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Eugene W. Prewitt

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Revelation 11 and Daniel 12

Rev_11_-_with_1260_1290_1335_day_prophecies_also This is the Word Document

The 1260, 1290, and 1335 Day Prophecies

Observations and Hints




Why has God given these prophecies? What are we to understand? To answer these questions is the purpose of this essay.


In this essay on the 1260 day prophecy in connection to Daniel 12 and Revelation 11, we will start by noticing a few facts that may help us to deduct some truth about these prophecies. These facts will be followed with some historical observations. Then, the scriptures will be allowed to suggest an interpretation of themselves. The application suggested here will be shown to be a true representation of events then future. After this, the relation of these events to the Great Controversy will be suggested as a hint regarding the wide exposure these prophecies receive in the scriptures.


Finally, this article will briefly discuss dangers inherent in several alternative ways of understanding the prophecies of the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days.




The “three and one-half” time periods abound in scripture. Consider the following list[1]


3.5 years of Daniel 7:25

3.5 days of Daniel 9:27 (two sets of 3.5 days)

3.5 years of Daniel 12:7

3.5 years of Luke 4:25

3.5 years of Christ’s ministry

3.5 years of probation to Jewish church after the cross

3.5 years of James 5:17

3.5 years of Revelation 11:2

3.5 years of Revelation 11:3

3.5 days of Revelation 11:11

3.5 years of Revelation 12:6

3.5 years of Revelation 12:14

3.5 years of Revelation 13:5


These taohs (three-and-one-half’s) are a spring to a large number of other prophecies and stories. We might separate the taohs from each other on the basis of their length, if we accept the principle that a day in prophecy is equivalent to a calendar year of actual time. Most readers will be familiar with this mode of thought, and while it is worthy of careful examination, we will not examine it here and now. If divided this way the two lists appear below:

3.5 years of Daniel 7:25                                                     3.5 days of Daniel 9:27 (two taohs)

3.5 years of Daniel 12:7                                                     3.5 years of Christ’s ministry

3.5 years of Luke 4:25                                                       3.5 years for Jewish church after the cross

3.5 years of James 5:17                                                     3.5 days of Revelation 11:9

3.5 years of Revelation 11:2                                             3.5 days of Revelation 11:11

3.5 years of Revelation 11:3

3.5 years of Revelation 12:6

3.5 years of Revelation 12:14

3.5 years of Revelation 13:5


While the right column deserves detailed study, we will focus on the left column in this essay.  These passages bear a remarkably coherent picture considering their varying contexts. Below they are given with only the most relevant context.


Da 7:25  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.


Da 12:7  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished. {a time…: or, part}


Lu 4:24-25  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;


Ja 5:17-18  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.


Re 11:2-3  But the court which is without the temple cast out [margin], and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and  two months.  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.


Re 12:6,14  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. 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.


Re 13:5-7  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to make war [margin] forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.


Before we notice other things these passages say about each other, we will linger to answer those who question whether it is legitimate to include Luke 4:25 and James 5:17 with the rest. Consider the following:


I Ki 17:1                The famine of Elijah was once a matter of prophecy

Re 2:20                  Jezebel is made a type of the leaders of fallen Christianity

Re 11:6                  The two witnesses of Re 11:3 “have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the

days of their prophecy.”

Re 12:6, 14           The woman is twice shown fleeing to wilderness, like Elijah, for the 3.5 years

Re 12:6, 14           She is there being fed as Elijah was

Re 12:6, 14           She is there to escape the flood of men sent to kill her. Ahab sent to every nation

to find Elijah.

Lu and Ja              The time period is twice mentioned in the NT though never specified in the OT.



There are other connections, but these will have greater force if presented later. Some key phrases from the passages listed above are in the chart below.


During the 1260


The False Church                                                                                God’s True Church

Wear out the Saints                                                             Prayed for the famine as judgment on apostasy

Thinks to Change Times and Laws                                  Prayed for the rain to resume after truth revealed

Saints[2] given into his power                                               “tread under foot”

Succeeds in Scattering the Power of the Holy People   Power given to two witnesses

Heaven was “shut up” and there was a famine            Witnesses “prophesy in sackcloth.”

Makes war on saints                                                           Flees to wilderness

Overcomes saints                                                                                Is fed there by God through unnamed agents (“they”)

Power given over “all kindreds and tongues and nations.”


Before getting into the details we will examine the big picture. The 1260 days, appearing nine times in scripture as a 1260 day prophecy, is everywhere a time of persecution of the church by an abnormally empowered entity that is limited in the duration of its abnormal power. The first question that comes to my mind is “why?” Why would the power be granted the power to scatter, overcome, chase, tread underfoot, and wear out the saints? Why would it be allowed to do so for such a long period? Is the period of time an arbitrary assignment?


