Many Pretenders - Only One Savior
February 8 2010 by D.E. Parkerson

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). How do we know He was telling the truth? Anybody can make that assertion. In fact, lots of people have!

Sabbatai Zebi is one of the most intriguing people to pose as the Messiah. Born in 1626, the son of a chicken farmer, Zebi was a manic-depressive with a mesmerizing speaking style. In 1648 he declared himself to be the Messiah, later married a Polish prostitute, and attracted thousands of followers with his teaching that sexual promiscuity and nudity were virtues.

In 1666, however, he was arrested by Turkish authorities on charges of trying to overthrow the Sultan. He was given a choice: be tortured to death, or become a Muslim. Without batting an eye, he renounced Judaism for the faith of Mohammed and took the name of Mahmed Effendi.

This, of course, ended his messianic ambitions!

Jemima Wilkenson, born in 1752 to a Quaker family in Rhode Island announced that she had died when she was 20 years old, and that God had resurrected her. More than 200 fiercely loyal followers believed that she was their way to God.

She stood on the banks of a lake one day and announced that she was going to walk across the water. She turned to her followers and asked if they believed she could do it. They chanted, “Yes, yes.” She then said, “Well, in that case, there’s no need to actually do it,” and she walked home on dry ground.

I doubt that this bolstered the faith of her flock. She died in 1820. She had promised she would rise again. It didn’t happen, and her followers drifted gradually away.

Harry James Prince claimed to be God three years after he was ordained an Anglican minister in England. Despite his claims of immortality, he died in 1899. To this day he has not been seen again on planet earth.

There have been many others in the course of Christian history who have claimed to be Jesus Christ. One of them is currently living in North Carolina, and I have personally met him. He is a kind man, but a sadly mistaken man. Knowing that I am a writer, he asked me to be the person who would contact major television networks through which he could announce to the world that the Messiah has returned.

Each year he predicts a day to be known as “the day of the Lord” — the day when he will be recognized by the entire world as the returned Savior. Every year the predicted day passes, at which time he predicts another date for the following year.

There was and is only one Son of God. He was born two thousand years ago to a virgin in the little village called Bethlehem. He later bore in His own body on a Roman cross the sins of all who believe. He died, and was buried. “Having been obedient even unto death, God raised Him up on the third day.” One day He is coming back!

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University [B.A.], Southeastern Seminary [M. Div. and Th.M.], and Campbell University [D.D.]. He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served nine North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)    
2/8/2010 9:45:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 1 comments




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Dry Erase Easel
M?si pou p?s bon m?si anpil
3/1/2010 5:20:05 PM