If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive
him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth
him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
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Why talk about cults?
We are continually warned in the Bible to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. The cults fall into the category of darkness. Cults are leading people astray into lies, deceit, confusion and ultimately hell. According to our theme verse, we are not even supposed to say, "God bless you" to cult members lest we be partakers of their evil deeds. We can tell cultists about the Lord, but if they don't want to hear and persist in their cult activities, we are to have no fellowship with them. Today's "Christianity" says, "Just love everybody and try to impress them with your life. After all, we all believe the same 'essentials'." The Lord says:
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.In this and other verses, the Bible says to mark those that cause division--not embrace them.
This page has multiple purposes:
warn the saints, cult members and potential cult members of false doctrinesSatan has filled this world with "Christian" cults and wrong doctrines in order to see people cast in hell fire. He (1) deceives the simple and (2) appeals to the prideful who want a "customized" religion that fits in with their belief system. Cults also offer something, "new" which in this world is tantamount to better. But God said, "I change not". So when someone brings me a "new thing" I am wary and really seek the Lord about it.
Witnessing to the Cultist
I've met people from a number of cults and all of them had been brainwashed by their religious leaders. You must be in prayer the whole time you are talking to them, because the spirits that have control over them must be quieted in order for them to hear what you are saying. The cult member has been told the same lies so many times that he believes they are true. He's been told that his group is the only one that has the truth. He has been told that the world considers his group a cult. He has been told that disciples of Jesus had to undergo the same persecution he does. You are talking to a person that thinks they are right.
The biggest weapon you've got is the word of God. It punches holes in every cult argument. The Bible is the only offensive weapon listed in the whole armour of God in Ephesians 6. NOTHING can replace an intimate knowledge of the authorized King James Bible. Believe it or not, I've met cultists who have been specifically told NOT to read the authorized King James version of the Bible. This is personal experience. Dear reader, I'm not straining at a gnat on the AKJV issue.
One time I was making some good headway with a Jehovah's Witness cult member. The Holy Ghost was moving heavily and I could see that some light was getting through, but our time expired and she had to go back to work because her lunch hour was up. She said she'd like to get together again. I told her that if she told any of her members that they'd tell her not to talk to me again. "Oh, I'm just going to tell my husband." That was the last I saw of her. I just have to pray and trust that God will take whatever occurred that day and work it out to His glory--His word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish the thing that He pleases.
Cults have a tendency to change their names, but their evil deeds remain. They'll try to tell you that their "official publications" speak for them, not the writings of their founders and prominent leaders. If you're not sure if an organization is a cult, do these three things:
Take a look at their founder. Good don't come out of evil. Jesus said an evil tree cannot bear good fruit and this is true for cults.The following is a starting list of cults and some of their distinguishing false beliefs (please keep in mind that whole books can be written on these cults--these are therefore cursory descriptions). As the Lord leads, we'll add others. Links are in all capitals.
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Founder: Moses David Berg, organized 1968
Overview: Don't be fooled by this one. They've adopted a more clean-cut appearance. They even performed in the white house in 1992. I was in a salon one day when a bunch of nice looking, college-aged kids came in and said, "We're the Family and we'd like to sing a song for you." They played the guitar, sang and passed out some coloring sheets and solicited funds. It took all of about 1.5 minutes and they were out the door. I didn't give them anything and thought that they might be C.O.G. I recently got confirmation when I viewed a documentary on cults.
C.O.G. appealed to the hippie generation with its message of "free" love and singing all in the name of Jesus. They are called the original Jesus "freaks"
1. Flirty fishing: Practice of religious prostitution. Founder Berg bases it on Jesus' statement, "I will make you fishers of men". He says that any means is acceptable to bring people into "the kingdom of God"--including having sex with them.
2. Child sex. Publish child pornography in their cult publications.
3. As with many cults, much missionary zeal in America and abroad.
4. Their children don't always go to main stream schools.
5. Charges dismissed in Argentina of child abuse and slavery.
6. Mind control over members.
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Founder: Charles Taze Russell, organized 1880
Overview: He sold his Men's Furnishing Store and set out to condemn the translators of the Bible and ministers for what they taught. He taught that the church belongs to the ecclesiastical wing of Satan's organization. He condemns the teaching of the church of all ages--only the JW's supposedly know the truth. (But Christ said that He would build His church and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it)
They are quite "friendly" and hold regular "Bible" studies and meetings which probably appeals to many.
