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The Marks of a Cult, by David Breese
Dave Breese is president of Christian Destiny, Inc., in Hillsboro, Kansas. He travels approximately 100,000 miles annually in a many-faceted ministry involving preaching, radio and TV, and literature. He is heard on radio and national TV stations on the weekly 30-minute television program and daily 5-minute radio program "Dave Breese Reports."
A member of the Board of Administration of the National Association of Evangelicals, Breese is also the author of Discover Your Destiny (Word), His Infernal Majesty (Moody), and the national bestseller, Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave (Moody). (The Marks of a Cult, copyright 1998, second to last page) [Mr. Breese has since gone to his eternal doom (2 Peter 2:3, 17). He died on May 3, 2002.]
In his book, The Marks of a Cult, Mr. Breese reveals his own "cultic" teaching. For example, Mr. Breese propagates,
I. A False Gospel (Galatians 1:8-9)
At the beginning of chapter 3 Breese writes,
What must I do to be saved?
Deep within his heart, every person on earth is asking that question first phrased by the Philippian jailer. We are born with an unquenchable longing for eternal life and a home in heaven that will never pass away. (p. 39)
This is the opposite of the gospel of God. At the very heart of the gospel, Paul wrote about "every person on earth" ("both Jews and Greeks," Romans 3:9) with these words:
There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)
Contrary to this, Breese states, "We are born with an unquenchable longing for eternal life." Jesus said,
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
Eternal life is to know God. Therefore, to desire ("unquenchable longing for") eternal life equals a desire to know God. But, God says, "They have all turned aside." God says,
The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)
God does not say that "we are born with an unquenchable longing for eternal life and a home in heaven that will never pass away," or anything like that, but rather, He says we "are estranged from the womb" (Psalm 58:3), "brought forth in iniquity" (Psalm 51:5), "renounce the Lord" (Psalm 10:3), despise God (Proverbs 14:2; Isaiah 49:7), seek only rebellion (Proverbs 17:11), and,
In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. (Isaiah 64:5)
Mr. Breese continues his false gospel explaining his false "longing" with;
This longing is the fuel that energizes the growth of most of the cults in existence today. (ibid., same paragraph)
Mr. Breese turns a longing for eternal life (i.e. longing for God, John 17:3) into something that "energizes the growth of most of the cults." He makes that which is good (longing for eternal life, longing for God, John 14:6; 17:3) into something that results in evil doing (i.e. false religion).
This perversion speaks directly against Paul's gospel in Romans. In Romans 1 Paul explains the reason for cults and it is the exact opposite of what Mr. Breese teaches. It is,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)
They "exchanged the truth of God for the lie" (Romans 1:25) and "did not like to retain God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28). This is why cults, false religions, and wickedness abound (Romans 1:18-32). It is not because men long for eternal life (John 17:3). They hate eternal life (John 7:7; 17:3). They hate God (Romans 1:28-30). They hate wisdom (Proverbs 1:7,22). They hate life Himself (John 14:6).
Someone may argue, "But people say they want to live forever." People are liars (Romans 3:4, 13). God says,
He who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:36)
Also included in Mr. Breese's false gospel is this:
God requires nothing in return on our part, save faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We Christians mean it when we sing "Calvary covers it all." Anything short of this is not true Christianity. (p. 54)
Breese's statement is not true Christianity! Nowhere does Scripture teach any such thing (Proverbs 30:5-6). Indeed, the finished work of Christ on the cross is intensely important (Colossians 1:21-22), but nowhere does the Word teach that "God requires nothing in return on our part, save faith in the finished work of Christ." There is not a single verse that teaches this, and there is a massive amount of Scripture against this (e.g. Matthew 7:13-14, 21, 24-27; 10:28, 32-33, 37-39; 18:21-35; 22:1-14; 24:45-51; 25:14-46; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 9:23-26; 12:48; 13:24; 14:26-33; Romans 11:22; 13:1-5; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:13; 2 Timothy 3:14; Hebrews 2:1; 4:13; 11:6; 1 John 4:21; etc.). Micah explicitly states,
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Micah lists three things that God requires, none of which mention Christ's finished work. Of course, without Christ's finished work, it is impossible to do what Micah 6:8 requires, since there is no salvation apart from Christ and His work on the cross (Acts 4:10-12; Hebrews 10:12-14). But, there is much more to what God requires than simply faith in His finished work. For "God requires an account of what is past" (Ecclesiastes 3:15), and
God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
This is why Peter writes,
if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear. (1 Peter 1:17)
Why? Because God requires much more than "faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross." He requires faith in all of His Word (Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 4:4; James 1:21; Hebrews 4:12-13). As Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, so are all those who are justified by faith (Roman 4:22-25). Just as Abraham was justified by faith in the word of God (Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3), so are all and any who are saved. They are justified through faith in the Word of God (John 1:1; Revelation 19:13). God requires we believe all of His word (Matthew 7:21), not just some of it (His finished work or any other "essential," Matthew 23:23). Anything short of this, like Breese's teaching, is not true Christianity, because Christ said,
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4)
II. Lies (Revelation 21:8; 22:15)
On page 69 Breese writes,
Nowhere in the New Testament is the church warned of false prophets.
