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Halelujah! Halelujah!

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A Little Leaven

A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. Galatians 5:9

What is leaven? Leaven can be defined in two ways:

  1. A substance such as yeast or baking powder used to make batter or dough rise
  2. Any influence spreading through something and working on it to bring about a gradual change

What type of leaven is being talked about in Galatians 5:9? The leaven believers are being warned against in Galatians 5:9 is false teaching. By reading the entire passage of Galatians 5:1-12, you will learn that some had come to teach them that they must be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1), that is why Paul tells them in verse 6, that it is faith not their state of circumcision that has meaning.

Is this the only example of false teaching being a form of leaven? No, JESUS Himself warned His disciples against the teaching and actions of the Pharisees and Herod (Matthew 16:6-12, Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1-3)

So is false teaching the only form of leaven? No, sin in any form is leave (1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Ephesians 4:22-32), if we go back to Galatians 5:7, we learn the reason false teaching is leaven. False teaching causes one to be hindered in their obedience to the truth, so false teaching causes one to sin (Job 24:13, Romans 2:8, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 4:17).

What would be an example of false teaching causing one to sin? There are many examples in our daily life, but here I will give two examples found in expressions used by “christians”:

1) “christians are not perfect, they are forgiven”, what does this expression teach you? That as a christian you are going to sin, so just seek forgiveness instead of perfection. From Scripture let’s demonstrate why this false teaching is counter to The WORD of GOD:

  • GOD tells us to be perfect for He is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Genesis 17:1, Leviticus 20:26, 2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Peter 1:15-16)
  • GOD shows us that perfection is maturity in CHRIST (Philippians 3:12-15, James 1:4)
  • GOD commands us to strive for perfection (Luke 13:24, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Philippians 2:12, 1 Timothy 4:7-10, 2 Peter 1:5-10)

2) “you care living law”, this is a new expression that has the same meaning as an older one “you are under grace not under the law”. These expressions are teaching you to ignore the Old Testament and GOD’s laws contained within it, and they too are false teachings that run counter to The WORD of GOD:

  • Let’s look first at what JESUS said about The Law, and what He says about those who teach not to observe GOD’s Laws in Matthew 5:17-20
  • When we are saved, GOD writes His laws upon our heart (Jeremiah 31:33-34, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Romans 2:14-15, Hebrews 10:15-17), so we should indeed be living the law!
  • GOD tells us that it is the doers of The LAW (Romans 2:12-13, Matthew 7:21-23, James 1:22, 1 John 3:4) that will be justified
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A Backslidden State

The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his.

Proverbs 14:14

What does it mean to backslide? The word backslide comes from the Hebrew word “sug” (5472). It means to move away, to turn back or turn away. The backslider:

  1. Turns away from ADONAI (Numbers 14:43, Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 2 Chronicles 15:1-4, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 17:13)
  2. Turns away from their first love (Revelation 2:4, Matthew 24:12, Jeremiah 2:2, John 14:15, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6, Revelation 2:5)
  3. No longer delights in serving ADONAI (Job 22:21-28, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 40:7-10, Psalm 94:19, Psalm 122:1, Ephesians 5:10)
  4. Turns away from the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 3:1-5, Galatians 5:4-7, 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Revelation 2:14-15, Revelation 2:20)
  5. Turns to Satan (1 Timothy 5:15)
  6. Turns to Evil (Psalm 101:3, Psalm 125:5)
  7. Turns to the World (2 Timothy 4:10)

A backslidden condition is gradual. You gradually slide away or abandon your faith. Little by little you stop obeying the Word and the faith you have been professing (Proverbs 24:30-33, Proverbs 19:15-16, Galatians 5:9, Song of Solomon 2:15). As pointed out in Isaiah 1:4, turning away from the Lord happens in the following three stages:

  1. Abandoned— backsliding occurs first in the mind. The backslider forgets The Commandments of ADONAI (Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 4:1-4, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 2:8). This happens because the backslider is not a doer of the Word, they never move forward, learning to know Him. Instead they stay the same or grow less spiritual over the years. (Psalm 119:1-8, James 1:22-25).
  2. Despised— backsliding then occurs in the heart. The backslider’s heart turns away from ADONAI (Deuteronomy 11:16, 1 Kings 11:3-10, Isaiah 1:4-6, Isaiah 57:17, Jeremiah 17:5, Hebrews 3:12) appears to be a Christian, but the heart is filled with lying, lust, unforgiveness, jealousy, bitterness … Instead of being convicted by truth, they are offended (Amos 5:10, Galatians 4:16).
  3. Turned Away—backsliding finally occurs in the actions (Titus 1:16)

Indications You Have Backslidden

  • You haven’t felt the presence of The Holy Spirit in quite some time (Numbers 14:43, Isaiah 59:1-2, Hosea 5:15)
  • You don’t remember the last time you heard the voice of ADONAI (Amos 8:11, 1 Samuel 3:1, 2 Chronicles 15:3-4)
  • Your joy in serving ADONAI is gone (Deuteronomy 28:47, Psalm 118:24, Psalm 122:1, Isaiah 9:3, Nehemiah 8:9-12)
  • Your knowledge of The Word is inconsistent with your life (Hosea 8:2, Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 6:46, Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:4)
  • You No Longer believe you need to fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • You can’t remember your last in-depth bible study (Psalm 111:1-2, Psalm 119:47-48, Ezra 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Most of your prayers seem to be hitting the ceiling (John 9:31, Job 35:12-13, Psalm 66:18-20)
  • You don’t feel ADONAI loves you (Isaiah 32:17, Proverbs 3:32)

How Can You Turn From the Backslidden State?

