The word that seems to
strike fear into the hearts of men today is the word "cult". This word
brings up terrible images of Jonestown, Waco, Heaven's Gate, and the
Japan gas attack among others. The word has been used to express scorn
for those who are not part of the "normal" society. Anyone not seen as
in the main flow, accepting the maxims of men and sharing their modern
chains are regarded as abnormal and as an aberration. In this
generation one seems to draw back at any suggestion they may belong to
a cult. Yet, almost the whole earth worships at the feet of men and
contemplates the religious inspirations of men who in their beginning
were leaders of cults.
The most widely known cult
leader in this country is Jesus Christ. Can you imagine what response
this man would have in today's world? He claimed to be the very Son of
God. He worked miracles of unknown origin. He led a small group of
followers sometimes staying in secret locations. One of His disciples
committed suicide. He was finally executed for antigovernment
If Jesus came today, as He
came two thousand years ago, he would be accused of being a dangerous
cult leader. Yet, it is fashionable today to worship Jesus as the
Christ. He has become acceptable. That is — man's idea of him is
acceptable because his image has been transformed into an American
product for merchandise. "Christianity" is a most wonderful business
and fortunes are made with this product which bears no semblance at all
to the real Christ. Movies are made about this image and men are bought
and sold within various religious denominations for the purpose of
personal gain. In the time of Christ, he was looked at with great
suspicion by "normal" society.
"Christian" is a term that
means "Christlike" or Christ follower. This term was first coined as a
degrading accusation against members of this cult. To say "Christian"
during the time of the early church would be like saying, David
Koreshite or Jim Jonesite. The plain truth is that any true Christian
today will be considered a cult member precisely as they were during
the time of Christ. Why is this so? Consider for a moment the
descriptions of the Sons of God provided in Scripture.
Jesus said, "I have given
them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of
the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:14. The world hates
authentic Christians today because they are viewed as cultists. They
are cultists because they are not of the world. They speak against the
popular order of things. They stand out separate from the world. They
have their own CULTure. This causes them to be viewed as separatists
and somewhat secretive as Jesus was. What passes for Christianity today
is not Christianity at all. It is a thoroughly gutted association of
those who follow forms and beliefs, but lack the true power of the
Spirit. This has been brought about largely through the efforts of
those who wrote "The Little Book" that I quoted from in Chapter Three.
Actually, the truly
worldly person does not care that much about cults except that the
worldly religions create fear in their hearts against the Christians.
It was not the Romans that gave much notice to Jesus. It was the church
of the day. They were the instigators of hate against His cult. They
were the "hate mongers" of His time. The Pharisees and Sadducees of
today are the various religious sects of this age. The Pharisees were
the conservatives and the Sadducees were the liberals.
It would surprise most
professed "Christians" to know that they are not Christians at all, but
only Pharisees and Sadducees of various modern expressions. How does
one know this? It is because Christians are not of this world. Their
bodies are here for now, but they are not of the worldly mind. They do
not use worldly policies and forms, nor participate in popular
holidays. They do not engage themselves in worldly amusements and
society. They have no use for a worldly education and they do not use
the world's methods of healing. Let us look at some examples. Did Jesus
go to a university? No. Did He go to public or private school? No. He
was taught at home. Christians today would have their children in home
school. They would be separating their children from earthly influences
and impressions. The true Christian would help his child understand the
difference between the mark of God and the mark of the beast. This is
impossible to do with modern education and its propaganda.
Did Jesus go to the doctor
to maintain His health? Then what would a Christ follower do? Would
worldly medicine and drugs be His way of keeping Himself well? I think
most thinking men would have to acknowledge that Jesus did not
participate in these things. He was separate from them. He was not
involved in politics or labor unions. He stood apart from society in
their worldly aspirations and dreams. He was not of them. He did not
store weapons for the future war, or for his personal protection. He
simply was not of this world in any degree. Men today are suspicious of
true Christian cults because they seem to be exclusive. Actually, they
appear this way because the world has driven them away. The world looks
at the children of God as enemies, therefore, these children find it
necessary to dwell apart from the world.
It has been said that
cults seem to insist one must be of their group in order to be saved or
at least to be right. Did Jesus do that? He said, "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Can you
imagine someone saying that today; someone like the man next door?
Jesus said, "Follow me." Here was a cult leader who told others to
follow Him. He said that He was the only way to the Father. There was
no other way to heaven. Certainly this should be enough to give one the
picture of who Jesus really was and how he looked to his own generation.
Was Jesus a cult leader?
Decidedly yes. The American Heritage Dictionary definition
for cult is:
1.a. A religion or
religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its
followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance
of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. b. The followers of such a
religion or sect.
2. A system or community
of religious worship and ritual. (AHED) Certainly Jesus exercised
authority. He was generally considered extremist and false. He lived in
an unconventional manner. Certainly He led in a system of religious
worship and He was the leader.
There are many worldly
cults today. The largest cult is Catholicism. Jehovah's Witnesses,
Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists and the Jewish religion, among others
are smaller cults. These are religious cultures. When religious
cultures have worldly ideas and use worldly methods in their services
and education, they would be considered worldly cults or cultures. The
worldly cults today are those who believe that they are the true church
and by assenting to certain rituals or doctrines of the church you are
counted as saved. Jesus warned of these. He said, "For many shall come
in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. ...Then if any
man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew
great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if
they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth:
behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the
lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so
shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (See Matthew 24).
Jesus warned against false
saviors; men who would seek to have you join their group as a way of
salvation. If men say, "The way of salvation is over here or over
there" or if men say, "Our group is the right one; we are the true
church over here, come join us and then you will be in the true church
also," one can know that they are claiming to be a messiah or savior.
These would be false or worldly cults. Jesus clearly taught that he
comes to a soul as lightning across the sky and not through earthly
means or institutions. The light of Christ pierces the heart, and
transforms the soul. One who is in Christ is untouchable by the world
and its spirit of antichrist. He only listens to the Voice Who speaks
within him and regards not the traditions and maxims of men. He cannot
be threatened by the powers of darkness, for he loves not his own life.
Jesus' religion was
nothing like one finds today in religions around the world. Salvation
does not come by church, doctrine or creed. It does not come by good
behavior or one's beliefs. It comes alone as the lightning of God
floods the soul and one receives eyes to see the truth as it is in
Jesus Christ. This is the only salvation there has ever been. Men are
saved because they are filled with God. They are filled with God
because they have yielded to His Spirit and have become possessed by
His Spirit. They are God possessed. When this occurs, they will do the
right things and do the good works that God does. They do them because
they are now a medium for God to work out His will in them. When they
are seen by men, it is God that men see because it is God who is the
life and not the man. These souls become the very Sons of God.
Jesus taught that men do
not get to heaven by following this or that man or religion. One enters
heaven only by becoming the Son of God as He was. It is written, "But
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12.
While religions today
teach some of these things, they do not know what they mean. It would
surprise most religious leaders today to hear that the Bible means what
it says, "to become sons of God." What does that mean? Simply this,
"For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the
image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many
brethren." Rom. 8:29. This is exactly as stated. Jesus was the
"firstborn" among many who would be like Him. The many who would be
born like Jesus are conformed to the image of Jesus. What is an image?
"One that closely or exactly resembles another; a double." (AHED). It is written again, "And all of us, with
unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a
mirror, are being transformed into the same image...."
2 Cor. 3:18. In other words, Christians are Christlike or like Christ.
They are the same as Christ. That was the message of Jesus. Jesus put
it this way, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his
blood, ye have no life in you." John 6:53. This statement shocked the
people of His day. It certainly brought up cultish accusations in those
who listened. In fact, the record states that when He said this, many
left Him who had heretofore been followers.
