False Christs and False Prophets
In Matthew 24:24, Jesus makes the following prediction about the last days: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders.” One of the characteristics of the last days is that men, inspired by Satan, will claim to be Christ, or his prophets. In the USA, there lived, until a few years ago, a man known as “Father Divine.”
He claimed he was God and that his son was Christ. Another strange bird has been flying around the United States. He claims to be Christ returned. He is a seventeen-year-old East Indian, who has the reputation in Christian circles of leading a considerable night life in the bars and questionable night clubs. Even his own mother is said to have de-scribed her son as a playboy. The surprising thing is that all these false Christ’s have gathered a following. In France, a former post office clerk, named George Roux, let it be known that he was Christ come back to earth. A fisherman in Sweden and a sailor in Holland made similar claims. A certain Korean has become well known. I was told by Pastor Ludwig Heinemeyer that “the leader of the ‘Society for the Unification of World Christendom’ is a Korean by the name of Moon. His followers claim that he is the coming Messiah. His book
Die Gottlichen Prinzipien
(Divine Principles)shows clearly that what we are dealing with is a false Christ.” The most remarkable messiah at the present time is to be found at camp Manujothi Ashram in the desert in South India. It is the extreme American evangelist, William Branham whom Christians have to thank for this false messiah. His name is Paluser Lawrie Mathukrishna. When Branham was on tour of India, Brother Lawrie became a disciple of his, and Branham described him as the Son of God and Christ returned.
Brother Lawrie has established a kind of commune with his followers in South India. Those who join give up all their possessions to the group. I know a woman from Germany who sold all she had inherited from her father and went to India with DM. 60,000. After a few years, she came back to her husband in Germany without a penny. It is strange how this latter-day sect attracts people from all over the world. Germans and Americans are especially welcome, since they usually bring with them large sums of money. One of Lawrie’s main teachings is that the world will be destroyed in1977. Before that, however, his followers will be taken up from the earth. The brides of Christ are already preparing themselves for this rapture by a process of spiritualization of the body. At the time of writing, this community numbers seven hundred. No more are being accepted, although there are nine hundred applicants. Brother Lawrie says that the spiritual development of the seven hundred is now so far advanced that the new members would not get there. Only the seven hundred “first fruits” will be taken up. The activity of Lawrie’s representative in Germany, Herr Mengel, is also of interest. At first he lived with his wife and four children in Lawrie’s commune, but then he returned to Germany in order to make Lawrie’s ideas known in Europe. Herr Mengel claims to be one of the two witnesses who are mentioned in Revelation 11. After three and one-half years, he says, he will be murdered, but then he will be raised. It is strange how people can be filled with such a spirit of error, that they really believe these things. Let us wait and see what lies they will tell us, because the prophesied destruction of the world in 1977 did not happen. Parallel to the false Christs is the activity of the false prophets.
Lying visions and false prophecies were and are always the accompaniment of satanic deception in extreme circles. The false prophetesses Berta Dudde and Sister Marguerite, through whom Christ is supposed to speak in the first person, have already been mentioned in passing. It would take up too much space to give examples of their revelations, especially since these are on subjects of no importance and much too vague. Instead, I will give three other examples of precise but false prophecies.
In the fifties, I came to know a preacher and his family. I also spoke several times in his fellowship meeting. He had been trained at Chrischona. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I should say that I have a high opinion of this missionary training school. It has a clear, Biblical foundation. This makes the story all the more surprising. The preacher’s wife said to me one day that Christ would come in 1964. I asked how she knew this. She replied that a woman who had the gift of genuine visions had been given the following revelation from the Lord. God had called the prophet Mohammed to Him-self and had given him the task of informing the Mohammedan priests that Christ would come again in 1964. They should make themselves ready.
I said to the preacher’s wife, “Has God then made a point of calling to Him that religious swindler, Mohammed, and of leaving genuine men of God out of account? The falsity of this vision is quite obvious. Anyway, no one knows the day or the hour.” I have mentioned this example, not to expose Chrischona, but to show that even in good movements, such invasions by a lying spirit are possible.
