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In these passages, Jesus tells His disciples to “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious rulers in Israel. Jesus was referring to the teaching of the religious rulers. Their teachings were distorting God’s Word and adding man-made doctrines to their religion. At the time there were not many copies of the scrolls that contained the first five books of the Bible. These books are Genesis, Leviticus, Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The people did not have easy access to these books that are the words that God gave to Moses to write. So, the people had to rely on the teaching of the religious leaders. The corrupt religious leaders took advantage of this position to control them with rules and regulations beyond the Word of God. Religion has done this throughout the ages. Corrupt religious leaders have distorted God’s Word. They have held the people in bondage and exploited their superstitious tendencies. The only way to break free of this bondage is to personally read God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible says that Jesus is the ‘living Word of God.’ Jesus said that he came into the world to set people free, free from bondage to sin and free from bondage to religion. The Bible is essential if we want to be free. The Bible is essential if we want to go to Heaven after we die.

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