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  • Writer's pictureJustin McCullough

Hidden Leaven - 4/6/24 Teaching Notes

Shabbat shalom everyone! So to get started, we had a GREAT teaching last week from Joey on steps to set Kingdom goals for ourselves. How to get started, how to lay out the steps, how to set ourselves up for actually achieving the things on our hearts to grow or change.  And if anybody missed that please let us know and we can make sure you get the notes, because its really a blessing.

 

The point of Joey teaching this right now is because we are getting ready to enter a new Biblical year this week. Then 2 weeks after that, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Then we have some extra stuff that ISN’T usually part of the equation that you may have heard about or been looking at, with a major eclipse on Monday and lots of talk about possible Red Heifers in Israel.

 

It’s enough to feel overwhelming.  Which is why Joey’s teaching is so well timed. Aside from preparing and examining ourselves leading up to the Feasts, it also laid out some solid steps of HOW to think about what we want to focus on.

 

And that is what I want to talk a little bit more about today.

 

To lay out some basics for those who may be new to doing this, the first commanded Feast or Holiday of the biblical year is Passover, which is a meal, followed by a week called the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

Passover is literally our Kingdom ID, whether or not we know that as a Christian.

 

1Cor 5 verse 7 and 8 says “ 7Get rid of the old leaven, that you may be a new unleavened batch, as you really are. For Yeshua, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old bread, leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and of truth.”

 

Our Lamb Who would take away the sin of the world was offered for us. And so we keep the Passover to remember BOTH Yahweh’s saving us from Egypt and Yeshua’s perfect sacrifice.

 

We will teach a lot more on the specifics in 2 weeks with Passover, but there are 2 basic steps, once the commands have been fulfilled and the Lamb is prepared.

People have to come into the house, where the Blood has been applied.

 

Exodus 12: 5Your lamb must be an unblemished year-old male, and you may take it from the sheep or the goats. 6You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel will slaughter the animals between the evenings. 7They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they will eat the lamb.

So this is the step many people have taken as believers. They come under the Blood and into the house.  The problem is how many people just stop there.

 

You have to realize this is where the mixed multitude comes in. NOT EVERYONE WHO WAS SAVED ATE THE PASSOVER that first time.  Some of them just sheltered under the Blood inside the houses WITH those who truly kept the Passover. That was enough to protect them from the Destroyer.

 

But it was NOT enough to fully partake of the Lamb.

 

Exodus 12: 43And Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. 44But any slave who has been purchased may eat of it, after you have circumcised him. 45A temporary resident or hired hand shall not eat the Passover.

46It must be eaten inside one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you may not break any of the bones.

47The whole congregation of Israel must celebrate it. 48If a foreigner resides with you and wants to celebrate Yahweh’s Passover, all the males in the household must be circumcised; then he may come near to celebrate it, and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised man may eat of it. 49The same law shall apply to both the native and the foreigner who resides among you.”

 

“And he shall be just like a native of the land.”

 

This is what Ephesians Chapter 2 is talking about, when it says “you who were ONCE Gentiles and lost in the world who are now citizens of the commonwealth of Israel.”

 

When we accept, when we partake of, when we take into ourselves, the Passover Lamb, we become a citizen of God’s People.

To shelter under the Blood is only the bare minimum step to escape destruction. 

 

But next He asked us to be circumcised.  Yes this was talking about an outward physical sign, just like baptism is an outward physical sign. But more so this is talking about a circumcised heart.

 

What needs to be cut away from our heart to actually take Yeshua our Passover into ourselves, and make that transition from “safe under the blood.” 

 

Just like Paul said that some come and take of communion unworthily, it is 100% possible to “keep” Passover and eat some lamb and matzah and say all the words, and not actually have that circumcised heart that MAKES you His.

 

This is where the preparation for Unleavened Bread comes in, and that self examination Joey has been talking about.  You  have to be willing, I have to be willing, to honestly look at myself.

 

Exodus 12: 17So you are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread,e for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. You must keep this day as a permanent instruction for the generations to come. 18In the first month you are to eat unleavened bread, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19For seven days there must be no leaven found in your houses. If anyone eats something leavened, that person, whether a foreigner or native of the land, shall not be part of the congregation of Israel. 20You are not to eat anything leavened; eat unleavened bread in all your homes.”

 

We are to start searching our homes for Leaven in these next 2 weeks.

 

That means yeast used to make bread and bread products that have already been leavened. Bread, cakes, muffins… puffy stuff and the stuff that makes it puff.

 

If you haven’t don’t this before, you just work on finding everything and using it up between now and Tuesday April 23rd. Some people eat it all before, some throw out what they can’t use up, and some even burn what they have.

 

This ALSO means searching our homes and hearts for Leaven. For hidden sin. For compromise. For pride, fear, ways we are unloving, ways we lack self control.

 

We have to be very clear on this…. Yes you should get rid of the bread in your house for the seven days of Unleavened Bread. That’s the instruction.  But you also MUST look for what the instruction means in Yeshua.

 

Paul said “8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old bread, leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and of truth.”

 

You can sweep every nook and cranny. You can find every crumb and speck of physical leaven in your house. And you can still show up to that Passover table eaten up with leaven in your heart.

