The Antichrist is Nero Resurrected

Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar) Caesar - October 16, 54 - June 9, 68

Nero burned up the city, blaming Christians, because every time he would kill a bunch of Christians more would surface, so right before he committed suicide he admitted that he set fire to city in frustration.

What if the reason you don’t think Nero is the Antichrist is because your conscience is not attuned to it? You may treat the Antichrist as not an individual, but allegorically or as some organization, and thus, be deceived into taking the mark of the beast and being fooled by this man who is a pretext for war.

Nero was the worse human being in history. He was the first to really go after the Church in the Neronian persecutions. Compared to Domitian, it is like night and day. Nero was last of the Julio-Claudians. He was not only the sixth emperor of Rome, he was the first to persecute Christians so overtly. For the purposes of Revelation though he is considered the 5th. Domitian is the 6th at the time of John writing Revelation. "Five are fallen, and one is, the other is not yet come" (Rev. 17.10). Nero is not the 6th mentioned in Revelation 17 because Claudius adopted the name of Julius Caesar and was himself also adopted by Julius Caesar.

Emperor Augustus of Rome was born with the given name Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 B.C. He took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian) in 44 B.C. after the murder of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. In his will, Caesar had adopted Octavian and made him his heir.

The persecution began in the middle of November 64 A.D. and continued until June 8, 68 A.D. when Nero committed suicide, a period of 42 months. This where we get our 1260 days from in Revelation which point to the coming period of end time events. This last week of 7 years is separated from the 69 weeks in Daniel's prophecy. The 69 weeks pointed to the time when the Messiah would come and atone for sins. A great span of time separates the 69 weeks and the 70th week because Israel rejected their Messiah and the gospel of salvation is given to all the nations, not just Israel.

The fact that Nero killed by the sword is well documented. Paul, for example, is said to have died under Nero by decapitation with a sword. Tertullian credits “Nero’s cruel sword” as providing the martyr’s blood as seed for the Church. He urges his readers to “Consult your histories; you will there find that Nero was the first who assailed with the imperial sword the Christian sect.”

The number of a man who is the Antichrist is 666. This takes wisdom to understand (Rev. 13.18). See how this calculation points to Nero. By all means, study the information on preterist sites, but make sure you check your sources. They make the grave error of concealing who the Antichrist will be by denying his future existence and who he is going to be like (Nero) so as to be deceived by him and take the mark of the beast. Preterists claim the 1000 years has already happened or partial preterists will say it is happening now. But Revelation 20.3 says, "Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished." The nations still war and we hear rumors of wars.

History records that Nero took his own life with the sword. Roman historian Suetonius describes Nero’s death: “Then with the help of his secretary, Epaphroditus, he stabbed himself in the throat.”

It is interesting, from a historical perspective, that Nero was actually referred to as a “beast” by his contemporaries. For instance, the pagan writer Apollinius of Tyana, who lived at the time of Nero, states: “In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs.... And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mother, but Nero gorged himself on this diet.”

Nero ruthlessly murdered his parents, his brother, his pregnant wife (whom he kicked to death) and other family members. He was a homosexual, who found sexual gratification in watching torture. He enjoyed dressing up as a wild beast and raping male and female prisoners. He illuminated his garden parties with the bodies of Christians, covered with pitch and set aflame.

Roman historian Tacitus (56-117 A.D.) spoke of Nero’s “cruel nature” that “put to death so many innocent men.” Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) described Nero as "the destroyer of the human race” and ”the poison of the world.”Roman satirist Juvenal (60-140 A.D.) speaks of “Nero’s cruel and bloody tyranny.” Suetonius (70-160 A.D.), speaks of Nero’s “cruelty of disposition” evidencing itself at an early age. He documents Nero’s evil and states: “neither discrimination or moderation [were employed] in putting to death whosoever he pleased on any pretext whatever.” When Nero committed suicide on June 8, 68 A.D., two major inter-related historical situations faced the world. Both carried with them catastrophic consequences.

First, with the death of Nero, the Julian-Claudian line of emperors came to an end. In other words, the blood line which had received worship from the Roman Empire had been cut off forever. To the superstitious, pagan world this was most significant. This was no small matter to the subjects of the Roman Empire.

