Is the Maitreya the Second Coming of Christ?
Have you "bumped" into him lately and not known it? Have you heard him on the radio or seen him on the television and failed to realize it? Who is this mysterious person?
"The Christians know Him as the Christ. The Jews await Him as the Messiah. The Hindus look for the coming of Krishna. The Buddhists expect Him as Maitreya-Buddha. And the Muslims hope for the appearance of the Imam Mahdi. The names may be different but, in fact, all these religions await the same one; the World Teacher, whose personal name is Maitreya," (The Christ Is Now Here, press release, p. 1).
According to Benjamin Creme (pronounced "krehm"), the Lord Maitreya (pronounced my-TRAY-uh) is actually a man, who since 1977, has been living "...in London with a Pakistani passport listing His occupation as a teacher. He appears as an ordinary man in the community, known by a common Moslem name," (Network News, March 1987, p. 1).
According to Creme, the long awaited promised return of the Christ has already occurred.
In 1945, as Creme explains, the "...Maitreya's decision to return to the world with the Hierarchy of Masters" was announced (Ibid, p. 2). It was not for several years, however, that Creme would be made aware of this announcement.
In the Preface of one of his books, Creme states in the early 1950's he began to read, "...the Theosophical works of H.P. Blavatsky... Gurdjieff... Alice Bailey and Agni Yoga Teachings..." (The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, pp. 12-13).
This was followed in 1953 with an interest in Flying Saucers. He says, "In mid-1957, I began to work with a society involved with the U.F.O. phenomenon, which claimed contact with the Space Brothers. With this group I did my first public speaking, but more importantly, discovered my ability to transmit the cosmic spiritual energies from the Space People.... Toward the end of 1958 I withdrew from this society and entered into the closest contact with, and work for, the Space Brothers," (Ibid, p. 13).
For several months, Creme took telepathic dictation from the Space Brothers, often using a tape recorder. In 1959 he was told to travel to a specific location in London where he would receive further communiques.
He explains, "I was not told the identity of the Master (or Masters) Who spoke thus, telepathically, to me. ... One night, early in 1959, during such a transmission, I was told to turn off the tape-recorder.
"There followed a discourse on His Reappearance by Maitreya, the Christ, Head of our planetary Hierarchy. He said also that I would have a part in the Plan," (Ibid, p. 14).
Little of major significance happened over the next decade. However, "toward the end of 1972, when I was rather in the doldrums and least expecting it," Creme explains, "that Wise and Wily, One Whom I have the privilege to call Master, pounced.
"For months we worked together, twenty hours a day, deepening and strengthening the telepathic link until it was two-way with equal ease... Everything I see and hear, He sees and hears. When He wishes, a look from me can be a look from Him; my touch, His," (Ibid, p. 15).
Then in 1974, Creme begins a series of "...overshadowing and transmitted messages by Maitreya..." (Ibid, p. 18).
This was followed in 1977 by the incarnation of Maitreya. Leaving his "center in the Himalayas," he "arrived by airplane" in his new home, London (Network News, March 1987, p. 2).
Upon his arrival, the teachings from Creme began to swiftly increase in volume.
By 1981, according to Creme, the Lord Maitreya had appeared, "incognito," on radio and television. Then in 1982 "...a worldwide publicity campaign with full-page advertisements in 19 of the world's major newspaper announcing the Christ's presence," (Ibid).
Since this announcement, Creme, the Tara Center (his organization), and several local groups throughout the world, have been working for the recognition of Maitreya as the Christ returned.
In total disregard for Matthew 24:36-42, a news brief announced that "On June 11 (1988), Maitreya appears in Nairobi, Kenya, and is photographed addressing thou¬sands of people who instantly recognize Him as the Christ," (Emergence of the World Teacher, p. 2).
This initial announcement was followed by a lengthy article entitled, "Did Jesus Christ come to Nairobi?" in one of the Tara Center's primary publications.
This article explained, "About 6,000 worshippers at Muslim Village, Kawangware, Nairobi, believe they saw Jesus Christ, in broad daylight last week. ... The tall figure of a barefooted whiterobed and bearded man appeared from nowhere and stood in the middle of the crowd.
"It appeared to them the `Son of Man' had at last fulfilled His promise of coming back to earth. ... It took the crowd nearly 20 minutes to recover after the man left the meeting in a car.... On getting out (of the car), he did not ascend. He walked a few paces beside the road and simply vanished into thin air," (Share International, September 1988, pp. 15-16).
This sudden "appearing" and "disappearing" has been used as proof of the Maitreya's claim to be the returned Christ. If this is indeed to be used as a test for the Maitreya's claim, perhaps several famous stage illusionists should also be questioned. For they too, "appear" and "disappear" at will!
