The Significance of A.D. 312/325 in Bible Prophecy

Eusebius PamphiliusOration in Praise of Constantine “I am filled with wonder at the intellectual greatness of the emperor, who as if by divine inspiration thus expressed what the prophets had foretold concerning this monster” Constantine the Great |”Constantine The Great: Roman Emperor, Christian Saint, History’s Turning Point | The Significance of AD30 | AD70 | AD135 | AD312 | Christian History’s Preterist Assumption

Johann Eichorn | Heinrich Ewald | Hugo Grotius Henry Hammond | Samuel Lee

“This remarkable event (the Edict of Milan) was regarded by Christians of that time, and by Constantine himself, as the fulfillment of the very prophecy before us. (Revelation 20:2)”

“Then came Constantine, his conquests and subsequent emperorship turned the imperial system of Rome upside down. Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 325, which made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Then followed what history books call “The Triumph of Christianity” and “The Rise of the Christian Church” up to the year 460.”



“This remarkable event (the Edict of Milan) was regarded by Christians of that time, and by Constantine himself, as the fulfillment of the very prophecy before us. (Revelation 20:2)”

Isaiah 27:1
“In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

Revelation 12:3
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Revelation 13
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.  4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Eusebius Pamphilius Explains the Labarum
“Chapter III.–Of his Picture surmounted by a Cross and having beneath it a Dragon.

“And besides this, he caused to be painted on a lofty tablet, and set up in the front of the portico of his palace, so as to be visible to all, a representation of the salutary sign placed above his head, and below it that hateful and savage adversary of mankind, who by means of the tyranny of the ungodly had wasted the Church of God, falling headlong, under the form of a dragon, to the abyss of destruction. For the sacred oracles in the books of God’s prophets have described him as a dragon and a crooked serpent; [Especially the book of Revelation, and Isaiah] and for this reason the emperor thus publicly displayed a painted resemblance of the dragon beneath his own and his children’s feet, stricken through with a dart, and cast headlong into the depths of the sea.

In this manner he intended to represent the secret adversary of the human race, and to indicate that he was consigned to the gulf of perdition by virtue of the salutary trophy placed above his head. This allegory, then, was thus conveyed by means of the colors of a picture:    and I am filled with wonder at the intellectual greatness of the emperor, who as if by divine inspiration thus expressed what the prophets had foretold concerning this monster, saying that “God would bring his great and strong and terrible sword against the dragon, the flying serpent; and would destroy the dragon that was in the sea.”   [Isa. xxvii.] This it was of which the emperor gave a true and faithful representation in the picture above described.” (Oration in Praise of Constantine)
“7. And surely this must appear a wondrous fact to those who will examine the question in the love of truth, and desire not to cavil at these blessings. This is a fair appeal, applicable to his present hearers. It at least was true of Constantine’s reign, that it produced a state of relative peace and prosperity. The falsehood of demon superstition was convicted: the inveterate strife and mutual hatred of the nations was removed: at the same time One God, and the knowledge of that God, were proclaimed to all: one universal empire prevailed; and the whole human race, subdued by the controlling power of peace and concord, received one another as brethren, and responded to the feelings of their common nature. Hence, as children of one God and Father, and owning true religion as their common mother, they saluted and welcomed each other with words of peace. Thus the whole world appeared like one well-ordered and united family: each one might journey unhindered as far as and whithersoever he pleased: men might 607securely travel from West to East, and from East to West, as to their own native country: in short, the ancient oracles and predictions of the prophets were fulfilled, more numerous than we can at present cite, and those especially which speak as follows concerning the saving Word. “He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” And again, “In his days shall righteousness spring up; and abundance of peace.” “And they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles: and nation shall not take up sword against nation, neither shall they learn to war any more.”  [Psalm lxxi. 7, 8; Isaiah ii. 4. Septuagint.—Bag.] Psalm lxxii., English version.

