Nativity Encyclical 2020
Hierarchical Council of the STOC
Under the Chairmanship of His Grace Akakije, Bishop of Uteshiteljevo
To All the Faithful Children of St. Sava’s Church
We congratulate you on this great and joyous Feast of the Nativity of Christ!
The Peace of God be with you! Christ is Born!
“God is with us, understand all ye nations and submit yourselves – for God is with us.” – (Is 8:10)
On the feast of the Nativity of Christ, with special joy we sing these verses from the book of the prophecy of Esaias, who speaks to us of the coming of the Messias - Christ, Whose Name will be Emmanuel, which in Hebrew means “God is with us.” With that name the prophet reveals the mystery of the Divine nature of the Messiah, that He is God Who will be with us. The frequent repetition of the verse “God is with us” witnesses to the great spiritual joy of Christians who recognize and believe in Christ as the Incarnate God.
“God became flesh and came to dwell among us (Jn. 1:14)." God came to dwell among men, to live like other men, taking upon Himself our fleshly nature, so that He could accomplish the economy of our salvation. True God and Son of God, Who has an invisible nature, became flesh, becoming visible to all. The letter which, according to tradition, the Lord Himself sent Prince Avgar of Edessa with the Image Not Made by Hands, speaks of this truth: “Divine Vision, Divine Miracle.” This miracle of the appearance of God in the flesh the holy Apostle Paul calls “the great mystery of piety” (1 Tim. 3:16). Faith in this miracle, that is, faith in the Incarnation of God, becomes the unshakeable foundation stone of our faith, on which God shall build His Church, against which the gates of hell will not prevail (Mat. 16:18). That faith is the foundation of the salvation of mankind. It is the pillar and fortress of the truth. That faith makes us sons of God, for it has been said, “Who believes in the Son, has the Father as well (1. Jn 2:23)." It is also written, “Whoever denies the Son, has neither the Father, while he who confesses the Son, also has the Father (1 Jn 2:23)." To us Christians - who believe and confess that the Son of God was born of a Virgin, became incarnate, became a Man - was given the power to become sons of God, not born of flesh and blood, but of God (Jn 1:12-12).
On the other hand, “Every spirit which does not recognize that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is not of God, but is the spirit of Antichrist (1. Jn 4:2-3)." The basis for the gift of discerning the spirits is discerning the difference between good and evil. This gift is especially needed for us in these apocalyptic times of “tolerance,” which relativizes and gives free rein to evil. Those spirits who recognize and confess that Jesus is the Incarnate Word of God, Lord, and Savior are from God; those who do not recognize Him are from the devil.
Those who stubbornly refuse to accept this, that is, to believe in “the great mystery of piety (1 Tm 3:16)," the Holy Scriptures describe as those who are perishing because they do not receive the love of truth in order to be saved. They are those over whom the Antichrist will reign with great power, false signs, and every deception. Those who do not confess the Truth are those upon whom God will send the power of delusion that they may believe a lie. All who did not love the truth, but rather a lie, shall be condemned (2 Thess 2:9-12).
In contrast to the “the mystery of piety” (1 Tm 3:16) stands “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess 2:7). As the "mystery of piety" is the Divine economy of salvation for mankind, so the "mystery of iniquity" is the satanic economy of the destruction of mankind. The "mystery of iniquity" consists of the undermining of the "mystery of piety," in demonic conspiracy, in weakening and twisting faith in the Incarnation, in unbelief in the Incarnation of the Son of God. This satanic activity grows from day to day to such an extent that the Son of Man at the Second Coming will come upon great godlessness (Lk 18:8). The mystery of iniquity is working in the field of the moral debauchery of mankind. The supremacy of debauchery in the last times is described in the Apocalypse in the form of harlot, upon whose forehead is written the word “Mystery” (Rev. 17:5). In the teaching of the Holy Fathers, moral debauchery is the fastest and strongest thing that destroys the vital strength and extinguishes the divine spark in both individuals and peoples who are under its influence. Moral decadence gives birth to unbelief in God, and godlessness removes all barriers holding back the spread of immorality. Godlessness and immorality are the two strongest hidden powers of lawlessness, “the mystery of iniquity”. Thus the Antichrist himself is called the man of iniquity and lawlessness, and that is why “the mystery of iniquity” at its apex is in fact the mystery of the appearance, not of the Son of God, but rather of His enemy the Antichrist.
In order to accomplish its final goal, the “mystery of iniquity” is working on the destruction of the Christian world, making it impossible for people to apply God’s plans for the existence of Christian monarchies. With the help of revolution, the servants of the Antichrist are building on the ruins of Christendom the God-fighting order of Antichrist, built on lies, evil, and iniquity.
Just as the Divine economy of salvation for mankind had its weapons – the chosen Jewish people through whom came into being the “mystery of piety” – so does satan use the “chosen people” for the accomplishment of the “mystery of iniquity.” The Antichrist has succeeded in seducing and spiritually converting that same chosen Jewish people. Instead of being God's chosen people, they have become satan’s chosen people, his main weapon for enslaving the human race for the establishment of the kingdom of Antichrist which will be defeated by Christ at His glorious second coming.
Christ Himself said of the Jewish people that they venerate another god, the devil (Jh 8:44) and that they are waiting for “another” messiah (Jn 5:43). This is indeed so, for all contemporary Jews believe that their messiah – the Antichrist – ought to give them power over the whole world. For the realization of this expectation, they zealously and ceaselessly pray to their god, satan. The Jews have confirmed the Divine words with their very act of deicide and have established a “new covenant” with satan himself, which they confirmed with the blood oath of the “entire Jewish people” : “His blood be on us and on our children! (Mat 27:25)." This satan-chosen people has finally succeeded in our times, through revolution and two world wars, to take power over the entire world. It only remains for the newly-established Jewish world rule for their messiah, the mashiach-antichrist, to take power.
