BY APOSTOLOS MAKRAKIS
Delivered in Concord Square the City of Athens, Greece – July 17th, 1866
Last Sunday’s speech concerning the identity of our enemy according to the prophecy of St. Paul clearly indicated his nature, deeds, and progress in perdition, as well as the time when the iniquitous one must reveal himself. Time did not allow us to touch upon the manner in which St. Paul foretells the annihilation of the son of iniquity, for we spent our time taking the beast around from city to city, and censuring everyone’s sins by means of the man of sin. Today, therefore, we shall finish our discussion on the subject that remains.
We shall start off by asking, what does St. Paul teach us concerning the annihilation of him who sat in the Temple of the Holy Wisdom of God and exalted himself as God, i.e. in the sense of so-called gods? He teaches that which St. John the Divine, Daniel, as well as David, the prophet-king, and Habakkuk, the prophet, also teach. In a word St. Paul teaches that which all the prophets, to whom the word of God came and to whom the mystery of God was revealed, also teach. The difference is that St. Paul teaches with a few words that which the others teach at greater length. He also teaches in simple language, while the language of the other prophets, and, especially that of St. John the Divine, is one that is majestic, illustrious, and lofty, consistent assuredly with the nature of the things described. Let us, therefore, first heed to the few words of St. Paul, and then compare them with those of the others, so that our proof may be complete and perfect in every sense.
“. . . The Lord Jesus,” he says, “will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.” With these few words, there is clearly indicated the manner in which our enemy falls and is destroyed, viz. he who is still seated in the Temple of God, while we rise triumphantly and majestically for the glory of our God. St. Paul says that first the anti-Christ Mohammed is slain with the breath of the mouth of the Lord, and then he is done away with altogether by His appearing. One may ask, what is the breath of the mouth of the Lord? The Lord himself answers this question, saying: “The words which I speak to you are spirit and life.” (1 John 6:63). The breath of His mouth, therefore, are all the words spoken by Christ, His holy Prophets, and Apostles. These words are called spirit because they impart to the souls of the listeners the thoughts and the purposes of God which are nothing else but the activity of the Holy Spirit. And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The breath of the mouth is also called fire, for the divine words consume and destroy the purposes and the deeds of the impious, just as fire consumes and crushes a reed. Whatever God says is actualized, and whatever He wills, endures. Whatever ungodly persons will and say, however, does not take on substance; or if it does, it is soon annihilated, being consumed by the divine words. In the Book of Revelation the Lord speaks as follows concerning the prophets: “If anyone would do them wrong; fire proceeds out of their mouth and consumes their enemies.” (Revelation 11:5). And in the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord says: “. . . Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 5:14.)
Thus while the words of God are spirit and life for us, for our enemies they are a consuming fire. While they plant and build up our kingdom, they root out, pull down and destroy that of the impious. Since we explained the significance of the breath of the Lord’s mouth and the power it has with regard to our adversaries, we concurrently explained also the manner in which the anti-Christ and impious Mohammed is slain. This manner consists in the interpretation and propagation of those prophecies by means of which the time of the advent of the man of sin, his nature, his deeds and progress in perdition were foretold. Our enemy is slain, is spent, and annihilated to the degree that these prophetic words, being interpreted and proclaimed, impart to the souls of the listeners the purposes and the will of God.
Until this time, these words remained veiled and dormant, as it were, because the time of the rule of the beast according to the prophecy had not passed. Now, however, since the time is approaching its consummation, God is activating His own word so that His beloved people may be re-awakened, and the detested son of iniquity may be slain. Almost the whole civilized world accepts and pays honor to the divinity of Scriptures, but not everyone comprehends the will of God as revealed herein. When, however, the divine word is interpreted and propagated, the differing wills converge, for then all men follow God’s will.
