EXPOSING SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM
1260 YEARS' MYTH
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1. My Testimony and Introduction
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6. The 2300 Day Prophecy and the Year-Day Principle
7. The Cleansing of Daniel 8:14
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Chapter 11: INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT BASIS EXPOSED
11. The Truth about the Biblical Sanctuary
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THE SCAPEGOAT: ARTICLE
15. The Day of Atonement and the Scapegoat
16. Antiochus IV Epiphanes; 164 B.C.
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22. The Sabbath in Acts
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25. Two Different Three Angels' Messages
SHEOL: CONSCIOUS SOULS; ARTICLE
Appendix 1: Sheol, Abaddon and the Soul
Appendix 2: Hades and the Soul
Appendix 3: Jewelry, Dress Code and Deceit
103 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SOUL AND SHEOL
160 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SABBATH
214 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT
200 ERRORS FROM GC P411-444 (2 OF 3)
200 Errors in GC P445-605 (3 of 3)
1260 YEARS' MYTH
Achilles' Heel of Seventh-day Adventism: Daniel 8:8-13
Sunday Blue Law Paranoia of SDAs
Hell: After-Death Punishmetn
"LAW" IN THE BIBLE
PAPAL WEAKNESSES
Questions on Daniel from an Andrews University Scholar
Marc Rasell and Russell Kelly dialog, Oct 2009
Marc Rasell and Russell Kelly dialog-2, Oct2009
UNCLEAN FOOD HISTORY AND LAWS

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Exposing Seventh-day Adventism
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Please email me at russell-kelly@att.net

Chapter 11 completely destroys the investigative judgment premise and is the most important chapter in this book. Newly improved July 2008. http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/sda/id51.html

The Myth of the 1260 “Years” of Papal Supremacy

 

Russell Earl Kelly, Ph. D.

April 28, 2008

 

Chapter 11 is the most important chapter in this book. Newly improved July 2008. http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/sda/id51.html

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the Seventh-day Adventist interpretation of prophecy does not match the historical facts of the Roman Catholic Church between 538 – 1798 and it does not match the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.

 

The prophecy of Daniel 7 describes a great dragon-like beast, or nation, with ten horns and iron teeth. A little horn comes up among the ten horns, becomes greater than any of the ten horns and “wears out the saints” for a period of 1260 days (42 months or three and one half times). This is what the Bible describes. However it is not what Seventh-day Adventists teach.

 

The key texts for these prophecies are:

 

Dan 7:8 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 ....

 

Dan 7:25 And he 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.

 

Dan 12:6 How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

Dan 12:7 it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

 

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Rev 12:14 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.

 

Rev 13:5 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.

Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

Seventh-day Adventists have generally taught or implied the following about the 1260 day prophecy of Daniel and Revelation. Following each point is a discussion of the biblical and historical facts which disagree with the SDA interpretation.

 

1.  The "1260 days," "42 months" and “three and one half times” are prophetic years of 1260 literal years.

 

Facts: Most conservative and liberal theologians and commentaries today interpret the 1260 days, 42 months and three and one half times in Daniel and Revelation as literal days and not prophetic years. See chapter six in my book, Exposing Seventh-day Adventism. These days are usually interpreted as the literal desecrations of Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria between 168-165 B. C.

 

2.  The “beast” begins as pagan Rome and ends as papal Rome.

 

Facts: There has never been consensus among theologians that the “beast” is the Roman Empire. Some believe that it represents the Seleucid kingdoms of Syria. Therefore the little horn appears to be the current ruling leader of the beast.

 

3.  The “ten horns” are kingdoms of the pagan Roman Empire.

 

Facts: The texts clearly teach that all ten horns on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 are integrally part of that beast – whether the beast represents the Seleucid kingdom or pagan Rome.

 

Contrary to the ten horns being an integral part of the fourth beast, SDAs teach that the “three little horns” were Germanic tribes which hindered the papacy only between 455 and 538 and were never part of the original Roman Empire.

 

4.  The “3 horns” were the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths which were defeated either on or before A. D. 538 to begin the 1260 years of prophecy.

 

Facts: A. D. 538 was not the beginning of a greater papal power. In fact it had much more power before 538 as the sole religion of the Roman Empire before the non-Catholic barbarian invasions began. After 538 non-Catholic invasions continued by the  Lombards, Saracens, Normans and Muslims and Catholic territories would actually shrink in size for several centuries. Most of the barbarians were actually Arian Christians who denied the Trinity.

 

A. D. 538 neither provided the beginning point of papal persecution of the “saints” nor did it mark the end of migrating Germanic tribes which prevented it from exercising its authority. The Lombards would prove much worse than the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths combined.

 

It would be almost 600 years before the papacy would continually persecute anybody other than fellow Roman Catholics who disagreed with the pope. For many centuries Catholic on Catholic violence which resulted in popes fleeing Rome and being murdered were the norm and not the exception.

 

Another major problem with the year 538 relates to the amount of horns and when major opposition to the papacy stopped. The Heruli (476-493), Vandals (455-537) and Ostrogoths (493-537) were only a small sample of the many Germanic, Norse, Slavic and Muslim tribes which invaded the papal lands and killed Catholics. There were also the Visigoths, Huns, Lombards, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Suevi, Alans, Danes, Normans, Bulgarians, Burgundians, Saracens and Ottoman Turks.

 

The Franks invaded Catholic Gaul in 406 and were not converted until 493. They deserve to be an SDA horn. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded Catholic England in 406 and destroyed most of Catholic Christianity there before it was re-established around 600. They deserve to be an SDA horn. In 410 Visigoths plundered Rome and severely damaged Catholic Christianity in Spain until they were converted many decades later. They deserve to be an SDA horn.

 

The SDA interpretation of the 1260 “year” prophecy makes no mention of the hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics which were killed by these many “horns.” After 538 the Muslims alone occupied pagan Roman and papal Roman lands in Spain, Carthage, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Greece and killed many thousands of followers of the papacy in those regions.  It is absurd to teach that the year 538 ended the major opposition of the papacy’s opponents and begin its dominance over them.

 

The Eastern Emperor Justinian only began his re-conquest of Italy in 538. He did not complete the expulsion of the Ostrogoths until 552. Therefore the SDA date of 538 as the expulsion of the third little horn is also wrong.

 

Neither did the papacy suddenly gain strength in 538 to “make war with the saints and overcome” for 1260 years! The papacy actually had far less authority under Justinian than it did before he arrived. Pope Vigilius (537-555), Pelagius (556-561) and John III (561-574) were total puppets of the autocrat Justinian.

 

As soon as Justinian died in 568 another Germanic tribe, the Lombards, invaded Italy, was never repulsed and eventually blended into the Italian people. However, before they became obedient Catholic Christians they ruled most of Italy until 777. During that time they besieged and plundered Rome in 579, 590, 604-606, 715, 733, 739-743, 751, 754-756 and 768-772. History does not agree at all that the papacy saw its last hindrance defeated in 538 or began its persecution in 538.

 

5. Daniel 7:20 describes the little horn as “more stout,” “more imposing” or “larger in appearance” than any of the other 10 horns. SDAs stress this domineering autocratic super power of the papacy which lasted throughout the 1260 “prophetic years” of 538 to 1798.

 

Facts: History proves that, except for less than 100 years of the 538 – 1798 period the papacy took its orders from the emperors, kings, dukes and powerful families to whom it was forced to vow allegiance.  And the few exceptions came during power vacuums when one empire or kingdom was rising and another was falling or engaged in civil war.

 

It can be demonstrated in many ways that the papacy does not fulfill this autocratic prophecy.

