False Messiah is a term for a person considered himself or his disciples and his followers for the Messiah, but it turned out that he is not. Not all streams of Judaism, nor all streams of Quranic Islam, subscribe to the notion of a Messiah with superhuman/supernatural powers, ability to rise from the dead, ability to heal, etc. In fact, many streams of both creeds view such messianism with great skepticism bordering on outright claims that people who follow these messianic figures are Idolaters and heretics.
In certain streams of Judaism, and Islam, there are criteria by which to judge whether the claims of a person to be "the Messiah".
- Messiah Claimants Wikipedia
- Messiah From "anointed one" to "eschatological king."
- Pseudo Messiahs Jewish Encyclopedia
- Messiah Jewish Encyclopedia
- Judaic Treasures Shabatai Zvi Collection
In certain streams of Judaism, Mashiach (Messiah) originally meant a divinely appointed king, such as David, Cyrus the Greator Alexander the Great. Later, especially after the failure of the Hasmonean Kingdom (37 BC) and the Jewish–Roman wars (AD 66-135), the figure of the Jewish Messiah was one who would deliver the Jews from oppression and usher in an Olam Haba ("world to come") or Messianic Age.
After the close of the Talmud by Rabbi Rabina II and Rav Ashi, mystic practices emerged through Jewish Diaspora. The primary text of these mystics is called "The Zohar" - but midrashim and esoteric Talmudic pilpul are brought to add seemingly erudite commentary and justification. These particular texts tell us of two redeemers, each one called Mashiach (Messiah). Both are involved in ushering in the Messianic era. They are "Mashiach ben David" and "Mashiach ben Yossef". [Sukah 52b; Zohar I:25b; ibid. II:120a, III:153b, 246b and 252a.]
The term "Mashiach" if left unqualified in texts always refers to Mashiach ben David (Mashiach the descendant of David haMelekh) of the tribe of Judah. He is the actual (final) redeemer who shall rule in the Messianic age. All that was said in the Zohar relates to him.
Mashiach ben Yosef (Mashiach the descendant of Joseph) of the tribe of Ephraim (son of Joseph), is also referred to as Mashiach ben Ephraim, Mashiach the descendant of Ephraim. [Sukah 52a-b; Zohar I:25b; ibid. III:246b and 252b etc.; and Midrash Agadat Mashiach; use the term Mashiach ben Yosef. Targum Yehonathan on Exodus 40:11; Zohar II:120a; ibid. 153b, 194b, and 243b etc.; Midrash Tehilim 60:3; and other Midrashim refer to Mashiach ben Ephraim. Pesikta Rabaty, ch. 36-37 (ed. Friedmann, ch. 35-36) refers to Ephraim Meshiach Tzidki (Ephraim, My righteous Moshiach); the term Ephraim, though, may relate here to collective Israel, thus referring to Moshiach ben David.]
He will come first, before the final redeemer, and later will serve as his Vizier/Wazir (viceroy).[Isaiah 11:13 and Rashi there. (Cf. Bereishit Rabba 70:15; and Torah Shelemah on Genesis 29:16, note 49.)]
The essential task of Mashiach ben Yosef is to act as precursor to Mashiach ben David: he will prepare the world for the coming of the final redeemer. Different sources attribute to him different functions, some even charging him with tasks traditionally associated with Mashiach ben David (such as the in-gathering of the exiles, the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash). [Pirkei Heichalot Rabaty, ch. 39; Sefer Zerubavel; Midrash Agadat Mashiach (most of which is quoted in Lekach Tov, Balak, on Numbers 24:17ff.); and cf. Rashi on Sukah 52b, s.v. charashim. See also Ramban, Commentary on Song 8:13.]
