“Little children, it is the last hour; and even as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, from which we know it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18)
The coming in the flesh of the Divine Person of the Logos has initiated the “last hour” on earth. In this last hour the whole drama as revealed in the book of Revelation is playing out.
Christians of every time and generation are called to watchfulness, for, as the Lord says, “You know not the day nor hour in which the Son of Man comes” (cf. Matt. 25:13). At current the “last hour” has lasted around two thousand years, which to us may seem like a long time. Yet, the Holy Scriptures speak prophetically of the temptation to fall into a state of complacency. “I stir up your mind to be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first, that during the last days mockers shall come, walking according to their own desires, and saying where is the promise of His coming? … All things continue thus as they were from the beginning of creation … The Lord is not slow as to the promise, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing to have any perish, but to have all come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:1-4, 9).
We must watchfully guard vigilance, taking seriously that we are indeed in the “last hour.” Do we know the exact day and minute of the end of this hour and the return of our Lord? No. Yet, we are given a clear commandment to watch and, indeed, know the “signs of the time” (cf. Matt. 24:30ff). Moreover, St. Peter instructs us to be mindful of the words spoke before by the holy prophets. Of course, his immediate context is the Old Testament prophets. Since the time he penned these words many other prophets have spoken.
In this post I would like to contemplate the words of a prophet of the 20th century, St. Paisios of Mt. Athos. Although I first read his words years ago, I have since revisited them. I was overwhelmed at how in reading them I felt as if he were simply describing the world around me today. I make no claim that the end is tomorrow, but I feel safe in saying, brothers and sisters, it is the last hour, let us be watchful and ready.
All quotes from St. Paisios are from the book “Spiritual Awakening,” chapter “The Signs of the Times.” I also will provide page numbers, thus anyone who desires to read further in the book itself may do so.
It is vital to stress from the beginning that as Christians we should never live in fear, that is God is our God, He is governing all things. Our hope is in Him. The saint emphasizes this by first stating, “Will we be afraid of the Antichrist if we are united to Christ? Isn’t the antichrist spirit present today? One way or another, evil is done by the antichrist spirit” (pg. 197). That is, if we are being united to Christ our Lord, then we will overcome the base fear of the world. In complete harmony with Holy Scripture he points out that every evil is done through the antichrist spirit, it has been working for a while now. The Antichrist will be the final and last manifestation of this spirit.
There are some folks who for some reason think that to speak about or to investigate the “signs of the times” is to be being infatuated with “darkness.” I’ve been told such things. Yet, here we have a great saint of the 20th century explicitly speaking and warning Christians about the times. Maybe those folks would just write the saint off as a “conspiracy theorist.”
He says, “Gradually some of these signs are emerging. I have been speaking out for so many years now. The situation is terrible, unimaginable! The foolishness has exceeded all boundaries. Apostasy is here …” (ibid).
Of course, St. Paisios is not the only saint to speak on the signs of the times; yet he did speak frequently about them. This indicates that he, inspired by the Holy Spirit, knew it was a vital topic to cover. Yes, it is by no means pleasant but we in the “West” are much too consumed with pleasantries. It is important to speak about the signs of the times.
Well over thirty years ago (he passed away in 1994) the saint warned that the Apostasy is here. We would be naïve in the greatest sense to disregard this warning. I wonder where that puts us today? Indeed, current events have further proven that “foolishness” has only grown. People are willingly surrendering to draconian tyranny to be kept “safe,” as just one of a multitude of modern examples. Moreover in the Christian world many are in action calling into question the holiness of holy things.
In that vein he tells us, “We will see the most incredible things, the most irrational things happening. But these events will occur and pass quickly” (pg. 198). Indeed, “irrationality” seems to have seized so many. A Christian is reminded of the words of St. Antony the Great, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad. You are not like us.’” The ultimate events of the “last hour” will not be long, but a few years, and remember a few years is not that long in the grand scheme of things. Indeed the Scriptures tells us that “for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matt. 24:22).
