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THREE MEASURES OF LEAVEN
Ironically, perhaps the largest subject ever addressed by Christ is the Kingdom of God; yet His parables on that specific topic are the shortest in the entire Bible. In one of His most profound statements, we find the following:
"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).
Webster's Dictionary uses the phrase "weigh out," or measure, in its definition of the root word dispense; however, such documentation is unnecessary, for common usage tells us the so called "Dispensational" system of prophecy is related to how the LORD dispenses, or measures out salvation.
What is truly amazing is how the Dispensational system (known to most as the Rapture theology) specifically designates three stages (or alleged "Dispensations") of salvation within the faulty system.
Sadly, most of those ensnared in the now massive belief system which flowered in a small European Christian oriented cult environment, are completely ignorant of systemic theologies which preceded Rapturism, as most of them have been thoroughly indoctrinated to believe there is no other viable view of prophecy. To this end, most "Christians" caught in the Rapture Cult refuse to even consider (or examine for that matter) the compelling historical record which conclusively documents the origin, development, and rise of the Spiritual ruse that is the pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine. Further, by framing the disagreements on the subject of the "Rapture" as one of timing (commonly characterized as pre-trib versus pos-trib), people coming to Christ in a Rapturist environment widely fail to realize the lack of credibility concerning the Rapture doctrine is actually related to issues of salvation - hardly an unimportant issue.
Obviously, Jesus will hold such "believers" accountable for refusing to respond to His own warning concerning just how the Kingdom of God would be leavened (see Matthew 22:12,13 for their fate).
Dispensational teachers tell us the first Dispensation was Israel, as seen in the Old Testament and the law. The second alleged "Dispensation" is what is usually called the "Church" age, and the third (and final) of the three is when the "Church" has supposedly been Raptured, and the tribulation which ensues then supposedly centers on Jewish salvation, in the final "Dispensation" of 7 years. Thus, there are three stages of Spiritual "development" in this pattern.
Revelation describes this three-fold cycle as well, when the Word of God tells us of the same leavenous formula which posits that Israel was saved under the Old Covenant, is not saved now under the New Covenant, but all Israel shall be saved after the so called "Rapture."
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 17:8).
Setting aside the timing verses which clearly place the resurrection of the believers (which would include the "dead in Christ" who will "rise first" in the supposed Rapture) at "the last day" (John 6:39, 40, 41, 54), the figure of leaven plainly speaks of sin and iniquity.
What usually stumbles marginal believers who are confronted with these facts is their Dialectical reasoning process, rather than an absolute commitment to the truth of the Gospel. In other words, it doesn't seem possible the Kingdom of God could be diminished, so they evaluate the concept, and reject it based on their conditioning. However, the Word of God never returns void, and it militates that leaven is indeed a figure of a progressive deception which, if not aggressively refuted, will eventually grow until it "leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9, I Corinthians 5:6).
The New Testament flatly tells us that leaven is a picture of false doctrine which we are to scrupulously avoid:
"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 16:12).
When Paul repeated Christ's warning, and said that leaven would progressively destroy the entire "lump," he used the identical figure of speech which he used for Israel, in describing them as the original root, or lump blessed by God. Speaking of the "casting away" of Israel as being directly associated with the salvation which had come to those who received JESUS CHRIST as their Saviour, he noted how the "lump" of Israel was sanctified as holy before their "branches [were] broken off" (Romans 11:15-17).
Further, the most angry denunciations Christ ever made were against the religious practices of the Pharisees and the Sadducees -- which He repeatedly identified as the doctrine propagated by the Jewish leaders.
Many believers are unaware the Pharisees and the Sadducees espoused doctrine directly contrary to the opposite group. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, angels, and supernatural things - whereas the Sadducees were the equivalent of liberals who did not believe in such things.
"For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both" (Acts 23:8).
This indicates the doctrinal leaven that Jesus was referring to was the fact that the two factions were willing to be joined together in a council of compromise, in order to sustain their position and agenda. The synthesis that was the Sanhedrin (the name of their ruling council) was a perfect example of the threefold philosophical formula of Thesis versus Antithesis equals Synthesis.
As Christ's ministry enthralled the populace, the two factions clashed over what to do - and the synthetic solution was the decision to embrace the Death of the truth.
"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation" (John 11:47, 48).
At that council, the high priest announced that in order for their agenda to survive, the truth must be sacrificed.
"It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50).
Thus, we see the parable says there are three stages of sinful doctrine in the Antichrist dominated end of the world. This leavenous doctrine is associated with the divided lump of Israel, and the synthetic effort put forth by the Jewish leaders to preserve their own position at any price. This worldview compromised the entire loaf, or lump.
Since the common denominator in all three "Dispensations" is the blasphemous lie that Israel was permanently chosen by the LORD on a racial basis, rather than the Spiritual rebirth in Christ (as ably articulated throughout the New Testament), we conclude the flesh and blood Jewish primacy espoused by the Sanhedrin (still seen in the Rapture Cult and all forms of Messianic thought), is the leaven which corrupts the Kingdom of God.
However, we are of "good cheer" for Christ has overcome the world and its Antichrist religion, and God has promised He will always preserve a Remnant -- and that Remnant is a Spiritual body -- not of the so called "Church," as seen in the leavened loaf, but the only redeemed Remnant ever identified in Scripture.
"The Remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid" (Zephaniah 3:13).
--- James Lloyd
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