by Roy Gardenier

Some years ago I worked for a company that supplied substitute teachers. I tried to get work as near to home as possible, but one gloomy morning I got a call to teach at a distant technical school. Ordinarily I would have turned down the job, but a boy from a local family attended that school. Relationships rank most high on the Lord's scale of values. At that time we were developing aconnection with that particular family in hopes that we might share the Gospel with them. Since it was a one-shot deal, I felt strongly impressed of the Lord to put aside my "better judgment". I agreed to spend just one day at the school though this endeavor had all the earmarks of a "fool's errand". I arrived early. The only person in the faculty room was the lead teacher. Ididn't realize his opening question: "Well, what the h-- is your major?" was just a lead in to lacerate substitutes and flaunt their incompetence. When I naively, but honestly, answered "Philosophy", I almost expected his coffee mug to drop from his hands, fly off the wall or zoom towards me! This was a rough, tough-appearing man who barked orders all day long. He comported himself more like a drill instructor or prison guard rather than a school teacher. I had no time to explain that for a number of years I had headed a technical departmentin a secondary school much larger than his. I felt no need to explain or reply when he belched forth a curse and contemptuously exclaimed: "Philosophy! Now we've had everything!" It didn't seem like a very auspicious start to what appeared would be a very long day.


On the drive in that morning I had prayed and sung "in the Spirit". Not long after I was baptized in the Holy Ghost I heard a lady testify that now that she could pray in tongues she had made it a habit to praise the Lord spiritually while driving. Her car had turned into "a little chapel" was the way she put it. I was so edified by this testimony I determined to use this "down time" of driving to commune with the Lord by praying in the Spirit and fulfill the recommendation of Ephesians 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord". As my wife indicated in her excellent article on "The Tongue" there have been heated controversies and deep misunderstandings about the scriptural gift of tongues. But, like her, I can confidently and assuredly affirm that tongues is a precious gift from the Holy Spirit. It must be received and exercised by faith. Tongues is an ongoing reminder and example of that faith without which it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). The primary, most evident and palpable fruit of the wonderful gift of tongues is described in the Epistle of Jude, verse 20: “... building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost".

Despite a rather rocky beginning at the trade school I felt confident, spiritually fortified and even joyful at the prospect of spending the day there. I had little contact with the other ten or twelve faculty members that would be teaching and training the students in their work areas. Whatever was going on in the regular classrooms my job was to circulate among the students working in "the pit" - a vast, open section that included a variety of "hands-on" projects. Amid a cacophony of noises from sawing, hammering, drilling and shouting; surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces I felt my best contribution to the school would be a set of sharp eyes, a pair of tight lips and a heart and tongue that was filled with heavenly prayer and praise. So I spent the school day circulating externally and spiritually percolating inside. While I kept my eyes peeled for safety hazards and passed a brief word with a student or fellow teacher, I mostly prayed in the Spirit, offering up to God the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13: 15).


Although I met the one student that I knew and watched over his work project for a short time, I made no attempt to share the Gospel with him or anyone else. I felt the Lord had sent me there to pray. I tried to be obedient as possible to that primary assignment. I did my best to earn an honest day's pay by following the instructions that the rather nasty lead teacher had given me.


The hours flew by. I must have taken a break for lunch but I can't remember even going to a cafeteria. I was very alert to what was going on around me, yet at the same time I felt suspended in the Spirit. What I thought might be a long, tedious, dull and even frustrating day passed smoothly, easily and quite cordially. But I was in no way prepared for what happened after the final bell rang and all the students left. As you know, teachers sometimes have to stay after classes for the extracurricular activities they've been assigned to moderate. Except for that responsibility, most teachers prefer to leave promptly after a demanding day knowing there are often preparations to be made for the following day which comes all too quickly. My time was up that day and I was eager to head for the parking lot. I felt sure the other faculty members would be following on the heels of the departing students. I hadn't made any friends that day; I hoped no enemies. I could barely call one student and possibly two teachers, acquaintances. My connection with any of the teachers was so fleeting I doubt they knew anything more about me than my first name. Yet, to my amazement, not one of the teachers left the area. Instead, they pulled up chairs in two rows and just sat there waiting for me to speak to them. No one said a word to me. No one introduced me. No one even invited me to speak. They just sat there looking at me. No one felt nervous or uncomfortable, least of all me.


