Explanation of the Revelation of Saint John the Theologian

Holy Hieromartyr Hermogenes (Dolganov) of Tobolsk
Translated by Dormition Skete

On the night of June 15/28-16/29, 1918, the Bolsheviks tied stones to the necks of the holy Martyr Hermogenes (Dolganov), Bishop of Tobolsk, and the former priest Peter Karelin, and threw them into the Tobolsk River. Before the murder, the miscreants mocked the saint, cut his hair, derided him and beat him. The honorable relics of the holy martyr were taken ashore and found by peasants. After the arrival of the Whites, the holy martyr was buried in St. Sophia Dormition Cathedral in Tobolsk. Later, the Bolshevik criminals took revenge on the saint even after his death: when they seized power again, the place of his burial was poured over with cement.

He was glorified with the choir of the holy new martyrs and confessors in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

We suggest our readers get acquainted with his interpretation of the Revelation of John the Theologian (Apocalypse). It was first published in a handwritten version in the journal The First and the Last. М., 2003. No. 2(6).

Hieromartyr Hermogenes (Dolganov), Bishop of Tobolsk and Siberia

* * *

Moscow, May 5, 1917.

This interpretation of the Revelation (Apocalypse) of St. John the Theologian does not contain a detailed explanation of each verse, but the general meaning of each period to which the event relates, since the Revelation has mysterious images in the eyes of St. John which are shown one after the other, consecutively. We will try to explain briefly the meaning of each vision and the time it belongs to. So, pious reader, please read this interpretation carefully. You need to read each chapter of Revelation in advance and then cross reference. Only in this manner, and with the help of God, can you understand and observe what is written. You have to strive, however, with all your heart and soul, for God's works and words are not as simple as human ones. You have to read the book in order from the beginning to the end.

Chapter 1

[“A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His slaves what things there is need to come to pass quickly...” (Rev. 1:1).]

The first chapter contains a testimony from St. John to the reader, testifying what he saw and heard: “Happy is the one who readeth, and they who hear the words of prophecy, and keep the things which have been written in it; for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3).

Chapter 2

[“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus write...” (Rev. 2:1).]

The second chapter contains the rebuke of the seven churches by Jesus Christ. All these rebukes have been fulfilled, but this second chapter has a description of the behavior of Christians of all times and places.

Chapter 3

The third chapter contains a continuation of the second chapter. Each church has a bishop in one city under whose rule it was.

Chapter 4

The fourth chapter contains a vision of St. John. He saw the thrones and the 24 elders sitting on them, the glass sea, four animals, and seven lamps burning before the throne.

Chapter 5

In the fifth chapter, St. John sees the One sitting on the throne and in His right hand a book, sealed with seven seals. St. John laments that no one can open this book. Before the Nativity of Christ, this book was sealed, but after His death and Resurrection, the book began to be gradually revealed and will continue to be revealed until the end of the age, as each seal reveals an event and a change in life on earth.

Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter, St. John sees the Lamb loosing the seals one by one, consecutively. After the first seal St. John sees a white horse and a Horseman with a bow, and a crown was given to Him and He went out as the victorious One. The white horse and the Horseman signify Jesus Christ sitting [upon His throne], as well as all the believers who defeated the world with the preaching of the Gospel, who are signified with bows and crowned with glory.

The second horse, flame-colored, means the pagan world that has fallen on the Christian world with its hatred and shed a lot of blood. The red horse always rears its head, namely, when Christianity enters the dark kingdoms in order to preach. There the war begins, just as Christ Himself predicted that people would be divided in one’s house—father against son, son against father. One is a believer in Christ, and the other is not. The Christian Church will observe this division always, until the end of the age.

[“And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and the one sitting on him having a balance in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A measure of wheat for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius; and do not begin to damage the oil and the wine’” (Rev. 6:5, 6).]

The third horse, black-colored, signifies how while the rich, unbelieving class is drowning in luxury, wickedness, and all kinds of pleasures, the poor class is always in repression, ready even to do any cheap labor just to be fed; and at the same time it signifies extreme inflation of prices, but not to the point that it causes total universal starvation, which the expression “do not begin to damage the oil and the wine” indicates. “Oil” denotes rich, delicious food with seasoning; “wine” means merrymaking. This has always manifested itself, as we can see from history, but it will be especially harsh in the last anti-Christian days. It should also be noted that true Christians were considered the poorest among all other poor people, as they voluntarily renounced earthly goods. For Christians the living conditions were more difficult, they were despised and hated, they were not given any civil rights or positions in pagan society. Christians lived completely separately from the pagans, and the Christians of the last times of Antichrist will live like those early Christians—the only difference is that they will experience this to the fullest and highest extent.

The fourth horse, the pale one, signifies what would manifest itself especially in anti-Christian times, in the last days of the wicked society called the Babylonian harlot (the kingdom of the Antichrist). [“And authority was given to him over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:8).]

