Revelation 1: The Congregations

Revelation 1

The Book of Revelation begins with a greeting to seven churches;

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. Revelation 1:4-5

We can see Jesus in the greeting but the others are a bit mysterious.

God, the great I AM is He “who is and who was and who is to come.” He occupies the present, the past and the future;

  • who is – I exist
  • who was – I have always existed
  • who is to come – I will continue to exist.

If the seven Spirits before God’s throne are able to send greetings, who are they? They are angels who represent congregations.

Jesus gives us the key to that in the last verse, Revelation 1:20. And that’s the only clue we get! We know they’re before the throne of God but we don’t get to see them.

“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11.

Asia is not in the east in this case – it’s the old Roman provinces straddling Europe and the Middle East. The seven churches lay in front of the Taurus mountain range, a great mountain chain running parallel to the Mediterranean coast in what is now Turkey.

Why did the Lord write the letter to these churches? The seven churches include two comparatively small towns, Thyatira and Philadelphia, while larger churches are passed by.

The seven lampstands are the earthly congregations; “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;  His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;  

Jesus is wearing a garment down to the feet and is girded about the chest with a golden band. He’s dressed as the high priest. Below, under related posts, are his letters to the congregations on earth.

The stars Jesus holds in his right hand are the heavenly congregations; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Revelation1:12-16

The Pleiades and Orion are mentioned three times in the Bible – in Job 9:9, Job 38:31, and Amos 5:8. If they’re mentioned three times, it’s meant to get our attention.

The seven stars are represented by the Pleiades, a gravitationally bound star system within the constellation of Taurus. It means “the congregation of the Judge or ruler.” They roughly correspond to the shape of the seven churches which lay in front of the Taurus mountain range in Turkey.

Taurus is one of 88 constellations.

Each constellation tells a story.

Do you know the meaning of the word astrology? Astro means stars and Logos means the word of God.

ASTRO : There are 12 astrological signs with 3 Decans (36 groups of stars), and 88 Constellations. The signs contain a truth which in the ages after the flood, lost its meaning and became corrupted into what we have today, the zodiac.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Silently, the night sky pours forth speech; night after night the constellations and stars reveal knowledge.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

Although much meaning has been lost, the ancient language of the stars and constellations is still there, buried and fragmented in the legends of the world, like an ancient song forgotten voices still sing.

LOGOS :

Logos means the Word of God. Jesus is the Logos. As I explained the name of Jesus in Greek is IHSOUS. Greek letters have number values and the numbers of these letters add to 888. The Book of Revelation that Jesus gave the apostle John has 22 chapters of 404 verses, and 22 multiplied by 404 equals 8888. So he’s stamped it, signed it, sealed it, and delivered it through his servant John.

Forever, O Lord, Your word is fixed in heaven. Psalm 119:89

Jesus is holding the seven stars, and God tells us in Amos 5:8 to seek Him; “Seek him that made the seven stars and Orion, and turned the shadow of death into the morning, and made the day dark with night: that called for the waters of the sea, and poured them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name …”  Amos 5:8 KJV


Related posts

Letters from Jesus

Revelation 1:1, What does 8,88,888, and 8888 Signify?)

The Light of the Heavens

The mystery of the seven stars

Winter in New Zealand heralds the arrival of Matariki, the Maori New Year.  Matariki is marked by the appearance of the Pleiades Star Cluster.  In the night sky, the Pleiades can be spotted with the naked eye as a dim cluster of stars above Orion’s left shoulder.

Stars in their eyes

Matariki-southern
For the Maori, Matariki literally means “eyes of God” (Mata Ariki) or “little eyes” (Matariki.)  After the languages were mixed up at the Tower of Babel, each ethnic group was dispersed with a piece of the story. The seven eyes represent angels. The prophet Zechariah, writing about his vision of a lampstand with seven lamps, tells of the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth.

Links

Who Is “Him Which Is, And Which Was, And Which Is To Come?”

Revelation 1:1, What does 8,88,888, and 8888 Signify?

Revelation 1

Revelation is the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:2) and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev 19:10)

There’s a blessing for those who read, hear and keep the words of the prophecy. You can’t just read the book, you have to hear and keep the words. Who better to explain it than the author? He has the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2

The first verse of Revelation begins with Jesus and God. God wants to show His servants things that must happen at the time of the end and he gave the Revelation to Jesus, to give to John through an angel.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, Revelation 1:1

Did you notice that Jesus not only sent it, he signified it? How does one signify something? In years past, a letter would be sealed with hot wax and the seal imprinted with the person’s signet ring.

