The 1,260 Year Reign Of The Popes Of The Roman Catholic Church

This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study focuses on the period of 1,260 prophetic days.

Most early Church Father’s knew that the Roman Empire was the restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2, which held the antichrist beast back.  Once the Roman Emperor was removed, they surmised that the Son of Perdition, the antichrist, would rise to power and reign for 1,260 days, or 3 1/2 years.

To have interpreted the 1,260 days as symbolically representing 1,260 years of suffering and subjected condition of witnesses to gospel truth, was of course impossible at that early period of the Church’s history. The latter view only dawned upon the minds of Apocalpytic interpreters during the actual fulfillment of the prophecy in the middle ages. (History Unveiling Prophecy, Henry Grattan Guinness)

No correct anticipation of the fulfillment of the predictions relating to Antichrist, viewed as a whole, was possible in the opening centuries of the Church’s history.

It was universally believed that the end of the world and the kingdom of heaven were at hand.

It foreshortened the prospect of the Apocalypse to a narrow margin. It knew nothing of the long centuries which were destined to elapse before the dispensation had run its course.

It knew nothing of the great Apostasy which was to darken the earth by its long and terrible eclipse; and nothing of the glorious Reformation which was to follow.

After the last Western Roman Emperor was removed in 476 A.D., the Popes of Rome took power shortly in 538 A.D, when they were given authority by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian.

And they reigned for 1,260 years until 1798 A.D. when the Jesuits caused Napoleon’s army to take the Pope captive.

Seven forms (7 heads of Rev. 17) of the Roman Empire existed before the 8th head, the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church, took power.

There are many descriptions of the time frame in which the antichrist beast would reign, all of which point to the 1,260 year period that the Popes of Rome reigned from 538-1798 A.D.

A brief description is provided here, and more detailed explanations are found in the studies.  Notice how they all describe the Popes of Rome who historians note killed over 50 million saints during their reign.

The Little Horn of Daniel 7 who persecuted the saints for “a time and times and the dividing of time.”

After the Roman Empire collapsed, it split into ten civil kingdoms (10 heads). Satan caused the Popes of Rome (the Little Horn) to rise to power, who caused three of the kingdoms to be plucked out.

The period during which the holy city is trodden under foot by the Gentiles for “forty and two months” in Revelation 11.

Revelation 11 describes Martin Luther measuring what the Popes of Rome taught against what the Word of God (the rod of iron) says. He found that the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate Church, a gentile church, who persecuted the holy city (the true church, the bride of Christ) for 1,260 years.

The period during which the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11 prophesy for “thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

The Two Witnesses are the Word of God and the Church of Christ, both of which witnessed that salvation is by faith in the atoning work of Messiah alone, not by the Roman Catholic sacraments; and they both testified that the Popes of Rome are the Little Horn of Daniel, the Son of Perdition of 2 Thessalonians 2 and the antichrist beast of Revelation 13.

The Church of Christ escaping to the wilderness for “a time, and times, and half a time” in Revelation 12.

After Messiah caused the Roman Empire to collapse, Satan empowered the Roman Catholic Church, who sent a flood of people, such as the soldiers of France and Spain, to persecute and kill the saints.

The reign of the sea beast for “forty and two months” in Revelation 13.

The Popes of Rome spoke blasphemous things such as proclaiming to be God and to forgive sins, and they persecuted the saints during the Dark Ages and Inquisition.

So history unveils that these prophecies all point to the same 1,260 year time period of Great Tribulation, from 538-1798 A.D., during which the Popes of Rome were the reigning power in the world.

So it is not referring to 3 1/2 years of Great Tribulation during the end times.

David Nikao Wilcoxson

Next Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible Study: Revelation 13 – Roman Sea Beast

Prophecy points to the 1,260 year reign of power of the antichrist Popes of Rome, who led the Roman Catholic Church.


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25 thoughts on “The 1,260 Year Reign Of The Popes Of The Roman Catholic Church”

  1. I have 2 questions…When we are born, in the catholic church, the babies are baptized. Then is general conversation, I heard that a person needs to be of age to make their own decisions on whether or not to be baptized. Does this mean that Catholics that are baptized as babies, before they know GOD, that the baptism is not a true baptism?

    I am a non practicing Catholic, because I feel that if you believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and we all believe there is only ONE TRUE GOD, then it does matter what religious faith anyone is, that it is all the same. As long as a person believes in what I said above………..If a person truly holds in their heart that Jesus died for us and I firmly believe that there is only one GOD, not any man in any position has the right to mislead people into believing that they are equal with God, which I was never taught that to begin with, and I deny satan and all of his evil works, these beliefs is all I need to be worthy to stand in front of GOD and go to heaven? I, with all of my heart and soul, want to go to heaven.

    I know satan is gathering as many souls as he can right now, through heroin, mostly, and all the things that are in the 10 commandments that people are going against and not fearing the wrath of GOD.

