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THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015

The "Standing with the Bagwells" Page continues each morning with a bit of personal news.

And don't forget that the "Site Map" can point you to any one of dozens of Bible Expositions here on the Website.

Let's study God's Word together! Each day here you will find a new, freshly written Lesson.

 

Deb and me after a recent Revival Service

 

 

TODAY'S NEW LESSON:

IT HAS BEEN IN MY HEART TO STUDY SOME OF THE MORE UNUSUAL PARABLES OF SCRIPTURE ... AND THE ONE FOR TODAY was taught by our lord himself!

It's usually called "The Parable of the Leaven." Being one of the "Kingdom Parables" of Matthew 13, I guess it can hardly be called "unusual." Perhaps "controversial" is a better adjective.

But I'd like us to study it a couple of days. Like everything our Lord said, this little paragraph is perfectly expressed.

"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Matthew 13:33

Well, maybe it is unusual in respect to its length! Rather, it's brevity. But volumes of material have been written discussing this single Story.

A view that was prominent for years, still is in more "liberal" circles, is that the "leaven" (in Greek "zume," commonly called "yeast" today) is a "picture" of "goodness." Of godly doctrine, of the genuine work of our Lord! And that the "Gospel" (as good as anything gets) would be introduced into the world and would permeate every bit of society! Explained by the woman above "kneading" the whole lump of flour, causing the "leaven" to spread its influence, its power, everywhere.)

That is ... "leaven" equals "good!"

This scenario has the world, all civilization, getting "better and better" until finally the very Kingdom of God is ushered, is brought, down to earth.

I think not.

I'm going to teach that the "leaven" is not illustrating the power of "good" here, but its opposite, the power of "evil."

I largely base my conclusion on Jesus' Own interpretation of leaven, too. In Mark 8:15, for example. "And he (Jesus) charged them (the Disciples), saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." Very clear! Here "leaven" is not used in any good sense!

And in Luke 12:1 this truth is even further verified. "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Leaven here is falsity, deceit, insincerity!

Now, back to our Text, our Parable for today. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Matthew 13:33

I believe the teaching of this Parable is that "professing" Christianity, the so-called "Church" at large, (consisting of both wheat and tares, true and false members) will eventually be "overcome" of evil!

That only a remnant will be maintained as "pure!"

That, as Paul said: "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." Second Timothy 3:13

That the professional Church will grow more and more apostate, departing from the true Faith!

And I also believe that this is happening in front of our very eyes!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I'll say more. Today I wanted to try to "reverse" the common view of this Parable.

Furthermore I ask you, each reader ... think about this Text in the intervening hours. "Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Matthew 13:33

And if I'm anywhere near right, some of Jesus' other Parables (especially in Matthew 13 where they are "clustered") should illustrate the same fact. Evil mixed into the good!

Thus precipitating the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

And even when He does come, using Jesus' Own words again, our Lord wondered: "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8

Wow!

Oh yes, Paul did say this too, addressing his most carnal converts. "Your glorying (sinful bragging) is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened." First Corinthians 5:6-7, purging from sin! And the "sin" in Paul's mind is pictured by the "leaven."

Until tomorrow ...

            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

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