What does the saint identify as one of the primary facilitators of the spirit of the antichrist? Globalism. “Ecumenism, the European Union, one huge nation, one religion made to fit – these are the schemes of the devil.” (ibid). Yes, here is St. Paisios speaking of the plans that are currently being advanced all around us. Pay attention, the saint in unequivocal terms calls modern Ecumenism the work of the devil. We may see clearly around us the new world religion emerging, at its head is positioned the Pope of Rome, from the Orthodox world the Ecumenical Patriarch is advocating for “reunion,” pandering for acceptance by the new world order, all the while building a pseudo-orthodoxy in Ukraine, most likely at their behest (I’ve written much on this subject). These are the “schemes of the devil.”
Modern man is too “enlightened” to believe in God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, he still searches for a savior. St. Paisios says, “There will be great confusion. In that confusion, everyone will be looking for a Messiah to save them.” (ibid). The enemy of our salvation is the master of confusion. He, using his willing human minions, has instigated great confusion in the world around us. I touched on this subject of searching for a savior in a recent post, “In God we no longer trust,” so I will not say more here.
“Difficult years are ahead; we will be tested severely. The Christians will suffer great persecution. And, you see, people are not at all aware that we are living during the signs of the times, that the sealing is already advancing. It is as if nothing is happening. This is why the Sacred Scripture says that even the elect will be deceived. Those without a good disposition will not be enlightened and will be mislead during the years of apostasy. For whoever does not have divine Grace, does not have spiritual clarity, just like the devil” (pgs. 198-199).
In our pleasure loving times the last thing we want to hear is that difficult years are ahead. Ignorance of the signs of the times among Christians is a problem. It is my opinion that this is connected to some of the actions taken during the whole “kufid crises.” Yet, the saint tells us things, that is – the plan of the antichrist spirit, are advancing. But don’t worry, just wear a mask and keep yourself physically save!
An enlightened disposition comes from measuring all things in light of the Fathers and the Life of the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit.
“After all, we didn’t come into this world to have an easy life” (pg 199).
For those who will hold fast to the Faith, prepare yourselves for difficulties.
“God is being patient … Nowhere in the teaching of Christ is there a specific reference to time. However, Sacred Scripture does say that the signs of the times will warn us of their coming. We must always be ready and shall see them when the time nears. Then we will be more certain. ‘Time and experience will reveal (the events) to those who are vigilant’ (St. Andrew of Crete)” (pg. 202).
The saint echoes the words of St. Peter. To be concerned in a Godly and healthy fashion with the “signs of the times” is a profitable endeavor. I’m still sometimes amazed to have heard even Orthodox say that to be soberly mindful of such things is to be “feeding on darkness.” Strange.
What will be another mode through which the culmination of the Antichrist will come? Global economy, an economy in which only those approved may participate. We are witnessing such structures being erected around us today.
“For the Jews the number 666 is a symbol of economy. As mentioned in the Old Testament, the Israelites imposed a specific tax upon the people they conquered through various wars. The annual amount of the tax was 666 talents of gold (cf. 1 Kings 10:14). Now, to subdue the whole world, they are again imposing this taxation number, which is connected with their glorious past. That’s why they don’t want to replace it with another number. In other words, the number 666 is the symbol of Mammon … The Gospel says clearly: Either Christ or Mammon. ‘You cannot serve God and Mammon’ (cf. Matt. 6:24)” (pg. 203).
Speaking further on the economic dictatorship which will be a main component of the coming technocracy, the saint teaches,
“Later on, anyone who is not marked with the number 666 will not be able to either buy or sell, to get a loan, to get a job, and so forth. My thinking tells me that this is the system through which the Antichrist has chosen to take over the whole world, and people who are not part of this system won’t be able to find work and so on, – whether black or white or red; in other words, everyone he will take over through an economic system that controls the global economy, and only those who have accepted the seal, the mark of the number 666, will be able to participate in business dealings” (pg. 204)
“Little by little, after the credit card and the ID card; that is, after the personal ‘record’ of each person, they will proceed insidiously to the seal. Through various cunning means, they will compel people to accept the seal on the forehead or on the arm. They will force the issue and say, ‘You can only use the card; currency will be abolished’ … Whoever does not have a card will not be able to buy or sell. On the other hand, they will begin promoting ‘the other more perfect system’ by marking every person with the 666, using laser beams on the forehead or arm, which will not be visible on the outside.” (pg. 209)
“Anyone who is not sealed will simply not be able to live normally in society. They will then again say, ‘Your troubles come from not being sealed; if you accept the seal, you will not have these difficulties.’ If anyone happens to have gold sovereigns or dollars, he will not be able to use them … So if you can now learn to live simply and frugally, you will be able to get through those difficult years. It will be helpful to have a small field, to cultivate some wheat of potatoes; to have a few olive trees, and then with some animals, a goat, a few chickens you will be able to provide for the needs of your family … Naturally, these difficult times will be short, three to three and a half years. The time will be shortened for the sake of the elect. They will not realize how quickly the time will pass. God will not leave man without help.” (pg. 211)
He clearly indicates that people will be marked in someway, this mark will contain all of a person’s information. He notes it will not be visible from the outside. Such “technology” is a very real thing today, take “Quantum Dot Tattoos” or “Luciferase” as examples. The system, he says, will be based in a “global economy.” I’ll just repeat it, Globalism and all its offspring of “isms” is ultimately a system of Antichrist. Remember, the “religious” aspect of this system is “Ecumenism.” The saint also speaks of the goal of a “cashless society.”
