Who is more awaited by modern Christians: Christ with His spiritual blessings, but Who has not improved people’s earthly life a whit, has not solved their daily problems—political, economic, social, or cultural; or antichrist, who promises to do give all this? Those Christians of all confessions, who see the meaning of their lives and faith itself in receiving the maximum of earthly blessings, will, of course, receive this earthly king as their savior. You don’t believe it? Well, just look at what modern Christians around the world seek most of all—of course they seek an abundance of earthly blessings; and who no few Christians even in Rus’ are waiting for an Orthodox tsar, who will bring order to our country and give us everything!
But first of all, you’ve probably had the occasion to pose the question to followers of other religions: What arguments do their religions offer in support of the divinity of their origins, and therefore, their truth? Ask them—this is not only very interesting, it’s also very important.
And why does Christianity claim to be true? We answer: Because it has a whole series of objective arguments that testify to its divine source—historical, doctrinal, spiritual and moral, prophetical, and miraculous.
Today we will look at one of them—the prophetical, in which we will see how the prophecies of Christ and His disciples come true. I will try here to briefly set forth the more striking of them.
In the Gospel of Luke (Chap. 1), a young Maiden named Mary, soon after she was told that she would give birth to a son, Who would be called the Son of the Most High, tells her relative, Elizabeth, From henceforth all nations shall call me blessed. Just think, how would people view such words coming from any young girl today? They would simply laugh. But people unexpectedly write these words of Mary’s down as an undoubted prophecy. And what do we see? They really are passed along word for word, are written in the text of the Gospel, and beginning from the first century A.D. are translated into a multitude of languages and included in the Church services. And then over the course of two centuries, in all nations where Christianity is preached, the Virgin Mary is glorified above the angels and all the saints themselves. And now, in the twenty-first century, her name is the most glorified in the world. Something like this could hardly be found in the history of mankind!
Another example. Recall in the Gospel what is written about the woman who with tears of repentance over her sinful life kissed Christ’s feet and anointed them with myrrh (Lk. 7:46). Christ then said to those around Him: Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her (Mt. 26:13). And truly, the entire Christian world still reverently remembers this woman.
Or when the apostles with great excitement show Christ the magnificent Jerusalem Temple. And suddenly they here from their Teacher these terrible words: There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Mt. 24:2; Lk. 21:6). And in fact, three decades later this prophecy was precisely fulfilled. As a result of the Jewish uprising against Rome, Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed to their foundations in the year 70.
Christ tells His disciples about the terrible vengeance against the Jews for their rejection of Him and He even warns them to save themselves from this disaster: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Lk. 21:20–24). (It must be pointed out that the Gospels concerning this were written in the 60s—that is, earlier than the tragedy itself, which took place in the year 70.) The Jews who tried to flee were crucified by the Romans, so that a whole forest of crosses went up around the city. A Jewish historian of that time, Joseph Flavius, describes these horrible events. But the Christians, who knew about this beforehand from Christ and the apostles, left Jerusalem when they saw the Roman army approaching it, and thus escaped all this.
Or yet another prophecy by Christ: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Mt. 24:14). And now there isn’t a single nation in the world where there isn’t at least a small community of Christians. They’re everywhere. Even in China with its strict laws, in India, and in Arab, Moslem countries. There are a multitude of Russian or other Orthodox churches alone in many countries. But besides Orthodoxy, Catholics (of whom there are over a billion in various countries) also preach about Christ, as do Protestants of all denominations.
The prophecy of the future of Christianity is also being fulfilled. Christ said, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake (Mt. 24:9). Terrible words. Nevertheless, this prophecy has been fulfilled throughout the history of the Church. It is enough to recall the first three centuries of Christianity, or the so-called “Great” French and October revolutions with all their monstrous violence against Christians.
The prophecy on persecutions against Christians in my opinion requires no commentary. What only didn’t go on in history—but twentieth century Russia, beginning from 1917, surpassed everything. History does not know such a scale of persecutions. These persecutions were carried out with frightening cruelty. Christians were not just shot, no; the violent mockery perpetrated on people, especially the faithful, defies the imagination. What didn’t they do to the clergy, monastics, peasants, and scholars—that is, to the best people? It was wild, satanic sadism. One priest said as much to me: “One had the impression that hell itself had splattered over the earth.”
And according to official statistics, at the current time a Christian is killed every five minutes only because he believes in Christ.
But remember, we spoke before about what is happening now with Christianity in the “free” West. There is, if you will, a real persecution against Christianity in all aspects—they are forbidding crosses and Gospels in schools and public buildings, or talking about Christ publicly; churches are being desecrated, Christian sacred shrines are being blasphemed, acts of vandalism are taking place—and all of this is happening with impunity in the “free” West! For example, in certain states in the U.S. you don’t have a right to have a Bible, the New Testament on your desk [at work or school], so that you won’t insult the feelings of people who believe differently. Everywhere is the authority of unprecedented “democracy”. You know what democracy is? Well, if you please—in Parliament fifty-one percent vote for some law, and forty-nine against it. The law is passed. And the forty-nine-percent minority is obliged to submit. True? Yes. But in the West it happens precisely the other way around: The majority submits to the minority. The majority can’t have signs, symbols of their faith, their traditional morals, and proclaim their natural gender. What a mockery of the very meaning of “democracy”! And this is real life in the West.
Christ’s prophecy on the coming fate of the Christian faith: When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth? (Lk. 18:8).
Now we see how Christian awareness is changing, that there is a catastrophic worldlification of it. The Christian ever more acutely find himself faced with the choice—what kind of savior does he need? Christ Jesus of the Gospels with His spiritual blessings, Who never did anything in the material sense; or the antichrist, who in the person of his idealogues promises with the help of scientific-technological development to give you everything? And “rational man” (homo sapiens) of course chooses, as a rule, the soap bubble of the hollow momentary joys of this life, instead of the endless blessings of eternity—although neither does Christianity take away anything good on earth.
What does our Orthodox population, for example, seek—life according to the Gospel? No, they want an Orthodox tsar, who will make Rus’ an Orthodox, invincible sovereign nation. But don’t our modern leaders already stand in church with candles in hand? Don’t they already allow us to have church services? Can’t we receive the sacraments? Do they forbid us to pray? We can do all this. So then what do we lack for living as Orthodox Christians? We need paradise on earth—all that is promised and by which the whole human race is seduced and cruelly deceived by the antichrist.
Isn’t that why St. Nektary of Optina, when asked whether there would be an Orthodox tsar in Rus’, answered: “Antichrist, antichrist, antichrist”. And even before him, St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) in one of his letters straightforwardly and with deep sorrow prophesied: “Our people can and must become the weapon of the genius of geniuses, who will finally bring into being the idea of universal monarchy.” Genius is what he calls the antichrist, whom half-people-half monkey-half robots will turn to with a certain elation. As for the main reason why Christians will also accept this universal monarch/high priest, St. Ignatius wrote, “Whoever has not received the Kingdom of God within himself will not recognize the antichrist; such a person will definitely, in a way that he himself doesn’t understand, become his follower…”1
By Whoever has not received the Kingdom of God within himself is meant the complete spiritual degeneration of the faithful, their total forgetfulness of Christ’s commandments, the substitution of them by external cult, rites, and customs, and the immersion of their souls exclusively into earthly affairs and interests. As a consequence of this they will become followers of antichrist and receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads… he name of the beast, or the number of his name (Rev. 13:16,17). This mark, whatever it might be, will be a sort of diabolical chrismation, the mark of the satanic spirit on the mind and heart of man, and everything he does.
In the Revelations of Apostle John the Theologian, the name of antichrist is signified by the number 666. This number is a kind of Biblical symbol of the ultimate fulness of earthly abundance, glory, and power, which became the goal of the Jewish religion. This number originated in the history of the reign of Solomon, during which the Jewish nation had reached astounding prosperity. The gold alone that came to Solomon every year equaled 666 talents (3 Kings 10:14; 2 Chron. 9:13)—that is, 32,707.26 kg.
Now understand Christ’s prophecy: When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? Do you think that antichrist will destroy churches, raze temples from the face of the earth, cast down gold domes and church bells like they did in 1917? No, you can have all that. Only there will not be Orthodox services in the churches but a parody of them—shows with satanic music and “priests”-actors, in expensive embroidered vestments like parrots with all the colors of the rainbow. These externals may be formally retained. The spirit, meaning, and content of religion will be perverted. The same thing that happened to divinely-revealed Judaism two thousand years ago will happen to Christianity. As Judaism degenerated into the scrupulous fulfillment of religious forms—legalism—and the belief in an earthly kingdom, in an earthly messiah, so Christianity, having abandoned its search for the Kingdom of God and man’s purification from the passions, and seeking instead the kingdom of earthly prosperity and an earthly king, will repeat the same destructive path.
