Evil’s Spreading Influence Over the Masses

Matthew 16:5-12 ESV

“When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, ‘We brought no bread.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Watch and Beware

The New Testament Scriptures are filled with cautions and warnings to the church, the body of Christ. We are cautioned against being deceived and against falling away from the true faith, and against falling back into sin, and against entertaining and accepting false teachings coming from false teachers. And we are cautioned against taking God’s grace for granted and against lying to ourselves, and against continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, and against not taking God and his word seriously, etc.

And I see a serious need in today’s Christian culture here in America to caution the church against just believing whatever they read, or hear, or think they see just because it looks good or sounds good, or just because it comes from what they have always considered to be a trusted source, like the government, and like the news media, and like certain people who preach the gospel or who pastor certain “church congregations,” or who write “Christian” books, or who produce what are called “Christian movies.”

And this caution is also against taking Scriptures out of their context and against building doctrines around them, especially the doctrine of salvation, out of context, and to then make the Scriptures say whatever you want them to say, often which is contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures on salvation, as a whole. And it is a caution to make certain that we are being diligent in testing whatever we read or hear or think we see against the Scriptures (in context), and in prayer, seeking God’s face for truth.

For we live in a “fast food” generation where many people want things quick and easy, and so “memes” on social media and short videos (like on TikTok) are very popular these days. But the danger in them for the Christian is that many Christians are just accepting as truth whatever they are reading or watching in these memes and/or videos without spiritual discernment taking place. For it is an effort and it takes time to test what we read and hear against the Scriptures and in prayer, and so not many people will do that.

Do You Not Perceive?

But I see so much false teaching taking place in these social media memes and these TikTok videos (or others of the same nature), and in what are called “stories” or “shorts,” and also in “Christian” movies and cartoons, and in short devotions and sermons. And I find that many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are not testing what they hear or see, for the most part, but they are accepting them with a quick like, and then they move on to the next and to the next. And so massive deception is taking place.

And I am also finding that not many people called “Christians” are being perceptive, nor do they want to be. And if you try to point out to them the error in what they are propagating as truth, they will either just ignore you, or they will fight against you and attack you, and/or they will falsely accuse you of wrongdoing – usually accuse you of being judgmental and/or legalistic. Or they may try to persuade you to their way of thinking, or they may just banish you (unfriend you, invite you to leave, and/or kick you out).

At least this has been my experience, which is a pretty broad experience over many years in multiple states and cities, and in the gatherings of many different “church” congregations or Bible study small groups, and of various different “church” denominations. But this has also been my experience in my 18 years of writing on the internet on various Christian sites, some of which do not want to hear the true gospel but they have adopted the feel-good gospel that requires no dying to sin or obeying the Lord Jesus.

So, from my experience alone, but this is not based just on my own experience, it appears not many people in America professing faith in Jesus Christ today are being perceptive, nor do they want to be. And when I say, “not many,” that is relation to the overall numbers of people in America professing faith in Jesus Christ. It appears the majority of them are following false teachers who are tickling their itching ears with messages which make them feel good, and they are content with where they are.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

A while ago I looked up the word “leaven,” and I got a surprise. The definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary said, “Something that modifies or lightens.” I had never thought of leaven in that way before. But that fits perfectly! I also looked at the word “leaven” in a Greek Interlinear. And, it said that it is figurative for “the spreading influence of what is typically concealed;” “a symbol of the spreading nature of evil.” All of that fits!

So, this leaven is a word that is used to symbolize the spreading influence of evil, but an evil which is hidden from sight, so this is speaking of deception. But this evil and this deception, which are being spread, lighten and modify what they touch (influence). And leaven is something you put in bread, and bread is symbolic for the Word of God. So, this is about lightening and modifying the Word of God for evil purposes and in order to deceive.

And this is where we are in our Christian culture in America today where the masses of those professing faith in Jesus Christ appear to be falling for the deceptions while rejecting and fighting against (opposing) the truth. And deception is the blending of truth and lies together so cleverly, and so skillfully, that it takes much spiritual discernment to separate the truth from the lies. But this is also much now about misimpressions, i.e. the lies are not bold and easy to test, for it is more about impressions than doctrine.

And this is a very clever way to deceive because you cannot say with any absolute truth that what they are writing or saying is deceptive, but when you know the key words and phrases, and when you are familiar with their tricks and their evil schemes, you begin to spot these misimpressions in many writings and in memes and in videos and movies and sermons, and the like. For they twist the Scriptures so cleverly that if you try to point out the error you may be accused of seeing things that aren’t there.

But the lies aren’t all that hidden. Many of the lies are still big and bold, yet even there, many people are falling for them while they are ignoring the Scriptures which teach the contrary. They just don’t want to hear the truth, but they want to hold on to the lies, for the lies do not require that they change course. But the lies allow them to continue on the old course, only now with their sins all forgiven and with the promise of heaven when they die. But that is a false hope, and it is a horrible lie from hell.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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