José Luis de Jesús
|José Luis de Jesús|
José Luis de Jesús at a CEG meeting (November 2008).
|Born||José Luis de Jesús Miranda
April 22, 1946
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Died||November 16, 2013
|Other names||The Antichrist
Jesus Christ Man
|Religion||Creciendo en Gracia
(Growing in Grace)
José Luis de Jesús Miranda (April 22, 1946 - November 16, 2013) was the leader of the Creciendo en Gracia sect, based in Miami, Florida. He claimed to be both the returned phase of Jesus Christ and the Antichrist; he was known for making statements and preachings that opposed the Roman Catholic Church but that followed his interpretation of the Bible. He was previously known as Jesucristo Hombre (which translates to "Jesus Christ Man") but shortly after his death his followers granted him the title of Melchizedek because, as stated by his official site, he "attained his new and final name which means king of justice and king of peace". 
José Luis de Jesús was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico to parents Antonio de Jesús and Ana Luisa Miranda. He claimed that during his youth he served stints in prison for petty theft because of the poor conditions he was living on and that he was already addicted to heroin at age 14. He stated that it was the "power of God what took me out of my drug addiction" and he soon joined a Baptist Church in his city.
Creciendo en Gracia
José Luis was promoted to minister after serving several years in the church but he mentioned that in 1973 he had a vision in which "Jesus Christ integrated into myself" and he soon started preaching his own ideals and teachings. He started to assemble a select number of followers which culminated in the forming of Ministerio Creciendo en Gracia (Spanish for Growing in Grace) in 1988. At first, José Luis was only preaching according to the Four Gospels that narrate the life and teachings of Jesus Christ but in 1998 he claimed that he was the reeincarnation of apostle Paul and changed his focus into reading and preaching about Paul's gospel.
Creciendo en Gracia first started in Miami, Florida and soon expanded into different places in the United States and Latin America. He married on April 22 of 2002 with Josefina Torres, a woman he met during one of his trips to Bogotá in 1999. In 2005 he announced that he was the next phase of Jesus Christ on Earth and self-proclaimed Jesus Christ Man. In 2007 the Dallas Morning News reported that de Jesús "preaches to followers in some 35 nations, mostly in Latin America, and has 287 radio programs and a 24-hour Spanish and English-language TV network ." He claimed to have two million followers in 30 countries by 2008.
José Luis de Jesús Miranda died of a stroke on November 16 of 2013 in the city of Miami. He was buried on November 22 of 2013 in a ceremony in which only his family and certain followers assisted. His followers granted him the title of Melchizedek after his death.
In late 2006 he claimed that he was the Antichrist. He stated that the term was appropriate because people are no longer required to follow the "Jewish teachings" of Jesus of Nazareth, but rather to follow the apostle Paul's teachings through De Jesús. According to de Jesús, "Antichrist" means "no longer following Jesus of Nazareth as he lived in the days of his flesh". Followers showed their support by getting "666" tattoos on their bodies. "666", de Jesús said, is not a sign of the Devil (he preaches that the Devil was destroyed) but instead is the number of the Antichrist and that the number is "a number of wisdom and it displays who is really following the truthful words of Jesus Christ".
His followers celebrate Christmas each year on April 22, as this is the day de Jesús was born and therefore they claim it is the "real" Christmas.
According to his followers, there was to have been a Transformation day in which members would have supposedly been able to walk through walls and go through fire and not get burned, this because they would have been "fully enlightened and living with an immortal body". José Luis stated that his transformation and that of his followers would occur on 30 June 2012. Some of his followers left full-time jobs and took their children out of their schools because many thought that they "wouldn't need to do those things anymore".
José Luis separated from his wife in 2007 because, according to her, "he started to say that he was God; I wasn't comfortable with that so he threatened me by sending death-angels to my sons if I didn't do whatever he wanted". She also alleged that he liked to send her far away from home for long periods of time because "he was seeing other women, some of them from Creciendo en Gracia". Roberto Piñeiro, the judge in charge of the divorce case, gave an unfavorable verdict towards de Jesús in 2008 and, according to the Miami Herald, Josefina Torres received $2.2 million dollars in properties and estates as compensation. José Luis stated afterwards that he sent "angels of fair retribution to seek for justice" against the judge. Roberto Piñeiro died on December 9 of 2010 of a stroke, much to the delight of Miranda's followers.
- Arian Campo-Flores (2007-10-11). "He Calls Himself God". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2010-05-23. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "'Scarborough Country' for August 25". MSNBC. August 28, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- "The Man Who Claims To Be Jesus". CBS 4. September 12, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- "Una Nueva Familia". Creciendo en Gracia. 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Crowd Packs Amphitheater For Man Claiming He's Jesus Christ Reincarnated". local6.com. May 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
- . Twelve Tribes. 2010 http://www.twelvetribes-ex.com/espanol/?page_id=6347. Missing or empty
- Pablo Padula (August 14, 2013). Impact Secrets http://www.secretosdeimpacto.com/los-escandalos-mas-grandes/quien-era-jose-luis-de-jesus-miranda-una-pequena-biografia/. Missing or empty
- . Got Religion Questions? http://www.gotquestions.org/Espanol/Jose-Luis-Jesus-Miranda.html. Missing or empty
- . The Growing in Grace Sect http://www.blogdecristo.com/2011/01/la-secta-creciendo-en-gracia.html. Missing or empty
- "Miami-based 'Antichrist' banned from Guatemala". Dallas Morning News. April 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
- "A Different Jesus to Believe In?".
- "Muere Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda". Acontecer Cristiano. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Melquisedec: Rey de Gloria". Creciendo en Gracia Official Site. 2013-12-14.
- "Miami Church Brands Members With '666' Tattoos". Fox News Channel. February 24, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
- "CNN.com Video". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Jesus Christ Celebrates his Birthday Yesterday on Bissonnet". Houston Press. April 23, 2009.
- Cotroneo, Christian (May 2, 2012). "Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: End Of The World Is Nigh (Again)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
- "Entrevista a Josefina Torres". Acontecer Cristiano. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- "Muere el juez del divorcio de Jose Luis de Miranda". Noticias Cristianas. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
Category:Clergy from Ponce