11 reasons why Christian cults thrive today

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11 REASONS WHY CHRISTIAN CULTS THRIVE TODAY

By Isaiah-Phillips Akintola

 

The power of misconception

There’s no doubt that the church of the living God is in one of her best days since its establishment in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Yet, with the same breath, we are likewise discovering some of the worst character misrepresentation of the church’s identity and spiritual philosophy since its inception. Misconception of the very essence of Christ, and the objective of the kingdom of God within the life of an individual and society generally has been a major tool the enemy has employed to promote his lies and deception, particularly within the mainstream church today.

There are critical questions every person who decides to go on with Christ needs to honestly answer to avoid being led astray by what can be termed as Christian cult. Christian cult is when individuals who claim to be representing Jesus Christ takes a principle, a word or statement, or could be a value standard in the bible to establish, or promote a false, self-centered agenda that does not glorify the father’s divine intention for his church and the society.

Furthermore, Christian cult is when we take the most sacred values and principles of God, and his kingdom and try to fit them into our own idealistic narrative and paradigm of spirituality. In other instances, we systematically extract the consequence of not adhering to a divine standard, or the core values within the word of God, and then cleverly use the philosophy of Babylon to try to explain our way out of such biblical injunction.

While in other cases, we reduce the sovereignty of the Father to the concept of what is good or evil which in most cases are captured in the spirit of how we’ve come to understand justice from the viewpoint of a humanist democratic philosophy. The need for sound biblical footing in the initiative of forming the right world view is one of the most critical objective of being part of the corporate body of Christ which does manifest in various forms, shapes and sizes.

 

Everyone came to Christ with a formed pattern of thinking

When you read the book of Act you’ll immediately notice the amount of time prioritized by the elders of the early church to teach and train the numbers of new convert being added to them by the Lord. New converts who accepted the Lord in most cases, already have well-established value standard and belief system that has shaped how they see and think, and it is the duty of the church to systematically change or correct these old, erroneous perspectives of life with the preferred biblical world-view that must be done in the spirit of love, care and concern.

When this principle of apostolic teaching is however not prioritized by the church leadership it does not only open the possibility for those new converts to return back to their old ways of lifestyle, but also opens the converts to falsehood and deception, perpetuated in the name of following some deep enlightenment spiritism experience.

Context and the coherency of truth

Our society today is flooded with strange teachers and false prophets who claimed to have been sent by the Lord with some special message from the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and unfortunately, very few within the body of Christ are effectively armed with sound biblical doctrine and the right spiritual lifestyle to challenge the lies being offered to these innocent saints seeking for light and direction.

 Accurate biblical definition brings clarity and context to the coherency of truth; particularly, regarding matters of separating sound spiritual judgement from the promotion of the doctrines of devils as the bible calls them according to 1 Timothy 4:1. What we say, how we say it, and the unspoken motive behind what we say, are all highly critical in dealing with the matter of biblical truth and error.

The best of intentions, or statement made regardless of how biblically accurate they may sound can become misinterpreted, which of cause, will always work as an advantage for the kingdom of darkness which always seek to find loopholes in our concept of handling of the word of God to promote the agendas of darkness.  Arguably, the distortion of truth is one of the deadliest powers behind every thriving, established Christian cult I have seen and studied.

The grand plan of the enemy

There’s a deliberate, strategic ongoing warfare to remove every iota of biblical definition of truth and the eternal values that makes such truth relevant and productive within the values of human relationship and its various sociocultural space. I have long time discovered that the enemy we are dealing with his not really care how successful we think we are; nor is he moved about the number or size of our church auditorium, congregation, or the fact that we preach and teach using correct biblical references to emphasize our dogma.

Neither is the enemy really concerned that you make lots of money, and your business is expanding in leaps and bounds for as long as you do not imbibe the core values and culture of your existence on the footing of the uncompromised ethical biblical value culture.

The kingdom of God is a cultural lifestyle in whose philosophy and ideology is established on the footing of the truth of Christ, and this truth informs the foundation that defines our moral values for establishing relationship and other required sociocultural norms.

If this reality of existence is not clear to us, I can assure you that it’s only a matter of time before you bite the fruit of the three of the knowledge of good and evil which then takes away your consciousness of the presence and essence of the three of life, and this is where many falls under the error of cultism.

The pendulum of truth swings on the balance-scale knowledge of the Son of God, and the humanity ministry of the Son of man. Biblical application of truth hangs on this statement; meaning that the ascended, revelation of Christ as the Son of God, and the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the son of Joseph and Mary, are two functional, combined entities in one personality.

