In Daniel 12:4, the prophet was told to seal parts of the book till “the time of the end.” In verse 6 an angelic voice asked, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” Verse 7 says, “It shall be for a time, times, and an half.”
What does the period of “time, times, and an half” amount to?
1. A time is a year, times is two years, and the dividing of time is a half-year. The Amplified Bible translates it: “Three and one-half years.” The Amplified Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1962.
2. This same time period is mentioned seven times (Daniel 7:25 12:7 Revelation 11:2, 3 12:6, 14 13:5) in the books of Daniel and Revelation: three times as a time, times, and half a time twice as 42 months and twice as 1,260 days. Based on the 30-day calendar used by the Jews, these time periods are all the same amount of time:
3 1/2 years = 42 months = 1,260 days.
3. One prophetic day equals one literal year (Ezekiel 4:6 Numbers 14:34).
4. Thus, the little horn (Antichrist) was to have power over the saints for 1,260 prophetic days or 1,260 literal years.
5. The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms was uprooted. Its rule continued until 1798 when Napoleon’s general, Berthier, took the pope captive with hopes of destroying both Pope Pius VI and the political, secular power of the papacy. This period of time is an exact fulfillment of the 1,260-year prophecy. The blow was a deadly wound for the papacy, but that wound began to heal and continues healing today.
6. This same period of persecution is mentioned in Matthew 24:21 as the worst period of persecution God’s people will ever experience. Verse 22 tells us it was so devastating that not one soul would have survived if God had not shortened it. But God did shorten it. The persecution ended long before the pope was taken captive in 1798.
The angel assured Daniel that the section of the book dealing with end-time prophecies would be opened after the end of the 1260-year period of papal control which was in 1798.
In His service,
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