In these days of a horrifying global conspiracy which cunningly hides behind the appearance of “philanthropic” extermination of a fake pandemic, we clearly feel the demonic power of the global offensive of the “mystery of iniquity.” We can clearly see who are the main actors behind the scenes. Nonetheless, it has not been given to us by God to uproot the world-wide evil. We know that we cannot destroy it, because the final victory belongs to God alone at His Second Coming. We also know, however, that we can at least for a time weaken that evil and slow it down. Therefore, for our salvation and for the salvation of as many other worthy people as possible, we are obliged to oppose evil.
The battle against evil that has been set before us has two possible outcomes. The first is optimistic; that is, there is a hope that we have not yet entered into the final phase of the apocalyptic events and the end of the world, and that there is still time for a battle for the liberation of the Church and State from the yoke of Antichrist’s servants. The other, pessimistic outcome is that this is the last, decisive apocalyptic battle in which we Serbs should take our place on the ramparts against the Antichrist, in “the camp of the saints, the beloved city” of which the Apocalypse speaks (Rev. 20: 9).
Regarding all the facts we have stated above, we consider it our archpastoral duty to lift our voice decisively and declare:
Orthodox Christians, faithful children of St. Sava’s Church of Christ, the time has come for us to declare and repeat the great “LET US ATTEND!” of Archangel Michael: resist the power of Antichrist! Do not listen to anyone’s summons to make peace with evil, no matter from whom they come. There is no peace between Christ and satan. With the authority given us from God we bless every form of resistance to the satanic authorities and repressions they institute for the enslavement of mankind. Do not submit to antichrist and his servants. Do not wear masks, which are a symbol of submission to the new anti-christian world order. Do not accept into your bodies nor those of your children whatever these sons of iniquity force onto us as “lawful” duties. It is meaningless to refer to any sort of “rights” which the godless have given us, nor to their constitutions and laws about physical integrity. They brought these into being, and by that logic, they can change them.
Our laws are the unchanging, eternal laws of God, our rights are divine rights, and our freedom is the freedom that God gave us. “Stand, therefore, in the freedom with which Christ freed you (Gal. 5:1)." “You have been bought dearly; do not be slaves of men (Cor. 7:23)." “Your bodies are Christ’s, they are temples of the Holy Spirit and therefore do not unite them with evil, but with Christ (Cor 6:15-20)." For the Lord has bought us with His most precious Blood from the curse of the law by being nailed to the Cross, and pierced by a spear, freeing us from the power of the devil and death.
It is unthinkable, much less unacceptable, that a Christian allow the dark, ritualistic vaccines which contain the cells of murdered unborn babies to be injected into him or his child. It is unthinkable, much less acceptable, that through the vaccination of mankind any kind of human genetic engineering should take place, the creation of a genetically modified race, a sacrilegious change of the human nature which was made in the image and likeness of God.
Without fear of suffering and death, we must preserve our God-given freedom and dignity before the demonic powers from below, whose earthly representatives are creating a people in the image of satan and his servants. Without fear of the Jews (Jn. 19:38), but with fear of God, we must resist the “mystery of iniquity” and only on that path of fearless resistance to evil can we expect God’s help. “If God is with us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)."
Remember, for the end of this battle to be positive, we cannot allow ourselves to be overcome by fear. We must know that the devil is not an equal opponent of God. Before the All-Powerful Creator he is nothing, and that is why he does not battle directly against God, but rather with people, especially those people who have accepted sonship with God – Christians. If man is truly with God, however, then the devil becomes nothing before such a man of God. If we allow ourselves to be overcome by fear, we show our weak faith, because we do not believe in God’s help. Without faith, we fall under the influence of the dark powers.
Evil loses its power and confidence when people are not afraid of it and publicly expose it in the light of the truth of the Gospel, as the words of the Apostle confirm: “Do not fear the adversary in any way, that is to them the announcement of their destruction, and of your salvation (Phil. 1:28)." We should not be afraid of suffering as the consequence of a decisive resistance to evil, because this battle in any case means suffering. What is more, we rejoice in suffering for righteousness’ sake, for our beloved ones’ sake, for our children’s sake – in a word, for Christ’s sake. For it has been said: “Rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, that you might rejoice and be glad in the revelation of His glory (1 Pet 4:13)." Everyone who suffers for the sake of his loyalty to Christ will receive from Him an everlasting wreath of heavenly glory. “If you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed (1 Pet 3:14)." “Blessed is the man who suffers temptations, for he will receive a crown of life, which the Lord promises to those who love Him (James 1:12)." “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:10)."
That is why on this Holy Nativity we will sing with special delight the joyful Christmas verses, and be strengthened by them, emboldened, and prepare each other for the battle against the servant of the coming Antichrist:
“God is with us, know ye godless and submit yourselves – for God is with us.
For unto us a Child is born, the Son of God, and is given to us – for God is with us.
And if you prepare a trap, the Lord shall destroy it – for God is with us.
We shall not fear your fear, nor shall we be abashed- for God is with us.”
(From the verses of Prophet Esaias (Es 8:9-12) from the service of Great Compline)
The Peace of Christ be with you! Christ is born!
Uteshiteljevo, Holy Nativity 2020
Your intercessors before the Divine Child of Bethlehem
+Bishop of Uteshiteljevo Akakije
+Bishop of Shumadija Nektarije