by Michael Wood
These last weeks we have seen tremendous outpourings on TV, Newspapers, public speeches, the social media about the war in Ukraine, the ever more lurid “reports”. Ninety percent of which is opinions borne of complete ignorance mixed with a peppering of half-remembered snippets of what may have once been thought to be Christianity.
I would like to put all this in a more profound, and possibly startling perspective, for most commentators have not the slightest idea of the immediate future that we may be facing. But please, try to bear in mind, I am not apologising for anybody’s actions, I am merely looking at what might have caused them to act.
Christianity is not the comfortable Romano-protestant “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” illustrated by the placid, bearded man in a Victorian nightgown so familiar from the Bibles of our childhood.
The classical Patristic dictum, ‘Following the Holy Fathers…’, is that which expresses how Orthodox understand themselves. The Orthodox community has always had deeply ingrained, the teachings of the great Fathers of the Church, the Great Councils of the Church as the Explicators of Holy Scripture. This is true of all the world’s Orthodox Christians who do not see themselves as being of this world. Yet Orthodox states must exist in this world, and see themselves as responsible for the entire range of physical, moral and spiritual safety of their people. For two thousand years and more the Christian world has therefore seen wars by Christian states engaged in what they largely see as containing or opposing threats to themselves and their people. A genuine Orthodox Christian ruler sees himself as responsible for his people’s spiritual and moral safety as much as their physical safety.
Russia is far from perfect. I am an Orthodox priest and I know enough about it – and talk to enough Russians – to know that. But Russia has one huge advantage: Holy Orthodoxy. Regardless of her politicians, Russia knows her faults and through the lens of Orthodoxy, can see our collective “virtues” in the western nations for the foetid, stinking mess they actually are.
In the news this past week I have seen schools suggesting 11 year old girls ask their fathers about erections and masturbation, I have seen politicians refuse to define ‘woman’ and schools asking 13 year old children when they first had sex, I have seen naval Admirals in frocks, read about Trudeau freezing bank accounts of protestors so they couldn’t feed their families, and learned the war in Yemen waged for ten years now by our ally Saudi Arabia has killed 377,000 people – more than half of them children.
The west has no moral high ground. The west has entered a period of gross decadence barely hidden behind the facade of its previous civilisation. We invade – sorry, it’s “intervene” when we do it – anywhere we like. Did the Serbs, Syrians, Iraqis, and Libyans suffer less than the Ukrainians when NATO or America “intervened” in their countries? I doubt it. Was NATO’s war against the Serbs less horrific than the present Ukrainian war? NATO had 78 straight days of bombing Serbia – remember that? Where are the Yemeni flags in Facebook profiles? Why weren’t the leaders of these countries feted with appearances in parliaments and award ceremonies? If you – as a Christian – can look around at the glorification of George Floyd, the sexualisation of children, the legal killing of week old babies, military commanders in dresses and lipstick, and the mysterious disappearance of Ghislaine Maxwell’s client list and war after war that we started in foreign lands far from our borders, and think for ONE moment you still live in a Christian civilisation then I have news for you. You do not.
Stop rushing over a cliff every time the media holds up a sign that says, “Go lemmings!” I am old enough to remember the saying, “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers.” Are you? The media represents some of the most corrupt and vitiated governments there have ever been. The putrefaction of their morals regarding the lives of the poor, financial stewardship, and sexuality creates a stench so strong that Caligula and Nero smell like saints by comparison. If you won’t research, if you won’t think, if you won’t reason and if you can’t hold two or three ideas in your head at the same time regarding this or any other situation then either learn to, or stop talking about it. To paraphrase Eliot, you’re not entitled to an opinion if you’re not in possession of the facts and the facts are ALWAYS more than you see on television. You cannot call yourself an adult – let alone a Christian adult – if you think things like “Orange man bad” or “Putin is Hitler” or “it must be true because the BBC says it is”, if you do then there is no hope for you. How can you remember Weapons of Mass Destruction supposedly held by Iraq, and Dr David Kelly and not hear a warning klaxon every time a politician or newsreader opens their mouth?
