For this post I am borrowing from chapter three of “The Bridegroom Cometh”. I’m starting with this material because I feel that there is an urgent need for this generation to understand this concept and how it relates to events currently unfolding, event’s that just do precede the coming of the Bridegroom! From chapter three:
Before moving forward we need to spend some time discussing the significance of the 3 ½ years, 42 months or 1260 days. There are basically three separate and distinct events to which this math is applied in the scriptures. By looking at each one separately we should be able to clear up some of the confusion and make the concept more understandable when we return to this subject in future chapters. We will do this in chronological order and so we start by going to Rev. chapter 12 where we read:
1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
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.
In verse one we read about “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars”. This woman represents the Church. It is from the Church that the Millennial Kingdom of God shall spring and so she is represented in verse two as “being with child”.
The dragon or Satan, who succeeded in bringing about the great apostasy is seen as driving “the woman” into the wilderness for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days”. (1260) Fortunately we learn from the JST version of this chapter that John is speaking of years not days. From JST 12 we read:
5 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
This same scenario is repeated later on in the same chapter but said in a different way, we read:
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
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.
Here the 1260 days (years) is represented as “a time, and times, and half a time” but it means exactly the same thing. A “time” = 1 year, “times” = 2 years and “half a time” = ½ of a year. So we still have 3 ½ years, 42 months or 1260 days. They are all just various ways of stating the same mathematical value. We are fortunate to have the same formula stated in two different ways here because it helps us to understand what Daniel is saying when he speaks of the 42 months as “a time and times and the dividing of time”.
The next two instances of the 42 months are speaking of days rather than years but the one common denominator that all three instances share is that they denote a time when Satan and his minions are permitted to prevail.
Interestingly 3 ½ is half of 7, the number the Lord uses in the creation, for the days in a week, the seven thousand years of the earth’s pre-celestial existence and lastly, the book of Revelation is it’s self a book of 7’s. The number 7 represents the wholeness, completeness and perfection of God’s works.
Satan’s works on the other hand are represented by half of that number because his works are half-baked, incomplete and doomed to fail!
Next we will consider the 42 months leading up to the coming of the Bridegroom. First we go to Rev. 13 and read:
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.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
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.
This prophecy is very close to seeing fulfillment, in the very near future “the saints” as well as “all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” will fall prey to a global combine. If you don’t see this coming you are not paying very close attention! Let me stress again, we are very close to seeing this fulfilled! Daniel sees this very same scenario and is able to show us it’s timing relative to the coming of the Bridegroom. From Daniel 7 we read:
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.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
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.
So Daniel tells us that after the 42 months “the judgment shall sit”. This of course is a reference to the coming of the “Ancient of days” (Adam) and the judgment of the righteous that shall take place at that time. It is to this great assembly that Christ shall come as the Bridegroom.
Now let us move to the last of the 42 month periods, from Rev. chapter 11 we read about “two witnesses” and the days of their prophecy. It is the sequence leading up to the battle of Armageddon, we read:
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.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Gog’s army is to lay siege to Jerusalem for a period of 42 months, at the conclusion of which Christ will appear to the Jews as their long awaited Messiah.
Looking at each application of the 3 ½ years, the 42 months or the 1260 days helps us put the whole concept in perspective. The math is always pretty much the same although it applies to years in one case and days in the two other cases.