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(February 2009)

At the Threshold of the Coming Kingdom of the Antichrist

From an Orthodox Conference on the End Times.


The time is not yours. At present, ye are strangers, sojourners, foreigners and aliens; seek not honours, seek not glory, seek not authority, nor revenge; bear all things, and in this way ‘redeem the time;’ give up many things, anything they may require... They will come to take all away. Give whatever they may demand, only preserve the principal thing, I mean the faith.

(St. John Chrysostom’s Homily on the Epistle to the Ephesians)

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In his homily on the Epistle to Timothy, St. John Chrysostom advises that ...we ought therefore to be prepared for everything; even for death, for martyrdom, for a life of virginity or for all of these...

There is an urgency today that cannot be more aptly put than in the writing of Professor Ivan Andreyev, who wrote the following passage in his book Russia’s Catacomb Saints:

“Today there is not and there cannot be any separation between ecclesiastical affairs and politics. Politics pretends to command universality, i.e., it wishes to take into its hands the resolution of questions concerning spiritual life also. This means that political actions cannot be indifferent for the Church as well. Furthermore, when the antichrist shall have power on the earth, he will naturally be a political figure. This means that the Church also will have to oppose his political persecution. And so as, even now, to weaken this opposition, his forerunners, taking advantage of the idea that the Church should be above politics, conceal their warfare against God under [an] apolitical cloak: the martyrs are ‘political criminals.’ To be sure, the Church should not intrigue, but as soon as politics touches on questions of spiritual life, the Church cannot close her eyes to this.”

Clearly, the world is preparing for the reign of antichrist and more people are participating in the on-going efforts to bring this movement forward as quickly as possible. The New World Order has visibly appeared on the horizon in our lifetime. This movement is gaining momentum as “we are rapidly being pushed toward this One World government by powerful luciferic forces rooted in age-old secret societies. These forces, incredibly evil in intent, fully expect to accomplish their mission during the next few years.”

We have been unknowingly and unwittingly well-prepared for this, as Brock Chisolm, past Director of [the] World Health Organization, stated, “...to achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism and religious dogmas...” We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians, our priests, our newspapers and others who have a strong and vested interest in controlling us.

The late Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of blessed memory, wrote, “Ours is a spiritually unbalanced age, when many Orthodox Christians find themselves tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14). The time, indeed, seems to have come when men will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:3-4).”

This subject is awesome in scope; and it is difficult to grasp that a consciously prepared movement to establish a New World Order has long been underway and, according to many prominent watchdogs, is nearing completion.

For the ill-informed mass[es] and the deceived, this very thought is fast becoming a welcomed or natural idea. For others, it is too outrageous and absurd to be true; and this is all in “their” favour. This pervasive movement has interconnected all aspects of society: church, nations, government, culture, family, education, tradition, media and entertainment. One traditional institution after another is being diabolically destroyed and replaced. We are presently witnessing its new establishment, or rather, in their colloquialism, its “new consciousness.”

Many Orthodox Christians are very informed on this anti-Christian movement. They sense its terrible awesomeness which can border on earnest sensationalism tending more to titillate the emotions. The sobering knowledge of this information, which could drastically cause them to change their lives, seemingly has not effected an astounding Christian effect. Why has not this happened? Here, the person is more informed or more excited on the knowledge of the temporal rather than properly formed in a living Orthodox world-view. Then, there are others who believe that this simply does not affect their lives although they agree that this time may be the last days of Christianity. Somehow, pastoral exhortations on this subject do not touch them—perhaps they are too involved in their daily living or simply find all this too depressing.

But should this not spur us to ask, “So then, what are we to do? Or rather, what are we called to do as Orthodox Christians?”

Perhaps there is not much to do; antichrist will come. However, we might remember to ask, “How will I give account for my life before God’s judgment?” There are many questions to ask ourselves. “Am I to remain silent and by silence give consent? How do I witness to my faith? How will I guard my faith? Am I willing to suffer for my faith?” How does our present living answer these questions?

We might continue to examine ourselves: “How am I to participate in the world as a responsible Christian and a member of this society?” One suggestion from the monastic perspective is to renounce the world and take up the salvific cross of monastic voluntary martyrdom. There was a road sign outside a monastery in Russia that read, “If the whole world knew what life is like in a monastery, no one would come.” But if the whole world knew what heavenly rewards await for those struggling in the monastery, the whole world would rush to come in.

However, for those in the world, how is one’s relationship within the Church a Gospel witness to the world? “How do I participate responsibly in my job and duties as a Christian with its extra-curricular obligations, association and memberships? Should I vote? If so, am I an informed voter? What corporations, foundations and charities do I support by purchasing their products or using their services? (By our consumerism, we support the corporations in their activities and sponsorships of television programs, public events, and their support of government and educational causes which are now steeped in the anti-Christian view.) What choices am I making?”

Meanwhile, those working for the benefit and advancement of the antichrist are more fervently strengthening themselves in their zealous warfare. Perhaps they are more dedicated, more alive in their commitment than we are to the Church, actually changing their lives and submitting their wills in obedience to the luciferic movement. They do not sleep but actively sacrifice their lives for the sake of their belief and to accomplish their goal.

Our Lord exhorts us, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Mt 7:13-14). And as St. John Chrysostom tells us that our Lord says these things, “thoroughly to awaken our alacrity; even as elsewhere also He said, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Mt 11:12). For whoever is in conflict, when he actually see[s] the judge of the lists marvelling at the painfulness of his efforts, is the more inspirited. Let it not then bewilder us, when many things spring up hence, that turn to our vexation. For the way is strait, and the gate narrow, but not the city. Therefore must one neither look for rest here, nor there expect any more aught that is painful (Homily 23 on St. Matthew).”

Let the words of a great Orthodox saint and teacher of the 4th century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, serve as a daily reminder to all: “So, be warned, my friend. I have given you the signs of the antichrist. Do not merely store them in your memory. Pass them on to everyone without stint. If you have a child after the flesh, teach them to him forthwith. And if you have become a godparent, forewarn your godchild, lest he should take the false christ for the True. For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mt 11:15)