FEAR & HOW TO RECOGNIZE A CULT
By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley
“How often we judge that we see and hear and then create an image that we fear when in reality we have nothing to base such fears upon. There is such a thing as danger and it must be dealt with but even danger should be dealt with courageously. Fear is… a feeling. You feel hot. You feel cold. You feel afraid. Too much hot, too much cold….too much fear can kill you. It can kill you not only physically but long before it kills you physically it will kill your heart, mind, spirit and soul. It can turn the most valiant of heroes into a blubbering, thumb sucking weakling.
“Here is the reality though. Fear is an illusion. It is a figment of your imagination, a product of your mind. It is your imagination used wrongly. To control your imagination and to be untouchable by fear though struck down by real danger you still win. To respond in fear to any situation, you have already lost, unless you recognize it soon enough and pull out of its vortex that will surely drag you down to destruction if you allow it. The battle is not won or lost on the battlefield. It is won or lost right here.” He said as he pointed to his head. I cannot even explain the effect his words had upon me. It wasn’t that I could not speak, there was just no need to speak.
“When you sit upon a chair believing it will hold you, this is faith. If you begin to over analyze and create all kinds of made up reasons in your mind why you think the chair will not hold you this only results in you being very tired from standing when you could have just sat down and rested. Then someone comes along and sits in the chair and you feel really stupid. This is fear. It is the opposite of faith.
You should redirect its force and turn that which was meant to destroy you into something that serves you. Fear should be your slave, not your master. You deflect every attack and win every battle when fear and the enemy’s lies are not defended in your own strength or perceived as things seem to appear but are defended with truth. You trust your quest will succeed and you proceed from a place of confidence and a trust in he who has called you. In this you do well. Do so in all things. For is life itself not a quest?”
— Jazeer, Book 2 of RAVENQUEST, ‘The Scroll & The Key’
WHAT IS A CULT?
By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley
There is a lot of misunderstanding about what a cult is these days. When you think of cults you probably think of Jim Jones or orange chafron robes or that ring of the doorbell. And those may be examples of cults, but the best definition of a cult I have ever heard is by a cult expert, Walter R. Martin, in his very fine book, Kingdom of the Cults. He gave three tenets for identifying a cult. He said if a belief system includes one or more of the following then it is a cult. They are as follows: 1) They deify man. 2) They humanize God. 3) They ostracize the scriptures. That broadens your consideration and thinking doesn’t it? If I were to add one I would also say they have a leader that demands unquestioning loyalty either in direct or subtle manipulative ways. That tenet could also very well fall under, they deify man, I suppose.
I submit to you that as dangerous as the openly obvious cults are that this definition can possibly include the church you are going to. Don’t misjudge what I am saying, I’m not saying the church you are attending is a cult I just want to give you some clear criteria to judge a church by that you may be attending or considering attending. It is then up to you to prayerfully decide whether you should be part of that congregation. The Bible says, “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Are you willing to follow the truth as God leads no matter how radical it may be? The enemy seems to have been successful at doing something the church has not been able to do: cross all denominational barriers and integrate his damnable theology into many churches! Maybe you don’t think the devil goes to church. I submit to you that there are more devils in churches than in the bars, for that is where the saints dwell that he wants to stop, he already has the ones in the bars. And sadly, I fear, he has so integrated himself into some churches and their leadership that he feels very welcome there. I fear many churches are so well organized with their programs and their preacher so professional that they probably wouldn’t even notice if God withdrew His Holy Spirit from them. They would not miss a lick! They would carry on as usual with their little religious social club.
Let’s think about this cult thing. Is your church built around a personality? Could your church carry on without that one leading your church (Pastor, Shepherd, etc.)? Though that Pastor from your pulpit claims to give God all the glory, does he really? I have seen it so much it makes me sick and I know it probably makes God sick for some human being to get the glory only God deserves. Oh sure, many of them are so good at manipulating their congregation’s thinking by their ‘humble’ sounding words. “I’m just an instrument being used by God” while all the while interjecting things like: “I’m the visionary”, “I’m the prophet of this house”, “touch not God’s anointed”, “I am the oracle of God”. Oftentimes they are very eloquent. Beware of their smooth words and manipulation. Before a congregation knows it they have deified a man. Oh, they would never admit it but their actions say differently.
Listen closely to what is preached. Read between the lines. Be knowledgeable in the Word of God for yourself so you can judge for yourself if what is being preached is biblical. I left a church recently where the Pastor used his pulpit to promote his own agenda. He would spew out and put down openly those who opposed him. You could not question him. Especially when it came to money. Ask him about money and he would say, “you don’t need to worry about that” or “trust your leader”. Try to discuss something with him he would be as sweet sounding while the whole time twisting scriptures out of context to attempt to bring you back into line under his unquestioning loyalty. He would speak with confidence what God was telling him to do but wait a while and God would be telling him something totally different later. He was wishy-washy, arrogant and kept those in the inner circle of leadership in a constant state of confusion.
It is OK to question! If you are attending a congregation where you are told not to question then get out even if they are a generally trusted denomination! You are in a cult! That doesn’t make the entire denomination necessarily evil but separate yourself from that assembly. Even the scriptures say “Try the spirits and see if they are of God” (1 John 4:1).
Do they ostracize the scriptures? You need to know the Bible for yourself otherwise how will you know whether what they are saying is scriptural. I went to one church where the Pastor told me God had showed him that when Jesus was on Earth that the devil didn’t even know he was the son of God. How could that be scriptural when demons cried out of demon possessed people, “I know who thou art. Thou art the Holy one of God.” (Mark 1:24).
Beware! It gets worse. It isn’t always that plain at first. Some preachers start out well but somewhere the enemy gets massaging that ego and giving them extra-biblical revelation making them feel special. Before long they are only using the Bible when they need to back up something they said. I have heard entire sermons where not even one scripture was used.
Let me conclude with what the scriptures say:
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 Timothy 3:2-7
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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