1. Claiming divine mandate.
By claiming divine mandate for his teaching will make any challenge to his teaching a challenge to God. Such polemic is employed to ensure full acceptance of his doctrines by his followers. When you hear such cult leader say that God spoke to him and told him that many preachers have been preaching the wrong doctrines for so long, a red flag should be raised. What he is saying is that the teachings carefully passed down the centuries by so many evangelical theologians have been wrong and he is the only one getting it right now. How preposterous !
2. Claim of right doctrine evidenced by rapid church growth.
On the contrary, in a published report done in the US, the fastest growing “churches” are the Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Unification Church, etc. (http://www.christianpost.com/…/jehovah-s-witnesses-mormons…/#!)
3. Claiming huge opposition to his doctrines as a sign of truth.
By claiming the opposition to his doctrines as coming from the devil will curtail all challenges. On the contrary, God is raising watchmen to expose the error clearly from the Scripture. All one truly seeking the truth need to do is to take note of the whole counsel of the Word of God as expounded by God’s watchmen.
4. Outrageous hermeneutics 1:
Mystical method of assigning obscure meaning to a biblical text. Cult leaders love to point out hidden code in the text which is actually non existent. But it is effective enough to hook-wink the unsuspecting that they are truly given special revelation by God.
5. Outrageous hermeneutics 2 :
Questionable / arbitrary speculations expressed as truth-claims. Claims such as Christians will not succumb to temptation or suffer any sickness or disease. (It is quite comical that it is common experience as Christians do suffer sickness and even die, yet such wild truth-claims continue to be widely accepted by the followers without rationalizing what is taught.)
6. Outrageous hermeneutics 3 :
Theological claims based on bad exegesis. Examples are Christians do not need to confess their sins anymore; or the Holy Spirit does not convict the Christians of sin. This claim is done knowingly to reach those who are living in sin but feel very uneasy all the time about their sin; or those professionals who have questionable practices in business or career.
7. Over-realized Eschatology.
The basic flaw is where promises for the future is claimed for the present without qualification. They knowingly do so to reach those with itching ears seeking health and wealth promises.
– expounding on these points raised by my friend Seto.