AntiChrist on the March

Self-Proclaimed 'Antichrist' to Hold Global Conference Despite Ban

Friday , April 20, 2007

GUATEMALA CITY — 

He calls himself the antichrist, wears the number 666 tattooed on his arm and claims a following of 2 million people.

Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda says he is coming to Guatemala — whether the Central American nation wants him or not.


Guatemala and neighboring Honduras and El Salvador have banned the former evangelical priest, arguing he is a security risk because of potential conflicts with Roman Catholic and evangelical groups. But Miranda still plans to fly in on a private jet Saturday to celebrate his 61st birthday and hold a global conference with thousands of followers.


"It has been predestined and angels will make it happen. He is, after all, God himself," said Axel Poessy, Miranda's media director.


If divinity is not enough, Miranda's right-hand man, Carlos Cestero, argues that Guatemala cannot bar U.S. citizens. "He will come and try to enter," he said.


The impending showdown is Miranda's latest attempt to rally his followers in Central America. Members of his church, which is based in Doral, Florida, have torn up images of saints and other religious symbols in El Salvador, and marched in Guatemala and Honduras.


Miranda often takes aim at the Catholic Church, calling all priests child molesters and saying chastity vows go against the Bible's teachings.


In Guatemala, Congress labeled him a terrorist and immigration officials have been instructed to refuse him entry to the country. It was not clear, however, if the government would be able to block his private jet from landing.

According to Cestero, Miranda has been in Guatemala at least 14 times in the past decade, all before he declared himself the antichrist. He holds a congress of followers every year in a different location in the Americas, and this year his sect settled on Guatemala City.

Most followers of Miranda's Growing in Grace church are in Colombia and the Miami area, where they regularly tune in to his Web, television and radio casts.

While followers see him as a savior and the next coming of Christ, critics say he is nothing but a dangerous cult leader.

"What is more evil than all the exorbitant titles associated with him is the power he exercises over his followers," said Daniel Alvarez, an instructor in the department of religious studies at Florida International University who has studied the movement. "He wants attention, shock value, and he's always trying to top what he did before."

Miranda, born in Puerto Rico and living in Miami, founded the Growing in Grace church in 1986. He preaches to followers in some 35 nations, mostly in Latin America, and has 287 radio programs and a 24-hour Spanish-language television network.

He claims to be a living incarnation of Jesus Christ, and preaches that sin and the devil do not exist. In January, he revealed tattoos of the numbers 666 on his forearm, and announced that he and his followers were antichrists because their sect's beliefs supersede those of Jesus Christ's teachings. According to the Bible, the Antichrist is someone who will fill the world with wickedness but be conquered by a second coming of Christ.

Hundreds have followed Miranda's lead by getting "666" tattoos. The number 666 is often associated with the Antichrist or the devil.

In a tidy shop in an upscale, Guatemala City neighborhood, 18-year-old Andrea Recinos hunched over as a tattoo artist carved "666" across her back, decorating the number with angel wings.

"I wanted to show my love to the apostle," she said, referring to Miranda. "I wanted to show the whole world that I am an antichrist."

Other followers get "SSS" tattoos, referring to Miranda's motto of "Salvo, siempre salvo," or "Saved, always saved."

Cestero said some of the sect's members donate 50 percent to 80 percent of their earnings to Growing in Grace, often in appreciation of the church's message that nothing is sinful.

"When someone is thankful, they show it by giving a gift, and the people are thankful for the liberty given to them," he said.

dude...did they put on black lip stick cut themselves and crank up Marylin Manson..then head to Hot Topics?

But...hold on here. This is impossible isn't it? After all, Christian apologists say legends of divinity simply do not occur so soon. If someone weren't really divine, surely the followers would know this, and falsehoods about people being Gods only occur far after
a person is dead. That's one reason why the apostle's stories are said to be so credible - they were there, they'd "know" Jesus wasn't God/divine.
Right?