    If a person is ignorant of the true facts mostly because they were taught by the ignorance of their parents as well..ect…….is this something that GOD will forgive?………I do feel that what is happening in our world today is not a fight between man, but is a fight between GOD and satan. Is this the end of times. I am so confused.

    • Are you so confused my friend?
      Don’t be.

      The Word of God is a light unto our feet – let it guide you in truth.
      Forget romanism and its deceptions.

      (i) Catholic baptism is a counterfeit.
      True baptism is one of faith, not of ritual.

      Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

      You must believe AND then be baptised.

      Act 8:36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 
      Act 8:37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 

      If thou believest with ALL your heart.
      So the catholic baptism is a lie.

      (ii) It does matter what you believe

      It is not enough to know Jesus paid our sins, He must become our Lord and Master.

      Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 

      If we do not confess Jesus as our Lord and Master, God in the flesh, then we are lost.

      Joh 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 

      “I am” is how God referred to Himself to Moses.

      So it is important to believe :
      Christ is the Lord God in the flesh
      Christ lived as a man on the Earth
      He paid for our sins
      That He is the ONLY way, ONLY truth, ONLY life
      That He becomes your salvation – not YOUR works, but by HIS works

      (iii) You are not saved by your obedience to the 10 commandments

      No one is saved by obedience to the Law.

      Act 15:10  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 
      Act 15:11  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 

      Rom 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 

      We receive righteousness as a gift… by faith.

      It was Christs work and resurrection that grants us righteousness to go to Heaven.

      Rom 4:25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

      We are saved ONLY by Grace through faith.. and not by works.
      However, faith WILL have works – but that is ONLY a natural side effect.
      As a fruit tree WILL have fruit…

      Just trust in Jesus’s atonement… forget trying to obtain your righteousness.

      Rom_10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

      (iv) It is not a fight against God and satan on earth

      That happened in Heaven.

      Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 
      Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 

      Here is a fight between the CHURCH and satan.

      ev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 

      We overcome satan by Grace ( the blood of Jesus) and by faith (the Word of God).

      We must already realise that we HAVE won in Christ.
      Our spirits are ALREADY victorious (the resurrection).
      We are coming FROM a victory and not TO a victory.

      On Earth, it is a fight between Truth and Lies.
      The Word of God is our main weapon – declare it over yourself.
      Don’t let satan define what Truth is…get it from Gods Word.

      Be blessed

    • Catholicism is a false religion made in the image of the ancient pantheons of G-ds from ancient Babylon. I was denounce the evil religion and turn to only Jesus…. You must deny Mary as anything other than a human being. You are worshipping her as the Goddess of fertility. Only Jesus is G-d.

  2. can you expand on Rev 12. that the church of Christ would escape to the wilderness and being persucded for 1260 years doesn’t seem to go together

  3. How do you know that the 1,260 year period began in 538? There were Popes before 538. Would it be better to date this to 313 when Constantine started appointing bishops? Popes were appointed/elected beginning in the 4th century.

    • Eric, the 1,260 years isn’t based on when the Popes have existed, it’s based on when they were given civil and ecclesiastic authority, which was in 538. And when that authority was removed, which was in 1798, when the Pope was taken captive by Napoleon’s army.

      As you noted, Constantine was arguably the first Pope. And the Popes are still around today, but they don’t have real authority and power, it’s just an image, the image of the beast.

      The false prophet Superior General, the Black Pope, controls the Vatican and the White Pope. They are using the Vatican to gather the world under their power.

      Here’s a study that shows you how Prophecy Points To The Leader Of The Roman Beast

      • Thanks for the reply. I’ve read almost all of your website and find it fascinating. I don’t agree with everything, for instance, about the Jesuits being behind everything or the Catholic Church starting Islam. I believe Islam is Satanic in origin, but I’m not sure if Catholic people were involved. I’m very skeptical of conspiracy theories because a big secret like that would be hard to keep for that long.

        But I think the general approach is correct that God revealed the history of the Church in advance. Years ago I was taught the futurist approach and found holes in it as soon as I started examining scripture myself. I found no evidence of a pre-trib rapture, but still supported futurism in general. I still see evidence of a rapture, but it’s when Jesus returns and all Christians will welcome him (meeting Him in the air).

        Next, I figured out that Revelation 2 and 3 were referring to church history, and then I thought, “If Revelation 2 and 3 clearly are historical, why not the rest of the book?” I’m also very informed of history and love studying it, so when you reference certain events I don’t get lost. I have a theory that Satan has also undermined our history education in order to keep people in the dark.

        Anyways, for a while I believed that the beast was Islam because Islam is so clearly the enemy of Christians, and I thought the seventh head of chapter 13 pointed to Islam (with the other six being Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome). Also, that the lion, leopard, and bear point to a particular geographic region encompassing Asia Minor, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Persia seems to indicate a beast from that region. It still concerns me that Daniel describes the 4th kingdom destroying completely those that came before it, and that Rome never conquered Persia.

        I find the argument of the beast being the Roman Empire and the image of the beast being the Roman Catholic Church very persuading. The Catholic Church is the image, like a reflection of the original. The amount of evidence you present in Revelation is huge. I never heard of the theory you have for chapter 10. That’s amazing and very convincing.

