No Leaven

Matthew 16:6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Leaven almost completely always represents man’s ways. There is one time that I can think of that Jesus made a positive reference to leaven (Matthew 13:33).

Jesus told his disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees, and Sadducees.

These were two religions in Israel that focused on the law of Moses.

Pharisees taught the resurrection, and angels, but Sadducees did not believe this, that’s why they were sad, you see?

Anyway…

There are a myriad of doctrines today, and I’m not opposed to any of them (well, a few), people only know what they’re taught.

However, I am opposed to the thought that we should all just sit under any teaching without personal investigation, nor without personal investment.

Man can be wrong, the Holy Spirit never is.

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

Leaven

Matthew 16:6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Leaven is what makes dough rise, it makes it fuller, fluffy. I like bread like that, but I also like tortillas.

The first time God has told Israel not to have leaven was right before the original night of the passover in Egypt.

He said…

“…Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel…”
Exodus 12:15

Bread will come to represent the Word of God, so leaven will come to represent man’s influence, understanding, his own input.

The Word of God without instruction is basically materials for making bread, so we do need direction.

God assigned only seven days, so it’s not like it was perpetual, only for the time being.

Seven represents perfection. We must come to maturity in Christ to gain understanding of scripture. We must grow in spiritual terms.

Ask God for insight and understanding, let him bake your unleavened bread.

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

JPM: Be Not Desolate

Joseph Prime Minister:
Be Not Desolate

Genesis 47:19
Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.

In my lesson JPM: Complete Surrender, I wrote of the levels of surrender that we come through to Jesus.

The context of this verse comes at the end of their own provision, with no more money, or livestock to barter with, they have come to the end of themselves and are willing to sell themselves and their land to Pharaoh in exchange for bread.

Their greatest concerns now are no longer the money, or livestock. Now they are looking at their lives and the desolation of the land.

I know that their lives are at a point of being famished (intense hunger), but the thing that caught my attention is their concern…

“…that the land be not desolate…”

H3456
Desolate
Hebrew word: YAW-SHAM’

To lie waste

There a lot of scripture that speaks of the desolation of Israel.

Jeremiah and Isaiah spoke of the carrying away of the Jews to Babylon, leaving the land desolate.

And, I would probably go in that direction, but there’s something else for us to look at.

When the Egyptians came in complete surrender, their concern wasn’t only their own personal deaths by hunger, it was also insuring the life of the land, the soil.

“…Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land…”

“And our land”

H127
Land
Hebrew word; AD-AW-MAW’

Strong’s Concordance:
“…ad-aw-maw’; from H119; soil (from its general redness):—country, earth, ground, husband(-man) (-ry), land…”

Matthew 13:3
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow…

If you’ve read your bibles, perhaps you remember this one.

Some years ago I discovered a new observation (at least to me) of this passage.

Jesus tells a parable of four areas where the sower sowed seed: by the wayside (path), upon stony places, among the thorns, and in good ground.

The doctrine has always been that these are four different types of people, but what if these are a progression of stages of those who come to salvation.

I wrote the following back in March 19, 2020, please see the link below.

I won’t go into the description of those soils, but this link has those thoughts.

The Egyptians have now come to that complete surrender, they have accepted their dependence on Joseph, and they acknowledge their desire for the production of the land.

But it’s more than only earth, or land, it’s got more to do with the spiritual aspect than only the physical planting.

In this prospect, it’s more about the sower, and those upon whom the seed is sowed.

A typical farmer will not cast the seed until the land is prepared. This sower does not appear to follow planting procedures, but simply casts the seed.

Consider also that when Jesus speaks of the soils, he speaks of “he that heareth the word” (Matthew 13:19-23).

He” that heareth is the land.

The Hebrew word for land is AW-DAM-AW’, do you see the similarity to the name of the first man Adam?

The Hebrew word for man is AW-DAM’

H120
Man /Adam
Hebrew word: AW-DAM’

The same Hebrew word for man is Adam

As God took man from the dust of the earth, he has repurposed it, and desires to repurpose man.

