There is a false Christ claiming that he is already in the world today and that he is simply waiting for humanity to call him forth. He, too, has ‘a purpose’ and is ‘purpose driven.’ He has a peace plan and says that his coming will bring peace.
I am your Purpose
I am your Hope
I am your Heart
God is within you and all around you
My name is Oneness
I shall place before you all the purpose of God
My Plan is God’s Plan
Nothing will happen by chance
Take part in a Great Plan which is changing the world
My Coming brings peace
Maitreya the “Christ” Messages from Maitreya the Christ, 1992
He puts a premium on service to mankind, and he has a plan to help the lost and the sick and the poor. He is a prototype for Antichrist and still remains a viable candidate for being the Antichrist. His teachings are consistent with the New Age teachings of the New Spirituality. The Bible has warned us that someday he, or someone like him, will be everyone’s “worst-case scenario” come true. He, or someone like him, will turn everyone’s grandest dreams into a total nightmare. Thus, it behooves all of us to at least be minimally alert to someone who so nearly fits the Bible’s warnings—especially when his teachings so closely parallel the teachings of the New Spirituality.
This particular false Christ figure is Maitreya “the Christ.” He describes himself not as the world “savior” but, rather, as the “World Teacher.” He has maintained contact with the world through his longtime chief spokesperson, English artist and “esotericist” Benjamin Creme. Maitreya’s future role as the returning “Christ” is described by Creme in his 1980 book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom. Another spokesperson, Wayne Peterson, has written a more recent book entitled Extraordinary Times. Extraordinary Beings: Experiences of an American Diplomat with Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom. In his 2001 book, Wayne Peterson wrote about Maitreya’s role with the world’s major religions:
He is the one awaited by all the major religions albeit unknown to them. The Christians wait for the return of the Christ, Buddhists for the next Buddha, Muslims for the Imam Mahdi, Hindus for a reincarnation of Krishna, and the Jews for the Messiah. These are all different names for one individual, Maitreya, who is here not as a religious leader but as a teacher for all humanity.
Wayne Peterson described what he learned from Benjamin Creme about Maitreya’s purpose: Maitreya’s purpose, Creme indicated, was to help us realize our innate divinity through learning to live in right relationship as brothers and sisters of one great family. The first step was to establish sharing as the way to eliminate the poverty and starvation that caused millions around the world to die daily in the midst of plenty. Maitreya was emerging in time to help us save ourselves and the planet, and would make himself known to all in a televised ‘Day of Declaration’ soon to come.
Maitreya has reportedly been living anonymously in the Western world since 1977. His “return” and presence here on earth was announced in full page newspaper ads in major cities around the world in 1982. He has an unofficial world organization entitled “Share International,” and his followers have been reported by Creme and Peterson to include many prominent world figures, including Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela. Maitreya has made it known that when he returns twelve “Masters of Wisdom” will accompany him to help “teach” humanity the “New Truth” and the “new way.” In what would prove to be a most clever device, he has stated that one of these “Masters” will be “Jesus,”—a “Master Jesus”—who is not Jesus Christ but a “disciple” of “the Christ.” Maitreya has made it clear that he, Maitreya, is the only person occupying the “office” of “Christ,” that he has occupied that “office” for over 2600 years, and that it was he as the “Christ” who “overshadowed” and worked through Jesus, the man, in Palestine back in the first century. Benjamin Creme explained:
In the esoteric tradition, the Christ is not the name of an individual but of an Office in the Hierarchy. The present holder of that Office, the Lord Maitreya, has held it for 2,600 years, and manifested in Palestine through His Disciple, Jesus, by the occult method of overshadowing, the most frequent form used for the manifestation of Avatars. He has never left the world, but for 2,000 years has waited and planned for this immediate future time, training His Disciples, and preparing Himself for the awesome task which awaits Him. He has made it known that this time, He Himself will come.
