Saturday, November 18, 2006

#2016-Joh.P. Weller to Joh.Brismann

[Very interesting eyewitness account on the words and deeds of Michael Stiefel on the day and hour (Oct.19-8:00am) he predicted to be the Last Day.]

Heil! I have recently given someone a letter to be given to your illustrious Prince, but he through carelessenss,or to speak more accurately,because of the contrariness of the messenger,in which, among other things, if I rightly remember, wrote several things about the prophecy of Stiefel. and now will repeat with a few words so that you may have the entire story.You know how in the beginning he began the story in a discreet way so that he would not appear to be putting forth something improbable or contrary to Scripture. Then he said what at that time and even now everyone says that the end of world is near at hand. However after he perceived that this was applauded by the people as it usually happens with anything new he brought forth a prophecy along the way and I can't imagine what for a revelation and not satisified with that he began to demand of our lord Doctor that he pronounce his imagination as good and to establish his prophetical book with a foreword. When the lord Doctor (ML) refused this Stiefel began to attack him in letters and using a bitter manner,the Spirit having extinguished, called him a Pilate and a Herod. Luther bore this , as he is accustomed,in a discerning way and admonished him in letters which were as friendly as possible so that he refrain from his undertaking. Then he went so far in his senselessness that he not merely the year and day but also the hour put down as definite. When this was reported to the Prince he began,as was right, to be disgruntled since he saw that close by his door a new doctrine was being spread
forth and besides on account of this meeting he became suspicious of a rebellion. Then there came a terrible crowd together and, to be sure, a mixed one. Therfore he would have imprisoned Stiefel if Luther had not intervened. Finally he was warned not to make further this admonition in holy preaching. Stiefel promised this likely sincerely but as soon as the Prince left he immediately returned to his former manner
because the before determined time was at hand. It was the day after Luke (October 19) at the eighth hour before noon. Therefore he began three days previous to admonish the people to confession and to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ; similarly on the following days. On the third day he rested likely because, as fate would have it, it was the Sabbath; yet he was busy hearing confessions, since it was an unheard group that had come together that had come from regions over forty miles distant and beyond that. In short, I, to refresh my spirit, with several who went to the school(scholasticis) also betook ourselves there so that the spectacle would not be without spectators.I had been advised by Herr Doctor that I should well observe every single thing. However we came about evening since if Stiefel learned that there were Wittenbergers present he might be change the story. By chance I found several in the hostel from Schlesia had traveled there; I saw that they were sorrowful and pensive, fasting and sober. Immediately that demonstrated what sort of people they were. I entered with a greeting and since I had nothing other to say complained about the rain and blamed the leader for his stupidit of not knowing the way there. Thereafter I inquired who they were, where they had come from and what news they brought along. Without hesitation the eldest among them began a speech saying they had come from Schlesia motivated by the rumor of the Last which they had heard was at hand; now, however, he knew the same being taught by Stiefel who sets among the Prophets and praised him up to heaven and marveled that ours would have received no report of such a great man while by them he was honored for what he really is, namely, a Prophet, and he spoke this from experience and was not being led by speculation. So then he pleaded with me to meet together with the man and he was certain that I and anyone would be satisfied with his proofs: there was so great a spirit and so great a friendliness that it would be as he wanted. While we were conversing others came and I know how great a group between us, a crowd not to despised approximately twenty; after these follows others and again others. Thus one see every place full of guests. And to bring the story to an end all of a sudden:one goes to bed and to the places arranged for one could rest if there could be any sort of rest among such a great group and so great an uproar. I wakened very early when it was yet dark my companions. First of all there was the oxen-herder with a sign as Stiefel had commanded him; I, in my opinion, took it for the last trumpet and admonished those who happened to be around not to lose their courage. The Prophet had previously said that first of all the animals would die; so that the cattle and the sheep of his might be terrified the oxen-herder drove them out being odedient to the word. Now we flowed into the church. We saw that everything,as much as possible in this meagerness, had been ceremoniously prepared. The beginning of the Mass was: "Out of the depths"; the epistle of Paul followed; after that:"We now implore the Holy Ghost", and thereafter the Pastor read the Gospel. Finally the whole crowd said with one another the confession of faith:"We believe"etc. And meanwhile Stiefel went up to the chancel. After a brief introduction he set aside the Gospel with very few words. Thereafter he began his prophecy with about these words: Everyone among you well knows that there is an obscure rumor present that the Last Day is here and that I am the originator of this rumor. However, there is no one who can say in my presence that that he heard this in holy preaching from me. It might that someone might say this about me because I not alone know the day the very hour for certain of that, for me, greatly wished for day; but because certain people have forbidden me to make such an admonition in preaching I am forced to obey them as I am ordered by the divine grace. Nevertheless I do not deny that many who demanded of me to know that Day and the very hour I made certain and many I have also announced the same in writing. Because as of now that Day has broken upon us and the very hour hastens it would crazy and godless of me not to share with you my revelation which God has verified to me I, above all, in this matter would rather obey God rather than man. i proclaim to you therefore that this day is the day of our redemption and so that you also have the hour it is the coming eighth hour (however it was between the seventh and eighth).I