The fifth seal: After the opening of the fifth seal, St. John sees the souls of those killed for the word of God under the altar in heaven. This is evidence that Christians do not endure persecution in vain on earth, for they will receive a reward in heaven.

The sixth seal: The removal of the sixth seal signifies a worldwide transformation in nature. [“A great earthquake occurred, and the sun became black as a sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood, and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth.... And the heaven was set apart as a book being rolled up; and every mountain and island, out of their places were they moved” (Rev. 6:12-14).] It will be after the inception of the kingdom of the antichrist, before the coming of Christ to earth to judge the living and the dead, as the Lord Himself said that "after the affliction of those days…the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,” and people will see "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the heaven” (Mt. 24:29, 30).

Chapter 7

[“And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to injure the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not begin to injure the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we should seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads’” (Rev. 7:2, 3).]

The seventh chapter describes the preparation moment, the time immediately proceeding the revelation of the anti-Christian kingdom on earth. For this event, the Lord needs to separate true Christians from the anti-Christian society or the world under the image of a mystical seal of the chosen Christians. The seal will give them power against the anti-Christian persecution throughout the entirety of the anti-Christian kingdom, including the very domination of the Antichrist (for 3.5 years). The anti-Christian kingdom will arise before the accession of the Antichrist himself and it will last for an unknown amount of years. It will prepare the ground for the coming of the Antichrist, who will appear as a king and exponent of that society’s wickedness and lawlessness. The anti-Christian kingdom is the culture of the last times, under the image of the "harlot of Babylon." [“And I saw a woman sitting on a beast, the scarlet one, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and the unclean things of the fornication of the earth” (Rev. 17:3, 4).]

She has no permanent ruler, she herself governs both the people and the kingdoms under the leadership of Satan and the spirit of the Antichrist. It is a time of self-government [democracy]. The society itself governs while the spirit of the Antichrist dictates, and this is clearly testified because it (the society) sits on a scarlet beast. (That is why Christians will be sealed, so that they would be distinguished from others by this [visible] seal.) True Christians will live completely separately, by no means obeying any public laws. In the early times, Christians obeyed civil laws and pagan kings, such as Caesar, and revered their power as power from God. In the last anti-Christian times and in the days of the domination of the Antichrist, true Christians will not carry out civil duties, because Satan himself and the Antichrist will be in power; they are cruel enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ, so the laws they issue will be directed against God and the Church, and he who obeys them, even reluctantly, will be like an accomplice of the Antichrist and would be rejected by God.

Then St. John sees events related to the last days of the anti-Christian kingdom. In the past chapters, it is explained that St. John saw the general persecution of Christians of all times. Chapter 8 describes only [the events of] the persecution in anti-Christian times, as clearly evidenced by Chapter 7 which demonstrates a preparatory moment for the holding back of the evil winds of the anti-Christian spirit until the true Christians are sealed. In this chapter, St. John sees them already glorified in heaven, together with all the martyrs of all times in the history of Christian existence on earth. [“Behold, a great multitude which no one was able to number, out of every nation, even of tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, having been clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands” (Rev. 7:9).] Here you can see the common features of [all] the famous martyrs combined. From Chapter 8, he begins to see only the suffering of the Christians in those anti-Christian times. Then we will see them glorified separately. Among the last true Christians, the virgins stand out for their moral purity; they are also [identified] under the number 144,000, which is a round number, and mystical, signifying that it is not [just] one or two, but the entire number [of true Christian virgins]; it is mentioned in Chapter 14. We will talk about it again.

Chapter 8

[“And the first angel sounded a trumpet: And there occurred hail and fire having been mixed with blood, and it was cast to the earth; and the third part of the earth was burned, and all green grass was burned” (Rev. 8:7).]

In Chapter 8, as we said, the curses of the last times begin, in the realm of the physical world and in the period of anti-Christian times, but the anti-Christian world will not heed them. As we can see from the history of the Egyptian plagues through Moses, the Egyptians submitted themselves to them; but in [the end times] there will be plagues to the greatest extent, and the people will not take heed to understand them[“[they] repented not of the works of their hands” (Rev. 9:20)]and will continue in their iniquities, as stated in the Gospel of Luke (Ch. 21), that there will be great earthquakes, famines, plagues, curses, especially terrible phenomena in nature, and various signs in the sky in the sun and moon, and in the stars, and on earth there will be the despondency of peoples and bewilderment.

[“And the second angel sounded a trumpet: And as it were a great mountain being burned with fire was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea died, the ones having life, and of the ships the third part was destroyed” (Rev. 8:8, 9).] The “sea” represents the people who will be yelling and indignant.

