Defining A Cult
What 'Exactly' Is A Cult?
It is written.....
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2nd Peter 2:1 - 3a.
In Isaiah 29:13 we find these words.....
Never before in the history of the world has there been so much discussion about Cults. The number of Internet articles about cults is proof of this. For many "would-be experts" anything and everything that doesn't fit into their "un-vindicated" interpretation of Scripture, is branded a 'cult'. For others, anything and everything that doesn't fit into the "traditional denominational" mold is a cult. If an individual doesn't believe in the 'trinity' doctrine of three persons in the Godhead, or some other denominational 'pet' doctrine, he/she is absolutely branded to be cultish - HOW DARE anyone to challenge what the churches have been teaching for years?
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
In the strict definition of the word "Cult", every religion, religious person, religious rites and observances can be called a "cult". The dictionary defines the word 'cult' as follows:
A system of religious rites and observances; Zealous devotion to a person, ideal or thing; the followers of a cult, a sect.
Based on this definition, WHO can point the finger? There is no difference between one or the other. Most professing Christians have religious rites and observances; most exercise or manifest Zealous devotion to a Church, an ideal, and supposedly to Christ, even
though some would deny His deity.
But the word 'cult' is not a Bible word. It is not to be found anywhere in Scripture. But the Bible does use a word, yes words, which would better identify what the religious world, in general, would call "A Cult". The Bible refers to "False Ways"; the way which "Seemeth right unto a man"; false prophets; false brethren; children of disobedience; workers of iniquity; and antichrists - ALL religious, professing to believe in and serve God in one way or another; but are found to be 'false witnesses' of the Truth.
Therefore, holding to the basic concept of a cult in this Age, but defining it in Bible terms, we would say that a cult is anything and everything that is (in whole or in part) "contrary to God's Word". It can be contrary to God's Word in spirit, in attitude, in it's motives, in it's objectives, or in it's doctrine(s). Most are apt to judge an individual or sect as a cult based solely on doctrinal issues; failing to understanding that a person can be "right in their doctrine, but wrong (a cult - antichrist) in their spirit, or right in their spirit and wrong (a cult - antichrist) in their doctrine." If we can get it ALL together, then we have a Word Christian in the making.
The Spirit of God, speaking "Thus Saith The Lord" through His servant and prophet, William Branham, spoke the following
ISRAEL AT KADESH BARNEA - 53-0328
For, this is the day, brethren, you'll bear me record, a day of "isms". I've been studying Genesis now for two years. That's the beginning, the going forth, the seed chapter. And you notice that all those cults of this day are beginning in Genesis. They had their start back in Genesis, winding up out here in the last day.
For instance, many of them, like how that formal religion begin in Cain, how it come on out and come down through the sons of Noah, Ham. Out of Ham he had Nimrod. Nimrod built the tower of Babel. Babel comes on down through King Nebuchadnezzar's time, and on out into Revelation, Babylon (Revelation 17:5; 18:2). How that little seed started way back there at the east side of the gates of Eden, coming on down, winding out. All kinds of cults and everything started back there, winding themselves out to the end. Now, it behooves us to watch, be careful, be set in the Word. Many things are taking place today which are unscriptural. Let's watch the Scripture; be sure that where we're right. That's what we've been trying to teach this week.
DEMONOLOGY - Pt. 1 - PHYSICAL REALM - 53-0608A
Them same demons live today. So there is a lot of
fanaticism. There's a lot of fanaticism in the land today, called Divine healing, that ought to be shut up.
That's what brings reproach upon the real cause. That's why you have such a hard struggle. There's a lot of stuff called religion today that ought to be shut up: nothing but cults. That's what makes the true church of God have such a hard struggle with it. But we're America (See?), and that's the way it'll be. God says the wheat and creepers and briars grow together. Don't try to pluck them up. Let them grow together, but by their fruits you know them. There's no fruits, why, there's no life, there's nothing there.
THE SEAL OF THE ANTICHRIST - 55-0311
Other parts of the country starving to death, practically all over the world. We're practically helping feed the world. We got plenty to eat, everything in here; everybody's well fed, plenty of clothes, no more depression, plenty of money flowing everywhere. And the people are seeking to hear the Word of God and failing to get It. Because every fellow's built him a fig tree, and got his own organization, his own cult, or his own ideas, and no one else will listen. And he's right, and nobody else is right; and they won't have fellowship one with the other. And that's why the poor American people's mind are so disturbed; they don't know what is right.
One man will say, "It's this way." Another one say, "It's this way." One's got a teaching; one's got a doctrine; one's got a song; one's got a tongue. And the American people are the worst confused of any nation I know of in the world. That's awfully hard to say. And now, but it's the truth. We got to face facts.
GOD KEEPS HIS WORD - 57-0306
Oh, what started any cult? It was hungry children trying to find something to eat. And if you lazy bunch of preachers won't give them the Gospel, they'll eat out of a garbage can. That's right.