It is worth noting that Maitreya’s most significant New Age teachings about hope, purpose, dreams, destiny, service, peace and the idea that God is “in” everything overlap in significant ways with many of the words and teachings of Robert Schuller and Rick Warren. These areas of overlap are starting to blur some of the crucial differences between biblical Christianity and the New Spirituality. The reason the blurring is starting to occur is because Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, and most Christian leaders make no effort to distinguish the difference between what they are saying and what false Christs, like Maitreya, and the New Spirituality are saying. For example, Maitreya, like Rick Warren, is very fond of the word “purpose”—he uses it all the time. Maitreya has proclaimed to all humanity:
We are together, you and I, for the same purpose. Take My hand. My friends, and let us together walk that Path and know the meaning of Life, know the blessing of Love, know the purpose of God. I need all those who long to serve, who wish to fulfill their purpose in life… I shall place before you all the purpose of God. Hold fast to My Purpose, which is to take man to God. My Purpose unfolds. My Purposes are being fulfilled. I am your Purpose.
Occupying the whole back cover of the book Messages from Maitreya is “The Great Invocation.” According to Benjamin Creme, this invocation was introduced into the world by Maitreya and is now commonly recited in New Age-oriented churches around the world. ‘The Great Invocation” invokes the return of “the Christ” and calls for a restoration of ‘The Plan.” The middle lines of the Invocation specifically invoke God’s “purpose.”
From the centre where the Will of God is known Let purpose guide the little wills of men— The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
Creme explained why Maitreya released “The Great Invocation” to humanity:
…to enable man himself to invoke the energies which would change our world, and make possible the return of the Christ and Hierarchy.
Maitreya’s deceptive “purpose” as the “World Teacher” is to convince everyone they are divine. His plan is to teach humanity to believe in the “immanent” nature of God; that is, that God is “in” everyone, so everyone is divine. Immanence: the “God” Within
Familiar with much of the material on Maitreya, I suddenly found myself looking at him in a whole new way after reading Rick Warren and Robert Schuller. There was something very disturbing about the similarity of their teachings, especially in regards to “purpose” and the idea that God is “in” everyone and everything.
On page 88 of The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren wrote:
Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says, “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.”
On page 88 in Messages from Maitreya the Christ, Maitreya is quoted as saying: My friends, God is nearer to you than you can imagine. God is yourself. God is within you and all around you.
On page 88 of his book The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, Benjamin Creme explained Maitreya’s “new world religion.” He described the same “immanent” aspect of God that Rick Warren was conveying with his New Century Version of Ephesians 4:6:
But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.
Renowned occult teacher and New Age Theosophist Alice A. Bailey also described how a New World Religion will be based on this “immanent” aspect of God. Emphasizing the word “fresh,” she states that the “Path to God” will be based on: …a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life. These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.
This same “immanent” aspect of God so important to Maitreya, Alice A. Bailey, the New Spirituality and the New World Religion is also very important to Rick Warren. This idea of “immanence” is taught as part of the Foundations course at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Echoing Bailey’s use of the word “fresh,” the Foundations Participant’s Guide under the section heading “A Fresh Word” reiterates Rick Warren’s teaching that God is “in” everything. It states:
The fact that God stands above and beyond his creation does not mean he stands outside his creation. He is both transcendent (above and beyond his creation) and immanent (within and throughout his creation). (Parentheses in original)
Robert Schuller has also stressed this aspect of immanence. In a November 9, 2003 sermon at the Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller stated that God was not only transcendent but also immanent. He said that as a result of his becoming more aware of the immanence of God, his faith was now “deeper, broader, and richer more than ever.” As previously cited, he summarized what he meant by the immanence of God by telling his worldwide television audience:
Yes, God is alive and He is in every single human being!
Also, as previously mentioned in Chapter Three of this book, this “immanent” aspect of God is also evident in Rick Warren’s favored paraphrase, Eugene Peterson’s The Message. The notion that God is “in” everything and is “One” with creation is contained in the magical saying “as above, so below.” This is the mystical New Age phrase that Eugene Peterson injected in its entirety into the Lord’s Prayer and in its derivative form into Colossians 1:16—the verse that Rick Warren used to introduce his readers to The Purpose-Driven Life. As previously cited, the editors of the New Age journal described this immanent aspect of God and its New Age significance in their book As Above, So Below:
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” This maxim implies that the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one.