I spoke to these men for nearly an hour. I can't remember the details of how I started or finished, but I know I told them about Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I gave my testimony about having been a religious leader and a priest. I told them I had known "about Jesus" for many years and was trained to talk "about God" rather eloquently and in three different languages. I said that although I had studied deeply about God, I had never known Him. As a professional clergyman I didn't have a clue that I could have a personal relationship with God by believing on the Lord Jesus as my Savior and Lord. To those attentive men gathered before me I confided the details of my conversion, repentance and submission to Jesus. I also filled them in on the extraordinary events that had transpired in my private life since God had come into my heart in a personal way. I told them of the comparative ease with which I left a religious home and family that I was tied to for a little more than twenty years. As best I could I explained the miracle of being extricated from a certified ministry and a public position that had been my professional life for fifteen years. When God intervened in my life He not only removed the people and positions that were impediments to an intimate relationship with Him, but He gave me a whole new existence in Christ. I told the men about my new wife, new family and even a new home that He had picked out for us. In all the time I spoke of these things only one teacher had to hurry away after 45 minutes. The rest stayed to hear me out and thanked me for sharing with them.


Some may doubt the reality of the gift of tongues. Others may believe in God's gifts but be fooled into thinking that tongues is a waste of time. I hope this true testimony will help allay any such errors or fears. May this simple story pierce our readers' hearts; edify them; and show that with the gift of tongues there is a definite spiritual advantage.



     1.) What is a Christian?
     2.) Nativity: New birth/creation.
     3.) Believers get a new heritage
     4.) Rahab; Story of salvation
     5.) The Day the King's son died
     6.) Three Little Words and I knew
     1) Repentance from dead works
     2) Faith towards God
     3) Laying on of hands
     4) Doctrine of baptisms
     5) Eternal judgment
     6) Resurrection of the dead


       6)Brotherly Kindness

     3.) Perfectly Prepared
          and Ready
     4.) True Religion
     5.) Overcoming
     6.) Waiting


The Leaven of Heaven:
Understanding the parable of:

The Woman who
hid leaven in three
measures of meal

    "The kingdom of heaven is like
    unto leaven which a woman took
    and hid in three measures of meal,
    til the whole was leavened."