The sower didn’t prepare the land, or did he?

Those of us who can hear spiritual things have not always been able to. It comes through a process of continual exposure to the Word.

We have come through stages of belief, which is to say, that we have learned how to believe time after time.

From the first time, which seems insignificant, when the “seed” fell by the wayside (which also sounds like it fell on deaf ears), the Word actually made contact although it was stolen. It made enough contact for God to count it as the first time it was heard.

But we were not the first ones, nor were we the only ones to hear it. We are among multitudes who have heard it.

Matthew 13:38
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one…

One of the most notable preachers of our the last century is Billy Graham.

Think of him as the sower. He had probably the largest ministry of his time. Football stadiums, and arenas would be filled to come hear him preach.

It staggers my imagination of the prospects of salvation that were “produced” as he “sowed” those fields.

In Matthew 38, Jesus told a second parable of a farmer who actually planted a field. Sometime later he realized that there were tares (poisonous seed) also growing together with the wheat.

Jesus said…

“…The field is the world…”

There is much to see in this verse.

In this parable the seed is still the Word of God, but this verse amplifies Jesus’s previous parable, because the “sower” is multiplied.

Now consider that the sower is Jesus, we are the good seed that he scatters in the world.

Acts 8:4
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Remember this?

The church had been alive and thriving in Jerusalem for some time when it began to be persecuted.

Paul said…

“…And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women…”
Acts 22:4

Persecuted
Greek word: G1377 DEE-O’-KO

Strong’s Concordance:
“…dee-o’-ko; a prolonged (and causative) form of a primary verb… (to flee; compare the base of G1169 and G1249); to pursue (literally or figuratively); by implication, to persecute:—ensue, follow (after), given to, (suffer) persecute(-ion), press forward…”

Being a Spanish speaking person, I see “persecuted”, and I see “perseguir” which is to follow or chase.

The English form gives the essence of malicious intent, which the church endures even today in hostile counties.

This caused the church in Jerusalem to scatter. But it was by design.

No one likes conflict, guess what? Conflict is a good thing.

The new church was contained in Jerusalem, yes the church had grown beyond Jerusalem and gone to several cities there, but the reality of the church was that it must be far reaching.

Remember that Jerusalem was the attraction of Jews from the known world for Passover. There were people from so many places, and languages who came to salvation, and from salvation to doctrine, and from doctrine to thriving.

This was God’s plan. Persecution was the fire to propel the church and the gospel farther; to the lengths, the widths, and heights of the world, for all time. The church and gospel have become 4-D (4 dimensions). It’s not supposed to fit there either, it also extends into heaven where those who have gone on to be with the Lord are.

Now, understand that the sower is the Holy Spirit. He is the whole reason why we believe, he is the source of living water in the believer, he’s the one who carves out the rivers in the desert. He’s the fire, the anointing, and he is the filler of your faith.

Now, understand that he will scatter the church as he sees fit.

That seed, which is the Word of God, has also transformed you (believers) into the same seed, to be a Word of God in your world where you have been sowed, this is why you are here.

Don’t wait for persecution, get fired up, realize who has called you, and be his “seed”.

Remember the amplification which I spoke of earlier? Now you are the sower.

Jesus loves you.

God bless.
Pedro Villarreal

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Tidbits: Leaven-ade

Matthew 16:6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

In my spirit, I heard this scripture.

This next mini-mini series I’m calling “Tidbits: Leaven-ade”

My play on words is to bring light to the sense of making lemonade; you know, when life hands you lemons… Ok.

The Pharisees were constantly looking to displace Jesus; to take him in his words.

I don’t know yet if I’ll stay here in Matthew 16, I may go beyond to see some of the events when Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees, and make some “Leaven-ade”

I hope I have engaged you thus far.

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

What God Has Cleansed

Acts 10:15
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

When we speak of cleansing we normally consider filthy things being made cleaned.

In Peter’s vision he saw “unclean” animals, but Jesus told him that they have been cleansed.

