A former traffic cop in southern Siberia who claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated has attracted thousands of followers who believe he can grant them "salvation and spiritual perfection."
According to The Mirror, Sergey Anatolyevitch Toro, 56, lives with his 5,000 followers in Petropavlovka, or what he calls his "Siberian utopia." A former traffic policeman and Red Army soldier, Toro, who calls himself "Vissarion," wears a long white cloak and sports long hair and a beard.
As the founder of the Church of the Last Testament, Vissarion teaches his followers about the apocalypse, reincarnation and vegetarianism. He also touts the idea that a "great flood is coming and he promises salvation and spiritual perfection to his followers," according to The Guardian.
Vissarion started his "religion," which has been likened to a cult, in the early 1990's and soon attracted thousands of followers, who are not allowed to drink, smoke or possess money.
He has two wives, and six children from two marriages. After he rejected his first wife, he married a 19-year-old woman, who had lived with him since the age of seven.
The BBC's Simon Reeve recently interviewed Vissarion, who requested his followers "donate money and provide labor for his profit-making businesses," and a teacher who lived in Petropavlovka.
"We have a school of noble maidens here. We're preparing girls to become future wives, future brides for worthy men," the teacher said. "She has to understand not to rise above the man, not to be proud of her independence but to be shy, inconspicuous and weak."
The ideas promoted by the religious organization, Reeve said, are "scary."
"I genuinely felt like I should be calling social services. They're teaching Vissarion's ten-volume sequel to The Bible," Reeve said.
When asked how he feels about those who say he is "brainwashing and embezzling" his followers. Vissarion said the accusations made him "sad."
"Sad, what else can I feel? This is unavoidable. I'll put down the basis that will change all humanity," Vissarion said.
Over the years, hundreds of men from different parts of the world have claimed to be Jesus Christ -- and many of their "disciples" agree.
However, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus warned against falling for false prophets and false christs.
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it' " (Matthew 24:23-26, NKJV).
Perry Noble, the now former pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, told the Christian Post that when Jesus does return, "we'll know it."
"The first time He came, He came in a very obscure way - you know, baby in a manger in a sheep cave outside of Bethlehem. But when He comes back again ... He will come as king, and we will know Him," the former pastor added.
"There will not be any doubt in our mind. ... He said until that time, don't fall for people who claim that they are Jesus. He said it would happen."