Then He (Jesus) charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15
Two types of leaven are referenced by Jesus in this verse: leaven of Pharisees and leaven of Herod. We know the implication. Leaven is a yeast that spreads throughout the dough so it will rise when baked. But of what is Jesus warning us?
For years I have made the case that Communism failed to dominate the world because of one critical strategic mistake. Based on atheistic humanism, it had no spiritual component. Yes it was demonic in its character and goals, but it was not inherently spiritual at its core.
On the other hand, Islam is spiritual at its core. But Jesus said to watch out for two kinds of leaven. The leaven of the Pharisees is a “religious spirit.” They go about trying to establish their own righteousness, according to the apostle Paul. It also infects modern Christians, who try to earn salvation rather than receiving it as a totally free gift of God. There is a seduction to the idea that you must do something to qualify for it. This is the religious spirit. (Jesus further defines it as the traditions or doctrines of men and as hypocrisy. See quotes at the end of this commentary).
The leaven of Herod speaks of the other kind of leaven. It is a “political spirit.” Herod was the archetypical political animal. He double crossed, connived and deceived. He played both side against the middle. Jesus called him “that fox”. Herod reminds us of today’s politics in Washington, DC.
The debt ceiling crisis we have all just witnessed, was pure politics (an interesting oxymoron). Yet, there is a greater threat rapidly rising in this nation and the world. It is militant Islam. One main reason Islam is so powerful is that it combines the two leavens. Islam is both a religious spirit and a political spirit. Communism had only the political, but Islam has both. The lust for world conquest is not only in the core of sinful man, it is fueled and energized by the passionate religion of death. The true believers are actually convinced that salvation comes by blowing up infidels, Christians and Jews and yourself in the process. These are Muslims who are faithful to the Koran and other writings, who follow WWMD: What would Mohammed do?
How opposite is the motive from Jesus and Christians who follow WWJD: What would Jesus do? Jihadists die to save themselves. Jesus died so that we could live! Pray that Muslims all over the world will discover this great salvation offered through Jesus the true Messiah and Son of God, Yehovah. His Hebrew name is Yeshua ben Yehovah. He came because God loves the whole world. Yet, it is not automatic, one must receive Jesus as Who He is.
Pray for Muslims to be set free from that evil religious spirit of earning salvation. Also pray that they be released from the political spirit of pride and greed and arrogance driving them to conquer the earth in the name of their false god.
Pray for the Church to see the folly of religious hypocrisy and repent for political methods.
Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod!
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Luke 12:1
Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:12
Great article on leaven by an Israeli pastor: BEWARE
Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists (READ MORE)
(Today’s post is a reprint, originally posted on February 8, 2011)