Fred R. Coulter—April 24, 1993

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If you want to put a title for this sermon, this will be entitled In the Wake of Waco. And I know I mentioned that I would give a sermon on cults, and Francine talked to me last week, so I promised her I would bring a sermon on cults in the light of events that have transpired. So, we'll ask the question, first of all, what is a cult?

I had an unusual experience. I went down to Dunnville's Store and got something on my way out of town. Dunnville's is kind of like a little country store, and I asked the owner there—that I know, his name is Bill—I said, 'What do you think of the problems in Waco?' He said, 'Don't get me started.' So I said okay. One of the girls popped up and said, 'Well, it's good to get rid of a cult, we don't need cults.' And I said, 'By whose definition? If I say you're a cult, then by whose definition is right? Is it the government's definition? Is it my definition? Is it our enemy's definition? Is it our friend's definition?' So I decided to try and solve the problem by looking in the Authoritative Webster's Dictionary. So here's what it says—and it doesn't help much:

A cult

  • a system of religious worship or ritual.
  • devoted attachment to or extravagant admiration for a person, principle, especially one regarded as a fad, as the cult of nudism, a group of followers, a sect.

That labels almost everyone in the world that has any belief in anything as a cult—right? Yes, it does!

A sect:

  • Is a group of people having common leadership, common set of opinions, common philosophical doctrine, etc., school or following.
  • Any group holding certain views, political principles, etc., in common.
  • A religious denomination, especially a small church that has broken away from an established church.

Now, you see all the difficulties you get in these definitions.

Is the Democratic Party a sect? Is the government a sect? Yes! Well, we'll cover quite a few things about that, but I thought it was very profound that on the very day that they were celebrating the opening of the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C., or New York—one of the two—they were bulldozing down the building in Waco. And I got to thinking about that quite a bit, especially in the light of the worst statement I heard out of the whole thing, and a lot of people just missed it entirely—there were two statements made by a liberal in Berkley, California—hotbed of the New Age movement and total liberalism in the United States—said that there are over '2500 cults, and now we have to go after all of them.'

And the other one was made by Janet Reno, our incompetent hillbilly who is the head of the Dept. of Justice—she said "we need to investigate these cults so this kind of thing won't happen again." And my thought was, why don't we start investigating with her and the ATF. But the problem is, you see, now they're going to have hearings on cults. So now cults are going to be defined by the government. And when the government defines anything and gets a nomenclature on anything, you have had it, because we are oppressed by bureaucracies.

So, there are cult-watching networks. They've got the goodies on everybody. There is the Cult-Watchtower put out from Texas. Someone gave me a copy of that somewhere—I forget who gave it to me—but what they do, they name every organization that keeps the Sabbath and the Holy Days and does not believe in the trinity as a cult. Is that the definition they're going to use? Who knows! So we've got some real difficult problems.

Plus, I don't know if you've heard of it back there, but the Anti-defamation League has been spying on Americans—hundreds of thousands of them—for years. And all of those files are gradually making their way into the government archives.

Now, let's look at the thing down here in Waco. I know when it first started, Evelyn called me and said go watch the television, and I didn't have a chance to do that—I'm sorry that I didn't. But immediately the propaganda started saying they were shooting each other and they set the fires so 'we couldn't get at them.' But that is not true.

All of the defendants who got out unanimously said that the fires were started when they sent the tanks in to push in the walls, because they had the inside of the walls lined with bales of hay to stop the bullets; and the FBI had cut off the electricity so they had kerosene lanterns. So as soon as they started pushing in the walls, it knocked over the kerosene lanterns and then just all havoc broke loose. And when you get hay started burning, then it's gone—nothing goes faster than hay. And everyone tries to justify what they did:

  • 'Well, the agents were tired and we need to have some action, because it's been 51 days.'
  • Well, at Wounded Knee they waited 78 days and got everybody out alive.
  • 'We are concerned about the children'
  • So we go in and kill them.

Doesn't make any sense! They had a compound there where they had classrooms, they had a gymnasium, they had a swimming pool, they had classes. Granted, they were probably into certain things of improper sex and things like that; and granted, they had fanatical religious views, which were not correct according to the Bible—but, there's no law against being a kook! There is a law which says we shall have freedom of speech.

So all of this, I really feel, was a first movement to set up the thing so that people will be psychologically programmed, like this dingy little dame down there in Dunnville, who says, "Oh, we don't want any cults around." They program everyone so that's exactly the way people will think, so they can come after anyone.

I believe that's why it's good we're meeting in homes. Now, I'll give you a true definition of a religious cult, and then we'll go back and we'll talk a little bit about some of the things that have happened, which shows that this is a total government bungle, totally unwarranted, should never have happened. If you have child abuse you don't send in tanks and kill the children. If you have sexual abuse you don't come in and surround them with tanks and cut off the electricity. There are different ways to handle it.

There is no law which says—by the way they were not in violation of Texas law at all—there's no law which says you cannot stockpile weapons; and the second amendment was made to prevent things like this so you could kill those government agents coming in to get you. Now, I'm not for killing government agents. Please don't misunderstand me in that. But when they left Europe and they had all the government oppression coming in at midnight and running down doors and burning the buildings, when they set up the United States, they had the militia not only to protect the national sovereignty, but to keep the federal government from doing what they just did.

Now, let me give you a true definition of a religious cult, so you might want to take this down: The true definition of a religious cult is anyone or any organization that places itself or its leader between you and God. By that definition they were a cult, but cults cannot be outlawed by civil law; otherwise they'd go after everybody. Let me give that definition again—this is what I came to with it: religious cult is anyone or any organization that places itself or its leader between you and God. Now, we'll amplify that a little bit later.