The spiritual implications of all of these overlapping statements are enormous. Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, and Eugene Peterson are all now teaching this immanent aspect of God— that God is “in” everyone. On this critical theological point, these particular Christian leaders are not only not exposing one of the central concepts of the “New Spirituality” and probable New World Religion—they seem to be agreeing with it!
A friend of mine who used to go to Saddleback Church came over to the house one night to try to demonstrate that Rick Warren wasn’t deceived about the New Age or about spiritual deception. I knew his argument would be based on the fact that Rick Warren had made a statement in The Purpose-Driven Life that said we will never become God and that we are not divine. He had even used the term “New Age philosophies.” Before my friend could even begin to make his point, I had him turn to page 88 in The Purpose-Driven Life. I read the passage out loud:
Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says, “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.”
My friend hung his head in disbelief and then exclaimed, “That’s pantheism!” He had immediately grasped the dangerous New Age implications of what Rick Warren was saying. He understood that whatever New Age disclaimers Rick Warren seemed to be making, he had just overridden them by what he was actually teaching. On the one hand, Rick Warren has proclaimed that humans are not divine, yet he opens the door to this New Spirituality belief by proclaiming that God is “in” everything. This same friend told me on another occasion that he had never been taught anything meaningful about spiritual deception while attending Saddleback Church.
“Master Jesus” and the New Reformation
Unless Rick Warren and other church leaders start to really expose the New Age, by delineating the differences between biblical Christianity and the New Spirituality, there will be real confusion down the line. Successful coaches have their teams as fully prepared as possible for whatever the opposition may have up their sleeve—including last minute trick plays at the end of the game. Christian leaders must do the same.
It is imperative that the Church be prepared for a false Christ figure like Maitreya suddenly appearing and presenting himself as “the Christ” and proclaiming the immanence of God “in” everyone and everything. It could happen. We cannot afford to be complacent. We must not be ignorant of our Adversary’s schemes and devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
For example, Benjamin Creme, as previously mentioned, has tried to convince us that Jesus is not the Christ but rather a disciple of Maitreya “the Christ.” He explained that in the first century Jesus allowed Maitreya to “overshadow” and work through him after he was baptized.
He was, and still is, a Disciple of the Christ and made the great sacrifice of giving up His body for the use of the Christ. By the occult process of overshadowing, the Christ, Maitreya, took over and worked through the body of Jesus from the Baptism onwards.
Creme explained that when Maitreya reveals himself as “Christ,” he will be joined by “twelve Masters of Wisdom” who help him do his work in the world. Creme has stated that “Jesus” will be one of these “Masters” returning with Maitreya. But according to Creme, this “Jesus” is not the Lord and he is not the Christ—he is a “Master” and a “Master” only. Creme claims that Maitreya is the Lord and Christ. Creme has explained that the “Master Jesus” will be serving the “Lord Maitreya” by assuming the throne of St. Peter in Rome and heading up “the Christian Church.” This “Master Jesus”—obviously a false Jesus—will be in charge of a new reformation. It will be his job to “reform the Christian churches.”
The Master Jesus is going to reform the Christian churches.
He will seek to transform the Christian Churches, in so far as they are flexible enough to respond correctly to the new reality which the return of the Christ and the Masters will create.
Sadly, many of the newer Bible translations and paraphrases used by Rick Warren have often dropped the words “Lord” and “Christ” from Jesus’ title and have substituted the word “Master.” This obviously plays directly into the hands of a false Christ, like Maitreya, who will be trying to convince the world—and particularly Christians—that Jesus is not the Lord Jesus Christ but simply the “Master Jesus.”
Also favorable to Maitreya are the new versions’ frequent use of the word “Teacher” in conjunction with the term “Christ.” Maitreya presents himself not as the world “savior” but as the “World Teacher.” The frequent association of the word “Teacher” with Christ, in new versions like The Message, seems to underscore and give validity to Maitreya’s role as “Christ” and “World Teacher.” Interestingly, the word ‘Teacher” is directly associated with Jesus Christ only one time in the King James translation of the Gospels. It appears at least twenty-five times in The Message paraphrase of the Gospels.
