Were The Pharisees Mystics And Kabbalists?


Since I began to read the Bible after I was born again in 1983, I’ve always wondered why the Lord Jesus was so harsh toward the Pharisees. I was taught that Jesus saw the hearts of these men, and knew that they were hypocrites; that they exalted themselves as teachers of the law, when they had no love for the people.  That made some sense to me, but I still wondered.  There had to be more.

Jesus was forgiving and loving towards those who gathered to hear his teaching. He was even merciful to the Roman soldiers as he hung on that horrid Cross, asking His father to forgive them:

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).

But regarding the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said:

“And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,  And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation” (Mark 12;38-40).

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”  (Matthew 15:7-9).

Jesus did show compassion toward Nicodemus. He sought out our Savior at night and had many questions for Him. Jesus explained to Nicodemus how to be born again.

The Stiff Necked Chosen People of God

How many times did my people stray from what they knew was right? Even when Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments from God, the people who had been in bondage for 400 years were busy fashioning themselves a golden calf to worship!  How this must have grieved the heart of God.

It seems like God’s Chosen were forever worshiping the false gods of foreign nations. People really need to understand that the Jewish people are “Chosen” not because of their obedience to God; but because out of these people would come the Messiah of the whole world!  God has a Covenant with my people, and because He is God – He keeps His Word.  Replacement theologians teach that the Jews had their chance as God’s Chosen and they blew it. They teach that the Church has replaced Israel as God’s people.   This is a lie from the pit of hell.


I have wondered for a very long time if the Pharisees were involved in Kabbalah and mysticism.  I have researched for months – trying to find out how long Kabbalah has been practiced.  Kabbalah is practiced in Israel by many Jews. There are Kabbalist Rabbis – highly respected in the community. Kabbalah is mystical and very New Age.  Kabbalah teaches Eastern meditation, reincarnation, astrology, channeling spirits, etc etc.  It is New Age on steroids!  And you don’t have to be Jewish to join the movement.  Madonna is a Kabbalist – does that not speak volumes?

From Kabbalah.com


We teach Kabbalah, not as a scholarly study but as a way of creating a better life and a better world.

The Kabbalah Centre is a non-profit organization that makes the principles of Kabbalah understandable and relevant to everyday life. The Kabbalah Centre teachers provide students with spiritual tools based on kabbalistic principles that students can then apply as they see fit to improve their own lives and by doing so, make the world better. The Centre was founded by Rav Yehuda Ashlag in 1922 and now spans the globe with brick-and-mortar locations in more than 40 cities as well as an extensive online presence.   (Can you say “Your Best Life Now?”)

I really do not have the stomach to place any more about Kabbalah in this piece. If you decide to go onto their site – please pray first, because it is so satanic and New Age;  just ask the Lord to protect you.

And then I found this:

From atpministry.com


[This is an exciting series for me. When I discovered some of this information, – I realized that the thread of pagan / occultic rebellion that runs from Nimrod and the Tower of Babel to the Christ’s soon-anticipated return is richer than I previously thought. Jesus Himself was taking on these very same forces that first rebelled in Heaven under Lucifer. The Devil had even corrupted the practice of Biblical religion, – during Christ’s day – and would do so yet again, – in the last days, – under the Antichrist. It’s the same battle fought since the dawn of history.]

Throughout Christ’s ministry here on earth we see Him spreading the good news of God’s love, His compassion demonstrated through healing and His offer of forgiveness to all that would accept it. Yet Jesus’ confrontational attitude toward the Pharisees and religious ‘Powers-That-Be’, and His characterization of them as “whitewashed tombs” whose father was the devil himself was certainly remarkable and possibly puzzling. Now however, scholars are increasingly uncovering a link to the occult that would explain the reason for, – and the necessity of, – His unwavering attitude.

