“Antichrist of another manner has sent his disciples forth, those false anointed, of which Christ warned us beforehand, that they should come and show miracles and wonders, even to bring the very elect out of the way, if it were possible. ….He sendeth them forth as Paul prophesied of them, with lying signs and wonders ……..”
“Bishops and priests that preach not, or that preach anything whatever except God's word, are none of Christ's, nor of his anointing; but servants of the Beast, whose mark they bear, whose word they preach, whose law they maintain completely against God's law, and with their false wisdom give [the Beast] greater power than God ever gave to his Son, Christ………..Antichrist is too good to be judged by the law of God; he must have a new, of his own making........”
“Wherefore did Christ and his apostles warn us so diligently of Antichrist and false prophets that should come? In order that we should slumber and sleep carelessly? Or was it so that we should look in the light of the scripture with all diligence, to spy them when they came, and not to suffer ourselves to be deceived and led out of the way? John tells us to judge the spirits. How shall we judge them, but by the scriptures? How shall we know whether the prophet be true of false, or whether he speaks God's word, or of his own imagination, if thou wilt not see the scriptures?……..”
“The emperors and kings are nothing nowadays, but are hangmen for the pope and bishops, to kill whosoever they condemn; as Pilate was unto the scribes and Pharisees and the chief priests, to hang Christ. For just as those [Jewish] prelates answered Pilate, when he asked what [Christ] had done, If he were not an evil doer, we would not have brought him unto thee, meaning: We are too holy to do anything Improperly, you can be sure what we say Is true. In the very same way so say our [Catholic] prelates, He ought to die by our laws, he speaketh against the church: Or they say, Your grace Is sworn to defend the liberties and ordinances of the church, and to maintain our Most Holy Father's authority.............”
“Who slew the prophets? Who slew Christ? Who slew his apostles? Who killed the martyrs and all the righteous that were ever slain? The kings and the temporal sword at the request of the false prophets. Why were the prophets persecuted? Because they rebuked the hypocrites which beguiled the world, namely princes and rulers, and who taught [the sheep] to put their trust in things of vanity, and not in God's word, teaching them to do such deeds of mercy as were profitable unto no man, but unto the false prophets only; making merchandise of God's word.
Why did they kill Christ? For rebuking the hypocrites [for shutting up the kingdom of heaven to men, taking away the key of knowledge]. The hypocrites will not allow men to know God's word, but Instead burn it, and make heresy of it.......”
“Ye blind guides, saith Christ, ye strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. Matt. 23. Do not our [Roman Catholic] blind guides also stumble at a straw, and leap over a block; making narrow consciences at trifles, and at matters of weight none at all? If any of them happen to swallow his spittle, or any of the water wherewith he washes his mouth before Mass; or touch the sacrament with his nose, or to happen to handle it with any of his fingers which are not anointed; or say ‘Alleluia’ instead of ‘Laus tibi Domine’: or pour too much wine in the chalice; or make not his crosses aright, how he trembles! How he is struck with fear! What a horrible sin he has committed! But to hold a whore, or another man's wife, to buy a benefice, to set one realm at variance with another, and to cause twenty thousand men to die on a day, is but a trifle and pastime with them!
“The Jews boasted themselves of Abraham; and Christ said unto them, John 8: If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the deeds of Abraham. Our hypocrites boast themselves of the authority of Peter, Paul and the other apostles, [yet they are] completely contrary to the works and doctrine of Peter, Paul and all the other apostles. These [hypocritical Jews and Catholics] teach not to fear God in his commandments; but to fear them In their traditions......”
“Be learned, lest the hypocrites bring the wrath of God upon your heads and compel you to shed innocent blood; as they have compelled your predecessors to slay the prophets, to kill Christ and his apostles, and all the righteous that since were slain. God's word pertaineth unto all men, as it pertaineth to all servants to know their master's will and pleasure, and to all subjects to know the laws of their prince. Let not the hypocrites do all things secretly. What reason is it that mine enemy should put me in prison at his pleasure, and there to starve me, and handle me at his pleasure, and judge me himself - secretly - and condemn me by a law of his own making and then deliver me to Pilate to murder me….”
“Hereof may ye see, not only that our persecution is for the same cause that Christ's was, and that we say nothing that Christ said not; but also that all persecution is only for rebuking of hypocrisy; that is to say, of man's [supposed] righteousness and holy deeds, which man hath imagined to please God and to be saved by without God's word, the testament that God hath made In Christ. If Christ had not rebuked the Pharisees because they taught the people to believe in their traditions and holiness, and [because in their avarice took] offerings that came to their advantage, [or had not rebuked them when] they taught the widows, and others whose friends had died to believe in their prayers, [or had not rebuked them for teaching] that through their prayers the dead should be saved; and through means [of those deceptions] robbed them both of their goods, Christ might have been uncrucified unto this day.”
