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Therefore I esteem Jesus concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way. Good morning, reader! Today’s verse is more or less a continuation of my last post on verse 127. The world is filled with false religions and movements that claim their beliefs will lead followers to the truth. In essence, these movements and false religions are cults. With the Internet at our fingertips, we can easily type “known cults” in the search bar and find a ton of information. The ones that appear at the top in the search results are truly bizarre. One would wonder how someone could fall for these cults. As blatantly deceiving as these are, what concerns me are those religions which are not considered cults at all! Their religion is based on a smidgen of truth but are far from salvation!

Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Don’t you wonder why God would put this verse in the scriptures? Think of it, I’m sure the Beatles thought they were getting truth during their search in India. I’m sure catholics think they are receiving truth but in actuality, they are being led astray. It may seem that I’m picking on the catholic church but I’m truly not. It’s because I was raised catholic and that was all that I knew. But catholicism isn’t the only religion out there that is leading searchers astray. So what should one be watching out for if they’re afraid they are in a religion that should be considered cult? What are some guidelines? What are some characteristics?

  • Is that religion claiming they have a “new truth”? Rev. Moon did so with the Unification Church. The scriptures has 237 occurrences of the word “truth.” Truth can be found within its pages and one need not look for a “new truth.” Jesus said,
    • Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  • Does the religion have another source of authority other than the bible?
    • The catholic church has the magisterium and what the pope and the council claim supersedes the bible. This can be seen in the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.” A good example for this is that they consider Mary mediatrix. The bible clearly states that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. So Mary cannot be co-mediator. The bible also states in this verse that Jesus gave himself a ransom for all. Therefore, Mary cannot be co-redemptrix.
      • 1 Ti 2:5-6  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    • The Mormons believe that the bible is God’s word but only if it’s translated correctly. They have the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrines and Covenants which supersede the scriptures.
    • Christian Science believes that Mary Baker Eddy’s writings are superior to the scriptures and they consider the bible as corrupt and inferior writings.
  • Does the religion preach “another Jesus”? 2 Co 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
    • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is not God but He was Michael the Archangel.
    • The Mormons believe that Jesus is one of many gods, conceived by a union between the Father and a heavenly-mother.
  • Cults are led by men who claim to be messengers of God and that they have a special and unique access to Him.
  • Does the religion preach that salvation is by works? All cults attach “something” to achieve salvation. It is never by salvation alone through Jesus Christ. Eph 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  (9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    • Catholicism teaches salvation by works in their canons (Canon 24).
    • The Worldwide Church of God, founder Herbert Armstrong, says it’s a process.
  • Does the religion prophecy futuristic events that don’t come to past?
    • Jehovah’s Witnesses have a slew of false claims – a simple Google search will list them all.

This list is only a tiny look at what one should look out for when searching. The word of God, through the scriptures, is the only thing you need.

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Jesus taught us to search the scriptures as they testify of Him. He is the only way to Heaven, friend. As seen in Acts 17:11, the Bereans were considered “more noble” because they received the word with all readiness of mind (the preaching of the Apostles) but it did not stop there. That verse continues to say that they searched the scriptures daily to make sure that what they heard preached, matched what the scriptures said. They didn’t take a man’s word for it, even though those words came from an Apostle! They made sure that they were being taught the truth.

Speaking as a former catholic, I can honestly say that in all my 25 years of catholicism, I was never encouraged to read my bible to make sure that what I was being taught by my priest was according to God’s word! Be a Berean, dear reader, and look to God’s word to learn about salvation through Christ Jesus. Leave me a comment and I will be happy to show you in the bible how to be saved!