In reading the Gospels over the years, I had often wondered at Jesus’ studied and unwavering animosity toward the Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders. He characterized them as vipers and the offspring of Satan. Why such animus. Then I found some interesting research that revealed the true nature of much of this group. In PART I of this series, we introduced the notion that many of the Pharisees were actually engaged in pagan / occult practices. [The prophet Ezekiel had been given a vision of “seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 8:11) of his day, worshiping pagan gods in the Temple courts. He had also seen the women weeping for Tammuz.] Israel had never been fully cured from this practice. So when Christ took on the Pharisees, He was taking on a party that had left the faith of the fathers and had set up shop for themselves. This was the beginning of Kabbalah.
PART II – CONTEXT
Now Israel’s spiritual apostasy had its antecedents in the spiritual rebellion engineered by Nimrod and his wife Semiramus; – the originators of the pagan system that would challenge the True religion; – the worship of the One True God. Now we’ve traced how after her husband’s death, Semiramus became the driving force behind this ‘alternative’ religion with all its mysteries. This pagan abomination spread across the entire globe. David Bay, of Cutting Edge Ministries, points out that as it did, it “very subtly led men back to the very system of Nimrod’s magic and idolatry.” It gathered adherents by promising “hidden knowledge” and bound them together with “severe oaths and secret signs and handshakes.” This was the very origin of the secret societies of today. No less a witness than New Age guru Alice Bailey confirms this of one such group, making the connection between Freemasonry and the occult. She says the Masons are “the home of the Mysteries, and the seat of the initiation”. Speaking under the influence of the demon that spoke through her, the Master DK, she wrote: “It is a far more occult organization than can be realized…intended to be the training school for the coming advanced occultists”.[i] [ii] So what we’ve established is the fact that the Pharisees, through dabblings in the occult became the forerunner of Kaballah. So by the time of Christ’s ministry, they were involved in a system of religion that had more in common with the magical attempt to manipulate the operations of the universe that is found in pagan-based religious systems than with the God revealed practices found in the Scriptures.
Now over the course of centuries, from about the time the Israelites left Egypt in 1,500 BC, a set of Jewish oral traditions began to develop. In fact, there were two streams in of this oral teaching that grew up side by side. One was public and dealt with everyday life. This would later come to be called the Talmud. The other stream was a secret tradition that would later be called the Kabbalah. One of the key components of the Kaballah was something called the Book of Light, the Sephher-Ha-Zohar. This was revealed to a Rabbi Simon and his son, who meditated while buried up to their necks in sand in a cave for twelve straight years. During the course of that time they claimed they were often visited by the prophet Elias. It is interesting to note that Islam teaches that the Koran was dictated to Mohammed in a cave, by a being claiming to be the Angel Gabriel. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was also given his revelations by ‘an angel of light’.[iii] Scripture sheds light on these and other illicit experiences of the occult. Galatians 1:8 reads, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” And 2Corinthians 11:14 warns: “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” So much for ‘angelic authority’ when it comes into conflict with sacred Scripture! What’s interesting too, is that this sacred system of kabbalah was adopted and adapted by many of the secret societies that originated in Europe, as they incorporated their systems of rituals and beliefs. That synthesis of belief encompasses Masonry, the Kabbalah, Mormonism, Rosacrucianism, Skull & Bones, and various other Eastern and New Age beliefs.
Now the institution of the Jewish Oral Law was an integral part of this system built on secret knowledge. In fact as outlined by David Bay and Lion & Lamb Ministries, there are five characteristics that are common to secret societies and that are evident in the behavior and attitude of the Pharisees toward Christ.
- Pride – This is expressed through the existence of ‘hidden spiritual knowledge’ for the privileged few. The public is given falsehoods and the secrets are to be kept by the ‘wise men’ on penalty of death. This is in direct contrast to the work of Jesus who’s ministry was to reestablish the law and the prophets and to reveal the grace of God to all who would accept that gift. Luke 11:52 gives Christ answer to those that would seek to limit access to the Father. “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
- Dual Personalities – Adherents are to present one face to the public and reserve one that is ‘real’. In Matthew 23:27-28, Jesus confronts the Pharisees for this sin. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
- Oral Teaching – This is to be raised above any Scripture. Jesus roundly condemns this approach, asking them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?… you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.” (Matthew 15:3, 6)
- Man Is Inherently Good – He is only corrupted by his surroundings. The Talmud teaches that salvation comes through works such as “morality, purity of heart, and holiness of life”.[iv] The Bible teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- They Await A Redeemer King – This however is not the Redeemer King Jesus. Isaiah 8:8 tells us that we await the Savior called “‘Immanuel’ which is translated ‘God with us.’” Instead they look for an ‘Ascended Master’, who will lead the world to discover the hidden knowledge that will lead to its salvation. While the Christ promised by God has inherent power, the occult Christ will display an occult power. He will access the power of the logos.[v] [vi]
This then was the official and very real mindset of the Pharisaic party that set itself up in opposition to Jesus as the promised Messiah. It is not that they were caught unawares by Christ’s messianic claims. Informed both by the Jewish Scriptures and the teachings of the mystery religions as handed down from the traditions of the Daniel-informed Magi, they knew that they were living in the prophesied time of His appearance. But they had a couple of very specific problems with Jesus being The Promised One. From the accounts in the Gospels, we can see that they were expecting a different sort of messiah; – one that would be more in line with the expectations of the promised redeemers of the secret societies. They were expecting an ‘ascended master’ that would have special secret knowledge or gnosis that he could manipulate to use to lead the Jewish nation and the world to a new “Golden Age”. They expected him to be a part of some secret society himself with similarly connected parents.
