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The Last Years Of This Earth: The Time of Jacob's Trouble - A Brief Study Of Prophecy

Updated on September 26, 2015

Some articles are written because they are subjects that God lays on my heart. Some are written because other people ask questions and I find the answer is too long and the information too important to just toss away. This article was originally written in response to a question of one of my friends here on Hubpages.

Years ago I studied under the Zola Levitt ministries for a while and I really found it helpful to understand God's relationship to His people the Jews. There is a gap that inadvertently forms when churches teach from the perspective of Gentile history and Greek New Testament only. Much history is pushed to the side or just considered irrelevant to the church today. I believe that studying the Jewish history and including the "grafting in" of the church is essential in understanding how we, the church, came to be and how we fit in with God's people. Jews, Jewishness, and Israel is in our Christian history, and I learned as a student of prophecy, Israel is the center of most of the book of the Revelation. Revelation explains how God redeems the nation of Israel and sets up His kingdom and how we begin our eternity with Him. The "raptured" or "caught away" church that returns with Him at His second coming will share in some very special promises God has made to Israel. God is faithful to the Jewish people, as prophecy indicates, for He will redeem all that nation at the end of days.

In so many instances in the gospel accounts, Jesus made it clear that He had come to His own people Israel, to give to them the sayings of life. "He came to His own and His own did not receive Him." (John1:11) He made it perfectly clear to a Gentile woman that came to Him whose daughter was possessed of a demon. She begged Him to heal her daughter and remove the evil spirit.

"But He answered and said, 'I was not sent, except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Lord, help me!' But He answered and said, 'It is not good to take bread and throw it to the little dogs.'" (Matt. 15:24-26)

The term dogs was the popular term used by Jewish people referring to any Gentile that wished to have close dealings with Jews. The law was specific that Jews were to remain separate from all other nations. The term little was saying that the woman's request was not as important as what He needed to do for Israel first and that she was going to have to wait until a more suitable time to receive a blessing from the King of the Jews. The woman knowing what He meant, that His ministry was to the Jewish people and through them the world, replied, "Yes Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from the master's table." This statement said volumes to Jesus. It said, she recognized the Jews standing in God's view. It said she understood that God was merciful and loved the Gentiles as well. It said that she would be happy with any mercy that could be shown her daughter. And it shows that she knew Jesus was the Messiah of the whole world, not just Israel. Jesus, seeing that she had faith in Him to recognize His deity to worship Him and that she was ready to receive it in any way the Master (Jesus) so chose to give it, noted her faith. "Then Jesus answered and said to her, 'O woman, great is your faith. Let it be to you as you desire.' And her daughter was healed from that very hour."

The Jewish disciples were to go into all he world and preach the gospel to all nations. The Jews were to be the distributors of the word to the whole world. They were go to "the Jews first and also to the Greeks [Gentiles]." Indeed for years the church was made up of mainly Jewish converts, giving rise to many arguments with the "Judahizers." These were folks that were sure that one had to adopt the law and covenant agreements of the Jewish people to be Christian. They advocated circumcision for all Christian males because the Law stated it was a sign showing sanctification or the separation of Jews from Gentiles so should be employed to show the same between believer and unbeliever. Paul argued with the Judahizers all the time and said that Christians need not adopt the Law to be saved.

Paul made it his custom, though, to start with the synagogues when he arrived in an area to preach, and then he would go to the Gentiles. He did that so the original model that Christ intended could still be in place. However, he found that he was not going to be able to reach them himself, for he was not called to do so. Peter received that call to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The Judahizers even convinced Peter for a time to separate himself from gentiles and to adopt their faulty thinking. Paul "withstood him to his face." (Galatians 2:11-17) He had bought into the separation of Jews and Gentiles and began advocating going back to be under the Law. Paul did not want to see him along with his ministry to the Jewish folks be harmed, and simply had had enough of the Judahizer's damaging doctrine. Paul was not completely successful in convincing Peter that this doctrine was evil. It took God sending Peter a vision to finally reach Peter's heart. He dreamed he was on his bed and a sheet was let down from heaven having all sorts of animals which the Law had been specifically clear were animals never to be eaten. Peter being a quick-tongued man said, "Not so Lord" and proceded to argue with God that he was not about to eat anything "uncommon" or "unclean" as defined in the Law. Only after the vision appeared to him three times and finally a voice that said to "not call unclean" what God had said was clean, did Peter finally understand. Perhaps then Peter remembered the three times that Jesus said, "Peter do you love me? Feed my sheep." This vision changed Peter so that he began to treat Gentiles as they should be treated, as souls lost, in need of a Savior, and once saved as brothers equal in the eyes of God. (Acts chapter 11)

The world today has many Jewish folks that are still showing forth the light of God's Word to the world, as Jesus had commanded them. Sadly, the nation of Israel does not receive it well and there is persecution of the church in Israel. But there will be a day when that changes. Until that time individuals (like Zola Levitt), see their mandate the same as it originally was, as distributors of the light of God to the world.

