Friday, December 19, 2008

Of Antichrist's Worldwide Political Authority

Excerpt from:
Antichrist
By Archpriest Boris Molchanoff

Of Antichrist's worldwide political authority the Apocalypse states: "And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations' (Rev.13:7). Although ordinary human efforts and means will be important in the process of Antichrist's seizing of all world power, the principal source of his success will not lie therein. "And his power shall be great" (Dan 8:24). Antichrist will receive his power and authority from Satan. "And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev.13:2). And only through Satan's constant assistance will it be possible to explain Antichrist's unusual success in seizing control of the whole world and his singular strength, which no human power and authority will be able to oppose or hinder. Prof. Belyaev states:
"Antichrist will act with the Devil's power and miracles, and this power is very great...(Moreover,) with rapid communications and modes of transportation it is possible to bring about a worldwide upheaval in a very short order" (On Atheism and Antichrist, Vol, I, p.765).

The universal acknowledgment of the Antichrist as ruler of the world will be bound up simultaneously with the international recognition of him as the sole spiritual head of all religions. Vladimir Soloviev, in his last work, Three Discourses, suggested that, having achieved power, Antichrist will convoke an "ecumenical council" of the leaders of the world's religions. At this council (held in Jerusalem), Antichrist will suggest that everyone unite to form one flock under one shepherd. He will direct the most attention to Christians of all confessions, promising them every preferment for recognizing him as their master. St. Ephraim the Syrian writes:
"He will trumpet about himself as his forerunner trumpeted about him, and shall call himself preacher and restorer of the knowledge of God. Those that do not understand Christianity will see in him a spokesman for and champion of true religion, and will flock to him. He will herald himself as, and call himself, the promised messiah. Students of worldly wisdom will cry out on meeting him; seeing his glory, might brilliant talents and widely developed maturity in worldly matters, they will proclaim him a god, and will become his lackeys"
(Discourse CVI, p. 2; cf. also Bishop Ignatius, op. cit., p. 301)

Furthermore, it is very important to note that all the holy Fathers consider the main reason for the peoples' rapid and irrational enthusiasm for Antichrist to be their lack of spiritual understanding, their total immersion in a fleshly state. And since spiritual understanding can be attained and developed only under the conditions of the correct spiritual life taught by the Orthodox Church, then at that moment only Orthodox Christians will be found to be in full spiritual armor, able to recognize all of Antichrist's snares and guile -- yet not all Orthodox Christians, but only that small portion of them who will live a spiritual life according to the canons of the Church. Heretics and adherents of false religions who have either lost the spiritual life completely or practice it in an incorrect or perverted forms, will inevitably fall victim to Antichrist's delusion. Antichrist will subtly transform the cult of the God-man into a cult of a man-"god", and will demand that he himself be worshipped as God. In the Sacred Scriptures he is described as one who exalts himself "above all that is called God or that is worshipped" (Thess 2:3-4) , as one who speaks "great hings and blashemies", blasphemies against God "and His tabernacles, and them that dwell in heaven" (Rev. 13:5-6).