Last Updated on : Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section 1 Subsection 18
The Forty and Two Months
"And authority was given unto him to practice forty and two months" - Verse 5.
The first question here is, What is the thing for which the personal pronoun "him" stands in the text? The answer is, It is the Beast; or that Politico-ecclesiastical constitution symbolized by the monster of the sea: as, "Who is like unto THE BEAST? Who is able to war with HIM? And there was given unto HIM a mouth, &c.; and authority was given unto HIM to practice forty and two months."
The next question is, By whom was the authority given to the Beast to practice for that period? The answer is, that it was given by Him who alone knew how long the practicing was to continue. That is to say, the authority was given by the Deity, Who ordains all things, and Who foreshowed the period in the text before us. "The powers that be are ordained of the Deity" (Rom. 13:1): "He hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of the habitation of all nations of men" (Acts 17:26). No nation can permanently extend its bounds, or perpetuate any system of government, beyond the limitation of His predetermined, and prearranged, times. The forty and two months are the Divinely authorized period of the Beast's practicing; at the end of which, the European Commonwealth which it symbolizes for that period, will pass into the phase predetermined for it in Apoc. 17.
The third question is, What is to be understood by the indefinite expression "to practice"? Authority was given unto the Beast of the Sea to practice -poiesai. In the seventh verse the word polemon is prefixed to poiesai; as, "It was given unto him to make war polemon poiesai, with the saints." Hence the fifth verse, I take it, is elliptical, and expounded by the seventh. But, was he to practice against the saints successfully or otherwise? The use of the word in Daniel when treating of the same subject, shows that "practise" implies prevailing and prospering in what it might undertake against them. Speaking of the Little Roman Horn that "waxed exceeding great" and "cast the truth to the ground," it is said, "it practiced and prospered;" and of the same power, it is said in another verse, "he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practice, and shall destroy the mighty ones and the people of the Holy Ones. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify in his heart, and by prosperity shall destroy many (Dan. 8:24,25, and 12). Now this shows, that the practicing of the power was mischievous and destructive; and that it prospered by policy, craft, and all belligerent operations; and, as the prophecy has more especial reference to "the people of the Holy Ones," who, in Daniel and John's revelations, are the most important community, for whose sake are all things (2 Cor. 4:15), the prosperous practicing is especially equivalent to the treading of the Holy City under foot of the Gentiles forty and two months (ch. 11:2): to the making war, overcoming, and killing of the two witnessing prophetic bodies, by which, as by two lamps standing before the deified Name of Blasphemy, the light of the truth and liberty was caused to shine (ch. 11:7,3,10,4); to the leading of the saints into captivity, and killing them with the sword (ch. 13:10); equivalent also, to the saints being given into the hand of the Little Episcopal Horn-power which prevails against them until the expiration of a time and times and a dividing of a time (Dan. 7:21,25). The fulfillment of these testimonies converges in the practicing of the Beast of the Sea, the Papal Body Politic, which the Deity, for the developing of his own wise purposes, authorized so to do, as indicated in the text. And as this practising of mischief of which the saints are the victims, is for forty and two months, it follows that the periods similarly indicated inch. 11:2 and ch. 13:5, are the same period; and consequently begin and end at the same epochs; that is, the forty and two months are the period of the prosperous and destructive practicing of the papalized ten horns, and of the down-treading of the Holy-City body politic by them: and as this practicing continues in all this period, we may accept the Common Version, power was given unto him to continue forty and two months," as correct by implication.
The fourth question is, What duration, or length of time, is signified by forty and two months? Is this period long or short? Is it forty-two months of days, or forty and two months of years? In other words, is it 1260 days or 1260 years? Is it a literal period, or is it symbolical of the real time? By what rule can the truth of the matter be ascertained? My answer is, that the truth is determined by the rule of facts, which are stubborn things. This rule, however, cannot be generally used. It is of no use to the blind who are unworthy to read the opened book, and to look upon it (ch. 5:3,4,5). It is a rule for the blessed who read, and under-stand the words of this apocalyptic prophecy (ch. 1:3). Such are not blind. They can see, or discern, the facts; for they are discernible by the light of the Spirit's testimony, which "is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this aeon hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the Image of the Deity, should shine into them" (2 Cor. 4:3,4).
