Promises for the Time of Trouble

“After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.”

Revelation 15:5–8

The image that comes to mind when we read the details of the seven last plagues described in Revelation 16 is not a pretty one: foul and loathsome sores, every creature in the sea dying, all the rivers and streams turning to blood, incredible sunburns, pain so severe that people gnaw their tongues in anguish, hailstones weighing almost 130 pounds. The mind’s eye can hardly conjure up an image that encompasses such pain, misery, and destruction.

It will indeed be a terrible time, referenced in two very familiar Bible texts.

“For thus says the Lord:

‘We have heard a voice of trembling,

Of fear, and not of peace.

Ask now, and see,

Whether a man is ever in labor with child?

So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins

Like a woman in labor,

And all faces turned pale?

Alas! For that day is great,

So that none is like it;

And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble,

But he shall be saved out of it’ ” (Jeremiah 30:5–7).


“At that time Michael shall stand up,

The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;

And there shall be a time of trouble,

Such as never was since there was a nation,

Even to that time.

And at that time your people shall be delivered,

Every one who is found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1).


Both of these texts—Jeremiah and Daniel—refer to what Adventists rightfully call “Jacob’s time of trouble,” or more commonly, “the time of trouble.” But notice how each of these passages ends. Daniel says, “And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book,” and Jeremiah says, “But he shall be saved out of it,” “he” being Jacob, a symbol in this instance of God’s people—those, as Daniel noted, whose names are written in the book of life.

Although this will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, and although it will take extreme faith to endure the troubles that arise during this awesome time, God’s word gives us great hope, great assurance, and great promises that we can confidently claim that He will see us through this unprecedented period of time. Let’s look at just a few of those promises.


  1. First of all, note that the person for whom this time is named survived his personal time of trouble by claiming God’s promise. On Jacob’s return to his homeland, when he feared Esau’s attack, he reminded God of the promise He had made to him. In Genesis 32:9 we have Jacob’s prayer in which he reiterates that promise: “Then Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, “Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you …” ’ ” Jacob claimed this promise that God would “deal well” with him, and He did! That is essentially the same promise that God gives to His people in Daniel—“your people shall be delivered,” and in Jeremiah—“he shall be saved out of it.” Jacob was also undoubtedly aware of the promise that God had made to Abraham and that had been repeated to Isaac and himself that God would make of them a great nation. Surely he recognized that for that to occur, God would have to see him through this threat from Esau, although that realization did not make Esau’s approach any less foreboding.


  1. When the seven last plagues come, the saints will have a place to hide. Psalm 91 provides a litany of some of the most encouraging promises in all the Bible. The entire psalm offers a wealth of comfort, but since we are addressing the plagues of the last days, consider only verses 9 and 10, which specifically address the plagues of God’s wrath:

“Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

No evil shall befall you,

Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.”


Here the psalmist provides a very specific promise for a very specific time.


  1. Scripture makes it clear that God will provide us with the necessities of life during the time of Satan, in his effort to make God’s people—indeed, all people—break the fourth commandment, will succeed in preventing anyone who refuses to accept his mark from buying or selling. Nevertheless, God assures us in Isaiah 33:15, 16 that bread and water is assured for each saint “who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, … who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil.” It is a wonderful promise, but one—like all promises—with conditions. The specific condition in this specific instance is that the recipient of this promise must be one who “walks righteously.” Only those who are obedient to all of God’s commandments can be thus considered.


  1. In Daniel 12:1, it is made clear that this time of trouble will be such as has never before occurred on earth. With this forewarning, what is a wise Christian to do? Proverbs 22:3 tells us: “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself.” God, in His almost incomprehensible mercy, has forewarned His people and given us type and antitype of the protection from destruction that He so lovingly provides. Just as the children of Israel were protected by the typical blood of the lamb when they spread it on their doorposts, we are protected by the antitype: the blood of the real Lamb of God. Isaiah 26:20 gives us an illustration of the actions the prudent man takes as he by faith claims the protection that the antitypical blood provides: “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.” Colossians 3 describes in detail what is involved in entering by faith that chamber of safety and being hid with Christ in God.


  1. Daniel 12:1 notes that those who are saved from this terrible time to come are those whose names are written in the records in heaven. By taking advantage of the provisions given us so plainly in God’s word, we can be assured that our names are indeed written in the Book of Life, and Revelation 3:5 tells us that “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” When we surrender our will to God’s will and determine to walk the narrow way, serving God in whatever capacity His providences lead us, our names are entered into that heavenly record.


  1. In Revelation 12:12, we are given this warning: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Too often, Adventists dwell on this threat, failing to remember that God is bigger than the devil. We can be assured of this, if we need any assurance, because God banished the devil from heaven. But, we also need to remember that the devil is stronger than any of us. However, if we follow the counsel of 2Corinthians 3:18, beholding the face of our loving Saviour, rather than dwelling on the works of Satan, we will become more and more like Jesus. Let us remember the counsel Paul gives us in Philippians 4:8. Whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report—think on these things. Malachi 3:16, 17 sums up this concept: “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’ ”

It is important that all engage in self-examination from time to time to be sure that we have not concentrated so much on Satan’s sinful attributes that we have inadvertently incorporated vestiges of those traits in our character. By beholding, we become changed. Are we beholding the lovely character of Christ, or the unrighteousness of Satan?


  1. The Bible indicates clearly that as we near the end, the Lord is going to slowly but surely withdraw His Spirit from this world and that the love of many will grow cold. The Bible-believing Christian sees evidence of this more and more clearly with each passing day. However, even in the face of this irrefutable evidence of the approach of “that day,” we need not fear. The Lord has given us sufficient evidence of His power for this time, too. It is up to us to ask for, believe, and claim this promised power. Matthew 7:7 tells us to ask and we will receive. Mark 11:24 repeats that promise: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” In Luke 11:13, the Lord has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, and Inspiration tells us that this gift brings all other blessings in its train. Among those blessings are love, joy, and peace, exactly the blessings we need to maintain our walk on the narrow way during the time of trouble.


  1. The final promise we will look at is a special one for those who have family members, especially children, who have lost their way and departed from the path of truth and righteousness. Surprisingly, it is the prophet of doom who provides some of the most reassuring and comforting promises about this heart-breaking situation. In Jeremiah 24:7, the prophet writes, “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” When you claim this promise and read it to yourself, substitute your child’s name in the appropriate place. It then reads, “Then I will give [your child] a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, and he shall know My name, and I will be his God, for he shall return to Me with his whole heart.”

We can use the same principle with Jeremiah 31:16, 17: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Refrain [Mom and Dad], your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,’ says the Lord, ‘And [your children] shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future,’ says the Lord, ‘that your children shall come back to their own border.’ ”

There are indeed some rough waters ahead over which we must sail. However, come what may, we have a promise and an anchor. What more can we ask for? God Himself has promised us safety and victory. Notice this last promise from Isaiah 43.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

Nor shall the flame scorch you.

For I am the Lord your God,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I gave Egypt for your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

Since you were precious in My sight,

You have been honored,

And I have loved you;

Therefore I will give men for you,

And people for your life.

Fear not, for I am with you;

I will bring your descendants from the east,

And gather you from the west” (Isaiah 43:2–5).

And finally, let us remember always that God will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in Him (Isaiah 26:3).

All Bible quotes NKJV unless otherwise noted.

John R. Pearson is the office manager and a board member of Steps to Life. He may be contacted by email at:

Christ Our Helper

As we study about future events, we should have our eyes wide open in regard to the troubles that face the world and the church. However, we should not spend the largest portion of our time thinking and studying about the trouble. If we do that, we will become discouraged. We need to turn our eyes above, to the God of light and power, and focus on Him, the source of our help, if we are going to get through the troublous times before us.

The Bible pictures Jesus as a person that is our help in times of trouble, trial, difficulty and distress. Sister White wrote: “Remember that in every time of trouble Jesus is near you, seeking to impress His image upon you. He is trying to help you to carry the cross . . . He is always ready to clasp the hand stretched out for aid.” Review and Herald, June 20, 1907.

Jesus will always be near His people. He will not leave them during the fiercest persecutions of the last days or during the times of deepest distress. Even when probation has closed, and Christ is no longer a mediator in heaven, He will be near His people. During the time of Jacob’s trouble, when the devil will try to make them believe that their cases are hopeless, Christ will be with them to comfort, sustain and strengthen.

In The Great Controversy, Ellen White describes the time before the carrying out of the death decree when some will try to anticipate the decree and come and kill the saints before the set time. But God will send mighty angels to encamp around the saints, and the wicked will not be able to get through their ranks to harm God’s faithful company.

How are you going to get through a time when, even if it does not happen, it is going to look like you are facing torture or death in the next few hours or the next few minutes? None of us will make it unless we have developed a strong faith in Jesus as our Helper.

A Psalm of Deliverance

We need to study what the Bible says about this. We will begin in Psalm 46. This is the chapter that the 144,000 will quote and sing during the time of trouble. (See The Great Controversy, 638.) Look carefully at what they will be saying: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1. When you are in trouble, God is a help that is right with you. No evil man or group of men can ever take you to any place where Jesus will not go with you and help you. “Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed. And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” Psalm 46:2. This verse will be fulfilled literally when the seventh plague is poured out upon the earth. (See Revelation 16.)

