(Continued from 6 July 2016)
The second kind of leaven, says Jesus, is “Beware of the leaven of the Sadducees.” The Sadducees consisted mainly of the most influential, priestly and aristocratic families. Thus many were wealthy. They had the distinction of being Hellenistic Jews, meaning they adopted the Hellenistic Greek language, both written and oral, and they translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language. This Hellenistic period is known as the period between the conquests of Alexander the Great, including the New Testament times, and the period of Constantine the Great (300-312 A.D.). The Sadducees had translated even the New Testament books of the Bible and had the distinction of not believing in the resurrection, spirits or angels, “for the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all” (Acts of the Apostles 23:8). Jesus says to beware of this leaven. They are exactly like many of the intellectuals and professors that teach and train in our highest seminaries. They are wealthy, aristocratic, interrupting without personal faith, and teaching young and gullible students to be as flaky, egg-headed and faithless as they are.
Knowledge that is only a head full and denying all super-natural power or experience is no knowledge at all. It is deception. This is the Sadducee in all of us, to prefer knowledge rather than “to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.” The leaven of the Sadducees is seen in thousands of churches and groups. They do not believe in “Holy Spirit experiences,” miracles, healings, speaking in tongues, demons, or the complete new birth by resurrection to our dead lives and dead minds now as well as a bodily resurrection later. Without the super-natural it is only natural, and so it is the same old service, same old meeting, same old prayers (usually read, not prayed) same old songs (usually from the Reformation) same old dead sermons (usually from someone else’s notes), and thus, the same old dead flock. The leaven of the Sadducees makes sure it stays that way.
“Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Jesus