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There is much confusion out there as to what the 1260 day prophecies of Daniel and Revelation point to, which is why we have done this study page in a hope that we can clearly show the truth regarding this time period. Much of the confusion comes from the wrong belief that the book of Revelation and the last 4 or 5 chapters of Daniel are dealing with the very last days, known as the 'futurist' interpretation. Amazingly, this interpretation results in a belief that God did not prophesy anything for the past 2000 years! Really? Bible prophecy is silent concerning the past 2000 years and has nothing to say about the dark ages of Papal rule and persecution? This cannot be, and if we read the very first words of the book of Revelation, we can see that this viewpoint is completely wrong:

Revelation 1:1,3 ...'The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John ... Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.'

John wrote the book of Revelation in the first century after Christ, saying that the things God gave him to write were to 'shortly come to pass.' In other words, the book of Revelation was to begin being fulfilled not long after John. This proves the historical view of studying prophecy is the right way, and shows the futurist view to be wrong. So with this in mind, let us look at the first mention of the 1260 day prophecy.

Daniel 7:23-25 ...'Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.'

So this is the first mention of the 1260 day prophecy. But how do we know that a 'time, times and dividing of time' refers to 1260 days? Well, if you look at Daniel 4:23-25, king Nebuchadnezzar was told that a 'seven times' amount of time was pronounced upon him to be as the beasts of the field, and it is well accepted, including being confirmed by Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, ch.10), that this seven times represented seven years. So a 'time' is one year, a 'times' is two years, and a 'dividing of time' is half a year. This equates to three and a half years, or 1260 days. We also know this because we have the same time prophecy given in Revelation 12:14, where the 'woman' (saints of God) were driven into the wilderness for a 'time, times and half a time.' But in verse 6 of Revelation 12, we are given the specific time period for the woman being in the wilderness of 'a thousand two hundred and threescore days' (1260 days). So we have proof enough that this time, times and half a time equates to 1260 days.

But this is prophetic time and God has given us an instruction of how to interpret prophetic time:

Ezekiel 4:4-6 ...'Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.'

Numbers 14:34 ...'After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.'

So we know when we are dealing with prophetic time, we need to use the day for a year principle that God laid out. The 'seven times' upon Nebchadnezzar was not prophetic time, it was simply a time of judgment upon the king for his pride, to humble him. Thus the seven times upon Nebuchadnezzar was a literal seven years. But in chapter 7, Daniel was given a prophecy of the future and therefore we must use the prophetic time formula of a day for a year. Many accept this formula when we come to the '70 weeks' of Daniel 9, so we must be consistent in our interpretation of prophetic time. But we can also confirm this in another way.

There are many people who believe the prophecy of Daniel 7 is dealing with the last days - our time today, and they believe the four beasts of Daniel 7 are four end time kingdoms, like England, Russia, America, etc. This is the 'futurist' interpretation of prophecy, which is error, and I will show you why. Do you remember what Daniel was told in verse 23 concerning the fourth beast? Let's take another look:

Daniel 7:23 ...'Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.'

Do you see what this is saying? Can the fourth beast be an end time nation like England, or Russia, or America? Not a chance! Why? Because we are told that the fourth beast would be the FOURTH KINGDOM UPON EARTH. What does it mean by the 'fourth kingdom'? It means the fourth nation which would have complete rule over the known world. Friend, this prophecy of Daniel 7 is clearly a prophecy that goes side by side with the prophecy of Daniel 2 of Nebuchadnezzar's image. In Daniel 2:37-38, Daniel tells king Nebuchadnezzar that he has been given power over all the earth. Then Daniel confirms that three other kingdoms will arise to also 'rule over all the earth' (vs.39). So when Daniel is told in chapter 7 that the fourth beast shall be 'the fourth kingdom upon earth', it is referring to the fourth kingdom from Babylon that would reign over the world. This cannot be an end time kingdom, but must be the very same kingdom as the FOURTH 'iron legs' kingdom on Nebuchadnezzar's image - which was ROME. Also, you will notice from Daniel 7:7 that the fourth beast has 'IRON teeth.'

Do you see this friend? This is so important to understand, because if you get this wrong, your whole understanding of Bible prophecy will end up being in error. These 4 beasts of Daniel 7 cannot be end time kingdoms, because the 4th beast is the 4th world ruling kingdom since Babylon - which was ROME.

Now, going back to what I said about being able to confirm another way that the 1260 days ('time, times and half a time') has to be 1260 years. We now know that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 is the Roman Empire, and in verses 7-8 we are told that ten horns come out of this beast, with another 'little horn' coming up among them. In verse 24 of Daniel 7, we are told that the ten horns are 'ten kings' that arise from this fourth beast nation (Rome). And the 'little horn' is another king which arises among them. So what could this be pointing to? Well, what happened to the Roman Empire when it fell? It split into the original ten tribes (kingdoms) of Europe, which matches the ten toes on the feet of the image in Daniel 2. But who is this 'little horn' which comes up among them? Well, verse 21, 24 and 25 tell us that this little horn was given power to overcome the saints of God. So all we need to find out is who gained power over the nations after the Roman Empire fell? What does history confirm?

