Dear Householder, since we began distributing the accompanying warning tract "Beware the Cults" in your area, the Christadelphians are the only group who have attempted to reply publicly (at a meeting in the Memorial Hall, Wentloog Road, Cardiff, on 30th June 1998). Their reply, given by Stephen Palmer, was littered with false claims - such as the accusation that we claim they manipulate or brain-wash people - and the claim that the Cardiff Protestant martyr, Rawlins White, was a Christadelphian! We supplied a full 20-page reply to the Christadelphians (as well as having previously answered all their other queries regarding this tract in writing). We have received absolutely no reply to the points we made. The report is now available in the Christadelphian section and we will soon be adding e-mail comments from Christadelphians.How many other dangerous spiritual deceptions are in the world?
We have received communications from some quarters which query our approach to other religions - some of which fit the general label of cult as defined on our tract. As a result of the accusation that we are demonstrating "religious intolerance" we intend to answer the letters we have received by carefully and accurately examining the claims of two organisations (the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses) who claim that they alone are the true expression of Christian truth. The news-letter/website record covering these topics can also be obtained from the same address.
It would be difficult to list every existing deception in the world today, but since the growing revival in interest in ancient religions there has been a surge of interest under the umbrella of such as the New Age Movement. Many people have become involved in practices which are described as holistic or disguised under health regimes and therefore not advertised as "religion" by their guru's or teachers, e.g. Yoga & Reflexology. Others are advertised as being of benefit to the mind and body as well as giving you the confidence to be able to defend yourself from violent personal attack; these are particularly appealing to those living in fear in today's society. The "softer" martial arts promise peace & tranquillity through such practices as Tae Kwon-Do & Aikido. We are grateful that many serious exponents of all of these movements are honest enough to admit that you cannot separate the spiritual from the physical elements of the practice - i.e. you CANNOT get the full benefit from Yoga unless you enter into serious meditation which goes hand in hand with the physical movements. ALL of these practices are in reality religious and it is a serious matter to become involved with the forces which power the adherents. As an example, consider the incredible acts witnessed in Karate - the force generated by small & seemingly frail bodies to crush immensely strong wood & stone structures. Many people wonder about the public demonstrations often observed in the media & even express the view that there must be deception involved, e.g. the wooden boards broken must somehow have been weakened prior to the demonstration. Allowing for the presence of some charlatans in all walks of life we concede that the more serious practitioners involved are, indeed, capable of these unfeigned acts of strength. But how? We also allow as fact that the strength feats are not performed by power emanating from the human body, but by supernatural forces which can enter into the body of the practitioner! We fully expect the rationalistic Western mind to deny that this is possible - but we have observed the demonstrations and listened to the testimonies of former practitioners of Martial Arts and we agree with them in one respect - only those who truly embrace the spiritual forces empowering these religions can achieve these feats of dubious worth! It is also the testimony of many who have been involved in these other religions and then accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and become Christians that they were possessed of un-natural forces whilst in these other religions. What cannot be disputed is that until this century the martial arts were regarded as a way of life (the "Do" often found in the name) but practitioners recognised that this would not sell in the West so the emphasis was made towards self-protection (popularised by Kung-Fu films etc.). As an expression of spirituality & religious discipline they were most often practiced in conjunction with Taoism, Buddhism (usually Zen), or Yoga. The "Art" in "Martial Arts" did not refer to the skill in combat but to the philosophy of life and thus made a clear emphasis distinguishing these Oriental systems from comparable Western combat skills such as wrestling & boxing.The choice is between God and the Devil!
We recognise that these views will be rejected by other faiths and even condemned by some people who call themselves Christians, but these spiritual deceptions continue to deceive the ignorant & unwary - there is an old saying, "You cannot play in the coal-shed without getting dirty."
True spirituality is only available through Jesus Christ who is Lord of everything - both physical and spiritual - choose outside of Him and you flirt with deception
Dabble with the Devil's spiritual powers and those powers will dabble with you!
Are you involved in any of these practices?