The Christian West has already taken that path long ago. All religious faith there boils down exclusively to interests of earthly life: social work, politics, culture, entertainment, sports. Spirituality itself is understood only in the culturological sense. There is no longer even any talk of spirituality as freedom from the passions and the acquisition of sanctity, which is achieved only through a life according to Christ’s Gospel commandments.
Recently I read the concluding document of the Catholic episcopal conference on Amazonica (the region of the Amazon River), which was held at the Vatican with the pope’s participation. You get the impression that it was written by people for whom Christ, Who said, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, doesn’t exist at all. Nothing but politics, rights, freedoms, equal rights, economics, education—only those who receive these can reach Heaven. And the words, “Christ”, “Church”, or “God” are dropped into the document only out of necessity. It’s total worldlification of consciousness, pure materialism.
And just look at what the papal encyclicals are filled with. They are mostly filled with general phrases about morality, and for an understandable reason—so that we would live well here, on earth. No Christian spiritual ideas, which alone can impart the saving significance of morality, are there to be found. It is worth noting here that under antichrist in his universal government there will be absolute morality. Everyone will be microchipped, and no one will be able to steal anything, for example, because they will be momentarily punished. All people in submission will be “moral”, crime will disappear; a bright “paradise” will come for three and a half years (Rev. 13:5). This is what the universal kingdom of antichrist will be like, before the Second Coming of Christ.
And an intensified preparation for this is afoot. Here is a clear example. In certain Catholic churches in Germany it’s gotten to the point where so-called fools’ masses are conducted, at which both priests and parishioners put all their effort into indecent jokes, anecdotes, and comical antics. This is to what blasphemy that so-called Christian consciousness has come.
Recently an acquaintance of mine told me how he once visited the children’s book section of a store in England and was shocked at the names of the books for children: on vampires, the devil, depravity, dark powers, cruelty, sadism, etc. But the same thing is happening in Moscow at the large bookstore on the Arbat! As it turns out, the director and master is one and the same. He throws huge sums of money into corrupting people from childhood! Everywhere he is consciously, intentionally morally and spiritually corrupting children from infancy! Could people really not understand who could be doing this; could it really be, that seeing we do not see and hearing we do not hear the rule of satanists in our so-called civilized world?! There is an open demonization of people’s awareness, as both psychological and spiritual laws confirm: Everything that we receive through our senses, thoughts, and minds are forever imprinted in our souls, our subconscious, like a computer with an endless memory. And further is the natural consequence: A howl evokes a howl.
One involuntarily recalls the book by Alexandrov, a Russian who returned from France, From Experiences in Foreign Lands. In it is a chapter entitled, “Freemasons”, in which he writes, “Freemasonry has as its secret goal the destruction of Christianity, but not of other religions.” It’s interesting that he, a worldly man, an atheist, comes to such conclusions. He writes the same thing about ecumenism—the movement for the unity of all Christians into one church. But do you think that they are seeking the true Church through ecumenism in order to unite in it? Nothing of the sort. All Christian communities and associations, independently of their teaching on faith, morality, and spiritual life, are supposed to simply recognize each other as the Church and unite, that is, create some kind of insane mixed salad. You know, there is the physical sin of fornication, but here we have the same kind of sin, only of mystical fornication, when people gather into one Church as in Noah’s ark. There were the clean and unclean (Gen. 7:8). It is no coincidence that the apostle Paul warned: And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Cor. 6:15). Truly, such so-called “eucharistic hospitality” is not unity in Christ as the Truth, but blasphemy. This is what masonic ideology and ecumenism has achieved.
Ecumenism was in fact condemned at the pan-Orthodox Meeting of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches held in 1948 in Moscow (see the book, Acts of the Meeting of Heads and Representatives of Orthodox Churches in Connection With the 500-year Anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Autocephaly, Moscow, 1948).
In the present time it is becoming more and more obvious that in the world, first of all in the so-called civilized world, increasing with great speed is not only is moral depravation, but also the demonization of mankind, which will be fully revealed and fulfilled under the antichrist. He will of course be called the Messiah, the Supreme High Priest, the King of the World, etc. he will be raised and anointed to all these posts as head of all world religions—or more precisely, a unified world religion. Yes, the heads of what will in name be the Orthodox Churches will also be present there. He will complete what fallen mankind has striven towards throughout its history: He will give to all the slaves (the remaining part of mankind) “bread and circuses”, and to the chosen, unimaginable wealth. And what else is needed for those people who are already bowing down to Baphomet unto his coronation and who will turn into mindless cattle, and become like unto them” (Ps. 48:13)?! My friends, we need to warn others, because many do not know this, do not understand it, and to their great misfortune will accept this scoundrel and deceiver as Christ.
