The Growing In Grace Cult

HereticJust when I thought I’d seen it all, I am astounded once again. I got an e-mail the other from a friend of mine with a link to the web­site of Dr. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda who the leader of Cre­ciendo en Gra­cia or Grow­ing In Grace min­istry. I am, to say the least, absolutely appalled at this teach­ing; so I’m am riled to defend our Lord against this heretic. Let’s first review some of his claims, and then I’ll turn to a swift apolo­getic destroy­ing his ministry.

The “Con­ver­sion Expe­ri­ence” of Miranda

Every cult leader has an expe­ri­ence where they are “told by Jesus” (Joseph Smith, Muham­mad, etc.) that they are His cho­sen instru­ment to “save the church” from apos­tasy. Well, Miranda’s story is inter­est­ing, because he doesn’t just believe Christ talked to him but that he became Christ. Here is an excerpt of his tes­ti­mony:

“De Jesus’s gospel flows from an expe­ri­ence he had in Decem­ber 1976…Then one frosty Decem­ber night, he says he awoke to find him­self flanked by two brawny men with stern expres­sions who told him: ‘The King of Kings is com­ing to anoint you.’ Before he knew it, he was stand­ing in a lumi­nous mar­ble cor­ri­dor where trum­pets blared and a spec­tral fig­ure crept toward him. Then the appari­tion merged with him, and he began to hear a man’s voice in his head…‘He said, “Open your Bible,“‘ De Jesus recalls. ‘So I opened to Romans 6. And he said, “Read that ’ that means you’re dead to sin; sin can’t reign in your life.“‘ The expe­ri­ence left De Jesus trans­formed. “Ever since that day, I can’t learn from any­body ’ and I mean no one,” he says. He now believes that was the night of Christ’s sec­ond coming.”

Wild huh? Now, let’s look at more of this man’s hereti­cal teaching.

The Claims of Miranda

  • He believes he is Christ Him­self; the last man­i­fes­ta­tion of God on earth.
  • He claims that Romans 16:25 con­firms that he is God.
  • He believes, not only that he doesn’t sin, but that sin no longer exists.
  • He claims that every reli­gion: Catholics, Protes­tants, Jews, etc. all have the wrong reli­gion (and he appar­ently has the right one).
  • Only his fol­low­ers are the “true race.”
  • He believes he has come to estab­lish the “Gov­ern­ment of God” on earth.
  • Oh wait, he also claims that the devil doesn’t exist; he is only a fab­ri­ca­tion of other religions.

What Shall We Make of Miranda?

What is inter­est­ing is that in 1988 he announced that he was the rein­car­nated Paul, and changed in 1999 to “the Other” who paved the way for Christ’s com­ing, but why stop there? He then decided to go all the way in 2004 to claim­ing to be Christ and the sole “intepreter of the gospel” (Source).

Let’s eval­u­ate the teach­ings he has given. It’s inter­est­ing that he doesn’t claim any extra writ­ten rev­e­la­tion out­side of the Bible which will make this task all the more swift and easy. I shall eval­u­ate his claims through the very Bible that he says, “If this is true, then I am the son of God.”

Is Sin Gone?

I’ll start the apolo­getic with a few of his points. By demon­strat­ing that his claims are false Bib­li­cally, then his unique claim to deity will be under­mined and dis­proved. First, the apos­tle John warns us in his first epis­tle that “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiv­ing our­selves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8), and he ends that very chap­ter with “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us” (1 John 10). Inter­est­ing. It is also inter­est­ing that this man, instead of being sin­less, is actu­ally com­mit­ting the very first sin: “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, know­ing good and evil” (Gen 3:5).

Does Romans 16.25 Val­i­date his Claims?

Now to Him who is able to estab­lish you accord­ing to my gospel and the preach­ing of Jesus Christ, accord­ing to the rev­e­la­tion of the mys­tery which has been kept secret for long ages past,
Romans 16:25

Does this pas­sage con­firm the teach­ing of Miranda? Well, if he says he’s Jesus then of course he could; but it should be noted that I could say that I’m Jesus but that doesn’t make it true. It’s inter­est­ing in the next verse Paul says that the Gospel “has been made known to all the nations, lead­ing to obe­di­ence of faith” (vs. 26). In other words, the Gospel has been made known, revealed, and ver­i­fied by God Him­self in Paul’s day. Jesus came once to ver­ify Him­self and His mis­sion, and when He comes back it will be the con­sum­ma­tion of history.

