Ten Men who have claimed to be Jesus

jesus

As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives and His disciples asked for the signs of His second coming, He gave several pointers and prophecies that will forecast the religious climate of the earth at the time of His return. One of them is:

For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many … and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. (Matthew 24:5, 11, 23-26)

Indeed, all through history, many people – whether overtly or covertly – have come in the name of God claiming to be the promised Messiah or the returned Jesus Christ. Many of them have established movements, gained followers and even worked signs and wonders to gain credibility.

The list of such self-acclaimed messiahs is almost endless and more will still come. But in this piece, I will give only recent examples – men who have made such claims in the last decade or so.

  1. Ariffin Mohammed

Born to a Muslim family in 1941, Ariffin alleged that in 1959 during a debilitating illness, he was visited by an angel and also in the 1970s when his spiritual career began.

Popularly called “Ayah Pin” (Ayah, being a common honorific meaning “father”), Ariffin was the founder of Kerajaan Langit (Sky Kingdom) in Malaysia. His movement had a commune based in Besut, Terengganu which was demolished by the Malaysian government in 2005.

Ariffin not only claimed to be Jesus, he also claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha, Shiva, and Muhammad. He was said to have the powers of invisibility and telepathic killing.

His followers fondly believe that one day, Ayah Pin will return as the Imam Mahdi. Devotees of the Sky Kingdom cult considered Ariffin to have direct contact with the heavens, and that he is in fact, the king of the sky – the supreme object of devotion for all religions.

After surviving a wave of attacks, arrests and fatwa from the Muslim government against his movement, Ariffin fled, and finally resided in Thailand as an exile in 2009. By then, he had about 10,000 followers. In 2016, he died in the home of his third wife (he had 4 wives).

  1. Wayne Curtis Bent

Bent Waye (a.k.a Michael Travesser) who was born in 1941, was formerly a Seventh Day Adventist pastor but left the religious group with others of like mind in 1987. He claims that during an experience in his living room in June 2000, God told him, “You are the Messiah.”

Bent has since stated, “I am the embodiment of God. I am divinity and humanity combined.” With a group of about 80 adherents who migrated to Sandpoint, Idaho, Bent founded the Lord our Righteousness Church in Union County, New Mexico.

His cult became a target of media investigation in 2004 which Bent further heightened when he announced October 31, 2007 as the beginning of the Day of Judgement.

Bent allegedly told his congregation that “God told him that he was supposed to sleep with seven virgins,” including a member’s own daughters who were 14 and 15 at the time.

Bent freely admits having sexual intercourse multiple times with his son’s wife. Both he and his son state that “God forced Michael [Bent] to commit this act of consummation.”

Bent was eventually arrested by the New Mexico State Police on three counts of sexual contacts with a minor and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. After his verdict, Bent was quoted as saying, “Just as with Jesus, they’ve convicted an innocent man… They had to lie to get rid of Jesus, and they will have to do the same to me.”

Now a convicted sex offender, Bent was paroled from prison in 2016 after spending about 8 years behind bars. This self-proclaimed Messiah has since published The Little Book, based on Revelation chapter 10. Believe me, someone is already buying his lies as you read this.

  1. Sergey Torop

Known by his followers as Vissarion (“He who gives new life”), Sergey founded and leads a group called Church of the Last Testament with its head church in Siberia.

He has around 4,000 followers living in his sacred Mountain settlement and around 10,000 followers worldwide. He also has branches in Bulgaria and Germany.

Sergey claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus which he said was revealed to him when he was 29 (he’s now 57). He claims to be “reborn” as a returned Christ in 1990, thus making him the Word of God.

His religious system combines elements of Russian Orthodox Church with Buddhism, syncretism and earth-centred beliefs, hence his followers are vegetarians.

He has two wives, the second of which had been living with him since she was 7. Sergey also considers Mary the mother of Jesus to be his biological mother and has even modelled his look after the purported picture of Jesus Christ.

The YouTube documentaries of this “Siberian Jesus” show that he predicted the coming of a great flood and spiritual protection for all his followers, many of who abandon their homes to build settlements near the holy mountain where the great Messiah lives. They all use a modified calendar set by his arrival on earth.