When I was a boy, I lived in Longmont, Colorado. In a fifteen-minute drive, we could be in the Rocky Mountains. Adventist people who live in that part of the country imagine that when the time of trouble comes, they will flee to the Rocky Mountains. And it is only natural for people to look to the mountains for security, because, in all ages, the mountains have provided security to people that have been persecuted and oppressed. It was so for David when he fled from Saul, and for the Waldenses fleeing the destroying vengeance of the Papal power. However, during the seventh plague, “the mountains were not found.” Revelation 16:20. Instead, there will be gigantic caverns where the mountains will be torn from their foundations. (See Early Writings, 290.)

If you are confidently thinking that when the time of trouble comes you will just flee to the mountains, what will you do when the mountains are torn from their foundations? Your trust must not be in finding a cave or a secluded mountain spot where no one can find you. Your trust must not be in making a physical preparation. (I am not saying that we should not prepare all we can. We should do what the Spirit of Prophecy says we are to do to prepare for the crisis.) But your trust must be in the Lord because the time will come when the mountains will not provide security, and all of our carefully laid plans could fail.

“Though its waters (of the sea) roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” Psalm 46:3. There will be a great earthquake such as never was since there was a nation. The waters will roar and be troubled. The storms will be so severe, that Ellen White says the seaports, that have become like Sodom and Gomorrah for wickedness, will be swallowed up by the angry waters of the sea. (See The Great Controversy, 636.)

“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46: 4–7.

During the last scenes of this earth’s history, there will be wars raging throughout the earth. Ellen White saw the horrible picture in vision: “I was shown the inhabitants of the earth in the utmost confusion. War, bloodshed, privation, want, famine, and pestilence were abroad in the land.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 268. But did you notice what it said in verse 7? “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” We will not need to fear amid the horrors that are going on if we have faith in God.

How is Faith Developed?

How is this perfect faith and trust in the Lord developed? How do you get ready for the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation? We are prepared to face the final test by experiencing smaller tests in our daily lives. Just think of the marathon runner who wins a great marathon or the professional swimmer who crosses the English channel. The runner doesn’t run the marathon the first time he puts on running shoes. Neither does the swimmer cross the channel on his first swim. It takes weeks, months and sometimes years of preparation in order to be ready for the big test. So there is a reason that you are going through all of the troubles and tests you are facing. The Lord is trying to help you get ready for the big trouble that is coming for God’s people. The only way He can get you ready is to allow you to experience some trouble now so that you will develop faith. Through these troubles you can learn to trust Him when everything else fails.

We must have an experience in which we know and we trust that God will help us no matter what appearances are. If it looks like we are not going to have any food to eat or any water to drink, or if it looks like we are going to be killed at midnight, we must still trust the Lord. I do not know whether I will die a martyr or live to see Jesus come. I have to leave that with the Lord. But I must know, in my soul, that Christ is my helper and deliverer. If the devil can take away my faith or your faith that God will help us, he has us and we will fall.

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two. He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:8–10. God’s work will be finished very soon. But it will be finished in a way that will exalt the Lord and bring praise and honor to Him. I believe that we need to use all the technology God has put into our hands. We need to use the printed page, radio, television and all the methods of communication. However, Ellen White says that we will be surprised at the simple methods that God will use to finish His work. God is not dependent on our methods, our plans, or our numbers. Gideon was outnumbered almost four to one, but the Lord said to him: “If I give you the victory with all these people, you will think that you did it yourself. I will get the numbers down low enough that you will know that I am the One giving you the victory. It is not your power and might that win the battle.”

The work will be finished in a way that people will say, “It is impossible that could ever work.” But it will work because God is in control. We all have to learn to be still, trust in the Lord, and know that He will help us. He is a very present help in trouble. We must be able to say, “The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalm 46:11.

Our Divine Helper

In 1906, Ellen White wrote an article for The Signs of the Times entitled “Christ Our Helper.” It has been a wonderful encouragement to me. I would like to share some of its most inspiring passages with you. The first paragraph begins like this: “The only begotten Son of God came to this world to redeem the fallen race. He has given us evidence of His great power. He will enable those who receive Him to build up characters free from all the tendencies that Satan reveals. We can resist the enemy and all his forces. The battle will be won, the victory gained by him who chooses Christ as his leader, determined to do right because it is right. Our divine Lord is equal to any emergency.Signs of the Times, January 3, 1906. [Emphasis supplied.]

“Our divine Lord is equal to any emergency.” Can you understand that? I have piles of scare literature in my office. I have a stack of literature on the Y2K problem. I have a stack of literature on the threat of terrorism to large cities of the United States. The average person in the United States has no idea how much we owe to the mercy of God. If the Lord should ever lift His hand, we have no idea what would happen in the cities in the United States. We could have hundreds of millions of people dying within hours. Ellen White says, in The Great Controversy,614, that in the time of trouble the whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came on Jerusalem of old.

What will you do when you are faced with these scenes? Unless you learn that Jesus is equal to any emergency, as we near the end, you become very terrified. And if the devil can terrorize you so that you lose your faith, you will not endure till the end. I do not know what is going to happen in the future, but I pray day by day, “Lord, help me to develop a perfect faith and trust in You.” I know when I ask Him that, I am asking for all kinds of trouble, because it is the way He will get me ready. He will prepare me for the big test of faith by giving me troubles here to help my faith to grow and be strong. My job is to learn to trust the Lord and be able to say, “The Lord will help me and I will trust Him, I know He ‘is equal to any emergency. With Him nothing is impossible.’ ” Ibid.

Nothing is impossible with the Lord! It is one thing to say it and it is another thing altogether to believe it when you are in the midst of troubles and difficulties. But that is what you and I must do, and that is why all the people in God’s true church are facing an avalanche of difficulties in these last days. They do not come one at a time anymore. Sometimes it seems that there are two or three big difficulties the same day. And the worst is yet to come. Soon the laws of the land and the other churches will be opposed to us. Even our former brethren will become our worst enemies. Some people we thought were our best friends will betray us.

Then there will be trouble from closer to home, such as trouble from the family. Jesus said, “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:36. And that is the most difficult kind of persecution to endure. But then, as if that were not bad enough, there is the trouble that is really within. The trouble within our own heart is the carnal nature that constantly strives for the mastery and we must fight and subdue it by the grace of God.

I do not list these difficulties and troubles to overwhelm you. I list them so that you can see what a wonderful God we serve, because He has promised that He is equal to every emergency. “There is no difficulty within or without that cannot be surmounted in His strength . . . There is no nature so rebellious that Christ cannot subdue it, no temper so stormy that He cannot quell it, if the heart is surrendered to His keeping. He who commits his soul to Jesus need not despond. We have an all-powerful Savior . . . In the future life we shall understand things that here greatly perplexed us. We shall realize how strong a Helper we had and how angels of God were commissioned to guard us as we followed the counsel of the Word of God.” Ibid. What a wonderful promise! And it cannot fail because it is backed up by infinite power.

When Martin Luther faced opposition, and he had to stand alone against the most powerful men in the world, Ellen White says that he was not afraid because he knew that he had One with him Who was mightier than them all. I want to know how strong a Helper I have. I want to have a faith that is anchored in a Helper so powerful that I do not need to worry about what I see going on outside or about the battle that I have to fight on the inside. “To all who receive Him, Christ will give power to become the sons of God. He is a present help in every time of need. Let us be ashamed of our wavering faith. Those who are overcome have only themselves to blame for their failure to resist the enemy. All who choose can come to Christ and find the help they need.” Ibid.

Is that good news? Are you going to find all the help you need? You can. If you are the weakest, you are not in a disadvantaged position, there is help for you. Ellen White says that the “the weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength.” The Desire of Ages, 329. That is an encouragement to me. Even if I am the weakest person, if I trust in the Lord, He will give me enough divine power so that I can become like the strongest.

Help Thou Mine Unbelief

In the gospel of Mark there is a story that contains a very important lesson for us about how we can receive Christ’s gifts. It warrants a careful study.

This story took place as Jesus was coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration with three of His disciples. “And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them . . . And He asked the scribes, ‘What are you discussing with them?’ Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples that they should cast it out, but they could not.’ He answered him and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.’ Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’” Mark 9:14–23.

The father came to Jesus and said, “If you can do anything,” and Jesus turned right around and said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” The problem was not whether or not Christ could heal the young man. The problem was whether or not the father had faith. Christ’s words sank deep and the man realized that his son could not be healed unless he had faith. And he was in trouble because he was a victim of unbelief, and so he turned to Jesus. His heartfelt response was, ” ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ ” Mark 9:24.

I have been intrigued with the comment that Ellen White made about this text. She said: “He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the Word of God. Then grasp His promise, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.’ You can never perish while you do this—never.” The Desire of Ages, 429.

If you come to the Lord and say, “Lord, I realize that I am a victim of unbelief, but I am choosing to believe with all the faith I have, help my unbelief,” you will never perish because you have a divine Helper who will take compassion on you.

Certain Victory

Sister White closed her article with these words: “Let us have more confidence in our Redeemer. Turn not from the waters of Lebanon to seek refreshment at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Have faith in God. Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible but certain.” Ibid.

If Christ is your leader, if you have surrendered everything to Him, not only is victory possible, but it is certain, because we serve a Master that does not know anything about defeat. He has never been defeated. When we put our trust in Him and say, “Lord, whatever You want, You make the decisions, You are the director and I am just Your humble servant,” He will not only show you what to do; He will give you the strength to do it. Then victory is not only possible, it is certain!

We serve a God who is infinite in power. All of the resources of heaven are placed at the disposal of the weakest person who puts his complete trust in Jesus. At the end of the great controversy between good and evil, the devil will discover that he was powerless to destroy those who put their trust in Jesus.

As we draw closer and closer to the end, it becomes more and more necessary for us to keep our eyes constantly on Him, for if we look at what is going on in the world, we will be driven to darkness. We have to look to Him, keep our eyes on Him, keep talking to Him and He will see us through and give us all the help that we need. We must never forget that our Redeemer, with infinite power, has promised to be our Helper.

How to Prepare

Paul tells us in Romans 15 verse 4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

The story of Joseph that is found in Genesis 40 and 41 has always been a great blessing to me. I remember when I was just a little fellow, we were poor but Mother had a little book with a gray cover with red letters on that front cover that read, “The Story of Joseph.” And there was a time in my life when every Sabbath afternoon that particular story was read. I’ve always loved to hear about the experiences of Joseph.

This 41st chapter presents Joseph as he stands before Pharaoh. You remember the background, his years in Potiphar’s house as a slave, then his years in jail under false accusation, and now suddenly in the providence of God he’s called from the prison to interpret the king’s dreams. With humility and confidence he tells Pharaoh, “The answer is not in me but God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Genesis 41:16).

You remember the dreams about the cows, the skinny ones eating up the fat ones, and so the grain, the number seven in each dream. Pharaoh did not know what it meant at all. None of his counselors did either, but the Lord gave Joseph the answer. He said, Pharaoh, the two dreams mean the same thing. There are going to be seven years of plenty, and then there are going to be seven years of famine – those were the fat cows and the skinny cows, and the good grain and the blasted ears. Now he said, My advice is, you had better get to storing up grain during those seven good years so that you will have something when the seven years of famine come. (See Genesis 41.)

This is exactly what Pharaoh did and when he and his counselors had thought the thing through and looked over the kingdom, they couldn’t think of a man to head up that food conservation program better than Joseph. So the slave became the ruler of Egypt under the Pharaoh and carried through that great conservation program.

“Every institution established by Seventh-day Adventists is to be to the world what Joseph was in Egypt.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 219. In our homes, in our sanitariums, in our schools, whatever we are a part of in God’s great program, you and I, dear friends, are to be to the world today what Joseph was in Egypt.

Joseph foretold a coming time of trouble. We also have a coming time of trouble to foretell. Divine prophecy has warned us and told us to warn others. But Joseph’s message was more than a warning of trouble. Its focus was on what to do to get ready. That also should be our focus today.

Amos describes a famine bigger than the famine of Egypt and far more serious. Thank God we are told ahead of time how to get ready. We read: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11, 12).

What a day that will be—when men are traveling, some on foot, some in automobiles, some in jet planes, all over this planet, hunting for somebody to declare to them the word of God, to make plain the way of salvation. But no, it is too late, for probation has closed. The great time of trouble has come and the plagues are falling. Memory awakens and men who have derided and scorned the messengers of God, multitudes who have neglected the offers of salvation, long now for the message to which they previously paid no attention. It was so in Noah’s day. When the rain began to fall and the rivers rose, O how many there were who started pounding on that ark, but it was too late and the door was shut. And this in Noah’s time and this in the coming time of trouble was no arbitrary action on the part of God. Even when conscience awakens and memory stirs there is no deep-seated purpose to turn from sin. Men merely want to escape the results of sin and that is not true repentance.

Had those sinners in Antediluvia managed to get in the ark and ride through the flood they would have returned to their idolatry, their lust, and their murder as soon as they hit land again. Confirmed sinners are impossible to change and this is what the text in Amos is talking about – a famine in the land. When God’s message is no longer preached and God’s word is no longer heard, mercy’s day has ended; the day of wrath and justice has come.

If that famine is ahead, as our text says, “A famine of hearing the words of the Lord,” we are in the years of plenty. We are in the years of the fat cows and the well filled out ears of grain. And O if we believe the message of Joseph, if we believe the message of God in this momentous hour, we will be gathering up the grain and storing it to use in the time of famine, for all we will have then will be what we store up now.

It is a shame, friends, that some people are filling their storehouses with chaff. Everybody is putting away something. In these billions of brain cells everybody is storing something. But through Jeremiah God asks, “What is the chaff to the wheat” (Jeremiah 23:28, last part)?

In the book The Ministry of Healing, page 441, the servant of the Lord says, “As I see libraries filled with ponderous volumes of historical and theological lore, I think, Why spend money for that which is not bread?” And then the word is added, “The sixth chapter of John tells us more than can be found in such works.” What is the chaff to the wheat? Consider what you are putting in your storehouse because something is going in.

“The Great Teacher who came down from heaven has not directed teachers to study any of the reputedly great authors. He says: ‘Come unto Me … Learn of Me; … and ye shall find rest unto your souls’ (Matthew 11:28, 29). Christ has promised, and in learning lessons of Him we shall find rest.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 159, 160.

Men’s books with worthless chaff are stored,

God’s Book does priceless wealth afford.

Then leave the chaff and spend your pains,

In gathering up the golden grains.

Nay, were the seas one chrysolite,

The earth a golden ball,

And diamonds all the stars of night,

This Book were worth them all.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, April 21, 1863.

O what golden grain we can store in these granaries of our minds. How we shall appreciate living on this food we have stored away during that time of famine in Jacob’s trouble. How much these promises will mean to us! Again and again my heart is burdened to encourage all whom I can encourage, young and old, to memorize the Bible.

I was reading about the Waldenses, those witnesses for God that through the Dark Ages kept the torch of truth burning. There in the valleys of the Alps surrounded by those mighty mountains, often enduring persecution, they trained their children in the Bible. In The Great Controversy, page 65, we read, “The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated.”

“From earliest childhood the youth were instructed in the Scriptures and taught to regard sacredly the claims of the law of God. Copies of the Bible were rare; therefore its precious words were committed to memory. Many were able to repeat large portions of both the Old and the New Testament.” Ibid., 67. Wonderful thought; children, youth, some of them repeating large portions of the Old and the New Testaments.

Speaking of the young men who accepted God’s call to be ministers, “While attention was given to branches of general learning, the Bible was made the chief study.” Ibid., 68. This situation was not like a popular theological seminary I heard about where a student went clear through and graduated without ever even owning a Bible. No, the chief study of the Waldensian youth was the Bible, the word of God. “The Gospels of Matthew and John were committed to memory, with many of the Epistles.” Ibid. Just fill the mind with chapter after chapter, book after book. You see, we are in Joseph’s time of plenty but the famine is coming, and coming soon. Thank God there are storehouses in which we can store the grain. Let’s not leave room for any chaff.

In thinking of this coming time of trouble I would have us ponder not merely on memorizing the Bible but there are other things we need to do in a practical way in getting ready for that time. The 91st Psalm pictures God’s people being protected from the plagues. “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee” (verses 10, 7). God is going to protect His people during that awful time of trouble from great epidemics that sweep over this world, slaughtering millions.

Now this will be without question by the special protecting power of God, but in all God’s plans for men He gives them a part to act. He protected Noah and his family from the flood but there was something Noah had to do in a practical way to get ready for it. Every day as he preached he practiced. And friends, if you and I believe that the health problems of this world are going to get so terrible that millions will die from various diseases, our faith, if it is a true faith, will find expression in two very important activities. One is learning and practicing the laws of health in our own experience. The other is reaching out to learn how to help others with their health problems.

Inspiration has told us that there will be a time when no work will be done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work and there will be suffering ones, plenty of them, and we will have opportunity to help people. We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work.

It would be better like Joseph to be called from the prison to solve problems than to languish in the dungeon because we know nothing practical to do. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to learn simple treatments. Now is the time to learn simple cooking. Now is the time to learn simple agriculture. Now is the time to learn physiology and hygiene and health education and be sharing these things with our friends and neighbors. We are in the years of the fat cows now and the years of the skinny cows are just ahead. We are in the time now when we can store up the information and the experience that will enable us to go through this time of trouble ahead, triumphant in our own experience and helping others. What a destiny, friends. What an opportunity. What an hour to be living in.

We want to get ready not only by committing the Scriptures to memory and by entering into the health principles and practice, but we want an experience with God in our own lives. Someone was telling me about an inmate of a state penitentiary who is serving a life term. He had committed murder and been there for many years. As a pastime he has taken to committing verses to memory and he has memorized the entire Bible, but it hasn’t saved his soul at all. He is still just as much of a sinner as when he entered the penitentiary. My point is, is it possible to fill the mind with truth and yet it not reach the heart?

Jesus told a story in Matthew 25:1–10 about the ten young women who were waiting for the bridegroom to come. And as the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept and at midnight the cry came that the bridegroom was coming! Go out to meet him! All ten woke up; all ten trimmed their lamps, but then the difference showed up. Five of the young women, along with the oil that was in their lamps, had provided some extra oil that was poured into the lamps which were about to go out. In the story there were five of those young women who had neglected to provide for that contingency. They were left without in the blackness of the night and only five went in to the marriage supper.

When the great time of trouble comes, it will be too late to get the oil. When that crisis hour strikes it will be apparent who has stored up extra oil in advance. So, whether we use the figure of storing up the grain in the storehouse or of storing up extra oil in anticipation of the tarrying, the lesson is clear in either case—we must get ready before the crisis comes. The ark must be built before it starts raining. O I thank God that He is giving us the opportunity day by day of developing not only in our knowledge of truth but in an experience of personal fellowship with Christ.

One of the great aids in this comes in a box labeled trials. Did you ever get a package in the mail, or perhaps by special delivery? Usually we don’t say thank you when we get one of those boxes, but it is through trials and difficulties and problems that Jesus is developing an experience of fellowship with Him in those who permit Him thus to work. Trials themselves do not automatically thus develop us. Trials make some people bitter instead of sweet. Trials leave some people weak instead of strong. Trials fill some minds with doubt instead of faith, but it need not be so. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and if we will take these promises that abound in the Scripture and read them and claim them as we enter these trials from day to day we can develop an experience which will fit us to go through this coming time of trouble.

Jesus gives some very practical counsel from the Sermon on the Mount. He says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).

In the coming time of trouble, the wealth of this world will be of no value. But there is opportunity now to transfer our wealth, whether it be little or great, to a bank where there is no discount, no inflation and no recession, where our wealth can be eternally secure and where we can draw compound interest on the investment through all eternity.

We can actually turn money that we have in our possession into something that will be of enduring worth all through eternity. Thank God that He doesn’t take these tiny little bits that used to be gold and silver but now are paper and cheap metal. We don’t have to think of transferring these paltry little sums into a tiny corner of one of those golden streets up there. Heaven does not value gold that way; that is why gold is used to pave streets.

The unit of value in heaven is a soul. We call it the dollar. Heaven calls it a soul. What is the rate of exchange? “One soul is of more value to heaven than a whole world of property, houses, lands, money.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 21, 22. If you could take all the money in this world and all the houses in this world, and all the jewels in this world, the diamonds and the rubies, and all the rest, every bit of value that people list on the stock exchange or in banks or the CPAs work over in their records, take it all and pile it up all together in one pile—one soul is of more value to heaven than all that pile.

We have a tremendous opportunity as we think about the coming famine, the coming time of trouble, to get our assets transferred from the shrinking experiences that money is going through now into assets that will be of eternal worth and eternal value forever and forever. It is too bad that Wall Street cannot hear of this. God has made it possible for the poor to get in on this deal. Even our tiny offerings, if they are given from hearts of love, are in the providence of God translated into souls that will shine as the stars forever and ever.

As we think of Joseph’s dream and His counsel to get ready now for what is ahead, we are thinking, first of all, of storing up the word of God in our minds. Then we are thinking of building better health and equipping ourselves more and more to minister to the physical needs of others in anticipation of the awful sicknesses ahead. We are thinking of entering into an experience of fellowship with God so that no matter what trial comes, our anchor will hold because we know His promises are sure. And we are thinking of so relating ourselves to Him in a practical way with our material wealth, whether it be little or great, so that under the leading of His Spirit we can transfer our assets from earth to heaven, from money and property to human souls saved in the kingdom of God, and thus we can enter into the riches of Jesus’ rewards to those who share with Him in the work of soul-winning.

Let us fill our granary with golden grain.

Elder W.D. Frazee studied the Medical Missionary Course at the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. He was called to Utah as a gospel medical evangelist. During the Great Depression, when the church could not afford to hire any assistants, Elder Frazee began inviting professionals to join him as volunteers. Thus began a faith ministry that would become the foundation for the establishment of the Wildwood Medical Missionary Institute in 1942. He believed that each person is unique, specially designed by the Lord, of infinite value, and has a special place and mission in this world which only he can fill. His life followed this principle and he encouraged others to do the same.

Parallels in the Time of Trouble – Part II

In part 1 we began to examine the parallels between Christ’s experience in His “time of trouble,” and the final crisis of the ages that is soon to burst upon the remnant of spiritual Israel. We concluded with a passage from the pen of inspiration that bears repeating. “It will do you good, and our ministers generally, frequently to review the closing scenes in the life of our Redeemer. Here, beset with temptations as He was, we may all learn lessons of the utmost importance to us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life.” Gospel Workers, 1892 edition, 246. Let us now continue “point by point…vividly grasping each scene.”

The Father’s Face is Hidden

“…the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face—speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt.…” Desire of Ages, 755. Will the Father hide His face from His people in the time of trouble? For a short period, yes. “All the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah is applicable to the people of God, and every specification of the prophecy will be fulfilled. The Lord will not [utterly] forsake His people in their time of trial. He says, ‘For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.’” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1148. Though the Lord “will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5, it will seem that way for “a small moment.” This is when the remnant will cry “…why hast thou forsaken me?”

Mocked and Scorned

“Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said… He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Mark 15:30-31. “A maddened throng enclose the Saviour of the world. Mocking and jeering are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy. His lowly birth and humble life are commented upon by the unfeeling mob. His claim to be the Son of God is ridiculed, and the vulgar jest and insulting sneer are passed from lip to lip.” Desire of Ages, 734. Will it happen again to a group of people “claiming to be the sons of God?” When? “…there shall come in the last days scoffers….” 2 Peter 3:3. “…there should be mockers in the last time.” Jude 1:18. “The time of trouble was upon us.…the wicked were all around us mocking us and threatening to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness, they mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with words calculated to cut deep.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 427. “The wicked had already begun to triumph, crying out, ‘Why doesn’t your God deliver you out of our hands? Why don’t you go up and save your lives?’ But the saints heeded them not. Like Jacob, they were wrestling with God.” Early Writings, 283.

“It was difficult for the angels to endure the sight [of Christ’s scourging and humiliation]. They would have delivered Jesus, but the commanding angels forbade them…Jesus knew that angels were witnessing the scene of His humiliation.” Ibid., 170. “…pitying angels had not been permitted to minister to their beloved Commander.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 168. Will the angels be restrained again? “Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, desired to go to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. He said, ‘The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.’” Early Writings, 272. “With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress…But they must wait a little longer.” Great Controversy, 630.

“The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close. Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption.” Desire of Ages, 693. “We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The whole universe is looking with inexpressible interest to see the closing work of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 526.

Hopeless Invades the Soul

The watching universe could see Satan trying to crush out every ray of hope from Christ. “Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice.” Desire of Ages, 753. “…what was to be gained by this sacrifice? How hopeless appeared the guilt and ingratitude of men! In its hardest features Satan pressed the situation upon the Redeeemer.…” Desire of Ages, 687. And a similar course of action will be pursued by Satan in the time of trouble. “As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away.” Great Controversy, 618. (See also Great Controversy, 630, Early Writings, 283, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 121.)

“For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:10-11. “Was He not perfect before?—Yes. But He was made a perfect Saviour.” Signs of the Times, May 20, 1889. So too will Christ’s brethren have perfect characters before the time of trouble, but they will not yet have been made “perfect through sufferings.” Then will His prayer be answered, “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one….” John 17:23. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10. “Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace fire; their earthliness must be consumed that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.” Great Controversy, 621.

Let us always remember, “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.… ‘Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.’ Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.” Conflict and Courage, 278. (See also The Desire of Ages, 224.)

Darkness Covers the Earth

As Christ hung upon the cross, “Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. ‘There was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.’ [Matthew 27:45]. There was no eclipse or other natural cause for this darkness, which was as deep as midnight without moon or stars. It was a miraculous testimony given by God that the faith of after generations might be confirmed. In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden.” Desire of Ages, 753. So also in the time of trouble, “…darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.…” Isaiah 60:2. “…throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth.” Great Controversy, 635.

A Great Earthquake

“The Roman officers in charge were standing about the cross when Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished,’ in a voice of startling power, and then instantly died with that cry of victory upon His lips.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 169. And in the closing of the time of trouble, “…the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done.’” Revelation 16:17 (See Great Controversy, 636.)

“Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, ‘It is finished.’” Desire of Ages, 756. And when that “great voice, as of a trumpet” is heard again in the time of trouble, it will again triumphantly ring through the very heavens (See Revelation 1:10.) “For the Lord himself shall descend…with the trump of God.…” 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

“…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible…” 1 Corinthians 15:52.

“The heaving earth, the rent rocks, proclaimed that it was the Son of God who died. There was a mighty earthquake (Matthew 27:54.)” Lift Him Up, 42. “When Christ cried out while upon the cross ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), there was a mighty earthquake….” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 304. But brethren, “…He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” Hebrews 12:26. When? “In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17. That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ Verses 17, 18.” Great Controversy, 636.

Faces Shine Like the Sun

“‘…It is finished.’ ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.’ A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died.” Desire of Ages, 756. “I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked!” Early Writings, 272. “Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God, and they shone with glory as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai.” Ibid., 286. Praise God!

Earlier in Christ’s time of trouble, the Father had caused the divinity of His Son to flash forth. “As soon then as He had said unto them, ‘I am He,’ they went backward, and fell to the ground.” John 18:6. “A divine light illuminated the Saviour’s face, and a dovelike form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground.…prostrate and helpless at His feet.Desire of Ages, 694. And again, in the last time of trouble, God will manifest His glory through His sons who are “partakers of the divine nature,” at which time He will make the wicked “come and worship before thy feet.” 2 Peter 1:4, Revelation 3:9. “Those who were so eager to destroy the saints cannot endure the glory resting upon the delivered ones, and they fall like dead men to the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 354. “Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones.” Early Writings, 273. “…they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan…worshiped at our feet.” Ibid., 15.

Satan’s Power Forever Broken

“…the Saviour cried out upon the cross, ‘It is finished.’ No longer had the enemy power to tempt or annoy Him.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 403. And how wonderful will be that day, as the time of trouble is closing, when “Satan and evil angels flee from the presence of the saints glorified. Their power to annoy them is gone forever.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 354.

“He knew that when He should exclaim, ‘It is finished,’ all heaven would triumph. His ear caught the distant music and the shouts of victory in the heavenly courts.” Desire of Ages, 679. So also will the Three “Angels” of Revelation 14 rejoice as Christ again proves victorious. “Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth.…I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear.…rich, musical shouts of glory and victory were upon every immortal tongue.” Early Writings, 272, 273.