 

FEUDALISM:

One strong argument against the so-called autocratic rule of a papal “little horn” which was “more stout” than the other ten horns is the existence of feudalism during the period of 538 to the Renaissance of the 1500s. The very nature of feudalism was to decentralize authority which would strongly work against an autocratic papacy. Huge landowners reserved for themselves the authority to choose which religious leader would live and serve their feudal estates. Those estates were called “fiefs.” During the entire period of 538 to 1798 the papacy owned its own Papal States and collected taxes off its fiefs there.  It would also own much land in each country and collect tithes off its own land-fiefs. Often a king would punish an interfering pope by taking papal fiefs and giving them to his knights in exchange for military service. France especially always resisted papal influence over its bishops even from the early 5th century. See its Gallican Articles.

 

VOWS TO RULERS:

Beginning with Constantine in 313 rulers almost always required the papacy to swear an oath of allegiance to them. Many strong rulers simply appointed the pope of their choice without any election. On the other hand a very few number of popes took advantage of weak rulers and civil wars and accepted the papacy without ruler-approval. And this almost always generated trouble and often a march on Rome to depose the pope.

 

The last Western Roman Emperor was overthrown by its own hired mercenary army, the Heruli, in 476. Afterwards the papacy usually had a very small army either from the Eastern Roman Empire until 777 or its own paid mercenaries from the Papal States. The larger kingdoms around it naturally had much larger standing armies. Therefore in order to protect itself the papacy was forced to (guess and) align itself to those who had better armies. The wrong choice of alignment usually resulted in the pope being murdered or replaced. The secular leaders were compensated by the papacy giving spiritual concessions and especially its vow of allegiance to the secular ruler (until 1903).

 

When a major secular power was defeated by another, the papacy would switch its allegiance and vow to serve what it considered to be the stronger power. This was the norm throughout history and is seen scores of times in the Lives of the Popes by Richard P. McBrien. Space will not allow a complete list here.

 

Prominent examples:

313-476 Constantine; W. Roman Emperor

476-777 E. Roman Emperor veto power

476-538 Arian Germanic tribes rule Italy

538-562 Justinian; E. Roman Emperor

575-772 Lombards in N. Italy (antagonist)

777-889 Charlemagne and the W. Roman Emperor

891-1272 Germany and Italian nobles

963 Otto; Holy Roman Empire

1273-1300 Sicily and southern Italy

1301-1814 France, Germany, Spain, Austria

 

SELECTION OF POPES AND VETO POWER:

The popes were very far from being “more stout” than the other horns around it. In addition to the vow of allegiance previously mentioned, the veto power gave authority to the secular powers to reject any pope they did not want chosen. When one secular power was overbearing its choice became almost automatic with no veto power needed. This also applied to the many influential families of Rome, the Papal States and Naples who chose and controlled many popes without holding real elections. However whenever more than one secular power was involved in the selection process the choice of pope was usually a weak compromise rather than a strong pope which would favor one faction over another. This naturally resulted in mostly weak popes which satisfied the secular powers who preferred less papal interference.

 

LAY INVESTITURE:

Lay investiture is the authority of secular rulers to select and ordain church leaders. Throughout pre-modern history almost all secular rulers have claimed this authority. However it is equally true that throughout history most popes have also claimed it as their own power and have struggled against secular rulers. The secular ruler (with the larger army) almost always won. The popes won when there was a power vacuum and there was little likelihood that the secular power would invade Rome by force and depose them. Typically, as with Gregory VII (1073-1085) the pope would win (and greatly boast about it) for a year or two while the ruler was weak (1076-1080) but would end up being deposed after the ruler regained strength and marched on Rome to replace him (1082-1083).  The total time period of popes exercising sole investiture without interference by the secular power is very small compared to the 1260 “years” in which SDAs claim the little horn was “more stout” than the other ten. Therefore the facts of history do not agree with the SDA interpretation. The period from 538 to 1798 began and ended with great exercise of lay investiture with brief periods of papal investiture in the middle of the period.

 

PAPAL VERSUS PAPAL CONFLILCTS:

Catholic historian and theologian McBrien points out in Lives of the Popes how those selecting popes would alternate personalities and strengths and weaknesses of popes to keep one pope from becoming too powerful. It was in the best interests of the secular powers to have weak popes who would not challenge them. The compromise among rulers with similar strengths was to alternate between popes who might be too pro-France, or pro-German, or pro-Spanish. Almost every other pope would have opposite goals from its predecessor. One would be pro-monasteries while another would prefer a more secular pope. One would be pro-Gregory and the next anti-Gregory; pro-Formosus and the next anti-Formosus; pro-reform and the next anti-reform; pro-Jesuit and the next anti-Jesuit; or conservative versus liberal. The infighting never ended and continues today. The popes almost always reversed many decisions of their predecessors even though those decisions had been made by local synods or even General Church Councils. Another cause of infighting was whether or not the General Council had authority over the pope.

 

THE PAPAL STATES:

McBrien suggests that the possession of the Papal States did more harm to the papacy than good. The Papal States (an East-West belt of land which divided Italy) used up much of their time administering secular rather than spiritual affairs. It gave the popes the misguided idea that they were also intended to be great secular leaders. The residents of Rome and the Papal States were prone to riot and hate the pope, not for his theology, but for his poor secular administration and taxation. The Papal States were almost always a target for angry rulers to exploit and plunder in retaliation to a pope’s obstinacy.

 

DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS:

Once the spirit of nationalism began to increase the papal power decreased again. Roman Catholics and Protestants saw more unity in their nationality than in their faith. Both joined to fight other Catholics and Protestants in other countries. This was first seen in the Thirty Years’ War in Germany from 1618 to1648 when even the papacy aligned itself with Protestants in Germany and Sweden to fight Catholics in Spain because of its dislike of their Catholic rulers. Nationalism had much to do with destroying the power of the papacy first in England and then in France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal and finally in Italy itself when Italy removed the Papal States from its own Church to form a united nation.

 

6. Daniel 8:11-13 says that both the “place” and the “truth” of the sanctuary were “cast down” by the little horn.

 

Facts: SDAs teach that this was not a literal prophecy. They teach that the “truth” of the heavenly sanctuary was “cast down” by the confessional. Yet confession to a priest was not made mandatory until 1215 -–  677 years after 538!

 

Also, according to SDA eschatology 1844 fulfilled Daniel 8:13-14 by answering the “how long” question of 8:13. That should mean that the confessional ceased in 1844 (which did not happen).

 

In practice SDAs are guilty of casting down the “truth” of the heavenly sanctuary. They do this by teaching that Jesus did not even enter into the Most Holy Place until 1844 to offer his blood for the remission of sins. Roman Catholic doctrine does not even approach the awfulness of the SDA heresy. Even though Catholics have an earthly confessional, they still teach that Jesus has been interceding before the Father in heaven since his ascension.

 

Antiochus IV offered a pig on the Temple altar. This literally made it necessary to cast down the great altar for the "daily sacrifice." The dirt had to be replaced and the altar had to be rebuilt because of defilement.

 

The SDA doctrine of the Investigative Judgment defiles the heaven sanctuary infinitely worse than the Roman Catholic confessional. This is done by teaching that the sins of believers are not washed away by Christ’s blood but instead defile the most holy place in the universe. And, since God’s throne is defiled (SDAs teach) Christ could not enter into (formerly) the Most Holy Place of the universe until 1844 when he only began a work of cleansing similar to the Day of Atonement (Great Controversy 421-422).  Therefore the SDA false doctrine is many times worse than the Roman Catholic doctrine if both are viewed as causing the heavenly sanctuary to require an 1844 cleansing.

 

7.  The “saints” are non-Roman Catholic Christians who preserve true doctrine. They are also called “God’s chosen people” and “the holy people.”