  1. David Shayler

Shayler, a former British M15 whistle blower, became a part of the 9/11 Truth Movement which maintains as its primary tenet the belief that the attack of September 11, 2001 was largely fraudulent.

In 2007, Shayler made waves in a British magazine, Daily Mail, when he brazenly declared: “I am the messiah and hold the secret of eternal life.” He also declared himself to be a reincarnation of various historical figures and has pledged his commitment to destroy the “Zionist empire.”

He claimed that God came to him one day and declared him as Jesus:

Ten years ago when God came to me I realized that I was Jesus Christ. Most of the people think you are insane when you say that, but I would say the opposite is in the Bible,” he said in an interview.

What makes Shayler’s claim to divinity rather remarkable was his admission that he lives part of his life as a woman who squats in a 17th century farmhouse in Surrey; in plain terms, he’s a transvestite.

Someone please page Dr. Fix This.

  1. Inri Cristo

Brazilian educator and former waiter, Alvaro Theiss, was born in 1948 and has admitted to hearing a “powerful voice” in his head since childhood. Obedient to this voice, Theiss left home at 13 and eventually became an atheist, severing all ties with his Roman Catholic background until he allegedly received a revelation of his new identity.

At the age of 21, he began his public life as a self-professed prophet and astrologer, introducing himself as “Iuri de Nostradamus.” In 1979, while observing a fast in Chile, he claims a raspy voice said, “I am your Father” revealing to him that he was the same Christ crucified 2,000 years ago.

The voice also told him that the second letter of his name (“u” in “Iuri”) would now be turned upside down making his name Inri. But wasn’t it easy to deduce that this man simply took the initials INRI inscribed on the cross of Jesus Christ?

Since then, Inri dresses in white tunic and sandals, announcing that his mission will usher in an era of the New Age. The 69 year old “celibate” guru with his dozen disciples lives in a small compound behind an electrified fence. His devoted female disciples, who live with him, push him around on a fringed red satin platform on wheels.

Inri has toured about 27 countries to spread his message but he has been banned from three countries: the U.S., Venezuela and UK, though he has been welcomed by France. He has also been arrested by police more than 40 times.

  1. The “Jesus” of Kitwe

In 2013 a former taxi driver, Bupete Chibwe Chishimba, a resident of Mindolo Township in the Zambian copper mining city of Kitwe began to make his own proclamations:

I am Jesus Christ from the heavens who has come to save you from this world and I would put an end to the Political Government of this world and I will start ruling no one can stop me because I posses the divine power,” he said.

Chishimba claimed he fell off from heaven in 1999 with the sole purpose of initiating judgment for mankind and ending earthly political rule. His preaching has been known to attract many street traders as well as irate youths who assault him for his gross blasphemies.

Chishimba has however denounced church leaders and urged them to stop deceiving people by saying Jesus is coming when he was already there, because he came from the heavenly Kingdom. These days, the 43-year-old goes by the names of Parent Rock of the World, Mr. Faithful and Mr. Word of God.

He drives a taxi inscribed with the words “Lord of Lords” and walks around the local marketplace dressed in a robe, spreading the message of the returned Christ.

  1. José Luis de Jesus Miranda

Born in Puerto Rico, José became addicted to heroin at 14 and asserted that he was delivered by the power of God and later joined a Baptist church.

In 1973, José claimed he had a vision on which he was visited by a pair of angels as he later told ABC News:

The same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth, and the same spirit is in me. He came to me. He [integrated] with my person.”

From there, he began to preach his own peculiar doctrines and later assembled a number of followers forming the Creciendo en Gracia (Growing in Grace) church in Miami, Florida, in 1988. A decade later, José declared himself to be the reincarnation of Apostle Paul.

Perhaps not been satisfied with his own flights of fancies, in 2005, he announced himself to be the Man Jesus Christ, who has returned for the second time. “Anyone who doesn’t believe in me, is miserable,” he declared, to his audience’s applause.

