“Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15
Deception is the devil’s tactic. Satan is the deceiver of the whole world. “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:9). Scripture forewarned that “…false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). 2 Peter 2:1 says, “But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” The message of hyper-grace (excluding other vital teachings such as repentance and confession of sin) is being perpetuated throughout the church. There has been a shift from preaching and believing the foundational truths of God’s Word to a diluted gospel.
Paul warns that in the last days, some will depart from the truth giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons … (1 Timothy 4:1-12). People were believing strange doctrines and passing rumors. Timothy is expected to confront legalism and immorality with truth and right thinking. He told Timothy, and by extension us, to point out these things to the brothers and sisters as a good servant of Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 4:6).
In this post I want to talk the religious and political spirits spoken of in Jesus time. They are alive and well in the world today. We see their impact, but we Christians often cannot discern what is really going on. We cast blame right and left on a human level, failing to expose the demonic influences around us.
For the last few years I have been sensing a spirit of deception through power struggles, strife, and hidden agendas. Satan loves to deceive that it is vital that we discern the times we are living. Corrupt governing systems and religious hypocrisy are being exposed …
Jesus warned His disciples to be on guard for the political and religious spirits prevalent in His time. “Jesus [repeatedly and expressly] charged and admonished them, saying, Look out; keep on your guard and beware of the leaven
of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod and the Herodians” (Mark 8:15 AMP).
So what exactly was Jesus warning them about and how does this impact the church and the world today? If Jesus warned and admonished His followers repeatedly to beware of two types of leaven in His time, the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod, what would He say to the church today?
These are unsettling times and the Church must be on guard against adversaries in unseen places. With the ongoing drama in the political realm I want to examine the topic of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod that Jesus warned of in Matthew and Mark (political and religious spirits). These two spirits are alive and well, and running rampant in the world today and must be exposed.
I began to research the political spirit after observing the evolving political chaos in America. For years I was discerning that there was an underlying spirit at work in these two realms, but did not understand the depth of what was behind them.
To unmask is to expose the true character of or hidden truth about; to reveal the true nature of. In essence Jesus was revealing and warning the crow of the true nature of the political and religious leaders of their time and the dangers they posed.
For the purposes of this post I’m referring to the second occurrence of “leaven” based on Jesus’ warning to his disciples ( Matt 16:5-12 ; Mark 8:15 ; Luke 12:1-12 ). Mark ( 8:11-15 ) presents Jesus’ warning following the Pharisees’ questioning of Jesus about a sign from heaven.
We can clearly see from Jesus’ admonition how ravaging both spirits can be and why He warned of aligning with these spirits. Daily we read of how our current political parties and leaders fight over making decisions collectively that would benefit the overall good of the people. We also see the constant political rhetoric that is wreaking havoc on our nation, that led to an act of revolt against the government.
The political spirit will always try to buy off, corrupt, manipulate and dominate leaders and groups of people.James Goll, We Need to Expose the Religious and Political Spirit, Charisma Magazine, 2017
My search for truth, understanding and the danger posed by these two spirits led me to read “The Political Spirit” by author Faisal Malick 1 and others who have written about this diabolical spirit. In conjunction with the Scriptures, he provides a fresh look at spiritual warfare, the sovereignty of God, our role and authority as Christians and as the body of Christ. I also searched other references to compare thoughts on what I was reading. I’m a firm believer that our Lord would not have us ignorant during these trying times.
When political correctness takes precedence over uprightness before God, the Church is in danger of falling prey to the Political Spirit.Dr. Ronald V. Burgio, The Political Spirit
What are the signs of these two spirits? What is there mission? How to avoid getting caught in their deceptive traps?
Jesus told us to beware of “the level of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” The Church has become entwined in the political system, resulting in it looking like a worldly kingdom instead of the Kingdom of God. The leaven of Herod, (the political spirit) needs to be exposed and overcome. We need a sound understanding to overcome the schemes Satan is deploying so that we can continue to be about our Father’s business.
Let’s be on guard against aligning with these two spirits that are bringing chaos throughout the world.
Minister Dr. Aleatha Francine Green
Notes: All Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
1. Malick, F. (2011) The Political Spirit, Shippensburg: Destiny Image, Inc.