These are a few recent writings and sayings by Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, 1994. In them, he is specifically talking about the mark of the beast, 666, and the then proposed national ID cards in Greece.
The Sign of the Times 666 After the devil’s cataclysm, God’s sunshine will appear. Behind the worldly spirit of today’s “freedom,” the lack of respect for the Church of Christ, older people, parents and teachers who have fear of God, is hidden spiritual slavery, anxiety and anarchy which lead the world to an impasse, the destruction of man’s body and soul. Therefore, behind the perfect system of the computerized “convenience cards,” is hidden the universal dictatorship, the slavery of the antichrist. “And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, that they shall give to them a mark on their hands, the right one, or on their foreheads, and that no one be able to buy or sell except the one having the mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let the one having a mind count the number of the beast, for it is a man’s number: And his number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18). St. Andrew of Ceasarea writes the following: “On the foul 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 Scriptures; a lot will be found written on the subject…” The strange thing however, is that even many spiritual people, apart from the fact that they give their own interpretations on this issue, are afraid themselves with a secular fear of being tracked by numbers; they should fear spiritually, and help the Christians by alerting them on the subject, to strengthen their faith, to feel Divine 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 to the loss of their souls? “to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (St. Mark 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! On the one hand ye know how to discern the face of the heaven, but on the other hand are ye not able to know the signs of the times?” (St. Matthew 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 the 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, again “certain gnostics” will “swaddle” 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 Seal of Christ, which was granted to them through Holy Baptism, the “Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” by accepting the mark of the antichrist; and they claim they have Christ inside them! Certain “gnostics” had such 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 the Creator… do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked, He judges us according to our own mouth, He justifies us by our words, and by our words, He condemns 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. 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,” were considered by the Church as being apostates and sinners. We have many examples, such as the miracle of St. Theodoros which is celebrated every year on the Saturday of the First Week of Great Lent. “Julian, the apostate, knowing that Christians are cleansed more by fasting strictly during the First Week of Great Lent, -which for this reason we call Pure Week- chose to pollute them during this specific period; therefore, he 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 Divine beckoning Martyr Theodoros appeared to the Archbishop of Constatinople, Eudoxius, in his sleep. The Matryr revealed the 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 the “kollyva,” the boiled wheat given at memorial services, to replace the shortage of food. Therefore, the aim of the apostate was annulled and the devout people were protected and kept pure. Abstaining from the pollutions of the idols is a canon of the Apostles. “The apostles and the elders were gathered together… abstain from the pollutions of the idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood…” Acts 15:6, 20. Despite what I just reported, unfortunately, we hear today a lot of nonsense from certain contemporary “gnostics.” 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 to be marked on the forehead with the number 666, but I will also put the Sign of the Cross next to it.” They think that this way they can be sanctified. But this is only an illusion. Only those things which can accept sanctification, those things alone can be 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. Impurity doesn’t accept sanctification. Therefore, when the symbol of the devil, the antichrist, is on our identification card, our head or hand, it cannot be sanctified by putting the Sign of the Cross next to it. We have the power of the Holy Cross, of the Holy Symbol, the Divine Grace of Christ, only as long as we have the Holy Sealing of Baptism, meaning we have denied the devil and sided with Christ, and received the Holy Seal, the Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit. May God enlighten us. Amen. Mount Athos, Panagouda Cell of Koutloumousiou Monastery, Saturday, First Week of Lent, 1987. With much pain and love in Christ, Monk Paisios
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