In 2006, he openly claimed to be the Antichrist which he defined as one “no longer following Jesus of Nazareth as he lived in the days of his flesh.”

His followers showed their support by getting 666 tattoos on their bodies; some of them displayed these tattoos on YouTube.

José, known to be a charismatic preacher, taught his followers that 666 is not a sign of the devil, but of wisdom, implying “put your faith in the Jesus after the cross … and that’s me.”

In 2008 he was estimated to have two million followers in 30 countries, no thanks to his motivational-style preaching on radio and TV.

Miranda finally died from liver cirrhosis, a condition that is at odds with his expected immortality. After his death, his followers crowned him as Melchizedek – the king of justice and of peace.  His cult later divided into 4 factions, each with different doctrinal positions and agenda.

Men may rise to make bogus claims about themselves, but death usually comes around and deals them its blow and all their boasts end right there.

  1. Omowole Isaac Omogoroye

Mr. Omogoroye, a Nigerian, and a one-time Student Union President at the University of Lagos during an interview with Sahara TV made this rather astonishing disclosure in 2017:

Today, I’m appearing to the whole world as the one and only Son of God expected back to life and I come in the new name of God as documented in the only living book, the Bible … What I’m trying to say is that I’m the awaited Jesus Christ. My mission here is to let the world know that Jesus Christ is back.

No man born of a woman will come from the sky down. It was only a parable in the bible. I’m here to decode that parable in Revelations. I am the Jesus Christ the Bible is talking about.”

In the video which lasted 15 minutes and 32 seconds, Omogoroye further disclosed that he has been appearing in different countries of the world as the awaited Son of God expected to redeem the world, and has also been given the divine mandate to occupy Aso Rock, the seat of the nation’s power come 2019.

He added that as soon as he becomes the President of Nigeria, the government will change its name to the New Jerusalem of the Bible. We will be waiting, with baited breath.

  1. Apollo Quiboloy

Said to be born on a “prayer mountain” in Davao City, Philippines in 1950, Apollo Carreón Quiboloy was a member of the United Pentecostal Church till he founded the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church – the Name Above Every Name in 1985.

He also claims to be the Appointed Son of God which stirred much criticism. His followers refer to their community as a ‘Kingdom nation’ and it has been estimated that there are about 4 million “kingdom citizens” in the Philippines and about 2 million followers abroad.

Quiboloy oversees the operation of several radio stations, newspapers and a sprawling 8-hectare compound in Davao City where piped central music is played all over the place 24 hours a day. Who says the brainwashed too don’t need some music to luxuriate in the message?

They also hold Bible study sessions and prayers and their cult leader has been known to wield much political and religious power over many in that country.

In 2018, Quiboloy was investigated for human trafficking in Hawaii after the authorities found $350,000 in undeclared cash and rifle parts inside the aircraft belonging to the sect’s leader. He was later freed to fly again, no thanks to his wealth and influence.

  1. Moses Hlongwane

The South African “Lord of lords”, Moses Hlongwane, says that God identified him as the Messiah during a dream in 1992. At the time Moses was working as a jewelry salesman. Since then, he’s preached in Eshowe, Johannesburg, and other cities in the region.

He claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus and is known to wear a baseball cap embellished with yellow satin. He surrounds himself with dozens of disciples, many of whom have abandoned their families and whose welfare payments fund his Jesus compound in KwaZulu-Natal town.

Hlongwane said he, like Jesus, spent years in the wilderness and has been resurrected as the Son of God. “I was in this room from 1992 and have spent 22 years in a fight with the devil and have overcome him,” said Hlongwane.

As I speak to you I will never see death and I am now getting ready for the opening of the graves and healing of blind and lame,” he said during an interview with eNCA.

Notice a consistent cultic pattern in all these figures:

  1. A claim of supernatural revelation or visitation
  2. A codification of unorthodox beliefs or heretical doctrines
  3. Claims of self-divinity
  4. Authoritarian control over followers
  5. Isolating followers from the rest of the “ungodly” society.
  6. A searing of conscience and justification of crimes under the pretext of “We are God’s special people.”