But the most intriguing prophecy of the antichrist, which many await—some with fear, others with impatience: Christ said, I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (Jn. 5:43). This another the apostle John the Theologian called antichrist (1 Jn. 2:18) and writes concerning him: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 2:18).
This will be a universal depot; he will be the king of the whole earth, and not only of some America or Russia for example.
St. Ignatius’s (Brianchaninov’s) prophecy about how, Our people can and must become the weapon of the genius of geniuses, who will finally bring into being the idea of universal monarchy, are not empty words. This is unfortunately quite possible.
If you remember what went on with people before the canonization of Tsar Nicholas II then you will understand that even then, before his canonization he was being called the “redeemer”, the “first righteous one”, the greatest of all Russian saints. Even Sts. Sergius of Radonezh, Seraphim of Sarov were relegated to second place. Look at the icon and you can see who is standing in first place—the greatest saint, and that’s him! Why? Because he’s an earthly tsar. People without understanding it are elementally waiting for him, expressing their hidden dreams and desires. They are waiting precisely for an earthly tsar—just like the Jews waited for their messiah! This fact is a remarkable confirmation of the above cited words of St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov). Constantine Leontev [the late nineteenth century Russian philosopher], by the way, wrote the same thing.
So, now we are standing before the face of what I would say is the active formation of the mother solution from which the foretold, terrible, black crystal is supposed to be born. This is obvious and no longer evokes any doubt for many reasons:
the depravations of human nature that are being forcibly inculcated into the so-called civilized world;
persecutions against Christianity, which are taking on a universal character (every five minutes a Christian dies, only due to his faith);
the accumulation of various terrifying weapons, capable of destroying everything living on earth, and possibly the planet itself;
the extreme global political tension in the world.
Globalization itself is going forward, as they now say, in the American way—that is, by way of hypocrisy, violence, wars, and cruelty. Just look at what things the USA is doing one after another in our part of the world: Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. In general, it is truly a diabolical globalization in the American way, which is working its will. And there’s no one to stop it, because a terrible collective waning of human spirit is under way. And where the spirit dies, there does the whole body suffer and decompose. And so, the body of the world is already immersed in convulsions. These convulsions are getting stronger and stronger.
Who is the one who will bring the earth’s tragedy to an end? What powerful words does the apostle Paul speak about him! If only Christians at least would read them: that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God… Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders (2 Thess. 2:23–4, 9). It is for these powers, signs, and wonders that our Orthodox people fall. Look at what happens when some sacred shrine is brought here, what queues form. And the main reason for them is, alas, not at all the seeking first of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (cf. Matt. 6:33). Everyone is looking for miracles. Go up to the line of people before some holy shrine and ask anyone: “For what are you praying?” I have no doubt that you will not hear anyone say something like, “I’m praying to be freed from vainglory, or envy, or lying,” or other passions. You won’t find it. You’ll hear: “I’m praying that my daughter finds a good husband, that my son is accepted at the institute, that my husband would not drink” and so on. In a word, interest in only the earthly side of life.
We are most of all concerned not over the soul but the body; we don’t need God but the earth, fleeting prosperity—which is what the antichrist promises.
One time at a lecture in a parish I asked the audience, “Who should we pray to against drunkenness?” Everyone answered together, “the [icon of the Mother of God of the] Inexhaustible Cup”. I said, “Correct, and don’t even think about praying before the Vladimir, Kazan, Iveron, or other icons of the Mother of God. It won’t help.” This is what we’ve come to! We don’t need the Mother of God, but a miracle from an icon.
So, as it turns out this is what kind of Orthodox Christians we are, in what terrible blindness we are stuck. Terrible, because with this understanding of faith one can readily accept any sorcerer, deceiver, or hypocrite as a saint and follow after him, abandoning Christ, Who said, He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me (Jn. 14:21). The antichrist will be just such a false christ and false prophet. For the Jews he will be the promised Messiah, but for those Christians who are awaiting an earthly king and earthly blessings, he will be Christ in His Second Coming. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life (Rev. 13:8).
Why will this happen? Apostle Paul explains: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thess. 2:10). And St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) wrote, “We are gradually nearing the time in which we be revealed a broad spectacle of numerous and astounding false miracles, which will entice to destruction those wretched nurslings of carnal mindedness, who will be spellbound and deceived by these miracles.2