     This brief, but awesome parable, related in not one, or two, but in three of the gospels Matt. 16.6/Mark. 8.15/Luke 12.1 has wonderful prophetic overtones for the individual's walk of faith. These words from the mouth of our Savior give us hope for the day when we shall be like Jesus, completely permeated with God. In a few words, this little graphic picture instigates in us those three eternal virtues, hope, faith and love, which God is constantly shaping and forming within us.  This parable gives us hope for things to come, faith that God will be formed in us and assurance that His love will completely overpower us in that day.
We know that God wants us to be fully equipped so that we may have every opportunity to be worthy and successful disciples of His Son, JesusChrist. “For in Him dwelleth the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col.2:9-10) By receiving the three baptisms at the hand of God: repentance, water, and the Holy Spirit, we are completed, in the sense that we are fully equipped with the spiritual utility in order to become a mature Christian, servant of God. These three baptisms are the ‘leavening’ that the woman (Church) puts into, kneads into, the individual.  Without these three baptisms, this good and godly infusion, Christians are sorely hampered to the point of impossibility. Man must have all the power of God residing in Him, not around, Him or theoretically involved in his thoughts, but in Him, if he is to obtain the commanded holiness and perfection urged by Christ of His followers. Prospective disciples are instructed by Christ to ‘be ye perfect’ and ‘be ye holy’, just as our Father which is in heaven is holy and perfect. To attain to such lofty requisites, those spiritual and not earthly forms of goodness and holiness, it takes submission to the hand of God and the reality of the power of God within the individual believer. When He said we are the work of His hands, He meant it literally. When the godly power of the three baptisms are infused by faith through immersion, the disciple then must allow their penetrating power to take hold and grow, like yeast in a portion of dough. The fruits and effects of the infusions of the baptisms can be realized so that they will attain to their prescribed purpose.
In the case of this parable, as with all parables, the meaning is hid from the world and given only to those disciples seeking to follow the Lord with all their heart. We must let God interpret these symbolic stories for us. Jesus told His disciples it was not for the multitudes to see and understand the mysteries of God. (Matt. 13) That is why He taught in parables. In private, however, He did reveal the meaning of many of the parables and made sure they understood them. (Matt. 13) The story of the sower of the seeds and the story of the wheat and tares provide us with the method that Jesus Himself used to interpret His parables. The way Jesus unlocked their meaning holds the key to understanding those parables which are not directly interpreted for us in the Scriptures.
       In revealing the meaning of the story of the wheat and tares Jesus first identified what each symbol stood for and then showed what part they have in reality. (Matt. 13.36-43) He said the sower of the good seed was the Son of man, the field was the world, the good seed are the children of the kingdom, tares are the children of the wicked one, and so on. He then told them the devil had sown tares among the wheat but that in the end, at the time of the harvest the angels would come and separate the children of God from the children of the wicked one. This is the method He would have us use in searching out the meaning of each parable, including the one about the woman and the leaven of heaven.
We start, therefore, by identifying each symbol. The leaven is Jesus Christ THE WORD, more specifically it is the three baptisms by which He hopes to baptize us and make us fully equipped; turning wholeheartedly to God, dying with Him, and coming to life in the Spirit with Him. This process, this kneading, is done by the woman, the Church, as it is being done now in this teaching. The three measures of meal is tri-part man (body, soul and spirit).
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven, God's dominion, His world, His way, is like this:

THE WORD OF GOD (Jesus) is hidden deep within a person through three baptisms, infusions and washings. Each baptism (Repentance, Water and Holy Spirit) permeates the three-fold parts of tri-part man - spirit, soul and body.  It starts when Jesus enters our heart at the moment of our salvation and eventually the saved person, the person overcome by salvation's (health) power, will be permeated by Jesus (the leaven of heaven) through and through just like a little lump of yeast causes a whole loaf of bread to rise. How do we know this is the correct teaching? For that we must, of course, turn to the Scriptures which remain the only way to confirm our beliefs.
We know that leavening is symbolic of doctrine or teaching. In Matthew 16 Jesus told His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. He later told them what He meant was that they should reject their doctrine and teachings. We know that leavening is anything that influences our behavior. In 1 Cor. 5.6-8 we are shown that the true leaven is Christ, our passover, who was sacrificed for us. The passover and all other sacrifices under the Mosaic law were without leaven. There were few exceptions to this and each ritual ‘spoke’ of Jesus as the one who made it possible for us to approach God. One such offering was used to kick off the feast of Pentecost which is the feast most closely associated with the Holy Ghost. (Lev. 23.17) This was set up by God to show that even in the law Jesus, and He alone, is the only leavening needed for God's people. As the peace offering between God and Man, offered as the first fruits through the ministry of the Holy Ghost, Jesus was the leavening. Other than that, no other leaven is needed. Jesus has to be the leaven from heaven. Three times in John 6 He says I am the bread of life. He told the Jews He was that manna from heaven sent down by His Father. He is the Truth. He is the only true doctrine, teaching and way. He must be the leaven in three baptisms which the woman will take and hide in three measures of meal.
       The woman is the active agent of this process. Without her there is no action. Nothing will happen. The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Ghost is the one who sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. (Romans 5.5)  It is the Holy Ghost's mission to give the gifts to the Church severally to every man as He will; The Holy Ghost renews our spirit, regenerates our mind and heals the body. And in every instance that the Holy Ghost speaks it is the words of the bread of life, Jesus. The Holy Ghost glorifies Jesus and makes Jesus come alive and rise up in us. The woman is the Church wherever she is dominated and moved to action by the Holy Ghost. Bit by bit we are being perfected by the workings of the Holy Ghost who is striving to have Jesus permeate every fiber of our being. The Spirit using the Church, like the spirit of wisdom personified as a woman in Proverbs, can hide Jesus in any part of our being. 

