Ferdinand Waldo Demara spent most of his life pretending to be someone that he wasn’t. Demara convincedly imitated a great variety of occupations and fooled so many people that the movie The Great Impostor was based on his life of deception. He had an extraordinarily high IQ and was able to memorize terminologies and techniques by reading textbooks.
Demara posed as a surgeon-lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy by forging his credentials. He did dental work on the ship’s captain and performed surgery in a Korean hospital. He also posed as a civil engineer, a lawyer, a deputy sheriff, a Doctor of Psychology, a college Dean of the School of Philosophy, a prison warden, a hospital orderly, a child-care expert, a Benedictine monk, a Trappist monk, an editor, a cancer researcher, and a teacher at a junior college. The great majority of people never suspected he was an impostor.
Paul rebuked the Corinthians for trusting in impostors: “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, this you tolerate very well” (2 Cor. 11:4).
False teachers and cults preach “another Jesus,” an impostor Jesus who isn’t the Jesus of the Bible, and “a different gospel,” an impostor gospel that isn’t the true gospel. If you don’t use discernment, you can easily accept the fake Jesus as the truth.
BIBLE STUDY: What cults believe and how to answer them