And while the disciples and followers of the real Jesus called Him “Master,” it was always with the understanding that He was also their “Lord” and “Christ.” But in the King James Bible, when they addressed Him as “Master” they never—not even once—directly addressed Him as “Master Jesus.” Yet, the term “Master Jesus” appears repeatedly in Eugene Peterson’s The Message. Peterson continually drops the word “Lord” from Jesus’ title, choosing instead to refer to Him as “Master Jesus.”
For example, the King James translation of Revelation 22:20-21 at the very end of the Bible is:
Even so, come. Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The Message paraphrase is:
Yes! Come, Master Jesus! The grace of the Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!
Maitreya’s hope is that most people calling themselves Christians will be content to follow the lead of his false “Master Jesus” who will be in charge of “reforming” the “Christian” Church— a “Christian” Church that regards Maitreya, not Jesus, as their Lord and Christ. As a prototype, Maitreya is a perfect example of how the eventual Antichrist might attempt to deceive the world. Exposing Maitreya’s “Master Jesus” scheme and his “new reformation” scheme—as the Bible admonishes us to do (Ephesians 5:11-13)—would be a good way for Rick Warren and other Christian leaders to prepare believers for a possible “worst-case scenario” of having someone like Maitreya suddenly appearing and claiming to be Christ. Robert Schuller, Rick Warren and other Christian leaders need to make a clear distinction between their call for a “new reformation” and the one called for by Neale Donald Walsch and the false Christ, Maitreya. Sadly, Rick Warren seems to be completely unaware of the overlapping implications of his 5-Step P.E.A.C.E. Plan and the 5-Step PEACE Plan proposed by Neale Donald Walsch and his New Age “God.” Both of their PEACE Plans use the word PEACE as an acronym. Both of the PEACE Plans proclaim they will “change the world” and “change history.” Both of the PEACE Plans describe themselves as “God’s Plan” and emphatically declare that God is in the process of bringing “peace” to the world. And both of these 5-Step PEACE Plans call for a “new reformation.” A “new reformation” that, with a few deceptive twists and turns, could be overseen by a “Master Jesus” who is not the real Jesus Christ. A “Master Jesus” who teaches that we are all divine because God is “in” everything. Persecution Through the “Selection Process”
But while Maitreya talks of “love” and “peace” and the one family of mankind, he has issued a very strict warning to those people who persist in remaining “separate” by refusing to see themselves and everyone else as “divine.” He has warned that those who refuse to accept the doctrine of immanence and Oneness—humanity’s shared divinity with God—will be selectively expelled from the human race. Specifically using the terms “purpose” and “driven,” this Purpose Driven false Christ has declared that it is his “purpose” to make sure that anyone who remains “separate,” by denying the divinity of man, be “driven” from this planet.
All that hinders the manifestation of man’s divinity must be driven from our planet.
The crime of separation must be driven from this world. I affirm that as My Purpose.
New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard, who is on the Board of Directors of The Global Renaissance Alliance and is a speaker for Walsch’s Humanity’s Team, wrote that she was told the same thing. Hubbard stated that her “Christ” specifically described this purposeful elimination process as “the selection process.” Like Maitreya, she stated that the selection process will be the penalty for anyone who persists in the “self-centered” belief that humanity is not divine and is “separate” from God. By this definition, Bible-believing Christians—the ones who really are Bible believing—would be defined as among those who are “selfcentered” and “separate.” In what would be a fulfillment of the prophecy that the Antichrist will “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7), Hubbard’s “Christ”—sounding much like Maitreya—states that he will “make war” on those who are “fearful” and “self-centered.”
The fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I “make war” on self-centeredness. It shall surely be overcome. The child must become the adult. Human must become Divine. That is the law.
At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole. The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centeredness on Earth after the selection process.
