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The Days of Caesar

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 9
But the problem with their empire was in the way they ruled it. There's a couple of ways that you can try to rule the world, but the way they chose to rule the world was through terror and oppression.

For example, there was a Roman general called Germanicus, who conquered the entire east side of the Roman Empire. The way he did that was by enslaving anyone of a different race - so if the colour of your skin was any different than the Romans then they would enslave you. Some say he took as many as 30 million slaves. He went in with swords, and if you agreed to be their slave – fine; but if you didn't, they would just kill you.

There was another general named Pompey and in his tenure as a Roman general, he took 12 million slaves. There was another general named Titus, who conquered Jerusalem, and took 500 people a day as slaves. One of the things Titus for amusement (because his men would get bored) is, they would put crosses up, and they would nail people to crosses in weird positions for amusement.

A Roman general named Cassius enslaved 30,000 people, in a town called Magdala. Then he changed the law in Magdala, and said that Magdala was going to be the headquarters of the Roman soldiers. Every person (particularly women) were now ‘Roman property'; and the Roman soldiers could do anything they wanted with those women, without any fear of recompense or consequences.

Can anybody think of a disciple Jesus had, from Magdala? Mary Magdalene! She'd been raped and used so many times by the Roman soldiers, that when she finally shows up to Jesus, she's completely full of devils - until Jesus sets her free.

In the days of Caesar Augustus, there was a Roman general named Varus; and in 14AD, Varus went into a city called Sapphirus; and Sapphirus determined that we were not going to bow to the wants of the Roman Empire. So he took his platoon in there, and what they would say: get your coins out everybody!

So everybody would get their coins out, and on the coins it would say: Caesar is lord. They'd say can you say that; and you're a good Jew? There's no God but Jehovah - so if you can’t say ‘Caesar is lord’, then they would just enslave you. Cassius had people outside putting crosses in the ground, so if you could not say ‘Caesar is lord’, they would take you outside and crucify you, in front of your whole neighbourhood.

This was the Roman general Varus, but in 14AD he went into a town called Sapphirus, and Sapphirus decided: we're not going to do that. There were 2,000 people living there, and Varus went in and crucified 2,000 people in one day, because they wouldn't say ‘Caesar is lord’.

Can you think of anybody who was 14 years old, in 14AD? Jesus - and He grew up in a town called Nazareth, which is only 800 metres from Sapphirus! So when Jesus was 14 years old, likely He would have heard the screams of 2,000 people, and the panic in His own town, of 2,000 people being crucified in a day, in the days of Caesar Augustus.

In 18AD Varus burned down a town called Emmaus; so when Paul was on the road to Emmaus... Just a few years before, Varus had burned that city to the ground, because they refused to bow to the Roman Empire.

So the Roman Empire was ruled by these generals, who were ruled by the Caesars. The Caesars were ruling the Roman Empire, and the first Caesar was a guy named Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar said he was god.

By the way, you'll see a running pattern here: all the Caesars said they were god. You cannot rule the world with just political power. You can't rule the world with a gun. Everybody's tried it - it's never worked, ever.

In order to rule the world, you have to have: a political power; and a religious power - you need to have both to rule the world; so these guys tried to combine both - and obviously we know that the one combination of all those is Jesus Christ, because He is both: prophet, priest and king.

He will rule the world one day fine, because He will combine: the political power, a kingly anointing; with that of a priestly anointing - and that is what it takes to rule the world.