Carlson on Cults

Bible driven – is that your church? Find out what that means with Dr. David Reagan and Dr. Ron Carlson on the show Christ in Prophecy.

Last aired on May 9, 2010.

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Christian Ministries International

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Fast Facts on False Teachings

Fast Facts on False Teachings Book
by Ron Carlson and Ed Decker

Transcript

Dr. Reagan: Do you know how to recognize a cult? Are you aware of their distinctive characteristics? Did you know that Jesus said one of the signs that would point to His soon return would be a proliferation of cults and false prophets? For a powerful and insightful presentation concerning the cults, please stay tuned.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. For the past few weeks we have been in the process of showing you excerpts from sermons presented at our recent Bible conference which was dedicated to the theme of “Spiritual Apostasy in the End Times.” One of those presentations was entitled, “The Jesus of the Cults.” It was made by Dr. Ron Carlson who is considered to be one of Christendom’s leading experts on cults and world religions. Dr. Carlson is the Founder and Director of Christian Ministries located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He travels constantly all over the world teaching about the cults.

All Bible prophecy ministries like ours are interested in the cults. The reason is that Jesus strongly warned that cults would be one of the most important signs of the times that would point to His soon return. For example, in Matthew 24 Jesus provides an exhaustive list of end time signs. I think it is interesting and significant that the only sign He mentions more than once is the sign of cults and false prophets, and He mentions it three times!

Dr. Carlson began his presentation at our conference by emphasizing the danger of the cults and their importance as a sign of the end times. He then proceeded to talk about four kinds of cults: 1) Pseudo-Christian Cults, 2) Oriental Cults, 3) New Age Cults, 4) Occult or Spiritistic Cults. In his first category, the Pseudo-Christian Cults is the most important because it deals with groups that masquerade as Christian and can thus easily deceive people, even professing Christians. Let’s listen now to what Dr. Carlson has to say about these Pseudo-Christian Cults.

Dr. Carlson Presentation

Dr. Carlson: What are the cults? What do you mean when you talk about a non-Christian cult? And just quickly this afternoon I want to talk about who the false cults are. Jesus said they were going to come in the last days. And we have today basically four categories of what we refer to as the false Christian cults.

First of all you have the pseudo-Christian cults, that’s really the classical definition of a cult over the last 150 years. The pseudo-Christian cults are organizations which will claim to be Christian, they will claim to believe the Bible. But instead of building their theology from God’s Word these organizations will claim to have some new revelation, or some manmade teaching which they say is greater than the Bible through which they interpret the Bible and they end up denying the central doctrines of Historic Orthodox Biblical Christianity.

And the pseudo-Christian cults you have such organizations for example as the: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. You have the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known as Mormonism. You have Mary Baker Eddy founder of Christian Science. You have Sun Myung Moon we saw in the first slide, the founder of the Unification Church, the Moonies. And these are all organizations which will claim to be Christian they will claim to believe the Bible. But instead of building their teaching and theology from God’s Word they will claim to have some new revelation or some manmade teaching greater than the Bible through which they will interpret the Bible and they will end up denying the basic doctrines of Historic Biblical Christianity.

You know it was back in 1820 that Joseph Smith, Jr., Founder of Mormonism says he received a revelation from an angel of light, that all the Christian churches were wrong that all the teachings of Christianity were an abomination and he Joseph Smith was chosen to be the voice of God the prophet of God on Earth.

Then in 1879 along came a lady named Mary Baker Eddy, Founder of Christian Science, she said that she now had a higher, clearer, more perfect revelation then that given 1900 years before, that she alone had the keys to unlock Scripture. In that same decade came along a man named Charles Taze Russell, Founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society they claim that they alone are God’s voice on Earth. They alone are God’s organization, everybody else is wrong they alone speak for God.

Sun Myung Moon sitting on a hillside in North Korea, Easter Sunday morning 1936 says that he received a revelation from an angel of light that all the Christian Churches were wrong, he Moon was chosen to be the voice of God the prophet of God on earth. And the list goes on, on, and on. But when you have organizations that claim to be Christian, claim to believe the Bible, but then claim some new revelation or some manmade teaching greater then the Bible through which they interpret the Bible and end up denying the basic doctrines of Biblical Christianity.

