In our study of Daniel chapter seven, we will be able to enlarge upon the dream given in Daniel chapter two. In this chapter, Daniel sees four different beasts representing four separate kingdoms. Like chapter two, these beasts will represent the rise and fall of empires leading us to a last day event. Additional information will be give towards the latter part of the vision. We will be particularly interested in the little horn power and the judgment.
Our study of Daniel chapters two and seven will help prepare us to better understand Daniel chapter eight, where we find the 2300th day prophesy.
Verses 1-3: Four Ferocious Beasts
Daniel saw four great beasts come up out of the sea different from one another.
“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” Daniel 7:2, 3
These four beasts represented four different kingdoms that would reign upon the earth.
“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings [or kingdoms], which shall arise out of the earth.” Daniel 7:17
Verse 4: Babylon
The first beast was symbolically described as a lion with eagle’s wings.
“The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” Daniel 7:4
Ancient Babylon used the lion and eagle as common symbols. In fact, lions would be depicted with the wings of eagles. The Bible describes Babylon as a lion. See Jeremiah 50:17.
It is interesting to note that in chapter two, Babylon was symbolically represented with the most precious of metals—gold. In chapter seven, Babylon is represented by the king of beasts—the lion. Both are fitting symbols of the power and magnificence of ancient Babylon.
Verse 5: Medo-Persia
The second beast looked like a bear, which raised itself up on one side, and had three ribs between his teeth.
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” Daniel 7:5
In Daniel chapter two, the Medes and Persians were described as the silver breast and arms. In Daniel chapter five, the Medes and Persians are described as defeating the Babylonians in 539. As a result, the Medes and Persians became the next world empire.
Here in Daniel chapter seven, we find the Medes and Persians described as a bear. The two sides of the bear represent the Medes (one side) and the Persians (the higher side). In this dual empire of the Medes and Persians, the Persians became the more dominant of the two and thus became the higher side of the bear. The three ribs in the mouth of the bear represent the three kingdoms that Medo-Persia needed to defeat to become the next world empire: Egypt, Lydia, and Babylon.
Verse 6: Greece
The third beast was likened to a leopard with four wings and four heads.
“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Daniel 7:6
History identifies the Greeks as the next world empire that defeated the Medes and Persians in 331 BC. In fact, the book of Daniel refers to the Grecian Empire as defeating the Medo-Persian empire. See Daniel 8:3–8, 20–22; 11:1-3.
The leopard kingdom of Greece is described with four wings because Alexander the Great defeated the world so quickly. But Alexander died just as suddenly and quickly as he conquered the world. Because he had no son to take over the empire, it was divided among his four generals which are represented by the four heads on the leopard beast. Each head represented one of the four divisions of the Grecian Empire. General Cassander took over Macedonia; General Lysimachus reigned over Asia Minor; General Ptolemy became king over Egypt; and General Seleucus ruled over Babylon.
Verse 7: Rome
The fourth beast represented the fourth kingdom upon the earth.
“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” Daniel 7:23
History identifies Rome as becoming the fourth world empire by defeating the Greeks in 168 BC. In chapter two, Rome was represented by the iron legs which “breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things” Daniel 2:40
In chapter seven, Rome is described as a ferocious beast with “great iron teeth” that devours and brakes, and stamps with its feet.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Daniel 7:7
This fourth beast had ten horns. These ten horns represented ten kings or kingdoms that came out of Rome.
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:24
When the Roman Empire fell in AD 476, she was divided up into ten smaller kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon (English), Alemanni (Germans), Franks (French), Burgundians (Swiss), Suevi (Portuguese), Visigoths (Spanish), Vandals (in north Africa), Lombards, Ostrogoths, and the Heruli (each in part of Italy).
Verse 8: The Little Horn
Then arose a little horn power after the break-up of the Roman Empire in AD 476.
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:24
This little horn power arose after them, yet among them.
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8
Because of this little horn power, three of the original ten horns would be plucked up or destroyed as nations in Europe, namely, the destruction of the Heruli in AD 493, the Vandals in AD 534, and the Ostrogoths in AD 538. The other seven kingdoms still exist today as nations in Europe.
