The mystery of iniquity and lawlessness
In one sentence?
“through appearing of fighting against unspeakable iniquity, it shall be possible for the lawlessness to call itself righteousness”
The whole movement of “spiritual awakening” Blessed Seraphim Rose wrote about in the 70’s and 80’s in his book “Orthodoxy and the religion of the future” is heading towards a climax with the arrival of a charismatic world leader that would solve all the iniquities which are being gradually revealed to the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, this mystery of iniquity hes been revealed more and more to the point where everything in the world we see today is iniquity: economic, financial, political, social, environmental and religious: economies are being destroyed and looted (see Greece and soon the whole western world will realize they had been left with nothing but debt), financial scandals (Libor, MF Global etc) and crises follow one after another and a much bigger financial crisis is in the works right now; on the political front unjust wars are being waged everywhere, and corruption in politics has reached unbelievable levels; socially, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer and the class division has never been bigger, bankers are immune to any prosecution where the little guy is being put in prison for collecting rain water from the roof of his house or growing a vegetable garden in his front yard; the environmental disasters are also out of control (at least in part due to geo-engineering like Chemtrails and HAARP, and some arguably manufactured crises like the BP oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown); the religious field is being plowed with the greatest injustice of all: the ecumenical movement, the covert operation to destroy Orthodoxy and the True Church of Christ !
That is why we say the workers of the antichrist have been hard at work for over a century now to prepare for his coming !
While all these injustices are being poured onto mankind, the evil one has also sent his “prophets” which are hard at work today, to herald the coming of a new era of justice and peace, where all the problems of the world would be healed ! Blessed Seraphim Rose identified so clearly the early stages of this in the “charismatic revival movement” he talks about in his above mentioned book.
One of these “prophets” is without doubt, David Icke who called himself “son of god” some years ago. Take for example this kind of message he keeps sending out: Breaking The Spell & The Full Magnitude of Who We Are.
But he is not alone, Glenn Beck who developed his own movement of “spiritual awakening” (while displaying the skull&bones symbol everywhere – see this) is also hard at work, heralding everywhere the return of the “new George Washington” to heal the american nation so hardly tested since 911, and he even presented his own plans to “restore america”, calling it “the third great awakening” and promises unprecedented scientific advances that will bring America to it’s former glory, for which purpose he created the “American Dream Labs” (it is clear that this is the same kind of atitude Johnatan Cahn fully exposed in his book “The Harbinger” in which he describes the “Spirit of Defiance” America adopted in face of the imminent judgement of God, rather than humbling before Him as a nation).
Glenn Beck would often refer to times when God would talk directly to him in various personal visions, sometimes even going as far as saying that God had a plan for the salvation of mankind for him to materialize (here is an example). His consistent message has always been that regardless of one’s faith, all people have to overcome their differences and unite in the face of evil. For this purpose he organized various events (Restoring Honor, Restoring Love etc) and brought together pastors, rabbis, priests of all confessions under the name of “The Black Robe Regiment” and got actively involved with Vatican around plans to save the humanity (see this). One can clearly distinguish in this the spirit of charismatic revival Fr Seraphim Rose often spoke about that can lead somebody to the highest form of spiritual deception (or prelest).
This same “spiritual awakening” can be noticed in the Churches as well. It had been nourished in the catholic and protestant churches for a long time now, and it seems it is finally catching up with the Orthodox Church (Fr Seraphim Rose calls it “World Orthodoxy”), in the form of The Ecumenical Movement. There are numerous voices (in fact it is the majority) from inside the Orthodox Church calling for her to partake in addressing these injustices, even putting the purpose of resolving these “world challanges” and “iniquities” before doctrinal and theological differences. In other words, the global cause of resolving the world injustices is more important that theological differences, it is a matter concerning the whole of humanity, and they think is more important to join into fighting this “great cause” rather than preserving God’s truth.
