7. The Little Time of Trouble

By John Thiel, Third Angel’s Message, study 7, mp3

What is the latter rain? And what is its effect? It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His people. It will fall on the hearts of the people but by many it will not be discerned, received, or understood. But as the latter rain is imparted, it culminates in the proclamation of the loud cry of the third angel. The effect of the loud cry on the people will impose a reaction upon those who hear it. Especially those who do not want to hear it, so that Sunday laws will come into action.

Those three subjects; the latter rain, the loud cry, and the Sunday laws, are all interlocking in their effect. As they interlock and overlap, Sunday laws become agitated. As they do, God’s people who have received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit proclaim the Sabbath with greater power. Then this leads to the antagonism of the churches because they are completely opposed to the powerful impact of presentation of the Sabbath under the power of the Holy Spirit. This is an interlocking activity.

Sunday laws have always been there as we saw in the second angel’s message. But as those Sunday laws, under the third angel’s message period, are opposed by those who are receiving the latter rain and proclaiming the Sabbath more fully, they begin to be stirred into more impact upon the world because the churches are opposing this message. The loud cry is the final warning to the world. This leads to trouble.

We now want to enlarge the time of trouble that happens before the big time of trouble in the plagues.

I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. {EW 33.1} 

I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost {EW 33.2}

Can you see the overlapping? The outpouring of the latter rain takes place at the commencement of the time of trouble.

And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. {EW 33.2}

Here you can see the terrible things that transpire.

The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed.  {EW 33.2}

The commencement of the time of trouble, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation of the Sabbath more powerfully, these are the events here chronicled:

I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. {EW 85.2}

Then the explanation of this is given.

Now the fulfilment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the “latter rain,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out. {EW 85.3}

The time of trouble that is explained here does not refer to the time when the plagues shall be poured out, but to a time before the plagues while Jesus is still in the sanctuary doing the work for His people.

The enraging of the churches and of the nominal Adventists has to do with this time of trouble. The key to unlock this little time of trouble is found in Matthew 24. Jesus is here talking about the terrible hour before His second coming when people need to be alert.

Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of,

At the time when people will be caught unawares there is an interaction that takes place between two classes of servants. There is the faithful servant who under the outpouring of the Holy Spirit gives meat in due season, but there are other servants who say in their heart; My Lord delayeth His coming. They are in an attitude of mind in which they are not closely aware of what’s going on around them and they eat and drink with the drunken. They are eating and drinking spiritual food that confuses the mind and puts people to sleep. What does that servant who is eating and drinking with the drunken do to his fellow faithful servant? He shall begin to smite his fellow servant.

Let us examine what Jesus means when He says that the servant is smiting his fellow servant. This has to do with the enraging of the churches and of the nominal Adventists in reference to what the faithful servants are doing. This is the smiting.

Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

They were the brethren of Jeremiah. What did they do? They didn’t like to hear what he was saying. In the time of Jeremiah he was warning them that they should serve the Lord and do what God tells them to do. They didn’t like to hear what he was saying so they thought, We are going to have to silence him, we will smite him with the tongue and we will not listen to what he has to say. This is the same picture as that of Matthew where the evil servant smites his fellow servant. When somebody will stand up and proclaim the pure word, this is the way they are treated:.

Psalm 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked;

What are they doing? The wicked are secretly counselling.

Psalm 64:2 …from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: 3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, [and] bend [their bows to shoot] their arrows, [even] bitter words:

What are their arrows? Bitter words. That is the way they will shoot.

Psalm 64:4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. 5 They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? 6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward [thought] of every one [of them], and the heart, [is] deep.

What do they do? They search out iniquities. They accomplish a diligent search so that they can shoot at the faithful servant. That is the description of the wicked servant smiting the faithful.

Psalm 64:7 But God shall shoot at them [with] an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

That is the end of Matthew 24 when He will come upon them and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is exactly the same picture. Here is the persecution that commences at the hand of those who are their own brethren:

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

The Lord will shoot at them, they shall be ashamed. This is the experience of the faithful people who are upholding the pure word under the power of the third angel’s message, under the power of the Holy Spirit; they will be treated like that. We will see this displayed in more detail when we study the Revelation 18 angel in the next series on the fourth angel.

No one has a true message fixing the time when Christ is to come or not to come. Be assured that God gives no one authority to say that Christ delays His coming five years, ten years, or twenty years. “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). This is our message, the very message that the three angels flying in the midst of heaven are proclaiming. The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world. (1896) {2SM 113.3}

She is here speaking about the Revelation 18 angel who comes to help the third angel. That happened from the time of 1888 onwards.

A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. {2SM 113.3}

She is referring to the 1888 experience. But what happens as this angel comes?

But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest.  {2SM 113.3}

The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. {2SM 114.1}

Two parties are developed in the ranks of the church, and as time continues the whole issue between the two parties will continue to deepen and become more earnest.

And all who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They will not be turned from the present message, which is already lightening the earth with its glory. {2SM 114.1}

Ever since 1888 this has been going on, and as it draws closer and closer to the end the conflict becomes more intensified. They will permit nothing to turn them away from that which has been once delivered to the saints. They just go on relentlessly. Why?

Nothing is worth contending for but the glory of God. The only rock that will stand is the Rock of Ages. The truth as it is in Jesus is the refuge in these days of error. . . .  {2SM 114.1}

The faithful servant will do this work relentlessly. He keeps on moving forward no matter what. As we read in Psalms, this class of faithful servants will be smitten by these people.

