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Secundum Marcum


Jesus was asked by his disciples about the end of time; he said to them: When you will see the abomination of desolation, etc. Woe to those who are pregnant and nursing in those days. There will be such tribulations as there never were from the beginning of the creation that God created until this time, nor will be, etc.

Beloved people, our Lord's apostles asked him himself once about the end of this world. He said to them that such hardships and tribulations must come into the world before the end such as never before had happened and never would again. And the gospel says: "Woe to the women who bear children and feed them during that wretched time." Indeed, it must of necessity become very evil in the world because of people's sins, for now is the time that Paul the apostle foretold long ago. He said once to the bishop Timothy that the in the last days of this world it would be a dangerous time because of people's sins, and people would then love, he said, the deceitful world all too much and be overly greedy for worldly treasures, and too many would become too proud and entirely too arrogant and too boastful, and some would blaspheme horribly against God's divinity and despise the teachings of scripture and love injustice, and some would become deceitful and very fickle and treacherous, guilty in their sins. And let him know it who can, now is the time that this world is involved with manifold crimes and with many evils, and it has become worse widely in the world, just as the gospel says: "Because iniquity abounds, the love of many grows cold." That is in English, because evil grows entirely too widespread, true love cools. No one loves God as a person should. No one remains faithful to anything, but injustice rules far and wide, and loyalty among people is uncertain, and that is seen in many ways, let him know it who can.

Alas, alas, but there was great joy and help at hand from the best of men when Christ came into this world through a human birth, and he came to us all as the greatest help and the best comfort. And great is the depravity that is now at hand, let him endure that misery who must endure it, when Antichrist will be born. Christ was the best of all children ever born, and Antichrist will be the worst of all children ever born in this world of those who ever came before or who will come afterwards. Now it must of necessity become very evil, because his time is coming quickly, just as it is written and has long been prophesied: "After a thousand years Satan will be unleashed." That is in English, after a thousand years Satan will be unbound. A thousand years and also more have now passed since Christ was among people in human form, and now Satan's bonds are very loose, and Antichrist's time is well at hand. And thus it is in the world always the longer the weaker. People are deceitful, and the world is worse, and that injures us all. And indeed it must henceforth become more oppressive for the righteous and the innocent; now the evil and the deceitful spread widely throughout the world against the coming of the greatest evil that will come to men. That is the archfiend Antichrist himself.

Alas, great was the oppression that Christians suffered long ago in the world, often and constantly, through cruel traitors, far and wide, and indeed it must henceforth happen many times again, now that the devil himself may wield his power, and the devil's son may terrify Christians so strongly. And often before there were many persecutions, although never the same as this will be. For it often happened in the past that God's saints worked many miracles openly through God's power among those who suffered the persecution, and through that many people repented, but it will not be so in Antichrist's time. Holy people may not then work any signs openly in that time, but must suffer all that is done to them. Nor will God himself then manifest his power or his miracles during that time, as he often did before, but he will allow the devil Antichrist and those who support him to rage and rave for a certain while. He will be born a human man, but still he will be entirely filled with the devil's spirit. And the visible fiend will work many wonderful signs through the devil's power and many illusions through sorcery. And for three and a half years he will rule over mankind and deceive most people with his sorcery, more than were ever deceived before in any way. And those whom he may not deceive with his artifices he will threaten and and subdue horribly and wretchedly torture in many ways and forcibly compel to bow to his false teachings. He will begin to lie very devilishly and deny Christ and say that he himself is God's own son, and bring all too many people into heresy. And because of the people's deeds God will allow him to injure them violently for a certain time, because people will be so thoroughly ruined by sin that the devil may openly tempt them to find out how many he can seduce into eternal damnation. And those who are so blessed that they hold to God's law very earnestly and steadfastly persevere in correct belief will then endure the greatest persecution that ever any people have endured before in the world, and much more than people ever endured anywhere before or ever will afterwards. But he will be blessed who does not weaken, because quickly afterwards eternal comfort will certainly come to him through God's power. Indeed, is it any wonder, though the human devil may grievously oppress the sinful, when God permits him to work so great a miracle among his own saints that through the arch-fiend Enoch and Elias will be martyred, whom God himself preserved for many hundreds of years in soul and body for one purpose, that they might strengthen the people with their teaching so that they might not all perish together at the same time through this devil, who will terrify all men and afflict all the world? There is no one alive who may say or can say how evil it will be in that devilish time. Brother will not spare brother at that time, nor a father his child, nor a child his own father, nor a kinsman his kinsman any more than a stranger. And nations will strive and fight among themselves before the time that this will happen. Strife and contention will also arise far and wide, and slander and hatred, plunder and rapine, war and hunger, burning and bloodletting and violent disturbances, plague and pestilence and many other evil events. And many signs will be seen widely in the sun and the moon and in various stars, and many kinds of terror and many sudden dangers will occur on earth to terrify people's hearts. And all will perish if God through his might does not shorten the days of the arch-criminal. But for the protection of his chosen ones and those whom he will hold and help, he will destroy the arch-fiend and sink him into the pit of hell with all of that company who followed him and too easily believed his evil teachings. Then God's judgment will rightly decide between them, and then certainly those who now love God and follow God's laws and earnestly obey God's teachings and hold them well, and who steadfastly persevere in correct belief until the end, they will have eternal reward in heavenly joy with God himself and with his saints forever afterward. There is eternal bliss and ever will be, world without end, amen.