In our previous lesson we learned that Jesus Christ predicted false messiahs would come in His name. Since then, there have been many, but in this lesson we will look at some people throughout history who have claimed to be Jesus Christ.
In the 1950s Jim Jones started the Peoples Temple Christian Church and began speaking out against segregation in Indiana. In 1961 he began preaching that the end of the world was going to occur, and by the late 1960s was claiming to be Jesus Christ.
On November 17, 1978, Jim Jones led 909 people (303 children) to their death when they poisoned themselves in a mass suicide.
Obviously Jim Jones was not Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus Christ will only come to Earth twice, and the next time He does, it will be glorious, unmistakable, the dead will rise from their graves, and the world will end. Jim Jones was, therefore, a false messiah.
In the 1980s David Koresh started his own Branch Dividian church, an offshoot of Seventh Day Adventism. In 1983 he began to claim he was Jesus Christ, and had a number of followers in his church in Texas.
On February 28, 1993, David Koresh led 54 people (21 children) to their death when they refused to surrender to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).
Obviously David Koresh was not Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus Christ will only come to Earth twice, and the next time He does, it will be glorious, unmistakable, the dead will rise from their graves, and the world will end. David Koresh was, therefore, a false messiah.
These two terrible tragedies are certainly shocking and sad. What is alarming about these events though, is that both men claimed to be Jesus Christ, and people believed them. Why would someone believe them even in such circumstances? Could you be misled like these folks? How would you know? We know that Jesus Christ will only return once more, and when He does it will be instant, glorious, unmistakable, the dead will rise from their graves and it will be the end of the world. In the mean time, expect that many false messiahs will arise as Christ predicted.
In our next lesson, we will look specifically at one man whom some claim is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.