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1260 years The time period 538 to 1798 is it Proven?

While God seem to make sure we know and understand this time period. As God has mentioned it in 3 different ways Once as 1260 days once as 42 months and once as 3 ½ years (Time Times and a dividing of time.) It seems to be important To God that we understand this time period. The end of the time period is not hard to spot

We see clearly here how the Pope was taken prisoner by General Bertier 1798 on the command of Napoleon. While the papal estates was confiscated and the Roman Catholic Church was receiving the deadly wound. According to Revelation 13

On the other Hand the starting Date is not so easy to prove. We see generally how Vigilius being being made Pope by the Decree of Justinian as his General Belesarius deposed of Pope Silverius and replaced him with Vigilius. Some see this as a poor proof of the starting date being 538.

I hope you do not misunderstand I am well satisfied that the starting date is 538 I was just hoping some history buff out there may be able to show some more details to Bolster the 538 date. 

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Jesus, spoke very much about the temple in Jerusalem. It was very much there at His death. The taring  of the veil in the temple was significant. Was it not like the sanctuary in heaven with a holy and a most holy place?


The veil of the temple was torn at the crucifixion, when Christ's sacrifice of our sins was finished. The atonement was done.

Jesus died at the exact moment that the sacrifice for Passover was held.  At that same time that Jesus breathed His last breath, the temple veil was rent.  The veil’s being torn, by God Himself, symbolized the fact that mankind’s separation from God had been removed by Jesus’ supreme sacrifice at Calvary.  Since Jesus was without blemish, without sin, and kept the Law perfectly for us, His death was the propitiation or satisfaction of the wrath of God against humanities sins.  Isaiah 59:2 declares that your iniquities [or sins] have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear you.” Now that Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice was given, we now have access to the very throne of God.  Before, He would not even hear us, not to mention allow us to approach Him.

The significance of the veil being torn from the top down, and the fact that was torn, is that Jesus’ sacrifice makes it possible for us to come to God the Father.  Our sins no longer separate us from Him.  Today, for those who put their trust in Jesus, we have access to God.  Second Corinthians 5:21 explains that, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The fact is that Jesus Himself was torn for our sakes (Isaiah 53).

Our High Priest today is Jesus Christ Who continues to intercede for the saints.  This is one of the chief purposes for the writing of the Book of Hebrews and makes the perfect conclusion of why the veil was torn and why it was torn from the top down.  Jesus became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever. Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.  Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:20-28).


Regarding the dates you asked about. There are many interpretations about this date. But as you know I hold Dr.Bacchiocchi in high regard. Here are some of his studies:

When did the supremacy of the papacy begin? Dr. Bacchiochhi writes:

"The development of the 'supremacy of the papacy' began long before 538. In his book on The History of the Christian Church--which has served for many years as the standard text book for church history classes--Williston Walker devotes chapter 6 to the 'Growth of the Papacy' during the fourth and fifth centuries. He points out that during this period there were influential popes like Damasus (366-384), Innocent I (402-417), and Leo I, called 'the Great' (440-461), who greatly advanced both the spiritual and temporal power of the papacy.

"For example, the last Pope mentioned, Leo I, known as 'Leo the Great,' greatly increased the political prestige of the papacy by threatening with hell fire Attila the Hun, when he was approaching Rome in 451 with his terrifying soldiers. Attila obeyed the Pope and withdrew beyond the Danube. Later Pope Leo secured concessions from the Vandals when they took Rome in 452. He is called 'Leo the Great' for advancing and consolidating the power of the papacy.

"The development of the supremacy of the papacy is a gradual process that can hardly be dated from 538. The process began already in the second century as the primacy of Bishop of Rome was widely recognized and accepted."

Dr. Bacchoicchi goes on to point out that the papacy did not achieve temporal sovereignty until 756 when the pope acquired the territories of Central Italy. The papacy controlled these territories until 1870 when the king of Sardinia took over the papal territories.

In addition to the rise of the papacy, another reason that 538 is considered to be a fulfillment of prophecy by Adventists is because of the supposed overthrow of the "three horns" on the head of the fourth beast by the "little horn" power (Dan. 7:8). Adventists identify the three horns as the Arian tribes of the Herulis, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths, the last of which was said to be uprooted in 538. In the previous issue of Endtime Issues (#86), Dr. Bacchiochi casts doubt on this theory:

"The first problem is the questionable significance of 538. We noted earlier that Justinian's triumph over the Ostrogoths in 538 was short-lived, because under their new leader, Totila, the Ostrogoths quickly captured most of their lost territories. In other words, this event did not significantly boost the power of the Papacy, which still faced constant harassment from various rulers for centuries to come."