Does the Devil Exist?

Is the devil really a fab­ri­ca­tion of reli­gious zealots, or is the devil a real per­son por­trayed in the very Scrip­tures Miranda claims to ful­fill? First off, it’s inter­est­ing that Jesus Him­self was tempted by the devil and rebuked him (Mat 4). Through the res­ur­rec­tion, an angel “laid hold of the dragon, the ser­pent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thou­sand years” (Rev 20:5), and after the final judge­ment Satan and his fol­low­ers are to be “thrown into the lake of fire and brim­stone” (Rev 20:10). Fur­ther, Paul claims that there really is a “prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2), and Peter tells us to “[b]e of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adver­sary, the devil, prowls around like a roar­ing lion, seek­ing some­one to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). And I could go on with the Gar­den of Eden nar­ra­tive, Job, and many other instances of this figure.

What About his “Gov­ern­ment of God?”

He claims that he came to build the offi­cial gov­ern­ment of God. He claims the fol­low­ing:

“We’re the gov­ern­ment of God on Earth,” explains De Jesus. “We will spread all over and rule the world. We will con­trol the church, the econ­omy, soci­ety, edu­ca­tion, pol­i­tics, tech­nol­ogy. There will be no war, no cor­rup­tion. I mean, if a lie can change the world, why can’t the truth do it?”

It’s inter­est­ing that Jesus Him­self rebuked His fol­low­ers and oth­ers for their mis­con­cep­tion that He was to set up a polit­i­cal king­dom (Acts 1:6–8). Jesus told us that “My king­dom is not of this world” (Joh 18:36). The next time we will see a theo­cratic nation is when Jesus truly comes back to con­sum­mate time.

What About his Apologetic?

Miranda actu­ally on the front page of his web­site pro­vides the fol­low­ing apolo­getic to the ques­tion: “Could Dr Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda be another False Christ?”

“Notice how this verse [Mat 24:24; Mar 13:32] states that the false Christs will come per­form­ing what? signs and won­ders, The Apos­tle Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda has not appeared to per­form signs and won­ders, He has arisen to reveal spe­cific infor­ma­tion of the authen­tic gospel…We hope that the eyes of your under­stand­ing will be enlight­ened to dis­cover that the Lord Jesus Christ has returned.”

John Gill com­ments that the signs and won­ders “make an appear­ance of doing them, though they really did them not.” Jesus is say­ing that some claim­ing to be mes­siah (“Christs”) will per­form signs and won­ders, but not all have to by this verse. Fur­ther, Jesus is not address­ing those claim­ing to be Jesus Him­self just as a messiah.

Is he Jesus?

In this we have to only turn to the teach­ing of the New Tes­ta­ment when Jesus will return. Jesus tells us that His return will not hap­pen until “This gospel of the king­dom shall be preached in the whole world as a tes­ti­mony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Mat 24:14). Con­sid­er­ing that half of the world still has no access to the Gospel, I highly doubt that this has been ful­filled. Paul also describes a mass con­ver­sion of eth­nic Jews before the return of Christ (Rom 11:25–26).

One of his fol­low­ers, in an inter­view, claims that Jesus will return the same way He came the first time (i.e. through a mother). This is inter­est­ing, because Miranda doesn’t claim a vir­gin birth; and he claims his “becom­ing Christ” occurred later in life. In other words, his sup­posed birth is not the same as Christ’s. Christ described His own return by say­ing that “light­ning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the com­ing of the Son of Man be” (Mat 24:27), and Paul describes Christ’s return as “the Lord Him­self will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trum­pet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16) which cor­re­sponds to his teach­ing of a bod­ily res­ur­rec­tion at Christ’s return in 1 Cor 15. Fur­ther, Jesus’ own depar­ture from earth was bod­ily (Acts 1:9); and that is the way that we will see Christ for all eter­nity start­ing at His return. Lastly, we know that Jesus’ return will be fol­lowed by a final judg­ment fol­lowed by the eter­nal state as described in Rev 20.

Con­clu­sion

The teach­ings of this man are un-Biblical, hereti­cal, dan­ger­ous, and false. Chris­tians need to pray for his repen­tance as well as his fol­low­ers. He is dan­ger­ous, and he is pray­ing on the money of inno­cent peo­ple to build his empire and his sup­posed “gov­ern­ment.” Let God on high grant him repen­tance or strike him dead.