Thursday, July 19, 2007

There Will Be False Christs

Found the following link to an interesting "end times type" article yesterday via ChristianBusinessDaily. It is a Washington Post piece called Novel Faiths Find Followers Among Russia's Disillusioned.

It would be best to read the entire article, but here is a brief excerpt:

They Call Him Jesus of Siberia
In a profoundly remote corner of Siberia, 5,000 people have given up their former lives to build an entire town from scratch, all for a man known to outsiders as the Jesus of Siberia.

In a voice barely louder than the rain falling on the mountaintop home his followers have built for him, Sergei Torop said it was painful to remember the end of his last life, in which he says he walked the Earth as Jesus Christ.

Torop, 46, is a former Siberian traffic cop who is now spiritual leader of at least 5,000 devoted followers. They have abandoned lives as artists, engineers and professionals in other fields to move to this remote corner of Siberia, 2,000 miles from Moscow. In empty woodlands, they are building from scratch an entire new town, where they pass their lives near the man they call Vissarion, "he who gives new life."

One would think that anyone with any inkling of intelligence would never fall for the lies of this man. However, because so many people are ignorant of what the Bible actually says about Jesus Christ's second coming, they will be found to be very vulnerable to this type of deception.

At least the article tells us of one former "member" who figured out the deception:

Some onetime followers later dropped out. Mariya Karpinskaya, 55, was a divorced mother of one when she met Torop in 1992 in Moscow. She moved to Siberia. At first, she said in an interview in Moscow, Torop seemed like a strong spiritual leader who dreamed of creating a "beautiful life -- like a new America" in the Siberian woods. In 1995, she said, she came to the conclusion that Torop was only claiming to be Jesus for personal gain. "The hypnosis disappeared and I realized my life was ruined," she said. "He doesn't believe he is Jesus Christ. He is just manipulating people. It's P.R., it's a brand. Jesus is a brand."

Jesus Himself warned us that as the end times approach, there would be many false Christs:

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.
The article mentions the term "novel faiths," but there is nothing really "novel" about them. They are all part of the danger in the New Age cults.

The deceptive mechanisms used by such cults may vary slightly, but there is usually one familiar ingredient within them all.

C.S. Lewis, in his masterpiece The Screwtape Letters, warns against producing a vaguely devotional mood of prayer that requires no real concentration on the will or intelligence. This bears only a superficial resemblance to true prayer:

"That is exactly the sort of prayer we want," Screwtape advises Wormwood. The demonic uncle goes on to advise his nephew that the best way to nullify human prayer is to get people to "turn their gaze away from Him (God) toward themselves." 2

If you don't get anything else from this post today, please remember this because it is precisely the danger in the New Age cults running rampant in today's society:

The objective focus is shifted away from God toward self and results in some of the most incredible self-deception ever perpetrated on the general public. 1

That quote is from Ed Hindson in his book AntiChrist Rising.

Of course, this Torop guy, a 46 year old former Siberian traffic cop who claims to be Jesus Christ, is an obviously hopeless fraud. Many false prophets and teachers aren't that obvious. But isn't it truly sad that so many people have been duped and deceived by this liar?

Ed Hindson gives us many tips to avoid being fooled by modern, New Age movements that are channels to Satan's lies, not to God's truth:

Popular channels in the modern New Age movements vary from those receiving telepathic messages (Alice Bailey and Helen Schucman), full-trance channels (Kevin Ryerson and Jack Pursel), and incarnational channels (J.Z. Knight and Penny Tores). Each in his or her own way claims to be delivering messages fromm someone or something beyond this present earthly experience. They are in essence claiming supernatural revelations of truth.

Torop is obviously guilty of using the "incarnational" channel to get people to worship him as a false prophet of Jesus. The others are a bit more subtle.

Hindson goes on to describe what proponents of channeling promise as benefits:

* Channeling will give you the wise teacher you seek --- from within yourself.
* Your guide will be a friend who is always there to support you.
* Channeling will help you learn to love yourself more.
* Spirit guides will help you achieve new levels of personal power and spiritual growth.
* All you have to do is ask for a guide and one will come to you.

