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“Regarding the affairs of the Church, in the words of the Saviour, one of the most awesome phenomena of the last days is that at that time ‘the stars shall fall from heaven’ (Matt. 24.29). According to the Saviour’s own explanation, these ‘stars’ are the Angels of the Churches, in other words, the Bishops (Rev. 1.20). The religious and moral fall of the Bishops is, therefore, one of the most characteristic signs of the last days. The fall of the Bishops is particularly horrifying when they deviate from the doctrines of the faith, or, as the Apostle put it, when they ‘would pervert the Gospel of Christ’ (Gal. 1.7). The Apostle orders that such people be pronounced ‘anathema’. He said, ‘If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which ye have received, let him be accursed (anathema)’ (Gal. 1.9). And one must not be slow about this, for he continues, ‘A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, being condemned of himself’ (Titus 3.10-11). Moreover, you may be subject to God’s judgement if you are indifferent to deviation from the truth: ‘So them because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth’ (Rev. 3.6).” —Archbishop Theophan of Poltava
“We ourselves have a
feeling—based on nothing very definite as yet—that the best hope for preserving true Orthodoxy in the years ahead will lie in such small gatherings of believers, as much as possible ‘one in mind and soul.’ The history of the twentieth century has already shown us that we cannot expect too much from the ‘Church organization’; there, even apart from heresies, the spirit of the world has become very strong. Archbishop Averky, and our own Bishop Nektary also, have warned us to prepare for catacomb times ahead, when the grace of God may even be taken away from the ‘Church organization’ and only isolated groups of believers will remain. Soviet Russia already gives us an example of what we may expect—only worse, for the times do not get better.” —Fr. Seraphim Rose of Platina, Hope, His Life and Works
“Finally, in the twilight of history, the dictator of the world will come, the son of perdition… whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth (2 Thess. 2:8). And in all that time of peace, happiness and prosperity, there ‘will be great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world, nor will ever be after’ (Mat. 24:21). Because of these troubles, many will repent and turn to God the Saviour. And in them the Lord will have His last harvest.