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Monday, November 21, 2005

Age of apostasy

Excerpt from:
http://www.roca.org/OA/22/22d.htm

In our age of apostasy preceding the manifestation of Antichrist, the devil has been loosed for a time (Apoc. 20:7) to work the false miracles which he could not work during the "thousand years" of grace in the Church of Christ (Apoc. 20:3), and to gather in his hellish harvest of those souls who "received not the love of the truth"(II Thes. 2:10). We can tell that the time of Antichrist is truly near by the very fact that this satanic harvest is now being reaped not merely among the pagan peoples, who have not heard of Christ, but even more among "Christians" who have lost the savor of Christianity. It is of the very nature of Antichrist to present the kingdom of the devil as if it were of Christ. The present-day "charismatic" movement and "Christian meditation," and the "new religious consciousness" of which they are part, are forerunners of the religion of the future, the religion of 'the last humanity, the Religion of Antichrist, and their chief "spiritual" function is to make available to Christians the demonic initiation hitherto restricted to the pagan world .

What has brought humanity--and indeed Christendom--to this desperate state? Certainly it is not any overt worship of the devil which is limited always to a few people; rather; it is something much more subtle, and something fearful for a conscious Orthodox Christian to reflect on: it is the less of the grace of God, which follows on the loss of the savor of Christianity.

How much, then, must Orthodox Christians walk in the fear of God, trembling lest they lose His grace, which by no means is given to everyone, but only to those who hold the true Faith, lead a life of Christian struggle, and treasure the grace of God which leads them heavenward. And how much more cautiously must Orthodox Christians walk today above all, when they are surrounded by a counterfeit Christianity that gives its own experiences of “grace” and the “Holy Spirit” and can abundantly quote the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers to "prove" it! Surely the last times are near, when there will come spiritual deception so persuasive as to deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect (Matt. 24,:24) .
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