15/09/19 – All “Christian” cults misquote or misuse the Bible to “prove” their heresies.

2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The common sense Golden Rule of Interpretation
“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” –Dr. David L. Cooper (1886-1965),
founder of The Biblical Research Society
This has often been shortened to “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest it result in nonsense.”
Please don’t fall for the trap of using human reasoning to twist the meaning of a phrase into something you want it to mean. I have heard the most outlandish doctrines developed out of the interpretation of a particular phraseology of partial verses in a certain translation. Why?! How can that possibly be what God wanted us to learn from his written word?

We’ll focus on “Christian” cults today, those beliefs that claim to be Christian yet are clearly heresies. All “Christian” cults claim to be the only ones who interpret the Bible accurately, and that full salvation therefore may only be found in their belief system (that is, exclusivity). Some may appear to tolerate others outside their group for the sake of keeping them onside, but cult teachings will always demonstrate that they alone are eligible for the full salvation offered by the one they call God.

The JWs teach that Christ was a created being just like man, and that man was capable of being as much a god as Christ. JWs misquote John 1:1 to teach that Christ was not God but just “a god”. They teach that man could be the same god as Christ, misquoting verses to “prove” that a “perfect” man could be declared God just like Christ. Therefore, they say, Christ was no more than a created being just like man.
JWs – John 1:1-3  1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in [the] beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence. (New World Translation)
Biblical truth – JOHN 1:1-3   1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (KJV)

In the Interlinear (literal from the Greek), John 1:1 says – “and God was the Word” (https://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/1-1.htm)
While ancient Greek didn’t have an indefinite article, it is indeed awkward to say that “a god was the Word”, far more awkward than “the Word was a god”. In fact, to say that “a god was the Word” is so unlikely a translation as to be considered unacceptable! The fact that the Greek actually has it as “and God was the Word” makes it clear that the original has been corrupted by JWs to fit in with their desired meaning.
Also note that not one thing was made without the Word (Jesus). Therefore, if Jesus is created, then He must have created Himself!? Yet the JWs claim that Jesus was a created being!

The Granville Sharp rule was formulated to demonstrate the deity of Christ, that Christ was God along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, that is, Trinitarian rather than Unitarian (which JWs are). Granville Sharp used this rule to demonstrate the godhood of Christ, and in particular, using verses such as Titus 2:13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; where the rule demonstrates that Jesus Christ is also the great God, while Unitarians teach that “the great God” and “our Saviour Jesus Christ” are actually two separate beings.

JWs teach that Adam and Eve would become like God if they ate of the fruit.
JWs – Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the very day YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad.” (NWT)
Biblical truth – GENESIS 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV)
However, these both merely say that Adam and Eve would be like God in knowing good and bad. We are to be holy as God is holy; we aren’t required by this to be God!

Moses also would “serve as God” in the following.
JWs – Exodus 4:16  And he must speak for you to the people; and it must occur that he will serve as a mouth to you, and you will serve as God to him. (NWT)
Biblical truth – EXODUS 4:16  And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, {even} he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (KJV)
Or “in place of God”. There is no question about this one; it can only mean that Moses will be acting on behalf of God, in similar fashion as one of God’s prophets (who were also called oracles or mouthpieces of God. He is merely an ambassador for God!

JWs are therefore typical of the behaviour of cults that claim to be scripturally correct, yet are forced to misquote verses in order to ensure that their teachings appear to be right. They used to accept the KJV Bible, but then wrote their own (corrupt) New World Translation to better teach their heresies.

Many cults, in an effort to look biblically correct, produce their own translation of the Bible. Other cults claim to use the Bible as their reference, yet add extra-revelation material which overrides the Bible itself (such as the book of Mormon) or even require their tradition and church leader pronouncements to overrule the Bible (such as catholics and SDAs). Most cults are the product of someone thinking he (or she) had been given a new revelation from God (such as Joseph Smith [Mormons], Mary Baker Eddy [Christian Science], Charles Russell [JWs – originally known as Russellites] or Ellen White [SDAs]). The one thing that all Christian cults have is an effort to appear Christian while teaching something quite different, either by misquoting the Bible, producing their own Bible translation, or using an “extra revelation” that adds to what the Bible teaches, often overruling it in the process. One thing common to all cults is that they do not adhere to the plain scriptural truth alone.

Catholics do have their own Bible – the Jerusalem Bible – but it is their emphasis upon extra revelation that adds to and overrules the Bible itself. They teach that what the pope says in his official capacity is infallible, which means that if his declaration denies biblical truth, then the Bible must be reinterpreted to agree with the pope.
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” Infallibility is, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, “more than a simple, de facto absence of error. It is a positive perfection, ruling out the possibility of error”. (Wikipedia)
That is, the Bible can be “wrong” but the pope never wrong!

