blog: What Would You Say To A Man That Claimed To Be God?
By no means is this an exhaustive list of men claiming to be God. We lack both time and space to discuss each and every imposter. However, I want to mention a few that you might be familiar with as we discuss men claiming to be God.
David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell) on Monday, April 19, 1993 led 54 adults and 21 children to a fiery grave in Waco, Texas. Former members of the heretical group alerted authorities that Koresh was a madman and needed to be stopped. As Branch Davidian prophet, Koresh claimed he was the son of God. Koresh, an obvious imposter and lunatic is just one of the “many” false Christ mentioned in the Bible:
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matt. 24:5).
Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple, claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Jones was kicked out of mainline fundamentalism and turned to the independent movement which usually lacks any accountability or oversight. Jones was no more a Christian than he was God. The Messiah complex is often manifested in overly authoritative religious leaders that display a gross lack of humility. This is not a mental disorder as some suppose, but a spiritual problem that results from seducing spirits mentioned in the Bible. In the end, this heretic orchestrated a mass murder suicide at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 killing over 1,200 people, 300 of which were children. The phrase, “don’t drink the Kool-Aid” was born out of this tragedy.
Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church (Moonies) led his followers to believe he was the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ during the 60’s. Moon says that on Easter morning at the age of 16, he had a vision in which Jesus asked him to complete his unfinished work as messiah, which is to bring the Kingdom of God to mankind and peace on earth. Moon was a sophisticated deceiver preying on the spiritual gullibility of unstable people. During the hippie generation Moon recruited a substantial amount of “flower children” to work the major transportation portals and cities of the United States. They were used to distribute literature, recruit converts and sell flowers. The Moonies boast of having 3 million followers world-wide, but former members say the number is around 100 thousand.
Wayne Bent, also known as Michael Travesser of the Lord Our Righteousness Church, claimed “I am the embodiment of God. I am divinity and humanity combined.” Bent predicted the world would end in 2007 but stated that God said to “stay with me one more year.” He was later convinced for sexual contact with a minor and sentenced to 18 years. The courts later overturned his conviction. Brent said, “The current upheaval over me and the present contest is well under way. It was the same for Jesus. Jesus had not committed any crimes, so the authorities had to invent some crimes to crucify him over. It is the same for me also. I have committed no crimes, but many crimes are being imagined and concocted in the minds of men to try and kill me again.”
Arnold Potter, Schismatic Latter Day Saint leader, claimed the spirit of Jesus Christ entered into his body and he became “Potter Christ” Son of the living God. He died in an attempt to “ascend into heaven” by jumping off a cliff (1804–1872).
The commonality linking these men and all other imposters is deception. Not only were they deceived, but for a time they deceived many and caused irrevocable harm. They were counterfeit gods that attracted victims who evidently had little knowledge of the scriptures. Had these followers possessed even a rudimentary understanding of the Bible they would have realized that these men were heretics of the worst kind.
Claiming To Be God Is A Serious Matter.
There have been hundreds of self-appointed men declaring to be God. Subsequently, they were all exposed as liars, deceivers and imposters. But there is one that not only claimed to be the Son of God, He proved it time and again to ten’s of thousands as he walked among us. He was and is the Savior of all mankind. He is the one and only Messiah. Consider this:
More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood.
He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous, and had neither training nor formal education. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.
He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the song writers combined.
“He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired.
He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wend their way to worshipping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him.
The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him.
He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Savior. (James Allan Francis)
So, what would you say to this man who claims to be God? A man who took upon himself our sins and died in our place. A man filled with boundless love for us, who suffered on our cross. A man who is the lover of our souls. What would you say to this man who has made a way for our sins to be forgiven and obtained eternal life for all who turn to Him in true repentance?
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
I can tell you what I said when I first met this man. I fell to my knees with heart-felt sorrow and asked His forgiveness for all my sins. I asked Him to take control of life and be my Lord and Savior. I died that day to my former life and received a new life in Christ. I was born again!
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