Friday, May 27, 2011


The meaning of the title Caesar is still unknown. It was a military/imperial title first adopted by the Roman monarch Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), a man prophecied in Daniel 11:17-19, where the 7th month in our Western Gregorian calendar, July, is named after him. The title was later adopted by successive Roman Emperors. European slavonic rulers and Russian and German emperors also titled themselves Caesar.  In Russia they were called Tsars or Czar and in Germany the emperors were titled Kaiser. 

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Luke 2:1

Statue of Augustus Caesar in the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy

Bust of Augustus Caesar in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Two artefacts of Caesar Augustus in the British Museum in London, England

One of the great turning points of history was the rise of two kingdoms, whose goals were destined to clash.  The conflict still exists today and it will be the deciding factor at the close of earth’ history.  Caius Octavius (B.C. 63 – A.D. 14) was the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar and principal heir to his huge fortune.  He adopted the imperial title of his stepfather, Caesar, and was also titled Augustus by the Roman Senate in 27 B.C., where the eighth month in our western Gregorian calendar is named after him (August).  After Julius Caesar’ untimely and brutal murder and after August Caesar completed his military studies, he raised an army, defeated his foes and changed the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.  He had ‘forty-five legions of infantry, 25,000 horseman, and 40,000 light-armed troops acknowledged him as their general and 600 war-ships sailed under his flag.’ (1)

At the zenith of his career, a revolution was taking place in his Empire in Palestine, a revolution that was going to transform lives such as never seen before.  The God-man Jesus Christ, Prince Immanuel, the Lamb of God, our High Priest, the Holy One of Israel, the Prince of Peace reconciled heaven back to earth which shook the foundations of the Roman Empire (Acts 17:6, 7).  What is exceptionally interesting is that both Jesus Christ and Caesar Augustus were prophesied, but while Caesar is briefly mentioned in one verse in the book of Daniel, the whole of the Old Testament is illuminated from Genesis to Malachi with the prophecies of the coming Messiah.

Caesar Augustus
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
Deuteronomy 18:15
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed neither in anger, nor in battle.
Daniel 11:20
And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luke 24:44
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Luke 2:1, 2

What would be the results of these two revolutions?  Augustus Caesar was to create a kingdom/heaven on earth with a vast idolatrous pagan revival.  Jesus said that ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18:36) and while Adam started a revolution by rebelling against God, Jesus started a counter-revolution to restore mankind back to the God and to prepare individuals for His eternal kingdom in the earth made new.  When we see what Caesar Augustus did, it is very interesting to observe.

He devoted his whole energies to the task of recreating the old spirit of Rome and identifying it with the maintenance of the new constitution.  And he began by making the metropolitan city itself worthy of the Empire of which it was the centre.  During his reign Rome was in great measure rebuilt.  It was his famous boast that found it a city of brick and left it a city of marble: “Urbem marmoream se relinquere latericium accepiset.”  In the new forum there arose the magnificent temple to Mars the Avenger, vowed by Augustus himself during the battle of Philippi, and regarded by him with special veneration.  He erected the temple to thundering Jupiter on the Capitol to commemorate his narrow escape from being struck by lightning in Spain, and the great temple of Apollo on the Palatine as a thank-offering for “the crowning mercy” of Actium.  Magnificent colonnades connected it with two adjoining marble halls, containing the first public library in the city, wherein were placed the writings of all the best Greek and Latin authors.  He had raised the glorious Pantheon; and near at hand was the temple of Poseidon, founded to commemorate his many naval victories.  The restoration of the Roman religion became one of the ruling passions of his life…because he himself was religiously minded.  He increased the number of the sacred colleges, added to their dignities, swelled their endowments, and bestowed marks of special favour upon the Vestal Virgins.  Anciently priestly foundations and ceremonies which had fallen upon evil days, such as the Augury of the Public Welfare, the Priesthood of Jupiter, the Festival of the Lupercalia, and the Secular and Compitalician Games, he refounded and reorganised.  He restored the worship of the Lares, the minor deities of the street and the home, by raising three hundred little shrines at the crossways and street corners of the city, and by ordering that twice a year, in spring and summer, their modest altars should be adorned with flowers.  Due honour to the gods, both great and small, such was the cordial principal of Augustus, in dealing with religion.  It is one of the strongest facts in history that just as the period when there was born in Palestine the founder of Christianity, which was destined to destroy paganism, there should have taken place a marked revival of the old religion.  Its genuiness is beyond argument. (2)