Mixing a little bit of scientific information about electromagnetic fields together with self-help psychology and occult spiritism, the seeker is left wide open to buy into the demonic realm of the spirit world. Opening your soul to channeling the psychologicall induced impressions of one's so-called spirit guide plays right into the hand of Satan. Such a subjective and self-centered approach to truth leaves one the victim of "the father of lies" (see John 8:44).

Now, not every New Age movement out there uses the term "channeling." But the fact that they often use "the subjective and self-centered approach to truth" is something that they all have in common!

This is why I have often stated here at this blog that the Holy Spirit of God will never lead a believer in a direction that counters the truth of God's Word!!!

If that is happening to's not the Holy Spirit leading you!!

Hindson gives us more clues to avoid deception:

In her book Creative Visualization, 3 Shakti Gawain advises her readers to relax into "a deep, quiet, meditative state of mind" in order to visualize the reality that they want to create for themselves. "It is not necessary to have faith in any poer outside yourself," she adds. To help her readers find the power of positive affirmation, Gawain suggests they say the following:

* Every day in every way I'm getting better and better.
* My life is blossoming in total perfection.
* Everything I need is already within me.
* I am the master of my life.
* It's okay for me to have everything I want!

Then she explains, "Affirmations are often most powerful and inspiring when they include references to spiritual sources. Mention of God, Christ, Buddha, or any great master adds spiritual energy to your affirmation." She closes with the following examples:

* My higher self is guiding me in everything I do.
* The power of God flows through me.
* Divine love is working through me.
* I am one with my higher nature, and I have infinite creative power.
* Wherever I am, God is, and all is well!

New Age theology represents a do-it-yourself form of religion. A person can pick and choose whatever ideas, beliefs, concepts, and concerns happen to appeal to him personally. The rest can merely be set aside; they need not be rejected.

The bottom line is obvious. New Age theology rests upon pantheism. Its logical paradigm is:

All is God,
God is all,
Man is part of all,
Therefore, man is God.

The only thing separating man from God is his own consciousness, not his sin, New Agers believe. Thus, they propose finding God within oneself by altering one's consciousness...

Hindson goes on to list some of the methods used to "alter one's consciousness." He shares that the New Age approach to spirituality is more a matter of experience than belief.

How many times have we heard this from off-shoots of the New Age movement (such as gay christian theology)? It is their mantra!!

"Spirituality is more a matter of experience than belief."

The idea being perpetuated through reprobate theologies utilize "altered consciousness" (i.e. a man lying with another man or a woman lying with another woman sexually is not sin) that leads to their own form of "self-realization," which, in turn results in a pseudo-kind of "personal transformation" (the New Ager's form of "salvation").

Hindson gets to the crux of the matter:

In this process, personal experience becomes the final authority to define one's spiritual journey.

Two additional examples of those who take "personal experience as the final authority" (rather than what the Bible says) are Fred Phelps (whose followers do not believe that repentance through Jesus Christ can save homosexuals) and Joel Osteen (whose two best selling books titles "Your Best Life Now" and "Become a Better You" seem to be void of the gospel of Christ and tell us that the "self" is what we should be concentrating on) both of whom, in their own ways, do not take the full gospel of Christ into account in their ministries.

Again, "self" takes over the mind of these believers and what the Bible has to say is either secondary, or not really important to them. Selfishness and pride are the two ingredients that time and again, can get us into a heap of trouble when it comes to spiritual beliefs. The Bible not only warns us about this, but tells us how to avoid such errors!!

2Ti 3:16 (KJV)All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17 (KJV) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Prov. 10:17 (NLT) People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray.

Prov. 1:23 (NKJV) Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

There are 15 verses in all here that tell us of the importance of reproof in discernment of truth.

Knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide us unto all truth helps us avoid error and deception:

Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Eph 3:21 Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Please read Ephesians 1 . It reveals the importance of both the true gospel of Christ and how the Holy Spirit gives us further guidance in discerning truth from error!


1 AntiChrist Rising by Ed Hindson Published by 21st Century Press Springfield, Missouri U.S.A. pp. 93-99.

2 C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters (London: Collins, 1964), p. 25.

3 Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization (San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1978), p. 15.

HT: Christian Business Daily

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