Were these men insane loons infected with a messianic complex? Perhaps. But one thing is certain, they are all under the control of the spirit of Antichrist and their multiplicity is proof of the time we are in.

Weighing the Grail Message: Fate and Karma

In this piece, Grail teachings about karma will be examined in the light of the Bible, history and logic. Since fate and karma were bracketed together, it would be necessary to first define both words:

Karma: The belief that good and bad experiences in this life are the sum result of deeds done in both the current and previous lives. The word “karma” is a Sanskrit word that primarily means “action” (Ancient History Encyclopedia).

Fate: The view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. Hence, fatalism can refer to an attitude of resignation in the face of some future events which are thought to be inevitable (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

My quotes are taken from Vol. 2, chapter 2 of In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message by Oskar Ernst Bernhardt.

A Law which lies in the entire Creation from its earliest beginning, which has been inseparably interwoven with the great, never-ceasing evolution as an essential part of creating itself, and of development … it supports and animates the mighty Universe, and promotes continual movement, an eternal giving and taking!

On the one hand, Oskar asserts that the law of karma is “eternal” (i.e. has no beginning) yet on the other, he says it has been from creation’s “earliest beginning.”

According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, the idea of karma first appears in the oldest Hindu text the Rigveda (c. 1500 BC).

Centuries later, some Hindu scholars attached a deal of meaning to it in the Upanishads text (c. 800-300 BC). They devised the concept of karma to resolve the conflict between the righteousness of God and the suffering and evil in the world, and justify their belief in transmigration or reincarnation.

They envisaged life on earth as a “balance sheet” where unforeseen calamities and rewards can be blamed on demerits and merits of past lives respectively.

But here is its fatal flaw: we were created by God. We neither have a past life nor are we coming back to this world after death. This is a hard brick of reality: “It is appointed to man to die once” (Heb. 9:27). There’s no “eternal giving and taking.”

The so-called law of karma neither alleviates evil nor fosters development. One only needs to measure the collective progress of nations that have held to this belief for centuries to confirm this.

Plainly and simply, and yet so aptly, the Great Bringer of Truth Jesus Christ has already expressed it: “What a man sows that shall he reap.”

Here, Abdrushin appeals to the Bible, but this is a fallacious appeal. This needs to be properly distinguished because even Christians can unknowingly conflate karma with the biblical concept of sowing and reaping.

Here is the full context of the Bible verse:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9).

a) There is a difference in meaning. Karma is from the Sanskrit word meaning “deeds, works or actions.” This term has evolved in its meaning; 100 years ago, it was understood to simply mean “making.”

It teaches that the quality of a person’s successive lifetime is dependent on his accrued karma, whether good or bad.

On the other hand, to “sow” (Strong #2232) means to “bear, conceive seed, set with or yield” and to “reap” (Strong #7114b) simply means “to harvest.”

Sowing and reaping is a law that shows that our choices can affect our lives on earth and eternal destination.

b) Karma originated from Hinduism – a false religion that has no connection to the God of the Bible.

In most Asian religions, karma is used to rationalize the concept of death and rebirth. It’s based on the illusion that whatever we experience on earth is based on what we did in our previous lives, so we have to keep returning to earth to work it off until man is released from the endless cycle of reincarnation.

In the Bible, however, sowing and reaping is never predicated on the myth of reincarnation or transmigration. When a person lives by his sinful nature he will reap the harvest of destruction and when lives by the Spirit of God, he will gain eternal life.

A promiscuous lifestyle may lead to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and emotional distress.

A lazy, carefree and wasteful living can result in poverty, failure and debt. This is not “karma”; it’s the result of sinful and wrong actions.

c) Karma obfuscates or denies the reality of sin; hence its definition of good and bad is skewed. For example, the Grail message encourages sexual gratification as a path to increased (occult) power.

But the Bible shows that it’s folly to talk about reaping eternal life when one sows to the flesh (Rom. 1:29-32; 1 Cor. 5:9-11).