These are the four curses. They will continue all the days of the anti-Christian kingdom until the end of the age, that is, they will occur at one time consecutively one after the other, and at another time simultaneously. Then, to inflict more punishment, three more especially terrible plagues will be added, which is expressed by the angel's proclamation: "Woe, woe, woe to those dwelling on the earth, by reason of the remaining sounds of the trumpet..." (Rev. 8:13). This shows us that if the punishment were limited to just the first four plagues, it would not be enough for the people of the anti-Christian world. They need yet more perceptible measures to lead them to repentance.

Chapter 9

[“And he opened the pit of the abyss, and there went up smoke out of the pit, as smoke of a burning furnace; and the sun was darkened and the air by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts into the earth; and to them was given authority, as the scorpions of the earth have authority” (Rev. 9:2, 3).]

After the fifth trumpet St. John sees that the abyss of Satan has opened. From that time on, the grace-filled kingdom [of Christianity] gradually comes to an end, which was expressed, namely, in the darkening of the Sun, Christ, in the hearts of people because of hellish teaching and wickedness. The smoke here represents [the black] teaching of hell and the lawless (godless) theory, and the release of locusts after the smoke signifies the demons (atheists, communists, Komsomol members, etc.).1 And the people who have accepted the hellish teachings are called Gog and Magog, and gradually through them, the rest of the people who have no power (in their faith) to drive them away become assimilated to them. Only people of strong faith who are sealed with the seal of Christ can avoid their torment. Their torment will be expressed as a constant desire for satisfaction in a carnal way of life, in discontent, in the search for [something] better, and the human race will be living in eternal destruction. They will feel the torment of hell while yet here on earth, because hell will be revealed in their hearts, and in the end they will fall under the wrath of God. To exterminate the wicked people of anti-Christian society, there will be famine, sword (wars), pestilence and all other disasters. Then in those days people will begin to ask for death, but death will flee from them (Rev. 9:6); they will think that after bodily death they would be at peace, unaware that their souls together with their bodies will suffer forever and ever, endlessly. In other words, the mercy that comes by repentance will not be found for them here on earth. When the wrath of God is revealed to destroy the anti-Christian culture, then, in these troubled days, many careless Christians blinded by the anti-Christian society will turn to God with repentance, but it will be too late, the heavenly doors will be sealed, and they will not even know that the Lord will not forgive them. They will try to comfort themselves in that God is merciful, Who forgives all sin while a man is on earth, but they will only know later (after bodily death) that their repentance was useless.

Now let us explain why they will be roused to repent from their association with the wicked society, how they will come to realize that it is a sin to have communion with them. This is explained thus:

When the antichrist society greedily enjoyed a peaceful life and did not think about its fate, many reckless Christians in the midst of it also did not think about their fate, and they lived and were fond of the wide path and did not want to embark on the path of sorrows, although they heard and saw, and were even warned that it was necessary to abandon everything earthly and break their connection with the wicked society, but they did not want to listen and even abhorred the admonishment. When the righteous Noah spoke to his contemporaries, as well as when the Righteous Lot was trying to convert people before the cataclysm of Sodom, people did not obey them and even laughed at them; the same will happen in the last days before the disaster in the form of a world cataclysm and the last world war before the Antichrist. Now the Lord [Himself] will rebuke them. During disasters they would come to know their sin and would break with society and finally put their hope in God, because they would see that everything has come to an end, with no joy remaining for anyone. They will have involuntarily found themselves on a narrow path and begun to mourn and repent, but this hope would be false. They will be sharers in the demise of the wicked, those sworn to eternal destruction [Jude 6]. The time will have passed. The Lord was long-suffering and cried out to everyone who wanted to hear: "Come out of her (out of Babylon), My people, in order that ye might not be partakers in her sins and that ye might not receive of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4). We will talk about this more in Chapter 18.

So we see that in the last days of the world, people of the anti-Christian kingdom will fall into unforgivable sin twice. The first time will be in one particular land before the Antichrist even appears, and because they will surpass all nations and all kingdoms with their wickedness and iniquity, they will be subjected to the wrath of God, like Sodom and Gomorrah. At this time, no one will be forgiven who would find themselves in this society, as it was in the time of the Prophet Moses. Moses separated his society from Korah and told the people: "Go away from the tents of these wicked people, and do not touch anything that belongs to them, lest you perish in all their sins” (Num. 16:26). That is what it will be like with the anti-Christian society. All the other kingdoms will see it and marvel, although they will face the same fate, but later and under the rule of the Antichrist (for 3.5 years). The second unforgivable sin will be committed across the entire world during the domination of the Antichrist, when some people will receive a physical seal on their forehead or right hand. No one will be forgiven upon taking this seal. God's wrath and all nature will be armed against them, and they will suffer here on earth like in hell. This will be explained in the explanation of the seven bowls of God's wrath.

