The sign of the times 666
by Elder Paisios of Mt Athos of ever-blessed memory
by Elder Paisios of Mt Athos of ever-blessed memory
After the devil's cataclysm, God's sunshine will appear.
Therefore, behind the perfect system of the computerised "convenience cards", is hidden the universal dictatorship, the slavery of the Antichrist. Also "he causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number is 666" (Rev 13:16-18).
St. Andreas of Caesarea writes, "On the dirty name of the Antichrist. Time and experience will reveal to those who are vigilant the accuracy of the numbers and anything else written about him ... but divine grace did not wish that the name of the scourge be written in the Holy Bible; a lot will be found written on the subject..."
Oddly enough, many spiritual people, apart from the fact that they give their own interpretations on this issue, are afraid of the evolving secular filing-system. They should also be concerned in a spiritual way, however, and help Christians by alerting them positively on the subject and strengthen their faith, so that they can feel God's consolation.
I wonder! Don't they question what is going on? Why don't they put a question mark next to their mind's interpretations? What if they help the Antichrist in marking more people? How can they sway these people from losing their souls? "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Mk 13:22).
Those who give their own interpretations will be led astray.
Things are very clear. The 'beast-with 666' in Brussels has swallowed almost all the countries in its computers. The card, the identification cards, the introduction to the mark, what do they indicate? Unfortunately, we only listen to the radio when we want to hear the weather report.
What will Christ tell us? "Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times" (Mt 16:3).
After the card, the identification cards and the establishment of the filing-system, they will maliciously proceed to the marking by announcing on Television that someone stole another person's card and withdrew all his money from his bank account. On the other hand, they will advertise the "perfect system", the marking of the Antichrist's name, 666, on the hand and forehead with laser beams which will not be externally detectable.
Unfortunately, some that think of themselves as knowledgeable will swaddle (bind) "their spiritual children, as if they were babies in order to console them by telling them 'it doesn't matter, it's nothing, as long as you have faith inside you'. While we see that St. Peter externally denied Christ, and it was a denial, they deny the holy mark of Christ, which was granted to them through the Holy Baptism - the Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit", by accepting the mark of the Antichrist. These will claim they have Christ inside them!
Unfortunately, some "knowledgeable" people shared the same logic during the years of the holy martyrs and tried to change the minds of the prospective martyrs. St. Basil the Great writes, in his speech on Martyr Gordios, "many people were being irrational by trying to convince the martyr to deny Christ with his words only, and keep his faith in his soul, in his inner disposition, claiming that God does not pay attention to our words but to our disposition. However, martyr Gordios was rigid in his belief and replied, "the tongue, which is created by Christ, cannot bear to utter anything against Him... Do not deceive yourselves, God cannot be mocked, he judges us according to our own mouth, he justifies us by our words, and by our words, he convicts us".
Also, Dekios had issued a decree ordering Christians to avow the religion of paganism; those who did and offered a sacrifice to the idols, were granted a certificate and thus were saved from martyrdom. The Church considers these people who denied Christ, together with those who gave money to the committee of pagans and took the certificate without denying Christ, the so-called "liveloforoi", as being apostates and sinners.
We have many examples, such as the miracle of St. Theodoros that is celebrated every year on the Saturday of the First Week of the Great Lent. "Julian, the Apostate, knowing that Christians are cleansed more by fasting strictly during the First Week of the Great Lent, which for this reason we call Pure Week, chose to pollute them during this specific period. He, therefore, secretly ordered that food, which had been polluted by the blood of the idols' sacrifices, be put out in the market place during this week. By holy appearance Martyr Theodoros appeared to Archbishop of Constantinople Evdoxios in his sleep. The martyr revealed the mystical message to the Archbishop and asked him to gather the faithful people immediately on Monday morning, and alert them not to eat from this food. Instead, he offered them "kolliva" (boiled wheat given at memorial services) to replace the shortage of food. The aim of the Apostate was thus annulled and the devout people were protected and kept pure.
Abstaining from the pollution of the idols is a rule of the Apostles. "…The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter …abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood" (Acts 15:6, 20).
Despite what I just reported, unfortunately, we hear today a lot of nonsense from those considered "knowledgeable". Some people say, "I will accept the identification card with the number 666, but I will put the sign of the Cross next to it". Others say, "I will accept being marked on the forehead with the number 666, but I will also put the sign of the Cross next to it". They think that by this way they can be sanctified, but this is only an illusion.
Only what is accepted with Holy Water is sanctified. For instance, water can be blessed and become Holy Water. Urine cannot be sanctified. A stone can be turned into bread by a miracle. Whatever is dirty, cannot be sanctified. Therefore, putting the sign of the cross next to it cannot sanctify the symbol of the Antichrist (devil) on our identification card, our head or hand.
We have the power of the Holy Cross (our holy symbol) and the divine grace of Christ, only as long as we have the holy marking of the Holy Baptism. In other words, we have denied the devil and sided with Christ, and received the Holy Marking (the seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit).
May God enlighten us. With lots of pain and love in Christ.
Panagouda Cell of Koutloumousiou Monastery,
Saturday, First Week of Lent, 1987.