A controversial religious figure who claims he is Jesus Christ incarnate with a following of millions with "666" tattoos on their bodies, filled an amphitheater in Orlando this weekend, and promised joy, peace and prosperity.
Orlando police officers stood guard around the Lake Eola amphitheater as Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, 61, arrived in the city Saturday.
Miranda, who has been banned from three countries, told Local 6 News cameras and a cheering crowd that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated.
His followers believe that Miranda's life and his teachings replace those of Jesus of Nazareth, Local 6's Jamie Guirola said.
"They believe that Jesus is going to come from the sky," Juan Sanchez said. "But, that is not the way he is going to come."
"He is here?" Guirola said.
"He is here." Sanchez said.
Miranda said millions of people worldwide have tattooed their bodies with "666" in recognition that the second-coming of Christ has taken place, according to the report.
"I have it proudly on my hand," a believer told Local 6's Jamie Guirola. "It is easier when they shake my hand. It is easier for them to ask. I am very proud to show it is a sign of love."
A group of Christians protested the event, calling the following a cult. Police also removed two people from the amphitheater.
"We are just questioning their faith and their '666' tattoos," a protestor told Local 6. "We just want to learn more so we can relate more between being a Christian and believing in this and who the true Jesus is."
Miranda said he is known as God in at least 30 countries.
Local 6 reported that he was born in Puerto Rico and admits to being a recovering heroin addict. He also spent times in prison on drug and petty theft charges.
Miranda is the founder of the Miami-based Growing in Grace Ministry.