Two other monarchs who were also mentioned in the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures succeeded Augustus. They are Tiberius Caesar and Claudius Caesar. It was in the reign of Tiberius that Jesus was officially anointed by the Holy Spirit to be ‘the Messias, which is being interpreted the Christ’ (John 1:41), which according to chronologists using Ptolemy’ Canon, the Grecian Era, or the Olympiads, the Roman Era, the Chaldean Era and our vulgar era, the four eras that are used by chronologists, took place in AD 27.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrach of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanius the tetrarch of came to pass that Jesus also being baptized and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descending in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.  And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age...
Luke 3:1, 21, 22, 23

Tiberius Caesar in the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy

Tiberius Caesar’ bust on display in the British Museum in London, England

The description Contemporary historians gave of the character of Tiberius Caesar, is an exact prophetic description the prophet Daniel wrote when he called he described him as ‘a vile person’, 500 years before in the reign of Darius, the Persian monarch.

And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
Daniel 11:21, 22

‘At the death of Augustus Caesar, a portion of the imperial army, called the Pannonian legions, refused to acknowledge the authority of Tiberius as successor to Augustus, and were in a state of revolt, till an eclipse [of the moon] – which occurred a few days after the death of Augustus – frightened them into their duty. This eclipse occurred September 27, u. c. 767 A.D. 14. (3) 

‘Tiberius was born in Rome in the year 42 B.C. He died, at the age of seventy-eight, in A.D. 37. In other words, his life was divided into two by the most memorable happening in human history: the space of time intervening between the birth and death of Christ.                                                                                                                                             

We see him, as the representative man of his time, passing over the highest peak of history; a single day, the day of the drama of Calvary, that seemed just like any other day, but was to become the nucleus of his history and legend. The stars, which predicted so many things to him, could not tell him that.                                                                                              

Tacitus, who saw him close enough and through the eyes of genius, has given the best definition of his character. ‘His behaviour,’ says Tacitus, ‘varied in accordance with his age.’ He was ‘a mixture of good and bad until his mother’s death. Dion calls him a prince of good and bad qualities at one and the same time.’ So he is depicted by Pliny the elder: ‘the saddest of men’; ‘a ruler at once austere and sociable,’ who ‘in his later years turned stern and cruel.’ (4)

The Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar was succeeded by Claudius Caesar (10 B.C. – A.D.54), titled Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus. It was during his reign (A.D. 41-54) that the ‘disciples were first called Christians in Antioch’ (Acts 12:26-28) where his name is recorded in the the book of Acts.

Claudius Caesar in the British Museum in London, England

Claudius Caesar in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

‘Ill-health, unattractive appearance, clumsiness of manner and coarseness of taste did not recommend him for a public life. (5) He was the son of Nero Drusus, was born in Lyons Aug. 1. B.C. 9 or 10, and lived private and unknown till the day of his being called to the throne, January 24, A.D. 41.  He was nominated to the supreme power mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa the First. In the reign of Claudius there were several famines, arising from unsavouvourable harvests, and one such occurred in Palestine and Syria (Acts xi. 28-30). Claudius was induced by a tumult of the Jews in Rome, to expel them from the city (Acts xviii. 2). After a weak and foolish reign he was poisoned by his fourth wife Agrippina, the mother of Nero, Oct. 13, A.D. 54.’ (6)

The Roman Empire gets a place in the canon of the Holy Scriptures, for it was in that era that the gospel was born and it even spread farther than the boundaries of that Empire. The Holy Scriptures that are highly discredited and undermined in our post-modern age has been proven to be accurate, both historically and prophetically by the brush of the archaeologist.

Source: (1) August Caesar by John Frith p.125; (2) Ibid pp. 201, 202, 203, 206, 207; (3) Sacred Chronology by Sylvester Bliss p.179; (4) Tiberius by Gregorio Maranon pp. 7, 8, 23; (5) Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. v. p.886; (6) A Concise History of the Bible by William Smith p.167

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