8. These words, predicted ages before in the Hebrew tongue, have received in our own day a visible fulfillment, by which the testimonies of the ancient oracles are clearly confirmed. And now, if thou still desire more ample proof, receive it, not in words, but from the facts themselves. Open the eyes of thine understanding; expand the gates of thought; pause awhile, and consider; inquire of thyself as though thou wert another, and thus diligently examine the nature of the case. What king or prince in any age of the world, what philosopher, legislator, or prophet, in civilized or barbarous lands, has attained so great a height of excellence, I say not after death, but while living still, and full of mighty power, as to fill the ears and tongues of all mankind with the praises of his name? Surely none save our only Saviour has done this, when, after his victory over death, he spoke the word to his followers, and fulfilled it by the event, saying to them, “Go ye, and make disciples of all nations in my name.”  Matt. xxviii. 19. There is an interesting various reading here, where Eusebius, with B. as against Aleph, adds something; but where B. and others have ουν, and D. and others have νυν, Eusebius has γουν. He it was who gave the distinct assurance, that his gospel must be preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations, and immediately verified his word: for within a little time the world itself was filled with his doctrine.” (Oration, Chapter XVI.)


David Chidester
“One of Constantine’s ardent supporters, Eusebius (ca. 260 -ca. 339), the bishop of Caesarea, celebrated the emperor as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. By establishing the foundation for a Christian empire, Constantine had fulfilled “the oracles of the holy prophets which long ago cried out, ‘and the saints of the most high God shall receive the kingdom'” (Dan. 7:18). According to Eusebius, therefore, the promise of a Christian kingdom of God was realized on earth through the imperial rule of Constantine.”” (Christianity, p. 95)
Alick Isaaks
“Here in 332 CE The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built by the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine. The “Christianisation” of the city of Jerusalem marked the fulfillment of Jesus’s prophecy that “no stone would remain unturned from the Temple”. On account of Jesus’s words the destruction of the Temple was perceived as punishment for the rejection of Jesus by the Jews.” (Lecture 8 – Christianity and Islam: Jerusalem in the Middle Ages – 1 )

Melvin Rhodes
“Constantine had “not much knowledge of the Bible” (ibid., p. 151). However, he was inadvertently contributing to the fulfillment of biblical prophecies about the Roman Empire and the close relationship that would develop between it, its successors and the church to which it gave recognition.” (Europe and the Church Part 4: Union of Church and State)

Numismatic Chronicle (1877 PDF)
“The type of these pieces and the inscription indicate how the “public hope” was centered in the triumph of the Christian religion over the adversary of mankind — “the great dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan” (Rev. xii. 9 ; xx. 2), and Eusebius tells us how Constantine I had a picture painted of the dragon — the flying serpent — beneath his own and his children’s feet, pierced through the middle with a dart, and cast into the depths of the sea.” (Numismatic Chronicle – Constantine PDF)


“Nor was the time of His passion unaccompanied by like wonders: when the sun was darkened, and the shades of night obscured the light of day. Then terror every where seized the hearts of men, and the thought that the end of all things was already come, and that chaos, such as had been ere the order of creation began, would once more prevail. Then, too, the cause was sought of so terrible an evil, and in what respect the trespasses of men had provoked the wrath of Heaven; until God Himself, who surveyed with dignity and calm contempt the arrogance of the ungodly, renewed the face of heaven, and adorned it with the host of stars; the gloomy sadness of nature disappeared, and her pristine beauty was again restored.” (Oration to the Saints, ch. 11)

Eusebius (A.D.336)
1. And gladly does he accept and welcome this sacrifice, and commend the presenter of so august and noble an offering, by protracting his reign to a lengthened period of years, giving larger proofs of his beneficence in proportion to the emperor’s holy services to himself. Accordingly he permits him to celebrate each successive festival during great and general prosperity throughout the empire, advancing one of his sons, at the recurrence of each decennial period, to a share of his own imperial power.

2. The eldest, who bears his father’s name, he received as his partner in the empire about the close of the first decade of his reign: the second, next in point of age, at the second; and the third in like manner at the thirddecennial period, the occasion of this our present festival. And now that the fourth period has commenced, and the time of his reign is still further prolonged, he desires to extend his imperial authority by calling still more of his kindred to partake his power; and, by the appointment of the Cæsars, fulfills the predictions of the holy prophets, according to what they uttered ages before: “And the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom.”

3. And thus the Almighty Sovereign himself accords an increase both of years and of children to our most pious emperor, and renders his sway over the nations of the world still fresh and flourishing, as though it were even now springing up in its earliest vigor. He it is who appoints him this presentfestival, in that he has made him victorious over every enemy that disturbed his peace: he it is who displays him as an example of true godliness to the human race.

4. And thus our emperor, like the radiant sun, illuminates the most distant subjects of his empire through the presence of the Cæsars, as with the far piercing rays of his own brightness. To us who occupy the eastern regions he has given a son worthy of himself; a second and a third respectively to other departments of his empire, to be, as it were, brilliant reflectors of the light which proceeds from himself. Once more, having harnessed, as it were, under the self-same yoke the four most noble Cæsars as horses in the imperial chariot, he sits on high and directs their course by the reins of holy harmony and concord; and, himself every where present, and observant of every event, thus traverses every region of the world.

5. Lastly, invested as he is with a semblance of heavenly sovereignty, he directs his gaze above, and frames his earthly government according to the pattern of that Divine original, feeling strength in its conformity to the monarchy of God. And this conformity is granted by the universal Sovereign to man alone of the creatures of this earth: for he only is the author of sovereign power, who decrees that all should be subject to the rule of one.

6. And surely monarchy far transcends every other constitution and form of government: for that democratic equality of power, which is its opposite, may rather be described as anarchy and disorder. Hence there is one God, and not two, or three, or more: for to assert a plurality of gods is plainly to deny the being of God at all. There is one Sovereign; and his Word and royal Law is one: a Law not expressed in syllables and words, not written or engraved on tablets, and therefore subject to the ravages of time; but the living and self-subsisting Word, who himself is God, and who administers his Father’s kingdom on behalf of all who are after him and subject to his power.

7. His attendants are the heavenly hosts; the myriads of God’s angelic ministers; the super-terrestrial armies, of unnumbered multitude; and those unseen spirits within heaven itself, whose agency is employed in regulating the order of this world. Ruler and chief of all these is the royal Word, acting as Regent of the Supreme Sovereign. To him the names of Captain, and great High Priest, Prophet of the Father, Angel of mighty counsel, Brightness of the Father’s light, Only begotten Son, with a thousand other titles, are ascribed in the oracles of the sacred writers. And the Father, having constituted him the living Word, and Law and Wisdom, the fullness of all blessing, has presented this best and greatest gift to all who are the subjects of his sovereignty.

8. And he himself, who pervades all things, and is every where present, unfolding his Father’s bounties to all with unsparing hand, has accorded a specimen of his sovereign power even to his rational creatures of this earth, in that he has provided the mind of man, who is formed after his own image, with Divine faculties, whence it is capable of other virtues also, which flow from the same heavenly source. For he only is wise, who is the only God: he only is essentially good: he only is of mighty power, the Parent of justice, the Father of reason and wisdom, the Fountain of light and life, the Dispenser of truth and virtue: in a word, the Author of empire itself, and of all dominion and power. (Eusebius’ Oration In Praise of Constantinechapter 3.)

David Brown
“There is manifestly no difference at all between this case and that which we expect during the millennium over the whole earth. The extent is nothing. The principle is the only thinking of consequence, and who does not see that that is the same in both cases? Yet they build out of this an argument for a new dispensation! As well might one say, that the change which came over the Church when Constantine extended to it the protection of the empire, was a new dispensation. (Comapre Isa. xi. 9; ii. 3, 4; xxxii. 15﹣18.) ” (Christ’s Second Coming: Is It Premillennial? ch. 6)
Jonathan Edwards
“This revolution was the greatest revolution and change in the face of things that ever came to pass in the world since the flood.  Satan, the prince of darkness, that king and god of the heathen world, was cast out.   The roaring lion was conquered by the Lamb of God in the strongest dominion that ever he had, even the Roman Empire.” (Work of Redemption, Period 3, Section 2)


Robert Arakaki
“Constantine’s legacy can be seen in Christianity’s transformation from a private sect into a public church that encompassed the whole of society. He put it on an institutional footing, which enabled the Church to be the leading cultural force in the ancient world. The Christianization of Roman society can be seen as a partial fulfillment of Revelation 21:24: “The nations . . . shall walk in its [New Jerusalem] light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” The Church is the New Jerusalem—replacing the Jerusalem of the Old Testament—which brings spiritual enlightenment to the pagan nations throughout the Roman Empire.” (Constantine The Great: Roman Emperor, Christian Saint, History’s Turning Point)

David Chagall (2001)
“Beginning in the third century, a counter doctrine began to develop in Rome.  This taught that with the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, God revoked the chosenness of Israel and gave the original covenantal blessings to the Church.  Further, these usurpers claimed that at that time (AD70), Christ did return in spirit to rule and reign on planet earth from the heavenly throne room.