 

Facts: In The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White teaches that the “saints” referred to in Daniel and the “woman” who fled from the dragon in Revelation were at first believers like Tertullian, the Albigenses, the Waldenses, Wyclif, Hus, Luther, the Anabaptists and other reformers who were persecuted by the papacy. However the identification of these as the prophetic “saints” of Daniel and Revelation and the keepers of the true doctrine present a problem for SDAs. In general these “saints” were not Sabbath-keepers and did not teach the other distinctive doctrines of Seventh-day Adventism such as the non-immortality of the soul. None taught the investigative judgment. While the Albigenses and Waldenses were extremely ascetic the Huguenots were Calvinists and the Anabaptists at Munster rejected all church officers, rejected taxation and tended towards polygamy.

 

The first general persecution of semi-Catholic “saints” began over 600 years after the SDAs’ 1260 “years of papal dominance” began in 538. And the “saints” described in The Great Controversy were not outstanding preservers of God’s true doctrine. The Albigenses’ “saints” began being persecuted in 1181. They believed that God had two sons – Satan and Christ; the physical world is evil;  the greatest sin from Adam and Eve is human reproduction. They particularly revered the Gospel of John. Leaders could not marry or have sex and could not own property or eat any product of reproduction such as meat, milk or eggs. Most Albigenses rejected the Old Testament and taught that Christ could not have had a real body or really die. Only the Lord’s Prayer was used in the service. During the persecution of the Waldenses many Albigenses rejoined Roman Catholicism to fight the Waldenses.

 

The Waldenses’ “saints” began in 1173 and were severely persecuted for 20 years from 1209 to 1229. And many of their doctrines disagree with the SDA view of preserving the truth. They were barefoot beggars who fasted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They only used the Lord’s Prayer during services, ate no meat or blood and had their own priests.

 

Yet Ellen G. White says of the Albigenses and Waldenses “Heaven had provided other agencies for the preservation of the church. Many of the Waldenses and Albigenses, driven by persecution from their homes in France and Italy came to Bohemia. ... Thus the true faith was preserved from century to century” (GC97).

 

On the other hand many of the “saints” who were killed from 538 to 1798 were Roman Catholics who killed Roman Catholics as Catholic leaders in France, Germany, England and Spain went to war against each other. As mentioned earlier, at times Catholics and Protestants would join forces to fight other Catholics with the papacy encouraging the Protestants to win against the Hapsburg Catholics. Very often the papacy sided with the losing nation and suffered by having the pope replaced or murdered and church lands being removed. This kind of fighting is not seen in the prophecies. And SDAs do not want to disclose it because it reveals that the little horn was not “more stout” than all of the other horns.  

 

WORST MASSACRES OF “SAINTS” BY CATHOLICS

1191-1229: Albigenses and Waldenses killed in mass by army actions of France and Germany.

1524-1534: Peasants were killed by Catholics and Protestants

1572: St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Calvinist Huguenots in France. Up to 40,000 (a tenth of their population).

 

8. The 1260 “years” began in 538 and ended in 1798.

 

Facts: This set of years seems to have been determined by working backward from a guessed date. Seventh-day Adventists cannot move from these dates because Ellen G. White confirmed them in The Great Controversy, pages 266, 267, 439. Yet there were as many guesses about the dates as there were writers. Adam Clarke, for example, wrote in 1825 (a contemporary of Miller) that the dates probably begin in 755 with the donation of the Papal States by the French King Peppin and end in 2015. One (of many) factions within Seventh-day Adventism today teaches that the 1260 years began in 554 when the Eastern Emperor Justinian completed expelling the Ostrogoths (their 3rd little horn) from Italy and ended in 1814 when Napoleon captured Rome and the pope for the second time.

 

9. According to Revelation 12:6, 13-16 the woman (who preserved God’s true doctrines) hid in the wilderness of the mountains for the entire 1260-year period.

 

Facts: The Albigenses and Waldenses are referred to by SDAs as those who were forced to flee to and hide in the mountains. This is wrong. They had always lived in the mountains and did not have to flee to them.

