From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 3- The Unleavened Bread
The observance of the Unleavened Bread followed Passover and was associated with it. So much so that the two events were regarded as being one and the same Feast. We read therefore, “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.” (Lk. 22:1; Matt. 26:17). The Passover event itself was on the fourteenth day of the first month, in the evening. Then the Unleavened Bread continued from the fifteenth day until the twenty-first day, seven days in all.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LEAVEN
As to the spiritual significance of the Unleavened Bread we are not left in doubt. Says Paul to the Corinthians, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:6-8).
The penetrating and spreading characteristics of leaven make it to be a fitting type of malice and wickedness in a believer or in an assembly. Paul likens the persuasive and corrupting influence of the Judaizers upon the Galatians to “leaven.” “This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Gal. 5:8, 9). Again, our Lord likens the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees to “leaven,” because of their evil influence. “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees.” (Matt. 16:6). To observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, therefore is to live a life that is free from the corrupting influences of sin and the flesh.
HOW TO BE FREE FROM LEAVEN
When the children of Israel departed from Egypt they gathered up their dough before it was leavened, for they did not have opportunity to leaven it, “because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry.” (Ex. 12:39). Had they lingered in Egypt, they would have had plenty of opportunity to leaven their dough; but because they were thrust out in haste their bread was unleavened.
So it is with the child of God. As long as he is pressing on with God, and fleeing from the corrupting influences of the world, the flesh, and the Devil–his life is free from sin. He does not have “time” for sin to work within him. He is too busy following his God and following on in the pathway of obedience. But let him linger by the way, lose the vision of the glory that is set before him, and yearn for the good old days when he had plenty in Egypt–and leaven will begin to work afresh in his life. Let any child of God, or group of saints, lose the vision of God’s glory, and before long that man or that assembly becomes filled with the leaven of malice and wickedness. There is only one sure way by which a stream of water can be kept pure and clean–and that is by flowing. Let it be diverted into an open pit, and before long the water becomes a stagnant pool and will breed corruption and death. So it is with Truth. When an individual, and assembly, or a group of assemblies settles back in self-complacency, satisfied with their condition, and content with the thought that they have arrived at the Truth–stagnation immediately sets in, the leaven begins to function, and “malice and wickedness” characterize the whole denomination. You simply cannot expect to keep a sect clean from the corrupting influences of the flesh, because if they linger behind when the glory-cloud moves forward, they have plenty of time to leaven their dough. On the other hand, if you proceed from “glory to glory” there is no opportunity for you to become leavened. GHW
Bro. Warnock’s lesson today begs the question, “Where is your vision focused?” Are you looking ahead on the glory cloud of God, or are you looking behind on the glory cloud of man? The apostle Paul gives us his take on the matter in Philippians 3:2-14:
“2Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NASB).