~ The Feast of Unleavened Bread ~
The Yeast of Your Problems
Bruce D. Curtis, MA, M.Div. ©2017
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Are we talking about bread again?
For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments – I am YHWH. Exodus 12:12 (emphasis added)
I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. Exodus 20:2-3 (emphasis added)
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Exodus 32:1,4 (emphasis added)
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As the week of Unleavened draws to a close this mid-April 2017, and the gods of war and death unleash their fury against the poor of the earth, we are driven to deeply contemplate the death of our Savior, the Crucified God [Moltmann], who lay in the ground several days during this Feast nearly 2000 years ago. I would be remiss if I didn’t say I am mortified at this action of a nominally Christian nation dealing mass death on several fronts at a time when they should be removing leaven from hearts and drinking in the living waters of the One who poured out His blood and water and Spirit for the life of many. And to resonate with thoughts that even Pontius Pilate may have entertained, “Quo Vadis?” Whither goest thou?
Our recent post entitled “The Gods of Egypt,” addressed the question of leaven in the Exodus out of that land of the Mizraim (‘subjugating, victorious, oppressing power’ in the symbolic meaning of the Hebrew language). So to review for the sake of teaching purposes, let us examine again the meaning of leaven. On that subject Christ spoke most plainly.
How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matt. 16:11-12, emphasis added)
And returning to this holy week of Unleavened, we again ask, “Are we talking about bread again?” For Hebraic Roots folks that becomes a serious question. And the answer is in the words of the Logos: NO, we are NOT talking about bread. The leaven of this week is the leaven of the adversary, the leaven of Pharisees, the leaven of Egypt. It is all of the gods which crowd out the God of the First Commandment, the God of gods.
It is encoded in the First Commandment in the header quote. Once again God shows His people that context is everything. Israel was trying to leave Egypt so they could serve their God, which they could not do properly in Egypt. They had come to be full of the leaven of other gods. And in the ‘promised land,’ the same thing happened, with Jerusalem becoming a city of violence and bloodshed, of injustice and unrighteousness, to such a point, that God gave them into the hands of these other gods they served. Amos addressed this problem long before Jeremiah delivered the final 23 year address that served as the prologue to the exile in Babylon.
“I hate, I reject your festivals,
Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? You also carried along Sakkut [Assyrian =Saturn] your king and the self-sameness of Saturn <Kiyyun>, your images, the star of your god <Eloheichem> which you made for yourselves. Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says YHWH, whose name is the God of hosts <Elohim Tsevayot>. (Amos 5:21-27)
This stern proclamation from Amos is the 2nd witness (Moses was the first) to the shame and abomination which Israel carried along in the wilderness. They had to have gods they could see and feel and touch – they were fleshly-minded. Why, as the header quote from Exodus 32 proves, did Israel return to the gods of Egypt after they had just left? Only twelve chapters in and they were already back. The answer is obvious, because they never left! They took Egypt with them in the form of their gods, the idols.
And herein lies the more critical type of leaven which needs to be examined not only from the historical perspective looking at the physical Israel, but from the spiritual perspective of looking at the heart of all of spiritual Israel for all time. The leaven is the Sin that comes from following other gods. As Israel left Egypt, they had no time to leaven their bread, so they left without yeast. But the gods of Egypt were a part of them, and that is the ongoing saga of humanity. Ever since Adam and Eve followed the words of Nahhash, the Serpent, in the garden of Eden, placing him before the God who made them, mankind has continually built a hedge to keep God out, hiding from God as did Adam. Man has built multitudes of pantheons to cover all of his needs, and ultimately has become his own god. It is the adversary’s one-size-fits-all sin to reject the Creator – not Christ in you the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) – now you are become like God knowing good and evil.
Yes – that’s it, only one sin is needed, idolatry. “In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did as was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) And man has been forever since occupied in placing himself in the position of God.
And this brings us to the solution to question about leaven, or sin. And again we ask: What is the yeast of your problems? It is your other god: YOU! – [yes, pun intended!]
That is the leaven or yeast that is bubbling up in all of your problems. Without that other god, or any other god, e.g. the work of your hands, you basically have NO problem.
In other words, not to draw out a pun to excruciating lengths, but the Yeast is the Least of your problems. There is a yeast that is the cause of all your problems and it manifests as a refusal to submit to the sovereignty of the Living God – it is nothing short of rebellion against the kingdom of Heaven itself.
Christ alone submitted completely to the true God, the Most High [El Elyon]. It was written in the scroll of the book, “I am come to do your will oh Lord.” (Ps 40, Heb. 10:9)
And that is the essence of Unleavened. Upon deliverance from slavery – symbolized by Egypt, historically, and exemplified in the lives of all persons who are under the god of this world and his minions in the host of heaven – every son of God is to live without sin, to have no gods before YHWH.
The blood of Christ, the true Passover, was shed so that we might be delivered from slavery to sin. Therefore, Unleavened looks ahead to a time when we will live without sin. But for now it means to search out the leaven in our house, in our heart, and to remove it, by making it an offering by fire as stipulated in Leviticus 23, Numbers 28:3-8.
Gone is the temple in Jerusalem, we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. Gone are the sacrifices and burnt offerings, we are to be the living sacrifice. It is incumbent upon us therefore to burn up the animal nature within us that prevents the full presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
Much more can be written on the observance of a weeklong festival that really should have as much impact as Holy Week does for Roman Catholics. This is the time to set the year – Passover and Unleavened are the first festivals that open the year, beginning only 2 weeks from the first new moon. It is the time to take refuge in our deliverer, the Messiah, and not to choose new gods (Judges 5), but to choose the God who created us, and Jesus Christ who can give Eternal Life to those whom He chooses.
As Moses offered that choice to Israel upon the plains of Moab — Life or death – it is offered to us this day. Unleavened gives us a foretaste of living without sin, if we are mindful to be present as part of the body of Christ in the festival (Col. 2:16-17), looking ahead to the fulfillment of the prophetic aspect of the days, but also realizing the partial and temporary expression of it. Expelling all leaven from our hearts, we are lifted up to Him. Farewell to Mammon, and the gods of war and death. Pay homage no more.
And from the prophetic dimension of God’s ‘appointed times’ [moedim], the Church, the spiritual House of Israel for the last days, can look to 7 years of cleansing by fire to eliminate the leaven and go into the promised land. This will be the entry way into the millennium, but also into heavenly Life. Note that the 7 days of offerings by fire that are commanded in Leviticus 23:7-8, foreshadow the 7 years in which the holy seed which is Christ, shall be purified for the harvest.
Thus it is that the events of this week portray the extreme irony of the times, as well as the signs of where we might be within the sacred history of God’s people in their sojourn within the valley of the shadow of death. If it is hard to understand the irony of the sons of Israel claiming to worship YHWH, but still bowing down to other gods, think about America, whose president claims Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, while unabashed in bowing down at the same time to the gods of war and death – not to mention being a proud exponent of Mammon.
The final part of the days will manifest such a massive loss of life from a variety of causes that it will rival the time of Noah, when all the unrighteous were swept away. Of course, Christ Jesus Himself drew this same allusion, only from the perspective of His coming, and not the completion. For us the question could be: will we be found eating and drinking and celebrating in a worldly way, or will we be found feeding the members of God’s household with the true unleavened, the Bread of Heaven, the substance of Christ? In Him are all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom hidden (Col. 2:3) and this knowledge of God is principally what the Lord meant in His high priestly prayer:
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent. (John 17:3)
So, now is the appointed day to choose. Will we serve ourselves? Will we serve the host of heaven and all the gods of heaven who did not create the heavens and the earth? Will we bow down to the work of our own hands (Rev. 9:20) and value it more than the Creator who gave us life? The answer should be no.
Looking back once again to the events of this last week or so with the bombing of Syria and the bombing of Afghanistan, using the very telling acronym MOAB [the mother of all bombs], humanity is at a nexus point. The prophets remind us that no one of Moab has any inheritance in the light. That mindset is a cursed one, and this mother bomb merely underscores the total corruption of the planetary administration that can incinerate thousands with the push of a button and then go to church on Sunday and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If He is the wave sheaf offering – and He is – then for whom did He die? Did He not say, “I am reconciling all things”
For in Him [God] was pleased for all the fullness <pleroma> to dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace by the blood of His cross, through Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in the heavens. (Col. 1:19-20)
This gives us the prophetic word made sure and the exact Divine rationale for these Sabbaths and feast days to all come together in one incredible sweeping eight days, viz. Passover, Feast of Unleavened and Wave Sheaf Offering.
In short, He is our Passover, He is our Bread from Heaven (without sin), and He was the Wave Sheaf Offering, first of the first fruits waved before the Father on the day He rose from the dead. Now He has infused His body with His Spirit/Breath/Life
For even as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is the Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. . . . Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church <ekklesia>, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of power, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? (1 Cor. 12:12-13, 27-29, emphasis added)
And He [God] put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:22-23, emphasis added)
[There is] one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Eph 4:3-7)
These foundational passages which speak of the unity in the body of Christ, and which could be coupled with others from Romans and Ephesians that teach how there is no longer any division in the body, and no enmity between the parties, but one new Man (Eph. 2:15), reconciling them both in one body.
Therefore, any dubious notions about two covenants, two peoples, which may be held by Messianic congregations, Hebrew Roots followers, or any other confused fellowship, are thrown out as biblically incorrect – even though they may sound politically correct. God is not interested in ‘political correctness.’
Further, speculative thinking which places the Elect apart from the body of Christ, denies the unity Paul proclaims with all believers and also renounces the doctrine of the foreknowledge of God as Paul articulated the mystery from the foundation of the world.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:4-6, emphasis added)
Shall we suppose the Elect were floating in some pre-space Space and not a part of the body of Christ, or were they really in Him, as Eve was really in Adam? They were in His body and are really a part of His spiritual body, One with Him as He is One with the Father. The Elect and all those called to Christ by the Father – all One as Christ’s body.
So, from both perspectives we need to see the unity of all things in Christ. It is that simple, and to complicate it with clever ideas that force the addition of words or the subtraction of words, amounts to introducing a fudge factor, for God knows what reason.
And now approaches the time for His body to be raised. It will begin with the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), the 144,000 Elect who will follow Him wherever He goes just as a body follows the Head. There will be the great crowd. Then will come the ones who belong to Christ at His coming. Finally, the end when all enemies have been placed under His feet, including death.
The tragic scenes of the shadows of struggle we have beheld in the battle that is being waged over the soul of humanity at this time gives us a taste of just how bitter is the irony regarding Holy Week and the cataclysms unleashed by the gods of war and death
J.Robert Oppenheimer said of the atomic test on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity test site in New Mexico, that he was reminded of the words of the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” It was, indeed, a sign of the end as theologian Paul Tillich foresaw in his brilliant sermon, “The Shaking of the Foundations.”
Yes, this god comes forth in our days, seen in the figure of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, Death. His shadow falls heavy across the earth today — and especially after the recent bombings. He is the same demonic power quoted in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 11, which speaks through the mouth of Krishna, recognized in that tradition as the God of gods, and to repeat, ‘The Supreme Lord’ said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. [This is the original quote.]
What shall we say now about all of this, including the other great religious traditions? Do we doubt the host of heaven in its stated purpose of destruction? Will we see the gods step upon the platform of spaceship earth once again as they did in the early days of Egypt, or with the Sumerians as the Anunnaki, or with Nimrod and other mighty ones who stood in the face of YHWH? When Death rides forth upon the pale horse, and multitudes are consigned to destruction, will the fires of change be our purification, or verily, our desolation?
