Elder Ephraim says that when the Greeks take back Constantinople, 33 years of prosperity will pass and then full apostasy will start and the Antichrist will rule.
Elder Ephraim reveals that it is not yet the epoch of the Antichrist’s government and that there are still prophecies that have not happened, such as the 33 year reign of the sleeping marble King, John, after the 3rd world war and the capture of Constantinople.
Elder Ephraim speaks about this event on various cassettes:
“There is a sleeper General named John who the Archangel Michael will then indicate to Christians that he will reign now. He will indicate the place to them with his finger and they will call him to lead and reign over the Greek Orthodox people. And this will happen!
“Years ago there was an [Old Calendarist] Archpriest named Hierotheos on Mount Athos. He came from Asia Minor and the Ecumenical Patriarchate placed him on Mount Athos to perform ordinations, memorial services, liturgies, etc. He was a holy Archpriest in the type of St. Nicholas. I was counted worthy of the Priesthood by this holy Archpriest from Asia Minor. Blessed man of God! “One thing I will tell you. What vigils that we did! This 80 year old man did fifteen hour vigils without sitting at all in the seat. He descended from his throne in the stall again upright. And in the Liturgy which followed three hours after the long Orthros, standing! We placed a chair for him to sit down and he did not want it. He said, “Still our Panagia does not tire me” even when he was trembling from fatigue. This holy Archpriest told us he saw the sleeping General John, who will be resurrected when the great 3rd World War takes place! He saw him! Because the lips of an archpriest don’t lie.
“So, he told us the truth. And we asked him. For at that time my blessed and holy Elder was still alive (the famous Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-Dweller), and all our synodeia and had gotten him in our church and we sat there and asked him questions. And he said it. We heard with our ears. “He said, „There is this sleeping King and he will resurrect again!‟ We said, „When, Elder? When, holy Archpriest of God?‟ He said, „When the third World War takes place!‟ And he also told us that, „The right hand of the King is on the handle of the sword! Which sword is in the scabbard.‟ And he said, „when the sword is out of its sheath, then the third World War will start.‟ And we, out of our curiosity asked him: „Your Reverence, how far is the sword out of the sheath?‟ He replied, „Just a few centimeters remain to come out!‟”
There is a cassette where Elder Ephraim tells listeners that he has seen the marble King John himself. It is unknown if he meant in a vision or with his physical eyes.
2 Sources of Geronda Ephraim’s Teachings on the Marble King:
Unfortunately, the original prophecies that Elder Ephraim is referring to are pseudepigraphs.
The first one, attributed to St. Methodius of Patara [4th century] is from the 7th century and written by an anonymous Syrian Monophysite. Even if it was written by St Methodius, the text itself contains so many historical and theological errors that it’s already rendered heretical just by Scriptural and ecclesiastical teachings.
There is a prophecy on St. Constantine’s Tomb that has never been recorded or mentioned by any ecclesiastical writer or historian, nor is it in his Synaxarion.
The next prophetic text in succession which is attributed to St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ is rejected by St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain as follows: “The Life of this Saint Andrew is preserved in a manuscript of much breadth, a book almost of great composition, in which are contained numerous prophecies concerning the future. I will never issue this here, since it is said it contains some things that are doubly unacceptable, and it is found at Iveron, as well as other places.” (Synaxaristes For the Twelve Months of the Year, vol. 3)
It should be noted that the St. Andrew “prophecy” seems to be plagiarized and expanded from the earlier “Methodius” text.
Besides the fact that most of these prophecies strongly contradict the Scriptural and Patristic eschatology accepted by the Orthodox Church, their origins are dubious and obscure, they are not referenced as factual, nor incorporated into the eschatological writings of the Church Fathers (i.e. not found in St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John of Damascus, St. Photios the Great, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Ecumenios, St. Andrew of Caesarea, etc.), and they seem to relate more with Hellenic nationalism and xenophobia than orthodox spiritual teachings. It is worthy to note that these prophecies were also widely disseminated Apostolos Makrakis’ disciples. Even into the 1970’s there were monks on Mount Athos who followed Makrakis and wrote about the Constantinople prophecies (Such as Archim. Neilos Sotiropoulos, who wrote The Coming Double-Edged Sword in 1965: http://www.slideshare.net/stratilatis/ep-4676176 )
The sleeping king’s sword has been almost fully out of the sheath for almost 60 years now, and both Elder Ephraim and Elder Paisios of Arizona reference the sword to this day.