A few other points should be noticed about these 1260 day periods.


3.5’s and the Fall of Lucifer


Revelation 12 presents an apparent duplex vision. Several of the same thoughts are presented twice, and in the same order.


(v. 2) Jesus is mentioned before his birth        (v. 7) Jesus is mentioned as Michael

(v. 3) Dragon Appeared in Heaven                  (v. 7) War in Heaven with Dragon

(v. 4) Dragon deceives some in Heaven          (v. 7) Dragon has “his angels”

(v. 4) Some angels are “cast” “to the earth”  (v. 8-9) Dragon is “cast out” “into the earth”

(v. 5) Jesus is caught up to heavenly throne   (v. 10) “Now is…salvation…and power of Christ”

(v. 4, 6) Dragon persecutes the woman           (v. 13) Dragon persecutes the woman

(v. 6) Woman is hidden for 1260 days            (v. 14) woman is hidden for 1260 days


In the midst of these scenarios, namely in the midst of the second one, verses 11 and 12 seem to have no parallel, except that they describe the experience of the 1260. Verse 12 mentions that Satan is aware of a time element to the power that he is exercising. Verse 11 indicates that while the saints are overcomers in heaven’s eyes, it is by the blood of Jesus that they overcome. As for their physical lives, they “loved them not unto death.” Verse 12 renders a “Woe!” to the world because of the power given to the dragon, and indicates that it is this power that causes the woman to flee into the wilderness.


The larger picture of Revelation 12 pictures in symbolic language that the time of the dragon’s special power of persecution is intimately wrapped up in the cosmic struggles between Christ and Satan. It appears that the casting out of verse 4, while it has its distinct parallel in the pre-earth past, is here the one that comes after the church comes into existence (v. 2) and prior to Christ’s ascension (v. 5). It is the one that comes after Satan accuses the “brethren night and day” in God’s presence and at or before the declaration “Now is come salvation and strength.” In short, it is that fall that Jesus saw as an event of the near future in Jn. 12:31, “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” The only event answering to these qualifications in point of time is the crucifixion of our dear Jesus. There are other connections between the cross and the 3.5 year periods.


The 3.5 Year Period and the Time of the End


If it is true that that the “Time of the End” takes place at the conclusion of the 3.5 years (the 1260 day prophecies), then there are several more references to the same period of time and the events surrounding its close.


Da 8:17,19  So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time  of the end shall be the vision. . . .And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.


Da 11:27, 35  And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end  shall be at the time appointed. . . .And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.


Da 11:40  And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.


Da 12:6-10, 13   And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.  8  And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. . . . Da 12:13  But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. [3]


What do we know about the time of the end from these passages?


“The vision” of Daniel was to be at the “time of the end”[4]

The last end of the “indignation” was to be for “a time appointed”

The plans of great kings would fail that the time might not be fulfilled early

A time of persecuting trial would await the keepers of truth, and end at “the time appointed.”

The South King would attack the North King at that time

In point of time, the events following that attack would lead into the time of trouble (Daniel 12:1)

The question of “when” the end would be is the subject matter of Daniel chapter 12.


Daniel 12’s many references to the end help combine elements of other 3.5-year prophecies into one. From Daniel 11 we read that the time before the end would be a special time of purification for the church. Daniel 12 agrees. In Daniel 8 we found that the prophecy was for the end, and Daniel 12 explains that that is when it is to be understood. Chapter 12 also explains that at the time of the end not everyone is going to understand.


Understanding will still be reserved for the wise, for the righteous. When we consider these thoughts together we understand a new plight facing the Christians prior to the time of the end that marks the end of their persecution. Though their sufferings were predicted, yet they would not understand the prophecies that foretold them and that might comfort them accordingly.


For our purposes this far, we have established a few facts about the time of the end that might help us find it in history, if that is where it is.


1.  It is preceded by a great persecution

2.  It is followed by an awakening of understanding regarding the prophecies of Daniel

3.  It is followed later by the time of trouble

4.  It is at a pre-determined (as opposed to floating) time that the efforts of men can not change


In our quotation, above, of Daniel 12, we omitted verses 11 and 12. With our current observations as a background we may now look at those verses. Here is the order of events leading up to them:

The book is sealed “to the time of the end.”

Someone asks “when will that be?”

Jesus swears, showing the determinate nature of the time. [5]

The time period is explained to be the 1260 days.

No event marking the beginning of the time is given.

Daniel did not feel that he understood and asked again regarding “the end”

Daniel is told that the book is sealed “to the time of the end.”

He is also told that many shall be purified and “made white” and “tried”

And the wicked will not understand, but “the wise shall understand.”

