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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 51

The 1260 Days
 

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Welcome to this lesson! Let’s pray together:

Our Lord,

In our study of the great prophetic periods contained in Your Word, we have now reached the 1260 days.

We thank You in advance for granting us, once again, the help of Your Holy Spirit, so that we may understand the meaning of this important prophetic period.

In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.




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Daniel 7:8

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn.

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In the lesson «The Four Mythical Beasts», we studied the vision of four beasts representing the succession of four great kingdoms: Babylon, the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece, and Rome.

Ten horns came out of the fourth beast’s head, symbolizing the ten Barbarian tribes which arose at the end of the reign of the Western Roman Empire.

Finally, a little horn came up among these ten horns.




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Daniel 7:25 (NKJV)

Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.

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The prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 announced that the little horn’s kingdom would last a time, times (meaning two times, as we will see in a moment), and half a time: in total, 3½ times.

Now, the Aramaic expression «time» (iddam) means a year of 360 days. So we have:

   A time, that is, 360 days
+ Two times, that is, 720 days
+ Half a time, that is, 180 days

= 3½ times, that is, 1260 days.




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Revelation 12:6

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.

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Ezekiel 4:6

I have appointed you each day for a year.

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This period of 1260 days, also found in Revelation, shows that the expression «times» really means «two times».

According to the prophetic formula «1 day = 1 year», these 1260 days represent 1260 years.

Now, history teaches us that a power reigned 1260 years, from A.D. 538 to 1798.




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Daniel 7:8,24

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. (...)

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.

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History confirms that this power is the papacy, the apostate Church which reigned throughout the Middle Ages, from 538 to 1798.

The beginning of its reign is closely linked with the fact that it «subdued three kings».

When and how did this happen?




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Daniel 7:24

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.

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As we have seen in our lessons about the seven trumpets, Rome had to face the attacks of Barbarian nations, which forced it to take refuge in the eastern part of its empire, as early as the fourth century A.D.

And while the Western Roman Empire was on the wane, the Church of Rome, which had been proclaimed the Empire’s official religion by the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, was quickly gaining more and more power and influence.




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Daniel 7:24

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.

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But three of the ten Barbarian nations still refused to recognize the authority of the Roman pontiff. These three nations were:

- the Heruli;
- the Vandals;
- and the Ostrogoths.

Those three were Arian nations, that is, denying Jesus’ divinity.

So, to succeed in freely dominating all Europe, the Church of Rome had to eliminate these three nations, just as foretold by prophecy.




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Daniel 7:8

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.

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Here is what history reports about these events.

In A.D. 487, 11 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire into the hands of the Barbarians, Emperor Zeno of the Eastern Roman Empire, who was Catholic, managed to persuade Theodoric, leader of the Ostrogoths, to invade Italy and drive out the Heruli.

The mission was so successful that the Heruli were annihilated in 493.

Thus was «plucked up» the first of the three horns that stood in the way of the little horn.




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Daniel 7:8

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.

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A few years later, in 527, Justinian became emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire.

He was very involved in religious matters, and ruled over these three Christians groups:

- the Arians, who believed that Jesus was basically human;

- the Monophysites, who believed that Jesus was basically divine;

- the Catholics, who believed that Jesus was both divine and human.




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Daniel 7:24

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.

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As time went by, Justinian joined more and more with the Catholics, to such a point that, in 533, he issued a decree confirming the Bishop of Rome as the «head of all the holy churches».

Faithful to his statement, he then made every effort to either convert or eliminate all those who refused to recognize the sovereign authority of the Roman pontiff.




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Daniel 7:8

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.

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Justinian thus launched a «holy» war against the opponents of the Church of Rome, and dispatched his general Belisarius to attack the Barbarian nations which still refused to submit.

So, in 534, the second horn was «plucked up», when the Vandals were annihilated.

Then, the Ostrogoths, the third horn, admitted defeat when Belisarius drove then out of Rome in 538.

From then on, nothing stood in the way of the Bishop of Rome as the «head of all the holy churches», having full supremacy over the nations.




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Daniel 7:25

[The saints of the Most High] shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

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Revelation 13:5,7

And power was given to [the beast] to continue forty and two months. (...)

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.

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With the words «a time and times and the dividing of time», «forty and two months» (42 x 30 = 1260), or «1260 days», the Bible describes the following 1260 years, from 538 to 1798, as a time marked by terrible persecutions.




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Daniel 7:25

[The saints of the Most High] shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

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More people were killed by the Papacy, during its reign throughout the Middle Ages, than by Hitler during World War II.

In fact, about 50 million people, who refused to recognize its authority, were killed by the Papacy.

Historian W.E. Lecky wrote, «The Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind.» (Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe, vol.2, p.32.)




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The 1260 years (538-1798) were a period of persecution for the saints:

«“How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was on the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.» (Daniel 12:6,7)

«The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.» (Revelation 11:2,3)

«And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (...) And the dragon stood before the woman. (...) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.» (Revelation 12:1,4,6)




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Daniel 7:25

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.

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Revelation 13:5,6

Power was given to him to continue forty and two months.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God.

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In accordance with the fourth letter, fourth seal, and fourth trumpet, these 1260 years were also a time of apostasy and deep spiritual darkness.




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Revelation 12:14

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.

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While persecution prevailed everywhere in Europe, many groups of Christians, refusing to recognize the authority of the apostate Church, took refuge in forests and mountains, to enjoy religious liberty and freely live their faith.

Among them were the Waldensians, the Hussites, the Albigensians, and many others, who clung to the Bible’s teachings.




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Revelation 11:2,3

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.

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Although a future lesson will identify the two witnesses, we can already see that, during the 1260 years of spiritual darkness, the servants of God worked under very difficult conditions to make God’s message known to men.




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Daniel 12:6,7

«How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?»

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was on the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half.

And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

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How did the reign of the apostate Church of the Middle Ages come to an end?

The spectacular victories of Napoleon in Italy placed the Pope at the mercy of the revolutionary government of France.

Now, the Church of Rome was regarded as the irreconcilable enemy of the French Republic...




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Revelation 13:5,7,10

Power was given to him to continue forty and two months. (...)

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. (...)

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity.

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In 1798, by order of Napoleon, French general Louis-Alexandre Berthier entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI prisoner.

The pope died in exile the next year.

When France broke the political power of the papacy, it fulfilled prophecy by putting to an end the reign of the apostate Church, which lasted exactly 1260 years.




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Revelation 13:3

I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed.

And all the world wondered after the beast.

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But, as we will see in a future lesson, the papacy was healed from this humiliating dismissal.

In fact, after having lost its political power in 1798, the papacy recovered it in 1929 when Mussolini, by the Lateran Treaty, restored temporal power to the pope, who was given rulership over Vatican, a little country within Rome.

And, just as foretold, its influence over the nations has been amazingly growing since the end of World War II.




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Daniel 7:25,26

[The saints of the Most High] shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end.

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In these two verses, Daniel chapter 7 confirms the chronology we have just outlined during this lesson:

- First, the papacy reigned for 1260 years, from 538 to 1798;

- Then, God’s judgment began in 1844 («the judgment shall sit»), at the end of the 2300 days;

- Finally, after its temporary healing in 1929, the papacy’s dominion will be «consumed and destroyed to the end».




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Revelation 12:9,13,14

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (...)

And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man Child.

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.

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Future lessons about the great dragon and the woman will explain in more detail these events which took place during the 1260 years.




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Revelation 12:14-16

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.

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.

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.

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We will also study the historical events explaining exactly how the woman was saved from the attacks of the great dragon.




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Revelation 12:16,17

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.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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Finally, we will see how the great dragon, after the failure he experienced during the 1260 years, will try once again to attack the believers who remain faithful to the commandments of God and the teachings of Jesus.




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Let’s thank God for His help:

Father,

Your prophetic Word has always been fulfilled exactly, and the 1260 days are a resounding example of this.

We thank You for allowing us to look into Your Word, this valuable source of truth, and we humbly ask You to continue to guide us through the presence of Your Holy Spirit within us.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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