Leaven everywhere you look

The Bible tells us in the Parable of the Leaven (Matt 13:33; Luk 13:20-21) that apostasy will grow like yeast leavens and rises a loaf of bread. Sounds good to most of us who love bread, but leaven was not a good thing to the Jewish culture at that time (the ones He spoke the parables to). Leaven is/was always seen as bad.

Jesus told the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (Matt 16:5-12). In Luke 12:1, Jesus identified their leaven as hypocrisy (pretending/acting). We have many these days pretending to believe in the gospel of grace, but their doctrine eventually shows otherwise.

This age, (the fullness of the Gentiles – Rom 11:25), is coming to a close soon, (which we believe will end with the pre-tribulation rapture of all who are believers). And then God will turn His attention back to Israel, and the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan 9:24-27; Rev 6-19) will commence.

In these latter days, we are seeing people loosely and flippantly handling His Word, drawing followers after themselves (Acts 20:25-32). And those followers have forgotten, or possibly never learned, to be noble and search the Scriptures to see if the one they are listening to is telling the truth according to His Word (Acts 17:11; 1 Thess 5:21). Others seem determined to continued to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, instead of growing up into the head which is Christ (Eph 4:11-16).

Some people speak of grace while preaching another gospel and sometimes another Jesus (2 Cor 11:3-4). Often, they don’t show much grace if you disagree with them. Several are shocking in their behavior and speech. Others often use certain terms or phrases to demean the idea of grace and the gift of eternal life being free.

Some of the phrases by these — (who essentially are Grace haters):

  • Greasy Grace
  • Cheap Grace
  • The Demons believe and tremble (never understanding James 2)
  • It’s faith plus works that saves (still not understanding James 2)
  • You just want to live like the devil (quite an assumption on their part)
  • You just think saying or prayer or walking an aisle saves you (no, we don’t).
  • You will know them by their fruits (They speak of you in trying to accuse you of not being saved. They never seem to understand they are likely speaking of themselves and self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11). They are not understanding the passage in Matthew 7 (15-23). This passage speaks to those false prophets who attempt to justify themselves by their works done in His name – they boast in themselves (Ps 94:4). Really this is similar to the leaven of the Pharisees. They trust in themselves that they are righteous because of the works they do (Luke 18:9-12).
  • Examine yourself to see if you be in the faith (eye roll). They also take this one out of context, in no way is Paul telling those bratty Corinthians he already identified as believers, that they need to figure out if they’re saved (another Scripture used out of context).

Don’t be intimidated by those who throw out a bunch of passages. Often, they are using their particular brand of errant apologetics to make their case (with proof texts pulled out of context). If you want to understand, look at what they said and take your time looking up the passages (in context – very important). Most often it is not even close to stating what they try to say it is.

This is same way you will see Calvinists repeat certain texts over and over, along with those who oppose eternal security repeat their favorites. We know those who are pushing hyper grace, ultra dispensationalism, law or even Universalism have their special list of proof texts. Again, a wise action for you is to just take your time in the Word. You don’t answer to them. Do this for yourself, for your learning, with God’s approval as your desire if you’re confused. Or ask others you trust. Look up the verses they are using to assert something. And look at context and ask the proper contextual questions. Don’t just accept that what they say their verses state, are really what the original intent of the Scriptures are. Don’t be afraid to get the multitude of counsel from other sound well-versed believers (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22).

This is the age of increasing apostasy.  Recently I was surprised at the rise of antisemitism from those who claim they are not supersessionists (replacement theology). The arguments that the church is spirit Israel has increased. Please be very careful of who you are taking teaching from. And before you start listening to someone new, Please, make sure you have seen a written gospel and a clear written statement of faith. If you can’t find one, it’s probably best to stay away, why take a chance or waste your time?

We have a plethora of YouTube preachers out there. It doesn’t mean they’re all bad, but there likely aren’t too many sound ones. Just because ‘a lot of people say they are good’ doesn’t mean they are (Luke 6:26). Remember, beware of the leaven.

Doctrine matters, even though it seems to be a dirty word to a lot of them (1 Tim 4:16).

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4

All this apostasy we are seeing at such a rapid pace can be frightening and unsettling — but remember the Word is your sword and also builds your shield of faith. Stop listening to them and sharpen your sword and keep your armor on as there is much spiritual battle in these last days. The Bible says this will happen in the last days, but it is because they give heed to these seducing spirits (1 Tim 4:1-4). Don’t give them any submission when you know they’re bringing another gospel (Gal 2:4-5). Warn in love (Acts 20:25-32), sending people to His Word of grace.