1. Jesus did not rise from the dead. Russell says His body either dissolved into gases or is still preserved somewhere. (Everything a Christian believes hangs on this one fact. Paul says, "If Christ be not risen, your faith is vain.")
2. God is not triune, i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (I John 5:7 says that there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are ONE).
3. No such thing as a hell of everlasting torment. Hell is just the grave. The wicked are simply annihilated. (See our article on hell for verses on hell)
4. Man has no spirit.
5. The Holy Ghost is not a person of the Godhead, just a "life force" of God. (yet He is called God in the Bible and is recorded speaking and commanding)
6. Mind control over members.
7. Man must work to be part of "God's system of things". I guess that refers to life in the hereafter but it certainly is not a Bible phrase. (the Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.")
8. 144,000 will live in heaven with God. (they take the 144,000 in Revelation out of context)
9. Fascination with 1) not taking blood transfusions, 2) knocking on doors (they say that's they way Jesus usually shared. No He didn't. The multitudes flocked to Him.), 3) calling God by His "personal name", Jehovah.
10. All dead people will have a second chance for eternal life at the millennium. If you do not prove worthiness at this time, you'll be destroyed. (the Bible says that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. no second chances)
11. The blood of Christ does not forgive sins, it gives us a "chance" to live again. They have NO assurance of salvation as JWs who supposedly know the truth. (The Bible says the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Common sense question--Why would God send His Son to die if there was another way to be saved?)
12. Jesus is the archangel Michael--a created being. (John 1:1, 14 says that Jesus is the Word who was in the beginning with God and was God. The Bible also says, "God was manifest in the flesh.")
13. Jesus is just an agent of God, nothing more.
14. Said Jesus' second coming occurred invisibly in 1874. Russell's successor, Rutherford, says this was confirmed by the creation of the first labor organization in 1874. (But the Bible says every eye will see Him. Utter nonsense.)
15. Russell said that in 1914 the millennium would occur and righteousness would be restored to the earth. As 1914 approached, he, and his successor, changed the date to 1915, 1916, 1924, 1928, and on and on to the present day! When you ask a JW about this, they'll give you the party line, "Well, the Watch Tower is reaching different levels of enlightenment." (If JWs believed the Bible, they'd know Russell was a false prophet. Deuteronomy 18:22 says, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken..."
16. They have many publications with interesting titles like, "Where are the Dead", "To Hell and Back Again", "Millions now living shall never die." They have slick, attractive pictures and topics. But many people do not stop to consider if these things are true and in accordance with the Bible. They pass 'em out everywhere.
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Founder: Emperor Constantine, organized in early 300's A.D.
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Founder: Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, organized 1879
Overview: Let's start with a quote from founder Eddy that says it all. She wrote to Judge S.J. Hanna: "I have marveled at the press and pulpit's patience with me, when I have taken away their Lord."
This cult is founded on Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health (with Key to the Scriptures)" the last part of the title was added later. She claims to have received divine revelation in writing this book (but as you'll see below, they don't believe in a personal God--how could she then get divine revelation? She did--it was from the god of this world, Satan).
The following quote from Eddy sums up the foundation for this cult, "In the year 1866 I discovered the Science of metaphysical healing, and named it Christian Science." Mrs. Eddy simply took eastern mysticism (e.g., Hinduism) and pantheism (all is God) and called it Christian Science.
These tenets are so self-evidently ludicrous that I didn't put many scripture verses behind them.
1. There is no such thing as sin. It is an illusion.
2. There is no such thing as sickness. It is an illusion.
3. Sick people must be convinced that they are not sick. Then they will get well. (funny, Eddy went to the doctor when she had a toothache and had the nerve to get anesthesia)
4. There is no such thing as death. A person gets old and dies because they believe that is what is supposed to happen.
5. Their god is not the personal God of the Bible. Everything is god and god is good. Therefore there is no sin, disease, or death because all is god and god is good. The whole universe is falsehood--an illusion.
6. Claim that there is healing from Christian Science. Their method of healing is denying the disease itself, e.g., "I am not sick. I do not have cancer." This is not prayer. It is simply talking out loud to yourself. In fact, Christian Science says that prayer to a personal God is a hindrance. So...they stand babbling to themselves.
7. CS claims many cases of reported healings. Dr. Stephen Paget, who made a thorough study of a number of these reported cures concludes, "The vast majority of their testimonials are not worth the paper on which they are printed." He found no cases that are a credit to Christian Science. But he did find that many a curable disease under their treatment runs from bad to worse till no remedy avails any more.