The facts are predicable of two irreconcilably hostile parties, represented in the former section of this thirteenth chapter by the Beast of the Sea; or, the Ten Kingly Governments of Modern Europe subject to the spiritual authority of their Universal Bishop, of the one part; and by the Deity's Name, Tabernacle, Dwellers in the heavens, or saints, of the other part. Now one who cannot Scripturally define the Deity's Name, or distinguish a saint from a sinner, cannot define the facts developed in the history of the saints and witnesses, in their antagonism to popery in all the kingdoms of the Papacy, by which the period in question is deter-mined. Many of that exceedingly dark body, styled "the clergy," not knowing what a saint is, and who say that The Apocalypse is all in the future, declare that the forty and two months belong to the future likewise; and are to be understood of 1260 days, or three and a half literal years; in which a personal, or individual Antichrist will be manifested, and severely persecute the saints; by which they mean the pious of their several "names of blasphemy," of which the scarlet-colored beast is full; but which they term collectively "the Church of God!" Others of these professional leaders of the blind into the ditch, tell their unfortunate victims that The Apocalypse is all long ago fulfilled; and, consequently, that the forty and two months are buried in the oblivion of a remote antiquity! The real saints are ignored by both these parties of extremists. The conflict of the past twelve centuries between the Papal Powers of Western Europe and the Saints and Witnesses, they regard as simply a conflict between the Powers, and heretics and revolutionists inimical to law and order. The oceans of righteous blood shed by the Papal Powers, inspired by their Universal Bishop, go for nothing. What were they but the turbulent riffraff of society; were not the saints God's "hidden ones," the pious and orthodox professors of the ages, who passed current as good Catholics in churches and monasteries, but in their hearts silently repudiated the blasphemies of their church? These never imagined that the Universal Bishop was the Antichrist; and if he had been that substitute for Christ, would not they, as the saints, have known it? Against these "saints" of the church of Rome there was no warfare for forty and two months of days, or years; therefore, say these futurists, the period in question is in the future, and will be short.
But this is mere clerical ignorance and folly. The Deity has no saints in the Church of Rome, nor in the Protestant churches of Antichristendom. He has a people therein, even as he had among the idolators of Corinth (Acts 18:10), who become saints by believing the gospel of the kingdom and name, coming out from among the unclean, and being immersed into Jesus as the Christ. Such, cease to be Pagans, Catholics, and Protestants, and become "the sanctified in Christ Jesus;" the Brethren of Christ, the Seed of the Woman, "who keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Now, it is a fact, that there was a separate and distinct community of such saints, who existed in all the twelve hundred and sixty years succeeding the Donatist trials in the reign of Constantine, which transpired in the epoch A.D. 312-316. It is also a fact, that during all that long period they were denounced as heretics, and persecuted as such, by the constituted authorities of the state; first, by the emperors for nearly three hundred years; and then by the Ten Horns, inspired by their Universal Bishop, to whose spiritual authority and Eyeship the last of them was converted, A.D. 600, and into whose hands the witnesses and saints were delivered by Justinian and Phocas; and who ceased not to make war upon them during many more centuries, until they silenced their testimony against Romish superstition and the Name of Blasphemy upon the seven hills. This was the Beast's practicing and prospering against the saints - the practicing of the Mouth and Horns for forty and two months. Not forty and two literal days or literal months only; for such a supposition would be contrary to historic facts; but for forty and two months of literal years, extending over twelve long and tedious centuries and sixty years beside.
This, then, is the literal time symbolized by forty and two months in ch. 11:2, and ch. 13:5. The periods indicated in these two texts are parallel. The beginning of the one is the beginning of the other; consequently, they both end together. These identical periods do not have, as some suppose, a double commencement and a double termination, each seventy-five years apart. They have only one common beginning, and one ending in common, the one with the other. For this period the Holy City was to be trodden down; and for the same period, the Horns and the Mouth, and the Name of Blasphemy upon the Seven Hills, were to continue, or practise with one mind; and to agree, and give their power and authority, or kingdom, unto the Beast, until the words of the Deity shall be fulfilled (ch. 17:13,17). But, at the end of this forty and two months' period, or 1260 years, a change is to come over the spirit of their dream, and they are to hate what for that number of years they have been in love with: for, speaking of the Horns in relation to Rome's sovereignty, the Spirit said to John, "These (Horns) shall hate the Harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (ch. 17:16). This hostility of the governments (*,) which have been the willing instruments of the Universal Bishop for nearly thirteen centuries, indicates a change in their relations to Rome; and, consequently, a new political combination of the Powers of our Modern World. This is indicated by the Scarlet-colored Beast of chapter seventeen - "the peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues,"ecclesiastically subject to Rome, under the EIGHTH HEAD in the eve of the crisis of its destruction by the sword and "the burning flame."
This 1260 is a very remarkable prophetic cipher. It is founded on the number of the generations from the birth of Abraham to that of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:17); though the generations of the cipher do not average so many years each as those of the post-Abrahamic. These generations averaged fifty years and a fraction each; but the generations, or months, of the cipher, not more than thirty years each; but in the number forty and two they agree. Thus 30 x 42 = 1260, or three years and a half of years.
This cipher is variously stated in prophecy. In Dan. 8:25 and 12:7; and in Apoc. 12:14, it is written "a time, and times, and the dividing of, or half, a time;" in Apoc. 12:6; 11:3, it is written, "a thousand two hundred and sixty days;" and inch. 11:2 and ch. 13:5, it is written forty and two months. The aforesaid times in Daniel, together with his 1335, which is 75 years more than 1260; and the forty and two months of Apoc. 11:2 and 13:5, all terminate at the same crisis (*); at that, namely, of "the time of the dead." But the "thousand two hundred and threescore days" of sackcloth witnessing (ch. 11:3) and of woman feeding (ch. 12:6,14) do not end at that time; their ending being in the epoch of A.D. 1572-'6, marked by the Papal Massacre of Bartholomew's Day, which was 1260 years after the Donatist Trials, or flight of the woman towards the wilderness; the ending of their testimony in the presence of the god of the Roman earth; and the beginning of the first war by which the Ten Horns crushed them in all their kingdoms, A.D. 1685. For three lunar days and a half, which are equal to three months and a half of years, that is, to 105 years; for this period the witnesses lay politically defunct in the Great City; but, after the end of it, in the epoch A.D. 1789-'93, they rose again to political life, and ascended to power. This was 1260 years from the notable epoch of the Dragon-Emperor Justinian's acknowledgment of the Bishop of Rome as the Head of all the churches of the empire; and of the promulgation of a system of law adapted to the circumstances of the times, created by the establishment of Catholicism upon the ruin of paganism; and adopted by all the Horns as the public reason of their courts of law; an epoch of four years from A.D. 529 to A.D. 533, from which, I doubt not, are to be reckoned the 1335 and 1290 of Dan. 12:11,12; the latter being thirty, and the former seventy-five, years in excess of the forty and two months; the epochal termination of the 1290 being A.D. 1819-'23; and that of the 1335, A.D. 1864-'68.
