Is that a Cult? by Rev. Dr. Joel J. Chiri
First Printing: December/1979
Second Printing: January/1980
Third Printing: February/1981
Fourth Printing: March/1982
Fifth Printing: April/1985
Sixth Printing: May/1990
Seventh Printing: June/1995
Eight Printing: July/1999
Revisted 2003 Ninth Printing: 2004


Introduction
The assault cults make on our modern society, grows every year. Mormons on your door step, Wicans in parades, and Jehovah's Witnesses on street corners can be seen proselytizing on an almost daily basis. Some cults change their look and beliefs so quickly, that they may become difficult for less experienced Christians to recognize.
In this booklet, I attempt to provide the reader with the fundamentals of our Christian faith. In this way believers might have a measuring stick of sound doctrine, against which they may compare any organization. For I believe it is important that the Christian first know what the Bible teaches. Once a believer is secure in the basics of the faith, he may confidently examine any statement in the light of God's word.
Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Also, included in this booklet is a list of various cults, and brief information on their backgrounds and beliefs.
It is my hope that the Lord will bless this material to your use and continued growth.
Rev. Joel J. Chiri DD
November/1979
Revised December 2003


FIRST: THE BIBLE

Let's look at the following passages of Scripture:
2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost."
1 Corinthians 14:37 "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
Exodus 31:18 "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

Exodus 4:10-15; Deut. 4:2; Jer. 1:7-9; Exek. 3:4; Micah 3:8; Acts 1:10, 11; 2 Peter 3:1, 2;
Mk. 13:11; Lk. 12:12; Deut. 10:2, 4; 9:10; 1 Chron. 28:19.
It is clearly evident from these and many other passages of Scripture, that the writers of the Bible realized they were receiving revelations from God, and considered themselves to be inspired by God to write. As they wrote they were giving expression to the infallible truth of God, fully conscious of the fact that the Holy Spirit was moving them to do the work.
Most cults have a very different view of God's Word. Some do not consider it to be from God at all; however, most relegate it to a secondary position, behind their own writings, e.g.. the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons. Some cults teach that only certain portions of the Bible are inspired, or that the interpretation of the Scriptures must be done in the light of modern thought or science. Most teach that you can only understand the Bible with their special help, books, or instruction from their leaders. Some even have their own special versions of the Bible because other versions are "full of errors."
Simply put the Bible is inspired by God, not just the concepts and ideas but the very words. The men who wrote the Bible did so under the direct inspiration of God and wrote only what He intended, no more and no less.
Therefore the first step in recognizing a cult is to ask:
"What do they say about the Scriptures?"


SECOND: THE TRINITY

The doctrine of the Trinity is, in the final analysis, a mystery that cannot be fully fathomed by our finite mind; however, that the Scriptures teach it is not in doubt. Therefore, we must believe it by faith, even if we do not understand it fully.
In the Old Testament the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly shown in a three-fold manner:
First: In of the plural names used for God. i.e. Elohim. The fourth word in the Bible is the first reference in the Bible to God (Genesis 1:1). This verse is like God's signature, almost suggesting that all that is contained in the Bible is His, in a similar manner to the way we write our names in the front of books we own. This first name of God is the Hebrew word 'Elohim'. It appears over 3,000 times in the Bible, and 35 times in the first two chapters of Genesis alone. The word 'Elohim' is plural and thus is like a fore taste of the triune God acting in unity. "And God said, Let us make man in our image...." Genesis 11:7; Isa. 6:8.
Second: In the Old Testament appearances of God (Theophanies), and especially in the "Angel of the Lord" (Christophanies) Genesis 16:7 "And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur."
Third: In the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Judges 6:34.
In the New Testament the doctrine of the Trinity is not merely alluded to, but explicitly declared.
First: At the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" Matt. 3:16, 17.
Second: In the Baptismal Formula, Matthew 28:19 "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Third: Christ teaches it himself: John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;".
Fourth: The New Testament teaches: A Father who is God, Romans 1:7 "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." A Son who is God, Hebrews1:8 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." and a Holy Spirit who is God, John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
One of the common denominators of most cults is their failure to accept the Trinity. Cults like to have the answer to every question, and not to rely on faith; however, real Christianity is rooted and grounded in faith.
Therefore, the second question we must ask any religious organization is:
"What do you believe about the Trinity?"


