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Jude Lesson 4

RETURN TO SYLLABUS

LESSON #4
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CULTS

MEMORY VERSE: JUDE 1:24

EVERY YEAR THERE ARE MORE AND MORE CULT GROUPS, EACH WITH ITS OWN AGENDA, ITS UNIQUEBODY OF BELIEF, AND ITS OWN PERSUASIVE TACTICS. BECAUSE EVERY DAY NEW GROUPS FORM, IT WILLNOT HELP FOR ME TO LIST GROUPS FOR YOU. AS SOON AS YOU MAKE A LIST, IT IS IMMEDIATELY OUTOF DATE. THEREFORE, INSTEAD OF GIVING YOU A LIST OF NAMES OF CULT GROUPS, I WANT TO GIVEYOU PRINCIPLES SO THAT YOU CAN PERSONALLY DETERMINE IF A GROUP IS A CULT OR NOT.

1. THE THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

SO FAR IN OUR STUDY OF 1AND 2JOHN AND JUDE, WE HAVE DETERMINED THE FOLLOWING TRUTHS:

A. ANY DOCTRINE THAT DEVIATES FROM THE GOSPEL OF THE APOSTLES IS A FALSE DOCTRINE,”ANOTHER GOSPEL”, APOSTASY, AND FOOD FOR CULTIC BELIEF. 1JOH 4:1 2JOH 1:9-10(GAL 1:6-9)

B. BECAUSE THE TRUE WORD OF GOD IS THE AUTHORITY FOR DOCTRINE AND THE BASIS OF TRUTH,ANY DEVIATION FROM IT (ADDING TO IT, OR DELETING FROM IT) IS FOOD FOR CULTIC BELIEF. (2TIM3:16 DEU 4:2 REV 22:18-19)

THAT IS WHY WE STUDIED THE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE.

CULT GROUPS ARE NOT NEW TO OUR PRESENT DAY. THEY EXISTED FROM

THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH. IN 1JOHN AND 2JOHN I TALKED A LOT

ABOUT THE GNOSTICS. THERE WERE OTHER GROUPS AS WELL. IT MIGHT BE

HELPFUL TO SEE WITH WHICH DOCTRINES THE EARLY CHURCH STRUGGLED.

IN 319 AD AT THE TIME CONSTANTINE WAS EMPEROR OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, THERE AROSE A GREATDEBATE THAT THREATENED THE DOCTRINE OF THE WHOLE CHURCH. THIS THREAT REVOLVED AROUND THEVERY VOCAL BELIEFS OF TWO MEN, ARIUS AND ATHANASIUS. YOU DECIDE WHICH ONE WAS RIGHT.

ARIUS ATHANASIUS
“IF THE FATHER BEGAT THE SON, THEN HE WHO WAS BEGOTTEN HAD A BEGINNING IN EXISTENCE, AND FROM THIS IT FOLLOWS THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE SON WAS NOT.” ARIUS, A LIBYAN ABOUT 300 AD “AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME–THIS IS THE WONDER–AS MAN, HE WAS LIVING A HUMAN LIFE; AND AS WORD, HE WAS SUSTAINING THE LIFE OF THE UNIVERSE; AND AS SON, HE WAS IN CONSTANT UNION WITH THE FATHER.” ATHANASIUS
“CHRIST WAS THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. WHEN HE WAS BORN ON EARTH, HE WAS NOT THE SAME SUBSTANCE AS GOD, THE FATHER. ” ARIUS “THE SOLIDARITY OF HUMANKIND IS SUCH THAT, BY VIRTUE OF THE WORD’S INDWELLING IN A SINGLE HUMAN BODY, THE CORRUPTION THAT GOES WITH DEATH HAS LOST IS POWER OVER ALL.” ATHANASIUS
“GOD WAS NOT ALWAYS A FATHER. HE BECAME A FATHER WHEN JESUS WAS BORN ON EARTH.” ARIUS
“THE FATHER CANNOT BE DESCRIBED BY THE SON, FOR THE WORD DOES NOT KNOW THE FATHER PERFECTLY AND ACCURATELY.” ARIUS  

 

 

 

HISTORY TELLS US THAT A POPULAR MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE THOUGHT ARIUS WAS RIGHT. THECOUNCIL OF NICEA ACTUALLY BY A MIRACLE DECIDED THAT ATHANASIUS WAS RIGHT. THE COUNCIL THENWROTE THE NICENE CREED CONSIDERED STANDARD DOCTRINE OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES EVEN TODAY. MANYCHURCHES REPEAT EITHER THE NICENE CREED OR THE APOSTLES’ CREED PERIODICALLY IN CHURCHSERVICES.