On the other hand, one could argue, how could the antichrist come and The Church not recognize him but rather presenting him as the saviour – after all most christians know (including catholic and protestants) that he must come ! The answer could be by mistaking a brutal world dicator (which would have many of the antichrist’s characteristics but lacking some important ones) for the antichrist, therefore receiving anyone who would bring peace and justice after him as the messiah ! The iniquities are about to reach a point when such a dictator could emerge !
In D.E. Engleman’s book “Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times” at page 72 we can read about how this mystery of iniquity is to be revealed into the world after the restraint holding satan bound would be taken away (“the withholding one” in orthodox understanding is the last russian tsar – the last orthodox monarch anointed by the Church):
Saint Paul revealed that it is actually a man (though one with a divine commission), not an angel, who is to restrain the evil one in his bondage. The Apostle further warned that this human guardian will eventually himself be removed, “taken out of the way,” allowing the evil one to escape his prison: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped…. And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He [or he] who now restrains will do so until He [or he] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8). While he is locked up, Satan’s influence is limited and clandestine, “the mystery of lawlessness” [KJV: “iniquity”]. According to Father Seraphim Rose, it is called a mystery “because a mystery is something that is not fully revealed in this world, that comes from another world. The mystery of righteousness is the whole story of how God came from heaven and became incarnate in order to save us; and the mystery of iniquity is the opposite – it’s a mystery coming up from hell that breaks into this world and changes it. This, therefore, is the mystery of lawlessness which is preparing the world for the coming of the ‘man of lawlessness'”.
More from this article:
Constantine the Great thus became the first of the guardians who “seal” the mystery of iniquity. Saint John Chrysostom explained in the fifth century that the Christian monarch was in fact none other than the restraining one whom Saint Paul had referred to. “When Roman authority ceases,” Chrysostom wrote, “then he [Antichrist] will come. And rightfully so, because as long as people will be afraid of this government, no one will hasten to submit himself to Antichrist; but after it has been destroyed, anarchy will abide, and he will strive to steal all, both human and divine authority.”
Recently canonized Saint John Maximovitch, Bishop of San Francisco, characterized the imperial authority of the Christian monarchy as “lawful.” It was established by God’s Law, and it dispersed that Law to mankind. In the realm of human conduct, the condition of lawfulness versus lawlessness is probably the most visible difference between Christ and Antichrist.
“Before the advent of Antichrist,” Saint John Maximovitch wrote, “there is already being prepared in the world the possibility of his appearance: The mystery of iniquity doth already work (II Thes. 2:7). The forces preparing for his appearance fight above all against the lawful Imperial authority…. St. John Chrysostom explains that the ‘withholding one’ is the lawful pious authority: such an authority fights with evil. For this reason the ‘mystery,’ already at work in the world, fights with this authority; it desires a lawless authority. When the ‘mystery’ decisively achieves that authority, nothing will any longer hinder the appearance of Antichrist.” 7
In the 1800s Saint Theophan the Recluse anticipated the evil which would attend the eventual loss of the Christian monarchy: “When the monarchy falls,” he said, “and everywhere nations institute self-government (republics, democracies), then the Antichrist will be able to act freely. It will not be difficult for Satan to prepare voters to renounce Christ as experience taught us during the French Revolution. There will be no one to veto the movement…. Thus, when such a social order is instituted everywhere, making it easy for antichristian movements to appear, then the Antichrist will come forth”.
Today, more visible than ever, the new lawless order and all of its fruits (iniquities) form the basis of the future reign of the antichrist: you hear everywhere about “climate justice”, “economic justice”, “social justice” (occupy wall street), “religious justice” (for example trying to shut up and making Christianity “politically correct” – also remember recent incidents with cartoons mocking islam which led to calls to legislation in the western world that would specifically prohibit talking negatively about islam and their prophet – where in fact Christ is mocked everywhere, even in the so called Christian west), because the antichrist will bring “universal justice and peace” !
This is a very important topic and we will be following up on this subject a lot with many examples and links.
The Orthodox Views Team !