Defining The Link
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (John 8:42, 44)

It’s at this point that we’re going to look at a concept that will go a long way toward explaining Christ’s ongoing war with the Pharisees and other religious authorities that ran throughout His earthly ministry. What we observe is Jesus reaching out in love and compassion to Jews, Samaritans, Romans and the poor, – and even the Pharisee Nicodemus and others of that party that would listen. For the Pharisaical hierarchy however he reserved His most biting commentary and attacks.

It seems there was something more going on here. Now previously we’ve documented the infiltration of Christ’s Church by pagan forces and the adoption by some Christian branches of practices that had their origins in the worship of pagan gods. The same happened to Israel through the Pharisees. Over the centuries they had let the influence of the occult sneak in. They had turned to mysticism colored by an association with Gnosticism that served as the forerunner of Kabala.

That by the way, is the same Kabala followed by some Jewish sects today and adopted by such Hollywood types as Madonna. As such, the ancient Pharisees plugged into the system of secret societies that began in Babel/ Babylon, then migrating to Egypt and across the world. It survives today in Free Masonry, Rosacrucianism, Skull & Bones, The Bildebergs, etc ad infinitum. So though the term was not yet in use, the 1st century Pharisees were the forerunners of today’s kabbalists with all of their New Age / occult baggage. That’s our starting point.

Getting Started

To understand this at all perhaps we should begin by talking just a little bit about Kabala and its relationship to both Biblical Judaism and early Christianity. Now Kabala is at its root a mystical Jewish theology that can be traced back at least to one, Isaac the Blind, considered to be the Father of Kabbalah. It was considered a search by the mystics to reach the “higher throne” of the Almighty. Its practitioners believe that it reveals the deeper and truer meaning of the Torah, the Jewish Law as contained in the first five books of Moses.  As such it is “a revelation to the Sages from a remote past, and preserved only by a privileged few.” It comprises and gives meaning to the Oral Law, such as that which was enforced by the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.

It was and remains, a religious system of secret knowledge‟ about God. Thus it was intimately entwined in the 1st century with Gnosticism, – with each influencing the other. Gershom Scholem, the leading modern scholar on Jewish mysticism confirms the occult roots of the Kabbalah. “From the beginning of its development, the Kabbalah embraced an esotericism closely akin to the spirit of Gnosticism, one which was not restricted to instruction in the mystical path, but also included ideas on cosmology, angelology, and magic.” He goes on to describe how over the centuries, this developing Jewish thought took in “the mystical, speculative elements from the occult and especially magical elements.” These later developed into “secret doctrine” and “initiation rites” that have existed “up to modern times” in Jerusalem.

So we can understand something about the Pharisees beliefs by looking at Kabbalah and can shed light on that by looking at Gnosticism. Gnostic beliefs would after Christ’s death and the founding of Church, rise up to influence and challenge early Christian doctrine. Now just like Kabbalah, Gnosticism was all about secret knowledge which only the privileged could know. Today’s Gnostic Apostolic Church tells us that “Mankind is moving toward the Omega Point” via the “Path of Transfiguration” returning to the “Treasury of Light.” Yeah, just like this sounds, these are all concepts of the New Age and Eastern religious systems, that have often just adopted the veneer of Biblically based religions as they advance their heresy.

The “Treasury of Light‟ for instance is a concept found in Zen Buddhism, the “root source of all Buddhas.”  We are told “there is no ego in the treasury of light”.  And as for the concept of a “Path of Transfiguration‟ – well that can be found in Rosacrucianism for one. It is a way that leads “humans back to their divine origin.” Remember, in all occult / New Age / and Eastern based systems, man is a part of the divine; – a little god, – if you will.

As you can see, these religious philosophies have much more in common with the occult than with the Bible on which they claim to be based. Modern Kabbalah for instance utilizes angels, magic and astrology as it attempts to influence the workings of the universe. According to Louis Berkhoff, the Apostle Paul was likely taking on these heresies in Colossians and 1st Timothy. This philosophy which had its roots in Judaism, “ultimately developed into a strange mixture of Jewish elements, Christian doctrines, and heathen speculative thought.”  It was only a few years before Paul addressed these problems, that these Jewish-fermented ideas were infecting the likes of the Pharisees who opposed Christ.

