Bible Prophecy: Science Fact or Science Fiction? - Part 1 By Arnold Martin Artificial Intelligence,…
The Three Witnesses to Jacob’s Trouble – Daniel, Jesus, and John – Part 1
By Randy Nettles
There have been many Old Testament prophets that wrote about the end-time days before the Messiah comes in power to establish his kingdom. They mostly referred to it as the day of the Lord, day of trouble, or the day of wrath. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi all spoke and wrote about the day of the Lord and God’s judgment upon unrepentant mankind. There were three followers of Jesus who spoke about this “day” in the New Testament: Luke (Acts 2:20), Paul, and Peter. In some instances, the day of the Lord refers to the actual day when Jesus returns to the earth, but it usually refers to the total duration of time that is involved with this judgment, which is measured in years and not days or hours. Modern eschatologists refer to this time as the Tribulation.
Jeremiah was the only prophet who called it Jacob’s trouble. Here are the verses that describe this end-time horrific period and God’s reasons for bringing it about: “Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah. 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 [Israel/Jacob] shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:4-7).
“For I am with you [Israel], says the Lord, ‘to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished’” (Jeremiah 30:11).
“Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord Goes forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind; it will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it, and until He has performed the intents of His heart. In the latter days you will consider it” (Jeremiah 30:23-24).
Although many prophets spoke about the day of the Lord, there were only three who discussed it with much detail: Daniel, Jesus, and John (the apostle of Jesus). Daniel was the first Jewish prophet to receive a vision regarding these end-times of the day of the Lord. Since this time of trouble is mainly concerned with Israel, we will call it Jacob’s Trouble in this article instead of the Tribulation.
The first revelation to Daniel regarding this matter was recorded in Daniel 7 (number for completion). The vision consisted of four world empires and kings (beasts) that would arise in power to rule the earth at different times. In hindsight, we now know that Daniel 7:7 is talking about the end-times government of the 10 Kings (modern-day new world order/world government). Verse 8 refers to the beast (now known as the Antichrist) who will come upon the scene in the end times.
Daniel 7:19-24 describes the A.C. and how he comes to power by killing three of the kings. “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time/3.5 years” (Daniel 7:25).
I believe the A.C. will change our way of reckoning years by terminating the B.C./A.D. system based on the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. He will also abolish the law of Moses, the 10 commandments; especially the first two commandments: 1) “You shall have no other gods before Me.” 2) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image and shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”
When the A.C. assumes total control of world government from the remaining 7 kings (kingdoms/regions) at the mid-point of Jacob’s Trouble, he will begin his persecution of the Jewish and Gentile saints for a period of approximately 3.5 years. Daniel 7:26-28 describes how it all ends. The beast and his government will come to an abrupt end and will be given over to the new world order of Jesus and His saints.
The vision Daniel has in chapter 8 describes the 2nd and 3rd beasts that will arise after Nebuchadnezzar’s (the 1st beast) reign. This chapter describes the Medo-Persia empire as a ram and then likens the Greek empire to a goat. Alexander the Great and his successors (four of his generals) are referred to in Daniel 8:8. Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the Greek/Syrian king, is mentioned in verse 9 as the little horn. Daniel 8:23-24 is still referring to Antiochus IV as he died insane in Persia in 164 BC. However, it could also be referring to the A.C. of the future, who will be similar to the mad king in many ways.
Daniel 9 records Daniel’s prayer to God where he is petitioning Him for the completion of Israel’s 70-year exile to Babylon according to the earlier word of the prophet Jeremiah. Daniel and other learned men of Israel had always believed that after the 70 years of captivity, the Messiah would come and would then establish His kingdom on earth. In the midst of Daniel’s prayer, the angel Gabriel appeared unto him and told him this was not to be the case and that the Messiah would not come until 483 years or sixty-nine sevens (69 x 7) had elapsed, and He would then be cut off or killed. This revelation or prophecy to Daniel is found in Daniel 9:24-27 and is known as the seventy sevens prophecy.