The sixth trumpet: In the sixth trumpet, St. John sees the same demonic power, only in another form. It signifies that the first woe has ended and the second one has come, that demons under the guise of locusts in the fifth trumpet would receive freedom in the last days of the world and would not leave the scene of action at any time, but to the contrary, they will become more and more strengthened.... [“And thus I saw the horses in the vision and those sitting on them, having fiery and hyacinthine and sulphureous breastplates; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths went forth fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three plagues were the third part of men killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which went forth out of their mouths. For the authority of the horses is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads, and with them they do injure” (Rev. 9:17-19).] Four angels who were bound will be released, and after their release you can see that they will sting people from behind with their cunning politics, as if with their tail, but also they will kill their bodies. In the fifth trumpet, the locusts took not only men’s souls, but at the same time deprived them of their bodies with military affairs. It will be at the end of the world revolution, as the final push in the conquest of the Antichrist, in the very “hour, day, month, and year” (Rev. 9:15) when the four angels will be released. He will come as a great conqueror with his army and reign in Jerusalem for 3.5 years.

Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter St. John sees an angel who gave him a book and said to him, "Eat," and he ate. It was sweet as honey in his mouth but bitter in his belly. The book signifies the word of God, specifically God's revelation. When a Christian accepts the word of God, he rejoices, as if he feels sweetness in his mouth, and when he begins to experience persecution, sorrow, it becomes bitter, as it is bitter in his belly.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 refers to the measurement of the temple and the enumeration of the worshippers in it, and the exclusion of the outer temple [court] as unworthy, then talks about two witnesses. The temple means the whole world, and the outer court means the whole anti-Christian world. In the last times, this temple, signifying the world, will be divided into two parts, the inner and outer parts. True Christians will worship God in spirit and truth as worthy children in the house of God, and those who are not as strong in faith and piety will be trampled on by the wicked. Then, when wickedness increases, the outer court (this world) will establish its own godless tyrants instead of true shepherds, and, according to the word of the Lord, many false Christs and false prophets will appear as the uninvited representatives of human life. This is the Antichrist and his servants. They will trample on the outer court which consists of the little in faith and the weak in piety, put down all the holy and true things in the hearts of people who, through unbelief and wickedness, will fall away from the true Church and will be deprived of the opportunity to accept its saving Sacraments and the guidance of true shepherds. The division of the Christian Church will begin before the accession of the Antichrist himself, which is what is indicated that it is “given” (Rev. 11:2) to the nations (the word “given” signifies the last times). In the future, not only the outer court will be trampled upon under the Antichrist, but also the most holy Jerusalem (for 3-1/2 years), which will be the capital city of the WHOLE WORLD.

We have never experienced such a complete division in history. Christians of the first centuries lived completely separately from the pagans, but not in the full sense of the word. In regards to their inner life, they lived separate from others. Christians did not worship idols, participate in lawless spectacles or feasts, and refused any pleasures that are contrary to the spirit of Christ. And as for public life, Christians followed all civil laws approved by Caesar's authority, which were mandatory for everyone. We were conscripted, participated in the state census, and accepted a civil identity card. This is evidenced by the Apostle Paul when stating to the centurion who arrested him that he is a Roman citizen, and that he recognizes the court of Caesar, "where it is fitting that he be judged" (Acts 22:25-28) and that, as a Roman citizen, he obeys civil laws. Christians knew well and the Scriptures of God spoke that it was necessary to carry out obedience in civil affairs: unto Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God. Christians recognized civil obligations and duties and honored the king, even the pagan Caesar. But in fact, they refused some duties because they were mixed with cunning tricks, for example: if a Christian was drafted into the army, he knew that everyone (at that time) must swear to the idol god. If the Christian refused to swear, he was executed as a criminal on the spot, and therefore many immediately refused to be enlisted. They also did not go to the courts, because everyone had to bow to the idol in the right corner first, and then to the judge.

That was the spiritual and civil division in the early days of Christianity. As for the life of the last Christians in anti-Christian times, as Chapter 11 points out, there will be an especially complete division which has never been seen in history. The true Christians of the last times will literally reject all civil laws and will not honor the authorities. They will have only the inner citizenship of the heavenly fatherland, and will be witnesses of Jesus Christ, for Whom they will shed their blood. In early times, the whole point [of separation] had to do with idolatry, but the laws and authorities were respected. But in anti-Christian times, the place of the idols will be occupied by the authority itself and will demand worship without even making it “religious.” Worshippers will be considered as followers of the Antichrist. Then there will be a division, according to the will of God, between the good and the evil ones: the followers of Christ and the followers of the Antichrist. The Lord will separate the sheep from the goats. Then it will be impossible for both of them to live together. True Christians who will be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ will be betrayed and tortured, and not as if because of their religion, but they will be labelled criminals of the state who are not obeying the law.

Now let us explain who the two witnesses are? According to the teachings of the Church, these will be the holy Prophet Elias and St. Enoch, who will appear to reprove the Antichrist for 3.5 years, and then be killed by him. Why do they have to appear? Because death is inevitable—it is the law for every man; even the Savior, the God-man Himself, did not escape it. Can these two people who were translated to heaven while alive escape death? They cannot remain without bodily death. Even Christians who meet the Coming of the Lord alive will be melted as with fiery lava. They will not die, but as by suffering in fire will change into another form.

