To the conservatives, known subsequently as Old Ritualists or Old Believers, this marked the beginning of the reign of Antichrist (was not 666 the number of the Beast?); but they continued the struggle, conservative opposition to the Westernizing policy of the tsars, which was held responsible for the introduction of Polish luxury and Latin heresy, giving it a political as well as a religious character.
Lucifer, enraged at the spread of Christ's kingdom, convokes the fiends in council, and resolves to set up the pope as Antichrist.
In the same year the Lutheran reformation took hold of him, and he began to issue appeals in prose and verse against the Mass and against the pope as antichrist.
The cruel persecutions instituted by the authorities with a view to securing conformity increased the number and fanaticism of the schismatics and heretics, and created among them a widespread belief that the reign of Antichrist, foretold in the Apocalypse, was at hand.
They still believe, as John did, in the return of Nero as the Antichrist; they still expect that after the first resurrection Christ will reign with his saints "in the flesh" for a thousand years.