“If St. Paul had not preached against circumcision, that it justifieth not; and that vows, offerings, and ceremonies justified not; and that righteousness and forgiveness of sins came not by any works of merit, but by faith, believing the promises of God, and by the deserving and merits of Christ only, he might have lived unto this
hour. Likewise, if we preached not against pride, covetousness, lechery, extortion, usury, simony, and against the evil living both of the spirituality as well as of the temporality we might endure long enough. But touch the scab of hypocrisy, or pope-holiness, and go about warning of their false doctrine and how they reign as gods in the heart and consciences of men and rob them, not only of their lands, goods, and authority, but also of the testament of God, and salvation that is in Christ - then it matters not to them what Scriptures [support you], or what miracles thou has performed: but [they determine] thou art not only a heretic possessed by a devil, but a traitor to the king.”
An Answer Unto Master [Sir Thomas] Moore’s First Book (25th chapter)
…..And when Master Moore saith many mysteries are yet to be opened, as is the mystery of the coming of the Antichrist, nay, verily the babe is known well enough, and all the tokens readily seen in him, by which the scriptures describe him….
a sure token that the pope is antichrist (29th chapter)
And though unto all the arguments and persuasions which Master Moore would blind us with, to believe that the Pope with his sect were the true Church, and that God, for the multitude’s sake, will not suffer them to err, though we were so simple that we saw not the subtlety of their arguments, nor did we have the words to answer them, but armed only bare faith in our hearts can we be so sure that we cannot be deceived therein, feeling and seeing the conclusion is false and the contrary true.
For first Peter says, II Peter 2:1-2, There shall be false teachers among you which shall secretly bring in damnable sects, denying the Lord that bought them, and many shall follow their damnable ways, by whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, and with feigned words they shall make merchandise over you. Now saith Paul, Romans 3:19, The law speaketh to them that are under the law. And even so this holds true for those who profess the name of Christ. Now the Pope hath ten thousand sects, differing in their consciences as in their coats, setting up a thousand manner of works to be saved by, which is the denying of Christ. And we see almost all follow their damnable ways. And because Peter said that the many shall rail and blaspheme the truth, it follows there shall be a little flock reserved by the hand of God to testify the truth unto them or else how could they rail on it? And it follows that those railers will be in the majority or else they would not do it [out of fear or shame]. Now what truth in Christ doth the Pope not rebuke and in setting up false works deny altogether? And as for their feigned words, where findest thou in all the Scripture purgatory, penance, pardon, hyperdulia, and a thousand more feigned terms. And as for their merchandise, see for yourself whether or not they sell all God’s laws as well as their own, as well as all sin, and all Christ’s merits, and all that a man can think. To one he sells the fault only, to another the fault plus the penalty, purging the man’s purse of his money and his brain of his wits!
Christ warned of false Christians coming in His name
And Christ saith, Matt. 24:24, there shall false anointed arise and shew signs and wonders; that is, they shall show miracles and so prevail that, if it were possible, the elect should be brought out of the true way. And these false anointed, by the same rule of Paul, and in Christ’s saying also, that they shall come in His name, meaning in the Church of Christ, and of them that shall call themselves Christian, and shall shew their wonders before the elect and be a sore temptation unto them, to bring them out of the way.
The Elect are small in number and persecuted
And the elect, which are few in comparison with those who are called and come feignedly, shall among that great multitude be kept by the mighty hand of God against all that is possible. So that the Church and the very elect shall never be shall never be such a multitude together by themselves without persecution and temptation of their faith. Whereas the great multitude under the Pope are they who persecute and tempt. And these which the Pope calls heretics shew no miracles by their own confession, neither ought they, inasmuch as they bring no new learning, nor ought they use any teaching besides that of the Scripture which is already received and contains miracles. Christ promised us naught in this world save persecution for our faith. And the stories of the Old Testament are also our examples, I Cor. 10. And there, though God at a time called with miracles a great multitude, yet the very chosen that received the faith in their hearts, putting their trust in God alone, and which endure in temptations, were but few and ever oppressed of their false brethren, persecuted unto death, driven into corners.
