False Prophets, Cults, and Demonic Deceptions, Part 3

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How do we handle the increasing deception in the world? Find out with guest James Walker along with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!

Air Date: June 29, 2024

Video References

James Walker, Watchman Fellowship


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Tim Moore: Welcome once again to Christ in Prophecy. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing a topic that is as concerning as it is timely, the increasing deception in the world. We’ve titled this brief series False Prophets, Cults and Demonic Deceptions.

Nathan Jones: Scripture repeatedly warns us to be alert and avoid the evil schemes of the devil. Jesus Himself warned the disciples and by extension all of us who follow Him not to be misled. And yet, that is exactly what Satan is trying to do. Realizing that his time is short, Satan has pulled out all the stops to deceive the unsuspecting and dull the impact of the saints who serve God. A known liar, Satan’s classic tactic is to simply lie, but he and his demonic cohorts will do anything they can to disrupt and damn. And since so many people have embraced sin and been given over to a depraved mind, they have become unwitting pawns in Satan’s spiritual battle.

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Part 1

Tim Moore: Nathan is right, but there are some who embrace the rebellion against the living God so completely that they are active participants in the devil’s battle against the Almighty. Those people elevate themselves to become false prophets and often establish or perpetuate cults. When we discuss false prophets and introduce the concept of demonic deception, we invited a respected Christian expert on those topics. Today, we’ve invited an old friend of Lamb & Lion Ministries and a renowned expert to help us expose the outbreak of cults in the world today. We’re glad to be joined by James Walker, the president of Watchman Fellowship, an apologetics ministry based here in Dallas, Texas. So, James, welcome back to Christ in Prophecy.

James Walker: Great to be back.

Tim Moore: We’re very glad to have you and you are a renowned expert on cults. So, tell us how you came to have that kind of expertise.

James Walker: Well, Tim, my background I was born and raised a Latter Day Saint, Mormon fourth generation. So, I believed the Book of Mormon was the Word of God, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. But I had some Christian friends that God put in my life to ask me some questions, and challenged me on some things. And on a course of a journey, I came to realize that Mormonism wasn’t true and I embraced Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, by grace through faith alone.

Tim Moore: Praise the Lord.

James Walker: But since that time, I’ve had a tremendous interest in deception. How did I go wrong? What are the signs to look for? How can I be aware? Jesus said, beware of false prophets, but we can’t beware unless we’re first aware. So that’s what our ministry is all about helping people be aware.

Tim Moore: Well, obviously, Nathan and myself as you are ordained ministers, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But your ministry, Watchman Fellowship, specializes in equipping Christians to share the Gospel with those in world religions, heretical sects, cults, the occult, and other controversial doctrines and faiths. So, what would be a working definition of a cult for someone watching today?

James Walker: A cult, and again, you have to be careful because the media uses cult in one way, and our culture, but we’re looking at our ministry in a theological perspective. So, we’re talking about a group that claims to be Christian or compatible with Christianity, but deviates from essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Not the secondary issues, Christians can disagree about some things, but there are some doctrines that are so important that to be wrong in these areas of theology is to be dead wrong. And that would put you outside of the bounds of traditional Christianity, in what we would call either counterfeit Christianity, or it’s appropriate to use the word cult.

Nathan Jones: James, just this past weekend, I was in the park with my family and two young men dressed in white shirts and slacks with backpacks, were walking around handing out brochures. And I said, “I wish James Walker was here, because if anybody could witness to them it would be him.” So that leads me to the question, what are some of the more popular, what we consider cults today that have managed to fit themselves into mainstream Christianity, or at least, you know, they’ve got the kind of the taste of Christianity?

James Walker: Well, I think Mormonism would be one of them, and it certainly appears to be Christian and the name of the church uses Christianity. But others would be the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Older groups like Christian Science. There are some new upcoming pretty powerful groups, there’s the World Mission Society Church of God, a Korean based South Korean based cult that actually has come to America. They’re actually sending their missionaries door to door, and they believe in the doctrine of Father God and Mother God. So, this is a one that if you haven’t heard of it, you will hear of it. So, there’s new groups constantly coming out as well and raising to prominence. But that’s just a few names.

