Are Apostolics A Cult?
By Pastor G. Reckart
The president of a major Bible publishing company decided he would persecute Apostolic Oneness Christians because he viewed these Believers as a cult. He published a book and thousands of copies were sent world-wide to initiate public, attacks. Apostolics were demanded to recant and informed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation as found in Acts 2:38 was not sufficient for salvation. They were told they must also have faith in the philosophy of the trinity, or they could not claim salvation in Jesus Christ. Is this right? No it is not! It is wrong!
Let’s Identify A Cult
A cult-may be recognized by its method of membership, its oaths, its rituals, its secret doctrines, or its secret teachings. One characteristic exposes a cult and that is the word “secret.” Memberships are secret, the oaths are secret, the rituals are secret, and the doctrines and teachings are secret. A violation of these secrets by revealing them to someone not initiated into the cult usually calls for bodily mutilation and even death. Consider the ‘ Masonic oath of the Entered ‘, Apprentice: “I will ever conceal and never reveal any arts, parts, or points of the hidden mysteries, under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn our by its roots, and my body hurled in the rough sands of the sea.” This is also the blood oath of membership into the Aaronic Priesthood in the Mormon Temple.
No They Do Not
Do Apostolic Oneness have such bloody and hideous oaths? No they do not. Do Apostolics have practicing Freemasons as high officials in their organizations and, as Ministers in their Churches, as do nearly all they who now persecute us? No they do not. Do Apostolics force their converts or members to take secret oaths? No they do not!
All Church meetings: of an Apostolic congregation are public and anyone may attend. Do Apostolics hold secret rituals where satanism, paganism, or any other occult practices are observed? No they do not.
No Occult Symbols
Apostolics by their devotion to the Jesus Christ make a public confession not to hold membership in any secret society, secret fraternity, or similar secret cult. Unlike those now who persecute Apostolics you will not find the occult symbol of the square and the compass on any cornerstone of an Apostolic Church. You will NOT FIND any occult symbols on the walls, floors, or ceilings, over the doors, in the window designs, upon the altar, or upon the pulpit of an Apostolic Church.
Known Religious Cults That Were Not Apostolic
Are there religious cults? The answer is yes! Mormonism is a trinitarian cult. Jim Jones was the leader of a trinitarian cult. David Koresh was the leader of a trinitarian cult. Recently in Africa, nearly 1,000 died as members of a trinitarian cult. The Catholic Church has Its Jesuit cult. All the religious cults over the centuries have all been trinitarian. To accuse Apostolics of being a cult because some trinitarian groups were, is unjust judging. Persecution against Apostolics is now being promoted by trinity Bible Colleges. Preachers are deceiving students and Church members. The minds of good people are manipulated to make them fearful of accepting the Acts 2:38 plan of faith salvation. See where those deceived and made to be fearful in Rev. 21:8 end up.
Workings Of A Cult
Cults may be further identified by the appalling conduct of members. Usually drugs, alcohol, sexual apostasy, nudity, satanic music, chanting, conjuring up the devil and demons in the mystic circle, and casting spells, are all the workings of a cult. Salvation through Jesus Christ alone is rejected. Cult members often wear jewelry to identify themselves to others.
More About Cults
All cults thus far have rejected Acts 2:38 as the plan of faith salvation. The most recent cults mixed Law and Grace using the guess names Yahweh and Yahshua, saying the name Jesus means “pig god.” All cults soon reject sound doctrine. All recent cults have rejected the Apostles’ Doctrine as their exclusive rule for faith and practice. Many cult members have surrendered control over their body to their leader and cannot escape alive. All cults eventually isolate members forbidding them to attend an Apostolic Church where there is hope and true liberty of mind, body, and soul. Apostolic Churches are a refuge for many seeking deliverance from cult influences.
Apostolic Oneness Are The True Church
Oneness Apostolics are the true Church of the New Testament. They preach the truth as to Jesus Christ the Son of God; as to faith, grace, and the plan of salvation; as to doctrine; as to practice and traditions; as to holiness; and as to the power of God:
Salvation is by Christ alone, by faith alone, and by grace alone, as contained in Acts 2:38. In this text, the faith of the convert is in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance is by faith, alone and the grace of forgiveness is given; water baptism is by faith alone and the grace of the remission of sins is given; The baptism of the Holy Ghost is by faith alone with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. The grace of eternal life is thus given and sealed to the born again son or daughter of God. Salvation is thus by grace through faith as found in Ephesians 2:8.
