“Then He charged them, saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.’” (Mark 8:15)I have been processing this scripture the last day or so. Why? A few weeks ago I found myself saying to my wife “there is an attack on the children.” At the time I thought it was just my grandchildren. I would say to my wife and a few close friends I am “struggling” with this. “Maybe it is just Christmas and the kids are keyed up.” But every time I turned around one of the children was getting hurt! And others shared similar things.Sitting here on Friday as the news of the massacre in Newtown washed over me., I realized that something was going on. Something I had “felt” but not been able to process. Worse, I had no answer. I felt for lack of a better description, “helpless.”In the Bible, leaven is often depicted as a symbol of sin or evil. Each Passover season, the Jews had to remove all leaven from their dwellings and were never allowed to use it in any of their offerings. However, as Jesus stated, leaven is also a type of erroneous and deceptive doctrine.
According to the Scriptures, leaven, like most sin, starts out small and hidden, but left unchecked, it eventually spreads, infiltrating and infecting the entire person, church, or community. The Lord’s warning to His own disciples proves that, as believers in Christ, you and I are not immune to this deadly disease. (It is in the mind.) In fact, there are currently many modern day ‘Pharisees’ and ‘Herods’ spewing their demonic leaven, still hoping to ‘entangle’ the Lord and lead many of His followers astray.
“Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.” (Mark 12:13)
I say we are reaping the results of a wrongful doctrine(s) or positioning. (Yes, I am a “finished work” guy.)
On Sunday morning I heard this scripture.
“A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.” Matthew 2:18
Who were these people of Herod?
As far as the Herodians were concerned, nothing was actually sinful; and as long as you ‘believed’ in God, everything was okay. In fact, according to historians, the Herodians were an influential religious and political group comprised of Jews who catered to Herod, accepted the Roman way of life, and were favorable toward Greek customs and passions. In other words, these were the supposedly ‘enlightened’ Jews who claimed they had faith in God, yet curried political and social favor by not imposing their beliefs on others. The Herodians were the “inclusive church”, the “politically correct church”, and indeed the “cool church” of their day.
But it was more than that. It was the belief in the politics of the day. The politicking of men who were religious. Am I saying politics are wrong? NO! But what I am saying is that the way we as believers use politics in so many ways is.
We struggle with the fact that we did not get the kingdom we asked for. We are moving away from the religion that kills(Phariseeical) but we tried to build a kingdom on politics!
Mat 2:13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord [!] appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”
Herod killed the CHILDREN!
Here are some traits of the leaven(spirit) of Herod.
- The spirit of Herod takes and offers bribes. Matthew 14:6-7
- The spirit of Herod persecutes the righteous, without cause. Matthew 14:3
- The spirit of Herod uses political power to create a self-indulgent playpen. Matthew 14
- The spirit of Herod is afraid of the perceived will of the majority. Matthew 14:5
- When conflicted, the spirit of Herod will yield to the pressure of alliances before it yields to the will of the majority. Matthew 14:9
- The spirit of Herod will investigate the anointed. Luke 9:9
- The spirit of Herod assassinates the character of blameless men and women. Acts 12:2 (WOW! If they are saved are they blameless? YES!)
- The spirit of Herod is in collusion with the Pharisees. (We call it “in bed with’.) Acts 12:3
- The spirit of Herod rejoices in putting the righteous on public trial. Acts 12:4
- The spirit of Herod will mock and ridicule because it doesn’t know what to do with Jesus. Luke 23:11
Folks-it is time to see the value of Jesus and His death on the cross. It is time to recognize our seatedness and turn the tide. If believers refuse to acknowledge God or allow “compromise” to enter we can not turn the tide.
I am not speaking about a person or people, nor specific actions (like abortion or massacres) BUT I am addressing the problem. The hard part is I am struggling with the finish here.
It is time for the church to judge up and not down, to stop calling them “like you see them” and start calling them like HE SEES THEM! If we battle not against flesh and blood then we must stop the attacks. It is believers who are calling God out of schools! Posting (or worse-saying) “God is not allowed in the schools” is amplified by a believer.
Proverbs 18:21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
In the words of the great movie Bambi (Think about that…)
Thumper: He doesn’t walk very good, does he?
Mrs. Rabbit: Thumper!
Thumper: Yes, mama?
Mrs. Rabbit: What did your father tell you this morning?
Thumper: [clears throat] If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all.
Who is NOT walking well? Where are you? Where am I?
When someone does not walk well…Luke 13:11-13 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. STOP LOOKING AT THE GROUND AND START LOOKING AT HIM!