This little horn had the eyes of a man. See Daniel 7:8. It had “a mouth speaking great things” or speaking “great words against the most High.” Daniel 7:8, 25. It was in fact, working against God and His plan of salvation.
Verses 9, 10: The Judgment
What follows the rise and rule of the little horn power? It is the judgment. Here we find the Ancient of days, the Father. His throne is as the fiery flame and moving as wheels of burning fire.
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days [the Father] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Daniel 7:9
As this great scene progresses, we see billions of angels attending the glorious event.
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10
The judgment is set and ready to go, but it does not begin until “one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they [the angels] brought him near before him.”
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven [a cloud of angels], and came to the Ancient of days, and they [the angels] brought him [Jesus] near before him [the Father].” Daniel 7:13
The “Son of man” is none other than Jesus Christ. The judgment does not begin until Jesus is escorted to the Father in a cloud of angels, for the “Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: . . . And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” John 5:22, 27
The Father, the Ancient of days, presides over the judgment, but Jesus, the Son of man, executes the judgment. For God the Father has “appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Jesus Christ] whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:31.
The Bible refers to the judgment more than a thousand times. Daniel’s name itself means God is judge. In the book of Daniel, we find God judging ancient Babylon (Daniel 5:26-28), God beginning His judgment of the whole human race (Daniel 7:9, 10), and the final judgment when God renders unto every man according to his deeds (Daniel 12:1, 2).
When does God begin to judge the world?
Though we are not given a time prophecy in chapter seven to pinpoint a day in which God will judge the world, we are given a general time period of this great event. On four different occasions in this chapter, the judgment always follows the description of the little horn power.
The first reference is found in verses 8-10, where the little horn power is introduced as one with “a mouth speaking great things.” (verse 8) Then follows the judgment. (verses 9, 10)
In the second reference, we again find the little horn speaking “great words.” (verse 11) Then follows the description of the “Son of man” coming to the “Ancient of days” to begin the judgment. (verse 13)
In our third reference, we again find the little horn speaking “very great things.” (verses 19-21). Then again follows the judgment. (verse 22)
In our fourth reference, we find the little horn again speaking “great words against the most High.”
This power also thinks that it has authority to change times and laws. We are told that it would “wear out the saints of the most High.” We are told that it would rule for “a time and times and the dividing of time.” (verse 25) Then follows the judgment. (verse 26)
It is clear that the judgment follows the reign of the little horn power. We are told that this power would reign for “a time and times and the dividing of time.” Therefore, the judgment will take place at some point after the fulfillment of this great time prophecy described as “a time and times and the dividing of time.”
Who is this little horn power? And, how long is “a time and times and the dividing of time”?
We know that the fourth beast represented the Roman Empire, and that the ten horns represented the break-up of the Roman Empire into ten smaller nations in Europe. These ten horns, or kingdoms, arose out of Rome. This little horn power would also arise out of Rome. Let us draw a more definitive description of the little horn power:
This little horn was to be a kingdom as the other horns are kingdoms, for it says:
“And another [horn] shall rise.…” Daniel 7:24.
Horns are defined by the Bible as kings or kingdoms. See Daniel 7:24. So the little horn possesses political power.
This little horn was to come up among the other ten horns or ten nations in Europe. Therefore, it was to come out of Rome, for it says:
“…there came up among them another little horn.” Daniel 7:8.
We can get the approximate date when this little horn was to arise to political power, for it says:
“And another shall rise after them.” Daniel 7:24.
Therefore, this little horn power could not assume political power until the last of the ten divisions of Rome was formed in AD 476.
He was to uproot three horns or three kings—the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths. See Daniel 7:8, 24.
He shall be diverse from the first ten. It would be a radically different kingdom. See Daniel 7:8.
This diverse kingdom was to have a singular male leader at the top, who is represented as having great intelligence, for he has the “eyes of a man” and a mouth. See Daniel 7:8
The little horn’s mouth would speak great words against God. See Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 25.
This power will think that it has the authority to make alterations in times and laws. See Daniel 7:25.
We are told the length of time that this power would maintain political power. It says:
“. . . until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25.
