Vissarion - "He who gives new life"
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
I must confess, I am sickened and disheartened that Bible-preaching, soul-winning,
Spirit-filled churches whose people and pastors love the Lord supremely, invest heavily in missions, serve their communities with gusto, pray, love, preach and encourage, struggle just to keep the doors open and the pews filled. Meanwhile satanically inspired megalomaniacs enjoy enthusiastic followings of devotees willing to forsake their families, invest their fortunes and forfeit their lives for their cultic causes.
We recently had some head to head discussion with a heretical woman. She claims that
she forsook church and family for 7 years, going off on her own to “walk in the Spirit and study the Word.” She went for 4 to 5 days a week without food or sleep so that God would reveal truths to her. She writes the following about herself:
I am a minister, called by the Father, commissioned by Christ Jesus, and ordained by the Spirit. I am called to reveal the great deception...the great whore...that has her clutches into the church world of today. I will not hesitate to show you the deceptions that have prevented the ministry of the Gospel as instructed by Christ. For example: women have been held back, because of false doctrines, the scriptures give many, many scriptures of women apostles, women prophetess, women elders. Also, many doctrines have prevented the full assembly of the body of Christ by denying such parts of the ministry as apostleship and prophecy. Many doctrines have extinguished the operation of the Power of God to actually heal the sick, set the captives free, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers by implying that all healing is a spiritual experience through salvation, presenting a mental image rather than the real thing. Baptism has been reduced to just a symbolic act, accomplishing nothing, performed only as a meaningless ritual, religious ceremony or an initiation into the membership of some denomination.
Oh, how dangerous these self-appointed prophets who forsake a Bible-believing church, the “pillar and ground of the truth” to form an eclectic, non-orthodox doctrine. The Deceiver then enters, inspires and enhances what may become the cult de jour.
Jesus said they would come in the last days and warned folks not to be deceived. Let’s name a few:
Vissarion - Ex-Traffic Cop Says He’s Jesus. Deep in the heart of Siberia’s birch forests lies one of the largest and most remote religious communes of the planet. The commune in Siberia is one of the world’s largest. More than 5,000 people have left their families and their homes to move here and join the Church of the Last Testament, which has more than 10,000 followers worldwide. The church centers on one man. He is known simply as Vissarion, meaning “he who gives new life,” or simply as the teacher, and he claims that he is Jesus Christ.
Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins – Followers move to the House of Yahweh compound on the edge of Abeline, TX. They change their name to Hawkins. One follower said, “I put him right up there next to Jesus the Messiah.”
Marshall Applewhite – Leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult. Posted a famous Usenet message declaiming, “I, Jesus Son of God acknowledge on this date of September 25/26, 1995…”
Sun Myung Moon - founder of the Unification Church (“Moonies”). Claims he is the Second Coming of Christ, the “Savior”, “returning Lord”, and “True Parent”. Says that he “appears in the world as the substantial body of God Himself.”
Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda – a Puerto Rican preacher who has claimed to be “the Man Jesus Christ”, indwelled with the same spirit that dwelled in Jesus. Founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), based in Miami, Florida. He claims to be both Jesus Christ returned and the Antichrist, and exhibits a “666″ tattoo on his forearm. He has referred to himself as “The Man Christ Jesus”.
Baha’u'llah was born Shiite, adopting Babuism later in life. He claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Baha’i Faith. Baha’u'llah declared that he was the “Promised One” of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. He stated that his claims to being several messiahs converging one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfillment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions.
David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell) - the leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet.
Jim Jones - Claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine.
George Baker, also known as Father Divine - an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as “the Messenger” and George Baker early in his life.
L. Ron Hubbard - founder of the Church of Scientology. Declared himself to be “Metteya” (Maitreya) the forthcoming world spiritual teacher and leader.
Ram Bahadur Bomjon (also known as Palden Dorje, his official Buddhist name, nicknamed the Buddha Boy).
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (The Rabbi) – revered by many in the Lubavitch-Hassidic movement of ultra-orthodox Judaism at the Messiah. The Rabbi was an extremely popular rabbi in NYC who lived into his 90’s. Followers have replicated his New York home in Israel, so that when he resurrects, he can feel at home in the Holy Land.
We know of two “messiahs” on the horizon, the Antichrist, mentioned extensively in the Bible, specifically in Rev. 13, and the Imam Mahdi, the 12 Imam, future leader of the world-wide Muslim Caliphate.
We have Jesus’ word that the instances of self-appointed messiahs would increase as the end of the age draws near. Be not deceived.