“…a shout of triumph rang through every world and through heaven itself. The great contest that had been so long in progress in this world was now decided, and Christ was conqueror.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 70. Our “great contest” (sometimes called the great controversy) has now been very “long in progress” in this world, but soon it too will be “decided.” “And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image.” Early Writings, 286.

“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.” Acts 3:18. How significant to us should be these words of Christ concerning the Apostle Paul: “…I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:16. And to us, He says: “…ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:18. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:2-3. Until at last: “…Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Praise the Lord!

“We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out, ‘Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough!’ and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring.” Early Writings, 17 “Heaven will be cheap enough, if we obtain it through suffering.” Early Writings, 67. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18. Amen.

Parallels in the Time of Trouble, Part I

In 1998 I received a videotape from Tim Simkin, a close friend of mine. In this video he drew parallels between Christ’s experiences in His “time of trouble,” and the experiences of those who will pass through the final time of trouble. The message contained in that video moved me to tears, and as I studied it further, I was astonished at just how deep this subject goes. It is my hope that God will bless you as richly as He has blessed me.

A Time of Trouble Such as Never Was

Bible prophecy makes it very clear that just prior to Christ’s second advent, “…there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.…” Daniel 12:1. “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble.…” Jeremiah 30:7. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21.

The pen of inspiration has attempted to help us understand how serious this crisis will be. “It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.” Great Controversy, 622. “…soon the time of trouble, such as never was, will come upon us, of which we have but little idea.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 241. “We are on the very verge of the time of trouble, and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of are before us.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 43. “It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended” Last Day Events, 266. “We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages.” Prophets and Kings, 278. “The conflict that is right upon us will be the most terrible ever witnessed.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 407. “The most momentous struggle of all the ages is just before us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 711. From this perspective, let us now begin to look to Jesus, and to draw parallels between His experience and ours.

“Now [in Gethsemane] the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of Christ’s ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost…” Desire of Ages, 686. And today, in preparation for the time of trouble, “The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11. And paralleling Jacob’s experience with ours Ellen White says, “The crisis in his life has come; everything is at stake.” Great Controversy, 617.

Why is God willing that His children go through such a terrible crisis? What purpose will it serve? To answer this question, we must look to Calvary where Christ triumphed over “principalities and powers,” and “made a shew of them openly.” Colossians 2:15. “Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings.…Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan’s existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of Light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.” Desire of Ages, 761. So in Christ’s time of trouble, God purposed to reveal Satan’s character and uproot sympathy for him. But when will “man as well as angels” have this experience? “The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christ like characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, to uproot him entirely from their affections.” Our High Calling, 321. Praise God!

“At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown.” Desire of Ages, 57. Brethren, a yet greater manifestation of satanic hatred will be shown against those “through whom the love of God is shown,” for it is written: “The wrath of Satan increases as his time grows short, and his work of deceit and destruction will reach its culmination in the time of trouble.” Great
, 623.

We Have a Law

The religious leaders of Christ’s day had cried out to the state authority: “…We have a law, and by our law He ought to die…” John 19:7. So in the time of trouble, “…the image of the beast should both speak [legislate], and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15. “…the Jews said…’We have a law, and by our law He ought to die.’ Over and over again this will be repeated.” Signs of the Times, May 26, 1898. “The religious character of professed Christians makes them act like demons. ‘We have a law,’ they say, ‘and by our law He ought to die.’ More than common contempt will be shown to those who make the Word of God their criterion. The scenes of Christ’s condemnation will be acted out in the courts by the people of this age who claim to be serving God.… Men will do the deeds of their fathers, repeating as far as possible the course of action pursued against Christ.” Signs of the Times, January 31, 1900.

Again, paralleling Christ’s experience with ours, Mrs. White says: “…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 eighteen hundred years 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.” Great Controversy, 615. How full of meaning to us are the words of our Lord: “…the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service…. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” John 16:2,4.

Speaking of the religious leaders of His time, Jesus said “They hated Me without a cause.” John 15:25. (See also Psalms 69:4, 109:3-5.) This hatred reached its culmination as Jesus hung upon the tree. Why? “There was never one who walked among men more cruelly slandered than the Son of man. He was derided and mocked because of His unswerving obedience to the principles of God’s holy law. They hated Him without a cause.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 32. And why will those who follow the Lamb be hated by the world in the time of trouble? “As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated without cause, merely because they are obedient to the commandments of God and do His works in the place of working directly contrary to them.” Manuscript Releases, No. 19, 163. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18.

Infuriated Mobs Rush In

In Gethsemane, Christ “…heard the footsteps of the mob in search of Him…” Desire of Ages, 694. So too will the righteous be hunted by wicked mobs: “Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs.…” Early Writings, 56.

“Turning to the multitude he [Herod] angrily denounced Jesus as an imposter.… No sooner were these words spoken than a rush was made for Christ. Like wild beasts, the crowd darted upon their prey.” Desire of Ages, 731. The sealed remnant will have a similar experience. “…the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands upon us to thrust us into prison.…” Early Writings, 15.

Who was stirring up the wicked in the closing scenes of our Saviour’s conflict? “Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co-operating with the priests and rulers.” Desire of Ages, 746. What about our time of trouble? “Satanic agencies in human form will take part in this last great conflict.…” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 383. Will these agencies again work hand in hand with the rulers of this world? “Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but… angels of God encamped about them.…” Testimonies, vol. 5, 475.

Heavenly messengers also had a part to act. “Standing in advance of His disciples He said, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am He.’ As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus moved between Him and the mob.” Desire of Ages, 694. Angels will again interpose between the wicked and the righteous in the coming conflict. “Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul.” Great Controversy, 631.

To Stand Alone

“Repentant sinners stand before the Father justified, because the Innocent One has borne their guilt. ‘…I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with Me.… I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold…’” Signs of the Times, August 26, 1903. Though the 144,000 will at times have the companionship of each other and the guidance of angels, they will, nonetheless, be (collectively) alone and helpless. “In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan, those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off.Desire of Ages, 121. And during some periods they will be individually cut off. “…at this time…they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143. “The faith of individual members of the church will be tested as though there were not another person in the world.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 983. (See also Last Day Events, 260.)

“I invite you to look to the Man of Calvary.…Look to him who was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, who was despised and rejected of men.” Review and Herald, May 10, 1892. “…his [Noah’s] message was rejected and despised. So it will be now.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102. “Said the angel, ‘…They have rejected Jesus and despised His saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.’” Early Writings, 281.

We Must Drink the Cup

“The awful moment had come—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony?” Desire of Ages, 690 “…the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:11. But Jesus asked another question: “…Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto Him, We are able. And He saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.…” Matthew 20:22-23. When will the words of Jesus reach their complete fulfillment? When will people experience most deeply that cup? “The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism.… Yet for the elect’s sake the time of trouble will be shortened.” Great Controversy, 630.

As the mysterious cup trembled in the balance, the angel Gabriel was sent to minister to Jesus. Did he come to remove or lessen the force of that terrible cup?

“The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it.…” Desire of Ages, 693. So too, “In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved [to drink their cup] through the ministration of heavenly angels.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 256.

“He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’” Matthew 26:42. “Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: ‘If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’” Desire of Ages, 690. And in the time of trouble, “Day and night their cry ceased not: ‘Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people!…’ All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.” Early Writings, 272.

Paleness Sits Upon Every Face

“The disciples roused from their slumber to find their Master standing over them in a state of mental and bodily anguish such as they never before had witnessed. They saw the grief and agony of His pale face, and the bloody sweat upon His brow, for ‘His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.’” Signs of the Times, August 14, 1879. “…His pale countenance expressed a sorrow past all description.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 95. Jeremiah, when shown in vision the last experience of the faithful, asked the solemn question: “…wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and 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.…” Jeremiah 30:6-7. “Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession.” Great Controversy, 630.

“…From the pale, quivering lips of the innocent Sufferer a prayer of pardoning love was breathed for His murderers: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” Testimonies, vol. 2, 208. “…Those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe.” Desire of Ages, 755. But in the time of trouble, those righteous lips will be shaped to a “silver trumpet” which will be heard echoing throughout the lengths of the earth. And then, “…from His lips they hear the request, presented before His Father and the holy angels, ‘I will that they also, whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ John 17:24. Again a voice, musical and triumphant, is heard, saying: ‘They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled. They have kept the word of My patience; they shall walk among the angels;’ and the pale, quivering lips of those who have held fast their faith utter a shout of victory.” Great Controversy, 636.

Mental Anguish Draws Sweat of Blood

“‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ ‘Tarry ye here,’ said He, ‘and watch with Me.’ He was bowed to the earth with mental anguish, and in an agony He prayed to His Heavenly Father.” Signs of the Times, August 14, 1879. “His heart was broken by mental anguish.” Desire of Ages, 772. No amount of mental anguish can be compared with that of the Prince of sufferers, for no one will ever be called to bear the guilt of the sins of the world. Nevertheless, “The righteous in their mental anguish will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the hand of the wicked who surround them.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 121. What degree of mental anguish? “…I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish. They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth.” Early Writings, 283.