How long is a “time and times and the dividing of time”?
We find the answer by comparing scripture with scripture. Let us consider the following verses found in the books of Daniel and Revelation:
“And he [the little horn power] 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.” Daniel 7:25.
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue 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.” Revelation 13:5–7.
Little Horn (represents a political power)
Speaks great words against God
Wears out the saints of God
Rules for time, times, and the dividing of time
First Beast (represents a political power)
Speaks blasphemously against God
Wars against the saints
Rules for forty and two months
Bible students have correctly identified the little horn power of Daniel chapter seven as the same power as the first beast of Revelation chapter thirteen. Therefore, is a “time and times and the dividing of time” the same as “forty and two months”?
Let us consider a couple verses in the book of Revelation that will answer that question.
“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.” Revelation 12:14.
“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.” Revelation 12:6.
Woman (God’s true church)
Fled into the wilderness
Hath a place prepared
Should feed her
Woman (God’s true church)
Might fly into the wilderness
Into her place
She is nourished
Time, times, and half a time
Both of these passages refer to God’s true church being persecuted. One passage says they are persecuted for 1260 days, the other says for a “time, times, and half a time.” Are these two time periods the same?
If 1260 days is the same as a “time, and times, and half a time,” then a “time” must equal one year, “times” equals two years, and “half a time” equals six months or three and a half years. What is three and a half years? It is forty-two months. How many days are in forty-two months? There are 1260 days in forty-two months. Therefore, a “time, times, and half a time,” must be the same as forty-two month and 1260 days.
A Biblical calendar year is 360 days. Therefore, 360 + 360 + 360 + 180 = 1260 days.
If you divide 1260 days by thirty days in a month, you have forty-two months.
But wait! How could any entity accomplish all these things if it were in authority for only 1260 literal days?
In Bible prophecy, a day represents a year. Consider the following scripture references:
“For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.” Ezekiel 4:5–6 NAS. See also Numbers 14:33–34.
This little horn power was to rule for 1260 years. Sad to say, there is only one institution that fits all of the descriptions of this little horn power in the seventh chapter of Daniel. After all, how many powers have ruled for exactly 1260 years? How many powers could have been responsible for the destruction of the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths?
There are plenty of powers that could fit a few of these descriptions. However, there is only one power that fits all of them. It is the Papacy. Let us consider each identifying mark with its historical support:
Is the Papacy another kingdom? Did it arise out of Rome?
The papal power was not only a religion but also a kingdom. Just as the little horn came out of the fourth beast, so did the Papacy come out of the Roman Empire.
“Under the Roman Empire the popes had no temporal powers. But when the Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place had been taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic Church not only became independent of the states in religious affairs, but dominated secular affairs as well. . . . The well-organized, unified, and centralized church, with the pope at its head, was not only independent in ecclesiastical affairs but also controlled civil affairs.” Carl Conrad Eckhardt, The Papacy and World Affairs, The University of Chicago Press, 1937, 1.
“Long ages ago, when Rome through the neglect of the Western Emperors was left to the mercy of the barbarous hordes, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection, and asked him to rule them; and thus, . . . commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes. And meekly stepping to the throne of Caesar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow reverence through so many ages.” American Catholic Quarterly Review, April 1911.
“The Church, with the shadow of the ancient authority behind it, was the only symbol left of imperial Rome; and its bishop, the Pope, was the city’s only recourse for leadership and protection. . . . The Roman Empire in Europe would be replaced by the spiritual empire—which came to be temporal as well—whose reigning seigneur was the bishop of Rome.” Scherman, The Birth of France, 164.
“Out of the ruins of political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in the ‘giant form’ of the Roman Church.” A.C. Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, 1909, page 150.
Did the Papacy arise at the proper time? Did she rule for 1260 years?
The Papacy began and reigned at exactly the time predicted. She would arise to political power after the first ten horns had been established, and she would reign for exactly 1260 years.
“Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the martyrologies. Vigilius (537-555) is the first of a series of popes who no longer bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred. From this time on the popes, more and more involved in worldly affairs, no longer belong solely to the Church; they are men of the state, and then rulers of the state.” Charles Bemont and G. Monod, Medieval Europe from 395 to 1270, 120–121. (It is widely recognized that Vigilius’ reign began in AD 538, the year that so much power was given to the Papacy by Justinian. His predecessor, Pope Silverius, did not die until June, AD 538).
The ten nations of Europe were formed by AD 476. The Papacy began her political reign in AD 538, fulfilling the prophecy that she would arise after them. Therefore, if she arose in AD 538, then her temporal or political reign should have ended historically in AD 1798. Let us see what happened in that year:
“When in 1797, Pope Pius VI fell grievously ill, Napoleon gave orders that in the event of his death no successor should be elected to his office, and the Papacy should be discontinued. But the Pope recovered. The peace was soon broken: Berthier entered Rome on the tenth of February 1798, and proclaimed (Rome to be) a republic. The aged Pontiff refused to violate his oath by recognizing it, and was hurried from prison to prison in France. Broken with fatigue and sorrows, he died on the seventeenth of August, 1799, in the French fortress of Valence, aged 82 years. No wonder half of Europe thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope, the Papacy was dead.” Joseph Rickaby, The Modern Papacy, 1.
The Papacy ruled for exactly 1260 years—just as God’s Word predicted.
Did the Papacy instigate the destruction of the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths?
“I might cite three that were eradicated from before the pope out of the list first given, viz., the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.” Edward B. Elliott, Horae Apocalyptica, vol. 3, 139, note 1.
Was the Papacy a different kind of kingdom?
The Papacy is clearly a different kind of political power. Most governments are either monarchies, republics, military coups, or socialistic in nature. But the Papacy is a religio-political power that claims authority over the conscience of men, both civilly and religiously.
Does the Papacy have a man at the head of its organization?
“The Vatican structure of power is a pyramid with a very thin peak, where the Pope is perched in a position of such grandeur and isolation that he is qualitatively detached from the rest of the machinery of power. He is so far above his subordinates that he is more like a public image than a human being.” At the bottom of the pyramid are perhaps one billion “baptized Catholics throughout the world who have professed allegiance to the Holy See at some time in their lives. . . . The Pope is the absolute monarch of this whole structure. Elected for life by a committee of princes, the cardinals, he has exclusive power to appoint new princes as vacancies occur, and the princes have no power to discipline him or to remove him after they have once elected him.” Paul Blanshard, Communism, Democracy, and Catholic Power, 49–51.
Does the Pope speak great words against Christ by claiming the power and authority of Christ?
“All the names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope.” Robert Bellarmine, On the Authority of the Councils, 1628 edition, chapter 17, 1, 266.
“We hold upon the earth the place of God Almighty.” Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter of June 20, 1894.
“For not man, but God separates those whom the Roman Pontiff (who exercises the functions, not of mere man, but of the true God), having weighed the necessity or benefit of the churches, dissolves, not by human but rather by divine authority.” Decretals of Gregory IX, book 1, title 7, chapter 3, in Corpus Juris Canonici, 1555 edition, vol. 2, col. 203.
“The pope is supreme judge of the law of the land. . . . He is vicegerent of Christ, and is not only a priest forever, but also King of kings and Lord of lords.” La Civilta Cattolica, March 1871.
Pope Boniface VIII in AD 1294 said in his celebrated bull Unam Sanctum:
“The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God, and the vicar of God. The pope alone is called most holy, . . . Divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and king of kings. . . . The pope is of so great dignity and power, that he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatsoever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. . . . The pope is as God on earth.”
“The pope is not a power among men to be venerated like another. But he is a power altogether Divine. He is the propounder and teacher of the law of the Lord in the whole universe; he is the supreme leader of the nations, to guide them in the way of eternal salvation; he is the common father and universal guardian of the whole human species in the name of God. The human species has been perfected in its natural qualities by Divine revelation and by the incarnation of the Word, and has been lifted up into a supernatural order, in which alone it can find its temporal and eternal felicity. The treasures of revelation, the treasures of supernatural graces upon earth, have been deposited by God in the hands of one man, who is the sole dispenser and keeper of them. The life-giving work of the Divine incarnation, work of wisdom, of love, of mercy, is ceaselessly continued in the ceaseless action of one man, thereto ordained by Providence. This man is the pope. This is evidently implied in his designation itself, the vicar of Christ. For if he holds the place of Christ upon earth, that means that he continues the work of Christ in the world, and is in respect of us what Christ would be if He were here below, Himself visibly governing the Church.” Reverend William Arthur, The Pope, the Kings, and the People, vol. 1, 211.