There’s an example of this in the Book of Esther, chapter 8 verse 8. Note the eights.

You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.” Esther 8:8

8

The Bible does have some significant numbers. Six is the number of man and seven is the number of God. We always hear about 666 when it comes to the Book of Revelation, but never 888. The number eight is Jesus’ number.

In Greek, the name of Jesus is spelled I H S O U S. Each Greek letter has a numerical value and so if we then take each letter in Jesus’ name and add them up, the total comes to 888.

I H S O U S (Jesus) = 10 + 8 + 200 + 70 + 400 + 200 = 888.

NameGreek letterValue
Iiota10
Heta8
Ssigma200
Oomicron70
Uupsilon400
Ssigma200
TOTAL888
Above: The name of Jesus in Greek, I H S O U S

8 is the same, up or down.

Sideways it’s the symbol of infinity, represented by an 8 laid down.

Eight is the number of resurrection and the resurrection is the eighth ‘great sign’ recorded in John’s Gospel.

God has left us with some signs to see. Here is a cosmic wonder from heaven; the Infinity Symbol discovered at the heart of the Milky Way in 2011, and a thing of beauty from the earth – a butterfly called “Anna’s 88.” Butterflies are used as a symbol of new life and the resurrection.

Jesus is referred to as the ‘Son of Man’ 88 times in the New Testament.

The Book of Revelation has Jesus’ number stamped on it. There are 22 chapters of 404 verses, and 22 multiplied by 404 equals 8888.

Signed, sealed, signified and delivered – that’s his book.

We’re not used to seeing Jesus as a king, but we will be soon.

Judah’s signet and cord

Judah and Tamar were ancestors of Jesus Christ. The royal line began with Judah;

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
Genesis 49:10

In Genesis 38 Judah gave Tamar his signet and cord, and staff as a pledge before he lay with her. When confronted she produced them asking, “Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff,” Genesis 38:25. It was an awkward question for Judah but not for God. Whose signet was it? The message is there in a hidden equidistant letter sequence which spells out “God encoded, God is truth.”

Related post: Through the Word: Tamar

Jesus as King

Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua. The meaning of the name Jesus is ‘Yah Will Save, Yah Saves.’ Salvation is to be found under no other name.

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

God said through the prophet Isaiah;

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.
Isaiah 45:22-23

Every knee will bow before Jesus.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11

Related post:The Great Sign in Heaven.’

Links

The name Jesus: Summary

Anna’s 88

Is the butterfly with 88 on it’s wings a sign, or a coincidence?

Jesus brought to the temple after his eighth day and greeted by a prophetess named Anna, a widow in her 80’s.

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Luke 2:21-24 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Luke 2:36-38 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;  and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

The LORD’s signet ring

Ancient kings used signet rings to designate authority, honor, or ownership. A signet contained an emblem unique to the king. Official documents were sealed with a dollop of soft wax impressed with the king’s signet, usually kept on a ring on his finger. Such a seal certified the document as genuine, much like a notary public’s stamp today. In 1 Kings 21:8, the evil Queen Jezebel took King Ahab’s signet ring and “wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal.” The ring’s stamp gave her letters the king’s authority. In Daniel 6:17, a signet ring was used to seal a stone covering a lions’ den: “A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.” A royal signet ring is also featured in Genesis 41:41-43 and Esther 8:8.

Got Questions: What does it mean that Zerubbabel was the LORD’s signet ring (Haggai 2:23)?

Feeling insignificant?

sea-of-facesDo you feel small and insignificant to God? Just a face in the crowd? Lost in the big picture?

Go to this site, place your computer’s cursor in the mass of people and double-click a  couple of times. Scary sharp!!  Not so easy to hide in a crowd anymore.

http://www.gigapixel.com/image/gigapan-canucks-g7.html

This was from an email sent to me by my Aunt.  The picture was taken with a 70,000 x 30,000-pixel camera  (2100 Mega  Pixels.)  These cameras are not sold to the public and are being  installed in strategic locations. The camera can identify a face among a multitude of people.

If the camera technology we’ve now got can pick you out of a crowd, how much more can God?

Did you know God saw you and wrote about you before you were even conceived?  It’s there in Psalm 139, and it says that God’s thoughts outnumber the grains of sand.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs by Kutless, Sea of Faces.  Enjoy, and remember that as far as God’s concerned, you’re to die for.