The principal and final function ascribed to Mashiach ben Yosef is of political and military nature. He shall wage war against the forces of evil that oppress Israel. More specifically, he will do battle against Edom, the descendants of Esau. [Note that the final battle of Mashiach ben Yossef is said to be against Armilus, ruler of Edom. See the Messianic Midrashim Zerubavel; Agadat Mashiach; Vayosha etc. (Specific references are offered in R. Margolius, Malachei Elyon, part II, s.v. Armilas)]
Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel, [ Edom is the perpetual enemy of Israel (see Sifre, Beha'alotecha, par. 69, cited by Rashi on Genesis 33:4; and see also Megilah 6a) and its final foe: the present galut is referred to as the galut of Edom (see Bereishit Rabba 44:17; Vayikra Rabba 13:5; and parallel passages) and Edom will be defeated ultimately by Mashiach (Obadiah; Yoma 10a; Midrash Tehilim 6:2; and cf. Tanchuma, Bo:4). According to Pirkei de R. Eliezer ch. 28 (in non-censored versions), the Ismailites (Arabs) will be the final kingdom to be defeated by Mashiach. Other sources state "Edom and Ishmael" (see Torah Shelemah on Genesis 15:12, note 130). Note, however, Pirkei deR. Eliezer, ch. 44 (and cf. Midrash Tehilim 2:6 and 83:3) that Edom and Ismail have become intermingled. See also Mayanei Hayeshu'ah, Mayan 11:8.]
...and it will be crushed through the progeny of Joseph. Thus it was prophesied of old, "The House of Jacob will be a fire and the House of Joseph a flame, and the House of Esau for stubble.." (Obadiah 1:18): "the progeny of Esau shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Joseph. [ Baba Batra 123b. Targum Yehonathan on Genesis 30:23. Tanchuma, ed. Buber, Vayetze:15; and Bereishit Rabba 73:7; and the parallel passages cited there. See Bereishit Rabba 99:2, that Edom shall fall by the meshu'ach milchamah (the one anointed for battle; see below, note 10 for this term) who will be descended from Joseph. Mashiach ben Yosef's battle against Edom is analogous to, and the culmination of, Israel's first battle against Edom (Amalek) after the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 17:5ff.). In that first battle, the Jewish army was led by Joshua - who is also of the tribe of Ephraim, and (according to some) this Mashiach's ancestor (see above note 2); see Ramban on Exodus 17:9, and R. Bachaya on Exodus 18:1. Cf. also R. Bachaya on Exodus 1:5, drawing an analogy between the role of Joseph in Egypt and the role of the Mashiach descended from him in the ultimate redemption.]
This ultimate confrontation between Joseph and Esau is alluded already in the very birth of Yosef when his mother Rachel exclaimed, "G‑d has taken away my disgrace" (Genesis 30:23): with prophetic vision she foresaw that an "anointed savior" will descend from Joseph and that he will remove the disgrace of Israel. [The Messianic aspect is derived by analogy with Isaiah 4:1.]
In this context she called his name "Yosef, saying 'yosef Hashem - may G‑d add to me ben acher (lit., another son), i.e., ben acharono shel olam - one who will be at the end of the world's time, [The Messianic aspect is derived by analogy with Genesis 4:25 which in Agadat Moshiach (cited in Lekach Tov on Numbers 24:17) is put into Messianic context.]
...from which it follows that 'meshu'ach milchamah - one anointed for battle' will descend from Joseph. [Midrash Yelamdenu, cited in Kuntres Acharon of Yalkut Shimoni. (This Kuntres Acharon appears only in very few editions of Yalkut Shimoni, but was republished in Jellinek's Bet Hamidrash, vol. VI. Our passage appears there on p. 81, par. 20; and is also cited in Torah Shelemah on Genesis 30:23-24, par. 84 and 89.)]
The immediate results of this war [Targum Yehonathan on Exodus 40:11, and on Zechariah 12:10 (manuscript-version in ed. A. Sperber); Agadat Mashiach; Pirkei Heichalot Rabaty (in version cited by Ramban, Sefer Hage'ulah, sha'ar IV; ed. Chavel, p. 291); and Rashi on Sukah 52a; identify the battle of Mashiach ben Yosef with the war of Gog and Magog.] will be disastrous: Mashiach ben Yosef will be killed. This is described in the prophecy of Zechariah, who says of this tragedy that "they shall mourn him as one mourns for an only child." (Zechariah 12:10). [Sukah 52a, and parallel passages.]