Other saints also indicate that the apostasy will revolve around economic pressure and our Western desire for comfort, take St. Seraphim of Vyritsa for example, “The time will come when there will be no persecution, but money and the attractions of this world will draw people away from God and many more souls will perish than during the period of open militant atheism.”
Note how St. Paisios says the pressure to conform will be subtle. “All your troubles will go away if you just ….” It is, in my opinion, interesting to note that this is the tactic being used at present to coerce people into following the “kufid mandates.” “Just follow the mandates and we can get back to normal!” It is very possible we are just being conditioned further. All those saying that it is “loving” to just follow the mandates will also be saying similar things when the next phases advance. You hater, can’t you just do it for love of your neighbor!
I find it extremely interesting that the saint also mentions a vaccine. I’ve also covered this topic in a fairly extensive manner in past posts, here let it suffice to note St. Paisios’ words, “And now a vaccine has been developed to combat a new disease, which will be obligatory and those taking it will be marked” (pg. 204).
Hummm … Now is this explicitly the kufid vaccine? I don’t know for sure; yet it is completely new and experimental. As I’ve stated elsewhere, the concept of a vaccine is not bad at all, yet, that concept in the hands of wicked men becomes evil.
Maybe if the kufid vaccine becomes mandatory for all it will better reveal its purpose.
The saint then speaks about mass surveillance. Sound familiar? Oh, that is what is happening all around us! The saint is describing a technocracy. The antichrist system is technocratic in its modern manifestation.
“Their whole life, what they say, what they do, everything, will be monitored through computers. Do you see the dictatorship the devil has devised” (pg. 205)!
“Some Europeans have resisted these developments because they fear a global dictatorship. We, the Orthodox Christians, resist these developments, because we do not want the Antichrist – nor the dictatorship, of course. Serious events are awaiting us, but they will not stand for long. Just as Orthodox Christianity was not wiped out by Communism and other enemies in the past, so it will not be wiped out now” (pg. 205-206).
It seems implied that resisting the antichrist system is a very acceptable endeavor.
I’ve said things like the above and have been called a conspiracy theorist, spreading fear, distrust, skepticism, and fanaticism. Now of course I’m in no way equating myself with St. Paisios; I’m still in tee-ball while he is in the major leagues. My point is, the saints have prophetically spoken of these things, I’m just repeating their words. They warned the faithful out of deep concern for their salvation, I hope, in some small manner, to be participating in that work.
Serious events are awaiting us, indeed it could be that serious events are upon us. How seriously should we be taking it? I think very.
St. Paisios leaves us with hope. In Christ our Lord we will find refuge. Although not receiving the ultimate seal of the antichrist spirit will entail physical hardship, the spiritual comfort that will come from Christ Jesus, the Theotokos, and the Saints will be beautiful.
“Those who are not sealed will have a better fate than the others, because Christ will help those who are not sealed. And this is no small matter” (pg. 204).
I will end with these words, spoken by the saint regarding the prophetic words that have been briefly examined in this post. May God grant to us His grace and wisdom, through the prayers of St. Paisios!
“I did not express my own opinion; I simply stated the words of Christ, of the Gospel, because our opinion must be subject to the will of God as recorded in the Gospel … I am not afraid to speak the truth openly.” (pg. 207)