9. The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

By John Thiel, Third Angel’s Message, study 9, mp3

In the beginning of the third angel’s message we learned that this message is in reference to the period of the harvest of the earth. The parable of Christ in regards to the harvest represents the end of the world, and it is also identified with the message of the shaking within God’s church. This is the third angel’s work in the time of the harvest:

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.” {EW 118.1}

This should engross the whole mind. We are living in the very last moments of this work of the third angel, and it should engross our attention now even more, because his mission is so awful that it actually separates human beings. Unless people occupy their minds with this event they will not recognize and appreciate what is happening. And because they don’t appreciate it they attack the people who are themselves embracing this message, and are being separated and shaken as a consequence of that.

Throughout our studies we have the noticed the experience of God’s people in this period of time of the third angel and the harvest. During this period, as the Sunday laws gather impact, it will ultimately bring a final separation. Society is being prepared to receive the mark of the beast. The causative activity of the beast and his image is such that society is already gearing up to receive the mark of the beast. All the previous studies led us to the understanding that in this period that there was the First World War, then a little time of peace, and then the Second World War, and after that there was this period of men’s hearts failing them for fear, and yet there was still peace to give room for the work of the third angel to be completed. At this time there is this little time of trouble that produces the remnant church while there is still peace. But the big time of trouble, the time of Jacob’s trouble, is the one we are studying now. Before the time of Jacob’s trouble there is a shaking, there is a trouble experience that raises the remnant church, the church triumphant.

Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. {1T 187.1}

The latter rain is a completion in every person’s individual life, in which he has overcome every test and difficulty be the price what it may. They are then fitted to receive the latter rain which gives them the power to proclaim the loud cry of the third angel. Jesus cannot come to take His people home until He has such a church triumphant. The following statement is directly related to the harvest period:

“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {COL 69.1}

Jesus cannot come until His people reflect His character perfectly. This comes as a consequence of the little time of trouble that shakes God’s people through circumstances of refining until finally they are in a position in which they can be identified as a church triumphant. When they have fully reached that condition as a people, they then can be used of God to call God’s people out of the fallen churches.

Uriah Smith puts it beautifully in one of the most powerful description of this. He describes the shoreline, and as it comes up the ocean sends its huge breakers. This is the last and final breaker, and when God’s people have given the loud cry, as the breaker is about to break, the faithful souls come out of Babylon, and then it crashes, and it’s the end.

The inevitable connection between their cherished errors and irretrievable and everlasting destruction is heralded till the earth resounds with the cry. Meanwhile, great Babylon’s sins mount up to the heavens, and the remembrance of her iniquities comes up before God. The storm of vengeance gathers. The great tidal wave of supernal wrath rolls onward. The feathery foam plays along its crest, indicating that but an instant remains ere it will burst upon the great city of confusion, and proud Babylon will go down as a millstone sinks in the depths of the sea. Suddenly another voice rings out from heaven, “Come out of her, my people!” The humble, sincere, devoted children of God, of whom there are some still left, and who sigh and cry over the abominations done in the land, heed the voice, wash their hands of her sins, separate from her communion, escape, and are saved, while Babylon becomes the victim of the just judgments of God. There are stirring times before the church. Let us be ready for the crisis. {1897 UrS, DAR 717.1}

When that time has fully come and the people are able to give the loud cry, when the loud cry has been given and the remaining faithful people have come out of the churches, then is uttered the statement of Revelation 22:11. At that time Jesus’ work is finished and He can enter into the closing activity of taking His people to be with Him. When God’s people have completed their work, He makes this utterance:

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

The description of the circumstances of this utterance is written in Daniel 12. According to the following verse, when Jesus has stood up to make this utterance, what happens then?

Daniel 12:1 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. 

This is the final scene. Probation closes, Jesus stands up and says, He that is holy, let him be holy still. Next is this terrible time of trouble such as never was.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 

Here is a declaration that Jesus used in reference to the five wise virgins. He who is wise shall shine, while the other ones all drop out of the picture. At that time when Jesus stands up and ushers in that terrible time of trouble, while the wise shine, others, the foolish virgins, will utter the words written in Jeremiah 8:20:

Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

What is it that provokes such an expression? Everything that we have studied under the third angel has been in reference to a time period in which our minds should be fully engrossed with the work of this angel. Those who haven’t been fully engrossed in it have not prepared themselves for this terrible time. When it strikes they will see something within that causes them to say this.