Acts 2:38 Does Not Contain Works Of Man
Nothing in Acts 2:38 is the works of man. Repentance is not works of man it is faith in the love of God; water baptism is not works of man it is faith in the blood of Jesus Christ; and Spirit baptism is not works of man it is faith in God that he will give the gift of eternal life. All of Acts 2:38 is faith, faith, faith: three acts of one faith which is one salvation. For anyone to deny that Apostolics are saved by Christ alone, by grace alone, by faith alone as found in Acts 2:38, is demonstrating prejudice and enmity against a most important verse in the Bible. Using Acts 2:38, Apostolics believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
The New Testament Is Our Only Creed
Apostolic Oneness Churches are the true New Testament Church and our doctrines prove such. Each and every “true” Apostolic Church follows the New Testament as their only Creed. They follow the Apostles’ Doctrine, which Jesus gave them to preach to all nations for a witness (Matt 24:14, Acts 1:8). All the teachings and doctrines of an Apostolic Church are founded upon New Testament Scripture. There are no secret teachings, no secret doctrines, and no secret rituals or symbols.
Believing In One God Does Not Make Apostolics A Cult
The Oneness Doctrine does not make Apostolics a cult any more than the Jews believing in One God would make them a cult. Apostolics confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh (I John 4:1-2). Apostolics confess the Father and the Son (I John 2:22). They just do not confess two Gods as Father and Son as the Creeds dictate. Why should they? The Nicene Creed was not created until 300 years after the Church was born. Before this creedal invention there was no formal confession of the trinity doctrine demanded upon Christians as a test of faith, salvation, or Church membership. It was not so for 300 years and first began to be imposed by the Catholic Church in 325AD. The trinity doctrine of three persons (3-Gods) in the Godhead is not found in the Bible. Apostolics do not follow the Nicaea Council nor any other papacy Council. They follow the Bible alone for their doctrine, faith, practice, and worship. And, that is the way it is supposed to be in all
Not All Traditions Are Evil
True Apostolic Oneness Churches practice only New Testament traditions. Traditions are not wrong or evil if they come to us from Jesus or the Apostles (2 Thes 2:15). Apostolics pride themselves in rejecting any doctrine, practice, or tradition that did not come from Jesus or the Apostles and not found doctrinally in the New Testament.
Apostolic Oneness Churches are further identified by holiness. This inherent nature of God is transferred to us by the Spirit and governs our inner man and our outer appearance. According to Pastor Michael Phillips of Vidor, Texas: “Holiness is God’s fence around our private and public lives. Holiness is not I bondage and not legalism, it is protection.” Holiness is a revelation of God’s grace (Heb 12:14). Those who lust after worldliness will call outward holiness neo-Phariseeism, saying such outward dress is evidence Apostolics are a cult. This also is false.
Apostolics Are A Loving And Godly People
Do Apostolics fall into any category of a cult? No they do not. A false category must be fabricated to claim such. Apostolics are by identity and nature a loving and Godly people.
Apostolics confess by faith the virgin birth of Jesus; they confess by faith that Jesus is the LORD; they confess by faith that Jesus was the Messiah come in the flesh; they confess by faith that
salvation is through the name and person of Jesus Christ; they confess by faith the deity of Jesus; they confess openly their faith in Calvary as the only sacrifice that brings redemption; they confess by faith the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of these confessions of faith will forever forbid any Apostolic Church from being a cult.
Conclusions of fact: Apostolics are not a cult; Acts 2:38 is not a cult verse in the-Bible; and true Apostolics are the people of the Name of Jesus Christ, saved by grace through faith.
The Master Sends You His Invitation
The Master said to invite you. He said we would find you along streets and alleys and hidden behind your fenced hedges. In your hands you have the Master’s invitation. Near you there is an Apostolic Oneness Faith Church with an open door to welcome you into the Kingdom. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, now may be the very moment you should make that decision, …your eternal choice. To reject this Apostolic Gospel of Jesus Christ in your heart is the greatest sin a person can commit. It is worse than stealing, adultery, murder, homosexuality, or even being an atheist. Jesus voted’ for you upon the Cross. The Devil has voted against you. You have the deciding vote where you will spend eternity.
Lord Jesus speak to some heart right now as they read this Christian Newspaper and bring them into your Kingdom through the blood washed water way, …the plan of faith salvation in Acts 2:38. Amen!
(Brother Reckart is the Pastor of the Apostolic Messianic Fellowship, 7911 N. 40th Street, Tampa, Florida 33604).
The Above Material Was Published By The Christian Newspaper, April 2002, Pages 5, 6. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.