The angel continues answering the question regarding the “end” and its timing. . .


Da 12:11-12  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and to set up [margin] the abomination that maketh desolate, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12  Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.


This passage is of the utmost help in explaining the 1260 day prophecies. “There is another way,” says the angel, “to compute the time of the end other than the 1260 days. You may reckon 1290 days, if you begin with the taking away of the daily, which is taken away to set up the abomination.”


Further, it shows that the 1290 and 1260, terminating at the same time[6] do not terminate at the end of the world, but at a point where a wise class begins “waiting” for an event forty-five years future.


So we might add to our earlier list regarding the timing of the “time of the end.”


  1. It may be reckoned 1260 days from the special empowering of the persecuting power
  2. It may be reckoned 1290 days from the removal of “the daily” “to set up the abomination.”[7]
  3. It is followed by a certain 45 days of “waiting” by the wise that understand


Biblical References to Themes of the Taos


There are other passages that seem to refer to the 3.5 years without directly mentioning the time period itself. We will examine three significant ones.


Mt 24:21, 22, 29, 30  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.


Mr 13:19, 20, 24-26  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.


2Th 2:2-9  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now withholds will continue to withhold[8]  until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


Though the 3.5 year period we are studying is only mentioned in twelve locations, the themes that are in it are found in other places. What these passages have in common is the theme of Christ’s coming. We witnessed a reference to “waiting” in relation to the 1335 time period. Paul explains why they would not be waiting until after the 1290. Jesus could not come until the Man of Sin would be revealed. Not only could Christ not come until that time, but Christ’s coming would not even be “at hand” until that time.


No one was to be troubled that it was close until the “son of perdition,” described here like the little horn of Daniel and as the beast of Revelation 13 (both the same power, as shown by their 1260 day persecution of the saints.) would be “revealed” in his true character. Here is a hint to the answer of the first question in this study. Why the terrible time period? Why so long?


The first two passages, almost identical to each other, offer further assistance in timing the 1260 days prophecy. That they refer to the 1260 can be gathered by the fact that Christ refers to them as being shortened, an indication that they had a predetermined length. But does Christ say that the period is shortened? No, he says that one of the characteristics of that period would be shortened.


The persecution of that time period would be shortened to save the world from the tragedy of having not sufficient moral power to bring the great controversy to a close, in which case “no flesh could be saved.”[9]  Immediately after the persecution would end the signs in the sky would begin. But the days themselves would not be shortened, and could not, for our Lord Jesus had sworn that the period would be a certain length. The two thoughts together spell a period, short indeed, when the prophecies of Daniel would not yet be understood well, but when the signs in the sky would have begun to happen and persecution by the beast power to have practically ceased.


With this information we might add to our list of events helping us time the termination of the 1260 days the following:


  1. It would end after the first sign or signs would appear in the heavens.
  2. It would end some time after the persecution of the saints had practically ended.
  3. But the beast would still have its authority and would still be making war on the saints until the period’s close.


The 3.5-Year Period and the French Revolution


Just as the 1260 days appears twice in connection with the war between Christ and Satan in chapter 12, it also appears twice in connection to the intriguing prophecies of chapter 11. The attention of the reader is called to a few facts:


This (Revelation 11:2-3) is where the 3.5-year period is first introduced in Revelation.

It is introduced twice in succession under different names and with different illustrations.

The imagery of these two prophecies is borrowed from other passages of scripture.

These other passages of scripture should be expected to shed light on the periods of chapter 11.


The first passage, Revelation 11:1-2, is reminiscent of an obscure statement made by Jesus.


Re 11:1-2 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and  two months. {leave out: Gr. cast out}


Lu 21:24-25  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;


The parallels between Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 in this connection are unmistakable. See the portion of the passages quoted earlier in this paper and the following chart.

Matthew 24:19-                                   Mark 13:18-                                         Luke 21:23-

Woe to Nursing Mothers                    Woe to Nursing Mothers                    Woe to Nursing Mothers

Tribulation of “those days”               Tribulation of “those days”               Suffers ‘til times fulfilled

Then signs in heavens                         Then signs in heavens                         Then signs in heavens


Luke’s record may not have been understood by those that were listening to it. Jesus did not intend for them to understand the 3.5 year period of Daniel, for the time was not fulfilled. He did indicate that there was a specific time set aside for the Gentiles, and the word “fulfilled” calls attention to the fact that the time was a matter of prophecy.  It is not filled as a cup of iniquity might be[10], but “fulfilled.” It would be a singular cup of iniquity that, when filled, would bring an end to the tribulation suffered while it was filling.