Un-risen man needs the leaven, body, soul and spirit
The three parts of meal is a man - the un-risen man - waiting for the leaven of heaven that will cause him to rise, to be seated in heavenly places. The resurrection power belongs to Jesus, to whom the Father has given the power of life over death. Jesus is the one who can save us body, soul and spirit. First Thessalonians5.23,24 makes this prayer saying; And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
       The leaven of Jesus can and will save us wholly in all three measures. But it is not after the fashion we suppose. It is not in the order in which we often recite the progression: body, soul and spirit. It is very important for our faith's sake that we understand that the order is the exact opposite, even as we can infer from the Scripture itself. The prayer of Thessalonians says, spirit, soul and body because the first priority with God is the spirit, then the soul, then last our bodies.
       Aren't we first made new creatures by being given a new spirit at our rebirth? God is renewing our spirits within us daily, even as our bodies deteriorate. God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Our spirit must get right with God first.       Second, is the battleground of the mind and emotions which embody the soul. The soul (mind and emotions) must be given over to the Holy Ghost who labors to have us receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls. James 1.21 We must give these darlings of our life, these minds over to Christ so that every thought can be brought under His subjection.  We want to have the mind of Christ. Phil. 2 Through the gateway of the mind the enemy gets a foothold and can harass the children of the kingdom. This advice from Ephesians 4.17,18 is the leavening the Holy Ghost wishes to permeate our mind with: "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" Rather than trusting in our mind and ability to figure out what is right and wrong for ourselves we need to have the eyes of our heart enlarged so we can see only Jesus and His will. The leaven of heaven will cause us to think His ­thoughts and hear His words. The leaven of heaven is able to save our souls.
       Third, and the final portion of the make-up of tri-part man is the one we are so often obsessed with, i.e. the body, which is thought to be the biggest problem and yet with God it is the least concern. Jesus said fear not those who can kill your body but fear ­God who can cast you into Hell. If thy eye offend thee pluck it out, He also said, for it is better to enter heaven maimed and halt than be cast whole into Hell. Cut off that ‘appendage’ of the flesh, eye, hands, evil heart, feet running to evil, tongue (see Proverbs 6:16), ‘kill’ them; die to them or they could hinder your entrance into the kingdom in that day of salvation. These words say the body is our last concern and, rightly so, the body will be the last to be redeemed, the last to be saved from the grave. Our bodies die, are in a state of dying as any soul can tell you who has forty or so years under the belt. But our spirits are renewed day by day in the inner man and our minds washed daily by the ‘water of the word’. As long as we keep up our spiritual hygiene that is. Our bodies will be glorified when we put off mortality from immortality, this corruptible body for an incorruptible glorified model on that glorious day of the resurrection and our everlasting redemption from death.  In the meantime the Holy Ghost heals and cures us of spiritual ills and sickness. Such healing is the mission which Jesus said He was on, when He announced He was the fulfillment of the Messianic promise from Isaiah in His hometown synagogue at the start of His ministry. But no earthly or bodily healing is meant to be lasting at this time. Otherwise the saints Paul, Peter, John and those who have come after would not sleep because their bodies gave out. The leaven of heaven will permeate our bodies to the full when we see Jesus and not until. The hope of this does help to purify our spirit and soul, however.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3.2,3  

    The day is coming, if we invite the Holy Ghost to do its ministry in us, that we shall be entirely and completely permeated by Jesus. What the Holy Ghost is hiding in us now will have its full affect. The true leaven of heaven, that true bread of life, the real Word of God and true teaching from the Father - even Jesus Christ - will take us over. But first is the spirit, then the soul, then our bodies shall be glorified even with the body that shall never die or grow old - Hide that leaven in me, Oh Lord! Take not thy Holy Spirit from me!