They did have that down there in Waco, but the problem is that no one was there with the truth to try and solve it. I think they were just about ready to get them to agree to come out. As a matter of fact, it was in Reading that we saw an interview with a man who was there and they were giving Koresh some new interpretations of Revelation.
So the whole thing is just absolutely unreal the way it happened! And I was glad to see that the Texas Rangers have taken over the initial investigation. I don't know what they did to 'Ma Richards' down there in Texas. They probably told her, 'Look, you don't turn this over to the Feds or you're through!' They're in there doing all the forensic thing and there is no evidence that anyone was shot trying to escape. And no one who survived has said that they started the fires. It was started by the tanks.

Let's go ahead and we'll take some comments from here and I'll try and repeat them so you can hear them:

  • What should they have done when they came with the initial warrant?

Well, I don't think they came with a warrant, I think they came with the troops first. And, as I have said, they should have done what you're indicating here; that if they would have sent one man with a warrant to the door and said, 'Look, we're with the ATF, we have a search warrant, we would like to see your stock of weapons.' Then it would have been a whole different story. But if you're a true Christian—like you're saying there—"you agree with adversary while you are in the way." And in this case lest they knock over your building and burn you to death. So that gives a good moral to the story that true Christians should not stockpile weapons; because look what happens.

  • The comment was made that they didn't have any right to go in there in the first place because the Constitution allows for the stockpiling of weapons.

You would have to say that would be correct up to a certain point of where there would be revolution. Now then you've got another whole different situation in hand. But I also heard that they were trading in those weapons as a means of earning money. So you've got a whole different scenario there. It would be like trying to raid a gun store in that particular sense.

  • The comment was made that there are times when 'might makes right'—whether it's wrong or not

—and you'd better agree with them while you're in the way. I mean, would they not have all been better off if they had agreed? At least they would have been alive. At least the children would have been alive, too.

Let's look at a couple of Scriptures which cover that kind of thing. And you know, I've had people ask me, 'Well, would it be wrong to have gun?' Now, that's not the correct question. Of course, it's not wrong to have a gun. But even when Peter had the sword and cut off the servant's, of the high priest, ear—Jesus said that was enough! So, I don't think that we ought to be out there causing war, committing war, fighting against the government. Yes, we're to give them a witness, but boy, I tell you, I think if we mind our business and keep our noses clean, then if pressure's brought upon us, then it'll be a whole different sort than what came upon them.

Here in Romans 13, we have what God says about the 'higher powers'; what God says about the government. When Paul wrote this, we need to understand that it was a Roman dictatorship of which he was writing. In spite of all the problems that are going to come about because the "power to be"—the one-worlders—want to get rid of Christians, we know that the time coming down the line it's going to happen. But in the meantime, we can learn some lessons from this, and we can learn how to act and how not to act.

Romans 13:1: "Let everyone be subject to the higher authorities because there is no authority except from God; and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God; so then, the one who sets himself against the authority is resisting the ordinance of God… [Now, that was in the same Bible that Koresh was reading to his followers.] …and those who resist shall receive judgment to themselves" (vs 1-2). You've got that part in there.

You also have another part in this whole situation, which is that if you discount the children and the women and the ones who died, you have a situation where Koresh said that he was Yahweh, meaning the Son of God. Now almost everyone who takes the position of God, says they are God, puts themselves in place of God, end up dying. I mean, look at Jimmy Jones; look at Yahweh Ben Yahweh down in Florida; look at some of these other things. So those people who are involved in religion need to realize that they can't let anything get to the point where the leader appoints himself as God. You know if that happens, and if you're in a group like that you better fast get out of there because there's going to be danger coming along.

Verse 3: "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil works. Do you desire not to be afraid of the authority? Then practice good, and you will have praise from it." That has to be where then it doesn't violate your faith. We can't have anything violating our faith in these different situations.
Verse 4: "For he is a servant of God to you for good…." If the government would have gone about it properly by saying that 'now we need to come in here because there are testimonies and indications of people of those who have left that there are sexual misbehavior, perversion, incest, child-sexual things going on, and we need to handle that from the point-of-view of the social worker or the health department kind of thing—that would have been a whole different story. So what you're dealing with, you're dealing with a government that is not right. You're dealing with an organization that wasn't right, and the two of them got at total loggerheads and neither one was willing to give in until 'death do us part'—if we could use that in that horrible way. So that's really a very difficult and treacherous thing that happens there.

Let's go to Matthew 5:25, and let's see what Jesus said which is really true. This is obviously if you are in the wrong; this not if you are not wrong. "Agree with your adversary quickly… [obviously, it has to be if you're wrong] …while you are in the way with him; lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Truly I say to you, there is no way that you shall come out of there until you have paid the very last coin" (vs 25-26). So those are two principles that we need to watch in any of these situations in dealing with the law.

Let's understand that Jesus Christ could have been labeled a leader of a cult; because Jesus Christ was against the establishment. And He turned down every opportunity to try and defend Himself—didn't He? Yes, He did! Okay, Christ was mislabeled. Let's see what they called Him:

Matthew 12:22: "Then was brought to Him one who was possessed by a demon, blind and dumb; and He healed him, so that the one who had been blind and dumb both spoke and saw. And the multitudes were all amazed, and said, 'Is this the Son of David?' But when the Pharisees heard this… [who were part of the establishment] …they said, 'This man does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, prince of the demons'" (vs 22-24).

There you go! We don't know how many lies were brought up against Koresh and the group there, which were not true. Now I'm sure some of you have been a victim of lies. I've been victimized by lies, and I've been victimized by my own stupidity on top of it. Sometimes you get the two mixed in together, and you got a real big problem. So you've got that situation involved.

Let's go to John, the eighth chapter, and let's see another whole principle. What we are seeing is that the world—which is run by Satan the devil—is now beginning to define true Christians as cults. If you don't believe in the trinity and if you keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, you are a cult, according to their definition. Now, there's some other things that the Bible shows, which really makes the religion a cult (which we will look at in just a little bit).

But here in John 8:31 we're going to see some very important factors here as we go along: "Therefore, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, 'If you continue in My Word…" We can go through and show where Koresh was not continuing in the Word of God. He had his own version of Revelation. And apparently what he did, he took the book of Revelation and applied it to his group directly. In other words, the book of Revelation was only talking about that one little group. So obviously, he wasn't continuing in the Word of God at all—not at all whatsoever.

"…you are truly My disciples. And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free'" (vs 31-32). That's one thing that is so important in our relationship with God. Never allow anyone to take away your freedom of choice—whether right or wrong. God doesn't take it away from us. And never allow anyone to stand between you and God.

So here in this case, v 33: "They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. What do You mean by saying, "You shall become free"?'…. ['What is this you're talking about?'] …Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a servant of sin'" (vs 33-34). That's how you judge the behavior of different situations: Are they living by the Word of God? or are they living by sin? And if they had child abuse and if they had sex-perversion, if they had these other things there, then they're not living by the Word of God.

Verse 35: "And the servant does not live in the house forever; but the Son lives forever. Therefore, if the Son shall set you free, you shall truly be free" (vs 35-36). It's sure tragic how so many religions and take that freedom that Christ intends to give us and puts it into a yoke that they put upon their own followers and disciples.

Jesus continued and said, v 37: "I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you are seeking to kill Me, because My words do not enter into your minds…. [That's when true persecution is going to come: when the Word of God has no place in the people in the world.] …I speak the things that I have seen from My Father, and you do the things that you have seen from your father.' They answered and said to Him, 'Our father is Abraham.' Jesus said to them, 'If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I have heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father.' Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication. We have one Father, and that is God'" (vs 37-41).

And it's sure true. The way that you try and convince people that you're right is to label the other person—'be born of fornication.' I don't figure, in what happened there, that there's any justification for what they did to push in the buildings, to cause the fire, kill all of those people because of the alleged violations that were there. It's just complete governmental abuse.

Up in Idaho, they sent an ATF agent up there to buy a shotgun and it was 1/16th of an inch shorter on the barrel than it should have been, so they sent all the ATF agents around his house—surrounded it—and they had two personnel carriers and those tank-like vehicles up there. They killed: shot a 12-year-old boy [his son] in the back; shot his wife who was holding the baby—and they did absolutely nothing wrong. So we need to also look at the situation that there are the forces of evil out there and we need to be as Jesus said: 'Wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.' Otherwise we're going to get ourselves into great difficulties far before the time when there's any persecution. There are two types of persecution:

  • That God wants you to go through for your own good.
  • That you bring upon yourself because of your own stupidity.

I've suffered both! And unfortunately, those down in Texas are suffering from their stupidity. They could have all gotten out. Didn't have to go to that. But when you start slinging names and say, 'Oh, it's a cult! Therefore, they deserved that.' What did Jesus say of those who were killed by the tower of Siloam? He said, 'Do you think they were sinners above all men on the earth? I tell you, no. Unless you repent you shall likewise perish.'

So, this labeling of things and coming along to try and pin epitaphs on someone is just the work of Satan; just like it is here; where they said:

"…'We have not been born of fornication. We have one Father, and that is God.' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My Words" (vs 41-43). That means they don't want to hear it.

Verse 44: "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice…." We're going to see more and more of that happening in the world, in religion, in different groups; and who knows what's going to happen down the road here. I tell you, the way things are going with the federal government, just be real careful about everything because we're just being oppressed by bureaucracies right and left.

"…He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you can convict Me of sin?…. [Koresh could have said that: 'Which of you can convict me of violating a law?' That would have been the best defense in the world.] …But if I speak the truth, why don't you believe Me? The one who is of God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God.' Then the Jews answered and said to Him, 'Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?'" (vs 44-48). Look what it all got down to there, even in this argument with Jesus. He's telling the truth, and they're turning around and accusing Him of being of Satan the devil.

Now let's see how Jesus did not want any cultism in the Church. Let's go to Matthew 20. Jesus did not want any cultism in the Church. Now how does cultism start in the Church? That's what we need to answer. How does cultism start in the Church? How can a small group of people—who believe God, who want to believe the Word of God—end up being a cult? How's that possible? Well, Jesus gave us the clues as to how it's possible and what we should do so it won't be. Because I just imagine that there are people—we talked about this morning; Delores looked at me and said, 'Boy, you could be called the leader of a cult. Just as well as anybody else.'

Jesus said, Matthew 20:20: "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, worshiping Him and asking a certain thing from Him…. [When you start playing politics everybody's going to get in trouble. That's what it is here.] …And He said to her, 'What do you desire?' She said to Him… [Now, how can you turn down a mother? How can you turn down a sweet lady?] …'Grant that these my two sons… [whom I love dearly, Lord] …may sit one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand in Your kingdom'" (vs 20-21). [Was not she politically sharp? She was trying to get the first two positions.

Verse 22: "But Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him… [Because they were standing right there with mom; and said, 'Mom, you go up and ask'] …'We are able'…. [They didn't have the faintest idea what they were saying. But it just shows you the enthusiasm of carnality. That's exactly what it is.] …And He said to them, 'You shall indeed drink of My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at My right hand and at My left hand is not Mine to give, but shall be given to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father'" (vs 22-23).

And yet, didn't we have the booklet in Worldwide: The Wonderful World Tomorrow, What it Will be Like? We had it all structured, who's going to be on the right hand, who's going to be on the left hand, who's going to be in charge of agriculture, who's going to be in charge of whatever. And then, just for convenience sake, we said, okay we'll take this minister because he's over Australia and we'll make him in charge of Australia for all the Kingdom. Now you see how all this carnality gets carried away. You sit here and think about it. We really did that? Yeah, we did! And they had one minister—Gerald Waterhouse—who went around and he was supposed to be watering the Church, and he was contaminating it wherever he went.
Now we've got a big fight started here in v 24: "And after hearing this, the ten were indignant against the two brothers…. [we've got a family fight going on here] …But Jesus called them to Him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship over them, and the great ones exercise authority over them…." (vs 24-25).