The second passage, Revelation 11:3-13, borrows symbols from Zechariah and from the Bible stories of Sodom, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. It is a composite picture, a place of connections. A list of figures pointing back from Revelation 11 is given below:


v. 3         Two witnesses                                                                      (Zech. 4:14)

v. 3         1260                                                                                       (Daniel 7, 12)

v. 4         Two olive trees                                                                     (Zech. 4:3,11)

v. 5         Two candlesticks                                                                 (Zech. 4:2,11)

v. 6         Turn Waters into Blood                                                      (Ex. 7:19)

v. 6         Power to smite earth with all plagues                               (Ex. 7-12)

v. 8         The city of Sodom                                                              (Ez. 16:49-50)

v. 8         The city of Egypt                                                                 (Ex. 5:2)

v. 8         The city of Jerusalem                                                         (“where Jesus was killed”)

v. 10       Dead bodies resurrected                                                     (Jude 9)


Special elements in these verses remind us particularly of the prophet Elijah.


v. 3         The two witnesses Prophesy for 1260 days                    (Lu 4:25)

v. 5         Fire devours any man that would hurt them                  (2Ki 1:9-15)

v. 6         Have power to shut heaven that it rain not                    (James 5:17)

v. 10       Considered as tormentor (troubler) of the people         (1Ki 18:17)

v. 11       Ascended to heaven in a cloud                                         (2Ki 2)


The references to Moses and Elijah together, with the term “two witnesses” scattered throughout the narrative remind of the only other time in scripture when these men have appeared together. See Matthew 17 and Mark 9. In both of these passages the three disciples present questioned Jesus regarding the prophesies about a returning Elijah. To their inquiries Jesus first answered that Elijah “would come,” and then that he had come in the person of John the Baptist.


It is not in the scope of this essay to explore the Elijah message and its fulfillments in Christ’s day and ours. But it will help us to remember that John the Baptist, unlike Elijah and Moses, was allowed to die at the hands of those he ministered to, at the hands of a king that at one time had delighted in hearing him, and at the instigation of a wicked woman, the king’s unlawful wife, manipulating that king while he was under the influence of wine.


These characteristics of the death of John parallel the experience of the saints during the 1260-day prophecy in ways that the lives of Moses and Elijah can not. The figures of the woman, her unlawful relation with the king, the drunkenness of the king, her murder of the prophet, these are all revived in the book of Revelation.[11]


The events of this portion of Revelation 11 are listed below:


v. 3 (A)       Two witnesses commissioned and empowered to prophesy 1260 days

v. 7 (B)       When they finish their testimony, a new beast power arises from the pit (abussos)

v. 7 (C)       The new beast will fight them and will kill them.

v. 8 (D)       Their corpses will remain in view of the city-dwellers 3.5 days.

v. 9 (E)       The city-dwellers will not permit them to be buried

v. 10 (F)     The earth-dwellers will rejoice and send gifts to each other because of the good riddance

v. 11 (G)    After the 3.5 days the “Sprit of life from God” enters into the bodies resurrecting them

v. 12 (H)    They heard a great voice from calling them to heaven; they ascent in their enemy’s sight

v. 13 (I)      That same hour there is an earthquake destroying 10% of the city and 7000 men

v. 13 (J)      The remnant were frightened and “gave glory to the God of heaven.”


While the 1260-day period is mentioned twice as an introduction to the chapter, and while it embodies the larger portion of the work of the witnesses, the events of the chapter center on the ending events. The chart below illustrates how the prophecy’s events center around its close. Each letter represents one of the events in the list above.


J                                         A REPRESENATION OF THE NUMBER OF EVENTS                                           I

FROM EACH PORTION OF THE 1260 DESCRIBED                                                    H

IN REVELATION 11. THE LAST PERIOD IS ONLY 5%                                               G

AS LONG AS THE OTHER FIVE, YET CONTAINS                                        F

NINE TIMES THE NUMBER OF EVENTS. THE RATIO                                              E

OF EVENT-CONCENTRATION FOR THE PERIODS IS 900:1.                                   D


A                               A                             A                             A                             A                            B

1-300                     300-600                 600-900                 900-1200              1200-1257            1257-1270


In the last portion of the paper we will discuss the interpretation of these final events.



The Relation of the Various Forms of the 1260 Days


The prophecy we are studying is, curiously, found in three different forms in Daniel and Revelation:


Time, Times, and ½ a Time               42 Months                            1260 Days

Daniel 7:25                                           Revelation 11:2                   Revelation 11:3

Daniel 12:7                                           Revelation 13:5                   Revelation 12:6

Revelation 12:14


How long is a prophetic year? A prophetic month? The correlation of these periods demonstrates to the searching man that a prophetic month is 30 days and a prophetic year is 12 prophetic months. This despite the fact that the Jewish calendars sometimes had 13 months and the calendars of today have from 28 to 31 days. The length of the year, as given to man, may also be determined from the account of the Genesis flood story.  But the simple correlation of these passages is helpful to those interpreting passages that mix these time periods (years, months, and days) or that are found in only one form, such as the five months, and the one-year-one-month-one-day-one-hour periods of Revelation 9.[12]


A Summary of Some of the Primary Facts about the 3.5-Year Period


The entire essay thus far has been a summary and it is most difficult to accurately summarize summaries. Nevertheless, here are a few of the thoughts.


