Read Acts 20:17-28:
Did they listen? Yes: see Revelation 2:1-3
*If we do not SPEAK OUT Against FALSE teachings, the FALSE TEACHINGS will be construed as TRUTH
1 Timothy 4:1:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrine taught by demons….
10 Marks of a Non-Christian Cult And False Teacher
NON-CHRISTIAN “CULT”: A group of people gathered around someone’s (typically one man) interpretation of the Bible and they always claim that they are Christian (as with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Christadelphians, etc.) and yet deny one or more essential doctrines of Christian (i.e., denying either the Trinity, deity of Christ, justification though faith alone, and/or the *physical* resurrection of Christ Jesus).
Christianity Defined: John 17:3; 8:24; 1 John 2:22-23; Gal. 1:6-8
Thus, Christianity is defined by the Person, Nature, and Finished Work of Christ
Essential theology vs. Peripheral theology
Essential theology: Gospel. See Paul’s definition of Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: the Person of Christ (God-man), His real death (i.e., His cross-work including His substitutionary atonement—God’s work in justification), and His *physical* resurrection—that is Paul definition of the Gospel.
· Deity of Christ (John 1:1; 20:28; Phil. 2:6; Col. 2:9 (Creator); Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8-10)
· Incarnation (2 Tim. 2:8; Rom. 1:2-3; cannot deny it: 1 John 4:1ff.)
· Death (what did His sacrifice achieve? Atonement, Justification )—Rom. 5:8-10)
· Physical RESURRECTION (see John 2:19ff.).
· Finished Work (real Death, Atonement—Justification Mark 10:45; John 6:37-40, 44; 19:28, 30;; Rom. 4:4-8; 5:1, 8-11; 8:1, 29-32; Gal. 1:6-8).
Cannot deny these essential doctrines
Membership of CULTS OVER 80% OUT OF Christian churches
10 Marks: Not necessarily in chronological order
MARK 1: One person’s interpretation of the Bible, in which a “new revelation” contradicting Scripture is always postulated.
LDS: Joseph Smith,: Many Gods, a polygamous God with body parts,
- The notion that that folks with “dark skin” were cursed
- Reinstating the Levitical Priesthood
- And many other so-called “NEW REVELATIONS.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Claim to be a prophet:
AS PROPHETS FROM God THEY TELL US AS TO WHAT God really said:
Who will be Jehovah’s prophet? Who will be the modern day Jeremiah? The plain facts show God has been pleased to use Jehovah’s Witnesses (WT, 15 Jan. 1959, 40-41).
God has on earth a people, all whom are prophets, or witnesses for God. . . . Jehovah’s Witnesses (Awake, 8 June 1986, 9).
Thus, JWs made these by so-called “DIRECT REVELATION” from Jehovah Himself:
- The Trinity is a False Pagan doctrine
- Jesus was NOT God
- Jesus did not physically resurrect from the dead
- Justification by faith and works, and only for the 144.000 in heaven
Many WORD OF FAITH preachers assert a NEW REVELATION
Such as Jesse Duplantis’ so-called trip to heave wherein he states in his book: “Close Encounters of the God Kind” that
- Jesus had light brown hair, 89.
- Johan was being affected by sin in heaven, 107.
- God the Father can be seen, 113.
- God is a big Man with big hand and feet, 114-115 (see the Mormon scriptures, Doctrine and Convents section 130:22, where Smith states the same: ““The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”
- Angel thrown against a wall, 115.
- Preexistence of souls, 119.
- The Holy Spirit is not omnipresent (everywhere), 118-119.
- Adam seeing God the Father in contrast to John 1:18; 2 Tim. 6:67), 13.
- Popcorn filed the car, 25
MARK 2. Visitation from God or an ANGEL(S) ALWAYS Providing a NEW revelation:
His so-called First vision in 1820. However there are more than six so-called versions of the *first vision.* But the LDS’ accepted one is from 1838:
I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt. . . . (Pearl of Great Price, Smith 2:19).
