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MANY ARE THE FORMS IN WHICH 'CULTS' COME, BUT THEY ALL SHARE THE SPIRIT OF WITCHCRAFT AND CONTROL
Did you ever wonder why there's a strange "power" around those who are in unusual organizations? Did you ever wonder at how they can hold people? Did you ever feel the spiritual grip (and "static")?
It even makes famous movie stars jump up and down on couches (on national television)!
We're not speaking here of a "cultus," as used to describe various Catholic devotions. That means more of a "following." It is not a stranglehold. There is free will. It is not exclusionary. A cult is an organized school of thought that excludes those who are not in it.
And it isn't just in Scientology or with Hare Krisnas. To one degree or another, in its exclusionariness, it's found everywhere: in mainstream religions (see: radical Islamic sects), in politics, in social movements, in the field of entertainment (particularly music). It is the spirit of narrowness. It is a spirit of blindness. It is a spirit that causes narrow, hyper-critical vision. One could even describe the Mafia as a cult (note the ritual of burning pictures of saints in their hands and the letting blood when a "made" man is inducted -- and the strange hold it has).
We all have encountered these types: folks who are well-meaning but in closely-knit groups convinced they and only they have the truth and are God's very few chosen. Whenever there is an insistence that you hold the same opinion, a spirit of cultism is operating.
One cult believes that only 144,000 people will get to Heaven!
As Wikipedia notes:
Studies have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion:
People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
They receive what seems to be unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
They get a new identity based on the group;
They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled
They are exclusionary. They have their own lingo. They may even prohibit followers from associating with people outside of the cult. They are based more on people (and human ideas) than on Jesus.
Their ears are closed to anything others have to say (even if they are standing at your door).
One famous celebrity who is a member of a breakaway Catholic sect made news recently when he got into an argument with a conventional priest and in a hail of profanity threw the cleric out of his California mansion (screaming that every Pope since Paul VI had been an anti-christ).
If this sounds demonic it is because a spirit of control is a dark spirit.
Said the great expert on deliverance, Derek Prince: "Witchcraft is anything that takes the place of the Holy Spirit for control. It always goes for control and manipulation. When witchcraft is active in the church community there are always at least two results. In the church community? Oh yes, it is widespread even among Christians. The following Scripture in Galatians 3:1-5 tells us that the Galatians were bewitched. Notice the two things that were the result of their being bewitched: 1) The works of the flesh. 2) Legalism."
At the root of most large religious cults is a spirit of rebellion, and here it gets even more interesting; here it ties together. What does it say in 1 Samuel 15: 23? "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft..."
Think back at what happened in the rebellious 1960s.
Cults. An explosion of sects. Disobedience like we had never seen. How many cults are breakaways from the original Christian faith?
There are drug cults. There are cults formed within religions. There are cultic Hollywood stars (or "idols"). There are groupies. There are movies that form cults around them.
This is bondage. We've seen it with some Marian "apparitions." In religion, let's distinguish a good cult -- a cultus -- from a cult in the common vernacular (which means that someone has lost part of his or her free will). Cults are bred from obsession and obsession has that "hiss" from the Garden.
Cast this out -- in the Name of Jesus.
It is rooted in pride.
A culture can breed cults. (See: Nazis)
Rebellion keeps a person from trusting in God and causes them to seek their basic necessities from a single leader (see: Jonestown; see too even talk shows). The world’s system has a prince named Satan, and he is into control and manipulation. In the current decade, it's the cult of materialism.
Are you closed to others?
Are you in some type of "cult" (however subtle it must be)?
Are you the only right one?
Do you condemn everyone with whom you harbor disagreement?
The remedy is reading the New Testament, which is the book of Truth and thus the book that sets us free.
[resources: Dereck Prince's They Shall Expel Demons]
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