In the past, I've tried to keep my topics to light-hearted and fun subjects. But, there's something that happened during the past week that I really feel needs to be told. A couple of days ago, Honey came home from work and told me about an advertisement he heard on the local 'Oldies' Radio station. He said that at first, it almost sounded like a Christian advertisement which is odd because the Christians around here don't usually advertise on the secular stations. The next time he heard it, he said that it still sounded "Christian" but like they were warning people about the coming of the anti-christ. The third time he heard it, he said it got his attention.
It wasn't an ad by the local Christians, it was an ad from a group of people who are actively seeking and welcoming the 'appearance' of Maitreya, (pronounced: my-tray-ah). The ad gave a web address that we quickly investigated. The best word I can use to describe my initial look at the web site is: "creepy". The site is for the group Share International. The apparent spokesman for this group is a man named Benjamin Creme. Mr. Creme goes around the world lecturing & teaching on the coming of this "Maitreya" and appears to write most of the articles in Share International monthly publication.
I want to side-track for just a moment and offer a little confession. Many years ago, I was going through a really difficult time in my life. I was a Christian, but despite God's promise that if we will confess our sins, He is willing to forgive us. I knew God forgave sin ~ at least everyone Else's sins. I truly thought that my sins were so big, He wouldn't forgive me. That type of skewed thinking lead me down to a dark hole and it was by the sheer grace of God that I was able to make it back out. During this dark time, I started reading books and stuff on angels, meditation, self-hypnosis, and the meaning of dreams. That seemed harmless enough. It was actually a gateway to an even darker place. All of that turned into information on karma, the power of crystals, channeling, tarot cards, and you name it. The modern term for all of this is "New Age". And I would like to go into this further a little later, but I mention this only to let you know that I am very familiar with alot of the false teachings that are floating around out there and although most are obvious to even young Christians, there's some really spooky stuff that we really don't want to mess around with. This is one of those really dark things.
Back to this Share International group. I dug through their information and after the initial shock of the site wore off, I was able to jot down a few notes. According to these folks, Maitreya, (the soon-to-be-antichrist):
* hasn't yet taken on a human form.
*"appears 'out of the blue' to people everywhere ~ always in a form that inspires recognition, (ie: crosses of light, healing waters, milk-drinking icons (?), weeping statues". This is a quote from their information (question mark is mine). We've all heard tales of weeping statues, now we know the secret to the mystery.
* "has been expected for generations by all major religions. Christians know him as the christ; Jews know him as the messiah; Hindu's - krishna; Buddhist - maitreya Budddhan; and Muslims - imam mahdi or messiah." OK, they have incorporated most of the main "religions" to draw in folks from every area.
* "will inspire humanity to see itself as one family"
* "create a civilization based on sharing, justice, and global cooperation"
* "will launch a call to action to save millions from starvation and death"
This Maitreya fellow seems to be a combination of several new age teachings. It seems that this is targeting the folks that are very well educated. They feel frustrated that the world is full of injustices and helpless because they can do little to cure the problems; but they are looking for and are eager to support someone who can. These tend to be the type of folks who have bumper stickers on their autos that state we need to Save Tibet, Peace, etc. These folks also tend to carry protest signs stating how they want to stop war. I'll go a little deeper into their target audience in a bit.
The website claims that there have been Signs & Wonders associated with the Maitreya fellow. (The only reason I'm going to detail this area is because the Scriptures deal with some of this specifically and also, some of it's kind of funny when you think about it.)
Signs & Wonders of Maitreya:
~ Mysterious Hand print (usually found on bathroom mirrors)
~ Overshadowing (In their description, they show pictures of Mr. Creme in his lectures and it appears to be another person/entity either right beside him or hoovering around him. I know these types of pictures. I've taken them. They usually occur when you wiggle as you click the camera button or the film/camera are faulty.)
~ Crosses of light (again, most seem to appear in bathroom windows. There are some accounts that I haven't been able to dig up yet, but most happen in little out-of-the-way villages around the world. One particular occurrence could have been an actual occurrence by God to a group of Christians and someone got a little confused.)
