Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
On Being a Disciple - Our Warning
"As a disciple, I want to master the Bible so that the Master of the Bible can become my Master."
May God bless you all!
As we continue this series of study, I wanted to dig a little deeper into what being a disciple entails and requires. Notice that most of my quotes are direct quotes from the Master Himself!
- Author unknown
This month, I wish to emphasize another key principle to being a
disciple of Christ: beware of the leaven of legalism and false truths!
"Beware the Leaven"
What Are the Four Basic Elements of a Kingdom?
The Lord Jesus Christ
In His future kingdom, He will rule the world. In His present
kingdom, He wants to rule our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
The Ten Commandments, the commands of Christ
Citizens who follow laws:
Jesus' disciples and believers
The theme of Christ's teaching and Paul's preaching is the kingdom of God. Jesus tells us to make it our first priority, and Paul proclaims it to both Jews and Gentiles. His final days under house arrest were spent teaching things concerning the
kingdom of God
(See Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23.)
And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying,
because we have taken no bread.
when Jesus perceived, he said unto
them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake
not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of
the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade
not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the
Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
One of the warnings Jesus gave to His disciples was to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Their doctrine corrupts and twists the Scriptures and entangles the disciples. The Master knew that He would not be with them in body for very long and wished them to learn to beware of mistruths, false truths, twisted truths, half-truths, and anything that tends to corrupt the Scriptures. Let's examine some of these:
Seven Pharisee Leavens: The Legalization of Truth
The Pharisees had a lot of truth, but had corrupted the truth by becoming legalistic and prideful. They would tithe but count down to the grain of wheat to be sure to not exceed the ten percent. I'm sure they would say that they wished to not cheat the Lord by counting out every grain, but in truth, they were ensuring that the Lord only got His ten percent. Look at the list below and see where they went wrong.
3. Hypocrisy (Luke 12:1)
4. Herodians (Mark 8:15)
5. Added oral law to the law: ". . . ye made the commandment of God of none
effect by your tradition.
hypocrites! well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with
lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me,
doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:6-9).
6. Traditions - good or bad
7. Forcing others to imitate themselves
Some Pharisee Beliefs:
As I said in the paragraph above, they had good doctrine. The list below highlights some of that doctrine. What they did to corrupt it was to legalize it to such a degree that there was no grace, mercy, or forgiveness in their lives. They treated those who did not meet their standards as far beneath them and had no fellowship with any but those they deemed worthy. This teaches me that we can hold absolute truth absolutely wrong if we do it out of pride or condescension over others.
Resurrection, eternal life after death
Fellowship among themselves
Strict Sabbath laws and enforcement
The Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses (for teaching and legal instruction). Do what they say (Matthew 23:2-3)
Hell and judgment
Midway between freewill and predestination
Priesthood of all believers and personal purity
House group fellowship, sharing common meal tables
Seven Sadducee Leavens:
As bad as the Pharisees were, the Sadducees were worse. They had all of the same sins as the Pharisees (pride, hypocrisy, false traditions), but they also had very false doctrine that they preached. Today, these folks would be labeled agnostics. Such men are the kinds who deny the Scriptures as inspired, are critical of them, deny the Lord Jesus, and salvation does not exist. After all, they would say there is no resurrection and life after death - why do we need a Savior? These folks would laugh at your evangelistic attempts and say they want to be with their buddies in Hell someday.
1. Haughty and proud
2. Denied the supernatural, angels, etc. (Acts 23:8)
3. Denied the resurrection (Acts 23:8)
4. Rejected prophecy
5. Rejected miracles explaining all things scientifically or naturally
6. Hellenistic (worldly, adulterous, materialistic)
7. Were mostly of the priesthood and loved power and control
What Must I Do? Three Steps:
The real danger for us is generally not the lies of the Sadducees, but the tainted truths of the Pharisees. Truth that has been only very slightly twisted or bent. Even a little leaven can destroy the whole truth by making us miss the mark, causing doubt, asking amiss in our prayers, etc. I list three steps that we need to work at every day, and they are easy to write but difficult to accomplish without the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Step 1: Purge the old leaven:
1 Corinthians 5:6-8:
not good. Know ye not that a little leaven [
the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, but with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened
Step 2: Separate the chaff from the wheat in your life:
in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 13:25: "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."
Step 3: Walk in Truth:
3 John 1:1-4:
"The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I
love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
Remember the Lesson about "Burdens"?
The burden of the rabbis.
A rabbi had a particular message they would impart to
their students, their
. Besides the general teachings they all got, they
would get specific training and teachings in a special area of ministry. One would concentrate on the Torah. One would emphasize prophecy. One, purity of heart. Another on the coming of the Messiah and to look for His signs. One on self-discipline for a holy life, etc.
A rabbi would watch you in your younger days at
Torah school, and as he saw a particular bent or passion, he might ask you to go past thirteen (age of adulthood) and study some more in his particular discipline. Sometimes a young man could petition a rabbi of renown that had an established school that was known for an emphasized subject and, after an interview, could be accepted.
What's your burden?:
As you set down your heavy weights and loads and accept
His burden (portion) he designed for you, you will find that God has a burden (an emphasis, a cause, a desire) that for you is not burdensome at all, but light! Evangelizing the lost, ministry to widows, teaching God's Word, making disciples, waiting on tables (in the sense of serving the congregation), etc.
And That Brings Us Back To:
2 Peter 1:10:
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling
and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"
of sincerity and truth.