He's buried and wrapped in those grave clothes laying there, we are reminded that because He is the pure bread of God, that there is no souring and there is no decay.

In fact, after Jesus' resurrection and after His ascension to the Father, and then He sends the Spirit and the Spirit empowers the apostles. Peter, in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 2 starts preaching a message to all the Jewish people and I want you to hear his language because it is consistent with Jesus being the unleavened bread of God. Listen to what he says in Acts chapter 2. He says: "Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. David said about Him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; and my body will also rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your Holy One see decay.'" Why? Because He is the pure, unleavened Bread of God.

You see, this is why when we look back at the idea of what families do in Israel, the picture of what they do, where they hide the leaven in the house and they walk around with a feather and put it onto the wooden spoon and then from the wooden spoon into the cloth where it is wrapped up and then it is burned. It's there that we begin to see the whole picture. We see the picture of Messiah Jesus. The very light of the world who is swept by the hand of God deliberately, Jesus knowing this, the Father knowing this, who is swept onto a wooden cross where He will bear the impurity and the leaven of all humanity. Where He will die and be wrapped in the clothes of burial so that He can take on the fire of the judgment of God on our behalf. So not only do we say Behold the Lamb of God, but we also say to the world Behold the Bread of Life, the unleavened bread of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's how we see Jesus in this picture.

Now, on this side of the cross and resurrection, there's some things for us to understand. Not only can we see Him in this, and we can walk away just being in awe of that all by itself, right? Where we just go man, it makes you just stop and go God is so in charge of what's happening in the world that it freaks me out. Like when we see all the things we put together for Passover last week and we're going what? And then we see all of this as Jesus, who is the picture of the unleavened bread of God, and we're like what? We can walk away just in awe of God and we should.

But, we also need to keep in mind something. That in the New Testament, the New Testament writers, not the least of which was Jesus, draw on the idea of yeast to talk to us about things we need to avoid. Things that we don't need to let into our lives, because we as the people of God who have put faith in Jesus Christ, listen to this, because he is the unleavened bread of God, when we put our faith in Him, the Bible says we are now in Christ. And that means we too are unleavened, clean, new. You see, when we put our faith in Jesus, a new home has been established. All things have been made new. We are a new house. We are a new temple. We are a new building. We are a new dwelling place. And what dwells in us? Holiness. Because the unleavened bread of God who is perfect. who is holy. who is spotless. now resides in us. So we are unleavened. But we allow yeast to get in. And when that happens, it can puff up. And that's not a good thing. So, we're warned in the New Testament about that time and time again.

Let me offer you some of those things, because from a matter of application, this is going to be real good for us. Here's some things that we need to avoid as we're warned by Jesus and others in the New Testament. The first is what I would call the yeast of hypocrisy. We need to be on our guard against the yeast of hypocrisy.

Notice how Jesus phrased it in Luke chapter 12. "Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." So Jesus is calling out the Pharisees. Now, he's using a general term. He's not saying every Pharisee ever that's ever lived, because some of them were godly, wonderful people. But generally speaking, he's saying here's what happens in the lives of Pharisees. That they exhibit hypocrisy. And you have to be on your guard so that you don't let that kind of yeast get into your world, and you become a hypocrite as well.

You see, what the Pharisees were really concerned with, there were three kind of big things that they were concerned with. They were concerned with alms giving, kind of charitable giving. They were concerned with prayer, and they were concerned with fasting. These were supposed to be kind of disciplines of worship for God. But what the Pharisees did is they turned them over into opportunities to make themselves look really spiritual. Jesus calls this out time and time again in the gospel, you know.

When he talks about giving, he's like, you're not trying to blow trumpets and try and get all this attention to yourself, you know, that you've got to have your name on everything. When you give, that's what the Pharisees do. That's hypocrisy. This is actually supposed to be for the Lord, and you're making it about you. He said, when you pray, don't be like them, where they go to the street corners, right, to be seen by people, so that they can go, oh dear God, and you know speak in Shakespeare-ese and be so impressive to everyone. He said, that's not it. That's not what you do!

And when they fasted, instead of cleaning themselves up and not letting anybody know that they were seeking after God, instead they wanted everybody to see how ashy their face was and how hungry they were because they were sacrificing for God. Look at me. I'm starving. Aren't I spiritual? What was meant to be acts of worship for God were actually turned to puffing themselves up. And that's what yeast does. Jesus says, I want you to be warned. You need to be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees.

