What is a Cult
a cult can be a difficult task. One person’s cult is another
person’s truth. To many Roman’s of the first century Belief in
Jesus was considered a superstitious cult. Tacitus wrote about
the first century Christians,
dispel the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits, and treated with
the most extreme punishments, some people, popularly known as
Christians, whose disgraceful activities were notorious. The
originator of that name, Christus, had been executed when
Tiberius was emperor, by order of the procurator Pontius Pilatus.
But the deadly cult, though checked for a time, was now breaking
out again not only in Judea, the birthplace of this evil, but
even throughout Rome,
Tacitus 109 AD
Today many Jews
consider any Jewish person joining “Jews for Jesus” or becoming
a Christian as joining a cult. So just how do we know what a
The word cult
is from the Latin word “Cultus” meaning to care or adoration
derived from the word “Colere” to cultivate. The word “Culture”
is related to the same root meaning to cultivate. The leader of
North Korea, Kim IL Sung 2ND is worshipped by
even though the country is officially atheist.
The question of what is a cult ultimately gets down to what
is “Truth”. If someone feels hope in the worship of a statue,
then to them the issue rescue or salvation. People put there
hope in where they feel they will have escape. To the North
Korean, who is faced with execution for not bowing to Kim IL
Sung, he or she will gladly bow and cower before an image if it
means they can live the next day. But to the Christian in
Korea, who would rather be tortured and die then reject Christ,
they know there is no hope in the state or the statue of a man.
What is real? Who is God? And what is truth? Are all related
early Christians were given a choice they could live and worship
Caesar or be killed. Polycarp after he was taken by the Romans
at an old age was asked by the Pro-council to reproach Christ
and live. Polycarp answered,
and six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me;
how then shall I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?”
believed and trusted in Christ, he was burned at the stake. He
thought about the Jesus he served, he knew this life was not the
end but just the start of eternity. The same is true with many
Christians who choose death over submission to national cults
and the Cults
Christianity is not a religion based on emotion or culture.
Christianity is based on “Truth” what is real. This “Truth” is
confirmed in logic, facts and history.
Jesus Christ was an historical figure who was crucified and rose
from the dead. His death and resurrection were witnessed and
attested to by over 500 at once. Paul writes,
I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and
that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures, 5and that He was seen by
Cephas, then by the twelve. 6After that He was seen
by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part
remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
non-believing Romans even wrote about this belief in Christ’s
resurrection that was spreading throughout the Empire, as
Tacitus wrote in the first century.
The month and year of Christ rejection and death were also
foretold in the book of Daniel, including the additional details
Temple and Jerusalem’s destruction after his rejection by
Jesus also fulfilled the prophecies regarding his identity
recorded hundreds of years before his birth demonstrating to
those looking for evidence about his identity recorded in the
The Bible and
an individual put his or her hope and is willing to invest
adoration from the Bible’s perspective is idolatrous. The
adoration of Idols is the same meaning behind “cult” in the
Latin root, “Cultus" meaning to adoration. Isaiah writes about
the vanity in idol construction,
Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him
nothing?12 The blacksmith with the tongs works one
in the coals, Fashions it with hammers, And works it with the
strength of his arms.
Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; He drinks no
water and is faint.13 The craftsman stretches out his rule, He marks one
out with chalk; He fashions it with a plane, He marks it out
with the compass, And makes it like the figure of a man,………..
He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it
and says “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
a biblical sense, a cult is akin to “Idol Worship”, the worship
of the man made. A cult is a man made religion, not according
Biblical truth. Since Biblical Christianity is the “Truth”, and
the distortion of this truth is not of God, but man and
ultimately Satan. Paul writes,
such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder!
For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
15Therefore it is no great thing if his
ministers also transform themselves into ministers of
righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Using orthodox Christianity as a standard of truth, Dr.
Walter Martin defines a cult as,
cult, then is a group of people polarized around someone’s
interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major
deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal
doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God
became man in Jesus Christ.
are the characteristics of a cult?
biblical perspective many of the “Things” the world’s puts trust
and hope in are idolatrous in nature. The Bible consistently
warns against putting hope in the vain things of this world.
cults derived from a perversion of the Gospel by false apostles
are nothing less then Satanic in their source. Most of these
cults have distinct characteristics which allow them to be
Mohammed introduced the idea that it was Ishmael and not Isaac was
taken to the top of
Moriah. Mohammed was born in 572 AD the event took place
2100 BC. Twenty six centuries after the event “New Truth”
has been introduced.
The same can be said of Mormonism that introduced the idea
that after Jesus’ resurrection that Jesus did not go to heaven
but came to
spoke to the Indians.
New Interpretations of Scripture
will change literal meaning of scripture to apply to their
own particular purposes. The Jehovah Witnesses for example
claim the 144,000 spoken of in the book of Revelation is not
speaking of Jews, even though it says Jews, but of Jehovah
Witnesses who were gathered in NY most of whom are dead
A-Non Biblical Source of Authority
characteristic in many cults is the need for a non-biblical
source of authority. Most time this is the current or
founding prophet’s writings or saying. These writing for
the most part will give the Bible lip-service and place it
secondary to their revelation which supersedes the
have the Quran, and though many might say the Bible is God’s
word they will claim it is corrupt and can only be used to
support the Quran.
also have 3 additional books to the Bible, the Book of Mormon,
Doctrine and the Covenants and Pearl of Great Price,
all of which are considered superior to the Bible.
Another Jesus The cults Jesus is always a different Jesus then
in the Bible. The Jesus of the Jehovah Witnesses is a
created Angel, Not God who is to be worshipped. The Mormon
Jesus is the brother of Satan and the product of sexual
relations between Elohim and Mary.
Rejection of Orthodox Christianity Another character of cults is their attack on orthodox
Christianity. In their claim of “New Revelation” they will
attack church as corrupt and departing from the “Truth”,
hence the necessisity for their groups arrival.
cults also disguise their real beliefs behind familiar
sounding words with completely different meanings. The word
God in Mormonism is the belief in an endless multitude of
gods, including a God over God the Father and God over the
God of Father.
Non-biblical teaching on the nature of God (Trinity)
The Trinitarian view of God is also a prime target for
Cults. This often labeled as pagan in origin.
theology of Cults is in a constant state of change as new
prophecies override old ones. Polygamy was once considered
a command by God for Mormon. But to be accepted as a state
Utah needed to renounce the act and prophecy was revealed
dictatorial leadership is another characteristic of cults
where people are given instructions on what to wear and how
to interact with the world by their leader.
All cults are
works oriented. They tend to focus on accepting the prophet and
the organization as the source of all truth and the need to
activity work in its promotion for salvation. The Gospel, of
salvation by “Faith alone” in Christ is totally absent.
False Prophecy…One area that clearly demonstrates the false nature of
“Cults” is their propensity for false prophecies. Since many
really believe God is speaking through them they have tendency
to foretell and proclaim events that do not happen. The
Jehovah Witnesses under
leadership built a house called “Beth Sarim” (House of the
princes) in the early 1930’s because the princes, (David,
Abraham and Joseph) would be returning and they would live in
this house in San Diego, where Judge Rutherford was living
waiting for their soon return.
had also prophesied about men on the Moon who looked like
Quakers, were 6 feet tall and lived to be a thousand years old.
using the Test of a Prophet many of these false prophets and
their organizations can be exposed the lost freed.
Etymology: French culte, from Latin cultus care,
adoration, from colere to cultivate— more at wheel
1617 1 : formal religious veneration : worship 2 : a
system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body
3 : a
religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its
body of adherents