Numerous times in scripture, a prophetic 1,260 day period of time is designated. And this particular period of time, always designates a dark time in the history of God’s people, where there is a great spiritual decline amongst many in leadership, and amongst the people in general. And because of this spiritual corruption that moves in, there are identified particular judgments of God, against this corruption. And God at the same time, also exposes the evil that is going on.
Examples of this even exist in the Old Testament, when the kingdom of Israel was ruled by the wicked King Ahab and his ungodly wife Jezebel. This was a time when spiritual idolatry was introduced and promoted by Jezebel. And because of that idolatry, the true people of God were persecuted. And so Elijah the true prophet prays, and it does not rain for three and a half years, or 1,260 days.
And at another time, after the kingdom of Judah was carried away to Babylon, the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, gets lifted up in his pride. And because of this, he is judged by God. And God’s judgment causes the King to become like a beast. And he lives like a beast for a period of three and a half years, or a 1,260 days.
And still in the Old Testament, when the prophet Daniel lived in Babylon, he had a vision. And in this vision he sees another kingdom that will come in the future, and that kingdom is likened unto a beast. And this beast’s kingdom is said to prevail for 1,260 days. But in this case, the 1,260 days are intended to be interpreted spiritually, and therefore they represent 1,260 years. And this future 1,260 period of time, is once again identified within the Book of Revelation, in three different contexts.
Note: Days are often used in the scripture to represent years. Especially when speaking of God’s judgment against wrong. Some examples in scriptures where days are specifically identified to represent years, are as follows:
“ And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.  After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” ~ Numbers 14:33-34
“ For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” ~ Ezekiel 4:5-6
Particularly within the Book of Revelation, the prophetic 1,260 days period is mentioned many times, and in a number of different ways. And it is mentioned within three different contexts: one in chapter 11, and another in chapter 12, and then yet another within chapter 13. And in each contextual situation, it is representing the same period of time in history covering 1,260 years.
Revelation chapter 11: the battle of the two witnesses, against the spiritual corruption affecting those claiming to be the church.
Note: 1,260 = 42 months = “thousand two hundred and threescore days”
In Revelation, the first mention of the 1,260 days is in chapter 11 – a time that the two witnesses (The Word of God, and the Spirit of God) gave their witness while God’s people were suffering the grief of persecution. And so they are shown as being clothed in sackcloth.
“ 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.  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” ~ Revelation 11:2-3
Relation chapter 11 also shows that this is the time when the two witnesses have the power to “shut heaven” and to declare: “no rain” – because there is a spiritual wilderness, desert condition, among those claiming to be the church. And so they also declare the fallen condition of blood-guilty waters (these waters represent people, and the flowing waters especially represent the work of a ministry. A ministry whose waters have become bitter and poisonous like wormwood.)
“These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” ~ Revelation 11:6
Also note: that in type, in the Old Testament, when the children of Israel disobeyed and began to incorporate idolatry into their worship; that at that time also God sent a time of no rain. This happened in answer to the prayer of Elijah. And so there was a famine that lasted for three and a half years, or 1,260 days.
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” ~ James 5:17
So we are beginning to see, that this 1,260 day period represents a time of great displeasure, and judgment by God. God’s judgment comes because of the compromise of truth, among those who are supposed to be God’s people.
This 1,260 year period of time happened in history when the Catholic Church had supreme power with its church hierarchy and Pope leadership. And so even in history, it has been identified commonly as the “dark ages”.
Note: there is a lesson in this also for everyone, in every age of time. Because the spiritual conditions that existed during this time, can potentially impact any locality of the church at any time in history. Just like the rest of the scripture, Revelation provides a lesson for everyone in every age of time. Even the scripture itself teaches us that things record in scripture are for our benefit in every age of time so that we might learn from them.
“ But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:5-6
Revelation chapter 12: Satan’s Roman pagan red dragon beast, battles the church.
Note: 1,260 = “thousand two hundred and threescore days” = “time, and times, and half a time” (Note: time = 1 year, times = 2 years, dividing of time = ½ year. And this equals approx 42 months, or 1,260 days)
In Revelation chapter 12 we see the great red dragon, which represents Satan’s paganistic powers through the Roman government, fighting the church. And so also, we see the bride of Christ, the church, fleeing to get away from Satan’s persecuting force. And when she flees away, she goes into a spiritual wilderness condition where “they” (“They” being the two witnesses: the Word of God and the Spirit of God, already identified in Revelation chapter 11) feed the true and faithful saints for 1,260 days. So in chapter 12, the church is seen as fleeing into this 1,260 day period.
“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.” ~ Revelation 12:6
“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.” ~ Revelation 12:14
Note that the power of this same great beast, is identified also in Daniel as persecuting the church, for the same 1,260 day period.
“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.” ~ Daniel 7:25
Revelation chapter 13: The blasphemous persecuting power of the beast, the Roman Catholic Church
Note: In a number of places in scripture, mankind without the influence of God in their life, is described as nothing better than a beast. And so we also see in these prophetic descriptions of a government or a church without God: that they also are being described as a beast.
In Revelation the 13th chapter, we see another beast, that has a different covering, but has this same structure as the Roman pagan red dragon beast before. This form of the same beast, is so that we will realize that it is essentially the same Roman paganistic power, but now working through that which calls itself the church. And note: that this beast has a name of blasphemy. Meaning that it identifies itself as the church, but it completely disrespects the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
“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.” ~ Revelation 13:1
And this beast also persecutes the true saints during this same 1,260 day period (or 42 months), which represents 1,260 years.
“ 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 he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.  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.” ~ Revelation 13:5-7
This is the earthly man rule kingdom of the beast, operating through the identity of the church. And so we also have in type in the Old Testament, a judgment that was placed upon the King of Babylon, to humble him and show him that he was nothing more than a beast before God. And this also happens for a 1,260 day period of time.
This happened for a time period of “seven times.” Which in this context, in Babylon, represents seven seasonal changes, with a seasonal change being from summer to winter, and then winter to summer. Amounting to two seasons per year. So the seven times amounts to three and a half years, or 1,260 days.
Note: The original word for “time” in the scriptures of Daniel have been up for much debate. The difficulty is that the original word does not specify any particular amount of time, but represents in general “time”. And the meaning can only be derived by being closely associated with the cultural norms that produce meaning for that word through the context of use. Many have tried to use translators from a century or two later, who were not of the Babylonian culture. But this is not an accurate way to get the true meaning. Some think that in this case it means a year. Yet the same word definitely does not mean a year in other cases within the same book of Daniel. The Greek translation speaks of it here as being “seasons”. And it is a known fact that ancient Babylon only recognized two seasons in a year.
“ The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?  While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.  And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.  The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” ~ Daniel 4:30-33
So for 1,260 days, the King of Babylon was made to behave like a beast. This was the judgment upon his pride. And after his judgment was completed, and he was humbled, he acknowledged the true God, and his power and authority to set up kingdoms and take them down at God’s will.
“ And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” ~ Daniel 4:34-35
And Nebuchadnezzar came to acknowledge the true King of kings, and Lord of lords.
“Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” ~ Daniel 4:37
And so this prophetic 1,260 day period has been placed before us many times in prophecy. So that we might observe and learn the same lesson from what God has done in the past. May the Lord help us to not view the church as some kingdom ruled by men. But may we be respectful of the Word of God and the Spirit of God in our own lives, so that we would not bring upon ourselves the judgment of the prophetic 1,260 days!