His death will be followed by a period of great calamities. These new tribulations shall be the final test for Israel, and shortly thereafter Mashiach ben David shall come, avenge his death, resurrect him, and inaugurate the Messianic era of everlasting peace and bliss. [Pirkei Heichalot Rabaty, ch. 39 (cited in Sefer Hage'ulah, sha'ar IV); Sefer Zerubavel; Agadat Moshiach (cited in Lekach Tov, ibid.). See R. Saadiah Gaon, Emunot Vede'ot VIII:ch. 5, adding Scriptural "prooftexts" or allusions for all details; and the lengthy responsum of R. Hai Gaon on the redemption, published in Otzar Hageonim on Sukah 52a, and in Midreshei Ge'ulah, ed. Y. Ibn Shemuel, p. 135ff. Cf. Rashi and Ibn Ezra on Zechariah 12:10; Ibn Ezra and Redak on Zechariah 13:7.] The essential function of Mashiach ben Yosef is to prepare Israel for the final redemption, to put them into the proper condition in order to clear the way for Mashiach ben David to come. Of that ultimate redemption it is said, that if Israel repent (return to G‑d) they shall be redeemed immediately (even before the predetermined date for Mashiach's coming). If they will not repent and thus become dependent on the final date, "the Holy One, blessed be He, will set up a ruler over them, whose decrees shall be as cruel as Haman's, thus causing Israel to repent, and thereby bringing them back to the right path." [Sanhedrin 97b]
If Israel shall return to G‑d on their own and make themselves worthy of the redemption, there is no need for the trials and tribulations associated with the above account of events related to Mashiach ben Yosef. Mashiach ben David will come directly and redeem us. [Emunot Vede'ot VIII:6; see there at length. Cf. Or Hachayim on Numbers 24:17.]
Moreover, even if there be a need for the earlier appearance of Mashiach ben Yosef, the consequences need not be as severe as described. Our present prayers and meritorious actions can mitigate these. R. Isaac Luria (Ari-zal) notes that the descendant of Yosef, by being the precursor of the ultimate Mashiach, is in effect kissey David, the "seat" or "throne" of David, i.e., of Mashiach. Thus when praying in the daily Amidah, "speedily establish the throne of Your servant David," one should consider that this refers to Mashiach ben Yosef and beseech G‑d that he should not die in the Messianic struggle. [Peri Eitz Chayim, Sha'ar Ha'amidah:ch. 19; and Siddur Ha-Ari; on this blessing. The Ari's teaching is cited in Or Hachayim on Leviticus 14:9, see there (and also on Numbers 24:17, where he relates this prayer to the next blessing of the Amidah); and see also Even Shelemah, ch. 11, note 6. Cf. Zohar II:120a (and Or Hachamah there), and ibid. III:153b. See next note.]
It follows, then, that all the above is not an essential or unavoidable part of the Messianic redemption that we await. Indeed, it - (and the same may be said of the climactic war of Gog and Magog) - may occur (or may have occured already!) in modified fashion. [The battle of Gog and Magog (see above, Appendix I, note 2) is another of the complex issues of the Messianic redemption. In fact, an authoritative tradition from the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov states that the extraordinary length of the present severe galut has already made up for the troubles of that battle and the trauma of the death of Mashiach ben Yossef, so that these will no longer occur; see R. Shemuel of Sochachev, Shem MiShemuel, Vayigash, s.v. Vayigash 5677 (s.v. venireh od, p. 298bf.).]
In view of the divergent Midrashim and interpretations on this subject it is practically impossible to present a more definitive synopsis that would go far beyond the above. Thus it is wisest to cite and follow R. Chasdai Crescas who states that "no certain knowledge can be derived from the interpretation of the prophecies about Mashiach ben Yosef, nor from the statements about him by some of the Geonim;" there is no point, therefore, in elaborating on the subject. [Or Hashem, Ma'amar III, klal 8: end of ch. 1.]