1)                   The 1260 era is a time of Significant Persecution by a Professedly Christian Entity

2)                   The 1260 era could not begin until the Entity was empowered to do its work in a special way

3)                   The 1260 era was to last for a specified time, at the end of which the prophecies were to be understood and the special power of the beast to be removed.

4)                   The Persecution of the 1260 era was to be cut short prior to the close of the period.

5)                   The End of the Persecution was to signal the time for the signs in the heavens to happen.

6)                   The End of the Persecution was to signal the time for the events in Revelation 11 to happen.

7)                   The 1260 era is intimately connected with the Fall of Lucifer at Christ’s Crucifixion.

8)                   The 1260 era parallels the history of Elijah’s drought and the Mt.Carmel experience

9)                   The 1260 era parallels the history of John the Baptist and his death at Herod’s hand

10)               The Events of Revelation 11 that cap the 1260 era receive more attention than the era itself

11)               The Time of the End, when Christ’s Coming was to be near, Concludes the 1260 era.

12)               Another way to find the same date is to date from the removal of the “daily” 1290 years.

13)               Dating that second way brings you, if you continue to the 1335th day, through a special time of waiting that was particularly blessed by God and that lasted 45 years.


If I were to put all the information that has been presented so far into a few theme paragraphs, they would read as follows:


God knew that the greatest question that would present itself to many minds during the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan would be “Why has sin been permitted?” While the answer “to give us freewill” might satisfy some, that answer is utterly inadequate for those that continue to ask “Why has it been permitted for so long?” Our search for the answer to that question brings us to the 1260-day prophecies. What will bring an end to sin? Christ’s coming will. Then sin and sinners will be destroyed by His Brightness. Why has He not yet come?


Some will say, doubtlessly, that He waits for the gospel to go to “every creature.”[13] Jesus promised “and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then shall the end come.” So why did the gospel not go the whole world in the time of the apostles? Why, it did! It “was  preached to every creature which is under heaven.” Colossians 1:23. Based, perhaps, on this and other reasons, some began to preach in Paul’s day that Christ would come quickly. This is where Paul introduced the 3.5-year thought that Christ’s coming could not be “at hand” until the Wicked should be revealed. This ominous power of darkness is the subject of nearly all the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, and is the primary power represented during the 3.5-year period.


The reasonable conclusion we might arrive at is that it took 1260 years to “reveal” the “Son of Perdition.” It took only a few years to reveal his ferocity. Martyrdom was the order of the day for dissenters during the largest portion of the 1260-day prophecy. It took only a few centuries for the pope to rise to his highest level of temporal power, in theory under Gregory VII, and in practice under Innocent III. It was just under 1,000 years from the 538 date used my most Adventist commentators that the church’s pretensions to offer forgiveness was overthrown, for those that cared to see, by the Reformation. What did it take so long to demonstrate so as to warrant 1260 years?


Our double-period chapters, Revelation 11 and 12, lead us to believe that the issues at stake were of cosmic consequence. Satan had already been revealed to the universe as a monster that would crucify Jesus. So when chapter 11 indicates that during the 3.5-year periods that Jesus would be crucified again, in the person of His saints, in a particular “city” that is not truly a new thing under the sun. Satan’s power to corrupt had been demonstrated in Sodom, and his ability to create infidelity in Egypt. The revelations of these powers in that same “city” could not be called recent developments.


The revelation of the Power seems to be so fundamental to understanding Daniel and Revelation that the first book was sealed until after the revelation would be completed. In the context of that fact we find that the supremacy of the abomination would be preceded 30 years by an event that would constitute the “taking away” of the “daily.”[14] But that is just what Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2 would have to occur before the Power could exert its true force and finally be revealed. “For the Mystery of Iniquity is already working, only he who now hinders will hinder until he be taken out of the way.”[15] Then we expect that the taking away of the hindering agent plays a significant role in the 3.5-year period.[16]


Revelation 11, focussing on the end of the 1260,[17] must be understood if we are going to gather an understanding of why the papacy was “given power to continue” (Revelation 13:5) so long.[18] We have the tools now to approach an interpretation Biblically. What national power, atheistic and corrupt at the end of the 1260 years, infamous for its burning of heretics, first to have supported the Roman Church among the Ten European nations over which she would eventually bear sway, underwent a national upheaval after the final persecutions of God’s people came to an end? France is the answer to all, and became the scene of the worst that earth-history has to offer.


