In times of trial, people draw closer to God, which is why God also has to allow such trials, in times when mankind settles onto the wrong path.
In these times, people seek more help from above, and they wonder, worried about the future, what God is saying.
Because of people’s anxieties and prayers, God gives different discoveries to comfort His flock—but, on the other hand, the evil one intensifies his work, knowing that, in such situations, people are more vulnerable and give more confidence to deception.
Thus, in this period, there has also appeared different “prophecies” that disturb the flock, who love Christ: prophecies that are proof of deception, rather than of the grace of God.
Criteria by which we can distinguish true prophecies from deceptions
For this, we offer some criteria by which we can distinguish true prophecies from deceptions.
Prophecy must be trustworthy
Prophecy must be trustworthy. By this, we mean to be approved by people recognized as people of God. God never surprises us by the sudden emergence of a stranger with an unknown prophecy who is very sure of what he says and then tries to force his “prophecy” with the fear of punishment or other arguments. The road to God is at peace and well-suited: beforehand, God prepares people, whom He validates, in front of the flock through their exemplary behavior for a long time, and these people, afterwards, will validate the prophecies—either their own prophecies or those of others.
The prophecies have no dates
The prophecies have no dates. This is especially true of prophecies related to major events: the coming of the Antichrist etc. And that is because these major events depend on people’s repentance. If people repent, events are delayed.
We have many examples here: most convenient is the prophecy of Jonah. When the prophet knew that people would repent, and knew his prophecy would no longer be fulfilled, this is why he was trying to avoid prophesying, in the first place.
So, any unknown prophecies with dates are totally avoidable. Do not say that God told us also to say dates. We are not the Prophet Jonah or the disciple of Elijah. Beyond that, the Lord has made it very clear that no one knows the times of anything except for only our Father in Heaven, precisely to counteract this tendency.
The prophecies are enigmatic
The prophecies are enigmatic in order to force us to humble ourselves and to know our powerlessness, to pray for enlightenment and to ask our spiritual parents in the Church. No prophecy can be interpreted alone. God is not a news agency that validates our selfishness, our lack of asceticism, and our sensational lust. Any prophecy that speaks clearly about certain technologies, medical practices, organizations, etc. is very debatable—even if the experience of the Church (which also includes scientific arguments) shows that, in fact, these entities are more or less harmful.
A prophecy of God has Divine Energy
Divine Energy: a prophecy of God generates love, peace, hope, patience, endurance, repentance, and humility. The “prophecies” that generate hatred, panic, fear, and a righteous, vindictive spirit are not from the Holy Spirit. “You shall know them by their fruits,” says the Lord. One of the main features of prophecies is that they always urge love, unity and hatred towards sin. In the Apocalypse, this is masterfully presented, talking about “the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt” that urges us to repent and hate sin, even if it is said with great delicacy, without, therefore, to generate hatred toward the city, that this is the city “in which our Lord was crucified.”
So, stay away from all that hatred toward people, no matter who they are, what they are dealing with, and in what structures or nations they are.
Avoid any prophecy that, according to the above signs, is not from God. The demonic energy from what you read or hear will also influence you and hurt you spiritually.
Beyond that, we humbly think that it is much more effective to focus on the present, even if it is harder, instead of taking refuge in the future. God will save us for the virtues we are building with His help today and not for our imagination about the future.
Prophecies about the pandemic
As an appendix, we present three prophecies which, we believe, may be somewhat related to this pandemic (but not exclusively) and which, we believe humbly, are from God:
“The time will come when Romanians who are outside the borders of the country will want to return to the country but will not be able to.”
–Father Arsenie Boca
“A pandemic like a flu is coming and everyone will be swept away. It’s like a vacuum cleaner. It will shame all doctors and all pharmacies.”
–Metropolitan Augustinos (Kantiotis) of Florina
“The end will come when there is no road anymore from neighbor to neighbor.”
–Father Ilarion Argatu
And, if I may, a personal “prophecy”:
“If reading the above, you may feel disappointed and frustrated, waiting for something more sensational, you will have problems during and after the pandemic. If you receive everything humbly and your heart is reassured by the inability of the article to offer something extraordinary, our good God will help you in the pandemic and in the future.”
The Fathers of the Holy Mountain, although they are many years in asceticism and become great schema monks (almost) all, do not focus on the prophecies, even though we know enough on the topic, but they focus on Christ, because it is He who will give us the true glory.
Below you will see photos from a service of great schema tonsure. Vatopedi Monastery, Mount Athos.
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