“I see the city lights all around me
Everyone’s obscure
Ten million people each with their problems
Why should anyone care
And in Your eyes I can see
I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body’s the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine
Sometimes my life it feels so trivial
Immersed in the greatness of space
Yet somehow you still find the time for me
It’s then You show me Your love
And In Your eyes I can see
And in Your arms I will be
I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body’s the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine
If only my one heart
Was all you’d gain from all it cost
Well I know you would have still been a man
With a reason
To willingly offer your life
I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body’s the bread, Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine
Just one in a million faces” – Kutless

The fading flower …

Shortly after my last post where I asked “Who wants to live forever?” my mother passed away.  For most of her life she grappled with the highs and lows of bipolar disease.  She’s free of her demons at last. 

My memories of her when she was bipolar aren’t good, but in between times she had a happy, sunny nature.  And that’s how I want to remember her.

I’ve made a youtube video of the powerpoint I prepared for the funeral, showing scenes from her life, which I and my family feature in.

It’s here if you want to see it.  The music is “Who am I?” by Casting Crowns.

It brings to mind the scripture that God has compassion on us mortals – who are here today and gone tomorrow, just like the grass and flowers.  That’s why Jesus wept at the grief of Lazarus’s sisters.

As a father has compassion on his children
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.” 

Psalm 103:13-19

I wasn’t sure of how things were with my mother and God.  He gave me a story to tell her on the last occasion she had a serious heart attack, which I wrote here.

superscript_seven_u2077_icon_256x256God gave us a sign that she’d gone to be with him.  Seven is the number of rest, and she’d entered his rest, dying at 7pm on the 7th day of the 7th month, aged 77.

He explains about that rest in Hebrews 4;

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.

Hebrews 4:9

I recommend reading the whole passage from Hebrews 4:1-11.

SeriousFaith_ImagesREST

Hebrews 4:1-10 The Promise of Rest

So now I know what can go on my mother’s headstone; “At rest.”  Two simple words that say so much.

Who wants to live forever?

Here’s an interesting post from another blog which gives three ways to avoid life’s greatest certainty, death.
Click on the picture on the right and it will take you there.

I don’t think it’s wise to rely on the Tech giants solutions (especially after reading about Microsoft’s latest mishap with ‘Tay,’ their embarrassing AI chatbot.)

No one wants to die, because we were made for eternity.  It’s been set in our hearts.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) we read “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

But forget about Eternime, where you go virtual, or Cryogenics where you have your head frozen.

Only one man came guaranteeing us immortality.  Jesus said Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”  John 8:51 (NKJ)

So if you want to live forever, believe in the Lord and the one who sent Him (God).  Keeping His word means reading it and storing it up in the heart, where eternity has been set.

I’ve read and stored His word by weaving it into a story, but do whatever works best for you.

Finally, we can’t cheat death here – but we can get a rough idea of how long we’ll live.  Just take this test.  Apparently I’ll make it to 91!

http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan

psalm90_12

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.      Psalm 90:12

Having ears to hear

When Jesus wanted to communicate truth, he used stories and said it was “for those who had ears.”  How many of us are deaf to God because of unbelief?  It shuts us down because we can’t believe God would want to have a real conversation with us.  And when we do, we don’t always hear in the same manner – or we doubt what we’re hearing.  We’ll trot out our objections with “Yes, but …”

We have to test the spirits.  Because Lucifer can pretend to be an angel of light.  He is completely deceptive.  Don’t go near him.

My spiritual hearing wasn’t that great.  That’s why I constructed my story, so I could keep a record of the things that God told me and check it against the Bible.  God became the main character in “The Kingdom” through me doing that!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband hears God’s voice differently from me and wants to hear from him better.  He’s a bit goofy at times, as you can see with these ‘ears.’

We spend our day solving technical problems on computers and computer networks.  He has to think on his feet.  Sometimes he arrives at an answer so quickly I go “How did you get that?

He doesn’t know whether his decision speed is from his thought processes or God’s voice.

Early one morning he was thinking about the day ahead. “God, the other day I asked you about my decision speed getting in the way.  Is it my thought processes, or is it you?  I never heard an answer.  So what is it?” he asked.

John 3″ was the instantaneous reply.  In John 3, Jesus was explaining to a religious ruler what people have to do to see the Kingdom of God.  The verses that spoke the most to my husband were 3:8 and 3:29.

“8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The same month I watched kite surfers on the beach at the end of my street, as they were borne along by invisible wind currents.  It was on a hot Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  I didn’t even notice the breeze but they were finding it offshore.  It was a beautiful sight to see them glide across the water.

