Warning Generations of Christians: Tertullian and the Purpose of Revelation!
Tertullian sat with pen in hand amused as usual with th(e paradox before him. The Roman Empire was the great persecutor of the Christian faith. Yet, the Book of Revelation offered a strange “prediction”. In the future, God would use the Roman Empire to PRESERVE the Church and civilization.
Tertullian was the famous early Church father (200 A.D. ) who gave us the word “Trinity”, a word answering the need to capture the apparent paradox of the “Three Persons – One God” concept found all throughout Scripture.
This fiery defender of the faith relished challenges to Truth and Justice. He would incessantly poke his satirical quill in the proverbial eye of Roman pride. His pen captured the essence of their hypocrisy:
You Romans take such pride in your heroes. You celebrate them for their deeds of “valor” in your parades, statues, mythical tales retold as adorned as “glorious histories”.
In contrast, the Christians, whom you persecute daily in the arenas, show an unflagging courage as they fight lions, endure torments while maintaining their faith, forgiving their oppressors.
Even he was amused by the irony that God would use the Mighty Roman Empire to save the Church it had attempted to crush. Tertullian would write:
There is also another and a greater necessity for our offering prayer in behalf of the emperors, nay, for the complete stability of the empire, and for Roman interests in general. For we know a mighty shock impending over the whole earth – in fact, the very end of all things threatening dreadful woes – is only retarded by the continued existence of the Roman empire…
We pray too for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the ... consummation.
The fact is, Revelation predicted that the Roman Empire would save civilization and the existence of an increasingly apostate Church, as Satan would pour his wrath in the form of massive "flooding"! The Early Church knew that the Bible taught extensively of the "floods of ungodly men". - II Samuel 22:5; Psa. 18:4
Tertullian speaks of it as a common practice for Christians, throughout the empire, to pray for the emperors and the peace and protection of the Roman Empire. Christians in that age of the Early Church believed in a coming cataclysm for the world which only the Roman Empire could oppose.
But HOW could Christians arrive at such a shockingly powerful belief, a belief that would turn to fact in the hands of such adroit Roman Generals as Stilicho and Aetius?
One theme of this Book of Revelation is a simple, yet profound one: Christians have in their possession an ADVANCED WARNING FROM THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL BOOK IN THE WORLD… THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION OF JOHN THE APOSTLE! Each generation of the Church of Christ has access to those warnings from God.
The Christian Church and the Roman Empire were locked in mortal combat for the heart of civilization, yet Christians, from Revelation, also had advance knowledge that God had ordained Rome would be the only PROTECTION for the preservation of Church of Christ and civilization at some time in the future.
How Did the Early Church KNOW about an Impending Catastrophe over 300 Years Ahead?
Find out How the Early Church KNEW from Revelation about the impending barbarian invasions that crippled all of Europe... and HOW they knew Rome would battle the "floods" of vicious barbarians and save Christianity in its compromised position. Early Christians also knew this catastrophe would destroy "Old Rome" (Roman Empire of the Caesars) and would lead to the rise of a perverse series of empires - which began in 476 AD, the same year the Old Empire "died". Find out HOW the Ealy Church knew all this... and more.