When exploring this subject of FALSE MESSIAHS, the researcher musst remain aware of which type of Messiah the claimant(s) claim to be. The list below is not comprehensive - and if you subscribe to these messianic proclivities, please keep in mind you will need to qualify whether the claimant was "ben Yosef" or "ben David"...and whether this is metaphor or literalism.
- David Elroy
- Shabtai Zvi
- Jacob Frank
- Yaakov Ovadia ben Isaac Abu rubbed
- Theudas (? – 46 CE), promised to lead his followers across the Jordan after dividing its waters simply by his word. Executed by Roman troops.
- Jesus of Nazareth (ca. 5 BCE – 30 CE), leader of a small Jewish sect who was crucified; Jews who believed him to be the Messiah were the first Christians, also known as Jewish Christians.
- Simon of Peraea (ca. 4 BCE), a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans.
- Athronges (ca. 3 CE), a shepherd turned rebel leader.
- Judas of Galilee, partook in a revolt against Agrippa II before being slain by a rival Zealot leader.
- Vespasian, c. 70, according to Josephus
- Simon bar Kokhba (? – ca. 135), founded a short-lived Jewish state before being defeated in the Second Jewish-Roman War.
- Moses of Crete (?), who in about 440–470 convinced the Jews of Crete to attempt to walk into the sea to return to Israel; he disappeared after that disaster.
- Ishak ben Ya'kub Obadiah Abu 'Isa al-Isfahani (684–705), who led a revolt in Persia against the Umayyad Caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
- Yudghan (?), a disciple of Abu 'Isa who continued the faith after Isa was slain.
- Serene (?), who around 720 claimed to be the Messiah and advocated expulsion of Muslims and relaxing various rabbinic laws before being arrested; he then recanted.
- David Alroy (?), born in Kurdistan, who around 1160 agitated against the caliph before being assassinated.
- Nissim ben Abraham (?), active around 1295.
- Moses Botarel of Cisneros (?), active around 1413; claimed to be a sorcerer able to combine the names of God.
- Asher Lämmlein (?), a German near Venice who proclaimed himself a forerunner of the Messiah in 1502.
- David Reubeni (1490–1541?) and Solomon Molcho (1500–1532), adventurers who travelled in Portugal, Italy, and Turkey; Molcho was eventually burned at the stake by the Pope.
- Shabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), an Ottoman Jew who claimed to be the Messiah, but then converted to Islam; still has followers today in the Donmeh.
- Barukhia Russo (Osman Baba), successor of Sabbatai Zevi.
- Jacob Querido (?–1690), claimed to be the new incarnation of Sabbatai; later converted to Islam and led the Donmeh.
- Miguel Cardoso (1630–1706), another successor of Sabbatai who claimed to be the "Messiah ben Ephraim."
- Mordecai Mokia (1650–1729), "the Rebuker," another person who proclaimed himself Messiah after Sabbatai's death.
- Löbele Prossnitz (?–1750), attained some following amongst former followers of Sabbatai, calling himself the "Messiah ben Joseph."
- Jacob Joseph Frank (1726–1791), who claimed to be the reincarnation of King David and preached a synthesis of Christianity and Judaism.
- Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), the seventh Chabad Rabbi who tried to "prepare the way" for the Messiah. An unidentifiable number of his followers believe him to be the Messiah, though he himself never said this and actually scoffed at such claims which were made during his lifetime.
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmed
- Simon Magus (early 1st century), he was Samaritan, and a native of Gitta; he was considered a god in Simonianism; he "darkly hinted" that he himself was Christ, calling himself the Standing One.
- Dositheos the Samaritan (mid 1st century), he was one of the supposed founders of Mandaeanism. After the time of Jesus he wished to persuade the Samaritans that he himself was the Messiah prophesied by Moses. Dositheus pretended to be the Christ (Messiah), applying Deuteronomy 18:15 to himself, and he compares him with Theudas and Judas the Galilean.
- Montanus (135-177), he claimed to be the promised Paraclete in the mid 2nd century mentioned in Gospel of John 14:16 and would set up the New Jerusalem in the small town of Pepuza in Phrygia.