This is a lie. Please read Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; Acts 13:6; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13; 19:20; & 20:10.
On page 149 Breese writes,
Within that wonderful circle of faith [i.e. Christianity], however, the Scripture allows for a great diversity of views.
Breese's statement includes diversity in doctrine, for he uses the Jehovah's Witnesses as an example stating that "they mean that all other religious points of view except that of the Jehovah's Witnesses are condemned" (p. 151). Religious points of view equal doctrinal points of view, for which the Bible does not allow any diversity. As Paul told Timothy,
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia - remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:3)
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing. (1 Timothy 6:3-4)
Likewise, in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Paul wrote,
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; see also Matthew 4:4; 7:24-27; John 8:47; 14:21, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-5; 4:6; 2 John 9; etc.)
Furthermore, on page 180 Breese writes,
Remember that communion is Christian, but communes are cultic. (bold added)
This is a lie and a man-made standard (Matthew 15:8-9). Scripture nowhere teaches this, and the early church was quite close to, if it did not actually practice, communal living (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35).
Also on page 180 Breese writes,
Travel is enlightening, pilgrimages are cultic. (bold added)
This is a lie. Our father of faith, Abraham, was on a pilgrimage (Hebrews 11:8). Jacob was on a pilgrimage (Genesis 47:9). Every true Christian is on a pilgrimage (1 Peter 2:11). Scripture says,
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. (Psalm 84:5)
Also on page 180 Breese writes,
Hope is Christian; predictions are cultic. (bold added)
This also is a lie and another man-made standard (Matthew 15:8-9). Scripture teaches no such thing. In fact, Breese does what Scripture explicitly commands us not to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 says,
Do not despise prophecies.
Breese despises prophecies by saying, "predictions are cultic." The reason he believes this is because he believes that "Every form of extrabiblical revelation is a lie" (p. 36). In our present day, this may practically turn out to be true, but the Bible teaches no such concept. Breese perverts Revelation 22:18-19 (p. 30-31) in an attempt to support his contention that "a dreadful curse [is] placed upon anyone who presumes to present a new verbal revelation from God." But, Revelation 22:18-19 speaks specifically of the book of Revelation ("this book," Revelation 1:3; 22:7, 9-10; 18-19). To use these verses for the entirety of Scripture (Genesis to Revelation) is to take them out of the context in which they were written.
Proverbs 30:5-6 certainly warns not to add to God's Word, and any addition or false revelation would certainly be evil. But, Scripture nowhere teaches that prophesy has ceased. In fact, Revelation 11 explicitly reveals that at least two more prophets are coming and they will prophesy (Revelation 11:3-10).
Moreover, on page 152 Breese writes,
To the believer, those outside the church are not the enemy - they are victims of the enemy. (bold added)
This is a lie. Proverbs 29:27 describes a mutual hatred.
An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
The "victims of the enemy" (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:26; Revelation 12:9) are enemies of God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21) and are therefore the enemies of believers (Psalm 139:21-22; John 15:18; James 4:4).
Furthermore, on this same page (152), in the very next sentence, Breese writes,
We are not to hate them; we are to love them into the kingdom of God. (bold added)
This also is a lie. David, a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), wrote,
Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. (Psalm 139:21-22)
We are indeed commanded to love them (Proverbs 25:21; Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27), but godly hate is also a reality of godly living (Psalm 119:113; 139:19-20; Proverbs 29:27; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:8-9; 5:12; 2 Timothy 4:14).
Yet, Breese speaks against the word of God and attempts to dissuade people away from the way of truth by saying,
When a church begins to see those outside it as enemies, you can be sure they have crossed from Christian to cultic. (p. 152)
Breese does exactly what 2 Peter 2:2 says men like him would do. He blasphemes the way of truth. What Breese calls cultic, the word of God calls "the way of truth" (2 Peter 2:2). Any church in the way of truth would see those outside it as enemies , because they would live and believe the word of God (e.g. Psalm 119:113; 139:19-20; Proverbs 29:27; 1 Corinthians 16:22).
Breese continues with this exhortation:
Stay away from those who preach hate and hostility. (p. 153)
Here is another destructive heresy (2 Peter 2:1). Breese instructs people to stay away from men of God, for men of God preach a godly "hate and hostility" (e.g. 2 Kings 3:13-14; 2 Chronicles 18:7; Nehemiah 4:4-5; Psalm 5:5-6; 11:5; 35:4-8; 59:5; Luke 12:49; 18:7-8; Revelation 6:9-10). Paul wrote,
If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. (1 Corinthians 16:22)
This is an extremely hateful and hostile statement. Like David (Psalm 55:15; 69:22-28/Romans 11:9-10; 109:6-20; 139:19), Paul desires unending pain and torture for those who do not love Christ (Revelation 21:8). And we say, Amen!
Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. (Psalm 62:1-2)
Mr. Breese is now experiencing this fate (2 Peter 2:17). He died in 2002.
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