        Is it possible that the beast from the sea in chapter 13 is the Roman empire (including what’s called the Byzantine empire) and the beast from the earth (with 2 horns like a lamb) are the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches? I find that much more likely than the beast from the Sea being the Pope and the beast from the earth being Jesuits. It’s a minor tweak, but please consider it as a possibility. We tend to ignore the Eastern Roman Empire because we came from the West, but they were there for a very long time, and the capital was moved to Constantinople in the 4th century, so Constantinople was the capital longer than Rome was. When the angel to the church of Pergamum refers to it being the seat of Satan, I think he’s referring to the city of Constantinople, which was capital during that period.

        Also, I haven’t found this yet, but do you have any commentary on Ezekiel 38 and 39? My theory is that it’s an alliance of Muslim nations invading Israel at the very end of time (verse 39:7 refers to the Messiah being in the land at the time). I haven’t found anything on your site for that passage, and I’m always looking for more information. My goal isn’t to be proven right. It’s to discover the truth, so I look for different perspectives and weight the evidence. I even looked into preterism, but found that it was likely incorrect.

        Anyways, your site is literally the best prophecy website I’ve ever seen. God bless.

        • Thank you for your comment Eric and for sharing your perspective. It’s a learning process to be sure, as we unlearn what was taught to us.

          Revelation is the historical narrative of the battle between the Satan-empowered leader of the Roman beast against Messiah and His saints.

          John describes the pagan Roman Empire and the Emperors in Revelation, who Satan used to try to wipe out the early kill, killing millions of saints.

          The seal judgments caused the decline of the Roman Empire, and the trumpet war judgments the fall, with the last Western Roman Emperor being removed in 476.

          The 10 horns on the fourth beast of Daniel points to the ten civil kingdoms that formed out of the fallen Roman Empire. The Little horn, the Popes, rose up and demanded that they bow down to his authority, 3 would not, and they were plucked out.

          Paul points to the transition from the Emperors to the Popes in 2 Thessalonians 2, as the Emperors were the ‘restrainer’ who prevented the Popes from taking power. After the last Emperor was removed in 476, the Popes took power.

          Revelation 17 points to this transition as it says that the 8th king, the Popes of Rome, would rise to power out of the fallen Roman Empire; which had seven forms of government, the 7 kings. 5 kings had passed already when John wrote Revelation, the 6th was the Emperors. The 7th lasted a short time from 476-538. And then the 8th king, the Popes of Rome took power.

          So we can see by those prophecies that the leader of the Roman sea beast is the antichrist beast Popes of Rome, who reigned for 1260 years, from 538-1798.

          And we can see that the false priest, the Superior General, was given authority over the Roman beast at the time. The two horns are the two leaders, the false prophet Superior General and the antichrist beast Pope. They act like priests of Messiah, lamb-like; but they really serve Satan the dragon.

          We can see in Revelation 19:20 that those those leaders, the antichrist beast Pope and the false prophet Superior General, will be captured; which again shows that the leaders of the end times earth beast is those two people.

          This study covers all of that in more detail.

          The Eastern Roman Empire was attacked during the 6th Trumpet by the Turks. The Popes had burned a lot of the Scriptures in Western Europe, but they had been taken to Constantinople. So when the Turks came to attack, some priests fled with the Bible manuscripts and took them to Western Europe, where they were used to help people translate the Scriptures into English so that everyone could read them after the Dark Ages.

          And the Ottoman Empire was dried up in the 6th bowl. So the Eastern Roman Empire has played a role in prophecy.

          As for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39, I’m working on a study that shows the fulfillment of that, which is shocking. Right now I’m busy writing a book on Revelation that will include that information, and then I will make a study for the website.

          Keep learning and growing in The Way!

          • Wow, David and Eric, that was an epic discussion. Thank you both for the time invested into these studies. I would put myself in the exact same boat as Eric, that I have been on a journey and have found your website to be the most compelling and exhilarating. At this point I don’t even care if I’m wrong and the futurist view is correct, if so, I will find out at that time. However, for right now this perspective fills me with great hope and confidence in the scriptures and prophecy, and I’m so thankful that Messiah reigns victorious! “for the battle is the Lord’s”

            Blessings to each of you!

  4. Hi David

    I have studied prophecy and have heard all the futurist arguments – which is 90% of church teaching today – which I refute wholly.

    Your teaching is very close to my understanding. I have also written on the false teaching of a 3rd temple. A great misunderstanding of Mat 24 has been spoonfed to christians… No doubt under roman inspiration.

    I too have little time for hearing about raptures.
    My findings show that it is a mere detail of the 2nd coming.

    But your explanation on the trumpets and cups is different to my understanding. I would be interested in reading your summary on that issue.

    Thanks for the good work I have read about the 3.5 yrs of the antichrist.
    Indeed, it IS each day for a year.

    Num 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. 

    May the Lord Jesus encourage you brother


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