What is the difference between the time of trouble after probation's close and the time of trouble during the period of papal supremacy (A.D. 538-1798)? Compare Dan. 12:1 with Matt. 24:21, 22.
The "great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21) of which Jesus spoke is the same "time of trouble" (Dan. 12:1) of which Daniel wrote. The difference in the two passages is that Jesus was using historical events as types of the ultimate end-time tribulation. Matthew 24:21, 22, in its context, may refer to (1) the tribulation associated with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70; (2) the tribulation during the period of papal supremacy; (3) the ultimate tribulation just before Jesus comes, of which the previous two times of trouble were types. (See The Great Controversy, pp. 25, 36, 39, 266, 267.)
Why will the end-time trouble be the -worst ever? Rev. 7:1-3; 13:15.
Revelation 7:1-3 indicates that the angels hold the winds of strife only as long as the sealing of the saints is in process. Once the sealing is completed, the angels loose the winds of strife. "Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old."--The Great Controversy, p. 614.
Satan and his angels are powerful (Eph. 6:12; I Peter 5:8). "The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere."--The Great Controversy, p. 614. "Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent."--The Great Controversy, p.614. (See Rev. 22:11.)
Satan says, "'Our principal concern is to silence this sect of Sabbathkeepers .... We will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority.'"--Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 472, 473. "It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed."--Last Day Events, p. 255.