Catholics also believe that it is both the Bible and the ongoing teachings of the church (that is, sacred tradition) that constitute the truth. Therefore, even if the Bible doesn’t say it, if the church (especially pope) has declared it to be a truth, then it is law. Therefore, in the catholic church, their teaching traditions may overrule the Bible where there is a conflict or lack of teaching on the subject. Thus the Bible may be “reinterpreted” to be brought into line with what the church teaches. This then defines the catholic church as a Christian cult, pretending to be biblical but not biblical in actual practice. It also must be noted that catholics use much of the right biblical terminology but often mean something quite different to what the Bible teaches. In this they have similarities with calvinism.

The Mormons were started by Joseph Smith who believed that he had been chosen by God to launch a new religion. His authority was allegedly granted to him through the use of large glasses which could allegedly read extra-revelational material from the angel Moroni. It is defined as a Christian cult because of its desire to be seen as Christian while at the same time teaching heresies that oppose biblical truth.
Mormons teach that man can become God, and that God was once a man:
“God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted immortal resurrected man!” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 322-23, 517, 643)

“…God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens…” (Journal of Discourses, V6, P3, 1844)
“As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become.” (Lorenzo Snow, quoted in Milton R. Hunter, the Gospel Through the Ages, pp. 105-106) …….
The Bible declares, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20) However, the Mormon Church claims that other writings, such as the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s writings are also authoritative. In fact, Joseph Smith taught his people to doubt the accuracy of the Bible: “…it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 10)

The SDAs proclaim that they are Christian; in fact, if asked what they believe in, they will often strive to prove their Christianity before informing others that they are SDAs. Their gospel appears to be good, yet their salvation appears to be more along the lines of those law-loving Galatians that Paul condemned. According to the SDAs, you may be a Christian according to the biblical gospel, yet if you break the law, especially the 10 commandments, and in particular the breaking of the Sabbath law, then your Christian status will be revoked until you repent and are restored again. According to their “prophetess, Ellen White, breaking the Sabbath commandment was akin to taking the mark of the beast.
Here we find the mark of the beast. The very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday ….. (Ellen G. White, The Mark of the Beast, page 23)
Biblical truth is cast out in favour of legal correctness.

Paul said Galatians 1:6-96I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 3:10-1210For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
His teaching was clear – for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:21)

Therefore, despite claiming that they are saved by grace through Jesus Christ, the SDAs demand that the law be the evidence of this salvation, in spite of the clear teaching that salvation by grace is in opposition to justification by the law.

All Christian cults deny the deity of Christ to some significant degree. Many (like the JWs and Mormons) deny His deity completely, proclaiming that He was no more than a perfect created man. Others (such as catholics and SDAs) deny His deity more subtly by removing His input into the gospel yet still teaching that He has full input.

Many Pentecostal and charismatic churches clearly proclaim the gospel, yet require that it be demonstrated through signs and wonders.
Hebrews 2:3-43How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him]; 4God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
The signs and wonders here are clearly the evidence of such salvation, not the salvation itself. When people are saved, signs and wonders may witness to their conversion, yet those signs and wonders could not provide salvation on their own. Yet if a person demonstrates what is interpreted as a sign or wonder (such as at Toronto) then this on its own is assumed to be the “proof” of their salvation, likewise speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit etc. But once again, Christ has been removed from His gospel. The signs and wonders themselves have become the gospel of salvation. People may now be saved without invoking the actual presence of Christ in the process! This is yet another example of a Christless salvation; therefore this is the behaviour of a cult.

To determine the basis for someone’s salvation, ask for the testimony of that person. For the JW it is belonging to the JW organisation, for there is no salvation outside their group. The same applies to the Mormons. For SDAs their testimony must be based upon their obedience to the law of God. For the catholic it is to belong to that church and to carry out all requirements such as baptism, communion and confession; this becomes their testimony of salvation. For many charismatic churches, their testimony of salvation is to have been involved in some spiritual manifestation such as tongues or being slain in the spirit, or even being healed. Even calvinists are not permitted to claim that they called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, for they must teach that you do not choose God; He chooses you! Instead, their testimony must be that they were chosen as one of God’s elect from the foundation of the world.
Note that not one of those from the above religious groups can demonstrate their salvation by testifying that they called upon the name of the Lord to be saved! Not one of these groups has Christ as the central character in their salvation testimony!

The proclamation of salvation independently of Christ, while at the same time attributing it to Christ, effectively leaves Christ out of the transaction in Christian cults. His name is invoked, yet He is refused access to the actual process. This behaviour is common to Christian cults. Calvinists invoke the name of Christ in their gospel of salvation, yet make it impossible for Him to be part of such salvation until after the person has been born again with eternal life from the Spirit. This effectively renders calvinism as teaching a Christless salvation. The biblical gospel makes Christ the centre of God’s salvation from start to finish (alpha to omega, the beginning and the end), and any gospel that effectively leaves Him out until the salvation has been effected defines that belief as a cult.