What was the NEW REVELATION THAT THE ANGEL BROUGHT: The ENTIRE CHURCH had FALLEN into a state of TOTAL apostasy AND God chose Joseph Smith Jr. to restore it.
JWs: NWT: angels directed the translators
Islam: It was the angel Gabriel that brought the Koran to Mohammad:
Literally HUNDREDS OF BOOKS ON ANGELS
Galatians 1:6ff (Judaizers) READ: 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15
MARK 3. They Deny ONE OR MORE ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES of historic biblical Christianity—
Jesus Christ was eternal God in the flesh; TRINITY; Justification through FAITH ALONE; etc.
(a) The doctrine of the Trinity IS misrepresented, normally as either THREE GODS or MODALISM—esp. by the JWs); at times EVEN BY CHRISTIANS
Never was there a more deceptive doctrine advance than that to of the Trinity. It could have originated only in one mind, and that the mind of Satan the Devil (Reconciliation, 101).
LDS: Define the Godhead as THREE separate gods in purpose: (Meeting in the Grove, east of the Temple, June 16, 1844):
I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years (1829?).
I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it! (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370).
Oneness theology: FLAT OUT DENY THE TRINITY: asserting that the Trinity teaches 3 gods: Thus positing a UNIPERSONAL God
ALL NON-CHRISTIAN CULTS Redefined the Person of Jesus Christ and the term “SON OF GOD”:
- LDS>> PHYSICAL SON
- JW >>> MICHAEL THE ARCH- ANGEL “LESS THEN”
- ONENESS: >>>> A Unipersonal DEITY
ALSO THEY misrepresent the biblical doctrine of Justification:
Roman Catholicism: Council of Trent’s Degree on Justification, Canon X1:
If anyone says that people are justified; either by the sole imputation of the righteousness (justitia) of Christ or by the sole remission of sins… or even the grace by which we are justified is only the favour of God, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA
LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie; Mormon Doctrine
Indeed, one of the greatest religious contentions among the sects of Christendom is whether men are justified by faith alone, without works, as some erroneously suppose.… (408).
one of the untrue doctrines found in modern Christendom is the concept that man can gain salvation (meaning in the kingdom of God) by grace alone without obedience (Mormon Doctrine, 671).
JWs Watchtower Mag:
To get one’s name written in the Book of Life will depend upon one’s works (4-1-1947, 204).
AND AS WITH the LDS, groups such as the Church of Christ, Roman Catholic Church and the UPCI teach BAPTISM = SALVATION. Thus, they all teach that BAPTISMAL REGENERATION (i.e., works + faith = salvation).
Further, *Many deny the physical resurrection (JWs, Christian Science)
For JOHN, The physical resurrection was a TEST OF ORTHODOXY (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).
*Many Deny the Incarnation of Jesus Christ (John 1:14): Oneness, JWs (that God became flesh).
ALL cults and world religions reject
MARK 4. They, after denying one or more essential doctrine, always CLAIM that they are “Christian.”
LDS, JWs, Oneness, Christian Science, Christadelphians, etc
MARK 5: Exclusivism—the only true church
(EXPLAIN THIS MARK)
LDS, Brigham Young:
“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.
From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, 289).
LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie:
“There is no salvation outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Mormon Doctrine, 670).
Roman Catholicism: Extra Ecclesia, nullus salus
Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215
There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.”
Pope Boniface VIII, In 1302, in his Papal Bull (Unam Sanctam) stated:
“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
MARK 6: Faulty Hermeneutics
Every Christian should have a solid understanding that their interpretation is correct before applying it:
2 Peter 3:16
In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul exhorts Timothy to
Be diligent to present yourself approve to God as a workmen who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.
