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The Persecuted Church

 

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What does leaven represent in the Scripture?

When something is used consistently and almost unanimously in Scripture the same way we must conclude , unless there is some obvious deviation of its consistent use that it is the same. This is true for symbols, which leaven is. In the Old Testament leaven is consistently used to represent sin, what is false and evil…In the New Testament, leaven was used to represent Pharisees false teaching, of the unbelief of the Sadducees by Christ (Mt 16:6-12; Mk 8:14-21).

Paul warns that “A little leaven leavens the whole lump. get rid of it.

We proclaim Christ was sinless by the elements we take that represent Him. Paul describes the unleavened bread as fulfilled in Christ 1 Cor. 5:7-8. The fact that Jesus held up matzah (unleavened bread) at the last Passover supper, saying “take and eat this is my body,” this bread was required to have no leaven in it, explaining he was without sin. The wafer was made with no leaven in it, because leaven is a symbol of sin.

Among the parables of the kingdom in Matthew 13 is the parable of the leaven (Matthew 13:33), which depicts the course of this present Church age. Jesus describes a woman putting leaven into three measures of meal, “until the whole was leavened.” It describes a progression of corruption that escalates in the end. The church is to be like unleavened bread, Leaven can do several things, the most obvious–it puffs up; it represents pride, it does the opposite of what the gospel does which humbles man and makes us God-reliant. It makes the church appear to be growing but not in the right way. Leaven in Scripture also stands for sin and false teaching (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9). The woman in the parable represents the Church. She did something God prohibits; she hid the leaven in the meal, that which is good is affected. She mingled a foreign ingredient into the body. Leaven in this case is false teaching. This is speaking of a corrupting influence that would infiltrate all parts of the Church body. It is sin and evil (not the gospel) that tends to permeate the entire church body as time goes on, as it will also increase in the world it will have an increase in the church.

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