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The Church established by the Apostles

[II Pet. 2:9–22; Mark 13:14–23] If any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not (Mark 13:21). Christ the Lord, our Saviour, having established upon the earth the holy Church, is well pleased to abide in it, as its head, en­ livener, and ruler. Christ is here, in our Orthodox Church, and He is not in any other church. Do not search for Him elsewhere, for you will not find Him. Therefore, if someone from a non-orthodox assemblage comes to you and begins to suggest that they have Christ — do not be­ lieve it. If some one says to you, “We have an apostolic community, and we have Christ,” do not believe them. The Church founded by the A­ postles abides on the earth — it is the Orthodox Church, And Christ is in it. The community established only yesterday cannot be apostolic, and Christ is not in it. If you hear someone saying, “Christ is speaking in me,” while he shuns the [Ortho­ dox] Church, does not want to know its pastors and is not sanctified by the Sacraments, do not believe him. In him is not Christ, but rather an­ other spirit appropriating the name of Christ in order to divert people from Christ the Lord and from His holy Church. Neither believe any­ one who suggests to you even some small thing alien to the [Orthodox] Church. Recognize all such people to be instruments of seducing spirits and preachers of lies.

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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