Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
The Marks of a Cult

by Dr. Dave Breese

8. Defective Christology

This is a false view of the nature of the Person of Jesus Christ. The cult usually denies the true Deity of Christ, the true humanity of Jesus, or the true union of the two natures in one Person.

The central truth of Christianity is related to the question, “What think ye of Jesus Christ?” The Christian is commanded to test the spirits of alternative messengers of the Gospel. The doctrinal test of those spirits is very clear. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).

The central doctrine of Christianity then is Christology, the doctrine of the nature of the Person of Jesus Christ. Christianity affirms the true Deity and the true humanity of our blessed Savior, which Deity and humanity is conjoined together in one personality on the basis of the hypostatic union. The characteristic of biblical faith is that it has a proper understanding of the nature of the Person of Christ.

There are those today who even claim to be Christians who deny the true Deity of Christ. The cult of religious liberalism can be judged as heretical on the basis of its denial of the sure Deity of the blessed Son of God. Liberalism is not Christianity; it is a heretical, anti-Christian view, being defective in its view of the Deity of Christ.

There are religions that deny the true humanity of the Savior. Christian Science, as an instance, denies the existence of the physical, claiming that the essential substance of the universe is mind. “All is mind” is the index of Mary Baker Eddyism. If the physical does not exist, then Deity did not become true humanity in the Person of Christ. This is the doctrine of antichrist, according to Scripture.

The thoughtful Christian will carefully analyze the doctrine of a cult that is being pressed upon him, paying especial attention to the Christology of that alternative religious message. The message that in effect declares Christ to be the automaton of the Father and not a real person in Himself is a cult. The message that denies the virgin birth of Christ, holding Him to be merely the natural son of Joseph and Mary, is a cult. An examination of the doctrinal base of any religion in the light of its views on the Person and the work of Jesus Christ can be most revealing.

The question, “What think ye of Jesus?” is only answered correctly by the believing Christian. The Christian gladly answers, “Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the living God, the only Savior of the world, the author and finisher of our faith who, through His death on the cross, provides redemption for all who believe in Him. He is the one who died for our sins, rose again on the third day, who lives to make intercession for us before His Father and who one day will come in His glorious returning to judge the quick and the dead at His appearing in His Kingdom. He is Lord and God, and in Him alone we have life, and life more abundantly.”


1. Extra-Biblical Revelation — False doctrine from outside the Bible

2. Salvation by works — Denial of salvation by faith alone

3. Uncertain Hope — Cultistis are never sure of heaven

4. Presumptuous Messianic Leadership — Arrogant religious rulers command others

5. Doctrinal ambiguity

6. Denunciation of Others — All others are infidels, reprobates

7. Claim of “Special Discoveries”

8. Defective Christology — Denial of the Deity or humanity of Christ

9. Segmented Biblical Attention — Ignoring the whole counsel of God

10. Entangling Organizational Structure — Membership equals salvation

11. Financial Exploitation — Money is the object


This 1981 booklet is an early version of what later became the full-length book, The Marks of a Cult: The Warning Signs of False Teachings, published by Harvest House.
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The Marks of a Cult