Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Comparing the First and Second Coming of Christ

The Old Testament tells us that He will come. The Four Gospels tell us that He has come. From the book of Acts through the book of Revelation we read that He will come again.

The first time Jesus came unnoticed into the world, the second time “every eye will see Him.”

In His first coming Jesus humbled Himself, being born in a stable in Bethlehem. When He returns, He will come back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Erythraean Sybil and Her Prophetic Acrostic Concerning the Coming of Christ

The word Sybil comes (via Latin) from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. The Erythraean Sybil was the prophetess of classical antiquity presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Erythrae, a town in Ionia opposite Chios, which was built by Neleus, the son of Codrus. Many Church Fathers believed that she prophesied the coming of Christ through the acrostic ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΕΙΣΤΟΣ ΘΕΟΥ ΥΙΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡ ΣΤΑΥΡΟΣ or JESUS CHRIST GOD SON SAVIOR CROSS. The translation below of the Oration of Constantine from the 4th century is poetically formed to fit the original, but the original Greek can be read here and a more literal translation here.

By Saint Constantine the Great

My desire, however, is to derive even from foreign sources a testimony to the Divine nature of Christ. For on such testimony it is evident that even those who blaspheme his name must acknowledge that he is God, and the Son of God if indeed they will accredit the words of those whose sentiments coincided with their own.

The Erythræan Sybil, then, who herself assures us that she lived in the sixth generation after the flood, was a priestess of Apollo, who wore the sacred fillet in imitation of the God she served, who guarded also the tripod encompassed with the serpent's folds, and returned prophetic answers to those who approached her shrine; having been devoted by the folly of her parents to this service, a service productive of nothing good or noble, but only of indecent fury, such as we find recorded in the case of Daphne. On one occasion, however, having rushed into the sanctuary of her vain superstition, she became really filled with inspiration from above, and declared in prophetic verses the future purposes of God; plainly indicating the advent of Jesus by the initial letters of these verses, forming an acrostic in these words: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, Cross.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What Is Eschatology?

By Fr. Dmitri Dudko

Eschatology is the doctrine concerning the end of the world. Today eschatology has gained a particular urgency. The means of destruction attained by our age threaten universal annihilation. So in order not to be confused by all these impending events, we must examine the "end of the world" from the viewpoint of Christian eschatology.

What does the end of the world mean for the Christian? The beginning of eternity, the inauguration of a better life. The atheists want to distort our understanding of eschatology. They say that Christians are pessimists, that since Christians consider the next world as the only real one, they do not want to work in this world. This is not so. That world is attained in this one. So for the Christian every minute in this world is precious. The fewer of them that remain, the more effort he must exert.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Elder Ambrose Lazaris: "Christians Do Not Await the Coming of the Antichrist"

Elder Ambrose Lazaris said:

Christians do not await the coming of the Antichrist to earth, to fight against him, since they are already fighting against him.

The Apostle Paul says that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith, temperance.

Christ also says, however, that in the human soul there are passions: anger, murder, fornication, adultery, lewdness, rudeness, disorder, disputation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Elder Porphyrios: "We Ought Not To Fear the Antichrist Or 666"

One day Elder Porphyrios had told me:

"Father Athanasios (taking me by the hand tightly), I'm blind now, my eyes do not work physically because I have cancer of the pituitary gland, but I have spiritual eyes and see. Before you leave, I want you to tell me, what did Elder Aemilianos say about 666 and the Antichrist?"

This was in the days of Chernobyl. People were upset by this and went by the dozens every day, particularly to Elder Porphyrios near Athens, asking: "What will happen? Will the Antichrist come and stamp us with 666?"

The Elder asked me: "Tell me, my child, what did Elder Aemilianos say about 666 and the Antichrist?"

I told him: "He told us in a gathering a few days ago to not worry. We should be interested in having a vibrant relationship with Christ and not give much attention to the Antichrist, because then he will become the center of our lives and not Christ."