The Time Of Trouble

The Time Of Trouble

by / Friday, 31 May 2013 / Published in Prophetic Study Material

The Time of Trouble mentioned in the book of Daniel must not be confused with the expected Y2K computer problems so much in the news these days. The two are totally different.
The Time of Trouble is seldom mentioned, even by believers; but it will be devastating when it comes. The Y2K issue is on everyone’s lips; but it will probably turn out to be a colossal non-event.

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.

Several opinions are held concerning the Time of Trouble, which is sometimes called the Great Tribulation. The two most popular viewpoints are:

1. THE RAPTURE THEORY

According to this theory, the main body of the Christian church will be caught away to heaven some seven years before the Great Tribulation. Only after the Rapture, will the terrible events described in the Revelation begin. The people remaining on earth during the Great Tribulation will, according to this theory, be:

  • A few Christians who have somehow failed to qualify for the Rapture.
  • The Jews.
  • And the unbelieving host of all nations.

See our article entitled The Secret Rapture concerning the improbability of this happening.

2. THE COMING EXODUS

The second opinion, the one which Stewarton Bible School holds, is this: The church is not going to be caught away to heaven seven years before Jesus returns; but will remain on earth during the Time of Trouble. If it is caught away at all, it will not be to heaven, but to the ‘wilderness of the peoples.’   This term will be explained later. Of course there are other viewpoints, but as far as the Christian church is concerned, these two are the most well known.

In our view, during the Time of Trouble, earth’s population will consist of:

  • Sealed Believers:   Those who express their faith in the Almighty by keeping His commandments; especially His weekly and annual Sabbaths. These believers will be miraculously protected and fed in the wilderness for 3.5 years. (Rev 12)
  • Unsealed Believers:  Those who will have refused to receive Yahweh’s Sign and Seal which had been widely proclaimed to the world’s inhabitants before the Time of Trouble began.
  • Earth’s unbelieving population.

Stewarton Bible School believes that sealed believers (those who obey Yahweh’s Sabbath laws) will be miraculously protected, somewhere on earth, during the Time of Trouble.
We base our beliefs on these and other Scriptures:

  • Rev.7:1-4   The hurting (devastation) of the earth is held back till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. See the Sealing of the 144,000.
  • Rev.9.4   Abaddon (the Destroyer) and his evil host are not allowed to harm those who have the seal of God. Abaddon is free to torture people who are not sealed.
  • Rev.12:14   The woman (Israel) is taken to the wilderness (on earth) where she is nourished (fed) for 3.5 years. Indeed when the Devil tries to harm her, the ‘earth helps the woman.’   This proves that the woman is somewhere on this earth. See our article entitled The Coming Exodus which further explains this act of divine protection.

3. WHEREABOUTS ON EARTH?

Now to an important question: Whereabouts on earth will God’s people be during the Time of Trouble? The Revelation tells us:

Rev.12:14:

‘And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Where is this Wilderness?
I don’t know. It could be ‘the wilderness of the people’ mentioned in the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 20:35: And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.

Or it could be a desert place somewhere in the Middle East. I repeat “I don’t know.”  What I do know is that the Bible teaches that our whole world is to be reduced to a wilderness. Oceans, rivers and forests are scheduled to be devastated; and every nation will see its agricultural lands ruined and its pleasant pastures burned up. (Rev.8:7-10) The ‘wilderness of the people’ could, therefore, be a description of the devastated countryside around cities.’
Yahweh’s people could be removed to those “wilderness areas” where they will be miraculously protected and fed by Him; and where He will plead with His people face to face’ as He did with the children of Israel in the days of Moses. Strong’s dictionary describes the Hebrew word translated ‘wilderness’as follows:

04057 midbar {mid-bawr’}
1) wilderness
1a) pasture
1b) uninhabited land, wilderness
1c) large tracts of wilderness (around cities)
1d) wilderness (fig.)

What do those ‘Eagle’s Wings’ mean?
The woman we are told in Rev.12:14 is given ‘two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place.’
This could mean one of two things:

  • Angel beings will miraculously transport the Almighty’s people to the wilderness.
  • Or, as in Israel’s exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses, God’s people will literally walk out of the cities to the rural areas. Exodus 19:4: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Either way, the people of the LORD are to leave the cities of the world and be taken into the wilderness. We’ll need to wait and see where that wilderness is and the mode of transport used to get us there.

4. IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO – NOW?

Yes there is a lot we can do. I’ll describe it in two parts; but they can be merged or changed to suit each group’s or individual’s circumstances.

