Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When St. John the Theologian Faced the Magician Kynops on the Island of Patmos

There was on the island of Patmos, where the Holy Apostle John was exiled to, a certain magician by the name of Kynops, who lived in the wilderness and for many years held converse with unclean spirits. On account of the predictions uttered by him, all the inhabitants of the island considered him a god. The priests of Apollo, who were enraged at John for having destroyed the temple of Apollo and because he had made all the people followers of Jesus Christ, went to Kynops and complained to him of Christ’s apostle, beseeching him to take revenge for the dishonor shown their gods. Kynops, however, did not wish to go to the city himself, since he had lived for many years in that place without leaving. But the citizens all the more often came to him with their request. Then he promised to send a wicked spirit to the house of Myron to seize the soul of John and deliver it to eternal judgment. In the morning he sent to John one of the princes of the evil spirits, commanding him to bring John’s soul to him. Arriving at the house of Myron, the demon stood in the place where John was. But John, perceiving the demon, said unto him: “In the name of Christ I command you not to leave this place until you tell me for what cause you have come here to me.”

Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Orthodox Look At Nostradamus

By Hieromonk Job (Gumerov)

The word of God gives us very precise warnings about self-proclaimed prophets and spiritual deceivers. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Mt. 7:15). We have to follow the Lord’s injunction: "Take heed that no man deceive you" (Mt. 24:4). In order to do this one must be guided closely by Scripture and the teachings of the Holy Fathers. These words of the Apostle Paul are very applicable to our times: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Tim. 4:3–4). That is what the writings of M. Nostradamus and other false prophets are — fables.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

On Spiritual Deception (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)

By Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov)

Disciple: Give me a precise and detailed notion of spiritual deception. What exactly is this condition?

Elder: Spiritual deception is the wounding of human nature by falsehood. Spiritual deception is the state of all men without exception, and it has been made possible by the fall of our original parents. All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it. We are all deceived, all deluded; we all find ourselves in a condition of falsehood; we all need to be liberated by the Truth. The Truth is our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 8:32-14:6). Let us assimilate that Truth by faith in it; let us cry out in prayer to this Truth, and it will draw us out of the abyss of demonic deception and self-delusion. Bitter is our state! It is that prison from which we beseech that our souls be led out, that we may confess the name of the Lord (Ps 141:8). It is that gloomy land into which our life has been cast by the enemy that hates and pursues us. It is that carnal-mindedness (Rom. 8:6) and knowledge falsely so called (I Tim. 6:20) wherewith the entire world is infected, refusing to acknowledge its illness, insisting, rather, that it is in the bloom of health. It is that “flesh and blood” which “cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (I Cor. 15:50). It is that eternal death which is healed and destroyed by the Lord Jesus, Who is “the Resurrection and the Life” (Jn. 11:25). Such is our state. And the perception thereof is a new reason to weep. With tears let us cry out to the Lord Jesus to bring us out of prison, to draw us forth from the depths of the earth, and to wrest us from the jaws of death! “For this cause did our Lord Jesus Christ descend to us,” says the venerable Symeon the New Theologian, “because he wanted to rescue us from captivity and from most wicked spiritual deception.”