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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and the Apocalypse  (Read 1771 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: February 03, 2003, 11:18:09 PM »

Here are some articles related to the apocalypse.  These description of the end times are scary and despairing.

Quote
Instructions

By St. Anatoly of Optina

My child, know that in the last days hard times will come, as the Apostle says, behold due to poverty in piety, in churches the heresies and schisms will appear", and as the Holy Fathers foretold, than on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries, there will be no men tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of the human kind will act skillfully, if possible, leading the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Jesus Christ, on Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers from the Holy Spirit - the Church teaching itself. Cunning of the enemy and his "tipics" will notice a very small number of those most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere will appoint their servants, and the spirituality will be neglected. But the Lord will not leave His servants without protection, and in ignorance. He said "by the fruits you will recognize them". And strive to distinguish them from real pastors; those spiritual thieves who are snatching the spiritual flock, do not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but cross in the other place" as the Lord said it, that is, they will enter in illegal way, with force(violence) destroying God's order. The Lord calls them the criminals.

Truly, their real duty is persecution of true pastors, their imprisonment, for without that the spiritual flock may not become captured. Therefore, my son, when you see in the Church mocking of the Divine act, teaching of the Fathers, and God-established order, know that the heretics have already appeared, even though for some time they might hide their evil intensions, or will unnoticeably deform the divine faith, to better succeed by deceiving and tricking the inexperienced .

They will persecute not only the pastors, but also the servants of God, for the devil who is directing the heresy cannot bear living in Divine order. Like wolfs in sheep skin, they will be recognized by their vainglorious nature, love for lust, and lust for power - those will be betrayers causing hatred and malice everywhere; and therefore the Lord said that one will recognize them by their fruits. The true servants of God are - meek, brotherloving and obedient to the Church(order,traditions..).

At that time, monks will endure great pressures from heretics, and the monastic life will be mocked. The monastic families will be impoverished, the number of monks will reduce. The ones remaining, will endure violence.

These haters of the monastic life, who merely have the appearance of piety, will strive to draw monks on their side, promising them protection and worldly goods(comforts), but threatening with exile to those who do not submit. From these threats, the weak at heart will be very humiliated (tormented).

If you live to see that time, rejoice, for at that time the faithful, not possessing other virtues will receive wreaths merely for standing in faith, according to the Word of the Lord "everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Heavenly Father".

Fear the Lord, my son!, dont lose the received wreath, not to be rejected by Christ into the utter darkness and eternal suffering.

Bravely stand in faith, and if needed joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for than the Lord will stand by you...and holy Martyrs and Confessors with joyfully watch at your struggle.

But, in these days, woe be to monks tied to possessions and riches, and who for the sake of love of comfort agree to subjugate themselves to the heretics. They will lull their conscience saying: we will save the monastery, and the Lord will forgive us. Unfortunate and blinded, they are not even thinking that through heresies and heretics, the devil will enter the monastery, and than it will no longer be a holy monastery, but bare walls from which Grace will depart from forever.

But God is more powerful than devil, and will never abandon His servants. There will always be true Christians, till the end of time, but they will choose lonely and deserted places. Do not fear troubles, but fear pernicious heresy, for it drives out Grace, and separates from Christ, wherefore Christ commanded consider the heretic as let him be unto thee as a heathen man and publican.

And so, strenghten yourself, my son, in the Grace of Christ Jesus. With joy hasten to the confession and enduring the suffering, like Jesus Christ's good soldier who said: "BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE WREATH OF LIFE"

To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, honor and glory unto ages of ages. Amen

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sinjinsmythe
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2003, 11:22:07 PM »

Here is another one.

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The Final Days

By St. Neilos of Mount Athos

Prophecy accredited to St. Neilos an ascetic of M. Athos who lived six hundred years ago, tells about coming of Antichrist and the people who will live in final days Around 1900 the world begins to be unrecognizable When the time draws near for the approach of the Antichrist, mans mind will be in darkness because of the passions of the flesh, and both disrespect and lawlessness will~ increase. Then we will not recognize the world. The appearances of people will change, and one will not be able to tell the difference between men and women because of their, shameful way of dressing and their hairstyles. People will be deceived by Antichrist, and they will be worse than wild beasts. Parents will not be respected, nor will the elderly. :~ Love will disappear. Christian leaders, archpriests and priests will be vain man {with only few exceptions} totally ignorant of what is right and what is wrong and then all the tradition of the Church and of the Christian people will change.

