“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12).
Three “stepping stones” to understanding the time of Christ’s invisible presence and “parousia” which IS (part of) our present inheritance of “the truth,” are the 1260, 1290, and 1335 “days” of Daniel. The first of these is found twice in Daniel, and five times in Revelation. This provides a foundation for the other two.
The 1260 years are expressed in Daniel as 32 “times.” The meaning of this is clarified by the references in Revelation, which refer to the same period not only as 32 “times,” but also as 42 “months” and 1260 “days” (Revelation 11:2,3, 12:6,14, 13:5). This makes it apparent that a “time” is a prophetic year of 12 months, of 30 days each — for in this way the three descriptions are equal to each other. In prophecy a “day” is fulfilled as a year. We know this, because it is the key that makes the 70 weeks of Daniel chapter 9 take us to the time of the first advent. (See also Ezekiel 4:5,6, Numbers 14:34.)
These three prophetic periods (1260, 1290, and 1335 years) begin “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up” (Daniel 12:11). This text points back to Daniel 11:31, which describes the setting up of Papacy (with their false doctrine of the mass). Papacy received political authority in a sense in AD 538 when the Pope was left in control of Rome, but more fully in AD 539 when Ravenna, the political capital of Italy at the time, fell to the forces of the Roman Emperor Justinian (ruling then from Constantinople).
Justinian had only a few years earlier decreed that the Pope be recognized the religious head of all Christian churches. With the Gothic power thus subdued, this left the Pope the effective authority for the region. Papacy had now entered the field of political authority. Papacy, with its doctrine of the mass, had now been “set up” in authority.
1260 years: AD 539 to AD 1799 = The Period of Papal power.
During this period the true Church is depicted as symbolically fleeing into the wilderness. This is represented also, in the Old Testament, as a period of 3 1/2 years of drought during the time of the prophet Elijah (Luke 4:25, James 5:17).
In 1798 the Pope was taken prisoner out of Rome, and died in 1799 as a prisoner of Napoleon, who for a time refused to allow the election of a successor. Papacy never again regained their status as an authority directing the policy of nations. Their 1260 years allowed for that had closed. Subsequently Bible Societies sprang up that distributed the Bible by the millions, fulfilling Revelation 10:10,11.
1290 years: AD 539 to AD 1829 = Prophecies Clarify.
Daniel 12:10,11 indicates that at this time “the wise shall understand” the prophecies of Daniel in a clearer way.
In Daniel 12:11 we read about the 1290 years. “(11) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
In 1829, a notable series of prophetic studies in England made good progress in understanding the prophecies of Daniel, and clarifying expectations for the approaching Kingdom of Christ. (See www.heraldmag.org/2003/03nd_5.htm, subhead “Meanwhile, in England.”) Subsequently, in New England, The Adventist Movement was spawned by the time prophecies of Daniel. This movement coalesced around the studies of Bro. William Miller, and expanded widely through the Protestant Christian world.
It is interesting to note the following:
“In 17 BC King Herod, in the 18th year of his reign, began to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem (John 2:20). “This was 45 years before the year our Lord was baptized at Jordan to commence his First Advent ministry. In like manner, 1829 was a beginning in rebuilding the Church, the spiritual temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16)—45 years before 1874, when the work of Christ’s Second Advent commenced” (Br. David Rice, “Daniel: Conclusion,” Faithbuilders Fellowship, p.10).
1335 years: AD 539 to AD 1874 = Return of Christ.
Daniel 12 begins by referring to the second advent work of Christ when “Michael” (Jesus) would “stand up” in royal authority. This would precipitate a deliverance for Daniel’s people. There would subsequently be an unprecedented “time of trouble,” and also a resurrection of the dead (verse 2).
The 1260 and 1290 years are markers toward that time, but the 1335 years lead us directly to that time. We know from Luke 12:36,37 that there would also be a blessing of Truth, spiritual nourishment, for the saints of God from this time forward.
1874 marks the end of the 1335 years. It also marks the time beginning the works described earlier. With the return of Christ came the time for raising the sleeping saints to glory, quietly, unobserved by the world.
“37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels” (Matthew 13:37-39, KJV).
The restoration of Israel commenced soon thereafter. The Jewish settlement Petah Tikvah was formed in 1878, and 70 years later the nation of Israel became independent. In 1914 began a time of trouble with two World Wars in succession.
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Daniel 12:12). This text compares to Luke 12:37, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching.” What proceeds thereafter is a spiritual feast — the Divine Plan of the Ages. This opened up to the Bible Student world through the service of Br. Charles Russell, who was baptized about the year 1874.
In Revelation chapters two and three, Jesus gave a message to each of seven churches of Asia Minor, which represent the Church class in seven stages through the Gospel Age. To Church Four, Jesus said “hold fast till I come.” To Church Five he said, “I will come as a thief.” To Church Six, “I come quickly.” But to Church Seven — Laodicea — our period in history –— Jesus says “I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 2:25, 3:3, 11, 20). That time has come. Today, our understanding of the Truth is a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise.
The saints have waited long, and now the blessed time is here. Jesus has knocked at the door of our hearts with the rap of prophecy, and we have the honor to sup with him on a rich spiritual feast of truth.
Those who have come into the light of Present Truth recognize it as from our master.
The Divine Plan is sparkling with hope for everyone.
Christ died to redeem both the Church of the present age, and the world to be blessed during the approaching Millennial Age.
(For more information and specifics, please see the article “Daniel: Conclusion,” pages 10-12, Faithbuilders Fellowship, May-June 2009 edition, at 2043ad.com / button “Journal.”)
Other signs marking Christ’s return:
- Spiritism and the Occult increases — Matthew 24:26
- Wars and war preparations intensify — Joel 3:9-11; Matthew 24:6
- False Christs appear everywhere — Matthew 24:5
- Natural disasters — floods, hurricanes, earthquakes — Mark 13:8
- Rampant infidelity from presidency to pulpit — Luke 18:8; 2 Timothy 4:1-4
- Faith replaced by philosophies — Luke 18:8; 2 Timothy 4:1-4
- Men seek pleasure rather than Godliness — 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13
- Strife intensifies between capital and labor — James 5:1-4
- Juvenile delinquency and lack of respect for parents — 2 Timothy 3:2
- Men cry fearfully for peace — 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Luke 21:26. (The Associated Bible Students of Central Ohio, “Day of the Lord Comes as a Thief,” End Times, Issue No. 7, 1999.)
All of this shaking and turmoil is because Christ is tearing down this old order and ushering in his Kingdom. Psalm 72 speaks of this as dashing the old civil, social, financial and corrupt religious systems of this world.
More about Christ’s PAROUSIA (presence) can be read about in the following booklet:
Suggested Further Reading – With Direct Online Reading Reference Links —
“Three and a Half Years” by Br. David Rice. The Beauties of the Truth Journal,http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTAUG08.PDF
“Daniel: Conclusion” by Br. David Rice. Faithbuilders Fellowship — “Journal” section, May-June 2009 edition (at 2043ad.com / button “Journal.”) Here is the direct link to this article:
“A Secret Coming – A Thief In the Night.” The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, Nov-Dec. 2003 issue.
Epoch Periods In God’s Plan. BIBLE Students DAILY.