If you lived in Jesus'
day, would you have followed this cult leader? Would you have followed
a man? Not very many did then and equally as few do today.
The religions of the world
are at the very best a false hope. The Father will only save His Son
and if one is not His Son, then salvation is not received.
According to the cult
leader, Jesus, one cannot do something to get saved. That is — he
cannot join something in order to have God. Salvation is a
transformation. It is being transformed and translated into the same
image as Jesus. We think like Him and our obedience to God is as His
obedience. We are like Jesus and not like man. There is no other way.
This life comes from God alone. The Spirit of God does the transforming
so that we actually partake of the "fullness of Christ." This is not
the message of modern Christianity, and this reveals how modern
Christianity has actually become antichrist, for it is against those
who actually believe and live the life of Christ, the Anointing.
This is true Christianity:
Jesus gives us His perfection. The Christian is as perfect as Christ is
because that is the life He gives them. Now you may see more clearly
why it is that few men follow Him. Jesus wondered himself if there
would be anyone who believed this when he came again. He said, "When
the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Luke 18:8. The
world is full of the worldly religion of the Pharisees and Sadducees,
but there are precious few Sons of God — men who obey God and who obey
Him all the time with a loving, thankful heart.
We have been told that
there is another sign of a cult. A cult is apocalyptic. The imminent
coming of Christ or the imminent end of the world is cited as one of
the main ingredients of cultish doctrine. There are numerous religions
that hold that Jesus is going to come back some day but only a cult
believes it is imminent.
"Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe
the gospel." Mark 1:15. John the Baptist believed and preached the same
thing. Yes, John the Baptist would be considered a separatist and
cultish figure also. This was the very nature of the early Christian
It may be that the leaders
of a movement might be seen as somewhat forceful and strange, and that
the members of the cult would only be followers, but not really
dangerous since they were following a man. After Jesus was executed,
the power and strange cultish behavior did not end. It is recorded in
Scripture that two members of the main church dropped dead for telling
a lie, and for not giving one of the cult leaders the money that they
had promised him.
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira
his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife
also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the
apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine
heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of
the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was
sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing
in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias
hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear
came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose,
wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the
space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done,
came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land
for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her,
How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?
behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door,
and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet,
and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her
dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great
fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought
among the people." Acts 5:1-12.
Consider this for a
moment. Imagine that happening in America now. Suppose the news media
reported that two members of a cult did not pay the leadership what
they had promised so they dropped dead. The leaders of the cult killed
them. Can you imagine the headlines over that story? Peter would
probably be arrested for using some unknown power to kill those who did
not give him the money he wanted. At least that is how the media would
report it. The stories would be wild. It would be reported that there
were people killed for not turning over their land; there was a suicide
of one of the principle disciples; Jesus threatened to destroy the
temple (that is how it was reported), and now they were speaking in
strange languages and seemed drunk. No, the Christian church would not
be popular these days. Christ would be branded a cult leader of the
most dangerous kind. He would be accused of some crime and then
executed. His disciples would probably be treated the same way. Jesus
would be accused by those who consider themselves Christians today.
It has been said that a
cult will cause division and divide families. Jesus said, "Think not
that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a
sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and
the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He
that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he
that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he
that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for
my sake shall find it." Matthew 10:34-38. Jesus went on to say, "If any
man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and
children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he
cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26.
Yes, the leader of the
Christian church said these things. If any man said these things today,
he may well be jailed as Jesus was. He would be considered a danger to
society, for saying something as awful as one should hate his own
mother. The president of Iran these days says many things much more
tamely than Jesus said then, yet the world goes berserk over them, and
threatens him just as they threatened Jesus for saying what he said.
