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The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, [1858], at



The Time of Jacob's Trouble


I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating in companies together, and living in the most solitary places.  Angels provided them food and water; but the wicked were suffering with hunger and thirst.  Then I saw the leading men of earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels were busy around them.  I saw a writing, and copies of it scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders, that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day, they were at liberty, after such a time, to put them to death.  But in this time the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God, and leaning upon his promise, that a way of escape would be made for them.  In some places, before the time for the writing to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them.  Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade his angels watch over them, for God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept his law in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating the faithful, waiting ones, who had so long expected him, without their seeing death.

Soon I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish.  They seemed to be surrounded with the wicked inhabitants of earth.  Every appearance was against them.  Some began to fear that God had left them at last to perish by the hand of the wicked.  But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God.  Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints.  But as they would attempt to approach them, they would first have to pass this company of mighty, holy angels, which was impossible.  The angels of God were causing them to recede, and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them, to fall back.  It was an hour of terrible, fearful agony to the saints.  They cried day and night unto God for deliverance.  To outward appearance there was no possibility of their escape.  The wicked had already commenced their triumphing, and were crying out, Why doesn't your God deliver you out of our hands?  Why don't you go up, and save your lives?  The saints heeded them not.  They were wrestling with God like Jacob.  The angels longed to deliver them; but they must wait a little longer, and drink of the cup, and be baptized with the baptism.  The angels, faithful to their trust, kept their watch.  The time had about come when God was to manifest his mighty power, and gloriously deliver them.  God would not suffer his name to be reproached among the heathen.  For his name's glory he would deliver every one of those who had patiently waited for him, and whose names were written in the book.

I was pointed back to faithful Noah.  The rain descended, the floods came.  Noah and his family had entered the ark, and God shut them in.  Noah had faithfully warned the inhabitants of the old world, while they had mocked and derided him.  And as the waters descended upon the earth, and as one after another were being drowned, they beheld that ark that they had made so much sport of, riding safely upon the waters, preserving the faithful Noah and his family.  So I saw that the people of God, who had warned the world of his coming wrath, would be delivered.  They had faithfully warned the inhabitants of the earth, and God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation, and who would not bow to the decree of the beast, or receive his mark.  I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate God, would be gratified.  And O, what a time of triumph it would be for his Satanic majesty, to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved.  Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints going up, will witness the care of God for his people, and their glorious deliverance.

As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked.  They raised their swords to kill the saints, but they broke, and fell as powerless as a straw.  Angels of God shielded the saints.  As they cried day and night for deliverance, their cry came up before God.


See Genesis chap. 6 & 7, 32:24-28; Psalms chap. 91; Matthew 20:23; Revelation 13:11-17


Next: Chapter 37. Deliverance of the Saints