Now most scholars think that Revelation was written at the end of the first century duringthe reign of the Roman Emperor, Domitian. (A.D. 81-96). Throughout the ages emperors liked tobe thought of as gods. It always helps to push your political agenda through if you have somedivinity in your blood! But Domitian took emperor worship to a new level. He was obsessedwith people worshipping him. One history website said this about Domitian...
Demanding that people worship him as a god, Domitian insisted on being called “Lord”and “God” by everyone, including his wife. FollowtheRabbi.com
And a historian of the time said this...For he [Domitian] ... insisted upon being regarded as a god and took vast pride in being
called ‘master’ and god. These titles were used not merely in speech but also in written
documents. (Cary 1995: 349). Dio Cassius, in his Roman HistoryDomitian had temples built throughout the Roman Empire to worship him. He set it up as a
competition. Whichever city had the most temples got the title “neokoros” or “keeper of worship”. And with that title came all kinds of tax dollars and benefits for the city. He
was asmart guy. He used the economy to get people to worship him.
The city of Ephesus won the contest. They were designated the “neokoros” of the RomanEmpire. Let’s take a look at a couple maps. Note map of Asia. Ephesus. Domitian Temple. Look
at the columns. Each column has a god carved into it and signified that Domitian was greaterthan all the gods combined. On the top was a twenty-seven-foot-tall statue of Domitian. (ShowStatue)Let me read from followtherabbi.com again...Anyone approaching the city by sea or by land could see the temple and its statue andknow that the Ephesians as a whole believed Domitian to be king of the gods. Along the
city streets, altars reminded the people of Domitian’s lordship and their allegiance to him.
Once a year,
the people had to say publicly in front of the altar, “Caesar is Lord”. Anyonewho didn’t recognize Domitian’s lordship, including no doubt the early Christians who
acknowledged the lordship of God alone, was subject to death. FollowtheRabbi.comThis is how one man described Domitian at the time...He [Domitian] was a madman, blind to the true meaning of his position, who used thearena for collecting charges of high treason, who felt himself slighted and scorned if wefailed to pay homage to his gladiators, taking any criticism of them to himself and seeinginsults to his own godhead and divinity; who deemed himself the equal of the gods ... InPanegyricus (33.4), Pliny the Younger (ca. AD 61
113)Some have said that in order to be able to either buy or sell food or goods that a person was firstrequired to offer incense to Domitian and then they got a mark on their hand allowing them tobuy and sell. And there was a large water fountain in Ephesus dedicated to Domitian. Anyonewho drank from the fountain was acknowledging that Domitian was the source of life.