Piety will not exist among men, only licentiousness will prevail. Lies and Love of money will increase to the utmost, and woe to those who gather wealth. Prostitution, adultery, homosexual sins, thefts and murders will be at the highest level. Men will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism, and will lose the remorse of conscience. There will be no pious Leaders of the Church, and how sad for those Christians living during this time, who will lose their faith completely, for there will be no one to guide them. Then they will leave the world to go to holy places to seek spiritual comfort for their sorrows, and everywhere there will be difficulties and discomforts. And all those things will take place because Antichrist will control the whole world, giving false signs to deceive everyone. Satan will give such perverted wisdom for the invention of things that people will be able to speak to each other from one end of the earth to the other. Also men will fly like birds in the air and travel under the sea like fish. With these things, men will abide in comfort without realizing that Antichrist is misleading them, making them think that because they have all scientific knowledge, they do not need to believe in God the Holy Trinity

At that time the all-merciful God, seeing the destruction of the human race, will cut time short in order to save the few faithful who remain, whom the Antichrist has not managed to mislead. And suddenly the two-edged sword will faIl, to kill the deceiver and his followers. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

*** one ascetic elder said about the final times and the Antichrist: he has begun his work. The 666 has arrived. They Will try everything to make all receive the number. These things will take place gradually
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2003, 11:26:37 PM »

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Church in the End Times

By Alexander Kalomiros

The world and the devil are leading the Church to such frightening trials that the day might come when all the bishops of the land will enter into communion with the heretics. What will the faithful do then? What will the few do who have the heroism not to follow the masses, not to follow their kin, their neighbors, and their fellow citizens?

All the faithful will have to understand that the Church is not there where it appears to be. Liturgies will continue to be performed, and the churches will be filled with people, but the Church will have no relation with those churches or those clergy and those faithful. The Church is where the truth is. The faithful are those who continue the unbroken tradition of Orthodoxy, that work of the Holy Spirit. Those real priests are those who think, live, and teach as the Fathers and the Saints of the Church did, or at least do not reject them in their teaching. Where that continuity of thought and life does not exist, it is a deception to speak of the Church, even if all the outward marks speak of it.

There will always be found a canonical priest, ordained by a canonical bishop, who will follow the Tradition. Around such priests will gather the small groups of the faithful who will remain until the last days. Each one of these small groups will be a local catholic Church of God. The faithful will find in them the entire fullness of the grace of God. They will have no need of administrative or other ties, for the communion that will exist among them will be the most perfect there can be. It will be communion in the Body and Blood of Christ, communion in the Holy Spirit. The golden links of the unalterable Orthodox Tradition will connect those Churches among themselves as well as with the Churches of the past, with the Church triumphant of heaven. In these small groups the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church will be preserved intact.

Of course, it is wonderful that order and coordination should exist in the outward functionings of the various churches, and that the less important churches should receive their direction and guidance from the more important churches, the way it is now between dioceses, metropolises, archdioceses, and patriarchates, but in the last days, such outward relations and contacts will be impossible most of the time. When the age of the Antichrist aproaches, even the Ark of the Church will be difficult to discern. There will be such confusion in the world that one Church will not be able to be certain of the orthodoxy of another because of the multitude of false prophets who will fill the world and who will be saying, "here is Christ", and "there is Christ". Whatever will be accepted officially as the Church, having little by little already betrayed the treasures of the Faith, will have been assimilated by the indescribable, unifying marmalade which will retain most of the outward signs of the Church with satanic cleverness. Here and there small groups of faithful with some priest will still preserve the true Tradition alive. However, there might even be misunderstandings among the really Orthodox churches because of the confusion of tongues which exists in the contemporary Babel. But none of that will ever sever the essential unity of the Church.

But who will be able to recognize the Church of Christ in those small, scorned groups of faithful that lack all worldly splendor? Yet at the end of time, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church will be just those forgotten and outwardly disunited little parishes which may even be ignorant of the others' existence, but will be united among themselves by the mystical bonds of the Body and Blood of the Lord, in the Holy Spirit, with the common Faith and Tradition which will remain undefiled.

"Against False Union", Alexander Kalomiros

Any thoughts or comments on these articles.  Not happy items to read. Sad  But these cannot be brushed off because two of the posts come from saints.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2003, 11:36:17 PM »

Scary, but not that different from modern times in some respects. Thank you for posting those, I think they are good to read.

I've recently just ordered The Apocalypse: In the Teachings of Ancient Christianity by Archbishop Averky Taushev. Can anyone reccomend any other books or writings? Has anyone else read this one before?
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2003, 12:23:08 AM »

Dear in Christ,

Orthodoxy, like Christianity in general, must be about living in the "end times" without being "apocolyptic."

What I mean by this is that ever since St. John wrote the Book of the Apocolypse/Revelation, Christians have been living in the "end times" and have been "in the world but not of the world."  I am reminded of the following quotation from the Letter to Diognetus, Chapter V.-The Manners of the Christians:

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking18 method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.19 They have a common table, but not a common bed.20 They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.21 They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.22 They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life.23 They are poor, yet make many rich;24 they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless;25 they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.


We must not run off and hide as some have suggested over time; what we must do is stand up for our faith and live it in expectation of the true life which is to come.  Being apocolyptic, i.e. wondering about the signs and wonders, who is the AntiChrist, if we are on the verge of Armaggeddon, etc., is wrong.  We must have hope in Christ, and trust in HIS timetable.

I find the teachings of Fr. Seraphim of Platina to be utterly wrong on this issue (even though at other times I agree with him totally).  He is quoted as saying in his biography Not of this World that there are no true elders left in the world as this is the end times and grace will not be delivered to such a great extent as to give us Optina Elders again.  I say rubbish.  How does Fr. Seraphim know that we are in the "real" end times when even the Son of Man does not know the hour of His coming?  How can Fr. Seraphim be so sure that no elders live?  I wonder if he would have thought the same had he met Fr. Ephraim.