THIRD: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

Mark 8:27-29 "And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answered and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ."
This same question is asked of unbelievers throughout the ages: Who do you say that I am? For on the answer to this question hinges the entirety of our salvation.
Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, our Saviour, and being the second person of the Trinity, he is God. One of the strongest proof of Christ's deity is that he was worshipped.
Matthew 9:18 "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him," Matthew 14:33 "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God." Matthew 15:25; 28:9.
According to the Scriptures only God is to be worshipped; therefore by accepting worship Jesus is declaring himself to be God. Matthew 4:10.
The Bible says: The angels worshipped Christ: Hebrews 1:6
The Father and the Son receive the same worship: Revelation 4:10,11; 5:11-13.
Prayer is worship, "to call upon the name of the Lord" is translated "to invoke, adore, or worship the Lord."
In Acts 7:59 Stephen prays to Jesus to receive his spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:2; Matthew 11:28. The Bible says, all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father, John 5:23. 1 Kings 8:30 says that only God knows the thoughts of men, while Matthew 9:4 says that Jesus knew men's thoughts.
Cults are willing to accept Jesus as a good man, a created being, an angel, or anything but what he truly is - GOD.
Therefore, the most important question in anyones life must be:
"Who Is Jesus Christ?"


FOURTH: SALVATION

The Bible says: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23; "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us" Titus 3:5; "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" Romans 5:8
Acts 16:31, John 5:24, 1 John 5.13
Cults have what I term, 'Salvation on the never never plan.' They teach that you will be saved by your faithfulness and service to their organization. Their motto is: Work and be saved, while Christ proclaims: Be saved and work.
As Christians we do not just hope to some day achieve salvation, we already have salvation, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. We do not work for our salvation, it is the gift of God. We work because God has given us salvation.
Our fourth question must then be:
"What Must I Do To Be Saved?"


FIFTH: ETERNAL PUNISHMENT

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death...."
Revelations 20:14; 21:8; 20:15
Everyone has life and existence; however, eternal life or eternal death speaks to the quality of that existence. Eternal life is not merely to live forever, but to live in a state of blessedness, with God, forever. So as in the case of the unrepentant, the second death does not mean the cessation of existence; for he is dead already, now in this life: 1 Timothy 5:6; Ephesians 2:1; John 5:24, 25. The Bible says the wicked are not annihilated, but eternally punished: Matthew 25:41, 46 "....and these go away into everlasting punishment." "....taking vengeance on them that know not God, ....who shall be punished with everlasting destruction" 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 3:10-12; 5:22; 8:12; 13:36-43, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:19; Romans 2:8,9.
Cults have an immense dislike for the idea of future punishment. They tend to teach that death ends all, or that the dead only sleep. Some teach that everyone is acceptable to God or that they will receive a second chance on judgement day, so everyone will go to heaven. They seem to know that the doctrine of eternal punishment is unpopular with the unsaved and therefore attempt to ease their conscience by ignoring the word of God.
The final question we must address to any suspected group is:
"Does Hell And Eternal Punishment For The Unsaved Exist?"



KNOWN CULTS

Jehovah's Witnesses
History: The Jehovah's Witnesses were founded by C. T. Russell 1870-1916. Russell was involved in a number of dishonest schemes, and was found guilty of perjury.They operate a radio station WBBR, in Brooklyn, and a short term (unaccredited) bible school.
The Bible: The writings of Pastor Russell and Judge Rutherford are held to be equal to the Bible.
The Trinity: The Trinity is a satanic doctrine, only the Father is God.
Christ: Christ is a created being that Jehovah exalted to be His son, and he was not resurrected in the flesh.
Salvation: Jesus laid down a perfect human life equal to what Adam lost, no more.
Eternal Punishment: There is no hell, the death cease to exist.
Mormons
History: Founded by Joseph Smith who claimed that an angel (Moroni) disclosed a hidden box of gold plates, which Smith translated into the Book of Mormon.
The Bible: The Book of Mormon supersedes the Bible.
The Trinity: There are three separate Gods, not one.
Christ: Jesus Christ was not begotten by God.
Salvation: Everyone is redeemed from the stain of Adam's fall.
Wiccans
History: The Wiccans generally claim to be descended from ancient Celtic worship; however, their real beginning was in 1974 when the Council of American Witchs released a Wiccan statement of belief.
The Bible: Wiccans belive it to be just a good book that is misinterpreted to condemn Wiccans. The Bible is not the only good book.
Christ: Wiccans believe that Christ is not the way to salvation. Wiccans do not believe in Eternal Punishment; however, they do teach that 'sex is part and practice of magic and religious worship."
Unity
History:The unity Church began about 1884.
The Bible: is a wonderful no more or less inspired than any other good book.
The Trinity: There is one God and many paths to reach God.
Christ: It was not necessary for Christ to die for man's sin, there is no original sin, only original blessing.
Eternal Punishment: there is no eternal punishment. It is man's destiny to create heaven on earth.
OTHER CULTS, Just To Name A Few
The Bahai, Pagans, Hare Krishna, Spiritualism, Christian Science, Theosophy, Astrology, British Israelism, Yoga, the Radio Church of God, the Unification Church, Transcendental Meditation, Zen Buddhism, and the Divine Light Mission.
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