Above all, stay drenched in His Word. As I mentioned, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So, being in it is how we build up our shield of faith, to quench the fiery darts of the enemy (Rom 10:17; Eph 6:10-18). Stand firm friends, as the part of that passage says (13),

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Don’t lose heart, even though our outer shell is wasting away, the new creation is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16). And remember 17-18 continues to encourage:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Remember always, we don’t seek to please men, but God (Gal 1:9-10).

Maranatha friends!



10 Responses to “Leaven everywhere you look

  • David Busciglio
    4 months ago

    Thanks for the encouragement and the well said caution, Holly. It’s a real minefield of false doctrine and ” teachers ” out there. They’re absolutely everywhere, and represent essentially the overwhelming majority (99% if you ask me) of those who purport to support/proclaim the true gospel, but in reality are ” ravenous wolves ” cleverly -thru ” slight of hand ” and deceptive arguments – convincing vulnerable unbelievers of their damning doctrines and drawing vulnerable believers away from the sound doctrine (the simplicity in Christ, ie, saved once and for all and forever by faith alone in Him alone) by which they first were saved. …

    No other way but thru Jesus and His finished work alone. No other name, no other way, no other Savior. NONE. Thanks be to God, the ransom price was paid in full, FOREVER satisfied, for all humanity for all time, by that single sacrifice…Acts 4:12, John 19:30, Hebrews 10:10-14.

    • David, this should be part of the article. Thank you for posting, and for the last verses, which reminds me again, they always take away the attention from His finished work. The focus is not on Jesus but self. I know I could not ‘do’ anything, be sorry enough, turn away from enough sins, I’d fail at all. I’m so thankful for His Word which helps us discern between good and evil (Heb 5:12-14). Thank you so much for reading, God bless you and your family.

  • Susan Comis
    4 months ago

    Excellent and thank you Holly

  • Mark A. Cook
    4 months ago

    Holly, This is great. There sure is a lot of leaven out there, which has confused me further.

    • Mark, I apologize I missed this, have been busy so I haven’t been on the site. We need to find sound teachers and stick with them and be Bereans, always checking what they’re saying with Scripture.

  • This website has really been a blessing. Thank you!

    I do have a question/article suggestion if you take them:


    Is there any way you could address the message in this video?

    This pastor made waves by openly announcing Jesus is the Son of God in congress. Which was really inspiring.

    But upon further review, I fear his message has leaven. But he gives somewhat mixed messages. I haven’t figured him out.

    1. He talks about “faith” and “believe” aren’t the same thing – which sounds ridiculous.

    2. He says salvation is at an instant. And we aren’t saved by works.

    3. Then he talks about leaving an old church because they didn’t talk about repentance.

    Any insight would be appreciated!

    Thank you and God bless you.

    • Hi Matt, If you have checks about someone, probably there is a reason.

      Generally speaking, Jack Hibbs has some bad associations. He is inconsistent because he speaks too much of his own words and in doing so we can get into trouble.

      So a good way to listen to these videos is to examine the Scripture itself someone is speaking about. I like to turn on the closed captions so I can see as well as hear the words so I can catch something that they’re saying with all their rambling (at times).

      In the first 2 minutes he makes several serious mistakes. He says examine yourself to see if you be in the faith is Paul’s admonition to Timothy. He quickly brings up 1 and 2 Timothy being for all of us. However, this verse was not found in 1 or 2 Timothy. 2 Corinthians 13:5 was not to Timothy but to the carnal Corinthians who were challenging him and his apostleship.

      He says it is for all believers. Context has nothing to do with it being for all believers. He uses this passage like Paul Washer does. This passage has nothing to do with us examining ourselves to see if we’re ‘really saved’.

      This is about the carnal Corinthians who were questioning his authority over them, whether or not he was really an apostle. And they are his defense. Paul knows they are saved, he brought the gospel to them and they believed. He identifies them as such, bratty children such as they are, they are ‘betrothed to Christ’. He is afraid they are going to be led astray and put up with those who bring another gospel or another Jesus. In 2 Cor 11, there are others trying to say they are apostles and Paul is not, and He is going to continue to do what he is doing to cut off their opportunity to somehow boast they are one of the apostles when they are not.

      Paul has to again go through his list of credentials to the very ones he brought the gospel too and nurtured along as children. He speaks of where he came from, he is Jewish too, he is a servant of Christ and was imprisoned for His cause. He’s been beaten by the Jews. He’s been stoned, shipwrecked, in peril in his journeys, let down the wall in a basket to escape death. He has seen visions and revelations, caught up to the third heaven, given a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble, even though he pleaded 3 times for it to be taken from him.

      Paul is going through his history with them and his own history (as if he should have had to). In the chapter before he says, …For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 11b-12

      It’s sad, he says he is ready to come to them a third time. He loves them like children, but says the more he loves them the less he is loved by them.