Nathan Jones: Okay, because in talking with gentlemen like this, they seem to use a lot of Christian dialogs. But the definitions that of how they define Christ and Gospel and stuff are very different than ours.

James Walker: That’s what makes it so difficult, because they use the right words God, Jesus, salvation, heaven, born again, but they have radically different definitions. They use our vocabulary, but they have a different dictionary. And if you don’t know those definitions, you’re going to think, well, that that sounds Christian to me.

Nathan Jones: It does.

Tim Moore: So your ministry you mentioned to me tracks and has identified a large number, an astounding number to me, of cults that are on the world scene today. What is that number that you all would categorize as cults right now? And how do you discern if you’re an average person trying to understand the dictionary that a cultish figure is using?

James Walker: It’s hard to put actual number on it, we have files and information. We did a book a number of years ago, in which we had an alphabetical listing, all cross-reference with the definitions of about 1,700, but that would include doctrines, practices, controversial leaders, and, so, yeah, but it’s in the thousands.

Nathan Jones: That’s kind of frightening, because about ten years ago, I had to do a sermon on the cults, and I used that book, and I think you had about a 1,000 at the time, and you said there was 500 cults just in the United States alone, now it’s up to 1,700.

James Walker: Yes, that would include other doctrines and practices, but that’s not the complete list either. So, we just got some of the highlights basically to put together though, so it was going to be in the definitely in the thousands by now. There’s some of them are small groups with like 20 or 30 members, like the Heaven’s Gate, we got exposed to them back in, many years ago and a small UFO cult, but then 39 of them committed mass suicide in California. All of a sudden it’s in the news and so that becomes one of the cults that are in the news, but nobody would have heard of it had they not done that.

Tim Moore: I one time was flying next to a person on a commercial airliner, and he got to talking, and we kind of enjoyed the conversation and finally he said, “I think I can, share with you something that I think has a lot of relevance.” And I said, “Okay, go ahead.” He said, “Have you ever heard of Raelianism?” And I had heard of Raelianism, it’s akin to the Heaven’s Gate. But they believe that, mankind was planted here by reptilian aliens, and it was crazy stuff, but this was a very rational person who obviously had given themselves over to a false idea. Many times you mentioned they have leaders that are very charismatic or that have enough what sounds like truth blended into the falsehood that they can deceive other people. So we’ve talked about false prophets is every cult centered around oftentimes an individual or an idea that has some blend of truth and falsehood?

James Walker: Yeah, nothing is 100%, false. So, there’s always going to be an element. The old saying goes, it’s not the glass of water that gets you, it’s the drop of arsenic. So, it can be 99% true things, but that 1%, if it deviates on the essentials. For example, if you’re wrong about who Jesus is, you might be right about everything else, but if you’ve got the wrong Jesus, that’s a deadly case of mistaken identity. So it’s not how many doctrines you’re wrong on, it’s the type, the kind of doctrines that you’re wrong on. We can have disagreements about mode of baptism. We can have disagreements about church government or what kind of music we ought to play in church. That’s the common.

Nathan Jones: That doesn’t make you a part of a cult, though.

James Walker: Exactly.

Tim Moore: Right.

James Walker: But when you start saying that we’re saved not by grace through faith alone, but by tithing or by, a certain diet, it’s a big movement with Hebrew Roots Movement with it, which they say you have to have be under the Old Testament dietary laws. These become, detrimental to the Gospel.