… the mirror of detection reveals to them the evil that their hearts have practiced, and shows them at the same time the impossibility of reform. {UL 301.5}

They will wake up to the reality that, I’ve got to reform, but it’s too late. If they would have had their minds engrossed with the three angels’ messages they would have applied themselves to have their characters purified. That is what our studies have been all about: The first angel’s message, the sanctification experience, the apprenticeship. The people were given their opportunities but they have been indolent. They have been careless with spiritual life. They think, “Yes, we know the message, we’re rich and increased with goods,” but they have not reformed their life. Then, when this time comes, they will see, “Oh, I can’t even change, it’s too late. I can’t even change.” That is the way that the statement of Jesus is exercised, “He who is holy, let him be holy still, he who is filthy, let him be filthy still.” It is not because it is an arbitrary statement. It is because people have come to the point in life where that is the way it is, and Jesus simply announces that. They will recognize that the harvest has passed, “the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

As the close of probation takes place, as they see that and it launches out into this terrible time of trouble, the faithful people who will shine will feel quite similar. That is why it is called the time of Jacob’s trouble. Even those who have gone through the three angels’ messages and have prepared their lives will come to that point where they will think, Am I going to stand? Those who say, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved, are the ones who can’t change anymore. But while the people who have prepared for that time won’t change either, they go through a time of great perplexity.

Jeremiah 30:5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 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.

In this period of time those who are not ready for it will say, It’s too late, I can’t change, and they will be horror struck. But the other ones are also horror struck. They are going through a terrible time as well. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble. What then is their experience? Because it is called Jacob’s trouble, we can turn to Jacob’s experience and actually draw the lessons from it.

Jacob was on his way back to his homeland after spending all this time at Laban’s place, and having married his two daughters, and long after his terrible sin against Esau. Now, as he goes home, he hears of Esau’s army coming to meet him.

But the servants returned with the tidings that Esau was approaching with four hundred men, and no response was sent to the friendly message [that Jacob had sent them]. It appeared certain that he was coming to seek revenge. Terror pervaded the camp. “Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed.” He could not go back, and he feared to advance. His company, unarmed and defenseless, were wholly unprepared for a hostile encounter. {PP 196.1}

Jacob then splits up his company into two hoping to save some if at all possible. Then he turns to God, and says:

Thou “saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.” {PP 196.1} 

They had now reached the river Jabbok, and as night came on, Jacob sent his family across the ford of the river, while he alone remained behind. He had decided to spend the night in prayer, and he desired to be alone with God. God could soften the heart of Esau. In Him was the patriarch’s only hope. {PP 196.2}

This is Jacob’s trouble. The description of Jacob’s trouble, as can be seen from the scripture of Jeremiah 30, is applied to God’s people as a whole at the end. How does this experience translate in reality for those who are now living at the end?

Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. {GC 621.1}

Jacob’s experience during that night of wrestling and anguish represents the trial through which the people of God must pass just before Christ’s second coming. The prophet Jeremiah, in holy vision looking down to this time, said, “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7. {PP 201.1} 

When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man’s behalf, then this time of trouble will begin. Then the case of every soul will have been decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin. When Jesus leaves His position as man’s intercessor before God, the solemn announcement is made, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11. {PP 201.2}

Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth. As Jacob was threatened with death by his angry brother, so the people of God will be in peril from the wicked who are seeking to destroy them. And as the patriarch wrestled all night for deliverance from the hand of Esau, so the righteous will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the enemies that surround them. {PP 201.2} 

Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, {GC 621.1}

Wasn’t that how Jacob was caused to commit his sin? He was deceived and betrayed into sin by Satan’s sophistries. How many of us can recall when we have fallen into sin? and we wish we wouldn’t have done so, but we have been betrayed and deceived into sin. There is hope for us in Jacob’s story.

While Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to comfort and protect them in the time of peril. The assaults of Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; {GC 621.1}

What is their experience? Satan wants to blot them from the face of the earth. His assaults are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible. If we have already had a hard time with Satan until then, he is going to throw greater superhuman activities into our path. His attacks are terrible, delusive, and determined. It is like when you are going through a difficult stage in your experience, it just gets more and more intense and it won’t stop, it just gets worse and worse, and you just wished you had a relief from it. That is exactly what he will be doing during that time.

… but the Lord’s eye is upon His people, {GC 621.1}

These are important principles to understand. While we go through these experiences, God’s eye is upon His people.

… and His ear listens to their cries. 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 of fire; {GC 621.1}

Why? Why do they have to go through this furnace of fire in the time of Jacob’s trouble?

… their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected. {GC 621.1}

They have come to a point in their experience under the three angels’ messages where they have developed a perfect character so that they could receive the latter rain and proclaim it. But there is still something left in their life that they can’t take with them to heaven. What is it? Their earthliness. What is the earthliness that is mentioned here? If it is not sin, what is it?

The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger–a faith that will not faint though severely tried. {GC 621.2}

Isn’t it earthly to faint under trial? Maybe this can give us a hint as to the meaning of earthliness: weariness, delay, and hunger.

The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God–how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God. {GC 621.2}

This is the experience of Jacob’s trouble for us to consider. We will go through an experience, and if we are not prepared for it, we will be among those who say, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. But to be those who have prepared for it we need to know what it means to pray and not to give up, to persevere against the most negative circumstances. Those people will be identified as those whom Jesus saves. The experience of Jacob will be transferred to our experience.

As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God’s people in the time of trouble. {GC 618.2}

Esau was coming with an army of four hundred men to these vulnerable people who had no instruments of warfare to protect themselves. Likewise, God’s people will be very vulnerable, and the people of the world will seek to destroy them.

And as he accused Jacob, he will urge his accusations against the people of God. {GC 618.2}

Here is the twofold experience. One is the attack of the wicked, and the other is a condemnatory experience in your mind. He will condemn.

He numbers the world as his subjects; but the little company who keep the commandments of God are resisting his supremacy. If he 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, {GC 618.2}

He has surprised and deceived them into sin, and he has a perfect knowledge of that.

… 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. {GC 618.2}

As he puts that before God, he also puts it into our own mind.

He 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. {GC 618.2}

This is the experience of these people, and it is one that will remove the last dregs of earthliness from them. These people are the 144,000 of Revelation 7. John sees this company, and one of the elders asks him, Who are they?

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

They wash their robes. These 144,000 come out of great tribulation, and Jacob’s trouble is the tribulation that this is talking about. These people, these 144,000, these ones that shine at that period of time and yet are going through this terrible experience, are spoken of here as a people that are being purged and cleansed:

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 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.

This is important. The wise will understand. What did the wise virgins do? Like the foolish, they had their Bibles. But the wise virgins had the oil in the vessel so that through the oil in the vessel they could be able to understand. That is the reason why we are going through these studies. That is why it is so important to apply ourselves, because when we come to this terrible time of the end, the time of the end of the harvest, many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, while the wicked shall do wickedly and not understand what is going on. When the time of Jacob’s trouble comes, because they don’t understand, they will fall apart, and then they will do more wickedly.

This is the point of the three angels’ message of the harvest time, of the time of Jacob’s trouble, when God’s people are being tried and made white. Watch as you read, and apply to your own experience, and see how close the battle of purification actually takes place.

Jacob was there praying to God through the night and was going to spend all night in prayer. But what happened as he was praying most earnestly?

It was in a lonely, mountainous region, the haunt of wild beasts and the lurking place of robbers and murderers. Solitary and unprotected, Jacob bowed in deep distress upon the earth. It was midnight. All that made life dear to him were at a distance, exposed to danger and death. Bitterest of all was the thought that it was his own sin which had brought this peril upon the innocent. With earnest cries and tears he made his prayer before God. Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to wrest himself from the grasp of his assailant. In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment. While he was thus battling for his life, {PP 196.3}

When you are in a real extreme case of danger, what comes up in front of your mind? All your past. It just flashes very fast.