Second, catastrophe upon catastrophe followed the death of Nero and the extinction of the Roman Empire’s founding family. The empire found itself engulfed in civil wars, to the extent that “eternal Rome” was endanger of being reduced to rubble.

Josephus writes concerning these civil wars: “I have omitted to give an exact account of them, because they are well known by all, and they are described by a great number of Greek and Roman authors.”

Tacitus writes: “The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disasters, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors failed by the sword; there were three civil wars, more foreign wars and often both at the same time.... In Rome there was more awful cruelty.... Besides the manifold misfortunes that befell mankind, there were prodigies in the sky and on the earth, warnings given by thunderbolts, and prophecies of the future, both joyful and gloomy, uncertain and clear. For never was it more fully proved by awful disasters of the Roman people or by indubitable signs that gods care not for our safety, but for our punishment.”

Suetonius wrote, concerning the long months following Nero’s death, that the empire “for a longtime had been unsettled, and as it were, drifting, through the usurpation and violent death of the three emperors, was at last taken in hand and given stability by the Flavian family.”

Titus Flavius Vespasianus restored political stability and established a new dynasty of the Roman Empire. Under the rule of Vespasian the empire was revived and the Beast lived once more.

The relevant verses in Revelation regarding the death and revivification of the Beast are most readily understood from the earth-shaking historical events after the suicide of Nero in 68 A.D. Not only will the person of Antichrist be revealed but so will the revived Roman empire.

Did you know that Nero was the great Grandson of Claudius and Claudius was adopted by Julius Caesar and Claudius changed his name to Julius Caesar. Rev. 13.18 is asking for your wisdom to see underneath.

Don’t think in terms of mass persecutions, think in terms of killing your own family members. That is highly evil beyond belief. Evil does not need to be wide open. It can be sitting right there in the heart of one man killing his own family members, my God!

Nero was much worse than Domitian. Tertullian said Domitian also cruel like Nero often ceased from his attempts. Banishment (as in John) is his more likely avenue whereas Nero would just put you to death.

Domitian was the 6th,  the one “who is”. Hitler was not Nero. Antichrist will be far worse than Hitler, instead Nero who will kill his own family for God sakes!!

The possible negative consequences of this is that in not recognizing the difference in nature of Nero to other forms of evil men, you may confuse the Antichrist to be more like certain men in history as opposed to the real Antichrist nature of Nero.

A.D. 37-68, Roman emperor (A.D. 54-68), the son of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina II, who was the great-granddaughter of Augustus. Agrippina married (A.D. 49) Claudius I and persuaded him to adopt Nero. In A.D. 55, Agrippina saw that she was losing control of Nero and intrigued in favor of Claudius' son, Britannicus, but Nero poisoned the boy. Poppaea Sabina became Nero's mistress, and according to rumor she was to blame for the worst of his behavior. In A.D. 59 he murdered his mother and in A.D. 62 his wife Octavia; he later married Poppaea. When half of Rome was burned in a fire (A.D. 64), Nero accused the Christians of starting it and began the first Roman persecution. In A.D. 65 there was a plot to make Caius Calpurnius Piso emperor. The detection of this plot began a string of violent deaths, e.g., of Seneca, Lucan, and Thrasea Paetus. Nero had ambitions to be a poet and artist. Revolts in A.D. 68 caused him to commit suicide. Among his last words were, What an artist the world is losing in me!

A.D. 37-68, Roman emperor (A.D. 54-68), the son of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina II, who was the great-granddaughter of Augustus. Agrippina married (A.D. 49) Claudius I and persuaded him to adopt Nero. In A.D. 55, Agrippina saw that she was losing control of Nero and intrigued in favor of Claudius' son, Britannicus, but Nero poisoned the boy. Poppaea Sabina became Nero's mistress, and according to rumor she was to blame for the worst of his behavior. In A.D. 59 he murdered his mother and in A.D. 62 his wife Octavia; he later married Poppaea. When half of Rome was burned in a fire (A.D. 64), Nero accused the Christians of starting it and began the first Roman persecution. In A.D. 65 there was a plot to make Caius Calpurnius Piso emperor. The detection of this plot began a string of violent deaths, e.g., of Seneca, Lucan, and Thrasea Paetus. Nero had ambitions to be a poet and artist. Revolts in A.D. 68 caused him to commit suicide. Among his last words were, What an artist the world is losing in me!

