Go to edited text, glossed text; manuscript transcriptions: CCCC 201; Hatton 113; Bodleian 343

De Temporibus Anticristi

Beloved people, it is greatly needful for us that we be aware of the terrifying time that is coming. Now it will very quickly be Antichrist's time, whom we may expect and also readily know, and that will be the most terrifying time that ever was since this world was first made. He will himself be a devil and yet born a human man. Christ is true God and true man, and Antichrist will truly be a devil and a man. Through Christ comes help and comfort to all of middle-earth, and through Antichrist will come the greatest terror and the greatest affliction that has ever happened before in the world, and all mankind will perish immediately if God does not shorten his days. But God will shorten his days for the sake of those who are chosen by him, and whom he will save. And yet during the time that he exists he will do such great evil as never before. He will turn each person away from correct belief and away from Christianity and entice him to his false teaching, if he may, and God will permit him for a certain while because of two things. One is, first, that people will be so ruined by sin that they will be well deserving that the devil openly tempt those who will follow him. The second is that God wills that those who are so blessed that they persevere in correct belief and steadfastly withstand the devil, he wills that they be quickly purified and cleansed of sin through the great persecution and through the martyrdom that they will then suffer, for there is no one who is not sinful, and each person must suffer sorely either here or elsewhere according to what he has earned through sin. And therefore the persecution of good people will be so harsh, because they must be quickly cleansed and purified before the great judgment comes. Those who have been dead for a hundred years or even longer may now be well cleansed. We may need to suffer more harshly, if we must be clean when the judgment comes; we do not now have the time that those who were before us had. Each may think whatever he himself wants about that; none of us will ever come to God's kingdom until we are as cleanly purified of each sin as ever any gold may be most cleanly purified.

Beloved people, God permits to the devil Antichrist that he might persecute good men, because they must, as I said before, be cleansed through the persecution and afterwards go clean into the kingdom of heaven. Then those who believed his lies and worshiped him, and whom he protected here in front of the world and those he honored here, but they must quickly perish eternally after that and dwell forever afterwards with him in the dark pit of hell. The visible devil will perform many wonders and say that he is God himself, and with his illusions deceive almost every person. And those whom he cannot deceive otherwise, he will compel by force, if he can, so that they forsake God and worship him. If they then will not do so, then they must suffer great persecution and also a miserable death. Oh, blessed is he who is so steadfast that he does not therefore weaken! But certainly there will be all too few whom he does not deceive, either through his treacherous artifices or through the terror that he imposes on mankind.

Our Lord Christ healed many of those who were unhealthy in life, and the devil Antichrist will injure and make ill those who were healthy before, and he may not heal any unless he first injured them. But after he has injured a person, afterwards he may act as if he heals him, if he can deceive those to whom he earlier did evil. He is full of every deceit. Then he will deceive very many people through that, that he injures many people secretly and heals them again in front of people as they look on, when they will see what he does then and will not know what he did before. Each evil he may do, and each he will do. He will make fire come from above, as if it comes from heaven, and he will burn many with that, just as he once before did Job's possessions. But he who turns to him for fear of the fire, he must dwell forever in hell in eternal fire. Neither I nor any other person know how to tell about all the terror that shall happen in the world through the devil. Then we will have great need to pray earnestly to almighty God that he will protect us against that terror and strengthen us according to his will. And those who live in this time have great need to be cautious and to be mindful of the things the devil's men often did in the past through sorcery. The magicians in the land of Egypt did many things through sorcery. Moses, through God's strength, worked many miracles against them. And so we have read in many places that everywhere various people have been led astray through sorcery with the devil's help. It is better that we now give a certain example of this:

One of the devil's men was once in Rome; he was named Simon. He harassed two of God's famous thanes very severely. That was saint Peter and saint Paul. They preached in Rome at the beginning of Christianity, but the devil's man harassed them and hindered that people very wondrously. He said that what God's thanes were preaching was all lies, and he worked many wonders through sorcery while people watched. At one time he made a brass serpent move as if it were alive. And in those days in Rome people had made likenesses, and that heathen folk through the devil's teaching honored them as gods; then through sorcery he also made them move as if they were alive. Then Peter did better things through God's might. He healed variously injured people: the blind and the deaf and the dumb and those with various other afflictions. And everything he did became known at last to the emperor who in those days ruled Rome, and he was praised more highly than Simon. Then he allowed the foolish to think that he was God's own son. And then at last the emperor had Simon brought to him. And when he came and stood in front of him, then through the devil's power he blinded the emperor's eyes and those of the people with him so that they thought at one time when they looked at him that he was like a child whom they looked at; a second time again as if he were a middle-aged man; and another time as if he were a distinguished old man; and so in many ways he practiced deception through sorcery. And then when the emperor had seen this, then he thought that it was God's own son, and the devil's man boasted that he was, and the people too quickly believed him. Then God's thanes strove against that and said that he lied, and through God's might they also made clear with many good things that they were in the right and that everything the arch-liar said was a lie. Then at last Simon said that he would prove that he was God. He commanded a tower to be built and said that he would climb up it and that angels would take him and carry him to heaven. And as all the people watched he climbed up the tower and leapt from the tower into the air as if he would meet the ruler of heaven. Then the emperor cried out and said that it was clear that everything he said before was the truth, and that what Peter and Paul pretended to the people was all lies. Then the saints entreated him reluctantly that he be patient for a while, until it was known what the end would be, and they cried out to God very earnestly. Lo, then saint Peter looked quickly up to the sky and cried out in a louder voice and said: "I charge you, spirits of the devil, you who are carrying the devil's man around the sky and are deceiving people by doing so, that by almighty God's command you let him go now so that he may no longer deceive people with his crimes." As soon as he said this they let him go, and he fell down so that he burst apart. Then God's might was made clear, although he had permitted the devil's heresy for a long time earlier. We have also read in books that many other servants of the devil harassed God's thanes through the devil's power in other places and led many people astray, but this seems too long a story to tell. You may know by this example alone, of what he did through the devil's power against men of God such as saint Peter and saint Paul, something of what it will be like when the devil himself comes, he who alone knows all the evil and all the sorcery that anyone has ever learned. And he will then make known openly through himself what he often did before through the unhappy people who followed his teachings.

The same devil who is in hell, that is the one who will then be within the wretched man Antichrist, and truly be both devil and man, and he will then openly oppress and deceive all mankind more severely than ever happened before. We therefore have very great need to be mindful against such terror, and also to warn those who do not know what is at hand. For the time is near when ignorant people will believe. And that is seen because this world is from day to day worse and worse. I also say truthfully that the devil will oppress each person's thoughts, if he may, so that he does not understand, although men tell him, what he is warned against, and in this way most people will be deceived who are not as mindful or as well-warned in advance as they need to be. Indeed, what living person is there who may be warned in advance well enough that he will not deceived by the devil, unless almighty God protects him? But let us warn ourselves earnestly and earn from God that he protect us as his will may be. Let us have resolute belief and steadfastly think of our Lord. Then, although it may be necessary that we must abide the evil and suffer hardships on earth, if we do not weaken, but persevere in correct belief, God has ordained for us eternal rest. In God's name I pray that each Christian person think earnestly about himself and willingly worship God and turn away from sin, and earn what may await him in the kingdom of heaven with the one who lives and rules always without end, amen.