The great distortion of
the Christian religion came as the world's point of view was introduced
into it. The world's idea of religion is that when one is good he gets
to go to heaven. One must especially be nice and smile a lot. To be
good and nice, you must work at it over a period of time and then one
day you finally get good and you can go to heaven. The world also has
the view that one cannot really be good all of the time so it does not
matter, after all; but if you do good things as best you can, you still
get to go to heaven. Christians believe that if you say "Jesus" and
believe that somehow he covers you with his blood, that everything is
okay, and God won't notice all of your sins. They will get to go to
heaven while all of the bad people who didn't say "Jesus" will get
This strange religion is
in some form in all of the denominations that name the name of Christ,
as well as in all of the non-Christian religions. The various sects
have different doctrines and good deeds to be done but the bottom line
is the same. Some sects believe one should wear certain kinds of
underwear and go through certain baptismal rites to be qualified for
heaven. Others boast of a prophet or some apostolic leader. Some preach
that one should keep Saturday holy instead of Sunday and that will
qualify him for heaven. Others put merit in the money they give in
tithes and offerings. Many so-called Christians believe they have
joined the true church and that is sufficient for God's approval. Still
others believe that if you speak in some unknown tongue you are
certainly destined for the pearly gates. This insidious poison was
inserted into the early church and developed into a science by the
modern church. Their doctrine states that men's works and being good
would insure one a place in heaven. This is the basis of all heathen
religion. This is not, was not, and never will be the religion of
Christ. Even though many religions today are cults, they are worldly
cults and work destructively against the gospel of Jesus. The truth is
evident. It is written: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone
out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every
spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is
not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have
heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye
are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is
he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:1-4. Yes, a
true Christian is one in whom Christ has appeared.
Yes, Jesus Christ is not
found by men's doctrines and creeds. Men's works of goodness performed
to please God will avail nothing. Christ Jesus coming in the flesh,
even our flesh, is the only salvation there has ever been. If men say
that Christ is not come in the flesh, that He cannot really be in us,
living His life in us and for us, but we can only be men, then they are
classed with antichrist. And if we know that Jesus Christ is in us,
then we will be as He is, doing the works that He does and having the
testimony He has, for it is Christ who lives and not we ourselves. For
it is written: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to
make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of
God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev. 12:17. Christians
will keep the commandments of God, but it is because God is their Life.
They simply do what God does because it is God doing it. True
Christians also have the "testimony of Jesus." That is, they have the
same testimony that Jesus had, that God was his Father and that he
always did what he saw the Father do.
If a professed Christian
is still following the works of the flesh he is none of His. (See
Romans 8). God brought about the Reformation to once again bring the
knowledge of faith to the front. Even so, the Reformation was
short-lived. While it began in power and was considered a separatist
and fanatical movement, it, too, by and by, desired the approval of the
world. This very fact, seeking the approval of the world, is a great
destructive force, since the world's approval is not possible for a
true Christian. It is written, "If you belonged to the world, the world
would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but
I have chosen you out of the world — therefore the world hates you."
If the world loves you,
you can know beyond any question that you are not a Christian. The
world cannot love a Christian. He is considered cultish and a
separatist. He is heaped with rumors and suspicions. The Christian does
not work at trying to be hated, it just naturally happens if he has the
Spirit of God. This happened to the early church and later to the
Reformation churches. Protestants today are not protesting at all. How
dare they use the term to describe themselves?
In the early 1800's there
were many new movements or cults coming forward. The end of the world
was being preached by some souls and a date for that was set. God was
awakening the world to search the Scriptures and awaken to the times.
When the Lord did not come as foretold, there was general
disappointment but that disappointment was only manifest because people
failed to see the design of God. This world was entering into judgment
and all were being directed to the commandments of God and the faith of
Jesus. Sadly, Jesus' faith is not something desired by the masses. Men
would rather have the approval of the world. This is what these
movements gradually sought after. But as with all previous cults, these
adventists also sought the approbation of the world. More and more they
desired the praise of earthly kingdoms. More and more they distanced
themselves from the Spirit of God.
