Philosophies of Man

Many Christs?

The One who is full of grace and truth said these words:-

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 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’s Gospel 24:23-24

The Lord Jesus was warning His followers in response to their questions about His return and what the signs of the end of the ages would be. It’s interesting that He didn’t simply say to them “watch out for the devil!”, for He knew how deception works. He wanted them to understand that there would be things happening that may appear to be from God but are actually not. This wasn’t a warning to avoid a creature in a red outfit holding a pitchfork, but to resist fake spiritual influences that seek to imitate Him.

One of the definitions of deception is this:- “the act of hiding the truth, especially to get an advantage” (Cambridge dictionary).

The truth is that there is one promised Messiah (Christ), as prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures known as the ‘Old Testament’. One true Christ who would come as the Suffering Servant for the sins of the world. However, for those who are drawn to (or enticed by) a more liberal expression of Christianity, not taking the Holy Bible so literally, then there is a danger of being drawn to that which seems true but is spiritually dangerous. While we may reject liberal interpretations, we could be deceived when we do not keep under the authority of Christ – living under His Lordship.

Let’s briefly consider the first representatives of the human race – Adam and Eve. They were placed in a Garden of such beauty and goodness surrounding them. They had open communication with their Creator. Adam even got to name the animals… and yet, the serpent came along and was able to deceive Eve with a few clever words. He actually used what God had said but twisted it around. Adam followed his deceived wife into rebellion against God, instead of telling her “no!” and as a result, through God’s righteous judgement, the human race began to slip away from that intended eternal relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Here’s a sobering thought for people of faith – we are not invincible. We need to daily feed on truth, being filled with the Holy Spirit through daily following and worshipping Christ Jesus, actively meditating on what the Bible says daily and putting it into practice, and regularly being around those who do likewise… otherwise we might well find ourselves failing to say what Adam failed to say to Eve, when a deception is presented to us… “no!”

There have been false christ-figures and false prophets already in history. So it should not be a surprise that some new ones may pop up at some point. However, because satan is the ‘father of lies’, as taught to us by our Lord, he will seek to be more cunning because his time is short, as the Bible indicates we are approaching the end of this current way of things. Satan presents what seems like the real thing, but that’s just what counterfeits are – fake copies of what is true. If there was no true Christ, there would be no false christs to lead people away from the truth.

Let me give you an example of someone who embraced a false christ, after being introduced to the true one. He was of the Muslim faith, living in a muslim-majority area, and had some encounters with Christians. He agreed to attend some Bible studies, thinking he could challenge what he heard. But this man encountered the real Christ of the Bible, the crucified and risen Lord. He began to believe, and even got baptised by a friend in the sea. He eventually left his country, seeking asylum in the USA. He wrote a book about his life experiences, there was a clear testimony of discovering Christ Jesus in that book, but with a hint of negativity about certain church experiences he went through. He had begun to attend a church in the USA, but for some reason he became disappointed with Christians, and left. Some time later, I watched an interview he did with a news channel, about his past life. He had been interviewed several times before, because of his particularly unique past experiences, and he referred to his faith in Christ Jesus. This time, observing him as looking much slimmer and different in this interview, when he spoke of Christ he used the term ‘Christ-consciousness’. I discovered through research that he had started practising yoga – the reason for his much slimmer appearance was a change in lifestyle related to becoming a serious yoga practitioner. He had taken on a different spiritual influence. The Christ of the Bible had now become confused in his mind with a mystical Christ that anyone could embrace.

“Well, I know what the Bible says and I’m sticking to it!”, you may say. That’s all good. Remain faithful, remain committed, don’t ever compromise. With God’s grace and strength we will stand. But what will you do when you see someone else who maybe once worshipped God alongside you, who is slipping away from the faith through different influences? Are we willing to step out of our spiritual comfort zones to warn others?

There are a number of ‘discernment ministries’ to be found on the internet – ‘error-exposer’ sites which warn Christians about this or that. Why? Because there is a real need for us to be alert and steadfast in the faith.

Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

Mark 13:33

Those are the words of our Lord Jesus regarding His return. ‘Watch’ – pay attention, be alert (not in a spiritual slumber, not lazy) and ‘Pray’ – actively talk to God, request His help, ask for His wisdom, depend on Him. Not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones – our families, friends, fellow believers who may be faltering, our neighbours who need to know who Christ is.

As we walk in truth – holding onto faith in the true Christ, Jesus, who gives us strength, we will surely not be deceived by any false christ. However, if our ‘holy habits’, our lifestyle disciplines of devotion begin to slip away, if we don’t keep the true Christ at the forefront and centre of our lives, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the voice of the serpent and the deceptions coming. We have to say “no!” to any enticements that lead us from truth.

The well-known Oprah Winfrey – who was raised in the church in her young years – has called herself a Christian to an audience. Yet Oprah embraces a false christ – she is influenced by what the Bible describes as “another spirit” and denies that Jesus is the only way. Oprah has not only embraced a false view of God over the years, but has influenced thousands, perhaps millions of people to do so also. Oprah met with the author of the book ‘The Universal Christ’, Richard Rohr. Listen to this segment (from 1:08):- (this is not an endorsement but for discernment).

Let’s be like the 5 wise virgins whom our Lord Jesus taught about, who kept their oil lamps burning, knowing who their holy Bridegroom is and waiting for His return.

Matthew 25:1-4 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

We need to be ready for the true Christ’s return.

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