THE PRE-ADVENT CLIMAX TO THE GREAT CONTROVERSY COMES AFTER PROBATION'S CLOSE. "Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion."--SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 968.
"An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received 'the seal of the living God.' Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, 'It is done.'"--The Great Controversy, p. 613.
When probation closes, God's remnant on earth will have been sealed (Rev. 7:1-4); they have given the final message (Rev. 18:1-4) and are almost ready for translation (1 Thess. 4:16-18). Then the great time of trouble begins (Dan. 12:1). There will be trouble for both the saved and the unsaved. What is that trouble, and what is its cause?