The gospel says that after Jesus was raised up from the grave, he ascended to his Father’s throne, where he was made Lord and Christ, which means he fulfils the prophecies about a descendant of David who reigns on the throne of David forever. The apostle Peter said to the Jews on the day of Pentecost,
The chart below shows the relation between the 70 weeks, and the 2,300 days, and “this generation,” which is the generation Jesus represents. It runs off the chart at the right, because it continues forever.
In Daniel 8 a little horn growing out of the head of a goat grows tall, up to the sky, where it casts stars and the host of heaven to the earth, and tramples them. This of course cannot be literal, but has to be interpreted. In verse 14, Daniel hears that the desolation of the sanctuary is to continue for 2,300 days. This specifies the termination of the desolation, but no start date is mentioned. The phrase “unto 2,300 days” indicates that the time extends from when the words were spoken by the angel in the vision, the 3rd year of Belshazzar, about 553 BC. If the days represent years, 23 centuries would end in about 1750 AD.
The prophetic time periods of 1,290 days, and 1,335 days, are mentioned in Dan. 12:11-12. The 1,260 days is found in Rev. 11:3 and 12:6. Each of these three periods is distinct, because each represents either the church age, or a portion of it. This is a diminishing period. The “time, times and a half” is symbolic, and the numbers associated with it are also symbolic. They are “models” having a character similar to other prophetic symbols. For example, the church is represented by a temple, or a candlestick; Christ is represented by the passover lamb, etc. Likewise, the duration of the church age is represented by three and a half symbolic years, that together with the ministry of Jesus, make a prophetic “week,” in which Christ confirms his covenant with his saints. [Dan. 9:27]
The following chart identifies ten time periods from the prophecies of Daniel, and Revelation, and the words of Jesus. These prophetic periods are all connected to one another. Three of them began in the lifetime of Daniel, and two were associated with the king Belshazzar. The duration of another is given in terms of units corresponding to the age of Darius when he was made king of Babylon. One key period, illustrated in bright yellow in the chart, is “this generation,” a period that extends from the birth of Jesus, to the end of time, because Jesus was raised from his grave, and lives and reigns forever, and he represents his generation.
A key to understanding the church’s history, and how it illustrates the fulfilment of prophecy over the centuries, is applying the symbolic expression which occurs in both Daniel and Revelation, “a time, times and a half,” to the whole age of the church. The numbers in Daniel 12:11-12, and Revelation 11:3, and 12:6, fit this patten.
One of the most contentious issues in prophecy has been understanding the prophetic time periods, which are important, but widely misunderstood. Since there are many interpretations that tend to scatter and separate Christian believers from one another, an interpretation is required that will tend to unify, and bring together the saints who are scattered.