Tim Moore: Yeah, obviously, that one was addressed right in the New Testament. So I’m surprised that the argument is coming back again. You know, it’s funny you mentioned having just a little bit of falsehood when I was in the Kentucky legislature, at one point, I set a box of brownies on my desk as I was making a speech, and I said, if I made this box of brownies with the most pure and natural ingredients and yet went out to the yard and got a dropping from my dog and blended it in, it just be a small portion of the overall brownie mix, but none of you would eat it because it would be, you know, unpalatable. It’d be bad. And that’s exactly what has happened too often. But sometimes it’s not just a little bit of falsehood, it’s giant whoppers of lies that Satan has convinced people to accept.

James Walker: Yeah, and that’s that kind of is one of the questions, is it better to be obviously false or is it is the one that’s almost true? Is that the better sheep’s clothing? Jesus warned about beware of false prophets they come to you in sheep’s clothing. They’re going to look Christian. They’re going to be in the sheep’s clothing.

Nathan Jones: Well, James, would you agree to this then, that if you look at what they have in common with us, they deny the sufficiency of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Word of God? Then they offer another false gospel. Two they elevate a central figure or a leader to a godlike status and call them prophet or pope or whatnot. And three they lead people away from the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, who’s the only Way, Truth, and Life.

James Walker: There you have it, on those essential doctrines is where they’re deviating. And on the sufficiency of Christ, now they will, it will be disguised because they’ll say, Jesus is a Savior. We need Him. We won’t be saved without Him. But what they will say is that what Christ did is not sufficient. You need Jesus, plus you have to do these other things in order to earn your salvation.

Nathan Jones: Oh, works.

James Walker: So Jesus is necessary, but not sufficient. That’s what to look for.

Nathan Jones: Are they 100% works-based religions then?

James Walker: Virtually all of them will have some kind of work that you have to do. And we also have a problem with the sole mediatorship of Jesus Christ. They will say, in order to get to God, you can’t go directly through Jesus you’ve got to come through their organization. They are the only true religion.

Nathan Jones: I had a Jehovah’s Witness lady who was at pumping gas at the gas station, and she comes up, pops up from the gas station. She has a Watch Tower to give me. I said, “Alright, I’ll take it if you take one of my tracts.” And she backed up and said, “This isn’t an exchange program.” This was her earning her way to salvation by giving out these tracts.

James Walker: Yes, yes only recently has the Watch Tower, just a few weeks ago, said that you don’t have to report your hours anymore. But every Jehovah’s Witness, through the history of the organization until now, has to say how many hours they spent in the preaching of the Kingdom ministry, door to door is the most common one we know of. And they really believe that their salvation is somehow inextricably linked to magazine distribution.

Tim Moore: I find it so instructive as Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1, that the Spirit, the Holy Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times. So this has always been a problem, even in the days of the New Testament. But he said, “in the latter times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to the deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” And we’re seeing that multiply. And I think it’s a result of what he addresses in Romans 1, when some people’s minds are given over to depravity because they have rejected and rebelled against God so much that they embrace absolute lie and they are embracing of depravity. And yet I’ll remind many people that Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, said, “That in every man there’s a God shaped void.” And if you don’t fill it with Jesus Christ, he was a believer, then it will be filled with something. And Satan would love to fill that void with every kind of falsehood, even if it sounds true.

James Walker: Yeah. One of the things that is, so disturbing to me, we do a lot in the area of atheism, also, I’m the co-founder of the Atheist and Christian Book Club. We meet with atheists regularly. But it’s one thing when an atheist shakes their fist and says, there is no God. Okay, that’s tragic. But these people really are trying to get to God, and they’ve been deceived and they’re trying in all the wrong. It breaks my heart because these are people, except for God’s grace, any one of us could be going down that same road.

Tim Moore: Do you find that it’s easy to convince an atheist unless they’re absolutely just closed minded that atheism is really a fool’s choice? Because no man has been to every corner of the universe, every dimension, so I find it pretty easy to move an atheist toward agnosticism where they recognize alright, I just don’t know. Well, you’re already halfway there.