The conclusion should be
clear. The Christian denominations of this world are not truly
Christian, even if some of them do pride themselves for going to church
on Saturday. Their entire function is at counter purposes with the
Spirit of God. The Scriptures teach of this great Babylon and how this
great city merchandises the souls of men. This is not news to the world
though. It is quite clear that this spiritless, powerless, Godless
religion has fallen and fallen into financial and moral corruption. Her
ministers can preach for an hour and say nothing at all of any lasting
value. They are no longer a cult in the Christian sense, but fully
accepted into the worldly family of nations and religions. Modern
Christianity may take pride in that, but it is a shame that it takes
the name of Christ, for it is not of Christ but, instead, of the
antichrist which was prophesied to come into the world.
Jesus predicted the doom
of Jerusalem. This is a principle factor in a cult: the prediction of
doom. He said, "See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you,
There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be
thrown down." Matthew 24:1, 2.
Jesus also rebuked the
regular order of things. This is also cited as a sign of a cult. A cult
rebukes the regular order of things.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye
neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to
go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour
widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall
receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when
he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
...Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of
mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the
law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not
to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and
swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within
they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse
first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of
them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all
uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but
within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and
garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the
days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the
blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that
ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then
the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how
can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you
prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and
crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and
persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the
righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel
unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the
temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall
come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest
the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often
would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is
left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me
henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of
the Lord." Matthew 23:13-39.
There is not one thing
written here that Jesus does not say against today's professed churches
of Christ. I suppose if a man said what Jesus said to the churches of
today, they would report that the man was being critical or speaking
"hate speech." Soon enough the congregations of these churches will
rise up and tear down the false shepherds that have been leading them,
but after all is said, it is only liars who are lied to. While it is
true that false shepherds have misled the people, the people have loved
to have it so. "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear
rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye
do in the end thereof?" Jer. 5:31. The physical destruction that came
upon Jerusalem was only about 37 years after the crucifixion of Jesus.
This destruction was by process and this process can be clearly seen in
our earth today.
History is repeating
itself in clear detail. We can look at some of the circumstances that
surrounded the end of the last age and the beginning of the age that
followed. The destruction of Jerusalem took place in 70 A.D. Today, we
have seen the spiritual destruction of the churches which constitute
modern Jerusalem. A little while after the destruction of Jerusalem,
the fortress Masada was attacked by Roman soldiers. The people at
Masada were religious zealots. A short time after the spiritual
destruction of our churches in this age was recognized, government
soldiers attacked the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. The
Branch Davidians are recognized as religious zealots. At Masada the
people committed suicide and their fortress was destroyed by fire. Few
survived. In Waco it is reported that they committed suicide and their
fortress was destroyed by fire. Few survived. Masada was under siege a
little over 50 days as was the Davidian compound. Masada was attacked
at Passover. "Mount Carmel" was attacked and under siege in the
Passover season also.
Awhile after that, the
supporters of Masada attacked in revenge for the destruction of their
people. In this age a federal building was destroyed in retaliation for
the destruction which occurred near Waco. At the first writing of this
book, during the Passover season, the Freemen movement, recognized as
separatists and zealots, were under siege as the Branch Davidians were.
They were forced off of their land for failing to pay taxes on it. It
was their conviction that taxes should not be paid. Their land was
confiscated and given to someone who would pay the property tax on it.
These are not the actions of a free society, but actions belonging to a
socialist, or communist society, the government of which owns all the
property and does with it what it pleases. It is supposed that these
small extreme groups are but little enemies in this location or that.
What is missed is that this is only a symbol of a general fire that is
infecting the entire nation and the world. The nation is at war with
itself. The nation no longer respects its leaders or its institutions.
All true respect for human life, dignity, decency, the earth, the
animals and plant life is gone. These examples only foretell the
general collapse of every agency of government. While sleeping, a thief
came in and ruined our land. A secret hand came in, making promises to
the people, but only left the people blind, naked, and wretched.