Christians are commanded to yield to the Holy Spirit and exhibit His fruit (love, joy, kindness etc.). It is the Spirit of God who empowers Christians from within to walk in victory over sin.

d) In karma, there is no mercy or forgiveness; each person must suffer the consequences of all his thoughts, words and deeds. His/her current life is the result of what weighed most heavily from his/her karmic past.

But in biblical sowing and reaping, there is forgiveness, mercy and restoration. This is rooted in the love of God. He causes the sun to shine on both good and evil people (Matt. 5:45).

Regardless of what we have done, when we accept Christ – who has paid the penalty of sin – into our lives, He cleanses our sins and He gives us a new life (2 Cor. 5:17).

Thus in the mighty machinery of the Universe there are many things which contribute to how man “fares” but there is nothing to which man has not himself first given first cause. He furnishes the threads out of which in the untiring loom of life the cloak he has to wear is made.

In the blind machinery of karma, whatever thing has happened to you is what you deserve. So, if a building collapses and kills many people, it was their karma.

If an entire family is gruesomely assassinated, that’s their karma. If an entire population is infected with Meningitis, it’s their karma.

This line of reasoning ignores the fact that accidents do happen and they can be random. It omits the simple fact that the innocent do suffer. Because we live in a fallen world impacted by sin, good and bad happens to all of us, whether we are believers or non-believers.

While some calamities are man-made and from the devil, in this world, some events happen for which their causes are not readily evident.

A generous man can be deserted by those he helped while a wicked man can have many helpers.

A chaste woman may not conceive whereas one that had aborted several times before readily conceives.

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong. Why? “Time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

A building collapse can be due to faulty construction. An entire family can be victim of wrongful murder target. An entire population may lack the necessary vaccines to prevent an infection. They didn’t give a first cause to their tragedy.

Why does Abdrushin’s universe/god enjoy punishing people for what was never their fault? Why does it fashion an evil cloak for people and blame them for furnishing its threads?

What do you call a man who maims his servants and then scourges them for not being good acrobats? I wouldn’t treat even my dog in such a cruel, despicable manner. But in the Grail message, we see a “pulsating universe” that lacks the sense of a good dog keeper.

Many are alarmed at this and afraid of what they still have to expect from the past through the reaction in accordance with these Laws. But such are unnecessary worries for those who are in earnest about the good volition; for in the self-acting laws also lies at the same time the certain guarantee of mercy and forgiveness.

I think the first question one should be asking is who is the author of these laws? Those laws didn’t create themselves.

Every law necessitates a lawgiver and in the case of such an unjust, illogical and unbiblical law as karma, we can easily conclude that it was made up by some people with a very warped perception of reality, justice and ethics.

Mercy and forgiveness don’t exist in a vacuum either. They exist in conjunction with other qualities. One also needs to ask how karma and fate – which confer a fixed script on humanity – guarantee mercy and forgiveness, and on what basis are they offered or received.

You see, karma is a doctrine of self-salvation. It says that by doing acts of good will, charity and offering meritorious service to mankind you can store up goodness for yourself and “atone” for your bad karma. But the truth is: no amount of our good works can purchase God’s forgiveness and mercy.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight” (Rom. 3:20). When man’s good works and the penalty of sin are placed side by side, man’s eternal doomed is guaranteed.

No man can “work off” the debt of sin and God’s justice necessitates that sin be judged. But God in His love has offered His forgiveness through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

God’s love, mercy and justice work together. Man has a choice in his eternal destination: to either accept or reject His offer of forgiveness. That is the ultimate meaning of sowing and reaping.

Through the continuing good volition in every thought and deed, a constant reinforcement also flows retroactively from the homogeneous source of power, so that the good become more firmly established in man himself, emerges from him, and first of all forms accordingly the ethereal surrounding that envelopes him like a protective covering … Now when evil reactions from the past return to this man to be redeemed, they slide off the purity of his surrounding or covering, and are thus deflected from him.

