How To Recognize a Cult or False Religion

Would you recognize a cult?

Can you recognize a false religion?

Is Your Church Free From Cultic Tendencies?


It is obviously true that we are in the greatest apostasy the world has ever seen.  It stands to reason that we will be seeing more and more cults spring up around the world.  Cults come in all forms and shapes and sizes.  It can get somewhat confusing.  There are many different denominations today, along with many different belief systems. Couple that with various churches that seem to be mainstream and yet have subtle false teachings.  Worse yet, many cults hide behind a little truth from the Bible.  Mix a little truth with a little false teaching and you have a slick cult group.  These are the most dangerous ones because they can deceive even long time Christians. 

So how can we recognize them when we see them? 

Fortunately, there is a simple solution.  No man needs to be a rocket scientist to be able to recognize false teachers and cult groups when he sees them.  The simple answer is this: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD.  Our Creator has left his Word with us.  We can know exactly what He say’s and what He teaches by studying His Words.  We don’t need to study the cults and the false teachers.  We need not examine all of the counterfeits out there.  We only need to study the real mccoy.  If any teaching does not line up with the Word of God, you can safely write it off as being a counterfeit.  The more we study the Word of God, the more easy it becomes to recognize a false teaching when it pops up. We get letters all the time saying “well who has put you in such authority? what makes you people think you are so correct?”.   Comments like these come from confused and unsettled spirits.  You don’t need to be an ordained authority to know and understand the Word of God.  God put forth His Word for ALL of us to study and know.  My 9 year old child reads the Bible and understands many things in it.  It is not amazing that even he can recognize false teachings easily.  This is because he reads the real mccoy. He knows what God say’s. 

Unfortunately, many are too prideful and too rebellious to actually sit down and take up pen and parchment and spend time laboring over the study of the Word.  They would rather base their beliefs on things they have heard on television or read in books or seen at religious gatherings where some false teaching was presented.  Then when a well studied Bible believing Christian tells them “hey, brother, you have that wrong, that’s not what God teaches us…” that person becomes defensive. He will go through a whole process of semantics for escaping conviction. He will begin pointing the finger at the Bible believer saying “well what makes you so perfect hmmm?”  or  “well you’re just as much of a sinner as I am!” or “hey fella, Jesus loves me just as much as He loves you! I don’t have to know that Bible, Jesus loves me anyhow!” Sometimes that person will even go way off on a tiff about something that does not even pertain to the subject matter such as “well I happen to know that last month you committed such and such a sin!”  Reader, we do not profess to be perfectly righteous Christians. We know and understand that Jesus Christ is the only man among us who lived His life perfectly without sin.  We do not exalt ourselves above other believers.  We openly profess that ALL believers can know and understand the Word of God.  It is for you as well as it is for us. We not only profess it, but we encourage it! Please, read and study the Word of God. So please do not send us letters telling us about how self righteous we are or how we exalt ourselves above others by trying to teach the Bible.  Times are prosperous right now and Bible’s are easy to get ahold of.  You can if you wish, choose to study to shew thyself approved as well as we can. 

Now back to the cults.

Cults and false teachers are not necessarily the same.  There can be false teachers standing in the pulpit in America’s Churches who are not cultists, but are merely misguided in their teachings because they haven’t taken a close enough look at the scriptures. And indeed there are.  But it really doesn’t matter if you are listening to and following the teachings of a cultist or a false teacher does it? A false teaching is a false teaching no matter where it comes from. All the sincere believer needs to do is stay in the King James Bible and he will be able to recognize false teachings.  Use the King James Bible like a straight edge.  Hold it next to any teaching you hear, and it will show all the curves and angles of that teaching. Now is that simple enough? You bet it is! If my 9 year old boy can do it, then you better believe you can do it!

Some of the more major guidelines in recognizing false teachings and cultic beliefs. These are but a few of the most major doctrines of the Bible.  If your pastor is teaching against any of the below, you need to get out of where you are.

1) Is your pastor teaching you that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved?
 Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

2) Is your pastor teaching you that Jesus Christ died for you and rose again on the 3rd day?
 1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him

3) Is your pastor teaching you that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one?
 1Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 

 1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one

4) Is your pastor teaching salvation by grace through faith alone?
 Eph 2:8 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

5) Is your pastor teaching you that you cannot lose your salvation?
 1Cor 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

 John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

 Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption

6) Is your pastor teaching you of the Virgin birth?
 Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 
 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. 

7) Is your pastor teaching your congregation to worship Jesus and not Jesus’ mother? 
 1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

 Ho 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. 

8) Is your pastor teaching you that remission of sin is through confession of sin to Jesus Christ and not to him (your pastor) or any other man or proclaiming priest?
 Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 

 Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 

9) Is your pastor teaching you that your sin is forgiven by God because of Jesus’  bloodshed sacrifice on the cross and that His sacrifice is the final and complete sacrifice for remission of sin?
 John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

 Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 
 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 

10) Is your pastor teaching that all people have the right to call on Jesus to be saved because Christ died for all people and that who ever wants to be saved can be?
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

 Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.