On this point Dr. Bacchiocchi agrees with the best of historical scholarship regarding this time period. The Ostrogoths did suffer military setbacks during the period beginning with a Byzantine invasion of Italy in 535 and ending in 540 with the fall of the Ostrogoth capital of Ravenna. However, during the period of 541 through 548 the Ostrogoths regained the upper hand, went on the offensive and recaptured a good part of their former territory including Rome. The war continued until 561 when the last Ostrogoth leader was captured and put to death. "With that final defeat, the Ostrogothic name wholly died." (Wikipedia) So, to be accurate, the Ostrogoths were not fully uprooted until the early

Bacchiocchi was not a pastor, he was a learned scholar. Pastors may cite various scholars. 

What the issue at hand is not papal supremacy, but the beast-empire and when it began. The beast or empire ruled for 1260 years.

If we say that the holy roman empire was the beast; obviously they do not date the HRE that early. However, the Papal States developed into the HRE. So it is about when the Papal States began to exercise its authority.

The Papal States were seized along with the pope in 1798. 

Ex-Jesuit Alberto Rivera says about Bacchiocchi that he is a Jesuit. I dont know but he certainly plays the part well.

The Ostrogoths were uprooted from the state.

"Dr. Bacchoicchi goes on to point out that the papacy did not achieve temporal sovereignty until 756 when the pope acquired the territories of Central Italy. The papacy controlled these territories until 1870 when the king of Sardinia took over the papal territories."

The Papal States began long before then, but it lacked the military might until 533 when Justinian lent his empire's support.

Alberto Rivera is a proven fraud.

Sound & looks good but you have simply misunderstood what was done at the cross, Kieth.(like so many others) It was done, the sacrifice system was no more, but were the books opened? This is what 2300 day prophecy is about - all who have ever lived. The books were opened and judgment began. You venture into OSAS territory. 


The earth temple was no more, Keith. Jesus is our High Priest, and judgment has already happened for all who have ever lived by time of the second advent.

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Rev 22.12)

You seem to be confused about what is going on here.

When Christ died on the cross the atonement was finished. The old covenant was done away with Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father in the heavenly sanctuary and the New Covenant was begun.

Christ began making intercession for us with the Father when He sat down at the right hand of the Father.

All cases will have been decided when He comes the second time. His reward is with Him.

The important expressions are "the right hand of God," "the throne of grace," "within the veil," "through the veil," "the way into the holiest of all," "into the holiest…by a new and living way," "into the holy place," "minister of the sanctuary," "a high priest," "as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year," "blood is brought into the sanctuary."

A single expression from the Greek is variously translated "the holiest of all," "the holiest," "the holy place," "the sanctuary," "the most holy place." That expression is ta hagia. Thus, Hebrews affirms repeatedly that at the time of that letter Christ had already entered in ta hagia--He had already begun a ta hagia ministry. The NIV is correct in using "the Most Holy Place."

Practically every scholar of the Christian age has believed that ta hagia means the innermost sanctuary--the second apartment called "the holy place" in Lev. 16:2,3, 16,17,23,27. SDAs have questioned this on the basis of the plural form, claiming that the plural shows that what is meant is both apartments. But no competent SDA scholar of Greek maintains such a position today. We repeat, Hebrews clearly says that in Paul's day Christ was in ta hagia--a term corresponding to the earthly sanctuary's second or inner apartment.

Ta hagia is "within the veil." It is the place entered once a year. It is "the holiest of all" and is the equivalent of "the second." It holds God's throne. Anyone there is at "the right hand of God. "

Hebrews 6:19,20; 10:19,20 are emphatic that Christ at the time of the writing of Hebrews had already passed through the veil into "ta hagia." That new and living way into "ta hagia" was symbolized by the rending of the inner veil at the time of Calvary and it is to this that 10:19,20 refers. 9:7,8 tells us that "ta hagia" is the equivalent of "the second." Heb. 9:12,24,25 as well as 9:7,8 make this same point that it was the "ta hagia" into which the high priest alone went once every year on the Day of Atonement. The writer is saying repeatedly that what the high priest in type did once a year Christ has now already done.

There is no hint that Christ had gone into the first apartment--indeed a first apartment ministry is not mentioned in Hebrews at all. There is no hint that Christ entered upon one phase and in the future will enter a second phase. This would make nonsense of the clear testimonies of these chapters.

It must be emphasized that "within the veil" is now acknowledged by SDA scholars to apply to within the second veil. I know of no New Testament scholar within the SDA church--or without--who contends otherwise.

Hebrews is saying as clearly as words can say it that in the first century AD Christ was already engaged in the ministry equivalent to that which the ancient high priest performed in the second apartment.

Romans 8:34.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

The Reformation preachers unanimously identified the papal system as the Antichrist, and the Roman Church as Babylon—causing a mass exodus of believers out of the Catholic institution.