You see, the same thing is true for us, ladies and gentlemen. We've got to be on our guard in our day and age that we don't become hypocrites. That we don't do what we do in the kingdom of God to be seen by people. You know what Jesus says? He says, if really if that's what you're endeavoring to do, you know? That you want to be a speaker or a singer, you want to give or you want to do this or you're serving this way or whatever. If you're doing it to call attention to yourself, then you've got your reward in full. That's what Jesus says. You got it! If you wanted people to look at you and go wow! Wow! I mean wow! Look at them. Spiritual! What? If that's what you want, that's what you got. But you don't have any eternal reward. If what you wanted was people to crow over you, you got it. But that's all you get.

You see, hypocrisy takes things that are meant for worship and makes them about us. And that could be a million different things, right? The man or the woman at work is always talking about Jesus but is not being faithful to their spouse. That's like putting a mask on. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. These are the things that we have to be on our guard against, Jesus says. Just like the Pharisees.

There's another one. The yeast of bad decisions or the bad doctrine is what I should say. The yeast of bad doctrine. Notice I'll point something out to you here in Matthew chapter 16. Jesus was ministering in the Galilee region. It says, when they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees." We've already discussed that. "...and the Sadducees."

Now, both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were kind of religious leaders of that time. The Pharisees were more conservative in their doctrinal approach. In fact, Jesus and the Pharisees were very close in the way that they viewed the Scripture, except the Pharisees got a little bit, they got legalistic about a bunch of stuff, and started rules that were from men, not from God, and it got crazy.

The Sadducees were different. They were kind of the aristocratic class. They were more wealthy. And they also had some bad doctrine. In other words, they didn't believe in the resurrection. They didn't believe in supernatural things, like angels or the supernatural works of God. They kind of dismiss those things. And if you ever want to remember kind of the difference between Pharisees and Sadducees, I say this sometimes. It's kind of silly, but it helps you to remember. Because they didn't believe in the resurrection and supernatural stuff, they were sad, you see. Right? That's how you that's how you can kind of remember that the Sadducees were sad you see, because they didn't believe in the resurrection, they didn't believe in the supernatural, they didn't believe in those things.

But they were this kind of wealthy group of people who were dismissing truth. And here's what Jesus says. Be on your guard against the Pharisees who are involved in hypocrisy. Don't let that happen in your life/ You're a new batch of dough. Don't let that begin to infect and ferment and swell. Don't do that. And be on your guard against the bad doctrine of the Sadducees. You see, they'll want to come around and tell you that there is no resurrection. Jesus has not yet died and risen from the dead. He's preparing his disciples to understand something, right? But here on this side we've we've got all kinds of people because of the proliferation of television and media who can get out and say whatever they want to say about whatever, and it can be as bad as you can imagine. Yet, people are still consuming some of this yeast of bad doctrine.

You know for instance, the idea whether it's in book format or preaching format, the idea that that some people would want to communicate that there is no hell. Now let me pause right here. There are vast misunderstandings about what hell is that I've tried to clear up in teaching here before. But to say that there is no it's just to say that Jesus was just talking silly. Jesus, ah, he doesn't know what he's saying. And he talks about it consistently and frequently and warns us against it. But we're we're content somehow being wealthy people who are proliferating some doctrine that there is no hell.

And then there's something that kind of jumps on the back of that that sometimes the yeast gets into the church. Everybody everywhere actually goes to heaven and is saved. And just everybody everywhere, it's kind of this idea of universalism. I'm sorry, do you remember Jesus actually saying, that broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there are who find it? That is the antithesis of that idea. And so to embrace that idea is to embrace the yeast of bad doctrine/

Or you've got wealthy people that are making some things up like for instance, if you have enough faith you will be wealthy and never sick. Stop it. If you're watching me, stop saying that. It's yeast. It's wrong, and it's bad. And it is infecting the body of Christ. And unfortunately, they're not testing that against anything, because it's just you know, it's always wealthy people talking like that. Right? It's always wealthy people talking like that. Because you can't be poor and talk like that or else you're defeating your own argument! But let me say this. If it's not true everywhere, it's not true anywhere. If the truth of God cannot be true for the Haitians and for Sierra Leoneans, then it's not true anywhere, because it's not true there. It's truth, period. We need to be careful not to allow. There's a million of these that I'm going to leave alone, but we've got to be careful not to allow the yeast of bad doctrine to infect us. And that's I believe what Jesus was saying about the Sadducees.

