THE ERROR OF THE DAY=YEAR PRINCIPLE;
Seventh-day Adventism and Revelation 13:1-8
Earl Kelly, PHD, Oct 24, 2018
When Seventh-Day Adventism uses the day-for-a-year theory to justify papal supremacy from 538 to 1798 A. D., it is
following the once-popular formula used by the Historical School of Prophetic Interpretation of the Reformation era. Like
others, SDAs speculated that the deadly wound referred to the removal of the Pope in 1798 by the French and its healing was
already a completed current event. However, while SDAs began the 1260 prophetic “years” in 538 and end them in
1798, many preferred the beginning point of 755 and ending in 2015. The year 755 was important because they French made the
papacy a temporal ruler by giving it the Papal States in central Italy. See Adam Clarke Commentary and Jamieson,
Faussett and Brown Commentary on Daniel 7:25.
Few denominations use the Historical school’s principles of prophetic interpretation today. However, even if
the Historical school’s day=year interpretation were correct, there are major flaws in the SDAs’ use of it. First,
the Bible does not teach that the deadly wound of Revelation 13:1-2 would be received at the end of the 1260 period!
In fact, Revelation 13:5 places the 42 months
AFTER the healing of the deadly wound and not before it! The consensus of texts referring to the 3 ½ times, 42 months
and 1260 days clearly teach that this time period would only “continue” until the beast and false prophet were
cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 19:19-21. There are no intervening events such as the 1844 judgment.
Second, SDAs cannot use the 755 date to begin
the 1260 years because such would end the 1260 years in 2015 and deny them use of 1844. Any other interpretation of the end
of the time period would obliterate the existence of their own church.
And, third, even more importantl except for
Seventh-day Adventists, those who used the Historical school’s principle of prophetic interpretation ended the 1260
years with the establishment of God’s kingdom as the saints of the Most High were victorious. Therefore,
the method in which SDAs end the 1260 period is irregular, greatly flawed and does not agree with Scripture.
The following compardison of all 9 relevant
texts makes it is clear that the 3 ½ times, 2 months and 1260 prophetic days of both Daniel and Revelation end either
at the second coming of Christ in glory or within 75 days prior to the beginning of the Messianic kingdom on earth.
Daniel 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
At the end of 3 ½ times, God will judge and destroy the little horn
and set up His everlasting kingdom. No intervening 170+ years follows the end of the 3 ½ times.
9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince
that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the
war desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27 And
he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the
sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation,
and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The first half of
the 70th week covers Revelatdion 11:2-3 and will be peaceful. The second
half of the 70th week (3 ½ times, 42 months, 1260 days) will
end “in everlasting righteousness” per Daniel 9:24. “God will “seal up the vision and prophecy, and
to anoint the most Holy.” Again, no other time period follows the end of the last half-week.
Daniel 12.7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters
of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that 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.
When these 3 ½ times end, so will also the scattering of God’s people “be finished.” This
will occur at the end of the tribulation period prior to the Millennium. Again, no other events will intervene.
12:11 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.
Dan 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
The 1260 days will be followed by a period of 30 extra days and a second period of 45 days. They do not reach to
1874 and 1919 as SDAs should teach to be consistent. Both of these will end with the Messianic kingdom being set up on earth.
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.
During the first haft of the final seven-year tribulation, the city of Jerusalem will be controlled by Gentiles.
A rebuilt temple will not be controlled by Gentiles during the last half of the seven-year tribulation (Dan 9:2-27). That
is the lliteral interpretation.
Rev. 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy
a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
While Gentiles control only the city of Jerusalem
during the first half of the seven-year tribulation, two witnesses for God will preach in Jerusalem and perform miracles.
They will be killed and resurrected at the beginning of the second 3 ½ years of the seven-year tribulation period.
That is the literal interpretation..
Rev. 12:6 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.
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.
God will protect Israel who
will hide in the wilderness during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period (1260 days, 3 ½ times). God
will cease nourishing Israel at the end of the time period. This must be at the second coming of Christ in Revelation 19.
No intervening events are implied.
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. 13:5, 8 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 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
A literal interpretation of these texts neither states nor implies that the beast would receive the deadly wound
at the end of the final 42-month period. Since the false prophet would only continue for 42 months, the end of the 42 months
would also be the end of the great tribulation period when the beast and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire.
Regardless of whether the 3 ½ times, 42 months and
1260 days are literal or prophetic years, the SDA interpretation is wrong. There is no room remaining from the end of that
time period to account for the 220 years since 1798 or 174 years since 1844 (in 2018). Since it is clear from Daniel 7:25
and 12:5 and Revelation 12:6, 14 and 13:5 that the second coming of Christ follows the 1260 days, SDAs have no justification
for 1844 and their own existence.
The following historicist articles are noteworthy:
Clarke Commentary on Daniel
7:25: ”If the papal power, as a horn or temporal power, be intended here, which is most likely, (and we know that that
power was given in 755 to Pope Stephen II by Pepin, king of France), counting one thousand two hundred and sixty years from
that, we are brought to A.D. 2015, about one hundred and ninety years from the present [A.D. 1825.]“ The previous sentence
stated that the Papacy had received its mortal wound in 1798 and was already healed (before 1825).
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on Daniel 7:25: “The beginning of the 1,260 years is by Elliott
set at 529 AD, or 533 AD, when Justinian's edict acknowledged Pope John II to be head of the Church; by Luther at 606
AD, when Phocas confirmed Justinian's grant. But 754 is the most likely date, when the temporal dominion of the popes
begun by Pepin's grant of the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the state of Rome to Stephen II (in
return for Zachary, the preceding pope's recognition of his title to France): this grant was subsequently confirmed by
Charlemagne. For it was then first that the little horn plucked up three horns, and so became the prolongation of the fourth
secular kingdom (Newton). This would bring us down to about 2000 AD, or the seventh thousand millenary from creation. But
Clinton makes about 1862 the seventh millenary, which may favor the dating from 529 AD.”
r content here