Category: How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?


To put it bluntly, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is a heretic. He is a false messiah who claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. He refers to himself as “Jesus Christ Man.” He is a native Puerto Rican who claims that, in 1973, through a vision he received, Jesus Christ “integrated with him.” In 1998, he claimed that he was the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. In 2005, he officially claimed he was Christ.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda’s following has all of the classic signs of a cult. There is the claim to extra-biblical authority by way of the vision of Christ “integrating” with him. There is the fact that Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is the sole, undisputed leader of his movement, and as such he exerts total authority over his church and ministry. There is the teaching of exclusive doctrine such as the non-existence of the devil, hell and sin, the futility of prayer, and the irrelevancy of God’s moral code (i.e., the Ten Commandments). He exploits his people financially, living a lavish lifestyle well beyond his reported means based on the generosity of his followers. Finally, there is a defective Christology. He claims he is greater than Jesus Christ and that his teachings supersede those of Christ. He even refers to himself as the Antichrist and sports a “666” tattoo on his forearm, claiming that since He is Christ, worship of Jesus Christ is invalid. His followers are now also receiving 666 tattoos to declare their allegiance to him.

The Bible predicts that there will be people coming in the last days claiming to be Christ. In Matthew 24:5, Jesus tells His disciples, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” One of the signs that the end times are indeed approaching is the rise of false messiahs—people claiming to be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Yet how did Jesus Himself describe His return to earth? Again in Matthew 24, Jesus describes very specific signs that need to occur before His return. In vv. 3-14, Jesus describes the “birth pains”—signs that will indicate that His return is near. He uses the imagery of a woman giving birth. Right before delivering the child, the woman will experience labor pains, which begin slow and mild and become more rapid and more painful as the time of birth approaches. The “birth pains” Jesus describes are these: 1) the rise of false messiahs; 2) wars and rumors of wars; 3) famines and natural disasters; 4) increased persecution of the true church of Jesus Christ; 5) general apostasy as people turn from true Christianity to false religions being peddled by false prophets; 6) finally, increased lawlessness. While these things are already happening, when the end is approaching, these things will increase both in intensity and frequency as never before.

The next thing that happens will be the desecration of the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15). Once the temple is desecrated, there will be “great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matthew 24:21). Theologians call this the period of the Great Tribulation where God will pour His wrath on unrepentant mankind. It will also mark the rise of the final Antichrist, the man of lawlessness spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

Now mark this, Jesus says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30). The return of Jesus to this earth will be preceded by great and terrible cosmic activity, and then His arrival will be witnessed by all. This will be no “stealth return” to earth. Jesus says it again when He says, “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:27), thereby attesting to the fact that no one will mistake His return to earth.

Does the biblical description of the Second Coming have anything in common with Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda? If Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is truly the return of Christ to this earth, when did all of these cosmic events take place? When was the temple in Jerusalem rebuilt so that it could be desecrated? Where is this return of Jesus on the “clouds of heaven”? According to the biblical account, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is simply one more, among many, false messiahs.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda’s doctrines include the following: He claims there is no sin and that the law is irrelevant. He gets this teaching from misinterpreting passages such as Romans 6:2, Romans 7:6 and Romans 8:2. Yet these passages don’t teach that there is no sin and that the law is irrelevant. Rather, they teach that the power of the law and the power of sin were broken when Jesus Christ died on the cross and that by placing our faith in Him (the true Jesus), we are set free from the penalty of the law. The Apostle John said that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Romans 7:15-24 is a testament that even the Apostle Paul (whose teachings Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda believes are the only ones which ought to be taught) struggled with sin in his life.

Furthermore, the law, far from being irrelevant, is a necessary part of God’s moral code. Paul says in Romans 7:7 that he would have not known what coveting was had not the law said, “You shall not covet.” The law points out our sin and leads us to Christ. True, the law is powerless when it comes to obtaining righteousness before God, but it is not irrelevant.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda also claims there is no hell. Yet Jesus taught more about hell than He did heaven. The reality of hell is taught throughout the New Testament. Miranda claims there is no devil, yet Peter—after the resurrection of Jesus—says that Satan goes about like a “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8). Finally, regarding Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda’s view of the futility of prayer, how can we regard prayer as futile when Jesus not only taught about it (Matthew 6:9-15; Luke 11:1-13; 18:1-8), but practiced it all throughout His ministry. Similarly, the Apostle Paul opens every one of his letters with prayer and thanksgiving, and frequently asks for his readers to pray for him. Far from being futile, prayer is vital to the Christian life.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is a false messiah and a heretic. He claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ despite the biblical evidence that belies his claim of divinity. His teachings, far from leading people into a life of greater holiness and righteousness, are likely to lead people to a life of licentiousness and debauchery (no sin + no law + no hell = no consequences for my actions). Finally, look at the life of the man. He lives well beyond his means off of the “generosity” of his followers. Would Jesus do that? Jesus lived the life of a peasant with “no place to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20)—He took advantage of no one. The Bible tells us to “beware of false prophets.” Concerning them, we “will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16). Judge Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda by his fruit, and it becomes abundantly clear that he is not “Jesus Christ Man.”

With that in mind, the next question arises—is Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda the Antichrist? While it is possible that Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is the Antichrist predicted in Scripture—and the recent “666” tattoo lends credence to this possibility—it is unlikely. The Antichrist will be a world leader, a satanically-empowered dictator, a man that enraptures people with his very presence. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is not such a man—at least not yet. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is nothing more than a charismatic cult leader, a charlatan, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and simply yet another in a long line of false prophets and false messiahs. He is an antichrist, not THE Antichrist.

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Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect (Matthew 24:23-27; see also 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 17-18). The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.

Jesus said “a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). When looking for “fruit,” here are three specific tests to apply to any teacher to determine the accuracy of his or her teaching:

1) What does this teacher say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15-16, Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and for this answer Peter is called “blessed.” In 2 John 9, we read, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In other words, Jesus Christ and His work of redemption is of utmost importance; beware of anyone who denies that Jesus is equal with God, who downplays Jesus’ sacrificial death, or who rejects Jesus’ humanity. First John 2:22 says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.”

2) Does this teacher preach the gospel? The gospel is defined as the good news concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As nice as they sound, the statements “God loves you,” “God wants us to feed the hungry,” and “God wants you to be wealthy” are not the complete message of the gospel. As Paul warns in Galatians 1:7, “Evidently some people are throwing youinto confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” No one, not even a great preacher, has the right to change the message that God gave us. “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:9).

3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord? Speaking of false teachers, Jude 11 says, “They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” In other words, a false teacher can be known by his pride (Cain’s rejection of God’s plan), greed (Balaam’s prophesying for money), and rebellion (Korah’s promotion of himself over Moses). Jesus said to beware of such people and that we would know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

For further study, review those books of the Bible that were written specifically to combat false teaching within the church: Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Jude. It is often difficult to spot a false teacher/false prophet. Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and his ministers masquerade as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). Only by being thoroughly familiar with the truth will we be able to recognize a counterfeit.