Because Rome realized that the Reformation could jeopardize her position as a religio-political power, she employed five strategies in what became known as the Counter Reformation. One of those strategies was the creation of futurism and preterism, two different interpretations of the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation. These interpretations contradicted the reformers' stance of historicism.

What are Futurism and Preterism?

The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology says that futurism “argues that Revelation looks beyond the first century to the period immediately before the end times. Thus the book was not written for those who received it, but for those living much later. Jesuit scholars after the Reformation refined this approach to prove that current attempts to identify the Pope as the Antichrist could not possibly be true since the Antichrist will not be revealed until far into the future, just before the Parousia (Christ’s Second Coming)."i

The same book explains that preterism sees Revelation only in terms of its immediate historical context: 
Revelation [is] described [as] the plight of Christians in the late first century, and its apocalyptic symbols pointed directly to [the city of] Rome as the church’s persecutor...Most modern [preterist] interpreters...insist that the book was never intended to predict conditions or events beyond the first century.ii

According to futurism, the Antichrist is still to come. According to preterism, the Antichrist was in the past. However, this is not Biblical, as Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 of the great apostasy taking place in the future. Both of these false systems disagree with the reformers’ belief that the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy is taking place throughout history.

Throughout the Counter Reformation, preterism and futurism diverted attention away from prophecies identifying the Roman Church as Babylon and the papal system as the Antichrist.

How did these Counter Interpretations Start?

Here is a diagram to help us understand how these false interpretations were created and spread. In this diagram, you can see that the 1260 years of the Dark Ages was the period of papal supremacy prophesied in Daniel and Revelation.iii

Francisco Ribera
In 1585 Jesuit scholar Francisco Ribera (1537 - 1591) appears. He started the futurist interpretation by publishing a 500-page commentary on the book of Revelation. Ribera took the last “week” (seven day-years) of the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:25, divided it into two 3 ½ year periods, and applied it to a future Antichrist, while avoiding any application to the papal system.

Robert Bellarmine
Ribera’s views would have fallen away quickly if not for Robert Bellarmine (1542 - 1621), a cardinal who promoted Ribera’s ideas. His lectures were published as Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against Heretics of This Time. Froom describes these lectures as “the most detailed apology of the Catholic faith ever produced.” Froom also says they “became the arsenal for all future defenders and expositors.”iv

Luis de Alcasar
The diagram shows Jesuit scholar Luis de Alcasar (preterism’s creator) in 1604. His book, Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse, was published in 1614. Froom states this:

Applying the New Jerusalem to the Catholic Church, Alcazar contended that the Apocalypse describes the twofold war of the church in the early centuries—one with the Jewish synagogue, and the other with paganism—resulting in victory over both adversaries. Revelation 1 to 11 he applied to the rejection of the Jews and the desolation of Jerusalem by the Romans. Revelation 12 to 19 Alcazar allotted to the overthrow of Roman paganism and the conversion of the empire to the church, the judgment of the great Harlot being effected by the downfall of pagan idolatry; Revelation 20 he applied to the final persecution by Antichrist, and the day of judgment; and chapters 21 and 22, referring to the New Jerusalem, he made descriptive of the glorious and endless triumphant state of the Roman church.v

The Roman Church produced two contradictory interpretations of end-time prophecy, neither of which were true to Scripture.

Futurism and Preterism are Dangerous

In his book Truth Matters, Professor Walter Veith explains the following:

To counter the stand of the Reformers, the Catholic Church launched the counter-reformation spearheaded by the Jesuit Order. The doctrines of Preterism and Futurism, published by Alcasar and Ribera, two Jesuit priests, in 1585, redefined the reformation position on the Antichrist and shifted the emphasis away from the papacy to the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanus IV and to some tyrant who would persecute the Jews some time in the

Further, Professor Veith observes that by accepting these alternative approaches to Biblical prophecy, “the Protestant world...saw in it an opportunity to cease hostilities with Rome.”vii

Here the true danger is exposed: if Protestantism ceases to protest against the falsehoods of Rome, then there is no opposition to the Roman plans, and no check against the corruption of Biblical Christianity found in the Roman Catholic system. The Dark Ages can come again with a vengeance.

Since we are to "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good", what proof do we have that the 1260 years started in
538 a.d.?

We are to have 2 or 3 witnesses, were there others i.e., the Waldenses who recognized this date of 538 a.d.?

How can this be proven to someone who is not an SDA?

Thanks A M Brown 

We find that many SDA do not even believe in this time span, it is surprising to me because its mentioned in the Bible many times in different ways. If God see fit to do this we should take notice. 

All these prophecies are interlocking so rejecting one you can not ever get the whole picture.

If some one does not want to see and understand well what can you do?



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