The irony of the French Revolution was its relation to the Catholic system. The priests and bishops that would not recant their catholic faith were the particular objects of popular hate. The historical section below will give a few more details. For prophetic purposes, something sinister and fascinating had been happening in France during the 1260-year period. Inherited tendencies to faithfulness, the kind that last to “thousands [of generations] of them that love me and keep my commandments,” were weeded out of the nation until the moral make-up of the people was just such as the papal system had cultivated. They were thoroughbred Catholics, convinced, convicted, and controlled by that system that John denominates “the synagogue of Satan.”


And when the mobs had been succeeded by the inquisition, when the Huguonots had bled their last on French soil, when all that were free in spirit had been banished from the realm that demanded the submission of their consciences, then Satan’s plan had been perfected. The work of centuries, he had achieved the very state he had so long spoken of, a place where the principles of pleasure seeking and love of power bore sway. It went on that way unmolested in its course for a few years longer and the reaction occurred. Satan’s system destroyed, not its Creator’s children as in former ages, but itself. The papal plan dead-ends in self-destruction. From the power it had swayed when governing a mix of men, the good with the bad, who would have guessed it could fall so fast – so quickly!


The 1260-day period was a vast and sublime laboratory. France was the beacon under scrutiny. The results ring with eternal significance. Satan, unchallenged, leading his own people his own way; what would it be? If the battle was over and there was no Jesus to fight, what would become of his system who offers liberty to demons and sinners? If there was no judgment bar to answer to, no law to regulate and restrain, would pleasure seeking live eternally? No. Never. It could not even live a century when tried on earth. It blew itself up, like the starving Al Quieda man who did the same while running from those that would spare him. The Devil’s system is suicide, with or without the intervention of heaven.


And it could not be understood before it happened. Even angels had to see it to understand. It was shown that the prosperity of the worldly systems depends more than men would ever guess on the influence of the Spirit through the lives of those that are being led.


With much accomplished, we will move into the second phase of the essay. I will give an overview, unproven and unreferenced here, of relevant history. If any reader doubts the history itself, please be kind and inform me where you doubt. Doubting history is no crime akin to doubting inspiration, unless inspiration has itself recorded the history.


History, Very Very Brief History


The Christian church, though pure in many ways during the time of the apostles, was already infected with men striving to have pre-eminence.[19] This leaven eventually leavened an entire lump. There was a division in the church between those that would bend to this power and those that were against the “fathers” (Antipas in Revelation 2, Anti- against, -pas, fathers). The former group developed into a hierarchical organization that finally gave to the patriarch in Rome the highest place among bishops. The latter group, where the former group was in power, existed first openly, then secretly where necessary.


Persecution of both groups was terrible under the pagan emperors. When Constantine came to power, all that changed. When the empire became “Christian” the balance that had held the two groups was overthrown. Formerly man’s desires and passions for power favored the growth of the papal power, while the persecution that scares self-seekers checked its progress. Now the persecution ended and the availability of power grew. Now the faithful become victims of church strife. But there was a limit to the power of the popular church. While mobs were at her hands, and while catholic emperors (and lesser powers as well) lent their swords to the church, the she could not claim those swords as her own. They could be given and taken at the will of the civil power, as happened from time to time.


Rome began to lose its grip on its own kingdom as soon as she had denominated herself as Christian. Pagan tribes overran Europe. These were not subjected to Rome as a nation, but one by one they were subjected to Arian Christianity. They would not bow their heads under that yoke and preferred their own pagan mix of theology and philosophy including an Arian, semi-Arian, or non-Trinitarian view of Christ. Finally Rome itself, the city, was conquered by these tribes. The fading Roman Empire had moved its seat east some 160 years before the loss of the city.


The rulers of the Roman church saw an opportunity in the passing away of the Roman authority in the west. They did not pass it up. The most powerful of the ten tribes, the Franks, were enlisted under the Catholic banner to subjugate the rest of Europe for the pope. Clovis, the king of the Franks and the first Catholic tribal king, in 508 made his own growing empire, western Rome for practical purposes, subject to the aims of the Holy Father. Now, for the first time in history, the Roman Pontiff had more than an influence with the government. He was the recognized superior of the head of the state.


The civil reigns of future France were under his own control. France became a ground of ages of persecutions. Some time later the Roman emperor of the east, Justinian, did for the Pontiff with the empire what Clovis had done with his kingdom. Justinian’s decrees subjecting Rome to the Pope were made in 533, but were not enforceable until the last of the three Arian tribes had been uprooted, the third one uprooted having taken control of Rome itself. That uprooting happened in 538, at which point the Roman state was no longer a Republic ruled by representatives of freemen, but a crafty monarchy ruled by a pope.


