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A message from Elder Ephraim from St Anthony's monastery


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#1 Kusanagi

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

This is taken from an email that is being circulated, i have removed the owner's name in case he does not want it here. I do not have Fr Justin's original letter fully translated yet, i will only put it up later on. The mods please do not change anything in this post.

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Dear brothers in Christ:

On March 13, I saw Elder Ephraim at the monastery of Saint Anthony in Arizona. Along with the multitude of my sins and transgressions I also conveyed to him the greetings along with the concerns of our Elder Justin of Petru Voda.



I have very good memories of the holiness and great hospitality of the monastic brotherhood of Petru Voda and the love of the Elder Justin toward us.

We were asked to speak on a number of things and specifically of the signs of the times. Some of the brothers at the time held the opinion that the magnetic stripe of contemporary bank cards (visa,m/c etc.) is somehow equivalent to the sign-mark-charagma of the Apocalyptic beast. Of course we disagreed with them at the time insisting that the ownership of such a business card does not separate one from the grace of God. We were made aware that even Elder Paisios may have alluded to that effect.



I understand now that our Romanian brothers are being compelled by the European Union to show their “good behavior” and use the latest technology (biometric chip) for identification purposes (ID cards, licences and passports). Unfortunately this technology is being used in the US and Greece. The powerful display of the reposed Archibishop Christodoulos was fruitless because after he received millions of signatures he suddenly abandoned the struggle for no apparent reason.



During the time of my recent confession I explained the concern of our Romanian brothers and Elder Justin to Elder Ephraim of St. Anthony’s and whether the acceptance of this biometric RFID chip alienates them from the Church of Christ.

The response of the elder was very direct: NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! THIS IS NOT THE MARK OF THE BEAST. THE MARK WILL BE IMPOSED AFTER WORLD WAR THREE! AND PRIESTS ARE WRONG TO EXCOMMUNICATE CHRISTIANS FROM THE HOLY CUP BECAUSE THEY ARE USING THIS TECHNOLOGY!





(My comments based on the teachings of my holy and learned elder Athanasios Mitilinaios.)



I do agree with Fr. Justin that this technology is a forerunner of the systems used

to eventually mark people with the sign of the beast. We are headed toward a one world government which will be instituted after a major world war as Elder Ephraim said.

However the Mark of the Beast –which will be the full acceptance of the spirit of the Antichrist- will be a willful and conscious action of self- dedication and devotion to this newly revealed god! The mark will not have any meaning if imposed to a person by mere force or unconsciousness whether at a hospital bed, during sleep or at the state of infancy.





The final mark much like the Christian Baptism is not something magic. It requires the actual adherence to the precepts of faith. People will accept the mark because they will actually believe that the Christ of Nazareth was a philosopher a great teacher and so on but not divine like the Apocalyptic world leader. For this to happen we must first succumb to total ecumenism, the sinister admixture of all religions which will eventually be replaced by the religion of the Antichrist.





This is why Christ sadly asked: “When I return will I find faith on earth?” People will lose faith in the God-human person of Christ. Although our times are very sinful we are not at the final days of history since we don’t have any definite signs that the antichrist might be born.

However the time is ripe to teach, educate and attempt to awake our people and the people of the world by every possible means. And while I believe that it would be commendable for our pious monks, priests and spiritually advanced laypeople to resist this technology to cause some commotion which could be instrumental in peoples awakening we cannot impose this voluntary action to the general public.





I also agree with Elder Justin that the time of martyrdom is now! We must speak to our faithful about these dangers and we must prepare them to prefer 1000 deaths over the selling of their souls for a few Euro’s , a few carob pods that will soon give them a terrible indigestion as the poor Greeks are now finding out. What the Turks could not accomplish in 400 years the carob pods of the European Union did in less than 30.

The average Greek today lives a life of idolatry and breathes the spirit of the antichrist.

This has nothing to do with the electronic ID card, but with the bondage of the carnal passions. We need to expel the spirit of the antichrist from our lives and to begin to live the life of Christ. By purifying our hearts and practicing humility we will have Christ in our hearts Who will easily fight our enemies for us by His mighty hand.





A blessed Lenten season and

a joyous Ressurection.



3-15-09 Arizona.

#2 Alice

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 08:11 PM

I know what carob is, and I know what the carob looks like, but what is the analogy of 'carob pod' supposed to be as used in this e-mail???
Thanks!

Alice

#3 Kosta

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:51 PM

I guess im ignorant compared to you Alice because ive never heard of a carob or a carob pod. What the heck is it?

#4 Kseniya M.

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 10:32 PM

I guess im ignorant compared to you Alice because ive never heard of a carob or a carob pod. What the heck is it?


The carob plant is a flowering shrub native to Africa. The pods are dried and roasted and used as a chocolate substitute in the west. It has various uses, such as a snack food or animal feed. The way the term is used here is mystifying to me.

-Kseniya

#5 Kosta

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:05 AM

Since these pods can be prepared as chocolate and for differing uses, for instance as a stimulant since chocolate contains caffeine, i wonder if its a cryptic reference to drug use. The context though doesnt seem to refer to that. Strange.

#6 Paul Cowan

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:04 AM

KNowing what a carob pod is, is alf way to understanding his use of the analogy. Look at the ripe fruit itself and compare how this looks and feels to the way the EU is today. Brown and dried out with nothing to offer but dry seeds.

#7 Moses Ibrahim

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:07 AM

The response of the elder was very direct: NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! THIS IS NOT THE MARK OF THE BEAST. THE MARK WILL BE IMPOSED AFTER WORLD WAR THREE! AND PRIESTS ARE WRONG TO EXCOMMUNICATE CHRISTIANS FROM THE HOLY CUP BECAUSE THEY ARE USING THIS TECHNOLOGY!

Where did elder Ephraim get this info from? Please source as I am very curious about this! Hope this isn't another one of those wild guesses! :)

#8 Kusanagi

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:56 AM

how i understand some people disguise with good intentions approach the Greeks and spread their own poison.

#9 Laura

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:40 PM

Carobs are grown in Cyprus, in fact I have one in my garden. The pods make a sweet syrup from them which is supposedly quite good for you as well as being delicious!!

I was once told that ALL carob seeds are the same weight making them a reliable measure for gold, silver, etc in old times. Carob, so I was told, is the basis of the word carat.

#10 Alice

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 01:36 PM

The carob plant is a flowering shrub native to Africa. The pods are dried and roasted and used as a chocolate substitute in the west. It has various uses, such as a snack food or animal feed. The way the term is used here is mystifying to me.

-Kseniya


I know the carob plant because it grows wildly on tree like shrubs on my grandmother's island of Chios...
They call them 'koundouroudia'...and they don't eat them, though I am sure that they did during the starvation they suffered under the German occupation in World War II...

#11 Kseniya M.

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:23 PM

I know the carob plant because it grows wildly on tree like shrubs on my grandmother's island of Chios...


I should have clarified that it does grow wild all around the Mediterranean region, but that's because it was transplanted there from Africa many many centuries ago.

As far as I know, carob doesn't contain stimulants as does chocolate, unless you consider its sugar content a stimulant. :)

#12 C. Christoph

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 08:38 PM

Does the whole carob analogy refer to the lentils of Genesis 25 - 34 based on some inaccurate translation?
That WOULD make sense, especially since we still use this expression in Greek - even though few people probably know that it comes from Esau's story...

#13 Owen Jones

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:50 PM

I have always been skeptical of apocalyptic prophesies, no matter the source, especially when they try to read into current history some unique Biblical significance. The term "anti-Christ" is a highly symbolic reference, perhaps to something going on at the time it was developed. Claiming that it will be a historical person in the near future may or may not have any validity. All we know is that such prophecies in the past have all been wrong. The emphasis on apocalyptic tends to wear down the faithful, rather than build them up and becomes a distraction from the "one thing needful." I see no particular signs that we are in an age of history that portends anything more apocalyptic than any other particular age in history, such as the rise of communism and Nazism and the various horrors they spawned. As a practical matter, when you actively seek or accept money from governments, you are going to get up with fleas, as they say. I remember speaking to a monk from Athos about the money they were accepting from the EU to rebuild their monastery, and warning him that with their money will come edicts, and he said they had had assurances that would not happen. Imagine that! The government hands me money but is not going to tell me how to run my life! That would be the first time in history...