“…And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44. “The temptations to which Christ was subjected were a terrible reality.… He ‘resisted unto blood’ in that hour when the fear of moral failure was as the fear of death. As He bowed in Gethsemane, in His soul agony, drops of blood fell from His pores, and moistened the sods of the earth.” Youth’s Instructor, October 26, 1899. In describing a vision of the time of trouble, God’s messenger said, “My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 596. Beloved, it would seem that the following words were penned for us, more than for any other people that have ever lived. “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1–4. For how long? “But ‘ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.’ We have an incessant strife, but is not the reward at the end of the conflict worthy of all the labor?” Signs of the Times, September 7, 1891.

“Could one sin have been found in Christ, had He in one particular yielded to Satan to escape the terrible torture, the enemy of God and man would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith and His submission to God.” Desire of Ages, 761. So also, “…in the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed.…” Great Controversy, 620.

Forsaken by God

In the first verse of the twenty-second Psalm, David prophesied as to how Jesus would feel as He was dying upon the cross. In fulfillment of this prophecy, Jesus uttered the very words that David had penned. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice… ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’” Matthew 27:46. So too has Ellen White prophesied (brace yourself): “The remnant in the time of trouble will cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’” Special Manuscript, 2a.

As we close part 1 of this study, it would be well to ponder anew the significance of the words that follow. “It will do you good, and our ministers generally, frequently to review the closing scenes in the life of our Redeemer. Here, beset with temptations as He was, we may all learn lessons of the utmost importance to us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life.” Gospel Workers, 1892 edition, 246. In our next article we will examine even more intense parallels between our Saviour’s experience and ours.

(all emphasis supplied by the author unless otherwise noted.)

Inspiration -The Future

“I was shown the people of God [in vision November 20, 1857], and saw them mightily shaken. I saw some with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale, and marked with deep anxiety which expressed their internal struggle. There was firmness and great earnestness expressed in their countenances, while large drops of perspiration rose upon their foreheads, and fell. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look settled upon them.

“Evil angels crowded around them, pressing their darkness upon them, to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and they distrust God, and next murmur against him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels were having the charge over the people of God, and as the poisonous atmosphere from these evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the angels, which had the charge over them, were continually wafting their wings over them, to scatter the thick darkness that surrounded them.

“Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left them, and went to the aid of those earnest, praying ones. I saw the angels of God hasten to the assistance of every one who were struggling with all their energies to resist those evil angels, and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But the angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.

“As these praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, and encouraged their hearts, and lighted up their countenances.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen. I was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. It will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver of the testimony, and it will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. This straight testimony, some will not bear. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.

“I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the Church hangs, has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it, will obey it, and be purified.

“Said the angel, ‘List ye!’ Soon I heard a voice that sounded like many musical instruments, all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard. It seemed to be so full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen before, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping, and praying with agony of spirit. I saw that the company of guardian angels around them had doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, firm like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, shone now with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude, and holy, sacred joy.

“The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out, and left by the way. The careless and indifferent who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to agonize, persevere, and plead for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their numbers were immediately made up by others taking hold of the truth, and coming into the ranks. Still the evil angels pressed around them, but they could have no power over them.

“I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth in great power. It had effect. I saw those who had been bound; some wives had been bound by their husbands, and some children had been bound by their parents. The honest who had been held or prevented from hearing the truth, now eagerly laid hold of the truth spoken. All fear of their relatives was gone. The truth alone was exalted to them. It was dearer and more precious than life. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain. The refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The loud cry of the Third Angel.’

“Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against this company, who were having the power and light of God. Darkness thickened around them, yet there they stood, approved of God, and trusting in him. I saw them perplexed. Next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Through the day and night their cry ceased not. I heard these words, ‘Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people! Deliver us from the heathen round about us! They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.’ These are all the words I can bring to mind. They seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness, and manifested entire submission to the will of God. Yet every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading, and wrestling like Jacob for deliverance.

“Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy would have gone to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. Said he, ‘The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.’

“Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down, and fell on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon this company who, a short time before were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked. All weariness and marks of care were gone. Health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen round them, fell like dead men. They could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company was changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying victory over death and the grave, and together with the living saints, were caught up to meet their Lord in the air; while the rich, musical shouts of Glory, and Victory, were upon every immortal tongue, and proceeding from every sanctified, holy lip.” Review and Herald, December 31, 1857.

“At the transfiguration Jesus was glorified by His Father. We hear Him say, ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.’ Thus before His betrayal and crucifixion He was strengthened for His last dreadful sufferings.

“As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of his Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attends the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the Latter Rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel.

“I saw that God would in a wonderful manner preserve His people through the time of trouble. As Jesus poured out His soul in agony in the garden, they will earnestly cry and agonize with Him day and night for deliverance. The decree will go forth that they must disregard the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and honor the first day, or lose their lives; but they will not yield, and trample under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, and honor an institution of the Papacy. Satan’s host, and wicked men, will surround them, and exult over them, because there will seem to be no way of escape for them. But in the midst of their revelry and triumph, there is peal upon peal of the loudest thunder. The heavens have gathered blackness, and are only illuminated by the blazing light and terrible glory from heaven, as God utters His voice from His holy habitation.

“The foundations of the earth shake, buildings totter and fall with a terrible crash. The sea boils like a pot, and the whole earth is in terrible commotion. The captivity of the righteous is turned, and with sweet and solemn whisperings they say to each other, ‘We are delivered. It is the voice of God.’ With solemn awe they listen to the words of the voice. The wicked hear, but understand not the words of the voice of God. They fear and tremble, while the saints rejoice. Satan and his angels, and wicked men, who had been exulting that the people of God were in their power, that they might destroy them from off the earth, witness the glory conferred upon those who have honored the holy law of God. They behold the faces of the righteous lighted up, and reflecting the image of Jesus. Those who were so eager to destroy the saints could not endure the glory resting upon the delivered ones, and they fell like dead men to the earth. Satan and evil angels fled from the presence of the saints glorified. Their power to annoy them was gone forever.” Review and Herald, May 27, 1862.

Bible Study Guides – “What Shall be the End of These Things?”

September 22, 2001 – September 28, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 635-650.

Introduction: “In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels; but there will be no security for the transgressor of God’s law. Angels cannot then protect those who are disregarding one of the divine precepts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 256.

“Thy People Shall be Delivered”

1 What wonderful promise is made for God’s people during the “time of trouble such as never was”? Daniel 12:1.

NOTE: “God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble.…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. Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.…What leisure time we have should be spent in searching the Bible, which is to judge us in the last day.…Let the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually and let them crowd out worldly thoughts and cares. When you lie down and when you rise up, let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man.” The Faith I Live By, 339.

2 Of what two resurrections was Daniel told? Daniel 12:2. Compare John 5:28-29, Mark 14:61-62, Revelation 1:7.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 637.

3 What promise is made to those who have sought to bring others into harmony with God’s will? Daniel 12:3. (For “wise” compare verse 10.)

NOTE: The marginal reading for “wise” in this verse is ‘teachers.’

“The worth of a soul cannot be fully estimated by finite minds. How gratefully will the ransomed and glorified ones remember those who were instrumental in their salvation! No one will then regret his self-denying efforts and persevering labors, his patience, forbearance, and earnest heart yearnings for souls that might have been lost had he neglected his duty or become weary in well-doing. Now these white-robed ones are gathered into the fold of the Great Shepherd. The faithful worker and the soul saved through his labor are greeted by the Lamb in the midst of the throne, and are led to the tree of life and to the fountain of living waters. With what joy does the servant of Christ behold these redeemed ones, who are made to share the glory of the Redeemer! How much more precious is heaven to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls! ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars.’ What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages.” In Heavenly Places, 364.

“Seal the Book”

4 What was Daniel told about his book? Daniel 12:4, first part, 9.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547.

5 What was Daniel told about “the time of the end”? Daniel 12:4, last part.

NOTE: ‘The book that was sealed was . . . that portion of the prophecy of Daniel which related to the last days. The Scripture says, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased’ (Daniel 12:4). When the book was opened, the proclamation was made, ‘Time shall be no longer.’ [See Revelation 10:6.] The book of Daniel is now unsealed, and the revelation made by Christ to John is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. By the increase of knowledge a people is to be prepared to stand in the latter days.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 105.

See also Desire of Ages, 234, 235.

“How Long Shall It be?”

6 Whom did Daniel next see in his vision? Daniel 12:5, 6.

NOTE: “The inquirer was Gabriel, who years earlier had asked Jesus the same question concerning ‘cleansing-of-sanctuary day 2300.’ The identity of the other Being hovering above the waters is revealed by His sacerdotal [priestly] robes. He had appeared as the High Priest at the beginning of Gabriel’s explanation. [Daniel 10:5] Now at its conclusion He again appeared similarly ‘clothed in linen.’ The question ‘till when?’ as well as the two speakers, connect the reader with the discussion which Daniel overheard in his third oracle.’ [Daniel 8:13-14].” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 231.

7 What did Daniel hear the Man clothed in linen say? Daniel 12:7. Compare Daniel 7:25, Revelation 11:2, 3, 12:6,14, 13:5.

NOTE: “In the gesture used by God when making a covenant oath, [Ezekiel 20:5, Ezekiel 47:14] Jesus raised both His right and left hands towards heaven, and swore in the name of the One who lives forever. Because He could swear by no one greater, He pledged in His own name [Hebrews 6:13].” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 232.