In all reality, it wasn’t the animals, that was a parable, Jesus was about to bring Peter into the plan of salvation for the gentiles.

We can look at our own selves, even Jews, that there is an element of being unclean in God’s eyes.

Our salvation (for the Jew also) is the cleansing. Being that Peter must have thought he was ok, there remained the natural separation that came from generations of instruction.

“…And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God…”
1 Corinthians 6:11

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

Give Thanks!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Thanksgiving Day here in America. So much to be thankful for.

We will have turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, corn, green beans mashed potatoes, and some like cranberry sauce (not I).

For dessert, pecan pie, pumpkin pie with cool whip, apple pie maybe a cake, a strawberry tart.

What have you?

May your feast in the Word of God be as abundant.

God Bless

Pedro Villarreal

Not so, Lord

Acts 10:14
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

Have you ever looked at this verse, and wondered, wow, did Peter really just say that?

“Not so, Lord”

On the one hand, Peter is looking at the whole Jewish teaching – handed down by God to Moses (Leviticus 11), with every intention to follow the doctrines laid down basically in stone.

Peter does recognize these creatures as “unclean”, Peter is correct. Peter challenges what he is seeing (1 John 4:1).

On the other hand, Peter’s assumption is that Jesus is limited. If Jesus presented this to Peter, Peter should remember that Jesus speaks parables.

“…He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given…”
Matthew 13:11

Jesus had to show Peter the same thing three times. Just like…(John 21:15-17).

The mysteries of the Kingdom were about to begin unfolding. No more, “Not so, Lord”!

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

Kill and Eat pt 2

Acts 10:13
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

Did my last post look confusing?

I would like to clarify what I see, if you would indulge me.

Ephesians 2:16
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Kill the animosity.

Jesus has already joined both Jews and gentiles in his sacrifice, we also must become one man.

Jews may have a hard time accepting gentiles, and vice versa, but believers, no matter the race have no such barriers. We are all one in Christ.

The bread that we share is the Word of God, the message of love, and the hope of salvation.

No different strokes for different folks, we are one, and with one Word.

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

Kill and Eat

Acts 10:13
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

My title sounds aggressive, huh?

Obviously, we’re not going to kill anyone, but we actually already have; his name is Jesus.

The inference here is that Peter should kill one of those “unclean” animals and eat.

Always remember that scripture is first spiritual. This is a parable.

John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

This verse looks out of context with my opening text, but take a little time to look at the next few verses.

1 Corinthians 12:12 – one body, many members
Ephesians 2:12-19 – one man from two

1 Corinthians 11:24
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

This verse also seems out of context.

Am I just putting random verses together, or is there a mystery here?

It’s like there are several lessons that I’m trying to tie together, but in reality, they all say the same thing.

Eating the flesh of Jesus involves accepting his Word as though we are eating it.

At the same time, we are his body, which is also his Word.

We are not only accepting each other, we are unified in him and his Word. We are one.

Stay tuned.

God bless
Pedro Villarreal

JPM: Complete Surrender

Joseph: Prime Minister
Complete Surrender

Genesis 47:23
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.

Read from verse 13-23

My last JPM lesson related to being famished, really hungry.

The point of that lesson was we don’t really know what it is to be famished, and if we are, we might not even look to God and his Word.

In my personal study more than a decade and a half ago, I saw this passage, and I saw the levels of the way we might surrender to Jesus.

It made so much sense to me why people come to Jesus, and after a while they back away until they need another “dose” of salvation.

Growing up in the church, I saw the way many would backslide, I saw my own backsliding. I would be lying if I said I never lost desire, or fire for Jesus.

It’s easy to get complacent, it’s normal to relax, even in your faith. If you don’t stay committed, and put Jesus on the back burner, you will get cold, and dry, where the moisture of life is gone, and the fire of your life dies down. You will acclimate back into your lack.

Genesis 47:14
And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.

The Egyptians had money, currency to buy corn with. But wait, not everyone has the same amount of money, there are rich, and there are poor. There are those who suddenly feel the pinch, while others complain about the price, but will pay what it takes to get their corn.

We see that Joseph gathered all of the money that there was in Egypt, so, regardless of the cost, everyone came into the same desperation.

First, the need:
Food is essential for living. The corn represents more than literal food, it carries the sense that we need spiritual food.

“…But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God…)
Matthew 4:4

“…Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed…”
John 6:27

Second, money represents that thing that you can easily surrender. It doesn’t take much to pay for a steak at the grocery store, it’s a little tighter when you go to the steakhouse.

God sees how you value cash, he’s not interested in separating you from your cash, he looking to redirect how you see value.

“…Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt…”

When I saw this, I considered…

“…They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)…”
Psalm 49:6-8

(See also 1 Peter 1:18-19)

This scripture is a little out of context here, but for the sense of what money is actually valued at, it is limited, and temporary. Today, the value of cash is less than it was a generation ago. Something that is unstable cannot be valuable to God. It’s a tool, and should be used as such.

Genesis 47:16-17
And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.

A step further from currency comes to the point of earning that currency.

The livestock is worth more than money. You may have heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money”.

The livestock represents that which you rely on to build your supply. What does your supply represent? It’s where you put your trust.

I trust to wake up tomorrow and drive to my place of employment. I trust it will still be there for as long as I need it.

About 20 years ago, or so, a trucking company that we depended on closed its doors from one day to the next.

Nevermind that they had some of our freight, all of those employees suddenly found their dependence pulled out from under them. What should your trust be in?

God knows how you depend on the sources for your resources, he wants to focus your vision on the true source; himself.

“…Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…”
Psalm 37:3-5

So, once again Egypt surrenders a greater portion of their dependence for corn.

For the next year they will be sustained with food to eat.

Is Joseph being cruel? Is he robbing the Egyptians for personal benefit? The money and the livestock all belongs to Pharaoh now, Joseph is also a servant of Pharaoh.

The spiritual application here goes beyond material possessions, or the lack thereof. It still points to a spiritual condition.

Jesus knows when enough is enough, when he’ll stop asking you for more.

Even if you (we) don’t know what those limits are, understand that the final limit is similar to his, everything means everything.

Genesis 47:18-20
When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s.

Resources exhausted, the Egyptians come to Joseph once again. They had no money, and no livestock to bargain with.

Even if Joseph was being unfair where else could they go. Egypt, and Joseph had the monopoly, the market was cornered. God showed no other nation about the seven years of great harvest to be followed by seven years of intense famine.

It’s better to stay in the unfairness and have something to eat. What a perspective!

Is Jesus unfair?

In all reality, he is the only one who was able to open the doors of provision. The keys were in his flesh and blood. The sacrifice that he made was greater than our own surrender.

The Egyptians will now submit totally, and completely. They sold themselves and their land to Pharaoh.

“…He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it…”
Matthew 10:39

Jesus was speaking about taking up your cross. Yes, you may literally die for Jesus, but I believe he’s speaking more about the surrender of your will to his.

Go ahead, keep resisting, those who submit find his provision. You might not think you need Jesus; at least not today or in this life, but there will be a day when your life will literally end.

What if you go hungry, and for pride resist the availability of the provision Jesus has provided? Will you die in your own hunger? There will be nothing left. You will lose everything.

I’m not intending to be morbid, but the reality of complete submission to Jesus is for so much more than this world, but for eternity.

Once submitted, Joseph releases the abundance of food to the Egyptians.

But wait, there’s more!

Genesis 47:23-24
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.

Can you see this? What really did they lose. It all belongs to Pharaoh now, but they got it all back.

It doesn’t say so here, but they will also need their livestock, I would think they will receive this too?

Joseph them tells them that when they get their harvests in they will return 1/5 (20%) to Pharaoh, and they will keep the rest for themselves: to plant, to feed themselves, and to sell.

There’s a longer lesson in this, but I’ve already taken so much of your time. Thank you.

Let me close with this one final verse…

“…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal…”
John 12:24-25

Jesus loves you.

God bless.
Pedro Villarreal

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26