 For the redemptive work of the father to be accomplished on the earth, the incarnation of Christ into Jesus Christ is necessary, or else the Lord will merely remain a spiritual being floating around without a body to carry out his ordained prophetic mandate in the earth.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit today becomes evident in the earth through two main basic organs which is the evidence of the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the evidence of the ministry of the body of Christ.

Hebrews 10: 5

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;

 As our Lord Jesus Christ, the anointed one, operated in these two realities, every one of us should also learn to function simultaneously in these two dimensions of life without overemphasizing one.  This principle can be located throughout the scriptures, and it is critical we know how they function within and around our called spheres of existence seamlessly.

A truth that is empowers deception

It is regrettable to announce that one of the greatest deception that has ever flooded the gates of society is now coming from inside the church; yes, I mean the charismatic, Pentecostal, apostolic, tongue talking community of believers who have received some measure of insights and truth that is not firmly established on the footing of the absolute revelatory knowledge of the person of wisdom and truth.

The entirety of the truth is a component of various revelatory dimensions and encounters of experience within the embodiment of the person of truth himself, Jesus Christ. But to merely claim as a fact, that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth without being able to substantiate this spiritual knowledge with sound biblical facts that produces clarity of insight and understanding, in my sincere opinion, does not do justice to the ministry of truth representation at all.

1 Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

The truth is given to us in measures of thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and of cause hundredfold accordingly. The challenge here is not the level we are in the scale of received truth, or what we are doing with such measure of truth received, as highly as important as they are; the challenge is, on what spiritual philosophical foundation is that knowledge of biblical truth build on?

This is a very important subject that requires the ministry of the Holy Spirit to thoroughly enlighten us, lest we misunderstand the context of this truth.

How we see, and express truth is still a major issue within the body of Christ today. I’ve discovered two people can be on this same point of truth with two different spiritual lens-view and interpretation. The context to which we accept and relate to the matters of God’s word is as equally important to the revelatory values we extract from the principle of biblical truth.

If our knowledge and expression of truth cannot bring the potential 21st century Ethiopian eunuchs of our time into the kingdom of God, am afraid, such truth is not complete, nor does is it stand on the frame of knowledge for precise, fruitful soul-wining interaction.    

Regrettably, some of the deadliest cults in the world today use the bible as one of their key reference literature text. Why?

1.            Because cults know that many, including Christians, don’t like to read. They see people as naïve and gullible

2.            They have mastered the art of misinterpretation of the truth to suit their own narrative

3.            They know that people generally love and believe the Bible some religious text even though their lives don’t necessarily reflect the values and principle of the bible 

4.            They also know that most Christians don’t engage the painful treadmill to study the bible accurately for themselves

5.            People are hardly knowledgeable about matters of exploring the truth in relating to another world view

6.            They know that very few desire within their hearts the true revelation of Christ as much as they desire the act of ceremonial religious practice

7.            They know that many are desperate for some kind of spiritual awareness, sensation, or experience that is mystical.   

8.            They are aware that most humans are insecure, lonely, and afraid; people want protection and they are willing to pay any price for such protection    

9.            They know that deception can only thrive when there’s a good measure of truth in what they claim to be offering.

10.          They are aware that humans by default are designed to either lead or follow; they, therefore, seek for those who are yet to discover their leadership capacity to follow their diabolical ideology of leading. They recruit these individuals and brainwash them to follow their beliefs without arguing or challenging them what they teach.

11.          They are mostly established in regions and areas where the biblical principle of pathetical values has been contaminated and perverted to service their own agenda. Meaning that, you will usually find them establish their cult centers in places where the whole idea of an overly tradition or even teaching on respect and submission has been stretched to a weapon of manipulation, intimidation and control. This is a dangerous place to find yourself, and unfortunately, we have lots of places like that in Africa.       

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ESSENTIALS TO MAINTAINING A STRONG FAITH WORK AND LIFE’S OBJECTIVE IN 2017

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ESSENTIALS TO MAINTAINING A STRONG
FAITH WORK AND LIFE’S OBJECTIVE IN 2017
PART 2
Wisdom builds her house series.
  By Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
A brief recap of the introduction
There are commonalities of grace, wisdom and understanding we all share as kingdom regents that must be maintained as basic priorities that keeps us in perspective of our sheer spiritual identity, culture, and heritage within the broader scope of our spiritual migration and perfection, which I strongly feel should be highlighted and rehearsed again as we press further in this new day call 2017.
Luke 14
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him,
30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish
These essentials we all must pursue if we must go on with the Lord and be part of the spiritual house the father is constructing for the ultimate representation of his prophetic program in this season. Some of these points may appear, or sound very elementary. Yet, many of us have either forgotten them or don’t regularly exercise them.
The aim of these highlight therefore is to awaken our remembrance and passionately stir our desire again toward their fulfillment even as the day of the Lord presses in on us.
 