This doctrine was certified by the Emperor Constantine in 325 AD, who saw Christ reigning through the Roman Catholic Church and empire Rome had established.   It was given intellectual justification by the Roman lawyer Augustine of Hippo.   According to the new doctrine of final things, all biblical prophecies in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, Luke 21, and the book of Revelation were totally fulfilled in the first century with the sole exception of the new heavens and earth to descend from heaven for creation’s eternal state (Rev. 21 and 22).” (Does God Predestine People to go to Hell?)

David Chidester
“One of Constantine’s ardent supporters, Eusebius (ca. 260 -ca. 339), the bishop of Caesarea, celebrated the emperor as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. By establishing the foundation for a Christian empire, Constantine had fulfilled “the oracles of the holy prophets which long ago cried out, ‘and the saints of the most high God shall receive the kingdom'” (Dan. 7:18). According to Eusebius, therefore, the promise of a Christian kingdom of God was realized on earth through the imperial rule of Constantine.”” (Christianity, p. 95)

David Hocking (2005)
“Preterists believe that the promise of our Lord’s Second Coming began to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Some believe that the prophecies mentioned above were fulfilled in the Second Century AD at the time of the Second Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire at the time of Emperor Hadrian. Some preterists hold that the prophecies were fulfilled during the first three centuries AD as God wages war on the enemies of the Church (which they argue include Israel and Rome!) resulting in the “Christianization” of the Roman Empire under Constantine.” (What is Preterism?)

Tommy Ice (1999)
“There are at least three kinds of preterism. For lack of better terms we will call them mild, moderate, and extreme. MILD preterism teaches that the Book of Revelation was fulfilled during the first three centuries as God waged war on the two early enemies of the church: Israel and Rome. The first half of Revelation teaches that Israel was defeated in A.D. 70, while the last half of Revelation is about God’s conquest of Rome in the fourth century when Constantine declared the Roman Empire Christian. Thus, this earliest form of preterism teaches that Revelation was fulfilled in the first 300 years of the church’s history.

MODERATE preterists believe that almost all prophecy was fulfilled in the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. They do believe that a few passages still teach a yet future second coming (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) and the resurrection of believers at Christ’s bodily return.

EXTREME preterists, or consistent preterists, as they prefer to be known as, hold that all future Bible prophecy was fulflled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. If there is a future second coming, they say, the Bible does not talk about it. Extreme preterists believe that there is no future bodily resurrection, which place them outside the realm of Christian orthodoxy

  1. Hampton Keithly
    Preterist is from a Latin word meaning “past.” This school of thought sees Revelation as already fulfilled in the early history of the church by 312 A.D. with the conversion of Constantine. Note the spiritualizing nature of their interpretations: Revelation 5-11 is a record of the church’s victory over Judaism; Revelation 12-19 is record of her victory over Rome; and Revelation 20-22 is record of the glory of the church. The persecutions of Revelation, it is claimed, are those of Nero and Domitian and all was fulfilled by the time of Constantine (312 A.D.).”

Clarence Larkin (1920)
“The “Mustard Tree” began with the 120 believers who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Penteecost and continued to enlarge until its branches spread all over the Roman world.  But the “Birds of the Air,” the Ananiases and Sapphiras, the Hymeneus and Philetus and other emissaries of Satan, began to lodge in its branches and “befoul” its purity, and when in A.D. 324 the Emperor Constantine united Church and State, thousands, and tens of thousands, crowded into the church as a matter of policy, interest and fashion, and crouched beneath its shadow, lodged in its branches, fattened on its fruit, and have continued to do so until this day.” (Dispensational Truth)

David MacDonald
“Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops. I tell you my friends, do not fear those who kill the body and after that can do nothing more. (Lk 12:3-4) This Scripture passage was not only a command, it was a prophesy of things to come, and it did not come to pass until Constantine made Christianity “legal.” It’s pretty hard to proclaim the Good News from a housetop if someone comes along and arrests you and kills you when you preach! It is clear that the persecution of Christians in the Roman empire was not what Jesus wanted and that it had to change. Constantine was the fulfillment of prophecy (Lk 12:3-4). ”

William Smith (1874)
“Immediately after the triumph of Constantine, Christianity having become dominant and prosperous, Christians began to lose their vivid expectation of our Lord’s speedy advent, and to look upon the temporal supremacy of Christianity as a fulfillment of the promised reign of Christ on earth.” (“New Testament History,” p. 273 14-20,24)


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