Yet, here's a dude whose followers will claim that he is "God."

Hmmm....people believing someone is divine actually happens in our modern world. Could'nta happened in a pre-scientific, superstitious age among desert tribes, could it?

Er...uh...hmmmm...naaah!

Prof.

well there's one way to prove it...but lets see if he rises after 3 days

;)

^rotflmao

prof,



I am not surprised about the crazy things people talk themselves into believing but I am still waiting for the punchline on this sect.  I am trying to figure out if it is supposed to be like satanism where they attack the symbols of Christianity but in many ways are just repeating old fashioned common sense.  The group takes the cake for wonky.  I believe the offices of hell file these people under the designation "barrel fish". 

well then...LETS GET IT AAAAAWWWWNNNNN!

Jesus validated His claims by fulfilling the OT prophecies including rising from the dead.

but if he is the anti-christ,if he gains large followers,power,money,

things could start happening quickly.the situation deserves watching.

He's not...

yeah i say we test his invinvincibility

what a freak

I saw this guy on Dateline or something like that. Its just aweful what he is doing, IMO.

I always heard that the Antichrist was to have a Roman backround.

I think condoleeza rice is the next anti christ and hillary clinton is the whore of babylon.

Im selling my property and going to the top of pikes peak, Ill be the first to go in the rapture.

zealot, will you freak if Israel is caught in a world war and men are required to take a micro chip for commerce and idenfiication?

Just curious

"Yet, here's a dude whose followers will claim that he is "God.""



Prof lets see him raise the dead and trans-substantiate matter. That should be a bit tougher than giving a bunch of simple people a chance to belong to a group.

"Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is a 60-year-old former heroin addict and convict who believes that he is the living incarnation of “Jesus Christ, the Man . . . the second coming of Christ."



"Miranda once believed that he was the reincarnation of the apostle Paul. Then two years later he proclaimed himself as Jesus Christ. “God merged with me [and] . . . the resurrected Jesus . . . integrated/infiltrated himself within me.”



"His people call him everything from apostle to Jesus Christ Man, giving him their entire savings, cars, businesses, and estates, including a million-dollar home in a gated community."



"Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda’s message is basic: “freedom to indulge.” He teaches that:


  • The devil, hell, and sin are non-existent,

  • Prayer is a waste of time, and

  • The Ten Commandments (moral or ethical guidelines) are irrelevant.(Gotta appreciate the nerve if nothing else)"



    His followers believe they are God’s chosen people, predestined for salvation, no matter what they do on earth. As such, all other religions’ teachings are rejected, believing that all other faiths are false and must be destroyed -- even when Crescendio en Gracia’s marches result in violent consequences. Miranda esteems himself above Jesus of Nazareth. His responses during interviews are startling: “I am greater than him . . . I teach better than him . . . I won’t die. Even if you tried to kill me! I will be president of the biggest government that this earth has experienced. I’m going to change the whole world.”



Hmmmm so anyone else think that if I say but a bowie knife up to the hilt into his gut he would be standing there glaring at me?

---"Prof lets see him raise the dead and trans-substantiate matter. That should be a bit tougher than giving a bunch of simple people a chance to belong to a group."

That's for sure!

But then...have we actually observed instances of seeing anyone or anything raise the dead and trans-substantiate matter?

No.

All we have are different sets of claims...some of them ancient.

Prof.

"But then...have we actually observed instances of seeing anyone or anything raise the dead and trans-substantiate matter?

No."

Youre right. Its all about how much credibility you put in the sources of the claims. Im comfortable that Im not missing out on not joining a 60 year old junkie with 666 tattood on him.



But boy would my face be red if he was the real deal!

"Prof lets see him raise the dead and trans-substantiate matter."

Because everyone actually saw JC do that and isn't taking the word of a series of millennia old poorly transcribed and transliterated texts?

He might be a nut, but be careful using a logical argument to attack another person's faith when your own doesn't hold up to scrutiny terribly well either.