The example which follows is more tragic, since it caused an untimely death. In the chapter on healing fanaticism, I shall give an illustration told me by Pastor Hans Bosch, of Affoltern, Breitenstr 477. It concerns a man who took his wife out of hospital just before she was due to have an operation for cancer. Here I will mention the prophecy behind this act. The prophecy came from a group calling itself the
In Bonstetten near Zurich. On January 16, 1966, a message came for Brother Albert (the husband of the woman with cancer): The Lord says: My son, in My grace I have covered you. Trust Me in all things and you will have the assurance that it is I who have so led and ordered everything. Take your wife away now. Do not leave her there as a guinea-pig to be experimented on, for it will bring her to death. Take her to the children of God in the high place [the reference is to the Maison Bethel house in Orvin], where she will be nursed and cared for under My word. It is a home for tired and burdened souls. There she will be strengthened in body, soul, and spirit, and she will also recover again from her illness. Bring her out at the right time [from the hospital]. I am the Lord your God, who leads you aright. The words in brackets were added by Pastor Bosch for the sake of clarity. This lord, who spoke in the first person through this modern prophetess, was not Christ or God, but a lying spirit of Satan. This lying spirit brought the patient to an early death.
A lying prophecy which has become known throughout the world is written in Fritz Hubmer’s book. I quote: In the year 1952, the following prophecy, purporting to come from a German Christian worker in Pentecostal circles in Canada, was published. It was also forwarded to the Gnadauer Verband
The prophecy from Canada ran as follows: Say to your brethren, it is about the Berlin edict. The leading men who drew that up and signed it roused My great displeasure and so brought a curse on their land, for they misinterpreted My work and made rules for My Spirit. The same number of leading brethren must come together and confess like Daniel: “We and our fathers have sinned and have been rebellious. We confess and re-cant the wrong that we have done to Your people, for we have built a dam against your gracious visitation and with it have quenched the fire of revival. Please be gracious to us again, according to Your mercy, and forgive what we have done” (Daniel 9). This confession must be made public by those who have signed it in the same way in which that wicked declaration was made known. Otherwise, a nation-wide revival will not come until the fifth generation. But I know whom I will make responsible if that happens.
In my experience as a counselor all prophecies, without exception, in which Christ speaks today in the first person through the mouth of a believer, are false prophecies. Moreover this anti-Berlin declaration smells extremely strong of a hoax. But there will be simple minds which will believe something like this. Satan’s art of deception becomes more and more dangerous and threatening as the return of Christ approaches. We should pay more heed to God’s Word, which contains all the prophecy which we need for life and for death: “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4).“Be not deceived” (1 Corinthians 6:9).“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).
Additional note on Moon:
This book was prepared for printing when a fuller report on Moon, the Korean mentioned above, reached me. Moon claims to have seen a vision of Christ at the age of sixteen. In this vision he was given the task of bringing the Christians of the whole world together. I obtained further information from a television program on Monday, November 15, 1975. In 1954, Moon founded a society in Seoul for the unification of world Christendom. Since 1972, this organization has also existed in Germany, under the name Vereinigungskirche.
This church is international, interdenominational, and interracial. Conferences are held in the Taunus region of West Germany with the object of building up an international leadership. Other centers in Germany are found at Frankfurt, Freiburg, and Tubingen. The Moon followers hold occasional services with sacred music, prayers, and talks. Moon comes from South Korea and is opposed to communism. The particular characteristic of this new religious leader is his strong messianic consciousness. His followers play this down, saying that he is only the fore runner of the Messiah. In the USA, the mainstay of the movement is an International Cultural Foundation, which is encountering growing opposition. The opposition is flaring up for two reasons:
1 The parents of young people who have been led astray by the sect have formed anti-Moon groups, and are amassing evidence to prosecute the movement. b. The strongest opponents of the Moon movement are young people who have succeeded in freeing themselves from the grip of this religious fanaticism. These former members speak of treatment which is reminiscent of brainwashing. The uninterrupted sessions of instruction amount to physical and psychological torture.
The whole book may be downloaded from the net.
May the Lord help every reader understand the imports of the error of the Word of Faith, Slain in the spirit, Signs and Wonders and Fall-Down-and Die movements now ravaging the church of Christ.
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