James Walker: A lot of the atheists are already with you on that. And so even Richard Dawkins, one of the most notorious 21st century atheists, doesn’t say there is no God. What he says is there probably is no God. Now whenever one of our book club atheists says that, I’ve always wanted to quantify that. Can you give me a number?

Tim Moore: Yeah.

James Walker: Is it what is it? And sometimes you’ll hear, well, I’m pretty sure there’s probably, 95% sure there is no God. Well, if I had a 5% chance of winning the lottery every week, I’d be tempted to play it every time. So if there’s even one chance in a million if that’s the only hope for eternal life, you grab it.

Tim Moore: That’s right. That’s a great point.

Nathan Jones: Well, that begs the question, then, as we see secular humanism and a rise of the Nones, people who claim they have no religion, would you define that as a part of a false religion or even a cult? Because leftism seems to be taking over America with almost a cult like fervidity.

James Walker: The Nones might be more I would quantified as a sign of the times. And this seems to be where, now you have to be careful on the nones because nones doesn’t mean they don’t believe in there’s a God. It’s not pure atheism, there’s atheists in it, but it simply means they have no organized religion. And that may be a cultural phenomena more than it is a theological or philosophical difference. People in our culture right now are against any kind of establishment, they’re, skeptical about any kind of big business, any kind of corporation, and that goes to our churches, too. So organized religion, the stock is down on that right now.

Tim Moore: Do you see, in addition to a cultural trend toward rejecting establishment anything, that there’s also been an increase in various pagan forms of worship and even given over to demonic spirits, more specifically? I just find that even our leaders who celebrate a culture of death, who celebrate the murder of children in the womb and want to make that one of their lead agenda items, as well as all the other leftist agenda, and I dare say there’s some on the far right who are crazy as well and they’re given over to pagan ideology.

James Walker: In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul warned about those who would preach another Jesus, another spirit, and another Gospel. And so that other spirit, what we’re seeing is it’s not that they’re against spirituality so much, but it’s not the Holy Spirit perhaps. There is an element within cults, and certainly within the occult that there is some spiritual reality there, some of it’s real, but it’s not true. And it could be a demonic.

Tim Moore: That’s a good way to put it. So, what would you say to someone who is watching today and says, I have a loved one who is ensnared in these very kind of lies, whether it’s the occult, whether it’s a cult, whether it’s some kind of false religion altogether, how do we reach them for the cause of Christ?

James Walker: A lot of our ministry deals in this area, people contact us all the time. And let me say, it’s one of the most difficult, when you’re talking about family, when you are talking about your children or grandchildren, it’s very, very difficult because you don’t want to blow up the relationship, but you don’t want to endorse it either, you know, so how do you do that? What I recommend is, first of all, you need to become an expert, as much as humanly possible, on that particular theology, doctrine or that religious group, and learn as much as you can. So, like you might not be interested in a disease, but when your loved one gets the disease, I want to know everything about that disease. What are the treatments? What are the cures? And so, but just because you know the information, to him it doesn’t mean you can force them to listen to you say it, you’ve got to wait and pray and ask God to open the door. Don’t cram it down their throat. Be there to let them know that you love them. That you’re always going to be family to them. And then ask God to open the door. So, when they have a question, when they’re ready to talk and they ask you a question, you don’t want to be in a position where you really didn’t study, that you’re not ready to answer that question. But I find some parents, some grandparents, they want to force that door open, and you got to be patient. God is not up in heaven wringing His hands, worried about this. He’s got a plan. He is in control. And we can always know that greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.

Tim Moore: And sometimes that means being patient, to wait until someone else is the right person to open that door.

James Walker: Exactly.

Tim Moore: Because whether it’s baggage, or whether it’s just a relationship strain, we may not personally be the person to intercede, but our prayers can intervene on behalf, and then we trust God to bring them across paths with someone who can be that right person.

James Walker: Yeah.

Nathan Jones: Well, James, what are some of the warning signs that we’re looking out for if a loved one’s being pulled into a cult? I think of Allison Mack from “Smallville,” I used to love watching “Smallville,” and a lot of her cast were actually shocked when she was found to be part of a sex cult, Nxivm. They said she wasn’t just drinking the Kool-Aid; she was swimming in it. How do we discern if our loved ones are falling into such a cult?

James Walker: You can sometimes notice a change in behavior. A lot of the cults do focus on campuses, university campuses and so, your granddaughter or your son may be involved with World Mission Society Church of God, very active on. The Kip McKean’s organization, he came out of the Crossroads Church of Christ Movement, so, there are several campus-based groups, and Christians on Campus they will sometimes go under that name. But you’ll see a change of behavior. You’ll see, a wanting to get away from family. The cults will often want to say, “No, we’re your family not you’re not your parents, we are your family. They won’t understand. It’s okay you’re helping your parents by not telling them the truth. “If they ask you where you are, during spring break, don’t tell them the truth.” So they’re being coached on how to guide through that relationship with the parents. And so, you want to ask some questions in a subtle way not in a way of condemning. But can you tell me more about this church that you’re going to? Can you give me some information? Do they have a website? Something that you can do a little background study on. And just be–but the calls that we usually get, they noticed a personality change with their family member.

Tim Moore: It’s funny you say be more educated. I had a roommate one time who was Mormon, and I began to study. And as I studied and engaged in conversation, I realized I knew more about his faith than he did. At least his claim of no, that’s not true. I said, well, it’s right here. And I was bringing to light things that he was unaware of. Well, James, we’ve quoted Scripture today about the end times. Do you see this getting any better, or do you see the explosion of cults in our day and age only getting worse as the end draws near?

James Walker: A lot of people, a lot of Christians, oh, we’re going to have these last days revivals. I kind of see the opposite. You know, prophecy says there’s going to be an exponential rise of deception and false prophecy. That’s almost kind of tells you maybe we’re in the end times just because we’re seeing that upswing. There’s always been deception, like you said, but it seems to be, significantly more and faster now than it’s ever been. And so, yes, I think we living in those days.

Tim Moore: What would you say to a person if they’ve watched all the way through on this program and they say, well, I’m kind of involved in something y’all are calling a cult. What would be your pitch to them to step into the light of Christ and out of the darkness?

James Walker: No one knows they’re in a cult. I mean, if you knew, you’d leave. And so, this is when I was a Mormon, I had to face this. What if my friends are right? And so you have to do your own research. And so I’d be more than happy to provide anything that I’m saying give you background information to show you from the writings of the leaders, from their scriptures, give you that information to let you see both sides. There are two sides to every story.

Tim Moore: And what is your website? So, how can we get in touch with you?

James Walker: It’s at watchman.org, so www.watchman.org.

Tim Moore: Just like Ezekiel. James, any last word of encouragement to Christians who are watching today and whose hearts would be heavy, again, for a loved one or just for the time in which we live?

James Walker: While there’s great deception going on right now, I’ve never seen an outpouring of people coming to Christ out of these groups. Islam is a case in point. Never in the history of the world has more people been coming to Christ out of Islam than in the history of Islam. And so, I want to be part of that. I want to be able to have the questions, have that relationship, know how to have that Gospel conversation. So, if God chooses to use me to help someone, I want to say, I’m ready, please, Lord use me.

Tim Moore: Well, James, I can tell you I so much appreciate your faithfulness to your calling and to share with us and our viewers how we, the church in general, but us as individuals, can shine the light of Christ even into the darkness surrounding us all over today.

James Walker: Thanks.

Tim Moore: Thank you.

Part 2

Tim Moore: Even as we were recording this brief series on False Prophets, Cults and Demonic Deceptions, America witnessed a dramatic demonstration of all three. Elite college campuses erupted in spasms of violence and hate as students, faculty, and outside agitators railed against Israel and America, proclaiming their solidarity with the Palestinian cause, and even the terrorist group Hamas. Ironically, the word Hamas actually means unrestrained rage, and that is exactly what we saw on full display as elite universities lost control of their campuses.