So it is with us when we are born of the Spirit and are able to hear God, the Holy Spirit’s voice.  When we realise we can hear him, we can actually hear God, it brings joy – and hope.  Our morale and spirits soar.

If we hope in the LORD we will renew our strength. We will soar on wings like eagles; we will run and not grow weary, we will walk and not be faint. 
That’s a promise from Isaiah 40:31.

Wind

Snells Beach, Feb 2016. This is my picture which you are free to use.

The master’s voice

The other verse that spoke to my husband, verse 29, was where John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus exalts the King.  John is comparing himself as the best man at Christ’s wedding.  29″ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.”

I can’t find a picture for that – but look at the joy this dog is showing to hear his master’s voice.  It sums it up for me.

God talks back

hearingGodMy book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” starts with my great-great grandmother Anna, a deaf woman who lost her hearing soon after her arrival in New Zealand in 1875.  Anna spoke German and never did learn English. 

Her hearing and language difficulties must have impeded her relationship with others, and NZ would have been a horrible country for a German to be in during World War 1 in 1914-18.  She would have gone through that period with the mute button on.

How many of us go through our spiritual journey with God with the mute button pressed?  Not because we’re in hostile territory – but from a lack of belief.  I mean how many of us believe we can have a back and forth conversation with God?

I’ve recently finished reading a book at the moment by Mark Holloway called “The Freedom Diaries, God Speaks Back.”  It’s true.  He does.  I learned that for myself on the 2nd Jan 1994.  That was the day my life changed.

When God first started talking to me, I wasn’t on “the right path.”  Some people who knew my situation doubted I could hear God.  They believed I had to “get right with God” before hearing him like I was doing.  Some couldn’t hear him for themselves and believed it was just wishful thinking on my part.

Doubt can creep in after he speaks.  Did God really say that?  Listening to them made me question things.  Why would God speak to me when I wasn’t right with Him?

the-sowerGod likens his word as seed for the sower (Isaiah 55:10-11).  He said it shall not return to Him void.

But the birds can scoop up the seed.  Jesus told a story in Matthew 13:3 of a farmer who went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.”   He explained that “when anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” Matthew 13:19.

The birds are often a symbol for demonic forces.  Jesus likened the mustard tree which grew from the smallest seed planted in the field to the Kingdom of Heaven, or Kingdom of God.  And the birds come and nest in it’s branches. (Matthew 13:31).

How could I stop the birds from snatching my seed?  God headed that one off by inspiring me to write down the message about the Kingdom.  He inspired me to write about a King, a Princess and a Kingdom, and to record the conversations the Princess had with the King.

So I created a world where it was safe for me to hear him, and the King started guiding “the Princess.”  Wonder of wonders, when I was writing in my epic journal I could hear Him. God became a real character in my story.  He actually replied and conversed with me.  At some points we even see the story from His perspective.

Within a year of writing about “The Kingdom”, my life began to change and eventually the things the Princess heard “in the Kingdom” started to happen in real life.

I invite you to come and read what happened.  If you contact me I’ll offer the eBook free for a review.


Are you interested in hearing from God yourself?  Here’s a helpful sermon by Pastor David Wilkerson of Ttimes Square Church, Hearing and Knowing the Voice of the Lord.

 

My first book review

The Bookworm, Carl Spitzweg

The Bookworm, Carl Spitzweg

Try and imagine bookshelves lined with millions of books – and my book is just one of them.  And the bookshelves keep growing.  My book has gone from one in a million to probably one in two million by now!

I’ve probably got the worst person possible in charge of book promotion – me.  Marketing was my worst subject when I was doing the Dip of Business, unfortunately.  But I did learn about the five ‘P’s of marketing; People, Price, Placement, Product and Promotion.

It’s a struggle.  Who do I tell about the book?  Christians obviously, but I hope to get it to the New Age market.  I know they would love the King in my book if they read about Him.  As for the product – the book is in a genre all by itself.  I struggle to even describe it’s genre.  I said it’s a cross between a memoir and a fantasy novel, but my first book reviewer said it’s actually an Epic Journal. My book is unique; one in a million – and not just because of it’s place in Amazon. For placement, I’ve gone to where the readers are.

In order for me to promote the book, I need praise.  I mean, I can praise it – but I’m the author!  Today I got some much needed praise.  I joined Goodreads, and I’ve received my first book review from Valicity Garris, author of Cross Academy.

It was brilliant, five star review.  It’s helped me to keep going with my efforts to get the book out to the wider world.  So it’s made my day.  Come and read my first review, and celebrate with me.

