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An Interfaith Movement is Taking Root Worldwide

The Bible is very clear on the fact that, during the coming tribulation, the supporters of all faiths will follow and worship the same world messiah. In the book of Revelation John describes him as the beast who will have dominion over the whole earth:

“And all the world marvelled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? … And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And he was given authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him” (Rev. 13:3-4,7-8).

The whole world is adamantly heading towards a multireligious dispensation in which all nations will be spiritually united under the supreme leadership of the Antichrist and the false prophet. They will openly venerate the beast since he will succeed in uniting divided humanity by bridging all religious and political differences among them. That will be the culmination of a spirit of globalism which has already been working for quite some time to change people’s perceptions by inducing them to accept a new world order of globalism in all spheres of life.

This first decade of the 21st century has been characterised by an increased tendency towards multireligious thinking which is supported by a large number of leaders from all faiths. I will mention a few of the most prominent examples of this interfaith ecumenical movement as they all pave the way for the coming world messiah:

In Christian circles, there are a great number of postmodern theologians who jointly lay the foundation for the emerging church of the 21st century. In this modern, so-called enlightened church, ecumenical bridges are not only built between various Christian churches but also between Christianity and the non-Christian religions. They openly support the viewpoint that the Christian religion is not as unique as we always thought since, according to them, we all worship the same universal God of all faiths. This common Creator God is merely known by different names in other religions.

It is further assumed that since we all worship the same God who revealed Himself to humanity through all faiths, we now all await the revelation of the common messiah of all faiths. It is this universal messiah of whom we read in Revelation 13. He will indeed be globally accepted and also worshipped. Under his guidance all faiths will eventually join hands!

But the Lord Jesus stands in the way of this unity since He is exalted above all idols. Because of this, ecumenical thinkers deprive Jesus Christ of His exalted position of God and Son of God, and also of His virgin birth which is proof that He was not conceived by a sinful man. Jesus is described as an ordinary human prophet who is on the same level as the messiahs of other faiths, e.g. Krishna, Buddha and others. They are now regarded to be co-equal messengers of God who, during different times of history, all prepared the way to the end-time world messiah who will introduce a Utopia on earth.

There are many Christian churches that have departed so far from a biblical faith that they will accept a Jesus Christ who was not born of a virgin and is also not truly the Son of God. The Antichrist will talk their language and comply with their expectations. He will come up out of the earth and offer an earthly kingdom to all. This other Jesus who is proclaimed in the liberal emerging church is clearly the false Christ of the end-time, i.e. the Antichrist. He will make his initial appearance as a prince of peace and deceive all nations and faiths to think that he is a special messenger of God who came to bring peace on earth. Very few people will be able to see through his cleverly concealed deceit.

Various orthodox Jews have been caught in the same web of multireligious thinking. On 13th October, 2004, after almost two millennia, a Sanhedrin was again instituted in modern Israel. This body, however, has limited powers and is only recognised by orthodox Jews. The new Sanhedrin is composed of 71 prominent rabbis and other Jewish scholars. At meetings of the present council the possibility of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem is a major subject for discussion. The sensational news from the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem is that the Third Temple will be a house of prayer to all monotheistic faiths, of which Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the most important. The Lord’s words in Isaiah 56:7 are quoted as justification for this announcement: “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” This statement is wrongly interpreted in a multireligious way in order to also give recognition to non-Biblical faiths such as Islam.

A Jewish website, www.godsholymountain.org/, promotes the idea of “God’s holy mountain” as being open to all faiths. According to present planning the religious activities in nearby Islamic mosques as well as Roman Catholic sanctuaries will be integrated with the temple service. The executive director of the Temple Institute, Jehuda Glick, says that they are waiting on the coming of the Messiah as only he can authorise the building of the temple. The Sanhedrin does not recognise the present democratic government of Israel and committed themselves to electing a king for the land. This is a dangerous course upon which orthodox leaders have embarked since the false messiah will pretend to be a descendant of David and lay claim to the royal throne of Israel. The Sanhedrin will welcome the false messiah when he appears on the scene since obviously he will pretend to be the true Messiah who will speak to  their hearts by allowing Israel to rebuild the temple. Great disillusionment will soon follow. This tragedy confirms a prophecy of the Lord Jesus in which He said 2000 years ago that Israel would commit a huge error of judgement by accepting the wrong messiah. He said, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43).

Israel is clearly heading for a covenant with the false messiah. However, they will be persuaded that he is the true Messiah as he will come to Israel’s rescue during a major war and also grant them the right to rebuild the temple. The Sanhedrin also promotes the temple project as a key to world peace. Early in 2007 they wrote letters to all governments, impressing it upon them that the world is finding itself on a disastrous course. In terms of Isaiah 2:2-4 they proposed that the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem in order to again experience the presence of God in the pursuance of peace on earth. According to this prophecy the law of the Lord will go out to the whole earth from Jerusalem, the nations will honour it, and because of that they will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks. They will not learn war anymore.

