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The Last Testament of Vissarion Christ

by Carter Phipps


"You are becoming gods. There is a new master of creation—and it's you. You've unraveled DNA. You're five years away from building your own people, and at the same time you're cultivating bacteria strong enough to kill every living thing. Do you think you're ready for that much power? . . . If you want the position of God then take the responsibility. . . .

I was born the son of God, and the son of God came once before and gave you a testament and you ignored it. This time, there will be a third testament, a new foundation for the way you live your lives, and the third testament will be written by you."

Jesus Christ, The Second Coming

If these words don't sound quite like the Jesus Christ you remember from Sunday School, don't worry, they aren't. But they are the words of the son of God—at least one British screenwriter's conception of what the son of God might sound like in a twenty-first-century world. They are taken from a movie recently broadcast on British television, The Second Coming, which describes the odyssey of a young man from Manchester, England, who suddenly realizes one night after visiting the local pub with a few friends that he is, in fact, the son of God, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And the twist is that it is actually true. Working miracles and decrying the state of the world, he sets about his ministry, speaking to crowds in football stadiums, trying to establish the "Third Testament" as the new spiritual teaching for life in the twenty-first century. Does it sound implausible? Well, don't tell that to the several thousand Russians gathered together in a remote area of southern Siberia who have decided to live out that exact scenario in a real-time version of the Second Coming. Sergei Torop, a former traffic cop in the Russian city of Minusinsk, now calls himself Vissarion Christ, having realized his true identity as the son of God in 1992. In the decade that has since elapsed, he has attracted quite a large Russian following and caught the attention of international seekers as well. Living in this sparsely populated rural region just north of the Mongolian border, Vissarion and his disciples are creating what they call "The Last Testament Church." Indeed, in austere semi-primitive conditions far from the amenities of contemporary life, these modern-day apostles have formed a dedicated community, attempting to establish what Vissarion describes as a "new world on this earth." This "micro-community," he explains, will exist separate from but parallel to the world as we know it, setting an example for how a transformed human society can live and thrive based on higher, deeper principles of the spirit.

Despite the remote setting of Vissarion's ministry, in today's hi-tech world even southern Siberia is connected to the information highway. With some help from the internet, some Russian translators, and a little perseverance, WIE tracked down this alleged messiah and asked him a few questions about the Second Coming, his messianic aspirations, and the last testament of Jesus (or rather, Vissarion) Christ.


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This article is from
Our Future Issue