This dream, borne out of the immense love of God for his church, is both a warning and an invitation.
In this dream, I was walking up to a large and expensive looking home with great pillars on the outside. There were two beast-like black dogs barking at me ferociously. I felt fear and intimidation as they ran circles around me in the driveway, but I knew I had to ignore them and get to the front door.
When I knocked on the front door, a frantic and disheveled woman answered. She was so histrionic that I could barely understand what she was saying. She was holding several puffy loaves of homemade bread. She had flour on her face and was motioning towards her kitchen. I understood that there was more bread rising in the oven. She could not and would not rest from her baking as she pointed down the street. She was very upset about something that was taking place down the street.
As I walked down the block to see what she was referring to, I came upon an outdoor space with a long table in the middle. Around the table were sitting several people. In stark contrast to the bread woman, these people were at peace. They were contentedly engaging each other in conversation. There was soft laughter. Contrary to the leavened bread of the woman in the house, they were sharing flatbread.
I woke up with the words, "unleavened bread" in my mind.
My husband and kids in our kitchen
When I went to the Bible to see what it says about leavening, I discovered that the Bible actually says a lot about it, mostly as a metaphor for sin. Specifically, our reliance on our own works. It is well outlined here, and I recommend looking at it for understanding:
I believe this dream was about the hearts of the adulterous church and hearts of the faithful church.
The frantic, baking woman with the puffed up loaves of bread represents the adulterous church that God is calling to repentance. It represents worldly "Christians" who do not strive to live in holiness, because Christ paid for their sin. It also represents legalistic Christians who count on works for salvation. Both are two sides of the same coin, of living in the flesh and not in the Spirit and in Truth. Both are puffed up with the yeast of pride, believing that we can merit God's grace with the works of our hands, or on the other hand, are entitled to a place at the wedding supper of the Lamb, just because we said the sinners prayer, once.
The very nature of grace is unmerited favor. I have had both kinds of leaven at different times in my heart. God's mercy brings conviction through his word. God warns the church of Laodicea:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
The Laodicean church believes that its generosity and works merit God's grace. It is more concerned with comfort than it is about holiness. It is more concerned with its social dignity than it is with preaching the gospel. It gives people false peace by preaching about God's love and grace but refrains from preaching about sin and holiness and the reason we need Jesus -- because we are sinners. It doesn't warn about judgment or hell.
In this church, the crucifixion is an ornament for our comfort, rather than a sharp stumbling block that brings staggering conviction, gratitude and new life. It has "the form of godliness while denying its power." (2 Tim 3:5) It's puffed up with leaven. God's word warns that only a little leaven leavens the whole lump. When we are puffed up religiously and/or with our own ideas of who God is and what is and isn't acceptable to him, we can become spiritually emaciated. We don't have a clear view of the cross. Of Jesus. The veil is still there. The Lord says this to churches in error:
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Rev. 2:5
The bread woman represents the adulterous church that has not obeyed the Lord. Scripture warns that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with God (James 4:4). She represents modern-day Judaizers. Do we rely on religious law-keeping for salvation and sanctification? And, on the other end of the spectrum, but equally dangerous, do we have a false perception of a passive gummy-bear God who doesn't judge sin?
The woman was accusing the saints down the street, because they weren't helping her bake this leavened bread. She was also upset that she wasn't at their communion table. This is indicative of the double-minded church, or Christian. As Paul said, we who were saved by the Holy Spirit, and this was not of us, how now, do we think we aren't sanctified by the same spirit? This is not our own doing. It's by grace.
If we have saving faith, then we will find ourselves hungry for God and his word. We will pursue him, out of gratitude and love for Christ. This is guided by the Holy Spirit, when are saved. People who love God don't want anything to do with the sin that crucified our savior. Holiness is the fruit of a true, saved believer.
Read about the seductions of false teachers who enslave those God came to set free in Acts 15, Galatians, Romans 7, 1 John 2:26-onwards, Hebrews 8, Romans 6:7, Titus 1, Matthew 23 and 24.
Sacrifice you did not desire or I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise” Psalm 51: 16-17
Christ told the believers in John 8, that despite their belief in Him, the Word found no place in them, and so they were not actually saved. They were indignant, like the finger pointing woman in the dream.
We are called to help and "save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh." (Jude 1:23)
When I prayed for confirmation and further insight, God lead me to Jeremiah 7. The prophet rebukes God's people for baking bread for the queen of heaven.
In Jeremiah, God's people thought that they could integrate with society and the culture, in the name of God. They were offering worship to the Lord that was unacceptable to him. When I sought the Lord on what kinds of things the church is doing in his name, that he detests, he highlighted online teachers who try to enslave Christians back to the law that Christ came to redeem us from. For example, there are those who say that only Christians who obey and understand the Torah are true disciples and priests of God . . . and everyone else is a "pagan" Christian. The Hebrew Roots movement that teaches mosaic law as a salvific requirement is an example of this.