  • Church Groups:   In view of Strong’s definition of the word wilderness; that it is ‘uninhabited land,’ ‘pasture land,’ ‘tracts of land around cities’ church groups should consider buying land in the countryside; land which could be used by their members as a retreat in times of emergency. These retreats could meanwhile be used during the Week of Tabernacles and members could learn how to cope with camping and living as a community in the countryside.
    I write this because in 1970 Stewarton Bible School‘s founder was given – yes given – a tract of land outside Stewarton. The School now uses it as a camp site for the Week of Tabernacles. Obedient believers will all be made welcome on this land during the Time of Trouble; when they are no longer permitted to buy and sell in the markets of the world. (Rev.13:16-17)
  • Believing Families / Individuals: should purchase a good tent to shelter in when their homes are shaken to pieces by some natural disaster. Individual believers should all obtain sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing. Some food supplies could also be set aside as a short time measure. As you know, disaster (earthquakes, tornadoes, floods etc.) could strike any day, anywhere on earth. Groups and individual believers should be prepared!   In times of disaster, one cannot always rely on earthly governments. Witness the chaos in countries hit by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods etc. People are usually left to fend for themselves. So be prepared for natural disasters! They can – and do – occur at any time and in any place.

5. THE LORD IS OUR REFUGE

The Time of Trouble, however, is not a common natural disaster: an earthquake in this country, a flood in the next and a tornado or fire somewhere else – all occurring months or even decades apart. Oh no! The Time of Trouble is different. When it starts, the world-encompassing calamitous events described in Revelation 6:12-17 will occur together! We will know it has started when the terrifying events described in the 6th Seal burst upon us. There will be a global earthquake! which will shift entire mountain ranges and islands from their moorings. Thousands of cities around the world will collapse into rubble and blind panic will grip our civilization. People will think that the end of the world has come. It will be at that time that the church will realise that our best – yea only – help will come from above, from Jehovah, the God of Israel. All the physical preparations we may make will amount to nothing if the Almighty doesn’t protect and feed us during the Time of Trouble. Remember how that for 40 years the Almighty protected and fed His people Israel to the astonishment of all the surrounding nations! In the Time of Trouble He will do the same for us. This means that a believer’s best preparation should be primarily – spiritual. To be sure we could – and should – physically prepare for the usual disasters that occur around the world each year; but during the Time of Trouble we will be totally dependent on Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel; because He alone can – and will – save us! This is a fact you must never forget.

Psalm 27:5:

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalm 37:39:

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble.

Jer:30:7:

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.

At the end of this file is Psalm 91. It is all about how God Almighty will deliver His people during the Time of Trouble; when thousands, yea – tens of thousands! are dying all around. It is a Psalm all true believers should study – and believe!

6. SUMMARY

  • Disasters are coming; of this we are certain. But when we speak of the Time of Trouble we do not mean the Y2K problem or the common disasters one hears about almost every month or year. We mean something much, much worse. There will be no Secret Rapture to heaven before the Saviour returns. The Bible teaches that believers are going to be on earth during the Time of Trouble.
  • Preparing for the Time of Trouble
    • Church Groups should, if at all possible, obtain a tract of land outside the cities and use it during the Almighty’s Feast of Tabernacles. Then, should Jehovah decide, it will also be available for the Time of Trouble. To groups who purchase land I would say this: Prepare to accommodate obedient believers when the Time of Trouble starts.   As mentioned earlier, you will know it has started when the events under the 6th Seal occur; and shortly after, when Sabbath-keepers are forbidden to buy and sell in the markets of the world. (Rev.13:16-17) The Time of Trouble hasn’t started yet (November 1999).
    • Families or Single Persons should, wherever possible, equip themselves with a good, strong tent, outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. As far as food is concerned, they may lay in a store of grain as a short term measure. But for real protection and lasting nourishment during the Time of Trouble, we will need to rely totally on the God Almighty.
    • The best form of preparation for the Time of Trouble is spiritual.
      Repentance,  Faith,  Prayer and Obedience are the stepping stones to salvation, safety and sustenance. Take these steps.
  • And always remember this fact:, That in the final analysis, Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel will protect and feed His people during the Time of Trouble, just as He led, protected and fed them for 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai.
    In short: we should physically prepare for disasters such as are currently occurring all over the world: but for real, lasting protection and nourishment during the Time of Trouble we will need to rely totally on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel He will be our protection during the Time of Trouble. Praise His holy name!

A Closing Psalm

Note carefully the spiritual conditions which must be met if one is to be kept in the Time of Trouble.

Psalm 91:1:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2: I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3: Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4: He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5: Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6: Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8: Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9: Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10: There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11: For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12: They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13: Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14: Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15: He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16: With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

My prayer is that you will be covered by these totally reliable divine assurances.

Remember to read the following:

Understand the Revelation      The Secret Rapture      The Coming Exodus      Year 2000


Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
November 1999

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