“Seventy weeks [of years] are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). The total length of time for this prophecy to be accomplished is 490 years: 70 x 7 = 490.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times” (Daniel 9:25). The total length of time for this part of the prophecy is 483 years: 69 x 7 = 483.
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah [Jesus] shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26). After Jesus is killed in 33 AD, there is a pause in time between the 483rd year and the 490th year. This pause is continuing to this day, 1,988 years later.
“Then he [the future Antichrist to come] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week [7 years]; but in the midst [middle] of the week [3.5 years] he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).
In Daniel 9:26, the angel tells Daniel that a people (we now know to be the Romans) would come and destroy the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary. In verse 27, Gabriel explains to Daniel that the prince that would come (the future A.C.) would confirm a covenant with the many (Israel and others) for one week (7 years). This act of confirming the peace covenant regarding Israel will result in the clock starting again to resume the last 7 years of Daniel’s 70th seven, otherwise known as Jacob’s trouble.
After this prophecy, Daniel looked and saw three individuals (angels). One was on one side of the river, one was on the other side of the river, and one clothed in linen was upon the waters of the river. I believe the one walking on the water was a theophany of Jesus. After all, Jesus is known for walking on water. One of the angels asked Jesus/Jehovah how long would this time of trouble for Israel last. Jesus raised both hands unto heaven and swore to Him that lives forever (God, the Father) “that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time [3.5 years]; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7). This chapter and verse in Daniel (12 and 7) are very appropriate numbers for the completion of judgment against God’s chosen people. 7 is the number for completion, and 12 oftentimes refers to Israel.
Daniel told the man that he did not understand and asked, “what shall be the end of these things?” The man clothed in linen told Daniel, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10).
The man in linen, however, had one parting revelation for Daniel. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). Many students and scholars alike have wondered about this verse. If the abomination of desolation occurs in the midst (middle) of the 7 years (2,520 days according to the prophetic calendar of 360 days), why would there be 1,290 days left until the end instead of 1,260 days? In my previous article, I believe I have adequately explained this seeming discrepancy. The blessing that comes after the 1,335th day after the abomination of desolation could be when the marriage feast of the Lord and the church will begin. It could be a double marriage feast as God and the saints of the remnant of Jacob will renew their vows.
The closing words of the man to Daniel were, “Go your way until the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:13). What a great promise to Daniel, a righteous servant of God, that was.
Jesus describes the end of days known as Jacob’s Trouble in three of the gospel books: Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Matthew 24, verses 4-8 describe the pre-tribulation (birth pains as described in Jeremiah 30) times before Daniel’s 70th week begins. This may very well be the present time we are living in today. “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” These are the times of the beginning of Jacob’s trouble.
Matthew 24, verses 9-26 include the entire 7 years (Daniels’ 70th week) of Jacob’s trouble from the beginning to the end. Verses 27-31 describe the 2nd Coming of Jesus. Verses 32-35 explain which generation would see the day of the Lord (that is, the ones who aren’t raptured ahead of this time). Just as Jesus answered his disciple’s questions (regarding the end of the age and the sign of His coming) out of order, so did he describe the day of the Lord, which begins with the rapture. I believe Jesus is talking about the rapture in Matthew 24:36-44. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36). The rapture is the supernatural sign to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah and He is coming again.
Jacob’s trouble (Daniel’s 70th week) begins with the opening of the seals, specifically when the 1st rider, the Antichrist of the apocalypse, emerges on his white horse as a conqueror. It is thought by many scholars that this is also the man described in Daniel 9:27. At this point, the A.C. has enough power and authority with the 10 kings’ world government to confirm the covenant with Israel and the many. There is probably some period of time (possibly years) between the rapture and this event, as it will take the A.C. time to militarily consolidate his power.
Randy Nettles – [email protected]