False messiahs are one of the signs Jesus told us about.
There is a man in Australia named Alan John Miller, who says he is THE Christ.
- "And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray" (Mt 24:11);
- "For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:14);
- "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." (Matthew 24:5)
From his website:
"Because of my personal desire and passion for God, as I grew, I recognized not only that I was the Messiah that was foretold by ancient prophets, but also that I was in a process designed by God that all humans could follow, if they so desired. I called this process becoming "Born Again". It is the process of the human soul being transformed into the Divine, the process of becoming At-One with God. Many persons who were connected with me in the 1st century came to know and follow this path while on earth, the most notable person being Mary Magdalene, who is my soulmate, and who was actually married to me in the 1st century, and was pregnant with our daughter when I died."
I wrote earlier today about judging and being fruit inspectors, and even the most shrill believer crying "Judge not!" when a false teacher is named, will undoubtedly be able to use whatever vestige of discernment left in them to judge that this man is not Jesus. (If you decide that, aren't you judging? Aren't you being fruit inspectors? Yes, and that's good. More here)
This Australian video news spot is called: "Aussie messiah questioned". Actually, it is the second spot they did. There was one the night before and the news anchor said that the office had been deluged since it aired with concerned calls from family members who have lost dear ones to the cult.
In the news video, the journalist said, "AJ Miller's claims to be Jesus Christ would be almost laughable if nobody believed him. The problem is, many people do."
So back to the prophecy. Jesus said that many would come in His name, claiming to be the Christ, and this has occurred. AJ Miller certainly is not the first man claiming to be Jesus Himself. Remember the Russian-Siberian guy, Sergey Torop, known as Vissarion? I wrote about him in 2010. He claims to be the reincarnated Jesus also. His cult is still going strong. Vissarion's sect is estimated to have some ten thousand adherents, with claims of up to 50,000 adherents in eighty-three communities spread over 150 square kilometers. (source)
And there have been many more. On Wikipedia, there is a list of people who have claimed to be Christ. The list starts in the 1800s, and you notice the 1900s list is a LOT longer than the previous one. And the list for the 21st century is growing pretty healthily too, despite only being 12 years old.
This entry sort of dovetails with the previous one I'd linked to about being fruit inspectors. It is all about discernment. I listened to a pastor online who had preached on Sunday in firmness and protection of his flock about how he has finally had it with the falsity permeating the global church body today. His sermon is called the Subtlety of Satan. I recommend it!
He gave a short but detailed history of beginning in the 1940s of the acceleration of the downward slide of the evangelical church, and named names (Beth Moore, Richard Foster, Rick Warren, etc) and named the titles of these false doctrines (Gnosticism, Contemplative Spirituality, Post-Modernism, Pantheism and Panentheism etc) and brought it up to the present day. He said he was going to root this stuff out of his church, by going through his library and tossing out the false. Going through every curriculum and tossing out the false. He killed the Beth Moore trip. He will examine every teacher and leader and monitor closely what they teach. He is purifying his church. How did all this false stuff get into the church in the first place? One charge he made to the congregation is that laziness and lack of discernment. It's got to stop, he said. It is one of the reasons people get so deceived. People simply don't read the bible any more. The pastor said the last thing people need is "another bible study" when they should just read the bible for themselves and appeal to the Spirit for understanding- and then actually apply the principles to their lives. Amen. You can listen to his sermon here.
Pastor Jim said discernment takes work, and you have to put in the time. I agree. It was a good sermon and I'm proud for him that he is protecting his flock.
Mentioning Pastor Jim's sermon may seem like it doesn't fit with the main point of the essay, that a man in Australia is calling himself Jesus, and with my essay yesterday about the outcry not to "judge" or be "fruit inspectors," but it does. Mr Miller began his cult just a few short years ago, and it really accelerated in 2010. In Australia he already has branched out with cult locations springing up in Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria.
And his influence is spreading around the world, to Europe,
Any corporate business owner would be so jealous of having an expansion to three continents within two years! The problem is, that what is expanding out is false doctrine, which is actually poison.
How did we get here? Pastor Jim had asked the question rhetorically throughout his Sunday sermon. How did we get this far? As this blogger kindly transcribed, because we failed to discern. We don't judge and we don't inspect the fruit. We listened to satan's subtle voice telling us:
“What is a Christian according to the contextually relevant teachers of today? “Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a no regret life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage, is an attentive parent, celebrating recovery from all of their lusts, their habits, their hangups and practices biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at his church, tithes off the gross and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world country. That’s who a Christian is. What about the Gospel? Never once do you read in that modern contextualization that a Christian is one who sees their sin, confesses their sin, repents of their sin, and receives the gift of salvation in Christ alone. THAT IS HOW FAR WE HAVE COME.” (-Pastor Jim Murphy of First Baptist Church, Johnson City NY)
The bible says,
"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it." (Matthew 24:23)That is pretty clear. But Jesus made it even clearer:
They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30b-31)Did you see Jesus in the sky? No? Then AJ Miller is not Jesus. It's amazing that such a lack of discernment exists when something is so obvious. How will they discern when it is not so obvious? Badly or not at all. Satan is the most subtle creature in the garden (Gen 3:1) but he doesn't even have to be subtle anymore with a people who lack even a crumb of biblical knowledge and regularly fail to practice discernment. By now, Satan is just shooting fish in a barrel.
On still a serious note but two things that amused me in all this... in one of the videos I watched featuring AJ Miller AKA Jesus Christ, the Perfect Lord of Lords, you notice he is wearing glasses. Hmmm, he is two thousand years older now, so I guess his eyes are fail...NOT!
AJ Miller incorporated his Divine Teachings or whatever he calls it. He named it
God's Way of Love...Ltd. You know LTD stands for Limited. God's Way of Love Limited. LOL!
Jesus said there shall be ones coming in His name calling themselves the Christ. His word is so perfect and so true, than even though we mourn over AJ Miller and his wife Mary's lost state, and pray that the light would come to his followers, we love the True God all the more, because, He said, "See, I have told you ahead of time." (Matthew 24:25).
"So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31)