The upcoming Fifth Seal of Revelation as seen by St John of Kronstadt

“The elder (St Seraphim of Sarov) said, ‘Look!’ I saw a large crowd of people being persecuted by demons who were beating them with stakes, pitchforks, and hooks. I asked the elder, ‘What is the meaning of these people?’ He answered, ‘These are the ones who renounced their faith and left the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and accepted the new innovative church. This group represents priests, monks, nuns, and laymen who renounced their vows or marriage, and engaged in drinking and all sorts of blasphemy and slander. All of these have terrible faces and a terrible stench comes from their mouths. The demons beat them, driving them into the terrible abyss, from where hell fire comes forth’ . . . I then saw a group of people, both old and young, all of whom were terribly dressed, and who were raising a large, five pointed star. On each corner were twelve demons and in the middle was Satan himself with terrifying horns and a straw head. He emitted a noxious foam onto the people while pronouncing these words, ‘Arise you accursed ones with the seal of …..’ Suddenly many demons appeared with branding irons and on all the people they placed the seal: on their lips, above the elbow and on their right hands. I asked the elder, ‘What is the meaning of this?’ He responded, This is the mark of the Antichrist!’ . . . ”

“I hurried and could scarcely keep up with the elder. Then he stopped, pointed to the east and said: ‘Look!’ I saw a multitude of people with joyful faces, and in their hands were crosses, gonfalons and candles, and in the middle of the crowd stood a great altar in the open air, with a golden crown on it, on which was written in golden letters: for a little season. Around the altar stood patriarchs, metropolitans, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, desert-dwellers and laypeople. All were chanting: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace!’ I crossed myself, and gave thanks to God. Suddenly the elder made the sign of the Cross in the air three times. And I saw a mass of bodies and rivers of blood. Angels flew over the slain and scarcely succeeded in bearing up the Christian souls to the throne of God. They were chanting: ‘Alleluia’. It was terrible to look on all this. I wept bitterly and prayed. The elder took me by the hand and said: ‘Don’t weep. The Lord God has deemed this necessary for our weak faith and accursedness, it must be so. Our Saviour Jesus Christ also suffered and shed His Most Pure Blood on the Cross. And so there will be yet many martyrs for Christ, and they will be those who refuse to receive the seal of the Antichrist, who shed their blood and receive a martyr’s crown…'”

“Finally, I saw the cupola of Jerusalem. Above it was a star. Within the church millions of people thronged and still many more were trying to enter inside. I wanted to make the sign of the cross, but the elder grabbed my hand and said, ‘Here is the abomination of desolation!’ So we entered into the church, and it was full of people. I saw an altar on which tallow candles were burning. On the altar was a king in red, blazing, porphyry. On his head was a golden crown with a star. I asked the elder, ‘Who is this?’ He replied, ‘The Antichrist!’ He was very tall with eyes like fire, black eyebrows, a wedge-shaped beard, a ferocious, cunning, evil, and terrible face. He alone was on the altar and he reached his hands out to the people. He had claws as those of a tiger for hands and he shouted, ‘I am King. I am God. I am the Leader. He who does not have my seal will be put to death.’ All the people fell down and worshiped him, and he began to place his seal on their lips and on their hands in order that they should receive some bread and not die from hunger and thirst.”

“Around the Antichrist his servants were leading several people whose hands were bound as they had not bowed down to worship him. They said, “We are Christians, and we all believe in our Lord Jesus Christ!’ The Antichrist ripped off their heads in a flash and Christian blood began to flow. A child was then led to the altar of the Antichrist to worship him, but he boldly proclaimed, ‘I am a Christian and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, but you are a minister, a servant of Satan!’ ‘Death to him!’ exclaimed the Antichrist. Others who accepted the seal of the Antichrist fell down and worshipped him. Suddenly roar of thunder resounded and thousand lightning flashes began to sparkle. Arrows began to strike the servants of the Antichrist. Then a large flaming arrow flashed by and hit the Antichrist himself on the head. As he waved his hand, his crown fell and was crushed into the ground. Then millions of birds flew in and perched on the servants of the Antichrist” (St John of Kronstadt, January 1901).