- Adalbert, a bishop who claimed miraculous powers circa 744. The Pope excommunicated him.
- Tanchelm of Antwerp (ca. 1110), who violently opposed the sacrament and the Eucharist.
- Ann Lee (1736–1784), a central figure to the Shakers, who thought she "embodied all the perfections of God" in female form and considered herself to be Christ’s female counterpart in 1772.
- Bernhard Müller (c. 1799–1834) claimed to be the Lion of Judah and a prophet in possession of the Philosopher's stone.
- John Nichols Thom (1799–1838), a Cornish tax rebel.
- Arnold Potter (1804–1872), Latter Day Saint schismatic leader; called himself "Potter Christ"
- Hong Xiuquan (1814–1864), Hakka Chinese; claimed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ; started the Taiping Rebellion and founded the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace. Committed suicide before the fall of Tianjing (Nanjing) in 1864.
- Bahá'u'lláh (1817–1864), born Shiite, adopting Bábism later in life, he claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Bahá'í Faith.
- Jacobina Mentz Maurer (1841 or 1842-1874) was a German-Brazilian woman who lived and died in the state of Rio Grande do Sul who emerged as a messianic prophetess, a representation of God, and later declared the very reincarnation of Jesus Christ on earth by her German-speaking community called Die Muckers (or the false saints) by her enemies, Die Spotters (or the mockers). After a number of deadly confrontations with outsiders, Jacobina was shot to death together with many of her followers by the Brazilian Imperial Army.
- William W. Davies (1833–1906), Latter Day Saint (Mormon) schismatic leader; claimed that his infant son Arthur (b. 1868) was the reincarnated Jesus Christ.
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India (1835–1908), claimed to be the awaited Mahdi as well as (Second Coming) and likeness of Jesus the promised Messiah at the end of time, being the only person in Islamic history who claimed to be both. He claimed to be Jesus in the metaphorical sense; in character. He founded the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1889 envisioning it to be the rejuvenation of Islam, and claimed to be commissioned by God for the reformation of mankind. He declared that Jesus survived crucifixion and died a natural death having migrated towards the east.
- Father Divine (George Baker) (c. 1880 – September 10, 1965), an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death who claimed to be God.
- André Matsoua (1899–1942), Congolese founder of Amicale, proponents of which subsequently adopted him as Messiah in the late 1920s.
- Samael Aun Weor (1917–1977), born Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, Colombian citizen and later Mexican, was an author, lecturer and founder of the 'Universal Christian Gnostic Movement', according to him, 'the most powerful movement ever founded'. By 1972, he referenced that his death and resurrection would be occurring before 1978.
- Sun Myung Moon (1920-), founder and leader of the Unification Church established in Seoul, South Korea, who considers himself the Second Coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself in 1954. Although it is generally believed by Unification Church members ("Moonies") that he is the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ and is anointed to fulfill Jesus' unfinished mission.
- Charles Manson (b. 1934), leader of the "Manson family" who ordered his followers to kill in preparation for the end of the world. He also claimed to be Satan.
- Yahweh ben Yahweh (1935–2007), born as Hulon Mitchell, Jr., a black nationalist and separatist who created the Nation of Yahweh and allegedly orchestrated the murder of dozens of persons.
- Laszlo Toth (b. 1940) claimed he was Jesus Christ as he battered Michelangelo's Pieta with a geologist hammer.
- Wayne Bent (b. 1941), also known as Michael Travesser of the Lord Our Righteousness Church, also known as the "Strong City Cult", convicted December 15, 2008 of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2008.
- Iesu Matayoshi (b. 1944), in 1997 he established the World Economic Community Party based on his conviction that he is God and the Christ.
- Jung Myung Seok (1945-), a South Korean who was a member of the Unification Church in the 1970s, before breaking off to found the dissenting group now known as Providence Church in 1980 He also considers himself the Second Coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself in 1980. He believes he has come to finish the incomplete message and mission of Jesus Christ, asserting that he is the Messiah and has the responsibility to save all mankind He claims that the Christian doctrine of resurrection is false but that people can be saved through him.