Let us suppose that all the peoples and the nations of Europe which accept the divinity of Scriptures came to understand through an interpretation of the prophecies with which we are here concerned that God wills that the minarets, from which the blasphemous words are uttered, be torn down; that the belfries be raised up anew; that God wills that the beast be disgraced, while His holy people be honored; that God wills that the blasphemous Koran be abolished, and that the sacred Gospel law prevail everywhere. When, I say, the nations come to understand that God wills these things to come to pass in the present time, they too shall seek the destruction of the barbarians and our exaltation. Thus, while we are re-animated, our enemies are slain and consumed by the fire of the divine words, and shall be no more.
At this point the following question naturally arises for our consideration: how can we instill the divine purposes in the souls of the European nations so that they all might embrace God’s will, and our enemy may be done away with as quickly as possible? It is not our present task to respond to this question, for we shall speak about this matter when we consider the skill of fighting and overcoming our opponents. Before I speak about the practical means with which the task of 1821 may be best and quickest consummated, I would like to say that I am at a loss as to why the chief editor of Evangelismos asserts in the July 2 issue that I could scarcely conceive of much less indicate to my listeners the means of accomplishing the purpose of 1821. He attributes the cause of my failure to the fact that I am weighed down by the darkness and the burden of monastic sentiments and strange religious ideas, which, however, according to the same editor, are reconciled with Platonic wisdom and Socratic dialectics by which I have been allegedly carried away.
I wrote to the editor in question and asked him to indicate precisely the monastic feelings from the weight of which I need to be freed, and censured him for talking about a matter of which he is altogether ignorant. He, however, having been shamed by the truthful censuring, did not publish my letter to him, and evaded speaking concretely about the monastic tendencies disagreeable to him. Since, therefore, I am slandered as a failure even before I speak of the means, I am compelled to deviate from the present discussion and come to indicate rather a few means contributing to the purpose of our task, while reserving for the proper time our study of the question of the means themselves.
As means for the instruction of nations, we have painting, poetry, and prose. Through these means, we can, within a short period of time, teach the nations of Europe as many things as we care for them to learn. Let us suppose that an excellent artist painted the three following drawings: the fourth beast of the prophecy of Daniel having among its ten horns a minaret upon which there can be seen an Imam shouting out the words of blasphemy; the beast of the Revelation of St. John the divine having seven heads and ten horns, and one head appearing to have suffered a deathblow; and the man of sin as characterized by St. Paul. Let us also suppose that these drawings were sent to the Exposition of Paris or of London, and that thousands of copies of them were circulated everywhere. Everyone perceives that by this means the knowledge of the prophecies and their interpretation would be quickly conveyed to many people. Having been taught by means of the drawings who the Turks really are and what kind of a monstrous beast the philo-Turkish diplomacy is supporting, the people would hope for the annihilation of our enemies, and criticize bitterly the diplomats who support them.
If a clever poet should write a poem entitled ”The Exhibition of the Beast,” and lead the intelligent diplomats and their policy vis-à-vis with the beast, who is it that could not foresee the favorable outcome of this encounter? In addition, articles on the beast in outstanding newspapers, and small pamphlets interpreting the texts of the prophets and the drawings would well contribute to the same purpose.
When, in this manner, God’s will takes on a universal scope, and the consensus of Europe turns to our favor, then the barbarians shall shudder, and, overcome with fear, shall abandon the metropolis of the world, seeking refuge into the depths of Asia. Then the capital polis of Greece will be moved to Constantinople, and He who is mounted upon the white horse, the King of kings and Lord of lords, shall reign supreme over the whole earth. But these are not the only means to teach and propagate the pronouncements of the divine will. There are also other much greater and better means about which we shall speak in the proper place. We deviated from the subject at hand and said these few things in order that the esteemed editor of Evangelismos may learn how much we failed in our intention because of the alleged monastic tendencies and the strange religious ideas, under the darkness and the weight of which are heavenly burdened they who have been carried away by Platonic wisdom and Socratic dialectics!
But let us now return to the subject at hand. Once we interpret how the Lord will slay the anti-Christ Mohammed with the breath of His mouth, we shall also explain how He will destroy him by His appearing and His second coming.