Jesus foretold a time when He would redeem the nation of Israel to Himself. This will happen during the time of Jacob's trouble that God will divide the world into two camps. The anti-christ and the World on one side and His people Israel and their converts to the returning Messiah on the other. This is the "time of Jacob's trouble" but it is also a time to remove the "tares" from the real wheat, a metaphor for the people and religions that look real but inside are empty in their teachings, faulty in their doctrines. It will be a time for salvation of other souls and to set up the end times so that the battle-lines will be drawn, the ultimate good against the ultimate evil.

There will be 144,000 Jews from all tribes of Israel to lead in the witness to the nations. Jesus then says that He will return and will touch the mountain with His foot and the mountain will split in two pieces.

"And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10)

"And every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him." The whole world will see Him at this time for duel purposes. The one purpose- to present Himself to the world as conquering King and Judge and the other purpose is to redeem His people, the nation of Israel. (Revelation 1:7)

Eventually the battle ends and Israel is redeemed but many Jews will side with the anti-Christ. Even the one that causes all to worship the anti-Christ (the false prophet) is of Jewish descent. But all that do not side with the anti-Christ will God convince to come to Him to be saved. He will not lose one of those. The Lord brings His people through the ordeal and sets up the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus sits on the throne in the temple judging the nations.

Today we look and see history behaving as it never has with specific indicators the the end is near. We look to what Scripture says is the first thing to happen to usher in this "time of the end" is the rapture of the church. This event is not the second coming of Christ. The rapture is the "catching away" of all believers that have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says that they will be caught up together to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. This begins their afterlife with the Messiah. Can you imagine what it will be like? If you do not know Jesus, all of a sudden, at a day and an hour you think not, millions of people will simply disappear! Imagine the stories created to explain why some people vanish and others do not. People will be confused because they will see "religious" people who never asked Jesus into their hearts left and others who had done so who seemed on the outside to be non-religious simply gone in an instant. And they will wonder why all children under a certain age are gone. It will be a nightmare where no one will be able to wake up.

Are you one who will be left behind? Are you one of those people who has everyone convinced that you're religious and live a life that seems good enough to all but inwardly have never come on bended knee to Jesus? So many people are like this, going to church to earn some sort of brownie points with God, but never repenting of their sin or asking Jesus to be washed clean of them.

If you reflect honestly on yourself and know you are this kind of person, it is easy enough to fix your situation. First, consider that Jesus came all those years ago to die once for all sin. He came in human flesh and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross so that His blood could be spilled for you and me. He loved you that much!

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

"All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved."

If you believe that you're a sinner and have listened as Christ has knocked on the door of your heart you can open that door and let Him in. Just be willing to change that which God asks you to change, to reject living as if you are lord of your life and turn over that lordship to Jesus. Be willing to empty yourself before God, asking Him to be your Lord and Savior and Master of your life, placing trust in Him. Life is so uncertain. Pray this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I believe in You, Jesus. I believe that You are God who came in human flesh to die for me. You came, died, were buried, and rose again from the dead. Lord, I repent of my sins and ask that You come into my life and save me. I can't pay for my sins myself by being good, I need You, Lord. I turn from my sin and turn to You as the only way of salvation. Thank You for hearing me and saving me. I pray this in Jesus' mighty name. Amen.


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    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 6 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Thank you for your encouragement. I have many people giving encourgagment but I will cherish your comments as well. I am happy you are blessed by it.

    • skyliette profile image

      skyliette 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Great work on your hub! I love reading your work.

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 6 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Since I first learned the timeline of Revelation, I have been excited to see it begin. So many things will be aligned so the dominoes will all topple in order. I have seen so many things in a few short years take place to make the events spoken possible. I have even seen things since this article was written in June '09 that make the rapture seem like it will be any moment. I guess that is how we are to feel anyway, expectant. Thank you sister DeBbie.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      No body,Wonderful hub! How enlightening! Thank God for Jesus! Through Him we can always have HOPE! All the signs are about us! We are getting closer to His Glorious return! Yes! "Jesus is coming soon!" Bob, Thank you for sharing, your insight! In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 7 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I am excited that Jesus is coming for us soon. I was telling my sister and she is a JW and was saying how scary it will be when millions of people suddenly disappear and the Antichrist appears. I hope she will think about it and receive Christ before it is too late. Love ya Lottie.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Very, very inspiring Hub! WOW! Thank you! And I agree, prophecy is wonderous and in our best interest to know, but as you said no body we should never worry that things will be so out of control we will lose hope. Stau focus on Jesus Christ! AMEN!

