“The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal ‘to the time of the end’. Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on the fulfillment of these prophecies.
But at the time of the end, says the prophet, ‘many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased’. Daniel 12:4.
“The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. ‘That day shall not come’, he says, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed’. 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the ‘man of sin’, can we look for the advent of our Lord. The ‘man of sin’, which is also styled ‘the mystery of iniquity’, ‘the son of perdition’, and ‘that wicked’, represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ’s second coming is to be proclaimed”. — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 356.