The need for a better knowledge of and grounding in scripture could not have been clearer as I read a story on CNN.com recently. A man in Florida is making a claim to be the reincarnate of Jesus Christ and that his followers number “thousands in more than 30 countries.” In his own words he claims “The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth.” This following began about 20 years ago in Miami and believes that there is no devil and no sin, and that the followers of this movement can do no wrong in God’s eyes. The leader of this movement claims “to be God”, has a criminal history of theft and heroin addiction and even has a tattoo of the number 666 on his arm. In his teachings he declares that long-held, time-tested and widely accepted beliefs in the church are misunderstood. I ask you, is this something you see supported by God’s word?
I believe man has a ‘built-in’ desire to seek and worship God. This is likely due to our being created in His own image. This desire, unfortunately, sometimes results in clouded judgment as to what God desires and has said in His word. If we truly desire to reach out in search of God, we must do so on the basis of what He has said, not what any man tells us God said. As I read this news report I couldn’t help be reminded of Jesus’ words in the Matthew 24:23 ff., when He warned of others who would come after Him, claiming to be the Christ, or anointed one of God. Jesus said for us not to believe him. For us to accept the claims of this man would be to deny the Bible as our guide for life, both here and for eternity.
The primary concern this story raises is that of accepting the Bible as the written word of God and His divine will. It is to be our authority! It is the one true source of knowledge for God’s plans, His promises, His commandments that are obeyed by those who love Him (John 14:15) and how He responds to man’s rebellion. Many today have taken liberties with scripture that God does not allow. In doing this, God has been undermined by our own desires to our own destruction. My challenge to you is to determine to abide in God’s word alone, and in doing so becoming able to rightly divide the word of truth!
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter