Defending God's Truth

These 10 Keys are based upon materials produced by Rose Publishing.

1. Know Basic Bible Teachings

No one can know all the false teachings of all the cults, but Christians can learn the Bible well enough to recognize cultic doctrine.

•Bankers are trained to recognize counterfeit currency by studying genuine bills.

•This way they’re able to recognize a counterfeit when they come across it.

•The more a person understands the Bible, the better that person will be able to recognize cultic errors.

2 Corinthians 11:4 warns us to avoid those who preach: "another Jesus," or "another spirit," or "another gospel." Another gospel is anything other than: salvation by grace through faith.

Memorize key apologetic verses:

The Person of Jesus Christ:

–He is eternal and uncreated (Colossians 1:15–19)

–He retained his deity while becoming a man (Philippians 2:5–11)

–He is equal in nature to God the Father (John 5:18)

–He receives the same honor and worship as the Father (John 5:23; Hebrews 1:6)

The gospel of salvation:

–Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23)

–Salvation is by faith alone apart from works (Ephesians 2:8–9)

–Works are the natural result of saving faith (Ephesians 2:10)

2. Don’t Assume Every Cultist Believes the Same Thing

So, don't tell a person what he or she believes.

•Instead, ask questions that end up in a constructive discussion that leads to an examination of biblical doctrine.

Questions to open up a discussion.

About God:

–Who do you believe God is?

–Do you believe there is only one true God?

–Do you believe in the Trinity, God in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit?

–Do you believe God has always existed?

About Jesus Christ:

–Who do you believe Jesus Christ is?

–Has he always existed, or was he created?

–Do you believe Jesus is God? Is he equal to the Father in his divine nature?

–Do you believe Jesus earned his Godhood or has he always been God?

–Do you believe Jesus physically and bodily rose from the dead?

About Salvation:

–What do you believe a person has to do to be saved?

–Do you believe a person has to join your religion to be saved?

–Do you believe a person will lose salvation if that person leaves your religion?

–At what point do you know that you’ve done enough to be assured of eternal life?

3. Cultists Are Trained to Answer Objections

Many cultists have been carefully trained to answer objections, having months—or years—of practice.

So, what's the solution?

Move the discussion back to the Bible.

–Don’t worry if they’re giving you memorized responses.

–Keep presenting evidence that their leaders are not telling them the truth in the Bible.

–Eventually, the rote responses will stop.

A helpful technique.

Request that they read a particular verse aloud.
–Then ask, “What is being said here?”
–If they repeat the typical cultic interpretation, ask them to read it aloud again, slowly and carefully.
–Then follow with another question.
–If you’re persistent, you’ll help them see the contradictions and problems with their view.

4. Check the Scriptures

When cultists quote a verse it’s typically out of context.

Never take their interpretation of a passage at face value - they are taught a misinterpretation. Going to the verse and looking it up in context can help correct the misinterpretation.

Remember, when interpreting Scripture:

•Always examine the context of the verse

Who is speaking in this passage? - Ask:

What is the setting?

Who is being addressed?

What is the main point of the passage?

–Look to the context for answers to these questions.

Ask: Where does this passage clearly teach what you are claiming?

5. Define Terms

There is a communication block between the cultist and the Christian that can be removed by defining key words and ideas.

Jehovah's Witnesses:

will say ...

Yes, Jesus is the Christ

Yes, Jesus was resurrected

Yes, Scripture speaks of his second coming

but mean ...

He was not the "Christ" at birth, but became Christ at baptism

Not physically - spiritually as Michael the Archangel

This is in the process of being fulfilled through "an invisible" presence of Christ in 1914


will say ...

Yes, Jesus is the Christ

Yes, Jesus is the Son of God

Yes, Jesus died for the sins of mankind

Yes, Jesus' blood covers the sins of mankind

but mean ...

He had to compete with Lucifer over who would be the Savior of the world

He is the Son only because he was born in heaven as a spirit baby to God the Father and one of his spirit wives

The majority of his atonement took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross.

