The Little Horn and the Prophetic Days of Daniel

The days of Daniel, particularly the 1260 days is described in detail in Volume 3 of Studies in the Scriptures, “Thy Kingdom Come” here:

Daniel 7:25 reveals “the saints of the most high” are worn out by the “little horn” for a period of a “time, times, and a half times,” which most agree refers to 3½ years or 1260 days.  The prophet also said this domination “shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7, ASV).  The same period is mentioned in Daniel 7:25.

If one assumes “times” refers to two times (there is no reason for a greater number), then these texts describe three and one-half “times.” Revelation 13:5 refers to the same period as forty two months, and indeed in three and one-half “times” or “years” there would be forty two months. Revelation 11:2 describes the persecution of the “holy city” (the church) during the same forty two months.

If we use an even thirty days per month, forty two months is 1,260 days. This is the express duration for this period in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6. Revelation 12:14 completes the circle of reference by again describing the period as “time, and times, and half a time,” as in Daniel. The context of each passage shows all seven references are to the same period.  The three separate descriptions of this period give a solid foundation for understanding them as 1,260 prophetic “days.”

Christians and Jews have long known from the seventy-week prophecy of Daniel chapter 9 that a day in prophetic time is fulfilled as a full natural year—consistent with the principle explicitly mentioned in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. This supports the well-founded and time-honored view that these texts point to 1,260 years of Papal domination.

The reformers all identified the Papacy as the Anti-Christ as itemized here:

The concept of a day for a year in these prophecies was well accepted by John Wycliffe (1379), Martin Luther (1522), Philipp Melanchthon (1543), Sir Isaac Newton (1727) and many others as itemized here:

For centuries, Protestant interpreters have identified the 1260 days as 1260 years during which Papacy would exercise considerable power, while both the scriptures and the saints would be oppressed. The dates usually identified for this period are 539 to 1799.

By 533 A.D. the Bishop of Rome was accorded the general oversight of all the Christian churches by Emperor Justinian. By 538 A.D. the Pope (the Bishop of Rome) was accorded political jurisdiction in Rome. The following year, 539 A.D., his rivals the Ostrogoths (who were of Arian persuasion) were vanquished at their capital Ravenna. Papacy was now an established political authority.

1260 years later, in 1799, Pope Pius VI died in Valence, France, as a prisoner of Napoleon, having been apprehended in Rome a year earlier. Napoleon would not allow the election of a successor, so for a time Papacy was broken. Papacy would recover a little, elect a new pope some months later under allied protection, regain some status, and aspire to higher things. But she would never again be a force among kings to rule the world and persecute the saints of God. The 1260 years of prophecy had closed.

Daniel 12 refers to three periods of time: 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. These prophetic days are generally understood to represent years, which began to count “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up.” (Daniel 12:11)  The date when Papacy was “set up” with her doctrine of the mass, which sets aside the value of Jesus’ once-for-all ransom sacrifice, represented by the daily sacrifice, has been taken to be 539 AD.  For then Papacy acquired a new dimension of civil authority, the result of a power vacuum caused by the defeat of the Ostrogothic kingdom who had previously ruled Italy.

Next, we will –

1. Review the 3rd Volume account of this date.
2. Identify the 3 horns of Daniel and discuss why they required to be plucked up.
3. To establish the 539 date from history.
4. To reflect on the significance of that date.
In this way we hope to reconfirm our faith in time prophecies.

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