Ascension of Isaiah (mid-second century)
"Beliar (Nero). . . shall descend . . . in the form of a man, a lawless king, a slayer of his mother, who . . . will persecute the plant which the Twelve Apostles of the Beloved have planted. . . . He will act and speak in the name of the Beloved and say ‘I am God and before me there has been none else.’ And all the people in the world will believe in him, and will sacrifice to him. " (Ascension of Isaiah, 41 Ill)

Apollonius of Tyana (b. 4 B.C.)
"commonly called a Tyrant": "In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs. . . . And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mothers, but Nero has gorged himself on this diet." (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 38. Cited in John A. T Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), p. 235, from J. S. Phillimore (Oxford, 1912) 2:38.)

Augustine (4th Century)
"What means the declaration, that the mystery of iniquity already works?... Some suppose this to be spoken of the Roman emperor, and therefore Paul did not speak in plain words, because he would not incur the charge of calumny for having spoken evil of the Roman emperor: although he always expected that what he had said would be understood as applying to Nero." (quoted by Stuart in Apocalypse)

Clement of Alexandria (2nd Century)
"We have still to add to our chronology the following, -- I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to the seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is "the half of the week," as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: "How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away."

"These two thousand three hundred days, then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, "Blessed is he that cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: "And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." " (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 334)

F.W. Farrar (1882)
"all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse, from Irenaeus down to Victorious of Pettau and Commodian in the fourth, and Andreas in the fifth, and St. Beatus in the eighth century, connect Nero, or some Roman emperor, with the Apocalyptic Beast ." (p.541)

"the clue is preserved for us, not only by Jewish Talmudists, and Pagan historians and authors, such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Dion Cassius, and Dion Chrysostom; but also by Christian fathers like St. Irenaeus, Lactantius, St. Victorinus, Sulpicius Severus, and the Sibylline books, and even by St. Jerome, and by St. Augustine. Nothing can prove more decisively than these references that for four centuries many Christians identified Nero with the Beast."

Joel P. Green
"How would John's first readers have understood these images? Already in New Testament times, the emperor of Rome was increasingly seen not only as an agent of the gods, but as a god himself. For many, the emperor was the deity who guaranteed sustenance and fulfillment in life. Thus he was to be worshiped as a god. This state of affairs constituted no small problem for Christians, who gave their highest allegiance to their Lord and who looked to him, not to the Roman emperor, for daily provision. As this imperial religion developed further, the state would harass Christians more and more, pressing them to renounce Christ in favor of emperor worship. In such a context, the beast from the sea would have symbolized the deified emperor. His counterpart from the earth would have represented those persons - priests, philosophers, and the like - who promoted the imperial religion." (How to Read Prophecy, 76-77)

"this is a political antichrist, the Roman emperor demanding divine adoration. In claiming for himself the title Lord the emperor became for Christians a rival Christ, an antichrist." (How to Read Prophecy, 108)

Jewish Sibylline Oracles (Written "Sometime after A.D.70")
"Then Beliar will come from the Sebastinoi [i.e., the line of Augustus] and he will raise up the height of mountains, he will raise up the sea, the great fiery sun and shining moon, and he will raise up the dead. . . . But he will, indeed, also lead men astray, and he will lead astray many faithful, chosen Hebrews, and also other lawless men who have not yet listened to the word of God. (Sibylline Oracles 3:63-70; OTP 1:363.)

"One who has fifty as an initial will be commander, a terrible snake, breathing out grievous war, who one day will lay hands on his own family and slay them, and throw every-thing into confusion, athlete, charioteer, murderer, one who dares ten thousand things. He will also cut the mountain between two seas and defile it with gore. But even when he disappears he will be destructive. Then he will return declaring himself equal to God. But he will prove that he is not. Three princes after him will perish at each other’s hands." (.5:28-35; OTP 1:393.)