The future implications of all this are obviously very ominous for the so-called “fearful” Christians who refuse to believe in the false doctrine of immanence and Oneness— humanity’s shared divinity with God—and who continue to profess that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. In Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, [Now titled False Christ Coming] I warned:
In the [New Age] “new gospel” [New Spirituality] scheme of things, “fear” means seeing yourself and your fellow man as “separate” and not as a part of God. “Fear” and “separation” are equated with all of those who refuse to see themselves as being a part of God…. “Fear” and “separation” prevent the attainment of peace, produce illness in the body of mankind, and prevent spiritual growth. They are the ticket to the “selection process” because they prevent the “one body” of humanity from advancing to the next spiritual level. “Fear” and “separation” people are those who oppose “new gospel” teachings and the “new gospel” God and Christ….
How do “God” and “Christ” suggest that Christians, and others under “the illusion of separation,” rid themselves of the “fear” that is causing them to feel separate from God? By “atoning” through the “at-one-ment” process. That is, by affirming that “all is love” and “all is God” and never forgetting that they are a part of God. By “new gospel” definition, the only way you can be “loving” and “at-one” with your fellow man is by ultimately pledging allegiance to the doctrine of “oneness.”….In the “new gospel” future you will live or die based on whether or not you see yourself as a part of God. It is the doctrine of “oneness” versus the doctrine of “separation.” It is as simple and straightforward and brutal as that….
The upshot of this clever conditioning process is to impress people everywhere with the seemingly indisputable contention that if you are against “oneness” you are also against God, Christ, and your fellow man. Only an ingenious and creatively deceptive spirit world could have thought up such a diabolical way of separating and disparaging Christian believers and others who do not believe they are a part of God. Who could possibly be against “oneness”? And the answer is, of course, only those who have been “deceived” into believing in the “crime of separation.”
In a possible worst-case scenario with someone like Maitreya declaring himself to be “the Christ,” faithful Christians would know that Maitreya is not the Christ and that his “Master Jesus” is not the real Jesus. Denying them both and refusing to accept the false doctrine of Oneness, Christians would immediately be branded as “fearful,” “separate,” “self-centered,” and “exclusivistic” for insisting that Jesus is the Christ and their one and only Savior. Believers would literally be “hated” for holding fast to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, in Maitreya’s world, by holding fast to the true Jesus Christ believers would face certain death from the “selection process.” Horrific as all of this may be, it is consistent with Jesus’ prophetic warnings about Antichrist and the time of the end foretold in Scripture:
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Revelation 13:7)
A true Bible-believer in Maitreya’s world could, in reality, be a loving, giving, peaceful person. But, by Maitreya’s definition and the definition of the New Spirituality, this believer would automatically be labeled as “self-centered” and subject to death by the “selection process.” Again, this is precisely the kind of scenario that Jesus warned would happen at the time of the end.
A choice looms ahead for mankind. According to the New Spirituality, those who are not “separate” and “self-centered” are those who believe that “we are all One” because God is “in” everything. They will evolve and live on in the New Age. Those who refuse to accept the “immanent” view that God is “in” everything and that we are all “One” will be handed over to the “selection process.” If Rick Warren and those in Christian leadership don’t start spelling out the differences between biblical Christianity and the New Spirituality, the Purpose-Driven Church could end up getting very deceived. The Bible is very clear that in the future many people describing themselves as Christians will be deceived into abandoning Jesus as their Lord and Christ and will end up following someone like Maitreya as their “Lord” and “Christ.” In my book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, [Now titled False Christ Coming] I warned:
Somehow, Christians don’t seem to grasp Jesus’ warnings about the tremendous deception that characterizes the time of the end. Perhaps deceived into thinking that we can’t be deceived, we don’t take seriously enough His warnings that a Hitler-like antichrist figure will one day rise to rule the world—and that many people calling themselves “Christians” will support this spiritual counterfeit who will actually come in the name of Christ. Our adversary wants us to believe that these warnings are for another people at another time. Yet through Scripture, and in our heart of hearts, the Spirit of God tells us that they are not. As we study the Bible, and as we watch and pray and observe the events all around us, we come to understand that these future times described by Jesus are now suddenly and undeniably upon us.
By Warren B. Smith