And what shall we say of the fires of Saturn? The arcane knowledge contained within the Amos reference above has remained concealed from all but a few. Hidden in those lines is the understanding that another god and gods entered into the worship life of the sons of Israel, and it corrupted their stewardship of the mysteries of God.
Rather than being a light unto the nations, they played the harlot with the gods of the nations and in turn sprinkled that leaven into the heritage of the Logos given through Moses. In Babylon, they further imported the sovereignty of Chemosh/Tammuz/ Saturn/Helios and corrupted all religions of the world further. In Rome, Helios assimilated Christ and remained the underlying god which the cognoscenti worshiped as their “Lucifer” or ‘light-bearer.’ And to him, the Sun, was joined the Queen of Heaven, just as she had been in Babylon. Now Israel, once destined to be the light unto the nations had fallen into the idolatry of her lovers and needed deliverance and purification herself.
So, America, do not rest on any illusions that you are the promised land, the nation of the Living God, the God of Jesus Christ. In America, all gods reign. Mammon, sports, fame and glory, stars with their hand prints in cement, all are stars in the manifold of an illusory Heaven. Even the state is a god, and rules like Saturn. [Star Spangled Banner playing in the background]
Yes, go to the State department in Washington, D.C. and behold the statue in the first floor courtyard. It is Saturn, chief of the gods, Chronos, the god who became known as time, but whose star, referenced by Amos, i.e. the six-pointed star, an icon of the 666, became the fashionable icon of Jew and Christian alike, of Buddhist and New Ager, and of Mason and Templar, the secret sign of their inner allegiance. And in Alice Bailey, theosophist and architect of the New World Religion, Saturn is the seat of the local hierarchy of the gods, and the image of our own State Department. What a cozy, little world it is. Saturn, Chronos, also speaks through Krishna (Bhagavad Gita, 11):
Thou seest Me as Time who kills, Time who brings all to doom,
The Slayer Time, Ancient of Days, come hither to consume;
(Bhagavad Gita, ch. 11)
Like Lucifer seen through the eyes of Isaiah (ch. 14), here is Krishna seizing the place of another, the one whom Daniel saw as Hatiq Yomim, The Ancient of Days. Here the great Lord of the Hindus is seizing what Christ Jesus Himself would not grasp, equality with God. Is it any wonder that God will hand over this “Christian” country to the Adversary?
And now this country will, like the Hindus, embrace its thousands of gods, and with the ascension of Mormons to greater hegemony, proliferate into millions upon millions of gods, with every many a god in his own celestial realm.
What is wrong with being a son of God? Christ was content to be the first-born among many brothers. Is Man so restless and discontented and so leavened with Egypt that he cannot rejoice that God would deliver him from evil and lead him in tracks of righteousness so that he might drink from the waters of life and have a table arranged before him with the food of the tree of Life? To be born from above as a son of God?
O tempore, O mores! – Oh the times, oh the customs! (Cicero) The destroyer of worlds has come and with the leaven of his pride and vanity, has leavened the whole lump. Now we have a world full of dead gods who know nothing. (See Ode of Solomon 34:6)
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 19-28, emphasis added)
As Shakespeare said, this life — without Christ we should add — is a tale full of sound and fury told by an idiot, signifying nothing. It is tzalmaveth to David (Ps 23), the shadow of death.
Praise God for our Passover Lamb who lights the way to the Eternal Kingdom, beyond this veil of tears, “the way to dusty death.” He is the Way to Luminous Life!
We cannot change the world, nor are we here to change it. The world will always be the world, and even the Lord said it: “I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (John 17:9, emphasis added)
It is incumbent upon us, therefore to follow His example and pray for those who are taken out of the world; for the deliverance of every last sheep of His pasturage.
He taught us to pray in a certain way, which ended with: Lead us not into the hands of temptation, but deliver us from the evil One. And so may it be.
May you remove all the leaven from your house, the tent in which you dwell, so that you may receive the abundant Life which the Lord gives, to be clothed all in white and live forever in the temple to eat from the Tree of Life. Amen