SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Truth in the Time of the Signs

Cults and Sects

The number of Cults and Sects is the subject of some debate.  Some claim that there are between 500 – 1,000 in the UK, up to 5,000 in the USA and up to 20,000 across the globe, however what everyone agrees is that they are increasing in number.

In an interview with VICE, in December 2014, Ian Haworth, an ex-cult member who has been running the UK-based Cult Information Centre since 1987, responded to the question: “You estimate that there are currently between 500 and 1,000 cults in the UK; are they on the rise?”

“Yes. If someone is recruited into a cult, that person – among other things – is going to be going out to recruit other people… So, as each person recruits others, you’ll get an exponential growth of that organisation – and the same applies to all the others.  Then you get power struggles and splits in some of the groups.  You get other groups, from different parts of the world, setting up branches in the UK, so it’s a phenomenon that is growing.”

In June 2018, Medium.com published a list of ten criteria that define a cult;

  1. The leader is the ultimate 
  2. The group suppresses scepticism 
  3. The group delegitimizes former members
  4. The group is paranoid about the outside
  5. The group relies on shame 
  6. The leader is above the law 
  7. The group uses “thought reform”
  8. The group is elitist
  9. There is no financial transparency
  10. The group performs secret rites

The great evangelist, Billy Graham said;

“Cults can take many forms.  Some cults are openly and clearly influenced by non-Christian religions (such as some that originate in the Far East).  Others, however, claim to be Christian and may actually incorporate some of the teachings of Christianity, while they deny certain truths in the Bible.

Cults substitute their own ideas for the truth which God has given us.

Although cults differ, they share several characteristics.  For example, cults often do not accept the Bible alone as God’s Word, and may even say that other books (usually written by the group’s founder) are also God’s Word and are of more value.  

Cults also commonly claim that they alone correctly interpret the truth and that Christian denominations and churches are wrong in their teaching.

Some cults have a strong leader and demand that members give their allegiance to him (even to the point of rejecting family members).

Cults deny what the Bible says about Jesus: He was fully God as well as man, and He died on the cross so we could be saved from our sins by faith.”

What does this mean?

We are seeing the rise of cults and sects now, particularly as the established Christian churches are in decline as they turn away from the Bible and teach liberal, humanist ways of life.  This was all foretold over 2,000 years ago;

Matthew 24: 3 – 12 – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many… All these are the beginning of birth pains.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people… and then the end will come.

Romans 1: 18 – 25 – The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts… They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather that the Creator.

1 Timothy 4: 1 – 2 – The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

2 Timothy 3: 1 – 7 -But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of   themselves…unholy…not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people.  They are… always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.          

Revelation 9: 20 – 21– The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

What does the Bible tell us?– The Future

What does this mean for you?– Good News

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