There is a series of online videos out from Lionandlamb ministries, stating that the Pharisees in Jesus’ Day were all members of a secret society which today is called Cabala. While at first glance this seems to be a convincing argument (and the author of the videos states it with an effort to make it come across as fact, rather than a theory), and it does seem to make sense in the light of such dreaded Scriptures as John 8:44, where Jesus tells them openly, “Ye are of your father, the devil…,” or many others where He blasts the Pharisees, about which many theologians argue that Jesus couldn’t have possibly said or meant that…
After all, He was talking to Jews, and the Jews are God’s people, right?
While I don’t doubt that members of occult secret societies may had infiltrated the governing body of Jewish religious establishment of those days, just as they have allegedly (and obviously) infiltrated today’s established religion, I see a few problems with that theory.
First of all, we have members of the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, who believed in Jesus, even if they had to do so secretly¸ like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night in John 3, or Gamaliel, who defended the disciples before the Sanhedrin in Acts. Certainly they weren’t Satanists.
Secondly, labeling the Pharisees as members of a secret satanic society creates a comfortable gap between them and us. After all, we don’t belong to a satanic society, so we’ve got nothing to do with those satanic people who were responsible for Jesus’ death. No, we’re the good ones, and they were the bad ones.
I’m afraid that won’t do.
In my own personal experience, today’s established religionists are a lot more like the Pharisees than they would like to believe.
Let’s have a look from the Pharisees’ point of view in the days of the apostles: here was this strange, new, dangerous sect emerging, with scary new doctrines that threatened to overthrow all their good old traditions, and the way they had believed and practiced religion for so long.
How many people attending church do you know who would react differently to that kind of threat, nowadays, than the Pharisees did to Jesus and the Early Christians?
It’s easy to say, “Well, they were of the Devil and belonged to a satanic sect,” now, 2000 years after it happened and there’s no proof whatsoever to back up that theory.
It’s a lot harder to say, “Hmmm, looks like the Pharisees had a definite problem with self-righteousness, and they were quite stuck in their old religious rut, they thought they knew better than God as to who and what kind of people He would use.” Because that sounds a lot more familiar and closer to home, doesn’t it?
The theory also takes any guilt from the general Jewish population of that day, by creating a separation between them and their “satanic” rulers. But you can’t tell me that it was just a few members of a secret society yelling “Crucify Him!” and “Free Barabbas!” before Pilate (see also Mt.27:25).
Many people seem to forget that God has made a new Covenant with man, a covenant of the spirit, not of flesh, and that “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly” (carnally, physically), “but he who is one inwardly…in the spirit” (Romans 2:28, 29).
“By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Maybe a whole lot more people than we think are going to turn out to have believed the wrong things, no matter how convinced they may be that they are in the right, just like the Pharisees were, and maybe a whole lot more of us will turn out to have sided with the wrong guys, opposing and oppressing those who look a lot more like little David with his slingshot confronting Goliath than the guys we’re siding with.
Not all Palestinians are terrorists, nor are all Muslims terrorists. In fact, there used to be more Christians among the Palestinian population than among the rest of the population of Israel, and there probably still are, except that we never hear much of their side of the story these days. Not much of anything gets through that wall the Israelis have built in order to keep out the undesired elements.
I really wonder how God would look on all these things.
And from the way I know Him, I think many of us are in for some huge surprises.
The truth, ladies & gentlemen, is and has always been terribly unpopular in a world run by the father of lies, even – or should I say, especially – in the circles of established religion.
Sin is a lot closer to home than many of us have the guts to admit to ourselves.
It doesn’t take a secret satanic society to oppose the true Messiah and His strange new sect.
All it takes is some damn clever lies of the Devil, and from what I can tell, those are more abundant than they ever were.