- Claude Vorilhon now known as Raël "messenger of the Elohim" (1946-), a French professional test driver and former automobile journalist became founder and leader of UFO religion the Raël Movement in 1972, which teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call Elohim. He claimed he met an extraterrestrial humanoid in 1973 and became the Messiah. Then devoted himself to the task he said was given by his "biological father", an extraterrestrial namedYahweh
- Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda (b. 1946), a Puerto Rican preacher who has claimed to be "the Man Jesus Christ", who is indwelled with the same spirit that dwelled in Jesus. Founder of the "Growing in Grace" ministries.
- Inri Cristo (b. 1948) of Indaial, Brazil, a claimant to be the second Jesus.
- Apollo Quiboloy (1950-), founder and leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ religious group, who claims that Jesus Christ is the "Almighty Father," that Quiboloy is "His Appointed Son," and that salvation is now completed. Proclaims himself as the "Appointed Son of the God" not direct to the point as the "Begotten Son of the God" in 1985.
- David Icke (b. 1952), of Great Britain, has described himself as "the son of God", and a "channel for the Christ spirit".
- Brian David Mitchell was born on October 18, 1953 in Salt Lake City, Utah, he believed himself the fore-ordained angel born on earth to be the Davidic "servant" prepared by God as a type of Messiah who would restore the divinely led kingdom of Israel to the world in preparation for Christ's second coming. (Mitchell's belief in such an end-times figure – also known among many fundamentalist Latter Day Saints as "the One Mighty and Strong" – appeared to be based in part on a reading of the biblical book of Isaiah by the independent LDS Hebraist, Avraham Gileadi, with which Mitchell became familiar from his former participation with Stirling Allan's American Study Group.)
- David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell) (1959–1993), leader of the Branch Davidians.
- Maria Devi Christos (b. 1960), founder of the Great White Brotherhood.
- Sergei Torop (b. 1961), who started to call himself "Vissarion", founder of the Church of the Last Testament and the spiritual community Ecopolis Tiberkul in Southern Siberia.
- David Shayler (b. 1965), former MI5 agent and whistleblower who declared himself the Messiah on 7 July 2007.
Muslim Mahdi claimants
Islamic tradition has a prophecy of the Mahdi, who will come alongside the return of Isa (Jesus).
- Muhammad Jaunpuri (1443–1505), who traveled Northeastern India; he influenced the Mahdavia and the Zikris.
- Báb (1819–1850), who declared himself to be the promised Mahdi in Shiraz, Iran in 1844. (Related to Baha'i claims.)
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908) of Qadian, 'the Promised Messiah' return of Jesus as well as the 'Mahdi', founder of the Ahmadiyya religious movement. He preached that Jesus Christ had survived crucifixion and died a natural death. He was the only person in Islamic history to have claimed to be both the promised return of Jesus as well as the promised Mahdi.
- Muhammad Ahmad ("The Mad Mahdi") (1844–1885), who declared himself the Mahdi in 1881, defeated the Ottoman Egyptian authority, and founded a short-lived empire in Sudan.
- Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (1864–1920) of Somaliland, who engaged in military conflicts from 1900 to 1920.
- Rashad Khalifa (1935–1990), an Egyptian-American biochemist who claimed that he had discovered a mathematical code in the text of the Qur'an involving the number 19; he later claimed to be the "Messenger of the Covenant" and founded the "Submitters International" movement before being murdered.
- Juhayman al-Otaibi (1936–1980), who seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in November 1979 and declared his son-in-law the Mahdi.
Other/combination Messiah claimants
This list features people who are said, either by themselves or their followers, to be some form of a messiah that do not easily fit into only Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
- Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (1892–1975), Messiah of the Rastafari movement. Never claimed himself to be Messiah, but was thus proclaimed by Leonard Howell, amongst others.
- André Matsoua (1899–1942), Congolese founder of Amicale, proponents of which subsequently adopted him as Messiah.