Back to Russia. The only real way to understand how Russia operates today and fits into the world is to study and understand how the Byzantine Empire governed itself and acted towards its neighbours for a thousand years. As I said at at the start, Russia is far from perfect. Russia has has a whole clan of oligarchs grown obscenely rich and selfish by usurping the taxpayer’s ownership of factories and real estate and corruption of officials and employing criminal methods including murder, but Russia recognises this. Russia is the only major country in the world actively trying to polish the Pearl of Great Price – Christ’s Church (Christ and His Body are inseparable).
All of humanity from the moment we left Eden has lived in the muck while reaching for the stars. The difference between Russia and the West is that Russia is, however clumsily, reaching up through the saints and the sacraments to the stars, while the West is wallowing in the muck rejoicing with the demons it finds there. This by the way, has nothing to do with personalities – I don’t care about Hunter Biden’s laptop, I don’t care about Boris Johnson’s concupiscence, or Joe Biden’s state of mind, or Justin Trudeau’s staggeringly hypocritical lack of insight – I really don’t.
Those who do not understand Orthodox Christianity or the people in whom it is ingrained, can never understand that Russia (Christian and non-Christian) abhors the disgusting morass of immorality that the west has descended into, and wants to cut itself off from any possibility of that entering Russia.
The danger, for modern people living in the post-Romano-protestant west is that Christianity is so degraded that there is no clear understanding of it or how the future works. There will be wars for reasons that are inexplicable to their mindset. They rush to hatred and judgement over the Ukraine war. They acclaim and laud a Ukrainian president who is personally just as corrupt as the rest of the oligarchs who permeate Ukrainian society.
Russia in the form of her government and religious leadership fears most of all the importation of the extremely toxic culture of the modern west. The western culture has now long since crossed over all public and private religious-moral bounds, and Russia has stated its fearfulness.
Yes, Russia fears the movement of NATO up to its border with Ukraine, but longer term, Russia fears the disgusting western “culture” entering over its permeable boundaries with the Ukraine.
I want to give you an example from the distant past, which may help to explain the present, so please bear with me as I explain. Part of the problem is that throughout the Bible there are recountings of THE LORD saying something to Moses or Joshua or one of the prophets. So who is this LORD? Saint John used the word LOGOS (which in Greek means “word” but in fact had a much deeper aspect of divinity) to denote Christ, and the fact that the Logos (Christ) was the effecter of creation. Christianity holds that Jesus of Nazareth is the incarnate LOGOS and thus it was He who was speaking, giving commands throughout the Old Testament.
Way back in Moses’ time, the Children of Israel arrived in their wanderings from Egypt, at the banks of the Jordan river and the LORD gave Moses and Joshua very clear instructions: Deuteronomy 20:16-18 “But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the LORD your God.”
Here is Jesus of Nazareth instructing the Children of Israel to attack, kill and drive out their ethnic cousins – because of their profound evil doing. Sodom and Gomorrah were Canaanite towns, the Canaanites sacrificed live children by throwing them into fire before idols of their god, and sexual perversion was rife. The invasion ordered for the Children of Israel was not simply one ancient tribe using violence to displace another and then using God to underwrite their territorial agenda. Rather, they were a part of God’s plan to cleanse the land of evil practices and push back the dark spiritual powers that had enslaved the people of Canaan and thereby protect the Children of Israel. The danger was that their perversions would infect the Children of Israel.
Back to today, what is in fact happening? In the years leading up to the present dispute with Russia, Ukraine was deemed the most corrupt country in western Europe. This corruption is seen as covering all aspects of life: financial, commercial, government, sexual and personal morals. Add to that its insistence on joining NATO and the EU with its filthy moral culture. Ukraine, since the Maidan revolution has wholeheartedly and indiscriminately imported into itself the western culture. They have made it clear that they wish to be part and parcel of western Europe and its disastrous culture. But modern Ukraine (an artificial state) is in fact the ancient Kievan Rus – the heart of ancient Russia.
