This is an excerpt from the book, “The Cult Mentality by Rev, Hal Mason, edited by Larry Lee Mason.
Each time I have tried to enter into an in-depth study of the cults and their history, I find myself thinking, “I’ve been here before.” I find myself moving further and further back to the beginning of man. Then I realize, we cannot understand the grip that cults hold over people, until we understand that there is a cult mentality that has been present in every man and woman since the beginning. We must go back to the book of Genesis in order to understand our present condition.
God granted Adam and Eve freedom in the Garden of Eden and dominion over all the things in it. They had access to all of God’s provisions in His wonderful creation. He forbid them only one thing; the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God followed His command with a warning that if the fruit was eaten from this tree, death would follow. But even in the perfectness of the garden, Adam and Eve did not obey. Their disobedience cost them access to the Tree of Life. They could not be allowed to live eternally in a sinful condition. Therefore, they and all mankind who followed were condemned to sin and death. All that God has ever asked of mankind is that they obey Him.
Everything that follows in this book comes from my absolute belief in the God of Genesis – the creator of heaven and earth who made the universe out of nothing, who formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, exactly as he says in the book of Genesis. I accept this as a fact. I believe that the Holy Bible, the Word of God, is infallible and I accept no other writings or traditions of men to be the message of God for mankind today.
I believe that God has created all men and that all of mankind was created to be obedient to His service. It follows that if we are to serve Him, we should be knowledgeable of the one we serve.
He refers to Himself in chapter one of Genesis by the name Elohim, or as the powerful one when He created the heavens and earth. In chapter two when He creates man, He is called Jehovah or the faithful one, recognizing His faithfulness in His relationship to man, the One who will be faithful in keeping His covenant with man. The true God of the Holy Bible, the creator of heaven and earth, cannot be understood apart from the acceptance of this truth. He is self-existent in the fullest meaning of that statement. There was no God before Him and there will be no God after Him. (Is 43:10-11) No power but His own was ever required for His being God. He is the I AM. He has and always will reveal Himself. He does not function in secret. His complete message is open today to mankind. He is all powerful in every realm of the universe. He is faithful and absolutely firm in adherence to all of His promises.
When we go back to Genesis, we realize that when Adam and Eve sinned their sin brought death to themselves and their descendants as well as destruction of their fellowship with God. They were cast out of the Garden of Eden. God would not fellowship with sin, but He did make provision to restore fellowship when He made a coat of skins for them. This required that an animal be sacrificed. In the account of Cain and Abel we find that restoration and fellowship must be on God’s terms and not man’s. This truth has been contained all through the Old Testament and into complete revelation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Bible the only remedy for sin that allows man to be forgiven and come into God’s presence was the shedding of blood.
“…..the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
The first time this was communicated to man was when God prepared a covering for Adam and Eve from animal skins. Adam had to have communicated this fact to His children. It is obvious that when Adam’s two sons went out to make a sacrifice to God, they had been instructed on how to worship. The writer tells us that Abel:
….also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering.” (Genesis 4:4) NKJV
Abel followed his God’s instruction as communicated through his father as implied by the words “Abel also brought.” Cain, however was in rebellion. Cain decided to worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. He built an altar and brought to that altar the efforts of his own hands. He by-passed the explicit teaching given to his parents when God rejected their fig leaf aprons. God’s provision of coats of animal skin to cover their nakedness was symbolic of the necessity of the shedding of blood to provide a covering of sin. Abel, in his obedience brought to his altar the firstling of the flock, a blood sacrifice – acknowledging that which both he and Cain had no doubt been taught. Abel brought an offering acceptable to God, but Cain did not. God accepted Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. Cain, in his anger with God, rose up and killed his brother. As it was in the beginning, so it is today. Man finding no peace with God turns his anger upon his fellow man. It will not change until Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the world there are essentially only two religious concepts. This simplifies our pursuit greatly, instead of needing to come to grips with all of the various religious philosophies of approximately 5000 cults in the United States, according to government statistics. The cult mentality is how Cain worshiped and true worship is how Abel worshiped. All people will fall into one category or the other.
They are either those who desire to worship according to the dictates of their own heart, like Cain or they are going to attempt to worship Him according to the pronouncements of God, like Abel. When a people choose to follow the dictates of their heart and refuse to come to God acceptably within His precepts; they are always angry with those who do come to God within His precepts. When they find their sacrifices are not acceptable to God, it keeps them in a constant state of frustration.
Recent religious polls in the United States indicate that a majority of people believe in a god, but they desire to worship Him according to their own concept of worship. It is a lack of desire for obedient worship or God directed worship. This concept is basic to the cult mentality
We should understand that a true follower of God will approach God in God’s proscribed manner as set forth in God’s Holy Word. Those people have peace with God and when they have peace with God, they have peace with mankind. They are not at war with mankind, because they are not at war with God.
As we return to the beginning of our study of the cult mentality we see Cain going forth to worship God according to the desires of his own heart. And when the desires of his heart does not meet with the approval of God, he becomes vindictive against his brother whose worship did meet with the approval of God. This has followed all down through the generations of mankind upon this earth with all the sons of Adam. As it was in the beginning, so it is today.