Here the reader is confronted with a whole aggregation of metaphysical concepts. Few paragraphs earlier, Abdrushin wrote that when his disciples put a thought, word or deed into the world, “it has within it power, and therefore life, which continues to develop and work in the desired direction. How it will affect the person for whom it is intended depends entirely on the psychic condition of the one concerned to whom it may thereby bring either much or little harm…”

The occult indoctrination has crawled out completely. These are the concepts that underpin witchcraft rites of raising and directing demonic powers towards someone else. Note that Wiccans also adhere to a karmic 3-fold law when casting their spells.

Initially, they wax philosophical, talking about karma and fate, but once you go a bit deeper, they start to introduce you to powers, vibrations and “ethereal surroundings” and the karmic law that supposedly underlie them. Of course, don’t expect them to disclose the real source of that power or use the ugly “o” word: occult.

He later writes that “the actual inner man to whom the returning radiations [of past bad karma] are adjusted has also become much more refined and lighter through the continuous striving for the good volition.”

Every false religion/cult that adheres to karma, believes that when bad karma are completely paid off after centuries of rebirths, the soul is finally released and no longer reincarnates. There’s no agreement on this.

Some teach that the soul ultimately gains unity with Brahman; some teach that it attains nirvana; some say it spiritually evolves to become an “ascended master” or spirit guide. That inevitably leads to contacting the spirit realm, which I will discuss later in this series.

In conclusion, karma and fate are based on myths and fantasies which condition those who believe in them to have a grossly distorted perception of reality. Karma is a work-based system that leads people to reject the truth of the Bible, the perfect, saving work of Christ on the cross as well as the reality of sin, heaven and hell.

While Christianity has the testimony of Jesus Christ who died, rose on the third day and is alive forevermore, the Grail message fails to present us a single evidence of a person whose karmic burden was lighter or has reincarnated – not even Abdrushin himself! Yet the “cross bearers” have blind faith in his writings.

From the Shack to the Dungeon

When The Shack was published by William Paul Young in 2007, it struck a chord in the hearts of many Christians. By the following year, it had gained an unexpected meteoric rise as a cultural phenomenon. This past year, it was adapted into a movie, to bring its message to a universal audience.

The book was summarily about Mackenzie Philips, a father, who after his daughter’s abduction and gruesome murder, spirals into a deep depression that causes him to question his innermost beliefs. He became unwilling to trust the God he knew before who appeared to have abandoned him in the time of need.

After receiving a mysterious letter from “Papa” (his wife’s pet name for God), inviting him for a meet up at a shack in the woods where Missy was abducted, he meets four characters:

  • God (“Papa”) who is a matronly African American woman who cooks and dispenses words of wisdom and hugs.
  • Jesus, a clumsy Jewish young man who loves gardening.
  • The Holy Spirit, who is a Japanese girl named Sarayu (a Sanskrit word meaning “wind” and also the name of a Hindu river).
  • Sophia, a not-too-veiled reference to the Greek goddess of wisdom before whom Mack stood to be judged about his life.

While at the shack, Mack learns some truths. His “Jesus” is quoted saying:

God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things…” (The Shack, Windblown Media, 2007, p. 112).

Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims … I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into my sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters” (p. 182).

The first quote from this false Jesus teaches panentheism while the second espouses flagrant universalism. This is not a mere work of fiction; it’s an agenda-driven book.

The Shack carries a message that is in tune with the worship of the “divine feminine” and it appeals to many hurting people who want God in their own form.

In the movie, “Papa” tells Mack that he had to appear as a woman to him because he couldn’t yet handle a male figure. Notably, some years later, the novel’s author, Paul Young admitted that the story is related to his past. Missy represented his innocence that died at childhood and Mack represents him as an adult, trying to deal with that childhood pain.

Young said he was raised by an unloving, distant father and was sexually molested by several older boys in boarding school as well as several men while in Papua New Guinea where his father worked as a missionary. He felt let down by conventional Christianity and the God of the Bible, so he embraced another God – a diluted version of God; a feminized god.

During a lecture held in June 2010 at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, Young told his audience that “the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster.” He was referring to the evangelical belief that God is a God of judgement and will judge the unbelieving.

So what we have here is a man who has rejected the God of the Bible for a false God that might heal the pain of his fans but will certainly damn their souls.