In the land of the Franks the Catholic Church was 30 years ahead of the rest of Europe in the work of forcing orthodoxy. France never ceased to be in the lead of other tribes in the development of its Roman principles. A brief time-line is given below that may help some people understand the part France played in the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.


508              Franks (France) become the first orthodox enforcing tribe.

500’s-600’s           Line of Marigovian and Carolingian kings defend Catholic Faith

800’s      Paulicians are banished to France

900’s      Persecution against them grows

1100’s    Crusade against Albigensians led by Innocent III

1200’s    Dominicans entrusted with annual purging of France of heretics

1300’s    Annual work in inquisition continues

1500’s    Protestant movement met by long history of martyrdoms

1600’s    Huguenots persecuted mercilessly

1700’s    Persecution continues until its close in middle of century

1790’s    France turns on itself and destroys Catholicism and repudiates Theism

1793-1796            For 3.5 years Bible is banned from the nation

1798          France conquers the pope and liberates Rome from pope’s civil control


Napoleon succeeded in changing the pattern of the ages. His general entered Italy, took the pope prisoner,[20] and declared Rome to again be a Republic in 1798. Ruled by the people, and not by the captive man, Rome ceased to be a civil state for the church. The death of the pope the next year was immaterial to the change in the government, as was the pope’s replacement by an uncaptive man.


Of particular interest in the French Revolution is the confounding of true and false Christianity on the part of the common people. Rome had pretended to be the representative of God and the Holy Bible and of the saints. She had taken on her the work of the Priesthood. Now the people, though hating her thoroughly, yet believed her claims as thoroughly as ever their ancestors had. They were not convinced that she misrepresented God, but rather that as she represented Him aright, the idea “God” was an enemy of the state. Deluded as they were by Babylon, they thought that the Bible was the cause of all their troubles and banished it for 3.5 years (are we reminded again of Elijah?) while suffering the most withering blasts of the Revolution.


Dangerous Alternatives


Among Seventh-day Adventist there have been few prophecies that have received so much speculative attention as the 1290 and the 1335 days prophecies. In this article we noticed that, unless the end of the 1290 day prophecy is an answer to the question “How long till the end?” then the prophecy makes no comment on what happens at its own conclusion at all. As no prophecy is of any private interpretation, and as “the end” is the subject of the entire passage, we are bound to place the 1290 and 1260 day prophecies as terminating at the time of “the end.”


Those who would put the 1290 and 1335 in the future do more than they suspect to undermine the Advent movement. What do we know of the last 45 years of the 1335, the portion that extends beyond the 1290? Only that it was a specially “blessed” time of waiting and watching following the time of the end.


By our theory, this is powerful evidence that the Advent movement was approved of God. The time of the end, 1798, was followed by an “understanding” of the prophecies. This understanding led to a time of waiting and watching culminating in 1843.


But what happens if we place the 1290 and 1335 in the future?

1.             We place the time of the end in future, for it concludes the 1290

2.             We place the unsealing of Daniel in the future, for it happens at the time of the end

3.             We make the past Advent movement, based on Daniel, into a falsehood.

4.             We remove the specific mention of our movement in the 1335 days.

This is too much to give up for a speculation. Anything is too much to give up for a speculation.


A separate article on the “Times of the Gentiles” can be found at the web-site. It is an answer to Grothier and those who would make the “Times of the Gentiles” to be the time of human probation and that, based on this understanding, date the last generation from the creation of the state of Israel.


The placement of the 42 months of Revelation 13 into the future is based by many on the fact that it seems to be follow the healing of the deadly wound. Let those would-be interpreters notice that after the deadly wound was healed, “all the world wondered after the beast” and that, after the 42 months this wondering of the whole world is yet future. This is evidence that, in the prophecy, John went back in history to describe the 1260 day prophecy leading up to the time of the end. The further correlation of this prophecy with the others in this study is stronger evidence that it is so.


I am more than willing to dialogue with any that have comments on this study. Please address those comments to [email protected].


Be faithful


Eugene Prewitt

April 9, 2003


[1] This list is not exhaustive. Other 3.5’s seem to be suggested in typological fashion. Those interested may e-mail me for more information.

[2] Whether “times and laws” are also given into his hand in this passage I have not been able to determine. From this chapter we know that the little horn considers that he has been given them and acts accordingly.

[3] [Dan. 12:9, 4, 10, 13 quoted.] The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history (MS 176, 1899).


