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A Study of the Cults--a Christian Perspective #6
This will wrap up this series on the cults although there are many more we could look at. If there is one in particular you would like me to briefly discuss, just let me know.
After examining some of the pseudo-Christian cults, let us move on to look at a few personality cults. These cults base their teaching around an individual and in most cases the individual is viewed as an incarnation of God.
Branhamism is the teaching of William Branham. Long after Mr. Branham was killed by a drunk driver (1965), his teachings live on. Branhamism represents a personality cult.
William Branham was born in 1909 in the back hills of Kentucky, and at the age of seven began to experience visions. On May, 7, 1946 he spent a night in a cave and an angel ministered to him showing him his past and future. The angel also revealed how he was to use the gift of healing to heal the world of sickness.
He taught that Jesus was not the Son of God, but rather a created being. He also taught that Cain was the result of the serpent impregnating Eve and that hell would eventually be destroyed.
He believed that God spoke to him out of a pillar of fire and revealed the mysteries of Revelation 5-8. Part of that mystery was that the USA would be destroyed by an explosion in 1977 ushering in the Millennium. Of course, this never happened.
Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba is based in Hindu teachings. According to Hindu beliefs, God (which one? Since there are so many) can appear in the flesh in one person at a time. In the 1880’s that incarnation was known as Sai Baba of Shirdi. Before his death in 1918 many of the people of India believed that he was god in the flesh because he performed "miracles".
After he died the spirit of god took up residence in the reincarnated body of Satyanarayana Raju. Much of the account of his life is either extreme exaggeration or demonic. He would produce candy out of an empty bag for his friends. He produces holy ash (vibhuti) with the wave of his hand. This was to represent the regenerative power of the Hindu god Shiva.
Baba’s teachings say that man is essentially atma (soul and spirit). It manifests itself in five sheaths of man recognizing that man is divine, but has forgotten his god-nature. Says Baba, “Man is not born in sin. Eternal bliss is only possible by conquering earthly desires to reveal the spark of divinity. If you realize the atma-principle, you become god himself."
There are three ways to reach godhood. 1.) Karma (action) 2.) jnana (knowledge) or 3.) bhakti (devotion to a guru). Baba prefers the last as the sadguru (god realized guru) is worshipped as god by the devotee.
The title “Sathya Sai Baba” means the “Divine Mother/Father”.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon began growing his religion in the mid 1900’s. By 1973 He and his "Moonies" were becoming a household name in America. The church is officially known as the Unification Church.
Rev. Moon teaches that Eve had sexual relations with the serpent (the arch-angel Lucifer) in the garden and produced Cain. Cain was the father of Communism. Adam’s child Seth became the line of spiritual redemption. Jesus was to be the redeemer by marrying, having a family and producing the perfect family to replace Adam and Eve who were to be the perfect family.
Moon states that “The cross is the symbol of the defeat of Christianity”. By that he means that Jesus was never able to complete His task of raising the perfect family since He was executed prematurely by the Romans.
For 2,000 years the world has searched for the One to complete the purpose of Adam and Eve. This Moon has done. He claims to be God incarnate and draws the worship of over 2 million people—30,000 in the USA. He and his wife are prayed to and have complete control of the cult through brainwashing techniques.
We have only looked at a handful of false teaching, but it makes me wonder why do so many complicate the Truth? Jesus plainly said, " I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Enough said.