And when Paul, II Thess. 2, saith that Antichrist’s coming shall be by the working of Satan with all power, signs and wonders of falsehood and all deceivableness for them that perish because they received not love unto the truth to be saved by, and therefore shall God send them strong delusion or guile, to believe lies. The text must also pertain unto a multitude gathered together in Christ’s name, of which one part, no doubt the greater, for lack of love unto the truth that is in Christ to live thereafter, shall fall unto sects and a false faith under the name of Christ, and shall be indurate and established therein with false miracles to perish for their blindness. First of all, the Pope has no Scripture that he dare abide by in the light, neither does he care, but blasphemeth that his word is truer than the Scripture. He hath miracles without God’s word, as all false prophets had. He hath lies in all his Legends, in all preachings, and in all books. They have no love unto the truth, which appeareth by their great sins that they have set up above all abominations of all heathen that ever existed, and by their long continuance therein, not of frailty, but of malice unto the truth and of obstinate lust and self-will to sin, which appeareth in two things:
The one, that they have gotten them of wiles and falsehood enacting laws superior to the laws of man, even above King and Emperor, that no man should constrain their bodies and bring them into better order, so that they may be allowed to sin freely without fear of man. And on the other hand, they have made God’s word void, that it should not have authority over their consciences, insomuch that if any man rebuke them using God’s word, they immediately persecute him, presenting him with their false doctrines, and make him a heretic to burn him and quench his testimony.
The Papists precisely fulfill II Timothy 3
And Paul saith, II Timothy 3, In the later days there shall be perilous times, for there shall be men that love themselves, covetous, high-minded, proud, railers, disobedient to father and mother, unthankful, ungodly, vulgar, promise-breakers, false accusers, unloving, despisers of good, traitors, heady, puffed up, loving lusts more than God, having an appearance of godliness, but denying the power thereof. And by ‘power’ I understand the pure faith in God’s word which is the power and essence of all godliness and whence all that pleases God springeth. And this text pertains unto them that profess Christ. For when he saith, having an appearance of godliness, and that which follows in the text, of this sort are they who enter into men’s houses and lead women captive laden with sin, ever asking and never able to attain unto the truth (as do those priests who hear confessions), it appeareth that they be such as will be holier than others and teachers and leaders of the rest. Do they not love themselves, their high positions, ordinances, lies and dreams, despising all laws of God and man, regarding no man unless he holds the same degree of dignity. And as for their covetousness which all the world is not able to satisfy, will they not stop at nothing that it may serve their purpose and satisfy their greed? For example, if God punishes the world with an evil plague, the Papists will immediately paint a wooden idol and call it ‘Job,’ claiming its power to heal the disease rather than warn the people that the plague was a judgment of God to mend their living. And as for their high mind and pride, see whether they be not above Kings and Emperors and all the names of God, and whether any man may come and bear rule in this world except he swear an oath of obedience to them.
And as for the issue of ‘railing’ of which Paul warns us, one need only look at their excommunication to see whether they spare King or Emperor or even the Testament of God. The Papists disobey mother and father in that they subordinate God the Father to the holy Father, the Pope, whose ceremonies they must serve. They show themselves to be unthankful and unkind when they receive one thousand pounds rent from a man for his land, then refuse one of his offspring a single night’s lodging when he is in need….And as for their promise and truce-breaking, see whether any appointment of theirs may withstand their dispensations, though the appointment was lawful, the Sacraments having been received as confirmation. And see whether or not the monks and friars have broken all the appointments and ordinances made by the original founders of their sects. And see whether they be accusers and traitors of all men, even secretly of their very own Kings and nations. And as for their headiness, see whether they be not bold, running headlong unto all mischief, without pity or compassion, not caring what misery or destruction should fall on other men, so they may have their present pleasure fulfilled. And see whether they love not their lusts, not being restrained from them either by any law, God or man. And as for their appearance of godliness, see whether or not they all falsely claim to be God’s servants, and whether or not they take almost all men’s consciences captive.
And it followeth in the text, as the sorcerers of Egypt resisted Moses, so did they also resist the truth. Therefore, they, too, must be mighty deceivers…..Of these and similar texts, and of the similitudes of the kingdom of heaven taught by Christ in the Gospels, it appears that, because the holy ghost be in the chosen and teacheth them all truth in Christ, to put their trust in him, so they cannot err therein while the earth standeth, God shall never have a church that shall either persecute or be free of persecution themselves any season, though persecution of others is the manner of the Pope.
The Two Churches Contrasted
But there shall be in the Church the fleshly and spiritual seed of Abraham; a Cain and an Abel, an Ishmael and an Isaac, an Esau and a Jacob; as I have said, a worker and a believer, a great multitude of them that be called and a small flock of them that be elect and chosen. And the fleshly shall persecute the spiritual, as Cain did Abel, and Ishmael Isaac and so forth; and the great multitude shall persecute the small little flock, and Antichrist will be ever the best Christian man.