Chapter 12

[“And a great sign appeared in the heaven: A Woman having been clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars...” (Rev. 12:1).]

In Chapter 12, St. John sees the Woman. The Woman is Christ's Church, and the dragon [devil] is chasing her. This has been the case at all times of her existence on earth: she will be divided into two categories of Christian believers. The first are the chosen and firmer in the Faith, called the WOMAN, and the other weak ones, which are indicated by her SEED. The former will always support the latter like a child.

[“And the Woman fled into the wilderness where she hath a place having been prepared by God” (Rev. 12:6).] In the last times, in particular, this dragon will let out all kinds of persecution and teachings out of its fiery mouth to deceive her, but the shepherds will flee from the cities into the inner desert closer to God, farther from the world. They will hide from people, and many others will be imprisoned. Thus, the “wilderness” means: wherever you may be as a true Christian, in a city or in prison, or in the middle of the world, you must endure, because the devil has access to places everywhere, being a spirit. Once again we will repeat: with the increase in wickedness, the unbelieving world will attack the Church through the changing of the church services and dogmas, and will act through flattery, deception, and violence. From that time on, the true Divine Liturgy and Communion of Christ's body and blood with all Mysteries will cease to be done openly. Then service to the Antichrist will begin openly, and he will rule the unworthy Christians who will not suspect it for their negligence. But true Christians, who are called the woman’s SEED, will recognize the intrigues of the Antichrist. They will live in the midst of the world, keep the commandments, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, and will not be associated with the anti-Christian culture, but will also not reach the wilderness, becoming close to God with their perfection, as the first ones mentioned, who are called the WOMAN. They will seem to be invisible among the world and will not stand out as sharply as the former. They are like people of the world, taking part in worldly activities and can fall and sin, but they will rise and repent to God, and the Lord will forgive them. They will be like those seven thousand Israelites who did not worship Baal during the life of Elias the prophet. At that time, since many of the elect were also being killed, even Pr. Elias thought that he was the only one of those faithful to God left alive. Because they (the WOMAN) always stand out sharply, the enemies will attack them as from the front. The SEED meanwhile remains until the end of the age and lives unnoticed among enemies. And the great Prophet Elias did not notice them, that they did not worship Baal (3 Kings 19). They only begin to be noticed when they are sought out when the authorities search houses with a sword. From that time on, the battle will begin for the SEED. That is what happened in the history of the first centuries of Christianity. Many of the weak were saved in hidden places, in catacombs, under the ground, as well as in other places. They walked among the pagans and secretly confessed Christ, so they were unnoticed to their enemies. But when a decree was issued to find them, many were taken out of hidden places and brought to worship the idols.

Many Christians could not resist and gave in, but many attained to martyrdom and received crowns on an equal footing with the first, which were called the WOMAN. But this was in the early days of Christianity, and now let us explain how the genuine Christians, who are called the Woman’s SEED, will live in an anti-Christian society. A difficult time will come for the SEED of these Christians, because they will be deprived of pastors and teachers of the Church who would ignite people’s hearts and display miracles as it used to be. In the first days, many bishops hid to reinforce the weak SEED. They remained with them, ignited their hearts, showed many signs and expelled demons because they were great miracle workers. But in the last times, such teachers will conceal themselves from people and will not work miracles in front of them. True Christians will develop the fear of God of themselves and please God as much as the first Christians pleased Him and will receive special crowns from God, and all the former righteous will be amazed by them and say: "How could you survive in such a difficult time without leadership, without pastors?"

Now let us explain whether the anti-Christian power will know those true Christians who, abiding among the world, confess Christ secretly until they are put to death. In anti-Christian times, it will be quite different, because the spirit of the Antichrist is not the same as the pagan kings. Those were just men, they had a weak mind, but the anti-Christian power will have Satan's mind [and cunning]. This power will act politically, without affecting religion or confession. Everyone will be given equal rights for all faiths and sects, but at the same time it will refute all religions and openly propagandize that all of them are deception and superstition, saying that there is no God. It will act morally, convincingly, and convert souls to their destruction. But all believers will have the right to confess and have services openly, on the condition that discipline and state laws are not violated. [The anti-Christian power] will take all the places of worship under its special control and manage them, and become the head instead of Christ, and people will serve not Jesus Christ but the Antichrist.

Blind Christians will not see it, although even children will understand everything as this power will be mocking [them] openly and clearly. And as for true Christians, the authorities will know them all, because they will take everyone under state control—they will give everyone an identity card, and their verification will be carefully carried out. Other activities will also be carried out by the anti-Christian authorities for the sake of control, so that the authorities can clearly know who is involved in what [surveillance], and who is not; but some activities will not be bothered immediately due to freedom of conscience (freedom of religion). In the first stage, they will act morally, but then, when everyone approaches the fate of the sinful Babylon and God's wrath draws near, a special decree will be issued: eradicate those who go against the authorities, but not as if because of religion, but because they have become enemies of the people [and public health?]—because the people have been defiled.