“The ‘holy people’ are those who held to the religion of the Bible when the majority of those who called themselves Christians forsook the religion of the Bible and forbade anyone to own or read a Bible, who yielded their allegiance to the leaders of the church and lived in disobedience to the Bible and the law of God.…For reasons which God has not revealed to us, the great counterfeit system of Christianity was to destroy the holy people of God. It was to have power over the people of God—to ‘wear out the saints of the Most High’—for three and a half times (Daniel 7:25, 12:7). A ‘time” is the same as a year [Daniel 11:13, see margin] A Jewish year was 12 months of thirty days or each 360 days; therefore three and one-half years are 1260 days. This period of time of 1260 days when ‘the power of the holy people,’ that is the spiritual descendants of the apostles and the early church, was to be broken was to last until the time of the end. (Daniel 11:35-36).” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 259.

“I Heard But I Understood Not”

8 What was Daniel’s reaction to this prophecy? Daniel 12:8. Compare 1 Peter 1:10–12.

NOTE: “The prophets to whom these great scenes were revealed longed to understand their import. They ‘inquired and searched diligently:…searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.…Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you;…which things the angels desire to look into.’ 1 Peter 1:10–12. To us who are standing on the very verge of their fulfilment, of what deep moment, what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come—events for which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God’s children have watched and waited, longed and prayed!” Education, 183.

See also Great Controversy, 344.

9 How was Daniel gently shown that the understanding of this prophecy was not for him? Daniel 12:9.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547, 548.

“The Wise Shall Understand”

10 What was Daniel told about those who will live during the time of the end? Daniel 12:10.

NOTE: “The truth received into the heart accomplishes the transformation of the mind and heart and character. To Daniel the Lord revealed the condition of the inhabitants of the earth in these last days. ‘Many shall be purified,’ He said, ‘and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.’ This is a subject the comprehension of which will put to the stretch every spiritual sinew and muscle. There is a great work to be done for the members of the church, to wean them from their idols. The church-members have had great blessings; they have had the living oracles of God opened to their understanding; they have not been left in darkness and error, as those who are doing wickedly. Now God calls upon those who claim to believe the truth to show to the world its converting power on the heart and character, and to reveal to the world that they are of the number who are being purified, and made white, and tried.” Review and Herald, March 7, 1899.

“Pardon is offered to all who will return their allegiance to the law of God. But there are those who refuse to accept a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ They will not reverence and respect His law. They make rigorous human enactments in opposition to a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ and by precept and example lead men, women, and children into sin. They exalt human enactments above the divine law. But the condemnation and wrath of God are suspended over the disobedient. The clouds of God’s justice are gathering. The material of destruction has been piled up for ages; and still apostasy, rebellion, and disloyalty against God is continually increasing. The remnant people of God, who keep His commandments, will understand the word spoken by Daniel, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand’ (Daniel 12:10).” This Day With God, 84.

11 How may we understand the teachings of the Bible? John 7:17, Psalm 107:43.

NOTE:“I am pained to know that some who preach the present truth today are really unconverted men. They are not connected with God. They have a head religion, but no conversion of the heart; and these are the very ones who are the most self-confident and self-sufficient; and this self-sufficiency will stand in the way of their gaining that experience which is essential to make them effective workers in the Lord’s vineyard. I wish I could arouse those who claim to be watchmen on the walls of Zion to realize their responsibility. They should awake and take a higher stand for God, for souls are perishing through their neglect. They must have that sincere devotion to God that will lead them to see as God sees and take the words of warning from Him and sound the alarm to those who are in peril. The Lord will not hide His truth from the faithful watchman. Those who do the will of God shall know of His doctrine. The wise shall understand;’ but ‘the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.’” Testimonies vol. 4, 527.

“Blessed is he That Waiteth”

12 Of what further prophetic period did the Lord speak to Daniel? Daniel 12:11.

NOTE: These words remind us of Daniel’s previous visions. See Daniel 8:11–13, Daniel 11:31.

“We see that there are two rebellions mentioned: a. the continuance in rebellion (Daniel 8:12); (often called the ‘daily’) and b. the desolating rebellion (Daniel 8:13).…These two rebellions are two successive stages of the great spiritual war being described: First, that which is the ‘continuance in rebellion,’ and then the prophet sees an army given to the little horn power against the ‘continuance in rebellion’ (Daniel 8:12).” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 40.

“The continuance in rebellion (Daniel 8:12) represented paganism but paganism was to be abolished and the abomination that depopulates set up.…The papacy was the abomination that did desolate, depopulate the world of holy people. Those who clung, at the cost of their lives, to the religion of the Bible, were hunted and destroyed until at times the religion of Jesus Christ was almost obliterated from certain parts of the earth. Clovis, leader of the Franks, renounced paganism and accepted papal or Catholic Christianity in ad 496. Clovis launched a religious war against the other nations around him whom he judged to be either pagans or Arians.…Clovis won many victories during the next few years after he became Roman Catholic. In ad 507 he defeated the Visigoths in Gaul {modern France] and in ad 508 he pursued them to their southern strongholds and vanquished them.…Concerning this time, historians note: ‘It was decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms. Clovis was the first to unite all the elements from which the new social order was to be formed—namely, the barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilisation, to which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church, with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his successors.’ Clearly then in ad 508 paganism, the continuance or the continuous rebellion, was taken away as the national religion and the papacy was set up as the national or state religion.” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 262, 263.

France thus became “the first son of the church.” At the end of the 1260 years of papal supremacy, France was to be the instrument of its undoing 1290 years after Clovis, king of the Franks, united his political and military might with the papacy.

13 What further time period is briefly mentioned? Daniel 12:12.

NOTE: While no time is given for the start of this prophetic period, its absence would suggest that it runs parallel with the other time period previously mentioned. Beginning in 508, along with the 1290 days, it would therefore end in 1843. A blessing is pronounced on those come to the end of this period.

“In the matching vision given to John [Revelation 10] Jesus held up in His hand Daniel’s ‘little book open.’ Its messages may be understood. The student of Daniel and Revelation now has the chronological framework within which to consider the directive Christ gave to John. He was bidden to ‘eat’ the prophecies of Daniel which were now ‘open.’ In fact, he was to “eat it up” in its entirety, that is, read and mentally digest it thoroughly. John was promised that he would find Daniel’s ‘time’ messages as sweet as honey in his mouth and would be thrilled with their preciousness. He was warned, however, that after he had digested their meaning, ‘his belly’ would become bitter.…In this prophetic tableau John was representative of God’s people living at the time when the prophecy of the ‘2300th cleansing-of-the-Sanctuary day’ was reaching its consummation. In the opening decades of the nineteenth century the Baptist farmer William Miller, and others in Europe and South America, led believers to study the prophecies of Daniel.…Miller concluded that it pointed to the year 1843. This marked the end of the 1335 days. This year of joyous anticipation proved euphoric for all who believed that the Saviour would return.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 238, 239.

“In every part of the land light was given concerning this message, and the cry aroused thousands. It went from city to city, from village to village, and into the remote country regions. It reached the learned and talented, as well as the obscure and humble. This was the happiest year of my life. My heart was full of glad expectation.” Life Sketches, 59.

“Thou Shalt Stand in Thy Lot”

14 With what comforting words did the Lord conclude His message to Daniel? Daniel 12:13.

NOTE: “The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history.” Manuscript Releases vol. 21, 407.

“Daniel has been standing in his lot since the seal was removed and the light of truth has been shining upon his visions. He stands in his lot, bearing the testimony which was to be understood at the end of the days.” Sermons and Talks vol. 1, 225.

“There is something for every one to do. Every soul that believes the truth is to stand in his lot and place, saying, ‘Here am I; send me.’ Isaiah 6:8.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 49.

15 What blessing on the student of the Book of Revelation may equally apply to studying the Book of Daniel? Revelation 1:3.

NOTE: “I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth.…Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated.…We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give. As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study.…Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days; and He says, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’” Maranatha, 30.

Bible Study Guides – The Time of Trouble – Part 2

December 11, 2004 – December 17, 2004

Memory Verse

“For thus says the Lord: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble. But he shall be saved out of it.’ ” Jeremiah 30:5-7 (NKJV).

Suggested Reading: Great Controversy, 613-621, 626-634.

1 When does the great time of trouble begin? Daniel 12:1.

note: “ ‘At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book.’ Daniel 12:1.

“When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them.” Great Controversy, 613.

2 What changes take place in the world at the close of probation (when Michael stands up) and following?

note: “When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.” Ibid., 614.

3 What four judgments fall on the earth immediately following the close of probation? Revelation 16:2-9; Great Controversy, 627-629.

note: “Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe.” Ibid., 614.

4 What will be the effect of these plagues on the world?

note: “A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere.” Ibid.

“The power attending the last warning has enraged the wicked; their anger is kindled against all who have received the message, and Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution.” Ibid., 614, 615.

5 What law is passed because of the desolation caused by these judgments? Revelation 13:15-17.

note: “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 eighteen hundred years 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.” Ibid., 615, 616.

6 What will be brought upon the saints as a result of this death decree? See Jeremiah 30:5-7.

note: “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.” Ibid., 616

7 What will be the experience of the people of God as a result of this death decree? Isaiah 33:14-17.

note: “As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries and will thank God for ‘the munitions of rocks.’ Isaiah 33:16. But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage.” Ibid., 626.

8 What does the Lord allow Satan to do to the saints during this time?

note: “As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God.” Ibid., 618, 619.

9 What is the purpose of the time of Jacob’s trouble?

note: “God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.” Ibid., 621

“The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christ-like characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, up-root him entirely from their affections. For to love and cherish sin, is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage.” Review and Herald, August 12, 1884.

10 What is the greatest concern of God’s people during this time of trouble?

note: “Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in themselves they will fail to realize the fulfillment of the Saviour’s promise: I ‘will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.’ Revelation 3:10. If they could have the assurance of pardon they would not shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of their own defects of character, then God’s holy name would be reproached.” Great Controversy, 619.