Does the Papacy think it has the authority to change the law of God? Has it in any way thought to change the Ten Commandments?
“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day—a change for which there is not Scriptural authority.” Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 3rd edition, 174.
“The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the [Sabbath] day from Saturday to Sunday.” Catholic Mirror, September 1893.
“Question: Is the observance of Sunday as the day of rest a matter clearly laid down in Scripture?
“Answer: It certainly is not; and yet all Protestants consider the observance of this particular day as essentially necessary to salvation. To say we observe the Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day, is to say we act without warrant of Scripture; and we might as well say that we should rest on Thursday, because Christ ascended to heaven on that day, and rested in reality from the work of redemption.” Stephen Keenan, The Controversial Catechism, 160.
“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath.
“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the council of Laodicea (AD 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 50.
“Question: What day is the Sabbath? Answer: Saturday.
“Question: Who changed it? Answer: The Catholic Church.” From Reverend Dr. Butler’s Catechism, Revised, 57.
“In all their official books of instruction Protestants claim that their religion is based on the Bible and the Bible only, and they reject tradition as even a part of their rule of faith…. There is no place in the New Testament where it is distinctly stated that Christ changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. Yet, all Protestants follow tradition in observing Sunday.” Our Sunday Visitor, June 11, 1950.
“Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives; either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.
“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 92nd edition, 89.
The Vatican admits in changing the Sabbath to Sunday, and that such a change is not Biblical. Although the Papacy thinks it has the authority to change the law of God, many Christian groups continued to keep the seventh-day Sabbath for hundreds of years. Consider the following:
“Widespread and enduring was the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath among the believers of the Church of the East and the St. Thomas Christians of India, who never were connected with Rome. It also was maintained among those bodies which broke off from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon, namely, the Abyssianians, the Jacobites, the Maronites, and the Armenians.” Schaff-Herzog, The New Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, article on Nestorianer.
“The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate (Roman Catholic) and kept Saturday as a day of rest.” Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, 237.
“In 1310, two hundred years before Luther’s theses, the Bohemian brethren constituted one-fourth of the population of Bohemia, and that they were in touch with the Waldenses who abounded in Austria, Lombardy, Bohemia, north Germany, Thuringia, Brandenburg, and Moravia. Erasmus pointed out how strictly Bohemian Waldenses kept the seventh-day Sabbath.” Armitage, A History of the Baptists, 313.
“The Paulicians, Petrobusians, Passagininians, Waldenses, and Insabbatati were great Sabbathkeeping bodies of Europe down to AD 1250.” Coltheart, The Sabbath of God through the Centuries, 1954.
“God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it to Himself. God willed that His command concerning the Sabbath should remain. He willed that on the seventh day the Word should be preached.” Martin Luther, Commentary on Genesis, vol. 1, 138–140.
Did the Papacy wear out the saints of God?
It is estimated that the Vatican is responsible for the martyrdom of over 50 million innocent people.
“That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a complete knowledge of history.” William E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, volume 2, 35.
“ ‘Know that the interest of the Holy See, and those of your crown, make it a duty to exterminate the Hussites. Remember that these impious persons dare proclaim principles of equality; they maintain that all Christians are brethren, and that God has not given to privileged men the right of ruling the nations; they hold that Christ came on earth to abolish slavery; they call people to liberty, that is, to the annihilation of kings and priests! Whilst there is still time, then, turn your forces against Bohemia; burn, massacre, make deserts everywhere, for nothing could be more agreeable to God, or more useful to the cause of kings, then the extermination of the Hussites.’ ” L. M. de Cormenin, The Public and Private History of the Popes of Rome, vol. 2, 116–117.
