The Leavening Purge
Continuing with my annual voyage through the Bible, Exodus 12:15 grabbed my attention for the first time in twenty years. In the scripture, God commanded the Hebrews, saying, “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.”
As I mulled over the command, I was compelled to examine the word “leaven.” What was it about leavening that God found repulsive? Why did He threaten to cut off the souls who ate it before the end of seven days? Why had God purposed to change the children’s diet? I wondered.
Researching, here’s what I learned about how leaven affects the human body. The findings also give insight as to why God intentionally changed the Hebrew diet.
In the natural, baking powder and baking soda are chemical leavening agents. Air, which does not require heat, inflates foods like eggs and batters. Steam, which requires high temperatures, inflates foods like brioche bread. Yeast, however, is a living fungus that inflates by heat and moisture. Had God not commanded the Hebrews to omit leaven from their bread, the sounds and foul odors of a flatulent multitude of people would have come out of Egypt into His Holy presence.
And if you know God’s personality, then you know that He does not appreciate unpleasantness. Exodus 30 – 44 will teach you more about Him.
My findings also discovered scientific biological evidence that supports why God required seven days to clean the leavening out of His children.
According to the American Society of Microbiology, as recorded in the Journal of Bacteriology, a “human subject employed in [an] experiment [ate] one yeast cake daily for five days, or according to the viability count 70 billion living yeast cells. Within twenty-four hours 12 million viable cells per gram of feces were eliminated. The number dropped appreciably during the three following days. Three days after discontinuing the yeast feeding the viable cells had practically disappeared from the intestine.”
The interesting thing about the scientific experiment is the person(s) counting of the “70 billion living yeast cells,” the “12 million eliminated viable cells,” and the minimal presence of the yeast cells three days later (Yuck!). Considering God had commanded the children to stop eating leavening for seven days, we can conclude that the Hebrews’ digestive system had eliminated all the leavening cells.
The twelfth chapter of Exodus teaches the sacredness of the Passover meal. God emphatically forbade leavening in the houses and the bread. From the chapter, we learn of His intention to be the God of unpolluted, spotless, and spiritually clean children. This is why the symbolic connotation of the leavening is relative to sin. The Passover lamb represents the life and bloodshed of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, sin/leavening was not to be associated with the purity and sinlessness of the Son of God.
It is safe to say, however, that God does not detest leavening altogether. The Bible reveals several passages where He permitted the Hebrews to consume leavened bread with meals outside the Holy Passover.
This truth enables us to understand that God’s love for all people does not fail. Sin is what He detests. He, as our loving Father and Creator, cleans us up inside before He allows His Helping Holy Spirit to abide with us on the inside. This, too, can be understood by what Christ said before He returned to Heaven.
In John 14:26 of the Amplified Bible, Jesus told His followers this: “But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” Christ’s three-year ministry prepared the hearts of His followers for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
Preparing the Hebrews for Himself is why God forbade them to ingest leavening. He intended to purge them of their sins before bringing them into His Holy presence. The point here is that all mankind must be cleansed of sin and then taught how to live Holy before the Living God.
For example, the Gospels teach passages that support Exodus 12.
Jesus said, “Watch out and be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” When His carnal-minded followers didn’t get the lesson, Jesus asked, “How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? […] Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [false] teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
The Gospels show Jesus’s concern for His followers. He stressed the importance of avoiding sin. The lies taught by the Pharisees and Sadducees inflated their authority, confused the Jews, left them ignorant of the truth of God’s commandments, and caused them to go astray. See why God purposed to eliminate Egypt from the hearts of His children before they came into His Holy Presence?
Are you aware of the leavening residing in your soul? If so, are you active in the leavening purge?
The bottom line is that we, if we follow and obey the instructions of Christ and the Holy Spirit, shall arrive in the Glorious Presence of our Heavenly Father, completely and utterly cleansed of noxious leavening sin.
I hope what you’ve read motivates you to make a conscious effort to detoxify your life and eliminate secret leavenings (sins) from your inner man.