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The Three Witnesses to Jacob’s Trouble – Daniel, Jesus, and John – Part 1 – Randy Nettles

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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 usually, it 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 in regards to this matter was recorded in Daniel 7 (the 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 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 (seven 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, 1988 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 this time of trouble for Israel would 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 “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 (2520 days according to the prophetic calendar of 360 days), why would there be 1290 days left until the end instead of 1260 days? In my previous article, In the Midst :: by Randy Nettles - Rapture Ready, I believe I have adequately explained this seeming discrepancy. The blessing that comes after the 1335th 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 Jacobs 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 Daniels 70th Seven-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. For more detail regarding this eschatological view, see 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 -

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The Three Witnesses to Jacob’s Trouble – Daniel, Jesus, and John – Part II – Randy Nettles -

In Matthew 24:42-44, Jesus tells his disciples to “watch” and “be ready” for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. If Jesus was talking about the 2nd Coming and not the Rapture, why would he warn his followers to do these things? Christians will already be gone in the Rapture at this point (2nd Coming). Of course, this is only true if one is a pre-tribulation believer, as I am. Also, people living during the end times should be able to count 1290 days from the abomination of desolation until the end of Jacob’s trouble, according to Daniel 12:11. The only way this might not be possible is if the conditions are so bad on earth that it is no longer possible to keep track of time, especially if it goes dark for an indefinite amount of time before His return. Mark 13 and Luke 24 give similar testimonies with a few added details. Jesus never mentions any time duration for the events of the Day of the Lord.

As I mentioned in part 1, the Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture. In Revelation 4, John’s spirit was transported to heaven, as a typology of the Rapture, where he saw God in His glory. He also saw 24 elders in white robes sitting on thrones, and they had crowns of gold on their heads. The Rapture must have already occurred as these saints were wearing crowns that symbolize their rewards that believers will receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

John also witnessed the seven Spirits of God and the 4 cherubim. The elders and the cherubim were all worshiping their Lord God. What a sight that must have been (and will be, when we witness it). By the way, 4 is the Biblical number for creation, so here we have God’s created beings, man and Cherubim (representing angels) worshipping God. There were 24 (4 x 6) elders representing man (man’s number is 6).

Immediately following this Rapture typology, John witness’ the unsealing of the judgment scrolls by the only one in heaven and earth that was worthy enough to open it, Jesus Christ. This occurs in Revelation 5. The number 5 is the Biblical number for grace. See Biblical Significance of the Number 5: Part I:: By Randy Nettles - Rapture Ready for more information. By God’s grace, Jesus was able to open the seals so God’s ultimate plan for redeeming mankind could be realized and finalized.

When Jesus had taken the scrolls, the 4 cherubim and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having harps, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song as described in Revelation 5:9-10.

“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us king and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

“Then John looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures (cherubim), and the elders, and the number of them were ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands (innumerable) saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’ Then the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-14).

This great gathering and worship service takes place immediately before Jesus opens the seals which contain the wrath and judgment of God against unrepentant man. Before it’s over, all of God’s creation will be affected, including man, animals, fallen angels, and all of the earth.

It is widely believed by most Bible scholars that Jacob’s trouble begins with the Antichrist signing the covenant with the many (Israel and others) as described in Daniel 9:27. Shortly thereafter the A.C. (the first horseman of the apocalypse in Revelation 6:2) rides out in conquest after the opening of the first seal by Jesus Christ. The first half of Jacob’s trouble consists of the horrendous 7 seals and 7 trumpet judgments being poured out upon the earth and its inhabitants. Other events such as the 10 Kings one-world government, 144,000 messianic Jewish evangelicals and worldwide revival, religious system of Ecclesiastical Babylon, and the ministry of the two witnesses in Jerusalem, also take place in the first half of Jacob’s trouble. These judgments and events are described by John in Revelation 6-11.

Revelation 11:1-2 describes the newly built third temple of God in Jerusalem and the court which is outside the temple. The first mention of a time duration is given here, as the Gentiles will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months (approximately 3.5 years) during the last half of Jacob’s Trouble. Revelation 11:3 talks about the two witnesses prophesying during the first part of Jacob’s Trouble for exactly 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.

When the two witnesses finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome, them, and kill them. “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). Of course, this verse is referring to Jerusalem. Thanks to today’s technology all peoples of the earth will see their dead bodies and those in charge will not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.

“ Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them” (Revelation 11:11-12). Here we see another typology of the Rapture. Earlier John was raptured (spirit only) alive into heaven, and now the two witnesses, who were dead, are brought back to life and then raptured into heaven. In both cases, a loud voice from heaven said, ‘Come up here.’ Just as when Jesus ascended into heaven (10 days before the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost) “in a cloud” so do the two witnesses ascend into heaven in a cloud. Let’s not forget our (Christians of all ages) future rapture as described by Paul: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

“ In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake, seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Revelation 11:13-14).

Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’ (Revelation 11:15).

“And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give You thanks, O lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:16-18),

“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail”(Revelation 11:19).

The 7th Trumpet ends the first part of Jacob’s Trouble. This is when the Antichrist takes absolute control of the world government system from the remaining 7 kings and begins his hellish reign on earth. However, in heaven, the inhabitants are celebrating Jesus’ kingdom as if it has already begun; as per Revelation 11:15. I believe this is because they know how things are going to end. They know Jesus wins and Satan loses.

Revelation 12 describes the events to take place during the mid-point of Jacob’s Trouble. In the Bible, 12 is the number for government perfection and rule, especially the 12 tribes of Israel; so this chapter is aptly numbered as it deals mainly with Israel and Jacob’s trouble. Revelation 12:1-6 reads like a great pageant or production in heaven that portrays the mid-Tribulation events that are happening on the earth. The woman (clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of 12 stars on her head) in verse 1 represents Israel.

This description is reminiscent of the dream young Joseph had when he was 17 years old in the land of Canaan. “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’ And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind” (Genesis 37:9-11). This dream did come true as his brothers and father did bow down to Joseph in the land of Egypt. Of course, in Revelation 12:1, Joseph himself is the 12th star.

The child (a male child, who will rule the nations with an iron scepter) in vs. 2 is Jesus. This prophecy of Lord Jesus was first given by David in Psalm 2:8-9. “The Lord (God, the Father) has said to Me, You are My son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” The dragon in vs. 3 is Satan and he is described as having 7 heads, 10 horns, and 7 diadems on his heads. This is referring to the Antichrist whom Satan is controlling, at this point.

Satan tries to destroy the woman, Israel, but, “the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 12:6). Revelation 12:7-17 describes Satan and his angels fighting a war in heaven against Michael and his angels. Satan loses the war and is cast to the earth with his fallen angels, where they persecute the woman, “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14). This reinforces Daniel’s prophecy of the saints being given unto the hands of the beast for a “time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 7:25). “The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).

Revelation 13 (the number for apostasy and rebellion) describes the two beasts of the end times. They are commonly called the Antichrist and the false prophet. The first beast is seen rising up out of the sea, indicating he is a Gentile. Revelation 13:2 describes the Gentile beast as having the same military characteristics of the first four beasts of Daniel 4-6. He will have the quickness and skill of a leopard, to strike at his opponents, as did ancient Greece under Alexander the Great.

The A.C. will have the strength and power of a bear-like Darius the Mead and Cyrus the Persian. He will have the ferociousness of a lion as did Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The A.C. will have the might to crush his enemies as did the emperors of ancient Rome. He is the beast that rises like the phoenix out of the ashes of the old Roman Empire, for he will be a descendant of the empire that was Rome. He could come from the lineage of the Western (Italy/Rome) empire or the Eastern (Byzantine) empire.

God will use the Antichrist to accomplish His will and judgment upon Israel and the nations who oppose God’s chosen people, just as He did with Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Cyrus, and Alexander. At this stage (mid-tribulation) the A.C. has killed 3 of the 10 Kings who have ruled during the first part of Jacob’s Trouble. The 7 heads of Revelation 13:1 refer to the remaining 7 kings, that have given their crowns (authority) to the beast. He now has all 10 crowns and absolute power and authority over the earth. “Authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). Daniel 7 also describes this same beast with the 10 horns who subdue 3 of the horns/kings. John, who represents the New Testament, and Daniel, who represents the Old Testament, are in perfect harmony regarding the end of days known as the Day of the Lord.

The A.C. receives supernatural help from Satan. “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). It is at this point the A.C. receives a mortal wound and is killed, but his deadly wound is healed and he is resurrected from the dead. I believe this is when Satan indwells the body of the A.C. “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

The A.C. is strengthened supernaturally by another beast coming up out of the earth. Many scholars believe this beast will be a Jew as he is said to come out of the earth, which symbolically speaks of Israel. He causes the peoples of the earth to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. “ He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived” (Revelation 13:13-14).

This is a great sin against God for it breaks the first 2 of the 10 Commandments: 1) “You shall have no other gods before me”(Exodus 20:3). 2) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Exodus 20:4-5).

The false prophet was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should speak and cause all those who would not worship the image to be killed. I believe this “image” could be some kind of a kit that people can assemble that contains a smart chip computer link that can cause the image to talk and to listen in on their conversations to see if they are worshipping the beast or not. It could even be a robot or android that resembles the A.C., or even possibly a hologram.

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18). Of course, you know, 6 is the number for man. It is 1 shy of God’s perfect number 7. The number 3 (or 3 times) represents divine perfection. This 666 man will duplicate Satan’s error by attempting to take the place of God; and for this, he (and Satan) will pay the ultimate price…with his eternal soul, in a place called the Lake of Fire.

Randy Nettles