The serious mistake which modern Jewish religious leaders make is to see the third temple as a place of worship for all faiths, thereby also sharing their promised Messiah with other religions. This is the “other messiah” against whom the Lord Jesus has warned them.

The same error of judgement is made by the leaders of the other large religions. Muslims also expect the second coming of Jesus to establish a reign of peace on earth. There are frequent references to Jesus in the Koran, but never to His deity or the redemptive value of His crucifixion. He is only described as the son of Mary, and they hold that Mohammed was the Comforter whom Jesus promised would come during the period after His own earthly ministry. It is expected that the Islamic Jesus will return to the world to join forces with the Imam Mahdi in his apocalyptic wars to subject his enemies and islamise the world. A scenario of this nature is highly possible during the reign of the Antichrist in the first half of the tribulation, as he will succeed in establishing deceived Christians, deceived Zionists, and Islam, as sister religions while also relating all other faiths to them. They will all join hands.

Hindus also believe in the appearance of a world messiah who is known as Krishna or Jesus Christ. Although the Hindus are not monotheistic they do serve three prominent gods –Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Brahma is regarded as the creator god; Vishnu is worshipped as saviour and is second in rank after Brahma while thirdly, there is Siva who is associated with fertility and the powers of reproduction.

Krishna is the eighth incarnation of the god Vishnu and is one of the special avatars, or masters, in Hinduism. It is alleged that Jesus was an incarnation of Krishna and led a very similar life. It is expected that there will be a new incarnation of the avatar who, in different periods in history, was known as Vishnu, Krishna and Jesus. Any of these names can be used for him but he will also be known as the Kalki Avatar (the White Horse Avatar) as he will be riding a white horse. The Kalki Avatar will achieve the final victory over evil on earth, thereby ending all negative experiences. Under his rule there will be peace and unity on earth.

An article on the internet was published under the title: Jesus as a Reincarnation of Krishna (www.near-death.com/). In this article it is alleged that there is a big similarity between Jesus and Krishna, and this is taken as proof that Jesus should be regarded as an incarnation of Krishna. That which the end-time Krishna will do, i.e. imitate Jesus and allege that he is a new incarnation of Jesus, is exactly what the Antichrist will do. Jesus said about the time shortly before His second coming: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5).

The Buddhists believe in Buddha who is The Enlightened One. The first Buddha, Gautama, lived about 500 years before Christ. It is alleged that he led a similar life to that of Jesus and also contended against a satanic figure. According to Buddhist scripture, Gautama predicted that at some future time another Buddha will come to help men set up an ideal kingdom of righteousness and peace. He will be the fifth incarnation of Buddha, referred to as the Maitreya Buddha.

Buddhists hold that the present human race will continue to deteriorate; righteousness will gradually disappear as injustice, cruelty and lust increase. This age will last for 2500 years (from the first Buddha) followed by the dawn of a new era of complete righteousness. During the coming golden age there will no longer be any killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, filth or mud huts. Then, man will enjoy heaven on earth.

In Buddhist eschatology other titles are also ascribed to Maitreya Buddha, of which “the Christ” is very significant. The leader of a Buddhist organisation in England, Benjamin Crème, wrote a book titled: The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom. In this book he says that soon there will appear a world messiah on the scene in whom the messianic expectations of all the major religions will be fulfilled. To the Buddhists he will be the Maitreya Buddha, to the Hindus Krishna, to the Jews the Messiah, to Christians Jesus Christ, and to the Muslims the Imam Mahdi or Jesus.

The deception of a world messiah who will, among others, refer to himself as Jesus is indeed spreading across the globe – also among Shintoists in Japan. In a book, Messiah, the desire of all nations, E. A. Gordon says that the idea has taken root in Japan and China that there is a close relationship between Buddhism, Shintoism and Christianity. The author comes to the conclusion that these religions are basically the same but manifest differently. They all proclaim spiritual awakening, self-discipline, love and simplicity of life. In one of the Shinto shrines there is an image of Jesus Christ and in another one the image of the god Susa-no-o who is identified with Jehovah. They are therefore open to the idea of a universal Christ of all faiths who will lead the world into a reign of peace.

In the meantime, apostate theologians all over the world are doing everything they can to deprive Jesus of His deity in an effort to render Him only an ordinary prophet who functions on the same level as the masters of wisdom in other religions. In order to do this, they deny all references to the supernatural aspects of the birth, public ministry, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. They absolutely deny His virgin birth by stating that it is not scientific to believe in such a myth. They do not see Him as the perfect Lamb of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. They are also strongly opposed to His bodily resurrection from the dead. As far as His miracles are concerned, some of them allege that He was a shaman, just as there were many shamans in Israel and also among the surrounding nations. A shaman is a diviner and traditional healer – also referred to as a witch doctor – who imparts divine knowledge to other people and is also able to heal people and perform magical acts.

Apostate theologians obviously no longer believe in the uniqueness, inerrancy and divine inspiration of the Bible. This is the reason why they do not hesitate to spiritualise and distort it at will. When one of them was asked what he thinks of John 14:6 where Jesus says that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him, this man’s reaction was: “This verse has either been wrongly translated, or Jesus was mistaken when He made this statement because there are certainly many other gods in the world through whom one can come to God.” To them, Jesus is one of various masters of wisdom and they are of the opinion that He has an integrated role to play with other well-known masters such as Mohammed, Buddha and Krishna.

According to these theologians, Jesus is not a unique God-man who is exalted far above all the idols of the Gentiles. To them, He played a supplementary role to the other faiths, and together all these faiths constitute the larger whole of God’s revelations to humanity. The Bible indeed refers to such a false Christ who will be worshipped by all faiths. He is described as the Antichrist, or beast, and will come on behalf of all faiths on earth to unite humanity and make them live in harmony. After he has established his satanic form of unity and will be admired for it by the whole world, he will proceed to the next step by forcing all people to worship himself and his father, Lucifer: “And all the world marvelled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon [Lucifer] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast [Antichrist], saying, Who is like the beast?” (Rev. 13:3-4).

What a futile exercise that will be! United humanity will still be exclaiming: “Peace and safety! then sudden destruction come upon them… And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3). In the middle of the tribulation the Antichrist will declare himself to be God in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, attack his adversaries with great fury, and institute a military dictatorship. According to Revelation 13:15, refusal to worship him and his image, together with the receiving of his number, will be punishable by death.

The beast and the dragon’s reign of terror will be of short duration since they will both be destroyed when the true Christ comes. John says: “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:19-20). Immediately afterwards, the devil will be bound in a pit for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3).

That will be the tragic end of all those who worshipped another Jesus under the influence of a foreign god. Are there still faithful preachers who will stand up to warn the deceived multitudes against the coming of the Antichrist? Or are they also, during the midnight hour, slumbering with the foolish virgins? The Lord Jesus said on the end-time: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Are there men and women who have a burning passion for the cause of the Lord? Can they say with Paul: “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)?

Unfortunately there are not many preachers left who can say this with a pure conscience because they no longer strictly abide in the Bible. In his last letter which Paul wrote to Timothy shortly before his death he says: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season … For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4).

We are now living in the time when the ears of most people have been turned aside to fables, or myths, i.e. disguised lies. One of the most serious of these fables is that of the historic Jesus who is allegedly not God but a mortal man who was never resurrected from the dead. His followers, therefore, do not worship a living Christ and for that reason they take the liberty to substitute prayer by so-called Christian meditation and also disregard other Christian doctrines at will. They do, for instance, not seriously regard the warning by the Lord Jesus that in the end-time there will be a great tribulation such as has never been on earth. They prefer the dominion scenario of a world-wide revival in which the followers of all religions may share.

But evangelical preachers are committed to preaching all the doctrines of the Bible, particularly the doctrines on justification, sanctification and the second coming of Christ. As far as the eschatology is concerned they should also proclaim the blessed hope of the rapture since true believers are not destined for the wrath of God during the coming tribulation period. Christians who have this expectation are preparing to meet the heavenly Bridegroom in the air. They do not wait for the false Christ who will be revealed shortly after the rapture to unite the world and also deceive them to worship him as God.

Those who do not understand the heavenly calling of the church of Christ exert themselves for the establishment of an earthly kingdom before the second coming of the Lord Jesus. They now collaborate in the institution of a new world order of political, religious and economic unity. In their feverish efforts to transform the world into a better place they expect great revivals which will change the whole world. They make it as easy as possible for people to become part of the movement, and for this reason alone it is not a true revival.

Will their dreams of a kingdom be realised? Unfortunately in a deceptive way, after the rapture when the Antichrist has appeared on the scene as a prince of peace and rider on a white horse. He will unite the world and all faiths, thereby convincing them to worship him. The preparations for this coming dispensation are not described as a great revival in the Bible, but the great falling away of the last days. Paul says, “The falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4).

However, we should remain faithful to the true Christ during this time of testing, so we may be worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36). While those who are filthy will even become filthier, holy people should strive to be holy still (Rev. 22:11). Peter says, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God… Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Pet. 3:11-12,14).

(PS. For an article on the pretribulation rapture, visit www.divineknowledge.co.za and look under “What’s new?”)

Andrew Murray 32