A man in Australia claims to be Jesus. A.J. Miller is attracting hundreds of people to his seminars; dozens have moved to his land in Queensland where he calls his movement the Divine Truth. He says he remembered he was Jesus in 2004.

"There were lots of people in the first century who didn't believe I was the Messiah and were offended by what I said -- and in fact I died at the hands of some of them,” he recently told SkyNews. "Unfortunately they didn't learn love either and my suggestion is, even if you don't believe I am Jesus, at least learn how to love."

Other so-called messiahs have come and gone.

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"People have done this since Jesus' time; it's not anything new," said Ron Burks, a clinical mental health counselor at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital who co-wrote the book "Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement," after being involved with the Fort Lauderdale/Shepherding movement for 17 years. "The apostle Paul warned of false Christs."

But why are scholars so sure that A.J. Miller isn't Jesus, and that his partner, Australian Mary Luck, is not Mary Magdalene, as she claims?

Although Jesus is one of the most studied figures in history, scholars debate many of the details of his life. Still, many agree on consistencies in his character. For example, the historical Jesus didn’t appear to seek power.

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"There's a way of speaking in Greek (which has the same constructs as Aramaic) in the imperative case if you’re giving an order and expect to be obeyed. There are several times (in the Bible) when Jesus said things and he’s not using that case. He never said things in a way where people felt obligated to do what he had said," Burks said.

It's also questionable whether the first Jesus even claimed he was the Messiah.

"We have the historical Jesus vs. the portrayal in the Gospels, and we can reconstruct some reliable things about Jesus," associate professor of religious studies at Grinnell College Henry Rietz said. "We are pretty confident that he proclaimed that the kingdom of God is near. But claiming that he would be the king? Maybe, maybe not. His message was much more about establishing the social order of justice in contrast to the oppressive Roman empire."

It's questionable whether the first Jesus even claimed he was the Messiah.Robert Harding/Getty Images

Often, Burks says, people who claim to be Jesus simulate his attitude at first, and that makes them attractive for the same reasons people appreciated the historical Jesus.

"But once they get a following and a sense of control over people, power usually corrupts," said Burks. "What happens when groups like this progress is there is almost universally an extreme emphasis on money, sex and power."

In some instances, fake religious leaders have started out with the intention of conning people, but others start out meaning well "and end up deceiving themselves and others," Burks said.

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"Once followers latch on and start repeating the leader's teachings, it becomes almost irresistible, and (the leader) start thinking, Gosh, am I really? It can be a combination of self-delusion and deluding a group of people."

Ultimately, things can end tragically, as they did in Waco in 1993 and Jonestown in 1978. To prevent such catastrophes, Rietz suggests that outsiders try to encourage a less good vs. evil approach.

"In my opinion, the guy in Australia is not Jesus; he's not the messiah," Rietz said. "We can certainly disagree with him but at the same time, I think we can co-exist; there's a place in this world for all of us. Often people in these movements think of the world in good vs. evil dualistic terms and we, in turn, portray them as evil, and that’s where things often become dangerous."

Instead, he said, we should try to "understand them as human beings and talk about our beliefs."

"Folks who believe in the physical unique event of the second coming often read the Bible as not only talking about 2,000 years ago but predicting things thousands of years into the future," he said. "In addition to a being a scholar, I am also a member of a Christian church, and I think there are more interesting ways to understand the vision of peace and harmony -- to make the biblical texts meaningful today -- in ways that don't necessitate guys 2,000 years ago seeing things that are actually happening today."