We are only now (1917) seeing this in the French Republic; there was already such an authority in a small form after their revolution, and now the results of this have been worked out by Jewish Masonic revolutionaries, and all forces are preparing to overthrow the autocracy in Russia, and then in the whole world.

So, now we will explain how the people of the Church will be divided into two categories on the occasion of the great persecution. The first are strong; they cannot be deceived by the devil, because they are given the two wings of the great eagle (Rev. 12:14). These are the two great Testaments that guide and lift them from the sinful land to the height of the noetic wilderness, as if to a quiet haven. Anti-Christian power, at all times and in all persecutions, has been thus led as God has foretold, but its domination of the world in the last times for 3.5 years will be especially strong.

Chapter 13

[“And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and on his heads names of blasphemy” (Rev. 13:1).]

In chapter 13, St. John sees the Antichrist coming out of the sea (the world), and that one of the heads was wounded signifies the devil himself when the Lord chained him for 1000 years. That “his death-stroke was healed” (Rev. 13:3) signifies his release and afterwards seemingly spiritually incarnating into a real man—the Antichrist. [“And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and was speaking as a dragon” (Rev. 13:11).] The second beast coming out of the earth signifies the assistant to the Antichrist, like a slave; they will appear simultaneously and will be active for 3.5 years. Now let us explain why the first beast came out of the sea, and the other out of the ground. The “sea” represents the people who are tossed about unintelligibly to and fro like waves. By the end of the age they will vote for the Antichrist, which the unsteady terrain (water) symbolizes, and the second [beast] will then appear to be constantly upon firm ground. He will have great scientific knowledge and the great abilities of a vast mind. This will have been developed for a long time secretly on the basis of materialistic teaching, and he will appear suddenly as an exponent and representative of that [materialistic] theory and will be an accomplice to the Antichrist king. This is what the “coming up out of the earth” signifies. In the last days of the world, the anti-Christian culture will choose one person as king, the Antichrist, to govern all the peoples of the earth. And the science of materialism will also choose one great representative over all false teachers and false prophets, and they will give great signs and miracles and deceive many even of the elect (baptized).

The Antichrist, as a ruler, will consult with his close assistant, who came out of the earth, and will have his right hand. Together they will give tasks to all scientists, which will then be many [technocracy]. They will spread throughout the earth among the nations, deceiving and seducing. By then, science will reach the highest degree of development—even an inanimate statue will speak. As for the name of the Antichrist being “666,” when the time comes, true Christians will know his name; his name in Slavonic letters will make up these numbers.

Chapter 14

[“And I saw, and behold the Lamb standing on the Mount Sion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father having been written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice out of the heaven, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of great thunder. And I heard the sound as of harpists harping with their harps” (Rev. 14:1, 2).]

In Chapter 14, St. John sees the already glorified 144,000 virgin Christians who have reached true perfection. Virgins are Christians of the pure True Orthodox Faith who have not been desecrated with women (i.e., heresies). The number 144 is a mystical, indefinite number, it signifies a large multitude. In the seventh chapter, St. John saw all those who were being prepared for the suffering of the end times, the common glorification of true Christians throughout history, and here he sees finally the 144,000 who have suffered from the Antichrist himself. Then there is the reproof by the angel of those who venerate the work and word of the Antichrist, that one will burn in eternal fire together with him. [“If anyone maketh obeisance to the beast and his image, and receiveth his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink out of the wine of the anger of God which hath been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath, and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb” (Rev. 14:9, 10).] Then he sees the cutting down of the wicked, and how all their iniquity is thrown into the wine-vat, which iniquity was so great that the wickedness even overflowed from above.

[Chapter 15 is skipped.]

Chapter 16

[“And I heard a loud voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the seven bowls of the anger of God into the earth.’ And the first one went forth and poured out his bowl into the earth, and there came to be a bad and grievous sore upon men, those having the mark of the beast and those making obeisance to his image. And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea; and it became blood as of one dead; and every living soul died in the sea. And the third one poured out his bowl into the rivers and into the fountains of the waters, and there came to be blood.... And the fourth one poured out his bowl on the sun; and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.... And the fifth one poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom came to be in darkness” (Rev. 16:1-4, 8, 10).]

The first five bowls signify that NATURE itself will take up arms against wicked people, so that the suffering of people will be immeasurable. But the blinded people who have lost their minds will not perceive anything [of the truth], thinking nothing about how the punishment of the Lord has come down on them. They will be angry at nature and their suffering, but they will not understand their guiltiness and will not condemn themselves.

