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