THE HOLY MARTYR NICHOLAS II AND OUR MISSION IN THE WORLD
I do not know why, but thirty-nine years ago, in October 1968, a voice spoke in my heart, telling me that it was the destiny of Russia to save the world (1). At that time, of the Communist Soviet Union and the Cold War, such a revelation seemed absurd. And as I was still then a child only beginning to think, I knew nothing of how, when or why such a thing could be possible. Indeed, Russia was a distant country, about which I knew very little, and the very concept of saving the world seemed strange. From what, for example, did it need to be saved? And why Russia? And why should such a Messianic revelation be given, improbably, to me, a child in England? In any case, it was at that point that I began to teach myself Russian.
Two years later, another revelation came to me and I understood that God was, as He had been in my childhood, everywhere, and that this revelation was all to do with the Russian Orthodox Church. And so the rest of my life has been spent, against all the odds, against all the powers of this world, against all the continual rejections, struggling to survive and understand this original inspiration, and explain how, when and why Russia can save the world, why I was given this original revelation and how I should live my life as a result. Below, in the light of recent events, there follow some of my thoughts on these questions.
Prophesying his canonization in 1903, St Seraphim of Sarov (+ 1833) foretold that the Royal Family would be present and that they would 'sing Easter in the middle of the summer'. But he also foretold the darkest of times afterwards: 'As for what will come after this, the angels will not have time to take all the souls', but also that, 'The Tsar who glorifies me will be glorified by me'.
Another prophet, St John of Kronstadt (+ 1908), called on the people: 'Repent, repent, a terrible time is coming, so dangerous that you cannot even imagine it'. He foretold that Tsar Nicholas II would be removed, that the leaders who would usurp him would be so cruel that the whole land would be soaked in blood and they would even try and erase the very name of Russia. The bones of the New Martyrs would make the whole Russian land into a great antimension, spread out over one seventh of the Earth.
As for one of the victims, the Grand Duchess Olga, in 1918 she wrote from captivity in Tobolsk, giving us some of the last words of the Tsar: 'Father has forgiven everyone and prays for everyone...and asks...that they remember that the evil that is now in the world will become even greater, but that evil will not vanquish evil, only love can do this'.
The martyrdom of the Imperial Family was not only a regicide but also an infanticide. For once that family had been murdered, then all the families of Russia could be murdered. Just as of old the foolishness of Pharaoh brought down the angel of death on every family in Egypt, so the slaying of the Imperial children and their pious parents brought down on Russia the genocide of the Gulag and of abortion. The Imperial Family were protomartyrs, the first-martyred family of tens of millions of families. Indeed, this Family was the Icon of a Family, always together, even death did not part them, as they went to Golgotha and Glory together. The enemies of Christ thought that in destroying a family, they would destroy the family. But, ultimately, they were wrong.
Little wonder then that fifteen years ago, in 1992, on the 75th anniversary of the regicide, His Holiness Patriarch Alexis II wrote: 'The sin of regicide which took place amidst the indifference of the citizens of Russia has not been repented for by the people. This sin, a crime before both the law of God and of man, lies like a heavy burden on the soul of the people, on its moral self-consciousness. And today, in the name of the whole Church, in the name of all its faithful flock - departed this life or now living - we bring before God and man repentance for this sin. Forgive us, O Lord! We call all our people to repentance...the murder of Emperor Nicholas II and his Family remains a terrible lesson of history. This lesson teaches us that attempts to build the good of the people on blood are vain....Repentance for the sin committed by our forebears must become for us yet another herald of unity. May today's sorrowful anniversary unite us in prayer with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia'.
For, in the interpretation of St Theophan the Recluse (+ 1894) and many others, the Antichrist, 'the son of perdition' (2 Thess 2, 3) could not be revealed until he who withholdeth, that is the Orthodox Emperor, had been removed: And ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way (2 Thess 2, 6-7). The removal of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and their martyrdom in a mystical sacrificial ritual, opened the way to all the worldwide evils that have come about ever since, a rehearsal for the coming of Antichrist.
What today then is the mission of us Russian Orthodox, of all ages and all nationalities, scattered, like so much chaff, across the face of the earth?
The first stage of our mission is complete. The reign of atheistic Communism and all the forces which supported it finally ended in 2000, with the canonization of the New Martyrs, led by the martyred Tsar and all the Royal Martyrs. Then, at last, what was begun in New York was completed in Moscow (2) and true national repentance could begin.
The second stage is also now complete. On Ascension Day 2007, the two parts of the Russian Church joined together, against all the mistaken worldly pressures, from leftist renovationism to rightist sectarianism, against all who reject the Living Tradition of the Holy Spirit and instead believe in the imaginations of their hearts.
we Russian Orthodox are now called to the third stage. This is to work
for the restoration of Orthodox Rus, in the great battle that has now
been joined against liberal secularism and all its evils, from alcohol
to abortion, from public crime to personal immorality, from faithlessness
As for those of us who, by the Providence of God, have been placed outside Russia, our sacred duty is to work for the acceptance of the Orthodox Faith and Monarchy outside Russia, to create the understanding that this is the only thing that stands between the whole world and Antichrist. For, unlike some Protestant Evangelicals, we do not work for the construction of the throne of Antichrist through rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, but rather we work for the construction of the throne of Christ through rebuilding the Temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6, 19) in human souls.
Conclusion: The Future
In the meantime, however, and the meantime may be several years or decades, as God wills and knows, we should recall that the Gospel tells us: Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10, 28). For only those who do not compromise with those who can kill both soul and body in hell will not fear in the great task that stands before us.
Ninety years ago, the Tsar-Martyr said that around him there were only 'treason, cowardice and deceit'. Why? Because these vices are the opposite to the virtues of faith, hope and love, which had been rejected. If we truly wish to see the return of Russia to Orthodoxy, then it is possible only through the return to the spirit of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his Family And it is only through our own personal repentance and self-cleansing and the cultivation within ourselves of faith, hope and love, that the martyric spirit of Nicholas II and his Family can be willed back and Russia and the whole world returned to the hope of salvation. And this is our mission.
1. This revelation I managed to express in Premonition in Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition in 1974.
2. See Who is Rebuilding Russia, June 1988, in Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition.