Jacob’s Time of Trouble (Part 1 of 3)

Jacob's time of trouble

Jacob’s time of trouble is somewhat complicated and has some twists and turns, and as such, we’ll try to dissect it reference by reference. Then as we do that, we can start to gain a better “whole view” of this time. I like to look at it this way. When we endeavor to do a study such as this, we have to build small building blocks of truth at first, one at a time. Then when they are all analyzed and assembled, we can step back and hopefully see a solid building of truth standing tall and clear. Kind of like addition. We add it all up and get the final sum total.

This subject matter came to me recently via the  New York gathering of Mountain Dale association of DSDA. It has been much discussed within the Davidian SDA community for many years. Not so much in the S.D.A circles. This is understood when we sadly realize that our church often prefers “milk” as opposed to “meat” such as prophecy and it’s meaning.

What we are attempting to find in this 3 part study is where, when, and how, this Jacob’s time of trouble happens. The DSDA generally have two view points. One says ‘before” Ezek. 9 church judgment and the other “after”. A few believe it occurs both before and after.

In Part 1 we’ll cover Ellen White quotes. And then after each reference, we’ll comment as to it’s meaning as best can be attained. We’ll bold highlight some areas we want to emphasis.

Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 201-203

“Jacob’s experience during that night of wrestling and anguish represents the trial through which the people of God must pass just before Christ’s second coming. The prophet Jeremiah, in holy vision looking down to this time, said, “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7.

When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man’s behalf, then this time of trouble will begin. Then the case of every soul will have been decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin. When Jesus leaves His position as man’s intercessor before God, the solemn announcement is made, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth. As Jacob was threatened with death by his angry brother, so the people of God will be in peril from the wicked who are seeking to destroy them. And as the patriarch wrestled all night for deliverance from the hand of Esau, so the righteous will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the enemies that surround them.

…Such will be the experience of God’s people in their final struggle with the powers of evil. God will test their faith, their perseverance, their confidence in His power to deliver them. Satan will endeavor to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless; that their sins have been too great to receive pardon. They will have a deep sense of their shortcomings, and as they review their lives their hopes will sink. But remembering the greatness of God’s mercy, and their own sincere repentance, they will plead His promises made through Christ to helpless, repenting sinners. Their faith will not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. They will lay hold of the strength of God, as Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and the language of their souls will be, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.”

There is little doubt about this time setting of the anti-typical Jacobs’ time of trouble. This trouble comes AFTER probation is closed according to this reference. In the time after the Loud Cry has done it work.

Great Controversy, Page 615-616

“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness.

The same argument many centuries ago was brought against Christ by the “rulers of the people.” “It is expedient for us,” said the wily Caiaphas, “that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. 

The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace…. All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7. 

…As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God’s people in the time of trouble. And as he accused Jacob, he will urge his accusations against the people of God.(Page 618)

…The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time.(Page 621)

Again SOP clearly places this time of trouble after probation.

Early Writings, page 36-37

“I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God.”

Here we see the connection of the plagues as being in the time of trouble. One important point in this reference, which we’ll touch on later is the “The 144,000 triumphed.”

Signs of the Times, Nov.27, 1879

“When Christ stands up, and leaves the most holy place, the time of trouble commences, the case of every soul is decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin and pollution…Those who live in the last days must pass through an experience similar to that of Jacob. Foes will be all around them, ready to condemn and destroy.

Again we see that this time of trouble is after probation. As she further illuminates of Jacob, it is seen that this trouble is the anti-typical “Jacob’s time of trouble”.

Great Controversy, Page 648-649

Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire,—so resplendent is it with the glory of God,—are gathered the company that have “gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.” With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, “having the harps of God,” they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, “the voice of harpers harping with their harps.” And they sing “a new song” before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand.

It is the song of Moses and the Lamb—a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience—an experience such as no other company have ever had. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as “the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.”Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-5.

“These are they which came out of great tribulation;” they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob’s trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God’s judgments.

But they have been delivered, for they have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” “In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault” before God. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”

They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:14-17.

Here we see some details about the “time of trouble such as never was” and “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” This one shows more specifics concerning the 144,000, which we can use to harmonize with the Elijah message.

Early Writings, page 85-86(supplement)

  1. On page 33 is given the following: “I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.”

 

This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now the fulfilment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the “latter rain,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.

This is quite important to understand. Ellen White clarifies that the “time of trouble”is not only in the time of the plagues but “to a short period just before” the plagues are poured out. This shows that trouble is to occur during probation as well as after probation. In other words, an extended time of trouble covering probation and after probation. Christ is in the sanctuary as this trouble first occurs. God’s great and glorious glory takes place while His servants call out those in Babylon but at the same time Satan stirs the wicked to hinder but not stop the work.

Summary

The Spirit of Prophecy shows us that the Jacob’s time of trouble occurs during the Loud Cry as well as after probation. SOP dwells pre-dominantly with the scenes of trouble as it occurs after probation, in the time of the plagues. She describes how God’s people are to be “surrounded” by oppressors. But we’ll have to deal with this “surrounding” in context because the Elijah message tells us God’s people will return to the promised land during the Loud Cry and thus be protected.

It’s important to understand that, just as Ellen White was not given the understanding of the pre-millennial kingdom as Victor Houteff was, She does not show all the details of the time of trouble. The Elijah message will bring a deeper and clearer understanding of this issue  next week.

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