Ellen G. White Writings

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The Great Controversy 1888, Page 266

Revelator points also to the terrible results that were to accrue especially to France from the domination of “the man of sin.”

Said the angel of the Lord: “The holy city [the true church] 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....And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.... And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” [Revelation 11:2-11.]

The periods here mentioned—“forty and two months,” and “a thousand two hundred and threescore days”—are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began with the establishment of the papacy in A. D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome, and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.

The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to his people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the “great tribulation” to befall the church, the Saviour said, “Except those days should be shortened, there

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