While he was thus battling for his life, the sense of his guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up before him, to shut him out from God. But in his terrible extremity he remembered God’s promises, and his whole heart went out in entreaty for His mercy. The struggle continued until near the break of day, when the stranger placed his finger upon Jacob’s thigh, and he was crippled instantly. {PP 196.3}

This is one of the experiences that strike God’s people at that time. What impressions will they receive? An enemy is fighting them. That is the way they will feel, they will feel it is an enemy, just as Jacob did. Jacob sins came up before him. It is the people’s personal sins that are the real source of their anguish, as it was with Jacob.

The error that had led to Jacob’s sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud was now clearly set before him. He had not trusted God’s promises, but had sought by his own efforts to bring about that which God would have accomplished in His own time and way. {PP 197.2}

How many times we look back at our past experience and we see how we’ve really made blunder of it? Later on we can see that if only we would have let God do it, it would have turned out differently. That was Jacob’s mind agony. So it will be for those who come to this time.

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. {GC 619.1}

That’s what God’s people are upset about, that God’s holy name would be reproached because of their sins. They are just wishing that every sin would be truly removed.

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. {GC 618.3}

What is tested? Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness in Him. Will they let go of Him under this terrible sense of condemnation?

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. {GC 618.3}

Isn’t that what comes to you when it gets severe? You think, I’m too bad, I’m just going to go and enjoy my life. I’m not going to be so faithful any more. That’s where Satan wants to get us. As the wife of Job said, Curse God and die, I don’t know what you are going through all of this for. Job was being tested by God. This is what God’s people will go through, they will be severely tested whether they will still trust God even though the sense of their own sins is heavily laid upon their shoulders. That’s what Jesus went through. He was there at the cross, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? The sins were so oppressive that He felt forsaken of God, and He could have turned against His own God, but no, He relied upon Him. We must rely upon Him in those extreme circumstances. This is what Satan wants to prevent.

The question is, What is the guarantee that we will get through this? The answer is, But he shall be saved out of it. How can God save His people out of this, while they have this terrible sense of sin?

Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life. So, 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; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgment and have been blotted out, and they cannot bring them to remembrance. {GC 620.1}

This is an interesting statement. Satan is bringing them to remembrance and they feel condemned for them. Jacob knew that he had defrauded his brother. We will still know what we have done, but we have confessed those sins and we cannot bring to our remembrance any sins that haven’t been confessed. They have been removed and the sense of condemnation for those sins is no longer able to have an effect on our memory.

We have seen the terrible experience that is ahead for the people who are going through this time of trouble. We must be prepared for it by having all our sins confessed. They have been committed, the terrible effects of the sins are already there, Esau was angry with his brother, many of our experiences will be that the people who are not following Jesus will turn upon us because of our past sins, and we need to be prepared for that by confessing those sins beforehand. This is where all our studies of the three angels’ message come into play. The way to be prepared is to be fully involved with those three angels’ messages. Here is the need of preparation for the time of Jacob’s trouble:

All who desire the blessing of God, as did Jacob, and will lay hold of the promises as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Why there is so little exercise of true faith, and so little of the weight of truth resting upon many professed believers, is because they are indolent in spiritual things. {1SP 124.1}

What does indolent mean? It means lazy. A lazy state of mind is indolence. They have a lazy state of mind in spiritual things.

They are unwilling to make exertions, to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for the blessing, and therefore they do not obtain it. That faith which will live through the time of trouble must be daily in exercise now. {1SP 124.1}

If I don’t exercise it now, I won’t exercise it then.

Those who do not make strong efforts now to exercise persevering faith, will be wholly unprepared to exercise that faith which will enable them to stand in the day of trouble. {1SP 124.1}

The preparation now is to develop and exercise a faith that can enable us to stand at that time, a faith that can recognise when the hand of God is laid upon us, and can say, It is not an enemy, it is my own God. How are we preparing for this terrible time?

“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly;” but where do we behold the true advent spirit? Who are preparing to stand in that time of temptation which is just before us? {5T 101.3}

This is what the true Advent spirit is: to prepare to stand in that time of temptation.

