Perception Moment–Days of Awe and the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

According to the Chronological Gospels, researched, written, and produced by Michael Rood, the sixth day of the ten-day period of Awe correlates to Yeshua’s “Sailing from Magadan.” It is here that Yeshua issues a stern warning to His disciples regarding the teachings and doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The date is Friday, September 26, 27 C.E. This incident is found in Matthew 16:5-12 and Mark 8:14-21. This interesting passage seems to have taken place about two-days after Yeshua miraculously feeding of four thousand men and their families. Now, upon reaching the other side of Magadan the disciples realized that they had failed to bring bread for their sustenance. Yeshua sensed His disciples’ concerns of possibly going hungry, but instead of directly addressing their physical needs He chose to use the event as a valuable teaching moment.

Ariela R. / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Yeshua warned, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (Prushim) and Sadducees (Zadokim).” (Mat 16:6 ESV) Yeshua did not preface this warning with an explanation of what He was thinking. Instead, He utilized this opportunity to test His disciple’s spiritual acuity and discernment. Unfortunately, His disciples immediately failed to understand the Master’s warning. Still living in the carnal, the disciples interpreted the warning purely from the perspective of their concerns for having forgotten to bring food to address their physical needs.

The Master’s disappointment in His disciples’ failure to discern the spiritual analogy associated with leaven and the Pharisees and Sadducees, led to a tongue-lashing, designed to shake and move His disciples to a greater place of spiritual understanding and discernment. Consequently, it was after the Master’s admonishment that the light went on in the disciples’ minds and they were then able to discern the spiritual application to the leaven-Pharisee-Sadducee analogy–Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Mat 16:12 ESV)

High Priest of the Temple
Lawrence OP / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The teachings that the Master was referring to was NOT as many orthodox Christians and teachers believe, the Torah. To the contrary, Yeshua was referring to was what Michael Rood refers to in His Chronological Gospels as “takanot”–“the laws enacted by the rabbis which change or negate Torah law.” Rood goes on to explain: “takanot are the illegal usurpations of the everlasting commandments of the Kingdom of Heaven given to us at Mount Sinai. Takanot replace the written Torah with the ever-changing rules and regulations of man-made religion.”

The Pharisees and the Sadducees had essentially created a system of doctrines and laws that they believed acted as a fence around the Torah to prevent violations of the Torah. Although seemingly well intended, there are a couple problems associated with their practice:

  • It violated Yehovah’s law against adding to or taking away from the Torah–You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Deu 4:2 ESV) He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition (Mat 15:3 ESV)
  • The Pharisee’s takanot burden the people by creating laws and doctrines that were difficult to keep and furthermore nullified the original intent of the Law of Yehovah. So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. (Mat 15:6 ESV) Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear (Act 15:10 ESV)

This Messianic movement comes with a million and one challenges and pitfalls. Those still in orthodox churchianity are often burdened with obeying or adhering to denominational traditions and doctrines. Consequently, adherents are forced to comply with these traditions and doctrines out of fear of being excommunicated or persecuted by the leaders of these denominations. Furthermore, these same traditions and doctrines effectively obscure the True message of Yeshua and by default are responsible for millions of Christian believers being led astray and down a broad road to destruction.

Likewise, those of us currently in the Messianic movement are faced with similar traditions and doctrines that fly abruptly in the face of the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints. Many believers having left orthodox churchianity in search of the True Faith inadvertently find themselves in Messianic denominations mandating the practice and observance of various practices and doctrines that are NOT sanctioned by Scripture or the teachings of the Master.

Either way, that same leaven that Yeshua spoke of to His disciples permeates our precious Faith even today. Again, the true believer of Messiah must be on guard and heed the words of the Master as it relates to our Faith. Failure to adhere to the Master’s warning will only lead one away from that narrow gate and rough path that few find.

We have a very clear instruction as it relates to what it is that we are to observe and practice and that is the teachings and example of our Lord and Savior Yeshua Ha Maschiach. The Father stated:  “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers– it is to him you shall listen– (Deu 18:15 ESV) I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deu 18:18 ESV) And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. (Deu 18:19 ESV)

I believe this period of introspection and repentance is an excellent time to reflect upon the leaven that is present in our lives, more so the leaven and takanot that is being perpetrated in our Faith as God-ordained law. Once we are free of the leaven, we can be in a right relationship with the Father and thus serve the Kingdom in pure Spirit and Truth.

Blessing to you.


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