"a savage-minded man, much-bloodied, raving nonsense, with a full host numerous as sand, to bring destruction on you." (5:96; OTP 1:395.)

"a terrible and shameless prince whom all mortals and noble men despise. For he destroyed many men and laid hands on the womb. (5:143- 145; OTP 1:396.)

"There will come to pass in the last time about the waning of the moon a war which will throw the world into confusion and be deceptive in guile. A man who is a matricide will come from the ends of the earth in flight and devising penetrating schemes in his mind. He will destroy every land and conquer all and consider all things more wisely than all men. He will immediately seize the one because of whom he himself perished. He will destroy many men and great rulers, and he will set fire to all men as no one else ever did. Through zeal he will raise up those who were crouched in fear. There will come upon men a great war from the West. Blood will flow up to the band of deep-eddying rivers. Wrath will drip in the plains of Macedonia, an alliance to the people horn the West, but destruction for the king." (Oracles 5:361-374; OTP 1:401-402.)

"making himself equal to God." (12:79, 81, 86; OTP 14-47.)

Dr. James Kennedy, Jerry Newcomb
"He had received the finest of pagan philosophical educations, and yet he degenerated into one of the worst conceivable men. He visited brothels, frequently in disguise. He practised, as one historian says, "lewdness on boys... striking, wounding, mudering." He took a mistress. He wanted to have an affair with her and his wife objected. What do you do in a case like that? Well, it should be obvious to any and all: you simply kill your wife! - Which is what he did. But his mother objected. So he killed his mother. But he wasn't completely without feeling. In fact, when he looked down on her corpse at her funeral he said, "I did not know I had so beautiful a mother."

And so he married his mistress. Then one day she made the sad mistake of nagging him because he came home late from the races. She was in the latter stages of pregnancy. Nero kicked her in the stomach, killing both her and the child. Keep in mind, this was the ruler of the world at that time!" (What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?, 160)

Pate, Haynes
“Nero’s infamous character merits the title of “beast applied to him by the seer of the Apocalypse (v.1). Revelation 13:1-6 gives the generic background of the beast, which is the roman empire of the first century, The seven heads correspond to the seven hills of Rome, while the ten horns allude to the Caesars of the first century, however one may number them (v.1). The blasphemous worship demanded by the beast distinctly reminds one of the imperial cult of the first century, and the war the beast wages on the saints cannot help but recall the intense persecutions Nero, and later Domitian, inflicted on Christians because they did not worship Caesar. Nero’s persecution of Christians from November AD 64 to June AD 68 could account, in part, for the forty-two months (or 3 ½ years) of oppression mentioned in Rev. 13:5. The reference in Revelation 13:11-15 to the beast of the land securing worship for the beast from the sea (Rome was across the sea from the place of the writing of the Apocalypse, Asia Minor) reminds one of the local priests of the imperial cult in Asia Minor whose task was to compel the people to offer a sacrifice to Caesar and proclaim him Lord. Megalomaniac that he was, Nero had coins minted in which he was called “almighty God” and “Savior.” Nero’s portrait also appears on coins as the god Apollo playing a lyre. While earlier emperors were proclaimed deities upon their deaths, Nero abandons all reserve and demanded divine honors while still alive (as did also Caligula before him, AD 37-41). Those who worshipped the emperor received a certificate or mark of approval – charagma, the same word used in Revelation 13:16. Furthermore, in the reign of Emperor Decius (AD 249-251), those who did not possess the certificate of sacrifice to Caesar couldn not pursue trades, a prohibition that conceivably goes back to Nero, reminding one of Revelation 13:17” (C Martin Pate and Calvin B. Haynes, Doomsday Delusions, 41-42)

Orosius, Paulus (early fifth century)
"he (Nero, by context) was the first at Rome to torture and inflict the penalty of death upon Christians, and he ordered them throughout all the provinces to be afllicted with like persecution; and in his attempt to wipe out the very name, he killed the most blessed apostles of Christ, Peter and Paul." (The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans 7:7.)