Now what is it that deceives most people about the cults? If I were to ask you that question this afternoon, you know, what is it that deceives most people when the cults come knocking at your front door. What is it that deceives most people? Well if you learn nothing else this afternoon, I just want you to learn this one thing. What is it that deceives most people about the cults? It is simply this; the cults will all use Christian terminology and they will sound very Christian, but number one in dealing with the cults you must understand that the cults have redefined the terminology.

For example how many of you here have had a Jehovah’s Witness knock at your front door? Just about everyone. You know you can have a Jehovah’s Witness knock at you door and ask them, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” And they will say what? Audience: Yes. They will smile will say absolutely, yes. Lot of Christians go oh, that is what I believe too, shut the door. But you know if you as them the second questions, “Who is Jesus Christ?” They will smile and tell you, “That Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael, that he was the first creation made by Jehovah God. That he came to Earth as a man and only a man and died on a stake and rose invisibly as a ghost and came back invisibly as a spirit in 1914 in Brooklyn, New York to have the Watch Tower Society. I kid you not. They will use the term Jesus Christ to make you think they are Christian. And then they will redefine the term to fit their manmade theology.

For example in most major cities across the United States, downtown you will have Christian Science Reading Rooms founded by Mary Baker Eddy. You know you walk into a Christian Science reading room and ask them for example, “Do you believe in the Trinity?” And they will smile and say, “Of course we believe in the Trinity.” But if you ask them, “What is the Trinity?” They will tell you that the Trinity is 3 ethical principles: life, truth, and love. They will use the Christian words to make you think they are Christian and then they will redefine the word to fit their manmade theology.

Perhaps the worst at this are the Mormons, the Mormons who call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You know two Mormon missionaries will ride up in their bicycles this summer and they will come to your front door and they will have white shirts on and black ties they will have little name tags on. And they will say, “Hello, we’re here from the Church of Jesus Christ, we would like to tell you about Jesus.” Well that sounds nice doesn’t it? In the 1980’s when my family and I were missionaries in the Philippine Islands, the Mormons opened a new temple in Manila. Now Mormons build temples like this one in Manila, and you have one here in Dallas. They build temples not as places of worship or teaching, they don’t worship in their temples, they do not teach in their temples. But they build their temples in order to do secret rituals and called their endowments or ordinances, secret rituals that Joseph Smith stole verbatim word for word right out of Free Masonry and the Masonic Lodge.

In fact Joseph Smith was a master mason, the Masonic Lodge was above his home in Nauvoo, Illinois. And Joseph Smith when he started the Mormon Temple rituals he took verbatim, word for word all of the pagan rituals of Free Masonry and put them into the Mormon Temple including the pagan blood oaths that every mason takes when he joins the Masonic Lodge. Know the first thing that every Mason does when he joins the Masonic Lodge, in the first initiation every Mason is brought before an altar and he bows before an alter and behind the alter stands a man he calls the worshipful master. And every Mason will bow at that altar before a man he calls the worshipful master and he will say, “I am lost in darkness and I need the light of Free Masonry.” Then every Mason in order to join the Masonic Lodge will put his thumb to his throat and he will swear a blood oath not to reveal the secrets of Masonry, or he’ll have his throat cut from ear to ear, his bowels ripped open given to the beasts of the field. Those same pagan blood oaths that every Mason takes in order to join the Masonic Lodge, Joseph Smith put them verbatim word for word into the Mormon Temple including the secret handshakes of masonry, the secret passwords, the through the veil ceremony and on and on. This is why Mormons are not encouraged to be Masons; they don’t want them to find out where they got their temple rituals from.

Probably 90% of what goes on in the temple here in Dallas, as well as Salt Lake and across the country is what is called baptisms for the dead. Where Mormons believe that they can be baptized for their dead relatives in the Mormon Temple and earn their salvation by proxy into the Mormon Heaven. They also practice celestial marriages where they believe that if they are married in a Mormon Temple that when the husband evolves to Godhood his wife will then become a Mother Goddess and she will then be pregnant throughout eternity populating her own planet in the galaxies just as mother God populated planet Earth.