HEBREWS CHAPTER 3 - 57-0901M
What's the matter with these big churches today? Their unbelief has provoked God. Hallelujah. He's able of these stones to rise children to Abraham. He tried to give the Gospel to them, and they hardened their hearts. They cult themselves, and they made little denominations, and "We believe this and nothing else." And God couldn't move in. Where they at today? Setting on a sideline.
THE SECOND SEAL - 63-0319
Now, in the last days it's predicted to us that there will rise a prophet. Now, we know that we've had all kinds... and I'd like for you to understand me. And you realize these tapes cover the world (See?), just about all the world. And I'd want you to, not by no mean, think that I am trying to inject some kind of a cult of Elijah's blankets or robes and oh, all those things we've had plenty of them. But you know all those things (cults) are only a forerunning of the real thing that is to come to throw the people off.
QUESTIONS ON THE SEALS - 63-0324M
People say, "Now, you've got to belong to this or that," an organization, a certain organization. "If your name isn't on our book, you're lost." Now, that's cult. See? That's cult. See? There's only one way you can be saved, and that is not him that willeth or him that runneth, him that... That is God Who shows mercy. And God by His foreknowledge predestinated a Church to His glory, and that's the ones that's saved. That's right.
THE WORLD IS FALLING - 63-1115
All of our politics, both in religion, and both in the federal life, and so forth, is polluted. We polluted our worship with man-made design fashions, fashioned and designed a man-made to fit every cult that's on the face of the earth. Every one's got their own idea again. It must become again like it was in the days when God rose up the mighty prophet Isaiah, said, "Your sacrifices and things has become a stench in My nose."
THEN JESUS CAME AND CALLED - 64-0417
Jesus of His day was more ridiculed and made fun of than the lowest cult there is on the earth today. There couldn't be anything was any lower and despised than Jesus. See? The churches hated Him. And they just didn't have no use for Him at all, because He was constantly rebuking them, and called them all kinds of names, and breaking up their congregations. "You just turn the world upside down," as they say. They was trying to find some fault to accuse Him, and they couldn't find it.
To them He was a illegitimate. He was born out of holy wedlock. He was a odd sort of a Fellow. He had no worldly education, as to speak of, and yet called Hisself a prophet. And oh, my, such a horrible Fellow He was (to the religious people of His day). And every one of them was thumbs down on Him, everywhere.
Hasn't changed too much. See? As I said the other night, the devil takes his man, but not his spirit. The spirit of people that's in people has lived before. If we was to be here for a couple months, where we'd have a real study in the Scriptures, I'd like to prove to you that there isn't a cult on the face of the earth today but what I can't prove to you it started in Genesis, and show you its beginning. It's a seed. Just like a vine growing up, all of them, and it comes right up to blossoming time now, and returning back to the seed again.
Now, remember. Let everybody rest surely now. I hope I haven't impressed you to make you think that I'm some kind of a cult or something, that I would be that Person, the Lord Jesus. You don't believe that, do you? See? Surely you don't. I am His servant. I am a sinner that's been saved by grace. But He, in this the hour has come to where He's given a gift.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - 64-0823M
I've always advised people to stay where you are and keep on keeping on till Jesus comes. If I've told you many times, let this tape be a memorial; let this day be a memorial; let my word be a memorial; I have never, at one time, ever told anybody, ever proselyted, ever tried to get somebody to come to this church. I have never... As far as telling them to leave their own church and sell out their goods and things, God knows that I've always advised people to remain a Christian and stay where you are until God calls you. Everybody knows that. Stay right there. But now, Somebody say, "Well, I want to go over here. I want to live over (there)..." You go wherever you want to go; that's all right. I don't care where you go; that's not my business for that.
I was reading about Martin Luther here not long ago, not comparing ourselves with that; but this is a reformation just the same as that was. The historians, they said, "It's a marvelous thing to think that Martin Luther could protest the Catholic church and get by with it. That was a wonderful thing." But they said, "The most wonderful thing about Martin Luther wasn't that. How he could hold his head above all the fanaticism that followed his meeting and still stay true to the Word, his calling..." See?
POWER OF TRANSFORMATION - 65-1031M
Now, if children has come up under that kind of teaching, that's what their parents was, they have the nature of their parents - the denominations, and so forth, they have to believe that. See? They believe that because they're borned under that parent. But today we're not borned under that parent; our Parent is the Word. "Well," say, "I was borned under God too." For that age, but this is the climax age; this is the age beyond those denominations.
There had to come forth, must come forth; God ordained it so, that there must come forth; them Seven Seals must be opened. It was supposed to be done in this Laodicean age. ...Not as we brag; we have no brag, only on Jesus Christ: none of us. We only brag on Jesus Christ. But we are thankful for the privilege of knowing beyond any shadow of doubt, God has chose us in this last days, and has proven it by the signs in the heavens and in the earth; and every one of them coming right straight back to the Word to prove that it's so: this age that we live in, the message and how it is.
POWER OF TRANSFORMATION - 65-1031M
We're not a cult. We're not a bunch of fanatics. We are servants of God, that's been called by the Holy Ghost.
You'll have all kinds of names tacked to you, but that don't mean it's so.