In this teaching we will begin to understand who were the Religious leaders of Yahusha’s day and what they taught the people. May we ask the Ruach Ha Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, to give us eyes to see and ears to hear the Truth concerning the Doctrines and Commandments of Men. We are admonished by Yahusha to “ beware of the Leaven of the Pharasee’s”.

Mat 16:6 Then Yahusha said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mat 16:7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
Mat 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Mat 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Mat 16:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Mat 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Mat 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Here we see that Yahusha was speaking to his Disciples concerning the DOCTRINE of the the Religious leaders.

Now we need to understand who were the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

These two sects or groups of religious leaders were the governing bodies of the Sanhedrim.
PHAR’ISEE, n. [Heb. to separate.] One of a sect among the Jews, whose religion consisted in a strict observance of rites and ceremonies and of the traditions of the elders,and whose pretended holiness led them to separate themselves as a sect, considering themselves as more righteous than other Jews.

SADDUCE’AN, a. Pertaining to the Sadducees, a sect among the ancient Jews, who denied the resurrection, a future state, and the existence of angels. Acts 23.

SAN’HEDRIM, n. [Low L. synedrium; Gr. with, together and seat.]

The great council of seventy elders among the Jews, whose jurisdiction extended to all important affairs. They received appeals from inferior tribunals, and had power of life and death.

Here we find the definitions of the Governing bodies pertaining to the duties of the council. As we can see they were divided in their beliefs. They were the supposed Authority concerning all manner of judging, interpreting Scripture,worship etc. They held the belief that they could interpret Scripture, add or take away as THEY saw fit. They believed that their Doctrine superseded the Word of Yahuah. They believed they had the authority from GOD to change the TORAH as they saw fit. This of course went against the teaching of Yahusha!

Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deu 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Yahusha reminded the people of the very same thing:

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

The religious leaders of Yahusha’s day were no different then what we see today!

Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Traditions of man take the place of the TRUE word of GOD! There are many religious traditions that are observed today in religious circles. Many actually think that they are in the Bible! That is why we MUST search the Scriptures for ourselves and TEST all things whether they are truly the word of Yah. Many are comfortable in their traditions thinking that they are actually obeying Yah’s commands when in fact they are not found anywhere in Scripture. If we do not know the TRUTH then we will fall for a LIE. Deception is thinking you know something to be true but in reality it is False. Doctrines of men have replaced the TRUTH!
When we become deceived we don’t know we are deceived! The only way to tell deception is to line it up with the TRUTH!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

In these last days we can become content with following others who APPEAR to be great Teachers. If the one teaching is not teaching the WHOLE BIBLE, Old and New Testament, then we are eating from the table of deception! The whole WORD of Yahuah is what we need to be understanding. If you have only Half TRUTH, then you are deceived!

As we all can clearly see that there are many different religions today! Some say they are Baptists, Lutheran, Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic, seventh day Adventists just to name a few! They all believe that they have the Authority to ADD to or Take away from the Word of Yah! The religious systems of today are as divided as the religious systems and leaders of Yahusha’s day! We MUST remember that Yahusha prayed that his Saints would be one!

Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

There is only ONE Shepherd and ONE fold! PERIOD!!!

Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

So what is the Leaven they taught?

Luk 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Here we see Hypocrisy as leaven.

Websters Dictionary defines hypocrisy as:

HYPOC’RISY, n. [L. hypocrisis; Gr. simulation; to feign; to separate, discern or judge.]

1. Simulation; a feigning to be what one is not; or dissimulation, a concealment of one’s real character or motives. More generally, hypocrisy is simulation, or the assuming of a false appearance of virtue or religion; a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.

Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Luke 12.

2. Simulation; deceitful appearance; false pretence.

Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.

WOW! Concealing ones real character! A FALSE appearance of virtue! A couterfeiting of religion! Can we name a few?

Most defiantly! Many of us have been in one or more of these “religious” systems.

Websters dictionary definition of LEAVEN:

LEAVEN, n. lev’n. [L. levo, Eng. to lift.]

1. A mass of sour dough, which, mixed with a larger quantity of dough or paste, produces fermentation in it and renders it light. During the seven days of the passover, no leaven was permitted to be in the houses of the Jews. Exo 12.

2. Any thing which makes a general change in the mass. It generally means something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

LEAVEN, v.t. lev’n.

1. To excite fermentation in; to raise and make light, as dough or paste.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 1 Cor 5.

2. to taint; to imbue.

WOW! Again WOW!! To TAINT, to make a change in the mass, something that CORRUPTS! We are now seeing the picture of what Yahusha meant by LEAVEN of the PHARISEES!

A little leaven leavens the WHOLE lump! There is a saying that if you feed a rat 99% good food but add 1% poison it will kill the rat! The 99% is actually good for the rat but it is the 1% that kills it! This is how destructive a LITTLE leaven can endanger our understanding of the TRUTH. Again a LITTLE tradition can leaven the WHOLE teaching. To expose a lie one MUST know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH!

The Pharisees and the Sadducees added a little lie or tradition to their doctrine.

Many Preachers and Teachers today have added or taken away the whole truth. Some say the TORAH has been done away with. They TWIST the Scriptures to fit their Doctrine. Again, we must not be like the religious leaders of Yahusha’s day that either added or took away from the word of GOD, so that THEY, not YAH, would be glorified.. These are the types of people who look good on the outside but on the inside they are dead!

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Luk 11:37 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
Luk 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
Luk 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
Luk 11:40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
Luk 11:41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
Luk 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luk 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
Luk 11:44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

The washing here was a tradition not washing to be clean. They had to follow a ritual of washing the hands with a special cup.

Too often we look at the outward appearance rather than examining the teaching. We have become in many cases more concerned with the way a person looks than with what comes out of the heart.

Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

More than ever we must LOVE the TRUTH!

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Let us press on toward the Truth and leave behind the LEAVEN of the doctrine and commandments of men. If we love the Truth, we will find it and not fall victim to the false teachings of the modern day Sadducees and Pharisees who are Ravening WOLVES that SCATTER the FLOCK to become prey for those who seek an advantage to gain for themselves and leave the FLOCK Naked and Barren!