 

Neither were their mountains a “wilderness” to fulfill Revelation 12: 6 and 14. Nor did they flee from the little horn for 1260 SDA “years” as the Bible texts demand. They only emerged as opponents of the papacy in the 1100s.

 

Though still an outrage, the first murder of Albigenses for their faith did not begin until 1185 and picked up momentum in 1197. By 1209-1229 the Albigenses were helping the papacy kill Waldenses and the Inquisition was in full force.

 

10. According to Revelation 12:6-16 the dragon makes war with the saints for the entire 1260 period (SDAs: from 538 until 1798).

 

Facts: This is simply not what history says about the Roman Catholic Church. Until the 12th century it was waging most of its “wars” against pagans, barbarian Arian Christians, Muslims, kings, emperors and its own anti-popes. (McBrien lists 32 anti-popes during this period.) The height of anti-Christian persecution was between 1100 and 1600.

 

There were notable exceptions. Five years after the Protestant Revolution began with the posting of Luther’s thesis, peasants revolted and were massacred n 1534 with the approval of even Luther. They refused to obey governments, pay taxes or even have clergy. They were expecting Christ to come soon. It is doubtful that SDAs would refer to them as “saints” and preservers of the true doctrine.

 

In 1572 thousands of Protestant Calvinist Huguenots in France were massacred. Although the papacy rejoiced, this event was not planned and was a panic reaction of a murder plot which failed. It was preceded by 3-4 wars with Protestants and was followed by another 3-4 wars with Protestants who ultimately triumphed. The point again is that this does not fit the description of the SDA papal “little horn” of Daniel which was supposed to have “overcome” the “saints” for all of the 1260 years.

 

11. In 1798 the Roman Catholic Church received a death-blow when the French Revolution occurred and the pope was taken prisoner and died the next year.The SDA claims that the Roman Catholic Church was killed in 1798 and will be revived again in greater power than before.

 

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Rev 13:5 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.

 

Facts: There are many differences between the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 and the beast of Revelation 13. In Daniel 7 the little horn was part of the fourth-beast whereas in Revelation 13:1-2 the dragon is Satan and the beast is a combination of the four beasts of Daniel 7. Also in Daniel the little horn is greater than the seven remaining horns whereas in Revelation 13:3 all seven horns are involved. One of the seven horns appeared to have previously died and has already been healed, that is, has come back to life. It seems clear that, although the imagery has a lot of similarities, the meaning has changed from that of Daniel.

 

There is a major contradiction between what God’s Word says about the 1260 figure in Revelation 13:1-5 and the SDA interpretation. In Revelation 13:1-5 the deadly wound occurs and is healed BEFORE the “forty and two months” or 1260 “years” of the SDA scheme of 538-1798. This would better fit the sentiment in John’s day that Roman Emperor Domitian was Nero reincarnated to persecute Christians in the first century.

 

Looking back at history from our own time-line, there are much better dates to assign to a “death” of the papacy’s power. In October 1517 Martin Luther posted his thesis of protest. By 1524 the peasants had revolted against the abuses of the Church. The year 1527 saw three blows: (1) Germans invaded and plundered Rome, (2) the French occupied the Papal States and were receiving tribute from the papacy and (3) English King Henry VIII requested permission to divorce which ended in England's separation from Rome in 1534. In 1555 Germany allowed Lutheranism to be legal. This was a giant blow which had been previously unthinkable! In only took 38 years to unravel papal power in Germany!

 

In 1593 even the French legalized Protestantism (until Henry XIV’s mistake in 1685). By 1773 the pope’s special guardians, the Jesuits, had been disbanded due to opposition by everybody except the Papal States. In 1791 the French Constitution granted total religious liberty. In 1849 the Italian Republic caused a massive amount of papal power to be lost there. And in 1870 the Papal States were taken from the papacy. All of these were more important in ending the authority of the papacy than 1798. The events of 1798 were more of a rebellion against the autocracy and oppression of the French kings than a rebellion against Church because many Catholics were in favor of the rebellion.