Well whenever they open a new temple as they did a few years ago here in Dallas, they always announce that they are going to have a grand opening for two weeks for the public to go through before they close it off to the public. So I figured that I should probably be there for the two weeks of the grand opening and pass out tracts to everybody who came. Well knowing the Philippines was 95% Roman Catholic at the time we put together two wonderful tracts. The first tract on the right I put a picture of the Virgin Mary and I knew that would get the Catholics attention and it asked the question, “Was the Virgin Mary really a virgin? The Mormon Church says, ‘No’.” Well it is a great tract for a Catholic country, and Catholics get very upset when you start messing around with the Virgin Mary. And you would open it up and read what Mormons teach about God. Mormons teach that God is a finite man of flesh and bone married up in Heaven to multiple wives. Mormons teach polytheism they believe there are millions of gods. And every male Mormon believes he can become a god himself.

I showed what they teach about Jesus Christ. Every Mormon believes that Jesus and Satan are brothers. That Jesus is simply a man who evolved to become a god, he is simply one god in a pantheon of gods, there are millions of gods, Jesus is just one of them. That the blood and cross of Christ’s foolishness. You will never see a cross in a Mormon church, you ever notice that? You will never see a cross in a Mormon Temple. In fact Mormons hate the cross and blood of Christ so much that when Mormons take communion they use water instead of grape juice or wine, because they want no representation of the blood, the say it is all foolishness.

Well they were going to open this new temple so the first day I stood there between the two driveways the entrance there and started passing out tracts to everybody who came. Well it wasn’t long before a couple of missionaries came out and took my tracts took them back into the temple to read what I was giving out. And pretty soon they came out and said, “Go away and leave us alone. We don’t want you here.” And I said, “Well I am going to be here for the next two weeks passing out tracts to everybody who comes.” They said, “Well why are you doing this? It is not nice to attack other religions. Why are you attacking us?” I said, “Well please understand something,” I said, “I am not here to attack you. Please know that I have a great love and compassion for Mormons as people.” I said, “I care very deeply for you.” I said, “I just don’t want you sending the Filipino’s to Hell with you pagan temple.” Well that didn’t go over real well. And they said, “Why are you doing this, it’s not nice to attack other religions. Why are you attacking us?” I said, “Well let’s get something straight here.” I said, “Understand that it is not I who’s attacking Mormons. But understand it is your prophet Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church which says in your sacred book the pearl of great price the book Joseph Smith chapter 2 verse 19, Joseph Smith says, ‘All the Christian churches are wrong, all the teachings of Christianity are an abomination.'” I said, “Understand it is the Mormon Church today that teaches that the Trinity and the Deity of Jesus Christ and the blood atonement, and salvation by faith in Christ, they say that all these things are an abomination.” I said, “Understand it is not I who’s attacking Mormons.” Folks understand that it is Mormons who have declared war on Jesus Christ. And I said, “It is about time that Christian stand up and defend the faith delivered once for all time and I went back to passing out tracts.”

Well pretty soon they sent out these two Mormons from Samoa. These two Samoan Mormons I don’t know if you have ever seen Samoan football players? I mean these guys were huge they looked like Sumo wrestlers. These two Samoan Mormons came and stood on either side of me, they folded their arms, squashed me between them. The first guy leans into me and says, “Listen if you don’t get out of here we are going to kick you face in.” I said, “Well, that’s real loving.” I said, “Have a tract.” And went back to passing out tracts. Next guy leans into me and says, “No, you don’t understand. If you don’t get out of here we are going to kill you.” And they began to threaten me that if I didn’t leave they were going to make sure I didn’t come back the next day.