Pliny the Elder (contemporary of Nero; died in the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79)
"Marcus Agrippa is said to have been born in this manner [i.e., breech position], almost the solitary instance of a successful career among all those so born – although he too is deemed to have paid the penalty which his irregular birth foretold, by a youth made unhappy by lameness, a lifetime passed amidst watiare and ever exposed to the approach of death, by the misfortune caused to the world by his whole progeny but especially due to his two daughters who became the mothers of the emperors Gaius Caligula and Domitius Nero, the two firebrands of mankind. . . . Nero also, who was emperor shortly before and whose entire rule showed him the enemy of mankind." (Pliny, Natural History 7:45.)

Ernest Renan (1873)
"THE period covered by the present volume is, after the three or four years of the public life of Jesus, the most extraordinary in the entire development of Christianity. Here, by a singular touch of the great unconscious Artist who appears to rule in the seeming caprice of historic evolution, we shall see Jesus and Nero - Christ and Antichrist - set, as it were, in contrast, face to face, like heaven and hell. The Christian consciousness is now full-grown. Hitherto it has known little else than the law of love: Jewish intolerance, though harsh, could not fret away the bond of grateful attachment cherished in the heart of the infant Church for her mother the Synagogue, from whom she is still hardly sundered. Now at length the Christian has before him an object of hate and terror. Over against the memory of Jesus rises a monstrous form, the ideal of evil, as He had been the ideal of holiness. Held in reserve, -like Enoch or Elias, to play his part in the last great tragedy of the world, Nero completes the cycle of Christian mythology: he inspires the first sacred book of the new canon; by a frightful massacre he lays the corner-stone of Romish primacy, and opens the way to that revolution which is to make of Rome a second Jerusalem, a holy city. At the same time, by a mysterious coincidence not infrequent in great crises of human destiny, Jerusalem is overthrown; the Temple disappears; Christianity, disburdened of a restraint already painful and advancing to a broadening freedom, follows out its own destinies apart from conquered Judaism. " (Antichrist, Intro.)

Philip Schaff (1877)
"the Neronian persecution [was] the most cruel that ever occurred" (History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, (1910) 1950] 1 :386).

"Nero's mother, Agrippina the younger, daughter of Germanicus and of Agrippina the elder, was assassinated at Nero's command in 60 a.d. in her villa on Lake Lucrine, after an unsuccessful attempt to drown her in a boat so constructed as to break to pieces while she was sailing in it on the lake. His younger brother Britannicus was poisoned by his order at a banquet in 55 a.d. His first wife Octavia was divorced in order that he might marry Poppaea, the wife of his friend Otho, and was afterward put to death. Poppaea herself died from the effects of a kick given her by Nero while she was with child." (footnote to Eusebius, #291)

"We learn from Tacitus, Ann. XV. 39, that Nero was suspected to be the author of the great Roman conflagration, which took place in 64 a.d. (Pliny, H. N. XVII. I, Suetonius, 38, and Dion Cassius LXII. 18, state directly that he was the author of it), and that to avert this suspicion from himself he accused the Christians of the deed, and the terrible Neronian persecution which Tacitus describes so fully was the result. Gibbon, and in recent times especially Schiller (Geschichte der Römischen Kaiserzeit unter der Regierung des Nero, p. 584 sqq.), have maintained that Tacitus was mistaken in calling this a persecution of Christians, which was rather a persecution of the Jews as a whole. But we have no reason for impeaching Tacitus' accuracy in this case, especially since we remember that the Jews enjoyed favor with Nero through his wife Poppaea. What is very significant, Josephus is entirely silent in regard to a persecution of his countrymen under Nero. We may assume as probable (with Ewald and Renan) that it was through the suggestion of the Jews that Nero's attention was drawn to the Christians, and he was led to throw the guilt upon them, as a people whose habits would best give countenance to such a suspicion, and most easily excite the rage of the populace against them. This was not a persecution of the Christians in the strict sense, that is, it was not aimed against their religion as such; and yet it assumed such proportions and was attended with such horrors that it always lived in the memory of the Church as the first and one of the most awful of a long line of persecutions instituted against them by imperial Rome, and it revealed to them the essential conflict which existed between Rome as it then was and Christianity." (footnote to Eusebius, #307)

