A while back someone suggested to me that the Tsar was the restrainer of evil mentioned in Thessalonians. I liked the idea, being a monarchist and all, but I didn’t take it too seriously. Lately, though, I am taking it a bit more seriously. Ultimately, I will have to synthesize this with a larger scheme, but I really believe it can be done. I am not dogmatic on it, but hold it as theologumenon.
It is from the book Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Look at Eschatology. I am taking this from an amazon reviewer.
Ultimate Things_ is written as a response to the pre-tribulation rapture propaganda so widespread in the Christian churches in America today. The question is what did the ancient Fathers of the Church understand and teach of the coming of the Antichrist? How does it differ from modern day interpretations? A key discrepancy is of the idea of suffering for Christ in the Church. The “rapture” will supposedly whisk away all true Christian believers and leave the world’s unbelievers to suffer God’s wrath with the rule of the Antichrist for three and a half years. This is contrasted to the traditional Orthodox teaching where the Church is severely persecuted under the Antichrist and Christ returns at the end of time and Judgement Day commences. Chiliasm is the ancient heresy of a literal thousand-year reign of Christ over the earth after his Second Coming. This heresy is dangerous because not only will the “rapture” not happen but the man who will reign posing as the Savior of the World will mimic Christ, creating a one world government with signs and wonders, “deceiving even the elect.”
The Antichrist will use all methods at his disposal to deceive the world–technological wonders, false miracles, signs in the sky, world peace, material prosperity–to set himself up. The world capital will be a “spiritual” one, the holy city of Jerusalem. The Third Temple of Solomon will be rebuilt, the culmination of Masonry. The Jews look forward to their messiah, the one whom Christ said “would come in his own name”, not in the name of the Father. The Pharisees looked for a messiah who would lead the Jews in a revolt against Rome and establish a Jewish kingdom, not Jesus who was rejected and handed over to the secular authorities to be condemned. In Phariseesism were the seeds of Revolution planted and this nihilistic Revolution now has open control of all formerly Christian countries. _Ultimate Things_ concludes by stating the Christ will come, “as a thief in the night” when no one will expect it. The Christians of the last days do not know exactly when Jesus will return but are encouraged to be vigilant and watch so they will not be caught off guard when the “Thief” comes to rob Satan’s house.