To slay signifies the gradual and progressive perdition of him who is slain. To destroy signifies the complete annihilation of him who is destroyed. First, with the breath of the mouth of the Lord, the ungodly authority of Mohammed is abolished; his destruction and utter annihilation follow by the appearing and the coming of Christ. The Lord appears in the world and He is recognized through His own Church, in which He is present even now, according to His truthful promise. Now, however, He cannot be seen, for because of the barbaric yoke, the light of His teaching and the paradigm of good works have eclipsed from the Church. But when the Church is purified by the Spirit of the Lord and shines anew with Christian teaching and virtue; when there are established in Constantinople Christian jurisprudence and Christian civilization; when He who is seated upon the white horse is acclaimed by all as the King of kings, and Lord of lords; then assuredly shall Christ appear, and shall the anti-Christ be destroyed, just as darkness ends when the sun rises.
Therefore, the prophetic word of St. Paul means that Mohammedanism, weakened and withered by the growth and spread of the Christian teaching, shall fade from earth altogether. This shall be realized when it will be shown through the Church who Christ is and when He reigns over the earth according to the truthful prophecies, when His people are resurrected and when they raise the Cross over the Church of the Holy Wisdom which is now being desecrated by the worship of the anti-Christ. For then the barbarous peoples of Asia, having recognized their own deception, shall curse it and shall seek to be reborn through the font of Holy Baptism. Now when all the followers of the anti-Christ turn to Christ, the following prophecy shall also be fulfilled: ”. . .The Lord shall destroy the lawless one by His appearing and coming.”
This is how our enemy can be destroyed, or, to put it in Political terms, this is how the Eastern Question* can be resolved [* In the earlier part of the century the “Eastern Question” referred to the instability of the power of Turkey and its relations with the other nations of Europe, and especially Greece]. This method is essentially identical with, that designated by both the prophet Daniel and St. John the Divine; the breath of the mouth of the Lord is identical with the two-edged, sharp sword which proceeds out of the mouth of Him who is mounted upon the white horse, and with the decision of the “Ancient of days.” The appearing and the coming of Christ is identical with the brilliance of Him who has many diadems upon his head, and with the glory of the Son of Man who comes upon the clouds of heaven, to Whom was given the dominion and honor and authority, and Whom all the races of earth shall serve and obey.
Examining the differences among the prophecies, we find that, St. Paul states simply and briefly as many things as the other two say in greater detail and more majestically. It is worth admiring, on the one hand, the variation and difference of expression; on the other hand, the agreement and the identity of the essential meaning: agreement as to the time of the coming and the rule of the criminal anti-Christ. Agreement as to his nature, deeds and progress in perdition. Agreement as to the manner of his destruction and annihilation. In a word, agreement as to how the Eastern Question can be deadlocked and how resolved.
If time confirmed the fact that this matter is deadlocked and stalemated, time shall also confirm its resolution. If the worse part of the prophecies was fulfilled, so much more shall the better part be fulfilled, through which the truth of God is glorified and His justice is exalted. All the prophets envisioned and foretold the advent of Christ and thereafter, that of the anti-Christ; they also heralded the triumph of the Savior over the son of perdition. We could limit ourselves to the prophecies already interpreted; but we cannot also omit two more prophecies on this subject, that of David, the Prophet-King, and that of the prophet Habakkuk. For, as we shall see, they are of no slight interest to us. Let us first hear what the Psalmist David prophesied in the Book of Psalms concerning the Eastern Question.
The ninth psalm bears the inscription, ”At the end for the secret things of the son.” Now this inscription means that the psalm contains mysterious and apocryphal things not understandable to all. But once we comprehend these things, let us bring them to light so that many others may perceive them also.
“For thou,” he says, “hast maintained my just cause;
Thou has sat on the throne giving righteous judgment. Thou has rebuked the nations, Thou has destroyed the wicked; Thou has blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy have vanished in everlasting ruins;
their cities Thou has rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
But the Lora sits enthroned forever. . . .”
