PARABLE of the Leaven (Matt.13:33) – 05

Mysteries of

The Kingdom of the Heavens

 

Part 05

PARABLE of the Leaven (Matt.13:33)

 

What Satan did to prevent fruit-bearing of those who heard the Word of the kingdom, is seen in the first three parables. In this fourth parable, the Parable of the Leaven, we see Satan’s continued activity against fruitfulness of the Word of the Kingdom and the condition at the conclusion of this present dispensation.

WOMAN: The first three parables start with a Man sowing the good seed. This fourth parable begins with a “woman” taking leaven and hiding in three measures of meal. The Man is Christ, the Son of Man (Matt.13:37). The “woman” points to the church, which should submit and be obedient to the Man (Eph.1:22, 23; 4:15; 5:22, 31, 32). The church should not formulate/mix her own teachings; all such teachings will be perverse teachings, destructive heresies and doctrines of demons (Acts 20:30; 2Pet.2:1; 1Tim.4:1-3; 2Tim.4:3, 4). The church should always submit to the Lord who is the Head of the church, and be fully obedient to the Word of the Kingdom.

LEAVEN hid in THREE MEASURES OF MEAL: The three measures of meal refers to the divinely perfect bread, breathed out by the triune God and this meal is the Word of the Kingdom (Matt.4:4; Isa.55:1, 2). This is the living and life-giving Word of God (Heb.4:12; 1Pet.2:1, 2). LEAVEN is first mentioned in Gen.19:3 (comp.Gen.18:6). It is forbidden in the offerings (Lev.2:11). The first festival of the Israelites is the Passover – remembering the death of the Pascal Lamb and the application of the shed blood. Immediately after that is the second festival, which is the festival of Unleavened Bread – leaven is put away for seven days. Seven is a number indicating ordinal completion. This festival suggests that all those who have appropriated the blood should keep away from sin throughout their life (1Cor.5:6-8). And now, when leaven is mentioned we can understand exactly what is meant (Matt.16:6, 11, 12; Gal.5:9).

LEAVEN is the false doctrine introduced by Satan as seen in the previous two parables and brought to a conclusion as seen in this parable. These three parables refer to Satan’s activity, taking that which is false (tares) and placing it within the divinely perfect Word of the Kingdom – false message taking root and spreading, leading to an unnatural growth (mustard seed tree) – false messengers find a home/shelter within it, rapidly spreading the false message (leaven) and corrupting the whole lump (the Word of the Kingdom).

The history of the church seen in these four parables can also be seen in Revelation Chapter two and three. The church at Ephesus is the first, and the church at Laodicea is the last, among the seven churches mentioned here. From the details of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus (Acts 20:17-38) and his Epistle to the church at Ephesus, we can clearly understand that the church at Ephesus was filled with matured believers who were well-versed with the Word of the Kingdom. But even in the beginning of the dispensation, the church at Ephesus “had lost their first love” (Rev.2:2-4). This could have happened only because of the “leaven” introduced by the enemy. Now at the end of the dispensation, we see the completely “leavened” state of the church, as depicted in Rev.3:17, in the letter to the church at Laodicea. Today if we go to any church, whether liberal or fundamental, none of their teachings have anything to do with the Word of the Kingdom.

At his juncture, while looking at the progressive working of the leaven in the history of the church in Rev.2 and 3, two things attract our attention: (1) the doctrine of the Nicolaitans Rev.2:6; 3:15 and (2) the doctrine of Balaam Rev.2:14.

(1)  The doctrine of the Nicolaitans Rev.2:6; 3:15

There is no record of any group of people called Nicolaitans in church history. This word appears to have evolved from a compound Greek word “nikolaites” which is a combination of two simple words “nike” and “laos” (“nike” meaning a victor or conqueror and “laos” meaning people). So the “Nicolaitanes” could only be understood as a reference to individuals forming a hierarchy within the Church, a few leaders ruling over the common people (laity). In the church, every child of God has equal access to God’s throne of grace through the Lord Jesus, and no other mediator is needed (Heb.4:16; 10:19). He is our Head and we are all members of His body, all of us having equal access to Him. The hierarchy within the Church was started as an unwanted practice (deeds) in the church at Ephesus (Rev.2:6) and later it became a doctrine (a rule/permanent feature) in the church at Pergamos (Rev.2:15). The Lord firmly expressed His hatred towards this practice. Today if we go to any church, whether liberal or fundamental, we will see a class of people who have usurped the place of mediators. All their teachings and practices are aimed at safeguarding their own positions.

(2)  The doctrine of Balaam Rev.2:14

The doctrine of Balaam is referred as “the way of Balaam” in 2Pet.2:15 and as “the error of Balaam” in Jude 11. The doctrine of Balaam, taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrifice to idols, and to commit sexual immorality (Rev.2:14; Mic.6:5). According to this teaching, they are all delivered from the bondage of Egypt through the blood of the Pascal Lambs and now they could sin with immunity. After you are redeemed, all the promises and blessings of God are unconditional (Numb.23, 24). In other words, according to this teaching, once you are saved by grace through simple faith, you can live any kind of life; ultimately you will not incur any loss whatsoever. Today if we go to any church, whether liberal or fundamental, you will find, after preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God, the preaching of the Word of the Kingdom is completely avoided.

Today we find two main divisions among Christians – the fundamentalists and the liberals (as they are known and referred to). These two religious groups are worlds apart in their theology, but they are one in their attitude toward the proffered kingdom. In relation to the Word of the Kingdom, one segment is just as leavened as the other. Neither proclaims the central message, which is vitally important to all of us, who look forward to the glorious return of our Lord.