Such requirements are misrepresented by cults as “God’s will”; cult members are told that failure to keep these requirements will displease God and result in the loss of salvation.
- Most cults reject all Christian churches and all Christians as “unsaved”. Cults maintain that only their own members are truly “saved”; all others (including those in other cults) are regarded as deceived and unsaved. Cults promote the false idea that they alone have the “real truth” or “revelation” about God and salvation. Following their rules and regulations is, they claim, the only way to “salvation” – regardless of the truth taught in the Bible.
- Most cults are built around one specific individual leader – or upon one particular misinterpretation of the Bible. False religions and cults share this in common: one specific person claims to have received some “new revelation” about how to truly be saved that contradicts what is in the Bible. This leader will insist that following his or her teaching is the only way to be saved.
Sometimes a cult leader will even claim that they are the person of Jesus Christ manifested in His promised second coming. This false claim is made by Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church and the woman leader of the Chinese-based Eastern Lighting cult. Jesus Himself warned that there would be those who would claim to be Him in order to lead people astray (Matt 24:23-25).
Remember: God has already revealed His plan for salvation in the complete and unchanging Word of God, the Bible. There is nothing that can be changed in, added to, or subtracted from God’s plan for salvation. God’s plan for salvation has already been fully revealed through the Bible, and has already been accomplished and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
- Cults often claim to believe in and follow the Bible. But, as mentioned above, cults twist and distort the meaning of biblical terms, or replace true Christian doctrine with their own particular teaching or “new” doctrine (see Colossians 2:20-23 and 1 Timothy 4: 1-3).
Many cults accuse the Bible of having been “corrupted” or “improperly translated”; they use this as an excuse to rewrite the Bible or add to it. Their “new interpretation” of Scripture then becomes the means to promote their false doctrine and further their heresy.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses cult invented their own “translation” of the Bible, and called it “The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures”. Their deliberately mistranslated passages promote heresy, such as denying Christ’s sacrificial death and bodily resurrection, and even denying that Jesus Christ was God. They also claim that the Holy Spirit is not God, but is some impersonal, invisible force. They have set the date for Armageddon at 1914; then again for 1925; then for the 1940’s; and then for 1975. Every time it doesn’t happen, they falsely claim to receive a “new revelation”, and reset the date yet again. Such heresies and false predictions are spread by those whom the Bible calls “false prophets” (Matt 24:11; 2 Pet 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1).
Deception By Any Name
There exist today many different cult groups with a wide variety of beliefs and practices. Often even the names of these heretical groups include biblical terminology in an attempt to sound legitimate. Listed here are only the largest and most commonly known cults:
- The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism)
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian Science
- The Unity School of Christianity
- The Unification Church (of Sun Myung Moon – also known as “Moonies”)
- The Church of Scientology
- Falong Gong
- Eastern Lightning
- The Theosophical Society
- The Children of God
- The Way International
They Need The Gospel!
As with all false religions, the doctrines promoted by cults have their origin with demons (1Tim 4:1-3; Heb 13:9; 2Pet 2:1-3; see also “Exposing the Spirit of the Antichrist” for more on this subject).