Ungodly Mohammed and his iniquitous authority in Constantinople is supported by all the nations! The consensus of the European governments as to the integrity of Turkey and the sovereign rights of the Sultan are a sacred dogma to the political leaders of this age, and they are all prepared to lay down their lives for this cause. Warfare is being conducted madly throughout the whole of Europe: England is imitating the apathy of the cynic philosophers by remaining neutral. But if one should dare approach the status quo with complete disregard for the sacred dogma of international policy – the sovereign rights of the Sultan which spring from the blasphemous Koran – the cynical apathy is changed to religious zeal. Then all the English are prepared to die for the anti-Christ, just as the true Christians lay down their lives for Christ.
France is seeking an alliance with England with the purpose of preventing any possible danger from befalling their beloved Sultan. And even Orthodox Russia, – Oh, the wonder of it! – has espoused the philoTurkish policy to such a degree that it reproaches England for still not adequately supporting Turkey. What should I say of Austria? Perhaps it hopes that it be destroyed first itself before seeing the devastation of beloved Turkey. Indeed, what a paradoxical phenomenon! The Kings and the governments of Europe regard any danger to Mohammedan supremacy as their own, and they fight for the rights of the Koran as though they were fighting for themselves.
Long ago the West launched Crusades to do away with the anti-Christ, but at that time God willed that the son of perdition progress in evil works. But now that God wills that the anti-Christ suffer perdition, the West is crusading for his salvation. Just as at that time the West was unable to destroy the anti-Christ, so too now it shall not be able to save him. For, just as the prophet says, God shall rebuke the nations, and the wicked shall be destroyed: “Thou hast rebuked the nations, thou has destroyed the wicked.” The prophecy means that since the nations are supporting the authority of the ungodly, just as the facts bear witness, God shall rebuke them, and ungodly Mohammed shall be destroyed. But how shall God rebuke the nation? Obviously, with the breath of his mouth, as St. Paul states. This breath of chastisement speaks as follows: are you not ashamed, you who adorn yourselves with the Cross and call upon my name, to fight for the horn of blasphemy, for the criminal beast, for the man of sin and son of perdition? Come to your senses, for otherwise you too shall suffer perdition:
“Now therefore O kings be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Seize hold of paideia, lest the Lord be angry
and you perish out of the way of righteousness,
When his wrath is quickly kindled.”
The nations and the kings of the earth that hear this rebuke shall allow the sort of perdition to suffer perdition, as is written of him. Once the wicked one is destroyed, he shall not come back to life again, for David writes: “Thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever. The enemy have vanished in everlasting ruins.” That is to say, the steel sword of the foe no longer prevails, but rather, the sharp, two-edged sword which proceeds out of the mouth of Him who is seated upon the white horse. There no longer exist states and cities founded upon the right of irrational violence; rather, there exist only Christian jurisprudence and Christian civilization, only Christian poleis. The psalmist then adds the following to complete the meaning: “The very memory of them has perished. But the Lord sits enthroned for ever . . .” Imagine what a great noise and shouting there shall be on that day when the minarets, the horns of blasphemy, shall be laid waste, and the ringing of the bells shall call the faithful to the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Santa Sophia). The call to worship that day shall be heard to the ends of the earth. Indians and Chinese and Japanese and Australians and the islanders of the Pacific Ocean shall hear the great sound of that day, and amazed they shall ask, What is this? They will learn that the son of perdition has been destroyed, and that the Lord sits enthroned for ever, that He may Judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Then the poor in spirit shall seek refuge in the Lord, and shall immediately find protection and justice; for the King of Justice shall reign, and he who is mighty shall be unable to over come him who is weak. Such an arragement of things is worthy of hymns and praises to the Most High, and for this reason he says: “Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds.” Now what are the deeds of God which he must proclaim among the nations which do not know Him? Those things about which Holy Scriptures speak, i.e. that God permitted the coming of the anti-Christ in order that Christ may be known, and that many more people may be saved than what were lost; or rather, in order that they who cannot be saved through Christ may be saved through the anti-Christ. I explain myself:
St. Paul, the chosen Apostle of the Lord, who preached the Gospel in Greece also proclaimed the truth in Arabia. And all of Asia heard the words of eternal life from the very mouth of the holy Apostles. The Gospel, however, did not bear fruit among the barbarians as it did among the Greeks. The barbaric peoples of Asia persisted in the deception of superstition, and did not accept the love of truth for their salvation, as did our Fathers. Now if the Apostles who had the grace and the power to perform the greatest of miracles were unable to bring the barbarians to the road of the truth, certainly their successors who had less power could not bring to the knowledge of truth those who are slumbering in darkness.
