Who knew that my biology degree would amount to something after all this time now that we are talking about yeast? Just off the top of my head, “Yeasts are eukaryotic organisms that are included in a group of organisms called “fungi,” which also includes molds and mushrooms. Yeasts can have both positive and negative effects on fermented products consumed by humans and animals. Yeasts are used as starter cultures in cheeses and bread, as well as wine, beer, and other alcoholic fermentation products, but they can also initiate spoilage in foods, such as yoghurt, fruit juice, salads, and mayonnaise.” Okay so not off the top of my head and I have no idea why I chose biology as a degree. I did like my bird watching course much better than microbiology. So in the end because I know how to read and watch a video, not because of my degree, I can make bread.
                If you look into yeast you will see it is a powerhouse for such a small organism but don’t ask me why. I did listen to a short video and by short I mean less than 5 minutes long by Dr. Leonard P. Guarente who is an American biologist at MIT. I thought what he said about his study of yeast was interesting. He called it the Unexpected Power of Yeast. He described the process this way. “So when yeast cells divide -- this is baker's yeast that I'm talking about, the kind of yeast you would use to make bread or wine or spirits -- and it turns out they're a very, very good system to study in the laboratory to look at cell biology. Now, when these cells divide, what you get -- interestingly, of course, you get two cells from one cell, but they're different. One is called the mother cell, and it's big; and the other is called the daughter cell, and it's small. And it turns out the daughter cell is all newly synthesized; all the material in the daughter is new. But the mother cell retains the old stuff. So that mother cell will then give another daughter and another daughter, and every generation it will be getting older. And it does that about 20 times, and then it hits the wall, and senesces, okay?
                Now those are words from his study about the power of yeast but I thought how interesting is this division of cells from a spiritual standpoint and yes it is not a perfect illustration but we can be perfect as God is perfect. Unlike the illustration, God stays perfect. Leviticus 11:44 “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” But like the illustration Jesus said I am making all things new. There really is supposed to be explosive power just like the yeast and it should not be unexpected as scripture describes the kingdom of heaven. Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Paul said 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” God wants to make His dwelling among us and for that to happen we must be changed and only God can make those changes. So like this example of yeast there is a completely new cell created that has everything needed. Now this Dr. is teaching about aging but where this illustration falls short is that God doesn’t age and will continually make new till the end of the earth. Hebrews 1:10 “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” We will age but our belief in Jesus gives us the promise of eternal life and we will never die. John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
                We were supposed to go to the ends of the earth in the explosive power and authority of Jesus Christ and proclaim His message and do just as Jesus did. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” Luke 9:2 “and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.” Like yeast, the power available to us would make new and multiply over and over again. As the definition at the beginning of this blog stated, yeast can have both positive and negative effects. As we see in scripture the power of yeast can be referred to as both good and bad.
                In this first example Jesus talks about the explosive power of yeast in a good way as spoken in this parable. Matthew 13:33 “He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” In other translations the amount is referred to as “three measures of flour.” There doesn’t seem to be an exact certainty on the exact amount of this but it is a very large amount. Obviously since Jesus is talking about the kingdom of heaven so we are not just talking about a loaf of bread here. Jesus is illustrating the power of the kingdom just as he illustrated the power of faith with a tiny mustard seed. These examples are powerhouses for such small organisms. In the context of this passage we had the sower of seeds which produced a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” We also had an example of faith as small as a mustard seed that grows into a tree and then yeast that leavens a lot of flour. The explosive power that is available in the kingdom of God is far beyond what man’s hand can accomplish because when God’s kingdom comes near, we enter into the supernatural, which is beyond anything man can do in his own strength. Paul said Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Mans hands have no power against this enemy unless God trains our hands for battle. This means we will have in us the explosive power of the Holy Spirit to do as Jesus did. This power was to explode across the land just as the power of yeast permeates and raises the dough, just as a tiny seed grows into a tree and just as a seed produces a crop.
                Jesus gives his disciples, us included, the power to go but we must be clothed with power first, which is why we were told to wait. Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” This is what God wants to do for us. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” This then is what the church looked like. Luke 7:22 “So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” It wasn’t just the twelve he gave this power to. This was the power that all disciples would have to go out to the world. Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Paul said in Romans 15:17 “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.”
                But unfortunately the church did not listen and went their own way relying only on what their own hands could make. This power also went out but was for the bad. This is why Jesus also talks about the explosive power of yeast in a bad way when referring to the yeast of the Pharisees. Matthew 16:5 “When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” In this very passage we see the power of God but also Jesus makes it clear that the yeast of the Pharisees will also produce results in a big way.
                When talking about signs and wonders, you need to know the difference between the power of God and the power of satan. The problem today is that the church has no idea the power satan has available. His purpose is to destroy you and he has the power to do it if you as Paul talked about are unarmed. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” We also must understand the devastation that takes place because of the delusion brought on by God because of unbelief. We were warned about these people. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
                In this passage concerning the yeast of the Pharisees, we not only see the power of the kingdom of God and all the baskets of bread left over but the dangers of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We know how yeast works, so it is easy to understand how false teaching also works among the people. We can see the power of persuasion in this passage from Matthew 27:20 “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our   children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Jesus also said over and over, Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” The power of these teachers is so great that today the church lies in desolation because the church has not listened to God’s word and heeded the warnings.
                Today we have the same problem with teachers and preachers, apostles and prophets and evangelists. Jesus warned us do not be deceived yet the church did not listen. This passage describes for us what it was supposed to look like. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” This hasn’t happened because the church is continually deceived by every wind blowing and still sucking on the bottle.  Paul says 1 Corinthians 3:3 “I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” Hebrews 5:12 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”  Malachi tells us what ought to be. Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”
                There are so many false teachers, preachers, apostles, prophets and evangelists in the church today that there is absolutely no way people are being equipped for works of service but instead they are being equipped with deception and delusion. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” Jesus warned us this deception would spread like yeast. Luke 21:7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Deception was the answer to the question, accept no one listened and many turned away to follow other gospels bring destruction on themselves.
                Instead 2 Timothy 3:4 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” If we want to be part of the explosive power of the kingdom of heaven we must adhere to God’s word and expect to be clothed with power.
                Ask yourself what explosive power has permeated your soul? Jesus said repent and the kingdom of God would come near so prove it. We know what that kingdom looks like but truthfully we are not seeing it. What we are seeing is the results of the teaching of the Pharisees so much so satan has taken up residence in the temple. False teaching has spread through the church as fast as this pandemic spread around the world. The church has proven that is we disobey there will be no power, just talk. Because God has turned His face to our disobedience the enemy reigns over us. Nehemiah 9:37 “Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.” We should be in great distress but most in the church are quite comfortable in their deception.
                The good news is God’s word tell us when we turn back to God He will return to us.
    Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Nehemiah 1:8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.” The false will be proven false and the truthful will be proven true.