 

We say this a lot and we will keep saying it a lot as long as you hang out with us:

 

Religious acts will not save you.  They will not heal you. They will not fill you with His Spirit. 

 

That is true of BOTH our denominational practices and beliefs, and the way we keep His Commands.

 

Acts of obedience are an outward sign of love for our Father Who gave good instructions.  And then also sent Yeshua to give us the rest of the equation for healing our hearts and making us whole believers, worthy to serve and represent Him.

 

Being cleansed of that inward leaven is a choice to submit every area of yourself to Yeshua.

 

Let us really take hold of this part:   ANYTHING you won’t give to Yeshua is an area of Leaven in your life.  Period. 

 

I’ll say it again. ANYTHING you won’t give to Yeshua is leaven.

 

That can be work, family, marriage, money, addictions.  That can be abuse you suffered. That can be things you regret or messed up that you won’t let go of.  That can be unforgiveness of yourself or others.

 

That can be outright sin and shame like pornography, or that can be the things you make excuses for like those reels you watch that maybe aren’t a sin for everyone but you know they aren’t what you should be doing.

 

That apology you won’t make, that ugly reaction to your wife or your kids that you know is wrong but you just keep doing over and over,  that lie you told your client that just made the job easier. 

 

We ALL have them. If we didn’t then we wouldn’t be told to do this examination together, every year, forever. 

 

We also have to watch ourselves and guard against a very particular kind of leaven… the leaven of the Pharisees.  Now you may have been taught that this is false teaching.  But the vast majority of false teaching is just well-intentioned error. The things that grievously misrepresent Yahweh to the point of being sin are way less common.  The leaven of the Pharisees is being puffed up in WHATEVER we are teaching.

 

You can be teaching something true and it be leaven if you do it with pride and self-righteousness. Sharing His Words with malice.  If you think that believing that thing makes you of more value as a human being than your brothers and sisters also made in His image.

 

Then there is the leaven of pure distraction. Not worldly distraction, which is in there. Anxiety about work taking up more of your heart than worship of Him.  Money trouble making you fearful. That stuff is there.

 

But what seems to be Godly distraction can be harder for us to recognize as leaven.  This week is a perfect example. The eclipse and the red cows.

 

How can this be leaven?  It’s all about how it is part of your life, walk and focus.  An example of this that is NOT leaven:

 

There is an eclipse this week. It may be a big deal. Yahweh uses signs in the heavens for things, so I’m going to pay attention. I may even travel to go see it, or do some research on eclipses. And I will definitely pray.

 

So how can this be leaven?  Remember that the key thing about leaven is that it GROWS. It SPREADS. It TAKES OVER.

 

If you are watching and listening to theory after theory on the eclipse, you’ve spent hundreds of hours reading and watching “prophecies,”  you’re warning people about it in a way that produces fear instead of attention, YOU are feeling fear about it, it’s changed your behavior in ways that are NOT a reflection of Messiah, then it’s leaven.  The eclipse isn’t the leaven… the leaven is the fear that drives you to hyper focus on a “BIG EVENT” instead of the blessed assurance that should be your anchor.

 

Exact same thing for the red heifers.  We should be paying attention. The Red Heifer was and will be a significant thing in the world and in Israel. It could mean a lot of things, some of them really good like moving toward the return of Yeshua, and some of them really bad like the revealing of the AntiMessiah.

 

But nobody knows. So it can either be something we watch and pray over, or it can be an obsession. A stumbling block. Leaven.

 

Another huge one for us is calendar discussions.  Its really truly not about how you count or figure out which days to do the Feast Days. Its about wanting to do them, using them to connect with Yahweh and other believers, letting them teach and refine you more and more each year that you do them.

 

Every feast is in some way about the Harvest and His produce in our life, so we need to be paying attention always to the fruit.  Your attitude about keeping the feasts, whether it is doing them with a bad attitude and grudgingly, trying to do it perfect making you mean and anxious and stressed out,  being ugly about the “right and wrong” ways to do the calendar, breaking the commands to be in a gathering of people for those days because of pride or letting other things just get in the way.  Letting things get in the way of what actually matters.

 

Our Passover, received in a house without leaven, with a circumcised heart.

 

If you write down one note from today, that’s it.

 

Accepting your Passover, as a clean house for His Spirit, with a circumcised heart.

 

There are folks that don’t even truly know Yeshua right around you every day.  They don’t need complicated prophecies, paleo Hebrew revelations and perfect moon calculations.  They need Yeshua.

 

And going back to that leaven He’s asking you to take out of the cabinets in your heart, so do you.  If this is the first year you have ever done this, or the 20th, you need Him.  If you are trying to figure out if you even believe in doing all of these commands He gave, or you are still trying to overcome that one really bad attitude hidden in your heart, you need Him.

 

WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ON TO? What are you afraid of handing to Him?

 

Let Yeshua in.  You don’t have to know how to fix it. Just let Him into that place. And if you need help with that, reach out to some brothers or sisters who you know are doing that work, too.  Reach out to me, to Blair, Britton, Lee, Tzefanyah.  Reach out to the ladies. Which I know you ladies are way better about that than we are. 

 

Let Him heal you. This is how we get the Leaven out of our houses.  Let Him be MORE than the blood on the door.  This year, let Him be your actual Savior.

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