There's more of these. I'll see how much time I have be on your guard against the yeast of politics and power. Okay. I've meddled. Some of you right now are just going, I don't know what he's going to say, but I'm extraordinarily uncomfortable. Listen to what the Gospel of Mark says. Jesus says, be careful. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees, we've already talked about them, and that of Herod.

Now let me pause for a second. When the New Testament is talking about Herod, sometimes it's talking about the guy who was the king of the Jews, so to speak, that Herod. And there were multiple Herods as you recall. That was kind of a title, almost like Caesar was for the Romans. There were multiple Herods. So somebody in the kingship of Judaism. Or, it's talking about those who follow after Herod, and in the Scripture sometimes it refers to them as the Herodians. Those who blindly or loyally follow after this particular person. You see, here's the here's the implication. Jesus is saying be on your guard for those who lust after political power, and be on your guard against not blindly thinking that politics or worldly leaders are going to be able to save you.

I would say that's relevant today to us all. It doesn't even matter what your affiliation politically is whether that's Republican or Democrat or Independent or Green Party or the Rent's Too Dang High". Remember that guy? That was fantastic. He didn't use dang, but I just did, because it's Sunday and I'm on TV. Whatever. Whatever your affiliation, right? Regardless of what it might be. Make your own party up. If we think as people of Jesus, if we think that political leaders are our salvation, I've got a word for you - delusional. Not going to be the case.

And by the way, when the people of God start embracing political leaders to the point where they can no longer see and speak prophetically to the things that are in opposition to the way of Jesus, but instead blindly embrace it all, whether that's Republican or Democrat or Independent, I don't care. Any of these would fall in. When we put ourselves in a position where we have gotten so in bed with the political leaders of the day, we are lusting after political power in such a way, thinking that it is our salvation, it is a miss. And we have allowed the yeast of Herod to infect us.

Some of you know whether or not this yeast is involved in your life because you can't even listen to or have a conversation with somebody based upon who or what party they are in or voted for. You can't even stomach them, even if they're in the body of Christ. You can't even stomach them. I'm a conservative, and I can't stomach these people over here. I'm kind of liberal in policy. I want government to help people and those kinds of things, and I can't stomach these conservatives. I don't think they care about people. A lot of times it's a misappropriation of who we are about one another. But here's what happens in the church. I'm not even talking about people that are out there. I'm talking about the church. Here's what happens. We are more divided over our politics than we are united by the blood of Jesus. That is an indication of yeast. We need to ask ourselves, does the house need cleaning, so that it can be a home for holiness?

If you struggle to love somebody whose other than you, then you need a house cleaning. Because the Bible says, God demonstrated His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, we were the other! And he died for us. That's what the people of God should be about. Oh boy. We've got a lot of application here. A couple more. How about that?

How about the yeast of legalism? This is what the Scripture talks about. I'm going to land a couple here real quick. The yeast of legalism. When Paul was writing his letter to Galatia, here's what was happening. There were Judaizers that were coming into Galatia trying to say that salvation was not just Jesus alone, but it was Jesus plus rule keeping. Jesus plus the law. Listen to what he said in Galatians 5. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. Then listen to this. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. In other words, he's warning them in Galatia. Hey don't get to a place where you allow all this stuff in.

And I would say this to anybody watching, to any of us that are here. We have to be as a church, we have to be a people that do not embrace a legalism that makes it hard for people to come to Jesus. Where we say to them, it is by grace through faith in Jesus, plus you need to get your hair cut. Plus you need to take your earrings out. Plus, you need to undye your hair. Plus, you need to cover your tattoos. Plus, you got to quit smoking. Plus, you better quit drinking. Plus... Listen. That's legalism. You do not, listen to this, you do not get cleaned up before you take a bath. You take a bath so you can get cleaned up. You come to Jesus so that he can clean you, and then you can obey Him by faith in terms of what he's called you to do. Let's not put a bunch of hurdles in front of people that are trying to come to Jesus. The yeast of legalism. It affects us.