Over and over we get Christian cults claiming to be Christian but not according to the Bible. They all redefine the input of Christ into the biblical gospel such that they, not Christ, define just who is and who isn’t a Christian. All the groups mentioned here declare themselves to be Christian. Even the JWs have declared to me that they are Christian, to which I said that was impossible, for their “Christ” couldn’t even save himself, let alone anyone else, because he wasn’t God! This caused great anger in one of the two women I said it to. The Mormons are currently making a push to have themselves seen as Christian, saying that they prefer to not be called Mormons, preferring the Church of Jesus Christ (leaving off Latter Day Saints because it sounds less Christian!). The catholics have always claimed to be Christian (“catholic” means universal, for all), and their teachings on salvation use familiar words, yet with different meanings than genuine Christianity. For example, receiving Christ means taking the wafer at communion, and salvation is via baptism and belonging to the catholic church. In fact, the catholic church has one major teaching that is common to all the cults to some or all degree: you have to be one of them to be saved. Leave the church and you are anathema! The JWs declare you to be a non-person if you leave, and the SDAs declare you lost unless you are bound by their teachings on the keeping of the law.

And unless you are declared one of the elect, you cannot be a calvinist Christian. Their god has unconditionally chosen his saved ones from the beginning of time, and if you are on that list, you are going to heaven. If not, then you aren’t going to heaven. If you are one of the elect, you will attend an approved church and do all the approved things, including all the works required for such approval. After all, according to calvinism, it’s not the words you say but the works that you do that enable you to enter heaven!
Those who do not do the approved works are not likely to be one of the elect on their way to heaven! If you claim to be going to heaven because you made a decision to be saved, then according to Todd Friel you are still heading for hell. (People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. – “Ten reasons not to ask Jesus into your heart”)
You don’t decide you want to be saved, for if their god doesn’t want to save you, forget it! Only those who are clearly in some way chosen by God may go to heaven; all others forget it!

These days with the new calvinism, it is no longer those who live good puritan lives who are going to heaven, but rather it is those who sin, repent, confess and are restored to fellowship (via the biblical counsellor) who may be declared one of the elect. It is the act of the calvinist god restoring you to fellowship that defines your elect status; thus sin is necessary in order to be restored, for the calvinist god only permits his grace to be granted to his elect when they sin! If you are one of the elect, there is no sin that you can commit that can ever cause you to miss out on heaven. If you sin, then it was not only permitted but required in order that the calvinist god might demonstrate his grace in restoring you. In this way, sin is necessary for the calvinist god to be completely glorified. (And because wrath is a necessary attribute of the calvinist god, he must demonstrate this wrath at sinners to fully reveal his complete nature. That is, without sin, the calvinist god cannot be fully whole because his wrath at sin would remain unfulfilled.)

In order to justify these non-biblical heresies, calvinism must redefine what the Bible says in many places. The biblical gospel requires God to use foreknowledge to determine the future decisions to call upon the name of the Lord in order to choose His elect for the book of Life from the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8). In the Bible, foreknowledge permits God to choose according to the free will decisions of man. Calvinism cannot exist if man could choose to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, so foreknowledge has to be redefined as something other than God knowing the future from the beginning to the end. Therefore being elect according to God’s foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2) cannot be permitted to mean what it clearly says, so foreknowledge must be redefined as a relationship that God has with His chosen elect. The calvinists also claim Romans 8:29-30 (For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son …..) as one of their proof verses, yet it clearly teaches that the process commences with God’s foreknowledge. So how can they deal with this one? Piper says: God does not foreknow the free decisions of people to believe in him because there aren’t any such free decisions to know. ……. As C.E.B. Cranfield says, the foreknowledge of Romans 8:29 is “that special taking knowledge of a person which is God’s electing grace.” Such foreknowledge is virtually the same as election: “Those whom he foreknew (i.e. chose) he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism, Revised March, 1998)

If the Bible says “all” and calvinism says it can’t be “all”, then they will redefine “all” to mean “all kinds of”, or “the elect”, or something similar. The word “all” is made to conform to the calvinist doctrines. It may only mean “all without exception” if that is supported by calvinism. For example, Hebrews 2:8 says that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. But calvinists cannot accept this so they would redefine this (as per a well-known study Bible) by adding the words: “for all that believe, that is.

They do not actually demonstrate the straightforward meaning to be incorrect, either, but instead present their heresy as the truth so that it will be seen as the preferred (or only) interpretation. MacArthur in “A Portrait of False Teachers, Part 2” says (of 1 Peter 1:2) that there are two ways to understand it. At no time does he actually demonstrate the straightforward interpretation to be wrong; in fact, he admits that it could be true, yet teaches as the truth what he personally thinks is true!
Two ways to view it.  First of all, you can view it as universal provision for the redemption of sinners, even though they refuse it and are damned. 
But I think there is a second sense in which we have to understand this …..

In every situation where calvinism conflicts with the straightforward meaning of the Bible, another less-straightforward meaning must be found to support the calvinist teaching by replacing the original biblical meaning. In every case of conflict, calvinism always overrules biblical truth, just as the pope may overrule biblical truth in the catholic church. Therefore, like all other Christian cults, calvinism must redefine the Bible so that in all cases of conflict it is in agreement with calvinism. If some conflicts were resolved in favour of the Bible, then it might be more believable, but if all conflicts are resolved in favour of calvinism, then calvinism is definitely a Christian cult.


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