am also aware that there are several who are looking at my person who despise my revealation and thereto they support that which goes against Scripture especially the prounouncement (matt.24:36): "Of that Day and the hour no one knows." O dear God! how far such people stray from the true confession of Scripture; that clearly supports me. Thus it stands written in a another place that one should not add anything to Scripture and also not take anything from it. How much these take away away from the Scripture who take away the godhead from Christ judge for yourself. In that they insist upon that no one knows the Day or the hour not even the Son of Man they surely take away Christ's divinity. They do not understand:"No one knows the Day or the hour." The Evangelist was speaking there of that present time and one should read: "no one knows" but not "no one will know".Therefore it will be that someone knows. Otherwise it would necessarily follow that Christ Himself will not know. That Christ knows this I can easily prove: first, because after His resurrection He said: "To Me is given all authority in heaven and on earth." If then all power is given to Him it is necessary that He knows everything otherwise how can He exercise His omnipotence in the things which He does not know? Therefore see what sort of authority these people ascribe to Christ. Secondly there is now no one who is a Christian or wants to be considered one who does not agree that Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. However, sitting at the right hand of the Father is nothing other than that He is true God like the Father. Only he can deny therefore that there is nothing hidden to Him except he who denies the omnipotence. How is it that these people can doubt that the Day and hour could be previously have been determined? Besides there are yet many other things which I would gladly share with you but I fear the time will not extend for that. The hour is near and besides there are many who desire to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. However, to return to the matter, I have that there are people who will know the Day and the hour. First I thank God for His immeasurable and unending goodness toward everyone and especially for this His revelation to me which is given and verified and therefore I discern the truth that God does not look at the person. Thus you know that from the beginning whenever God wants to bring something extraordinary about He always sends a Prophet beforehand who says this is immediately to happen as is illustrated from the example of Noah who announced the Deluge beforehand. Thus he cited more examples from the Old Testament up to the time of Christ who had John as the Forerunner. That the Last Day is at hand the Gospels clearly state. It only remains for us to determine the Day and hour and as you know no one ever could perhaps be certain before me and only by a special certain grace, as I said before, it is to me alone verified by God. So that you may know that I am not being led by a false delusion or commited an error I want to clarify my revelation. There are two things in the Holy Scripture: the Word and the mathematical number. It is not that I should deal here further with the Word especially since you know sufficiently what it is and often has heard it often from me as long as I am pastor. Now however, as it is established that the Word stands so also the number must be introduced with it. Motivated by this foundation I have subjected everything to this reckoning that in the Old Testament everything is introduced by numbers. Thus I have done things which concern the New Testament; finally I have succeeded to the Last Day and also to the hour itself and that it is the eighth. There is only one consideration and that is whether the hour is before noon or after noon. Although the reckoning shows that it should after noon, I believe yet that is the one before noon. And it is this consideration which yesterday first came in my mind when a certain blessed and pious man, whom I do not want to name, persuaded me about this matter. Since Sunday is the best day in all of the week and Christ Himself has chosen that (19 Oct. was a Sunday) so also He would have selected the best hour without a doubt. The before noon hours precede the afternoon hours. Therfore it is certain that He will now come. (this morning). In order that I may also comfort you: You Christians must shut out the delusion which you hold that Christ through His Coming would bring fear or horror but rather believe that He is your Brother and Friend and only is an enemy for the godless. However it appears to go against the pronouncement of Peter [2 Peter 3:10]that with the coming of Christ there will be a great rending of the heaven, the earth and all the elements; actually that does not go against the truth. The very same says [v.13) that He will create a new heaven and new earth. This is how I understand it: Since He is almighty He can also in the twinkling of an eye bring about a new heaven and a new earth. After we are carried away then the godless will hear that rending of the old heaven of which Peter speaks. Therefore, there is nothing which you should fear. As he thus spoke he raised his hands to heaven and at the same time weeping cried out:He is coming,He is coming, He is coming! And immediately, without a departing word, he stepped down from the chancel. First then there went up the calling and crying of howling and weeping women. Upon that Stiefel turned toward the altar and spoke these words:"Don't be terrified,He comes as your brother and not as your enemy." After that he went to the altar. After the holy administration each betook himself to his own house. Now it was near the ninth hour. After the ninth hour had sounded those who were commanded to do so by the Prince went to the of the Prophet and put him a wagon took it toward Wittenberg. There his office is suspended and his vows laid aside and awaits the judgment of the Prince when he confesses and acknowledges his error. There you have the entire story and with more words than I had intended. Consider my rambling in the best way.

There is here a rumor of the death of the King of Denmark; there is an Interregnum in Denmark and the son of the king is forced to step aside from the rule. Yet we do not know something for certain. I plead with you that you would give me here a definite report. In addition, one says that the Markgraf Wilhelm has led forth troops to Latvia and everyone is at enmity. The rest you will learn from the Chancellor; be it well with you. Wittenberg on the 17th Novermber Anno 1533.
Here you have the whole ball (spheram) which you desire. J.P. Weller.

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