Some authorities hold the view that Galerius, rather than Diocletian, was the instigator of the persecution. "It is not without a deep moral significance," claims ProfessorWilliam Bright in The Age of the Fathers, "that the supreme effort of the pagan world-power to trample out the life of the Kingdom that is not of this world should bear the name of Diocletian, rather than of its true originator Galerius." Yet, even within the tetrarchy, Diocletian retained supreme control, as writer Stephen Williams asserts: "There is no doubt that Diocletian had control of every major policy in the Empire until 304, and has the major responsibility for the persecution until that date." Diocletian fell sick and eventually relinquished control in 305C.E. For some six years thereafter, the continuing persecution reflected Galerius' bitter hatred of all things Christian.
These horrific events early in the fourth century confirm what had been predicted by the apostles Paul and Peter, as well as other inspired writers. The foretold "man of lawlessness,"the ruling clergy class of professed Christians, was already entrenched, as Diocletian's edicts, particularly the second, testify. (2Thessalonians 2:3,4; Acts 20:29,30; 2Peter 2:12) By the fourth century, apostate practices were already commonplace. ...Show more