WE ARE RIGHT NOW, ALREADY IN THE OPENING PHASES OF WORLD WAR III.
The Greek Bishop Neophyte has gathered all of the predictions made by the Orthodox Elders and he said:
“… history, … is entering the phase of the Third World War. Or rather, she’s already in. As in the first world wars, almost all of Europe, associating Ukraine and supporting the fascist regime in it, started a war with Russia. At the same time, the Third World War is not like ordinary wars. Today it is conducted not only and not so much on the military front. It goes on the information, economic and political fronts.”
The cyber/media phase of WWIII has been building since about 2014-15, just as the civil war in Ukraine raged, which eventually turned into a major hot war between Russia and Ukraine. This in turn will spark further conflicts elsewhere – all part of the ever-growing WWIII.
Elder Christopher (+1996) counted the real war following Ukraine as starting in 2023 and said “The war will be short; if there is no war, then no one will be saved, and if there is war, then many will be saved”.
What is Russia’s apparent place in the great plan of the future?
According to Greek and other Orthodox Christian Elders prophesying, Russia (as an Orthodox Christian country) has a major role to play in the coming wars to overcome the universal God-less corruption of the world. Such is the degeneracy of the world in the eyes of God that it cannot continue without a reckoning.
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994) a Greek priest and monastic prophet, said that war would start in the Mediterranean area, Russia would actively participate in this conflict. Most of the states, including European ones, will be involved in a hot battle. This will affect even the eastern states, which will gather an army and reach Jerusalem itself.
Elder Saint Seraphim of Sarov a monastic hermit said: “Constantinople and Jerusalem will be full of united forces of Russia and other peoples. When Turkey is divided, almost all of it will remain with Russia … “
Mesut Hakki Casin, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey had “fought Russia 16 times in the past, we will do it again.”
Elder Jonah was a Moldovan monastic priest who died in 2012. He predicted that “everything will begin in one neighbouring state, which is smaller than the Russian Federation, discord will begin in it. This will take place for two years and then a military conflict will begin, it will end in a big wave that will scatter around the world. After that, a new Russian leader will begin to rule”.
That discord began at a very basic level in the Ukraine when the president Victor Poroshenko assisted in the division of the national Church. At the same time, the Donetsk-Luhansk area declared independence and the Ukrainian army moved in, fighting began amongst the citizens of Ukraine, and the government started to suppress the Russian language. This caused a basic division amongst the people of the country religiously, culturally, militarily and politically. Two years later, as prophesied, the fighting began in earnest when the Russian army moved to protect Donetsk-Luhansk. Out of this will spread other wars, how they are connected, is impossible to say at the moment, we have to wait and see. How long that wave of trouble will last, we don’t know.
I can think of other prophecies, such as Bishop Feofan reporting what Elders told him: After the collapse of communism, the nation will turn to repentance; to faith. That will occur, which none expects. Russia will be resurrected from the dead, and the entire world will be astonished. Orthodoxy in her will be reborn and triumph. But that Orthodoxy which had existed formerly will be no more. There will be a new ruler, a man of faith. First of all, he will bring about order in the Orthodox Church, by removing all the false, heresy-preaching and lukewarm hierarchs. And very many indeed — almost all, with few exceptions — will be those removed by him; while new ones, true and steadfast hierarchs, will take their place. Russia will be a mighty state, but only for “a short time.” After that, the antichrist will come into the world, with all the horrors of the end, as described in the Apocalypse.
The central point seems to be that Russia, simply because it is becoming a very strong Orthodox Christian state, will be the focal point of leadership against the forces of corruption. And those forces will hate Russia and all Russians.
For Russia to carry out its role, it must secure its frontiers against all comers. The “sanctions” imposed by the west in response to their liberal feigned horror of war (which doesn’t seem to extend to wars which they themselves start throughout the middle east) have in fact facilitated the closing of Russia’s financial frontiers and severely impacted upon her own corrupt individuals. This has hastened the move to complete self-sufficiency and the stabilising of the Ruble by placing it on the gold standard.