This is not such an unnatural development. Over the course of their history, the Israelites had often fallen to the sin of worshiping the gods of the land. The worship of Baal and Ashtoreth was related to the religious practices of ancient Babylon and the mystery religions of old. It is a habit that the Jews seemed not fully able to break. Now when the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt they had rubbed up against the worship of Osiris and other ancient gods. These had originated in Babylon before being imported by the Egyptians. The incident of the Golden Calves; – when the Israelites rebelled against the Great God Jehovah, to set up idols of their own making; – can be viewed as an extension of this mode of thinking that they had been exposed to while in Egypt. Next the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land, – but refused to obey God with regard to purging the land of all traces of their enemy. That opened the door to more pagan influences. So history shows that the Israelites repeatedly fell to that fatal temptation, adopting the native gods and grafting them somehow into some hybrid system. When they worshipped Baal, they sacrificed their children in a deadly form of Satanic ritualism. When they worshipped Ashtoreth, – knowingly or not, – they were paying homage to a very prince of demons.

Over time all of these religious compromises took their toll. The books of 1st & 2nd Kings chronicles a history of the Israelites in their split kingdoms of Israel headquartered in Samaria and Judah with its capital at Jerusalem. In each of these kingdoms, we find the kings alternately moving the population toward paganism and its practices or back toward God. In the end the evil triumphs and God banishes first the Northern Kingdom, or Israel and later the land of Judah from the land given to them by covenant. The Israelites had not held up their part of the bargain. Instead they had embraced the evil of these satanic pagan gods. Fast forward to the Babylonian captivity. The Israelites have been relocated to Babylon. We see in the Book of Daniel how the Babylonian system took in the vast number of Jews, moving them toward their own paganized religious system.

At the head of that Babylonian religion was a “sacerdotal caste” we call magi. In the words of  Tom Stewart, these consisted of “priests, Chaldeans, physicians, philosophers, astronomers, astrologers, soothsayers, in short the brain trust of the kingdom”. The root word from the Greek magoi has been translated wise men, but also sorcerer, magician and specifically a member of the order of Zoroasterian priests coming mainly from the Medes and Persians. (However, the secret society that is the Magi has spread throughout the region and even as far as China.)

Scripture tells how God showed the prophet Daniel, a member of the Magi caste, the King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and interpreted it for him. For that service he was promoted “chief of the governors of all the wise men of Babylon.” (Daniel 2:48) Daniel somehow became a member of this priesthood without being tainted by its pagan influences. In fact, Daniel‟s prophecies became part of the tradition for at least some of the Magi of succeeding generations. It was members of this class that looked to the Scripture for the timing and location of the coming of Messiah. They knew from the prophecy of the 70 Weeks found in Daniel 9, the approximate timing of the appearance of the Christ. Matthew tells how God gave them a sign in the heavens, “His star in the East” (Matthew 2:2) to show them the exact time and location of His entrance into the world.

Apart from Daniel’s influence this cult of the Magi was nothing more than another form of the ancient mystery religion which had spread across the region. Throw in the fact that the Northern tribes had intermarried with other ancient peoples after the Assyrian conquest, corrupting their already fragile system of worship, and leading to “the development of a syncretistic religion” that rejected everything that did not come from the Pentateuch, (the first five books of Moses).  All of this had by Christ’s day begun to congeal, expressing itself in the fact that the Jewish religious leadership had been compromised by the teachings and practices of the Middle Eastern mystery religions. – source

Could This Be the Reason?

I am asking the question:  Could this be why Jesus was so harsh with the Scribes and Pharisees?  These men were trusted to teach the people God’s Law and His Word.  They were held to a higher standard because they were teachers.

Is this why Jesus told them that their father was the devil?  This does make me wonder. Maybe we will find out when we see Him face to face.