Revelation: Preface - Question 12 of 39

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Section 2 of Preface: The Fulfillment of the Prophecy of Daniel and World Events Near the Time of the Writing of The Revelation:

Jesus' crucifixion on the cross, resurrection and ascension into heaven occurred in approximately A.D.30. 

The book of Acts records the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1-- A.D.30), the establishment of Jesus' church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2 - A.D.30) and ends with Paul being imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28 - approx A.D.61 or 62). Following this approximate 30 years of history (A.D.30 to A.D.62) in the book of Acts, we have writings of various church historians as to what happened to the Christians from this time forward:

  • The apostle Paul is beheaded:

    Paul was acquitted in about A.D.61 or 62 and possibly made a fourth missionary journey to Spain, Greece and Asia Minor. He was arrested again and beheaded around A.D.67.(1) At this time, Nero was emperor of Rome (from A.D.54 to 68).

  • The rest of the apostles are attacked:

Later in Nero's life as emperor, when Nero "proceeded to commit reckless crimes, the apostles were attacked along with others." (2)

  • The enemy of the Deity:

    Once Nero's power was firmly established, he plunged into nefarious vices and took up arms against the God of the universe...his perverse and degenerate madness...led him to destroy innumerable lives...he was the first of the emperors to be the declared enemy of the Deity.(2)

  • Rage against Christianity:

    "Consult your own records: there you will find that Nero was the first to let his imperial sword rage against this sect (Christianity) when it was just arising in Rome."(3)

  • The fighter against God:

    So it happened that this man (Nero), the first to be announced publicly as a fighter against God, was led on to slaughter the apostles. In his reign, Paul was beheaded in Rome itself and that Peter was also crucified..."(2)

  • The war with the Jews:

    Josephus reports that innumerable Jews of high rank were flogged with scourges and crucified in Jerusalem itself by Florus...procurator of Judea when the war (with the Jews) blazed up in the twelfth year of Nero's reign (A.D. 66).(2)

  • Indescribable horror:

    In A.D. 66, Josephus records that following the revolt of the Jews, who were mercilessly attacked in the various cities as if they were enemies, unburied corpses filled the cities, the bodies of old men, children and women, with nothing to cover their nakedness. The whole province was full of indescribable horror.(2)

  • The great fire in Rome:

    Nero is best remembered for the great fire of Rome in A.D. 64, which he probably had set himself to speed up the process of urban renewal but blamed on the Christians (who were now generally recognized as being distinct from the Jews).(1)

  • The great persecution continues:

    Shortly after this decree of Nero, a violent and unmerciful persecution of the Christians manifested itself in all the countries which were under the Roman dominion; which persecution lasted until the Emperor's death. The innocent Christians were accused not only of the burning of Rome, but also of every wickedness imaginable; that they might be tortured and put to death in the most awful manner.

    To this the Roman Tacitus (according to the translation of J. Gysius, and not that of Fenacolius) refers, saying:

    "Then, Nero, in order to avert this report from himself, caused those called Christians by the common people, to be accused and exceedingly tormented. The author of this name is Christ, who was publicly put to death under the reign of Tiberius, by Pontius Pilate, the governor. Those who confessed that they were Christians, were first apprehended, and afterwards by making it known themselves a great multitude were all condemned, not so much on account of the conflagration, as of the hatred in which they were held by mankind. The taking of their lives was accompanied with much mockery; they were covered with the skins of wild beasts, and then torn to pieces by dogs; or nailed on crosses; or placed at stakes and burned; serving also as torches for the spectators, when the day was over."(4)

  • The revolts:

    The great Jewish revolt, which would eventually lead to the destruction of Jerusalem, took place in A.D. 66. The Jews were not the only ones to revolt. The Roman armies in the west revolted, and then the praetorian guard in Rome. Nero fled for his life and committed suicide in A.D. 68 -- at a mere 30 years of age.(1)

(1) Source: Halley's Bible Handbook

(2) Source: Eusebius - The Church History (Eusebius of Caesarea - A.D. 260-339- was the first to undertake the task of tracing the rise of Christianity during its crucial first three centuries from Christ to Constantine.)

(3) Source: Writings of Tertullian (Roman citizen)

(4) Source: Writings of Tacitus (Roman citizen)


According to the historical accounts above, who was the Roman emperor who took up arms against God, the apostles, the Jews and the church...destroying innumerable lives during the A.D. 60's?

Caesar Augustus Nero