The sixth bowl: In the sixth bowl, St. John sees that the water in the river has dried up. The meaning of this bowl is that there is no longer water in the river. It should be understood in this manner: that at the end of the world the evil spirit will not begin to act immediately throughout the world but will gradually deceive all peoples and kingdoms until it leads all to a single anti-Christian kingdom. The first manifestation of the evil spirit will begin with the appearance of locusts from the abyss together with the king, the devil, in one particular place (in one country or a few countries). Some countries will resist the new anti-Christian system (or king). At the same time the inhabited world will be divided into two socially opposite systems; as the two banks of the river, so will be the two systems. One will arise as an anti-Christian system, and the other will still have a historical system for some time. But since the kingdoms will not voluntarily surrender to a new order of life, this evil spirit will strive, as shown in the Revelation of the sixth cup, to gather all kings and peoples for a battle—for the world revolution (Armageddon, Rev. 16:16). [“And I saw three unclean spirits, as frogs, out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons doing signs which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited world, to gather them together to the war of the day, that of the great day of God the Almighty” (Rev. 16:13, 14).] This will be the last world war of evil with the good. Through this cunning revolution, all peoples and kingdoms will be led to a single anti-Christian spirit. From then on, there will be no two sides and no barrier which the river symbolizes. East and West will unite into a single whole. There will be no water, rivers, or obstacles to evil power. The river [Euphrates] has been and will continue to flow, but there will be no obstacle; the sixth bowl has been poured out on this obstacle, and there is no more obstacle [borders]. The power of the evil spirit will multiply enormously and, in addition, nature herself will be armed, as all five bowls poured out before will be in effect. It is surprising that the sixth bowl only staggers people, because through this bowl are the final events among mankind to come to pass and the beginning of the direct workings of the evil spirit on them.

Chapter 17

St. John sees a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, and the angel explains that the woman (harlot) is the antichrist society of the last times. There will not be a king in this society. She herself says, "I take my seat and sit a queen, and am not a widow, but I have a lot of subjects" (cf. Rev. 18:7). She rejected religion, sat on the devil, and was governed by the spirit of the Antichrist, through the ten kings who sit on the beast, for the ten kings signify that they will rule the society. [“The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings who did not yet receive a kingdom, but receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast” (Rev. 17:12, 13).] These kings, as representatives of the people, are not kings, because kings are indicated by their heads. They are fully subordinate and are indebted to another higher power and sit upon it and have no permanent rule. The number ten is undefined, round, and means the whole multitude of them. They will be like the sand of the sea—this is Gog and Magog. They secretly prepare the way for the Antichrist. They have one goal—to create an anti-Christian society, which is then transferred to the power of the Antichrist. He will give them the positions of rulers for a very short time, three and a half years.

[“And the ten horns which thou sawest and the beast, these shall hate the harlot and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat portions of her flesh, and shall burn her with fire. For God did put into their hearts to do His judgment, and to bring about one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast” (Rev. 17:16, 17).] These ten kings will hate their own society and ruin it with fire and sword, destroying all its magnificence in order to excite the peoples to a revolution at the event of a world war, so that in a short time they will subjugate all kingdoms, not satisfied with the submission of their subjects who are already part of this society, Babylon. [The society] will require even greater submission [tyranny], so that all peoples should wear its evil seal on their foreheads and right hand—this is the highest egoism and pride of the spirit of the Antichrist, which [seal] these kings will also receive. They are blinded and will not realize that the Antichrist leads them to their intended goal, but the spirit of the antichrists [demons] in them will know everything and order things through them in the spirit. Blinded by their cunning policies, they will not even regret ruining their own city to the ground. The ruin of the city will take place by the will of God and at the request of the Antichrist.

On the beast there are seven heads, this is the Antichrist, the 666, and the “mountains” (Rev. 17:9) mean the kingdoms in which the devil's power operates. The Antichrist is like the heir to the iniquities of the seven kingdoms from the beginning of human history. These kingdoms are as follows: 1) Median; 2) Persian; 3) Assyrian; 4) Babylonian; 5) Macedonian; 6) Roman; 7) German-Slavic, which will gradually transform into an anti-Christian kingdom and surpass all the 7 past kingdoms with its iniquities and sit on them. St. John sees that the 5 kingdoms have already fallen; during his lifetime there was the Roman state. Each state existed for different lengths of time, for example: the Roman state existed for 500 years, and the German-Slavic exists today and will exist until the advent of the Antichrist. When the seventh kingdom is completely destroyed, the eighth kingdom with the king, the Antichrist, will begin and will gradually spread to the whole world. When the seventh kingdom is destroyed, then he will appear, calling himself the king and father of all. He will be like the exponent of this wicked kingdom; the devil will be like a man.

Chapter 18

[“It is fallen, it is fallen, Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons and a garrison of every unclean spirit.... ‘Come out of her, My people, in order that ye might not be partakers in her sins and that ye might not receive of her plagues’” (Rev. 18:2, 4).]