“accurately handling”: orqotomew which means “cutting straight
In Greek literature, the term was used to describe the task of a guide, whose goal was to cut a straight path
ALL cults ignore of RULES OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION:
Grammatico-syntactical considerations. We must study the grammar and syntactical structure (i.e., word arrangement; structure of passages) meaning of words (lexical detail) the in its original significance:
EXAMPLE: The NWT of John 1:1 reads:
In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
)En a)rx$= h=(n o( lo/goj, kai\ o( lo/goj h=(n pro\j to\n qeo/n, kai\ qeo\j h=(n o( lo/goj.
By ignoring the grammar in the original, they render (qeo\j (theos, God) as indefinite. However, only by not considering the grammar, syntax and, of course, context can an Indefinitized theos interpretation work.
1. qeo\j cannot be indefinite (one God if many) for that would go against John’s own monotheistic theology.
2. theos is, grammatically, an anarthrous predicate nominative (pre-Verbal). An anarthrous nominative PREDICATE tells us something about the subject, logoj. Thus, semantically theos is QUALITATIVE—not indefinite.
- It speaks of the QUALITY of the subject, not identity.
- NOT “WHO,” BUT “WHAT”
- A PREDICATE NOMINATIVE describes the class or category to which the SUBJECT belongs. Hence as to the Logos’s QUALITY as God
- QUALITATIVE AS IN John 1:14; 4:24
3. Syntactically, theos (God) is in the *EMPHATIC POSITION* (FIRST IN THE CLAUSE) (making an indefinite rendering even more improbable).
WORD of FAITH: (esp. Copeland, Myers) USE Luke 23:43 To support the doctrine that Jesus had to go to hell to atone:
Luke 23:43 “And He said to him, Truly, truly I say unto you, Today you will be with Me in paradise”
Also, non-Christian cults ignore
>> Historico-cultural considerations. The understanding of the historical setting in which particular books were written.
ALL Epistles were written to un-deceive Christians.
1st and 2nd John and Col. Galatians and Romans refuted the teachings of the Judaizers; etc.
JWs DENY that Jesus was the Agent of CREATION because of Col. 1:15: (“firstborn, beginning of creation)—but Paul here is refuting the Gnostic doctrines.
1:15 He is the image [ei)kw\n] of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
1:16-17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
1:20: and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 1:22: yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. . . .
2:9 In Him ALL the FULLNESS [plh/rwma] of deity [qeo/thtoj] dwells [katoikei=] in human flesh [swmatikw=j].
They IGNORE Contextual considerations. Recognizing the context. Context always determines the meaning of the passage as well as the meaning of the words (e.g., firstborn; Justified; Kurios; theos; etc.).
THEY IGNORE THE Basic Principals of Hermeneutics
#1, The Bible as Literature. The Bible is to be studied literally. We must know the type of style that is being utilized in certain passages: E.g., Hyperbole (an overstatement for emphasis, Luke 14:26), Puns, Proverbs, Parables,
· Allegories, Phenomenological language (describing God’s activity in an observational fashion, Ps. 19:4),
· Anthropomorphisms (ascribing human characteristics to God to understand his activities), and Zoomorphisms (ascribing animal characteristics, Ps. 91:4). ADV: LDS above
#2. Analogy of Faith. The difficult passages must be interpreted by the clear passages. No contradictions
#3. The Priority of the Didactic (teaching). All historical narratives are to be interpreted by the didactic portions of Scripture. [Example the book of ACTS].
#4. The Priority of the Explicit. The implicit should be interpreted by the explicit (John 3:5).
And FINALLY, #5. Lexical Detail. The original meaning of words in its original significance must be observed (i.e., Heb, Aram. and Gk.).
FOR EXAMPLE, JWs: “Firstborn” (prwto/tokoj) = FIRST ONE CREATED
In Genesis 41:51 Manasseh is called “firstborn” and Ephraim is called “second.” But in Jeremiah 31:9 Ephraim is called “firstborn.”
Exodus 4:22: Israel is called “firstborn.”
Psalm 89:27: David is called “firstborn.”
