COVID 19 Announcing the Antichrist – 3

God begins his testimony about the last days with a warning to not be deceived. You can see mobs of imposters swooping into tv screens, into computer monitors, into mortified newspapers, into games and videogames, all with one goal – to separate us from our Lord. “For many will come in my name saying, ‘I am the Christ’, and they will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

So how do we recognize those many? “The very nature of Antichrist, who is to be the last great world ruler and the last opponent of Christ, is to be anti – Christ, and that “anti” means not only against, but also instead of, or imitation of Christ. Antichrist, as all the Holy Fathers say in their writings about him, is to be someone who imitates Christ, that is tries to fool people by looking as though he is Christ come back to Earth.” says father Seraphim Rose. Father Rose sheds light on why blasphemous spectacles against God- and recently even obscene movies and plays with “Christ” in the main role – are produced. That is to humanize the image of our Christ, Godman, to deprive Him of His divine splendour and beauty, so that He becomes common, and when Antichrist appears, people can say: “Yes, that is him, that is Christ.”

St. Justin of Celije says: “Satan will give his power, his throne, his territory to his pet the Antichrist, and he will work by deceiving, turning even into the Angel of Light trying to attract as many followers as possible. “The abominable will come – says Ephrem the Syrian – like a thief in such an appearance that would deceive anyone; he will appear calm, gentle, ostensibly righteous, loathing idols, ostensibly religious, virtuous, loving the poor, of kind face, gentle to all. Along the way he will use crafty steps to please everyone, so people like him. He will deceive the world before he takes the kingdom. And along the way he will, with great supremacy, create portents, miracles, terrors….And when many classes and nations see his virtues and power, they will all accept one thought, and with great joy declare him the king saying: is there a more gentle and just man?”

But the Antichrist will prosecute the Christians, and he will be at war with the Holy, and he will win, and he will do anything to get those who don’t bow to him killed. (Father Justin)

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, and never will be.” (Matthew 24:21)

This disgrace that has befallen us, we, the Christians, take as an educational measure from God. Human race is reaping what they had sown with the devil a long time ago. However, let’s not panic, because we believe there is someone, or something that “is holding him back so that he may be revealed in his time.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6) Let’s believe in God; let’s rely upon Lord. Quickly and easily, God will get even with him. “Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

When this will happen, no one knows. “About times and dates, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you, for you, yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1,2) That’s why our Lord is warning us to stay awake, for we don’t know on what day our Lord will come. (Matthew 24:42)

Let’s prepare my brothers – warns us our Bishop Nikolaj – because the clouds are gathering, and God’s lightening will strike from them any moment now.

And as Father Seraphim advises us: “We watch the signs of the times not just so we can see about when Antichrist is going to come. That’s rather a secondary thing. We watch the signs of the times so we can know when Christ is going to come. That is a very fundamental thing we have to keep in mind, so we do not get overwhelmed by gloom, depression, or stay to ourselves, storing up food for the great calamity. That’s not a very wise thing. We have to be, rather, all the more Christian, that is, thinking about other people, trying to help others. If we ourselves are cold and gloomy and pessimistic, we are participating in this coldness which is a sign of the end. We have to ourselves be warm and helping each other out. That’s the sign of Christianity.”