The Teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees

saduccees“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” –Matthew 16:6

The following teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees are extracted from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, on Matthew 16:1, 6:

“As Lightfoot observes, the term leaven (yeast) was very rarely used among the Jews to signify doctrine, and therefore the disciples did not immediately apprehend his meaning (v. 7)…What the leaven of Pharisees and Sadducees was has been already explained, see Matthew 16:1. Bad doctrines act in the soul as leaven does in meal (v. 6).”

Matthew 16:12: “Then they understood that He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”


1. Assimulation:–to feign, to counterfeit (like a fake $100 bill), to simulate (to be very similar to), to resemble.

2. Beliefs that permit ungodly tempers and behavior.

3. Pride.

4. Hypocrisy (pretending to be holy); not genuine. Luke 12:1: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

5. Worldly-mindedness; not holiness, not Christian mysticism or spirituality.


(See Humphrey Prideaux’s The Old and New Testament Connected.)

For more insight, go to, and search the phrase “Pharisees”

6. External cleanliness (clothing styles):–not inward holiness (obedience to God). Matthew 23:26: “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”

6b. Arrogant and Graceless Towards Repentant Sinners. Luke 7:39: “Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.'” | Luke 18:11: “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.”

6c. Preoccupation with the Ceremonial Law. Luke 11:38: “When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal.”

7. Reincarnation! (metempsychosis):–except for the very wicked. (cp. liberal Christianity; New Age Movement in the Church)

8. Fate/Moderate Predestination. (cp. Calvinism)

pastors compromiseTEACHINGS OF THE SADDUCEES (v. 1)

9. No Judgment, Hell, or Heaven After Death. (cp. higher Biblical criticism)

10. Live Life Out of Love for God Only (no rewards for good works).

11. Relate to God as a Father Only, but Not as a Judge. (cp. liberal Christianity)

12. No Resurrection of the Dead.

13. No Angels or Demons. (cp. higher Biblical criticism; liberal Christians)

14. Divine Rewards and Punishments Are Only in This Life.

15. Deism:–belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it…rejection of supernatural revelation.” (cp. liberals; Cessationists; Dispensationalists).



While Luther and Baxter barely manifested the miraculous gifts, all these other saints did; and all of them taught and walked in inward holiness.

d. 493 – St. Patrick
d. 1226 – St. Francis of Assisi
d. 1582 – St. Teresa of Avila
d. 1546 – Martin Luther
The Scots Worthies
d. 1691 – Richard Baxter
d. 1791 – John Wesley
d. 1875 – Charles Finney
d. 1922 – William J. Seymour
d. 1947 – Smith Wigglesworth
d. 1991 – Dennis Bennett

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