Well it was shortly after this next picture was taken I was standing out in the street witnessing to several Mormon missionaries in front of the temple and it was 10:30 in the morning. And all of a sudden as I was witnessing to them I catch out of the corner of my eye a white Toyota coming down the street about 40 mph driven by the head of the Mormon security, a man who had been threatening me all morning. And as the head of the Mormon security approached me in the car, he violently swerved the car directly at me and tried to run me down. At the last moment I caught him out of the corner of my eye and I jumped back up on the curb and he ended hitting one of the Mormon missionaries I was witnessing to. Knocked him over on the grass they had to call an ambulance, when that happened Mormons came running out of the temple yelling and screaming at me. It was 100 degrees that day in Manila, 95% humidity; there temperatures were getting hotter then that. I was thinking Lord what am I supposed to do? I got two more weeks to pass out tracts, this is just the first morning.

As I am standing out in front of the temple several 100 Mormon missionaries stand around me yelling and screaming, I am thinking, “Lord what should I do?” And I thought what would the Apostle Paul do? You know the Apostle Paul he probably start preaching the cross. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “I determined to do nothing among you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Paul said in Galatians 6:14, “May I never boast, but if I boast let me boast in the cross of Jesus Christ.” And I starting preaching the cross, I said, “Where’s the cross? There is no cross in Mormonism without the cross there is no salvation.” The head of the Mormon Temple came out, he is an American fellow about 60 years old. He started yelling and screaming at me to get out of there. I said, “Sir where is the cross? There is no cross in Mormonism, without the cross there is no salvation.” That Mormon leader from America looked at me and he started yelling these words, I will never forget. He just started screaming, he said, “The cross is foolishness, the cross is foolishness.”

Boy I tell you when he said those words the Holy Spirit pricked my heart and I had in my pocket my little New Testament and I pulled it out and I turned to 1 Corinthians 1:18, I said, “Sir here would you read what God’s Word says?” I said, “Read it out loud, 1 Corinthians 1:18.” And he began to read, “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness. For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing, foolishness. But to us who are being saved it is the very power of God unto salvation.” And I looked at that gentleman with all the love and compassion I had and I said, “Sir the Bible says you are perishing, you are perishing. The Word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness.” And the Mormon leader turned around and walked back into his pagan temple.

But the Mormon missionaries will ride up to your front door this summer and they will knock on the door and they’ll go, “Hello. We are here from the Church of Jesus Christ. We would like to tell you about Jesus.” Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Beware of the false prophets who come to you dressed in sheep’s clothing, who outwardly looks like Christians.” Jesus said, “They are going to call me Lord they are going to preach in my name. They are going to say, ‘Lord didn’t we do all these wonderful things in your name?” And Jesus says, “On the day of judgment I am going to tell them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practiced lawlessness.” Just because someone says I believe in Jesus Christ folks doesn’t mean there a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in the last days there is going to come many false Christ’s.

But in the brief few minutes we have left I want to talk about this first category the pseudo-Christian cults. Organizations that claim to be Christian claim to believe the Bible but then add some new revelation or manmade teaching. People often say well, if someone claims to have a new revelation from God as do the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses or whoever, how do we know whether that is from God or not? I mean we even have churches in America where people stand up in church and say, “I have a vision I have a prophecy, I have a revelation from God.”

Folks have you ever wondered how you know if it is from God or not? I mean personally I become very concerned when I see this happen in church when you realize virtually ever cult began with somebody claiming to have a vision or revelation from God. How do you know whether it is from God or not? Well it is very easy to test. You see God has already told us in Malachi 3:6 that He is immutable, He does not change. In Hebrew 6:17-18 God tells us that He does not lie, He does not change, He is consistent in truth. Therefore if someone should come along and claim to have a new revelation from God as do the Mormons or whoever you must always test that so called new revelation by God’s oldest revelation the Bible. And if you test that new revelation or vision or prophecy or what have you by God’s Word and it is consistent and in harmony with God’s Word there is no problem. But if you test that revelation or vision or what have you by God’s Word and you find that it contradicts or is inconsistent at any point you must also throw out the younger revelation, hold fast to God’s oldest revelation, for God has told us, He does not change, He is consistent in truth.