We have given a fairly comprehensive list of false religions, "Christian" cults and dangerous occultic practices below. If you cannot find the practice you wish to enquire after try comparing it with similar practices, e.g. divination comes in many forms from reading tea-leaves to I Ching, Tarot, and the Ouija board - but the material used is not the important factor - it is the motive. As an example consider that an ordinary pack of cards can be used for Tarot readings if you attribute the same, or similar meanings, to individual cards. It is the malevolent spirits who make the rules - not you! This does not mean, of course, that the innocent will suddenly embrace the occult while playing bridge or whist - although, like many other paths, it may be the beginning of a gambling addiction! So beware the danger. If you use any material on earth to enquire into the spirit world you give the opportunity for malevolent forces to use these things as a gateway into your life! Check out what you are involved in! God forbids contacting spirits, consulting mediums, casting spells or looking for omens (e.g. Tarot & Horoscopes) as is made clear in the Bible, e.g. Leviticus 19:26-31; 20:6,27; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 28:4-22; 1 Chronicles 10:13; Jeremiah 27:9; Micah 5:12; Acts 19:11-20. Don't be deceived by thinking that 'white magic' is safe - this originates with the Devil too. The results of encounters with unwholesome spiritual forces are often depression, suicidal tendencies, and harmfully compulsive behaviour.
To the Christian all divination is empowered by the Devil (Satan) & his demons and we have the clear warning from the Bible of King Saul who was rejected by God and resorted to communication with the dead (calling up the spirit of Samuel!) through the Witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28v4-22). Saul knew that he was commissioned by God to rid the land of mediums, fortune-tellers, diviners & witches (1 Samuel 28v3) & yet completed his rebellion by this act of utter foolishness involving a sacred vow (v10) to protect the enemies of God! God then allowed Samuel to return & deliver the confirmation that God had rejected him and chosen David (v17). Saul died soon afterwards in tragic circumstances (1 Samuel 31). This is the only time in Scripture & the history of the world that we know that the spirit of a dead man was allowed to return to earth. Why did the witch scream when she saw Samuel (v12)? Because she was used to deceiving evil spirits (demons) impersonating those she called "up" to earn her money - but on this occasion God allowed the real Samuel to complete His judgment on Saul! This is one of the reasons we know that attempting to contact the dead by spiritism/spiritualism/mediumship (even disguised as "Christian" Spiritualism) is forbidden by God.
Don't be deceived - all spirituality comes from focussing on some spiritual force, but there are only two sources - the God of the Bible and Satan. Some will try to argue that their source is "good" - but the Lord Jesus Christ (who claimed full deity, that is, full equality with God) said the only one who is good is God! (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19). So do not be deceived into thinking that "white magic" is alright - ALL supernatural magic originates with the Devil! Do not assume that divination methods are good for you because you sometimes get information that appears correct - and do not assume that Yoga-type exercises are harmless because you feel healthy & spiritual. Those who assume this fail to realise what has happened: powers which are not from God, and which have supplied the information or spiritual power, begin to work in the life of the person who contacted them. Their goal is to "rearrange" that person's life so that the information they give will become true. Occasionally, or often enough, they succeed.
FALSE RELIGIONS & CULTS CHECKLIST
Abstract art (under hallucinogenic stimulus); Acupuncture; Aikido; Amulets (tigers claw, sharks tooth, horseshoe over door mascots, ear-rings, talismans); Ankh (cross with a ring top used in Satanism); Apparitions; Astral travel; Astrology (divination); Augury (interpreting omens); Automatic writing; Bird flight divination; Birth signs; Black arts; Black magic (involving hidden powers for evil ends); Black mass; Blood pacts; Cartomancy (using playing cards); Chain letters; Charming or enchanting (attempts to use spirit power); Charms (e.g. for wart removal or enchanting); Chinese astrology; Clairaudience (attempting communication with the dead); Clairsentience (supernatural sense perception); Clairvoyance (supernormal vision or second sight); Colour therapy; Concept therapy; Conjuration (summoning up spirits); Contact with corpses; Coven (of witches or Satanists); Crystal ball gazing; Crystals; Death magic (name of sickness plus a written spell is cast into coffin or grave); Deja Vu experiences; Demon