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The Plain Truth – August 1980
The Plain Truth – August 1980
Just What Do You Mean -
A Cult?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

The Worldwide Church of God is not a “cult”! It is the present generation continuing the Church of God founded A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ. Here are the facts.

A PROMINENT Baptist minister recently said, “If the Worldwide Church of God is a cult, then we Baptists were a cult during the early years of our growth.”

Actually, the word cult is not an insulting epithet, but today it is often used insultingly. The word comes from the word culture, which ordinarily is used as a very complimentary term. Webster defines “cult” as, “1) formal religious veneration, worship; 2) a system of religious belief and ritual, also adherents to; 3) a religion rejected as unorthodox or spurious.”

It is this third usage that was widely used in the sensational Jonestown mass-suicide incident.

Since that event occupied front-page banner headlines for several days, some who do not know the facts have been labeling any or all small churches, small in membership, as “cults.” SMALL CHURCHES ARE NOT “CULTS.”

The One True Church

Jesus Christ founded the one true Church of God on the day of Pentecost, in June, A.D. 31. It began that day with 120 members. It was not a “cult.” Jesus, during His lifetime, called those original members the “little flock” (Luke 12:32).

In the prophecies of the book of Revelation, two churches are foretold. One, in chapter 17, a great false church, is called in verse 5: “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” She is pictured as ruling over nations speaking different languages – large, strong, powerful. The other, the true Church of God, is described in chapter 12, as a small, persecuted church, having to flee for her safety.

By the year A.D. 53, the churches in Galatia, Asia Minor (now modern Turkey), had already removed themselves from the grace of Christ, into another gospel. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ was being suppressed.

The true Church of God, holding to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the teachings of Christ and the apostles, soon had to go underground, meeting for services in secret. Millions were tortured and put to death for their faith.

But the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and the apostles was preserved by the persecuted “little flock,” and in its fullness in the Holy Bible.

The Worldwide Church of God today holds to the SAME FAITH, same doctrines, same customs and practices, as the original Church of A.D. 31, under the original apostles.

Meanwhile, your Bible says, Revelation 12:9, the WHOLE WORLD has been DECEIVED by the invisible Satan the devil. Yet God’s TRUTH has been preserved in the Bible.

If you would like to see some of that truth revealed and made plain, why not write for our free booklet, Just What Do You MeanBorn Again? It will open your eyes, when you see this truth IN YOUR OWN BIBLE!