Humble yourself, confess your sins (Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9)

Pray (Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 4:2, James 5:13, 1 Peter 4:7)

Seek Him earnestly (1 Chronicles 16:11, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 3:10)

Turn back to ADONAI-Repent (Psalm 7:12-16, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30-31)

How Can You Avoid Backsliding In the Future?

1)     Cling to The LORD (Joshua 23:8, Joshua 23:11, 2 Kings 18:6)

2)     Delight in The LORD (Psalm 1:2-3,Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:24, Psalm 119:33-35, Psalm 119:47, Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:142-144, Psalm 119:97-107)

3)     Keep your mind on ADONAI-Meditate day and night upon His Word (Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 16:7-8, Isaiah 26:3)

4)     Stand Firm in your Faith in JESUS (Colossians 1:23, Ephesians 6:10-11, Hebrews 10:39, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 14:12,)

5)     Persevere in Keeping ADONAI’s Commandments (Matthew 24:13, Luke 8:15, Romans 2:7, Romans 5:3-5, Romans 15:5)

6)     Be on Guard-Stand Alert (1 Timothy 4:16, Acts 20:28, Luke 21:36, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9, 1 Peter 5:8)

7)     Walk in Sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6, 1 Timothy 6:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:3-5, Titus 1:9-11, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:6-15, 2 Peter 3:16 )

8)     Keep yourself separate from evil doers (1 Corinthians 15:33, Psalm 1:1, Psalm 119:115, Proverbs 1:10, Proverbs 1:15, Jeremiah 15:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Revelation 18:4)

9)     Keep yourself from evil (Joshua 23:6-7, 2 Chronicles 4:10, Psalm 101:1-4,)

10)  Understand the causes of Backsliding

  • Disobedience (Matthew 24:12, James 4:17, 1 Peter 2:8, Revelation 3:2-3)
  • Discouragement-Lack of Faith in ADONAI (Psalm 78:22, Isaiah 26:2-3, Habakkuk 2:2-4, Luke 18:8, Hebrews 11:6)
  • Doubt (James 1:6-8, Mark 11:23, 2 Peter 2:14)
  • Fleshly Lusts (2 Samuel 11:13, 2 Samuel 12:1-13, Romans 7:4-5, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Peter 1:4, James 4:1-3, 1 Peter 2:11, Galatians 5:16)
  • Indifferent to Sin (Revelation 3:15-16)
  • Jealousy (Matthew 5:23-24, Galatians 5:15, Hebrews 2:15)
  • Love of Money (Matthew 6:24, 1 Timothy 6:10)
  • Love of The World (2 Timothy 4:10, James 4:1-4, 1 John 2:15-17)
  • Murmuring-Complaining (Exodus 17:3, Job 33:13-17, 1 Corinthians 10:9-11, James 5:9)
  • Over confidence (Matthew 26:33, Romans 11:20, Romans 12:16, )
  • Pleasing man rather than ADONAI (John 5:44, John 9:18-23, Galatians 1:10, Acts 5:29)
  • Poor Prayer Life (Zephaniah 1:6, Mark 14:37-41, Luke 18:1, James 4:2)
  • Pride (Proverbs 16:18, Jeremiah 8:12, Hosea 13:6, John 5:44, 1 Corinthians 10:12, James 4:6, 1 John 2:16 )
  • Rebellion-hardened heart (1 Samuel 15:11, 1 Samuel 15:23, Nehemiah 9:17, Nehemiah 9:26, Psalm 106:43, Psalm 107, Proverbs 28:14, Isaiah 1:19-20, Isaiah 65:2-3, Jeremiah 2:27-32, Jeremiah 5:6, Hebrews 3:15, James 4:8)
  • Shrinking back from persecution, tests and trials (Psalm 106:13-14, Matthew 13:21, Matthew 26:56, Matthew 26:70-74, Mark 14:72, 1 Corinthians 10:6, Hebrews 10:38-39)
  • Stubbornness (Judges 2:19, 1 Samuel 12:25, 2 Kings 17:14, 2 Kings 17:40, Jeremiah 5:3, Jeremiah 8:4-7, Jeremiah 44:15-17, Hosea 11:7, Zechariah 7:11-13)
  • Spiritually blind (Revelation 3:17-18, Hosea 7:9)
  • Unequally Yoked (1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Peter 4:2-4, Joshua 23:12-13)
  • Unguarded thoughts (Psalm 104:34, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:8)

Consequences of Remaining in a Backslidden State

  • Your name is blotted out of the book of life (Exodus 32:32-33, Psalm 69:28, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 22:19)
  • There is No Help from ADONAI (Isaiah 59:9-14)

Examples of Men Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Israelites (Ezra 9:1-2)

King David (2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12, Psalm 51:1-14, Psalm 61:10-12)

King Solomon (2 Kings 11:1-13,)

Job (Job 42:6)

Peter (Luke 22:31-34, Luke 22:54-62)

Other disciples of JESUS (Matthew 26:56, John 6:66)

Hymaenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:18-20)

Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Timothy 1:15)

Fellow worker of Paul, Demas (2 Timothy 4:10, Philemon 1:24)

Examples of Churches Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)

Galatians (The Book of Galatians, Galatians 1:6, 3:1, 4:9-11, 5:6-7)

Asia (2 Timothy 1:15)

Ephesians (Revelation 2:4-5)

Pergamum (Revelation 2:14-16)

Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-23)

Sardis (Revelation 3:1-3)

Laodicea (Revelation 3:15-19)

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