In other words, they are the final authority. They are dictators. They rule with iron fist. Now we're going to see a great one here who which caused problems in the Church, and I'm going to show you—from the Bible—that there were warnings that hierarchical, satanic-type organization was coming into the Church and THAT was the thing that was the warning in 1-Peter 5—so we'll get to that.

"…exercise authority over them'" (v 25). What do you mean exercise authority? You set down extra rules. Someone comes and says, 'Master, how should I tithe on my check?' Well, let me see your check; you do this, you do that and the other thing. No, it should be, before God, you need to determine what you're going to give. That's the proper answer. 'Master, what kind of car should I get?' Well, the minister's all get Plymouths. You can go on and on and on and on with all of these things. They use their Plymouth Furies because God would 'come in His fury'—it was actually said. Even in a joking way, it's incredible! So they 'exercise authority.'

You can't go visit your unconverted relatives because they're not in the Church. You cannot eat white sugar because it's not good for you. And any other rules that you want to have. That's exercising authority! So Jesus wanted to make sure the disciples understood that shouldn't be with the true Church of God, and that was the thing that began separating between the true church and the hierarchical church, which came later.
Verse 26: "However, it shall not be this way among you; but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant [minister]." That is to serve, to help, to teach—why? Because the minister is to feed the flock and always point the people to God. No other way:

  • not to exercise authority
  • not exercise control
  • not to rule over people's lives
  • not to interfere with their faith or anything like that

Verse 27: "And whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave [servant]… [and then He gives the example here] …just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many'" (vs 27-28).

So, here is the One Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament, gave up everything that He was as God, became a human being, was born of the virgin Mary, and humbled Himself to serve, rather than be served. Remember when He was standing there and Pilate said, 'Why aren't your servants fighting?' He said, 'If I ask for it I can have 10,000 legions of angels.' He didn't! He had all the power; gave it all up to serve and to die. So it's complete opposite of what people think of hierarchical church. "'…but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'"

Let's go to Acts 8 [corrected]—here we find the first cultist coming in contact with the Church of God—and this is Simon Magus. He was the one who set up the hierarchical counterfeit Church of God. He was the one who went to Rome. He was the one who was Nero's sorcerer. He was the one who helped establish—with the connection into Alexandria—that which later became the Roman Catholic Church. Carl Franklin is working on that, and I've been in contact with him on the phone and he's coming up with all kinds of things that are absolutely fantastic, we never knew before. Some of the reason being that some of these books were not translated until 1989. So we're going to have a whole new understanding as to what was going on in the book of Acts and in the epistles, and especially Galatians.

We know that Philip went down to Samaria, and let's pick it up here in Acts 8:5: "Then Philip went down to a city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ to them; and the multitudes listened intently with one accord to the things spoken by Philip when they heard and saw the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out ofmany of those who had them; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city" (vs 5-8). If there's one thing that other religionists don't like, they don't like see people having joy without their control. And here was the first hierarchical cultist who held people sway, who held them under his spell.

Verse 9: "But there was a certain man named Simon…" It's one particular individual. And the reason he's called 'Simon Magus' is because 'magus' means magician. A magician is one who uses sorcery. If you want a real interesting study sometime, go down to the library—if yours hasn't been closed because of low tax revenues—and look at the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics and read about Simon Magus. It will just absolutely dumbfound you what is known about him. Let's see his tactics.

"…who had from earlier times been practicing sorcery in the city… [sorcery then is witchcraft; sorcery is manipulation and mind-control] …and [bewitched] astounding the nation of Samaria…" (v 9)—now that's coming close to hypnotizing them.

Let's go to Deuteronomy 18, so that we can see—right from the Word of God—that this is the kind of religion, and these are the kind of tactics that God does not want us to use. God is very clear about this. There are other places in the book of Deuteronomy—the last part of chapters 12 & 13.

Deuteronomy 18:9: "When you come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations." We're also not to learn to do as the heathen nations in the way of government and rulership—right? We are not exercise lordship over them. We are not be called benefactors. We're not to be called the only one who has access to God—because that's not true.

So here's what they did, v 10: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or a fortuneteller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who seeks oracles from the dead" (vs 10-11). All of those things have to do with what we're talking about of sorcery in Acts 8.

Verse 12: "For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations whom you shall possess hearkened to observers of times and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so" (vs 12-14).

In Acts 8:9 we have this great religious leader in Samaria, and he had all the people there convinced. Now notice what he was doing to himself. He was exalting himself. "…proclaiming himself to be some great one…. [Jesus said you're not be like the great ones who are called benefactors. So that has to do with religious leaders.] …To him they had all given heed… [they were all obedient to] …from the least to the greatest, saying, 'This man is the great power of God…. [Now that's something when you think of it!] …This man is the great power of God.' Now they were giving heed to him because he had for a long time bewitched them with sorceries" (vs 9-11).

What happens when you're challenged for control? So here comes Philip. Who was Philip compared to Simon? Nothing! One of those fishermen from Galilee, preaching Christ.

Verse 12: "But when they believed Philip, who was preaching the gospel—the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ—they were baptized, both men and women…. [Then a strange and curious thing happens.] …Then Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized…" (vs 12-13). Here's a whole big problem starting in the New Testament Church. That's why Luke wrote it, so that we would know the source and the origin of it.
He [Simon] did not receive the Holy Spirit. but he was baptized. Now, I don't know what was going through Philip's mind. He probably thought, well, the man really repented. You know that would be phenomenal—wouldn't it? If you had one of the great, religious leaders of the world come and repent, and you baptized him. I don't know if Philip was going to go back to Jerusalem and say, 'Guess what guys, look what I did.' I don't know. I have no idea what was on his mind. But obviously this caused a great concern the apostles.

"…he steadfastly continued with Philip; and as he beheld the signs and great works of power that were being done, he was amazed" (v 13). Probably says, 'How'd you do that, Philip?' I just did it in the name of the Lord. He's probably wondering, 'I need that power.' So he could control people. And the whole lesson here is that you're not to take the power of God to control people!