We are, with the present war in Ukraine, probably at the beginning of what is likely to be a protracted period of serious wars and other major disruptions following one after another all the time building in intensity. I don’t see war as coming to the UK mainland, (although it could) but other cataclysmic disruptions will. It will range around other parts of the world in fits and starts, very big and very serious, involving most/all of us, concerning the righting of ancient wrongs and leading ever ominously towards a major terminal conflict which could happen in two, ten, twenty or forty or sixty or more years time. Whether that is the next phase, or a later one is unclear.
What happens after this, is vague. At some point, China must be dealt with – but how? Only time will tell, but China and Islam will probably be on the antichrist side along with the liberal “Christians” when the final war in this series begins.
Western liberal post-Christians, retaining a feigned horror of wars that they don’t control, have long hated Russia. This is borne in large part of the American military-industrial complex’s need for wars to generate income, and its need for a bogey-man to induce politicians to part with taxpayer’s money for shiny new kit and its use. This portrayal of Russia as the bogey-man as a supposed continuation of the Soviet Union, has permeated out into the Main Stream Media
The corporate media industry- Military Industrial Complex connection typified by the arms manufacturer General Electric owning the American National Broadcasting Corporation is just one example. So, for at very least eight decades past, we in the west have been manipulated by major commercial interests in our perception of enemies and those whose regimes the elite want to change, not to better the lives of the citizens of those countries, but merely in order to obtain access to their wealth. Such is very easily seen in the American attacks on Syria because Syria has for decades refused access to their oil by American oil companies and today America has armed forces in Syria controlling the country’s oil reserves.
How will Russia fare under the Americo-Euro-British sanctions? Consider the fact that Russia is a vast land with only 140 million inhabitants. According to Statista, Russia is entirely self sufficient in food and coal, oil and gas, iron ore, manganese, chromium, nickel, platinum, titanium, copper, tin, lead, tungsten, diamonds, phosphates and gold. So, very self-sufficient, cut off voluntarily from foreign media and financial systems, and with its own Russia-Asia interbank finance facilities, Russia can survive
So, we are left with a war, possibly precipitated in the first instance by simultaneous misjudgements on both sides, and now, today about to enter a new and much more dangerous phase. Russia is fearful of NATO and Western Culture, Ukraine is determined to join western culture and join NATO.
Russia has a non-political self-perception of herself as a moral-spiritual bastion, warring with external cultural depravity and the anti-Christian forces, to which end she must secure her borders and ensure her national integrity. If you cannot understand the Orthodox Christian phromena, then you cannot understand what drives Russia and consequently you will misunderstand the present war.
To the ignorant or fringe Christians of the west, the future that I have outlined can seem frightful and they will reject the whole idea. However they neither study nor understand the Book of Revelation, and if they do, they do not read the Fathers of the Church to obtain understanding. We are at the very breaking point of all that, we are entering World War III which is unlike WW I and WW II. How long it takes is entirely open to question, we simply do not know and we cannot guess.
So, have I given you some insight into what may be motivating the participants in the present war? Have I enlightened you as to the dire situation that the world is now in? Do you see the inevitability of a war between the demonic culture that now subsumes so much of the world and the forces of genuine Christianity? Does this provide some reason to withhold judgement until the fog of war clears and you can see what ensues? Or will you stumble on believing what western governments and their media tell you to believe, until the full horror reaches you too late?
As Bishop Neophyte said: “What is needed now is repentance. Only by confessing our sins will we be able to make the right decisions in the face of the coming trials and avoid panic and despair. Prayer and regular Communion are also needed.”
So wait, pray, pray incessantly, hate no one, study the genuine faith, read the Fathers and Elders in their explanations of the Scriptures. Read the prophecies, attend the Divine Liturgy. Do all that even if you are not Orthodox, you will be surprised at what you find.