13 And 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. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And 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? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
It’s important to understand that leaven in the Bible is not likened to a good thing. There is the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Exodus 12.
Exodus 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off* from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
*To be cut off means to perish or die – examples below
Amos 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
Leaven is a type of corruption.
Leviticus 10:12 ¶ And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy:
So, unlike what some religious traditions proclaim this woman, who may be the false goddess Ishtar, Asthoreth, Diana, Isis, or any number of feminine manifestations of Satan, is not enriching or making perfect what may very well be Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism but is responsible for polluting all three.
Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
The doctrine or leaven of these Christian churches is no better than the leaven of the Pharisees.
Matthew 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.
This is the natural outcome of following the heresy of the three main branches of Christianity is apparent;
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The Scriptures tell us of a great “falling away” at the end of history.
2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
To fall away is to betray Christ, to join the enemy.
Jeremiah 37:13 And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans.
The lukewarm church of the end times, the Laodicean church, from Lao-the people, dike-judge or the people’s rights, the human rights church, not God’s rights, is rejected by God;
Revelation 3:14 ¶ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The many “progressive” movements in the United States in the 18th century were essentially Christian based, founded by diehard, postmillennial, and evangelical Christians. By placing government in the place of God and civil law in the place of moral courage these pious Christians who meant well eventually consigned their spiritual offspring to unbelief and faithlessness. Government, whom they could see, became the God whom they could not see previously. The destruction of the Biblical view of Christians in America and the authority of the Scriptures was abandoned. Neo-orthodoxy and eventually Neo-evangelicalism reduced the Bible to a quaint mythology whose authority was based on original manuscripts that no one on earth has seen for thousands of years, the doctrine of the Scriptures “given by inspiration” as the Bible states was reduced to the original manuscripts only being inspired, and finally the error of calling them even “God-breathed” in defiance of Jeremiah, chapter 36, Job 32:8; and 2 Peter 3:15. As pre-President Obama lamented in his 2006 Call for Renewal speech the abandonment of the liberal of his or her religious faith is ironic considering that liberal political ideas were rooted originally in Christian beliefs and voiced by evangelical Christians in the 1800’s. To the American Christian, government became God’s agent on earth, and eventually took God’s place.
Postmillennial belief, that mankind would create God’s perfect kingdom on earth by legislating it into existence led to disbelief and apostasy and the eventual disappointment of World War One led to a new kind of Christianity, not moored to the Bible at all, but geared to a rewriting of it, without God’s hand in it.
As one example, a mentor of President Woodrow Wilson, Richard Ely of Johns-Hopkins University said it most clearly.
“An obstacle [to the expansion of the State’s role] in economic activity has been found in the low view that men have too frequently taken of its [the State’s] nature. Calling it [the State] an atomistic collection of units, some have gone so far as to speak of the support for public schools as robbery of the propertied class. Now, it may rationally be maintained that, if there is anything divine on earth, it is the State, the product of the same God-given instincts which led to the establishment of the Church and of the Family. It was once held that kings ruled by right divine, and in any widely accepted belief, though it be afterwards discredited, there is generally found a kernel of truth. In this case it was the divine right of the state.”
(Gary M. Pequet and Clifford M. Thies, “The Shaping of a Future President’s Economic Thought: Richard T. Ely and Woodrow Wilson at “The Hopkins,” The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy 15, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 262. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed August 2, 2011).)
A hardened heart has to do with not understanding or being willing to understand what God is showing you or teaching you. A hardened heart keeps you from hearing what is being said;
Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
In verse 17 it is clear that a hardened heart keeps you from understanding what is obvious. A hardened heart keeps you from doing what you should do;
Exodus 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
The consequences of a hardened heart become worse and worse sin. Read Romans 1:16-32.