worship; Disembodied spirits; Divining rod, twig, planchette or pendulum; Dowsing or witching (for water, minerals, underground cables or sexing unborn child); Dream interpretation (e.g. Edgar Cayce's works); Dungeons and Dragons (role play and fantasy books); Eastern meditation religions - Gurus etc.; Ectoplasm (unknown substance from body of a medium); Enchanting; ESP (extra sensory perception); EST (Erhard seminar training); Findhorn teachings; Floating trumpets (spiritism); Fortune telling; Freemasonry (worship of occultic gods); Gothic Rock Music (occultic lyrics); Graphology/Graphodiagnostics/Graphotherapy (divination by handwriting analysis); Gypsy curses; Halloween (festival of Samhain, the occultic god of the dead); Handwriting analysis; Hapkido; Hwarang Do; Hard/Heavy Rock Music (some Satanic/occultic lyrics); Hepatoscopy (examination of liver for interpretation); Hex signs (hexagrams); Homeopathy; Horoscopes; Horse shoe (over door); Hydromancy (divination by viewing images in water); Idols (worship of house idols in disguise, e.g. Sheng Fui); Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy (communication with demons - particularly in deeper stages when voices speak out of subject & try to convince of past lives, e.g. Regression therapy); Incantations; lridology (eye diagnosis); Jeanne Dixon (medium used by Nancy Reagan); Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (Richard Bach's New Age occultism in disguise); Judo; Ju Jutsu (or Jiu Jitsu); Kabala (occultic basis of Freemasonry as admitted by Masonic hierarchy - Pike & Mackey) ; Karate (sometimes classed with Kempo); Kendo (and Iaido); Kong Soo Do; Kuk sul; Kyudo; Kung-fu (or Chuan Fa or Wu Shu); Levitation; Lucky charms (or signs of the zodiac or birthstones); Martial arts (Karate, Kung fu, Tae kwondo, Aikido, Judo etc.); Mascots; Matthew Manning (occultic healing); Mediums; Mental suggestion; Mental telepathy; Mental therapy; Mesmerism; Metaphysics (occult study of spirit world); Mind control; Mind dynamics; Mind mediumship; Mind reading; Moon-mancy; Motorskopua (mechanical pendulum for diagnosing illness); Mysticism; Necromancy (conjuring up spirits of the dead); Ninjutsu; Numerical symbolism; Numerology; Occultic games; Occult letters of protection; Occult literature (e.g. the 6th and 7th "Book of Moses," The Book of Venus, The Other Side, The Greater World, works by Jacob Lorber, Edgar Cayce, Dennis Wheatley, Eckhart, Johannes Greber); Okinawa-te; Omens; Ouija boards; Pagan fetishes; Pagan religious objects, artifacts and relics; Pagan rites (Voodoo, Sing sings, Corroborees, Fire walking); Palmistry; PK (parakineses - control of objects by the power of the mind and will); Parapsychology (PSI) - especially study of demonic activity; Pendulum diagnosis (divination); Phrenology (divining/analysis from the skull); Planchette (divining); Precognition (seeking foreknowledge of events by occultism); Psychic healing; Psychic sight; Psychography (use of heart-shaped board); Psychometry (telling fortunes by lifting or holding objects belonging to the enquirer); Punk rock music (lyrics inciting rebellion against God); Pyramidology (mystic powers associated with models of pyramids); Radiesthesia (divination); Rebirthing; Reincarnation; Rhabdomancy (casting sticks into the air for interpreting omens); Satanism; Seances; Self-hypnosis; Sheng Fui (see Idols); Shirley MacLaine; Shree Rajneesh; Signifying pagan days (worship of occultic demon-gods); Silva Mind Control (SMC Psychorientology); Sorcery; Spells; Spirit knockings or rappings; Star signs; Stichomancy (fortune telling from random reference to books); Stigmata (wounds that may or may not bleed particularly in Roman Catholicism); Superstitions (particularly family traditional superstitions); Table tipping; Tae Kwon DoTai Chi Chuan; Tang Soo Do; Thai Kick Boxing; Tode; Tarot cards (22 picture cards for fortune telling); Tea-leaf reading; Thought transference; TK (telekineses - transporting objects around room, instruments play, engines start etc.); T.M. (Transcendental Meditation); Trances; Transmigration; Travel of the soul; UFO fixation; Uri Geller; Vadha (or Vajra Vashta); Viet Do Dao; White Magic (invoking hidden powers for "good ends"); Witchcraft; Yoga (involves Eastern demon worship); Zodiac charms, birthdates; Zodiac signs
There are many others - so follow the advice of the early Christian converts: "Many of those who had practiced their magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver" (Acts 19:19)
GROUPS IN TRANSITION
Agnosticism; Anthrosophy; Atheism; Bahai; Buddhism; Children of God (now called The Family); Christadelphians; Christian Science; Confucianism; Druids; Existentialism; Freemasonry (including The Eastern Star, Daughters of Job, Daughters of the Nile, Rainbow Girls, The Shriners, The Elks, Amaranth Demolay, White Shrine); Gurus; Hare Krishna; Hinduism; Inner Peace Movement; Islam; Japanese Flower Arranging (sun worship); Jehovah's Witnesses; Moonies (Unification Church); Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints); New Age; Rangatuism; Rastafarianism; Ratanaism; Roman Catholicism; Rosecrucianism; Scientology; Secret Societies (includes Freemasonry); Shamanism; Shintoism; Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship; Spiritualism; Theosophy; Transcendental Meditation; Unitarian; (The) Way International