So now the church of God is double; a fleshly and a spiritual: the one will be and is not, the other is and may not be discerned as such, instead being called a ‘Lutheran’ or a ‘heretic,’ etc. Understand therefore, that when God calls a congregation unto his name, he sends forth his messengers to call generally all men. These messengers bring in a great multitude amazed and astonished with miracles and powerful arguments which the preachers make and they therefore are compelled to confess there is but one God of power and might above all, and that Christ is God and man, and born of a virgin, and a thousand other things. And then, the great multitude which is called but not chosen, after they have attained to this common faith, which the devils possess as well, they then go off onto their own imaginations, saying, ‘We may no longer serve idols, but only God, who is one.’ And the manner of service they establish comes out of their own brains and not the word of God. Instead, they serve God with carnal service just as they once did their idols, their hearts still serving their own lusts. And one monk will serve him wearing white, one friar will wear black, another in grey, and another in black and white…..They will be shorn and shaven and Sadducees, that is to say, righteous; and Pharisees who are separated from all other men by their apparel….They believe that there is a God, but since they cannot love his laws they have no power to believe in him. They put their trust and confidence in their own works, and by their own works they will be saved, as do the rich of this world when they bestow gifts and presents unto great men to gain favor for their cause…..
But a little sheep, as soon as he is persuaded that there is a God, he runneth not unto his own imaginations, but unto the messenger that called him, and asks him how he shall serve God. In Acts 9, when Christ had overthrown Paul and caught him in his net, Paul asked, Lord, what wilt thou that I should do? And as the multitude who were converted in Acts 2 asked the Apostles what they should do, and the preacher setteth the law of God before them they offered their hearts to have it written therein, agreeing that it is good and righteous.
And because they have run clean contrary unto that good law, they sorrow and mourn because their bodies and flesh were otherwise disposed. But the preacher comforteth them and sheweth them the testament of Christ’s blood., how that for His sake all sins committed are forgiven, and all their weaknesses they shall gradually overcome by His strength, only if they repent and submit themselves to be taught, as students, learning to keep this law. And a little sheep receiveth this testament in his heart, and in it walketh and serveth God in the Spirit. From henceforth all is Christ with him, and Christ is his, and he is Christ’s. All he receives, he receives of Christ; and all that he does, he does to Christ. Father, mother, master, Lord and Prince are all Christs unto him, and as Christ he serveth them with all love. His wife, children, servants and subjects are Christ unto him, and he teaches them to serve Christ, and not himself and his lusts. And if he receive any good thing of man, he thanks God in Christ, who moved the man’s heart. And his neighbor he serves as Christ in all his need using that which God had lent him, because all classes of men have been bought with Christ’s blood.
And he will not be saved because he served his brethren, neither does he promise his brethren salvation for serving him. But heaven, justification, forgiveness, are all gifts of grace, and all that is promised them they received freely of Christ and of his merits. And that which they have received of Christ they use to serve each other freely, as one hand does the other, seeking for their service no more than one hand seeks for the other hand’s health, wealth, help aid, succor, assisting one another in the way of Christ. And they serve God in Spirit only, in love, faith, hope and dread.
When the great multitude that be called and not chosen, Cain, Ishmael, Esau and carnal Israel with bodily service and help works, as were those who served Idols also, yet the little flock did no such thing. And why did they not come forth to take holy water? Wherefore, saith the little flock, Nay, brethren, God forbid that ye should think that these put away thy sins. Only Christ’s blood washeth away the sins of all that repent and believe. Fire, salt, water, bread and oil be bodily things given unto man for his necessity and with which to help his brother. God, who is Spirit, cannot be served by such things. Neither can they enter into the soul to purge it. For God’s word only purges the soul. Are not such things hallowed?, say the Papists. We reply, It is not in the hallowing of them that causes whosoever is sprinkled of water or eateth of the bread to receive health of soul and body. The blessings promised unto Abraham for all nations are in Christ and out of his blood. His word is the bread, salt and water of our souls. God hath given you no power to give others, through your magic charms, such virtue unto irrational creatures, which He hath hallowed Himself, making them all clean (for the bodily use of them that believe) through His word of promise and permission and our thanksgiving. God saith, if thou believeth St. John’s Gospel, thou shalt be saved, and not for the hearing of it with so many crosses surrounding thee, or for the observing of any such observances…..
 Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, [Parker Society, 1848]; pp. 232-51. Paragraph headings added by present editor. This material is taken from the editor’s book, Antichrist in Our Midst.
 Matthew 24:24.
 II Thess. 2:9.
 As was Jesus also illegally tried and executed.
 Verse 6 ff.
 Verse 8.
 I.e., the fleshly church acknowledged by the world.
 I.e., baptism.
I.e., in the Lord’s Super.