Works are also required for entrance into the highest level of heaven

6. Ask Strategic Questions

You can’t force good doctrine on a person trapped in a cult. Instead, ask questions that cause him or her to think critically.

Questions for Mormons:

If you’re talking with a Mormon who thinks that humans can become gods, ask: How do you interpret Isaiah 43:10, "... before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."

Ask them which Book of Mormon they use, the 1830, the 1921, or the one today that has over 4,000 changes in it?

Do you believe the atonement took place on the cross or in the garden of Gethsemane?

If the Mormon answers that most of the atonement took place in the garden, ask: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross if his suffering in the garden atoned for the majority of our sins?

Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses:

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only true witnesses for God and the organization came into being in the late 19th century, was God without a witness for 18 centuries?

If Jesus is Michael the Archangel, why was Jesus able to rebuke Satan in Matthew 16:23 when Michael didn’t have the authority to do so in Jude 9?

According to Acts 1:8, 2:32, 3:15, 4:33, and 13:30-31, were the early Christians witnesses of Jehovah or witnesses of Jesus Christ?

If there is no other Savior than God (Isaiah 43:11), then doesn’t this mean that New Testament references to Jesus as Savior point to his deity (Titus 2:13)?

7. Be Loving

Sharing your faith isn’t just about strong answers from the Bible. It’s about being sold out to Jesus Christ.

If a person knows all the right answers but is arrogant, prideful, and has an “in your face” attitude, this isn’t the kind of person who is going to draw people to the real Jesus.

Unless the situation calls for it, avoid a highly confrontational approach.

For example, you could say to a Mormon: “You worship a false god proclaimed by a false prophet and a false book called the Book of Mormon and a false gospel based upon works.”

You’d be technically correct. But that approach may turn the Mormon off to the true message you’re trying to communicate.

Consider a gentler approach:

“My friend, I really care about you, and I’m afraid you might get deceived into believing a lie. I’m afraid you might die and go into eternity believing something that isn’t true. Can we talk about this? Can I share with you why I believe the Bible is true?”

Keep a loving attitude in your heart and let your love be genuine and embracing.

People can sense if you truly care about them, as opposed to merely acting like you care only because you want to convert them.

8. Demonstrate Jesus' Deity

Cultists always get the identity of Jesus wrong.

To witness effectively to cultists, you will need to show that Jesus is the eternal God.

Here’s one way to do this: Compare the Old Testament descriptions and attributes of God with the New Testament descriptions and attributes of Jesus Christ.

9. Emphasize the Gospel

Cultists need to hear about God’s grace more than anything else!

You can ask any cultist, “At what point in your religion do you know for sure that when you die you will be saved and accepted by God?”

The cultist will not be able to give a definite answer because his or her salvation depends upon performance.

–A Mormon Church manual says: “Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins” (Gospel Principles, 1978, 1992 ed., p. 253).

–Never can a Mormon say that he has full assurance of forgiveness, because at any moment he may repeat a sin, making him “accountable” for his former sins.

This weight on the cultists’ shoulders is unbearable. No one can survive this kind of legalism.

How much better is the wonderful grace of God! Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 1:18, and Hebrews 10:17.

10. Give Your Testimony

Cultists need to hear what God has done in your life!

When a cultist sees that you know you’re a sinner who deserves to spend eternity apart from God, but you have absolute assurance that you’re saved because of what Jesus has done, that will make an impact!

When giving your testimony:

Describe what your life was like before you were a Christian. What were your feelings, attitudes, actions, and relationships like?

What events transpired in your life that led up to your decision to trust in Christ? What caused you to begin considering Christ as a solution to your needs?

Describe your conversion experience. Was it a book you read? Were you in a church? Were other Christians with you?

What changes took place in your life following your conversion? What effect did trusting in Christ have on your feelings, attitudes, actions, and relationships?

Each one of us can be used as an instrument to bring blessing to people trapped in cults!