#14 Andrew James

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:55 PM

One just has to think of St. Hippolytus of Rome, who in his time felt is was of great urgency to find where the Antichrist was on earth. And St. Hippolytus reposed in the third-century.

#15 Ilaria

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:30 PM

PRIESTS ARE WRONG TO EXCOMMUNICATE CHRISTIANS FROM THE HOLY CUP BECAUSE THEY ARE USING THIS TECHNOLOGY!

Where did elder Ephraim get this info from? Please source as I am very curious about this! Hope this isn't another one of those wild guesses! :)


Dear friends

I confess that this topic has raised such many debates and resistance - I fear not in a Christian mood - in our country for months;I feel it is the devil behind and therefore I ask your prayers

My spiritual father is one of the voices trying to stand this apocalyptic draught; however the "antichristic" voices are louder I feel

As Owen pointed, the history reveals that each Christian period had it's challenges;
But, I think it is such a clear devilish joke - if the devil may do something "clear! Better we forget about our own passions, about our own fights and, considering ourselves clean enough, we go to the Colosseum directly! What a deceit!
As if I would die tomorrow - because who grant me the day after tomorrow? - God will ask me why did I not stand against chip??
But who try to pray and fast - for these kind of demons - instead of crying out in conferences and so on?
And the bad thing is that they even do not pay more attention to what the Holy Synod decided

But, if there is any priest to excommunicate from the Holy Cup because of this technology I did not heard and hope not to be true!

Edited by Father David Moser, 31 March 2009 - 10:20 PM.
fix quote


#16 Ryan

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:50 PM

While I'm also wary of particular predictions, I think there's always been an awareness of the imminence of the Day of Judgment in the Church from its beginning, and I think it's a healthy attitude, even if particular prophecies don't materialize.

#17 Moses Ibrahim

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:06 AM

I think it is quite unhealthy that these issues are discussed and not only discussed but given such "concrete" answers as to what they are and when they will happen. I have yet to hear any references to these "prophecies". In fact, I long for the day when love, compassion and mercy are being discussed as much as the end times (and the great thing is, the references on these topics are found in Christ Himself).

#18 John Simmons

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:13 PM

First of all, does anyone have the original communication from Elder Justin, to which this letter refers?

Secondly, I don't think we need fear a consideration of the apocalypse as much as we should fear a conspiratorial, fearful reaction to this (all of which is based in externals). Fr. Seraphim Rose of blessed memory spent a fair amount of time discussing these things soberly, not to feed the sort of sick fascination that often accompanies these topics, but in order to allow us to soberly consider how we are spending our life now. Many Russian elders, for example have said (during Soviet times) "Today in Russia, Tommorow in America". Some people hear this and want to bug out to a bunker with a stockpile of weapons and food, but what is probably the intended response is to take stock of all of our worldy positions and fascinations, and perhaps lessen our attachments to them a little, and take our repentance a bit more seriously, as well as love for our neighbor.
I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping an eye on the state of RFID technology (if the number of security flaws and bugs are to be fixed first, then the end is going to be a long time off :)), but we should consider foremost, the words of the elder, who when asked what the mark of the beast would be, said simply, "resentment".

