CULTS AND FALSE DOCTRINES
DEFINITION: A cult is any group whose beliefs differ from the basic tenets of God’s Word and whose members do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God. False doctrine is any teaching or belief that cannot be documented by the written Word of God.
FACTS ABOUT CULTS AND FALSE DOCTRINES:
There are many false religions and cults. You must follow the truth of God’s Word, not the so-called revelations of man.
Cults often emerge from claims of personal revelation. Such revelations, if not in harmony with the Word of God, should be rejected (Galatians 1:8-9).
Cults often incorporate partial truths in their doctrines. For example, they may talk about the love of God and love for one another, yet deny the reality of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sin.
Cults always present other ways to God. There are “many ways to God”, they claim. But the Bible says: “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ”the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)
Common characteristics of cults and false doctrines include:
-Dictatorial Leadership: Cults cluster around domineering personalities who have absolute authority and are accountable to no one.
-Exclusive: Cults adopt the attitude that they are the only group with divine truth.
They exclude from fellowship others who disagree with them.
-Legalistic: Cults usually have strict rules of belief and behavior which have no Scriptural basis.
-Defensive: Cult members are usually led to believe that society, organized religion,and/or governments are against them.
-Oppressive: Cult members are usually manipulated, controlled, and oppressed by the leadership.
-Secretive: Many things about the cult are kept secret from outsiders.
-Higher Revelation: Cults often claim “higher revelation” from God, a source of authority beyond the Scriptures
-Anti-church: Cults vigorously oppose organized churches and their pastors.
-Anti-family: Cults sometimes want their members to break ties with family who are not members.
-Salvation by works. They emphasize what you do rather than the fact that all has been done by Christ to secure your salvation.
DEALING WITH CULTS AND FALSE DOCTRINES:
Ask God to forgive you if you have been involved with a cult or false doctrine.
Renounce any involvement with cults and false doctrines. Leave the cult. Leave the fellowship of those teaching false doctrines. Break all ties!
Pray for deliverance from the demonic influences involved in cults. Cults are doctrines perpetrated by devils (1 Timothy 4:1).
Reaffirm your commitment to God. Reaffirm your belief in the Trinity of God and that Jesus is the only way to God and His Word as the authoritative source of truth.
Renew your mind in the Word of God. Cults tend to “brainwash” their members, so you need to renew your mind in order to understand and receive the truth: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2). Study God’s Word–not books written by man. Compare everything you read, hear, or are taught to what the Word of God teaches.
Join a Bible-believing church. The church is the pillar and foundation of truth and will help you grow in the Lord (1 Timothy 3:15).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT CULTS AND FALSE DOCTRINES:
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (Psalm 119:104)
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:24-25)
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11: 13-14)
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8-9)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. (2 Timothy 2:15-17)
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:13-15, NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2)
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 9-11)
But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 17-21)