Yeast of Pharisees and Yeast of Herod
Jesus sumarized what he has been doing with a sermon to the disciples after another trip in the boat. The subject this time? Two forms of yeast.
Jesus Reviews feeding 5000 and 4000
13Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
14The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15"Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod."
16They discussed this with one another and said, "It is because we have no bread."
17Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
"Twelve," they replied.
20"And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
They answered, "Seven."
21He said to them, "Do you still not understand?" Mark 8:13-21 NIV
13And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
14¶Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.This one is a little strange with the "kai ei me" and "ouk" all sort of being melted together into "neither" and "more than". I put them all on "neither", and left "more than" untagged, but this should be reviewed. (!) 15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand? Mark 8:13-21 KJV
In the common pattern of Mark, Jesus and the disciples get into a boat and cross the Sea of Galilee. With this trip a new parable is opened. The chronology is reset to 6020 AA, the year of Noah’s flood.
In this parable the disciples themselves find that they have only taken 1 loaf with them in the boat. This appears to cause them concern. The disciples appear not to have learned that Jesus can provide. As Jesus reminds, he had fed 5000 and then 4000 so feeding the disciples should not be a tough job for Jesus.
After reminding the disciples Jesus then warns them to stay clear of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.
The first reference, feeding 5000, showed up in an earlier parable and pointed at Jesus’ era (6020 AA + 5000 = 11020 AA, within days of the end of Jesus’ own earthly ministry.)
The second reference, feeding 4000, was woven into another story and it’s use here suggests a continuity, or 4000 years beyond Jesus’ own ministry. The year in question would be 11020 + 4000 = 15020 AA.
Herod, of course, comes from the prophetic line of Nebuchadnezzar and Rome and represents worldly political power. This is the power that had beheaded John the Baptist. This is the political power that would control Europe for 2 millennia.
Jesus’ warning about this power, though, does not point out in the world. It points at the disciples, the proto-Christians who were surrounding Jesus. The Yeast of Herod, when it infects a body of believers has everything to do with political power and how it is used in a Church.
When Herod beheaded John the Baptist, Herod was more concerned with his relationship with his dinner guests than he was with hearing and obeying the word of the Lord brought through John himself. The Yeast of Herod operates this way in Christian churches even today.
The "Yeast of Herod" is popularly called a "Spirit of Control." This spirit uses political power and political will to govern the church body instead of letting Jesus direct his church as he so pleases. Church leaders under this spirit are often insecure, as was Herod. Herod should have used his rightful position as ruler to defend John. Under the Yeast of Herod, issues of Right and Wrong are supplanted for political ends.
Church leaders under this spirit are often prayerless. Why ask for Jesus direction when political considerations will prevail anyway? If there is a claim to being directed from Jesus, the claim is often to prophetic words given in the past. "Dead Dogs tell no tails."
Unlike David, who would simply not touch someone with the Lord’s anointing, the Yeast of Herod causes people to operate with impunity against the people God sends. This is what Herod did with John, and it is often what happens when worldly experts are divinely sent to modern Church bodies. Expert advice is often often disregarded, as was John’s advice to Herod, because Herod projected his own political view on John. Since Herod operated for political ends only, Herod would assume the same on John. There is no Right and Wrong, nor any other expertise, in a world ruled by this spirit.
The Yeast of the Pharisees works differently. The Pharisees had reduced the genuine word of the Lord into an extensive set of rules. It is unknown with certainty how many rules the Pharisees of Jesus’ day had produced, but all were thought by the Pharisees to be natural deductions from the Mosaic Law.
The problem, of course, is that they did not understand the principles on which the Mosaic Law was built, so deductive conclusions were always faulty. Of course they did not understand their own faults and operated as blind guides.
The Yeast of the Pharisees infects Churches even today. It is popularly called a "Religious Spirit." Church leaders caught by this spirit often concentrate on the form of religious practices.
Of course there is a need for political relationships, but they must not become prominent. Jesus must be able to rule.
Of course there is a need for understanding of God’s written word. But, proper understanding can only happen while lead by the Holy Spirit. Much of Church Tradition springs from the Yeast of the Pharisees.
It has been said that the two biggest problems facing the Church in the United States today is a "Spirit of Control" and a "Religious Spirit." These two spirits have always been the two biggest challenges to Jesus’ disciples. They always will remain problems for anyone involved in organized Church. They also haunt those who think they can avoid these spirits by avoiding organized Church.
When Jesus pointed at these two forms of Yeast, he used as the basis for this lesson the two times he fed large crowds. In all cases sitting at Jesus’ feet and eating from his hand is how people avoid these two forms of yeast. Jesus does not provide food with either of these two forms of yeast. This is the inoculation against this problem and it happens strictly through prayer and a willingness to do what Jesus says.
The two feeding times are referenced by the numbers of people that Jesus fed and this suggests a national application. Of course the 5000 were fed and this pointed at the time of Jesus, which was also the time of Herod. This was also a significant time in the history of Rome. The Roman empire was expanding and would maintain an iron grip across most of the Mediterranean world for another 400 years. The empire itself, as exemplified in the office of Caesar was less than 100 years old at the time of Jesus.
Jesus would feed Rome beginning at this millennium break. It would take about 300 years before the Roman world would become Christian in a legal sense. The start of that process began at the time of Jesus.
Remnants of that empire survive in the western world. The European Union marks the first time since the fall of the Roman empire that a single currency can be used across Europe. This empire marks the modern restoration of the Rome. It will always operate using the Yeast of Herod. -- refusing to listen to God’s people spread throughout the empire.
The feeding of the 4000 points at another period in world history. This story points at about the year 1000 AD. This period marked the time of the Christianization of Russia, and the start of the time when Jesus would feed the eastern peoples. The eastern branches of Christianity take after the southern kingdom of ancient Israel, the original home of the Pharisees.
In eastern Christianity authority is claimed by apostolic succession from Peter. Of course the Roman Catholic church in the west claims a similar succession, but in the west the protestant reformation broke this claim to authority. The eastern claims to authority are accompanied by further ancient claims of legitimacy. The Aramaic versions of the New Testament, likely the original New Testament language, are used by church authorities as a standard for gaining authority within the Christian community. Since the eastern branches of Christianity never when through a major reformation, they remain caught in a world where the Yeast of the Pharisees still prevails.
Further understanding of the significance of the events in the years near 1000 AD would come in Jesus’ next parable.
Jesus Heals a Blind Man
22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village." Mark 8:22-26 NIV
22¶And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town. Mark 8:22-26 KJV
The next parable is taught at Bethsaida. This is a new place, but is not separated by a trip in a boat, so it is a chronological continuation of the time in the previous parable.
In this story Jesus leads the blind man out of town and there, in the remote place heals him so he can see. The blindness is severe and in the first pass at a healing the man can see only partially. At this point he has bad eyes, but can see some. After a second round of healing the man can see clearly.
Curiously, this man’s healing remains private.
The last reference in the story before is the healing of the 4000. This pointed in history at era surrounding the year 1000 AD. This is an important time because this is when the Christianity was spreading to the farthest reaches of Europe. Beginning in 990 AD Christianity reached Kiev in the Ukraine, the ancient capital of the Russian peoples. This particular event is important because Russia is one of the lost tribes, but importantly, from the southern kingdom of ancient Israel. In this particular case the tribe is Judah.
The reason Jesus took this man out of the town is because he was prophetically replaying the fact that this man, this ancient tribe, was deported from its home town. Technically the ancient tribe of Judah had a capital at Hebron, where David reigned before he took over the throne in Jerusalem.
Judah’s mother was Leah. Leah’s most important feature was her bad eyes. Leah could see, but not well. When Jesus heals this man he only heals him so he can see partially. This intermediate step is indicating who the man is in history, Judah, the tribe with the bad eyes.
Judah’s nemesis was the first born son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachael. That son was Joseph who ruled the northern kingdom at Samaria. Today Joseph is the English speaking world lead by his two sons, the UK/Ephraim and the US/Manasseh.
When Jesus healed the man so he could see, he could see men who looked like trees walking around. Curiously, the tree metaphor is used in the old testament to refer to Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom in a dream. As explained earlier, Nebuchadnezzar is linked to the 10, the northern tribes of ancient Israel, Herod, Rome, and the western world generally.
The man Jesus healed is seeing trees. He is prophetically referring to the Russian tendency to look west at Europe, especially the United Kingdom and the United States.
Jesus heals the man completely and then orders him not to reveal what has happened to him. Curious, he does not. Everyone else has gone off and shared. Generally speaking the Russian branches of Christianity have not been evangelical in nature. They have generally stayed at home, without much missionary zeal.
Peter’s Confession of Christ
27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "You are the Christ."
30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. Mark 8:27-30 NIV
27¶And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. Mark 8:27-30 KJV
Finally, this section of the Book of Mark ends with a final trip along the road to the towns of Ceasarea Philippi. This region is named after Caesar who built up the cities so they could be used as a base for projecting Roman power in the area.
This very last parable takes place with the same time frame as the previous parable. The year is still 1000 AD and Russia has become Christian. The remaining cities, at the fringes of the European world, would also become Christian at this time.
Russian peoples confessed Jesus as the Christ.
Peter also appears to link closely to the Russian peoples in prophecy. The Russians built Saint Petersburg...
In Acts Peter is told to get up... kill... and eat. This is an end-times prophecy that points at Russia. More to say, but not now.