Chapter 18 contains a proclamation of the destruction of Babylon [the anti-Christian culture] and the withdrawal of Christians from among it and the deliverance of the true Christians from the sinful fate of Babylon. Its sins reach heaven and the throne of God, God's patience is over, and the hour of recompense for sins has come. As Lot was told to leave Sodom, so it will be said to the Christians of latter times, for people should flee from living together with those who upset God. To reject the pleasant things that they had before, to withdraw from anti-Christian society means the final separation of true Christians in the face of the scourge of world war and revolution. The judgment will begin with the anti-Christian society of Babylon before the other peoples and kingdoms. It is destroyed even before the rule of the Antichrist, and after the Antichrist the worldwide Babylon will be destroyed, because the anti-Christian society will pour its wickedness into all the nations, starting from one great state of the end times.

The judgment of God on them all will come in equal measure, because the anti-Christian society, mystically called “Babylon,” signifies not one state, but many mixed peoples and kingdoms with the same politics and law. There will be ten kings of Gog and Magog in the spirit of the Antichrist.

Chapter 19

[“After these things I heard as it were a loud voice of a great multitude in the heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia; the salvation and the glory and the power of our God’” (Rev. 19:1).]

Chapter 19 informs us that the Lord will soon appear on earth and that the harlot of Babylon will lose her strength and authority, and the judgment of God is already prepared for her. In heaven, glory is prepared and the Bride of Christ, the Church, is readied because the marriage of the Lamb has come. Then St. John sees the Lord on a white horse with an army, which shows the last defeat of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of the Lord to judge the living and the dead. There will be no Antichrist and false prophet at the Judgment, for they will descend alive into the abyss.

Chapter 20

[“And I saw an angel coming down out of the heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain upon his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent, the ancient one, who is the devil and Satan, the one leading astray the inhabited world, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the abyss, and locked and closed it with a seal over him, in order that he may not lead astray the nations any longer, until the thousand years should be finished; after these things it is necessary for him to be loosed for a little time” (Rev. 20:1-3).]

Chapter 20 reveals the fulfillment of the death of the same devilish forces, only in another form. Satan was chained for 1,000 years. After the Passion of the Lord, the devil lost power, the idolatry by which the devil dominated faded away. By Christianity spreading, he received a kind of fatal wound. In anti-Christian days, he will appear and will no longer dominate with idolatry as before with an idol, but with the very anti-Christian power of wicked people, as Chapter 20 clearly speaks. [“And whenever the thousand years should be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to lead astray the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war, of whom the number of them is as the sand of the sea” (Rev. 20:7, 8).] He will gather many peoples under his power and spread his devilish authority, and later as a spirit, [the devil] will be embodied in a single person, the Antichrist. Satan will have one goal—to gather all the wicked people for a world war or revolution, in order to subordinate all peoples to honor his power on earth, because he has little time on earth.

Gog is the leader, Magog is the assistant, and in general they are the anti-Christian society of the last times. That is how they are going to secretly prepare the way for the Antichrist. The idea of 1000 years is an indefinite number for people, but its significance with God is that the righteous will reign with Christ for 1000 years. This kingdom begins from the first days of the foundation of Christ's Church on earth to the Second Coming of the Lord to judge the living and the dead, for the righteous living on earth are translated to heaven beforehand. They die only bodily, but their souls rise and reign with Christ for 1000 years. This preliminary bliss is not yet complete; they will receive the complete resurrection after the Last Judgment, but sinners die immediately both in body and soul and do not rise again. They also receive a foretaste of torment in hell for “1000 years,” but complete torment will come to them after the Last Judgment. Then for them there will be a kind of second death. And the 1000 years of Satan's binding indicates that time when the devil was chained, i.e., when the Church of Christ lived quietly and peacefully on earth. With the Church the heavens rejoiced, and there was silence and joy in heaven for the kingdom was with Christ; everything was at rest.

But when Satan gained freedom in the last times, peace and quiet would be broken. The Church on earth would be subjected to great persecution and sorrows, and those in heaven feel compassion and sorrow over their members who are still on earth. So, with the Lord, a thousand years is as one day, and one day as a thousand years.

[“And they went up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints and the city, the beloved one” (Rev. 20:9).] The encampment of the saints should be understood thus: that the Church of Christ of the last times will live throughout the entire inhabited world. Christians will make a kind of military camp and fight their enemies, but not with military weapons, but with strong faith and hope in God. They will live among the wicked peoples as if they were in their own beloved city, completely separate from the anti-Christian world, which indicates that their weapons and place are indeed the city itself, that is, the abiding one. Wherever the Christian is, there will be his own beloved city. It is within his heart. Amen.

  1. When St. Hermogenes confronted Rasputin, the holy bishop beat him with a large cross to expel that scoundrel from the royal palace. When others found fault with St. Hermogenes for this behavior, he replied that he did not hit a man, but a demon.

Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
Contact: Archbishop Gregory
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