God wants us to be like the church eating the unleavened bread. We need to feast on the Word that comes from God's mouth, through the Bible and be in tune with his spirit which grants us discernment about such deceptive angels of "light". Eating our man-made bread (our feelings, man's opinions, ideologies and desires) will not satisfy ourselves nor God.
And it is no wonder. Even Satan tries to make himself look like an angel of light.
1 Corinthians 11:14
Mixing in the solutions of the world is also not acceptable to the Lord. Just as Galations 5:9 says that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump", it takes only a little bit of un-repented sin over time to lead even the elect into captivity. Matthew 24 discusses doctrines of demons, and there are many professing Christians dabbling in falsehood. We must each go to the Lord, independently, and ask him to reveal to us any deception we are practicing, entertaining or befriending as we read his Word.
The symbolism of the marble pillars in the fancy house are represented in Acts 17:29: "Since then we are God's offspring, we ought not to imagine that His nature resembles gold or silver or marble, or anything sculptured by the art and inventive faculty of man." This is consistent with the leavened bread woman who was in bondage to her own understanding and worldly efforts - even ones done in God's name. Matthew 7:21-23 begins, "Everyone who says 'Lord, Lord', will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father in heaven…"
We have a tendency to make God into a friend of the world in order to avoid persecution. We can be soft on lawlessness, even to the point of cooperating with it. One thing that God is doing in these covid years is revealing who the set-apart church is. His true church has come out of the world, as he has commanded.
The two dogs outside of the home of the frantic woman with the bread symbolize the dogs/wolves/coyotes (depending on the translation) that will deceive even the elect in the last days into believing false doctrine in Matthew 24. Some more of these false doctrines include (but not limited to):
new age influences and practices like the false prosperity gospel, also known as the word of faith movement or "name it and claim it"
Legalism: works-based salvation or grace plus works
hyper-grace: we can't take our sin with us to heaven, just as we can't get in with works
progressive "Christianity" that promotes ecumenical unity and "social" justice above gospel truth
feminism (rebellion that undermines God's design for the family and household)
Deceptive mandates based and the false gods of "scientism"
These are some trends, but every person has sin that God wants to take care of. If we ask him where we are grieving him, he will show us. It will likely result in a painful realization and some sacrifice, but there will be greater freedom and joy on the other side of it, if we trust him and obey. When we seek Christ, diligently and daily, and he will transform us into his likeness.
The book of Jude also mentions "brute beasts", the "natural" man, feasting, the last days, and the call upon the saints at this time to warn:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8
God's people should have no fellowship with works of darkness. Do we want comfort and to avoid the finger pointing of the accuser of the brethren that comes our way when we do not subscribe to the world's definition of righteousness? Or do we pick up our cross and follow after Jesus like he tells us to? Where are we compromising? Lord, please reveal this to us.
We don't want to lose people when we talk about sin and judgement, because we will. But if we don't, we won't win any people for real, either. The Bible tells us to expect to be hated when we follow Christ. We must return to our first love and reverence God's commands. We must seek his thoughts on all matters, because they are higher than our thoughts. We have to stop folding into ministry the ways in which the world loves, and instead, love out of the the gospel that Christ died to give us. When this is done obediently, it will offend the world. But, it is what will also save.
We can pray, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24) God is always going to answer this prayer because it's his promise to sanctify and deliver us.
Hurting people need the gospel . This is where the healing power of the Holy Spirit moves. The Holy Spirit promises to guide us in all things. Even saved people need to dwell and seek deeper revelation of the cross. There is no truth and reconciliation or justice outside of Christ's perfect way. It will fail. The cross is the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:11-21).
We can't be afraid to step on toes. The church has become distracted by cancel-culture and fears the easily-offended nature of modern day censorship. Or, it believes that we love people best by minimizing parts of God's word so we don't deter them. This is all puffed up pride. Leaven. Let us be at peace like the church around the table, passionately pursuant of Jesus, the person -- the ultimate unleavened bread, the very Word of God. And, remain unbothered by the inevitable finger-waggers.
The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
“Blessed are those who wash their robes,that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gate into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, 'Come!' Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon."
God's love, mercy, and forgiveness is so much greater than our sin. He will break chains of bondage off of his church when we accept the gift of conviction by grace and turn back to our first love (Rev. 2:4). In this new found freedom of total surrender to Christ to meet all of our needs, the church will worship how God wants to be worshiped - from our understanding. He says, "Repent my rebuke and I will make known to you my thoughts." (Proverbs 1:23) That is a generous offer, but notice the condition!
Please take this to the Lord and ask him for insight. Pray for discernment. He loves us and wants us to know the truth and understand what his Word says. He promises that "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13
Judgment is beginning. It starts in the house of God. (1 Peter 4:17) God's mercy calls us into his protection, through repentance. We are not faithful if we have an adulterous heart. Infidelity is the opposite of faith. God will not share the space. He's holy.
Glory to God Almighty and the blood of the Lamb who was slain for us. May all we do, bless the Lord. He comes quickly.
Charles Spurgeon, Matthew 22 and the Wedding Garment: