Identifying and Locating the 1260 Years of Persecution
Some of the things revealed in Revelation are shocking. Some will make us all squirm. The book says some things we almost wish that it didn't. But Jesus, our friend, is exposing Satan's snares and giving us classified information to prepare us for His kingdom and save our lives. He loves us so much that He speaks up even though He knows it may hurt us somewhat, initially.
Revelation gets into some very touchy and sensitive areas. Satan's hopes are that anger or prejudice will close your mind. If this happens, only Satan will have benefited. Revelation has some revealing things to say regarding France, the United States, the Roman Empire, Protestantism, Catholicism, sacred holy days, our dead loved ones, etc. But the messages are from Jesus. He knows what we need to hear, so let's trust Him to give us the information we must have.
This document discusses certain activities of the Papacy. Hundreds of thousands of beautiful Christians are Catholic Christians. God loves them and they are His children. This document in no way discredits our wonderful Catholic, Christian friends. They are precious. But, in Revelation, God does speak about the Papal system and many other delicate areas. Let's listen to His word and pray and study much so we will discover His life and death message for us today.
1. This period of terrible persecution is so important that it is mentioned seven times specifically in Scripture: Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:6,14; 13:5 and Revelation 11:2,3. It is referred to as 42 MONTHS, 1260 YEARS and 3 1/2 TIMES OR YEARS. They all equal 1260 prophetic days which is 1260 literal years, Ezekiel 4:6. The passage from Daniel 7 is perhaps easiest to identify so let's review the chapter. Read the chapter carefully before proceeding.
2. Daniel 7 pictures four beasts coming up out of the sea, Daniel 7:2-7. The BEASTS REPRESENT KINGDOMS, Daniel 7:23, and the sea or WATER REPRESENTS PEOPLE, or a populated area, Revelation 17:15.
3. Bible commentators agree that these beasts represent the FOUR WORLD KINGDOMS. The prophecy of the image of Daniel 2 also mentions these same four kingdoms. Even a novice in history will see that these beasts do indeed fit history perfectly.
a. The LION, the first beast, verse 4, represents BABYLON. God uses a lion to symbolism Babylon in Jeremiah 4:7 and Jeremiah 51:38. Frescoes from Babylon, discovered by archeologists, depict winged lions to represent the kingdom--probably the same as Daniel saw in vision.
b. The BEAR, the second beast, verse 5, represents MEDO-PERSIA which came up on one side because Persia was more powerful than the Medes. The three ribs, most likely, represent the three kingdoms that Medo-Persia overcame as she rose to power: Babylon, Lydia and Egypt.
c. The LEOPARD, the third beast, verse 6, depicts GREECE. The wings represent the speed with which Alexander the Great conquered, Habakkuk 1:6-8; Jeremiah 4:13. The FOUR HEADS are the FOUR PARTS into which Alexander's empire was divided by his generals when he died. The generals were Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy.
d. The fourth terrible NON-DESCRIPT BEAST, verse 7, with iron teeth represents ROME. The iron teeth fit the symbol. Rome is called the iron monarchy.
4. The TEN HORNS on the non-descript beast represent the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided by barbarian tribes which carved up the empire, Daniel 7:17,23,24. They are:
5. The LITTLE HORN power, verse 8, which arose out of the Roman empire, is described carefully in Daniel 7. The LITTLE HORN power would:
be different from the other kingdoms, vs. 24.
make war with the saints and prevail (persecute), vs. 25.
think to change God's law, vs. 25.
govern for 3 1/2 prophetic times/years (1260 literal years), vs. 25.
uproot three kingdoms as it rose to power, vs 8,20,24.
speak great words against the most high (blasphemy), vs. 25.
arise from old Roman empire, vs. 24.
6. There is only one power in history that could possibly fit the specifications and that one fits them perfectly. Bible scholars from reformation days have agreed that the power is the Papacy. The Papacy:
was different. It was a religious power.
did persecute the saints during the Dark Ages. At least 50 million died for their faith. Papacy felt it was controlling heresy for the Lord, but the fact remains that it did persecute and destroy. Many modern Catholics strongly disapprove of these persecutions.
omitted the second and changed the fourth commandment in the catechism.
did govern for 1260 years (538 A.D. - 1798 A.D.).
uprooted three kingdoms as it arose: Vandals, Ostrogoths and Heruli. That is why no modern names were given these three in point #4.
is guilty of blasphemy. 1. Claims to forgive sins, Luke 5:21 and 2. Claims to be God, John 10:33. NOTE: 1. Joseph Devarbe's catechism says, on page 279, "The priest does really and truly forgive sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ". 2. "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of flesh", Catholic National, July, 1895.
did arise from the old Roman empire.
No other power of history could possibly fit these points. They are too specific.
7. The Papacy's power became supreme in Christendom in 538 A.D. due to the letter of Roman Emperor Justinian, which acknowledged the bishop of Rome as the head of all churches. This letter became a part of Justinian's code, the fundamental law of the empire. The Papal power was broken in 1798 A.D. when Napoleon's general, Berthier, took the Pope captive and he died in exile. Notice that the amount of years from 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D. is exactly 1260, as prophecy predicted.
8. The period of Papal persecution is the same persecution as that during the period of the Thyatira church and the pale horse of Revelation 6.
--Taken from It is Written Revelation Seminar.
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