NICENE CREED APOSTLES’ CREED
“WE BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF ALL THINGS VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, AND IN ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE WORD OF GOD, GOD FROM GOD, LIGHT FROM LIGHT, LIFE FROM LIFE, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THE FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE, BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER BEFORE ALL WORLDS, THROUGH WHOM ALSO ALL THINGS WERE MADE. WHO FOR OUR SALVATION WAS MADE FLESH AND LIVED AMONG MEN, AND SUFFERED AND ROSE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY, AND ASCENDED TO THE FATHER, AND SHALL COME AGAIN IN GLORY TO JUDGE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD.

AND IN THE ONE HOLY GHOST. BELIEVING EACH OF THEM TO BE AND TO HAVE EXISTED, THE FATHER, ONLY THE FATHER, AND THE SON, ONLY THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST, ONLY THE HOLY GHOST. ” NICEA CREED

“I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH; AND IN JESUS CHRIST HIS ONLY SON OUR LORD; WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY GHOST, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY, SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND BURIED; HE DESCENDED INTO HELL; THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD; HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND SITTETH ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY; FROM THENCE HE SHALL COME TO JUDGE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD. I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY GHOST; THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH; THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS; THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS; THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY; AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN.”

THE (PROTESTANT) APOSTLES’ CREED 150 AD.

 

2. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

CULT GROUPS MEET CERTAIN NEEDS IN PEOPLE, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT BE SO POPULARLYPERSUASIVE. THERE ARE MANY REASONS FOR THEIR ABILITY TO PERSUADE PEOPLE INTO ERROR. WEWILL EXAMINE SOME OF THOSE REASONS. CULT GROUPS HAVE MANY THINGS IN COMMON PSYCHOLOGICALLYTHAT MAKE THEM A CULT, EVEN THOUGH DOCTRINES MAY DIFFER.. IT IS THAT COMMON PSYCHOLOGICALTHREAD THAT WE WILL EXAMINE.

A. A DISENCHANTMENT WITH CHRISTIANITY

ALL PEOPLE HAVE NEEDS IN THIS LIFE. WE ALL SEEK TO HAVE OUR NEEDS MET IN SOME WAY OROTHER.CHRIST AND THE CHURCH SHOULD BE ABLE TO MEET ALL OF OUR NEEDS.

1. GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL OF YOUR NEEDS (PHI 4:19)

THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING.

SOME PEOPLE LEAVE A CHURCH OR FORSAKE CHRIST BECAUSE THEY INTERPRET IT THAT WAY. THEYTHINK ALL THEIR NEEDS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE MET BY THE CHURCH. IF THE CHURCH DOES NOT MEETTHEIR EXPECTATIONS, THEY ARE EASILY DECEIVED BY A CULT GROUP THAT SEEMS TO EASILY MEETTHEIR NEEDS.

MAT 6:32 SAYS THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON TO SEEK FIRST GOD’SKINGDOM.

THEREFORE, THE FAILURE OF MET NEEDS IS THAT OF THE INDIVIDUAL NOT THAT OF THE CHURCH ORCHRIST.

2. IN ROM 15:19 PAUL SAYS HE PREACHED THE GOSPEL FULLY WITH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN THEPOWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE “FULL” GOSPEL IS ONE THAT PREACHES CHRIST WHO IS ABLE AND WILLING TO MEETMAN’S NEEDS, BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT.

MANY “CHRISTIAN” CHURCHES DO NOT PREACH A “FULL” GOSPEL. IN OTHERWORDS THEY SAY THAT THE AGE OF MIRACLES AND HEALINGS PASSED WHEN THE APOSTLES DIED. IFCHRISTIANS DO NOT PREACH A “FULL” GOSPEL, PEOPLE SEEK OTHER RELIGIONS TO GETTHESE NEEDS MET.

FOR EXAMPLE:

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE THAT PREACHES HEALING, THE “NAME IT CLAIM IT” GROUPS THATPREACH PROSPERITY, ETC.

THEREFORE, THE FAILURE OF MET NEEDS IS THAT OF THE CHURCH THAT DOES NOT PREACH CHRIST”FULLY”. HEB 13:8

3. DISENCHANTMENT WITH TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY SOMETIMES OCCURS WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE VIEWTHE LIFESTYLES OF “CHRISTIANS” WITHIN THE TRADITIONAL CHURCH.

THEY DO NOT SEE THE LEVEL OF COMMITMENT AND SURRENDER OF WHICH THE BIBLE SPEAKS.

THEREFORE, THEY SEEK A MORE HIGHLY COMMITTED CULT GROUP.

THEREFORE, THE FAILURE IS THAT OF “TRUE BELIEVERS” WITHIN THE LOCAL CHRISTIANCHURCHES THAT DO NOT DEMONSTRATE A SURRENDERED LIFESTYLE.

HOMEWORK

MEMORY VERSE: 1CORINTHIANS 16:13

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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