Philippians 3
12. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
 13. Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,
 14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
As the apostle, Paul engaged with the Philippian church brethren to keep them focused on maintaining a sound, steady, spiritual momentum, he admonishes them on several highly important, spiritual value system that will keep their eyes single on the journey of life.
However, verse 12-14 of Philippians 3 seem to summarize the central theme his message, more so, as they face unending assault and persecution from the political, religious system of their day.   There’s no question that today’s 21st century church will also need to walk in the newness of this spiritual truth as we daily rehearse the powerful value principles locked within it.
It is so easy to come to that point of relaxation and familiarity, where we either assumed we have outgrown some of the spiritual exercises, required to maintain a sound, healthy spiritual life, or we just feel we no longer have the conducive time or space to regularly practice these essentials. While some believe that the church is now in some kind of deep, ascended, revelatory, a spiritual mystery era that has outgrown these basics they now call old school, Pentecostal teachings.
 I guess it’s just immaturity and presumptuous, to get into such conclusion since there’s no scriptural reference to this mistaken assertion. We need to be a balanced student of God’s word in order to be able to precisely divide the word of God.
When you thoroughly examine some of the spiritual content and context of those who are supposedly carriers of present day apostolic reformation teaching, you will, unfortunately, see the shallowness, or even, the emptiness of their message.
A message is not the semantics, or of the trendy phraseology being used. A biblically sound apostolic message is one that carries the eternal heartbeat content of the father, being declared in a relevant manner that awakens, development and transit the body of Christ to that next reality of heaven’s desire.  
One of the things the Lord has graced me through the years is a deep burden to see the body at all levels grow and mature to such a level that we all can interact with each other’s spiritual state in a manner that assist us to minister to the society.
Therefore, I have learnt to discern and understand my audience, and to also be able interface with the various dimensional flows of the Spirit without necessarily deemphasizing or over emphasizing one aspect of spiritual truth to the other. Seeking to minister through the grace of balancing biblical truth and perspective is one of my aims in walking with the Lord.
Paul reminded the brethren, that not as though he himself has reached that zenith of spiritual perfection, but one thing, he has learned, that has consistently kept him in perfect view of eternity is not to recall the memories of the past in a negative form, or prideful, assumptions manner of some attained greatness.
Instead, he seeks to daily pursue the very intention of his calling in Christ, in order to understand and fulfill his mission as he presses through the agonizing trials, temptations, and the attacks of the enemy that may seasonally come his way.   Friends, the days ahead of the church demands that we not only strive to remember these admonitions of the apostle Paul, but equally determine to consistently practice them until they become our second nature.
As Paul sighted his devotional lifestyle, attitude to the brethren, we too must learn to [force through] press through certain challenges, people and events, the enemy may utilize in trying to derail or even stop our spiritual advancement. Many are familiar with this particular scripture to the point that they’ve almost lost its value content.
 As I have mentioned in my previous post that there are several initiatives, many of us are going to embark on this year that are required for our life’s sustainability even in the marketplace. Notwithstanding, the points I am highlighting through this note are what I call the essentials to move on with the Lord in our spiritual journey.
These highlighted points are necessities regardless of our calling or business focus. As humans, we all face difficult times.   There are past issues and circumstance that tends to build within our minds regrets, doubt, fear, and uncertainties with regard to our future. Nevertheless, the future is not a place or event.
The future is a person-the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Moving into the reality of our spiritual development is a call to a daily watering of our desire and passion to maintain a lifestyle of purity, love and passion for Christ and his kingdom agenda regardless of where we are serving in Babylon. This is the concept the life of Nehemiah reflects in Babylon.
While it seems, he was in a place of comfort in captivity, his heart is forever connected to the broken, fracture and dysfunctional state of his homeland. While serving the king, his heart is burdened with a more important matter to his father and ancestors. What a life he leads!
Some of us have become too busy and preoccupied as chamberlains in the palace of the king of Babylon to the degree that we have completely forgotten that we are in captivity, and must keep the burden of Jerusalem alive in our hearts so we don’t get assimilated by the powerful foreign identity and culture of Babylon.
If Jerusalem is not in view, through your penthouse house window, it’s only a matter of time before your identity and name will be lost in the genealogy and chronicles of counted, authentic kingdom priesthood. Therefore, these key points we I have highlighted must daily, or regularly practice to maintaining a fervent, precise and refreshed spiritual journey into the mountain of the Lord.
So, lets continue to examine these points.
6. You must develop a continuous hunger and passion for the person of the Holy Spirit since he is as equally God, as the person of the Son, or the Father.
This truth must become a personal, continual, progressive revelation to you, regardless of your spiritual status. We are all living in the [day] era of the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
7. There are dimensions past Pentecostal or charismatic move, or even the current apostolic reformation initiative has come to understand in the context of the mysterious nature and ministry of the Holy Spirit, and we need to open ourselves completely to what the Lord is saying today with regards to the ministry of the Spirit as he assists us to navigate the days ahead of us.
8. There’s no revealing of Jesus Christ, the pattern Son without the reality of the Holy Spirit working in and through our lives. Without him your revelation and spirituality is all futile.
to be continued…
#KINGDOMPATTERN
#CREATIONGROANS
#APOSTOLICDISCIPLESHIP
#WISDOMSPEAK

