Three Periods of 1,260 Years
Dec 22, 2009
The Two Witnesses are said to minister for 1,260 "days" while the nations tread down the holy city (New Jerusalem and its principles).
The Two Witnesses are said to be the two olive trees as well as the two lampstands (Rev. 11:4). We know from Rev. 1:20 that the lampstands (7 in all) represent the church. Each of the 7 churches represent a distinct time period during the 40 Jubilees of the Age of Pentecost. See my book, The Seven Churches. So the lampstands represent groups of people, not just individuals. Hence also the Two Witnesses are not individuals but groups of overcomers.
But there seems to be a discrepancy between the 40 Jubilees of the Church and the 1,260 "days" of their New Jerusalem witness. This is resolved in a way not often understood by prophecy teachers, because so many do not write from personal experience and personal observation, but by book learning.
I have seen countless times how God sets up time cycles so that they have more than one starting point. This means that these same cycles also have multiple end points. He does this in order to provide for us a double or triple witness according to His law, which "establishes" truth in the earth.
It is no different with the 1,260 "days" (actually, years).There are three main 1,260-year periods that help us to define the Pentecostal Age.
33 A.D. to 1293
529 A.D. to 1789
750 A.D. to 2010
33-1293. This one marks the beginning of the Church under Pentecost. The Church started out mighty in the Holy Spirit, but simple in its structure. Love united the Church, and the Apostles were its leaders, not because they ruled by fear, but because they ruled by love and could demonstrate their calling by the power of the Spirit.
After 1,260 years God allowed the Church to revisit this issue, after the Church had become terribly politicized and so morally corrupt that the tenth century was called by historians "the golden age of pornocracy."
In 1292 Pope Nicolas IV died, and the competing families among the cardinals could not decide on who to elect as his successor. The Orsini and Colonna families argued all through 1293. Finally in 1294 someone was inspired to nominate Peter Morone, known to all as Peter the Hermit. He was elected, and the cardinals sent a delegation to the cave where he lived, arrested him, and made him pope--very much against his will. He took the name Celestine V.
E. R. Chamberlin writes on page 83-84 of his book, The Bad Popes,
“The election of a simple good man, who was taken from his cave to mount the most splendid throne in Europe, had first astonished and then delighted Christians. It seemed as though they were witnessing the working out of those recent prophecies which foretold a new dispensation, when the meek would rule the mighty. Such a pope as Celestine might perhaps have found a place in the earlier centuries of the church, before the machinery of government dwarfed the men who had built it. In the thirteenth century he was an anachronism, as out of place as a first-century martyr would have been in the ruins of the Colosseum. . . .
“Celestine was in an impossible position. On one side were the men to whom he had given a new order and a new hope, exhorting him to begin the reign of love. On another were the tough and cynical papal bureaucrats who were either employing him for their own ends or were attempting to force his whole way of life into an alien mold.”
Then they were given opportunity to regain the simplicity and rule of love through Peter the Hermit, Pope Celestine V. But he was like a virgin in a brothel and lasted only 107 days as pope from Aug. 29 to Dec. 13, 1294. Chamberlin tells us on page 86,
“Pale, trembling, but for once resolute, the old man read a prepared deed of renunciation that he and Gaetani had drawn up. In the astonished silence that followed, he slowly descended the steps from the throne, and with his own hands stripped himself of the gorgeous robes that symbolized for him not power, but imprisonment. He left the chamber, then returned a few moments later, clad in his own familiar coarse garments.
“So ended the great experiment in love. The majority of the cardinals accepted the decision with relief, even if none were so unwise as Gaetani as to accuse the Holy Ghost of deceit. . . .
“Ten days after Celestine’s abdication, the conclave met and, within twenty-four hours, elected Benedict Gaetani. He took the name of Boniface VIII.”
You may recall that I quoted Boniface VIII in chapter 5 of my book, The Seven Churches, dealing with the Church of Thyatira. Boniface made it very clear in his Unam Sanctum that he considered himself to have power to overrule the precepts of Jesus and His disciples.
H. G. Wells made a wise observation on page 650 of The Outline of History,
"But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently imagine we own."
It is as if the Church was given opportunity after 1,260 years to return to the simplicity and love that characterized the Church at its beginning. God even gave them another Peter, named after the one that the Church claimed as its founder, to expose the hearts of the hierarchy. It shows that the Apostle Peter himself would have been forced to resign as head of the Church, had he been raised from the dead in 1294. Oh, wait, maybe that did happen!
529-1789. I have already written about this 1,260-year period. It began when the Roman Emperor Justinian scrapped the entire Roman law system and replaced it with Orthodox Christian Law. This essentially gave legal power to the Church and made the Emperor subservient to its hierarchy. Asimov's Chronology of the World, page 113 says of this,
"In 529 they came up with 12 volumes of a well-organized legal system. This was the 'Code of Justininan,' and was followed by a 50-volume collection of legal opinions. It has remained one of the bases of European law generally in all the centuries since."
Will Durant writes in The Age of Faith, page 112, "This Code, like the Theodosian, enacted orthodox Christianity into law."
The Code of Justinian changed the entire legal system of the Western Christian world, legalizing serfdom and paving the way for the Feudal System of the Middle Ages. The nobility was empowered and enriched, while the vast majority of the people were enslaved and impoverished.
1,260 years later the French Revolution overthrew this system violently in 1789. Monarchies fell, and the Roman Church suffered great loss. A new revolutionary, socialist power began to arise, backed by certain financial interests. It was the beast from the earth.
Dr. Stephen Jones