(go to the next track)

Verse 14: "Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them; who, after coming down to Samaria, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet it had not fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (vs 14-16).

So, we also get a lesson as we're going along here. It's not enough to be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus unless you have hands laid on you for the receiving the Holy Spirit, and unless you receive the Holy Spirit.

Verse 17: "Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of the hands of the apostles, he offered them money… [Now what do you think [Jimmy] Swaggart would have done? 'Oh, bless you, Simon! Bring it on into the treasury here. All the rest of you folks, bring your money!' or some of the evangelists we see on TV today.] …saying, 'Give this authority to me also, so that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit'" (vs 17-19). Notice, he was going to dispense the Holy Spirit through his hands, rather than asking God to give it through the laying on of hands. Complete misunderstanding. Here then is that attitude of total control of people, that only upon whom he would lay his hands they would receive the Holy Spirit.

Verse 20: "But Peter said to him, 'May your money be destroyed with you because you thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter… [he was completely rebuked from having any part in the Church, any part in the ministry] …for your heart is not right before God'" (vs 20-21). We need to think of that in relationship to all the oppression and the things that happen with these cult-type groups.

Verse 22: "Repent, therefore, of this your wickedness, and beseech God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you; for I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and the bondage of unrighteousness" (vs 22-23). That's pretty strong terminology. A time or two I've had to be pretty strong with people, but not anything like this. So this is a pretty powerful section of Scripture. That even though we've gone over it in the past, I don't think we've understood the full magnitude of what was going on here.

Verse 24: "But Simon answered and said, 'You beseech the Lord on my behalf… [he wasn't willing to repent. He said, 'You do it for me.' The other day at the bank there's this bank teller there that I'm pretty good friends with, and she knew I wrote the book, so I gave her a book and the other day she said, 'Fred, pray for me.' I said I will, but I said, 'You can pray yourself, too, you know.' And she looked at me as though 'You mean I can?' I said yeah, you can pray. So, it's just the same attitude that the Catholics have—right? if you get the pope to pray for you, you get the priest to pray for you, same attitude here.] …so that none of those things which you have spoken may come upon me'" (v 24).

I want to go back and zero in on this term "in the bond of iniquity." Let's go to 2-Thessalonians and see how the Apostle Paul said that this was already developing. I mean we have missed the whole point as to what was going on here in the Church at that particular time. Let's see what Paul said of this 'mystery of iniquity which was already working!' And we have never really tied that in with coming from Simon Magus in such a way. As a matter of fact, Carl [Franklin] has uncovered that there was a ministerial meeting, or an apostolic meeting of the false apostles in Antioch around 50 A.D. So Simon didn't go out and repent. Simon went out and said, 'Boy, this really fits everything, I'm going to go preach the name of Christ.'

2-Thessalonians 2:7: "For the mystery of [iniquity] lawlessness is already working…" It was already working; it was already active; it was already a moving reality within the Church of God.

Now, let's tie that in with Acts 20, and let's see what Paul warned those of Ephesus. We read it and we think, oh yeah, that's nice. Let's read it for what it's really telling us. This is where he's talking to the elders, to the ministers.

Acts 20:28: "Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God… [we'll tie that in with 1-Peter 5 in just a little bit] …which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock" (vs 28-29). What was it that was going to happen? The Church of God was going to be turned in from the Church of God into the cultic religion that evolved into the Catholic Church. And they did it by cutting people off from God with a hierarchy that was in charge of their faith—based upon 'whomever I shall lay my hands upon, they shall receive the Holy Spirit.'

Is this where the Nicolaitans start? Yes, it is. This is where they start, absolutely! So, the whole battle with the Church of God, from the beginning was to fight against these hierarchical cultic-type things to come in and take over the Church.

As I mentioned when I was down there in Montgomery and everyone there will remember when we were talking about what is the minimum size of the Church? Well, Christ said, 'where two or three are gathered.' That's the minimum size of the Church. These people are interested in organization—right? We'll see that. They want to organize people. They want to rule their faith. They want to take their money. 'Grievous wolves…not sparing the flock!' Have we witnessed that? They don't care about the flock. They're just interested in their own power struggle.

Verse 30: "And from among your own selves… [Looking them right in the eyeballs.] …men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves. Watch, therefore, remembering that for three years I ceased not to admonish each one night and day with tears…. [Now, that's quite a statement—isn't it? You think of that! For three years he warned them—he kept warning and warning and warning and warning!] … And now I commit you, brethren, to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up… [So, he's saying really, you don't need this hierarchy to do it.] …and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothing" (vs 30-33). Now we know why he did!

Verse 34: "Rather, you yourselves know that these hands did minister to my needs and to those who were with me. In all things, I have showed you that you are obligated to so labor to support those who are weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus Himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (vs 34-35). We've seen that perverted and twisted around to say 'now, brethren, send in more tithe money.'

Let's go to some things I have from a book called Toxic Faith. It's a pretty good book with the exception that they try and get everyone's faith orthodox-sized in one of the mainstream religions. But here is one of the main characteristics of an occult religion—which is authoritarianism:

Toxic Faith by Stephen Aterburn: The leader is dictatorial and authoritarian. Every Church or ministry must have a strong leader if it is to meet the challenges of the people and to help them grow in their faith. The stronger the leader, the stronger the ministry throughout. Whether the person holds all the power or chooses to delegate everything. Problems arise when the leader takes the leadership role as license to dictate whatever he or she feels is right or wrong. And those who work in this setting find themselves either agreeing with the direction of the ministry, or leaving. There is no room to compromise since the dictatorial leader believes that everyone should submit to his or her rule without question

That sound familiar? Yes, indeed! That is wrong! And I was talking to a woman about this the other day. As a matter of fact, I got in last night about 7:10 and there was a message on the answer phone, this person called and said 'I left Worldwide in January and can you please help me?'