a refresher of the christian faith part two

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reestablishing the tenants of the faith

As the church enters the Frontline of a new kind of religious and sociocultural assault, in the battle to maintain, uphold and advance the revelation of Christ, and the multifaceted emerging realities of the gospel of the kingdom, which unfortunately, is still in its infant stage to many of us.  It’s become even more expedient for its leadership community to constantly rehearse and regularly practice the basic doctrine and tenets of her faith foundation, in order to maintain a formidable stand against the subtle in-flock, New Age, anti-Christ philosophy currently threatening the church’s advancement and representation globally.

it is essential we don’t stop teaching the revelation of Jesus Christ on precepts upon precepts, line upon line; the holy order of our redemptive heritage, and the unadulterated cultural life of the kingdom we now belong in Christ.  When One examine the general shallowness of the knowledge and understanding of most profess charismatic Christians today, with regards to the revelation of Christ, one cannot but worry about the future development and representation of the church’s leadership. Given priority to the systematic teaching and the (edifying) building up of the individual and the corporate community’s faith is highly crucial. The place and function of kingdom discipleship must be given its rightful place again.

 

Reclaiming the model

Reclaiming the precise model and value of the church’s corporate life, and the established doctrinal values and principles, in my opinion, is some of the key factors that will assist us reclaim the accurate definition and grace of what is known as the government of the kingdom of God in this hour of unprecedented assault. Therefore, to continually refresh our individual spirit, and the larger community of the household of faith as we advance unto corporate perfection in Christ, is a high watermark in this present season.

The church’s identity and image has never been so under attack like we presently see it. I believe that the traditional celebration of Easter gives the opportunity to be reminded and encouraged on some of the most important apostolic foundation of our love, faith and hope in Christ.  However, such biblical refresher cannot be complete without returning to where it all began in the garden.

There’s absolutely no way we can truly and effectively comprehend the revelation of the cross and the power of resurrection without returning to Genesis, the beginning of all things. The battle of Satan against Adam in the beginning was that of who gets the control over the human will and choice.

While the human spirit plays an important role in the overall developed and construction of a productive life. Man’s will, which is seated in the center-core of the soul, however defines and determine the ultimate decision he makes either for good or for worse. So, I’ll like us to briefly look at the singular issue of how Adam and his wife abdicated their God given power of choice to a moment of self-will government.

Adam, created innocent but not perfected

1Corinthians 15:22-23

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Man and creation from the dawn of time lived in an endless realm of bliss within the paradise of God called Eden. In the wisdom of the father, he created a man who carried and reflected his authority and glory at least to some high measure. All that man needed for his sustainability and the exercise of his governmental authority as trustee in the earth was provided for him in the garden.

The creation of man in the very image and likeness of God was a clear prophetic statement to Satan and the rest of the one third fallen angels of their eternal defeat. Beyond this, Eden was a perfect image of the community life the father designed and desired for man to cultivate and built for his family and the generations to come. in Adam’s innocence, he relished in the flurry of the father’s presence and glory until his very first test to prove his approval occurred.