- Samael Aun Weor (1917–1977), born Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, Colombian citizen and later Mexican, was an author, lecturer and founder of the 'Universal Christian Gnostic Movement', according to him, 'the most powerful movement ever founded'. By 1972, Samael Aun Weor referenced that his death and resurrection would be occurring before 1978.
- Nirmala Srivastava (1923–2011), guru and goddess of Sahaja Yoga, proclaimed herself to be the Comforter promised by Jesus (that is, the incarnation of the Holy Ghost / Adi Shakti).
- Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (born 25 November 1941) is a spiritual leader and the founder of the spiritual movements Messiah Foundation International (MFI) and Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam. He is controversial for being declared the Mehdi, Messiah, and Kalki Avatar by the MFI.
- Raël, leader of the International Raëlian Movement (born 30 September 1946); Rael claimed he met an extraterrestrial being in 1973 and became the Messiah.
- World Teacher (unknown), a being claimed to be the Theosophical Maitreya and the Messiah (promised one) of all religions. He is said to have descended from the higher planes and manifested a physical body in early 1977 in the Himalayas, then on 19 July 1977 he is said to have taken a commercial airplane flight from Pakistan to England. He is currently said to be living in secret in London; promoted by New Age activist Benjamin Creme and his organization, Share International (See Maitreya (Benjamin Creme)).
משיח שקר הוא כינוי לאדם שנחשב בעיני עצמו או תלמידיו ותומכיו למשיח, אך התברר כי הוא איננו כזה. תופעה זו של הכרזה על אדם כמשיח, קיימת בדתות שונות, וקרויה בשפה מדעית "טוענים למשיחיות" או "פסאודו-משיח" (משיח כביכול). הגדרתו של משיח כמשיח שקר אינה חד-משמעית, ולרוב ההיסטוריה שופטת את הטוענים למשיחיות במבט לאחור. עם זאת, בהלכה היהודית והמוסלמית, קיימים קריטריונים על פיהם ניתן לשפוט האם הטוען הוא משיח. בשל אופיה המיוחד של האמונה במשיח ביהדות, ומצוקת היהודים בגלות, היו בהיסטוריה היהודית גילויים רבים של כתות משיחיות אשר עודדו תפיסה אסכטולוגית. בין הבולטים שבמשיחי השקר לפי האמונה היהודית היו: שבתי צבי, דוד אלרואי,יעקב פרנק ואחרים, שחלקם לבסוף המירו את דתם. לרוב, קהילה שהאמינה במשיח, נטשה את דרכו כאשר המיר את דתו, אך במקרים מסוימים המירה הקהילה את דתה ביחד עם משיחה.
كاذبة المسيح هو مصطلح لشخص يعتبر نفسه أو تلاميذه وأتباعه من أجل المسيح ، ولكن اتضح انه ليس كذلك. هذه الظاهرة من الإعلان لشخص المسيح ، وهناك ديانات مختلفة ، لغة علمية تسمى "ادعاء السيد المسيح" أو "زائف -- المسيح" (المسيح إذا جاز التعبير). تعريف كاذبة المسيح ليست واحدة -- قطع ، ومعظم القاضي تاريخ الخلاص المطالبة في وقت لاحق. ومع ذلك ، والقانون اليهودي ومسلم ، وهناك معايير يمكن من خلالها الحكم على ما إذا المطالبات هو المسيح . نظرا للطابع الخاص للالايمان في المسيح في اليهودية ، ومحنة اليهود في الشتات ، والتاريخ اليهودي مظاهر عديدة من الطوائف المسيحية التي شجعت الايمان بالآخرة التصور. بين المسيح الكاذب أبرز من الدين اليهودي و: شبتاي تسفي ، Alroy ديفيد ، فرانك يعقوب وغيرهم ، وبعضها تحول في نهاية المطاف. عادة ، قد تخلى عن المجتمع الذي يعتقد في المسيح ، حياته المهنية عندما تحول ، ولكن في بعض الحالات المجتمع حولت دينها مع الدعوة.