Identification fraud is a crime with severe consequences. John the apostle was concerned about this sin in his day (1 John 4:1-3). Let me explain. You see, shortly after Jesus Christ rose from the dead and gave commandments unto the remaining eleven apostles (Acts 1:1,2), false teachers and prophets crept into the church in the name of Jesus and began to deceive many (2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 3,4). By masquerading as angels of light, they would talk about Jesus Christ. They would refer to the spirit of God and the gospel, but they were not talking about the Christ of the Scriptures. Neither were they talking about the Holy Spirit or the gospel that Paul preached. Oh, they talked about Jesus and the spirit, and they also spoke about a gospel, but they were guilty of identification fraud because by definition, the God and the gospel they spoke of did not line up with Scripture (2 Corinthians 11:3,4,14,15).
The same holds true today. The only way that we can see whether or not something is the truth is by putting it to the test of the Spirit, which is done by comparing what is being said to what The Scriptures say (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11). Many religious teachers and groups claim to talk about Jesus Christ, but the question is this: Is the Jesus that they are talking about the same Jesus that we read about in the Bible? Now, the issue is not their sincerity, because no doubt in many cases they are sincere. But a person can be sincerely wrong. The question is identity fraud. The question is this: Is the Jesus they are talking about God Incarnate (John 1:1,14)? Is the Jesus that they are talking about the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form (Colossians 2:9)? Did He indeed die on the cross to make full atonement for our sin (Romans 5:11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)? When I travel to Asia, some people try to tell me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a Western man’s invention and foreign to their Eastern culture. Oh really? Where did the gospel originate? In the Middle East! If anything, our nation would be amongst those considered to be “the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We are being bombarded daily with seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). The very identity of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures (Hebrews 10:7; John 5:39) is coming under attack, as well as is His gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). Precious saints, if in contending with the devil, “It is written…”, was good enough for Jesus to offset every lie (Matthew 4:4,7,10), then it should be good enough for us as well. Beware of spiritual identification fraud, beloved! Do not believe everything that everybody says about Jesus Christ unless it lines up with the whole of Scripture. There is no other Savior (Acts 4:12)!