If Paul wanted to convey that Jesus was “first-created” he certainly could have used the word prwto/-ktistoj meaning “first-created” to do so (cf. 2 Cor. 5:18: kainh\ kti/sij, “new creation
Or the term “Begotten”
- JWs: created
- Oneness the origin of the Son.
- LDS sexual relations
In simple terms, the compound word monogenhj is derived from monos meaning “alone,” or “one,” and genos meaning “class” or “kind.”
Hence, ho monogenēs huios simply means the “one and only Son” (cf. NIV), “unique Son,” or “one of a kind Son” (e.g., Heb. 11:17). Therefore, monogenēs is a relational term (as utilized by the early church), which does not carry the idea of begot,” “to give birth,” etc. The lexical support is overwhelming.
Other mistranslated words: qeo/thtoj (Col. 2:9 “divine quality” NWT);
MARK 7:= The Bible is NOT the sole authority, but secondary to the religious organization.
Every non-Christian cult has a reason as to why sola Scriptura does not work.
- JW: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
- LDS: Quad.
- In their 8th Article of Faith: “We believe that the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God (Pearl of Great Price).
- There were many plain and precious things lost or taken from the Bible.
- Roman Catholicism: Not Scripture alone, but rather Scripture and Tradition are the Word of God
Ex cathedra (Vatican I, 1870 pope Pius IX)
Too frequently, the “Spirit” supersedes the Bible.
WE are told to TEST ALL THINGS
Do not GO BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN (1 Cor. 4:6)
Acts 17:11 vs. 2 Thess. 2:1-2*
MARK 8: Doctrinal and/or Textual Changes.
JWs: False Prophecies;
NWT John 1:1; 8:58; Col. 2:9
LDS: False Prophecies (polygamy[JD 11:269]; Blacks). Early teachings VS. Modern teachings;
JST at John 1:19 (1:18)
MARK 9: Causing feelings of guilt when leaving.
Brigham Young claimed that these who leave the Mormon Church would turn “wrinkled” and “black.” The following curse was pronounced by Brigham Young:
“But let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332
MARK 10: TOTAL APOSTASY
Both the LDS and JWs assert that the entire church subsequent to the death of the apostles fell into total apostasy.
Both groups misuse 1 Tim. 4:1 (“some will fall away”) and
2 Thess 2:3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (future?).
>>At what doctrinal point did the early church (some of which were disciples of the original apostles) err? What is the evidence?
1. No passage in the Bible teaches that a TOTAL APOSTASY will happen.
2. Jesus said that I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it
3. Eph. 3:21: to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
LDS scholars disagree as to the time of this so-called apostasy.
The notion that there was in fact a TOTAL apostasy is fundamentally indispensable for the RELIGION OF THE LDS.
IF no TOTAL APOSTASY, —then, no need for a restoration—- and hence no need for a restorer—Joseph Smith.
The churches in Rev. 2-3 the 7 churches. Rev, was written c. A.D. 80-90.
1 Peter 3:15 commands all Christians to always be ready to give a defense to give and answer for that defense, with gentleness and respect.
JOHN 17:3 JOHN 8:24
 Paul utilizes different prepositions to amplify his case: All things were created “by Him” (en + dat.); “through Him” (dia + gen.); “for Him” (eis + acc.); and “in Him” (en + dat.).
 o(/ti e)n au)t%= katoikei= pa=n to\ plh/rwma th=j qeo/thtoj swmatikw=j
 Bernard unthinkingly explains that the term translated “begotten” means:
“to procreate, to father, to sire.” Thus, begotten indicates a definite point in time—the point at which conception takes place. There must be a time when the begetter [the Father] exists and the begotten [the Son] is not yet in existence, and there must be a point in time when the act of begetting occurs. . . . . So, the very words begotten and Son each contradict the word eternal as applied to the Son of God.
 (1 Nephi 13:20, 28; 14:23).