The only question, then, that remains under this head is, Admitting that the forty and two months are 1260 years, when did this long period begin? The answer is, that it commences at the epoch when the Dragon Power of Constantinople, then in possession of Rome and Italy, gave to the Roman Patriarch, as the Greatest Pontiff of the East and West, the ecclesiastical power the emperors had hitherto themselves exercised after the example of Constantine, and his throne of the Seven Hills; and an universal jurisdiction, as it is written in the second verse of this chapter, saying, "and the Dragon ceded to him his power, and his throne, and extensive jurisdiction." This important transfer of supreme spiritual authority was legally executed by Phocas, when he proclaimed Boniface the Third the Universal Bishop, with the right of transmitting the title, and the jurisdiction it represents, to his successors, "per secula," for ages. It is by virtue of this decree of Phocas that Pius IX. and all his predecessors are constitutionally "PONTIFEX MAXIMUS" of Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sardinia, Lombardy, Venetia, Hungary, and Bavaria - modern names representative of the original Ten Horns converted to the Nicene Trinitarianism of the Bishop of Rome. When he exalted the Pope to this lofty position, in which he was above all possible episcopal rivalry and confirmed Justinian's acknowledgment of him, as "Head of all the churches," and consequently Judge of the Faith; in so doing, he gave the saints into the hand, or power, of the Universal Bishop, or Eyes and Mouth of Daniel's Little Horn (ch. 7:25): for all reputed "heretics" were turned over to him as their judge. All who were not Trinitarian Catholics were heretics with Justinian, Phocas, and the Bishop of Rome. They recognized none as saints who did not belong to their "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church." They were as ignorant in this matter as "the clergy" of our own day. Had ten thousand saints been arrayed before them with "the Father's Name written in their foreheads" (ch. 14:1), they would have condemned them all for pestilent and contumacious heretics, with whom no faith should be kept, and who ought not to be permitted to live. The truth relatively to the spiritual and temporal powers that be, styled by Paul, "the spirituals of wickedness in the heavenlies," has always been heretical and pestilent; because, in the mouth of the saints, it testifies against them and their traditions. It was to be expected, therefore, that, when the pope's claims of being Christ's substitute on earth, and arbiter of all doctrinal affairs, should be legally established, the saints would find themselves in the hand of a roaring lion ready to devour. He now claimed to be the constitutional and lawful shepherd and bishop of their souls; but the saints disputed this blasphemous pretension, and refused to accept him in any such capacity. They denounced him as the Antichrist, and lawless usurper of the titles and honors which belong to Christ alone, and declared that they would die rather than be numbered among his flock, or submit to his usurpation. Thus, the issue was formed between them: and there was but one alternative for them, submission or death. Hence, the power of the Universal Bishop was more "dreadful and terrible" than that of the Saracen Apollyon, who offered all catholic idolators, conversion, tribute, or the sword. But, tribute would not redeem the life of a saint; the ravening lion of the Seven Hills must have absolute and abject submission to his pontifical supremacy, or he would mercilessly drink their blood, and destroy all that belonged to them with fire and sword.
Such was the practical import of the phrase in Dan. 7:25, "the saints shall be given into his hand." It mattered not what country of the Horns the saints might reside in, the Lion-Mouth upon the Seven Hills, with his chasm' odonton, his gaping jaws of iron teeth (Dan. 7:7,19) could seize and devour them on the spot; for the catholic priests and secular orders of the states, the hyenas of his kingdom, were jealous in executing his ferocious mandates, to revel with him in the blood of the slain. Thus, the Catholic Woman became "drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Witnesses of Jesus" (ch. 17:6).
Now, the legal beginning of this murderous administration of
irresponsible ecclesiastical power, was made, as the reader
may see, the beginning of the forty and two months. "The
saints shall be given into his hand during (ad) a time, and
times, and the dividing of time." Hence, they must have
been given into his power at the beginning of the period specified,
or they could not have been subject to him during the period.