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 7 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Anyone that knows me knows that one of the ways the devil loves to get to me is through fear. I see things lining up perfectly for the antichrist to walk onto the scene and I have to remind myself that I will be called home in the rapture before the Revelation prophecies are fulfilled. I have to remind myself that God holds the world in His hands and that I need not to be afraid. Prophecy is wondrous and in our best interest to know but we should never worry that things will be so out of control we will lose hope.

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      exjwlaurie 7 years ago

      This is such an inspired writing my Bother Bob!

      You have condensed so much information into a concise and coherent 'word of truth' for us! Your words ring true in my heart!

      I have enjoyed reading these comments as well, there is so much truth here for the reader who is blessed to find this page!

      I also agree with your comments Brother Bob regarding the 2 witnesses. I too believe that they will be Moses and Elijah, I think that clue was given to us by the record of the "Transfiguration".

      Interesting times just ahead of us! How blessed we are to be able to discern them, and not dwell in fear!

      Thank you for writing these truths for us Brother Bob!

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 8 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Thank you my sister. Bob.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      James ~~ "God!" (and I say that in reverence), the enemy battles on, and I need this blessing, James ~~ we stand together in Jesus' Name, the Name above ALL Names, by the blood of the Lamb, Hallelujah! The Spirit groans and praises all at once!!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Great work on this Hub. I enjoyed reading it and I pray a blessing on you right now.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Praise God! Confirmed by more than three! AMEN!!

    • Wehzo profile image

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 8 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Very good no body, and you too Carrie. You do not hear a lot of teaching on this subject, that's why I'm especially pleased to hear you speak on it. I taught on the 70 weeks prophecy in the book of Daniel about 6 weeks ago. It's good to know that we all agree. Good work.

      God Bless

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Hallejulah! God is quick in His answers when we seek Him!!

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 8 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Yup! Revelation's not that hard is it? Just kidding. I know that sometimes verses get misapplied to a different event. You nailed it and better than I could have. Ah, my sister.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      This is what I found on the internet ~ may clarify some things.  I'm glad I now understand the woman in childbirth in Revelation 12!  Thank you for this!

      Jeremiah 30:4-7--"These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord, We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, like a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble."  During the tribulation mankind will experience agony like the excruciating pain of childbirth.

      Zechariah 13:8-9--"It shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts in it shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them as gold is tested; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God."  During the tribulation two-thirds of the Jewish people will die, but the other third will be redeemed. Israel's rebelliousness will be purged away and they will believe in Christ.

      Israel's future contains a time of distress without a historical equal. It's known as the time of Jacob's trouble, the seventieth week of Daniel, or the Great Tribulation. Yet during that time, this third of Israel will receive unique assistance (the wilderness spoken of in Revelation 12). I believe this is the answer, as confirmed in the responses received!!

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      Robert E Smith 8 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Exactly. Jew and Gentile in Christ will go to heaven at the Rapture as one Church in Christ. There is no difference, all believers are the same. The first 31/2 yrs of a 7 yrs is known as the tribulation. Those left behind will all be unsaved and beginning to unite around the Anti-christ. Who should start to break out the Word of God again and get the salvation message started again but the good ol' Jews and they see who the Anti-christ is. Also I believe that the two witnesses are literal people that have a superhuman job to raise up 144000 Jewish believers that then will comb the world for any to be saved that will. The Bible refers to them as Moses and Elijah and maybe they are them or just resembling them in action. They open the Old Testament to the Jews and those Jewish folks realize that they have a calling and there is a great harvest of converted believers that are then martyred by the world and it's king. The two witness are then killed and left in the street. They are killed and the world feels like it has won something and then the two witnesses are resurrected and taken to heaven. Then the 2nd part of the 7 year tribulation begins and is designated the Great Tribulation and at the the end of that Jesus returns with a his church with Him and splits the mountain in two and the Israel will see Him and those that are there that survive until then will have a chance to receive Him and the bible says they will. I can't fathom an entire nation at one coming to Jesus but all those that are left of the Jews will receive Him as Lord. Then the Millenium. Love you Guys.

    • Leon Elijah profile image

      The Elijah Tribe 8 years ago from The Household of Sam Soleyn - Durban - South Africa

      Hi You'll, see my hub of the Conflict of the two natures of Jacob, it should be a blast.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      So, are we to gather that those who are chosen (Israel) that have thus far rejected Christ as the Messiah, will be left behind and thus suffer this great persecution to turn them to the Lord, and as many as do receive Him, He will spare from the persecution in the wilderness until He comes?  Those of Israel who continue not to receive Him will be persecuted till the very end?  In other words, those who've received Christ since He came up to the time of the Rapture will indeed be raptured with Him and escape the Great Tribulation, right?

      I have to ask, because a family member of mine said she had a dream (I'm not certain of her true salvation standing) that she was "blessed by Jacob".  This is why I have to ask!!