The people to whom God has entrusted the sacred, solemn, testing truths for this time are sleeping at their post. {5T 101.3}

They are indolent. They are not exercising their faith. What are they saying?

They say by their actions: We have the truth; we are “rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” while the True Witness declares: Thou “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” {5T 101.3}

God is speaking to the people, and He is saying to them, You are indolent. You are not ready for the time of trouble. Get ready, or you are not going to make it. This is what the message of Laodicea is all about.

God is at work to help the Advent people to prepare for that time. That is what the three angels’ messages are all about. How does God prepare us? What does He actually do to make sure that we can be ready for that time of Jacob’s trouble?

God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified. {EW 47.1}

That is how God does it. We are now living in the time of preparation, and God is now giving us the bitter cup to drink, so that when that final bitter cup comes we will survive it.

God brings His people near Him by close, testing trials, by showing them their own weakness and inability, and by teaching them to lean upon Him as their only help and safeguard. Then His object is accomplished. {4T 86.1}

He is trying to cause us to lean on Him and not on our own selves, because if we come to the time of Jacob’s trouble and we are still leaning on our own efforts and help, it will be overwhelming and impossible. He is now trying to teach us to learn what it means to lean upon Him then.

God’s work of refining and purifying must go on until His servants are so humbled, so dead to self, that, when called into active service, their eye will be single to His glory. {4T 86.2}

This is what we have to learn now so that we can do it then.

How to Survive the Bitter Cup

This bitter cup that is to be given us is that we must survive and overcome the negativities. How do we do it in reality? The atonement is the answer. God’s people are going to have to experience that bitter cup, and especially the 144,000 in the time of Jacob’s trouble, a time such as has never existed before to such a degree. Jesus has already gone through this period in His own life to help us, and He is the answer to our need:

Hebrews 12:2 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. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 

This is the key. If we are going to survive the bitter cup, we are told to look unto Jesus and see the bitter cup that He had to drink. We are to remember that He resisted unto blood striving against sin, that in consequence of His enduring the cross and despising the shame, He was set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus wants us to drink with Him that bitter cup. Because he supped that bitter cup He was able to sit on His Father’s throne, and He draws our attention to those who are going to have to go through the time of Jacob’s trouble out of the Laodicean period:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Jesus had told His disciples that they would have to drink of His cup, and they said, Yes, we are able. Then He said, You will indeed drink it, but it is going to be hard for you. This is the supping of the bitter cup. Here He is saying, If you will only let Me in, I will prepare you for the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

This is a direct reference to Hebrews 12:2-4. He continued to preserve, and He sat on His Father’s throne. Now He says, Will you drink the cup with Me? If you will, if you will overcome as I overcame, then you will sit on My throne, as I sat on My Father’s throne. What is it that He sups with us?

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

This is how we can learn to survive the bitter cup. In the days of His flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him who could save Him from death. Who does this? Very few people. We are not to be indolent in the mind. Jesus wasn’t. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered; and thus He was made perfect. This is how we can meet the bitter cup.

The following scripture is the description of the bitter cup that Jesus drank. This cup which He found very hard to drink, is the inspiration for us to persevere with Him:

Matthew 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]. … 42 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. … 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Jesus was on the brink of leaving this cup, and if He would have left it, we wouldn’t have the ability to survive the bitter cup at the end. But He persevered, He endured unto the end, and He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, so that He could sit on His Father’s throne. Now He says to us, “Drink with me. I drank it with you. Drink it with me, and then you will sit on My throne.” Thus we will survive Jacob’s trouble. This is the reality that must engross our mind. Our whole destiny depends upon it. If we don’t pick up on the third angel’s message, we will not survive then.

May God help us to appreciate the things we have studied.


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Posted on 06/08/2009, in 3rd Angel's Message, Revelation, The Time of Trouble and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. So very much needed at this time when this message is no longer heard in my church!! Thank you and may you continue to be lead by God…

  2. Thunderous study.. Verry appropiate for this times and for this church.

    • Yes especially in an hour where every Adventist is Laodicean and thinks they are guaranteed a spot in heaven as they are in Gods church…

  3. Daniel kwofie

    I am very much impressed by this sermon.Can you please continue to send me more.

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