So, I called her and I told her that one of the things that we do not do, we do not tell people don't read this book or don't read that book or don't look at this, or look at that; because if the people are not taught the faith of God enough so that they cannot distinguish right and wrong, then they haven't been taught properly. And the reason people are told don't read this or don't listen to this person is because they are afraid they are going to lose the dictatorial power. And when you confront them with it, then you're in for a tirade! Sound familiar? Yes, indeed!

Persons who gather around a ministry of this kind of true faith, use their talents to reach out to people and to serve God.

That's why we will see the Apostle Peter was saying that you are to 'feed the flock'; serve the people.

However, in Toxic Faith systems, talents and abilities are used to meet the needs of the authoritarian leader.
And that's exactly what happened in Waco—right? Yes, indeed! That's exactly what happened in Worldwide. He went from being a minister to pastor general to apostle, to the apostle, to God's only apostle on earth; and everything was to satisfy his demand. Now we can see that in other churches.

His or her needs come first and must be met for the ministry to continue. The persecuted victims, blinded to the manipulation and egotism of the leader, line up to assist in serving the persecutor. When the victims find out they have not served God or other followers, they are usually very angry and often must deal with feelings of betrayal and abuse, similar to recovering from an incestuous relationship.

That's why we call ourselves The No Hassle, Recycled Church of God. Another characteristic is:

Legalism: Rules or distortions of God's intent and leave Him out of the relationship.

In other words, there are rules for the church that supplant the Word of God.

When religious addicts create a Toxic Faith system, God is lost in the process. Follow the leadership.

Okay, God is lost in the process! 'Trust me, I'm God's apostle!'

In God's place rules are implemented that serve only to further the empire of the religious addiction.

Do you believe that Herbert Armstrong is the only apostle? We don't let anyone come into this church [Worldwide Church of God] unless you understand the doctrines first, and then we don't let you come unless you've been on probation for six months and then only then we'll baptize you. It's all right to study your Bible before you come into the church, but when you get in you study what we tell you. All of those are things that have been added on, you see.

As new people come into the Toxic Faith they are indoctrinated into the rules rather than to have the relationship with God strengthened. The rules reinforce addiction, not faith.

And I've heard even Catholics say it. 'I was born a Catholic, and if Catholicism is good enough for my mother, it's good enough for me; if it's good enough for my father, it's good enough for me.'

It becomes a faith system based on don'ts, rather than a faith system centered on God. What you do is valued more than who you are.

Here are the Toxic Faith characteristics of the leader:

  • special claims about the character, ability or knowledge.
    • I have contact with God
    • God spoke to me.

How many ministers you hear say that: 'God spoke to me.' When you pin them down and ask them what did God say? How did He do it? What did His voice sound like? They can't tell you!

  • dictatorial and authoritative leader
  • us vs them mentality.

That kind of gets into a gray area there in their definition of it; because it is really truly Christians against the rest of the world, when you understand it. But not in the sense then that we make everyone into this little group and we set them up to be manipulated. Then you have the other characteristics here which are:

  • legalism
  • closed communication
  • labeling of other people.

Here are some other things about the kind of Toxic Faith that this is talking about:

  • The leader must be in control of every aspect at all times.

No, he doesn't! I don't need to be in control of anybody else's life at any time. I've got enough trouble with mine! Let alone trying to run everybody else's.

  • When problems arise, find a guilty party to blame immediately.

Haven't we heard that? There have been purges in the ministry! I tell you, this is unreal.

  • Don't make mistakes

Otherwise you'll be visited by the minister or the hierarchy!

  • never point out the reality of a situation.

Does that sound familiar? Yes, indeed!

  • Don't express your feelings unless they are positive.
  • Don't ask questions, especially if they are tough ones.
  • Don't do anything outside of your role.

Why? You can't turn on the switch to this video for Sabbath services, you're not a deacon! That's not your role. In one Church of God they had a fight over who was going to turn the on button for the video for church services! I mean, that's ridiculous!

  • Nothing is more important than giving money to the organization.
  • At all cost, keep up the image of the organization or the family.

Were not millions spent on lawyer's fees to do that? Yes, indeed! Got to keep up the image. Well, I'll tell you what, doesn't matter what your image is, if you're not right with God, you're in deep trouble.

Let's go 2-Peter, the second chapter, and I know I will cover some of this when I get to 2-Peter; and it talks about some of the false prophets that come in and do these kind of things. And Peter knew it was going to come.

2-Peter 2:1: "But there were also false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you, who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies… [Boy! Is that not happening in the Churches of God today.] …personally denying the Lord Who bought them, and bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many people will follow as authoritative their destructive ways; and because of the, the way of the Truth will be blasphemed. Also, through insatiable greed they will with enticing messages exploit you for gain…" (vs 1-3)—and that was the whole system that was developing and coming into the Church.

Let's see what the instructions were that Peter gave to the ministers to completely avoid any kind of thing like this, 1-Peter 5:1: "The elders who are among you I am exhorting, even as a fellow elder, and an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that is about to be revealed…"

What does he base it on? He bases it on Christ! He bases it upon the fact of being an 'eyewitness to the sufferings' and also 'a partaker of the glory.' That's when they went up on the Mt. of Transfiguration, and Christ was transfigured before them, and they saw Moses and Elijah talking with Christ in a vision. So he's using quite a powerful lead-in to this. That's what he's basing it upon.

'Follow the hierarchy because I'm the first pope.' Doesn't say that, does it? What a perfect place to put it—right? Not there! He says, v 2: "Feed the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight not by compulsion, but willingly…" We will see that Peter really learned this lesson. And we are going to see later, when we understand more about Gal. 2, the great mistake that Peter made which opened the door!

John 21:15—you know this section very well, but we need to put it in here for the record. "Therefore, when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these?'…." Here's an independent thing that a minister has to really understand before God. Do you love God, and are going to serve Him more than anything else around? And that means you're going to do it God's way. Because Jesus said, 'If you love Me keep My commandments.'

"…And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs'" (v 15). Very important aspect:

  • the most important thing of being a minister
  • the most important thing of a church.
  • the most important thing of a congregation

Feed My lambs!

Verse 16: "He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Shepherd My sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep'" (vs 16-17).

Let's go back to 1-Peter 5:2—we will see that Peter really learned this lesson: "Feed the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight…" so it's an oversight,

  • not a ruler over faith
  • not between God and the people

but to oversee that everything is done in proper order to teach and to cover all of those things that need to be taught

"…not by compulsion… [because you're forced to or you force it. You constrain the people to take it because you take it by compulsion.] …but willingly, not in fondness of dishonest gain… [which says here in the King James: 'not for filthy lucre.'] …but with an eager attitude; not as exercising lordship over your possessions… [that is really a more accurate translation…" (vs 2-3). Not as being lords over heritage—God's heritage.

God's put in there is added by the translators of the King James and is in italic. But it's not exercising lordship over possessions. In other words, they are the brothers and sisters of Christ, the ones who are going to be in the Family of God—correct? They're not to be viewed as chattel. They're not be viewed as so many income centers. They're not to be viewed as things to be used and abused by a ministry to get done what they want to get done. And when people submit to that, not knowing the Word of God, they create a cult! And if you want to know how bad a cult can get, just remember that the Catholic Church ruled Europe with an iron fist for almost 800 years, and what did it bring? It brought the Dark Ages; it brought the Inquisitions\. Why? Because if you were against the pope and he was sitting in the seat of God, then he could come and take away your life—because

  • you're nothing but chattel
  • you're nothing but a possession
  • you're nothing but something to be used and abused

And Peter is saying, 'Boy, don't do it that way.'] (But how?):…rather, be examples to the flock of God" (v 3).

You exercise leadership by exampleship! And if there's anything that needs to be straightened out in the ministry of God, that's what it is, right there. You don't exercise leadership because of lordship. You exercise leadership by exampleship by studying and serving and knowing the Word of God.

Who was it back there that sent me the John Pinkston's Passover thing? Thank you, I got it. It is almost unbearable to listen to, because that man does not study. So what happens when you don't study and you don't learn for yourself, and you don't apply the Word of God to yourself as a minister? You become an overlord because you are not being an example. And when you are not studying and knowing the Word of God what are you going to do when someone in your congregation catches up to your knowledge and, yes, passes you? Now what you must do is put that person down unmercifully because he's causing trouble. You see, all of these problems that develop because they go against the Word of God.

2-Timothy 2:15: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God…" and that's the whole purpose of the study of a minister—

  • To know the Word of God!
  • To teach the Word of God!
  • To preach the Word of God!

 "…a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth…" (v 15). Because there's a wrong way to do it; it can be divided deceitfully. I sure had that on that tape. I couldn't believe it! And someone sent me a tape that 'Rabbi' Dankenbrink did against me, and oh, that was wild and something! Can't believe that! Was amazing!

What's going to happen? Can he lead by example? No! He has to condemn and lead by his authority, rather than leading by the authority of the Word of God. That's why this is so important.

Verse 16: "But avoid profane and vain babblings because they will only give rise to more ungodliness"—and boy, they sure do! Just gets worse and worse and worse all the time. Let's see what a minister is to do; let's see how he is to do it; how he is to conduct his life; qualification for it; and also the things are there for a deacon.

1-Timothy 3:1: "Faithful is the saying, 'If any man aspires to be an overseer… ['bishop' is an incorrect translation—we had a little bit of the hierarchical translators putting that in there.] …he desires a good work.' Now then, it is obligatory that the overseer be blameless, the husband of one wife… [that makes things a whole lot easier. It's tough enough with one, think of what it would be with two; or divorced or a whoremonger or any of that.] …vigilant, serious-minded, respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching; not given to much wine, not a bully, not greedy for selfish gain; but kind, not a quarreler, not a lover of money; one who rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all respect; (For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how will he take care of the Church of God?) Not a novice… [hasn't been converted enough to get rid of enough vanity—that's why.] …lest he become conceited and fall into the same condemnation as the devil" (vs 1-6).

Now, what about a person who would come to Ambassador College at seventeen, graduate at twenty-one, be ordained at twenty-two and now be given over a whole flock of five or six hundred people. What happens? He falls into condemnation of the devil and getting lifted up in pride. How many times have we seen that? Over and over and over again! There's a snare there when you put someone new. There's a snare there when you put someone too young.

Verse 7: "It is mandatory that he also have a good report from those who are outside the church, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." So, there are two things that the devil's going to get him at.

  • If he's too young, if he's a novice.
  • If he's been a 'hellibaloser' before he came into the Church. Going to come and get him.

We've seen that happen—haven't we?—in both cases! Yes! Why? Because if he's a 'hellibaloser' before he comes in the Church, what happens if he gets into his weak moments later on when he's a minister? Then you've got all kinds of problems—right? Right!

Let's see another guard against cultism or a hierarchical authority which God does not want us to have. He's speaking of the whole, overall thing that he brought through all of 1-Timothy.

1-Timothy 6:3 "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine… [which is teaching] …that is according to Godliness." In other words, everything is based on the Word of God; everything is based on the teachings coming out of the Bible.
If not, v 4: "He is proud and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked suspicions, vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the truth—men who believe that gain is Godliness…." (vs 4-5).

That can be political gain, control gain, monetary gain or whatever it is. Notice he uses the word 'Godliness' here in both places. That there is a substitute Godliness. And one of the things that was substituted for Godliness was counting the number of people there, the amount of money coming in, the number of magazines going out, etc., etc., etc.; and this gain was counted as Godliness. In other words, the physical gain that came around was counted as Godliness. Well, you sure couldn't say that of the Apostle Paul, because by time he got done with all of his preachings, all the churches had left him because this hierarchical government came in and took control.

"…from such withdraw yourself" (v 5).

2-Timothy 1:13—here's some more instructions to Timothy: "Hold as the standard fordoctrine the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good thing that was committed to you by the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in us. You know this, that all those who are in Asia have rejected me…" (vs 13-15). That is a profound statement—isn't it? When you consider that Paul wrote that those who count 'gain is Godliness'—whether it's gaining disciples, whether it's gaining followers, whether it's gaining property or money or people or whatever, you see. Paul certainly did what was right.
Let's go back to 1-Peter 5, and let's continue on and we'll go ahead and insert this as the completion of the last chapter of the book of 1-Peter.

1-Peter 5:4: "And when the Chief Shepherd has been manifested at His coming, you will receive an unfading, eternal crown of glory. In the same manner, you younger men be subject to the elder men… [what did we have in 3-John? We had Diotrephes rise up and kick out the Apostle John [transcriber's correction]—'oh, who wants this old man around here.'] …and all of you be subject to one another…. [rather than rising up in political power] …Clothe yourselves with humility; because God sets Himself against the arrogant, but He gives grace to the humble…. [He's talking to the ministers; this is a ministerial problem; he is fighting the hierarchical, political control power that was coming into the Church.] …[Therefore] be humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time; having cast all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you" (vs 4-7). In other words, don't try and work it out with political means. Don't try and work it out some other way. Take it to God! Why? Because here's what's going to happen:

Verse 8: "Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, is prowling about, seeking anyone he may devour." We've always applied that to just the brethren in the Church. No! He would rather get a minister—right? He would rather set up a hierarchy—right? Because if does, then he can control all of those brethren and then lead them away at a later time. So, this is a ministerial problem. This is another warning you can add to Acts 20 that we read.

Verse 9: "Who RESIST, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren… [and we've always said that that is just brethren in general. But how about if it's elders in general? The brother elders?] …who are in the world. But may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him belongs the glory and the power into the ages of eternity. AMEN" (vs 9-11).

Then the closing salutation, v 12: "By Silvanus, a faithful brother to you, as I reckon, I wrote to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ Jesus. AMEN" (vs 12-14).

I was amazed as I was thinking about it and studying about it that boy, you know, that applies to the ministers more than it does to just church members. So there we've got the whole problem: the fight against cults within the Church of God. Beginning with Christ when the disciples were fighting as to who would be the greatest; who would rule over all; who would do whatever. So, that's what we need to be aware of in the situation with cults.

We need to be very careful, because down the road they're going to have anybody who doesn't agree with the establishment; everybody who doesn't agree with the orthodox religions of the world, you're going to be labeled as a cult. Just this morning before we came over, we were watching CNN News—Evans and Novak—and they were interviewing Pat Robertson, who's trying to workout things politically between the fundamentalists and the Catholics, to try and get people on school boards who believe basic moral things. And the liberal establishment accused Pat Robertson of being a neo-nazi. So you see, if you label Pat Robertson as a neo-nazi, we are so far right of Pat Robertson it's incredible! as far as faith in God is concerned. So you imagine what they're going to label us! And so, what this whole thing figures out is, that in the wake of Waco, all the true believers of God are now going to become open-prey to those in the world.

Let's finish up by going to Isaiah 59, to show how the government is going to do this. And it's going to be awesome. We'll read a little about our administration back there. Isaiah 59:13: "In rebellion and denial of the LORD… [constantly/continuously] …and turning away from our God, talking perversity and revolt, conceiving and speaking from the heart words of falsehood. And justice is driven backward… [no judgment at all in the handling of this situation or other similar ones which will come up.] …and righteousness stands afar off…" (vs 13-14). No, if you're accused of it, you're guilty and deserve to die. No due process, no courts of law, no inquisition of witnesses to find out the truth. No!

"…for truth is fallen in the street…" (v 14). People don't understand things anymore. And I was just taken aback when that young teenage girl, down at Dunnville, said 'Oh well, it's good to get rid of all these cults.' I was little dramatic and I pointed right to her and I said, 'What if I say you are a cult, now what are you going to do? Whose definition?' And she hadn't even thought it through, but just going along with all of this.

"…and uprightness cannot enter. Yea, truth fails; and he who departs from evil… [the one who then to do right] …makes himself a prey… [That is a victim to be attacked! Now if they're out there attacking Pat Robertson as a neo-nazi! I couldn't think of anything that more fit this!] … And the LORD saw, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no justice" (vs 13-15).

So then, all of these things lead into the return of Christ as the rest of the chapter shows. But, I tell you what, we need to be on guard. And I know this, that whenever any of these Churches of God reach a certain point of preaching the Truth, they better beware of FBI and ATF infiltrators who come in to feign conversion. They do that. They had people in there in the Davidian compound.

One last thing that Delores pointed out, which she was really appalled at, which I thought was very fitting. They took down the Star of David over the compounded and they lifted the ATF flag over it. Now when you understand that the ATF is the arm of the IRS under the Treasury Dept., then you know exactly what's happening.

So, we need to be aware of cults. That was one of the things that changed the true Church of God from being the Church of God into the hierarchical religion that we see today, because it was allowed to be turned into a cult.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in its Original Order, AFaithful Version by Fred R. Coulter
Exception: 1-Peter, from The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 13:1-4
  • Matthew 5:25-26
  • Matthew 12:22-24
  • John 8:31-48
  • Mathew 20:20-28
  • Acts 8:5-9
  • Deuteronomy 18:9-14
  • Acts 8:9-24
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7
  • Acts 20:28-35
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3
  • 1 Peter 5:1-2
  • John 21:15-17
  • 1 Peter 5:2-3
  • 2 Timothy 2:15-16
  • 1 Timothy 3:1-7
  • 1 Timothy 6:3-5
  • 2 Timothy 1:13-15
  • 1 Peter 5:4-14
  • Isaiah 59:13-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 12 & 13
  • Galatians 2

Also referenced:

Books & booklets:

  • Authoritative Webster's Dictionary
  • Cult Watchtower
  • The Wonderful World Tomorrow, What It Will Be Like by Herbert W. Armstrong
  • Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
  • Toxic Faith by Stephen Aterburn

Transcribed: 8-10-09
Corrected: 6-11-12