"The Popes filled the place of the vacant emperors at Rome, inheriting their power, prestige and titles from Paganism. Constantine left all to the Bishop of Rome ... The Papacy is but the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon it's grave.." (Stanley's HISTORY, p.40, as quoted in Charlene R. Fortsch, Daniel: Understanding the Dreams and Visions, p.105)

"In 330 A. D. Constantine removed his capital from Rome to Constantinople. The ancient city was left to the papal power and the pope occupied in Rome a throne higher than any occupied by the Caesars. Constantine laid the foundation of the papacy; but it remained for Justinian to complete the edifice in 533 A.D., by declaring that memorable decree which constituted the pope the head of all the churches." (S.N.Haskell, Seer of Patmos, 1905, p.229)

History confirms that the Popes and Papal Church of Rome received the 'seat of power' from the Roman Empire.

The book of Revelation also confirms this, which you can see on our page - WHO IS THE 7 HEADED BEAST OF REVELATION?

So the fourth beast is the Roman Empire and the little horn that arises from the Roman Empire is Papal Rome. History confirms that the bishop of Rome received power over all the churches and the nations in 533AD after emperor Justinian decreed the pope to be head of all churches. But this could not be fully realized until those three opposing horns (barbarian tribes - Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths) were destroyed. The last of those three 'plucked up horns' were destroyed in 538AD.

"It was in A. D. 533 that Justinian issued this decree declaring the Bishop of Rome head of the church and 'corrector of heretics;' but it was not until five years later that the last of the three Arian powers that opposed the pretensions of the Pope was destroyed and driven from before Rome. From this date, A. D. 538, for twelve hundred and sixty years, or until 1798, when the Papacy was temporarily abolished by the French, the Pope held sway over the people of God, fulfilling to the letter Dan. 7:25." (American Sentinel, June 1, 1893, p.170)

So from 538AD Papal Rome had free reign over the nations. Now if you apply this 'time, times and half a time' (1260 days) as literal days, or three and a half years, then it will get you nowhere in this prophecy, because the Papacy had power over the saints much longer than just three and a half years. In fact, did you know the Papacy had power from 538AD until 1798AD, when France brought an end to Papal rule? And what length of time is that? 1260 years! So we have proof that the 1260 day prophecy of Daniel is actually 1260 years and applies to Papal Rome, that little horn power which ruled and persecuted God's people for 1260 years throughout the dark ages.

There is no other power or nation to which the 1260 day prophecy can apply to, other than the Papal Church of Rome during those long dark 1260 years of Papal rule.

This prophetic time period of 1260 days (years) is also mentioned in the book of Revelation. We find it in chapters 11, 12 and 13. In these three chapters it is called 'forty two months'; 'a thousand two hundred and threescore days'; and a 'time, times and half a time.' Now many people today read Revelation as if it is in chronological order. But this is a mistake, because Revelation goes forward and back in history numerous times. Let me give you an example. In Revelation 6, we read the following:

Revelation 6:14-17 ...'And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?'

What is this talking about? The second coming of Christ. And yet this is Revelation 6, with much more happening on earth after it. This is because Revelation was written this way. It goes forward in time, and then goes back in history to explain more. So we cannot simply read it in chronological order. Now there are some people who believe that the 42 months in Revelation 11:2 is referring to a future, literal 42 months, because it comes after verse 1 which is pointing to 1844. But this isn't the case, because as I have just described, Revelation goes forward and then back in history numerous times, including Revelation 11. If you read our page THE TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION, you will see that Revelation 11 is describing the 1260 years of Papal suppression, in which the Word of God (the law and the prophets - two witnesses) prophesied in 'sackloth' (darkness), due to Papal rule, with the 'beast from the bottomless pit' pointing to the French revolution.

Now if we turn to Revelation 12 and 13, we will see clearly that this 'forty two months'; 'a thousand two hundred and threescore days'; and a 'time, times and half a time' all point to the same time period that Daniel 7 mentions, which is the 1260 year rule of Papal Rome between 538AD to 1798AD. If you read Revelation 12:1-5 you will see that it mentions a 'woman' who gives birth to a 'man child' and a 'dragon' who seeks to kill the man child. This is a clear reference to Jesus (man child) coming into the world through God's people (the woman). Then we have Satan (the dragon) who seeks to kill Jesus. But is the dragon just Satan? No. What is a beast in Bible prophecy? Daniel 7:23 tells us it represents a nation. Remember that this dragon has 'ten horns' just like the fourth beast in Daniel 7 and the first beast in Revelation 13. And which nation did Satan use to kill Jesus? Rome. So this dragon also represents Rome. You can see a deeper study on this on our page WHO IS THE 7 HEADED BEAST OF REVELATION?

Revelation 12:5-6 ...'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. 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.'

These verses confirm the birth of Christ and His being taken up to heaven after His resurrection. And what happens after that? We are told that the 'woman', which represents God's people flee into the wilderness. Who is she running from? The dragon. And who is the dragon? Satan and Rome. But this includes Papal Rome, because the Papal form of Rome is one of the '7 heads' of the dragon - the head that is 'wounded' in Revelation 13. So the above verses point to God's people fleeing Papal Rome for the 1260 years. Now if you take this to mean a literal 1260 days, then it makes no sense, because it doesn't fit anything. But when you line it up with the Daniel 7 prophecy, it fits perfectly to Papal Rome's 1260 year reign in which God's people fled into the wilderness away from Papal persecutions. Then in Revelation 12:7-12 we have some kind of battle between Satan and his angels with Michael and his angels, with the outcome of Satan being cast out of heaven completely due to Christ overcoming him on the cross (vs.10-11). So this is explaining that Satan was completely cast out of heaven after the cross and due to this he then pursued God's people, which is why in verses 13-14 it goes back again to explain the 1260 years (time, times and half and time) that God's people are persecuted and flee into the wilderness from Papal Rome.

Please note - Revelation 12 gives us the 1260 year prophecy in TWO formats. 'A thousand two hundred and threescore days'; and a 'time, times and half a time.' Some people believe that because Revelation 11 and 13 say 'forty two months', and is not given in a prophetic format like 'time, times and half a time', then it must be a literal 1260 days or three and a half years. But the fact that Revelation 12 gives us the time in prophetic and literal formats, pointing to the same 1260 year period, shows that the format of '42 months' doesn't have to be a literal 3 and a half years.

So this takes us on to Revelation 13 and the '42 months' the first beast is given power to rule. First of all, who is this first beast? Well, it has the same characteristics as the dragon in Revelation 12, which is 7 heads and 10 horns. What was the dragon of Revelation 12? It represented Satan and Rome. And where did the first beast of Revelation 13 get it's seat and authority from?

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.'

Who did the first beast receive its seat, power and authority from? The dragon, which is Satan and ROME. There is only one kingdom that received its 'seat' and great authority and power from the Roman Empire - Papal Rome!

So the first beast of Revelation 13 is none other than Rome in its Papal form, with the popes ruling the world, and God is repeating the history of this power time and again so that we do not miss it! God has done this because it is this power whom the world will be caused to worship in the last days and receive its mark. So it is vital we understand who this power is.

The Papacy is one of the seven heads of the 'Roman' beast, and Revelation 13:3 even tells us about the 'mortal wound' that the Papacy received in 1798 at the end of the 1260 year prophecy. But why does John tell us about the wound and healing of the Papacy BEFORE the 1260 day (year) timeline given in verse 5? Simply because John is telling us what he sees in the first few verses. He sees this beast with a mortal wound to one of its heads, so of course he is going to give us the description of that first, before telling us what this beast does. Do you see this? Some people believe that because John describes the mortal wound and healing first, that this '42 months' must be another reign of the Papacy for a literal three and a half years in the last days. But as we know from the way Revelation is written, we go back and forth in history.

But let me explain why it doesn't fit that the Papacy will 'receive power' ITSELF again to rule in the last days for three and a half years:

There is a simple reason why this doesn't fit. In Revelation 13 we find another (second) beast that appears soon after the first beast received its mortal wound in 1798. That second beast is the nation of America. You can see our page AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY for a study on this. Now what are we told in Revelation 13 concerning this second beast (America)?

Revelation 13:12 ...'And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.'

Do you see? America is the nation with 'all the power' to 'cause the earth to worship the first beast.' So it makes no sense that the Papacy itself receives power again to rule the world. God has ordained that America will be the nation in the last days to receive the power to cause the world to worship the Papacy. If the Papacy received that power itself again, then America would not need to be in this picture.

Friends, the 1260 day (year) prophecy in Daniel and Revelation points to the 1260 year reign of the Papacy between 538AD to 1798AD. And all formats of this timeline, whether it be 'forty two months'; 'a thousand two hundred and threescore days'; or 'a time, times and half a time', all point to the same period of 1260 years.

"The forty and two months are the same as the 'time and times and dividing of time', three years and a half, or 1260 days of Daniel 7 - the time during which the Papal power was to oppress God's people. This period as stated in preceding chapters began with the establishment of the Papacy, A.D.538, and terminated in 1798." (The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, 1888, p.439)