 

12. The coming of the “Son of man” to the “Ancient of days” in Daniel 7:13 occurred in 1844. “In [Daniel] chapter 8 in the close of the specific period of time the sanctuary is “cleansed” of the “transgression of desolation” erected in it by the little horn,” SDA Dictionary, “little horn,” 1960, page 656.

 

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

.....

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

.....

Dan 7:25 And he 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.

Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

 

Facts: The text (not SDAs) twice concludes the 3 1/2 times (42 months; 1260 days) with the coming of the Ancient of days to rescue the saints and give them everlasting dominion with the Son of man.  The texts do not teach that the “judgment” of Daniel 7 is only an “investigative judgment” in heaven which would not begin until 1844.

 

Daniel 7:21-22 teaches that the little horn will have a victorious war against the saints “until” the Ancient of days intervenes with judgment. Daniel 7:25-27 teaches the same thing. Neither text allows for the “deadly wound” which (SDAs teach) will occur after the “end” of the 1260 “years.” Again SDAs fail to recognize that the “deadly wound” of Revelation 13 occurred “before” the beginning of the 1260 “years.”

 

THE TEXTS DO NOT SUPPORT SDA THEOLOGY:

 

Dan 7:8

538 A. D. is not an historically important date. SDAs manipulate it to be important by subtracting 1260 from their guessed-date of 1798. SDAs teach that three “horns” interfered with the papacy’s power to be “stout” and “wear out the saints.” That is extremely far from the historical facts. There were also the Visigoths, Huns, Lombards, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Suevi, Alans, Danes, Normans, Bulgarians, Burgundians, Saracens and Ottoman Turks. The Lombards who invaded in 568 were far worse for the papacy than all of the previous invaders combined.

 

Dan 7:25

Though SDAs do not claim that the little horn persecuted the saints continuously for the entire 1260 period, the text strongly implies that such must be true. Therefore the SDA interpretation is wrong.

 

Dan 12:6-7

The texts say that the 1260 period would end the persecution of the saints. There is no room in the texts for renewal of power by the little horn.

 

Rev 11:1-2

The text is similar to Ezekiel’s vision and mentions a Temple with an altar. Gentiles dominate the Temple court and a holy city for the 1260 period. SDAs depart from their own hermeneutic of prophecy long enough to spiritualize these texts. They turn the Temple and the saints into preservers of the truth from 538 to 1798 which is really a strain on the texts.

 

Rev 12:6, 13, 14

The texts say that the woman (the church) flees into the wilderness for the entire 1260 period. SDAs distort this in two ways. First, they point to the Albigenses and Waldenses who only hid in their own mountain homes for two centuries. Second, they do not teach (as the texts do) that the papacy persecuted the saints for the entire 1260 period.

 

Rev 13:1-2

The texts describe a beast which is a combination of the four beasts of Daniel 7.  The dragon is Satan who gives his authority to the beast. SDAs do not attempt to reconcile the differences and continue to build their interpretation on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 rather than the latest beast of Revelation.

 

Rev 13:3-4

The text says that the beast had seven heads and one had recovered from a deadly wound. Seeing this healing the world wondered at the beast.

 

Rev 13:5

The text says that the beast with the deadly wound which had healed will exercise power for the 1260 period. Yet SDAs teach that the beast will not receive the deadly wound until a period of time after the end of the 1260 period. This is a serious distortion.

 

Recommended Reading:

 

Lives of the Popes, Richard McBrien, chairperson of the theology department at Notre Dame.  McBrien is extremely honest and critical of his own church which is allowed today.

 

Western Civilizations, Edward McNall Burns, a college textbook.

 

Seventh-day Adventist Commentary and Dictionary.

 

The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White

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Russell Earl Kelly, PH. D., 6610 Skyview Dr SE, Acworth,Ga 30101