The identification of the Papacy as the little horn power is nothing new. The Protestant Reformers knew the Papacy was the little horn power of Daniel chapter seven. Many Bible students today hold to the same view.
But what follows the 1260 years of Papal rule?
It is the Judgment. Therefore, we expect that God will begin to judge the world after 1798. But when will God begin to judge? Is there a time prophecy that will pinpoint that day? The answer is “Yes.” And it is found in the next chapter of Daniel.
Before we turn to Daniel chapter eight, let us spend a little more time solidying the principle that a “day” represents a “year” in Bible prophecy.
Day for a Year Principle
When it comes to the time prophecies of the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days of Daniel chapter twelve, the forty-two months of Revelation chapter thirteen, the seventy weeks of Daniel chapter nine, and the 2300th day prophecy of Daniel chapter eight, we need to know for certain whether we are talking about “days” or “years.” After all, imagine the difference between the little horn power ruling for 1260 days or 1260 years.
To answer that question, let us turn again to the book of Numbers 14:33, 34, where we read:
“And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 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.”
In this passage, we have the words “day” and “year” closely linked together in a prophetic setting. God had promised to Israel the land of Canaan. But in their faithlessness they sent out spies to make sure it was safe to enter in. All but two of the twelve spies came back with an evil report. The ten faithless spies said:
“We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we…The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:31–33.
Therefore, the Lord punished Israel for her faithlessness, and declared that for each faithless day that they searched out the land, they would remain in the wilderness for a year. “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.”
Another clear example of this principle is found in the book of Ezekiel 4:4–6, which reads:
“Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
The prophet Ezekiel was commanded of God to lay on his left side for three hundred and ninety days to represent the three hundred and ninety years of Israel’s iniquity. Then the prophet Ezekiel was asked to symbolically represent the iniquity of Judah as well. This time he would lay on his right side for forty days, representing Judah’s forty years of iniquity. As the Lord told Ezekiel, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
Therefore, when we come to Revelation 12:6, we have a time prophecy of 1260 days. By applying the day for a year principle, we understand that this time prophecy represents 1260 years.
What does history have to say about this specific verse?
“In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of Rome was declared to be the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ Revelation 13:2. And now began the 1260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7. Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons, or to suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headman’s ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: ‘Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.’ Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: ‘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.’ Revelation 12:6.
“The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest of punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them…The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people. This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, AD 538, and terminated in 1798.… The periods here mentioned— ‘forty and two months,’ and ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’—are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in AD 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798.” The Great Controversy, E. G. White, 54, 55, 439, 266.
It is clear that the 1260 day prophecy found in Revelation 12:6, refers to 1260 years. It represents those years of Papal oppression, from 538 to 1798. This same 1260 year prophecy of Papal persecution against God’s true church, is also referred to as the “forty and two months” found in Revelation 13:5-7, and the “time, times, and the dividing of time” in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:14.
Thirty Days in a Prophetic Month
I would like us to review again, why 1260 days is the same as 42 months and a “time, times, and the dividing of time.”
If I were to ask you how many days are in an average month, you would say “thirty.” You would not say “twenty-eight days” because that would only represent 336 days in one year (28 days x 12 months). You would not say “twenty-nine days” because that would only represent 348 days in one year (29 days x 12 months). You would not say “thirty-one days” because that would represent 372 days in one year (31 days x 12 months). The only logical answer is “thirty days” in one month, which equals 360 days in a prophetic year. As we know, there are exactly 365 days in a literal year, but we will see that God Himself has defined a prophetic month as 30 days, and a prophetic year as 360 days.
Thirty Days in a Prophetic Month
God applied the formula of 30 days in a month during the time of the Flood. The Bible says:
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the heaven were opened…And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.” Genesis 7:11; 8:3, 4
In these verses, we know that there was five months from the seventeenth day of the second month to the seventeenth day of seventh month. Moses tells us that these five months represented 150 days. Hence, in computing time in the Bible, there are 30 days in a month, 360 days in a prophetic year, and 1260 days in forty and two months.
In the eighth chapter of Daniel, we will see the same rise and fall of empires from Medo-Persia, to Greece, to Rome, to the Papacy, followed by the 2300th day prophecy.