Realizing there may be some theologians who would discount the Maitreya's assertions to be the returned Christ because Armageddon has not yet happened, Creme has an answer for this line of reasoning also.
He states, "Armageddon has already taken place: the wars (really one war) from 1914-1918 and from 1939-1945 were the scene for the biblical prophecy to be worked out. It is this which led to the announcement by Maitreya, in June 1945, that He was ready to return at the earliest possible moment, which was 19 July 1977," (The Emergence, October 1990, p. 2).
Hence, according to Creme, Armageddon has happened, the Christ has returned and it is now Man's duty to recognize the Maitreya!
In a question and answer section of the Network News Creme addresses an important issue.
"Q. How are we to know for certain that Lord Maitreya is not the false Christ?
"A. There is not only one `false Christ.' There are scores of people who believe themselves, or are believed by their followers, to be the Christ. ... A tree is known by its fruits, and it is by His love, wisdom, spiritual potency and work for humanity that we will recognize Maitreya and know Him for what He is," (March 1987).
Thus, according to Creme, to know whether or not the Maitreya is the true Christ returned or simply another of the many false Christs, his "fruits" of "wisdom and spiritual potency" must be tested.
Aside from the Maitreya's boasts of being an "Agent of Divine Intervention;" of "...mitigating the effects of the increasing number of earth¬quakes throughout the world;" in addition to finding a cure for AIDS, and having "journalist... officials from the Bush administration... (and) even discreet visitors from the Vatican" seek his advice, he has found time to make prophecies of future events (Network News, Nov. 1987, p. 2; May 1988, p. 2; Feb. 1990, p. 1).
Under the heading "Gulf crisis," Benjamin Creme's Wise and Wily Master, Lord "Maitreya states: `There will be no war as a result of the corruption and deceit of the politicians because I am among you,'" (The Emergence, Nov. 1990, p. 1).
Can there be any doubt about Maitreya's prophetic ability as outlined in Deuteronomy 18:20-22?
Similar to many other New Age proponents, Creme views the Bible as a book of secondary importance. In the Question and Answer section of the Share International he provides the following:
"Q. I wonder if, in this new age, our Christian Bible will be used or will there be something to replace it?
"A. With in the Christian churches, the Bible will continue to be used for some time. It is obvious, however, that the presence in the world of the Christ and the Master - including the Master Jesus - will necessitate a profound reinter¬pretation of the meanings of that symbolical work. Much will be discarded but much will be found to be relevant when correctly interpreted," (Special Information Issue, 1986, p. 27).
Once Creme has discarded the Bible, either in totality or its message diluted to a symbolic, esoteric nature, any teaching can be set forth without fear of contradiction.
In harmony with the New Age, Creme explains "...the forces of evil are part of God. They are not separate from God. Everything is God. ... You are God. I am God. This microphone is God. This table is God. All is God," (The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, pp. 103 & 110).
Despite Creme's opinion, James 1:13, 1 Peter 3:12 and 3 John 12 teaches evil is not part of God, rather it is something Christians should avoid.
Another distortion found in Creme's theology is the distinction he draws between Jesus the man and The Christ.
"He (Jesus) 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. ... When the body was laid in the tomb, the Christ, Maitreya, entered on the third morning. His consciousness once again entered into the body of the Disciple Jesus and brought it back to life..." (Ibid, pp. 46 & 95).
Again, Creme fails to recognize the plain teachings of Matthew 1:23, Luke 2:11 and John 1:1-14 which state that Jesus was always the Christ. He did not become so only at his baptism.
These doctrines of God being All and Jesus merely a man who was possessed by the Christ consciousness, leads to the inescapable conclusion, that Man, too, is God.
This is verified by Creme's own views on prayer.
He asserts, "You can pray to Him (Jesus). He would rather... you didn't pray to Him, but to the God within you, which is also within Him. He is simply a better, or clearer manifestation of It than you and me. But if you pray to that God in you, and know that God in you, it is the same God which is in Him," (Ibid, p. 135).
This realization of the God within results in Creme's concept of salvation, which itself involves several New Age teachings.
He says that "without detachment," which is the "experience of the Self within" and "...without karma there is no salvation," (Share International, December 1988; Network News, Nov.\Dec. 1988, p. 1).
His non-biblical theology concerning the God within is summarized in his statement, "As awareness grows, it guides the Self which can then use the mind, spirit and body with intelligence. Balancing energy and environment is the key to salvation," (Network News January 1990, p. 1).
Unfortunately, for Benjamin Creme and his followers, neither karma, detachment nor even the Maitreya are the keys to salvation.
The apostle Peter explained what the true key to salvation is - it is Jesus (Acts 4:10-12).