The delivering of the saints into his hand at the first must
be taken as the starting point in the calculation. There is
no clue in Daniel to the epoch of this delivery. John, however,
in showing whence the Eyes and the Mouth of the Beast derived
their power, and the use they would make of it against the
saints with the historical description of the Dragon's grant,
enables us to Say, with considerable assurance, that the forty
and two months began in the epoch of A.D. 604-608. In all
the subsequent 1260 years, the Papal Powers have practised
prosperously against the Saints and Witnesses for the supremacy
of Jesus against that of the Universal Bishop, unicum nomen
in mundo. They have trodden them under foot, made successful
war upon them, and killed them in all the streets of the Great
City - the Witnesses for 1260 years after the Justinian epoch;
the Saints for 1260 years after the Phocean epoch. This is
the testimony of authentic history, and cannot be gainsaid
by any one intelligent therein, who knows what saints and
witnesses for Jesus are. Of course, this Phocean quadrenmal
epoch being accepted as the time when the saints were given
by the Dragon into the power of the Little Horn, Eyes and
Mouth, "the time, and times, and half a time," or
forty and two months, must now be in the quadrennial epoch
of termination, which is from A.D. 1864 to A.D. 1868*. We
who have lived in this epoch have witnessed great events,
indicating a breaking up of the politico-ecclesiastical constitution
of the Papal Kosmos, or Order of Things. Naples, Sardinia,
Lombardy, Venetia, and the Italian Duchies, are merged in
the Kingdom of Italy; the military element of the Little Horn,
Austria, has been excluded from the Holy Land of the Romish
Satan; and the Universal Bishop of the Horn Governments is
smitten with the paralysis of death. Every thing in the Western
Third of the Roman Earth is in a transition state. Nothing
is settled, neither can be. The present lull is only preparatory
to the tripartite division of the Great City under the Seventh
and Last Vial; when the Beast under the Eighth Head, in the
last stage of its existence, will be prepared for perdition
at the hand of "the King of kings and Lord of lords" -
the kings and lords, who are "the called, and chosen,
and faithful," who follow him whithersoever he goes,
in all his judicial enterprises of war and conquest - Apoc.
Because there is little hostility shown to the Papacy by European Powers today, readers may fail to comprehend the important point made by the Author of Eureka. In 1848, Karl Marx published his Manifrsto of the Communist Party. The booklet had widespread influence through Europe and the world. It stimulated a revolutionary spirit of Liberalism, Communism and anti-Papalism that swept the Continent, as mentioned in Elpis Israel:
"The hopes of the democracy throughout Europe were inflamed; and 'the earth' began to tremble until in 1848 every throne was shaken to its foundation. The events of this wonderful year are too recent to require to be chronicled in this place. It will be enough to say that the democracy broke loose, and commenced a movement (i.e. Communism- Publishers), which, though it has been restrained to prevent its progressing too rapidly, cannot be suppressed until the little horn, or two-horned beast and his prophet, be destroyed to the end, and the dominion of the ten-horned beast be taken away. The events of February 1848 have originated the 'great earthquake' of the seventh vial." (p.373).
(*)That observation is true to the present. for the spirit of Socialism and Communism then Stimulated are developing the antagonism that will erupt in Armageddon. Meanwhile, as a result of the agitation generated in 1848, the revolutionary Garibaldi, in 1860 onwards, united Italy, and terminated the temporal power of the Papacy in 1870; all of which is illustrative of the hostility to which Eureka refers, and which is predicted in Rev. 17:15. But at the epoch of its judgment at the hands of Messiah, the Papacy is depicted in triumph as riding the ten-horned beast of Europe (Rev. 17:3). Today the hostility of the last century towards the political influence of the Papacy has largely disappeared, and it is rapidly growing in international influence and power. This commenced by the signing of the concordat by Mussolini in favour of the Papacy in 1929. By this means the Vatican became a Papal State, and the Pope was given political independence (taken from the Papacy in 1870). With the Vatican an independent State. the Pope was represented in politics as head of a political power as well as an ecclesiastical system, since then papal influence in international politics has dramatically increased - Publishers
It was the Author's intense "love of the Lord's appearing" that caused him to thus compute these time periods. Circumstances have revealed his conclusions to be incorrect. See comment Vol. 2p. 10 - Publishers.