That is why Scripture must be your authority. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture has been given by the inspiration of God.” It doesn’t say all revelations are inspired by God. It doesn’t say all visions are inspired by God, it says all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for reproof, for teaching, for training in righteousness. Now why is that so important? If you turn with me to 2 Corinthians 11, you will see why, why is it so important to test all things by God’s Word? In 2 Corinthians it is easy to find, why’s that? It is right after First Corinthians, we have a sharp group here. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, Paul says, “But I am afraid lest as a serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness your minds will be lead astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion which is in Jesus Christ.” Now in your Bible you might underline the word minds, just underline the word minds there. Understand that Paul here is writing to Christians, okay, he is writing to the church of Corinth. And he says, “I am afraid for you Christians lest your minds be lead astray, from the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ.” You say well how could the Christians mind be lead astray? Look at verse 4, “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached.” You might underline that in your Bible, Paul says there is another Jesus, a counterfeit. Or if you receive a different spirit you might underline that in your Bible. Paul says there is a different spirit, different from the Holy Spirit. Or if you receive a different gospel, you might underline that. Paul says, “There is another gospel, a counterfeit. I am afraid lest you accept these.” Now go down to verse 13, verse 13 says, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” There is that identification again; false apostles who disguise themselves to look like Christians, verse 14. “And no wonder for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Folks what sits on top of the Mormon Temple here in Dallas? What sits on top of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City? Moroni the angel of light, do you ever wonder who that angel of light is sitting on top of the Mormon Temple here in Dallas? An angel of light who told Joseph Smith that all the Christian churches were wrong, all the teachings of Christianity were an abomination and he could become a god himself. Ever wonder who that angel of light is on top of the Mormon Temple in Dallas? Therefore it is not surprising if a servant also disguised themselves as servants of righteousness whose end should be according to their deeds. What is Paul saying here? Paul is saying I am afraid for you Christians, lest your minds be led astray because there is going to come another Jesus, anther Gospel, another Spirit counterfeit brought to you by false apostles disguising themselves to look like Christians.

Now people say to me, “Wait a minute Carlson, but I thought there was only one Jesus Christ.” Now what you need to understand is as we conclude today that there is literally a smorgasbord of Jesus Christ being served up to the public in the last days. And who is the Jesus of the cults? The Jehovah’s Witnesses they say that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, the first creation made by Jehovah God who came to earth as a man. Died on a stake and rose invisibly as a ghost.

The Mormons they say well we believe in Jesus Christ, I mean my goodness we got him in the name of our church we’re the Church of Jesus Christ. All Mormons teach and believe that Jesus is a brother of Satan that he is simply a man who evolved to become a god. Mormons deny the virgin birth by the Holy Spirit, teaching that he was born through physical incest. They teach that the blood and cross or Christ is foolishness, you will never see a cross in a Mormon church. And as I said they dislike the cross and blood so much that when they take communion they use water instead of grape juice or wine because they want no representation of the blood, they say it is all foolishness.

Mary Baker Eddy in Christian Science she said that Jesus was a divine idea, a nice idea.

Sun Myung Moon the founder of the Unification Church, he says that Jesus is a man who failed, and he Sun Myung Moon is now the second coming of Jesus Christ, to complete the unfinished task of salvation.

The Baha’ they say that Jesus is one of nine great world manifestations. They say it doesn’t matter what religion you believe, all religions are basically the same we talked about that last night.

The Unitarian Universalist, they say that Jesus was a good man his followers mistakenly deified.

The Free Masons and the Masonic Lodge they say that Jesus was nothing more than a good moral teacher. According to Masons He is no different from Mohammed or Buddha, or Confucius or Zoroaster.

The Spiritists, they say that Jesus was an advanced medium in the sixth sphere of the astrological projection, wherever that is.

Unity in Lesson, Missouri they say that Jesus was a man who perfected the divine idea.

Rosicrucian they say that Jesus is a manifestation of cosmic consciousness.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Fairfied, Iowa at the Maharishi University they say that Jesus was an enlightened guru who never suffered or died for anybody. And the list goes on and on and on. But what you need to understand as we conclude today folks is that the Jesus of the cults is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Closing

You have been watching a presentation by Dr. Ron Carlson of Christian Ministries International. In just a moment our announcer will tell you how you can get a video copy of this presentation and four others that were made at our annual Bible Conference. Well folks that’s our program for this week. Until next week, the Lord willing, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program

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