~ Healing Water (apparently before this Maitreya fellow appears to groups, he stirs up water in the area and it becomes healing water. What I found to be interesting is that this "healing water" is now being marketed in homeopathic pharmacies from at least 6 countries. Dollars to donuts this stuff isn't cheap.)
~ Worldwide Appearances - the first was in 1988 Nairobi, Kenya. There are claims of about 239 "appearances" all over the world - the majority of these groups are supposedly Christians. Interestingly, the "appearances have been halted temporarily since 2002", (the quote is theirs), and now this Maitreya fellow only channels through Mr. Creme in his monthly articles.
Christ Himself talks about this in Matthew 24: 4-5, 11:
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.'"
11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
There are more to my notes, and if you want me to, I can go further into detail on this topic. But, for those who just want a quick overview, I'll lay it out plainly. In this area of the country, many will embrace this false religion. It's very easy for Christians to laugh at the philosophy and shrug it off. People are created by God to have a void inside them. This void is designed to be filled only by God. (It's like a puzzle piece that is shaped to accept another piece specific to the pattern. If the right piece is placed in the curved area, the match is perfect and it becomes one. If the second piece isn't designed to fit that specific spot, no matter how you try to force it, the combined pieces are ill-fitted, mishapped, and doesn't make a complete picture.) Many folks who have rejected God still have that void inside of them and actively look for something/someone to fill it. Some try to fill it with drugs, others with alcohol, still others with possessions, etc. People who buy into the "humanistic" theology will look toward the "religions" where they can rise to another plane of being by their own actions and study. They have pride issues and can't lower themselves to a God who requires them to repent of their sins and follow Him as Master & Lord. They may follow a man, but they won't bow to God. It is very easy to dismiss these folks out of hand. I really feel that would be a mistake on the part of God's children. Please let me explain why ...
As I said earlier, it is so very easy for a born again Christian to fall into this teaching. When we don't understand/can't accept the Grace of God, we remove God from that special place; and in feeling the void, we look for a substitute. We as Christians like to use the term ~ backsliding. The gateway into this type of teaching is usually very subtle. It starts off with little curiosities like the horoscope in the newspaper, books on magic (not the slight-of-hand tricks), and maybe sites on the internet about angels. It moves gradually into deeper water with meditation, spiritual beings, and tv shows like the one of the guy who claims to talk to the dead and passes on the messages to his tv audience. The more you accept the possibility of one area, the deeper you're willing to go. It doesn't take long before you become confused about all kinds of things. If this new teaching to too far-fetched, then you begin to question salvation by faith. If this Maitreya fellow is too unbelievable, then what about the Jesus that you claim to love and have never seen? Do you see where this is going? Most of the successful new age teachings mimic the Bible; and some even quote Scripture. This Share International group promotes writings by a Reverand Howard Ray Carey. From what I can find, Rev. Carey was a Methodist minister at one point and got sucked into this new age teaching. He started writing books about how the Scriptures support these teachings. (I read some of his work in researching this group. I am not going into detail here because it will literally make you cringe to see God's word twisted and perverted that way.) Speaking of Rev. Carey's teaching, we've found alot of churches in this area that are embracing this type of stuff into their theology and have literally perverted God's church. Some of these churches are less than 10 miles from the cabin.
It all boils down to our Lord Jesus. I was told one time that to spot a counterfeit dollar you don't have to study counterfeits; you only have to study the original true dollar so closely that anything less than that is a counterfeit. Yes, the anti-christ is going to come to temporary power one day in the not too distant future, but the Lord said not to worry. With the help of these false prophets, many will be actively seeking and welcoming his appearance. This site and those radio advertisements are nothing else but an invitation to a lost and hurting world. They are actively seeking folks who have rejected the One True God to fill their void. Please pray for those folks that are being sucked into these false religions, and pray for those already entrenched. God can reach them too. But most of all, look around you. There are folks in your communities that are seeking something/someone to fill their void and need you to introduce them to the One who created that spot that only He can fill.
I know this is terribly long, and if you made it all the way down here, bless you! Just remember: Don't worry, God is on His throne and He's still in control. I read the end of the book ... He wins!
May the Lord bless you!