Nathan Jones: Clearly some of these so-called protests were stoked by false prophets of hate. But the indisputable fact is that thousands of students have been indoctrinated to buy into a Marxist cult of oppression, anarchy and Antisemitism. Instead of gaining enlightenment through education, they demonstrate what Paul called “the futility of their minds being darkened in their understanding because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” Behind all of this is a demonic deception from the pit of Hell.

Tim Moore: Speaking to a group of Jewish Pharisees Jesus said, “You are of the father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The father of lies is behind all the lies being perpetrated on Columbia and UCLA and dozens of campuses in between. Satan is behind the unrestrained hatred and rage that motivates the demented terrorists in Gaza and Iran.

But hear me very clearly Jesus came to offer salvation to those who are perishing. He came to bring light into this dark world, and He came to offer truth to those ensnared in lies. To those who believe in Him Jesus said, “If you continue in My Word then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We are not filled with hate, or rage even toward those who are hate filled and raging. Our prayer is that they too will come to know Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life who has set up free.

Nathan Jones: If you would like to learn more about the false prophets, cults and demonic deceptions multiplying all around us in order to warn your friends and family, and speak truth into the lives of people you love consider purchasing bundle #904. While supplies last and at the special price of $30, including shipping and handling it contains: Warren Smith’s insightful book, “The Titanic and Today’s Church,” along with four classic Lamb & Lion DVDs: “The New Age Movement,” with Dr. Reagan and Warren Smith, “World Religions,” and “The Dangers of the Cults,” with Dr. Reagan and Ron Carlson, and “Catholicism vs. Evangelism Christianity,” with David Reagan and Mike Gendron.

Tim Moore: Altogether that is almost 5 hours of powerful video teaching. Just visit our online store at christinprophecy.org, or call the number on the screen and tell them you want bundle #904.


Tim Moore: Folks, we have covered this series in prayer, knowing that as we have endeavored to expose Satan’s nefarious tactics, the Prince of Darkness would oppose us at every turn. Even as we’ve called out false prophets, cults, and demonic deceptions that have ensnared millions of God’s image bearers our ultimate battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Nathan Jones: We pray that, like us, you’ll be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might, and will take Paul’s advice to put on the full armor of God. Surely if the angel sent to encourage Daniel could be detained for 21 days by the demon assigned to plague Persia you and I cannot be cavalier towards Satan and his minions.

Tim Moore: That’s exactly right. Jesus told His disciples that they would only defeat certain demons with prayer and fasting. In other words, our weapons are not words or arguments or anything outward, but a total reliance on the power of God. For those of you who have a deep burden of sorrow for someone you love who is given over to deception, we join you in heartfelt prayer. For those who know someone who is flirting with deception and being led astray we know your heartache.

Nathan Jones: We would simply encourage you to speak the truth in love, bear a consistent testimony of faithfulness to the true and living God, and redouble your own intercessory prayers, then let God be God.

Tim Moore: Our great God loves our loved ones infinitely more than we can. He proved that by sending His only Son to be our Savior, pray without ceasing, and then trust in the Holy Spirit.

Nathan Jones: If you have questioned your own faith, or felt the siren song of Satan’s lies pulling you away from Christ, then heed Jesus’ admonition to see to it that no one misleads you. Visit our website for more information about this topic or to subscribe to our Lamplighter Magazine, you can get the electronic version for free, or you can call the number on the screen to subscribe to the print edition. If you do so today, we’ll be sure to send you a copy of our latest edition that focused on false prophets, cults, and demonic deceptions.

Tim Moore: We’ll be back next week with another episode of Christ in Prophecy that we know will be a blessing to you. Until then, keep looking up for our Blessed Hope, the Way, the Truth, and the Life whose light can illuminate every darkened heart is drawing near. Godspeed.

End of Program

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