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The Days of Caesar

Shane Willard

Page 4 of 9
The Jews didn't like this too much, because there's no god but Jehovah; so the Jews called Domitian “the Beast who comes from land and sea”. In 85-90AD, in order to buy and sell - you had to worship, and then take the mark of the Beast. This is about the time when John was in exile on the island of Patmos and started writing about the end times. He's using a present day reality to express a future implication, in the days of Caesar Augustus.

Caesar Augustus - in 17BC, his dad dies, and he ruled the whole world. He was the first person ever to unite the entire world. Since Julius was god, that meant Augustus was the son of god - who ruled the world, and should be worshipped. This is what he said about himself.

He had groups of people engrave his accomplishments on big stone tablets and monuments, and he hung them in the churches all around the empire, so that when people went to church to worship whatever god (there were a lot of different gods around), ultimately the one they saw was Caesar. He put his accolades in worship centres, and he hung them on stone tablets.

The sages called him: the one who was to come, in order to bring salvation, peace on earth and goodwill to all men. They said that he would establish a kingdom of peace, who would free men from all fear. This was all written about Caesar Augustus in 17BC.

In 17BC, a strange star appeared in the sky; so there at his father's funeral basically, and this strange star appeared in the sky. In those days, they employed people to do nothing but look at stars, so when this huge strange star appears in the sky, there was no question that people would notice it. He is at this big party, he has all of these witnesses, and they say: look, there's a strange big star appearing in the sky - and then it shot off.

Caesar Augustus said: that's proof that Julius Caesar was god, and he's ascending to the right hand of the gods. I am the son of god, and therefore now I am god, and should be worshipped. Caesar Augustus substantiated his claims to his god-ness by a strange star in the sky, which appeared in 17BC. His logic went like this: since I am the son of god, therefore I should be worshipped; so he established a 12-day celebration of his birth, which he called ‘Advent’.

At the end of the year, there was a 12-day period of time, where you had to go to celebrate the birth of the son of god, at a season called Advent.

At Advent, Caesar Augustus offered a few things to his followers: first was forgiveness of sins; second was a fresh start, a clean slate for the next year; and third was the opportunity to bring homage and gifts and worship him. Oh, and also everybody put on green and red sweaters with snowmen on them!

Caesar Augustus sets this thing up. Are you following me here, that the historians of that day, that are writing about the belief system of that day, are saying that: Augustus Caesar was the one who would bring salvation, peace on earth, good will to all men, a kingdom of peace who would free men from all fear. He would offer forgiveness and a fresh start to all of his followers who worshipped him. This was the days of Caesar Augustus.

Why wouldn’t God choose these days to reveal Himself in Jesus? For 17 years, He let the Roman Empire shoulder the financing of such horrible and huge marketing propaganda - that there's such a thing as ‘God’, existing in a man - and it went through the entire world!

If you lived in 17BC, and you wanted to get a message out from Spain to India - there's no printing press! There's no internet, mass email, TV, or any kind of mass media. There are town-criers, but that would be a far cry to get it from Spain - by the time that message got from Spain to India you'd have it all messed up.

If you wanted to get a message out to the entire empire, the way they did it was: they printed it on coins. They printed it on their money - because money would find its way through the whole empire very, very quickly.

As people living in 17BC, any time you wanted to know what the government was trying say, you would read your money - and there were messages on the money all the time from the government. It was kind of like a local news bulletin. They'd print it on the money, send it out, and then you'd read your money, and that was the message the government was trying to get you to see.