Let me give you a last one. It's the yeast of immorality. There's more probably, but I'm going to quit here. The yeast of immorality. Listen to what was happening in Corinth. Check this out. It says in 1st Corinthians chapter number 5, beginning in verse number 1. Here's what it says. It is actually reported that there are sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans don't tolerate. In other words, this made unbelievers in Jesus blush. A man is sleeping with his father's wife. If you do the math real quick. Go back one second. If you do the math real quick. His father's wife? Hello mom. This is creepy. And then here's what he says. And you are proud. Shouldn't you rather have gone in the morning and have put out of your fellowship the man who's been doing this? Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast so that you may be a new unleavened batch as you really are. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

You see, here's what Paul saying. He's saying, I can't believe that you're embracing sexual immorality, and of a kind that's just extraordinarily bad. But anyway it looks, Paul talked about sexual immorality in a number of different ways, anyway it looks, I can't believe that you're just embracing this. And you're even proud of it. Like you're like okay whatever. Paul's saying, no, no, no. Because that kind of yeast, it leavens the whole batch of dough. It is not good. And it needs to be removed. Not removed by the way, in the sense of thrown to the curb and hate their guts, but removed in the sense that you can't bring disrepute to the people of Jesus until you've turned and repented. If you claim to know him, you need to repent, so that you can come into a place where the house has been cleaned by what Jesus has done, and you can be a home for holiness.

And you see, we buy into the yeast of this culture when it comes to sexual immorality, don't we? And maybe it's even virtual immorality with pornography. We think that it's okay. You know, it's okay to defraud this man or this woman by just looking at them and treating them as a subhuman. Dehumanizing them. These are people made in the image of God, and we're dehumanizing them. That is yeast. It is sin. And it needs to be removed.

Or maybe it's the hookup culture that we have among single adults. That just feel like, you know, we can we can just do our thing, right? It's not a really a big deal. It is a big deal. Because God has designed marriage to be a picture of a bride and a groom, as in the Bride of Christ - us, and the bridegroom Jesus, a picture of faithfulness. This is what God has designed this for.

Or maybe it's immorality that occurs when somebody is involved outside of the covenant of their marriage relationship. These things are not okay. They can be forgiven. They can be dealt with. But these are not the things that are okay. This is yeast that we buy into. Like, well, you know, I'm just not really happy in my marriage, and so I'm going to go do this. And I'm going to go do that. Stop! You have been infected! And as a result, here's what's happening. You're getting puffed up thinking about yourself and not thinking about the testimony of Jesus.

Now I say that to you in love, because I understand man, people make mistakes, and people fall down and all of that. This isn't a judgment. It's a reminder that we are to be on our guard against these things. And here's the thing that you forget so quickly. What Paul said in those verses. Verse number seven. He said, get rid of the old yeast so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as you really are! What you are if you've put your faith in Jesus, you are new. You are an unleavened batch. So don't let the yeast in. Don't receive that. Because what it does is it clouds the picture for the world to be able to see the pure bread of God who is the only one who can satisfy their longing and their appetite. That's what we want to be able to see.

Jesus Christ the pure bread of God. What he will do is he will clean the house so it's a home for holiness. And the question that we have to ask is, since he is the pure bread of God, are there things in our lives, yeast that shows up in the house, that we need to ask God to clean the house, so that we can be a home for holiness? Let's bow our heads together.

Before we're dismissed, if you're here, and you've never come to that place of putting your faith and trust in Jesus, so that he would save you and change you, make you new, make you a new house. Boy, we'd love to talk to you about that. Because what he's done on the cross and offering himself for you, dying in your place and rising from the dead, it can make you new if you believe by faith. And so, when we dismiss in a moment, if that's you, and you need to come into that relationship with him and begin anew, I want to ask you to come by the Fireside Room. It's right across the atrium. Come in there. There's some pastors and some other friends in there who'd love to take a moment talk to you about what that looks like.

And for those of us maybe that are here who say we are followers of Jesus, that we have been born from above. We've been transformed. We've been made new. I just want to ask you to be willing to ask God if there are things in the house of your heart that need to be cleaned. Not that your sin hasn't already been forgiven. It has at the cross. He's dealt with that. But sometimes we allow the yeast in, don't we? But that's not who we really are. And so, if the Spirit of God kind of points that out in your heart, would you be willing to allow him to remove that, so that you can give a demonstration of what it looks like to be a house, a home for holiness.

Father, I pray You would speak and You would work in ways that only You can by Your Spirit. This is Your activity and Your work to do. So God, I pray that every heart, every mind, every soul, would be submissive to Your leadership in their lives, so that they might be a demonstration of who they really are, a people who've been purified, who've been made new. A home for holiness. Help us to be that kind of people so the world can see the bread of God, who is the satisfaction for the appetite of humanity. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.