What then does God in His goodness permit for the sake of the salvation of those who have hardness of heart and are unrepenting? He permits the coming of the anti-Christ Mohammed and lets the spirit of deception function freely, so that the barbarians may believe in the apostle of falsehood. God allows the Devil to humble the saints, just as he once did to righteous Job. He allows Satan to desecrate His holy Church in order that the barbarians may become all the more haughty and remain in deception, seeing that the Christians were abandoned to their own judgment. For as the barbarians were unable to judge the truth rationally, they drew their own conclusions from the outcome of events. Fighting in the name of Mohammed and conquering the Christians, they inferred that Mohammed is the greatest and last prophet of God, and that they did best believing in him. After God permitted the ungodly one to be exalted as the cedars of Lebanon, suddenly He strikes him down. And because of the outcome, his followers deem that they believed in a liar, and through this method they come to the understanding of their own deception. Repenting, they turn to Christ who saves converted and repenting sinners. That is how they who cannot be saved directly through Christ are later saved indirectly through the anti-Christ.
The Christian world itself has much to profit from the coming of the anti-Christ. As is commonly known, it was because of love of power and glory that the Christians of the West defected from Christ, and defiling the truth, tore the body of the Church into parts contrary and hostile to one another. Out of the heresies of the West was born an anti-Christian doctrine denying the Divinity of Christ, and drawing the nations into ungodliness and irreligion. God provided for the care of all these evils by means of the elevation and fall of the anti-Christ, and the distinction of the saints who suffered injustices. For once our kingdom is raised anew in Constantinople, the union of the Churches and the chastisement of the ungodly academicians will follow, since they will no longer be able to say that the prophesies occurred after the events, or that Christ is not the God-Man. The fall of the anti-Christ authority of Mohammed and our justification become a cause for common rejoicing, and God is everywhere glorified as good and just. In addition to these things, even the Jews will come to the knowledge of Christ through the anti-Christ, while they were unable to believe and be saved by any other means. For once the Turkish dynasty falls and the Orthodox state is established, the Jews shall recognize the Son of David and shall shout out, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest!“
Through the fall of the anti-Christ, God by His dispensation also provided for the downfall of Roman jurisprudence according to which the Byzantines governed themselves and the Christian countries of Europe still govern themselves because of their ignorance of the Christian jurisprudence and Christian civilization. In short, by permitting one evil, God removes all the evils among men, and establishes upon earth the kingdom of peace and justice, which brings true happiness to the peoples and nations of the earth. Such are the deeds of our God which we have to announce to all the nations, and to glorify Him in Zion with praises, singing;
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in thee,
I will sing praise to thy name, 0 Most High.
“When my enemies turned back,
they stumbled and perished before thee.
For thou hast maintained my just cause;
thou hast sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.
“Thou hast rebuked’ the nations, thou hast destroyed the wicked;
thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.
The enemy have vanished in everlasting ruins;
their cities thou hast rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
“But the Lord sits enthroned for ever.
he has established his throne for judgment;
and he judges the world with righteousness,
he judges the peoples ·with equity . . .
“Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!”
We shall continue to tell of the Lord’s deeds, just as we are doing now. Such then is the solution to the Eastern Question according to the Psalm which sings of the hidden things of the Son. The prophecy of Habakkuk does not teach us the manner in which the Eastern Question is to be resolved, but rather, the time when this must be done. It is the latter which is precisely of more concern to us. As we have not the time, however, to speak of this matter now, we shall put the discussion off to the next speech.