In any case, sorry for the ramble.

In Christ,

anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2003, 04:48:39 AM »

I thought I'd add another perspective regarding the end times. Monk Paisios of Mount Athos gave this analogy regarding the end of this world (note, I'm paraphrasing from my sketchy memory of something I read in greek, a language in which I am far from proficient).

There is a man who is seriously ill and near death, in fact he probably only has a few days left to live. However, he enters the hospital and through treatment, makes a complete recovery and goes on to live many more years. Now the fact that he did not die has no bearing on the fact that he was near death. He may have other crisis throughout his life and be near death many times. The signs and symptoms were clear that he was going to die, yet somehow he pulled through each time.

So it is with the world. It has been "near death" many times in the past. For those with eyes to see, the signs and symptoms have been clear on the truth of this. The world has not yet ended, but it has come close a few times.

John.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2003, 12:13:18 PM »

We are to live each day as if it were our last because it could be our last and not concern ourselves when exactly the world is going to end, because that has *NOT* been precisely revealed to us.  If we constantly concern ourselves with Millenarianism, a heresy btw, we are going to be Christians with very dour faces and not convince anyone that our Faith is one of joy.

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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2003, 12:59:56 PM »

Well put, Hypo-Ortho, John and anastasios.

The St Neilos quotation might be a fake.
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2003, 01:28:56 PM »

Well put, Hypo-Ortho, John and anastasios.

The St Neilos quotation might be a fake.

What makes you say that Serge?
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2003, 01:50:31 PM »

A priest told me it was.
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2003, 02:26:51 PM »

A priest told me it was.

I think I may have made a mistake in posting these articles.  They came from the following site:http://www.stvladimirs.ca/library

I should have checked my sources but it is hard to do when everyone claims they are Orthodox somehow.  I am so sorry. Please forgive my ignorance.
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2003, 02:59:59 PM »

Don't worry, man, everyone makes internet blunders.  No offense taken!

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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 07:05:54 PM »

I don't know - but I really think the Last Times are with us. You know, 'when that which is right will appear wrong, and that which is wrong will appear right? (*cough*abortion*homosexuality*fornication*obscenity*cough*) When just to believe in the right way will be to die a martyr's death. This is the way I see it. I stress - this is just the way i see it.

The world has been in a downward spiral for centuries, but the last 100 years have seen an acceleration in its moral decline. The one on the left has attacked the family unit. We see it - fornication, adultery, homosexuality, absent fathers, single parenthood (not arising from death of a spouse), etc. The family unit is the primary source of one's religious beliefs - taken away, you erode that religious belief system/support network - you have the 'Godless Generation'. The Godless Generation is imminent, and if we are not of it, then we will be perpetrators of it. What remains in society today is a spiritual void - indicated by the increased interest in eastern religions and philosophies - society today is lost, searching for spiritual fulfillment.

The way I see it, this spiritual void is the demonic preparation of the human soul for the coming of his Antichrist. The Antichrist will fill the spiritual yearning of the Godless generation, and men will fashion themselves a 'new Christ' in the Antichrist. Just like the Israelites, before they received the 10 commandments. Then God, in His Great Mercy, will come to save those who remain faithful to Him.

Also, we worry about the sign, or the number 666. Remember, we wear Christ's sign - we receive it in Holy Baptism - the Cross we wear. The Antichrist, in his wicked perversion, will fashion his new sign. We need to remember that the Devil and his servants rarely deal in blatant lies, but in peversions of the truth. To miss by a little is to miss regardless. Expect the Antichrist to merely modify. Slow modification of truth leads to blatant untruth - but by that point, we will be too blind to see it. May God have Mercy on us sinners!

Finally, yes, we do not know the day or the hour. But we know that the times are coming. The world will not heal. It is doomed. It was doomed the day Eve bit the apple. Depressing, I know, but we need to be real. The only thing we can pray for is time - time for us to be prepared. Also, we underestimate the part mankind plays in timing of the Second Coming. The more evil we become, the closer is the Second Coming. We are not only accelerating toward the Apocalypse, we are accelerating the Apocalypse toward us. Be prepared to suffer for Christ, 'It is later than you think'.
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 07:18:44 PM »

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I don't know - but I really think the Last Times are with us. You know, 'when that which is right will appear wrong, and that which is wrong will appear right? (*cough*abortion*homosexuality*fornication*obscenity*cough*) When just to believe in the right way will be to die a martyr's death. This is the way I see it. I stress - this is just the way i see it.

I agree, we may be close but in my opinion not within the immediate generation. I think we may even have a few hundred more years, but who knows. There were times in history which seemed worse, just read what went on in Rome towards the end of thier downfall. The same elements working 'within' back then are at work today undermining society every way imaginable. The collapse always comes within and I just hope the degenerates at work today destroying our delicate infrastructure and attacking the family are stopped once all the sheeple wake up before it's too late.
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