“What’s going on?” article by Bishop of Yarraville and Australia and New Zealand Andrei
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Brothers and sisters, children of our Church,
Our Lord Jesus Christ admonished the Pharisees for their inability to discern the “signs of the times”. (Mat. 16:3). This rebuke also applies to us if we fail to comprehend the meaning of the unfolding events on earth.
The Hierarchs of the Russian Church have been speaking about the final days for decades. More and more, we have all witnessed the realisation of prophesies of the Holy Scripture and those of the Holy Fathers. Current events are implying that these final days are upon us. Our obligation as Bishops is to enunciate this plainly. The Church’s duty is to warn Her laity clearly so that everybody understands that the end of the world is not “at the doors” – it’s here already.
Of course, we are not given to “know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:7), but we must understand clearly that what is currently happening in this world, is an apocalyptic process. Nothing similar to this has ever occurred in the history of Mankind.
What part in the Book of Revelation from Apostle John the Theologian can be correlated to current times?
Apostle John saw “an Angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he cast him into a bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Rev. 20:1-3).
According to the explanation of the Holy Fathers, the one thousand year term that Satan was bound, means the period of development and triumph of Christ’s Church on earth. The death on the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, destroyed Satan’s power who was bound and his influence over humans curbed. However, shortly before the end, because of the decline of faith among people, Satan will be released and given complete authority over humanity, but not for long.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the world” (Rev. 20:7).
It’s impossible to characterise more precisely of what is occurring now as “to deceive the nations” of the entire world; the unfolding of an unheard of propaganda drive, its aim being to inject hysteria and fear; the speed of changes causing a loss of reality of what is transpiring, as though it’s all some kind of fantastic dream. The free will of the people is being crushed through fear, the aim being to spiritually and physically enslave them.
Restrictions on elementary rights have become the new norm. The rights to perform Church Services: freedom of assembly: freedom of speech and freedom of movement have all been taken away. Work and visits to friends and close ones are forbidden. The government is laying claim for control of people’s private lives. The people are driven into harsh parameters of new rules by exorbitant fines.
The new rules are even impinging upon the sovereignty of the individual’s body by compulsory wearing of masks and vaccinations. And this is despite the fact that many experts have placed the benefits of such measures in doubt. The absurdity of such mandatory order is demeaning to a free person.
Like marionettes, the governments of all the nations are subordinate to the orders of the unseen global centre. They make decisions that are destructive to the economy and damaging to the welfare of the populace. The absurdity of these measures lies in that they completely fail to achieve their intended objective i.e. the saving of lives. And the same authorities acknowledge that the number of lost lives as a result of suicides because of unemployment: because of the economic crisis, and because of compulsory isolation, will be much higher than deaths from the virus itself.
It’s hard to accept that all the authorities throughout the world have lost their minds; in such case they are pursuing completely different objectives to that of the ones that they have announced. Undoubtedly, there are clandestine plans in existence about which one can only speculate.
Some 2000 years ago, Apostle Paul foretold: “…for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:7-8).
According to the explanation by St. John Chrysostom regarding the “restrainer” of the Antichrist’s appearance – this is the Tsar’s autocratic power or the grace of the Holy Spirit.
These two perceptions do not contradict one another.
From a political standpoint, a powerful authority of a Christian monarch makes the reign of the Antichrist over the whole world unthinkable. As Saint Theophan the Recluse states: “The Tsar’s authority… would not allow him (Antichrist) to deploy, but would obstruct his activities to reach his ends. Thus, here is “the restraining”. When the Tsar’s power falls, and the nations everywhere will establish self-rule (republics, democracies); then the Antichrist will act freely”.
It has been over one hundred years since the murder of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas. The main political obstacle was removed and the “mystery of lawlessness” began to act in the world openly, effectively and unhindered.
From the spiritual side, the appearance of the Antichrist is impeded by the grace of the Holy Spirit which is present in the Church. The True Church – God’s Kingdom on earth – blocks the Antichrist’s reign over the world.
It was essential that the voice of the true Church be stifled. This was achieved completely in 2007 when ROCA had fallen. Although She “has a little strength” (Rev. 3:8), She implemented Her ministry – to be the light of Truth in the darkness of the devil’s lies that had enveloped the world. The nature of light is such that even the tiniest source of light can be clearly seen in the dark.
What is transpiring today in the world indicates that the “mystery of lawlessness” has openly taken its course to achieve its goal – enslavement of the whole world for the Antichrist. There are no more obstacles standing in the way for achieving this aim, because “the restrainer is taken out of the way”. There is nothing to hinder the arrival of the Antichrist – neither civil authorities nor Church hierarchy.
The official Church has assumed Her customary position. The Bishops of the Sergianist world Orthodoxy obediently, subserviently and complaisantly agree with the directives of the authorities about church closures. More than that, the Bishops themselves are introducing new blasphemous guidelines in the offering of the Holy Communion, which are offensive to the holiness of the Mystery. “Tasteless salt” – worldly Church – not only doesn’t counteract antichristian decrees of the authorities, but quite the opposite – she confirms them with her authority.
Today, there is no authoritative voice of truth in the world. The voice of truth can only come from the True Church. In his “Word on the End of the World”, St Ephraim of Syria states that at the last period people will be tearfully asking one another: “Is there God’s Word anywhere in the world?… and will hear the answer: Nowhere”.
What are we to do?
In His talk with His Disciples on the end of time, our Lord Jesus Christ says this: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”. (Luke 21:28).
We must wrench our thoughts from the earthly – from earthly attachments, and focus the eyes of our soul toward God.
As St Ephraim in the same above homily says that only those that have left all their cares about the earthly life will be able to recognise the Antichrist’s allurements: “but he whose mind is on worldly matters and loves the earthly, for him it will not be evident: he who is always bound to earthly matters – even though he will hear – will not believe it and despise those that utter this”.
This is akin to those who didn’t believe Noah, who warned about the flood, and also like Lot’s sons-in-law, who decided that he was joking when he tried to convince them to flee Sodom. Similarly, those who are tightly bound to earthly matters will not recognise the Antichrist and will subject to ridicule those who speak about it.
The Lord concluded His talk about the last days with this instruction: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man”. (Luke 21:36).