Again, as a theologoumena, it’s not dogmatic nor is it a belief that one’s salvation depends upon. However if these prophecies are just mere ‘Greek superstitions of simple-minded people,’ as Fr. Athanasius Mitilinaios states, then the people who believe in these fables could be in a shock when it does not occur.
However, a good disciple says, “Whatever the elder believes, thinks, and decides, I also believe, think, and decide in exactly the same way” [Counsels of the Holy Mountain, Chapters on Obedience]. Thus, if one happens to be a disciple of Elder Ephraim, it’s better for them to believe these prophecies so they can be of one mind with their Elder.
The Apostle John Returns
In one of Elder Ephraim’s cassettes on the Antichrist, he speaks about the return of the two witnesses, Enoch and Elijah, and also mentions the Apostle John will be returning, too [‘according to some Fathers’]. The Patristic consensus is that only Elijah and Enoch will return.
Sermons by Elder Ephraim on Eschatological Subjects (In Greek):
When Will the Antichrist Appear?
The Second Coming of Christ
In the homily, When Will the Antichrist Appear?, Geronda Ephraim states:
“According to the Revelation of John and the prophecy of the Saints we await the Antichrist! We expect him… The Antichrist will test people on how much they believe in Christ … Some say that the Antichrist was born and is a certain age now. Others say no. The “no” is the most prevalent and most true, because when the future Antichrist comes, humanity must be found in the worst condition! Then he will come as a “Savior” … As the “Messiah” … And will deceive people to follow him …
Has he been born now? The human condition itself does not foresee him … Because the people on Earth now have all the goods. They don’t have a need for the Antichrist’s offering! What could he give us to believe him? We have no need of him… Not all the prophecies of the Saints have occurred yet!
When we take Constantinople, 33 years of prosperity will pass and afterwards the complete apostasy of mankind will begin; the Antichrist will rule! This is not yet the government of the Antichrist, because there are still prophecies that have not occurred, such as the government of 33 year reign of the sleeping King John after the 3rd World War and the capture of Constantinople by the Greeks.”
The Brotherhood in New York Will Be the First to Martyr
Before St. Nektarios Monastery was established in New York, and before many of the monasteries were established, Geronda Ephraim use to give sermons in peoples’ houses. He’d travel from Montreal to Toronto, down through New York. He would stay at a spiritual child’s house, and from there word would get out and people would flock to this house to go to confession and hear Geronda’s teachings. On more than one occasion, he mentioned he wanted to start a monastery in New York State, and he also made prophecies that whichever brotherhood would be there would be the first of his monks to martyr.
In 1998, while the Brotherhood of St. John the Theologian was seeking shelter at St. Anthony’s Monastery (until they found a property to purchase in New York), Geronda Ephraim gave many homilies to the Fathers in the Gerondia. He mentioned how he had a feeling the Antichrist would make his first appearances in New York as it had the highest Jewish population in America and all the Headquarters of the “dark powers” were located there. He also stated that the monks in New York would be the first to martyr out of all his monasteries. He has prophesied this on more than one occasion.
If Geronda Ephraim makes an error, the monastics usually refer to the following teaching of St. Barsanuphius and John’s to justify his error:
Do not think that people, even if they are saints, can grasp the depths of the divinity…Saints, having been made teachers, or making themselves such, or compelling other people to succeed greatly, succeed their own teachers, and, having received support from above, exposited a new teaching, but simultaneously preserved what they took from their former teachers, i.e., the incorrect teaching. Having succeeded and afterwards been made spiritual teachers, they did not pray to God that He might reveal them to be the first of their teachers; whether it was the Holy Spirit who suggested what their teachers taught them but, considering them to wise and intellectual, did not examine their words; and therefore the opinions of their teachers got mixed up with their own teaching, and these saints sometimes said that which they learned from their teachers and sometimes the good which was suggested to them by their intellect; but subsequently these and other words were attributed to them. (Direction on the Spiritual Life 610)