Sulpicius Severus (403)
"As to Nero, I shall not say that he was the worst of kings, but that he was worthily held the basest of all men, and even of wild beasts. It was he who first began a persecution; and I am not sure but hew will be the last also to carry it on, if, indeed, we admit, as many are inclined to believe, that he will yet appear immediately before the coming of Antichrist. Our subject would induce me to set forth his vices at some length, if it were not inconsistent with the purpose of this work to enter upon so vast a topic. I content myself with the remark, that he showed himself in every way most abominable and cruel, and at length even went so far as to be the murderer of his own mother. After this, he also married a certain Pythagoras in the style of solemn alliances, the bridal veil being put upon the emperor, while the usual dowry, and the marriage couch, and wedding torches, and, in short, all the other observances were forthcoming--things which even in the ease of women, are not looked upon without some feeling of modesty. But as to his other actions, I doubt whether the description of them would excite greater shame or sorrow. He first attempted to abolish the name of Christian, in accordance with the fact that vices are always inimical to virtues, and that all good men are ever regarded by the wicked as casting reproach upon them. For, at that time, our divine religion had obtained a wide prevalence in the city. Peter was there executing the office of bishop, and Paul, too, after he had been brought to Rome, on appealing to Caesar from the unjust judgment of the governor. Multitudes then came together to hear Paul, and these, influenced by the truth which they were given to know, and by the miracles(1) of the apostles, which they then so frequently performed, turned to the worship of God. For then took place the well-known and celebrated encounter of Peter and Paul with Simon.(2) He, after he had flown up into the air by his magical arts, and supported by two demons (with the view of proving that he was a god), the demons being put to flight by the prayers of the apostles, fell to the earth in the sight of all the people, and was dashed to pieces. " (Section XXVIII)

Moses Stuart (1836)
"The idea that Nero was the man of sin mentioned by Paul, and the Antichrist spoken of so often in the epistles of St. John, prevailed extensively and for a long time in the early church.."
"Augustine says: What means the declaration, that the mystery of iniquity already works?... Some suppose this to be spoken of the Roman emperor, and therefore Paul did not speak in plain words, because he would not incur the charge of calumny for having spoken evil of the Roman emperor: although he always expected that what he had said would be understood as applying to Nero." (Excurs. iii.)

Tacitus
"inflicted unheard-of punishments on those who . . . were vulgarly called Christians" (Tacitus, Annals 15:44). Suetonius praises Nero for the persecution of Christians, but mentions no Domitianic persecution (Nero 16).

Merrill C. Tenney (1965)
"Having exhausted the imperial treasury by his heedless expenditures, he looked for some method of replenishing it. Heavy taxation of the estates of childless couples, false accusations followed by confiscation of wealth, and outright murder of the aristocracy or else invitation to suicide made life unbearable. Wealthy men lived in dread of the emperor’s displeasure, and so great was the terror that the senatorial class endured unimaginable insults and mistreatment as the price of staying alive. Men betrayed their best ftiends, perjured themselves, and stooped to any infamy to aver the emperor’s hatred or cupidity." (New Testament Times (Chicago: Moody, 1965, p. 289).

Conclusion

The view I have espoused here may, in all likelihood, run contrary to what you have been previously taught. My encouragement to you, would be to examine this teaching in light of the Scriptures. Bearing in mind John’s original audience (Rev. 1:4,11), his call for their careful consideration (Rev. 1:3; 13:9), and his contemporary expectation (Rev. 1:1, 3).

David Chilton in his book, Days of Vengeance, makes this comment:

“It is significant that ‘all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse, from Irenaeus down to Victorinus of Pettau and Commodian in the fourth, and Andreas in the fifth, and St. Beatus in the eighth century, connect Nero, or some Roman emperor, with the Apocalyptic Beast’. There should be no reasonable doubt about this identification. St. John was writing to first-century Christians, warning them of things that were “shortly” to take place. They were engaged in the most crucial battle of history, against the Dragon and the evil Empire which he possessed. The purpose of the Revelation was to comfort the Church with the assurance that God was in control, so that even the awesome might of the Dragon and the Beast would not stand before the armies of Jesus Christ.”