8. CS claims to be a Christian church and sings evangelical hymns and reads the Bible--HOWEVER, the read the Bible in light of "Science and Health". Examples of blasphemy: Jesus did not die because there is no death. Man is not made of the dust of the earth as in Genesis 2 because matter doesn't exist--therefore Mrs. Eddy calls Genesis 2, "a lie". They take her word over the Bible.
9. Jesus not God. He was the highest human concept of the perfect man, but not to be worshipped.
10. Jesus never died. Death does not exist. He just thought He was dead.
11. Blood of Jesus has no atoning value and since sin is an illusion we are not guilty.
12. Salvation is deliverance from delusion and entrance into Christian Science.
13. Jesus was never tempted by the devil. Eddy says, "He was tempted by the false beliefs in His own mind." (Big words for a creature made of dust whose days are like a vapor of smoke.)
14. Women can become mothers by a supreme effort of their own minds.
15. CS set themselves against a meeting by Alexander Dowie in New York and began their style of prayer--"This is not truth; this is error; this cannot be; this must not be; this shall not be;" (My question is this. If there is no sin, how can there be error?)
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Founder: Joseph Smith, Jr., organized April 6, 1830
Overview: Smith claimed that he had seen and conversed with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (But the Bible says it would kill a man to see God). There are about 2.5 million Mormons today and because of their missionary zeal it is one of the fastest growing churches in the world. I've noticed several Mormon commercials of late and one of our church teens asked me about it. Her mother was going to send off for the free Book of Mormon. The young lady talked about how it seemed Christian, but she wanted to make sure. Praise Jesus that He guides the young people to ask questions.
A few years ago, a couple of neatly dressed Mormon young men approached me at an ATM machine as I waited in line. The conversation went something like this:
Mormons: "Do you know God?"Cult Tenets/Characteristics:
1. Bible inferior to the Book of Mormon because of great and universal apostasy. So many "plain and precious things" were removed from the Bible and have to be corrected by modern-day revelation. Orson Pratt, an early Mormon apostle said, "Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution?" (is this not what publisher's of new bible versions say? we have "better" manuscripts?) Mormons belittle the Bible because their beliefs and practices are totally inconsistent with it.
2. God was once a man. (The Bible says that God is not a man. He is a Spirit.).
3. God has a physical body with which He cohabits with wives, having spiritual children which are born on this earth as human beings. God and Mary had physical relations--she was His wife (Orson Pratt, The See, p. 158).
Black people are angels that did not fight valiantly in the war in heaven --that's why they are Black. In a letter dated 7-17-47, the first Presidency reaffirmed its historic policy concerning black people, "From the days of the prophet Joseph even until now... Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel. " (The Bible says God is no respecter of persons)
4. All who enter the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom (the 3rd heaven of Mormon theology) will progress to godhood and be able to create their own worlds, people them via polygamy, redeem them and even provide an Adversary to test them.
5. The Book of Mormon is divinely inspired. In actuality, it appears to be a copycat of "View of the Hebrews" which was written in 1823. Brigham H. Roberts once compiled similarities between the two books and asked this un-Mormon question, "Could all this have supplied structural work for the Book of Mormon?" (the Rocky Mountain Mason, January 1956) Smith's own mother said that the boy had always been interested in the ancient inhabitants of the American continent--their dress, mode of traveling, animals, cities, buildings, and religious worship. She said he would tell stories about them, "with much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them." (Biographical Sketches, pp. 84-85) The Book of Mormon is all about this continent and is consistent with Joseph Smith's youthful imaginations.
6. There are many "Gods". The main God for earth is Elohim. Orson Pratt wrote, "If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more God's than there are particles of matter in those worlds." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 345) (But God says in Isaiah 43:10, "...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.")
7. "Man is king of kings and lord of lords in embryo." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 305) (but the Bible says that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.)
8. Man suffered little from Adam's fall. Adam's expulsion necessary for upward ascent. (But the Bible says that Adam's transgression had disastrous effects. The whole creation was thrown into turmoil. In Adam all die.)
9. Deny effects of original sin and replace it with the doctrine of "original innocence"--man can commit sins, but he is not sinful by nature. (but the Bible says, "But I was shapen in iniquity") The book of Mormon presents sin as bad, however Smith had little regard for the Bible or the Book of Mormon.