As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith. {6T 400.3}

This takes place as the time of trouble continues.

Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers. (1882) {5T 136.1}

Notice the swing. First it is within the church, then they will cowardly take the side of the opposers.

To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few–this will be our test. {5T 136.2}

Those who tremble at God’s Word, those who will stand true to the message, will be regarded as something that has to be taken out of the church. They will say, Let the Lord be glorified, by separating them from themselves.

Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. {TM 409.3}

Faithful ministers will be removed, that is what we read in Isaiah 66:5. In the outpouring of the latter rain it is the sons and daughters, the common people, that are going to be these ministering people, and they will be pushed out. Faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much.

That is how it happens within the church, but it doesn’t stop there because, as it says, they will take the side of the opposers. Not only are they smiting with the tongue, but they take side with the opposers who themselves are being agitated in the false churches. This is the summary of what we have been seeing in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Psalms:

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

“Let the Lord be glorified, put them out.” But then it will go further, to kill them as well.

John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 

This is where the statement of Maranatha comes in. It brings out to us the issue of how it swings not only from people who are opposing and smiting with the tongue, but from those without the church:

These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test. Many who have had great light will fail to walk in the light, because they have not become one with Christ. {Mar 209.2}

Those are the unfaithful servants.

I saw our people in great distress, weeping, and praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while 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. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy nor sell, and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see how we could live without the world; we were dependent upon the world, and we must concede to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it. If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored the appearances were awfully against us. They declared that they had the truth, that miracles were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them, that great power, and signs and wonders were performed among them, and this was the Temporal Millennium, which they had been expecting so long. The whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law, and this little feeble people stood out in defiance of the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and claimed to be the only ones right on the earth. {Mar 209.3}

This statement is a phasing in of first having trouble with those within the church and those without. The activity of these faithful ones within the church being smitten by the unfaithful servants is then extended to the outside world.

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. {GC 608.2}

Do you see the development of it all? The unfaithful servant is mistreating and smiting the faithful one, and then, as it becomes more and more intense, they finally separate and the great majority turn and abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. It is because they are not obeying the truth that they abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.

By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit [eating and drinking with the drunken], they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. {GC 608.2}

As the storm approaches: it is that little time of trouble which intensifies before the plagues, the war and strife (The First World War), the little time of peace, then the return of the war and strife (The Second World War), this is the little time of trouble that this is all talking about. The question is, In this little time of trouble do we expect that there will be martyrs still?

The two armies will stand distinct and separate, and this distinction will be so marked that many who shall be convinced of truth will come on the side of God’s commandment-keeping people. When this grand work is to take place in the battle, prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth. {Mar 199.3}

During this time of trouble which has intensified since 1888, it comes to the point where they are finally disassociated from the careless ministry. This careless ministry takes the side of the opposers, and this causes them to go to court, and they will be imprisoned and many people will be martyrs.

You just have to go through the history of the separation within the Seventh-day Adventist church, and see how the faithful people who stood firm on the Sabbath and on the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” in the First and in the Second World War, were disfellowshipped from the church. And the ones that were the most bitter enemies were their former brethren who actually put them in to the authorities, and those faithful ones ended up being imprisoned and shot. After the time of the First and Second World War, behind the Iron Curtain, in the countries of Communism, that is exactly what continued to happen. There were people who were dying as martyrs for Christ. That will continue to be the case until the close of probation. When the time of the plagues come, then there will be no more martyrs. It is during that little time beforehand that there will still be martyrs. That is what has been happening.

When the Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts, their former brethren are the most efficient agents to stir up the rulers against them, and the faithful ones will then be committed to these prisons and to this martyrdom.

In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives. {GC 608.3}

It is out of this little time of trouble that God’s remnant people will emerge. The terrible experience that we have seen described is an actually shaking. The people are separated, two companies are developed, until they are finally shaken apart.

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. {1T 181.1}

A separation.

My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying with agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, firmly, 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, now shone 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. {1T 181.3}

Here is the remnant that have gained the victory. It is during this time of shaking that the remnant come forth in all their victorious triumphant experiences.

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 it. 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.” {1T 182.2}

This is all part of this little time of trouble that produces the remnant who give the loud cry and call out the last people out of Babylon. All that transpires during this time of trouble.

We will to look at the detail of this remnant in our next study.


More studies on the third angel – http://sabbathsermons.com/category/3rd-angels-message/

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Posted on 09/08/2009, in 3rd Angel's Message and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Jerry Eaton

    What does the swelling of the loud cry mean? If the latter rain comes first, before the loud cry, then what happened in 1888? What message was given there? Who has the possibility of receiving the latter rain, only? What requirements are there necessary for receiving the latter rain?

    • The latter rain commenced in 1888 with the message of Waggoner and Jones. It swells to a loud cry in the culmination of Rev 18:4. it is swelling now. Rev 18:1 was Waggoner and Jones/the fourth angel which continued as another movement. The any man of Rev 3. Rev 18:4 is the overcomer and the ‘other’ voice from heaven (Rev 18:4) also known as the church triumphant. we need the former rain to receive the latter rain. if we are not daily walking with the holy spirit now, we won’t get the latter rain. http://sabbathsermons.wordpress.com/category/3rd-angels-message/

      and ;


    • The latter rain commenced in 1888 with the message of Waggoner and Jones;

      This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. {TM 91.2}

      An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world. {1SM 234.6}

      The Loud Cry – http://sabbathsermons.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/5-the-loud-cry/

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