The times of Jacob’s trouble

These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:  “Thus says the Lord: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace. Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:4-7) ESV).

Jeremiah reveals calamities, soon to affect both houses of Israel (Israel and Judah). But other nations ought to realize that they cannot be spared from such troubles, one way or the other. Most Christians take comfort in ignoring such prophesies. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Highlighting what is recorded in Holy Scriptures should not necessarily bring discomfort to Christians, preferring to hear only positive developments.

The Christian Bible story begins with promises given to Abraham, concerning the miraculous birth of Isaac, whose promised inheritance was conferred on Jacob. It was through Jacob that the twelve tribes became a nation. That nation was later delivered from Egypt, into Canaan; a land currently embroiled in dispute with the Palestinians.

To true Christians, nothing is peculiar with what unfolds in world events. The Biblical records display prophecies that cannot pass without accurate fulfillment. This is just as all prophecies that led to Jesus’ crucifixion were specifically achieved to their finest detail.

God’s word ought always to be treated as law. Ignoring God’s word is not different from the behavior of a donkey that ignores an approaching locomotive train, with full speed. However, the calamitous prophecies are simply the effects that are caused by humanity’s disobedience to God’s laws.

The Prophet Hosea revealed God, lamenting for the massacred people, due to lacking knowledge (Hosea 4:6). While all human problems are viewed as emanating from Satan, they actually emanate from lacking knowledge.  Satan was defeated at the cross. In other words, the enemy of humanity is no-longer Satan, but ignorance.

The problem with ignorance is that it causes failure to distinguish what is truth from error. People are susceptible to clinging onto error, supposing it to be what would be true.  However, error is also what causes accidents, as known to unleash havoc across the world.

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The most important historic event that ever took place in this world is the appearance of Jesus, leading to His crucifixion, at the first century. Through ignorance, most Christians are obsessed with the promises of Jesus’ second-coming to restore order. Such Christians fail to realize that the processes of Jesus’ ministries, leading to His death, actually brought order.

Helping the deceived Christians to appreciate that the Adventism of Jesus Christ simply confirms what was established at His first coming, is extremely difficult. Satan, actually, uses deception, more than most people think he remains with power anymore.

In His Olivet prophecy, Jesus declared: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5) (KJV).

The mention of Jesus’ name, declaring Him as being the Christ, is not scarce. But such declarations are not always caused by the works of His Spirit. To understand deception, it is necessary to appreciate that a faker always brings what looks similar to the original. It takes a highly analytical person to see what is fictitious, as compared with what would be original.

It is the power of knowledge that provides understanding, leading to safety. But another challenge comes from how knowledge can be acquired. The greatest deception of all time, as besieging humanity today, is that all knowledge comes from established universities of this world. But such assumption is not always true [see here] and [here].

Knowledge comes from God. The purpose of Jesus was to herald God’s knowledge to whoever desired to receive it, regardless of their background. This was without consideration of graduate certification from whatever educational institution, except taking the words of Jesus as law.

What is needed, to understand Jesus’ words is, simply, becoming like an infant, where the Holy Spirit then takes over, to guide the individual (Matthew 18:3). Deception is generated by pride, which is the opposite of humility. Pride is portrayed as what is necessary to understand the things of God, among most Christians. Cursorily, this highlights the cause of deception that can be observed across the world.

Which religious college did Jesus go to? Which college did He recommend that His disciples should attend? Where did Jesus instruct future Christians to set up hierarchies, with educational institutions, to effectively do what He instructed them to do (Matthew 28:19-20)?

Anyone can ignore the lavishly spread additives in the Christian world, but it takes an analytical person to realize that Jesus does not need additions to what He taught. His words were final, just as He declared that all authority had been given to Him (Matthew 28:18).

Like in engineering profession, precision ought to be regarded as the byword of Christianity. Even the scientists, can confirm that, in His creation, God never allowed any room for error.  In my desperation to help people to avoid falling into the trap of deception, I am inclined to recommend that people should first engage in engineering classes, to appreciate the significance of Christianity, before conversion.

Jesus’ appearance in the first century, brought the good news about the establishment of God’s Kingdom, which brings the opposite of what characterizes this world. However, God’s Kingdom is hardly mentioned in most ordinary Christian Churches, as known today.

Most Christian churches are known to project the opposite of what Jesus taught. The mission of Jesus Christ was about introducing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. However, what is mostly projected among most Christian organizations is that Jesus is coming to take Christians to Heaven, before destroying the planet.

Such teachers, therefore, extrapolate out of context, some prophetic scriptures, to suite their agenda of making God a ruthless monster, inflicting agonies to a helpless humanity. I suppose the apostle Paul effectively described the existence of such deceptive people across the Christian world:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) (ESV).

Primarily, what Satan uses is the principle of worship. He knows that human beings love worship. As far as humans are concerned, they cannot survive without worshiping something. Satan, then, provides Christian leaders who also love being worshiped, so that deception can then take firm root.

The first commandment insists that God’s people should have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). For instance, why do people view human instructors as their gods when Jesus clearly stated that He was to be considered as the only instructor? (Matthew 23:10). To me, Christianity is as simple as taking line by line, what Jesus taught, applying it on one’s own life.

Jesus Christ brought what was new, requiring not mixing with what is characterized in this world’s customs. This is why Jesus said that a person needs to first become like an infant; because it is not possible to appreciate what is new when still holding to the existing customs and traditions.

Christianity is probably regarded as the largest religion in the world. Unfortunately, it serves only to lead people further away from their Creator. Pride is, sadly, chief among causes of deception in the Christian world.  The deceived ones cannot distinguish between pride and humility. Possibly, in anticipation of being ‘promoted’ by those in leadership positions, the deceived ones would rather avoid the truth and go by what their leaders say…

Jesus Christ, therefore, gets removed from being their leader, as Christians fulfill the principle of acquiring other gods before God.  Holding on to that philosophy gives them assurance that their comfort would, accordingly, be protected [see Personal salvation vs. God’s Kingdom].  I suppose this highlights the way that seems right to a man and yet leading to death (Proverbs 14:12).

The times of Jacob’s trouble are not initiated by God, necessarily. But such troubles are an effect of human behavior, driven by ignorance, due to failure to appreciate that Jesus is Lord. Most Christians look to religious leaders, instead of Christ. But they fail to realize that such leaders are, actually, the devil’s instruments to eventually bring the calamities expounded in prophecies, such as that of Jeremiah.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

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