Archive for March, 2016

Exodus 12:15-18  Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.  And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall you observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

The first day of the Feast is a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. What do you suppose is the purpose for observing the last day of the Feast?

Exodus 12:19-20  Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall you eat unleavened bread.

Why did Yahweh command us to remove leaven from our houses? Leaven figuratively represents undesirable things in our lives that Yahweh would have us to remove from our walk with Him and Yeshua.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8  Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah 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.

Here we see that malice and wickedness, which is sin, is a type of leaven. Paul was prompted to write this in reference to the man who was committing fornication by having his father’s wife.

Matthew 16:6-12  Then Yeshua 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 Yeshua perceived, he said unto them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you 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.

Here we see that false doctrine is a type of leaven.

Luke 12:1  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 you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Here we see a third type of leaven which is hypocrisy. To understand the kind of hypocrisy Yeshua was referring to, let’s read Matthew 23:27-28;

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Yeshua was a sinless man; a man who knew the truth and had all his doctrines correct; and who was sincere, not hypocritical.

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

By ridding our houses of leaven, we show our desire to rid our lives of sin. We want to be sinless as Yeshua was. Is that possible?

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The moment we are cleansed of all unrighteous, we are sinless. Confessed sin cannot stick to us. The problem is, we are yet flesh and continue to sin.

Hebrews 12:1-4  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of [Elohim]. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

There is a battle taking place in believers. The inner man desires to obey Yahweh and keep His commandments, but the outward man of flesh strives against and sometimes yields to sin. Here is how Paul puts it in Romans 7:14-25:

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of [Elohim] in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my  mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my  members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to [Elohim] through Yeshua Messiah our Master! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of [Elohim], but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Paul explains this same war a little differently in Galatians 5:

Galatians 5:16-18  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The victory in this war lies in walking in the Spirit. What does it mean to “walk in the Spirit”?

As I see it, that phrase can have at least three meanings;

1)  If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit and hear what it is saying to us, not allowing anything to dull our hearing, then we can walk were it leads .

An example of this would be:

Acts 8:29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.

The Spirit spoke to Philip who heard and obeyed. He walked in the Spirit’s leading.

2)   Ezekiel 36:27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.

It seems that Yahweh would do this in conjunction with the written Word. For example, if the Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13) and Yahweh’s Word is truth (John 17:17), then the Spirit will guide us to understand His Word (the Scriptures) and lead us to repentance and obedience.

3)   After writing about “walking in the Spirit”, Paul goes on to write:

Galatians 5:24  And they that are Messiah’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

When we first believed our old man was crucified with Yeshua.

Romans 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

By the “old man” is meant our corrupt self/nature before receiving Yeshua. However, as a man who is crucified  is still alive though he can’t move and act as he previously did, so our old man and its body of sin is “crucified” in that it is restrained by Yahweh’s grace and Spirit, yet it still has great influence over us.

Paul goes on to say:

Romans 6:12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Sin is still alive, but we should not allow it to rule over us. The way to do that is by continually putting it to death.

Romans 8:13-14  For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you shall live. But put on the Master Yeshua Messiah, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Colossians 3:5-10 Mortify (put to death) therefore your members (parts of the body) which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of Elohim comes on the children of disobedience: In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them. But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

1 Peter 2:11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

In the four passages above, it is the believer that must act to put away sin through the help of the Holy Spirit and not allow it to become our master once again.

Matthew 16:24  Then said Yeshua unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

What are some ways we can deny ourselves?

The fact that the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts seven days pictures this ongoing process of putting to death sin, discarding false doctrine and feeding on the unleavened bread of truth, and living sincere, honest and open lives before our Creator.

The last day of the Feast would picture the end of that lifelong process ending when our flesh literally dies. Up until then, we have been figuratively dead, but then literally. We cease abstaining from leaven at our death. Afterwards, our resurrection unto a literal new life will take place.

I do not believe we will be leaven free until after our resurrection based on Leviticus 23:17:

You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.

These loaves represent the firstfruits of the wheat harvest or the first fruits of the harvest of souls at the resurrection. They are baked with leaven showing us that even the first saints to be resurrected will have been leavened. Only Yeshua was unleavened or sinless. His resurrection is pictured in Leviticus 23:10-13 with the waving of the sheaf of the firstfruits of the barley harvest which was pure grain without leaven.

So let’s continue to look unto Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who has saved us from our sins. And let us continue to search out the leaven in us and put it out of our lives until we are no longer able to do so.

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