      2 Cor 13 vs. 3 makes the point. They are seeking proof of Christ speaking in him. And he is using the literary device of sarcasm. He has already called them brethren and beloved, he does not doubt they are saved. He says they are sinning and this verse that all these pastors want to misuse to keep their flock somehow in line (not saying he doesn’t make it right later, I don’t know, I’ve avoided Hibbs for some time for his inconsistencies and associations, so I try not to listen to him, or at least not to spend more than a couple of minutes.

      But this verse is saying they are the proof that Christ is speaking in Him, he asks, “Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” unless… (again the literary device of sarcasm).

      So these pastors who misuse this to scare their congregation into behaving are either dishonest, are lacking knowledge or time in His Word, or they are wolves.

      Your takes on what is wrong there is good. The problems with churches ‘talking about repentance’ is that so many get the actual meaning of the word wrong. There is for sure a reason to point people to walking in the Spirit vs. the lusts of the flesh. And many are carnal and do not care about their behavior. But I have left far too many churches because the repentance they did talk about was false.

      Now back to Jack Hibbs. Right after the first couple of minutes, he then comments about ‘true believers’ and they are ones ‘living the life of faith’. I would disagree with Him. A ‘true’ believer is one who has believed on Christ for the free gift of eternal life. Now whether or not one is a student (disciple) or walking in the Spirit is another story and important that we cooperate for the benefit of ourselves and others. So, he goes along and gets some things right (like we can be backslidden in the heart), and understands that John is preaching the Kingdom of God is ready to appear (not the message of Christ’s death on the cross). The trouble is, he seems to feel that the word repent always needs to be used. Never used in John once correct? The one book that is evangelical in purpose (John 20:31).

      Although I ‘kind’ of get his believer vs. faith message, he makes errors that the Bible does not make. He says Abraham was not a believer in Jesus Christ but had faith in Jesus Christ. He was both, and to say differently is to go against a number of Scriptures. (this is around 10 min). Forgive me if I don’t want to listen longer. Life is too short. It’s better to use Scripture.

      Yes, some people say they believe in Him, yet their faith is not in Him alone, but in their works, church etc. If we make a differential, that should be the way, not somehow testing the quality of their ‘faith’. I can see a poor child being beat up, yet aren’t we to have childlike faith?

      I hope that helped somewhat. I think these pastors maybe start out ok, then start trying to draw followers after themselves at some point. And they start having channels and do all the social media, and the expository Bible preaching is replaced by sensational titles on videos.

      Look at my recommendation page, maybe you’ll find some pastors who you’ll get some ‘strong meat’ from (Heb 5:12-14).

      Love in Christ to you. Titus 2:13

      But sometimes that’s the issue, they get some things right, but then they are confusing at best in other areas.

    • Matt, I meant to add this passage earlier, but I’ll let it stand alone, because the video played on and I wanted to add something to what he said about the Parable of the Sower.

      But first he says John’s message was, ‘I am a sinner and I need repentance’. Of course we would need to believe we are sinners, or we wouldn’t have a reason to believe we needed a Savior. He states you cannot have salvation without understanding what repentance is. I could agree if he was saying to tell people what it does not mean. Having a change of mind doesn’t mean I need to understand what repentance (a change of mind) is. I’ve either had it regarding the truth or I haven’t changed my mind.

      This is what it says below in Acts 19:4 regarding the meaning of John’s repentance.

      Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

      BTW, he says a lot of things that just aren’t quite right. It wasn’t the ‘first word out of the mouth of Peter, Paul and the other disciples before the gospel‘.

      They spoke what the gospel itself was first. Not just John 3:16, but the message of the cross, who Jesus is, and what He did for them. Then they ‘may’ (or may not) have used the word. Or they may not have used the word initially, but they might have explained what they needed to change their mind about and later used it (such as seen in Acts 17:22-31).

      So back to the Parable of the Sower, maybe better related as the soils since it is mainly about readiness or fruitfulness. But if he wants to make a Kingdom Parable (see Matt 13) suddenly about whether one is a ‘true believer’ or not, he is making a mistake. In the parallel passage in Luke 8, vs. 12 makes it clear the only way to be saved is ‘Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved‘.

      So we need to examine the point of the parable, and it is not to suggest they are not believers (as Jack Hibbs said), but that any that believed were saved although 2 of the 3 who had believed were not fruitful.

      I’d encourage you to keep being a Berean, examine all the passages, don’t just listen to these types, and once you know something is off or wrong, stay away.
      God bless you Matt.

      • Holly,

        I found your article before this comment.

        Thank you again! God bless you, too.

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