There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.  {7BC 949.6}

[4] The vision of Daniel 8 stretches through more than one dynasty, two of which are named, and one of which would come in Daniels day (v. 20, 21, and 9:1). The “time of the end” is not when it was given, nor when it was to begin receiving fulfillment, but when it was to be understood as the other references demonstrate.

[5] This is the meaning assigned by Paul to an oath by One that can not lie. Hebrews 6:15-19. So the time of the end will be at the end of the days, not sooner, not later.

[6] They must. Otherwise, there would be no event given to mark the end of the 1290 whatsoever, as if a man would say “it will be five days until nothing in particular happens.” When the angel says “and from” it is manifest that there is a stated “and to” that precedes it. And “to” what? To “the time of the end” when the prophecy will be understood. The understanding of the prophecy is the event, as it is the whole point in question and the point immediately under discussion.

[7] Many people have strong feelings regarding the “daily.” Understanding the meaning of daily is essential if one would locate it in history the beginning of the 1290 days. But we have been told that regarding the controversy relative to the “daily” that it is not a vital matter. Then we must conclude that finding the beginning of the 1290 is also not a vital matter. This may be demonstrated simply enough. The 1290 was given as a secondary way to arrive at the “time of the end.” Since we can arrive at that date another way, understanding the daily in Daniel 12 would only aid us in reconfirming the date. On the other hand, you might want to try your opinion of what the “daily” is against this touchstone. If the taking way of your “daily” can not be marked in history by a particular event and dated accordingly, then can it be the right understanding?

[8] “Withholds will continue to withholds,” this is the meaning of the old English words “letteth will let” and has been substituted here by me for clarification for the reader unversed in old English.

[9] The evidence that this was Christ’s intent by the statement that no flesh would be saved is too involved for the scope of this paper. Other papers I have written, The Draft, and Perfection in the Last Generation, give some information in that direction. Yet for all that I have studied, I am not very certain that I am correct regarding the meaning of this phrase. No other meaning suggests itself to my mind as workable and real.

[10] It is not on the basis of the Greek that I make this distinction. Indeed, the Greek would allow either “filled” or “fulfilled.”

[11] cf. Re 14:8; 17:6; 18:3, 9, 24

[12] I do not write this in ignorance of the fact that many deny the last period to be period at all. I simply differ with them.

[13] Then others may answer, “He is waiting for the final development of character in the last generation. He will come when they are ready.” Yes, the scripture supports this theory. But why was the church not brought to the experience of being sanctified wholly in an earlier age? The principles in the 1260-day prophecies show that the finishing of the mystery of God could not precede the end of the 3.5-year period. See my article Perfection in the Last Generation for more on this topic.

[14] Daniel 12:7, 11. The 1290 (v. 11) less 1260 (v. 7, 3.5 years) is 30.

[15] 2 Thessalonians 2:7, my paraphrase.

[16] The hindering agent in 2 Thessalonians appears to be the Roman Empire in the time of Paul. Paul had spoken of the hindering power personally when he was with the church, but did not care to name it in writing, v. 5, 6. He told them that they “know what withholdeth that [the Wicked ] might be revealed in his time.” This reference to the timing of the revelation should not be overlooked. Paul says that the Thessalonians already know the identity of the hindering agent. All these things point to Rome, the power that Paul here predicted would fall. Such a prediction during a time of Caesar-worship would be an act of treason. Paul carried out his treason tactfully.

[17] Similarly the gospels focus on the end of Christ’s ministry and as the Bible focuses on the end of the world. Emphasis is placed where the true action and most important events are happening.

[18] The Great Controversy chapter The French Revolution has a great deal to say about Revelation 11. It is largely a verse by very commentary on its fulfillment.

[19] See 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 3 John 8-9; Acts 20:17, 29-31.

[20] Some may wonder that I do not make a larger issue of the pope’s imprisonment and death. They may not be aware that several earlier popes received the same at the hands of civil rulers. Even Hidebrand, the famous Pope Gregory VII, that humbled the barefooted penitent Henry IV, died in exile in 1085, the year following his final leaving of Rome. It was Henry that caused his final tragedies.

(3) Comments

  1. Eugene, might you be able to post a link to your Word document for this article? I’ve really appreciated that you’ve provided the Word documents for virtually all of your posts.

    God bless,

  2. Hi. I’d like to know your opinion on this text. “In the Scriptures are presented truths that relate especially to our own time. To the period just prior to the appearing of the Son of man, the prophecies of Scripture point, and here their warnings and threatenings pre-eminently apply. The prophetic periods of Daniel, extending to the very eve of the great consummation, throw a flood of light upon events then to transpire. The book of Revelation is also replete with warning and instruction for the last generation.” RH September 25, 1883, par. 6

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