10. Salvation consists of (1) belief in Jesus--not emphasized (2) belief in prophetic calling of Joseph Smith and his successors (3) belief in cardinal doctrines of Mormonism with emphasis on a) temple work--baptism for the dead and eternal marriage b) the Word of Wisdom (a dietary law forbidding the use of tobacco, intoxicants, coffee, and tea) and c) salvation by works--they'll quote James 2:14-26 (Catholics do too)--the answer: if a person has saving faith, good works will come forth.
11. Jesus is only our elder brother and one day we will be like Him is every respect physically, in intellect, attributes or powers (Parley Prate, Key to the Science of Theology 1948 ed., p. 39)
12. Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. God had relations with Mary.
13. Jesus is no more divine than any of us before His incarnation. (See John 1:1, 14 says Jesus is God) They say He was married, had children, and was crucified for His polygamy. (More blasphemy--Lord have mercy). Mormons are infamous for their polygamy although they don't officially teach it any more.
One former Mormon testifies, "At one point, a lesson was being taught in our adult Sunday School class about polygamy -- not only its early existence in the church but how God outlawed it by revelation. My husband raised his hand and asked, "When in the history of God's people has He ever changed a law to bow to political pressure?" The teacher sputtered and asked, "Why do you ask that? Why do you ask that?" Steve was nearly ostracized for a while after that."14. Jesus' crucifixion was only the nullification of Adam's fall. Now we can work our way into heaven. (but the Bible says, not by our righteousness but according to His mercy He hath saved us.)
15. All men, except those who have out-and-out rejected Mormonism in this life, will be given a second chance in the world to come. (But the Bible says that this life is the time for decision. After death comes judgment.)
16. The 1833 edition of "Doctrine and Covenants" talks about the gift of God called working with the rod--this is a divining rod. This was changed in the 1835 edition with Joseph Smith later observing that a divining rod would hardly be a proper gift from God (divination is witchcraft).
17. One Mormon wrote and told me that Jesus atoned for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross. This was confirmed by a Mormon quote-- "In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind, thus opening the way for all of us to repent and free ourselves from the bondage of sin." (Ensign Magazine, April, 1981, page 19, see caption.) That's in an article by Elder Lund and it's called "Salvation by Grace or By Works."
18. Former Mormon quotes:
One former Mormon, Suzanne, says, "I learned that God was once a man, and that it was because of the principle of eternal progression that we could become gods like him. I also learned I had a Mother in Heaven somewhere along the way -- whether I learned this as a child or an adult, I don't know. I learned that the Book of Mormon was the word of God and that the Bible was so far as it was translated correctly."19. The LDS Temple Endowment page (this is a good site to go to for additional information on oaths, endowments and other wacky tenets of Mormonism like the Adam-God doctrine, the Oath of Vengance, and Death Penalties) offers this information--
Some Preliminary Information on Mormon Doctrine.20. Satan and Jesus are spirit brothers (see Ensign Magazine, Dec 1980, p. 5). Ultimate blasphemy.
21. Satan wanted to redeem mankind! See Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1. I have this contemptible book and have read this for myself. Find revealing, hard-to-find Mormon source documentation and other revealing resources at Reason. The Tanner's (former Mormons now Christians) website is at http://www.utlm.org/.
22. Blood atonement (murder of members) for certain sins--straight from the horses' mouths. These excerpts came from Saints Alive in Jesus which is an apologetics ministry dealing with Mormonism and Freemasonry. The following in excerpted from a transcript of Dialogue radio programs. They were broadcast daily by Saints Alive throughout Utah and Idaho during the 1980s. You can find the entire article at http://saintsalive.com/mormonism/bloodatonement.htm.
President Grant, in Journal of Discourses (JOD), Volume IV, page 51 of the 1856 edition, says, "And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed and let the smoke ascend that incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid."23. A former Mormon says in a radio interview:
"Now here's how we [Mormons] get to heaven: 'Passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being able to give them the key words, the signs, the tokens pertaining to the holy priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.' This has nothing to do with the shed blood of Jesus Christ, because we don't deal with that in the temple, Jim. We swear blood oaths to obedience, and consecration and sacrifice, and obedience to the law of the priesthood. We must wear an undergarment that has occult markings of an occult talisman on it. We have all the body parts and privates washed, anointed with oil and blessed, but nowhere are we taught the doctrine of the shed blood of Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary. In fact, I don't really recall it as a part of the temple ordinance anywhere.24. They baptize for the dead. That is why genealogy researchers go to the Mormons for lists of names. They collect them and think that they gain merit for baptizing by proxy for dead people! That's part of what they are doing in those temples! The LDS Endowment Page says this--
Salvation for the Dead: Work by Proxy in the Temples