11 What special promises of help are for God’s people during this time? Psalm 27:5; Luke 18:7, 8; Psalm 34:7; Isaiah 21:11, 12; 51:11-16, 21-23; Malachi 3:17; Isaiah 26:20, 21.

note: Read Great Controversy, 630-634.

12 What will bring the time of Jacob’s trouble to an end? Daniel 12:1 (last part).

note: “When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect.” Ibid., 635

“With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth.” Ibid., 635, 636.

“It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.” Ibid., 636.

“When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life.” Ibid., 654.

Bible Study Guides – The Time of Trouble – Part 1

December 4, 2004 – December 10, 2004

Memory Verse

“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1 (NKJV).

Suggested Reading: Great Controversy, 582-592, 603-612.


The topic for the next two lessons is “The Time of Trouble.” The “time of trouble” has not always been clearly understood. Inspiration teaches that the “time of trouble” has three components. They are: (1) the short time of trouble before probation closes; (2) the great time of trouble that begins when Michael stands up—this applies to the world at large—and (3) the “time of Jacob’s trouble” which follows the issuing of the death decree. The “time of Jacob’s trouble” has to do with the experience of the people of God.

The last few questions in this lesson and some of the questions in the next lesson will use only Spirit of Prophecy as references. The reason for this is that as we have come to the time of the end, in order to prepare a people for His soon coming, the Lord revealed to Ellen G. White many things that are not given in such detail in the Bible. This fact is born out by the additional information that is given to us in the last seven chapters of the Great Controversy. Therefore, because these lessons deal with “The Time of Trouble” as a part of last-day events, we will be using the Spirit of Prophecy to help us understand these things.

1 When does the time of trouble begin?

note: “‘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.’ . . .

“‘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.” Early Writings, 85.

2 According to the above reference in Early Writings, how is the time of trouble described?

3 What is taking place on the earth during this “short period”? Revelation 13:12-17.

note: “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.” Ibid., 85, 86.

“The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.” Great Controversy, 592.

4 What will the unsaved experience during this time? Luke 21:26; Matthew 24:4-8.

note: “While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.” Ibid., 589, 590.

5 What will the saints experience during this “short period” of trouble? Matthew 24:21-26; Luke 21:12-19.

note: “Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” Ibid., 593, 594.

“And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.’ 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.” Ibid., 590.

6 What message will the people of God be proclaiming during this “short period” of trouble? Revelation 14:9-12; 18:1-4.

note: “Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. . . . I heard voices which seemed to sound everywhere, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844. The glory of God rested upon the patient, waiting saints, and they fearlessly gave the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of Babylon and calling upon God’s people to come out of her that they might escape her fearful doom.” Early Writings, 277, 278.

7 What are the “times of refreshing”? Acts 2:38; 3:19.

note: “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.” Ibid., 86.

8 What must the saints experience in order to be ready for the “refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (the latter rain)? Acts 2:1; 2:38; 3:19.

note: “He declared that they were to believe and act upon His teaching. All who received Him would partake of His nature, and be conformed to His character. This involved the relinquishment of their cherished ambitions. It required the complete surrender of themselves to Jesus. They were called to become self-sacrificing, meek and lowly in heart. They must walk in the narrow path traveled by the Man of Calvary, if they would share in the gift of life and the glory of heaven.” Desire of Ages, 391.

9 If a person does not complete the early rain preparation what will be the consequence when the latter rain comes? John 6:66.

note: “The Lord calls for united action. Well-organized efforts must be made to secure laborers. There are poor, honest, humble souls whom the Lord will put in your place, who have never had the opportunities you have had, and who could not have them because you were not worked by the Holy Spirit. We may be sure that when the Holy Spirit is poured out those who did not receive and appreciate the early rain will not see or understand the value of the latter rain. When we are truly consecrated to God, His love will abide in our hearts by faith, and we will cheerfully do our duty in accordance with the will of God.” Testimonies to Ministers, 399.

“By the public rebuke of their unbelief these disciples were still further alienated from Jesus. They were greatly displeased, and wishing to wound the Saviour and gratify the malice of the Pharisees, they turned their backs upon Him, and left Him with disdain. They had made their choice,—had taken the form without the spirit, the husk without the kernel. Their decision was never afterward reversed; for they walked no more with Jesus.” Desire of Ages, 392.

10 What is one prerequisite to receiving the latter rain?

note: “I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. . . . I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action.” Early Writings, 71.

11 What is a second prerequisite to receiving the latter rain?

note: “Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.” Testimonies to Ministers, 507.

12 During the time of trouble, what will be the condition of those who have failed to make preparation during the early rain experience?

note: “Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless.

“Those professed Christians who come up to that last fearful conflict unprepared will, in their despair, confess their sins in words of burning anguish, while the wicked exult over their distress.” Great Controversy, 620.

Bible Study Guides – Prophecy, a Guiding Light

December 16, 2007 – December 22, 2007

Key Text

“And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel 2:32.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 467–476; Prophets and Kings, 582–592; Testimonies, vol. 1, 179–184; Early Writings, 269–273.


Jesus forewarned and forearmed the disciples and reminded them, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29. Ellen White comments, “They [the disciples] would say to one another: ‘He told us that this would come, and what we must do to meet it’” Testimonies, vol. 9, 235.

God has again spoken through the spirit of prophecy, and in so doing He has given to us in more minute detail a picture of the events of the last days. And the inspired message confirms the word of the Bible prophets and aids in a fuller and more complete understanding.

1 What experience will come, at the end of the time of trouble, to many of God’s people who sleep in their graves? Daniel 12:1, 2.

Note: “It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession…. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.

“That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake…

“Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.” The Great Controversy, 636, 637.

2 What do the New Testament writers foretell concerning the deceptive power of Satanic agencies? II Thessalonians 2:9, 10; II Corinthians 11:13–15; Revelation 16:13, 14.

Note: “Satan ‘works with all deceivableness of unrighteousness’ [II Thessalonians 2:10] to gain control of the children of men, and his deceptions will continually increase. …

“Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ [Genesis 3:4.] … Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. … Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.” The Great Controversy, 560–562.

3 What astounding development did the apostle Paul predict would take place in the religious world before the end? II Thessalonians 2:3, 4. Compare Revelation 13:3, 4, 8, 9.

Note: “The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ [II Thessalonians 2:3.]” The Great Controversy, 49.

“God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men… We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” Ibid., 581.

4 What somber experience lies ahead for all of God’s faithful people? Revelation 3:10.

Note: “Just before us is ‘the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.’ Revelation 3:10. All whose faith is not firmly established upon the word of God will be deceived and overcome.” The Great Controversy, 560.

“We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.

“The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11.

5 What view is given of distressing troubles in the economic world? James 5:3–6.

Note: “There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 13.

6 What warning should restrain the child of God from entering into any confederacy with unbelievers? II Corinthians 6:14–18. Compare Isaiah 8:12.

Note: “Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy seat and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 42.

“The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. …

“Erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues. This is the light that is given me.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 142.

7 What counsel was given to the mother of Samson before the birth of the child? Judges 13:13, 7.

Note: “The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought.” The Ministry of Healing, 372.

8 What far-reaching effects follow right dietary practices? Ecclesiastes 10:17.

Note: Of the nearly 2,000 pages comprising the five spirit of prophecy books devoted to health, a large proportion is devoted to diet, conveying to the reader the instruction given by God to Ellen White.

“The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to wide-spread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the flood. The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: ‘Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ [Luke 17:28–30.]” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 11.

9 In Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the angel, what did Satan do? What did the change of raiment signify? What promise was made to Joshua, the high priest? Zechariah 3:1–7.

Note: “Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God’s people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts…

“Satan urges before God his accusations against them, declaring that they have by their sins forfeited the divine protection, and claiming the right to destroy them as transgressors. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 472, 473.

“All that have put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ.” Ibid., 471.

“While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb.” Ibid., 475.

10 What question asked by Jesus suggests a condition that will exist in earth’s last days? Luke 18:8.

Note: “I [Ellen White] was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken. Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, were pleading with God. …

“Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. …

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 179–181.

11 What work will be finished before Christ comes? Matthew 24:14. Compare Matthew 28:19, 20.

Note: “The vineyard includes the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. There are places which are now a moral wilderness, and these are to become as the garden of the Lord. The waste places of the earth are to be cultivated, that they may bud and blossom as the rose. New territories are to be worked by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. New churches must be established, new congregations organized. At this time there should be representatives of present truth in every city and in the remote parts of the earth. The whole earth is to be illuminated with the glory of God’s truth. The light is to shine to all lands and all peoples.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 24.

12 What words of the prophets apply to the church triumphant? Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 60:1–5; Joel 2:32.

Note: “The church is to increase in activity and to enlarge her bounds. Our missionary efforts are to be expansive; we must enlarge our borders. . . . While there have been fierce contentions in the effort to maintain our distinctive character, yet we have as Bible Christians ever been on gaining ground.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 396, 397.

The Lord will bring His church through triumphantly:

“There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port…

“When you think that the work is in danger, pray, ‘Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.’ Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?” Ibid., 390, 391.

God will continue with His church even to the end:

“When in the night season I [Ellen White] am unable to sleep, I lift my heart in prayer to God, and He strengthens me and gives me the assurance that He is with His ministering servants in the home field and in distant lands. I am encouraged and blessed as I realize that the God of Israel is still guiding His people, and that He will continue to be with them, even to the end.” Ibid., 406.