Antiochus and Constantine were two men with the same agenda. One lived about 200 years before Jesus birth and the other lived about 300 years after Jesus death. Both of these men were Pagan Emperors, one was Greek the other was Roman. They both hated the Jewish people, and wanted to unify their Empire by assimilating all religions into a single faith. Antiochus tried to force all Jews to join the Greek religion, but the Jewish people rebelled against him. Constantine was smarter than Antiochus, and he decided to merge the Pagan religion into the Christian faith, the pagans were much more likely to adapt to a new religion than the Christians would be, and he made it easy for the Pagans to identify with the new religion by keeping their festivals and holy days the same, he even kept the temples and priesthood – just giving them new names.
Many Christians celebrate Constantine as a hero of the church, but a look at his actions will reveal the truth that he was in fact just another “antichrist”, someone who opposes God, God’s Word, and God’s people. To better understand what it means to oppose God and to see a perfect example of an “antichrist”, we first need to take a look at Antiochus Epiphanes.
History proves that Antiochus was the one prophesied about in the book of Daniel that would desecrate the temple and claim to be god. It was prophesied that he would set himself against everything that belongs to God or is called by God’s name. He outlawed Sabbath worship and the Biblical Festivals, and killed anyone caught doing them. He ordered that any copy of the Torah that is found was to be burned, and he outlawed circumcision and killed anyone who was caught circumcising their children. He also setup an idol to Zeus in the Temple of God, and offered a pig on the alter in the Temple.
The following list represents what could be called the “Laws of Antiochus”, because these are the laws that he established during his rule.
- Thou shall profane the Sabbath
- Thou shall change the set times (festivals) and laws
- Thou shall set up idols
- Thou shall eat unclean animals
- Thou shall not circumcise
- Thou shall forget Torah
“He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time…” (Daniel 7:25) “…And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:27)
It is interesting that these are the very same things that Constantine said and did after he took over the church.
- Constantine said everyone must work on the Sabbath and worship on the “venerable day of the sun“
- Constantine ordered that no one celebrate Jewish (Biblical) festivals, but must observe the festivals he decreed (Easter, Christmas, etc)
- Constantine erected idols of worship (“Christian” icons)
- Converts were forced to eat pork to “prove” their conversion
- Constantine banned circumcision
- Constantine’s actions intentionally broke many of the Biblical laws, and as a result, people forgot the Torah (it became less important than the New Testament writings, and considered obsolete by most christians)
Jesus prophesied that another (antichrist) like Antiochus would appear:
“Now when you see the abomination that causes desolation standing where it ought not to be (let the reader understand the allusion) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Mark 13:14)
This is an obvious reference to the events that Daniel prophesied about concerning Antiochus. Jesus was saying that another like Antiochus will come and do the same kinds of things. Could it be that Jesus was prophesying about Constantine? He did almost exactly the same things that Antiochus did (except the Temple had been destroyed, so he could not desecrate the physical Temple). He caused people to worship the cross, Mary, and the Saints. Statues (idols) were erected of Mary and the Saints. The worship Holy Days (holidays) of the pagans were merged into Christianity, and thus christians began worshipping God in the same ways that the pagans worshiped their gods.
Take a look at a comparison of the things that Antiochus and Constantine did during their rule.
Antiochus vs Constantine
- Antiochus – declared himself to be god
- Constantine – was called “Divus Constantine”, meaning divine or god.
- Antiochus – hated the Jewish people and persecuted and killed many of them
- Constantine – hated the Jewish people and persecuted and killed many of them
- Antiochus – outlawed the Sabbath and Biblical festivals
- Constantine – outlawed the Sabbath and Biblical festivals
- Antiochus – tried to assimilate God’s people into paganism (to destroy faith in God)
- Constantine – successfully assimilated paganism with God’s people (making a mutated faith, essentially destroying the true faith)
- Antiochus – tried to force God’s people to eat pork (unclean animals)
- Constantine – forced Christian “converts” to eat pork
- 312 AD – Constantine claims to have converted to Christianity
- 313 AD – Constantine developed the Edict of Milan, proclaiming religious toleration
- 315 AD – Constantine built the Arch of Constantine (decorated with Pagan gods and sacrifices)
- 321 AD – Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun
- 325 AD – Constantine summoned the Council of Nicaea to establish orthodoxy
- 325 AD – Constantine replaced Passover with Easter (named after the goddess Ēostre)
- 326 AD – Constantine had his oldest son put to death and later had his wife killed too
- 336 AD – Constantine led the first “Christian Crusade” against Persia
- 337 AD – Constantine became very seriously ill (shortly after the Easter festival)
- 337 AD – Constantine requested to be baptized (knowing he would soon die)