By Nathan Jones
As we barrel down the winding road like a car without brakes towards the Tribulation, many await the return of the Messiah, the Savior who will rescue the world from itself. For some Christians, we are looking to the soon return of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and only real Savior of the world. And for some Muslims, they are looking for the Mahdi, a false messiah to come and conquer the world for Islam. But, while many Christians focus on the soon return of Jesus or in exposing the falseness of the Muslim Mahdi, we have failed to notice that another large segment of the population is looking towards the rise of yet another messiah. They are the followers of the Eastern and New Age religions, and they are waiting for Lord Maitraya.
Jesus warned in Matthew 24:4-5 to "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." True to this verse, as we draw within a mere breadth of Jesus' soon return, it seems that everybody is looking for a messiah. Even those that don't adhere to any religion are looking for scientists, philosophers, or comic book heroes to come to life and save the world from what everybody who hasn't been living in a cave now realize — the world is on the brink of something too big for mankind to handle.
Our friend at Olive Tree Ministries, Jan Markel, has written an excellent article on Lord Maitraya and his followers. Her article shows that there are more than one big player vying for the role of the Ultimate False Messiah.
Desperate Sheep Without a Shepherd
The "New Age Movement" (NAM) has been around since the days of literal Babylon. It gained new strength in the late 1800s and even more in the 1960s, which was the "Age of Aquarius." While all participants are not occultists, they all do love the supernatural and experiential. They have many "gods." And they believe the delusion that mankind is getting better and better. Because they believe such a myriad of ideas, some call these misguided seekers "cosmic soup."
In the 1980s, I gave seminars on this "new spirituality," which it has been renamed in the 21st century. I studied it then and knew it almost as well as those who were enjoying their altered states of consciousness. Thankfully, I wasn't.
In more recent years, the cause has been furthered by the woman who never met a false teaching she didn't love — Oprah Winfrey. She has paraded one guru after another on her many platforms and made most of them wildly successful.
In 1982, I chuckled at who I thought was just another deluded crackpot, Benjamin Crème, who was taking out full-page ads in multiple newspapers announcing the soon-arrival of Lord Maitraya. This superhero was to come on the scene for the benefit of all religions and belief-systems. He was to be the new "messiah." And while these deceived followers of mystical enlightenment fully believed he could save the world, I wondered if he was just a fantasy in the esoteric minds of Crème — a John the Baptist type — and many NAM idealistic dreamers.
But now 25 years later, TV commercials are airing about Lord Maitraya! Why was I a doubter? As a matter of fact, Benjamin Crème and references to Maitraya are found all over the Internet's favorite pastime, YouTube. In the minds of Maitraya's followers, he is just over the horizon ready to appear in his mystical, Eastern glory.
Once again we see the foundation for the one-world religious system forming. As Chuck Missler said on my radio program this past weekend (February 28), the apparitions of Mary, which are all over the world now, will be a uniter of religions because so many respect her, including Islam. The Vatican, in fact, may become the infrastructure for the one-world religion.
Clearly this "New Age Movement" or "new spirituality" will play a prominent role in the global religion. The antichrist will allow the "false prophet" to have a lying-signs-and-wonders party for 3 1/2 years and that's it. From then on, only "Mr. Fix-it" can have all the glory. Only the "man-with-a-plan" will have the spotlight after that.
In my study for my seminars some years ago, I learned quickly that almost all who are a part of the cults and false religious systems are like sheep without a shepherd. They are desperate, primed for deception, jumping from one costly therapy, seminar, technique, or group, all seeking the ever-illusive "higher self" and the "god within."
They would see themselves as "spiritual" people. They even refer to "the christ within" but it is a counter-christ. They may be shocked when they stand before the Lord and He says to them, "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father in Heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21-23).
While there is time, share the gospel with them. Some have a Christian background and have twisted the terms you and I know. They will say they believe in God but it is the "god within." They will flaunt their "Christ consciousness."
This is just more end-time deception and delusion, but souls are involved so don't write these people off without offering them new life! You are not responsible for their decision. And if you see the Lord Maitraya commercial on TV, use it as a reminder to pray without ceasing for the deception that abounds today.
It is also a reminder of the many "false christs" the Bible predicts for the last days. Whether or not there is any credibility in Crème and Maitraya really isn't the point. The point is that many are looking for false saviors today.