From Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition
cult, n. [Fr. culte, L. cultus, from colere, to cultivate, worship.]
1. worship; reverential honor; religious devotion. [Obs.]
2. the system of outward forms and ceremonies used in worship; religious rites and formalities.
3. devoted attachment to, or extravagant admiration for, a person, principle, etc., especially
when regarded as a fad; as, the cult of nudism.
F4. a group of followers; sect. (emphasis added)
From the God-Breathed "King James"
Acts 24:1-5 "For we have found this man a pestilent fellow . . . and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. . . ."
("the sect of the Nazarenes" = "Christians")
28:16-22 ". . . as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against." (See definition above.)
(We ARE a "cult" and do praise God for it!)
1st Peter 4:3-4 ". . . they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. . . ."
John 12:42-43 ". . . they did not confess him . . . For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
Ezekiel 33:30-32 ". . . the children of thy people still are talking against thee . . . and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness."
John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." ("But, [in our 'church'] the commandments are done away with!")
vs. 21-24 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. . . ."
15:10-14 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. . . ."
1st John 2:3-5 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." (If you're having a problem here, read verse 7.)
5:1-3 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."
(Consider how they hate and reject the commandments and us, while saying they "love God"?)
What Is the Problem Here? (Why all the hatred?)
John 7:1-7 "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."
15:18-20 ". . . because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
Luke 6:6-11 "And they were filled with madness . . ." (What's the problem?)
Acts 26:9-11 as Paul was ". . . exceedingly mad against [the saints]. . . ." (This feeling is contagious!)
The Company We Keep (We are a minority, but in good company.)
2nd Timothy 1:8-15 "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me. . . ."
4:16 "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. . . ."
Matthew 26:56 "Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled." (Righteousness is a lonely business in this world.)
(Hebrews 13:5 "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." --Thank you, Lord.)
Looking at Paul When He Was Popular (when he was "of the world" and religiously "correct")
Acts 7:51--8:1 "And Saul was consenting unto [Stephen's] death." (Naturally, Saul is religious, and Stephen "is a cult!")
9:1-23 [from Stephen, to Saul, to Paul] "And . . . the Jews took counsel to kill him. . . ."
"The Church" (What is it?)
Acts 7:48 "Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands. . . ." (said by Stephen)
17:22-24 "God . . . dwelleth not in temples made with hands. . . ." (and then said again by Paul)
1st Corinthians 3:16,17 ". . . ye are the temple. . . . " [Now Paul is "a cult."]
Ephesians 2:18-22 ". . . ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
1st Peter 2:5 "Ye also . . . are built up a spiritual house. . . ."
1st Corinthians 3:9 "For . . . ye are God's building."
Romans 16:5 "Likewise greet the church that is in their house." (A "building" is in a "house.")
1st Corinthians 16:19 ". . . with the church that is in their house." ("That's not the way we do it!")
Colossians 4:15 ". . . and the church which is in his house." ("But our [State incorporated 'church'] is too big for that!")
2nd Corinthians 6:14-18 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. . . ."
What Can We Expect? (We can expect at the very least to be called a "cult.")
Matthew 5:11-12 "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven : for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (This is standard operating procedure in a world owned by Satan.)
(Isaiah 51:7 ". . . fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.")
2nd Timothy 3:12-15 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution . . . But continue thou. . . ."
1st Corinthians 1:26-28 ". . . But God hath chosen . . . things which are despised. . . ." (That's we!)
4:11-14 ". . . we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."
(Lamentations 3:45 "Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.")
Hebrews 11:35-38 ". . . others were tortured . . . And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings . . . bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented . . . they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." [They were hated by the world.]
13:10-14 "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."
Philippians 1:27-30 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." (Paul was hated, imprisoned, & killed.)
John 17:8-9 "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me . . . I pray for them: I pray not for the world. . . ."
vs.13-17 ". . . the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."