The way it now stands, pope, count, lord, monk, priest, bishop, and canon revel in vices, drinking, feasting, and immorality together. All look through their fingers at evil, and indulge in it themselves. For this I will leave them unpunished. I will refuse to judge them and only hope for their conversion. But I will speak of what is going on.
The Antichrist is on the way!
Of women as well as men, only a few are left that do not worship the beast. And of those, many fall into the hands of rulers that kill them—the very rulers that boast of protecting Christendom!
One horrible beast with ten horns and seven crowns rose from the sea. Evangelical teaching had wounded its head. Then another one came, with only two horns like the blessed Lamb. It healed the first one’s wound but its wickedness was the same!
The first beast, Roman Catholicism, was sorely wounded with the Gospel’s message. But now that a second one [Protestantism] has arisen, it has remarkably recovered its strength. And now we have two poperies, the old and the new.
These dreadful beasts resemble bears with lions’ mouths. But look, a Lamb stands on the hill, surrounded by all that have turned to it. All that fear God and strive for the good. The beasts come up against the Lamb with fearful violence.
Oh God! Help us in the battle! Lead us with your Spirit in this dreadful time!
Blessed are those that die in the Lord, believing in him, baptised and living by Jesus’ example. Therefore do not fear, little flock! For the beasts and all that run with them (though their number be like the sand of the sea) a lake of fire lies prepared. The books will be opened. All things will become clearly evident. The Righteous One will judge young and old, pope, emperor, king, duke, lord, count, nobleman, knight and serf. The time is at hand. The sun and moon will turn dark. All godless people on the earth will mourn.
No one knows the hour exactly when Christ will come again. Centuries have passed and centuries more may come. But do not lose heart. Those that die in Christ will rise to live with him.
anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th Century, Germany