Seventh-Day Adventists; Worldwide Church of God - these two groups have moved nearer to orthodoxy over the years, but still bear marks of the cults in some aberrational teachings; Word of Faith (Kings Church, Newport) - this is probably the main church in Britain which gives access to the aberrational & heretical teachings originating from E.W. Kenyon which have been plagiarised by Kenneth Hagin & promulgated by K. & G. Copeland; J. Avanzini; M. Hickey; J. Savelle; M. Cerullo & many others. Families have lost loved ones because of these heresies which have led to deaths!There is only ONE way out - New Life in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Good health, wholeness, and peace can only come through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who is not only Lord and Almighty God of the Universe but has also shown us that He wants to be your FRIEND! You can only be His friend by abiding with Him in a daily loving relationship in prayer & fellowship in which you obey His commands (read John 15v1-19) out of love for what He has done for you in dying on a cross at Calvary to pay for all your sins (John 3v16). You cannot earn His love by doing good works, but need to surrender all your life to Him & receive eternal life as a FREE GIFT (Ephesians 2v8-10; Titus 3v5). He saves us to do good works which He has prepared beforehand for us to do - but we can do no good without surrendering our lives to Him first. Do not try and be like those who try and prove their righteousness by leaving God out of their plans and doing things their way. God described such efforts as offering filthy rags to Him! (Isaiah 64v6).
If you are already involved in any of the philosophies or religions mentioned above - or recognise the basis from the general descriptions given - you may already be subtly influenced into accepting some teacher's spiritual input depending on the emphasis given & upon your interest in the method as a form of spirituality - even without you knowing it. Such influence can give you a false sense of security about your position in the world & particularly your relationship with God - leading you to neglect His unique provision in Jesus Christ. True spirituality is only available through Jesus Christ who is Lord of All - physical & spiritual.
God has plans for each one of us that are "good and not evil" (Jeremiah 29v11). Just like Adam & Eve, we all have the same tendency to go our own way (Isaiah 53v6; Mark 7v21) and our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59v2). But God has prepared a way back to Him. The Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, came from heaven to earth to die on a cross willingly for ALL our sins (1 Corinthians 15v3; Ephesians 1:7;1 John 1:7; Romans 5:9; Hebrews 13:12). Jesus died & was buried but came back on the third day as He predicted (John 2v18-22 & 10v17-18). Before He returned to heaven He promised to send the Holy Spirit who will live in all those who trust in Jesus - giving them power & ability to live as He wants them to (Acts 1v8).
No matter what you have been involved in you can be forgiven by Jesus TODAY for ETERNITY! (Luke 23:39-43). Just pray a simple prayer of forgiveness something like this one:
Dear God, I am sorry for all my sins. I want to renounce ALL my past & go your way. Thank you that you died on a cross & were punished in my place so that I could be forgiven. I am willing to turn right now from all that I know to be wrong & put my trust in You Jesus Christ as my Saviour & Lord. Please make my life clean & send the Holy Spirit to fill me and take control. Help me to become the kind of person you want me to be, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Jesus promises that all who trust Him to save them HAVE eternal life (John 3v36) & will not perish after death for He will never leave you & no one can take you from Him (John 10v28; Hebrews 13v5) for you are now an adopted child of God (John 1v12)!
To keep on the right pathway:
talk to God every day in prayer & don't try to hide any sin (1 John 1v9);
read the Bible every day & ask the Holy Spirit to help your understanding (John 16:13);
meet with other believers in Jesus in an orthodox Church (Hebrews 10:24-25);
God will send others with whom you can share the Good News about Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-10);
Please write to us if you have any questions - and if you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour we would love to rejoice with you in your new found life!
The Christian Expositor