This test was that of the will to choose; he rather chose to question the wisdom and command of his creator by yielding to the craving of his soul, stirred by Lucifer himself.  The scripture informs us that the father will usually come down in the cool of the day to fellowship with this unique creation call Adam. Nonetheless, this fellowship cannot be defined perfect to the rest of creation until every aspect of Adam’s spiritual and mental faculty yields in perfect harmony to his creator’s wisdom and desire.

Authority does not mean maturity

Adam expressed a high measure of the creative wisdom and ability of his creator. His intellectual and creative ingenuity was evident in how he was able to [examine] discern every animal created by God, and was able to precisely [NATURE AND NURTURE] name them. There’s no doubt that Adam was created innocent but not yet perfected. For the father to prove and defend his righteousness to principalities and powers, and the rest of the sons of God, Adam’s morality and spiritual virtue will have to be thoroughly tested and approved.

The fallen cherubim

The moral justification of the righteousness of the father was challenged when one third of his created angels chose to follow the prideful rebellion of one of his most carefully created beings to minister before his very presence.

The scripture refers to Lucifer as the cherubim that covered the glory of God. However, inequity was found in him when he decided to challenge the wisdom and supremacy of his creator. Lucifer made a choice within his heart to seek a position higher than that of his creator.  The power, authority and glory at his disposal deceived him of thinking he could convince the entire angelic host of heaven to support him. While one third choose to follow him two third however refused his diabolic act of treason.

The choice to follow

Friends, the issue of our service to God and his kingdom has never that of being forced or threatened to act. No. It has always been and it will always be by your personal choice. The center core of our work with the lord was never intended nor designed to be by coercion. Command is for beast without the soul or spirit to discern how to serve and worship the father in Spirit and in truth. All the father seeks for is worship and fellowship. A worship, which of cause is beyond an act but a true lifestyle of total obedience and submission to his will and counsel.

However, Adam seem not understand the spiritual desire even when we are told the father will come and have fellowship with them. There was a disconnection in the morality and spirituality of Adam. Morality was designed to be enhanced by the power of true worship, in Adam however, we saw this disconnection, which immediately informs us about a critical abnormally in the spiritual symphony of his worship.

Adams sight and focus has been corrupted, therefore, shifted from the very reason he was created which is to live a lifestyle of worship. It’s in the place of worship that we gain power and dominion over the self-life. The human will to choose from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is crushed.

The moment Adam and Eve’s attention were drowned away from the main reason why they were created, another alternative system of self-willed life sets which officially introduced sin to all earthly creation. From that moment of thought introduce by Lucifer. Adam began to doubt the morality and wisdom of God by rationalizing his idea to gain greater sight and become wiser.

 

Genesis 3:1-6  The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden’?”  The woman answered the snake, “We’re allowed to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden except the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You must never eat it or touch it. If you do, you will die!'” “You certainly won’t die!” the snake told the woman. “God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened. You’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree had fruit that was good to eat, nice to look at, and desirable for making someone wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

The official introduction of sin

Adam’s choice literally became a poison that not only corrupt his soul and that of Eve, but the entire human race. Sin was officially introduced to humanity through the disobedience that lead to their excommunication from Gods presence and paradise which eventually lead to their inheritance of death.

The philosophy of denial

  Two thousand plus years later, humanity is still struggling within himself to answer the question, why is there so much war, destruction, disease, poverty and hatred across the world? The progressive humanist ideology to rationalize everything with his philosophical theory has unfortunately confined man to his own ways and wisdom. We saw Genesis how man tried to build a system called the tower of rebellion to reach God, of course, man and the tower was judged.

Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

The more man craved for answer and meaning to life, and desire to understand why things are the way they are, the more man becomes even more confused because he has decided to remove the idea of the existence of a creator out of his life and vocabulary.

  The deadly virus within the soul of man call sin cannot be removed regardless of what man does or where he goes. Even if man tried to create another home for himself in mass, sin and its characteristics will be found there. No amount of goodness or kindness man does that can remove or excuse him from the consequences of sin. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.

Understanding the sin tragedy

I used to make this statement that we will never understand the gravity of what sin did to the human nature until we accurately identify where man fell from, and what man fell into. Man fell from the position of glory according to the scripture, and we can identify that man also fell into himself. Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; The self-life, which eventually leads to judgement and destruction is what man inherited by yielding to the voice of the serpent.  Man wanted to be wiser than he already his. Adam was not satisfied and secured in who is and what the father has deposited in him, so he opted for the false counsel of Lucifer.

to be continued