How do we know Jesus was really who he said he was and not just some cult leader like Manson? I mean I believe in God and worship him but how do we know what Christ said was true?
“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:37-38)
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:29-31)
One difference between Jesus and many modern cult leaders is that he showed that he was the son of God. His miracles and his teachings were his proof. Since the gospels were written when many people were still alive who had been recipients of, or witnesses to, the miracles it would have been easy to confirm or deny them. Since there was never any concerted effort that we know about to disprove the gospels when they were written, there is a good chance that the people who witnessed the signs and wonders confirmed the truth of what was written about Jesus.
A second difference is the teachings. Most cult leaders try to build themselves up. Jesus was always very low-key, often telling people not to tell others about the miracles. His teachings emphasized service to others and reduction of self. While he did ask total devotion to his teachings he did not advocate the secrecy that most cults insist upon in order to keep their members indoctrinated. He did not target any specific type but opened the church to all people, whereas many cults target young, impressionable, disenfranchised people as the type easiest to brainwash. The message Jesus brought appeals to all types: rich and poor, learned and illiterate, male and female, employer and employee.