Moulding God into our image and likeness to better comfort us is the very definition of idolatry. Like A. W. Tozer said, “The idolater simply imagines things about God and then acts as if they were true.”

God is who He is; His nature and character will not change to make us feel better. “I the Lord do not change…” (Mal. 3:6). He is I AM THAT I AM (Ex. 3:14). He will not appear as Pan, Sango, Astarte or something He is not to appeal to the felt needs of the heathen. Truth takes precedence over true healing.

Jesus didn’t appear to the woman at the well in a woman’s form because she has had problems with several men. He didn’t appear to the adulterous woman as a female because she had been betrayed and maltreated by religious men. He didn’t appear to the woman with the alabaster box as a female because she had been abused by men.

In this fallen world, we will always experience pain and losses – much of which we will have no understanding of or explanations for – but instead of converting God into a spiritual drug to deal with our pain and losses, we can simply walk through them with faith in God. We “trust in the LORD with all [our] heart and lean not on our own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

The Shack, however, presents to its readers a spiritual panacea deity, one stripped of justice, immutability and holiness. It offers many a trinitarian idolatrous hybrid god that represents whatever will make them feel better about their horrible tragedies. It’s the same concept underlying the visualization and guided imagery utilized by the Inner Healing movement.

If for example, you were sexually abused when you were young; instead of leading you to the cross where Jesus took away our pain, shame and guilt, they will tell you to imagine yourself going back to your childhood and visualizing Jesus coming to you to comfort you and take your pain away. And of course, after some time, this false Jesus takes on a life of its own.

William Young’s next book, Eve, re-told the story of Adam and Eve. It turned up the heat with the proverbial frog in the kettle. It was a book laden with Kabbalistic, occultic and Gnostic themes that would be readily embraced by the Contemplative/New Age movement.

In Young’s non-fiction book, Lies We Believe about God, his Universalist beliefs were clearer: “Every human being you meet … is a child of God” (p. 206). Death doesn’t result in final judgement but simply introduces “a restorative process intended to free us to run into the arms of Love” (p. 187). Therefore, hell isn’t a separation from God, but simply the pain of resisting salvation we have and can’t escape.” (p. 137)

In the light of the Bible, universalism (“all paths lead to God”) is a lie of the devil (John 3:18; 10:7; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 6:23 etc.). It is the philosophy of the last days that the final antichrist will use to build his one-world religion.

Recently, Eternity News published an article about Young sharing content of an interview that it conducted with the writer as it discussed his part in the new documentary “The Heart of Man” and some of his beliefs:

I think that Jesus is both our salvation and rightful judge, but that judgment is intended for our good, not our harm.” He continues, “I think there is an ongoing relational confrontation between the One who knows you best and loves you best. Potentially forever and, potentially, you could say ‘no’ forever. How someone could do that I don’t know, but definitely that tension is held in Scripture for sure.”

There are a number of lies here. Hebrews 9:27 says it is destined for man to die once and after that face judgement. This judgement is not “an education day” as Jehovah’s Witnesses and other false religionists like William Young teach. There is no other chance for those who have died without repentance.

The Bible also tells us that both heaven and hell are eternal destinations (e.g Matthew 25:46); once you are there, you are there. “For if the words spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2: 2-3).

Our realization of what awaits the unsaved is the reason “we try to persuade men” to receive Christ. There is no salvation, pardon or cleansing after death. Thus, “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 5:11; 6:2).

Young has no problem disseminating his poisonous heresies because he has already introduced a false god; he is merely building on the foundations of that warped theology.

When people reject God as He is revealed in the Bible, the next logical step is to reject what He has also said about how to be saved and that implies a rejection of what He has said about eternity.

Through his books, he has succeeded in presenting a dark occult goddess, Sophia, to a generation that is all too keen to worship God as a female figure and is willing to sacrifice truth for whatever resonates with their inner cravings.

The most devastating loss that can ever befall one is to die in a deception. There’s no remedy forever. I pray that William Young and his millions of benighted fans will become truly saved and come to the knowledge of the truth before it’s too late.