Here’s the review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1523617863?book_show_action=false

That sneaky woman

yeastHere’s another parable that’s difficult to explain;  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”  Matthew 13:33

The trouble with this parable is that leaven (yeast) is likened to pride and sin!

Some say that in this instance leaven is a good thing. It means the good news of the Kingdom will change the whole world, and then the Kingdom of God will come.  I don’t think so.  There’s nothing to back that up in scripture – nor has it come to pass.  How many of us have families who are all following the Lord?  The gospel brings persecution – not peace.

Jesus, when he was talking about persecution, said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”  Matthew 10:34-36. 

Let’s look at what Jesus meant when he said “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  Matthew 24:14.  If you read this in context you’ll see he’s talking about the tribulation after the disciples asked him about the end times.

I believe he’s speaking of the preaching of the two witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, after the Church has gone.  Because he said in the next sentence that when they see the Abomination of Desolation in the temple, to run for the hills.  Matthew 24:15.  And he was speaking to the Jews because he said to pray that their flight did not take place on the Sabbath.  Matthew 24:20.

So what did Jesus mean by “the Kingdom of Heaven being like leaven?” Well, lets look at what was specified for offerings in Leviticus;

On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah (three measures) of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and one log of oil.” Leviticus 14:10

So the woman sneaked leaven into the offering.

Jesus said I AM the Bread of Life.  He is bread without leaven.  This unleavened bread has stripes.

The Body of Christ is likened to bread, but unlike Jesus, it has leaven.  “Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”  1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The leaven has had 2,000 years to rise!  It’s really puffed up in some places.

There’s different types of leaven, just as there’s different types of yeast.

quotesram.com OtEAV3i

First, Jesus warned about the leaven of the Pharisees:  “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”  Mark 8:15Matthew 16:6-11 

He explained that the yeast of the Pharisees is hypocrisy.  Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Luke 12:1

In Matthew 23, A Warning Against Hypocrisy, he pronounced seven woes on the Teachers of the Law and said “You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matthew 23:13.

And then there’s sexual sin.  Sexual immorality is leaven within the church, destroying its fellowship. Paul took on the church at Corinth who were proud of their tolerance.  They had sexual sin of the kind that even the pagans didn’t tolerate.

He said,

“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens [ferments] the whole lump [of dough]? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump [fresh dough], as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 RSV)

The festival that Paul told the church at Corinth to celebrate was the Festival Of Unleavened Bread that the Jews observe at Passover.

Finally, in the book of Galatians 5:9, Paul speaks of leaven, this time in connection with legalism, with trying to put people under the Law.  Christ came to set us free from that.

When I was handed my baton in Chapter 8, The Year of Inheritance and learned about the race of faith in Hebrews 12, I was warned about this.  The legalism for me came in the form of prosperity doctrine.  And it was subtle.  The leaven was well and truly hidden.  It did hamper me from running my race, until we got out of that church.

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.  “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”  Galatians 5:7-9.

Now we don’t know who the sneaky woman was who introduced the leaven.  It could be Jezebel, mentioned in Revelation 2:20.  That spirit likes to promote immorality.  It twists and distorts the truth, teaching so-called secret things.

As for things done in secrecy, Jude warned For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude v4.

Jude was the brother of Jesus Christ, and one of the Twelve Apostles appointed by Jesus to lead his Church, and he urged Christians to contend for the faith.  In England, on the same day the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation was celebrated at Westminster Abbey, the peers voted to allow David Cameron’s same-sex marriage Bill to continue its passage through parliament.  The Queen, who is called “the Defender of the Faith” broke her oath by signing the Bill into law the following month, July 2013.

Within months England had a string of severe storms and floods in the UK, beginning with the St. Jude storm on 27-28 October 2013, which was also known as CycloneChristian’.  Prime Minister Cameron called the UK floods ‘biblical’ after the Thames burst it’s banks on 11th Feb 2014, but I don’t know if Britain noticed the sign about Jude.  I wrote about it in my other blog Red Sky in the Morning.

Jude also warned against those who run greedily in the error of Balaam, who prophesies for profit.  (Jude 11 and Revelation 2:14).

We have to accept that there will be leaven in the bread, but we can combat it by knowing our Bible.

Timothy, pastor at Ephesus between AD 64-66, wrote “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16.

Finally, a bit of trivia.  The word “yeast” comes from Old English gist, gyst, and from the Indo-European root yes-, meaning “boil”, “foam”, or “bubble.”

It brings to mind the opening scene from Macbeth where the witches are going “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

I think the sneaky woman with the leaven would have got on just fine with the witches.

Get the gist?