The Book Of Acts

In the Book of Acts we see the same pattern again, though not quite as clear. In this case the three characters are Stephen, Paul and Caesar Nero.

Stephen's ministry has some parallels with John the Baptist's. He had a great impact in his time and ended up being martyred.

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. Acts 6:89

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7: 58-59

His ministry was followed by that of Saul as he became Paul. So Paul was raised up and had a ministry that was greater that Stephens, just as Elisha's was greater than Elijah's and Jesus' was greater than John's. Paul was the new prophet, and he proclaimed Jesus and the new king in his ministry to the gentiles. Since Jehu is a figure of Jesus in the second coming, each instance of this pattern has Jesus as King.

As the Lord spoke of him in Acts 9:

... for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. Acts 9:15-16

Near the end of Paul's ministry we see how Paul ends up being sent to Caesar.

While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.

For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go. Acts 25:8, 10-12

Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar. Acts 26:32

So what happened here is that when Paul said : I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, it was the same as when Jesus said to Judas That thou doest, do quickly. Paul was giving Caesar permission to carry out judgment against him, just as Jesus gave Judas permission.

"Caesar' has the meaning of "severed". The Caesars referred to in the New Testament are.

1. Augustus Luke 2:1

2. Tiberius Luke 3:1 20:22

3. Claudius Acts 11:28

4. Nero Acts 25:8 Philippians 4:22

Nero was the Caesar that Paul went before and who had him martyred. The name Nero, interestingly enough, is said to have a numeric of 666.

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