Time of Jacobs Trouble – leads to deliverance from Satan and the earth
“Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God’s people in the time of trouble. As Satan accused Jacob, he will urge his accusations against the people of God. Satan numbers the world as his subjects; but the little company who keep the commandments of God are resisting his supremacy. If Satan could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. He sees that holy angels are guarding them, and he infers that their sins have been pardoned; but he does not know that their cases have been decided in the sanctuary above. He has an accurate knowledge of the sins, which he has tempted them to commit, and he presents these before God in the most exaggerated light, representing this people to be just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God. Satan declares that the Lord cannot in justice forgive their sins and yet destroy him and his angels. He claims them as his prey and demands that they be given into his hands to destroy.
“As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. (like Job) 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.
. . .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 Saviors promise: “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.” Revelation 3:10
“On every hand they hear the plotting’s of treason and see the active working of rebellion; and there is aroused within them an intense desire, an earnest yearning of soul, that this great apostasy may be terminate and the wickedness of the wicked may come to an end. But while they plead with God to stay the work of rebellion, it is with a keen sense of self-reproach that they themselves have no more power to resist and urge back the mighty tide of evil. They fell that had they always employed all their ability in the service of Christ, going forward from strength to strength, Satan’s forces would have less power to prevail against them.
“They afflict their souls before God, pointing to their past repentance of their many sins, and pleading the Savior’s promise: “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27: 5 Their faith does not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. Though suffering the keenest anxiety, terror, and distress, they do not cease their intercessions. They lay hold of the strength of God as Jacob laid hold of the Angel; and the language of their souls is: “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” Great Controversy p. 619-620
. . .” a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God’s covenant and long to be shielded from its over powering brightness.
“By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, “LOOK UP.” and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern eh marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before the 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.
“It is at midnight that God manifests His powers for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonder follow in quick successions. 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, heavenly 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.
. . .”Through a rift in the clouds there beams a star whose brilliance is increased fourfold in contrast with the darkness. It speaks HOPE and JOY to the faithful, but severity and wrath to the transgressors of God’s law. Those who have sacrificed all for Christ are now secure, hidden as in the secret of the Lord’s pavilion. They have been tested, and before the world and the despisers of truth they have evinced their fidelity to Him who died for them. A marvelous change has come over those who have held fast their integrity in the very face of death. They have been suddenly delivered from the dark and terrible tyranny of men transformed to demons. Their faces, so lately pale, anxious, and haggard, are now aglow with wonder, faith, and love. Their voices rise in triumphant son: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and thought the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” Psalms 46:1-3.
Excerpts from the Great Controversy by Ellen White pages, 616-641