But Jesus did not fit this description. For one thing he came from poor stock. Secondly, He was out there sharing His spiritual knowledge with the masses. This was totally against what Kabbalah and other societies taught. In fact, because Jesus was sharing the ‘secrets’, the members would have felt that they were “duty bound” to kill him. That alone, explains a lot.[vii]
You see, as they watched Jesus, and witnessed his miracles, the Pharisees were becoming increasingly convinced that He was an ‘Adept’, just like them. To them, Christ was but a product of the Secret Society system and as such he was supposed to be duty bound to both keep the secrets and deceive the masses. That’s why the Pharisees got so hung-up about the whole tradition thing. The notion that Jesus is just a part of this coming Gnostic / New Age system, a one time bearer of the “Christ consciousness” is a notion that has not died over the centuries. Writing shortly after the turn of the 20th century, one writer, Edouard Schure’, called him “the Last Great Initiate”.[viii] In Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God?, Morton Smith writes thusly of the very Son of God. “His getting the spirit had magical, not prophetic, analogs and consequences…He initiated his disciples and bound them to himself by magical rites”.[ix] Like the Kabbalahist Pharisees before them, these more modern writers see Jesus as nothing more than another link in the chain of the coming New World Order, – with His miracles nothing more than magic or witchcraft-like manipulations.
That is why the Pharisees continually took issue with Christ’s miracles and were always challenging Him for yet another sign. Because they believed Him to be an Adept, they were not surprised by His healings or His exorcisms. David Bay points out, that as adherents to Kabbalah themselves, “the Pharisees knew that their power to cast out demons came from demons”. So it was no great stretch for them to accuse Jesus of the same. After Jesus had cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute the Pharisees attacked, claiming, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 12:24) After all, that’s how they were doing it.[x]
The extra-biblical Jewish literature of the period is replete with many reports of exorcisms performed by rabbis. Other sorts of miracles, – such as producing and stopping rain as well as healings were attributed to some during the age of Christ. One teacher, known as Rabbi Hanina, was reported to have cured the sick, – that a snake that bit him died, – and that vinegar burned like oil.[xi] These miracles “cures and exorcisms” were all attributed to “Shamanistic practices” or the manipulations of magic.[xii]
It was in response to these accusations of the Pharisees that Jesus outlined what has come to be known as the ‘unforgivable sin’. “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32) That sin can be defined by attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit. That is denying the very power and holiness of God. It seems it is at that point that the God steps back, withholds the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in that person’s life, and allows the Devil to have his way. Whatever it may be, Jesus’ words make for a very scary prospect.
[i] Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Lucis Trust, 1957, pg 511
[ii] David Bay, An Ancient Secret Society Killed Jesus Christ, Cutting Edge News #2032, 2004
[iii] The Lord Jesus and the Cabalist Pharisees, Lion & Lamb TV, (Ministry Head Dr David Reagan), viewed December 2008
[iv] M Mielziner, The Talmud.; INTRODUCTION TO THE TALMUD, as reviewed in the New York Times, March 28, 1903
[v] The Lord Jesus and the Cabalist Pharisees, Lion & Lamb TV, (Ministry Head Dr David Reagan), viewed December 2008
[vi] David Bay, An Ancient Secret Society Killed Jesus Christ, Cutting Edge News #2032, 2004
[vii] David Bay, An Ancient Secret Society Killed Jesus Christ, Cutting Edge News #2032, 2004
[viii] Taken from the title of a 1908 work by Edouard Schure’, titled Jesus, the Last Great Initiate, found at Sacred Texts .Com
[ix] Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God?, 1978, pg 218-219, as quoted on Surprising Works, Mystae.com, monitored December 29, 2008
[x] David Bay, An Ancient Secret Society Killed Jesus Christ, Cutting Edge News #2032, 2004
[xi] Meir Bar-Ilan, Exorcism by Rabbis: Talmud Sages and Their Magic
[xii] An Inspired Prophet?, Surprising Works, Mystae.Com, monitored December 29, 2008