All we have to do is look at Church history to see that living in a time of peace without persecution is not necessarily the norm, and we should be grateful and make use of it while we have it. Just read the descriptions of Fr. Georghe Calciu of blessed memory, who spent over 20 years in prison camps only decades ago for his faith and became a living confessor. History is full of these wars against the saints. And what is the Apocalypse? merely the final and most developed form of such a war, which precedes the final removal of temptation, and the attaining of eternal blessedness. Christ gave us the proper focus when He told us not to fear those who kill the body, but those who kill the soul. I find Geronda Ephraim's letter to be sober and not TOO extreme. He redirects the focus from technology to the state of the soul, which makes sense. His point about the "Carob Pods" - that Greeks fought and died to preserve Orthodoxy under the Turkish yoke, but are now losing it willingly by allowing the soul to be scattered by prosperity, should make us reflect: Are we to be afraid of a time of persecution, or should be more concerned about the insidious time of ease, where we can lose the savor of Orthodoxy all too quickly?

So let us all be good conspiracy theorists with St. John of the ladder, and conceal ourselves in a watchtower in order to see when and how the enemy comes to steal our treasure. Let us bug out to the bunker of our heart, becoming suspicious of our own thoughts. Let us fire many bursts of ammo from our prayer ropes and become skilled in unseen warfare. Let us obsess about the technology of the mark: being watchful against any resentful thought. Let us stockpile the good spiritual food in our souls, so that we may share with our neighbors when times get rough.

By the way - a parenthetical comment:

I'm pretty sure that Carob Pods, as used in the letter, are being used as a symbol for the "apparent sweetness" that Greece was to gain by joining the EU, but which is ultimately going to result in the bitterness of being bound by EU law, and the final death of Greek life as was possible in former times. I doubt that the elder was focused on any particular Carob property - any tempting EU import would probably have done as well.

Carob pods are actually the "locusts" spoken of when the Gospels describe the diet of St. John the Baptist (locusts and honey). I picked up a pod off the ground when I was in Israel. Presumably one peels back the husk and eats just the bean-like seeds (sort of like eating edamame in a Japanese restaurant?). I thought it was pretty cool that an ascetic diet could consist of sweetened chocolate substitute :).

Edited by Father David Moser, 09 May 2009 - 02:03 PM.
merge


#19 Peter G.

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:17 AM

It's funny how people change the words of the Elder and wage war against him in their hypocritical way. Many people misinterpret the words of Geronda. What is said to you when you go see him is for you alone and not for everyone. Geronda was asked many times about this and he never gives this kind of response. As for the person who said the Greeks are idolaters and breath the spirit of the antichrist, tell me who isn't? The Russians? or who else? The churches in Greece are full every Sunday and not only in Greece but in the U.S, Canada everywhere. In fact Greece is considered the most religious country in Europe according to European facts. Get your facts straight about Geronda and don't blow things out of proportion. Second, go to Greece and see for yourself about what I said and don't listen to the liberal media of Europe who show false information to deceive people. I agree that there are anarchist and atheist like everywhere else in Europe but that doesn't account for the whole Orthodox population of Greece.

#20 Peter G.

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:12 AM

I'd like to say that it's not the first time that people have tried to attack Geronda Ephraim wether by email or mouth to mouth. I have seen Geronda Ephraim and I know that he would never say anything like that. What is said to someone must stay with that person and not circulate on the outside. I find it very hyprocritical to slander someone who has helped thousands of people in America, Canada and Greece. As far as the average Greek living a life of idolatry and breathes the spirit of the antichrist, well I'd like to know which country doesn't? Russia? with their new age wave or pentacostal religion becoming more and more in numbers every year or their high numbers of atheist? Tell me which country doesn't live a life of idolatry and breathes the spirit of the antichrist so maybe everyone can move there.

Yes in Greece you have your few anarchist and atheist and the 1.5 million immigrants that more than 3/4 of them are illegal bringing islam and other pagan religions to the country but that doesn't account to say the average Greek is an idolater. Greece is considered to be the most religious country in Europe by facts and the churches are packed every Sunday, not only in Greece but even abroad so please get your facts straight. Greeceis the country in Western Europe with the most religious people (86%) and the eighth most devout in the world and these are facts! not lies

Edited by Peter G., 19 May 2009 - 08:33 AM.
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