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The Counterfeit Christ Movement

Feb 22, 2008

On April 25, 1982 a number of full-page advertisements appeared in major newspapers around the world proclaiming, "The Christ is Now Here." This new "christ" was called Lord Maitreya, and he was said to be living in London, having arrived there earlier from some "major" but unspecified nation in the world. It was said that this Lord Maitreya would announce himself within two months (i.e., by June of 1982) on a so-called "Day of Declaration."

Lord Maitreya's publicist was Benjamin Creme of the Tara Center in Los Angeles. He played the role of Maitreya's "John the Baptist" forerunner after being given this role in 1975. Troy Lawrence, in his 1991 book, New Age Messiah Identified, says that Creme's father was a Russian Jew who had immigrated to Scotland. Because of his Jewish background, there are some who see him as the "false prophet" of Rev. 16:13, even as they see the Maitreya himself as the "beast" or "Antichrist."

In Creme's 1980 book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, he tells us that this "christ" flew to London on July 8, 1977 from Pakistan. He claims, therefore, that this plane trip fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus in Matt. 26:64 about Christ "coming in the clouds."

His supposed Day of Declaration in June of 1982 was apparently supposed to occur as the "dawning of the Age of Aquarius" began in 1984. Buddha himself was the one who coined the title Maitreya, "Merciful One," and he is often pictured with a waterpot to signify the Waterbearer (Aquarius). And so the Maitreya is attempting to fulfill prophecy from ancient times.

Creme tells us that Jesus was the Christ only in that He submitted Himself to the Christ Spirit, which took over His body and worked with Him for the final three years of His life. Jesus was the Christ only for the Age of Pisces ("Fish," the symbol of the Church). But this time, Creme says, Christ is coming in person to rule during the Age of Aquarius.

How did this all get started? Well, it goes back many centuries. There was a counterfeit Christ even in Jesus' day called Apollonius of Tyana, born in Cappadocia in the town of Tyana. He was born about the same time as Jesus was born. Both were said to spring from a divine Father and earthly mother. Apollonius' biographer was Philostratus, a Roman historian, who wrote The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Apollonius' home base was the temple of Aesculapius in Pergamos, called in Rev. 2:12, "Satan's seat."

Philostratus tells us that he visited Persian and India. The Brahmins of India had been looking for the tenth avatar of Vishnu, known as Kalki, and Apollonius became that person. Apparently, he also visited Tibet, and for this reason there are strong traditions that "Jesus" visited Tibet. By the way, the real Jesus probably visited India with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, in their trade missions from Britain to India. So there can be some confusion between the two in India, since both he and Apollonius were there at different times.

During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Apollonius apparently advised Vespasian, along with Josephus. When Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by the troops in Syria and Palestine in late 69 A.D., it was apparently Apollonius of Tyana who crowned him.

The full-page advertisement in 1982 stated: "Since July 1977, the Christ has been emerging as a spokesman for a group or community in a well-known modern country." He had flown from Karachi, Pakistan, to London on July 8, 1977 and was the spokesman for the emerging Pakistani community there. I do not know how many of London's Pakistani muslims know that he is actually a Sufi. Sufism is considered heretical by the other Muslim sects, for it is rooted in the ancient New Age movement, and in fact it represented an occult infiltration of Islam.

Creme himself acknowledges that the Maitreya is unorthodox and is a non-fundamentalist Muslim. He is the head of the Ahmadiyyah movement in Islam.

The Ahmadiyyah movement is a new movement that was started about 1890 by Hazarat [Rev.] Mirza Sir Ghulam Ahmad (1836-1908). He was from India and claimed to be the Promised One of all religions. He died in 1908 and was succeeded by Mulvi Hakim Nuruddin (1841-1914). He and all of Ghulam's successors took the title of Khalifat-ul-Masih. Nuruddin was Khalifat-ul-Masih II. He died in 1914.

He was succeeded by Ghulam's oldest son, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud (1885-1965), and he headed the Ahmadiyya movement until his death in 1965.

The third successor was Mirza Nasir Ahmad, who headed the Ahmadiyya movement from 1965 to June 1982. His death in June of 1982 apparently postponed the Day of Declaration as Maitreya that had been announced in the world-wide advertisements on April 25 of that year.

The fourth successor was Mirza Tahir Ahmad, who ruled from June 10, 1982 to his death on April 19, 2003. Of course, his rule began with great excitement among journalists as the result of the April 25 announcement, as the media attempted to discover who the Maitreya was. In 1986 the executives in the media made arrangements to stage the event, probably to enhance their news ratings, but certain government authorities (MI-6 perhaps?) in Britain prevented this from happening.

The fifth successor and current head of the Ahmadiyyah movement is Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifat-ul Masih V, born Sept. 15, 1950. He has a BA degree from Taleemul-Islam College in Rabwah, Pakistan. In 1976 he earned a Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics from the Agriculture University in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was arrested in 1999 along with others on a charge of blasphemy, as there were many in government circles who greatly oppose the Ahmadiyyah movement in Pakistan. He was imprisoned from April 30 to May 10, 1999 and then released.

On April 19, 2003 Mirza Nasir Ahmad (Caliph IV) died, and on April 22, Mirza Masroor Ahmad was elected to succeed him.

In Troy Lawrence's book, New Age Messiah Identified, he thought that the fourth Maitreya elected in 1982 was Abdul Rahman, born in 1962. This was obviously incorrect. He also thought that from 1992-1994 there would be another attempt to go ahead with the Day of Declaration. Perhaps the first Gulf War made this impossible. At any rate, we are now nearly 26 years past the date of that first great public announcement on April 25, 1982. I have a feeling that we may see something happen this year, perhaps even on April 25.

These people have very low standards for their "Christ." For all their talk about being great "Masters," they are obviously not immortal. Death has passed into these "christs" on which they all sin (Rom. 5:12). They are simply one more esoteric group that wants to rule the world, and they feel that their leaders are the best qualified to do so. They are experts in presenting themselves in the best light possible, but if the past is any indication of the spirit behind it, they would end up killing anyone who got in their way--for the greater good, of course!

The Ahmadiyyah movement started at the time of the modern Pentecostal movement a century ago. In my view, it was a counterfeit (New Age) Pentecost, as Sufism is a kind of Islamic Pentecostalism. I learned this in 1971 when I took a course in Islamic Mysticism, which taught about Sufism.

Even as Pentecost precedes Tabernacles, the Ahmadiyyah movement is seeking to fulfill the feast of Tabernacles in its own counterfeit way. There is a true outpouring of the Spirit (Aquarius), and there is its counterfeit, which attempts to duplicate it apart from the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ.

Counterfeits fool many people. Don't be among them.

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Category: News Commentary
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones