One of the signs of the end times given by the Lord in Mathew 24 is the emergence of false christs. Today, there are legions of people going by that title, especially as the new age movement teaches that anyone can create their own realities and live in their own self-made (illusory) world. One of the more well-known false Christs in Nigeria is of course Guru Maharajji, the Ibadan-based self proclaimed “master of the universe”. But at least he doesn’t claim to operate a Church.
However, ABC News (US) has recently reported on another wave-making “messiah”, deep in the heart of Siberia's birch forests. Here dwell 5,000 people who have abandoned their families and homes to form “one of the largest and most remote religious communes of the planet.” Another 5,000 people in other locations of the world (mainly Europe) make up the Church of the Last Testament which is centred on one man, Sergei Torop, a former Traffic Warden. He is now known as Vissarion, meaning "he who gives new life," or simply as the teacher, and he claims that he is Jesus Christ.
Seeing the Vissarions and Todd Bentleys of this world, you would think they are competing to act out in true life drama, some of the characters and scenarios described by Frank Peretti in his classic novel, The Visitation! Clarissa Ward of ABC news described the new-look Sergei Torop: “My first
impression seeing the teacher was that he did actually look how one might imagine Jesus. With his long hair, flowing white robes and kind smile, he looked the part. But as the interview began, my feelings soon changed.”
According to the ABC, “Many of Vissarion's followers are educated people from different European countries. Some of them used to work as doctors, teachers and engineers. One was even the former Belorussian deputy railway minister.” ABC NEWS (US) [Disney] June 23, 2008